Monday, November 30, 2020

Perikatan my idea? I would have remained PM if true, Dr M tells alleger Azmin

MM Online:

Perikatan my idea? I would have remained PM if true, Dr M tells alleger Azmin

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad speaks to reporters during a press conference at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre February 6, 2020. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today scorned Datuk Seri Azmin Ali’s allegation that he was the brain who came up with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.

The former prime minister said he would not have lost his position as head of the government if Azmin’s allegation were true.

“If I had planned it, then why did I reject it when it came to be, and had I accepted it, I would have certainly stayed on as prime minister as acknowledged by Azmin,” Dr Mahathir said in a statement in response to Azmin, now a senior minister in the Cabinet of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

Instead, Dr Mahathir claimed that Azmin and Muhyiddin, who is now prime minister, stood to benefit the most when they both left Pakatan Harapan (PH) and formed PN.

“Do not forget that when all this was happening, Azmin’s position within PKR and PH was under threat as Anwar and his supporters were planning to bring him down since the internal elections.

“Anwar openly supported Rafizi in going up against Azmin for the post of deputy president, and when that failed a video subsequently emerged connecting Azmin with sexually immoral acts,” he said, referring to PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the party’s former vice-president Rafizi Ramli.

Dr Mahathir claimed Azmin was at risk of losing his place in the leadership hierarchy, more so after the video went viral and his relationship with Anwar deteriorated to the point it was “untenable”.

He claimed that it was Azmin who hatched the “Sheraton Move” — the series of events that saw the withdrawal of several PKR and Bersatu MPs from PH to team up with their political rivals from Umno leading to the collapse of PH as government.

However, Dr Mahathir said he understands why Azmin would do so.

The 95-year old said Azmin’s main aim was to prevent Anwar from becoming prime minister, adding that this would have happened if PH were still in power today.

“At the same time, Azmin himself holds ambitions of becoming prime minister. Because of this, he joined up with Muhyiddin and it is clear to see today that Azmin has been placed as the de facto deputy prime minister.

“I am also convinced that Azmin had been planning the formation of the PN government for some time, as it is not easy for him to convince nine MPs to participate in the Sheraton Move,” Dr Mahathir said.

He claimed Azmin was aware that the PH government would not have collapsed if Bersatu withdrew from PH.

The Langkawi MP insisted that PH collapsed only because Azmin and Muhyiddin teamed up in the crucial 24 hours after the Sheraton Move.

“These are the events and matters which are related to the formation of the PN government and the related Sheraton Move.

“My stance has always been to reject any cooperation with kleptocrats and directly rejecting Umno en bloc, while remaining with PH at this time,” Dr Mahathir said.

Azmin, who is now international trade and industry minister, told The Star in an interview published yesterday that PN was Dr Mahathir’s brainchild, conceived on February 23 when 133 statutory declarations signed by MPs and other politicians were presented to the palace.

The Gombak MP alleged that it was all to ensure that only Dr Mahathir would be prime minister.

Najib: Ask Guan Eng about political revenge

Quick recap on one of yesterday's posts:

Guan Eng questioned Backdoor Finance Minister on govt’s decision to cancel RM2b guarantee for Penang

MM Online:

Guan Eng questions govt’s decision to cancel RM2b guarantee for Penang, accuses Tengku Zafrul of double standards

DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur August 28, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today questioned and demanded answers from Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz as to why a US$500 million (RM2 billion) loan guarantee requested by Penang from the federal government was recently cancelled.

The former finance minister explained how the government guarantee was only requested to act as a guarantor for the Penang state government against a loan obtained from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a requirement of ADB, for the Penang Light Transit Rail (LRT) project.

Lim then accused the government of practicing vengeful politics by blocking aid to states led by Pakatan Harapan.

Now read FMT:

Ask Guan Eng about political revenge, Najib tells DAP

Najib Razak said Lim Guan Eng played politics by cancelling a RM1 billion allocation to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak, responding to DAP allegations of political revenge over a cancelled loan, said the party should instead consider Lim Guan Eng’s actions against the Kelantan state government when he was finance minister.

Najib said Lim had publicly criticised Kelantan as a failed government in 2018 when he announced approval of a RM22.5 million federal loan to the state.

“The saddest thing is that Kelantan actually asked for an advance of RM24.5 million but the ‘minister of shadow play’ only approved RM22.5 million to pay the salaries of Kelantan civil servants,” said Najib.

“He was willing to dicker over RM2 million for Kelantan and even mentioned it at a press conference. But he was quiet about approving a guarantee for a RM2 billion foreign loan to Penang,” Najib said.

The federal government had been accused of taking political revenge against the DAP by cancelling the guarantee for the loan from the Asian Development Bank, which Najib revealed in a posting on Friday.

Bukit Mertajam MP Steven Sim of the DAP had described the move as a “disappointing, despicable act of political vendetta” against the state and people of Penang.

Najib said the RM2 billion loan was never announced to Malaysians and was never reported in the media at that time. “It was only made public last week in the Dewan Rakyat,” Najib said.

He reminded the DAP that the Pakatan Harapan government had cancelled a RM1 billion allocation to repair dilapidated schools in Sarawak which he had approved in the 2018 budget.

He said Lim had then demanded that Sarawak repay its debt to the federal government if the state wanted the money for the schools, even though the allocation had been approved in the 2018 budget.

“Has DAP forgotten what the real meaning of political revenge is? Try asking Guan Eng,” said Najib.


Also, don't forget TAR-UC, wakakaka.

