Archive for category Najib Razak

When was Johari removed by the Cabinet or Prime Minister as the final “gatekeeper” for the resolution of the 1MDB scandal?

Although Finance Minister II Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani has denied contradicting Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the arbitration settlement between 1MDB and International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), he has clearly tried to dissociate and distance himself from the settlement.

It is therefore quite unworthy of him to allege that DAP PJ Utara, Tony Pua, was trying to create a wedge between Najib and him.

When news of the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” was first reported in the international media exactly a week ago that 1MDB was on the verge of inking a “settlement” with IPIC, Johari was mentioned as part of the “high powered team” leading the negotiations to resolve the dispute, but this was promptly denied by Johari the very next day from Washington, where he was attending a World Bank meeting – that he was not involved in the arbitration settlement negotiations and that he had not yet been briefed on the final outcome of the settlement.

This has come as a surprise to all Malaysians – as all this while, everyone, including Members of Parliament, were under the impression that Johari as Finance Minister II had become the key player in the whole 1MDB imbroglio, in fact the final “gatekeeper” in the resolution of the 1MDB scandal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Chequebook diplomacy

By Una Galani
BreakingViews
Reuters
27 April 2017

Malaysia will bear most of the burden of 1MDB. Abu Dhabi helped the Southeast Asian nation finance the upstart sovereign fund back in 2012. It subsequently looked like the Gulf emirate would share a large part of the multi-billion dollar fallout relating to the fund, now the focus of money-laundering probes around the world. But Malaysia is throwing its chequebook at the problem, paying up to try to repair relations between the two states before Prime Minister Najib Razak seeks re-election.

A debt settlement agreement announced on Monday addresses most of the lingering financial mess. 1MDB will repay a $1.2 billion loan to IPIC by the end of this year. It will also re-assume responsibility for two bonds, which will cost another $4.8 billion including interest.

The Malaysian investor had initially played hardball with Abu Dhabi. It stopped paying coupons on the notes last year after the pair fell out over a separate $3.5 billion payment that went missing. 1MDB paid that amount to an entity with a similar name to a unit of IPIC, which the latter has claimed it never received. Read the rest of this entry »

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The “overkill” campaign to convince Malaysians that 1MDB scandal has finally been resolved with the 1MDB-IPIC “arbitration settlement” boomeranged as many basic questions remain unanswered

After the “arbitration settlement” between 1MDB and Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC), the UMNO/BN Government propaganda machinery went into an overdrive to convince Malaysians that the 1MDB international kleptocratic money-laundering scandal had been resolved and settled once and for all.

But the propaganda campaign committed the fatal sin of doing an “overkill”, like the claims by the Barisan Nasional strategic communications director, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, causing a boomerang as many basic questions about the 1MDB scandal, which had hounded and haunted Malaysians with the infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy, remain unanswered.

Examples of such propaganda overkill, which aroused more doubts and questions, are Abdul Rahman’s claims that the “arbitration settlement” shows that 1MDB funds did not end up in Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s pockets or that the 1MDB funds held in “units” in Singapore exist and will be monetized to pay IPIC – as they do not have such results.

Thanks to Abdul Rahman, these questions have returned to the centre-stage of public concern, together with other questions like “Why Malaysians have now to pay IPIC more than double what was actually borrowed by 1MDB” (asked by DAP MP for PJ Utara), “Where did the money paid by 1MDB go” (asked not only by former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamed but also by UMNO MP for Kulim Bandar Baru and Public Accounts Committee member, Datuk Aziz Sheikh Fadzir), “Will taxpayers foot 1MDB’s US$1.2b settlement with IPIC” (by PKR MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli), “Who is buying the 1MDB ‘units’?” (by former Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin), my question yesterday “Is Malaysia fast becoming a rogue state in today’s international society?” among many others.

