Tuesday, October 26, 2021

How America Supported Iran's WMD Program - He that soweth iniquity shall reap vanity: and the rod of his anger shall fail [Proverbs 22:8]

Military Watch:

The Shah's Nuclear Bomb as a Western Asset: How America Supported Iran's WMD Program

Shahab-3 Ballistic Missile

Since the mid 1980s the possibility of Iran developing a nuclear weapons capability has been a significant concern in the Western world, and one which has only grown with time as the country's economy and defence sector have modernised and as it acquired a growing number of potentially nuclear capable North Korean missile designs.

Allegations of a nuclear weapons program have served as a key pretext for a range of hostile policies towards Tehran including threats of war, preparations for potential preventative strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities, economic sanctions, and application of immense pressure and the United Nations to push for an international response in line with Western interests.

With Pakistan and North Korea having both withstood considerable Western pressure to develop nuclear arsenals in the 1990s, and North Korea doing so despite by far the harshest UN sanctions in world history being applied to it, Iran has long been speculated to become the world’s 10th nuclear weapons state despite officially denying aspirations to develop such armaments.

Iranian Khorramshahr Potentially Nuclear Capable Missiles

The drafting of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal in 2015, which removed UN sanctions on Iran but allowed unilateral Western sanctions to remain while imposing restrictions on the country's nuclear activities, forestalled Iran’s emergence as a nuclear weapons state. With the Obama administration having announced America’s ‘Pivot to Asia,’ under which the U.S. would concentrate its efforts and refocus its military towards the Asia-Pacific and away from the Middle East involving the U.S. military in a major and likely protracted war in the Persian Gulf to stop the Iranian nuclear program appeared highly undesirable.

Withdrawal from the JCPOA by the Trump administration, in light of an apparent refocusing towards the Middle East and a need to maintain the security of Israel, a small U.S. aligned nuclear power which faced a growing Iranian sponsored military presence on its borders, did however bring the potential for conflict over the Iranian nuclear program to the forefront once again.

Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Jimmy Carter at the White House

According to a number of Western analysts Iranian development of a nuclear weapon would allow Tehran to establish itself as a dominant military power in the Middle East as well as undermine the Israeli nuclear advantage, is an often covered subject.

The origins of the Iranian nuclear program, however, are less widely known. Before the 1979 Iranian revolution, which saw the Western aligned Pahlavi dynasty ousted from power, Iran had been supplied with much of what it needed to develop a nuclear weapon by the United States with full knowledge of what the nuclear materials could be used for. Assistance escalated in 1974, and a CIA proliferation assessment that year stated that there was "no doubt" that Tehran would use this assistance to develop a nuclear arsenal by the mid 1980s.

Iranian ruler Mohammad Reza Shah himself stated that Iran would become a nuclear power "without a doubt and sooner than one would think." The United States was knowingly supporting the proliferation of nuclear weapons to the Middle Eastern state, but as the development was set to strengthen the Western bloc’s position rather than undermine it it was perceived as an asset rather than being portrayed as an existential threat to international security.

With Israel at the time having already developed a nuclear arsenal, the Western bloc was to have two nuclear armed clients in the Middle East - a monopoly which would leave Soviet aligned regional powers such as Syria and Iraq at a severe disadvantage. With Iran also bordering the USSR, an Iranian nuclear arsenal pointed into the USSR from the south would further stretch the superpower's resources.

Iranian Air Force F-4 Phantom - designed to be capable of nuclear weapons delivery

Nuclear assistance to Iran was carried out under the Atoms for Peace initiative, under which the United States provided a number of valuable strategic partners with facilities to produce nuclear energy which helped to win over these nations in light of the growing competition for influence with the Soviet Union.

With Iran bordering the USSR, its overwhelmingly pro Western leadership including the European educated Shah provided the United States with valuable military facilities on the Soviet border, while the military was a leading client for Western arms which were pointed squarely at the Soviet Union. A nuclear armed Iran would cause further security concerns for the USSR, far more so than a nuclear armed North Korea has for the United States today considering the distance between them, and much of the infrastructure the United States provided Tehran could be used to produce plutonium and weapons grade uranium, the two critical materials needed to make nuclear warheads.

Israel was also reportedly supportive of the Iranian nuclear program, which would provide its primary regional ally with capabilities to better combat their common enemies in the region.

With foreign assistance cut off after 1979, and Iran being slow to form ties with the USSR, the country would be forced to rely on its own capabilities and on North Korean support to subsequently develop its nuclear industry.

51% Leech wants a rent-seeking ride on backs of Raub durian farmers


Raub council’s rent-seeking on durian farmers ‘daylight robbery’: Tras rep

Chow Yu Hui says body’s proposed exercise will obstruct industry

Tras assemblyman Chow Yu Hui says the Musang King has given Raub great economical value for the past 20 years, creating a supply chain for locals. – Chow Yu Hui Facebook pic, October 26, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR – A Pahang representative has lambasted the Raub District Council over its plan to undertake a “rent-seeking” exercise on durian farmers via provisions in a new local draft plan, likening it to “daylight robbery”.

He described such a move as superficial, and a waste of time and resources. Many farmers who had produced the famous Musang King variety of the fruit have already been evicted.

Tras assemblyman Chow Yu Hui said the proposed move to make it compulsory for farmers to use special cartons and the council’s Musang King logo on each durian – and also instal Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips on all the fruits – is unnecessary.

“The intention of this rent-seeking exercise is clear: it is to take a piece from the blood, sweat, and tears of durian farmers,” he told The Vibes.

“The Musang King is already internationally renowned because of its quality, and (forcing) the council’s durian logo is not helpful to the industry at all.”

He pointed to other commodities such as tea leaves and vegetables from Cameron Highlands that have earned their fame without having district council logos stuck on them.

Yesterday, The Vibes reported that the draft plan’s objection period – which ended on October 21 – proposes the creation of an “agro-hub” that will see the favourite and expensive Musang King variety being cultivated on a wider scale.

With the reasoning of “strengthening Raub’s financial standing”, the draft plan seeks to impose “commissions” on these farmers.

An excerpt of the draft also noted that the council will “compel the usage of Raub Musang King logos and special cartons to promote the fruit overseas and locally”.

It said this exercise alone will generate between RM4 million and RM6 million annually for the council.

