Archive for November 9th, 2015

Malaysia’s ‘strongman’?


As Malaysia’s premier Najib Tun Razak holds onto power the crisis surrounding the country’s sovereign development fund, 1MDB, has deepened.

In preparations for the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) General Assembly next month, there are moves afoot to purge critics from the party. It had become apparent that Najib will do everything to stay in power.

Short-term Najib has increased his chances for political survival, but in the longer term he has weakened his political foundation by narrowing his base of political support and undermining the political fortunes of his own party.

The following examines several key features that distinguish Najib’s management of the 1MBD crisis from those of earlier premiers. Responses to the scandal suggest that Najib has weakened his leadership.

Past crises

Political crises in Malaysia are not new. The most damaging ones have arisen from within UMNO, the political party that has controlled national government since independence.

From 1969 to 1999, each crisis has seen challenges arising from declining leadership confidence, fierce personalised battles for position, selective arrests of critics, damage of political institutions including the judiciary and the police as well as rises in racial tensions. Read the rest of this entry »


Five things I will do on RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals if I am Chairman of Public Accounts Committee

These are the five things I will do on the RM2.6 billion “donation” and RM50 billion 1MDB twin mega scandals if I am Chairman of the Public Accounts Committee:

Firstly, I would have summoned the former Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail as a star witness of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigations, in particular to testify whether there was a draft corruption charge sheet against the Prime Minister, Datuk Sri Najib Razak related to 1MDB and whether this was the real reason why Gani had been summarily sacked as Attorney-General although he was three months short of compulsory retirement?

Gani’s presence and testimony is all the more urgent as a result of two recent developments: the statement by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Oct. 22 that it had never denied the authenticity of a draft charge sheet against the Prime Minister and Gani’s first public appearance at the Bar Council forum on Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) on 3rd November rubbishing the government claim that Gani was removed for “health” reasons as Gani had showed up at the public forum not in a wheelchair or as an invalid but looking very “hale, hearty and healthy”! Read the rest of this entry »


Tun Dr Ismail’s son wants Jakim abolished

by Anisah Shukry
The Malaysian Insider
9 November 2015

There was a time in the country’s history when the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) did not exist, Putrajaya did not tell Malaysians how to practise their faith, and no one batted an eye when Muslims owned dogs.

And the former deputy prime minister Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman’s eldest son, Tawfik Ismail, wants those days back.

The main step is to dissolve Jakim, Tawfik said during an interview in conjunction with the release of “Drifting into Politics”, a collection of his late father’s writings during the nation’s formative years, edited by Tawfik and academic Ooi Kee Beng. Read the rest of this entry »


Political change in Malaysia: Will there be a new normal?

Abdillah Noh
Straits Times
9th November 2015

Despite voices calling for reform, there is a leadership void

Talk of political change in Malaysia has become more intense in the last few months.

Malaysia’s continued political imbroglio puts the economy at risk. Even with an improved fiscal deficit and an economy averaging growth of 5 per cent, critics are not impressed, preferring to focus on the political reform story.

The big question they raise is: Will there be a new normal in Malaysian politics? Read the rest of this entry »

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