Hornbill Unleashed

December 12, 2013

Making the rakyat pay

Selena Tay

The recent price hikes are just the beginning. Tolls, public transport fares, Quit Rent, sewerage and cooking gas too will go up soon enough.

No leader of a nation will trouble its citizens unless he himself is in trouble. And this seems to be the case with Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak for right now he is having trouble in servicing the nation’s national debt.

The solution however is very simple. He just needs to trouble the citizens by obtaining funds from them to service the debt and that is what he is doing now via subsidy cuts. (more…)

November 18, 2013

BN ‘harmony’ means harm/money

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NONEDean Johns

Apologies for my absence last week, but it would have been impossible to finish my year-end university essays if I’d diverted my attention to the latest antics of the crooked morons in charge of Malaysia.

The most laughable of which, despite some stiff competition since, was surely Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s address to the crowd of cretins he wowed at the National Deepavali Open House at City Square, Johor Baru on Nov 9. (more…)

Where did RM7.2bil in consultancy fees go to?

Aidila Razak

What can RM7.2 billion buy?

Going by figures in the 2012 and 2014 Budget speeches, this could pay for Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia handouts to benefit a whopping 13.1 million people.

However, from 2009 till October 2013, the government spent exactly that amount to pay for private consultants, a written reply to Parliament has revealed. (more…)

November 17, 2013

Najib’s obsession with money, status symbols

Filed under: Corruption,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Mariam Mokhtar

He has made known his desire to transform Langkawi into a Bali or a Monaco but before catering to high-end tourists, he should address the needs of the local population
Najib Tun Razak expressed a wish that Langkawi would become like Bali and Monaco, but he should be very careful of what he wishes for. He said: “Thousands of tourists come here to spend, generating revenue not only for companies but also the Government.”

Before Langkawi can be like Bali and Monaco, there are many things Najib must resolve. (more…)

November 16, 2013

DR M: The Malays lag in education due to your bad policies!

IT'S TOO LATE FOR REGRETS, DR M: The Malays lag in education due to your bad policies!Simon Neoh

  • IT’S TOO LATE FOR REGRETS

Famous for his sarcasm and sharp wits, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad recently made another statement which tickled this little heart of mine.

“I am a Malay and I love the Malay language,” he was quoted saying. “But I also want the Malays to be educated. I beg that the subjects be taught in English again.”  

Don’t be mistaken — it wasn’t that Mahathir was ‘begging’ for Mathematics and Science to be taught in English that made me laugh; instead, I could hardly believe my eyes, when I read the claim to being ‘a Malay’ by this octogenarian, dubbed the Malaysian maverick.

(more…)

November 15, 2013

Professor: Sarawak Christians can decide BN’s fate

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Dukau Papau

A top academician has reminded Sarawakians and members of the various Christian denominations that they are the “saviour” of the BN government in Putrajaya.

“Without your support in Sarawak, the BN government in Peninsular Malaysia would have sunk to the bottom of the sea,” said Dr Jayum Jawan Empaling, professor of politics and government at Universiti Putra Malaysia.

Sarawak has 31 seats in Parliament, of which 25 of them are held by BN. DAP has five and PKR, one. (more…)

November 14, 2013

SHOWDOWN ‘ALLAH': Church files appeal but will its bid be blocked by Najib, Muslim ultras?

SHOWDOWN 'ALLAH': Church files appeal but will its bid be blocked by Najib, Muslim ultras?Maria Begum

The Catholic Church has applied for leave to appeal to Federal Court to overturn a controversial ruling that deemed the word Allah was exclusive to Muslims; and hence barring its weekly publication, the Herald, as well as other non-Muslims from using the word to refer to God.

The confusing and contentious ruling laid down last month by a 3-member all Malay-Muslim Court of Appeal panel has stirred unprecedented criticism and ridicule for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Umno-BN government, from both domestic and international sources.

