Archive for November, 2016

When will Malaysia break into the dominance of Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan in rankings of TIMSS for math and science or is this a mere pipe-dream?

Is the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir bin Khalid happy with the results of Malaysian students in the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2015 made public worldwide yesterday?

The Education Ministry director-general Tan Sri Dr. Khair Mohamad Yusuf seems to be quite ecstatic and easily satisfied with the results of Malaysian students in TIMSS 2015, when the results should be cause for grave concern for all educationists and parents in Malaysia.

In a way, Khair is right in that the TIMSS 2015 results was an improvement on the TIMSS 2011, as Malaysia scored 465 in mathematics and 471 in science, which is a significant improvement from 2011, when it was 440 and 426 respectively, for 14-year-old Form 2 students.

However, this is the second worst score for 14-year-old Malaysian Form 2 students in five TIMSS results since 1995, as shown by the following marks achieved by Malaysian students in the TIMSS series: Read the rest of this entry »

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A Malaysian Political Cartoonist on Facing His Fears, and Prison, for Art

New York Times
NOV. 29, 2016

HONG KONG — When protesters disrupted an art exhibition by Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, a political cartoonist, at the George Town Literary Festival in Malaysia on Saturday, he assumed that the police would want his help identifying those responsible.

Instead, said Mr. Zulkiflee, who goes by the name Zunar, he was questioned by the police, detained for a day and informed that he was under investigation for producing cartoons that purportedly defamed Prime Minister Najib Razak.

It was not the first time Mr. Zulkiflee, who already faces nine charges of sedition and is barred from leaving the country, has courted trouble with his pen. His cartoons frequently target Mr. Najib, who is accused of taking millions of dollars from a state investment fund. Mr. Najib has faced widespread calls to resign, most recently at an anticorruption demonstration this month that drew tens of thousands in Kuala Lumpur, the capital.

In an interview, Mr. Zulkiflee, 54, discussed how social media has become an increasingly important channel for political dissent in Malaysia, and why he continues to use his art to investigate corruption and injustice without dwelling too much on the risks. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Maria Chin be re-arrested after her habeas corpus case had been officially disposed off?

I told Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin after the moving “singing in the rain” at the corner of Jalan Raja, nearby Dataran Merdeka, last night by Bersih supporters that she had to thank the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak for making her an “instant heroine”.

Maria Chin expects to be arrested again by the authorities but she had pledged that this will not shake her spirits and her commitment to fight for fair elections and democracy in Malaysia, as well as the abolition of Special Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma).

Will Maria Chin be re-arrested after her habeas corpus case had been officially disposed off this afternoon? Read the rest of this entry »


The Observer view on corruption, repression and violence threatening fragile democracies

Observer editorial
27th November 2016

Malaysia, Thailand and Burma are all suffering a backwards slide from the basic standards expected of modern-day representative democracies. While the reasons vary, the results are similar: growing public unrest, increased state repression, negative economic effects, weakened institutions and reputational damage.

Malaysia vividly exemplifies these phenomena. The former British colony has never been a faultless democracy. The United Malays National Organisation, representing the ethnic Malay majority, has held power since independence in 1957. The mostly non-Muslim, ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, whose ancestors were shipped in by the British as cheap labour, have suffered historical discrimination, yet this furore has little to do with history, race or religion. It is about probity in government – which appears to be sorely lacking.

The problem centres on Najib Razak, the prime minister, who is alleged to have benefited from the disappearance of $3.5bn from a state-owned investment company called 1MDB. Last year, the Wall Street Journal reported that $700m was diverted to Najib’s personal bank account. In July, the US justice department alleged wrongdoing by “Malaysian Official 1”, identified as Najib. For his part, Najib flatly denies any wrongdoing.

However, his administration has delayed a parliamentary investigation, purged internal critics and further intimidated Malaysia’s much put-upon independent media. Demonstrators have been attacked by pro-Najib thugs and protest organisers arrested. Last week, the US expressed concern about the continuing detention under counter-terrorism laws of Maria Chin Abdullah, chairwoman of the Bersih pro-democracy group. No one has been charged over the missing funds.

