Archive for the ‘indonesia’ Category

Saudi Arabia has executed an Indonesian maid who killed her employer while she was being raped. This is sparking outrage in Jakarta.

Ms Tursilawati, who was working in the city of Ta’if, was found guilty of killing her employer in June 2011.


I have been reading recently a little on the holocaust deaths, a recent interest. It makes we wonder, Nazi Germany killed over 17 million people in cold blood mostly in concentration camps. Many of these concentration camps were just outside large German towns. Yet after the war most Germans feigned ignorance of happenings in the death camps.

Sachsenhausen, a notorious death camp was only 22 kms from Berlin. Over 200,000 were killed here. Yet after the war few Berliners acknowledged knowing anything about what went on there, despite trainloads of prisoners and smoke belching from the stacks. For camp after camp, Allied documentation reveals, similar stony silence. This is not a condition peculiar to Germans. Most nationalities have shown a similar stoicism and indifference. Which is why cruel despotism prevails in so much of the world. Which is why tens of thousands get killed and there is no memory of them. Collective amnesia!

In Indonesia when Suharto seized power over a million people were massacred with the most primitive tools within a few weeks. Cambodia is another example. So is Rwanda. Is there a museum or recorded history to tell us what happened, besides anecdotal tales? There is nothing uniquely evil in Germans. Its a common human condition.

In Malaysia, we also have our share of Collective amnesia and it is fast enveloping us in.

The Academy Awards are most closely associated with expensive, red carpet dresses and banal acceptance speeches. There is rarely space for the edgy, politically meaningful, or foreign. This year, however, one Oscar nominee for best documentary feature, “The Act of Killing,” resurrects one of the great “forgotten” mass murders, some would say genocide, of 20th Century Asia.

The murderous Khmer Rouge in Cambodia is well known to have killed up to three million people. Estimating the death toll of Communist Party misadventures in China continues to produce internationally acclaimed books with figures as high as 45 million for the famine that resulted from the Great Leap Forward. And yet, while killings by communists are well publicised, the killing of communists, has received far less attention.

However, between 5,00,000 and three million communists, or people branded as communists, were slaughtered in Indonesia between 1965-67, a massacre that has been airbrushed out of Indonesian history textbooks and the world’s consciousness at large.

“The Act of Killing” — co-directed by American filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer, and produced by Errol Morris and Werner Herzog — examines this little documented, or even acknowledged, part of Indonesian history, to deeply disturbing effect.

The facts behind the massacres remain shrouded in obfuscation, propaganda and resultant historical amnesia. What is known is that an attempted coup on the night of September 30, 1965, led to the killing of six Indonesian generals. In the days and weeks that followed, the Indonesian Army fingered the Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) as the perpetrators, unleashing a killing spree in which hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of suspected communists were murdered.

The army is known to have instigated many of these murders, although large parts of the civilian population were implicated in them as well, through their mobilisation via religious and social organisations. There was also alleged U.S. involvement, with the CIA having possibly provided the Indonesian Army with lists of names and other details for thousands of communists.

Prior to the massacres, the PKI had emerged as the largest communist party in the world outside the Communist bloc, with over three million members and up to 18 million followers. It was a formidable political force, well disciplined and organised. After the 1965-66 killings, the PKI was wiped out and even the contemporary democratic Indonesian political landscape has a gaping hole for a Left.


In the film, Oppenheimer stays clear of the complex historical details that engendered and enabled the massacres. Instead, he looks at the impunity enjoyed by some of the perpetrators, who, almost 50 years later, remain unpunished, unrepentant, and eager to recount their tales of bloodshed.

Set in a city in northern Sumatra, the movie abruptly switches from a lighthearted, almost cheery mood, with ageing gangsters joking about, and singing songs, to unvarnished horror, as they detail their brutal killings and carry out surreal re-enactments. The movie has an off-kilter feel, with the lines between fact and fiction blurring disorientingly. It is after all a documentary about a movie that the gangsters agree to make about mass killings that they undertook which are officially unacknowledged in Indonesia.

The question that looms large upon watching “The Act of Killing,” is why the massacres of 1965-66 remain buried in the rubble of history, rather than dug up and confronted. The Suharto-led military dictatorship that came to power in the midst of the murders, and that consolidated its power as a result of the elimination of its communist rivals, developed a narrative that stressed the cruelty of the communists and painted them as the aggressors rather than victims.

