30 November 2021

KPI 100 hari Mail yang malang...

Food prices skyrocket – The return of 
monopoly and cartel run by rich UMNO Malay elites...

Exactly what has happened to the meat cartel scandal? First exposed in December last year, millions of Malaysian Muslims have consumed fake halal beef for the last 40 years. The scandal, involving agencies like the Malaysian Quarantine and Inspection Services Department, Customs Department and Port Police, clearly was an example of powerful Malays cheating ordinary Malays.

It means from 1980 to 2020 – under Prime Ministers Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah Badawi, Najib Razak and Muhyiddin Yassin – very powerful politicians and senior government officers, including those from JAKIM, were “business partners” of the cartel. Yet, after almost 1 year since the scandal was exposed, not a single Malay top gun has been sent to prison.

Today, a fifth Malay Prime Minister – Ismail Sabri – is running the country. But it appears the humiliating scandal is quietly being swept under the carpet. It has to be covered up because all the bad guys and crooks involved were UMNO Malays. And because all the Malay political parties – UMNO, Bersatu and PAS – are part of the government, it’s best to pretend nothing had happened.

But when a Chinese company, Winepak Corporation, produced award-winning “Timah Whisky” meant only for non-Muslim consumption, almost all the Malay politicians whined and bitched until foaming at the mouth that the whiskey would confuse the Muslims. Eating diseased non-halal horse and kangaroo meat seems more acceptable than “seeing” a product called “Timah Whisky”.

Rather than interfering with non-Muslim rights by stirring up racial and religion sentiments among the Malays against Timah Whisky, which should be celebrated instead as it will generate export revenue, the government should start worrying about food security and stop the practice of monopoly. The meat cartel scandal happened not only because of corruption, but due to monopoly.

From sugar to meat and from post office to national carmaker Proton, everything was being monopolized as part of the NEP (New Economic Policy) introduced after the 1969 racial riots. Before “Sugar King” Robert Kuok forced to sell his sugar business to Felda Group in 2009, the price of sugar was kept low and stable. When Syed Mokhtar Albukhary – an UMNO proxy – took over the sugar business, prices consistently rise. 

Naturally, when wholesale sugar price increases, the food prices such as canned drinks, bread, biscuits and soya sauce also jump accordingly. Here’s a perspective of how the billionaire slaughtered the ordinary people through his almost total control of the distribution and sale of sugar – when the world price for sugar was only RM1.40 per kilogram, the retail price in Malaysia was set at RM2.90 per kg.
Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary

Not only Albukhary controls the sugar business, he also monopolizes the rice in the country when his company Tradewinds acquired Padiberas Nasional Bhd (Bernas), the country’s sole rice importer. It was revealed that Bernas’ gross profit per month is about RM8.7 million, translating to RM104.4 million annually for doing nothing except arranging the import of rice.
Worse, the UMNO proxy got greedy when Bernas increased imports of cheap low-grade rice, causing small-scale rice millers to shut down. By systematically killing millers and paddy farmers, who happen to be ethnic Malay, instead of assisting them, the tycoon managed to maximize his profits. Do you know that about 90% of paddy farmers in Kedah, the nation’s rice bowl state, are in debt?

In 2018, it was revealed that 300,000 farmers in Kedah were drowning in debt due to shrinking incomes and increasing operating costs thanks to rice monopoly. The net income for an average farmer was only RM600 per month, forcing them to borrow to stay in business. To add salt to injury, some have to pay rent on the land because not all farmers own them.

Now, with UMNO returns to the driver seat, the old tactic of profiting from the poor people, especially the majority ethnic Malays, is back in business. Three days ago (Nov 25), local bread producer Gardenia Bakeries announced that it will raise prices for most of its products, ranging from 10 sen to 45 sen – effective December 1. Of course, Gardenia is owned by none other than Albukhary.

A loaf of Gardenia Original Classic 400g white bread will cost RM2.80 compares to the old price of RM2.50. The Gardenia Original Classic Jumbo 600g will cost RM4 instead of RM3.55, while a 400g loaf of Gardenia Bran & WheatGerm which is currently priced at RM2.50 will be increased to RM2.90. The local favourites such as Twiggies will jump from RM1.49 to RM1.80.
Gardenia Bakeries - Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary

As usual, Gardenia claims that the prices increase is due to the hike in the cost of raw materials (flour, sugar, milk, whole wheat, cocoa powder, packaging and whatnot) and freight charges. Interestingly, Massimo bread owned by billionaire Robert Kuok appears to be immune to cost of raw materials as it has not announced any price hike.
Fish Price Skyrockets

This is not the first time Gardenia increased its prices. About a year ago (November 2020), it also announced new prices for several of its flavoured breads. The price had been raised between 5 and 20 sen effective December 2020. In Nov 2018, Gardenia also raised the prices of several of its best-known products, even though it had increased the prices of 18 of its products a year earlier in 2017.

Hilariously, when then-opposition UMNO and PAS Islamist party started a campaign in 2019 to boycott non-Muslim products, many gullible Malays foolishly swallowed the hook, line and sinker. The “Buy Muslim First” campaign argued that Malays must buy Gardenia bread, for example, because Syed Albukhary owns the company. Heck, they even proclaimed the UMNO proxy as the Malays’ saviour.

