This came out in the Daily Express, see here: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read/4399/the-kdmr-need-huguan-sious-not-just-one-huguan-siou/

YOUR reports on “Proxy Battle For Huguan-Siouship?” and “Jeffrey Says Not Interested In The Huguan Siou Post” (DE on May 5 and 6 refers).

As a political observer, I also got the impression that the sudden demand by PBS to single out its past bastions of Tambunan and Keningau had some underlying motive.

Just like the question your headline posed and the fact that the holder Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan had given up all other political positions, except the Huguan Siou.

It is quite clear that all the Kadazan Dusun dominated parties are trying to outdo each other for the community’s support since Warisan failed to appeal to the natives, except in Penampang and Papar.

To me, I would say let the best party win. What I am more interested in knowing is whether the Huguan Siou title served any real purpose to our community, meaning the non-Muslim natives, in particular. In short what can we proudly say that something that the community has achieved is due to this title. Or has it brought more harm than good, politically.

The community would have to assess deeply if it is willing to surrender their aspirations to just one leader. To me both the Huguan Sious have failed us.

Tun Fuad Stephens started well but started capitulating to Usno soon after he lost his political power. What we regret most today is his action of waiting till Upko Deputy President Datuk GS Sundang was away in England for medical treatment in 1967 and unable to rush back to stop the dissolution of the party. 

 Based on the archive reports of your paper, the Upko extraordinary meeting that was held was not about whether Upko should dissolve but that Upko had to be dissolved. As a Huguan Siou it was unthinkable that he should do it. The reasons were only known to himself. 

The meeting lasted late into the night with the members pleading with him to quit the party and not dissolve it as they would have no “house” anymore so to speak.

But his reported response was that he decided that their needs would be better served by Usno and Tun Mustapha. That, to me, marked the beginning of the end of our struggle.

Stephens also openly asked for a review of the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) upon Singapore’s exit which perhaps made Kuala Lumpur adopt a cautious stand in its dealings with the community. Until he was needed to check the ambitions of Mustapha when State-Federal relations turned sour during Pm Tun Razak.

When Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan was made the second Huguan Siou, the spirits of the community were again lifted. One can sympathise with Pairin as he had to deal with a difficult federal leadership headed by Tun Dr Mahathir. Perhaps influenced by his “kitchen cabinet” he also did the unthinkable by pulling out of the then ruling Barisan Nasional coalition two weeks before the general election.

Like Stephens demanding a review of the MA63 upon Singapore’s pullout, Federal again faced a situation where it could not work with a state government which happened to be led by the second Huguan Siou. Federal was again faced with the same situation as during Stephens.

Hence, both the Huguan Sious had run-ins with the Federal Government. It never faced such situation with Sarawak’s leaders who did a superb job, except at the start with Stephen Kalong Ningkan. 

Many say that had Pairin kept his emotions in check and didn’t give in to pressure from his hardliners in PBS to pull out in what Mahathir bitterly labelled a “stab in the back”, not only would PBS have continued to rule the State till today but Semanunjung parties, mainly Umno, would not have had an excuse to spread to Sabah. 

 Not only that, the 1990 “stab in the back” strangely coincided with the sudden surge in illegal immigrants coming into possession of Malaysian documents, now said to number one million. This was stated in the Royal Commission of Inquiry report which alluded to a certain “Projek IC”.

I understand that Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan strongly advised his elder brother at that time never to pull out of the BN no matter what as the consequences would be severe for the community and the party, but that the elder Kitingan preferred, instead, to heed the advice of his “kitchen cabinet” and whose members deserted him anyway and joined or hopped to BN when the time came. 

Rumour is that federal, erroneously thinking that the younger brother was behind the pullout decision, hounded him resulting in tax investigations and detaining him under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Only the younger Kitingan can testify if this is true or hearsay and your paper should get it from the horse’s mouth to put the record straight.

It is in the light of all this, that the community needs to study and decide whether the Huguan Siou title had been beneficial or a curse since it provides anyone who holds the position the authority to use it as a blank cheque to make whatever decision he thinks fit for the community and later regretting it.

Is it not better for the community’s interests be pursued by every Kadazan Dusun leader worth his salt. Whether it be Dr Jeffrey, Dr Max Ongkili, Datuk Darrel Leiking, Datuk Madius Tangau, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Datuk Joachim or Datuk Abidin Madingkir. 

Let’s regard all of them as Huguan Sious in their own right and do what is necessary to uplift the community and safeguard its interests through their respective parties. 

This way the community would benefit far more than banking on a single person only to swim or sink with him.

