Archive for category Najib Razak

Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak’s inevitable fall

Lindsay Murdoch
Sydney Morning Herald
September 27, 2015

Bangkok: For years Najib Razak has cut an impressive swath on the international stage, seen as the moderate and reforming leader of predominantly Islamic Malaysia.

As the British-educated and immaculately-dressed prime minister was last month shrugging off corruption allegations, Australia’s foreign minister Julie Bishop offered effusive praise during a speech in Kuala Lumpur.

“I applaud Prime Minister Najib’s leadership in promoting the moderation agenda,” Ms Bishop said, adding she was “truly excited” about prospects for deeper engagement between Malaysia and Australia, on the 60th anniversary of Australia’s diplomatic presence in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to Najib to institute legal proceedings against five international media for defaming him or his administration – Wall Street Journal, Al Jazeera, New York Times, Economist and Channel News Asia

It is understandable that the new Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak is so upset that he has shot off another protest against international media reporting on Malaysia – this time complaining that Channel News Asia (CAN)’s documentary, A Fractured Nation, for being biased because the sources quoted were only from the Opposition.

Salleh had been Minister for Communications and Multimedia for only two short months, but the number of bad press for Malaysia in the international media during Salleh’s tenure as Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s Communications czar is already many times the bad press under his predecessor, Datuk Seri Shabery Cheek, even putting together Shabery’s two spells as Information Minister for 13 months under Tun Abdullah and Communications Minister for 26 months under Najib.

Who must bear responsibility for the current spate of bad international press by Malaysia, whether printed or electronic – Salleh, Najib or the international media?

Salleh complained that the CNA documentary A Fractured Nation portrayed a bad image of Malaysia.

The pertinent question is whether CNA had irresponsibly given a bad image of a good condition in Malaysia, or had truthfully reflected what is undoubtedly a bad situation in Malaysia! Read the rest of this entry »

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Shrugging off ‘ketakutan Melayu’

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
25 September 2015

Soon after Datuk Seri Najib Razak took over the reins as prime minister from Tun Abdullah Badawi in 2009, for a fleeting moment in time, Malaysians felt somewhat hopeful that social transformations could finally happen in our country. With a new leader, came new promises and renewed hope.

When Najib launched the 1Malaysia campaign, the objectives were quite straightforward; the RM38 million (or at least the amount that was officially recorded) campaign sought to call for all government agencies and civil servants to embrace diversity and Malaysia’s multicultural society. Najib’s administration through the 1Malaysia campaign sought to heal the wounds of racial mistrust and turmoil by promoting “ethnic harmony, national unity, and efficient governance”.

Needless to say, the campaign has since met with heavy criticism from Malaysians due to the fact that ethnic relations in Malaysia have gotten worse in the last five years and the recent “red shirt” rally verified this. Of course, it doesn’t help that those from the ruling elite have since showed their true colours and forked tongues. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Big Read: On Malaysia Day, a reminder of racial politics at play


Race politics are very much alive in Malaysia, say analysts and observers. Going forward how will this affect Malaysia and even Singapore?

SINGAPORE — On Sept 16, Malaysia celebrated its 52nd Malaysia Day, which marks the birth of the Malaysian federation consisting of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and, briefly Singapore.

Malaysia Day is often a low-key affair, coming just two weeks after the splashier Merdeka Day celebrations. Yet this year, the day was marked by two important events.

The first was the Red Shirts rally by a Malay rights groups to show solidarity with Malay leaders whom these groups claimed are under attack by the Chinese community. The second event was the launch of the Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) or Amanah, a breakaway party of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). PAN is a moderate Islamic party which calls for the strengthening of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic and multi-religious social fabric. But for PAS leaders, PAN is just a front for the Democratic Action Party (DAP) — the opposition’s ethnic Chinese party.