The same group of extremists and racists who supported buy Muslim first campaign, instead of educating people to buy lowest priced products, is today unimpressed with Gardenia’s price hikes. And it’s not hard to understand why. The price jump of bakeries came at a time when price skyrockets for essentials like fish, chicken, vegetables and whatnot.
At first, the fish prices jumped, followed by chicken. Then, the prices of vegetables suddenly skyrocket. Now the billionaire linked to UMNO who is allowed to monopolize almost everything in the country has increased the price of bread. Shortage of workers becomes the convenient excuse for the escalating fish prices. But did the manpower shortage happen overnight?

Everything was part of a grand scheme to enrich the Malay elites who walk the corridors of power. While Albukhary monopolizes food supply chain, Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin monopolizes the manpower supply. First, Hamzah ordered the police and immigration to hunt down foreign workers, despite Covid-19 pandemic – deliberately done to create a shortage of workers.

At least 124,423 illegal foreign workers were arrested, and generated RM71 million through compounds. Now that a shortage of labour has been created, the same corrupt and despicable home minister happily said employers who are interested in hiring foreign workers will have to bear all the costs involved in bringing them into Malaysia.
Chicken Price Skyrockets

The SOP (standard operating procedures) for foreign worker entry, involving 4 stages – pre-departure, arrival, post-arrival (quarantine period) and post-quarantine – is essentially a goldmine for the home ministry. Mr Hamzah was basically repeating the process of importing foreign workers after sending them back, the same way former deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi made billions through the import of Bangladeshi.

Despite the chicken prices spiked to RM10.70 from RM8 per kg within a week, the clueless Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Alexander Nanta Linggi said his ministry had no plans to enforce price control for the item. He claimed no cartel activities have been detected. Finance minister Tengku Zafrul said his Finance Ministry will be studying the method to stabilise the rising prices of chicken.

That was in September 2021. Two months later (November), hypermarket boss Ameer Ali Mydin of the Mydin chain raised the alarm as the chicken prices remained stubbornly high. Worse, the shortage saw only 60% of its usual supply was met, even during non-peak season. Again, labour shortage was being blamed, as well as heavy rain and escalating cost of imported chicken feed.

If a meat cartel could operate right under the nose of the same government for the last 40 years, chances are the same cartel or other cartel has been manipulating and exploiting the chicken prices for decades. How could the government say the current high prices of chicken are beyond its control (non-peak season) when it could easily control the price during peak season such as Hari Raya?
As early as April this year, chicken was already sold at RM8.80 per kilogram at the Selayang wet market. In fact, the price of chicken had increased 6 times in the same month. It means while the government – both Muhyiddin Yassin and Ismail Sabri administrations – knew about the problem since early of this year, the so-called Malay-Muslim government has done nothing to solve the issues.

Just when you thought a change of menu to consuming more vegetables rather than fish, chicken or meat could temporarily fix the escalating cost of living, the consumers were flabbergasted to find that the prices of cauliflower, beans, chillies, cabbage and several other vegetables have risen by 200%. The government’s solution – denies that vegetables have jumped to such insane price level.
Vegetables Price Skyrockets

Again, the fingers were pointed at the lack of manpower, floods, landslides, transportation cost and the list goes on. In reality, the prices of vegetables, including tomatoes, Japanese cucumbers, chillies, cabbages, beans, sweet peppers and all types of salad leaves produced in Cameron Highlands have rose between 30% to 40% as early as June this year.

It means that the price of vegetables has been shooting up for months. Yet, the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs has the cheek to blame the reopening of all trade sectors since October as the culprit that caused the demand for vegetable supplies, leading to price increase. Was the government trying to say that the people did not eat anything at all during the Covid lockdown?

The government talked as if the 33 million people were hibernating during the pandemic, and when the lockdown was lifted, they ate so much that cauliflower shot up more than 100% – from RM7 to RM16 per kg – while Chinese cabbage jumped from RM3 to RM9 per kg. Even if the people suddenly become vegetarian overnight, how do you explain the price inflation on fish, chicken and bread?

The people were so annoyed and frustrated that a picture has gone viral, depicting Minister Nanta Linggi urging Malaysian consumers to eat duck instead while the government investigates the price increase for chicken. The perception is not only the Sabri government is running around like a headless chicken, but has lost touch with the suffering of the people on the ground.

It’s funny that former PM Najib hasn’t pulled his previous stunt this time, when he advised the people in 2014 to shop wisely instead of complaining about price hikes, while showing off a chicken he bought for just RM1. In defending his administration, Najib had also condemned people for ignoring vegetables that have become cheaper, such as “kangkung” (water spinach).

The current prices of poultry products, especially chicken and eggs are now the highest ever recorded in the country. The exponential price hikes of food items across the board, like it or not, suggests not only incompetence, but also the deliberate attempt by powerful cartel and monopoly to rob from the people before the coming 15th General Election.

In truth, everything is being controlled in Malaysia through AP (approved permit), import and export permits, licenses, monopoly and whatnot. The system was designed in such a way to enrich UMNO Malay elites. Therefore, they can control the prices of food and raw material from spiralling if they wanted to. The only reason they can’t control it is because they do not want to. - FT


29 November 2021

Lebai sembang kari,satu habuk pun takdok...


Anwar – a character torn between 
‘Saudara’ and ‘Dato Seri’...

In the mid-1970s when Anwar Ibrahim was teaching at Yayasan Anda, a private college to assist school dropouts at Lembah Pantai, he went to work riding a 70cc Honda Cub. Among his friends, he was known as ‘Saudara’ Anwar, a respectful and endearing term, derived and used by many Universiti Malaya undergraduates then and the Malay literati group.

‘Saudara’ carries a proletarian tone and denotes equality among the Malay youths and adults of that generation. It was so influential that even DAP emulated it and used the term for their leaders and party cadres. Thus, we had Saudara V David, Saudara P Patto and Saudara Ahmad Nor in the same vein as Saudara Ahmad Boestamam and Saudara Kassim Ahmad.