Slammed all round

(more…)

November 6, 2013

‘Govt should restudy its financial policy’

http://www.investvine.com

  • Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in an interview with Inside Investor opined that the weak results of the last election was due to past policies that were reversed or changed.

Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who held the post for 22 years from 1981 to 2003, although retired is still a critical observer of Malaysian politics.

In a recent interview with online business portal Inside Investor, Mahathir spoke on a range of issues and reminded his detractors of his promise that he would not interfere in politics and that the current government had “every right” to change directions and policies. (more…)

Malays are both the problem and solution

Mariam Mokhtar

In order to have a deeper insight into Malaysian politics, one must first attempt to understand the Malay mind, or more importantly, the Umno Baru Malay mind. If the shutters are down, no progress will be made. If the blinds are half drawn, some development may take place, but if the curtains are fully open, much progress is promised. Until the Umno-Malay mind is liberated, everyone else, from ordinary Malays to non-Malays, will fumble around in the dark.

Despite their differences, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were unanimous in blaming the Chinese for Barisan National’s (BN) poor performance in GE13. (more…)

November 3, 2013

NAJIB ‘HIDES’ as irate British investors demand JUSTICE at World Islamic forum

NAJIB 'HIDES' as irate British investors demand JUSTICE at World Islamic forumMaria Begum

It is ironical. While British Prime Minister David Cameron was busy lauding his Malaysian counterpart’s ‘fight’ against extremism, thousands of miles away in the Southeast Asian nation, human rights activists were busy doing the opposite.

Indeed, rights groups such as Suaram and Amnesty International had their work cut out in Kuala Lumpur, debriefing Malaysian citizens on what had transpired at the United Nations review on human rights where Malaysia’s worsening racial discrimination and eroding democratic space had raised grave concern among member states. (more…)

October 30, 2013

Cut costs in your dept, PM urged

P Ramani

  • If Najib is serious about asking ordinary Malaysians to change their lifestyles to adapt to rising prices, he should also reduce expenditure in his own department.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should walk the talk by shaving expenditure in his own backyard and not create new, expensive agencies.

Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming said in a statement that the PM who is also the Finance Minister announced in the budget the setting up of a new Green Foundation (Yayasan Hijau) and the Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Center (MAGIC). (more…)

7 YRS ON, Altantuya’s bigwig killers stay elusive to the law but we all know who they are!

7 YRS ON, Altantuya's bigwig killers stay elusive to the law but we all know who they are!KP Chee

Despite a detailed confession of pre-meditated murder from Sirul Azhar bin Haji Umar (IC No: RF12559) recorded in Police Report No: 7380/06 on 9 November 2006 at 1635 hrs by Inspector Nom Phot a/l Prack Dit, the Court of Appeal on August 23rd this year decided to let both Sirul Azhar and his instigator Capt. Azilah Hadri walk free.

It has been established that Capt. Azilah Hadri was from the elite UTK (Special Operations Unit of the Royal Malaysian Police) and had served as personal bodyguard to then defence minister and deputy prime minister Najib Razak. He was summoned by Najib’s ADC and security chief, DSP Musa Safri, after Abdul Razak Baginda reported to his close friend and biggest client Najib Razak, that he was being harassed relentlessly by a very determined Mongolian woman demanding her share of a RM540 million kickback from a top secret French submarine deal. (more…)

October 29, 2013

We’re not ready for GST, says Anwar

Anisah Shukry

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim also hits out at Najib over his budget deception which sees allocations for the rakyat being slashed.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s argument that Malaysia should implement the Goods and Services Tax (GST) because other counties already have is off the mark, said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

He pointed out that the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development Report 2012 had revealed in its report that the GST was more regressive in developing and transition economies than in developed counties. (more…)

No free lunch

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Lim Sue Goan

There could be possibly some brief sessions of free lunches in politics, but they won’t last forever. The national Budget that comes after so many years of generous handouts, it’s now time for Malaysians to pay foot the bill.

