Friday, December 5, 2008

Noose Tightening Around Najib's Fat Neck

Why the hurry when it comes to Raja Petra? Is the unholy haste more about Najib than Raja Petra? Are they hoping that what will be revealed during Raja Petra’s trial will turn out to be the noose around Najib’s fat neck?


by The Pink Panther

They say justice delayed is justice denied. But who says the wheels of justice always move slowly? Justice can sometimes move extremely fast when they want it to - especially when the court case involves Raja Petra Kamarudin - and when it relates to the Altantuya murder.

Raja Petra’s lawyer had not yet walked into his office after their court appearance at the Jalan Duta Court Complex this morning when a fax was waiting for him on his table. And even before he could digest the contents of the fax another fax came in. The Shah Alam High Court will hear the appeal by the Prosecution at 2.45pm tomorrow, Friday, 5 December 2008. So Raja Petra will, again, be in court - tomorrow (5 December) 2.45pm at the Shah Alam court.

This morning, Raja Petra and his lawyers were in court to confirm the date of the appeal on the criminal defamation case. Yesterday, by order of the court, these same lawyers spent eight hours at Bukit Aman for a forensic test on the computers the police confiscated from his house related to the sedition case. And tomorrow is the Prosecution’s appeal on the amendment of the charge on the sedition case.

Wow! Seldom have Malaysians seen the courts move so fast. There are so many court cases going on at the same time that it is beginning to become very difficult to keep track of who is the defender and who is the defendee, and who is the appealer and who is the appealee.

The issues before the various courts are as follows - the Shah Alam court, the Petaling Jaya court and the Kuala Lumpur court. The prosecution tried to amend the charge in Raja Petra’s sedition case in the Petaling Jaya court but the judge turned it down. So the prosecution is appealing the judge’s decision in the Shah Alam court. And that is going to be heard tomorrow at 2.45pm.

Then, the prosecution is not happy that they did not find the evidence of any crime in the two computers the police confiscated - meaning a copy of the article ‘Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell.’ So they asked the Petaling Jaya court for permission to check both computers again in the hope that this time they might find something. They checked the first computer over eight hours in Bukit Aman yesterday and will do a forensic test on the second unit next Tuesday.

Then, Raja Petra’s lawyers are appealing against the decision to transfer the criminal defamation case from the Kuala Lumpur Magistrates Court to the Sessions Court and this appeal was slotted for mention this morning in the Kuala Lumpur High Court. The court ordered Raja Petra’s lawyers to file their submission on 12 December 2008 and for the Prosecution to reply to it on 19 December. The hearing will be on 20 January 2009 when the judge will probably deliver his judgment as to whether the case will be heard in the Sessions Court (as what the Prosecution wants) or whether it has to be sent back to the Magistrates Court (as what Raja Petra wants).

In the meantime, while the Shah Alam and Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur courts hear the various appeals and counter-appeals and applications to amend the charge and applications to oppose the amendment to the charge and application to do a second forensic on the two computers and so on and so forth, the hearings related to the crimes Raja Petra has been alleged to have committed are being delayed even further. And this has upset those who walk in the corridors of power.

The Prosecution has been told to wrap up all these many cases as soon as possible, preferably way before March 2009. March 2009 is when Najib Tun Razak is supposed to take over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister of Malaysia. Abdullah wants these cases settled fast but Najib would rather they drag on until way past March 2009.

Abdullah wants all the cases settled now in the hope that damaging evidence will surface during the trial, which will implicate Najib, or at least his wife, in the murder of Altantuya. If this happens, this will disqualify Najib from taking over as Prime Minister. Najib, however, wants things to remain as they are until he takes over so that, when he is already Prime Minister, he can sweep everything under the carpet and suffer no damage.

How he is going to sweep everything under the carpet will be a bridge he crosses when he comes to it. Dropping the charges would be one way or making sure the judge shouts ‘irrelevant’ every five minutes could probably work as well, as it did in Anwar Ibrahim’s trial in 1998-1999.