Today, we still have Saudara Lim Kit Siang, Saudara Loke Siew Fook and Saudara Gobind Singh Deo and yet Saudara Anwar has evolved to become a ‘Dato Seri’. It is still not too late for Anwar to rebrand himself and be referred to as Saudara Anwar again or Pak Anwar, as he is fondly called in Indonesia. The influence of Pak Jokowi, a simple and humble man of Solo, who has now become the popular President of Indonesia should be emulated, according to my fellow FMT columnist Saudara Adzhar Ibrahim.

In order to rebrand himself, Anwar should go back and revisit Lembah Pantai again, and open his ears, eyes and his heart to their grievances. Simply seeing how the place has transformed, partly into Bangsar South, is not sufficient. As the cliche goes, the hardware is there but the software is lacking. Please look at the substance in Lembah Pantai. Scrutinise the jobs of those dwelling in low-cost flats, at their earnings and what they put on the table for their families.

Perhaps while he is there he should make an assessment of whether this diverse group of Malay-dominated households have progressed since his Yayasan Anda days. I think their take-home pay and their lives have not improved, apart from the presence of several new tower blocks and a couple of malls in their midst.

Those dwellers of the former Kampung Kerinchi and Pantai Dalam are a nice sample and sizable representation of KL’s urban poor, who have been neglected. Some of them could have been his former students at ‘Yayasan Anda’, who never made it to the adjacent Universiti Malaya, Anwar’s alma mater. Anwar surely understands his supporters’ difficulties and predicaments, as much as they understand his political travails over the years.

Economic plan...

If only Anwar could design a model on how to assist and uplift the economic plight of this group of urban poor, his problems about leading Malaysia and winning the next general election can be considered as having been resolved.

Let’s go back to the basics. Malaysia’s current challenge for the urban poor is economically related. A lack of skill sets, a lack of technical competence combined with an inferior education and poor knowledge, are still rampant. Add insufficient capital on top and the vicious circle is complete.

These five factors are the main drawbacks that have not been overcome by a succession of past governments led by Umno, in which Anwar was once a member. In its current state of affairs, Umno can’t see the woods from the trees. Their leaders are too busy counting their riches and too elitist to prepare a scheme to assist the poor.

As demonstrated in Melaka recently, their only capability is to drop some crumbs when an election is held. No economic strategy and no long-term financial assistance. Only good for vote-buying.

PKR, on the other hand, and despite the massive support that it gets from this lower strata of the population, has so far got away without paying much attention to the problems of the urban poor. A plan or an economic concept, at least, is definitely due. Not having such plans, as seen in Melaka, will lead to another disaster for PKR.

Lembah Pantai has been but a glaring example of how rural-urban migration has shaped up over the years. Not only has the cityscape changed but also there is a need for political parties to take cognizance of issues pertaining to the geopolitics of their constituencies. There are at least thirteen or more other seats of similar characteristics that are crucial to PKR in the next election.

Election strategy...

These seats include Selayang (P97), Gombak (P98), Ampang (P99), Pandan (P100), Subang (P104), Petaling Jaya (P105), Sungai Buloh (P107) Kapar (P109), Wangsa Maju (P116), Setiawangsa (P118), Titiwangsa (P119) and Bandar Tun Razak (P124); all in the Klang Valley where rural-urban migration is the highest in the country.

There are many more similar seats, although smaller in voter size, in other states such as Segamat, Simpang Renggam, Kulai and Johor Bahru in Johor, while Penang has Balik Pulau, Nibong Tebal and Bayan Baru to worry about.

Sungai Petani, Kulim Bandar Baharu and Merbok are all in Kedah. While Raub, Bentong, Indera Mahkota and Kuantan are in Pahang. Tambun, Sungai Siput, Gopeng, Tanjong Malim and Lumut are the relevant constituencies in Perak. These are all semi-urban seats which matter a lot to Anwar and PKR for victories at the next general election. - Urban poor

Urbanisation, resulting from Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s 1.0 industrial programmes, has brought about new problems in terms of urban housing, employment, education, transport, social needs, race relations and many more, which were never addressed strategically and holistically by past Umno leaders.

Umno leaders have neither the experience nor the the vision to address these urban problems. They preferred to let MCA or MIC deal with those issues, allowing them to contest those urban seats. That was how a large proportion of urban Malay voters became neglected and poorly represented.

Fortunately for Anwar, these were also the constituencies that swung to his coalition at the last two general elections while Umno’s partners, MCA and MIC, crumbled and went out of favour with these urban voters.

But for PKR to remain sustainable, a plan that appeals to such multiracial constituencies, preferably the ones that appeal more to the urban B40 group, must be devised immediately. Like it or not, Anwar must take the lead, as the genuine Saudara Anwar, but not as a superficial Dato Seri.

 Rail expansion and new urban centres...

Anwar should excel where Mahathir has failed. Mahathir is insular, against a multiracial party and has never contested in urban seats. He is obsessed with cars and highways. He was never a hero for the downtrodden, the weak and the economically deprived groups either.

Unlike Anwar, Mahathir, as a vocal capitalist, was definitely popular among the businessmen where licences, car APs, government contracts and procurements were dangled in exchange for political support.

Although Mahathir did not appeal to the urban voters, Malays or otherwise, Anwar must recognise that it is impossible to reverse the rural-urban migration process, previously advanced by Mahathir.

