MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah/Sarawak BN Ministers should stop “play footsie” with Hadi’s unconstitutional RUU 355 and make a clear-cut decision at tomorrow Cabinet that BN will neither take over Hadi’s private member’s bill nor give it priority for voting in March/April Parliament

Tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting will be the last one before the resumption of Parliament for a month-long meeting from March 6 to April 6.

MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah/Sarawak BN Ministers should stop “play footsie” with PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s unconstitutional RUU 355 and make a clear-cut decision at tomorrow Cabinet meeting that the Barisan Nasional will neither take over Hadi’s private member’s bill nor give it priority for voting in March/April Parliament.

The rigmarole and charade of BN government giving priority to Hadi’s private member’s bill motion even over official government business in Parliament, yet not putting the private member’s bill motion to a vote, has gone on long enough and distracted attention from urgent and important national business – whether it be the unprecedented weakening of the ringgit and the sufferings caused to low-income Malaysians because of all-round price increases; the sense of insecurity despite claims by the authorities of the fall in the crime index; or the rampant corruption in the country climaxing in Malaysia ridiculed world-wide as a “global kleptocracy” because of the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three questions about the wife of Attorney-General Apandi making false claim that she is director of a developer and abuse of powers by Abdul Rahman as Housing Minister in giving 12-month extension for completion of condominium project

The Kuala Lumpur High Court yesterday set aside the order by the then Urban Wellbeing Housing and Local Government Minister to give a 12-month extension to a developer, BHL Construction Sdn. Bhd., to complete its condominium project in Jalan Kuchai Lama, Kuala Lumpur.

Justice Hanipah Farikullah, who allowed the judicial review application by 104 house buyers, said the minister’s decision to rely on a regulation to allow the extension was against the Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act.

BHL Construction Sdn Bhd was involved in the construction of a condominium in Jalan Kuchai Lama in Kuala Lumpur where 104 plaintiffs had entered into a sale and purchase agreement with them.

One of the conditions of the agreement required that the developer hand over vacant possession within 36 months or be liable to pay a penalty for late delivery to the buyers.

The developer failed to complete and hand over the units to the 104 purchasers and wrote to the Controller of Housing under the ministry for an extension of time. The appeal was rejected.

The developer then appealed to the Housing Minister at the time, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who, on November 17, 2015, allowed an extension of 12 months.

That decision would have allowed the developer to hand over vacant possession to the buyers from 36 months to 48 months.

Aggrieved, the purchasers sought legal remedy in the courts last year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor Mentri Besar should give comprehensive statement on what anti-corruption initiatives the Johor State Government has taken following the MACC arrest of six persons, including the son and a special officer of a senior State Exco member, over multi-million ringgit corruption in land transactions

I welcome the Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Khaled Nordin’s visit to the Gelang Patah constituency tomorrow.

I call on him to address the “political earthquake” in Johor and to give a comprehensive statement on what anti-corruption initiatives the Johor State Government has taken following the MACC arrest of six persons, including the son and a special officer of a senior State Exco Member over multi-billion ringgit corruption in land transactions in the state.

Last Friday, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seized 21 luxury cars, five high performance bikes and RM500,000 in cash, as well as frozen 45 accounts with over RM15.5 million in them, in a case involving bribery and abuses linked to real-estate in Johor.

Six individuals, including Ahmad Fauzan Hatim Abd Latif, the eldest son of Johor Housing and Local Government Committee chairman Datuk Abd Latif Bandi and his special officer Muhammad Idzuan Jamalludin, were arrested.

According to Bernama, Khaled’s reaction to the MACC arrests and seizures was that it was premature to decide whether his administration would conduct internal investigations as the State Government was waiting for investigations by the MACC.

Khaled would have been informed well in advance by the MACC of its investigations to massive real-estate corruption in Johor and intention to arrest the six persons involved, involving the son and special officer of a senior Exco member who is the Housing and Local Government Committee Chairman.

Khaled should know that inaction is no option for a responsible Johore state government committed to integrity, good governance and the eradication of corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s currency curbs boomerang on bond markets

Reuters/Malay Mail Online
February 27, 2017

SINGAPORE, Feb 27 — When Malaysia forced foreign investors in its markets not to dabble in offshore derivatives in its currency last year, its target was speculative pressure on the ringgit, but it appears to have shot itself in the foot.

The ringgit was the weakest currency in emerging Asia last year after China’s yuan, prompting Malaysia’s central bank to get a written commitment from foreign banks to stop trading ringgit non-deliverable forwards (NDFs), offshore contracts they use to hedge their exposure to the currency.

The upshot has been a flood of money leaving Malaysian bonds as foreigners, who own US$47 billion of them, were unable to hedge their risks in onshore markets because of a lack of liquidity.

