Two days to read Maverick Mahathir and 58 days to decide whether it jeopardizes national security and public safety – what KPI/NKRA and “Performance Now”?

Last Saturday, Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Datuk Ahmad Fuad Abdul Aziz denied that Barry Wain’s biography, “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times” is being put through any additional scrutiny by the Home Ministry.

He said it was being withheld to undergo the normal process for any foreign publication, to ensure that its contents would not jeopardize national security and public safety.

The ministry has 60 days from the time it was submitted to decide if the book should be allowed to be distributed in the country.

Nobody believes that Wain’s biography of Mahathir is lying in a mountainous pile of foreign publications waiting to be read for decision to be taken whether to release or censor it.

Wain’s book would have been read voraciously by those responsible for the subject-matter in the Home Ministry within a day or at most two days – which means we are having a situation where the book is read in two days but withheld for the next 58 days to decide whether the book should be allowed into the bookshops in the country or banned for jeopardizing national security or public safety!

What a mockery of the slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”! What a shameful and outrageous KPI/.NKRA regime!

Wain’s biography would not only have been read by the authorities concerned the instant copies of the book reached the Home Ministry – copies would have been sent as “topmost urgency” separately to the Prime Minister and the Home Minister and I have no doubt that both would have read it as a top priority or they would have failed their political duties.

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has virtually confirmed reading the book when on Tuesday he dismissed my call to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate Wain’s allegation that Mahathir had burned or wasted RM100 billion in grandiose projects and corruption in his 22 years of premiership.

Did Najib think that Wain’s book would “jeopardise national security and public safety” and indicate to the Home Ministry that it should be held up and given the full treatment of 60-day scrutiny?

If Najib had not found Wain’s book to jeopardise national security and public safety, and should be held up by the Home Ministry, shouldn’t the fact that the Prime Minister having read the book be sufficient authority for Wain’s book to be released to the Malaysian public without any more bureaucratic obstacles?

It is only proper that Najib make clear his stand on whether the Home Ministry should continue to hold up the public release of Wain’s biography of Mahathir in the country.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 3:28 pm

    Had Wain written that the RM100 billion had been embezzled by Anwar, his book would now be made compulsory reading by all university students. Wain would also had been awarded the Sasterawan Negara prize last year and made a Tan Sri.

  2. #2 by k1980 on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 3:51 pm

    if Porntip had written a book about TBH being killed, would the book be banned in bolehland?

  3. #3 by a-malaysian on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 4:02 pm

    k1980, a good one for that.

    Many Malaysians are becoming more “1Malaysian zombies” and are now blinded by 1najib’s rhetoric and his throwing out a few more ringgit to them. Will they ever learn and get real that umno/bn cannot and will not change this country for the better.

    A Must Read For Those Who Think That Umno/BN Is Still The Best – Pt. 1

    GE 13 – Change The Federal Government No matter what, we must ensure that racist umno bn do not regain the power like they had for over the past fifty two years.

  4. #4 by pulau_sibu on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 4:14 pm

    We heard so little about the history of the former Indonesian president Abdurrahman Wahid, the man who just passed away. If you read the news websites of China, you would recognize that he was of the Chinese descent. His ancestor came to Indonesia during the time of Cheng Ho. He even knew his ancestor lived in the village of Fujian.

    One of his greatest contributions was to remove all those rules imposed on the minority. In general, Indonesians now seem to be more gentle compared to bolehland, which practiced increasing intolerance against people of other origins and religions. We treated badly the workers and maids from Indonesia, until a stage now where the relationship turned so sour.

    In the southeast Asia countries of Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia, we have seen that the minority of Chinese origin had served as leaders. But I doubt if this is going to happen in our boleh land. In other countries, this happened after their successful reformasi. We will be the last one to change because our reformasi is still in the making.

  5. #5 by -ec- on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 4:17 pm

    wain should start getting his book translated into malay.

  6. #6 by k1980 on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 4:35 pm

    pulau_sibu, you forget that the “Sleeping Ugly” (2003-2008) was of Chinese descent!

  7. #7 by yhsiew on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 4:42 pm

    The Home Ministry is adopting a delay tactic so that two months later not many people will remember there is such a book called “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times”.

  8. #8 by a-malaysian on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 4:50 pm

    You can order Barry Wain’s book online here.