The answer to replace Mahathir’s failed industrial policy, is not found in a new agro-based policy strategy. That will not be the right move. Anwar has to tackle the urban poor, the B40, irrespective of race, colour or creed. He must champion their cause, worries, jobs and entitlements.

He has to come up with a grand plan on housing for the urban poor, Singapore style. It is feasible to urbanise some of the semi-rural or semi-urban areas by decentralising KL and the Klang Valley. At the moment, everything is concentrated in KL or its surrounding areas. Too much money is spent in KL, on MRT, LRT, electric supply, water supply, etc.

By introducing regional growth areas at state level, these new economic initiatives could release the pressure on KL as a sole growth centre. With such a strategy, Anwar could tour the states and propose new growth centres that could reduce the dependence on KL to provide accommodation and utility services for everyone.

Many of the surrounding towns could become new satellite cities that possess the same level of infrastructure, utilities, services and facilities as KL and also have the ease of connectivity with KL. And this strategy can only work with the railway as the backbone or the centrepiece. It will not work using Mahathir’s network of toll highways.

This strategy will create new investments, economic and job opportunities, and new commercial activities, for our ‘saudara and saudari’. - Roslan Khan


27 November 2021

Sendiri cari susah, sendiri tanggung ma!!!...


Dec 8 Judgement Day – All signs show 
court of appeal likely to free Najib Razak...

Mahathir Mohamad has expressed his displeasure over “special treatment” accorded to Najib Razak despite his conviction for abuse of power, criminal breach of trust (CBT) and money laundering. On July 28, 2020, Mr Najib was sentenced to 12 years in prison and fined RM210 million for the crimes involving RM42 million stolen from SRC International Sdn Bhd (a subsidiary of 1MDB).
Writing in his blog, Mahathir, who had served twice as prime minister, has criticized the lame duck administration of Ismail Sabri for discrimination in the practice of the rule of law. He specifically compared the different treatment between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak. Of course, Mahathir was the man who sacked Anwar in 1998, and promoted Najib as prime minister in 2009.

He wrote – “While the police broke Anwar’s door and arrested him, handcuffed and thrown into a police car to be detained before he was charged in court, Najib was never arrested or handcuffed or taken to a lockup in a police car. He goes to the court in his car and after the hearing he went home. Yet the charges against him are more serious.”

Did the senile old man admit that during his 22 years iron-fist rule (from 1981 to 2003), he had brutalized his former deputy prime minister Anwar? Or was it an admission that it was his fault for corrupting the judicial system, so much so that Najib could not be arrested, let alone handcuffed, when the world’s biggest crook was allowed to walk like a free man even after he was charged?

Has Mahathir forgotten that when Najib was charged in July 2018 after his Barisan Nasional government was defeated in the May 2018 General Election, he was already installed as the prime minister for the second stint? So, why was Najib not handcuffed and thrown into a police car to be detained before he was charged in court, the same way Anwar was being treated?

In fact, millions of Malaysians were waiting and yearning for the moment to see Najib dressed in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) iconic orange uniform. But it didn’t happen largely because Mahathir wanted to show off that he was a bigger man above everyone. However, with his latest ranting, indirectly Mahathir has shown his double standards, if not hypocrisy.

Perhaps Mahathir was cocksure that his protégé-turn-nemesis Najib would end up in the prison under his watch. But did he not anticipate that Najib could be freed by the same judiciary that he had corrupted during his 22-year-rule when he recklessly – or deliberately – resigned without consulting allies in the Pakatan Harapan coalition on Feb 24, 2020?

Yes, on the coming December 8, the Court of Appeal is scheduled to deliver its decision on Najib’s appeal to throw away his conviction. If he succeeds, not only will he crow for months that he has been innocent all along, but he will be able to contest in the next 15th General Election. If fails, he still can try his luck at the Federal Court, the highest court and the final appellate court in Malaysia.
But all signs appear to show that the Court of Appeal will likely free the 68-year-old former premier, reversing High Court Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali’s verdict in sentencing Najib to 12 years’ jail last year. The crook should have been jailed the moment he was found guilty. However, he was allowed to walk away a free man pending appeal, a lengthy process that has so far taken a whopping 16 months.

Mahathir was absolutely right to argue that since the Court of Appeal has not decided whether Najib is innocent, he is guilty and should serve his sentence until the court says otherwise. Had Mahathir not perverted and corrupted the rule of law in the first place, Najib and his team of lawyers would not have mocked and wasted the time of the courts with endless deliberate delays.

While Mahathir’s grumbling was particularly targeted at the ridiculous decision of the Sabri government in rewarding “convicted” Najib with RM100 million worth of land the size of two soccer fields, along with a mansion to be built with taxpayers’ money, the old man should realize that the entire stinky issue of Najib toying with the rule of law has continued even during Muhyiddin regime.

Following the collapse of Pakatan in February 2020 after Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, together with PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, betrayed their own government when they conspired and plotted with defeated UMNO and PAS extremists to form a backdoor government, then-PM Mahiaddin alias Muhyiddin had closed one eye, kept quiet, and even freed many crooks.

Under Muhyiddin regime, the people had already suspected that all the crooks charged under the now-collapsed Pakatan Harapan government will be freed – one after another. For example, Riza Aziz, the stepson of Najib who was slapped with 5 charges of money laundering on July 5, 2019, was stunningly discharged not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA) on May 14, 2020.
The Muhyiddin government’s settlement with Riza was incredibly ridiculous because after stealing US$248 million, which were misappropriated from sovereign wealth fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), the crook just needed to return about US$107.3 million (RM465.3 million) worth of overseas assets first stolen by Najib – or 43% of his loots.

