Prime Minister Najib

“The FELDA Quarrel and its National Ramifications” by Khor Yu Leng

“The FELDA Quarrel and its National Ramifications” by Khor Yu Leng is out and downloadable at this link:

The ferocity of the public quarrel that broke out during Ramadhan at Felda Global Ventures Holdings Berhad (FGV, a public-listed group associated with the Federal Land Development Authority or FELDA) suggests that Prime Minister Najib Razak is not in full control of UMNO and will not call for early general elections.CEO Zakaria Arshad (a son of settlers and a FELDA insider) garnered support amid general calls to oust UMNO strongman Isa Samad as FGV’s non-executive Chairman. 

Social media exposés about dodgy corporate deals and illegitimate spending at FGV triggered an anti-corruption investigation.

FELDA’s Malay voters hold sway in almost a quarter of Malaysia’s parliamentary constituencies. Survey data show sliding support for UMNO-BN in a majority of these seats.

Chinks in the FELDA-FGV armour are keenly eyed by the wily ex-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed who opposes Najib and has been enjoying unprecedented access to FELDA areas.

Malaysia labour concerns (update 12b): Malaysia planning for new naturalised labour force from Bangladesh? 1.5 million new migrants - men and women - over 3 years.

Editor's note: Malaysia is chock full of migrant workers - from living in KL, you can see that they seem to play a crucial role in retail, F&B, and domestic services; in addition to their role in key industries such as construction, plantations and E&E. The commoditization of labour is a major feature of the world economy nowadays as global supply-chains help drive the push for lowest cost. This is likely an important topic to keep an eye on as Malaysia contests the allegations.

Outside of the palm oil sector is the human trafficking tragedy of May 2015 (which may inform Malaysia's earlier drop to Tier 3 (along with Thailand and two others), the lowest ranking in US human trafficking report; our contacts who have attended UN briefings on the recent refugee crisis confirm that the key actors have been known for some time but only recently has some action been triggered via Thailand). Given the apparent widespread knowledge of the human trafficking (even among local residents, see 26 May 2016 post), the question is whether the powers-that-be will answer for this. The news report of women raped by guards of the camps is another shocker that is top read news in Malaysia online news.

KL-ites talking about the Vietnam boat people crisis - one contact shared how locals near the Vietnam refugee camps would earn gold pieces for supply of basic things like medicines; his landlord (where he rented a room) of one contact had a small case full of such gold pieces. Also it was well known that youths would join some community organisations that somehow gave them access to some womenfolk in the camp.

The question is this: who are employing all these Rohingya people to generate this illegal trafficking?

Really sad to hear of exploitation of people who are in such a sad situation - then and now.

11 Feb 2016: Malaysia planning for new naturalised labour force from Bangladesh? 1.5 million new migrants - men and women - over 3 years. 

Editor's note: 

Malaysia industry has been agitating for the new foreign worker's levy to be cut and a decision on the revised levy has been delayed. In the meantime, there is report of that the policy (announced earlier) to bring in 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers will soon be implemented. Now, the details reveal that both male and female migrants will arrive over the three year period. It is clear that labour rights point toward giving reproductive rights to (female) migrants. News articles suggest that this is a major change in Malaysia government policy to create a large new naturalised labour force - else why bring women migrants? This will inevitably also have medium to long-term political repercussions. Waves of worker migrants have a tendency to bolster the status quo. If a large number are naturalised, it might be imaginable that they could form a new interest group (urban and rural) verging on the size of the "greater Felda" group. Malaysia has seen many waves of migrants including from China, India, Indonesia, Suluk and now also Bangladesh. 

The Bangladeshis may also work in the service, manufacturing and construction sectors - current policy confined them to the plantation sector. The maximum expatriation cost for each worker would be RM1,985 - to be borne by the employers, who would also pay for workers' security deposits, levies, visa fees, health and compensation insurance, "(without) interference from middlemen." News reports state 600,000 Bangladeshis working in Malaysia. Sounds like 2016-2020 potential arrival of 1. 5 million – men and women, to make it about 2.1 million population. But presumably dependent on economic conditions. With questions also arising on implications for Malaysia's "middle-income trap" and its "premature de-industrialisation" - issues pointed out by some economists.

Comments and questions from readers: 

  • Does industry really need all these people? 
  • With the equalisation of Peninsular Malaysia and Jakarta minimum wage; are Indonesians no longer coming and/or returning (but Indonesia has underemployment problem too)? 
  • Why can't industry pay more for stable local labour? 
  • Cheap labour cost may be later offset by other cost rises e.g. future GST increase, higher tax on fuels and so forth? 
  • Reminds me of the movie "Banglasia." 
  • Image forwarded from social media:

caption: "Bangla workers are more loyal and trustworthy" - Deputy PM Zahid Hamidi

Source: Photo of The Star sent by a reader

MoU on 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers to be signed within a month, say reports 9 February 2016

Bangladesh agrees to send 1.5m workers to Msia BY ISKANDAR TAJUDDIN - 9 FEBRUARY 2016

Earlier news

Zahid: Firm yet to secure 1.5m Bangladeshi worker deal BY MELISSA CHI October 21, 2015;...The project previously sparked controversy after reports claimed that the contract was to be awarded to Ahmad Zahid’s brother, businessman Datuk Abdul Hakim. The Home Ministry denied a report claiming that Ahmad Zahid had ordered it to award a management system contract for Bangladeshi workers to his brother’s company, saying the matter is still being discussed....

1.5 million Bangladeshi workers to arrive in 3 years, says home minister 25 June 2015

1 Feb 2016: Malaysia ups foreign worker's levy to rake in extra RM2.5 billion; RSPO sustainable palm oil body sanctions 3 auditors, on issues including those related to migrant worker standards 

Editor's note: 

  • A lot of concern about labour cost in Malaysia on minimum wage and also migrant labour fees. However, note from 14 Jan 2016: Just read in a prominent KL broker report...... Indonesia has announced the new levels of minimum wage for 2016F. Interestingly, the minimum wage in Jakarta of RM978/month is close to the proposed minimum wage of RM1,000/month for Peninsular Malaysia in 2016F. This is mainly due to the appreciation of the Rupiah against the RM...
  • For plantations, the review by analysts is: "In Budget 2016, Malaysia revealed plans to to raise the minimum wage by RM100-120 per month or 11-15% to RM920-RM1,000 per month, effective 1 July 2016. This is negative for pure planters, as it could raise costs of production by 3-5% and lower its earnings by up to 3-5% per annum assuming 50% of estates costs are labour and 50% of its workers earn minimum wage." (26 Oct 2015)
  • Coincidentally, social media highlight of a story from 2014 - Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry speaker comment on various things including archaic labour laws in Malaysia.

Zahid: New foreign workers' levy rate system to bring in RM2.5bil by The Star Online -  31 January 2016; SIBU: The Government's decision to restructure the levy rate system for foreign workers is expected to bring in an extra income of RM2.5bil to the country, said Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi...The Deputy Prime Minister said the new rate, which would come into effect from Monday, applied to two categories... Previously, he said foreign workers were charged different rates based on the sectors where they worked such as manufacturing, construction, service, plantation and agriculture.... "Now there are only two categories. The first is for those in the manufacturing, construction and service sector. Here, each worker will be charged the new rate of RM2,500. "For those in plantation and agriculture, which come under the second category, the rate is RM1,500 per worker," Ahmad Zahid said. He said domestic workers were, however, exempted...  According to statistics, he said there were now some 2.135 million registered foreign workers in the country.... He said the Government needed to come up with the new rates as foreign workers were also enjoying various benefits such as subsidised prices for food and other necessities which were only meant for Malaysians. "They are enjoying our good infrastructures too, but we are also acknowledging the vital roles they play in our nation-building and to our economy," Ahmad Zahid added. - Bernama

Malaysia 19 years behind South Korea, complacency, graft among culprits By LEE SHI-IAN 17 October 2014; Malaysia are 19 years behind South Korea in terms of productivity, the Malaysian International Chamber of Commerce and Industry said today, naming graft, leakages, complacency and archaic labour laws as road blocks. Its executive director Stewart Forbes said Malaysia's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) per worker productivity last year was equivalent to South Korea's - but in 1995.... "Putrajaya also needs to focus on amending labour laws in Malaysia as they are quite archaic and hark back to post-independence days. "A balance needs to be struck in Malaysia's labour laws to bring it in line with the 21st century. Changes need to be made to bring it up to date," he said - See more at:

Editor's note: Migrant labour standards are in the spotlight. Felda was reviewed after the WSJ article allegations - labour risk issues identified were uncertainties of labour contractors and independent smallholder use of migrant labour; read here: ASI - RSPO - Compliance/Investigation - PT. Mutuagung Lestari & CU at FELDA - Malaysia 2015 Then, problems for 3 auditors of RSPO plantations therafter - the attribution clear on Mutuagung and Control Union on the migrant labour issue, but not at all clear on SGS removal. This was a massive crackdown on auditing standards at the RSPO. Read these:

  • ASI suspends two RSPO CABs after compliance investigation Posted on 11 January 2016; As a follow up on the compliance investigations conducted in September 2015, ASI has suspended two RSPO Conformity Assessment Bodies (CABs) as of 31 December 2015 : Control Union (Malaysia) SDN. BHD. and PT Mutuagung Lestari. These were the first compliance assessments for the RSPO accreditation program, conducted at a selection of RSPO certified and applicant estates, aimed to address key questions concerning health and safety management and labor practices. The assessments included short-notice on-site visits and review of documents and records, as well as interviews with foreign and domestic workers, company personnel, smallholders and subcontractors.
  • RSPO announcement on the accreditation withdrawal of SGS, 19 Jan 2016 
  • EIA - New Report Highlights RSPO Auditing Practices, Builds on Peru-Malaysia Case Study 25 Nov 2015, The Environmental Investigation Agency’s UK office last week provided evidence of systematic problems in actions of auditors charged with certifying oil palm growers under the voluntary Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) certification scheme. In a new report called, Who Watches the Watchmen? Auditors and the breakdown of oversight in the RSPO, campaigners detail the effective lack of oversight within the international scheme to promote and certify “sustainable” palm oil suppliers, in the midst of annual meetings of the group in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Editor's note: Just how many legal and illegal migrant workers in Malaysia? 6.7 million? This was indicated as 2.2 million legal and 4.5 million illegal by Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem, Nov 2014. This foreign worker figure represents a massive rise in the number of foreign workers. 

Migrant Workers: Malaysia's 'Invisible' Workforce Tuesday, 10 February 2015 by Teh Wei Soon; According to UN statistics from 2014, there are around 232 million international immigrants in the world, a number which is increasing every year. Call them migrant worker, guest worker, foreign labour or for the professional working class, the term ‘expatriate’ is still used, the term “migrant worker” has various connotations in different parts of the world. According to the United Nations, the definition is broad and it may include any persons working outside of their country of birth....  In Malaysia, migrant workers come from more than 12 countries in Asia with the majority coming from Indonesia, according to Fair Labour Association, an international non-profit collaboration promoting international labour laws.  Bangladesh, Nepal, India, Pakistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines also supply a large number of the migrant workers population in Malaysia.... Migrant Workers : The Hidden Economic Catalyst. In an interview with Malaysian Digest, Malaysian Employers Federation (MEF) executive director Datuk Shamsuddin Bardan (pic) said there are currently 2.8 to 2.9 million migrant workers in Malaysia. Foreign labour, especially the blue-collar workers, contributes quite significantly to the national economy as they contribute about 10%-11% to national economy....Although the Government has promised to cut down the influx of migrant workers, but it is undeniable that migrant workers are often accused as a wage depressant in Malaysia as their number has rocketed from 1,470,000 in 2004  o 2,100,000 in 2009....

The Number Of Foreign Workers In Malaysia Is Greater Than The Population of These Nations by Mei Mei Chu — 18 Mar 2015; There are over 2,070,000 million foreign workers employed legally in Malaysia. Let us put that into perspective for you.... In contrast, Department of Statistics’ latest published figures on population shows ethnic Indian population as at end of Sep 30, 2014 is 1.98 million....

Illegal Immigrants: Are They A Threat To Our Health? 20 November 2014; Just this month, Malaysian Minister of Human Resources Datuk Seri Richard Riot Jaem claimed that there are 4.5 million illegal immigrants out of the total 6.7 million foreign workers in Malaysia. Aside to the possible safety threats, this seems to be causing a lot of discomfort amongst Malaysians as illegal immigrants appear to be a contributing factor to the resurgence of certain infectious diseases in our country, previously thought to have been under control..... 

Thanks to a reader for pointing this one out:

Malaysian politician plans to turn 'beautiful' death camp where human traffickers left more than 100 people to die in bamboo cages into a tourist attraction By HANNAH PARRY FOR MAILONLINE 1 June 2015; Jungle camps used by human traffickers in Malaysia contain 139 graves. Desperate migrants held in horror camps for months by criminal gangs

Malaysian authorities say some human remains show signs of torture. Politician suggested plans to turn 'beautiful' camp into a tourist attraction. Read more: 

18 December 2015: Cops yet to arrest anyone linked to mass graves in Perlis, Top Thai policeman seeks political asylum in Australia - fears for his life  

Cops yet to arrest anyone linked to mass graves in Perlis Published: 18 December 2015... Almost seven months after mass graves believed to be of human trafficking victims were discovered at Wang Kelian in Perlis, Malaysian police have yet to arrest anyone.  SAC Goh Kok Liang, head of the team investigating the case, said last month that six foreign suspects had been identified, but they were still at large today. “No development, we are still tracking them down,” he said when contacted in Kuala Lumpur.  He admitted that police did not know whether the six, believed to be Thais and Myanmar, were still in the country. Police announced in May the discovery of graves with 106 skeletal remains believed to be of Rohingyas, and 28 human trafficking camps. The 139 graves, some of them empty, sat atop a hill hundreds of metres above sea level. Thai police charged 88 people, including a general, with human trafficking last month. - See more at:

Top Thai policeman seeks political asylum in Australia, fears for his life By Mark Davis 10 Dec 2015; A senior Thai policeman who headed an investigation into human trafficking for the country's military government has fled Thailand in fear of his life and is now requesting political asylum in Australia. Police Major General Paween Pongsirin had been investigating the trafficking of Muslim Rohingya migrants after the discovery of mass graves and 26 corpses in southern Thailand in early May. The bodies are believed to be those of Rohingya refugees and were victims of the traffickers. Major General Paween claims his investigation was stopped by highly influential people within the government, the military and the police. He said high-ranking government officials repeatedly obstructed the investigation. "A lot of government officials should be facing justice," Major General Paween told 7.30....At the beginning of November, Major General Paween was told he was being transferred to the south of Thailand, where many of the suspects he is pursuing live and have influence. But he formally resigned before being transferred, citing serious concerns for his security. He now fears for his life....

29 September 2015: Bangkok bombings retaliation against Thai gov't clampdown on human trafficking,  US embassy issues terrorism warning for Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur, US lawmakers call for probe into Malaysia’s ‘favourable’ human-trafficking ranking

US lawmakers call for probe into Malaysia’s ‘favourable’ human-trafficking ranking Published: 29 September 2015 7:34 AM - See more at:

Editor: May also be related to alert on Jalan Alor in KL, issued by US authorities a few days ago.

