Friday, April 30, 2010

Musa, you're disgraceful! ~ Lim Kit Siang

"The country cannot wait until September when Musa [Hassan]’s tenure expires. Malaysians need a new IGP who can inspire public confidence in the professionalism of the police force to fight crime and restore to Malaysians their two fundamental rights — to be free from crime and the fear of crime." ~ Lim Kit Siang

Musa, you're disgraceful! Kit Siang returns fire

KUALA LUMPUR: Opposition stalwart Lim Kit Siang fires a verbal salvo against Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan, accusing him of “gross insubordination.”

This afternoon, Musa had threatened not to enforce the law in response to the criticisms over the fatal shooting of 15-year-old schoolboy Aminul Rasyid Amzah.

“This is a most disgraceful statement from the IGP as it tantamounts to an open and public insubordination against the Malaysian people who pay his salary,” Lim said in a statement.

The DAP veteran noted that it was not the first time Musa has done this.

“Musa was involved in the public challenge of the previous prime minister (Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), threatening a police revolt if the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission was implemented,” he said.

All over the world, Lim added, developed nations are graduating to the concept of democratic policing, subjecting police forces to principles of public responsibility and accountability.

“But this is clearly very alien to Musa,” he said, adding that the IGP has overstayed his welcome.

MUSA HASSAN ISN'T THE ONLY ONE WHO HAS TO GO...

Who will police our policemen?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Exquisitely Surreal (Though Not Quite Dali)




































I extracted these stunning images from a powerpoint presentation forwarded by a friend. I had no idea who painted them - whether it's the work of one or several artists - until someone named Yo left a comment below informing me that these outstanding works were actually by a 45-year-old Russian artist named Vladimir Kush.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

ALTANTUYA RESURFACES TO HAUNT NAJIB


French Legal Team in Malaysia to Probe Sub Deal

Written by John Berthelsen | Asia Sentinel
Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Massive corruption suspected in billion-dollar deal tied to Prime Minister Najib

Joseph Breham, a member of a French legal team that filed complaints in a Paris court in connection with a potentially explosive scandal over the billion-dollar purchase of French submarines by Malaysia is due to land in Kuala Lumpur today (April 28) to seek further information on the case and to speak with their clients, the Malaysia human rights organization Suaram.

As Asia Sentinel has reported at length, the deal was engineered by then-Defense Minister Najib Tun Razak (right), now Malaysia's Prime Minister, in 2002 and resulted in a massive €114 million (US$151.1 million at current exchange rates) commission for one of Najib's closest associates, Abdul Razak Baginda. The purchase price included two Scorpene-class diesel submarines built by Armaris, a subsidiary of the French defense giant DCN (formerly Direction des Constructions Navales) and the lease of a third retired submarine manufactured by a joint venture between DCN and Spanish company Agosta.

Breham, one of the three lawyers who filed the case with Parisian prosecutors on behalf of Suaram, told Asia Sentinel the French court has opened a preliminary investigation into the matter and that he would be advising his clients on the next steps. Breham said he will also hold a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today to give some details to local reporters. Breham, Renaud Semerdjian and William Bourdon, the lead lawyer, filed the request to investigate bribery and kickback allegations against DCN first in December and filed additional documents in February.

The case has been making headlines in Malaysia - although few in the mainstream media, which are owned by the country's leading political parties -- since the gruesome October 2006 murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a Mongolian translator and spurned lover of Razak Baginda who had accompanied him to France on some of the transactions over the submarines. Altantuya was shot in the head and her body was blown up with military explosives in a patch of jungle outside of Kuala Lumpur. Two of Najib's bodyguards, who were directed to intercede with her by Musa Safri, Najib's chief of staff, have been convicted of the killing. Neither Najib nor Musa has ever been questioned by law enforcement officials about the case.

Although records showed Najib was in France at the same time as Altantuya and Razak Baginda, he has repeatedly sworn to Allah that he had never known the beauteous Mongolian. One report filed by a private detective hired by Razak Baginda said she had been Najib's lover first. After she was killed, authorities discovered a letter she had written saying she was blackmailing Razak Altantuya for US$500,000, although she did not say why.

In addition to the cost of the submarines and the whopping "commission" fee, it has now emerged that under the terms of the original contract, the vessels were basically bare of armaments and detection devices. The Malaysian military must pay an additional €130 million to equip them.

"You mean we bought bare metal?" wrote one incredulous and anonymous military official in an email to Asia Sentinel.

The charges go well beyond the Malaysian purchase. Judges in the Paris Prosecution Office have been probing a wide range of corruption charges involving similar submarine sales and the possibility of bribery and kickbacks to top officials in France, Pakistan and other countries. The Malaysian piece of the puzzle was added in two filings, on Dec. 4, 2009 and Feb. 23 this year.

