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Is Malaysia’s monarchy ‘above politics’? — Pak Sako Is Malaysia’s monarchy ‘above politics’? — Pak Sako http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2013/02/is-malaysias-monarchy-above-politics_1.html

Is Malaysia’s monarchy ‘above politics’? — Pak Sako

Is Malaysia’s monarchy ‘above politics’? — Pak Sako

February 01, 2013

FEB 1 — Speaking at the launch of a book on the Malaysian monarchy, Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the Malay Rulers “are above politics” (see “Najib: Constitutional monarchy fosters stability, prosperity”, The Malaysian Insider, January 30, 2013).

He said that the Malaysian monarchy “provides a solid foundation” for turning Malaysia into a high-income nation.

To be above politics means to not interfere in the political workings of the country and to take no sides in party politics.

To act as a foundation to the economy so that Malaysian citizens enjoy high incomes means abstaining from and disapproving the undemocratic use of the public’s wealth and resources.

So is the prime minister’s statement about the Malaysian monarchy true?

The evidence paints a different story.

A Negri Sembilan prince clarified that the royalty have and do participate in party politics and gave five examples (see “Response to statements by Tunku Aziz and Anthony Loke”, The Malaysian Insider, January 29, 2013).

In his biography of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, “Malaysian Maverick” (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009), Barry Wain speaks about how the Sultans of the nine states had “sometimes played politics, leveraged their positions for financial gain and indulged in fairytale-like extravagance at the public expense”. Although the Sultans were “not meant to engage in commerce, they were actually so deeply involved that they were resented by the business community”.

Roger Kershaw’s “Monarchy in South-East Asia” (Routledge, 2001) states that “in return for secure wealth and status”, the Malaysian monarchy gives the ruling Malay elite a “more traditional kind of legitimacy” by proxy, in what is said to be an “important but unwritten ‘social contract’“ in contemporary Malaysia.

On this political relationship, Associate Professor Azlan Tajuddin in “Malaysia in the World Economy (1824-2011)” (Lexington Press, 2012) claims that when the constitutional article on royal immunity in 1993 was removed, “the real aim” of the government of seeking “full control of the monarchy” was “to ensure that the Malay royalty continued to serve a political function in preserving Malay electoral support for Umno”. The author says it should not be surprising “to find some of the Sultans publicly generating support for Umno or admonishing those who have been critical of the party”.

He explains: “For the royals, the reward for subservience to the party [Umno] would also sustain continued enjoyment of unsurpassed advantages... Several members of the Malay royalty... have found their way into Umno’s circle of crony entrepreneurs... Many royally-run businesses have resulted in numerous bankruptcies... [but] as long as the Malay Rulers remained staunch Umno supporters, they would be assured their businesses stayed operational and are given access to lucrative commercial ventures.”

Fadzilah Majid Cooke’s “The Challenge of Sustainable Forests: Forest Resource Policy in Malaysia, 1970-1995” (Allen & Unwin, 1999) notes that between 1987 and 1990 alone, the Pahang royal family was awarded logging concession licences totalling 18,723.82 hectares (or 187 square kilometres) of forest.

In illustrating the “growing economic nexus in the Ruler-executive relations in virtually every Malay state”, Kershaw links the “[Pahang] Sultan[’s] eager taste for timber concessions” to “being ‘genuinely’ consulted... over the appointment of chief ministers” and the need for a “malleable” chief minister to expedite or bend rules in the “processing of land alienation at preferential rates”.

Azlan Tajuddin claims that “[in] 1981, the Sultan of Pahang and some members of his family had allegedly gambled away massive amounts of taxpayer money within days of an outing at an overseas casino. When the state government refused to settle the debt, the state’s chief minister, Rahim Bakar, was forced to resign from office. Umno resolved the issue by... replacing the minister with a more amenable candidate, who expeditiously helped in clearing the Sultan’s gambling dues. In return, the Sultan has remained a strong and loyal advocate of Umno, especially during elections”.

Azlan Tajuddin supplies another example: The Sultan of Perak’s eldest daughter Eleena is “a major controlling shareholder of Gamuda, an Umno-linked construction company... [and] among Malaysia’s top 40 millionaires in 2011”. He adds that “[t]his has provided reasonable grounds for Malaysians to speculate on the connection between the Sultan of Perak’s family fortunes” and the dislodgement of Pakatan Rakyat’s state government headed by ex-mentri besar Nizar Jamaluddin.

According to The Economist (May 2, 2009), Nizar “had been removed, not as is usual in parliamentary systems, by his elected peers but by the Perak Sultan”, Azlan Shah, “ignoring an appeal from [Nizar] to dissolve the House”. The outcome favoured Umno.

These pieces of information indicate a long-standing royal-political-business collusion.

If these academic sources are correct, it means that the Malaysian monarchs are not “above politics” in spite of appearances, and that the monarchy’s impact on the public’s economic welfare and rights is questionable. — cpiasia.net

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.



















































Is our monarchy above politics?

February 1, 2013

The writer cites academic sources to show that the Malaysian monarchs are not actually “above politics” in spite of appearances.

COMMENT

By Pak Sako

Speaking at the launch of a book on the Malaysian monarchy yesterday, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said that the Malay Rulers “are above politics”.

He said that the Malaysian monarchy “provides a solid foundation” for turning Malaysia into a high-income nation.

To be above politics means to not interfere in the political workings of the country and to take no sides in party politics.

To act as a foundation to the economy so that Malaysian citizens enjoy high incomes means abstaining from and disapproving the undemocratic use of the public’s wealth and resources.

So is the prime minister’s statement about the Malaysian monarchy true?

The evidence paints a different story.

A Negeri Sembilan prince clarified that the royalty have and do participate in party politics and gave five examples.

In his biography of Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysian Maverick (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009), Barry Wain speaks about how the sultans of the nine states had “sometimes played politics, leveraged their positions for financial gain and indulged in fairytale-like extravagance at the public expense”.

Although the sultans were “not meant to engage in commerce, they were actually so deeply involved that they were resented by the business community”.

Roger Kershaw’s Monarchy in South-East Asia (Routledge, 2001) states that “in return for secure wealth and status”, the Malaysian monarchy gives the ruling Malay elite a “traditional kind of legitimacy” by proxy, in what is said to be an “important but unwritten ‘social contract’” in contemporary Malaysia.

On this political relationship, associate professor Azlan Tajuddin in Malaysia in the World Economy (1824-2011) (Lexington Press, 2012) claims that when the constitutional article on royal immunity in 1993 was removed, “the real aim” of the government of seeking “full control of the monarchy” was “to ensure that the Malay royalty continued to serve a political function in preserving Malay electoral support for Umno”.

The author says it should not be surprising “to find some of the sultans publicly generating support for Umno or admonishing those who have been critical of the party”.

He explains: “For the royals, the reward for subservience to the party [Umno] would also sustain continued enjoyment of unsurpassed advantages… Several members of the the Malay royalty… have found their way into Umno’s circle of crony entrepreneurs… Many royally-run businesses have resulted in numerous bankruptcies… [but] as long as the Malay rulers remained staunch Umno supporters, they would be assured their businesses stayed operational and are given access to lucrative commercial ventures”.

Royal-political-business collusion

Fadzilah Majid Cooke’s The Challenge of Sustainable Forests: Forest Resource Policy in Malaysia, 1970-1995 (Allen & Unwin, 1999) notes that between 1987 and 1990 alone, the Pahang royal family was awarded logging concession licenses totalling 18,723.82 hectares (or 187 square kilometres) of forest.

In illustrating the “growing economic nexus in the ruler-executive relations in virtually every Malay State”, Kershaw links the “[Pahang] Sultan['s] eager taste for timber concessions” to “being ‘genuinely’ consulted… over the appointment of Chief Ministers” and the need for a “malleable” Chief Minister to expedite or bend rules in the “processing of land alienation at preferential rates”.

Tajuddin claims that “[i]n 1981, the Sultan of Pahang and some members of his family had allegedly gambled away massive amounts of taxpayer money within days of an outing at an overseas casino.

When the state government refused to settle the debt, the state’s chief minister, Rahim Bakar, was forced to resign from office. Umno resolved the issue by… replacing the minister with a more amenable candidate, who expeditiously helped in clearing the sultan’s gambling dues. In return, the sultan has remained a strong and loyal advocate of Umno, especially during elections”.