There is concern within both PAS and the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) that PAN could further split the Malay vote and help propel DAP to an electoral victory over UMNO at the next general election. Read the rest of this entry »

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Alleged scandals surrounding Malaysian PM could have several consequences

The Globe and Mail
Sep. 24, 2015

With a prime ministerial scandal burning away and acrid smoke shrouding huge swaths of Malaysia, one could be mistaken for thinking the government in Kuala Lumpur was quite literally going up in flames.

The smoke, of course, comes from forest fires illegally set to clear land on the nearby island of Sumatra. But it does provide a suitably gloomy backdrop for what’s happening to Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Mr. Najib, who has become increasingly unpopular, leads the United Malays political party and a coalition that has effectively controlled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957 – partly through electoral gerrymandering and censorship of the media. Despite other actions that make him unfit to lead a democracy, such as repeatedly jailing his main political opponent (a former deputy prime minister) on trumped up sodomy charges, he now finds himself at the centre of an ever-expanding series of corruption probes that have brought Malaysian politics to a standstill – and also threaten to bring his pseudo-authoritarian rule to an end.

These investigations, which began in Malaysia and have spread to the United States, relate to a sum of $700-million (U.S.) allegedly paid into bank accounts linked to the Prime Minister. Mr. Najib has denied he has done anything wrong and said the money came from a political donor in the Middle East, though he has not provided evidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s “riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma” – how to change a Prime Minister who has locked up support of the UMNO warlords

Some 75 years ago, a statesman spoke about a “a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma”.

We in Malaysia seems to be in that position now – how do you change a Prime Minister, who has become the most unpopular Prime Minister in the nation’s history, but who seems to have locked up the support of UMNO warlords and therefore the majority of UMNO/Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament, where a vote of no confidence in Parliament against the Prime Minister seems to hold no chance of success.

In developed parliamentary democracies, which Malaysia aspires to join in five years’ time, there is no problem for a change of unpopular Prime Ministers as witnessed the smooth and quick ouster of the Prime Minister of Australia in the middle of this month.

If Australia practises Najib style of parliamentary democracy, Malcolm Turnbull would not be the Australian Prime Minister today but would be in jail defending charges of trying to “topple” Tony Abbot as Prime Minister and for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy”!

Yesterday, former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir said that the country’s economy can only recover with the removal of Najib as Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Does Malaysia’s ringgit face 1997 all over again?

Leslie Shaffer
Sept. 25, 2015

The sell-off in the Malaysian ringgit, already among the world’s worst performing currencies, may run further amid a toxic mix of shaky economic fundamentals and the spreading of what is being called the country’s worst-ever political crisis.

The ringgit has fallen around 40 percent over the past year, with the U.S. dollar fetching around 4.34 ringgit on Thursday. That’s the Malaysian currency’s weakest against the greenback since late 1997, when the dollar at one point fetched as much as 4.88 ringgit.

“There remains significant downside risk even after the sharp ringgit correction,” Hak Bin Chua, an analyst at Merrill Lynch in Singapore, said in a note Wednesday, noting that he sees little comfort from claims Malaysia is much stronger than in 1997, when it took a wallop from the Asian Financial Crisis (AFC). Read the rest of this entry »

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Playing with fire

Sep 26th 2015 | KUALA LUMPUR

Race in Malaysia
A floundering government risks igniting ethnic tensions

THE close-packed shops on Petaling Street, a dim warren in a Chinese quarter of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, often throng with bargain-hunting tourists. This month its mostly ethnic-Chinese stallholders faced crowds of a different kind. Riot police prevented a mob of redshirted protesters—ethnic Malays with a host of grudges—from marching down the street. They eventually dispersed loiterers with water cannon. One protester was filmed calling a journalist a “Chinese pig”. Some are threatening to return.

