Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Pribumi MP's idiocy

FMT - AIDS workers regret PPBM Pribumi man’s ‘ignorance’:

Activists welcome the government’s response to the recent increase in HIV cases. (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Remarks in the Dewan Rakyat by a PPBM Pribumi politician yesterday not only show prejudice against HIV-positive patients but could also complicate recent efforts by the government to introduce more effective treatment and prevention methods, says an activist working with AIDS victims.

Martin Choo said the claim by Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali that HIV is only spread through the sexual activities of homosexual men is not accurate.

“Anyone who has sex without adequate protection is at risk of HIV, regardless of their sexual orientation or how they choose to have sex,” Choo, of the Kuala Lumpur AIDS Support Services Society, told FMT.

Yesterday, Noor Azmi, an Umno MP who joined PPBM Pribumi last year, urged the government to step up efforts against the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community, saying they were practising deviant sex and had contributed to a spike in the number of HIV cases.

Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali

Choo, saying HIV cases had indeed increased, with 90% of new infections last year from sexual transmission, welcomed the government’s response to the problem.

He said the health ministry had increased access to sexual healthcare with special clinics to treat sexually transmitted infections.

“It will be regrettable if such efforts by the government to contain the epidemic are negated by prejudicial messaging, and deleterious if people are hurt as a result,” he said.

“Instead of calling out any one group for condemnation, perhaps we should encourage better sexual healthcare that will benefit all Malaysians.”

The Malaysian AIDS Council also disagreed with Noor Azmi’s statement, saying his description of homosexual intercourse using the “back door” analogy was off the mark and showed ignorance of scientific and medical facts.

“All this talk of LGBT is merely fear-mongering that targets Malaysians who are vulnerable and widely discriminated against,” said the council’s president Bakhtiar Talhah.

Influenced Pribumi members? 

“The only way to prevent HIV is through awareness and educating Malaysians with the proper knowledge to keep themselves safe, and if they are infected, to give them access to treatment that is already available nationwide.”

He voiced hope that views such as those by Noor Azmi would not dent the progress made by Malaysia in treating HIV victims.

He also said recent efforts had managed to stop the spread of HIV among drug addicts, and that the focus now was to keep it from spreading through sexual activities.

Goodbye Goh Cheng Teik, rest in peace

Star Onilne - A true Malaysian to the end

by wong chun wai

Datuk Dr Goh Cheng Teik

A man of many talents, he was also a political scientist, academician and writer

PETALING JAYA: Datuk Dr Goh Cheng Teik was a Member of Parliament, political scientist, aca­demician and writer. But most of all, he was a true Malaysian.

He spent the last 15 years battling Parkinson’s disease and often, he had to move around in a wheelchair, wearing a sweater even in the heat.

Despite his difficulties, he made it a point to present himself at Menara Star to deliver his handwritten analyses on issues developing in Malaysia.

There was no appointment made, no telephone call, no email and no WhatsApp message. Dr Goh was old school, he believed in the importance of meeting people and talking to a person face to face.

He would tell the receptionists and security guards at Menara Star that he must meet me. He would leave our office if I was away.

“Please use it if you think it’s suitable to print, otherwise, it’s okay. Thank you very much for meeting me,” he would say to me, politely and humbly.

I have known the former Gerakan vice-president and Nibong Tebal MP since I was a rookie reporter, when I started my journalism career in Penang.

Penang was, after all, the political base for the multiracial party and most of its top level leaders including the founder, the late Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, were from the state.

But that was not all.

Dr Goh was a head prefect at St Xavier’s Insti­tution, our alma mater. He was held in high regard by me and fellow Xavierians because he studied at the prestigious Harvard University.

He studied political science. As a schoolboy, I had not heard of such an academic course and interestingly, this was the course I eventually took up at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, where I graduated from.

I was just eight when the mayhem of May 13 broke out. I remember my father carrying me on his shoulders, joining the crowd at the massive final rally – on the eve of the general election – at Esplanade Padang, where the people roared with enthusiasm as the speakers called on them to “sink the sailing boat” – a reference to the symbol of the ruling Alliance.

Later at secondary school, I read Dr Goh’s short monograph on “The May 13 Incident and Democracy in Malaysia”, published by Oxford University Press, which looked at the impact of racial riots and what it did to our democracy.

He was then a lecturer at Universiti Malaya but the green-coloured booklet truly struck a chord with me because he introduced the term “the politics of consensus” and he used the Bahasa Malaysia term, musyawarah.

