Talkback

Sabri Vouches For 'Peaceful' French Subs?

Malaysia was of the position that the Australia-UK-US (Aukus) deal might be a catalyst to a regional arms race.

“It may also provoke other powers to be more aggressive in the region, especially in the South China Sea,” said the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The PMO said Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob had informed his Australian counterpart, Scott Morrison, of Malaysia’s position during a telephone call yesterday.

The PMO said Malaysia held to the Asean declaration in 1971 that the region was to be a Zone of Peace, Freedom, and Neutrality (Zopfan).

Aukus was concluded yesterday and will see the three countries exchanging technology and intelligence.

However, the most important part of the deal involved the UK and US arming Australia with the means to produce nuclear-powered attack submarines.

Our comment

Following in Najib’s path (of turning a blind eye to China’s incursion into Malaysia’s territorial waters) the new PM Ismail Sabri is proving himself to be in the same mould as his party predecessor when it comes to handling foreign affairs.

He has even re-appointed Najib’s cousin Hishamuddin Hussein back into the job of Defence Minister to restore a relationship that bailed out the 1MDB imbroglio and kept quiet in the face of insult followed by insult to Malaysia’s independence.

After all cash is cash and China is generous to decision makers in strategic places. One can always leave one’s country and live in Dubai if you’ve sold it down the river.

As for Australia’s controversial choice of submarine defences to counter militarisation in the region. Malaysia can certainly testify to the effectiveness of the French variety in NOT escalating any arms race.

Hishamuddin’s arsenal of Scorpenes can’t even leave port above the water let alone below it. according to general perceptions. No one need feel threatened into buying so much as a water pistol to fend off those multi-billion ringgit toys. Meanwhile, the kickbacks on that deal to Najib and his allies are well-documented in the French courts themselves.

Whether this laughable defence will ‘keep the peace’ for Malaysia, rather than laying it open for a peaceful takeover, is another matter.

Australia is entitled to see things differently and to decide to defend itself with submarines that can be relied upon to do a proper job of it.

Who Did Zafrul Forget To Thank over KPMG?

“The recent political developments have not affected the government’s determination to ensure that appropriate actions are taken against all individuals or entities involved, directly or indirectly, in the global 1MDB scheme,” he said.

The ministry said the settlement will conclude the civil suit filed on July 6 against KPMG, which will expedite the payment of monies to fulfil 1MDB’s outstanding obligations, and save the court’s time and public resources.

It said this settlement will not affect or compromise the government’s claims against individuals like Jho Low and other parties related thereto, and who are still being actively pursued in relation to the 1MDB financial scandal.

The Finance Ministry concluded the statement by thanking the Attorney-General’s Chambers and all the regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies for their efforts in achieving this settlement.

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Our comment

The unelected royal pal, finance minister Zafrul, has been assiduous together with various PN lawyers in getting as much money as he can out of easy local targets over 1MDB.

More embarrassing but larger entities responsible, such as the royal family of Abu Dhabi, have meanwhile been let off the hook. However, billions have been garnered from the efforts of the United States and others to return the stolen money to Malaysia.

Less clear has been what has actually happened to such deliciously accessible dollops of hard currency, which were supposed to go straight back into paying off 1MDB’s terrifying debts. There has been no report on the matter thanks to the convenient (and unnecessary) shutting down of parliament and all forms of public oversight and scrutiny since PN grabbed office.

Any bets that the debts remain exactly as they were and growing and the money now unaccounted for? Zafrul owes the country a full and proper audit of how this returned money has been employed.

Meanwhile, should this fellow have the slightest manners, there are further thanks he owes besides those he made to the officers regarding the cave in by KPMG Malaysia, namely to this site.

So far, Sarawak Report, which was the first to publish the facts on KPMG’s failings over 1MDB, its dodgy accounting on the matter and indeed the whole scandal of 1MDB has yet to receive a word of thanks from anyone in this PN government who have been so happy to grab the billions returned as a result of our reports.

To the contrary, for years all these characters accused us of lying as we reported 1MDB…. right up to the day the money started coming back and they snatched office to receive it.

Zaifrul’s PN allies, such as the chief crook in the story Najib Razak, swan around KL and Parliament, convicted but still key members of the coup regime. They have even appointed Najib as a key economic advisor … seemingly to educate Zaifrul on how to steal more and raise more debts.

By contrast, Sarawak Report, has made do with a series of arrest warrants, civil suits by public figures, slurs and lies. We take it as a badge of honour as the Datuks of PN grab for the dirty money and let each other off their jail sentences.

