Mediarakyat Information for the people Wed, 20 Sep 2017 07:04:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Central Mexico earthquake kills more than 240, topples buildings Wed, 20 Sep 2017 06:55:27 +0000

(CNN)Rescuers searched for survivors through the night after Tuesday’s powerful earthquake shook Mexico City and surrounding states, killing scores and leaving many trapped under collapsed buildings.

At least 248 people died in Mexico City — the country’s capital — and in the states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos, officials said.
The epicenter of the 7.1-magnitude earthquake was 2.8 miles (4.5 kilometers) east-northeast of San Juan Raboso and 34.1 miles (55 km) south-southwest of the city of Puebla, in Puebla state, according to the US Geological Survey.
President Enrique Peña Nieto said 22 bodies were found in the debris of an elementary school in Mexico City that collapsed due to the earthquake. At least 30 children were still missing Tuesday night, he said.
“We are facing a new national emergency,” Peña Nieto told citizens earlier on his first address following the earthquake.
Tuesday’s earthquake came more than one week after a magnitude-8.1 earthquake struck off the southern coast of the country, killing at least 90, according to the governor of the hard-hit state of Oaxaca.
In Mexico City, thousands of soldiers, rescuers and civilians — including college students — were working side by side to dig through tall piles of rubble from dozens of crumbled buildings.

Rescuers and residents carry a woman to safety.

Some carried away buckets full of debris while others called out the names of those who have been rescued. At times, rescuers asked for total silence as they tried to hear voices coming from under the debris.
The quake left the busiest city in Mexico in chaos. Windows buckled and shattered, falling several stories to the ground while thousands of people streamed into the streets running away from buildings and potential gas leaks.
People struggled to get home when power poles that toppled in the quake blocked the streets and the public transportation system temporarily shut down operations. Nearly 5 million customers were still without power early Wednesday.
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Azmin Ali: Pemimpin tidak boleh menggadaikan kesejahteraan ekonomi negara hanya untuk peluang bergambar Wed, 13 Sep 2017 10:00:45 +0000 Azmin Ali: Hari Ini Maruah Nagara, Maruah Rakyat Malaysia Telah TercemarSaya sangat terkejut dengan pengumuman Perdana Menteri, Dato’ Seri Najib Razak bahawa Malaysia akan melabur sehingga AS$24 billion (RM100 billion) di Amerika Syarikat.

Pelaburan ini kononnya untuk “mengukuhkan ekonomi Amerika Syarikat” tatkala ekonomi kita sedang memerlukan pelaburan lebih besar selain daripada misteri mengapa Malaysia perlu membantu ekonomi terbesar di dunia.

Malaysia adalah negara yang ekonominya sedang berkembang dan kita sedang melakukan yang terbaik untuk menarik pelaburan dari negara-negara maju, bukannya menghantar wang kita keluar dari negara ini.

Baru-baru ini, kita memperoleh pelaburan RM1 bilion daripada IKEA untuk membina pusat pembekalan dan pengedaran serantau untuk Asia Pasifik di Pulau Indah.

Ia mewujudkan nilai tambah, menjana pekerjaan dan menggandakan kesan ekonomi negara ini.

Adalah sukar dipercayai bahawa KWSP, mengikut Najib, akan membelanjakan antara AS$3 bilion hingga AS$4 bilion ke atas pembangunan semula infrastruktur di Amerika Syarikat.

Adakah Perdana Menteri cuba memberitahu kita bahawa membantu Amerika Syarikat membina infrastruktur adalah lebih penting daripada membantu Sabah dan Sarawak membina jalan raya dan paip air?

Wang dalam KWSP adalah wang amanah untuk rakyat dan tidak boleh digunakan sewenang-wenangnya.

Kita memahami pilihan Najib untuk bertemu dengan Presiden Amerika Syarikat, Donald Trump, namun pemimpin tidak boleh menggadaikan kesejahteraan ekonomi negara hanya untuk peluang bergambar.

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Azmin Ali: Leaders cannot mortgage the nation’s economic wellbeing for a photo opportunity Wed, 13 Sep 2017 09:57:31 +0000 Azmin Ali: Bulu & Sperma Boleh Jumpa, Tetapi RM2.6 Bilion Tak JumpaI am utterly shocked by the announcement by Prime Minister Najib Razak that Malaysia will be investing as much as US$24 billion (RM100 billion) into the United States.

This investment is purportedly to “strengthen the US economy” at a time when our economy is crying out for greater investment, quite apart from the mystery as to why Malaysia needs to help out the world’s largest economy.

Malaysia is an emerging economy and we are doing our best to court investment from developed countries, not send our money away. Recently, we secured a RM1 billion investment from IKEA to build its Regional Distribution and Supply Chain Centre for Asia-Pacific in Pulau Indah. This creates value and generates jobs and economic multiplier effects back home.

It is also beyond belief that the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), according to Najib, is going to spend an additional US$3 billion to US$4 billion on infrastructure redevelopment in the United States. Is the PM telling us that helping the United States build infrastructure is more important than helping Sabah and Sarawak build roads and water pipes?

