Archive for category Najib Razak

As amendment bill to the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code has not yet been presented to Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council for study, suggest deferment of any presentation to Kelantan State Assembly this month

Overnight, the political position of Datuk Seri Najib Razak seemed to have undergone a sea-change for the worse, particularly with the London Sunday Times report on Sunday, March 1, 2015 that its joint in-depth investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with Sarawak Report website had been completed and they had obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

As the news portal Asian Sentinel as aptly headlined its report, “Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide Open”, the joint investigations by Sunday Times London and Sarawak Report had foiled abrupt attempts by 1MDB at the end last year to call in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers to wipe them clean of all emails.

This evening, in an email interview with Malaysiakini, Sarawak Report editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown confirmed that she is in possession of “thousands documents” on the dealings of 1MDB and businessman Taek Jho Low’s role in the 1MDB which were neither “forged nor hacked” material.

Although these are body blows to Najib politically, he remains a paradox of being a very weak Prime Minister whose major policy initiatives had all been dismal failures but a strong UMNO President largely because no strong UMNO contender has emerged to threaten his position – unlike his predecessor Tun Abdullah Badawi who was both a weak Prime Minister as well as a weak UMNO President, setting the stage for his easy replacement.

However, the political dynamics and disequilibrium both inside UMNO and outside will increase in intensity, focusing immediate attention not only on the forthcoming national UMNO Divisional Meeting on March 8 but also on the Kelantan State Assembly scheduled to meet on March 18.

The greater the political pressures on Najib arising from a host of political, economic, financial and family scandals, the more Machiavellian UMNO leaders and strategists will be to distract public attention from their political woes, which means the doubling up of plots and conspiracies to try to destabilize, divide and destroy PAS and Pakatan Rakyat as promoting “UG” (Unity Government between UMNO and PAS) and the false lure of Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen offering support to Kelantan PAS for hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly this month. Read the rest of this entry »

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Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide Open

Asia Sentinel
By Our Correspondent
Posted on March 1, 2015

Sarawak Report blog details how deeply a flamboyant financier and friend of PM Najib actually ran the fund

In December of last year, the controversial investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd abruptly called in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers and wiped them clean of all emails.
(Read: Controversial Malaysian Investment Fund’s Computer Records Wiped Off)

It was too late. The reason has come embarrassingly clear with a report by Clare Rewcastle Brown, the indefatigable blogger who edits The Sarawak Report. Rewcastle Brown had already obtained thousands of emails and documents before the shutdown, detailing that transactions by the fund were actually run by Taek Jho Low, a close friend of the family of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. There were times when the CEO of 1MDB, Shahrol Halmi, and his Malaysian colleagues had no idea what was going on.

Jho Low has repeatedly told the media that he has had nothing to do with 1MDB’s investment activities, and that he has received no money or benefits. But the emails allegedly show that he orchestrated a 2009 joint venture between 1MDB, as the fund is known, and a fledgling oil exploration firm called PetroSaudi International, which was little more than a shell. Read the rest of this entry »

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Harrow playboy linked to troubled Malaysian fund

Jon Ungoed-Thomas, Clare Rewcastle and Josh Boswell
The Sunday Times London
1 March 2015

IN THE summer of 2009, a Malaysian nicknamed “the Whale” appeared on the New York nightclub scene. He would travel with a large entourage in a fleet of Cadillacs and his party would spend tens of thousands of dollars a night in the company of socialites such as Paris Hilton.

“The Whale” is said to have celebrated his 28th birthday with a four-day event in Las Vegas that included a party at a pool surrounded by caged lions and tigers. Manhattan was abuzz with questions over his identity and the source of his wealth.

It emerged that the “mystery man” of the nightclubs was the Malaysian tycoon Taek Jho Low, who had been educated at Harrow School and the Wharton School in Pennsylvania. He claimed his success was due to being in the “right place at the right time”.