Penang hawker donated 1 day's earnings to TAR-UC when Pakatan's FM Lim GE removed the government’s matching grant of RM30mil for Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) and a 82% cut in the development fund for this education institution to RM1mil

Nazri Aziz: No selective prosecution or probe please


No selective prosecution or probe please, says Umno MP

Padang Rengas MP Nazri Aziz says the MACC and the AGC must be given the freedom to pursue cases.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno MP Nazri Aziz has urged enforcement bodies not to carry out “selective prosecution or investigation” against individuals to avoid incurring the wrath of the rakyat during the 15th general election.

The Padang Rengas MP said during the debate at the committee stage on the Supply Bill 2021 the Perikatan Nasional coalition must fulfil what it had promised to do.

“What is wrong is wrong. Two wrongs don’t make a right,” he said, urging the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and police not to indulge in selective prosecution or investigation.

Nazri was asked by Shamsul Iskandar Akin (PH-Hang Tuah Jaya) for his opinion on the investigation involving a video clip linked to a senior minister as the case “is now seen as closed”. Shamsul Iskandar did not name the individual.

After an investigation, Inspector-General of Police Abdul Hamid Bador had said the results of the facial recognition and analysis came back negative, adding that the identity of the other man in the video could not be linked to the minister.

Earlier, Nazri had said that the PN had gone through several challenges and an “acid test”, further urging the governing coalition to keep to its promise to be “clean”.

He said the rakyat had hoped the Pakatan Harapan coalition would fulfil its manifesto but he claimed there was selective prosecution, with some cases withdrawn.

“But this is not good as it was part of their manifesto,” he said.

Due to that, he disagreed with any selective prosecution and urged the government to give a free hand to the MACC and AGC to carry out their duties without any interference.

DAP duo downplay youth leader’s call for Anwar to apologise


DAP duo downplay youth leader’s call for Anwar to apologise

Perak DAP deputy chairman Abdul Aziz Bari (left) says DAP Youth national secretary Teh Hoong Keat’s remarks were his personal views. DAP central executive committee member Ronnie Liu (right) said Teh (centre) had misread the situation.

PETALING JAYA: Two DAP leaders have downplayed a call by one of the party’s youth leaders for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim to apologise for instructing Pakatan Harapan (PH) MPs against a bloc vote on the federal budget.

Perak DAP deputy chairman Abdul Aziz Bari described DAP Youth national secretary Teh Hoong Keat’s remarks as his “personal views” and that they did not represent those of the party or the youth wing.

Teh had also called for PH to be disbanded should Anwar fail to apologise on the issue.

In an angry response to this yesterday, Selangor PKR Youth chief Najwan Halimi had warned his DAP counterparts against crossing the line.

Aziz said before this, there were other PKR leaders who had made similar remarks. “Forget the national DAP leadership, this is not even DAP Youth’s official stand.”

DAP central executive committee member Ronnie Liu, meanwhile, said he believed Teh was shocked, disappointed and angry when he made the remarks.

“Actually, the budget has not been passed (at the committee stage).”

Debates on the allocations for various ministries at the committee stage begin tomorrow in the Dewan Rakyat.

Liu said he believed Teh felt DAP was forced to follow in the “wrong direction” but felt he had misread the situation.

The opposition, he said, still had room to speak up against what was wrong with the budget.

“Let us not blame him (Teh). Many do not know the parliamentary process on the first, second and third readings. Only assemblymen and MPs know. Many thought Nov 26 was the final decision,” Liu added.

For a Vios driver, when it rains it pours

MM Online:

Man caught on viral video transporting banana tree in car slapped with summons, say Johor cops

Police said the 30-year-old local man was issued a summons under LN 166/59 Rule 20 for carrying a load with an improper vehicle. — Screen capture via Facebook

JOHOR BARU, Nov 30 — The driver of a Toyota Vios who transported a banana tree placed horizontally across his car that it obstructed other road users at Jalan Persiaran Utama, Mutiara Rini, Skudai, here on Saturday paid the price for his brazen act when he was slapped with a traffic summons by the police.

Iskandar Puteri District Police chief ACP Dzulkhairi Mukhtar, commenting on the act which was caught on video and went viral on social media, said the 30-year-old local man was issued a summons under LN 166/59 Rule 20 for carrying a load with an improper vehicle.

He said police contacted the vehicle owner, who is in Singapore, after the video went viral.

“The owner’s son came to the police station to provide a statement yesterday (Saturday) at 8.30pm, saying the vehicle was driven by his cousin and the banana tree was for a prayer ceremony in Mutiara Rini,” Dzulkhairi said in a statement yesterday.

The driver finally turned up at the Iskandar Puteri Traffic Police Station at 9.30am yesterday to give his statement.

Dzulkhairi said checks revealed that the driver had 18 traffic summonses, including four arrest warrants and 10 non-compoundable summonses.

“The driver was taken to the Johor Baru Magistrate’s Court to settle six outstanding summonses amounting to RM1,200,” he said.

According to him, the Toyota Vios had been confiscated under Section 64 of the Road Transport Act 1987 for expired road tax. — Bernama

Why bats are not to blame for Covid-19 pandemic

MM Online:

Virus hunter Kendra Phelps explains why bats are not to blame for Covid-19 pandemic

Phelps said that bats have turned into an easy scapegoat in the Covid-19 pandemic. — Pictures courtesy of EcoHealth Alliance and Reuters

PETALING JAYA, Nov 27 — Scientist Kendra Phelps has warned that the demonisation of bats due to Covid-19 will have severe consequences on the delicate balance of ecosystems around the world.

Phelps, who appears in National Geographic’s documentary Virus Hunters, told Malay Mail that the flying mammals have been used as scapegoats after evidence emerged that the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, bears genetic similarities to coronaviruses found in bats.

The bat expert said that we should be scrutinising activities like deforestation and bushmeat consumption instead as they bring humans and wildlife in close proximity, allowing zoonotic viruses to make the deadly jump from animals to humans.

