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MALAYSIA Tanah Tumpah Darahku

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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Despite government reforms, 'grand corruption prevails'

Renewed federal government efforts to stamp out graft have failed to stop Malaysia's slide down Transparency International's global corruption perception index (CPI) because of its failure to act on "grand corruption".

The integrity body noted that this is prevalent in the awarding of mega projects without open tenders, inflated military procurment and the close nexus between business and politics that is shrouded in secrecy.

NONETransparency International Malaysia (TI-M) secretary-general Josie M Fernandez (right) said while there have been prosecutions against corruption, the "big fish" were still free.

"I've been told how sad it is when some small official who has taken petty amounts (of money) is dragged to court and shown on television.

"But the high-level officials, with their lavish lifestyle, are not dragged into the court," Josie said.

According to the CPI released by TI-M today, Malaysia's rank slid from 56th last year to 60th, with its score dipping from 4.4 to 4.3.

"Millions of ringgit have been poured into anti-corruption measures, but the government's target score of 4.9 has not been met."

Combatting corruption is one of seven National Key Results Areas of the Government Transformation Programme (GTP), which is a core part of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's reform efforts.

'Gov't needs a wake up call'

This, Josie said, was aggravated by an ineffective Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, for its decision on prosecution still remained with the attorney-general.

"Even some of the appointments made to the MACC are politically-linked and its investigation papers are not made public."

Stressing that this slide must serve as a wake-up call, Josie said the government should demonstrate greater political will to address the decline in CPI and not dismiss it based on methodology.

"The survey is done by respected and reputable institutions. Political will must be translated into reforms on issues relating to greater transparency in mega projects and political financing."

In light of the sliding CPI, TI-M has made eight recommendations:

  • Prosecute the 'big fishes';
  • Introduce Freedom of Information Bill;
  • Enhance the autonomy of MACC;
  • Improve protective framework for whistleblowers;
  • Impose stiffer penalties for corruption conviction;
  • Fully implement the 'Integrity Pact' in procurements;
  • Reform political financing; and
  • Implement electoral reforms made by the parliamentary select committee.

Former TI-M president Ramon Navaratnam further proposed that a parliamentary select committee be set up to address these concerns, on top of requiring all ministers to declare their assets.

'Pemandu working on recommendations'


In an immediate reaction, Pemandu director D Ravindran who was also present, noted that the CPI for Malaysia had considered an extra report compared with last year, without which Malaysia's rank would have remained unchanged.

NONE"However, the score is the score, we accept the score, we also accept the fact that more has to be done in the realm of grand corruption, especially in the realm of political financing and freedom of information."

Ravindran (right) said Pemandu was already working on TI-M's recommendations, but they were "not low-lying fruits" and required time.

"We also have a transformation effort with the MACC. We've brought private sector forensic expertise to tell MACC how and where to look for documents to sharpen their ability (to prosecute in the cases)."

Ravindran added that he was confident that the government would this time take TI-M's results constructively.

"I don't think you'll see them (ministers) brushing them aside. They are significant. This year you'll see everyone acknowledging its a wake-up call.

"We have made progress on the petty corruption side, but we really need to get to the grand corruption."

We the people of Malaysia are unable to find the reason for having PDRM and MACC existence


Preliminary findings: No CBT in NFC, says Deputy IGP
The police have so far been unable to find any incriminating evidence of criminal breach of trust in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal. Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said preliminary findings have failed to unearth any criminality involving the company linked to the family of a minister which has obtained a RM250 million government loan. He said that statements have been taken from 74 people, including NFC executive chairperson Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, who is husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil. Also questioned by the police are the children of the couple - Izmir 31, Izran, 27, and Izzana, 25.
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Fuck the police, fuck MACC. Let the people hold court then we will unveil the crime committed by UMNO past and present members and leaders.
People who support UMNO and BN are the REAL BANGSAT.