From Mahathir, Abdullah to Najib, they have all tabled “painless” budgets during their tenures as finance ministers.The size of handouts could vary, it is nevertheless invariable truth that some form of goodies could be expected from them year after year. For example, bonuses for the country’s civil servants.

To please the public, the budgets have remained in the red for the past 17 years, culminating in sky-high public debts. We can no longer be this generous any more. If the government fails to stay prudent in
managing its expenses in a bid to lower public debts, our sovereign ratings will be slashed. As a consequence, we have trimmed deficits, zero sugar subsidies and imposition of 6% GST, among others. (more…)

October 27, 2013

Was Budget 2014 a hit or miss?

iMoney

Here is how Budget 2014 fared against some of the predictions made by budget watchers, according to finance website iMoney.

Hit: GST will be implemented

It is now confirmed that the most talked about Goods and Services Tax (GST) will be implemented on April 1, 2015 at 6%. This will replace the Sales and Services Tax (SST). In contrast to SST, where there is a possibility of double taxation, GST extinguishes that possibility altogether.

GST rate: At 6%, it is the lowest rate among all Asean countries, which have rates from 7% to 10% across the board. (more…)

At RM16.5bil, Najib oversees most expensive PMD yet

Nigel Aw

Despite Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s pledge to rein in the country’s deficit, his own department’s budget is ballooning to the highest level ever.

According to the Federal Expenditure Estimate 2014, the Prime Minister’s Department’s (PMD) estimated budget for next year stands at RM16.45 billion, with an operational expenditure of RM5.86 billion and developmental expenditure of RM10.58 billion.

The sum is the highest ever allocation for the PMD, breaking its previous record of a RM15.62 billion budget in 2011. (more…)

October 18, 2013

Dear Najib, M’sians feeling pinch of fuel price hike

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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HAJAR

In a hearfelt open letter to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, a Malaysian woman has called into question the wisdom of the government’s decision to increase petrol prices, stating that the middle-income group is feeling the pinch with the rising costs of living.

Her letter, published in her blog, has gone viral since it was posted on Sept 22. It has even been translated to Chinese and garnered more than 40,000 likes and some 5,000 shares on social network site Facebook.

In her missive to the PM, Siti Hajar Aladin  labelled the petrol price hike as “unwise” and oppresive. (more…)

September 26, 2013

Beep beep here comes the roadrunner! -

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Sakmongkol AK47

Najib has launched the Bumiputera economic empowerment Plan. BEEP. It has come to this now. Twittering, face booking, blogging, whats-apping and now beep-ing the country. Najib will be  beep-ing the Malays so that they can take their rightful place in our country. After NEPing the country, Malay equity stands around 23%? Does ownership of this 23% mean anything to the ordinary Malays who have the face the daily grind of life?

Many of us know exactly what the BEEP means. It means a license to pillage and plunder in the name of king, religion and country. The Malay elite salivate at the prospects of carving out wealth earning resources.

23% is owned by GLCs, the Malay elite, the privileged and the Malay monied class. This BEEP is going to turn into another excuse to justify the rape and plunder. After raping the girl repeatedly, the rapist presents her with a bunch of flowers. This is exactly what the BEEP announced by Najib represents, the presentation of a bunch of flowers after the raping the Malay lady over and over again. (more…)

September 17, 2013

Najib: We’ll never leave Sabah and Sarawak behind

Bernama

As Malaysia marks the 50th year since its formation, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today vowed that the development of Sabah and Sarawak, the first and third most poorest state in terms average household income, is the nation’s priority.

In his Malaysia Day message, he said that this, however, does not mean that the two Borneo states were ever sidelined by the federal administration.

“As prime minister, I have always strived to ensure that equal development for all states…. Our efforts to develop Sabah and Sarawak’s economy will always be the government’s priority. (more…)

August 29, 2013

Merdeka 2013: Only for the Umno Malays to celebrate?