Bangkok bombings retaliation against Thai gov't clampdown on human trafficking: spokesman  by |  2015-09-28 20:12:46 | Editor: huaxia; BANGKOK, Sept. 28 (Xinhua) -- The two bombing attacks in Bangkok last month were retaliation against Thai government's suppression of human trafficking gangs, the authorities said Monday.Any other possibilities are not yet ruled out, though there is no validity in other motives, Winthai Suwaree, spokesman of the National Council for Peace and Order, told a televised press briefing. The authorities have so far apprehended Bilal Mohammed, alias Adem Karadak, and Mieraili Yusufu, two of the 17 suspects now facing arrest warrants, Winthai said, adding they have proven to be involved in the blasts at Erawan Shrine and the Sathorn Pier on Aug. 17 and 18. The Aug. 17 bombing killed 20 people and injured more than 100 others, while the subsequent one caused no casualties....Political motives cannot yet be ruled out, outgoing national police chief Somyot Pumpunmuang told the press conference. Mohammed and Yusufu, whose nationalities have yet to be confirmed, have confessed their crimes and were taken to reenact the crime at the sites on Saturday, according to Winthai. The reenactment of the incidents in relevant areas has proven to be consistent with the evidence and investigation result, he said....

US embassy issues terrorism warning for Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur Published: 25 September 2015 7:18 AM - See more at:

23 August 2015: Several more graves found at Perlis-Thai border, FGV denies raising wages, NGOs call on RSPO open investigation of WSJ findings on FGV, Malaysia Home Minister's brother, former Sec-Gen and others in collaboration with  Bangladesh Association of International Recruitment Agencies propose system for 1.5 million migrants workers

 Several more graves found at Perlis-Thai border Posted on 23 August 2015 - 10:38am;.. Meanwhile in ALOR SETAR, a source from the national security forces confirmed that the graves were located near the ones found by the police in May.  "They are old graves, but recently discovered by the country's security forces. They are located not far from the graves that we found last May," he told Bernama, here tonight. Another source said the new graves were located higher than the graves discovered in May at Bukit Wang Burma. ...

Wages of plantation workers not raised, says Felda Published: 17 August 2015 10:54 PM; "We have not raised the wages of our plantation workers, including palm oil mill employees, and other general workers, by 8 to 10% effective April 1, 2015, as suggested in the report. - See more at:

Modern slavery found in RSPO member Felda Global Ventures’ oil palm plantations  By Chris Lang 5 August 2015; WSJ Journalist Syed Zain Al-Mahmood spoke to Mohammad Rubel, a 22-year-old, who was transported from Bangladesh by human smugglers in December 2014. Since then he has been working seven days a week without receiving any pay: ....To get here, Mr. Rubel said, he endured three weeks in a crowded boat with inadequate food and water, followed by more weeks confined in a jungle camp while guards extorted a ransom from his parents back home. He said he saw dozens of fellow illegal migrants die from exhaustion, disease or beatings. “If I had known what was waiting, I would never have left home,” Mr. Rubel said. One of Rubel’s jobs is spraying pesticides, including paraquat, which is banned in the EU, because of its toxicity. Rubel was given protective clothing, but no training in using pesticides. He told the Wall Street Journal that spraying paraquat makes his head spin. Felda Global Ventures runs more than 700,000 hectares of oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia. Of these, more than 300,000 hectares are certified under the RSPO. Almost 85% of the workers on Felda Global Ventures’ plantations are foreigners. It isn’t clear whether Rubel works on a RSPO certified plantation. But under RSPO rules, certified companies cannot have major non-compliances with RSPO’s principles and criteria anywhere in their operations, including on non-certified plantations. It’s not controversial to note that slavery qualifies as a major non-compliance with RSPO rules. A coalition of NGOs produced a statement calling on the RSPO, the Malaysian government, and international buyers to conduct an open investigation into the Wall Street Journal’s findings.

Outrage at claims of migrants enslaved on Malaysian palm plantations - Workers from as far as Bangladesh tell of abuses on Felda's estates. Philip Jacobson reports - Monday 3 August 2015 ; The International Organization for Migration estimates that 25,000 Southeast Asian migrants, mainly Rohingyas fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladeshis, took to the seas in the first three months of the year. The Journal article features the account of a young Bangladeshi, Mohammad Rubel, who said a human smuggler lured him abroad with promises of well-paying plantation work, and then subjected him to beatings and abuse during a horrific sea voyage to southern Thailand, where he was held for ransom in a jungle camp until relatives could buy his freedom. After that, Rubel’s captors marched him into Malaysia and turned him over to different operatives who took him to the town of Jempol, where a contractor supplying Felda with labor gave him a job...In a statement issued Monday in response to the investigation, Felda reiterated company policies obliging it to do right by its employees and invited the Journal to “share details of these individuals and locations in order for us to investigate these isolated incidents.” “We also question why [the Journal] is targeting [Felda] in its report when most plantation companies employs[sic] foreign workers,” Felda added....Malaysian palm oil is on the US State Department’s “List of Goods Produced by Child Labor or Forced Labor,” under both categories. Indonesian palm oil is only included under the child labor category, but a 2013 investigation by Bloomberg Businessweek revealed “widespread abuses of basic human rights” in “a tightly controlled system of forced labor” on 12 plantations in Indonesia....A variety of reports on labor rights violations in the sector have been released in recent years, including one in 2014 by Finnwatch, a Finnish civil society organization focusing on corporate responsibility, which found serious abuses in Malaysian palm-oil giant...

Zahid's kin eyes system for 1.5m Bangladeshis 7:31AM Aug 11, 2015; By Aidila Razak  A firm owned by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s brother is in talks with Dhaka and Putrajaya to provide a management system for the 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers Malaysia intends to allow in through a new business-to-business system. Real Time Networking Sdn Bhd, in which Zahid’s brother Abdul Hakim Hamidi is executive chairperson, aims to provide an online system where, for a fee, workers can be registered and monitored from Bangladesh and Malaysia.  Zahid is also home minister, and the approval of foreign workers into Malaysia comes under his ministry’s purview. Real Time’s online system - dubbed Workforce Management & Networking System (Workman) - is similar to that provided by Bestinet, a firm owned by former home minister Azmi Khalid. Bestinet’s agreement with the government was suspended earlier this year after outcry by recruitment agents in sending countries over its high service fees....

Malaysia DPM's brother owns the company Star Report 12:00 AM, August 12, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:33 AM, August 12, 2015;   A Malaysian firm owned by Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's brother is in talks with Dhaka and Putrajaya to provide a management system for the 1.5 million Bangladeshi workers Malaysia wants to recruit through private sector, reported Malaysian news portal, Malaysiakini, yesterday. Real Time Networking Sdn Bhd, in which Zahid's brother Abdul Hakim; Star Report Hamidi is executive chairperson, aims to provide an online system where, for a fee, workers can be registered and monitored from Bangladesh and Malaysia. Zahid is also home minister, and the approval of foreign workers into Malaysia comes under his ministry's purview. Real Time's online system - dubbed Workforce Management & Networking System (Workman) - is similar to that provided by Bestinet, a firm owned by former home minister Azmi Khalid. Bestinet's agreement with the government was suspended earlier this year after outcry by recruitment agents in sending countries over its high service fees. When contacted, Hakim confirmed that Real Time was eyeing the deal but stressed that it was not a government contract. Rather, it is in collaboration with the Bangladesh Association of International Recruitment Agencies (Baira).
“We have the model of a system where we get a payment for a package [service] and we can send people [from Bangladesh] for 60,000 Bangladeshi taka (RM3,000), including the air ticket.
“This is not a government contract. Yes, their government [Bangladesh] need to approve because it involves citizens but they are only monitoring,” Hakim said. If approved, agencies such as the Immigration Department and Manpower Department will be linked to Real Time's system and all recruitment agents must go through Real Time to send workers to Malaysia. He, however, refuted any claim of nepotism, arguing that he was experienced in the field and that in a democratic country he could do anything, other than be a drug pusher. Documents show that Real Time was incorporated in March this year....Hakim is listed as executive chairperson in the Real Time proposal and other correspondence, but he is not registered as an office-bearer with the Companies Commission of Malaysia. Instead, his son Mohd Akmal, 25, is a director, along with former Home Ministry deputy secretary-general Raja Azahar Raja Abdul Manap, and one Salihah Kasim, 25. Salihah shares the same address as Abu Hanif Abul Kashem, another director of both Real Time and Warisan Juara Padu, a Bangladeshi national and Malaysian permanent resident. Abu Hanif is also listed by Baira as an “overseas representative of Baira”, in a letter to Zahid dated June 24. According to Hakim, there are at least two other firms vying for the deal, but the Bangladeshi government is keen on the Real Time system.....Baira has also endorsed the system in the June 24 letter signed by its president Abul Basher to Malaysian home minister. However, Baira Vice President Ali Haider Chowdhury denied that Baira had any stake in Real Time.

Disqualify application by Zahid’s brother to recruit foreign workers, says DAP Published: 12 August 2015 9:41 AM - See more at:

28 July 2015: The Pope talks human trafficking as well as climate

Climate, trafficking and the pope: The ecology of planetary woes | The Economist -|newe|27-07-2015|

Those used for a long time to quasi bonded labour systems may be facing less and less acceptance and need to start changing?

27 July 2015: WSJ alleges worker abuse at Malaysia palm oil plantations - Felda/FGV worker link to controversial jungle transit camps? Felda will investigate. Thailand stays at bottom rung of US human trafficking but Malaysia gets upgraded.

Note: Many analysts have been wondering where the Rohingya worker demand was from in Peninsula.

WSJ claims link of Felda oil palm to Rohingya camp system (recall the horror death camp finds in May 2015).

Felda Global press statement.....In the meantime, we request Wall Street Journal share details of these individuals and locations in order for us to investigate these isolated incidents. We welcome the evidence from Wall Street Journal which will allow us to take the necessary steps to eliminate mistreatment or exploitation of workers on our plantations.....

Palm-Oil Migrant Workers Tell of Abuses on Malaysian Plantations - Global palm-oil industry contributes to human trafficking, rights advocates say By Syed Zain Al-Mahmood  July 26, 2015 1:55 p.m. ET JEMPOL, Malaysia—On a sun-scorched hillside, bulldozers clear land to plant more of the trees that yield palm oil, which is used in everything from Oreos to Pop-Tarts to Old Spice deodorant. Demand for palm oil has surged in recent years, making it the most-consumed vegetable oil in the world. Nearby, an army of migrant workers toils in the heat, using long poles with attached sickles to saw off fruit bunches high in the trees, then...

Alleged Worker Abuse at Malaysian Palm-Oil Plantations    7/26/2015 1:27PM     The palm-oil plantations of Malaysia have become magnets for refugees from Bangladesh and Myanmar. Many have complained of onerous working conditions and few legal protections.... The smugglers kept us for 21 days on a boat and then 27 days in a jungle camp in Thailand... After making me work for more than a month, the contractor didn't pay me. That happened over and over. Because I'm an illegal, there was nothing I could do... labour contractors.... Felda will investigate... 

Felda plantations using forced labour, says WSJ Published: 27 July 2015 10:30 AM Today a WSJ report says illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Rohingya working in oil palm plantations are denied wages. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, July 27, 2015.Malaysia’s human-trafficking record is once again under scrutiny with claims that the palm oil industry is one of the worst offenders in the use of forced labour in plantations. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports today of illegal migrants from Bangladesh and Rohingya employed in plantations were denied wages and suffered other forms of abuse. A plantation controlled by Felda Global Ventures, the world’s largest plantation operator, is cited as one of the employers of forced labour in the WSJ article. .... WSJ reports Felda denying that its workers, nearly 85% of them foreigners, have had their wages and passports withheld. Most of the foreign workers at Felda plantations are hired through third parties. The palm oil industry is worth about US$30 billion (RM115 billion) globally and Malaysia exports about US$12 billion of the world’s most consumed vegetable oil....
U.S. report highlights suspected Thai official role in human trafficking By Amy Sawitta Lefevre  Mon Jul 27, 2015 10:15am EDT Related:  World,  Thailand  The U.S. government's decision to keep Thailand on its list of worst human-trafficking centers for an unprecedented two straight years highlights the suspected role of Thai officials in the trade despite government efforts to stop it.
The State Department's annual report on human-trafficking, published on Monday, comes days after Thailand indicted 72 people, including fifteen state officials, over suspected links to human trafficking.Their arrests came as a result of what Thai police called their biggest-ever investigation into human trafficking. But the crackdown in May and June came too late to be considered for the U.S. report, which covers Thai government efforts to eliminate trafficking for the year through to March. The U.S. decision is likely to anger authorities in Bangkok after the May-June Thai crackdown led human smugglers to abandon jungle camps and interrupted the flow of migrants from Bangladesh and Myanmar through Thailand.....The most senior official to face human trafficking charges is Manus Kongpan, a three-star Thai army general who surrendered to police on June 2. He denies all charges, which include human trafficking, holding people for ransom and hiding corpses.
Manus previously headed an operation to intercept migrants in the Andaman Sea for the Internal Security Operations Command, Thailand's powerful, military-run equivalent to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.Police General Aek Angsanont, deputy national police chief and the person in charge of the recent crackdown on the human trafficking syndicates in Thailand, said on Sunday that going after officials would be tough......The decision to keep Thailand on Tier 3 makes it the first time Thailand has languished on the lowest tier for two consecutive years since the report began in 2001.A Reuters investigation this month raised questions about the long-term effectiveness of Thailand's crackdown on the syndicates.Police spearheading the campaign told Reuters how they encountered official indifference about the evidence they had gathered on trafficking networks - even after the State Department downgraded Thailand in 2014 and the military government vowed to "prevent and suppress human trafficking". And while 72 people have been arrested in the recent crackdown, experts warn the region's trafficking infrastructure is largely intact and influential figures remain at large.....

US human trafficking report under fire as Cuba and Malaysia are upgraded by Annie Kelly, Monday 27 July 2015 15.24 BST; The United States is facing criticism after it removed Cuba and Malaysia from the US State Department’s list of the countries categorically failing to respond to widespread human trafficking. Both countries have been upgraded from tier 3 in the 2015 Trafficking in Persons report, the worst ranking given by State Department’s annual overview of the actions taken by countries across the world to tackle modern slavery and trafficking. ...Anti-trafficking groups have expressed concern at the “transparent” political motivations of this year’s rankings, which they claim call the integrity and impartiality of the report into question. “We are very surprised by this year’s report, which seems to be making blatantly political decisions that we consider will have a really detrimental impact on both the integrity of the report and progress in the global fight to end modern slavery,” says Melysa Sperber, director of the Alliance to End Slavery and Trafficking (Atest)..... In an interview following the leaking of the proposed upgrade last week, Senator Robert Menendez, a Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said he saw the move as politically motivated.
“You have to earn your way up the ladder, not just have political expediency be the reason that you get moved from tier 3,” he said.  ....Malaysia was also given an upgrade to the tier 2 watch list after a year on tier 3. It comes as President Obama works to smooth the way for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a huge US-led free trade deal with Malaysia and 11 other countries across south-east Asia. Malaysia’s upgrade removes a potential barrier to getting the trade deal finalised, as countries on tier 3 are theoretically barred from fast-tracked trade deals. Over the past year Malaysia has been accused of widespread forced labour in its electronics industry, an industry used by major global electronics brands such as Samsung, Sony and Apple. It has also faced allegations of forced labour and trafficking in its palm oil industry.  The upgrade also follows international outcry over the discovery of 139 graves in jungle trafficking camps near the border with Thailand, used to hold thousands of stateless Rohingya migrants to ransom. The US State Department said that the discovery of the camps happened after the cut-off for evidence-gathering for the TiP report.  “We are disappointed in the extreme,” says Aidan McQuade, director of Anti-Slavery International.....


