Archive for category Mahathir
October 27, 2016
Annual budget focuses too little on money, too much on politics
On Oct. 21, Malaysia’s scandal-hit Prime Minister Najib Razak tabled a RM260.8 billion budget that is not only short on money and long on politics but seeks to obliterate the philosophy behind the economic blueprint of his arch-enemy, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib, also the finance minister, dubbed his 30-year development program “Transformasi Nasional 2050 (National Transformation 2050),” an alternative to Mahathir’s Vision 2020, launched in a landmark Najib’s plan, however, was short on details but long on rhetoric.
“The New Economic Policy under the late Tun Razak was planned to create a successful New Generation within 30 years. So is TN50, which will span three decades, to form a first-caliber nation state as well as with excellent mindset,” Najib said at the end of his budget 2017 speech, recalling his father Abdul Razak Hussein’s affirmative action plan, which was actually a 20-year policy.
One third of the 106-minute speech was devoted to politics and for the first time included a Powerpoint presentation as well as an introduction to leaders of various communities and social workers at the public gallery in parliament.
“Let TN50 bear witness; (let it) be recorded in history that we are responsible citizens and forefathers, to leave behind the best and he greatest legacy to be inherited by future generations.
“From now on, TN50 is our lucky charm. Let the old legacy pass. The future of Malaysia, we will recreate,” he said, in a dig at Mahathir’s Vision 2020 plan.
In an immediate reaction, veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang – who has struck a loose alliance with Mahathir – called out Najib’s volte-face of Mahathir’s policies, saying: “It is most shocking that Najib could so cavalierly and unceremoniously repudiated Vision 2020 when only in the last budget presentation last year, he reiterated his commitment to achieve Vision 2020 and the goal of a developed nation status. Has he abandoned both Vision 2020 and its final lap?”
The answer isn’t clear but what is clear about the budget speech was its focus on several demographics that could help Najib keep power in the next general elections, due 2018 but which many believe will be called earlier. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should not “hit below the belt” and should engage Mahathir in a public debate instead of deviously attacking him in his budget speech in Parliament where the former Prime Minister could not reply as he is no more a MP
The Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be a gentleman and should not “hit below the belt” but engage Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed in a public debate instead of deviously attacking him in his 2017 budget speech in Parliament where the former Prime Minister could not reply as Mahathir is no more a Member of Parliament.
In his most unorthodox, unconventional and very Trumpish 2017 Budget speech in Parliament yesterday, Najib explicitly attacked the former Prime Minister by zeroing on him in at least half a dozen times, alleging that Mahathir had made baseless and unfounded allegations against him.
I do not propose defend Mahathir as Mahathir is fully capable of defending himself. In fact, the best person to defend Mahathir is Mahathir himself.
But I would like to see a level playing field where Mahathir could defend himself from Najib’s charges, instead of Najib “hitting below the belt” by launching attacks on Mahathir in Parliament in his 2017 budget speech where Mahathir could not defend himself as Mahathir is no more a Member of Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »
Ooi Kee Beng
The Straits Times
According to its Constitution, Malaysia has to hold its next general election by Aug 24, 2018. That is still almost two years away. And yet, rumours of early elections persist, both at the state and federal levels.
This needs some explaining, given how Prime Minister Najib Razak waited until almost the last minute to go to the polls back in 2013.
The exercise to delineate constituency boundaries now being concluded heightens speculation that early polls are coming. Having lost its two-third majority since 2008, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has not been able to increase the number of parliamentary constituencies; it is now able only to realign the existing ones – or rename them. And that, it is doing.
That in itself is a substantive exercise of power, especially with the independence of the Election Commission that is in charge of the delineation being in serious doubt. Read the rest of this entry »
The Mahathir-Anwar reconciliation is creating waves in Indonesia, and is the subject of inquiry of the many political leaders and public intellectuals I met during the four-day visit to Jakarta and Yogyakarta.
This is the third overseas visit by DAP leaders to learn and update on the latest political developments with regard to Islam and democracy, particularly in Moslem-majority nations.
The countries first visited were Jordan and Egypt in April last year, followed by visits to Tunisia and Turkey last October. Read the rest of this entry »
South China Morning Post
12 Sep 2016
Two years ago, Mahathir Mohamad, the former prime minister of Malaysia, visited Hong Kong. At the time, the Umbrella Movement was in full swing. Mahathir had been invited to address a pro-establishment gathering of political figures and business elites at the convention centre in Wan Chai. Few in the audience seemed to know much about Malaysia. But they knew about Mahathir. And in appreciating the managerial fist that he had wielded during his long tenure, they paid high fees to come and take heart.
