Talkback

Let Them Eat Cake?

Johor ruler Sultan Ibrahim Sultan Iskandar is now the proud owner of the country’s most expensive number plate to date.

Transport Minister Anthony Loke revealed that Sultan Ibrahim had paid RM1.2 million to the government to acquire “FF 1” from the Road Transport Department’s (RTD) special “FF” series.

In a Facebook post today, Loke said he was granted an audience with the southern state ruler to hand over the unique number plate.

“For the record, the payment of RM1.2 million is the highest value ever collected by the government for the registration of a vehicle number plate!

…. Sultan Ibrahim, who owns a lavish car collection, is no stranger to winning bids and paying a hefty amount for highly sought-after number plates.

In 2016, His Majesty bought the “F 1” registration number after making a winning bid of RM836,660 for it. A month later, he splurged another RM989,780 for the “V 1” plate.

Sultan Ibrahim had previously also won the bids for the “W1N” and “WWW1” number plates for RM748,000 and RM520,000 respectively.

Our comment

It is to be hoped the money gained by the government will be put to good use in return for yet another absurd luxury for a member of Malaysia’s super-consumer elite.

However, those with humbler appetites for ostentation and luxury are likely to be thinking of all the good uses that a million plus ringgit could have been put to to ameliorate the lives of the poverty stricken classes in that state.

Early nurseries and baby milk for poor mothers?  Any kind of sustenance for those suffering the worst of the high global food prices would do.

Roads are useful and the oil-rich country has plenty of them to benefit the owners of fleets of cars. However, in Malaysia too many are left behind and it would appear that the minds of those with plenty of cash are not focused on their duties towards those people.

Cheapest Tariffs In Malaysia!

Sarawak’s electricity tariffs are currently the lowest in the country, says Utilities Minister Dr Stephen Rundi.

In this respect, he points out that the state government had reduced the rates a couple of times before, including when Sarawak was under the leadership of the fifth chief minister, Pehin Sri Adenan Satem.

Known fondly by many as ‘Tok Nan’, Adenan passed away on Jan 11, 2017.

“We reduced our electricity tariffs twice before – during Tok Nan’s time, and another which was announced in March by (present) Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg to mitigate the Covid-19 impact.

“Ours is the lowest in the region,” he told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

Our comment

Many residents of various ‘resettlement’ zones displaced by Hydroelectric Dams are only too ready to agree with Dr Rundi.

They were promised FREE electricity when they were forced from their homes by rising waters, many over a decade ago. And, indeed, for many of them their tariffs remain ZERO.

However, the reason owes to the fact that no electricity has been provided.

Given such a poor record on its developments goals, despite being by far Malaysia’s most richly resourced state, Sarawak ministers would do well not to start bragging about their record on delivering to the people.

 

Don't Be "Pre-Occupied" With Good Old Corruption, Says Bersatu Deputy

Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim should not be preoccupied with eradicating corruption but must also focus on improving the standard of living for Malaysians, said Ahmad Faizal Azumu.

The Bersatu deputy president pointed out this is part of the premier’s duties.

“As a Muslim, I believe that when you ask Allah, Allah will give.

“So he asked Allah for 20 years (to become the prime minister). Now you are the PM, you have the mandate. This is your responsibility,” he added.

Our comment

The question is whether this Deputy (whose boss is in court for stealing millions) is stupid or just thinks his voters are stupid?

By making these remarks he acknowledges the corruption that exists in his own party, but claims it doesn’t matter. Greedy politicians should just be allowed to steal the people’s hard earned taxes and somehow this has nothing to do with them being poor and services being unavailable.

After all, he explains, it is not for the government to help them as they should rely instead on “Allah to provide”.
(Is this a word that Sarawak Report would even be allowed to use in barmy PN controlled Malaysia? Who knows, but everywhere else in the world it’s considered to be fine).

So, if this ‘Peja’ and his boss were to steal money that could have gone to help mitigate the effects of food prices on those people already impoverished by corrupt governance in a richly resourced land, it would not be them to blame but the people’s for not asking Allah to provide?