“People typically don’t get to see a real-life bat in their lifetime, so when they hear that bats are associated with a pandemic, it’s easy to point the finger at them when they’ve already got a bad reputation, especially in pop culture.

“In reality, bats are not to blame at all. It’s because of how humans are interacting with the environment and affecting bats within that environment.

“Humans are the ones driving this pandemic and humans will drive future pandemics unless we change how we interact with wildlife and the environment because we’re all interconnected,” said Phelps.

On Virus Hunters, Phelps gives viewers an insight into the fieldwork she does to identify viruses circulating in the wild.

Her job involves setting out to bat colonies, capturing the animals using specialised traps, taking swab samples, and releasing them back into the wild to build a catalogue of data that could put the brakes on future pandemics.

She also studies human interactions with wildlife and ways to minimise contact which could potentially lead to the spillover of zoonotic diseases into humans.

“(Having prior knowledge) will allow us to be proactive rather than reactive to a pandemic. It’s about taking prevention steps.

“We want to catalogue what’s out there, viruses in livestock as well as wildlife, and determine which ones are potentials for pandemics.

“We also want to understand the context of human interaction with wildlife infected with pathogenic viruses and prevent that interaction as much as possible.”

Why are bats the perfect hosts for coronaviruses?

There are over 1,400 species of bats and each bat can live up to 40 years. — Picture courtesy of National Geographic

Phelps says that the species richness of bats and their relatively long lifespans make them a prime reservoir for coronaviruses.

Their unique immune systems have also evolved over thousands of years to cope with dangerous viruses and they are mostly asymptomatic when infected.

“It’s only when our own naive immune systems come into contact with these viruses, that’s when problems occur,” said Phelps.

However, the link between bats and deadly coronavirus outbreaks in humans isn’t always clear-cut as the SARS and MERS epidemics are believed to have passed over to humans via other animal hosts like palm civets and camels.

“A lot of viruses are believed to have originated from bats but research has shown that they simply evolve in bats.

“It’s not always a simple link between bats and pandemics which is really hard to explain to the public.

“There has been retaliation and killing of bats because people think they’re the essential cause of Covid-19.”

This year’s pandemic has already triggered bat cullings around the world, with incidents of bat colonies in Cuba being attacked with fire in April and over 150 fruit bats killed by local villagers in Rajasthan, India in May.

Phelps warns that bat culling will not only fail to prevent future pandemics but will also disrupt the delicate balance of our ecosystems. — Picture courtesy of National Geographic

Government workers in Kigali, Rwanda, also used water cannons to blast resting fruit bats out of the treetops in a misguided attempt to protect people against Covid-19 in April.

“We’ve seen cases where bat colonies in caves were burnt alive and people taking high-powered water hoses to displace fruit bats in the trees.

“Sometimes that includes maternity colonies with females and their pups, and if the females drop their pup on the ground, the pup is as good as dead,” said Phelps.

The cullings are a huge concern as bats play essential roles in a healthy ecosystem and more than 500 plant species including durian, mango, banana, guava, and peaches rely on the winged animals as pollinators.

They also act as natural pest control agents by feeding on beetles, moths, and other insects that are known to damage farmers’ crops.

Putting the brakes on future pandemics

While Phelps was aware that a pandemic like Covid-19 was imminent, its crippling impact on economies and lives around the world was something that many people had failed to anticipate.

She hopes that Virus Hunters will highlight the importance of staying ahead of the game when it comes to disease prevention as the data collected by virus hunters will aid governments in formulating policies to protect people from future health crises.

“I hope this show can create a sense of appreciation for all the hard work that goes into the beginning stages of preventing pandemics.

“Without those vital samples, we can’t screen for pathogens and we can’t make policies to deal with what’s out there without someone going out on the field and collecting those samples.”

Virus Hunters will feature ABC News foreign correspondent James Longman and National Geographic fellow, epidemiologist, and ecologist Christopher Golden meeting with experts who are working to identify the chain of events that could eventually spark the next global pandemic.

Malaysian viewers can catch the show on National Geographic (Astro CH 571 SD + CH 551 HD / Unifi TV CH 508 HD) on December 3 at 9pm.

Sunday, November 29, 2020

UMNO still wants DPM post, if only to prevent Assbinte's ascendancy


Shahril maintains Umno deserves DPM post despite Zahid's advice

Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan has maintained that his party deserves the position of deputy prime minister.

This was despite Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi advising his party not to pressure Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin into giving the party the deputy premier's post.

Zahid's comment came hours after Mingguan Malaysia published an interview with Umno vice-president Ismail Sabri Yaakob who said his party will raise the issue with Muhyiddin after the Budget 2021 debate.

Zahid is not expected to be appointed as deputy prime minister if the position is reinstated.

At present, the most senior Umno leader in the Perikatan Nasional government is Ismail, who holds the position of a senior minister and defence minister.

The reason the deputy prime minister position was abolished when Muhyiddin came to power was in part also due to Zahid.

According to BN secretary-general Annuar Musa (photo), he had suggested doing away with the post if the Umno president cannot be appointed as deputy prime minister.

Muhyiddin had refused to appoint Zahid as the latter is facing 47 charges of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering.

Shahril, in a Facebook post, shared both articles of Ismail seeking to discuss the position of deputy prime minister and Zahid saying not to put pressure on Muhyiddin over the position.

He then proceeded to ask, "does Umno have a right to the deputy prime minister position and to discuss at a suitable time?".

Shahril then replied "yes", citing Umno's large number of MPs in Parliament.

Umno makes up the largest bloc in the PN government, contributing 38 MPs followed by Muhyiddin's Bersatu at 31. GPS and PAS contribute the third-largest number of MPs with 18 MPs respectively.

