Saturday, February 16, 2019

Semenyih - Pakatan 'Gurkhas' may NOT vote for Pribumi candidate

Star Online - Malay battle looms in Semenyih (extracts):

Pribumi the tong sampah 

... even though the party [Mahathir's Pribumi] has been mocked as a tong sampah or garbage bin, the crossovers are a coup of sorts for the elderly leader given that his party is preparing for its biggest battle since May 9.

“The Semenyih by-election will be the ultimate battleground for the Malay vote. It’ll be the litmus test of Malay support towards the government,” said KRA strategy director Amir Fareed Rahim.

Amir noted that incumbents rarely lose in by-elections and as such, expectations will be high for Bersatu Pribumi to retain the seat.

Leaders and supporters of PH accompanying Aiman Zainali, 30 (in songkok) to the Semenyih by-election nomination centre this morning

“The stakes are definitely higher for Bersatu Pribumi than for Umno or PAS. The outcome will be read as a reflection of the Prime Minister’s standing,” he added.
Bersatu Pribumi, said Amir, needs to retain the seat to reassure its partners of its strength and also to halt the perceived decline in Malay support that the government has suffered in the past few months.

Muhamad Aiman Zainali

The polls will also test the dynamics of the ongoing political partnership of Umno and PAS and whether the two parties can build upon the momentum seen in the Cameron Highlands campaign.

“A win for Umno will strengthen the call for a more permanent cooperation between the two parties. It will also strengthen Mat Hasan’s (Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan) grip on the party leadership,” said Amir.

According to former Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi, Semenyih is a different kettle of fish from Cameron High­lands.

“Malays make up 68% of the electorate in Semenyih and it will be the first real test of the Malay ground,” said Ooi.

Zakaria Hanafi

For this coming Semenyih by-election, three factors stand out to be considered seriously, namely:

(1) Pribumi for all its claimed über Malay-ness, stocked with disagreeable ultra-ethnic members, some of whom disgust, disappoint or dismay the average Malaysian voters (eg. Shabydin Yahaya, a former syariah court judge who advocated not charging statutory rapists if they marry their underage victims, and who also promoted child marriages, arguing that girls as young as nine were “physically and spiritually” ready for marriage), won only 700,000 votes in GE14 and 13 federal seats, just as many as Amanah (650,000 votes and 11 federal seats).

* (stats rounded UP to nearest figure)

Just as a point of comparative interest, MCA won just as many votes as Pribumi, by 640,000 votes although those votes manifested in only 1 federal seat (Ayer Hitam won by Wee Ka Siong). Thus Pribumi to the Malays is only as popular as MCA to the Chinese, or arguably even less since Malays constitute around 50% of the population (non-Malay pribumis constitute another 10 to 15%) whilst Chinese Malaysians are only less than half of that (approx. 23% of population).

Dr Wee Ka Siong

above top photo - Masters of Engineering (NTU)
bottom photo (with wife) - PhD from UTM

Considering only the Malay political parties (thus leaving multiracial PKR aside for now), UMNO had by humongous contrast won 2,550,000 votes and 54 federal seats in GE14 while PAS captured 2,010,000 votes and 18 federal seats. Pribumi was nowhere near them.

PKR, which as mentioned is multiracial but in reality more of a Malay-dominant party, garnered 2,100,000 and 47 federal seats.

Thus, as Malaysiakini columnist P Gunasegaram once mentioned, in GE14, with or without Mahathir and his Pribumi, Pakatan would have won that election.

P Gunasegaram 

Mahathir and his Pribumi were not as popular with the Malay voters as we have been misled to believe. GE14 was waiting for Pakatan to win, and Mahathir smoothly slided into the picture to boldly claim undeserved merit for that victory, while his 'macai's' proclaimed his divinity. 

Mahathir as the so-called 'turning point' for Pakatan in GE14 has all along been a myth, which notwithstanding his insubstantial Pribumi pitiful victories in GE14, has allowed him to poker-bluff his dictatorial way through to the top to unjustifiably grabbed the MB positions for Johor (contested 18, won 8), Perak (contested 15, won only 1), and Kedah (contested 14, won 5) despite his Pribumi being NOT the major winning component party of Pakatan in any of those states.

