Archive for the ‘Malaysian Politics’ Category


Beware the Ides of March.

On March 15, 44BC, Calpurnia, wife of Julius Caesar, tossed and moaned in her sleep while her husband looked on. Abruptly, she bolted upright in bed, awake, but screaming and weeping from a nightmare in which her husband was stabbed and spurting blood. Suddenly, the doors and window shutters banged open, flooding the bedroom with moonlight.

That same night, a little bird had flown into the Forum, pursued by wild birds, who tore it apart in the hall. Calpurnia begged Caesar not to go to the Senate, though he had been specially summoned with a promise that he would be crowned king that day.

Other signs foretold the assassination. A group of Caesar’s horses refused to graze. A sacrificial offering made by Caesar had no heart, and the soothsayer Spurinna warned him to beware the Ides of March.

Calpurnia’s distress was so out of character that the dictator stayed home until late in the day, when his good friend Brutus arrived to fetch him. Brutus ridiculed the dream and divination, mocking Caesar and telling him that the Senate had been waiting all day for his arrival. Together they left for the Forum.

Along the way, they passed Spurinna, and Caesar remarked, “The Ides of March are come.” The soothsayer replied, “But they are not past.”

Upon Caesar’s arrival at the Senate, the sixty senators stood in respect, and then one man approached Caesar. He grabbed Caesar by the shoulders and plunged a knife into his neck. The assembly then rushed at him, unsheathing their daggers. Caesar was stabbed twenty-three times and was left dead. For the next seven nights, a comet streaked through the heavens.

And In Malaysia, the members of parliament are ‘stabbing’ each other openly since last Sunday 23rd of February 2020, after months of plots and counter-plots to control Putrajaya.

Today March 1st 2020, The Agong had enough and has decided, Muhyiddin Yassin is the eighth Prime Minister of Malaysia by the King’s appointment. The process of the appointment of the Prime Minister is over.

Now its up to Parliament, Parliament will decide on a Vote of No Confidence. That is the way ! This is Parliamentary democracy!

Selection by The King for the 8th PM was not based on the number of Statuary Declarations from all the MPs. It’s the opinion of the Agong whom he feels can command the respect of the majority in parliament, based on this The King choose Muhyideen Yassin as the 8th Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Parliament is siting on the 9th of March 2020. If it is not postponed, MPs can go to Parliament on the 9th of March and show their support for Dr Mahathir or Muhyiddin Yassin.

If Muhyiddin loses the vote of no confidence, he has the power to advise the Agong to dissolve Parliament and a new elections will be held, which is not what Dr Mahathir or DAP wants.

Serious horse-trading is going on now. The Battle for Putrajaya is on, and this is Malaysian version – IDES OF MARCH!


Besides the economy, Sabah and democracy are themselves undergoing a stress-test.

It is commonly understood that the most acceptable marker of economic growth of a state is its Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Economists, who rarely agree with each other, acquiesce with this economic measure; that is a considerable achievement by itself.

However, since CM Shafie Apdal took charge of Sabah on May 12, 2018, after the defections of Upko assemblymen who after winning their five seats on the BN symbol, flags and manifesto led to the loss of Musa’s majority. Ever since then, Sabah’s GDP has become a subject of controversial discussions, especially since it accompanied several grotesque claims of government achievements that appeared questionable.

While the Opposition decried the GDP chest-thumping roar as akin to cockamamie, the Shafie Government gloated on its spectacular accomplishment, its spokespersons hyperventilating on TV screens and social media.

Something is clearly amiss. Many think Sabah’s data under Shafie is not just cooked but barbecued.

I try to unravel this intriguing conundrum, in brief, by addressing questions that crop up with predictable regularity.

What was the GDP inherited by the present Shafie’s Government from the former Musa’s Government?

It was 8 per cent – healthy, strong and recovering robustly.

But, Shafie and his Warisan coalition through their massive propaganda machine spread the canard of apocalyptic doom that “Sabah was on the verge of a collapse”, as fearmongering and manufacturing anxiety suits. In May last year, Chief Minister Shafie Apdal claimed that Sabah was in financial difficulty and the previous Musa administration did not leave RM4 billion reserve as claimed. Shafie, who is also Sabah’s finance minister, insisted that the state’s reserves were in the negative.

