“One of the reasons people hate politics is that truth is rarely a politician’s objective. Election and power are” – Cal Thomas

This is one subject that could take an encyclopedia to wrap up but lets try and figure it out within the scope of this space.

Malaysian politics is often described as being feisty, vibrant, colourful, controversial, debatable, provocative, all of that and more. It all depends on which side of the spectrum you stand and there is a perspective, always. Ask a million people what is wrong with Malaysian politics and you will get a million perspectives. That, in itself tells a story. People are aware, concerned and involved, good or bad, it shows the vibrancy of politics in Malaysia.

People confuse politics with governance. That’s not true. Politics is the means to effect change. All countries and societies effect change all the time; politics is the means to bring about that change. The kind of politics practiced can vary and remain a subject of debate. However, it is at the core of people’s participation in deciding who governs them and how.

Governance is for administrators and bureaucracy, politics is for people’s representatives. People don’t really indulge in politics, they indulge in making political choices and gather groups that agree with them, to elect the leader of their choice. Politics is what the leaders indulge in before and after being elected.

The art of politics lies in being successful in gathering consensus through discussion, debate and persuasion and then pushing that consensus into legislation that results in action and implementation.

What’s Right With Malaysian Politics?

So when we ask what is wrong with Malaysian politics, you have to first acknowledge what is right about it. After all, after 55 years since formation of Malaysia in 1963, Malaysian politics and democracy is alive and vibrant. It becomes even more relevant when we take into account the sheer geographical size of the country and diversity of its people, culture, religion and lifestyle. To get all of that to come together and give people the freedom to choose their voice, can only evoke admiration. This is perhaps Malaysia’s single biggest achievement, since formation and one, it can be proud of.

Sure, it has its flaws, but then what system doesn’t. It’s all about evolving and bringing about change, for the better, through people consensus. That’s politics and it has worked for Malaysia. So before we pull out the knives on Malaysian politics, bear in mind what we have achieved, thus far. It may not be without flaws but it is still the best option. This is our brand of politics and it has worked, for us.

So What’s Wrong With it?

Plenty. We shout over roof tops that we are a democracy and assume that it is also the best. Well, look again. Is the system truly representative? At the time of voting, people make choices based on their belief and understanding of the leader they choose and that leader, post being elected, represents the people, as their voice. That’s idealistic but is that really true? Does the elected leader really reflect what the people want or is it mostly about what that leader wants, often for his own reasons?

Look at the fact on the ground. Majority of Malaysians still live in rural areas and in poverty and poor living conditions especially Sabah and Sarawak and Kelantan and Terengganu and Kedah and Pahang, and with little education or awareness of matters outside their areas of residence. Yet, 98% of the people who would fall in this category are responsible for choosing a government which will legislate over the future of the country.

Too Many Questions….

It is one man – one vote and that is all that matters. Well is it? Is the vast majority really capable of understanding and judging the leaders they choose? The lack of education and awareness, coupled with poverty, often forces the voters to elect leaders who seem to offer them solutions for a better life but instead end up buying or coercing them to vote. So do they really represent the people?

Isn’t it common to see votes being bought and sold in its crudest form? Don’t we see vote bank politics being practiced in its worst form, or votes being garnered on the basis of race or religion? What about votes garnered through threat? It all happens and is part of Malaysian politics.

So can anyone stand up and claim the virtues of Malaysian democracy as being truly fair and truly representative? Should we really beat our chests with pride while proudly claiming to be a democracy?

Free and Fair…. Really?

The ground reality is that politics played at the grass root level can be nasty, coercive and corrupt. Electing representatives is often based on clan and kinship. And most times, its money that buys a position. After all, at the village level, it’s the Ketua Kampung, JKKK, Kapitan Cina, Temenggong, Pemanca or Penghulu that determines the level of respect and influence that an individual commands. That’s the reality and plays a part in the election process.

So can one really say that Malaysian politics be it Sabah or Sarawak or Malaya, at all levels, is truly free and fair? The voting process may be free and fair, at least in most cases, but the process of politics that goes into the run up to elections, and thereafter, is what is questionable. And that’s what is wrong with Malaysian politics.

