Talkback

Democracy At Work?

Kuala Sepetang assemblyperson Chua Yee Ling has been evicted from Sarawak.

Chua was in Miri for a PKR dinner tonight, when Immigration and police officers gatecrashed the event held at the Eastwood Valley Golf & Country Club.

Footage streamed from the Perak representative’s Facebook page showed her being escorted out of the venue accompanied by the officers.

Chua was calm throughout the eviction, saying she would co-operate.

“You are just doing your job, but I wonder why,” she is heard telling the Immigration officer.

She then got into a black SUV which drove off. Chua told Malaysiakini at about 9.30pm that she was boarding her flight back to the peninsula.

Earlier today, PKR lawmakers Zuraida Kamaruddin and Hee Loy Sien were barred from entering Sarawak after arriving at the Miri airport.

They were also slated to attend the dinner.

PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar subsequently cancelled her flight to Miri, appearing at the party dinner through a video instead.

Our comment

Returning from his latest foreign tour Najib had one of his habitual moans, decrying the opposition for ruining the economy (not him as Finance Minister) and complaining that they were tarnishing Malaysia’s image as a vibrant democracy!

The problem, he whinged, is they keep on making false complaints that things aren’t as democratic as they should be in Malaysia: “Malaysia’s record on democracy and free speech are strong!” he thundered in his blog.

Yet, just days later, a perfect example of BN breaking the rules and abusing government powers to prevent democracy in one of its so-called ‘Safe Deposit’ states of East Malaysia. Najib counts on Sarawak, because of the draconian abuse of power by the client state government, which takes vote buying, threats, gerrymandering and vote rigging to extreme lengths in its low population areas.

So fearful are they of the opposition that they habitually throw legitimate visiting politicians from the mainland out, for fear they may encourage the locals.

What does Najib do about this outrageous practice?  He encourages it, of course. Then he goes abroad and online and tells anyone who will listen that he is a fine democrate just like they are.

Our PM Managed To Visit The US Without Being Arrested!

“Harapan does not want to help the people or develop the nation, they are just engaged in a power struggle and dabble in slander and lies,” he [Musa Annuar – PM’s spokesman] alleged.

According to Annuar, many of the slanderous claims by the opposition have been answered.

“The issue of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak being arrested if he goes to the United States is a lie, the 1MDB issue and the (RM2.6 billion) donation from a Saudi royalty have all been answered, and the people can see the opposition’s dirty politics for themselves,” he said.

On Sunday, Najib announced that Muhammad had seen the light and returned to Umno after leaving the party to join PAS and later PKR.

Our comment

It is an unusual boast for a party leader, let alone Prime Minister, that he has shown he can visit the US without being arrested!

Nevertheless, it had taken him nearly two years, a huge amount of lobbying and a load of tribute flagged up in advance to summon up the courage. In the end, with his voice trembling, Najib did it!

Back home again he seems less fearful once more and quite happy to return to the spinning of bare-faced lies and nonsense, such as Mr Musa Annuar’s claim that thanks to this visit it is somehow “proved” that the money the DOJ says Najib stole from 1MDB was a donation from an anonymous Saudi chap instead.

The criminal investigation is still ongoing and Najib was received in his capacity as the representative of Malaysia, so no surprise he was not arrested, but neither was there much respect!

Annuar should certainly scrape around for other rats to re-join his sinking ship, the opposition need to clear their own decks as much as possible of such characters before they get down to the job of sorting UMNO’s mess.

Najib Admits He Paid Trump?

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak wasted no time hitting back at his critics upon his arrival in Kuala Lumpur tonight, aiming his shots mainly at his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“I want to tell you, when he was prime minister, he wanted to see President (George W) Bush.

“I want to tell you tonight that he paid lobbyists millions of ringgit,” Najib told a thousand-strong crowd that greeted him at the Bunga Raya Complex near KLIA tonight.

Using a mocking tone, Najib went on to say: “Millions were paid, why? Because he wanted to see Bush.

“But Mahathir did not get the same welcome as me,” Najib added.

Our comment

By this outburst it appears that Najib is admitting he paid to see Trump.

His point seems to be that he paid less that he claims Mahathir did in years gone by.  So, how much less did Najib pay?

And is he not rather forgetting the $10-20 billion promised for jet engines, The $4 billion promised from EPF and the investments promised from EPF and investment from Kazanah (quite apart from the bills at Trump Hotel)?

Finally, why was it so important to pay to see Trump at this particular point of time – has an election been planned for October?

It's Called Censorship and Salleh Mulls Totalitarian Tactics Too

The Communications and Multimedia Ministry is considering a proposal to require eligible online news portals to register with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Minister Salleh Said Keruak said the idea was to make news portals in the country more responsible and enable the MCMC to determine the volume of visitors to such portals.

