Archive for the ‘Daily Express Sabah’ Category


This came out today, 15th September 2019 in the Daily Express. See also here n here


KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan has queried the statement by the minister in the prime minister’s department, Datuk V. K. Liew, for disputing the media report on what the prime minister had said.

The president of StarSabah, opined that Liew’s response can be likened to the proverbial king shooting the messenger because the messenger came with bad news.

“He conveniently accused the media, especially Daily Express of ‘misquoting’ the prime minister,” Dr. Jeffrey said. “But he was too much in a hurry trying to defend Tun Mahathir without verifying if Mahathir really said as what was reported.”

In its front page last week Daily Express reported that the Prime Minister said he was unaware of the complaints by Sabah leaders on the three issues, namely the departure levy, the appointment of the new UMS vice chancellor and the introduction of Jawi in primary schools beginning next year.

In a terse response Liew said “I am deeply disturbed by the unprofessionalism of the news reporting today by Daily Express which published a distorted and incorrect statement of what Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed said today in response to a series of questions asked by Mr. James Sarda, the Chief Editor of Daily Express. As far as I’m concerned, they (Sabahan representatives in the Federal Cabinet) did not say anything.”

Dr. Jeffrey was surprised that Liew accused Daily Express for unprofessionalism while he himself was clearly unprofessional by diverting from answering the issue and resorting to finger pointing.

“He could have verified the matter by going back to the source and checked other media reports before playing his blame game,” the Member of Parliament for Keningau and assemblyman for Tambunan said. “He should have addressed the questions directly, taking the bull by the horns, and offered a reasonable explanation, even if he was reluctant to admit that Sabah, again, has been grossly taken for granted in national decision making affecting the state. This federal attitude has been going on for half a century and it continues today with irresponsible leaders like Liew.

“By shifting the blame he took the cowardly act to avoid the real issues affecting Sabahans. Clearly Liew is now more concerned with his political relations and less with issues having negative impact on Sabah,” Dr. Jeffrey said. “I guess there was a lot truth in what Tun M had said, and this truth is too hurtful for Warisan leaders to accept.”

…….

THIS IS VK LIEW’s STATEMENT….

PUTRAJAYA: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Law Minister) Datuk Liew Vui Keong (pic) expressed displeasure over Daily Express’s front page yesterday where the Prime Minister said he was unaware of the complaints by Sabah leaders on the three issues, lately.
This is what Liew said in his statement issued Saturday below: “I am deeply disturbed by the unprofessionalism of the news reporting today by Daily Express which published a distorted and incorrect statement of what Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammed said today in response to a series of questions asked by Mr. James Sarda, the Chief Editor of Daily Express.
“In today’s Daily Express news articles, it was falsely reported that:- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said he is surprised to learn that Sabah Government leaders have been complaining about not being consulted on recent decisions taken at the Federal level.”
Responding to a Daily Express question that as a Pakatan Harapan-friendly government their views should at least have been sought or considered on major decisions like the departure levy, appointment of the new Universiti Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor and introduction of Jawi in primary schools next year, he said:“As far as I’m concerned, they (Sabahan representatives in the Federal Cabinet) did not say anything. “However, the Prime Minister didn’t say what James had distortedly reported. I’ve listened and watched the relevant video recording of the press conference today. “The Prime Minister had clearly said: “Well, the Sabah Government did not say anything to us, only you (James Sarda) said it.

“Nowhere in the Prime Minister’s response had mentioned my Sabahan colleagues and I had never raised our concerns in the cabinet on major issues such as departure levy, appointment of the new University Malaysia Sabah Vice Chancellor and introduction of Jawi in primary schools next year. The Sabah Daily Express’s report is clearly unfounded.  “As ministers for all Malaysians and together with all my cabinet colleagues, we strive to carry out our duties to the best of our abilities, to rebuild our nation, pushing for institutional reform and addressing nationwide social and economic inequality, and eradicate corruption.  “I hereby demand for a retraction, correction, and an apology in respect of the false statements published by Sabah Daily Express. Lastly, I call upon all Malaysians to reject unethical media reporting who distort the truth to create social tensions and unrest. Thank you.”

P.S: It only goes to show James Sarda of Daily Express is a true professional. He prefers not to be caught up in pretending to know what the PM meant when he said “Sabah government”, but only assume and leave it to them to ask the PM himself. VK Liew didn’t respond, he degenerated into name calling and trying to manufacture another controversy.

And here is the video recording of the press conference Dr Mahathir had SPECIFICALLY said ” SABAH GOVERNMENT” . Listen…


This came out yesterday in the Daily Express ….http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/read/3121/does-sabah-matter-to-mahathir-/

Also see HERE

Published on: Sunday, August 11, 2019

I REFER to recent reports on the involvement of National Registration Department (NRD) personnel in the alleged issuance of documents to illegal immigrants all over Sabah.

Your report about a NRD staff being arrested in Semporna where several of the State Government’s leaders, including the Chief Minister, Deputy Home Minister under whom the NRD is answerable to and Tourism Minister, not to mention key Sabah police personnel come from, is shocking.

Surely these leaders would wish for these goings-on to be exposed. But what was strange was that the public would not have known what was going on if not for a concerned member who complained about being asked to pay RM3,500 for a birth certificate and RM6,000 for a Mykad, according to Sabah Deputy Police Commissioner Datuk Zaini Jass.

Then we had a woman NRD Assistant Registrar being charged with making a fake identification card. Although she was charged with making a single document, only God knows how many may have obtained theirs through her treasonous action, if she is truly guilty and has claimed trial.

Recently, we had another woman dropping the name of the Semporna-hailed Deputy Home Minister in her scheme to allegedly defraud foreigners hoping to obtain identification documents through fraud.

That case was mysteriously struck off the Central Monitoring System of the courts until members of the public complained to your paper as to why nothing was heard about the case when it was supposed to have been brought up for mention.

Despite the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Illegal Immigrants (RCI), it is sad that Sabah – and only Sabah – seems to be the State with the worst record of foreigners becoming Malaysians through fraud. 

This does not add confidence in Sabahans that the Federal Government is doing its best since the same horrors keep happening even though we threw out the hated Umno-cum-Barisan Nasional at the urging of Tun Dr Mahathir when he was in the opposition. 

Why is he not seen to be doing anything to save Sabah that was already damaged by the Project IC which even the RCI acknowledged for all intents and purposes existed after the PBS pullout from the BN he led then in 1990. There were also complaints that the State was ignored on the appointment of the new UMS Vice Chancellor, the exit tax and introduction of Jawi writing in school.

