Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Shafie Apdal neither the PM we deserve nor need

Focus Malaysia:

Shafie Apdal neither the PM we deserve nor need

SABAH Chief Minister Shafie Apdal is the opposition’s prime minister designate. He must be over the moon right now because finally someone had the pluck to nominate a politician from East Malaysia.

He is, of course, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) pick. His deputies will be PKR chief Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir’s son Mukhriz. At this stage, it just stinks to be Anwar, but we’ll save that for another day and time.

PKR: Dr M mahu malukan Anwar, bukan ikhlas calon Shafie sebagai PM

Ditto discussions about Mukhriz whose charisma can’t even move a pebble and who has yet to come out of father’s shadows.

Mahathir has denied that he propped up his son for the deputy prime minister post. Sure, that may be true. But in Malaysia things work for influential people without them needing to ask directly.

VIDEO] Semua demi Mukhriz TPM, Dr Mahathir tolak Anwar pilih ...

Now, an East Malaysia prime minister is refreshing. Thumbs up for diversity. But if Mahathir and PH really cared about diversity, then Shafie would be last on the list for obvious reasons.

Ever since Shafie took over the Sabah chief minister post, the state has been lagging reform-wise. For example, he is still the state’s finance minister despite a source close to him saying in 2018 that this temporary double-hatting was meant to stabilise the state government.

Clearly this means the man has yet to shed his Umno ways.

He has an uninspiring track record, too. Shafie was investigated in 2017 over allegedly abusing RM1.5 bil meant for rural development projects. He purportedly siphoned the money when he was rural and regional development minister between 2009 and 2015.

Back then he was remanded for eight days and released on bail on Oct 27, 2017. But he was cleared of the charges on Aug 28, 2018, after PH won the general election in May the same year.

Shafie as PM, Anwar and Mukhriz candidates for DPM 1 and 2 - Tun ...

bisa diatur dan sudah beres

And his tenure as rural and regional development minister deserves more scrutiny. The second series of the 2013 Auditor-General’s Report, for instance, flagged a number of rural water supply projects in Sarawak.

Initially, a total of RM2.4 bil was allocated for 314 of such projects but only 115 or 36.6% were completed at a cost of RM1.43 bil.

Of the 314 projects, 69 required the construction of water treatment plants and connection of major water pipes worth RM1.71 bil.

The A-G only audited 13 of the 69 projects, but it found several weaknesses including preliminary studies that were not comprehensive enough, the quality of the construction work was not satisfactory with visible leaks on the water tanks, and four out of the 13 failed to be completed after being given a few extensions and only two were completed ahead of time.

Also, the audited projects cost less than the amount allocated with RM388.03 mil spent instead of the projected RM463.4 mil.

People close to him have also been charged by the MACC. One of his generals, Peter Anthony, has been charged with multiple rounds of corruption and abuse of power.

Peter Anthony masuk wad, pendakwaan ditangguh 10 Julai · My KMU NeT

Among others, money laundering involving RM8.75 mil between 2014 and 2016 and embezzlement of more than RM15.5 mil involving land deals linked to the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) between 2014 and 2015.

Anthony, who is the state’s infrastructure development minister and Melalap assemblyman, pleaded not guilty to all charges.

If anything we’ve learned from the past is that political expediency is costly. PH co-opted Mahathir and friends who supposedly led to the victory of the coalition during GE14 but also gave birth to the “Sheraton coup” and the collapse of the government that Malaysians voted for.

In its wake, Muhyiddin Yassin is now prime minister and his Perikatan Nasional coalition is the government of the day. And they are moving at warp speed, placing loyalists on government-linked corporations, delaying Parliament, threatening the free press and doing all the things that irk many as if they are in a hurry to do whatever it is best known to them.

Sadly PH never moved as frenetic or concerted as Muhyiddin and his team. But such is the “scheme of things” that really calls to question whether we would see a change in government in the short-term given how PH or whatever the country has for an opposition is in shambles.

So what does Malaysia need for an alternative? We need politicians with lesser baggage than the lot who are leading PH right now. That’s a start. But we also need more women and more millennials to step up – such as Nurul Izzah Anwar. PH is not short of them.

Some would say that this is not a wise political strategy, citing surveys and findings cooked up from every nook and cranny. But the young ones in PH can afford a 10-year struggle.

The old ones cannot. But this isn’t about the old guard and should no longer be. Malaysia has to move on beyond Mahathir, Anwar, Lim Guan Eng and their ilk.

And this is a reflection of what is happening the world over, where women and millennials are taking charge of government. If we aspire to be a “developed nation” it’s high time we act like one, aside from being obsessed with income per capita or GDP growth.

What about the East Malaysian? Sure, but let’s not have a token East Malaysian. Shafie is in Mahathir’s orbit and therefore comes off as a puppet.

