Sudah masuk hari ketiga hari ini, tetapi Timbalan Perdana Menteri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi masih gagal membuktikan kebenaran dakwaannya mengenai pemimpin UMNO yang disebutnya Sabtu lalu mahu menjatuhkan Perdana Menteri melalui usul undi tidak percaya di Parlimen.
Zahid yang juga Menteri Dalam Negeri, dalam masa yang sama, turut gagal membuktikan kesahihan dakwaannya sehari selepas itu bahawa pemimpin UMNO terbabit akan datang menemui Najib Razak pada jam 6 petang Ahad lalu untuk meminta maaf.
Bermakna, bukan saja pemimpin UMNO yang didakwanya mahu menjatuhkan Najib itu tidak berjaya dibuktikan sehingga kini, malah dakwaannya pemimpin tersebut akan meminta maaf kepada Najib tidak lebih seperti “maklumat tepi jalan” atau “gossip cerita artis” semata-mata.
Dengan ini, tentulah ramai yang hairan bagaimana seorang Timbalan Perdana Menteri boleh membuat “dakwaan kosong” sebegitu rupa dan ia barangkali tidak pernah dilakukan oleh mana-mana penyandang jawatan itu sebelum ini.
Oleh kerana Zahid masih terbelenggu dengan “janji lama” dalang Lahad Datu dan bukti Syiahnya Mohamad Sabu yang yang masih belum ditunaikannya, beliau kini mempunyai dua pilihan untuk dilakukannya.
Pertama, segera membuktikan kebenaran dakwaannya terbaru itu dengan menyebut nama pemimpin UMNO terbabit supaya beliau dilihat benar-benar berwibawa sebagai Timbalan Perdana Menteri dan ada harapan menjadi Perdana Menteri di masa depan.
Kedua, terus membuat “dakwaan-dakwaan kosong” atau bersandarkan “kicauan burung” ketika merasmikan mesyuarat perwakilan UMNO pada minggu-minggu seterusnya agar dirinya kekal dikenali dengan watak seperti “pembawa gossip artis” untuk selama-lamanya.
Mengusulkan undi tidak percaya di Parlimen hakikatnya sukar dilakukan oleh pihak di luar daripada hireaki UMNO. Oleh kerana pembangkang sendiri mempunyai kerusi yang sedikit dan orang di luar UMNO dan kerajaan pula tidak mempunyai kekuatan pengaruh yang mencukupi, laluannya tidaklah semudah yang dijangka.
Ia lebih mungkin dilakukan oleh pihak dalam hireaki UMNO dan kerajaan sendiri kerana mereka lebih mudah mendekati rakan-rakan Ahli Parlimen dalam parti sendiri serta melakukan tawar-menawar dengan pihak pembangkang.
Dalam situasi kedudukan Najib yang kian lemah berikutan isu derma RM2,600 juta yang masuk ke akaun peribadinya yang bertambah kalut hari demi hari, harus diakui kedudukan UMNO dan BN dalam menghadapi pilihanraya akan datang turut bertambah sukar.
Muhyiddin sendiri baru-baru ini berkata, jika dalam sepuluh orang yang ditanya, terdapat dua atau atau tiga yang menyokong BN, ia sudah dikira cukup beruntung.
Generasi muda tambah parah lagi kedudukannya, lihat sahaja gelombang dalam Pemuda UMNO. Selain beberapa Pemuda UMNO bahagian secara terbuka mendesak Najib berehat dan berundur, rata-rata yang lain turut menolaknya dalam diam sehingga sayap kanan itu tidak lagi dilihat berperanan sebagai benteng utama mempertahankan Najib.
Oleh yang demikian, jika Zahid memahami situasi penolakan terhadap Najib ketika ini, beliau bukan saja patut menyokong usul undi tidak percaya di Parlimen demi menyelamatkan masa depan UMNO dan kerajaan, bahkan harus menjadi sebahagian pendahulunya.
Alang-alang sudah menyebut ada tokoh UMNO mahu berbuat demikian dan ia terus memalukannya kerana tidak berjaya dibuktikan, lebih baik ia dijadikan kenyataan dengan Zahid sendiri melakukannya.
