BN working to solve issues before snap polls

The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is looking to solve three pressing issues — the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) case, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s second sodomy trial and Teoh Beng Hock’s mysterious death — before considering a call for snap elections.

The Malaysian Insider understands that BN leaders have privately agreed that these issues, together with the soft economy, need to be addressed before the ruling federal coalition is confident of dissolving Parliament for the country’s 13th general election, which is not due until March 2013.

“The three issues need to be solved. There is no two ways about it,” a BN leader told The Malaysian Insider over the weekend.

Talk is rife that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak might call for snap polls to coincide with the Sarawak state election, which is due by July 2011, but the consensus is that the country’s largest state will proceed with its own election first. Pakatan Rakyat-ruled (PR) states have said they might not follow BN’s schedule as they want to fulfil promises made in Election 2008.

The Economist Intelligence Report on Malaysia August 2010 said it does not believe that Najib is preparing to go the polls before 2012.

“Although a strong election performance would bolster his mandate, the results of recent by-elections suggest that the electorate has become much more volatile, especially non-Malay voters, and there is no guarantee that the government’s plans to reform policies that favour Bumiputera has increased its appeal among ethnic minorities,” the report said.

BN leaders say these issues in conjunction with recent concerns over price hikes due to subsidy cuts and protests related to religion, gambling and preventive security laws could delay the federal elections further.

However, it is understood that Najib has given the go-ahead for the authorities to resolve some of the outstanding issues that have proven to be excess baggage for the ruling coalition.

Among them is throwing the book at the culprits of the PKFZ scandal, which may balloon from an ambitious RM2 billion transhipment hub to one potentially costing of RM12.5 billion if repayments are not kept to schedule.

Former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik being is the first high-profile person to be charged for cheating the Federal Cabinet over the land valuations in 2002. He is the fifth to face charges but it is understood several other people, including an ex-Cabinet minister and a lawmaker, might also be charged in relation to the scandal.

The Najib administration is also under fire for directing PKFZ owners Port Klang Authority (PKA) to pay outstanding amounts for bonds taken out by the land vendor and main contractor, Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd (KDSB) despite ongoing litigation between both parties.

The second pressing issue of Anwar’s sodomy trial is being played out today when the PKR de facto leader’s lawyers cross-examine witnesses related to the complaint by former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The trial has taken a salacious turn during the last recess with gossip that a member of the prosecution team, deputy public prosecutor Farah Azlina Latif, is romantically-involved with Saiful. The prosecution has dropped her from the case, dismissing her as just someone who took notes and not crucial to the team.

Anwar has complained that the charges are made-up and meant to send him back to jail due to his popularity and leadership that brought Pakatan Rakyat (PR) four more states and 82 federal seats in Election 2008.

The former deputy prime minister, who lost his job in 1998 after a similar case, had said the complainant was just a “coffee boy” although Saiful followed him on trips abroad.

But the case has stretched on due frequent postponements, with the most recent due to illness by Anwar’s lead counsel Karpal Singh.

Another important issue for BN to have closure for is Teoh Beng Hock’s death after overnight questioning by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on July 16, 2009. The DAP political aide was found dead on the morning he was to marry his pregnant fiancée.

An on-going inquest had prompted a second post-mortem after Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand — engaged by Teoh’s employers, the Selangor government — said his death was “80 per cent homicide” and not suicide as was listed in the first autopsy.

Dr Pornthip observed the second autopsy but refused to testify due to security concerns. She has since changed her mind and is due to give her testimony later this month, 13 months after the 30-year-old died.

Political observers say that Najib is now focusing on these issues that can affect the BN’s popularity, apart from socio-economic issues that have taken the bulk of his time since assuming office in April 2009.

“He has been focusing on the economy especially to get the New Economic Model (NEM) off the ground,” a Najib aide told The Malaysian Insider.

But critics say Najib has not been able to defend the NEM proposals, especially with protests from Malay rights groups such as Perkasa that want the government to keep quotas created under the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Najib, who is also finance minister, has vowed to open up the economy to competition in his bid to make Malaysia a high-income nation by 2020.

He has also cut subsidies in a bid to reduce a budget deficit equivalent to seven per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2009 owing in part to his administration’s economic stimulus measures.

But trimming subsidies for fuel and sugar to save RM750 million this year met with a barrage of criticism especially after the Prime Minister’s Department revealed it had a RM4 billion operational budget and a staff strength of nearly 44,000 for 2010.

The Najib administration is also wary of widening the tax base to overcome its deficit and have encountered strong resistance from businesses as well as consumers.

