Talkback

National Security?

Sarawak Report (SR) should be investigated for threatening national security, a minister said today after the website disclosed what it claimed to be a classified Auditor-General’s report.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said  the whistleblower website’s claim, if true, would be a breach of the Official Secrets Act 1972 (OSA).

“The recent declaration that Sarawak Report has in its possession of a document classified under OSA warrants investigation by the police.

“Such an investigation needs to be undertaken urgently and expeditiously to prevent further leakages of official secrets documents which may put the country in security jeopardy,” Salleh told Malay Mail Online when contacted today

Our comment

This Minister for Fun has acknowledged the report is real, which gets rid of one bit of nonsense at least – the allegation that we had “forged” it.

However, he ought not conflate ‘national security’ with the security of criminals on the run from the law.

There are plainly still good folk in Malaysia, who have not yet been murdered or sacked or put in prison, who have a clear enough sense of right and wrong that they have refused to accept blatant abuses of power.

One such blatant abuse was to slap an official secrets order on what ought to have been and was promised would be a public report by the Auditor General into what has gone wrong with 1MDB.

It is in the national interest for these facts to be widely known, in order to prevent future such debacles and ‘disappearances’ of billions of dollars of public money.

It is only in the interests of the criminals responsible to cover it up and make it secret.

Another Good Man Down

A senior leader of Malaysia’s ruling party quit on Monday, the latest among several party officials to leave or be sacked after criticizing Prime Minister Najib Razak over a multi-billion dollar financial scandal involving a state-owned fund.

Recent electoral wins and a gradual recovery in the economy have allowed Najib to sack more critics and reshuffle his cabinet, bringing in loyalists ahead of general polls that may be held as early as next year.

Shafie Apdal, who as a vice-president was the fifth-most senior leader of the United Malay National Organization (UMNO), resigned two weeks after two other senior leaders were sacked by the party over their criticism of Najib’s handling of the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal.

“Justice is not being done. There is no justice in the way UMNO is being run,” Shafie said on Monday at a rally in his home constituency of Semporna, a ruling party stronghold in the Borneo state of Sabah.

Our comment

The international press has noted this, yet another senior departure from UMNO, as will financial markets and all Malaysia watchers.

A leader must rule by consent in order to rule successfully.  Yet, one after another, the brightest stars, who once supported Najib, have resigned or protested and been sacked.

The ones who remain are tarnished themselves or jumped up opportunists, promoted beyond their dreams.

The Lord and Lady Macbeth of Malaysia may seek to say that this is all represents a consolidation of their power, but with every departure of respected courtiers comes a growing unease.

The other Shakespearian analogy presently wafting around KL is that there is something rotten in the State of Malaysia: a whiff of corruption, murder and madness is in the air.

Everybody knows it and it cannot end well.

He Knows How It's Done!

Buoyed by BN twin victories in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is now setting his eyes on recapturing Selangor from Pakatan Harapan.

A jubilant Najib said this to some 250 supporters gathered at the Umno Sungai Besar headquarters to celebrate the victory of BN’s candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi.

“With this victory in Sungai Besar, it can be our starting point for a renewed vibrant spirit.

“The spirit for us to attack! For us to recapture Selangor,” he declared to cheers from the crowd.

Our comment

Jail the opposition leader and use your excessive powers and money to swing the margins.

Encourage divisive religious extremism and racial disharmony.

Abuse your total control of the media and exploit hopelessness.  Gosh, and you win a few hundred more votes than the combined opposition you have succeeded in dividing.

Then pat yourself on the back for a fair election win and laugh that now you are the Idi Amin of Malaysia!

Najib should call that General Election now… before the full details of his thefts officially come out and even the greediest British businessmen will have to admit the proof is staring them down.

It Could Be You, Najib!

Malaysia’s Senate should reject the government’s proposed legal changes that would undermine the rights of criminal suspects, Human Rights Watch said today. Amendments to the country’s Code of Criminal Procedure passed the lower house of parliament on May 19, 2016, and will be debated by the Senate in the session starting on June 13.

