Monday, March 01, 2021

Meet the three biggest Darurat offenders

In January, when the Agong finally granted PM Muhyiddin Yasin his wish for Emergency rule, purportedly to help contain the rising Covid-19 cases, there were those among us who were skeptical and those who chose to believe what they were told: that this was a "political Darurat". To allow Muhyiddin to focus on saving our lives, he needed the political Darurat so that his position as PM is secured and not threatened by political threats. Talks of no-confidence vote in Parliament must not be allowed. 

And so, in the name of God, Parliament would not sit until a time set by the King. (read the PM's full speech on 12 Jan, the day after Darurat took effect, here). 

Some excerpts:

24. Of late, there have been parties urging for elections to be held. I never have the intention to not have the elections. The main thing that prevented me from advising His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to dissolve Parliament to enable the General Election to be held is the COVID-19 pandemic.

25. The decision not to hold elections amidst the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic is in line with one of the five principles of Maqasid Syariah which is to take care of life or hifz al-nafs. In this context, it is my duty as the Head of Government to take care of the lives of the people by protecting you all from COVID-19 infections. This is the most important task as enshrined and propagated in Islam.

26. Therefore, I want to give my firm commitment here that the General Election will be held as soon as the Independent Special Committee acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic has subsided or fully recovered and elections are safe to be held. At that time, it is up to the people to choose which government is capable and would be given the mandate to govern this country and take care of the welfare of the people. Trust me, this is my commitment and pledge which I will fulfill, God willing.

27. For me, in a situation where the country and people are facing great harm, it is very important that all politicians set aside their political differences and stand in solidarity with the people. When it comes to time for politicking, then do so, with responsibility.

It's been nearly two months. The Darurat is still in effect, with no sign of it being lifted (except for the King's rather queer statement the other day that Parliament can sit despite Emergency.) 

Since the Emergency took effect on Jan 11, there has been no talk of a no-confidence vote and no claim by Anwar Ibrahim or anyone else of having majority in Parliament. The Opposition even decided to take part in the bi-partisan committee to advise the King on the Darurat.

The ones who have shown no regards for the political Darurat are the three Berhormats in the photograph above. 

Muhyiddin and  his the new political asses he had just acquired not only defied the principles of the political Darurat, they did it with no qualms whatsoever. After all, there are those who will believe whatever the PM and his new political assets tell them ....

... like when the PM says the defections would certainly help in the fight against Covid-19 :) Read here; excerpts: 

Muhyiddin, in a post on his official Facebook account, said the SDs were handed over to him by Julau MP Larry Sng Wei Shien and Tebrau MP Steven Choong Shiau Yoon.

"The SDs were signed and handed over to me after the retreat of the Cabinet members in conjunction with the one-year anniversary of the PN administration in Putrajaya," he said.

Muhyiddin expressed his gratitude as the support would certainly strengthen the PN government in its efforts and plans to manage the Covid-19 pandemic and the country's economic recovery. 

Or when Larry Sng tells you that he quits PKR to support Muhyiddin because of  the country's political instability

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Vaccine rollout Feb 26 (kempen pilihanraya menyusul?)

The vaccines are here - Getaran pic

Why Muhyiddin is first vaccine taker - KJ

A piece of good news we've all been waiting for. Well. most of us, anyway; some Malaysians don't believe in the vaccine. Tahniah buat YB KJ dan sahabat-sahabat lain di dalam Kabinet yang bertungkuslumus mencari vaksin melawan Covid-19 buat kita semua. Hats off to the Prime Minister for agreeing to be a guinea pig; now nobody can make so much fuss about shorter quarantine periods for Cabinet ministers. For the record, if they ask me to be the first Malaysian journalist to get the vaccine, I'd be happy to. But other than in Sarawak (Sarawak journalists to be vaccinated under 1st phase of Covid-19 immunisation), Malaysian journalists are not part of the frontliners who will be vaccinated on Feb 26. The Muhyiddin Administration isn't really crazy about us the media. We're not sure why.

What we're sure about is this: starting Feb 26, Muhyiddin's election campaign begins in earnest. Starting that day, the numbers for Covid-19 cases will continue to fall drastically and then they will get the Agong to rescind the Emergency Order that has, among other things, suspended Parliament until August (subject to recommendations by a special committee). 

You've probably seen pictures circulated online about a political party's preparations for the next GE. I won't fall off my chair if the PM calls for general elections just after the Holy Ramadan in May.


p.s. Some political observers interpret changes in the media as a hint of an upcoming poll. We've heard that ownerships of Free Malaysia Today and TMI (The Malaysian Insight) are changing hands. Invariably, the new owners will be linked to some politicians, somehow, and soon one will notice changes in editorial leanings and affiliations. For those of us who know, we've known for a while that a lot of news portals haven't been doing well even before the pandemic and are fighting to stay alive. FMT and TMI, therefore, are the lucky ones, if you ask me. If there had been no buyers for these portals, they will close shop. They close shop, scores of journalists will lose jobs and join hundreds who have been retrenched since the first MCO. We can't have that.

Tuesday, February 02, 2021

The sorry story of Mahathir's last Attorney-General

Praise has turned into blowback for TT

Former Attorney-General Tommy Thomas sure knows how to sell himself. The extensive media coverage previewing his book My Story: Justice in the Wilderness has quickly made it a bestseller. Juicy stuff sell, this is Malaysia. As the former Law Minister Zaid Ibrahim tweeted: "Although my tenure as Minister was short, I too had some juicy stuff to tell. But I thought my oath of office would prevent me from disclosing them. I should have consulted Tommy and make some money". 

But money can't buy Tommy Thomas respect. Initial praise for his book has quickly turned into brickbat. The former AG's attempt to tell on others has exposed himself - and his friends - wide open, instead. 

