Posts Tagged ‘Malaysia’

Yang di-Pertuan Agong consents to Tommy Thomas as the new Attorney General after 10 days delay. Agong also approved the sacking of current Attorney General Mohamad Apandi Ali, the joker who cleared Najib of wrongdoing in 2016, saying some $700 million that landed in Najib’s bank account was a donation from the Saudi royal family and that most of it has been returned.

Anyway, here is a nice little write up of our new AG Tommy Thomas by #thecoverage. Its a good read, here goes….


15 Facts About Tommy Thomas That Every Malaysian Should Know – Tommy Thomas Is The King

“Tommy is the king. He has an unparalleled combination

of skills, knowledge and sense, which enables him to remain a top dog,’ notes one competitor.”
Benchmark Asia-Pacific – Tommy Thomas Website

Tommy Thomas Former Muslim Employee In His Legal Firm Share Her Personal Experience About Him – He Is The Best !

1. Graduate from University of Manchester and London School of Economics 

Tommy Thomas was born in Kuala Lumpur in 1952, and attended Pasar Road English School and Victoria Institution.

He read law at the University of Manchester, graduating in 1973, and became a barrister (Middle Temple) in 1974. He studied International Relations at the London School of Economics, securing an M.Sc. in 1975. He was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1976.

2. Own A Law Firm – Tommy Thomas Advocates & Solicitors

He started his career at Skrine & Co., becoming a partner in 1982. In 2000, he established a  firm, doing litigation matters exclusively, organised along the lines of a barrister’s chambers in England.

Partners: Tommy Thomas, Alan Gomez, Ganesan Nethi Consultant: Sitpah Selvaratnam

3. Thomas Served The Bar Council From 1984

Thomas served in the Bar Council from 1984 to 1988 and from 1993 to 2001. He was elected its Secretary, serving from 1995 to 1997. He was Editor of Insaf, the Bar’s publication from 1985 to 1987. He was a member of the Bar (Disciplinary Proceedings) Review Committee under the Chairmanship of Tun Hussein Onn, and wrote its Report in 1986. Thomas has a keen interest in corporate governance.

4. The United Nations Development Plan (UNDP) Appointed Him As Senior Consultant In 2000

He was a Director of the Malaysian Institute of Corporate Governance from 1995 to 2001. In the wake of the financial and economic crisis that engulfed Malaysia and other Asian countries in 1997, the United Nations Development Plan (UNDP) appointed him as Senior Consultant in 2000 to lead the Corporate Governance Initiative for the countries affected by the crisis. The publication in 2002 of a UNDP Report edited by him identified profligate corporate debt as a principal cause for the crisis.

He is a life member of the Malaysian Economic Association and the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society.

5. Well Known Legal Book Author

In Anything But The Law, Tommy Thomas covers topics as diverse as past general elections, Malaysian icons, the Arab Spring and economics – in fact, anything but the law.

Some readers are aware that he is a lawyer, he notes in an e-mail interview, so he chose a title that would alert them to the fact that this book is about non-legal issues.

It was launched together with Abuse Of Power, which focuses on the law and the Constitution. Both books collect essays he had written over 34 years and that had been published by online portals and by the Malaysian Bar.

6. Ranks Among The Best of Constitutional Law Advocates In Malaysia

Tommy Thomas ranks among the best of constitutional law advocates in Malaysia. Committed, charismatic and vocal, he is without doubt one of nation’s foremost lawyer and thinker, as attested to by his brilliant legal career, the breadth and depth of his dissertations, writings and talks on law, nation, institutional building, financial liberation and globalisation.

7.  More Than 40 Years In Law

As a barrister of more than 40 years standing, Thomas has had the privilege of appearing as counsel in landmark cases in various branches of the law in all the courts of Malaysia, including the Privy Council in London, which was Malaysia’s highest court until 1985. Thomas has had more than 150 reported cases and countless unreported cases. He has been singled out consistently and regularly as one of Malaysia’s leading litigation lawyers by independent international publications such as The Asia Pacific Legal 500, Which Lawyer, Who’s Who Legal (The International Who’s Who of Business Lawyers), Commercial Litigation Lawyers of Asia and Chambers Asia.

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In the corporate field, he has appeared in Company, Liquidation, Receivership and Insolvency matters. In the commercial sphere, he has acted in Banking, Hire Purchase, Contract, Intellectual Property, Sale of Goods, Wills, Trusts and Land Law cases. Thomas has appeared in complex litigation involving bonds and other sophisticated financial instruments. In Public Law, Thomas specialises in constitutional and administrative law cases. He has also been very active in statutory interpretation disputes ranging from petroleum, asset management, securities law and local government.

Thomas has acted in ground-breaking high profile litigation involving two State Governments in relation to their off shore oil and gas claims. He has also acted for two other State Governments in constitutional and judicial review disputes. He has represented regulatory authorities as lead counsel in their complicated civil litigation matters at the apex court. Thomas is regularly consulted by other law firms and appointed senior counsel in their litigation. He often appears as lead counsel for the Malaysian Bar in intricate and controversial cases.


Tommy Thomas, the candidate proposed for Attorney-General (AG), not only has in-depth legal knowledge, “but more importantly, he is a senior lawyer with the utmost integrity, that is crucial for being an AG,” said Hanipa Maidin (pic), who chairs the Legal Bureau of Parti Amanah Negara.

In a letter to Malaysiakini, he said that honestly, he fully supports the proposed candidate, “without any doubt”.

Hanipa recalled his experience with Thomas while handling a contempt of court case filed by Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) against a lady lawyer called Puan Fahdah and the writer/activist Ahmad Lutfi Othman.

Thomas was representing Fahdah and Hanipa was acting for Ahmad Lutfi. They won the case.

“I saw a lawyer who was fantastic (amat hebat) and highly credible (berwibawa),” recounted Hanipa, who is also the MP for Sepang.

9. Chin Peng Lawyer

He once represented Parti Komunis Malaya leader Chin Peng in calling for the government to allow his body to be buried in Sitiawan, Perak.

He pointed out that in his book written in 2016, Thomas had described Chin Peng as one of the great liberation fighters of the second half of the 20th century and a major contributor to Merdeka.

10. Lawyer of for Lim Guan Eng

Press Conference Statement by Chief Minister of Penang Lim Guan Eng Announcing Tommy Thomas As The Penang State Government’s Counsel To Sue The Election Commission And The Federal Government At Gerden Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on 26th Feb 2013.

Thomas is representing Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng in his corruption cases.

11. Lawyer for MH 370 and MH 17

MH 370 Lead counsel Tommy Thomas had argued that the documents, among others, were critical evidence relating to the background and sequence of events for the incident and subsequent search operations. Court orders Malaysia Airlines to hand over documents on MH370 to passengers’ next of kin.

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In court, the family’s lawyer Tommy Thomas submitted that they were concerned that it would be “a paper judgment” if the High Court ruled in favour of the family as MAS would be a shell company because all its assets had been transferred to MAB except the MH370 and MH17 lawsuits.

He said that according to the vesting order gazetted on Nov 6 last year, pursuant to the Malaysian Airline System Berhad (Administration) Act 2015, it appeared that MAS assets such as aircraft, buildings and properties were transferred to MAB and about 1,000 MAS liabilities relating to its trade and business creditors, such as suppliers of catering and maintenance services, were also transferred to MAB.

Thomas said none of the 500 MH370 and MH17 passengers’ families’ claims were transferred.

He said there were a total of 27 lawsuits filed by families of passengers on board the MH370 flight pending at the Kuala Lumpur High Court and litigation pending in the courts in the United States, China and Australia.

12. Believes The “Allah” Decision is Wrong in Constitutional Law

The sustained public attack on last week’s decision of the Court of Appeal in prohibiting the Catholic Church from using the word “Allah” in their internal publication, the Herald, is absolutely unprecedented, even in a nation very used to bad court decisions. From a constitutional perspective, the three judgments are poorly reasoned, the law misread and conclusions reached which will baffle any right-thinking student anywhere in the common law. The decision is not just wrong, it is horribly wrong, and will represent a terrible blot on our legal landscape, unless overturned quickly by the apex court, the Federal Court. Regrettably, what follows may seem unduly legalistic, but it cannot be avoided in a critique of a court decision. – Tommy Thomas 

13. Believes Malaysia Is A Secular State

“UMNO wishes to state loudly that Malaysia is an Islamic country. This is based on the opinion of ulamaks who had clarified what constituted as Islamic country. If Malaysia is not an Islamic country because it does not implement the hudud, then there are no Islamic countries in the world.