We cannot entirely blame Dr Mahathir as being 94 and doing his best day and night to put things right. But the enforcement agencies, notably the NRD, is a shame. They seem to have done nothing to repair the damage caused by their staff in the past, many of who have even been arrested under the ISA for it.

When the Home Ministry recently announced a voluntary repatriation programme only peninsula was mentioned Sabah leaders had to beg to be included. Why when Sabah has the most illegals who can make the Sabah claim come true in the future if allowed to stay on. It is a good thing we Sabahans can still rely on the police to do a good job and probably they were motivated by a new role model IGP who has been bold and a new-look MACC who recently spoke of arrests in Sabah and Sarawak being imminent. We salute these good people in uniform, but not the NRD.

Your paper reported sometime back about scores of immigrants flocking to a private clinic in Telipok where a doctor who was also a Commissioner of Oaths was not dispensing medicine but actually attesting the Statutory Declarations of foreigners to submit to the NRD.

The management of the clinic concerned later disassociated with what he was doing and said that it sacked the doctor after investigating the matter and found it to be true. It is widely reported, thanks to social media, that PTIs (illegals) are flocking in droves to some places around the state capital to obtain a certain form and for attestation of the same.

It is believed that the said form was produced by these Commissoners of Oath to accordingly provide personal particulars of the person in question to ease inquiries from relevant parties such as when seeking medical care, etc. The irony is how an undocumented person or PTI be allowed to make a Statutory Declaration for lack of identification papers? Alternatively, it doesn’t make much sense for someone with proper identification papers e.g. with IC or Passport to need such a Statutory Declaration?

Even though this doctor was sacked, it is not the end of the matter. The body overseeing Commissioners of Oath in Sabah should revoke his status and of others who abuse the SD powers given to them. 

But sadly this body is keeping quiet about the whole thing even though some Sabah Law Society exco members are also holding positions in this NGO. Your paper should ask what are they doing about crooked Commissioners of Oath in their midst.

I am also wondering as to what happened to the many Statutory Declarations using that certain form and attested by the said doctor and other Commissioner of Oaths. And why only in Sabah, the use of SDs have been allowed for late registration of births, etc. I understand even Sarawak does not allow this.

Finally, we hope that this letter will come to the attention of our beloved Prime Minister since the national newspapers hardly carry anything about these serious issues concerning Sabah.

Concerned


Image may contain: 4 people

Daily Express got it wrong.

Shafie should be grateful to Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok and not Wilfred Madius Tangau.

According to my sources in UPKO which I believe, it was Bernard Dompok who convinced Tangau to jump ship on that night of May 9th 2018 and join Shafie after realising that PH had the majority to form the Federal Government.

I was there on that night of May 9th in Sri Gaya when Tangau came out and answered a phone call apparently from Dompok asking him to go to Shafie’s house in Luyang. Tangau disappeared from Sri Gaya after this phone call and went straight to see Shafie in his house alone, leaving all his UPKO boys with Musa Aman in Sri Gaya.

Upko then switched allegiance to the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan pact a day after the election.

Former Sabah Chief Minister Dompok was the first Malaysian to be made a resident ambassador to the Vatican in 2016 and he wanted to save his job when the PH formed the Federal Government. So, he had convinced Tangau to get UPKO jump ship from BN.

I can now understand why PBS is still bitter about UPKOs betrayal. It is because Dr Maximus Ongkili (PBS), Tangau (UPKO) and Joseph Kurup (PBRS) had signed a pledge a week before the May 9th GE14 elections to discuss together as “MISOMPURU” first, before deciding on the next course of action so as to safeguard KDM interests by acting as a bloc.

There was great hope that the presidential council of Upko, PBS and PBRS would pave the way to unite the three main Kadazandusun Murut (KDM)-majority parties in Sabah. The council was seen as a platform to eventually bring together the politically fractious KDM community.

Maximus Ongkili believed that the council could one day unite the KDM parties under a single symbol. That was before it was betrayed by UPKO, moments after GE14.

For UPKO to dishonour what they signed in public and carried in all the media was the  community’s biggest betrayal.

But it is something that is not a surprise considering that their Payar Juman went down in history as Sabahs first political frog. In 1967, UPKO left the Sabah Alliance after the state elections, then Upko’s assemblyman for Kiulu, Payar Juman, crossed to Usno, enabling Usno to form the government then.

Next was when Huguan Siou Tun Fuad Stephens himself betrayed the KDMs by waiting till GS Sundang was in United Kingdom before calling for an EGM to dissolve UPKO. In the EGM Stephens had asked all the UPKO members to join USNO despite angry demands by members not to do so but he himself leaving them in a lurch. Poor GS Sundang who was deputy president was played out.

So if according to historical fact if the Huguan Siou Stephens can do this to his own people, Dr Max should have known better than to expect there will be no betrayal.

The third betrayal, took place in 1994, when  Bernard Dompok from then opposition PBS joined the BN alliance to form the government. I know this vividly as I was a PBS member and I stood for elections in Penang as a PBS candididate.

So looking back,  I dont blame Madius, I blame Dompok!

I hope Dompok will come forward to answer all these allegations.

Besides all that, see  Tangau’s Facebook posting today :

See this video, UPKO leaders at a recent Public Forum in Kota Kinabalu raising the illegal immigrant issue. Not just public forums ,UPKO leaders should also be raising the (PTI ) illegal immigrant issue in the Sabah State Assembly (DUN). But its not laughing matter, UPKO is part of the Warisan-PH Sabah government.


It’s the grand dance of democracy in Sabah, state and parliament elections are due in less than 30 days. I am in the midst of massive electoral environment in the state. As a strategist & analyst, I can foresee a clear & spectacular win for BN Sabah all over again. Tan Sri Musa Aman is all set to win 50+ state seats to form the government for the 15th year in succession. An unprecedented win for any state leader, anywhere in Malaysia.

What is quite startling for me as an analyst is almost zero anti-incumbency for an incumbent government, even after being 15 years as Chief Minister since 2003. It’s very rare scene in the contemporary political ecosystem. The credit certainly must be given to the Chief Minister of Sabah Tan Sri Musa Aman. He deserves it the most. It’s evident from my random interactions with common people cut across many sections, that there is a great respect for Musa Aman.

