Thursday, June 30, 2016

Can’t The Wall Street Journal report honestly?

Salleh Said Keruak

Today, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) said: Critic of Malaysia’s Najib Arrested on Corruption Charges. WSJ was actually reporting about Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s arrest for corruption but the way they presented the headline the impression they gave is that Guan Eng was arrested for criticising rather than for alleged corruption.

The first paragraph of that news report was: A Malaysian opposition politician who has criticized Prime Minister Najib Razak’s handling of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd. was charged with corruption in his role as chief minister of Penang state.

So, again, they insinuate or plant in the mind of the reader that Guan Eng’s arrest is due to his criticism of the Prime Minister’s handling of 1MDB. WSJ then says: In May the Penang government froze 1Malaysia Development Bhd’s purchase of 234 acres in the state until, Mr. Lim said at the time, the fund manages its affairs with “accountability and transparency.”

The way WSJ presented their news report is as if the entire issue is about 1MDB and Najib and not because of the alleged corruption. And this is the news agency that the opposition says is to be believed, is very professional, has no hidden agenda, is not targeting Najib, and so on.

Even someone of limited intelligence can see that the WSJ is the exact opposite of all that and that it is engaged in a crusade against the Prime Minister and most likely against Malaysia as well. But then there are many who still believe that the WSJ is just trying to reveal the truth and there is no mala fide involved.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Let the court decide Guan Eng's fate

Salleh Said Keruak

When someone from the government or the ruling party gets arrested for whatever reason, the opposition is very quick to say that this is about justice, good governance, the truth, and so on. Then they demand that there should be no political interference and that the authorities must be allowed to do its job.

However, if someone from the opposition suffers the same fate, they will allege that this is nothing but political persecution and that the government is abusing its power to fix up members of the opposition. They will never admit that maybe a crime has indeed been committed.

Not too long ago the opposition, in particular DAP, sang the praises of the MACC and said that the Anti-Corruption Commission is clean, honest, seeking justice, wants to eradicate corruption, does not persecute or pilih bulu, and much more.
Lim Guan Eng was investigated by the MACC on an allegation of corruption. 

Usually, the investigation report is sent to the Attorney General for his decision as to whether there is a case to answer to. So the decision as to whether to prosecute Guan Eng is made by the AG, but only if the AG is of the opinion there are enough grounds to prosecute.

The rest is in the hands of the court. The prosecution must now prove its case and the judge will have to decide whether the evidence proves that Guan Eng is guilty. The fact that today the court awarded five opposition detainees more than RM5 million in damages shows that not every time the government wins its case. So I am sure if Guan Eng is innocent the court will say so.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Mahathir needs to take the leadership of the opposition

Salleh Said Keruak
1. It is clear that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad does not wish to retire from politics and still wants to be very much in the thick of politics. In that case Mahathir should commit himself fulltime to politics by officially becoming a member of one of the opposition parties and take a leadership position in that party. This would demonstrate Mahathir’s sincere commitment to his political struggle.

2. Since last month, Barisan Nasional has achieved a landslide win in the Sarawak state elections plus two parliamentary by-elections, despite being mid-term, and despite Mahathir's unprecedented global smear campaign against the Prime Minister. It is clear that the opposition is in total disarray, and is not able to fulfil its responsibility to Malaysians by offering a workable alternative government. The opposition obviously needs help. ‎

3. In light of this opposition predicament, Mahathir should lead the opposition into the next general election. Furthermore, the opposition should show sincerity of welcoming Mahathir into the opposition by issuing an open invitation for him to become a member and their leader. ‎

4. Taking an official leadership position in the opposition is morally the right thing for Mahathir to do since he is already performing a de facto role. He should oppose BN openly as an opposition politician instead of hiding behind a so-called non-political or non-partisan movement while in reality he is just politicking.‎‎

Saturday, June 18, 2016

The vote of confidence for Najib

Salleh said Keruak

In the 2013 general election, the majority won by the Barisan Nasional candidate in Kuala Kangsar was just about 2% (51% versus 49%) while in Sungai Besar it was just about 1% (50.5% versus 49.5%). Those two seats are what can be regarded as marginal seats and which could go either way.