However, Chow countered that the proposed exercise would carry “zero benefits”, claiming that it would harm and obstruct the durian industry.

According to the Tras assemblyman, the Raub District Council’s rent-seeking exercise will increase the burden on farmers as well as the price of durian, which will affect the fruit’s appeal in the international market amid strong competition from Thai producers. – The Vibes file pic, October 26, 2021

He said it would increase the burden of farmers and the price of durian, as well as affect the Malaysian fruit’s appeal in the international market – especially in the face of strong competition from Thailand producers.

“It will affect the local market as consumers are very sensitive to retail prices,” he said. “It may open up space for abuse and corruption.”

Chow also said it is not the council’s responsibility to regulate the durian industry.

“Its main responsibility is to create a friendlier infrastructure and environment, besides maintenance of the marketplace and other infrastructure to allow SME (small and medium enterprise) durian farmers to maintain their livelihoods and farm in calmness.”

He added that the Musang King product had given Raub great economical value for the past 20 years – creating a supply chain for locals involving fertilisers, processing plants, durian by-products, and agro-tourism.

He urged the council to consult and hold dialogues with farmers before it comes up with a more detailed policy.

“The best solution to build up the agriculture in Raub, Pahang, or even Malaysia is to revamp the land policy,” he said.

“The land policy should be more farmer-friendly, but not consortium-friendly. The government should prioritise the allocation of land to individual farmers and not corporates.”

Farmers not consulted on plan

Meanwhile, the Save Musang King Alliance (Samka) – which is representing the farmers – said it was blindsided by the plan as the farmers were not consulted even though they are the main stakeholders in the proposal.

Its spokesman Wilson Chang said the decision was made “from the top-down”.

“The draft plan is another exercise of rent-seeking, where durian farmers need to pay for RFID and mandatory logos that are unnecessary and redundant,” Chang told The Vibes.

“Musang King durians from Raub are widely recognised locally and internationally, without any RFID and mandatory logos.

They became famous because farmers spent decades of sweat and tears using trial-and-error methods to develop and find out the best quality of durian fruits – not by using the local government’s branding.”

He said the local government’s intervention in the industry could be devastating as it might lead to corruption and cronyism.

“Secondly, excessive bureaucracy will burden farmers and slow down the development of the industry,” Chang said.

“Farmers have no confidence in the council in terms of quality control, any mistake made in a single brand may tarnish the (image of the) Malaysian Musang King and lose its competitiveness to other durians from Southeast Asian countries.

“The local government has mistaken its role, Samka reminds the council that they are not farmers or businessmen. They should serve the people by providing a more business-friendly environment – upgrading local infrastructure for the durian industry, instead of exploiting them.”

He added that the council should table discussions on land legalisation schemes together with durian farmers and the Pahang government.

“Revenue can be increased through tax collection and licensing fees for the durian industry,” he said.

Save Musang King Alliance spokesman Wilson Chang says revenue can be increased through tax collection and licensing fees for the durian industry. – The Vibes file pic, October 26, 2021

Last year saw over 200 farmers evicted from their orchards in forest reserves – many of which had been in the family for half a century.

They were even stopped from harvesting their durians and, in what can be described as an act of pure spite in July this year, the state Forestry Department cut down some 15,000 Musang King trees in an area measuring 101ha in a forest reserve.

However, in early September, the Court of Appeal decided that a judicial review application by 204 Raub durian farmers will be heard at the Kuantan High Court.

This meant that an interim order preventing Pahang authorities from evicting the farmers still stands. – The Vibes, October 26, 2021

Talking to elephants in Tamil

The Star:

Opposition MP ordered out of Dewan over heated row on ‘talking to elephants in Tamil’

Podah lu πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

KUALA LUMPUR: An Opposition MP has been ordered to leave the Dewan Rakyat for 10 minutes after a heated row involving "talking to elephants in Tamil”.

RSN Rayer interjected Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim (BN-Baling), who was sharing his encounter with a wild elephant in his constituency and claimed that he managed to calm it down using the Tamil language.

Rayer then stood up to interject and asked Abdul Azeez not to repeat such remarks, as it was insulting the language.

"Claiming that he can speak with elephants using Tamil is something illogical," said Rayer.

Abdul Azeez then replied, "Why not?"

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun then asked the Baling MP to quickly finish his speech.

Abdul Azeez then insisted that he managed to feed the elephant by hand after speaking in Tamil and successfully relocated it to Terengganu on the fourth day.

Rayer then asked Abdul Azeez not to repeat his remarks.

The Speaker then asked both MPs to calm down.

However, Rayer refused to do so and asked the Speaker whether he would allow the Baling MP to insult the Tamil language.

"That is a stupid and rude remark," added Rayer.

To this, the Speaker said that Abdul Azeez was just merely sharing his personal experience.

"YB, you are like an anger factory. You can manufacture anger. Please stop," said the Speaker, explaining that Abdul Azeez was not insulting the Tamil language.

"I have decided that I will not ask him to withdraw," said the Speaker, as Rayer continued pressing Abdul Azeez to retract his remarks.

Rayer was then ordered to leave the Dewan for 10 minutes after he refused to sit down and the Speaker asked the sergeant-at-arms (bentara) to escort him out.

The Baling MP earlier shared that he had encountered a three-tonne elephant that was injured found at his constituency last month.

"The elephant came out because its legs were injured with a wound as big as a ‘car speaker’.

"When it came out, the elephant came to destroy and eat banana trees, sugarcane and wreak havoc near Kampung Bukit Hijau.

"I was with the elephant for four days and named it Awang Bukit Hijau.

"The elephant is so special sir. As far as I know, it understands three languages," said Abdul Azeez, namely Tamil, Thai and Myanmar language.

kt asks: Does this mean Abdul Azeez can also speak Thai and Myanmarese? Or has it been because Jumbo told him so? πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

"This could be perhaps because during our ancestors' time, they had taken care of elephants.

"That's why they understand these languages," claimed Abdul Azeez.

kt asks: Perhaps Abdul Azeez's ancestors informed him. πŸ˜€πŸ˜πŸ˜‚

elephant from Kerala - more vicious looking & mudah lupa juga 

kt asks again: I wonder WTF Rayer was up to? Everyone knows that elephants can understand Tamil, Malayalam, Thai, Myanmarese, Penang Hokkien and Teochew. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Why Is Mahathir Upset When He Did The Same?