I see a visible glee in the faces of people, when they speak about their leader who they consider their very own. It’s amazing that an elected leader of a state can find a place in the hearts and minds of people for such a long duration, in the days where the anti-incumbency seems an ‘every 5 year affair’ across the country and ‘loyalty’ is almost a misnomer.

Despite all the media stories on GST negative impact on trader community and Shafie Apdal’s anti Musa crusade leading to a possible nail biting finish in Sabah, the ground reality looks quite different. Shafie Apdal including all the other bickering opposition parties seems to have lost the battle against Musa Aman even before they waged it, with Shafie’s organization split vertically with his politically naïve move to partner with Dr Mahathir and not working with local opposition, just ahead of elections. If a leader has initiated a movement for an objective, how can he surrender without any clear and executable assurance to a political party and become Tun Dr Mahathir’s puppet? Is the question being posed by many Sabahans. There is a growing trust deficit in his followers over his recent political moves.

GST woes are temporary & they are symptomatic teething problems of the largest indirect tax reform enforced by a reformist Prime Minister. It did pinch the massive unorganized sector & small traders across the state, they surely were angry. However, when the rational thinking kicked in preparation for casting their vote, they seem to have clearly understood the odds and outcomes of voting against the government.

Many traders still have the memories of kidnappings and Abu Sayaff , but since 2017 no kidnappings in the Eastern Sabah security Zone (Esszone) which covers 1400 km of the east coast from Kudat to Tawau. Hence, tourist arrival was all time high at 3.5 million and nearly RM7.25 billion was spent in Sabah. Traders are laughing all the way to the banks. They are not willing to lose the peace and tranquility they enjoy currently in the business ecosystem of the state for temporary pinch point like GST. Traders I spoke to are reconciling and seem to have realized that GST is an irreversible tax reform and they need to get to terms with it & move on & move on they have. After its introduction since 2015, it’s slowly but surely dawning onto them that GST is for the larger good of the nation and to boost the economic activity, which will impact them positively in future.

They also understand their businesses now get many financial and funding benefits for being registered and tax paying. They seem to understand voting for the opposition would destroy the peaceful business environment which currently exist across the state, with highly capable law and order machinery under the BN rule. They are not willing to forgo this peace and tranquility in the state at any cost.

Many openly stated that the law and order is so exemplary in the state that young women in their families have nothing to fear going out even in the middle of the night. Sabahans have no major issue with BN government. Few sections of the community which supported the opposition are reviewing their decision. The unprecedented growth rate of over 6.1% which was is the highest in Malaysia has positively impacted Sabahans more than anyone else. The rapid growth of urban trade & ecotourism business across the state also has positively impacted this close-knit community leading to massive wealth and employment creation.

The emotional surge of Sabahans for restoring Sabah rights in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and the significant progress made by Sabah State government with the Federal Government has made many opposition sections support Musa; however, in retrospect all these sections seem to be realizing the danger of having a weak government in the state under an Opposition, and its colossal damage to their community and the entire state.  The word opposition seems to only bring back bad memories to the people of Sabah.  I am quite surprised at the contempt most people I spoke to, have shown to this Shafie’s Party Warisan.. They don’t even imagine Sabah to be ever ruled by opposition again, such is the gross distaste for opposition parties in the state.

Musa Aman in his more than a decade rule, to be exact 15 years, has made historic progress in the state and it has impacted the lives of every single individual and every section of population. He did not make empty promises, declare popular welfare schemes or doled out freebies. He has bettered the living standards of common people by investing massively into rural and urban infrastructure, delivered transparent and good governance with easy and undeterred access to the citizens. He has increased Per Capita GDP from RM11,000 to RM20,000, he has increased household income from RM3,745 to RM4,1100, he has reduced hardcore poor from 25 per cent to 5 per cent from 2005 to 2016.

He has ensured the bare civic and economic necessities like drinking and irrigation water, electricity to households, homes and industries, public transport and public finance are delivered at the lowest cost ever. His vision has turned Sabah into a model economy which thrives with large scale enterprise and vibrant inclusive growth.

It might sound like I wrote a eulogy for Musa Aman, but this is the first-hand feedback and dispassionate inputs from the regular people on the streets. Everyone in the state seem to acknowledge and realise that quantifiable development has occurred under Musa Aman regime and the BN Sabah rule. Above that, they are also fully aware of every aspect of where this progress has been made in comparison with erstwhile opposition rule.

Most of those I spoke to, speak of opposition misgovernance and lack of competence to run a state like Sabah, as if they had ruled the state in the last term. Such are the memories from opposition rule. Musa Aman’s master political strategy also ensured that Sabahans never forget the disastrous rule during opposition time. BN Sabah not just communicates the successful governance delivery of its government, it also seems to ensure opposition model of misgovernance remains constantly in the minds of voters.

Opposition stands no chance in Sabah. As I see, it will lose the election with very huge margin and end up losing more than 20 per cent of its existing assembly seats. The electoral outcomes of Sabah will be a death-knell to Shafie Apdal and the all the other opposition parties. Sabah election results will destroy all and any possibility of Party Warisan rising in the near future.

There’s simply no escape from accountability this time around for Shafie Apdal and the combine opposition. BN Sabah win will be a decisive one. It will once again prove that in a democracy, if a party can deliver on its promises to its people and sincerely serve them to impact their everyday lives positively, the voters will ensure repeat victories.  Musa Aman will set an unprecedented national record for being the only leader from Borneo State to be reelected 4 times in a row , for UMNO, since 2003. In my field level electoral analysis, I foresee BN Sabah winning about 50 state seats.

NB: Today 8/4/2018, this piece came out in the Daily Express Sabah


The Daily Express, Sabah’s largest daily newspaper has not often taken political sides. Indeed, Sabah journalism has not had the western tradition of the media declaring its political preferences. The 14th General Elections of Malaysia (GE14) could be held by next year as indicted by Premier Najib Tun Razak recently after the landslide victories for Barisan National in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar twin by-elections, plus the impressive win in the recent 11th Sarawak State Elections, however, the choice is clear and preferences should be stated. Sabah’s voters have to choose between five more years of a government led by Musa Aman, or five years or less of confusion created by an uncertain and split verdict, or five years of some nameless politician serving his tenure in Kota Kinabalu at Putrajaya’s beck and call.

