Archive for najib scandal

JUDGMENT DAY: Ghost of Altantuya has come

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 8, 2009 by ckchew

No other case in Malaysian history has stirred so much of interest. Speculations and conspiracy theories raged from coffee shops to swanky offices. It has become the biggest thorn in the flesh of the new premier and the most potent weapon in the opposition’s arsenal.

MCPX

Altantunya Shaarriibuu, the Mongoalian national who was brutally murdered in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam in December 2007, has become a household name in this country.

Her spectre was also raised in the campaign to yesterday’s Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections, which even saw a group of opposition leaders conducting a prayer ritual for her.

Since the case came to light, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been forced to repeatedly deny having any links with the matter, which found its way to the pages of newspapers around the globe.

The case received overwhelming attention when a close aide of Najib, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was charged with abetting the murder.

However, he was later acquitted, and this sparked off a fresh round of speculations that the powers-that-be had a hand in it.

On Oct 31, 2008, the political analyst walked out a free man after the court found that the prosecution had failed to furnish proof on an important element on the conspiracy charge.

Abdul Razak has since left to United Kingdom and is said to be taking up PhD at Oxford University.

Tomorrow, the Shah Alam High Court would decide on the fate of the two police special action force personnel – Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar – who were charged with murdering Altantunya.

Amid speculations that the duo had been made scapegoats to protect certain luminaries, the odds are that they would be sentenced to death.

‘I want to be freed’

“If asked, I certainly want to be freed from this charge,”Azilah had told Bernama on the last day of his defence trial in February.

These words, according to the national news agency, made his fiancée Nur Azila Baharuddin smile. She has always been at his side throughout the trial to provide support. And according
to her, if Azilah’s hope turns true, they will set their wedding at the nearest date.

Meanwhile, Sirul Azhar, the second defendant in the case, and the quieter of the two, had expressed the same feelings when asked the same question. “God willing there is some hope.”

Both accused completed their own defence without any witness.

Azilah, 33, who is represented by two counsels, Hazman Ahmad and J Kuldeep Kumar presented his verbal testimony from the dock while Sirul Azhar, 37, who is represented by Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Hasnal Redzua Marican and Ahmad Zaidi Zainal chose to read out the written testimony from the dock.

The duo were charged with murdering Altantuya, who was 28 then, between Lot 12843 and Lot 16735 Mukim Bukit Raja near here, between 10 pm, Oct 19 and 1 am, Oct 20, 2006.

When Abdul Razak was no longer in the picture, the case lost its appeal and those who initially followed it with a religious fervour were no longer keen.

Media enthusiasm on the trial has also waned with the number of media members covering the trial drastically reduced unlike previously where police had to control their numbers in the courtroom.

While Azilah and Sirul Azhar who pleaded not guilty are hoping to be released, the prosecution is going all out to prove they are the ones behind Altantuya’s murder and the disposal of her remains using explosives.

The prosecution team consisting of Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Noorin Badaruddin, Manoj Kurup and Hanim Rashid stressed in their submissions that Azilah and Sirul Azhar are the people behind Altantuya’s murder.

Based on the evidence gathered from prosecution witnesses, the explosive used to blow up Altantuya’s body was probably placed in her mouth.

‘They had the motive’

Manoj noted at the end of the prosecution’s case that both accused had the motive to kill and it was a pre-planned crime.

He also noted that several circumstantial evidence that the prosecution tried to prove were never denied, explained or answered by both defendants.

“Several of the strong evidence deduced from the testimonies when spun together will make two ropes that are strong enough to hang each one of them…

“The prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt on the actions of the duo calls for their conviction on the murder carried out with the common intention,” he said.

Azilah who started his testimony on Jan 15 stated that he had no motive to kill or destroy the woman and instead he only met Altantuya to advise her politely not to harass Abdul Razak or create a ruckus outside the latter’s home.

He also told the court that he was ordered by a superior, DSP Musa Safri to help Abdul Razak and thus he would not have done something stupid like killing and what more when he is a policeman.

While defending himself Sirul Azhar broke down a few times and related to the court that he has been made the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in the murder.

“I have no reason to hurt anyone, what more killing someone brutally.  I appeal to the court that has the standing and powers to decide on my fate, not to punish me because by doing so it only completes the game play of those against me,” he said reading out his written testimony on Feb 4.

The case as set many record including being the most number of days for hearing (159 days) and 84 witnesses at the prosecution stage and two at the defence stage.

According to records, Azilah has been incarcerated at the Sungai Buloh prison for 891 days while Sirul Azhar 895 days.

Mkini

Voters send two crucial messages: najib Altantuya & mahafiraun are goners

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 8, 2009 by ckchew

The outcome of the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections have sent two crucial messages. Firstly, it can be viewed as a rejection of the new Barisan Nasional leadership and secondly, the people of Perak want a fresh state elections.

MCPX

Both the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) and DAP’s PJ Utara assemblyperson Tony Pua agreed that the Perak state assembly must be dissolved to pave the way for a fresh polls.

According to Pua, the results are a clear endorsement of Pakatan Rakyat’s 10-month-old Perak government for its multiracial and multicultural policies in contrast to BN’s race-based model of governance.

“The Kuala Sepetang polling district (in Bukit Gantang) where the Chinese community comprises 97 percent of the 2,311 electorate, they had voted 84.3 percent for a PAS candidate (former Perak MB Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin).

“This is an earth-shaking result demonstrating that barriers to racial and communal politics are being torn down and are being replaced by the politics of good and quality governance.

“The sizeable increase in victory margin for Mohd Nizar in Bukit Gantang clearly sends the message to our newly installed premier Najib Abdul Razak that the people want the Perak state assembly to be dissolved for fresh elections,” he said in a statement.

Referendums on national politics

Meanwhile, PSM said the victory of greenhorn S Manikumar in Bukit Selambau showed that Malaysians are seeing the by-elections as referendums on national politics rather than local issues.

“Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud said BN’s victory in Batang Ai is a vote of confidence for the new prime minister. Perhaps he said that before realising the defeat of BN in the other two seats.

“The result is yet another referendum by the rakyat calling for real changes and not cosmetic changes. It is a rejection of Najib. It is a call for fresh elections,” added the party in a statement.

Apart from this, PSM also noted that voters in Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang also sent a farewell message to former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad since his presence failed to boost support for the ruling coalition.

In addition, PSM, Pua and political analyst Lim Teck Ghee agreed that the results of the by-elections indicated that voters are no longer susceptible to manipulative campaigning tactics.

Seeing between truth and falsehood

Lim, the director of the Centre for Policy Initiatives, said the outcome demonstrated that the Malaysian electorate clearly sees through the electoral charm offensives and political sloganeering.

“They can distinguish between what it perceives to be truth from falsehood, honesty from deception and sincerity from hypocrisy. The continued political spinning and unashamed partisanship of the mainstream media is no longer an advantage but a disaster for BN,” he said.

Lim noted that the more BN leaders engage in rhetorical promises and false reforms, the more Malaysians will become cynical and will refrain in supporting them.

He also expressed disappointment that BN has failed to learn to be grounded with the people since their dismal performance in the March 8 general elections, and has taken the country backwards instead with the opportunistic seizure of power in Perak and illusionary reforms.

Lim also pointed out that during one of Najib’s first official functions, the new premier had reminded the media to be critical of the government so that leaders would not be arrogant.

“It is a loud wake-up call to media editors and their staff to relearn their basic Journalism Ethics 101 and begin practising reporting without fear of consequences,” he said. Mkini

Pakatan’s rising hills, najib Altantuya’s declining slope

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 8, 2009 by ckchew

The results are in, and the 2-1 victory shows that both Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional held onto their original seats. But the final tallies do not suggest a status quo. Far from it.

MCPX

The larger majorities for the opposition indicate serious obstacles for Najib Abdul Razak and BN. Voters have decisively rejected his new leadership less than one week into his tenure. The debate will not only centre on the numbers, but around the factors that contributed to BN defeats.

Allow me to point out 10 factors that stand out.

1) Leadership credibility – Najib has a serious public image problem. Despite hiring public relations firms, his reform-oriented speeches and calls to give him a chance, the new premier has yet to win over the support of a majority of Malaysians. The results show that this problem is across races (even among the Malays), classes and generations.

The sources of the problem are two-fold:

a) The cloud of scandal that surrounds his leadership has darkened his future and unless the issues are addressed squarely, it is unlikely to dissipate. Apparently these unsubstantiated rumours have poisoned Najib’s well.

b) Equally important is that he has yet delivered on reform. Malaysians have listened to unfulfilled promises and are unlikely to be swayed with piecemeal measures, such as the 13 ISA release. They also see him as an integral part of the Abdullah Ahmad Badawi government which had failed to live up to its electoral promises.

2) Umno infighting - Najib faces divisions within his own ranks. Despite the convincing win of his cohort in the Umno polls, this has not translated into a mending of differences within his party. Dissatisfied Umno members joined the independent list of candidates in Bukit Selambau from the onset.

Yet, Najib’s actions since taking office also had an effect. The growing purge of Abdullah people from the party leadership ranks has upset many. This played itself out in the by-elections where Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s remarks deeply offended Abdullah supporters. The sheer number of Umno members – even elected Umno party representatives –who stayed home rather than vote allowed the strong Pakatan’s win to evolve into a landslide, notably in Perak.

Appointing Muhyiddin Yassin, seen as the man contributing to Abdullah’s downfall, as election operation manager and discouraging Khairy Jamaluddin from campaigning had agitated the rifts, but it was Mahathir’s presence that reopened the wound.

Umno remains splintered within and this hampers the party from even gaining back its traditional base. This says nothing about the fact that reforms in Umno have not been substantial and this obstacle undermines the party’s ability to win back younger voters and fence sitters.

3) BN weakness – When the votes were counted, the results showed that in the two Bukits, non-Malay voters remained squarely behind Pakatan. Over 80% of the Chinese voted for the opposition, and in some polling stations, including traditional Chinese new villages, that number rose to 85%.

Among Indian voters, as the results in Bukit Selambau notably show, over 60% voted for the opposition. One estate worker wearing a BN shirt pointed out that her vote was in her heart, not what she was wearing. The massive effort by the MIC to distribute patronage in the Indian community and promises of additional Hindraf releases won back some voters, but the effort only made a dent in what appears to be a major post-March 2008 shift among Indian voters toward the opposition.

The valiant efforts of Gerakan, MCA, and MIC failed to woo their traditional ground. The reason is well-known – the BN as a multi-ethnic coalition is not working. Najib’s choice to visit Sin Chew Daily last week without his BN counterparts and failure to publicly engage the non-Malay component party leaders openly illustrates that even his administration recognises that the current non-Malay party leaders are weak.

Ironically, Najib’s actions are weakening them further, as non-Malay voices from BN have been marginalised and this marginalisation has undermined their ability to win back support. Until the non-component parties have stronger leaders to defend their parties interests and move beyond a system of accepting secondary status, they are trapped in a structure that is not seen as representative.

Remember, the majority of constituencies in Malaysia are mixed (and definitely not a Malay majority that some Umno members suggest), and ultimately the coalition that wins these seats, wins over the majority of voters.

4) Greater Pakatan coherence – The West Malaysian results have sealed Pakatan electorally, at least in the short term.

While it is foolish to suggest that the ideological divisions and inter-party competition do not remain, the win in Bukit Gantang that has brought Pakatan’s extremes together – DAP and PAS – in unprecedented fashion and the viable cooperation between all three opposition parties in Bukit Selambau that boosted a weak PKR candidate to an impressive victory, shows that the opposition is institutionalising as a electoral force.

In contrast, the failures of Pakatan cooperation showed in Batang Ai, giving the BN a solid victory. The umbrella of change with calls for better governance and the move toward moderation on the issue of Islamic law are inclusive enough for the diversity of opinion within Pakatan and cohesive enough for the electorate.

5) Corruption – If there is one issue that brings the voters to the opposition, it is corruption. From the Chinese fisherman to the retired Malay military officer, the message of dissatisfaction is the same – the rot within.

The predatory activity in the campaign as funds allocated to gain support were pocketed by the leaders and the larger sense that corruption in land deals, party polls, and contracts is endemic has deeply alienated many voters who are fed up with this practice.

Piecemeal initiatives and the selective targeting of individuals as occurred in the run-up to the Umno polls only served to deepen this sense that the people’s money is being taken by graft as ordinary voters struggle in the more difficult economic climate. The disparity of wealth and blatant display of spoils of power all favour Pakatan, even despite the problems the opposition coalition faces by some within its own ranks on these issues.

6) Patronage politics declining – A new politics in Malaysia is evolving, even in semi-rural/rural constituencies. Traditionally the delivery of election goodies – this time round bicycles, TOL agreements, fishing licences, school allocations, temple funds, and open financial allocations – has been enough to win over these areas.

It did the trick in Batang Ai, where promised of over RM70 million (for over 8,006 voters) yielded a bumper BN majority. (As one person commented, it was a strategic long-term investment in their community.) Yet, it was not enough in West Malaysia. Patronage cannot guarantee victories any more.

The reasons here are also two-fold:

a) The sheer population numbers undercut the personal relationships of reciprocity that underscore patronage. It works in Sarawak because personal ties remain. This is not the case any longer in West Malaysia as migration, party changeovers and ironically development itself has transformed dynamics into more impersonal exchanges. No wonder voters take the money and vote independently.

b) Another underlying cause of this transformation has been the evolution of voting for issues, not financial rewards or development promises. Voters have rejected short-term gains, showing that long-term factors in areas of governance matter more.

7) Voter sophistication – This is tied to the greater sophistication of voters who get their information from a variety of sources. While the Internet did not permeate these areas to the same extent as the urban constituencies and many of these voters do not engage alternative media (such as Malaysiakini), they see the forest through the trees. They are tired of being taken for granted and treated like children that should follow blindly.

The underlying patronising approach toward voters ignores that Malaysians vote strategically and purposefully. The approach of BN has yet to move away from the patronising mould. For example, while Bukit Gantang contest had a more sophisticated BN campaign with clearer alternative messages on the issue of the royalty, these remain superficial and lack credibility among fence sitters.

Parties across the spectrum have to keep up with the voters to win over their support. This will mean both BN and Pakatan will have to deepen the messages from abstract ideals to more concrete deliverables.

8) Rejection of hardline racial tactics – The multi-ethnic calls of “We Love Pakatan” outside the Town Hall in Taiping last night from the multi-ethnic crowd illustrated that racial politics have evolved. It would be a mistake to say that ethnic factors do not matter – they remain paramount and continue to shape campaigning on both sides – but the by-elections show that new ties are forming.

When Malays sit in DAP ceramahs and listen intently to Chinese speeches (that most do not understand) and Chinese attend kampong sit-ins organised by PAS, norms and boundaries have been broken. The BN’s aim to use race – especially Malay rights – to galvanise its base only served to bring back a small number of its core. Hardline racial language only goes so far.

But it was also the anger over tactics in Perak, with Hindraf and police brutality that proved decisive in both West Malaysian contests. Among estate workers in Bukit Selambau, a woman’s eyes showed tears as she brought up the A Kugan case. The cries of Makkal Sakti permeated the crowds.

These April polls show that hardline tactics are risky and can backfire.

9) Personality and party – These contests also show that while both party and personality matter, party is decisive. In Bukit Selambau, a weak candidate was buoyed by party leaders and party machinery.

In Bukit Gantang, the power of Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin’s character gained support across the board, notably among Malays. Yet, his final victory was the product of Pakatan as half of his support came from non-Malays.

In Batang Ai, PKR’s candidate Jawah Gerang was not able to build on his previous service as the Lubok Antu MP to overcome the BN machine.

The candidate factor was not central, despite the choice of local candidates by BN. This was a national contest in which the BN showed that it still command support in East Malaysia, which has a third of the parliamentary seats, but continue to lose ground in West Malaysia, where the majority of Malaysians reside.

The only personality that mattered was Najib, and his image liabilities did not translate his coming into office into an adequate electoral boost. Even the personality factor of Anwar ibrahim did not have a major impact, as the new reformasi-minded younger leaders of Pakatan play a more prominent role in the campaigns.

In the final analysis, Najib’s political base may be even more reliant on East Malaysia than Abdullah’s post-March 2008. For Pakatan, the states of Sarawak and Sabah remain serious obstacles.

10) People’s power – Ultimately, these results were about the Malaysians who came out to vote. Despite the rain (and it does rain a lot in these Bukits) and the strategic placement of the election on a Tuesday (which clearly had an effect on the lower turnout of younger voters working outstation), many of them used their right to vote to send a message.

The end result is that Najib did not get the mandate he needed and the opposition was given another boost, especially in Perak, where the cloud of possible polls hangs over the court decision and mid-May requirement to hold a state assembly session.

Whether Najib and his new team will listen and reform, or whether Pakatan will deepen its effort to reach out to voters or coast along with the messages of March 2008 that can fade will be crucial in shaping outcomes in future elections (and more by-elections are on the horizon), it will not take away that in these three historic by-elections, the democratic process (even with its flaws) can empower communities across Malaysia. Mkini


DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor in Southeast Asian studies at John Hopkins University-SAIS, Washington DC. She was in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau to observe the by-elections.

Hindraf duo still not fully free

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 5, 2009 by ckchew

(The Malaysian Insider) – The two Hindraf leaders released from the Kamunting detention centre this afternoon are still in police custody, opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said today.

He said both V. Ganabatirau and R. Kenghadharan were taken by police and are believed to be at the Selangor police contingent headquarters in Shah Alam.

Both were released conditionally and had yet to leave the police custody.

“This is a most shameful way in releasing the two and most outrageous way in treating their families, which included young children!” Lim said in a statement.

“Can the new prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak explain the reason for the police ‘cat-and-mouse’ with Ganabatirau and Kengadharan and their families when Najib had announced their ‘immediate release’ under the ISA?” the Ipoh Timur MP asked.

He said both Hindraf leaders were  taken out of Kamunting Detention Centre at 1.30pm under strict police escort, without being allowed to meet with their families, and as at 4.30pm the two police cars transporting the two in custody were sighted at Sungei Buloh, believed to be on the way to the Shah Alam police building.

The DAP strongman said the police move was a violation of the three Najib thematic themes of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

Another three Hindraf leaders have yet to be freed. Critics say the release of just two is to fish for votes in three by-elections this April 7. MI

South-East Asia seems to be getting a new Marcos: Party machine trumps morality

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 5, 2009 by ckchew

Baginda had a glamorous assistant and lover, Altantuya Shaaribuu, 28, who came down to Kuala Lumpur and claimed $US500,000 of the commission when it was paid in October 2006. When Baginda refused, she took to turning up outside his house and making a scene.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Yesterday one of the countries Australia and its friends have long seen as a pillar of regional stability took another big step towards becoming a pariah nation. Malaysia swore in perhaps one of the most questionable current politicians in any of the world’s democracies as its new prime minister, in a triumph of party machine politics over sound governance and morality.

Najib Razak, 55, is widely expected to cement his hold on power with more of the media shutdowns, national-security detentions without trial and fabricated charges against rivals that have already marked his ascent.

This comes as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development lists Malaysia as one of the hold-out nations refusing to exchange information to prevent tax avoidance. On top of a trade collapse, it now risks new sanctions against tax havens agreed upon at this week’s Group of 20 meeting.

Najib is far from a new broom, bringing in the reforms that his older predecessor Abdullah Badawi had promised but never delivered. Instead, he embodies all that has gone wrong in the Malaysian state over the last 30 years from its corrupted policies of addressing racial inequalities through pro-Malay policies in education, government jobs and economic opportunities.

He never had to struggle for his start in politics. When his father, prime minister Abdul Razak, died in 1976, Najib took his father’s parliamentary seat aged 22, and within a few years was rising in cabinet and the ruling United Malays National Organisation.

He put a distinctive stamp on the defence portfolio, which he held for 14 years until last year. Malaysia’s armed services became notable for their multiple sources of equipment – a policy, many analysts think, with the main rationale of increasing the number of big arms contracts and consequent opportunities for lucrative commissions. The Malaysian air force, for example, flies both Russian and American fighters, the MiG-29 and Sukhoi 30s alongside the Boeing F/A-18s.

It was one of these defence deals that has led to the biggest stink around Najib. In 2002 his ministry entered a €1 billion deal with a French-Spanish shipyard, Armaris, for delivery of two new Scorpene and one refurbished Agosta conventional submarines to the Malaysian navy.

The Malaysian intermediary in the noncompetitive tender was a company called Perimekar, which was then owned by another Malaysian company, Ombak Laut, wholly owned by Abdul Razak Baginda, head of a government-backed strategic studies think tank who was a close friend and adviser to Najib. The deal earned Perimekar a commission of €114 million.

Baginda had a glamorous assistant and lover, Altantuya Shaaribuu, 28, who came down to Kuala Lumpur and claimed $US500,000 of the commission when it was paid in October 2006. When Baginda refused, she took to turning up outside his house and making a scene.

In a sworn statement that has just surfaced, Special Branch policeman Sirul Azhar Umar confessed that he was asked by a superior officer, Azilah Hadri, to deal with a woman disturbing Baginda, for a large reward. On the evening of October 19, 2006, he and Azilah bundled her away from Baginda’s gate, drove her to a state forest, shot her dead, and blew up the body with military explosives.

However, the abduction had been witnessed by a taxi driver. Azilah and Sirul were soon charged with murder. Baginda was also charged as an accomplice despite an SMS message from Najib: “I will see the Inspector General of Police at 11am today … The problem will be solved. Be cool.”

In the event, it has been cool: a judge ruled last October that Baginda had no case to answer. Now he is reported to be studying for a PhD at Oxford. Azilah and Sirul, whose embarrassingly detailed statement was ruled inadmissible, face judgment next Thursday and a possible death sentence.

On February 3, Sirul made a tearful plea against a death sentence. He said he was “a black sheep that has to be sacrificed” to protect unnamed people who had not been before the court or questioned. “I have no reason to cause hurt, what’s more to take the life of the victim in such a cruel manner,” Sirul said. “I appeal to the court, which has the powers to determine if I live or die, not to sentence me so as to fulfil others’ plans for me.” The judgment will come, conveniently, a day after Najib faces his first electoral test, in the first of three byelections. In recent weeks the government machinery has tear-gassed an opposition rally, bribed rival MPs to defect, closed the two main opposition newspapers for three months, barred an opposition MP who tried to ask Najib questions about the murder, and charged the veteran lawyer-MP Karpal Singh with sedition.

Anwar Ibrahim says he has not had “one minute” on the state-run broadcast media since he returned to parliament and became opposition leader last August. Ousted as deputy prime minister by Mahathir in 1998 and convicted over manufactured sodomy and corruption crimes, Anwar faces a new trial for sodomy in July, based on evidence given by a young man whom Najib has admitted meeting before the alleged offence. South-East Asia seems to be getting a new Marcos.