The government has already announced changes to a new property tax, which will reduce the amount collected from this particular source. However, it remains non-committal on the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), a crucial part of tax reform. Under its original plan, the government had sought to introduce the tax in the third quarter of 2011 but it is now on indefinite hold.

The BN will also have to counter protests related to the Internal Security Act (ISA), where more than 10,000 people have been arrested in its 50-year history. The government has promised to amend the law that allows for detention without trial but the opposition and human rights activists are adamant it should be abolished.

A series of vigils last night to observe the security law’s 50th anniversary was marked by police action that saw 30 being arrested in Petaling Jaya, four in Penang and one in Ipoh.

The government has also to solve the festering issue of inter-faith harmony after a High Court ruling allowing a Catholic Church publication to use the word “Allah” met with opposition from the country’s dominant Malay Muslims. Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein yesterday said he lamented the ban on the word, saying it had woken up a sleeping dog.

The Court of Appeal has yet to fix a date to hear the government’s argument against the decision, while allowing a stay of execution of the ruling.

  1. #1 by k1980 on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 4:26 pm

    More issues— that coffeeboy’s DPP girlfriend, the c4ing of Altan, Chua SL’s porno video, the RM500 million Scorpene commission, Bala’s SD, ect

  2. #2 by sheriff singh on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 4:47 pm


    They don’t see it necessary to solve all the “Allah” issues?

    Fixed Deposit will be gone this time.

  3. #3 by boh-liao on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 4:55 pm

    Plz don’t over-exaggerate d winning power of PR n d fragility of UmnoB/BN in d next GE
    Plz don’t under-estimate UmnoB/BN in d next GE

    Reality is UmnoB/BN hv got away with all sorts of blatant sins n don’t hv 2 solve any problem b4 calling 4 snap erection
    UmnoB/BN will JUST DO IT!

    There r still enuf dumb n die-hard voters who will insist on voting 4 UmnoB/BN

  4. #4 by monsterball on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 6:13 pm

    Only 3 important issues that bothers UMNO B and Najib?
    Concerning arrest of Ling Liong Sik…as he Transport Minister. Who appointed him? You mean a project involving billions and on People’s money…do not need Mahathir attention or approval?
    You mean the CEO’s of a crooked company escape all frauds and stealing…just because the documents had signature of his accountant or right hand man?
    Just this case…and the action taken is a wayang kulit show.
    Best of all….it shows all biggest crooks in Malaysia are MCA buggers…YET…the present MCA puppets still play lowest politics to shame his own race.
    Anwar and Teoh…Anwar will be jailed and one or two MACC guys found guilty….sentenced to long sentence jail….waiting for 13th GE result. Meanw2hile…families of these sacrificial lambs will receive huge sums of money for their sacrifices….to so call protect the country……bla bla bla.
    Mongo model death….not important….indirectly involving RM500″ commission indirectly involving the Russian submarines deal done by Najib?
    DAP is right….Najib will drag on as long as he can to declare 13th GE.
    It will be side shows ..provocations….creating fear all over again and again to test Malaysians patience and tolerance.
    One slip…some take to the streets and complaint..that’s what Najib build his ring of fire….making Malaysia so troublesome that all will vote UMNO B in again for peace and harmony.
    Leave it to these professional crooks to come out with all sorts of ideas to avoid loosing control.
    The speed of charges with witnesses and proofs frightens and night.
    Judge Ian Chin and Tunku Ritthauddin have said it all.
    Poor Kugan…a car thief and died under police custody…all forgotten…..and the experiences of MACC tortures and brutalities…spoken by few…..never published in papers ….yet this unelected PM said he is People’s PM.

  5. #5 by dagen on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 6:16 pm

    Didnt jib announce that there will be no snap election?

    There you go. That is the clearest (I would take it as a definite statement) indication of a snap election.

    When jib said “no price increase” then price will definitely increase. When he said “no subsidy removal” then subsidies were removed. There are many many more examples. He cannot be trusted and is very predictable.

  6. #6 by dagen on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 6:20 pm

    Errr and he also denied knowing altan or seefou … Oh guess I said too much. Didnt I?


    @#*&^? *&^@# *&^% _+)(^% ^%$^&*UHB(&% TBF#@) KLHI*&RF (*&YT%^%J G><?OI()


  7. #7 by Cinapek on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 6:29 pm

    A likely scenario:

    Sodomy II will be bulldozed through quickly and Anwar locked up before GE13. PKFZ cases will have more “big fish” charged but the cases will dragged on until way past GE13 after which they will all be acquitted or case dropped .

