Archive for category Mariam Mokhtar

Bersih and its followers and detractors

Mariam Mokhtar | November 19, 2016
Free Malaysia Today

The people who say it’s not the time to rally must tell us when the right time is.

You would have to be living on another planet to be unaware of Malaysia’s worst financial scandal and political crisis in recent memory. In her series of exposes on 1MDB, Clare Rewcastle-Brown has alleged that our leaders are ill-equipped to deal with large scale corruption. Many certainly agree that the 1MDB affair is about fraud on a massive scale.

It is becoming increasingly apparent that our so-called democratic system and institutions cannot stop Malaysia’s slide to becoming an international pariah. The right to dissent has been taken away from us. We are threatened with the Sedition Act and a slew of other draconian laws. The avenues for discourse have been reduced to so few that a complete overhaul of our institutions has become necessary if Malaysia is to retain any respect from the democratic world.

That’s why it’s important to support Bersih. Read the rest of this entry »

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The man who could never be PM

Mariam Mokhtar
4th July 2016

COMMENT The plot thickens in the final lap towards GE14. If PAS is aiding Umno Baru to recapture Selangor, the arrest of the chief minister of Penang will be the precursor to the retaking of Penang by Umno Baru. These two moves are part of a bigger Umno Baru plan to regain control of Penang and Selangor, the most valuable jewels in the Malaysian crown, in GE14.

PAS’ role in the twin by-elections was crucial. Its hudud bill caused uproar and drove people towards the devil they know, Umno Baru. What choice did they have? PAS and hudud? The untested Amanah, a splinter group from PAS?

Umno Baru conceded that they would need more work to recapture Penang. So, why do you think that the Pahang mufti, Abdul Rahman Osman, stated that kafir harbi ought to be slain? Worse still, he equated DAP with kafir harbi, traditionally viewed as the people who oppose Islam.

The mufti’s remark was no coincidence. His motive was political, and delivering this message during Ramadan is sacrilegious. Gullible Muslims with closed minds had the message that DAP is kafir harbi etched in their heads for 10 days.

When the arrest warrant was issued for Lim Guan Eng, who is also the secretary-general of DAP, Umno Baru did not want the Muslims to support him; but they underestimated the rakyat’s intelligence.

The story about Lim Guan Eng is a story of triumph and tragedy. When he became chief minister, he dared to do the impossible and did away with the old Barisan Nasional work ethics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia post-Najib

Mariam Mokhtar
29 Feb 2016

It is the great Malaysian apathy which holds Malaysia back. Najib Abdul Razak will eventually leave office, voluntarily or otherwise. You can play an important role in post-Najib Malaysia. You are needed to shake-up the entire establishment.

Will you choose your present life which you believe is bearable? Or will you be brave and leap into the unknown, and entrust your future to a handful of people who are under pressure, and who feel your pain?

Those who lived through Merdeka were idealists. Honour, trust, respect and principle, meant something then. These things mean nothing in 21st Century Malaysia.

Over the past four decades, Malaysian life has become intolerable. You know things are bad when the theft of a mobile phone was politicised into a racial issue. Instead of living life to the full, we have become cynics and our beliefs have become corrupted. Others simply allow themselves to be corrupted.

Everyone, even former ministers and at least one former PM would like to say “Good riddance” to Najib. Read the rest of this entry »


The truth hurts

by Mariam Mokhtar
11th January 2016

Just because a Malay talks and writes about the injustice meted out to non-Muslims, it does not mean that the Malay is bashing his own race, nor is he denigrating Islam. Malays, in particular, refuse to acknowledge that most critiques are not about the religion, but are in fact criticisms of the Malays who have misinterpreted a particular phrase, or religious edict.

If PAS, Umno Baru and the respective religious institutions are critical in stopping alleged conversions of Malays to Christianity, why were there no mass conversions of Malays during the colonial era, when none of these political parties nor institutions existed?

Many Malays appear to see the conversion issue as a numbers game. Many Malays are also religious hypocrites. Read the rest of this entry »


May the farce be with you

Mariam Mokhtar | December 20, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

Why the Umno general assembly failed to be a bore buster.