Saifuddin Nasution: baju baru, isi tetap sama – pimpinan baru di bawah najib Altantuya

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 4, 2009 by ckchew

Failure to release IsA detainees, mid albar, chor chee heung & musa hassan must resign: najib Altantuya fails “Performance Now” test within first 24 hrs – Baju aje baru, isi tetap sama

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 4, 2009 by ckchew

I had said at a media conference in Ipoh this morning that the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Deputy Home Minister, Datuk Chor Chee Heung, should resign from their Cabinet positions for the three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan as one of first decisions of Datuk Seri Najib Razak on being sworn in as the sixth Prime Minister yesterday was to immediately revoke their ban which had entered into its 11th day.

Now, I say that Hamid and Tan Sri Musa Hassan should be sacked as Home Minister and Inspector-General of Police respectively for failing within 24 hours of Najib’s premiership one of the three Najibian thematic slogans – “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

It is most disgraceful and testimony of gross incompetence and ineptitude that although Najib announced in his maiden address to the nation over television last night that his government had decided “with immediate effect” the release of 13 detainees from ISA detention, none of the 13 could be released today and the earliest they could regain their freedom is tomorrow.

B. Buvaneswary, the wife of detained Hindraf leader Ganapathi Rao, travelled all the way from her home in Shah Alam to Kamunting with their two children, Janani 1 and Gowri 4, to be at the Kamunting Detention Centre at 7 am this morning for his release, only to be disappointed because the papers for the release of the 13 had not arrived at the centre.

Musa Hassan released a statement in Kuala Lumpur at midday that the 13 would only be allowed to leave the Kamunting Detention Centre tomorrow as the documentation process for their release had to be completed first!

Is this what Najib meant by “Performance Now” in his maiden address to the nation last night?

Were the IGP and the Home Minister kept completely in the dark about Najib’s announcement of the “immediate release” of the 13 ISA detainees, learning only about it when the new Prime Minister’s maiden address was telecast live last night?

If so, it reflects a shambolic government with no notion whatsoever about “People First” or “Performance Now”!

When Najib announced the “immediate release” of the 13 ISA detainees in his direct telecast at 8 pm last night, I had expected the two Hindraf leaders, Ganabairau and R. Kenghadharan, and the other 11 ISA detainees to be released last night itself – especially when Najib ended his maiden speech with the flourish of urging Malaysians to “rise up to the challenge of building 1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

Obviously, Najib forgot to ask the Cabinet and the public service to equally “rise up” to the triple challenge of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now.”

When Najib said “with immediate effect”, could it be so elastic as to be stretched not only overnight, but to be over 24, 36 or even 48 hours?

Najib should learn from the lessons of his predecessor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, whose “cemerlang, gemilang, terbilang” slogan swiftly became a national joke. But Najib’s substitute of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” is in danger of becoming a national joke within 24 hours – thanks to the Home Minister and the Inspector-General of Police!

Can Najib ensure that Ganabatirau, Kengaharan and the 11 others ISA detainees would be able to leave the Kamunting Detention Centre to breathe the air of freedom latest by 8 am tomorrow?

In fact, the government is guilty of unlawful detention of the 13 ISA detainees as they should be released “with immediate effect” by the time of Najib’s telecast at 8 p.m. last night.

Is the government going to pay the 13 ISA detainees compensation for illegal detention for 24, 36 or 48 hours to demonstrate the seriousness of Najib’s “Performance Now” slogan?

Lim Kit Siang

Pimpinan baru umno – baju baru isi tetap masih sama: Desakan kuat Pakatan menyebabkan najib Altantuya terpaksa membuat gimik pilihanraya dengan membebaskan tahanan IsA

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 4, 2009 by ckchew

Permohonan kes Nizar diterima: Satu tempelak besar pada najib Altantuya

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 4, 2009 by ckchew

Zainal Abidin Nor

KUALA LUMPUR,  4 April (SK): Menteri Besar Perak Pakatan Rakyat Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin yang berjaya dalam permohonan beliau bagi memulakan prosiding semakan kehakiman di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur pada 8 April ini adalah sebagai satu tempelak besar kepada Perdana Menteri Najib Razak

Semalam, Hakim Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim, memutuskan bahawa permohonan semakan kehakiman oleh Nizar bahawa beliau adalah Menteri Besar Perak yang sah mempunyai merit selepas mendengar hujah dari kedua-dua belah pihak.

“Permohonan untuk semakan kehakiman yang dibuat oleh Nizar ini bukanlah remeh, menyusahkan atau penyalahgunaan proses mahkamah.”  kata Abdul Azizi.

Nizar diwakili oleh  Sulaiman Abdullah manakala Zambry Abdul Kadir diwakili oleh peguam kanan persekutuan Kamaluddin Md Said yang mewakili pihak Pejabat Peguam Negara.

Abdul Azizi bersetuju dengan hujah Sulaiman bahawa pihak Peguam Negara tidak berhujah dengan fakta yang kukuh dan Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) Perak tidak dibubar untuk melantik menteri besar yang baru.

Beliau menjelaskan. “keputusan Nizar untuk memohon perintah bertulis “quo warranto” merupakan salah satu jalan penyelesaian bagi menentukan keabsahan perlantikan Zambry memandangkan Dun tidak dibubar dan Nizar tidak meletakkan jawatan.

“Keputusan Sultan Perak (Sultan Azlan Shah) tidak memberi perkenan untuk membubar Dun adalah dikesali dan responden (Zambry) dilantik sebagai menteri besar yang baru,” tambah beliau.

Berhubung dengan hal ini, Sulaiman berkata, “kami atau Nizar tidak pernah mempersoalkan bidang kuasa atau kedaulatan sultan, kami hanya mempersoalkan kedudukan Zambry sebagai menteri besar.

“Pelanggan (Nizar) kami telah memberi arahan khusus agar tidak memberi gambaran bahawa beliau mencabar kedaulatan dan bidang kuasa sultan,” jelas beliau.

Ketika mengalu-alukan keputusan tersebut, Sulaiman melahirkan rasa terperanjat kenapa terdapat terlalu banyak bantahan dari kamar Peguam Negara mengenai isu permohonan bagi mendengar semakan kehakiman ini.

“Tindakan pejabat Peguam Negara dilihat seolah-olah menutup mata sepenuhnya terhadap isu-isu penting, mengelak dari hujahan tertentu dan sebaliknya menggunakan hujah seperti Sultan Perak tidak boleh diadili.

Apabila ditanya apakah keputusan ini bermakna Nizar tidak “derhaka” kepada Sultan Perak seperti mana yang didakwa oleh sesetengah pihak, Sulaiman berkata,

“Maksud “derhaka” bermakna seseorang itu melanggar bidang kuasa dan kedaulatan sultan.  Pelanggan kami tetap konsisten dengan pendiriannya bahawa beliau tidak pernah mencabar bidang kuasa, budi bicara dan keputusan yang dibuat oleh Sultan Perak,” ujar beliau.

Beliau melahirkan rasa sukacita dan optimistik kerana perbicaraan kes yang panjang ini telah mula menunjukkan tanda-tanda cahaya kebenaran akan bersinar (some light at the end of the tunnel)”.

Pada 13 Februari lalu, Nizar memfailkan permohonan untuk semakan kehakiman, yang di antara lain, menuntut pengisytiharan bahawa beliau adalah menteri besar yang sah.

Beliau juga menuntut pengisytiharan bahawa Zambry tidak berhak memegang jawatan menteri besar termasuk injuksi menghalang Zambry atau ejen-ejennya dari meneruskan tugas dan berperanan sebagai menteri besar.

Nizar dalam permohonannya juga mahu mahkamah tersebut membuat penafsiran Artikel 16 (6) perlembagaan negeri sama ada jawatan menteri besar boleh dikosongkan apabila Menteri besar telah menasihati sultan tentang pembubaran Dun, tidak ada pembubaran Dun, tidak ada undi tidak percaya terhadap menteri besar dalam Dun dan  menteri besar tidak meletakkan jawatan.

Don’t release & then arrest again, najib Altantuya told

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 4, 2009 by ckchew

The people will not be so easily duped into supporting the perpetrators of injustice and oppression, said Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, in reminding new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to keep to his word in freeing 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees.

MCPX

“Don’t let them go free just to arrest them again a few years later… although I welcome the move, we want the draconian law to be abolished altogether,” he said.

Anwar was addressing a large crowd of about 5,000, who were eagerly anticipating him in the rain, and showed avid interest until the ceremah session ended at midnight.

Anwar told the people that as long as the new premier does not abolished the Internal Security Act, the government could arrest anyone at will.

“Yesterday this men were terrorists, and today they say they are innocent… the tradition started with Hussein Onn when he came into power but a couple of years later after the release, he launched another round of arrests. Same goes to Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) but more were detained thereafter,” he said.

The ISA release, which during the ceramah, Anwar implied to be a publicity stunt, was announced by Najib in his first address as the prime minister.

Other key leaders who spoke at the rally last night were Kedah Menteri Besar Azizan Abdul Razak, Pas spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz and Selangor senior executive councillor Teresa Kok.

Kok slammed her ISA arrest

While Kok condemned the injustice afflicted upon her during her one-week ISA arrest for unknown reasons, Azizan reassured the people that the Pas-government has brought plenty of progress to the the state.

Azizan, who was referring to criticism from several quarters accusing his state government of not bringing improvement after being in power for more than a year, said that in July they would be launching a megaproject to develop Kedah into a hydrocarbon hub.

The project which is said to amount to a whopping RM83 billion, is aimed at prospering the state’s oil-refining mechanisms.

Later, speaking to reporters, Anwar said: “We expected the move, which was no doubt also was done to coincide with the by-election, but as I stated we want the total abolition of the ISA”.

“We welcome the move, but let’s not be fooled, today they are freed and tomorrow they are detained once more,” he said.

Asked whether it affected Pakatan’s chances in the by-elections, Anwar said that the announcement does not affect the campaign.

ISA should be abolished immediately

“The promise to review the act has been there for the last 30 years, at the time when the communists surrendered. The act was meant to be used against militant communists but the moment that matter was resolved, by right it should have been revoked.

“So now, I don’t see the rational behind the need for a study, you don’t study a case for 30 years. What we need to do is to immediately repeal the act, while I support any measures to be tough against possibilities of violence and perpetrators of violence,” he said.

He also brushed aside a swing of votes to the BN, as the release of Hindraf leaders might be a factor in affecting the sentiments of the Indian community which makes up 29 percent of voters in Bukit Selambau.

“I don’t think they (the BN government) can delude the Indian voters into thinking that everything is over because in the first place they should not have been arrested. Yesterday, they were terrorists, under then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi (but) today they are no longer a threat to the national security,” he said.

S Pathmawathy, Mkini

The crooked faces of najib Altantuya’s Cronies and their Related Companies – LOOK AT THEIR FACES CLOSELY, YOUR HARD-EARNED MONEY IS GOING TO END UP IN THEIR POCKETS!!!

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 4, 2009 by ckchew

Everyone knows whenever there’s a change to the premiership not only political landscape changes but also the stock-market landscape. When Mahathir called it a day in 2003 almost immediately his cronies listed companies were affected. The same goes to Badawi although his departure doesn’t have the same impact due to his short-term in office. And now with Najib Razak as the new Prime Minister naturally his cronies or rather those who are closely linked to him are instantly on investors or punters’ radar. Malaysia politics and business model is rather unique because you will see both scratching each other for survival and prosperity. This is something that foreign investors found rather hard though amuse to accept or understand, not to mention frustration due to escalating in business operating costs.

Dow Jones went crazily above the psychological-level of 8,000-points before profit-taking trimmed the gains and closed at 7,978.08, thanks mostly to G20’s pledge of over $1 trillion to combat global economic crisis. However, the KLCI was marginally down following the release of the external trade data by the statistics department. Malaysia exports for February 2009 fell 15.9% year-on-year, while imports were 27.3% lower. Total trade in February was 21% lower at RM67.2bil, with trade surplus of RM11.97bil. The one-day bull in anticipation of Najib’s big day was over with KLCI didn’t move much despite the overnight jump in Dow Jones. Local KLCI is waiting for Najib’s speech to determine the next direction.

If Badawi’s circle of businessmen included Equine Capital Berhad’s Patrick Lim, ECM Libra Group’s Kalimullah Hassan and Scomi Group’s Kamaluddin Abdullah (his own son), Najib’s circle of businessmen is many times larger. So who are the people and companies closely linked to the new Prime Minister Najib Razak that could see their fortunes skyrocket?

1) Top on the list is non other than his youngest brother Nazir Razak, CEO of Nazir-RazakBumiputra-Commerce Holdings Berhad (KLSE: COMMERZ, stock-code 1023) who studied philosophy at Cambridge University. Perhaps the most business-savvy within the family members Nazir was known for his infamous controversial acquisition of Southern Bank from owner Tan Teong Hean. After failed the initial attempt Nazir turned to Chua Ma Yu who architected the downfall of Southern Bank ultimately. With the largest lender Malayan Banking Berhad’s (KLSE: MAYBANK, stock-code 1155) in its bad shape would we see Bumiputra-Commerce acquire Maybank to become the largest bank instead?

2) Johari Razak, the second eldest who read law Johari-Razakfrom University of Kent is one of the senior partners since August 2007 at Shearn Delamore & Co , a law firm located at Wisma Hamzah-Kwong Hing. He also holds the following positions:

  • Ancom Berhad (KLSE: ANCOM, stock-code 4758): Non-Executive Chairman
  • Nylex (Malaysia) Berhad (KLSE: NYLEX, stock-code 4944): Non-Executive Deputy Chairman
  • Hong Leong Industries Berhad (KLSE: HLIND, stock-code 3301): Non-Executive Director
  • Daiman Development Berhad (KLSE: DAIMAN, stock-code 5355): Non-Executive Chairman
  • Tower Real Estate Investment Trust (KLSE: TWRREIT, stock-code 5111): Non-Executive Director
  • Deutsche Bank (M) Berhad: Director

3) Mohamed Nizam Razak, the middle brother studied politics, philosophy and economics at Oxford University in the UK and was a stockbroker, being CEO of PB Securities Sdn Bhd in the 1990s. He also holds the following positions:

  • Hiap Teck Venture Berhad (KLSE: HIAPTEK, stock-code 5072): Non-Executive Director
  • Delloyd Ventures Berhad (KLSE: DELLOYD, stock-code 6505): Non-Executive Director
  • Mamee Double-Decker (M) Berhad (KLSE: MAMEE, stock-code 5282): Non-Executive Director
  • Yeo Hiap Seng (M) Berhad (KLSE: YHS, stock-code 4642): Non-Executive Director
  • Deutsche Bank (M) Berhad: Director

Nizam Razak together with Syed Mokhtar were once eyeing for the 19.4% stake in DRB-Hicom held by the family trust of late Yahaya Ahmad.

4) Mohamed Nazim Razak, the fourth brother is an architect who married former host of TV3’s Nona show, Norjuma Habib Nazim-RazakMohamed. He also holds the following positions:

  • Hong Leong Bank Berhad (KLSE: HLBANK, stock-code 5819): Non-Executive Director
  • Hong Leong Capital Berhad (KLSE: HLCAP, stock-code 5274): Non-Executive Director

Nazim is also the Chairman of Meru Utama Sdn Bhd which won a seven-year advertising concession from Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad in late 2007. Besides, Nazim is also a director of Eng Wah Organization Limited, a Singapore-based business involved in cinema operations, film distribution and rental of retail and office space. But of course the multi-billion dollar question is would Quek’s Hong Leong Bank leverage on this latest political landscape to acquire Public Bank?

Tan-Kay-Hock5) Tan Kay Hock, chairman of Johan Holdings Berhad (KLSE: JOHAN, stock-code 3441) and George Kent (M) Berhad (KLSE: GKENT, stock-code 3204). Both Najib and Tan Kay Hock are golfing buddies and have known each other for a long time. Tan is also a member of the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) and owns 49.59% stake in George Kent. Interestingly, Malayan United Industries Berhad (KLSE: MUIIND, stock-code 3891), controlled by Khoo Kay Peng owns 9.3% stake in George Kent and 7% stake in Johan Holdings.

Robert-Kuok6) Robert Kuok, second PM Abdul Razak and third PM Hussen Onn were childhood friends and their friendship going back to their school days at Raffles School Singapore. Another of their classmate was Lee Kuan Yew, the first PM of Singapore. Razak juniors used to visit their “Uncle Kuok” and although the Malaysia’s richest man’s businesses are mainly based in Hong Kong, he still has leftovers such as Transmile Group Berhad (KLSE: TRANMIL, stock-code 7000), PPB Oil Palms Bhd (KLSE: PPB, stock-code 4065) and Malaysian Bulk Carriers Berhad (KLSE: MAYBULK, stock-code 5077).

7) Shahril Shamsuddin, owner Shahril-Shamsuddinof Sapura Group is said to have close family relationship with Najib. Companies related included SapuraCrest Petroleum Berhad (KLSE: SAPCRES, stock-code 8575), Sapura Industrial Berhad (KLSE: SAPIND, stock-code 7811) and Sapura Resources Berhad (KLSE: SAPRES, stock-code 4596). He is one of the six trusted individuals personally picked by Najib for ideas on issues ranging from economy, capital markets and general business soon after Najib was appointed Finance Minister.

8) Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, the tycoon whose empire is said to be the most comprehensive and includes almost every sector. He also enjoys good relationship with former PM Mahathir and his DRB-HICOM’s assembly plant provides huge employment in Pekan, Najib’s political base. Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd or Deftech, a subsidiary of DRB-HICOM, is Syed-Mokhtar-Albukharythe country’s leading supplier of land-based defence vehicles to the Defence Ministry, Najib’s favorite ministry. Stocks related to Mokhtar Albukhary includes:

  • MMC Corporation Berhad (KLSE: MMCCORP, stock-code 2194)
  • Padiberas Nasional Berhad (KLSE: BERNAS, stock-code 6866)
  • Kramat Tin Dredging Berhad (KLSE: KRAMAT, stock-code 2151)
  • Amtek Holdings Berhad (KLSE: AMTEK, stock-code 7051)
  • Integrated Rubber Corporation Berhad (KLSE: IRCB, stock-code 2127)
  • Tradewinds Corporation Berhad (KLSE: TWSCORP, stock-code 4804)
  • Tradewinds Plantation Berhad (KLSE: TWSPLNT, stock-code 6327)
  • Zelan Berhad (KLSE: ZELAN, stock-code 2283)

Mokhtar also is very close with Muhyiddin Yassin, the Deputy PM and should Muhyiddin become the next PM, Mokhtar is definitely the businessman to benefits the most. Their relationship started when Muhyiddin was the Johor Chief Minister and Mokhtar was building his empire in the state then.

9) Mohamed Azman Yahya, director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad (KNB) and founder and group chief executive of outsourcing firm Symphony Mohamed-Azman-YahyaHouse Berhad (KLSE: SYMPHNY, stock-code 0016) as well as ex-CEO of Pengurusan Danaharta Berhad. He is one of the six trusted individuals personally picked by Najib for ideas on issues ranging from economy, capital markets and general business soon after Najib was appointed Finance Minister.Listed companies related to Azman includes:

  • Bolton Berhad (KLSE: BOLTON, stock-code 1538): Executive Chairman
  • Malaysian Airline System Berhad (KLSE: MAS, stock-code 3786): Non-Executive Director
  • PLUS Expressway Berhad (KLSE: PLUS, stock-code 5052): Non-Executive Director
  • Pharmaniaga Berhad (KLSE: PHARMA, stock-code 7081): Chairman
  • Scomi Group Berhad (KLSE: SCOMI, stock-code 7158): Non-Executive Director

10) Rohana Mahmood, Najib’s milieu and chairman and partner of Ethos Capital, a RM200mil private equity firm. Rohana and Omar Mutapha Ong, a former special assistant to Najib, are co-founders of the boutique advisory firm Ethos & Co. She and another close aide of Najib, Abdul Razak Baginda, are co-founders of the independent think-tank, Malaysian Strategic Research Centre. Najib was chairman of the think-tank, now disbanded. Listed companies related to Rohana includes:

  • Paramount Corporation Berhad (KLSE: PARAMON, stock-code 1724)
  • TH Group Berhad (KLSE: THGROUP, stock-code 8109)
  • Dijaya Corporation Berhad (KLSE: DIJACOR, stock-code 5401)

Azman-Mokhtar11) Azman Mokhtar – the managing director of Khazanah Nasional Berhad. He is one of the six trusted individuals personally picked by Najib for ideas on issues ranging from economy, capital markets and general business soon after Najib was appointed Finance Minister.

12) Md Nor Yusof – an ex-banker who was the former managing director of Malaysia Airlines and past chairman of the Securities Commission. He is currently director and chairman of Khazanah’s executive committee. He is one of the six trusted individuals personally picked by Najib for ideas on issues ranging from economy, capital markets and general business soon after Najib was appointed Finance Minister.

Md-Nor-Yusof13) Mohd Nadzmi Mohd Salleh – chairman and MD of express bus operator, Konsortium Transnational Bhd. The former Proton boss was called upon by the Government in 1996 to revive the ailing public transport company. He is one of the six trusted individuals personally picked by Najib for ideas on issues ranging from economy, capital markets and general business soon after Najib was appointed Finance Minister.

14) Bakke Salleh – Felda Holdings Bhd CEO

Nadzmi-Salleh15) Lodin Wok Kamarudin – Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera chief

16) Politicians closely related to Najib – Jamaludin Jarjis, Shafie Apdal, Ahmad Hamidi, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.

Having said that it doesn’t mean the old cronies during Mahathir time would not shine again since the former premier is expected to play important roles in Najib’s administration as well as to ensure Najib behaves accordingly.

Source: Stocktube

Blogckchew: Mourning for the death of Altantuya & Beginning of the Dark Age in Malaysia. Takziah: Blogckchew berkabung sempena kematian Altantuya & bermulanya zaman kegelapan di Malaysia

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 3, 2009 by ckchew


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Anwar: ‘Unfortunate’ palace denied our request

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim with tags , on April 3, 2009 by ckchew

Anwar Ibrahim said it was unfortunate that the Agong had ignored a request by 81 opposition MPs to defer the appointment of newly elected Umno president Najib Abdul Razak as prime minister.

MCPX

The 81 MPs submitted the request in a petition to the palace yesterday urging His Majesty to defer the appointment until an independent commission clears Najib of the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and questionable arms purchase commissions.

“It is unfortunate that our case was not given due consideration,” he said when met in Sungai Tinggi, near Terong town, last night.

Najib was sworn in this morning as the country’s sixth prime minister.

Anwar said Najib’s immediate priorities should be to release all ISA detainees, ensure media freedom, independence of the judiciary and that the economic stimulus plan trickles down to the ground.

The opposition leader was taking time off from his hectic campaign schedule in Bukit Selambau, Kedah and Batang Ai, Sarawak to campaign for PAS’ Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin who is contesting in Bukit Gantang, Perak.

Reporter intimidated

Anwar spoke for about half an hour in two back-to-back ceramah in Pekan Terong and nearby Sungai Tinggi yesterday. Both ceramah had crowds of about 500 to 600 people, who gathered under a drizzle.

In Pekan Terong, an ugly incident involving BN supporters and a reporter occurred immediately opposite the ceramah venue, where a BN ceramah was supposed to take place.

The incident occurred following the reporter’s attempt to take pictures of an empty community hall where the Umno ceremah was suppose to be held.

The reporter, from a Ipoh community paper who declined to be named, was forced to delete the pictures after being confronted by some 10 BN supporters.

When approached by Malaysiakini after the incident, the reporter said that he would not be lodging a police report as he does not want to ‘blow up’ the issue.

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng, Mkini

Prayers for Ghost of Altantunya in Bkt Gantang

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 2, 2009 by ckchew

‘You were young, just in your 20s. You were supposed to have lived your life but you died by coming to Malaysia. Who shot you? Who placed the explosives on you? Who masterminded it all? Your young son has lost his mother’s love…’

MCPX

gantang by election 020409 pkr altantuya prayer 03And so read the prayer for the late Altantunya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian national who became a household name in Malaysia under the most tragic of circumstances.This afternoon, several PKR politicians held a short prayer session in conjunction with the Chinese ‘Cheng Beng’ ritual of commemorating the souls of the departed. Perak PKR state representatives Tai Sing Ng (Kuala Sepetang) and Chang Lih Kang (Teja) performed the short prayer session which attracted a small crowd of curious onlookers by the roadside in Simpang, Taiping.A photo of the slain woman was plastered on a wooden board and planted by the roadside and joss sticks were lit while the prayer was recited using a loudhailer.gantang by election 020409 pkr altantuya prayer 02The politicians prayed that her soul finds everlasting peace. Following this, offerings in the form of burning ‘hell notes’, paper mache shoes and clothes were made.”There appears to be a lack of transparency in the probe on her murder. We are using this opportunity to remind everyone that a Mongolian woman was murdered in Malaysia and justice has yet to be served,” Chang told reporters later.It was an eerie experience for journalists as rain started to pour the minute the ceremony began, only to stop immediately once the payers were over. Supernatural forces aside, Taiping has the highest rainfall in the country.Many would see this as a noble gesture on the part of the opposition politicians, who vehemently denied that it was a publicity stunt.However, it would be difficult to deny that there was no political motives whatsoever given the fact that a by-election would take place in the neighbourhood next Tuesday.IGP: They could be related Commenting on this, Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan said the police would act if ongoing court cases, including the Altantuya case, are mentioned during ceramahs as it would be subjudice.”(But) if they want to mourn, let them mourn… Altantuya could be their relative… who knows,” he said with sarcasm.The spectre of the Mongolian woman has haunted incoming premier Najib Abdul Razak since the case first came to light two years ago.Despite his repeated denials of having any involvement in the matter or having met her, the speculations and allegations refuse to fade, and has lent a severe blow to his image.

This incident has also become the most powerful weapon in the opposition’s arsenal to attack Najib.

This was even conceded by his mentor and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who recently remarked: “Legally he has cleared his name (over Altantuya). But whether people will perceive that he has cleared his name or not is something he cannot decide.”

One of Najib’s close aides, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was initially charged with abetting the murder but was later acquitted.

Two members of the elite police special operations force were charged with killing Altantuya in a forest reserve in Shah Alam. The duo, who face the death sentence, are now awaiting the court’s judgment which is scheduled to be announced next month.

IGP: They could be related

Commenting on this, Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan said the police would act if ongoing court cases, including the Altantuya case, are mentioned during ceramahs as it would be subjudice.

“(But) if they want to mourn, let them mourn… Altantuya could be their relative… who knows,” he said with sarcasm.

The spectre of the Mongolian woman has haunted incoming premier Najib Abdul Razak since the case first came to light two years ago.

Despite his repeated denials of having any involvement in the matter or having met her, the speculations and allegations refuse to fade, and has lent a severe blow to his image.

This incident has also become the most powerful weapon in the opposition’s arsenal to attack Najib.

This was even conceded by his mentor and former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who recently remarked: “Legally he has cleared his name (over Altantuya). But whether people will perceive that he has cleared his name or not is something he cannot decide.”

One of Najib’s close aides, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was initially charged with abetting the murder but was later acquitted.

Two members of the elite police special operations force were charged with killing Altantuya in a forest reserve in Shah Alam. The duo, who face the death sentence, are now awaiting the court’s judgment which is scheduled to be announced next month. Mkini

Kit Siang: najib Altantuya should clear his name first

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on April 2, 2009 by ckchew

Never before has a premier designate’s credibility to assume the country’s top job has come under such intense public scrutiny as in the case of Najib Abdul Razak.

MCPX

Veteran opposition parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang said Najib therefore should first address the unprecedented phenomenon of Malaysians doubting his integrity in taking over the premiership.

“Najib must first come out clean from all the public accusations and allegations against him before assuming the country’s top job.

“He cannot assume the premiership with a tainted character and frail credibility. He must first clear his name,” said Lim in his Bukit Selambau by-election campaign speech at a rally in Sungai Petani last night.

The DAP supremo opined that it would be “morally and politically incorrect” for Najib to become the country’s sixth prime minister tomorrow when the jury was still out on whether the newly-elected Umno president was the ‘right man’ to helm Putrajaya.

“Never before so many questions were raised on the suitability, legitimacy and integrity of a politician prior to his appointment as prime minister,” said Lim, who had been a parliamentarian since the days of the country’s first premier Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The Ipoh Timur MP suggested that Najib should clean all the ‘skeletons in the cabinet’ by clearing his name on a number of scandals.

Lim pointed out Najib has been under siege with several damaging accusations such as his alleged link with slain Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, the subsequent mysterious disappearance of a private investigator P Balasubramaniam and the RM500 million commission payout to a company belonging to his close confidant in the purchase French submarines.

He called for a royal commission to probe into all these allegations to clear the way for Najib to take over the premiership.

Mahathirism making a comeback

Lim also warned Malaysians that Najib’s imminent premiership tenure would mark the return of ‘Mahathirism’, a reflection of the hardline administration of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

According to the DAP leader, the coup d’etat in Perak, sedition charge against party colleague Karpal Singh and the police ban on Pakatan Rakyat leaders from bringing up the Altantuya case in the by-elections were among the signs that ‘Mahathirism’ is making a comeback.

“This is dangerous and must stopped. Voters in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai have a national duty to send a message that they reject Mahathirism,” said Lim.

He also questioned the suitability and credibility of former Umno vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam as the Malacca chief minister given that he had been barred from contesting in the recent party elections due to allegations of vote -buying.

“How could he continue to helm the state government when he had been banned from his own party for alleged corrupt practices?” he asked.

The veteran politician also predicted that Najib’s era would mark the beginning of the end to Barisan Nasional’s political dominance.

“Pakatan will form the federal government in the next general election,” he thumped home to cheers of some 2,000 people.

Athi Veeranggan, Mkini

Pakatan asks king to postpone Najib’s appointment

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 2, 2009 by ckchew

All 81 Pakatan Rakyat members of parliament have submitted a petition to King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin to appeal for the postponement of Najib Abdul Razak’s appointment as the prime minister.

The petition, which was submitted to the palace yesterday, was signed by Anwar Ibrahim on behalf of PKR, Abdul Hadi Awang for PAS and Lim Kit Siang for DAP.

The Pakatan MPs said the appointment should be put off until an independent commission cleared Najib of any wrongdoings.

The MPs said that Najib should be investigated on claims linking him to the Altantuya murder case.

“Of late, there have been too many scandals associated with the deputy prime minister. For example, he has been linked to a scandal involving commissions in the purchase of Scorpene submarines.

“Even worse, he has been linked with the murder of a Mongolian woman, and the case has been reported in newspapers and magazines around the world.

“Hence, we urge the king to postpone his appointment as prime minister until all these allegations have been cleared by an independent commission,” said the MPs in the petition.

They added that the position of the prime minister was the most important in the country and as such, it must be given to someone with unquestionable integrity.

Power transition set in motion

According to Pakatan Rakyat secretariat secretary Shabrimi Sidek, the Pakatan leaders would not be seeking an audience with the king over this matter.

He said that the leaders were presently busy campaigning for the upcoming triple by-elections.

The impact of this petition to the king is uncertain as the transition of power was set in motion today with outgoing premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi meeting the king earlier this morning to hand in his resignation.

The king then saw Najib, who will have an audience with the monarch again tomorrow morning to be sworn in as the nation’s sixth prime minister.

He also replaced Abdullah as the Umno president last week.

Najib has come under constant fire from the opposition for his alleged role in the death of Altantuya, an accusation which he has repeatedly denied.

Abdullah handover was precipitated by the horrendous showing of Barisan Nasional in the last general election. Mkini

Surat Pakatan Rakyat kepada YDPA

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on April 2, 2009 by ckchew

Semalam (1 April), pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat telah menghantar satu surat seperti di bawah kepada pihak YDPA. Disertakan salinan surat kepada YDPA yang telah ditandatangani oleh ketiga-tiga pimpinan tertinggi.

28 Mac 2009
1 Rabiul Akhir 1430

Mengadap Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong

Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Almarhum Sultan Mahmud al-Muktafi Billah Shah

Yang bersemayam di atas takhta Kerajaan Malaysia dengan beberapa amat kebesaran dan kemuliaannya.

Assalamualaikum dan Salam Sejahtera,

Ampun Tuanku,

Dengan hormat dan takzimnya patik sekalian merafa’kan sembah dan berdoa kehadrat Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala, mudah-mudahan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong sentiasa berada dalam keadaan selamat dan kesejahteraan.

Ampun Tuanku,

MEMOHON PERKENAN UNTUK MENANGGUHKAN LANTIKAN PERDANA MENTERI BARU SEHINGGA NAMA BELIAU DIBERSIHKAN OLEH SURUHANJAYA BEBAS

Patik sekalian mewakili semua 81 Ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat dengan penuh takzim ingin merafa’ sembah mengenai rancangan YAB Perdana Menteri untuk mengadap Seri Paduka Baginda pada 2 April ini bagi menyatakan hasrat meletakkan jawatan dan menyerahkan jawatan beliau kepada YAB Timbalan Perdana Menteri yang merupakan Presiden UMNO yang baru.

Ampun Tuanku,

Jawatan Perdana Menteri ini merupakan suatu jawatan tertinggi dalam negara yang menjadi maruah sesebuah negara. Jawatan yang sebegitu penting seharusnya diberikan kepada individu terpilih yang bersih dan tidak dipersoalkan integritinya.

Baru-baru ini terdapat banyak skandal yang mengaitkan nama YAB Timbalan Perdana Menteri seperti komisyen pembelian kapal selam Scorpene yang melibatkan negara Peranchis. Yang paling mengejutkan adalah peristiwa pembunuhan seorang wanita Mongolia yang dikatakan turut mengaitkan nama beliau. Perkara di atas telah tersebar ke seluruh dunia dan diulas di banyak akhbar dan majalah seluruh dunia.

Oleh kerana perkara di atas begitu banyak diperkatakan dan memandangkan jawatan Perdana Menteri begitu penting buat negara ini, adalah amat wajar sekiranya Seri Paduka Bagida menangguhkan lantikan Perdana Menteri yang baru ini sehingga segala dakwaan berkenaan disiasat oleh sebuah Suruhanjaya Bebas dan nama beliau dibersihkan demi menjaga maruah negara ini.

Ampun Tuanku,

Patik sekalian akhiri warkah yang tidak sepertinya ini dengan sekalung penghargaan ke atas  keprihatinan dan pertimbangan Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong. Mudah-mudahan Allah Subhanahu Wata’ala melanjutkan usia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong dan seluruh kerabat Tuanku dan semoga sentiasa berada di dalam kesejahteraan dan kebahagiaan yang berkekalan.

Amin Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin

Ampun Tuanku,

Patik sekalian dengan segala hormat takzimnya;

Bagi pihak Ahli Parlimen Pakatan Rakyat

YB Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim
Ketua Pembangkang
merangkap Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)

YB Dato’ Seri Haji Abdul Hadi Awang
Presiden Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS)

YB Lim Kit Siang
Ketua Ahli Parlimen Democratic Action Party (DAP)

SENARAI AHLI PARLIMEN PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT

1.            YB Ahmad bin Kassim
2.            YB Dato’ Rashid Din
3.            YB Dato’ Johari Abdul
4.            YB Gobala Krishnan a/l Nagapan
5.            YB Zulkifli Nordin
6.            YB Tan Tee Beng
7.            YB Dato’ Zahrain Mohamed Hashim
8.            YB Mohd Yusmadi Mohd Yusoff
9.            YB Mohsin Fadzli b Hj Samsuri
10.           YB Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj
11.           YB Dr Lee Boon Chye
12.           YB Abdul Aziz Abdul Kadir
13.           YB Amran Abdul Ghani
14.           YB Saifuddin Nasution Ismail
15.           YB Dato’ Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad
16.           YB William Leong Jee Keen
17.           Yb Mohamed Azmin Ali
18.           YB Zuraida Kamaruddin
19.           YB Gwo-Burne Loh
20.           YB Hee Loy Sian
21.           YB Sivarasa a/l K Rasiah
22.           YB Manikavasagam a/l Sundaram
23.           YB Abdullah Sani Abdul Hamid
24.           YB Chua Tian Chang
25.           YB Wee Choo Keong
26.           YB Nurul Izzah Anwar
27.           YB Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Khalid Ibrahim
28.           YB Dato’ Kamarul Bahrin Abbas
29.           YB Azan Ismail
30.           YB Fuziah Salleh

SENARAI AHLI PARLIMEN PARTI ISLAM SEMALAYSIA

31.           YB Ustaz Nasir Zakaria
32.           YB Haji Mahfuz Omar
33.           YB Dr Mohd Hayati Othman
34.           YB Firdaus Jaafar
35.           YB Che Uda Che Nik
36.           YB Ustaz Haji Taib Azamuddin Md Taib
37.           YB Dato’ Haji Kamarudin Jaafar
38.           YB Dato’ Haji Abd Halim Ab Rahman
39.           YB Dato’ Wan Abdul Rahim Wan Abdullah
40.           YB Siti Zailah Mohd Yusuf
41.           YB Salahuddin Haji Ayub
42.           YB Ustaz Haji Nasharudin Mat Isa
43.           YB Muhammad Husin
44.           YB Dr. Haji Mohd. Hatta Ramli
45.           YB Ustaz Mujahid Haji Yusof Rawa
46.           YB Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut
47.           YB Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad
48.           YB Dr Che Rosli Che Mat
49.           YB Khalid Abd Samad
50.           YB Dr. Hajjah Siti Mariah Mahmud
51.           YB Dr. Lo’ Lo’ Haji Mohd. Ghazali

SENARAI AHLI PARLIMEN DEMOCRATIC ACTION PARTY

52.           YB Lim Guan Eng
53.           YB Dr.Tan Seng Giaw
54.           YB Chong Eng
55.           YB M.Kulasegaran
56.           YB Fong Kui Lun
57.           YB Tan Kok Wai
58.           YB Chow Kon Yeow
59.           YB Teresa Kok Suh Sim
60.           YB Prof.Dr.P.Ramasamy
61.           YB Ngeh Koo Ham
62.           YB Nga Kor Ming
63.           YB Karpal Singh
64.           YB Fong Po Kuan
65.           YB Teo Nie Ching
66.           YB Gobind Singh Deo
67.           YB Chong Chieng Jen
68.           YB Loke Siew Fook
69.           YB Tony Pua Kiam Wee
70.           YB Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun
71.           YB Charles  Santiago
72.           YB M.Manogaran
73.           YB Sim Tong Him
74.           YB John Fernandez
75.           YB Liew Chin Tong
76.           YB Dr.Hiew King Cheu
77.           YB Lim Lip Eng
78.           YB Er Teck Hwa

From: Malaysia Today

Ban “Altantuya” name – najib Altantuya crackdown bordering on najib Altantuya madness

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , , on March 31, 2009 by ckchew

With Datuk Seri Najib Razak all set to be sworn in as the sixth Prime Minister on Friday, all stops are off for a Najib crackdown – the latest being the ban on a Mongolian name, Altantuya Shariibuu, from public discourse.

When I said yesterday that Najib’s ascension as the next Prime Minister marks an enveloping darkness descending in all fronts of human rights, as hardly a day passes in the past fortnight without a new encroachment and erosion of the fundamental liberties whether freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association or the right to information, I had not expected to be vindicated again within 24 hours.

Sad. Very sad. It would appear as if Malaysia has not become enough of an international laughing stock in recent times chalking up a lengthening list of most shameful episodes, like

• the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak orchestrated by Najib;

• wheelchair-bound DAP National Chairman and Bukit Gelugor Member of Parliament, Karpal Singh mobbed by Selangor Umno Youth goons in the parliamentary precincts interfering and menacing him from carrying out his parliamentary duties and subsequently charged in court with sedition for stating what all law lecturers teach in the law schools in the country that Rulers are subject to the law and can be brought to court in their official and personal capacities;

• the one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo without parliamentary pay and privileges without giving him the right to be heard;

• my suspension from Parliament for saying that Umno is “gila kuasa” –which Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said as much in his farewell Umno presidential address the next day and which one Umno delegate adopted in the Umno Assembly general debate to pinpoint the causes of Umno’s downfall;

• the three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan;

• Police and MACC violation of the doctrine of the separation of powers in harassing the Perak State Assembly Speaker and Perak State Assembly members for performing their State Assembly functions; and only two nights ago,

• the arrest of DAP Perak State Assemblyman for Tebing Tinggi Ong Boon Piaw for producing the “Democracy Tree” DVD.

What makes Najib think that getting the police to ban the mention of “Altantunya Shariibuu” in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections will end and release him from being haunted and hounded by serious swirling allegations about his suitability, integrity and legitimacy as the nation’s Prime Minister, particularly over the Altantuya Shariibuu murder case?

Will “Altantuya Shariibuu” become an unparliamentary term, justifying an MP to be suspended for a prolonged period or even expulsion for uttering the unspeakable Mongolian name?

Instead of quelling and quashing the swirling questions and allegations as to his role in the Altantuya Shariibuu murder case, the ridiculous ban on any mention of the Mongolian name will only have the effect of giving the questions and allegations a high-octane boost – giving even greater life, force and potency to them.

The Najib crackdown is bordering on a Najib madness – and all this even before Najib is sworn in as Prime Minister on Friday!

Lim Kit Siang

Ghost of Altantuya & Perak Crisis are no no said the cop in the battle of the Bukits: Cops ban PKR from raising Altantuya issue – No by-elections but police-election

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 31, 2009 by ckchew

The opposition has been dealt with a severe blow in the run-up to the April 7 by-elections after it was barred from bringing up a number of controversial issues including the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu in their electoral campaign.

Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said that the ban covers all three by-elections – Bukit Gantang (Perak), Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Batang Ai (Sarawak)

bukit gantang nomination day najib altantuya and cartoons 290309 03

The impact of the home ministry ban was first felt in Bukit Gantang earlier today.

A state PKR leader, who had no prior knowledge of the home ministry ban, said that the police have imposed several new conditions when issuing permits for the party’s ceramah in that Parliament constituency.

Among the main restrictions were:

  • No instigating the crowd by questioning the Perak sultan’s decision
  • No mention of the Altantuya issue must be made

In addition, PKR must ensure that the crowd at its ceramah is confined to a specific area where the event is being held. [see below]

The police have warned that action will be taken if the crowd spills beyond the permitted area, said the state leader, Lau Teck Hai, who had applied for the permits on behalf of his party.

Lau, who is political secretary to PKR’s Kuala Sepetang state representative Tai Sing Ng, was told to go to the Taiping district police headquarters yesterday where he was informed of the conditions.

Other restrictions included raising racial and religious issues.

PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is expected to be in Bukit Gantang tomorrow as part of his campaign trail.

Ready to defy

Addressing a press conference on the matter this afternoon in Taiping, Perak PKR deputy chief Chan Lih Kang said the party was ready to defy the police on these restrictions.

bukit selambau by election pkr pc on slur campaign 310309 03He also said that it would not appeal against the police decision to impose such restrictions.

“These restrictions are new. They have never been imposed before,” said Chan, who is also the Teja state assemblyperson.

“We are not be appealing against these restrictions and will be not be adhering to them as well.”

He said PKR is ready to face whatever action the police take against the party for breaching the conditions.

“They cannot stop us from exercising our freedom of expression,” he said.

The controversial issues

However, PAS, whose candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin is contesting the by-election, has not be officially told about these new restrictions.

It is learnt that PAS was nevertheless told to stop its ceramah by 11pm so that this does not cause any disturbance in village areas.

However with the announcement by Syed Hamid about the ban, it is evident that PAS too would be affected.

The Altantuya issue has been used by the opposition, especially the PKR, to implicate incoming premier Najib Abdul Razak in the death of the Mongolian woman, a charge which the Umno politician has repeatedly denied.

bukit gantang by election nomination day crowd shots 290309 07As in previous election campaigns, several posters of Altantuya and Najib have already found their way to Bukit Gantang.

Altantuya’s remains were found scattered in a jungle reserve in Shah Alam, Selangor on Oct 19, 2006.

Two special elite policemen, who were bodyguards to VIPs including Najib, are facing murder charge. The verdict is expected early next month.

The opposition has also been highlighting the manner in which Perak Umno, led by Najib, ‘stole’ the state government from Pakatan.

Mohd Nizar has subsequently refused to step down as menteri besar although the Perak sultan had ordered him to do so. This led to him being accused of committing derhaka (treason) against the sultan.

The by-election will see a three-cornered fight involving BN’s Ismail Saffian, Mohd Nizar (photo) and independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

It is being held following the death of PAS member of parliament Roslan Shaharum on Feb 9 from a heart attack.

In the last general election on March 8, 2008, Roslan defeated Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi of BN and independent candidate M Mohganan by 1,566 votes.

Meanwhile in Bukit Selambau, it is learnt that one additional restriction imposed on political parties is that all ceramah must be held indoors.

Watch what you say, warns IGP

Meanwhile in a related development, the police chief issued a warning to all political parties not to incite, provoke or utter words that are deemed to be seditious.

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan also said that they must avoid making unfounded and baseless allegations on their opponents or the party they represented.

“Police will be monitoring all political ceramah and will record them. We urge everyone including supporters not to provoke or taunt anyone during their campaigns,” he said in a statement today.

Musa also added that the police would beef up security in all three by-election spots to prevent untoward incidents.

bukit gantang by election police permit altantuya matter 310309

Mkini

So Najib is top dog, now what?

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 31, 2009 by ckchew

By Sim Kwang Yang/SKY

I did not join in the national excitement over the UMNO

General Assembly.  I did not read anything on the subject.  I have given up watching Malaysian TV stations a long time ago.

So Najib is now top dog in Malaysia.  So what can we expect from him? 

First of all, he will want to reshuffle the federal cabinet.  Ministers will come and go, according to their new positions in the UMNO Supreme Council.  Naturally, Najib will make sure his own men are firmly in place in the key ministries, like Home, Defence, Finance, and so on.  The mainstream media will tout it as a dream team.  Will Khairy get into the Cabinet as a full Minister?

Najib has announced that he wants to reform UMNO, especially the nomination and voting process during party election.  He will probably get what he wants.  But will that eradicate money politics and corruption within UMNO.  I doubt it.  An old dog like me is entitled to his prejudices, or flashes of ageing wisdom.

It is unlikely Najib will want to reform the political system in Malaysia, the judiciary, the legislature, the administration, the police, the media, because the status quo will allow him to stay in power for a long time to come.

Will Najib swoop down on dissenters?

Hard to tell.  He will always keep ribald oppression as an open option. 

The worst case scenario is for an incident to be manufactured, and then the occasion can be an excuse for a declaration of emergency in Perak or throughout the country.  With extra-constitutional power in hand, he can proceed to pull in all those critics of his and his political opponents into Kamuntin.  A paper or two will be shut down.  Malaysiakini or Malaysia To-day will probably be closed sown.  Then he can lift the emergency and call for a lightening general election.

Alternatively, he can just launch Operation Lalang II and cull all his opponents and critics.  The SB officers could be very busy building large piles of case files even now. 

The Malaysia of 2009 is vastly different from the Malaysia of 1987 or that of 1969.  The world has also changed dramatically.  What used to work in the past may not work again.

A lightning general election within the year?

That is another option he must be fiddling in his mind. 

He is elected as the new prime Minister by over 1200 UMNO delegates, amidst allegations of moral misconduct on the Internet.  His moral authority to rule as PM is shaky.  A lightning general election throughout the whole country and a big victory including the wrestling back of the two-third parliamentary majority will solve all those problems.  Of course, if he loses big, then BN will be out of power.

He will have to sit down with his inner circle of trusted advisers, and pore over constant reports from the intelligence agencies, the Information Department and the SB.

There is another element for Najib to consider. The Malaysian economy is really hurting and the masses of working Malaysians are anxious and worried.  Their hardship is not likely to disappear within a year or two.  If an lightning election is held soon, they may just vent the anger on the BN government.

Sarawak general election?

If a lightning parliamentary general election is held, it is almost certain that the Sarawak state general election will be held simultaneously.  With PKR and their PR partners tied up in West Malaysia, very little help can be diverted to the Sarawak PKR, which will then be overrun by the Sarawak BN with ease.  Then, Sarawak BN can continue to pop up the UMNO dominated BN government in KL.

I am just speculating wildly and shooting from my hip. 

There are still many variables in the uncharted choppy sea ahead of our country.  The outcome of the two Bukits and one Batang will probably clear some of the fog in our vision.

This is a season for rumours about conspiracies.

The one I hear going the round in KL is that Ku Li is in secret talk with Anwar Ibrahim for some kind of unity government.  Ku Li is from the Old School, and is now marginalised by the new regime in the new old UMNO so I find the rumour hard to believe.  I will spare you the details of the rumour.  Whatever you say about the man, he writes beautiful English on his blog, and his ideas about politics and economics are still refreshing.

Do I harbour any hope in Najib rescuing Malaysia from her many ills?

Na! It is too much to expect that the son of a former prime minister ascending that throne from the old corrupt system will not be a Machiavellian.  The trouble with Malaysian politics is that we placed too much emphasis on political personalities. 

An unusual personality can change history.  Look at people like Obama, Mandela, Ghandi, and Lincoln.  But these outstanding individuals come only once in a whole generation.  Most of the time, politicians are just the instruments of history at work, influenced more often than not by events of the immediate future, like the next contract and the next election.

I still see the emergence of a two coalition system as the best resort for Malaysia’s future.  The opposition coalition must take power at the federal level first, and then we can start building healthy vibrant democratic institutions of the State.  Then, our nation’s economy can be rationalised by the elimination of crony capitalism.

Our immediate concern is for the PKR to win Batang Ai first, because I surmise the Pakatan Rakyat has a good chance of winning the two Bukits.  If the three all fell into opposition hands, then it is just another death knell for the fossilised regime of the past.

This new business of blogging is hard work for me.  It keeps me very busy.  But it is fun, and we should have started it five years ago.

SKY can be contacted directly at kenyalang578@yahoo.com. The Hornbill Unleash

Malaysian Opposition Leader Warns of More Repression

Posted in Anwar Ibrahim with tags , on March 31, 2009 by ckchew

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim warns of rising repression in the country as a new prime minister takes office this week.

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak is expected to take over Thursday as prime minister of Malaysia, when Abdullah Badawi steps down.

But Malaysian opposition-leader Anwar Ibrahim told reporters in Bangkok that recent developments suggest the Najib administration could usher in a further stifling of dissent and a return to the authoritarian style of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.

“We can only point out to the statements he has made, measures like banning newspapers, threatening tough measures the moment he took over the presidency [of his party, UMNO],” he said. “That is why the opposition People’s Alliance views this with great consternation that Datuk Seri Najib represents the old order.”

The government recently shut down two opposition newspapers for three months, preventing them from reporting on a series of high profile events, a hotly contested by-election in Perak state on April 7 and the verdict in a sensational murder case involving a close aide of Najib Razak two days later.

Najib Razak is seen as a protégé of Mahathir Mohamad. In an interview with the French news agency AFP, Mahathir said he expects Najib to govern more firmly than Mr. Abdullah, who was seen as a moderate.

Mr. Abdullah’s exit came a year after the United Malays National Organization suffered its worst electoral defeat, losing more than a third of the seats in Parliament.

Opposition-leader Anwar was once UMNO’s rising star, until he was fired by Mahathir Mohamad in 1998 and jailed on charges of corruption and sexual misconduct. He was released in 2004.

After the United Malays National Organization poor showing last year, the three-party opposition People’s Alliance was close to taking control of parliament – which could have opened the way for Anwar Ibrahim to become prime minister.

The by-election in Perak state next week pits candidates from the Islamic party and the United Malays National Organization in what is seen as an early referendum on the Najib government.

But Anwar says with Najib Razak as prime minister, it would be a tougher battle to wrest control of Parliament.

“How do you enter elections where you do not even have one minute on television? I have been the leader of the opposition since August.  Not one interview, not one minute on the Malaysian media,” he noted.

Anwar Ibrahim is in Bangkok until Tuesday and will meet Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and other officials. Anwar and Mr. Abhisit are expected to discuss cooperation in addressing the Muslim insurgency in southern Thailand, which borders Malaysia. Anwar called for greater engagement, rather a purely military solution, to end the continued violence there.

Ghost of Altantuya: najib Altantuya It Is

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

Malaysia’s leading ethnic party names a scandal-ridden party hack as its head and the country’s leader

While attention has focused on allegations of corruption in the submarine purchases, the fact is that as defense minister from 1999 to 2008, Najib presided over a cornucopia of defense deals that poured a river of money into the coffers of his close friends and UMNO cronies.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Asia Sentinel

On Friday, Malaysia is scheduled to end months of waiting to announce its new prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, after the United Malays National Organisation, the country’s biggest ethnic party named him their leader during their annual convention.

Najib told the UMNO parley, held in Kuala Lumpur last week, that it is crucial that his party reform itself or it will lose its hold on the electorate. But Najib’s history, and that of the party itself, portends instead a return to the politics and practices that got the national ruling coalition into trouble in the first place, losing its historic two-thirds majority in the national parliament in national elections last year. Najib’s ascent to power more likely represents a clear preference by UMNO stalwarts to return to cronyism, money politics and corruption after an eight-year interregnum from the authoritarian reign of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The new prime minister’s history may make it problematical whether the leaders of major countries are going to want to be seen with him. Concerns include hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable contracts steered to UMNO cronies and friends, not to mention continuing allegations of his involvement in the murder of the Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu following the controversial purchase of French submarines and, more recently, his role in sabotaging the opposition in the state of Perak and his shuttering newspapers and thwarting opposition candidates during his own party’s elections last week.

The convention itself was a good example. Opponents of the Najib team were denied places on the ballot by a panel supposedly charged with cleaning up money politics, although they let Najib’s allies slide by after having committed the same offenses. The result was that the deputy president, Muhyiddin Yassin, and all three vice presidents are from the Najib faction although the Najib forces were unable to prevent Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmand Badawi, from becoming head of the important UMNO Youth wing. They also were unable to stop Shahrizat Abdul Jalil from defeating longtime party hack Rafidah Aziz to take over the Wanita, the women’s wing of the party, also a Badawi ally.

The final election night erupted into name-calling, with allies of Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of the former prime minister, charging that Khairy had bought the votes to make him head of UMNO Youth. Mahathir Mohamad himself railed against the two candidates against his son, calling them corrupt. Rais Yatim, the foreign minister, who lost out in one of the vice president races, demanded that UMNO’s disciplinary board investigate the entire new supreme council over allegations that they had delivered gifts and money to delegates in the effort to win their seats. Mahathir Mohamad has repeatedly launched furious attacks on UMNO leaders, calling them corrupt although he showed up at the last night of the convention to be seen with Najib and others.

The UMNO-owned New Straits Times described the top party positions as having “given much-needed breathing space to Najib as he sets out to unite UMNO and push the party to undertake the reforms he has promised. He will have less of a task to deal with the factionalism that so often arises after a bitterly fought contest in the party.” But in fact, UMNO appears to be as much riven by factional politics as it was going into the convention.

As early as April 8, the party faces the first of three important by-elections – one for a seat in the Dewan Rakyat, or national assembly, and two more for state legislative seats. The first test is for a Perak seat in which support for the Barisan appears to be waning.

“The problem is not the opposition, but within our own ranks,” a local leader told the Kuala Lumpur-based website Malaysia Insider, referring to the perennial problem of factionalism within Umno.

Najib has sought to nullify the opposition with force. Last Monday, a rally led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was broken up by police who fired tear gas at the audience. Other rallies have been cancelled as well. Two opposition newspapers were cancelled until after April 8, the date of the Perak national by-election, presumably because the two papers have hammered away at allegations of Najib’s connections with the two men on trial for killing Altantuya in October of 2006 and her role in the €1 billion purchase of French submarines that netted one of his closest friends €114 million in “commissions.”

To say Najib brings considerable baggage with him is an understatement. While attention has focused on allegations of corruption in the submarine purchases, the fact is that as defense minister from 1999 to 2008, Najib presided over a cornucopia of defense deals that poured a river of money into the coffers of his close friends and UMNO cronies. A September 24, 2007 story in Asia Sentinel quoted Foreign Policy in Focus, a think tank supported by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, as saying that “many foreign arms manufacturers generally used well-connected Malaysians as their lobbyists for contracts.”

Three contracts approved under Najib have been widely cited by the opposition and fit well into Foreign in Policy in Focus’s patronage scale. They have been forced back into public attention by his ascension to the premiership and by the exoneration under questionable circumstances of Abdul Razak Baginda, one of his closest friends, for Altantuya’s murder.

Spending for defense accelerated across the board after Najib, called “the driving force” behind Malaysia’s military modernization program by Foreign Policy in Focus. The shopping list, the think tank reported, “includes battle tanks from Poland, Russian and British surface-to-air missiles and mobile military bridges, Austrian Steyr assault rifles and Pakistani anti-tank missiles. Kuala Lumpur was also negotiating to buy several F/A 18s, the three French submarines and Russian Suhkoi Su-30 fighter aircraft.

It was the Sukhois that, after the French submarines, became the second controversial purchase brokered by Najib. The deal, worth US$900 million (RM3.2 billion), was through a Russian state company, Federal State Unitary Enterprise ‘Rosoboronexport’ on May 19, 2003. A company called IMT Defence Sdn. Bhd. was appointed the local agent for the Russian company and received 12 percent of the purchase price, US$108 million (RM380 million). The principal figure and chairman of IMT Defence is Mohamad Adib Adam, the former chief minister of Malacca, the previous Land and Development Minister and a longtime UMNO stalwart.

The involvement of IMT Defence only became known because in March 2005, a former director of IMT, Mohamad Zainuri Mohamad Idrus, filed suit against several Adib-related companies, alleging that Adib and his sister, Askiah Adam, “wanted to prevent him from exposing the reality of the Sukhoi deal.” In 2006, Mohamad Zainuri lodged a police report alleging that Adib had stolen the US$108 million (RM 380 million) commission that was supposed to be channeled to the company.

According to Mohamad Zainuri’s report, Adib had secretly registered a new company in the federal island of Labuan, Malaysia’s offshore banking center, bearing a name similar to IMT Defence Sdn Bhd, allegedly in order to channel the commission illegally to the new company. The report was then sent to the Commercial Crime Investigations Department Headquarters. No report, however, has ever been released to the public.

Then, in late 2007, a third military scandal surfaced. Malaysia’s Auditor General, in a report tabled in Parliament on September 7, alleged that a contract to build naval vessels given to PSC-Naval Dockyard, a subsidiary of Penang Shipbuilding & Construction Sdn Bhd, which is owned by another UMNO crony, Amin Shah Omar Shah, was near failure.

PSC-Naval Dockyard was contracted to deliver six patrol boats for the Malaysian Navy in 2004 and complete the delivery by last April. Those were supposed to be the first of 27 offshore vessels ultimately to cost RM24 billion plus the right to maintain and repair all of the country’s naval craft. But only two of the barely operational patrol boats had been delivered by mid 2006. There were 298 recorded complaints about the two boats, which were also found to have 100 and 383 uncompleted items aboard them respectively.

The original RM5.35 billion contract ballooned to RM6.75 billion by January 2007. The auditor also reported that the ministry had paid out Rm4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only Rm2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of Rm1.39 billion, or 48 percent. In addition, Malaysia’s cabinet waived late penalties of Rm214 million. Between December 1999, according to the Auditor General, 14 “progress payments” amounting to Rm943 million despite the fact that the auditor general could find no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments.

The auditor general attributed the failure to serious financial mismanagement and technical incompetence stemming from the fact that PSC had never built anything but trawlers or police boats before being given the contract. Once called “Malaysia’s Onassis” by former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, Amin Shah was in trouble almost from the start, according to a report in Singapore’s Business Times in 2005. The financial crisis of 1997-1998 meant he was desperate to find funds to shore up ancillary businesses, Business times reported.

After a flock of lawsuits, the government ultimately cut off funding in 2004 amid losses and a net liabilities position. Boustead Holdings effectively took control from Amin Shah, reducing him to non-executive chairman.

The scandal is bringing shame to the nation and damaging our international credibility. For the honour of the nation, for the honour of the office of prime minister, for the honour of the sovereign institutions expected to endorse, confirm and lend authority to him should he become prime minister according to Umno’s plans, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak should finally face these suspicions and implied charges, submit himself to legal scrutiny, and come clean on them.”

“Swearing on the Al-Quran is not the way out,” Razaleigh continued. “Scoundrels have been known to do that. The truth, established through the rigorous and public scrutiny of the law, is the only remedy if an untrue story has gained currency not just internationally but at home among a large section of the people. Najib should voluntarily offer to testify at the trial of the two officers charged with killing Altantuya Shaariibuu. He could also write to these newspapers and if necessary he should take legal action against them to clear his name and that of our country.”
The case has troubling aspects that have increasingly been noted in British and French newspapers after Asia Sentinel raised them in 2007. They bear repeating.

According to testimony in the trial of the two men accused of killing her, Altantuya accompanied her then-lover Abdul Razak Baginda to Paris at a time when Malaysia’s defense ministry was negotiating through a Kuala Lumpur-based company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd, to buy two Scorpene submarines and a used Agosta submarine produced by the French government under a French-Spanish joint venture, Armaris, which in turn was bought by DCNS, a French contractor, in 2007. Perimekar at the time was owned by a company called Ombak Laut, which was wholly owned by Abdul Razak.

The contract was not competitive. The Malaysian ministry of defense paid €1 billion (RM 4.5 billion) to Amaris for the three submarines, for which Perimekar received a commission of €114 million (RM510 million). Deputy Defense Minister Zainal Abdidin Zin told the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia’s parliament, that the money was paid for “coordination and support services” although the fee amounted to a whopping 11 percent of the sales price for the submarines. Altantuya, by her own admission in the last letter she wrote before her murder, said she had been blackmailing Abdul Razak Baginda, pressuring him for US$500,000. She did not say how she was blackmailing him, leaving open lots of questions.

The French government has never shown any enthusiasm for investigating French companies alleged to be involved in corruption in gaining contracts overseas. It appears likely that it will in this case.

After Altantuya was murdered, one of her accused assassins, Sirul Umar, in a written confession, said he and his boss had been offered RM50,000 to RM100,000 to kill her. In the 22 months since the trial began, nobody in court has thought to ask who was going to pay the money. Abdul Razak Baginda was exonerated by the court and has left the country to study at Oxford.

najib Altantuya must be screened by a royal commission of inquiry

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 30, 2009 by ckchew

By Kim Quek

In a heated press conference at the end of the UMNO Annual Assembly on Mar 28, the newly crowned President of UMNO Najib Razak failed to dispel swirling rumours of his alleged links to the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya Shaariibuu.

This press conference had attracted unusual foreign press attention, due to heightened international media coverage over the scandal as Najib’s anticipated ascension to premiership nears. And as the name of Altantuya splashes in news features that pop up all over the world from France to Australia and from US to India, Najib seems to be irretrievably linked to this sex-corruption-murder scandal over an arm purchase.

Answering a barrage of questions from foreign journalists whether these persistent aspersions would undermine his premiership, Najib only repeatedly said: “These are malicious and baseless lies. I have already given my answers, but they persist. This is an opposition ploy.”

Najib sounded as if he had already given all the necessary explanations to exonerate himself from his apparently strong connection to the case, but actually all he had done was the repeated uttering of these few words: “I had never met the Mongolian woman, I had never known her”, full stop. In fact, he swore in public several times, using the same words.

SERIOUS QUESTIONS

If Najib thought those few words were sufficient to quell the mountain of suspicion arising from the myriad of burning questions as yet unanswered – in the face of dubious action or inaction by the law enforcers – he must have been terribly naïve and completely underestimated the intelligence of the public. Just to pick a few of these in random to demonstrate how serious these questions are:

  • Private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and his entire family mysteriously disappeared a day after he revealed a sworn statement giving intimate details incriminating Najib to the murder case in July 2008. Despite promises to investigate, the police have remained silent over the contents of this affidavit. And the court had also barred the admission of this document. Why did the police and the court keep a safe distance from this document that could have led to a break-through of this trial? What has happened to Bala and family – as nobody seem to know their whereabouts?
  • Why did the court – prosecutors, defence lawyers & judge – acting in unison, block further evidence from Altantuya’s cousin Burmaa Oyunchinmeg when she testified that Najib appeared in a photograph with Altantuya?
  • Why did the court block further evidence upon revelation in court that Malaysian immigration records of Altantuya and her two Mongolian companions had been mysteriously erased? Shouldn’t such erasure have been considered an important lead and an indication that some VVIP was involved?
  • Why were Najib and his aide-de-camp Musa Safri not investigated and called to the witness stand, since it was Musa Safri who gave instruction to the first accused (first and second accused were Najib’s bodyguards) to solve third accused Razak Baginda’s ‘woman problem’. Now that Razak Baginda (a close associate of Najib) has been declared innocent, the court is now left with the bizarre scenario of a murder without a motive, since the first two accused had no motive on their own to kill the victim.

It does not take a Sherlock Holmes or a legal expert to smell a rat in the handling of this murder case – a possible conspiracy to cover up for the real culprit.

During the press conference, not satisfied with Najib’s simplistic answer, journalists repeatedly asked the same questions. Finally, Najib snapped: “We will deal with it, we know how to handle it”. When asked whether this means possible crack-downs against his political opponents, Najib protested: “It is not fair to prejudge me. Give me a chance to take office first. Judge me by my action.”

So, Najib is pleading to be allowed to become the prime minister first, then judge him for what he does.

But is it fair to ask the nation to accept the risk of appointing a prime minister when such formidable dark clouds clearly hang over his head? If there is indeed incriminating evidence, would it not act as potential time bomb that could cause the PM to be r prosecuted or subject to blackmail by those in possession of such evidence? Even if such evidence is non-existent, Najib has no way of running away from this taint, which would surely undermine his standing and effectiveness as PM at home and abroad, so long as he refuses to submit himself to a proper investigation and subsequent vindication in a court of law.

INDEPENDENT INQUIRY A MUST

It is therefore imperative that a royal commission be set up to clear Najib of such suspicion before his appointment as PM (if he is innocent) to safeguard vital national interests. That would mean a delay of a few months to his impending appointment.

I can see no possible reason to object to such delay, as incumbent Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi, whose term does not end until 2013, is fully capable of helming the state, fresh from accolades heaped upon him by his party for rendering invaluable service to the nation.

Najib in particular should welcome such an authoritative process to free him from the current tag and enhance his credibility as future premier and he should therefore have no objection to such delay. Unless of course, for reasons only known to him, he cannot afford to be so probed; neither could he afford not to be at the pinnacle of power at this very moment.

As for the nation at large, such an independent inquiry should bring a sigh of relief that the future premier is cleared of at least the taint of murder. Malaysia Today

Challenges mount for Malaysia’s najib Altantuya; Bad days ahead for all Malaysians

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 27, 2009 by ckchew

Among activists and dissidents, there is a sense of foreboding that Najib and the new UMNO leadership will resort to authoritarian measures to affirm their grip on power.

By Anil Netto, Asia Times Online

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak took a big step towards taking over the premiership when he was returned unopposed this week as president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the dominant party in Malaysia’s ruling coalition. His men also bagged most of the leadership posts in the recently concluded party elections. As head of the UMNO, Najib automatically becomes premier, although a formal handover date has yet to be announced.

Najib has been hammering home a message of change and reform, but many Malaysians wonder what his vision might entail. There is little doubt that UMNO needs to reform after the ruling coalition suffered a severe setback in last March’s general election. The long dominant party lost its coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority at those polls, while five of the federation’s 13 states fell to the opposition. It represented the party’s worst setback since independence from Britain in 1957.

Many Malaysians, especially those exposed to independent online media and critical blogs, have grown tired of accounts of corruption, abuse of power, rent-seeking and the perpetual undermining of government institutions by UMNO-led governments. Meanwhile, minorities and disadvantaged groups have started to more strongly assert their rights.

Najib is taking over power at a challenging time for the country, both politically and economically. Malaysia’s trade-oriented economy is on the brink of recession, with exports and manufacturing both slumping badly. Within his party, there’s a sense of siege as a resurgent opposition alliance, led by Anwar Ibrahim, continues to challenge the ruling coalition’s eroded dominance.

Among activists and dissidents, there is a sense of foreboding that Najib and the new UMNO leadership will resort to authoritarian measures to affirm their grip on power. Outgoing premier Abdullah Badawi, who was blamed for the coalition’s poor showing at last year’s election and forced out of the UMNO’s presidency by party chieftains, warned the party against resorting to its old ways, which some commentators have referred to as a return to “Mahathirism”.

There are ominous signs Najib will aim to model his premiership after former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad’s 22-year tenure. In moves reminiscent of Mahathir’s heavy-handed rule, police have in recent days disrupted opposition rallies, while two opposition party newspapers were suspended for three months.

“Sadly, there are still those who feel that we do not need to pursue reforms,” lamented Abdullah in his farewell speech to the party’s annual general assembly. “They believe that UMNO will regain its glory if we revert to the old ways – the old order, by restricting the freedom of our citizens and by silencing their criticism.”

Abdullah warned that if the party returned to the old path, it would lead to regression and decay. “It is a path that I fear will hasten our demise. If we do not take courageous steps to reform in the face of this dynamic transformation of society and the radical global changes taking place, then we shall live to witness the end of our beloved UMNO. What is the point of fighting tooth and nail for positions in the party if all that remains of us is an obsolete husk?”

Politics of reform
On Abdullah’s rise in 2003, few UMNO delegates seemed keen to stay the course of Mahathir’s authoritarian era. Against the odds, they picked Abdullah’s ambitious son-in-law Khairy Jamuluddin over Mahathir’s son Mukhriz for the leadership of the party’s influential youth wing. Khairy, more than the other youth leaders, had been speaking the language of liberal reforms, though he had also played the communal card in his rise up the party ranks.

Mahathir failed to show up at the assembly after his son lost and started a campaign of criticism against the party he once led. The former premier, who handpicked Abdullah as his successor, but later locked horns with him over his style of governance and decision to scrap infrastructure projects Mahathir had approved, has warned that UMNO has become a party of the corrupt. “Whether it is the members or the leaders, all of them are out there for their own self-interest,” he recently said.

The just-concluded party election process should have instilled confidence among the people that UMNO was prepared to fight corruption, Mahathir said. “But what has happened shows that UMNO does not care about reforming the party and winning the 13th general election. They are more interested in becoming UMNO leaders using any means. Their hope is that if they become UMNO leaders, they would become Cabinet Ministers and obtain contracts and other benefits for their self interest.”

Those are strong words coming from a man whose own 22-year tenure was plagued by scandal after scandal – but all the same worth listening to, as Mahathir has intimate knowledge of how the UMNO works. For instance, Mahathir claimed that many of the nominations for the party’s Supreme Council by the party’s divisions were the result of “offers”. “Many of those nominated were widely known to have bought votes,” he alleged.

Najib has a chance to repair the party, said Mahathir, by refusing to appoint those tainted by corruption to his Cabinet when he takes over as prime minister. However, there is also the matter of public perception – beginning with Najib, who has been implicated in blogs and opposition media in the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman interpreter.

Najib, for his part, strenuously denies any involvement but has not sued his critics nor testified in the ongoing murder trial, in which two special forces operatives linked to him have been charged with the murder. The scandal has brought shame to the nation and damaged the country’s international credibility, according to the sidelined UMNO veteran Razaleigh Hamzah, who had earlier announced he was in the running for the party’s leadership.

“For the honor of the nation, for the honor of the office of prime minister, for the honor of the sovereign institutions expected to endorse, confirm and lend authority to him should he become prime minister according to UMNO’s plans, [he] should finally face these suspicions and implied charges, submit himself to legal scrutiny, and come clean on them,” Razaleigh said.

He claimed the country had fallen into a spiral of institutional and economic decline and that the next government “must not only be fully committed to restoring the legislature, the judiciary and the rulers to their proper dignity and independence, it must be seen by the Malaysian public to be capable of doing so”.

No matter what UMNO does, the race-based politics the ruling coalition has perpetuated since independence is less appealing to a younger generation of Malaysians who are less influenced by the state-manipulated media. This has prompted Khairy to suggest offering Malaysians direct membership to the ruling coalition instead of via the main race-based parties.

Zaid Ibrahim, a former cabinet minister in the Abdullah administration who stepped down due to the slow pace of promised democratic reforms, is confident that Malaysia will more towards a more pluralistic society through the forces of globalization. Yet he warned: “We will not succeed in promoting a united country and allow for the evolution of Bangsa Malaysia [a Malaysian race] if we do not subscribe to the rule of law. We need the openness, freedom and social justice that will be possible only with [the rule of law] in place and democracy.”

All eyes now are on the transition from Abdullah to Najib and the composition of Najib’s new cabinet. Depending on how those appointments are publicly received, Najib’s first big test will likely come in three hotly contested by-elections on April 7. UMNO has in recent months lost crucial by-elections, in which Najib helped campaign, to Anwar’s National Alliance. Not only will the upcoming polls be viewed as a public referendum on the ruling coalition, but the first measure of public opinion on Najib’s ascension to Malaysia’s top political spot.

Anil Netto is a Penang-based writer.

najib Altantuya gets core but not dream team, crackdowns to intensify

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 27, 2009 by ckchew

By Wong Choon Mei

Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin – the president’s man – won the coveted No 2 post in Umno, salvaging some face for his newly-confirmed boss Najib Razak, whose prestige took a wallop after members voted in candidates aligned to his predecessor in two other key positions.

Najib was confirmed as president of Umno earlier in the day. He succeeded outgoing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who agreed not to seek re-election after an internal rebellion last year that was purportedly hatched by Najib and his mentor Mahathir Mohamad. Muhyiddin had also played a key role in Abdullah’s ouster.

But on less solid ground now is Najib. Not only his party, but the entire nation, is rating him based on whether he can get his men through to form his dream team to govern the country. As Umno is the ruling party, those who win key posts this week can expect to be included in the cabinet once Najib takes over as prime minister early next month.

However, it is clear that despite Muhyiddin’s win, Najib has not won the hearts and minds of Umno members. Instead, his popularity has waned, due in no small part to a recent string of crackdowns against dissent and a ruthless purge attempted against leaders close to Abdullah.

In the race for the deputy president’s post, Muhyiddin beat Muhammad Muhammad Taib, the Rural Development Minister close to Abdullah. He polled 1,575 votes against Muhammad’s 916.

For the three vice-presidencies, Zahid Hamidi secured 1,592 votes, Hishammuddin Hussein obtained 1,515 and Shafie Apdal 1,445 to win. All three were backed by Najib.

However, Khairy Jamaluddin – Abdullah’s son-in-law – defied the odds to clinch the Youth chief post a day ago. He defeated two other challengers including Mukhriz – Mahathir’s youngest son and the hot favourite to win.

At the same time, Shahrizat Jalil won the Women’s chief post, ousting long-time Mahathir ally Rafidah Aziz. In the supreme council, the top decision-making organ, 17 of the 25 elected members are regarded as being aligned to Abdullah.

These victories will temper Najib’s control over the party. Although his core team is in place, two key wings are now with the Abdullah camp and many of those who owe his predecessor a favour in positions of influence. There will be pressure on him to show who is boss.

“The damage to Najib has already been done. This is a clear sign that there will be multiple centers of power that will be undermining Najib from within which makes his challenge of trying to govern the country in the midst of a serious global economic slowdown even more daunting,” said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

A return to authoritarian repression

More desperate moves can now be expected from Najib and Mahathir, as they push to tighten their grip in both the party and the country. The stakes have been raised and opposition politicians are already bracing for a crackdown, including the arrest of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

“Khairy’s win will take away some of the humiliation that Abdullah was subjected to in the past weeks. There is still some support for him in Umno,” said KeADILan information chief Tian Chua. “But we should not be too naive about it and Pak Lah should not feel too secure. His enemies can any time hang Khairy with formal charges of corruption.”

“There is widespread expectation that Anwar will be arrested very soon. There will some trumped-up charge or other, but the real intention is to secure some breathing space for Najib to stamp his authority on the country,” said a political analyst.

Even Abdullah acknowledged the increasingly oppressive regime pursued by Najib and his advisers. Since agreeing to the power transfer last October, he has left most of the day-to-day governance of the country to Najib.

“Sadly, there are those who feel that we do not need to pursue reforms,” Abdullah said in his final presidential address. “They believe that Umno will regain its glory if we revert to the old ways – the old order, by restricting the freedom of our citizens and by silencing their criticism. If we revert to the old path I believe we are choosing the wrong path; one that will take us to regression and decay. It is a path that I fear will hasten our demise.”

The stigma of corruption

Meanwhile, critics of the flamboyant Khairy have slammed his election as a further sign that Umno was insincere about ridding itself of corruption.

“The stigma is there. No matter that he and Ali Rustam were singled out. It is still money politics, it is still corruption and there should be no excuse not to bring in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. If they are innocent, they should be cleared. If they are guilty, they should be charged,” said Tian.

As part of the purge attempted by the Najib camp, the 33-year old MP for Rembau was accused of vote buying and issued a warning letter last week. Popular vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam – the front-runner in the race for the deputy presidency – was disqualified from contesting on similar grounds.

Outraged Umno grassroots raised a hue and cry, putting Najib and Mahathir on the defensive. Political watchers predicted a swathe of sympathy votes would swing to the Abdullah camp in protest of the aggressive move. Part of that prediction came true, with Khairy and Shahrizat breaking through, although Muhammad Muhammad Taib faltered.

Said Kian Ming: “Khairy will no doubt play the role of the loyal Youth chief but he will remember what Najib tried to do to him. And when the time comes when Najib’s back is against the wall for Khairy to support Najib, then the daggers will be unsheathed, presumably, not only by Khairy but also by others, including Mohd Ali.”

Issues of murder of Altantuya: ‘Unknown’ najib Altantuya ready to be Malaysian PM

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 26, 2009 by ckchew

There are also issues of character. Najib has been mauled on opposition-supporting internet sites that have linked him to the lurid murder of a Mongolian model, although there has been no evidence and Najib has repeatedly denied involvement.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

REUTERS

Najib Razak, who is set to be Malaysia’s sixth prime minister, has been in parliament for over 30 years, yet outside of a close coterie of friends and family he is an enigma.

On Thursday, the 55-year old who is the son of Malaysia’s second premier is to be endorsed as the leader of the United Malays National Organisation, the main party in the National Front coalition that has ruled the country for 51 years. The position effectively guarantees him leadership of the country as well.

Although Najib trained as an economist at a British university, he has little direct experience of economic management. He has held the defence and education portfolios as well as his current posts of deputy prime minister and finance minister.

“Najib is the most known unknown,” said Bridget Welsh, a Malaysia specialist at Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. He has promised to use the current global economic downturn to boost the Southeast Asian country up the economic value chain and to liberalise services, reduce dependence on commodities and oil exports as well as low-end electronics.

He has however provided few clues on how he can do that in an economy that relies on millions of cheap immigrant labourers to produce electronics that account for nearly 40 percent of the country’s exports. Whether he can do that in a country of 27 million people that imprisons people without trial, divides on racial lines and with a ruling coalition that is still wounded from its worst ever election losses at national and state level a year ago is also moot.

He has been labelled as a hardliner by Malaysia’s opposition which cites recent sedition charges against one of its lawmakers, a ban on their newspapers and pressure on opposition-supporting websites as evidence of a coming crackdown.

Najib initially appeared to promise action to end economic and social privileges for the 60 percent of the population that is Malay and that have been criticised for nurturing corruption and hampering economic growth.

But he recently backed off any “drastic” move. In his previous ministerial posts he spent lavishly and as finance minister unveiled Malaysia’s biggest ever budget spend of 60 billion ringgit to help stave off recession and layoffs in an economy that is the third most dependent on exports in Asia after Hong Kong and Singapore.

AN ABLE ADMINISTRATOR, BUT CAN HE FIGHT? The composition of the budget spending showed caution. Only 15-17 billion ringgit was new government spending, the rest came from various investment funds and bank guarantees. That measure was criticised by some economists for lack of transparency or impact, but it cannily preserved Malaysia’s credit rating and cash for a prolonged downturn where more firepower may be needed as government revenues slide. Najib is said by people who work for him to have a strong appetite for detail and he is also popular with his staff.

Married for a second time, Najib has five children and plays golf with close political allies from Malaysia’s elite and has close links to business, including his brother who heads Malaysia’s second largest bank, CIMB. Najib has taken his time to get to the top job, perhaps learning lessons from the fall of former deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim who was over eager in his bid to oust then-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad and ended up out of government and in jail. Some say that while Najib is good at details he lacks the capacity for decisive action.

Mahathir, who led the country for 22 years and is still an influential force, damned him with faint praise in a recent interview with Reuters, although much of his anger was reserved for incumbent Abdullah Ahmad Basawi who succeeded him. “Najib can do well, but we will have to see, because when I asked Abdullah to appoint him as deputy I had a lot of hope for him, but he did not perform the way I expected,” Mahathir said.

There are also issues of character. Najib has been mauled on opposition-supporting internet sites that have linked him to the lurid murder of a Mongolian model, although there has been no evidence and Najib has repeatedly denied involvement.

Nonetheless it provides a rallying point for the opposition and any in UMNO who may wish to attack Najib’s suitability to be prime minister. Those attacks are in public and becoming more intense, with an opposition legislator recently being banned from parliament for shouting “murderer” at Najib.

The honeymoon for Najib will be short, with one parliamentary by-election and two state seat by-elections on April 7. “Throughout his political career, Najib has never had to fight like this before,” said political analyst Ong Kian Ming.

Ghost of Altantuya: Harsher crackdowns including Anwar’s arrest expected

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 26, 2009 by ckchew

By Wong Choon Mei

In a telling victory, Khairy Jamaluddin – the son-in-law of outgoing Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi – defied the odds and his greatest enemies in the party to clinch the Youth chief post.

However, political watchers warn his triumph may be short-lived and the stage is now set for a major crackdown by prime minister-designate Najib Abdul Razak.

“The win will take away some of the humiliation that Abdullah was subjected to in the past weeks. From the voting pattern, it is clear there is still some support for him in Umno,” said KeADILan information chief Tian Chua

“But we should not be too naive about it and Pak Lah should not feel too secure. His enemies can any time hang Khairy with formal charges of corruption. Even we in the opposition are expecting a major crackdown very soon against our own members, especially against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.”

The shock outcome will surely displease Najib, the incoming Umno president, and his mentor, ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, whose son Mukhriz was also fighting for the same post. In fact, Khairy’s victory should serve as a real warning, especially as Shahrizat Jalil won the Women’s chief post on the same night, ousting long-time Mahathir ally Rafidah Aziz.

More desperate moves can now be expected from the Najib-Mahathir camp, as last week’s ruthless purge against Abdullah’s men backfire in a clear sign that their own popularity may be waning even faster than their rival’s.

The stakes have been raised and how severe and immediate their reaction will be depends on the outcome of the contests for the three vice presidencies and in particular the deputy president’s post.

Harsher crackdowns including Anwar’s arrest expected

The No 2 post to Najib’s No 1 in the party is being contested by another Abdullah associate, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, who will take on Najib’s favoured candidate, Trade Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.

All eyes are also on whether Najib’s cousin, Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, will capture one of the hotly-contested VP seats. Like Mukhriz, Hishammuddin was a clear favourite at the outset, but his popularity has dropped since nominations closed in November.

At that time, and fanned by the Najib-Mahathir camp, fear had gripped the party that their dominance would soon be overtaken by the Pakatan Rakyat. That insecurity has since diminished and many have come to view a two-coalition system as a good check-and-balance against the excesses of their own leaders.

In fact, along with other Malaysians, some believe the best way to pull the country and the economy out of the current political turmoil would be the formation of a unity government – a power sharing between the two coalitions.

Many also do not want the scandal-plagued Najib to become prime minister because of the string of unresolved graft allegations against him, including the high-profile murder-and-commission case of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu.

A recent series of heavy-handed suppressions including the banning of two opposition newspapers, rough police action towards crowds attending opposition rallies and a botched and unpopular power grab in Perak, have also worked against Najib.

With so much going against him, he is expected to take it out on Anwar, the reform icon rated as having the best chance of leading a popular revolt against him.

“There is widespread expectation that Anwar will be arrested very soon. There will some trumped-up charge or other, but the real intention is to secure some breathing space for Najib to stamp his authority on the country,” said a political analyst.

“He and Mahathir will show the iron-fist. There will be a lot of doublespeak, but Malaysians  should not be simplistic about it. With so much political turmoil, how can the economy function, who would have confidence about the type of governance and system in the country?.”

Stigma of corruption

Meanwhile, critics of the flamboyant Khairy – who stepped on many toes apart from Mahathir’s – slammed his election as a further sign that Umno was insincere about ridding itself of corruption.

“The stigma is there. No matter that he and Ali Rustam were singled out and that giving ‘petrol money’ is rampant and practised by all the other leaders,” said Tian.

“It is still money politics, it is still corruption and there should be no excuse not to bring in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. If they are innocent, they should be cleared. If they are guilty, they should be charged.”

In last week’s purge, the 33-year old MP for Rembau was accused of vote buying and issued a warning letter. Popular vice-president Mohd Ali Rustam – the front-runner in the race for the deputy presidency – was disqualified from contesting on similar grounds.

Outraged Umno grassroots raised a hue and cry, putting Najib and Mahathir on the defensive. Political watchers predicted a swathe of sympathy votes would swing to the Abdullah camp in protest of the aggressive move.

So far, part of their prediction has come true. Last night, Khairy topped with 304 votes, Mukhriz last with 232, and Khir in the middle at 252.

Shahrizat trounced ‘Iron Lady’ Rafidah Aziz for the top women’s post with a majority of 227 votes, polling 507 versus the latter’s 280.

All eyes are watching to see if Abdullah’s influence can now extend to the No 2 post in the party from which he was forced to agree to stand down, in the wake of the disastrous electoral performance in March 2008. SK

Effect of Ghost of Altantuya: A Return To Authoritarian Repression

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 26, 2009 by ckchew

By Tian Chua

Malaysians view with great shock the signals that the incoming Najib Razak administration is giving to the general populace as he prepares to assume power.

The harsh clampdown on media freedoms and the right to assemble this last week alone suggest that severe repressive measures may be the hallmark of Najib’s ascendancy to the premiereship.

His comparison of our current situation to the post 1969 era foreshadows a return to the policies of both Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, and his father Tun Abdul Razak who imposed Emergency rule on Malaysia.

Hishamuddin Hussein specifically targeted Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in his speech, demonising him and making veiled allusions to entrapment and imprisonment, seemingly laying the ground for a wave of mass arrests such as was seen in Operasi Lalang.

This last week the newspapers of two opposition political parties were suspended without any plausible reason by the Home Ministry – a move which undoubtedly smacks of an intention to silence the legitimate voices of Malaysians who do not see eye to eye with the powers that be.

On a more visceral level, the heavy handed actions of the police in breaking up to Pakatan Rakyat political rallies in Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang have shown that Najib is perfectly willing to cause grevious physical harm to Malaysian citizens merely to ensure that they do not get the opportunity to hear opposing views and decide the truth for themselves.

Distracting attention from Altantuya

International media reports have increasingly put Najib in a bad light, raising burning and as of yet unanswered questions about his involvement in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya as well as the connected payment of hundreds of millions of dollars in commissions for shady arms deals.

It is shameful that the designated Prime Minister of Malaysia would have to face such scandals in the eyes of the international community.

We fear that part of the effort to distract attention from the controversies surrounding his person, Najib may reenact the strategies of Mahathir Mohammad, and embark on a massive campaign of arrests and detentions without trial of prominent Pakatan Rakyat leaders within days of his swearing in.

KEADILAN and Pakatan Rakyat reaffirm their commitment to resist and speak out against any and all attempts to suspend civil liberties and pursue courses of action that run counter to the spirit and letter of the law.

We will do everything in our power to ensure that the integrity and well being of the Malaysian people, our Constitution as well as truth and justice are vigorously safeguarded, to be delivered safely to generations to come.

[Tian Chua is a Pakatan Rakyat leader and MP for Batu. He is also information chief of KeADILan.]

‘No confidence in najib Altantuya as PM’ petition sent to 142 MPs

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 26, 2009 by ckchew

A ‘no confidence in Najib as PM’

MCPX

petition, initiated by socio-political blogger Haris Ibrahim, was sent to 142 members of Parliament yesterday. The petition urges the legislators to voice out their lack of confidence towards the incoming prime minister.

Of the 142 MPs, comprising BN and Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers, who received the petition, 24 were notified by letter and the rest by e-mail.

They represent the 142 constituencies of the approximately 5000 private citizens who have signed the petition as of this morning.

The petition directed the MPs to demand for a royal commission to be set up to investigate the allegations linking Najib Abdul Razak to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shariibu, and make public the findings and recommendations.

The petition also urges the MPs to inform the king that with the serious allegations left unanswered, they have no confidence in Najib if the government fails to establish the aforementioned commission.

According to Haris, a copy of the petition and its signatories will also be forwarded to the king.

Among other things, the petition cited the disappearance of Altantuya’s immigration records and private investigator P Balasubramaniam, SMSes exchanged between Najib and his aide Razak Baginda, and the subsequent acquittal of Baginda as incidents that cast serious doubts on Najib’s integrity.

“Najib’s suitability to be prime minister has come under serious scrutiny by the international media, and in turn by the international community.

“It is in the interest of our country that the person chosen to become prime minister does not assume office with such baggage, namely allegation of involvement with events leading to the involvement of a foreign national”, stated a press statement released by Haris.

He also emphasised that there was no constitutional obligation on the king to appoint the president of Umno as prime minister, adding that it was a tradition that has to be re-examined.

Nurul commends Haris

Contacted this morning, Haris told Malaysiakini that of the MPs who received the petition, only Nurul Izzah Anwar (Lembah Pantai) has responded thus far.

She commended Haris Ibrahim for creating the petition and remarked that the initiative gave her hope in the country.

However, she did not say whether she would undertake the actions as implored in the petition.

When pressed on whom he thinks should replace Najib as prime minister, Haris replied,

“Pak Lah can stay on as PM. The other alternative is to form a unity government comprising of BN and Pakatan leaders.

Whichever way, anybody can become PM but Najib”, said Haris, adding that he will be taking further steps over the next few days to persuade more members of the public to push forward the message that they do not have confidence in Najib as head of the government.

Meanwhile, the petition, launched on January 4, 2009, is still open for signing. Mkini

Fear of Ghost of Altantuya: najib Altantuya try to re-introduce hard-line Mahathirism

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 26, 2009 by ckchew

From Wall Street Journal

As Najib Razak takes power, the ruling party must not return to its old ways.

In 2001, as Mahathir Mohamed’s long tenure as prime minister was in its final years, we wrote that Malaysia was “in danger of stepping back from the world of democracy and the Internet into a darker age of racial conflict and government repression.” Eight years later, with the economy deteriorating and politics in turmoil, that threat looms again.

Dr. Mahathir’s protege, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, is set to be elected today as leader of the United Malays National Organization, the leading party in the coalition that has governed the country since independence in 1957. Next week he is expected to take over as prime minister, replacing the moderate and mostly ineffective Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. During his six years in office, Mr. Abdullah made scant progress in efforts to end political corruption, liberalize the economy and reform the judiciary. The unpopular premier led UMNO to a dismal performance in elections a year ago.

Mr. Najib’s ascension to power has been marked by a government crackdown on UMNO’s political opponents and on free speech. On Monday, police fired tear gas on a rally in Kedah as opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was speaking to the crowd. Also this week, reporters from popular online media, including Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider, were denied credentials by the party to cover the UMNO party congress taking place in Kuala Lumpur.

Most worryingly, the government this week shut down two opposition party newspapers. The ban is for three months — long enough to get past the April 7 by-elections for three parliamentary seats that the opposition is keen to snag. It’s also long enough to get past the expected verdict next month in a sensational murder trial to which the opposition links Mr. Najib; Mr. Najib vehemently denies any involvement and says he did not know the victim. As reported in a Journal news story this week, Mr. Anwar said he believes the papers were shuttered in part to keep them from repeating allegations of corruption in weapons purchases when Mr. Najib was defense minister. Mr. Najib has denied allegations of corruption.

The government’s new restrictions on the press come on the heels of UMNO’s moves against the opposition party in Perak, where it recently persuaded three state parliamentarians to switch alliances, thereby shifting the state government’s balance of power in UMNO’s favor. The sultan of Perak validated the move, the opposition contested it and a court case is under way. But a lawyer who said the sultan’s decision was unconstitutional and suggested he might sue the sultan was charged with sedition last week. Six Internet users who made critical comments on the sultan’s Web site were also charged with insulting the sultan under the country’s new cyber law.

In Dr. Mahathir’s era, the UMNO-led government could get away with such tactics. Under his watch, the country saw opposition media silenced and political dissidents jailed. But in today’s Malaysia, where voters are beginning to realize the power of the ballot box, it’s a risky political gambit. Mr. Anwar led his opposition coalition to victory in five of 13 states last year and since then has also won two parliamentary by-elections. So far Mr. Anwar has been unable to win enough defections from UMNO to dissolve the government and call new elections. If he succeeds — and if he can get past his July trial for sodomy — he could eventually win the premiership. Mr. Anwar denies the charges and says they are politically motivated, a charge the Malaysian government denies.

In the meantime, UMNO’s moves against the opposition and the press suggest that rather than listening to voters, the ruling party may be growing less tolerant of dissent. Add in the ethnic tensions in Malaysia’s multiracial society — and UNMO’s favored system of preferences for native Malays — and it’s a potentially combustible mix.

Malaysia can’t afford political upheaval now. The country’s economy is being hit hard by the global recession. GDP growth is forecast to contract this quarter after growth of just 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2008, and unemployment is rising. Foreign investors perceive political risk in a country that still locks up its citizens under colonial-era laws like the Internal Security Act. Voters may decide to take it out on Mr. Najib, who was finance minister under Mr. Abdullah, if they don’t see improvement in the economy.

Mr. Najib seems to understand that Malaysians want something new. In a speech Tuesday at the party conference, he promised to end corruption and the politics of patronage and pursue reform; he called for “renewal and regeneration” for UMNO. “Economic progress and better education have directly resulted in the birth of a class of voters who are better informed, very demanding and highly critical,” he said. “If we do not heed this message, their seething anger will become hatred and in the end this may cause them to abandon us altogether.”

Mr. Najib, the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, entered Parliament at the age of 22. Now 55, he has been groomed for this moment for all of his political life. If the soon-to-be PM truly wants to change his country for the better, he’ll make good on his word, squelch his inner Mahathir, and lead Malaysia down the path of more transparent government and basic freedoms.

fantôme d’Altantuya: Comment et pourquoi elle a été tuée

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

Oolala! The online version of the Liberation article on Najib actually has more detail than the print version (http://www.liberation.fr/monde/0101472912-un-cadavre-tres-derangeant). Please note the sections marked red to get an idea of how damaging the piece is to the reputation of Malaysia and its next Prime Minister.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Un cadavre très dérangeant

grand angle

Le meurtre d’une interprète mongole, au cœur d’un thriller mêlant ventes d’armes, jet-set et pouvoir, pourrait compromettre le futur homme fort du pays.

KUALA LUMPUR et OULAN-BATOR, envoyé spécial ARNAUD DUBUS

C’est le récit d’un meurtre, tel qu’on le lit dans un rapport confidentiel de la police malaisienne. Celui d’Altantuya, une jeune interprète asiatique, prise dans une sombre affaire de ventes d’armes entre la France et la Malaisie. Un meurtre dans lequel pourrait être impliqué l’homme promis à devenir, fin mars, Premier ministre de la Malaisie.

«QuandlaChinoiseavuquejeprenaisunearmeàfeu,ellem’asuppliédel’épargnerendisantqu’elleétaitenceinte», raconte Sirul Omar, policier de la Special Branch malaisienne, à un autre policier d’un commissariat de Kuala Lumpur, la capitale du pays. «Azilah [le supérieur de Sirul] a attrapé la Chinoise et l’a projetée à terre. J’ai immédiatement tiréenvisantsatempegauche. Ensuite, Azilahl’adéshabilléeetamisses habits dansunsacenplastique noir. Azilah avuquesamainbougeaitencore. Ilm’aordonnédetirerunesecondefois,cequej’aifait», lit-on dans ce document de cinq pages, resté secret jusqu’à présent – et que Libération a pu se procurer. «Onaensuitetransportélecorpsdanslajungle. Azilahl ’aentouré d’explosifsetnousl’avonsfaitsauter», poursuit Sirul, qui a toujours cru qu’Altantuya Shaaribuu, tuée en octobre 2006, était chinoise. Elle était en réalité mongole.

When the Chinese saw that I had a gun, she begged me not to kill her saying that she was pregnant, says Sirul Omar. Azilah threw her to the ground and I pointed the gun to her left temple. Then Azilah took her clothes off and put them in a black plastic bag. Azilah saw that her hand was still moving and I was ordered to fire a second time, which I did. Liberation has obtained a 5-page document which had remained a secret up until now. Sirul thought she was a Chinese national.

Disparition de témoins

D’une grande beauté, cette jeune femme de 28 ans frayait dans la jet-set asiatique. Une sorte de Mata Hari d’Extrême-Orient, qui avait passé son enfance à Saint-Pétersbourg (Russie), puis étudié à l’Institut de gestion économique de Pékin. Outre l’anglais, elle parlait couramment le russe, le chinois et le coréen. La révélation, par Libération, de ce rapport de police est le dernier rebondissement d’un rocambolesque thriller où se côtoient marchands de canons français, chamanes mongols et politiciens malaisiens.

Non seulement l’affaire est explosive pour le gouvernement malaisien – le vice- Premier ministre Najib Razak est soupçonné d’avoir commandité l’assassinat -, mais elle pourrait aussi mettre en porte-à-faux la société française DCNS, spécialisée dans la construction navale militaire. En 2007, DCNS a en effet absorbé Armaris, la société franco-espagnole qui, en juin 2002, a vendu à la Malaisie deux sous-marins Scorpène et un sous-marin d’occasion Agosta. Montant : un milliard d’euros, dont quelques «commissions». Le meurtre de la jeune Mongole est une conséquence du versement d’une enveloppe de 114 millions d’euros par Armaris à la partie malaisienne. C’est ce paiement, reconnu officiellement par le gouvernement malaisien devant le Parlement de Kuala Lumpur, qui a enclenché une cascade d’événements, dont la disparition des principaux témoins de l’affaire et l’assassinat d’Altantuya.

Not only this is very explosive for the malaysian government, but Najib is suspect of ordering the killing. DCNS, which specialises in building naval military, took over Armaris in 2007. The latter was the company which sold three submarines to Malayasia for 1 billion Euros of which there was some commission payment amounting to 114 million Euros which was officially recognised by the government. Thereafter, events enfolded which concluded with the disparition of main witnesses and Altantuya’s murder.

Pour la jeune femme, l’engrenage fatal débute en 2004, lorsqu’elle rencontre, à Hongkong, Abdul Razak Baginda, un expert militaire qui dirige le Malaysian Strategic Research Centre. Ils nouent rapidement une liaison amoureuse et Altantuya – que ses amis appellent Tuya – l’assiste, traduisant par exemple des documents russes.

Altantuya est jeune et belle ; le riche et séduisant Baginda est une personnalité en vue de la jet-set malaisienne, notamment du fait de sa proximité avec le vice-Premier ministre et ministre de la Défense malaisien, Najib Razak, dont il est le conseiller pour les affaires de sécurité. Baginda apparaît dans les cercles les plus fermés de Kuala Lumpur, parfois en compagnie de son épouse légitime.

En mars 2005, Altantuya et Baginda partent pour une tournée européenne : la France, l’Allemagne, l’Italie, le Portugal traversés dans la Ferrari rouge du Malaisien, avec des haltes dans les hôtels les plus chics. Ce périple n’est pas seulement touristique : l’accord pour l’achat des sous-marins a été signé en 2002, mais des détails importants restent à discuter. «On sait que Baginda était utilisé par le vice-Premier ministre Najib Razak comme intermédiaire pour certains contrats d’armements, particulièrement ceux de haut niveau», explique un expert régional en matière de sécurité.

Fin mars, le couple est à Paris, où il retrouve Najib Razak. Une photo prise fin mars 2005 montre le trio dans un club privé parisien. Selon un détective privé qui a enquêté sur cette affaire, la belle Tuya était aussi la maîtresse occasionnelle du vice-Premier ministre, qui lui avait été présenté par Baginda fin 2004.

Scènes de harcèlement

Cette histoire tourne au drame, quand, en octobre 2006, Altantuya apprend que la commission versée par la société franco-espagnole Armaris est arrivée sur un compte à Kuala Lumpur. Elle a été encaissée par Perimekar, une société que dirige Baginda. Altantuya file alors d’Oulan-Bator à Kuala Lumpur, pour réclamer sa part à Baginda, dont elle s’est séparée entretemps : 500 000 dollars lui auraient été promis ! Par jalousie, l’épouse de Najib Razak, la redoutable femme d’affaires Rosmah Mansor, se serait opposée à ce que la jeune Mongole touche de l’argent. Altantuya arrive alors en Malaisie avec deux autres Mongoles, dont une chamane chargée de jeter un sort sur Baginda s’il ne lui donne pas l’argent. Pendant plusieurs jours, elle harcèle son ex-amant. Le 18 octobre, Baginda ne supporte plus les scènes d’Altantuya devant son domicile. Il contacte le directeur de la Branche spéciale de la police malaisienne, Musa Safrie, lequel est aussi l’aide de camp du vice-Premier ministre Najib Razak.

In October 2006, Altantuya learnt of the commission by Armaris was in a bank account in Malaysia. Payment was made to Perimekar, a company belonging to Baginda. Altantuya was promised US500k. Rosmah opposed this deal. Altantuya arrives in Malaysia with two other Mongolians, one of whom to put a curse on Baginda. He can’t take it any longer and contacts Musa Safrie, Najib’s aide.

Le 19 octobre en début de soirée, deux policiers de la Branche spéciale, Azilah Hadridan et Sirul Omar, sont envoyés devant le domicile de Baginda où Altantuya trépigne et hurle. Ils ont ordre de «neutraliser la Chinoise» : ils la kidnappent, la conduisent à une dizaine de kilomètres du domicile de Baginda et la tuent par balles. Puis ils détruisent son corps à l’aide d’explosifs C-4, lesquels ne peuvent être obtenus qu’avec l’accord du ministère de la Défense. Son entrée sur le territoire malaisien est effacée des registres de la police malaisienne de l’immigration. Altantuya n’est donc jamais venue en Malaisie en octobre 2006 – il n’y a plus aucune trace d’elle.

Mais il n’y a pas de meurtre parfait. Le chauffeur de taxi qu’Altantuya avait engagé pour la journée n’a pas vu d’un bon œil sa cliente enlevée sous son nez sans que la course soit payée. Avisé, il relève le numéro de la plaque d’immatriculation de la voiture des kidnappeurs et porte plainte au commissariat le plus proche. En quelques jours, la police identifie la voiture et s’aperçoit qu’il s’agit d’un véhicule officiel. C’est l’engrenage, auquel même le vice-Premier ministre Najib Razak ne peut plus échapper. Il tente d’étouffer l’affaire. Quelques heures avant l’arrestation de Baginda, Najib lui envoie un texto : «Je vois l’inspecteur général de la police à 11 heures… Le problème va être résolu. Reste cool.» Las, Baginda est bientôt arrêté ainsi que les deux policiers de la Branche spéciale, Azilah et Sirul.

The taxi driver which Altantuya hired took down the car number which transported her to her death. Police discovered that it was an official car, a bind which Najib cannot escape from. A few hours before his arrest, Najib sends Baginda an sms, « I’m meeting the inspector general of police at 11am. The problem will be resolved »

Au terme d’un procès jugé douteux par de nombreux observateurs, Baginda, accusé d’avoir ordonné le meurtre, est acquitté en novembre 2008. Accusés d’avoir exécuté le sale boulot, Azilah et Sirul ont comparu le mois dernier devant le tribunal. Ils sont passibles de la peine de mort et le verdict doit être rendu le 9 avril.

L’affaire Altantuya est devenue un élément central du jeu politique malaisien entre Najib Razak – qui a toutes les chances d’accéder à la tête du gouvernement – et le chef de l’opposition Anwar Ibrahim. Razak a pour l’instant réussi à éviter les écueils, mais le meurtre de la jeune femme reste une épée de Damoclès au-dessus de sa tête.

A des milliers de kilomètres de là, dans la capitale mongole Oulan-Bator, Shaaribuu Setev, le père d’Altantuya, rumine sa colère. Calé dans un sofa du lobby d’un hôtel où le vent glacial s’engouffre par bourrasques, son père, un professeur de psychologie d’une soixante d’années, s’emporte : «Ma fille a été tuée sur le sol malaisien par des Malaisiens. Et ils n’ont même pas eu un mot d’excuse ! Le gouvernement malaisien ne répond même pas aux lettres du ministère mongol des Affaires étrangères.»L’acquittement de Baginda lui a paru une injustice flagrante. Quand le père d’Altantuya est venu au Parlement malaisien pour rencontrer Najib Razak, celui-ci s’est éclipsé par une porte dérobée pour éviter une entrevue embarrassante.

Visa Schengen

Altantuya laisse derrière elle deux orphelins : Mungunshagai, son fils aîné, âgé de 12 ans, est traumatisé par la disparition de sa mère. Altanshagai, 5 ans, qui souffre d’un handicap mental, n’a pas encore compris qu’il ne reverra jamais sa mère. «Il réclame Altantuya sans arrêt et reste prostré sur une chaise. Tous les soirs, je lui apporte des bonbons et je lui dis que c’est sa mère qui les a donnés», nous confie son grand-père.

Un des points obscurs de l’affaire porte sur le jeu joué par la firme Armaris. En octobre 2007, le vice-ministre de la Défense, Zainal Abdidin Zin, a reconnu devant le Parlement qu’Armaris avait bien versé une commission de 114 millions d’euros à Perimekar. Toutefois, a-t-il assuré, il ne s’agissait pas d’un pot-de-vin, mais d’un paiement pour «services de soutien et de coordination».

Y a-t-il eu corruption, comme dans l’affaire des frégates de Taïwan dans laquelle la DCNS était aussi impliquée ? La DCNS, société privée à capitaux publics, n’a pas souhaité nous répondre. «Personne ne peut commenter cette affaire», nous a sobrement rétorqué le responsable des relations avec la presse à Paris. Un document établissant un lien entre Altantuya et la firme française pourrait être une lettre de garantie écrite en 2005 par Abdul Razak Baginda pour que sa maîtresse obtienne un visa lui permettant d’entrer dans l’espace européen Schengen. L’ambassade de France n’a pas pu refuser cette faveur à un homme décoré de la Légion d’honneur. Le rôle d’Altantuya dans les négociations pour l’achat des sous-marins n’est pas clair, non plus. Son profil ne manque pas d’intriguer les milieux du renseignement et le FSB russe (l’ex-KGB) s’intéresserait de près à l’affaire. De son côté, Baginda s’est installé en Grande-Bretagne avec sa famille. Jamais il n’a eu un mot de regret sur le sort funeste de celle qui a partagé sa vie pendant deux ans.

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Liberation is a daily newspaper in Paris, France covering general news.

Founded in 1973 by Jean-Paul Sartre, who served as the editor of the newspaper for about a year, Liberation was originally a voice of the extreme left in France. It has become more moderate over the years, and today is regarded as having a center-left editorial position. Liberation is one of the four major French newspapers, along with Le Monde, Le Figaro and Ouest-France.

Ghost of Altantuya & najib Altantuya hand-in-hand in the news

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

It appears that Najib is constantly in the news nowadays. With him about to become the new Prime Minister of Malaysia, he would undeniably be the hottest story in town. But the stories that the international media are running focus on the kickbacks in the submarine deal and Altantuya’s murder. This is how the international media views Najib, a corrupt man and possibly a murderer to boot.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Scorpene’s Sting: Liberation Publishes Expose re: Malaysia’s Bribery & Murder Scandal
Defense Industry Daily, 24 March 2009

The Franco-Spanish Scorpene diesel-electric attack submarine competes on the global market against an array of competitors, foremost of which is ThyssenKrupp HDW’s U209/212/214 family. In June 2002, the Malaysian government signed a EUR 1 billion contract with Armaris (now DCNS) and Spanish naval shipbuilder Izar (now Navantia) for 2 SSK Scorpenes and associated support and training. The first of class KD Tunku Abdul Rahman has begun trials , and is scheduled to enter service in 2009.

Within Malaysia, the sale has been compromised by an ongoing trial and set of legal actions around the public kidnapping and private execution of Mongolian modeling student, translator, and paramour Altantuya Shaariibuu. The case took a dramatic turn when the victim was closely connected to EUR 114 million in “commission” payments to Perimekar, a firm owned by a close associate of Malaysia’s current Defence Minister and impending Prime Minister. The monies were paid by Armaris (now DCNS) for for “support and coordination services,” a term that may bring to mind the murder of Taiwanese Captain Yin Ching-feng in connection with a bribery scandal involving Taiwan’s DCNS frigates .

Full and impartial accountability for public figures is not a prominent feature of Malaysian justice, but French Journalist Arnaud Dubus added to the pressure with a March 5/09 report in France’s Liberation, “Un cadavre tres derangeant: L’etrange affaire du meurtre d’une interprete mongole qui gene le pouvoir en Malaisie” (Page 30-31). It names very prominent names, offers details, and reveals the contents of documents the Malaysian court has refused to admit…

If the documents are true, Altantuya was murdered on the orders of Abdul Razak Baginda. Baginda is a close associate of Najib Razak, who is Malaysia’s Deputy PM and Minister of Defence, and impending Prime Minister. Baginda has been acquitted in a Malaysian court, but Razak himself has been implicated in the associated bribery deal, and Dubus’ report includes detauls of text messages Baginda was reportedly sent by Razak, which strongly imply efforts by Razak to cover up the case and interfere with police investigations.

The motive for Altantuya’s death was reportedly twofold: EUR 500,000 she wished to claim as her share of the “commission,” and the public embarrassment caused to Baginda’s marriage after she tried to collect. The kidnapping was carried out by by agents of the Malaysian Special Branch police, in broad daylight, in front of Baginda’s house, with witnesses present. Malaysian sources have not published full details, but media organizations outside of Malaysia have.

On March 16/09 the case took another turn when Malaysia’s ruling party suspended an opposition lawmaker for a year, after he called Razak a murderer and demanded that he answer questions about his role in the affair.

As is usually true in these operations, it’s the small details that matter. The entire wet operation apparently gave insufficient consideration to the payment of Altantuya Shaariibuu’s cab fare. Somewhere, a cadre of retired Bulgarian KDS professionals are shaking their heads, and wondering what’s wrong with the kids today.

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‘Doomsday pin pulled’ on Malaysian politics over Najib Razak
Radio Australia, 25 March 2009

* Listen to the audio report: Windows Media

In Malaysia, an explosive speech by a former UMNO minister has cast a shadow over the imminent prime ministership of Najib Razak. Prominent Malaysian lawyer Zaid Ibrahim says long-standing scandals and sensational charges, including alleged links to a murder case, against Datuk Najib make him unfit for leadership.

Presenter: Joanna McCarthy
Speaker: Professor Clive Kessler, emeritus professor in international studies, University of New South Wales; Lim Kit Siang, parliamentary leader, Democratic Action Party; Razali Ibrahim, UMNO youth head, Johor

McCARTHY: It was, according to long-time Malaysia watcher Clive Kessler, not your average Rotary Club speech.

Speaking to a weekly Rotary luncheon in Kuala Lumpur, former minister in the prime minister’s department, Zaid Ibrahim, lashed out at Najib Razak, tying him to a host of scandals that he says make him unfit to be the country’s next prime minister.

IBRAHIM: This is really the high noon of Malaysian politics you could say. It is, by making that speech, Zaid, by going public, by making that speech, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim you may say pulled the pin on the doomsday machine of Malaysian politics.

McCARTHY: Clive Kessler says Zaid Ibrahim has thrust into the public eye the range of sensational allegations that have long dogged Najib Razak but have been ignored by Malaysia’s government controlled media.

They include charges of cronyism over the award of military contracts, the recent power grab in Perak state, and most controversially, alleged links to the brutal murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya, charges he denies and for which no evidence has been produced.

KESSLER: I think the point that I would make and possibly I think Zaid Ibrahim would make is without going into, without canvassing, without going into the substance of these accusations, that many people are discussing, are talking about these things. Many people believe them to be true and I think Zaid Ibrahim’s central point is that however eager people may be in Malaysia to get rid of somebody who is perceived as a weak prime minister they should not rush to replace him with somebody who is no less widely seen to be a compromised prime minister.

McCARTHY: The alleged ties to the murder of Altantuya, for which two of Najib’s bodyguards have been tried and are awaiting a verdict, continue to haunt Najib Razak.

Last week opposition lawmaker Gobind Singh called him a murderer in parliament. He’s now been been banned from the house for one year.

Gobind Singh’s colleague and leader of the opposition Democratic Action Party, Lim Kit Siang, says Najib Razak needs to answer to a royal commission over the allegations against him.

SIANG: There should be open transparent accountability. He should come forward so that all these allegations, serious allegations and doubts over him will stop hounding and haunting him, which will affect definitely his legitimacy as the prime minister. For the first time in the country’s history, no one who is going to become the prime minister has been caught with so many questions and inquiries and this is something that has to be addressed and creates serious problems of crisis of confidence.

McCARTHY: Despite the allegations, Najib Razak is expected to be safely appointed party leader this week and assume the prime ministership soon afterwards.

The UMNO conference is a chance for the party to take stock of its unprecedented losses in last year’s elections and set a course for tackling the country’s looming recession.

The UMNO youth head for Johor, Razali Ibrahim, says the party is united behind Najib Razak.

He says the allegations raised by Zaid Ibrahim, who was ousted from UMNO last December, are an attempt to tear down his former party.

IBRAHIM: Who is Zaid anyway? And of course this transition will strengthen the position of UMNO and the opposition will be not happy with this transition. I can assure that it will be the best for Malaysia, furthermore, in this world economic crisis, that with this transition, UMNO will be able to overcome the downfall of the problem that is existing before.

McCARTHY: But Clive Kessler says Najib Razak’s leadership has been undermined by these allegations.

He says Zaid Ibrahim has raised the so-called doomsday scenario by urging Malaysia’s king to intervene.

KESSLER: I believe that there were a number of people who are trying to promote this idea that the ruler might not want to and might not be obliged to appoint Najib even if he wins the UMNO election, but that was a kind of a bit of an underground movement. It’s now out in the open, and there is a head of steam behind it, and I think it’s got a much better chance than it did a week ago. It may not be a great chance, but it’s a much stronger one than it was a week ago.

Kami tidak berkeyakinan terhadap Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abd Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

Petition Rakyat tolak najib Altantuya.

To:  Members of Parliament of Malaysia, except the Member for Pekan

Nota Penjelasan : Jika anda bersetuju untuk menyokong petisyen ini, anda dikehendaki menghantar butir-butir nama, nombor kad pengenalan serta kawasan Parlimen anda. Nama-nama yang tidak diiringi dengan nombor kad pengenalan, atau diiringi dengan nombor kad pengenalan yang tidak tepat, akan dibatalkan.

Nama-nama individu yang menyokong petisyen ini tidak akan dipaparkan.

Kutipan tandatangan untuk sokongan petisyen ini akan berterusan sehingga penghujung bulan Februari, 2009 dan sesalinan petisyen ini bersama dengan senarai penandatangan kemudiannya akan dihantar kepada :-

1) Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang DiPertuan Agong; dan

2) Kesemua 221 Ahli Parlimen kepada siapa petisyen ini ditujukan.

Petisyen ini dipersembahkan di sini dalam Bahasa Malaysia dan Bahasa Inggeris.

____________________________________

Explanatory note : If you agree to support this petition, you are required to submit your name, identity card number and state your parliamentary constituency. Names unaccompanied with their identity card numbers, or accompanied by incorrect identity card numbers, will be deleted.

Names of those supporting this petition will not be displayed here.

Collation of signatures in support of this petition will continue until end February, 2009 whererafter a copy of this petition together with a list of the signatories thereto will be sent to :-
1) His Majesty, the Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang
DiPertuan Agong; and

2) the 221 Members of Parliament to whom this petition is addressed.

This petition is presented here both in Bahasa Malaysia and in English.

___________________________________________

Versi Bahasa Malaysia

Kepada: Yang Berkhidmat, wakil-wakil rakyat, ahli Dewan Rakyat Malaysia, kecuali Yang Berkhidmat wakil rakyat kawasan Pekan

Kami, sekalian rakyat Malaysia, dengan ini mengingatkan anda:-

1) Dengan mengangkat sumpah bagi memikul tanggungjawab yang telah diamanahkan, anda telah berikrar untuk menumpahkan taat setia yang tidak berbelah bahagi kepada Malaysia dan bagi memelihara, melindung serta mempertahankan keluhuran perlembagaannya; dan

2) Amanah serta tanggungjawab yang diberikan kepada anda adalah berdasarkan kepercayaan bahawa anda mewakili serta menempatkan kepentingan serta kebajikan rakyat Malaysia di atas sebarang kepentingan lain termasuk kepentingan parti politik serta barisan kepimpinannya.

Kami mengambil maklum bahawa:-

3) Perkara 43(2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan menggariskan bahawa Yang di-Pertuan Agong hendaklah terlebih dahulu melantik sebagai Perdana Menteri, seorang ahli Dewan Rakyat yang pada hemat Baginda, mungkin mendapat kepercayaan majoriti ahli Dewan Rakyat.

4) Berikutan Pilihan Raya Umum ke-12 pada 8 Mac 2008, Yang di-Pertuan Agong, dalam melaksanakan tanggungjawab serta kuasa Baginda berdasarkan Perkara 43(2), telah melantik Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sebagai Perdana Menteri;

5) Dalam bulan Oktober 2008, sebuah perjanjian peralihan kuasa telah dipersetujui antara Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan Dato Seri Najib Abdul Razak berpandukan syarat-syarat, yang mana antaranya:-

a) Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tidak akan mempertahankan jawatan beliau sebagai presiden UMNO dalam pilihan raya UMNO pada Mac 2009; dan

b) Sekiranya Dato Seri Najib dipilih sebagai presiden UMNO pada bulan Mac 2009, perbincangan serta rundingan berkenaan peralihan kuasa serta jawatan Perdana Menteri daripada Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kepada Dato Seri Najib Abdul Razak akan berlangsung;

6) Ketika tamat tempoh penamaan calon bagi pilihan raya UMNO yang bakal berlangsung pada Mac 2009, Dato Seri Najib merupakan individu tunggal yang berjaya memperoleh jumlah pencalonan yang diperlukan bagi melayakkan beliau bertanding bagi merebut jawatan presiden, secara langsung membuka jalan bagi beliau menang tanpa bertanding jawatan presiden UMNO setibanya Mac 2009, jika tiada aral melintang.

7) Sekiranya Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi meletak jawatan beliau sebagai Perdana Menteri setelah pengesahan Dato Seri Najib sebagai menang tanpa bertanding jawatan presiden UMNO pada Mac 2009, adalah diramalkan bahawa Dato Seri Najib akan mohon menghadap Yang di-Pertuan Agong dengan niat untuk mempersembahkan kepada Baginda Tuanku bahawa majoriti dari anda mempunyai keyakinan serta kepercayaan terhadap beliau dan lantaran itu, memohon perkenan Tuanku untuk dilantik sebagai Perdana Menteri seperti mana yang digariskan dalam Perkara 43(2) Perlembagaan Persekutuan

Kami turut mengambil maklum bahawa:-

8) Wujudnya persepsi yang salah di kalangan ramai dari UMNO khususnya dan Barisan Nasional umumnya bahawa Perdana Menteri Malaysia semestinya presiden UMNO, yang jelas bertentangan dengan Perkara 43(2) perlembagaan Persekutuan; dan

9) Kesemua mantan Perdana Menteri tatkala menjawat jawatan tersebut, serta Perdana Menteri sekarang, merupakan presiden UMNO dan ketika tempoh perlantikan masing-masing, tiada perhatian serius yang diberikan bagi mempersoalkan, apatah lagi meragui sekiranya kesemua mantan Perdana Menteri atau Perdana Menteri yang kini memiliki kepercayaan serta keyakinan majoriti ahli Dewan Rakyat yang terdahulu dan yang kini.

Kami kini meminta anda sekalian Yang Berkhidmat ahli Dewan Rakyat, untuk turut mengambil maklum perkara berikut yang telah menimbulkan persoalanan yang serius berkenaan kesesuaian serta merencat dan seterusnya menghapuskan sebarang bibit-bibit keyakinan terhadap Dato Seri Najib bagi memimpin negara kita sebagai Perdana Menteri:-

10) Dato Seri Najib telah memberi kenyataan dan terus mempertahankan bahawa beliau tidak pernah mengenali serta tidak mempunyai sebarang urusan atau kaitan dengan Altantuya Shaaribuu, mangsa dalam perbicaraan kes bunuh yang sedang berlangsung di Shah Alam. Namun:

i) Pada 29 Jun 2007, Burmaa Oyunchimeg, seorang warganegara Mongolia yang merupakan saksi pihak pendakwa raya dalam kes bunuh tersebut telah memberi keterangan bahawa beliau pernah melihat sebuah foto di mana mangsa, Altantuya Shaaribuu, bergambar bersama-sama Razak Baginda yang dibebaskan baru-baru ini dan seorang pergawai kerajaan. Laporan akhbar memberi gambaran bahawa kedua-dua pihak, yakni pihak pendakwa raya dan beberapa dari pihak peguam bela telah berusaha bersungguh-sungguh untuk mencuba dan tidak membenarkan saksi tersebut meneruskan keterangan beliau berkenaan perkara tersebut. Walaubagaimanapun, apabila disoal oleh Encik Karpal Singh berkenaan identiti pegawai kerajaan itu, saksi menjawab, “ Najib Razak. Saya ingat nama Najib Razak kerana nama Razak yang sama. Saya membuat andaian bahawa mereka mungkin adik beradik”. Ekoran itu, apabila diminta memberi ulasan beliau terhadap keterangan itu, Dato Seri Najib menolak untuk berbuat demikian atas sebab tidak sesuai bagi beliau memberi komen kerana sebarang kenyataan yang beliau keluarkan boleh menimbulkan subjudis, memandangkan perbicaraan masih sedang berlangsung. Sehingga ke hari ini, Dato Seri Najib tidak pernah menyangkal keterangan ini dan tiada sebarang inisiatif yang diambil oleh pihak berkaitan bagi menyelidik maklumat tersebut.

ii) Pada 3 Julai 2008, Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal, seorang penyiasat persendirian, telah mendedahkan kepada umum, akuan bersumpah beliau yang dibuat pada 1 Julai 2008. Dalam akuan bersumpah tersebut, beliau memberi butiran yang secara jelas menunjukkan bahawa Dato Seri Najib mengenali Altantuya dengan sangat, sangat rapat. Analisa terperinci akuan bersumpah tersebut akan menunjukkan bahawa walaupun akuan bersumpah tersebut turut mengandungi maklumat berkaitan Razak Baginda dan mangsa, maklumat yang jauh lebih merosakkan adalah berkaitan Dato Seri Najib. Pada keesokan harinya dalam keadaan yang sangat mencurigakan, Balasubramaniam membuat pendedahan satu lagi akuan bersumpah oleh beliau di mana beberapa butiran yang terkandung dalam akuan bersumpah yang pertama, telah ditarik balik. Sejak itu, Balasubramaniam sekeluarga telah menghilangkan diri dan tidak ada sebarang berita yang diterima ahli keluarga serta rakan taulan. Satu laporan berita bertarikh 10 Julai 2008 menyatakan bahawa Ketua Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman, Mohd Bakri Zinin mengesahkan bahawa kenyataan telah diambil daripada Balasubramaniam oleh satu pasukan polis di sebuah ‘negara jiran’. Ketua Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah itu memilih untuk tidak menamakan negara tersebut, tetapi mengesahkan bahawa Balasubramaniam menyatakan bahawa beliau sekeluarga meninggalkan negara kerana khuatir, nyawa mereka terancam. Mohd Bakri Zinin turut mengesahkan bahawa pihak polis sedang menyiasat kedua-dua akuan bersumpah dan meminta lebih masa bagi menyelesaikan siasatan. Sehingga ke hari ini, tiada sebarang berita berkaitan hasil siasatan tersebut. Sementara itu, anak saudara Balasubramaniam, R. Kumarasen, telah membuat pendedahan yang mengejutkan bahawa walaupun beliau berhubungan dengan Balasubramaniam, beliau memutuskan untuk tidak memaklumkan lokasi ayah saudara beliau apabila disoal pihak polis kerana, “Saya tidak boleh mendedahkan segala-galanya kepada pihak polis dan dengan berbuat begini saya faham akibatnya…tetapi jika saya mendedahkan kesemuanya, saya tahu apa yang akan terjadi kepada mereka”.

11) Pada 26 Jun 2007, Uurintuya Gal-Orchir, seorang lagi warganegara Mongolia yang memberi keterangan dalam perbicaraan kes bunuh Altantuya, mendakwa dalam keterangan beliau bahawa rekod imigresen kemasukannya bersama Altantuya dan kawan mereka Namiraa Gerelmaa ke Malaysia pada 8 Oktober 2008 telah dipadam. Pendakwa raya Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah dan pasukan peguam bela membuat bantahan bahawa keterangan tersebut adalah tidak relevan. Perkara tersebut, yakni kehilangan rekod imigresen Altantuya dan rakan-rakan beliau, tidak pernah disiasat bagi mengesahkan kejituan dakwaan tersebut, dan jika didapati benar, siapa yang bertanggungjawab serta kemungkinan wujudnya perkaitan antara kehilangan rekod imigresen serta perbicaraan kes pembunuhan Altantuya.

12) Perenggan ke-52 akuan bersumpah Balasubramaniam yang pertama, membutirkan sebuah sms yang didakwa dihantar oleh Dato Seri Najib kepada Razak Baginda pada hari Razak Baginda ditahan. Sms tersebut berbunyi: “Saya akan menemui IGP pada 11am hari ini…. perkara akan diselesaikan….sila bertenang”. Kesahihan sms ini adalah diandaikan antara perkara yang disiasat oleh pihak polis seperti mana yang dirujuk oleh Ketua Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah Bukit Aman, Mohd Bakri Zinin. Namun, dalam satu lagi siri sms yang didakwa antara Dato Seri Najib dan peguam kanan Muhd Shafee Abdullah, yang mana kesahihannya diakui oleh Dato Seri Najib, satu sms telah dihantar oleh Muhd Shafee Abdullah pada pagi 16 November 2006, yakni pada pagi yang sama di mana Razak Baginda didakwa di mahkamah bersabit pembunuhan Altantuya: “Tolong jangan beri sebarang kenyataan kepada pihak media pada hari ini. Akan saya terangkan kemudian. RB perlu berdepan dengan sebuah dakwaan tentative tetapi semuanya terkawal”. Siri sms ini yang didedahkan kepada umum pada 11 Oktober 2008 menimbulkan reaksi dari pihak awam yang menuntut siasatan sama ada penyalahgunaan kuasa dalam konteks campur tangan dalam pelaksanaan keadilan dan kesaksamaan telah berlaku. Pada 14 Oktober 2008, Dato Seri Najib, merujuk siri sms tersebut, telah mengeluarkan kenyataan umum menyangkal dakwaan wujudnya unsur penyalahgunaan kuasa tanpa walau sekalipun menyentuh apatah lagi membidas kesahihan siri sms tersebut. Sehingga kini, tidak ada sebarang kenyataan umum dari pihak berkuasa yang berkenaan bagi menjelaskan sama ada siasatan dijalankan berkaitan siri sms tersebut bagi memastikan sekiranya benar wujud penyalahgunaan kuasa. Sekiranya siasatan telah dijalankan, hasil siasatan tersebut tidak pernah dikemukakan.

13) Pada 31 Oktober 2008, Razak Baginda, tanpa dipanggil untuk memasukkan pembelaannnya, telah dibebaskan dari tuduhan membantu dalam pembunuhan Altantuya, iaitu, tuduhan yang dinyatakan sebagai tentative oleh Dato Seri Najib. Pada ketika itu, Ketua Pendakwa Raya DPP tun Majid Tun Hamzah menyatakan bahawa keputusan tersebut mungkin akan dirayu. “ Kami akan mempertimbangkan langkah bagi merayu keputusan tersebut,” ujar beliau. Namun, 14 hari kemudiannya, beliau mengesahkan bahawa keputusan tersebut tidak akan dirayu dan memberi sebab bahawa hakim, dalam keputusan membebaskan Razak Baginda, telah membuat penemuan fakta. Pemeriksaan dengan peguam-peguam jenayah yang senior akan menunjukkan bahawa sekian lamanya tidak pernah timbul situasi di mana Pejabat Peguam Negara tidak mengemukakan rayuan terhadap kes bunuh di mana hakim membuat keputusan membebaskan tertuduh tanpa memanggil untuk memasukkan pembelaannya. Kes yang dirujuk adalah pembebasan dalam perbicaraan kes bunuh Norita Shamsudin.

Kami ingin membawa perhatian anda, Yang Berkhidmat ahli Dewan Rakyat, kepada beberapa persoalan serius yang sehingga ke hari ini masih tidak terjawab dan setiap persoalan tersebut berbangkit dari perkara-perkara yang telah dinyatakan di atas serta direkodkan. Ini termasuk:-

14) Siapakah yang dimaksudkan oleh Burmaa Oyunchimeg apabila beliau menamakan ‘Najib Razak’ sebagai pegawai kerajaan yang bergambar bersama-sama mangsa, Altantuya dan Razak Baginda? Adakah beliau merujuk kepada Dato Seri Najib? Sekiranya individu yang dimaksudkan adalah Dato Seri Najib, apakah kesimpulan yang boleh kita terbitkan dengan kenyataan Dato Seri Najib bahawa beliau tidak pernah mengenali seta tidak mempunyai sebarang urusan atau kaitan dengan mangsa, Altantuya? Tambahan pula, sekiranya individu yang dimaksudkan adalah Dato Seri Najib, bukankah ini mengukuhkan lagi akuan bersumpah pertama yang diberikan oleh penyiasat persendirian Balasubramaniam di mana beliau menyatakan bahawa Dato Seri Najib sangat kenal akan Altantuya. Dengan mengambil kira bahawa sehingga kini, keterangan ini tidak pernah disangkal oleh Dato Seri Najib, semestinya persoalan mengapa kenyataan Burmaa Oyunchimeg tersebut tidak disiasat sepenuhnya, wajib diutarakan.

15) Adakah pihak polis telah menamatkan siasatan yang telah dimulakan pada awal bulan Julai 2008 berkenaan kedua-dua akuan bersumpah yang bercanggah antara satu sama lain yang dibuat oleh penyiasat persendirian Balasubramaniam? Sekiranya penyiasatan tersebut telah diselesaikan, mengapa Balasubramaniam masih belum didakwa atas kesalahan membuat akuan bersumpah yang palsu? Akuan bersumpah yang mana satu merupakan akuan yang palsu? Adakah beliau dipaksa membuat akuan tersebut, dan jika ya, oleh siapa dan bagaimana? Di mana beliau dan keluarga beliau kini? Adakah mereka selamat?

16) Adakah benar apa yang didakwa oleh Uurintuya Gal-Orchir, warganegara Mongolia, bahawa rekod imigresen kemasukan beliau dan Altantuya serta kawan mereka Namiraa Geralmaa ke Malaysia pada 8 Oktober 2006, telah dipadam? Jika benar, siapakah yang bertanggungjawab dan mengapakah rekod tersebut dipadam? Adakah pihak yang bertanggungjawab, bertindak mengikut arahan dan sekiranya ya, menurut arahan siapa dan mengapa? Mengapa keterangan Uurintuya Gal-Orchir ini tidak disiasat sepenuhnya?

17) Memandangkan keputusan pihak Pejabat Peguam Negara untuk tidak mengemukakan rayuan terhadap keputusan membebaskan Razak Baginda adalah sebuah keputusan yang mengejutkan, adakah sebarang siasatan dilakukan berkaitan siri sms antara Dato Seri Najib dan perguam kanan tersebut bagi memastikan sekiranya wujud sebarang unsur penyalahgunaan kuasa oleh Dato Seri Najib?

Kami mengambil maklum dengan rasa kesal bahawa seruan Yang Berkhidmat Lim Kit Siang, ahli parlimen kawasan Ipoh Timur pada bulan Oktober 2008, yakni bagi menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Siasatan di-Raja untuk menyiasat sepenuhnya, antara lain, kesemua perkara yang telah dinyatakan di atas, tidak diendahkan oleh barisan pentadbiran terkini.

Dan kami ingin menegaskan di sini, sehingga kesemua perkara yang dinyatakan serta setiap persoalan yang ditimbulkan disiasat secara terperinci dan hasil siasatan tersebut dengan jelas dan sepenuhnya melenyapkan sebarang keraguan atau kesangsian berkenaan keterlibatan Dato Seri Najib berkaitan setiap butiran yang telah dinyatakan, kami tidak mempunyai sebarang keyakinan serta kepercayaan terhadap Dato Seri Najib bagi memimpin negara kita sebagai Perdana Menteri.

Oleh yang sedemikian, kami, kini mengarahkan anda, Yang Berkhidmat ahli Dewan Rakyat yang telah kami lantik bagi mewakili kami:-

a) untuk menuntut supaya badan Eksekutif menubuhkan Suruhanjaya Siasatan di-Raja untuk menyiasat secara terperinci, setiap butiran yang telah dinyatakan disini berserta setiap persoalan penting dan serius yang telah dikemukakan, dan mendedahkan kepada umum hasil siasatan serta kesimpulan dan cadangan, sekiranya ada, yang dikemukakan oleh suruhanjaya tersebut; dan

b) sekiranya badan Eksekutif gagal menubuhkan suruhanjaya atau sebarang badan penyiasatan berintegriti yang mampu memikul tanggungjawab menjalankan penyiasatan dan mendedahkan kepada umum sebarang penemuan berserta laporan lengkap dan cadangan, jika ada, berkaitan setiap satu perkara yang telah dinyatakan, dan impak dari kegagalan badan Eksekutif itu, setiap perkara yang diketengahkan kekal tidak disiasat dan setiap persoalan kekal tidak terjawab dan seterusnya membawa kepada Dato Seri Najib mohon menghadap Yang di-Pertuan dengan harapan beliau dilantik sebagai Perdana Menteri, maka, adalah menjadi kewajipan anda untuk mengambil semua langkah yang perlu bagi memaklumkan kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong bahawa anda, sebagai wakil yang telah kami lantik, tidak mempunyai sebarang keyakinan terhadap Dato Seri Najib untuk memimpin negara kita sebagai Perdana Menteri.

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English version

To : the Honourable Members of Parliament of Malaysia, except the Honourable Member of Pekan.

We, the undersigned, all citizens of Malaysia, remind you :-

1. that by your oath of office, you are all sworn to bear true faith and allegiance to Malaysia, and to preserve, protect and defend its Constitution; and

2. that you hold office on trust to represent the interests of the people of Malaysia and not the interest of your respective parties or their leaders.

We, note that :-

3. Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution stipulates that His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint as Prime Minister a member from amongst you who in the judgment of His Majesty is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat:

4. subsequent to the 12th General Elections on 8th March, 2008, His Majesty, in the exercise of his powers and duties under the Article aforementioned, appointed Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister;

5. in October, 2008, a power transition agreement was arrived at between Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Dato Seri Najib Abdul Razak, by the terms whereof :-

(a) Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would not defend his incumbent presidency of UMNO at the UMNO elections in March, 2009; and

(b) should Dato Seri Najib be duly elected president of UMNO in March 2009, the matter of the transition of the powers and the office of Prime Minister, from Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to Dato Seri Najib, will then be discussed;

6. at the recent close of nominations of candidates for the forthcoming UMNO elections in March 2009, Dato Seri Najib was the only individual who received the requisite number of nominations to be eligible to contest for the post of president, with the result that, barring any unforeseen eventualities, Dato Seri Najib will be returned unopposed as president of UMNO come March 2009;

7. should Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resign from the office of Prime Minister subsequent to Dato Seri Najib being confirmed as having been returned unopposed as president of UMNO in March 2009, it is widely expected that Dato Seri Najib will seek an audience with His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong with a view to representing to His Majesty that Dato Seri Najib has the confidence of the majority from amongst you and should consequently be appointed Prime Minister pursuant to Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution.

