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What a beautiful compliment from a great artist to the legend.

Awesome….from an Irish, belonging to a free Republic to a Scotsman who breathed his last hoping for freedom for Scotland. Just shows the largesse of Sir Sean Connery.

My name is Bond, James Bond, a great memorable quote from the On Her Majesty’s Secret Service movie. Saw the movie maybe three times, I think.

Sir Sean Connery died at the age of 90. RIP Sir!

This came out on the Sunday Forum Daily Express!

Published on: Sunday, November 01, 2020

Erasing history by replacing street names

Credit: indianexpress.com (For Illustration Purpose Only)

Federal Territories Minister Annuar Musa was displeased with Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (DBKL) decision to rename Jalan Raja Laut 1 in the city to Jalan Palestin. He would prefer that a road with an English name was changed instead.

To be truthful, Malaysians have multiple objections to the change of road names.

One person wrote: “What’s next after Jalan Palestin? Will Jalan Hartamas be renamed Jalan Hamas? If the KL Mayor was keen to name a road Jalan Palestin, why can’t one of the new roads being built in a particular industrial, residential or shopping area be given the name?”

Malaysians are not difficult people, but renaming roads causes distress and inconvenience. Don’t the people at the top know the suffering of the people whose road names are changed?

Why wasn’t the public consulted first? Where was the discussion about renaming an existing road? Was the public not asked for their views because the authorities are aware there will be resistance?

Many Malaysians know of the struggle of the Palestinian people, but that is as far as most people are concerned. On the other hand, Raja Laut is part of Selangor’s history. He was one of the pillars of the Malay community when Kuala Lumpur was established.

Annuar’s request to rename an English road name is just as daft as the directive from DBKL to change a major road name in KL. Road names remind us of our past and English names are part of our history, too.

Have DBKL and Annuar decided who will pick up the tab for the name change? Companies will suffer because of the extra cost of changing letterheads, name cards and addresses in business directories.

Livelihoods will be affected and maps will have to be altered or reprinted. Taxi drivers will have to mentally register this name change and visitors will get confused. The Tourism Malaysia staff can barely remember any place of interest in Malaysia, so can they be expected to remember name changes?

Will the rakyat, both ordinary people and businessmen, be able to pass on the administration costs for the name change to DBKL? The rakyat have enough to worry about, with the increase in prices of ordinary goods and services, and the economic downturn made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic, without this extra hassle.

Each name change wastes valuable taxpayers’ money. The costs will be passed down to the rakyat, and the public will bear the brunt of the idiotic decision.

Renaming a road shows the disconnect between the mayor, DBKL, Annuar and the rakyat. There are numerous road-related problems in KL, and nationwide, that need immediate attention, such as flooding, poor drainage, traffic congestion, bad lighting, potholes, missing signs and faded road markings. Renaming a road should not be top priority.

Why would anyone want to rename a road? Many road names are of historical significance and they form part of our cultural identity. Annuar’s proposal to rename English road names is just another attempt to erase our history. Is Umno Baru ashamed of our colonial past? Are they afraid of the comparison with the more efficient past? Is it because the government wants change just for the sake of change? Or is it another sandiwara?

In Ipoh, several arterial roads have been renamed, but most people know the roads by their old names. One Ipoh taxi driver said that many of the roads named after VIPs are too confusing and long. He said: “Many people use the old names anyway. Everyone knows Hugh Low Street, Brewster Road, Tambun Road and Tiger Lane. Most of us cannot remember the new names of roads which are too long.”

Instead of renaming a road after a country or person, the authorities could name a new building, the new wing of a hospital, a scholarship fund, a bursary or some other white elephant. Why not rename the new Warisan Towers, or Petronas Twin Towers, Palestine Towers?

Disappointed

– Sabah is not spared of examples where road names have been replaced according to whims and fancies. For instance Jalan Lady Mountbatten which would have been good for tourism was renamed Jalan Pintas by a Mayor.

The street named Jalan Wooley was replaced with Jalan Tun Mustapha when a new road could have been named Jalan Tun Mustapha, considering Wooley’s immense contributions during the chartered company days. – Ed

Xi Jinping 习近平Born 1953

General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) (2012–present)

President of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (2013–present)

Chairman of the Central Military Commission (CMC) (2012–present)

Chairman of the National Security Committee (2013–present)

Head of the Central Leading Group for Comprehensively Deepening Reforms (2013–present)

Head of the Central Leading Group for Foreign Affairs and National Security (2013–present)

Head of the Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs (2012–present)

Head of the Central Leading Group for Financial and Economic Work (2013–present)

Head of the Central Leading Group for Network Security and Information Technology (2014–present)

Head of the CMC Central Leading Group for Deepening Reforms of National Defense and the Military (2014–present)

Commander in Chief of the Joint Operations Command Center of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) (2016–present)

Chairman of the Central Military and Civilian Integration Development Committee (2017–present)

Member of the Politburo Standing Committee (PSC) (2007–present)

Full member of the Central Committee of the CCP (2002–present)

The Chinese system follows the Confucian meritocracy. Only top students can join / be recruited to the party apparatus. Xi was the top student from Tsinghua University that is Asia’s best university, and the highest globally ranked university from Asia.