Shahrizat 'un-moooved' by questions on NFC

Wanita Umno chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil today refused comment on the over the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) fiasco, just a day after delivering a fiery speech condemning her critics on the subject.

At a press conference today after Umno president Najib Abdul Razak's policy speech at the Umno annual general assembly, Shahrizat was asked if she was a party to the cabinet's decision to approve the NFC project.

NONETo this, Shahrizat raised her eyebrow, shook her head lightly and waved her right hand to indicate that she will not respond to that question.

Instead, Shahrizat gave her response to Umno president Najib Abdul Razak's policy address and hurriedly left the press conference, ignoring further queries from the press.

Yesterday, Shahrizat had condemned her critics for attacking her and her family over the NFC project, which was highlighted in the Auditor-General's Report 2010.

Shahrizat avoiding press

The project was awarded to a company owned by Shahrizat's family in 2007 under Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's administration when Shahrizat was a serving cabinet minister.

In her speech at the Wanita Umno AGM yesterday, Shahrizat said the NFC project had nothing to do with her.

Her critics, primarily PKR, had claimed NFC had abused a RM250 million soft loan to purchase luxury condominiums and funded oversea trips.

Just hours after Shahrizat's speech, PKR hurled fresh allegationson the NFC, accusing the company of abusing funds to buy land in the administrative capital of Putrajaya and a luxury car.

Following this, the normally affable and chatty Shahrizat did not call for any press conferences after her speech yesterday. In contrast, her Youth wing counterparty Khairy Jamaluddin met reporters twice.

DPM, KJ mum

At another press conference earlier today, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who has been backing Shahrizat thus far, declined comment on PKR's fresh allegations.

"I don't hope that the opposition will praise us. We work hard, they don't praise us; We do the right thing, they also don't praise us. It has become a norm to us," he said.

Khairy, who had wrote a long article in defence of the NFC project, too refused comment on the fresh allegations.

"I have not had a chance (to talk to her on the matter)," he told a separate press conference this morning.

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, when met at the sidelines of the AGM, said Shahrizat is capable of assessing whether the issue will cause damage to Umno.

Asked if she should resign, Mahathir replied: "I don't know".

Preliminary findings: No CBT in NFC, says IGP

The police have so far been unable to find any incriminating evidence of criminal breach of trust in the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar said preliminary findings have failed to unearth any criminality involving the company linked to the family of a minister which has obtained a RM250 million government loan.

He said that statements have been taken from 74 people, including NFC executive chairperson Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail, who is husband of Women, Family and Community Development Minister Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Also questioned by the police are the children of the couple - Izmir 31, Izran, 27, and Izzana, 25.

[More to follow]

OCCUPYPARLIMEN: Memorial service for death of Malaysian Parliament


THE MALAYSIAN PARLIAMENT
1957-2011

Age: 54

The Malaysian Parliament passed away on Tuesday, 29 November 2011, at about 4.00pm at its historical home on Jalan Parlimen during the passing of the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011.

The Parliament leaves behind 28 million heartbroken Malaysians, including the Fisherman, the Postal Worker, the Nasi Lemak Mak Cik, the Kindergarten Teacher, the Retired Old Man, the Teenage Boy, the Unemployed Fresh Graduate and many others of who looked to it as a place where their voices could be heard.

A memorial service for Parliament will be held on 1 December 2011 at 8.00pm just outside its home with a non-religious wake open to all who keenly feel its loss.

We encourage all Malaysians to attend this memorial service to mourn the passing of the Malaysian Parliament. There will be an open session for anyone to read eulogies/sing a song/read a poem in remembrance of the deceased.

Messages of condolences can also be written at this page below.

Your presence in this time of sorrow is much appreciated.

Please observe the following:
-Bring candles and white flowers
-Bring pots, pans, drums or anything that can be part of the STOMP percussion session
-Wear black

Time bomb ticking in Selangor MCA

There is disenchantment in the state because president Chua seems to be marginalising Lim Siang Chai and those close to him.

