Who is ‘likely to command the confidence of the majority’?

— Gurdial Singh Nijar
The Malay Mail Online
August 25, 2014

AUGUST 25 — The Selangor Constitution obliges the Sultan to appoint as the MB “a member of the State Legislative Assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly”: Article 53(2)(a).

30 of the 56 members of the Assembly have already sworn on oath a declaration that they support Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah. This constitutes 53.5% of the members of the Assembly – a clear majority; and in any event a majority that is higher than that which led the Sultan of Perak to appoint an MB on the basis that he commanded the majority. This exercise of discretion was accepted by the Federal Court in the Perak case (Nizar v Zambry).

Secondly, PAS has also expressed its support for Dato Seri Dr Wan Azizah, although the Party also proposed an additional name. This means that Dato Seri Dr Wan has the cumulative support of 43 out of the 56 members of the Assembly — an overwhelming 77% of the majority of the members of the State Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »

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In the battle for Umno’s soul, money talks louder, not Dr M

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
25 August 2014

One day soon, it will be remembered that the great Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad – the slayer of deputy prime ministers and a prime minister – was finally defeated not by an individual but by RM.

Ringgit Malaysia.

The former prime minister’s biggest miscalculation in withdrawing his support for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was in believing that Umno members are followers of men or ideals. Or that they are even concerned about the downward spiral of Malaysia.

They are not. And have not been for decades.

They owe their allegiance only to money and wealth. More so these days when every problem or disillusionment can be fixed with either a contract, project, concession or cash handout.

Or where good publicity and support in blogosphere can be obtained by a handsome monthly stipend paid out to bloggers by businessmen close to Putrajaya. Read the rest of this entry »

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United in grief, but still a nation divided

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
24 August 2014

Yes, Malaysians are united in grief over the twin tragedies of Flight MH370 and Flight MH17. How could anyone not be moved to tears and feel a sense of hollowness by the numbing loss of both these incidents?

But let us not demean this period of mourning and introspection by milking the shooting down of the aircraft for cheap political gain or gimmicky headlines. There has been no shortage of attempts by Barisan Nasional politicians and the mainstream media to turn the Flight MH17 tragedy into the coming out party for the Najib administration; supposedly a showcase of the Prime Minister’s empathy, diplomatic skills and great skill at uniting this nation.

Lost in all the mulch has been the fact that Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been prime minister of Malaysia for more than five years, and not three months. Read the rest of this entry »

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In A Time Of War and Recession, Ukraine’s Independence Is more Important than Ever

Katya Soldak
Forbes
8/23/2014

Today Ukraine commemorates its 23rd year of independence from the Soviet Union as the military conflict in the East continues and NATO has confirmed that Russian artillery units are firing on Ukrainian forces inside Ukraine.

This Independence Day sees the country in pretty rough shape—fighting off Russian aggression while watching its economy contract 4.7% in the first quarter of this year. But despite all negatives, the country celebrates its Independence with a newly discovered sense of self and readiness to fight for its freedom fiercely.

This Sunday Kyiv will hold a military parade in Khreshchatyk, in the center of Ukraine’s capital’s and the cradle of winter’s revolution known to the world as Maidan.

The parade itself evokes mixed feelings in the Ukrainian public as the country mobilizes all its resources for what the government calls an “anti-terrorist operation” in Donbass and what to many citizens looks like a real war, with casualties and wounded, with the separatists armed with Russian weapons and Russian artillery operating inside Ukraine. The idea of holding a parade in such a time was criticized as unnecessary pomposity. But the president Petro Poroshenko, as well as his army commanders, decided to hold the parade anyway to demonstrate military capability and to lift the army’s spirit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Snap polls could see chaos and uncertainty in Selangor, forum told

By Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
August 23, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 23 ― The Sultan’s consent to dissolve the state assembly for snap polls would be an irreversible decision that may send the state hurtling into chaos, Prof Dr Abdul Aziz Bari told a forum on the mentri besar crisis last night.

The regularly-cited constitutional expert expressed fears of possible attempts to trigger unrest that may allow Putrajaya to regain control of Selangor via an emergency.

“If it is dissolved, we can do nothing … If this Monday His Highness decides to dissolve it, then it will be dissolved,” Aziz said of the state assembly.

Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is set to meet the Selangor Sultan on Monday, according to sources familiar with the matter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why did Islamic State militants execute James Foley? (+video)

By Howard LaFranchi
Christian Science Monitor
August 20, 2014

WASHINGTON — The video of the beheading of American journalist James Foley features a black-robed Islamic State militant claiming – in British-accented English – that the execution is in retribution for recent US air strikes against IS forces in Iraq.

The video also shows another prone and bound captured American journalist, Steven Sotloff, and issues a warning that he will suffer the same fate if the US pursues its military campaign against fighters for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.

But while the IS militants who made and disseminated the gruesome video may have aimed on one level to halt the US air strikes, experts in Islamist terrorism and its messaging say the group had a range of objectives and audiences in mind. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M’s words have made impact across nation, ex-minister warns Najib

The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2014

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should look beyond the flattering news articles about him and instead focus on the huge impact Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s withdrawal of support has wrought on the country, a former minister said.

Ex-information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said that the former prime minister’s criticisms again Najib and his administration had spread like a wave through all corners of society.

“Behind the support plastered across newspapers today after Dr Mahathir rejected him, Najib must obtain a valid and truthful report on how great the wave blown by Dr Mahathir is.

“It has enveloped the entire nation, villages and towns, the upper and lower levels, schools and universities,” Zainuddin wrote on his blog today. Read the rest of this entry »

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Seamless, orderly transfer of power to Wan Azizah

– Tommy Thomas
The Malaysian Insider
21 August 2014

The unanimous decision of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to support Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the next Menteri Besar of Selangor means that she will be able to secure 43 votes in a confidence motion in the 56-member Selangor State Legislative Assembly.

One cannot imagine a clearer case of a candidate commanding the confidence of the majority of the Assembly.Yet, there is much disinformation clouding the matter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Minister, who really is ISIS?

KJ John
Malaysiakini
Aug 19, 2014

Malaysia is not an Islamic state or a Muslim nation-state, but a Muslim-majority country which is well regarded by most of the world for our unity-style moderate government and our consistent principled stand on global issues; within the larger paradigm and context of a Muslim world which appears often confused or inconsistent on universal issues and values; mostly internal but some global inaction as well.

While it is not my purpose to highlight any failures of our Foreign Affairs Ministry, we have to manage Malaysia’s reputation which had been put on a global scale which is still much respected for our principled position, as exemplified by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman, especially on the issue of a racist South Africa.

Today however, we appear somewhat inconsistent in a number of foreign policy issues and global actions. For example, for me it is still not very clear if and whether the government of Malaysia did pay a few hundred millions for the release of our cockpit recorders for the downed MH17. Is then negotiating with International terrorists’ part of our new foreign policy?

For another instance, we have not ratified many international agreements and conventions; can the minister please explain the delay especially since we are now fighting so hard to sit not only on the UN Human Rights Council but also seeking to occupy one of the UN Security Council’s non-veto seat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Air safety: Flying blind

By Andrew Parker
Financial Times
August 18, 2014

The downing of flight MH17 has revealed gaps in the policing of air space that could endanger passengers

Trouble below: airlines’ access to and interpretation of security assessments in the countries they fly across vary widely

On July 14, Ukrainian officials issued an updated “notice to airmen”. The bulletin instructed commercial pilots to increase their altitude but stopped short of telling them to avoid an area where pro-Russia rebels had began shooting down Ukrainian military aircraft.

The final line read “FM FL260 up to FL320” – technical guidance to increase the minimum height for flights passing over the country’s eastern flank from 26,000ft to 32,000ft.

Three days later, Malaysia Airlines’ Flight MH17 followed the instruction and flew at 33,000 feet en route to Australia from Amsterdam via Kuala Lumpur. By early afternoon, the Boeing 777 went out of contact and crashed, killing all 298 people onboard and sparking international outrage.

While investigations continue, western experts point to overwhelming signs that the flight was struck by an anti-aircraft missile with a range of more than 32,000ft.

The MH17 disaster has “changed everything”, says Sir Tim Clark, president of Emirates Airline, the world’s largest operator of long-haul aircraft, who wants wide-ranging reforms to air space management. “It amounted to premeditated mass murder.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Dr M’s tirade will not result in Najib’s downfall, say analysts

The Malaysian Insider
By Eileen Ng
20 August 2014

Despite Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s stinging criticism of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, there is little chance of any revolt against the prime minister from his Umno comrades, say political analysts.

And this, they told The Malaysian Insider, is because there is no one in the Malay party who is either suitable or willing to take the nation’s top job.

