Archive for the ‘Sabah UMNO’ Category


“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?



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.


Sabah is currently facing a constitutional crisis, the state now has two chief ministers.

In the May 9th Sabah state polls, Sabah BN won 29 seats while Warisan, which has working ties with Pakatan Harapan, also secured 29 seats. Two other state seats were won by Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku led by Datuk Dr Jeffry Kitingan.

On May 10th, Musa was sworn-in as the chief minister before the TYT after securing a 31-majority following Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku’s decision to form an alliance with Sabah BN.

On May 12th, Shafie was sworn in as the chief minister after six assemblymen from Musa-led government declared their support to the Warisan’s Shafie Apdal to take over the government.

Both Musa and Shafie have introduced their cabinet line-up after being sworn as chief minister.

 

Today the 17th of May, Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Musa Aman filed a writ of summons in the High Court seeking a declaration that he is and remains the lawful Sabah Chief Minister.

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The writ was filed through Messrs F.T. Ahmad and Co, which is acting for Musa.

Musa named Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin as the first respondent and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal as the second respondent.

Lawyer Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad, in a statement, said Musa was seeking a declaration, among others, that he is and remains the lawful Chief Minister and that the purported swearing in of Shafie as a second Chief Minister by the state of head was unconstitutional.

“The writ also seeks a declaration that any and all acts by Shafie whilst purporting to be the Chief Minister are also null and void and of no effect.

The court fixed June 19 to hear the suit before Justice Ravinthran Paramaguru.

Now the question is: does the TYT have the power to revoke Chief Minister Musa Aman’s appointment, sworn in lawfully, in the presence of the the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Tan Sri Richard Malanjum?

According to retired federal court judge Gopal Sri Ram, the head of state could not revoke Musa’s appointment even if Shafie now showed he had the majority support.

UPDATES – 24th August 2018

Mohd Shafie Apdal today failed in his bid to strike out former Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman’s originating summons challenging his (Mohd Shafie’s) appointment as the new Chief Minister on May 12.

Justice Yew Jen Kie when delivering her decision through teleconferencing in the Kota Kinabalu High Court , said Musa as the plaintiff in the case, had raised a question of law which rendered the originating summonses unsuitable to be struck out summarily.

“Upon perusal of the affidavits and submission of the parties, I am satisfied that the plaintiff has raised a question of law which requires full consideration which renders the originating summons unsuitable to be struck out summarily.

“As such, I dismiss the striking-out application with costs in the cause,” she said.

In this regard, Yew ordered Musa to file his submission on the originating summons against Mohd Shafie on or before Sept 14, while the Mohd Shafie is file his on or before Sept 24.

Musa is also to file his reply on Oct 5.

Yew set Oct 26 to deliver her decision.

Mohd Shafie was represented by counsel Douglas Lind, while Musa’s counsels were Tengku Fuad Tengku Ahmad and Suku Vanugopal.

State Attoney-General Zaleha Rose Pandin and Dayangku Fazidah Hatun Pg Bagul represented Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin.

Mohd Shafie filed the application on June 5 to strike out the suit on the grounds that Musa had no valid reason to challenge his appointment on May 12 as the new chief minister.

The following day, Musa filed a fresh suit against the Sabah governor and Shafie, in place of the suit filed on May 17, seeking a declaration that he (Musa) was the rightful chief minister of Sabah.

Musa was sworn in as chief minister on May 10 after securing simple majority in the 14th general election but lost the majority when several assemblymen from his party (Umno) and from a BN component party (Upko) jumped ship to give their support to Parti Warisan Sabah lead by Mohd Shafie.

– Bernama

UPDATES OCTOBER 25, 2018

KOTA KINABALU, Oct 25 — The High Court here will decide on November 7 if the appointment of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal as chief minister by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin on May 12 is lawful.

Judge Yew Jen Kie set the date after hearing four and a half hours of submissions in the suit filed by former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, who is seeking to nullify Shafie’s appointment.