 However, today, Barisan Nasional’s majority in both constituencies increased substantially.

Although the by-elections were supposed to be merely for the voters in those two constituencies to choose their wakil rakyat, the opposition and those opposed to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak turned the by-elections into a referendum exercise. And the referendum they asked the voters in those two constituencies to vote on was whether they still wanted Najib to remain as Prime Minister.

So the message was simple. If you support Najib then vote Barisan Nasional but if you oppose him then vote Pakatan Harapan. Whether Barisan Nasional wins or loses would all depend on whether you still want Najib as Prime Minister, as what the message went.

That was the simple message the opposition and the anti-Najib group sent the voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar. And the voters sent a message back to the opposition and the anti-Najib group by voting Barisan Nasional. And an even clearer message was that this time around the voters gave Barisan Nasional an even larger majority than in 2013.

One point that should not be forgotten is that Barisan Nasional was engaged in three-corner contests (with a not-so-serious fourth independent candidate in one of the seats). Yet the split votes did not affect Barisan Nasional’s performance, where it won a higher percentage of votes compared to last time, making it a double victory in both Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar.

Thursday, June 16, 2016



16 Jun 2016

Pihak kerajaan memandang serius isu penyebaran kandungan berunsur lucah seperti pornografi kanak-kanak dalam platform Telegram seperti yang didedahkan oleh sebuah portal berita tempatan hari ini dan Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (MCMC) diarahkan untuk bekerjasama dengan pihak Telegram bagi menyekat laman-laman lucah yang dimaksudkan.

Pada masa yang sama juga, MCMC akan bekerjasama dengan agensi-agensi penguatkuasaan yang lain dalam mengenal pasti pihak-pihak yang memuat naik atau berkongsi kandungan-kandungan berunsur lucah untuk dikenakan tindakan sewajarnya.

Orang awam yang mempunyai sebarang maklumat mengenai perbuatan sedemikian adalah digesa untuk tampil berkongsi maklumat dengan MCMC bagi membantu dan melancarkan proses siasatan.

Mereka yang mempunyai sebarang maklumat mengenai salah guna aplikasi media sosial boleh mengajukan aduan kepada Pusat Aduan MCMC melalui talian hotline di 1-800-188-030, e-mel kepada ataupun melalui whatsapp ke nombor +6016 220 6262.



16 June 2016

The government views seriously the dissemination of pornographic content such as child pornography on platforms such as Telegram as disclosed by a local news portal today and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has been instructed to work with Telegram to block such portals.
At the same time, MCMC will work with other enforcement agencies to identify parties who upload pornographic content for the appropriate legal and regulatory action to be taken against them.
Members of the public who have information about such activities are urged to come forward and share the details with MCMC to assist in and facilitate investigations.
Those with any information regarding the abuse of social media applications can direct their complaint to the MCMC Complaints Bureau through its hotline  1-800-188-030, via email to or via Whatsapp to +6016 220 6262.


Friday, June 10, 2016

Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar: the real issues

Salleh Said Keruak

We have eight more days before the voters in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar go to the ballot box to choose their Members of Parliament; most likely for the next two years until the next general election. 

However, we are beginning to not see the trees for the forest and the campaigning is going totally off tangent.

The two constituencies ar roughly two-thirds Malay and one-third non-Malay, in particular Chinese. So one ethnic group cannot pull off a win. It has to be a unity of all races before you can be assured of winning the by-election, especially when it is not a straight fight and all the candidates are Malay.

This means whoever is going to win these two by-elections would be the party that can pull all the races together and not the party that is trying to divide the races or play the race card. And that is something campaigners from both sides need to take into consideration if they want to see their party emerge the winner.