There are many reasons why Sabah deserves Musa Aman. First, he is a decent chap. In the rough and tumble of Malaysian politics it is not easy to come across men and women of basic and simple decency. That in itself should be a good reason for his remaining at the forefront of Sabahan politics. Second, he has done an impressive job. While the state opposition parties has every right to criticise his government and question his record, the fact remains that Musa Aman has done more for Sabah than any other chief minister of this state in the past five decades. Consider some simple numbers.

According to the state’s economic survey published earlier this year, Sabah’s economy registered an annual growth rate of more than 6 percent, covering most of the term of Musa Aman. It was less than 2 per cent when he first took over as Chief Minister in 2003. This should rule out the idea of returning to a opposition regime. Sabah’s per capita income rose to RM 19,672 per year in 2014, compared to less than RM 7,443 in 2002. Even the Prime Minister recently said the number of hardcore poor in the state had at one time stood at 30,000 families and this had been reduced to about 7,000 families.This impressive growth comes from an across the board improvement in the state’s performance, barring the industrial sector.

Through the well-diversified economy, Sabah under Musa Aman has been able to raise our real gross domestic product (GDP) by 110 times — from RM527 million in 1963 to RM58 billion in 2014. Similarly, GDP per capita has also increased almost 67 times from RM688 to RM46,000 per capita over the same period.

Sabah’s agriculture sector, tourism, construction, education, health and services sectors have all witnessed impressive growth

Sabah has recorded a surplus in the balance of payments between 2002 and 2015. What this means is that the state’s exports have exceeded imports for 13 consecutive years.Sabah’s exports for 2015 were valued at RM15,582million or 70% of the state’s gross national product (GNP). Hence, the export market remains a key economic generator for Sabah. Sabah’s main exports are raw petroleum (38.8%), crude and processed palm oil (35%), and fresh farm produce and fisheries (15.4%), palm oil kernels (3.8%), methanol (3.2%) and plywood (2.1%).

However, if Sabah has to have a chance, if it has to finally catch up with Malaysia’s more developed regions, it needs another five years of the kind of development-oriented administration that Musa Aman gave the state. If Sabah can move closer to the national average in terms of the various indicators of development, that national average will itself rise significantly. Malaysia cannot sustain growth rates of over 8 and 9 per cent, not to mention 10, if large states like Sabah and Sarawak remain stuck in the morass of backwardness, both economically and socially. Musa Aman has remained focussed on development, he is a model chief minister that other Malaysian states should also aspire for. My vote goes out to Musa Aman.



Musa Aman is well known in Malaysia and across the globe as a leader who is totally committed to development and good governance. His record 3 terms as the Chief Minister of his home state of Sabah exemplifies Musa Aman’s commitment to a development Agenda, rising above all other political considerations. He ushered in a paradigm shift towards pro-people and pro-active good governance, bringing in a positive change in the life of many in Sabah. His tireless efforts were guided by the principle of Collective efforts, inclusive growth where each and every person was an important stakeholder in Sabah’s development journey.

When he took over as Chief Minister on 27th March 2003 Musa Aman did not have much time to settle into his new job. The state was reeling under the aftereffects of a severe cash crunch and there was nothing much in the State Treasury. Even Yayasan Sabah (YS) was badly in need of funds and retrenchment and Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS) was the order of the day. The entire world had written off Sabah and it was believed that Sabah would take years to develop. Musa Aman proved them all wrong. In a record span of time Sabah was up and running and today it’s reserves in the State Treasury is more than RM3 billion and has become the cynosure of the world’s eyes.

Musa’s success as an administrator lay in his out of the box thinking. That’s why when he recently spoke to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak he emphasised that the Sabah State government needs greater autonomy for rural development projects.

The Sabah government wants autonomy in terms of planing, funding and implementation of rural development projects so that they can be completed and delivered on time. There are too many Federal agencies involved at the Federal level at the implementation stage that contributed to the delay of projects. Development of rural areas has been hampered due to delay in channnelling of funds, bureaucracy and politicking.

Billions of ringgit were channelled by the Federal Government for development projects involving rural roads, rural electricity, rural water supply and household assistance program via Shafie Apdal’s Rural Development Ministry in the past, but, there was so much hiccups and many projects were delayed and some have not even taken off. With greater control of development funds by the State Government, the planning and implementation of infrastructure projects would be more structured, streamlined and aligned with the State’s overall development objective. Hence by giving more autonomy, Sabah can plan and implement projects in a more holistic manner.

Sabah State Government knows the Sabah turf better. Besides, Sabah State Government is more than able to manage funds from the Federal. Sabah State Government under Musa has a good track record in managing its finance which is proven by Sabah having the best record of financial management in Malaysia for two consecutive years and awarded a ‘clean bill’ by the Auditor-General for 14 consecutive years as well as given ‘AAA’ ratings by Rating Services Berhad RAM for six years in a row. All these happened during Musa tenure.

It is Musa’s firm belief also that – “a Government does not have any business doing business”. What a government should do, however is to create a positive climate that will bring investment. Instances of these approaches were seen time and again, last year Sabah received RM2.4 billion from local investors and RM1 billion was injected by foreign investors and gave a boost to employment creation in Sabah. There was quantum jump in both the MoUs inked and the investment coming. Sabah development Corridor (SDC) has RM135 billion worth of cumulative investments, out of which, RM45 billion have been realised.

Musa did not have much time to catch his breath when he took over as CM in 2003 facing grave adversities and in challenging circumstances. But he rose to the occasion, turned every challenge into an opportunity and transformed Sabah into a state that not only Malaysia but also the entire world is today proud of.

This was told to me by Musa a long time ago but its so meaningful even now, “It is said that community who fails to learn lesson from the past lag behind. Our own experience is no different from this saying. We have to build a better Sabah by taking appropriate lesson from our own history. And we have to define the road today itself. The challenge before this ever-changing society and time is to turn change into progress. Like what Nelson Mandela said: “Vision without action is, but a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with the action changes the world”.

This piece came out in Daily Express Sunday Forum today 13th September 2015


On October of last year (2014), this blog hosted an article I wrote on how several public listed companies from Peninsular Malaysia have gained ”ownership” of Sabah’s Native Title lands through seemingly legal yet downright dishonestly via sublease (See here : Living off the Rape: The Lost Native Titled Lands to the Outlanders). After that very same post, the Director of Sabah Land & Survey Department Datuk Osman Jamal came out with a 14 page press statement -“Sub-lease Bukan Pindahmilik dan Rampasan Tanah Tidak Berlaku” (Sublease is not for Transfer and There is No issue of Land Grab) also found at http://www.freemalaysiatoday.com/category/nation/2014/11/05/no-reports-on-sabah-land-scam-allegations/). I find it strange that Osman Jamal is somehow insinuating that dealing in NT Lands by non-natives, listed companies and foreigners are officially forbidden but is it suppressed?

