Archive for category Sarawak

Umno’s reactionary GE13 ‘victory’

by Bridget Welsh
Malaysiakini
May 12, 2013

COMMENT

The May 2013 general election was a potential transition election in which the BN governing coalition held onto power.

The majority of the Malaysians supported an alternative government, but the incumbent Umno elite, supported by vested interests and years of constructing an electoral system in its favour, won out.

Even with yet another multi-ethnic national swing in electoral support towards Pakatan and more Malaysians voting than ever before, the incumbent elite in power held on, thwarting democracy.

Earlier, I pointed to some of the specific questions surrounding the electoral roll, the placement of voters, the conduct of the election itself and the character of the results, highlighting many of the unanswered questions of GE13.

The process of evidence gathering has begun and in the months ahead many of the irregularities in the polls will be illustrated and investigated. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan makes ‘big’ inroads in Borneo

FMT Staff| May 6, 2013 FMT
Free Malaysia Today

Pakatan Rakyat candidates slayed four federal ministers – three in Sabah and one in Sarawak.

KOTA KINABALU: Pakatan Rakyat made impressive inroads in Sabah and Sarawak in the 13th general election which ended yesterday.

In 2008, Pakatan was hardly visible in these states.

As at 2am this morning, Pakatan candidates had slayed four federal ministers – three in Sabah and one in Sarawak.

They were VK Liew, Bernard Dompok and Joseph Kurup from Sabah and Yong Koon Seng from Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Psy war as both sides leak GE13 ‘win’ numbers

By Jahabar Sadiq
Editor
The Malaysian Insider
May 05, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, May 5 — Both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) began leaking numbers of possible wins in the tight Election 2013 race just as voters finished casting their ballots today.

The BN is confident of winning 145 federal seats, with at least 118 in the white list, said sources from the coalition’s war room.

But PR is also bullish about capturing Putrajaya, with sources saying that it can win at least 117 federal seats. It is understood that an independent poll showed possibly taking at least 125 seats, with at least 40 per cent of the Malay vote in the bag.

The Umno-controlled Berita Harian has also been publishing an exit poll of various hot seats that indicate BN are in the lead. It is learnt that the numbers are from the BN war room.

PR sources say that their worst-case scenario is taking 100 federal seats and possibly wresting the Perak and Negri Sembilan state assemblies while keeping Kelantan, Kedah, Penang and Selangor.

But BN sources say they are also confident of keeping Perak and taking Kedah and Kelantan as part of their “Blue Wave” campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ordinary Malaysians, extraordinary day

by Bridget Welsh
Malaysiakini
May 5, 2013

GE13 SPECIAL On this historic day of GE13, Malaysians are bravely stepping into the unknown. Some are already queuing up to vote, and yet others are waiting for the crowd to disperse before heading out to the polling stations. Every Malaysian knows today will not be an ordinary day.

There are four intense but quiet battles taking place that will shape whether May 5 will indeed bring about change.

The first battle is a personal one, national in scope, taking place deep in the hearts of every Malaysian. It is a contest over what sort of country Malaysia should be. Many Malaysians are voting for a different moral foundation for the country’s politics.

The anger and sense of disbelief of BN governance runs deep, from the issues of corruption to its racial polemics. While there are many Malaysians who strongly support the status quo, among this group are many who question whether something is not quite right.

Indeed, today the country will be voting for its soul. Read the rest of this entry »

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Catch him if you can: the mysterious escape of Malaysia’s second richest man

by Mark Baker
Editor-at-Large, The Age

Onn Mahmud was a wealthy tycoon with a bulging property portfolio when he jetted off without warning in 2007.

Number 10 Wylde Street, Potts Point, commands views to die for on a harbour not short of heart-stopping vistas. Perched high above Woolloomooloo Bay, it faces directly across the sweep of the botanical gardens to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For a while, a few years ago, it was the site for one of the most luxurious apartment developments in Australia. In 2008, the duplex penthouse in the five-storey project was sold off the plan for a record price of $20 million.

A year earlier – on the cusp of such riches – the Malaysian tycoon who had brought the project close to fruition abruptly sold the site as he quietly folded most of his substantial Sydney property portfolio and exited the Australian business scene. Read the rest of this entry »

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9-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day: Sarawak BN has conceded that 11 parliamentary seats in the state are in danger – a step closer to Putrajaya

I have just returned from a 42-hour whistle-stop visit to Sarawak and Sabah, where I challenged voters in the three Barisan Nasional “fixed deposit states” of Sarawak, Sabah and Johor to rise up to the historic challenge to achieve the target of winning a total of 33 Parliamentary seats in the 13GE from the three states – which is an important precondition for Malaysians to effect change in Putrajaya with Pakatan Rakyat replacing Barisan Nasional as the new Federal Government of Malaysia.