He also shared his thesis on how Umno leaders plotted against Tunku Abdul Rahman to remove him from office during those turbulent times.

Dr Goh was a true Malaysian, who continued to push for such moderate thinking and sharing of political power without the need for the racial and religious rhetoric.

He had a great interest in our education system and over the years, lamented on the decrea­sing number of Malaysians who made it into Harvard.

Dr Goh had the distinction of heading the interview panel that selected students from Malaysia for entry into Harvard and many times, he spoke about the deteriorating quality of Malaysian applicants.

“I personally called the Harvard College Admissions Office. I was told that although they received applications from Malaysians, no one was even shortlisted for interviews as they are not considered competitive enough,” he said, in a 2012 interview with The Star.

Dr Goh, who conducted such interviews for Harvard for more than 20 years, said he was disappointed that so many of our students failed to gain admission into the Ivy League institution.

Being a patriotic Malaysian, he fought hard to get Malaysians into Harvard.

Over the years, Dr Goh shared with me a startling piece of news – that the string of distinctions obtained by our students at public examinations had lost credibility, and no longer meant anything to top US and UK universities.

Dr Goh received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard before completing his Ph.D from Leiden University in Holland.

He continued to deliver lectures at Sunway University as an adjunct professor, sharing his insightful analyses on national and international issues.

Dr Goh joined Gerakan in 1972, and from 1974 to 1999, he served as MP, parliamentary secretary, state executive councillor and deputy minister, under four ministries. He resigned from Gerakan following an internal party feud and retired from politics in 1999.

His final message to his beloved Malaysia and Malaysians was simple, to remember never to lose sight of what unites them.

His demise marks the end of an era but the play-up of racial and religious issues has unfortunately, not passed on.

Farewell, Cheng Teik.

Note: some photos above have been picked by this blogger, and are not from Star Online, wakakaka

Rantau - Do or Die for Mohd Hasan

MM Online - Future of parties and politicians may pivot on Rantau (extracts)

Dr Streram & Mohd Hasan 

PH leader and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) strategist Datuk Rais Hussin said that PH has failed to learn from their twin losses in Semenyih and Cameron Highlands, or to take heed of the urgent need to explain to voters about why some manifesto promises have yet to be delivered.

Rais Hussin 

He lamented that till today, PH has yet to improve on its communication strategy and has instead allowed some ministers to make silly remarks about “flying cars”, in an apparent jibe at Entrepreneur Development Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof’s recent announcement that Malaysia will develop a flying car.

drive-fly to learn? 

“Rantau is going to be tough for PH, a 50-50 chance. Recent election results do not favour PH. People on the ground have not felt the positive effects of our policies.

“People need to be convinced and we have yet to establish a manifesto committee. In Semenyih, when I talked to people. they say ‘we have trouble putting food on the table but you are talking about piring terbang’,” he told Malay Mail.

Rais added that he was not surprised PH lost Semenyih because the coalition lacked a proper narrative, and still has not found one.

“When we are not doing enough, the opposition’s narrative becomes the dominant narrative,” he said.

"New" Malaysia - Freedom of Information & speech

Rais Hussin is the Parti Pribumi's strategist. He might have been 'down-playing' Dr Streram's chances of winning Rantau, which BTW I think the good doctor has a good chance of doing so.

Malaysian politics has always and will continue to be racial at its core, thus with 27% Indians and a hefty 19% Chinese in that state constituency, the nons may be the crucial element to tip the by-election scale towards Dr Streram. Now, all PKR needs to do for its candidate is to garner just 5% Malay votes which surely and on theoretical logic, it can.

Ethnic breakdown of Rantau's electorate as of 2018[6]
  Malay (54%)
  Chinese (19%)
  Indian (27%)
  Other ethnicities (1%)

But Dr Streram faces 3 obstacles, namely:

(a) I am sure the Indians in Rantau will troop out in droves and most likely vote for Dr Streram, but the PKR candidate may face the Curse of Election-Day-Mahjong due to disenchantment with Pakatan Manifesto which has been Mafulat-ised kaukau by Mahathir,

(b) Mohd Hasan has been a popular 3-term MB in Negeri Sembilan, even to the nons,

(c) Dr Streram has recently been smeared by friendly fire about allegedly his personal financial standing. Though thus far there is no concrete evidence to support that naughty smearing, most Malaysians prefer to believe in bullshit rather than evidential matters.