Or …. is he saying it is Allah’s fault for landing them with such a dreadful bunch of brigands as their leaders?

In fact, even the poorest people realise that Allah is there to guide our morals and these determine conduct and who to vote for and who to punish when they sin (including and especially those kleptocrats who abuse the people’s trust).

It is clear this Desperate Deputy wishes people would believe that punishing sinners should be left to Allah also and that the government and judiciary should not trouble themselves on the matter.  They don’t, but it would certainly let his party off the hook!

'NGO' Or Just Another Front Man For Samling?

Licensed timber operators and environmental groups must be committed towards resolving differences amicably and work together to safeguard the environment as well as the interests of local and indigenous communities, urged an advocacy group for sustainable forest management today.

The statement from Advokasi Pribumi Sarawak Sdn Bhd (APS) came following news reports of the court case between a Sarawak timber company [Samling] and Save Rivers wherein the former is suing the environmental NGP for defamation…

Expressing concern over the involvement of the courts, APS executive director Nigel Raymond said they were made to understand that the timber company had made several attempts to amicably resolve the issue by reaching out to Save Rivers to clarify matters.

“This was rejected by the NGO. We had read in a recent statement that the timber company was left with no choice but to file the defamation suit just an hour before the end of the statutory limitation period applicable in Sarawak” said Nigel, who has been following the case closely.

Nigel also expressed confusion regarding recent comments made by Save Rivers, claiming that the court’s postponement of the case on May 15th, 2023 was an attempt to ‘silence’ the NGO.

“From what we understand, this is the first time the court has postponed the hearing, not the fourth as claimed by Save Rivers”, he added…..

… to date, there are no practical solutions put forth by any environmental NGOs that balances the need for socio-economic growth with the preservation and restoration of our natural resources.

“Calling for and end to all timber operations and attacking companies, policymakers and public agencies that support the timber business may bring about a negative multiplier effect to Sarawak”, he said.

Highlighting the positive contributions of timber companies to local communities, Nigel mentioned their role in job creation, infrastructure developments like roads, culverts and bridges, and the construction of essential amenities like schools and clinics…….

rsz_nigel

Our comment

This Nigel Raymond seems to have achieved enviable publicity over the past couple of days for this attack on the NGO Save Rivers, presently being sued for libel by the global timber giant, Samling, for championing indigenous communities whose lands are being logged without due process or consultation (let alone compensation).

Likewise, Nigel got a good shout for an earlier attack in March against Save Rivers on behalf of the local YB, Denis Ngau, whom Sarawak Report has likewise questioned over his dubious representation of the interests of his indigenous constituents (many of whom remain without their proper ID cards, the most basic function this YB could have performed, if not so busy supporting logging interests).

However, apart from this recent publicity, Nigel and his NGO seem to have arrived from nowhere. He claims to be a registered company, Advokasi Pribumi Sarawak Sdn Bhd. Yet, when we searched the ROC (Register of Companies) that name does not appear we discovered only an Advokasi Pribumi (Sarawak) Sdn Bhd, based in KL.

Stunningly, this outfit was only incorporated on March 16th of this year, just the day before Nigel made his public utterance as an “advocacy group for sustainable forest management” by condemning Save Rivers on behalf of Denis Ngau.

The outfit has a Facebook page, also launched on March 16th. It has just two friends so far. There are no posts. However, our research has produced an email from this site and we will send our questions there.

There is a website listed online, but if you try to enter it you get a ‘Server Error’ message.

Forbidden - you do not have permission to access

Forbidden – you do not have permission to access

So far there is no evidence to determine what, if any, actual advocacy this ‘NGO’ may have conducted for sustainable forest management in Sarawak.

Meanwhile, we are left to note that the remarks in Nigel Raymond’s statement look more than anything like a ham-fisted concoction of the Samling press department itself, containing a mix of laughable sustainability claims on the part of perhaps the most shamed and notorious timber companies on the planet and downright lies.

