Sunday, November 29, 2009

Mahathir – a living “monument of shame”

If anything, this controversial new book entitled “Malaysian Maverick – Mahathir Mohamad in turbulent time” depicts that true to his motto of (Sapu) Bersih, Cekap (Menyorok), (Tidak) Amanah “clean (sweep), efficient (in siphoning), (not) trustworthy”, the former premier had in his 22-year-rule caused or contributed to a sizeable amount of the nation’s wealth been siphoned off.

But having said that, no one should treat what has been written in this book as the gospel truth. In the mean time, Tun M should promptly file a defamation suit against the writer of the book, if what has been written was baseless and a complete lie.

Failing which, he would be as guilty as charged. What say you?

Mahathir squandered RM100 bil, says new book
Courtesy of Malaysiakini.

Malaysia has squandered an estimated RM100 billion on financial scandals under the 22-year rule of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, according to a new book about the former prime minister.

According to Barry Wain, author of the soon-to-be launched ‘Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times’, direct financial losses amounted to about RM50 billion.

This doubled once the invisible costs, such as unrecorded write-offs, were taken into account. The RM100 billion total loss was equivalent to US$40 billion at then prevailing exchange rates.

Barry, who is a former editor of the Asian Wall Street Journal, says most of the scams, which included a government attempt to manipulate the international tin price and gambling by Bank Negara on global currency markets, occurred in the 1980s.

‘Malaysian Maverick’ is the first independent, full-length study of Mahathir, who retired in 2003 after more than two decades as premier. The book will be published globally next week by Palgrave Macmillan.

Wain writes that the Mahathir administration, which took office in 1981 with the slogan, “clean, efficient, trustworthy”, was almost immediately embroiled in financial scandals that “exploded with startling regularity”.

By the early 1990s, he says, cynics remarked that it had been “a good decade for bad behaviour, or a bad decade for good behaviour”.

Secret military deal with US

The book also reveals that:

* Mahathir, despite his nationalistic rants, signed a secret security agreement with the United States in 1984 that gave the Americans access to a jungle warfare training school in Johor and allowed them to set up a small-ship repair facility at Lumut and a plant in Kuala Lumpur to repair C-130 Hercules transport aircraft.

* Mahathir used a secret fund of his ruling Umno to turn the party into a vast conglomerate with investments that spanned almost the entire economy.

* Mahathir’s Umno financed its new Putra World Trade Centre headquarters in Kuala Lumpur partly with taxpayers money, by forcing state-owned banks to write off at least RM140 million in interest on Umno loans.

Wain, who is now a writer-in-residence at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore, however credits Mahathir with engineering the country’s economic transformation, deepening industrialisation and expanding Malaysia’s middle class.

But Mahathir had undermined state institutions, permitted the spread of corruption and failed to provide for Malaysia’s future leadership, he says.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mr.Prime Minister can you please clarify.....where's your home?

Prime Minister Toh Tuan Dato'Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also the direct descendant of Bugis royalty was given an "official welcoming ceremony" or armantuli during his recent visit to Makassar,South Sulawesi.(pic left,courtesy of thestaronline)

The nostalgic royal welcome has raised questions as to Najib's premiership,is his loyalty to Malaysia as the Prime Minister or his "royal status" in Makassar?To a question as to how Malaysians might view the fact that he had roots in Makassar in a negative light,Najib said "I am not apologetic about it.I feel truly at home here.This is my family history,and I'm proud of it".

Back home in Malaysia however,there was another homecoming.The returned of PI P. Balasubramaniam has now put the entire country back on it's toes,as to the death of Mongolian Model Altantuya Sharibbu.When US General Douglas MacArthur once uttered his famous words "I shall returned",little did Malaysians imagine that a different Douglas MacArthur would emerge in the land now fondly referred to as Bolehland.

While PI Bala may not have been accorded the royal welcome home,Malaysians has certainly welcome him home to unveiled the truth,that has put this beloved country of ours to shame in the eyes of the global community. Malaysia Today's website had the story and video clip,which I've uploaded in my blog.