In Perak the 'Ketuanan grab' has been the most obscene. Pribumi contested in 15 Perak state seats but won only one seat, by Ahmad Faisal Azumu, the current MB who has been exposed for approving a RM2 Company to develop 400 hectares of forest reserves without consulting his exco or the Malaysian Timber Industry Board. Maybe the MACC is sleeping?

Ahmad Faisal Azumu 

Azumu even had the brazen nerve to criticise Dr Aziz Bari (DAP) for possibly not having experience on how the state government approves timber concessions, implying that Azumu himself of course has. Azumu boasted to reporters, “However, I have explained about this matter in the exco meeting and I believe they are clear over the procedure now.”

However Aziz Bari who is Perak Education, Science, Environment, Green Technology and Information Committee chairman retorted that contrary to what the MB said, the state exco did not discuss logging activity near the Orang Asli settlement in Kampung Tasik Cunex, Gerik. What kind of MB is Azumu to tok-kok?

Dr Aziz Bari 

On top of his above sin, FMT reported:

The Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) has denied that it is cooperating with the company involved in the forest plantation project at the Kledang Saiong and Bukit Kinta forest reserves in Perak.

Its chairman, Wong Tack, said the use of permits for the 400ha forest plantation project at the two forest reserves was approved on Dec 14, 2018, and given to a company under the authority of the Perak Forestry Department and not MTIB or its subsidiary, Forest Plantation Sdn Bhd (FPDSB).

Wong Tack 

“The management of the company has no links with MTIB, had never been in contact with MTIB, and had no intentions to cooperate on the Forest Plantation Project under the Forest Plantation Development Programme managed by FPDSB,” he said in a statement today.

He was responding to Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu’s statement on the board’s involvement in the project during a media briefing on Feb 12.

Let's now leave Azumu and his story-telling while we move on to Pribumi's performance (or lack of) in GE15, in Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kelantan, Perlis and Pahang.

Pribumi ended up with duck eggs after contesting in:

(a) 6 state seats in NS;
(b) 10 state seats in Terengganu;
(c) 12 state seats in Kelantan;
(d) 5 state seats in Perlis, and
(e) 7 state seats in Pahang.


So much for the premier Malay political party. And that's why Pakatan could have won GE14 without Pribumi.

But the more important point to wonder is whether Pribumi can carry the Malay votes in Semenyih. Mahathir has now boasted he has a written agreement with PAS Hadi Awang that the Islamic Party won't help UMNO in the by-election. Wakakaka, how desperate.

Pak Haji Hadi Awang 

MM Online reported:

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 — PAS had decided not to support Umno in the Semenyih state assembly by-election, said Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad today.

The Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman said the matter was voiced by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who met him at the Al-Bukhary Foundation, here yesterday.

“In the meeting, we talked a lot about politics. A lot of political talk, among them about PAS in the Semenyih by-election, this time it (PAS) will not be supporting Umno.

“Hadi informed me that PAS will not support Umno. There is also a written and signed acknowledgement,” he said after delivering his keynote address at the Democracy Festival Kuala Lumpur 2019 organised by the Forces of Renewal for South-east Asia (FORSEA), here today.

Abdul Hadi was quoted as saying yesterday that his meeting with Dr Mahathir on Friday was to discuss administrative coordination between the State and Federal governments.

The Marang MP said the talks also touched on the Petroleum royalty, Economic Action Council and Federal and State Government projects so there were no conflicts.

Clare Brown, manakau. Siasat lah, wakakaka.

(2) Since last year's election victory for Pakatan, many of its manifesto promises were capati-ed (abandoned), with Mahathir even dismissing the manifesto as not being sacrosanct as a bible.

He saidPakatan Harapan (PH) made too many election promises because it didn't expect to win the 14th general election in May.

The coalition chairman told PH and Parti Warisan Sabah MPs at a closed-door meeting in Petaling Jaya on Monday night (Aug 13) that this was why the new administration was facing a tough time meeting its manifesto pledges. [...]