After being sworn in as a prime minister in March, Muhyiddin broke the convention by not appointing a deputy prime minister.

Instead, he appointed four senior ministers with two coming from Bersatu, one from Umno and one from GPS.

PN's DPM??? 😁😁😂

PEJUANG accuses Azmin of lying


Stop lying about Dr M's involvement with Sheraton Move, Pejuang tells Azmin

Pejuang’s Kuang assemblyperson Sallehudin Amiruddin said Azmin Ali was lying about former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s involvement in the Sheraton Move in February which resulted in the fall of the Pakatan Harapan government.

“I was at the Sheraton Hotel and I was told that the statutory declarations were gathered without the knowledge of Mahathir and Mukhriz Mahathir.

“(I was told) they would form a new government called Perikatan Nasional (PN). The two prime minister candidates were Mahathir and (Prime Minister) Muhyiddin Yassin,” Sallehudin said in a statement today.

He said Mahathir had refused to lead the PN government because that would mean he has to work with Umno en-bloc.

If Mahathir had set aside his principles and dignity, Sallehudin said he would have remained prime minister until today.

“It doesn’t make sense for Azmin to say the idea to form PN was for Mahathir to become prime minister.

“The one who has grand ambitions of becoming prime minister is Azmin,” he added.

This was proven, Sallehudin said, when Azmin, who is now the international trade and industry minister, submitted his own name as Selangor menteri besar in 2014.

The same thing happened after the last general election when Azmin again submitted his own name as the Selangor menteri besar without consulting the other Pakatan Harapan component parties.

“It was proven yet again when Azmin tried to go through the back door and asked Mahathir to appoint him as the deputy prime minister for Harapan.

“Mahathir rejected because the position of deputy prime minister had been promised to (then PKR president Dr) Wan Azizah Wan Ismail,” Sallehudin said.

He claimed that Azmin is a power-hungry politician and that his statements today is to prevent Muhyiddin from appointing Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as deputy prime minister.

Currently, there is no deputy prime minister in the PN administration. Instead, Muhyiddin had appointed four senior ministers in charge of important portfolios, with Azmin being the one in charge of finance and economics.

In a separate statement, Pejuang information chief Ulya Aqamah Husamudin also said the idea of PN was “nothing but a mischievous scheme plotted by Azmin and Muhyiddin”.

He said a few days before the last Harapan presidential council meeting, Azmin had given information that there were ploys to overthrow Mahathir during the said meeting.

However, during the presidential council meeting, what Azmin said did not come to pass as Harapan agreed to give full support and prerogative to Mahathir to decide on the transition plan, Ulya said.

“Even though the alleged overthrow did not happen, the traitors still wanted to continue with your plan.

“Mahathir pointed out that Azmin’s allegations were wrong in the Bersatu supreme council meeting and it did not make sense to leave Harapan when Harapan was supporting Mahathir 100 percent.

“Muhyiddin still tried to push his agenda and convince that Mahathir will still be the prime minister for PN, meeting opposing arguments from the likes of Mukhriz, (former Sports and Youth minister) Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman and myself,” he added.

Ulya said Mahathir had clearly stated in the Bersatu supreme council meeting that he does not want to break his promise to Harapan and that he cannot accept being a prime minister supported by the “kleptocrats”.

Bersatu had then agreed to leave the decision to Mahathir, who then told Muhyiddin to call off any plans of meeting with the palace, with Azmin’s faction, as well as with Umno and PAS, all of which Ulya claimed was pre-planned by Muhyiddin without consent.

“However, instead of cancelling all these plans, Muhyiddin and Azmin still continued the ploy which led to the gathering in Sheraton.

“Having lost command of his own party due to the betrayal of Muhyiddin as president, Mahathir saw that with or without his consent, Muhyiddin and Azmin will still continue to overthrow Harapan.

“Mahathir did not want to break his promise for transition and did not want to be part of the notorious Sheraton Move (so he) resigned as prime minister.

“Azmin should stop feeding narratives which suit his plans. The rakyat will never forgive you for what you have done. The cause of this political instability is because of the greed from Azmin and Muhyiddin,” Ulya said.

It was reported earlier today that Azmin had claimed the idea to form PN came from Mahathir himself as a way to make him a prime minister supported by all MPs across all parties.

Guan Eng questioned Backdoor Finance Minister on govt’s decision to cancel RM2b guarantee for Penang

MM Online:

Guan Eng questions govt’s decision to cancel RM2b guarantee for Penang, accuses Tengku Zafrul of double standards

DAP secretary general Lim Guan Eng speaks during a press conference in Kuala Lumpur August 28, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 29 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng today questioned and demanded answers from Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz as to why a US$500 million (RM2 billion) loan guarantee requested by Penang from the federal government was recently cancelled.

The former finance minister explained how the government guarantee was only requested to act as a guarantor for the Penang state government against a loan obtained from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), a requirement of ADB, for the Penang Light Transit Rail (LRT) project.

Lim then accused the government of practicing vengeful politics by blocking aid to states led by Pakatan Harapan.

“This instance of revenge politics is very obvious because if taken from the financial aspect, there is no reason why the government guarantee to the bank loan cannot be approved.

“Why did Tengku Zafrul, when he was CIMB Bank Berhad’s chief executive officer approve a RM1.5 billion direct loan to the Penang Development Corporation (PDC) in 2018, but as the Finance Minister refuses to approve a RM2 billion guarantee to the Penang state government?” Lim said in a statement.

The former Penang Chief Minister explained how a guarantee from the government for the RM2 billion would not even translate to funds coming out from the national coffers as the Penang state government are able to service its own loans.

Lim added how the LRT project is desperately needed by the state to alleviate traffic congestion and spur further development towards it becoming a modern state.