Why Is Mahathir Upset When He Did The Same?

(Malaysia Gazette, 18 December 2019) – Yesterday, renowned lawyer, Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah expressed his shock on how a convicted prisoner on death row could be given the access to meet a VVIP outside the Kajang prison.

The prisoner he meant was none other than the former Special Action Unit (UTK) officer, Azilah Hadri who was sentenced to death by hanging after he was found guilty for murdering Mongolian model, Altantuya Shaariibuu in 2006.

Nevertheless, Shafee said that he could not verify the information but it was given to him my a trusted source.

Mahathir crony-proxy Abdullah Ang was given VVIP treatment and today is Parti Amanah’s financier

“The meeting between Azilah and the VVIP took place in early February this year. How could a prisoner on death row go out of the prison to meet a VVIP? How could that happen?

“I definitely cannot verify this information but it was given to me by a trusted source. The meeting was not in the prison but outside. When a prisoner is on death row, how could they be brought out just like that?

“That is against the law and protocol. I am waiting for a formal confirmation at this moment,” he told the journalists.

As a person with vast experience in the legal field, Shafee would not make the shocking statement without any basis.

Mahathir is spitting into the wind or ludah ke langit

If it truly happened as alleged, it seemed like the ‘dark history of 1989’ may return to tarnish the image of the country.

Here is the story.

On 19 August 1989, the Malay Mail made an exclusive daring revelation on how businessman, Abdullah Ang had the Super VVIP treatment at the Kajang Prison.

His room was equipped with refrigerator, carpet, video player and waterbed. Abdullah could also enter and exit the Kajang Prison as if he owned that place.

For the record, Abdullah Ang was the Chief Executive of the Malaysian Overseas Investment Corporation (MOIC) who had many friends among the government leaders and senior officers.

He had an eight years sentence and was fined RM100,000 by the Kuala Lumpur High Court on 15 December 1986 (which was lightened after mitigation plea). He pleaded guilty over the charges on criminal breach of trust amounting RM338,808.80.

Two years before his release date, Abdullah was seen around Kuala Lumpur! He was wearing a t-shirt and a pair of white pants. Upon getting the information, the editor of Malay Mail sent the journalist and photographer to track the prisoner.

In its report, Abdullah was also seen at the garment factory belonging to his family. There were no warden or officer from the prison at sight escorting him during his visit.

What happened truly stunned Malaysians as not only a prisoner could walk freely into and outside the jail but his cell was equipped like a hotel room.

However, Abdullah realised that he was being photographed and he covered his face immediately with a towel.

When the case was brought to the prison, they claimed that Abdullah was involved in the pre-release system where a prisoner is allowed to work outside the prison and prep them for their release in the future.

However, according to Allahyarham Datuk Zainuddin Maidin in his article, Abdullah was given the special treatment to travel between the Kajang prison and the capital to drink teh Tarik, read newspapers and to manage his business in Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur.

Nevertheless, according to Zainuddin, despite his dishonesty, Abdullah Ang had an extraordinary character. He could present himself as a person with the qualities needed in business and trading. He could project himself well in all levels. He was not shy. He was brave and he could be covetous if it is needed.

“That special personality enabled him to close to the officers in Kajang Prison which in turn, gave him the special treatment to roam in and out of the prison to enjoy the air out there,” he said.

It was not a surprise that the special treatment enjoyed by Abdullah was due to his influence and good relationship with the top leaders in the country.

Abdullah Ang’s case also caused a reshuffle in the Prison Department, where the position of the Director-General of Prison was given to a senior police officer then.

In Azilah’s case, it was impossible for him to gain such special treatment but having the access to meet a person outside the prison was truly something special for a convicted prisoner on death row.

As at the time of writing, there is no official statement from the authorities on Shafee’s allegation.

Honestly, we hope that what Shafee said was not true. Generally, we see that the integrity of the Prison Department is still attached at its highest level. Besides that, they have improved tremendously after the scandal involving Abdullah Ang 30 years ago.

One case of Abdullah Ang is more than enough to ruin everything.

Najib sues Tommy Thomas, govt over wrongful prosecution

Najib sues Tommy Thomas, govt over wrongful prosecution

Najib Abdul Razak has hauled former attorney-general Tommy Thomas to court over the former prime minister’s alleged wrongful prosecution for several criminal cases.

Through law firm Raj, Ong & Yudistra, the former prime minister filed the lawsuit at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 22. The legal action named Thomas and the government as defendants.

According to a copy of the statement of claim seen by Malaysiakini, plaintiff Najib contends that Thomas has committed misfeasance in public office, malicious process, and negligence.

The former premier claimed that the government is vicariously liable for the alleged acts done by Thomas (above).

Najib stated that Thomas’ alleged acts were in relation to criminal charges levelled against the former in relation to the 1MDB case, the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) case, two cases of alleged abuse of power and money laundering under the MACC Act 2009 (collectively known as the four cases).

The former finance minister, however, stated that it does not involve charges in relation to SRC International Sdn Bhd, a former 1MDB subsidiary that later became wholly owned by the Minister of Finance Incorporated (MoF Inc).

Najib claimed that following the emergence of the then Dr Mahathir Mohamad-led Pakatan Harapan administration following the 14th general election in 2018, he was hit with 35 criminal charges linked to the four cases.

I'm gonna git ya Najib

“The following facts will show that the charges against Najib Razak was part of an act that has long been planned and crafted early by Tommy Thomas. Also, this was in line with the plans of the then government.

“As the attorney-general, he had carried out his duties, in relation to Najib Razak, as though he was an agent of Pakatan Harapan.

“In fact, he would later link Najib Razak’s party United Malays Umno Organisation (Umno), with Najib Razak himself, the Malays, and driving force for Islamisation,” Najib claimed.

The former premier also alleged that before and even after becoming attorney-general, Thomas had made many comments that prejudiced him.

Najib claimed that among these are that he was a criminal that was in cahoots with 1MDB-linked fugitive Low Taek Jho or Jho Low, even before the Pekan MP’s charges came up for trial before the courts.

The plaintiff is seeking, among other reliefs, a declaration that Thomas has committed misfeasance in public office, over RM1.9 million, as well as general and exemplary damages.

According to the online cause list, the matter is fixed for case management before the Kuala Lumpur High Court Registry on Nov 19.

