Friday, June 10, 2011

A false tale of racial strife and resentment

Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah gave a talk last month at the Malaysian Students Union in the U.K. It was a level-headed, eloquent and emininently sensible speech. It is indeed unfortunate that Ku Li persists in his unreasonable belief that BN can reform itself. If BN had 50 more leaders of Ku Li's caliber, perhaps....
Minaq Jinggo
Thank you for inviting me to speak with you. I am truly honoured. I have played some small role in the life of this nation, but having been on the wrong side of one or two political fights with the powers that be, I am not as close to the young people of this country as I would hope to be.

History, and the 8 o’clock news, are written by the victors. In recent years the government’s monopoly of the media has been destroyed by the technology revolution.

You could say I was also a member of the UKEC. Well I was, except that belonged to the predecessor of the UKEC by more than fifty years, The Malayan Students Union of the UK and Eire. I led this organisation in 1958/59. I was then a student of Queen’s University at Belfast, in a rather cooler climate than Kota Bharu’s.

Your invitation to participate in the MSLS was prefaced by an essay which calls for an intellectually informed activism. I congratulate you on this. The Youth of today, you note, “will chart the future of Malaysia.” You say you “no longer want to be ignored and leave the future of our Malaysia at the hands of the current generation.” You “want to grab the bull by the horns... and have a say in where we go as a society and as a nation.”I feel the same, actually. A lot of Malaysians feel the same. They are tired of being ignored and talked down to by swaggering mediocrities.

You are right. The present generation in power has let Malaysia down.

But also you cite two things as testimony of the importance of youth and of student activism to this country, the election results of 2008 and “the Prime Minister’s acknowledgement of the role of youth in the development of the country.”

So perhaps you are a little way yet from thinking for yourselves. The first step in “grabbing the bull by the horns” is not to required the endorsement of the Prime Minister, or any Minister, for your activism.

Politicians are not your parents. They are your servants. You don’t need a government slogan coined by a foreign PR agency to wrap your project in. You just go ahead and do it.

When I was a student our newly formed country was already a leader in the postcolonial world. We were sought out as a leader in the Afro-Asian Conference which inaugurated the Non-Aligned Movement and the G-77. The Afro-Asian movement was led by such luminaries as Zhou En-lai, Nehru, Kwame Nkrumah, Soekarno. Malaysians were seen as moderate leaders capable of mediating between these more radical leaders and the West. We were known for our moderation, good sense and reliability.

We were a leader in the Islamic world as ourselves and as we were, without our leaders having to put up false displays of piety. His memory has been scrubbed out quite systematically from our national consciousness, so you might not know this or much else about him, but it was Tengku Abdul Rahman who established our leadership in the Islamic world by coming up with the idea of the OIC and making it happen.

Under his leadership Malaysia led the way in taking up the anti-apartheid cause in the Commonwealth and in the United Nations, resulting in South Africa’s expulsion from these bodies.

Here was a man at ease with himself, made it a policy goal that Malaysia be “a happy country”. He loved sport and encouraged sporting achievement among Malaysians. He was owner of many a fine race horse.

He called a press conference and had a beer with his stewards when his horse won at the Melbourne Cup. He had nothing to hide because his great integrity in service was clear to all. Now we have religious and moral hypocrites who cheat, lie and steal in office but never have a drink, who propagate an ideologically shackled education system for all Malaysians while they send their own kids to elite academies in the West.

Speaking of football. You’re too young to have experienced the Merdeka Cup, which Tunku started. We had a respectable side in the sixties and seventies. Teams from across Asia would come to play in Kuala Lumpur. Teams such as South Korea and Japan, whom we defeated routinely. We were one of the better sides in Asia. We won the Bronze medal at the Asian games in 1974 and qualified for the Moscow Olympics in 1980. Today our FIFA ranking is 157 out of 203 countries. That puts us in the lowest quartile, below Maldives (149), the smallest country in Asia, with just 400,000 people living about 1.5 metres above sea level who have to worry that their country may soon be swallowed up by climate change. Here in ASEAN we are behind Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, whom we used to dominate, and our one spot above basketball-playing Philippines.

The captain of our illustrious 1970’s side was Soh Chin Aun. Arumugam, Isa Bakar, Santokh Singh, James Wong and Mokhtar Dahari were heroes whose names rolled off the tongues of our schoolchildren as they copied them on the school field. It wasn’t about being the best in the world, but about being passionate and united and devoted to the game.