  9. #9 by All For The Road on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 5:50 pm

    Any simpleton can tell you that the book will not ever be released with all these dilly-dallying by the Home Ministry!

    There are too many skeletons in the closet to be disclosed and exposed!

  10. #10 by Yee Siew Wah on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 6:20 pm

    As usual, those UMNO warlords in the HM, were trying to delay the release hoping that the rakyat will forget about it. Well, no way, this time. We have had enough from all this scumbags tactics. We hope someone will translate the book into BM, Chinese and Tamil languages so that the whole country will know what this racist has done to the country all these years.
    This guy has screwed upo the country left right and centre.

  11. #11 by grkumar on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 6:21 pm

    Wain’s book is a piece of pulp fiction designed to create friction and to defame a man singapore feels is too hot for them to handle. And thst fine because thats political.

    We invited Wain to do a telephone interveiw and he declined. We expected that.

    Regardless of what I may hav said about your local hero Lee Kuan Yew, he never really refused an interview from a reasonable source. He had to consider them reasonable and thats his right.

    Lee though, the sentient mind behind this piece of discreditable pulp, has always been very vindictive of those who have written the trugh about him independent ly even where it has been balanced and researched with his assistance.

    So there can be nothing wrong about the Malaysian government letting copies of this anti Malay ficiton rot in some warehouse (or whore house). It makes no difference to those wwho do not wish the standards of Lee to be eroded within the Malaysia he so covets.

    Gopal Raj Kumar

  12. #12 by abd on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 6:32 pm

    YB LKS I think you should write the book on TDM not that kwai loh

  13. #13 by Onlooker Politics on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 10:55 pm

    “if Porntip had written a book about TBH being killed, would the book be banned in bolehland?” (K1980)

    Dr. Porntip could look into the possibility of writing such a book in the Chinese Language. From the personal conversation with Dr. Porntip, I am very confident that Dr. Porntip is fluent in mandarin. She is a person of firm and strong determination and is always ready for giving quick witty response once she has been fed with the adequate information for decision making! I have confidence in Dr. Porntip’s professionalism!

    If it is very difficult to get in Malaysia a book of Barry Wain on Dr. Mahathir, I may try to get a book of this from the book store in Singapore during my vacation there. There is no way Umnoputras can stop any Malaysian from reading this book unless Najib also gets the whole world to ban the sale of it! But who is Najib to the outside world? Who will give Najib a damn look in foreign city like Paris if it is not because of good-looking Altantuya’s sitting beside him!

  14. #14 by ekompute on Friday, 1 January 2010 - 11:38 pm

    Performance now? I think the then Defence Minister who is in charge when the two jets were missing should be charged immediately, otherwise what performance now are we talking about?

  15. #15 by ekompute on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 1:29 am

    Just to add a little, the loss of two military jets is definitely a national security issue, isn’t it? How can we expect them to go to war against another country if they can’t even be trusted to keep their jets properly in peace time? I guess the only war they can fight in are those against the armless Malaysian citizens themselves, LOL. KPIs without responsibility and accountability is just a waste of time.

  16. #16 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 1:42 am

    It is the Powers-that-be – and not Tun Dr Mahathir – that is worried about publication of Barry Wain’s biography, “Malaysian Maverick”.

    If TDM were ever worried about adverse publicity why would he grant Wain access in the first place for a series of exhaustive interviews to write his biography? Surely TDM knew very well that he could not impose a condition on Wain to write only favourable things: for Wain would not accept that condition, and no credible biography of himself would be written! On the other hand a sycophantic account of TDM’s record, replete with praises and no criticisms, will only diminish the integrity of Wain’s account and hence its credibility and popularity, which is not something TDM desires. For it diminishes the first object of why TDM would welcome his biography to be written in the first place. To TDM, to be written of – even controversially – is no skin on his back provided it is credible. To be credible he must not manacle the freedom of the author to interpret. It is afterall not in the nature of the man to eschew controversy; he embraces it. What is taboo is to be ignored and forgotten. What is important is to be known – whether one interprets that as fame or infamy, no matter. So what if the book dwelt on TDM wasting as much as RM100 billion (US$29.6 billion) on grandiose projects and the corruption that that the projects engendered? It is NOT a defdamatory assertion that TDM himself was personally corrupt to the tune of RM100 billion. It is a mere assertion that many within the ruling parties and their cohorts and ilk benefited from corruption via umbrella of TDM’s policies. If those who have power and connections have no financial discipline and abused TDM’s policies (privatization and NEP) what has that (to TDM) got to do with him personally? So TDM would welcome publication of Wain’s book and even a RCI. He figured he did not even have to fight for its ban: those in power will do it, therefore placing, by such attempts at restrictions, TDM personally on a higher moral plane for not opposing its publication, though he is the subject of criticisms.