Is Najib prepared to convene a special session of Parliament to clear Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy” to give full and detailed answers to all the charges about 1MDB international money-laundering scandal, in particular the nearly year-old United States Department of Justice (DOJ) largest kleptocratic litigation to forfeit over US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland? Read the rest of this entry »

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Italians probe Emirati for alleged insider trading in UniCredit

Davide Ghiglione in Milan, Simeon Kerr in Dubai and Caroline Binham in London
Financial Times
APRIL 24, 2017

Prosecutors looking at involvement of a former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s Ipic 

Italian prosecutors are investigating a former Emirati sovereign wealth fund official over allegations of insider trading in UniCredit shares in 2010 as the fallout from the Malaysian 1MDB scandal spreads through Abu Dhabi’s overseas investment portfolio.

Prosecutors in Milan placed Khadem al-Qubaisi, the jailed former managing director of Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (Ipic), under investigation “several months ago,” said a person briefed on the probe.

The Italian prosecutor’s office confirmed the probe and said it is “currently working to collect the final elements” for the investigation. A spokesman for the office declined to comment further. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Malaysia fast becoming a rogue state in today’s international society?

The Information Ministry’s Special Affairs Division (Jasa), which has been assigned the special task of exonerating the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Malaysian government of any responsibility for the 1MDB kleptocratic scandal, made a startling statement when its director general, Datuk Mohd Puad Zakashi, said that the arbitration settlement between 1MDB and Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Corporation (IPIC) has “weakened” US Department of Justice (DOJ) civil suits and claims that the 1MDB funds were stolen.

Puad may not have realized it, but his statement was as good as a government admission that the US DOJ has a case to apply for the forfeiture of more than US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets, but the Malaysian government believes that the arbitration settlement has weakened the suits from the evidential aspects.

Whether this is so is open to dispute, but it is most startling, to say the least, that the Malaysian government, which has completely denied that there is a 1MDB scandal, both nationally and internationally, suddenly accepting the scenario that DOS had a case to apply for the forfeiture of over US$1 billion of 1MDB-linked assets – subject to the availability of adequate evidential material to prop up the kleptocratic suits.

If the Malaysian government’s stand is that there is no 1MDB scandal at all, that all the 1MDB allegations are the “fevered imaginations” of those with ill-intentions to the Najib government, including several foreign nations, then Puad and the Malaysian Government should be consistent in holding that there is simply no case whatsoever for the DOJ lawsuits – and not talking about the “weakening” of DOJ law suits as a result of the 1MDB-IPIC arbitration agreement! Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia to Pay $1.2 Billion to Abu Dhabi Fund Over 1MDB Scandal

By NEIL GOUGH
New York Times
APRIL 24, 2017

HONG KONG — In 2012, with help from Goldman Sachs, a Malaysian sovereign wealth fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad sold $3.5 billion worth of bonds backed by an Abu Dhabi government fund to help it purchase power plants.

But behind the scenes, American officials have claimed, nearly $1.45 billion was illegally redirected to Swiss bank accounts and ultimately into the hands of some of the people involved in the deal.

That deal is now part of an international investigation into the Malaysian fund, known as 1MDB, that has plagued Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia. A civil complaint filed by Justice Department officials in the United States said that some of the funds landed in the hands of Mr. Najib’s friends and associates as well as officials and executives from Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund.

On Monday, Malaysia and Abu Dhabi moved to clean up one part of the scandal: who would pay back investors who bought the bonds. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib responsible for the most heinous fake news any government has concocted with the official version that the global kleptocratic 1MDB scandal does not exist

In his speech to the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) Asia Media Awards on Wednesday night, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak spoke about the need to combat the “plague of false and fake news” in the social media and foreign newspapers.

He has however conspicuously omitted the plague of false and fake news in the mainstream media in Malaysia, in particular those owned and controlled by UMNO/BN, which have blazed the path of transforming “newspapers” into “lies-papers”.

False and fake news, whether in social media, foreign newspapers or in local mainstream media, must be equally combatted, exposed and condemned for they are designed not only to distort truth, but deceive the people about the true facts and situation.