If UMNO says that Malaysia is an Islamic country, it is because in an Islamic country non-Muslims have specific rights. This is in line with the teachings of Islam. There is no compulsion in Islam. And Islam does not like chaos that may come about if Islamic laws are enforced on non-Muslims. – Tommy Thomas

14. Believes Sultan and Agong Does Not Have A Free Hand” In The Selection of the Menteri Besar and Prime Minister

He explained that as a constitutional ruler, the Sultan of Selangor “does not have a free hand” in the selection of the menteri besar, citing Articles 51 and 53 of the state constitution.

Article 51(2) states that the candidate “must be of the Malay Race and profess the Muslim Religion” while Article 53(4) provides that His Highness may in his discretion dispense with provisions in the Constitution like Article 51 (2) which restricts his choice.

“Obviously, the menteri besar of any state must be a citizen of Malaysia but in Selangor there are no residential qualifications. Thus, he or she need not be born in Selangor nor have a permanent residence in the state,” Thomas told The Malaysian Insider today.

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He also quoted Article 53(2)(a) which states that the Sultan can only appoint a person as menteri besar if that person is a member of the state legislative assembly and who, in his judgement, is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the assembly.

“The Federal Constitution and all the State Constitutions have identical provisions to Selangor’s Article 53(2).

“They are all modelled on Westminster constitutions with the standard words ‘commanding the confidence of the majority’ of parliamentarians,” he added.

Since the country achieved its independence in 1957, the political party (or coalition) that gains the most number of seats in general elections always selected its own leader, Thomas noted.

“So, in every case where there has been a vacancy in the office of the prime minister, whether caused by resignation or death, the acting leader of UMNO or Barisan Nasional was appointed the PM.

“Similarly, after each of the 13 general elections, the King had no discretion in such appointments. It is the same in the case of all the states. If there were exceptions in some states, the MBs were appointed without regard to constitutional niceties,” Thomas said. – Tommy Thomas

15. Quotes About Tommy Thomas

“Many Malaysian writers pull their punches or shade the truth about life in Malaysia. Just as many commentators eschew research to back up their opinions….Prominent lawyer and social commentator Tommy Thomas does not fall into either category….The book is a compilation of 32 essays and commentaries over the years, written with courage and clarity. There is his take on polarized and fractured Malaysia; a compassionate portrait of communist leader Chin Peng and the unconstitutional basis of Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s declaration that Malaysia is an Islamic state…” – Brendan Pereira, Former Editor of The New Straits Times

““Tommy Thomas is undoubtedly one of the country’s foremost lawyers and thinkers as attested to by his brilliant legal career and by the breadth and depth of his writings and speeches not only on law but also on nation & institutional building as well as on financial liberalization and globalization, as is readily evident from this collection.

His forays into the political economy issues of the day such as the global financial crisis show how wide is his interest, how well he is read and what a good grasp he has of subjects very different from his field of specialization.

This collection is a must read not only for the specialists in law and the social sciences who have an abiding interest in developments in Malaysia and the Region but also for the concerned citizen who wants a better appreciation of the happenings around them.” – Dr R. Thillainathan, Past President of the Malaysian Economic Association

“Widely regarded as one of the top lawyers in the country.”- Chambers Asia Pacific

“He will be the cream at the top, strategic, clever,” says a peer. “We appear together often and I think highly of him.” – Benchmark Asia-Pacific

“Tommy Thomas has an excellent reputation based on success in some of Malaysia’s most significant court cases in recent years.”- The Legal 500

“Tommy is the king. He has an unparalleled combination of skills, knowledge and sense, which enables him to remain a top dog,’ notes one competitor.”- Benchmark Asia-Pacific


(MMO) – Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown asserted that murdered Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor, Kevin Morais, was the man who leaked the information about the Attorney-General Chamber’s (AGC) investigation over misappropriation at former 1MDB subsidiary SRC International.

Rewcastle-Brown told Malay Mail in an interview that “several credible sources” told her it was Morais who fed her the information about the investigation and leaked what was allegedly a charge sheet against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“I believe it was Kevin Morais,” the London-based Sarawak Report editor said when asked how she had acquired the highly confidential information.

“I checked with several credible sources and… I believed it was Morais,” she added.

Three years ago Morais’ brother, Charles, issued a statutory declaration alleging his brother was responsible for drafting the charge sheets against Najib and that he had then sent copies of those charge sheets to Sarawak Report.

The papers were reportedly sent the day after Najib removed then Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and several members of his government in what was seen as an attempt to pre-empt his purported arrest.

Charles Morais told reporters that he did not believe for a moment that the motive for kidnapping and strangling his brother was that he was acting as the prosecutor in a separate bribery case, for which several men face trial.

The following is the full list of candidates for the 222 parliamentary seats for the May 9 polls #GE14


  • BN: Zahidi Zainul Abidin
  • PH: Izizam Ibrahim
  • GS: Mokhtar Senik


  • BN: Ramli Shariff
  • PH: Noor Amin Ahmad
  • GS: Mohamad Zahid Ibrahim


  • BN: Shahidan Kassim (BN)
  • PH: Dr Abdul Rahman (PH)
  • GS: Hashim Jasin (GS)


  • BN: Nawawi Ahmad
  • PH: Dr Mahathir Mohamad (PH)
  • GS: Zubir Ahmad (GS)


  • BN: Othman Aziz
  • PH: Mukhriz Mahathir (PH)
  • GS: Abd Ghani Ahmad (GS)


  • BN: Mohd Johari Bahrum (BN)
  • PH: Amiruddin Hamzah (PH)
  • GS: Norhafiza Fadzil (GS)


  • BN: Mahdzir Khalid (BN)
  • PH: Khairizal Khazali (PH)
  • GS: Mohd Azam Abd Aziz (GS)


  • BN: Said Ali Syed Rastan (BN)
  • PH: Mahfuz Omar (PH)
  • GS: Radhi Mat Din (GS)


  • BN: Yoo Wei How
  • PH: Chan Ming Kai (PH)
  • GS: Aminur Safiq Abduh (GS)


  • BN: Abdullah Hasnan Kamaruddin
  • PH: Dr Azman Ismail (PH)
  • GS: Muhd Riduan Othman (GS)


  • BN: Othman Abdul (BN)
  • PH: Wan Saiful Wan Jan (PH)
  • GS: Awang Solahudin (GS)


  • BN: Jamil Khir Baharom (BN)
  • PH: Akramsyah Muammar Ubaidah Sanusi (PH)
  • GS: Mohd Sabri Azit (GS)

P013 SIK

  • BN: Mansor Abd Rahman (BN)
  • PH: Azli Uda (PH)
  • GS: Ahmad Tarmizi Sulaiman(GS)


  • BN: Tajul Urus Mat Zain (BN)
  • PH: Nor Azrina Surip @ Nurin Aina Abdullah (PH)
  • GS: Ahmad Fauzi Ramli (GS)


  • BN: Shahanim Mohd Yusoff (BN)
  • PH: Johari Abdul (PH)
  • GS: Shahril Long (GS)


  • BN: Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN)
  • PH: Mohd Taufik Yaacob (PH)
  • GS: Hassan Saad (GS)


  • BN: Dr Leong Yong Kong (BN)
  • PH: Karupaiyyah Muthusamy (PH)
  • GS: Muhd Sobri Osman (GS)


  • BN: Abd Aziz Syeikh Fadzir (BN)
  • PH: Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (PH)
  • GS: Abdul Raman Abdul Razak (Pas)


  • PH: Nordin Salleh (PH)
  • BN: Wan Johani Wan Hussin (BN)
  • GS: Che Abdullah Mat Nawi (GS)


  • PH: Mohd Ibrahim (PH)
  • BN: Zaluzi Sulaiman (BN)
  • GS: Ahmad Marzuk Shaari (PAS)


  • PH: Husam Musa (PH)
  • BN: Fikhran Hamshi Mohd Fatmi (BN)
  • GS: Takiyuddin Hassan (PAS)


  • PH: Che Ujang Bin Che Daud (PH)
  • BN: Nor Azmawi Abd Rahman (BN)
  • GS: Ahmad Fadhli Shaari (PAS)
  • IND: Ibrahim Ali (IND)


