Monday, May 21, 2018

Malaysians, bow your heads

Move aside Khairuddin Hassan, Matthias Chang and Tony Pua ...  The hero is Justo, says Clare Rewcastle-Browne. 

 
Clare, the Sarawak Report editor, is in town. Her travel ban to Malaysia has been lifted by the new Government, which is clearly indebted to her. And especially to ex-convict Justo, who had an audience with the new Prime Minister. Three weeks ago, Clare was ordered by a court in the UK to pay Ustaz Hadi Awang of PAS RM155,000 for defamation. Today she's a goddess.
A new Malaysia, indeed.  
 
Tun Taib Mahmud, you may be good friends with Tun Mahathir, but you're next!

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Tunami: 7 days later

"It wasn't a Malay or Chinese tsunami, it was the Tunami ... if BN ever want to know what hit them." - A former NST sports editor



It's already a week after Pakatan Harapan won the 14th general election but, as pointed out by the blogger Big Dog while the cops were raiding ex-PM Najib Razak's family home in Kuala Lumpur yesterday until the wee hours of Ramadan (hence, Nurul Izzah's tweet), Malaysia was practically still under a one-man Government. After that posting, Dr Mahathir Mohamad made himself Education Minister and gave his deputy a portfolio but it won't be until next Monday, at the earliest, that we'd have a Cabinet. 

The move to zero-rate the GST, effective June 1, has appeased many. People aren't celebrating just as yet, though. Because they don't know if the new SST will actually reduce their cost of living, a major theme in the general election. Plus, it may take longer than 100 days to instal a new tax regime, said former Bank Negara government Zeti, who is one of the members of the Council of Elders helping out Mahathir's government. But it is a good start, nonetheless.

In the meantime, Mahathir said he was Not aware raid on Najib's house done at night. Deja vu?

Selamat berbuka puasa to all my Muslim readers.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Anwar Ibrahim, pardoned and freed


Someone in the group asked last night, "Is there anything that Mahathir fears? What, apart from the Almighty? I don't know. Right now I guess IF there's anything or anyone that Mahathir Mohamad might fear, it'd be a free Anwar Ibrahim. I repeat: IF...  
 
KUALA LUMPUR: Jailed Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) leader Anwar Ibrahim on Wednesday (May 16) left the Cheras Rehabilitation Hospital a free man after receiving a royal pardon from the Malaysian king.
The Pardons Board met at 11am to discuss Anwar's release and application for a pardon.
Smiling and looking spry in a tailored black suit, Anwar emerged from a Kuala Lumpur hospital where he had undergone surgery for a shoulder problem, giving a thumbs-up to a crowd of journalists before leaving in a car without comment.
Anwar and his wife, the nominated deputy prime minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, were earlier on Wednesday morning invited for an audience with the king, Sultan Muhammad V, at 12.30pm at the royal palace.
According to Anwar's lawyer, the king granted the PKR leader a full pardon, expunging all past convictions.
The 70-year-old began serving a five-year sentence in February 2015 after the Malaysian high court upheld his conviction and sentence on a charge of having sodomised a former personal aide.
Anwar was jailed in Sungai Buloh Prison, and was scheduled to be freed on Jun 8. He has spent the last few months in hospital recovering from a shoulder operation.
The royal pardon reverses Anwar's conviction and makes him eligible to actively participate in politics. His daughter Nurul Izzah told Channel NewsAsia on the eve of his release that the pardon "completely validate(s) his innocence".
Newly elected Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has said he will hand over the reins to Anwar once the latter is elected as a Member of Parliament in a by-election or elected as a senator.
On Tuesday, Dr Mahathir told a Wall Street Journal conference that he will be prime minister for "one or two years".
Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Dr Wan Azizah also said the appointment of her husband as Malaysia's new prime minister will not be made in haste.
The reversal of Anwar's conviction and his role as PM-in-waiting caps a roller coaster political career for the former deputy prime minister. In 1998, he was sacked by then-Prime Minister Dr Mahathir.
A year later, Anwar was sentenced to six years in prison - and then another nine years for corruption and sodomy.
In 2004, he was freed after the sodomy conviction was overturned. He became the de facto leader of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat alliance and in the 2008 general election, led it to victory in the states of Penang, Kedah, Selangor, Kelantan and Perak.
In 2015, he was sent back to jail on the sodomy charge - a move he said was a bid by then-Prime Minister Najib Razak to end his political career.
He eventually teamed up with his former foe, Dr Mahathir, and watched his former boss sworn in as the country's seventh prime minister from his hospital bed.
- Channel News Asia

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Who, actually, won the election?


15 May: What P. Gunasegaram writes, Dr Mahathir Mohamad usually reads. Or, at least that's what I've gather. The seasoned journalist once wrote about Proton, at a time when the national car was not supposed to be criticised. Dr M, or his office, wasn't too happy and that changed the course of Mr Gunasegaran's career. Fast forward two and a half decades or so, Guna writes about Dr M himself, at time when the PM is not supposed to be criticised:

Mahathir did not win this election by himself. In fact, if others need reminding – surely Mahathir doesn’t and is fully aware of that – his own party Bersatu won only 13 seats out of the 52 it contested – the largest number of seats in the peninsula contested by any party in the Harapan coalition. At 25%, that’s the worst win rate of all the parties in the coalition ... 

But who, actually, are "we"? Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, and the others in Pakatan Harapan (or earlier Pakatan Rakyat, Barisan Alternatif, etc) had done everything to win previous general elections and failed. This time they had Dr Mahathir and they won. Without Dr Mahathir, they would have failed again. The best result the Opposition had was in 2008 and even that was with a little help from the Old Man, who was waging war against his successor. So, Mahathir can easily turn around and tell Gunasegaran, "I won the election" and that would be that. If he wants to, he might even still alter the course of Guna's career again. 



Monday, May 14, 2018

Tony Fernandes' damning videos




14 May: I've never seen a more dejected Tony Fernandes. A mountain reduced to rubbles. But that's the way things have turned out to be, unfortunately. In a new dawn that promises greater liberties, freedom, tolerance, etc., Tony has gotten only abuses. His sin? A pre-election video of him h e r e publicly praising the previous government and prime minister. So ferocious were the attacks that Tony felt compelled to apologise. This second video, however, is as damning as the first. He's now being vilified by the "other side" for being flimsy, a flip-flop, turncoat. People shouldn't judge Tony Fernandes based on either video. The man has done way bigger things for Malaysia.