Since then, however, the auditor-general’s report for 2017 has indicated otherwise, leading the state’s Opposition to dispute Shafie’s claim.

After confusion and controversy over Sabah’s financial health, state treasurer Rusdin Riman said that the state grew its reserves by over RM4 billion last year-2017.

What about the claim by Shafie that his government is responsible for the miraculous turnaround to make Sabah the fastest growing economy?

It is an absurd proposition that even a kindergarten child will debunk. How can a economy make such a dramatic turnaround within 15 months, one which was being disingenuously trashed by Shafie as a failure just a few months earlier?

The truth is that Sabah moved into the global financial arena taking giant footsteps under the 15-year period of then CM Musa Aman.

Many have called it the golden period of Sabah’s economy, as for the first time ever, we witnessed a 10-year average GDP growth rate of 7.7 per cent and lifted a million people above the poverty line, reflecting the successful model of inclusive growth.

In successive years, between 2003 to 2018 April, Musa’s government reached growth rates of 8 per cent, hitherto deemed unreachable, almost reaching double digit growth levels.

In short, Sabah was much better under Musa than under Shafie now. How do you compare the Musa’s GDP performance over that of Shafie?

There is no comparison whatsoever; GDP went up by over 300 per cent during the 15 years of Musa government. The Musa government performed extraordinarily better compared to the anaemic, almost lackadaisical numbers of Warisan-Upko-PH government.

In fact, Shafie’s government had a great opportunity to build on a strong inheritance from the previous Musa’s government, but wasted a burgeoning growth momentum.

One must remember that the Musa’s government succeeded despite facing Malaysia’s worst economic crisis, recession of 2007-08, low oil prices, drop in timber royalty due to export ban and running a difficult coalition government, and facing repeated sabotage by Shafie at the Federal level and a very difficult Vice President of Umno to deal with.

Why is the ground reality so different from the headlines and the hype?

Under Shafie, what you see is not what you get; there is selective cherry-picking, exaggerated claims, new methodologies adopted to make a sheep look like a lion, and in many cases, data that inspires grave apprehensions about their authenticity. Shafie indulges in a lot of puffery.

Thus, we have this atrocious contradiction where Shafie claims that Sabah is a growing economy, but the farmers are crying under severe rural distress, joblessness, private investments, exports, aggregate private expenditure are all looking dismal.

It hardly needs further assertion that the rural economy, in particular, has crippled small businesses. Lucky for Shafie, there is tourism, thanks to previous Musa’s government for laying the groundwork and logistics.

The damage is still being undone.

Is GDP the only macro-indicator of the health of the economy?

No, it is not, it is just the easiest one. The true health of Sabah is determined through a more detailed biopsy of economic and social indicators, mostly job creation, per capita income, export performance, gross fixed capital formation, reduction in poverty levels, per capita expenditure allocations to health and education.

On all these factors, Shafie has slipped by having both feet on a banana peel. We must not forget that the relevant index for Sabah is Human Development Index. The fact that we have seen an alarming dip in Poverty Index, or the Gender Disparity Index should tell us that this government has merely indulged in headline-hunting, rhetorical speeches, statistical manipulation and massive publicity blitzkrieg.

Besides the economy, Sabah and democracy are themselves undergoing a stress-test due the presence of huge number of illegals immigrants with fake IDs.

About time. Governance in a democracy is like a fishbowl, everyone must know the truth. But under Shafie opacity rules, or as Salman Rushdie would say, there is a lot of chutnification going on. But truth does ultimately win.


Shafie Apdal’s dislike for Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu is so clear.

In April this year, the Sabah chapter of Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu was launched with nine assemblymen — eight from Umno and one from Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah — and five MPs. Now Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu is the second largest party in the Sabah state government and can boast to have close to 300,000 Sabahan card-carrying members, and more new members are joining, some even Warisan supporters from Sembulan and Likas.

Right from the beginning after taking over power as Chief Minister from Musa Aman, Shafie didn’t want the entry of Dr Mahathir’s PPBM (Bersatu) into Sabah.  After 15 months the differences deepen. There’s nothing new about a Warisan-Bersatu row. But when Bersatu happens to be Dr Mahathir the Prime Minister, and the chief minister, Shafie, the row is more like a clash of titans.

