Archive for July 19th, 2015

Pakatan Rakyat would have been wiped out in the 14GE if it had contested the next polls in total disregard of the violation of the PR Common Policy Framework by one of the component parties

Three days ago, I posed the question whether PAS could lose Kelantan in the next 14th General Election.

I said that based on the 13th General Election performance, if there is a 4% swing of voters against PAS in Kelantan in the next poll, PAS will lose power in the state it had governed for 25 years since 1990.

Is a 4% swing in a state an unlikely happening?

In the 13th General Election in Kedah, PAS and Pakatan Rakyat lost the Kedah State Government because there was a 3.8% swing of the voters against PAS.

The voter swing against PAS was even more overwhelming as it was nearly four-fold during the 2004 General Election in Terengganu, where there was a 15% swing of voters against PAS, sweeping out the Terengganu PAS State Government after only one term of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi as the Terengganu Mentri Besar. Read the rest of this entry »


Not just Low Yat Plaza but whole of Malaysia is a time bomb if race hatred, religious intolerance, breakdown of rule of law and collapse of good governance not resolved urgently

Utusan Malaysia today said Low Yat Plaza is a ticking “time bomb” waiting to explode.

I say it is not just Low Yat Plaza but the whole of Malaysia is a time bomb waiting to explode if race hatred, religious tolerance, breakdown of rule of law and the collapse of good governance are not resolved urgently.

I fully agree with former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah who yesterday expressed the hope that everyone would bury the hatchet to strengthen the relationship among the different races in the country.

This is why I had called for a Royal Commission of Truth and Reconciliation on the Low Yat Race Riots last Sunday to ensure that there would be no recurrence of a petty crime of theft of a mobile phone mushrooming into a race riot involving hundreds of people.

Malaysia cannot continue to adopt the “sweeping under the carpet” mentality, which was why there had been no Commission of Inquiry into the May 13, 1969 race riots to learn from the disasters of our history to ensure an united, peaceful and better future for all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »


Zahid owes Malaysians an explanation and apology for the canard that “several Malaysians” had directed Justo to tamper with the PSI emails and documents when it is not true

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report and allegation of July 3, 2015 that Malaysian government investigators have found US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) deposited into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts in AmBank in March 2013 just before the dissolution of Parliament and the holding of the 13th General Election was a stone that killed two birds – both a boon and a bane for the UMNO/BN coalition.

It was boon for the besieged MARA Chairman, Datuk Seri Annuar Musa, the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Salleh Apdal and to a lesser degree, the Prime Minister himself for it completely overshadowed the breaking story of the RM100 – 200 million MARA Inc property corruption in Melbourne.

Calls for the sacking of the MARA Chairman and Board of Directors for their gross negligence and irresponsibility over MARA Inc’s property corruption scandal in Australia were completely drowned by the tidal waves created by the WSJ report. (Has Annuar, whose tenure as MARA Chairman ended yesterday, been rewarded with re-appointment as MARA Chairman?)

But it was more of a bane for the powers-that-be in the UMNO/BN coalition for it virtually killed the painstakingly-orchestrated campaign to turn the tables after some five years of being under attack on the 1MDB scandal and to go on the offensive by fully exploiting the arrest in Thailand of the Swiss national and former IT executive of PetroSaudi International (PSI), Xavier Andre Justo on June 22. Read the rest of this entry »

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GHB vs PAS: Antara akhlak dan perjuangan

– Al Amin Mohamed Sultan
The Malaysian Insider
18 July 2015

Gerakan Harapan Baru (GHB) adalah satu pasukan yang sedang bergerak laju dalam mencorakkan warna baru dalam arena politik tanah air.

Ada yang mengatakan mereka ini sebagai serpihan PAS walaupun masyarakat umum lebih memahami mereka ini adalah gabungan individu yang terkeluar daripada kepemimpinan PAS melalui pembersihan terancang dalam muktamar.

Maka, setelah kalah sepatutnya mereka duduk diam-diam sahajalah, buat apa-apa yang rasional dalam terus memajukan parti.

Sayang seribu kali sayang, keputusan yang mereka ambil adalah unik kerana mereka ingin meneruskan agenda yang lebih besar.

Ianya dalam erti kata meneruskan sistem dual parti politik di Malaysia untuk memantapkan blok pembangkang iaitu Pakatan Rakyat yang kini sedang punya pakatan yang longgar terutama daripada aspek sokongan umat Islam melalui PAS. Read the rest of this entry »

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Futures markets have much to say about oil’s direction

Gregory Meyer
Financial Times
July 17, 2015

For a brief, brave moment this year there was a sense the worst was over for the oil sector. This week, that feeling evaporated.

Iran’s agreement to curtail its nuclear programme, potentially restoring its place as a leading crude exporter, was just the latest hunk of bearish news thrown at the oil market. Saudi Arabia and Iraq are pumping record volumes. US drillers have again added rigs to probe for oil in shale rocks. China’s furious fuel demand growth is easing. For investors pondering exposure to oil through futures, shares or bonds, standing back seems the safest course.