Tajuddin supplies another example: The Sultan of Perak’s eldest daughter Eleena is “a major controlling shareholder of Gamuda, an Umno-linked construction company… [and] among Malaysia’s top 40 millionaires in 2011”.

He adds that “[t]his has provided reasonable grounds for Malaysians to speculate on the connection between the Sultan of Perak’s family fortunes” and the dislodgement of Pakatan Rakyat’s state government headed by ex-chief minister Nizar Jamaluddin.

According to The Economist (May 2, 2009), Nizar “had been removed, not as is usual in parliamentary systems, by his elected peers but by the Perak sultan”, Azlan Shah, “ignoring an appeal from [Nizar] to dissolve the house”. The outcome favoured Umno.

These pieces of information indicate a long-standing royal-political-business collusion.

If these academic sources are correct, it means that the Malaysian monarchs are not “above politics” in spite of appearances, and that the monarchy’s impact on the public’s economic welfare and rights is questionable.

This article first appeared in the CPI website.







































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Najib will ‘override all laws’ if Umno loses

Awang Abdillah
January 24, 2012

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and Umno have been reminded that Article 150 of the Federal Constitution empowers only the King to proclaim a state of emergency.

COMMENT

If Umno loses in the 13th general election, Barisan Nasional chairman Najib Tun Razak may be left with one option, override all rules of the game and declare a state of emergency in accordance with Article 150 of the federal constitution to prevent the surrender of the political power to his adversaries.

Although it is hardly considered proper.

A government can only declare a state of emergency if there exists a genuine large scale threat to our national democratic political system, the state security, the country’s economic and financial system, public order and peace, racial harmony, the country’s transport and communications system and the likes such as from imminent attacks by saboteurs, destruction from natural calamities, people’s uprising, foreign military threats and war.

The political power of a party or that of an individual leader being under threat by their political opponents does not justify the declaration of an emergency.

Proclamation of state of emergency is a very serious matter because the declaration itself is an overriding law which superceedes all other laws of the country.

Such kind of declaration will give the Prime Minister absolute power to deal with the threatening situation.

As a rule, during such situation, the security forces are given more power to help bring the situation back to ‘normal’.

It should be the last option when all other means have failed.

One of the casualties that bear the brunt of this operation is definitely the 13th general election!

Under such circumstances , democracy is as good as dead .



King must consent

As I have mentioned earlier there are three branches of a government – the executive, parliament (legislature) and judiciary.

Though they have independent functions the executive is answerable to the parliament.

This is confirmed by Article 43 1 (3) which states that the cabinet is collectively responsible to the parliament. This proves that the legislature is the supreme authority in the country .

If the executive government cannot handle the threats to the nation as mentioned, then the PM must refer to the parliament first for approval to declare the state of emergency before bringing it to the attention of the King in accordance to Article 44.

Article 44 states that the legislative authority of the federation shall be vested in a parliament which means all laws must go through the legislature for approval including the declaration of state of emergency.

Hence the proclamation of state of emergency must go through the parliament who would either approve or otherwise, and then referred to the King for his consent in accordance with Article 150 which empowers only the King to proclaim a state of emergency.

This Article does not mention the right of the PM to even advise the King on the matter. That right is the sole prerogative of the Agong.

This is a third form of the check-and balance system of parliamentary democracy vis-a-vis constitutional monarchy.





No government after parliament dissolved

However once the parliament is dissolved giving way to the 13th GE there is technically no executive government existing.

This is to the advantage of Najib who thinks he can use his caretaker role to declare a state of emergency and to pressure the King to get his consent.

Even so, the PM still cannot force the King to agree if the latter finds there is no real need for a state of emergency.

Article 39 states that the executive power of the federation is vested in the King .

As head of state and federation, the King has every right to call for the parliament to convene and put to vote as to the need to declare a state of emergency, but in the absence of the parliament (if dissolved to give way for election) he can still decide on his own whether to give consent or reject it.

This special power of the Agong is to ensure the PM does not abuse the power of the executive.

If the King decides to reject the declaration, then it becomes null and void.



March to palace, if you must

Umno must not forget that our political system is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy where the parliament is the supreme body and the position of the King is the head of the federation and state, both having powers in their own right.

As the 13th GE gets underway, Najib may use the security laws to arrest a number of the Pakatan Rakyat candidates.

The number of arrests will more than tally with the expected number of seats the Pakatan will likely win by a majority.

Say if the Pakatan wins by a majority of 10 seats then Najib will swoop on the leaders numbering more than 10 persons to prevent them forming a majority government .

If the candidates who win cannot attend the special parliament sitting then their absentee votes cannot be counted for the purpose of formation of government especially if the process of electing the PM has to go through the parliament according to Article 43 of the federal constitution.

To prevent any uprising and consequential arrests, Najib may then apply the provision of Article 150 to declare a state of emergency.

However if Najib still thinks he has the right to pressure the King to agree, then the opposition should march to the Istana to call for the King to reject such unlawful act.

Awang Abdillah is a political observer and a veteran writer in Sarawak. He is an FMT columnist.

















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Perak’s 3-hour assembly history: Pakatan livid

Humayun Kabir
September 25, 2012

According to Perak DAP, the assembly sitting of three hours is the 'shortest in the history of Perak'.

IPOH: Pakatan Rakyat elected representatives are furious that the state Barisan Nasional government has treated today’s State Legislative Assembly three-hour sitting as a mere rubber-stamping exercise to satisfy the legal requirement of a six-month duration for the house to sit in.

Article 10 of the Standing Orders of the Perak State Legislative Assembly states that there shall be a meeting of the assembly once at least in every six months.

Former menteri besar and state Pakatan chief Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin said: “BN is only interested in fulfilling the six-month legal requirement by mere rubber stamping but does not want to address the problems faced by Perakians.”

Nizar told FMT today that such a cosmetic exercise was a waste of taxpayers’ money as the people’s grievances and problems remained unresolved.

He said that BN was selfish in only ensuring its rule of the state was not broken and did not seem to be serving the interests of the people who had elected it to office.

Nizar had asked the BN assembly Speaker R Ganesan to extend the duration of the assembly to another three days as major issues concerning the welfare of the people had to be addressed urgently, but his request was rejected.

Nizar said during the one-hour oral question session, only six of Pakatan’s questions were answered.

Also the motion by former Pakatan assembly speaker V Sivakumar to pass the anti-hopping law in Perak was overruled by the majority of BN elected representatives.

Only six questions answered



State DAP vice-chief A Sivanesan said: “This assembly sitting of three hours is the shortest in the history of Perak.

“We had submitted 153 questions but only six questions were answered.”

He claimed that BN was afraid to extend the sitting for three days as it will be facing a lot of unpleasant questioning by the Pakatan representatives.

“This short session is a major blow to the 2.7 million voters in Perak who had expected good governance from BN,” he said.

When contacted, Ganesan denied all the allegations but agreed that the sitting was held to satisfy the legal requirement of six months’ duration.

However, he denied that the one-hour allocated time for oral questions was too short but that it was the standard procedure.

Ganesan said there were only two agendas in today’s sitting.

“One was the passing of the Perak Civil Service Amendment Bill and the other was the motion by Sivakumar for the anti-hopping law,” Ganesan clarified.

The MIC state deputy chief pointed out that it was not possible to pass the anti-hopping law at state level as it has to be first approved at federal level by Parliament.























Raja Eleena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

















Malaysia's Richest

#33 Eleena Azlan Shah



Net Worth $195 million Source of Wealth infrastructure

Age 50 Marital Status Married, 2 children



A practicing lawyer, she's the daughter of the reigning Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. Royal family holds 7% of Gamuda, recently chosen along with MMC (see No. 8) to manage Malaysia's largest infrastructure project, an $11.5 billion mass-transit rail project in Kuala Lumpur.









































Perak, PR, BN and Gamuda - It's all about business, stupid!

Dubai is probably the best yardstick to measure the economy of the Gulf region; at least Dubai was the most prosperous city within the region. People might not know where Oman is but they can’t miss Dubai. For years people have been flocking to this city hunting for their first pot of gold. As with the normal cycle property market was booming with tons of first-time speculators snapping up properties as if they were buying tiramisu cakes. Money was stretched to the limit in order to buy maximum number of properties possible. These properties would then be rented out without much problem, thanks to the booming economy, and thus generating positive cash-flow. It was a no-brainer method to generate wealth until now.