But Rais Hussin is nonetheless correct, that the Rantau by-election outcome has a far greater effect than the mere election of its ADUN. It will indicate how the voters NOW view Pakatan versus BN.

saya pun salah

bila cocok (sesuai)


For Mohd Hasan, UMNO's acting president, it will be crucial to his future role in mainstream politics. He has to win to continue to be relevant or he'll become a footnote in Malaysian political history.

A win for Dr Streram will also look good for Anwar Ibrahim, and probably to the disgust of the Dwarfs, wakakaka. 

The other lesser consequence is the role of Mahathir's favourite electorate composition in GE15, to wit, his 65:35 racial ratio, which showed his uncertainty (and lack of confidence) with the Malay Heartland, forcing him to ultimately rely on voters he wished he didn't need to, wakakaka.

Monday, March 18, 2019

How Blithe is Bellecosity?

Sun Daily - Penis inspection joke gone too far, police report lodged:

PETALING JAYA: It was probably a joke that has gone too far as a police report has been lodged against, the person or persons behind a fake directive from the Education Ministry ordering students to undergo a penis inspection.

However, only students of SMK Seksyen 4 Bandar Kinrara were subjected to the “directive”.

“The Education Ministry requires us to conduct mandatory penis inspection on all male students at SMK Seksyen 4 Bandar Kinrara in accordance with Health Code 6.9. This year’s penis inspection will take place on Wednesday, March 20th during assembly,“ according to the fake directive.

Nazi penis inspection

It also warned students that they would not receive their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations slip if they do not attend or have an erection during inspection.

A source from the Education Ministry said that a report was lodged by the school on Friday

Wakakaka, I personally find it whimsically hilarious - and most important of all, no physical, emotional nor financial harm was inflicted on anyone.

'Penis Inspection Day' hoax has been around for a while thus it's not new. 

But obviously in strait-laced Islamic Malaysia, such jocose antic would be (at best) frowned upon by authorities such as an official of the Education Ministry who probably is already beset with far more important issues like black shoes, swimming pools and 'holistic' assessment of this and that, wakakaka.

In the Western (English-speaking World), the first day of April is celebrated annually as April Fools' Day. Its origin stems from a story ('Nun's Priest's tale') in Geoffrey Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales (1392). Wikipedia informs:

April Fools' Day or April Fool's Day (sometimes called All Fools' Day) is an annual (primarily) Western celebration commemorated on April 1 by playing practical jokes and spreading hoaxes.

The jokes and their victims are called April fools. People playing April Fool jokes often expose their prank by shouting "April fool(s)" at the unfortunate victim(s).

Some newspapers, magazines and other published media report fake stories, which are usually explained the next day or below the news section in smaller letters. Although popular since the 19th century, the day is not a public holiday in every country.

It's quite faithfully observed by Australian newspapers and TV shows which would play pranks and hoaxes on their viewers. The above Malaysian 'Penis Inspection' requirement would have fallen gnam gnam into such hoaxes, wakakaka.

But on a far more serious issue, there should be a mandatory requirement for 'mulut' or 'otak' inspection rather than the lil' Johan 'downstairs', wakakaka.

Allow me to present some recent news headlines for your viewing as follows:

(a) Lim warns Umno-PAS union will target non-Malays,

Editor's note: 10.30pm - Lim corrected his earlier statement which originally used the words "declare war on non-Malays"

... of his (Guan Eng;s) own political survival

Well, definitely there should have been 'mulut' or 'otak' inspection for every political election candidate, wakakaka.

And as if to prove my point, two other DAP politicians wanted to better Guan Eng in his bellicose shouting.

First after Lim GE was Dewan Rakyat Deputy Speaker Nga Kor Ming who stated the alliance between Umno and PAS will turn Malaysia akin to Taliban's Afghanistan.

Then Mengkibol ADUN Chew Chong Sin said the attacks at two mosques in New Zealand, should serve as a lesson for Malaysia on the need to curb extremism, and that the Umno-PAS cooperation "can also be taken advantage of by foreign terrorist groups".


But as I've said, the 'mouth-brain' inspection should be mandatory for every political election candidate, meaning Pakatan, BN, and PAS have been equally guilty of saying stupid insensitive words.

But it surprises me to hear DAP getting their knickers all twisted and knotted up just because UMNO and PAS have recently formed a political pact.