We further note that :-

8. a certain misconception by many in UMNO, in particular, and Barisan Nasional, generally, which contradicts Article 43(2) of the Federal Constitution, that the Prime Minister of Malaysia has always to be the president of UMNO; and

9. all our previous Prime Ministers were, and the current Prime Minister is, the president of UMNO and that at the time of their respective appointments, no one seriously thought to question, let alone doubted, whether any of the previous Prime Ministers or the current one commanded the confidence of the majority of the members of’ the Dewan Rakyat, past and present.

We, the undersigned now note and will ask you, Honourable Members of Parliament, to likewise take note, of the following matters which have given rise to serious questions as to the suitability of and leaves no room whasoever for any confidence in Dato Seri Najib to lead our country as Prime Minister :-

10. Dato Seri Najib has maintained that he neither knew, was ever acquainted with nor had any dealings whatsoever with murdered Altantuya Shaaribuu, the central figure in the ongoing murder trial in Shah Alam. Yet :

i) on 29th June, 2007, Mongolian national, Burmaa Oyunchimeg, a prosecution witness in the abovementioned murder trial, testified that she had seen a photograph of the victim, recently acquitted Razak Baginda and a government official. Newspaper reports give the impression that both the prosecution and some of the defence went to great lengths to try and not allow this witness to continue with this line of testimony. However, when she was examined by Mr. Karpal Singh, who finally managed to get leave to ask the witness who the government official was, she replied, “Najib Razak. I remember the name Najib Razak because the name Razak is the same. I thought maybe they were brothers.”. Subsequently, when Dato Seri Najib was asked to comment on this evidence, he declined to do so, on the grounds that it would be inappropriate for him to comment further as any statement he made might be deemed to be on a matter sub-judice, given that the trial was still ongoing. To this date, Dato Seri Najib has never categorically denied this piece of evidence and no effort has been made by the relevant authorities to investigate this piece of information.

ii) On 3rd July, 2008, private investigator Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal publicly disclosed his own statutory declaration made on 1st July, 2008 in which he gave details that categorically pointed to Dato Seri Najib knowing Altantuya very, very well. A careful analysis of the statutory declaration will reveal that whilst details contained therein related also to the recently acquitted Razak Baginda and the victim, amongst others, the most damaging details contained therein related to Dato Seri Najib. The very next day, in the most suspicious of circumstances, Balasubramaniam publicly disclosed a newer statutory declaration made by him retracting the contents of his earlier statutory declaration. Balasubramaniam and his family have since disappeared and have not been seen by family and friends. A news report dated 10th July, 2008 has it that Bukit Aman CID chief Mohd Bakri Zinin confirmed that a team of police had taken a statement from Balasubramaniam in a “neighbouring country”, declined to say which country he and his family were in but confirmed that Balasubramaniam had said he left Malaysia because he feared for his life. Mohd Bakri also confirmed then that police were investigating both of the contradictory statutory declarations and asked for time to complete the investigations. To-date, we have not heard on the outcome of those investigations. Meanwhile, as reported in a media report on 15th July, 2008, the nephew of Balasubramaniam, R Kumaresan, startlingly disclosed that whilst he had been in contact with his uncle, he had declined to inform the police of Balasubramaniam’s whereabouts when asked to do so by the police because “I cannot reveal the full details to the police and by doing this I understand what the consequences are… but if I do reveal everything I know what will happen to them”.

11. On 26th June, 2007, another Mongolian national, Uuriintuya Gal-Orchir, who testified at the ongoing Altantuya murder trial, complained in the course of her testimony that local immigration records of her, Altantuya and their friend Namiraa Gerelmaa’s entry into Malaysia on 8th October, 2006 had mysteriously vanished. Lead prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah and the defence lawyers protested that this evidence was irrelevant. This matter of the disappearing immigration records of Altantuya and her friends has never been investigated to verify if correct and, if found to be correct, who might be responsible for the same and if it might have a bearing on the murder trial.

12. Paragraph 52 of the first statutory declaration of Balasubramaniam details an sms that was allegedly sent by Dato Seri Najib to Razak Baginda on the day that the latter was arrested. The sms reads : “ I am seeing IGP at 11am today … matter will be solved … be cool”. The correctness or otherwise of this sms is presumably the subject of the police investigation referred to by Bukit Aman CID chief Mohd Bakri Zinin. However, in another series of sms’es supposedly between Dato Seri Najib and senior lawyer Muhd Shafee Abdullah, the authenticity of which Dato Seri Najib has admitted, the former sent the following sms to the latter on the morning of 16th November, 2006, the very morning that Razak Baginda was charged in court in connection with the murder of Altantuya : “Pls do not say anything to the press today. i will explain later. RB will have to face a tentative charge but all is not lost”. These sms’es were publicly disclosed on 11th October, 2008 with an immediate public outcry for an investigation whether an abuse of power by an interference with the administration of justice had occurred. On 14th October, 2008, Dato Seri Najib, in reference to this series of sms’es, publicly denied that they evidenced any abuse of power, without ever refuting the authenticity of the same. To-date, there has been no public statement by the relevant authorities whether these sms’es are the subject of any investigation to ascertain if indeed any abuse of power has occurred. If in fact an investigation has been done, no results of the same have been announced.

13. On 31st October, 2008, Razak Baginda, without being called to enter his defence, was acquitted of the charge, referred to by Dato Seri Najib as ‘tentative’, of abetting in the murder of Altantuya. At the time, lead prosecutor DPP Tun Majid Tun Hamzah intimated that the acquittal might be appealed, saying, “We will consider appealing the decision. The battle is not over yet”. Yet, 14 days later, the same DPP confirmed that the acquittal would not be appealed, offering the most spurious of reasons that the trial judge, in acquitting Razak Baginda, had made findings of fact. A check with senior criminal practitioners will show that in recent times, there has not been an occasion where the Attorney-General’s Chambers did not appeal against a decision to acquit, in a murder trial, where the accused was not ordered to enter a defence. A case in point was the acquittal in the Norita Shamsuddin murder trial.

We, the undersigned, draw the attention of you, Honourable Members of Parliament, to some very serious questions, all of which remain unanswered to this day, which arise from the matters listed above, all matters of record. These include :-

14. Who did Mongolian national, Burmaa Oyunchimeg, mean by ‘Najib Razak’ as the government official photographed with the murdered Altantuya and the one accused of a ‘tentative’ charge? Did she mean Dato Seri Najib? And if she meant Dato Seri Najib, what are we to make of the latter’s denial to having ever known, been acquainted with or had any dealings whatsoever with the murdered Altantuya? Again, if she meant Dato Seri Najib, would this not corroborate the assertion by private investigator Balasubramaniam in his first statutory declaration that Dato Seri Najib was well-acquainted with Altantuya. Noting that to-date, Dato Seri Najib has never refuted this piece of evidence, it must be asked why this assertion by Burmaa Oyunchimeg has never been fully investigated?

15. Have the police concluded their investigation, which commenced in early July this year, in the matter of private investigator Balasubramaniam’s two contradictory statutory declarations? If so, why has he not been charged for making a false statutory declaration? Which is the false statutory declaration? Was he forced to make the false declaration and if so, by who and how? Where is he and his family now? Are they safe?

16. Is there truth in the assertion by Mongolian national, Uuriintuya Gal-Orchir that local immigration records of her, Altantuya and their friend Namiraa Gerelmaa’s entry into Malaysia on 8th October, 2006 had disappeared? If true, who was responsible for this and why was this done? Was the responsible party acting on instructions and, if so, who and why? Why has this assertion by Uuriintuya Gal-Orchir never been fully investigated?

17. Given the startling decision of the Attorney General’s Chambers not to appeal the acquittal of Razak Baginda, has there been an investigation into the exchange of sms’s between Dato Seri Najib and the senior lawyer to ascertain if there was any abuse of power or interference with due process howsoever by Dato Seri Najib?

We, the undersigned, note with considerable regret that the Honourable Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor, Yang Berkhidmat Lim Kit Siang had, in October, 2008, urged that a Royal Commission of Inquiry be established to, amongst others, fully investigate the matters hereinstated, but the present administration has ignored this call.

And we, the undersigned, state now that until and unless the matters raised herein and the serious questions arising therefrom have been adequately investigated and findings that fully vindicate Dato Seri Najib of any and all inferences and aspersions that might reasonably be drawn or made from the same are disclosed to the public, we have no confidence in Dato Seri Najib to lead our country as Prime Minister.

Wherefore, we, the undersigned, now direct you, Honourable Members of Parliament, as our duly elected representatives :-

a) to demand that the Executive forthwith establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to fully investigate upon the matters hereinstated and and the serious questions arising therefrom and to make public the findings and recommendations, if any, of such a Commission; and

b) should the Executive fail to establish a Commission as aforementioned or any other credible investigative body to look into and make public its report on its findings and recommendations, if any, on the matters hereinstated, with the consequence that the same remain uninvestigated and the serious questions arising therefrom remain unanswered if and when Dato Seri Najib should seek an audience with His Majesty with a view to securing his appointment as Prime Minister, you take all necessary steps to make known to His Majesty that, as our elected representatives, you do not have confidence in Dato Seri Najib to lead our country as Prime Minister.
Sincerely,

Ghost of Altantuya revisit – najib Altantuya must go to the courts to clear his name: Ku Li

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — Malaysia’s next prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak should take the witness stand to clear his name or take legal action against the growing number of foreign publications linking him with the murder of Altantuya Shariibuu and the purchase of submarines.

He “should finally face these suspicions and implied charges, submit himself to legal scrutiny, and come clean on them’’, said Umno’s elder statesman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, himself a target of an international media witch hunt in the 1980s following the infamous BMF scandal.

“The BMF scandal of the 1980s also had its share of lurid detail. There too a large sum of money and a murder was involved. An unseen hand had woven the threads of the story around me to destroy me politically. But when international newspapers alleged that I was involved in any wrongdoing, I took action against each and every one of them in their home jurisdictions.

“I sued The Telegraph and The Sunday Times of the UK, and The South China Morning Post of Hong Kong. I won all three cases, the newspapers published unreserved apologies and printed retractions covering half a broadsheet page each, and I came away with a tidy sum of money for my trouble,’’ noted Ku Li, as he is fondly known in Malaysia.

Najib is now being given the same treatment in the international media, with the UK’s Sunday Times, the International Herald Tribune, the French daily, Libération, The Australian Financial Review, the Far Eastern Economic Review and the New York Times all raising questions about the link between the murdered young woman, Najib, and the commission paid out by the French company Armaris to a Malaysian company for the purchase of submarines.

“This is now an international story. And this story will not go away. With its dramatic details  and the alleged involvement of elite Malaysian government operatives, it captures the journalistic imagination. But the story is now connected with an ongoing investigation into the dealings of a major French company. The  story is also going to stick around because it is a handy looking-glass into Malaysia’s ‘increasingly dysfunctional political system.’ It implicates our entire system of government, our judiciary, and our press, and it casts a shadow on our ability as a nation to face and tell the truth.

“The scandal is bringing shame to the nation and damaging our international credibility.   Swearing on the Al-Quran is not the way out. Scoundrels have been known to do that. The truth, established through the rigorous and public scrutiny of the law, is the only remedy if an untrue story has gained currency not just internationally but at home among a large section of the people.’’

Ku Li said that Najib should voluntarily offer to testify at the trial of the two officers charged with killing Altantuya. He could also write to these newspapers and if necessary he should take legal action against them to clear his and Malaysia’s name.

Najib has vigorously denied accusations raised by Opposition politicians of any involvement in the murder of the Mongolian model. These accusations were raised in a by-election in 2007 and have refused to go away.

His supporters are convinced that it is not a coincidence that there has been a gush of reports in the international media about the Altantuya case just as he is a cusp away from the top job in the country. They see the hidden hand of the Opposition behind the sudden interest in the case by publications which did not show much interest in the case which saw Najib’s advisor, Razak Baginda and two members of the elite police team being charged with murder.

Razak Baginda was acquitted without his defence being called while the two policemen will know their fate on April 9. Najib’s name was dragged into the case because the court heard that his aide-de-camp Musa Safri had introduced Razak Baginda to the two policemen. The two policemen are alleged to have shot the woman and blown her body to pieces using explosives.

Ghost of Altantuya di Kota Jakarta: Kepemimpinan najib Altantuya diragukan

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

KOMPAS.com – Popularitas calon tunggal perdana menteri Malaysia, Najib Razak, masih lebih rendah daripada popularitas Perdana Menteri Abdullah Badawi yang akan digantikannya.

Dengan kata lain, Abdullah masih lebih difavoritkan menjelang pertemuan Majelis Nasional Organisasi Nasional Melayu Bersatu (UMNO) yang dimulai hari ini, Selasa (24/3).

Berdasarkan jajak pendapat Merdeka Center yang independen, popularitas Najib bertahan 41 persen. Popularitas Abdullah Badawi ada di atasnya, yakni 46 persen.

Lim Kit Siang, pemimpin senior oposisi dari Partai Aksi Demokratik, seperti ditulis dalam Monsters and Critics, Senin (23/3), berpendapat bahwa Najib sangat dibebani dan dihantui keraguan besar.

Najib juga dihantui tuduhan-tuduhan yang diarahkan kepadanya. Najib dituduh berada di balik pembunuhan model Mongolia, Altantuya Shaariibuu, yang diduga pacar gelapnya. Integritas dan legitimasinya juga dipertanyakan.

Lim mengatakan, semua hal itu memperkuat dugaan bahwa ada awan gelap atas kepemimpinannya sekaligus merupakan pertanda akan terjadinya era kegelapan bagi Malaysia.

Najib juga dituduh berada di balik pengambilalihan pemerintahan di Negara Bagian Perak dari kubu oposisi. Hal itu dilakukan dengan membujuk anggota oposisi berpaling menjadi kelompok independen.

Najib gagal menaikkan popularitas dan menunjukkan kemampuan untuk memimpin negara di tengah krisis ekonomi yang semakin serius. Paket stimulus ekonomi bernilai 60 miliar ringgit (sekitar 16,1 miliar dollar AS) yang diumumkan awal bulan ini gagal memberikan dampak positif terhadap perekonomian.

Masih bisa memimpin

Para ekonom dan pengkritik mengatakan paket itu meningkatkan defisit anggaran pemerintah menjadi 7,6 persen dari produk domestik bruto (PDB), dari 4,8 persen. Di sisi lain, paket itu tidak akan mampu berbuat banyak untuk memacu ekonomi Malaysia yang terpukul krisis.

”Najib masih bisa memimpin Malaysia terlepas dari kondisi saat ini dan mencapai prestasi yang tinggi. Untuk bisa melakukan itu, dia harus menangani dua masalah sangat penting. Pertama, terkait integritas personalnya dan kedua adalah kepemimpinannya,” papar pengamat politik terkemuka Malaysia, M Bakri Musa, dalam blognya.

Ghost of Altantuya: najib rehashes old ideals, no new frontiers at Umno assembly

Posted in Malaysia news with tags on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

By Wong Choon Mei

Under pressure to appease members, incoming Umno president Najib Abdul Razak found it expedient to admit that the current voting system in his party was flawed.

But he stopped short of declaring what many other leaders have urged – a one-man one-vote system to rid the once-mighty party of corruption and to return sorely-missed democracy to its members.

“As it stands the deciders are a delegation of some 2,600 delegates from 191 divisions. Clearly the choice of these delegates cannot correctly reflect the preferences of more than three million grassroots members,” Najib told a meeting of the Umno women and youth wings.

“To my mind the time has come for us to review the constitution of Umno so that the selection of Umno leaders will be more inclusive.”

He rehashed a call for change, but failed to ignite any excitement, having antagonised party colleagues with a ruthless purge of leaders aligned to rival factions last week.

Najib also urged his party to embrace new technology, in particular new media. Ironically, just hours earlier, he had barred six online news providers from attending the assembly.

“There must be some introspection on our part followed by renewal and rejuvenation,” he said.

“ It is clear that our advancement is conditional upon our ability to correctly assess our strengths and weaknesses. Weaknesses must be addressed whereas strengths should be further amplified. If we do not undertake this process, Umno will continue to be seen as a party still in denial.”

No new frontiers

The distinct lack of bite in his address was widely expected and therefore the insignificance of his comments taken in stride, although efforts were made by his government-controlled media to hail him for going where no other Umno leader has ever ventured before.

But neither Star Trek nor Captain Kirk is Malaysia’s scandal-plagued deputy premier.

Notorious he may be in both the local and international scene for alleged complicity in the sensational murder and-commission case of slain Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, but when it comes to politics, he has long been regarded as Mr Status Quo.

Even the most recent crackdowns on dissent ordered by him, going into the last lap of the power transition, are believed to have been orchestrated by his mentor, ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad, and former economic adviser Daim Zainuddin.

Their objective – to ensure that Najib makes it to the topmost rung safely. Their purpose – self-interest and a return to the frontline of power on the coat-tails of their protege.

All eyes on the King

The 55-year old Najib is slated to take over the party presidency from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi by the end of this week and the premiership of the country early next month.

But despite the proximity of the transition deadlines, only the former is considered confirmed, while a question-mark still hangs over the second.

“Nothing can stop what has already been decided. Najib will become Umno president soon. And when there is confirmation, there will be a transition,” Abdullah told reporters earlier in the day.

Even he was vague about when Najib would become prime minister, a post he has long coveted. However, there are expectations that Abdullah will announce the date to the Umno assembly in a day or two.

Meanwhile, calls to the King, urging His Majesty not to confirm Najib as premier are gaining strength across the country. Despite heavy odds, most Malaysians cling to the hope that their King will resist the far-reaching arm of the Najib-Mahathir camp and stand up for his nation.

“Whatever undertakings the present prime minister has made with his deputy or with his party about his successor are external to the constitutional process. To think otherwise is to imagine that the prime ministership is a private property to be passed on from one potentate to another at whim,” said Umno veteran Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

“The King has sole and absolute discretion in how he forms his judgment as to who in the Parliament commands the confidence of the majority. The choice is his alone,” Razaleigh added.

Ghost of Altantuya: A power transition tainted by fear, suppression and corruption

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , , on March 25, 2009 by ckchew

Wong Choon Mei

Malaysia’s ruling party, Umno, will begin its much-awaited annual congress and election today amid controversy and rising fears that a power transition pact knocked together behind closed doors will herald a dark period for both it and the nation.

As some 2,500 delegates from across the country prepare to vote in top office-bearers, deputy prime minister Najib Abdul Razak is working round the clock to ensure that his ’shining’ moment does really arrive.

He is due to be formalised as party president without having to contest the post. But political watchers point out that the lack of challenge does not signify wholesale support for the 55-year old, but rather, it follows an internal rebellion that forced his boss, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, to relinquish power without putting up any fight.

“None of us had any role or say in the choice of the person who will lead Malaysia next. We were mere bystanders in a political chess game,” said former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim.

“Najib’s administration will have more steel than Abdullah. There are indications that he is more willing to use the public institutions, controversial laws and coercive forces to get what he wants,” said political analyst Gavin Khoo Kay Peng.

“He has his own corporate cronies. His brothers are prominent businessmen. If he continues to disregard the rule of law, the losers are Malaysians, the normal people.”

Sowing seeds of division in own party and community

By convention – not by law – the Umno president becomes the prime minister of the country. And as the day approaches for Najib to assume the top seat, he has cracked down severely, not only on Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition, but also against members of his own ruling elite.

Last week, Najib moved to purge Abdullah loyalists from taking top party positions. Malacca chief minister Mohd Ali Rustam and Abdullah’s son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin were found guilty of vote buying.

Front-runner for the deputy president’s post Ali Rustam was disqualified at the eleventh hour, while Khairy’s chances of pipping Mukhriz Mahathir – the son of Najib’s mentor Mahathir Mohamad – took a dive after he was issued a warning letter.

Umno members were initially outraged, especially since the popular Ali Rustam was also ridiculed for his lack of fluency in English – a factor that Najib’s supporters openly said would make him an unsuitable No 2 to their British-educated No 1.

It now remains to be seen if members will throw their support behind another Abdullah loyalist, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, who is the only candidate left in the contest for the deputy presidency against Muhyiddin Yassin, the Trade Minister favoured by Najib.

“This is clearly an insult to the Malay language. While we recognise the importance of English and the need for leaders to be fluent in it, at the same time, linguistic skills are not the sole criteria for choosing the best leaders,” said Shamsul Iskandar Akin, a Malay rights activist and Pakatan Rakyat leader.

Fanning racial sentiments

Realising that they may have offended grassroot members with their elitist stance, Mahathir changed tack suddenly. If in the past weeks, Najib and his camp held out the promise of a more inclusive and progressive Umno, over the weekend their clarion call took on a strident Umno-for-only-the-Malays note.

Najib’s cousin Hishammuddin Hussein, who apologised last year for a keris-unsheathing ceremony that symbolised Malay supremacy, announced on Saturday that he intended to reprise the ritual this week.

Mahathir himself warned that Malays were under threat more than ever before, and may lose their privileges if they did not support leaders like himself and his protege. He also took a shot at Chinese educationist and accused of being apartheid in not wanting to accept English as a medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science in vernacular schools.

The 84-year old ex-premier however neglected to mention that Malay educationists too want both subjects to be taught in their own mother tongue. His comments sparked a blaze of anger from the Chinese community, forcing a reaction from the Umno-led Barisan Nasional component, the MCA.

“If the Chinese educationists do not like to mingle with the Malay community, I would like to inform him that almost 90 per cent of the students that finish their primary school at Chinese vernacular schools enrol into national secondary schools,” chided Wee Ka Siong, deputy education minister.

Growing nervousness and insecurity

Despite an onslaught of rosy news reports from the Umno-controlled media and the barrage of half-truths shot out by the Najib-Mahathir camp, it is obvious that there is still fear of rejection from both outside and within their own party.

Just a day ago, opposition newspapers Suara KeADILan and Harakah were banned with immediate effect for three months. No reasons were given.

Late last night, police fired round after round of tear gas and chemical-laced water at a peaceful crowd of more than 5,000 that turned up to hear Anwar speak at a political lecture in Bukit Selambau, Kedah.

Again, no explain was given for the unnecessary action, adding to already swirling rumours that the charismatic reform icon will soon be arrested as an increasingly nervous Najib suppresses dissent to tighten his hold on the country.

“The latest suppression underscores the insecurity and fear that Najib and his supporters feel about their political situation,” said Tian Chua, information chief of KeADILan.

“There are many major events around the corner – the Umno election, the power transition, the triple by-elections and the Perak crisis. He must be afraid of losing, of being further exposed, or there might be some exclusive revelations coming up that he would be hard-pressed to deny.”

Ghost of Altantuya in Jakarta : NAJIB RAZAK DAN KEMATIAN ALTANTUYA, Forum Magazine Jakarta, March 15

Posted in Malaysia news with tags , on March 24, 2009 by ckchew

Calon Perdana Menteri Malaysia diperkirakan terlibat dalam kematian wanita jetset asal Monggolia Altantuya karena kasus komisi pembelian kapal selam Angkatan Laut Malaysia

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