Archive for July 17th, 2015

Malaysia near bottom in survey on money in politics

Malay Mail Online
July 17, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, July 17 — Malaysia ranked fifth from the bottom in a survey of 54 countries on the integrity of campaign financing in elections, amid allegations that Barisan Nasional (BN) abused government money to fund their Election 2013 campaign.

The “Checkbook Elections” study by the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), based at the University of Sydney, Australia, in collaboration with Global Integrity and the Sunlight Foundation for the Money, Politics and Transparency Project (MPT), also showed Malaysia with an average score of 19 out of 100, compared to the highest score of 79 by Georgia, and to its Southeast Asian neighbours like Thailand (50), Indonesia (47), and the Philippines (43).

“Reporting requirements are light: according to the law, parties must report on their finances annually, and candidates must do so only once, in a single post-election report,” the MPT noted.

“Reports are not completely itemised, and in practice, do not disclose a complete list of donors or donations. Of the information that is submitted, no party reports are made available to the public, and candidate reports, in practice, are accessible only in hard copy for a period of six months after the election,” the MPT added.

According to the survey, Malaysia’s “in law” and “in practice” scores were 26 and 15 out of 100 respectively. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib will weather scandal, but it’s not good for Malaysia or PH

Zachary Abuza
Jul 17, 2015

Even if Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak remains in office, he is politically weakened, preoccupied and ruling with considerably less legitimacy. This bodes ill for the Philippines.

The 1MDB scandal continues to hit embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. The investment vehicle that he chairs is $11.1 billion in debt, and documents leaked to The Wall Street Journal show that some $700 million of 1MDB funds were deposited into his personal accounts, as well as some $560,000 into his wife’s account.

Such allegations should be enough to sink most politicians, but this is Malaysia.

To date, there have been separate investigations by a parliamentary committee, the government’s auditor general, the police and the Bank of Malaysia. All have broadly cleared the government of wrongdoing, which is not surprising given Najib’s control and influence over them. Read the rest of this entry »


Egg all over his face and he still does not know – a special quality of UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders

I do not know whether to commiserate or congratulate the overnight Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government who has undoubtedly won instant media fame (or is it infamy) by having egg all over his face.

The wonder of it all is that he is blissfully unaware that he has egg all over his face – a special quality of UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders.
He could even admit to having soiled goods but insist that the importance is the message not the messenger.

But if the messenger is disreputable and mercenary, what is the credibility of his message?

School children would be able to give proper answer to this question which seems to be beyond Abdul Rahman’s mental and moral capabilities – no wonder former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir keeps lamenting the low-standard of present-day Cabinet Ministers whom he and his former Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin, have dismissed as “half-past six” or “deadwood” Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »


The special task force into allegations of PM misconduct by Najib has zero credibility and legitimacy when DPM and Cabinet Ministers completely in the dark about its establishment, composition, terms of reference and latest change of Chairmanship

The special task force investigating into allegations of Prime Ministerial misconduct by Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in particular into Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report and allegation on July 3 that US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) were deposited into Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank in March 2013, shortly before the dissolution of Parliament on April 3, 2013 and the holding of 13th general elections has zero credibility and legitimacy.

How can the “special task force” have credibility and legitimacy when Cabinet Ministers, and even the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, do not know about its establishment, composition, terms of reference and the latest change of Chairmanship of the special task force?

Yesterday, former Attorney-General Tan Sri Abu Talib urged the Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail to disassociate himself from the special task force, saying this would help enhance public perception and integrity into the probe.

Abu Talib’s views were also shared by lawyers who said the top government lawyer should not be part of the investigation or else his office would not be seen as being independent.

Talib and the lawyers said Gani’s immediate disassociation from the task force would enhance public confidence and integrity over the three investigating bodies – police, MACC and Bank Negara – in executing their duties.

The principle of check and balance between investigation agencies and the public prosecutor must be observed to ensure justice to all parties, including the public.

Talib, who was A-G from 1980 and 1993, said it was not desirable for Gani, as the public prosecutor, to be a member of the task force. Read the rest of this entry »

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YB Lim Guan Eng in conversation

Farouk A. Peru
The Malaysian Insider
17 July 2015

Two weeks in a row of top DAP men (the first being Zairil Khir Johari) would be too much for any writer, I think. Especially a writer on a 20-hour long fast each day.

Fortunately, last Sunday’s weather was rather cool. The rain made it very much more acceptable. But let’s face it, I would have made it to this talk even if the weather was Saudi Arabian hot! It was not often London enjoyed the presence of DAP’s secretary-general as well as the Chief Minister of Penang, YB Lim Guan Eng.

I had been generously granted an interview with Lim after today’s main event – his conversation with my friend and compadre, Mariam Mokhtar.

Mariam has been known to fire off some difficult questions so I hope Lim would not be too shell-shocked to answer my own questions later.
Monsoons Book Club (MBC) efficiently organised this event as they did Zairil’s the week before. Although only six months old, the MBC have organised very thought-provoking talks to stir up deep political debates for overseas Malaysians.

Mariam began by asking Lim to comment on the former deputy prime minister, Tun Musa Hitam’s remark to her that Malaysia was in a mess. Lim went further by saying that it was not just in a mess but in a crisis. Read the rest of this entry »

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Selamat Hari Raya, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

By Martin Jalleh

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Sarawak Report refutes allegations that it forged information

Bernard Cheah
16 July 2015

PETALING JAYA: Sarawak Report (SR) has refuted claims that a Lester Melanyi had written for the whistleblower site or had forged information for it.

“Let us confirm. Lester Melanyi has never ever written a word for Sarawak Report – sorry Lester, but we are out of your league,” Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown said in a short comment piece on the website.

She was referring to the report that Barisan Nasional strategic communications director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan had urged the authorities, including Interpol, to act against SR for falsifying information concerning 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Abdul Rahman was reported saying that he had been approached by an individual with a video that SR staff doctored the papers in an effort to criminalise Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak and 1MDB with malicious intent.

The person in the video is believed to be Melanyi. Read the rest of this entry »