Less than a month after freeing Riza Aziz, Muhyiddin’s appointed Attorney General Idrus Harun decided on June 9 to let go of another big crook – former Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman (to help Muhyiddin snatch Sabah via a coup). Under the instruction of the Attorney General’s Chambers, all 46 corruptions and money-laundering charges against Musa were suddenly dropped.

Heck, even RM114 million in cash seized during a high-profile raid on May 17, 2018 at luxury Pavilion Residences owned by Najib Razak’s children has been returned to the crook on August 5, 2021 during Muhyiddin administration. Strangely, the prosecution was not interested in appealing a High Court’s decision to dismiss the forfeiture of the RM114 million cash.

Exactly why didn’t Muhyiddin’s appointed attorney general challenge the court’s ruling to return the extraordinary amount of cash discovered in Najib’s family property? The High Court said the prosecution has failed to prove the monies were obtained from illegal activities. Attorney General Idrus has also failed to present any evidence that the cash originated from 1MDB.

Obviously, not only A.G. Idrus Harun was instructed by PM Muhyiddin to screw up the case on purpose, but also not to file any appeal when the court decided to return the RM114 million cash to crooked Najib. From the beginning, Muhyiddin was not interested at all to send Najib to jail, despite his lies and rhetoric that he was against kleptocrats and corruption.

When Muhyiddin criticized his boss Najib in 2015 over the 1MDB scandal, it was not because he genuinely wanted to fight corruption. Rather, the “Malay first” opportunist saw the golden opportunity to overthrow his boss, hoping he could emerge a hero and become the prime minister. But Najib decisively sacked him instead, forcing Muhyiddin to run around crying for justice.

Hilariously, days after Muhyiddin administration helped to return RM114 million cash to Najib, he was toppled by Najib and UMNO president Zahid who withdrew support for the fragile backdoor Perikatan Nasional government, ending the 17 months of Muhyiddin’s illegitimate government. Till today, traitor Muhyiddin remains a very angry and bitter man over how he was betrayed.

When Muhyiddin was eventually forced to resign on August 16, he again repeated his pledge – “I will never conspire with a kleptocratic group”. But his support for UMNO vice-president Ismail Sabri as the new PM would also mean the inclusion of UMNO crooks like Najib and Zahid in the government, without which the power-hungry Muhyiddin will be left in the opposition.

After Ismail Sabri took over, Najib was overjoyed because the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) has returned to power. Not only Najib has remained free, allowing him to undermine the High Court’s decision, the world’s biggest crook was practically given free access to the lame duck prime minister, whose survival depends on Najib’s kleptocratic group.

PM Ismail Sabri was so weak that Najib was almost appointed as a special economic adviser with ministerial rank. Najib became the first VIP criminal in Malaysia, screamed Mahathir, after the High Court allowed the crook to travel overseas to Singapore to visit his daughter. Prior, other crooks linked to UMNO were also given special privilege – access to passports.

Zahid Hamidi, Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and his lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah were among several VIPs faced with corruption charges, but were granted access anyway to passport to travel abroad under the lame duck Ismail Sabri administration. In the same month, Najib and his son Nazifuddin were allowed to defer the payment of tax arrears amounting to RM1.69 billion.

During Mahathir’s second stint and Muhyiddin administration, the crooks were blacklisted from travelling abroad and applications to delay paying taxes were never entertained. It’s not rocket science that when Najib is excluded from paying taxes owed, given freedom to travel, accorded police escort, and even awarded RM100 million in land and a mansion, he is waiting to be acquitted.

And there’s absolutely nothing Mahathir and people can do when PM Ismail Sabri quietly interfered to help Najib and other UMNO crooks, while the power-crazy Muhyiddin pretended nothing had happened. When it’s as clear as crystal that Najib is making a return to the premiership, do you really think there are any judges in the corrupted Judicial who are brave and courageous enough to go against the next most powerful man? - FT

Has Najib’s campaign to annul 
his case gone royal?...

A full eight months on from that hearing, there has been no sound from the panel of three judges as to what their conclusions are. The case of the former prime minister, sentenced to 12 years for his outrageous thefts from the nation, is of the highest public interest and yet in Malaysia, we see him not only allowed to roam free whilst he appeals his conviction, but to continue to sit in Parliament.

Now, more than a year after the original conviction, the delay in progressing that appeal is itself becoming a national embarrassment and an indicator that behind-the-scenes efforts are being made to influence the outcome of the judicial process.

On this subject, please reference the warning of the former prime minister before Ismail Sabri elbowed him aside, which was that Najib’s party UMNO would indeed move to abuse its political power, if allowed back in office, in order to get its leaders off the hook over the swathe of criminal charges relating to their corrupted governance.

He revealed that he himself was put under pressure to do just this and at the same time conceded that a ruling prime minister does indeed possess the power to bring pressure on the courts. So much for Malaysia’s independent judiciary.

So far, a steady stream of senior UMNO power brokers have seen their charges dropped and the cases against them collapse following the backdoor coup. No one can be under any illusion, but that Najib’s present top priority is to join their escape route.

The party, meanwhile, not only have no shame in him continuing in their ranks but worse, having seized back political power through the backdoor and with the assistance of the present Agong (also the long friendly Sultan of Najib’s home state), the present UMNO prime minister has exalted this convict to a senior position advising on policy and leading campaigns.

Given that Najib’s present priority is no secret, there can be no surprise that the talk currently swirling around KL’s legal circles has been of increasingly thuggish pressure on his part to get the Appeal Court judges to overturn one of the most rock-solid judgements in Malaysian legal history, namely his conviction by Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali in July of 2020.