PETALING JAYA: Several months ago, when we first heard rumours about a falling out between MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and the party’s Selangor chief, Lim Siang Chai, many rank-and-file members shrugged the matter off as a tiff over trivial issues.

But if you smell smoke, something must be burning somewhere. Sure enough, in August, we heard the crackle of the fire when Chua publicly expressed concern that the leadership of Selangor MCA was not performing up to the expectations of certain quarters in power.

It seemed that some MCA leaders in Selangor were too lethargic and not keeping up with the hard work that Umno was putting in to recapture the state from Pakatan Rakyat. No one within earshot of Chua’s grumbling doubted that he was questioning Lim’s competence as the party’s chairman in Selangor.

Still, many hoped it would turn out to be an inconsequential flame that would eventually burn itself out. This was despite clear signals that patience was running thin in Umno circles.

A party insider recalled his initial reaction: “Despite reports from reliable sources and some claims that Chua was giving the cold shoulder to certain leaders close to the Selangor chairman, we thought it was better to remain silent since it was being speculated that the general election was near.

“But when certain leaders from the state approached party headquarters for constituency funding and they were largely ignored, suspicions were raised that partisanship could be the reason.”

In recent weeks, accusations about Chua practising favouritism have become increasingly frequent. Some are saying that he is deliberately marginalising certain party leaders in Selangor in order to consolidate his own power base. Certainly, those in Lim’s camp are raising their eyebrows.

Deepening fears

This fallout between the party president and the Selangor chief has deepened fears among Umno leaders that they might not be able to rely on MCA to deliver the voting support Barisan Nasional needs in Selangor. A clear indication of this is the increasingly frequent visits Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has been making to the state.

Since the 2008 election, when MCA suffered major losses in Selangor, party leaders have been focussing their work towards recapturing voting support from the Chinese community. However, according to pundits, much of their effort has been futile. Indeed, there is some legitimacy to the claim by BN’s detractors that Umno’s three main allies—MCA, MIC and Gerakan—are all distracted by a desperate struggle for their own political survival.

Within MCA, Chua’s critics are saying that he has the additional burden of ensuring his own political survival.

A party veteran, who declined to have his name mentioned, said: “Dr Chua could be harbouring the hidden agenda of strengthening his own position since he is unsure of being able to contest in the general election. After all, without a seat in Parliament, he would not get a government posting.”

Some say he may be eyeing a parliamentary seat in Selangor for himself.

A gossip making the rounds is that Chua has turned down Lim’s request to contest for the Selayang parliamentary seat in the coming election. An aide of the Selangor chairman said Chua told him to choose instead between the Pandan seat in the state and the Bandar Tun Razak seat in the Federal Territory. Lim declined to comment when approached to substantiate this claim.

Lim’s supporters say there is an undercurrent of disenchantment in MCA Selangor, caused not only by disagreements over seat choices, but also inadequate funding from party headquarters, favouritism, factionalism and marginalisation of certain state leaders not in the good books of the party president. They say the state machinery is demoralised.

The party veteran we quoted earlier also said it might even be possible that Chua was trying to suppress Lim’s influence. “After all,” he said, “the only leader with the political weight to challenge him is Lim.”

Some top party leaders deny reports of negative developments in Selangor MCA, but pundits are not ready to brush aside the notion that a time bomb is ticking in the state and might explode in Umno’s face.

But others express confidence that the party’s rank and file would put their resources and efforts together to face the coming general election.

“Let us face the elections first before settling old political scores,” a party leader in Selangor said.

Najib hints 13th GE around the corner

The prime minister calls on all party members to close ranks to face the election.

KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has again hinted that the 13th general election (GE) will be held very soon.

Najib, who is also the Umno president, in his speech at the opening of the Umno general assembly 2011 here today, reminded all party members to close ranks to face the election.