Mahathir didn’t disappoint. Though 90 years old, he held the floor for an hour, without notes or nary a stumble. His central theme was that mainland China, in contrast to the meddlesome West, was beneficent and nobly intentioned, with Malaysia uplifted by its investment. The audience nodded on in agreement. But what they really wanted to learn from Mahathir was how to stamp out the Umbrella Movement.
So, during the Q&A, local notables clamoured for the mike. A loyalist member of Legco implored, “Can you give us some of your precious advice?” Mahathir pursed his lips, then sagely intoned, “the best way to handle it is to handle it before the occupying” – intimating that Hong Kong’s police had been tardy and soft. At this, Mahathir was thunderously applauded. A Malaysian guest at my side thumped the table top. “I’d like to bring the Malaysian police in here,” he growled. “They’d teach these kids something.” Read the rest of this entry »
UMNO leaders are jittery and some panic-stricken about political developments in UMNO and Malaysia – particularly with the formation of a new political party by Mahathir and Muhyiddin
Although UMNO leaders put up a bold external front and feigned indifference and even contempt for the new political party being formed by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, there is no doubt that they are quaking internally.
This is not without basis as illustrated by today’s developments in Johor UMNO, where two Johor UMNO veterans quit the party – the Gelang Patah UMNO permanent chairperson and former State Assemblyman Baharom Abdul Ghani and the Kulai UMNO deputy chief, Tosrin Jarvanti – at their respective UMNO division annual meetings on the ground that UMNO has deviated from its political struggle and could not be salvaged any more as it had become the property of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Equally eloquent are the speeches early today by two UMNO Ministers at the various UMNO divisional meetings in the country which show that UMNO leaders are jittery and some panic-stricken about political developments in Malaysia, particularly in UMNO – the quite hysterical speech by UMNO Supreme Council member and Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said that UMNO members should torpedo Mahathir’s boat before he sinks UMNO and the speech by the UMNO Youth Leader, Khairy Jamaluddin beseeching UMNO member to remain loyal to the party and cannot be fence-sitters.
The historic meeting between Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the first in 18 years, has added to the sense of gloom and doom among UMNO membership, despite the brave front put up by some UMNO leaders – like the UMNO Secretary-General Tengku Adnan who said that “Mahathir can have Anwar, UMNO has the rakyat” and the outburst of the Communications and Multimedia Minister, Datuk Seri Salleh Syed Keruak who likened “Mahathir’s kiss is a kiss of death”. Read the rest of this entry »
First Mahathir-Anwar meeting in 18 years an example for all Malaysians to act as patriots to rise above all differences to save Malaysia from being a global kleptocracy heading towards a failed state
The historic meeting between Tun Mahathir and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the first in 18 years, should be an inspiring example for all Malaysians to act as patriots to rise above all differences to save Malaysia from being a global kleptocracy heading towards a failed state.
Never before had Malaysia fallen so low in international esteem in the nation’s 59-year history as to have our credibility, honour, reputation and good name soiled and stained when we are regarded as an overnight global kleptocracy or suffered the shame and dishonor as the centerpiece of the US Department of Justice (DOJ) single largest kleptocracy lawsuit for the forfeiture of over US$1 billion of assets from US$3.5 billion ill-gotten gains derived from the theft, embezzlement, misappropriation and money-laundering from the Malaysian national sovereign wealth fund, 1MDB.
This is the time for the convening of a National Patriotic Summit for all Malaysians leaders and individuals, as well as organisations, whether political, civic, religious , commercial or even communal and clan associations, to come together to take a common patriotic stand in a national and international campaign to save Malaysia from worldwide infamy and to purge and cleanse Malaysia of the international shame of being identified as an overnight global kleptocracy.
Malaysia is presenting a sorry international spectacle.
Read the rest of this entry »
Koon Yew Yin
17th July 2016
COMMENT So far, if we go by the mainstream and official media reports, it appears as if Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is the big victor in the 1MDB and personal donation double scandals.
But is this such a certainty? Have the Umno rebels and the Umno revolt been crushed? Has Najib been cleared of his alleged political sins and crime, just because the attorney-general (AG) has declared that there will be no charges against the PM and that the RM2.6 billion political donation and RM42 million from SRC International transferred into Najib’s personal bank accounts cases are closed?
