Tags Posts tagged with "umno"


Kita Lawan rally participants represented a majority of Malaysians - Photograph: Latheefa Koya

Despite the diversions, it is quite obvious for many Malays – and other Malaysians – that it is Umno that would be destitute without the Malays and not vice versa, observes Zaharom Nain.

The multi-billion ringgit 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal just keeps growing bigger and bigger, threatening to not only destroy groups and individuals but also engulf all of us and, of course, our country.

Overshadowed by this scandal has been the sad and sorry tale of major losses incurred last year by that traditional cash cow, Petronas. Quietly, according to chartered accountant and blogger, Anil Netto, Petronas reported ‘impairment losses’ of RM23.3bn in its accounts for 2014.

Which is certainly not chicken feed by any stretch of the imagination.

The bulk of these losses, contrary to what many of us may believe, was, as Anil illustrates, from “property, plant and equipment”.

How far this could be yet another scandal in the making, we are still to find out. But what is certainly evident is that while these exorbitant shenanigans are taking place before our very eyes, we get our ministers coming up with rather crass, often clearly idiotic statements.

The Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, led the recent charge of the ninnies. First, he is reported to have hit out at critics of 1MDB for evidently trying “to kill the goose that lays the golden egg”.

‘Golden egg’? You’d really need to stretch your imagination as wide as the Grand Canyon in order to swallow that. Billions of ringgit and US dollars in debt and we are to assume that it will lay a ‘golden egg’?

Crap bricks would be a more likely scenario.

Not satisfied with yet again (remember his insensitive comments about the homeless awhile back?) truly endearing himself to all of us, the good tengku then had what can only be called a ‘Rais Yatim moment’.

Akin to the former minister, who’d attempted (and failed) to belittle the massive numbers who turned up for the third Bersih Rally in 2012, Ku Nan tried to dismiss the Kita Lawan rally on 7 March by saying that they “represented a minority”.

First, Ku Nan needs to understand that at the 2013 general election, 52 per cent of those who did vote, voted for the opposition.

The opposition, in other words, won the election in terms of popular or total votes. Fifty-two per cent, as any school kid will tell you, represent a majority.

The Kita Lawan rally, as can be seen by the spate of arrests since, was a rally by the opposition parties and civil society organisations – part of that 52 per cent, as it were.

So, seriously, Ku Nan, they did represent more than just a smidgeon of the Malaysian population.

Not wanting to be outdone

As if not wanting to be outdone in the Idiot Sweepstakes, one of the oh-so-many ministers in the Education Ministry – yes, the same one who boasted not too long ago that Malaysian public universities are now “world class” – came out to say that a committee was being set up to “boost Islamic education”.

This, purportedly, is being done to counter the IS threat.

Indeed, as the Malay Mail Online report put it, the aim is “to ensure Muslim students have a sound understanding of Islam’s teachings in a bid to stem the outflow of Malaysian youngsters to join global terror group Islamic State (IS) in Syria”.

Which then begs two obvious questions.

First, I’m sure the ministry has a whole big team of qualified personnel to provide students with this ‘sound understanding’ of Islam. And if so, pray tell, what have these experts being doing all this while?

Second, is this strategy based on a clearly conceived study of the reasons why Malaysians have joined IS? Or is it, as is more likely, the outcome of much group guesswork over mugs of teh tarik and platefuls of kuih Melayu?

But this comedy by a gaggle of politicians didn’t quite end there, of course.

It needed the PM himself to round up a week or two of desperate acts and comments by senior politicians. And he surely didn’t disappoint.

In the run up to his crucial meeting with Umno division heads recently, he was reported to have declared in Ipoh, “I cannot imagine Malaysia without Umno, especially Malays and Muslims,” asserting that, without Umno, the Malays would be destitutes in their own country.

Which is all a bit rich, of course, since it is quite obvious for many Malays – and other Malaysians – that it’s really the other way around. Indeed, it is obvious that it’s Umno that would be destitute without the Malays.

It is time the PM and his flock woke up and smelled the caffeine. And come to terms with the fact that the feudal mentality cultivated all these years by Umno no longer carries much weight among many Malays.

Years of being handed down peanuts while at the same time seeing the wealth of this country being plundered by a cruel and corrupt cabal of politicians and their cronies have led many to question and, indeed, turn their backs on, the party.

Leaving, of course, not them, but a desperate Umno, destitute.

Source: malaysiakini.com

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Photograph: theSun Daily

What Karpal had said was mild compared to Dr Mahathir’s malicious utterances in the past about the rulers, observes our special correspondent. Yet Karpal is biadab; Dr M is not. Karpal is kurang ajar; Dr M is not. Karpal is a traitor; Dr M is not. Karpal is seditious; Dr M is not.