1 July 2015: Nine foreigners linked with human trafficking syndicate held

Nine foreigners linked with human trafficking syndicate held Last updated on 30 June 2015 - 06:38pm  by Charles Ramendran BERNAMA KUALA LUMPUR: Seven Myanmar nationals and two Bangladeshis were held in Kedah on Monday for their alleged involvement in smuggling migrants in an ongoing operation against human trafficking. Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar (pix) said today the foreigners were detained for investigations as they are believed to be part of human trafficking syndicates operating in Kedah. He said the latest arrests bring the total number of those held to 19 since the discovery of human trafficking camps in Perlis and the influx of 1,019 foreigners in Langkawi in May. Khalid said in May, eight Bangladeshis, a Myanmar and a Malaysian were detained over the landing of Rohingyas and Bangladeshis in Langkawi. He added that the detained Malaysian man whose boat was used to ferry the migrants was charged in court on June 20 under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM). All those detained are being probed under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, (SOSMA)....

2 June 2015: US TPP / Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement and Malaysia labour wranglings...

Wong Chen  1 hr · ....Today, I will like do a short report on the issue of the TPPA and the current legal wranglings in the US Senate and House of Representative......In 2014, the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons (TIP) downgraded Malaysia to a Tier 3 status. This is the lowest possible standard which essentially means that the Malaysian government is not doing anything to combat modern slavery, has no basic anti-human trafficking standards and inadequate victim assistance program. How serious is this classification? It is very serious, America can, if t wants to, imposes sanctions on a Tier-3 nation.......This is a major problem to TPPA, because America cannot "morally" negotiate a trade pact with a Tier-3 nation.......So the Obama and the Najib administrations probably got together and worked out a plan to improve Malaysia's standing on the matter. The big showcase was the debated Anti human trafficking bill in Parliament, just 2 weeks ago. This initiative is suppose to enable the US to "brush-over' the issue and demonstrate that Najib is actually serious about the human trafficking problem, hence keep Malaysia in the TPPA negotiating table....... But then the Rohingya boat people story broke at the same time. To make things worse, Najib failed to act swiftly and decisively despite the eyes of the world on him. Then things got much worse as news of the 139 graves in Perlis broke....... In the meantime, the US again scrambled to help keep Malaysia on the TPPA table where it wanted to produce a watered down clause on slavery. However last Friday, that watered down provision was NOT included in the bill for fast-track....... Today, Senator Menendez who worked on the watered down bill (that did not pass) had a big change of heart and said: “With those images fresh in our minds, with new revelations of the scope of the trafficking problem in Malaysia and other countries coming every day, now is the time for our colleagues in the House to add their voice to a clear statement of bipartisan American values: no fast track for human traffickers,”....... So there you have it. Malaysia now faces the prospect of being ingloriously booted out of the TPPA negotiations on slavery grounds....... The ball is now back to the US House of Representatives where they may yet try to rescue Najib's TPPA dreams. Alternatively, the Obama government may magically taichi Malaysia back into Tier-2 status....... The irony is not lost that Obama, representing the great hope of the Black community in America, of which the large majority are descendants of slaves, is still backing his golf buddy on a slavery issue.......


2 June 2015: US State Dept rep Richards visited detention camps and "satisfied with the conditions"; most read in Malaysia newspapers - Rohingya women raped at transit camps

Rohingya women raped at transit camps Updated: Tuesday June 2, 2015 MYT 12:02:01 AM
ALOR SETAR: Female Rohingya migrants detained at a human trafficking transit camp in Padang Besar, Thailand, were treated like sex slaves.    Nur Khaidha Abdul Shukur, 24, who was held for eight days with her baby at the camp, said the women were also gang-raped by camp guards. 
She said: "Every night, two or three young and pretty Rohingya women were taken out from the detention pens by the guards to a clandestine place.     "Two young women at the camp became pregnant after the gang rape," she said to Bernama through an interpreter here.

Rohingya crisis won’t affect Malaysia’s 2015 human trafficking report, says US BY RAM ANAND Published: 1 June 2015 3:44 PM Thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were stranded at sea after being abandoned by human traffickers. – Reuters pic, June 1, 2015.Malaysia's handling of the Rohingya refugee crisis will not influence its ranking in the 2015 Trafficking in Person (TIP) report by the US State Department, US Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Migration and Refugees Anne C. Richard said today. "The US is currently reviewing Malaysia's efforts in its 2015 report," she said during a press conference in Putrajaya today. "However, the 2015 report covers until March 2015, which mean Malaysia's handling of this crisis will only be reflected in the 2016 report," she said, refusing to comment further. Thousands of Rohingya refugees from Myanmar were recently stranded at sea after being abandoned by human traffickers, with Malaysia sending some boats back to sea after refusing to take in the refugees. Malaysia also recently discovered mass graves and human trafficking camps in Perlis, near the Malaysia-Thailand border. The country ranked a lowly Tier 3 in the 2014 TIP report, making it one of the countries with the worst human trafficking records. She also said that Malaysia should work closely with the United Nations refugee arm UNHCR to solve the current crisis and handle the refugees who have come to Malaysia. "UNHCR has the expertise and that kind of expertise is needed here," she said. Richard revealed that she had visited the detention centre where refugees were being held in Kedah and said she was satisfied with the conditions they are being kept in.

28 May 2015: Initial investigations find Malaysian enforcement officers had collaborated with traffickers, Bar Council calls for Royal Commission of Inquiry, Bangladesh Daily Star - at least 250,000 Bangladeshis have been held in the jungles of Thailand for ransom over the past eight years

Bar Council demands RCI on migrant mass graves Thursday May 28, 2015 05:43 PM GMT+8 KUALA LUMPUR, May 28 — The Bar Council called today for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to investigate the mass graves and people-smuggling camps in Perlis, saying that the government cannot disclaim responsibility.
Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru said it was “perplexing” that the Malaysian authorities had failed to detect the camps that were reported to have been there for five years, adding the RCI must immediately investigate claims of complicity by enforcement agencies.
“It is inconceivable that an extremely sensitive area such as our international border with Thailand could have been left so unpatrolled and unmonitored, as to permit these ‘death camps’ to have been set up,” Steven said in a statement.
“Moreover, the circumstances in which our law enforcement agencies in charge of border protection were unable to detect the existence of these “death camps” have to be investigated,” he added.
Malaysian authorities are currently investigating the possibility that some among them are in cahoots with the human traffickers responsible for the death camps.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said on Tuesday initial investigations found that Malaysian enforcement officers had collaborated with traffickers with international links spanning Thailand, Bangladesh and Myanmar.

After ministry denial, mass graves with hundreds of dead immigrants found in Perlis Sunday May 24, 2015 09:47 AM GMT+8 Bangladesh-based newspaper The Daily Star reported earlier this month that at least 250,000 Bangladeshis have been held in the jungles of Thailand for ransom over the past eight years, squeezing their families of anything between TK200,000 (RM33,153) to TK350,000 Bangladeshi Taka for each captive. A Thai crackdown on trafficking following the discovery of the graves in southern Thailand have led traffickers to abandon ship, leaving thousands of Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution in Myanmar and Bangladeshi migrants stranded in the Andaman Sea. Malaysia and Indonesia agreed last Wednesday to provide humanitarian assistance to the 7,000 migrants still adrift at sea, including offering temporary shelter, provided that the international community takes steps to repatriate them within a year. Human trafficking activity also put Malaysia on a US watchlist for slavery last year. - See more at: htt ://

26 May 2015: Background - refugee human trafficking tragedy - Thailand-Malaysia border camps

Malaysian trafficking camps 'abandoned after crackdown' Tue May 26, 2015 1:15am EDT  WANG KELIAN, Malaysia  |  By Praveen Menon and Andrew R.C. Marshall  Malaysian authorities said on Monday they had found 139 graves, some containing more than one body, around 28 camps scattered along a 50-km (30 mile) stretch of the border in the northern state of Perlis. The grisly find follows the discovery of shallow graves on the Thai side of the border at the beginning of May, which helped trigger a regional crisis. The find led to a crackdown on the camps by Thai authorities, after which traffickers abandoned thousands of migrants in overloaded boats in the Bay of Bengal and Andaman Sea. State news agency Bernama quoted Malaysia's police chief, Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar, as saying that the camps were thought to have been occupied since 2013, and two were "only abandoned between two and three weeks ago". Khalid told reporters on Monday that police had been "shocked by the cruelty" of the fenced camps, where he said there were signs of torture. HELD FOR RANSOM - Thousands of Rohingya Muslims are ferried by traffickers through southern Thailand each year, and in recent years it has been common for them to be held in remote camps along the border with Malaysia until a ransom is paid for their freedom. Past Reuters investigations have shown ransoms demands ranging from $1,200 to $1,800, a fortune for impoverished migrants used to living on a dollar or two a day.....Residents in the town of Wang Kelian, on the Malaysian side of the border, said they were used to seeing migrants in the area. "They are often starving, not eaten for weeks," said Abdul Rahman Mahmud, a resident who runs a small hostel. "They eat seeds or leaves or whatever they can find. It's a real pity and it's sad to see this."...

Mass graves of suspected trafficking victims found in Malaysia - Graves could contain remains of dozens of Bangladeshi and Burmese Rohingya migrants; by Simon Lewis in Rangoon and agencies in Kuala Lumpur Sunday 24 May 2015 17.54 BST

5 April 2015: Background - Malaysia drops to Tier 3, lowest ranking in US human trafficking report 

Malaysia drops to Tier 3, lowest ranking in US human trafficking report Published: 20 June 2014 11:19 PM The annual Trafficking in Persons Report released by the US government has this year moved Malaysia to the lowest ranking. - Pic courtesy of the US State Department website, June 20, 2014. The United States government has downgraded Malaysia along with three other countries – Thailand, The Gambia and Venezuela – to Tier 3 in its annual Trafficking of Persons (TIP) Report. Listing out these countries' "broken promises" over several years, the US said placing these countries on the lowest possible ranking was due to the lack of insufficient action against human trafficking, CNN reported today. The TIP report released by the State Department is a gauge of a particular country's response to fighting modern-day slavery.....In a damning statement on the Malaysian government's poor efforts in this regard, the report noted that  there is ample evidence of forced labour and sex trafficking in Malaysia…….. According to CNN, the report especially highlights Malaysia's problem with migrants from other Asian nations who seek work on farms, factories and construction sites only to be trapped and have their passports taken and wages withheld…. The report ranks governments based on their perceived efforts to acknowledge and combat human trafficking, advance reforms and target resources for prevention, protection and prosecution programmes…….. The TIP report said that Malaysia had made "inadequate efforts to improve its flawed victim-protection regime" and had investigated fewer trafficking cases in 2013 than in 2012. The Malaysian downgrade had been largely expected. Luis CdeBaca (pic), ambassador-at-large of the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, cited Malaysia's repeated non-compliance in meeting minimum anti-trafficking standards. "Malaysia continues to have a victim care regime that basically locks up the victims," Cdebaca told CNN, adding "... the report doesn't look at promises. It looks at results." ....The TIP report divides nations into three tiers based on their compliance with 11 "minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking"…… – Tier 1 countries include governments fully compliant with the minimum standards. – Tier 2 countries do not fully comply, but are making significant efforts to do so. (A Tier 2 Watch List includes countries with a high number of victims, or where the numbers are significantly increasing. It also includes countries where there is insufficient evidence of acceptable efforts to improve anti-trafficking programmes). – Tier 3 countries do not fully comply with the minimum standards and have not shown the US they are making significant efforts to do so......Apart from the three other countries which had been downgraded, Malaysia joins a Tier 3 list of countries which comprises Algeria, Central African Republic, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, North Korea, Papua New Guinea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Uzbekistan, Yemen and Zimbabwe. …

22 December 2014: 12,000 more Bangladeshi workers

The tale of 'Just-A-Man' and our $50 billion by Rubana Huq Published: 12:00 am Wednesday, December 10, 2014; IT'S not the best hour to land at an airport and it's certainly not the best time to pen a column. At 5:00 am Kuala Lumpur is also not as pretty as it normally is. But there are too many faces asking for direction to immigration, baggage claim et al. And your columnist has just turned into a happy tourist in transit providing services. These are the people who shape the contours of Bangladesh today. A quick look at yesterday's The Borneo Times would make anyone happy. A new deal between the Malaysian Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri Richard Riot and Bangladesh's Minister of Expatriates' and Foreign Workers' Welfare Khandker Mosharraf Hossain has just been inked which will facilitate employment of 12000 more Bangladeshi workers. These 12000 workers will be joining the palm oil plantations. Incidentally these are the faces which bring back home floral quilt covered suitcases, occasionally face the immigration humiliation and yet send remittances that make us rich. In the first nine months of the country, Bangladeshi workers from Malaysia have remitted RM4.28 billion back home. Apparently only in Malaysia, ranked right after the Indonesian workers, Bangladeshis send in most of their money home....

8 December 2014:  Contesting child and forced labour concerns

‘Malaysia doesn’t condone child, forced labour’ By TASNIM LOKMAN - 6 December 2014 @ 8:12 AM, KUALA LUMPUR: "MALAYSIA has never condoned child or forced labour, as alleged by the United States Department of Labor (DOL)... Nevertheless, the government was investigating the claims and would take action against anyone found to be engaging in such activities.A joint statement from the International Trade and Industry; Plantation Industries and Commodities; and Home ministries yesterday said the government had embarked on a series of discussions with US representatives here, as well as DOL in Washington DC, for more details and to register the country’s concern over such allegations borne out of a Verite Inc. survey.... The study, the statement said, included a small sample size of 501 workers in the electronics industry. This, it said, did not represent the number of foreign workers in Malaysia, with the electronic and electrical industry alone employing 300,000 foreigners... The statement also said multinational companies (MNCs) in the electronic and electrical industry here were members of the Electronics Industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) and were governed by the coalition’s code of conduct, meaning they were in compliance with its standards..."

Citing study, ministry denies US claims of child labour in palm oil sector BY EILEEN NG  Published: 3 December 2014; "The oil palm industry is a major component of the agriculture sector and a major export revenue earner. The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry today denies an American report claiming that the sector employed children. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 3, 2014.The oil palm industry is a major component of the agriculture sector and a major export revenue earner. The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry today denies an American report claiming that the sector employed children. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 3, 2014.There is no child or forced labour in Malaysia's palm oil sector, Putrajaya said, in response to a US Department of Labour list that cites the country's billion-ringgit industry for employing children.... The Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry said a six-month survey completed in June this year on 68 plantations and smallholdings in several states found that there was no forced or child labour in the sector.The survey was conducted in Selangor, Perak, Johor, Pahang, Sabah and Sarawak and covered 1,632 workers.... "In the case of Sabah, the study shows children of foreign workers accompanying their parents to the work area due to lack of supervision at home and assisting in simple tasks such as loose fruit collection. "However, this is only allowed after school hours, weekends and holidays," the ministry said in a statement to The Malaysian Insider. The survey was based on International Labour Organisation (ILO) guidelines which covered workers, employers and labour contractors. Interviews with workers were conducted without the presence of the employers.... The finding did reveal cases of employers withholding the passports of foreign workers, but said such instances were minimal, amounting to 0.4% of the total respondents. It added that there was an active labour market in oil palm plantations where foreign workers could find alternative work...."