Has his nemesis, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, met his Waterloo? Will Najib be leading Umno and BN to another five more years of rule after the next election? Read the rest of this entry »
JUNE 20, 2016
The party of Malaysia’s scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak has won two by-elections in a landslide, further strengthening his rule despite corruption allegations.
Malaysia’s Teflon-coated Prime Minister Najib Razak has claimed a key victory over political mentor-turned foe Mahathir Mohamad with landslide wins in two weekend by-elections.
Mr Najib has survived not only an international scandal over an alleged misappropriation of billions from his pet 1MDB state development fund, but also allegations he profited by as much as $US1 billion from the fund, which he denies.
Mr Najib’s Barison Nasional coalition held the west coast seats of Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar on Saturday with increased majorities. Though the victories were expected, the by-elections had been billed as a test of Mr Najib’s ability to lead the party, which has ruled Malaysia for 57 years, back into government at the general election.
On Saturday night, Mr Najib took aim at Dr Mahathir, who referred to the Prime Minister as the “Idi Amin of Malaysia”.
“He called me the Idi Amin of Malaysia. (Well) the Idi Amin of Malaysia is more popular,” Mr Najib told party loyalists. Read the rest of this entry »
by Shamim Adam
June 18, 2016
Voters in two Malaysian districts head to the polls Saturday in by-elections that will indicate the extent of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s hold on his party.
More than 42,600 people in Sungai Besar in Selangor state and 33,000 in Kuala Kangsar in the northern Perak region will pick new lawmakers after a helicopter crash last month killed incumbents from Najib’s United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO.
The vote is the first test of public support for Najib on peninsular Malaysia after a year of political turmoil over funding scandals. Losses or narrower victories could spur concern in UMNO about his ability to steer it to another win in a national election due by 2018. Equally, a strong win for seats already held by UMNO would bolster his grip.
Former leader Mahathir Mohamad has recently lost traction in his bid to convince party officials that Najib is a liability and will cost them a reign unbroken since 1957. Most UMNO divisional chiefs back the premier, even amid concerns about slowing growth and its impact on ethnic Malays, the cornerstone of the party. Convincing wins would help Najib silence the Mahathir-led murmurings about his leadership. Read the rest of this entry »
June 14, 2016
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said he hasn’t abused his leadership positions, according to court documents filed as part of his defense againsgraft allegations made by his biggest critic, former premier Mahathir Mohamad.
Najib is seeking to dismiss a lawsuit filed by Mahathir and two others in March accusing him of misuse of power and interference in investigations into a troubled state investment company, said the statement filed on Monday and distributed by his lawyers on Tuesday.
The premier has battled corruption accusations and fended off efforts by Mahathir over the past year to have him removed him from office. Najib has denied wrongdoing and was cleared by the attorney general this year over revelations that $681 million appeared in his accounts before the 2013 election. The Barisan Nasional coalition won that vote by its slimmest margin yet and lost the popular vote for the first time.
Najib “actively and deliberately” sought to derail probes by local agencies into 1Malaysia Development Bhd. as well as the money that ended up in his private accounts, Mahathir’s lawyers said in a statement in March. Mahathir and two former officials of Najib’s party, the United Malays National Organisation, are seeking damages of at least 2.6 billion ringgit ($634 million) plus interest to be paid to the government. Read the rest of this entry »
Would voters who vote for UMNO’s Mastura in Kuala Kangsar or Budiman in Sungai Besar “sinned and be damned by Allah”?
Apart from refusal to be loyal to the Common Policy Programme of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and his insistence to exercise a veto power overriding the decisions of other PAS leaders reached at the PR Leadership Council, there is another powerful reason why the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang wanted to cause the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat – his refusal to accept Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister as he himself wanted to be Prime Minister.
When Hadi found that the other two parties in Pakatan Rakyat would not endorse him as Prime Minister of Malaysia, he had no use for the Pakatan Rakyat and decided on a new political course for PAS led by him, acting as “adviser” to the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – even when this required him to be blind to Najib’s two global scandals, the RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega financial scandals.
Under the circumstances, it did not come as a surprise that Hadi was unmoved and not interested to rock Najib’s boat although former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir met him three months ago to explain about Najib’s “wrongdoings”.
What Mahathir revealed at the Second Colloquium on the RM55 billion 1MDB global scandal in Kuala Kangsar yesterday was news to the whole country, that he had taken pains to meet the PAS President to explain to him about the 1MDB scandal and other “wrongdoings” of the Prime Minister, but although Hadi admitted that there was some truth in what Mahathir had told him, the PAS President decided to side with Najib.
