Archive for March 13th, 2016

Dr Mahathir and Ku Li, two peas in a pod?

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
13 March 2016

During the past 10 years I have written a great deal about our national politics and the country’s leadership. In particular I have focused on our prime ministers. What I have written has really been in response to the policies they have initiated and the way they have managed the key issues and challenges of our multi-racial society and developing economy.

Besides writing on the three prime ministers – Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak – that we have had during the past 30 years I have also written extensively on two political figures who could have become prime ministers but never quite made it – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Readers will note that my view of Dr Mahathir has not been charitable. In fact, it will be considered unkind. He – and most Malaysians, including a majority of Malays today, will agree with me – is a failed leader who has let down the country badly.

Malaysians of my generation with longer memories than the current generation who know of the stability, harmony and prosperity that we enjoyed as well as experienced the high standards of governance inherited from the British, see the son of Mohamad Iskander Kutty, Dr Mahatir, as the principal cause of our badly dysfunctional economy and society. Read the rest of this entry »

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Arrest of Australian journalists latest climax of Najib’s twin mega scandals haunting and hounding Malaysia to a new international level

Malaysia is today a greater news in the world than in the country, for three reasons:

Firstly, there is media control and censorship in the country.

Secondly, the arrest of two Australian journalists from ABC Four Corners programme for “aggressively” posing questions to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Kuching.

Thirdly, catapulting Sarawak general elections into international news even before the dissolution of the Sarawak State Assemby and the holding of Sarawak state general elections, as Najib was in Kuching to carry out pre-dissolution general election campaign.

I have just read the report that the Attorney-General’s Chambers is considering action against the two ABC News journalists , reporter Linton Besser and camera operator Louis Eroglu, who were in Malaysia to investigate a local corruption scandal and who have had their passports seized despite being released after questioning yesterday.

They were previously detained for allegedly approaching the Prime Minister aggressively.

I am horrified by the very clumsy and ham-fisted manner in handling the case of the ABC Four Corners journalists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five things for Najib to do to establish his bona fides in support of democratic and institutional reforms to “Save Malaysia”

I have been asked what I meant when I said in Sungai Patani yesterday that I am prepared to work with any Malaysian to Save Malaysia, not only Tun Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin, but even with Datuk Seri Najib Razak if the Prime Minister is prepared to admit that he had led the country on a wrong tangent and that Malaysia must be saved with far-reaching democratic and institutional reforms.

I said in Sungai Patani that I believe that the overwhelming majority of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, race or politics, love this country and can subordinate self-interest to national interests and support a Save Malaysia campaign to stop the country hurtling down the slippery slope towards a failed and a rogue state.

I am glad that the people of Sungai Patani, Semiling, Anak Bukit and Alor Star which I visited yesterday had given me full endorsement for taking a strong stand to “Save Malaysia”, even to work with Mahathir and Muhyiddin and all like-minded political and civil society leaders who could agree with the two major thrusts in the Citizen’s Declaration – the removal of Najib as Prime Minister and far-reaching democratic and institutional reforms.

But if Najib is to come board the “Save Malaysia” campaign, there are at least five things he can and should do immediately: Read the rest of this entry »


Thanks to 1987 Operation Lalang, half a dozen ISA detainees incarcerated for 14 -16 years got released or they might have become the world’s longest-held detainees because they were forgotten by the authorities

We gather tonight for “Tribute to ISA detainees”. The Internal Security Act (ISA) which had detained without trial over 10,000 people in its 51-year iniquitous history, including political leaders and literary giants like Ahmad Boestamam, Abu Bakar Al Bakir, Burhanudin Al-Helmy, Ishak Muhammad (Pak Sako), Aziz Ishak, Syed Husin Ali, Kassim Ahmad, Samad Ismail, Anwar Ibrahim, Karpal Singh, P. Patto, Mohamad Sabu, Lim Guan Eng, Dr. Tan Seng Giaw, Khalid Samad, Kamaruzaman Ismail, Nashir Hashim, Hishammudin Rais, Saari Sungib, Goh Kean Seng, and Lee Hai Chew.
I was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) twice, first time for 17 months in 1969 after my first election as Member of Parliament for Bandar Melaka and the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur and second time, under Operation Lalang for 18 months.

Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng and I were among the first to be detained when the Operation Lalang dragnet was launched on Oct. 27, 1987, resulting in the arrest of 106 detainees from a whole spectrum of national life. Although the 49 persons formally detained under the ISA after the custodial detention and interrogation of 60 days were released in batches, Guan Eng and I were the last two to be released after 18 months of detention in April 1989.

I still remember that when I was transferred to Kamunting Detention Centre after being held for 60 days at the ISA Remand Centre in Batu, Kuala Lumpur, I was welcomed by half a dozen ISA detainees in another compound and who had obviously been incarcerated for quite some time.

I asked them how long they had been detained in Kamunting Detention Centre and I was shocked when I was told that they had been detained from 14 to 16 years. They had been languishing in the Kamunting Detention as they seemed to have been forgotten by the authorities. Read the rest of this entry »

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