Life is all about imponderables. What was unthinkable a few years ago, can become the go to mantra of the present. This is all the more true of politics. Take Sabah, for example. Fourteen years ago, if anyone with some knowledge of Sabah’s ethos, its conundrum of frog-jumping politics and abysmal law and order situation in the east coast of Sabah where kidnapping-for-ransom works like a market, had suggested that the Sabah model of governance would one day be hailed for replication, he or she would have been considered loony. Ditto for somebody daring to compare the Sarawak model of development with that of Sabah, and deeming the latter a better standard.

But Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman changed that. Over fourteen years since 2003, he successfully steered Sabah Barisan National government through the stormy waters of coalition politics in a State where Christian Bumiputras have a 27 per cent population, and managed to return to power with landslide victories on 21st March 2004 (GE11), 8th March 2008 (GE12) and 5th May 2013 (GE13).

He managed this laudatory feat for Umno Sabah by holding together a coalition of Sabah based political parties PBS (Party Bersatu Sabah), Upko (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation), PBRS (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah), LDP (Liberal Democratic Party), together with Malayan based MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association), MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) and Party Gerakan (also known as a rainbow coalition), complete with Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Taoist, Animists and even Sikhs. And let me remind you that it was the women of Sabah, who voted for his return with a hitherto unseen gusto.

The improved law and order situation in Sabah after the formation of Esscom (Eastern Sabah Security Command) and Esszone (Eastern Sabah Security Zone), coupled with the deportation of 558,680 of illegals since 1990, and while still 6,226 illegals currently held in detention centres awaiting deportation, was responsible for enthusing Sabah voters. Esscom also had been able to thwart many kidnap attempts by cross-border criminals as a result of predictive intelligence and also the curfew imposed in seven districts in Esszone, all these have increased the support for the Sabah BN. Where law and order improves and the State functions in a better way, the best impact is felt by women and the minorities.

Both women and Muslim Bumiputras played a major role in the return of the Sabah BN over and over again. Across the board, there was patronage of Muslim voters for the coalition candidate, whether from Umno Sabah or the Sabah BN.

Increased aspirations and expectations, however, pose even more dilemmas to any dispensation, and the Umno-BN government in Sabah is no exception. Musa displayed the least exuberance at his election victories because he knew it came with massive responsibility. Spelling out the challenges before him, till now the development of Sabah has been central, in that hospitals, schools, power plants, dams, roads and bridges were built, electricity and clean drinking water and services improved. This benefited everybody. But now the Government has to bring in governance, which will be a challenge but Musa has done a fantastic job in this area over the last fourteen years.

The first hurdle was the long-pending land issue of land ownership and native customary right. Musa came up with the excellent idea of Communal grants to protect native rights to Native Customary Rights (NCR) land ownership. With the Communal Titles, land cannot be sold. There are plenty of cases where lands were quickly sold off, some even before approvals were granted, and for a mind-boggling small sum to outsiders. Communal Titles are not only a solution for the landless to own land, but a way of protecting rural folks from dubious people who entice them to part with their land for a measly amount.The only condition in Communal Tittle lands is that the land cannot be sold but passed down the family to develop on a long-term basis for sustained income that can lift the Natives out of poverty. So far 72 communal titles had been established involving 119,083 acres in 12 districts and have benefited 213 villages or 10,462 Sabah natives.

Next, Musa took on the role of just and fair enforcer by punishing civil servants guilty of corruption. Massive sums of money are being spent from Plan outlays … billions of Ringgit is being spent on various development schemes, there will be far greater opportunity to make money through corruption, and this will have to be checked and Musa is extremely hard on this and had even instructed The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to go all out on all those who are on the take, corrupt bureaucrats will be convicted, and their ill-gotten wealth and property confiscated.

Sabah’s Watergate Scandal is such an example. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission seized RM114 million worth of assets, RM53.7million in cold cash stashed in houses and offices from two senior Sabah Water Department officials on Oct 4 last year. The duo, a Director of the Water Department and his former deputy are being slapped with 34 money laundering charges.The sum seized was said to have been siphoned off from part of the RM7.5 billion allocated for rural projects in Sabah, channeled through the Federal Rural and Regional Development Ministry between 2009 and 2015, when Shafie Apdal was Minister.