Several thousand Umno-Baru fans rolled-out the red carpet for the premiere of the “The Farce Awakens,” which was held at the Putra World Trade Center (PWTC) on December 11.

Four days later, in Los Angeles, Star Wars fans queued for days for the premiere of the much awaited Disney blockbuster, “The Force Awakens.” Critics praised it as the best Star Wars film ever made.

To compensate for the long queues, the Star Wars producers should have taken the lead from Umno-Baru leaders, who bussed in thousands of its supporters and decked them in shades of red. The elite among them were dropped off in the latest Porsches, Maybachs, Hummers, Ferraris and Lamborghinis, making it look as though all the stars of Star Wars had driven to the PWTC.

Whilst the Star Wars films are classic tales of the fight between Good and Evil, and of heroes, heroines, loyal troops, action, drama and romance, the Malaysian “The Farce Awakens” is a repeat of the same old drivel perpetuated by Umno-Baru since its formation in 1988. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Darth Vader of Umno Baru

Mariam Mokhtar
14 Dec 2015

Is Othman Aziz, the Jerlun Umno Baru division vice-chief, on Najib Abdul Razak’s side or is he secretly trying to undermine the PM? His unfortunate choice of words, describing Najib as “The Chosen One” (by God), does not augur well for the PM. If Othman has watched ‘Star Wars’ (SW), he will realise that ‘The Chosen One’ is not a complimentary term.

It is stupid to claim that Najib is ‘The Chosen One’. He has failed to deal with any of the allegations which beset him. At worst, it is blasphemy to use God’s name in this fashion.

How did Othman, a mere mortal, obtain a hotline to God? Which crystal ball is Othman gazing into? Did he consult the self-styled Raja Bomoh, Mahaguru Ibrahim Mat Zin, and look through the shaman’s ‘telescopic bamboo’ to see what God has ordained for Malaysia?

This time last year, ‘The Chosen One’ was playing golf with his buddy, President Barack Obama of America and neglected to deal with the worst floods in Malaysia’s recent history. ‘The Chosen One’ was forced to return home, only after he was ridiculed on social media for his lack of compassion and leadership. Read the rest of this entry »


Do Umno Malays know the meaning of dignity?

Mariam Mokhtar | September 20, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

They need to exorcise the demons inside them and to wean themselves from the entitlement culture.


It looks like the red shirted Umno-Baru Malays are condemning themselves to a life sentence of self-denial. They assume that everyone else in Malaysia owes them a living. It is time they came to terms with the real world. They need to exorcise their inner demons, and they need to wean themselves from the entitlement culture, which they expect will nurse them from cradle to grave.

Malays throughout Malaysia were ashamed to be associated with these bigots, who claim that they held the Red Shirts Rally to uphold Malay dignity. Their protest had nothing to do with Malay dignity. The rally was held primarily to distract us from the 1MDB scandal.

What kind of dignity can we associate with insolence and the hurling of insults at other communities? What dignity is there in transporting the elderly from the villages to boost attendance at the Kuala Lumpur rally? Taxpayers’ money was probably used to facilitate the transportation and to provide meals and pocket money. Read the rest of this entry »

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Guan Eng on the road ahead for Malaysia

Mariam Mokhtar
Free Malaysia Today
July 18, 2015

Lim Guan Eng shares his thoughts about the state of the country, the death of Pakatan Rakyat and the Opposition chances in the next GE.

Lim Guan Eng, the chief minister of Penang, was in London recently but took time-off from his busy schedule to meet some Malaysians and share his thoughts on a variety of issues. These ranged from the Malaysian mess to Malay votes, the economy to the end of Pakatan Rakyat, and the challenges of Sarawak, to his choice of a cell-mate. Here is a condensed account of that interview.

1.“Malaysia is in a mess.” What solution does DAP have to take Malaysia out of its predicament?

Malaysia is not in a mess, but in a state of crisis. We have a challenging year ahead and we must not lose hope and faith. Our economy is tanking because of the Goods and Services Tax (GST), and the ringgit is dropping. Our leaders are not saving the economy but are only saving themselves.