Merdeka 2013: Only for the Umno Malays to celebrate?Nawawi Mohamad

31st August is just around the corner and it is supposed to be a day of celebration when Malaysians are united and should put aside all differences and welcome their ethnic diversities and cultures.

But with latest Jalan Alor ‘food hub’ proposal opposed by Umno-owned Utusan newspaper in such a blatantly anti-Chinese way and the overkill with which Umno people are now shoving Malay supremacy down the throats of the non-Malays, it won’t be surprising if only the Umno Malays in Malaysia will be celebrating Merdeka this year.

They are making real fools of themselves and it is a disgrace see such an exhibition of boorish culture and inferiority complex at work. (more…)

August 28, 2013

Court: Sirul could have been framed for Altantuya murder

Hafiz Yatim

While the Court of Appeal last Friday detailed the non-calling of Najib Abdul Razak’s aide-de-camp DSP Musa Safri as a factor in acquitting the two Special Action Unit officers, the written judgment also states that the second accused, Sirul Azhar Umar, could have been framed.

Sirul Azhar in his testimony from the dock had described how he had been made “a scapegoat” by the police, to be sacrificed in order to protect their plans.

In the written judgment released today, Court of Appeal judge Tengku Maimum Tuan Mat described why it was unsafe to accept the evidence from the police officers who went to Sirul Azhar’s Kota Damansara home. (more…)

Righteousness and justice

hu1 – Lim Mun Fah

The two alleged suspects of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder were acquitted after they had brought the case to the Court of Appeal.

The outcome immediately sparked a chorus of controversy. But Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail informed that the prosecution would appeal, that said, this 159-day trial, has not yet come to an end.

This trial has since aroused global attention. The reason is two-fold. Firstly, Altantuya the deceased is a Mongolian beauty with a legendary and murky identity.

She was reported to have come all the way from Mongolia to meet her lover in Malaysia but ended up murdered, and her remains destroyed with C-4 explosives. This amorous, exciting and atrocious plot of the narrative is arresting at its best to the stalking-oriented public. (more…)

August 27, 2013

No noose is good news

Dean Johns

Multitudes of Malaysians are currently expressing their outrage at the Court of Appeal’s overturning of the convictions of Special Action Unit officers Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar on the capital charge of murdering Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

But as sincerely as I sympathise with people’s burning desire for any sign whatever of just retribution for members, accomplices and agents of the criminal BN regime, I’m delighted to see it’s not getting away with hanging these two fall-guys.

Firstly because I’m dead against the death penalty on principle. Secondly because dead men both proverbially and literally tell no tales, and thus as long as these two Special Action Unit personnel are alive they’re a danger to whoever ordered them to take special action against Altantuya. (more…)

Malaysia Frees Altantuya’s Murderers

John Berthelsen 

The tragedy of a brutal killing compounded by courtroom farce

Malaysia’s Court of Appeal on Friday overturned an earlier conviction of two of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s former bodyguards on a charge of murdering Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in October 2006 in a ruling that was greeted with disbelief and outrage.

The court said the two former elite police offers would go free because Najib’s chief of staff, Musa Safri, was never called to testify in a trial that was widely regarded as a cooked-up sham designed to protect Najib, then defense minister, from being interrogated or having to testify.

The prosecution can appeal the acquittal to the Federal Court, the nation’s highest tribunal. The two were scheduled to be freed on Friday. (more…)

August 22, 2013

Unity government: Najib’s CONSPIRACY against Umno rivals & the NATION?

Unity government: Najib's CONSPIRACY against Umno rivals & the NATION? Nawawi Mohamad, Stan Lee

In some countries, a unity government is formed to prevent a national crisis, for example when no single party has the required number of seats to form a government. Otherwise, the country may be in turmoil.

A unity government is thus a way out to save a nation and not to serve the interests of those in power. If done in the most amicable way, the party having the largest number of seats can form the government by forming a coalition with the Opposition parties without having to waste time in political disputes and maneuvers. They can save money and other resources by absolving the need to hold another general election. Therefore the business of managing the country can continue without too many hitches.