Money held by the EPF is money held in trust for the rakyat and cannot be used indiscriminately.

We understand that it is Najib’s choice that he meets with US President Donald Trump but leaders cannot mortgage the nation’s economic wellbeing for a photo opportunity.

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Lim Kit Siang: Please grow up, MACC Chief Commissioner! Thu, 07 Sep 2017 11:35:59 +0000 Today, the international press reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigator conducting criminal investigation into 1MDB-linked funds is encountering problems as several possible witnesses are too scared to speak out.

US media network Bloomberg reported that some people in “certain foreign countries” already assisting the criminal probe, are concerned for their safety, while others say it’s too dangerous to co-operate,  FBI said in a Federal Court filing in Los Angeles yesterday.

The report said FBI has requested to keep the names of its informants secret from the alleged masterminds of the 1MDB conspiracy.

Individuals who were otherwise willing to provide information said they were worried about putting “the safety and security of both themselves and their families at serious risk,” FBI said in its filing.

FBI also cited Malaysian news reports, where local officials arrested due to their role in probing the 1MDB embezzlement and the driver of former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail, who was shot at his house in Ampang Perdana late last month.

This latest development in the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal, which had made Malaysia into a global kleptocracy, should be the first item of concern of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which wants to established itself as a world-class anti-corruption body.

But apparently not, as its first concern was how to “fix” Penang DAP Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng.

The first thing on MACC’s mind after the four-day holidays was not 1MDB scandal or Malaysia as a global kleptocracy, but Lim Guan Eng, announcing that it will initiate legal action against Guan Eng over his refusal to apologise for describing the detention of state exco Phee Boon Poh as “illegal.”

PKR Vice President and MP for Padang Serai, N. Surendran has said that MACC has no legal grounds to take action against Guan Eng over his criticism of the MACC, as it was well within the protection of free speech guaranteed by the Federal Constitution.

Be that as it may, this episode highlights the misplaced sense of priorities of the MACC, and that it is time that MACC Chief Commissioner, Datuk Dzulkifli Ahmad should grow up.

Surely there must be someone in the MACC leadership who could rectify the   MACC’s misplaced sense of priorities, and focus instead on the  1MDB scandal and Malaysia’s infamy as a global kleptocracy as a result of the 1MDB scandal, and what the MACC could do about it?

I do not believe that the founding fathers of the nation, like Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman and his deputy, Tun Razak, had ever  expected Malaysia to fall so low as to be regarded worldwide as a global kleptocarcy.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak seems to have sub-contracted the task of fighting corruption to the new MACC  Chief Commissioner provided the MACC respects the “no trespass” boundaries in its anti-corruption campaign –  not to touch the Prime Minister and the top government leaders or the subject of the 1MDB scandal which has resulted in Malaysia getting the international infamy and ignominy of a global kleptocracy.

Can Dzulkifli  confirm this mandate from the Prime Minister or explain why the MACC is taking a hands-off attitude to the 1MDB scandal and the issue of Malaysia’s infamy and ignominy as a global kleptocracy?

The UMNO Information Chief and former Cabinet Minister, Tan Sri Annuar Musa has  said that Bank Negara’s forex loses a quarter of a century ago were real while 1MDB losses are only on paper.

Does Dzulkifli agree with Annuar and is this the reason why MACC has refused to re-open investigations into the 1MDB scandal or do anything to clear or cleanse Malaysia of the infamy and ignominy of being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy?

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RAFIZI RAMLI: TIADA AMARAN ATAU TINDAKAN DARI BIRO POLITIK, TUMPU KEPADA PERSEDIAAN PILIHANRAYA Sat, 02 Sep 2017 03:20:55 +0000 Saya dihubungi berkali-kali oleh rakan-rakan media pada Hari Raya Aidiladha mengenai satu laporan yang disiarkan Sinchew Daily kononnya saya diberi amaran keras oleh Biro Politik kerana memburukkan nama baik parti dan akan dipecat dari KEADILAN jika terus bersuara. Berita itu ditulis berdasarkan satu sumber dari Biro Politik yang tidak dinamakan.

Saya ingin mengesahkan bahawa tidak ada sebarang keputusan Biro Politik yang begitu. Saya tidak diberi sebarang amaran oleh sesiapa dan tiada sebarang keputusan mengenai tindakan tatatertib dibuat oleh Biro Politik. Sudah tentu berita yang saya boleh dipecat juga direka-reka.

Semua ini telah disahkan oleh Setiausaha Agung, Dato’ Saifuddin Nasution Ismail.

Saya tidak terkejut dengan perkara ini kerana ia pernah berlaku beberapa kali sebelum ini setiap kali ada perbezaan pendapat yang ketara di dalam kepimpinan. Ada beberapa orang pimpinan KEADILAN yang gemar memberikan gambaran yang salah kepada pihak media dengan berselindung di sebalik nama “sumber dalaman parti” untuk memastikan pandangan mereka diambil sebagai pandangan umum, walaupun itu bertentangan dengan perbincangan atau keputusan sebenar Biro Politik atau Majlis Pimpinan Pusat (MPP).