Now that the property bubble has burst, thanks to global economy recession, these novice speculators are selling their once-cash-cow to anybody at fire-sale discount. Effectively most of Malaysian construction companies were crying as projects agreed got hold or cancelled. Gamuda Berhad (KLSE: GAMUDA, stock-code 5398), the country’s largest construction and engineering with interests in construction, water, toll and property development is feeling the heat (7% of Gamuda’s outstanding order book comes from the Gulf region) after the WCT Berhad and Meydan LCC joint venture to build a RM4.6 billion race-course in Dubai was cancelled. Gamuda generated investors’ interest recently when the founder and Managing Director Lin Yun Ling cashed-out early 2008 sending the stock price to the south.



http://www.gamuda.com.my/directors.html







Another interesting fact about Gamuda – the largest shareholder is also the second richest woman on the 2008 Forbes 40 Richest Malaysians at #35 spot. She is Raja Datuk Seri Eleena Raja Azlan Shah, the daughter of the Sultan of Perak, Raja Azlan Shah. She was worth RM773 Million ($228 Million) at #25 spot in 2007’s 40 Richest Malaysians but this figure dropped to RM510 Million ($150 Million) in 2008 at #35 spot. Based on today’s stock price of RM1.91 a share her fortune is only at RM287.46 million based on her remaining stake of 7.5% in Gamuda via Generasi Setia (M) Sdn Berhad. Naturally when his father refused to dissolve the state assembly for a fresh election various rumors and speculations began its circulation.

Malaysian politics is perhaps the dirtiest but you can’t blame the public to have a perception that the federal government was twisting the arms of the Sultan (silly assumption, is it not?). However on the business perspective you do not need to wake Einstein up from his grave to tell you that Gamuda is basically at the mercy of the Federal government. With water taps closed by the federal government to three of the most developed states, Selangor, Perak and Penang, Gamuda is screaming for projects. Certainly the nation has the money. In fact the country is flushed with more money than before the Mar 2008 general election simply because the federal government does not know where to pump the money to since the most developed states such as Selangor, Perak (was) and Penang are controlled by opposition parties.

PM-in-waiting Najib Razak is set to take over the premiership end of Mar 2009 so expect more goodies and good news (lower electricity tariff soon?). The first RM7 billion stimulus package may have been “well spent” into certain pockets already. Najib’s mentor, former dictator Mahathir, has hinted that the second stimulus package should be about RM35 billion or 5% of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) so you can expect the figure to be announced by Najib. Whether this whopping RM35 billion will go into stock market or projects everyone is drooling for a piece of the cake – including Gamuda. Hmm, Najib may be right after all that the country may not enter recession. So, is it good time to accumulate some Gamuda shares *grin*?

Anyway let’s imagine (it’s Friday dude) a conspiracy theory and this Perak crisis is just the tip of an iceberg. Let’s assume Anwar has the number to take over the federal government but at the same time he’s also aware that to do so could backfire badly. He needs to start the ball-rolling and he announced about the defection, 916 and so forth. After Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu, he knew Najib is desperate for trophies so the plot was to sacrifice Perak. He accepted the bait (was it?) offered by Najib with this fella Nasarudin. A good strategy to test water (effect of defections) and to flush out traitors within PKR, Perak has to fall to BN. Now Najib has gotten Perak State as the trophy to show off during the coming UMNO election and claimed it was Anwar who started the defection plan and he simply finished it. The next episode will see that Anwar will snatch the federal government with the readied defectors while screaming “Najib started the battle so I’m just finishing the war”. What a wet dream!









http://www.gamuda.com.my/directors.html































Malaysia's Richest

#33 Eleena Azlan Shah



Net Worth $195 million Source of Wealth infrastructure

Age 50 Marital Status Married, 2 children



A practicing lawyer, she's the daughter of the reigning Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak. Royal family holds 7% of Gamuda, recently chosen along with MMC (see No. 8) to manage Malaysia's largest infrastructure project, an $11.5 billion mass-transit rail project in Kuala Lumpur.



































Raja Eleena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia















































Fairy-tale rise of Perak's princess in Malaysia's corporate world

Little is known about her as she is elusive and rarely grants interviews to the press. She is a businesswoman, a lawyer and a princess and her credentials and curriculum vitae are impressive. She is Raja Eleena binti Sultan Azlan Shah and recently, Malaysia’s Prime minister Najib Abdul Razak appointed her company as the joint venture partner for the Mass Rail Transit (MRT) project which is worth RM 36 billion.



Raja Eleena is the fourth child of the current ruler of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah. She was born on April 3, 1960 and obtained her Law degree from the University of London.



Upon returning to Malaysia, she joined Messrs Skrine & Co and was called to the Malaysian Bar in 1986. Her impressive performance in the legal world meant that by 1987, she was able to set-up her own legal practice Messrs Raja Eleena, Siew Ang & Associates in 1987 of which she is currently a senior partner.



Her royal pedigree is just as impressive, and her common touch is endearing to all. Her mother is from Penang and was the first commoner to be installed as Raja Permaisuri Agong of Malaysia. Her paternal grandmother, Toh Puan Dewangsa Khadijah binti Ahmad, was the commoner wife (later divorced) of Sultan Yusuff Issuddin Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Jalil Nasruddin Makhtaram Shah who reigned from 1948 – 1963. Her grandmother had the bright insight to raise her son, Azlan Shah outside of the royal circle, to increase his exposure and experience of life.



A few years after her return to Malaysia, Raja Eleena’s sharp legal mind and her enterprising professionalism, meant that the corporate world would soon come knocking on her door.



On 1 June 1992, Raja Eleena was appointed to the Board of Gamuda, the country’s largest construction and engineering conglomerate, with interests in construction, water, toll and property development.



On hand to advise her on the intricacies of the engineering world, was her uncle, Kamarul Zaman bin Mohd Ali, an Executive Director of Gamuda Bhd. He too was admitted to the board, on 1 June, 1992.



Kamarul has been actively involved in overseeing Gamuda Bhd's quarry operations and related business requirements. He also serves as an Executive Director of G.B. Kuari Sdn Bhd, a subsidiary of Gamuda Berhad.



Raja Eleena’s broad spectrum of knowledge meant that other companies also expressed interest in utilising her wealth of experience. She is also a Director and major shareholder of Generasi Setia (M) Sdn Bhd, another major shareholder of Gamuda. Her other directorships are in public companies KAF-Seagroatt & Campbell Holdings Berhad and Danau Permai Resort Berhad.



Raja Eleena does not just have the common touch, but she also possesses the Midas touch.



In 2008, Raja Eleena was named as 2008 Forbes 40 Richest Malaysians 25th richest in the country with assets worth over US$228 million (RM 773 million). She was the list’s second richest woman in Malaysia after Chong Chook Yew who occupies the 18th place, with US$320 million (RM 1.085 billion). Her wealth comes from her being the largest individual shareholder in construction firm Gamuda.



At one of the Institut Teknologi Perak’s convocation ceremony in Ipoh, Raja Eleena told the graduates that they had to be dynamic and realistic to compete in a world without borders.



She said that competition no longer came from one’s own colleagues or neighbours but from others globally.



“In such a race, there are no compromises for those who are distracted and careless. You must compete with responsibility, without having to sacrifice your honour (maruah) and self worth.”



“Hold fast to your values in everything you do. Don’t waste your learning and knowledge by allowing your pride, values and self-worth to be traded away,” she said.



But that was another era, in May 2008, when she officiated at the college’s ceremony in her capacity as Chairman. Also in attendance then, was the Perak Mentri Besar, Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin who presented the 274 graduates with their diplomas and certificates. - Mariam Mokhtar































Raja Eleena

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia





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RPK: For God, King and Racism

Mariam Mokhtar
February 1, 2013

Malaysia Today editor blasts Umno for its distorted version of the country's history and debunks its claim of having fought for independence

CAMBRIDGE: Raja Petra Kamarudin debunked Umno’s version of Malaysian history and detailed Tunku Abdul Rahman’s sorrow at the destruction of his vision of a multiracial Malaysia, when he spoke at Cambridge University South East Asia Forum (CUSEAF), first Lent term event on Wednesday evening.

Within a stone’s throw of the Tunku’s alma mater, St Catherine’s College Cambridge, Raja Petra told the audience of 90 people, comprising mainly students in their 20s that, “the Tunku used to say he was the happiest PM in the world, but in a later interview, said, ‘I wish I had died earlier…living to this age and seeing my fellow Malayans killing one another. It saddens me. This is not what I planned for my country.’”