This is not a case of bogus natives with questionable native certificates dealing in buying or selling NT lands. The dispute is also not about Natives selling to Natives but the constant abuse of Natives as “nominees” by non-natives, listed companies and foreigners in their pursuit to possess and “own” NT lands. It is indeed a cause for concern when the Sabah Law Association (SLA) appears to concur with the Director of Sabah Land & Survey Department on issues fronting the NT lands grab and the law through the Director’s 14 page press statement. What adds insult to injury here is at the time of writing, the SLA has yet to make a stand on the issue. This failure to issue a statement on the allegations of its member’s active role in drafting and attesting such agreements and on the contents of the press release from the Director of Sabah Land & Survey Department is nothing short of dumbfounding considering that the SLA has prided themselves for presumably being the protectors of justice for Sabahan without fear or favour, that they are always on their toes to bark against any such infringements especially against those involving Natives Rights.

In fact, the SLA’s silence on the issue is a clear defiance of the pillar’s of foundation it is founded on – they have to take all reasonable steps to educate the public on the reasons they have remained silent on the NT lands scam as reported in the Daily Express dated 18/10/2014. It is indeed cause for concern as the failure of the SLA shows how selective and biased they are in upholding justice and raises pertinent questions as to whether the association must now be reformed.

“Fraud” is defined as “criminal deception, devious ploy or trick” and therefore relates to any form of cheating. The main point before dealing with this issue is to emphasise that a problem which can generally be described as “assisting fraudulent activity” is not confined to being a party together with someone, abetting or advising someone on how to commit fraud but rather any illegal or improper activity. Professional accountability involves distinguishing how to balance the various duties owed by lawyers to the administration of justice, to the client, to the public and to the legal profession. Turning a blind eye to fraudulent activities often happens through ignorance or unsuccessful efforts to balance the various duties which a lawyer owes either because it is too difficult or it conflicts too much with “commercial realities”.

Sir L.W. Street, the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, in New South Wales v Harvey [1976] said of the *fiduciary nature of a solicitor’s duty to clients, “An appreciation of that duty depends not upon some technical construction but upon applying the ordinary concepts of fair dealing between honourable men.” Hence, the Director of Sabah Land & Survey Department and District Officers (as ACLR) should exercise their duties in ‘good faith’, and in the absence of ‘bad faith’. ‘Bad faith’ raises issues both of fact and of law and involves personal fault and improper motive. Acting in bad faith can include dishonesty, fraud or intentional bias, acting in the knowledge of a real or perceived conflict of interests, inappropriate discriminating or an abuse of power, knowingly acting beyond the scope or ambit of the power available to the department or official or other conduct with an improper motive or ulterior purpose.

‘Good faith’ requires and implies an actual belief that all is being regularly and properly done and may be present even where the official has acted in error or irrationally. However, significant errors, repeated lapses in logical processes or an absence of reasonable caution or diligence may show a lack of good faith depending on context. Acting in good faith means that a function is performed honesty, for the proper purpose, on relevant grounds and within power. Good faith requires ‘more than an absence of bad faith. It requires a careful approach to the exercise of power’. Public officials such as the Director of Sabah Land & Survey Department and DO are under an obligation to exercise their power and functions in the public interest and not for the benefit of particular persons or interests. If members of the public are not able to understand a decision-making process or its outcome, they may question both the decision and ultimately the decision-maker including the influence of inappropriate or extraneous considerations. Public officials should also perform all their duties to the best of their abilities otherwise it would be considered breach of duty. A breach of official or public duty is distinguishable from a breach of a duty of care under tort (negligence) law. It incorporates unlawful, unauthorised or partial conduct or an intentional failure to perform a mandatory duty.

As the Director of Sabah Land & Survey Department rightfully pointed out in s17.(1) – Except with the written permission of the Minister all dealings in land between non-natives on the one hand and natives on the other hand are hereby expressly forbidden and no such dealings shall be valid or shall be recognised in any court of law. He should have pointed out that in s 4 – The word “dealing” means any transaction of whatever nature by which land is affected under this Ordinance. The Director of Land and Survey had acknowledged that in the Sub-lease procedures involving NT lands, 3 elements must be strictly complied – (i) Memo of sub lease in Sch. XVI Form filed, (ii) the required fees payed and (iii) the sub-lease Agreements between the Native owner and the sublessor. One can only assume that the Land & Survey Department had read and verified these Sub-lease Agreements especially on the fees and the duration period of the sub-lease BEFORE registration. The fact that the Sub-lease Agreements contains clauses that contravene the law, ie an extension of a lease for another 60 years (2X automatic extension) AFTER the initial 30 year sub-lease without any further payments, had been duly registered. The Director of Land and Survey stated that his department had never received any formal reports from Native Title holders saying their lands had been taken illegally or without their consent. He later went on to say that “No one who had sold their land to a third party who then sub-leased it to a private company had ever gone to court and said they had been cheated or that the sub-lease was without their consent”.

These poor native NT land owners have absolutely no idea how extensive the acreage owned by them or its location as no admission or information on neither these titles, sublease fees payments nor their own tax returns has ever been disclosed to them. The suppression of documentation, creation of illegal documentation and consequent making of a false declaration is not the result of any innocent error but a vital element in the furtherance of a scam by these Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies. Moreover, NO sole bread winner for mouths to feed will ever snitch on their employees. Many Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies who buy into NT property in Sabah are using the “nominee system” for both plantations, housing development projects and in some cases land speculation investment. This is where the Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies buyer puts the NT title into the name of a Sabahan Native BUT clenches and hold on to these NT Titles.