 By coincidence on the day that your paper carried the report on the PBS indirectly laying claim to the two seats of Tambunan and Bingkor held by Star and its possible proxy link to the Huguan Siouship stakes, a stunning Kadazan Dusun Unduk beauty also shared front page space beside that story apologising for answering that the first Huguan Siou was “Mat Salleh” during the Unduk Ngadau pageant. 

Never mind how British colonial history looked at Mat Salleh. But as we all know he was not even a Kadazan Dusun. 

What was even more startling was that she was even reported as saying that she actually had no idea what “Huguan Siou” actually meant.

We should thank her for being honest instead of ridiculing her. She was actually sending a very strong message to our so-called native leaders that the X, Y and Z generation do not give a damn to this Huguan Siou title anymore. 

The writing is on the wall and the community had better take note.

Sad KDM

In 1996, Musa Aman met Dr Mahathir to call off the controversial deal between Yayasan Sabah investment arm Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd (ICSB) and North Borneo Timber (NBT).

Dr Mahathir then spoke to Sakaran Dandai to call off the deal.

The deal was off. Sakaran Dandai didn’t attend the Board of Trustees (BOT) meeting where they were going to assign 100000 hectares of logged-over forest reserve a 100 years concession thru NBT.

If the deal went thru, technically all of Sabah’s forest concessions would have been controlled by NBT for a mere RM350 million. It was tantamount to Yayasan Sabah being literally sold lock, stock and barrel for a mere RM350 million.

Yong Teck Lee was Minister of Finance, Shafie Apdal was Chairman of NBT and Joseph Ambrose Lee a good friend of Yong was mastermind.

DATUK Yong Teck Lee’s statement as published in the Daily Express on Thursday, 15 April, 2021 calling upon Tan Sri Harris to explain why Sabah was downgraded like any of the other states in 1976 is mischievous. 

Yong implied that Harris by agreeing to the downgrade was the reason why Sabah has remained poor in all aspects. 

It is recorded that Sabah is the poorest state in Malaysia even behind Kelantan. 

However, he failed to mention that Sarawak, was also downgraded to “state” and yet Sarawak is ranked one of the top eleven states in the Federation of Malaysia.

Sarawak is also one of the richest states in Malaysia with over RM30 billion in cash reserve. It is common sense, if Sarawak was downgraded the same time, how is it possible for Sarawak to be the richest state with more than RM30 billion in reserve.  Surely, Yong knows this fully well, as he is the one claiming to have done research on the Malaysia states.

Yong who is a lawyer and in politics and was Chief Minister of Sabah for two years cannot be ignorant of the Parliamentary democratic system of government. 

Sabah and Sarawak are well represented in Parliament and Parliament is supreme. Parliament can amend the Federal or state constitution with a two third majority. 

The eleven state governments cannot question decisions made by Parliament. Any law adopted by Parliament requires a simple majority, and once consented by the King, is enforceable by law.

Yong should be aware that Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore were one of the fourteen states in the Federation of Malaysia since its inception in 1963. 

The Prime Minister of Singapore attended Chief Ministers Conference as one of the fourteen states until 1965 when Singapore was expelled from Malaysia. The eleven states were ruled as ‘states’ till the amendment to make it eleven states. This went on for thirteen (13) years with no leaders from Sabah, Sarawak nor Yong himself ever mentioning.

The bureaucracy noticed and realised the Constitution provided for three partners (Sabah, Sarawak & Malaya), whereas the administration provided for eleven states, hence the amendment to the constitution in 1976.

Yong, having been a Chief Minister had the privilege of attending the Rulers Conferences, Chief Ministers Conference and rubbed shoulders with Rulers and leaders of the Federation, cannot claim ignorance of the administrative system of Malaysia. 

Amendments to the Federal Constitution must be initiated by the Prime Minister’s Department and the Attorney General with the Chief Secretary having prepared a Cabinet paper. Thereafter, the cabinet paper on the proposed amendment is tabled at the Cabinet meeting, and if adopted will be submitted at the Chief Ministers Conference, the Rulers Conference and only then to Parliament. 

Knowing the break neck speed at which government departments work, this whole process will definitely take years before a proposed amendment gets presented to Parliament. 

Hence, Harris must be right in that the proposal to amend the constitution that legally made Sabah and Sarawak ‘states’ in the constitution, MUST have been tabled long before 1976.

Also Harris had nothing to do with any amendment to the Federal Constitution, this can only be done by parliament with a two third majority. Yong and Sabahans must accept the decision of elected representatives. This amendment amended the pillar of Malaysia, which Sabah is a part of. It has nothing to do with abuse of power and corruption. 