Ini pernah berlaku semasa pelantikan Menteri Besar Selangor menggantikan Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, apabila berita-berita yang tidak sahih terus dibekalkan kepada pengamal media yang jelas memusuhi KEADILAN seperti Jocelyn Tan dari The Star. Walaupun mesyuarat Biro Politik dan Majlis Pimpinan Pusat dengan secara jelas memutuskan hanya satu calon untuk jawatan Menteri Besar iaitu Dato’ Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, ada sahaja berita-berita dari sumber tidak rasmi kononnya ada keputusan yang berbeza.

Perkara yang sama berlaku menjelang Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak. Sedang Biro Politik berkali-kali memutuskan untuk mempertahankan perjanjian pembahagian kerusi yang telah dipersetujui di peringkat Majlis Presiden Pakatan Harapan, ada segelintir ahli Biro Politik yang menghantar mesej yang berlainan kepada pimpinan KEADILAN di Sarawak, yang akhirnya sampai kembali kepada saya sebagai Setiausaha Agung apabila mereka (pimpinan akar umbi) mahu mengesahkan berita itu.

Selagi 2-3 orang ahli Biro Politik ini tidak berdisiplin dan memberikan maklumat yang salah kepada pihak media dan anggota parti, keadaan akan terus bercelaru.

Oleh sebab itulah saya mengambil keputusan (sejurus selepas Pilihanraya Negeri Sarawak dan PRK Sungai Besar dan Kuala Kangsar) bahawa masa dan tenaga saya lebih dimanfaatkan bergelumang dengan kempen KEADILAN dan Pakatan Harapan di kerusi-kerusi marginal berbanding cuba membetulkan maklumat yang salah yang disebarkan secara berterusan oleh 2-3 orang ahli Biro Politik ini.

Sebelum ini, saya mengambil keputusan untuk berdiam diri agar perkara ini tidak sampai ke pihak media tatkala pimpinan-pimpinan yang sama sedang mengusahakan perbincangan dengan PAS. Untuk tidak terus bertembung akibat maklumat yang salah disebarkan, saya mengambil keputusan lebih baik tidak turut serta di dalam mesyuarat Biro Politik untuk mengurangkan kebarangkalian saya terpaksa membetulkan versi keputusan Biro Politik yang kerapnya diberikan tafsiran berbeza.

Kini, kita sudah terlalu dekat dengan Pilihanraya Umum ke-14 dan sewajarnya kita memberi fokus kepada persediaan PRU14 (bukannya berita-berita dalaman sebegini).

Saya mengalu-alukan kenyataan Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali untuk patuh kepada keputusan Majlis Presiden Pakatan Harapan dan saya yakin sebagai Pengarah Pilihanraya PH, beliau ada ruang besar untuk menyumbang memperkasakan persediaan PH menghadapi BN, walaupun jika berlaku pertembungan 3 penjuru.

Saya juga menyeru keseluruhan pimpinan KEADILAN dari yang tertinggi di Biro Politik dan Majlis Pimpinan Pusat, sehinggalah kepada pimpinan akar umbi untuk memberi tumpuan kepada persediaan PRU14 dan tidak melayan berita politik yang tidak membantu mengalahkan Umno/BN.

Saya akan terus turun ke kerusi-kerusi marginal di seluruh negara. Dalam bulan Julai dan Ogos, saya telah berkempen sebanyak 61 kali (ceramah dan acara kempen lain) di 46 kerusi marginal di peringkat Parlimen dan DUN di seluruh negara iaitu sekitar 7 atau 8 kerusi DUN/Parlimen setiap minggu tanpa henti. Jumlah tontonan terkumpul kesemua ceramah-ceramah ini di Facebook dan Youtube telah mencecah 1.1 juta tontonan sepanjang dua bulan ini.

Saya yakin tanggungjawab berjumpa pengundi di bawah dan menyampaikan maklumat sebegini adalah lebih penting dari melayan berita-berita tidak sah yang direka oleh sumber-sumber yang tidak berani menerbitkan nama mereka sendiri.

Maka, saya beranggapan perbezaan pendapat mengenai rundingan kerusi dengan PAS telah tamat dengan keputusan Majlis Presiden PH yang dipersetujui oleh Biro Politik KEADILAN dan dihormati oleh Dato’ Seri Azmin Ali sendiri dalam kenyataannya dua hari lalu kepada pihak media.

Oleh itu, ini masa untuk menjaga kawasan masing-masing dan menumpukan perhatian kepada kempen akar umbi untuk menghadapi PRU14 yang boleh dipanggil bila-bila masa dari sekarang.