The unsettling scuffle took place on the fringes of a big pro-government rally held in the capital on September 16th. Some 40,000 ethnic Malays gathered at a park in support of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the party that has led Malaysia’s ruling coalitions for nearly 60 years. The day’s events were only the latest evidence of rising tensions between the country’s Malay Muslim majority and its ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, who make up about one-third of its citizens. Battling allegations of corruption, UMNO seems careless of the risks. Read the rest of this entry »

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PKR roasted in London

Mariam Mokhtar
21 Sep 2015

The remarks sounded like fingernails being dragged across the blackboard. They were made by a member of the audience, at a dialogue with two PKR executive councillors (exco) from Penang. The questioner was straight and candid. He did not mince his words, and judging by the nods of approval, a majority of the audience, shared his sentiments.

In a forceful voice, the man said, “I think you, the opposition, have missed three times. You are not able to exploit the current conundrum in the country, because you are fractured.

“So, what are you going to do, in order to strengthen yourself for what has to be done? You have missed big time, because of your situation. That is the focus. How are you going to get together, and fight them?

“Removing Najib (Abdul Razak) is not that difficult, if you are strong. He survives, because you are weak.”

These sentiments must have been echoed in a similar fashion, by around 97 percent of opposition supporters, both in Malaysia and abroad; “Najib survives because you are weak”. The words must have stung, but the PKR exco members’ faces remained inscrutable. Read the rest of this entry »

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From candidate as Tiger Economy to candidate for junk bonds – how far Malaysia has fallen under Najib!

From candidate as a Tiger Economy in the early nineties to a candidate for junk bonds – this is an indication of how far Malaysia has fallen under the premiership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

In two decades, Malaysia has transformed from a “darling” to a “villain” of the international media in our “transformation” from a model nation into a rogue state.

What has happened?

We seem to have the most useless and incompetent Cabinet in the nation’s history, unable to deal with the grave issues of the state at its meeting yesterday, especially the Sept. 16 Red Shirts Rally organized by UMNO which in fell swoop desecrated the concept and vision of Malaysia on the 52nd Malaysia Day anniversary and Najib’s own signature policy of 1Malaysia on the importance of racial peace, social harmony and national unity.

Nor was the Cabinet brave enough (with Najib absent, as the Prime Minister had left secretly for his UN, US and UK trip) to deal with two current issues which occurred after the last Cabinet meeting on 9th Sept, viz: (i) the Al Jazeera 101 East current affairs programme on “Murder in Malaysia” on new evidence on the brutal murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu; and (ii) the New York Times report that a US federal grand jury is examining allegations of corruption and money laundering involving Najib and people close to him under the Department of Justice’s Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative. Read the rest of this entry »

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What happened in the Cabinet yesterday?

What happened in the Cabinet yesterday?

Firstly, was yesterday’s Cabinet chaired by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak or had the Prime Minister already secretly left abroad for his overseas trip as suggested by some media?

Secondly, did the Cabinet discuss the highly-charged racist and incendiary Sept. 16 Red Shirts Perhimpunan Maruah Melayu rally in Kuala Lumpur, now admitted by the MARA Chairman, Tan Sri Annuar Musa as the handiwork of UMNO, whose divisions throughout the country bused the some 45,000 people who were at the rally, and paid them with pocket monies and gave them the Red T-shirts?

Did any Minister raise at the Cabinet meeting the subject that the Prime Minister and the Cabinet should make a fulsome apology for their failure of leadership and responsibility in allowing the racially-charged and provocative Red Shirts Malay rally to be held which desecrated Malaysia Day on 16th September and undermined racial harmony, social peace and national unity?

Did any Minister suggest that the Cabinet should take pro-active steps to initiate a series of remedial measures akin to the formation of the National Goodwill Committee after the May 13 riots in 1969 (this time under the leadership of former Minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz) to repair the damage done to racial harmony, social peace and national unity?

Did any Minister referred to the Suhakam finding and the statement by the Suhakam Chairman Tan Sri Hasmy Agam who said the commission was “perturbed” by the “irresponsible and confrontational actions of several participants for inciting lawless and disorderly behaviour by flaunting racially-charged placards and for uttering slogans that promoted racial or religious hatred in our multi-religious and secular society”, and stressed that “such behaviour cannot be condoned and must be appropriately dealt with”? Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Harapan’s Challenge – Turn the crisis-ridden Malaysia into an opportunity to initiate fundamental political and socio-economic changes to transform Malaysia into a vibrant, progressive and forward-looking nation instead of heading in the direction of a failed state

Something has gone very wrong with Malaysia.