One example he gave was PH's promise to make the position of opposition leader equal to that of a minister.

He said the promise was made in expectation of PH being in the opposition

In other words, Pakatan made a manifesto promise in anticipation of itself benefiting from that promise, but now that it is in power, ..... wakakaka, it looks like goodbye to democratic principles. Can we trust such a coalition which made promises in jest and with no intentions to fulfil them?

But to what extent will Pakatan's various manifesto capati affect the Semenyih by-election?

(3) Last but probably the most important, Mahathir's abandonment of his vow to other Pakatan parties that Pribumi won't accept UMNO deserters, and his snub of non-Pribumi Pakatan leaders' in making such an arrogant violation of Pakatan agreement so as to benefit his own party Pribumi, as was also the case in the Perak MB nomination, may well be the breaking point for Pakatan 'Gurkhas'.

Much as the Lims, Azmin Ali and his Dökkálfar Dwarfs may still support Pribumi in Semenyih, the rumour mills have mentioned that many non-Pribumi Pakatan members and supporters (PKR and DAP) either won't vote that day (play mahjong instead wakakaka) or even vote against the Pakatan (Pribumi) candidate.

On that score, it may well be that PAS members and supporters may still vote for the BN candidate.

Related: Semenyih by-elections March 2019.

Friday, February 15, 2019

Mahathir was once called "recalcitrant" - he now shows it

There is immense unhappiness among many non-Pribumi Pakatan people. It all has to do with Mahathir's Pribumi taking in 7 UMNO deserters without consultation with non-Pribumi Pakatan parties like PKR and DAP.

It has been reported that many of the non-Pribumi Pakatan politicians and their supporters are up in arms after the considerable frogology of Pakatan's archfoe, UMNO.

But then that's the way Mahathir did, has done and now does things. He doesn't give a sh*t about the other Pakatan parties' opinions or approval.

Admittedly, he is compelled by his personal "time" and the knowledge that the other Pakatan parties would object, and that he wants Pribumi, the weakest party among Pakatan members, to be the strongest in order to dominate, as has been his wont.

So fCk PKR and DAP, Pribumi now has 22 seats in parliament. OK, more work to be done because alas for Mahathir, Anwar's PKR and those wretched people in DAP have 50 and 42 seats respectively. These won't do as he must ensure Pribumi is the biggest-strongest component like UMNO was in BN.

But will his latest go-it-alone rile the other parties to such an extent they will expel Pribumi from Pakatan?

It's been said that Mahathir has threatened to take Pribumi out of Pakatan into another coalition if the "others" object to his acceptance and continuous recruitment of UMNO "garbage".

Though there have been vociferous noises from the "others", there were mainly the "gurkhas". None of the leadership has spoken up, people like Lim Kit Siang, Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah etc.

But instead we have Azmin Ali actually defending and approving Mahathir's treachery in accepting UMNO frogs, whilst worryingly, Amanah, which has 11 federal seats, said it's not worried or bothered about Pribumi taking in UMNO frogs.

This means Mahathir can probably rely on Amanah support of 11 MPs, while Azmin is likely to follow Mahathir should the Old Man break up with Pakatan. According to another blogger, Azmin commands a followship of a least 21 out of the 50 PKR has.

Pribumi 22 + Azmin 21 (or even more) + Amanah 11 make 54.

Then there's the East Malaysian parties. In Sarawak he's pally buddy with Peh Mor but on the minus side for Mahathir, the DAP, assuming it stays true to Anwar, has quite a strong following which may neutralise Sarawakian support for Mahathir. The PKR element there is unknown, as to whether Baru Bian will follow Azmin Ali or Anwar Ibrahim - perhaps some of my visitors can comment.

As for Sabah, I think Mahathir might have offended the locals in wanting to establish Pribumi there. But everything and anything goes when we are beneath the wind

The big unknowns are 18 PAS and what remains of UMNO. According to P Gunasegaran's article in Malaysiakini's Mahathir’s shifting stand shows he can't be trusted (extracts):

Mahathir acquiescing to defections despite earlier opposition, opens the door very wide for Bersatu Pribumi to accept virtually all of the other Umno MPs - some 40 odd, if you exclude those who are clearly unacceptable like Najib.