In this connection, the greatest surprise in the Prime Minister’s speech at the international media event was his total omission, without any single mention, of the global kleptocratic 1MDB scandal which had haunted and hounded the country and Malaysians for the past two years.

Najib is in fact responsible for the most heinous fake news any government has concocted with the official government version that the global kleptocratic 1MDB scandal does not exist. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian PM Najib Razak accuses media of ‘fake news’, doubts corruption reports

Lindsay Murdoch
The Sydney Morning Herald
APRIL 20 2017

Bangkok: For two years Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has shrugged off revelations by foreign journalists that almost $1 billion turned up in his personal bank accounts amid one of the world’s biggest ever financial scandals.

Now Mr Najib, preparing to call early elections, has accused journalists of fabricating fake news about Malaysia.

“This tide of fake and false news threatens of turn the truth into a purely subjective matter, with little relation to the actual facts,” he told an Asian media awards event in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday evening.

In a country where the mainstream media is tightly controlled by the government and small independent media outlets are under constant threat of closure and legal action, Mr Najib also claimed that free speech is “thriving”, pointing to what he called regular criticism of the government, ministers and officials in the local media.

But with freedom, he said, comes responsibility. He quoted the then Manchester Guardian’s long-time editor CP Scott who famously declared that “comment is free, but facts are sacred”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The black swans in Malaysian politics

By Liew Chin Tong
The Independent, Singapore
April 16, 2017

I would like to thank Mr Tan Chin Tiong, Director of Yusof Ishak – Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, for the invitation to speak at this excellent institution, of which I was a visiting research fellow in 2006.

I would also like to express my appreciation to my friends Dr. Lee Hock Guan for arranging this visit and Dr. Ooi Kee Beng for chairing the session.

I last spoke here almost nine years ago on 23rd April 2008, a month or so after the great Black Swan back then – the political tsunami on 8th March 2008.

Since then, there has never been a dull moment in Malaysian politics. We have experienced a Black Swan after a Black Swan.

For instance, just a year ago, who would have expected Dr. Mahathir Mohammad to become among Opposition leaders working hard to push UMNO to become the Opposition.

Just as I was giving the final touch for this speech yesterday, there was the news that Prime Minister Najib Razak had appointed his cousin who is also Defense Minister Hishamuddin Hussein to be the Minister with Special Functions in the Prime Minister’s Department.

This gives rise to a new Black Swan question: does this mean Najib will step down as Prime Minister before the next general election?

Should that happen, we will have to grapple with a new set of conditions and scenarios. If he doesn’t, there is already a new power equation in which Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi is being sidelined, but Zahid may not take it lying down.

To put things in context, let me bring you to late November 2007. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN mainstream media like Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Star should stop their demeaning role as “lies-papers” and return to their traditional and time-honoured role as newspapers

In the past four months, we see the transformation of UMNO/BN mainstream media like Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Star from newspapers into “lies-papers” as part of the UMNO/BN campaign to demonise Pakatan Harapan leaders and myself, where I am described as a devil, puaka, even jembalang; that I am anti-Malay, anti-Islam; cause of May 13, 1969 riots; a communist; a stooge of foreign powers; that I dominate Pakatan Harapan and made other leaders like Tun Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and Mohamad Sabu as my stooges and puppets – all evils possible under the Malaysian sun!

But we can also notice something most unusual – that the intensification and escalation of the demonisation campaign of Pakatan Harapan leaders and myself, blatantly turning UMNO/BN newspapers into “lies-papers” through lies, fake news and false information, have not given the UMNO/BN leaders solace or relief, for they are beginning to realise that their worst escalation of demonisation campaign against Pakatan Harapan leaders and myself are not getting the traction or credibility to restore UMNO fortunes in the Malay ground.