Raja Petra never dreamt how important his trials were going to be in deciding who would become the Prime Minister of Malaysia come March 2009. Everyone assumed that Najib would automatically be taking over from Abdullah at the ‘agreed’ time. But it appears like nothing has really been agreed yet. And this is troubling Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as well who is banking on Najib taking over in March 2009 as planned.

However, according to Murphy’s Law, what can go wrong will go wrong. And the plan for Najib taking over from Abdullah in March 2009 can certainly go wrong. So Abdullah wants to see to it that it will definitely go wrong.

And Mahathir is fully aware of this and he is already lamenting about it even before the plan can be put in place. Call it a preemptive strike if you wish and Mahathir is the master of preemption, amongst other things. So he is preempting Abdullah’s move to block Najib from taking over as Prime Minister in March 2009.

Mahathir realises that you need not be the Umno President to become Prime Minister. Tun Abdul Razak Hussein became Prime Minister without becoming the Umno President, till much later. Mahathir himself stayed on as Prime Minister in 1988 even though be had no party (when Umno closed down) and was an independent Member of Parliament (calun bebas) while Ling Liong Sik was the Barisan Nasional Chairman at that time. In fact, Ghafar Baba became Deputy Prime Minister in 1986 without ever becoming an Umno (Lama) member until Umno Baru was formed in 1988.

Yes, who says you must first become the Umno President or the Barisan Nasional Chairman to become Prime Minister of Malaysia. All the Constitution says is that you must be a Member of Parliament whom, in the opinion of the Agong, commands the confidence of the majority of the Members of the House - in other words, the 222 Members of Parliament.

Let’s say Anwar Ibrahim has the confidence of the 82 Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament. This leaves another 140 who are not with Anwar. Then, say, Abdullah has half the 140 with him, meaning 70. This leaves another 70. Let’s also say 20 abstain. This leaves 50. And, say, these 50 are with Najib.

In this case, Anwar Ibrahim has the confidence of the majority because he has 82, Abdullah has only 70, Najib 50, while 20 are ‘sitting on the fence’ and are not supporting any side.

It must be noted that Umno has only 66 Members of Parliament in Peninsular Malaysia. Even if the 13 Umno Sabah Members of Parliament stay united that would come to only 79. Pakatan Rakyat still has more at 82. Abdullah is said to control at least 20 Umno Members of Parliament. So Najib will be reduced to 59 against Pakatan Rakyat’s 82. The question would be: will Abdullah’s 20 remain neutral or will they swing to Pakatan Rakyat to give it 102? Either way, with only 59 Umno Members of Parliament, Najib would be far short and would need the other component members of Barisan Nasional to take the chair as Prime Minister.

MCA (15), MIC (3) and Gerakan (2) total another 20. These three parties plus PPP (which has no Parliamentarians) are totally pissed with Umno. They may not throw their lot behind Pakatan Rakyat but they would certainly stay neutral and become the ‘third force’ or ‘independents’. Though Pakatan Rakyat may not benefit from MCA’s, MIC’s and Gerakan’s 20 seats, neither would Umno, or rather Najib.

Najib would need the 30 non-Umno Members of Parliament from Sarawak and the balance 11 from Sabah (totaling 41) to make up his majority. If they too decide to follow MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP and stay ‘neutral’, then Najib is sunk. His 59 against Pakatan Rakyat’s 82, Abdullah’s ‘neutral’ 20, and the MCA’s, MIC’s, Gerakan’s, Sabah’s and Sarawak’s ‘neutral’ 61, would mean that he does not have the confidence of the majority and the Agong just can’t appoint him as the new Prime Minister.

Yes, many are looking forward to the 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament crossing over to Pakatan Rakyat to give it 112 seats in Parliament (111 of 222 is exactly 50% so it will be 50% plus one seat). But what if they don’t cross over? What if they just remain neutral or leave Barisan Nasional to create an ‘independent third force’? This too would be enough to deny Najib the Prime Ministership. And there is more than one reason for them to want to remain neutral or to leave Barisan Nasional to become a third force.