In addition to some 16 others in Sarawak and perhaps four independents in Sabah, there are some 60 more. This could swell Bersatu's Pribumi’s combined support to some 82 MPs.

Gunasegaram hypothesized the bizarre possibility of DAP following Mahathir and his Pribumi, but I reckon while that is not inconceivable seeing how precious the Lims considered their alliance with Mahathir, it's more unlikely as the people in DAP detest Azmin Ali who is more or less with Mahathir and likely to be his successor as PM.

But unless the LIMs come out to criticise Mahathir's move and show their resolution to break up with a recalcitrant Mahathir-Pribumi on the issue of accepting UMNO "garbage" (with the pretense of vetting those UMNO deserters), even Anwar Ibrahim will be depressed by the wavering stance of his close DAP ally. Any further delay will only encourage Mahathir and piss off DAP supporters.

As the ancient Chinese say, "We live in interesting times".

Mahathisia Redux

FMT - MCA woman who criticised AGC memo called to Bukit Aman:

Chan Quin Er 

PETALING JAYA: An MCA leader who criticised a memo on instructions to hasten judicial hearings of high-profile cases has been called to Bukit Aman to have her statement recorded.

Chan Quin Er said she would be heading to the police headquarters to give her statement tomorrow at 10am.

She claimed that an individual had filed a police report because she had raised questions about political interference in a supposedly independent institution.

“After my exposé of a circular on instructions to hasten judicial hearings of high-profile cases, which has now been confirmed, I have finally earned my ticket to Bukit Aman to have my statement recorded this Friday.

“It looks like the reality of being a whistleblower in Malaysia hasn’t really changed since Malaysia Baru,” Chan, an MCA central committee member, said in a statement.

MCA had previously questioned the impartiality of the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) after a letter showed a high-ranking member of the office seemingly biased against Barisan Nasional (BN).

The letter by Solicitor-General III Mohamad Hanafiah Zakaria, which has since gone viral on social media, asks that efforts to delay cases related to the previous “kleptocratic government” be “strongly objected to”.

Hanafiah, who is also a deputy public prosecutor and former head of the Appellate and Trial Division at the AGC, had confirmed to FMT that he wrote the letter.

Chan had previously alleged that the letter “strongly suggests that the AGC is taking instructions from the prime minister”.

Chan, who is also a former federal counsel with the AGC, said what Malaysians really want with the institutions in Malaysia Baru is a high standard of integrity.

“That is all I am asking for. That is what most Malaysians had asked for.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Mahathir the man who cannot be trusted

Malaysiakini - Mahathir’s shifting stand shows he can't be trusted by P Gunasegaram

"We are mobile, we are not fixed" - Dr Mahathir Mohamad when asked about party hopping

COMMENT | It’s rare that a newly elected leader (only for an interim period), elected by the rakyat because of promises made by the coalition he heads, breaks key promises in a short space of time, and says with a straight face that re-assessment has to be made in the face of changing developments.

This man, Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who came to power as a result of a mass uprising against the kleptocratic Umno/BN government and who promised that he would not take defecting Umno/BN MPs, just two days ago handed out membership cards to seven such people with not so much as an apology for his action. Two others had defected earlier, making nine in all.

They were Jeli MP Mustapa Mohamed (a former minister) who crossed over in October, Bagan Serai MP Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali who joined a month later, Masjid Tanah MP Mas Ermieyati Samsudin who crossed over in December, Larut MP Hamzah Zainuddin (who is also a former minister), Mersing MP Abdul Latif Ahmad, Tasek Gelugor MP Shabudin Yahaya, Sabak Bernam MP Mohd Fasiah Mohd Fakeh, Hulu Terengganu MP Rosol Wahid and Tanah Merah MP Ikhmal Hisham Abdul Aziz.

He justified this acceptance of the Umno MPs into the fold with his trademark twisted logic. Examples, as reported in theSun:

“I am now sitting on the same side as leaders I once attacked and mocked, but politicians are sometimes forced to jump ship according to circumstances.