'National Recovery Chairman' Hits Ground Running?

Timbalan Menteri Pelancongan, Seni Dan Budaya Malaysia YB Dato’ Sri Dr. Santhara menyambut ketibaan Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Pengerusi Majlis Pemulihan Negara
yang dalam rangka kerja ke Langkawi bagi memantau Persediaan Pembukaan Semula Sektor Pelancongan Langkawi.
Selain itu, YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin turut akan mengadakan sesi libat urus bersama-sama pemain industri yang terlibat dalam sektor pelancongan di Langkawi.
Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Malaysia YB Dato ‘ Sri Dr. Santhara celebrates the arrival of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Chairman of the National Rehabilitation Council
Those in the framework to Langkawi to monitor the Reopening of Langkawi Tourism Sector.
In addition, YB Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will also hold a private holiday session with industrial players involved in the tourism sector in Langkawi. [translation – Edward Santhara Facebook page]
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Our comment

The ex-PN prime minister now appointed PN 2.0 “National Recovery Chairman’ seems determined to start as he plans to continue, with a holiday trip to Langkawi.

After all, the mess from which the country needs to recover is largely the product of his own prime ministership, which was distinguished mainly by his indolent inactivity in the job and failure to demonstrate the least concern for anything beyond his narrow circle and interests.

Greeted by the new Tourism Minister himself at the airport, the grovelling ex-PKR frogman and member for New Zealand, Edmund Santara, the visit was also entirely in keeping with PN’s double standards on everything.

No one else can go on holiday in Malaysia under the present gruelling SOP situation, so how fitting that the man tasked with making things better should flag up tourism as a way forward in order to enjoy an inaugural holiday for one (plus pampered family seen in the background) rather than doing his urgent job.

Did they re-open a 5 star hotel just for him? Without a doubt.

Equally fitting that he was met by a party-hopping millionaire businessman MP whose treachery was critical to PN’s seizure of power in the first place by overturning an elected government. Mahiaddin has piously together with his successor belatedly deplored party-hopping and agreed to implement a ban on the practice as a ‘key reform’ in return for budget support (which they absolutely do care about) from the opposition.

This will lock in hoppers like Santara, so win win!

When such ‘reforms’ can be accepted as concessions by the opposition, Mahiaddin probably considers himself entitled to think they will accept his holiday/ongoing convalescence as a serious stab at addressing the desperate problems facing the country.

Malaysians can at least conclude that the less this man does in any capacity the better and that the longer both he and Santara live it up on holiday at the public expense in Langkawi the less damage they will do elsewhere.

Double Standards? PN?

Home Minister Hamzah Zainudin said the government had no choice but to compound the opposition MPs who had attempted to march to Parliament on Aug 2 as there cannot be “double standards”.

However, he said the government has since agreed to lower the compound from RM3,000 to RM1,000, which is the usual fine for SOP violation.

“At the time, there was SOP that stated we cannot have gatherings anywhere, but based on the spirit of cooperation between the government and the opposition and after discussion with Health Minister (Khairy Jamaluddin), we have agreed for us to lower the compound to the same amount paid by the rakyat.

“We still have to have the compound because there cannot be double standards between the MPs and other rakyats who also had similar gatherings, so we were forced to (compound the MPs). I apologise,” Hamzah said in the Dewan Rakyat today.

Our comment

Heaven forfend that the PN government should lay itself open to accusations of double standards!

These are the self-installed, treacherous defectors whom the people have watched celebrating and breaking every rule in their own book for two years, after all.

These are the hoppers who are now piously proclaiming an anti-hopping law, now they have cheated their electorate.

They illegally slammed shut Parliament to prevent MPs voting or indeed legitimising the very SOP laws they are now seeking to fine them for allegedly breaking.

However, on the very same day this Bersatu Bagman has insisted it would be double standards not to fine all these MPs who were rightfully trying to do the job they are elected to do his Speaker colleague announced he will be letting off their own Law Minister caught out lying to Parliament about a message from  the King…. on the grounds the matter is “time expired“.

So, time expired for the PN toady who misrepresented the King, but punishment time for the opposition who protested that lying, cheating deed.

No double standards?

If You Care DO Something, Because YOU CAN Like No-one Else!

I remain deeply concerned about the environment and how development impacts climate change which will affect not just us but also future generations, even irreversibly. Forest areas, particularly peat swamp forests, play a vital role as carbon sinks to keep our planet cool and to slow down the rate of global warming. They also remain home to rare flora and fauna and their loss further risks diminishing our biodiversity.