The nominee system is actually very similar to offshore banking structure used in tax haven islands or even in Switzerland. If one dreams of ownership in NT land this is one way to retain it. Many Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies have bought and sold NT lands this way. The Director of Land and Survey had refuted that rich people would do it. The rich appreciates the philosophy that generally in all aspects of life, greater risk equals greater reward. Wealthy people have the least concern about the system. They are already accustomed to this type of arrangement. They even like the fact that they have an asset that is not in their name which no one could ever take from them or even know about. It should be noted that over the last 10 years, people who have been bold enough to do this in Sabah have made huge profits. Land Subleased to these Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies act conveniently as their insurance. It grants them a leasehold title for the next 30 years. If they have a problem with their Native nominee there is nothing these Natives would be able to do during that period and this is what that will secure the NT title properties. Even in the worst case scenario, if one has a problem with the Native nominee, the property is still theirs to enjoy as the sublease is locked in for a 30 year term and they could even sell these NT lands as a subleased property to others. (Remember the numerous blank escrow documents signed)

The Director of Land and Survey declared that sub-lease allows NT lands to be developed and the installation of infrastructures by the private company, such as roads, electricity and water, will add value to the land itself while at the same time still keeping the ownership of the land with the Orang Asal. “Once the sub-lease period is over, the land automatically reverts back to the NT title holder, along with all the added values”. The Director of Land and Survey did not clarify what happens if these lands were charged to maintain all these “development improvements” in these NT lands or what happens in the event these poor, uneducated employee Natives dies before the expiration of the 30 year sublease? How would the next of kin or family member know of the extensive ownership of these NT lands when the PPHT Offices itself refuses to reveal and even discourages these Natives queries and forbid them from obtaining photostat copies of the these NT land titles?.

The Director of Sabah Lands and Surveys Department further gave lessons on “Malaysian Contract Law” and claims it is “permissible” in the Contracts Act despite the Courts in Sabah having declared such form of arrangements as in the case of Borhill, Neway and in the groundbreaking Federal Court case of Balantai, as it is an abuse of s17 of the Sabah Land Ordinance on “dealings” as it is an Express Statutory Prohibition and is Forbidden. “Stop NT Land Deals via Nominees”, a statement by Clarence Bongkos had also substantiated that too many occurrences of non-natives and others from outside Sabah, especially from Sarawak, making use of local natives as nominees to acquire native lands in Sabah. The modus operandi is using employees to acquire the NT lands and hold it in trust through side agreements until such time the land is converted to Commercial Lease (CL) or dispose of after planting oil palm for a higher prize.  That’s why we can see Chinese from Peninsular Malaysia owning NT lands in Nabawan and thousands of NT lands in Pensiangan been transferred to non-natives. These revelations among many others cannot be all fictitious tales.

The Director had issued on Nov 7, 2014, another statement that that Native lands have title over it unlike the Malay Reserve Land (MRL) so Sabah Natives luckier than P”sula Malays. He should have checked the facts on Malay Reserve Land in the Peninsula Malaysia as it have many provisions and additional statutes protection that have to be referred and strictly complied when forming even just the sub-leases. The relevant statutes are: (i) National Land Code (Act 56 of 1965): Section 221 – 228A, (ii) Land Enactments 1897, (iii) MAS Land Rules 1950 (Amended 1954), (iv) Malay Reserve Enactment 1913: Section 17. A further safeguard provision in law for (MRL) is found in Federal Constitution Article 89(3) that envisages if any Malay Reserve Land is acquired or revoked, the state authority shall replace it with another piece of state land. There are 3 conditions which need to be adhered to for Malay Reserve Land’s replacement: (i). It has to be similar in character; (ii) An area not exceeding the area revoked and (iii) The replacement should be exercised immediately. Do the NT lands have such protections and safeguards as the Malay Reserve Land?

In law, the Freedom of Contract doctrine is not absolute and that all contracts and agreements should be consistent with the provision of Malaysian Contract Act 1950 and other laws. Factors which revoke such consent are coercion (s15), undue influence (s16), fraud (s17), misrepresentation (s18), and certain categories of mistake (s21,22 & 23) are simply examples of defective consent or restriction and will which render the resulting agreements invalid despite the rule on Freedom of Contract. All agreements are contracts if they are made by the free consent of parties competent to contract for a lawful consideration and with a lawful object. But it is possible for valid agreements to be found unenforceable in the eyes of the law in this various conditions:

(i) Lack of Capacity – both (or all) parties to a contract have NO ability to understand exactly what it is they are agreeing to. If it appears that one side did not have this reasoning capacity, the contract may be held unenforceable against that person.

(ii) Duress or coercion – will invalidate a contract when someone was defenseless into making the agreement.

(iii) Undue Influence – If Person B (employer) imposed Person A (employee) to enter into an agreement by taking advantage of a special or particularly persuasive relationship, the resulting contract might be found unenforceable on grounds of undue influence.

(iv) Nondisclosure – is essentially misrepresentation through silence – when one party neglects to disclose an important fact about the deal. Courts look at various issues to decide whether a party had a duty to disclose the information.

(v) Unconscionably – means that a term in the contract or something essential in or about the agreement was so shockingly unfair that the contract simply cannot be allowed to stand as is. The indication here again is to ensure fairness, so a court will consider (i) whether one side has grossly unequal bargaining power, (ii) whether one side had difficulty understanding the terms of the agreement or (iii) whether the terms themselves were unfair.

(vi) Mistake – a contract is unenforceable not because of bad faith by one party but due to a mistake on the part of one party (called a “unilateral mistake”) or both parties (called a “mutual mistake”). In either case, the mistake must have been about something important related to the contract, and it must have had a substantial effect on the exchange or bargaining process. And yet, the Director of Land and Survey reiterates, it is allowed under the Malaysian Contracts Act 1950

The Director of Sabah Lands and Surveys Department mentioned that he has no control over “Nominees Being Appointed” as it is not defined by the Sabah Land Ordinance and have no power to regulate such Trust Deeds and yet on the same breath he declares that all agreements including the Charge Agreements, Appointment of Nominees, Trust Deed Agreements, signing of any Agreement in escrow and others (even the signing of an undated white piece of paper) which had been ruled in the landmark Federal Court’s case of Datuk Ong Kee Hui v Sinyium Anak Mutit [1983], that the arrangement of submitting an undated resignation letter to the Speaker was contrary to public policy and are illegal, unlawful and of no effect therefore void. It is more puzzling that undated agreements with unnamed purchasers given to non-natives, listed companies or foreigners (which are illegal, unlawful and of no effect therefore void) are deemed valid by his explanations.

However, there was never any mentioned of TRANSFER to non-natives, listed companies or foreigners but rather the existence of legal documents that include S&P, MOT in escrow and signing of undated white piece of papers. The wordings and Clauses in the Sublease agreements and Trust Deeds goes further to prove the existence of dealings in NT lands by these non-natives, listed companies and foreigners. This blog merely reiterated that Non-natives, listed companies and foreigners had indirectly gained “ownership” of Sabah’s NT Lands through seemingly legal but downright dishonest means and mentioned IJM Plantations Bhd specifically.