Lawyer: Najib ‘Linked’ To Bala’s Disappearance

“As matters stand, I am concerned about the involvement of Nazim (Razak), Najib’s younger brother. The question is why would he have an interest in Bala’s disappearance if it were not to protect his brother?” asked Americk.

Any reasonable person would draw the conclusion that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is somehow linked to the disappearance of P Balasubramaniam, according to the private investigator’s lawyer.

“The facts seem to point to the possibility that they wanted him out of the way and delegated this job to others close to them to execute,” said Americk Singh Sidhu (left) in an interview withMalaysiakini.

“As matters stand, I am concerned about the involvement of Nazim (Razak), Najib’s younger brother. The question is why would he have an interest in Bala’s disappearance if it were not to protect his brother?” asked Americk.

Balasubramaniam recently emerged from hiding to reveal that he had met Nazim, an architect, the night before he made a dramatic reversal and recanted his first statutory declaration in which he alleged that Najib had close ties with murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Balasubramaniam also claimed that he was offered RM5 million by one Deepak, a businessman close to Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, to retract his first statutory declaration.

Najib had repeatedly denied speculations that he was behind Balasubramaniam’s retraction.

In the interview, Americk recounted how he was introduced to Balasubramaniam, on his reaction to the retraction of Balasuubramaniam’s first statutory declaration and his subsequent meeting with the former police officer after he emerged from hiding a year later.

The lawyer also revealed that the video recording of his interview with Balasubramaniam three months ago was secretly taken as an “insurance in the event he was apprehended by the parties involved in his departure from this country over a year ago”.

“He did not know he was being filmed at that time but we did inform him of this later and he understood why we did it,” said Americk.

According to him, while Balasubramaniam may have committed an offence under the Statutory Declarations Act 1960 for giving conflicting statutory declarations, he could nevertheless defend himself against the charge as it “would appear he was coerced, intimidated and/or forced to sign the second statutory declaration under duress”.

But those who allegedly instigated the swearing of the false second statutory declaration – Deepak, one ASP Suresh and lawyer M Arunampalam – are also liable to criminal charges for abetment and conspiracy, added Americk.

“In so far as Nazim is concerned, he was involved in criminal intimidation of Bala besides a possibility of being roped into the abetment/conspiracy charges arising from the creation of the second false statutory declaration.”

Friday, November 20, 2009

Spirits of The Dead Haunting Malaysian Justice System?

It’s a common belief among the Chinese community that if a person died in an unnatural way, especially in a homicide, the spirit of the deceased would most likely wander about at the crime scene or a familiar place for a long time, until and unless justice is done to the deceased.

Take the case of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock for instance. I was recently told by a friend that Teoh’s spirit was reportedly seen by some people, especially those with what the Taoists called the ‘ying-yang eyes’ i.e. possessing the ability to see ghosts or spirits.

Among these individuals was an unidentified little girl (age unknown) who had not only seen Teoh’s spirit wandering about near his workplace but also reportedly became ‘acquainted’ with Teoh’s spirit after a few encounters.

And what was even more interesting was that Teoh had during their purported ‘conversations’, confided what had actually transpired during his controversial ‘interview’ with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) officers, which was recently declared as illegal by the High Court . It was said that the details of the “paranormal episode” subsequently related to Teoh’s former boss cum Seri Kembangan Assemblyman, Ean Yong Hiang Wah, besides a few other top brass of the DAP.

This was recently reported by Malaysia’s leading Chinese language political weekly, the Special Weekly in its 452nd’s issue, which focused on the issue of Teoh’s second autopsy which has been scheduled for this coming Nov 22, following an application by the late Teoh’s family.

The little girl also purportedly told someone that Teoh’s spirit was unable to return to his residence in Melaka as there was a shrine of a Thai deity outside his house, which purportedly prevented Teoh’s spirit from entering the house. It was mind-boggling when the tale by this young girl who had never known Teoh nor gone to his house in Melaka, was confirmed to be true upon checking by the Weekly later.