It is a tall order for the three BN “fixed deposit” states of Sarawak, Sabah and Johore to win for Pakatan Rakyat 33 out of the total of 83 parliamentary seats in these three states on 13GE Polling Day on May 5, as PR only won three or one in each state in the 2008 general elections – namely Bandar Kuching in Sarawak, Kota Kinabalu in Sabah and Bakri in Johore – but it is not an impossible target as it would have been five years ago.

I am encouraged from my lightning visits to Sabah (Sandakan and Kota Kinabalu) on Wednesday and Sarawak (Kuching, Mas Gading where our parliamentary candidate is Mordi Bimol and Serian where our parliamentary candidate is Edward Andrew Luat) yesterday that the winds of change are blowing strong and hard in these two states.

It was in Sabah that the catchcry “Ini Kalilah” and in Sarawak where the other catchcry “UBAH” first rang out loud and clear and which have now been joined as “Ini Kalilah – UBAH” to become the common cry and inspiration of all Malaysians in the country who want change to embrace the Malaysian Dream and an end to the politics of race, corruption, cronyism, abuses of power, violation of democratic and human rights, injustices and lack of good governance!
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Three Challenges to three Barisan Nasional “fixed deposit states” of Sarawak, Sabah and Johore on their catalytic role to take Pakatan Rakyat to Putrajaya in 13GE

The coming 13th GE is the most historic and significant one in the 56-year history of the nation as Malaysians will decide if the change of Federal government in Putrajaya will come about on Polling Day on May 5, 2013.

The battle of the 13GE is the battle between the politics of the future represented by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition versus the politics of the past as practised by the Barisan Nasional in the past few decades.

The politics of the past is the politics of race and the politics of rampant corruption, cronyism, massive abuses of power, gross violation of democratic and human rights, injustices, unsustainable development because of despoilation of the environment, lack of transparency, accountability and good governance.

The politics of the future transcends racial politics where Malaysians unite not because they are Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans or Kadazans but because they are Malaysian patriots who dare the dream the Malaysian Dream to create a more harmonious, just, free, progressive and prosperous Malaysia for all Malaysians.
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24-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – Vision 2050 for Malaysians

Yesterday I completed the series of 100-day countdown of daily statements to the 13GE which I started on 1st January 2013, not expecting to have to complete it as it was then generally expected that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would have dissolved Parliament after the Chinese New year holidays in February for the long-awaited 13th General Elections to be held.

The 100th-Day Countdown to 13GE statement yesterday, in which I challenged Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad to a series of seven public debates on his 22-year premiership as Mahathir has made the 13GE a double referendum on both the Najib and Mahathir premierships, coincided with the announcement by the Election Commission of 20th April as Nomination Day and 5th May as Polling Day for the historic 13GE.

I am therefore beginning today a new series of 24-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day statements.

I have said that the Battle of Gelang Patah is to kick off the Battle of Johore and the larger Battle of Malaysia for two reasons:

Firstly, to launch off a political tsunami from the south in the 13GE to complete the partial 2008 political tsunami, including winning over one-third of the total of 83 parliamentary seats in the three fixed deposit states of Johor, Sabah and Sarawak (ideally, 33 seats from Johor, Sabah and Sarawak) to complete the partial 2008 political tsunami towards the establishment of a Pakatan Rakyat federal government in Putrajaya.
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From fixed deposits to kingmakers

By Oh Ei Sun | APRIL 09, 2013
The Malaysian Insider

APRIL 9 — Malaysia’s coming general election, widely characterised as a potential “watershed” event, will see many first-time voters play a decisive role in determining which way the country will go. Will they vote to retain the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition or opt for the opposition alliance, Pakatan Rakyat?

Carrying a critical weight in the outcome will be the east Malaysian states of Sabah and Sarawak.

Out of the 222 seats in Parliament, more than a quarter are in Sabah (with 25 seats) and Sarawak (31), leading some to label these states as kingmakers in the polls that are expected to be closely contested.

In Peninsular Malaysia, any potential loss by BN of its predominantly non-Bumiputera seats can be counterbalanced by gains in predominantly Bumiputera seats. This would give a net election result in Peninsular Malaysia like that in 2008, when BN only narrowly surpassed Pakatan. Had Sabah and Sarawak not brought in the 56 seats then, there could have been a change of government in Putrajaya.