Hadi’s reply to Mahathir was most revealing. Read the rest of this entry »
Hishammuddin cannot be more wrong when he claimed that Mahathir’s “harping” on Najib was irrelevant as PM not contesting in twin polls
The Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein cannot be more wrong when he dismissed former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s message as irrelevant to the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections because Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak isn’t contesting.
Hishammudin, who was reacting to Mahathir’s visit to Sungai Besar this morning to endorse Parti Amanah Negara’s candidate Azhar Abdul Shukur after the latter signed the Citizens’ Declaration petition calling for Najib’s ouster, said:
“What was raised by Mahathir in his ceramah in Sungai Besar is unrelated.
“I would like to remind that Najib is not contesting in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.
“What does issues touching on Najib have to do with Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar?”
The Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituencies are among the 10th most marginal and most unsafe seats won by UMNO in the 13th general elections although they had been traditional UMNO strongholds since Merdeka, never before lost by UMNO in the past six decades.
However, if on June 18, UMNO/BN loses Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar and they indicate a trend that there will be a 5% fall in voter support for UMNO/BN in the 14th General Election, it would mean that UMNO/BN would lose up to 52 seats, leaving the UMNO/BN coalition with only 81 out of 222 parliamentary seats – evicting UMNO/BN from Putrajaya for the first time in the nation’s history. Read the rest of this entry »
April 20, 2016
In the court of domestic and international public opinion, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is guilty of a level of corruption and abuse of office not seen in Southeast Asia since the days of the dictators. Najib’s rule evokes memories of Marcos’ Philippines and Suharto’s Indonesia. The parallels include a family bent on amassing vast wealth.
There is now enough evidence in the public domain to warrant the removal of Najib from office. But will he go?
Najib did consider resigning last year when the scandals over the plundered sovereign wealth fund, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), split his cabinet according to a source familiar with discussions at the time. The condition Najib set was that he and his wife were granted immunity from prosecution.
But talk of an early departure has now dissipated. It appears likely Najib will try to stay in office and fight for re-election in 2018. Read the rest of this entry »
Koon Yew Yin
18th April 2016
I am not surprised to see The Edge front page article ”SAVING PROTON” on 18th April 2016. Dr Mahathir, the founder of Proton was interviewed last week by The Edge. You can read the whole interview on page 65.
Among several other questions, Dr Mahathir was asked “Do you think the Rm 1.5 billion soft loan can turn Proton around? “
Answer quote “Well, under the present condition, yes, but we would have been able to turn around earlier. Proton car sales today have plummeted unusually because normally, we sell about 4,000 cars a week. It came down to 2,000 cars a week, which we can still survive on. We don’t understand why. This month, it came down to 200 cars a week. We don’t understand why”.
I am sure all Malaysians can understand why if you read on. Read the rest of this entry »
APRIL 14, 2016
Malaysia’s use of its colonial-era Sedition Act to frame possible charges against former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad following his interview with The Weekend Australian is a worrying sign of the extent to which democracy, civil rights and stability are under threat in one of the most important countries in our region. Dr Mahathir, 90, was Malaysian prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. But that has not saved him from the ire of the incumbent Prime Minister, Najib Razak. Mr Najib is fighting for political survival amid the $1 billion 1MDB sovereign wealth fund corruption scandal. Although he was widely regarded as Mr Najib’s mentor, Dr Mahathir is now fiercely critical of Mr Najib, demanding his removal from office.
In his recorded interview with our Southeast Asia correspondent Amanda Hodge, Dr Mahathir argued “foreign interference” was needed to oust Mr Najib, saying: “Normally I don’t like foreign interference in Malaysia’s affairs but our avenues for redress have been closed completely. So now we have to allow interference in our domestic affairs.” Under pressure, Dr Mahathir has since sought to qualify those remarks, saying he did not ask for foreign governments to interfere. But that has not pacified Mr Najib. Read the rest of this entry »
Joe Fernandez | April 5, 2016
Free Malaysia Today
Mahathir, like the Malays, was wrong to assume that Najib Razak’s nobility can be equated to him doing what’s right and carrying out noble deeds
KUALA LUMPUR: Raub MP Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz, taking to his blog, said that he was present at Dataran Merdeka on April 1 when former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, at 91, addressed the crowd at an anti-GST rally. “The gathering this time was not as large as that during the Bersih rallies although the issue was also about Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.”