  8. #8 by boh-liao on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 7:21 pm

    Look at d soap opera unfolding in Selangor’s n KL’s DAP
    Ronnie, Tee, Teng, Tan, etc – all acting DAP (Damn All Principles), show time

  9. #9 by boh-liao on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 7:23 pm

    Look at d soap opera unfolding in Selangor’s n KL’s DAP
    RL, TBH, TCK, TKW, etc – all acting DAP (Damn All Principles), show time

  10. #10 by undertaker888 on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 8:05 pm

    why are umnonites suddenly so accommodating? even katak ali is behaving. ohh….election coming. see their hypocrisy. wow..even hisapudding says banning the A word is wrong. i am impressed.

    they all suddenly woke up on the wrong side of the bed or what? or they forgot to take their medicine? our grandmothers are really fooled. oyyy..ingat kita bodohkah. jika menang, mula sekali lagilah, kita punya nenek moyang pelacur dan peminta sedekah. ada 5 tahun lagi bagi you calar kita.

  11. #11 by frankyapp on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 8:19 pm

    Umno/Bn has caused so much damages in the country in term of race and religion,social and economic devolopment,the civil service,the judiciary,the EC,the political system etc etc,there’s nothing Najib can do to amend the people’s broken hearts and sorrow in order to save his skin and the sins of his regime. Right now I think he knows he has no chance to lead Umno/Bn to victory through the poll,hence what he’s doing now is creating trouble and finding facults with his opponents hopping to turn the country into a chaotic state of fear and uncertainty.Then they will declare a state of emergency in the name of national security to avoid further desastrous tumoil. Hence they will hold on to power indefinitely.

  12. #12 by waterfrontcoolie on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 10:08 pm

    From what we heard at the local kopitiam, the local DAP supporters are rather sore that the Tee guy had been sacked summarily when the owner of the letterheads pleaded ignorant of the “happenings”? Now that the State Speaker is also hauled up; what’s going on? At the kopitiam, one hardcore DAP supporter questioned the owner of the Letterhead on his open door policy to many ex-supporters of the Owner of the Palace at Port Klang. Those guys were known in town to behave like Tiong of Dimensi, albeit in a smaller fashion. I wonder, at this rate DAP or even PKR really stand a chance in the next GE!

  13. #13 by monsterball on Monday, 2 August 2010 - 10:41 pm

    The point is DAP acted fast on frauds and con jobs.
    Whether Tee is guilty or innocent….Tee needs to understand and appreciates DAP serious promise to Malaysians to fight corruptions.
    Personally..I never like Ronnie Lui who does not show anything that he is doing for the people at all….and many Malaysians do not know who Tee is too.
    It is DAP’ s firm actions against corruptions that it right or wrong…and I do suspect some DAP big guns depend on Lui in the 13th GE….which makes the conclusions…politicians cannot be trusted seem true to all.
    I any case…to choose between the two devils….I think Malaysians by and large…will support change of government.
    It’s long over due and UMNO B is such an extremist party disguising to be moderate and fair cannot fool Malaysians anymore.
    Their acting and hypocrisy are sickening to live with.
    Our natural wealth have be sucked up high and dry every year….by a and of robbers and thieves..and …not politicians at all.

  14. #14 by rcchia on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 12:30 am

    What about the mother of all “pressing issues” – I might even call it, international pressing issue – the murder of Altantuya. Seems like nothing has progressed, and for all we know, no one in the gomen is interested to pursue.

  15. #15 by passerby on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 1:20 am

    MCA is a joke! UMNO robs, steal and MCA is going to jail. You are only a partner in the BN good for taking the blame! If you have any pride and integrity, dissolve your party now and save your children to be the laughing stork of the chinese.

  16. #16 by monsterball on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 2:46 am

    You can keep reasoning with MCA to be dignified..but the MCA from Mahathir’s 22 years up to nothing but puppets to UMNO B.
    Granted wise men and philanthropists supports MCA out of no play agree to disagree with UMNO B…to indirectly help the Chinese… and always schools and temples…shows the limited things they can ask and be granted and always approval given with the motives to hook winked Chinese votes…nothing more…nothing less.
    But when UMNO B openly bullied minorities especially the Chinese..time and time again….putting hundreds under ISA….MCA proved to be nothing but a running dog of UMNO B…keeping silent and true cowards.
    They shame the Chinese so much and could not care less…for almost all are in politics for personal selfish reasons and not really to represent the Chinese at all.
    When DAP is being bullied and made a fool by UMNO B…MCA dare not protect DAP or resign.
    They treated LKS as the Chinese enemy..yet closed their eyes to the vast majority Chinese supporting DAP shamelessly.
    Now that DAP have more and more support from other races..especially the Muslims….this MCA was voted out and still think they are so powerful.
    How thick skinned can any political party be?
    Now UMNO B openly using Liong Sik as the biggest crook…all you hear from Soi Lek was he was if he knows nothing about PKFZ full story…clearly told by Tony Puah of DAP….with facts and figures.
    Yes this MCA can afford to ignore the truths…as they sold off the Chinese dignities to UMNO B….but MCA does not represent the Chinese at all….for past 30 years…yet MCA keep their hypocritical acts….year in year out.
    There is not enough words to described these low class scumbags.

