Saturday, July 30, 2016

We welcome Mahathir’s new party

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has finally admitted that the only way to change the government is in a general election. Of course, Mahathir will not admit that he is trying to change the government. He claims he is just trying to remove Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to save Umno, Barisan Nasional and Malaysia.

It is strange that someone would want to save the party that he claims he still loves by trying to destroy it. It is like saying that you want to save humanity by destroying the world.

Anyway, there is no longer any doubt that Mahathir wants to form a new party plus launch a new opposition coalition so that he can defeat Umno and Barisan Nasional in the general election. And I personally welcome that move because at least it now makes Mahathir’s stand very clear and prove that he is not trying to save Umno but to defeat Umno.

Sometimes competition is good when it make you aware that unless you buck up and work harder you face the risk of defeat. Countries like Japan and Germany excelled because they had to struggle to survive whereas Empires such as Britain faded away due to rot and complacency. So maybe Mahathir is doing Umno and Barisan Nasional a favour by offering us some competition because competition is always good to see success. 

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Happy birthday, Dato' Sri

Salleh Said Keruak

Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib Tun Haji Abdul Razak was born 63 years ago today on 23rd July 1953. This is his 40th year in politics, which means he has been in politics more than half his life. And no one can deny it has been a very challenging 40 years, especially over the last ten years since 2006 when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad decided he has had enough of retirement and made a comeback to the Malaysian political scene.

Any person would have given up by now rather than endure ten years of constant barraging from Mahathir. At first Mahathir pestered Najib to oust Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, and when Najib disagreed, and instead openly expressed support for the Prime Minister, Mahathir attacked him. And then, after Najib took over as Prime Minister three years later, Mahathir continued to attack him on all sorts of issues, the latest, of course, being about 1MDB.

Najib is the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia but probably the first to suffer such harassment from an ex-Prime Minister. Nowhere else in the world does this happen where an ex-Prime Minister demonstrates utter disrespect and contempt for a sitting Prime Minister. And this is not something new but something that Mahathir has been perpetuating over the last ten years and against two Prime Ministers.

Dear Dato’ Sri, there are many Malaysians who support you but just wish to remain silent because they feel it is pointless to argue about something that will never get resolved anyway. These Malaysians have confidence in your leadership and will continue to stand behind you. Keep the faith and rest assured you are not alone. Happy birthday Dato’ Sri, stay brave, and keep fighting because we are there with you.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The action by the United States Department of Justice

Salleh Said Keruak

The announcement by the United States Department of Justice has created quite a bit of confusion basically because while there were some references, the details were not complete. What many appear to have missed is that this is a civil action and not criminal action although this does not mean that later it cannot also extend to criminal action if enough evidence of criminality is procured.

From our understanding the action currently being taken is based on complaints made by a third party or certain people aligned to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who are not actually the aggrieved party. Under US law, however, class action suits are allowed and the complainant can claim locus standi merely by virtue of the fact that he or she is a Malaysian citizen.

The aggrieved party in this case would be 1MDB and the US said it is taking action based on money stolen or illegally transferred from 1MDB. Therefore, if any assets or money are confiscated in the US, then under that money would be returned to 1MDB. The problem here, though, is that 1MDB itself has said it has not lost any money or no money has been stolen from it.

If the US had chosen criminal action then the burden of proof would be on the prosecutor to prove guilt. In this case they have chosen civil action and after freezing or confiscating the assets of the accused, the accused will need to prove that the assets were legally and not illegally acquired. This shifts the burden of proof from the prosecutor to the accused.

History has shown that the US is sometimes too hasty in its decisions or actions and later what it claims is proven incorrect, such as the Iraq WMD case as one example. The fact that yesterday’s Department of Justice press conference spoke about suspicions that need to be further investigated shows that the matter is not yet conclusive and we are yet to know what will be the final outcome. So we need to wait and see what happens although we do know at this stage it has no direct impact on 1MDB.

United States Department of Justice Civil Complaints:

United States Department of Justice Civil Complaints:
Statement by Minister of Communications and Multimedia

21 July 2016

1MDB has been the subject of unprecedented politically-motivated attack, the objective of which was to unseat a democratically-elected head of government.

So many of the allegations, like Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s lie that 42 billion had gone missing, were later proved false – in this case by the bi-partisan Public Accounts Committee.

This means that any claims relating to 1MDB must be treated with caution, follow due legal process and adhere to the principle of innocent until proved guilty. No one should rush to judgment before allegations are proved in court.

The donation to the Prime Minister is a separate matter. After comprehensive investigations by many authorities, it has been confirmed that the funds were a donation from the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia – as stated by the Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia on 14th April.

Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Said Keruak
Minister of Communications and Multimedia

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Mahathir's last throw of the dice

Salleh Said Keruak

Many new parties and new coalitions have been formed over the last 65 years since 1951. Some have survived till today while many more have disappeared along the way.

A party or even a coalition is merely a vehicle or a means to an end. What is more important is what they hope to achieve and how they hope to achieve it.

The list of parties and coalitions that have come and gone is so long. It takes more than forming parties and coalitions to win elections.

We shall see what this new party that is going to be formed and the new coalition has to offer Malaysia. Sometimes voters prefer the tried and tested rather than the unknown and uncharted.

Monday, July 11, 2016

It is time to plug the breach of security

Salleh Said Keruak

The 20-month onslaught against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak using both foreign plus local blogs and news agencies to play up the 1MDB issue as the catalyst to try to oust Najib without a doubt costs a lot of money. This raises the question of the rumours that were circulating a year ago regarding the RM2 billion funding that the Anti-Najib Campaign(ANC) is armed with and about the RM600 million set aside to finance the media and online war. For the record this allegation was never denied.

Sarawak Report has more than once boasted that it is in possession of confidential or ‘RAHSIA’ documents, which it claims it received from inside sources and those close to the investigation. And Sarawak Report claims that these documents are genuine and original and they further boast that these inside forces are senior people and those of authority.

It is alarming that not only have confidential information been sold but that some of it have been altered or doctored in the effort to sensationalise the issue. The main question would be what else and even more damaging information have also been sold that we are not aware of. And this puts the security of the nation at risk and this is nothing short of an act of treason.

Some of this so-called leaked information has now been proven false such as when The Wall Street Journal admitted that the RM2.6 billion might, in fact, have come from Arab donors after all. This was a huge embarrassment for Mahathir and ANC. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad should accept that his campaign to discredit Najib has failed and that all he has achieved is the ruin of the political career of all those around him. Mahathir has only himself to blame for what happened to his son Mukhriz.

Mahathir underestimated Najib and thought that by attacking him using the 1MDB issue that would bring about his ouster. What Mahathir overlooked, or maybe he thought he can be exempted from, is that Umno has a certain culture and tradition and there is no fast-track rise to power, not even for the son of a Prime Minister or ex-Prime Minister. Mahathir thought he was bigger than Umno but now he probably realises that the party is always bigger than the individual. And that has resulted in Mahathir ruining Mukhriz’s political career.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Sarawak Report’s lies regarding the JAN Report

Salleh Said Keruak

Sarawak Report is insinuating that it is in possession of a leaked Auditor General’s report that reveals the so-called ‘truth’ regarding 1MDB. What Sarawak Report does not know is that the Auditor General’s report is just one of many sources that the PAC used in its deliberations. So the PAC investigation was not based entirely on just one source but on many sources.

We can allow Sarawak Report the benefit of the doubt in that they were misinformed or were not aware of this very crucial fact. If they were aware of this then Sarawak Report would be guilty of misleading the public because what they told the public is very far from the truth.

But then this has always been the modus operandi of Sarawak Report since 2010.

Sarawak Report is making it appear like they have secret documents that expose what the Auditor General reported. This report was one of many reports tabled at the PAC meeting and which all members of the PAC, those from the opposition included, discussed at length. So the opposition is aware of this report plus is aware that there are many other reports as well.

The final report on 1MDB is the PAC report. The PAC report was compiled from many other reports, investigations and interviews done. So the Auditor General’s report is not the final report on 1MDB. It is just one component of many that makes up the PAC report. And this is where Sarawak Report has mischievously misled the public.

In fact, the Auditor General’s report is not complete because it addresses just one aspect of 1MDB. The complete report is the one from the PAC because it not only takes into account the Auditor General’s report but all the other information gathered as well.

Sarawak Report’s story also compromises the integrity of the PAC members, some who are from the opposition. Sarawak Report is insinuating that there is a cover-up by the PAC and that the PAC members, those from the opposition included, are not being truthful about what they discovered. Is Sarawak Report questioning the honesty of the PAC members?

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Now Mahathir is taking it out on the voters

Salleh Said Keruak

After ranting that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak ‘bought’ the voters to win the Sarawak state election in May 2016 and the two parliamentary by-elections the following month, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad now accuses the voters of being corrupt. And what is sad, said Mahathir, is that the majority of these corrupt voters are Muslims.

