Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The fall of the Abdullah Regime

- The Malaysian Insider

Long after Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi leaves office in March 2009, political pundits and historians will dissect his years as the Prime Minister of Malaysia, and examine how he squandered a reservoir of goodwill over 48 months.

A few of them will point fingers at his young advisors — better known as the Fourth Floor boys — for wrong strategies and misplaced priorities. For doing too good a job of shaping his public image as a reformer in the run-up to the 2004 elections, a role he had difficulty living up to.

A few of them will allege that the interference by his son, Kamaludin and son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin alienated his supporters in the party and left Mr Clean of Malaysia's politics exposed to charges of abdicating his responsibility to kin.

Many will argue that his inability to act decisively and with firmness curdled the hope and respect many Malaysians invested in him.

Many more will say that by being a prisoner to the Umno psyche, it was only inevitable that he lost touch with the rest of the needs and aspirations of the world outside the ruling party.
A few of them will lay the blame squarely on former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad whose gush of attacks on Abdullah from mid-2006 weakened his standing in Umno.

The trend of opinion polls conducted by the Merdeka Centre between 2004 and August 2008 suggests that a combination of all these factors and more led to the drop in the PM's approval ratings.

But surprisingly it shows that despite all his failings and broken promises, Malaysians were still willing to believe in him till the eleventh hour.

Some 71 per cent of Malaysians still supported him in the week leading up to the March 8 general elections, lending some credence to the point that disaffection with Umno and Barisan Nasional, rather than Abdullah, may have played a big part in the rise of the Opposition.
The PM's reservoir of goodwill only started to empty fast after March 8.

Two weeks after the general elections, his approval rating slumped from 71 per cent to 53 per cent, in part this was in reaction to the election results, the calls for his resignation and the controversies surrounding the appointments of mentris besar of Terengganu and Perlis.
Today, his approval is just slightly over 42 per cent.

These opinion polls during the four year period toss up some interesting points about the Abdullah years and his weaknesses.

His popularity was at 91 per cent in November 2004, with the population still infatuated with his new softer style of leadership; his promise of improving the public delivery service and tackling corruption.

The numbers stayed steady for more than a year, dropping to 68 per cent in February-March 2006 when the government imposed highest ever fuel price increase. The price increases by as much as 23 per cent sparked small-scale demonstrations.

But within a few months his approval rating climbed back to the 70s and that is where it stayed until September 2006 when once again it dipped, hitting 63 per cent in September 2006.

This was around the time that Dr Mahathir's attacks against Abdullah for cancelling the crooked bridge project; for deviating from the former's policies and accusations of nepotism reached a peak. Interestingly, when Dr Mahathir began firing his verbal missiles, Abdullah"s popularity was 78 per cent. In a matter of six months, it was down to 63 per cent.

To be sure, there were other issues that were a drag on his standing. This included rising cost of living and the fallout from the government's handling of the conversion and burial of Everest hero Moorthy.

The popularity returned to 72 per cent in November 2006, even holding after several Umno members uttered seditious and incendiary remarks during the party's assembly. By now, it was clear that Abdullah's approval rating would never return to the 80 percentile range.

It hovered around 73 per cent in July when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim lit the fuse on the V K Lingam video clip controversy, a move which forced Abdullah to propose the setting up of a Royal Commission and highlighted his failure to reform the judiciary.

But there was no running away from the fact that a sense of drift had descended on the country. Businessmen grumbled that nothing "seemed to be moving''; non-Muslim religious leaders complained that their rights were being eroded and there was a sense that Malaysia's decaying institutions were falling apart.

In December 2007, Abdullah's approval ratings touched 61 per cent, the lowest since he became PM. This was the result of a slowing economy hitting home, coupled with widespread disenchantment among non-Malays over the crackdown on the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf).

The ratings stayed in the 60 percentile range from December 2007 till February 27. That is why when Abdullah announced that he was going to seek a new mandate in March, there were puzzled looks around. There was a sense among his supporters that there were too many problems on too many fronts.

The Indians had all but deserted the Barisan Nasional over the demolition of temples and the Hindraf affair.

The Chinese were restless over weak economic leadership. But the PM, after being briefed that the economic situation would get even worse in the second half of 2008, decided to call for general elections on March 8.

He was quietly confident that the BN would return with its two-thirds majority in Parliament intact, no doubt bolstered by reports from military intelligence, Special Branch and Wanita Umno which pointed rosy pictures.

On March 4 2008, four days before the general elections, a poll showed that his ratings had climbed to 71 per cent, suggesting that the campaign hype and residual affection with which he was held still persuaded many Malaysians to keep the faith in the man who promised so much.

The election defeat emptied the reservoir of goodwill quicker than any of his mistakes or omissions could. His ratings dropped with each passing day after March 8, slumping heavily even after the 2010 transition plan was unveiled in July.

This was probably a sign that many Malaysians believed that he was living on borrowed time after Election 2008.

Kit Siang: PM must be brave to reform before quitting

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should end his “lackustre premiership in a blaze of glory: by enacting reforms in at least 10 areas, veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said last night.

The DAP supremo said Abdullah should consider the sixth option, apart from the five he had outlined which included not contesting in Umno polls; remain a lame-duck Prime Minister; resign immediately; advise the King to dissolve the Parliament; or cooperate with Pakatan Rakyat to form a new federal government.