Back in February, it was reported that Najib filed a letter of demand against Thomas in relation to the latter’s memoir 'My Story: Justice in the Wilderness'.

Najib then had demanded the now civil practice lawyer to retract the memoir, issue an apology and pay RM10 million damages in relation to allegations contained in the book.



Najib sues ex-AG Tommy Thomas, govt for RM1.9m, claims was maliciously prosecuted

In the lawsuit, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is claiming for a declaration that Tommy Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office, and RM1,941,988 to compensate for the alleged losses that he had suffered so far, general damages, exemplary damages and aggravated damages. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has filed a civil lawsuit against former attorney-general Tan Sri Tommy Thomas and the Malaysian government for having pressed criminal charges against him in four trials, claiming that the then attorney general had allegedly abused his powers to prosecute him.

In the lawsuit filed on October 22 in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur, Najib is claiming for a declaration that Thomas had committed misfeasance in public office, and RM1,941,988 (or RM1.9 million) to compensate for the alleged losses that he had suffered so far, general damages, exemplary damages and aggravated damages.

In the breakdown of the alleged RM1.9 million loss suffered by Najib so far, these were listed his statement of claim as RM310,115 for “medical expenses suffered due to anxiety and stress caused by the prosecutions”, RM1,005,200 for “consultation fees for audit team to perform documentation review in order to prepare the facts to face the prosecutions”, RM56,673 for “travel expenses from September 2018 to date incurred in relation to fighting the court charges”, RM90,000 for “wasted costs due to being unable to travel overseas due to the conditions of the bail imposed”, and RM480,000 for “engagement of other services, including security personnel and clerical staff in dealing with the charges”.

When contacted by Malay Mail, lawyer Yudistra Darma Dorai — from the law firm who had filed the lawsuit for Najib — confirmed that the lawsuit has been filed, but said it has yet to be served on those being sued.

Speaker says ministers Ka Siong, Annuar did not ‘confuse’ Dewan Rakyat on cabotage policy


Speaker says ministers Ka Siong, Annuar did not ‘confuse’ Dewan Rakyat on cabotage policy

Referring to the two ministers’ statements regarding the Apricot Subsea Cable System Project and the omission of Malaysia from the project, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun claimed that they were not contradicting each other. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 26 — Both Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa had not “confused” Parliament about Malaysia’s cabotage exemption policy; neither did they contradict each other on this issue, Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Azhar Azizan Harun has said.

Azhar said this in his written reply dated October 22 to two Opposition MPs, namely former finance minister Lim Guan Eng and former youth and sports deputy minister Steven Sim.

Azhar noted that he had asked both Wee and Annuar to provide their explanations, adding that he had considered their explanations, along with the September 30 Hansard which had recorded Dewan Rakyat debates on that day as well as Annuar’s October 5 written reply on that matter.

“In line with that, I find that the Transport Minister and the Communications and Multimedia Minister had not issued statements that confuse the Dewan under Standing Order 36(12) when answering the questions directed towards them,” Azhar wrote in his October 22 letter that was made available to the media today by Sim.

The Dewan Rakyat’s Standing Order 36(12) states that “Any member who imputes statements that mislead the House is deemed to be in contempt of the House and the member may be referred to the Committee of Privileges for the offence.”

Referring to the two ministers’ statements regarding the Apricot Subsea Cable System Project and the omission of Malaysia from the project, Azhar claimed that they were not contradicting each other.

“Therefore, I find those two statements are not contradictory or confusing,” he said in the letter.

“What special treatment did I get?” Najib lashes out at Tun M

“What special treatment did I get?” Najib lashes out at Tun M

FORMER Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hit back at critics over the court’s decision to allow him to have his passport back to visit his pregnant daughter in Singapore.

“What preferential treatment did I get as claimed by many? I applied through court process and did not ask the Government for it.

“I didn’t apply from an Attorney-General (AG) who conveniently dropped Lim Guan Eng’s cases after he became a minister and I did not deliberately drop appeal against the Hague’s decision to award Pulau Batu Puteh to Singapore,” he retorted, in a Facebook post.

Earlier today, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad questioned the “preferential” treatment received by Najib in getting his passport back temporarily, starting Oct 20 until Nov 22.

Calling it “unusual”, he claimed that ordinary folks would not have received such treatment just so Najib could travel, not for medical reasons on top of it.

“And now, he is seeking extension so that he can campaign for the Melaka state polls. What is our administration doing and why didn’t our AG object to it?” Utusan Malaysia reported the Langkawi MP as saying.

Take your case to the judges!

Hurling brickbats at his mentor turned nemesis, Najib reminded Mahathir that he only obtained his passport temporarily, unlike the former who made Malaysia lose Pulau Batu Puteh for good.

“I am to visit my daughter who is going to deliver in Singapore. She was staying with her husband in the island state and was barred from returning to Malaysia due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“And it was the Court of Appeal that agreed to return my passport, in a unanimous decision by all three judges.

“If Mahathir is unhappy, he should organise a press conference to criticise the judges instead,” the Pekan MP concluded. – Oct 26, 2021

The sad story of Fan Yew Teng, probably Malaysia's Greatest Socialist


Noeleen Heyzer, wife of late Fan Yew Teng, is new UN envoy for Myanmar

Singaporean is an established activist, renowned for her work in women, society and youth-based organisations

Noeleen Heyzer's decades-long work in peacebuilding and societal development has made her one of the highest-ranking Singaporeans in the United Nations. – AFP pic, October 26, 2021

KUALA LUMPUR – Noeleen Heyzer, widow of prominent Malaysian rights activist Fan Yew Teng, has been appointed as UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres’ special envoy on Myanmar. She succeeds Christine Schraner Burgener of Switzerland.

Considered to be one of the highest-ranking Singaporeans in the United Nations, Heyzer has undertaken extensive missions to conflict-affected countries around the world, engaging women and a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, youth and faith-based organisations.

She was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005 for her work to improve the lives of women, and promoting peace and justice.

Her latest appointment as envoy was announced by Guterres yesterday.

Her late husband Fan had in his lifetime served as acting secretary-general of DAP, and also been MP twice – for Kampar and Menglembu. He had also served as Petaling Jaya assemblyman.

Fan, who passed away in 2010, had written several books on human rights and politics in Malaysia, and had also for some time been an editor for DAP journal The Rocket.

In a statement, the UN acknowledged Heyzer as the first woman to serve as executive secretary of its Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific between 2007 and 2014.

“Ms Heyzer focused on regional cooperation for a more resilient Asia-Pacific, founded on shared prosperity, social equity and sustainable development,” said a statement issued by the UN yesterday.

“In the period 2008-2009, she worked closely with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), the government of Myanmar and the United Nations in the recovery efforts following Cyclone Nargis and led a dialogue with Myanmar’s leaders on development and poverty reduction.”

From 2013 to 2015, Heyzer was made then UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon’s special adviser for Timor Leste, working to support peacebuilding, state-building and sustainable development there.

“As executive director of Unifem (UN Development Fund for Women)(1994-2007), she played a critical role in the security council’s formulation and implementation of the landmark resolution 1325 (2000) on women, peace and security,” the statement added.

She also sits on the governing board of the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, and is a distinguished fellow of Singapore Management University and S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies. – The Vibes, October 26, 2021


kt notes:

Many of you may not realise who Fan Yew Teng was. He left DAP after a falling out with Lim Kit Siang in the way Lee Lam Thye had, but more specifically he criticised Singapore PAP for its failings in human rights just as he criticised Malaysia's BN for the same. But Lim KS did not criticised the PAP. It was many years later he rejoined DAP.

I'll leave his daughter's article for your perusal, as follows:

Mekong Review:
[May 2018]

Malaysia’s morning breaks

by Pauline Fan

Pauline Fan with her father, Fan Yew Teng. Photo: Supplied

If politics is ‘the art of the possible’, Malaysia’s 14th General Election has reignited a call for a politics of hope, what VΓ‘clav Havel — dissident playwright turned President of the Czech Republic — beautifully termed ‘the art of the impossible’.

In the two weeks since GE14, the impossible has become reality. Malaysians have witnessed changes we never imagined we would see in our lifetime – the fall of the ‘invincible’ Barisan Nasional, Mahathir Mohamad’s return as prime minister, the release and royal pardon of Anwar Ibrahim, former political prisoners sworn in as top cabinet ministers.

Like the Velvet Revolution of Czechoslovakia, Malaysia’s historic yet peaceful transition of power unseated a regime that ruled for decades and saw a people’s movement swept into government. Yet our ‘revolution’ was won quietly through the ballot box as much as through people power campaign rallies throughout the country. What impelled most Malaysians to bring down the old regime was the need to restore the rule of law and reform systems of governance plagued by corruption. In essence: a yearning to return to a Malaysia that could have been.

For many of us, ‘the Malaysia that could have been’ (and things in Malaysia that should never have happened) came to be embodied in the figures of Mahathir and Anwar. While celebrating the arrival of a ‘new dawn’, many of us were simultaneously thrown back in time, for the inextricably entangled destinies of these two men – allies, adversaries, allies once more – has shaped the collective and personal memory of Malaysians for the past 20 years.

For me, the return of Mahathir, the release of Anwar, and the reconciliation between them evoked memories of my late father, the firebrand opposition leader and two-term DAP parliamentarian, Fan Yew Teng. During the political developments of the past few months and particularly the past few weeks, I often wondered what ‘Papa’ would have made of it all. Would ‘Papa’ have embraced the transformed Mahathir – the man he spent much of his life criticising – as the leader of Pakatan Harapan, and now, again, as the prime minister of Malaysia?

In 1999, my father wrote Anwar Saga: Malaysia on Trial, a book that chronicled the unfolding of the Mahathir-Anwar grand political drama and the beginnings of the Reformasi movement. Like his previous books – If We Love This Country (1988), Oppressors and Apologists (1988), The UMNO Drama: Power Struggles in Malaysia (1989), and The Rape of Law (1990)Anwar Saga sought to expose the grave injustices of Malaysia’s political system under Mahathir. It was difficult to publish such ‘anti-government’ books then, so ‘Papa’ set up a small press called Egret Publications, which was mostly funded by my mother.

After my father passed away in 2010, Anwar Ibrahim recalled in a tribute to him: “There had been two converging moments in our lives. The first was when he was convicted of sedition in 1975 and I, though not charged, was condemned to incarceration in Kamunting under the ISA. When I was thrown back into jail in 1998, he published Anwar Saga: Malaysia on Trial soon after. Here was someone who had been a victim of oppression and injustice too, not just some armchair commentator. I had to get hold of that book … So, with a little help from my friends, I had it secreted to my cell and devoured it from cover to cover.”

Fan Yew Teng during the General Election campaign, 1974. Photo: Supplied.

Anwar was right. ‘Papa’ spent his life fighting political repression because he himself had been subjected to it. In 1971, under Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak, ‘Papa’ had been charged with sedition for publishing a speech as editor of DAP’s The Rocket. After a long drawn-out and infamous trial, he was eventually convicted of sedition in 1975 and disqualified from his second term in Parliament in 1977. After his years in formal politics, ‘Papa’ persisted as a vocal critic of Barisan Nasional’s excesses, scandals, and abuses of power. In particular, he was an acute observer of the power struggles within UMNO.

In a 2008 article for Harakah entitled ‘Can UMNO ever change?’, he wrote: “After more than 62 years of existence and more than half a century in power, UMNO has become a party of political pretenders and fakes, not of political protectors who were originally so much admired and needed by the Malays. UMNO’s idealism died when the spoils of office killed convictions and eroded the spirit of sacrifice. Soon enough, the unsaid and unwritten motivation was: ask not what I can do for the party; ask what the party can do for me.”

The article reveals my father’s long-standing conviction that UMNO had cast off its principles for selfish interests and sunk too deep in its own mire to ever redeem itself. I think he would initially have opposed Mahathir’s alliance with the very oppositionists he once put behind bars. Over time, however, I believe he would have seen Mahathir’s necessary role in dealing the deathblow to UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

As Malaysia’s new cabinet was sworn in a few days ago, I could not help but think of ‘Papa’ and his comrades. I felt the absent presence of the pioneers who are no longer with us – Karpal Singh, P. Patto, Tok Guru Nik Aziz and others, those who dared to fight for decades against the dark so that today we may forge a path of hope.