Let’s take a look at another example. Sabah has always been in the forefront of entertaining politics. But after elections when the courts have to decide who is the rightful Sabah Chief Minister and not wait for a vote of no confidence in the state assembly, it is time to sit up and question the ‘quality’ of politics that we practice. GE14, Musa Aman was first sworn in as Chief Minister at 11.10pm Thursday (May 10) before the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at Istana Negeri. In less than 48 hours, Warisan’s Shafie Apdal was sworn in as Chief Minister at 9.30pm Saturday (May 12) by Juhar at the Istana Negeri also. The general election saw a hung assembly when both Sabah Barisan and the coalition of Warisan-PKR-DAP had won 29 seats each in the 60-seat state assembly. And then Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan’s Sabah Star party, which had two seats, became the “kingmaker”. Sabah Star supported Sabah Barisan to give a simple majority of 31 seats, thus allowing Musa to be sworn in as Chief Minister. But by the next day, six Barisan assemblymen – four from Umno and two from Upko – had declared their support for Warisan and its partners PKR-DAP. With the majority support of 35 (out of 60) assemblymen, this allowed Shafie to be sworn in.This matter is still not settled yet, The Court of Appeal will soon decide who is the rightful chief Minister, till then we have to wait and there is still a cloud of uncertainty, its more than 8 months since GE14.

The list of misuse in politics is endless and the ‘quality’ of politics practiced, questionable. The intelligentsia and civil society is aware of the failings, as you and I are too, but the big question before us is – what are we doing about it?

Intolerance to Dissent is a Big Threat

Question, dissent and debate are an essential part of politics and democracy. The ‘quality’ of democracy and politics is judged by the level of debate and dissent allowed, within the party and outside of it. Malaysia is witnessing increasing levels of intolerance to the above and that is very visible in state and national politics. Older parties like the UMNO and PAS have shown signs of intolerance, as have new age parties like Bersatu, Amanah and Warisan. All parties are guilty of quashing dissent in any form. What is a worrying trend is that several parties are resorting to violent means whenever questioned by the people or members of their own parties. Even the media, which serves as a watchdog for the people, has not been spared.

Another problem with Malaysian politics is increasing rowdyism in parliament and state assemblies. On paper, it’s a forum for free and fair debate but in practice, only those with high decibel shouting and aggressive behaviour get heard. What chance does a Dr Jeffrey Kitingan have against a loud and aggressive politician from another party? Yet, on a daily basis we have incessant shouting that passes off as debate. So is this fair on those who do not possess the requisite shouting ability? Is that supposed to be a pre-qualification? The voice of each representative in Parliament must have equal and fair weight and must be given equal opportunity to express his or her viewpoint. That’s easier said, as in practice, it is almost always to the contrary.

And now for the biggest problem of them all, influence and impact of money on Malaysian politics. Politics has degenerated into a business which has a lot of money, some legal but mostly unaccounted, being plowed into it by vested interests. It’s a global phenomenon but a big problem nevertheless. As long as unaccounted money makes its way into politics, it will never be free or fair. And we, as a nation, have to come together to try and figure out how to address this, if Malaysian democracy has to prosper on the bed of fair politics.

It is time for the people to raise their voice and question their leaders and political parties, and force them to change for the better. For we have one non-negotiable weapon, our vote. Isn’t that what democracy is all about?

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Good job AG Tommy Thomas.

Malaysians are amazed by the professional difference between the present AG Tommy Thomas to that of the previous AG Apandi Ali. Previous AG Apandi Ali proudly announced that there is no criminal case against Najib Tun Razak and his conspirators, what a clown!

Anyway, Malaysia filed criminal charges against Goldman Sachs over the 1MDB scandal. It accused the bank of making false and misleading statements, a rare rebuke of an institution that has long represented the pinnacle of money and power.

The Malaysian authorities also charged several individuals in connection with the multibillion-dollar investment fraud that ensnared Goldman and led to the ouster of Malaysia’s former prime minister Najib Razak. The government said it would seek criminal fines in excess of $2.7 billion.

The charges relate to a Malaysian state investment fund called 1Malaysia Development Berhad, or 1MDB, from which officials and employees are suspected of looting billions of dollars. The money funded an enormous spending spree, according to U.S. federal prosecutors.