This is the dilemma facing Najib. And Mahathir is also greatly concerned. They both know that March 2009 is a long way away. And many things can happen from now till March 2009. The non-Umno component members of Barisan Nasional are reevaluating their relationship with Umno. It is no longer a matter of whether to abandon Umno, and in the process abandon Najib as well. Leaving Umno is almost a foregone conclusion. What they are undecided about is whether they should leave Barisan Nasional to join Pakatan Rakyat or leave to become an independent third force. Both have its merits. In Pakatan Rakyat there is good and bad, as an independent third force there is also good and bad. That is what is preoccupying the minds of the non-Umno component members of Barisan Nasional. And the more mistakes Umno makes the more reason for them to proceed with the divorce. And Umno is making mistakes by the dozen these days.

So they want Raja Petra’s various cases in the Shah Alam, Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur courts to be settled super-fast. The legal brains are mind-boggled as to how fast the courts seem to move in dispensing with justice when it comes to Raja Petra’s cases, when other cases are sometimes known to stretch over ten or twenty years with no end in sight. Why the hurry when it comes to Raja Petra? Is the hurriedness more about Najib than about Raja Petra? Are they hoping that what will be revealed in Raja Petra’s cases will be the noose around Najib’s neck? I can only speculate on the reason but it does not take a rocket scientist to figure this one out.

Sure, Abdullah said that Najib will take over in March 2009. He even did not contest the Umno Presidency and allowed Najib a walkover as part of this plan. But it was not an unqualified assurance. It certainly is subject to certain conditions. And one of those conditions would be that he is free from any legal problems such as being implicated in a murder. The second would be he procures the confidence of the majority of the Members of the House. The failure to fulfill any one of these conditions is enough to disqualify him. And Abdullah has four months to work on the disqualification.

There is no such thing as a sure thing. Najib and Mahathir of all people should know this by now. And who said Abdullah is stupid? He may not be smart but this does not mean he is stupid. And Abdullah may yet prove he is sneakier than most people give him credit for.

I think Malaysians should launch a ‘No to Najib’ campaign. Maybe they should collect 100,000 signatures for a petition to the Agong to appeal to His Majesty not to appoint Najib as Prime Minister in March 2009. Maybe it is not a bad idea after all that Abdullah stays on. At least Pakatan Rakyat can take him on come the next general election in 2012-2013 and finish the job they started on 8 March 2008.

[Portraits of RPK & DSAI courtesy of Knights Templar]

Martin Jalleh on Nazri the Incontinent Nazi


by Martin Jalleh

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz, has a very long tradition of treating parliament as his personal playground where he proudly leaves a trail of his political pooh behind.

When he fails in an intelligent debate in parliament or when an answer deserts him, leaving him dumb, he dishes out a diatribe, creates a dramatic diversion or distraction, and/or goes into a delirium.

Nazri acts tough, talks and thinks as though he is the PM, or he knows everything, threatens and taunts those who stand up to him, throws a tantrum together with some theatrics when things don’t go his way.

Past and present Speakers or their deputies have always given the Minister full and free access to the House to go into a fit or a frolic or to flaunt his foolishness according to his whim and fancy.

Nazri's rewriting of history on 6 November 2008 adds to the list of growing examples of the Minister treating the House as a place where he “play-plays” by being provocative and pokes fun at serious issues.

He told Parliament that former Lord President Salleh Abas and other senior judges involved in the judicial crisis 20 years ago were not “sacked” but had their "services terminated early". Yet, in September 2006 he had himself taken part in a ‘1988 Judicial Crisis - To review or not?’ forum attended by 1,000 people who had heard him defend the sacking of the judges!

Karpal Singh (right) insisted that action be taken against Nazri for allegedly lying to the House. The latter in a press conference conceded making a mistake, adding he had no intention of misleading the House. But Nazri refused to explain in nor apologise to Parliament, where he first made his infamous revelation. Telling the press would suffice! For the first time, a press conference took precedence over Parliament!

Karpal persisted. Deputy Speaker Wan Junaidi (below, left) waved his wand and everything was back to square one. Gobind Singh told Wan that his decision was very wanting. He got suspended for two days. Nazri get off scot-free – to nurture more nonsense.

