Talkback

Sauce For The Goose Is Sauce For The Gander

The Registrar of Societies’ (RoS) move to force Umno to have nationwide party elections amid the worsening Covid-19 situation smacks of politics, a party leader said today.

Speaking to FMT, Umno information chief Shahril Hamdan said this was especially so when the party fulfilled procedures for the extension of polls as indicated in the RoS’ letter to the party on July 19. “Our secretary-general will write a formal letter to RoS to explain this,” he said.

Shahril added that RoS’ latest instructions were “peculiar” considering that the government body did not even allow PKR to hold its congress in June. “Now, they want Umno to immediately hold nationwide polls across 20,000 branches?

Other parties’ requests to postpone party polls were granted without any drama. Why not Umno’s?” He said forcing Umno to carry out virtual voting without concerns for fraud and hacking was disingenuous.

Our comment

The Lame Duck PM certainly lacks subtlety as he sets about his harassment and bullying to stay in power, this just being one example.

Yet he has sought to claim that his style of government, which prioritises his survival as a leader without followers above all other concerns, is the best option in this pandemic.

Thus you have a prime minister who seeks to gain emergency powers to postpone an election in Sarawak on the grounds of Covid and to postpone the sitting of Parliament on the grounds of Covid, but who has sought to reverse an agreed postponement of a rival party’s internal elections purely to badger and harass.

The UMNO decision was made in line with protocol, as accepted by the ROC in July. A call from Mahiaddin hatchet man, Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin has arm-twisted the ROC into changing its mind two months later for obvious political reasons.

Is this really the best sort of government that Malaysia needs at this time of crisis or would not just about any other government be an improvement?

As the Rulers have said a stable government, not one obsessed with its lack of legitimacy is what is needed.

If I Lose The Vote I Will Argue It Is Not Right To Change The Government Anyway

Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has indicated that a change of government at this juncture could do more harm to the nation…

Though confident that he still has the numbers, Muhyiddin, however, said the country’s current situation and problems must be taken into consideration.

“Can the country handle more problems should there be a change (of government) or political chaos?” he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

The premier said the move to table the motion of confidence received the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong…

“Things are not always what they seem. This is a political issue and that is why His Majesty consented to it (to be brought to Parliament),” he added.

Earlier, the prime minister presented food baskets and fresh food to village heads in his Pagoh constituency to be distributed to the local communities.

Our comment

Who paid for the food baskets to Moo’s constituents and does it not occur to the man that to do so was either incredibly patronising or a sign of the desperate plight of his own constituents for whose well being he is responsible?

In any other democracy, for the local MP to hand out food would be considered a gesture of arrogance or failure, yet in Malaysia folk are taught that it is acceptable for politicians to make state funded gifts as if they were acts of personal charity and voters are supposed to bow and scrape and be grateful.

Meanwhile, this man’s incompetence, vanity and corrupt practices are overwhelmingly responsible for the problems currently facing his own constituents and others all over Malaysia.

As for whether he is again lying about his alleged support from the King over buying time to buy MPs (yet again) time will tell.

However, the significance of this statement by the lame duck PM is clear in that he has no intention of shifting even were he to lose the vote of confidence which he has tried to delay for a month.

He will simply argue that a change of government would not be good at this time in his opinion, so he should be allowed to continue raiding the public funds and wreaking havoc.

 

Mahiaddin's Lawyer Opines That It Is Fine For An Illegitimate PM To Put His Finger Up to King and Parliament

‘Constitutional crisis? Much ado about nothing!’

This parliamentary session was a Special Session. It was called by virtue of Standing Order 11(3).

This was a Special Session called upon an adjournment of the last sitting of the House. It was a session that was called by the Prime Minister making representations to the Speaker of the House. The purpose of this special session was to discuss matters of public interest. In this case, it was to discuss the Covid-19 Pandemic and the Government’s response to it.

The business of the Special Sessions is to be determined by the Prime Minister. This is unlike an ordinary sitting of Parliament…..

It is therefore clear that unlike Standing Order 14, Standing Order 11 does not provide for votes on motions or bills etc. The only business that is provided for in Standing Order 11 is that which is determined by the Prime Minister. In this instance, the Prime Minister set the business of the House so as to allow the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to brief Parliament on the Covid-19 National Recovery Plan.
[By Rosli Dahlan, personal lawyer to Mahiaddin Yassin]

 

Our comment

Like any purveyor of specious arguments this fellow (whose grandiose showcase prosecutions on 1MDB have been dropping like flies) has started with a false premise.