  • PH: Dr Wan Shah Jihan Wan Din (PH)
  • BN: Abdullah Mat Yasim (BN)
  • GS: Siti Zailah Mohd Yusoff (PAS)


  • PH: Dr Abd Halim Yusof (PH)
  • BN: Muhammad Bin Abdul Ghani (BN)
  • GS: Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man (PAS)


  • PH: Zulkifli Zakaria (PH)
  • BN: Awang Adek Hussin (BN)
  • GS: Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat (PAS)


  • PH: Dr Mohd Radzi Jidin (PH)
  • BN: Annuar Bin Musa (BN)
  • GS: Wan Ismail Wan Jusoh (PAS)


  • PH: Dr Muhd Fauzi Zakaria (PH)
  • BN: Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (BN)
  • GS: Dr Johari Mat (PAS)


  • PH: Kamaruddin Md Nor (PH)
  • BN:Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki (BN)
  • GS: Datuk Dr Nik Zawawi Zaina (PAS)


  • PH: Sazmi Miah (PH)
  • BN: Ahmad Jazlan Yaakub (BN)
  • GS: Zulkifli Mamat (PAS)


  • PH: Azran Deraman (PH)
  • BN: Mustapa Mohamed (BN)
  • GS: Mohamad Hamid (PAS)


  • PH: Dr Mohd Yazid Abdullah (PH)
  • BN: Ramzi Abd Rahman (BN)
  • GS: Abd Latiff Abd Rahman (PAS)


  • PH: Mohd Nor Hussin (PH)
  • BN: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (BN)
  • GS: Abdullah Hussein (PAS)


  • PH: Wan Nazari Wan Jusoh (PH)
  • BN: Idris Jusoh (BN)
  • GS: Dr Riduan Mohd Nor (PAS)


  • PH: Dr Mohd Faudzi Musa (PH)
  • BN: Mohd Jidin Shafee (BN)
  • GS: Shaharizukirnain Abd Kadir (PAS)


  • PH: Abdullah Muhamad (PH)
  • BN: Dr Tengku Asmadi Mohamad (BN)
  • PAS: Dr Khairuddin Aman Razali (PAS)


  • PH: Raja Kamarul Bahrin Shah (PH)
  • BN: Wan Nawawi Wan Ismail (BN)
  • GS: Ahmad Amzad Mohd @ Hashim (PAS)


  • PH: Zarawi Sulong (PH)
  • BN: Mohd Noor Endut (BN)
  • GS: Abdul Hadi Awang (PAS)


  • PH: Razali Idris (PH)
  • BN: Rosol Wahid (BN)
  • GS: Muhyiddin Abd Rashid (PAS)


  • PH: Abd Rahman Yusof (PH)
  • BN: Din Adam (BN)
  • GS: Wan Hassan Mohd Ramli (PAS)


  • PH: Mohd Huzaifah Suhaimi (PH)
  • BN: Ahmad Shabery Cheek (BN)
  • GS: Che Alias Hamid (PAS)


  • BN: Reezal Merican Naina Merican (BN)
  • PH: Dr Zaidi Zakaria (PH)
  • GS: Siti Mastura Mohamad (GS)


  • BN: Shabudin Yahaya (BN)
  • PH: Marzuki Yahya (PH)
  • GS: Rizal Hafiz Ruslan (GS)
  • PSM: Azman Shah Othman (PSM)


  • BN: Lee Beng Seng (BN)
  • PH: Lim Guan Eng (PH)
  • GS: Huan Cheng Guan (Pcm)
  • MU: Koay Xing Boon (MU)


  • BN: Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said (BN)
  • PH: Nurul Izzah Anwar (PH)
  • GS: Afnan Hamimi Taib Azamudden (GS)


  • BN: Gui Guat Lye (BN)
  • PH: Sim Chee Keong (PH)


  • BN: B Jayanthi Devi (BN)
  • PH: P Kasturiraani (PH)
  • GS: B Jay Kumar (GS)
  • PFP: Ooi Khar Giap (PFP)


  • BN: Shaik Hussein Mydin (BN)
  • PH: Mansor Othman (PH)
  • GS: Mohd Hilmi Haron (GS)
  • IND: Tan Tee Beng (IND)


  • BN: Andy Yong Kim Seng (BN)
  • PH: Wong Hon Wai (PH)
  • IND: Tan Gim Theam (MU)


  • BN: Ng Siew Lai (BN)
  • PH: Chow Kon Yeow (PH)


  • BN: Baljit Singh (BN)
  • PH: Rsn Rayer (PH)


  • BN: Low Joo Hiap (BN)
  • PH: Ramkarpal Singh (PH)
  • MU: Lai Xue Ching (MU)


  • BN: Chuah Seng Guan
  • PH: Sim Tze Tzin
  • GS: Izuree Ibrahim
  • MU: Yim Boon Leong


  • BN: Dr Hilmi Yahaya
  • PH: Muhd Bakhtiar Wan Chik
  • GS: Imran Saad


  • PH: Hasbullah Osman
  • BN: Ibrahim Mohd Hanafiah
  • GS: Mohd Dahlan Ismail


  • PH: Dr Shamsul Anuar Nasarah
  • BN: Amirul Fairuzzeen Jamaluddin
  • GS: Muhammad Mujahid Mohammad Fadzil


  • PH: Hamzah Zainudin
  • BN: Khairil Anuar Akhiruddin
  • GS: Abu Husin Mohamad


  • PH: Dr Mujahid Yusof Rawa
  • BN: Abdul Puhat Mat Nayan
  • GS: Ahmad Azhar Sharin


  • PH: Adam Asmuni
  • BN: Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali
  • GS: Rohaya Bakar


  • PH: Datuk Khadri Khalid
  • BN: Syed Abuhussin
  • GS: Idris Ahmad


  • PH: Teh Kok Lim
  • BN: Tan Keng Liang
  • GS: Ibrahim Ismail


  • PH:  Ejazi Yahaya
  • BN: Mohamed Nazri Abd Aziz
  • GS: Mohd Azalan Mohd Radzi


  • PH: S Kesavan
  • BN: S Devamany
  • GS: Ishak Ibrahim
  • PSM: Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj


  • PH:  Ahmad Faizal Azumu
  • BN: Ahmad Husni Mohd Hanadzlah
  • GS: Muhd Zulkifli Mohd Zakaria


  • PH:  Wong Kah Woh
  • BN: Kathleen Wong Mei Yin


  • PH:  M Kulasegaran
  • BN: Dr Cheng Wei Yee


  • PH:  V Sivakumar
  • BN: Leong Chee Wai
  • PSM: K Kunasekaran


  • PH:  Ahmad Termizi Ramli
  • BN: Mastura Mohd Yazid
  • GS: Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah


  • PH: Ngeh Koo Ham
  • BN: Pang Chok King
  • GS:  Mohamad Nazeer M K M Hameed


  • PH: Ahmad Tarmizi Mohd Jam
  • BN: Mohd Nizar Zakaria
  • GS: Dr Najihatussalehah Ahmad


  • PH: Thomas Su Keong Siong
  • BN: Lee Chee Leong
  • GS: Yougan Mahalingam


  • PH: Lee Boon Chye
  • BN: Heng Seai Kie
  • GS: Ismail Ariffin


  • PH: Mohd Azni Mohd Ali
  • BN: M Saravanan
  • GS: Nor Azli Musa


  • PH: Salihuddin Radin Sumadi
  • BN: Tajuddin Abdul Rahman
  • GS: Zafarul Azhan Zan


  • PH: Dr Mohd Hatta Mohd Ramli
  • BN: Dr Zambry Abd Kadir
  • GS: Mohd Zamri Ibrahim


  • PH: Pakhrurrazi Arshad
  • BN: Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
  • GS: Abdul Munim Hasan Adli


  • PH: Nga Kor Ming
  • BN: Mah Siew Keong
  • GS: Ahmad Ramadzan Ahmad Daud


  • PH: Teja Chang Lih Kang
  • BN: Dr Mah Hang Soon
  • GS: Mohd Tarmizi Abd Rahman

P078: Cameron Highlands

  • PH: Manogaran Marimuthu
  • BN: Sivaraajh Chandran
  • GS: Mohd Tahir Kassim
  • PSM: Suresh Kumar
  • IND: Wan Mahadir Wan Mahmud