The proposed amendments are being made at a time when the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak has intensified its crackdown on criticism by civil society activists, Human Rights Watch said. The code changes would limit the discretion of judges to impose more lenient sentences, allow for previously inadmissible testimony by unidentified witnesses and written testimony, and allow the denial of bail for a broader range of political and other offences.

“The proposed amendments are part of a troubling trend of the Malaysian government undermining the right to a fair trial during periods of political turmoil,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia Director at Human Rights Watch. “The Senate should reject amendments that undermine the rights of the accused or judges’ authority to protect rights.”

Our comment

Najib, who gloried in portraying himself as a progressive reformer when he came into office, has spent the last year attempting to strip away everyone else’s basic rights in Malaysia, in order to protect himself from his own criminal actions.

As a political leader he has shown not one shred of concern for his duties towards those who placed their trust in him: perhaps because he knows they didn’t; the opposition won most of the votes at the last election, despite his massive cheating and bribery.

Najib is cementing a dictatorship, where protection of the individual against arbitrary action by those who have grasped the levers of authority is being swept away.  Civilised societies have learnt to value such protections and to evolve basic individual rights, not least because none of us can be confident that one day it might not be ourselves or a loved one, who unexpectedly falls foul of those in power.

Indeed, it might be Najib.  He has done enough wrong to find himself in very hot water some day. He might wish then that he had kept those basic rights in situ.

Bribe Minister

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak teases that he may donate to the Ma’muniah mosque in Sungai Besar after the polls.

This would be in addition to the RM500,000 Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has pledged for the mosque. “If you want to add some more, come see me after the elections,” Najib says in his speech after a breaking fast.

Our comment

Malaysians have become wearily used to Najib Razak’s blatant public vote buying.

So, foreign businessmen and their political clients ought to stop pretending he is not a proven crook. He condemns himself through his own mouth, quite apart from the proof of his bank balances, which he also cannot deny.

What ought to concern the voters most is where next does Najib plan to plunder, in order to make these dirty pay-offs, now that so many of his foreign bank accounts have been frozen?

Digging A Deeper Hole

The Wall Street Journal’s allegations against Malaysia have been proven to be lies, this time by the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s press aide.

Tengku Shariffuddin Tengku Ahmad noted how the publication alleged that Goldman Sachs wired US$3 billion in proceeds of a 1MDB bond issuance to BSI Bank in Singapore, and that some of these funds were later transferred to the prime minister.

However, he said the Monetary Authority of Singapore revealed that no bank in Singapore received the US$3 billion wire transfer from Goldman Sachs in relation to the bond issuance for 1MDB.

“Despite the gravity of their allegations, the WSJ gave no evidence at all to support their claims – as is now standard process in their Malaysia reporting.

“In a cowardly tactic to avoid being sued, the WSJ attributes all its allegations to anonymous sources, such as ‘people familiar with the matter’ and unnamed ‘investigators’,” he added in a media statement.

Our comment

This spokesman might have done better to wait before barking, given that his own boss has himself issued so little information to explain exactly where 1MDB’s money disappeared to – or how a billion dollars ended up in his own account.

Frankly, such is the lack of transparency over 1MDB, people have been justified in speculating the worst; and when evidence emerged that the worst had indeed occurred this Prime Minister has not dared to test the facts in court.

So, his spokespeople should not try to make hay out of small details, which journalists may have got wrong as they attempt to tease the truth from a massive cover-up, because, as in this case, the truth can turn out to have been even worse than originally reported!

The minor error related to which branch of BSI bank received the $3 billion.  It turned out to be the Swiss Headquarters rather than Singapore, which is even more damaging for the bank, which has been trying to contain its involvement in the scandal to its Singapore operations (now closed down).

Najib’s spokesman has compounded matters by further alleging that the reason his boss can’t sue the WSJ is because the WSJ has not revealed its sources, which is ridiculous.

If the WSJ was publishing untruths it would be the easiest thing in the world for Najib to demonstrate this was the case, by bringing the true facts before the courts and issuing proper company accounts.

If he has nothing to hide, why so much hidden?

 

Lying Lester!

Former Sarawak Report journalist Lester Melanyi (pix) has penned a book on an alleged plot to topple Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The book is scheduled to hit the streets by October this year.

