Archive for March 2nd, 2016

Is Malaysia Sliding Toward Dictatorship?

By Prashanth Parameswaran
The Diplomat
March 01, 2016

A look at how the rhetoric compares to reality.

Last week, Malaysia’s former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad grabbed headlines when he suggested that the country was heading towards becoming a dictatorship like North Korea under its current premier Najib Razak.

And as I reported over the weekend, Najib’s former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin also warned that the country was witnessing “the collapse of democratic institutions and the emergence of a new dictatorship.” Muhyiddin was sacked last year after criticizing Najib amid the 1MDB scandal, a high-profile corruption saga where the premier has been accused of mismanaging funds linked to debt-ridden state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The aforementioned statements are no doubt heavily politicized and hyperbolic. But just how close are they to reality? Read the rest of this entry »

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Achievements of the Father of Corruption

By Martin Jalleh

Achievements of Najib 40th Anniv MJ

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Feud With Najib Leaves Former Premier `Not Proud’ of Malaysia

Haslinda Amin
March 2, 2016

Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad has lost pride in the country he governed for more than two decades, warning political tensions that have surrounded Prime Minister Najib Razak for months could hand a fractured opposition victory at the next election.

In a wide-ranging interview, Mahathir, 90, renewed his months long calls for the premier to step aside, saying Malaysia under Najib’s seven-year tenure had morphed from a stable, calm country where the economy was growing to a place that lacked tolerance.

“There was a time when I go abroad, people talk highly of Malaysia,” Mahathir said in a Bloomberg Television interview in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 25. “Today, if we go abroad, we meet people, what they say is that ‘hey, what’s happening to your country?’ That’s what they say. And I am not proud because I can’t explain what’s happening in the country.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Upshot from Azalina’s bizarre and gibberish statements – will PAC investigate whether Attorney-General Chambers had drafted a charge sheet against Najib for corruption in May last year and whether it will summon leading members of Special Task Force on 1MDB to testify?

I am quite fascinated by the two bizarre and gibberish statements issued by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, viz:

• statement on Saturday, 27th February 2016 in immediate response to Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s Facebook posting that before he was sacked as Deputy Prime Minister in July last year, he was briefed by the then Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail about the deposits from the state-owned SRC International into Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts and informed that a crime had been committed by Najib; and

• statement yesterday, 1st March 2016, replying to my statement on Sunday, 28th February 2016 commenting on the “two extraodinary statements” by both Muhyiddin and Azalina.

I am not interested in getting into a polemics with Azalina but prefer to deal with the substantive issues thrown up, intentionally or otherwise, by the bizarre and gibberish statements by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department which called for follow-up action at least on two fronts.

Firstly, whether the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) investigating in to the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal will probe whether the Attorney-General’s Chambers had drafted a charge sheet against Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for corruption in connection with the RM42 million SRC International scandal, whether work on this charge sheet for corruption against Najib went back to May last year and the final outcome of this charge sheet. Read the rest of this entry »


Dr M’s exit matters little to ordinary folk

Mariam Mokhtar | March 2, 2016
Free Malaysia Today


The disgruntled Umno-Baru members who are unhappy with Prime Minister Najib Razak should realise that he is not the only problem. The party itself is very much a problem.

Haven’t the rakyat been complaining about the excesses of Umno-Baru’s leaders and senior party members for decades? This is not an overnight occurrence. The problem has been around for at least four decades. Why have these disgruntled party members kept quiet for so long?

Former PM Mahathir Mohamad quit Umno-Baru because, he claimed, he could no longer recognise the party he once led. According to him, Umno-Baru’s sole function now is to protect Najib.

“I can’t be a member of such a party,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s Institutions Come Unraveled

by Joshua Kurlantzick
Asia Unbound
Council on Foreign Relations
March 1, 2016

On Saturday, as the Diplomat reported, Malaysia’s former deputy prime minister, Muhyiddin Yassin, released a statement on Facebook warning that the country was slipping into dictatorship. Yassin lashed out against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for overseeing this reversal from democracy. “In the face of public outrage at his leadership, Najib is using all the power that he has to suppress the voice of the opposition and silence his critics,” warned Yassin. “We are really witnessing the collapse of democratic institutions and the emergence of a new dictatorship.”

This was not new criticism by Yassin, but it was probably his harshest attack on the prime minister to date. Najib sacked Muhyiddin Yassin last year, after earlier revelations in the 1MDB scandal reportedly prompted Yassin to call for Najib to step down. Yassin’s political career has been on a downward spiral ever since. Last week, already stripped of his Cabinet position, Yassin was also suspended as the deputy president of UMNO, the main party in the governing coalition. Read the rest of this entry »


4 factors that determine a society’s fate

– M. Bakri Musa
The Malaysian Insider
1 March 2016

In my earlier two essays, I highlighted the issues surrounding the “Malay problem”.

I suggested that it is not unique unto our community. As such, there is much that we could learn from others, from successful societies on what to do, and the unsuccessful ones on what not to do.

There are four critical factors that determine the fate of a society: leadership, people, culture (this includes institutions, governmental as well as non-governmental, religious as well as non-religious), and geography.

In an earlier book, Towards A Competitive Malaysia, I put forth the concept of the “Diamond of Development”, with each factor interacting with and influencing the other three.

For example, wise leaders would invest in their citizens, ensuring that they would receive good education so they could make better and more informed decisions, as well as be more productive.

Good leaders also foster good institutions, and protect the country’s natural resources and the environment. Educated and wise citizens would in turn elect prudent leaders, and the positive-loop feedback would rapidly lead to a quantum leap in the advancement of that society.

The reverse is also true. Meaning, a corrupt leader would bribe his way to power by literally buying citizens’ votes. Read the rest of this entry »

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