It was the same in Badminton, except at one time we were the best in the world. I remember Wong Peng Soon, the first Asian to win the All-England Championship, and then just dominated it throughout the 1950. Back home every kid who played badminton in every little kampong wanted to call himself Wong Peng Soon. There was no tinge of anybody identifying themselves exclusively as Chinese, Malays, Indian. Peng Soon was a Malaysian hero. Just like each of our football heroes. Now we do not have an iota of that feeling. Where has it all gone?

I don’t think it’s mere nostalgia that that makes us think there was a time when the sun shone more brightly upon Malaysia. I bring up sport because it has been a mirror of our more general performance as nation. When we were at ease with who we were and didn’t need slogans to do our best together, we did well. When race and money entered our game, we declined. The same applies to our political and economic life

Soon after independence we were already a highly successful developing country. We had begun the infrastructure building and diversification of our economy that would be the foundation for further growth. We carried out an import-substitution programme that stimulated local productive capacity. From there we started an infrastructure buildup which enabled a diversification of the economy leading to rapid industrialisation. We carried out effective programmes to raise rural income and help with landless with programmes such as FELDA. Our achievements in achieving growth with equity were recognised around the world. We were ahead of Our peer group in economic development were South Korea, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, and we led the pack. I remember we used to send technical consultants to advise the South Koreans.

By the lates nineties, however, we had fallen far behind this group and were competing with Thailand and Indonesia. Today, according to the latest World Investment Report, FDI into Malaysia is at about a twenty year low. We are entering the peer group of Cambodia, Myanmar and the Philippines as an investment destination. Thailand, despite a month long siege of the capital, attracted more FDI than we did last year. Indonesia and Vietnam far outperform us, not as a statistical blip but consistently. Soon we shall have difficulty keeping up with The Philippines. This, I believe, is called relegation. If we take into account FDI outflow, the picture is even more interesting. Last year we received US$1.38 billion (RM4.40 billion) in investments but US$ 8.04 billion flowed out. We are the only country in Southeast Asia which has suffered nett FDI outflow. I am not against outward investment. It can be a good thing for the country. But an imbalance on this scale indicates capital flight, not mere investment overseas.

Without a doubt, Malaysia is slipping. Billions have been looted from this country, and billions more are being siphoned out as our entire political structure crumbles. Yet we are gathered here in comfort, in a country that still seems to ‘work.’ Most of the time. This is due less to good management than to the extraordinary wealth of this country. You were born into a country of immense resources both natural and cultural and social. We have been wearing down this advantage with mismanagement and corruption. With lies, tall tales and theft. We have a political class unwilling or unable to address the central issue of the day because they have grown fat and comfortable with a system built on lies and theft. It is easy to fall into the lull caused by the combination of whatever wealth has not been plundered and removed and political class that lives in a bubble of sycophancy.

I urge you not to fall into that complacency. It is time to wake up. That waking up can begin here, right here, at this conference. Not tomorrow or the day after but today. So let me, as I have the honour of opening this conference, suggest the following:

Overcome the urge to have our hopes for the future endorsed by the Prime Minister. He will have retired, and I’ll be long gone when your future arrives. The shape of your future is being determined now.

Resist the temptation to say “in line with” when we do something. Your projects, believe it or not, don’t have to be in line with any government campaign for them to be meaningful. You don’t need to polish anyone’s apple. Just get on with what you plan to do.

Do not put a lid on certain issues as “sensitive” because someone said they are. Or it is against the Social Contract. Or it is “politicisation”. You don’t need to have your conversation delimited by the hyper-sensitive among us. Sensitivity is often a club people use to hit each other with. Reasoned discussion of contentious issues builds understanding and trust. Test this idea.

It’s not “uber-liberal” to ask for an end to having politics, economic policy, education policy and everything and the kitchen sink determined by race. It’s called growing up. Go look up “liberal” in a dictionary.

Please resist the temptation to say Salam 1Malaysia, or Salam Vision 2020 or Salam Malaysia Boleh, or anything like that. Not even when you are reading the news. It’s embarrassing. I think it’s OK to say plain old salam the way the Holy Prophet did, wishing peace unto all humanity. You say you want to “promote intellectual discourse.” I take that to mean you want to have reasonable, thought-through and critical discussions, and slogans are the enemy of thought. Banish them.

