Tuesday, 17 February 2015

The Cantankerous Ex-PM

Tun Dr Mahathir will go down the corridors of history, not for being the longest-serving Prime Minister of Malaysia, but as the sole leader in the planet who handpicked two successors and then unabashedly went on to force them to resign. His tagline is possibly, ‘I select, I establish and I destroy Prime Ministers of Malaysia’. Has this man no sense of shame?

Malaysians are a funny lot. Many jump at TDM’s current pet peeve i.e. toppling PM Najib as evidence that our PM is weak without realizing how the scriptwriter is the one who should cower in shame for failing to stick to his personal decisions. 

Wavering like the British weather, TDM’s whims and fancies are typical of a cantankerous old man in the prime of his sunset years.

Riding on the glory of his perceived achievements, TDM is proud that he has persistently backtracked in his judgement of his successors.

At a recent public forum titled ‘The Malaysian Dilemma’, TDM said, “If the public think you are not performing and start criticizing you, please make things easy for the country. Nobody pushed me out when I resigned, just thought 22 years was too long.”

For a man of his stature, it is baffling how he can on one hand trumpet about his fault that he chose poor successors, and then on the other hand admit “that he never thought his successors would fare so badly when they assumed power”. Can he not see that such a public admission of his poor judgement also tells all and sundry that his judgement does not hold a single drop of water at all?

Hence, he should keep his opinion to himself instead of ramming it down websites and his scriptwriters and try to justify by declaring his love for Malaysia and claiming his right as a citizen to criticize when in the past, he robbed citizens and the media of the right to air dissenting views. Ops Lallang seems to be an alien event to him.

His authoritarian personality  surfaces with such self-righteous words, which fan his ego big-time. However,  he forgot the real resign why he himself resigned. He has forgotten that when he stepped down in 2003, the entire world witnessed evidence that he failed to organize development as  effectively as the peasant-born Park Chung Hee of Korea. This is because Malaysia’s GNI per capita was no longer the same as Korea’s – it was USD 4160 versus Korea’s USD 12, 680. 

Against that backdrop, he certainly does not have any license, authority, or right to preach to PM Najib or anyone for that matter. He patented the art of directionless government and if anyone should be blamed for the state of Malaysia today, all fingers and toes should point to Mahathir – the cantankerous old man who can never ever stop behaving as though he is STILL the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Mahathir’s criticisms remind us of how no one, not even himself is infallible. Despite his perceived weaknesses, PM Najib has been a very caring and responsible PM who tries his best within his abilities to deliver his promises to the rakyat. His management style opposes that of Mahathir but that does not make him any weaker or less qualified.

Issues such as threats by extremist groups in the country have not pushed the PM to be more aggressive because it is not his nature to be so. He is more concerned with growth that matters and economic and financial achievements in the last quarter of 2014 have been largely ignored and unacknowledged. Hence, the myth that the PM is weak is untrue. It is just that he is more concerned with the long-term haul rather than hankering for public validation via populist statements or policies.

With no understanding of the PM’s mind, Mahathir and other spin-masters continue to weave of web of deceit regarding our PM, and with complete disregard to his achievements.

The record shows that economic and financial developments in the last quarter of 2014 have been very favorable.

Inflation rate averaged lower at 2.8% in the fourth quarter (3Q 2014: 3.0%).

Why can’t Mahathir announce that the trade surplus was higher at RM21.5 billion (3Q 2014: RM16.8 billion)?

Mahathir has also chosen to remain silent regarding the international reserves of BNM amounted to RM405.5 billion (equivalent to USD116.0 billion) as at 31 December 2014.

Total gross financing raised by the private sector through the banking system and the capital market amounted to RM309.8 billion (3Q 2014: RM302.1)

On a net basis, outstanding banking system loans and PDS expanded by 8.8% as at end-December (end-September 2014: 8.9%).

Regardless of what Mahathir may say, the Malaysian economy is expected to remain on a steady growth path. The gradual recovery in global growth will lend support to manufactured export performance, although overall export growth would likely remain modest amid lower commodity prices.

Clearly, things are not as complicated as seen through Mahathir’s myopic eyes.

After all, he is but a cantankerous man who is accustomed to attention, much of which he lost when he stepped down.

As it stands, Mahathir must realize that he no longer has the powerful influence over people such as what he enjoyed before.

Being cantankerous is one thing, being a nosey parker and wet blanket is another.