However, the proposed ’unity government’ in Malaysia purportedly proposed by Prime Minister Najib Razak to Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim is viewed skeptically by many in the country. We have seen before the style of unity government practiced by Najib’s UMNO-BN coalition when PAS was coaxed into joining on the pretext of ensuring and enhancing Malay interests. Naïve PAS should have realized that it was only in the interest of UMNO, and of no benefit to them at all! (more…)

August 21, 2013

Cops face another big day in Altantuya murder, Friday

AltantuyaRITA JONG

The Court of Appeal on Friday will deliver its ruling on the appeal of two former police commandos who were convicted for the murder of Mongolian model and translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.

Counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad, who is representing former chief inspector Azilah Hadri, told The Malaysian Insider today that he was informed by the court of appeal registrar about the judgement date.

Azilah was jointly charged and convicted with Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar by the High Court in Shah Alam in 2009 for murdering Altantuya, 28, at a forest reserve in Shah Alam in October, 2006.

Both were then with the Bukit Aman Special Action Squad and were in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s security team. Najib was then the deputy prime minister and defence minister. (more…)

August 18, 2013

Unity and the media

Rom Nain

Events leading up to GE13 in May and since have once again led to the Malaysian mainstream media coming under the spotlight.

Disgust has rightly been expressed by many who allege lopsided and unethical coverage of the elections by newspapers like Utusan Malaysia and television stations like TV3 and, following that, equally unethical coverage of certain, often non-Malay and non-Muslim, communities.

On the other hand, there have been a few who have expressed belief that other mainstream media, especially some local English language dailies, appear to have become ‘bolder’ since the elections. (more…)

August 13, 2013

Scorpene deal ‘broker’ out to polish PM’s image?

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Nigel Aw

Since the procurement of two Scorpene-class submarines in 2002, the federal government has reluctantly parried a decade of controversy, scandals and intrigue that followed.

From allegations of corruption to murder, the government’s response had often been curt and vague to an issue that wouldn’t go away, as NGOs and the opposition sought to keep the issue alive.

So it is a matter of great curiosity when the entire government-linked media machinery recently featured the the matter prominently, be it on television or newspapers, on what was meant to be a quiet festive season in terms of news. (more…)

August 12, 2013

Horse-trading intensifies in Umno: Race wide open, Malaysians may get a NEW PM

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Nawawi Mohamad, Stan LeeHorse-trading intensifies in Umno: Race wide open, Malaysians may get a NEW PM

During the ‘Cold War’ between the West, led by the US, against Russia and the Eastern Bloc countries, both so-called ‘superpowers’ had comparable military strength and arsenal to annihilate each other.

Thus, no one party was willing to be the first to push the button. And even when the two enemies were at ‘war’, because their might against each other was balanced out, peace of a sort could still be maintained.

Najib has upper hand but only for now

In UMNO, the warring factions are always on the move because there is no balance, let alone ‘check and balance’. At present party president Prime Minister Najib Razak has the upper hand. His enemies have tried to attack him from all the different directions and in different ways but failed to inflict critical damage. (more…)

July 30, 2013

Scorpene scandal, is Jasbir Singh Chahl credible?

altantuya 9Kua Kia Soong

The New Straits Times has never been the beacon of investigative journalism in Malaysia. Resurrecting Jasbir Singh Chahl to try to whitewash the Scorpene scandal is hardly a scoop – Jasbir’s churlish account fails to answer the many questions raised by the scandal and the murder of Altantuya.