Political pacts are common in politics everywhere, not just Malaysia. As a reminder, didn't DAP form a pact too with PAS, and even unto almost using the PAS logo-flag in the 2013 general election?

I think Guan Eng should set a better example of statesmanship instead of his politically belligerent utterances.

lu khee-haw-lang-k .... lah


Sunday, March 17, 2019

Dap for Hanging, PAS for Hudud - same same

Malaysiakini - DAP can't have human rights and death penalty, says lawyer:

Lawyer Latheefa Koya today lashed out at DAP several leaders for caving in to calls to retain the death penalty.

Latheefa took DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng to task for issuing a statement today on his party's commitment to human rights, despite supporting the death penalty.

"Words are cheap! Human rights? Isn't it true that key DAP leaders did not support abolition of death penalty – the ultimate denial of human rights?

"As a result, the government did a U-turn on abolishing it after promising to do so in Oct 2018," the lawyer said on Twitter.

Latheefa also criticised Kepang assemblyperson Dr Ko Chung Sen for refuting claims that DAP walked back its opposition to capital punishment.

Dr Ko Chung Sen 

"Not surprised by this obscure DAP Adun's fanatical support for hanging people. I understand that DAP stalwarts/top leaders did not support abolition, leading to the U-turn by the government.

"They were worried about backlash from Chinese voters, who some claim support the death penalty," she tweeted.

KiniGuide: Death penalty: Six things you need to know

Ko argued yesterday that Pakatan Harapan did not renege on its pledge to abolish capital punishment because it was never listed in its election manifesto, which only promised to abolish the mandatory death penalty.

Legislative changes affecting 11 laws are expected to be passed by Parliament soon.

According to Latheefa, however, DAP should make their stand clear and not "hide" behind cabinet decisions.

"If DAP argues hanging people is a deterrent punishment – then they have no moral standing to object to PAS' hudud bill, because PAS relies on the same justification!" she wrote.

Politics (Mahathir), not law (Tommy Thomas), set Indonesian Siti Aisyah free

Star Online - Keeping the ties that bind:

jubilant Indonesian team with Siti Aisyah 

It was clear from the beginning that Indonesian Siti Aisyah and Vietnamese Doan Thi Huong were mere pawns in the murder of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

However, what isn’t clear is why the charges against Siti Aisyah were dropped but not those against her co-accused Doan.

No one is disputing that it’s the sole prerogative of the Attorney-General to institute or discontinue prosecution of any charge.

Article 145 (3) of the Federal Constitution clearly stipulates that the AG shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a syariah court, a native court or a court martial.

It’s a complete let down that none of them have offered their opinion or stand on the issue. They have become elegantly silent, to borrow a phrase.
It’s unprecedented for the AG to exercise this discretion at such a late stage, after the judge earlier ruled that there was a prima facie case against the two accused and had asked the defence to answer the charges.

Witnesses described how, in the Feb 13, 2017, incident, the victim died in agony shortly after being attacked. The CCTV footage screened in court during the trial showed the suspects rushing to separate bathrooms in the airport after the attack, before leaving in taxis.

Prosecutors even likened the murder to the plot of a James Bond movie, and that CCTV footage even went viral.

Doan reportedly told the police that she was instructed by four men, who were travelling with them, to spray Kim with an “unidentified liquid” while Siti Aisyah held and covered his face with a handkerchief as part of a prank for a TV show.

It was clear that the two women accused of smearing the toxic VX nerve agent were mere pawns while the four North Korean culprits disappeared after the job was executed at KLIA2.

The AG’s decision to drop the case against Siti Aishah has attracted the attention of the international media.
Last week, The Washington Post reported that Indonesia’s government had claimed its continued high-level lobbying resulted in Siti Aisyah’s release.

The foreign ministry said in a statement that she was “deceived and did not realise at all that she was being manipulated by North Korean intelligence”.

The news report said that over the past two years, Siti Aisyah’s plight was raised in “every bilateral Indonesia-Malaysia meeting, including at the president’s and vice president’s levels and in regular meetings of the foreign minister and other ministers with their Malaysian counterparts”.

The March 13 article further quoted analysts saying that Siti Aisyah’s release was in part due to politics and the improved relations between Indonesia and Malaysia since Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad returned to the Malaysian premiership last year after the stunning election defeat of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“One relationship that suffered under Najib was the Malaysia-Indonesia one. Dr Mahathir knows how important good ties are and in this more open era, supporting democratic allies is essential,” academician Bridget Welsh said.