Then again last week MACC Deputy Chief Commissioner, Dato Azam Baki claimed some RM1.5 billion of the allocated RM7.5 billion from the Federal Rural and Regional Development Ministry for basic infrastructure of road, water and energy for the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak for 2009 to 2015 was squandered. Some RM170 million in bank accounts and assets of the companies involved in the projects has been frozen by MACC.

A series of MACC seizures are the reason why administrative reforms should be put in place, especially with regard to Federal development funds. Musa Aman has been saying this all along year after year since he took office in 2003.

The rural infrastructure allocation system for Sabah needs to be streamlined by the federal government through the channeling of federal funds directly to the state government. This will enhance the effectiveness of project implementation, particularly rural development projects. The total allocation provided by the federal government to the state for rural development projects is more than RM6 billion for the period from 2010 to 2013, which is approximately RM2 billion per year, but where are the projects?

There is no justification for Federal to approve and implement projects in the State and not channel the funds to the State Government. The Federal Government should not be seen as usurping the authority of Sabah and creating a parallel government in the process, like what they did during PBS rule where contracts and payments were made direct by Federal Treasury to contractors in Sabah.

The funds for all Federal funded projects should be channelled to the Sabah State Government for implementation and monitoring. Sabah State government knows better the ground situation and has in-depth knowledge of local conditions and requirements. Definitely the State government can chart Sabah’s own development course to meet local needs and requirements.

Sabah’s model of development is a shining example of impeccable governance and indeed its anti-corruption measures should be replicated elsewhere in the country.

That naturally brings us to the possibility of Musa Aman emerging again as Sabah’s chief ministerial candidate in the next polls which will take place within the next six months. Clearly, his credentials, tough stance against corruption and clean public image have caught the nation’s fancy.



It appears that a critical mass of the Sabah electorate wants to reward Musa Aman for the good work he has done over the past several years, since he first assumed Chief Ministership in March 2003. Each person this writer spoke to heading for the early polls in Sabah had only good word to say about the chief minister. This is indeed what makes it difficult for a divided Sabah opposition – The United Sabah Alliance (USA) and its four State-based opposition parties namely Star, Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Lajim Ukin’s Parti Harapan Rakyat, Shafie Apdal’s Parti Warisan Sabah together with Malaya based DAP, PKR & Amanah, to attack Musa on any of his development agenda. Shafie Apdal himself has characterised Musa’s regime as marked by fourteen years of malfeasance, but could never publicly attack him on the plank of development.

In a big public meeting outside of Sandakan late 2016, Shafie asked those who attended if Musa’s reign as Chief Minister was ever marked by a lack of accountability but the response was cold. In reply Shafie fumed before the crowd: “I have no other motive than to defend the rights of Sabah”, but having held five terms Member of Parliament of Semporna since 1995 and appointed as parliamentary secretary, Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government in 1999, Deputy Minister of Defence from 1999 to 2004, Minister of Domestic, Trade and Consumer Affairs, and later Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage, he has yet to prove that. On 10 April 2009, he became the Minister of Rural and Regional Development which coincided with his election to one of UMNO’s three vice-presidential posts. Shafie Apdal is hence the first Sabahan to hold a vice-presidency of UMNO but has done little to “defend the rights” of the varied population of this state.

It would not be an exaggeration to say that there is an authentic Musa wave in Sabah as is. It is no wonder that divided Sabah opposition groupies are very worried about the general sentiment generated before polling. The local opposition parties anxiety is reflected in the manner in which it is bringing issues like illegal immigrants, the re-issuance of identity cards, and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63).

Elsewhere, near Penampang, Shafie Apdal is doing what he does best – playing the polarisation game. When he said Sabahans will celebrate if the BN is defeated in Sabah, he again betrayed the fact that the party’s desperation has reached newer highs. By invoking BN, Parti Warisan Sabah believes it can consolidate Sabahan votes across all races but the party’s attempts has failed to bear fruit as voters are seen shying away from Shafie Apdal’s new party. In fact, large sections of Sabahans seem to be inclined to give Musa Aman another term.