Read the rest in the nytimes.com

GOLDMAN SUCKS CHARGED FOR GIGANTIC MALAYSIAN FRAUD.

The filing of federal charges could increase pressure on Goldman, the…


Finance Twitter

The older the ginger, the spicier it gets – goes a very popular Chinese idiom. It means the older a person becomes, the wiser the person gets. When Mahathir Mohamad led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope), to a stunning victory in the May 9th general election, the world was shocked and impressed with the emergence of the world’s oldest prime minister.

This is not the first time the grand old man walks the corridors of power. He had enjoyed and tasted the power before – as prime minister for 22 years from 1981 to 2003. But to return to his old job after retired for 15 years is particularly satisfying for him. From a dictator, Mr. Mahathir suddenly becomes a very popular saviour who successfully defeated the evil and corrupt (former) PM Najib Razak.

Heck, he has become so popular that there were concerns the 93-year-old man would be pressured to continue his premiership for as long as he likes, nullifying the agreement to hand over the most powerful job after 2 years to Anwar Ibrahim, his protégé-turned-nemesis-turned-ally. However, Mahathir has repeatedly said he will honour the agreement signed by Pakatan Harapan partners.

The two year period may sound very short, but when a man like Mahathir is put to work, he can deliver more than what an idiot can do in 20 years. The fact that his party – Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) – commands almost the equal share of ministry portfolios among the 4 partners in the ruling coalition, despite being a minority party, was already impressive.

After the historic May 9th win, Anwar’s party (PKR – People’s Justice Party) possessed the lion’s share of 47 parliamentary seats, while DAP (Democratic Action Party) grabbed 42. Mahathir’s PPBM (Malaysian United Indigenous Party) won only 13 seats and Amanah (National Trust Party) managed 11 seats, giving the Pakatan Harapan coalition the required 113 simple majority.

Sure, Mahathir was sworn in as the country’s 7th Prime Minister of Malaysia primarily because all the component parties had agreed to the arrangement. Another factor was due to the fact that there is no dominant party with super majority seats in the coalition. Still, after Anwar was granted a full pardon by the Agong (King) and released from prison, he can kick Mahathir out of the government.

There were strong rumours that Anwar Ibrahim was plotting to partner with either UMNO Malay nationalist party (which was dethroned for the first time in 61 years) or PAS Islamist party or both so that he can instantly grab power. After all, how hard could it be to replace Mahathir’s 13 seats party? Anwar’s advisers believed Mahathir might play him again like in 1998.

Mahathir easily checkmated Anwar, pampered PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali with a very powerful portfolio – a specially created Minister of Economic Affairs. The divide and conquer tactic has essentially split PKR into half. To ensure DAP and ethnic Chinese loyalty to his premiership, Mahathir rewarded them with 6 ministers, including the powerful Minister of Finance.

After ensuring stability and no rebellion within the Pakatan Harapan ruling coalition, Mahathir proceeded to break up the opposition Barisan Nasional coalition. Out of 79 parliamentary seats initially won by the old regime, UMNO alone had in its possession 54 seats. Like a skillful sushi chef, Mahathir skinned Barisan’s so-called fixed-deposit Sarawak Barisan Nasional.

About a month after its humiliating defeat, the extremely corrupt Barisan was shocked when it lost 19 parliamentary seats in June. All the Sarawak parties – PBB, SUPP, PRS, and PDP – abandoned the coalition. Including UPKO (1), PBS (1) and PBRS (1), the Barisan was reduced from 79 to 57. The once arrogant former Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi was reportedly begged the Sarawak Chief Minister not to quit, but to no avail.

It was not a coincidence that Sarawak former Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud’s party PBB, the biggest in the state with 13 parliamentary seats, launched the rebellion after his meeting with PM Mahathir and Daim Zainuddin. In exchange for not investigating Taib’s decades of corruption and illegal logging, Mahathir single-handedly took away Barisan’s fixed-deposit.

UMNO plunged into disarray almost instantly. Its self-proclaimed 3-million members were running around like a headless chicken. From a mighty coalition of 13 component parties, the Barisan Nasional is now reduced to just 3 parties. With MCA and MIC holding 1 seat each (after MIC’s Cameron Highland was declared null and void), the coalition was reduced to 56 seats.

