Archive for category Najib Razak

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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DAP’s SSS (Support Sympathy Solidarity) Anwar Ceramah has 3SAVE objectives – to save Anwar from prison, to save Pakatan Rakyat from disintegration and to save Malaysia from becoming a “failed state”

This is the third DAP SSS (Support Sympathy Solidarity) Anwar Ibrahim Ceramah, the first in Taman Cheras Jaya in Selangor on Sunday and the second at the Han Chiang School Hall in Penang last night.

DAP proposes to organize hundreds of SSS Anwar ceramahs, vigils, gatherings and events throughout the country in the next three years before the 14th General Elections with 3Save objectives – firstly, to save Anwar from prison, secondly to save Pakatan Rakyat from disintegration and thirdly, to save Malaysia from becoming a “failed state”.

Anwar has exhausted the judicial process and lost out when the Federal Court returned a shocking 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar’s appeal, as even the most pessimistic about Anwar’s chances believing that he would lose in the Federal Court appeal had expected either a 3-2 verdict or at worst a 4-1 decision.

Everybody was floored by the unanimous 5-0 decision. There were not only no dissenting judgment, there was no other judgment from the five-member Federal Court quorum, apart from the single judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria!

Anwar may have lost in the courts of the Malaysian judiciary, but he has won two battles in the first week of his five-year jail sentence – firstly, the court of public opinion in Malaysia and secondly, the court of international opinion, as it will not be easy to find another Federal Court judgment in the past two decades which had met with such instant universal condemnation, not only inside the country but also outside. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Sodomy I to Sodomy II – Malaysia regressing to the darkness and repression 17 years ago when the country should be moving forward to greater freedom, justice, prosperity and confidence after the passage of almost two decades

Wishing all Malaysian Chinese as well as Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, a Happy Chinese New Year as it is now a festivity celebrated by all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

Chinese New Year, which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, has been described as the most important holiday for Chinese people worldwide.

In China, it is marked by the world’s largest annual human migrations with 2.8 billion trips made across the country in the mass exodus of students, migrant labourers, factory workers and office employees making their long journeys home to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year in Malaysia has become a very Malaysian affair, despite its ethnic origins and associations.

In Malaysia, the Chinese New Year is also marked by major human migrations, but not confined to the Chinese as it affects other ethnic groups as well.

Many issues will jostle for top attention among Malaysians during the Chinese New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Former students of Najib’s alma mater tell him to stop extremism

The Malaysian Insider
16 February 2015

Another group of Malaysians has penned an open letter to Datuk Seri Najib Razak calling for an end to extremism, this time by 58 former students of St John’s Institution in Kuala Lumpur, where the prime minister himself had studied.

The alumni of the renowned mission school from the class of 1975 urged the country’s leadership to take a strong position against racism, religious bigotry and extremism, and themselves pledged to “always walk on the path of moderation”.

“As patriotic citizens we will not allow any form of destructive extremism, divisiveness and racial or religious turmoil to be planted in our country.

“In this context too, we plead with our leadership, rulers and law-abiding citizens to stand up against extremism,” the 58 Johanians said in their open letter, which carried all their names. Read the rest of this entry »

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Agri minister or propaganda minister?

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Feb 16, 2015

For decades, we were conned into thinking that the job of the agriculture and agro-based industries minister was to manage Malaysian agriculture. It is not! The job of the so-called agriculture minister is to spread government propaganda. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should rename Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the propaganda minister, and not the agriculture minister.

Ismail’s ministerial task is to manage the massive vote bank provided by the rural people of Malaysia. Rural Malaysians make up the final piece in the ‘4-Rs’, the pillars of Umno Baru which comprises race, religion, royalty and rural folk.

When Ismail made his racist remarks about boycotting Chinese traders, Najib refused to punish him, because Ismail was doing a good job, alienating the rural people from the urban population as well as making Malays suspicious of their Chinese neighbours. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s worst week ever for credibility and integrity of the administration of justice in the country

The past week starting with the Federal Court’s dismissal of Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II appeal on Tuesday 10th February is likely to be the country’s worst week ever for credibility and integrity of the administration of justice in Malaysia.