My father once wrote: “History has shown us repeatedly that no long night can last forever. Before long, morning must break.” On 10 May, as the long sleepless night of waiting for GE14 results turned into a day of euphoria for millions of Malaysians, I whispered: “Papa, your morning has arrived.”


... and also one from Arutchelvan (PSM):

How I remember Fan Yew Teng

Fan Yew Teng was not from my generation. When I knew him, I knew him as a founder of Suaram. He was one of the original twelve directors of Suaram. I did not know much of his past history which I got to know a short time after that.

For the record, politically Fan was a giant of a politician. He was an unionist, he was an MP, he had been arrested and sacked and did all sorts of things. Perhaps the only badge he did not receive was being detained under the ISA.

As we all know today, Fan started in DAP and ended his political career in DAP. In between, he was linked and involved with a number of other parties like the SDP. He tried to form a political coalition and if I am not mistaken, he also did join PRM for a brief period until he went back to DAP. The last election he stood in was in 1999 under DAP. He lost.

Of course, Fan is always the reference point when one talks about the Sedition Act, as he was among the great people who have been arrested for sedition. He stood in a line with the likes of Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela to name a few. Malaysia has used the Sedition Act much more frequently compared to other countries and each time a case comes up, Fan’s case will be cited as the authority.

In Suaram, we used to call him Uncle Fan. He was indeed fun, and very witty as well. He will come carrying a slingbag made of cloth, wearing a short-sleeved shirt, normally sweating because he might have walked a distance or had just been speaking non-stop on an issue.

It is always fun and exciting to hear his speeches during talks and press conferences. He will normally carry a book with him and refer to famous sayings from Malcolm X , King and Gandhi. He was always loud and spoke strongly on the subject. Being an ex-teacher, he has a tendency to slowly explain things or phrases from a book. His words were strong and his voice loud.

He was also good at finding analogies or finding short forms or abbreviations. For example, when the human rights commission Suhakam was formed, he called it Sham – for Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Malaysia.

I also remember during the tribunal against the police tribunal episode in 1996, when the then-inspector general of police Abdul Rahim Nor called the organisers of the police tribunal communist and Marxists and threatened to arrest the organizers under the ISA, if they carried on.

A number of groups backed out, including the Bar Council and the Centre for Peace Initiative (Cenpeace), who denied that they were part of the coalition. At this point, Fan Yew Teng stepped in and became the de facto spokesperson of the coalition and even resigned from Cenpeace.

Fan became a peace advocate when he raised many international issues. He raised the issues of Burma. Sri Lanka, East Timor. Punjab and Aceh and many more. He broke down race barriers.

I remember during issues concerning Muslims, there would often be just one sole Chinese male at the events. That man was Fan. During the issues relating to Sri Lanka, you again would often see Fan as the sole Chinese man in the events during that time. So Fan was there irrespective of race or religion. For him, human rights and the dignity of humanity cut across race and religion.

Another interesting thing is we use to joke about was Fan and his typewriting. When everyone was using computers, Fan still used the typewriter. He claimed that it was faster, more efficient and made fewer errors. One wonders how?

But because he produced at least one article every few days, it seemed hard to argue with him on this. So at times, we had to retype his work on computers so that we could send it out.

Fan was principled till the end. I remember he joined Amnesty International, but I did not know where Fan went after that. I heard he was writing a book. It is not clear if he has finished writing it.

It is sad that he succumbed to cancer. I did not know his whereabouts in the last few years. Fan is like that. At times , he just disappears and then he will reappear – and each time he reappears, we would say, “Fan has not changed”. Same principles, same strong convictions and same spirit.

Fan will not reappear any more in person. But we will always remember Fan – whom we knew as Uncle Fan.

Union rejects Amanah call for restrictions on Muslims in alcohol sale

Union rejects Amanah call for restrictions on Muslims in alcohol sale

Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa said Muslims should not be involved in serving, distributing or selling alcoholic drinks. (Freepik pic)

PETALING JAYA: A proposal for a “liquor policy” to restrict the involvement of Muslims in the manufacturing or sale of alcoholic drinks has been rejected by the union representing hotel, bar and restaurant workers.

The union’s secretary-general, Rosli Affandi, said the majority of the people in the food industry were Malays, and the introduction of a new “liquor policy” would affect their livelihoods.

“I totally disagree with any such policy. Businesses will be affected as Muslims will not be able to work at places serving alcohol. At present, they are just doing their jobs and not consuming any alcohol.

“Also, with the current Covid-19 situation, a lot of people from the B40 low-income group are already struggling to find a decent living. On top of that, every industry is struggling to build up their finances. This policy is definitely not a good idea for the economy or workers,” he told FMT.

Rosli Affandi.

The proposal for the new policy was made by Amanah vice-president Mujahid Yusof Rawa following a war of words over an award-winning Malaysian-made whisky with the name “Timah”.

Mujahid said the liquor policy should including a ban on Muslims from being involved in the processing, sale, transport or serving of alcoholic drinks, and other related activities, as well as a ban on any promotion of alcohol.

Rosli added such a policy would open the floodgates to an influx of foreigners taking over these jobs.

An international business chamber has also warned against the introduction of such a policy.

Shaun Cheah.

Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry executive director Shaun Cheah said it would have a negative impact on foreign investment, and that conservative policies would scare away potential investors.

He said the policy would affect freight forwarders if the government moved ahead with its proposal for 51% Bumiputera ownership of freight forwarding companies.

Freight forwarders would also be the ones importing alcoholic beverages. “With this liquor policy in place, Muslims will not be able to transport any alcohol. This will definitely impact many businesses,” he said.

Cheah also said the majority of delivery workers were Muslim.

He also said there was no need for the government to intervene in their livelihoods as Muslims were just earning their salary and income legitimately.

Wrong to think battle for votes in Melaka won’t affect Putrajaya, says Ramasamy

Wrong to think battle for votes in Melaka won’t affect Putrajaya, says Ramasamy

P Ramasamy says the assumption by Oh Ei Sun that the Melaka polls might not affect relations at the federal level is ‘naive if not simplistic’.

PETALING JAYA: A DAP leader has disagreed with an analyst that the electoral feud between Umno and Bersatu at the Melaka state election next month would not affect the federal government.

Reacting to the opinion of Oh Ei Sun, of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs, that the memorandum of understanding between the prime minister and Pakatan Harapan (PH) will protect the federal government from the electoral feud, Penang deputy chief minister P Ramasamy said the MoU was not meant to strengthen the government.