Don’t let the politicians you have invited here talk down to you.

Don’t let them tell you how bright and “exuberant” you are, that you are the future of the nation, etc. If you close your eyes and flow with their flattery you have safely joined the caravan, a caravan taking the nation down a sink hole. If they tell you the future is in your hands kindly request that they hand that future over first. Ask them how come the youngest member of our cabinet is 45 and is full of discredited hacks? Our Merdeka cabinet had an average age below thirty. You’re not the first generation to be bright. Mine wasn’t too stupid. But you could be the first generation of students and young graduates in fifty years to push this nation through a major transformation. And it is a transformation we need desperately.

You will be told that much is expected of you, much has been given to you, and so forth. This is all true. Actually much has also been stolen from you. Over the last twenty five years, much of the immense wealth generated by our productive people and our vast resources has been looted. This was supposed to have been your patrimony. The uncomplicated sense of belonging fully, wholeheartedly, unreservedly, to this country, in all it diversity, that has been taken from you.

Our sense of ourselves as Malaysians, a free and united people, has been replaced by a tale of racial strife and resentment that continues to haunt us. The thing is, this tale is false.

The most precious thing you have been deprived of has been your history. Someone of my generation finds it hard to describe what must seem like a completely different country to you now. Malaysia was not born in strife but in unity. Our independence was achieved through a demonstration of unity by the people in supporting a multiracial government led by Tengku Abdul Rahman. That show of unity, demonstrated first through the municipal elections of 1952 and then through the Alliance’s landslide victory in the elections of 1955, showed that the people of Malaya were united in wanting their freedom.

We surprised the British, who thought we could not do this.

Today we are no longer as united as we were then. We are also less free. I don’t think this is a coincidence. It takes free people to have the psychological strength to overcome the confines of a racialised worldview. It takes free people to overcome those politicians bent on hanging on to power gained by racialising every feature of our life including our football teams.

Hence while you are at this conference, let me argue, that as an absolute minimum, we should call for the repeal of unjust and much abused Acts which are reversals of freedoms that we won at Merdeka.

I ask you in joining me in calling for the repeal of the ISA and the OSA. These draconian laws have been used, more often than not, as political tools rather than instruments of national security. They create a climate of fear. These days there is a trend among right wing nationalist groups to identify the ISA with the defence of Malay rights. This is a self-inflicted insult on Malay rights. As if our Constitutional protections needed draconian laws to enforce them. I wish they were as zealous in defending our right not to be robbed by a corrupt ruling elite. We don’t seem to be applying the law of the land there, let alone the ISA.

I ask you to join me in calling for the repeal of the Printing and Publications Act, and above all, the Universities and Colleges Act. I don’t see how you can pursue your student activism with such freedom and support in the UK and Eire while forgetting that your brethren at home are deprived of their basic rights of association and expression by the UCA. The UCA has done immense harm in dumbing down our universities.

We must have freedom as guaranteed under our Constitution. Freedom to assemble, associate, speak, write, move. This is basic. Even on matters of race and even on religious matters we should be able to speak freely, and we shall educate each other.

It is time to realise the dream of Dato’ Onn and the spirit of the Alliance, of Tunku Abdul Rahman. That dream was one of unity and a single Malaysian people. They went as far as they could with it in their time. Instead of taking on the torch we have reversed course. The next step for us as a country is to move beyond the infancy of race-based parties to a non-racial party system. Our race-based party system is the key political reason why we are a sick country, declining before our own eyes, with money fleeing and people telling their children not to come home after their studies.

So let us try to take 1Malaysia seriously. Millions have been spent putting up billboards and adding the term to every conceivable thing. We even have cuti-cuti 1Malaysia. Can’t take a normal holiday anymore.

This is all fine. Now let us see if it means anything. Let us see the Government of the day lead by example. 1 Malaysia is empty because it is propagated by a Government that promotes the racially-based party system that is the chief cause of our inability to grow up in our race relations. Our inability to grow up in our race relations is the chief reason why investors, and we ourselves, no longer have confidence in our economy. The reasons why we are behind Maldives in football, and behind the Philippines in FDI, are linked.

So let us take 1Malaysia seriously, and convert Barisan Nasional into a party open to all citizens. Let it be a multiracial party open to direct membership. PR will be forced to do the same or be left behind the times. Then we shall have the vehicles for a two party, non-race-based system.