Nazri said Gobind was suspended “because he challenged the decision of the speaker. The reason why you don't see us (BN MPs) get suspended is because we don't go against the decision of the speaker". Since when has the Speaker decided against a BN MP over a controversial issue?

Nazri has many fans and followers amongst the BN MPs, the latest being Tajuddin Abdul Rahman (Umno-Pasir Salak, left) whose sexual innuendo remarks in parliament were recently revealed and who called a DAP MP “bloody bastard” but escaped punishment (rings a bell?).

A glance at Nazri’s track record and tales (in italics) – a major part of which I have highlighted before and condensed here below – will show that the Minister overseeing parliamentary affairs has in fact in the recent past mislead and made a mockery of Parliament, with the Chair condoning his monkeying around.

2004: Nazri Bulls and Blunders

May: Suhakam’s report is never meant to be debated in Parliament. Nazri was wrong. It is a legislative requirement for Suhakam, a creation of Parliament, to submit annual reports to Parliament so that its findings can be debated and its recommendations deliberated on.

2005: Nazri Bluffs and Bullies

April: The Cabinet’s plan to form a select committee on water privatization was dropped because the King wanted water privatisation to be in place by the end of the year. Lim Kit Siang (LKS) told Nazri not to drag the King into the issue and added that “…the Royal address is the policy pronouncement of the government of the day”.

April: Bibles in Bahasa Malaysia cannot be circulated in the country as this could be seen as an effort to spread Christianity among the Malays….the prohibition had been in force since Independence and was in line with the Constitution (Star, 13.04.05). A week later the PM said that there was no such ban.

June: Nazri shouted racist and bloody racist at DAP MP M Kula Segaran 41 times. His “racist” fit which the then Speaker deemed fit to allow, was intended to divert attention from a dispute involving two government backbenchers!

Sept: If every issue raised requires a select committee, then perhaps we also need to discuss that former Communist Party of Malaya secretary-general Chin Peng is DAP’s Father of Independence.— This was Nazri’s childish response to LKS’s suggestion of the setting-up of three new Parliamentary Select Committees.

2006: Nazri Barks and Boasts

March: Nazri branded DAP MP Teresa Kok an Islam hater after she questioned the directive that all policewomen must wear the tudung during official parades. Teresa protested. However the then Deputy Speaker merely told the minister that the remark was unnecessary.

June: Nazri told parliament: There is no basis for the allegation of corruption in the judiciary as contained in a letter written by former High Court judge Datuk Syed Ahmad Idid… the case has been investigated by the Government, the ACA and the AG.

Syed Idid replied that the allegations were “never really investigated”. This was confirmed by a former AG Abu Talib Othman who added that “on the other hand, the poor judge who wrote it was investigated”!

July: The presence of foreigners, including those with IMM13 documents, does not cause social, security and economic problems in Sabah. A leader of the Sabah Progressive Party (then a part of the ruling coalition) accused Nazri of being ignorant and said “it would be better for him to keep his mouth shut….”

July: The Government is satisfied with the ACA’s performance. Param Cumaraswamy a former TI Malaysia president pointed out: “It is not the satisfaction of the Government that the ACA is handling its responsibilities effectively that matters. It is the satisfaction of the public that matters most.”

July: The ACA is free to act on its own. In 2003, when he (who was then Entrepreneur Development Minister) was under investigation for corruption, Nazri had said that he would advise the Cabinet to replace the then ACA Investigations Director with whom he had a war of words with!

Sept: You are just jealous because I am standing! – Nazri told wheelchair-bound Karpal Singh who had urged the Deputy Speaker to restrain the minister as he had “gone crazy” by racing through the text of his 80-page winding-up document, refusing to allow any interjections for clarification.

The Deputy Speaker later said that Nazri’s remarks were “improper” – without making a ruling that the remarks be withdrawn!

2007: Nazri Goes Berserk

March: The government is not prepared to study and research current election laws or revamp the Election Commission (EC) because in the past 50 years we have not revamped any ministry. This was Nazri’s response to then EC chairman’s call for an independent commission to oversee changes in the election laws and regulations.