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, the founding father of the second largest political party in Sabah, a long serving assemblyman, MP and Huguan Siou (paramount leader of the Kadazandusun community), has indicated an intention to retire from politic but is also complementing the broader sentiment in favour of Musa by holding on to his KDM vote base – to which opposition groupies have mainly tried but failed to break by raising numerous issues including the delayed Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) technical working committee report on illegal immigrants.

The KDMs, emotionally impacted by the down fall of the PBS Government in March 1994, seemed to have put their fullest weight behind the grand BN alliance. Pairin’s meetings are attracting unusually large crowds with hundreds of youths enthusiastically clicking away on their smart phones. I had seen a similar spectacle only during Pairin’s public meetings in Tambunan and Keningau during GE13 polls in 2013.

In many ways Sabah looks so much like a forerunner of events in national politics. Both Musa and Pairin speak the same language and the political grammar converges around a larger strategy of demanding Sabah rights under the Constitution, the Inter-Governmental Committee (IGC) report and Malaysia Act. The devolution of powers from the Federal Government to the state was an ongoing process, with the principal objective of addressing and resolving public concern over the erosion of the special safeguards granted to Sabah under the Malaysia Agreement and the Constitution.

Musa Aman articulates this strategy cogently as he says, “We are all Sabahans, who advocated a constant campaign to resolve issues between state and the federal and the Sabah Government has its own “gentler” approach – more effective, better than shouting and demanding” – “The Sabah Way”. When Musa said this a decade ago, the BN was the establishment. Today, the BN, and the forces its represents, have become the establishment, forging a front against the opposition and its divisive politics, the state government believes in consultation not confrontation.

Musa has repeated over the years that the Sabah State Government under his watch believes in diplomacy rather than confrontation and has achieved some excellent results through this approach, particularly in its negotiations with Petronas on oil and gas matters. These include the appointment of a Sabahan to the Petronas board of directors and Petronas undertaking to increase the number of Sabahans at executive and management level. Now there is a clear understanding between Petronas, the Federal Government and the state government as to Sabah State Government objectives.

UMNO is benefiting in Sabah due to the image of Musa Aman as an urbane, decent and efficient chief minister. The visit to Sabah by Wu Bangguo, member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China, Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine, and many other world leaders, confirms that Musa has placed Sabah ahead of many other states, making it the most successful state in Malaysia in attracting private investments. China’s decision to open a consul-general office in Kota Kinabalu confirms the state’s growing importance as a world-class city favoured by tourists and businesses. For the first quarter of 2016, Sabah under Musa Aman managed to attract private investments in the amount of RM10 billion, way ahead of other states. Apart from that, as of September 30, the amount of cumulative investments in the private sector, under the Sabah Development Corridor projects, had reached RM114 billion since its launch in 2008. Among the many reasons include having a stable, business friendly and a prudent government as well as stringent forestry laws and strong conservation programme. Totally Protected Area (TPA) – now covers over 1.5 million hectares of the land area or some 22% of Sabah. The government policy has been launched to achieve 30% TPA by 2025 or 2030 at the latest or over 2.2 million hectares of Sabah under forest.

So tell me, which other state in Malaysia has set aside 22% of TPA including rich agricultural lands and virgin forests at high opportunity costs? Only Sabah under the Aman administration, that’s for sure.


The real reason Shafie Apdal resigned

 

This is what politicians like Shafie do. When they know they are going to die they announce that they are too principled to stay in such an unprincipled party and try to exit looking like a hero and then seek greener pastures elsewhere.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

“Justice is not being done. There is no justice in the way UMNO is being run,” said Shafie Apdal on resigning from Umno yesterday. And the media made it look like Shafie resigned over the 1MDB issue.

That is actually not so. The deal is Umno would support one Vice President from East Malaysia and since there is no Umno in Sarawak and there is only Umno in Sabah then a leader from Sabah would be given one of the three Umno Vice Presidents’ seats.

So the Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman made sure that all 25 Umno divisions in the state supported Shafie. And many of the other 165 Umno divisions in West Malaysia also supported Shafie in solidarity with Umno Sabah. And that was how Shafie managed to win one of the three Umno Vice Presidents’ posts even though he is not really that popular in Sabah.