THE SWING PHENOMENON
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Battle of Gelang Patah to fulfil the Malaysian Dream of an united multiracial Malaysian people rising above race which was envisioned by the great Johore Malay leader and founding UMNO President Datuk Onn Jaffar six decades ago

The battle of Gelang Patah is not just a battle for Lim Kit Siang, DAP or Pakatan Rakyat.

It is a battle for all Malaysians, the nation as well as future generations, with two portentous, unprecedented and far-reaching meaning and significance.

Firstly, the battle of Gelang Patah is to launch off a political tsunami in the 13th general elections from the south spreading all over the country, crossing the South China Sea to Sabah and Sarawak, to complete the unfinished business of the “political tsunami” of the 2008 general elections which saw the fall of Umno/Barisan Nasional in five states and the deprivation of the UMNO/BN two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time in Malaysian history.

The 2008 “political tsunami” emanated from the north in Penang, Kedah and Kelantan coming down south to Perak (although in less than a year there was an undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional “power grab” orchestrated by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and which await a restoration of Pakatan Rakyat Perak State government in the 13GE) and Selangor, fizzling out in Negri Sembilan and leaving the three fixed deposit states of Johore, Sabah and Sarawak virtually untouched.

However, the 2008 “political tsunami” has brought about a tectonic shift in the political landscape, as only five years ago it was completely unthinkable and impossible for anyone to hope or dream that there could be a change of federal government through the ballot box.
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Malaysia’s independent radios jammed, sites hit by cyberattacks

The Malaysian Insider | APRIL 07, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 – Two independent radios, Radio Free Sarawak and Radio Free Malaysia, have been jammed in Malaysia and their web sites inaccessible due to cyberattacks, says its founder.

The two stations broadcast from London on short-wave frequencies and are available online through their websites and online database Soundcloud.

“There have been attempts at broadcast interference on both radio stations by jamming from different parts of the world over the past few days. These have had limited success so far and we have been working on tracing the perpetrators,” founder Clare Rewcastle-Brown was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.

Coordinated cyberattacks on their respective web sites were recorded all yesterday; they “came from all over, it appears, but mainly from the US and Malaysia, and our servers had to close down”, she added.

The Sarawak Report web site, the first launched by Rewcastle-Brown, similarly came under attack but was holding out.
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Taib has delivered a coup de grace to Najib’s pretensions of elevating “fighting corruption” as top agenda of his transformation programme when Taib is not only mightier than MACC but also the Prime Minister

The photograph of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak flamboyantly signing the Transparency International-Malaysia (TIM) “Election Integrity Pledge” on February 20 flanked by UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders, with the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, the bete’ noire of international anti-corruption campaigns, glaring malevolently from the back and the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek in a somnabulant pose, will go down as one of the most unforgettable pics of the 13th General Elections.

This is because nobody, including the TIM President Paul Low, seated importantly on Najib’s left and who could not suppress a cynical sneer, really believed Najib and his Umno/BN Ministers and colleagues have even an ounce of sincerity in wanting to eradicate grand corruption and gross abuses of power in the country.

It was just a meaningless public relations exercise scripted by Najib’s political consultants and image-builders to score political points in the 13GE, destroying in the process all credibility and legitimacy of TIM’s Election Integrity Pledge.

How can Najib for instance convince Malaysians that he is now a “convert” in the fight against corruption and abuses of power when Malaysia in the past four years is most corrupt in the nation’s 56-year history when compared to the previous five Prime Ministers, whether Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir or Tun Abdullah – as testified by the annual Transparency International Corruption Perception Index (CPI) since 1995 well as by the perceptions of all Malaysians down the 56 years of the nation’s history.

In fact, Najib proceeded to violate one item after another of the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge (EIP) before the ink of his signature was dry, chalking quite a catalogue of violations in the 44 days since his signature of the TI-M Election Integrity Pledge which made a total mockery of the four principles of the TI-M EIP, viz: Read the rest of this entry »

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Might as well dissolve MACC after Taib snub

– The Malaysian Insider
April 04, 2013

APRIL 4 – Naughty seems to be the byword in Sarawak.

The long-serving state chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud used that word today to describe the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) for its investigations into alleged graft in timber land awards.

“They don’t deserve my cooperation because they have been naughty… and they have not been honest,” he told reporters in Kuala Lumpur. Read the rest of this entry »

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Taib says Global Witness video expose was ‘sneaky’

By Zurairi AR
The Malaysian Insider
April 05, 2013

KUCHING, April 5 — Tan Sri Taib Mahmud has challenged Global Witness to debate him on the issue of illegal land deals in Sarawak, and accused the international environmental activist group of having a hidden agenda by visiting Malaysia’s biggest state in a “sneaky way”.