The first step will be a change of leadership. To get to the root of the crisis, Najib Abdul Razak must take a leave of absence. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Bank Negara Governor, and Inspector-General of Police (IGP) are all under the authority of the prime minister, so they are unable to conduct an independent and neutral investigation of their own boss.

We cannot continue without change. In the short-term Najib must go on leave. In the long term, there must be free and fresh elections, so that a new, clean and legitimate government can be elected. Read the rest of this entry »

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Race, religion, royalty, reality and MAS

By Mariam Mokhtar
Jun 1, 2015

MAS is not a commercial enterprise, but an offshoot of a government department, and run along government lines. It takes its orders from politicians, it bows to various political demands, it can never be re-structured unless the torrid cocktail of political patronage and building personal empires is eliminated.

After years of Ketuanan Melayu and Biro Tata Negara (BTN) spewing division, with claims that the Malays are God’s chosen people, it is ironic that the saviour of MAS is a German, Christoph Mueller.

What a slap in the face of the rakyat, the planes in the fleet are being sold off, to save some money, and yet Najib Abdul Razak and the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia (Flom) wastes millions of ringgit on a new aeroplane for ministerial junkets.

Our politicians bled MAS dry and now Mueller wants to perform a cull and punish the employees, instead of the politicians and fat cats, who sit on the management board.

It is outrageous that the people in positions of authority refuse to take any responsibility for their failures, and will probably be retained with a more lucrative package. Read the rest of this entry »


A wedding and two gatherings

By Mariam Mokhtar
Mar 30, 2015

The Kita Lawan protest route from Sogo to the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC) is only a few kilometres long, but the contrast between the crowds at each end, typifies the great divide found in Najib Abdul Razak’s ‘1Malaysia’.

At the Sogo end, protesters in the Kita Lawan rally gathered, most wearing black. The policemen on stand-by were ready to pounce and arrest them if they ‘misbehaved’.

In stark contrast, the gathering at KLCC comprised the glitterati of Malaysian society and international guests. They had been invited to the wedding reception of Najib Abdul Razak’s daughter, Nooryana Najwa.

Najib and his wife, the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM), and their guests were dressed in their best finery and bedecked in bling, Birkin and Manolo Blahniks. Nooryana’s marriage to the Kazakhstan citizen Daniyar Kessikbayev has both enraged and excited the rakyat. Policemen formed-up in three ranks to protect the ‘elites’, from the rakyat.

The demonstrators travelled to Sogo, by public transport, before walking to KLCC. They had gathered to demand the release of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. They were outraged by the goods and services tax (GST), 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), the rising cost of everyday items, and the current sweep on opposition politicians and social activists.

The Kita Lawan crowd came from all walks of life. Najib’s ‘1Malaysia’ was better represented at Sogo than at KLCC.

The KLCC elite were from the great and the not-so-good. They arrived at KLCC in chauffeured, air-conditioned comfort, along roads cleared by the police. Read the rest of this entry »

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Attack on Aisyah proves stupidity

By Mariam Mokhtar
Mar 23, 2015

It takes a brave Malay woman to say what the whole nation is thinking, and it is amazing how many Malay men cannot wait to show the world the ugly face of the Malay psyche.

The threats of physical violence and rape on BFM host Aisyah Tajudin, for her satirical take on the Kelantan hudud law, have proven that despite receiving the ‘best education in the world’, many Malays remain shallow, servile and seriously stupid. Only insecure, egotistical Malay men would feel threatened, not just by the truth, but by a woman, and worse still, a Malay woman.

The rakyat’s problem is that Malaysia’s religious men aspire to become politicians, and its politicians pretend to be religious men.

The latest hudud debacle has very little to do with religion. It is about power. Power over the Malays in Malaysia. Power to overcome any non-Malay resistance. And power to crush any opposition, especially from progressive Malays, who represent the biggest threat. Read the rest of this entry »


Sport, sodomy and Sirul

By Mariam Mokhtar
Feb 23, 2015

Khairy Jamaluddin, the Umno Baru Youth chief, is smarter than we credit him. The fiercely ambitious Oxford graduate is taking the initiative and showing Umno Baru that he can lead.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is facing his worst nightmare. His spectre is a Malaysian in an Australian detention centre. Khairy needs to prove that he will be ‘prime minister material’ if the top post becomes vacant.