According to the Malaysia Today editor, the Tunku died a heartbroken man and neither spoke to, nor forgave the person whom he blamed as the architect of the mess – Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He drew a sharp contrast between the rallying call of “God, King and Country” used during the English Civil War, with Malaysia’s version, which encompasses Ketuanan Melayu, “God, King and Racism”.

Charting the birth of the nation and the route taken, as well as the real fighters for Merdeka, he criticised the version of history being taught in Malaysian schools which he called Umno propaganda, and lamented the lack of works by original historians like Swettenham, Wilkinson, or Winstedt.

“In our schools, the history of Malaya starts in 1946. This is when Umno was born. Umno also claimed to have fought for independence from the British.”

Raja Petra rubbished Umno’s claims that they had fought for independence.

“Umno did not fight anybody. The real fight started in 1941 when the Malay nationalists got together, Pak Sako, Mustapha Hussain and Ibrahim Yaacob. We also had Chinese nationalists like Chin Peng who wanted to fight for the independence of Malaya.

“The fact that he was a communist is secondary. Ibrahim Yaacob was a socialist. Shamsiah Fakeh, a communist. Pak Sako, who is today celebrated as one of the greatest Malay writers, was a socialist.”

He recommended that the audience to read, “The Memoirs of Mustapha Hussain: 1910 to 1957: Malay nationalism before Umno” which details the journey of nationalism before the formation of Umno and how the Malay nationalists supported the Japanese to free the country from western imperialism.

Umno formed to resist Malayan Union

To a stunned audience, Raja Petra claimed that the Malay nationalists and the Japanese had decided that the date for Merdeka would be Aug 17, 1945. This failed to materialise because of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the eventual Japanese surrender on Aug 15, 1945.

After WWII, he said that the British decided to educate the Malayans, in Britain, to groom them for independence. A bankrupted Britain needed to protect her economic interests in Malaya to help their country recover. The British also introduced the Malayan Union, in which the powers of the sultans would be reduced, thus diminishing the powers of the Malays.

“In 1946, Umno was formed not to fight for Merdeka but to resist the Malayan Union,” said Raja Petra.

During the negotiations for Merdeka, the British wanted the Malays to persuade the non-Malays to join forces with them. “There was a trade off and so all non-Malays who happened to be in the country, were made citizens. The notion of “Pendatangs” stopped at the time of Merdeka. Merdeka was given to Malaya in 1957, for the Alliance party to administer, and not to Umno.”

“With the new parliamentary set-up in 1959, the politicians started to mess things up. From 1959 to 1969, they played up various issues. One of the guilty people was Dr Mahathir, the author of ‘The Malay Dilemma’.”

Raja Petra blasted the propaganda aimed at the Tunku during May 13, the increase of religious intolerance, the resurgence of racism and talk of “pendatangs”. He did not spare parties like PAS which felt that Malaysia was “not religious enough”.

“Tunku felt that the country was messed up by Umno politicians who played politics using race and religion”.

Reading an excerpt from the book he had earlier recommended, he said, “Mustapha was humiliated and labeled as “the Malay who brought the Japanese into Malaya” because he was negotiating with the Japanese for independence.

“Although Mustapha was already negotiating for Merdeka in 1945, Umno claimed that negotiations for Merdeka only took place in 1957. The 12 year difference is crucial.

“If Umno were to recognise that people like Mustapha Hussain, Pak Sako, Ibrahim Yaacob, as the real “pejuang Merdeka” or fighters for Merdeka, then Umno’s legitimacy is gone.

“Umno cannot then claim they are the fighters of Merdeka anymore. They cannot then explain the history they have presented us, which is that Umno was formed in 1946 to fight for Merdeka. None of that happened.”

BN and Opposition no different

Raja Petra said that certain people in Umno feared the Tunku’s vision of Malaya; a more multiracial and less Islamic Malaya, and so they plotted to make the country more radical and ultra-religious. Their plans started in 1959, and they plotted continuously until the eruption of violence in 1969.

He regretted the entry of the “Young Turks” who grabbed power in 1969, which signaled the beginning of the end, for national unity. He said that from then on, both sides of the political fence played the 3Rs (race, religion, royalty), ketuanan Melayu, the NEP, Article 153 and continued the British policy of divide and rule.

He also blasted both BN and the Opposition and said that they are no different from each other in their use of the 3Rs.

“There is a limit to the amount of insults and taunting, that people can tolerate before they retaliate, but politicians do not care. Pakatan wants to win at all costs, whilst BN wants to hold onto government. At all costs means even if we have to suffer a tragedy.”

He posed the question, “Do you want these sorts of people to lead the country? The same people who do not care if they turn KL into another Beirut?”

He detailed the events leading up to May 13, 1969, which he feared were being repeated today.

“How do we stop the politicians from using the 3Rs? Tell them we will not vote for either one of them. That is why we need a strong third force. We need to set the political tempo.

“I’m not pro BN or pro Pakatan. Neither can be trusted. We must not become the tool of the politicians. It is they, who should be our tool.

“We cannot get away from the race element in Malaysian politics and that means we cannot escape being manipulated.

“BN will win because they have the 3R formula. Pakatan have no counter offer to BN’s 3Rs.

“When Umno was closed in 1987, and Umno Baru was formed, the Tunku and Hussein Onn refused to join Umno Baru. I suspect that if Tun Razak, the father of the current Prime minister, had been alive, he too might have refused to join Umno Baru.

“When the Father of Merdeka and a previous prime minister cannot accept Umno Baru because of its new culture, what does that say about Umno? “It does not say much, does it?”























Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's First and Greatest Prime Minister















The happiest PM in the world









































TIME FOR THE MALAYSIAN ROYALS TO MAKE THEIR STAND







The Malay Rulers can choose to be like the Three Monkeys above where they SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL & HEAR NO EVIL when it concerns BN/Umno or be on the side of the RAKYAT. The CHOICE is theirs.



By Admin



The moment of TRUTH has arrived for the Malaysian Monarchy. The Malay Rulers must make their stand now whether they are on the side of the Rakyat (People) or that of the Satanic BN/Umno Regime of Najib Razak. It is hard to believe that the Royalty are oblivious to what is happening to the country whether it is about deaths in Police custody, demolition of non Muslim places of worship, threats to burn the Bible, murder cover ups, election fraud by the Election Commission, foreigners been given Citizenship in return for voting BN/Umno, financial scandals by the BN/Umno Regime, the continued persecution of non Muslim Malaysian's by the JAKIM and the State Religious Councils, the continued existence of extremists organizations such as PERKASA, PEKIDA, GPMS etc..



The Royalty can't just say that they are above politics when you have idiotic decrees from the likes of the Sultan of Selangor on the Allah issue. The Malay Royals must realize that 40% of their subjects are non Muslims. The Royals must be reminded that they are ruling at the pleasure of the Rakyat and not the other way around. The Malay Rulers can't pretend to SEE NO EVIL, SPEAK NO EVIL & HEAR NO EVIL!



The following article from the MALAYSIA CHRONICLE sums it up:



Speaking at the launch of a book on the Malaysian monarchy, Malaysian prime minister Najib bin Razak said that the Malay Rulers “are above politics” (see ‘Najib: Constitutional monarchy fosters stability, prosperity ’, The Malaysian Insider, 30 Jan 2013).





He said that the Malaysian monarchy “provides a solid foundation” for turning Malaysia into a high-income nation.



To be above politics means to not interfere in the political workings of the country and to take no sides in party politics.



To act as a foundation to the economy so that Malaysian citizens enjoy high incomes means abstaining from and disapproving the undemocratic use of the public's wealth and resources.



So is the prime minister's statement about the Malaysian monarchy true?



The evidence paints a different story.



A Negri Sembilan prince clarified that the royalty have and do participate in party politics and gave five examples (see ‘ Response to statements by Tunku Aziz and Anthony Loke ’, The Malaysian Insider, 29 Jan 2013).



In his biography of Mahathir Mohamad, Malaysian Maverick (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2009), Barry Wain speaks about how the sultans of the nine states had “sometimes played politics, leveraged their positions for financial gain and indulged in fairytale-like extravagance at the public expense”. Although the sultans were “not meant to engage in commerce, they were actually so deeply involved that they were resented by the business community”.