  17. #17 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 7:24 am

    It is said that it is important to inculcate in children self-discipline. Or else they turn into adults lacking it.

    Self-discipline involves the forgoing of immediate gratification in favor of some more satisfying results and longer-term gain. It enables one to overcome addictions, procrastination and laziness and to persevere, by actions, thoughts and behavior, in one’s decisions based on their being right rather than convenient or expedient. Even if this requires effort and time, self-discipline is therefore an important component factor, which leads to improvement and success – in life, including political life.

    Looking at the issues and recent events that need resolution before calling snap polls, it appears that our politicians have never come so to grips with that idea!

    Look at the following developments:

    · The Malaysian Insider reported present Home Minister as having said that his predecessor should not have banned the word ‘Allah’ from being used by the Catholic Church. If it was wrong why not just revoke the ban and withdraw the appeal against Justice Lau Bee Lan’s decision??? There is procrastination. It is as if once the controversy blows open the genii is let off the bottle that cannot be put back! Whilst the numero ono takes no position to enforce the right decision, another subordinate Minister for Islamic Affairs expresses his opposition to the government’s rescission of the ban.

    · It is the same with NEM proposals which after a hard sell to foreign investors are backtracked and married with the NEP in light of vigorous “protests from Malay rights groups such as Perkasa that want the government to keep quotas created under the NEP.

    · Indeed the entire affirmative policy programme has created such a addiction that its beneficiaries would not want to forgo it even if it were bad for development of their own and the country’s competitiveness and survival.

    · Or the issue of PKFZ in which everyone has a finger in the pie. Even discounting leakages in these respects, the whole idea of coming out with a mega idea of a Free Trade Zone – so that every one could have his finger in the pie – without proper consideration of feasibility becomes a recipe for financial disaster when one simply borrows some fashionable idea from elsewhere such as the Private Financing Initiative (PFI) scheme. The PFI is based on convenience of govt not coming up with upfront monies but instead relying on private sector to raise the financing which the govt repays by a deferred payment of scheme of (say) over 15 years – with interest. One can’t afford to pay interest if the project at the onset is neither feasible nor self-financing but simply concocted as a convenient excuse for everyone connected to power to dip his finger in the pie. So when the day of reckoning comes, and PKA cannot afford to pay, govt has to come to the rescue with public funds, and when public outcry ensue, quickly look for the most convenient – and dispensable scapegoat to appease anger and retain votes!

    These are, one way or another, examples of a certain lack of self-discipline that creates and compounds problems that contributes to failure than success in what one sets to do.

  18. #18 by wanderer on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 8:09 am

    “Great ball of fire!”….anyone cares for an ice cream cone?
    I turned to the right it’s no entry. I turn to the left it’s no entry….politics is a very confusing game. Perhaps, that was the reason why CINTANEGARA n EUNUCH CHENGHO got their BALLS ALL TWISTED!

  19. #19 by Jeffrey on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 8:11 am

    (Continuing from preceding post)

    Like the convenient way of the cowhead protestors being given a light slap on the wrist for their infractions – since they were protesting from that side of the ideological and religious divide considered paramount – would it ever deter future extremist actions?

    Or the Civil Service being used like an extension of the NEP and a sanctuary to take it the many who would prefer to be slotted in positions to act as “little Napoleons” avoiding the demands for competence and hard woirk in the private sector? No wonder we have an overbloated civil service of 5% of the poulation that needs to be fed and paid just like even the PM’s Dept that requires RM4 billion operational budget to feed a staff strength of nearly 44,000 whilst subsidies for fuel and sugar are trimmed just to save RM750 million leaving the rest to suffer !

    In no time the Civil Service becomes an untamed horse that carves out its own spheres of influence and act according to their own prerogatives whether by way of telling off a Chief Minister in Penang state or finding an easy way to get things done (ie obtain confession) by torturing/beating a detainee till death or issuing letters of support (authorised or not authorised) by both ruling party’s’ or even opposition’s members of federal/state government(s) or where civil servants simply require their pound of flesh before granting approvals that put off potential foreign investors in the PKFZ leading to it being an abject failure in terms of sale at the outset.