However, if one was to scrutinise the adminitration during Yong’s Chief Ministership, four alleged scandals, which likely involve the abuse of power and corruption.

Firstly, the alienation of 2,000 acres of sea bed from Likas to Tanjung Aru. Secondly, the sale of 16,000 acres of oil palm plantation belonging to Sabah Land Development Board through the Bahamas, a renowned Tax Haven. 

He must explain why it could not be sold directly to the buyer. Thirdly, the purchase of North Borneo Timber shares by Amanah Sabah Berhad. 

Negotiations between the state and NBT had been ongoing for several months when NBT share price dropped to RM5. After a few days NBT share price reached RM37 then a few days later it dropped again to RM5. 

This resulted in Amanah Sabah losing hundreds of millions. Surely there is something wrong here.

The fourth issue involved selling 500,000 acres belonging to Yayasan Sabah which is part of 4,000 square miles of land (2,560,000 acres). Yong at that time was the Minister of Finance under Tun Sakaran and was also a member of the Sabah Foundation. 

Tan Sri Musa Aman who was then the Director of Yayasan Sabah met with Tun Mahathir and explained that Usno started the Foundation, Berjaya had not sold any area, and how Umno wanted to sell 500,000 acres to a Peninsular Berhad company. It was Mahathir who sent a note to Sakaran to stop the sale immediately.

Finally, apart from the politics, the downgrading or changes had little impact on the lives of people in Sabah or Sarawak. Life went on as usual.

Just like the lives of people in Likas and Sembulan which Yong represented for years. Their lives have also remained the same. There are still poor housing and economy.

It is hoped that future Sabah leaders not present emotional and anti Federal feelings. If this continues, the people will look to the day when they can be free to live and not be subjected to MA63 and the claims that the Federal Government had taken their rights.

I, as a historian need all this explanation and information to complete a history book I am thinking of writing.

A historian, Pulau Gaya

– As a matter of record, Yong responded to two of the allegations in a previous report, describing them as fiction. – Ed

PRESS STATEMENT . . . REACTION

Jambun: Musa Aman move in Federal court to thwart Shafie Apdal being ‘declared’ CM

Human rights advocate and Borneo rights activist disappointed that three years in wait wasted

REACTION . . . Human rights advocate and Borneo rights activist Daniel John Jambun, in a bombshell reaction, has argued that Sabah strongman Musa Aman probably dropped his case in the Federal court to prevent Shafie Apdal from being seen as the rightful Chief Minister following the snap state election on Sept 26 last year.

In short, he stressed, Shafie as CM would be the net effect of the Federal court upholding the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution. “Also, by withdrawing the court case, the present state gov’t would not be financially burdened by the Shafie gov’t of 12 May 2018 being declared unconstitutional.”

“At stake was any number of commercial contracts reportedly being taken to court against the Shafie gov’t.”

Shafie, under Parti Warisan, took 29 seats or the largest number under one symbol in the state assembly on Sept 26. Allies PKR and Upko took two and one respectively under their symbol, and there were three Independents. Another 38 seats were taken by allies under three symbols: Perikatan Nasional (PN) 17, Barisan Nasional (BN) 14, and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) 7.

Three years of waiting has been wasted, lamented Jambun who heads the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BiPiMaFo), an ad hoc human rights NGO working across the Divide. “Now, we don’t know what will become of Musa’s Constitutional questions on Sabah in the Federal court.”

The preliminary Majority Judgment by the Federal court on Sept 1 last year touched on the Perak case law as being not applicable to Sabah, as the Governor being no sultan having no “residual powers”, and thereby implied that Shafie as Chief Minister on 12 May 2018 was unconstitutional.

“Musa may have belatedly realised why Shafie did not dispute the Sept 26 appointment in court,” chuckled Jambun. “Shafie was simply waiting for Musa’s arguments, since 12 May 2018, to gobble him up in court.”

“The fiery Suluk-Bajau Ubian politician would have had the last laugh. Truly, he who laughs last, laughs the longest and hardest.”

Jambun, tongue in cheek, doesn’t even rule out Shafie literally dying of laughter if the Federal court had ruled on Musa’s case.

The NGO Chief recalled that Musa had consistently maintained the public position that the case in court was not about him or the CM’s post. “He accepted that he would not return as CM through the court,” stressed Jambun.

Also, he added, Musa claimed the case was not about his purported long-running political enemity with arch rival Shafie, derided as PTI (pendatang tanpa izin or illegal immigrant) in the run-up to GE14 and in the aftermath.