  • PH: Badarudin Abd Rahaman
  • BN: Abdul Rahman Mohamad
  • GS: Sobirin Duli

P080: RAUB

  • PH: Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji
  • BN:Chew Mei Fun
  • GS:Mohamed Nilam Abd Manap


  • PH: Wan Mohd Shahrir Abd Jalil
  • BN: Ahmad Nazlan Idris
  • GS: Yohanis Ahmad


  • PH: Saifuddin Abdullah
  • BN: Johan Mat Sah
  • GS: Nasrudin Hassan


  • PH: Fuziah Salleh
  • BN:Andrew Wong Kean Hwee
  • GS:Sulaiman Mat Derus


  • PH:  Ashraf Mustaqim Badrul Munir
  • BN:Mohd Shahar Abdullah
  • GS: Mohd Azhar Mohd Noor


  • PH: Zahid Md Arip
  • BN: Najib Abdul Razak
  • GS: Ahiatudin Daud
  • IND: Abd Kadir Sainudin


  • PH: Ahmad Farid Nordin
  • BN: Ismail Abd Muttalib
  • GS: Hasenan Haron


  • PH: Mohd Rafidee Hassim
  • BN: Ismail Mohd Said
  • GS: Kamal Ashaari


  • PH: Anuar Tahir
  • BN: Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin
  • GS: Mohd Jusoh Darus
  • IND: Mohd Khaidir Ahmad
  • IND: Muhamad Fakhrudin Abu Hanipah


  • PH: Wong Tack
  • BN: Liow Tiong Lai
  • GS: N Balasubramaniam

P090: BERA

  • PH: Zakaria Abd Hamid
  • BN: Ismail Sabri Yaakob
  • GS: Musanif Abd Rahman


  • PH: Sitarunisah Abd Kadir
  • BN: Hasan Ariffin
  • GS: Mohd Shahrul Nizam Abd Haliff


  • PH: Kalam Salan
  • BN: Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh
  • GS: Muhd Labib Abd Jalil


  • PH: Mohd Ashyraf Basri
  • BN: Budiman Mohd Zohdi
  • GS: Muhd Salleh Mohd Hussein


  • PH: Leow Hsiad Hui
  • BN: P Kamalanathan
  • GS: Wan Mat Sulaiman
  • IND: S Kumar


  • PH: Zulkafperi Hanapi
  • BN: Noh Omar
  • GS: Nor Az Azlan Ahmad


  • PH: Dzulkefly Ahmad
  • BN: Dr Irmohizam Ibrahim
  • GS: Muhd Rashid Muhd Kassim


  • PH: William Leong
  • BN: Kang Meng Fuat
  • GS: Hashim Abd Karim


  • PH: Mohd Azmin Ali
  • BN: Abd Rahim Pandak Kamaruddin
  • GS: Khairil Nizam Hirudin


  • PH: Zuraidah Kamaruddin
  • BN: Leong Kim Soon
  • GS: Nurul Islam Mohd Yusoff
  • PRM: Tan Hua Meng


  • PH: Wan Azizah Wan Ismail
  • BN: Leong Kok Wee
  • GS: Mohd Sukri Omar


  • PH: Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus
  • BN: Azman Ahmad
  • GS: Dr Che Rosli Che Mat


  • PH: Ong Kian Ming
  • BN: Liew Yuen Keong
  • GS:  Mohd Shafie Ngah
  • IND: Wan Jinn Woei


  • PH: Gobind Singh Deo
  • BN: Ang Chin Tat
  • GS: Mohd Rosarizan Mohd Roslan


  • PH: Wong Chen
  • BN: Tan Seong Lim
  • GS: Mohd Shahir Mohd Adnan
  • IND: Toh Sin Wah


  • PH: Maria Chin Abdullah
  • BN: Chew Hian Tat
  • GS: Noraini Hussin


  • PH: Tony Pua
  • BN: Ho Kwok Xheng
  • PRM: Wong Mun Kheong


  • PH: Sivarasa Rasiah
  • BN: A Prakash Rao
  • GS: Nuridah Mohd Salleh
  • PSM: Zainurrizzaman Mohram


  • PH: Khalid Abd Samad
  • BN: Azhari Saari
  • GS: Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki


  • PH: Abdullah Sani
  • BN: M Mohana
  • GS: Dr Abd Rani Osman
  • PRM: S Manikavasagam


  • PH: Charles Santiago
  • BN: Ching Eu Boon
  • GS: Khairulshah Kotapan Abdullah
  • IND: G Puvanderan


  • PH: Mohamad Sabu
  • BN: V Gunalan
  • GS: Mohd Diah Baharun


  • PH: Dr Xavier Jayakumar
  • BN: Shahril Sufian Hamdan
  • GS: Dr Yahya Baba


  • PH: Mohd Hanipa Maidin
  • BN: Marsum Paing
  • GS: Sabirin Marsono


  • PH: Lim Lip Eng
  • BN: Ong Siang Liang

P115: BATU

  • BN: Dominic Lau
  • GS: Azhar Yahya
  • IND: Prabakaran Parameswaran
  • IND: V M Panjamothy


  • PH: Dr Tan Yee Kew
  • BN: Yeow Teong Look
  • GS: Razali Tumirin


  • PH: Hannah Yeoh
  • BN: Dr Loga Bala Mohan
  • GS: Muhd Soleh Razak


  • PH: Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad
  • BN: Zulhasnan Rafique
  • GS: Ubaid Abdul Akla


  • PH: Rina Harun
  • BN: Johari Abd Ghani
  • GS: Mohd Noor Mohd


  • PH: Fong Kui Lin
  • BN: Anne Tan Ean Ean
  • PFP: Khairul Husni Othman


  • PH: Ahmad Fahmi Mohd Fadzil
  • BN: Raja Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin
  • GS: Fauzi Abu Bakar


  • PH: Teresa Kok Suh Sim
  • BN: Chan Quin Er


  • PH: Tan Kok Wai
  • BN: Heng Sinn Yee


  • PH: Kamarudin Jaafar
  • BN: Adnan Abu Seman
  • GS: Dr Rosni Adam


  • PH: Samsu Adabi Mamat
  • BN: Tengku Adnan Mansor
  • GS: Zainal Abidin Kidam


  • PH: Mustafar Abd Kadir
  • BN: Jalaluddin Alias
  • GS: Norman Ipin


  • PH: Kamarulzaman Kamdias
  • BN: Mohd Salim Sharif
  • GS: Mustaffa Daharun


  • PH: Loke Siew Fook
  • BN: Chong Sin Woon
  • GS: Sharifuddin Ahmad


  • PH: Eddin Syazlee Shith
  • BN: Hasan Malek
  • GS: Rafiei Mustapha


  • PH: Cha Kee Chin
  • BN: Ng Kian Nam
  • GS: Mohd Khairil Anuar Mohd Wafa
  • PAP: A David Dass


  • PH: Roseli Abd Ghani
  • BN: Ng Kian Nam
  • GS: Mustafa Dolah


  • PH: Rosman Jonet
  • BN: V S Mogan
  • GS: Mahfuz Roslan


  • PH: Hasan Baharom
  • BN: Shaziman Abu Mansor
  • GS: Abd Halim Abu Bakar


  • PH: Sabirin Ja’afar
  • BN: Wong Nai Chee
  • GS: Mohd Nasir Othman


  • PH: Mohd Redzuan Yusof
  • BN: Mas Ermieyati Samsudin


  • PH: Rusnah Aluai
  • BN: Zali Mat Yassin
  • GS: Mohd Nazree Mohd Aris


  • PH: Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akim
  • BN: Mohd Ali Rustam


  • PH: Khoo Poay Tiong
  • BN: Choo Wei Sern


  • PH: Khairuddin Abu Hassan
  • BN: Ahmad Hamzah


  • PH: R Santhara Kumar
    BN: Subramaniam Sathasivam
    GS: Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil


  • PH: Natrah Ismail
  • BN: Ayub Rahmat


  • PH: Pang Hok Liong
  • BN: Chua Tee Yong
  • GS: Sarchu Awal


  • PH: Muhyiddin Yasin
  • BN: Ismail Mohamed
  • GS: Ahmad Nawfal Mahfodz


  • PH: Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh
  • BN: Hamim Samuri
  • GS: Rusman Kemin