The Sabah Lands and Surveys Department supports the notion that the sublease of RM 1 to non-natives is valid sublease fee as the rule on Freedom of Contact. (He would have made more sense if it he had based it on the principle of laissez faire – (an economic system which rejects any form of barrier and restriction to the economic process) BUT that principle is not binding and it must strictly comply with all regulations when it comes to protecting property rights. By the same token, I suppose, Sabah Lands and Surveys Department would consider SELLING of NT lands for RM 1 as adequate price based on the freedom of contract doctrine. After all Sabah Lands and Surveys Department had concurred that RM 1 for sublease as adequate FEE, fair consideration and valid. Surely by that notion, BUYING AND SELLING of NT lands for RM 1 between Natives is also an acceptable price going by the rule on freedom of contract. Are we sending the right message on the real value of NT lands?

This RM 1 sublease fee should never be permitted as it is bad business not only for these Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies similarly it jeopardises the sub lessee (the person who holds the sublease) to many potential risks as the Registered Native Owner may cancel or surrender the subleasing agreement by repaying or paying off the sub lessee the mere RM 1 sublease fee payment and reclaim their NT lands. After all if you live by sword, you die by sword would seem to be the order of the day. The Director of Sabah Lands and Surveys Department had stated that 4,621 NT titles are subleased for 30 years and that another 1,339 NT titles are subleased for 99 years. He further disclosed that about 89,400 acres of NT lands are sub-leased to 4 listed companies among others. He should have revealed how extensively are these NT lands subleased to these 4 listed companies for RM 1 and who these NT lands owners are? My question is WHY would poor and underprivileged Natives buy these lands at market price or below in some case and then sublease it for a mere RM 1 to these wealthy Non Natives, foreigners and listed Companies?

The proposal was along the line of land reforms that an additional section to be added to the present Sabah Land Ordinance was blasted by the Director of Lands and Survey and was rejected outright as it had (in his words) element of self-interest. He did not elaborate if the element of self-interest contravenes any laws especially the Sabah Land Ordinance and/or the Malaysian Contracts Act. Why it is not legally and morally right for these Natives as the registered NT land owners to look out for their own interest is beyond logic.

Rahim Ismail the Pantai Manis Assemblymen, during the Sabah State Budget 2015 debate at the State Assembly, proposed that drastic action that includes revoking the land titles of locals who are profiteering from the rental of their lands to foreigners. Wasn’t this 4 term assemblymen recommending somehow a similar prescription. After all we just cannot have a government with land policies to just rob Peter to pay Paul or an economic warfare strategy of taking land from the poor in order to buy allegiance from the wealthy as they would do much to create growth in Sabah’s economy.

The laws once in place would allow the State to take away in a heartbeat these lands, houses, factories, plantations, mills, businesses or whatever that is “Non-native” owned as it was obtained illegally in the first place through such mechanism. This mechanism would provide some successes in exposing large-scale NT lands deals even before these lead to resource grabbing, pushing for policy measures that would lead to official investigation of questionable NT land deals and getting back lands that were grabbed by unscrupulous non-natives, listed companies and foreigners. Any responsible and accountable authority would agree that by drafting this new section into the Land Ordinance would effectively and eventually curb “dealings” and illegal ownership of these NT lands by non-natives, listed companies and foreigners. After all, I truly believe that NT lands restitution is a major step towards restoration of the Sabah Natives dignity.

Director of Land and Survey further mentioned that agreements prepared by lawyers, agents or brokers are deemed valid and are not an offence of any law if these NT land owners had consented and had signed on it. This would be tantamount to the Director of Land & Survey encouraging or even sanctioning such process even though it clearly contravenes the law of Contract Acts in s 24 – The consideration or object of an agreement is lawful, unless – (a) it is forbidden by a law; (b) it is of such a nature that, if permitted, it would defeat any law;(c) it involves or implies injury to the person or property of another; (d) the court regards it as immoral, or opposed to public policy. He had also stated that “If there is indeed illegal transfer of rights, be it through sub-lease, the court may order the Lands and Surveys to cancel it and return the land to the NT title holder and he further opined that these poor natives should go to the Courts for remedy and should refrain from further making “confusing” statement in newspapers.

One has to fully understand the role of the press and the internet as the ‘fourth domain’ of a concept that act as a check and balance on the three pillars of government: the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. The newspapers just like blog sites have responsibilities to its readers. However, just like the operation of a newspaper, the responsible blog sites are of public trust and its overriding responsibility is to the society it serves. Like the newspapers, blog sites also have many roles: a watchdog against evil and wrongdoing, an advocate for good works and noble deeds and an opinion leader for its community.

In conclusion, the director warned that action can be taken against those who abuse the due process of law and cautioned about frivolous and vexatious suits. Surely, the Courts are in a better position than the Director of Land and Survey to evaluate and pronounce on such suits. Sometimes, public bodies consider themselves to be above the law. Judicial review not only reminds them that they are not but provides the tools by which ordinary citizens can force them to adhere to the laws to which everyone else is subject.

To avoid acting illegally, an administrative body or public authority must correctly understand the law regulating its power to act, make decisions and give effect to it. Judicial review is the doctrine under which legislative and executive actions are subject to review by the judiciary. A court with judicial review power may invalidate government laws and decisions that are incompatible with a higher authority, such as the terms of a written statute. Judicial review is one of the checks and balances in the separation of powers, the power of the judiciary to supervise the legislative and executive branches. It is hard to escape the conclusion that, Director of Land and Survey is trying to put himself above the law. Because whatever the Director of Land and Survey claims, judicial reviews are not politically partisan. They are about no more and no less than acting within the law.

The Honourable Chief Justice of Sabah & Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum in his keynote address at a symposium on Sabah Native Rights: Issues, Challenges and the Way Forward on the 30th of Jan 2012 had highlighted that the authority is guided by the principle that “the government is in a * fiduciary position to protect the interest of the natives.” Sabah Land and Survey Department as the custodian of NT lands should fully comprehend its role and duties and must upheld and not act ultra vires (beyond powers) on the right to property as guaranteed by the constitution under Article 13(1) of the supreme law of the nation. Failing which NT lands grab would now be deemed legal through such mechanism and the Sabah Natives would have lost FOREVER in their quest on NT land reforms protections.