March: I think these NGOs are stupid... We don’t need another system, independent inquiry and all that. Nazri dismissed calls by rights groups for an independent inquiry into the graft and sexual assault allegations against then ACA director-general Zulkipli Mat Noor

And so for the first time in the country’s history we had the police investigating the (then) chief of the ACA and at the same time the ACA investigating the top police officer of the nation -- and the Attorney-General deciding later that both were clean! The whole world was laughing at the government’s stupidity.

April: It's like ants attracted to sugar… Malaysians leave to make money but they will return. You don’t have to press the panic button yet. This was Nazri’s response to LKS’s concern over the alarming migration trend. He forgot that his boss had in 2004 offered a host of incentives to lure an estimated 30,000 of Malaysia ’s graduates working overseas to return home. Pak Lah panicked?

May: Bernard Dompok’s resignation was influenced by Lim Kit Siang. Dompok resigned as the chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Integrity because he had disagreed with Nazri over the committee’s scope of duties. Dompok’s reply to his colleague: “It’s a cheap shot!”

May: “...they should not apologise to Fong or the DAP for their remarks. – Nazri came to the defence of the two MPs who had made sexist remarks following Fong Po Kuan’s observations of leaks in the Parliament building.

June: Singapore is not a real country, it is a small island. Singapore’s population is just three to four million and there are no opportunities for corruption, unlike in our country. Nazri’s inference of larger countries being more prone to corruption and smaller countries being less corrupt was wrong.

June: Malaysia will never develop as long as we have people like Lim (Kit Siang). All these (corruption allegations) are lies. Why are you so stupid? Where are the allegations? You have no brains. Stupid, stupid, stupid...! Nazri turned nasty in a heated exchange with LKS (left).

The then Speaker said that he could not cite Nazri for using unparliamentary language because “such language was used all the time”. Grinning like a school bully having his last say, Nazri added to his string of “stupid” salvoes: "OK, tidak cerdik (not smart) then. It’s like stupid too."

Aug: The then Chief Justice (CJ) Ahmad Fairuz had advocated the abolition of Common Law, and replacing it with an Islamic legal system. Nazri denied on behalf of Fairuz, in Parliament, that Fairuz had made such a proposal. LKS provided Nazri with a newspaper tape transcript as proof. He played down its significance, claiming that the CJ was pressed by reporters to offer his opinion!

Aug: When Karpal Singh revealed the name of a Federal Court judge who had not written judgments in as many as 35 cases (in response to the then CJ’s challenge to show proof) Nazri declared: "The writing of judgments was not the only criterion to promote judges”!

Aug: When the country did not have a Chief Judge for eight months, Nazri insisted that there is no law that says the Chief Justice cannot act as the Chief Judge of Malaya”. The Bar Council showed him that he was wrong!

Aug: There's no need for such a judicial commission (in charge of judicial appointments) as there is no crisis in our judiciary... No crisis, no problems. I don't see any scandal. These are all efforts by the opposition to create distrust and erode public confidence in the judiciary. This was in sharp contrast to Sultan Azlan Shah, who later expressed his grave concern over the “disquiet” about and “serious criticisms” against the judiciary at the 14th Malaysian Law Conference.

Sept: ... the lawyers' march was "unbecoming." (On 26th September, 2,000 lawyers walked to Putrajaya to submit a memorandum on judicial reform to the PM.) It was in sharp contrast to Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan’s statement: “We are walking for justice, we want judicial reform. Lawyers don't walk every day. When lawyers walk, something is wrong.”

Oct: Whistleblowers in the Lingam Tape scandal could be protected under the Witness Protection Bill tabled recently in Parliament. — Nazri later admitted there was no such bill and blamed his press secretary for failing to issue a clarification to the media!

Nov: ... it would be pointless to try and understand the reason behind the rally as the brains of opposition members do not function well…the wires in their heads are severed. I don’t understand why they claim that the EC is unfair.

Nazri was commenting on the march on 10 November of 40,000 people to submit a memorandum calling for electoral reforms to the King. Ironically, a few weeks earlier, Nazri had told opposition MPs in parliament “not to get over-excited about the ‘independence’ of the EC, when it does not exist."