The Weekly later managed to track down the parents of this mysterious little girl but its attempt to interview them in order to verify what it had gathered earlier failed when the parents declined to speak, except for saying that they are non-believers.

There was also talk that Teoh had conveyed a message through a woman by appearing in her dream, requesting her to pass his message to his wife urging her to continue to pursue her studies after this. This particular subject matter concerning further studies was said to be privy to Teoh and his wife.

With Teoh’s second autopsy on Sunday 22nd November, this particular report by the Weekly has now become a hot topic among the Chinese community in the country, especially those in Peninsular Malaysia.

On Nov 4, Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas allowed an application by the family of the late Teoh Beng Hock to exhume his remains for a second post-mortem-(Picture below shows Teoh Beng Hock's remains being exhume today 21st November)

They (the Chinese community) are anxiously waiting to see whether the second autopsy would yield some new evidence that would match and confirm the earlier statement by renowned Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojansunand during the recent inquest on Teoh’s death that there is a 80 percent of it being homicide.

Many supporters and sympathizers of Teoh are also hoping that the information confided by Teoh’s spirit through the little girl, that is now known to a few top DAP brass including Hiang Wah, could somehow bring justice to Teoh and his family.

It is a known fact in some countries like Thailand, Taiwan, Hong Kong (China) that the spirit of homicide victims had led the relevant authorities to solve crimes contributing to their homicide.

Whether its the MACC (Not the Malaysian Agency for Cows & Cars), the Judiciary, Election Commission, the Royal Malaysian Police, Attorney General Chambers etc, thinking Malaysians have lost faith in these institutions’ ability to act independently – without fear or favour.

Without FEAR or FAVOUR - These are very crucial elements in a democracy without which we would merely be an autocracy or ‘wayangcracy’ (more akin to Malaysian democracy - nothing more than institutionalized (government) play-acting).

To be fair and seen to be fair all institutions of enforcement or law & justice should be truly independent. And for this to happen there should be no politicians or political appointees involved in the administration, organization and management of these agencies.

One way of doing this is to bring in the rulers council and Parliament to oversee and ensure fairness in these agencies
. If all goes well, the Malaysian people will have a closer rapport with the rulers and this will lead to truer democracy and Malaysia will be on the way to greater heights.

But the golden catch-words would still be “ true transparency” and “sincerity”.

An avid reader forwarded this video clip to me which certainly depicts despicable abuse of power and brutality of the highest order.I urge the Prime Minister of Malaysia Datuk Sri Najib Tun Razak to personally answer to all Malaysians.Surely this is not 1Malaysia.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Reconciling with Jeffrey may doom PKR in Sabah

By Wong Choon Mei

As top PKR leaders in Kuala Lumpur mull the fate of their Sabah ‘strongman’ Jeffrey Kitingan (left), a storm of protest is building up in his home state, where many of the party rank-and-file are demanding that he and several division leaders linked to him be shown the door and quickly too!

These protesters – believed to represent the majority in Sabah PKR - fear that KL may recapitulate and reject Jeffrey’s recent resignation as vice-president and supreme council member. Such a decision will only bode disaster for the party and prolong a power tussle amongst the state division leaders, they claim.

Indeed chances are high that KL will opt for what it perceives to be political expediency, although party insiders reassure it will retain Jeffrey without bowing to the demands of his camp, which include rescinding the appointment of Thamrin Jaini (left) as the new state chief.

“Actually, what Jeffrey wanted was to be the state PKR chief and later on the Sabah chief minister. His supporters orchestrated the move that got Azmin Ali replaced but KL appointed another Sabahan, Thamrin, instead of him. So Jeffrey resigned as veep in a bid to force KL’s hand but although KL may reject his resignation, it will still stick with Thamrin,” an insider said.