“Penang recorded exemplary results in its debt management with the lowest loans among all the states in Malaysia, with RM57.83 million in 2018. Assets meanwhile are worth around RM2 billion.

“It was based on these financial performances that the state government’s promise itself was sufficient enough to convince CIMB to approve a bank loan of RM1.5 billion to the PDC, which is wholly owned by the state government,” Lim said.

“We hope Finance Minister Tengku Zafrul can reconsider the decision to cancel the guarantee to ADB, based on the financial performance and the state’s ability to pay for the loan,” he added.

M'sian Smbooboo: "How I inherited Machiavellian treachery from Atuk"


Azmin: PN plan came from Dr M to ensure he could continue as PM

The idea to form Perikatan Nasional (PN) came from ex-premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself as a way to make him a prime minister supported by all MPs across all parties, claimed Senior Minister Azmin Ali.

Azmin (above), who was a key figure in the collapse of the elected Pakatan Harapan federal government and it's replacement by the PN administration of Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, told The Star in an exclusive interview that the plan was to have held a general election by October, but that was shelved due to the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“PN is not a backdoor government as there was a vacancy (in the post of prime minister). I did not suggest at that time – if it (resignation of Dr Mahathir) did not happen then – that we knock on the door and take him out and we go in.

“That was not the plan or case, ” said Azmin who is also International Trade and Industry Minister, Gombak MP, and Bukit Antarabangsa state assemblyperson.

Azmin revealed that prior to Mahathir's unexpected resignation, on Sunday, Feb 23 (day of the now infamous Sheraton Move) 131 statutory declarations from MPs across parties were presented to the palace.

“It was all for one name as the prime minister – Dr Mahathir.

“We were then trying very hard to make sure that Mahathir would continue to serve as the prime minister."

Such a move was in contravention of the agreement that Mahathir himself had signed to hand over power to PKR president Anwar Ibrahim who was the leader of the largest party in Harapan.

“That was the meeting we had at his house on Feb 23 at 4pm when he met all the six political party leaders, including Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Parti Warisan Sabah president Mohd Shafie Apdal, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) head Abang Johari, and myself, ” said Azmin.

He pointed to the Malay Dignity Congress on Oct 6, 2019, in which most prominent Malay leaders except Anwar were present, and questioned why Mahathir had attended it with Umno and PAS if he was indeed against working with Umno.

“We were thrown into a political crisis when the sitting prime minister Mahathir resigned.

“If Muhyiddin didn’t act within that small window, someone else could have rushed to the palace and pressured the palace in order to become the prime minister. I would not have allowed that to happen.

“The only option for me and Muhyiddin then was to leave Harapan, ” said Azmin, who was then PKR deputy president but left the party with nine other MPs.

Azmin added that during the Feb 24-28 period when Mahathir was interim prime minister, he worked day and night to get the numbers.

“If you don’t have the numbers, there is nothing much we can do. As there was no Parliament sitting then, under the Federal Constitution, the King had to decide who had the support of the majority to be PM.

“Finally, Muhyiddin got that majority. Of course, we came in as a new government, not through an election but through a political crisis. But that crisis came about because this man tendered his resignation.

“If Mahathir had not tendered his resignation that Monday, he would still be Prime Minister with a bigger majority, ” insisted Azmin.

He also denied that PN was a backdoor government saying: “The King opened the door for us to come in so it was not a backdoor government.”

He insisted that he did not choose Muhyiddin over Mahathir.

“I think we should just allow Muhyiddin to lead, especially during this pandemic.

“Whatever you may say, I think he has done a very good job – very focused on handling the Covid-19 pandemic and reviving the economy with less politics.

Azmin also admitted that had the Covid-19 pandemic not happened, an election would have been held last month.

“Although we came in with a majority, with all humility, I must say the majority is small.

“When the majority is small, the government is weak.

“When the government is weak (or) not stable, then we do not have the opportunity to focus on the delivery for the rakyat.

“If you ask me, of course, we are ready to go back to the rakyat to get the mandate. If you ask me when we should have gotten the mandate, I would say it should have been last month but unfortunately, we are facing the Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

Azmin admitted that due to the spike of Covid-19 cases after the Sabah state elections, the word "election" had become toxic.

He said society currently cannot accept a general election and that they only want the government to mitigate the effects of Covid-19, help retain jobs, and make sure there is food on the table.

He added that only the Health Ministry could give the green light for elections before PN's term expires.

Saturday, November 28, 2020

DAP will never flourish with the Lims' leadership


Break up PH if Anwar doesn’t apologise, says DAP man

Anwar Ibrahim said he had stopped an opposition attempt for a bloc vote on the Supply Bill in the Dewan Rakyat.

PETALING JAYA: A DAP Youth leader has called for severing ties with PKR, automatically disbanding Pakatan Harapan (PH), if Anwar Ibrahim does not apologise for abandoning opposition to the second reading of the federal budget.

DAP Youth national secretary Teh Hoong Keat said many Pakatan Harapan MPs had strongly criticised the budget as unjust and insufficient to deal with the national health and economic crisis.

Some MPs even said they would “resolutely oppose” the budget, giving people the impression that the budget could possibly be rejected.

However, the failure of PH to muster 15 MPs to force a bloc vote meant that Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s government had “passed the test” when the Supply Bill 2021 was approved for a second reading.

Teh said the failure to hold a bloc vote was the DAP’s biggest humiliation in the Dewan Rakyat.

“Since Anwar admitted that he instructed MPs from PKR and DAP not to call for a bloc vote, he must take full responsibility for his misjudgement and apologise to all PH supporters,” Teh said.