Musa solemnly swore, pointed out the BoPiMaFo Chief, that the case was all about “upholding the sanctity of the Sabah Constitution.

Briefly, he noted, the Definition of majority in the Sabah Constitution was not the simple Dictionary meaning where 51 for example was the majority out of 100. “The PBS gov’t (1985 to 1994), in its genius, provided for a situation where no symbol would get simple majority in the state assembly.”

In short, it provides for a minority Chief Minister to be sworn in, in the event that no leader of a political symbol in the election reached simple majority.

The Federal court, on Sept 1, listed the Constitutional questions to be determined and added: “The questions of law raised by Tan Sri Musa are of grave constitutional importance and have far reaching implications not only for the State of Sabah but for the whole country and ought to be resolved once and for all by this Court, being the apex court, to provide certainty and cannot be left hanging.”

The people of Sabah have an inalienable right to know whether the removal of Tan Sri Musa as the validly appointed Chief Minister was done validly, lawfully and in accordance with the Constitution of Sabah, the highest law in the land below the wind, said the court. “As it is, there is no closure yet on the issue of whether Tan Sri Musa had been lawfully removed from office.”

Daniel John Jambun

President

Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BoPiMaFo)

Kota Kinabalu

Further details: +60108786993 (Daniel John Jambun)

Sat 26 Mar 2021

This was published in the Daily Express. See here: http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read/4292/kdms-hurt-by-this-irresponsible-act/

Only Dr Jeffrey Kitingan has come out to speak about this issue of restoring road names, where are the other leaders? See here: https://www.dailyexpress.com.my/news/167513/call-to-restore-road-name/

Okk Lojungah (left) at Native Chiefs Advisory Council of Penampang meeting in 1935. Beside him is NC Mogunting and Manjaji.

REFERENCE is made to your recent report on a suggestion by the Sabah and Labuan Chinese community to have a road sign in the State Capital named after the late Tan Sri Peter Lo, Sabah’s second Chief Minister and the first Chinese to hold the post. 

Besides being Sabah’s first Federal Minister in the Cabinet of first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman as well as Sabah’s first local-born lawyer he put his legal mind to work on coming up with many of the 20-Point safeguards when agreeing to form Malaysia seemed the only path to independence on September 16, 1963.

Truly Lo deserves a street to be named after him for his immense contributions at the time of Malaysia’s formation. But hopefully it will be at a prominent part in the city and not in some back alley or beside his house.

That would defeat the whole purpose of appreciating the roles played by historical figures like Lo. We feel justified in saying so because of some people we suspect were racists who held the post of Kota Kinabalu Mayor before who did not conceal their dislike for people of other ethnicities.

We only need to cite two instances but are not sure whether it was deliberately done by the same Mayor or such behaviour was emulated by others as well.

The first was the renaming of Jalan Edwina Mountbatten with Jalan Pintas near Sabah College. For those who are not aware, Edwina was the wife of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy of India who   played a major role in the Second World War. She died in the house above the dual carriageway tunnel, which later became the army’s property.

How can Kota Kinabalu lay claim to preserving history when a mayor with zero knowledge about the historical significance of the roadsign replaced it with Jalan Pintas? 

 We need to appreciate and honour our colonial past. Changing a road sign will never hide the fact that we were once colonised. Didn’t this mayor benefit from the colonial education, respected judiciary, good governance, no-nonsense civil service and a westminster parliamentary system? 

Tourists today go in search of places connected to historical figures. By that token, Labuan should have a Jalan McArthur in honour of the five-star US General who walked the streets of Labuan before liberating the Philippines. 

We would be sure to get hordes of American tourists making Labuan one of their stopovers.

Secondly, there was a road sign that was replaced which was an open insult to the Kadazan Dusun community in Sabah but went unnoticed because it was done quietly.

 We are referring to the act of removing altogether Jalan Lojungah in Kampung Air which even for reasons of nationalism is wrong because the late Lojungah was a very important native leader of his time, just like Laiman Diki whose name on a road sign is to be found nearby – but was not touched! 

We may be wrong but the only reason we could think of for this Mayor doing so was because Lojungah happened to be a Kadazan Dusun and a non-Muslim native leader. OKK Lojungah was the first native chief of Penampang.

It is the actions of people put in important positions and who abuse their power  to undertake such actions that can affect the unity and harmony among the various races in Sabah.

We found it strange that at least one Kadazan Dusun Mayor who is now a Minister, Datuk Abidin Madingkir, did not undo this damage by reinstating the sign during his two terms. 