But the slaughtering has just begun. With UMNO members already disillusioned and demoralised by their clueless president Zahid, Mahathir didn’t have to do any heavy lifting. Like it or not, the old man was a master strategist. Besides to gauge the real support of UMNO and PAS, there appeared to be another reason why the anti-ICERD rally was allowed to proceed.

Zahid Hamidi and PAS President Hadi Awang thought the ICERD was a God-sent opportunity to rally the Malays and Muslims against the Mahathir government. The much hyped demonstration had turned out to be a flop – only managed to attract 55,000 protesters. Both gangster Zahid and extremist Hadi had wanted to test the feasibility of UMNO and PAS joining forces.

But the same racial and religious rally would come back to haunt both Zahid and Hadi, sooner than they had expected. On Dec 12, just four days after the mega rally, a mass exodus from Sabah UMNO has begun with nine of 10 of its assemblymen, five of six MPs and two senators leaving the party. There were dozens of reasons (or rather excuses) given for the mass resignations.

However, according to sources, the main reasons were the fear of UMNO becoming too Islamic-centric and getting closer to PAS. There’s a reason why the PAS Islamist party doesn’t have a presence in Sabah. UMNO in Sabah is different from the Peninsular. Perhaps the stupid Zahid Hamidi hadn’t a clue that Sabah UMNO actually has “non-Muslim” members.

A day after the December 8 rally, which Mr. Zahid proudly declared as a huge success and attended by 500,000 Malay-Muslims, PAS and UMNO told all and sundry that they will set-up a joint committee to discuss and deliberate issues concerning the position of Islam as well as special privileges of the Malay, suggesting a partnership or a coalition or even a merger could be on the horizon.

Mahathir was absolutely naughty to give UMNO enough ropes to hang itself. All UMNO Sabah leaders & elected representatives who were leaving the party have pledged full support to the Pakatan Harapan Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad. UMNO is now left with only one assemblyman and one MP in the state of Sabah.

Thanks to anti-ICERD rally, UMNO’s 54 MPs has been diluted further to 43 after the Sabah fiasco. That’s close to half of the initial 79 MPs lost within 6 months under Zahid leadership. Not bad for a Java-migrant who had dreamt of becoming UMNO president. After the collapse of Sabah UMNO, a second wave of exodus from UMNO is reportedly coming very soon.

At least 32 UMNO MPs have allegedly switched loyalty to Mahathir Mohamad. If that happens, UMNO would be crippled with only 11 MPs left, presumably the most toxic and unacceptable even to the “garbage collector” Mahathir. The PPBM now possesses 16 MPs, up from 13 after three UMNO MPs jumped ship earlier on.

If Mahathir’s PPBM decides to accept all the 32 UMNO frogs, it would be boosted with a whopping 48 MPs, just second to Anwar PKR’s 50 MPs. To be fair to him, the prime minister did not say all of UMNO MPs will definitely be accepted. They must first become independent or Pakatan-friendly. This is important because the frogs can be used to initiate institutional reforms.

Yes, as a 13 MPs small “mosquito party”, as previously mocked and insulted by former Tourism and Culture Minister and UMNO warlord Nazri Aziz, it’s incredible that Mahathir could control the 222-seat government. Even without the 32 UMNO frogs, the 19 (Sarawak) and 5 (Sabah) respective friendly votes means Pakatan has 146 votes, just 2 seats shy of two-thirds majority.

Pro-UMNO cybertroopers, propagandists and bloggers had predicted and hoped that a merger between UMNO and PAS could create a new powerful force. They suggested that what Zahid and Hadi needed to do was to scream, whine and bitch about 3R (religion, racial and royalty) and the Pakatan Harapan government would collapse.

Instead of a merger, clearly Mahathir has a better solution – to slaughter UMNO like a pig and deny PAS the satisfaction of taking a free ride out of UMNO misery. From the leader of a minority party, Mahathir has not only divided UMNO into pieces of junks, but also recycle the garbage to become useful parts, without any promise of keeping the trash.

This piece is by Finance Twitter and it can be found HERE.


