Malaysia’s government harasses opponents as an election looms

Economist
Jul 13th 2017

No offence too small

But a multi-billion-dollar scandal does not seem to bother it much

“UNDEMOCRATIC”, “gerrymandered” and “fix-up” are good words to describe Malaysian politics, dominated since independence by a single party. So it was a bit rich for the prime minister’s spokesman to employ them when smearing a big opposition group this month. On July 7th the national registrar confirmed that it had detected irregularities in a leadership ballot which the Democratic Action Party (DAP) conducted almost four years ago, and said it would be asking the party to re-run the poll. The DAP’s supporters saw an effort to sow discord among the opposition, ahead of a general election due by next August.

Critics of the United Malays National Organisation, which has led Malaysia’s government for six decades, are used to run-ins with the authorities. Prosecutors have twice brought charges of sodomy against Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the opposition coalition, who began his second jail term in 2015. Lately police have also taken an interest in Lim Guan Eng, the DAP’s secretary-general and chief minister of the state of Penang, an opposition stronghold. Mr Lim is awaiting trial on two charges of corruption (prosecutors allege that he used his authority to buy a bungalow for less than it was worth). Read the rest of this entry »

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Reminder to DAP leaders, members, branches and supporters to prepare for the worst in latest UMNO/BN ploy to destroy the DAP through the RoS

The DAP headquarters administration has confirmed that up to now there has been no letter from the Registrar of Societies, Datuk Mohamad Razin Abdullah directing the DAP to hold fresh central executive committee (CEC) elections based on the 2012 DAP Congress delegates’ list, although the Registar announced eight days ago last Friday that a directive will be issued to the party.

What is going on?

Surely the letter should be ready when the Registrar made that announcement the previous Friday, when in fact, such a statement should not have been made the subject of a media statement until the Registrar’s letter had been received by the DAP.

A week has passed and yet still no letter.

I do not think this would have happened to any civil servant if there is no untoward political interference with the non-partisan role of the civil service. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two things for Malaysian voters to prove at the 14th GE – that Malaysians reject kleptocracy and is a normal democratic country

There are two things for Malaysian voters to prove in the next 14th General Election – firstly, that Malaysians reject kleptocracy; and secondly, that Malaysia is a normal democratic country.

I do not believe there a single person who would think when the country attained Merdeka on August 31, 1957 or when Malaysia was formed on Sept. 16, 1963 that the nation would become not just a kleptocracy, but a “global kleptocracy”.

Malaysia only became known as a “global kleptocracy” after the 13th General Election in May 2013.

This is quite an achievement of sorts in so short of time, but Malaysians must demonstrate in the 14th General Elections that they are not proud of such “achievement” and do not want such international infamy and ignominy for the country, where they are shy when overseas to admit that they are Malaysians for they do want to answer questions revolving around “MO1”or the RM117 million pink diamond necklance for “wife of MO1”.

For six decades, the political rulers in Malaysia from Barisan Nasional have acquired the traits of a “big bully” which can be seen by the high-handed and arbitrary manner in which they tried to disqualify the DAP Sarawak State Assemblyman for Pujut, Dr. Ting Tiong Choon with the brute Barisan Nasional majority in the Sarawak State Assembly.

Another example of Barisan Nasional as the “big bully” trampling on the human rights of Malaysians is the high-handed and arbitrary ban of political activist Hiew Kuan Yau from entering Sarawak this evening to be guest speaker at this Miri DAP Branch dinner. Read the rest of this entry »

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Extension of Raus as Chief Justice after August 3 not only unconstitutional but deny Richard Malanjum as the the first Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak to be appointed as Chief Justice of Malaysia

It must be a matter of grave concern to all patriotic Malaysians that the integrity and sanctity of the Malaysian Constitution is receiving less and less respect from the powers-that-be, and the latest example of an incipient constitutional crisis in Malaysia is the illegal and unconstitutional extension of the tenures of Tan Sri Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President on August 3 and Sept. 27 respectively.

The extension of the tenures of Raus and Zulkefli are not only unconstitutional, but would affect the promotional opportunities and prospects of at least eight Federal Court judges, including three women.

But the most glaring injustice of the unconstitutional extensions will be the denial of the opportunity of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as the first Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak to be appointed as Chief Justice of Malaysia.