The $50 a barrel plunge in spot oil prices from a year ago has been breathtaking. But to grasp the industry’s deepening woes, look at what futures markets are saying.

The price of West Texas Intermediate crude delivered in December 2016 has fallen below $60 a barrel, the lowest since any exchange listed that futures contract. Between the financial crisis and last year, the contract levitated between $80 and $100. Read the rest of this entry »

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Some questions about the Low Yat riots

By P Gunasegaram
Jul 15, 2015

QUESTION TIME For the past few months, the country has been gripped by the 1MDB scandal and mesmerised by all the stories and the allegations made. Meantime, the self-styled strategic development fund, with accumulated debts and payables of as high as RM46 billion, shows no tangible way out of the morass it is in.

Questions were raised as to why it should raise so much of borrowed money mainly to invest in dubious portfolios which it has not properly disclosed in its accounts or anywhere else. Combined with allegations made of money being siphoned off into accounts of businessman Jho Low, which have not been properly rebutted, it provided for a series of unsettling stories.

Even rating agencies’ ratings on Malaysia had to depend on how serious the problem at 1MDB was. To help stem the long slide in the ringgit, the central bank, Bank Negara Malaysia, had to come out publicly to state, although somewhat obliquely, that 1MDB did not pose a systemic risk to Malaysian banks, although some banks’ profitability could be affected.

And then came The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) shock report alleging that US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) were moved into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s bank accounts at AmIslamic Bank. No such allegation had ever been made against a Malaysian prime minister before.

Najib’s response was weak – the prime minister’s office only said that the prime minister has never taken any money for personal gain without specifically denying the allegations made in the journal. A letter by his lawyers to Dow Jones, the owners of the WSJ, confused rather than elucidated when it asked WSJ to clarify the report to say if it implied that the money came from 1MDB. The WSJ did not say that.

As the nation reeled from this shock announcement and the lack of zeal and specificity in refuting it, the riot at Low Yat happened. The authorities can cry out until they are blue in the face that the incident was not racial but they cannot deny in the face of video evidence that it had very strong racial overtones.

Such an incident happening in the heart of the city, the Golden Triangle area, barely a few hundred metres from the Kuala Lumpur police headquarters, is a severe indictment of the safety standards of our streets and public places which already have a bad reputation in terms of snatch and street crime.

KL residents are asking what this means for the future and what kind of precautions they should take when visiting public places while overseas visitors are querying if Kuala Lumpur is a safe place to visit. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia PM Najib ready to take on raging bull Mahathir

Rowan Callick
Asia Pacific Editor
The Australian
July 18, 2015

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has been under political siege for the two years since ­support for his UMNO-led ­coal­ition, which has ruled since independence in 1957, slid to less than 50 per cent at the last election.

The attacks — from outside and from within his own political camp — have intensified in recent months, becoming increasingly more personal, with a series of claims of corruption.

He has now begun to fight back, launching — and threatening to launch — defamation cases within Malaysia and overseas, ­including against Fairfax newspapers in Australia and The Wall Street Journal.

The opposition grouping led by Anwar Ibrahim attracted more voters at the 2013 general election, but failed to win power due to the gerrymander that gives rural ­ethnic Malay voters an overwhelming advantage. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Malaysian politics, keep calm and amok on!

by Sophie Lemiere, Guest Contributor
New Mandala
15 JULY 2015

In the wake of a brawl in Kuala Lumpur’s Low Yat Plaza, Sophie Lemière looks at how youth, prejudice and mob violence go hand-in-hand with politics.

The Malay word amuck or amok (rage) is the most famous Malaysian export along with palm oil (praised by Nutella lovers) and rubber (praised by everyone). Amok or to run amok has become a global concept to describe any sudden and ephemeral acts of violence to a killing rage. There is no cultural specificity here; we have sadly seen people running amok from Columbine in the USA to Paris and the beaches of Sousse (Tunisia).

Amok is surely the only Malay word the entire world uses, without even knowing its quasi-mystical origins. Anthropologists, psychiatrists and novelists have written extensively on this word, exploring the linguistic roots of amok to the intricacies of a psycho-pathological phenomenon; an unresolved intellectual quest well resumed by Yan Kon[1]. The “pengamuk”, the one who suddenly falls into a violent frenzy, was once seen as a hero: a mystical warrior getting his inner strength from god. Malay mysticism and history is filled with epic stories of such great warriors. Today, that heritage may be found in the hybrid tradition of Silat balancing an intense physical practice and mystic-religious beliefs with prayers to invulnerability charms[2]. Sadly today, for most, the pengamok has lost his nobility and is seen simply as a psycho.

This linguistic-mystic maze is now used to describe a non-event: the rowdy gathering of about 200 people at the empire of electronic goods, Low Yat Plaza in Bukit Bintang (Kuala Lumpur’s entertainment district), following the alleged theft of a mobile phone and consequent brawl. Read the rest of this entry »

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