French politicians seem to have a knack for backhanders. On October 26, in a trial that centered on illegal arms sales to Angola, Jean-Christophe Mitterrand, the son of the late president Francois Mitterand, was given a two-year suspended sentence and ordered to pay a €375,000 fine for receiving embezzled funds. The court ruled that he had accepted millions of euros in "consultant fees" on the arms deals between 1993 and 1998. In the dock with him were 42 people accused of selling weapons to Angola in defiance of a UN arms embargo, or of taking payments from the arms dealers and using their influence to facilitate the sales.

The trial, it was said, shined a light into a murky world of secret payments made in cash and discreet deals linking Parisian high society with one of Africa's longest-running wars. But it hasn't shined a light on what happened elsewhere with contracts concluded by the representatives of France, and particularly by DCN.

For instance, 11 French engineers employed by DCN, which peddled subs to Pakistan, were blown up in a bus bombing in 2002 which was first thought to have been perpetrated by Islamic militants. The 11 were in Karachi to work on three Agosta 90 B submarines that the Pakistani military had bought in 1994, with payment to be spread over a decade. According to Reuters, commissions were promised to middlemen including Pakistani and Saudi Arabian nationals. Agosta is a subsidiary of DCN. It is believed that Pakistani military officials blew up the bus in retaliation for the cancellation of the payments.


In the Taiwan case, the French company Thales, formerly Thompson-CSF sold six DCN-built La Fayette-class 'stealth' frigates to Taiwan in 1992 for US$2.8 billion. At least six people connected with the case have died under suspicious circumstances including a Taiwanese naval captain named Yin Ching-feng, who was believed to have been killed because he planned to go to the authorities about fraud connected with the case. His nephew, who was also pursuing the case, a Thomson employee in Taiwan and a French intelligence agent were also among the dead. It gradually emerged that some $600 million in commissions had been paid into various Swiss accounts set up by Andrew Wang Chuan-pu, the Taiwan agent for Thomson-CSF. In October 2008 a French judge finally ruled that no one could be prosecuted because of lack of evidence.

The Malaysian allegations revolve around the €114 million payment to a Malaysia-based company called Perimekar for support services surrounding the sale of the submarines. Perimekar was wholly owned by another company, KS Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd, which in turn was controlled by Najib's best friend, Razak Baginda (left), whose wife Mazalinda, a lawyer and former magistrate, was the principal shareholder, according to the French lawyers.

In the complaints filed in Paris, the issue revolves around what, if anything, Razak Baginda's Perimekar company did to deserve €114 million. Zainal Abidin, the deputy defense minister at the time of the sale, told parliament that Perimekar had received the amount - 11 percent of the sale price of the submarines - for "coordination and support services." The Paris filing alleges that there were neither support nor services.

Perimekar was registered in 2001, a few months before the signing of the contracts for the sale, the Paris complaint states. The company, it said flatly, "did not have the financial resources to complete the contract." A review of the accounts in 2001 and 2002, the complaint said, "makes it an obvious fact that this corporation had absolutely no capacity, or legal means or financial ability and/or expertise to support such a contract."


"None of the directors and shareholders of Perimekar has the slightest experience in the construction, maintenance or submarine logistics," the complaint adds. "Under the terms of the contract, €114 million were related to the different stages of construction of the submarines." The apparent consideration, supposedly on the part of Perimekar, "would be per diem and Malaysian crews and accommodation costs during their training. There is therefore no link between billing steps and stages of completion of the consideration."


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

How can we allow THIS to happen???



Human trafficking can only happen where corruption is rife. Malaysia is an authoritarian country managed by spin-doctors and slick slogans. Everything is just for show. In reality we are still a benighted feudal country infested with pirates masquerading as rulers.

Nobility, integrity and honorable conduct cannot be faked. All the billion-dollar infrastructure in the world cannot conceal the moral decadence of the hypocritical, self-serving ruling elite.

This documentary reveals the shadow side of a rogue regime fueled by corruption. Do we want our children to grow up in such an environment? It's our moral duty to ensure that corrupt government is banished once and for all from Malaysia.

Najib Razak has inherited Umno's legacy of monolithic corruption left behind by Mahathir Mohamad. His is the most morally tainted regime in Malaysian history. The home minister and prime minister must be held personally accountable for this disgraceful state of affairs.

May all decent souls resolve here and now to throw out this decadent bunch of white-collar criminals through non-violent means.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kim Quek on Najib's "hollow victory"

Kim Quek's is by far the most lucid and eloquent analysis of the intense battle for Ulu Selangor which ended yesterday at 5:00PM...

The Malaysian Insider

WAS IT REALLY WORTH THE EFFORT, NAJIB?

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak might have won the electoral battle at Hulu Selangor, but he sure has taken a giant step backwards in defending Putrajaya against the relentless advance of Pakatan Rakyat.

The orgy of election bribery indulged over those few days leading up to polling day on April 25 would have put any other pseudo-democracy to shame when comparing election excesses.

To induce votes, Najib and his colleagues made innumerable on-the-spot grants of cash and promises of goodies (many were conditional upon a BN win) that ran easily to hundreds of million of ringgit during that compact campaign period.