“It’s a market that’s kind of been destroyed,” said Gene Frieda, the London-based global strategist at bond giant fund Pimco, who blamed the inability to hedge for making it difficult to make significant bond trades.

Although Frieda said the currency now looked cheap compared with regional peers, he couldn’t see it rallying under the circumstances.

“We don’t find the bond market particularly interesting at these levels,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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The great difference between Nik Aziz’s PAS and Hadi Awang’s PAS

In the last 48 hours, we were shown another aspect of the great difference between Nik Aziz’s PAS and Hadi Awang’s PAS.

There was the charade and crude display of the spread of fake news and lies purportedly over the Selangor PAS grassroots submitting a memorandum to the PAS Information Chief Nasarudin Hassan urging the PAS Central Committee to cut off ties with any party which has relations with DAP and Amanah, accompanied by several posters attacking Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu leaders.

The multi-coloured banners attacking Pakatan Harapan and Bersatu leaders – including the one with my face and attacking me as “Enemy of Malays/Islam – Racist” – were yesterday displayed outside PAS Headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to communicate the intensity of the dislike and even hatred for the DAP, AMANAH and BERSATU leaders like Tun Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Mohd Sabu and myself.

This is something which not would have happened in Nik Aziz’s PAS, as no PAS Information chief would dare to plot and carry out such a political mischief, as he would be at the receiving end of Nik Aziz’s wrath.

But Nik Aziz is no more and what we have is Hadi Awang’s PAS. Read the rest of this entry »

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Perbezaan ketara antara PAS versi Nik Aziz, dan PAS versi Hadi Awang

Sepanjang tempoh 48 jam lalu, kita diperlihatkan dengan satu lagi aspek perbezaan ketara antara PAS versi Nik Aziz, dan PAS versi Hadi Awang.

Suatu sandiwara penyebaran berita palsu dan fitnah telah berlangsung dalam penyampaian memorandum kononnya oleh akar umbi PAS kepada Ketua Penerangan PAS, Nasarudin Hassan yang meminta Jawatankuasa Pusat PAS supaya memutuskan hubungan dengan mana-mana pihak yang mempunyai pertalian dengan DAP dan Amanah, diiringi beberapa poster menyerang pimpinan Pakatan Harapan dan Bersatu.

Banner yang mahal dan berwarna-warni, menyerang pemimpin Pakatan Harapan dan Bersatu – termasuk satu yang memaparkan wajah saya dan menyerang saya sebagai ‘Musuh Melayu/Islan (Rasis)’ – dipamerkan di luar Pejabat Agung PAS di Kuala Lumpur bagi menyampaikan rasa tidak suka dan benci yang bersangatan terhadap pimpinan DAP, Amanah dan Bersatu seperti Tun Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Mohamad Sabu dan saya sendiri.

Ini adalah sesuatu yang tidak akan terjadi dalam PAS versi Nik Aziz, kerana tidak akan ada Ketua Penerangan PAS yang akan berani mengatur dan menjalankan aksi politik nakal sedemikian, kerana beliau pastinya akan mengundang kemarahan Nik Aziz.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Fully support Najib in the fight against spread of fake news – but not just by those who want to topple the government but also to cling on to power although they have lost all credibility and legitimacy

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has urged the people to rise up together to fight against the spread of fake news to topple the government.

Officially opening the “Negara Ku: 1Malaysia Community” programme in Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar in Pekan last night, Najib said:

“When our minds and hearts are attacked by news, propaganda as well as false information and defamation or ‘fake news’ coming out through social media or from certain leaders in order to topple a government, this is the greatest threat, and we will fight all out against it.”

Let me declare that I fully support Najib in the fight against the spread of fake news – but not just by those who want to topple the government but also to cling on to power although they have lost all credibility and legitimacy.

It must be clearly understood that there is nothing criminal or treasonous in wanting to topple the government in a parliamentary democracy – but this must be done through the democratic process, either by way of a no-confidence motion in Parliament or through the ballot box during a general election.

In fact, there is nothing nationalistic or patriotic in wanting to cling on to power by all undemocratic and criminal means – such as perpetuating an undemocratic electoral system or violating the laws of the land resulting in Malaysia regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” and guilty of the politics of money to undermine the popular will. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadi’s bill: A violation of the shariah

By Nurul Haq Shahrir
Free Malaysia Today
February 25, 2017

It is not whether the shariah should be reintroduced or reinforced as statutory law, but rather how can medieval Islamic jurisprudence be adapted to meet the needs of justice in modern societies.

COMMENT

The two leading Malay-Muslim political parties, PAS and Umno have been competing to be the greater defender of Islam since the early eighties – a necessary stratagem in bolstering the credibility of their Islamic credentials in the eyes of the Malay electorate.