    The reason those in power have reservations about the publication of the book is because Mathathir’s patronage policies – resulting allegedly in RM100 billion (US$29.6 billion) being frittered on grandiose projects are the crux of the Politico-Business Model of the past, present and likely future elites, who presently have no alternative conception and blue print of how else to reap the benefit of public and political positions – other than the Mahathir’s BluePrint, an inspiration and guide.

    That blue print is grounded on the ability to work on both sides of the street – a Mahathir’s forte. An example of the two way street contradictory approach cited by the book is what happened in 1984, when in the midst of public reproaches of American policies to drum up domestic support, American troops were given access to train in jungle warfare via the secret ‘Bilateral Training and Consultation Treaty’. Today that ability to work on ‘both sides of the street’ is ascribed by many to the 1 Malaysia slogan which can ambivalently mean both multiracialism as well as its opposite, Ketuanan! Detractors will call it the hypocritical approach – supporters, the flexible real politik approach. One may say its semantics but it depends on one’s emotional state towards it – antipathy or approval.

    What people in power are worried about is that if the book is widely circulated and the ‘two way street contradictory approach’ is widely viewed and exposed as inimical to the nation’s interest and depleting of the nation’s coffers, then this approach will then cease to be operable due to adverse exposure. They don’t have the intellectual capital to innovate and come out with a better alternative Politico-Business Model than what the former premier has bequeathed them as a munificent legacy, so they’re a little worried, that’s all. Also TDM is viewed an icon and Malay nationalist. So there are also worries that negative review will diminish the stature of this icon of Ketuanan. The man himself is not really worried. In fact he is challenging his successors’ record to be scrutinized by RCI as well: his point – in what way others are different? “I inspire them all!”, he would reflect.

  17. #17 by frankyapp on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 2:28 am

    A book,a biography of TDM,an ex-prime minister for more than two decades can jeopardize national security or public safety is something very extra ordinary or weird indeed.Usually most people welcome a book or biography of any ex-prime minister but why TDM’s one is made exceptional. Don’t you guys think it’s pretty weird especially NR who’s prime minister now is very afraid to release the book.Yeap NR,the rakyat is waiting,please respond quickly,we want to know what its content that can jeopardize national security and public safety.

  18. #18 by monsterball on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 2:31 am

    Guilty people with power always.. say ..and do silly things.
    I am so tired to keep on reading UMNO’s sickening delay tactics..and stupid reasons..for so many matters.
    Will that book cause a war or uprising?
    Dan Brown book….”DaVinci Code” is more damaging to Christians….yet sold openly.
    Why is UMNO so afraid to release it and let Malaysians read it?
    UMNO or Mahathir can always sue the author…if all he wrote all lies.
    UMNO is so smart to punish or close newspapers….for printing false reports in the past.
    UMNO is feeling such great guilty conscience….keep doing things that are real stupid.
    Best is…Mahathir does not want the book to be banned..and Najib doing the opposite.
    Mahathir asked to be investigated…Najib said not necessary.
    Our government is the worst we have ever experienced in 54 years.

  19. #19 by boh-liao on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 2:37 am

    Umno B/BN darn silly hiding a book
    Even without Wain’s book, we know what racist MMK did many summers ago

  20. #20 by boh-liao on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 2:46 am

    This is 2010, almost 30 years since MMK ruled
    Has d nation progressed n bloomed
    R Malaysians having a better, safer living now than in 1981 or pre1981
    R only Umnoputras n their cronies better off than other mortals in M’sia
    They who sent RM millions out of M’sia by cash or through money changers