Low certainly has a wide range of business interests, building up a £650m investment fund that he started at university. He also runs Jynwel Capital, a Hong Kong fund with investments in media, retail, property and commodities. His family is independently wealthy. Read the rest of this entry »

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MACC should launch a full-scale investigation into the PMO Statement in the New York Times attributing the Prime Minister’s expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife, to his inheritance or is MACC a mere “paper tiger”?

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission should launch a full-scale investigation into the Prime Minister Office’s Statement in the New York Times of February 9, 2015 attributing the Prime Minister’s expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife’s jewellery and shopping sprees, to his inheritance or is the MACC a mere “paper tiger”?

The PMO statement to New York Times said:

“Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”

The PMO statement in the New York Times had greatly offended and outraged the four brothers of the Prime Minister, Johari, Nizam, Nazim and Nazir who, in a rare private statement expressed worry that the name of their father, who was known for his frugality, would be tarnished by such talks of family assets. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to announce before Chempaka by-election nomination on March 10 that UMNO will not contest in any Permatang Pauh by-election arising from Anwar’s disqualification to demonstrate his commitment to promote Malaysian unity and not just Malay unity

When the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced on Wednesday that UMNO will not contest the Chempaka State Assembly by-election in Kelantan caused by the death of Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, he said this was to promote Malay unity.

I responded in a series of four tweets, viz:

• Expected in my pre-Cabinet Open Letter yesterday;

• Should announce same to show bona fide! http://goo.gl/2dnOqx No decision on Permatang Pauh yet, says Najib (MMO).

• UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka welcome but it should herald a virtuous cycle of national unity/reconciliation.

• Make it national unity, not just Muslim unity, Kit Siang tells Umno (MMO).

Najib’s announcement took no one by surprise as it was very much to be expected at this stage of UMNO power play and the plot by certain UMNO leaders to cause a break-up of Pakatan Rakyat by promoting the “UG” (Unity Government) concept of UMNO-PAS Government. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with 1MDB the sole agenda of Cabinet on Wednesday

I have just seen the Sarawak Report website claiming that together with London’s Sunday Times newspaper, it has completed an in-depth investigation into the trail of the missing billions at the heart of Malaysia’s 1MDB (One Malaysia Development Berhad) financial scandal.

It claimed to have obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to transactions by 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

It alleged that the documents establish that, in spite of copious official denials, the entire joint venture project was conceived, managed and driven through by the Prime Minister’s associate and family friend the party-loving billionaire tycoon, Jho Low and that the documents also prove that the USD$700 million so-called “loan” that was supposedly repaid to PetroSaudi as part of the joint venture agreement, was actually a “front” to channel the money to a company controlled by Jho Low.

It had previously been reported that all computers and servers at 1MDB had been called in and wiped clean just before the end of last year, and if it it is true that the combined investigation team of Sarawak Report and London Sunday Times have obtained access to “thousands of documents and emails” relating to transactions by 1MDB, then we have the makings of the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history.
The RM42 billion 1MDB scandal is setting a record as the greatest of all the financial scandals in the country, eclipsing even the worst and biggest of Mahathir’s financial scandals. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Najib survive the March 8 Umno divisional leaders’ solidarity meeting?

The single political issue in the country after the Federal Court’s 5-0 dismissal of Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in Sodomy II on February 10, resulting his fourth incarceration in his 47 years of public life and struggle for freedom, democracy, human dignity and good governance should be: “Quo Vadis, Anwar?”

Instead, the question has swiftly become “Quo Vadis, Najib?”

National focus should be on the “March to Freedom” ceramah to restore freedom for Anwar Ibrahim on March 7, but attention has now suddenly swerved to whether Najib could survive the Umno divisional leaders’ meeting on March 8.

This is most extraordinary as the UMNO Division Meeting of March 8 is being called to show solidarity and support for Najib and not to ditch him.

Why is there such sudden change of political focus and climate in UMNO?

This is a reflection of the turbulent times in UMNO. Read the rest of this entry »

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The IGP should be non-partisan professional top policeman to uphold law without fear or favour and not to act like the Security Chief of Prime Minister to harass and persecute dissent

I commend the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar for his composure and being unfazed by a video of three men threatening to blow up his car with him inside it, which is expected of all holders of public office and trust when confronted with extremist threats to cow them from carrying out their public duties.