    Lets move from actions like NEM/NEP, PKFZ, Allah or Cowhead issues – at government levels- to personal level, where one finds the same is true about how lack of self discipline creates problems for oneself. Examples:

    · If the DPP Farah Azlina Latif and complainant and star witness Mohd Saiful Bukhari have been more disciplined their alleged relationship will have offered little ammunition to Defence to zoom in and attack by filing an application to strike out the sodomy charge for the second time over the allegation that key witness Saiful was having an affair with one of the deputy public prosecutors!

    · The same is equally true with the Defendant Anwar himself. If he had been more circumspect and careful on how this so called “coffee boy” was recruited and given meteoric rise as his aide (in spite of his previous links with ruling party) and given opportunity to be in close proximity as the job of political aide entails, would there be an opportunity for political opponents to find reasons to bring a sodomy charge against him??

    It is trite that abuse of power and even corruption stems from a lack of self discipline on the part of the perpetrator who wants financial success the quick, easy, expedient and ‘smart way” out to get these, never mind the principle of whether the course taken is right or wrong, abjuring the discipline of strenous exertion and hardwork.

    Whether self discipline is poorly inculcated or a thing of cultural influences, habit, genes or otherwise it is something affecting the entire ethos in which we do things that determines our path to higher levels if we have moire of it or spiral down towards that of failed states like Zimbabwe, Kenya, Sudan and many other third world states if we do not rectify this behaviour and trait.

  20. #20 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 8:12 am

    Its just amazing how Najib and his team is always behind the curve even after being hit repeatedly. Your average person immediately react there are a long list of issues and furthermore the 3 issues identified does not even deal with core problems of corruption, institutional decay etc. Reasonably intelligent one immediately see that they are PR exercises more than anything else.

    It seems his real goals are really incredibly modest compared to his talk.

  21. #21 by Thor on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 8:37 am

    What the heck is happening to Selangor DAP?
    Have’nt even step their foot in Putrajaya yet and now backstabbing each other.
    For all the support that me and my family have been giving, you people are now behaving like rogues.
    No different than Umno gang.
    Guess me and my family have to boycott the next GE this time!!!

  22. #22 by k1980 on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 9:08 am

    A flock of UMNO officials were involved in various roles including the party’s permanent chairman, Onn Ismail, his son-in-law Faizal Abdullah, the former party treasurer Azim Zabidi and others. Others named in the PWC report included Umno officials Abdul Rahman Palil, Abdul Rashad Asari, Omar Latip and Idris Mat Jani….

  23. #23 by HJ Angus on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 9:09 am

    just to comment on Jeffrey’s post on self-discipline, I would like to suggest that it is a form of ENTROPY or the universal law on decay.
    You see the Bankrupsi Negara regime has been riding rough-shod on Malaysians for so many years like the big school bully.
    Everything came easily; from a compliant population to being able to enact all forms of laws like OSA and ISA.
    Over time the Judiciary got compromised and even the PDRM became tarnished from being the upholders of the law to abusers of the law.
    Such an environment breeds corruption and soon all vital establishments are infected.
    In Malaysia the NEP is considered the vehicle that conveyed the most corruption and the Ketuanana virus spread the disease to all the vital organs.
    Now as the FDIs disaster shows, we are nearing the end stage of decay.

  24. #24 by boh-liao on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 10:12 am

    Forget abt MCA – its president is there entirely due 2 d MERCY of UmnoB
    His bola r in d hands of UmnoB, out of line, bola kena squeezed hard hard & he will b charged as a blue-film actor performing unnatural sex, pathetic fellow

    DAP kaki also performing wayang in anticipation of d coming Phor Thor (Hungry Ghost Festival) celebrations
    Macam macam wayang pun ada
    One actor wants 2 b a matyr, prepared to be sacked 2 uphold d dignity of a couple of positions
    Wow, full of action, almost as good as UmnoBputras n Perkasa kaki

    D beginning of self-implosion, booooooooom
    Field days 4 BN-controlled msm, ha ha ha ha ha

  25. #25 by monsterball on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 2:00 pm

    When you drink too much fire water…..your reasoning power may get blurred.
    So control and be calm.

  26. #26 by monsterball on Tuesday, 3 August 2010 - 2:18 pm

    Great balls of fire..wanderer….you are right.
    cintanegara and chengho balls wounded….time out to heal…but they will come back and we are waiting.

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