Schoolchildren were forced every year to watch a gory, propaganda movie, “Pengkhianatan, or Treachery,” that focused on the September 30 killings of the six generals by so-called communists and reinforced the idea that the nation was saved from communist terror.

“I saw so much stuff about communists being the bad guys that it somehow became the ‘truth.’ There was no access to any other version of reality,” explains 29-year-old Ray Hervandi, who went to school in Jakarta.

What is startling however is that even more than 15 years after the downfall of the Suharto regime, the killings of the communists remain largely unvisited. Today, Indonesia is a vibrant democracy with a general election scheduled for later in the year. And yet, there are no revisionist histories, no political party that has made a cause of the murders, and little discussion in the mainstream media about the “genocide.”

Release and reactions

That is, until “The Act of Killing” began to attract attention. The movie has not been released in theatres in Indonesia out of fear of an outright ban. It has however been available to download online for free, and also been shown in private venues across the archipelago. The Oscar nomination has predictably garnered interest, but much of the reaction within the country has been negative. If the film is to win, it will likely be discomfiting for, rather than celebrated in, Indonesia.

Teuku Faizasyah, a government spokesperson, was quoted by the Jakarta Globe newspaper claiming that the portrayal of Indonesia in the film was “as a cruel and lawless” country, and “not appropriate, not fitting.” “Much has changed since the 1960s,” he said.

However, Andreas Harsono, a journalist and human rights activist, points out that it is precisely because “not that much has changed (since the Suharto-era),” that the communist massacres remain so difficult for the political establishment to address.

He points out, for example, that the current Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, is in fact the son-in-law of Sarwo Edhie Wibowo who was the military commander of the Special Forces unit that quelled the 1965 coup.

Mr. Harsono, who was born only a few months before the massacres began, says he has not been able to finish watching “The Act of Killing” in its entirety despite repeated attempts. It brings back an image that has haunted him since he was seven years old, when an employee in his father’s electronics company in East Java took him to the banks of the Jompo river and told him how the river had run red with blood. The employee recounted having seen a baby crying with hunger as it tried to suckle the breast of its slaughtered, dead mother.

There have been sporadic attempts in Indonesia at coming to terms with the massacres. During his brief presidency (October 1999-July 2001) Abdurrrahman Wahid, the leader of the Nahdlatul Ulama (NU), a religious organisation that played a major role in the killings, asked for forgiveness from surviving ex-communists on behalf of the NU. No other national-level politician has followed his example, despite Indonesia’s Human Rights Commission having released the results of an investigation into the slaughter, in 2012. The commission found that “crimes against humanity” had occurred and that the military was responsible. It urged further investigation by the attorney general’s office. But, state authorities largely rejected the report and the attorney general has failed to take up the case.

Mr. Harsono makes the point that “The Act of Killing’s” detractors in Indonesia, who criticise it as a “foreigner’s” fetish, are often unaware that the movie is in fact co-directed by an Indonesian. The co-director, as well as the more than 60-member strong Indonesian crew, have all chosen to remain anonymous. “There is an Indonesian who has also made this movie, and he must remain nameless, because even today he fears for his life. What does that say about Indonesia?” asks Mr. Harsono.

Researchers have discovered a population of 200 of the world’s rarest orangutans hiding in the forests of Indonesia.

The previously unknown population was spotted by conservationists near the 140 square km Batang Park in the island of Borneo, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has enlisted all the subspecies of Bornean orangutans as endangered, LiveScience reported.

However, scientists have estimated that just 3,000 to 4,500 individuals are left in the subspecies known as Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus, making them the most severely threatened.

Two thousand of those live in the Malaysian state of Sarawak in Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, researchers say.

As conservations with WCS and other groups surveyed the region in February this year, they found a total of 995 orangutan nests, including fresh nests that indicated the rare population was recently using the area, the report said.

Researchers studying fresh nests left by wild orangutans in Indonesia have, previously, found they are incredibly complex.

They have found that orangutans bend and interweave living branches about 3-cm-wide to form the nest.

by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT The United Nations Security Council, acting through its previous 24-nation Decolonization Committee, would be the right body to resolve the renewed controversy in Sabah on whether it and Sarawak, the neighbouring sister state in Borneo, have been effectively colonised by the Federal Government in Putrajaya and/or Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) since Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963.