In short, Musa gave Shafie that post. And that was why Shafie won that post. But now Musa has withdrawn his support. So in the next party election two years from now Shafie will not be able to win even a supreme council member seat let alone retain his Vice President’s post.

Shafie knows his days are numbered. Even if Umno does not sack him from the party he will no longer be able to hold any position of importance in the party. He is finished.

So, before he gets sacked, or worse, before he loses his Vice President’s post and does not even win a supreme council member seat, he might as well save some face and resign.

It is better that he pretends he is a person of integrity and principles by announcing he is resigning for the sake of truth and justice rather than he gets pushed into retirement because he lost his Vice President’s post or gets sacked from the party.

This is what politicians like Shafie do. When they know they are going to die they announce that they are too principled to stay in such an unprincipled party and try to exit looking like a hero and then seek greener pastures elsewhere.

No, I will not give Shafie too much credit by writing my normal long article about him. It would be a waste of time and time better spent playing with my granddaughter, Lily. By the way, that is Lily in the photo below.

Lily

See here http://www.malaysia-today.net/the-real-reason-shafie-apdal-resigned/


Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman in a meeting recently said – “Sabah of my dream is a vibrant, prosperous State where peace prevails and the people, irrespective of  race, creed or religion, live side by side in harmony and prosperity. I dream of a corruption free society and a people fully developed to take their rightful place in the bigger Malaysian society and propelling our beautiful State and country forward. I would like to see the government of the day being governed by people who, in turn, are governed by God. As Walt Disney said, “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” My government has that courage.”

I felt very refreshing to know the kind of Sabah our present Chief Minister dreams of. “My government has that courage”, the Chief Minister said.  Read the below two articles by The Daily Express and The Star and you will know why he has the courage.
This is reported by Daily Express

Political instability, the State Government’s inability to formulate long-term development plans for Sabah and a stormy relationship with the Federal Government in the past were among reasons why it was necessary for Umno to expand its wings to Sabah.

Recalling the events 25 years ago, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is also Sabah Umno Liaison Committee Chairman, said it is crucial that young leaders contemplate the party’s historical entry into the State which was made possible after Sabahans realised they needed a new political model which could unite the people after unhealthy excessive politicking which put too much emphasis on racial interests.

Sabah Umno seized power from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) which was then in the opposition in 1994.

“During those days, this change was no longer a choice but a demand, because we understood that instability and disunity benefit no one. This is why we see Umno as a new hope because of its track record in the peninsula.

“We hoped that Umno would be the glue that unites the people as it had done in the peninsula, and thus bring stability to our region which would mean, development in all aspects for the State,” he said.

Musa said this in his speech at the Sabah Umno Silver Jubilee celebration at the Umno Building, Monday.

Also present were Umno Information Chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa, representing Umno Central, all Sabah Umno State and Federal ministers and Sabah Umno division chiefs.

Musa added that Umno did not come against the will of the people but to bring Sabah out of political instability and to bring with it development and progress for the State as well as unity and harmony.

“This is our history. This is why we chose Umno. And we have to remember this always.

Our purpose had always been for the people and our State and we have to explain this to our new generations so they will understand what they have inherited,” he said.

Since Umno officially came to Sabah on Feb. 22, 1991, the party had gone from strength to strength, increasing its number to 25 divisions, 5,676 branches and 546,879 members, making it the largest State component within the party.

Currently, six of the 11 State Cabinet ministers are from Umno while 31 out of 60 State seats in the last general election were won by Umno candidates.

Despite its giant grip on the State Government, Musa reminded Sabah Umno members not to relax because defending something is a lot harder than obtaining it.

“Once upon a time even though it was hard, our work was made lighter when we were clear about our objectives.

We knew and saw our common enemies and we shared a common agenda.

“But once we have achieved the success we wanted, we are worried that the unity and togetherness will be lost little by little because of personal interest. Moreover, we forgot that the victory must be defended.

“Therefore, it is important that we put the interest of the party before self and continue the struggle,” he said.

Musa said party leaders and members must not dance to the tune determined by the opposition but to keep the course while at the same time, start to contribute to the national agenda.