* Fiduciary position – imposing a duty to act mainly for the benefit of the powers conferred within the scope of law. (e.g. the safeguarding and protection accorded to NT lands by the Sabah Land Ordinance).

Meanwhile, upon speaking to Musa Aman about this matter in detail, he said, “I want to emphasize something else to you. Democracy wins out in the long run because it offers a chance to fix its own mistakes. It is the only system built on the premise that if something is not working, people can actually correct it, from the bottom up as what you are doing. Democracy works best when people are given the opportunity to constantly monitor and repair the kinks in the machinery. Self-correction is not destabilizing. It is stabilizing.”


By James Sarda

YAOUNDE (Cameroon): African soccer legend Roger Milla (pic) said he will relish the opportunity to take Malaysia to the greatest heights possible in world soccer if given the opportunity to be its coach.

He noted in an exclusive interview to Daily Express that perhaps only the South East Asian region had yet to make an impact on the stage where it matters most in soccer – the World Cup – and that Malaysia should make a serious attempt at doing so since it has a long soccer history.

The still reigning top African World Cup goal scorer whose five goals feat was recently equalled by Ghana’s Asamoah Gyan, said there is no reason Malaysia cannot make the grade like its Asian counterparts South and North Korea as well as Japan given the right approach and focus.

“ Yes, if there is a possibility I would love to take up the challenge to coach the Malaysian side. But it will also depend on whether I can obtain permission for leave from my President Paul Biya. Then I will sit down and negotiate in the event of an offer,” he said.

“In fact, I negotiated for one or two Cameroonian players to come to Malaysia while I was engaged as a coach in Indonesia. Indonesia was a very good experience. I liked the country and was working very hard to build up their football standard,” said

Milla, in reference to his stints with Pelita Jaya and Putera Samarinda, both in Indonesian Premier Division sides in the mid-1990s.

Milla, 62, said he regretted not having taken the opportunity to visit Malaysia while he was coaching in Indonesia as he had heard much about the country. “I should have but I had a very tight working schedule then.”

Milla has since been designated as a roving ambassador by President Biya, who even allowed him to operate from the Presidential Palace. Among his tasks now are to spot and nurture young Cameroonian soccer talents so that Cameroon would continue to remain a force in both the World Cup and African Nations Cup tournaments.

Many of the emerging Cameroonian players have been the products of his specially set up Roger Milla Foundation with the President’s urging and full backing. “My tasks as Roving Ambassador includes undertaking missions for the President related to sports and on other things as well,” he said.

Asked whether his feats at the 1990, 1994 and 1998 World Cups were responsible for inspiring a whole new generation of African soccer players who now dominate top European clubs and elsewhere, he said:

“It is a difficult question to answer. It is not for me but for others to appreciate whether I was the inspi- ration or not.” His four goals in the 1990 World Cup helped Cameroon to become the first African team to reach the World Cup Quarter finals. Ghana, Senegal and Nigeria have since followed the tradition.

History would not have bestowed Milla with the honours that followed if not for a passionate plea by phone by President Biya for Milla to come out of his 1987 self-imposed retirement, thus becoming the oldest player in the World Cup at age 38.

A goal by him at age 42 in a later World Cup match made him the oldest scorer in World Cup history.

James Sarda is Editor-in-Chief for Daily Express Sabah and recently was in Cameroon



by James Sarda

Kota Kinabalu: No one should accuse Sri Lanka as bitterly as they do just because there had to be casualties in the process of ending that island nation’s civil war.

Stating this to Daily Express in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the 59th Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently, its Secretary General Dr William Shija, said in the case of Sri Lanka, it would be unrealistic to suggest that there have been human rights violations just because there had to be a decision to end the terrorism (waged by the Tamil Tigers for three decades).

“You had a group of people who had completely captured a portion of that country through violent means. That is anarchy. That is terrorism.

“What do you expect the Sri Lankan Government to do? What would any nation faced with this situation be expected to do? Sit and negotiate?

“That is similar to what we heard about, for example, in the Falklands (when Argentina temporarily seized the island in the early 1980s).

“Why would Britain then go to the extent of trying to protect the Falklands which is so far away. It can’t be terrorism if you are protecting your nation or your people,” said the former Tanzanian Minister.

Shija also said it was ironic to even attempt to suggest that Sri Lanka had violated human rights when actually there are more serious human rights violations taking place even right now in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq (by the western troops).

“Those are examples that need to be examined in the proper perspective,” he said, obviously referring to the countless civilians killed by US, UK and Nato forces in these Muslim countries. Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed by US drone attacks in Afghanistan alone.

Shija added that there were also plenty of human rights violations during colonialism and during times of slavery. “If people want to talk about human rights violations we might as well go into history,” he said.

He said looking at the situation today, “you can’t have countries or even the Commonwealth dictate to Sri Lanka what to do.

“Who are you coming from the Commonwealth or otherwise to tell these guys what to do.

In fact, there are even smaller countries within the (53-member) Commonwealth who flex their muscles when it comes to their own country’s decisions.

“The world has moved on and no longer do you have an unipolar system where one member can dictate to another. So the best way to keep the family together is to be flexible and accommodate the variances and rather contribute on what should be done.”

Malaysia has confirmed participating in CHOGM despite calls by Barisan Nasional component MIC and the opposition DAP to boycott the event. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib would lead a delegation and Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman said that Malaysia’s participation was “relevant and significant”.

Critics of Lanka have alleged that its government was responsible for the deaths of up to 40,000 civilians in the civil war there that ended in 2009 with the killing of the entire Tiger leadership. There have been no more killings since.

It made Sri Lanka, reportedly albeit with Chinese help in logistics, the first and only nation in the world to have successfully defeated terrorism.

The Tamil Tigers have also been accused of drafting child soldiers and killing innocent thousands, including its own people that did not side with it during their campaign for a separate state in the island’s north.

There is evidence that in the last stages of the war their besieged leaders tried to use fellow Tamil civilians as human shields and killed those who abandoned them.

The Tigers also became infamous for introducing suicide bombings that has seen been adopted by other reactionary groups as a means to achieve their objectives, especially assassinating key people.

Their most high profile victim was Indian Premier Rajiv Gandhi when they sent a woman strapped with a bomb inside her sari to greet him when he visited Lanka during the early stages of the bloody conflict.

James Sarda is the Editor-in-Chief of Daily Express an Independent National Newspaper of East Malaysia