This is one reason for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s latest political and strategic decision to make Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Minister for Special Functions in the Prime Minister’s Department, in addition to his portfolio as Defence Minister – clearly placing Hishammuddin as the No. 2 most powerful man in the Najib administration over and above the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.

Clearly, Najib is more fearful that UMNO would be defeated in the 14th General Election than in the 13th General Election in 2013 – and the reason why the demonisation campaign against Pakatan Harapan leaders and myself have reached ludicrous proportion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia heading for major political change in 14GE as never before in nation’s 60-year history is there such widespread and deep-seated restiveness and unhappiness among the people, including the 1.6 million-strong civil service, against the UMNO/BN government

I believe Malaysia is heading for a major political change in the forthcoming 14th General Election as never before in the nation’s 60-year history is there such widespread and deep-seated restiveness and unhappiness among the people, including the 1.6 million-strong civil service, against the UMNO/BN Government.

The time has come for Malaysia to become a normal democratic country, where the voters can peacefully and democratically change the Federal Government in Putrajaya through the ballot box, as in countries recognized as normal democracies, whether the United Kingdom, the United States, Australia, New Zealand, the European countries like Germany, France, Italy and others, or even Asian countries like Japan, India, South Korea, Philippines and Indonesia.

The voters should not be threatened with chaos, riots or undemocratic and authoritarian measures to frustrate the democratic will of the people expressed in a general election, as the UMNO/BN leaders are trying to do.

In trying to cling on to power, UMNO/BN politicians have resorted to the politics of lies, fear and hate to disseminate the fear among Malay voters that if UMNO is defeated in the 14GE, Malays will lose political power and their rights in the country.

This is of course rubbish and nonsense, for the Pakatan Harapan coalition comprising DAP, PKR, AMANAH and Pribumi Bersatu want to win, not just the 14th GE, but the 15th, 16th GE and others so that it could continue to form the Federal Government – which means that the Pakatan Harapan government must demonstrate that it could deliver results and do better than the UMNO/BN government to protect and promote the rights and interests of all communities in the country, including the Malays. Read the rest of this entry »

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A “coup d’etat” has taken place in UMNO/BN government – not to topple the PM but to protect the PM

A “coup d’etat” has taken place in the UMNO/BN government – not to topple but to protect the Prime Minister.

There can be no administrative or ministerial justification for the additional appointment of Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as Minister with Special Functions in the Prime Minister’s Department while retaining his portfolio as Defence Minister, except for the political and “strategic” one of protecting Datuk Seri Najib Razak from being ousted as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia – whether externally as a result of defeat in the forthcoming 14th general election or from being toppled internally as Prime Minister before the polls.

Najib has already set record as the Prime Minister with the most number of Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department, and Hishammuddin will be the tenth Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

But Hishammuddin will be completely different from the other nine Ministers, as he will be the most powerful Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department. Read the rest of this entry »

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HOW AN ILL-FATED STOCK LISTING COULD SWAY MALAYSIA’S ELECTION

BY PHAR KIM BENG
South China Morning Post
9 APR 2017

The controversial listing of the Federal Land Development Authority’s commercial arm has left many of the Malaysian government’s key supporters – the rural poor – rethinking their allegiances

Viewed from afar, Malaysia’s ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), might seem nigh-on unchallengeable in the general election expected as early as this year. After all, it has been in power since the country’s first such election in 1955 – two years before the country’s independence from Britain.

Yet, while it is undeniably strong, its armour is not without chinks. The party cannot afford to lose the support of Malaysia’s rural constituencies – a dependency that has entwined its fate with that of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) for the past 60 years and may now represent just such a weak spot.

Felda was created by Umno a year after its maiden election win to handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas and smallhold farms. It went on to alter the development of Malaysia beyond recognition as large swathes of unused land became well-irrigated plantation schemes that transformed both agricultural exports and the incomes of its rural communities.

Settlers on Felda land have remained fiercely loyal to Umno, which forms the backbone of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (National Front), ever since and have played no small part in defending Umno’s grip on power. Of the party’s 86 parliamentary seats, 54 are from constituencies on Felda-developed land.