  • PH: Yeo Bee Yin
  • BN: Koh Chon Chai
  • GS: Mohammad Zahrul Salleh

P146: MUAR

  • PH: Syed Saddiq Syed Abd Rahman
  • BN: Razali Ibrahim
  • GS: Abdul Aziz Talib


  • PH: Anis Afida Mohd Azli
  • BN: Noraini Ahmad
  • GS: Ahmad Rosdi Bahari


  • PH: Liew Chin Tong
  • BN: Wee Ka Siong
  • GS: Mardi Marwan


  • PH: Dr Shahruddin Md Salleh
  • BN: Abdul Aziz Kaprawi
  • GS: M Ashari Sidon


  • PH: Mohd Rashid Hasnon
  • BN: Halizah Abdullah
  • GS: Dr Mahfodz Mohamed


  • PH: Maszlee Malik
  • BN: Liang Teck Meng
  • GS: Mohd Jubri Selamat


  • PH: Wong Shu Qi
  • BN: Gan Peng Siew
  • GS: Muhammad Hasbullah Md Najib


  • PH: Onn Abu Bakar
  • BN: Hishammuddin Hussein


  • PH: Nasir Hashim
  • BN: Abdul Latiff Ahmad
  • GS: A Rahman A Hamid


  • PH: Norjepri Mohamed Jelani
  • BN: Adham Baba
  • GS: Yuhanita Yunan


  • PH: Azlinda Abd Latif
  • BN: Halimah Sadique


  • PH: Norliza Ngadiman
  • BN: Azalina Othman Said


  • PH: Choong Shiau Yoon
  • BN: Hou Kok  Chung
  • GS: Abdullah Husin


  • PH: Hassan Abdul Karim
  • BN: Mohd Khaled Nordin
  • GS: Ab Aziz Abdullah


  • PH: Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir
  • BN: Shahrir Samad


  • PH: Salahuddin Ayub
  • BN: Jazlan Mohamed
  • GS: Dr Mohd Mazri Yahya


  • PH: Lim Kit Siang
  • BN: Jason Teoh Sew Hock


  • PH: Teo Nie Ching
  • BN: Tang Nai Soon
  • GS: Juwahir Amin


  • PH: Karmaine Sardini
  • BN: Ahmad Maslan
  • GS: Dr Baharom Mohamad


  • PH: Dr Md Farid Md Rafik
  • BN: Wee Jeck Seng
  • GS: Nordin Othman


  • WARISAN: Noor Halim Zaini
  • BN: Rozman Isli
  • GS: Ahmad Junid @ Jinit Mohd Alias
  • PHR: Siti Zaleha S W Ibrahim


  • WARISAN: Sharif Azman Sharif Along
  • BN: Abdul Rahim Bakri
  • PPRS: Mohd Ashraf Chin Abdullah


  • WARISAN: Barlus Manggabis
  • BN: Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili
  • PHR: Datuk Maijol Mahap
  • PCS: Paul Porodong


  • WARISAN: Munirah Majlis
  • BN: Dr Mohd Salleh Said Keruak
  • GS: Laiman Ikin
  • PHR: Miasan@Aimaduddin Mion


  • PKR: Chrisnadia Sinam
  • BN: Wilfred Madius Tangau
  • GS: Mohd Aminuddin Aling
  • PHR: Syra Peter@P Gom
  • PCS: Datuk Kalakau Untol


  • WARISAN: Mohd Azis Jamman
  • BN: Abd Rahman Dahlan
  • SAPP: Jeffrey Kumin


  • DAP: Chan Foong Hin
  • BN: Joseph Lee Han Kyun




  • WARISAN: Ignatius Darell Leiking
  • BN: Caesar Mandela Malakun
  • STAR: Cleftus Stephen Spine
  • ANAK NEGERI: Edwin Bosi


  • WARISAN: Ahmad Hassan
  • BN: Rosnah Abd Rashid Shirlin
  • STAR: Jamil William Core


  • WARISAN: Datuk Karim Bujang
  • BN: Anifah Aman
  • PHR: Jaafar Ismail


  • PKR: Johan @ Christopher Ot Ghani
  • BN: Azizah Mohd Dun Umno
  • PHR: Lajim Ukin


  • WARISAN: Noor Hayati Mustapha
  • BN: Yamani Hafiz Musa
  • PHR: Dayang Aezzy Liman


  • PKR: Jonathan Yasin
  • BN: Dr Ewon Ebin
  • STAR: Soudi @ Sami Andang
  • PCS: Andau Yasun


  • WARISAN: Jake Nointin
  • BN: Joseph Pairin Kitingan
  • STAR: Dr Jeffrey Kitingan
  • PCS: Jius Awang


  • DAP: Norita Sual
  • BN: Rubin Balang
  • PHR: Laimoi @ Yuslinah Laikim


  • PKR: Raymond Ahuar
  • PBRS: Arthur Joseph Kurup
  • STAR: Joh Jimmy
  • PCS: Maidin Atak
  • IND: Engah Sintan


  • WARISAN: Jaafar Zairun
  • BN: Ronald Kiandee
  • PHR: Sipin Kadandi
  • PERPADUAN: Toidy Luit


  • WARISAN: Irwanshah Mustapha
  • BN: Zakaria Bin Haji Mohd Edris @ Tubau
  • PHRS: Afian Mansyur


  • WARISAN: Liew Vui Keong
  • BN: Linda Tsen Thau Lin
  • GS: Norsah Bongsu
  • AMANAH: Hamza Abdullah


  • DAP: Wong Tien Fatt
  • BN: Lim Ming Ho


  • WARISAN: Ghazali Abdul Ghani
  • BN: Bung Moktar Radin
  • PHR: Mustapa Datu Tambuyong


  • WARISAN: Mohammad Din Ketapi
  • BN: Datu Nasrun Bin Datu Mansur
  • GS: Ramli Pataruddin
  • PHR: Siti Shazianti Ajak


  • WARISAN: Shafie Apdal
  • BN: Haji Ramlee Marahaban
  • GS: Abdul Nasir Ab Raup
  • PHR: Asmara Asmad


  • PKR: Christina Liew Chin Jin
  • BN: Dr Mary Yap Kain Ching
  • GS: Mohd Husain
  • PHR: Alizaman Jijurahman


  • WARISAN: Ma’mun Sulaiman
  • BN: Haji Abdul Ghapur Salleh
  • GS: Norbin Aloh
  • PPRS: Ahmad Lahama


  • DAP: Madi Bimol
  • BN: Nogeh Anak Gumbek


  • AMANAH: Mohamad Fidzuan Zaidi
  • BN: Wan Junaidi Bintuanku Jaafar


  • PKR: Nor Irwan Ahmat Nor
  • BN: Fadillah Bin Yusof
  • GS: Hamdan Sani


  • DAP: Dr Kelvin Yii
  • BN: Kho Teck Wan


  • DAP: Chong Chieng Jen
  • BN: Sim Kui Hian


  • AMANAH: Sopian Julaihi
  • BN: Rubiah Wang
  • GS: Zulkipli Ramzi


  • PKR: Willie Mongin
  • BN: Genot Anak Sinel @ Jeannoth Sinel
  • STAR: Buln Anak Patrick Ribos


  • DAP: Edward Andrew Luwak
  • BN: Richard Riot Anak Jaem
  • IND: Senior Anak William Rade


  • AMANAH: Othman Mustapha @ Mos
  • BN: Nancy Binti Shukri
  • GS: Asan Singkro


  • AMANAH: Narudin Mentali
  • BN: Rohani Binti Abdul Karim
  • GS: Wan Abdillah Wan Ahmad


  • PKR: Norina Utot
  • BN: Masir Anak Kujat
  • PBDSB: Cobbold Anak Lusoi Pbdsb


  • PKR: Nicholas Bawin
  • PRS: Robert Pasang Anak Alam
  • IND: Jugah Anak Muyang