“If Anwar is still insistent that his judgment was correct, then the DAP central leaders should decisively sever ties with PKR, put a stop to the alliance to automatically disband Pakatan Harapan, and only maintain minimal cooperation with opposition parties,” he said in a statement.

Earlier this evening, Anwar revealed that DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and Amanah president Mohamad Sabu had been keen to push for a bloc vote on the federal budget but that he had requested against it.

Anwar, who is opposition leader and PKR president, said the move was to allow MPs to scrutinise the budget in detail.

Teh said Anwar had had the opportunity to restore and boost the morale of PH, especially after repeatedly claiming he had secured a strong majority of support from MPs to be able to form a new government.

The budget failure had brought about “a serious political public relations crisis that dismantled the credibility of PH and extinguished the rakyat’s passion and hope for reforms”, he said.

Teh said that the DAP, as the largest political party in the Dewan Rakyat, should contest on its own at the next general election, and negotiate with other political parties to form alliances and a government only after the elections.

“Through this mechanism, DAP can avoid being used and ‘kidnapped’ by other component parties,” he said.


kt notes:

Wakakaka, so now the DAP realises it has been USED by others, like Mahathir? Wakakaka again.

But without Anwar, which Malay leader will the DAP rely upon to take it back to Putrajaya?

Now, don't tell me Atuk, wakakaka, or I'll shaft his old dick into your mouth.

The trouble is the DAP by itself cannot become a ruling party for the reason Malaysia is a Malay-majority nation, like it or not.

DAP or its top leaders like the Lims, Loke, and their inner cohorts (eg. TP, Ngeh-Ngiao cousins, etc) also 'play favourites', marginalising DAP very own Malay leaders who don't toe the Lims' line. Take Zaid Ibrahim - he may be a bit of a loose cannon and that's because he won't and cannot kowtow to any bully. DAP has marginalise him since he was ignored in 2018 and thereafter, not even for a senator's post.

Another DAP Malay leader that I particularly supported because of his long term loyalty to the party, of 26 years, has been the late Zulkifli Mohd Noor. The DAP broke his heart when they marginalised him in favour of newbies Liew Chin Tong (2008) and subsequently Zairil Khir (2013) in Bukit Bendera. Even then he hung on and soldiered valiantly for the DAP. But years later, seeing utterly no hope as a political candidate with the mob of newbies pouring in (no doubt as Zaid Ibrahim must have felt), on 24 Oct 2013 broken hearted he left DAP, and in Oct 2015 formed the PAP (not the Sing one but called People's Alternative Party). But alas for the late Zulkifli, his newly formed PAP was hijacked by A David Dass who swarmed the party with mainly Indian members. Sadly, he passed away in 2019.

the late Zulkifli Mohd Noor

In Feb 2018, he held a press conference, where NST reported him saying it was impossible for the PAP to win any seat as it was fielding Indian candidates when there was no Indian-majority federal constituency in Malaysia:

‘The People's Alternative Party (PAP) will never win a single seat (in the 14th general election).’

This was the reaction by its former president, Zulkifli Mohd Noor, soon after announcing his resignation and departure from the party, along with nine other central executive committee (CEC) members, effective last Saturday.

Zulkifli, who led PAP, a DAP splinter party since 2015, said simultaneously, all 25 of the party's candidates, who are supposed to be fielded in Penang in the coming polls, would withdraw from the race.

He said the decision was made after the party's secretary-general, A. David Dass, decided to form a new CEC and lodged a complaint with the Registrar of Societies (RoS) over infighting among members.

Wikipedia also informs us: On 27 February 2018, founder Zulkifli Mohd Noor resigned and left the party, along with nine other central executive committee members after A. David Dass hijacked the party and become president, formed a new central executive committee and brought in mostly ethnic Indian members to fill the vacated posts. In the 14th General Election, PAP partnered with the PAS-led Gagasan Sejahtera but failed in their maiden election with all their candidates having lost their deposits.

Before Zul's demise, on 01 Oct 2013, the Editor of The Edge wrote a piece titled 'The tragic story of DAP and Zulkifli Mohd Noor', as follows:

GEORGE TOWN (Oct 1): The saga of the DAP’s central executive committee re-election on Sunday (Sept 29) had a dramatic prologue when one of its most veteran members accused the party’s leadership of racialism and manipulation.

In two consecutive press conferences over a few days, Zulkifli Mohd Noor, a veteran of 26 years, specifically offered himself to take over as DAP’s chairman, saying he was doing so in the name of his Malay race and "marginalised representatives".

Stunning his comrades, he claimed that despite its multi-racial objective the party had never been headed by a Malay in its 47-year history.

Now, Zulkifli is no small fry. He was an elected deputy secretary-general and national vice-chairman of the DAP. And so when he raised a poser before the re-election – directed by the Registrar of Societies – over how many Malays would actually be voted in, many were certainly compelled to take attention.

As it turned out, of the seven Malay members who contested, only one – Zairil Khir Johari with 1,132 votes – managed to make it into the twenty elected slots for the CEC. The eighth, Roseli Abdul Ghani, was among 17 DAP members who withdrew from the race. Zulkifli himself failed, getting only 220 votes, far less than the 808 attained by Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham – the last among the twenty voted in.

(During the original CEC election on Dec 15 last year, Zulkifli garnered 216 votes and after a tabulation error was announced, he recorded 249; then also neither enough to win a place in the CEC.)

'No place for Malays after 2008 GE' 

As a postscript to the saga, Zulkifli later declared that his earlier criticisms had been vindicated. “The DAP is not a place for Malays after 8th March 2008,” he stressed. “Not a single ‘original’ Malay leader has been elected (in the CEC).”

He labelled Zairil as a “special Malay” whose victory was due to support from the party’s top leadership, and described the appointment into the CEC of Senator Ariffin Omar (who got 441 votes – still insufficient to be elected), as mere “wallpaper”. 