This video below showing Shafie criticising Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu (PPBM) and likening it to Umno has gone viral in Sabah. In the clip, Shafie is seen in casual conversation with at least two ladies about Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu and is heard saying that the party is “just like Umno”, and asked why they would join Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu? While the woman said that they heard they will lose their voice in Warisan.

Its a two-minute video, but here it is…

P.S:  Shafie has responded

It’s an old clip, Shafie says on PPBM-Umno video

KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Shafie Apdal today dismissed a video of him appearing to equate PPBM with Umno, saying the clip which has been making the rounds on social media is an old one.

Speaking to reporters after an event here today, Shafie, who is the president of Warisan, said the remarks in the video were about PPBM spreading its wings to Sabah.

“Previously, we had an understanding that PPBM would not enter Sabah,” he said.

“We knew there were members in our party who doubted and who were concerned, as well as those who wanted to leave because they had no positions.

“But it’s an old story. Today we are together, so we will work with each other with PPBM in the state.”

In an agreement with Warisan before the general election last year, PPBM said it would not set foot in Sabah.

However, the party chaired by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched a chapter in the state in April.

The two-minute clip in question had shown a man resembling Shafie holding a lively conversation with several women who are believed to have sought his views on joining PPBM.

“This PPBM is Umno. Why do you want to join them?” he asked.

He also said that joining PPBM would be akin to supporting Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Mohd Noor, the former Sabah Umno chief who led dozens of Sabah Umno members to cross over to PPBM early this year.

………..

Even for the his year’s (2019) state-level National Day celebration, PPBM was not invited, see here…

Dakwaan Tidak Hadir Sambutan Hari Kebangsaan Peringkat Negeri

KOTA KINABALU:Respond Menteri Pembangunan Infrastruktir Sabah, Datuk Peter Anthony, berhubung ketiadaan Ahli-Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) Sabah dalam Majlis Sambutan Hari Kebangsaan Peringkat Negeri Sabah semalam, menimbulkan persoalan.

Peter yang juga merupakan Pengerusi Penganjur menyatakan bahawa urusetia telah menghantar surat jemputan kepada para ADUN Bersatu Sabah.

Namun, semakan Borneonews kepada beberapa orang ADUN Bersatu mendapati mereka tidak menerima sebarang jemputan untuk menghadiri majlis berkenaan.

Persoalan yang timbul adalah adakah Peter sendiri tidak mendapat maklumat yang tepat daripada pihak urusetia, ataupun ada pihak dalaman yang sengaja ingin sabotaj, ataupun mungkin ada pihak dalam Kerajaan Negeri Sabah yang sehingga kini masih tidak senang dengan kewujudan parti Bersatu di Sabah, sungguhpun parti tersebut adalah parti pimpinan Perdana Menteri, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad sendiri.

Ini adalah kerana bukan sahaja Sambutan Hari Kebangsaan tersebut, namun sebahagian besar majlis rasmi Kerajaan Negeri masih tidak menjemput para pemimpin Bersatu Sabah dengan kaedah yang teratur.

Menurut sumber Bersatu Sabah, dalam satu majlis berbuka puasa anjuran Kerajaan Negeri yang melibatkan kehadiran Dr. Mahathir sendiri, penganjur tidak menjemput para pemimpin Bersatu secara rasmi sehinggalah saat akhir jemputan dibuat hanya melalui aplikasi whatsapp melalui pihak ketiga, hanya setelah wakil Bersatu membuat semakan sama ada para pemimpin Bersatu dijemput dalam majlis tersebut.

Sumber Bersatu juga menyatakan, bukan sekadar Sambutan Hari Kebangsaan tersebut, malah majlis rasmi pada malam hari yang sama, yang juga melibatkan kehadirian Tuan Yang Terutama (TYT) iaitu Sambutan Maal Hijrah 1441H, para ADUN, Ahli Parlimen dan Ahli Dewan Negara daripada Bersatu tidak mendapat sebarang jemputan.

Sumber tersebut juga menyatakan kekesalan pihak Bersatu Sabah terhadap pihak yang cuba menimbulkan isu berhubung ketiadaan para ADUN mereka dalam sambutan tersebut, sedangkan hakikat sebenarnya mereka tidak menerima jemputan atau memang tidak dijemput.-pr/BNN65


Three months before May 9th GE14 our Darell Leiking’s political mantra in all his ceramahs was on foreigners holding dubious citizenship in Sabah and the presence of Project IC in Sabah. But after 15 months later and in government now, Darell Leiking is not known to have openly called for the deportation of illegals. Darell’s silence on the ongoing PTI issue in Sabah is a disturbing development. What happened Darell?