But there are signs Umno’s grip may now be loosening with opinion among its erstwhile diehard support base now deeply divided by the government’s handling of the listing of Felda’s commercial arm – Felda Global Ventures (FGV) – on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in May 2012. Read the rest of this entry »

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When major national institutions go “rogue” and refuse to perform their key functions, Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region must stand up to unite as patriotic Malaysians to Save Malaysia from becoming a “rogue” state

When major national institutions go “rogue” and refuse to perform their key fundamental functions, Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region must stand up to unite as patriotic Malaysians to Save Malaysia from becoming a “rogue” state.

Recent days have seen many of the major national institutions abdicating their fundamental duties, which was one reason why former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad said at a forum last night that the country would see better progress without current Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamad Apandi Ali.

Only a day earlier, the Swiss attorney-general Michael Lauber expressed confidence that the money-laundering probe into the scandal-hit Malaysian fund 1MDB by the Swiss Office of Attorney-General (OAG) would bear fruit despite Malaysian authorities’ refusal to cooperate.

Lauber told a news conference “”It’s not hopeless, in fact it’s the opposite”, saying the probe was making progress based on money-laundering reports, bank documents and work with Singapore and other countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pandikar has ended up as a “bloody fool” with his abuse of powers as Speaker in disallowing a debate on Hadi’s private member’s bill motion

Parliament Speaker, Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said in Parliament yesterday:

“A politician friend once told me: ‘If you are in power you are very powerful. If you don’t use the power you are a bloody fool.’

“Today I don’t want to be a bloody fool, I want to exercise my authority, and rule that the debate will be held in the next parliament meeting.”

Unfortunately, Pandikar has ended up, in his own words, as a “bloody fool” with his abuse of powers as Speaker in disallowing a debate on PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU 355, yesterday and adjourn the debate to the next parliamentary meeting scheduled in July.

In the first place, the Speaker has no authority to create his own rules or arrogate to himself powers that are not in the Dewan Rakyat Standing Orders, or we will have a dictator as Speaker of Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

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I will accept a public debate with the Prime Minister or any senior UMNO leader on “Who is a Malaysian Patriot” or “What are the challenges of a Malaysian Patriot in 2017”

I feel sad that my appeal yesterday to UMNO leaders and Utusan Malaysia to stop insulting or running down their own Malay race by suggesting that top Malay leaders who had been Presidents or Deputy Presidents of UMNO, or Prime Ministers, Deputy Prime Ministers or Ministers, are men and women of such low character and morals that they are susceptible to become stooges or puppets after stepping down from their high office, had not been heeded!

I am not a Malay, but I think this is a calumny of the worst kind about the Malay race, and I want to protest against it in the strongest possible terms.

It is shocking and ironic that such calumny of the Malay race is coming from the incumbent Malay leadership in government and Utusan Malaysia, which are facing a life-and-death struggle to retain popular Malay support!

The founding President of UMNO, Datuk Onn Jaafar, was once denounced as a traitor to the Malay race. So was once Tunku Abdul Rahman, even Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah when he formed and headed Semangat 46, and now Tun Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

It is time that Malaysian politics, on the 60th anniversary of the country achieving Merdeka on August 31, 1957, become less infantile and racist and more mature and Malaysian.

Can we expect the present UMNO/BN leadership in Putrajaya grow with the times to lead Malaysia towards this era of more mature and Malaysian politics? Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Abdul Rahman Dahlan evades the question why he is not fighting his own battle and instead, run crying to “MO1” for SOS to direct other UMNO Ministers and leaders to come to his rescue?

The self-styled Barisan Nasional Director of Strategic Communications (in actual fact, BN Director of Strategic Lies), Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan should not evade my question to him yesterday why he is not fighting his own battle and instead, run crying to “MO1” for SOS to direct other UMNO Ministers and leaders to come to his rescue?