The book would carry his account of working with Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown, he told Bernama in an interview recently.

He claimed that Rewcastle-Brown had collaborated with certain politicians in Malaysia to use Sarawak Report as a platform to topple Najib.

Our comment

Lying Lester Melanyi has never written a word for Sarawak Report.

He signed up as a volunteer for the separate Iban/Malay radio team, Radio Free Sarawak for a very few months in 2011, but was described by other volunteers as lazy and worse than useless, so the team did not ask him to stay.

Najib’s propagandists are welcome to waste their money on him, because no one believes a word of his inconsistent nonsense.

Preventative Measures Needed Against Upstarts In Uniforms

Immigration director-general Sakib Kusmi says he is empowered by the law to decide whether or not government critics can leave the country.

Thus, he said, the ban list was based on his own discretion, as well as the advice of other enforcement agencies.

“For example, if the police say someone is dangerous, even though it (the matter) has not gone to court yet, we can take action,” he said when met at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport today.

He was commenting further on his previous remarks that critics of the government would not be allowed to leave the country….

Sakib defended the barring of critics as a preventive measure.

“We don’t want to act only after something happens,” he said without elaborating.

He also said there was a difference between criticising the government and insulting it.

“As long you have no intention to be radical, there’s no problem… You can criticise, but it must be positive criticism.

“Not criticism saying this person is no good. Some don’t even criticise but insult, that is worse.”

However, he denied that this was politicking

Our comment

This chap in a uniform, hired by the Rakyat, is exceeding his powers.

In fact, he doesn’t appear to understand his powers, let alone half the things he is talking about.

He is, therefore, far more dangerous a character to the safety of individuals and the state than all the people he is arbitrarily trying to shut in and shut out of the country.

If ‘preventative action’ is needed it should be against him, in order to stop him from shooting from the hip at anyone he personally decides has produced criticism that he has concluded is not ‘positive’ criticism, but negative.

As if he knew one from the other, given that the distinction is subjective.

Someone should take legal action against this fellow for assuming that his job in overseeing orderly immigration procedures is a way of harassing upright citizens, who might happen to disagree with his boss.

The Usual Insults From RPK

Raja Petra wrote, “The non-Muslim Chinese and Indians may have earned the right to call themselves Malaysian citizens but that does not mean they have also earned the right to tell Muslims how they should practice Islam.

“Andy Yong needs to do a reality check and not assume that his Malaysian citizenship means he can define Islam. Islam is defined by the Quran and not by people like Andy Yong.”

“What is he trying to prove?” retorted Yong, a lawyer.

“First of all, I have never attempted to define Islam, but the constitutional aspect of it.

“What I explained was it is inevitable that if Hadi’s bill comes into force, it will affect the non-Muslims as well,” he said…..

He was responding to the article titled ‘Chinese should stop trying to prove they are stupid’…

Our comment

This blogger’s present trademark is to insult the Chinese and other non-Malays, which is particularly sad since he is married to a Chinese.

However, his own credentials are shaky when claiming to speak for Malays.

His mother was British and he took up his right to citizenship and a UK passport when he fell foul of libel law in Malaysia (and became bankrupt) and fled abroad.

Under Malaysian legislation prohibiting dual citizenship this nullifies his right to a Malay passport.

So, RPK is a foreigner too.

Grades of Intelligence

Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairman Hasan Arifin today denied The Wall Street Journal’s report claiming that the Bank Negara letter proves Good Star Limited was owned by tycoon Low Taek Jho, or better known as Jho Low.

Hasan said this was because Bank Negara Malaysia had stated that the information provided to the PAC was ‘intelligence grade’.

“The PAC is not an intelligence body and the information received must be verified and true.

“Because the information was intelligence grade, the PAC cannot include the information (in its final report) as it would contradict our duties and responsibilities, as well as could create prejudice against various parties,” said the Rompin MP in a statement.

He added that Bank Negara had also concluded its investigations on 1MDB and issued an administrative compound, which had been settled.

Our comment

Malaysians can conclude Arafin's own grade of intelligence, in that he appears to think the rest of them are sub-70 to accept such nonsense.