Lagi pula menolak Najib adalah kehendak majoriti ahli UMNO dan rakyat yang makin membesar dan tidak dapat disembunyikan lagi. - Shahbudin Husin
After topple Najib plot, Putrajaya barring all access to Anwar...
The party's vice-president, Nurul Izzah Anwar, said prison authorities have denied visits by family members, doctors and lawyers in the past week, in a move that coincides with talk that Najib was facing a crisis within ruling party Umno.
"In the past week, especially after talk that a few Umno leaders had prepared statutory declarations, prison authorities denied us access to Anwar.
"He was not allowed visits from his famly, doctors and lawyers.
"This is politically motivated," the Lembah Pantai MP, who is also Anwar's daughter, said during a press conference at the PKR headquarters in Petaling Jaya today.
On Saturday, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi claimed there was a plot to topple the government and vowed not to let it happen.
He had said that he knew of an elderly Umno leader with "ambition" as the one leading the plot with the support of opposition lawmakers, and that they were seeking the signatures of MPs from both sides for a statutory declaration to change the government.
Today, Nurul Izzah said that on the day Zahid made the statement, prison officials had cancelled a visit by Selangor Menteri Besar Mohamed Azmin Ali to Anwar, who is still the state's economic adviser.
"They cancelled the visit immediately, that very same day Zahid came up with his statement," she said.
Nurul Izzah added that Anwar was also not allowed to go to the library in prison.
"They are also stopping opposition leaders like Lim Kit Siang, Rafizi Ramil and Azmin from greeting him when he came to court.
"And they shortened the time period (he has) with lawyers from two hours to 45 minutes," she added.
At the same press conference, PKR chief whip Datuk Johari Abdul said Anwar was still being denied state medical care, adding that the former opposition leader was suffering from a shoulder injury.
"We object that he is being denied government medical care.
"The Home Ministry, Prison Department and hospital knows about the serious injuries he has. This is causing him constant pain and his shoulder needs to be operated on immediately," Johari added.
He also criticised the government for disregarding Anwar's plight despite the prime minister assuring that the former opposition leader would be given all necessary medical care.
"We have applied and appealed for treatment to solve the problem directly and also through the lawyers, but no one has responded to our appeals," Johari said.
He urged that Anwar be allowed treatment by the family doctor and if found that he required hospitalisation, for the process needed to be facilitated speedily.
"The home minister, the Prison Department director and Putrajaya will be held fully responsible over Anwar's medical needs and any negative effect to his health as long as their appeals for him to receive treatment are ignored," he added.
Last month, Anwar was admitted to the Kuala Lumpur General Hospital for treatment over a shoulder injury following a car accident last year.
Anwar is serving a five-year prison sentence which began in February after he failed in his appeal to the Federal Court against the conviction of sodomising a former aide. – tmi
UMNO started toppling gov'ts without elections...
PAS today queried Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi on who was first to topple a legitimate government, if not Umno or BN.
Kuala Nerus MP Mohd Khairuddin Aman Razali in a statement today said Zahid, who is also the home minister, said over the weekend there were efforts to topple the government. However the DPM did not name the individual involved but said that person had repented.
Khairuddin queried if this was Zahid's way of looking after the security of the nation and country.
“Zahid said the government can be toppled through a no-confidence motion - and this is allowed in Parliament - and that there are efforts to get opposition MPs to sign a statutory declaration for this. If this is true, it’s not about the ‘toppling of the government’ but more of ‘a shift of power’,” he said in a statement.
“However, who started this way of forming the government. Wasn't it Umno who hatched the plan to bring down the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak in 2009?”
Khairuddin (photo) also alleged in 1961, it was Umno which led to the fall of the Terengganu PAS government when it enticed assemblypersons to help it form a new government.
The Kuala Nerus federal lawmaker further remarked that what was certain was that sooner or later, BN would fall.
But this would not be due to a plot but to its own failures and the political decay within Umno following integrity issues plaguing Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
Zahid's maturity questioned
Meanwhile, Pokok Sena MP Mahfuz Omar in a separate statement questioned Ahmad Zahid's maturity as the DPM.