Khairy is showing signs of being bored with his day job as the youth and sports minister. After Malaysia’s dismal performance in the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, Khairy’s focus should be on promoting and improving our performance in sport. He should engage more young Malaysians.

Proving that he has too much time on his hands, the minister has instead organised a roadshow. His co-star is the lead prosecutor in the Sodomy II trial, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah (right). They are trying to convince the public that opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s guilty verdict was a just one.

There is probably an ulterior motive to the roadshow. Shafee has his sights set on being the next attorney-general, whilst Khairy is taking pole position in the race to be the prime minister. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PAS President Hadi Awang, to focus single-mindedly on how to save Pakatan Rakyat and discourage efforts and elements within our ranks who are prepared to destabilize and even destroy PR

In my Chinese New Year Message on 17th February, I had said that many issues will jostle as the top Malaysian concerns and conversational topics during the Chinese New Year.

This is the third day of the Chinese New Year, and I confess that I had expected Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail sentence for Sodomy II by the Federal Court and his fourth incarceration in his 47-year political struggle as the No. 1 conversation topic of all Malaysians in the Chinese New Year.

I was however wrong, for another issue caught up and gained an edge over Anwar’s conviction and 5-year jail sentence to compete for the No. 1 Chinese New Year top conversation topic – another Federal Court decision concerning a nine-year-matter, the heinous murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the blowing up of her body with military C4 explosives in the Shah Alam bushes on Oct. 19, 2006.

On the day I issued my Chinese New Year Message on 17th February, Sirul Azhar, one of the two convicted murderers of Altantunya who had absconded and is seeking asylum in Australia, told Malaysiakini that he was mulling over the possibility of “telling all” about the Altantuya murder as he was only acting “under orders”.

The fast-paced five-day developments of the Altantuya murder case from the Sirul perspective, threatening to reveal “all” in a video conference from Australia tomorrow (Monday) morning, catapulted the issue into a greater cause celebre during the Chinese New Year family re-unions, get-togethers, discussions and coffee-shop talks than the Anwar case – although both these cases were unchallenged as the two top-most first and second conversation topics in the Chinese New Year.

These two high-profile cases highlighted a common defect in our system of governance – a deep rot in the leadership of the 130,000 strong police establishment in not allowing the men and women in blue to act efficiently, independently and professionally to uphold what is right and lawful rather to be subverted to glorify “might is right”’ and the shocking lack of commitment and quality of performance by the political leadership and public service to provide good governance.

I am thoroughly shocked and outraged at the failure of our system of administration of justice in both these high-profile cases in keeping with the maxim to ensure that “justice is not only done, but seen to be done”.

There were several burning issues which qualify to be described as the concerns and top conversation topics of all Malaysians on the occasion of the Chinese New Year of the Goat in the past few days, and among those competing for the second tier level of the Chinese New Year concerns and top conversation topics are: Read the rest of this entry »

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Agri minister or propaganda minister?

By Mariam Mokhtar
Feb 16, 2015

For decades, we were conned into thinking that the job of the agriculture and agro-based industries minister was to manage Malaysian agriculture. It is not! The job of the so-called agriculture minister is to spread government propaganda. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should rename Ismail Sabri Yaakob as the propaganda minister, and not the agriculture minister.

Ismail’s ministerial task is to manage the massive vote bank provided by the rural people of Malaysia. Rural Malaysians make up the final piece in the ‘4-Rs’, the pillars of Umno Baru which comprises race, religion, royalty and rural folk.

When Ismail made his racist remarks about boycotting Chinese traders, Najib refused to punish him, because Ismail was doing a good job, alienating the rural people from the urban population as well as making Malays suspicious of their Chinese neighbours. Read the rest of this entry »

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Calling Taib’s bluff

By Mariam Mokhtar
Jan 19, 2015

What now, Abdul Taib Mahmud? Neither your vast billions, nor the legal letters from one of London’s more prominent lawyers, were able to stop Swiss NGO Bruno Manser Fund’s executive director, Lukas Straumann, from exposing your terrible legacy.