The Federal Court’s 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar’s appeal has come as a great surprise, even to those who had never entertained high hopes that Anwar could get off unscathed in his latest encounter with selective and even malicious prosecution.

But even the most pessimistic had expected either a 3-2 verdict or at worst a 4-1 decision, but everybody was floored by a unanimous 5-0 judgment.

What further stumped the legal and judicial fraternity, as well as the general public, was that there was only judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria, when the public expectation was more than one judgment, even five judgments! Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on rational and moderate Malaysians to give Cabinet a third and final chance to do what is right on the Ismail Sabri affair – to get Ismail to retract and apologise for his racist statement or be removed from Cabinet

I call on moderate and rational Malaysians to give the Cabinet a third and final chance to do what is right on the Ismail Sabri affair – to get Ismail to retract and apologise for his racist statement calling on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses or be removed from Cabinet.

Malaysians of good sense and goodwill, regardless of race, religion or even political affiliation, are tired of the cant and hypocrisy of the Ismail Sabri affair – to the extent that it is no more an issue affecting the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister, but the quality and morality as well as the credibility and integrity of the entire 35-Minister Cabinet and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The 35-Minister Cabinet seemed to be very committed in wanting to prove former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathr Mohamad and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin right that it is “half-past six” Cabinet with “deadwood” Ministers – for the Ismail Sabri affair has proved beyond a shadow of doubt that we have the most dim-witted and dishonest Cabinet in the nation’s 58-year old history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar back in jail but problems mount for Najib

The Malaysian Insider
15 February 2015

The biggest political threat to the Malaysian government is behind bars after a court upheld a sodomy conviction for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, but more thorny problems confront Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Anwar, jailed for five years on Tuesday on a charge he called politically motivated, has for years represented the greatest challenge to Najib’s coalition, which has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.

The bespectacled former finance minister and deputy prime minister cemented a three-party opposition alliance which took on the coalition at the last polls in 2013, costing the ruling bloc the popular vote in its worst-ever electoral performance.

Deserted at the polls by ethnic minority Chinese and urban voters, Najib’s party will now face the fallout of sharper polarisation over Anwar’s jailing, amid widespread perceptions that his prosecution was motivated by political vengeance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s dark side

Banyan
Economist
Feb 14th 2015

The jailing of Anwar Ibrahim is a setback for the whole country, not just the opposition

AFTER taking an inexplicable four months to make up its mind, Malaysia’s highest court on February 10th came up with the verdict its critics said had been scripted for it all along. It rejected an appeal by Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, against his conviction on a charge of sodomy—of having sex in 2008 with a young man who had worked for him. It upheld the five-year jail sentence imposed last March. Since a prison term also entails a five-year ban after release from running for political office, this would rule Mr Anwar out of the next two general elections. And since he is 67, it might mark the end of his political career.

The three-party coalition he heads, Pakatan Rakyat, poses the most serious threat the United Malays National Organisation, UMNO, has faced in its nearly six decades of continuous rule. But the opposition depends heavily on Mr Anwar’s leadership, so his sentence sounds like good news for the prime minister, Najib Razak. Celebration, however, would be short-sighted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration and its implications

Mohd Nawab Mohd Osman, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
13 February 2015

The verdict is finally out. After months of speculations over Anwar Ibrahim’s fate, the Malaysian High courts have upheld the guilty verdict for the former deputy prime minister over the charge of sodomy. The verdict was particularly surprising for some within the Opposition circles who were confident that Anwar would be freed. The verdict has in theory sealed Anwar’s political fate given that he will be in prison for five years and be barred from assuming political office for another five years. This – at 77 – would render him too old to become the next leader of the country. The verdict is likely to have long term consequences for both Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Malaysian politics.

Prosecuting Anwar Ibrahim

Anwar Ibrahim is a key figure in Malaysian politics. He will long be remembered for changing Malaysia’s political landscape. Dismissed as a spent force following his ouster from the ruling party – the United Malay National Organisation (UMNO) – and subsequent jail term for sodomy and corruption, against all odds, he rose from the political doldrums to lead the PR to its best electoral performance in 2008. In 2013, the coalition bettered this performance by winning the popular votes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Life after Anwar

John Funston, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
12 February 2015

With Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim losing his appeal against sodomy charges and receiving a harsh five-year jail sentence, it could spell the end to his political career.

