Talkback

Iban Land Rights Snatched Once More

Twelve Sarawakians from the Iban community in Pantu, Sri Aman who brought a civil action against the Sarawak government 12 years ago over a Native Customary Rights (NCR) land dispute lost their case today at the Federal Court.

The apex court allowed the government’s appeal after the High Court and Court of Appeal ruled in the Iban community’s favour in 2011 and 2014 respectively.

According to the plantiffs’ lawyer Dominique Ng, the said property in question which measures about 600ha was granted NCR status in 1954.

Ng, who appeared with lawyer and former Sarawak deputy chief minister Daniel Tajem, said so far the indigenous communities in Sarawak have lost three cases, including this one.

He added that they had the strongest chance of winning this case because the land had been gazetted as NCR land.

The 12 plaintiffs were claiming rights over a stretch of NCR land which had been planted with oil palms.

Our comment

The present regime (as Najib Razak describes his own government) has got matters nicely sorted in the law courts – that’s according to the majority of Malaysia’s own lawyers, who have been protesting the undue influence over appointments.

What has become clear is that the top judges are now to be relied upon to do what “the regime” requires, whether or not the High Court, or in this case even the Appeal Court, have found otherwise.

The Prime Minister has even unconstitutionally engineered the extension of the present Chief Justice beyond his retirement date, despite wholesale opposition by the legal profession, placing a nail in the coffin of any independence of the judiciary in cases where powerful politicians hold an interest.

In this manner the opposition leader, acquitted by the High Court, has been jailed for political reasons and the outrageous further gerrymandering of constuency boundaries, thrown out by the High Court, has been allowed.

However, the most tragic victims of this abuse of justice are the poorest litigants, like the native landowners of Sarawak. These Iban folk have seen their lands snatched for a pittance by the loggers and oil palm growers, like hundreds of thousands of other native people.  Behind those concessionaires are the greedy politicians, who have benefitted from these land grabs most.

The villagers in this latest land case to be over-turned by the Federal Court have been forced to wait for 12 years in their attempt to make their case, as their vindication in the High Court was inexorably wiped out by the crony judges higher up the ladder.  All that time they held out and funded their case from their meagre resources in the hope of seeing justice and of setting a precedent to protect their people and and their children in the vicious battle to snatch their land.

They will now join the queie of people who have finally lost confidence in Malaysian justice. The lesson must surely be that you cannot fund an expensive law case on the one hand yet at the same time sell your vote for a cheap bag of rice to the politicians, who are influencing the appointments of judges.

Because it is only the vote that can restore justice now.

A Cleaner Is Just What's Needed At Putrajaya!

Police want the individual who misplaced a wallet containing foreign currency valued at  RM12,666 at a prominent shopping mall in Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur on Oct 9, to come forward and reclaim it at the Tun HS Lee police station.

Dang Wangi district police chief Mohd Sukri Kaman said the wallet, which contained 30 US dollar notes and Syrian currency,  was discovered by a cleaner at the diaper changing room on the third floor of the shopping mall.

“Police did not find any identification documents in the wallet. Apart from the money, only a few photographs believed to be of the owner were in the wallet,” he told reporters after the presentation of certificates of appreciation to the security personnel of the shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur, today.

Mohd Sukri also thanked the cleaner for her honesty in handing over the wallet to the management of the shopping centre, who subsequently handed it over to the police.

He said that such deeds should be emulated by other parties to create a responsible and honest society.

Our comment

The cleaning person at the baby toilet at Jalan Imbi clearly possesses the one vital virtue that is missing from the present government in Malaysia, which is fundamental honesty.  The police were right to praise her and point out that ‘other parties’ should learn from her!

Forget the fancy qualifications, which the current people at the top like to boast of (plenty of which appear to be fake) since the one thing that people need most in government is trustworthyness.

Sarawak Report therefore suggests that this cleaning lady stand at the next election in a BN seat, since she will plainly do a better job than any present incumbent if she can just manage to get through the day without facilitating public theft.

Meanwhile, she deserves all our respect, because only through honesty and sincerity and service to others can any single individual earn true dignity in the eyes of others.

The police officers, who have also shown themselves more honest than the average UMNO MP by declaring this matter, ought to meanwhile donate her the money as a reward, unless it is re-claimed by a proven owner, who can account for their riches in a proper manner (which seems unlikely).

The Umno grassroots movement has given Dr Mahathir Mohamad a week to apologise for his remarks concerning Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his late father Abdul Razak Hussein during a speech in Sarawak over the weekend.

Failing which, the movement’s chairperson Zulkarnain Mahdar  said, a police report would be lodged against the former prime minister on grounds of slander and incitement.

The movement was responding to Mahathir blaming Najib and his father, who was the second prime minister, for the erosion of rights in Sarawak.

Challenging Mahathir to back his claim with evidence, Zulkarnain pointed out that Najib was the only prime minister who suggested the formation of a special committee to study the rights of the people of Sabah and Sarawak based on the Malaysia Agreement of 1963.

Source:

Our comment

One of the first lessons in PR is that it is best not to go round repeating accusations that make you look bad. It only gives the matter more publicity.

In the world of politics Dr Mahathir is entitled to say he believes blame and responsibility for this or that lies with whoever.  People may or may not be persuaded and they will judge with the counter- arguments also in mind.

But if the person blamed (or even more ridiculous his party) flounces off to the police station crying ‘slander’, then they for sure are going to re-enforce the accusation in people’s minds. Who will now forget that little bit if Mahathir’s long speech where he blamed Razak for cheating the folk of Sabah and Sarawak out of their oil revenues?

It’s what’s known as an own goal in the business and these people keep doing it!

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.