As such, they believed the retired prime minister’s latest rebuke against Najib will not see a repeat of the groundswell which made it untenable for Najib’s predecessor, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to remain in office.

“The ability to mobilise support within the party to unseat Najib now is a bit of a stretch. Najib’s position is safe for now,” said respected pollster Ibrahim Suffian. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib’s Cabinet must not skirt issues raised by Dr M

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
20 August 2014

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been the Malaysian prime minister for more than five years now but going by what his Cabinet colleagues say, the Pekan MP’s only success is handling the flight MH17 incident.

His cousin, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said as much when defending Najib against stinging criticism from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister, who stepped down in 2003.

Hishammuddin cited accomplishments, such as the handling of the remains from the MH17 incident, saying Najib succeeded where US President Barack Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin had failed.

But the defence minister hastened to add that he respected Dr Mahathir’s views, similar to some of his Cabinet colleagues, who straddled the fence in saying that Najib and the blunt political veteran should be equally respected. Read the rest of this entry »

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The trouble with Wan Azizah is…

By Mariam Mokhtar
Malaysiakini
Aug 18, 2014

The people who doubt Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s suitability as Selangor menteri besar (MB) and who claim that Malaysia is not ready to accept a woman to govern either the state, or the nation, are wrong. Step forward, the self-appointed ‘First Lady of Malaysia’ (FLOM), Rosmah Mansor.

In the past, many people, especially those from Umno Baru, despised the FLOM because they believe that she was masquerading as the FLOM when she was really the prime minister. Najib Abdul Razak, they said, is her proxy. So, are the critics of Wan Azizah afraid that the top echelons of political power will become too crowded with women? So, who are the groups which are sabotaging Wan Azizah?

Many people claim they want change, but when faced with opportunity for change, which is to have Wan Azizah as the MB, they develop cold feet. They fear uncharted waters. Dr Wan Azizah is not unfit to be MB, but Malaysians are afraid of change.

The trouble also lies with the indecisive politicians, in Umno Baru, BN, Pakatan and PAS, and the conservative people who want to retain our patriarchal society.

The people who currently hold the reins of power know that when Wan Azizah turns the country around, they will be in trouble. They know they will lose power, status and wealth, and be punished for their past crimes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Rakyat leadership must meet urgently and frequently to map out and implement strategies to restore public confidence in the coalition badly damaged by the prolonged Selangor MB crisis

In the three temple functions I attended in Lima Kedai and Taman Sri Skudai in Gelang Patah last night, members of the public showed great and keen interest and concern about political developments in the country, especially about the future of Pakatan Rakyat as a result of the prolonged Selangor Mentri Besar crisis.

Undoubtedly, like Malaysians all over the country, the people of Gelang Patah had been following closely with great concern the worst crisis faced by Pakatan Rakyat in its six-year history, and by last Saturday, uppermost in the minds of many would be the question whether there would continue to be a Pakatan Rakyat in the next 24 hours, a question nobody could answer with any confidence.

The Selangor MB crisis had been the despair of many Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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‘Kajang Move’ is ready to go to Shah Alam

– Dr. Tan Eng Bee
The Malaysian Insider
17 August 2014

Finally, PAS has sealed the fate of Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim with its concluded meeting on today that the party is not concerned with Khalid but has endorsed either Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah or Azmin Ali as the next menteri besar of Selangor.

While some would think otherwise, I have maintained that PAS’s decision was expected as its continuous political survival lies in its affiliation with Pakatan Raayat, failing which, the party may face a backlash at GE14, had the party chosen to support Khalid.

For PAS to leave the the coalition partnership is a sure political suicide as the coalition was given a strong mandate at GE13.

This is another episode which shows that when it comes to the core issue of survival of the coalition party, DAP, PKR and PAS have no alternative but to close rank and opt for a compromise that will see to their continuous survival in the political arena where only the fittest will survive. Read the rest of this entry »

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Well done, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim!

by Ong Kian Ming
Star Online
17 Aug 2014

The fluid political situation in Selangor, being the way it is, may make this column obsolete by the time it is published on the internet. As events unravel, what cannot be denied is the fact that Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim (TSKI) has created numerous political precedents in his desperate and increasing futile attempt to remain as the Mentri Besar of Selangor.

In many ways, TSKI has succeeded in accomplishing what Barisan Nasional failed to do. At the end of the day, when this crisis is over and a new MB is installed, I hope TSKI can ask himself this simple question – “Was it really worth it?”