The controversy reached its zenith when former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh, a one-time blue-eyed boy of the Federal Government, challenged United Borneo Alliance (UBA) chairman Jeffrey Kitingan in recent days to a public debate on the issue.

Harris feels compelled to come forward “to defend the state and Federal governments on the issue of colonization” and feels that Jeffrey should not “chicken out” by laying down impossible conditions for the proposed debate to take place.

Jeffrey thinks that it’s not a question of being a chicken, as alleged by Harris, or a hero.

He wants something more than hot air to come out of the debate. He feels the debate should not be about scoring points on the issue or turning heroes into zeros or vice versa.

He wants the state and Federal governments to formally appoint Harris to represent them in the proposed debate.

Otherwise, Jeffrey & Co see the long retired Harris, “with due respects to him as a former Sabah Chief Minister”, getting involved unilaterally in the proposed debate for no rhyme or reason on behalf of the said parties and without proving locus standi.  Jeffrey & Co, however, are more than gratified that Harris has taken a keen interest in the issue and would prefer him to be on their side as a moral supporter  with a clear conscience but only after studying it (the issue) in depth on his own based on the various statements emanating from UBA in the local and alternative media.

Therein the matter lies. Jeffrey has since proposed June 17 for the debate to take place in Kota Kinabalu. This was after Harris said anytime, any place.

Enter the UN idea from Jeffrey’s camp, according to State Reform Party (Star) deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun. Harris agreed as well, in a statement on Tues 29 May in the local media, that the issue of colonization “is a UN case if true (Jeffrey’s allegations)”.

The starting point for the UN intervention, if any, on a point of history, ethics, morality, law, constitution, justice, diplomacy and politics could be why Sabah and Sarawak were not allowed self-determination as free states and were instead rushed into Federation with Malaya and Singapore on 16 Sept, 1963 after enjoying just 16 days of independence i.e. from Aug 31, 1963 to 16 Sept 1963.

History books were sanctioned by the Federal Government, and glossing over the 31 Aug 1963 date, even disingenuously claim that “Sabah and Sarawak became independent through Malaysia on 16 Sept 1963”.

Indonesia objected to the renewed loss of independence by Sabah and Sarawak.

The Philippines objected as well but for different reasons. It pointed out that its Sulu Archipelago was at one time together as one with the eastern and northern parts of Sabah, under the defunct non-territorial Sulu Sultanate, for the purpose of toll collection along the waterways. Hence, Manila raised its claim to Sabah.

No one paid any heed to them. Those were the days of the Cold War and the threat of communism terrorism raging in the region. The United Nations Security Council was firmly in the pockets of China (Taiwan), the United States, Britain and France with the USSR being the lone ranger among the five permanent members.

Hence, the sneaking suspicion that Sabah and Sarawak were re-colonised after 16 days of freedom and this time by the London-backed Malaya which went on to dominate and monopolize the Federal Government of Malaysia.

Britain had to give up its colonies in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Singapore in line with the dictates, demands and recommendations of the then 24-nation UN Decolonization Committee in which India under Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru played a sterling role.

Any UN intervention should also cover why Brunei stayed out from Malaysia at the 11th hour, why Singapore was expelled from the Federation two years later, and more importantly, why Sabah and Sarawak were not allowed to review their position in the Federation of Malaysia in the wake of the city state’s departure.

They had even demanded this right. In retaliation, Kuala Lumpur ousted Sabah Chief Minister Donald Stephens from power and dispatched into political exile as High Commissioner to Australia, a favourite dumping ground along with New Zealand for politicians in the two Borneo states who incurred the wrath of the Federal Government.

This Stephens was the same man, now as Chief Minister Muhamad Fuad Stephens, who died inconveniently – conveniently for Kuala Lumpur — in a tragic air crash in mid-1976 shortly after he refused to sign over Sabah’s oil and gas resources in perpetuity to the Federal Government-owned Petronas, or Petroliam Nasional, the National Oil Corporation.

Harris coincidentally, Stephens’s deputy, succeeded him as Chief Minister and appeared to have dutifully done what the Federal Government demanded.

Jeffrey’s elder brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan – currently demoted to Deputy Chief Minister — was the witness.

It’s this same Harris who’s now eager for a debate with Jeffrey probably because the latter keeps harping on the loss of the oil and gas resources – and recently Oil Blocks L & M to Brunei — as a major evidence of internal colonization.  So, partially at least, Harris has locus standi to debate Jeffrey.

