Archive for September 3rd, 2015

We went to Bersih 4 as patriots

by Jean Yeoh
Sep 2nd, 2015

Bersih 4 was my second street protest experience as a 70-year-old retired teacher, minus the excitement, but added more mixed feelings. I went to Bersih 3 with only one intention, for my three grandchildren. I went to Bersih 4.0 with two demands, spelt out on my self-made poster: for the next generation (in Chinese) and ‘utamakan pendidikan berkualiti (prioritise quality education).

Again my family gave me full blessing to participate, though knowing very well that it would be a bigger risk-taking adventure for me as what happened in Bersih 3 was still fresh in everybody’s mind.

But, ‘to Bersih 4 I will go’, despite reading lots of negative comments such as ‘so near the Low Yat fiasco, sure something more horrible will happen’, ‘what if the Red army came with bricks, sticks and even parangs’ ‘what is the use of going, still the same Malaysia and even worst then after Berish 3’and ‘Najib Abdul Razak is so desperate now he will try to create a scene so that emergency can be declared’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s economic frailty is all too familiar

David Pilling
Financial Times
September 2, 2015

The country is facing comparisons with the 1997 Asian financial crisis

Malaysia is in the middle of a political maelstrom. But the country’s worries do not stop with the scandal affecting Najib Razak, the prime minister. Weak oil prices, a creaking Chinese economy and the prospect of higher US interest rates have all hit Southeast Asia’s third-biggest economy simultaneously. Could this be a re-run of the 1997 financial crisis?

Critics will call such a scenario alarmist. In many ways, Malaysia appears to be in better shape than it did before the last Asian financial crisis. It has had consistent current account surpluses, as opposed to deficits in the run-up to 1997. Its foreign exchange reserves, though depleted, are nearly double the four months’ export cover it had in 1996, the year before the precipitous fall of the Thai baht triggered capital flight all over Asia. Malaysia was not the worst affected back then. That honour went to Indonesia. Even so, Malaysia’s economy shrank more than 6 per cent in 1998. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anti-graft organisation founder says Najib must come clean on RM2.6 billion donation

by Muzliza Mustafa
The Malaysian Insider
3 September 2015

Another global anti-graft activist piled pressure on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to come clean on the RM2.6 billion donation in his personal bank accounts, saying the “delay tactics” used to obstruct investigations would not work in the long run.

Transparency International (TI) co-founder Michael J. Hershman said Najib’s inability to address questions about the donation had affected the prime minister’s credibility.

“My advice to the prime minister would be not to cover up, not to obstruct justice because it doesn’t work.

“Tell the truth about where did the money come from and address the accusation. And if he did something wrong, then asked for forgiveness and face the consequences,” Hershman told the audience at the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), which Malaysia is hosting.
He said that such delays would not make the allegations go away.

“The truth will come out and in my experience the sooner it comes out the better it is for the accused and for the country,” he added.

Hershman said the explanations given so far were not good enough. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Malaysia’s parliamentary democracy “one of a kind” in the world where no-confidence motion is not allowed?”

Malaysia is now the daily staple of international news – with at least four items of international news yesterday, viz:

• AP Report: “Anti-graft group: Malaysian PM must explain $700M in account”;

• New York Times report: “Switzerland Investigates Fund Executives in Malaysian Corruption Case”;

• Economic Times: “Fitch warns of downgrade risk in Malaysia’s rating outlook” and

• BBC: ”Malaysia police to question former PM Mahathir over rally”.

All these international attention are not for Malaysia’s edification but only contribute to Malaysia’s disrepute and demonization in the global community – to the great pain and sorrow of Malaysian patriots locally and internationally.

An item which will pique international interest is the issue of no-confidence motion against the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament – which will be unprecedented in Malaysian history, whether finally moved or otherwise. Read the rest of this entry »

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Singapore and Malaysia on diverging election paths

by Greg Earl
Australian Financial Review
Sep 2 2015

The idea of Singapore founder Lee Kuan Yew breaking into tears when he announced the city’s separation from Malaysia 50 years ago is now as much a part of the country’s foundation ideology as its lack of natural resources.