“As the captain of the ship and the State, I vow to continue the fight to safeguard the rights of the people and defend the State’s interest. After 52 years, it had always been our desire to see Sabah and Sabahans be given more significant acknowledgement in bringing Malaysia forward. We believe that cooperation and teamwork is the best way towards this goal,” he said.

Earlier, Musa also announced that he had asked the State Umno Information Secretariat to kickstart an initiative to publish a special documentary to record the legacy of Umno’s struggle in Sabah.

The documentary will, among others, detail the identity of each individual who had contributed to the party especially those who have passed away.

The initiative, he said, is crucial in order to ensure their past contributions are not forgotten and will forever be memorialised within the party’s history book.

And this is reported by THE STAR

Sabah Umno will never waver from its key struggles, including safeguarding the state’s rights, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (pic) said.

He said the members had every reason to celebrate Umno’s expansion to Sabah 25 years ago as the party had stuck to its original intentions of doing so.

Musa, the Sabah Umno chief, said the party’s presence had resulted in political stability in the state.

He noted that Sabah had seen tremendous progress and development since Umno’s entry in 1991.

“No one can deny the fact that our party has had an excellent track record in Sabah,” Musa said when launching Sabah Umno’s silver anniversary celebrations at its headquarters here.

He said prior to Umno’s entry, there was much political instability in Sabah, frequent changes in government and no long-term planning and policies.

Musa said Sabah began sliding backwards in terms of development compared to Sarawak and other states.

“There was far too much politicking, and Umno provided a refreshing change,” he said.

Despite being just 25 years old, he said Sabah Umno, which has nearly 547,000 members in 5,676 branches and 25 divisions, had become a significant presence within the 70-year-old parent body.

Among those present at the celebrations was Umno information chief Tan Sri Anuar Musa.

Also present were former Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Sakaran Dandai, Information and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said and former chief minister Datuk Osu Sukam.



Sabah Umno chief Musa Aman has urged party leaders and members in the state to cut the polemics and politicking among themselves, but to instead focus their thoughts and energy on
improving the people’s lot.

Musa, who is also Sabah Chief Minister, said too much polemics and little work done would not bring any benefit to the people, state and country as a whole.

“What is important is to carry out the work entrusted to us by the people. Go down to the ground to meet them and know their problems. I’ve always told Umno leaders and members to talk less and work more.”

Musa said this to reporters after simultaneously opening the Tuaran Umno delegates’ meeting and its Wanita, Youth and Puteri Umno meetings at the Sulaman Community Hall in Tuaran today.

Also present were Tuaran Umno division chief and state Housing and Local Government Minister Hajiji Noor, and the division’s deputy chief, Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who is also federal Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister.

Earlier, in his speech, Musa reminded Umno leaders and members to continue to focus on the party’s struggle and not lose direction, as it was normal that in any struggle, there would be challenges, tribulations and “thorns”, especially in a big political party like Umno.

“That is why I’ve always told (the elected representatives) that they should not regard themselves as just ‘Yang Berhomat’ (Honourable Member) but also as ‘Yang Berkhidmat’ (Serving Member) to the people.

“This is the way and approach to ensure Umno and the other component parties in Barisan Nasional remain stable and strong,” he said.

He also reminded Umno leaders and members the importance of upholding the culture of being loyal to the party leadership and being united in the interest of the party.

– Bernama


Malaysia NEEDS freedom from many evils which includes corruption, social evils, red-tapism, crime, fundamentalism, pseudo-secularism and many such other aspects which are deep-rooted in our system. But suggesting the elimination of all or any of these handicaps is just hypothetical in a present-days political system.

What we actually need to do is to get freedom from the present breed of politicians, who instead of using politics as a tool to serve people, would rather run politics as business for minting money by be-fooling the public.

Sabah missed a great opportunity to become the State Flagship in the cattle and dairy industry due to a major blunder in decision-making when Salleh Said Keruak was Chief Minister and Datuk Lajim Ukin the State Agriculture Minister.

