Talkback

We Don't Want Any Clean Ups Here!

Sarawakians must reject bad political culture brought from Peninsular Malaysia, says Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg.

According to him, the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS)-led state government would exercise its power to prevent such ‘foreign’ culture from entering Sarawak and influencing its people.

Sarawak’s immigration power, he points out, must be protected at all cost to prevent the entry of such culture that is not appropriate in Sarawak.

Abang Johari, who is also GPS chairman, says while he is not scolding the peninsula people, at times they can ‘just too extreme’.

Our comment

This ex-BN outfit is seeking to impress Sarawakians with a very old story line that they have pulled out time and again for decades – in the same way they have time and again promised ‘progress and development” that has never happened.

These guys posture as ‘independent’ leaders, fighting to ‘keep UMNO out of Sarawak’ and now presumably Pakatan, DAP and Bersatu.  But, the truth of the matter is these Taib cronies have always proved willing to act the catspaw of whoever is in power in the federal governmnent as long as they can be left alone to plunder their own people.

Hence the moment BN lost GE14 they switched sides and pledged support for PH instead – some independence!

What these Taib cronies actually don’t want to see is the Culture of Clean-Up entering Sarawak, They don’t want any investigations or dreaded prosecutions of greedy kleptocrats to start entering their shores as is now happening in the rest of Malaysia, including in neighbouring Sabah, where the people are pleased to see their local crooks being brought to justice.

And heaven forbid there should be any ‘quarrelling’ about who should be leader. What ‘foreign’ nonsense!

In Sarawak Taib decides who is the boss and ultimately it is himself and his ancient team of cronies, who have run the state and helped themselves for decades.

You can’t have anyone challenging the Taib family hegmony or allowing for ‘foreign ideas’ like the principle of democratic change, which was established at the time of independence but conveniently stifled from birth thanks to the ’emergency’ removal of a leader who stood up for native land rights.

So expect ‘immigration power’ to be used to keep out Bersih reformers, anti-corruption NGOs and PH politicians (though supposedly GPS’s federal allies) as well as the likes of Sarawak Report.

However, do not expect to see the removal big time UMNO crooks; dirty western and Chinese businessmen; PAS supremacists in their fancy cars (however much the CM may try to play the religion card) or any other of these sorts of foreign influences, who will remain welcome visitors to help Taib’s people pilfer the last of what is there is left to steal in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, the encroachment of West Malaysian culture and money politics over Sarawak life is something which these ex-BN now GPS leaders have in practice openly funded and encouraged over several decades. So, it is a bit late to pretend otherwise.

Any Secret Section 117?

Former BN chief Najib Abdul Razak has been appointed as the chairperson of the coalition’s advisory board today.

Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor made the announcement in a statement today.

“Former prime minister Najib has been unanimously appointed by the BN supreme council that has met tonight, as the BN advisory board chairperson.

Our comment

Once again Najib ascends to the Chairmanship of an Advisory Board. Clearly, the move is UMNO’s idea of a defiant gesture.

Elsewhere it has provoked laughter.

However, there is little to laugh about in such blatant lack of remorse from a party and a man under whose ‘Advisory Board Chairmanship’ billions were looted from public pension and other funds in the name of development.

Clearly, Malaysia has a willing repeat offender on its hands and the courts and voters should judge both with that point in mind.

The Teresa Kok School Text Book Chapter On Palm Oil

The Primary Industries Ministry is hoping to work with the Education Ministry to introduce knowledge about palm oil into school textbooks, says Teresa Kok.

The Primary Industries Minister said she had written to Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik requesting to include information about the palm oil industry in school textbooks.

“At the moment, only the Geography subject has something about palm oil but most people don’t know about its health benefits.

“But we will have to wait for a curriculum review before deciding what information and knowledge can be included,” she said during a Hari Raya open house in her Seputeh constituency Sunday (July 7).

“Rural students’ knowledge of palm oil is there but we need to spread this information to urban students.

“We hope that the Education Ministry will help us hold palm oil awareness sessions.

“We can even take students to plantations to better understand the product,” she said.

Kok hoped that schools and parents would work together to spread awareness about palm oil.

The minister came under fire recently after she criticised an international school for putting up a play on oil palm plantations.

On Tuesday (July 2), Kok described the performance as “sowing hatred” towards oil palm plantations among pupils.

Our comment

Little Children, our benevolent minister has received funding from her very wealthy sponsors at the Malaysian Palm Oil Board to bring you the FACTS about our national indigenous plant, the palm oil tree, on behalf of whose dignity our country plans to wage what is known as an international TRADE WAR.

Section 1 – Trade War:

Your duty during this Trade War will be to consume as much palm oil as possible, because although it is extremely fattening and Malaysians are already the obesity case of South East Asia we have what is known as a GLUT.  It is not poisonous (in fact there is no health-giving property which we do not claim for this product) but our customers in the west have decided it is irresponsible of them to encourage the use of palm oil for bio-fuel as well as all the other products they use it for and we have over-planted, so we have to ram it down domestic throats instead.

Meanwhile, we ought now to HATE these foreign customers for their churlish decision to act responsibly over products like coal, gas, oil, and palm oil . They say these trigger climate change and species extinction, but remember this theory is a lie.  Here in Malaysia we are CLIMATE SCEPTICS and you will fail your national tests if you spout nonsense about global warming, which all foreign scientists say is true.

We realise all those protestors in foreign countries against species extinction, shedding silly tears for Orang Utan, are actually paid agents of our commercial rivals – hundreds of thousands of middle class campaigners working on behalf of the soya bean lobby and European rape seed industry. They get RM10 and a free lunch each time they march, just like BN voters in Malaysia.  We need to make our own troops to march against them for the dignity of our nation – free spoons of palm oil all round!

Section 2 – Punishments for Offenders:

That Greta girl from Sweden should go to jail for acting like she has an opinion of her own and telling grown ups what to do. Watch grown people all over Europe who praise and pander to her. Any Malaysian child caught spouting similar nonsense and arrogance towards adults must be whipped for their own good (lucky we still allow our teachers to correct young minds the old-fashioned way).

And who are these foreign customers to accuse our rich logging tycoons turned plantation owners and all their political patrons and shareholders of being greedy, irresponsible and corrupt?  Why blame these billionaires for the species extinctions, environmental degredation, land grabs from native people, pollution and global warming, when hundreds of years ago some other people also logged Europe and China forcing their present expats to look for other places to plunder easy resources from?

So, Malaysian children remember the slogan and repeat:
“swallow, swallow, swallow your spoonfulls of greasy oil,
and down with lying foreigners who say there are less Orang Utan than before!”

Section 3 – Official Statistics:

On that matter, of course, there are still plenty of green spaces for orange creatures. It is simply a lie to say there are less plants and creatures than before. There are millions and millions of hectares of completely ‘protected forest’ according to the official statistics from our own chief minister of Sarawak, in whom you must always believe even though he orders local headmen in the state not to speak to people from my own ruling federal party when we try to visit.

Anyone who says these ‘forest reserves’ are not pristine virgin jungle, but have all been chopped down and sold is merely relying on their own eyes, not trustworthy published statistics from the state of Sarawak.  What evidence is there of any taxes paid on so much exported timber after all?

So, repeat after me: never believe the scientists, never believe your customers, never believe campaigners, never believe lying journalists only please to believe my wealthy sponsors, who have funded me to come into your school to start interfering with the curriculum and threaten your teachers with sedition and crimes for ‘damaging national interests’ and shaming our God-given imported Money Tree, which we hope to replace the indigenous species of our most bio-diverse area of the planet with as quickly as possible.*

Section 4 – Ministers Teach Teachers and Scientists (not the other way round)

Unless you learn and repeat this chapter you will be punished and fail your studies and your teacher will be arrested, sacked and possibly jailed. It is your duty to report any teacher or parent you hear disagreeing with this chapter and remember, what the rest of the world says is not true, so get ready for BATTLE.

[Certified as accurate by the Pol Pot curriculum for scientific education]

*Note from editor: remove the bit about Malaysia’s unique but disappearing biodiversity, as not central to the message in this chapter.

Why Depend On Oil Palm Producers For Your Figures?

“Foremost, orang utan habitats in Malaysia are fully protected by laws in both Sabah and Sarawak (only places where orang utans live); Sarawak sets aside six million hectares for Permanent Forest Reserves, one million hectares for Totally Protected Areas and 84,000 hectares specifically for orang utan conservation areas,” said Soppoa.
[Teresa Kok, Facebook]

 

Our comment

The minister has all the resources of the government at her disposal to obtain facts, yet instead she quotes a Sarawak body that is made up of some of the biggest logging companies cum oil palm producers on the planet.