While in Malaysia, the worst students from dubious universities and degree mills become politicians generally, but they end-up making lots of money.

July 2nd 2020 – AirAsia Group Bhd secured a RM300 million loan from Sabah Development Bank Bhd (SDB).

Two weeks earlier, somewhere in June 2020 – prominent Sabah businessman Ambrose Lee, Kalimulah Hassan, Kamaruddin Meranun and Tony Fernandes and a few more from Air Asia were seen in Kota Kinabalu having sumptuous Fish Head Curry, celebrating the approval of 300 million loan.

Shafie Apdal has to answer how come loan approved without public knowing it and without the usual funfair when such huge loans are approved by a state agency? Even Air Asia only now in October 2020 was forced to admit and to come out to say that RM300 million loan from SDB was approved and already disbursed.

How can SDB being a state agency that should be serving Sabah Industries and businesses gave a huge RM300 million loan without letting Sabahans know?

And is it true that the RM300 million loan was hurriedly released to Air Asia when Chief Minister Hajiji Noor was in the intensive care unit (ICU) of Queen Elizabeth Hospital II (QEH II) receiving treatment in hospital for Covid-19?

This loan was approved on July 2nd 2020 when in early June Air Asia had already started retrenching staffs, including in Sabah. The Air Asia staffs even complain compensation was not enough. It was even reported that the airline had laid off over 2,400 employees since Malaysia’s borders were closed on March 18 this year. So how can SDB approve RM300 million loan to Air Asia when airlines everywhere were grounded due to COVID-19 and international borders were closed? How can SDB approve this loan on July 2nd when Sabah also stopped Chinese flights in January followed by other international flights?

Since the emergence of Covid-19 in early 2020, demand for air travel has been hampered and exacerbated by international borders closures. This has taken a heavy toll on most airlines’ operations globally.

Even before this loan was approved and hurriedly disbursed bigger airlines like Virgin, Cathay Pacific, American Airlines were already retrenching tens and thousands of workers and also facing bankruptcy.

What was the collateral Air Asia gave the Sabah state government to secure this loan? If it was shares of Air Asia it has no value as Tony Fernandez owes creditors 60 billion as reported. Even Malaysia Airports Holdings is suing Air Asia for RM78.16 million. High debt levels have made the situation even dicier.

So how can Warisan government approve this loan to Air Asia on July 2nd?

Looking at some of the directors of SDB shows that they are mostly Warisan people, see here

And the Managing Director of Sabah Development Bank (SDB) –

Can we imagine how much RM300 million can do to the Sabah economy during this COVID times? SDB should be made answerable for the loan approval and Shafie has a lot of answering to do.

As coronavirus reduces travel, Air Asia is in a tough spot owing to its high levels of debt.

This is total madness and this doesn’t make sense at all!

UPDATED OCTOBER 28th

I’ve nothing to hide, says Shafie over MACC probe into RM300 million loan to AirAsia

KOTA KINABALU: Former Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal welcomes any investigation into the RM300 million loan from state-owned Sabah Development Bank Sdn Bhd (SDB) to low-cost carrier AirAsia.

The Semporna MP said that as the former chief minister and state finance minister, neither he nor anyone in the previous administration had anything to hide over the approved loan, adding that “nothing was hidden” too in the whole process.

“This is because the loan was not approved overnight. Instead, SDB had carried out its own investigation and thorough risk assessment before deciding to approve the loan.

“AirAsia is a public-listed company with Bursa Malaysia, hence, the approval for any transaction worth RM300 million will only be given after all conditions of the loan are met by the borrower,” Shafie said, in a statement here today.

The Warisan president said as a favourite airline among Malaysians, AirAsia had a development plan that would benefit Sabah, adding the carrier had targeted to create 100,000 job opportunities in the state.

“As a state administrator, we cannot depend on one company alone, such as Malaysia Airlines. The role of other companies, especially AirAsia, should not be underestimated.

“In line with that, as a government responsible to develop the economy, close cooperation was needed with AirAsia because, if their plan worked, Sabahans will reap the benefits.”

Earlier today, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office in Sabah had confirmed it had initiated a probe on SDB’s loan to AirAsia to establish if there were elements of graft involved.

A local daily had reported that Chief Minister Hajiji Noor had also ordered a probe into how the RM300 million approved by SDB, under the previous Warisan-led administration, was disbursed in a hurry to AirAsia after the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah government took over.

Meanwhile, Shafie disclosed that AirAsia had planned several projects in the state capital, including an agriculture produce storage facility known as “OurFarm”.ADVERTISING

He added this was in line with the airlines’ target of becoming the main distributor of agricultural fishery products that would be marketed through e-commerce channels.