Sabah government had a cattle farm in Darwin Australia and the state had actually reached 100 percent self-sufficiency in the production of such meats in 1998. At that time, the commercial cattle farm was owned by Desa Cattle Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Village Development Corporation (KPD) that was operating in Mesilau, Sook and in Darwin, Australia. Then Salleh Said Keruak and Lajim Ukin decided to sell the farm in Darwin Australia and also sold remaining thousands of acres of Desa Cattle land in Sabah to Kim Loong a West Malaysia group.

When the farm in Darwin Australia was closed in 2002, the remaining thousands of acres in Sabah too shrunk beyond recognition, the latter through the controversial sale involving Kim Loong the West Malaysian group. It is understood that the controversial deals occurred during the chief ministership of Salleh Said Keruak and when Lajim Ukin was State Agriculture Minister. Now Lajim is saying the sale went through the state Cabinet and that he should not be the one to answer for it.

As a result of the said controversial acquisitions, Desa Cattle land shrunk to a measly thousand acres in Keningau and Kundasang. The Austalian Government has since banned the acquisition of lands for cattle farming. It is so sad to see all that precious land sold. Kim Loong the West Malaysian group made huge profits from the land over the years by converting it to oil palm cultivation.

Because of this silly decision, now, Sabah is no more self-sufficient in beef, mutton and buffalo meat production had declined by 13 percent the following year after the controversial deal, that causes the state to import frozen beef from Australia and New Zealand, and frozen buffalo meat from India to meet the need for the commodity til today.

Desa Cattle a brainchild of Former Chief Minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh was a brilliant idea to see Sabah to be self-sufficient in dairy and meat, but within a period of 15 years, politicians having their own agenda just destroyed it.

This controversial deal between KPD Holdings, the State Government and the management Group calls for declassifying the documents on these deals that lead to massive losses of far greater magnitude than the on-going case of National Feedlot Corportation (NFC), another “lembu” business. How was the Management Group allowed to allegedly siphon and squander millions of ringgit and freely allowed to sell vast acreage of state land in Sabah and in Australia among many other deals, without honoring the agreement?

The West Malaysian group Kim Loong acquired close to 17,700 acres of the cattle land in Sook, Keningau on a 49/51 % joint venture arrangement. How much monetary benefits and dividends did Desa receive since the joint venture went into effect? What was the consideration and was a proper valuation done to ascertain the worth of the valuable land? Under whose name is the ownership of the land now? Was the land charged to any financial institutions? If so, for how much and for what purpose?

Then there was this mysterious death of the last General Manager whose body was found by the roadside near the Desa Cattle Sook office. Why was a report not made on this mysterious death connected to the controversial deal?

So many unanswered questions! And hardly any answers to follow suit!

The corporate mastermind of this financial fiasco and several other people involved had the audacity to make inroads into politics. Some of those who were privy to the controversial deals may still be in the management of Desa. They should be hauled up by the authorities over the many unanswered questions, including the death of the last General Manager so that the ghost of Desa Cattle can be put to rest.

It is never to late to revive and reassess the joint venture business arrangements to sent the message that wrong doing will not be tolerated even long after the ink on the deals have dried up and Sabahans caused to lose their assets.

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency should reopen the files! Freedom from such politicians will automatically provide freedom from many such evils like corruption because present-days’ politicians incorporate in themselves all such evils!


For many years now, MANY in Malaysia have had an uneasy feeling that democracy, as generally understood, sits uneasily among the people of this country. Malaysia has large and sometimes articulate political parties and it has had leaders totally committed to the concept of democracy, which is also true. There was Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, Tun Dr Ismail, Tun Hussein Onn, John Aloysius Thivy, Tun Tan Cheng Lock, Stephen Kalong Ningkan, Tun Fuad Donald Stephens, Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, Peter Mojuntin, Tun Mustapha, O K K Sedomon, Ahmad Boestaman,  and others who believed in the concept of democracy as the only one that would keep Malaysia together and take it forward.

Like true democrats they believed that dissent was an essential part of democracy, and that the country would only be enriched by debate and discussion, even by agitation if that became necessary. Their belief was complemented by their direct contact with the people; the trust that people had in them made it possible for them to persuade them to accept, enthusiastically, the beliefs and ideas they gave them.