In her present job she represents the wider interests of the Malaysian public as well as these big industry players and perhaps it is time she made some effort to show a balance between what benefits the share portfolios of a wealthy few and the the livelihoods of people whose lands have been taken and destroyed, as well as the environment?

She could, for example, have compared the comfortable claims of Soppoa with a recent global scientific body’s assessment of the situation facing orangutans in Borneo, which places the role of deforestation and oil palm as central to their decline?

Nearly all Sarawak’s ‘forest reserve’ has been logged over several times (largely by Soppoa companies) making it no longer suitable for canopy species such as orang utan. The International Union for Conservation of Nature published a study last year in which it described the animals as now critically endangered with populations having plummeted by more than half since the start of this century alone:

“Hunting and killing have driven a dramatic decline in the orangutan population on Borneo where nearly 150,000 animals have been lost from the island’s forests in 16 years, conservationists warn.

While the steepest percentage losses occurred in regions where the forest has been cut down to make way for palm oil and acacia plantations, more animals were killed by hunters who ventured into the forest, or by farm workers when the apes encroached on agricultural land, a study found.

Researchers estimate that the number of orangutans left on Borneo now stands at between 70,000 and 100,000, meaning the population more than halved over the study period which ran from 1999 to 2015…..

“I expected to see a fairly steep decline, but I did not anticipate it would be this large,” said Serge Wich, a co-author on the report at Liverpool John Moores University. “When we did the analyses, we ran them again and again to figure out if we had made a mistake somewhere. You think the numbers can’t be that high, but unfortunately they are.”

[Guardian]

Does the minister dismiss this as  ‘mere propaganda’ by scientists or does she appreciate that the major palm oil plantation owners of Soppoa could actually be somewhat biased in what they claim?

It is time for ministers to stop acting like errand boys for big business – that was BN’s stance, but they at least had good reason as they were also shareholders.  Why not just face up to the facts, face up to the future and turn the situation round?

We Spent The Stolen Money But Kept The Money That Wasn't Stolen!

Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa claimed the money in the party’s current frozen accounts has nothing to do with 1MDB as the funds from former Umno president Najib Abdul Razak were used up by 2014.

“I can swear on behalf of Umno – not a single sen of the money that has been frozen in Umno’s accounts has anything to do with 1MDB.

“I dare to make this statement because I have already seen the documents in detail.

“The accusation is that (Umno) received (funds) from Najib’s accounts in 2011, 2012 and 2013. By 2014, the money received from Najib’s accounts had been completely cleaned out.

“The money in 2018 is the earnings from 2016 and 2017, (it has) nothing to do with 1MDB,” Annuar said during his speech at the Kuala Terengganu Umno delegates’ meeting in Kuala Terengganu today.

 

Our comment

It becomes more alarming by the day to think that people with such a sorry grasp of basic rules and basic morality were in charge of Malaysia for so long, and might still have been if ordinary folk had not rebelled.

How can the financial spokesman for a political party come up with an argument that funds frozen in lieu of stolen money by that party are somehow unconnected and therefore ‘clean’ and ought to be released?

These politicians stole huge sums of money to use to hoodwink voters and in the process feathered their nests as well.  They are presently facing a swathe of criminal trials for exactly that. They claim their remaining funds were ‘clean’ but frankly most people doubt that claim, it is simply that the forces of law and order haven’t yet got round to investigating all UMNO’s crimes.

Meanwhile, the party owes its debt on the money that it stole.

Those UMNO leaders who are not yet facing prosecution ought to be thankful for that fact and think before they open their mouths to complain they want stolen money back.

Talib Zulpilip Is Better Placed Than Taxi Drivers To Report Corruption Issues?

Those with information on corrupt deals or practices have been urged to lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) or the state Integrity and Ombudsman Unit.

In making this call, Minister in the Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip said such information can be provided under anonymity, meaning the identity of those who lodge reports will be kept confidential.

“If taxi drivers, for example, hear corruption-related information, they can give information or report without the need of giving their name. Just call and we will investigate.

Our comment

Dear Talib Zulpilip,

Your new role as ‘Anti-Corruption Czar’ has of course had Kuching laughing and this latest urge for taxi drivers to report ‘what I just heard in the back of my cab’ rather explains why.

What people would be more interested to know is what you heard when (amongst a swathe of other roles) you were a director on the board of the Governor’s family company CMS and during the decades you acted as Chairman of the Sarawak Economic Development Corporation, which seems so addicted to investing in Taib family projects?