What other reason can there be for the quite extraordinary delay in the case following constant postponements and lengthy periods of silence? It took almost an entire year for the appeal to be even heard last May in what was an unusually long and laboured session with Najib’s lawyers pouring out their standard torrent of scatter-gun challenges and complaints.

Now, a full eight months on from that hearing, there has been no sound from the panel of three judges as to what their conclusions are. This is not normal nor acceptable and it has moved beyond excuses into the territory of dark suspicion.

Even in the most inefficient jurisdiction under the cosh of Covid the Najib case ought to have stood out as a case of national importance deserving the swiftest expedition. On all normal criteria, the production of this judgement should have gone to the front of the queue to give the nation closure. Instead, it has drifted into oblivion.

In consequence, the high-level perpetrator of one of the largest thefts in global history has been allowed to work his way back into a position of enormous power. Contrast the Malaysian judiciary’s treatment of the Najib case with the UK courts’ handling of the complaint that Boris Johnson had exceeded power by proroguing Parliament in 2019.

The UK case was raced through the Appeal Court and on to the Supreme Court judgement in DAYS. Meanwhile, the judgement on Najib’s appeal has yet to be pronounced one year and three months later. Dragging of feet gives legs to rumours.

This appalling dragging of judicial feet had given legs to all the rumours that are rife. The present widespread concern circulating in judicial circles is that not only has Najib used all his resources to bully the Appeal Court directly, but that in the face of the court’s evident and righteous reluctance to be strong-armed from its objective duty, he has now sought to engage the King to bring further pressure in his favour.

Since May, three judges have held out against giving a judgement that was plainly arrived at months ago. Were that judgement to have been in favour of this powerful kingpin of both the PN and UMNO governments, namely Najib, there would have been no reason for delay – those in charge would have been delighted and the judges would have trodden on roses.

Only if the judgement had been negative (in keeping with the powerful evidence that convicted Najib in the first place) would there have been the slightest reason for so much dilly dallying and postponement.

We can, therefore, guess what the Appeal Court judgement is. For the King to interfere on behalf of his home state friend and ally (and mega-kleptocrat) would be unconscionable and deeply damaging to the reputation of the nation and its leaders. He should not be asked to do so. – Sarawak Report


25 November 2021

Pasaitu bini mengamuk tiap kali balik dari market...

Can I as the son of Tun Dr Ismail ask, 
like Najib, for a govt property?...

Life is unfair. When Tunku Abdul Rahman retired, Kenny Hills was renamed Bukit Tunku and our first prime minister was given a house at the foot of Bukit Tunku.

When Abdul Razak Hussein passed away, his widow and family were given a house on Jalan Eaton just off Circular Road which was renamed Jalan Tun Razak.

When my father (Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman,pix above) died, he died as acting Prime Minister in a house he owned. My mother had to surrender the government car and received nothing from the Razak government except for a pension that my father was entitled to.

Several government properties were named after my father but some – such as the Tun Ismail Atomic Research Centre (Pusat Penyelidikan Atom Tun Dr Ismail or PUSPATI) – were renamed during Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s premiership.

A memorial budgetted for, and supposedly to be implemented by the National Archives, has not taken off and many Malaysians, as a result, have largely forgotten Dr Ismail and the ideals he fought and lived for.

Would it be proper for me, as his eldest son, to ask for fairness from the government to an entitlement now as passed by Parliament?

If former Prime Minister Najib Razak can request property worth RM100 million, what is my late father’s worth in 1973 values at today’s prices? If the children of past prime ministers can inherit lucrative properties gifted to their fathers or the widows of the ex-prime ministers, should I and my siblings be deprived?

What can subsequent governments since Razak’s premiership point to that was given to my family, even as a token, of the nation’s gratitude?

Can I at least ask for seed capital or an asset I could monetise to set up a fund for scholarships in my father’s name, The Tun Dr Ismail Scholarship, which incidentally was Maybank’s proposed tribute to him as ex-chairman of Malayan Banking, but which never took off?

My late father asked for no reward or recognition for the work he did, voluntarily and willingly giving his life for to the nation he loved, and it would not be proper for me to burden the nation with any guilt or regret for not giving material wealth as reward.

But I do ask that his vision and ideals for the nation as recorded in his Hansard speeches and his policy pronouncements be enshrined and imparted as education in schools and universities so that we can be a better nation. - Tawfik Ismail

1. Malaysia is said to believe in the rule of law. The essence of the rule of law is that it must apply equally to every individual. There may be a range of punishment in consideration of the seriousness or otherwise of the crime. But everyone is entitled to be punished within the same range of fines or imprisonment.

2. Still monarchs are given certain exemption but for most crimes the law applies equally.

3. In Malaysia we are seeing blatant discrimination in the practice of the law. Specifically, we see vastly different treatment between Anwar Ibrahim and Najib Razak.

4. While the police broke Anwar’s door and arrested him, handcuffed and thrown into a police car to be detained before he was charged in court, Najib was never arrested or handcuffed or taken to a lockup in a police car. He goes to the court in his car and after the hearing he went home. Yet the charges against him are more serious.

5. Even when he was found guilty and sentenced to 12 years jail and a fine of more than 200 million Ringgit, he has not paid his fine or been jailed simply because he had appealed his case.

6. When a person is found guilty, he is guilty until the appeal court decide that he is innocent. But the appeal court has not decided that he is innocent. Therefore, he is guilty and he should serve his sentence. But he is treated like an innocent person, not paying his fine or jailed.