  • PKR: Noel Bucking
  • BN: Robert Lawson Chuat
  • IND: Abang Ahmad Abang Suni


  • PKR: Ali Biju
  • BN: Subeng Mulia


  • AMANAH: Mohd Fadillah Sabali
  • BN: Yusuf Bin Abd Wahab

P207: IGAN

  • AMANAH: Andri Zulkarnaen Hamdan
  • BN: Ahmad Johnie Bin Zawawi


  • DAP: Wong Lin Biu
  • BN: Huang Tiong Sii
  • PBK: Wong Chin King


  • BN: Joseph Salang Anak Gandum
  • IND: Larry Soon Wei Shien


  • AMANAH: Satu Anchom
  • BN: Aaron Ago Dagang


  • DAP: Alice Lau
  • BN: Kong Sien Chiu @ Kelvin Kong
  • PEACE: Priscilla Lau

P212: SIBU

  • DAP: Oscar Ling
  • BN: Wong Kee Yew@Andrew Wong
  • PEACE: Tiew Yew Huong
  • STAR: Tiong Ing Tung


  • PKR: Abdul Jalil Bujang
  • BN: Hanifah Hajar Taib


  • PKR: Baru Bian
  • BN: Rita Sarimah Anak Patick Insol


  • DAP: Paren Nyaw
  • BN: Alexander Nanta Linggi


  • PKR: Abun Sui Anyit
  • BN: Ugak Anak Kumbong@Wilson Ugak


  • DAP: Tony Chan Yew Chiew
  • BN: Tiong King Sing
  • STAR: Chieng Lea Phing


  • PKR: Jemat Panjang
  • BN: Lukanisman Bin Awang Sauni
  • GS: Zulaihi Bakar

P219: MIRI

  • PKR: Dr Michael Teo
  • BN: Sebastian Ting Chiew Yew


  • PKR: Roland Egan
  • BN: Anyi Ngau


  • PKR: Dr Ricardo Baba
  • BN: Hasbi Bin Habibollah


  • PKR: Danny Piri
  • BN: Henry Sum Agong
  • IND: Mohamad Brahim


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The skeletons are still tumbling out. It has become clear that Facebook is now one of the biggest threats to the western liberal democracy. This is the message from the latest scandal that the company, along with data analysis firm Cambridge Analytica, finds itself embroiled in. The story is still linked to Russia meddling in the US presidential election that saw Donald Trump racing ahead of Hillary Clinton. But around two years after the talk of this meddling started, the contours of the whole operation are coming into sharper focus. And it is in this big picture we meet Cambridge Analytica.

A lot has been said about how Cambridge Analytica worked with the Trump camp to target US voters and how it got data to build psychological profiles of voters from Facebook, so I am going to keep it short. But here is the takeaway: the data that Facebook has on people, and the way this data can be used to build very detailed profiles of people — including their socio-economic conditions, their orientation, their fears, their desires and their political leanings — give companies like Facebook or whoever uses this data an unprecedented leeway. It gives people, companies and organisations that have this data the ability to impact elections in very direct and nefarious ways.

The scandal involving Facebook and Cambridge Analytica angered regulators and lawmakers in the US and Europe. In the US, senators are leading fresh inquiries into just how much Facebook, which probably knows its users better than the users themselves, is responsible for the US presidential debacle.

fb-690_032018060558.jpg It gives people, companies and organisations that have this data the ability to impact elections in very direct and nefarious ways. Photo: AP

The regulators in the UK are probing Cambridge Analytica and its role in BREXIT vote, in which against all expectations “leave” triumphed over “remain”. The European regulators are taking a fresh look at whether Facebook violated the EU privacy laws or not by allowing its data to be used by Cambridge Analytica.

There are calls to regulate Facebook and streamline its privacy policies. There are calls to force Mark Zuckerberg, one of the most powerful persons in the world right now given how much private data his company has on nearly two billion people, to testify in senate hearings.

But even as the rest of the democratic world takes a look at the threat Facebook is posing to the functional democracy, in Malaysia there is no talk on this matter. The Election Commission is either turning a blind eye to it or is probably woefully ignorant about the ways in which foreign countries can use Facebook to influence elections in Malaysia. It’s not unthinkable. Russians allegedly used Facebook to influence the US elections. There are signs that BREXIT too was a vote that was influenced with social media campaigns.

In fact, Cambridge Analytica has said on record that it has worked with political parties for elections in Malaysia. CA Political Global managing director Mark Turnbull had revealed to an undercover Channel 4 reporter that the firm did work in Malaysia. On its website, CA says it “supported BN in Kedah state with a targeted messaging campaign highlighting their school improvements since 2008”. BN took back Kedah from the opposition in GE13, winning 21 out of 36 state seats, and 10 out of 15 parliamentary seats.

It reportedly worked with the Barisan National, with help of its Malaysian partner in Kedah in the 2013 GE13 and got a success rate of 90 per cent on the seats for which it provided inputs.

Yet, in Malaysia, the Election Commission is not looking at how Facebook, or for that matter social media and tools like WhatsApp, can be used by outsiders or by people with dubious aims to influence elections. May be it is already happening. If the presidential election in the US has been influenced by outsiders, what guarantee do we have that some country hasn’t tried to shape elections in Malaysia using Facebook or WhatsApp?

The process with which voters can be targeted to influence an election unfairly has been made very easy due to all the data collected by Facebook. And the company, so far, has been fairly cavalier about sharing this data. If you are an advertiser, Facebook is mostly more than happy to share even the most private details of its users with you. If you wave money, it will even let you micro-target the voters so that you can influence their franchise.

The Election Commission in Malaysia is supposed to guard elections from exactly the kind of threat that Facebook poses. There is a reason why exit polls in Malaysia have to be made public only after voting has ended. There is a reason why during the campaigning there exists a model code of conduct. There is a reason why politicians can’t say some things in their speeches, or political parties can’t induce people by giving them money on voting day.

But using Facebook and WhatsApp, chances are that political parties, or for that matter even actors outside Malaysia, can bypass the model code of conduct and break the whole democracy. Facebook data, in a way, can let political parties and organisations play on the fears of the voters, instead of their hopes. It can help politicians reach deep within the minds of voters, using algorithms and big data. In tech parlance, you can say that it can let parties and organisations hack into the minds of voters, and the Cambridge Analytica scandal shows that this can be done by just collecting and analysing the likes and videos that people post on Facebook.

The Cambridge Analytica scandal is a wake-up call. The lessons from the last US election were alarming, but the latest scandal involving Facebook shows just how badly social media is damaging democracy. It’s time for Malaysia to have a conversation about big data, how it influences elections, the micro-targeting of voters and just how much control Facebook should be allowed to have over people’s lives.

We need to have this conversation now because in the next 100 days or so we will be voting in the general election – GE14

My daughter, Vilashini Somiah, who has several new age fads about food swears by Quinoa. She calls it super food. She has tried to get me to have it for dinner once. I kind of like the stuff and now I take a tablespoon of quinoa every morning with my oats and other grains. I still prefer my wheat and occasionally some rice.  Now quinoa is the cause of a raging fight in Malaysia. I can understand the intensity.

“To millions of Malaysians, rice is at the center of most meals. Many start and end their day with it. Rice is the basis of the national dish, nasi lemak.

So when Prime Minister Najib Razak said this past week that he preferred quinoa because it was “better than rice,” he stirred up a tempest in a lunch bowl.

Opponents pounced and other Malaysians took to social media to fret and fume when Najib was caught saying: “I don’t eat rice. I eat quinoa. My son introduced me to it.”

Dr Mahathir Mohamad, a former prime minister who is leading the Pakatan Harapan (PH) opposition coalition in elections expected by August, took to Twitter to jeer the prime minister and to express his support for Malaysia’s traditional grain.

“I only eat local rice,” Dr Mahathir tweeted.

Another opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang, said he had never even heard of quinoa.”

*Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa; (/ˈkiːnwɑː/ or /kɪˈnoʊ.ə/, from Quechua kinwa or kinuwa) is a flowering plant in the amaranth family. It is a herbaceous annual plant grown as a grain crop primarily for its edible seeds. Quinoa is not a grass, but rather a pseudocereal botanically related to spinach and amaranth.

After harvest, the seeds are processed to remove the bitter-tasting outer seed coat. Versatile for many dishes, cooked quinoa supplies nutrient content similar to wheat and rice, such as moderate amounts of protein, dietary fiber, and minerals. Quinoa is gluten-free.

Quinoa originated in the Andean region of northwestern South America, and was domesticated 3,000 to 4,000 years ago for human consumption in the Lake Titicaca basin of Peru and Bolivia, though archaeological evidence shows livestock uses 5,200 to 7,000 years ago. Amazingly, researchers have also found that quinoa could have origins in Taiwan as well.