In regards to the recent news on the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve (KLNFR) , some groups believe I am benefiting from such a decision, I would like to make my position clear. I have no link to Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd or any development project in KLNFR.

Going forward, I wish everyone to pursue the most ambitious path. Make it all our responsibility to protect and rehabilitate as much of this land. Empower and protect the community that exists there. Build a more sustainable community by having some empathy and foresight. Selangorians won’t like seeing it go. We Malaysians want to do our part for this planet – to reverse our ecological mistakes and contribute positively to the environment.

Our comment

These are most admirable sentiments shared by any leader who cares about their country, their weaker subjects and the highly threatened future of our planet for the next generation.

However, the Raja Muda has chosen his words a little too carefully to escape follow-up questions now that he has sought to address the burning issues surrounding the shocking decision of the Selangor State Government to de-gazette and destroy most of  what little remains of Kuala Langat Forest Reserve.

It has never been suggested the Raja Muda has a current link to Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd or the present development plans. Everyone knows that the present concession-holders are the destructive, timber-raiding Yaw family behind Sarawak’s notorious Samling group.

However, everyone equally knows that it was a company,Titian Jutaria Sdn Bhd, which was directed by the Prince and owned by his father the Sultan and his cousin that first initiated this project together with the state.

The Menteri Besar of Selangor is on record saying the two concerns had pledged to pay a premium of RM323,774,578 to get their hands on the project, which means that at some point the Raja Muda’s sentiments of concern about the environment and empathy for his people had been overruled by an opportunity that was plainly worth plenty more than that.

So, will Tengku Amir Shah or his father or the fellow director of the company (that was rapidly dissolved once this scandal blew up) be so good as to lay out the details of their original arrangement with the state and how the project was then transferred. What money if any changed hands?

These matters should also now be the subject of a major enquiry and scrutiny of the present administration under PH and its MB. How come Amirudin Shari saw fit to sign off this destructive project with so little transparency or consultation in the face of the appalling impact on the biodiversity of the state and native people?

Has there been a pattern of such improper land grabs in Selangor just as has been the case in Sarawak and have Samling been involved before – or indeed any of the other players?

Only by getting to the truth can the problem at the heart of what happened be rectified and future raids prevented.

Meanwhile, now that the Raja Muda has expressed his admirable concerns the good news is that he is one of the very few people who could, with a small enough effort on his part, do something major to improve the situation.

The likes of Sarawak Report work day after day trying to raise awareness and provoke good governance towards saving Malaysia’s staggeringly special and important natural heritage. Yet such efforts and those of fellow campaigners pale into insignificance compared to what the Selangor royal heir could do not just in his state but throughout Malaysia.

Were the Raja Muda to take up this cause and work to turn around the destruction in his state and to help nature to once more find the space to flourish then he could make a transformative difference and his name would go down in history for the good deed and great foresight he would have shown.

This is probably Selangor’s last chance and eleventh hour, so please lead the way so others who also care can follow.

"Absolute Power" - Does AG Think Malaysians Are Stupid?

There is no need for Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob to table a confidence vote in the Dewan Rakyat, the attorney-general said today.

Idrus Harun said if Ismail’s legitimacy still needed to be tested by any party, apart from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, it would mean the absolute power of the King could be overridden.

“And this is not in line with the Federal Constitution,” he said in a statement.

Idrus said the Yang di-Agong had on Aug 21 appointed Ismail as the 9th prime minister which is in line with Article 40(2)(a) and 43(2)(a) of the Federal Constitution…

“It is clear the appointment of the prime minister is a constitutional responsibility and His Majesty has the absolute powers.

“The procedure to determine which MP has the majority in the Dewan Rakyat has been decided by His Majesty,” he added.

Idrus added that the King had sought the stand of the 220 MPs on their choice as prime minister through statutory declarations.

 

Our comment

The Vatican plus three repressive Gulf States, Brunei and Swaziland are the remaining Absolute Monarchies on the planet. Yet it appears that the grovelling Attorney General of Malaysia would like to return his country to this outmoded system of government seen only now in mini-states.

In the process he apparently suggests that it would be up to the new PM to table a vote of confidence against himself when, of course, that is the decision and right of the opposition leader. The AG’s brother who is the Speaker is then bound by the rules to allow it to be swiftly heard.

However, the clique of family and friends who now reckon they can rule Malaysia with an iron rod, despite their wafer thin majority and status as the losers of the last election, seem willing to drive a coach and horses through the rules and to lecture Malaysians with nonsense theories, such as that the appointment of PM by the Agong cannot be tested because it is his ‘Absolute Power’.