Everyone in Malaysia knows that this sitting of Parliament was called not because his client Mahiaddin had suggested it (or advised the King) but for the opposite reason.

In the face of utmost resistance from Mahiaddin, who has lost his majority support, the Rulers and the King had ORDERED the reluctant prime minister to call Parliament and to test his majority and the ordinances brought under the state of emergency.

If he cited Section this or that is beside the point. The purpose was to determine the legitimacy of the government and of the State of Emergency it has used to rule without Parliament for the past several months.

Lawyers like Rosli Dahlan are in the market to come up with pompous and very long-winded arguments in court to support whatever position their client desires.

In this case the judges are the elected MPs, the public and the Head of State and they will not find in his favour.

So Who Is Biased - A Bloomberg Writer Or Sholto Byrnes?

“While politicians rarely agree on anything, one thing that did unite them earlier this month was a Bloomberg opinion piece. Titled “Malaysia is staggering down the road to failed statehood”, the outrage at the slur on national dignity was felt across the spectrum. It wasn’t just the government fighting back, led by Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Aziz, who wrote a rebuttal that was widely published, including in The Straits Times in neighbouring Singapore.

The sting was perceived by government critics as well…..

Others managed to find some humour in the brouhaha. Referencing a veteran opposition leader who has been making doomsday predictions about Malaysia – including that it was becoming a “failed state” – for as long as anyone can remember, one online commenter wrote: “Oh please tell me Lim Kit Siang is the owner of Bloomberg now.”

What prompted this strange – and offensive – judgement on the country’s health appears to have been that Malaysians who are in dire need of food and money have taken to waving white flags outside their homes. This, the writer thought, was “a shorthand for discontent at the atrophying state and troubled economy”.
[Sholto Byrnes – Opinion, The National]

Our comment

It is surely something of a slip on the part of this ‘freelance writer’ cum ‘think tank member’ cum PR man to raise the somewhat delicate matter of ownership when it comes to the alleged slant of articles.

Having sneered at Bloomberg along such lines he would have done well to mention who owns The National for whom he wrote this surprising piece declaring that everyone in Malaysia is united in rejecting the concept that the country is approaching failed statehood.

It is called declaring an interest since the owner of The National is an old friend of Malaysia’s present coup coalition leadership, namely Sheikh Mansour of the UAE.

Indeed, one of the first actions of the present PN government after Mahiaddin’s surprise appointment by the Agong (a bosom buddy of Mansour’s brother MBS) was to suspend a six billion dollar legal action against their company IPIC. There are favours owed, therefore, as PN seeks to defend itself against the damning verdict of a Bloomberg writer.

Mr Byrnes writes his own opinions to order, as SR has previously examined in his earlier capacity working for Najib’s PR man Paul Stadlen, who remains currently on the run from an arrest warrant in the UK over 1MDB.

So, having apparently performed this service for the Prince Mansour owned paper to help boost the image of PN in the Middle East, he would have done well to avoid casting aspersions on established correspondents working for established news organisations.

It has only drawn attention to his own record in this department and to the sincerity of this article ‘jokingly’ attacking Bloomberg for apparent bias.

No IDEAS About Democracy

Bersatu information chief Wan Saiful Wan Jan said that opposition MPs have not presented any useful ideas for the country during the special Dewan Rakyat sitting.

“The opposition keeps on screaming and objecting to everything the government is trying to say. They are opposing for the sake of opposing and are destroying the country.

“The fact is the government has done its best and the opposition does not have any new ideas,” said Wan Saiful in a statement today.

Wan Saiful said Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had shown magnanimity in his speech in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday by admitting that the government was not perfect.

“Rightfully, (the opposition) should use that opportunity to provide new ideas to improve on what the government is doing,” said Wan Saiful.

He urged all critics, especially the opposition, to put aside the “political fanaticism” and truly help the country’s Covid-19 response.

Our comment

For sheer entertainment value this ‘intellectual’ takes the biscuit. Let’s chuck back at him some of his over-repeated old chestnuts:

a) Could he just ‘stop harping on’ criticising anyone who criticises as it is sheer politicking frankly?

b) Perhaps he should get it into his skull that the job of the opposition is in fact to oppose – it is how democracies operate.  Except, his illegitimate government which is made up of a collection of the worst bribed, blackmailed and bought up crooks in Malaysian politics, has closed down Parliament because they are unable to answer the criticism or obtain majority support because it is they who are clueless and have no idea and have just proven it over several months of disastrous mismanagement of the country.

c) Everyone in Malaysia knows that so why is he asking the country to praise his paymaster for accepting he isn’t perfect, but rather murderously corrupted and incompetent?