The Senallang assemblyman said AirAsia was also planning to spend RM110 million to develop the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) as their international hub.

“All those plans will surely benefit Sabah as a state rich with agricultural and fishery resources.

“In fact, when I was the chief minister, the 2021-2030 agriculture development action plan was launched to make Sabah a distributor of agriculture produce besides ensuring the country’s food security,” he said.

Shafie said with the creation of a product supply chain, Sabahan farmers will then be able to generate more income with a larger market reach internationally through AirAsia.

In the tourism industry, he said Sabah’s glory days as a tourist destination will be restored if AirAsia’s target of making the state as its international hub becomes a reality.

“We know that before Covid-19 hit, Sabah’s economy had increased rapidly in the tourism sector and the people enjoyed the economic windfall, not only in Kota Kinabalu but also all the way to the east coast of the state.”

from FMT, see here: https://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2020/10/28/ive-nothing-to-hide-says-shafie-over-macc-probe-into-rm300-million-loan-to-airasia/

UPDATED OCTOBER 30th

AirAsia: RM300m SDB loan complies with laws, procedures

Bernama Published 9:14 pm

AirAsia Group Bhd has reiterated that the transaction whereby it secured the aggregate RM300 million loan facilities from Sabah Development Bank (SDB) was completed in accordance with all laws, policies and procedures pertaining to its application.

In a filing with Bursa Malaysia today, the budget carrier also said the transaction took five months to complete from the time of application.

The facilities have been approved by SDB for the development of the various projects and are intended to bring about significant positive socio-economic impacts to the state of Sabah, it said.

“With the facilities, AirAsia’s contribution (currently at almost one per cent to the state’s gross domestic product) is expected to double within the next 10 years and help Sabah regain its position as a top tourism destination post-Covid-19,” AirAsia said.

The company said the transaction would, among others, enable AirAsia to accelerate its expansion plans to transform Kota Kinabalu into an international hub for its passenger and logistics operations.

AirAsia said it had been providing domestic and international connectivity to Sabah since 2001, flying in 660,000 visitors to the state and supporting almost 60,000 jobs in the state.

The facilities, it said, would also be used to develop and enhance cold chain facilities in Sabah that would increase the marketability of the state’s fresh produce domestically and internationally through AirAsia’s Ourfarm digital food supply platform.

“This would potentially result in increased profits for farmers and fishermen in the state, which is in line with Sabah’s mission of becoming a top food-producing state in Malaysia and contributing towards the country’s food security,” the airline said.

AirAsia’s statement follows various news articles regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) investigating the RM300 million loan facilities given by the Sabah state-owned bank to the airline.

At the close today, shares of AirAsia fell 0.9 per cent to 55 sen.

– Bernama

https://bernama.com/en/news.php?id=1895484

By: X’roy Bogel

The Eastern Standard Times

Malaysia is on the fast lane to becoming a failed state and don’t blame the Covid 19 virus, it had and will have nothing to do with that, there is one person who stands out and there is no denying he is the only one.

Mahathir Mohamad , he will go down on history as the architects for the failure of this Nation.

He is a racist, has always been one an extreme right wing fascist.

If you look at his policies right from the very beginning he stepped into the political ring, Mahathir Mohamed was so full of hatred for the other races.

In the run up of the 1969 elections where he stood as an Alliance candidate, he told the non Malays that this country belongs to the Malays, and that the others were given citizenship by courtesy of the Malays and that privilege could be taken back. The Malays were the masters of this country.

In the 1969 elections ceramah he told the Chinese who came to see his Ceramah that they need not be there, he didn’t want their vote and that he could win without their vote, he could win on the Malays vote alone.

Today he claims in his Malay circles of course that the Chinese decided to “punish him.”

Did they “punish him” far from it they just did what he told them to do and he was defeated by Hj Yusof Rawa who’d later become a friend of mine, a fine gentleman who quit PAS and quit “Parti NASMA” the day Raja Nasrom of NASMA decided to try and form an Alliance with PAS, that’s another story.

After losing the seat by his own making, he got terribly angry with the Chinese, you could say he went mad, (but isn’t he always mad) Dr Mahathir started attacking the Chinese and accused them of stealing the wealth of the country.

He also attacked Tunku Abdul Rahman and called him a “Chinese lover”, and began inciting the Malays to the extent I have called him before the real architect of May 13 1969.

Every-time someone asks the non Malays, “do you want a repeat of May 13” even today Mahathir smiles. Have the cops charged any body for that offense?

That has made the radicals nurtured by Mahahtir Mohammed even more arrogant they go on saying it without any concern, they threaten other races, politicians and especially the Chinese with this without any care and yet nothing is done.

