Archive for August 28th, 2015

What Malaysians want is for Najib to break his silence on the RM2.6 billion “donation” scandal which has hogged both national and international news

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has finally broken his silence over the Bersih 4 rally, criticizing organisers for timing the demonstration in a way that it would clash with the Merdeka celebration.

Najib could have made the Bersih 4 rally an outstanding part of the Merdeka celebrations, especially if he is ready to make an appearance at the Bersih 4 rally and have a dialogue with the Bersih 4 organisers and principal supporters on the state of democracy, economy and nation-building 58 years after Merdeka in 1957.

But what all Malaysians want from the Prime Minister is for him to break his silence on the RM2.6 billion donation scandal in his personal bank accounts, which had hogged both national and international news.

In the past two months, Malaysia have repeatedly made international headlines – but for all the wrong reasons which are either most unedifying to the nation or prejudicial to the good name and standing of Malaysia in international circles. Read the rest of this entry »


Information Department Director-General Ibrahim Abdul Rahman should be sacked as an example that civil servants should not play the irresponsible game of their UMNO political masters to spread lies to incite race and religious sentiments and hatred

The Information Department Director-General Datuk Ibrahim Abdul Rahman should be sacked as an example that civil servants should not play the irresponsible game of their UMNO political masters to spread lies to incite race and religious sentiments and hatred to try to perpetuate UMNO hold on power in Putrajaya.

In his FaceBook yesterday, Ibrahim shared a faked message which I was supposed to have made at a press conference at the DAP headquarters with DAP Acting Chairman Tan Kok Wai (MP for Cheras) and the DAP National Organising Secretary Anthony Loke (MP for Seremban), all donning the Bersih 4 T-shirts, declaring “Ini peluang kami untuk menumbang PEMIMPIN MELAYU DI BUMI MALAYSIA”.

This is a total lie as I never said or intended any such nonsense, as can be testified by the press corps who attended the DAP press conference on Bersih 4 rally on Wednesday, 26th August 2015.
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What exactly are you waiting for?

— Kenneth Cheng
The Malay Mail Online
August 27, 2015

AUG 27 — If there is anything still worth salvaging for the ever sinking Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, It was undisputedly clear that all has been gone down the drain yesterday.

It seemed out of desperation and utter stupidity, he proclaims that Malays would be bastardised if UMNO is not ruling Malaysia anymore.

While the statement is not what the writer hopes to discuss, but he can’t help but feel amused because the Malays he has come to know in Singapore turned out just fine.

In fact the confident, faithful and gentle Malays that the author befriended in Singapore are everything that is antithesis to the term ‘bangsat’.

And every Malaysian should feel ashamed of the designation used by the unprimed-ministerial Prime Minister. Because neither any Malays nor any single human whom refuses to support his government are bastard. In fact the very word should only be confined in the realm of Game of Thrones, instead of being applied by politicians for his own political agenda. Read the rest of this entry »

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Internationally, it’s game over for Najib

John R Malott
Aug 27th, 2015

COMMENT Ever since he became prime minister in 2009, Najib Razak cut a very impressive swath overseas.

Armed with his impeccable English, a product of his British education, and dressed immaculately in his elegant bespoke British suits, Najib talked a good game. He traveled the world and spoke of how he wanted to reform Malaysia’s political and economic systems and transform his nation into a model for the world.

He spoke at the United Nations time and again of a Global Movement of Moderates, of which Malaysia would be the leader. He spoke of Malaysia as a tolerant nation that respected all religions and races.

In contrast to former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad, whose trips were primarily to Third World nations, Najib actively courted the United States and European nations – the lands of Mahathir’s dreaded “orang putih.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Economy Faces Severe Strain

by Joshua Kurlantzick
Council on Foreign Relations
August 26, 2015

Like any Southeast Asian economy whose trade with China is a major foundation of growth, Malaysia was bound to suffer as the Chinese economy staggered and Chinese stock markets plunged. Malaysia is China’s largest trading partner in Southeast Asia, and Malaysia-China two-way trade topped $100 billion in 2014.

But Malaysia now faces economic challenges far beyond the impact of the slowdown in the Chinese economy, as well as international investors’ apparent growing fear of emerging markets. Malaysia’s own stock market has plummeted this summer, and the Malaysian ringgit is reaching lows against the dollar not seen in nearly two decades—since the time of the Asian financial crisis. As John Berthelsen of Asia Sentinel noted earlier this week:

Malaysia’s central bank is clearly losing the battle to defend its national currency, the ringgit, which fell to RM4.2275:US$1 on Aug. 24 before recovering slightly on Bank Negara [central bank] buying…The Swiss bank UBS last Friday, Aug. 21, issued an alert saying the magnitude and speed of the currency’s decline ‘exceeded our bearish expectations,’ falling 24 percent against the US dollar over the past year.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak dodging anti-corruption spotlight

Lindsay Murdoch
South-East Asia correspondent for Fairfax Media
Sydney Morning Herald
August 28, 2015

Bangkok: Embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has cancelled a speech at the world’s top anti-corruption conference as he refuses to explain $US700 million ($982 million) in his personal bank account.

Mr Najib was listed as a speaker to the up to 2000 delegates from more than 100 countries attending the International Anti-Corruption Conference in Kuala Lumpur next week.