Malanjum is in fact the most senior Federal Court judge in the country, more senior than both Raus and Zulkefli.

Malanjum is the first Sabah bumiputra to be appointed a High Court judge, and the first Sabahan to be elevated as a Judge of the Court of Appeal and Federal Court , the apex court of the country, in 2005 at the age of 52. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Two things for Malaysian voters to prove at the 14th GE – that Malaysians reject kleptocracy and Malaysia is a normal democratic country

There are two things for Malaysian voters to prove in the next 14th General Election – firstly, that Malaysians reject kleptocracy; and secondly, that Malaysia is a normal democratic country.

I do not believe there a single person who would think when the country attained Merdeka on August 31, 1957 or when Malaysia was formed on Sept. 16, 1963 that the nation would become not just a kleptocracy, but a “global kleptocracy”.

Malaysia only became known as a “global kleptocracy” after the 13th General Election in May 2013.

This is quite an achievement of sorts in so short of time, but Malaysians must demonstrate in the 14th General Elections that they are not proud of such “achievement” and do not want such international infamy and ignominy for the country, where they are shy when overseas to admit that they are Malaysians for they do want to answer questions revolving around “MO1”or the RM117 million pink diamond necklance for “wife of MO1”.

For six decades, the political rulers in Malaysia from Barisan Nasional have acquired the traits of a “big bully” which can be seen by the high-handed and arbitrary manner in which they tried to disqualify the DAP Sarawak State Assemblyman for Pujut, Dr. Ting Tiong Choon with the brute Barisan Nasional majority in the Sarawak State Assembly. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment

Extension of Raus as Chief Justice after August 3 not only unconstitutional but deny Richard Malanjum as the first Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak to be appointed as Chief Justice of Malaysia

It must be a matter of grave concern to all patriotic Malaysians that the integrity and sanctity of the Malaysian Constitution is receiving less and less respect from the powers-that-be, and the latest example of an incipient constitutional crisis in Malaysia is the illegal and unconstitutional extension of the tenures of Tan Sri Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President on August 3 and Sept. 27 respectively.

The extension of the tenures of Raus and Zulkefli are not only unconstitutional, but would affect the promotional opportunities and prospects of at least eight Federal Court judges, including three women.

But the most glaring injustice of the unconstitutional extensions will be the denial of the opportunity of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as the first Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak to be appointed as Chief Justice of Malaysia.

Malanjum is in fact the most senior Federal Court judge in the country, more senior than both Raus and Zulkefli. Read the rest of this entry »

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Reply to Salleh – DAP neither sidelined nor do we dominate Pakatan Harapan, which is coalition of political equals based on the operational principle of consensus, unlike Barisan Nasional which is founded on UMNO hegemony

The Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Salleh Said Keruak was mystified by the Pakatan Harapan leadership council decision yesterday on the structure of Pakatan Harapan and asked about the absence of the DAP leaders in the top three positions in the Pakatan Harapan line-up.

He asked: “Was DAP sidelined or the line-up was deliberately done to make as if the coalition is dominated by the Malays?”

It is neither.

DAP is neither sidelined nor do we dominate Pakatan Harapan, which is coalition of political equals based on the operational principle of consensus, unlike Barisan Nasional which is founded on UMNO hegemony.

For quite some time, the main thrust of UMNO/BN propaganda of UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers was to purvey the lies, fake news and false information that DAP dominated Pakatan Harapan and that I am a “dictator of dictators”, exercising dictatorship not only in DAP but also in Pakatan Harapan; and that Malay leaders like Mohamad Sabu, Azmin Ali, Rafizi Ramli, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Tan Sri Muhyiddin and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad have sold their soul and were just my stooges and puppets.

This serves the UMNO grand strategy of a propaganda campaign of lies, fake news and false information to poison the Malay ground with the fear that if UMNO is defeated in the next general election, the Malays will suffer as the Chinese will grab the political power from the Malays.