Taib’s threats and intimidation were unsuccessful, and the book launch of ‘Money Logging: On the Trail of the Asian Timber Mafia’ by Straumann went ahead as scheduled on Friday, Jan 17, in London.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) was not deterred by Taib’s bully boy tactics, when his lawyers tried to stop the broadcast of the interview with Straumann. To make things worse, Amazon has started stocking the book, despite earlier intimidation by Taib’s lawyers who threatened to sue Amazon, for selling what they had termed a “defamatory book”.

At the launch, the main speaker, Straumann, summarised the role of the major players in the deforestation of Sarawak and gave an insight into Taib’s money logging activities, the politics involved, Taib’s family, Swiss activist Bruno Manser, how governments and multinational banks surreptitiously aid Taib, and more importantly, how he (Straumann) became involved.

Clare Rewcastle Brown (left), the founder of Sarawak Report, said former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had criticised Taib and stressed that he should not “get away” with timber corruption. Read the rest of this entry »

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Wolf in sheep’s clothing

Mariam Mokhtar| January 9, 2015
Free Malaysia Today

The greatest threat to the Malays comes from bigots like Abdul Hamid Mohamad, Umno Baru and extremist Muslim NGOs.


Former Chief Justice Abdul Hamid Mohamad has dishonoured his profession. He is a disappointing role model to Malaysians and a disgrace to his Muslim brethren. Whilst many Malaysians are trying to rebuild their lives after the devastating floods, it appears that Hamid is keen to sow seeds of hatred and create racial disharmony. There must be a reason for Hamid’s racial attack. His reappearance comes just as the nation is questioning the lack of preparedness of the government and the attitude of the ministers in dealing with the flood crisis in Kelantan.

It is perplexing that Hamid’s inflammatory remarks on race and religion continue to escape censure by the authorities. His comments have come at a time when the rakyat is demanding answers to many problems besetting the government.

Is Abdul Hamid colluding with the government to distract the Malaysian public from issues like 1MDB, the Kassim Ahmad trial and the appeal against the acquittal of the two men implicated in Altantuya’s murder? Or is he acting to divert attention away from the negative publicity generated by the flooding?

According to news reports on January 3, Hamid wrote a letter to Utusan Malaysia to voice his support for a PAS-Umno unity government. The greater strength would enable Malays to stem the rise of Chinese political power, he reportedly said. He said Malay loyalties were divided between PAS and Umno Baru, thus giving the Chinese ample opportunity to exploit the political situation.

He said that after the tsunami in Aceh, the provincial government worked together with the central government in Jakarta to rebuild the county. He strongly hinted that Kelantan should emulate Aceh to form the unity government of PAS and Umno-Baru. He said, “Isn’t there a lesson to be learnt from Aceh? Hasn’t the disaster taught them to repent and start prioritising something bigger like religion and race instead of party interests?” Read the rest of this entry »


Malay leaders with their one-track minds

By Mariam Mokhtar
Jan 5, 2015

Many Malay leaders only know how to play one note, ‘C’. They should find people who are able to teach them how to use other notes when making intellectual melodies. The tunes these Malay leaders play constantly harp on the Chinese, Christians, communists, children in child custody cases, and compassion.

Decades of indoctrination have damaged the mindsets of many Malays. The process can be undone, but the work has to start now.

If you want to see how jittery some of those in authority are, look at the manner in which the Ipoh City Council (MBI) reacted to the mural which Lithuanian painter and graffiti artist Ernest Zacharevic painted on the wall of an Ipoh shoplot. His painting showed an old man drinking coffee, but to some Malays, the painting resembled Chin Peng, the deceased secretary-general of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM).

Sinar Harian reported that the MBI would hold talks with Zacharevic to alter the painting. Some Ipoh residents made allegations of a subtle effort to reintroduce communism to Malaysians. Sense finally prevailed, and the MBI did not make any changes to the painting, but why did they entertain bigots in the first place?