The matter was in the final stage of discussion before being presented to the Attorney-General’s Chambers by the end of this year, he said to reporters after presenting the prizes for the Merdeka 2017 Instagram (Photo and Video) Competition and launching the album of the Patriots band in Kuala Lumpur.

Special Affairs Department (Jasa) director-general Mohd Puad Zarkashi was also present at the event.

“Registration will be based on certain criteria which will determine whether the news portals are eligible for registration or otherwise. Upon registration, all the news portals will be subject to the laws of the Communications and Multimedia Act, and this will facilitate control and monitoring by MCMC,” said Salleh.

He said that besides the registration of the print media, the registration of online media was also the practice in other countries, including Singapore.

Our comment

What a surprise, Minister Salleh Keruak, who achieved promotion as Najib’s most enthusiastic cheerleader, promoting all manner of gross untruths throughout the scandal over 1MDB, wants to censor those who have been by and large disseminating truth.

Salleh wants to be able to decide who gets to host a website and what they get to put on it.

Not only does he want this access to censorship, he also wants to achieve a totalitarian control by monitoring who reads what on these sites as well.

Since Salleh is not the greatest brain and since he has been shown to be a repeat promoter of self-serving lies on behalf of a criminal conspiracy to steal billions from the public, this is a deeply worrying power he ought not have. Even were he to be a sensible and honest person, such weapons should never be available to fall into the hands of villains.

He justifies it by saying that other notoriously oppressive states use these weapons already.

Is Salleh hoping to rush in these controls, so that he can silence the online media before the election?  You bet he is!

Forget PKR, What About Turmoil In PAS?

The turmoil in PKR has worsened with the sacking of Kelantan Youth chief Mohd Hafidz Rizal Amran via WhatsApp today.

Hafidz received the message from the party’s Youth chief, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, this morning.

“I received a WhatsApp message from Nik Nazmi at 9.08am, stating that I’ve been sacked with immediate effect from the post of Kelantan Youth chief. I will issue a statement soon,” he wrote on Facebook.

The matter was confirmed by Nik Nazmi with The Malaysian Insight.

Our comment

If there is confusion in PKR about whether it’s worth trying to maintain good working relations with its former ally (following PAS’s unilateral severing of ties between the parties back in May) what about the rank and file members of PAS?

It was the President Hadi and the Syura Council who triggered the split, in the latest of a long line of decisions designed to break down PAS’s working relationships with its former politcal allies and apparently move the party towards cooperation with UMNO instead.

The change of direction has already split PAS in two, forcing the moderate and secular leaders out to form Amanah, which has devastatingly taken half of PAS’s votes in subsequent by-elections.  Most leaders would be appalled by such damage, but Hadi has carried on bulldozing alliances, which were painstakingly built over many years.

Indeed, PAS rank and file and PAS voters must sigh with ever greater anxiety each time the leadership makes further needless enemies out of their former friends, driving the party further into a hardline rump of extremists with their Islamic State agenda. The debates in PKR must rate nothing compared to those questions within PAS.

So, Hadi should start looking over his own shoulder and counting how many people actually remain behind him as he throws away yet more past friends and apparenly places all his bets on his new “mature cooperation” with Najib’s scandal soaked UMNO/BN alliance.

Ungrateful Voters - Zahid Had Better Get Used To It!

The lack of gratitude for those who brought about development and foreign direct investment (FDI) is the reason behind several states falling into the hands of others, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“There were states which we once developed or emerged as developed states, which fell into other’s hands because there is no gratefulness,” he said when officiating a rural development convention in Kuala Lumpur this evening.

“When we urbanised these rural areas, when we transformed these areas, it was costly…(but) the people who benefitted from the development were not thankful to those who made the effort,” he added.

Our comment

A certain type of politician is always eager to blame others for their failures, but rarely does one who is seeking re-election blame voters.

It is a rule of democratic politics that voters have to be right, since after all they are the boss and the job is in their gift.

BN politicians are awfully keen of course on turning all this on its head and acting like the grand givers towards the humble voters, whom they expect to show grovelling gratitude and burn sacrifices of thanks for their munificence.

However, people know that it was not Zahid who brought development, either through his own money or his own toil.  Whilst Zahid has enjoyed the perks and power of office, the entire world around has been developing too and much of it far faster than  Malaysia (see South Korea/Japan, both far poorer countries in terms of resources).

Were it not for the selfish policies and corruption of Zahid’s party the average Malaysian taxpayer, who has funded all his ‘development policies’ and a lot more besides, would be immesurably better off.