Mahathir and spin-doctors must stop their assault on the PM and his cabinet. Malaysians must take cognizance of how Mahathir and his band of writers, together with writers from opposition portals, have been in overdrive and synchrony in their daily rituals to run-down the PM.

Mahathir must realize curtain call for him came almost twenty years ago and he should just let go, and let Najib do what is best for the country. Every leader has his/her own leadership style. Mahathir should remember that he has this habit of dropping his deputy prime ministers including Tun Musa Hitam (July 18, 1981 to March 16, 1986), Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba (May 10, 1986 to October 15, 1993), Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (December 1, 1993 to September 2, 1998), Tun Abdullah Badawi (January 8, 1999 to October 31, 2003) and now that he is no longer the Prime Minister, he expects the nation to drop our Prime Minister. Is that the ultimate faux pas, Mahathir? After all, you did say Najib is your choice of successor.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Respect the Sovereign Nation of Malaysia

Has our Cabinet ever voiced objections to the decision made by the judiciary of another country?

Has our Prime Minister or any of our sovereign heads or even any citizen ever voiced their dissatisfaction to the rulings passed in the court of law on any of their friends?

The answer to both questions is a firm ‘No’.

It is a different story for the United States.

True to its ‘Big Brother’ persona, the United States government finds it extremely difficult NOT to poke its nose into the affairs of other countries, especially Malaysia.

Following the ruling on Anwar Ibrahim’s Sodomy II case on February 10th 2014, the White House issued a statement expressing its "deep disappointment" with Anwar’s conviction saying  the decision to prosecute Anwar and the conduct of his trial raised serious concerns about the rule of law and the fairness of the judicial system in Malaysia.

Referring to Anwar Ibrahim as a longtime friend of the United States, a petition was started  by an individual named J.M. Alexander in Virginia, who referred to Anwar as a political prisoner. JM alleged the future of democracy in Malaysia is at stake and that securing Anwar's release from prison must be a top priority in US policy towards Malaysia, to be advanced in every way possible.

It defies any logic as to how an ordinary person can speak with such ‘authority’ and demand the release of a man who has been convicted of a crime by the court of law in Malaysia, a sovereign country independent of United States.

Such a move is highly suspect as it indirectly implies there could be in insidious relationship between Anwar and American individuals.

With its inherent inability to tame its own cabinet members as seen in a recent report citing how the U.S. congressional panel investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya wants to interview former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and other Obama administration officials, JM Alexander would achieve more political mileage by taking care of things in his/her backyard.

As it stands, it is shocking that people can actually sign such a petition. To counter such moronic activity and to salvage national pride, concerned Malaysians have started a petition to for the Obama Administration to respect the sovereign nation of Malaysia.

All concerned Malaysians and citizens of any other countries are invited to sign the petition asking U.S. to not to interfere with our judiciary and respect our sovereignty that we found, to counter the Anwar's petition to ask for US' interference. Do share it out and sign up to support our country's sovereignty.  We need 100,000 signatories in one month to counter the other one.

Please visit and sign the petition at THIS LINK.

Do share via social media. Thank you

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Wan Azizah: A Sacrifice for the Future

Anwar Ibrahim's imprisonment beginning today was a "sacrifice for the future of the country", his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said.

Speaking to reporters after Anwar's conviction by the Federal Court in Putrajaya, Wan Azizah said that the family now hopes to find strength "in the people".

"What Anwar says is to be strong, this is a sacrifice for the future of this country," she stressed.

Anwar's five-year jail sentence would be his second stint in prison after his previous six-year stint between 1999 to 2004.

[More to follow]


IGP cracks down as Anwar’s backer vows fight

As Anwar Ibrahim’s supporters vowed to fight a “cruel regime” for jailing the opposition leader, inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar responded that the police will come down on them with the Sedition Act.

In a Twitter posting, Khalid took aim at Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming for his remarks on social media.

Nga had tweeted: “The rakyat’s prayer did not come true. It is time to oppose a cruel regime.”

Khalid, who reproduced Nga’s comment, said the politician was courting trouble.

“This person is deliberately courting action from the police. We will take action under the Sedition Act,” said Khalid.

Nga had made the remark shortly after the Federal Court today upheld Anwar’s guilty verdict for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

The Federal Court also maintained his five-year jail sentence.

Anwar was brought to Sungai Buloh prison where he is expected to serve his sentence.