The reason, of course, is that he is one the payroll and wants to stay there, so expect him to continue ‘harping on’ with his unoriginal nonsense and patronising blether because he has neither the wit nor sophistication to come up with better lines of argument.

It Is Not A Crime To Be Wrong

Refuge for the Refugees founder Heidy Quah found herself in the dock today over her Facebook post on alleged mistreatment of refugees at Immigration detention centres.

Before the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court this morning, the non-governmental organisation’s (NGO) director claimed trial to a charge of improper use of network facilities to upload an offensive statement.

On July 7 last year, it was reported that she was summoned to Bukit Aman, believed to be in connection to her FB post on alleged mistreatment at the centres.

According to the charge read out to her before judge Edwin Paramjothy today, she was accused of committing the offence around 5.30am on June 5, last year.

She was charged under Section 233 (1)(a) of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. According to Section 233(3) of the Act, she faces a maximum fine of RM50,000, or jail time of not more than a year, or both, if found guilty….

Her questioning at Bukit Aman came in the wake of a police probe on an Al-Jazeera documentary that allegedly misrepresented facts surrounding the treatment of migrants detained around Covid-19 red zones in Kuala Lumpur.

 

Our comment

The Malaysian authorities should be mindful that whilst it is not a crime to be incorrect it is a human rights violation to take away people’s liberty to speak out and have opinions…. even if these are misplaced in the view of the authorities.

A public spirited and caring woman has voiced concern about the conditions of refugees in Malaysia. These most vulnerable people on the planet are the most likely to be ill treated and neglected in host countries everywhere.

Societies need Samaritans such as this prepared to speak out about neglect or worse abuse, where most of us prefer to turn a blind eye or express resentment towards ‘beggars’ arriving in our midst from places of misfortune.

Yet, the authorities in Malaysia would prefer not to be criticised or held to account (or embarrassed by Al Jazeera) and so it appears they have criminalised criticism and charged this woman of conscience with accusations of ‘fake news’ (on the very day they rescinded the emergency ordinance against ‘fake news’).

There are better ways to deal with ‘Fake News’ of course. If the lady is wrong over her concerns, this would have presented the golden opportunity for the Malaysian authorities to showcase the marvellous way in which they in fact care for refugees.

Why not invite in the cameras and interview the happy and grateful mothers and children within their detention quarters, all praising the conditions and their kindly guards?

Then they would easily prove their ‘fake news’ point and show up the ignorant, critical ‘busybody’ who has raised unfair concerns. It would save the public a fortune over an unnecessary prosecution and educate them also.

However, by doing what they have done the PN thugs have only confirmed in everybody’s mind the obvious logic that something cannot be right with Malaysia’s treatment of refugees – the country is already high on the list of offenders for mistreatment of migrant workers and for people trafficking, so it would hardly be a surprise to find failings in this department also.

Those who silence criticism have something to hide and therefore the only logical conclusion is that it is not this human rights defender who has committed any kind of crime, but that Malaysia’s illegitimate regime has just added to its own list of crimes and violations by prosecuting her.

Taking From The People - Johor Crown Prince Accuses Others!

The Crown Prince of Johor has labelled Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman a “drama queen” after the former youth and sports minister started a crowdfunding campaign to help settle his legal expenses.

“Drama queen. I pity the rakyat who always end up being the victim of political games,” said Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim, who has in the past been at odds with the Muar MP.

Tunku Ismail, known as TMJ, said this in response to a report which quoted Syed Saddiq as saying he needed the people’s help even if it was just a contribution of 50 sen.

“It’s an act and it is to deceive the people, all for the sake of votes and power. You can’t trust almost all of them,” Utusan Malaysia quoted Tunku Ismail as saying.

Yesterday, Syed Saddiq pleaded not guilty before the sessions court to two charges of misappropriating a total of RM1.12 million belonging to Bersatu Youth.

From the amount, RM120,000 was said to be party funds for the 2018 general election, while RM1 million was allegedly withdrawn by him without the leadership’s consent.