How did a country which was hailed as a model of Asian development and set to be one of the “Tiger” economies in the early nineties had so lost its way that it is today battling with a surfeit of negative developments and running the serious risk of becoming the “sick man of ASEAN” en route to become a failed state?

Three events illustrate that this Malaysian disease is reaching a terminal stage.

Firstly, there was yesterday’s charge of artist Bilqis Hijjas for dropping yellow balloons with the words “Justice”, “Democracy” and “Free Media” onto an event attended by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife.

This is a reflection of a government which is petty-minded and insular instead of being visionary and inclusive.

Why can’t Najib be charitable and big-hearted enough to laugh off the incident and forgive Bilqis, instead of being vengeful and vindictive, demanding his pound of flesh for Bilqis’ creative and patriotic infraction?

Better still, if Najib could have met up with Bilqis and assure her that he is as concerned as her and others with the goals of justice, democracy and free media! Read the rest of this entry »

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Can Malaysia’s PM Pull Off a Trip to the UN?

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
September 22, 2015

A trip by Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak to London and New York is shrouded in mystery, with a London source saying the premier and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, are already in London, staying at the five-star Dorchester in Mayfair, and editors in Kuala Lumpur being told he won’t go until Sept. 23, after the weekly cabinet meeting. A source later confirmed that Najib had quietly left KL.

His overseas jaunt, which is expected to later include a trip to Milan with Rosmah for her Islamic dress fashion show, is scarred by spiraling investigations by international law enforcement agencies in New York, Switzerland, Singapore and London and domestic rumors of behind-the-scenes negotiations to replace him with a unity government — which seems unlikely now.

The multiple probes of the prime minister’s personal finances and the operations of the debt-strapped 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which faces more than US$11 billion of unmet liabilities that could trigger a national financial crisis, have delivered up disastrous international publicity in the US’s two most respected newspapers. The prime minister was hoping for a star turn at the United Nations General Assembly and a meeting with US President Barack Obama. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Umno

— Koon Yew Yin
Malay Mail Online
September 23, 2015

SEPTEMBER 23 — Malaysian readers of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book which has been made into film on several occasions will recognise the split personality of good and bad, if not evil, in the country’s dominant party Umno since its early days.

This split personality has emerged more strongly especially since the Tunku was stabbed in the back and taken down in what amounted to a coup d’etat in 1969 by his own party colleagues led by Tun Razak, the father of the current prime minister.

Since then, although the party has had its share of good leaders such as Tun Hussein Onn and has played a positive role in some areas of nation building, it has been the major obstacle to building a robust and resilient nation based on the rule of law and ensuring equal rights, justice and freedom to all citizens.

This is because it has made Malay dominance or “ketuanan Melayu” its main party platform and ideology, while giving lip service to the constitutional provisions providing for racial, religious and cultural equality. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Malaysia’s PM struggles in graft scandal, his party plays the race card

John Chalmers and Raju Gopalakrishnan
Reuters/Channel News Asia
23 Sep 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: When thousands of Malay Muslims marched through Kuala Lumpur last week to support his scandal-wracked government, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak kept his distance.

He neither attended nor officially endorsed the racially charged rally by members of Malaysia’s majority community.

But several members of Najib’s political party told Reuters they helped an ultranationalist Malay group stage the “Malay Pride” rally. Critics accused the organisers of stoking racial tensions in multicultural Malaysia to distract from a multi-million-dollar corruption scandal swirling around the prime minister.