So, let’s be clear, according to the lawyers, this is the fourth postponement of the case.

Samling had no need to sue a vulnerable community and their representatives for huge sums of ‘libel’ compensation to stop them protesting at the logging on their land. The community have every right to protest and Samling has now transgressed not only their  their native lands but also their freedom of speech.

If, as Nigel claims, the NGO rejected whatever ‘settlement’ Samling has in mind (and its a big if), then Samling had better propose something a lot less self-serving to shut down this case that is now backfiring disastrously with bad publicity across the world. How about serious financial compensation for a start?

Perhaps this big bunch of bullies are finally starting to realise that defamation suits designed to shut people up – known as SLAPP suits – can be massively counter-productive for a Goliath seeking to squash a David by starting expensive legal proceedings?

Thanks to this action, the world if rapidly finding out more and more about Samling and its bullying behaviour, dragging native folk to court instead of engaging in the proper consultations due under the laws of Sarawak.

This legal bullying was badly misjudged, therefore, and Nigel, given he plainly speaks on behalf of Samling, has every reason to be concerned about the involvement of the courts. But, it was the company’s own fault and he would do better to recognise it rather than attacking an NGO that genuinely represents the community it serves.

Meanwhile, unless this ‘NGO director’ contacts us to say otherwise, we are free to assume his media statement was drawn up by the press department of Samling itself and that the timber giant is contributing to his revenues.

 

The Future Will Judge Musa's Legacy

Mara Junior Science College (MRSM) Kota Kinabalu is now known as MRSM Tan Sri Musa Aman, in recognition of the services of the former Sabah chief minister, said Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said that Musa, as the Sabah chief minister, had contributed a lot to the state. In fact, Musa was one of the important individuals in the efforts to establish MRSM Kota Kinabalu 21 years ago.

In this regard, Zahid, who is also the rural and regional development minister, reminded the current generation to always remember and respect the efforts of previous generations in providing the comfort they presently enjoy.

“Although he (Musa) is no longer the chief minister, as his friend I must recognise him as the former chief minister.

Our comment

The crooks from UMNO’s shameful past can pat themselves on the back as much as they like. They know how they will go down in history and indeed how they are thought of now.

Musa, having robbed Sabah through waves of destructive logging, fled in a blind panic after the landslide election in 2018 which saw the kleptocrats like him driven out of office.

He hid in London and then when finally extracted back to face the music, namely 46 charges relating to corruption and money laundering linked to timber concessions in the state, he took to his bed pleading sickness for several weeks.

The world scorned the craven bully who had once swaggered over the impoverished state. It still does.

His fortunes rose again, after Malaysia’s political crooks managed to buy over enough PH deserters to stage a backdoor coup against the elected government. After all, his brother, Najib’s former foreign minister and a key supporter over 1MDB, was there at the heart of the coup regime to champion his release.

So, did this ‘hero’ of Sabah emerge victorious from the court having been found innocent of all charges? Of course not! The newly appointed AG merely followed political orders and dropped all the charges in one fell swoop without a single word of explanation – not that anyone needed an explanation.

How shameful, therefore, for the junior scientists of Sabah to have the name of such a man stuck over the door as they pursue their, hopefully, honest studies. However, they will surely ignore the insult and moving into the future the name will also be removed.

Musa will be remembered by future generations in Sabah and Malaysia as one of the generation of kleptocrats who used his wealth and influence to avoid just punishment. That is all.

Most Wanted?

The government is working on bringing fugitive businessperson Low Taek Jho (Jho Low) back to the country as soon as possible, although faced with an arduous process in doing so, Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim has said.

According to Anwar, negotiations have been carried out with several countries to extradite Low to face the music in connection with the 1MDB scandal.

“Of course. yes. That has been the position and we have been very tough from day one,” he told reporters when asked about the government’s stance on Low’s extradition to Malaysia.