This is when the Nuclear Age all started, seventy-five years ago this week, scientists from the University of Chicago created the first controlled, self-sustained nuclear chain reaction, and eventually came the atomic bomb. Sad that all these innovative concepts resulted in actions which were destructive….

Physicists Enrico Fermi and Léo Szilárd, along with Martin Whittaker, Walter Zinn, George Weil, and Arthur Compton, gathered together in a squash court under the west stands of the University of Chicago’s abandoned Stagg Field. In the center of the court, as Fermi explained, was “a crude pile of black bricks and wooden timbers;” a stacked pile of graphite and uranium, with large removable rods of cadmium, indium, and silver.

The group had gathered to conduct a crucial experiment as part of The Manhattan Project; an experiment that would send research in energy and weaponry in a totally new direction. Without any radiation shielding or cooling system, Fermi’s team initiated the world’s first controlled nuclear chain reaction.

Hungarian physicist Leó Szilárd first proposed the idea of a nuclear chain reaction, “whereby neutrons released from radioactive atomic nuclei would hit other heavy nuclei causing them to split (fission) into smaller nuclei. Every time this splitting happened, a little bit of energy was released.

“Szilárd knew that the possibility of a chain reaction represented a shift in world history,” Gleiser, a professor of physics at Dartmouth College, writes. “An explosive device with an uncontrolled chain reaction would have devastating consequences.”

A group of scientists persuaded Albert Einstein, the most famous scientist of the day, to write President Franklin Roosevelt urging him to launch a major bomb-making effort. The letter essentially said, “If we don’t build a bomb, Germany will first.”

The Italian Physicist Enrico Fermi’s pile experiment, which served as the framework for modern nuclear reactors, generated only about a half watt of power.

University of Pennsylvania physics and astronomy professor Gino Segre writes in the Chicago Tribune:

The experiment focused on a crude pile — a 20-foot-high structure made of close to 40,000 graphite bricks, weighing 20 pounds each and embedded with a total of almost 100,000 pounds of uranium. Thirteen-foot control rods, ready to be pushed in or out depending on the neutron count, protruded from the pile. Fermi, cool and collected throughout the experiment, gave orders from the balcony above the squash court.

The 49 attending scientists and observers fully trusted this Nobel Prize winner, called the “Pope of Physics” by his admiring peers because of his scientific infallibility. At 3:25 in the afternoon, after ordering the last control rod to be pulled halfway out, Fermi announced the pile had “gone critical.” The chain reaction gradually accelerated, reaching dangerous levels ever more quickly. After the neutron count dramatically intensified at 3:49 p.m., Fermi continued to run the pile for nearly 5 minutes before calling a halt to the experiment. But those minutes marked the beginning of a new era.

While the reaction only produced a small amount of energy, Isaacs says the event was a “remarkable engineering feat” that dramatically changed the landscape of science. Three years later, the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima.

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Najib and his cousin brother Hishammuddin had essentially placed the country at risk of “terrorism target” because the operation was held during the peak of Syrian War. 

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We raised our suspicions two years ago in 2016 when Saudi Arabia bragged about their massive military exercise – Northern Thunder – which involved 350,000 troops from 20 countries, including Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Jordan, Pakistan, Djibouti, Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan, Chad, Tunisia, Morocco, Comoros, Mauritius, Egypt, Maldives and Malaysia.

Saudi news media boasted that the force included 2,540 aircraft, 460 helicopters and 20,000 armoured vehicles, arguably the largest military operation in the region since the liberation of Kuwait in 1990’s Operation Desert Storm. But it raised the red flag, simply because Malaysia was the only country in the Southeast Asia involved in the military exercise (from February 16 until March 4, 2016).

It was particularly strange because not even Indonesia or Brunei was invited. So, why was Malaysia so special that their armed forces were involved in the military exercise some 6,000 kilometres away? Did then-PM Najib Razak send the country’s military to the Gulf as part of his commitment to boost Saudi propaganda machine, in exchange for the US$681 million (RM2.6 billion) discovered in his bank accounts?

Read more here


The government estimates that about 10 percent of Sri Lanka’s roughly 22 million people suffer from some sort of mental disorder, with nearly 800,000 suffering from depression. Studies in the northeast, where much of the fighting was concentrated, found as many as 30 percent of children suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder around the end of the war.