Ministries to look into forced labour allegations in E&E sector, says Mustapa Published: November 18, 2014 06:27 PM; "Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the authorities will look into the allegations of forced labour published in news reports earlier. — Bernama picDatuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed said the authorities will look into the allegations of forced labour published in news reports earlier. — Bernama picKUALA LUMPUR, Nov 18 — The ministries of International Trade and Industry Ministry and Human Resource will look into the allegations on forced labour the electrical and electronics (E&E) sector in Malaysia.... According to news report, the US Labour Department would put Malaysian on the “International Ranking on Forced Labour” watch list in December on findings from a global non-governmental organisation, Verite, on labour issues in the sector.... The US Labour Department-funded Verite highlighted several issues regarding employment in the country’s E&E sector including deceptive recruitment, poor living conditions and passport retention. “This could be on misinformation. We will have constant engagements with the relevant authorities regarding the issues...."

UMNO/BN fractures (Update 24): Check 1MDB news blog. Permatang Pauh and Rompin by-elections; 20,000 march to KLCC to call for GST abolition.

Editor's note: In the heavily licensed state-media dominated world of Malaysia news where many print and non-print outlets (and even bloggers) are regarded as politically-associated (with various notable public and less public shifts and hops), the recent cross-over feature of Anwar Ibrahim (de facto leader of the Pakatan Rakyat / PR opposition coalition which has been facing stresses) by the state-controlled TV3/Utusan stable and Mahathir on the Sarawak Report have those interested in Malaysia media-political analysis agog. What news outlets say or don't say and who they feature are of interest in the "wayang kulit" or shadow play world of the Malaysia's pluralistic and plutocratic political economy. At the same time, members of the PR opposition are also having a public war of words - read here: /khoryuleng/2015/01/malay-unity-and-pakatan-rakyan.html. What does this all portend?

Much of the UMNO/BN tussles have been triggered by the 1MDB financial concerns and engulf Prime Minister Najib in questions about international money flows and big donations. Research on news links are here: On 1MDB

4 May 2015: Permatang Pauh and Rompin by-elections

Amid support for Najib, Umno leaders starting to question, says former minister Published: 3 May 2015 4:00 PM; Umno division chiefs are beginning to realise that people are not happy with Datuk Seri Najib Razak, even as the party leaders continue to express their strong support for his leadership, former information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin said. He said that it was wrong to assume that Ummo division leaders were mere yes-men who "swallowed" the country's leaders' every word. "There are Umno division chiefs who realise that the support of the 'red shirts' to the top leadership can no longer represent the rakyat's support," wrote Zainuddin on his blog today. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "They not only reading it on social media or news portals, but they hear it for themselves at weddings, the suraus and mosques, at coffee shops, in open and closed discussions among the top echelon and the grassroots." Zainuddin wrote that even Cheras Umno divison leader Datuk Seri Syed Ali Alhabshee could not stay quiet in the face of the scandals surrounding Najib. Two days ago, the Umno man had reportedly urged for businessman Low Taek Jho to be called in for questioning immediately over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal. "What is the delay? The rakyat are waiting for answers. And so am I," Syed Ali wrote in the Cheras Umno blog. - See more at:

Pmtg Pauh, Rompin - markers of political future By Bridget Welsh  8:11AM May 4, 2015; Rompin has not received the same level of attention as Permatang Pauh, at least in the English language media, but it is equally important. At issue is Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's political future.
This contest emerged after his friend and ally died, and the slated candidate and campaign is closely connected to Najib. His cousin Hishammuddin Hussein is leading Umno's campaign in the party's political base. Najib needs a strong victory to assure that he has the support of his party and its core. This will be similarly challenging as the machinery is not as revved up as in the past, when an incumbent leader was running and a Pahang premier was seeking a national mandate. Today's reality is that there is open opposition to Najib's leadership within Umno led by former leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad and nationally, as the premier has the lowest public support in his tenure. It is thus not surprising that the stakes are high in Rompin, for a reduction in support in Rompin will signal trouble to Najib's political future....... Unlike Permatang Pauh, where a reduction in the majority is expected, given Najib's position and resources, even a small decline in support will be perceived negatively.... From goodies to grumbles -  By-elections have traditionally been 'buy-elections', with goodies galore. The BN, with its hand on the national till and control over the mainstream media, has always had the advantage, especially in the more semi-rural and rural areas. Given the stakes in these contests, there are many items on offer, with even the Penang government making promises of new projects. It remains to be seen how impactful the use of financial incentives will be this time round. One item that is marginally different than GE 2013, and reminiscent of conditions surrounding GE 2008, is a perceived decline in the economy. Ordinary Malaysians are feeling the economic pain, compared with the past, with a depreciated ringgit, the goods and services tax (GST), inflation and lower purchasing power...... Even in the Felda areas of Rompin, where the drop in the prices of rubber and palm oil has hit hard, there is a sense of relative economic deprivation. More than any issue - rights, religion or race - the main driver in voting in Malaysia is the economy, as surveys consistently show that the main issues that concern voters are the bread-and-butter realities. As finance minister in charge of the economy and as a premier who has prided himself on the country's economic performance, negative views of the economy increase BN's and Najib's vulnerability. As the campaigns come to a close, the promises of allocations have risen, with less open defence of the GST and more attention to where GST funds will go - be it towards civil servants, higher pensions and more........The expectation for both contests is reduced majorities. The main reasons for this is the expected lower turnout, with voting coming after a long holiday weekend, the negative mode of the campaigns, active sabotage and weakened support for both sides.

Abandoned by allies, PAS’s Rompin campaign a dull affair BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 4 May 2015 2:48 PM; The lacklustre campaigning suggests that PAS has lost its mojo without DAP and PKR by its side. The latter are busy in the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign, which PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail is contesting. However, Temerloh MP Nasruddin Hassan played down the matter and insisted all was well on the campaign front. “About 70% of the (Rompin) voters come from Felda settlements. So we are concentrating on those areas,” he told The Malaysian Insider when met at the Hindar 2.0 ceramah yesterday....The Rompin parliament constituency has 53,596 voters, with 87% comprising Malays living in 14 Felda settlements. The second biggest voters are the Orang Asli, followed by 9% Indians and just 2% Chinese. Tuan Ibrahim told The Malaysian Insider that PAS did not employ a general campaign strategy, and instead relied on different approaches for each area, based on the economic activities of the voters. “Our approach is not the same in each area. Our focus is on Felda settlements, so we have to deal with agencies. The mechanism is rather different. “We approach the farmers and the fishermen of Rompin differently. We visit the voters’ homes and employ a welfare approach,” said Tuan Ibrahim. Political analyst Professor Dr Mohamad Agus Yusoff said the factors working against PAS were the fact that it was on its own in the by-election, and that Rompin was an Umno stronghold.....He said the silent voters, who compromise the youth working in the cities, could turn PAS’s fortune around. “There are second- and third-generation Felda settlers who have different views from their parents,” said Agus. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak appears to be aware of this, and took the opportunity to win the vote bank over by reducing the price of houses from RM124,000 to RM90,000 per unit. However, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has denied that Najib was using the house prices as election goodies, and said that the latter’s announcement was merely a “coincidence”. - See more at:

Rompin voters told: Show your disapproval of Najib by FMT Reporters | May 4, 2015; Shahbudin Husin, who makes the call, also satirises the PM's alleged inability to pay for his daughter's wedding reception; PETALING JAYA: Voters in Rompin have been urged to show their disapproval of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s administration when they cast their ballots in tomorrow’s by-election.
The call is made by political analyst Shahbudin Husin, an Umno member whose blog is widely followed by Malay readers. He acknowledges that it will be hard for PAS to win in the Umno stronghold, but he appeals to voters to at least reduce BN’s majority to reflect the nation’s unhappiness with Najib over several issues, especially the imposition of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). He reminds his readers that the government gave an assurance that GST would result in a reduction in the cost of living because the rate is lower than the 10% charged under the Sales and Service Tax, which it was meant to replace. “That has turned out to be false propaganda,” he says. “Nearly all items have risen in price. Even teh tarik has gone up by 10 sen in most restaurants, and that is before applying GST. “Even more painful is the failure of the government to settle the issue of GST charges on prepaid phone credits, something so widely used by youths, housewives and those in the lower income bracket. It shows how weak the government is.”........In an earlier posting, Shahbudin, with his tongue in his cheek, comments on the recent explanation by a Najib aide that the cost incurred in celebrating the wedding of the Prime Minister’s daughter was borne by the groom’s family. ....“It has turned out that Najib and Rosmah could even be poorer than a lot of BR1M recipients. They can’t even afford a reception for their new son-in-law. “To any normal couple, receiving a new in-law would be one of their happiest moments. Many would go to the extent of incurring debts to celebrate it. “But it’s different with Najib and Rosmah. Not only was the celebration on the bride’s side financed by the groom’s family, the delegation to the reception in Kazakhstan was also fully sponsored by the kind groom. This has to be because the bride’s family cannot afford the expense. “Rare indeed can we find a bride’s parents who would sacrifice their dignity in such a manner as to risk having the groom using his generosity as a clout against their daughter should there be marital friction in the future.......

1 May 2015: 20,000 march to KLCC to call for GST abolition, Grilled lobsters and Xiaomi to lure votes - Permatang Pauh by-election; PAS - Hadi: Political parties in Malaysia should form national unity government; How much PM spent for daughter’s wedding? 

20,000 close in on KLCC Published on 01 May 2015 16:38; More and more people are streaming in. An estimated 20,000 protesters have joined today's rally so far.

10,000 march to KLCC to call for GST abolition By Malaysiakini Team; A month after the controversial Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation, a major protest is taking place in downtown Kuala Lumpur today to call for its abolition. Participating groups include Kita Lawan and opposition parties including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) will march from various points around the city to Dataran Merdeka....

Live: Thousands in Workers Day anti-GST rally head for; The Workers Day rally, to begin at several points across the heart of Kuala Lumpur, is backed by Bersih 2.0, Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia (SAMM), other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) as well as the opposition. But a post on the Facebook page by the organisers "Bantah GST/Reject GST" states that there will be no speeches by politicians. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "The event begins at 2.30pm with brief speeches by society and NGO representatives. No political party speeches," a post said. A "grand finale" ceramah last night as a run-up to the march today only managed to draw a crowd of about 100 people. It was held at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kuala Lumpur where a few Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders and activists gave speeches. - See more at:

Grilled lobsters and Xiaomi to lure votes By Susan Loone; PKR has been offering grilled lobsters whereas BN is going around the Permatang Pauh constituency with a Xiaomi - a China-made mobile phone - to woo voters. These are not vote-buying schemes in the by-election, but campaign strategies by the two arch rivals.....

How much PM spent for daughter’s wedding?
YOURSAY ‘They flaunt their new-found wealth regardless of how they got it.’

Hadi: Political parties in Malaysia should form national unity government BY JASON TAN; SINGAPORE, May 1 — With both the ruling and opposition coalitions in disarray and Malaysian politics in a state of flux, all political parties should consider forming a national unity government, said the leader of Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS). In an interview with TODAY this week, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang blamed the political uncertainties on the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), the country’s largest party that leads the Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition. “What is happening is due to the weakness of Umno itself. It’s not due to Mahathir, Najib, nor Abdullah Badawi,” he said, referring to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his two predecessors, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Hadi, 67, said it was not too late for “a correction can be made” in the form of a unity government involving all major political parties and no opposition. It was an idea he had first proposed in 2008, following the country’s 12th general election, when political wrangling in a series of by-elections led him to call on lawmakers to focus on serving the people instead. While his proposal did not gain traction at the time, he believes that there is a greater need for national reconciliation now. “What I feel today is that a change must be made. We are aware that in Umno, there are still capable individuals. Just that there are trapped in the situation now. I would suggest that all the parties come together to save the country,” he said. Hadi’s call follows a recent proposal of a bipartisan Save Malaysia pact made by another opposition leader, Lim Kit Siang of the Democratic Action Party (DAP). In recent weeks, Umno has been rocked by a public spat between Najib and Dr Mahathir, who has repeatedly called for the prime minister’s resignation over issues such as the debt-laden state-owned strategic development firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad. Ties in the three-party opposition Pakatan Rakyat have also been strained over PAS’s push to implement hudud, or Islamic criminal law, in Kelantan. Both DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) say the move is not part of the pact’s common policy framework, with DAP going so far as to cut off ties with Hadi and saying that he had betrayed the pact. - See more at:

26 April 2015: Dr M attacks on Najib and 1MDB continue

Hundreds back Dr M during biting speech on Najib BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH Published: 25 April 2015 7:00 PM; More than 1,000 people, including civil servants and civil society leaders, showed that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not "alone" when they cheered the former prime minister on in his two-hour meet-the-people session at a club in Kuala Lumpur this morning. This was the first time Dr Mahathir took his attacks against Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the grassroots level, after earlier lampooning the prime minister in his blog and urging him to leave office. The shouts and cheers from the crowd which had gathered as early as 8.30am began as Dr Mahathir stepped out of his vehicle at the K Klub and continued as he walked the 50m aisle to the stage. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); He was flanked by controversial lecturer Dr Ridhuan Tee Abdullah, and Datuk Ibrahim Ali, president of Perkasa, the Malay rights group which co-hosted the forum. ‎ Also spotted were former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, former Selangor menteri besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, and former health director-general Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican, who is part of the G25 group.He spoke for an hour about the debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), businessman Jho Low, his respect for Tun Abdul Razak, Najib's daughter's lavish wedding reception and many more that left the crowd dazed. They were responsive to his speech, cheering every time he called for Najib to step down as prime minister and laughing at his wit and sarcasm. The crowd also could not wait to begin asking him questions on the issues he had raised about Najib, his administration and policies that have not set well with the people, including about the goods and services tax. This was evident with the number of those who clamoured to the microphone, hoping for a chance to address the influential former premier and hear him answer their query. One man asked Dr Mahathir what he thought of the GST, which the government had introduced as a solution to its depleting funds. "I think they should just abolish it," Dr Mahathir replied. - See more at:

Despite Dr M’s attacks, analysts say BN far from vulnerable under Najib BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY Sunday April 26, 201507:07 AM GMT+8 - See more at:

 Dr M asks Najib: Are you sure you’re not alone? By Syed Jaymal Zahiid Saturday April 25, 201512:53 PM GMT+8 - See more at:

 Dr M trains guns on Najib’s daughter’s wedding, highlights extravagance By SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID Saturday April 25, 201501:13 PM GMT+8 - See more at:
Dr M fires more salvo at Najib, questions 1MDB finances Sathesh Raj, Astro Awani | Updated: April 24, 2015  (First published on: April 24, 2015 07:32 MYT) Corruption is not something uncommon in governments,however, they involve relatively small amount of money - MAHATHIR; KUALA LUMPUR: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's latest blog posting touched on the issue of management of government finances which he said should be governed by laws, rules and regulations. Its expenditure has to conform to the proposals set out in its budget plans.  He added Governments can lose money through bad investments.  "We would know where the money is lost. But when huge sums of money disappear, then those entrusted with its management must answer for the disappearance.  "Disappearance is different from just losing. Disappearance is about money lost which cannot be traced. This can be because of corruption or theft," as written by Dr Mahathir in his blog.  He questioned how 1MDB, a company with RM1 million capital with no assets could borrow 42,000 times its capital with no collaterals..........  Despite being a guarantor, Dr Mahathir also questioned why the operation of 1MDB is not overseen by government officers responsible for the management of government funds.....  He said 1MDB started off wrong even from the beginning.
“It started off as an off-budget and it was not put before the Parliament. The money was borrowed. So it is not sovereign wealth but sovereign debt,” he said....  In the blog, Dr Mahathir also broke down the investments of 1MDB:
 - Purchase of Tanjong Energy (now known as Powertek Energy Sdn Bhd) from Ananda Krishnan for RM 8.5 billion.
 - Purchase of Genting Sanyen Power (now known as Kuala Langat Power Plant) for RM 2.3 billion.
 - Purchase of Jimah Energy for RM 1.2 billion.
 - Purchase of 70 acres of land in Jalan Tun Razak for RM320 million i.e: RM64.00 psf.
 - Purchase of 495 acres of land in the former Sungai Besi TUDM airport (now known as Bandar Malaysia) about RM 363.5 million i.e: at RM 91.00 psf.
 - Purchase of 234 acres land in Air Itam in Penang RM 1.38 billion i.e: at RM135.00 psf. He said the investments and purchases known so far add up to RM14.7 billion and that there is about RM27 billion that needs to be explained. “Where is the rest of the money?” he asked adding that 1MDB is not getting any returns from its investments.  He said the total loss incurred by the government is about RM25 billion. ....
Read more at:

More on the 1MDB saga here:

13 April 2015: Sirul to talk to Dr M, Quit if you don’t support Najib - Kedah lawmaker tells Mukhriz, Umno already broken, only about money now says Dr M, Asia Sentinel list of important question to PM Najib

Puzzled by lawyers’ claims, Mahfuz insists Sirul okayed mum’s meet with Dr M Sunday April 12, 201511:42 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — PAS MP Datuk Mahfuz Omar insisted today that Sirul Azhar Umar had never objected to his mother’s meeting with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, despite claims by the murder convict’s lawyers that their client had not agreed to it. The federal lawmaker also told The Malaysian Insider that he was unsure why the lawyers said Sirul was disappointed with how his case is being played out in the media. “Also, the mother and I had earlier informed him about the possibility of the meeting and he consented to it,” he was quoted saying in the news portal’s report.... Sirul is reportedly in the midst of a legal clearance process in Australia to obtain a permission to stay put in the country and avoid returning to Malaysia to face the gallows. Mahfuz had revealed to reporters in Parliament on Wednesday that he had arranged a meeting between Sirul’s mother and Dr Mahathir and will be arranging a phone session with the fugitive and the former prime minister next. Last weekend, Dr Mahathir urged the police to investigate the former police commando’s claim that he killed Altantuya under orders, saying it was “grossly unfair” to sentence Sirul to hang for obeying instructions.....