He can be forgiven if he was not aware but he is in a position to do so. As do current Mayor Noorliza Awang Alip who appears to be a fair and reasonable person in the two months since occupying the post.

Reinstating the road sign would also send a strong message to future mayors and local authority heads not to tamper with existing road names.

Any attempt to do so must be made public because being ratepayers we have the right to know why a particular road name was being replaced and whether it is done according to whims and fancies, or dislike for a particular community’s leaders as the Lojungah case clearly seems to suggest.

We recall reading in your paper huge public uproar over the KL Mayor’s decision to arbitrarily change the name of Jalan Raja Laut to Jalan Palestin. His reason was that it was in support of the Palestinians. Here is another example of a seemingly dim-witted decision by a person holding the post of Mayor of the nation’s capital. He had no idea that it was named after the then Raja Muda of Selangor, Raja Laut Sultan Muhammad Shah back in 1898.

 As a Mayor and as a Malay, any change in the road’s name should have been made known to the Selangor Sultan as Raja Laut was his ancestor. As a Malay, he did not know that Raja Laut, like Lojungah in the case of KK, was a very important person as he was the Penghulu of Kuala Lumpur, established the Kuala Lumpur Sanitary Board and as President of the Malay Agricultural Settlement was behind the creation of Kampung Baru where a good majority of Malays today reside.

We wonder if any road in the Palestinian territories have been named after Malaysia, for promoting their cause.

Roads and surrounding areas carry names of important and respected people like Lojungah because of historical significance, value and serve as a heritage site.

It instils appreciation and raises awareness about a person and his or her contributions to society. It is a pity that we promote Sabah as Land Below The Wind but have no shame in not naming any street after Agnes Keith whose book made Sabah world famous or even her husband, Harry, who is responsible for identifying  the State’s current first class forest reserves from the 1930s until they left Sabah in 1952.  

Any move to change a road name must take into consideration the feelings of the community that will be hurt, as in the case of Lojungah. 

The new Mayor and Madingkir can repair the damage and restore the pride of the Kadazans and Dusuns on this matter. 

A wrong has been committed and must not be allowed to continue. It simply must be reinstated to what it originally was, i.e. Jalan Lojungah.

Late Peter Lo

Miracles happen all the time. And life is full of miracles.

This is a beautiful story especially when times are rough with all the Covid19 politics playing out. Stories like these spark hope, optimism and warmth.

Read on….

Marcel Sternberger was a methodical man of nearly 50, with bushy white hair, guileless brown eyes, and the bouncing enthusiasm of a czardas dancer of his native Hungary. He always took the 9:09 Long Island Railroad train from his suburban home to Woodside, N.Y.., where he caught a subway into the city.

On the morning of January 10, 1948, Sternberger boarded the 9:09 as usual. En route, he suddenly decided to visit Laszlo Victor, a Hungarian friend who lived in Brooklyn and was ill.

Accordingly, at Ozone Park, Sternberger changed to the subway for Brooklyn, went to his friend’s house, and stayed until midafternoon. He then boarded a Manhattan-bound subway for his Fifth Avenue office. Here is Marcel’s incredible story:

The car was crowded, and there seemed to be no chance of a seat. But just as I entered, a man sitting by the door suddenly jumped up to leave, and I slipped into the empty place. I’ve been living in New York long enough not to start conversations with strangers. But being a photographer, I have the peculiar habit of analyzing people’s faces, and I was struck by the features of the passenger on my left. He was probably in his late 30s, and when he glanced up, his eyes seemed to have a hurt expression in them. He was reading a Hungarian-language newspaper, and something prompted me to say in Hungarian, “I hope you don’t mind if I glance at your paper.”

The man seemed surprised to be addressed in his native language. But he answered politely, “You may read it now. I’ll have time later on.”

During the half-hour ride to town, we had quite a conversation. He said his name was Bela Paskin. A law student when World War II started, he had been put into a German labor battalion and sent to the Ukraine. Later he was captured by the Russians and put to work burying the German dead. After the war, he covered hundreds of miles on foot until he reached his home in Debrecen, a large city in eastern Hungary.

I myself knew Debrecen quite well, and we talked about it for a while. Then he told me the rest of his story. When he went to the apartment once occupied by his father, mother, brothers and sisters, he found strangers living there. Then he went upstairs to the apartment that he and his wife once had. It also was occupied by strangers. None of them had ever heard of his family.