Khalid sets a good example in declaring that he is not intimidated by the death threat against him, his denunciation of the group known as “Anak Malaysia Anti Demokrasi” as irresponsible for not respecting parliamentary democracy and not knowing the real meaning of democracy.

All Malaysians will support the firmest actions taken by the authorities to punish severely those involved in IS-type videos to threaten violent acts, including murder the current IGP, as Malaysians must not allow such deplorable culture to take root in the country.

On Feb. 15, a video was uploaded under a You Tube account named ISIS Malaysia 69 which featured four masked men threatening to light up fireworks in courts across the country, which was followed by another one, featuring a group of three individuals that called themselves Anak Muda Anti-Democracy (AMAD) on Tuesday which threatened to kill Khalid, by blowing up his car with him inside it.

The last thing Malaysia needs is the introduction of IS-type of barbarities and atrocities on our shores.

A day before the IS-type video death threat to Khalid, I had issued a statement criticizing the IGP for a wrong sense of priorities, setting up the world’s first police special unit on sedition for him to twitter instructions to harass Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the bigger national threat of Islamic State extending its tentacles to vulnerable young Malaysians including 14-year-old boys and girls. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why the Malaysian Government Has Reneged on Political Reform

Koon Yew Yin
26th Feb 2015

This morning I listened to a local business station which carried an interview with Tom Greatex. He is a British Labour Party politician who is head of the All Party Committee on Malaysia of the UK Parliament. In the interview, although cautious, Greatex expressed great concern with the recent human rights record of the Government, especially after all the big talk by the Prime Minister of doing away with the Sedition Act, of political reform and being moderate.

His visit follows the recent statement by the British Foreign Minister who, immediately after the Federal Court’s confirmation of Anwar’s conviction, said that “[Anwar’s] case raises worrying questions about the independence of the judiciary and rule of law in Malaysia….the integrity of the rule of law is a key part of its success, as are the values of moderation and tolerance. We encourage Malaysia to recognise the importance of international confidence in its judicial system and to restore trust in its commitment to human rights.”

This is diplomatic language for saying that there is little or no international confidence in our judicial system when it comes to dealing with the opposition. It is also a polite way of saying that the Brits do not trust our commitment to human rights.

The British are not the only countries that have expressed concern. Our printed media has tried to minimize or even suppress it but strong words have also come from European Union countries, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, etc. Stronger criticism on the Anwar case have come from human rights groups such as Amnesty International and the International Federation for Human Rights which have called the verdict “disgraceful” and a “black day” for justice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Elegant Silence is no option and Najib must break his silence on the PMO Statement attributing his expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife’s jewellery, to his inheritance

Elegant Silence is no option for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the swirling national and international controversy since the New York Times report on Feb. 9, 2015 quoting a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) attributing his expenditure, including the multi-million dollar purchases of his wife’s jewellery, to his inheritance.

The PMO statement to New York Times said:

“Neither any money spent on travel, nor any jewellery purchases, nor the alleged contents of any safes are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities and legacy family assets.”

Two weeks after the New York Times report, the four brothers of the Prime Minister expressed concern over news reports regarding inheritance said to be from their father, Tun Razak Hussein, the second Prime Minister of Malaysia.

In a rare private statement, Najib’s four younger brothers Johari, Nizam, Nazim and Nazir expressed worry that the name of their father, who was known for his frugality, would be tarnished by such talks of family assets. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka by-election welcome but it should be forerunner to promote a virtuous cycle of national unity and reconciliation

The decision announced by the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting last night that UMNO will stay out of the Chempaka state by-election in Kelantan is most welcome although not for the reasons given.

Najib said that the decision was for the sake of Muslim “unity” as well as to allow the federal government to focus on its flood relief, rehabilitation and reparation works still in progress.

It is sad that 58 years after Merdeka, and six years after the launching of his 1Malaysia signature policy, Najib has retreated to talk about Muslim unity instead of Malaysian unity.

The UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka by-election should be a forerunner to promote a virtuous circle of moderation, tolerance, national unity and reconciliation, after a most prolonged, cacophonous and divisive period where the rhetoric of hate, intolerance, extremism and bigotry whether of race or religion, have held sway in the public domain raising disturbing questions about the future of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has IGP completely lost his sense of priorities – setting up the world’s first police special unit on sedition for him to twitter instructions to harass PR leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the big national threat of Islamic State extending its tentacles to vulnerable young Malaysians including 14-year-old girls?

Many Malaysians must be asking whether the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has completely lost his sense of priorities in setting up a special sedition unit called D5 for him to twitter instructions to the police officers attached to the unit to investigate and harass Pakatan Rakyat leaders and NGO activists while overlooking the real big national and international threat of Islamic State (IS) extending its tentacles in the country to vulnerable Malaysians, including 14-year-old girls?

Neither Parliament nor the country had been informed that sedition crimes have become so serious and ubiquitous that the Police have deemed it necessary to set up a special unit called D5 with special police officers who can and must respond immediately to the IGP’s twitter commands to act against PR leaders and NGO activists on sedition and whole variety of other speech crimes.

Undoubtedly, Khalid has made a name for himself in the international fraternity of No. 1 policemen in the world, for he must be the first head of police in a country to set up a special unit on sedition, as if Malaysians have just set a new world record as the most seditious people in the world!

At a time when the IGP’s eye must be unfailingly focused on the new real crime and threat not only to Malaysia and the world – the rise of Islamic State with its siren appeal to Malaysian Muslims for a Muslim Caliphate stretching beyond national borders and space – Khalid’s focus is fixed in the wrong direction.

This has caused him to set up D5 and arrogating to himself the supreme task of roaming the cyberspace so that he could tweet directives to D5 police officers as to who are the PR leaders and NGO activists to harass and investigate, and undoubtedly, laying down a deadline when the D5 officers have to comply to report to him as to how they had carried out their instructions. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sport, sodomy and Sirul

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Feb 23, 2015

Khairy Jamaluddin, the Umno Baru Youth chief, is smarter than we credit him. The fiercely ambitious Oxford graduate is taking the initiative and showing Umno Baru that he can lead.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is facing his worst nightmare. His spectre is a Malaysian in an Australian detention centre. Khairy needs to prove that he will be ‘prime minister material’ if the top post becomes vacant.

Khairy is showing signs of being bored with his day job as the youth and sports minister. After Malaysia’s dismal performance in the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, Khairy’s focus should be on promoting and improving our performance in sport. He should engage more young Malaysians.

Proving that he has too much time on his hands, the minister has instead organised a roadshow. His co-star is the lead prosecutor in the Sodomy II trial, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (right). They are trying to convince the public that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s guilty verdict was a just one.

There is probably an ulterior motive to the roadshow. Shafee has his sights set on being the next attorney-general, whilst Khairy is taking pole position in the race to be the prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Get it right this time, Tun M

Fa Abdul | February 23, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

COMMENT

Mahathir has so far been wrong in his choice of deputies and handpicked successors.

When I was eight, I used to utter bad words. “Basket” was my favourite, if you get what I mean. Mom would first warn me. And the second time, I’d have chilli paste all over my mouth.

I grew up learning that it is okay to make a mistake once. But when you repeat it, it is no longer a mistake.

However, some people tend to make mistakes over and over and over again, especially when they can get away with it.

This reminds me of Tun M. He first chose Musa Hitam as his deputy. It did not work out. He then chose the late Abdul Ghafar Baba. Also did not work out. And then, it was Anwar Ibrahim. But that ended tragically.

Frustrated and having to make a decision, he handpicked Pak Lah. Big mistake. Accusing him of betraying his trust, Tun M told Pak Lah to step down. However, this isn’t anything new in our political scene. Tunku at one point did express his regret over choosing Tun Abdul Razak. And Tun Hussein Onn also regretted his choice of Tun M as his successor. So Tun M regretting his choice of Pak Lah is completely understandable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PAS President Hadi Awang, to focus single-mindedly on how to save Pakatan Rakyat and discourage efforts and elements within our ranks who are prepared to destabilize and even destroy PR

In my Chinese New Year Message on 17th February, I had said that many issues will jostle as the top Malaysian concerns and conversational topics during the Chinese New Year.