That is why many of the more informed areas in Malaysia have indeed started voting Zahid’s party out.  They owe BN no duty whatsoever. Like any boss they have seen that Zahid and his friends are poor and ineffective employees, who have also been stealing around the house and so they have fired them.

To be accused of being ungrateful is hardly going to attract voters back into hiring them again.

Proof The DOJ Has Stopped Investigating 1MDB??!

The US Department of Justice’s (DoJ) suspension of its civil suits against 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) shows there is a lack of evidence of wrongdoing by the state investment fund, says the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications team.

“Civil suits related to this case which started a year ago, which has essentially gone nowhere without sufficient evidence, are now frozen,” said its deputy director Datuk Eric See-To in a statement on Friday.

He added that the civil action against 1MDB, without sufficient evidence, signalled the political motivation of individuals from the previous US administration.

He stressed that it was important to note that 1MDB “is not a party to the DoJ’s civil suits.”

“As far as 1MDB is concerned, all its funds have been accounted for, in addition to the Malaysia Attorney-General’s statements after the DoJ filings that there has been no evidence of any misappropriation of funds,” he said.

Our comment

It is not surprising these government spokespeople are lying in the face of mountains of documented evidence, since the Najib adminstration has turned blatant misinformation and rejection of the truth into its trademark.

Like most criminals in the dock they will continue to plead not guilty until the judge and jury finds them otherwise.

The DOJ spokespeople have stayed the proceedings of the civil case, because that means they can get on with their active parallel criminal investigation at their leisure with the assets still frozen and out of the reach of Riza, Jho and all the rest.  This is how they put it:

The United States makes this Motion on the ground that proceeding with the case is likely to have an adverse effect on the ability of the government to conduct a related federal criminal investigation….. The government seeks a stay pending the resolution of a related federal criminal investigation arising from the same fact alleged in the First Amended Complain on the grounds that proceeding with the instant action is likley to have an adverse effect on the government’s ability to conduct the related criminal investigation”

Trying to pretend that this means anything other than that criminal investigations are ongoing and that the FBI are happy to keep assets frozen for as long as those take represents no more than a refusal to read the print on the page by Najib’s circle.

Relying again on insinutations that new law enforcers are friendly to Najib unlike old ones, again merely betrays BN’s fundamental failure to understand the basic principles of modern democratic governance, which demand that the executive keeps its nose and manipulative interferences out of judicial processes.

Najib Compares His Malaysia To Iraq Under Sadam Hussein??

“Changing the government is not a solution, if it is better, then it makes sense … if worse, more disaster and more uncertainties … that’s a stupid thing to do … Sorry, have to say it.

“My doctor at the IJN (National Heart Institute) informed me about this Iraqi patient who when asked if it was better then or now, he said even that even under hated President Saddam Hussein, at least they had food on the table, children could go to school, and the country was safe.

“However, look at it now, it’s all destroyed.

“Changing an existing government does not guarantee better governance,” Najib was quoted as saying by the national news agency.

Yesterday, the prime minister told the Parit Umno division annual meeting that only powerless parties that wanted to topple the government engaged in fear politics.

The national news agency cited Najib as saying Umno, as the ruling party, did not need to play “politics of fear” as this would only destroy the people’s hopes.

“We will be in disarray, disorganised, uncertain, aimless (if resorting to politics of fear), Umno will continue to give hope for the people because it has been proven that for the 60 years Umno has been in power, we are the party that has done a lot of deeds and brought changes to Malaysia,” he had said.

In his speech today, Najib also emphasised how Malaysia was not a failed state contrary to claims by the opposition.

Our comment

So, Najib has just compared his governance of Malaysia to the murderous dictatorship of Iraq under Sadam Hussein, which finally provoked disastrous foreign intervention – or is he just warning of further things to come?

Many will agree that Malaysia is already on the road towards a nasty Middle Eastern-style dictatorship, what with the Prime Minister’s repeated violations of the constitution always with the purpose of securing his own position, preventing investigations into corruption and keeping loyal people in key positions that ought to be independent.

It is called abuse of power and once embarked upon it can lead a country down a very steep and dangerous slope. This is what people ought to be fearful of, because the consequences can indeed be war, famine, primitive conditions – certainly the loss of liberty.

The peaceful transition of power from one party to another, on the other hand, as provided for every five years by Malaysia’s consitution, is the best way to avoid such conflicts, since it allows the people to get rid of uselss, corrupt and discredited leaders in a polite and peaceful manner.

By seeking to block democratic change and inciting fear amongst voters in this way, it is Najib who creating danger for Malaysia and setting it further towards the path of dictatorship, doom and disaster!