The report said Indonesia assisted Malaysian federal government officials, wanted on corruption charges, to seek refuge there last year.

A luxury yacht at the centre of a Malaysian corruption scandal, was also seized off Bali island, in cooperation with US FBI, and returned to Malaysia last year.

It is understood that Indonesian Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly had persistently pursued the appeal for the accused’s release with the Malaysian AG.

The timing of her release is also thought to help boost the standing of incumbent Indonesian President Jokowi (Joko Widodo) in the elections.

Oh Ei Sun, senior fellow with Singapore’s Institute of International Affairs, reportedly said:

“While Siti Aisyah’s release was partly political, the case against her was also seen as weaker as her lawyers have told the court there was no video evidence showing her accosting Kim at the airport.”

We don’t know the accuracy of the report or whether this is just a figment of the reporter’s imagination, but because it is, presumably, widely read, it will give the impression that there was some kind of top-level deal in place, rightly or wrongly. An intervention beckons.

The perception didn’t help because the AG’s Chambers hasn’t dropped the charge against Doan.

So it wasn’t a surprise when Vietnam Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh asked Malaysia to free Doan.

“(He) asked Malaysia to ensure a fair trial, and to set Doan Thi Huong free,” Voice of Vietnam radio reported Tuesday after Minh’s call with Malaysian Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah.

It goes without saying that the matter will no longer just be a legal issue but could potentially even lead to a diplomatic spat.

Vietnam can now say that the AG has favoured one party, bearing in mind that this court had found a prima facie case against both accused. So why has Indonesia been given preferential treatment, since both women have stated, through their counsels, that they were filming video pranks?

Both also maintained they were made scapegoats by North Korea.

It is crucial that we handle this fairly since Vietnam is also an Asean member, so we must be seen to treasure our relationship with them. The international community will also be watching to see how we deal with this delicate issue.

So far, no one has had the courage to come forward to explain why the charge was dropped against only one accused. The AG has the power to decide, but the decision to withdraw must be done judiciously.

Surely Malaysians, and for that matter, the world, must not get the impression that the AG acted on Indonesia’s request, and that foreign requests should only be considered when an accused is found guilty.

But given that Siti Aisyah has been freed, perhaps the AG should now consider doing the same for Doan?

We trust that AG Tommy Thomas is a man who believes that justice must be treated with mercy, compassion and fairness, and that he will act accordingly.

Is Mahathir only Pakatan leader with gonads?

Malaysiakini - Yoursay: Kiandee, do the right thing and quit PAC chief’s post:

King of Frogs

YOURSAY | ‘It’s unacceptable for Kiandee to stay on as PAC chief.’

Ronald to stay on as PAC chief despite joining Bersatu

Brave Malaysian: Former Umno Sabah MP Ronald Kiandee should resign as Public Accounts Committee (PAC) chairperson.

Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad has again shown he does not care a hoot about the Pakatan Harapan manifesto.

It’s nothing to him because principles and promises mean nothing to him. Mahathir has to step aside if reforms are to take place.

Odysseus: Mahathir is beginning to sound ridiculous in not delivering on Harapan’s manifesto. This doesn't cost a single sen. Neither will it draw out racial or religious attacks. Yet, he simply ignores the promise.

Is he trying to make Harapan lose GE15?

My2cen: The rakyat need to play the game smartly. Mahathir is not Harapan, Harapan is not Mahathir.

Give all support to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim in the Rantau by-election (on April 13). With a strong win in Rantau, he will be in a better position to consolidate support and prepare for the eventual takeover.

And Anwar needs to know that the rakyat who placed him there can also replace him if he does U-turns like Mahathir's.

Hafidz Baharom: Eh? I thought the (PAC chief) position was supposed to be held by the opposition.

Unless of course, Mahathir wants to be in the opposition. Then, by all means, keep the seat.

Anonymous_1543386425: It’s time for coalition partners (of Bersatu Pribumi) to act. Table a motion to appoint an Umno representative to be head of PAC.

Sugar Glider: Kiandee is not the man for the PAC. He even misunderstands his role: this role is not subservient to the prime minister. It is also not the PM’s prerogative on this appointment.

The PAC chair must go to the opposition.