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Tony Pua: How did 1MDB make the additional US$300 million of debt repayment to the US$350 million paid earlier this month? Sat, 02 Sep 2017 03:04:20 +0000 We have received the good news that “IPIC has now received the funds required to be paid by Aug 31 to complete the performance by Minister of Finance (Incorporated) Malaysia and 1MDB of the payment obligations that were initially due to be performed by July 31 under the settlement and the consent award and to pay default interest on the delayed payment.”

It is good news because the failure of 1MDB to comply with the above scheduled payments would not only have created a diplomatic crisis between Malaysia and Abu Dhabi, it would have had major implications on Malaysia’s credit ratings.

The bad news however, is we have yet to hear any details of how 1MDB has made the combined payment of US$650 million or approximately RM2.8 billion.

While we await for the latest statement from 1MDB, the company’s previous statement only mentioned vaguely that they are the “proceeds of the on-going rationalisation programme”.

There are absolutely no details as to what proceeds from what specific rationalisation programme undertaken by 1MDB.

Initially in April this year, 1MDB said the funds would come from the “monetization of 1MDB-owned investment fund units”.  However, ever since the United States Department of Justice have labelled the “fund units” as fraudulent, 1MDB has since conveniently dropped any mention of these units from its subsequent statements.

Despite repeated questions by many parties, including those in the media and financial community, both 1MDB and the Ministry of Finance (MoF) have remained completely opaque as to the source the funds used to repay IPIC.  Why are they so adamant in not disclosing 1MDB’s source of funds?

Hence, the US$650 million or RM2.8 billion question now is – are 1MDB and MoF refusing to answer the above questions because MoF has extended the funds, directly or indirectly via some convoluted pretend “rationalisation” schemes to 1MDB to help the latter settle its debt obligations?

Until and unless the MoF provides factual clarity on the above, Malaysians cannot be blamed for assuming that 1MDB had to settle the above debt instalment with a tax-payer bailout.

That will cement today as the worst national day in Malaysia’s 60 years of independence.

Tony Pua

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Anwar Ibrahim: Saya mohon pertimbangan dan kerjasama rakan-rakan untuk memberikan sedikit ruang kepada Presiden & pimpinan untuk memberi penjelasan dan menentukan dasar dan arah selanjutnya selaras dengan pendirian KEADILAN dan muafakat Pakatan Harapan Sat, 02 Sep 2017 02:43:33 +0000 anwar02Saya telah meneliti kenyataan sdr Rafizi Ramli, Naib Presiden dan ahli-ahli yang melahirkan keresahan kerana corak cadangan kerjasama KEADILAN dengan PAS yang dianggap samar dan berlarutan tanpa dimuktamadkan. Keadaan sedemikian dianggap mengelirukan dan dikhuatiri akan menjejaskan muafakat Pakatan Harapan. Pimpinan Pakatan Harapan juga telah menjelaskan pendirian menolak kerjasama dengan PAS.
Pimpinan KEADILAN bergerak atas prinsip musyawarah dan harus menangani kegelisahan yang disuarakan dan sentimen umat dengan penuh hikmah. Namun saya perlu menjelaskan bahawa komitmen KEADILAN teguh dan kukuh bersama Pakatan Harapan sepertimana yang dizahirkan sdri Azizah sejak awal lagi. Apa yang diusulkan dan dipersetujui Biro Politik sebelum ini adalah tidak memusuhi PAS, mengkaji kemungkinan mengelak pertarungan tiga penjuru. Pertimbangannya adalah menggembeleng seluruh kekuatan dalam menghadapi UMNO-BN dalam PRU 14.
Garis yang ditetapkan dengan jelas adalah kerjasama tersebut, seandainya berlaku, tetap dalam kerangka komitmen KEADILAN dengan Pakatan Harapan. Sdr Azmin yang diminta menerajui inisiatif ini sedar bahawa yang disarankan adalah strategi nasional dan tidak terbatas kepada Selangor sahaja. Wajar ditegaskan semula bahawa ikhtiar KEADILAN adalah bagi menjernihkan suasana dan merangkul kekuatan rakyat.
Pertemuan sdri Azizah (Presiden) dan sdr Azmin (Timbalan) dengan Tuan Guru Hj Hadi juga telah mengundang pelbagai reaksi. Saya alu-alukannya dengan maksud menziarah sahabat lama dan bersilaturrahim sambil menyatakan kesyukuran ke hadrat Allah SWT di atas pemulihan kesihatan beliau. Hj Hadi juga menerima kami dengan semangat kekeluargaan yang baik. Malangnya, terdapat kecaman dan serangan kasar dari beberapa pimpinan PAS terhadap KEADILAN. Nasihat saya kepada pimpinan adalah untuk mengenepikannya kerana tumpuan kita adalah terhadap kerakusan dan rasuah pemerintahan UMNO-BN. Saya tidak menghalang sebarang penjelasan dari pimpinan untuk meluruskan kekeliruan yang timbul, termasuk dalam isu RUU 355.
Menyingkap pengalaman saya berbincang dengan pimpinan PAS dan DAP secara berasingan sebelum pembentukan Pakatan Rakyat, perlu diperjelas bahawa ia didasarkan kepada beberapa prinsip yang dipersetujui bersama. Kerumitan dirungkai, walaupun pada peringkat awal dilakukan secara berasingan.
Saya akui keadaan sekarang lebih rumit dan mencabar, kerana PAS telah mengambil keputusan untuk tidak menyertai Pakatan Harapan. Akan tetapi, hampir dua tahun lalu saya menyarankan KEADILAN tidak semestinya memutuskan hubungan dengan PAS selagi ada kesediaan di pihak PAS untuk meneruskan perbincangan. Secara konsisten saya telah suarakan pendirian tersebut kepada pimpinan KEADILAN, DAP, BERSATU dan AMANAH. Pimpinan berhak membuat penilaian dari masa ke semasa.
Maka saya tidak dapat meremehkan kerisauan yang disuarakan oleh rakan-rakan. Pertama, kerana timbul persepsi kemungkinan kerjasama PAS dan UMNO, tetapi ura-ura tersebut telah dibantah keras oleh Timbalan Presiden PAS, Ustaz Tuan Ibrahim.
Kedua, tempoh yang lama dan berlarutan dianggap akan menjejaskan ikhtiar parti dalam mengemaskini jentera pilihanraya; malah berisiko tinggi seandainya terdapat kejutan! Ini dapat dihindari seandainya seluruh pimpinan dan jentera KEADILAN bergerak pantas sebagai satu pasukan padu, menyemarakkan gema Reformasi dan agenda perjuangan rakyat, kebebasan dan keperitan hidup mereka. Kita tidak pernah berganjak dari tekad menentang kezaliman, perkauman dan rasuah.
Secara peribadi, memahami semangat demokrasi KEADILAN, saya tidak keberatan jika ingin dikendali Kongres Khas. Kemusykilan saya adalah keperluannya memandangkan tiada perubahan dasar yang berlaku. Malah dengan kemungkinan PRU 14 diadakan dalam tempoh terdekat, segala keputusan perlu dimuktamadkan segera.
Dengan penjelasan ini, saya mohon pertimbangan dan kerjasama rakan-rakan untuk memberikan sedikit ruang kepada Presiden dan pimpinan untuk memberi penjelasan dan menentukan dasar dan arah selanjutnya selaras dengan pendirian KEADILAN dan muafakat Pakatan Harapan. Semua tindakan seterusnya harus diadakan menurut saluran parti.
Salam Reformasi!
Anwar Ibrahim
2 September 2017
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Malaysia’s Turning Point Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:13:38 +0000 By Liew Chin Tong