These are all lies – for Malaysia can only start anew and find greatness if UMNO is defeated; and if UMNO is defeated, the Chinese will not grab the political power of the Malays as Malay political power in Malaysia is assured, with the Prime Minister from Pakatan Harapan a Malay and not a Chinese or non-Malay. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shariah’s Winding Path Into Modernity

Mustafa Akyol
New York Times
JULY 13, 2017

In June, Americans in about two dozen cities joined a “March Against Sharia.” For these protesters, the Arabic term is a code word for the oppression of women and men in the name of God — horrors like stoning and beheading. Since such brutalities do indeed happen in the name of Shariah, they may have had a point. But there were also points that they missed.

In Arabic, “Shariah” literally means “the way.” More specifically, it refers to the body of Islamic rules that Muslims see as God’s will — based either on the Quran or on the Prophet Muhammad’s reported words and deeds. It is conceptually impossible, therefore, for a Muslim who is serious about his faith to condemn Shariah. But the implementation of Shariah, which is called “fiqh,” or jurisprudence, is open to interpretation and discussion.

Much of Shariah is about personal observance: A good Muslim should pray five times a day while turned toward Mecca, for example, or should fast daily throughout Ramadan. Of course, there is no problem with these acts of personal piety — unless they are coerced. They should be welcome in any society with religious liberty.

However, a part of Shariah is about public law, including the penal code. And there are clear conflicts here with modern standards of human rights. First, Shariah lays out corporal punishments, such as chopping off hands, stoning, flogging and beheading. The Islamic legal code also proscribes crimes like apostasy, blasphemy and extramarital sex — none of which can be a crime at all in any liberal society. Read the rest of this entry »

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Is there not a single one from the 36 Ministers who realized that establishing an RCI into Bank Negara forex earnings losses a quarter of a century ago without a RCI into 1MDB is the dumbest thing the Cabinet can do?

Newly-appointed Pakatan Harapan Chairman and former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, in his blog yesterday, wrote:

“On the other hand, no RCI is being set up to investigate the proven losses of tons of money by 1MDB and Najib despite the enormous evidence of wrongdoings which are available to the world and the Malaysian public.

“The RCI on currency trading by Bank Negara more than thirty years ago is not about seeking justice but is clearly a desperate effort by Najib to silence his detractors. It will not work.”

I fully agree with Mahathir.

In fact, I want to ask if there was not a single one from the 36 Ministers who did not realize that establishing a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into Bank Negara forex earnings losses a quarter of a century ago without a RCI into 1MDB is the dumbest thing the Cabinet can do and that the Malaysian Cabinet has become the laughing stock in the world in the past three weeks?

Where is the conscience of Barisan Nasional in the Cabinet? Gerakan had forsaken that self-appointed role as “conscience” of Barisan Nasional long time ago, and has the Barisan Nasional Cabinet and government become conscienceless all these years? Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should take a leaf from Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, schedule a three-day parliamentary debate on 1MDB on 24-26th July when Parliament reconvenes and waive parliamentary immunity to give full accounting of a scandal which has made Malaysia into a global kleptocracy

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should take a leaf from his Singapore counterpart and schedule a three-day parliamentary debate on 1MDB on 24-26th July when Parliament reconvenes and waive parliamentary immunity to give a full accounting of the scandal, which has made Malaysia into a global kleptoracy.

Up to now, Najib and his government have put up an elaborate but artificial charade that the 1MDB scandal does not exist, a figment of imagination of Najib’s enemies who want to topple the Malaysian Prime Minister and undermine the national sovereignty of Malaysia.

However, the fig leaf of such an elaborate and artificial charade has been torn to shreds by the guilty plea of the former Singapore banker, Yeo Jiawei, to charges including money-laundering of stolen 1MDB funds. Yeo played a role in the 1MDB money-laundering transactions and made secret profits on the side.

Even more ominous was the statement by the Singapore prosecutors that 1MDB was the “main victim” of the US$6 billion financial scam by the Penang billionaire Jho Low and the revelation that Jia Wei had agreed to help with Singapore’s 1MDB money-laundering probes, described as the largest in the country’s history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why had Khairy been overshadowed not only by “old men” in Pakatan Harapan but also “old men” in UMNO?

Former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad made a valid point when he asked the UMNO youth leader and Minister for Youth and Sports, Khairy Jamaluddin, why he is afraid of “old men” in politics because Khairy had asked Mahathir, Datuk Seri Anwar and I myself to retire from politics.