If Umno, MIC or MCA are afraid of losing supporters, let them get their members to join this new multiracial party. PR should do the same. Nobody need feel left out. Umno members can join en masse. The Hainanese Kopitiam Association can join whichever party they want, or both parties en masse if they like. We can maintain our cherished civil associations, however we choose to associate. But we drop all communalism when we compete for the ballot. When our candidates stand for Elections, let them ever after stand only as Malaysians, better or worse.

Monday, June 6, 2011


This brilliant essay by M. Bakri Musa was first published 12 April 2009. Now is as good a time as any to re-read it!

By M. Bakri Musa
12 April 2009

Newly-sworn-in Prime Minister Najib Razak created a buzz when he released 13 prisoners detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and lifted the ban on Harakah and Suara Keadilan, publications of the opposition parties. He also promised “a comprehensive review” of the ISA, a statute long abused to silence the government’s critics. Malaysians long yearning for a change applauded him. There were skeptics, of course.

Alas that was last week. This week the hopes of those citizens were cruelly crushed when they saw the real Najib with the announcement of his new cabinet. Far from being a team that would wow Malaysians, Najib’s cabinet was, as Tunku Aziz put it, “a team of recycled political expendables.” And a bloated one at that!

The skeptics were right; Najib’s earlier act was nothing but a big and cruel tease.

This roster of “political expendables” was the best that the man could offer, from a leader who only a week earlier warned his party that it should “change or be changed.” When given the ultimate freedom to choose his own team, Najib stuck to the tried and true, or what he thought to be so. So this was Najib’s brave version of “Berani Berubah!” (Dare to Change!).

Najib is incapable of change; there is nothing in him to suggest otherwise. He could not even recognize the need for one, much less respond to it. Change would be totally out of character for the man. Far from welcoming or be invigorated by it, change would threaten him.

Unfortunately for Najib, Malaysia has changed. Incapable of change, he is doomed to be changed come the next general elections, from Prime Minister to Leader of the Opposition. He will be our shortest serving chief executive, our Gerald Ford. Ford was the unelected American President who assumed office following Nixon’s forced resignation over the Watergate scandal. Like Ford, Najib too was not elected to the highest office. Ford was subsequently rejected by voters; the same fate awaits Najib.

For Malaysia, that would truly be a wasted decade, with the first half already being squandered by Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Badawi.

The True Najib

Najib is the obedient first son, the loyal subordinate, and the traditionalist aristocrat. He even inherited his father’s ancient tribal title, Orang Kaya Indera Shahbandar! How quaint in this 21st Century! His career path has been straight and narrow, on a track that had been conveniently laid down for him by others who felt indebted or grateful to his illustrious father.

Najib has never shown a talent for striking new paths. Even his ascendance to the Prime Minister’s office was paved by others, in particular Tun Mahathir and Muhyiddin Yassin. Najib must remember that a favor offered is a favor owed.

Just as he was the obedient son, Najib was also the dutiful and loyal subordinate. His blind obedience to Abdullah Badawi drew the wrath of Tun Mahathir. As for experience, Najib has been dependent on paychecks from the public purse all his adult life. He never had to meet a payroll; he has no idea of the trials and challenges of that endeavor; nor does he appreciate the sense of accomplishments and independence of those who have.

This is not the profile of a leader capable of making radical changes that Malaysia so desperately needs now.

Unfortunately the track Najib is on now ends at his office. Ahead, for him and the nation, is uncharted territory, with steep hills to climb and wide canyons to traverse. Turning back is not an option, as that path so carefully crafted by earlier leaders is now destroyed for lack of maintenance and prudent use.

That Najib is now portrayed as an agent for change is more a tribute to his highly-paid public relations operatives and the all-too-eager-to-please toadies in the mainstream media. However, you can peddle a dud only for so long; sooner or later the ugly reality will emerge and the bubble burst.

When that inevitability happens, beware! Voters react with vengeance when they feel that they have been hoodwinked by their leaders. Ask Najib’s immediate predecessor, Abdullah. The by-election results since the last general elections are portends for Najib and his party.