This scandal has gone on for too long. Najib’s leadership has grown toxic. For the good of his country and its creaking democracy, he should stand down, at least until an independent inquiry has established the facts of the 1MDB matter. Sadly, the likelihood of that happening is slim. If Najib can survive in office, he will. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mah and Liow should explain whether they have given an undertaking that MCA and Gerakan Ministers and MPs would support Hadi’s private member’s bill if it is taken over by UMNO as a government bill

Last Thursday, the MCA mouthpiece, The Star, devoted the whole of its front-page to PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s motion with the headline “Solid ‘NO’ to Hadi’s Bill”, featuring the quotes and pics from leaders of five Barisan Nasional leaders, namely from MCA, Gerakan, MIC, PBB and PBS, including:

*“The bottom line is that MCA will oppose it. We will not support a Bill from the Opposition, especially from PAS. There can never be two systems of law in this country. We cannot accept it nor close an eye to this.” – MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

*“We remain opposed to Hadi’s Bill. Having two separate legal systems…will not only create confusion and an open-ended environment for opportunists but also tear the country apart.” – Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mak Siew Keong.

*“MIC vehemently opposes Hadi’s Bill. We need a proper dialogue to hear the views of Muslim and non-Muslim MPs. We do not want two contradictory legal systems. The Federal Constitution is the supreme law of the land.” – MIC deputy president S.K. Devamany.

But something happened before Parliament reconvened on Thursday morning, setting in motion a series of events in the next few months for all the Gerakan, MCA and MIC Ministers and leaders to start “eating their words”. Read the rest of this entry »


If Maria Chin is to be held under Sosma for 28 days because of a puny grant from OSF before 2011, then Najib should be detained for life for receiving RM4.2 billion from foreign sources

Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong’s had been Minister for nearly two-and-a-half years after he defeated DAP candidate Dyana Sofya in the Teluk Intan by-election on May 31, 2016 with a wafer-thin majority of 238 votes.

Mah’s 30 months in Parliament and Cabinet are marked by three political and economic disasters: firstly, the government’s increasingly repressive measures highlighted by the undemocratic detention of Bersih chairperson, Maria Chin; secondly, Malaysia’s ignominy and infamy for being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”; and thirdly, the unchecked decline in the value of the Malaysian ringgit, reflecting widespread loss of investor confidence in the Malaysian economy and the country’s political leadership.

Gerakan claims to be the “conscience of BN government” but if Gerakan is able to play this role, these three national blackmarks would not have taken place.

The Gerakan is not the “conscience” of the BN government, for Mah’s 30 months as a Cabinet Minister is distinguished by Gerakan subservice to and compliance with UMNO’s repressive and kleptocratic policies, as Mah had not dared to say a single word whether about Maria Chin’s detention or the multi-billion dollar 1MDB global kleptocratic money-laundering scandal, which catapulted Malaysia into the stratosphere of a “global kleptocracy”.

When will Mah and Gerakan speak up to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Maria Chin, and to condemn her detention under Sosma, which is a clear-cut violation of parliamentary undertaking by the UMNO/BN government that the Sosma legislation would only be used against terrorists and not peaceful NGO activists and political opponents? Read the rest of this entry »


US ‘troubled’ over Malaysia’s detention of activist and Najib critic

24th November 2016

Maria Chin Abdullah, who has called for resignation of prime minister Najib Razak, in solitary confinement under law intended to curb extremism

The United States has said it was troubled by the arrest of a Malaysian activist and critic of prime minister Najib Razak.

Maria Chin Abdullah, the chair of pro-democracy group Bersih, was detained on Friday under Malaysia’s Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma, a law that was introduced in 2012 to fight security and extremist threats.

She was arrested a day before a demonstration that Bersih had organised for Saturday, when tens of thousands of Malaysians marched in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, demanding that Najib step down over his alleged involvement in a financial scandal.

“We are troubled by the ongoing detention and solitary confinement of Maria Chin Abdullah under national security laws,” Alicia Edwards, a spokeswoman for the US state department, told Reuters in an emailed statement. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP to launch a RCI into whether dreams and aspirations of Sabahans in forming Malaysia had been fulfilled or betrayed since 1963

I first visited Sabah on May 13, 1969 – the black-letter day for Malaysia when racial riots took place in Kuala Lumpur after the 1969 general elections.