Do they think people are stupid? People know:

a) The rotating King of Malaysia is NOT an Absolute Monarch.

b) A parliamentary majority is NOT determined through the present incumbent of the role’s novel inventions of taking SDs and talking to some or all MPs (which he sometimes but not always chooses to abide by). It is determined by evidence of a working majority in Parliament, tested if required by the leader of the Opposition with a No Confidence vote.

This appalling ‘legal reasoning’ on the part of the supposedly most senior law officer in the land would not stand up in a minor court let alone the court of public opinion. It is clearly a blatant attempt to justify the obvious plan by his own brother to abuse his own position as Speaker by denying such a vote were to it be requested by the Leader of the Opposition.

National Recovery?

Former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin has been appointed as the National Recovery Council chairperson with the status of minister.

Chief Secretary to the Government Mohd Zuki Ali said the cabinet had decided on this on Sept 1 and the appointment has been presented to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Zuki said the appointment was made as the government was confident in Muhyiddin’s ability to spearhead a national recovery strategy.

Our comment

Malaysians have now the full measure of how seriously PN 2.0 takes the welfare of the nation.

It has appointed the greedy nitwit who caused so much misery over the past two months to be in charge of the ‘recovery’. Another minister to the Cabinet with full perks.

Eventually this dreadful disease, which PN has failed to counter but taken full advantage of for their own political and personal economic gains, will itself phase out.

The people should have (at immense and unnecessary cost) acquired ‘herd immunity’ by the next election.

They should pass their verdict then.

Malaysian Paralympian Even More Famous For His Triumph!

National shot put coach Mohd Faizol Harun has taken full responsibility for the disqualification of Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

Mohd Faizol said that as the athlete’s coach, he was the one closest to Muhammad Ziyad during the Games.

“To all parties looking for who is guilty in this matter, I, as Ziyad’s coach and the one closest to him, am responsible for what happened.

“Don’t point fingers at others,” he told a media conference upon returning with the national contingent at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) here today.

Our comment

Kudos to the coach for training the top class Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli and then taking the blame for what happened when he lost that medal.

Sport is full of such setbacks, but in the end no one can take away Muhammad’s triumph in performing best in this competition and no one will want to either.

He many not have the official medal but he has the support and respect of his nation and of his sport.

What is more he gets the last laugh, because thanks to this disappointment his story has spread far and wide as have his fame and the global recognition of his achievement.

Muhammad Ziyad Zolkefli is now a far bigger name than just some ordinary Olympic Gold Medal winner!

Don't Oppose Us!

Perikatan Nasional’s Pahang chairperson Saifuddin Abdullah has called for a political ceasefire between the BN/PN and the opposition parties to ensure that Malaysia is able to focus on containing the Covid-19 pandemic and reviving the economy.

“I feel that from now until the 15th general election, we need time to calm down and there should be some kind of political ceasefire among the politicians,” the foreign minister told a press conference at Wisma Putra today.

“We should have some kind of political ceasefire so that all of us – the government and the opposition – will have some peace of mind for us to focus on our work, dealing with pandemic and to revive the economy,” he said.

Our comment

How very convenient this call for ‘Unity’ is for the fractious and divided minority PN coalition.

UMNO and its fellow losers from the last election were all guns blazing against the prior government themselves when they engineered a coup through bribery and blackmail to up-turn the stable elected government. However, now they would like an end to opposition, an end to frogging and an end to any criticism of their failing management of Covid.

Their own upturning of the previous elected government has meant that Malaysia entered a state of chaos just as Covid hit and for the best part of two years PN’s hopelessly divided, corrupt and incompetent coalition of rivalling former political enemies have held onto power only by slamming shut Parliament and effectively silencing all criticism of their failures.

The result has been disastrous for Malaysia and the people have suffered exponentially more than they would have done lead by the government that held a strong majority before the coup.

Now, after yet more infighting has distracted this PN coup coalition from its proper duties, resulting in a change of leader but little more, these fellows with their wafer thin majority want to be allowed to govern without the opposition to hold it to account. They are demanding a so-called ‘Unity’ government in the name of tackling Covid.

Yet this lack of opposition is exactly what they have benefited from for all the past 24 months, having closed down Parliament and claimed emergency powers to shut out scrutiny and prevent any challenge on the excuse of Covid.

It didn’t do the country any good then and it won’t now either – PN have demonstrated how they govern in the absence of an opposition for long enough. It didn’t work.