Protesters at the rally held signs reading “Don’t insult Malays and Islam” and “#najibstays”. Some were eventually dispersed by riot police outside Chinatown, where many Chinese businesses are located. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has Malaysia got a kleptocrat as a Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has established a special niche for himself in the Guinness Book of Records and of course the Malaysian Book of Records as the Prime Minister who has broken all the records of previous Malaysian Prime Ministers by achieving the most “firsts”.

This despite Najib’s short premiership of less than six-and-a-half years which cannot compare in length to the more than 22 years as PM of Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad or the more than 13 years of the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman – but unfortunately, mostly for the wrong reasons establishing bad records.

For instance, Najib is the first Malaysian Prime Minister to be investigated for alleged money laundering and corruption in four foreign countries, namely United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Now he has added to this roll of dubious honour by being the first Malaysian and ASEAN leader to be investigated by a federal grand jury in the United States in connection with corruption and money-laundering. Read the rest of this entry »

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The FBI Has Its Eyes On Malaysia’s Embattled Prime Minister

By Shannon Hayden
September 22, 2015

Malaysia’s prime minister is elbows-deep in a mess of trouble, and it looks like it’s only going to get worse. The fallout from $700 million that somehow found its way into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account continued over the weekend, with the arrest of a prominent critic of Razak’s while he attempted to leave the country, reports of further missing payments, and news that the FBI is now on the case.

The once-domestic issue now involves unusually “generous” unnamed Middle Eastern donors, frozen accounts in Switzerland and Singapore, and nationwide demonstrations calling for Najib’s resignation. Najib’s attempts to delay further investigation have partially succeeded, but his remaining time in office is uncertain. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Leader, Najib Razak, Faces U.S. Corruption Inquiry

by Louise Story
New York Times
SEPT. 21, 2015

The embattled prime minister of Malaysia, facing mounting political turmoil and a parade of inquiries at home and abroad into a sovereign wealth fund that he oversees, is now coming under the scrutiny of American investigators as well.

A federal grand jury is examining allegations of corruption involving the prime minister, Najib Razak, and people close to him, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

The inquiry, being run by a unit of the Justice Department that investigates international corruption, is focused on properties in the United States that were purchased in recent years by shell companies that belong to the prime minister’s stepson as well as other real estate connected to a close family friend, said the people knowledgeable about the case, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. Investigators are also looking at a $681 million payment made to what is believed to be Mr. Najib’s personal bank account. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ali Rustam and the prolonged May 13 trauma

Aidila Razak
21st Sept 2015

COMMENT National Silat Federation (Pesaka) chief Mohd Ali Rustam seems to be suffering from prolonged trauma.

The symptoms were striking in his interview with Mingguan Malaysia yesterday on the achievements of Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu on Sept 16.

Asked what the rally, meant to ‘reclaim Malay dignity’ had achieved, Ali turned Dr Who to travel close to five decades into time to the race riots of 1969.

“They (Bersih 4 organisers and participants) try to show that Kuala Lumpur belongs to Bersih and the DAP gang, and Malays should balik kampung (go back to the villages). But now the villagers are coming to Kuala Lumpur.

“They think we have lost our self-worth and that Kuala Lumpur does not belong to various races. They think Malays don’t belong to Kuala Lumpur, and it is only for DAP and Bersih.

“They try to show they are brave and that Malays are not. They held rallies four times, and yet no Malays were brave enough to fight back,” he said.

Note the mention of taunts of ‘balik kampung’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno’s red terror gambit

by Dennis Ignatius
21st Sept 2015

COMMENT When illiberal regimes lose their legitimacy, when they run out of excuses, when they feel their power slipping away, they almost always resort to scaremongering and scapegoating.

Suddenly, imaginary threats are everywhere. Everyone who does not toe the line becomes an enemy, an agent of dark unseen forces, part of some sinister conspiracy. All criticism, all dissent becomes seditious, unpatriotic, anti-national, a threat to national unity.

The ensuing tensions then provide the context and justification for further repression and for increased curtailment of fundamental liberties. What’s left of democratic space slowly vanishes.

Is the same thing now happening in Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »

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