The East Malaysian hopeful too has to be someone different but also someone who can navigate the intricacies of the royal houses in the peninsula – an ever-present political pressure point.

More importantly, with the younger ones running the government, we can also finally have stronger institutions. Remember that Shafie’s corruption charges were dropped by MACC when PH took over the government.

PM briefed on 9 audio clips allegedly linked to 1MDB scandal ...

That is something that should not be repeated. Because that means we have never truly improved from the past and a successive government like Muhyiddin’s can use that advantage to its fullest – cue Musa Aman and Riza Aziz.

So Shafie is neither the prime minister we need nor deserve. – June 30, 2020

Why hasn't Mahathir been charged for 'contempt of court' yet?


Home minister orders cops to probe 'coat of arms' on book cover

KR1M 2.0 opens more business opportunities - The Malaysian Reserve

Home Minister Hamzah Zainuddin

one of Mahathir's personally recruited 'frogs' from UMNO, despite Atuk's pre-GE14 promise to PH not to accept UMNO frogs.

Of course Mahathir lied (as usual), welcoming Hamzah with open arms into his 
 PPBM (UMNO III) to strengthen his racist Pribumi-only party 

The Home Ministry has ordered the police to probe a party which was said to have duplicated the national coat of arms.

Its minister, Hamzah Zainudin said it is an offence to imitate the coat of arms under Section 3(1)(a) of the Emblems and Names Act 1963.

Image result for Malaysia national coat of arms

"I have instructed the police to carry out the investigation and to take stern action immediately.

"The government will not compromise with any party who performed this unpatriotic and irresponsible act," Hamzah said in his Facebook posting today

MOHA Orders Police To Probe People Behind Book That 'Disrespects ...

What has been offensive to our national pride

Just recently, apart from the above insult-offence against the national coat-of-arms, police are also investigating Malaysiakini's readers' interactive comments deemed to be offensive and embarrassing to the judiciary to be posted.

MM Online reported:
KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Several former Malaysian Bar presidents have urged the attorney general to reconsider the contempt proceedings against Malaysiakini and its editor-in-chief Steven Gan over several comments left by readers in the news portal’s comment section.

Reporting the News for Change: Steven Gan / Co-Founder & Editor-in ...

Steven Gan, Editor Malaysiakini

The former presidents comprised Datuk Kuthubul Zaman, Datuk Yeo Yang Poh, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, Ragunath Kesavan, Datuk Lim Chee Wee, Christopher Leong and Steven Thiru.

They argued that under a ‘new normal’, societies all over the free world have come to both accept and expect readers to post instant and unscrutinised comments on the internet notwithstanding unwelcome consequences arising occasionally as a result.

“Such features and platforms find their rightful place and value in public discourse, in contemporary societies, as part of democratic space.

“Thus, our laws today must be able to accommodate this new normal, and refrain from holding an internet-media agency or its editor culpable for its readers’ comments, unless it intentionally retains the comments after a complaint is brought to its attention.

“To do otherwise will have the unhelpful and counterproductive chilling effect of causing internet media agencies to disable all comments columns.

“It will be analogous to closing all roads because accidents do happen from time to time, despite the best of rules being in place,” they said in a statement here.

They also said the overarching principle was to ensure that freedom of speech is not compromised when one contemplates bringing contempt of court proceedings

OK, if the government (or the supposedly independent AG) is so sensitive as to charge everyone every which way on 'offensive' remarks or acts, then why hasn't the AG charged Mahathir for his recent gross and overt 'contempt of court' for saying that the Muhyiddin (PN) government will 'kowtim' the charges faced by Najib Razak?

4 days ago MM Online reportedDr Mahathir who is seeking to return to office a third time claimed that Muhyiddin has reneged on his vow to end Najib’s rule and is now working to free the Pekan MP from charges instead.

“Far from fulfilling his promise of overthrowing Najib, Muhyiddin is now working tirelessly to ensure Najib walks free from his criminal charges to stand for the upcoming general election.

This is undeniably a very gross and very overt act of 'contempt of court'. So AG, do something consistent and not be awed by Atuk who has no respect and is known to show no respect for the Judiciary.

I wonder how the private conversations of a then extant-PM (Najib Razak) could be secretly taped but with no investigation into national security concerns? And I also wonder how the MACC (then under the Mahathir Harapan government) saw fit to release such UNVERIFIED national security issues to the public via the court?

We remember all too well how Mahathir, then as PM (1981 - 2003) had the most of the High Court (now federal Court) judges sacked - he did not spare the Lord President of the Judiciary Tun Saleh Abas as well, of course as usual blaming the YDPA for Tun Abas' sacking

Kutukan Dewata: Adik Sultan Johor Kritik Tun Mahathir!!!