Although I had been accused in the past decade by UMNO cybertroopers of causing the May 13, 1969 racial riots in Kuala Lumpur, I was actually in Kota Kinabalu to campaign for an independent candidate in the general elections in the Sabah capital, as polling day in Sabah was to be held a fortnight after the peninsular voting.

It was while I was speaking at the biggest public rally in the history of Kota Kinabalu at the time that I was told that racial riots had broken out in Kuala Lumpur.

My second visit to Sabah was in 1978. After a week-long visit to Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Tawau, I had warned that Sabah faced three grave problems – the illegal immigrant problem, the crime situation and grave problem of corruption.

If my warning 38 years had been taken seriously by the relevant authorities, these three problems will not have worsened over the decades, reaching epic proportions for all these three problems. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian ringgit divides experts, with some seeing Trump, 1MDB risks

Leslie Shaffer
24 Nov 2016

Malaysia’s currency has tumbled in the wake of the market’s “Trump tantrum,” and analysts disagree on whether that’s just the beginning or near the end.

The ringgit has taken it on the chin since Donald Trump’s surprise win in the U.S. presidential election on Nov. 8.

By Thursday, dollar had climbed as much as 6.5 percent against the Malaysian currency for the month so far, with the greenback fetching as much as 4.4630 ringgit, its highest since September 2015, and is flirting with levels last seen during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997. On Friday, the dollar was fetching 4.460 ringgit at 10:06 a.m. HK/SIN. Read the rest of this entry »


Trump Tantrum Puts Malaysia in Spotlight

November 24, 2016

It’s time the nation’s embattled leader looked in the mirror and examined his role in the ringgit’s recent plunge.

No country in Asia plays the blame game like Malaysia. When the economy crashed in 1997, it faulted speculators and Jews. When it stumbled in 2013, it fingered the Federal Reserve. When Prime Minister Najib Razak tried to explain away an ongoing corruption scandal, he talked of overseas conspirators. Malaysia’s latest scapegoat? Donald Trump.

Granted, this last deflection isn’t as fanciful as the others. Malaysia has as much, or more, to lose from the president-elect killing the Trans-Pacific Partnership as any nation engaged in the deal. And Trump’s shock victory on Nov. 8 has emerging markets running scared about the direction of American economic and foreign policy.

But blaming Trump for the ringgit’s dismal performance is just shameless. Valid reasons for the currency’s 5% plunge over the last 17 days include an outsized dependence on oil revenue, the failure by a succession of leaders over the last 20 years to restructure the economy and the scandals overwhelming Najib’s government and his party. Read the rest of this entry »


Why is Maria Chin held under Sosma for Bersih receiving puny funds from OSF while Najib goes scot-free for receiving astronomical RM4.2 billion from foreigners?

The Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar made a splash of a news earlier this evening, announcing that Bersih chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah is safe and in good health and that she had been provided with a mattress and pillow due to her feeling uncomfortable sleeping on the wooden floor in her cell.

It is sad that Khalid did not realise that the announcement did not reflect on his sensitivity but the opposite, that it has to take a week for the head of the Police to realise that it is cruel, heartless and insensitive for the IGP not to take all necessary steps to ensure that a defenceless 60-year-old woman should be treated with all the decency and humanity she deserved while under police incarceration, on top of the baseless charge of detaining her whether as a terrorist or a traitor when she should be treated as a patriot par excellence of Malaysia.

Khalid cannot stop Malaysians from asking, even though not in his presence, as to why Maria Chin is held under Sosma for Bersih receiving puny funds from Open Society Foundation (OSF) while the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak can go scot-free for receiving astronomical RM4.2 billion from foreigners?

Maria Chin and Bersih had always advocated peaceful, non-violent and democratic process to bring about public awareness and public pressures for change, yet she could be treated like a terrorist to be placed under Sosma allowing for up to 28 days of detention without trial.