When the dust settles after the next general election, especially if a Pakatan Harapan government were to be installed, history is likely to mark 14th July 2017 as the turning point that made the difference.

A press conference was held at 1230a.m. on 14th July 2017 at the Parti KeADILan Rakyat headquarters. Pakatan Harapan unveiled its symbol, leadership line-up and initial policy platforms.

PHThe historical moment could be experienced in many ways. It was the end of a four-hour long meeting; the joyous conclusion of months of agony on how to effectively consolidate Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia with the existing Pakatan Harapan parties, namely PKR, DAP and Amanah; and the grand reconciliation of an acrimonious two-decade political battle between Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, and the forces aligned with them.

Now BN can be defeated

Regardless, a new air prevails everywhere. There is a sudden surge of hope that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, UMNO and Barisan Nasional can now be defeated.

And visibly, the Najib government did panic. Ministers were still sticking to the old script that the DAP calls the shots in Pakatan Harapan in order to put fear into Malay voters while Najib stood in front attacking Dr. Mahathir as if their roles changed – Mahathir the establishment and Najib the opposition.

What was not articulated but was nevertheless most significant was the complete collapse of Najib’s three-pronged strategy to dismantle the Opposition which he had been using since the 2013 general election.

Najib lost the popular vote then and knew very clearly that, despite all the built-in advantages of incumbency, he and Barisan Nasional would not survive another direct head-on electoral clash with an Anwar-led Pakatan Rakyat.

The Pakatan formula back then presented Anwar Ibrahim as the central protagonist with a prime ministerial aura, who could bring together all Opposition forces onto a common platform. There were two ways for Najib to counter the challenge. The democratic—and ethical—route was to reform the government and genuinely win the hearts and minds of voters. But, as the 1MDB scandal showed, he had instead no qualms about using underhanded methods and highly dubious means.

Liew Chin TongHow to destroy Pakatan Harapan

Najib’s strategies have been:

First, to take Anwar Ibrahim out of the equation and thus leave the Opposition without a leader with prime ministerial appeal;

Second, to lure PAS into Barisan Nasional’s orbit and thus split the Opposition along ethnic and religious lines (making PAS the main spokesperson against DAP), and coordinating with PAS to run three-cornered fights to split Opposition support; and,

Third, since the central figure of Malay leader (Anwar) was removed and with PAS in BN’s pocket, the most convenient campaign was to call the Opposition “Chinese” and DAP-dominated to worsen fears among Malay voters in the hope that they would then vote for BN in droves.