But when such leaders and people are not there any more, what happens to the parties and institutions they have built and nurtured? One facile answer is that political argument gets stronger and power shifts from one group to another when elections are held. In other words, the people decide who will have the responsibility to manage the state, removing those whom they consider incapable and bringing in those they think can do the job. This is very convenient and comforting. It is also totally fictitious.

It is true that political argument does get stronger, more so because of the increasingly watchful media both print and electronic, of which most political groups have become wary, even fearful, and not without reason. The fiction lies in the belief that the “people” remove those who do not perform and bring in those who they think can perform.

First, the concept of “people” is simplistic; the vast numbers of individuals in the state are an infinitely complex entity consisting of a vast number of groups and sub-groups. This enormous mass of individuals does not come together and decide anything; that is not what happens, not at all. What happens is that a strategy aimed at finding acceptance with groups of individuals, in some cases possibly fortuitously, works or works better than the strategy of another group.

In the 2008 general elections, the strategy of what was called the Third Front did not work; most individuals did not trust it. In a muddle of strategies, five states fell to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat but not because it had planned to do so. It had, of course, tried to win the Federal Government, but its plans were wide off the mark. When it won 5 states and 82 parliamentary seats it must have been as surprised as anyone else.

On the other hand, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman had a strategy that he had worked on for years since 2003 – to give people the kind of development and security they had been yearning for – and his many victories till 2013 May 5th was no surprise, except perhaps to his opponents, and their surprise was more at the magnitude of his success than at the victory itself. It made their strategies and plans look comic in comparison. Musa Aman is an exception, and a phenomenon confined to Sabah.

At the national level, and in most other States, the structure of democracy is being subjected to forces that may well change it completely over time. To understand that one has, perhaps, to take a step back and look at what the process is about today.  It is not about representing the “people’s” will. It is about control and power.

Our so-called democracy is defined not by the existence of dissent and opposition activity but by the nature of the power wielded. It is monarchical and meant to secure the interests, political and economic, of the ruling group, whichever it is. And this is done by ensuring that power remains with an elite group – preferably the family, but also those who are close to it and share the same backgrounds.

One can see it today in what many refer to as the First Family in the Umno Baru; Dr Mahathir Mohamad is clearly grooming his son, Mukhriz, to be the next Prime Minister. But they are not by any means the only family. Look at the number of sons and daughters and son-in-law now who are inducted into the corridors of power:  Najib Tun Razak, Hishammuddin Tun Hussein Onn, Khairy Jamaluddin, even Mukhriz Mahathir in Kedah who is what he is because he is Dr Mahathir’s son, and a whole host of others whom media naively call the Young Turks. The original Young Turks were not just young; they had come to prominence because of their abilities, not because of who their father or mother or father-in-law was. A number of sons and daughters whom the media naively call Young Turks have been inducted into the corridors of power.

Inevitably, the elements of power are being chivied towards specific families, which will then determine who will stand for elections for their parties, and thus consolidate their own position, securing it for their generation and the generations to follow. Increasingly, their contact with the people has become more and more distant; the people get to be called the “rakyat” who have to be maneuvered by race, religion, money and promises. But this is not a phenomenon confined to the Umno party; it is as much in evidence in the opposition Pakatan Rakyat parties such as the DAP, PKR and PAS. Look at Lim Guan Eng, Nurul Izzah, Karpal’s sons, Ustaz Din Tok Guru the son-in-law of PAS President Ustaz Abdul Hadi Awang, so many more.

And where the factor of unease comes in is in what appears to be an inevitable slide towards oligarchy, where an elite takes over power – political and economic. It is economic, too, of course. All the big corporate giants are busy grooming their sons and daughters to take their place among the power elite; Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary is only one instance of this. Even the much-revered Al Bukhary group is reportedly looking for a Syed to head it once Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary leaves; Vincent Tan has already inducted his son into his Berjaya empire, so has Kuok Brothers, so has Ananda Krishnan.

One can only hope that this is not what we have in store for us, that we do produce some leaders from outside the elite families who, like Musa Aman in Sabah, will lead with clear concepts of development.