For many, the trauma has been refreshed by the latest political crisis. Mahinda Rajapaksa, a former president who led a brutal offensive against the rebel Tamil Tigers, is back at the center of power, his face looming from posters on the street.

See below the New York Times, a well written piece on the human trauma of that chapter of Sri Lanka’s civil war. The United Nations says at least 40,000 civilians were likely killed in the last stage of the war.

A government psychiatrist in Sri Lanka goes door to door in an area…

“The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this for me. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition.”

In January of 1954, just a year before his death, Albert Einstein wrote the following letter to philosopher Erik Gutkind after reading his book, “Choose Life: The Biblical Call to Revolt,” and made known his views on religion. Apparently Einstein had only read the book due to repeated recommendation by their mutual friend Luitzen Egbertus Jan Brouwer. The letter was bought at auction in May 2008, for £170,000; unsurprisingly, one of the unsuccessful bidders then was Richard Dawkins. Yesterday it was bought by an as yet unknown buyer for $2.9 million.

(Translated Transcript)
Princeton, 3. 1. 1954

Dear Mr Gutkind,

Inspired by Brouwer’s repeated suggestion, I read a great deal in your book, and thank you very much for lending it to me. What struck me was this: with regard to the factual attitude to life and to the human community we have a great deal in common. Your personal ideal with its striving for freedom from ego-oriented desires, for making life beautiful and noble, with an emphasis on the purely human element. This unites us as having an “unAmerican attitude.”

Still, without Brouwer’s suggestion I would never have gotten myself to engage intensively with your book because it is written in a language inaccessible to me. The word God is for me nothing more than the expression and product of human weakness, the Bible a collection of honorable, but still purely primitive, legends which are nevertheless pretty childish. No interpretation, no matter how subtle, can change this for me. For me the Jewish religion like all other religions is an incarnation of the most childish superstition. And the Jewish people to whom I gladly belong, and whose thinking I have a deep affinity for, have no different quality for me than all other people. As far as my experience goes, they are also no better than other human groups, although they are protected from the worst cancers by a lack of power. Otherwise I cannot see anything “chosen” about them.

In general I find it painful that you claim a privileged position and try to defend it by two walls of pride, an external one as a man and an internal one as a Jew. As a man you claim, so to speak, a dispensation from causality otherwise accepted, as a Jew the privilege of monotheism. But a limited causality is no longer a causality at all, as our wonderful Spinoza recognized with all incision, probably as the first one. And the animistic interpretations of the religions of nature are in principle not annulled by monopolization. With such walls we can only attain a certain self-deception, but our moral efforts are not furthered by them. On the contrary.

Now that I have quite openly stated our differences in intellectual convictions it is still clear to me that we are quite close to each other in essential things, i.e; in our evaluations of human behavior. What separates us are only intellectual “props” and “rationalization” in Freud’s language. Therefore I think that we would understand each other quite well if we talked about concrete things.

With friendly thanks and best wishes,

Yours,

A. Einstein

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(A handwritten letter by Albert Einstein in which he grapples with the concept of religion has smashed predictions and sold for nearly $2.9million (£2.3million).)

haji6122018

2017 Auditor-General’s Report Series 2 has vindicated the previous Musa state government. As published in the 2017 Auditor-General’s Report , the accumulated balance in the Sabah State Treasury was RM3.8 billion in 2017.

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 5 — The Auditor-General’s 2017 report on Sabah clearly vindicates former Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, whom the current administration accused of mismanaging finances, Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor said today.

Hajiji said that they were not surprised by the A-G’s Report as it was just a continuation of similar reports for the last 15 years under Musa as Sabah Minister of Finance.

“It is not too far-fetched to even say that Musa was one of the best financial managers Sabah ever had. He managed to present a surplus Budget for 2018 despite the dismal price of oil back then and surplus accounts for 16 years in a row,” he said in a statement here today.

Hajiji said in terms of basic accounting, the report means the previous administration did not spend more than it earned, and Warisan’s claims that the state’s finances were badly managed and that the party was left with not enough to fulfill their manifesto, were untrue.