As he was leaving, full of sadness, a boy ran after him, calling “Paskin bacsi! Paskin bacsi!” That means “Uncle Paskin.” The child was the son of some old neighbors of his. He went to the boy’s home and talked to his parents. “Your whole family is dead,” they told him. “The Nazis took them and your wife to Auschwitz.”

Auschwitz was one of the worst Nazi concentration camps. Paskin gave up all hope. A few days later, too heartsick to remain any longer in Hungary, he set out again on foot, stealing across border after border until he reached Paris. He managed to immigrate to the United States in October 1947, just three months before I met him.

All the time he had been talking, I kept thinking that somehow his story seemed familiar. A young woman whom I had met recently at the home of friends had also been from Debrecen; she had been sent to Auschwitz; from there she had been transferred to work in a German munitions factory. Her relatives had been killed in the gas chambers. Later she was liberated by the Americans and was brought here in the first boatload of displaced persons in 1946.

Her story had moved me so much that I had written down her address and phone number, intending to invite her to meet my family and thus help relieve the terrible emptiness in her life.

It seemed impossible that there could be any connection between these two people, but as I neared my station, I fumbled anxiously in my address book. I asked in what I hoped was a casual voice, “Was your wife’s name Marya?”

He turned pale. “Yes!” he answered. “How did you know?”

He looked as if he were about to faint.

I said, “Let’s get off the train.” I took him by the arm at the next station and led him to a phone booth. He stood there like a man in a trance while I dialed her phone number.

It seemed hours before Marya Paskin answered. (Later I learned her room was alongside the telephone, but she was in the habit of never answering it because she had so few friends and the calls were always for someone else. This time, however, there was no one else at home and, after letting it ring for a while, she responded.)

When I heard her voice at last, I told her who I was and asked her to describe her husband. She seemed surprised at the question, but gave me a description. Then I asked her where she had lived in Debrecen, and she told me the address.

Asking her to hold the line, I turned to Paskin and said, “Did you and your wife live on such-and-such a street?”

“Yes!” Bela exclaimed. He was white as a sheet and trembling.

“Try to be calm,” I urged him. “Something miraculous is about to happen to you. Here, take this telephone and talk to your wife!”

He nodded his head in mute bewilderment, his eyes bright with tears. He took the receiver, listened a moment to his wife’s voice, then suddenly cried, “This is Bela! This is Bela!” and he began to mumble hysterically. Seeing that the poor fellow was so excited he couldn’t talk coherently, I took the receiver from his shaking hands.

“Stay where you are,” I told Marya, who also sounded hysterical. “I am sending your husband to you. We will be there in a few minutes.”Bela was crying like a baby and saying over and over again. “It is my wife. I go to my wife!”

At first I thought I had better accompany Paskin, lest the man should faint from excitement, but I decided that this was a moment in which no strangers should intrude. Putting Paskin into a taxicab, I directed the driver to take him to Marya’s address, paid the fare, and said goodbye.

Bela Paskin’s reunion with his wife was a moment so poignant, so electric with suddenly released emotion, that afterward neither he nor Marya could recall much about it.

“I remember only that when I left the phone, I walked to the mirror like in a dream to see if maybe my hair had turned gray,” she said later. “The next thing I know, a taxi stops in front of the house, and it is my husband who comes toward me. Details I cannot remember; only this I know—that I was happy for the first time in many years…..

“Even now it is difficult to believe that it happened. We have both suffered so much; I have almost lost the capability to not be afraid. Each time my husband goes from the house, I say to myself, “Will anything happen to take him from me again?”

Her husband is confident that no horrible misfortune will ever again befall the. “Providence has brought us together,” he says simply. “It was meant to be.”

Skeptical persons will no doubt attribute the events of that memorable afternoon to mere chance. But was it chance that made Marcel Sternberger suddenly decide to visit his sick friend and hence take a subway line that he had never ridden before? Was it chance that caused the man sitting by the door of the car to rush out just as Sternberger came in? Was it chance that caused Bela Paskin to be sitting beside Sternberger, reading a Hungarian newspaper’

Paul Deutschman, Great Stories Remembered, edited and compiled by Joe L. Wheeler

There is finally a realization in the USA that Donald Trump is deranged. Even Twitter now doesn’t deem him fit to have an account. He has 13 days left as President and till then he has the nuclear codes to unleash apocalyptic nuclear war. This is a scary thought!

It is true that only he can order it but can he carry it out?

There is a huge sub-system leading down from him to carry out an order – but will they do it? The chain of command is made of sane people and they will need visibly objective and plausible conditions before they carry out any order.