Party members however have asserted that it was just a case of allowing democracy run its course, with individuals being voted for their intrinsic merits rather than their race. 

Zulkifli also claimed that his criticisms against secretary-general Lim Guan Eng and his father, adviser Lim Kit Siang, had “opened the delegates’ eyes”, thereby reducing the duos’ share of votes although both managed enough to remain in the CEC. Backing his claim that the re-election outcome was manipulated, he pointed to the 17 who withdrew from the race.

“Were they protesting or was it to aid the evil plan of deception and lies by certain parties?” Zulkifli said. “The delegates, many of whom are new members, are easily influenced and trust those above them in their strategy of deception and lies.” 

A spirited and vocal DAP member 

For many DAP members who have known Zulkifli all these years, all this has come as a shock and a tragic turn of events. I, myself, used to meet him while covering DAP events in the 1990s. He had always been a very spirited and friendly politician who genuinely believed in the ideals of the DAP, and generally got along with most party members and the media. No doubt, he was opinionated and did not mince his words; I personally remember seeing him make whipping comments to fellow party members. But, whatever he wanted to say was expressed straight in the presence of those whom he ticked off. 

For the 18-odd years that I have known him, I have never heard him lash out at the party’s leadership in public or the media. Never. The press conference on Sept 19 was the first time that he openly criticised the leadership to the media, after some 26 years in the party. 

But 2008 was a watershed for a veteran member like Zulkifli. When I met him again in the later part of that year, following the DAP’s massive electoral victory in Penang in the general election of March 8, he seemed very disappointed and indignant, almost hurt. Despite him being fielded in many previous elections, Zulkifli had not even been chosen as a candidate in that fateful election of March 8, 2008, in which he may well have won in view of the enormous public mood and political swing at that time.

(Among others, he had previously contested and lost the Bukit Bendera and Bayan Baru parliamentary contests for the DAP in 2004 and 2008 respectively.)

See my 20 Feb 2014 post Spartans no more?

Nevertheless, Zulkifli was appointed as a councillor in the Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) where he worked assiduously, going to the ground to tackle various problems, from matters related to hawkers to illegal parking attendants. I remember accompanying him during a field trip with councillors to inspect a new bridge project in Jelutong. He spoke privately about his intense disappointment, that not a single Malay DAP member was fielded in Penang, and that as a veteran of so many years he was sidelined from that very important election of 2008. 

Umbrage as seats given away to PKR 

To make it worse, key multi-ethnic constituencies where DAP’s Malay members could possibly win, like Bayan Baru and its three state constituencies of Batu Maung, Pantai Jerejak and Batu Uban, were given to PKR to contest.

(Bayan Baru was won by the late Ahmad Nor – former president of the public and civil service union body Cuepacs – on a DAP ticket in 1990.) 

Things came to a head in August 2011, when Zulkifli issued a statement that the DAP had “no choice” but to request at least one parliament and five state seats from PKR in Penang in the next polls. He warned that the DAP may be perceived to be "anti-Malay and chauvinistic" should it fail to field Malay candidates in the next election. At about the same time, the Penang Malay Congress was formed and headed by president Rahmat Isahak, a DAP member. For quite a while, the PMC supported the DAP-led state government while berating Umno. 

Interestingly, Rahmat also led a series of attacks against state PKR leaders like Datuk Mansor Othman and Datuk Abdul Malik Abul Kassim, especially the latter who had, in 2008, won the Batu Maung seat that could have been won by a DAP Malay candidate. Rahmat only recently left the party and was seen lending support to Zulkifli at the recent press conferences. Whatever happens now – there are speculations that he will quit the party and join another – is really academic, perhaps even inconsequential. 

For the real heartbreak is that such a veteran who has seen the party’s trials and tribulations for so long should have a falling out with the leadership in such an ignominious way. That is the tragedy of both the party and the veteran who has long served with it.

Menteri "Kerajaan Beta'' yg pandai cetak wang sangka dengan kelulusan Budget, PN bolih menang GE15 dengan majoriti 2/3

MM Online:

Budget 2021 approval means Bersatu-led coalition will win two-thirds in next GE, says Armada chief Wan Fayhsal

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal said that Bersatu, as a new party, has managed to produce two prime ministers under the charismatic leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. — Picture by Yusof Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 28 ― Bersatu Youth (Armada) chief Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal said the momentum gained after the Bersatu-led Budget 2021 approval meant the Perikatan Nasional (PN) government will win the next general election with two-thirds majority.

Speaking in his policy speech at the party’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) today, the senator said that Bersatu, as a new party, has managed to produce two prime ministers under the charismatic leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

“If we’re fighting on the battlefield, he is the commander. If we’re being tossed by waves in the ocean, he is the captain.

“Under the charisma of his leadership, our young party managed to break the monopoly and gave birth to two prime ministers. None other than the Most Honorable Tan Sri Dato 'Haji Muhyiddin bin Haji Mohd Yassin, our president!

“Alhamdulillah (Thanks to Allah), the 2021 Budget has also passed at the policy level. If we maintain the momentum today, believe me, gentlemen, we will succeed in the next election, and even return with a two-thirds majority that has never been achieved in almost two decades!” he told the delegates of the party’s fourth AGM, held for the first time online due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Wan Ahmad Fayhsal who became the Armada chief after the schism in Bersatu, which led to the termination of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his predecessor Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman earlier this year, also tabled 13 motions in the AGM.

Among its requests are that 20 per cent of the election candidates and political appointees including the MPs, Senate, State Assemblymen, Local Councillors and Support Administrators to be given to the youths.

“This year, half of Malaysians are 30 years old or younger. By the time the Vote 18 takes effect in July 2021, young people will be the largest group of voters who must be served and addressed cordially,” he said.