Throughout his tenure we witnessed huge problems of his making in the country, after successfully killing one our largest exports an natural resources -Tin, by sheer stupidity of trying to corner the London Tin Market something he knew next to nothing about and losing millions for the country if measured at todays value billions, he managed the downfall of Bank Bumiputra Malaysia.

He was the master of wanting to play the games in the markets, having failed in commodities he went to money and lost billions there for us too.

Bank Bumiputra had to be rescued by other banks, and if there is anyone to blamne the buck stops at the top and it was Mahathir Mohammed.

With that in hand the extreme right wing Malay has run wild and lose, that animal form the cage is what is going to get this country down the road to becoming a failed state.

Prime Ministers that followed were no exception they allowed the right wing Malay politicians the freedom to use that card, the May 13 card, just to do two things to win Malay support and to intimidate the non Malays, they have done it time and time again and even Najib did it just prior to May 13 and guess what?

Muhyiddin was with Najib him on that stage in the former TPCA stadium now known as the Tun Razak stadium.

Another thing TPCA stood for Tamil Physical Cultural Association.

There have been countless occasions when this was done, famous ones like Kerishamuddin is one, Kerishamuddin’s was very much like his cousin’s Najib in the TPCA stadium, this was on the eve of Operations Lallang.

Then to move fast forward, Mahathir eventually became Prime Minister of Malaysia, and his initial dream was to create a thousand Malay Millionaires, yes to create the Malay Millionaire in fact he created more and many went bust as we all know too.

He was not concerned how he did it, as long as he did it and that 1000 positions and more were reserved for those who would be his cronies, of course his children got a huge part of that pie,

Among the Malay millionaires he created were members of his family and that is no secret it is known globally so with him came nepotism, then there were others his cronies there were so many and this man who accused the Tunku of being a Chinese lover actually made few Chinese Billionaires too, and people wonder if these are billionaires in proxy for him, because as the Prime Minister he could not get into business and he actually had no faith in the Malays to run his business, so he appointed these Chinese and gave them the easy road to success, and I guess you know just who I am talking about. These were the cronies.

There were Malay groups not in line with him he got rid of them, he could cheat and win and that he did in the UMNO Elections where Tengku Razeleigh Hamzah took on him as a result of Razeleigh’s challenge on the validity of the election results the court declared UMNO illegal and almost immediately Mahathir formed UMNO Baru.

Why UMNO Baru?

Many people even the Malay elite do not know the real reason for this. The UMNO in existence today is not the UMNO founded by Onn Bin Jaafar in 1946, no, no, NO.

Today’s UMNO was founded by Mahathir Mohamed, he will be credited for it in History. Mahathir has engineered the History of this country and made a mockery of it so that no one will know that the Malays are not really ethnic in this land.

The ethnic people of this land are the aborigines and not the so called Malay which has never been a race but rather a qualification, and that is why we see people of so many races being called Melayu today.

In his heart of hearts he envied the Chinese, he admired their work ethic, he hoped the Malays could be like them, he wanted the Malays to be like them but he could not tell them that, so what did he do?

He created the “Look East Policy,” all the people in the far East, the Japanese, the Chinese, the Koreans, the Taiwanese were all a hard working lot, the Asian Tigers came from that region Japan was not an Asian Tiger it already was the Lion of Asia in that sense, the look east was to tell the Malays to look at the Chinese at home.

His plan backfired like it always did and does.

The Chinese in Malaysia took to the look East Policy and prospered, the Malays were just losing everywhere and at every turn, except for those who were awarded mega Government contracts, and monopolies like the famous Approved Permits (AP) that made instant millionaires of selected Malays.

PERNAS failed, MISC had to be run by a non Malay, MAS failed miserably and in every enterprise he appointed a crony it failed and miserably too, nevertheless these cronies became millionaires and as we have seen by some recent disclosures billionaires too.

I guess both of the Prime Ministers who followed him felt that they were anointed to become billionaires any one way it did not matter.

Now after Najib defied him and refused him a number of things he had asked for he turned against Najib, prior to that he even defended Najib for his oath in the mosque saying he did not do it he took an oath.

Well he put Najib in cuffs now and I believe he is the power behind the throne not wanting to look like the wicked selfish crook he really is, then used Muhyidin to engineer this coup with Azmin who is very disposable and believe me he will be disposed of in time.

Now he had to get rid of the Pakatan Harapan government because the gravy train stopped on its tracks the day Lim Guan Eng became the Finance Minister of the country.

With this Chinaman Lim Guan Eng the gravy train not only came to a stop, all the railway stations that ferried the gravy train were shut and there was no way these elite were going to be fed for free on money meant for the people.

Well if the money went to the rakyat, then there was nothing there for them, they want to be continuously fed, many need to be continuously fed or their projects will come to a standstill, that habit of over spending and getting the government to bail them out was no more there, they had already overspent and the bailout was not happening so what was the recourse.