Quit if you don’t support Najib, Kedah lawmaker tells Mukhriz Published: 12 April 2015 4:52 PM Kedah MB Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir told a meeting of state legislators and Umno leaders today that he wants Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak cleared of any allegation related to the 1MDB issue before giving his support. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 12, 2015.As Umno leaders rush to defend their president Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir has come under fire for not openly stating his support towards the prime minister. A Kedah Umno state lawmaker wants Mukhriz to step down as menteri besar if the latter does not publicly state his support for Najib, as the latter owes his job to the prime minister. Bukit Lada assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Lebai Sudin also criticised Mukhriz for linking his support towards Najib to the investigation of debt-ridden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); “The Menteri Besar’s post is appointed by the prime minister with the support of Barisan Nasional assemblymen. If he no longer supports the prime minister, it is best to resign,” Ahmad Lebai was quoted as saying in a report on SuaraTV. Ahmad Lebai was interviewed by the news portal after a meeting between state Umno leaders, MPs and state assemblymen called by Mukhriz’s officer this morning. Ahmad Lebai claimed that the meeting was supposedly to state their support to the prime minister and party president. - See more at:

Umno already broken, only about money now, Dr M says Sunday April 12, 201512:52 PM GMT+8; KUALA LUMPUR, April 12 — Not missing a beat despite Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s televised reply to his criticism, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has continued his diatribe against the former, saying this time that the loyalty of Umno leaders today is dependent on monetary gains. In an interview with blogger Din Turtle uploaded Friday, the former prime minister insisted that the ruling party is headed for doom when asked for his response to calls for his reconciliation with Najib. “Umno is already broken,” the straight-talking veteran leader told his interviewer in one clip. “The Umno that I led before was quite powerful. If you look at our assemblies, the spirit was there. “The Umno now is about money. Its leaders are loyal because they get something... contract, the ones who get posts all get money (too). “But when you do that, you give to the chief... what about the rest?” he asked. Dr Mahathir insisted that the Malays are deeply disappointed with Najib’s rule, with many even be conveying their unhappiness to him..... Among other things, Dr Mahathir said “no investigations were conducted” on convicted former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar’s claim that he was acting under orders in Altantuya’s murder. On Thursday, however, Najib replied Dr Mahathir in a pre-recorded interview on TV3. The second-term prime minister insisted that BN still has the ability to win the next general election as long as Umno stays united as a party. “If we do not fight among ourselves, I am confident we can win in GE14,” the prime minister and Umno president said during the televised interview... Najib has been facing growing pressure from his detractors to step down, particularly from Dr Mahathir. But leaders of the component parties in BN have pledged their full support for Najib as the country’s prime minister.......

Mahathir bares Umno as all money politics by FMT Reporters  | April 12, 2015 A month after Razaleigh, former strongman says whole party is all about cash and contracts. KUALA LUMPUR: A month after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah spoke about RM50,000 a month Umno division leaders, Mahathir Mohamad has bared the truth to the term “money politics” once used to describe vote buying for party positions. Now, it was the whole party which was about money, projects and contracts, said the former Umno strongman. Under its current leadership, Umno was filled with rent-seeking leaders loyal only to money. “The ones who receive posts receive money,” Dr Mahathir said in a video interview with blogger Din Turtle. His remarks echo those of his former rival and challenger, Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah who said last month that Umno politics is all about money and is a source of income to divisional leaders and MPs...........Tengku Razaleigh had said that Umno was filled with people whose allegiance was with Najib, who could award them projects worth millions. “When they are in that situation, it is difficult for them to turn their backs to Najib as Umno politics is their source of income.”...... Dr Mahathir, who has led a campaign to oust Najib as Umno president and prime minister, denied that his campaign had split the party. He said the party was already split. Ordinary Malays were disappointed with the New Economic Policy and divisions in the community were very deep. “They come and see me, ordinary people,” Dr Mahathir said. “(They say) scholarships are hard to get. In the past, you could get them.”...... However, Dr Mahathir’s leadership caused a deep rift between him and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who teamed up with former deputy prime minister Musa Hitam and came within a score of votes to toppling the party president.......Tengku Razaleigh and Musa had decried the use of vote buying in Umno politics then, describing it as “money politics”....... The rivalry between the two camps, dubbed Team A and Team B, would lead to Umno being deregistered in a court case, the subsequent rise of communal tensions and Operation Lalang, in which more than 100 opposition politicians, activists, academicians and others were arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act....... Dr Mahathir, then home minister, managed to secure registration of a new party, as Umno-Baru, and took control of the assets of the deregistered Umno which were worth millions, including ownership of Utusan Malaysia, United Engineers Malaysia and the North-South Highway concession, and control of TV3 and the New Straits Times Press, among other companies.......

Tame TV, Malaysian-Style, Goes Easy on Najib Posted on April 10, 2015 By John Berthelsen
An interview misses the biggest question: What did he know and when did he know it? Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak went onto Kuala Lumpur-based TV3, wholly owned by the political party he heads, to deny to presenter Hamdan Ahmir that he had ever met the late Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, murdered by two of his bodyguards in 2006...... The interview, aired on July 9 but taped rather than live apparently to avoid any embarrassments, can only be regarded as a disappointment, not only with Najib’s answers but with Hamdan’s questions, which were a series of softballs lobbed to the prime minister to give him a platform to make a case for his non-involvement.
To questions raised by former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad over Najib’s possible involvement, Hamdan asked this: “…We all concur that the court had decided in this case … it is past. But a criticism has surfaced from Tun Mahathir who asked who had ordered the police officers involved to kill Altantuya. It is weird because the case is over. Were you involved in this?” Najib: This thing happened in 2008 … a long time ago. Actually, I have recited the oath, Wallahi Wabillahi Watallahi, thrice, including at a mosque in Permatang Pauh in 2008 … that I had not known Altantuya and I was not at all involved, directly or indirectly. And the police conducted an investigation. And, at that time, Pak Lah (Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi), as the prime minister, had reported, and the Inspector-General of Police had issued a statement saying that I was not involved. And there is no proof at all, whatsoever, that I had known Altantuya. None at all … no photographs, no documents, no witnesses and what not. The case went through the courts up to the Federal Court. Are we going to question the integrity of the courts which we had safeguarded for so long?...... Hamdan: It is understood that you, Datuk Seri, have met with Tun Dr Mahathir on several issues. Did he ask you about the Altantuya case? Najib: Not directly, but we did discuss it at one time. During the discussion, I noticed that he did not ask whether I was involved in the Altantuya case. And I assumed that the matter did not arise at all. When I had my discussion with Tun Dr Mahathir, I showed my respect for him. For example, although I am the prime minister, I went to his residence rather than insisting that he come to mine. Nevertheless, whatever it is that we discussed, I had to decide as the prime minister.......
The list of questions Hamdan didn’t ask is considerable. Here are some that Asia Sentinel would have asked:
1. Altantuya Shaariibuu was identified by French prosecutors as a translator in the long-drawn-out transaction in which the Malaysian Ministry of Defense bought Scorpene submarines from the French munitions company DCN. According to the French records, you were instrumental in negotiating the purchase of those submarines (with a huge kickback of EUR114.9 million to UMNO). If Altantuya was recorded by the French government as a translator, how is it that you never met?
2. Both you and Abdul Razak Baginda met in 2005 in Brest, France, with the training crews of the Scorpene submarines your defense department bought, presenting the crews with jackets in honor of their service. At the same time, Altantuya was accompanying Razak Baginda. How is it that, if you were with Razak Baginda, you failed to notice the beautiful Mongolian woman he had on his arm and who toured France in his Ferrari?
3. During the months of trial of the two murderers, why do you think no attempt was made to ascertain their motives in killing her?
.....5. Burmaa Oyunchimeg, Altantuya’s cousin, testified on the witness stand, under oath, during the trial of the two murderers, that she had seen a photo of you having dinner with Altantuya and Abdul Razak Baginda. How do you explain her testimony, since she was under oath?  Why did prosecutors never follow up on her assertion? ..............

11 April 2015: The Economist says “Malaysia’s friends should be blunter about this where they have been mealy-mouthed... They should condemn Malaysia’s corruption, its decaying freedoms and its racial politics... Time to call Najib out" ; Badawi camp flip flops continue on support for PM Najib

An anti-terror law curtails liberties Apr 9th 2015, 14:44 | From the print edition
Najib rescinds his promises THREE years ago Najib Razak, Malaysia’s prime minister, fulfilled a promise to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA), a draconian colonial-era law which had long been used to lock up dissenters without trial.....

Time to call Najib out, says Economist; Published: 11 April 2015 10:34 AM Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s portrayal of Malaysia as a model of moderate Islam has come under fire after he reneged on doing away with laws like the Sedition Act. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 11, 2015.Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must come clean on Malaysia’s true state of affairs, The Economist said today, amid growing concerns over issues such as troubled state firm 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the stifling of rights and freedom in the country. The newspaper condemned the “widening gulf between spin and substance”, adding that Najib’s portrayal of Malaysia as “a model of moderate Islam – a multicultural democracy and a beacon of tolerance” was far from the truth as the prime minister had failed to uphold his promise to repeal colonial-era laws such as the Sedition Act 1948. Although Najib had said three years ago he would do away with the act, Dewan Rakyat on Friday pushed through several amendments to the law, which critics said would only make it more draconian.....More alarming though, it said, was Malaysia’s human rights record which under Najib has taken a hit. The report gave the example of opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who in February was sentenced to five years’ jail for sodomy, as well as the growing number of individuals arrested or investigated for sedition. “Malaysia’s friends should be blunter about this where they have been mealy-mouthed,” the paper said. “They should condemn Malaysia’s corruption, its decaying freedoms and its racial politics. “They should call for both the Sedition Act and unlimited detention to go.” Until ruling coalition Barisan Nasional stops “using foul as well as fair” means to curb dissent, the paper said, matters would not improve and the country’s image would continue suffer. “It is time to call Najib out.” – April 11, 2015. - See more at:

Pak Lah: Najib not involved in Altantuya murder Updated: Friday April 10, 2015 MYT 1:55:03 PM
PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is not involved in the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu, former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Friday.. He said in a statement that the investigation into the 2006 murder was concluded during his tenure as prime minister. "Among the matters reported to me during my time as prime minister was the result of the investigation of the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. "Based on the findings from the thorough investigation conducted by the Royal Malaysian Police that was conveyed to me, it was confirmed that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is not involved at all in the case," he said.... Altantuya was murdered on Oct 18, 2006 and her remains were found in a forest near Puncak Alam, Shah Alam.....
Note: Apparent Badawi camp flip-flops on PM Najib support - just a few days after Khairy Jamaluddin turned to says Najib must answer queries by Dr M (a flip from earlier supportive statements of PM Najib), ex-PM Badawi (father-in-law of Khairy) releases statement PM Najib not involved in Mongolian model murder. Political analysts say that at the last big UMNO vote, the Badawi camp support has been important for PM Najib.

10 April 2015: PM Najib TV3 Q&A much talked about amid shows of support for PM Najib and Dr Mahathir's questions and calls for PM Najib to step down (Dr Mahathir says supporters are party to it all)

Malaysia PM defends himself against mounting criticism 2015-04-10 08:46; Kuala Lumpur (AFP) -- Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak has defended himself against a slew of criticisms over corruption scandals and a crackdown on civil liberties, brushing aside suggestions that he should step down.... "I was elected by my party, and by the people of this country, to lead them. As such, I am answerable only to the people -- not to any one individual," Najib said in an interview on state-controlled television broadcast late Thursday night.  ......."Contrary to what some are suggesting, these laws will not be used against critics of the government," Najib said of the terrorism legislation, according to an English translation of his comments released by his office. ........Mahathir had demanded answers on the scandal surrounding the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). Fears that 1MDB could collapse have rattled the ringgit currency.... "I recognise that there are a number of questions swirling around 1MDB. Some of these questions are valid, but there are others that appear to be directed at the company solely with the intention of creating controversy," Najib said.... ....The deal has been clouded by allegations of huge kickbacks to Malaysian officials and the still-murky 2006 murder of a Mongolian woman involved in negotiations, amid suspicions she was killed to silence her about the deal.....Najib did not address the issue in his interview..........Political analysts say Najib retains control of his ruling party and looked unlikely to be ousted for now.

Transcripts in English and Malaysia:

  • Transcript of TV3's interview of Najib    2015-04-10 13:09 ; KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today replied to questions on several issues raised by various quarters, including former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad... Najib, while stressing that his priority was to the nation and people, answered all aspects of the criticisms, pertaining to the management of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB); implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST); 1Malaysia People's Aid (BR1M); the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu; Sedition Act; Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and the economic prospects of the country.... He expounded on the issues in an interview with Hamdan Ahmir on a special edition of the TV 'Soal Jawab' (Question & Answer) programme aired tonight.... Following is the transcript of the interview..........
  • Transkrip Penuh Sesi soal Jawab Bersama Najib Razak 10-04-2015 editor; Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak hari ini menjawab pelbagai soalan mengenai beberapa isu yang diutarakan oleh pelbagai pihak termasuk Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad......
some video links:

Will herd mindset drown the nation? By JD Lovrenciear 7:46AM Apr 10, 2015; ....Yes, Dr Mahathir has asked very basic and simple questions that any teenager in a debating bout would have likewise, articulated to the admiration of the audience.  As a Malaysian citizen and a former leader you cannot discount the fact one drop, that he, yes Mahathir, truly cares for the country. He is asking all the questions that patriotic and sensible citizens too have asked and keep asking, but to no avail.
 And as Dr Mahathir just rebutted with wisdom, instead of answering the questions related to 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder, Najib has gone to market to garner a show of popularity-support for himself....  Not only that. There are others who are pleading to “give him another chance’.  And yet there are others who are returning Dr Mahathir’s valid and reasonable questions with an artillery of all kinds of allegations framed against the former prime minister....  Now what kind of herd mentality is this?...  Well, as Dr Mahathir very wisely put it across, if this is what Najib chooses to do and what his supporters have stood up for, then it also means that all of them are in unison with Najib on any and all wrongdoings of the present leadership.