See, 3 months before elections to win support they can keep harping on illegals. But now keeping quiet.

Why now keeping quiet? Because it will affect Warisan?

And see even a Semporna NRD officer is involved, he was arrested in connection with PTIs obtaining birth certifictes and MyKads through false information. He had in his house several application forms, documents and chop from NRD, health clinic, Semporna Hospital, Native Court, village chiefs and Sabah Islamic Religious Affairs Department.

facebook_1564633173162.jpg

Even Senator Adrian Lasimbang posted this in his FaceBook asking if JPN database compromised.

IMG-20190801-WA0056.jpg

See, another false promise to Sabahans…. Warisan “will get back Felda Land”.

Speaking out is never easy. There is often a political, even a personal, price to pay. But that is the cost of leadership. Darell should show that he can fulfill the full scope of his responsibilities as Warisan Deputy President and MP for Penampang. His excessively quiet diplomacy is selling short his position and the promises he made before GE14.


In 2014, Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) had entered into an agreement to purchase two parcels of 6,000 acres of land in the Tongod district.

It was Risda’s MR155 million oil palm land purchase deal in Sabah.

Risda, under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, had appointed a Sabah based legal firm to handle the purchase of land in Tongod.

Risda made a down payment of 10 per cent deposit amounting to RM15.5 million on signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement with the legal firm Micheal Ubu & Co.

The deal was eventually aborted as it involved Native Customary Land. The RM15.5 million or 10 per cent deposit held by the Sabah-based legal firm, acting as trustee, was not returned to Risda.

The lawyer involved, Michael Persius Ubu, has been sought by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) since. Ubu, 62, failed to show up at the MACC office despite being summoned along with Warisan vice-president Peter Anthony last year.

Ubu’s whereabouts are unknown but many believe Micheal Ubu is in Kalimantan.

Ubu has been struck of the Rolls and can no longer practice legally.

 

Micheal Ubu’s disappearance if anything is a big mystery.

Two possibilities might have taken place.

Either he went into hiding on his own accord for reasons known to him OR he was asked to go into hiding with assurances that he would never be prosecuted for his involvement in any wrong doing if any. I believe it must have been the latter that prompted his disappearance.

If there are wrong doings in that RISDA deal it must have been known to Ubu and Warisan president Shafie Apdal, who was the Minister of Rural and Regional Development that oversaw Risda at the time.

And if Shafie is aware, anything that comes out from the Ubu’s mouth will implicate Shafie, no?

Micheal Ubu probably holds the many secrets and answers to what really transpired. And probably Shafie’s life line in holding office as Chief Minister of Sabah?

But then again it depends very much on how Dr Mahathir wants to deal with Shafie.

Besides that, as it is, rubber smallholders are suffering because of poor yield and they are grappling with a gamut of perennial issues, and here we have a RM155 million land deal meant for the development of rubber smallholders is being swindled.

Hopefully our newly minted Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya would make the effort to track down Micheal Ubu and make that a top priority.

And then, the Court of Appeal is also slated to hear pretty soon Musa Aman’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to reject his bid to declare him as the rightful Sabah chief minister. The dates not fixed yet for the hearing but court officials say it could be early November this year. 15 months has passed after May 9th GE14, but, still uncertainty remains over the issue of who the rightful Sabah chief minister is despite High Court ruling in favour of Shafie Apdal last November 2018.

Musa a fine man was sworn in on May 10 after claiming a simple majority of 31 seats in the 60-member assembly, lost his majority a day later and Shafie took the oath of office on May 12.

The appointment of two chief ministers in the space of 36 hours has seen varied legal opinions expressed about Sabah’s constitutional provisions for the Head of State to remove a chief minister who had lost his majority. This has to be settled by the courts once and for all, and Im very certain Musa Aman will take it to the highest court The Federal Court for a decision.

Dr Mahathir does not like uncertainty.