Perak NGO Front chairperson Mohd Salleh Mohd Khan made the absurd suggestion that the owner of the building should be questioned, “so that everything is made clear”.

The violence of the CPM still haunts many Malaysians, but what appears to escape the minds of many Malays, is that their own government is deeply indebted to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). Our leaders love it when leaders of the hottest economy on earth want to cultivate their friendship. Mao Zedong’s great leap forward into communism has now been followed by a greater leap in the pursuit of profit. Read the rest of this entry »


The hardest word

– Mariam Mokhtar
Rakyat Times
21 December 2014

The day Malaysia makes history will be the day our leaders apologise for their shortcomings, say ‘sorry’ for the failures of their staff, and express regret for the abuses of power by their children. Malaysians have much to learn from South Korea, and our leaders should learn the lesson from the ‘Nut Rage’ scandal.

Cho Hyun-ah, daughter of the chairman of Korean Air, apologised for losing her temper with a First-Class air steward at New York’s John F. Kennedy (JFK) airport on Dec 5. Cho, who was a senior vice-president and head of cabin service for Korean Air, had been served nuts in a bag and not on a plate. The plane had been waiting to take off when she ordered the captain to return and drop off the offending cabin crew member.

The contrast in her behaviour, a few days later, could not have been more stark. Cho was brought back down to earth with a bump. Her arrogance, that of someone with the power to overrule the pilot, was gone. In a faint, trembling voice, Cho issued her grovelling public an apology. Dressed in black from head to toe, with her hair shielding her face from the cameras and onlookers, she avoided eye contact and bowed her head in shame.

Hours earlier, her father Cho Yang-ho, also the chairman of Korean Air, had apologised and bowed before journalists at the airline’s head office. He expressed regret for his daughter’s actions and said, “It’s my fault. As chairman and father, I ask for the public’s generous forgiveness.”

News agencies like Reuters and Associated Press had reported that the South Koreans had been outraged by the behaviour of the children and grandchildren of the founders of big business empires. Cho was dubbed a “princess” for shaming the nation. Read the rest of this entry »


Portrait of a confused hero

By Mariam Mokhtar
Dec 15, 2014

We are familiar with the expression, “Behind every great man, is a woman”, but in Ibrahim Ali’s case, the expression which best fits him was said by the comedian Jim Carrey, “Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes”.

Yesterday, Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa declared himself a hero of the Malay community. He lashed out at the group of 25 former civil servants and academics who had penned an open letter to Najib Abdul Razak to halt the spread of extremism. Malaysians affectionately dubbed this influential group, the ‘Eminent 25’; however, an irate Ibrahim called them “cowards”.

For the 25 people to “come out” means that a point of no return has been breached; but let us examine the profile of Ibrahim Ali, the self-proclaimed hero. Read the rest of this entry »


Cabinet wages war on the rakyat

By Mariam Mokhtar
Dec 1, 2014

Watching the succession of cabinet members spewing inflammatory rhetoric at the Umno Baru general assembly (GA) was like observing notorious class bullies playing to a crowd of their most loyal sycophants. The men and women who took to the podium are an embarrassment to their party, the nation and their community. The Father of Independence,Tunku Abdul Rahman, laid the foundations for a united Malaysia. Najib Abdul Razak consigned Tunku’s ideals to the bin.

At the finale of this year’s Umno Baru conference, Home Minister Zahid Hamidi told the delegates to adopt a “war mindset”, to “attack our enemies on the outside” and that “the best form of defence was to attack”. He claimed that Umno Baru’s training and research bureau had the blessing of the PM to use cyber and psychological war tactics to win the 14th general election (GE14).

Since when do leaders of a nation lead a clarion call to wage a war against it own people? Shame on you, Zahid and Najib!

Why are Umno Baru’s party conferences filled with hostility? Where are the words of reconciliation, national unity, 1Malaysia, harmony and cooperation, to address corruption, injustice and to uplift people’s lives? These supposedly illustrious men of the cabinet, including the disgraced former women, community and family development minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, behaved like thugs.

The public are disgusted with blatant corruption, injustice and abuse of power. They only desire a harmonious, multiracial, secular Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »