Hornbill Unleashed

July 5, 2015

Withdraw Sarawak’s support for Najib, Adenan urged after latest WSJ expose

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian (pic) says Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem should press Najib to step down, submit to investigations and explain his wealth. ― File picSarawak PKR chief Baru Bian urged Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem today to stop supporting Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the recent series of allegations against the prime minister in the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report.

Noting WSJ’s report today linking the prime minister to billions of ringgit from debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), Baru asked Adenan if he still considered it a smart move to continue backing the Umno president.

Instead, Baru said the Sarawak chief minister should press Najib to step down, submit to investigations and explain his wealth. (more…)

Unfulfilled promises bog down assemblyman

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Yussibnosh pointing to the site of the new SK Tellian which is located opposite the old school. Seen with him is his wife Elizabeth Nelson.Yussibnosh Balo, the assemblyman for Balingian, is a frustrated person as most of the promises to improve the livelihood of the people in his constituency have been slow to materialise, especially from the federal government.

Among the seven wishes of the constituents, only one has been fulfilled which is for more petrol stations to be built in Mukah town.

Before the by-election which was held in March last year, Mukah had only one petrol station but now it has three and Yussibnosh believed more petrol stations would be set up soon. (more…)

AG confirms seeing documents on PM graft allegations

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

<Attorney-General Abdul Gani Patail has confirmed he has indeed viewed documents related to the alleged transfer of 1MDB funds into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s accounts.

In a statement today, Gani said they were among the documents collected by the special task force probing 1MDB.

“The task force has obtained a number of documents and had subsequently sent them to me for review.

“I confirm that I have received documents from the task force related to 1MDB, including documents related to the allegations of channelling funds to the prime minister’s accounts,” he said. (more…)

Wall Street Journal stands by report on Najib

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The Wall Street Journal is standing by its report that millions of US dollars were channelled into the personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (pic), saying that their investigation was based on solid documentation.
The journal’s Hong Kong Bureau chief Ken Brown said they took the investigations very seriously as it involved accusations against a country’s top leader.

“We were very careful and we believe the investigation and documents we have are solid and come from a reliable investigation and not a political investigation. (more…)

DPM wants accusations against Najib investigated

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has called for allegations against his boss Najib Abdul Razak to be investigated following aWall Street Journal report that claimed US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of 1MDB’s funds had been deposited into the prime minister’s personal bank accounts.

“This allegation is very serious and can affect Najib’s credibility and integrity as prime minister and head of government.

“Therefore, it is my stance that the relevant investigative authorities, such as the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC), Bank Negara Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Police, with the cooperation of the Attorney-General’s (AG) Chambers, must act immediately to investigate all allegations made against Najib,” he said in a statement today. (more…)

A-G confirms raids at SRC, firms linked to money allegedly in Najib’s accounts

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail has revealed that a task force has raided three companies linked to funds allegedly channelled to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's personal bank accounts. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 4, 2015.Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail revealed a task force has raided three companies linked to funds allegedly channelled to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank accounts, adding that he has received investigation papers on the matter.

The attorney-general said in a statement today he had gone through the documents and gave further advice and directives to the task force consisting of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), police and Bank Negara Malaysia.

Gani said the task force officials raided SRC International Sdn Bhd, Gandingan Mentari Sdn Bhd and Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd offices yesterday and obtained more documents.

The Wall Street Journal yesterday reported that the three companies had funnelled some US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) to Najib’s personal accounts in AmBank Private Banking in Malaysia.
(more…)

Malaysia pays dearly for lacking leaders with integrity

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The trouble with Malaysia today is that there are hardly any good role models in society on whom citizens, especially children, could look up to. It is heartening, however, to see that there are persons of high standing who see the situation in its true light.

“People must be led by example and with integrity,” said Tunku Ismail Ibni Sultan Ibrahim, the Crown Prince of Johor in his Facebook page recently, as he lamented the lack of integrity among today’s leaders.

The word ‘integrity’ cuts deep. It goes beyond purity and honesty, it signifies soundness in its unadulterated state. A person who has it is one with sound morals and high principle, and such a person reflects wholeness in thought, speech and action. (more…)

Najib may take legal action against WSJ

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak indicates he may take legal action against Wall Street Journal (WSJ) for its report alleging that US$700 million of 1MDB’s fund was deposited into his private bank accounts.

Najib’s political secretary Muhammad Khairun Aseh confirmed the planned legal action, according to a Sinar Harian report today.

“”The report is very malicious and is baseless with weak and suspicious sources.

“We will take action according to the law,” he was quoted as saying. (more…)

Even if Najib is cleared, will anyone trust him after this?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The Prime Minister will still face a trust deficit even if he is cleared of wrongdoing in the scandal involving debt-laden 1MDB, says Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS). – The Malaysian Insider filepic, July 4, 2015. The Prime Minister will still face a trust deficit, said a well-known political analyst, even if he is cleared of wrongdoing in the latest scandal involving debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs (IDEAS) said this is because Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak has let these allegations of wrongdoing go on for far too long before taking any action.

The string of allegedly suspicious 1MBD deals along with stories of his family’s lavish spending have snowballed and left an indelible impression among the public that something is seriously wrong with the Prime Minister. (more…)

After WSJ expose, Najib and Umno’s days numbered, say analysts

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has denied reports in the Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report that he had taken funds from 1MDB. Analysts say such damaging claims might lead to the end of Umno in power. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 4, 2015.Datuk Seri Najib Razak could see the end of his days as prime minister soon amid reports that money from state-owned funds were credited into his personal accounts, analysts say, adding that this issue could also severely damage his party, Umno.

They said the expose by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and Sarawak Report would lead to losses for the Malay-based party in the next general election.

In fact, the report was so damaging that Umno and Barisan Nasional can only win the next elections only if they teamed up with PAS, said Professor James Chin, director of Asia Institute in University of Tasmania. (more…)

WSJ: Our probe solid, Najib saw gov’t reports

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today defended its investigative article accusing the prime minister of embezzlement saying it was based on government investigations the report of which was seen by Najib Abdul Razak himself.

In its report yesterday, WSJ revealed that almost US$700 million in 1MDB’s funds had been deposited into Najib’s private bank accounts through proxies.

“It is a serious investigation. The documents that we saw have been shared with the Malaysian attorney-general and others in the government.

“So they have been seen and seen by the prime minister,” said WSJ Hong Kong bureau chief Ken Brown in an interview with CNBC. (more…)

Musings from abroad: Rethinking education

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

At a recent alumni-current students event, I realised the edifying and transformative effect of a wholesome education that I have been fortunate enough to receive – and in hindsight, the lack of such opportunities back home.

Like a handful of privileged (though not necessarily wealthy) Malaysian youths, I have been able to sharpen my thinking, broaden my perspective and acquire crucial life skills through overseas tertiary education.

Anyhow, a group of alumni was customarily probing my background and interest after I disclosed my foreign nationality. (more…)

After WSJ expose, Najib must declare assets

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Yesterday marked one of the most embarrassing days for Malaysia. For the first time in our history, a sitting prime minister was accused of embezzlement and corruption where monies amounting to US$700 million, or about RM 2.6 billion, were directly banked into his personal accounts!

What’s more disbelieving is that this is our Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is also the son of our former prime minister Tun Abdul Razak.

Tun Abdul Razak, throughout his tenure as prime minister, had always preached integrity as a public servant. He was not even willing to spend taxpayers’ money to build a swimming pool at his official residence.
(more…)

WSJ allegation – prove not your bank accounts, PM told

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak can absolve himself of allegations of siphoning almost US$700 million in state funds by proving the bank accounts where the money was deposited into are not his, PKR vice-president Rafizi Ramli allowed today.

He said this in reference to a Wall Street Journal report yesterday claiming that nearly US$700 million in 1MDB’s funds were deposited into Najib’s private Ambank accounts shortly before the 13th general election.

“To clear his name, AmBank should confirm or deny whether the account numbers revealed by WSJ under Najib’s name really exist. (more…)

Mara scam – ‘Suspend Annuar Musa too’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Two of Mara’s top executives in its investment arm may have been suspended over an alleged property scam but more heads must roll, demanded DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.

He said this in reference to Mara’s announcement on Thursday that Mara Inc chairperson Mohammad Lan Allani and Mara Inc CEO Abdul Halim Abdul Rahim were suspended pending an official investigation.

Lim questioned the timing of the late suspension, pointing out that Mara chairperson Annuar Musa was already briefed about the properties involved in the scam in May last year. (more…)

‘No outright denial by Najib raises red flag’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s refusing to issue an outright denial over allegations that almost US$700 million (RM2.6 billion) of 1MDB’s fund was deposited into his private bank accounts is raising a red flag, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang said today.

Lim pointed out that even though the media reported Najib denying the allegation made by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), the prime minister skirted around the question of whether state funds had indeed entered his accounts.

“What Najib said last night was ‘I have never taken funds for personal gain as alleged by my political opponents – whether from 1MDB, SRC International or other entities, as these companies have confirmed’. (more…)

WSJ: Our report solid, Najib saw probe papers

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Wall Street Journal (WSJ) today defended its investigative article accusing the prime minister of embezzlement, saying it was based on government investigations, the report of which was seen by Najib Abdul Razak himself.

In its report yesterday, WSJ revealed that almost US$700 million in 1MDB’s funds had been deposited into Najib’s private bank accounts through proxies.

“It is a serious investigation. The documents that we saw have been shared with the Malaysian attorney-general and others in the government.
(more…)

Report on Najib based on solid info, not political, says WSJ

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Wall Street Journal Hong Kong bureau chief Ken Brown says the business daily is very careful with reports linking leaders to missing funds. – Twitter screenshot, July 4, 2015.Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday refuted the Wall Street Journal’s claim that billions of ringgit were transferred into his personal accounts but the business daily has defended the article, saying the report was based on investigations and solid documentation.
In an interview with CNBC, WSJ Hong Kong bureau chief Ken Brown said they had been very careful with the report, given the nature that it is against a country’s leader.

“We are very careful and we believe the investigation and documents we have are solid and come from reliable investigation and not a political investigation.

“It’s a significant story and we take it very seriously. (more…)

July 4, 2015

Two dams too many, Sarawakians’ sanity barely afloat

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

Adenan Satem is asking for another five years because he thinks he can do a lot to make Sarawakians happy before he calls it a day, by which time he will be 84, or 85?

Like I said many times in the past, yes, the chief minister of Sarawak is a very powerful man.

You will be surprised how very powerful a person can be if he is the chief minister. He can do many things that others can’t, even moving mountains and stretching boundaries.

Adenan hasn’t started doing that, but the guy before him did a lot to the mountains and boundaries. He not only moved and stretched them, but drowned them, caused them to be flooded until you can no longer recognise the land. (more…)

Sarawak Dayak National Union too weak to unite Dayaks

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

When William Mawan spoke about wanting to get Sarawak Dayak National Union (SDNU) to work towards uniting the Dayaks, I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

While SDNU, which Dayaks loved to be associated with in the 60s and 70s right up to the early 80s,  looks like a perfect unity vehicle, Mawan doesn’t come across as the right Dayak to speak of Dayak unity, even via SDNU.

SDNU has always been there for Dayaks, but the same cannot be said for most of its leaders, past or present. (more…)

Could this be the Smoking Gun for Malaysia’s PM?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Could this be the Smoking Gun for Malaysia’s PM?

Now what, honey?

Najib said by Wall Street Journal and Sarawak Report to divert US$700 million in 1MDB funds into his own accounts.

The publication today, Friday July 3, of devastating articles in the Wall Street Journal and the Sarawak Report tying Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to the diversion of nearly US$700 million from the state-backed 1Malaysia Development Bhd into his own accounts could be the final blow to bring down a leader who has been bullet proof from years of charges against his integrity. (more…)

How much taxes have Najib, 1MDB, Jho Low paid, asks Dr Mahathir

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad wants to know if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the executives in 1Malaysia Development Bhd paid their taxes or were exempt from doing so. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 3, 2015.Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today questioned if the Inland Revenue Board has investigated the taxes paid by certain high-profile individuals including the prime minister and executives in 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and businessman Low Taek Jho.

In his latest blog posting, the former prime minister said that of late, there has been some selectivity in the focus of the “income tax people”.

He added that while the executives in government-owned state fund 1MDB were paid high salaries, Datuk Seri Najib Razak was not paid anything as adviser to 1MDB, but said the government paid allowances, including utility and transportation bills for the prime minister. (more…)

PM threatens full force of law against critics

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today threatened to use the “full force of law” against critics who had accused him of stealing state funds.

He issued the ultimatum after accusing former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad of masterminding the allegations against him.<

“Those who continue to mount these attacks should be prepared to face the consequences of their actions.

“These gutter tactics – in some cases, criminal tactics – to overthrow the government will fail. (more…)

Malaysian PM dismisses funds report as ‘political sabotage’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Friday dismissed as “political sabotage” a report that a probe into a state-owned investment fund had found hundreds of millions of dollars were transferred to his personal bank accounts.

The investment vehicle, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), denied any wrongdoing after the Wall Street Journal said that nearly $700 million moved through government agencies, banks and companies linked to the fund before ending up in Najib’s accounts.

The newspaper cited documents it said it had obtained, including bank transfer forms and flow charts prepared by government investigators as the basis for its report. (more…)

Dr M: Why hasn’t tax dept raided Seri Perdana?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Has the taxman ever paid a visit to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak?

That’s the question posed by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who wants to know how much the Inland Revenue Board has collected from Najib.

“The income tax people are always on the lookout for people who live beyond their means. They would raid these people and would force them to pay additional tax, should they feel that the culprits have not paid up fully on their wealth. (more…)

MACC pledges professional probe on Najib

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission pledges there will be an independent and professional investigations into allegations that millions of ringgit from 1MDB were deposited into Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s bank accounts through proxies.

In a statement this evening, MACC deputy chief commissioner (operations) Mohd Shukri Abdull (photo) said looking at the media reports, particular on one of the transactions involving SRC International Sdn Bhd, it found that elements brought up are within the ambit of MACC’s authority.

“This issue falls within it and becomes the basis of MACC investigations in line with the MACC Act 2009. We have already begun a probe into the matter.” (more…)

Investigators Believe Money Flowed to Malaysian Leader Najib’s Accounts Amid 1MDB Probe

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Information from doctored documents?

Prime Minister Najib’s bank accounts are scrutinized during investigation of investment fund 1MDB

Malaysian investigators scrutinizing a controversial government investment fund have traced nearly $700 million of deposits into what they believe are the personal bank accounts of Malaysia’s prime minister, Najib Razak, according to documents from a government probe. (more…)

Let ‘Three Tuns’ decide Najib’s fate

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

In view of the latest allegations, an opposition leader has called on Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to step up to the plate and tell his boss, Najib Abdul Razak, to go on leave.

Following this, Lim Kit Siang said a three-person committee of national elders, comprising two former premiers “Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and ex-deputy prime minister, Tun Musa Hitam”, should decide whether and the conditions on which Najib should return to resume the top post.
(more…)

Malaysians unimpressed by PMO’s response to WSJ report

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Datuk Seri Najib Razak has received billions in his personal bank accounts from 1Malaysia Development Berhad, says The Wall Street Journal.  – The Malaysia Insider file pic, July 3, 2015.Social media users appeared to be neither impressed nor convinced by Putrajaya’s statement refuting The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report which alleged that Datuk Seri Najib Razak had billions of ringgit transferred into his accounts.

Facebook users have been berating the prime minister on his profile page on the social network all day in their comments on the official statement issued by his office this morning.

There was no shortage of anger, irritation and sarcasm in the more than 400 comments on Najib’s Facebook page within two hours of the statement’s posting. (more…)

Will MACC investigation into WSJ allegations yield action?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

At least one government authority involved in the operation probe of state-investment arm 1MBD has confirmed obtaining documents linked to alleged deposit of nearly US$700 million into what is believed are personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

This is despite both 1MDB and the Prime Minister’s Office’s attempts to raise doubt over the existence of the documents and its credibility, as reported by American financial daily The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) and UK-based whistleblower website Sarawak Report on July 3. (more…)

Najib didn’t take our money, insists 1MDB

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

1MDB and its subsidiary, Ihsan Perdana Sdn Bhd, insisted in two separate statements today that none of its funds went to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

1MDB said this in response to a report in The Wall Street Journal(WSJ) today that said almost US$700 million in funds from 1MDB went into Najib’s personal bank accounts.

“In reference to media reports published earlier today, 1MDB wishes to make clear that the company has never provided any funds to the prime minister. (more…)

Najib refutes WSJ report, blames Dr Mahathir

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

A screengrab of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s latest Facebook posting. – July 3, 2015. Datuk Seri Najib Razak has come out to refute what he termed as unsubstantiated and outrageous allegations against him and his family, saying he had never taken funds for personal gains from 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) or any other entities.

In his latest Facebook posting, Najib said the false allegations were part of a concerted campaign of political sabotage to topple a democratically elected prime minister.

He added that these attacks began when he refused to implement Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s personal demands, adding that the former prime minister then “created a crisis” by recklessly claiming that RM42 million was missing from 1MDB. (more…)

Embezzlement claim: ‘PM has to step down now’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) member Tony Pua has called on the cabinet to insist that Najib Abdul Razak takes leave as prime minister while startling allegations of embezzlement against him are investigated.

“This is already considered a gentle call. In any other developed democracies, the prime minister would have resigned in a situation like this,” Pua, who is Petaling Jaya Utara MP, said.

A report by The Wall Street Journal today says Malaysian investigators have traced nearly US$700 million paid into what they believe are personal bank accounts of Najib. (more…)

Najib: Dr M masterminded claim I stole 1MDB’s money

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today accused former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad of masterminding the latest allegation of him siphoning money from 1MDB.

“The latest allegation is that I have taken state-linked funds for personal gain.

“I believe Tun (Mahathir), working hand in glove with foreign nationals, including the now discredited political attack blog Sarawak Report, is behind this latest lie,” he said in a statement tonight. (more…)

WSJ: 1MDB’s RM2.6b found in ‘PM’s accounts’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

In another sensational expose, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported today that Malaysian investigators have traced nearly US$700 million of deposits into what they believe are personal bank accounts of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

WSJ cited documents from a government probe, which both the international financial newspaper and whistleblower websiteSarawak Report have obtained.

According to WSJ, the investigation documents mark the first time Najib has been directly connected to  investigation into the troubled state investment fund. (more…)

Queries, queries and more queries on Mara scandal probe

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

As more details on Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) property purchases begin to surface, one MP has questioned the authorities’ handling of the controversial deals.

In a report by The Malaysian Insider, DAP lawmaker Tony Pua asked if it was “normal practice” for the police to “abdicate” their responsibilities to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and criticised them for their “relaxed attitude” about the matter.

Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar had said that the police would wait for the MACC to let them know if there were any elements of Criminal Breach of Trust (CBT) in the case. (more…)

July 3, 2015

PKR-DAP clash on the cards in Sarawak polls if Pakatan troubles unresolved

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

PKR’s Baru Bian says his party is prepared to face its former Pakatan Rakyat ally if necessary although he hopes this would can be avoided. ― File picPKR and DAP may end up on a collision course in the coming Sarawak elections if both parties fail to iron out their differences, state PKR chief Baru Bian said.

The leader said his party is prepared to face its former Pakatan Rakyat (PR) ally if necessary although he hopes this would can be avoided.

“I hope it will not come to that stage because our common enemy is the state Barisan Nasional (BN), not our fellow opposition parties,” he told reporters.

“It is our intention for the opposition to face the BN in straight fights in all the state seats,” he said after chairing the Sarawak PKR liaison committee meeting here. (more…)

Adenan has final say, so why bother traders and rural folk?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

We live in a volatile period in this part of the world – everything you hear, read, see and think about is about politics. There has been an overload of politicking in the country, something unprecedented in our recent history.

Every morning, we are bombarded by headlines screaming of yesterday’s natural disaster somewhere in the world, the continuing state of a medical epidemic, some massive accident involving train, plane or vehicles, or the passing of some public figure.

However if one were to count the percentage of news devoted to politics, public outcries, rebuttals, and to press releases from both the government, the opposition and the independents – more than half the daily news is devoted to them. Sports, entertainment and news of celebrities take a back seat to such news items.

Focusing on local news from Sarawak, what’s been trending these days is news of politicians from all sides trying to scrumble (a rugby term) a position and an inside track – aimed towards the forthcoming state elections due by June 2016.

Suddenly, everyone is offering a willing ear for the usually ignored and disfranchised petty trader or longhouse dweller. It’s now the in-thing for a candidate to be to be photographed with groups of loosely formed small time businessmen or clansmen at gatherings or at the close of Gawai celebrations.

We have witnessed the jostling for candidature recently – which will go on for some time, until the candidate is picked – between political figures within the political parties here – SUPP vs UPP, SPDP vs Teras, and even among PBB between its veterans and some wannabes.

Opportunistic independents hoping to be spoilers have also prematurely announced their candidacy, picking constituencies where they foresee three- or multi-cornered fights.

All this is not new, and its novelty is fading, after having been practised at so many elections in the past. Many of the more educated, well-read and better experienced voters in our midst have already wised up to the political schemes, selfish dealings and devilish manoeuvrings.

Yet, old habits tend to be hard to break. Here are just a few recent cases:

Anthony Nogeh Gumbek

First, UPP championing the cause of the MJC petty traders and hawkers at the Thursday weekly market, by forcing the Padawan Council (controlled by SUPP) to delay their ‘forced move to a new location’ by six months.

They hope that elections would have been called by the end of the period, falling which they will fight for another extension. At the end of the day, they still have to move. It’s only a delay tactic at best.

The reason behind it all? Both SUPP and UPP are vying for the Batu Kawah state seat, last held by SUPP until an upset win by DAP at the last election in 2011.

Second, longhouse chiefs in the Meradong constituency have apparently been warned by SUPP heads to not entertain UPP members from ‘campaigning’ in their areas. Yes, again another hotbed of possible strong rivalries between UPP and SUPP members is apparent here.

Third, at Engkilili in Sarawak’s Second Division, which used to be a SUPP stronghold, Ngu Ping Siew of UPP opined that the area was “no longer their (SUPP) turf” as the people were very supportive of Dr Johnicol Rayong, who is with United People’s Party (UPP). Ngu accused Sri Aman assemblyman Francis Hardin from SUPP of coming in to disturb them.

Fourth, SPDP’s secretary-general Anthony Nogeh Gumbek said that it was natural for Teras deputy president Peter Nansian, being the incumbent, to insist that he is the most winnable candidate.