Roger Kershaw's Monarchy in South-East Asia (Routledge, 2001) states that “in return for secure wealth and status”, the Malaysian monarchy gives the ruling Malay elite a "more traditional kind of legitimacy” by proxy, in what is said to be an “important but unwritten 'social contract'” in contemporary Malaysia.



On this political relationship, associate professor Azlan Tajuddin in Malaysia in the World Economy (1824-2011) (Lexington Press, 2012) claims that when the constitutional article on royal immunity in 1993 was removed, “the real aim” of the government of seeking “full control of the monarchy" was “to ensure that the Malay royalty continued to serve a political function in preserving Malay electoral support for UMNO”. The author says it should not be surprising “to find some of the sultans publicly generating support for UMNO or admonishing those who have been critical of the party”.



He explains: “For the royals, the reward for subservience to the party [UMNO] would also sustain continued enjoyment of unsurpassed advantages... Several members of the the Malay royalty... have found their way into UMNO's circle of crony entrepreneurs... Many royally-run businesses have resulted in numerous bankruptcies... [but] as long as the Malay rulers remained staunch UMNO supporters, they would be assured their businesses stayed operational and are given access to lucrative commercial ventures”.



Fadzilah Majid Cooke's The Challenge of Sustainable Forests: Forest Resource Policy in Malaysia, 1970-1995(Allen & Unwin, 1999) notes that between 1987 and 1990 alone, the Pahang royal family was awarded logging concession licenses totalling 18,723.82 hectares (or 187 square kilometres) of forest.



In illustrating the “growing economic nexus in the ruler-executive relations in virtually every Malay State”, Kershaw links the “[Pahang] Sultan['s] eager taste for timber concessions” to “being 'genuinely' consulted... over the appointment of Chief Ministers” and the need for a “malleable” Chief Minister to expedite or bend rules in the “processing of land alienation at preferential rates”.



Tajuddin claims that “[i]n 1981, the Sultan of Pahang and some members of his family had allegedly gambled away massive amounts of taxpayer money within days of an outing at an overseas casino. When the state government refused to settle the debt, the state's chief minister, Rahim Bakar, was forced to resign from office. UMNO resolved the issue by... replacing the minister with a more amenable candidate, who expeditiously helped in clearing the sultan's gambling dues. In return, the sultan has remained a strong and loyal advocate of UMNO, especially during elections”.



Tajuddin supplies another example: The Sultan of Perak's eldest daughter Eleena is “a major controlling shareholder of Gamuda, an UMNO-linked construction company... [and] among Malaysia's top 40 millionaires in 2011”. He adds that “[t]his has provided reasonable grounds for Malaysians to speculate on the connection between the Sultan of Perak's family fortunes” and the dislodgement of Pakatan Rakyat's state government headed by ex-chief minister Nizar Jamaluddin.



According to The Economist (2 May 2009), Nizar "had been removed, not as is usual in parliamentary systems, by his elected peers but by the Perak sultan", Azlan Shah, "ignoring an appeal from [Nizar] to dissolve the house". The outcome favoured UMNO.



These pieces of information indicate a long-standing royal-political-business collusion.



If these academic sources are correct, it means that the Malaysian monarchs are not “above politics” in spite of appearances, and that the monarchy's impact on the public's economic welfare and rights is questionable.



SOURCE:

Is Malaysia's monarchy “above politics”?

























Posted by Baru My at 3:12 AM                                                                                                  

MAY DAY FOR JUSTICE (revisited yet again)

Saturday, April 5, 2014MAY DAY FOR JUSTICE (revisited yet again)

MAY DAY FOR JUSTICE (revisited yet again)











Dr "Octopus" Mahathir Mohammad, Prime Minister of Malaysia (1981-2003)





WHAT TDM (THAT DESTRUCTIVE MAMAK) DID TO MALAYSIA: Some historical background to Tun Salleh Abas's book The Removal of Tun Salleh Abas



By K. Das, co-author of May Day For Justice



MAHATHIR was continually upset with the Judiciary because the verdicts in a number of cases went against the Government. According to then Deputy PM, Datuk Musa Hitam, one of his favorite slogans was "Hang the Lawyers! Hang the Judges!"



From 1987, he intensified his verbal attacks against the Judiciary in the news media, making damaging statements which clearly demonstrated that he did not understand the role of the Judiciary as being independent from the Executive and Legislative arms of Government. That the Judiciary exists as a check-and-balance against the excesses of the Executive appeared to have been a concept he never fully grasped. Instead, he accused judges of the sort of political interference that would result in confusion and loss of public confidence in the Government. Hence, to curtail the powers of the Judiciary and subsume it beneath the Executive became one of his cherished dreams.



In April 1987, after an UMNO leadership contest in which Mahathir very nearly lost to Finance Minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, there were allegations that several delegates who had voted were drawn from branches not properly registered under the Societies Act 1966. An appeal was filed by eleven UMNO delegates to have the elections declared null and void. This was a very serious matter for Mahathir because if the appeal succeeded, fresh elections would have to be held and he might lose. The matter finally came before Justice Harun Hashim of the KL High Court who ruled that under the existing law, he had no choice but to declare not just the elections invalid, but the whole of UMNO an unlawful society as well. The country and, more particularly, UMNO, went into a state of shock.



In most modern democracies, a political catastrophe of this magnitude would have resulted in the immediate resignation of the party's President and Prime Minister. But Mahathir did not resign. He informed the country that the Government would continue running the country. Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang and Tunku Abdul Rahman called for a vote in Parliament to establish Mahathir's legitimacy but those calls were ignored. Mahathir then set in motion the machinery to form a new surrogate party called UMNO Baru. His opponents, however, wanted the old party revived. The eleven UMNO delegates then launched an appeal in the Supreme Court to have the 1987 elections alone declared illegal and the party not an unlawful society.



Mahathir fully understood the danger to him of this pending appeal. He had to act quickly. In October 1987, he launched the notorious Operation Lalang in which at least 106 people were arrested and detained without trial under the ISA, including three very articulate critics, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang, political scientist Dr. Chandra Muzaffar and leading lawyer Karpal Singh. The official reason for the arrests was that a highly dangerous security situation had arisen but this has been strongly disputed as nothing more than a shameless fabrication. The broad sweep included even environmentalists and Consumer Association spokesmen. Four of the most outspoken newspapers - The Star, The Sunday Star, Watan and Sin Chew Jit Poh - had their publishing licences suspended. When, after five months, the papers were free to publish again, they were no longer the same.



Mahathir's next move was to push through Parliament far-reaching amendments to the Constitution so that the Executive gained in power enormously at the expense of the Judiciary. There was general indignation at this rude behavior which shocked a good many people. The indecent haste and the fact that the amendments were made at a time when the Government's main critics were in detention - including the Opposition Leader and six vocal MPs - and outspoken newspapers were demoralized, added further to the appalling injustice of the situation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's beloved first Prime Minister, put it succinctly: "It was legal, but was it just?"



Others noted angrily that the Constitution had been raped once again. In a speech, the outgoing President of the Bar Council, Param Cumaraswamy (right), said:



"The Prime Minister's vile and contemptuous allegations, and the accusations leveled at the Judiciary and our judges left many shocked beyond belief. His speech which was full of venom, hate and spite with no substance whatsoever, illustrated his complete and total ignorance of the role of the Judiciary and the judicial process itself. He has indeed defiled and defaced the Constitution. It is surprising that those 142 MPs who voted in favor, after taking the oath that they would preserve, protect and defend the Constitution, had no compunction about destroying one of its basic structures."

One visiting parliamentarian was astonished at the lack of public debate. In his own country, he said, such amendments would have taken years.



Next, after having curbed the independence of the Judiciary, Mahathir set about destroying its integrity. This was the removal of Tun Salleh Abas as Lord President in 1988, a move which Tunku Abdul Rahman described as "the most shocking story in modern legal and judicial history."



TUN SALLEH ABAS (left) was a man of humble origins - his father was a sailor and small village trader - who rose to become Lord President, the highest judge in the land and head of the Judiciary while remaining a deeply religious man.