What has the nation become 60 years after Merdeka and 53 years after Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »


The battle lines in the 14GE is “democracy vs kleptocracy” and the political challenge is to create an united opposition coalition committed to constitutional and democratic reforms in Malaysia

Former PAS leader and Kelantan State Assemblyman for Salor Datuk Husam Musa has predicted that the 14th general elections is likely to be held in March or April, as he expects PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private members’ motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Juriseiction) Act 1965 or Act 355 to be debated only after the 14th general election.

Husam sees the move by Hadi to table and defer his private member’s bill motion for a second time on the last day of the 25-sitting budget meeting on Thursday as a ruse and “effective gambit” to create a “win-win” situation for both PAS and UMNO – where PAS can show that its “355” gambit was not a failure, and where UMNO can “milk” political capital from the issue not only in next week’s UMNO General Assembly but also in the 14GE.

Husam may be right, but there is another possible scenario – with Parliament meeting in March, but no debate on Hadi’s private member’s motion.

Instead, the UMNO/BN government will take over Hadi’s private member’s bill, which had not even reached the “first reading” stage in Parliament, and present it to Parliament as a government bill for first reading. An all-party Parliamentary Select Committee will then be formed in the March meeting of Parliament to study the UMNO/BN government’s “takeover” of Hadi’s private member’s bill for a report to be submitted to Parliament, whether in the July/August or October/November meetings of Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

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MCA stand it cannot support PAS private member’s motion but would support it if the bill was moved by the government most shocking and unbelievable as it is downright unprincipled and irresponsible

The MCA stand, as declared by MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai in Parliament lobby yesterday, that MCA cannot support PAS private member’s motion but would support it if the bill was moved by the government (reported by New Straits Times) is most shocking and unbelievable as it is downright unprincipled and irresponsible.

Such a declaration should reinforce general concerns whether MCA and the other Barisan Nasional parties could be trusted to firmly and uncompromisingly defend and uphold the constitutional principles of a secular democratic Malaysia with Islam as the official religion of the nation.

This is a matter of grave concern as it is speculated that the next move of the private member’s motion of the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang, is for the UMNO/BN government to take over Hadi’s bill and present it to the March meeting of Parliament as a government bill.

Has MCA and the other Barisan Nasional parties agreed and authorised UMNO to take over Hadi’s private member’s motion and present Hadi’s private member’s bill as a government bill of the Barisan Nasional government? Read the rest of this entry »


Sebagai juara hak asasi manusia, Aung San Suu Kyi mesti membuktikan bahawa beliau adalah juara untuk semua lapisan manusia, tanpa mengira kaum, agama, wilayah dan latar belakang

Setakat hari ini dilaporkan sekurang-kurangnya 86 orang telah terbunuh manakala 300,000 lagi telah melarikan diri di tengah-tengah keganasan yang semakin memuncak di wilayah Rakhine, Myanmar.

Human Rights Watch sejak Sabtu lalu telah melaporkan beberapa gambar satelit menunjukkan beberapa perkampungan etnik Rohingya di wilayah tersebut telah dibakar, dan menjadi bukti kepada pembersihan etnik yang tidak boleh dinafikan lagi.

Apa yang lebih mengecewakan ialah kegagalan pemenang Hadiah Keamanan Nobel, Aung San Suu Kyi untuk menawarkan keamanan, bahkan dituduh pula tidak mendengar keluh kesah nasib penduduk Islam Myanmar. Suu Kyi tidak menafikan tuduhan-tuduhan tersebut.

Kegagalan Suu Kyi untuk bersuara bagi pihak etnik Rohingnya yang teraniaya adalah keaiban dan penghinaan kepada hadiah Nobel yang telah dianugerahkan kepada beliau. Apatah lagi setelah partinya yang mengusung nama ‘demokrat’ berjaya meraih kemenangan yang begitu besar tahun lalu, bagi menafikan kekuasaan pentadbiran tentera selama lebih dua dekad lampau. Read the rest of this entry »


Ex-BSI banker trial: Yeo Jiawei amassed S$23.9m in just 15 months after leaving BSI, say prosecutors

Grace Leong
Strait Times
NOV 22, 2016

Among Yeo’s assets were three Singapore properties worth a combined S$6.15 million and two properties in Australia worth S$6.3 million.