“If you are tied to only one leader or party and stay with them even if they rob the people, then you are not a politician, but one who only cares for yourself.

“I was previously in Umno, and I left to join DAP, PKR and Amanah. But if they are no longer loyal to the country, I will also move to other parties. We are mobile, we are not fixed," he added.

In his replies (you can watch the full press conference here), he ignored the fact that he is prime minister by virtue of other parties supporting him, for his own Bersatu had only 13 seats compared to PKR’s 47 and DAP’s 42 at the end of the last polls. What he is doing now, by accepting Umno MPs into the fold now, is a tacit support of those who, by omission, clearly supported the previous kleptocratic government.

Not just that, it has been reported that all Umno divisions received money from former premier Najib Abdul Razak’s personal account which, it was quite clear at the time and well before the elections of May 9 last year, received money which came from 1MDB.

In fact, the Wall Street Journal reported in July 2015 that some US$700 million had come into Najib’s accounts from 1MDB funds. This was confirmed later by the US Department of Justice which gave in detail the money trail. These people did not oppose Najib at all, but supported his kleptocratic acts by not voicing their concern and accepting to stand in the elections. They are, therefore, irrevocably tainted.

Bolstering his own position

Mahathir does not care if they are corrupt or immoral. The only reason that Mahathir is accepting these tainted people into Bersatu is to bolster his own position within the coalition from the paltry 13 MPs he had at the end of the election to 22 now, making it bigger than PAS with 18 MPs.

That is purely as a result of nine defections. The defections are legal partly because Mahathir, during his previous rule, refused to make it illegal to jump parties. However, they remain ethically and morally extremely repugnant and go against the grain of reform promised by Harapan.

Mahathir acquiescing to defections despite earlier opposition, opens the door very wide for Bersatu to accept virtually all of the other Umno MPs - some 40 odd, if you exclude those who are clearly unacceptable like Najib. In addition to some 16 others in Sarawak and perhaps four independents in Sabah, there are some 60 more. This could swell Bersatu’s combined support to some 82 MPs.

The implications of this are enormous. If DAP and Amanah throw in their lot with Mahathir, a total of 53 seats, Mahathir’s numbers increase to 135, enough to command a handsome majority in the 222-member house, even if PKR were to leave the coalition. Another 13, not forgetting possible defections from PKR’s 50 odd members, will give him a two-thirds majority.

If PKR, DAP and Amanah stuck it out and stayed together, then they will have some 103 seats. Include Warisan’s eight, and it takes the tally to 111, which comes to exactly 50 percent of the seats in Parliament. This puts PAS in a very strong position with their 18 seats, as kingmaker.

Things, of course, may not pan this way. Any number of things can happen in the interim. But it is very clear that the situation has become very fluid and uncertain because Mahathir has changed the rules of the game to suit himself and Bersatu, something he has done throughout his 22 years at the top between 1981 and 2003.

All this means that the political situation in this country has turned rather unstable because of Mahathir and because he has been constantly shifting his position and openly in defiance of coalition politics. He wants to be in total control all the time. Hopefully, he won’t have it his way this time around.

There were many who had misgivings about Mahathir joining the Harapan coalition, including this writer, given his past record as a dictator and an autocrat who used his party’s two-thirds majority in Parliament to introduce authoritarian laws and to control government institutions which should have remained independent.

A dangerous weapon

This is what I wrote in an article titled “Can Mahathir be trusted?” in April 2017, when there were moves to get Mahathir into the Harapan coalition: “If any one takes the trouble to remember what this man did and stood for, he would be mad to think that Mahathir is the solution - he was, and is, the problem. Without him and his 22 years of misrule, Malaysia would not have descended to what it is today.

“Mahathir was accountable to no one. Not the people, not the party, not the judges. He could do almost anything he pleased and get away with it using the apparatus and machinery of control he had put in place.

He made opaque many decisions of government, putting anything marked secret by the government as secret under the law by removing the power of judges to judge even if the secret posed no danger to the country, but only embarrassed the government and exposed its corrupt ways.

