Friday, July 31, 2015

Dr Mahathir endorses Zahid Hamidi

Cool!

Call it an endorsement, recognition or anything you want.

Since Prime Minister reshuffled his Cabinet on July 28 and appointed Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as his new deputy, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has - for the fist time - commented on it.

First, he said Najib deserves every right to make changes to his Cabinet lineup, and secondly he supports Zahid for the No. 2 post.

Well, Dr Mahathir sure knows Zahid inside out for the days when the latter was with Umno Youth, how he had proven his loyalty to the bosses and the party, and how he had distanced himself from Mahathir-Anwar Ibrahim 'conflict'.

Dr Mahathir today said Ahmad Zahid, a former Umno Youth chief and currently one of the three vice presidents in Umno, was as eligible as anyone else.
“He had the highest votes as the vice president anyway,” he said when asked to comment on the latest Cabinet reshuffle.
Dr Mahathir said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had every right to change the Cabinet’s composition at his discretion.
“We have shuffled the Cabinet all the time, It is the prerogative of the PM. I think the PM thinks this is the better cabinet.”
But Dr Mahathir also made his sentiment clear, in line with the attacks launched against the Najib administration.
“But the public sentiment on the Cabinet reshuffle is obvious when you see the comments on Facebook on the matter.”
Dr Mahathir further sarcastically said it was now seen as being a criminal offence to speak about 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) – the strategic fund which has come under relentless attack by various opposition members and several blogs, that has since come under scrutiny for possible falsification of facts.

In a related development, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan has denied anything to do with a viral audio clip where an unidentified person says Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was factually correct when he spoke on the 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) issue.

The Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar also vehemently denied that his voice was used in the 1 minute 54 second audio recording.
"Allegations that the recording was made using my voice are totally baseless. I have nothing to do with the recording which is a diabolical attempt to pit me against leaders in Umno and the Government," he said Thursday.
In the clip, the individual was heard saying in Bahasa Malaysia that although he was not siding with Muhyiddin, the former deputy prime minister was merely stating a fact when he touched on the 1MDB saga at the opening of the Cheras Umno meeting.

Without referring to any political party or group, the individual then said that "they" were willing to help sort out the issue and would not demand for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's resignation.

He also said that all former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wanted to know was what happened to the billions of Ringgit of 1MDB funds.

He also mocked the arrest of a despatch clerk when they should have actually questioned the main suspect in the alleged embezzlement.

Poor Mohamad. He must have had sleepless nights. However, I keep wondering whose voice is it?

Sarawak Report not a good liar after all!

Another dirty stupid stunt by Sarawak Report - that a warrant of arrest was issued against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

It went viral again on the social media, and I think many Malaysians believe it as they are easily-led. However, SR falls into its own pit as it was 'caught' red-handed for not able to produce a good lie this time!

Even pro-opposition news portal The Malaysia Chronicle was sucked into it when they published the crap, not able to distinguish how a real charge sheet looks like, making them appeared more stupid than Sarawak Report.

The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) denied drafting or issuing an alleged charge sheet against Prime Minister as claimed by the Sarawak Report site.

Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Hamzah, who is deputy solicitor-general I (litigation) in the AGC, said this via his Twitter account, said a Malaysian Insider report.

"The draft of the charge that was published by Sarawak Report was not made or issued by the Attorney-General's Chambers," he said via his Twitter handle @TAMajid.

And later, the Attorney-General issued a statement:
1.  These allegations by foreign national Clare Rewcastle Brown in political blog Sarawak Report are false.
2.  The alleged charge sheets are not in and never reached the Attorney-General's Chambers. Furthermore, the format of the sheets is not correct or written by our Chambers.
3.  The Special Task Force investigation has not been completed. So it is not legally possible for charge sheets to be drafted in advance.
4.  These alleged charge papers therefore indicate that there is a conspiracy to topple a serving prime minister by criminalizing him, and that the methods include doctoring and criminal leakage.
5.  This plot represents a threat to Malaysia's democracy and I will direct for all action possible to be taken to investigate. The full force of the law will be applied without exception to any that are found guilty.
Sarawak Report had published a draft of the charge sheet purportedly done by former A-G  Abdul Gani Patail against the Prime Minister and a former managing director, who was arrested by a government special task force and later freed on bail, and Nik Faisal Ariff Nik Othman Kamil.


Sarawak Report also said the charge sheet against Datuk Seri Najib had let to Gani's sacking on Monday, although his contract as A-G was until October.

The site said that Gani was abruptly removed when he was "on the brink" of filing corruption charges against the Prime Minister.