Jeffrey has plenty of other evidence as well on internal colonization, besides oil and gas and Stephen’s untimely death, all of which Harris appears keen to “demolish” when presented at a debate.

Harris could have chosen to demolish them as and when they appeared in the local media from time to time. So far, he has chosen to keep a discreet silence on Jeffrey’s allegations in the local media on Sabah and Sarawak being internally colonised by Putrajaya. It’s difficult for Harris for anyone else sometimes to know whether Jeffrey is coming or going and hence some confusion for everyone.

If and when the Debate does take place, it will allow a re-visitation of several major aspects of the internal colonization allegations.

For starters, besides the mystery over the 16 days, Brunei, Singapore, Stephens, oil and gas, the Debate can hear evidence on the Federal Government being in non-compliance on four key constitutional documents and /or conventions which govern the participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation of Malaysia.

The documents/conventions: the 1963 Malaysia Agreement; the 20/18 Points; the Inter Governmental Committee Report; and the Cobbold Commission report.

UBA has been making the case public that the Federal Government’s “non-compliance has rendered the Federation of Malaysia inoperable to the extent of the non-compliance” and thereby the question that arises is whether Sabah and Sarawak are in the Federation of Malaysia or out like Singapore in 1965.

If out, why is the Federal Government carrying on as if the two states are still in Malaysia? This means, the argument goes, that they are effectively colonies of Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia).

If the two states are still in Malaysia, why is the Federal Government in non-compliance? It (non-compliance) cannot be reconciled with the continued participation of Sabah and Sarawak in the Federation.

If the case can be made that the Federal Government has not been acting unlawfully on compliance – there being no mechanism on compliance and no law – it’s seems to be a kamikaze argument on the surface, as it cannot be said that it has not been acting unconstitutionally, and if so, it has not been acting lawfully at all by being in non-compliance.

UBA also points out that Malaysia is not functioning as an equal partnership of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak – for example the Prime Minister of Sabah is not allowed to call himself Prime Minister; Malaya is not sharing the Federal Government with Sabah and Sarawak; Malaysia is not functioning as a two-tier Federation i.e. one at a lower level among the states in Malaya, and another at the higher level as a Federation of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak.

UBA also alleges that Malaysia has been getting away from the concept of being a Federation and more towards a unitary state.

It’s alleged that the grinding poverty of Sabah and Sarawak, the poorest and second poorest in the country, is a direct result of internal colonization which includes taking away most or all of the revenue of the two states to Putrajaya and returning only a pittance to them “to keep them perpetually poor and unable to forge their own destiny in the community of nations”.

Other issues on internal colonization: statelessness; the Federal imposition of proxy state governments in Sabah and Sarawak; illegal immigration and disenfranchisement and as reflected in the electoral rolls, among other.

Last, but not least, UBA points out that Sabah and Sarawak were promised autonomy in Malaysia with the two states – unlike the states in Malaya — surrendering only defence, foreign affairs and national economic planning to the Federal Government.

The bottomline on internal colonization appears to be that Sabah and Sarawak see no need or reason to be in the Federation of Malaysia, tied to a peninsula on the other side of the South China Sea and virtually unable to even breathe without permission from their political masters, when they can quite easily make and pay their own way like Brunei, Singapore, South Sudan and Timor Leste, among others, as independent member states of the United Nations.

Musa Aman will be back in the saddle even after the 13th GE which is expected anytime now. As he returns to Sabah, a third term, as the longest serving chief minister of Sabah, and who has broken the 9 years jinx, after generating a hope for the better for the average man on the street.

I am reminded of what a former Chief  Minister of Penang a distinguished doctor a political strategist par excellence the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu had once told my late father and me when we visited him after he lost the 1990 Padang Kota state seat to Lim Kit Siang of DAP. As Chief Minister of Penang since 1969 he was able to generate a growth rate of ten per cent and more, brought in top Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Billions of US$ and thousands of  jobs were created when he brought in big name electronic multinationals like Intel, Motorola and many more. “And still people voted me out,” he acknowledged.

“It was a rude awakening for me. I then realised that a high economic rate of growth is no indicator of human development.”