Source: Malaysiakini

UPHELD: Anwar's Five-Year Jail Sentence

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sentence of five years' jail was upheld by the Federal Court today, ending his public office as oppositon leader and Permatang Pauh MP.

The Federal Court dismissed applications by the defence to lessen the five-year jail sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal and also rejected prosecution's appeal to enhance the prison term.

Earlier, before sentence was passed, Anwar attacked the five-man bench which convicted him today accusing them of "bowing to their political masters and becoming partners in crime in the murder of the judiciary".

Anwar told the bench led by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria that a full statement was issued by the Prime Minister's Office barely minutes after the judgment was delivered.
"In bowing to political masters they have disgraced themselves and have become partners in crime in the murder of the judiciary," Anwar said, before Arifin asked lead defence counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram to tell Anwar to stop.

But Sri Ram told Arifin that his client had the right to address the court, to which Arifin retorted, "yes, on the appeal but not to condemn the court".

But the opposition leader continued attacking the judiciary, adding "you had the opportunity to right the wrong but you chose to remain on the dark side".

At this juncture, Arifin and the rest of the bench walked out.

Anwar continued to speak and shouted into the microphone: "I will again, for the third time, walk into prison but with my head held high.

"I will not be silent and will fight for freedom and justice and will never surrender," Anwar said.

Lawyers had earlier said Anwar could even be sentenced to just one day in jail or bound over, as provided under the punishment for Section 377B of the Penal Code.

The prosecution led by Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was appealing for a longer jail sentence, which can go up to 20 years.

Mitigation and sentencing for Anwar, who will turn 68 this August, had begun with Sri Ram telling the Federal Court bench there was no good reason to enhance Anwar's sentence.

Sri Ram  also said that the court could use its discretion to give the opposition leader a lighter sentence under the law. "He is not an ordinary individual. His contribution when he was with the government to this country is numerous and far reaching.

"Even in the opposition, he has made significant contributions to advancing democratic principles and awakening the conscience of the majority of Malaysians," Sri Ram said in pleading for a lighter sentence.

Get updates here (latest at the top):

* Anwar carries his one-year-old grandson and kisses him. The police take Anwar into custody but allow his family to have lunch with him.

* Anwar's father in law wipes away tears while his brother Idrus said: "This kind of court, no need to comment lah. I dare not hear what Anwar is going to say."

* Selangor Menteri Besar Azmin Ali cries as Anwar hugs him.

* Siren from riot police could be heard as supporters outside shout "reformasi".

* Anwar looks cheerful, so does his daughter Nurul Izzah.

* Shouts of "reformasi" in court.

* When the judges returned, they upheld Anwar's sentence of five years' jail meted out by Court of Appeal.

* Anwar continues to speak from dock as judges leave courtroom, after Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria asked him to stop condemning the judiciary.

* Judges walked out as Anwar attacked judiciary from the dock. "This is a complete fabrication and a political conspiracy to stop my politcal career. A full written statement was available on PM's office website minutes after you delivered the judgment even before the sentencing."

* Anwar stands up to speak from the dock. "I'm shocked with this decision," he said. "I maintain my innocence."

* Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said that a five-year sentence was wrong in principle, adding that the sentence imposed on Anwar cannot be lesser that his six-year sentence for his first sodomy charge. – February 10, 2015.





Following today’s conviction of Anwar Ibrahim, a Malaysian Government spokesperson said:

“The judges will have reached their verdict only after considering all the evidence in a balanced and objective manner. Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures.

“The police report against Anwar Ibrahim was brought by a private individual – Anwar’s employee and personal assistant – not by the government. As the victim of a serious sexual assault, he had every right to have his case heard in court.

“In this case, exhaustive and comprehensive due process has been followed over many years. That process is now complete, and we call on all parties involved to respect the legal process and the judgment.”


Anwar Ibrahim Verdict: GUILTY

12.10PM: Defence seeks short adjourment before sentencing.

12.05PM: After reading for two hours, Justice Arifin arrives at the guilty verdict.

The judge says there is overwhelming evidence that Saiful was sodomised by the accused because there is overwhelming scientific and corroborative evidence.

12.00PM: Based on the facts of the case, Justice Arifin holds that Dr Mohd Osman Abdul Hamid from Pusrawi Hospital was not telling the truth when claiming in his medical report that plastic objects were inserted into Saiful's anus.

The judge said the Kuala Lumpur general hospital doctors did not draw similar conclusions.