"The documents, which were being worked in their final draft stages by the Attorney-General, were sent to the Sarawak Report following the sacking of Gani and have now been verified by other senior parties,” it said.

Sarawak Report said the charge sheet against Mr Najib was under Section 17 (a) of the MACC Act and an alternate charge under Section 409 of the Penal Code. The first charge carries a penalty of up to 20 years in prison.

Responding to the latest development, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said that Sarawak Report should not confuse the public and asked that the rumours be stopped. He also tweeted a screen capture of Majid's statement and said that it only confirmed what he had said earlier.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Zeti against Najib? You must be kidding!

Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar today denied rumors that Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz was being investigated over the 1MDB scandal.

A central bank spokesman also rubbished rumors on the social media that the central bank governor was hospitalised for a heart attack a few days ago which led to her 'resignation' yesterday.

"Not by us," Khalid told reporters when ‎he was asked whether ‎Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz was being probed by police over the matter. He said this during a press conference at the Royal Malaysia College.

Earlier, Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) denied rumours circulating in local media and financial markets that Zeti had resigned.

When asked to comment on the rumor, a central bank spokesman said: "This is not true," according to Reuters.

When contacted by The Star, a BNM spokesman also denied that Zeti, 67, suffered a heart attack.

"She is fine and came to work as usual,” added the spokesman.

A list naming Zeti, together with 11 others, goes viral on the social media, especially Face Book, over the past few days as 'CONSPIRATORS AGAINST THE DEMOCRATICALLY ELECTED GOVERNMENT'.

Apart from Zeti, the others are Shamsudin Mohd Mahayiddin (Foreign Exchange Div, BNM), Abdul Rahman Hussin (Risk Management Div, BNM), Shukri Abdul  (Dep Chief Commissioner, MACC, pic), Tan Kang Sai (Dep Director, MACC Special Operation Div), Rashpal Sing a/l Jeswant Singh (member of Advisory Board of Anti Corruption).

Jessica Gurmeet Kaur (head of Special Task Force Secretariat), Tong Kooi Ong (owner, The Edge Financial Group), Ho Kay Tat (CEO The Edge), Claire Recastle-Brown (editor-in-chief Sarawak Report) and Sufi Yusof (Press Secretary to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad).

It doesn't make sense at all to pool people like Zeti and Shukri together with The Edge and Sarawak Report, that they conspired to bring down Najib's government!

What do you think, readers?

To me, nothing is impossible...


Our police can't get near Justo

Our police team in Bankok is having difficulties to get near Xavier Andre Justo, making it quite impossible to interrogate him over the 1MDB scandal.

Not only that he is not a Malaysian and 'did not commit' any offense in Malaysia, the Swiss government will not allow its citizen to be a subject of investigation by us, unless we follow some standard procedures.

The Malaysian police had to go through the proper channel - through the Foreign Ministry - to interrogate Justo, said Thai police chief Somyot Poompanmoung.

Somyot has already informed Inspector-General of Police Sri Khalid Abu Bakar on July 23 that based on his initial look at the situation, it was unlikely for the Malaysian police to be allowed to interrograte Justo.
BANGKOK, July 30 (Bernama) -- Xavier Andre Justo, the Swiss national accused of attempting to blackmail his former employee PetroSaudi International, is allowed to have visitors.
He has many visitors besides his lawyers, and the visitation does not involve the police, said Thai Police chief Somyot Poompanmoung.
Somyot said the lawyer had the right to bring anyone to visit Justo. "Thus a reporter may have access to Justo through his lawyer," he added when asked how Singapore's The Straits Times was able to interview Justo recently while the Malaysian police could not.
"I don't know about this (The Straits Times interview), but if the media went there, they must have gone with the suspect's lawyer, and the police were not involved," he said.
"If the Thai government or police allow the Malaysian police to interrograte Justo then we could be criticised by the Swiss embassy," he added.
As for when Justo will be charged in the court, Somyot said this depended on the investigation officers.
Justo has been in custody in Thailand since June 22.
So, how is Khalid gonna resolve the issue?

If we can't get any information from Justo, investigation on 1MDB will be prolonged and will get more complicated since various news and fresh info circulate every day.

However, since Wisma Putra can make arrangements with the Swiss Embassy in Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur, they better do it fast!

MH370 'found', MH17 vetoed

American investigators have concluded that a large object that washed up Wednesday on the shore of Réunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, came from a Boeing 777, making it likely that it was debris from Flight 370, the Malaysia Airlines jetliner that disappeared in March 2014.

A person with knowledge of the inquiry into what happened to the plane said that American government officials and experts from Boeing based their conclusion on photographs and videos.