It was reported that the next general election might be held next year as the Opposition and some of their Umno allies claimed publicly that PN has lost its majority.

Despite anticipation of heavy resistance to Perikatan Nasional’s maiden Budget 2021, the federal spending plan sailed past the policy stage when just 13 Opposition lawmakers stood to try and force bloc voting.

Prior to the vote, Finance Minister Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Abdul Aziz announced several concessions to demands from both sides of the divide including extending the loan moratorium for all B40 income earners and small businesses as well as allowing eight million EPF contributors to withdraw up to RM10,000 from their Account 1 instead of RM6,000.

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim acknowledged that both DAP and Amanah had wanted to force a division of the House during Thursday’s voting on Budget 2021, and that he had invoked his position as Opposition leader to get them to stand down.

Anwar who had an audience with the Yang DiPertuan Agong on October 13 claims that he had enough numbers to topple Muhyiddin led government and has asked until Thursday next week from his allies to prove his numbers.

Malaysian Muslims - be aware of your idol Saudi's adulterous affair with Israel to eff Palestinians (and Iran)

Star Online:

Analysis: Covert Israeli-Saudi meeting sends Biden a strong message on Iran

FILE PHOTO: A combination picture shows Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in Osaka, Japan June 29, 2019 and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem February 9, 2020. Sputnik/Mikhail Klimentyev/Kremlin via REUTERS

RIYADH/JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A historic meeting between Israel's prime minister and Saudi Arabia's crown prince has sent a strong signal to allies and enemies alike that the two countries remain deeply committed to containing their common foe Iran.

Last Sunday's covert meeting in the Saudi city of Neom, confirmed by Israeli officials but publicly denied by Riyadh, conveyed a coordinated message to U.S. President-elect Joe Biden that Washington's main allies in the region are closing ranks.

It was the first publicly confirmed visit to Saudi Arabia by an Israeli leader and a meeting that was unthinkable until recently as the two countries do not have formal diplomatic relations. But it underlines the depth of the two countries' concerns about Iran, and shows how opposition to Tehran is bringing about a strategic realignment of countries in the Middle East.

"It's Iran, Iran, Iran," Israeli cabinet minister Tzachi Hanegbi told Israel's Army Radio when asked about the visit. "It is very, very important to create the axis which isolates Iran."

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both enjoyed strong support from U.S. President Donald Trump and championed his "maximum pressure" campaign against Iran.

They fear Biden will adopt policies on Iran similar to those adopted during Barak Obama's U.S. presidency which strained Washington's ties with its traditional regional allies.

Biden has said he will rejoin the international nuclear pact with Iran that Trump quit in 2018 - and work with allies to strengthen its terms - if Tehran first resumes strict compliance.

Both Israel and Saudi Arabia have recently ramped up rhetoric against Iran, which is locked in several proxy wars with Riyadh in the region.

Iran has built a network of armed Shi'ite militias across the Arab world, from Iraq to Syria and Lebanon and down into the Gulf and Yemen. Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen attacked Saudi oil installations last week, the latest in a string of attacks on Saudi targets.

Israel is waging a shadow war against Iranian forces, mostly through regular air raids in Syria on Lebanese Shi'ite paramilitary group Hezbollah, on Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and on supplies of weapons as they are moved across the country.


Sunday's meeting was held in the presence of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Israel's spy chief, Israeli media said.

Pompeo, who has been trying to coax Saudi Arabia to follow the lead of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan in normalising ties with Israel, declined to confirm the meeting. But diplomats in the region said U.S. envoys had privately confirmed the meeting took place.

Netanyahu declined comment on the meeting. He has yet to visit the UAE and Bahrain since formal ties were established, with tacit approval from Gulf powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

On Thursday, he said he expected more countries to normalise ties with Israel in the next few months.

There was limited talk of the meeting on Saudi social media, but some opposition figures denounced the visit. Political analysts said the Saudi denial of the meeting could have been a way to test the waters at home.

Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam, has softened its stance on Israel in recent years, but signalled it is not yet ready to officially normalise ties, which analysts say would be a difficult move for King Salman in the absence of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

"(The meeting with Netanyahu) aimed to highlight that MbS (Mohammed bin Salman) is more willing than his father to take steps towards normalisation without first reaching a two-state solution," said Neil Quilliam, Associate Fellow at Chatham House think tank.

Despite this, normalisation is not expected to happen while King Salman is alive, said a well-connected Saudi source and a foreign diplomat in Riyadh.

"Normalisation ... is a carrot to get (Biden's) focus away from other issues, especially (Saudi) human rights," the diplomat said.

The Saudi source and the diplomat said the Saudi king was kept in the dark about Netanyahu's visit.

Although the king chaired last weekend's virtual G20 leaders' summit, rumours of his declining health have swirled since he was admitted to hospital this summer.

A video was leaked during the G20 summit which showed MbS correcting the confused king's recollection, a leak which sources said was intentional.

The Saudi government media office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


The leak of Prince Mohammed's meeting with Netanyahu may have been intentional from Israel: an executive jet was used for the direct flight from Tel Aviv, which was quickly spotted on open-source flight trackers, and Israeli censors made no efforts to quash reporting on the trip.

The leak gave Netanyahu an opportunity to embarrass his political rival, Defence Minister Benny Gantz, who is due to take over as prime minister a year from now under a power-sharing agreement.

It included news that Netanyahu had not informed Gantz about the flight, in effect implying to Israeli voters that the centrist politician cannot be trusted to keep a secret, following speculation that an early election is on the cards.

Gantz called the leak "irresponsible".

Netanyahu has acknowledged he also kept Gantz in the dark about secret negotiations with the UAE that led to normalisation.