But the Prime Minister’s photograph and biography have been removed from the website of the conference which the Malaysian government is hosting. Read the rest of this entry »


No more Mr Nice Guy

Aug 29th 2015 | KUALA LUMPUR

Beset by scandal, Malaysia’s prime minister cracks down on dissent

DOWN a quiet lane in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, campaigners at trestle tables are doing a roaring trade in yellow T-shirts. The volunteers have already flogged more than 30,000 of the garments, which are becoming de rigueur for Malaysians planning to attend protests on August 29th-30th to demand the resignation of the country’s prime minister, Najib Razak. The protests are being organised by Bersih (meaning “clean” in Malay), a loose union of non-government groups calling for electoral reform. In 2012 police dispersed thousands of Bersih protesters with tear gas and water cannons and arrested about 500. This weekend’s rally in Kuala Lumpur, which authorities say is illegal, could yet go the same way. Maria Chin Abdullah of Bersih hopes that at least 200,000 Malaysians will protest in three cities. Malaysia’s political system, she says, “has really become quite rotten”.

The planned protests are the latest turn in a wild saga which has gathered pace since early July, when the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly $700m had found its way into bank accounts owned by Mr Najib shortly before a close-fought general election in 2013. Much has been made of the suggestion that the money is somehow linked to 1MDB, a state investment firm struggling to service debts of around $11 billion. Its dealings are now the subject of an investigation in Switzerland, through which some of its cash may have passed. Read the rest of this entry »

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Marching for my beloved country Malaysia during Bersih 4.0 this weekend

By Lim K.H.
Yahoo! News
27th August 2015

The villagers lined the street on both sides patiently waiting, hands behind their back holding a stone in each. It would be a matter of time that the Federal Reserve Units (FRU) or ‘Ang Thou Peng’ would arrive. They did. The FRU contingent arrived in their red trucks, and started marching in formation fully geared. The situation was tense. They marched down the road along Kampong Pulau or ‘Tua Lor Au’, as our village is called in Penang, within arms length of the people. It was a show of strength. Everyone waited patiently until one decided to release his stone with a good aim. Then all hell broke loose.

Villagers scrambled in all directions chased by the well-equipped police, who beat down anyone they could catch.

It got more violent by the day, as they introduced tear gas and eventually curfews to keep the villagers in their houses. Through the riot several canisters of tear gas fell through our atap rooftops into our kitchen when they were randomly fired from the street towards the village houses, forcing our family to take shelter.

What wrong have we done to deserve that treatment? The market strike in 1967 was a result of the currency devaluation. The weeks following the strike were fearful. Racial riots followed but how were they related? It was always easy to put the blame on race to stir up emotions and forget the real reason behind the events, in this case currency devaluation. The riots led to 24-hour curfews with short breaks for the purchase of food but shop shelves were empty. As an 11-year-old then, I could not fully understand the event or the implications of it, but living through the experience brought many lessons. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia: Why 1MDB Scandal Won’t Topple Najib

By Shuli Ren
Barron’s Asia
August 26, 2015

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak turned to the 1998 currency peg “old guards” to stabilize the sliding ringgit, while thousands are expected to turn up in a rally this coming weekend to protest against his role in the 1MDB scandal.

The Malaysian ringgit stabilized this morning after Bill Dudley, the New York Fed president, said overnight that a September rate hike was looking less likely. The ringgit has fallen from 3.60 in May to 4.23 recently.

Najib seems to be taking a page out of former premier Mahathir Mohamad‘s playbook. He appointed former Second Finance Minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who helped Mahathir design Malaysia’s now-abandoned capital controls and currency peg.

Meanwhile, large “Bersih 4.0″ rallies in Kuala Lumpur, Kinabalu and Kuching will likely hit global headlines this weekend. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia PM Najib Razak ‘has to go’, says ex-leader Mahathir

David Pilling in Kuala Lumpur
Financial Times
August 26, 2015

Behind the political crisis engulfing Najib Razak, prime minister of Malaysia, lies nearly $700m that somehow made its way into his personal bank account. Behind that, according to leaked documents, lies a state development fund with $11bn in debts. Behind everything, however, sits a 90-year-old, for two decades the unassailable leader of this erstwhile Southeast Asian success story, who is doing all in his power to topple the present prime minister.

That at least is the claim of those around Mr Najib, who accuse Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s forceful former prime minister, of mounting what they describe as a coup d’état. “He has abused his position and done everything he can to undermine his successors just because his list of personal demands is not being met,” says a person close to government.

Mr Najib strenuously denies any wrongdoing or accepting money for personal gain. The funds in his account, he says, came from an unnamed Middle Eastern benefactor — an explanation endorsed by the country’s anti-corruption commission. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering the Merdeka narrative

Netusha Naidu
The Malaysian Insider
27 August 2015

During a recent trip to Sri Lanka, I had the opportunity to observe the country’s general election. Local and international commentary suggested that this was their “most peaceful election” as it celebrated the notorious “warrior king’s” failed return to politics – a strong indication that the Ceylonese community had a solid stand against the anti-democratic culture of the Rajapaksa regime.

Intriguingly, one could clearly observe the nation’s drive to rebuild from the rubble of armed violence by the regime and the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam (more popularly known as the Tamil Tigers).

Many citizens were aware of their political rights as voters as shops were closed – whether in the city of Colombo or the rural town of Dambulla, they had gone to the polling stations to cast their ideals for a better Sri Lanka. Best of all was to see the “tuk-tuk” drivers proudly showing their ink-stained fingers when I asked them how the voting had gone!

To a foreigner, the land’s political landscape appears on a track of optimistic progress as there is a strengthening civil society movement for institutional reforms that strives for greater check and balance, promoting the independence and integrity of democratic politics – such as the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption which I saw on the way to the ancient city of Sigiriya, where I could not help but lament at the state of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) due to the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) debacle. Read the rest of this entry »

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