SUARAM has all along stuck to the facts and this can be checked in our publication: “Questioning Arms Spending in Malaysia: From Altantuya to Zikorsky” by Kua Kia Soong, 2010. By no means does Jasbir disprove the chronology of events noted in the book nor shed any light on the revelations by the French enquiry thus far. But first, let us examine the credentials of this man touted as the “architect” of the Scorpene submarine deal, the most expensive arms purchase by our country to date, costing well over RM7 billion. (more…)

July 29, 2013

Scorpene broker: Altantuya never part of the deal

Mkini

The architect of the Scorpene deal, Jasbir Singh Chahl, says murdered Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu was never an interpreter for the submarine deal, nor was she ever involved in the contract.

In an interview published by New Straits Times today, Jasbir said whatever affair Altantuya had with defence analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, a central figure in the deal, was a personal matter.

“His dealings with her had nothing to do with the Scorpene deal. It’s unfortunate that it (the affair) coincided with our (submarine deal) timeline.

“Abdul Razak was the only common denominator in this. He was the only link, and a tenuous one, at best,” Jasbir is quoted as saying. (more…)

July 4, 2013

Cameron must ‘raise issue’ with Najib

FMT Staff

Bruno Manser Fund wants the British government to “formally protest” against the “unacceptable banishment” of Clare Rewcastle Brown from Malaysia.

Swiss-based NGO Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) which is at the forefront of global campaigns against widespread deforestation in Sarawak allegedly linked to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s decades long corrupt land development policy wants the British government to intervene in the latest incident involving a controversial British journalist.

BMF wants the British government to “formally protest” against the “unacceptable banishment” of Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown from Sarawak yesterday morning. (more…)

June 26, 2013

Altantuya murder trial: DSP Musa should have testified

AltantuyaRITA JONG

The failure to call Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s aide-de-camp, Deputy Superintendent Musa Safri, constitutes a mistrial which led to the conviction of former police officers  Sirul Azhar Umar and Azilah Hadri in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.

Counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, who is representing Sirul, said this was because Musa was the only person who could shed light on the numerous phone transactions between himself and Abdul Razak Baginda. Razak Baginda was then the political analyst to Najib, who was then the deputy prime minister.

In his affidavit, Razak Baginda had said there were more than 30 phone calls and text messages to Musa on Oct 19, 2006, to stop his then lover, Altantuya, from harassing his family. (more…)

June 25, 2013

Defence: Not calling Najib’s ex-aide constitutes a mistrial

Hafiz Yatim

Not calling in a former aide-de camp of then deputy prime minister Najib Abdul Razak, Deputy Supt Musa Safri, to testify in the murder trial of Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar constituted a mistrial, the Court of Appeal was told today.

Lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, who is acting for Sirul Azhar, the second accused in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial, said only Musa could verify the veracity of the controversial affidavit filed by the third accused in the murder, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, which led to Abdul Razak’s acquittal.

Kamarul said Abdul Razak’s phone records showed more than 30 text messages that the political analyst sent to Musa (left) between Oct 7 and 19, 2006, of which 12 were recorded on Oct 19, 2006, the night Altantuya was murdered. (more…)

June 11, 2013

Altantuya case: Court allows ex-cop to appeal conviction

AltantuyaIda Lim

The Court of Appeal today allowed an application by former policeman Sirul Azhar Umar to appeal his conviction for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu on the grounds that there has been a mistrial.

Sirul’s lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they are now seeking a declaration of the 2009 decision as a mistrial based on two new and related grounds, namely the adverse publicity and the “real and possible” danger that the High Court judge’s impartiality was affected by the said publicity.

“We have brought in an application this morning. That application is to include two new grounds in the petition of appeal. (more…)

June 5, 2013

Malaysia Continues Under a Cloud

Najib: do I need this?John Berthelsen

National elections on May 5 haven’t cooled political and racial tensions

Any hope that May 5 national elections in Malaysia would cool the political atmosphere appears to have been misguided, leaving a country entangled in deepening racial problems and creating the risk of a real threat to the legitimacy of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s reign.

While not calling for Najib’s removal, the prime minister’s most potent critic, former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, damned him with faint praise, telling Bloomberg News in an interview in Tokyo last week that the United Malays National Organization will continue to support him “because of a lack of an alternative.”