He has also suggested links between Global Witness and opposition parties.

“The timing is too much to ignore … I think there is a link between them and the opposition,” said the long-serving Sarawak chief minister, who noted the release of a video showing how illegal land deals are allegedly brokered in the state happened just before with Election 2013 which will be held soon.

Global Witness’ accusations against him were also the result of second-hand information obtained from the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF), Taib said in a video interview uploaded online yesterday.

He invited the international activists to observe the real situation in Sarawak themselves as he trumpeted the state’s many achievements in preserving its forests.

“Global Witness should … not (be) hiding behind some picked up second-hand tales from a fellow NGO,” Taib told the Malaysian Observer (MobTV) channel, referring to environmental and human rights group BMF. Read the rest of this entry »

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12-Day Countdown to 13GE: Third Objective of Battle of Gelang Patah – BN’s fixed deposit states of Johore, Sabah and Sarawak “Going, Going, Gone!” by targeting to win 33 out of the 83 Parliamentary seats in the three states

In the last two days, I had discussed the first two objectives of the Battle of Gelang Patah:

Objective One: to target the six Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in south Johore to pave the way for Pakatan Rakyat to Putrajaya in the 13th General Elections. The six Parliamentary seats are Johor Bahru, Pasir Gudang, Tebrau, Gelang Patah, Kulai and Pulai. The 13 State Assembly seats are: Stulang, Tanjong Puteri, Johore Jaya, Permas, Puteri Wangsa, Tiram, Skudai, Nusajaya, Pengkalan Rinting, Kempas, Senai, Bukit Batu and Bukit Permai.

Objective Two: to target a total of 19 Parliamentary seats and 30 State Assembly seats in the state of Johor, including the six Parliamentary and 13 State Assembly seats in South Johore which I had already mentioned. The additional 13 Parliamentary seats in the rest of Johore are Tanjong Piai, Kluang, Batu Pahat, Bakri, Labis, Segamat, Sekijang, Ledang, Muar, Ayer Hitam, Sri Gading, Simpang Rengam and Sembrong. The additional 17 State Assemby seats are Pekan Nenas, Mengkibol, Penggaram, Bentayam, Sungai Abong, Bekok, Jementah, Tangkak, Paloh, Yong Peng, Mahkota, Layang-Layang, Parit Yaani, Maharani, Gambir, Tenang and Pemanis.

I am not claiming that Pakatan Rakyat can score a bullseye and win all the 19 Parliamentary and 30 State Assembly seats in Johore mentioned. In fact, if Pakatan Rakyat can achieve 50 per cent of this target, it is already a “phenomenal political revolution” in Johor, bearing in mind the arrogant boasts of Barisan Nasional leaders just five years ago before the 2008 general elections that they would ensure that Johore would become a “zero Opposition” state!

I am of course expecting hitting a more than 50% success for the PR target of 19 Parliamentary and 30 State Assembly seats in Johore the 13GE. Read the rest of this entry »

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17-Day Countdown to 13GE – People of Sabah and Sarawak can make history by making this 50th Golden Jubilee year of the creation of Malaysia, the year when Malaysia joins the ranks of democratic countries in the world

This year is a year of tremendous historical importance to our young nation.

Fifty years ago, in 1963, the nation of Malaysia was created with the merging of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.

This year, 2013, is the 50th anniversary for the creation of Malaysia.

And in this year of our Golden Jubilee, Malaysians have a golden opportunity to create yet another historical moment in our country’s history by ushering in a new era of democracy and freedom for our nation by voting for a peaceful transition to a new government that is clean, competent, transparent and fully accountable to the citizens of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak’s shame

by P Gunasegaram
Malaysiakini
3:05PM Mar 22, 2013

QUESTION TIME It is a common thing in Malaysia for many politicians to live way beyond their means. And although there are ways and means to check anyone’s wealth simply by tracking down their assets, these people live in relative peace being troubled neither by the police nor by their conscience.

The anecdotal evidence has been there that corruption is a great problem, especially grand corruption of which virtually nothing has been done. And this has been greatest in Sabah and Sarawak where those in power live with fabulous riches and are associated with other rich, but often infamous people.

Even for someone who expects that all these corruptions routinely take place, the recent graphic revelations about Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s family members and the ease with which NGO Global Witness was able to obtain video recordings damning them was shocking to me.

If you have not seen the video yet, go here to look at it. It is a case of such blatant complacency, arrogance and cockiness showing that the perpetrators were super confident that they could get away with such things. Read the rest of this entry »

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Walk your talk on corruption, Najib

Joseph Tawie | March 22, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is under tremendous pressure to act against Sarawak’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s alleged abuses and corruption.