Dr Mahathir’s grand design is known less to people around him but base on the information that I gather it is very likely that Anwar Ibrahim would become Prime Minister taking over from Dr Mahathir. Dr Mahathir knows very well after him only Anwar can hold the Malays together and Anwar has the mass support.

UMNO would be sacrificed, Najib, Zahid and Ku Nan would eventually have their political career ended in Sungai Buloh.

Azmin Ali, Mukriz Mahathir, Khairy Jamaluddin, Nurul Izah and Syed Saddiq would be groomed as Malay leaders. Azmin Ali is tainted now because of the gay sex video, so one down.

Dr Mahathir’s PPBM would be the next biggest and most influential party for the Malays.

I also hear Dr Mahathir had instructed Wathya Moorthy to leave Hindraf and form NAP ( National Action Party ) to house the Indian voters and to represent the Indian community. In 67 Parliament seats in Malaya, Indians decide.

DAP is the most stable and progressive party in the Pakatan Harapan. Lim Kit Siang was wise not to put his face on the front line after the PH’s GE14 victory. Kit Siang knows that the only thing that stands between the DAP and the Malay fury is Anwar Ibrahim.

Now coming back to Sabah, guess to whom the abandoned Star City Mall in Kota Kinabalu goes to? It goes to a RM2 Sdn Bhd controlled by Datuk Seri Tiong, the MP for Bintulu. Tiong’s company Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd milked Port Klang Free trade Zone in billions. Tiong is Shafie’s best buddy from yesteryear’s.

Then we have Micheal Chin who used to operate massage parlours in nightspots in Labuan. A whooping RM165 million water distribution contract had been given to him. I hope its not true, but If this is true, how can the Warisan State Government give a water distribution contract worth hundreds of million to someone who is in the recreation business? Is it because Micheal Chin and Peter Anthony where in the nightspot business before?

Strange things happening in Kota Kinabalu, even a Penang Chinaman who came looking for a job in Sabah 20 years ago was nominated as a Nominated State Assemblyman in the Sabah State Assembly. Another loss for Sabahans because the 6 nominated seats was only meant for minorities in Sabah, not someone from outside. See below..

Judging from all these there is a strong likelihood that Dr Mahathir wants Sabah Bersatu Chief Mohd Hajiji Noor to replace Shafie Apdal as Chief Minister of Sabah. It is looking like that. Shafie would be brought back to the Federal probably taking over from Azmin Ali as Federal Minister. I believe this is in the pipeline. Azmin Ali would be asked to go on leave soon.

Lets see what happens after Hari Raya Haji 2019 Aidiladha!


img-20190523-wa0103-1-1504841988.jpg

This woman Rohani Ismail was charged in the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate’s Court with CHEATING 127 ILLEGALS for supposedly helping to obtain “entry permit” and converting IMM13 documents to MyPR through letters addressed to Deputy Home Minister Datuk Azis Jamman.

The case management date was on May 15, 2019. I hear from legal circles this woman has been given a Discharge Not Amounting to an Acquittal (DNAA) by the Magistrate. Can the Magistrate do this? This is public interest. Cannot simply charge a person and later say discharge not amounting to an acquittal without a trial. If you charge a person means got sufficient evidence. Our new Chief Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who is committed to improving the image of judiciary should act on this matter urgently.

This is a very serious matter, even Azis Jamman’s name who is the Deputy Home Minister and Ketua Wira Warisan Sabah has been dragged into this case.

And Azis Jamman is saying that the issue of illegals getting documents is being played by the opposition party who claim Warisan is a party that gives identification cards to undocumented immigrants. This is so pathetic, Azis is the Deputy Home Minister and his Boss Muhyideen Yassin is the Home Minister.

And conveniently, Azis Jamman is pointing fingers at former chief minister Musa Aman’s involvement in Project IC based on Dr Chong Eng Leong’s one book – Lest We Forget . The book itself contained outlandish generalities and unsubstantiated statements. Simply blaming Musa now. It was under Musa’s administration when the highest number of illegal immigrants were deported out from Sabah – 582,139 people.

Warisan should get real and be more robust in their efforts to flush out illegals, that’s how to counter allegations. Stop the blame game. All these are causing alarm among Sabahans who fear that citizenship documents are being dished out to foreigners and this casts a cloud of suspicion on what is actually happening.