(more…)

April 27, 2013

Winds of change

Rabble rousing … Anwar Ibrahim on the hustings in Kuala Lumpur.Mark Baker

Mark Baker

Anwar Ibrahim once seemed a certainty to rule Malaysia. Then came his arrest and imprisonment. Now, with his party shaking up the establishment, is he set to finally fulfil his ambition? By Mark Baker.

Rabble rousing … Anwar Ibrahim on the hustings in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Austral Press

It’s nearing midnight in Penang. In a park surrounded by decaying concrete apartment blocks, a swelling crowd waits patiently amid the sticky heat and pungent aromas of food stalls, traffic fumes and open drains. This is a poor Malay neighbourhood, but there are Chinese and Indians here, too, a representative cross-section of multiracial Malaysia. (more…)

April 26, 2013

People or party? Wooing civil servants

Bridget Welsh

In caretaker Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s political targeting, one group has received special attention – civil servants. Why would those in the heart of government garner such special focus for an election? The reality is that in Malaysia’s close electoral races, civil servants can be decisive in shaping the final tallies. This is one of the groups that I will be highlighting as decisive in this campaign.

Over the past few years Najib’s administration has worked to stem the erosion of support from his traditional base of government employees with mixed results.

A decisive constituency (more…)

Malaysia’s GE13 too close to call – former US ambassador

Malaysia's GE13 too close to call - former US ambassadorJohn Malott

Malaysia’s 13th General Elections on May 5 will be the most important — and the most hard-fought — in Malaysian history. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its coalition partners have ruled the nation since its independence in 1957. But now, for the first time in history, the Malaysian opposition is united and strong, and it believes it has a real chance of coming to power.

And also for the first time, UMNO, as well as those who have benefited politically and economically from their connections to the ruling party, fear that the voters might reject their party and the system that have governed the country continuously for over five decades. (more…)

April 25, 2013

Anatomy of a political strategy

Zefry Dahalan

Has Najib erred in his insistence on fielding ‘winnable’ candidates?

Umno president Najib Tun Razak began talking about fielding “winnable candidates” as early as 2010.

The mood in Umno then was to blame Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for Umno’s dramatic losses in the 12th general election. Many said he blundered in his choice of candidates by accepting the proposals of the state Umno chiefs instead of listening to the grassroots.

In most cases, the state Umno chiefs were also the chief executives of their states. It was said that at least in Selangor, Kedah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan, the state chiefs proposed only their loyalists, sidelining potential candidates who were popular at the grassroots. (more…)

Taib not keen to talk about retirement

Kow Gah Chie

Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud was non-committal over a retirement date, despite promising in April 2011 to step down in two years.

Met at a function in Sibu today, Taib was asked about his retirement plans, to which he replied with another question.

“You want me to retire? When are you going to retire? You tell me,” he said. “I decide when is the best time to leave.”

Throughout the Sarawak state legislative assembly election campaign in 2011, Taib was dogged with the question of when he would step down which was a major campaign issue for Pakatan Rakyat. (more…)

BN must be destroyed VIII

Dean Johns

In little more than a week from now, Najib Abdul Razak will be faced with the fact that he and his phoney 1Malaysia have finally lost Malaysia, and the vast majority of Malaysians will be congratulating themselves on having won their beloved country back.

Because even if BN manages to steal back into power by hook or its customary crook, it will be living on borrowed – or rather bought – time, and surviving only in fear and dread of how even more urgently than ever the people will want to see it destroyed. (more…)

April 16, 2013

Najib: BN’s candidate list ‘final’, hopes no changes

Nigel Aw

BN chief Najib Abdul Razak today declared that BN’s candidates for the 13th general election is final, after handing the name lists to the ruling coalition’s respective component party heads.

“This is the final list, and we don’t anticipate any changes. I hope a situation doesn’t arise that will need changes.