Dr Lim Chong Eu then gave me the memorable gem: “We were wrongly advised that we should take care of GDP and it will automatically take care of urban poverty. This is not correct. We need to take care of poverty and it will automatically take care of economic growth”. This is exactly what Musa Aman did. And true to what Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu had said, people of Sabah had voted Musa Aman back to power in 2008 with almost 98.33% success, winning 59 out of the 60 seats contested. Musa Aman invested in the people, and the people paid back.

A high growth rate of 5 per cent between 2004 and 2008 is not the reason why Musa Aman had been voted back in 2008. Restoring the right to freedom and good governance was certainly the first step. Simultaneously he followed it up with various development initiatives, which mainline economists would wrongly classify as populist measures. Providing free milk, food supplements, textbooks, uniforms, shoes to school-going children, and reserving seats for women in JKKK and local bodies was part of the social engineering that he undertook. Program Pembangunan Rakyat Termiskin (PPRT), was introduced to assist the hardcore poor. The programme established a register on the profile of hardcore poor households and contained a package of projects tailored to meet their specific needs, such as increasing their employability and income, better housing and educational assistance. Direct assistance was given to the hardcore poor who were disabled and aged. In addition, the hardcore poor were provided with interest-free loans to purchase shares in a unit trust scheme (ASB-PPRT) so that the dividends can supplement their income. With the foundations now well laid out, the challenge Musa Aman faces in his third term are not only formidable but if attempted in a more realistic and holistic manner can even chart out a new future for the country.

Unlike most other political leaders, I found Musa Aman to be more receptive and sensitive to the needs of the poor and marginalised. While the Sabah verdict amply demonstrates his willingness to improve the lot of the masses mainly the natives. And the 2012 state budget amounting to RM4.048 billion the  highest and biggest budget ever allocated and announced in the history of Sabah Government is a clear example that Musa Aman cares for Sabahans.

With 80 per cent of the population involved in farming, Sabah’s future revolves around agriculture. Except for rice which is still imported,  Sabah is trying to attain self-sufficiency in food production and produces surplus vegetables both highland and lowland vegetables, surplus of poultry and eggs, surplus of marine fish, surplus  of milk, but, the fact remains that the State still has a large proportion of population which is poor and there is still poverty. The challenge therefore is on how to bring a synergy between agriculture and food security; on how to turn agriculture economically and ecologically sustainable in a manner that it does not lead farmers in distress to sell off their land to ‘outsiders’ and become landless and at the same time provide food and nutrition for the masses. A healthy agriculture is also the first line of defence against poverty.

Sabah therefore needs to discard the Green Revolution approach. It has to stop poisoning its soils, contaminating the water bodies and the environment and pushing more and more farmers out of agriculture. Sabah needs to shun the industrial model of farm growth, and build an ecologically sustainable farming model driven by a futuristic vision. Agriculture has to be re-designed and linked with its own traditional time-tested public distribution system – where the communities have been in control and have managed the food needs in a kampong.

Instead of chemical fertilisers, vermi-composting as a cottage industry has to be encouraged on a massive scale. This will restore soil health, increase crop productivity, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will also generate more rural employment. Chemical pesticides need to be eliminated besides its so expensive, I know I was in this industry in the past. Sabah can learn from the ‘Non-Pesticides Management’ system of agriculture from Indonesia and Thailand. No chemical pesticides are applied in over 50,000 hectares in Indonesia, and yet the crop yields are very high. Driven by its increasingly successful adoption by farmers, Indonesia plans to raise the area under no-pesticides agriculture to half-million hectares by the year 2014. If this can happen in Indonesia, there is no reason why Sabah cannot learn from its success.

Sabah can create history by showing a development path that is not only sustainable in the long-run but also brings prosperity and happiness to the masses. Musa Aman can surely create history by showing the world what true development means. And his time begins now.

Consider the issue that now captures financial market attention: public debt. The experience in Greece, Spain, Portugal and elsewhere suggests that finance capital is increasingly “intolerant” of what is perceived as excessive public debt. Governments seem increasingly incapable of meeting their debt service commitments. Sovereign default threatens investor solvency. We see this now triggering protest and social disruption all around the world, from Wall Street in New York to Australia and now has spread even to Tokyo. It is a crisis. The young are getting desperate because of the contraction of employment and incomes.

Malaysia also seems to have lost its bearings.