SINGAPORE – Former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei’s net worth escalated from S$2 million to nearly S$26 million in just 15 months after he left the Swiss private bank in Singapore, the court heard on Tuesday (Nov 22).

This wealth includes funds earned through “illicit means” and the “taking of secret profits” in transactions linked to Malaysian state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), said prosecutors .

Among Yeo’s assets were three Singapore properties worth a combined S$6.15 million and two properties in Australia worth A$6 million (S$6.3 million), prosecutors said on day 12 of his trial on four charges of obstructing justice by tampering with witnesses.

“I put it to you that it is quite unbelievable to amass so much – S$23.9 million- in just one year and three months, by just acting as an ‘introducer, intermediary, independent consultant or relationship manager’,” Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Kiat Pheng said in his cross examination of Yeo.

But Yeo, 33, disagreed. “This can be proven by facts,” he argued. “CAD forgot these are referral fees earned from one of the biggest sovereign wealth funds in the world.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all MPs, including from BN, to reject five-year extension of Sosma police powers to detain a person for 28 days for investigation with the pernicious abuse of powers in Maria Chin’s detention, which is vengeful, vicious, vindictive

It is no wonder that the Malaysian education system and standards are so atrocious when Puad Zarkashi, who was the Deputy Education Minister when the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act was passed in Parliament in April 2012, can now talk such rubbish that Bersih chairperson Maria Chin’s “misdeeds” fit Sosma perfectly.

Puad, who is UMNO supreme council member, cannot be so dumb as not to know that the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who piloted the Sosma legislation through Parliament in April 2012, made a categorical assurance in Parliament which binds all Cabinet Ministers and Barisan Nasional leaders that Sosma legislation was meant to deal exclusively with the threat of terrorism and not meant for legitimate democratic activities like Bersih rallies, the first of which was held on 10th November 2007, Bersih 2 rally held on 9th July 2011, and the Bersih 3 rally held some ten days after Sosma was passed by Parliament on 28th April 2012.

I believe that if Nazri as the Minister responsible for the Sosma legislation had been asked pointedly in Parliament at the time in 2012 whether Bersih leaders, at that time led by Datuk Ambiga Sreenivasam, were likely to be targets and victims of Sosma detention, the answer will be a clear and categorical “No”, as even Barisan Nasional Ministers and MPs would know that the Bersih coalition of NGOs was neither a violent nor terrorist organization but committed to a peaceful, non-violent and democratic campaign to raise national consciousness for clean, free and fair elections. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia’s 1MDB scandal – Nothing to see here

Nov 19th 2016

Billions are stolen; only a whistle-blower goes to jail

IT IS more than two years since Malaysians began asking awkward questions about 1MDB, a state-owned investment firm from which billions of dollars are missing. But Malaysia has yet to prosecute anyone in connection with the scandal, perhaps the gravest in its history. Instead, on November 14th a local court handed a prison sentence to Rafizi Ramli, an outspoken opposition politician who has done much to educate the public about the affair. If Mr Rafizi’s appeal is rejected he will spend 18 months in jail.

Mr Rafizi’s offence was to leak details from a report into 1MDB’s dealings which had been produced by Malaysia’s auditor-general, but which the government had declared classified. Mr Rafizi had publicised a brief passage from the report to support speculation that the state firm’s massive losses could have delayed certain payments to Malaysian veterans (the organisations involved reject this claim). The government had initially promised that the auditor-general’s report would be released to the public in full, as is the convention. Now it is using the Official Secrets Act to silence those who refer to it.

Mr Rafizi’s conviction may prevent him from defending his parliamentary seat at the next general election. It adds to a string of legal battles hampering the opposition, which is readying for polls that may be called next year. Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, has been imprisoned since 2015 on flimsy sodomy charges. A corruption case is presently being pressed against Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of Penang (an opposition stronghold). Read the rest of this entry »

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Who Is the Woman at the Heart of Malaysia’s Anti-Corruption Protests?

Yenni Kwok
23rd Nov. 2016

On Wednesday morning, hundreds of women in yellow T-shirts marched to the parliamentary building in the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur, demanding the release of activist Maria Chin Abdullah, who was arrested last Friday. They carried banners and placards that said: “Women 4 Maria” and “Free Maria.”