Syed Saddiq was granted bail of RM330,00 for both charges. Last night, he started a fundraiser for the bail amount and his legal fees.

 

Our comment

This chubby, no longer so young royal clearly lacks the imagination to understand what a lack of total impunity must be like for normal mortals.

He can’t conceive how it might feel to face jail if one can’t lay hands on an extraordinary sum of money in a matter of days because:
a) whatever he does (and there is much bruised testimony to his actions over the years) he knows he will get away with it and
b) his family coffers are limitless and able to sustain any amount of bail you care to mention several times over.

So, in turning to others for help to escape what he convincingly terms as a politically motivated incarceration Syed Saddiq is merely acting a “Drama Queen’ as the pampered prince would have it. Moreover, Syed is ‘deceiving’ people by taking contributions.

The attitude is familiar amongst certain over-privileged youths, but what seems extraordinary is the Prince’s failure even to realise that such sneers are better restricted to his private circles in a situation such as his.

He plainly feels no concern whatsoever about what others may think of his arrogance or behaviour nor considers himself bound to set some kind of example of royal dignity (rising above the fray).

It is an indication that this next in line Sultan of Johor is travelling even further backwards in his mind in the direction not of a modern constitutional monarchy (his legitimate role) but towards a medieval state of thuggery, where robber barons can act how they like, grab what they want and play God to boot.

Thus this scion of the “30% family“, which has been caught over and again looting public lands and contracts, openly mocks a man who requests voluntary support to stand up to power, claiming it is the subject who is taking money and deceiving the public.

The Prince’s mindset clearly owes to the years of untrammelled exploitation enjoyed by his own family – but to articulate such arrogance so openly will likely accelerate the process that was completed in most places elsewhere many hundreds of years ago.

How To Square A Circle In The Case of Dr M?

Pejuang and Warisan have denied allegations that their parties will cooperate with Bersatu and Perikatan Nasional.

Both parties issued separate statements following an article published by Sarawak Report yesterday which speculated that Pejuang and Bersatu founder Dr Mahathir Mohamad would be appointed as leader of the PN government’s recovery plan.

In a statement today, Pejuang information chief Ulya Aqamah Husamudin said Mahathir has “repeatedly” rejected allegations that he would cooperate with PN.

“If Pejuang wants to work with Bersatu and PN, we need not work so hard to get our party approved; we can just return to our old party (Bersatu),” said Ulya.

Our comment

You cannot have your cake and eat it….. even if aged 96.

Dr Mahathir makes no secret of his burning desire to head a National Recovery Council that would effectively take over the management of the country if it was put in place.

Sources have told SR he would be happy to forget being prime minister if so appointed – after all the prime minister would be himself forgotten. As one has told SR:

“Tun M is just keen to set up our own National Recovery Council to reset and rebuild our country. Seriously, we are not keen for premierships and so forth. We just want to resolve [the] current predicaments of the people. Anwar can never become the prime minister of Malaysia.  Nobody wants him and Anwar is irrelevant now”

However, to achieve such status Dr M would need to be appointed and to accept the right of whoever appointed him to make such an appointment – i.e, he would have to acknowledge the authority of the government of the day.

So, unless he is planning to finally come back with his four man party and support PH (and fulfil his election pledge to hand over to the leader of PKR as agreed in the PH manifesto) that means accepting PN’s position office as the entity that appoints him.

Which will it be?

ZeFool Should Better Stay Silent

Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz has said assessments that Malaysia was tumbling into a failed statehood were unfair.

Among others, he dismissed the white flag campaign as being a signal that the country was faltering.

“I am sure that many social and political scientists are as baffled as I am by how a single community-care campaign – and perhaps also social media conversations – on helping those in need can be equated with impending failed statehood,” he said in an editorial piece for Singapore’s Strait Times.

The white flag campaign urges those in dire need of help to put up a white flag to signal to others that they require aid.

 

Our comment

Of course, this unelected royal buddy has never understood hunger or poverty and so doubtless fails to understand that in the eyes of the wider population a failure to ensure access to the life-sustaining basics represents failure by a state towards its people.

Doubtless he has ‘indicators’ learnt from banking. However, his investors understand that a starving and disaffected population led by a bunch of corrupted headless chickens makes for an unstable prospect.

So even he should realise that his is a failed government both in the eyes of the people and in the eyes for the world, therefore it would be better to keep his pouty lips zipped rather than arguing the toss about the level to which he has dragged his country down.