Nov: “Don’t try to drag the King into this. The King and the people are behind us. They (the opposition) are afraid to face the next elections. If you’ve no courage, don’t become a pondan (wimp).” If there is anyone who has tried to make use of the King it is Nazri himself (see above)!

2008: Nazri Brays Brazenly

May: "The government did not order the commission. We merely told them there were concerns about the legal implications and it could create problems later." Nazri blamed the EC for the last-minute decision to cancel the use of indelible ink in the March polls. The then EC chairman had said it was a Cabinet decision.

Nazri also told parliament that no action would be taken against those who had lodged police reports saying that indelible ink was being smuggled into the country during the last general election... because they have believed the rumours they heard were true!

June: The Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club (BBC) was upset with Nazri for branding it childish and gangster-like for removing a barricade at the Parliament lobby put up to ban reporters from the lobby.

I am expecting the BBC to recommend to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to sack me as a minister. If they dare not do that on Monday, then shut up and don’t talk anymore
– Nazri lambasted the BBC chairman.

Oct: The government does not have a problem with setting up the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) but there is “strong evidence” that certain quarters disagreed with the proposal.

Nazri was responding to LKS’s query as to why the IPCMC was not established although the IGP had said that the police would agree if the government insisted on it. When a PAS MP questioned Nazri on who these “certain quarters” were, Nazri evaded the question and took a dig at PAS instead.


It is very obvious that the Minister in the PM’s Department who is also the overseer of parliamentary affairs and the de facto Law Minister, is a misfit in Parliament and an unmitigated mistake to the country.

As a loudmouth and loose cannon, Nazri would no doubt take Bolehland to greater heights in hype, hypocrisy and of course, hysterics and histrionics in Parliament!

The public cannot be blamed for its increasing perception that the Speaker and his deputies have been blind, biased, beholden to the Umno-dominated Government and begging and bending backwards to do its bidding. They have allowed Nazri to get away with impunity whilst appearing to be impartial.

Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz should be included in the posse who will mount up and ride into the sunset together with the soon-to-be-retired PM.

Martin Jalleh
4 November 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

RPK, Jo Kukathas & Kee Thuan Chye with Riz Khan on Aljazeera

Part One

Part Two

Raja Petra Kamarudin (blogger), Jo Kukathas (actress/director/playwright), and Kee Thuan Chye (actor/playwright/director/editor/author/social commentator) chat with Riz Khan on Aljazeera. Broadcast live on 3 December 2008.


I always look forward to what Dean Johns has to say about Malaysian politics - not only because we both seem to have pretty similar views on most subjects - but because he writes fabulously well and never fails to provide a few good chuckles. I'm cloning his latest column for the benefit of those who, for one reason or another, have yet to subscribe to Malaysiakini (Steven Gan, hope you don't mind my doing this for the public good :-)...

BN's lose-lose situation
Dean Johns | Dec 3, 08 10:51am

Since the so-called ‘tsunami’ swept away its two-thirds parliamentary majority and control of five states in the March general election, Barisan Nasional has clearly been faced with the imperative to reform itself or die.

So I’ve been increasingly puzzled to see no sign of improvement. Even Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s single token progressive move, the inclusion of law-reform zealot Zaid Ibrahim in his cabinet, has come to nothing. And populist posturings by minority coalition parties like Gerakan and the PPP have been routinely spurned.

So what’s been BN’s problem that it can’t change even for its own self-preservation? For months I put it down to stupidity, pride and pure bloody-mindedness. But I’m not so sure any more. Now I’m starting to suspect that BN simply doesn’t know which way to turn, as it’s realised that, as damned as it is if it doesn’t reform, it’s equally damned if it does.

If it doesn’t repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), for example, or at least ‘amend’ the accursed thing as the PPP and MCA are pathetically proposing, the BN government will become even more unpopular.

And if it does do away with the ISA there will surely be more and more vigils, rallies and other public gatherings in protest against the government’s numerous other iniquities.