“That was the legacy he left behind - and a leader who followed him used it to do nasty things, some worse than that by Mahathir. Now we expect Mahathir - the source of all this - to save us Malaysians from Najib!

“Is that why Mahathir is sticking his neck out? For the good of the country? But remember he had his chance - 22 years of it. He bungled - all he did was to stay in power and do the greatest damage to the country ever by any one, prime minister or not.

“His goal now is not to get into power, but to ensure that whoever comes into power does not destroy him. As far as Mahathir is concerned, it is always about him - not Malaysia, not Malaysians, not even the Malays.”

Now there are those who argue that he needs to get Umno members to obtain a two-thirds majority to change the constitution in order to reform. How stupid! Much of the reform that is needed can be done by just amending and scrapping laws which only needs a simple majority in Parliament.

To give Mahathir a two-thirds majority is to put into his hands a mega-weapon which he will not hesitate to use against anyone who opposes him. It is a dangerous weapon to put in the hands of a man who can not be trusted and who alters his promises to suit his ulterior motives.

Mahathir is not the person to reform this country, simply because he was ultimately responsible for most of its ills. His actions show he does not believe in reform or fair play. Mahathir blithely talks of loyalty to the nation for his shifting stand. Let’s not let him betray the rakyat who are what makes the nation.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Mahathir bukan belakang pusing tetapi memegang teguh kepada tujuan utama

Whoa whoa whoa and wakakaka

Read this "wonderful" news, especially you DAP marvels:

MM Online - Dr M has gone back on his words, PKR VP says after PPBM accepts ex-Umno MPs (extracts):

above 2 pictures show no difference
same man, same mentality, same policies


A PKR vice president has taken Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to task for accepting seven former Umno MPs into Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) after the prime minister had said Pakatan Harapan (PH) will not take in Umno turncoats.

Chang Lih Kang, who is Tanjung Malim MP, said in a statement he was “appalled” that PPBM — a member of PH along with PKR, DAP and Parti Amanah Negara — had today accepted the former Umno MPs.

“It is even more shocking to see the joyful presence of Tun Dr Mahathir, the chairman of the party, who had firmly stated in May 2018, that Pakatan Harapan will not accept Umno turncoats into PH parties.

“It is rather disappointing that in less than a year, Tun Dr Mahathir is going back on his words,” Chang said. [...]

He said PH can more effectively secure the rural people’s support by easing their hardship and improve their livelihood.

“Moreover, these seven former Umno MPs are not joining PPBM because of principles. Most of them served in senior positions in the previous administration; some were even minister and deputy minister in Najib’s cabinet.

“They did not speak up for the people and the country when they were in power. Instead, they were accomplices of the corrupt regime! Even if some BN MPs are innocent angels, they should be remained in the opposition. Democracy can only flourish with the presence of strong and able opposition.

Chang Lih Kang

MP Tanjong Malim

Poor YB Chang Lih Kang but you have been incorrect in saying “It is rather disappointing that in less than a year, Tun Dr Mahathir is going back on his words”.

especially himself when it suits him and his Machiavellian interests 

That old trickster had wanted UMNO members much much earlier. Remember, he had already taken in 3 last year, when Pribumi accpted Sedili assemblyman Rasman Ithnain, Johor Lama assemblyman Rosleli Jahari, and Endau assemblyman Alawiyah Talib who had anounced their defection on, beat this, 12 May 2018, a mere 3 days after the general election, wakakaka - see MM Online's Johor PKR regrets PPBM acceptance of three ex-Umno reps).

It was only the hue and cry from Pakatan's other members that had belayed (temporarily) his sinister intent.

Many of us knew Mahathir's real intention was to destroy Najib but never UMNO, for he wanted UMNO to perpetuate his "interests".

And his hatred of Najib has nothing to do with reforms nor Najib's alleged scandals. T'was only Najib's ignoring his "personal instructions" that had made the old fox mad.

How can we associate the old dictator with reforms? What a bloody joke.