Start pointing fingers to the Chinese again just like he did in 1969, the were the bogeymen the Malays had learned to love to kick even without really knowing why?

Did the Chinese or for that matter Lim Guan Eng misappropriate Tabung Haji money?

Did he misappropriate KWAP funds?

Was he in any way connected to Jho Low and the Billions that went to the pocket of what what was termed a kleptocrat?

In fact Lim Guan Eng was in the process of trying to recover all this money and there was an amount due from the US Justice department seizure so why.

The only reason is the gravy train, and yet another Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar has always maintained that he knows exactly how the Mahathir clan massed their wealth.
He has maintained that if he became PM he was not going to send Mahathir to jail only that he’d ask Mahathir to return all that ill gotten wealth.

Mahathir was always fearful of that, he could not allow Anwar back because he himself knows that he actually incarcerated the poor fellow, he knows what he did to him and he does not believe that Anwar will let him go so he was not going to allow Anwar to succeed him.

As the pressure from PH began pushing Mahathir to the corner he got Muhyiddin and Azmin to make the move.

If you had followed the case he never committed to Pakatan, he did not know Muhyidin would go for the juggler, he submitted his resignation feeling confident he would come back as PM, but once he submitted it he was gone.

The King they say appointed Muhyiddin on a count he personally made, Mahathir claimed he had another count and asked the King for an audience, the King had made up his mind, he had already given Mahathir the courtesy of one appointment where he submitted his resignation, the King even asked him to stay on as caretaker so the King wonders why the King did not call in his caretaker Prime Minister to inform him that he’d have to give way for his successor Muhyiddin that would have been appropriate, but the King who has the authority in this matter decided to keep Mahathir in the cold.

Mahathir got a taste of his own medicine from the King.

The government of today is a government not by the people, an neither is it of the people but they claim at least the Prime Minister that it is for the people. How can this government be for the people when it is the very people it cheated and continues to do so even in allocation of food during this covid 19 pandemic, and where the PM is fearful to act because he does not have the support to do so, he is back door, and does not have the numbers to support his any move.

For the people? A government which has actually the minority and to survive to ensure people do not hop back a cabinet that is so much larger that that of China, or India and even the USA.

With so many ministers who have become famous within this short span, a few stand out for being so stupid, they are the Minisiter of Health, the Minisster of higher Education, the Deputy Minister of Health who has just had found guilty of breaking MCO and yet Muhyiddin says he has no time for politics.

The fact is Muhyiddin can’t multi task leave alone run a government, he is overwhelmed and so too is the people traitor Azmin, nothing is coming out of them to reprimand, put in place or rightfully sack these incompetent fools who make bigger fools of themselves each time they open their mouths.

Muhyiddin is clueless in the present situation, he has been taught to tell the people just stay at home and has the audacity to tell the people, “Even though you did not vote for us we still care for you,” a greater fool than this with a more foolish statement I have yet to see.

Getting back to Mahathir Mohammed this half baked doctor who always though he had all the prescriptions for the country and could lead the Malays into a phenomenally successful race, turned out to be a tyrant who acctually used his office and trained his successors to do the same – to pillage from the Malaysians and most of all from the Malays.

Today one of his anointed successors, a globally renowned kleptocrat is looking at freedom and in the process seeking ways not only to get back his place in government but also to take revenge on those who exposed him and regardless if he manages to take office or not the trend has been set for the future Prime Ministers of this country who will come from a select few in the society to plunder the wealth of this nation at the expense of its people and to flee when the coffers are all empty.

Mahathir Mohammed who through Mahterism has successfully set this country on a course to become a failed state.

To get out of it we have to eliminate him and his successors still in the system, that is Najib, Muhyiddin, Hishamuddin, Zahid, Anuar Musa, Hadi Awang, Azmin, and the many more.
Ths system has to be purged.

The gravy train must be thrown out of its tracks, any semblance of a track and the crooks will set it rolling again.

Can we stop it.

SEE THE REST HERE

THE Federal Court’s decision not to dismiss the appeal by former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman in challenging the validity of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal’s appointment as rightful CM as academic just because the Election Commission had set the nomination and polling dates or that the Assembly has been dissolved and gazetted, is not surprising. As we are aware even the dissolution has become an issue, not the act of dissolution per se which is any TYT’s (Governor’s) right, but the process or what went into or was not considered in making that decision.

By the oath of office, Judges are duty-bound to uphold the Federal Constitution which is founded on democratic principles. There is a view that every Governor must know that he wears two hats, one as the head of the Executive and the other as part of the Legislature and that these two arms of Government coexist along with the Judiciary as equal partners of the Government. 

As head of the Executive branch of government, he appoints the CM after an election based on his assessment as to who in the Legislature enjoys the confidence of the majority of its members. Once that duty is done his Executive duty ends. 

As to whether the CM thereafter retains that confidence of the Legislature is purely and exclusively a Legislative function that can only be exercised by the Legislature and not by the TYT any longer. 