Totally Inept and Inadequately Prepared

Najib assembled his cabinet only last week. Even then he spent that limited time talking with leaders of his Barisan coalition instead of with potential candidates. He is clearly being negligent. He knew he will be Prime Minster months ago; he should have been interviewing and short-listing candidates all along. Being unopposed as president of UMNO and thus freed from having to campaign, he had plenty of time to preview his choices prior to last week.

I am particularly concerned with the choice of his deputy. Did Najib have a private session with Muhyiddin before selecting him? Nowhere is it written that UMNO Deputy President should also be the Deputy Prime Minister. Najib is trapped by tradition.

Najib should have done a “Khairy Jamaluddin” on Muhyiddin, that is, keep him out of the cabinet and make him focus on rebuilding the party. God knows, UMNO needs intensive rehabilitation as much as its Youth wing, if not more so. Dispensing with Muhyyudin would strengthen Najib’s image as a reformer, quite apart from taking the sting out of having singly excluded Khairy from the cabinet.

Najib gave the very important Education portfolio to Muhyiddin. Is Najib assured that Muhyiddin agrees with him on the major policy issues, in particular the highly contentious matter of continuing the teaching of science and mathematics in English? Muhyiddin is unusually quiet on this.

It is equally hard to be enthusiastic on the rest of Najib’s team. This is what happens when you choose your cabinet based on pleasing others, especially those whom you owe favors. Najib struggled to get his team, just like Abdullah and Mahathir before him. Like them, he too found the pickings slim as he fished only in the same polluted and shallow puddle of UMNO and Barisan. He did not have the courage to venture beyond.

Najib unwittingly revealed much in his first few days as Prime Minister. Thanks to his PR team, Najib managed to sound very positive, at with his promise of “a comprehensive review” of the ISA. That sent orgies of praise for the man in the mainstream media and elsewhere. The more perceptive (or skeptical) would note that he specifically did not mention anything about repealing it.

Then there was his announcement on the release of the 13 ISA prisoners “with immediate effect.” In Najib’s lexicon, “with immediate effect” means at least three days later! This shows how much he is in tune with the actual workings of the civil service.

If I had been Najib’s communications director, this is what I would have done. Knowing how easily our civil servants could screw things up, I would first check with the Home Ministry, specifically the Chief of Police and Prison Director, to arrange for the release of the prisoners.Send them to the nearby rest house at government expense if their families were not yet ready to receive them. I would then alert television stations and other news media so they would be there to cover it.

Only after assuring myself that all those meticulous preparations are in place would I have Najib make his announcement. Imagine the dramatic impact when the split screen on the nation’s television screens would also show the prisoners being released as he made the announcement.It would also showcase the crispness of Najib’s new administration. Had he done so, he would have been spared the embarrassment of his orders being delayed for days because of – you guessed it! – paperwork!

On the day Najib announced his new cabinet, the judge in the long running Mongolian model murder trial rendered his judgment. Najib had been trying hard to ignore the grisly tragedy, but it kept cropping up at the most inopportune times. His strategy is to stonewall, banking that the success of his policies would make citizens forget the gruesome crime.

Najib is gravely mistaken in this. Even if his ethics were beyond reproach, Najib would find his policies a tough sell. Conversely, if he could clear up those sordid allegations (assuming of course he is innocent, a huge supposition) he would find that with his personal credibility now enhanced, the public would more likely buy into his policies. Stonewalling is no strategy.

As it now stands, Najib is doomed to be the last UMNO Prime Minister. He will not be even a “one-termer.” He will go down in history as our shortest-serving Prime Minister. Worse, it will be recorded for posterity that he was the Malay leader who brought down a once glorious organization, UMNO, an institution his late father was so instrumental in setting up. All destroyed in just two generations; the first to build it, the second to destroy. Truly a very Malay story!

For those who warmly applauded Najib on his first few days in office thinking that his was the dawn of a new day for the nation, I hope they would translate their disappointment into effective action. Deliver to Najib his own KPI (Key Performance Index) at the next general elections. It will be less than four years away; plenty of time to lay and grease the track for Najib’s (and UMNO’s) exit.

Huh? Naif Ton Rasa? 
Bernama Press Release dated 9 April 2009

Nominated Stupidest Judge in History

Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, presiding judge in the bizarre and hilarious mock trial of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, has been nominated "The Stupidest Judge in History."

His Dishonorable Stupidness Zabidin Mohd Diah has THRICE refused to recuse himself, despite having displayed glaring bias against the defendant, who stands accused of consensual sodomy with accuser Saiful Bukhari Azlan - even though the initial police report lodged by Saiful Bukhari unequivocally states that Anwar Ibrahim raped him "more than eight times."