In short, Najib planned to win by default by systematically dismantling the Opposition. And, in the first half of 2017, Najib was under the illusion that he would win a landslide and retain the seat of power and perhaps stay for as long as another decade. And so, with great confidence, he was seen attempting to remove prominent UMNO leaders and warlords before the next general election and putting in a new generation of loyalists in their stead.

Had Najib called for snap elections in the second half of 2016, or even early 2017, the chances of a handsome victory for Barisan Nasional was in fact highly possible.

Between the May 2013 election and the huge turnout of 300,000 at BERSIH 4 on 30th and 31st August 2015, the Opposition’s non-Malay support base generally held on despite numerous setbacks. After the opposition’s defeat in the Sarawak State Election in May 2016 and in the twin by-elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar in June 2016, hope that a change of government was still possible finally waned.

Fatigue, disappointment and hopelessness dominated public conversations.

Luring PAS

Before this, the year of 2014 had seen Anwar’s attempt to resurrect his leadership through the Kajang Move being immediately stopped by the courts, by PAS, by the royal house and other rivals. He was sent to Sungai Buloh prison on 10th February 2015.

Two days later, PAS’ pro-Pakatan Mursyidul Am Tok Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat passed away on 12th February 2015, paving the way for the Hadi-Najib/PAS-UMNO collaboration.

Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s rejection of Anwar’s Kajang Move and the subsequent snubbing of Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s candidature as Menteri Besar of Selangor throughout 2014, as well as the open collaboration of PAS with UMNO on the hudud issue from March 2014 onwards, meant that Pakatan Rakyat was no longer tenable and PAS was no longer be a reliable coalition partner.

Since the 8th March 2008 election, UMNO has in fact been attempting to lure PAS into forming a de facto coalition in order to break up the multi-ethnic Pakatan Rakyat and thus end the possibility of a change of government.

PAS remained in Pakatan Rakyat very much because of Nik Aziz’s commitment towards defeating UMNO, as well as the presence of progressive leaders within the party, most of whom had emerged during the reformasi period with a clear idea that PAS must work as a coalition partner in a multi-ethnic setup.

Fundamentally, the only way to defeat UMNO and Barisan Nasional at the ballot box is to form a formidable coalition that can win across ethnic lines, as well as gain significant ground across the South China Sea in Sabah and Sarawak.

The progressives in PAS left the party after the muktamar in June 2015, which also marked the demise of Pakatan Rakyat. They formed Parti Amanah Negara instead on 16th September 2015, and already on 22nd September 2015, it had joined PKR and DAP to form Pakatan Harapan.

Vacuum of leadership

From early 2015 onwards, detailed information about scandals involving Najib, Jho Low and 1MDB became available through Sarawak Report. New York Times reported some of the details in March 2015, which shocked the nation and caused Najib to rally the divisional chiefs of UMNO.

The July 2015 report by Wall Street Journal about the USD 681 million deposit in Najib’s personal account triggered an attempt to dislodge Najib from within, but was thwarted through his removal of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail on 28th July 2015. Some other critics were co-opted, such as former Public Accounts Committee chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed.

Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir was ousted in February 2016, confirming Najib’s grip over UMNO but widening the gulf between the UMNO elite and non-partisan ordinary Malays.

UMNO leaders who couldn’t accept Najib’s grand corruption yet refused to be co-opted found themselves voiceless. Najib’s support among Malays specifically and among Malaysians in general plummeted hugely by the end of 2015.

There was a vacuum of leadership for the anti-Najib Malays.

Mahathir’s move

There were attempts by Dr. Mahathir to realign with civil society such as his two visits to BERSIH 4.0 rally on 30th and 31st August 2015 but did not get very far due to huge resistance from civil society leaders.

Finally, Dr. Mahathir moved boldly by quitting UMNO on 29th February 2016 and initiating the Citizen’s Declaration on 4th March 2016.

The Citizen’s Declaration as a social movement didn’t get much beyond collecting some signatures, but the visual impact of Dr. Mahathir sitting alongside Lim Kit Siang sent shockwaves throughout the country. I was with a senior minister from Mahathir’s era the day before the event. He was trying to persuade Mahathir to avoid having Kit Siang at the first press conference. “Leave it to the second phase.” Also within DAP, many were unhappy with Kit Siang’s gesture.

Both Kit Siang and Dr. Mahathir knew that for a grand coalition to be effective in countering Najib’s systematic dismantling of the Opposition, they had to find a way to cooperate. Both were attacked by their respective constituencies savagely but they held their ground. And they eventually prevailed.

Muhyiddin and Mahathir then formed Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia in September 2016 to serve as a platform for anti-Najib Malays.

Dr. Mahathir was quick to recognize that a single coalition was crucial for winning the next election. He told the Pakatan Harapan convention on 12th November 2016 that Bersatu was prepared to be a member of Pakatan Harapan. Other Bersatu leaders were still thinking of a loose coalition with Pakatan Harapan parties so as to enable Bersatu to have a separate arrangement with PAS.