The younger brother of current Sabah deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin, Jeffrey gave up his PKR posts along with Kota Kinabalu division chief Christina Liew (right) last month. The two accused the national leadership of racial favoritism and being insensitive to the wishes of the Sabah people. Both however remained as party members.

Dooming the PKR

Simmering infighting between division leaders in Sabah PKR finally broke out openly last month, dragging the entire party down in the esteem of voters both in East Malaysia and the peninsula.

Counter-accusations were leveled at Jeffrey and his camp for putting his political ambitions above party interests including spreading a spate of negative and false news that painted several leaders such as Azmin Ali (left) and former state chief Ansari Abdullah (right) in a bad light. According to the state communications bureau, Ansari has now threatened to sue a journalist and the editor-in-chief of news portal Malaysiakini for defamation and RM10 million in damages if they did not apologize over several articles published recently.

But short of a bold and clear-cut decision from the national leadership in KL, the infighting will continue in Sabah, a state in which PKR can ill afford to allow instability to foment and fester.

Indeed, its 25 parliamentary seats will be vital in deciding who wins the federal government at the next general election – the Pakatan Rakyat or the Umno-Barisan Nasional.

“For PKR to win Sabah, the reform agenda must be renewed, rejuvenated and rebuilt. And this can only happen if there is the will to revamp thoroughly and quickly,” said state Director Of Communications Ronnie Klassen.

While many would like to see Christina retained, they are convinced that Jeffrey’s shelf life as a leader is past and long expired. They see in him a troublemaker and a spoiler, who can only doom the party’s chances.

“KL has to take a firmer stance and kick Jeffrey out once and for all. The moment he confirms he will stay on, PKR and Pakatan will have lost Sabah and Malaysia once again,” said Hassanar Ebrahim, a veteran political watcher.

An unusual quiet

But since holding peace talks with national strategy director Tian Chua (left) two weeks ago, Jeffrey has been toeing the line and keeping an unusually low profile, sparking speculation that a face-saving reconciliation was being worked out for the Sabah leader.

According to the party grapevine, Tian is believed to have told Jeffrey that he would not be offered the post that he covets above all else – the chief ministership of Sabah.

“Even if PKR wins, Jeffrey has been told in no uncertain terms that he won’t get the chief minister’s job although he may be made a minister in the federal cabinet. The job that he wants most will go to another Sabahan, not him,” a party source said.

Why then would Jeffrey - who has warned that he may form his own party - agree to stay on in PKR? Already, his supporters have threatened to resign en-masse if Thamrin is not dropped.

Could Jeffrey have finally realized that his political star is waning and it might best to give up his party-hopping ways and soldier on in the PKR after all? Or are there other reasons, ulterior motives even?

“His camp gave KL two weeks to accede to their requests and it is now three weeks. Why isn’t he keeping his word and leaving to form his own party as he has threatened to. It is actually the best thing he can do for Sabah PKR. Leave and let the party rebuild itself before it becomes too late," said Hassanar.

A new political reality

Indeed, the flamboyant and wealthy Jeffrey has failed to impress as a party administrator, achieving little success despite his decades in the political arena.

Instead he has attracted unflattering speculation including controversial rumors that he was a Trojan horse planted by the BN to wreak destruction and infighting in the PKR – much like PAS’s Hassan Ali in Selangor.

Although, in the eyes of KL, PKR may still need Jeffrey for his Kadazan-Dusun-Murut links, many Sabah leaders insist his departure will not be missed at all. They believe he has the support of only eight out of the state’s 25 divisions.

Some are even willing to bet that if he leaves, more Sabahans will join the PKR, especially the Muslims whom they say have kept their distance because of his fiery communal rhetoric. Jeffrey had in the past centred his political platform around a tooth-and-nail fight for KDM rights, stepping on the toes of other ethnic groups in the process.

But a new political reality has dawned and taken hold since. Bitten repeatedly by bad experiences, Sabahans have become more sophisticated and demanding of whom they want to lead their state out of poverty, suppression and blatant abuse of power.