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Mahathir dreaming
Mahathir's views are obsolete and frozen in a bygone era of Old Politics

It was Shakespeare who said that cowards die many times before their death. It appears that in Malaysian politics, this saying also rings true – but with a twist, as our special correspondent observes.

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Pas leaders - Photo credit: Pas Pusat via Facebook

Many are hoping that the Pas central committee will meet immediately and have the courage to do the right thing – to decide in favour of New Politics and the reform agenda, writes Anil Netto.

Pas leaders - Photo credit: Pas Pusat via Facebook
Pas leaders – Photo credit: Pas Pusat via Facebook

Pas seems to be divided over whether to back Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim or to side with its Pakatan partners in calling for his removal.

On the one hand, the party is believed to be unhappy with PKR’s Kajang move. There is a sense that Pas was not pleased by what some within the party saw as a unilateral PKR move to replace the MB and take Pas and DAP for granted. And because of this, Khalid naturally found a safe haven in the protective embrace of Pas with whom he appears to have grown closer.

On the other hand, the hasty move by Pas’ Syura Council and party president Hadi Awang to back Khalid may not have gone down well with others in the Pas leadership, including the party’s central committee.

Was the Syura Council properly briefed on why its Pakatan partners wanted Khalid removed before deciding to back the Selangor Menteri Besar at its meeting on 6 August? Perhaps not. Now we see that Pas MP Khalid Samad may face disciplinary action for questioning the Syura Council’s decision to support Khalid apparently without reading the 50-page PKR dossier outlining why Khalid has to be removed. Why did the Syura Council make such an important decision without a full explanation?

And was Hadi Awang merely stating his personal opinion? Did he properly consult his central committee before making such an important decision? Deputy president Mat Sabu has clarified that Hadi’s backing for Khalid is not Pas’ stand. This, he said, would be decided at the party’s central committee meeting, originally scheduled for 10 August and then postponed to 13 August and now 17 August.

But a week is a long time in politics, especially when the situation is so fluid. There are now calls for the meeting to be brought forward.

There is also a sense that Pas does not want to dance to PKR’s tune and wants to make its coalition partner sweat a little. Certainly, the party does not seem overly enthusiastic about PKR’s choice of new MB because it remains unhappy over Anwar’s moves, especially the Kajang Move, which is also the source of dissatisfaction among segments of the Selangor public. Pas appears to be playing hardball now.

But behind the perception that Pas does not want to be taken for granted, the public statements by Khalid Samad and Sabu show that there are real internal differences within Pas about whether to back Khalid Ibrahim and whether the party should cooperate with Umno. The postponements of the central committee meeting may reflect this uncertainty.

To be sure, the Pas central committee faces a real dilemma as the ball has been tossed into its court. The central committee now has to deal with the decisions by Hadi and the Syura Council to back Khalid Ibrahim.

Some within the party leadership do not seem happy with the Syura Council for what they may see as the overstepping of the Council’s jurisdiction. The Syura Council may be the highest decision-making body in Pas but it is supposed to deliberate on policy issues such as whether Pas should remain in Pakatan.

The central committee, on the other hand, is supposed to determine political tactics and strategy. The decision whether to back Khalid – which is a strategic or tactical move – should fall within the ambit of the central committee, not the Syura Council.

So there is a sense that the Syura Council and Hadi may have pre-empted the central committee in this case, and the committee may now want to reassert its authority.

But if the Pas central committee withdraws the party’s backing for Khalid, it may be seen as a show of disrespect for – even defiance of – the Syura Council and Hadi. And that could cause a split in its ranks.

Which is why the central committee is in a dilemma – how to express support for its Pakatan partners without causing a split within Pas and without showing disrespect for Hadi and the Syura Council? That may be another reason why its meeting has been repeatedly postponed. But the party’s dithering has put Pas Selangor State Assembly members, especially those in the state ExCo in a quandary. Where do they stand in the meantime?

As things stand, the Pas central committee is hemmed in by the Syura Council’s decision and Hadi’s view on the one hand, and the dawning realisation that the party will be blamed and suffer irreversible political damage if Selangor falls back to BN, whether Pas cooperates with Umno or not.

The Pas central committee should remember that there is another party in this saga that is far more important than the Syura Council and the Pas president – and that is the people of Selangor who voted for Pakatan parties, including Pas representatives, to form the Selangor state government.

Pas must honour the mandate the voters have bestowed on Pakatan parties – for a change in the state government at GE12 and a more  emphatic mandate in support of the reform agenda at GE13. Not honouring that mandate would amount to a betrayal of the rakyat’s trust, and once lost, it would be hard for the party to regain that trust.

Many are hoping that the Pas central committee will meet immediately and have the courage to do the right thing – to decide in favour of New Politics and the reform agenda – and to live up to the trust of the voters of Selangor and indeed all those across the nation who had hoped for real change.

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