Anwar, however, did not name the countries Putrajaya has engaged with on the matter.

Sheikh Sabah, royal son of the former Kuwaiti PM was arrested and sent to jail April 16th

Sheikh Sabah, royal son of the former Kuwaiti PM was arrested and sent to jail April 16th

 

Our comment

Those interested in promoting movie capers appear to forget that Malaysia’s most pressing priority is to ensure Najib – the actual criminal mastermind of 1MDB – remains locked up, rather than haring after a runaway fat boy already in the tender clutches of the Chinese mafia.

The still wealthy and well connected ex-PM is plainly willing to destabilise the return to law and order in his country to escape from behind bars – it took five years to get him there.

Daily, there are pleas and demonstrations and nonsense claims that he was innocent – he can do real damage to Malaysia if he gets out, unlike Jho Low.

Jho Low, on the other hand, could do real damage to China were it to ever let him go, which is why, however loud the hew and cry, it won’t.

Were Jho to arrive in KLIA, it would merely be in transit. The agents of the FBI would be there to greet him having arranged his onward extradition to the USA where he is wanted for assisting China’s spy services in seeking to lobby and bribe close political aides to no less than two US Presidents.

China’s nefarious dealings with Najib in supporting his 1MDB+ Cover-up Phase, first by inflating the ECRL rail contract and then by laundering the cash using Chinese state contractors and Chinese state banks through Kuwait (as exclusively exposed by Sarawak Report), would come out in toe curling detail in that court case.

The involvement of the Chinese government at the highest levels in that 1MDB+ scandal, involving the theft of about as many billions as the original 1MDB scam, was officially laid out in the recent Kuwait court judgement that sentenced Jho Low, his college friend, lawyer and the son of the ex-Kuwait PM to ten years in jail.

Sheikh Sabah has now been rounded up himself and banged behind bars, as a reminder that it is the men at the top who do the most damage if they break the sacred trust that is put upon them and therefore they who deserve punishment the most – like Najib.

The thought of all these details coming out in the English language and under the glare of the Western media in a US Federal Court would be anathema to China.

Senior figures from the Silk Road Corporation, a purported nephew of the Chinese President, Chinese ambassadors, top Chinese corporations, top Chinese banks were all involved, as readers of Sarawak Report will know. The CEO of the major Chinese contractor CCCC threw himself from a tall building not so long after the ECRL scandal broke.

The 1MDB story is a study in the modern abuse of power, geopolitical rivalry, financial corruption and off-shore chicanery that is wreaking lives and destroying our planet.

Najib. having placed himself at the epicentre of a corrupt regime, seized every lever of power and smashed the checks and balances. He then proceeded to loot the country through oligarch agents. Jho Low’s foolish behaviour made him easy to spot over 1MDB.

That China’s top movers and shakers also enmeshed themselves with this foolish fellow, engaging in his criminal capers and using him as an ambassadorial figure to countries in the Gulf can only be a matter of regret to the serious power mongers in Beijing set on standing tall in the world.

If they want their most embarrassing episode played out on the international stage then they will return Jho Low to Malaysia. It may not be in the coming week.

Casinos - A Chance For 'Development' Or Just More Crime?

Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Tiong King Sing has urged critics who use religion to argue against the proposal to set up a casino in Sarawak to look to the Middle East for inspiration on moderation.

In a statement, Tiong said as Malaysia was a multi-racial and multi-religious country, politicians should not try to be more conservative than the Middle East.

“As an example, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) will be hosting Miss World 2023 this year. There are also (many) luxury casinos in the Middle East.

“Should Malaysia, especially Sarawak, be denied the right to develop?” asked Tiong, in addressing objections by Sarawak PAS chief Jofri Jaraiee towards the casino proposal.

Among others, Jofri argued that the casino will bring social ills to Sarawakians.

Tiong argued that the casino – proposed as part of an integrated resort in Borneo Highlands which is a four-hour drive south of Kuching – would spur the economy and provide jobs if implemented.