KUCHING: Sarawak opposition DAP has called on Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to “walk his talk” in fighting corruption which was one of his national key result areas (NKRA) launched in 2010.

Reminding Najib, party secretary Chong Chieng Jen said: “It is time for Najib to prove that he walks the talk when it comes to fighting corruption as one of his NKRA.

“If Najib is serious about fighting corruption as one of his NKRAs, he should immediately do the following:

(1) arrest all the personalities mentioned in the Global Witness video clip for investigation;

(2) obtain a full disclosure of the amount of state land being alienated to Taib’s family members’ companies at fractions or even as low as 10% of market prices; and,

3) freeze all bank accounts and assist personalities mentioned in the video clip. Read the rest of this entry »

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23-Day Countdown to 13GE – Will Najib make a mockery of his signing of the Transparency International’s Integrity Pledge by not taking any action against Taib Mahmud and his family on the explosive video evidence produced by Global Witness?

On 20th February, 2013, almost a month ago, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak signed the Transparency International Malaysia’s Election Integrity Pledge with much aplomb in the presence of many BN leaders including the Chief Minister of Sarawak and leader of PBB, Taib Mahmud.

Today, international NGO, Global Witness released a shocking video involving a nexus of prominent figures all of whom connected to Taib Mahmud. These individuals included Norlia and Fatima Abdul Rahman, daughters of former Sarawak Chief Minister, Abdul Rahman Ya’akub and cousins of Taib Mahmud. Fatima was caught on camera admitting that she could ‘speak to the CM very easily’ in order to obtain the necessary approvals for a land sale to a Global Witness representative, land which Fatima said was given to them by Taib. This land sale would involve a company, Ample Agro Sdn Bhd, whose first six shareholders are all daughters of former Sarawak CM, Rahman Ya’akub which includes not only Norlia and Fatima but also Tanjong Manis MP Nora Abdul Rahman as well as Najib’s sister in law Khadijah Abdul Rahman.

Norlia is also caught on tape asking the potential ‘buyer’ from Global Witness to undergo an illegal transaction whereby only 10% of the sale price of the land would be booked in Malaysia while the rest would be booked in Singapore in order to avoid Reals Property Gains Tax (RPGT). Norlia also said that these sorts of deals ‘have been done before’ in order to assurance the buyer that this is a standard operating procedure. The lawyer for Ample Agro, Alvin Chong, also confirmed the nature of this transaction in the Global Witness video who also proposed ways for the potential buyer to evade the 49% foreign shareholding limitation by appointing nominees based in Singapore. Alvin was caught on video saying that “I’ve put this to use many a time”. Read the rest of this entry »

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49-Day Countdown to 13GE: Najib has presented me with a dilemma – is the Election Integrity Pledge worth signing when the Prime Minister can sign it with such aplomb, contempt and cynicism?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has presented me with a dilemma – is the Election Integrity Pledge proposed by Transparency International-Malaysia (TI-M) worth signing when Najib could sign it with such aplomb, contempt and cynicism after his four-year premiership witnessed corruption in Malaysia plunging to its worst depths in the nation’s 56-year history.

In Najib’s four years as Prime Minister, Malaysia’s Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) plunged to its lowest rankings in the past 18 years, i.e. No. 56 in 2009 and 2010, No. 60 in 2011 and No. 54 in 2012, as compared to Malaysia’s No. 23rd ranking in the first TI CPI in 1995, No. 37th placing in 2003 when Tun Dr. Mahathir stepped down as Prime Minister after 22 years of authoritarian and corrupt rule and No. 47 ranking in 2008 after five years of Tun Abdullah’s “Mr. Clean” premiership.

It is incontrovertible and undeniable that corruption under Najib’s four-year premiership is the worst under any Prime Minister in the nation’s 56-year history, as apart from being worse than the Mahathir and Abdullah eras, no one has ever suggested that corruption under the first three Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein were ever more serious than under their successors.

What makes a meaningful signing of the TI-M’s Election Integrity Pledge even more questionable is the presence of the Sarawak Chief Minister, Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud, who had put Malaysia on the international radar of anti-corruption campaigns after the allegations in the ground-breaking and explosive report by the Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) last September which estimated the assets of Taib Mahmud’s family at US$21 billion (RM64 billion), with the wealth of Taib himself put at a whopping US$15 billion (RM46 billion) making him Malaysia’s richest man outstripping tycoon Robert Kuok who has US$12.5 billion. Read the rest of this entry »

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