“In the wake of May 12, Warisan openly claimed the state’s finances were in dire straits. Sadly, this alleged lack of funds is the old song and dance that they keep using as an excuse to not deliver to the people…however, the figures for 2017 speak for themselves,” he said.

May 12 was the date Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal was sworn in as Sabah chief minister.

“The recent revelation of the A-G’s report proves that the state government has contradicted itself when presenting the Sabah Budget 2019 recently. Since helming the office, the Warisan government has committed numerous flip flops on Sabah’s financial position,” Hajiji said.

“Initially they said there is no money in coffers and then, suddenly there is money but wait…it looks like there is money but it is through accounting manipulations,” he said.

According to the report from the A-G which was released on Monday, the state’s consolidated fund increased, there was surplus resulting in the accumulated balance rising, revenue collection increased, and also an increase in operating expenditure.

The consolidated fund rose last year by RM390.64 million or 16.2 per cent to RM2.8 billion in 2017, compared to RM2.41 billion in 2016. There was also a surplus of RM56.66 million in 2017, resulting in the accumulated balance rising to RM3.8 billion or 1.5 per cent while revenue collection increased by RM444.44 million or 12.9 per cent to RM3.89 billion in 2017.

Investments in fixed and state deposits reached RM2.51 billion and investments in public corporation and statutory bodies totalled RM6.58 billion. The two investments brought in RM112.67 million and RM140.43 million in interests and dividends.

Hajiji said that in spite of Musa’s achievement, the Warisan-led government chose to mislead the people on Musa’s performance as chief minister and finance minister for the last 15 years, which was not only an act of incompetence but malice in an attempt to belittle the achievements of the previous state government.

“If the new administration does not have the decency or the courtesy to acknowledge the milestones of its predecessor, the least it can do is to not mislead the people. In civil society, in spite of political differences, gentlemen still shake hands and give credit where credit is due,” said Hajiji, who is also Sulaman assemblyman.

After taking office as chief minister, Shafie announced he was taking up the Finance portfolio as well, to clean up the “financial mess”. He also later said that the state Barisan Nasional government had not been forthcoming about the state’s financial status, claiming the state’s RM4 billion reserves were non-existent.

Musa was chief minister of Sabah from 2003 to 2018, when he was ousted from the post despite a controversial narrow win in the state and general elections.

He has since been trying to get the courts to declare his ouster as unconstitutional but is also facing several charges of corruption.

This piece came out in the Malay Mail

http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news.cfm?NewsID=129243


Jack Ma is a member of the Communist Party.

Mr. Ma, China’s richest man and the founder of the country’s biggest e-commerce company, Alibaba, was listed as a member of the Chinese Communist Party in its official newspaper. It might seem odd that a billionaire entrepreneur who made his wealth in the private sector belongs to an organization that propagates the ideals of Karl Marx. But Mr. Ma’s membership didn’t surprise many in China — and it “reveals a party that is eager to prove its legitimacy by affiliating itself with capitalist success stories,” writes NYT Asia tech columnist, Li Yuan

SEE THE REST BELOW

HONG KONG — Jack Ma, China’s richest man and the guiding force behind its biggest e-commerce company, belongs to an elite club of power brokers, 89 million strong: the Chinese Communist Party.

The party’s official People’s Daily newspaper included Mr. Ma, executive chairman of the Alibaba Group and the country’s most prominent capitalist, in a list it published on Monday of 100 Chinese people who had made extraordinary contributions to the country’s development over the last 40 years. The entry for Mr. Ma identified him as a party member.

It may sound contradictory that the wealthy Mr. Ma belongs to an organization that got its start calling for the empowerment of the proletariat. But Mr. Ma’s political

CONTINUE HERE


He proved that old saying – fools rush in where angels fear to tread.

He wilfully broke Indian laws and disrespected the chosen privacy of a people, to give them his spurious guff. I hope this is a lesson to the Evangelists.

The North Sentinel people have sealed themselves off from the modern world. They hunt turtles and pigs, wear loincloths and live in huts. Beyond that, very little is known.

A graduate of Oral Roberts University, he was fixated on spreading Christianity to North Sentinel, telling friends he had been working for years to make the right contacts.

John Allen Chau, Rest In Peace!

READ THE REST OF THE STORY BELOW IN THE NEW YORK TIMES