“Accept the Umno Supreme Council ultimatum that his premiership ends by March next year but ending his hitherto lacklustre premiership in a blaze of glory in the final six months by leaving a lasting legacy for future Malaysians by being a courageous reformist Prime Minister,” Kit Siang told the crowd at a ceramah in Serdang.

The text of his speech was sent out today.

Kit Siang said Abdullah can begin his six-month programme of reform in the next Cabinet meeting by choosing to act in at least 10 areas, which are:-

1. Police – Establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) by the end of the year, based on the Bill proposed by the Royal Police Commission, in order to create an efficient, incorruptible, professional world-class service to restore to Malaysians their fundamental freedom to be free from crime and the fear of crime.

2. No more foot-dragging with judicial reforms by ensuring that a Judicial Appointments Commission is established by the end of the year and that the country is not plunged into another era of judicial darkness and scandal with the appointment of the first Umno Chief Justice in the 51-year history of Malaysia.

3. A total revamp of the Anti-Corruption Agency, which has proved to be an utter failure with Malaysia's Transparency International Corruption Perception Index plunging from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 47 in 2008, when we should have improved to at least No. 30 according to the National Integrity Plan – with the formation of a completely independent anti-corruption commission by the end of the year.

4. Far-reaching parliamentary reforms including the introduction of a full-fledged Parliamentary Select Committee system whereby every Ministry is shadowed by a Parliamentary Select Committee.

5. Repeal of draconian Printing Presses and Publications Act to ensure press freedom and an independent media.

6. Immediate release of Raja Petra Kamaruddin, the Hindraf Five and all other Internal Security Act detainees and the repeal of the ISA.

7. Declaration of Malaysia Day on September 16 every year as a national public holiday.

8. 20% oil royalty to Sabah and Sarawak to be devoted solely for the development of the people in the two states and not for the enrichment of a handful of political parasites.

9. Meritocracy as a national policy to reverse brain drain and to retain the best and brightest to transform Malaysia into a competitive global player in the international economic scene.

10. Full acceptance of “Bangsa Malaysia” as primary nation-building objective and not ketuanan Melayu or any other communal, retrogressive or obsolete concept.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Joke of the day

Abdullah Ahmad Bodowi was so disappointed with his cabinet for being inefficient and corrupt that he decided to call on Lee Hsien Loong and ask him how he managed to have such an efficient and uncorruptable cabinet in Singapore.

On hearing Bodowi's woes, PM Lee said, 'Simple, Bodowi, I choose able men for my cabinet. '

Bodowi asked, 'Yes, but how do you know that they are able?' PM Lee replied, Just ask them simple questions to test their intelligence. They don't need to be too difficult. Let me illustrate to you.'

Just then, DPM Jayakumar was walking by, PM Lee called out to him, 'Hey Jaya, come over here.'

Jayakumar obediently walked briskly over. PM Lee asked, 'Tell me, Jaya, who is your father's son ?' Jayakumar immediately replied, 'Me! Of course.'

PM Lee turned to Bodowi and said, 'See, all my ministers can answer this question. Why don't you go back and try.'

Bodowi thanked PM Lee and left. Once he was back, he immediately summoned Syed Hamid, his home minister, and shot the question at him, 'Tell me, Hamid, who is your father's son ?'

Syed Hamid was shocked beyond words and did not know the answer. After a while, he recovered and said, 'Boss, let me find out and I'll tell you tomorrow.'

Bodowi, a bit disappointed, agreed, hoping that Syed Hamid will give a good answer tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Syed Hamid was panicking that his boss was testing him. He tried desperately to find out the answer from his staff, but none of them knew the answer.

The next morning, he decided to call Zaid Ibrahim for help. Zaid must know the answer.

When Zaid picked up the phone, Syed Hamid said, 'Hello, Zaid, can I ask you a question?' Zaid, very busy, replied, 'Alright, but it better be good!'

Syed Hamid quickly asked, Tell me, who is your father's son ?' Zaid was fuming, 'Of course its me, you stupid!' and he slammed the phone down.

Satisfied that he got the answer, he confidently walked into Bodowi's office and said, 'Boss, I've got the answer to your question.'

Bodowi, happy that his minister wasn't that dumb, said, 'So tell me quick, who is your father's son, Hamid?'

Syed Hamid confidently replied, 'It's ZAID!'

Bodowi slapped his own forehead in disgust and said, No you stupid! It's JAYAKUMAR!'

‘Opaque’ government crippling economy, says Anwar

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim took a swipe at the government’s opaque operations, which he claims, are crippling the economy and discouraging investment.
He said the opposition was concerned that public-sector spending had risen to RM200 billion annually from RM160 billion in 2004.

“That of course doesn't include the slush funds in excess of RM30 billion used at the discretion of the Prime Minister,” Anwar said in his address at the CLSA Investor Forum in Hong Kong today.

He was also concerned that the national debt has gone up by another RM100 billion and the fiscal deficit has risen to 4.8 per cent of GDP this year.

“With capital flight at a record high since the 1997 crisis, RM125 million in 2008 already, Malaysian investment abroad now exceeds inward foreign investment. We are facing a double barrel onslaught of our own doing with the ringgit hitting all-time lows since 2005 and inflation a record high of 8.5 per cent, the worst in 27 years.”

The de facto leader of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition said issues of governance and corruption in the country had yet to be resolved.

“The latest corruption perception index from Transparency International speaks for itself. In almost a decade Malaysia has hardly improved its position in the ranking while our would-be peers are making substantial improvements.”

Anwar claimed that the opposition had a clear agenda for Malaysia.
• Revive the lagging economy by adopting market friendly policies.
• Take decisive action to cure the festering sore of corruption and cronyism that has decimated the judiciary, rendered anti-corruption efforts impotent and leeched billions of dollars from the state coffers
• Restore faith in the institutions of governance both domestically and internationally so that investors will once again find the country an attractive destination for their long-term investments.
• Strict adherence to the rule of law and an immediate end to draconian statutes that would allow the powers that be to detain their adversaries willy-nilly and without due process.

He said a change in government was central to the current political scenario. “The ability to handle a transition is a measure of the strength of the country's democratic institutions.”

However, he said it should be done peacefully and orderly as stability could not be sacrificed no matter how intense the desire for change has become.

Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat would introduce structural reforms in public procurement programmes and the management of state companies while ensuring that adequate social safety nets are in place.

“With the political will to combat corruption, wastage and mismanagement, an 8 per cent per annum growth rate is not unrealistic.

“Petronas should be made accountable to Parliament and not remain the private piggy bank of the Executive branch. We will remove restrictions on foreign capital inflows and outflows and revamp government protection of monopolies in industries like telecommunications and banking.”

In an apparent hit at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the opposition leader said if markets are strong and unfettered, and if laws are transparent and enforced by impartial judges, “we will not need special development corridors or regions to attract investment”.
“A stable and clean business environment is far more important than special tax breaks and quotas handed out by a corrupt and opaque government,” said Anwar.

He said when the Asian crisis struck 10 years ago, the decisions he made as Finance Minister were not populist nor were they popular.

But he added that on principle, he felt they were the right moves even though they were at the expense of his personal freedom.

“Yet in my darkest hours of solitary confinement I had never given up hope that something good was to come of the ordeal. And now after more than a decade of struggle and profound challenges we are on the threshold of a new beginning.”

- The Malaysian Insider

Thursday, September 25, 2008

All eyes on MCA Ministers in Cabinet today - censure Hamid for RPK ISA detention and harassment of Wee Meng Chee?

All eyes on MCA Ministers in Cabinet today - censure Hamid for RPK ISA detention and harassment of Wee Meng Chee?

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

RPK in Kamunting for 2 years

Michelle Yoon: Save Raja Petra
RPK was due to appear in court to have his habeas corpus presented today. Syed Hamid Albar signed the papers yesterday night to send RPK to Kamunting. I’m not sure of the nitty-gritty details, but if RPK was to appear in court today, but the minister signed the orders yesterday, I’m guessing the “bringing forward” of the court appearance was just ‘for show’.

And just for the record, I’m pissed with those who say things like “It’s okay, Anwar is going to form the government soon, and RPK will be released immediately”, or “Let RPK be ISA hero!”

Detention under the ISA is no small matter. I don’t care if Anwar’s going to be the Prime MInister tomorrow, I just want to know if RPK is alright NOW! …Let RPK sit in detention for a few days, and you’re alright with that? I sure as hell am NOT! Wait till Anwar becomes Prime Minister, or Pakatan Rakyat takes over, and there will be rainbows in the sky? I’m definitely not as optimistic as that!

We say we want ‘freedom’, we want ‘change’, we want we want we want. And what do we do? Nothing. We let RPK take the brunt of it. We let RPK go into detention.

Sure, we are ‘waiting’ for Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat to take over the Federal Government. And the definition of ‘wait’ is ’sit and do nothing’.

HAH! A bunch of hypocrites we are. And especially me too. Here I am sitting in the comfort of my own home, typing on my computer, 8500km away from everything, while RPK goes to Kamunting because he was fighting our fight. OUR fight. OUR battle.

Haris and co are planning a Hartal to show protest against the abuse of ISA. I don’t know what I can do, but I’ll be doing everything I can.

Published in: on September 23, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim: Malaysian opposition leader accused of sodomy 'in race against time'

- Telegraph

Anwar Ibrahim, the Malaysian opposition leader fighting sodomy allegations, said he is in a race against time as repressive measures are used to thwart his attempt to topple the ruling party.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Dr Anwar acknowledged that he now only has days to act before his political momentum seeps away amid efforts by the government to prevent a challenge.

The former British colony, once seen as an "Asian Tiger" economy, is controlled by a semi-authoritarian government that imprisons its opponents without charge and strictly controls the media. For decades elections consistently returned giant majorities for the regime.

But the government stumbled to its worst ever election results this March. Now the public is gripped by an all-or-nothing drama as the leader of the resurgent opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, claims he has won over the 30 government MPs he needs to topple the prime minister Abdullah Badawi and the ruling party for the first time since independence from Britain half a century ago.
"We have a problem here because we have the numbers but we can't move," Dr Anwar said.
For the first time this year, the Malaysian parliament has taken a break for Ramadan, which Mr Anwar regards as a "pretext" to prevent a vote of no confidence.

Earlier this month three journalists and an opposition MP were arrested under powers that allow for detention without trial "to protect national security". Three of the detainees have since been released, but last week the prime minister called Anwar a threat to the economy and national security.

"When they say that I am a threat ... then all the rationale for detention is there," said Mr Anwar. "The threat has effected many of our MPs. The threat is working somewhat."