The investigators noted that no other Boeing 777 was known to be missing, suggesting that the piece was part of the missing aircraft. The person added that the Americans were waiting for French aviation experts to examine the object, and determine if it contained a serial number matching that of the Malaysia Airlines jet.

A French official with knowledge of the investigation said that the object appeared to be a wing flap. The official said that the object was about 9 feet long and 3 feet wide, and that it appeared to have been in the water for a very long time.

The French aviation safety bureau, known as BEA, said in a statement on Wednesday that it “is studying the information on the airplane part found in La Réunion, in coordination with our Malaysian and Australian colleagues and with the judicial authorities.” It added that “it is not possible at this hour to ascertain whether the part is from a B-777 and/or from MH370.”

The French official said that the authorities were in the process of designating a laboratory in France where the object would be taken for examination.

Agence France-Presse reported that the object was found by people cleaning a beach, and cited a witness who said it was partly encrusted with shells.

Aviation experts who viewed published photos of the object said it strongly resembled a part of a modern jetliner wing known as a flaperon, one of the control surfaces that pilots use to guide the aircraft in flight.

Peter Goelz, a former managing director of the National Transportation Safety Board, said it seemed clear from the photos that the object “is a wing flap, and it’s about the right size.”

Noting that investigators should be able to tell quickly whether the object came from a 777, Richard L. Aboulafia, an analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, Va., said that “if that happens, there is only one possibility.”

Transport minister, Liow Tiong Lai, said on Wednesday afternoon that it was too early to know if the debris was from Flight 370 but that he had sent investigators to Réunion.

“We hope we can identify it as soon as possible,” he told reporters at the United Nations, where he was attending a Security Council meeting on the other Malaysia Airlines disaster last year — the downing of Flight 17 over eastern Ukraine.

Russia vetoed a United Nations Security Council draft resolution on Wednesday that proposed to establish an international tribunal to prosecute those suspected of downing a Malaysia Airlines passenger airliner last year in eastern Ukraine.

Eleven countries on the 15-member council voted in favor of the proposal by Malaysia, Australia, the Netherlands, Belgium and Ukraine, while three countries abstained: China, Angola and Venezuela. A resolution needs nine votes in favor to pass and no veto by Russia, the United States, China, Britain or France.

Flight MH17 was shot down in July 2014 with 298 passengers on board, two-thirds of them Dutch. It crashed in Ukrainian territory held by Russian-backed separatists.

"Those responsible may believe that they can now hide behind the Russian Federation's veto. They will not be allowed to evade justice," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told the council. There were 39 Australians on board flight MH17.

She said Australia, the Netherlands, Malaysia, Belgium and Ukraine would now seek an alternative prosecution mechanism. Ukraine and Western countries accuse the rebels in eastern Ukraine of shooting down the plane with a Russian-made missile.

But Moscow has continually rejected accusations it supplied the rebels with SA-11 Buk anti-aircraft missile systems.

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, told the council that "no veto will stand in the way of this heinous crime being investigated and prosecuted." Efforts to deny justice only intensify the pain of the victims' families, who have already endured more than any of us can fathom," she said "It is the effect of Russia's veto today."

Russia had proposed its own rival draft resolution, which pushed for a greater U.N. role in an investigation into what caused the downing of the aircraft and demanded justice, but it would not have set up a tribunal.

Russian UN Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said it was premature to set up an international tribunal. He said the draft resolution was submitted for a vote by Malaysia and its co-sponsors with the knowledge that it would be vetoed.

"This in our view indicates the fact that political purposes were more important for them than practical objectives. This of course is regrettable," Churkin said. "Russia stands ready to cooperate in the conduct of a full, independent and objective investigation of the reasons and circumstances of the crash."

Dutch Foreign Minister Bert Koenders said the case had been made for a prosecution mechanism that transcended politics.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

'Muhyiddin and Mukhriz cheated to frame Najib?

            

In this video, which already goes viral, former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin was telling (audio not very clear) Kedah Mentri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir and former Cabinet minister Kadir Sheikh Fadzir about that US$700 million (RM2.67 billion) allegedly went to Najib Tun Razak's personal bank accounts.

Many believe it but not few call it a lie and a conspiracy to frame the prime minister.

Pro-Umno news portal MyKMU.net describes the video, taken by MalaysiaKini (KiniTV) as a 'set up' to implicate Najib with the 1MDB fraud.