On 4th December 2016, two events were held in the capital. Najib attended together with Hadi Awang an event for showing support for the Rohingyas while Dr. Mahathir, together with other Pakatan Harapan leaders attended DAP National Conference. The contrasting visuals were very telling about the new political landscape.

New solid Pakatan Harapan

Bersatu and the original Pakatan Harapan parties signed an agreement on 13th December 2016, commencing the “PH + Bersatu” period of cooperation. On 27th March 2017, Bersatu joined Pakatan Harapan as an official component in line with Dr Mahathir’s wish for a tighter format in order to maximize public confidence in the Opposition.

The big announcements that elated the nation on 14th July and gave everyone hope did not come out of nowhere. It was the result of many difficult negotiations.

Four Presidential Council meetings were held on 30th April at the PPBM office, 31st May at Perdana Leadership Foundation, 9th June at the PPBM office and 13th July at the PKR office, not to mention the numerous smaller meetings in between held in multiple formats and groupings.

That the parties come together as a coalition naturally means that they are different and have different constituencies, otherwise they could have just formed a single party. At the heart of it was the question of how the 1997 split between Anwar and Mahathir could ever reconcile in 2017. After all, there is the subtle question of competing pre-eminence between PKR and PPBM.

The process was deadlocked at the 9th June meeting but “unlocked” after Dr. Mahathir and Nurul Izzah Anwar met in London during Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The London meeting paved the way for the eventual deal.

During the months of deadlock, whenever I was asked about the situation, my standard answer was that I didn’t mind giving the 20-year rivalry a few more days or weeks to reach a genuine, candid and full reconciliation. And if it was genuine, the nation would feel it and it would be inspiring and uplifting, which is exactly what is felt now.

Together again

Now the nation feels that a change of government – led by Mahathir and Anwar together – is the return to the golden era of the pre-1997 roaring ‘90s. There is a new ambience.

Significantly, the 14th July meeting was Mahathir’s first visit to PKR headquarters – the home base of the party formed to oppose his rule two decades ago.

Anwar and Mahathir have been the most important voices shaping national politics since the late 1960s. Dr. Mahathir became an MP in 1964, Anwar was a well-known student leader in the second half of the 1960s. The duo had collaborated since those early days. Dr. Mahathir’s supposedly secret letter to Tunku Abdul Rahman calling for the latter’s resignation after the May 13th riots was widely distributed in Kuala Lumpur by student groups linked to Anwar.

Anwar was seen as Mahathir’s political son between his entry into UMNO a week before the 1982 general election until his dismissal on 2nd September 1998.

In the last half a century, both Anwar and Mahathir had their devout followers and were also able to reach out to the middle ground in a way no other politician could. There have always been some who sacrificed for their idol even when he was in the political wilderness or, in the case of Anwar, prison.

Najib has never enjoyed such devotion, and Khairy Jamaluddin functions more like a celebrity. People may like them but they never love them.

No other Malay leaders beyond Mahathir and Anwar have enjoyed deep devotion from their supporters. The combined effect of Anwar and Mahathir is easily filling the Malay leadership vacuum at a time when Malay voters generally hate Prime Minister Najib and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor.

Both Anwar and Mahathir had periods in their political careers when they were seen as “ultras”, detrimental to the interests of non-Malays. But both made amends and have being embraced with respect and devotion by non-Malays and those in the political middle ground. Dr. Mahathir’s Vision 2020 period made him the Prime Minister of choice for non-Malays. Anwar was also well liked by non-Malays in the 1990s and during the Pakatan Rakyat era as Prime Ministerial candidate.

Promising moment

After the opposition leadership structure was unveiled on 14th July, it was most comical to see how one after another UMNO Minister trying to stick to their old script of claiming that the DAP calls the shots in the Opposition. Such claims won’t stick now that it is the joint Mahathir-Anwar leadership team that they are facing.

The 14th July New Deal is the turning point where the Opposition returns from the doldrums inflicted by Najib through the jailing of Anwar and the cooption of PAS into BN’s fold.

Malaysian political history enters its most unpredictable yet most promising moment.

Liew Chin Tong is Member of Parliament for Kluang, and DAP National Political Education Director.