This reminds me of a story told by friend. There was a Harvard Professor Richard Neustadt who told his students during a course – “American Presidency” in 1982. Neustadt had worked in the Truman and Johnson White Houses as a domestic policy aide related this telling story about the limits of presidential power.

This is a true story. One day Lyndon Johnson told his aides of a dream he had. He said that in it he called the NSA, Defence Secretary, Joint Chiefs and some others to the Oval Office and told them, “Gentlemen! I have had enough of them. Nuke the Russians.” Then he went quiet. So Neustadt prodded him and asked, “And then what happened Mr.President?” Johnson replied: “This is what worries me Dick. They all thumped my table in unison and said, “Fuck You Mr.President!”

So sleep well guys. It won’t happen.

Another newspaper folds and Sabah Times since 1954 now bids farewell!

The story that is yet to be told is how Daily Express grew to be Sabah and Labuan’s most sought after newspaper with James Sarda a Chevening scholar at its helm as Chief Editor for nearly 30 years now.

Especially how despite the Sabah Times also started by Yeh family who hired Donald Stephens as the first Chief Editor failed but Daily Express succeeded after Yeh Pao Tzu (Tan Sri) sold all his shares to Stephens, making him the publisher since 1963 when Yeh started Daily Express.

Under James Sarda, the paper not only started winning national journalism awards for the first time, including he winning some of them, but also earned distinction as first Malaysian newspaper to achieve a world scoop with the report on Nick Leeson the fugitive Barings derivatives trader who was hiding in Shangri-la Tanjung Aru Resort, Sabah while Interpol was looking for him for causing the collapse of Barings Bank in 1995. It also become the only paper to win the Prime Minister’s Hibiscus Award for excellence in journalism.

‘Rule of Law’ is Dr Mahathir’s new mantra!

Dr Mahathir wrote on his Chedet blog that the rule of law is no longer being applied in view of several high profile corruption cases dropped by prosecutors in recent months. Wonder where was the Rule of Law when he was in power? In fact the rot stated during his 22-year premiership.

In the 1988 judicial crisis, Dr Mahathir intervened at the highest level by removing a Lord President of the Supreme Court. Where was the rule of law?

At that time, Dr. Mahathir’s sacking of Tun Salleh Abbas, the then-chief judge, and other senior judges, was the start of the breakdown of constitutional checks and balance inherent in our parliamentary democracy. Dr. Mahathir’s handpicked judges signaled the beginning of an era when the judiciary became enslaved to the executive branch. Since then, the executive has given short shrift to matters of accountability, governance and transparency in the judiciary.

In 1988, the independence of Malaysia’s judiciary was subjected to “a dramatic coup by the executive.” In what is widely considered to be the single biggest assault on Malaysia’s constitutional system and on the rule of law, five of the country’s top judges were suspended and three later removed from office. In addition, substantive changes were made to the constitution effectively emasculating the judiciary of its constitutional position as a check and balance to the government

Let me add a little more, and around the same time Tun Salleh Abas was charged, in 1986, Dr Mahathir as Home Minister cancelled the work permit of 2 Asian Wall Street Journal journalists in Malaysia. They brought the matter to the Court and the Supreme Court held that Dr Mahathir’s action was illegal and therefore invalid.

Dr Mahathir was so upset. Even in the TIME magazine (issue of 24.11.1986), Dr Mahathir expressed his displeasure. Contempt proceedings were brought against Dr Mahathir. Dr Mahathir escaped as the proceedings were dismissed by the Court. However, the learned Judge remarked in his judgment that Dr Mahathir confused at the doctrine of separation of powers.

It’s a joke to preach the values of democracy and rule of law when it was Dr Mahathir that was openly flouting them when he was in power. Under Dr Mahathir, so many cases involving connected politicians or his business associates involved in illegal activities were all swept under the carpet or classified No Further Action.

Even during his 2nd time as prime minister in 2018, several high profile criminal cases were dropped as well. Shafie Apdal was investigated with misconduct over RM1.5 billion in federal funds meant for kampong folks had his case closed by the AG and classified as No Further Action. This included the corruption trial involving his then finance minister Lim Guan Eng and several sedition trials of other Pakatan Harapan politicians, including Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Deputy Minister Chong Chieng Jen and former Stampin MP Julian Tan for allegedly taking part in a Bersih 4 illegal assembly on Aug 20, 2015.

In Sabah, Dr Mahathir’s footprint was all over “Project IC” where dubious ICs were handed out to illegals in Sabah and entered them in the electoral rolls to bring down the PBS government. Where was the rule of law?