By March 1988, Mahathir's scandalous and violent public attacks on the Judiciary had so provoked the judges that Tun Salleh was obliged to call a conference. Twenty judges met in the Supreme Court one week after the debilitating and shameful Constitutional amendments were made. By unanimous agreement, a letter was drafted to the King (also the Sultan of Johore) and copied to all Sultans, expressing disquiet over various comments made by the Prime Minister. The letter was delivered on 25 March and Tun Salleh left soon after for medical treatment in the United States followed by a pilgrimage to Mecca . He had a most important duty to perform upon his return: He fixed the hearing of the crucial UMNO Eleven appeal for June and, because of its overwhelming significance, decided that a full quorum of nine Supreme Court judges should hear this. Three days later, Tun Salleh was suspended from his official capacity by the King on recommendation of the Prime Minister. In the same hour that he received the suspension letter, the Acting Lord President, Tan Sri Abdul Hamid took the UMNO Eleven case out of the calendar so that the link between the two was difficult to deny.



Tun Salleh's suspension came after he refused to bow to Mahathir's pressure to either resign or retire, even though financial inducements were offered, including mention of a lucrative job in the International Development Bank in Jeddah. The initial reason given for the suspension was that the King had taken great displeasure over the letter Tun Salleh had written on behalf of all judges. According to official records prepared by the Attorney General, the King had requested Tun Salleh's removal in an audience with the Prime Minister on the "Wednesday morning of 1st May, 1988" after the weekly Cabinet Meeting.





There are serious doubts as to whether this audience actually took place. The first of May, 1988, fell on a Sunday, not Wednesday as the Attorney-General recorded. Even if the day of week were corrected, there can be no Cabinet meeting on a Sunday. That the King expressed great displeasure only on 1st May, when he had in fact received the letter on 25 March cast further doubt over this assertion. It is difficult to believe that the King wanted Tun Salleh removed purely because he had protested about the public insults directed against the entire Judiciary by the head of the Executive. In any event, royal displeasure would not be a constitutionally valid ground for dismissal. Indeed, Mahathir advised the King as much in a letter written four days after this probably fictitious audience; however, the Prime Minister went further in the same letter to say that he would investigate Tun Salleh for any evidence of misbehavior. In any event, the King did not clear up the mystery and, in an audience with Tun Salleh, actually asked the latter to step down without giving reasons although the Conference of Rulers had already asked for his reinstatement. Amazingly, Tun Salleh was suspended and a Tribunal set up to determine his fate before any formal charges were laid.



The Constitution does not provide for the removal of a Lord President. While the Tribunal need not be an inappropriate means, its composition was to say the least, disgraceful. It was composed of six acting and retired judges, although the Constitution required an odd number to prevent deadlock. Of these - four from Malaysia, one from Sri Lanka and one from Singapore - only the Sri Lankan enjoyed a rank comparable to Tun Salleh's. This was contrary to the very reasonable dictum that one should be tried by one's peers rather than one's juniors. The fact that two retired Lord Presidents of Malaysia were available but not invited was glaring. There were grave conflicts of interest with three of the Malaysian judges that should have disqualified them from sitting: Tan Sri Abdul Hamid who was next in line to succeed as Lord President and who had also participated in the conference of 20 judges which resulted in the letter to the King; Tan Sri Zahir who, being also the Speaker of the Lower House, was beholden to Mahathir, the principal complainant in the matter at hand; and Tan Sri Abdul Aziz who, although a former judge, was then a practising lawyer and, more incredibly, had two suits pending against him at that time. But Tun Salleh's objections were ignored and when the Bar Council issued a statement calling for the Tribunal to be re-constituted, both the New Straits Times and The Star refused to publish it. Further, it was decided that the Tribunal would sit in closed sessions although Tun Salleh had requested a public hearing.



The charges, when finally published, were manifestly absurd. Running over 12 sheets of paper, it was clear that quantity had been substituted where quality was lacking, and some of them actually related to Tun Salleh's behavior after suspension. Many of them related to his speeches and press interviews, whereby sinister meanings were imputed to various innocuous comments that he had made. To cite an instance, in a speech at the University of Malaya, he had said: 'The role of the courts is very important to bring about public order. If there is no public order there will be chaos in this country and if there is chaos, no one can feel safe.' On this basis, Tun Salleh was charged with making statements criticizing the Government which displayed prejudice and bias against the latter. Another statement of his, 'In a democratic system, the courts play a prominent role as agent of stability but they can perform this function only if judges are trusted,' resulted in the charge that he had ridiculed the Government by imputing that it did not trust the judges. These charges were doubly ludicrous in the light of Mahathir's many poisonous attacks against the Judiciary.



It is not surprising that Tun Salleh, after reading this catalogue of fantasy crimes, refused to appear before what was so evidently a kangaroo court. The Tribunal, after refusing representations made by Raja Aziz, Tun Salleh's leading counsel, that it had no constitutional validity to sit, chose instead to proceed so hastily that it wound up deliberations, including the examination of witnesses with just four hours work. As it prepared to issue its Report, Tun Salleh's lawyers sought an urgent stay of proceedings in the High Court. This would normally be granted immediately at the least possibility that an injustice may be about to be done but, here, events turned into utter farce.



Instead of immediately reaching a decision as expected, the presiding judge, Datuk Ajaib Singh, after the court had been in languorous session the whole day that Friday, adjourned hearings for 9.30 am the next day. On Saturday however, the judge emerged in court only at 11.50 am and, even then, postponed hearings again for the Monday! In desperation, Tun Salleh's lawyers, knowing that the Tribunal could easily release its Report before then, sought the assistance of Supreme Court judge, Tan Sri Wan Suleiman, in his Chambers. The latter agreed to hear them in open court in half an hour's time and called a quorum of all remaining Supreme Court, one of whom, Tan Sri Hashim Yeop, refused to sit. The soap opera reached an apogee of ridiculousness when Tan Sri Abdul Hamid, head of the Tribunal and Acting Lord President, gave orders for the doors of Supreme Court to be locked and for the seal of the Supreme Court to be secreted away!



Undeterred, the five Supreme Court judges ordered the policeman on duty to open the door forthwith. After less than half an hour, the Court ordered the Tribunal not to submit any recommendation, report or advice to the King. Tun Salleh's lawyers were typing the Order to serve personally to the Tribunal at Parliament House when news arrived that the gates of Parliament House had been locked! At this point, Justice Wan Suleiman rose to the occasion and, calling the office of the Inspector General of Police, told a senior officer that any impediment to serving the Order would constitute contempt of court. The gates of Parliament swung open and, at 4pm, Raja Aziz and his team served the Order to the Tribunal members who were found to be still hard at work on a word-processor that Saturday afternoon. All six members accepted service without complaint.



It would appear that justice had at last prevailed but, four days later; all five Supreme Court judges were suspended. Almost every rule that was broken to suspend Tun Salleh was broken again to suspend them. The prohibition order they had made were revoked within days. A second Tribunal eventually reinstated three of the judge: Tan Sri Azmi Kamaruddin, Tan Sri Eusoff Abdoolcader and Tan Sri Wan Hamzah but Tan Sri Wan Suleiman and Datuk George Edward Seah were removed from office.



The UMNO Eleven case was quickly dismissed. The removal of Tun Salleh also saw the resignation of Deputy PM Datuk Musa Hitam who, according to popular wisdom, could no longer stomach Mahathir's ways.



NOTE: These ignominious events took place 26 years ago, when many of the present generation may have been too young to understand the ruinous long-term consequences of Mahathir's brazen attacks on Judicial independence and integrity. I've blogged this excerpt from May Day For Justice to refresh memories and to provide some insight to the younger generation. Now they can see for themselves what a manipulative creature we had as Prime Minister between 1981 and 2003.



Some say Mahathir did a lot of good for Malaysia by putting the nation on the world map with his ambitious industrialization program called Wawasan 2020. In truth what Mahathir actually did was destroy the country singlehandedly with his shallow and ill-conceived Cyclopean vision.



The Malays sold their souls to the Mamak for a meagre handout or two with which to buy cheesy chandeliers for their plastic palaces. Now many have awakened! Only the selfish or brainless remain supportive of Mahathir. The cruel, deceitful and destructive "UMNO Baru" culture Mahathir spawned has to go before Malaysia is totally doomed to pathological self-delusion. Unfortunately, although Mahathir rants and raves against his hand-picked successor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the present-day leadership of UMNO Baru continues to uphold Mahathir's legacy of lies and unprincipled power play.