When I told Abdul Rahman yesterday to stand on his own two feet to fight his own battle, and not to depend on other UMNO leaders to come to his aid, at least five UMNO leaders – four UMNO Ministers and one UMNO Deputy Minister – had already been enlisted into Abdul Rahman’s demonization campaign against me.

They were the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, the Minister for Education, Datuk Mahdzir Khalid, the Minister for Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism, Datuk Hamzah Zainudin, Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Said Keruak and the Deputy Transport Minister, Datuk Ab Aziz Kaprawi.

By today, this “Support Abdul Rahman’s Demonisation of Lim Kit Siang” has expanded to include the Minister for Housing and Local Government, Datuk Nor Omar and the Wanita UMNO chief, Tan Sri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, whose statements appeared in the UMNO/BN mainstream media and I expect more UMNO/BN Ministers and leaders to join in the demonization campaign at the behest of “MO1”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadi should name the “mastermind” blocking his private member’s bill if he is not to be taken as an irresponsible political leader who make baseless allegations

PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang should name the “mastermind” blocking his private member’s bill to amend Act 355 if he is not to be taken as an irresponsible political leader who make baseless allegations.

Who is this “mastermind” that can make the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak make a U-turn and renege on his announcement at the UMNO General Assembly last November that the government will take over Hadi’s private member’s bill? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib has beaten Mahathir to be “U-turn champion” following his U-turn reneging on his announcement at the UMNO general assembly last November to take-over Hadi’s bill

The Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has beaten former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad as the “U-Turn Champion” with his U-Turn reneging on his announcement at the UMNO General Assembly last November to take-over PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend Act 355.

In Pekan in January this year, the Prime Minister ridiculed Mahathir as a “U-turn champion” but in less than three months, Najib has excelled Mahathir in ‘U-turn” performance.

Mahathir never denied that he had done U-turns.

This is what Mahathir said: “Yes, I did a U-turn. Only a stupid driver would drive straight on when seeing the road ahead has been blown up and is no longer passable. To support Najib who has been accused of stealing billions of Ringgit, and a dumb corrupt UMNO would make me a traitor to my country. Hence the U-turn.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Revocation of police permit for Dr M-Nazri debate evidence that the Najib government is running scared of the ordinary people demanding accountability for 1MDB scandal; Najib has no answer to these questions and is unable to clear Malaysia of the curse, infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy

I have just learned of the news of the revocation of police permit for the debate between former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and the Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, less than 24 hours after the police had earlier given its approval for the debate.

This is most shocking, outrageous and preposterous.

Only last month in South Korea, eight judges of the South Korean Constitutional Court unanimously decided to uphold the impeachment motion of the South Korean President Park Geun-hye in December, removing her from the highest office in the country, and she was arrested yesterday on charges related to abuses of power and corruption.

This is the strength and resilience of democracy and human rights in South Korea when sixty years ago, any notion of democracy and human rights in South Korea was non-existent as it was ruled by a dictatorship – at a time when we achieved Merdeka on August 31, 1957 with the pledge in the Proclamation of Independence of “peaceful and orderly advancement as a constitutional monarchy based on parliamentary democracy”.

Forty-nine years ago on November 24, 1968, I had a six-hour “Great Cultural” public debate with Professor Naguib Alatas, then representing Parti Gerakan, with a packed audience at the MARA Auditorium in Kuala Lumpur, but today, a debate between a former Prime Minister and an incumbent Cabinet Minister to be held at Dewan Sultan Muhammad Ke-5, Kompleks Karangkraf, Shah Alam organised by Kumpulan Media Karangkraf next Friday has to be aborted because of revocation of police permit for the debate.

Are we making progress in democracy and human rights or are we regressing and going backwards in the past six decades, where a debate between a former Prime Minister and an incumbent Cabinet Minister in private premises could be regarded as a security threat and has to be banned by the police in a gross abuse of powers! Read the rest of this entry »

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