There is a vast difference between rape and consensual sex. Rape involves using criminal force to violate another against his or her will. Consensual sex implies that both were willing partners. In most mature countries consensual sex between consenting adults is NOT considered an offence, regardless of gender. However, in Malaysia, a 19th century edict prohibiting "sex against the natural order" has been dusted off twice - first in 1998, and again in 2008 - and used as a political weapon to thwart the career of the same individual, Anwar Ibrahim - whose only real crime is that he represents the aspirations of Malaysian voters to topple the corrupt, greedy and arrogant 54-year reign of Barisan Nasional.

As far as I know, no other Malaysian has ever been charged with sodomy and sentenced to nine years' imprisonment. The maximum sentence is 20 years, including six strokes of the rotan. In this day and age, attempting to enforce such an archaic law is beyond stupid. It reeks of unmitigated malice and political vengeance.

Accuser Saiful Bukhari Azlan has revealed himself to be a psychotic personality, basking in the glow of unflattering publicity and widespread unpopularity. The fact that he served as Anwar Ibrahim's personal aide for several months and voluntarily resigned just before filing a police report reveals him to be a Mark David Chapman wannabe (Chapman gained international infamy by assassinating his hero John Lennon on 8 December 1980).

Saiful Bukhari happens to be the godson of Mumtaz Jaafar, a close confidante of Rosmah Mansor, who now bills herself the First Lady of Malaysia. This fact alone, in a sane and sound judicial context, would have confirmed Saiful Bukhari as an unreliable witness and automatically disqualified him as an accuser of Rosmah and her husband's biggest political threat, Anwar.

Saiful testified in court that prior to filing his police report on 28 June 2008, he had spoken on the phone with the then Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan, following which he met Assistant Commissioner Rodhwan Mohd Yusof in a hotel room; and, subsequently, Saiful had visited deputy prime minister Najib Razak and Rosmah Mansor at their residence. Musa Hassan has since stepped down as IGP, while Rodhwan Mohd Yusof has been promoted to Melaka Police Chief.

It must be noted at this point that Musa Hassan and Rodhwan Mohd Yusof were deeply involved in the 1998 sodomy charges against Anwar Ibrahim instigated by Mahathir Mohamad. With Anwar's conviction and imprisonment, Musa Hassan was eventually promoted to Top Cop, while Rodhwan Mohd Yusof continued as Musa Hassan's "dirty tricks" agent.

In effect, there is really no case against Anwar Ibrahim, even if one insists on questioning his personal sexual inclinations. Too many political connections surround the malicious accusation for it to be taken seriously.

Any judge possessing the minutest iota of intelligence and integrity - knowing that not only will his professional credibility be jeopardized, but the honor of his own ancestors and descendants as well - would have discreetly withdrawn from the case, even at the risk of being fired or bypassed for promotion. To knowingly subject oneself to being used as a political hand-puppet is not only demeaning to the person, it befouls the entire judiciary and throws justice itself into disrepute.

Zabidin "Justice My Foot" Mohd Diah, you have sentenced yourself - and your posterity - to eternal contempt and ridicule, a fate far worse than death.

Why don't you come clean? What secret dossier does Chief Justice Zaki Azmi have on you that gives him the power to force you into your present compromising and uncomfortable position?

If anyone can be accused of buggery, it is Mahathir Mohamad and Umno who sodomized the whole of Malaysia in 1988 when they destroyed the independence of the judiciary.

Zabidin Mohd Diah, in fact, is merely another "Saifool" in a vile and imbecilic political masquerade that has plunged Malaysia into the deepest, darkest pit of iniquity.

Azlan Mohd Lazim (above, right), Saiful Bukhari Azlan's estranged father, earns his living as an Umno go-between, fixing deals and negotiating clandestine transactions. He was instrumental in coordinating the secret PAS-Umno meetings soon after 8 March 2008. Azlan Mohd Lazim is on a special committee of Umno entrepreneurs, headed by Romeli Musa (of Sapura Holdings) determined to stop Anwar Ibrahim from becoming PM and Pakatan Rakyat from taking over the federal government.

Malaysia is in a stinking mess because of arrogant, stonewalling jackasses like this %#@!-ing idiot of an election commission chief...