Kini terbongkar kemungkinan besar Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin merupakan orang yang memberi maklumat palsu kepada Tun Mahathir mengenai dakwaan wang 1MDB sebanyak USD700 juta dimasukkan ke dalam akaun peribadi Perdana Menteri Mohd Najib Tun Razak untuk kegunaan pilihanraya.
Rakaman video perbualan bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin dengan Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir dan Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir yang disiarkan oleh Malaysiakini menunjukkan Muhyiddin yang mendakwa wang sebanyak USD 700 juta milik 1MDB masuk ke dalam akaun Perdana Menteri.
Muhyiddin mendakwa Perdana Menteri mengakui wang 1MDB sebanyak RM 2.6 bilion dimasukkan ke dalam akaun peribadi beliau merupakan satu pembohongan dan mungkin dirancang oleh kumpulan ini sendiri. Video tersebut dirakam ketika perbualan beberapa orang sahaja, mustahil mereka tidak menyedari siapa yang merakamnya.
Pada awal video iti sendiri jelas menunjukkan Perdana Menterti tidak menyatakan jumlah yang masuk apabila Muhyiddin berkata,
“Saya tanya beliau wang siapa? Beliau tidak nyatakan. Hanya dari Timur Tengah.”
“lepas tu saya tanya berapa banyak… Susah nak kiralah, ‘dia cakap (najib) a lot, a lot'”
Kemudian dalam babak seterusnya, Muhyiddin sendiri yang menyebut jumlah tersebut dan cuba menjadikan ia pengakuan Mohd Najib.
Kemudian Muhyiddin menyebut, “Kenapa masuk akaun personal Najib Razak?”
Muhyiddin sambil melihat kepada Kadir Sheikh Fadzir berkata, “Berapa? 700 million dollar! Kalau kali 3 points something RM 2.6 bilion… goes to his personal account. Ini dia sebut, he admitted, so i said why put into your personal account?”
Video tersebut terhenti di situ sahaja. Menunjukkan perakam dan pembocor video tidak mahu jawapan Mohd Najib diketahui orang.
Muhyiddin sendiri tanya dan dia sendiri jawab. Bukannya Perdana Menteri kata USD 700 juta tersebut.

Continue reading but I don't feel comfortable with this para:
Dalam video ini jelas menunjukkan maklumat palsu kepada Mahathir ini merupakan komplot oleh Muhyiddin Yassin dan Mukhriz Mahathir. Jika Mukhriz tidak berkomplot mengapa beliau tidak membantah pun apabila Muhyiddin memberitahu Kadir Sheikh Fadzir bahawa sejumlah USD 700 juta dimasukkan ke dalam akaun peribadi Mohd Najib. – MYKMU.NET

Earlier yesterday, Muhyiddin denied working together with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to attack Najib Razak over issues such as 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Speaking to reporters, Muhyiddin said it was not important if he agreed with Dr Mahathir over the 1MDB crisis, as he was merely raising valid questions on the matter which needed answers.
“Whether I am with Tun Mahathir is not so important. I just want to do the best for the country.
“But the views of past leaders like Tun cannot be ignored. He is still of sound mind and intends good for the country,” he told reporters in a packed press conference at his residence in Bukit Damansara.
The Pagoh MP added that he would taking some time to get “his thoughts composed and be rationale” in making decisions from now on after being removed as DPM.

Muhyiddin also dismissed rumours that the visit by Mahathir’s son, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir to his residence yesterday was to plot the next move against Najib and his administration.

“There is no such thing. It was just a regular visit from many of my friends including Mukhriz. There is nothing strange in that, even if this (being dropped from cabinet) happened to a friend of mine, I would do the same,” he explained.

Malaysia's mess is Mahathir-made?

I've never criticised former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, and neither had I implicated him for the country's current leadership crisis, 1MDB and other issues. The only article I wrote was for him and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak bury the hatchet and settle things behind four walls.

I chose to stay on the sideline, mainly because both deserve equal respect - Dr Mahathir as an honorable statesman and Najib as prime minister, while I still believe in 'close door' approach.

However, I came across this article in East Asia Forum today, written by one US professor, blaming both Dr Mahathir and Najib for the 'mess' plaguing the nation. Readers are free to jot down comments. Thank You.

By DAN SLATER

At least embattled Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak is right about one thing. The current mess in Malaysian politics is the making of his greatest nemesis, Mahathir Mohamad, who led the Southeast Asian nation with an iron fist from 1981–2003.

What Najib fails to fathom is that Mahathir has not produced this mess by criticising his leadership, but by paving Najib’s path to power in the fashion he did during his decades in office. Mahathir may believe that he can end the crisis by bringing Najib down. But history should judge Mahathir himself as the author of a long national decline that has culminated in this latest crisis.