7. As far as is known no other person has been treated this way. More than that he is now allowed to leave the country. Again, there is no such precedent anywhere.

8. With Najib remaining free, it has allowed him to undermine the High Court’s decision and inevitably undermine the whole institution. And given Najib’s sphere of influence, he is able to spread this mischief among his followers who are naive and gullible.

9. On what basis are these privileges given to Najib when it was not given to Anwar or any other convicted person. Clearly the rule of law has not been applied equally between them. All these may be claimed as legal but they are not in accordance with the rule of law.

10. And now the Government has decided to reward him for his so-called service to the country. Yes, other retired Prime Ministers have been awarded old Government houses in recognition of their service. These PMs have not committed any crime and had not been found guilty of stealing Government money. Najib borrowed billions of Ringgit which have not been recovered. Now the Government has to pay interest on the loans amounting to 2 billion Ringgit a year for decades. Government will also have to pay the loans amounting to 40 billion Ringgit.

11. Yet the Government proposes to reward Najib with RM66 million worth of land and build a house at RM40 million Ringgit for Najib. Legal but not in accord with requirement for equal treatment before the law.

12. Najib is a convicted criminal who had lost billions of Ringgit of Government money. But the Government of Ismail Sabri thinks stealing and losing Government money and forcing the Government to pay billions back for the loan that Najib had borrowed deserved to be rewarded with 100 million Ringgit.

13. What is clear is that the Government of Ismail Sabri has not adhered to the equality before the laws as expected by the rule of law. No other convicted person in Malaysia has been treated the way Najib is being treated.

14. There is a need for the Governments of Mahiaddin Yassin (Perikatan Nasional) and Ismail Sabri to explain why the treatment of a convict like Datuk Seri Najib is different from all other convicts in Malaysia, all other retired PMs of Malaysia. - chedet 


23 November 2021

Lebai - lalang atau lalat...

Who after Anwar? But asking 
him to step down isnt good enough...

After the drubbing in the Melaka election, naturally many are going for Anwar Ibrahim’s blood. Calls are loud and clear for him to step aside as leader of Pakatan Harapan (and for some), even as leader of PKR.

Anwar has done much to introduce new ideas into Malay politics, taking a more inclusive and liberal position on issues of multiracial and multireligious settings for Malaysia. He wanted to bring about racial harmony and a more compassionate role of religion in society. He has also canvassed openly on the need to approach Malay special privileges with fairness, introducing a needs-based formula in the application of affirmative discriminatory policies – a very controversial position to take in this country. But ideas do not get support easily in our society. Good values or talking about good governance doesn’t get you very far. The people want something quick and the leader who can give quick fixes and quick service, whether in the form of cash or goodies, will win the day.

I have always felt deep empathy for the travails Anwar had gone through. I don’t think a man should spend 10 years in jail for a sodomy offence (assuming he was guilty in the first place). It is a moral offence at best. Few men had endured as much betrayal of his close colleagues in the struggle to make life better for the country as Anwar. Of course, Anwar should not be rewarded with political success just because life had been tough on him. But he had gone through an immensely difficult journey because he wanted to do something good for the country. He could have taken an easier way out 25 years ago by taking Daim Zainuddin’s advice to go to Britain for a sabbatical – a long one. Anwar decided to take the difficult road and he paid a very heavy price for it.

Many had given me a list of Anwar’s weaknesses as a leader, but they are all true because he did not become Prime Minister. Had he become one, those weaknesses would be described as strengths. Anwar wanted a renaissance for the country, but the people wanted Malay first policy to continue. The mismatch of expectations is the cause of Anwar’s failure.

It is also true that a political leader who is not able to deliver electoral victories should step aside. Anwar has failed, make no mistake about that.  But before we ask him to step down, we should ask ourselves what do we want?  Do we know what we want? Don’t be like Manchester United; those who do not know what they want. They renewed Mourinho’s contract and three months later sacked him. They gave Solskjaer long term contract in July until 2024 and sacked him in November 2021.

So, to those who supported the opposition and wanted to see the change in the country; do they know what they want? If winning an election and being in government is paramount, then go pay homage to Najib Razak. He is probably the favourite to be the next Prime Minister. Or go to Marang and have a chat with Tan Sri Hadi Awang and tell him that his idea of an Islamic state is compatible with the social democrats in DAP. But if you want a government where the Prime Minister does not rule like Louis the 14th; and you want rule of law to be an integral part of the system; then you must be prepared for a long haul. 

Leaders like Anwar and Kit Siang exemplify that leadership courage facing the trauma of politics in seeking fundamental changes in the country. They endured hardships and yet they continued to persevere despite electoral setbacks. Do we have other leaders who have the stamina to take over and continue the struggles?  Many have good ideas, but talk is always easy. Can they endure when the prospect of forming a government looks bleak?

The country needs an enlightened leader who believes in being fair to all Malaysians. BN won Melaka but that says nothing about how much change we can expect from a coalition which has wrought havoc to the country. We still need an old-fashioned leader who believes in an honest government, who will not steal from the peoples’ coffers, and who can plan effectively in dealing with the host of problems we have.

Instead of having a post-mortem on the Melaka defeat, the parties in the PH coalition – PKR, DAP and Amanah – should conduct a thorough self-examination. Ask who should step down and which new leaders should move up. Ask where they can place good Malay leaders like Maszlee Malik, Nurul Izzah, Nik Nazmi, Rafizi Ramli, Syahredzan Johan. There must be other good talents they should actively promote.