11.55AM: Justice Arifin says Anwar did not dispute that he was in the condominium and that Saiful was also there.

"We hold there is no merit in the complaint of political conspiracy. A mere denial (from Anwar) does not mean it could be accepted. A political conspiracy allegation remains unsubstantiated," he adds.

11.52AM: Justice Arifin touches on the allegation that Saiful met Najib, who was then deputy prime minister, and the latter’s special officer Khairul Anas.

11.50AM: Justice Arifin focuses on other defence witnesses, including Anwar’s former aide Najwan Halimi’s testimony that he was surprised to see Saiful, known to be a BN sympathiser, working for the opposition leader.


The Anwar Trial: Main Characters

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court is delivering the much-awaited verdict on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s final appeal against his conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Following are the who’s who in the trial:

Arifin bin Zakaria : Chief Justice of the Federal Court
Appointed as Chief Justice on September 12, 2011, Arifin read law at the University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom and upon graduation, joined the Judicial and Legal Service of Malaysia in September 1974. In 1979 he pursued the Master of Law course at the University College, London and the Bar Final Course at the Council of Legal Education.

Md Raus Sharif : President, Court of Appeal
Appointed as President of The Court of Appeal on September 12, 2011, Md Raus obtained his Bachelor of Law from the University of Malaya in 1976 and his Master of Law from the London School of Economics in 1987. His career started in the Judicial and Legal Service on July 1, 1976.

Abdull Hamid Embong : Federal Court Judge
He was admitted as a Barrister-at-Law of the Society of Lincoln’s Inn, London in 1976 after completing his secondary school education at the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. On October 14, 2009, Abdull Hamid was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court, Malaysia. His career in the Judicial and Legal Service began on October 18, 1976 when he was appointed as a temporary Legal Officer in the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar : Federal Court Judge
He obtained his Bachelor of Law at the Warwick University and Barrister at Law at the Lincoln’s Inn, London. He began his career in the Judicial and Legal Service at the Kuala Lumpur High Court. In 2006, he was appointed a Judge in the Court of Appeal, Malaysia.

Datuk Ramly Ali : Federal Court Judge
He obtained his LL.B (Hons) at the University of Malaya in 1978. Between 1978 and 1982, he served as a Magistrate in Perak. From 2001 to April 2009, Ramly served as a High Court Judge before being officially appointed a Judge in the Court of Appeal, Malaysia.

1. Gopal Sri Ram, was the Federal Court Judge from 2009 until February 16, 2010. He has the distinction of being the first lawyer in private practice to be appointed straight to the Court of Appeal when it was set up in 1994, having never served as a judicial commissioner or a High Court judge before.

2. Gobind Singh Deo, is a prominent Malaysian lawyer and politician and also the Member of Parliament for Puchong, Selangor. He is the second son of DAP politician and lawyer, the late Karpal Singh. Gobind was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 1996, a year after returning from Lincoln’s Inn.

3. Ram Karpal Singh Deo, is a Malaysian lawyer and politician. He is a son of the late Karpal Singh and brother of Gobind Singh Deo. He was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 2000. Currently, he heads his late father’s law firm in Pudu Lama, Kuala Lumpur.

4. N Surendran, 48, served as a lawyer for 20 years since 1994. He is the Member of Parliament for Padang Serai, Kedah from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

5. R Sivarasa is a lawyer and Member of Parliament for Subang, Selangor from the PKR who has frequently represented Anwar in civil suit cases. He was the co-founder of Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) and a Human Rights activist.

6. Sangeet Deo Kaur
7. J Leela
8. Latheefa Koya
9. Lim Choon Kim
10. Eric Paulsen
11. Michelle Yesudas
12. Sahid Adli Kamaruddin
13. Zaleha Al-Hayat
14. Jeremy Vinesh Anthony
15. Mohamed Aliff Bolkin

1. Muhammad Shafee Muhamad Abdullah is a leading lawyer in Malaysia. He obtained his law degree from the University of Malaya in 1977. Shafee has also pursued further studies at the London School of Economics and holds a Masters in Law in 1984. In July 2013, he was appointed by the Attorney-General to lead the prosecution team in the appeal against Anwar’s acquittal from a sodomy charge.
2. Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, holds a Bachelor of Law (LLB) from the University of Malaya and is Deputy Head of the Prosecution Division (Operations) of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. He started service as a magistrate in 1985 and has over 20 years of experience as a Deputy Public Prosecutor.