Unfortunately, the issue has become so politicized that common sense has been thrown out the window. The matter is now strictly viewed through partisan lenses.

………….

This came out in the Daily Express

No photo description available.

……………..

30th June 2019, this came out in the Daily Express.

No photo description available.


It may seem that the war of words between Dr Mahathir and Shafie Apdal began with some confusion over the issue on how many seats were initially secured by Party Warisan Sabah on the night of May 9th GE14 elections. On one hand, rumour has it that Dr Mahathir believed Warisan should have secured 35 seats instead of a dismal 21 seats. Today, Shafie Apdal has claimed to having 45 seats in the Dewan. The question here is, what are his intentions?

As soon as it was established by the court that Warisan had become the legitimate government, things began to change. As we all know, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Beginning with the repeal of the TYT term and giving him unlimited extension. Many opposed the move but those who have supported him did so to curry favour with Shafie with the hope of getting personal rewards, some say. Even the Minister of Finance was taken up by Shafie in vowing not to follow the footsteps of his predecessor Musa Aman.

After nine months in power it was later admitted that the state had in fact RM 4 billion in government reserve. In the beginning it was reported by Shafie that the treasury has empty coffer which readily made people believe.

Warisan became the state government only through the support of UPKO, without whom, Shafie could not have become Chief Minister and Wilfred Tangau, Deputy Chief Minister. In a sense, the two live for each other. Warisan leaders were also given a number of full federal ministry posts, Darell Leiking, VK Liew and Mohd Din Ketapi and their choice of Sabahan personnel.

The spate of fire in the squatter colonies in Likas/Sepanggar, Banggi, and elsewhere have suspicion ignited. All these fires only occurred in squatter colonies all over Sabah and this is unique and devoid of logic. During the fires people were said to be seen rushing to save their televisions, refrigerators, mattresses and other household goods, but not their personal documents. Those affected by the fire are known for their illegal statuses and it was suspicious that these acts of arson kept happening only in those squatter colonies.

Then, the State Minister of Law and Native Affairs Aidi Moktar claimed the government would review the law on whether the Bugis and Jawa communities can be considered as natives in Sabah. Rumours indicated that it is because of the fear that Datu Akjan the self proclaimed “ Sultan Sulu” was taking away the Suluk and Tausug vote bank from Warisan to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s (PPBM). It did seem apparent that there is a grand design to distort the Sabah political landscape and cause a racial imbalance for political purpose, once again.

Then thousands turned up at NRD centres, all allegedly foreign looking individuals. The state director of NRD said that the department was conducting census, an alteration of shifting demographics. There was even a report that thousands have been issued late birth certificates in several parts of Sabah with substantial population of immigrants.

With all these happenings in Sabah the last nine months, for sure the Special Branch must be reporting to Prime Minister Dr Mahathir. And those receiving big favours from the government especially the millions changing hands at the Harbour Trade legal firm in Kota Kinabalu have plenty to be worried now. Naturally nothing is secret anymore especially with social media i.e Facebook, Whatsapp and blogs that could go viral and influence the course of events.

The tide has certainly shifted with the sudden change of mood between Warisan and Bersatu.Their arrival in to Sabah leaves no credible opposition in the state. Bersatu’s arrival can be seen as an attempt to monitor the activities of the state government. As a part of the PH central government, Bersatu or its appointed allies in Sabah can provide check and balance, based on the “rule of law”. The fear many locals share with me is that any uprising in the future is possible when a large population of illegal immigrants is present in the state and comfortable with a sitting government. Sabah is facing an existential treat and I’m certain Shafie is aware, which is why he has met with the Philippines ambassador to raise Sabah’s concerns that security threat in the southern Philippines might spill over. I can only caution the state of the events in 1976 fall of USNO. That too was a similar threat to the then ruling PM, and if left not monitored, history will indeed repeat itself.


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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s Right With Malaysian Politics?

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

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

So What’s Wrong With it?

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

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

Too Many Questions….

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

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

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

Free and Fair…. Really?

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

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

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

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

Intolerance to Dissent is a Big Threat

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

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

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

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


Good job AG Tommy Thomas.

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

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

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

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

Read the rest in the nytimes.com

GOLDMAN SUCKS CHARGED FOR GIGANTIC MALAYSIAN FRAUD.

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


Finance Twitter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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