Also, due to re-bordering by the BN, they now have 60 seats in their state assembly compared to 48 previously. Of the 60, 35 are Muslim-majority constituencies, eight are Chinese and 17 are KDM. This compares against the eight Chinese, 20 Muslim and 20 KDM before.

“The mood of the people has changed vastly. PKR itself espouses priority on a needs-based methodology and not on a race-based one,” said Hassanar (right).

“The situation in the peninsula has opened up the minds of Sabahans. If one Jeffrey supporter leaves today, 10 others including many from the KDM community will join PKR tomorrow. There is no need for KL to worry about letting Jeffrey go. In fact, by letting him stay, it may be barking up the wrong tree.”

(Wong Choon Mei is the former chief editor of Suara Keadilan)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sabah CM is on a "Witch Hunt"?

Call it Pathetic ignorance,acute political amnesia or just plain conscientious stupidity,Sabah's Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman is now on a hunt for scapegoats and taking the fall are the District Officers. His blatant accusation against the District Officers,that the UMNO/BN government will loose votes because of their incompetency in executing government projects on time may yet be another one of his sandiwara or wayang kulit act to cover-up his own wrongdoings, abuse of power and corruption.

Recently,Musa mouth lashed the District Chiefs - that they are constantly under the watchful eyes and ears of bloggers and FaceBook. Bloggers are swift to spot mistakes and wrongdoings of the government and capable of spreading it fast through blogs and other channels through the Internet.He said the younger generation,who are Internet savvy are more educated and could also influence their parents not to support the government.

I took the liberty to speak to one of the District Officer,who wanted anonymity and asked him how he felt about Musa's mouth lashing.In his own words he responded,"The Chief Minister has gone senile. WHY blame us? All the projects are not approved by us,and he has the cheek to point a finger at us us.Even our own MP's and Assemblyman are at times not even aware of such projects.I agree at the rate the present government is administering the state,don't be surprised this could be the last term of UMNO/BN."

He was right on target. Even a Deputy Chief Minister was not spared in the past. The issue of the MAZU statue in Kudat is still fresh on people’s mind. A blunder was made by Musa’s ‘macai contractor’ on Pulau Sipadan and Chong Kah Kiat was asked to take the blame and when he declined the mafia turned all their biggest canons against Kah Kiat. But winning a battle and doing the right thing are two different things. The perpetrators will pay for their crimes and sins in one way or the other soon, maybe very soon!

Way back in 2001 when there was that shocking revelation by then Chief Minister Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat, of lopsided deals and 'daylight robberies' by politicians a Minister in the government came out to say all the wrong doings were by the civil-servants. 'Siapa makan cili, dia yang rasa pedas' - The very guy who was practically signing blank-cheques of state lands and assets had the cheek to blame civil servants. Are the people taken to be so dumb? Unfortunately then, no body came to the defense of the civil servants.

The civil servants of Sabah are a great lot but unfortunately have become scape-goats and punching-bags and forced to be errand boys of the corrupt politicians.

Ironically,what Musa has failed to inform the people is, which are the projects he's referring to and who actually approved these projects?It's rather shocking that with all his shoe-polishers and Cybertroopers constantly making their presences felt,including on my blog - they have failed miserably to advice the Chief Minister the strength of the Internet.In this present era politicians such as Musa will not escape the eyes and ears of bloggers.Perhaps these Cybertroopers of Musa or UMNO/BN may have to call it a day, their presence and techniques are now useless and obsolete.

The condescending statements of late on the "ignorance syndrome" by a Minister unaware of the existence of mega projects, in his own backyard, has put the the entire Sabah State Cabinet to SHAME.These are the so-called leaders that Sabahans voted for. Is this ignorance , political amnesia or just conscientious stupidity? Many have asked me, stop criticizing and come up with solutions.My solution is remove the present government.