Leaders who no longer have the stamina for the struggles should step aside. They have done much and should be honoured and remembered but they can’t score goals anymore. Step aside. Good ideas and good speeches don’t necessarily work in our country, but good planning is essential for electoral victory. Let’s work towards that.

What is certain is that we should not be enamoured by electoral victories alone in the immediate future. I see many are applauding the UMNO victories in Melaka with gusto but maybe they should reflect a bit more about the impact it will have on the rule of law in the country. A UMNO-PAS alliance, for example, will secure major electoral victories but that alliance will destroy this country in the long term. Corruption will be rampant, and extremism will rule the day.

We still need political leaders who believe in working towards a better country for its people. Although Americans still want Donald Trump (although that’s not what America needs in the long term) the fight against racism and fascist ideas supported by him must continue over there. Similarly, the forces of progressive Malaysia must coalesce and unite over here so that the future may not be so bleak. This requires careful deliberation and planning. Asking Anwar to step down without thinking of who to replace him is just not good enough. - Zaid Ibrahim


22 November 2021

Katak berperinsip? Padan muka...


A tussle over CM's post 
after big win?...

The Umno political circle in Melaka has been abuzz over the hasty swearing of Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali as Chief Minister at 1am on Sunday (Nov 21) morning.It is understood that the decision to rush through the swearing-in was made after an unexpected attempt by newly-elected Tanjung Bidara assemblyman Datuk Seri Rauf Yusoh (pic) to claim the chief minister post.

Rauf, who is the state Umno chairman, was absent from Sulaiman’s swearing-in before Governor Tun Mohd Ali Rustam. Rauf had tried to lobby top party leaders including Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and also Datuk Seri Najib Razak who is Barisan Nasional advisor.

It is learnt they put their foot down and insisting that Barisan cannot go back on their manifesto choice of Sulaiman for the top post. Rauf, when contacted, said it is up to the party to explain why he was not present at the swearing-in ceremony. He declined to comment on whether he made a last-minute bid for the chief minister post but said that he has no intention of rocking the new government.

“Why should I topple the government that I helped to set up? I will help Sulaiman, he is my buddy. I will give him my strong support," said Rauf “I want to avoid situation where there are two tigers on a hill. I want to see a good combination so that we can work together to take Melaka forward,” he added when speaking to The Star.

Rauf (below) was a central and controversial figure in the events leading to the dissolution of the state assembly. He struggled to defeat Perikatan Nasional candidate Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin by only 364 votes, down from a majority of 4,865 in 2018.

Asked about his absence from the swearing-in event, he said that was for the party to answer. Despite professing support for Sulaiman, Rauf indicated he was meeting Umno division chiefs today and would hold a press conference later in the day.

He was coy about the purpose of the press conference but said he only wants to play a role in the state government and that it was up to the chief minister to decide on a role he is suitable for. “They should show some appreciation and discuss with me,” said Rauf who was previously the state assembly speaker.

It is possible that Rauf, having failed in his eleventh hour bid for the chief ministership, is now trying to make sure that Sulaiman does not exclude him from the state exco. Barisan swept back to power in Melaka winning 21 out 28 seats on Saturday (Nov 20). - A Malay tsunami in Melaka... - A Malay tsunami in Melaka...  - Joceline Tan

The Malaccans chose BN ...

For good or evil the Malaccans had decided to bring back the Barisan Nasional (BN) to power in the state. The party won 21 out of 28 seats in the State Legislative Assembly - giving it a two-third majority. Pakatan Harapan (PH), the victor at the 2018 General Elections under the leadership of Dr Mahathir Mohamad was humbled, winning only five seats under Anwar Ibrahim. His own party, PKR was wiped out. Mahiaddin Md Yasin's Perikatan Nasional (PN) was nearly annihilated, winning two seats. 

But it wasn't an outcome to honour but also not one to homour. The turnout was disappointingly low. Only 65.85 percent out of 476,037 registered voters cast their votes. The resurgence of the kleptocratic BN could nullify all efforts to reform the government and rid the country of the corruption scourge. Hopefully, the folly of the Malaccans in endorsing the kleptocrats and members of the court cluster will not become a nationwide pandemic. Maybe the Malaccans had been condemned centuries ago to live in darkness and subjugation forever. 

The dismal showing by the PH reinforces the widely held view that its ageing leadership can no longer fire the imagination of the voters. Anwar had tried unsuccessfully to lead the opposition to victory since the 1999 GE. When the PH won the 2018 GE, Anwar was in jail. At its helm was Dr Mahathir. As much as we want to see the BN and Umno liberating themselves from the clutches of the corrupt, we also would like to see the PH being led by younger, baggage-free leaders. It's heart wrenching to see bright young leaders growing old and becoming disenchanted because the incumbents are unwilling to make way for them. 

As for the PN and Bersatu, their future is unconvincing. Their laughable situation can be easily described this way: Mahiaddin betrayed the PH, Umno betrayed him and went on to clobber him silly in Melaka. Pas as a partner is a joke. I'm not surprise if the politically promiscous party gravitates back to Umno via the Muafakat Nasional (MN). Be that as it may, the BN victory in Melaka should not be taken to mean that its leaders are cleansed of their sins and wrongdoings. Justice must still be delivered. For this, I would like to believe that our Judiciary is independent and fair although the Attorney General via the Public Prosecutors has the power to influence trials. 

It is for this reason that the legal fraternity and members of the federal legislature must continue to be strident and relentless in demanding explanation as to why the Attorney General's Chamber dropped the appeal against the acquittal of Adnan Mansor in a  corruption case. - A Kadir Jasin