It is normal in any election and for any party from both sides of the political divide that there will be some dissatisfaction regarding the choice of candidate.

 However, Barisan Nasional has always been able to overcome this hurdle when the situation demands it. And I am confident when push comes to shove Barisan Nasional will stand together to ensure a win for their party. 

These two by-elections are very important because they are not merely by-elections but are testing grounds to see whether Pakatan Harapan has what it takes to make an impact in the next general election. If they win these two by-elections, or even just one of the two by-elections, that would give the opposition the impetus for the next general election. If not then they would suffer a setback that will take them a long time to overcome and which will never happen before or by the next general election,

Monday, June 6, 2016

Mahathir should repeat his allegation in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar

Salleh Said Keruak

Pakatan Harapan, in particular Parti Amanah Negara, is trying to avoid talking about the Private Member’s Syariah Amendment Bill issue in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-election campaigns. This is because Amanah cannot afford to declare that they oppose the syariah amendment and neither can they declare they support it. So Amanah is terkepit in a situation that does not allow them any leeway.

Amanah needs the Chinese votes plus they hope to take some of the Malay votes. So Amanah cannot take any stand on the syariah amendment and, as they said a few days ago, they do not support or oppose the syariah amendment but just do not wish to take any stand at the moment. Amanah also threatened to sue anyone who alleges that they oppose the syariah amendment.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, on the other hand, the de facto Opposition Leader, is trying to avoid talking about the 1.2 million signatures in his Kit Siang-Mahathir Declaration a.k.a. the Citizens’ Declaration due to the allegation of fraudulent signatures, which the police are now investigating.

So it looks like Mahathir has only one option left, which is to recycle last year’s allegation regarding 1MDB even though the AG, PAC and WSJ have all confirmed there is no evidence of misappropriation or wrongdoing in 1MDB.

Mahathir said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has stolen at least RM42 billion and maybe even as much as RM50 billion of 1MDB’s money. I challenge Mahathir to repeat this allegation during his campaign in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar since he has never withdrawn that allegation or apologised for making the allegation.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

What the next financial crisis will entail

Salleh Said Keruak

Alastair Newton, a former British diplomat, spoke at the Global Economic Conference 2016. The conference was organised by the Associated Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia’s (ACCCIM) and the Socio-Economic Research Centre (SERC).

Newton said Asia is on the verge of a possible financial crisis and that this time around it is not going to be like the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis that started in Thailand and spread to the other countries but is going to be more a domestic debt crisis.

Newton said that the countries most likely to be hit first are China and Hong Kong . And if this does happen then certainly Malaysia cannot hope to escape unaffected.

According to an International Monetary Fund (IMF) report on 4 May 2016, Malaysia’s government debt last year stood at an estimated 57.4% of gross domestic product (GDP), while the ratio for household debt was far higher at 89.1% of GDP (and non-financial corporate sector debt at 96.0% of GDP).

The issue, said Newton, is that because of low interest rates people are borrowing more. And that has created high domestic or personal debts with people owing more than they can afford to pay. And the highest debts are credit card debts, according to Bank Negara Malaysia.

But then economists have for years been warning the government about an impending debt crisis. Three years ago back in February 2013, Frederic Neumann, co-head of Asian economic research at HSBC, warned that Asia could be at the brink of a major debt crisis.

“I believe we are at the beginning of a major debt cycle in Asia. We are certainly seeing the early symptoms of a debt bubble emerging, and I think it’s worth keeping a close eye on it,” said Neumann in 2013.

The issue is Malaysians are borrowing and spending more than they can afford. And many young people below 30 are declaring bankruptcy because they cannot service their debts. This attitude has to change and credit card companies need to also play a role in curtailing this.

We cannot go on borrowing to fund our spending and Malaysians need to realise that eventually something is going to give way. So before that happens we need to learn how to spend within our means and not keep blaming others for our own folly of living on borrowings to fund our wants rather than our needs.