States Highest Award

This year’s long list of state awards came with much fanfare,when non other then the state's highest award (SPDK) was awarded to Datuk Seri Panglima Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia's Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.What in God's name did she do for Sabah to deserve the state’s highest award?It's catastrophically insane to believe that Sabah has a shortage of aspirants for such an award.Whose decision was it to award the state’s highest award to Rosmah?

I'm convinced every Sabahan has the right to know.

While surfing the internet I came across two exciting and interesting video clips by Riz Khan of Al-Jazeera in his exclusive interview with Raja Petra Kamarudin and others as well as Najib Tun Razak.Enjoy the video clip and please don't hesitate to post your comment.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sabahans living in the “dark ages” rule by the ‘Decepticons’

ALL THESE WHILE, Barisan Nasional (left) politicians and government leaders in the state had been denying (through their teeth) and ignoring the fact that Sabahans have been living in darkness since Sabah Electricity Board (SEB) became Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB).

But this is no longer the case now when recently two state BN component party leaders publicly, courageously and repeatedly proclaimed that in fact, they too “were in the dark”.

Yes, that’s right, they too were "in the dark". They are none other than the Moyog Assemblyman cum State Assistant Finance Minister, Datuk Donald Mojuntin (below left) and his party (UPKO) boss Tan Sri Bernard Dompok (below right), who is also the MP for Penampang cum Federal Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.

They proclaimed this separately when commenting on the controversy over the proposed construction of the RM2.8 billion Kaiduan dam project near Papar. In other words, they have claimed ignorance over the implementation of the project following a strong protest from the affected villages who feared that once the project is implemented and completed, their villages (around 11 of them) and all their heritage, dreams and future would be submerged in water.

But, a random survey conducted by me in every nook and corner of Penampang District and Kota Kinabalu City somehow shows that the public were not at all convinced but rather amused by their “ignorance” claim. Several of them even unanimously and cheekily described it as the “Decepti-con Syndrome” a newly-discovered syndrome named after the comic characters “Decepticons” in the blockbuster movies – the Transformer I & II which possess the elements of ‘deception’ and ‘con’, which is said to be worse than the “denial syndrome” which had long infected most of the BN politicians and those rogue civil servants in the civil service.

The respondents were not convinced with Dompok and Mojuntin’s ignorance claim as they recalled that this was not the first time they had heard of such claims. They cited the RM100 mil Kimanis Oil and Gas Terminal project for example where, at one stage Dompok was even seen to be critical and vocal about it, but eventually not only did he fizzle out but also accepted and endorsed the project, and unconditionally at that. Can someone come forward to prove otherwise?

Among the respondents were the affected villagers who were suspicious of the conspicuous absence of both Dompok and Mojuntin during the ritual of the Pitouan Tonduk or "Batu Sumpah" (curse stone) (left) conducted by the villagers in Kg Timpayasa two weeks ago, seeking the help of the spirits of their ancestors to safeguard their villages from harm’s way, in particular the dam project.

They said if both of them were truly ignorant about the dam project, they should have then made all efforts to attend the ritual, instead of avoiding it and then instructing the Penampang District Office to summon the villagers to attend a dialogue with the District Officer William Sampil (right). Are they (Dompok & Mojuntin) feeling guilty or running scared?

The villagers reiterated that they may be able to accept their ‘ignorance claim’ if the project involved was an insignificant drain construction project, but this one is a mega project which involves many government departments and agencies, coupled with the fact that it has been approved by the State Cabinet and announced by the then Infrastructures Development Minister cum former Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (above).

“We may not be highly-educated, but we’re certainly not fools or born just yesterday,” they stressed.

A political analyst who is well-versed with “kaki-lima” medicine peddling commented that this was definitely a serious case of Ignorance-citis, which is prevalent and reaching epidemic proportions among local politicians. He said this illness was due to the fact that these politicians felt the local population was very naive and claiming ignorance would deflect all blame away from them. These politicians believed that ignorance was bliss but are having serious problems due to their claims being stripped naked by the internet and blogging community.

The threat from the net community is so serious that soon many such politicians might be forced to give up their elected seats and look for permanent toilet seats.