This shows the rot in Malaysia’s judicial system started during Mahathir’s 22-year premiership. Dr Mahathir should honestly look in the mirror and ask if he had poison the wells of democracy in Malaysia?

Came out in the Daily Express here http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read/4130/the-rot-started-under-you-doc/

If the Sabah Law Society (SLS) thinks the State AG should continue it must also warn the public which lawyers they should not engage due to complaints or other misdemeanors.

There are many complaints by the public on the professional misconduct or unsatisfactory professional conduct against some lawyers.

Until now the SLS dare not publicly produce a list of all the problematic lawyers in Sabah.

SLS should follow the example of the Bar in Peninsular which makes public a list of all lawyers who have no valid Practising Certificates. They should do this in Sabah by publishing in the Daily express and other media.

SLS should make public all the lawyers brought before the Disciplinary Board for various complaints brought against them and make public the findings. This is what they should be doing, they should do this as their duty instead of speaking on behalf of the State AG whose position is up to the Sabah State Government and not the SLS.

the below came out in the Sunday Forum Daily Express. see here

Disagrees with stand of SLS on State AG

Published on Sunday, December 06, 2020

Credit: Borneo Post Online

AS a lawyer, I am puzzled by the spirited defence mounted by the Sabah Law Society (SLS) over the appointment of  Datuk Brendon Soh as the new State Attorney General in the last days of the previous Warisan-Plus State Government.

It argued that there was no need for the new GRS State Government to replace Soh, who was also reportedly paid a package to the tune of RM60,000 per month or at least two to three times more than any of his predecessors.

Since when did SLS become duty-bound to defend its past president in a manner akin to telling the new Chief Minister how to do his job. Especially when Soh on record defended the previous State Government against sitting members of the present administration.

All Attorney Generals, be they at Federal or State level, made their exit as a matter of principle or ethics or were replaced by the incoming administrations, in case the SLS President suffers from memory lapse.

Tommy Thomas stepped aside when Tun Dr Mahathir’s Pakatan Harapan government fell. Going back to Sabah’s political history, this has also always been the case.

Nicholas Fung made way when Berjaya fell to Datuk Herman Luping. So did Datuk Stephen Foo, Datuk Bazain, Datuk Roderick Fernandez, Datuk Mariati, etc, when the time came for their replacement.

I don’t recall even the then SLA making any stand as SLS did when previous AGs were replaced and I believe an explanation is in order, as well as an apology to the Chief Minister.

Puzzled

This is picked up from our “MARKET TALK” page in Facebook…

It seems, somewhere early last month just after the 16th Sabah state assembly on Nov 12, Air Asia tycoon Tony Fernandes had personally sent his AirAsia plane to Kota Kinabalu to whisk Shafie Apdal and his wife and one other person to Kuala Lumpur in a top secret, early morning enterprise, “Market Talk” has learned exclusively.

The hush-hush operation allowed the secrecy-obsessed Shafie to leave home in Kota Kinabalu and to avoid any wait at airport departure and once he arrived at the Kuala Lumpur Airport.

‘It was a well-planned operation that appears to have worked perfectly,’ one insider said. Insider also said Tony Fernandes had instructed all the AirAsia staffs not to engage in any conversation about those 3 VIP passengers on-board.

But the question has remained — until now — how did Shafie and wife and one other person get to fly on an entire plane to themselves from Kota Kinabalu to Kuala Lumpur without being spotted?

With flights following so many SOPs acting as the norm these days, especially during this Covid19 season, imagine Tony sending an entire AirAsia plane just to carry Shafie his wife an one other person to KL, and yet not being spotted in Kota Kinabalu airport or the Kuala Lumpur airport.

MoH had decided that all those coming to the peninsula from the Borneon state should undergo a mandatory 14-day quarantine. 2 days ago, after Dr Jefffrey Kitingan was spotted in Parliament there was a big hoo-ha, opposition MPs alleged that Kitingan had broken the Covid-19 quarantine order to attend parliamentary session. However, the Minister of Health Dr Adham Baba announced that the National Security Council (NSC) had decided that the mandatory 14-day quarantine was no longer required, after seeing that the number of Covid-19 cases in Sabah had dropped in the last few weeks.

Interesting, Tony Fernandes sent a plane just to carry Shafie Apdal, his wife and one other person to KL in this Covid quarantine time! The secrecy of this trip makes “Market Talk” wonder if its to do with MACC investigating the Sabah Development Bank’s RM300 million loan to AirAsia OR it could be just to attend parliament in this Covid-19 times?