May tabling for hudud Bill Updated: Friday April 10, 2015 MYT 7:38:00 AM; PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill did not make it for debate as the Dewan Rakyat adjourned for the day. His Bill will have to be re-submitted during the next sitting in May. Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim confirmed that there was no indication from the day’s order of proceedings that Abdul Hadi’s motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisidiction) Act 1965 would be read by the time the sitting ended last night....

8 April 2015: MCA gives full support to PM Najib, adding to some Sarawak, Sabah support statements and UMNO division heads support event. 

Earlier, support statements from Sarawak and Sabah representatives too. Many UMNO members also came to a red-shirted show of support event for PM Najib. He is facing severe criticisms and call by Dr Mahathir to step down (this is the Doctor's third move against an UMNO leader)

MCA supports Najib’s leadership, says Liow Updated: Tuesday April 7, 2015 MYT 10:46:51 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: The MCA has reiterated its full support for the leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai (pic).
The MCA president said the party would not entertain any criticism against the Prime Minister.  
It said the focus of the party was on working with Umno to develop the country, and it would turn a deaf ear to any criticism against the premier, including calls for him to resign. 
"We give (our) full support to Datuk Seri Najib. We are very focused on developing the nation together with Umno and the BN (Barisan Nasional), and won't allow any attack (criticism) to disturb our stand to build the country," he told reporters at Parliament’s lobby on Tuesday.

5 April 2015 afternoon: Jamaluddin to be buried in National Mosque mausoleum

Jamaluddin to be buried in National Mosque mausoleum Published: 5 April 2015 12:24 PM Rompin MP Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis’s coffin leaving the Kuala Hospital's (HKL) Forensics Department today. He will be buried after Asar prayers. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, April 5, 2015.Rompin MP Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis, who was killed in a helicopter crash in Semenyih yesterday, will be buried at the National Mosque Mausoleum in Kuala Lumpur after Asar (afternoon) prayers today. His eldest son, Ikhwan Hafiz, said the coffin bearing his father's remains left the Kuala Hospital's (HKL) Forensics Department about 11am. The funeral prayers were held at the Taman TAR Mosque in Ampang at 11.30 am before the coffin was brought to the family home at The Mines in Sri Kembangan. "The burial will be held at Makam Masjid Negara after the Asar prayers," he said at HKL's Forensic Department. Members of the Royal Malay Regiment's 1st Battalion were seen readying to accompany the hearse, Bernama reported. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor together with newly-wed Nooryana Najwa and Daniyar Nazarbayev arrived at the late MP’s house to pay their last respects. - See more at:

Oddly, at 3pm today, among most read articles on Malaysiakini is a 2013 article: Rosmah: I'm not involved in Altantuya murder By Ram Anand  7:31PM Mar 19, 2013 Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's wife Rosmah Mansor has denied being involved in the murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu, as alleged by blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin.

Screenshot of google search for "raja petra" includes these at the top:

5 April 2015: PM Najib loses key staffers in helicopter crash, returning to KL after daughter's Pekan wedding reception: former Ambassador to the US Jamaluddin Jarjis and Chief  of Staff Azlin Alias. Jamaludin also widely noted as the closest finance expert. Witness saw helicopter exploded in mid-air, just off the ground, in heavy rain. PM Najib promises investigation. Note: on Dr M's call for PM Najib to resign, Khairy Jamaluddin says Najib must answer queries by Dr M. 

Najib orders full investigation into helicopter crash in Semenyih Bernama | Updated: April 05, 2015
Najib, grief-stricken by the tragedy described the incident as a great blow for himself and his family as Jamaluddin had been an acquaintance since his university days and a very close ally in his party struggle and political career. "Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis was a person of high caliber, who had sacrificed much for the government, party and country. He had many acquaintances here and abroad," he said of Jamaluddin who had served as Ambassador of Malaysia to the  United States. Najib, who was seen trying hard to hold back his tears at the news conference, said: "Therefore his loss is a big tragedy to me and I am deeply saddened by what had happened." In addition to their university days, he said, Jamaluddin, who was also the Member of Parliament for Rompin, and him were together in their early involvement in UMNO and later in government administration. Speaking on Azlin, whom he described as 'Chief of Staff' in the Prime Minister Office, Najib said the latter's role was to decide on various important matters in office affairs....

Malaysian PM Najib Razak grief-stricken by helicopter crash that killed six by Lindsay Murdoch  Date April 5, 2015 - 11:55AM  72 reading now; ....Grief-stricken prime minister Najib Razak said early on Sunday that "no stone will be left unturned" to establish the cause of the crash that came amid a bitter power struggle in Malaysia's ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).
Hours before the crash, as Mr Najib and his wife Rosmah Mansor mingled with guests at the wedding reception of their second-oldest 27-year-old daughter Nooryana Najwa Najib, former strongman prime minister Mahathir Mohamad openly called on Mr Najib to step down, saying it was the only way UMNO could stay in power....... "If they want to survive, I think they must change the prime minister," Dr Mahathir told reporters after attending a forum near Kuala Lumpur...... No government officials have suggested the helicopter crash is linked to the leadership struggle.... But the crash is a deeply personal tragedy for Mr Najib as he faces the call for him to resign by 89-year-old Dr Mahathir, who still wields significant power in UMNO......... Dr Mahathir, who led Malaysia for 22 years, has been criticising Mr Najib for weeks over his handling of state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad that has more than US$11 billion ($14 billion)  in debts and is now relying on government cash injections. Mr Najib set up the fund and chairs a committee that oversees it........ Writing in his blog on Thursday, Dr Mahathir also called for the re-opening of an investigation into who ordered the killing of glamorous Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu who was shot dead as she begged for the life of her unborn child and blown up with explosives, a case linked to allegations of high-level corruption in Malaysia's purchase of two French submarines when Mr Najib was defence minister in 2006. Mr Najib denied ever meeting Ms Shaariibuu and the government denies any wrongdoing in the submarine purchases......... Sirul Azhar Umar, one of Mr Najib's bodyguards at the time, fled to Australia ahead of his January conviction for the murder where he has claimed from Sydney's Villawood immigration detention centre he was ordered to carry out the murder but has not revealed by whom....... Dr Mahathir's comments have brought UMNO's power struggle into the open following the government's jailing for five years of charismatic opposition Anwar Ibrahim on a charge of sodomy that was widely seen as politically motivated....... Mr Najib's government has escalated a crackdown on freedom of speech and civil rights in recent weeks, arresting dozens of people and charging them under a draconian Sedition Act that carries possible jail terms of up to two years.........

Malaysia helicopter crash: Najib pays tribute to Jamaluddin, Azlin Published on Apr 5, 2015 1:38 AM; Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak paid tribute on Saturday to former US envoy Jamaluddin Jarjis (above) and 'Chief of Staff' Azlin Alias, who died in a helipcopter crash that killed all six people on board. -- PHOTO:  (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak paid tribute on Saturday to former US envoy Jamaluddin Jarjis and 'Chief of Staff' Azlin Alias, who died in a helipcopter crash that killed all six people on board. The helicopter crashed at a rubber plantation near Kampung Sungai Pening in Semenyih, Kajang, en route to Subang from Kuantan. Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis contributed much to Malaysia and played a vital role in strengthening Malaysia-America relations, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Saturday, as he visited the crash site.  "I consider him to be a highly capable man who has done much for his party and the nation. When he was our Ambassador in Washington, he played a vital role in building relations with the United States and he shared his opinion and advice with me. Mr Jamaluddin was Malaysia's Ambassador to the United States from 2009 to 2012.Mr Najib also spoke of Datuk Seri Azlin Alias, private secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, saying they had a close working relationship when Mr Azlin was private secretary. "He had agreed to leave his career in the corporate world to serve the government in a form of national service. Azlin was dedicated, trustworthy and liked by all. His death is a profound loss for me. He has helped me with many important government matters," said Mr Najib. Mr Azlin was previously director of the Economics Division at the Prime Minister's Department.....

Jamaluddin’s aide shocked to learn tragic news Updated: Sunday April 5, 2015 MYT 7:13:08 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: The special officer to Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis has been waiting for his boss’ arrival when news broke of the crash. Mazlan Yusof said he was shocked to learn of the news at around 6pm. “I had just arrived home in Melawati when I received the news. I knew that earlier they had gone to the Prime Minister’s daughter’s wedding reception in Pekan...

Witness Saw Helicopter Exploded In Mid-air By Nik Nurfaqih Nik Wil & Rohani Mohd Ibrahim
SEMENYIH, April 4 (Bernama) -- The helicopter with six people on board which crashed in a rubber plantation in Jalan Sungai Lalang, Kampung Pasir Baru, Semenyih this evening, was seen to have exploded in mid-air before hitting the ground.  A witness, Roslan Harun, 54, a security guard on duty near the scene, said the mishap occured during heavy rain.  "It exploded in mid-air, not so high from the ground. Then, the debris, tail and blades were thrown all over the place," he told Bernama at the scene.  Roslan said he had wanted to enter the crash site to offer help and assistance, but changed his mind and called the Fire and Rescue Department instead.  He said the crash site was about 5 kilometre away from Kampung Sungai Pening or 13 km from the Semenyih town.  So far, no bodies had been taken out of the crash site. -- BERNAMA

Khairy says Najib must answer queries by Dr M  by p. aruna Updated: Saturday April 4, 2015 MYT 1:52:37 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: Youth and Sports minister Khairy Jamaluddin (pic) said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has to answer all the queries raised by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.  Referring to the statement posted on the former prime minister's blog, on Thursday, Khairy said ignoring these questions was not an option.... Among the accusations were those involving the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Sharibuu, the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) controversy, and the purchase of a private jet for VVIP use.

4 April 2015: Police refute Dr Mahathir's statement, and reassure no sedition seen in his blog posting

IGP refutes Dr Mahathir's statement, says Sirul's claims investigated by natasha joibi Updated: Friday April 3, 2015 MYT 8:04:26 PM; PETALING JAYA: Police have refuted Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's statement that no investigations were carried out on the claims made by former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar over Altantuya Shaariibuu’s murder.   Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said he also found Dr Mahathir's comments "not seditious".  He said thorough investigations were already carried out on all the issues raised by Sirul.   "Maybe Tun Dr Mahathir does not know about the actions we have taken, and the investigations that we have carried out.
 "We (the police) have already met Sirul in Australia. From that meeting, we find that there are no issues that need to be investigated further," he said at a press conference on Friday.   When asked if the content of the blog post was seditious, Khalid said, "to me, it isn't." ...........

2 April 2015: Dr Mahathir: I’m not senile, Barisan will lose if Najib remains as PM

Dr Mahathir: I’m not senile, Barisan will lose if Najib remains as PM by t. avineshwaran Updated: Thursday April 2, 2015 MYT 5:25:33 PM; PETALING JAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) fears that Umno and Barisan Nasional will lose the 14th general election if Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak remains as the Prime Minister. In a strongly worded statement posted on his blog, on Thursday, Dr Mahathir said many members and leaders from Umno supported Najib blindly.
“When Umno loses, Malays will criticise the leadership for making the sacred party weak until it is rejected by the Malays themselves. “Once Umno loses, it can never recover,” warned Dr Mahathir.
The former premier added that he is loyal but his loyalty is only for the party and the Malays representing it. “It is not easy for me to write this blog, but from the people and the country, I have to reveal all this. “I am not senile although I am nearly reaching 90 years old. Those who say I am senile are just lying to themselves. “Malays will only be safe if they care for their community instead of themselves,” he said. Dr Mahathir claimed that people from all races would no longer trust Najib because he did not answer the accusations hurled at him. Some of the unanswered accusations hurled at Najib mentioned by Dr Mahathir in his blog are the Altantuya murder, 1MDB controversy and the purchase of a private jet for VVIP use....

1 April 2015: Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts;  Najib's daughter - a grand wedding at KLCC over the weekend

Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 1 April 2015 6:59 AM There was a huge turnout at the #KitaLawan rally on March 7. Soon after, Putrajaya began cracking down on dissent, leading to the arrest of many activists, opposition politicians and academics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 1, 2015.With more than 150 people arrested or investigated in the last two months mainly over freedom of expression, political analysts say the police crackdown might cripple dissent briefly, but would ultimately backfire on the ruling coalition. While the arrest and investigations on opposition politicians, activists, academics and media personnel would cow the public for a while and drain the resources of those critical of Putrajaya, such actions would not be effective for long, they told The Malaysian Insider......Dr Mohd Faisal Syam Abdol Hazis, a senior lecturer from the department of Political Studies at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas), said BN's previous strategies of trying to be inclusive and conduct reforms had failed, and the ruling coalition now felt that the only way for it to stay in power was to destroy PR. Before the 2013 general election, Faisal said, BN’s strategy had been to listen to the electorate and introduce inclusive reforms, but that strategy failed due to lack of political will. “Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak wanted to introduce reform, but he felt insecure and flip-flopped, so when the voters saw this, they knew he was not serious and change could only happen if BN was defeated. - See more at:

MEGA EXTRAVAGANCE: Wedding pics of Najib's daughter 'banned' from Internet Sunday, 29 March 2015 19:19; Prime Minister Najib Razak’s daughter may have prohibited photographs and videos of her wedding dinner yesterday to be posted on the Internet but the instructions nevertheless made it on Instagram. One of the guests, Filipino personality Kris Aquino, daughter of former Philippines president Corazon Aquino, shared the couple’s request printed on the wedding dinner invitation. It read, “On this day of joy, we thank you for joining us in the celebration of our love and the beginning of our new life together. “In the spirit of keeping this celebration an intimate affair, we would appreciate if you do not post any pictures or videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or other social media. “Thank you for your kind understanding and cooperation.” The dinner took place smoothly at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre after the Kita Lawan rally that had earlier sought to gatecrash it met with a wall of over a hundred policemen ready to make arrests. The roughly five hundred protestors came to an agreement with the police to hold a 45-minute sit in at the barricades, after which they dispersed peacefully. Denying that they had gone to disrupt the wedding reception of the newlyweds Nooryana Najwa Najib and Daniyar Kessikbayev, the protestors came bearing flowers and the traditional ‘bunga manggar’. Following the peaceful rally, Kita Lawan coordinator Fariz Musa, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad and two other youths were arrested through the night. - M'kini...