The march marks the fifth day since Chin, chairperson of Bersih 2.0, a pro-democracy and anticorruption coalition group, was arrested last Friday, on the eve of a massive Bersih protest in the Malaysian capital.

Along with Chin, Malaysian authorities also nabbed her Bersih colleague Mandeep Karpal Singh and at least 12 other activists. All have been released, except Chin, the only one detained under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or SOSMA, an antiterrorism law that allows detention for up to 28 days without trial. The 60-year-old activist — who suffers from hypertension, high blood pressure and osteoarthritis — is reportedly being held in solitary confinement in a cell without windows and with lights kept on around the clock.

“This amounts to torture,” says a statement from the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality, which organized the women’s march Wednesday.
Rights activists say Chin’s detention is unprecedented. “It’s the first time that a woman human-rights defender has been detained under SOSMA,” Lee Wei San, program coordinator at the All Women’s Action Society (AWAM), tells TIME. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nur Jazlan’s statement that Maria Chin’s arrest under SOSMA was not because of terrorism is irrefutable proof that Najib is the undisputed “U-turn King” and Malaysia’s most untrustworthy Prime Minister whose promises and pledges, even in Parliament, are not worth a single sen

Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Seri Nur Jazlan’s statement yesterday that Bersih chairperson Maria Chin’s arrest under SOSMA was not because of terrorism is irrefutable proof that Datuk Seri Najib Razak is the undisputed “U-turn King” and Malaysia’s most untrustworthy Prime Minister whose promises and pledges, even in Parliament, are not worth a single sen.

In fact, the extraordinary scenario where the Najib administration through one Minister makes a solemn pledge about a new law in Parliament is contradicted when the law is implemented by another Minister was foreseen by the DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok during the winding-up debate enacting the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) in the Dewan Rakyat on 17th April 2012, when she posed the question:

“Teresa Kok Suh Sim (Seputeh): Yang Berhormat Menteri, kenapakah selepas rang undang-undang ini di luluskan di Dewan ia akan dilaksanakan oleh Kementerian Dalam Negeri, tengok Kementerian Dalam Negeri semalam kebanyakkan masa tidak ada, tidak mendengar keluhan daripada pihak di sebelah sini dan juga macam mana dia boleh melaksanakan apa yang dicadangkan oleh Dewan ini.”

At the time, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Nazri Aziz, who was responsible for the passage of the SOSMA bill in Parliament, ridiculed Teresa Kok’s concerns boasting:

“Tuan Yang di Pertua, Yang Berhormat Seputeh, saya ini Menteri yang menjaga Parlimen dan ditambah juga dikatakan sebagai de facto Menteri undang-undang. Ini ada kaitan dengan Parlimen dan ada kaitan dengan undang-undang……kalau saya hendak, saya boleh menjawab bagi mana-mana pihak oleh sebab saya dalam keadaan yang emergency kalau sekiranya ada orang yang tidak dapat hadir, tidak melanggar apa-apa peraturan untuk saya menjawab bagi pihak mana-mana kementerian.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Anti-graft crusader Clare Rewcastle-Brown draws Malaysia arrest threats

The Australian
November 21, 2016

Until late last week, British journalist Clare Rewcastle-Brown was looking forward to visiting Singapore and Sydney to march with thousands of people protesting over the Malaysian government’s 1MDB corruption scandal that she has been probing for years.

That was before an alarming discussion with her lawyers ­swiftly ended the trip.

Rewcastle-Brown was warned last week in no uncertain terms: the threat of arrest was far too high, due in part to the latest ­attempt by the Malaysian government to silence the investigative journalist.

“The threat of arrest has ­become quite real,” the veteran journalist told The Australian from her home in London.

“The case about 1MDB and (Singapore’s) BSI bank has been a major case in Singapore. So they have special extradition arrangements with Malaysia, and I was told that Malaysia had been putting enormous pressure to try one way or another to get their hands on me. The lawyers told me it just wasn’t worth the risk,” she said. Read the rest of this entry »