[Original illustration by Antares © 1999. First posted 17 June 2008]











Posted by Antares at 1:27 AM

http://www.magickriver.org/2008/06/may-day-for-justice-revisited.html





























The Corruption of Mahathir?







http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2012/05/corruption-of-mahathir.html

























Corrupt & authoritarian rule: Mahathir has the MOST TO LOSE if BN falls in GE13









http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2013/02/corrupt-authoritarian-rule-mahathir-has.html



























Sabah crisis: Mahathir's Project IC to blame - analysts









http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2013/03/sabah-crisis-mahathirs-project-ic-to.html































Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia's First and Greatest Prime Minister







http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2012/03/tunku-abdul-rahman-malaysias-first-and.html





















UMNO has a long tradition of parting with its leaders for various reasons







http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2012/03/umno-has-long-tradition-of-parting-with.html































ANYTHING GOES in M'sia: Politicians who plunder with impunity







http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2012/08/anything-goes-in-msia-politicians-who.html



























































Salleh Abas

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia









http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salleh_Abas































Tengku Razaleigh - Year 1993









http://mybaru1.blogspot.com/2012/08/tengku-razaleigh-year-1993.html

























































































































































































































































































































































Saturday, 05 April 2014 08:30



MORE THAN HALF A TRILLION RINGGIT: About time for M'sians to claim back from the Umno elite

Written by J. D. Lovrenciear



Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=257452:more-than-half-a-trillion-ringgit-about-time-for-msians-to-claim-back-from-the-umno-elite&Itemid=2#ixzz2xzoNkraC

Follow us: @MsiaChronicle on Twitter











Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is reported to have disclosed that more than half a TRILLION ringgit from Petronas has gone to questionable government expenditure which “could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme like that of Sweden.”

Speaking at the launching of Anas Alan Faizli’s book “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians” in Kuala Lumpur, the through-bred royal lineage leader and staunch UMNO member explained with grave concern how the nation’s oil company Petronas is today, as a result, forced to ‘look for other sources of income in investment opportunities’.

If an opposition member revealed such concerns, we can safely say that there is a hidden political agenda and if we still subscribe to his or her ranting we can be accused of being 'penghianat negara'.

But if we cannot believe a senior and staunch UMNO member who else can we believe?

Ask and the truth is revealed

Tengku Razaleigh exposed that the government has been using the wealth of this young nation accumulated by Petronas to ‘bail out government-linked companies out of muddy financial crises since 1985’.

In the wake of this shocking admission, we need to pause, ask and take inventory of several crucial and time-defining questions:

Malaysians, how many of you had cupped your head in your palms, prayed in silence out of hope in darkness or ran helter-skelter to find the money to ensure your children could get into a college of choice to pursue an education of passion?

How many of you have to endure nightmares come end of each month as you tried all kinds of financial gymnastics to make ends meet for your family?

How many of you are forced to take on an extra job or pressed by the increasing financial constrains to seek the goodwill of your spouse to leave home in search of that extra income to tide over the times?

How many of you are living on borrowed cash – be it credit card spending or relief from Ah Longs, mortgages and aid from friendly sources?

How many of you are desperately counting the days and months or years before you would retire so that you can take your EPF savings and plug all the financial holes that have been giving you years of sleepless nights?

How many of you on retiring after three decades or more find yourself back in square one breaking your tired limbs with work totally unrelated to your years of experience and qualifications?

People's wealth turned into private wealth of a select few Umno leaders

As the Founding Chairman of Petronas, certainly the Tengku has reasons and justifications to worry for the health and future of a national company that could have been the miracle for all Malaysians.

The Tengku cannot be merely politicizing. He definitely is not one in the likes of some loose cannons within UMNO merely surviving on one-minute publicity stunts.

He claimed that the country’s ‘socio-politics has regressed’ ascribing this to the ‘sad and shocking state of affairs today’.

And as many Malaysians have also known or even suspected or as our popular word around 'speculated' goes, the root of the problem that has deprived all Malaysians of the two trillion over ringgit that could well have served as our pension funds fashioned after the Swedish system, the Tengku attributed the state-of-affairs to two causes affecting the political and social sectors.

One is the disease-infested rent-seeking culture and the other being that sickening patronage mindset in our midst.

Perhaps Malaysians should take a look at how every person who has worked or lives in Sweden enjoys a pension scheme by first visiting their website: www.government.se/sb/d/15473/a/183496.

So do we Malaysians want back the over two trillion ringgit returned to our nation’s coffers for the sole well being of all Malaysians?

Or shall we dismiss the Tengku as yet another sour-grape, loose cannon too and carry on with our day and night fumbling quest for that extra ringgit to tide over the times while the next tidal sweep of financial crisis hits and sucks yet another two trillion ringgit more? - MAILBAG





Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=257452:more-than-half-a-trillion-ringgit-about-time-for-msians-to-claim-back-from-the-umno-elite&Itemid=2#ixzz2xzoFaHGH

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Friday, 04 April 2014 17:13



RM136 BILLION subsidies for fat-cat IPPs an 'unforgivable sin' - Ku Li slams Najib regime





Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=257052:rm136-billion-subsidies-for-fat-cat-ipps-an-unforgivable-sin-ku-li-slams-najib-regime&Itemid=2#ixzz2xzogxh6X

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The awarding of subsidies totaling RM136.5 billion to independent power producers from 1997 to 2011, when consumers are faced with cutbacks in subsidies, could be considered "a sin which cannot be forgiven”, said Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

The Kelantan prince and one time finance minister said although giving subsidies for consumer goods is not the best way to handle rising cost of living, this could still be accepted.

"However, a move which cannot be condoned and considered a sin is how the government is willing to give subsidies to the national energy supplier, independent power producers and other organisations related to energy.

"The sad part is that while these power producers continue to enjoy subsidised fuel prices, petroleum subsidy to the consumers - which purportedly cost the government RM14 billion in 2011 - was partly discontinued recently," he added.

Speaking at the launching of a book titled "Malaysia Kaya, Rakyat Miskin" (Malaysia is rich, people are poor) written by Anas Alam Faizli, Tengku Razaleigh said instead of giving subsidies to the IPPS, the money could be channeled to the poor.

The founder and former chairperson of Petronas also criticised the government's handling of the national oil company, citing a statistic that was in the book written by Anas Alam, where between 1974 and 2011, Petronas spent close to half a trillion ringgit.

This, he added, could have been better used to form a special fund for pension as done by a Scandinavian country.

Tengku Razaleigh, fondly known as Ku Li, also expressed regret that Petronas is being used as a "cash cow" to bail out government-linked corporations like Bank Bumiputera and Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad.

He said Petronas was also used to underwrite for the construction of the Petronas twin towers which costs RM6 billion and the administrative capital of Putrajaya at RM22 billion.

"The extravagance that had been forced on to Petronas has also deprived the company from the much needed cash build-up for reinvestment which would ensure its business sustainability.

"The truth is that there had been consistent political interference and this has affected Petronas, even though it is a professionally run corporation. What is needed is for Petronas is to look forward and find new opportunities to trade in other than oil and gas," he added. -Malaysiakini





Full article: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=257052:rm136-billion-subsidies-for-fat-cat-ipps-an-unforgivable-sin-ku-li-slams-najib-regime&Itemid=2#ixzz2xzodZOYO

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Ku Li: Wrong implementation of NEP led to rent-seekers







Tengku Razaleigh





PETALING JAYA: Cronyism seems to be "fashionable," said former finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.



He said this was brought about by the collusion of politicians who habitually lined their pockets, and business people who have come to be known as cronies, who are not competitive without favours.



"It is this cosy relationship and unholy alliance that has brought into focus the activity described by economists as rent-seeking.



"Rent-seekers have never had it so good since the mid-1980s. For instance, soaring property prices brought fabulous riches to developers who could rely on swift approvals for projects," said the Gua Musang MP, who is popularly known as Ku Li, at the launching of Anas Alam Faizli's book "Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians" on Friday.



He added that for any man in the street, the wish is for the rent-seeking practice to stop as it would lead to cartels and monopolies.



Tengku Razaleigh pointed out that it all started thanks to the wrongful implementation of the New Economic Policy (NEP).



"Please make no mistake about the NEP; the philosophy and thought underpinning this piece of social engineering programme is just and noble.



"However, its implementation went haywire and wrong because of the practice of patronage that had led, in the first place, to cronyism and rent-seeking that we had just spoken about.



"As a result, goals set out by the policy were not met in the specified timeframe. In an effort to remedy the situation, a so-called trickle-down plan was put in train.



"The plan was badly thought through and represented more of a knee-jerk reaction in the desperate bid to show that the NEP was not a failure," he said.











Text of Tengku Razaleigh's speech:



I am honoured at having been invited by Anas Alam Faizli to launch his book, “Rich Malaysia, Poor Malaysians”, a collection of essays reflecting his thoughts on energy, the economy and education of our beloved country. I applaud Anas for his intellectual discipline to pursue writing which demands mental toughness, quiet tenacity and absolute patience. Indeed, he deserves our admiration.



He deserves our respect given that Malaysians are notoriously apathetic to reading, let alone writing. I respectfully submit that we do not write enough, both fiction and otherwise in comparison to, say, our sprawling archipelagic neighbour to the south. It is in this context that our author deserves our commendation – my commendation in particular – for a task well done, even though the themes are serious and difficult. Well done, Anas.



Having skimmed through the book, I must admit that I have more than just a passing interest in it; and at least for two reasons. I am always interested in writings on the subject of energy, be they articles for lay reading or academic treatises.



I feel especially close when oil and petroleum are discussed. This is because of my task previously to see through the legislation of the Petroleum Development Act, 1974; the negotiation of the production sharing contracts with oil majors whose roles were redefined as contractors to the national oil company in the post-PDA era; and, establishing and developing Petronas into a professionally reputable and internationally respectable national oil company.



Secondly, having been schooled in economics, I follow its development keenly, both at the national and international levels. This is strengthened further by my having once been the Minister of Finance charged with the financial and economic management of the country. And of course, given the collective responsibility of the Cabinet, national policies on such subjects as education interest me greatly.



Let us reflect, for a moment, upon the situation regarding the supply and consumption of petroleum in the country and the downstream role of Petronas in the retailing of this essential and strategic product.



Given our continuous inability to guide the country out of the middle income trap into the high income bracket, we have been using, for long spells, petroleum subsidisation to solve the problem of its affordability by ordinary people in the lower strata of the economic chain. While the subsidising of consumer goods is not the most efficient of ways in managing the high cost of living, it is fairly understandable if the government extends a helping hand to the small man in that manner.



What is sinful and cannot be forgiven is the ease with which the power that be had been dishing out subsidies to such entities as the national power supplier, the independent power producers and some other non-power outfits. As has been pointed out by Anas, since 1997 this subsidy has amounted to RM136.5 billion.



The sad part is that while these power producers continue to enjoy subsidised fuel price, petroleum subsidy to the consumers – which purportedly cost the government RM14 billion in 2011 – was partly discontinued recently.



It is glaringly obvious that the government has been treating Petronas as a cash cow. Anas continues to point out that over 37 years from 1974 – 2011, the government had been paid some RM529 billion in dividends, taxes, petroleum proceeds and export duties from the national oil company.



The reliance on Petronas to help outfits with strong linkages to the government out of financial trouble has been going on from as far back as 1985. In that year it rescued Bank Bumiputera with a RM2.5 billion bailout and again in 1991 when it coughed up another RM1 billion. In 1997, Petronas had to rescue the financially ailing Konsortium Perkapalan Berhad for RM2 billion. The national oil company was also made to underwrite the construction of the Twin Towers in the heart of the KL golden triangle for RM6 billion and the building of the extravagant Putrajaya for RM22 billion.



In all, more than a half trillion ringgit have been spent. This amount could have been used more productively to fund a national pension programme for Malaysians as has been done by a certain Scandinavian country.



This extravagance that had been forced on to Petronas has also deprived the company from the much needed cash build-up for reinvestment which would ensure its business sustainability.



Given the finite nature of hydrocarbon as a resource, it is important for Petronas to look further afield at investments in businesses outside of oil and gas. Looked at from this perspective, it is all the more critical for the corporation to have a strong cash reserve for reinvestment purposes.



It was this need for prudence that had led Tun Razak, the Prime Minister of the day, to impress upon me the need to ensure that Petronas would enjoy parity with such multinational companies as the once much touted seven sisters, two of which ultimately became its contractors. Today Petronas is at par with the oil majors and it is ranked as one of Fortune 500’s largest and most profitable oil and gas companies. But sadly, it is being abused and treated as the piggy bank whenever the government needs cash in a hurry.



Ladies and gentlemen, why is this so? Why is there a discrepancy between what was visualised by the founding fathers of Petronas and what it has turned out to be 40 years on; that is, as a banker of sorts to the government. The truth is that there had been consistent political interference and this had affected Petronas, even though it is a professionally well run corporation. There is a blurring of lines demarcating the party in power and government, and by extension, the party supremo and the head of government. Cynics would contend that it was done on purpose to facilitate the development of politics of patronage. This, in turn, led to the growth of crony capitalism.



This inter-ethnic dichotomy is no more than a duplication of effort which result in the inefficient application of resources. It is worsened by the economic disparity that continues to be persistently reflected along racial line, notwithstanding the efforts made to blur and wipe it out. As explained by Anas, the bottom 40% of Malaysia in economic terms is still made up of Bumiputera households.



Transpose this against the notion that about 90% of their incomes are made up of wages and salaries which are hardly commensurate with the relatively more rapid increases in living costs, this problem takes on a much darker hue. As an illustration of how low Malaysian income generally is, it is worthwhile noting that the EPF had been known to report that about 79% of its contributors earn RM3,000 or less a month.



This reality becomes more significant when we realise that disposable income contributes much to purchasing power, especially among the relatively poor as opposed to the wealthy where purchasing power is additionally sourced from assets other than salaries and wages. A report on the national human development goes further to say that the “Chinese has a higher purchasing power compared to other ethnic groups…” More problematic and easily a potential source of politico-economic problem is the assertion by the report that there is “homogeneity in the purchasing power gap.” It asserts that the super-rich, regardless of ethnicity, has about 18 to 20 times more purchasing power.



Purchasing power has a graver ramification from the standpoint of economic wellbeing. This has to do with the reality that a person who enjoys a high income is not necessarily guaranteed a better quality of life. Neither does the effort to improve the quality of life through high income mean much if the cost of living rises rampantly. Again, an observation by Anas is very illuminating here. He contends that a graduate who entered the job market for the first time, say, in 1978 on a monthly salary of RM1,000 could afford a lower-end car of RM12,400 or 12 months’ salary and take out a mortgage, perhaps, on a RM62,000 house in a fairly upscale Kuala Lumpur suburb. Today, a fresh entrant into the labour market on a monthly salary of RM2,500, which is two and half times higher than his earlier counterpart, would find a roughly similar car costing him RM178,000, roughly 71 months of his salary. A house outside the Greater Kelang Valley area, in Nilai for example, would set him back by RM350,000. This situation could get worse in all probability.



Ladies and gentlemen, the challenge before us is to mitigate the socio-political issues and problems to a minimum. This will ensure that they do not become a part of our political culture and, by extension, our way of life. We must have the will to stop patronage and cronyism. In this way rent-seekers would be cut off. But herein lies the problem.



Political leaders are loath to upsetting the apple cart and disturb their cosy symbiosis with rent-seeking cronies. More often than not, these are the people whom they rely upon for political funds in their effort to continue to latch on to power.



What then could be done given this near-checkmate type of a situation? I say pressure must be brought to bear and it must be made known that we will not tolerate any more politics that is less than ethical. We must clearly and loudly make it known that politics must be practised with a high level of integrity. No, politics is not dirty but its practitioners, more often than not, are.



In the longer run and in order to ensure that ethical politics of impeccable integrity is practised, we must overhaul our education system. We need to shift our education paradigm from a system that emphasises regurgitating what is learnt by rote to amass distinctions to one that puts a premium on logical and critical thinking in which source as well as general reading is a major activity in providing the primary material. We must revisit our educational philosophy in order that we may give equal importance to classroom and off-classroom activities in educating the young Malaysian into a potential leader material for the public or private domains. Of course, this is a huge and important subject that needs proper addressing at, perhaps, another forum.



Ladies and gentlemen, in the last several minutes I have shared with you my thoughts on the subjects addressed by Anas in his book. I hope it has generated enough interest to trigger off your critical thoughts on the subjects or other related subjects. In the process it is hoped that some of you will go a step further to put pen to paper as Anas had done. On that note, I take this opportunity to congratulate the author for making the book available to the public which I have much pleasure in introducing. Thank you and I wish you a pleasant day ahead.























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