Hello: Mahathir is going back on Harapan's words again. Saying that the PAC chief’s position being reserved for the opposition is "only policy and not institutionalised" - he said this about the Harapan manifesto too.

Welcome to the "New Malaysia", or is it "cakap tak serupa bikin"? Harapan, where is the consensus; the equality of parties in the coalition and the consultation?

Hannah Yeoh, Nurul Izzah insist PAC be helmed by opposition

Mb090518: This is exactly the type of leaders Malaysia needs. Those who are really committed to reform and stand by their principles.

I highly laud the efforts made by Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh and Permatang Pauh MP Nurul Izzah Anwar. Both are great leaders who are committed and serious in their efforts to make Malaysia prosper as a democracy.

Meanwhile, Kiandee should do the right thing and step down. It would be a total disappointment for him not to do so, as he is now part of Harapan.

At the same time, Mahathir should seriously consider this matter, as it is unacceptable for Kiandee to stay on as PAC chairperson given that it would be a total breach of what Harapan stands for.

Jeez: This is typical behaviour of Mahathir if you were to look back on how he was in the old days when Umno was under him.

And because of him compromising various institutional checks and balances and bending the rules to suit himself, that's how we landed in today's dire situation as a nation.

Although he has done some good after GE14, it is just not good enough. After all, he was the cause of it all, wasn't he?

By now, seeing how things are shaping up under Mahathir, we should know we cannot count on him to really bring much progressive change to the country. I fear for the future of the next few generations.

Anonymous_5a309591: My beloved Mahathir, please do the needful. We love you so much and we don’t want people to speak bad about you. You are a great man and we want to remember you for it.

Anonymous_1543386425: Draw the red line. Whenever Mahathir crosses it, take him to task! This is the way to make a man who had absolute authority understand that his powers came from a coalition of equal partners, rather than a coalition that is equal only when he has use of it.

If the government has to dissolve, so be it.

Non-Evader: Great! The women lead the way in speaking up to Mahathir. Where are the men? Thinking about your rice bowls? Your positions?

Or looking for hints if it will anger the supreme leaders, the majority of the population, and hence don't even dare to speak a shred of truth?

don't look up, don't listen, just focus on your Sudoku 

And Justice for Truth: Indeed, Parliament should not just be a rubber stamp for the prime minister and the government of the day. Its role should be as a form of check and balance.

HARAP bukan 'preferential treatment'?

Malaysiakini - Is wheel of justice at a standstill on Harapan-linked cases?:

Since Pakatan Harapan assumed power last May, there have been numerous widely reported allegations of wrongdoings by members of the administration.

However, no case that has been brought before the courts thus far.

Six months ago, video evidence captured a special officer to the Deputy Home Minister Aziz Jamman filming an upskirt video. The officer was sacked, but there is no record that he was prosecuted.

During the PKR internal elections late last year, several party staff were arrested by the MACC over alleged problems with the membership registry.

One Sarawak PKR leader submitted what he termed "incontrovertible" evidence of vote buying. There have been no updates since from the MACC on investigations on the PKR elections.

Last December, Zahid Md Arip, the political secretary to the prime minister, was implicated when prosecutors charged former Felda chairperson Isa Abdul Samad with corruption. Yet, Zahid remains in office today.

In January, one of Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu's sons was arrested for substance abuse. At the time, the police investigation papers had been submitted to prosecutors.

There were also numerous police reports on election offences during the Cameron Highlands by-election campaign, involving Deputy Water, Land and Natural Resources Minister Tengku Zulpuri Shah Raja Puji and Harapan candidate M Manogaran.

Malaysiakini made multiple attempts to seek status updates from the police, the MACC and the attorney-general's chambers on all these cases.

None were forthcoming.

When contacted, Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) executive director Cynthia Gabriel (above) said it was a concern that the authorities have not provided an update on such matters.

"It is important, in the spirit of transparency and accountability, that (when) political leaders and their families are involved in investigations, the authorities must show the same level of speed when investigating, and the same level of justice that they do in other cases," she said.

She said that providing regular updates on investigations will show that the authorities are impartial and serious about the rule of law.

"It is very important for Harapan to lead the way to show that they can do things differently from the previous administration, even though it may implicate their own family members, their own staff or people that they are close to.

"If they have committed wrongdoing, they should be duly punished. But if there's no case then there is no case, and the public should be informed about it.

"There is no such thing as preferential treatment in a functioning democracy. Everybody should be subject to the rule of law," she said.