Due to the multi-religious composition of the governing coalition, Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno which is the leading party of Barisan Nasional cultivates its image as the promoter of a moderate, pragmatic form of Islam and contrasts itself against the ostensibly backward, conservative brand of Islam as advocated by PAS whose calls to “Islamise” the laws of the country from as early as the 1980s were emboldened by the recent tabling of the motion to amend the Syariah Court (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965, or what is commonly referred to as Act 355, by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang in November 2016.

The Malaysian government’s earlier move on May 26, 2016 to expedite for parliamentary deliberation the private member’s bill introduced by Hadi too surprised and unsettled many. The move has been construed by many as a step towards the implementation of Islamic penal code (also referred to as hudud).

Others, in particular the prime minister and his cabinet members have dismissed this reading and clarified that the bill would only augment the sentencing power of the shariah court, which only involves Muslims.

Obviously, one cannot deny that this move has also been interpreted as nothing more than a ruse to boost the political credentials of Umno and PAS in the face of the coming general election.

It would eventually come to nothing. It is all part of the ruling coalition’s political gambit to win the next election. That is totally understandable and politically imperative to do so. Read the rest of this entry »

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An important note for 60th National Day celebrations – Najib has achieved in eight years what none of the five previous Prime Ministers had done in 52 years

Malaysia will be celebrating our 60th National Day celebrations on August 31, 2017.

It will be an important note for our 60th National Day celebrations that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has achieved in eight years what none of the five previous five Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah – had done in 52 years.

Firstly, Malaysia has become a global kleptocracy since Najib became Prime Minister in April 2009.

Although Najib and his Cabinet keep up a pretence and a façade that the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal does not exist, the “ghost” of the 1MDB scandal would not go away, for almost every other day, there would be new developments resulting in 1MDB world headlines in some part of the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three challenging tasks for Reformists in the 14th General Elections

The 18-year-old Reformasi Movement which we commemorate today is an important milestone in the 60-year history of the nation to become a truly developed country in every sense of the world – not only in achieving economic progress and justice, but also in promoting democracy, upholding the rule of law, practicing the principles of good governance and building an united nation from diverse races, languages, religions and cultures.

It marks an important coming-of-age of the vision and consciousness that Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region or class must unite to forge a transcending national unity to pursue the common goals of justice, freedom, integrity and ethics.

There have been important gains in the Reformasi movement in the past 18 years, but there have also been major setbacks and a lot remains to be done before we reach our goal.

There has on the one hand a greater realization that Malaysians must not just live in their separate communal and religious worlds, but must interact with different racial, religious and cultural groups to forge greater tolerance and understanding with each other, while on the other hand, there has been an intensification of the politics of race, religion, hate and even lies by certain quarters in their last-ditch effort to perpetuate their political power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Home Minister and IGP to ensure that the two teenagers in Klang police custody are not subjected to police abuse or torture

I am very concerned about the continued remand to two teenage boys in Klang, who were detained along with death in custody victim S. Balamurugam. Especially whether they are being physically abused while in police custody and detention.

Their lawyer Mishant Thiruchelvam said the two 16-year-had been “beaten up and detained in an adult lock-up” instead of being kept in a separate facility.

Balamurugan, 44, was arrested on Feb 6 when he was found in the same car with two other men, one of whom was wanted by the police.

He died in police custody at the North Klang district police headquarters on Feb 8.
Read the rest of this entry »

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The Danger of Najibizing Malaysia’s Foreign Policy

By Prashanth Parameswaran
The Diplomat
February 15, 2017

Recent controversies over the country’s foreign policy decisions are the product of a broader problem.

On February 2, Malaysia revived a decades-old dispute with neighboring Singapore over the islet of Pedra Branca/Batu Puteh, complicating a historically rocky bilateral relationship that has been stable of late. Though Malaysia claimed that the application to revise the 2008 International Court of Justice (ICJ) judgement that was in Singapore’s favor is grounded in its discovery of newly unearthed documents, some dismissed the move as posturing by the government led by Prime Minister Najib Razak ahead of Malaysia’s upcoming elections.

While Malaysian officials have rejected claims that the decision was politically motivated, the truth matters less than the doubts being raised. The reemergence of the dispute is just the latest example the reveals a more fundamental problem: that the perception Najib is acting in his own personal interest rather than the national interest is increasingly undermining the execution of Malaysia’s foreign policy. Though this perceived “Najibization” of Malaysia’s foreign policy may benefit certain groups, it also poses greater dangers for the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB Roils Opaque Fine Art Market

finews.asia
22 February 2017

Scandal-engulfed 1MDB has roiled the opaque market for fine art, an $64 billion industry where deals of several hundred thousand dollars can be clinched with no questions asked.