He called on the Umno members to get down on the ground as it was almost time to go to the polls. The call was greeted with loud applause from the delegates.

Earlier, in his message on Nov 29, he wanted the party leadership at the divisional and grassroots levels to put in extraordinary efforts to face the 13th general election.

The prime minister also told the delegates not to take the 13th general election for granted because the challenge would certainly be extraordinary and the most difficult that the biggest political party in the country would face.

The Umno general assembly today was attended by 2,711 delegates.

- Bernama

Threats of bloodshed, racism and bigotry the hallmarks of Dr M's Umno

Threats of bloodshed, racism and bigotry the hallmarks of Dr M's Umno

Prime Minister Najib Razak opened the 2011 Umno General Assembly for the party's main wing on Thursday, with more than 5,000 delegates packing the hall at the Putra World Trade Centre.

Like his nemesis, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, Najib is expected to focus on the 13th general election and getting his party ready for snap polls that he is widely expected to call in early 2012.

If the meetings of the Umno Youth, Puteri and Wanita are any gauge, Malaysians can expect more of the same opposition bashing, with vulgarity and boorish racist comments the order of the day.

Despite hiring a bunch of expensive foreign public relations consultants, Najib has failed to convince as a leader both nationally and globally. In fact, as far as the international community is concerned, his administration has become a laughing stock ever since the July 9 Bersih rally for free and fair elections.

The Bersih crackdown was quickly followed by a string of other corruption-related scandals involving his alleged extra-marital love life, his wife and family. His judgement was so weak that even the foreign media firms that he hired to burnish his credentials got into trouble for bad ethics in promoting him and Sarawak chief minister Taib Mahmud.

Bombast and bluster

Politically, Najib is unable to introduce reforms. That Malaysia is where it is now is due largely to the fact that his party Umno - especially during the Mahathir era - had intentionally amended and created new laws to benefit and protect themselves at the expense of the masses.

The Umno General Assemblies, over the years, have done little to fulfill the party's original ideals. Umno emphasizes as its foundation the struggle to uphold the aspirations of Malay nationalism and the dignity of race, religion and country. The party also aspires to protect the Malay culture as the national culture and to uphold, defend and expand Islam.

Indeed the Umno of today is more racist than before and this may be very evident in the 2011 General Assembly.And this is why dissent has grown sharply resulting in the Pakatan Rakyat led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim snaring 5 of the country's 13 states in the 2008 election.

Apart from rallying members, and using racism to create a false sense of communal unity of purpose, there are few policies changes that Najib can offer. On the way out himself, with his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin widely expected to take over next year, Malaysians can expect Najib's trademark bombast and bluster.

Drama befitting of Machiavelli

Indeed, the Umno General Assembly has had its share of drama. And the birth of racism in Umno can be traced to the manner of its conception.

On June 25, 1987, an appeal was filed by 12 of the Umno delegates to have the assembly and the election of April 1987 declared null. One of the delegates, Hussain bin Manap, withdrew unexpectedly in August from filing the appeal, but the remaining litigants have since become famous as the "UMNO 11." Although former Finance minister Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Musa Hitam were not among the plaintiffs, it was widely believed that they were funding the appeal, especially Razaleigh who had challenged Mahathir for the presidency and lost after a most 'dirty' vote-count.

After a series of interlocutory hearings over the discovery of documents that took more than seven months, the matter finally came before Justice Harun Hashim in the Kuala Lumpur High Court on February 4, 1988. The judge ruled that under the existing law he had no option but to find the party, Umno, to be an unlawful society due to the existence of several unregistered branches—an illegal act under the Societies Act of 1966. The question of the Assembly itself being illegal therefore became academic.

"'It is a very hard decision to declare Umno unlawful,' said Justice Datuk Harun Hashim in his February 4 judgement. 'But the law was made by our Parliament and certainly Umno was aware [of the Societies Act] because they were in the majority [in Parliament] at all times [when the law was made].' Under the 1966 Act, amended five times over the years, and most recently by Mahathir's government, each of the society's branches has to register separately with the Registrar...."

The Tunku and former UMNO president Hussein Onn then set up a new party called Umno Malaysia, which claimed to be the successor to the old Umno. Umno Malaysia was supported mainly by members of the Team B faction from Umno, but Mahathir was also invited to join the party leadership. However, the party collapsed after the Registrar of Societies refused to register it as a society without providing an explanation. Mahathir, who was then the prime minister of the day, was seen as being the dark hand that 'influenced' the ROS.

Mahathir showed no interest in reviving Umno, and instead he set in motion the machinery to form a new surrogate party, and in due course, registered a party formally called Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (Baru) or Umno (New) a week after Umno Malaysia's registration was rejected. Eventually the suffix "(New)" was dropped, and Umno (Baru) became both the de facto and de jure successor of Umno (with the old Umno's assets handed over). Most of its leaders, however, were selected from Team A of the old Umno, with Team B ignored.

Bloodshed and violence always a heartbeat away

Yes, the Umno you see today was not the original Umno of pre-Independence days but a creation of Mahathir Mohamad's. This means the ideals of this Umno would be totally different than the original Umno, despite Mahathir professing that it was the same. The Umno that we see now is Mahathir’s Umno and it is this Umno that is excessively racist to the core.

In 2005, Youth Chief Hishammuddin Hussein brandished the keris (Malay sword) at the Umno assembly while condemning critics of Article 153 of the Constitution of Malaysia and the social contract. Both Article 153 and the social contract preserve special privileges for the Malays. Hisham's widely criticised act was meant to show that Umno would defend Malay supremacy, a concept that legal experts say have nothing to do with Article 153 or the so-called social contract.

Hisham is not alone. At the 2004 AGM, Umno deputy permanent chairman Badruddin Amiruldin waved a book on the May 13 riots while warning non-Malays not to stir a "hornets' nest" and cautioning, "Let no one from the other races ever question the rights of Malays on this land." His act infuriated the non-Malays, who it as a threat to shed Chinese blood in the event of dissent.

The 2006 Umno Annual General Assembly was noted for controversial statements made by several delegates, such as Hashim Suboh, who asked Hishammuddin when he would "use" the keris; Hishammuddin had again brandished the keris at the assembly that year.

Mahathir's UMNO

This is Umno - Mahathir's UMNO BARU and not the Umno founded by Tengku Abdul Rahman, Onn Jaafar and others who wanted to build a nation from the various races already present in the peninsula then. Malaya received independence from the British in 1957.

So, with some of Umno's history in mind, perhaps Malaysians should not be too surprised to hear of racial supremacy, religious supremacy, threats of bloodshed and violence, and when the going gets tough, vulgarity and the crudest language are used in a bid to browbeat others into silence while masking Umno's huge underlying insecurity. This is indeed Mahathir's Umno.

Malaysia Chronicle

Embrace new realities or face ‘tragedy’, Najib tells Umno


December 01, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak warned Umno members today the party will face “tragedy” if it fails to embrace “new realities” in the political landscape.

In a mildly-charged speech, the Umno president told delegates at the party’s annual general assembly here, said to be Umno’s last before elections are called, that victory was a must and “there is no second place in a democracy”.

“We must become champions,” he said.

Najib (picture) also reminded delegates of 10 points of history, which he said had become “game changers” for the party’s survival.

“What is meant by game changer? Firstly, it is new realities.

“If Umno does not understand new realities in the political landscape, how can Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) succeed?” he boomed to thousands at the Putra World Trade Centre in his policy speech.

He stressed the importance of using new media, saying it could determine the party’s success and failure.

“Like it or not, Umno has to master the new media. It could level the playing field or turn the battle lopsided,” he warned.

MORE TO COME