The pending case before the Federal Ccourt is expected to settle this issue.

In the Sarawak Ningkan case the judge was sceptical of drawing conclusions on the continued majority support of the Legislature by the TYT based on Statutory Declarations, because persons who put their names in a private list supporting a certain person as the CM would hesitate to do so publicly in the Legislature. 

This is also an opportunity to distinguish the Perak case or overrule it as a bad law or a law that is ill suited to deal with the political dynamics in Sabah. One of the canons of Constitutional interpretation is the “organic interpretation “ which was advocated by the FC in the Perak Case. 

By this interpretation the court will interpret the Constitution in a manner to promote the intent of the constitutional provision so as to eliminate the social evil facing the society. In Sabah one of the main political scourges which makes a mockery of democracy has been party hopping.

It has repealed the anti hopping law during the PBS era, following the FC decision in the Kelantan Case that State Anti-hopping laws are unconstitutional, the courts ought to be proactive in curbing the mischievous acts of breach of trust by the elected representatives.

Frogbuster

This was published in the Daily Express Sabah here

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For centuries, the most common image of Jesus Christ, at least in Western cultures, has been that of a bearded, fair-skinned man with long, wavy, light brown or blond hair and (often) blue eyes.

But the Bible doesn’t describe Jesus physically, and all the evidence we do have indicates he probably looked very different from how he has long been portrayed.

A Dutch photographer, Bas Uterwijk, used artificial intelligence to construct a portrait of Jesus based on what is known about his ethnicity and culture. Accordingly, this is what he was supposed to look like. He was a Middle Eastern man of color who spoke Aramaic. A far cry from how he is usually represented on church and popular iconography.

https://www.history.com/news/what-did-jesus-look-like

It may provide the guiding principle for the appointment of future chief ministers whatever the outcome of the pending Federal Court decision on the validity of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as the rightful Sabah Chief Minister in the coming weeks, it may help set the framework for resolving future such constitutional crises that had become a feature of Sabah politics after every election since 1985.

There have been four instances to date where the immediate outcome of the voting process took a different path than expected.

When it first happened in 1985, the Federal Government had to step in and call for the people’s mandate to be respected. Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan (now Tan Sri), whose month-old Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) won the State election with a simple majority of 25 seats in the then 48-seat State Assembly found the Istana gates locked around midnight when he and his victorious entourage went there after the result for the last seat was known.

Unknown to him, a Shakespearean plot was in play at the Istana with certain quarters accessing it via a back entrance and getting Tun Mustapha Datu Harun sworn in as Chief Minister before the cockerel crowed at dawn.

The crisis was resolved only when then Acting Prime Minister Datuk Musa Hitam (now Tun) called for the people’s mandate to be respected, Mustapha’s appointment revoked and Pairin installed as the rightful Chief Minister.

Pairin was sworn in at 8pm – or nearly 24 hours after the Election Commission had announced the results.

Then Election Commission Secretary Tan Sri Rashid in recalling the incident told the Sabah Daily Express recently that when he went to the Istana before dawn to announce the results, he was shocked to learn that another person had already been appointed as Chief Minister, describing it as “Sabah’s weird politics”,

Then Governor Tun Adnan Roberts told the court case that ensued that he was forced to swear in Mustapha when one of the plotters behind the “power grab” showed him that he had a gun and was afraid of what would happen if he had not obliged.

A dissatisfied Mustapha took the matter to court which upheld Pairin’s appointment.

Barely 10 years later in 1994, a three-day delay by then Governor Tun Said Keruak, who claimed he was too sick to leave his bed to swear in Pairin allowed sufficient time for elected representatives from his Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) to cross over to the then ruling Barisan Nasional coalition and form the new State Government.

It was soon to be an inglorious end in political supremacy for Pairin.

Like in 1985, PBS then had a simple majority of 26 seats in the State Assembly but Pairin’s grip on power began to fade due to crossovers one by one until he finally had to throw in the towel.

For unknown reason, Pairin declined to challenge the toppling of his fledgling administration in court, unlike Musa in the latest cases.

What is notable is that of four occasions where there had been disputes over the appointment of chief minister, two involved Pairin and the other two, Musa.

The latest similar instances happened within a space of two years beginning with the Barisan Nasional-led Musa losing the CM post to Shafie within 48 hours of his appointment after securing a 31-seat majority in the State Assembly with the help of Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan’s Star that made it 31 seats for Musa compared to Shafie’s Warisan-Plus coalition’s 29.

Even then, and reminiscent of Pairin’s situation in 1985, Musa had to endure an almost 24-hour nail-biting delay before his short-lived swearing in at around midnight the following day. He saw the CM chair being taken away from him after taking the oath before Tun Juhar Mahiruddin when BN coalition partner, Upko, defected to the side of Shafie’s Warisan Sabah.