Analysts, and even government supporters, agree that the administration is deeply unpopular because of perceived corruption and a weakening economy.

Dr Anwar was a reformist deputy prime minister 10 years ago when he was arrested, savagely beaten and jailed on sodomy charges that were later exposed as politically motivated.

He is due in court on Wednesday to face fresh sodomy allegations. Dr Anwar says the charges, which could send him to jail for 20 years in the Muslim majority country, are once again politically motivated. He has produced photographs of his accuser meeting government officials to support his claim.

Meanwhile there are moves in the United Malays National Organisation, which controls the government, to remove Mr Badawi as prime minister and replace him with his deputy Najib Razak, who is seen as a hardliner.

On the sidelines of an opposition strategy meeting Kamaruddin Jaffar, the leader of one of the parties in Dr Anwar's opposition coalition, said: "Things are moving fast. If Najib comes in it will be a different ball game." The opposition has asked for a meeting with the prime minister and called for an emergency session of parliament. Both requests were refused. Now, according to Mr Kamaruddin, they intend to ask the king to intervene.

"I'm not ruling out that option," Dr Anwar said.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blink-182's Barker critically injured in plane crash

(CNN) -- A man who came across a fiery jet crash said he saw former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and disc jockey Adam "DJ AM" Goldstein trying to extinguish the flames on their bodies by ripping off their clothing.

"We turned to the jet to try and see if there was anything we could do, but immediately, there was nothing anyone could do," William Owens told CNN affiliate WIS in Columbia, South Carolina. "I felt ill or sick to think that these lives were snuffed out at that point."
The two men were in critical condition with extensive burns Saturday. The crash killed four other people on board, authorities said.

The Learjet 60 carrying six people, including Barker and Goldstein, was taking off from the Columbia Metropolitan Airport in South Carolina on Friday night when it went off the runway. The plane crashed through light towers and an antenna array before crossing a road and stopping at an embankment, authorities said.

Owens came across the plane wreck while driving and stopped to see whether he could help.

Lexington County Coroner Harry O. Harman said all the dead in Friday's crash were Californians.

He identified them as pilot Sarah Lemmon, 31, of Anaheim Hills; co-pilot James Bland, 52, of Carlsbad; Chris Baker, 29, of Studio City; and Charles Still, 25, of Los Angeles.

The Associated Press reported that Baker was an assistant to Barker and Still was a security guard for the musician.

Malaysia is at its most important turning point, says John Malott

By John Malott*

Today Malaysia is at the most important turning point in its history. Ironically, the man who has the opportunity to decide which way Malaysia will go is the man who has been considered an ineffective if not a failed leader – Abdullah Badawi.

Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said it best in an interview with Malaysiakini:http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/90022)” If Abdullah lets the democratic process take place and does not stifle the country with arrests and emergency rule, it will be his finest hour, and he will go down in history as the man who liberalised the democratic system in Malaysia. But if he reneges on his word to not invoke the ISA, then he would only be digging his own grave”, Ramon said.

Although the attention of the world has turned to the financial crisis in the United States, interest in Malaysia has never been higher. The world is watching. Malaysia can redeem itself in the eyes of the world – or it can become an international pariah – all within the space of the next few weeks.

The Malaysian people should not underestimate the influence and impact that Anwar Ibrahim has overseas. The 18 months that he spent abroad after his release from prison allowed him not only to reestablish his old connections but also to develop new ones. He spoke widely throughout the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia and developed a new cadre of admirers. He is without question the most well-known and respected Malaysian in the world.

So when he again faces more sham charges of sodomy and is carried away by a SWAT team, or when he then pulls off one of the most stunning political comebacks ever, the world pays attention. But it is not up to the world to decide who should govern Malaysia, it is up to the Malaysian people.

What the international community does expect is that the contest should be fair. For too long the Malaysian Government and UMNO have relied not on the forces of democracy and persuasion but on the powers of intimidation — the ISA, the sedition laws, the denial of business contracts, spying by the Special Branch, financial “largesse,” and propaganda and even outright falsehoods disseminated by government and party controlled media. They too often have ruled by fear.
Ten years ago few people dared to speak up. But this time the people are not afraid. They know what is going on in their country, and now they want the right to decide their own future.

After Anwar was sacked from the Government ten years ago, the question was who would replace him. Mahathir had announced that he would be stepping down in the near future, so the new DPM was likely to become Prime Minister. I was having lunch with a newly-arrived High Commissioner from a Commonwealth country. We were speculating who might replace Anwar when I said, ”No matter who it is, he will have a hard time. It is always hard to follow a strong, tough leader. Look at Morarji Desai after Indira Gandhi in India, or John Major after Thatcher, or Goh after Lee Kuan Yew.”

Since he was newly arrived, I gave him my impressions of Badawi and Najib as potential successors, as I had dealt with both of them. I said that they were not as authoritarian as Mahathir, and they were more “hands off” in their leadership style. Neither of them were men of vision. So we were likely to see a kinder, gentler, but weaker leadership. My colleague told me that he had spent a lot of time in Africa, so don’t count on it. Weak leaders are even more likely to rely on the secret police and internal security laws to stay in power, simply because they are weak.

So here we are, 10 years later. Was I right, or was he?

When you look at Badawi’s record over the past five years, the verdict of history already seems clear. Race relations are worse than at any point since 1969. The economy is suffering. Corruption and scandals are rampant and even touch the highest offices in the land. The opposition has achieved its greatest electoral victory in history. The BN coalition is breaking apart, and UMNO’s unity is shattered. By any measure, history seems ready to record that Abdullah Badawi was a failed leader.

But the Prime Minister still has a chance to turn this around. Tan Sri Ramon has framed Badawi’s choice well. Dig your own grave, or turn this into your finest hour. The choice is Badawi’s, but the verdict will belong to the Malaysian people – and to history.

* John Malott was former Ambassador of the United States of America to Malaysia. Since returning to his country some years ago, John continued to take a deep personal interest in political and socio-economic developments of our country. He has many friends in Kuala Lumpur and around ASEAN. It is my privilege to know him, and we do engage in free and frank exchange of views on US-Malaysia relations and other matters of mutual academic interest. The views expressed here are entirely his own.


1. The world is going through financial turmoil but most Malaysian politicians especially those in the Government seem blissfully unaware or unconcerned. Already 10 major banks in America have collapsed. The almighty US Dollar has depreciated. Now the huge insurance corporation, the American International Group is on the verge of bankruptcy.

2. In the last three quarters AIG lost US$18.5 billion dollars (68 billion Ringgit). AIG is struggling to raise funds to overcome its difficulties. If it fails it may have to opt for bankruptcy. But AIG is going to lose even more.

3. The failures are all due to playing with money, selling mortgages, selling papers and all kinds of financial dealings which have been invented by the finance houses in order to make huge sums of money out of nothing. Currency trading is one of them.

4. I am not a financial expert but I see trouble coming our way. Our currency should be appreciating against the cheaper US Dollar. But instead it is depreciating. This must be caused by weaknesses in our economy.

5. Despite Government propaganda through the controlled media that we are doing well, the reality is otherwise. The foreign investors, including Arabs came, and the reports claim that hundreds of millions of Ringgit in investment would be coming in, but there is no sign that the investors are actually investing. In fact Ia proposed 600 million Ringgit investment has been withdrawn from the IT sector

6. Apart from Arabs buying up new skyscrapers there is no sign that investments are really coming in.

7. Potential investors say they would not be investing and they are pulling out from the Malaysian stock market. The KLSE figures show how much market capital has disappeared - as much as 100 billion Ringgit.

8. In the meantime the prices of oil and foodstuff are high and may go higher. But incomes are not increasing. In other words we are experiencing inflation. When the American financial crisis really hits us we may not be able to handle it.

9. Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak's appointment as Minister of Finance has come at a crucial time. We pray and hope he will be able to handle the impending crisis. If he fails then he will have to take the blame. Dato Seri Abdullah is now only involved in social issues, reform (of what?) and Islam Hadari. Appropriately he has taken over the Ministry of Defence.

10. We are in for a very interesting time. The PM should read carefully SAPP President Yong Teck Lee's press statement. But nobody thinks he would. He is reputed to have told Malaysian diplomats undergoing training that if they are asked critical questions they should "buat bodoh" i.e. pretend to be stupid.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Another symptom of ISA on Anwar Ibrahim

This article on The Star Online, i feel, is published as a directive from "the top" to threathen Anwar Ibrahim on an ISA arrest and to deflect the public's attention. Shame on the publisher, shame on you.

Let's all just think about all the unlawful arrests under the draconian ISA. The racist speeches by Ismail. Khir Toyo's misleading & racists remarks. Dont you think this is what's causing instability in the country?

The Star Online:

GEORGE TOWN: A trader lodged a police report against Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for causing alarm in the country after claiming that he has enough MPs to topple the Federal Govern­ment.

Wan Abidin Zain, 45, said Anwar’s claim on Tuesday alarmed Malaysians to the extent that many were scared to go out or even send their children to school.

“What Anwar is doing now is causing instability in the country.

“The people have given their verdict in the March 8 general election. He should wait for the next general election if he wants to form the Federal Government.

“He is not the country’s saviour but instead a traitor,” he told reporters after lodging the report at the Patani Road police station here yesterday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Will Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim be the next victim under the draconian ISA

I do not practise law and have always missed by business law classes (the closest in relevancy) in uni and i am not anyhow associated to any law associations. So what im about to write is pure bullshit and has no credibility at all.

The minister hints the public, the police makes the arrest.
And the minister will say "it was part of the lawenforcement process"

Let me elaborate on this.

On Sep 6th, Syed Hamid released statements to a govt owned media denouncing RPK as a "blasphemous Muslim of the worst kind" and that ISA can be used on RPK.

Now if ISA was established to detain people who pose a threat to national security, how does a "blasphemous Muslim" of the whatever kind pose a threat to national security? I've seen Christians swearing and using God's name in vain in the worst kind but they never got arrested.


Obviously to justify Syed's allegations, and without considering (should they have such an ability) the police made an arrest bout a week after.

And with such coincidence, Syed Hamid received a letter from RPK's lawyer 3 days before the ISA arrest was made on RPK. RPK wanted Syed Hamid to publish an apology (in 3 days) and on terms to be agreed upon RPK. I can very clearly see how this letter can be an insult to Syed Hamid and to very clearly keep his face (n botak head) nice and shiny, he did the contrary - RPK got arrested.

And yet, Syed Hamid says its a decision by the police and if he interferes, the public will see it as politically motivated. Well Mr Syed Hamid, you do not have to say that and the public can already see its politically motivated.

And how coincidential. The police made the arrest on the deadline that was given to Syed Hamid before RPK commences on legal proceedings.

Nevermind, that's just the beggining.

Just today, Syed Hamid has again hinted the public that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim can be a threat to the country's peace and security. - Because he wants to reduce the oil price? Because he wants to abolish the cronny favoured NEP? Because he wants to have a multi-racial governing administration? Because he wants to abolish ISA? Because he wants to improve the economy in the current decline? For what?????

To drive more credibility to Syed's hint, Badawi has also made such a statement to the press.
That Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim might brainwash thousands of people, instigate hate, tie backpacks filled with explosives to thousands of those people and motivate them to run into the PM's office - this statement is false and an exageration. Badawi just merely mentioned that DSAI might be a threat to national security from his lies.


Maybe on September 23rd he will, a date which is also Badawi's deadline to reconvene parliament so the opposition can submit a vote of no confidence. Very predictable move. Maybe on Sept 20th, DSAI will ask his lawyers to write a letter to Syed Hamid and Abdullah Badawi demanding them to publish a public appology for the lebelious remarks made against him, and give them a 3 days deadline.

But i know for sure DSAI got more balls than worry about an ISA detention. Not that he's never been detained - TWICE.

And if he does catch the fish with his bait (ask for the ISA detention and get it). The BN will lose ALL their credibility with the use of ISA.

And worse, it is a build up from the unjustified Sinchew reporter detention - Syed Hamid claimed that it was to issue security to the reporter after hearing from intelligence that she was under threat. So now ISA also provides security? So if a teenage girl is walking home on a dark alley and is being followed by 3 unidentified people with weapons, can she call ISA?

Best is, the police issued a press statement a day after saying something totally different. That intelligence said the sinchew reported might posses a threat to national peace by instigating racial tensions........ Man....... For reporting something a politician (who is now roaming free) said??? You must be fucking kidding.... What nonscence

And Teresa Kok, who represented the people's will and who was wrongly accused by Utusan Malaysia, and who was arrested under ISA because she was a threat to national security for the above reasons

Furthermore, Najib is hoping that Teresa's release will abate furore over the use of ISA. Now dude, why was it used at the very first place with no clear substance?? And why isnt the Utusan journalist arrested under the ISA for instigating racial tensions?? and for wrongly accusing Teresa and as a cause she was detained under ISA?

So lets see if the BN administration will fall into the trap.
At least they have their last and most lethal card left. The card which was made out of the switch between Badawi's and Najib's portfolio. At least this time, they did make some preperation. A lethal and a deadly one.

God save the country.

RPK writes from ISA detention

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Today is my eighth day of detention under the Internal Security Act (“ISA”). When I was detailed on Friday, 12th September 2008, it was supposed to be in respect of articles I wrote in Malaysia Today about our leaders, which was supposed to have confused the public and articles which insult Islam.

It was since Wednesday afternoon, that the Special Branch officers (“SB”) produced the articles and went through all those articles with me. They found that none of the articles insulted Islam.

The SB officers told me that it is not so much that my articles insult Islam but, that my style of writing is too sophisticated and thereby Malaysians who might not be of the same intellectual level as myself, could possibly misinterpret what I was trying to say and mistook which I wrote as an attempt to insult Islam. This morning, I had another session with the SB officers, and pointed out, what they told me yesterday, which is, ISA detention is about intention to commit chaos which would then be detrimental to public order. I argued that if the SB is of the opinion that the problem lies in my style of writing and how it can be misinterpreted by the public, then this would rule out any possibility of mala fide on my part when I wrote those articles.

I also told the SB officers that it appears that they are looking for something to pin on me, but thus far they have not found anything.

The Monday before my detention, my lawyers sent Syed Hamid Albar a letter of demand, demanding that he apologise for alleging that I insulted Islam. He was given three days to apologise and on Friday, the 12th of September 2008, instead of apologising, they detained me under the ISA.

I believe they are trying to buttress Syed Hamid Albar’s case by “proving” I have insulted Islam thereby justifying Syed Hamid Albar’s allegations against me as well as justifying him not apologising but ordering my detention under the ISA.

Further to that, the Government appears to be trying to get a second bite of the cherry. I am already facing one sedition charge for the article, “lets send the Altanthuya murderers to hell” plus three charges of criminal defamation. My interrogation in the hands of the SB officers is also about that article and the statutory declaration.

Assuming I win my cases in October and November, they can still hold me under the ISA. Either way I will still remain under detention; heads they win, tails I lose.

This has happened before in 2001, in the case of Ezam Mohd Noor, where he was serving both ISA detention as well as a jail sentence in the Kajang Prison for a crime under the Officials Secrets Act. If Ezam had won his habeas corpus application, he will remain in Kajang Prison and if instead he won his OSA case, he would have remained in Kamunting. Both ways, he will not see freedom.

From the way my interrogation is going, they are trying to kill two birds with one stone. First Syed Hamid would have a strong defence against the suit that I am to file against him plus they can ensure how good my lawyers may be in defending me in the sedition and criminal defamation charges, I will never see freedom anyway.

As I said, heads they win, tails I lose.

Anwar Moves Closer to the Endgame


Malaysia's 50-year-old political infrastructure is in danger of coming completely apart, with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim amping up the pressure to replace Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi unless the government goes after him with the draconian Internal Security Act, which provides for indefinite detention without trial.

Anwar, who leads the Pakatan Rakyat, or People's Alliance, demanded Thursday that Prime Minister Ahmad Abdullah Badawi convene by Tuesday an emergency session of parliament, which is now in recess for the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan, to allow a no-confidence vote against the premier.

Abdullah Badawi was weakened further Thursday when the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), which has two lawmakers in parliament, said it would quit the Barisan Nasional, or national ruling coalition. SAPP president Yong Teck Lee said the party would become independent, but attacked the government, saying that "the Barisan Nasional has lost its moral authority to rule." Yong is said to be close to Anwar ever since the latter enticed him to switch sides in Sabah state elections in 1994. The party has split with two federal lawmakers and two state legislators sticking to Yong, and another two state legislators moving to a splinter party. Yong’s Deputy disagreed with SAPP's move and resigned from SAPP

The Barisan itself has been on a downward spiral since March 8, when it lost its two-thirds majority in parliament for the first time since Malaysia became an independent country 50 years ago. Abdullah Badawi has largely been made the scapegoat, partly because he is perceived as weak leader, partly because of implacable attacks by the former prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad, and partly because of deteriorating economic fundamentals as the global economy goes into decline.

With Anwar breathing down their necks, senior leaders, including cabinet ministers, of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the largest ethnic party that helms the Barisan Nasional, held an emergency meeting of the Supreme Council at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur last night to openly call for Badawi's resignation as party president and the country's prime minister. Such a move is rare among the usually-complaisant politicians. But the editor of a popular Malay-language weekly says UMNO may be united in "hatred" for Anwar.

Within UMNO itself, said a Kuala Lumpur political observer with ties to the party, the concern about Anwar taking over could trigger the use of the ISA against him. Abdullah Badawi threatened to use the law against Anwar on Tuesday. There is considerable concern among UmNO stalwarts that if Anwar takes over, he will seek to prosecute some top officials for corruption, along with law enforcement officials who engineered his imprisonment in 1999 on sexual deviation and corruption charges.

Concern about Anwar could also cause UMNO's leaders to hold their noses and select Najib Tun Razak, the scandal-scarred deputy prime minister, to replace him although Najib is saddled by numerous allegations of corruption as well as complicity in the October 2006 death of a 28-year-old Mongolian translator who is widely believed to have been his lover before he handed her on to his best friend, Abdul Razak Baginda.

Badawi tried to neutralize his possible forcible ejection from the leadership by swapping portfolios with Najib on Wednesday. Najib is the now finance minister while Badawi is also defense minister, a position held by Najib for 14 years. Badawi told a press conference Wednesday that he could leave earlier than 2010 under his announced plan to hand the premiership to Najib.

"I will decide when I want to go. I will not be staying more than 2010," he told reporters. "If I should want to go earlier, that is flexible. That is the flexibility we have arranged. It depends on the progress of the role I am giving to Najib. Let's see what he can do."

Mahathir, who has carried on a three-year vendetta to rid the leadership of Abdullah Badawi, has issued an ultimatum to Najib to take over or be taken out along with the prime minister. If Najib takes over, however, that will be handing the leadership of UMNO back to the same people who raised popular disgust over corruption and nepotism in the party.

In addition to the possibility of being jailed under the ISA, Anwar also faces charges that he sodomized a 23-year-old aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Despite the fact that the doctor who examined Saiful found no evidence of sodomy, the government appears to be going ahead with plans to charge Anwar via a bill rushed through parliament to compel the opposition leader to give a fresh DNA sample. Anwar was a rising star in UMNO until Mahathir sacked him as deputy prime minister and finance minister purportedly over policy disputes to contain the financial crisis in 1997/98. He was then convicted and jailed for sodomy and abuse of power. However, the sodomy conviction was overturned and he was released in 2004 after serving his sentence for abuse of power. Anwar and his supporters have always claimed that the charges in 1998 were trumped-up

Anwar originally said he would overthrow the government on September 16. When that didn't happen, the non-event was derided by members of the Barisan Nasional, with the loudest voices coming from within UMNO. Anwar initially set Sept 16, the day that Malaysia was formed when Sabah and Sarawak on Borneo merged with Malaya in the peninsula, as the date that he will take over federal government, The criticisms ranged from calling Anwar an outright liar to mobile text messages joking that Anwar really meant "chairs" -- kerusi in Malay also means "seat" -- from Ikea and that the "chairs" will be delivered once parliament reconvenes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anwar Ibrahim claims takeover bid has begun

(The Earth Times) Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Monday told a crowd of more than 20,000 that his promises of toppling the government would very soon be a reality, claiming that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has already been given evidence of the impending takeover. Anwar was speaking to the throng of demonstrators who had gathered at a stadium in the central Selangor state to call for the abolishment of a draconian security law.

The crowds erupted into thunderous applause when Anwar, 61, said that his three-party opposition alliance had secured a sufficient number of parliamentary crossovers to give them a majority to form the new government.

However, Anwar said the opposition wanted a "peaceful transition" of power and would hope to work closely with embattled premier Abdullah on the handing over of the government.

September 16 would mark a "clear and concrete movement" towards a change in the government, Anwar said, but declined to elaborate further, while a party official would only say Anwar would make "some major announcements" on Tuesday.

The charismatic leader led the opposition to major gains in the country's March 8 general elections, denying the ruling coalition of a two-thirds majority in parliament and taking control of five states.

The opposition, which currently holds 82 out of the 222 parliamentary seats, claims that at least 30 government lawmakers have agreed to defect.

Monday's rally was originally held to protest the detention of an opposition lawmaker and a popular blogger under a security law which allows for indefinite detention without trial.
Police on Friday detained opposition politician Teresa Kok and anti-government blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin under the Internal Security Act (ISA), a law drafted almost 60 years ago under British colonial rule to fight a communist insurgency.

Despite the heavy evening downpour, protestors began gathering at the stadium hours before the rally was scheduled to begin.

The rally, which obtained a police permit, kicked off with prayers, marking the breaking of a day-long fast for Muslim during the holy month of Ramadan.

Under Malaysian law, any public gathering of more than five people must obtain a police permit, or be deemed an illegal gathering. Opposition gatherings and rallies have rarely, if ever, managed to get police approval.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Is Anwar about to finally enjoy the fruits of his hard labour?

We only have a few more days to see the answer to this question.

According to Malaysia Today:

Anwar already has 34 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament ‘in the bag’. The government knows this so they have sent these Members of Parliament to Taiwan for a ‘study tour’. They are supposed to all go study agriculture but they have taken their golf bags with them. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know what they are going to do in Taiwan.

While in Taiwan, the government will work on these Members of Parliament to try to persuade them to remain in Barisan Nasional and to not cross over to the opposition. The government knows that these Members of Parliament have already signed their letters and that these letters are now with Anwar. All Anwar needs to do is to present these letters to His Majesty the Agong to prove to the Agong that Abdullah Ahmad Badawi no longer commands the majority confidence in Parliament. So now they are also planning to send the Agong to Saudi Arabia to perform his Umrah. With the Agong out of the way, Anwar will not be able to present these letters to His Majesty.

Umno says there is no way Anwar can form the government on 16 September 2008, which is Malaysia Day. Never mind, they will all come home on 20 September 2008. If Anwar misses the 16 September 2008 deadline because the Members of Parliament and the Agong have all been sent away, there is still 20 September 2008. On 20 September 2008, everyone, the Agong included, will be home to see the new government being formed.

In fact, 20 September 2008 may be a better day than 16 September 2008. 20 September is Reformasi Day. 20 September is the day, in 1998, when the Reformasi Movement was born. 20 September was the day they arrested Anwar and kept him in jail for six years. 20 September was the day Malaysians decided enough is enough and a change is necessary. 20 September was the day that saw the beginning of the end for Umno and Barisan Nasional. So what more apt day to choose to form the new government than on 20 September 2008, Reformasi Day?

Hold strongly to the principle of truth

By Dr Mahathir Mohamad:

1. "Hold strongly to the principle of truth as the credibility of an institution depends on it" said Dato Seri Abdullah Badawi, the PM.

2. Does he really believe in reporting the truth or in spinning the truth?

3. When reporters met me during press conferences, I asked them why they are interviewing me when they know very well that anything I said would either be blacked out or spun so that I seem to say just the opposite of what I said.

4. The explanation they gave was that they had no control over what is printed from their reports. Privately they tell of how Kalimullah would telephone editors what to print and how to print.

5. And so when I was asked to comment on the lowering of the oil price and I said "Good for the people. We should have more by-elections so that the oil price would be lowered some more".

6. They knew I was referring to the Permatang Pauh election, which was, then in progress. The lowered price was supposed to win votes. I don't think it did.

7. But the papers only reported that I said the lowering of the oil price was good for the people. Where is the truth?

8. I know for a fact that criticisms of the Government or of Dato Seri Abdullah, his state of denial, which I commented often enough, had never been printed. But many others complained that if they say anything against Dato Seri Abdullah or something that may sound like supporting me it would not be printed.

9. I called a press conference to speak about Blair, the war criminal's visit, and nothing appeared in the media. I had to put my statement on my blog.

10. Announcements made by UMNO members who had resigned from the party are also not printed. Any adverse comments against the Government would never see daylight.

11. When he assumed the office of Prime Minister in 2003, Abdullah promised to be transparent. But immediately editors were removed and Abdullah's own editors from Singapore were installed in the New Straits Times.

12. Kalimullah controls all the papers including those owned by the MCA.

13. Many senior journalists of the New Straits Times and Utusan have been retired or have left. The papers and the TV have become propaganda machines for the Government of Abdullah Badawi. During the March 2008 Elections the Government-owned TV openly campaigned for the Barisan Nasional.

14. What is the result? The circulation of the NST has decreased and so have the viewers of Government TV stations. Even the non-Government stations have no freedom to report the truth except when they put the Abdullah Government in good light.

15. People are turning to the blogs to learn about what is happening to the country. The Government, as admitted by the Minister of Home Affairs and denied by another Minister, has blocked one blogger. All the undertakings of the Government not to censor the internet have been disregarded.

16. And yet the PM has the audacity to ask the media to "hold strongly to the principle of truth". What truth?

Friday, September 12, 2008

ISA for RPK and show-cause letters to three newspapers while 3-year Umno suspension for Ahmad Ismail – is this the Abdullah justice and rule of law?

ISA for RPK and show-cause letters to three newspapers while 3-year Umno suspension for Ahmad Ismail – is this the Abdullah justice and rule of law?

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