“The weather was too hot and besides, the GST issue was too technical for many unlike what Bersih was all about.”
The people, added the MP, prefer the big picture. “The people want to see Najib out from Putrajaya and replaced by a government that’s aware of the environment.”
As Mahathir spoke, said Ariff, he couldn’t help but feel that Najib was also a result of the former Prime Minister’s fault. “It was a mistake on his part to believe that Najib comes from a noble family and will naturally do what’s right.” Read the rest of this entry »
by S Thayaparan
30 Mar 2016
“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea.”
– Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
INTERVIEW | This is the second part of an interview with DAP leader Lim Kit Siang on why he is willing to work with his nemesis, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in the ‘Save Malaysia’ campaign.
The first part appeared yesterday.
DAP has always struggled with the perception and Umno propaganda that it is a “Chinese” entity. Do you think that the DAP has made some missteps that gives credence to this perception?
DAP had never aspired to be a Chinese or non-Malay party. Right from the beginning during DAP’s formation in 1966, DAP had pledged itself to pursue a Malaysian Dream, not a Chinese Dream, an Indian Dream or a Malay Dream.
This is why DAP is the first political party in the country to be Pan-Malaysian, establishing branches in Sarawak and Sabah before any other political party in the country.
All through the past five decades, DAP had been accused of being anti-Malay and anti-Islam by Umno, because of Umno fear that the DAP will be able to make inroads into Umno spheres of influence with our Malaysian political appeal, transcending race, religion or region.
No political party seeking support from all Malaysians can be anti-Malay or anti-Islam, or for that matter, anti-Chinese, anti-Indian, anti-Dayak, anti-Kadazandusun or anti-Buddhism, anti-Christianity, anti-Hindiuism or anti-Sikhism.
The battle against such lies and falsehoods had been a particularly uphill battle for the DAP because we had to face the full onslaught of the Umno juggernaut with its control and ownership of the mass media, particularly in the era before the advent of Internet, news portals and the social media.
However difficult the terrain, DAP had never wavered from our objectives and principles that the DAP had been formed not to fight for any one race but for all races and Malaysians in the country!
This is why right from the beginning, starting from the first general election in 1969 contested by the DAP, the party had always put up a multi-racial and multi-religious slate of candidates.
In fact, in the 1969 general election, two Malay state assemblymen were elected, one in Perak and the other in Negri Sembilan. In the past 11 general elections, DAP had elected Malay members of parliament and state assembly representatives in peninsular Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
by S Thayaparan
29 Mar 2016
“Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
INTERVIEW | Very few Malaysians can say they have they lived up to the second part of the famous John F Kennedy quote “ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country” as DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang has.
After decades of wrestling with his political adversary, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, for the soul of Malaysians after years of being on the receiving end of the all-encompassing power of the Umno state, the honourable gentleman from Gelang Patah, found himself part of a joint declaration along with Mahathir, calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
While the DAP has enjoyed a political resurgence with a newly awakened electorate, the long struggle against the Umno state has not diminished the enthusiasm and vigour of one the few people who can credibly claim title to elder statesmanship.
Here in two parts, Lim Kit Siang, explains what is at stake when it comes to the machinations of the Najib state, boldly answers questions from a sceptic (the writer) and reminds Malaysians that while we must never excuse the sins of the past, we can move beyond them. Read the rest of this entry »
Yang Razali Kassim
East Asia Forum
22 March 2016
The unthinkable is happening in Malaysian politics. Former prime minister Mahathir Mohammad and his jailed former deputy Anwar Ibrahim have joined hands in a seemingly impossible alliance to unseat Prime Minister Najib Razak. Never before in Malaysian history have such sworn enemies buried their hatchets for a common cause.
By launching his rainbow ‘core group’ of concerned citizens of various political stripes and leanings to ‘Save Malaysia’, Mahathir has once again thrust himself into the eye of the political storm. With Anwar still in jail, the disparate forces that opposed Najib over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) investment fund scandal have finally found someone of stature to rally around in a marriage of convenience. It is ironic that the man who crushed the opposition while in power has reinvented himself in retirement as the de facto leader of what in essence is a citizens’ revolt.
Mahathir himself described this as a ‘very strange group of people’, brought together by a common goal of ousting the scandal-hit prime minister. By calling it a ‘core group’, Mahathir is indicating that this is only the beginning of more moves to come. What could emerge down the road is still hazy. But it is safe to say that a new era in Malaysian politics is unfolding with the key players jostling for a place in the shifting ground. Read the rest of this entry »