New Mandala spoke to Malaysia expert Dr John Funston, from the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific, about the trial and conviction, and what it means for Anwar’s, the opposition’s and the country’s political future.

NM: Now that he has been convicted, does this spell the end of Anwar Ibrahim’s political career? Why or why not?

JF: This conviction is likely to end 67-year old Anwar Ibrahim’s direct political role. It will now mean five years jail (40 months with remission for good behaviour), then five years after his release before he can contest political office.

But he will still be able to influence developments from prison, as he did during his previous six-year incarceration. He will also be a potent political symbol of government oppression.

Of course if the opposition were to win the next election – due by 2018, but can be called earlier – there may be ways to facilitate an earlier political return. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s political backslide

Editorial Board
Washington Post
February 11, 2015

SEVERAL YEARS ago it appeared that Malaysia, which has been ruled by the same party since it achieved independence in 1957, might be on the verge of a soft transition to democracy. Prime Minister Najib Razak promised to dismantle preferences favoring ethnic Malays, reduce police powers, repeal a repressive anti-sedition law and promote free and fair elections. He mostly stayed on course until 2013, when opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim led a multiethnic coalition to a popular-vote victory in national elections. The ruling United Malays National Organization clung to power only because of the gerrymandering of parliamentary seats.

Mr. Najib has since launched a campaign aimed at crippling the opposition — a crackdown that reached its peak Tuesday with the sentencing of Mr. Anwar to five years in prison. It was a major regression for a country that values its strategic partnership with the United States, and it was the continuation of a bad trend in Southeast Asia, following the military coup that toppled Thailand’s democratic government last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Economist: Umno will backslide with Anwar out of the way

The Malay Mail Online
February 13, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 ― Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s incarceration is detrimental to Malaysia as a weakened opposition reduces Umno’s motivation to reform, The Economist wrote today.

Calling it a “setback for the whole country”, the London-based business magazine pointed out that the opposition leader’s absence bolster’s the ruling coalition that is already “becoming a mere shell for an Umno ever more beholden to Malay-nationalist forces”.

In Election 2013, Umno reinforced its dominance over Barisan Nasional by winning more seats owing to rural Malay voters even as its partners suffered from reduced support from other ethnic communities.

“Mr Anwar, a political chameleon whose real beliefs are sometimes hard to pin down, has many critics, but he could at least credibly lead a coalition that bridges Malaysia’s ethnic divides.

“That is why his incarceration is a dark day not just for Malaysia’s opposition, but for Mr Najib and the country itself,” it wrote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mahathir seemed to have crossed the Rubicon and is going for the kill in his campaign to topple Najib as Prime Minister

Former Prime Minister and UMNO’s eminence grise, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad seemed to have crossed the Rubicon and is going for the kill in his campaign to topple Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister and add another item in his collection of the scalps of Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers in Malaysia.

Najib and his advisers might have thought that Mahathir would have been appeased at least temporarily with the Federal Court’s unconvincing dismissal of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal and sending the 67-year-old one-time nemesis of Mahathir back to prison for the third time to serve a five-year jail sentence, but it is clear that such calculations were completely misplaced.

On the very evening of the Federal Court’s two-hour decision, which was forever tarnished by the outrageous three-paragraph statement of the Prime Minister’s Office raising the strongest doubts about the full restoration of a truly independent judiciary and a just rule of law in Malaysia, Mahathir wrote the infamous blog “Something Rotten”, quoting Marcellus in Shakespeare’s Hamlet in the immortal remark that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark”.
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Thirteen Questions for Najib to answer to salvage the credibility, independence and professionalism of Malaysian judiciary

The credibility, independence and professionalism of the Malaysian judiciary was gravely sullied by the extraordinary Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) statement on Feb. 10 defending the Federal Court decision on the Anwar Ibrahim case even before the completion of the Federal Court judicial process.