Revenue from the project, said Tiong, can then be used to develop the rural areas in Sarawak.

“If we can stimulate the economy for the locals, why should we object (to the proposal)?

Our comment

There is a reason why religious groups (of all faiths) disapprove of gambling. It is an addiction that, more than any other, ruins not only the lives of addicts themselves but of their whole families. This is sinful.

However, the Bintulu MP, Mr Tiong, suggests that it would be marvellous to create a sink of depravity – a ‘Gambling Mecca’ – right bang in the middle of one of the remaining Gardens of Eden left on our earth – the pristine hills of the Borneo Highlands.

His excuse is the same old chestnut that his business and political friends have employed for decades in their relentless pursuit of money and their grab for the resources of the people of Sarawak – that Casinos ‘will bring development’ (at last).

Wasn’t logging already supposed to have brought development?
Were not plantations already supposed to have brought development?
Was not hydro-power and its mega-dams already supposed to have brought development?
What happened to the money grabbed from oil, gas, gold, coal, sand and all the rest?

Were not all these activities supposed to have provided the taxes and royalties to ‘bring development’?  If not, what hope can we have that Casinos will bring development?

Sarawak is one of the richest corners of natural resources on the planet. Something that Mr Tiong’s businessmen friends are only too aware of: it is why they came to Sarawak and remain pillaging it. Together with their political puppets they are already fantastically rich,  yet the people they have continually promised to help remain bereft.

The same greedy destroyers are now floundering for new ideas in their post-extraction stage and what better, they clearly reckon, than to set up a gambling and entertainment centre to fleece their sick, addicted colleagues and launder the world’s ill-gotten gains, such as their own?

The other side of the coin when it comes to casinos is crime. So, if Mr Tiong wants to shove a dirty Mecca for Gambling into Sarawak, what is wrong with his own Bintulu?

And if he wants to populate this sin bin with ‘show girls’ why not choose members of his own family and friends to attract the Arab voyeurs of ‘beauty contests’ that he talks of?

Why destroy the Borneo Highlands and all their natural wonders and why pollute the native people with all the sinful addictions associated with gambling and casinos?

Could the answer be selfishness and greed?

Gambling On The Jungle?

Minister of Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Roland Sagah Wee Inn has no qualms with the idea of opening a casino in Borneo Highlands.

He said he supports the idea as the casino may help spur the state’s economy.

“I still remember many years ago when Singapore also opposed the idea of having a casino but eventually they allowed gambling in Singapore and we see how it (has) developed. But of course, with all this, we must have certain guidelines to control gambling in our state……

Sagah also believed there is no harm in having a casino, saying that those who don’t know how to gamble or are now allowed to gamble will have no need to visit it.

“We are a free world, but those who have lots of money to gamble – go ahead.

Kch-250323-rm-SagahCasino-1

 

Our comment

It is perhaps not polite to mention, and founded only on the bleary, baggy-eyed appearance of this minister (for education, of all things), but he looks like a prime target for this casino he proposes.rsz_gamble

Of course, like any self-respecting member of the Sarawak State Government, he is eager to receive money, pretty much however it is made.

Destroying rainforest for cash has been their stock in trade.

But, in this day and age, do busy addicts really need or want to lug themselves up a distant mountain to get stuck into their favourite vices?

Think of all the other things that will need dragging up the hill. Hoards of call girls (the native community are unlikely to have enough daughters for the task), crates of whiskey, drugs, defibrillators, beef, lobster sushi and all the rest.

Think of the expense if it flops after all that effort, since the debauched of South East Asia may well decide to stick nearer the office, for example, in ahead-of-the-game Singapore?

Alternatively, since this project sets out to attract primarily those who are lost to their surroundings, why not put it in a palm plantation, somewhat nearer to Kuching?