    Methinks we r worse off than before
    We r rolling down d slippery slope of national degradation
    We used 2 worry abt n save 4 our children’s education
    4 education is an impt key 4 us 2 break d yoke of poverty n move up d social ladder
    Now we worry not only abt our children’s education, but also personal security
    Everywhere there is robbery, kidnap n life is dirt cheap
    Any moment we may b snatched/stabbed 2 death or shot 4 a few miserable $$
    Everyday we count our lucky star 2 remain alive
    We fortify our homes with grilles, CCTV, n alarms
    We further barricade our housing estates with drums, barriers, n security guards
    Pseudo gated communities r mushrooming everywhere, a nation in siege
    We also worry abt our economic survival
    ‘Cos meanwhile, our RM gets weaker n weaker, soon like d banana notes
    D cost of our basic foods n services gets higher n higher
    Watch out, 2010, food, basic amenity n petrol prices r on d rise
    Our population n illegal migrants continue 2 increase, fast n furious
    Expect more snatch thieves, robberies, kidnaps, violence
    Fence for yourselves, mates, good luck
    All thanks 2 d legacy of MMK n Umno B/BN
    If one has d ability n opportunity 2 live outside M’sia, just do it n stay alive

  21. #21 by yhsiew on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 3:27 am

    If the Home Ministry bans the book, indirectly it admits that Dr M did “burn” away RM100 billions when he was the PM of Malaysia.

    If Dr M was “upright” and clean (like Lee Kuan Yew), the Home Ministry should have nothing to worry about.

  22. #22 by pulau_sibu on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 3:54 am

    Who was wasteful, the one who purchased MiG-29 or the one who will replace MiG-29? I think they are both extremely wasteful. If you know the products will be out of date so soon, with high maintenance cost and even out of spare parts and technicians, we better don’t get them. A bad decision has been made in buying the worst product. Should we sell them as spare parts to South America? What else can we do now?

  23. #23 by boh-liao on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 9:51 am

    Only RM100 billion (US$29.6 billion) wasted over 22 yrs n beyond
    Got meh? Sure or not, so little
    Shake a bit harder n more skeletons will come tumbling out
    After MMK’s 22 yrs of PMship
    D nation is in a deep mess of crap
    Esp d flip-flop n multi branched education policy
    Many failed policies n mega projects, lots of $$ wasted n pocketed by a few crooks
    Never in our history was so much owned by so many siphoned off by so few crooks
    When is judgment day?

  24. #24 by Jeffrey on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 10:06 am

    Just to carry on where pulau_sibu in #22 has left off:

    According to TheMalaysiaInsider report of Dec 19 on the F-5E fighter jet engine that went missing since 2007, our Defence minister said that “the shady activity might have been carried out staff in the lower rungs in cahoots with outsiders”. Local dailies reported today that police had arrested four individuals, including RMAF officers, in connection with the disappearance of an F-5E fighter jet engine worth about RM50 million from the Matra 1 Warehouse at Sungai Besi Airbase.

    As always who would believe that a F-5E fighter jet engine could be taken out of a secure military base without complicity of top ranking RMAF officers? If “staff in the lower rungs in cahoots with outsiders” would accomplish a sting like that – without complicity of the very top- they must have the calibre and organisation ability of generals – and should be promoted!

    But as in the cases of RM12.5 billion PKFZ scandal & even Teoh Beng Hock’s investigation, even in the most dire public pressure for accountability being applied, it is only the small fries that are being sacrificed on the altar of public outcry rather than the real big culprits with the power to direct such operations.

    Hence the reality in Bolehland : the powerful always escape the dragnet of accountability.

    There are a lot of powerful vested interests and private fiefdoms in various spheres and tiers of national life – whether they concern the RMAF, the security agencies, the various ministries each with their respective turfs from which warlords could forage on their assets and resources for private enrichment.

    The political will to get to the bottom of things is lacking because – on the moral and practical plane – the counter-argument from the perpetrators to the top is basic: “you do your stuff at the top and we’ll do ours at our level; we don’t interfere in your turf, you don’t ours!”. This is what we called in popular parlance a demarcation of private spheres/turfs of influence.

    When the situation is too embarrassing as in the case of missing jet engines (embarrassing because in a case of national threat the pilot gets on to the F-5E fighter and couldn’t fly off without the jet engine or pilots die not due to war engagement but engines falling off or failing ) a show is made by going after lower rungs and outsiders but not the real decision makers.

    Any more determined effort will meet insuperable obstacles: (a) arguments of military jurisdiction outside police/MACC’s (b) police arrest of any high ranking officer may be met by military personnel fully armed resisting them; (c) how far quest of accountability will go? Even if one implicates top generals and brigadiers would it not mean that the relevant Minister must also accept responsibility ???