Yesterday, the government came out in defence of the PMO’s lightning quick response to the Anwar Ibrahim judgment by the Federal Court, saying it is normal procedure to prepare statements in advance.

A government spokesperson, in an email communique, to Malaysiakini said:

“It’s clear that the politicians, lawyers, communications teams and journalists involved with this case prepared text for guilty and not guilty verdicts.

“Similarly, the government prepared a statement in advance for either outcome. This is entirely standard professional practice, especially in a case that involves public interest.

“To suggest otherwise is intentionally misleading.”

Who is the Najib government bluffing?

Here are 13 Questions for Najib to answer to salvage the credibility, independence and professionalism of Malaysian judiciary which had been gravely sullied by the extraordinary PMO statement on Feb 10 defending the Federal Court decision on Anwar case even before the completion of the judicial process. Read the rest of this entry »

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Something? No, some things are rotten in Malaysia

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
11 February 2015

The inimitable Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad didn’t quite hit the nail on the head when he paraphrased Shakespeare to say something is rotten in Malaysia.

One, it is not about people not being paid for so-called work done. Or their permits pulled. Or their proposals copied. Or local white knights having their bids to take over companies rejected without even a look.

Two. It isn’t something. It is a lot of things.

here do we begin? Read the rest of this entry »

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Second pre-Cabinet Open Letter – prove Cabinet is not “half-past six” with “deadwood” Ministers by ensuring that Ismail Sabri retract and apologise for his racist call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses or cease to be a member of the Cabinet

To the Prime Minister and the Cabinet,
11th February 2015

This is my second pre-Cabinet Open Letter in my 49 years in politics for Malaysia is in critical times and the Cabinet must show leadership and example, which it had failed to provide.

Last week, I had listed several major failures of the Cabinet in the first month of the new year 2015, viz:

• Failure to conduct major and proper public inquiry such as a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the very botched-up disaster management, whether response, relief or reconstruction of the 2014 Floods, the worst floods catastrophe in living memory in Malaysia, resulting in 25 dead, a million flood victims, quarter of a million evacuees in flood relief centres and billions of ringgit of losses.

• Moral and Political Cowardice in failing to address the scandal of the Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s gross breach of Ministerial propriety, code of conduct and even violation of Official Secrets Act when he wrote the infamous letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) vouching for the character and integrity of an alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua standing trial in Las Vegas, Nevada for illegal gambling, contradicting the earlier Malaysian police account to FBI – without the consent or knowledge of the Inspector-General of Police, the Foreign Ministry, the Cabinet and the Prime Minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 35-Minister Cabinet tomorrow will have second and final opportunity to demonstrate whether they are “We Are All Ismail Sabri” or “We Are All not Ismail Sabri”!

The 35-Minister Cabinet tomorrow will have a second and final opportunity to demonstrate whether they are “We Are all Ismail Sabri” or “We Are All Not Ismail Sabri”!

Cabinet Ministers should stop equivocating and end their hypocritical stances, as beating their breasts in public promising to “claim justice for the Chinese community” for the smear by the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri, against the Chinese community but the astounding revelation later by the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein that neither the MCA nor MIC Ministers at the Cabinet meeting last Wednesday had asked Ismail to retract his racist statement or resign from the Cabinet. No mention whatsoever about the Gerakan Minister’s role in Cabinet!

Yesterday, after a week of procrastination, the police had finally recorded a statement from Ismail Sabri for his racist call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.

Malaysians are still intrigued and puzzled why the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar insists on wasting police time and resources on an investigation into the Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industry when the Cabinet last Wednesday had sanctioned, condoned and defended Ismail’s racist call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses.

Is the IGP seriously suggesting that the Police will dare to find the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet wrong in sanctioning, condoning and defending Ismail’s racist call, and to submit such an investigation report to the Attorney-General for further action?

Who could envisage the Attorney-General charging in court not only Ismail, but also the Prime Minister and the entire Cabinet for sanctioning, condoning and defending Ismail’s racist call on Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses? Read the rest of this entry »

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