While we wait for Khairy’s reply, just as I am waiting for Khairy to elucidate the mysterious reason he had given asking for my retirement from politics, Khairy should explain why he is being overshadowed not only by “old men” in Pakatan Harapan, but also by “old men” in UMNO!

Khairy, who may regard himself as the greatest gift to Malaysians, has failed to stand heads-and-shoulders over the “half-past six” and “deadwood” Ministers in the Najib Cabinet which he joined in 2013 – an eloquent but sad testimony of the mediocrity of an Oxonian. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Spawns Worldwide Probes: QuickTake Q&A

By Shamim Adam and Laurence Arnold
Bloomberg
16 June 2017

Malaysia’s state-owned investment fund, 1MDB, was supposed to attract foreign investment. Instead, it has spurred criminal and regulatory investigations around the world that have cast an unflattering spotlight on financial deal-making, election spending and political patronage under Prime Minister Najib Razak. A Malaysian parliamentary committee identified at least $4.2 billion in irregular transactions.

1. What is 1MDB?

It’s a government investment company — full name, 1Malaysia Development Berhad — that took shape in 2009 under Najib, who went on to lead its advisory board. Its early initiatives included buying privately owned power plants and planning a new financial district in Kuala Lumpur. The fund proved better at borrowing — it accumulated $12 billion in debt — than at luring large-scale investment. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s 1MDB a `Victim’ of Jho Low, Singapore Prosecutors Say

By Andrea Tan and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen
Bloomberg
12 July 2017

Prosecutors in Singapore said Malaysian financier Low Taek Jho is the central figure in probes linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., and that he used money traceable to the state fund for his own benefit.

Low received “huge” sums of money, the prosecutors said in court filings made public on Wednesday. About $1 billion that 1MDB was purported to invest in a joint venture with PetroSaudi International Ltd. was diverted to a bank account beneficially owned by Low, according to the filings.

“The main victim in this case is 1MDB,” prosecutor Nathaniel Khng said in a Singapore state court. “Jho Low has gone missing from the public eye.”

Singapore’s investigations into 1MDB-related activities has so far seen five people convicted, four of whom have been sentenced to jail. The city-state is the only country so far to have criminally charged bankers. Read the rest of this entry »

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1MDB probe: Former BSI banker Yeo Jiawei gets 54 months’ jail for money laundering, cheating

Grace Leong
Straits Times Singapore
12th July 2017

SINGAPORE – Former BSI Singapore wealth planner Yeo Jiawei was sentenced to 54 months in jail in a Singapore court on Wednesday (July 12) for money laundering and cheating in relation to a massive global probe involving billions of dollars allegedly misappropriated from the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) state fund.

Yeo, 34, plead guilty and was convicted on one charge each of money laundering and cheating, with eight other charges taken into consideration.

The sentence, which Yeo began serving immediately, will run concurrently with the remainder of an earlier 30-month jail sentence he was slapped with in December last year for witness tampering.

He is the third former BSI banker to be found guilty in the city’s 1MDB investigations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Singapore Banker Admits Money Laundering in 1MDB-Linked Case

By Andrea Tan and Chanyaporn Chanjaroen
Bloomberg
12 July 2017

Yeo Jiawei, a former banker serving the longest jail term in Singapore’s probes linked to 1Malaysia Development Bhd., admitted to charges including money laundering.

Yeo, who also pleaded guilty Wednesday to cheating his former employer, agreed to help with Singapore’s money-laundering investigation, which prosecutors described as the largest in the country’s history. He was sentenced to 54 months in jail by a Singapore state court. The former BSI SA wealth planner was handed a 30-month term in December on charges of trying to tamper with witnesses in the probe.

Principal District Judge Ong Hian Sun said on Wednesday that the courts must take an “uncompromising stance” to safeguard the integrity of Singapore’s financial system. Read the rest of this entry »

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The RM117 million 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace stolen from 1MDB funds by Jho Low and given to “wife of MO1” would be able to immediately sponsor over 11,000 haj pilgrims from Malaysia

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that 1MDB had contributed to the people in many ways which they are unaware of, like the Prime Minister’s special haj programme which had spent RM57 million since 2011 to finance 5,700 people to perform the haj in Mecca.