Malaysians were not happy when Prime Minister Najib Razak said he preferred quinoa because it was “better than rice,” the national staple.

THE Sabah government wants the state to be on a par with Singapore and Dubai through the implementation of transformation programmes, including the Tanjung Aru Eco Development (TAED). Chief Minister Musa Aman said TAED would beautify and further transform the image of Kota Kinabalu as the state capital, through the construction of world-class hotels and various facilities.

TAED is a mega-project implemented and supervised by Tanjung Aru Eco Development Sdn Bhd, which is wholly owned by the state government. It is expected to be completed next year.

Musa said the federal government provided support for the project’s development, giving an allocation of RM500 million.

“I have big plans. I want Sabah to be on a par with Singapore and Dubai,” he said at the opening ceremony of SMK Bandau in Kota Marudu today.

The event was officiated by Prime Minister Najib Razak. Present were Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid and state education director Maimunah Suhaibul.

Musa said the Sabah International Convention Centre, expected to be completed by the end of the year, would lead to more tourism activities in the state, and boost development.

On education, he said the state government was focused on ensuring the development of more efficient human capital.

He thanked the federal government, especially Najib, for being concerned about the development of education in Sabah, and providing major allocations towards this end. – Bernama, January 19, 2018.






We Can’t Talk About the Terrorists:
An Ethnography of Silence in the East Coast of Sabah

by Vilashini Somiah
20 December 2017


As an anthropologist, I see my work as necessary in gaining deeper and more insightful perspectives of how communities work and find meaning in their own existence which includes its inherent tensions and contradictions. It is an employment that requires thorough, objective observation, and simultaneously expects the ethical preservation of agency of those you study. And although I’ve always acknowledged the importance of studying Sabah’s suppressed narratives, it was only as an anthropologist that I found the intellectual fulfilment I so desired. It is a field that I’ve been in keen apprenticeship of for over seven years. This article highlights one of those narratives from my most recent time spent in the field.

My good friend Indah* and I were lounging on the veranda of her beautiful colonial home in Sandakan one hot April afternoon in 2016 when the conversation of alien danger began; the idea that foreigners are themselves the biggest cause of danger and malice in their host country. Although both of us were mostly unconvinced by this premise, our talk was solely inspired by the recent Abu Sayyaf sightings in Sabah waters, linked to the presence of hundreds of thousands of irregular migrants in Sabah.

Indah tells me her frustration on the matter boils down to how badly the matter is handled, which is due to the lack of trust authorities have for locals in the East coast of Sabah. “Vils” as she often calls me, “decent people live here. Real people just trying to survive. This town isn’t the danger zone but it’s been labelled one. Politicians think they’re protecting us, but we just get brushed aside. We should be involved too, you know.” I have always appreciated how Indah speaks so passionately about Sandakan. She, like many other residents I’ve met, feels deeply for the town, one that is rich in natural resources and history. I am empathetic and ask “Why can’t something be done about agency and leadership here?” Indah clicks her tongue in irritation.” No one wants to listen to the east coasters, Vils. They just think we’re sleeping with the enemy.”

Something in her tone made me believe her. In retrospect, I must have heard it on repeat from a variety of voices. My time spent conducting ethnographic fieldwork in the town had introduced me to many other participants that had in one way or the other highlighted the frustration of being politically invisible despite the active roles they take in combating possible extremism in their home. The conversations that follow were not easy to capture; not for the participants lack of eloquence, but simply due to their inability to openly trust, and thus, such frank exchanges about terrorism in Sabah are rare. It is my sincerest hope that this article is able to capture just an essence of the honesty and pride of the participants I’ve met.


Teaching for Safety

Teacher Mir*, a 31-year-old Sabahan of Orang Sungai descent, has dedicated almost a decade of his life to the education of undocumented children in Sandakan. Every morning before sun break, Mir has his breakfast at the church mess hall and bids his family goodbye before heading off 15 kilometres by van into the palm oil estates within the district. The journey takes much longer than it should as roads are potholed by lorries and hardly ever fixed.

Similar in vein to hundreds of learning centres throughout the east coast of Sabah, Mir’s learning centre aims to provide the most basic of elementary education for children otherwise rejected from our local schooling system. This particular learning centre hosts over 200 children and, together with Mir, are taught by 11 other teachers from the Sandakan and Kinabatangan district. One Tuesday morning sometime February this year, he invited me for an after-school tea session at the canteen. Conversations with Mir were always so engaging because he never self-censored and I appreciated that. As the discipline master, Mir has a reputation of never mincing his words and a stern demeanour. On his way over to the canteen, he waves his rotan (cane) at the children to behave but because school was over, the children run away from him, giggling.

We talked mostly about his students; sustaining children through the six years of education requires plenty of effort on the parent’s part but job losses, village raids or deportation can hinder them from ever returning the following year. Before gulping the last mouthful of cold tea, I ask how he finds the motivation to continue teaching in such unpredictable conditions. He tells me, “I teach here to fight off terrorism for Sabah”. I found his dramatic answer surprising but altogether humbling. How does teaching counter the violence from the sea, I ask. By now our jovial chatter has given way to a strange heaviness and Mir continues:

“Aku bilang sama anak-anak, jangan durang jadi pangganas. Berabis kami cikgu-cikgu mengajar di skolah, ada pulak dia mau main timbak-timbak? Bardosa bah. Pangganas jadi bagitu krana teda durang dikasi pendidikan atau paluang dalam hidup. Walaupun sikit sja pemberian kami, biar ikhlas mau kasi anak-anak ini masa depan. Tapi Puji Tuhan, segala keringat kami ada juga untungnya. Teda budak-budak kami pernah terjebak dengan racun sabagitu.” (I told the children, don’t become terrorists. The teachers here give their all to educate them and they want to go around shooting people? That’s a sin. People become terrorists because they weren’t provided education or opportunities. We can’t offer much, but at least these children now have a future. Praise God, our hard work has paid off. None of our students have ever joined such a poisonous act.)
Several of the teachers feel the same way. They see their work as an effort in countering terrorist activities in Sabah that have grown significantly present with the years. I acknowledge the importance of this view and suggest the teachers spread the word to other willing Sabahans, but they are hesitant. Mir’s 25-year-old colleague, Yasmin*, shares with me her thoughts:
“Di Sabah, paling sensitip punya isu ini lah- Abu Sayap atau ISIS. Pasal urang takut kalau-kalau durang sudah disini kah? Anak- anak di skolah mimang ndak salah, tapi mana tau kalau kawan atau kaluarga durang yang pendatang mungkin terjebak? Lagipun, kalau cakap kuat-kuat pun, nanti ditangkap krajaan bah. Jadi, diam-diam sajalah kami.” (In Sabah, the most sensitive topic is that of the Abu Sayyaf or ISIS. Perhaps people are afraid if they’re already here. The children here are innocent, but who knows if family or friends who are also irregular migrants might be involved? And if we talked about it publicly, the government might arrest us. It’s better to just keep quiet.)
Learning centres for undocumented children are constantly under the monitor of the state and will receive regular visits for an update on local problems and information on parents. This is to be expected and the teachers have always complied and given their fullest cooperation where it is ethical. Yet, Mir and his colleagues feel that no matter how they may contribute to the safety of Sabah, no one else, including himself, is brave enough to discuss the terrorist problem openly. “I want to talk about the kidnappings or Abu Sayyaf, but I don’t dare. Because we teach these children, we might be accused of knowing inside information, but I don’t. I’m frustrated because we feel we cannot discuss this openly in our own state.”

One Town, Two Worlds

I encountered a similar stance from Sakinul*, a 42-year-old Suluk businessman, and one of the first friends I made when I began work in Sandakan. For over 26 years, he has made a living from buying cheap fish and shellfish from the market and reselling them in estates and slums on the outer periphery of town. Communities that he frequents are that of irregular migrants, many of whom would not dare venture into town for fear of getting arrested.On a daily basis, he is assisted by his second wife, an irregular migrant from Zamboanga and although he himself is Malaysian, their four children were given foreign birth certificates and told to return to the Philippines if they ever wanted to be documented. Sakinul tells me he worked very hard to make it happen but the costs (and risks) were too high. Thus, the children continue to live with the same irregular status as their mother. Due to this predicament, they are teased by their documented neighbours for being potential terrorists and this never fails to break their father’s heart.