It has been both celebrated during this year’s 50th anniversary and disputed by those who think Lee was a cynical politician not unhappy to be carving out some space from the Malay world.

But one thing is certain as Singapore prepares for an election next week: few people are shedding any tears about being separated from the political train wreck underway across the border. Read the rest of this entry »

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1,000 IACC delegates from 130 countries should send instant mass signature petition to Najib to attend 16th IACC to come clean on the “two elephants in the room” – the RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” scandals

OPEN LETTER To Transparency International President and 1,000 delegates to 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday, September 3, 2015:

Transparency International President Jose Ugaz made a powerful speech at the opening of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) yesterday when he said Malaysia’s commitment towards fighting corruption cannot be taken seriously as long as it did not provide answers to the RM2.6 billion “donation” to the Malaysian Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal banking accounts – who paid the money, why and what happened to it.

Harkening back to the mottos of Malaysia’s founding father, Tunku Abdul Rahman, on “Independence and freedom” and “honesty and integrity”, Ugaz referred to the “corruption crisis” in Malaysia and said:

“As a global anti-corruption movement it is our role to ask questions, to challenge those who abuse their power, to champion those who cannot speak and to engage with those who sincerely wish to change.

“Let us recall those two words – honesty and integrity.

“What does that mean for Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia police to question Mahathir Mohamad over rally

Michael Peel in Putrajaya
Financial Times
2nd Sept 2015

Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysia’s influential former prime minister, faces questioning by police as tensions deepen over his efforts to topple his scandal-hit successor Najib Razak.

Authorities have also called in leaders of a 34-hour street protest last weekend against Mr Najib after the government declared the rally illegal.

The targeting of people associated with the demonstration, which Mr Mahathir attended, comes as Mr Najib fights allegations of corruption over mysterious payments of more than $675m into bank accounts in his name.

The prime minister and the country’s anti-graft commission say the money came from an anonymous Middle Eastern donor, rather than Malaysian state funds.

Malaysian police said Khalid Abu Bakar, inspector-general, would take a statement from Mr Mahathir, who at the rally called for a “people’s power” movement to oust Mr Najib. Read the rest of this entry »


Switzerland Investigates Fund Executives in Malaysian Corruption Case

New York Times
SEPT. 2, 2015

GENEVA — The Swiss authorities said on Wednesday that they had started a criminal investigation of two executives of a Malaysian state investment fund at the center of a corruption scandal that has led to calls for Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia to resign.

The Attorney General’s Office in Switzerland also said it had frozen bank account assets amounting to tens of millions of dollars in relation to the case, but declined to give details.

The office said it was investigating two executives of 1Malaysia Development Berhad, the troubled investment fund also known as 1MDB, and other “person(s) unknown” over a series of offenses, including money laundering, corruption of foreign officials and suspected misconduct in public office.

Investigators are “analyzing and consolidating the evidence,” Anna Wegelin, a spokeswoman for the Attorney General’s Office, said Wednesday. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s anti-corruption efforts undermined by questions about scandal: corruption fighter

2nd Septemnber 2015

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Malaysia’s commitment to fighting corruption cannot be taken seriously as long as it does not explain how millions of dollars ended up in Prime Minister Najib Razak’s bank account, the head of the world’s largest anti-graft organization said on Wednesday.

Jose Ugaz, chair of Transparency International, said Malaysia had taken many measures and initiatives to tackle corruption but that none of its claims to tackle corruption would be credible until it provided answers to the finance scandal.

“We want to see more progress but that cannot happen while there are unanswered questions about the … millions that made its way into the prime minister’s personal bank account,” Ugaz told the International Anti-Corruption Conference. Read the rest of this entry »

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