Jho Low allegedly spent millions on a Hollywood film, penthouses, luxury hotels, a recording company – and fine art. Last year, Monet’s «Water Lilies with Reflections of Tall Grass» was seized in a Swiss freeport as part of an investigation into alleged graft at 1MDB.

Freeports, one of the last remaining vestiges of Swiss private banking secrecy, have come under increased scrutiny – as now has the art world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nor Mohd Yakcop should resign or be sacked or suspended as Khazanah Nasional Deputy Chairman if the Cabinet is serious about probe into Bank Negara forex losses in the 1990s

Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop should resign or be sacked or suspended as Khazanah Nasional Bhd Deputy Chairman if the Cabinet is serious about probe into Bank Negara foreign exchange (forex) losses in the 1990s.

This is because Nor Mohamed Yakcop was the chief operator of Bank Negara’s forex speculation which resulted in colossal losses which could total some RM30 billion.

Former Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said when he appeared in court yesterday that Nor Mohamaed Yakcop was complicit in the Bank Negara forex losses in early 1990s when the latter was then a senior Bank Negara official.

He made a revelation when he said that as Finance Minister at the time, he had asked for Nor’s resignation but this was not allowed. Read the rest of this entry »

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With Anwar’s support and offer of assistance, there is even less reason to delay RCI into Bank Negara forex losses more than 20 years ago, as well as probe into 1MDB and BMF scandals

Malaysians welcome Anwar Ibrahim’s support for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into the Bank Negara foreign exchange (forex) losses in the 1990s and his offer of assistance if the RCI was established but not a Cabinet task force.

With Anwar’s support and offer of assistance, there is even less reason to delay the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Bank Negara forex losses more than 20 years ago, as well as probe into the 1MDB and BMF scandals.

Anwar’s support and offer of assistance are most significant, as Anwar was the Finance Minister at the relevant period of the Bank Negara forex losses, being Finance Minister of the country from 1991-1998. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where Crony Capitalism Rose and Prosperity Fell (and Vice Versa)

Matthew A. Winkler
Bloomberg
FEB 20, 2017

With populists emulating autocrats from Azerbaijan to Zimbabwe, free markets are being forced to confront crony capitalism.

One response is visible in the reversal of fortunes of Malaysia and Indonesia. The two nations still wrestle with the politics of ethnicity and religion at odds with the capitalism of market competition. In Indonesia, Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, a Chinese Christian who is the governor of Jakarta, is running for office while defending himself against charges of blasphemy against Islam in a country of predominantly Muslim voters. Malaysia’s embrace of an ideology of Malay supremacy and the low interest rates that invite a debt bubble are impediments to a dynamic economy.

But the historic advantage that Malaysia, with just 30 million people, has enjoyed over its Southeast Asian neighbor of 250 million is disappearing amid a barrage of corruption allegations challenging Prime Minister Najib Razak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Cabinet to give priority to my private member’s bill to establish IPCMC to restore public confidence in the police by ending police corruption, misconduct and abuses of power – as IPCMC should have been established 10 years ago if not sabotaged by police officers

I call on the Cabinet to support and give priority to my private member’s bill to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) to restore public confidence in the police by ending police corruption, misconduct and abuses of power – as the IPCMC should have been established 10 years ago if it had not been sabotaged by police officers.

The IPCMC was the most important recommendation of the Police Royal Commission set up by the fifth Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the first flush of his premiership to transform a Malaysia with “First World Infrastructure, Third World Mentality” into an advanced nation in all dimensions, especially good governance and government accountability and transparency.

We seemed to have regressed to the period more than a decade ago before the establishment of the Police Royal Commission headed by the former Chief Justice, Tun Dzaiddin with former Inspector General of Police Tan Haniff Omar as Deputy Chairman when public confidence in the police was at an all-time low, with widespread complaints about police corruption, brutalities and indiscipline resulting in many deaths in police lock-ups. Read the rest of this entry »

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Martin Jalleh: Happy Birthday! (2)

By Martin Jalleh

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Martin Jalleh: Happy Birthday!

By Martin Jalleh

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Enacting harsh laws makes us less Islamic

By Ahmad Farouk Musa
Islamic Renaissance Front
February 20, 2017

Every rule that turns justice into tyranny, mercy into cruelty, good into evil and wisdom into triviality does not belong to the Shariah.

Much has been debated about the amendments to the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965. A massive demonstration in support of the bill was held last Saturday and tensions are running high.

PAS has insisted that the main aim of the proposed amendment is not to introduce hudud but to strengthen the shariah laws and shariah courts.

But if that is true, then PAS for sure must have identified the weaknesses. To the general observer, the weaknesses are apparent and appalling. Read the rest of this entry »

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