Was it really worth almost breaking up Pakatan Rakyat? Was it really worth forcing the PAS excos stand by while you sacked their colleagues from PKR and DAP? Was it really worth it to mislead the Sultan when you clearly knew you did not command the confidence of a majority of the Selangor state assembly representatives? Was it really worth it to say that the government you led was never really a Pakatan government since it is not a registered entity? Was it really worth it to turn Pakatan colleagues against one another and to push things to breaking point within PAS? Was it really worth it to create divisions within NGOs and civil society that were previously united in fighting for human rights, media freedom and free and fair elections? Read the rest of this entry »

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Selangor a Pakatan Rakyat family fight

By Bridget Welsh
Malaysiakini
Aug 17, 2014

COMMENT The ongoing Selangor crisis has riveted the Malaysian public for weeks and called into question the ability of the opposition to govern as a coalition.

From attacks on each other to sackings and perceived party betrayals, the Selangor crisis has revealed underlying tensions among Pakatan Rakyat partners and showcased the fierce competition for power and positions within the national opposition itself.

This dynamics has overshadowed principles and escalated in tit-for-tat moves that reflect a family caught in battle. Emotions of anger and motivations of revenge have come to the fore, blinding many participants to the substantial deterioration of support among the public at large and to the shared struggles to strengthen Malaysia.

Most analyses to date have focused on the power contests among personalities and discussions of the steps taken in the crisis itself and their legal status. A number of commentators have highlighted the cost to public support and negative impact on governance.

This piece centres on developments within Pakatan. The argument developed below is that responsibility for the Selangor crisis must be shared across parties and leaders, and new approaches within Pakatan itself are needed to win back public trust and forge the common ground within the national opposition coalition. Read the rest of this entry »

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Khalid now required by law to resign, says law professor

The Malaysian Insider
17 August 2014

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is now required by law to tender his resignation following PAS’s announcement of its support for PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah‎ Wan Ismail and her deputy, Azmin Ali, to take over as Selangor menteri besar, a law professor said today.

The decision was a clear sign that the Islamist party had rejected him as MB, said Professor Gurdial Singh Nijar of the University Malaya law faculty.

If Khalid refused to step down, his MB post and the state executive councillors’ posts would be deemed to be vacated, he said, adding that there was no need for the Sultan of Selangor to dismiss him and the exco.

Gurdial added that this was the essence of the judgment in the Federal Court case of Nizar vs Zambry over the Perak crisis, where the court had said: “Once the MB is made to know that he has lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the legislative assembly, he should take the honourable way out by tendering his resignation and the resignation of the executive council. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan stronger after Selangor MB debacle, now focus on leadership

NEWS ANALYSIS BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
17 August 2014

Was there any doubt that PAS would come through and support PKR’s proposal for its president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to take over as Selangor Menteri Besar from Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim?

The short answer is yes. And for the past 24 days since PKR officially proposed her name, the coalition of three parties – PKR, PAS and DAP – have been held hostage to the idea that the Islamist party might have other ideas about the Selangor menteri besar issue.

But the PAS leadership came through today, deciding that Dr Wan Azizah and her deputy, Azmin Ali, can replace Khalid – the second-term MB sacked last week for disobeying party orders to resign from the job.

Component party leaders and officials agree that the Islamist party’s decision has strengthened the pact that came about after Election 2008 and won more seats in the 2013 general election. Read the rest of this entry »

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Khalid’s clinging on as Selangor MB although he has lost majority support in State Assembly different and separate from his expulsion by PKR as member and the two issues should not be linked at all

Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim has put himself beyond the pale of an honest, decent, principled and respected Pakatan Rakyat political leader when he is prepared to join forces with the darkest forces in the country which would not spare any scruples to destroy the people’s aspirations for change when he enlisted the support of the Registrar of Societies by filing a complaint over the manner of his sacking, threatening the deregistration of PKR.

However, Khalid’s clinging on as Selangor Mentri Besar although he has lost majority support in the Selangor State Assembly is different and separate from his expulsion as member of PKR and these two issues should not be linked at all.

Khalid is entitled to exhaust all avenues and resources with his team of lawyers and advisers to challenge his expulsion from PKR, whether through the party processes or the courts but he has crossed the Rubicorn when he initiated an action which could lead to the deregistration of PKR.

I can understand and share the outrage of the Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah at her “disgust” over such an action. Read the rest of this entry »

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