"In his book, written with the help of several politicians including DAP's Liew Ching Tong and Syahredzan Johan, as well as former Bersih chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan and businessman Kalimullah Hassan of ECM Libra Group, Thomas admitted to having eyed the top legal post since 2013, during an election year which the opposition did not win." - We won't stoop to your level, lawyer tells Thomas off over "secret ambition" to become AG 

Lawyers and ex-lawyers are yelling insults at him.  "We are not dishonorable like he is .. this is the man who has admitted to having the desire in his small mind of becoming the AG (since 2013)," said Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's lawyer Haniff Kathri Abdula. 

Another outspoken, hot-shot lawyer, has this to say about TT:

The revelations in Tommy Thomas' book of his discussions with and advices given to the Prime Minister, the YDPA and the Majlis Raja-Raja and other government officials are highly improper. Under Act 145 of the Federal Constitution, he is the principal adviser to the government. He is reposed with confidentiality. He has breached that confidentiality by exposing publicly in a book which is self-serving, for commercial and pecuniary benefit. How low can that be?

These are matters made known to him by virtue of his position in such high office. It may be entertaining. Of course, it will be. But at what price, of the dignity of the position he holds and more importantly - what does it say about him as a lawyer and the damage done to our nation whereas there are pending cases which may be prejudiced by his indiscretion?

More importantly, TT has breached his oath of office on secrecy. He has breached Section 8 and can be arrested under the Official Secrets Act.

He has also committed an offence under Section 203A Penal Code as the information disclosed in the book was obtained by TT in the performance of his duties or in the exercise of his functions as AG under the law.

What is most glaring is his own admission that he had coveted the post of AG since GE13 and had struck a bargain with the DAP/PH leaders to be made AG when come to power. That brings into question his decision to discontinue the prosecution in the LTTE cases and the corruption cases against Lim Guan Eng.

Ah, yes, that name. Reminding myself how Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister then, was shocked that the MACC was shocked over Guan Eng's acquittal ... Rule of law, konon. 

I haven't read TT's book but I guess the reason why he needed to write it was to clear his name and rebuild his reputation, so disparaged they were by the events of the brief rule of Pakatan Harapan under Dr Mahathir. So far, judging by the reviews and the response from readers, especially his peers, Tommy Thomas has failed again. Perhaps more miserably than before.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Taman Rimba Kiara: Why Annuar Musa should be happy with the Court of Appeal's ruling

Original piece 27 Jan:
In June 2016, a petite news portal called The Mole reported a plan by a major developer to build, among other things, eight  blocks of luxury condominiums on Taman Rimba Kiara, a project so massive it would increase the neighborhood's population density by 10 times and all but annihilate one of the last remaining green lungs in Taman Tun Dr Ismail (a claim the developer and the collaborating authorities have vehemently denied). It was thought aloud at one time that the condos would render it necessary for a six-lane highway to be built right in the middle of TTDI but that plan was later shelved, mysteriously, just before the 2018 general elections ...

This blog picked up The Mole's story the following day:

Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 21 June: Watch out, developer of this proposed project in TTDI. The residents have put up with quite a few high rise properties that have clogged their space in recent years but they are not about to let their precious park go down without a stiff fight. Watch out, too, City Hall. How can you even consider such a development that will adversely affect Rimba Kiara?  And where's the local MP?
"Why can't we preserve some green lung for the next generation?" a resident demanded. 

Five years on, The Mole, petite as ever, happily published this good news earlier yesterday: TTDI residents hail court decision on Taman Rimba Kiara

What it means is that the Court of Appeal has declared null and void the controversial project that was to be undertaken jointly by Malton Bhd's subdiary Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd and Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, a foundation chaired by the Federal Territories Minister. 

FT Minister Annuar Musa: Relieved?

He won't - can't - say it but I have a feeling that, deep in his heart, the FT Minister Annuar Musa is quite relieved with how the whole issue has ended. It's not his baby;  he wasn't the Minister in charge back in 2016.


Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Blogger tells Palace to defend King against blogger

In "The King to Step Down?", blogger steadyaku47, a Malaysian residing in Melbourne, mocks the King over the proclamation of the Darurat. 


In these last few weeks one question and one question only, has been on the mind of all right-thinking Malaysians. What made the King decide that an Emergency is required? He did not have time to confer with his brother rulers before he made that decision. He did not have time to be properly briefed by the health authorities on the need for the Emergency. He did not go to the people to seek their consensus on what he was going to do. Did the king carefully consider his options and understood the consequences of his actions? Or was the King induced by generous offers of the material kind by TSMY to make him agree to the proclamation of the Emergency?

Life of Annie of Kuantan, capital of the King's home state, has come to His Majesty's defense (even though I know for a fact that personally Annie is against the Emergency). Annie's Defend the Agong, please calls on the Agong's media team to start defending the King against steadyaku47, while chiding the OZ-based blogger for being brave only because he's based abroad. 

2015 pic courtesy of Life of Annie:
"I always see Sultan Abdullah as especially caring for his rakyat"

SteadyAku47 did another posting here attacking the King yesterday, which Annie describes as "even worse than the first one"

And, while the King's handlers consider their options, the blogger added another one today entitled Cash is king, or do you have to be a King to get cashThe Malaysian in Melbourne signed off with "Daulat Tuanku? I think not! Enough said". But I have a strong feeling steadyaku47 hasn't had enough; far from it.

It will be a pity, indeed, if the King's media handlers don't handle these postings properly. We all remember how our last Agong was brought down by the proverbial pen. Of course, back then A. Kadir Jasin's pen was powerful because of what he was: the advisor to the then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Steadyaku47, on the other hand, is just a blogger acting alone. Or is he?