Pray do tell us what has been going on at the heart of this corrupted administration, where you have sat for decades and try not to pretend you don’t know everyone knows why you have been put in charge of ‘monitoring integrity and corruption’ by the same bunch.

Meanwhile, quit lecturing honest poor folk about how to spot corruption. They see it every day in the government you continue to serve.

Najib 'praises' gov't for hitting 'RM800b' debt mark

Former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak has alleged that the national debt has breached the RM800 billion mark.

“Pakatan Harapan’s dream of an RM1 trillion national debt is becoming a reality,” wrote Najib on his Facebook page today.

Najib published his post after a notice on the issuance of an RM3.5 billion bond tomorrow. This bond will mature in 2035.

Our comment

Malaysia can thank Najib himself, of course, for this particular situation.

Let us hope he keeps up his jests from a deserved place of confinement from where he can do no more such damage. Soon.

Education Is About Facts Not Government Propaganda

The Education Ministry has launched an investigation into the international school that staged a student performance about the negative impacts of palm oil for “spreading propaganda”.

Education director-general Datuk Dr Amin Senin said the Ministry viewed “anti-palm oil propaganda activities” seriously.

He said that the investigation into the private institution is in accordance with the Education Act 1966 (Act 550).

“The Ministry will not compromise with any propaganda and indoctrination in private institutions that tarnish the image and name of the country,” he said in a statement Wednesday (July 3).

He added that the students’ involvement in the activity goes against the country’s policy.

“The Ministry will also release a reminder to all international schools to ensure that this does not happen again,” he said.

Our comment

Ministers should think long and hard before they threaten scientists and teachers, let alone accuse them of  propaganda, which is the activity most associated with those in political power – namely ministers themselves.

Education is the gift one generation passes to the next. Teachers opt for that humble role above all for the greater good, rather than the gratification of big salaries and grand opportunities for themselves (unlike so many politicians).

However, self-interested regimes will often seek to use it as propaganda, aiming to indoctrinate children to serve their own purposes (usually to perpetuate their power).

In enlightened societies, which was the point of the change of government at GE14, professional educators on the other hand will do their best to stick to facts and help children appreciate how their actions have consequences, in order to help them weigh up their own decisions in later years.

Across the developed world classrooms are grappling now, in particular, with global scientists’ growing understanding of the consequences of modern technical capabilities and the consequent mass resource grabs of recent decades. Capital has flowed into fishing, timber extraction, mass agriculture, mining and the burning of fossil fuels, with barely a thought given to the sustainable conservation of these resources or the effect on the atmosphere we breath.

The result is that the planet has tipped into a phase of mass extinction, as habitats are destroyed for animals… such as the orang utan and many others dependent on wild landscapes.  Another consequence is the extremely serious and rapid global warming now taking place.

Years of self-interested propaganda in Malaysia has encouraged educated people to reject these facts, many calling themselves ‘climate sceptics’ or suggesting that they should be allowed to engage in destructive practices because somebody else already did hundreds of years ago when such matters were less understood and far less urgent.

However, responsible teachers will of course now be seeking to explain the facts to Malaysian children along with Chinese and western children that the choices they make about how they treat the environment will not only affect other species, but themselves as well.

This is happening all over the free world, of which Malaysia is now supposed to be a part. Moreover, in a free country like Malaysia, blessed with professional teachers and a flexible curriculum, one should expect politicians to be very wary indeed of wading in with loud and opportunistic knee-jerk interferences in what those independent teachers say and do.

Neither is it clever at a time when Malaysia is negotiating over sustainability goals with customer countries. To publicly berate and threaten to sack professional teachers, whilst dismissing world-recognised scientific facts as ‘propaganda’ can only court disapproval. The teachers are disinterested in passing on these facts and received knowledge to their students, whereas it is the ministers who have a clear motive for propaganda as they defend the economic status quo.

Governments need to face up to the challenges of the day and not stick their heads in the sand or stone the scientists. The orang utan IS endangered, like so many other species, because their habitats have been destroyed by myriad human activities.  Children and adults need to understand that constant trade off and learn the importance of regulating our impact on the planet. Otherwise, the very immediate future for our own species is equally bleak.

That may upset major businesses, driven by capital incentives. However, responsible decision-makers need to balance those interests against the interests of those very children whose future is to a large extent dependent on honesty in their classrooms.

Teachers rightly believe that children ought to be told the truth about practices that will destroy future lives unless these problems are urgently recognised and addressed. Ministers should do their job in addressing those issues and leave teachers to do theirs.