This is the third day of the Chinese New Year, and I confess that I had expected Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail sentence for Sodomy II by the Federal Court and his fourth incarceration in his 47-year political struggle as the No. 1 conversation topic of all Malaysians in the Chinese New Year.

I was however wrong, for another issue caught up and gained an edge over Anwar’s conviction and 5-year jail sentence to compete for the No. 1 Chinese New Year top conversation topic – another Federal Court decision concerning a nine-year-matter, the heinous murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the blowing up of her body with military C4 explosives in the Shah Alam bushes on Oct. 19, 2006.

On the day I issued my Chinese New Year Message on 17th February, Sirul Azhar, one of the two convicted murderers of Altantunya who had absconded and is seeking asylum in Australia, told Malaysiakini that he was mulling over the possibility of “telling all” about the Altantuya murder as he was only acting “under orders”.

The fast-paced five-day developments of the Altantuya murder case from the Sirul perspective, threatening to reveal “all” in a video conference from Australia tomorrow (Monday) morning, catapulted the issue into a greater cause celebre during the Chinese New Year family re-unions, get-togethers, discussions and coffee-shop talks than the Anwar case – although both these cases were unchallenged as the two top-most first and second conversation topics in the Chinese New Year.

These two high-profile cases highlighted a common defect in our system of governance – a deep rot in the leadership of the 130,000 strong police establishment in not allowing the men and women in blue to act efficiently, independently and professionally to uphold what is right and lawful rather to be subverted to glorify “might is right”’ and the shocking lack of commitment and quality of performance by the political leadership and public service to provide good governance.

I am thoroughly shocked and outraged at the failure of our system of administration of justice in both these high-profile cases in keeping with the maxim to ensure that “justice is not only done, but seen to be done”.

There were several burning issues which qualify to be described as the concerns and top conversation topics of all Malaysians on the occasion of the Chinese New Year of the Goat in the past few days, and among those competing for the second tier level of the Chinese New Year concerns and top conversation topics are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Sirul should make a clean breast of the truth about the 2006 murder of Altantuya – admit to being one of the two killers, demonstrate true remorse and spell out the outrage that he is sentenced to death while the murder “mastermind” is allowed to get away scotfree

Former police special commandore Suril Azhar Umar should stop hiding and running which he had been doing for the past nine years but to take a honest stand to make a clean breast of the truth about the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu – admit to being one of the two killers (together with Azila Hadri), demonstrate remorse at the heinous deed “under orders” and spell out the outrage that he is sentenced to death while the murder “mastermind” is allowed to get away scot-free.

The time has also come for Sirul to make a public declaration of his first confession to the police on November 9, 2006 on the Altantuya’s murder.

Although his confession to the police was declared inadmissible by the Kuala Lumpur High Court during Sirul’s trial in July 2007, Sirul must now declare whether his confession represented the truth.

On Feb. 3, 2009, a tearful Sirul had asked the court not to sentence him to death for Altantuya’s murder, saying he was like “a black sheep that has to be sacrificed” to protect unnamed people who have never been brought to court or faced questioning.

“I have no reason to cause hurt, what’s more to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner,” Sirul said. “I appeal to the court, which has the powers to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others’ plans for me.”

In his Nov. 9, 2006 confession to the police, which had been ruled inadmissible in the Altantuya murder trial, Sirul said his boss at the time, Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri who is also charged with Altantuya’s murder, had talked about a reward of between RM50,000 and RM100,000 if the case was settled. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sirul is showing to the whole world the “feet of clay” of the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General, the Judiciary and the Prime Minister in their mishandling of the 2006 Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case

The last thing former police commando Sirul Azhir Umar wanted to do is to show to the world the “feet of clay” of the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General, the Judiciary and the Prime Minister in their mishandling of the 2006 Altantuya Shaariibuu murder case.