It's only turncoats with similar "personal interests" who have abetted him, suddenly acquiring 'mute' status of oral inability on the old man's unforgiveable scandals and even remaining silent until today.

Penang Hokkiens called this strange (and yet not so strange) affliction "cheet haw chuoi" - suapan harimau sehingga Pak Belang menjadi bisu.

sorry can't speak now, it's impolite to talk with my mouth full

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Economic Action Council - Mahathir snubs Anwar Ibrahim

FMT - Azmin says new council ‘credible’, Anwar’s absence no issue (extracts):

hmmm, who shall I stab in the back next?

Economic Affairs Minister Mohamed Azmin Ali today brushed aside a question on why his party boss Anwar Ibrahim was not named as part of the Economic Action Council (EAC), saying the appointments were the prerogative of Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“This is the decision of the prime minister,” Azmin, who is also the PKR deputy president, told reporters at a Chinese New Year gathering today.

Azmin, who is also part of the 16-member council, said he felt the current composition was adequate.

“It is a small council to gather input from the stakeholders. Let them hold their first meeting, set the parameters, and we will take it from there.”

Azmin said there are 16 members but I counted only 15, as follows:

(1) Mahathir Mohamad - PM & Chairman
(2) Azmin Ali - Economic Affairs Minister
(3) Lim Guan Eng - Finance Minister
(4) Ignatius Darell Leiking - Int'l Trade & Industry
(5) Muhammed Abdul Khalid - PM’s economic adviser
(6) Rafidah Aziz - former min Int'l Trade & Industry
(7) Zeti Akhtar Aziz - Permodalan Nas'l Bhd chairman
(8) Jomo Kwame Sundaram - CEP member
(9) Tay Ah Lek - Public Bank Bhd managing director
(10) Hasnita Hashim - MARA chairman
(11) Shireen Ann Zaharah Muhiudee - Bursa Malaysia chairman
(12) Mohd Munir Abdul Majid - Asean Business Advisory council chairman
(13) Dr Paul Selvaraj - FOMCA CEO
(14) Bah Tony @ Amani William Hunt Abdullah- lawyer
(15) Nizam Mahshar - MASA institute board of trustees member

Perhaps the 16th is reserved for Daim Zainuddin.

But to omit Anwar Ibrahim is terrible considering Anwar was a former Finance Minister who looked after what Azmin Ali and Lim GE together look after now.

If Rafidah Aziz could be selected on the basis of her role as a former minister of Trade & Industry, doesn't the omission of Anwar Ibrahim as a former Finance Minister becomes too glaringly obvious?

Wikipedia has this extract to say about Anwar Ibrahim's performance as Malaysia's former Finance Minister (then under PM Mahathir):

In 1991, Anwar was appointed Minister of Finance. During his tenure as Finance Minister his impact was immediate; Malaysia enjoyed unprecedented prosperity and economic growth.

Shortly after becoming Finance Minister, Euromoney named him as a top four finance minister and in 1996 Asiamoney named him Finance Minister of the Year.

In the midst of Asian Financial Crises of 1997, Anwar was hailed for guiding Malaysia through the period of instability. He backed free market principles and highlighted the issue of the proximity of business and politics in Malaysia. He advocated greater accountability, refused to offer government bail-outs and instituted widespread spending cuts.

As a deputy prime minister and finance minister, in March 1998, Anwar Ibrahim was selected as the Chairman of the Development Committee of World Bank and International Monetary Fund from March 1998 until September 1998.

And in 1998 Newsweek magazine named Anwar the "Asian of the Year".

Anwar Ibrahim as Finance Minister had far more global experience and track record than any other Malaysian Finance Minister, even Tun Tan Siew Sin.

Yet Mahathir snubbed him. And the cruelest cut of all was by Azmin Ali who has the temerity to say that Anwar's absence from the EAC is not an issue.

For Brutus, as you know, was Caesar's angel.
Judge, O you gods, how dearly Caesar lov'd him!
This was the most unkindest cut of all;
For when the noble Caesar saw him stab,
Ingratitude, more strong than traitors' arms,
Quite vanquish'd him: then burst his mighty
heart. . . .