9 JULY 2011 @ 2PM



Sunday, June 5, 2011

A Love Song for Altantuya...

Well, folks, fasten your seat belts. Some massive turbulence ahead... when the case filed in Paris by SUARAM (Suara Rakyat Malaysia, a leading human rights organization) to investigate the astronomical kickbacks involved in Malaysia's purchase of French-made Scorpene submarines between 2002 and 2005, reaches full trial in the coming weeks.

It was an inspired move on the part of SUARAM, because no serious investigation would have been possible in Malaysia, where the defence minister involved in these shady deals has now been promoted to prime minister. Everybody knows all law enforcement agencies in Malaysia are under the direct control of the executive - specifically the prime minister's department and the home ministry. The present home minister happens to be Najib Razak's boorish cousin, Hishammuddin Hussein.

The shadow of unavoidable suspicion still dogs Najib Razak's every step. None of this would have become front-page news had it not been for the gruesome murder of 28-year-old Mongolian beauty, Altantuya Shaariibuu, on 20 October 2006 - who was shot twice in the head and her body blown to smithereens with military-grade C4 explosives in a forested area known as Puncak Alam, near Kuala Lumpur.

Two police officers attached to the Unit Tindakan Khas (Special Action Unit) who, at the time of the murder, had served as personal bodyguards to Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, were charged with the macabre murder of the Mongolian woman and found guilty in April 2009 after a ponderous and farcical trial during which both the defence and prosecution took extraordinary pains to keep Najib Razak and his security chief Musa Safri from testifying.

Najib's close friend Abdul Razak Baginda, a special advisor to the defence ministry, was deeply involved in the submarine purchase. He was arrested in connection with the Altantuya murder and admitted in an affidavit that she had been his mistress for a couple of years and that she had served as a translator during the negotiations in Paris. Trial judge Zaki Yasin acquitted Abdul Razak Baginda, who swiftly relocated to the U.K. with his family.

The faces of the two policemen sentenced to death have never been revealed to the public, as the judge allowed them to cover their heads throughout the prolonged trial. Najib Razak swore on the Koran in August 2008 that he had never met "that Mongolian woman." He did not mention her by name.

However, on 3 July 2008, private investigator Balasubramaniam Perumal had issued an explosive statutory declaration: he had been engaged by Abdul Razak Baginda to keep Altantuya from bothering his client. Bala indicated in his signed declaration that Baginda had briefed him thoroughly on the situation. The background to the messy affair was that Altantuya Shaariibuu had been Najib Razak's mistress until 2004 when he became deputy prime minister, in addition to being defence minister. Najib, wishing to avoid scandal in his new high profile position, had coaxed his buddy Baginda to "look after" Altantuya.

A day later Bala Perumal appeared sullen and ashen-faced at a hastily convened media conference in a hotel at which an unknown lawyer claiming to represent Bala announced that his client had recanted his first statutory declaration and issued a new one wherein all references to Najib Razak had been surgically excised. Immediately afterwards, Bala Perumal vanished from sight and did not reappear until November 2009 when he recorded an interview with three veteran lawyers narrating his harrowing adventures following his 3 July statutory declaration.

According to Bala, he had been escorted by business associates of Rosmah Mansor (Najib's wife) to meet Nazim Razak, younger brother of Najib, who instructed him to accept a "special arrangement" if he valued the lives of his wife and children. Under this arrangement Bala was to leave Malaysia with his family and keep a low profile until after Najib Razak had been appointed the sixth prime minister. He and his family would be comfortably supported with a payment of RM5 million.

Corruption, sex, blackmail, abduction, murder, cover-ups, criminal intimidation, judicial interference, dirty deals... welcome to Bolehsia! Will Najib Razak and his moribund political party, UMNO, survive whatever fresh evidence surfaces during the upcoming corruption trial in Paris?

Well, if they do... it would mean the end of all decency, justice, freedom, truth and wise governance in Malaysia. We shall all turn into moral zombies and our beloved land will be renamed Mordoria....

Folks, a hearty round of applause to Dr Kua Kia Soong and his dedicated staff at SUARAM. They will require an injection of money to pay their legal representatives in France. I've already donated to SUARA INISIATIF SDN BHD's Hong Leong Bank account # 03000065200. Please do your bit to restore justice, accountability and human decency to this country. Thank you.