In his first telephone interview with Malaysiakini on Tuesday 17th February, Sirul said:

“I was under orders. The important people with motive are still free.

“It is not like I do not love the police (force) or the country, but I acted under orders.”

But this is exactly what Sirul has done, for in one fell swoop he had exposed the “feet of clay” of the pillars of our country, the Inspector-General of Police, the Attorney-General, the Judiciary and the Prime Minister.

Many Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including the DAP MP for Bukit Gelugor Ramkarpal Singh, who is also lawyer for the family of the murdered Mongolian, have called on the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to initiate fresh investigations into Altantuya’s murder after Sirul claimed that he was ordered to kill her.

The IGP, however, is obstinate that the police will not re-investigate Altantuya’s murder even though new allegations have surfaced on the ground that Sirul had not divulged information that merited renewed scrutiny into the case. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Najib’s statement on Sirul’s claim that he acted under orders exculpatory or incriminating?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has made a most rash and imprudent outburst at the MCA Chinese New Year open house today, when he said that former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar’s claim that he acted under orders to murder Altantuya Shaariibuu was “utter rubbish” and “total rubbish”.

Was the Prime Minister’s outburst exculpatory or incriminating?

It would be exculpatory if he is asserting that Sirul was talking “utter” or “total rubbish” that he murdered the Altantuya in 2006 together with Chief Inspector Azila Hadri under orders as there were no such orders to the two former police commandos to murder Altantuya.

The question that immediately arises is how Najib knows that the two convicted police commandos had not received any such orders from their superior to kill Altantunya and destroy evidence by blowing up her body using C4 explosives?

He can say there was no such “order” from him, but how could he say that there were no such “order” from other people? How can he be so sure? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should make a ministerial statement when Parliament reconvenes on March 10 on the actual status, job specification and remuneration paid to former APCO Malaysia boss Paul Stadlen to mastermind the Prime Minister’s communications

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should make a ministerial statement when Parliament reconvenes on March 10 on the actual status, job specification and remuneration paid to former APCO Malaysia boss Paul Stadlen to mastermind the Prime Minister’s communications operations.

I have also sent in a specific oral question to the Prime Minister asking him to confirm the veracity of a report in the Sarawak Report website that Paul Stadlen is being paid millions of ringgit to mastermind his communications policy, and whether the Paul Stadlen outfit was responsible of the infamous 109-word three-paragraph statement in the name of the Prime Minister’s Office that was issued of February 10 praising the Federal Court’s decision dismissing Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal in Sodomy II, not only within minutes of the two-hour delivery of the judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria but before the sentence was passed!

Many questions cry out for answer.

Firstly, are there no local public relations and communications experts who could be entrusted with the responsibility of masterminding Najib’s communications policy, especially as it has been reported that Stadlen’s firm was retained by the PMO at a minimum of RM3 million a year and was also commissioned for a 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB)-related project worth another RM1.5 million? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s retreat from modernity

Rakyat Times/The Australian
18 February 2015

While Malaysia’s charismatic opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was being jailed for five years for sodomy on Tuesday last week, the country’s Prime Minister, Najib Razak, was participating in the nearby launch of an index to assess levels of compliance to sharia law.

Najib said he hoped the government’s own sharia observance would become “a culture of collective practice”.

Two years ago he became the first non-Arab government head to visit Gaza. At a joint press conference with Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh, Najib said he came “to express my solidarity with the Palestinian people”.

A few weeks earlier, he had told a New York audience: “The problem in today’s world is not between Christians, Muslims or Jews but it’s really between the extremists and democracy.”

He said “moderation is, you know, based on certain principles and very sound values, like justice. It calls for us to be bold enough to occupy the centre stage and the moral high ground.”

He responded in part to the recent Charlie Hebdo slayings: “If you criticise other religions because of freedom, it will have severe repercussions.”

Anwar’s jailing – widely condemned by foreign governments including Australia and the US, and by legal and human rights org­anisations – raises questions about which is the real Najib, the real Malaysia, about how moderate, democratic and ultimately modern the country truly is. Read the rest of this entry »

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