“Legally, technically, it can still be changed. But we are hoping this is final,” he told a press conference at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon. (more…)

April 14, 2013

GE13: The good, the bad and the ugly

Ali Cordoba

Malaysia is probably living one of its most exciting times, with delayed polls, never before seen handouts and an opposition strangulating the regime to its last breath.
Malaysia’s upcoming general election on May 5 seems to be scripted from the Hollywood western, ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’ but there is a surprise on the timeline.

The battle to govern the nation is pitting Pakatan Rakyat leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who is living the greatest political revival in Malaysia’s history, against a regime that has probably overspent its days in power. (more…)

April 11, 2013

BN must be destroyed VI

Dean Johns

I keep wondering whether this “must be destroyed” mantra is working. If it is, let’s hope it will be effective much faster than it was for its originator, Roman senator Cato the Elder, who had to wait for 29 years to see his “Carthage must be destroyed” curse come to fruition.

Whereas the next best chance for Malaysians to put an end to BN, the looming general election, is more like a mere 29 days away. But no worries. The well-known RAHMAN prophecy and the fact that it’s also BN’s unlucky 13th general election could prove more decisive than any “must be destroyed” or other mantra.
(more…)

April 8, 2013

Cyber Mania And Radio Jamming – BN Falls Back On Cheating!

Sarawak Report

Dangerous for the ears!

BN have effectively acknowledged that they have to cheat in this election and cannot afford the opposition view point to be heard by voters.

Over the weekend they have spent large sums of public money launching full-scale attacks on Radio Free Malaysia and Radio Free Sarawak.

They have both attempted to jam their broadcasts and tried to knock out their online websites, with limited success so far. (more…)

April 7, 2013

Who’s afraid of Anwar Ibrahim?

Boo Teik, Khoo 

Far from being discredited in the public eye, ‘DSAI’ has grown much closer to the common people than when Mahathir made him a ‘martyr’ of sorts, writes Khoo Boo Teik

Imagine you were Anwar Ibrahim in September 1998. The pharaonic PM had turned off the lights on you (even cutting the power supply to your residence). On cue, the controlled media sensationalised your alleged immorality, never once referring to your reputed religiosity.

In self-preservation, the politicians ‘in the know’ shunned you like a pariah, forgetting that they used to flatter you as the ‘anointed successor’. (more…)

March 27, 2013

Najib has become a ‘kiasu’ and ‘kiasi’ prime minister

Lim Kit Siang

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will create double “history” – firstly, for the first time in the nation’s 56-year history, allowing a state assembly (Negri Sembilan) to be automatically dissolved before Parliament; and secondly, establishing a record of “indecisiveness” as prime minister, even putting the fifth Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to shame, while he continues to agonise on when to dissolve Parliament for the 13th general election.

There are no signs that Najib would dissolve Parliament ahead of the automatic dissolution of the Negri Sembilan state assembly (tomorrow night). (more…)

March 26, 2013

Dr M: Najib will be challenged if he fails

 M Jegathesan

With a rising opposition promising to end authoritarianism, Mahathir is seen trying to protect his legacy.

Four years after leading a charge to oust Malaysia’s previous prime minister, authoritarian ex-leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad is making his sizeable influence felt again as a close election looms.

Mahathir, who towered over Malaysia for 22 years with his grand development projects and hard-nosed politics, is 87 but has peeled back the years to step from the shadows and whip up support for the long-ruling regime he moulded. (more…)

March 21, 2013

Civil society in two minds over RCI on Taib and kin

Hazlan Zakaria

Civil society NGOs were in two minds over the call for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate documented claims of abuse of power and graft by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and extended family members.

The CM (left in photo) and those close to him were allegedly linked to land grabs involving native lands, later disposed for logging and palm oil plantations at huge profit.

One group supported the call for the RCI as being the only way the matter may be investigated, expressing a total lack of confidence in the independence and impartiality of the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in handling it. (more…)

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