Celebrity wedding pictures always seem to find their way online some how - these appeared online:


Maira says still married, son’s engagement to Najib’s daughter still on By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal Published: 15 June 2012 11:09 AM KUALA LUMPUR, June 15 — The mother of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s future son-in-law has denied allegations that she and her son are being sued by her multi-millionaire husband, and has maintained that her marriage is still intact. She also said her son’s engagement to Prime Minister Najib’s daughter is still on despite the flurry of allegations which has surfaced from court documents filed by her estranged husband in a New York court. Najib had a glittering ceremony in Kuala Lumpur last year to mark his daughter’s engagement. — File picOn Tuesday, several foreign newspapers including the New York Post reported that Daniyar Nazarbayev, who is engaged to Najib’s daughter, was being sued together with his mother for cheating his stepfather Bolat Nazarbayez, brother to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. He also allegedly fudged his academic qualifications to get into Columbia University in the United States. - See more at:

21 March 2015: PM Najib and UMNO support for hudud

Umno support for hudud law puts Najib in hot seat - Opposition, his coalition partners hit out at efforts to bolster Islamic penal code Published on Mar 21, 2015 By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani Malaysia Correspondent In Kuala Lumpur PRIME Minister Najib Razak is coming under increasing pressure to explain his Umno party's support for hudud law as members of opposition parties - as well as his coalition partners - slammed efforts to strengthen the controversial Islamic penal code as unconstitutional. Yesterday, the secretary-general of the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP), Mr Lim Guan Eng, said ally Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) lost its non-Muslim support when it passed amendments to syariah law in Kelantan on Thursday and that the Islamist party was delusional if it believed otherwise. "Such acts of betrayal by PAS Kelantan and some PAS national leaders may have also sealed the fate of PR (Pakatan Rakyat), and not just PAS in Kelantan," the Penang Chief Minister said in a statement. Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru yesterday also called the move in Kelantan unconstitutional. "The enactment goes against the secular structure of our federal Constitution, which does not envisage a theocratic Islamic state, or a parallel criminal justice system where Muslims and non-Muslims are subjected to unequal treatment before the law," Malaysia's The Star reported him saying yesterday. He added that drafters of the Constitution had never intended a dual criminal justice system, one at federal level for non-Muslims, and another at the state level for Muslims. - See more at:

19 March 2015: Hishammuddin faces social media scrutiny of RM330,000 cash purchase for new car

Hisham explains RM330,000 cash purchase for new car by david tan, winnie yeoh, oh chin eng, AND chong kah yuan Updated: Thursday March 19, 2015 MYT 6:37:10 PM ; LANGKAWI: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein has clarified that he is paying cash for a new car as he had a positive balance after trading in his old vehicle.... The Defence Minister was responding to a viral photograph spreading on social media depicting a vehicle sales order form for a new Audi Q5 2.0 TFSI vehicle. The form indicated that Hishammuddin would be paying cash for the car that cost RM330,250, including miscellaneous fees. "This is the work of people who use the social media to instigate matters....

18 March 2015: "Creeping authoritarianism won’t slow UMNO’s rising unpopularity among young people, urbanites and ethnic minorities"... MPs to declare assets, interests and benefits to MACC?

Review & Outlook: Malaysia’s Creeping Authoritarianism - WSJ; The government arrests Nurul Izzah Anwar, the daughter of jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.... Malaysian politics are moving down a dark path. A month after the country's highest court upheld the conviction of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on trumped-up charges of sodomy, police on Monday arrested Mr. Anwar’s daughter for violating the Sedition Act, a colonial-era law increasingly used to chill political debate.... Western diplomats have also criticized her father’s prosecution. “The decision to prosecute Mr. Anwar, and his trial, have raised serious concerns regarding the rule of law and the independence of the courts,” the U.S. State Department said last month.  ........Creeping authoritarianism won’t slow UMNO’s rising unpopularity among young people, urbanites and ethnic minorities. Nor will it help Malaysia’s ties with the U.S., which are important for combating terrorism; Malaysian police arrested 19 Islamic State supporters plotting attacks around Kuala Lumpur last year. Nurul Izzah Anwar and Anwar Ibrahim should be released for their own sake and that of a democracy sliding into repression.

‘MPs should declare assets, interests, benefits’  Updated: Wednesday March 18, 2015 MYT 8:51:55 AM; MEMBERS of Parliament should declare their “assets, interests and benefits” following a proposed rise in their allowances, said Barisan Nasional Backbenchers Club chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad... “With higher allowance, there must also be more responsibilities. “We want lawmakers to declare not only their assets, but their interests and benefits as well. “This includes going on overseas trips by invitation of foreign institutions from the private sector or government,” the Johor Baru MP told reporters at Parliament lobby... He said the declaration could be done in a confidential manner and handed over to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. “They can also take an integrity pledge as is done by the Sarawak government,” he added....

15 March 2015: Multiple fractures in Malaysia's high politics; PM Najib wealth problem carried widely in global press, Najib wants infighting to stop, Khairy supportive on Petrosaudo's rebuttal

Anwar jailing could hurt both opposition and Najib by Yang Razali Kassim, RSIS  14 March 2015
The jailing of Anwar Ibrahim following a second sodomy conviction could trigger a chain of events that could shake up Malaysian politics. Unlike after his first jailing in 1998, the opposition, which he leads, is already split and could crumble. But this may well play out as Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is currently under siege within his ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), fights for his own survival. Anwar currently is serving a jail term of five years for what he maintains was a political conspiracy by his enemies, including Prime Minister Najib.... Unless pardoned by the Malaysian King, the verdict could well end the 67-year-old Anwar’s political career. Besides losing his parliamentary seat, by the time he is released, he would be 72 making any political comeback difficult. But the former deputy prime minister has in the past proven to be like a cat with nine lives — and might just have one more. His family’s move to petition for a royal pardon was unexpected, but that prevented Anwar from losing his parliamentary seat pending the King’s decision. Anwar did not make the appeal, insisting on his innocence.... As he faces these challenges, Najib has to ensure that his ethnic-based ruling coalition remains stable. But a key partner, the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), has broken into a public power feud, forcing Najib to step in. Another component party, the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) has just recovered from its own power struggle. In the anchor party, UMNO, the Mahathir-led undercurrents against Najib’s leadership remain despite the re-jailing of Anwar.... Najib cannot afford any more upsets in 2015, especially as Malaysia will be under the spotlight as chair of ASEAN. Will Najib display sufficient political skill to ensure his survival as leader — even as his nemesis, Anwar, and the divided opposition struggle for their own political survival?

Malaysian PM in hot seat over wealth \•14 Mar 2015 at 14:32; Pressure is mounting on Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak to explain his family's outsized wealth, with former premier Mahathir Mohamad joining the chorus of critics. Dr Mahathir said people wanted to know where Mr Najib's stepson, Riza Aziz, obtained the funds used to produce a Hollywood movie as well as invest in real estate worth tens of millions of dollars in the United States. Spokesmen for Mr Najib, himself the son of a former prime minister, have said that his family has a sizable sum from an inheritance, but they did not address the source of Mr Riza's wealth directly. However, even the prime minister's own brothers have denied that the inheritance was large enough to support activities on the scale reported.
.........Mr Najib later joined his brothers and described their father as frugal and a man of integrity.
Opposition leaders have urged the premier to address questions raised about his accumulated wealth.
On Thursday, PAS Youth, a wing of the opposition Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, lodged a report to press authorities to investigate reports of Mr Najib living a life of luxury....

Don’t let infighting destroy Umno’s team spirit, cautions PM  by oh chin eng  Updated: Sunday March 15, 2015 MYT 8:49:38 AM; ALOR SETAR: Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has called on party members to get rid of troublemakers (jemuan) who cause disunity and internal fighting. Without such troublemakers, the Prime Minister said Umno and Barisan Nasional could retain Kedah in the next general election.  “Sometimes, people on the ground become batu ronson (instigators), tukang kipas (apple polishers) and maybe also jemuan. “They (jemuan) are worse than the tukang kipas as they try to pit us against each other and threaten Umno’s unity,” he said in his opening speech during the two-day Kedah Umno convention here yesterday....

Petrosaudi's rebuttal should put matter to rest: Khairy  Last updated on 14 March 2015 - 07:16pm
GEORGE TOWN: PetroSaudi International's rebuttal to online criticisms over its previous joint venture with 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) should have put the allegations against the Malaysian strategic development company to rest, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said.
"I hope the clarification is true as it can help diffuse allegations over 1MDB transactions with PetroSaudi (a Saudi-based oil exploration and services company)," he told reporters after closing the Balik Pulau Mountain Bike Jamboree here today. PetroSaudi, in a statement yesterday, said any suggestion of wrongdoing in the online allegations about the partnership were simply false as all the capital invested by 1MDB had been returned with profits.

13 March 2015: Hishammudin complains survey picking him as next PM is meant to 'destabilise' UMNO, another survey finds 1 in 2 Malaysians want veteran politicians to step down (especially so for the opposition party senior leaders); BN supporters tried to defraud a White House petition to counter petition supporting Anwar Ibrahim which achieved the 100,000 signature target

Survey on next PM pick meant to 'destabilise' Umno, Hishammuddin claims Malay Mail Online  - ‎2 hours ago‎;

Malaysians want veteran politicians to step down, survey shows BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 12 March 2015 9:00 AM
BN fans finagle White House petition, get caught Malaysiakini 12:21PM Mar 11, 2015; American authorities may have heard the numerous complaints about possible fraud in the Malaysian electoral system but the superpower got a firsthand taste of it after BN supporters tried to defraud a White House petition.... The petition titled: ‘Respecting the Sovereign Nation of Malaysia’ was aimed at countering a petition started by former US ambassador to Malaysia John Malott demanding the US make the freeing of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim a foreign policy priority....

12 March 2015: PAS Youth wants probe on PM Najib family wealth, Najib urged to sue foreign publications; 1MDB critics say enough grounds to charge Jho Low and 1MDB officers; Hishamuddin is top pick as future PM (post Najib and Muhyiddin)

PAS Youth wants cops to probe PM's family wealth By Anjulie Ngan 6:23PM Mar 12, 2015
Referring to the recent exposès by the New York Times on the deep pockets of the Najib family, PAS Youth Information chief Mohd Nasaie Ismail has urged the police to open investigation papers on the PM's family's wealth... He said there were doubts all around, particularly about the source of the wealth obtained by Najib's stepson Riza Aziz and his billionaire friend Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho low...

Najib urged to sue foreign publications By Zikri Kamarulzaman 5:41PM Mar 12, 2015; Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin has urged Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to sue the New York Times and French paper Liberation, which have allegedly tarnished his good name....

Enough grounds to charge Jho Low, 1MDB officers with CBT, cheating, say anti-graft activists BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 11 March 2015 9:00 AM; There is enough evidence on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) to investigate and charge its officers and business partners with criminal breach of trust (CBT) and cheating without having to wait for the Auditor-General's (A-G) probe to be completed, anti-graft activists said. They said the numerous leaked documents and emails about 1MDB's joint venture with PetroSaudi International have already been revealed on the Internet, by lawmakers and in media reports, and could be used as the basis of police investigations. In particular, the joint-venture where US$700 million was allegedly siphoned off from 1MDB to businessman Low Taek Jho, better known as Jho Low, had elements of false representation and negligence which could be factors contributing to CBT, anti-graft campaigner and opposition politician Rafizi Ramli said.... If these were already evident, there was no need to wait for the A-G's probe, Cynthia Gabriel, the co-founder of the Centre for Combating Corruption and Cronyism (C4) said.....

More on the 1MDB crisis here:

Hishammuddin No. 1 pick as future PM, survey shows BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 11 March 2015 6:31 AM; Most Malaysians want Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to lead Barisan Nasional should Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retire from politics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 11, 2015. Most Malaysians want Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to lead Barisan Nasional should Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retire from politics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 11, 2015. As pressure mounts against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to resign over the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) scandal, and opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim remains behind bars, a survey on the country’s next generation of political leaders has found that most Malaysians want Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to become the future prime minister.... The survey by independent pollster Merdeka Center found that 19.8% of the 1,008 respondents polled from January 21 to 30, preferred Hishammuddin as the future prime minister over his peers Khairy Jamaluddin (8.6%), Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (8.4%), Rafizi Ramli (3.9%), Mohamed Azmin Ali (3.7%) and Nurul Izzah Anwar (1.7%).... The survey, commissioned by The Malaysian Insider, also revealed that the majority of respondents (19.4%) wanted Hishammuddin to lead Barisan Nasional if or after Najib and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin retire. “Malaysians prefer Hishammuddin as he has the pedigree and the family name. He was in the limelight last year over the MH370 disappearance and was perceived to be handling it quite well. He became the face of Malaysia and got good ratings,” Ibrahim Suffian, director of Merdeka Center, told The Malaysian Insider...

M’sians want Hisham as PM, but does Umno? COMMENT Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein is probably on cloud nine following a survey by pollster Merdeka Centre, which saw the majority of respondents endorsing him as future prime minister material. The Umno vice-president outclassed the most popular of the three vice-presidents in the party, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. While some may argued that number of the respondents - slightly more than 1,000 - may not be an accurate representation of public sentiment, it’s Umno which will ultimately decide who will be PM...

Defence Minister Hishammuddin Malaysians’ top pick as next PM  Published: 4:12 AM, March 12, 2015; .... In contrast, less than one in 10 opted for Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin or Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as a future Premier. They scored 8.6 per cent and 8.4 per cent, respectively. The popularity of Mr Hishammuddin — the son of Malaysia’s third Prime Minister Tun Hussein Onn and grandson of UMNO founder Onn Jaafar — also cut across racial and political lines. He was the top choice among all three major races, men and women, as well as supporters of BN and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition alike. “Hishammuddin is generally seen as ... a political thoroughbred and very experienced, who generally carries himself well in international contexts,” Dr Ooi Kee Beng, deputy director of Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, told TODAY....

26 February 2015: Former NST editor Kadir Jasin calls on PM's Office to answer on claims of large inheritance left by Tun Razak (denied by four of his five sons)

PMO must answer report on Razak’s inheritance, says veteran newsman Published: 25 February 2015 4:53 PM The Prime Minister's Office (PMO) must clarify its statement about the inheritance left by Malaysia's second prime minister Tun Abdul Razak Husein or risk being accused of tainting his legacy, veteran newsman Datuk A. Kadir Jasin said today... The former group editor-in-chief of the New Straits Times (pic, right) was referring to the statement issued by four of Razak’s sons last night where they expressed concern over speculation about the "nature and extent" of the inheritance left behind by their father following a report by The New York Times.... "Unless the PMO makes an about-turn and denies ever making a statement to the NYT about Najib’s so-called inheritance, it stands accused of tainting the memory of that great man.... "The PMO propaganda machine can do whatever it likes even at the expense of ethics and morality to protect the PM and his wife.
"But for it to dishonour and disrespect the memory of Tun Abdul Razak is an unpardonable sin," Kadir wrote in his blog today....

25 February 2015: Highly read statement to Malaysian Insider from 4 of 5 Razak brothers (excludes PM Najib) denies big inheritance left by father 2nd PM Razak

Razak family concerned about inheritance talk, say siblings Published: 24 February 2015 8:44 PM; The family of the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein today dismissed talks of the extent of inheritance left by Malaysia's second prime minister, saying he was frugal and had integrity. Their statement comes days after The New York Times quoted a statement from the Prime Minister's Office that Datuk Seri Najib Razak's wealth came from a family inheritance after reports that his stepson had bought opulent properties in New York city. "We are extremely concerned that some recent news articles and postings have given rise to speculation as to the nature and extent of the inheritance that our late father, Tun Abdul Razak, had left behind, " the family said in a statement signed by four of Razak's five sons – Datuk Johari, Datuk Nizam, Datuk Nazim, and Datuk Seri Nazir....  Najib is Razak's eldest son..."We wish to put on record that Tun Abdul Razak was a highly principled man, well-known to all who knew him for his frugality and utmost integrity and any statement or inference to the contrary would be totally false and misleading to his memory and to his service and sacrifices for the nation. "We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive. "We would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue," they added in the three-paragraph statement sent to The Malaysian Insider tonight....