These include the construction of a university and several schools, an expressway interchange and many other infrastructures, several low cost housing projects, upgrading of mosques and temples, grants to community guilds and associations, and cash payments to individuals.

These election goodies were so many and so large that I doubt Najib and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin can keep track of the number or total cost.

The single event that impacted most on the electoral outcome was perhaps the occasion of Najib himself handing over RM5 million cash to 100 Felda settlers in a highly trumpeted ceremony two days before polling. These settlers were among victims of a failed project committed to a private developer 15 years ago.

The greatest irony was that, amidst this spree, Najib made an impassioned last-minute plea to the electorate through an open letter bearing his signature, asking for another chance to institute 'change' in his administration so as to redeem BN's mistakes.

Was Najib not aware that this endless stream of impromptu election goodies constitutes a serious offence under Section 10 of the Election Offences Act 1954?

By committing these acts of corruption to such an unprecedented scale while simultaneously articulating his 'change' agenda, he was in effect telling the world: "This is what I mean by 'change' - I will not hesitate to escalate corrupt activities, and damn the laws, if my political interests so demand."

Reflecting on Najib's tenure since early last year, this philosophy of 'the end justifies the means' as exemplified by his conduct in the Hulu Selangor by-election seems to aptly explain the series of scandals that illustrate the ruling power's contempt for the constitution and the rule of law.

These include the unconstitutional power grab in Perak, the continuing persecution of Anwar Ibrahim via the Sodomy II trial, the awkward attempt to hide the real culprits in the show trial of Altantuya Shaariibuu's grisly murder and the tragic death of Teoh Beng Hock while in the custody of MACC and the subsequent inquest.

Disgraceful victory

In the aftermath of this sordid by-election, Najib and his cohorts have, as expected, hailed this disgraceful victory as the nation's endorsement of Najib's new policy and the shifting of support to BN.

However, removing the thin veneer of this pyrrhic victory, we find that the contrary is true. In fact, a cursory review of this by-election (many prefer to call it 'buy-election') has revealed trends and phenomena that should cause BN to be worried, very worried.

First, winning by 1,700 votes does not necessarily indicate an increase of support. On the contrary, it could mean a substantial drop of support, if we consider the fact that in the last general election in March 2008, BN's combined majority of the three state constituencies that made up the parliamentary constituency of Hulu Selangor was 6,300 votes.

If Umno can secure only a marginal victory (24,997 vs 23,272) after such heavy abuses of public funds and politically manipulated institutions, there is not the slightest chance that the same can be repeated in a general election, during which, Hulu Selangor will surely fall back to Pakatan, just as Ijok did previously.

Second, judging from the response of the electorate during the election campaign, Najib's 'lMalaysia' advocacy has failed to take root among BN supporters. This was prominently reflected in the respective finale of the two protagonists' election campaign on the eve of polling.

While the BN rally, estimated at 3,000, was attended almost exclusively by Malays, with a sprinkling of Indians; the 15,000 strong Pakatan rally was a colourful display of multi-racialism with a healthy proportion of the three races. It left one with the unmistakable impression that the coalition that has really succeeded in realising '1Malaysia' is Pakatan, not BN.

Third, the Chinese support to BN has dwindled to an even smaller minority (less than one third) despite the many carrots dangled before the community - particularly Najib's personal promise to grant a RM3 million grant to a Chinese school the very next day after polling, conditioned upon a BN win.

This indicates that the Chinese electorate has politically matured to the point that they are relatively immune to BN's election bribery. For them, nothing short of real reforms would do.

As Umno is not capable of instituting real reforms, this naturally spells the end of the political lifespan of the Chinese racial party MCA, and by corollary, that of Gerakan. With the Indian racial party MIC also having lost the support of Indians, the isolation of Umno in Peninsular Malaysia is complete.

Considering that they had been the bulwark of support to Umno in past elections, their eclipse means that Umno's political wings in the peninsula are clipped.

Eyes elsewhere

Hence, Umno's final grasp at power is now hinged to its relationship with the BN component parties in Sabah and Sarawak, which unfortunately are not in the best of terms with the Umno-dominated federal government.

Known for their strong regionalism and thrust to their king-maker position by the political tsunami of the 2008 general election, Sabah and Sarawak are now a hive of discontent and resentment against the exploitation and short-changing of their autonomous rights under the autocratic Umno-dominated BN leadership.

With a maimed Umno in the peninsula, and a resurgent Pakatan offering a just deal and restoration of autonomy to these two states, the people there for the first time have the real option of clinching the best political deal since the formation of Malaysia almost five decades ago.

Since the people in Sabah and Sarawak are less race-conscious than their peninsular counterparts and in fact rather irritated by the heavy racism practiced by Umno, for how long can Umno's race politics withstand the challenge for influence by the multi-racial Pakatan in these two territories, and by extension the political power over the entire country?

The Hulu Selangor by-election has given us a pointer, and it ain't looking good for Umno.

KIM QUEK is a retired accountant and PKR member.