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Elizabeth Wong: There is only one party who fears new voters more than anything. Don’t let them take away your fundamental rights! Tue, 18 Apr 2017 12:50:28 +0000
Eli_ECI was at the Selangor Election Commission’s office this morning to check out the voter objection hearing process. I was shocked to find out a total of 354 voters from the Subang Parliamentary constituency (of which Kota Damansara, Paya Jaras and Bukit Lanjan are part of) were objected.
About half made it to today’s hearing and had their voting right reinstated. Of those present, some took emergency leave, some took unpaid leave, some postponed work and meeting arrangements and some came at the eleventh hour after receiving the EC’s PosLaju letter only yesterday.
The atmosphere in the room was tense and some felt confused as to why they were objected randomly. Nevertheless, every single one present were determined to make sure their right to vote will be reinstated in time for GE14.
After checking with some of them, I realised they were not randomly selected.
1. Majority of the objected voters had registered for change of voting address at the Post Office.
2. Almost all were Chinese.
3. They had applied to move to two seats in Subang Parliament ie. DUN Kota Damansara and DUN Paya Jaras – seats which UMNO has high stakes in retaining or wresting.
4. Majority of the Objectors (Pembantah) came from one address: No 10, Jalan Pekaka 8/3, Seksyen 8, Kota Damansara 47810 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. (This is the address of UMNO Bahagian Subang)
The process was thankfully fast. Upon being called into a separate room, they were asked a few questions: How far is the community hall from your house, how far is a certain petrol station from your house etc.
The more time consuming process was the queue due to the numbers that turned up. Some waited for up to four hours for their turn.
On the Objector’s side (pembantah) side, only a handful, maybe 4 or 5 at most turned up. According to the EC’s rules and regulations on objecting voters, each pembantah is allowed to object up to 20 names. A total of 354 objected voters would mean at least 18 pembantahs should have been present to face the persons they objected. Where were they?
Also seen was a man and a lady with a child in charge of distributing RM100 bills ‘compensation’ to the objected voters present. Someone must have upfront RM35,400 cash to this person to pay on the spot!
Kudos to those present and who were determined not to leave until their rights to be a voter were reinstated.
Please inform those who may have received a letter from the EC either by registered post or PosLaju. There is nothing to be worried if they are called to the hearing. If you are unsure of your voting status, log onto and key in your IC number.
We know there is only one party who fears new voters more than anything. Don’t let them take away your fundamental rights!
Elizabeth Wong
18 April 2017
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Tony Pua: I standby the video comments I have made which have purportedly defamed the honourable Prime Minister Wed, 12 Apr 2017 04:40:54 +0000 tony_lawyer01 tony_lawyer03 tony_lawyer02
I have received a letter of demand from the Prime Minister, troche Dato’ Seri Najib Razak, physician served by his lawyers from Hafarizam Wan & Aisha Mubarak who brought along TV3 to my office in Petaling Jaya yesterday evening.
The letter demanded that I retract the statement, remove the video, publicly apologise to the Prime Minister and pay an amount of compensation to be agreed upon within 7 days.
I have reviewed the 5-minute video published on 6 April 2017 and I hereby state that I will standby the comments I have made.  Hence I will neither retract the statement, remove the video, publicly apologise to the Prime Minister nor offer to pay any amount of compensation to Dato’ Seri Najib Razak.
This is simply because the statements which I have made are grounded on established facts which have not been disputed.
The Sarawak Report and the Wall Street Journal first made the allegation that US$681 million originating from 1MDB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance found its way into Dato’ Seri Najib Razak’s personal bank account with Ambank Malaysia.  This was subsequently confirmed in evidential documents produced by the United States Department of Justice (US DOJ).  In fact, the US DOJ pointed out in their legal filings that the total amount originating from 1MDB and surfaced in the Prime Minister’s bank account was US$731 million. 
It should be noted that Dato’ Seri Najib Razak has never publicly disputed or denied the facts presented by the US DOJ since July 2016.
In addition, the US DOJ has labelled Malaysia as a kleptocracy.  The definition of “kleptocracy” is “a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by a thief or thieves”.
Despite the reputational damage inflicted on Malaysia as a result of US DOJ’s suit to seize assets worth approximately US$1 billion acquired with laundered funds originating from 1MDB, the Prime Minister and his Government has refused respond to the highly detrimental allegations.
In fact, the Prime Minister has steadfastly refused to clarify and respond to the matter in Parliament, despite repeated request by Members of Parliament to do so.
What’s more, I have also outlined all the facts and evidence of the above misconduct and more, in my civil suit against the Prime Minister for public misfeasance filed in January this year.  Dato’ Seri Najib Razak doesn’t even have to sue me a second time, he just needs to answer to the charges I have made in my suit to debunk any “fake news” which have purportedly damaged his reputation.  Instead, he has chosen to try to strike out my suit with a mind-boggling defense that he “is not a public officer” and hence cannot be subjected to a public misfeasance suit.
Hence, I can only interpret the Prime Minister’s latest letter of demand, the second I have received from him, is an attempt not to right a wrong, but to silence the truth.
Just as I never stopped exposing, highlighting and questioning the RM50 billion ringgit 1MDB scandal despite being sued for defamation the first time round in March 2015, I will not be intimidated or frightened from continuing to do the same. 
It is my fervent believe that not only my voters who voted me into office, but an overwhelming majority of Malaysians cannot accept a kleptocratic administration or a Prime Minister who stole billions from the rakyat.  Therefore, I will doggedly persist and persevere in fighting the democratic cause to free Malaysia from such evils and disease.
Tony Pua
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