Why use this exercise as an excuse to destroy a last remaining sanctuary for Borneo’s unparalleled natural heritage where these folk intend to mow down trees, pollute rivers, blare out rock music and doubtless roll out ‘easy walking trails’ for their hung-over clients to waddle across for ‘exercise’ in between massages and their sad excesses?

The reason is clear. This is one area that has become sacred as a forest sanctuary in the minds of the community, so that even the Sarawak State Government does not dare hand out a concession to Samling or some other crony to flatten it completely.

They are therefore looking for excuses to destroy it for cash some other way.

The reason why tourism has flopped in Sarawak is because they are asking the wrong people and looking for the wrong visitors. The jaded dictators of GPS are not businessmen and they don’t understand the impulses of tourists from free and prosperous countries that might bring them to Sarawak.

There are millions of ‘woke’ Europeans and Americans who long to explore the living world and taste nature in its original state. They have all ‘done’ golf, ‘done’ casinos, ‘done’ the highlife in concrete towers – they had seen it all long before the farm boys from GPS started to think this was the ultimate dream.

However, what they have not done (and might pay to do) is what a few remaining corners of Sarawak can still offer – a chance to experience a genuine community with the fast disappearing world from which humans have arisen, travel up-river in a longboat and explore the jungle on foot.

What fools these aspiring wannabes of GPS have to be, to wish to destroy the one asset where their country can outdo every other!

Don’t allow Malaysia’s justice system to be destroyed.

An Umno leader has urged the chief justice (CJ) and attorney-general (AG) to set the record straight following a minister’s confirmation that Justice Nazlan Ghazali had been found to have committed wrongdoing when presiding over Najib Razak’s SRC International case.

Law and institutional reform minister Azalina Othman Said had said the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) probe on Nazlan concluded that he had violated the Judges’ Code of Ethics and had a conflict of interest when presiding over the case.

Umno Supreme Council member Puad Zarkashi said the ball was now in the court of CJ Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and AG Idrus Harun, and that they must take responsibility and respond to this matter immediately.

“Do the CJ and AG want to trivialise the role of investigative bodies like MACC?” he told FMT.

“The government must stand its ground in this matter. Don’t allow Malaysia’s justice system to be destroyed.

“Azalina’s revelation is a necessary step to balance the interests of all parties, it’s not (an) interference from the executive.”

In a letter dated March 15, Najib’s solicitors, Shafee & Co, had asked Azalina whether MACC had concluded that Nazlan had breached the code and had a conflict of interest.

In her letter replying to Shafee, Azalina said: “I can confirm that the answers to the questions (you have set out) are in the affirmative.”

Our comment

These UMNO MPs, minsters and their underlings in the MACC are, of course, seeking to do exactly what they claim against others.

They are seeking to destroy the justice system by interfering from their position in the executive to free their Bossku. All thanks to their position as a minority partner in the coalition government.

The MACC was instructed to undertake an investigation not in their purview as they have no right to investigate ethical matters relating to judges. The convenient findings were then leaked by their ministerial boss to be seized as ammo by UMNO colleagues.

The plan is obvious and they are now using every bullying tactic to attempt to intimidate the entire judiciary for the sole purpose of reversing a crushing guilty verdict against their boss.

Not just the entire Malaysian judiciary but the entire world has exposed Najib for his direct oversight over 1MDB and the later cover up. Just this week, the former Republican party deputy chairman related to a New York court how he was bribed to set up a game of golf for Najib with President Trump in 2017 “so that Razak could tell Trump that the 1MDB scandal was not significant”.

Had Najib been innocent he would instead have asked for help in catching Jho Low!

Meanwhile, in a Kuwaiti court full details have emerged how at the very same time Najib was plundering yet more billions from Malaysians, through inflated contracts with China, in order to backhand the “commissions” into covering up the 1MDB thefts and pay for all Jho Low’s legal bills in the affair.

These are not the actions of an innocent man. Najib deserves his place in jail.

Indeed, Malaysians made their view quite clear about Najib when the once mighty UMNO fared appallingly in the polls. Despite that message these lapdog MPs and ministers have made clear that their only mission in the government they are included in is to release Najib and not to serve the people of Malaysia.