    So truth in Bolehland is often the casualty and the orphan anybody within the power circle cares of : same in the case of F-5E fighter jet engine, PKFZ or TBH’s or Altantuya’s mysterious deaths….

    Here – as in elsewhere- the struggle for truth and accountability is a perpetual one between the powerful haves and the ordinary haves not in which the former have plenty of leeway to do their thing at the expense of the latter.

    I say elsewhere too because corruption is ubiquitous anywhere amongst the elites of all countries varying in forms, degrees, scale and proportion. It is just that here it has assumed or is assuming ridiculous scale and proportions.

  25. #25 by Onlooker Politics on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 10:15 am

    “Also TDM is viewed an icon and Malay nationalist. So there are also worries that negative review will diminish the stature of this icon of Ketuanan. The man himself is not really worried.” (Jeffrey)

    Jeffrey has striken onto the right point on why Najib and Hishammuddin Hussein are hesistating in giving green light to the release for circulation of Barry Wain’s book on hold in Custom’s warehouse pending for KDN inspection and granting circulation permit – there is fear about the destruction of the Umno’s champion image in relation to Malay Nationalism. However, there are also other worries from the part of the power-that-be. Some of these worries are exposure of the corruption mechanisms being built within the system of Central Planning of Economic Development Investment Spending using the Government Money and the disclosure of the list of Umnoputra beneficiaries who may still have strong political ambition to ascend to a much higher level of political attainment during Umno party election.

    Why was Dr. Mahathir not showing big worry about the circulation of Barry Wain’ book? First of all, Dr. Mahathir is confident about his own eloquent skill of mitigating the damages that can possibly cause to his personal image by the circulation of such a book. He probably does not feel that Barry Wain really holds much evidence which can prove that Dr. Mahathir himself personally took bribes! Furthermore, in event that the circulation of the book has finally caused much trouble to the survival of Umno as a continual going concern of political aspiration, Najib will then be blamed and not Dr. Mahathir himself. In fact, Dr. Mahathir finds that he himself has already run out of time for fulfilling his last wish due to ageing. It is obvious that Dr. Mahathir’s last wish is nothing less than seeing his son Mukhriz to become the next Prime Minister of Malaysia. In order to achieve such wish, Dr. Mahathir may not hesistate to trade a deal with Muhyiddin Yassin by giving Muhyiddin an unreserved political support in exchange for a hidden covenant from Muhyiddin promising bringing up Mukhriz as the Prime Minister of Malaysia in the future!

    Apparently, the circulation of Barry Wain’s book will hurt Najib more than Muhyiddin!

  26. #26 by boh-liao on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 10:39 am

    We must bear in mind who r NR and HH’s fathers
    If they allow a large scale investigation of MMK’s political and business dealings now
    What’s is there 2 stop investigations of their fathers’ political and business dealings
    N of cos AAB n NR’s political and business dealings too
    O no, d floodgate cannot b opened, frivolous lah

  27. #27 by taiking on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 12:36 pm

    I think grkumar is an umnoputra in indian saree.

  28. #28 by k1980 on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 3:42 pm

    grkumar does not wear sarees.

    He wears a loincloth, with a beetle-nut in his mouth and screams as he swings from tree to tree, like Tarzan’s pet, Cheetah.

    And he wears his hair long like Tarzan, walks like Jane and smells like Cheetah.

  29. #29 by frankyapp on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 4:51 pm

    The entire Umno political organisation is air- tight packed with rotten stuffs,,stinks and full of worms. Once it’s open,the impure air will reveal the most highest degree of greed and evil of all the past and present Umno’s presidents had/have done over the past 50 years.This’s the core reason why NR said “NO” to a RCI.And fellas like grkuma,kassim amat and negarawan will be electrocuted,shocked and dead standing.

  30. #30 by ekans on Saturday, 2 January 2010 - 5:26 pm

    The book ‘The Unmaking Of Malaysia’ contains critical unflattering remarks about Dr.M, which could be as damaging to Barry Wain’s allegations in his ‘Malaysian Maverick’ book, but ‘The Unmaking Of Malaysia’ was put on sale to the public in book stores. Is it because ‘The Unmaking Of Malaysia’ was written by Dr.M’s nephew, who is also an UMNO member?

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