Sakinul is in no way an isolated case. In fact, my time in the field has introduced me to a large number of Malaysian Sabahans who have or are currently cohabiting and leading domestic lives with irregular migrants or undocumented persons. On a cultural level (despite religious practice), a town like Sandakan is able to accept such union despite knowing the repercussions. However, the legal implications have not escaped them and I find many marriages between citizens and irregular migrants often living low-key lives, in hopes of avoiding the prying eyes and directed questions of the authority. However large these numbers may be, these family units remain vulnerable to accusations of threats and state security. Yet fascinatingly, it is these very same Sabahans who seem most invested in ridding Sabah of its terrorist problems. Similar to that of teachers at learning centres, their effort to combat extremist activists is a result of their close relationships with members of the irregular migrant community.

As such, Sakinul, one of my more trusted informants, would tell me via text of activities in town that I might be interested in. In the most recent of news, an Abu Sayyaf leader and his members were captured in Kuala Lumpur and never one to hide his disgust towards terrorism, Sakinul is frank about the lack of elucidation in the news. “I personally believe the reports are not complete,” he says, “people have so many questions about them. Can you believe they were from Sandakan? I’m suspicious of this! But we have to be careful with what we say around the market, or we might look suspicious too.” “But you could open a good discussion about this.” I mentioned over the phone. Exasperatedly, he tells me:

“Apa bulih bawak barbincang oh? Kau pikir pulis mau kami bising-bisingkah? Ini Sabah style bah, kalau barang ndak bagus, jangan bukak mulut kau. Duduk diam-diam, tapuk-tapuk sampai round two. Kalau kau Suluk, berbini pandatang macam aku, kau cakap-cakap, di tangkap lagi kamu. Tapi, bila datang lagi pangganas mau putung kapala, start lagi lah – “Sabah bahayalah, kami bangsa abu sayap lah”. Urang pikir kami ni mau kah macam ni?” (What can we ever discuss? Do you think the police want us making noise? This is the Sabah style, if things aren’t good, don’t open your mouth. Sit quietly and hide till round two starts. If you are Suluk, and married to a migrant like me, and you talk openly, you will be arrested. But when the terrorists come to behead people, then the labels start again: “Sabah is dangerous, we share the same race as the Abu Sayyaf”. Do people think we like this?)

Deserving A Say

With Indah, Sakinul, Mir and Yasmin in mind, I must stress a respect for the counter narrative to this claim; that militant terrorism has had very little impact on the state of Sabah and will only succeed if we live in fear of the foreign ‘other’. In fact, despite recent headliners, towns throughout the east coast have done better than expected in its efforts to continue in normalcy. During my fieldwork from 2016- mid 2017, there were approximately five incidents involving terrorists in Sandakan and even with that, the chances of a local or tourist becoming a victim of terrorism was still rather slim. With its thriving ecotourism and maritime industry, Sandakan has attracted many from other districts to eke out a decent livelihood despite ongoing militant activities in the water borders. And on top of everything else, the state has repeatedly reminded Sabahans in the east coast that their safety against terrorism will continue to be a priority of the Malaysian government.

Regardless of political affiliation, many Sabahans tell me they sincerely appreciate the Malaysian government’s initiation of the ESSCOM (the Eastern Sabah Security Command) which protects the most vulnerable of areas from Kudat to Tawau. Yet, residents particularly in the east coast tend to suspend trust till the next major incident occurs, in silence. Throughout the years of researching irregular migrants in the east coast of Sabah, I’ve observed how discussing terrorism with poorer, working class local Malaysian residents reveals an array of unsaid insecurities that come across more powerless than most.

As it seems, the bigger issue to this is not why Sabah is a hotbed for terrorism but more so why there isn’t a greater collective ability to do more about it? Despite many state structures in place, and some grassroot attempts at eliminating future terrorists from emerging in Sabah, the already poor and sidelined Sabahans in the east coast lack the belief that there is an avenue to voice their concerns and anxieties openly and safely. Further exacerbating this is of course the social closeness between legitimate residents and their irregular ones, raising even more suspicion and distrust amongst security forces monitoring the ESSZONE.

From my conversations with Sabahans’ in the east coast, they see the state as dismissive and even punitive in addressing any criticism (constructive or otherwise). Even with the various state endorsed security apparatus in place, these communities still feel most at risk in the event of an attack or kidnapping. This is further exacerbated by the fact that these Sabah communities, both irregular and legitimate are never in isolation. Notwithstanding the mainstream narrative, Malaysian Sabahans particularly in the east coast have not and cannot lead a life separate nor distinctively different from that of their migrant neighbours, which makes vocalising these concerns and insecurities even harder and more dangerous.

Sabah shares with the Philippines one of the more volatile corners of the Malay Archipelago and coupled with the taboo subject of hosting approximately two million of Sabah’s irregular residents has not made solving the impending terrorist problem any easier. When public conversations are held on desires and intent for safety and security, they are usually held amongst the more privileged of us. But for thousands of non-urban, working class Sabahans living simpler lives, this freedom is imaginary and their agency is in needing to say more about their insecurities whenever and however necessary.

The first and most necessary step to figuring out the considerable human problem in Sabah is for the promotion of grassroot discussion. As long as we privilege more powerful and louder views than theirs, we dismiss ideas, knowledges and experiences from Sabahans like Mir and Sakinul that can and will assist in combating a slew of other neglected social issues including that of violent extremism.
*Names have been altered as per requested by participants.


Vilashini Somiah is a scholar, writer and filmmaker. Born in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, she has always had a keen interest for underrepresented narratives in Borneo and has focused a great amount of time understanding the different perspectives of these voices and their motivations.

Her Phd research is centred on issues of deportation, irregular migration and socio-political mobility surrounding the Sulu Sea.

Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman has urged European Union member countries to stop its ongoing campaign against the oil palm industry.

He said it was rather unfortunate that some of the EU member countries had painted a negative image in an attempt to boycott the industry.

Those who were against the industry must realise that Malaysia has 680,000 oil palm smallholders, of whom 200,000 are from Sabah, that happens to be the largest producer of crude palm oil (CPO) in the country, he claimed.

“A negative campaign or boycott could affect global CPO prices. What is going to happen to these smallholders whose livelihoods depend on oil palm?

“This could mean loss of income for them and their families,” he said during a courtesy call by a 14-member EU Delegation of Ambassadors led by ambassador and head of delegation of the EU to Malaysia, Maria Castillo Fernandez, at his office in Kota Kinabalu today.

Musa, who is also the state finance minister, said the Sabah government had taken steps to ensure the oil palm industry continued to be sustainable, which included the launch of a programme in 2015 to have all CPO produced from Sabah to be Certified Sustainable Palm Oil (CSPO).

In that endeavour, he said the Sabah government had the support of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) to guide the CSPO process, and hoped the EU member countries could keep an open mind on the matter.

Musa further said that Sabah adopted one of the best forest management and environmental conservation practices in this region.

The state government has gazetted 26 percent of its total land mass as totally protected areas, which exceeded the International Union for Conservation of Nature target of only 10 per cent.

“We are actually targeting 30 percent or 2.2 million hectares, which we are confident of achieving in the next five years, if not earlier,” he said.

The chief minister said it must also be noted that Sabah had restored and planted forests well over 700,000ha, presumably the largest such undertaking in the tropics.

“I must tell you the Sabah story on forest management, so you can tell it to your European communities…concerted efforts with concrete results are being made and this must be made known to the world,” he stressed.

He also informed the delegation of the state government’s close ties with the federal government under the leadership of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who continued to focus on the needs of Sabah in terms of allocations to fund development initiatives.

Musa looked forward to continue cooperation with the EU countries in terms of trade, investment, tourism and culture, alluding to the EU film festival that was launch this evening.

Meanwhile, Fernandez assured Musa there was no official boycott against the oil palm industry by EU member countries, but that there was a debate on the issue of oil palm and deforestation.

“We want to reach out to the stakeholders in Malaysia and engage in a dialogue to better understand the industry so we can explain it to the European communities,” she said.

French Ambassador to Malaysia, Frederic Laplanche said the good work done on forest conservation in Sabah must be acknowledged, in which the state had been forward-looking and deserved the EU support in the spirit of cooperation.


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