 

WANTED! Arrest On Sight!

The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) has rejected Sarawak Report founder and editor Clare Rewcastle-Brown’s bid to have a criminal defamation charge against her withdrawn

Rewcastle-Brown’s counsel Guok Ngek Seong today confirmed with Malaysiakini the letter of representation dated March 8 in relation to the case involving Terengganu Sultanah Nur Zahirah had been rejected.

Under the law in relation to a letter of representation, an accused person can propose other ways to resolve the matter such as the withdrawal of the charge or for a lesser charge to be put forward.

According to a letter from the AGC to her counsel dated March 27, the chambers stated that the letter of representation is denied as there is sufficient evidence to maintain the charge still pending at the Magistrate’s Court in Kuala Terengganu.

 

WhatsApp Image 2021-11-05 at 12.03.52 copy

Our comment

Sarawak Report’s alleged crime in this matter, that of criminal defamation, does not exist as a crime in the UK where the editor resides. It was struck off the statute books after no one was charged with it for over a hundred years, given its conflict with freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, a civil court in Malaysia has found there is no case to answer over an identical complaint brought by the same Sultanah of Terengganu, whom the judge ruled had not been defamed by the sentence complained of in the book The Sarawak Report.

Indeed, during her own evidence at the trial the Sultanah admitted that very same words are not at all defamatory of her sister in law, whose name has replaced hers in the corrected version of the book as being a former acquaintance of Jho Low.

How could an identical sentence defame her but not her royal sister in law, one has to ask?

Yet there remains extant a warrant for this editor’s arrest, allegedly issued for not turning up at Terengganu Magistrate’s court to face charges laid in absentia and without her knowledge back in September 2021. The AG has now made clear he refuses to drop that warrant or the charges.

This despite the fact that no notice was provided either that police wished to question her on the matter (again) or that she had been charged or of the court date in September 2021, during the height of the Covid restrictions when there was a two week quarantine period in place for travellers from the UK.

It is not as though prosecutors were unaware of how to contact the editor of Sarawak Report. She had already given evidence on the matter at Bukit Aman police headquarters three years previously in 2018, fully cooperating with their questions about the Sultana’s original police report.

Indeed, Bukit Aman police officers were in touch some weeks before they laid their charges, texting her personal mobile only to casually ask if she was planning on visiting Malaysia?

They made no mention of any plans to charge her over the alleged criminal libel which they had filed under No Further Action back in 2018.

The answer was no, the author had no plans to visit Malaysia during Covid. She was left none the wiser about having been charged in absentia or about a date having been fixed for her to make her plea somewhere in Terengganu.

If Sarawak Report had been given the notice of the charges and the hearing, which legally is her due, then she would have ensured attendance at the Terengganu court. However, she was not informed, despite the fact that prosecutors and police all knew how to contact her.

Despite this glaring failure, an arrest warrant and highly unusual WANTED notice were issued for the very reason she had not appeared at a hearing no one had informed her was taking place – on the other side of the planet from where she lives and during the Covid 19 pandemic, three years after the original police report.

The same prosecutors even applied to INTERPOL for an international arrest and extradition warrant, calling the UK citizen a fugitive for not being in Terengganu to hear the charges no one had warned her had been made.

Given the present AG continues to refuse to drop this nonsense, despite the failure of the case to make progress even in a civil court, Sarawak Report requests that his chambers (or at least somebody) inform her of the date when this ‘pending’ matter is next due to arise in the Terengganu local court so that she can come to make her Not Guilty plea in person.

They know perfectly well how to make contact and have done so on several occasions in the past.

Should authorities in Malaysia then seek to arrest the journalist for attempting to make the required appearance and to cooperate, now that the situation has become known to her, after years of dithering and mishandling by them, they should be prepared to explain their actions to a number of parties who are likely to take up an interest in Malaysia’s conduct of this affair.