Archive for September 23rd, 2015

Can Malaysia’s PM Pull Off a Trip to the UN?

By John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
September 22, 2015

A trip by Malaysia’s embattled Prime Minister Najib Razak to London and New York is shrouded in mystery, with a London source saying the premier and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, are already in London, staying at the five-star Dorchester in Mayfair, and editors in Kuala Lumpur being told he won’t go until Sept. 23, after the weekly cabinet meeting. A source later confirmed that Najib had quietly left KL.

His overseas jaunt, which is expected to later include a trip to Milan with Rosmah for her Islamic dress fashion show, is scarred by spiraling investigations by international law enforcement agencies in New York, Switzerland, Singapore and London and domestic rumors of behind-the-scenes negotiations to replace him with a unity government — which seems unlikely now.

The multiple probes of the prime minister’s personal finances and the operations of the debt-strapped 1Malaysia Development Bhd., which faces more than US$11 billion of unmet liabilities that could trigger a national financial crisis, have delivered up disastrous international publicity in the US’s two most respected newspapers. The prime minister was hoping for a star turn at the United Nations General Assembly and a meeting with US President Barack Obama. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde of Umno

— Koon Yew Yin
Malay Mail Online
September 23, 2015

SEPTEMBER 23 — Malaysian readers of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous book which has been made into film on several occasions will recognise the split personality of good and bad, if not evil, in the country’s dominant party Umno since its early days.

This split personality has emerged more strongly especially since the Tunku was stabbed in the back and taken down in what amounted to a coup d’etat in 1969 by his own party colleagues led by Tun Razak, the father of the current prime minister.

Since then, although the party has had its share of good leaders such as Tun Hussein Onn and has played a positive role in some areas of nation building, it has been the major obstacle to building a robust and resilient nation based on the rule of law and ensuring equal rights, justice and freedom to all citizens.

This is because it has made Malay dominance or “ketuanan Melayu” its main party platform and ideology, while giving lip service to the constitutional provisions providing for racial, religious and cultural equality. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Malaysia’s PM struggles in graft scandal, his party plays the race card

John Chalmers and Raju Gopalakrishnan
Reuters/Channel News Asia
23 Sep 2015

KUALA LUMPUR: When thousands of Malay Muslims marched through Kuala Lumpur last week to support his scandal-wracked government, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak kept his distance.

He neither attended nor officially endorsed the racially charged rally by members of Malaysia’s majority community.

But several members of Najib’s political party told Reuters they helped an ultranationalist Malay group stage the “Malay Pride” rally. Critics accused the organisers of stoking racial tensions in multicultural Malaysia to distract from a multi-million-dollar corruption scandal swirling around the prime minister.

Protesters at the rally held signs reading “Don’t insult Malays and Islam” and “#najibstays”. Some were eventually dispersed by riot police outside Chinatown, where many Chinese businesses are located. Read the rest of this entry »


Investors harbour doubts over Malaysia’s stock market rescue plan

by Emily Chow and Umesh Desai
Wed Sep 23, 2015

Investors have voiced doubts over potential conflicts of interest posed by Malaysia’s plan for an equity fund to buy “undervalued” shares, reflecting their growing unease as a scandal over an indebted state fund engulfs Prime Minister Najib Razak.

Last week, Najib announced a series of measures to support the economy. Chief amongst them was a plan to infuse 20 billion ringgit ($4.6 billion) into defunct equity fund called ValueCap so that it can buy underperforming shares.

Analysts and investors have raised questions of propriety over the idea of a state-directed fund picking stocks to support. Read the rest of this entry »

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Formation of Pakatan Harapan important milestone for moderates and patriots to reclaim and save Malaysia from the racists, bigots, extremists and the corrupt in the country

The formation of Pakatan Harapan yesterday is an important milestone for moderates and patriots to reclaim and save Malaysia from the racists, bigots, extremists and the corrupt in the country.

Never before has race relations in Malaysia become so fragile and brittle. Every day, racial epithets, slurs, intimidation and even explicit threat of “bloodbath” are uttered with immunity and impunity.

The latest is the threat of a racial riot in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, something which had never happened before in the past 58 years since Merdeka in 1957.

Where is the twitter-happy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar? Read the rest of this entry »

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Has Malaysia got a kleptocrat as a Prime Minister?

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, has established a special niche for himself in the Guinness Book of Records and of course the Malaysian Book of Records as the Prime Minister who has broken all the records of previous Malaysian Prime Ministers by achieving the most “firsts”.

This despite Najib’s short premiership of less than six-and-a-half years which cannot compare in length to the more than 22 years as PM of Tun Dr.Mahathir Mohamad or the more than 13 years of the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman – but unfortunately, mostly for the wrong reasons establishing bad records.

For instance, Najib is the first Malaysian Prime Minister to be investigated for alleged money laundering and corruption in four foreign countries, namely United Kingdom, Switzerland, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Now he has added to this roll of dubious honour by being the first Malaysian and ASEAN leader to be investigated by a federal grand jury in the United States in connection with corruption and money-laundering. Read the rest of this entry »

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The FBI Has Its Eyes On Malaysia’s Embattled Prime Minister

By Shannon Hayden
September 22, 2015

Malaysia’s prime minister is elbows-deep in a mess of trouble, and it looks like it’s only going to get worse. The fallout from $700 million that somehow found its way into Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal bank account continued over the weekend, with the arrest of a prominent critic of Razak’s while he attempted to leave the country, reports of further missing payments, and news that the FBI is now on the case.

The once-domestic issue now involves unusually “generous” unnamed Middle Eastern donors, frozen accounts in Switzerland and Singapore, and nationwide demonstrations calling for Najib’s resignation. Najib’s attempts to delay further investigation have partially succeeded, but his remaining time in office is uncertain. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Leader, Najib Razak, Faces U.S. Corruption Inquiry

by Louise Story
New York Times
SEPT. 21, 2015

The embattled prime minister of Malaysia, facing mounting political turmoil and a parade of inquiries at home and abroad into a sovereign wealth fund that he oversees, is now coming under the scrutiny of American investigators as well.

A federal grand jury is examining allegations of corruption involving the prime minister, Najib Razak, and people close to him, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

The inquiry, being run by a unit of the Justice Department that investigates international corruption, is focused on properties in the United States that were purchased in recent years by shell companies that belong to the prime minister’s stepson as well as other real estate connected to a close family friend, said the people knowledgeable about the case, who asked for anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss it. Investigators are also looking at a $681 million payment made to what is believed to be Mr. Najib’s personal bank account. Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Shirts do not represent the Muslims

By Tajuddin Rosli
Free Malaysia Today
September 23, 2015

After Bersih participants were filled with pride. After the Red Shirts rally most are filled with shame


Incidents that took place on 16 September coinciding with Malaysia Day have shamed the majority of Malays throughout the country. For the first time ever, I went to work with my face down, feeling ashamed to be called a Malay. I could sense my non-Malay colleagues looking at me and laughing in their heads to what my people have become. I had to put on a brave smile and pretend nothing ever happened.

But the reality is Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu has shown the world how low some Malays in the country have sunk to.

Please don’t get me wrong. The hooligans who gathered for the rally in no way represent the silent majority of Malays in the country who are civilized. Unfortunately, just as Bersih 4.0 was called a Chinese gathering because the majority who turned out were Chinese, Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu was a dark day for the Malays in Malaysia. Those in attendance did not look like they belong in today’s world. They seemed to look like a bunch from the Period of Jahiliyyah who travelled through time to get here. Read the rest of this entry »