To be sure, Najib’s fingerprints are all over the current mess. The proximate source of the crisis has been the collapse of Najib’s pet sovereign-investment company, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). This has caused Malaysia’s stock market and currency, the ringgit, to plummet in turn. All this has transpired amid credible allegations that the prime minister siphoned an eye-popping US$700 million into his personal bank account.

But this road toward ruin commenced with Mahathir, not Najib. It is vital to realise that Mahathir rose to power in blessed circumstances.

Malaysia’s economy had been growing healthily for decades, thanks to the prudent economic management of a highly capable bureaucracy. Governance and tax collection were effective, and debts were few. Natural resource wealth, including oil, was professionally stewarded.

A decade of muscular redistribution to the country’s ethnic Malay majority had restored social stability after the race riots of 1969. Incoming foreign investment was copious and about to mushroom even further. Mahathir commanded one of the most cohesive ruling parties (the United Malays National Organization, or UMNO) and coalitions (the Barisan Nasional, or BN) in the world. The regime was authoritarian, but not intensely repressive or disliked in comparative terms.

In short, Mahathir was holding a winning hand when he became prime minister in 1981.

Then came the debt. Obsessed with following in the footsteps of Asia’s technological leaders, Mahathir began borrowing heavily to fund his ‘Look East’, state-led heavy-industrialisation program. Privatisation was part of his growth package, but the beneficiaries were businessmen of loyalty more than talent.

When the global economy went into recession in the mid-1980s, patronage started drying up. UMNO split, largely in reaction to Mahathir’s strong-armed style of rule.

Mahathir’s two most talented rivals, Tengku Razaleigh and Musa Hitam, bolted from UMNO despite their deep personal ties to the party, mostly to get away from Mahathir himself. Mahathir responded by launching a police operation under the pretext of racial tensions, imprisoning and intimidating political rivals, and cementing his autocratic control.

Hence by the late 1980s, all of the defining features of Malaysia’s current crisis under Najib’s leadership were already evident under Mahathir. The regime was increasingly repressive. The office of prime minister was becoming a haven of autocracy. Ethnic tensions had been reopened to political manipulation.

The economy was worrisomely indebted. UMNO was shedding some of its most capable leaders. This was the beginning of Malaysia’s sad national decline, under Mahathir’s watch and at his own hand.

Fast-forward a decade and all of these syndromes would recur in even nastier forms. The Asian Financial Crisis of 1997–98 punished Malaysia for the unsustainable dollar-denominated debts it had accumulated under Mahathir’s single-minded push for breakneck growth. Mahathir blamed everybody but himself for the crash. He sacked and imprisoned his popular and gifted deputy, Anwar Ibrahim, largely for his temerity in suggesting that Malaysia needed deeper reforms to regain economic health.

Mahathir didn’t pull Malaysia out of its crisis with economic reform or adjustment, but with more and more borrowing and spending. This was possible because Malaysia was still sitting on the fiscal reserves it had been amassing for half a century, since the British colonial period. Mahathir grandiosely claimed that his imposition of capital controls had saved the economy.

But capital flight had basically run its course by the time controls were implemented. Mahathir imposed them to facilitate political repression as much as economic recovery. The spectre of anti-Chinese riots in neighbouring Indonesia was then callously manipulated to keep ethnic Chinese voters in the BN fold in the 1999 elections.

Hence even before the turn of the millennium, Malaysia was hurtling down the very trajectory of decline we are witnessing in the current crisis. Like Mahathir, Najib assumed autocratic control over the economy and embarked on reckless borrowing and investment schemes, especially 1MDB.

Like Mahathir, Najib unleashed a torrent of repression under antiquated security laws to protect his own position amid rising criticism from civil society and from within UMNO. Like Mahathir, Najib has recklessly played the ethnic and religious card as his position has weakened.

And in consummate Mahathir style, Najib has now even sacked his deputy, Muyhiddin Yassin, for questioning Najib’s repression of the media in response to the 1MDB scandal. In sum, Mahathir has nobody to blame more than himself as he watches Najib drive Malaysia even further into the ground.

Neither Najib nor any of his current plausible replacements appear capable of reversing Malaysia’s decades-long decline. Herein lies perhaps Mahathir’s worst legacy of all. By forcing the three most capable politicians beside himself out of UMNO during their prime, Mahathir ensured that only relative lightweights would command leading positions in Malaysia’s most powerful political institution.

If Malaysia is to exit this crisis on a path to restored health rather than steeper decline, the political and economic reforms first demanded in the reformasi movement of the late 1990s will finally need to put in place: either by a new generation of leadership within UMNO, or by Malaysia’s repressed but resilient political opposition.

Dan Slater is associate professor in political science at the University of Chicago.