Ramasamy described the assumption that the contest in the state might not affect relations at the federal level as “naive” and “simplistic”.

“The ties between Bersatu and Umno have been considerably strained over the last few months. The Melaka state election might just be the barometer the parties need in preparation for the general election next year,” he said in a Facebook post.

Oh had said it would be “business as usual” in Putrajaya even if Bersatu and Umno were to go their own way and clash in the state election.

“Bersatu is always welcome to leave (the federal government) because it appears that Ismail (Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob) has the support of PH, which is almost 100 MPs strong,” he told FMT.

However, Ramasamy said the MoU was not intended to save the government but to bring reforms in return for support from the opposition.

“Again, it is naive if not simplistic to believe that the MoU between the government and PH might save the former if the other two parties withdraw their support.

“The MoU is not meant to shore up political support for the government in the event Bersatu refrains from supporting it.

“The MoU is certainly not an insurance policy to underwrite the anticipated government fallout at the federal level.”

Further, he believed that PH would not be “blindly willing” to provide lifeline support if Umno was defeated in the Melaka state election.

“As it is, the stability induced by the MoU is proving more beneficial to the government rather than PH,” Ramasamy said.

Monday, October 25, 2021

Umno and Bersatu - two unhappy peas in a pod

S Thayaparan

"And because Pejuang had no money, it had to depend on 'race and its anti-corruption campaign' to attract voters."

– Dr Mahathir Mohamad

COMMENT | The opening quote should give some cheer to Umno because at least the old maverick thinks that the party is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the Malay vote.

Well, it should also give some cheer to Bersatu because at this moment Umno does not have much money to splurge on elections.

And he’s right of course, or at least right in the way how these racial hegemons or wannabe racial hegemons think.

Earlier this month when talking about a possible GE15 confrontation between Umno and Bersatu, former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin said this (about which party people think is the best):

“Maybe they (the people) will consider the measures I had taken earlier or the assistance and stimulus packages worth over RM530 billion which were introduced, they will assess our efforts in managing and overcoming Covid-19 and the increasing vaccination rates.”

Individual minions in Umno have money but who wants to spend their money when Umno back in the day had control of the gravy train to ensure some sort of electoral strategy and has partial control now.

These days, the fates of various factions of Umno are entwined with the traitors from Bersatu that makes any kind of electoral strategy iffy.

When you claim to be the party for the Malays and you have two or god knows how many other parties claiming to be the same, you have to wonder how much money will be spent and who controls the coffers to actually make that boast true.

Who knows if Bersatu really intends to spark a three-cornered fight in this upcoming Malacca election and who really knows if Umno intends to duke it out with Bersatu and PAS because Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is as Lim Guan Eng says – weak.

For Umno to survive, the party needs to reassert dominance in the political landscape and this needs to be done with huge electoral gains.

For Bersatu, it has to demonstrate that it commands the majority of the Malay vote. Hence, it needs to demonstrate that it is not a political party that relies on other Malay parties to remain in power. Umno never did.

While Umno has an accomplished record of corruption and government malfeasance, it also has a track record of winning elections and in those days, when the idea of BN meant something, it had a track record of winning the popular vote. In other words, a majority of Malaysians voted for BN.

Now, of course, MIC and MCA mean very little and Umno, like the rest of the Malay uber alles parties, have to share the pie when it comes to the Malay vote.

The thing the Malay establishment feared all those decades ago, about the split in the Malay polity, has come true.

Malay unity

Malay unity has been the rallying cry of the establishment for years and the great lie that built a kleptocracy.

However, it does present a horrifying dilemma to Umno. Both Umno and Bersatu have said, if need be, that they will contest in “all seats”.

Umno, or at least a faction within Umno, has said that if need be, they will fight against Bersatu and PAS.

Bersatu was supposed to be the Umno of Pakatan Harapan - the linchpin for the new deal that would ensure that the races would cooperate in the old alliance way before the dark times of Umno ketuanan hegemony. It did not work out that way.

PRIBUMI Bersatu will be UMNO III, once those traitorous UMNO frogs (not mentioned by 'Tuk: like you Ass-binte) come into our grasp

Umno folks speak to me of the quagmire various potentates are in because nobody really has an agenda for Umno but instead are mucking around with anyone to hold on to power.

This is why someone like Tian Chua can “advise” Harapan to work with anyone to gain power but conveniently forgets that such power is transitory because nobody is really invested in forming a functional government with cohesive policy and shared responsibilities.

The old maverick back in May of this year advised Bersatu to return to the fold because if they went up against Umno they would lose, especially if Umno contested in all seats.

But according to the old maverick, they were more interested in the perks that came with power:

"Saya kata dalam PRU akan datang kamu akan kalah, kerana Umno tak sokong kamu. Jadi lebih baik balik kepada asal. Tapi mereka jawab mereka menteri dan menteri gaji RM70,000 sebulan. Jadi kalau kita boleh bayar RM70,000 sebulan mereka kembalilah."

But as he rightly pointed out in that interview, Umno was also fractured so going it alone would present challenges.

So Umno and Bersatu are in a kind of death grip when it comes to electoral strategy because let's face facts, Umno is weak because its leadership really does not have the cajones to kick Bersatu in the groin, electorally speaking of course.

Umno and Bersatu want to be the dominant Malay/Muslim party. You cannot have two parties competing to be the tent pole.

Even PAS understands this, which is why they have concluded that they gain more power by profiting from the fight between Umno and Bersatu while sneaking their Islamic agenda through the backdoor.

It would be interesting to see who crumbles first, Umno or Bersatu, and how much benefit PAS gets out of this unhappy marriage.

The reality is despite what pundits say, this Malacca election is a bellwether for Umno and Bersatu.

If Umno decides to “cooperate” with Bersatu then they have lost. And if Bersatu decides to go at it alone with its allies, it will be a fight worth watching.

Ultimately, one of them will be neutered in the Malacca election.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. FΔ«at jΕ«stitia ruat cΓ¦lum - “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

kt notes:

In GE14 BN (essentially UMNO) won 79 out of 222 seats, whilst PAS obtained 18.

PH secured following:

(a) PKR 48
(b) DAP 42
(c) Pribumi Bersatu 12
(d) Amanah 11

PH totalled 113, having majority rule.