If it doesn’t stop misusing the Official Secrets Act (OSA) to cover-up its financial finagling and corrupt collusion with crony contractors and government-linked companies, the people will increasingly suspect it of conspiring to defraud them.

And if it does ever decide to go easy on its use of the OSA and behave with more transparency, its activities will be exposed as the can of worms that they evidently are.

And this lose-lose situation applies similarly to reform of any or all other aspects of the Barisan Nasional administration, including the judiciary, the police and the rest of the civil service.

If BN heeds Malaysians’ call for an attorney-general who honours his oath of office and deals with cases without fear or favour, the first case the new AG should bring would be against Gani Patail for tampering with evidence in the 1997 Anwar Ibrahim sodomy trial.

Any new attorney-general worthy of his office would also immediately call a halt to the clearly questionable trial of the Altantuya murder suspects and order a complete re-investigation of the crime, if necessary by Interpol or some other independent, international agency, thereby possibly revealing high-level BN involvement in ordering the killing and trying to conceal it by expunging the victim’s name from immigration records.

Time to listen to the people

If the BN government instituted a truly independent Anti-Corruption Agency, it would trigger investigations of current and former cabinet ministers, hundreds if not thousands of civil servants at all levels, and countless local-government appointees and officers.

Revolutionising the Royal Malaysian Police Force would uncover the reasons for failing to combat the spiraling rates of crime, especially those crimes committed, aided and abetted by the police themselves, ranging from wholesale corruption to deaths in custody and protection of drugs and vice syndicates.

Heeding the people’s call for free media would quickly unleash a storm of fearless investigative reporting of the BN government and its administration, and finally open Malaysians’ incredulous eyes to the appalling state of their "democracy" as a result of half a century of BN misrule.

Free news media would also shed some much-needed light on the true state of the Malaysian economy, which the government continues to claim is healthy, despite the crash in exports and plunges in the prices of commodities including palm oil as a result of the economic recession that’s impacting virtually every other country around the globe.

Reformation of the electoral commission would virtually ensure a victory in the next election for an opposition no longer unfairly disadvantaged by wildly gerrymandered electorates, suspect postal voting, officer-supervised voting by the police and armed services, and highly-suspect electoral rolls.

And of course reform of the elections within BN’s own component parties, like Umno with its notorious and now apparently traditional system of bribery euphemised as "money politics", might bring some new blood and even reformers into positions of influence in the coalition.

So it’s clear that, as poisonous to BN’s prospects as lack of reform will someday surely prove, any genuine reform would very likely be even more damaging to its grip on power, and sooner.

The only hope BN has of staying in power and out of jail a little longer is to keep doing what’s kept Abdullah in the premiership for the past five years: forever promising reform and then failing to deliver.

Though I see that as he waits to succeed Abdullah as PM, Najib Abdul Razak has started work on a strategy of denying that there’s a need for reform. Claiming recently that Malaysia’s crime rates are lower than those of Japan and Hong Kong, he called for a change in public perception of the police force.

The trouble with that concept, however, is that the public perception of Najib is even less positive, if possible, than of the police whose image he’s at pains to try and promote.

In fact many if not a majority of Malaysians see Najib as a living symbol of all they loathe about BN. So that his proposed elevation to the premiership, far from saving BN from its lose-lose situation, will only serve to change things from Abdullah to even worse.


Malaysia-Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin talks about Islam and the Malay psyche at an anti-ISA forum on December 1st, 2008. Raja Petra argues that detention without trial is against Islam but yet many Malays especially those in Umno support the ISA. He also focuses on issues that conflict with Islam but are practised by the hypocritical Umno/BN government.

Bravo, Pete! Simply brilliant lecture, great to see you in such excellent form :-)

Just for laughs, take a look at this video from Malaysiakini showing a bunch of Umno-sponsored pro-ISA protestors who assembled outside the Bar Council even as the Anti-ISA Forum was in progress...

How low can you go, Umno?

[This blogpost was inspired by a visit to Haris Ibrahim's People Parliament where I first viewed the RPK lecture. Thanks, Haris, you're really doing a magnificent job, bro! ]

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Happy Blogday, Magick River!