He said Ahmad Zahid's responses did not reflect well on the office.
“Ahmad Zahid should be relaxed and not have a short fuse. The younger generation is watching closely the number two leader of the nation, who is the potential No 1. We need a leader who is able to deal with the challenges of today.
“We do not need an Umno Youth leader from the 1960's or 70's era, as Ahmad Zahid is portraying himself now. My advice to him, as we both are former party youth leaders, is for him to be patient and not be short-tempered when dealing with the issues the country is facing.
“Do not practise the politics of harassing or issuing threats. Put the interest of the people and the country before the party,” advised Mahfuz (photo) in the statement.
Ahmad Zahid had over the weekend had alleged of a plot to topple the government.
He claimed it was spearheaded by an Umno-BN leader in order to obtain statutory declarations of opposition MPs to claim that they have the voice of the majority.
"As the home minister, it has come to my knowledge that there are efforts to topple the current government... I can smell it (the efforts)," he had said in his speech at the Ampang Umno annual general meeting.- mk
Boikot undang-undang dana politik...
PKR mengajak usaha menggubal undang-undang bagi mengawal pembiayaan politik dipulaukan selagi perdana menteri dan kabinetnya tidak mengisytiharkan harta.
“Hanya selepas pengisytiharan perincian harta, pendapatan dan perbelanjaan dibuat oleh Datuk Seri Najib Razak dan anggota jemaah menteri, barulah rakyat boleh membincangkan satu kerangka pembiayaan politik yang telus.
“(Ini) dengan harapan mana-mana menteri yang terbukti mempunyai harta dan berbelanja melebihi pendapatan didakwa dan dihukum terlebih dahulu,” kata naib presiden dan setiausaha agung PKR Rafizi Ramli.
Beliau juga menegaskan bahawa isu itu hanya timbul kerana Najib terdesak ketika berdepan kemarahan rakyat dalam isu derma RM2.6 bilion ke dalam akaunnya.
Justeru, kata Rafizi, isu penggubalan undang-undang itu adalah cubaan mengalihkan perhatian.
Najib pada 16 Ogos lalu menggesa supaya isu dana politik ditutup, dan memberi fokus bagi menghadapi cabaran yang besar membangunkan negara dan menjaga kepentingan rakyat.
Presiden Umno itu menyalahkan media massa terutamanya media sosial menjadi “punca kekalutan pemikiran rakyat” sehinggakan perkara tidak benar boleh dianggap sebaliknya.- mk
Suspek letupan bom Bangkok...
Two Questions for Malaysia’s PM Najib...
Where did the money come from and where did it go?
If, as Asia Sentinel reported on August 6, more than RM1 billion from Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s personal accounts disappeared somewhere overseas, the Sarawak Report has apparently solved where the money went. It was more than RM1 billion and it appears to have gone back where it came from, deepening the mystery.
Najib has muddied things further. After United Malays National Organization party members said the money came from the Middle East to support the 2013 general election, he now has told UMNO division leaders it was donated by Saudi Arabia which was grateful for Malaysia’s fight against the fundamentalist Islamic State organization which is causing chaos in the Middle East. But the money was deposited to his personal account in March of 2013, a full year before the international US-led coalition came into existence.
Malaysia has provided no troops and has as nearly as can be determined played no role in the fight against ISIS. In June of 2014, in fact, Najib, in a speech to party members said that if UMNO members were “as brave as ISIS militants, the party would be strong.” It is also highly unlikely that the Saudis would make a secret donation to his personal account, rather than routing the money through the Malaysian military. Especially when almost the entire amount disappeared back out into a Singapore bank account.
Since July 2, when the Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal reported that nearly US$700 million had been deposited in Najib’s personal account at AmBank in Kuala Lumpur in March of 2013, there has been a continuing mystery over who gave Najib the money and what it was used for.
Grass roots concern
It appears that the UMNO rank and file are starting to question what Najib was up to. An UMNO Youth division in Melaka over the weekend passed an emergency measure saying that Najib must resign over issues including the massive scandal surrounding the deeply indebted 1Malaysia Development Bhd. and the donation into Najib’s account. A number of other speeches in other UMNO rural chapters have been critical of the deposit scandal and the 1MDB affair.
Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has been trying to unseat Najib for more than a year, said it best in his blog, Che Det, on Aug. 10: “Arabs are generous, but not that generous… This claim that Arabs donated billions is what people describe as hogwash or bullshit.”
The idea that RM2 billion was spent in the 2013 general election, Mahathir said, “is absurd.” Mahathir needed less than RM10 million, he said, for each of the five elections he presided over as the Barisan’s leader.
Sarawak Report’s August 14 edition has reported that US$650 million (RM2 billion) was transferred from the Prime Minister’s AmPrivate Bank account in Kuala Lumpur after the 2013 general election and deposited in the name of Tanore Finance Corporation, domiciled in the British Virgin Islands, at Falcon Bank in Singapore.
Tanore is a mystery, its true ownership shrouded in the BVI’s impervious banking laws. Tanore originally transferred US$681 million into Najib’s AmBank account earlier in March. To earlier explanations that the money was “donated” to Najib personally on behalf of UMNO for the election, there are further questions.
When the money was transferred from Tanore to Najib’s account, the purpose of the transfer, according to a transcript of the transaction obtained by Sarawak Report, was not a donation. It was listed as a “partial payment.” Tanore was apparently wound up in April of 2014, raising questions where the US$650 million went next.
A partial payment for what? None of Najib’s allies have been able to explain how or why the prime minister received and sent back such an enormous amount of money, then closed his personal bank account.
The Tanore Finance Corporation account used in the transaction was at Falcon Private Bank in Singapore, a Swiss-based bank owned by the Abu Dhabi company Aabar, which had signed a RM18 billion “strategic partnership” with 1MDB just days before, according to Sarawak Report.
The mystery has spurred investigations by Swiss and Singaporean authorities into money laundering and raises the possibility of a US one as well, given that Jho Taek Low, a friend of the prime minister’s family who was instrumental in setting up 1MDB, has become an American citizen and is thus subject to US money laundering laws.
Voluminous records that implicate Jho Low, as he is known, were given to the Sarawak Report’s Clare Rewcastle Brown by a Swiss national, Xavier Andre Justo. The documents, including emails and WhatsAp chats, were stolen by Justo, a former official with PetroSaudi International, a Middle Eastern oil exploration company that received a US$1 billion loan from 1MDB.
Singaporean and Malaysian authorities have frozen numerous accounts over the 1MDB investigations. Two of those accounts are believed to be at Falcon.
Najib has gone to extraordinary lengths to shortstop all domestic investigations into the matter, including ousting Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin for questioning the 1MDB accounts.
He has fired Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail, who according to sources in Kuala Lumpur was preparing indictment documents against Najib when he was sacked. He promoted two members of the Parliament’s Public Accounts Committee, which was investigating the 1MDB affair, to the cabinet, paralyzing that investigation. The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s top two officers have been placed on leave and a half-dozen investigators have been interrogated, in effect stopping the commission’s investigation as well.
Fire the messengers
Zeti Akhtar Aziz(above), the respected central bank governor, is under intense attack along with four top members of the Bank Negara hierarchy on suspicion she was behind the leaks to Rewcastle Brown and the Wall Street Journal.
The government has blocked critical reporting, suspending for three months the country’s most influential financial publications owned by The Edge Group. It has attempted to block The Sarawak Report in Malaysia, but the attempt has easily been circumvented.
The government is also on the hunt for foreign interests pursuing “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy under sections 124B and 1241 of the Penal Code,” statutes that basically replicate the Internal Security Act, which was ostensibly repealed at Najib’s urging by the Parliament in 2012.
Sarawak Report also adds detail to Asia Sentinel reports that that money was handed out personally by the Prime Minister to UMNO party heads, not only before the election but after, including numerous payments to MPs. The money was distributed in the form of checks given to key party coordinators by the prime minister, drawn on Najib’s AmBank account. These cadres have been the staunchest defenders of Najib even as the public outcry grows.
Despite the crackdown and despite the bribes to the lawmakers, however, the questions keep coming. The answers don’t.- asiasentinel