But Anthony insisted on stating, “We are saying the seat is traditionally held by SPDP, and it will be given to SPDP as a component of BN. We have winnable candidates too!”

If these examples weren’t enough, it would also appear that PBB itself is split by factions supporting SUPP/SPDP and Teras/UPP.

The state elections is still 11 months away, and as the date in July 2016 creeps nearer one can foresee even more politicking ahead.

It makes for rather lively news reporting, and become a hot topic for coffee shop gossip and speculation. The final say, however, will still come from Adenan Satem, who will, like his predecessor before him, has to make the decisive casting vote as to who will stand and who will be dropped.

And no amount of politicking will matter then.—- Edgar Ong

Dress sensibly, but Sarawakians say no to Islamic fashion code

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Security guards at the SUK building barred Prema (right) and Tan entry last week, telling them to drape sarongs over their knee-length dresses. ― Facebook screencapIslamic values are not the only yardstick for sensible dressing, Sarawakians said today in the wake of a recent trend to police the attire of non-Muslims at public institutions.

The Sarawakians of diverse colour and creed were weighing in on a spate of incidents this year where non-Muslims in peninsular Malaysia who exposed their legs — seen as part of a person’s “aurat” in Islam — were forced to cover up before being allowed to carry out their business at government agencies and other public spaces.

Muslim lawyer Jamilah Baharuddin said people, especially women, should dress appropriately if they have business at government departments and not wear anything too short or revealing.Media relations and corporate communications manager Ahadiah Zamhari said she has many friends from peninsular Malaysia who admire Sarawak for its broad acceptance of different cultures and religions. (more…)

Sarikei’s famed park in pathetic shape, needs urgent facelift

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Once the pride of Sarikei and the central region of Sarawak, the Sebangkoi Country Park located 26km from the town along the Pan Borneo Trunk Road now lies in tatters after years of neglect.

According to information on the official  Sarikei District Council (SDC) website, Sebangkoi Country Park covers an area of approximately 32.9 acres and it is 20 minutes’ drive from Sarikei town, about an hour’s drive from Sibu, Sarawak’s commercial town.

It is still listed as one of the few places of interest for visitors to Sarikei. The council generally describes the park as covered with lush forests and vegetation. And like all local councils, development and maintenance of parks and recreational grounds come under the purview of SDC. (more…)

1MDB trumpets Fitch upgrade

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

1MDB today trumpeted Fitch’s Rating’s upgrade of the country’s economic outlook despite claims that the Finance Ministry-owned company was weighing down the economy.

1MDB president and group executive officer Arul Kanda said Fitch Rating was briefed by 1MDB about its challenges prior to the upgrade.

“In relation to 1MDB, we had conversations with Fitch in advance of the upgrade, in which we discussed the company’s current situation and provided confidence on the measures being taken. (more…)

Govt to pay RM1.08b if toll rates not increased

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Menteri-Kerja-Raya-Fadillah-Yusof,tolThe government is expected to pay RM1.08 billion in compensation to 23 concessionaires of 30 highways if there is no increase in toll rates, said Works Minister Fadillah Yusof.

He said the government was already paying a compensation of RM580 million at present without raising toll rates.

“If the toll rates are increased, this money (compensation) can be used for building roads, schools and hospitals. (more…)

Najib defends Tabung Haji land buy from 1MDB, says profitable

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak speaks during a breaking-of-fast event at the Kumpulan Karangkraf building in Shah Alam. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, July 2, 2015. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has defended Lembaga Tabung Haji’s purchase of a piece of land from controversial state investment vehicle 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), saying that it generated RM170 million in profit.

He said the land purchase was a profitable move that benefitted those keeping their money in the pilgrims fund.

“Before this, there was talk that Tabung Haji money was being used to save 1MDB.