Look at the analysis above, the analysis suggests that Malaysia’s gross public debt to GDP ratio increased from 42.7 per cent to 55.1 per cent between 2007 and 2011,  it is among the highest in the region. Malaysia’s 55.1 per cent level compares with Pakistan’s 54.1, Philippines’ 47, Thailand’s 43.7, Indonesia’s 25.4 and China’s 16.5. This is shocking as we have more debts than Indonesia and even Philippines.

Our government is excessively indebted, and we are in the firing line. Really!

Remember, Malaysia has never been an economic wizard. Never in our history since 1963, we find, any original thinker on economy and hence we lack an economic model which we may call as our own. We never cared to evolve an economic model which cared for the needs of our country and sought to utilize our own resources in our way according to our own needs and aspirations, Najib calls it “MY WAY”, my foot lah! We borrow ideas – economic and political – from others and when the idea suppliers fail, we rue and indulge in illusions as Najib Tun Razak and his team are doing today. From our experience we know that whenever our Prime Minister – Najib Tun Razak – tell us not to worry , they mean nothing and we have to actually start to worry. The Rakyat are the real victims. Prices are skyrocketing from “roti chanai” to “teh tarik” to “kon lo mein” and even “nasi lemak”, all are going up up up. We cannot talk of Rakyat because they never had any significance for our Malaysian shining politicians. They are of no consequence and, hence, can not be counted or considered, and this is how the masses feel.

At the rate we are going we are surely heading towards an economic collapse.

In Bank Negara Malaysia’s latest report issued on Oct 14, our country’s national debt currently stood at RM437 billion (as of June 30, 2011), with domestic debt amounting to RM421 billion and foreign debt at RM16 billion.

Malaysia is in a very very vulnerable position. Many economists say that 90% of GDP Debt is point of no return. Malaysia’s exports primarily petroleum and oil palm are heavily dependent on India and China for its trading. Malaysia must resolve its debt problems and sober up, it has to  cut its spending, increase taxes and prepare for more than a lost decade or it can just print money. Either case Malaysia will either face severe deflation, real estate collapses, stock market collapses, low demand leading to joblessness and more Bersih style protest given the youth population of the country. 75% debt is really intolerable for any developing economy. What is happening is in the name of social schemes the government is literally putting the country in debt and eating the money through corruption.

My economist friend from University Malaya tells me Malaysia has insufficient funds to finance the 2011 expenditure, there is RM46 billion deficit and this will be funded by further debts. Truly, it frightens me!

(Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor, istri Perdana Menteri Malaysia Mohamad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak dituduh punya cincin berlian senilai 24 juta dollar AS)

DALAM sepekan terakhir terjadi saling serang dan pembelaan antara media kubu oposisi dan media pro-pemerintah terkait kepemilikan cincin berlian senilai 24 juta dollar AS (setara Rp 203 miliar) dengan Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor, istri Perdana Menteri Malaysia Mohamad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak.

Jumat (29/7), Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor muncul dan mengungkapkan bantahan di harian berbahasa Inggris, The Star, yang menyatakan tuduhan itu adalah fitnah dan tidak berdasar. Sejumlah foto pemberitahuan bea cukai (Kastam Malaysia) atas impor cincin berlian senilai lebih dari 24 juta dollar AS dari pialang berlian kelas dunia, Jacob and Co, di New York, AS, dan nama pengekspor atas nama Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor beredar luas di internet. Bantahan Datin Rosmah menghiasi halaman favorit di situs Rosmah menduga ada pihak yang memanfaatkan namanya dikaitkan dengan cincin berlian yang harganya selangit itu.

Perusahaan Jacob and Co yang namanya dikaitkan dengan berlian ratusan miliar rupiah itu pun dikenal kontroversial. Penulis di situs, Yow Hong Chieh, mencatat, Jacob Arabo, seorang Yahudi asal Uzbekistan, pemilik Jacob and Co, berulang kali ditangkap aparat karena diduga terlibat pencucian uang hasil kejahatan.

Kontroversi Datin Rosmah

Kehidupan Datin Sri Rosmah Mansor memang penuh kontroversi. Perusahaan Rosmah, Perimekar Sendirian Berhad (Sdn Bhd), diketahui Parlemen Malaysia menerima uang jasa 100 juta euro (sekitar Rp 1,2 triliun) atas pembelian kapal selam Scorpene buatan Perancis.