If the sly devious Mahathir had observed his promise to PH not to accept UMNO frogs, his miserable party would have stood at 12, just one seat more than the new Amanah.

But did anyone (other than the idiotic Lims & inner cohorts) believe the Evil Old Man would ever keep his word? Thus UMNO frogs jumped more like impala antelopes than amphibians the moment BN lost the election.

Just a reminder prior to the great migration post GE14:

BN had 79 seats whilst PRIBUMI had only 12. But of course once the frogs jumped over to PRIBUMI (after a kerbau-ish one-month hiatus), UMNO lost its numbers and political strength. If The Old Man was given more time, which he himself threw away because he couldn't have his own way as a minority (notwithstanding the UMNO frogs) in a multi-party coalition, he could have built PRIBUMI into UMNO III.

So he resigned without any warning to his so-called allies. Anwar was of course another reason.

Would UMNO ever forgive PRIBUMI? 

No, UMNO has no choice but to kill PRIBUMI off to avoid its own political death.

After single mum sent to gallows, groups want end to death penalty

After single mum sent to gallows, groups want end to death penalty

The recent death sentence imposed on a single mother of nine children for a drug offence has reignited calls for the mandatory death penalty to be repealed.

On Oct 15, the Tawau High Court had sentenced Hairun Jalmani, 55, to death for possessing and trafficking 113.9g of methamphetamines (syabu).

The fish seller was convicted under Section 39B (1)(a) of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952 which stipulates a mandatory death sentence.

Hairun’s case made headlines after she was videoed crying out for help as she was led away while handcuffed by a police officer.

Ibu tunggal 9 anak dijatuhi hukuman mati mandatori miliki, edar dadah.

TAWAU, 15 OKTOBER 2021-Seorang ibu tunggal kpd sembilan orang anak dij4tuhi hukuman m4ti mandatori di Mahkamah Tinggi Tawau pada Jumaat selepas didapati bersalah memiliki dan mengedar dadah tiga tahun lalu. pic.twitter.com/ViBKQIlqEp— AADK Besut (@AADKDaerahBesut) October 16, 2021

Commenting on the case, Amnesty International Malaysia noted that the mandatory death penalty meant Hairun’s life circumstances could not be considered during sentencing.

The NGO also pointed to how women were often disproportionately caught in similar situations.

“Hairun’s life chances were stacked against her. She was a single mother in Malaysia’s poorest state trying to support nine children.

“Her case is an example of how Malaysia’s death penalty punishes the poor with particular discriminations against women.

“In Malaysia, 95 percent of all women known to be under death sentence in 2019 were convicted for drug-related offences. Women who have been subjected to violence, abuse, and exploitation have little to no chance to get these factors taken into account at sentencing,” it said in a statement on Twitter.

Amnesty, which campaigns against the death penalty, thus urged the government to amend laws to allow judicial discretion when issuing death sentences.

“Current drug policies have failed to address the underlying socio-economic factors that increase the risks that lead people to use and sell drugs, including ill-health, denial of education, unemployment, lack of housing, poverty and discrimination [...]

“Malaysia must join 108 countries globally and abolish the death penalty.

“We also call on the Malaysian authorities to take prompt action to repeal the mandatory death penalty for all offences and bring national legislation in line with international human rights law and standards,” it said.

Meanwhile, Anti Death Penalty Asia Network (Adpan) executive coordinator Dobby Chew also called for the need for judicial discretion.

“For those charged for drug trafficking under Section 39B of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1952, you have one chance to prove that you are not a trafficker and nothing else.

“If you fail to do so, the law does not take into account the involvement and complicity of an accused and removes any discretion of judges in deciding whether the death penalty is appropriate.

“Nothing of your circumstances matters as the court has no choice but to sentence you to death. None of the factors such as poverty, coercion, or being a victim yourself is taken into account.

“It does not matter if you were a drug mule unknowingly forced to carry drugs, it does not matter if you are coerced into distributing the drug, it does not matter if you are poor and have no choice but to peddle on behalf of kingpins,” he said in a statement.

MPs: Abolish mandatory death penalty

Several opposition lawmakers have similarly expressed sympathy for Hairun’s case and urged for the mandatory death penalty to be abolished.

Batu Kawan MP Kasthuri Patto tweeted that most on death row were poor and convicted for drug-related offences.

I concur.

The death penalty is NOT a deterrent w 1366 ppl on death row in πŸ‡²πŸ‡Ύ as of Sept 2021, 86% frm B40 & more than 75% for drug related offences.

Reform criminal justice systm & abolish death penalty.

Govt must invest to fight crime, not end lives. #AbolishDeathPenalty https://t.co/wSpLcGr4oq— Kasthuri Patto (@PattoKasthuri) October 17, 2021

The DAP politician vowed to persist in pressuring Putrajaya to abolish the mandatory death penalty.

Will continue to press the Govt to move in the right direction to abolish mandatory death penalty first and hopefully one day, in its entirety.

https://t.co/KKRwfGrzvy— Kasthuri Patto (@PattoKasthuri) October 17, 2021

Also against the mandatory death penalty was independent Muar MP Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, who underscored inequalities in the legal system.

“I am not asking for crime to be permitted.

“But punishment has to be proportional. (Harun was) arrested with 113.9g (of methamphetamines) and from a desperate family background (and given) a death sentence.

“Until when will this cycle affecting people living in poverty continue?” he tweeted.

Saya tak minta dihalalkan buat jenayahπŸ₯²

Tapi hukuman itu harus setimpal. Ditangkap dengan 113.9 gram, dari latar belakang keluarga yang terdesak untuk hidup.

Hukum mati. Sampai bila kitaran kes berkaitan orang susah hidup melarat begini akan berterusan? https://t.co/IWdl9aTLxS— Syed Saddiq (@SyedSaddiq) October 18, 2021

The Pakatan Harapan administration had been working on its GE14 manifesto promise of abolishing the mandatory death penalty before it collapsed.

In February 2020, former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad had noted that a mandatory death sentence for drug possession was too harsh.

In November 2020, the Perikatan Nasional government had said it was scrutinising alternatives to the mandatory death penalty along with factors like crime prevention and public awareness.

No reforms were promised or tabled before PN collapsed in August 2021.

The new administration led by Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob has yet to declare its stance on the mandatory death penalty.