I did an immediate calculation and found that the RM117 million (US$27.3 million) 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace stolen from 1MDB funds by Jho Low and given to the “wife of MO1” would be able to immediately sponsor over 11,000 haj pilgrims from Malaysia.

May be this is what the “wife of MO1” should do with regard to the 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace to immediately finance over 11,000 haj pilgrims from Malaysia. Will the “wife of MO1” agree to this suggestion?

We are only talking about the 22-carat rare pink diamond necklace gifted to the “wife of MO1” from the stolen 1MDB funds, which is not the only item of jewellery involved in the 1MDB international money-laundering scandal which landed up with “wife of MO1”. Read the rest of this entry »

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If there is a secret ballot among the hundred-odd judges in the three tiers of judiciary, the overwhelming majority will uphold the constitution and support the position that it is unconstitutional to extend the tenures of Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President

Thanks to the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said for admitting clearly that the appointment of Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and the Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as additional judges so that they can continue as the two top judges in the country were made on the advice on Tun Arifin Zakaria on March 30, his last day as Chief Justice before his retirement.

Article 122(1A) in the Federal Constitution has not been complied with in the appointment of Raus and Zulkefli as as “additional judges”, unless the Chief Justice in office at the time of the appointment had also advised the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the matter.

Raus is the Chief Justice at present. Did he advise the Yang di Pertuan Agong on the appointment of himself and Zulkefli as “additional judges” under Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution, which reads: Read the rest of this entry »

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Khairy should ask Najib at Cabinet tomorrow to appoint another Minister to be responsible for TN 50 if Khairy does not have the courage to get the Najib administration to give proper accountability on international 1MDB money-laundering scandal

I am still waiting for the UMNO Youth Leader and Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin, to reply to my statement yesterday and explain in clear terms his call that Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and I should retire from politics.

I will await Khairy’s elucidation before responding to his call.

But Malaysians want to know why Khairy has suddenly gone so quiet, and in particular, why he has yet to respond to the lament by Tunku Makhota Johor, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim who asked “What’s happening to a country I used to respect? A country that I was once proud to call my home”.

In fact, Tunku Ismail Ibrahim’s lament reminds me of the concern of another Johorean, former Deputy Prime Minister, Tun Musa Hitam, when he launched his autobiography, “Frankly Speaking” in April this year.

Musa warned that Malaysia was going downhill slowly, but the situation could get worse quickly.

He said there was a great distraction in the current Malaysian political scenario that was causing a loss of focus on the wellbeing of Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was Shafee involved in former Chief Justice Arifin’s advice for the unconstitutional appointment of Raus and Zulkefli as “additional’” judges after the duo’s compulsory retirement to unconstitutionally extend their tenures as the two top judges in the land

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim threw a bomb from Sungai Buloh Prison when he questioned if prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was involved in the extension of Chief Justice Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal President Justice Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin’s respective tenures.

I full agree that if this is true, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak should come clean on the matter.

This will put Shafee’s comments on the constitutional controversy over the extension of Chief Justice and Court of Appeal President in a very different light – making Shafee’s comments most self-serving and lacking in the candour and professionalism expected of a senior and prominent lawyer. Read the rest of this entry »

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Khairy should withdraw and invite Tunku Makhota Johor to head the team to be responsible for TN 2050 to restore Malaysia’s greatness and vision as a united, harmonious, progressive and prosperous Malaysia which is a model to the world

At tonight’s DAP ceramah, I am going do something unusual.

I am going to read out verbatim the cry from the bottom of the heart of one distinguished and outstanding Malaysian, as his cry resonates throughout the country, as it represents the concerns of patriotic and loyal Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, politics or region, that something very wrong is happening to our beloved country – although the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his Cabinet of 36 Ministers, and the entire UMNO/Barisan Nasional leadership does not agree with this cry and concern.

One reason why I reading verbatim the cry of Tunku Makhota Johor, Tunku Ismail ibni Sultan Ibrahim, which was first posted in Johor Southern Tigers Facebook, is because it should be compulsory reading and study by all Malaysians, not only the citizenry but also national and state leaders.

In fact, the Cabinet should schedule a special meeting of the 36 Ministers to ponder over the Tunku Makhota Johore’s cry. Read the rest of this entry »

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