Maybe Mahathir has forgotten that there are two ways to motivate a person. One is the carrot and the other is the stick. That is what is called the carrot and the stick strategy. Voters all over the world will vote according to how it will financially benefit them. This happens even in the advanced west such as in Europe and the United States. So if they are going to be better off financially by supporting you then they will support you.

The other strategy, the stick, would be to punish them, or threaten to punish them, if they refuse to vote for you. For example, when Kelantan fell to PAS-Semangat 46 in 1990, Mahathir punished the Kelantanese by cancelling the RM600 million the federal government had approved to upgrade Kelantan’s water supply. Mahathir then said if they want the RM600 million then in the next general election they must vote Barisan Nasional.

In the run-up to the 29th November 1999 general election, Mahathir went on TV and said that if Barisan Nasional does not win two-thirds majority in the general election, then the federal government cannot guarantee the safety of Malaysians -- because a government with less than two-thirds majority in parliament will be a weak government and a weak government cannot protect its citizens.

So who is Mahathir to accuse the voters of being corrupt when he used to use tactics such as threats and promises of development money to also force the voters to vote for Barisan Nasional? If you do not vote for Barisan Nasional you will not receive money for development and you will face the risk of riots and bloodshed. Now Mahathir says if you vote for Barisan Nasional you are a crook and corrupt. Has Mahathir forgotten what he used to say and do when he was Prime Minister?

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Mahathir's Blog posting is missing the point

Salleh Said Keruak

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Blog posting today is along the same lines as The Wall Street Journal’s report regarding Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s arrest and indictment for alleged corruption. The WSJ tried to give the impression that Guan Eng was actually arrested and charged because he criticised Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.

And this is precisely how Mahathir is talking. Mahathir is saying that people are being arrested or are being sacked from the party for insulting other people or for calling other people all sorts of nasty names. Surely Mahathir cannot be serious by suggesting that, for example, if someone were to say that Muslims are following the religion of Satan (like what they say in some countries) that is not a crime and no action should be taken. Even in the more liberal and democratic UK they will not allow you to say things like that.

Was it not Mahathir himself who said that Malaysia is a unique country and one with so many different ethnicities that absolute or total freedom cannot be allowed? Mahathir reminded us that the Malaysian situation is very delicate and it does not take much to spark a riot. This is why the government has to control what you can and cannot say in case someone says something that triggers bloodshed. And now Mahathir is saying the opposite.

Mahathir does not seem to understand the meaning of the word criticise. Calling someone a dog or pig cannot be classified as criticising. We also have libel and slander laws that make it a crime to allege something against someone that is not true. In this game of politics we must not lose track of decency, the truth and the legality of what we are doing. Mahathir appears to now believe that the end justifies the means or matlamat menghalalkan cara.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Sehati Sejiwa making Malaysia proud

I believe that no matter what the colour of your skin or the language that you speak, there are universal values we all share and unites us.

Sehati sejiwa, or loosely translated as one heart, one soul.

Cabinet has decided that there will be no changes to this year’s national day celebration theme - Sehati Sejiwa, the Malay equivalence of togetherness. Appropriately so because if there is anything that Malaysia needs right now, it is that good old feeling of togetherness and a dedication of coming together celebrating a common cause.

As our nationhood approaches its 59th Merdeka celebration, such togetherness is crucial if we want to see our nation and its people progress over the next decade or so.  
Few things can unite people like sports.
Besides the favourites, world champions Datuk Nicol David and Datuk Lee Chong Wei, we have a lot of other amazing athletes who have flown our Jalur Gemilang on world stage and brought honour to our country. Take for instance16-year-old Felicia Mikat who is visually-impaired but she won three gold medals in the 8th Asean Para Games last year. Any sportsperson will tell you that excelling in the field of sports is a formidable task but it is even tougher when you are born with a disability. Paralympic athletes, Mohd Ridzuan Mohd Puzi and Abdul Latif Romly too, brought gold respectively at the recent IPC Athletics World Championships in Doha.

And in the world of arts and entertainment, actress Tan Sri Michelle Yeoh elevates our country’s name with her acting chops, singer-songwriter Yuna joins entertainment icons such as Beyonce and Rihanna when her latest album was charted as one of the top R&B albums released this year and finally, we have filmmaker Nadira Ilana, who is the first Malaysian selected for a residency with Big Stories, an Australian documentary project exploring rural towns across Asia Pacific.

I could continue with more names in other different fields but there are too many to list down. This is very heartening to know that we have more Malaysians making waves on global stage and these success stories are the elements that can inspire a country and leave us beaming with pride of being a Malaysian.

We must protect our independence and conserve our spirit of togetherness.

Let us maintain a united spirit of togetherness and continue to strive for excellence and unity in all that we do.