And in a reversal of roles two years later, Musa was not able to claim back the post when he managed to command 33 seats in the 65-seat (including four Nominated Assemblymen) State Assembly to Shafie’s 32.

Just like Shafie following the 2018 election, Musa managed to upstage Shafie on July 29, 2020 also through crossover of a record 15 elected representatives from Shafie’s side.

There were accusations of enticement and money politics but could not be proven as no corruption reports were lodged, just like in 2018 when the defecting Upko election winners claimed they crossed over to Shafie’s side for the sake of helping his Warisan Sabah form the government, despite winning the election on platform, manifesto and funding by Musa’s Sabah BN.

Musa claimed that he was “played out a second time” when the Istana gates were closed to him on July 30, 2020.

The latest incident also saw corruption allegations levelled against a sitting Head of State for the first time, as well as police reports against both the Governor and Shafie by a Muslim NGO.

Sabah is the only state other than Perak to face such a situation where the appointment of a chief minister is no walk in the park if you secure a simple majority.

Not content to take things lying down, the resilient Musa succeeded in taking both “travesties of justice” as he sees it up to the Federal Court.

The Federal Court granted him leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision to be recognised as the rightful chief minister.

Federal Court Judge Abdul Rahman Sebli said “the people of Sabah had the right to know whether Musa’s removal was done lawfully and in accordance with the Sabah Constitution.” He also said the legal questions raised were of grave constitutional importance and have a far-reaching implication, which ought to be resolved by the Federal Court and should not be left hanging.”

A separate action also filed by Musa in the Federal Court which has also seen light of day related to the 32 elected representatives aligning with him on July 29.

Whatever the outcome of the two pending cases before the Federal Court, they may provide the guiding principle for the appointment of future chief ministers, especially in a simple majority election outcome, hopefully it may put to rest future such crises.

And whether it was right and proper for the former Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum to advise the Governor to proceed with the appointment of Shafie when he already appointed Musa, is another discussion for another day.

N.B. this came out in MALAYSIA TODAY, see here & Daily Express see here

For 15 years, from 2003 to 2018, a remarkable confluence of circumstances generated and strengthened the view that Sabah had arrived. There was a structural upturn in the economy triggered by an unprecedented investment boom, accompanied by an unprecedented credit boom. Huge investments were made into construction, production and into infrastructure. Investment as a proportion of GDP went as high as 40%. The Sabah growth story started unfolding. In the fifteen years of Musa Aman before the May 9th 2018 elections, Sabah clocked 6% to 8.2% annual growth on average. Sabah weathered the global financial crisis reasonably well and came out of the crisis sooner than most states.

Things started unraveling after Shafie Apdal took over the CMship on 12th May 2018 when many projects got delayed and stopped. Investments soured. Bad loans mounted. The financial sector came under stress. In popular perception, this reversal in prospects is associated with crony capitalism. While there certainly was a bit of that, it will be misleading to attribute the entire downturn to crony capitalism; there were several other factors at play.

For example, just after taking over the Sabah state government, the Warisan-led government abruptly took action of terminating the concession contracts of companies operating 58 water treatment plants. Five firms involved in water supply and treatment plant maintenance filed a RM254 million lawsuit against the Sabah state government over what they claimed to be wrongful termination of their contracts.

Then in March last year, Pelangi Prestasi a company related to one of the richest bumiputras in Malaysia, Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary won a tender to acquire all the assets of the pulp and paper milling company Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd (SFI) for RM1.2 billion. Pelangi paid a 10% deposit of RM120mil for the asset. In May 2018, Warisan led Sabah Government rejected the issuance of fresh timber licences to Pelangi in relation to Pelangi Prestasi’s proposed acquisition of Sabah Forest Industries (SFI).

Now, there is a civil suit between Pelangi Prestasi and the Warisan-led Sabah government. This is a RM1.2 billion legal suit against the Warisan-led Sabah government.

Another company, Boonrich Sdn Bhd, which is linked to former chief minister Harris Salleh is also suing the state government for RM91.6 million over the ban on log exports by the Warisan-led administration last year. Boonrich cultivates teak trees on its OWN LAND on a commercial basis for 27 years and have been exporting cultivated timber for years. Now with the blanket ban on log exports by the Warisan-led state government,  even commercially cultivated timber cannot be exported.

Perhaps, this is a record of the Warisan-led state government which is facing close to RM2.5 billion damages claim. Never in the history of the Sabah state government has it ever been sued for over RM2.5 billion in damages. Warisan starting off on the wrong foot is facing multi-billion-ringgit lawsuits in just within 26 months in power.

Then there were also delays in projects because of delays in clearances and permissions. Court orders cancelling some government decisions added to the delays. Contractors too were not getting paid. As a result of all these factors, the investment engine switched off. With investment and net exports not contributing substantially to GDP growth, during Shafie Apdal’s 26 months in office, the economy was firing on a single engine, the engine of consumption. But even that consumption engine has now petered out with the result that growth has declined sharply to negative territory. With Covid, its even worst now.