Pertengahan Juli, pengacara Perancis, William Bourdon, yang mewakili sejumlah aktivis pro-Demokrasi Malaysia, menggugat Perimekar Sdn Bhd atas dugaan suap dan korupsi dalam kasus kapal selam Scorpene. Ia ditahan imigrasi Malaysia, lalu dideportasi. Tindakan itu memicu protes dari penggiat hak asasi manusia di Malaysia, seperti lembaga Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram).

Kasus pembelian kapal selam Perancis, pesawat tempur jet Rusia, dan persenjataan lain diduga mengakibatkan pembunuhan model asal Mongolia, Altantuya Shaarribuu, bulan April 2006. Altantuya, putri seorang profesor di Ulan Bator, diketahui memiliki hubungan khusus dengan Abdul Razak Baginda, penasihat pribadi PM Najib Razak.

Altantuya yang fasih berbahasa Rusia dan sejumlah bahasa asing, menurut pihak oposisi, mengerti betul seluk-beluk pembelian senjata yang digunakan Angkatan Tentera Diraja Malaysia itu. Karena menuntut terlalu banyak, akhirnya ia ditembak mati, lalu tubuhnya diledakkan. Situs berita Singapura,, pada 9 April 2009 melaporkan, dua polisi, Azilah Hadri dan Sirul Azhar Umar, dijatuhi hukuman mati karena menjadi eksekutor Altantuya. Namun, auktor intelektualis dan dugaan korupsi pembelian senjata tidak pernah disidangkan hingga pihak oposisi Malaysia mengajukan gugatan di Pengadilan Paris, Perancis.

See the rest here

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Anwar Ibrahim labeled ‘Indonesia’s stooge’ for talking about migrant workers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 07/30/2011 3:08 PM

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said that he is frequently labeled as Indonesia’s stooge for criticizing his government’s policy on Indonesian migrant workers.

According to Anwar, the labeling has emerged as he repeatedly urges the Malaysian government to treat all migrant workers, whether from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Burma or anywhere else, with respect.

“It is important that they are left unharmed. If they do something wrong, send them home in a proper fashion. Do not send them home as if they were animals,” he said, on the sidelines of a discussion at the Jentera School of Law in Jakarta, on Saturday.

However, the labeling, and other allegations against him, have surfaced due to the control that the Malaysian government exerts over mass media in the country, Anwar said as reported by

Many Indonesians work in the informal sector in Malaysia. Several cases of violence and abuse to Indonesian migrant workers have led to a rift between the two countries. In May, however, Indonesia and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the protection of migrant workers.


Look, even the Indons are laughing at us. We have become so “teruk” now. Thanks to UMNO and the sex videos. See below the latest editorial from The Jakarata Post

A new low for Malaysian politics

The Jakarta Post | Mon, 03/28/2011 9:13 PM | Editorial

Malaysia’s dirty politics reached a nadir last week when the local media reported on a new video featuring a man who looked like former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim having sex with a prostitute in a hotel room.

Coming at a time when Anwar is battling sodomy charges in court, it makes you wonder just really how low can it go.

The video was shown to a few journalists from the mainstream media who were selected and screened in a fashion worthy of a cloak-and-dagger novel.

The government-controlled media, which have played a key role in previous campaigns to discredit Anwar, violated every known ethical practice of journalism by providing graphic reports of the alleged “sex sojourn” without verifying the identities of the video’s subjects.

Typically, the source of the video was not disclosed, evoking the popular Indonesian (and Malay) saying lempar batu sembunyi tangan, which means “throw the rock, hide your hand”. No one took responsibility for screening the video, but the mainstream media played along and reported what their journalists saw.

Ever willing accomplices, the media broke one of the credos of journalism: Identify your sources, especially when making allegations as serious as this.

The Malaysian media did not bother to identify the man in the video. The mere suggestion that man looked like Anwar Ibrahim was enough to cast doubt on Anwar’s credibility and integrity in the supposedly puritan yet hypocritical society. Truth and verification go out window when you are part of a propaganda machine.

The media placed the onus on Anwar to disprove the claim, something which would likely keep him busy for the next several months or even years, certainly until the next general election.

We have seen this before when Anwar was first sentenced to prison for sodomy, only to have the Supreme Court to overturn his conviction in 2004.

Subsequently, new sodomy charges appeared and Anwar has been busy going to and from the courtroom.

Sex, media and video conspiracies define Malaysian politics today. It gets dirtier all the time