Archive for December 1st, 2015

US, Malaysia and the War Against the Islamic State

By Prashanth Parameswaran
November 25, 2015

An inside look at ongoing cooperation between Washington and Kuala Lumpur.

It has happened quickly and quietly. But over the past few months, Malaysia has cemented itself as one of the key American partners in the ongoing war on the Islamic State.

This is not a natural or easy position for the Muslim-majority nation to take. U.S. and Malaysian counterterrorism approaches differ in some significant ways, and aspects of American foreign policy in the Middle East – including lingering memories of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan following the September 11 attacks – remain deeply unpopular in Malaysia.

But Kuala Lumpur’s current commitment, which was highlighted recently during U.S. President Barack Obama’s visit to the country for the latest round of Asian summitry, reflects the seriousness of the Islamic State threat both generally and for Malaysia in particular. Read the rest of this entry »


Azalina’s motion to refer Nurul to Committee of Privileges a “kangaroo resolution” making a mockery of the Committee of Privileges expecting it to be a “kangaroo court” to mete out the sentence after conviction had been passed by mindless majority in Dewan Rakyat

The motion by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Azalina Othman Said to refer the PKR Vice President and MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar to the Committee of Privileges for being photographed with Jacel Kiram in Manila is a “kangaroo resolution”, making a mockery of the Committee of Privileges in expecting it to be a “kangaroo court” to mete out the sentence after conviction had been passed by a mindless majority in the Dewan Rakyat.

All over the world, the Committee of Privileges decide on whether a MP referred to it had been guilty of breach of parliamentary privilege and then decide on the proper sentence which should be adopted by Parliament commensurate with the breach, but Azalina wants the Malaysian Parliament to set a dubious world record where the Committee of Privileges is deprived of the right to decide whether Nurul is guilty of any such breach, but only to mete out the sentence concerned!

Azalina’s motion against Nurul, among other things, states: Read the rest of this entry »

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Greatest challenge in 14GE is how to re-ignite hopes of Malaysians for change in Putrajaya after the failure of the seven-year Pakatan Rakyat experiment

The country is in unchartered waters with unprecedented fracture and fragmentation on both sides of the political divide – both with the UMNO-led coalition of Barisan Nasional and the splintered Opposition.

The gravity of the political situation in the governing coalition is best illustrated by the warning by the UMNO Deputy President and former Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at a gathering of 1,000 Barisan Nasional leaders in Pagoh on Sunday that Malay support for UMNO has dwindled to 30 per cent while 78 per cent of Malaysians are dissatisfied with how the government was handling the economy.

Muhyiddin said the level of Chinese support for the government has also dwindled, from 13 percent in the last general election to only five percent at present.

Muhyiddin blamed UMNO’s woes primarily to Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM50 billion 1MDB and RM2.6 billion “donation” twin mega-scandals and warned that if the UMNO decline is not corrected within the next two years, UMNO may lose in the 14th General Election.

As Muhyiddin rightly pointed out, this is the first time approval for the government among Malays has fallen below 50 percent since Merdeka Centre began recording the data in February 2012. Read the rest of this entry »


How the opposition can win the next elections

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
30 November 2015

By now it is clear that the 1MDB financial scandal, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s campaign against Datuk Seri Najib Razak, GST pain and numerous examples of corruption, abuse and mismanagement of the economy and governance, are not going to win the next election for the opposition coalition.

This is not to say that we should underestimate the average Malaysian’s disillusionment with, and distrust of, Umno and its partner parties in Barisan Nasional (BN).

Even the most simpleton Umno member is fully aware of how the division chiefs have enriched themselves with fat contracts, scholarships for their children, jobs in the civil service for their relatives and friends, etc.

Umno members are no fools. They know that the higher one gets to be in the Umno leadership hierarchy, the more the goodies and wealth they can accumulate.
So they are not surprised that RM2.6 billion was deposited in Najib’s personal account.

Many of the more ethical and principled Umno members agree that this is wrong. But will this mean that they will not vote for Umno in the next election?

I hope they listen to their conscience and I am sure many other Malaysians will join me in wishing the same.

But hope is not enough. Read the rest of this entry »

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How Najib could win the next election

– Murray Hunter
The Malaysian Insider
30 November 2015

With the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and RM2.6 billion ‘political donation’ crises looming and anti-Najib (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) forces aiming to remove him from office, there is one strategy open to the prime minister – a snap election, should he feel cornered.

This is a remote scenario, but one that is currently being drawn up now as a contingency in the Prime Minister’s Office.

The forces of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin – who Najib fired as deputy prime minister – have largely been neutralized, as well as the opposition, primarily through botched votes of no confidence and the attempt to block a second budget reading.

No Barisan Nasional (BN) votes drifted over to the opposition, indicating that this group’s influence within Umno/BN is negligible. Read the rest of this entry »

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