Sabah recorded a slower growth of 1.5 per cent for 2018 and 0.5 per cent for 2019 as compared to a strong growth of 8.2 per cent in the previous year during Musa Aman at the helm. Mining & quarrying and Agriculture sectors too were affected to negative 5.6 per cent (2017: 15.7%) and negative 0.3 per cent (2017: 4.6%) respectively.

Overall, these numbers are not looking good for Sabah. From 8.2% economic growth nosediving to a paltry 1.5% and 0.5% all in two consecutive years says a lot about Warisan. 

While freezing timber licenses and curbing mining projects are positive steps, but what replaces these projects as sources of employment and job creation in Sabah?

Sand mining is still rampant, and so is timber logging even with the freezing of timber license.

According to former Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee, the Warisan-led State Government in its two years announced investments totalling more than RM70 billion but with nothing to show, just empty talk. “Where is the money?” he asked.

It is true that there was a lot of business support for Shafie when he first came into office nearly two years ago. In fact, in 2018, Shafie campaigned mainly on an economic platform — that he would create jobs and revive investment. There were high hopes and expectations that he would plunge headlong into implementing structural reforms to redeem these campaign promises. That required political capital, and he had plenty of that. Arguably he had more political capital than any other previous Sabah chief ministers. He had a rock solid majority in the Sabah state assembly from all the “froggy” Assemblymen. More than two-thirds.

Regardless Shafie seemed disinclined to invest his enormous political capital to implement the ‘politically’ difficult reforms. Sure, some important reforms got under way during his 26 months. But he initiated none of these reforms; these were all initiatives that he inherited. It’s happenstance that they culminated on his watch. On his own, Shafie did not initiate any notable fresh economic reform.

Shafie somehow seemed to have succumbed to the mistaken belief that the Sabah economy will run on autopilot.

Sabah government set to fall to Malaysia PM Muhyiddin’s coalition

It is understood that discussions between Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (left) and Umno's Musa Aman have paved the way for the coup.It is understood that discussions between Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin (left) and Umno’s Musa Aman have paved the way for the coup.PHOTOS: AFP, THE STAR/ASIA

NEWS NETWORK
Published
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Shannon Teoh
Malaysia Bureau Chief

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s Sabah state is on the verge of changing governments, with assemblymen formerly loyal to chief minister Shafie Apdal expected to defect to the Perikatan Nasional (PN) pact helmed by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

Well-placed sources told The Straits Times that at least 14 assemblymen have agreed to desert Datuk Seri Shafie – a staunch ally of former premier Mahathir Mohamad – and back his predecessor and rival Musa Aman instead.

“There may be more (defectors). But for now, we have to wait for an audience with the governor,” a top PN official said, referring to the ceremonial head of state.

This would make Sabah the latest in a string of states lost by Pakatan Harapan (PH) and its allies after its federal government collapsed at the end of February. PH was left without majority support in Parliament after Tan Sri Muhyiddin led some 40 lawmakers out of the coalition.

He was sworn in as prime minister on March 1, backed by the loose PN pact that includes his supporters in Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, former ruling party Umno, Parti Islam SeMalaysia and Gabungan Parti Sarawak.

With Sabah under its belt, PN would control 10 of Malaysia’s 13 state governments. PH, which had previously lost Johor, Melaka, Perak and Kedah to PN, would be left with the country’s richest state Selangor, Penang and Negeri Sembilan.

Tan Sri Musa, who is from Umno, had been Sabah’s chief minister for 15 years before Umno’s shock defeat in the May 2018 election to PH. His comeback gathered momentum after all 46 counts of graft levelled against him when PH was in power were withdrawn on June 9.

Sources with knowledge of the impending changes in Sabah told ST that there had been dissent within the PN ranks as to who should head the government of the east Malaysia state, with Bersatu state chief Hajiji Noor among the front runners.

But it is understood that discussions between Bersatu president Muhyiddin and Mr Musa, brokered by Senior Minister for the Economy Azmin Ali, paved the way for the coup.

However, Mr Musa’s return to power must still obtain the assent of state governor Juhar Mahiruddin, a founding member of Umno in Sabah.

If it is clear that Mr Shafie no longer commands support of the state assembly, Tun Juhar must ask him to resign. But the Parti Warisan Sabah president can also ask the governor to call for snap polls.

Mr Shafie is currently backed by 45 assemblymen, or two-thirds of the 65-seat state assembly. This means the Bersatu-led opposition will need at least 13 defectors to secure power.

A change in Sabah could significantly impact the federal situation, where the PN government only holds a slim majority with 113 of Parliament’s 222 lawmakers. Some of the 10 Sabah MPs currently in federal opposition could be persuaded to cross the floor if PN takes over the state.

SEE THE REST HERE!

This is featured in The Singapore Straits Times.