“Actually it was a land purchase, a business move that has brought RM170 million in profit to Tabung Haji,” he said at a breaking-of-fast event with the press and bloggers in Shah Alam today. (more…)

Church’s goodwill gesture for Muslim community sparks hope

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Malaysia is probably not the most positive place in the world right now.

It seems like more are becoming jaded with the prospects of life here – from the politics, to the economy, to worsening racial and religious relations.

But for many of us, leaving Malaysia for another country is not an option, let alone a desire.

It is still very much a great country with great people and united, we are capable of achieving great things. (more…)

PM: Some almost died to come here, so be grateful

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has urged Malaysians to be grateful with the nation’s progress and to drive home his point, cited the plight of Rohingyas.

He said Malaysians should not resort to tarnishing the country’s image.

He also reportedly cited a Hadith, where it is said that even if one observes all his or her prayers, the person would not be guaranteed a place in heaven if he or she slandered others, created conflicts, destroyed unity and instigated problems.

He said the fact that foreigners are attempting to enter Malaysia at all costs proved that the country’s economy was healthy. (more…)

Court orders speaker, three others to respond to injunction on hudud bill

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia along with three others have been instructed to file affidavits in response to an injunction application to stop the tabling of a private member's bill on hudud by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, July 2, 2015.Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and three others have been instructed to file affidavits in response to an injunction application to stop the tabling of a private member’s bill on hudud by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Lawyer Siti Kassim, who represents the four plaintiffs, said the directive was made by court deputy registrar Nor Hasniah Abdul Razak last Friday during a case management.

“The defendants have been given until July 10 to file the affidavits before another case management is held on July 27,” she told The Malaysian Insider. (more…)

When Malays strip away their traditions and culture

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

The misuse of traditional Malay clothes in fashion has grown rampant in recent years, and it has indirectly had a negative impact on the Malay race itself. The decline in the standard of quality of traditional Malay outfits has been exacerbated by this phenomenon.

As Adilfitri draws near, the designs of baju melayu, baju kurung and other traditional Malay attire have grown so weird – all in the name of uniqueness – at the expense of authentic Malay designs, which have all but just
vanished. (more…)

Mara suspends 2 officials involved in Aussie property buy

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa speaks to the press  about the controversial property buys in Australia at the agency’s headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut, Kuala Lumpur, today. – The The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, July 2, 2015.Two officials from Majlis Amanah Rakyat’s (Mara) investment arm, Mara Inc, have been suspended over their involvement in contentious Australian property deals.

The government agency also appointed international auditor PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to scrutinise the acquisition of Mara Inc assets overseas.

Mara chairman Tan Sri Annuar Musa said today Mara Inc Sdn Bhd chairman Datuk Mohammad Lan Allani and chief executive officer Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Rahman would be relieved of their duties pending investigation into the property deals. (more…)

Secrecy in determining oil prices fuelling anger of people

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

There is something seriously wrong with the “People First” administration in this country.

Secrecy seems to be the order of the day, especially when it comes to petrol prices.

First on June 30, Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism Minister Hasan Malek announced that the authorities will no longer notify the public about the changes in fuel price and will only notify retailers at midnight on the last day of the month.

He justified the move by saying that the change of petrol prices has become a routine affair following the implementation of the managed float system for the prices of petrol and diesel from Dec 1 last year. (more…)

Najib: Difference in opinions welcome, lies are not

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:00 AM

najib,malaysiaPrime Minister Najib Tun Razak stressed that differing opinions is not a problem as long as it is based on facts and is constructive in nature.

However, he said it becomes a problem when there are certain quarters who disseminate news which can create doubt and erode the confidence of the people in the government.

“A review found that some of the opinions were baseless or off target…This is the challenge in the new environment especially the media practitioners because they are chasing news.

“They want to be the first in the news because (some) want to form perceptions, not to ensure accuracy of news, it (accuracy) is as if it is secondary. When a perception is formed, it is very hard to scrape it off,” he said. (more…)

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