18 February 2015: Convicted cop Sirul mulls tell-all on Altantuya death from Sydney Villawood detention centre - says "I was under orders. The important people with motive are still free" to Malaysiakini

Convicted Malaysian cop Sirul Azhar Umar breaks silence about death of model Altantuya Shaariibuu by Lindsay Murdoch  Date February 18, 2015 - 11:27AM  1180 reading now
A Malaysian police commander sentenced to hang in Kuala Lumpur has broken his silence from Sydney's Villawood detention centre, saying he was ordered to kill a Mongolian socialite at the centre of high-level corruption allegations in Malaysia.... Sirul Azhar Umar said he was acting under orders when he twice shot glamorous 28-year-old translator Altantuya Shaariibuu in the head as she begged for the life of her unborn child and then wrapped her body with military explosives and blew her up.
"I was under orders. The important people with motive are still free," Sirul, a former bodyguard of Malaysia's prime minister Najib Razak, told the Malaysiakini news portal by telephone.

Sirul mulls revealing all on Altantuya murder by Malaysiakini  4:58PM Feb 17, 2015
EXCLUSIVE After fleeing to Australia to escape the hangman's noose, former police commando Sirul Azhar Umar is now mulling answering the biggest riddle in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder - why did he and Azilah Hadri shoot dead the Mongolian woman and blow up her remains with explosives? In a recent telephone conversation with Malaysiakini, Sirul disclosed that several Australian media have requested for a "tell all" interview with him....

13 February 2015: A family feud, a partying PR guru, a bailout and a doctor's advise.... 

  • PR guru (RM500k/month salary?)
  • Mahathir urges leadership resignation, smelling something "rotten" in Malaysia over 1MDB and other issues

Acrimonious Split Rattles Malaysian Premier’s Family Posted on February 11, 2015By John Berthelsen; The announcement last week by top Malaysian banker Nazir Razak of his intention to file defamation charges against bloggers believed connected to a close friend of his brother, Prime Minister Najib Razak, has laid bare what has been whispered about for months in Kuala Lumpur.
There is a growing, acrimonious rift in the Razak family, much of it over the deeply indebted government-backed investment fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd, and Najib’s siblings’ relationship with the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, partly because of her ostentatious flaunting of enormous wealth.  Rosmah, in addition to concerns about her behavior, is believed to have convinced her husband to initiate the 1MDB fund, which is backed by the Ministry of Finance.
One of the questions circulating in Malaysia’s business community is whether the family feud might result in problems for CIMB, the fast-growing Malaysia-headquartered bank that Nazir heads and which has become one of Southeast Asia’s leading financial institutions. Observers say CIMB owes at least some of its rapid growth to its connections to the family and hence to UMNO. “Its political connections are probably no longer a slam dunk asset for Nazir,” a business source with connections to the government told Asia Sentinel. ....

Too Much Partying By Najib’s PR Guru Paul Stadlen? | Sarawak Report;

Leaders without people's support should step down, says Dr M Last updated on 13 February 2015 - 01:26am  by  Vathani Panirchellvum; ....Mahathir expressed his disappointment over certain issues such as the existence of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB)... "We should not have 1MDB at all, how is it national wealth if you borrow money? If you borrowed money from the chettiars, would you consider yourself rich? No! Because that is a loan!" he quipped.... When asked about Malaysian tycoon Ananda Krishnan coming to 1MDB's aid by loaning money, Mahathir said that changed little, only instead of owing the banks now it is Ananda Krishnan.... "The whole thing is now a controversy and berserabut (very messy)! They should come clean and have an independent audit done. All governmental bodies should have independent audits done," he said.... "I didn't do this (independent audits) when I was a Prime Minister because I was not criticized as much!" he quipped.... Though he hinted that the present leader should step down, he said he did not know who should replace him....

Something is ‘rotten’ in Malaysia, says Dr Mahathir  Published: 10 February 2015 9:11 PM; KUALA LUMPUR — There is something “rotten” in Malaysia, and those who dare to voice out their concerns are being demonised by the government for it, former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today (Feb 10)... He said he, too, had become a victim of false accusation simply because he had criticised the government in the past..... “Critics are being demonised by the mainstream media, by certain individuals and politicians who had lost. Critics risk their property being seized and auctioned, they may be bankrupted,” wrote Dr Mahathir on his blog, which was uploaded this evening....
More newslinks here:
  • Sovereign wealth fund / SWF news (update 5): 1MDB clouds PETRONAS $7 billion debt proposal, 1MDB gets Ananda Krishnan loan six days "before bankers triggered a default," Sarawak Report says 1MDB staffers report puzzling PC and server wipe at end Dec 2014 with result "few records left," Dr Mahathir has been criticizing 1MDB and calling for independent audit; 1MDB had funded RM218,000/month retainer To Tony Blair; Jho Low and 1MDB on NY Times front page, 1MDB $2.4 billion sukuk called off?
  • Petronas news (update 15a): 1MDB Mess Clouds Petronas $7 Billion Debt Proposal - Bloomberg; PETRONAS CEO announcement goes to the wire - Wan Zulkiflee (COO and head of downstream) succeeds Shamsul, Bloomberg reports; Shamsul expected 7-month extension did not eventuate; PETRONAS affirms planned RM60 billion for Pengerang, questions about Johor multiple oil & gas hubs including Benalec 1,400 ha reclamation /khoryuleng/2014/06/petronas-rapid-project-in-johor.html

4 February 2015: The Edge Malaysia finds blogger behind attacks on Dr M, Nazir and its owner Tong is pro-Jho Low (blogger now trying to hide his tracks), concludes that "it all has to do with criticism of 1MDB"; Umno man lodges latest police report against 1MDB CEO

Umno man lodges latest police report against 1MDB CEO BY: G. SURACH UPDATED: Feb 2, 2015 11:10pm; Batu Kawan Umno division deputy chief Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan has lodged yet another police report against the country’s wealth sovereign fund 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) over its debt-ridden allegations.... Lodging a report against 1MDB chief executive officer Arul Kanda Kandasamy this time, Khairuddin said that this was due to a statement that the newly appointed CEO made after assuming the post.... Khairuddin said as such it would be inconceivable why 1MDB would not be able to pay up the large loan when it claimed that it had already redeemed such a huge amount of money from the registered fund.... “On top of it, 1MDB has also sought a RM2 billion loan from Tan Sri T. Ananda Krishnan to meet its loan obligations to the bank.... “With all these facts combined, it raises plenty of doubts and hence my decision to lodge this police report is to ascertain the truth,” he said.... Khairuddin, who is learnt to be the cousin of Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, has been lodging several reports against 1MDB since December, including with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, calling for a “detailed and comprehensive” investigation against the company’s directors over allegations of mismanagement of its sovereign funds....

EXPOSED! Pro-Jho Low blogger behind attacks on Dr M, Nazir and Edge owner Tong By The Edge Malaysia /   | February 3, 2015 : 6:53 PM MYT; THE anonymous blogger of behind the baseless attacks on Tong Kooi Ong and The Edge Media Group is also behind similar vicious onslaughts on Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, while running other blogs which published complimentary articles on businessman Jho Low, investigations showed.... One common thread behind the attacks appears to be the fact that The Edge has been publishing exposes about state investment vehicle 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), while former prime minister Dr Mahathir has been openly critical of it, even saying it was unnecessary and should be shut.... The blogger did not just attack Dr Mahathir, but also his sons businessmen Tan Sri Mokzhani and Datuk Mirzan and Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz. The blogger also attacked former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin, who voiced reservations about 1MDB.... In the case of Nazir, his wife and children were also the subject of slander.... On the other hand, the Penang born 30-something Low Taek Jho, also known as Jho Low, was involved in the setting up of the Terengganu Investment Authority (the precursor to 1MDB). He is said to still wield considerable influence at 1MDB because of his close relationship with the Abu Dhabi parties which have multi-billion ringgit dealings with the controversial debt-laden company owned by the Ministry of Finance.... Low, often seen at big spending parties with Hollywood celebrities like Paris Hilton and Leonardo Di Caprio, has business dealings with 1MDB, including a failed £1 billion (RM5.6 billion) bid for the UK hotel group Coroin Ltd in 2011. 1MDB had provided a letter of support for Low’s Wynton Group to buy Coroin which owns several hotels including Claridge's....1MDB has never explained why it provided the letter of support, which surfaced during a court case in London involving squabbling Coroin shareholders, to help Low.... The Edge Media Group in the past year published several exposes about the affairs of 1MDB, including 1MDB’s support for Low to buy Coroin and a RM1.38 billion land purchase  in Penang, a week before the 2013 general election.... The anonymous blogger used the public display and user name ahrily90 and he wrote at the following blogs since mid-2014: These two blogs have attacked Mahathir since July last year..... ahrily90 also wrote on two blog which targeted Nazir: ahrily90 also wrote on three blogs which praised 1MDB and Jho Low:   Various articles were written which described him as global investor and philanthropist through his Hong Kong firm Jynwel Capital Limited. These include US$20 million to save wild cats and US$50 million to a university cancer research centre.... and were taken down last week but what ahrily90 wrote can be seen in the Google cache of these blogs.... ahrily90 has changed his WordPress public display name and user names for the various blogs last week to julijulipeh, Pen Jingga, saberarturia18, and rahmanirwan74.... ahrily90 has also contributed articles at This blog too has been deleted by its authors..... The person behind all these blogs has realised he has been discovered and is now trying to cover his tracks by repeatedly changing his public display and user names.... He is also trying to decouple the various blogs.... And it all has to do with criticism of 1MDB..... So who is paying him to do it?

1 February 2015: A curious RM shorting allegation (which is denied) has watchers asking who's behind it

Edge owner denies claims he manipulated ringgit Published: 1 February 2015 2:48 PM Businessman and owner of The Edge Media Group Datuk Tong Kooi Ong (pic) has denied allegations made on anonymous blogs that he is betting against the ringgit to make it crash for personal profit, and is trying to identify the individuals behind these claims to sue them....

20 January 2015: Anwar vs Daim reboot courtesy TV3, Utusan & MACC; Perkasa denies given boot by Dr M; Mahathir talks to Sarawak Report on 1MDB problems; Hisham denies letter of support in Zahid-Shafee-Phua-14K triad-FBI question

Hisham: I have never written 'support letters' to the FBI before by t. avineshwaran; PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein(pic) has denied ever writing a letter of support for any individual addressed to the United States' Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) while he was the Home Minister. Hishammuddin, who is now Defence Minister, was responding to a comment by current Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said that his "predecessors" had written such letters of support to the FBI before.... On Friday, Dr Ahmad Zahid said that his letter to the FBI was not meant to defend Malaysian Paul Phua Wei Seng, who is facing trial in the United States. He said that he was merely clarifying that Phua was not a member of the 14K triad and that the secret society did not exist in Malaysia.... He said Phua's lawyers in the United States had requested the letter through their local counterparts Shafee & Co, which then asked his office to give an explanation to the FBI.....

Anwar on TV3, Utusan signals trouble in Umno By RK Anand and Fathi Aris Omar 6:31AM Jan 20, 2015; COMMENT Imagine Anwar Ibrahim securing air time and print space on TV3, Utusan Malaysia and New Straits Times to unleash a damning accusation against a veteran Umno leader? This borders on the bizarre given the mechanics of Malaysian politics....  Archives would reveal that the only time the opposition leader had appeared on these Umno-linked media organisations is when he was on the receiving end of brickbats....  Therefore Anwar’s claim of possessing “solid evidence” regarding how Daim Zainuddin, a close associate of Dr Mahathir Mohamad, had allegedly abused his position as finance minister to amass wealth has ignited the speculation mills....  Adding fuel to the furnace is the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s swift response in wanting to secure the evidence from Anwar.....

Anwar sedia kerjasama dengan SPRM siasat Daim Astro Awani | Kemas kini: Januari 19, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Ketua pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sedia bekerjasama dengan Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) jika siasatan dilakukan terhadap bekas menteri kewangan, Tun Daim Zainuddin, lapor The Malaysian Insider.
Read more at:

Siasatan 1998 dapati tiada kes rasuah Tun Daim 19 Januari 2015 6:12 PM; KUALA LUMPUR 19 Jan. - Tiada kes rasuah terhadap bekas Menteri Kewangan, Tun Daim Zainuddin, berdasarkan siasatan yang dijalankan pada 1998 oleh Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) atau kini Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM).... “Untuk makluman, siasatan ke atas Tun Daim telah pun dijalankan BPR (kini SPRM) pada tahun 1998. Timbalan Pendakwa Raya yang meneliti kes ini pada masa itu telah membuat keputusan tiada tindakan lanjut (NFA),” katanya dalam kenyataan di sini, hari ini.... Bagaimanapun, katanya, SPRM telah menemu bual Daim baru-baru ini dan keterangan yang diberi Daim, Anwar serta saksi lain akan dikemukakan semula kepada Timbalan Pendakwa Raya.... Beliau berkata, SPRM juga seterusnya akan kemukakan keterangan tersebut kepada Panel Penilaian Operasi, badan bebas yang memantau operasi SPRM.... “SPRM menegaskan bahawa agensinya sentiasa menjalankan fungsinya termasuk siasatan dengan bebas, telus dan profesional berdasarkan Akta SPRM 2009,” katanya. - Bernama;

I know those behind media spotlight on me, says Daim Published: 15 January 2015 8:00 PM Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin says he knows those behind the sudden spotlight on his business empire. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, January 15, 2015.Tun Daim Zainuddin has revealed he knows those behind a sudden spotlight on his business empire as Malaysia's anti-graft officials investigate the former finance minister's banking business abroad. Daim, in a statement today, said he was surprised that Umno-controlled Media Prima Bhd would provide coverage for opposition party PKR. “While I understand the motivation of these PKR politicians as they know not much other than politics and making baseless allegations, I am quite surprised with the attention given to them by the government-friendly media. - See more at:

Perkasa says Dr M was never patron, denies being dumped By Ida Lim and Shazwan Mustafa Kamal Published: January 19, 2015 10:36 AM; KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 19 — Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was never patron or advisor to Perkasa, the Malay rights group said today to dispute a report the two have parted ways. Syed Hassan Syed Ali, Perkasa’s secretary-general, also said the group has no formal ties with Dr Mahathir, and rubbished a report that the former national leader was distancing himself from the group. “I do not know from where they got the news that Tun M has started to distance (himself) from Perkasa. We feel that that news is not true,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today. He described the group’s ties with Dr Mahathir as cordial, saying that Perkasa’s leadership had met with the latter last November in a yearly closed-door event. “We meet Tun M in a group, all the members of Perkasa Malaysia’s Supreme Council, once a year to exchange greetings and exchange views regarding current issues,” he said. But Syed Hassan maintained that Dr Mahathir was merely a supporter of Perkasa’s ideas and was not their patron, adding that the group felt that Dr Mahathir’s views must be given consideration as they considered him the greatest leader in the country’s history and the Islamic world since becoming Malaysia’s fourth prime minister. - See more at:

1MDB Explanation “Is Not Something I Can Accept” Says Dr M – EXCLUSIVE; 15 January 2015; In an exclusive personal interview granted yesterday to Sarawak Report, former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made clear that he is not satisfied with the latest announcement by 1MDB, claiming that the US$2.32 billion (RM8.24 billon), which was supposedly parked in the Cayman Islands, has now been “fully redeemed”..... “The explanation does not enlighten us on anything”, the veteran politician insisted. “I want to know which bank it’s kept in now.  A billion dollars, you must keep it somewhere, you see.  I don’t know where the money is – that is part of transparency.” Dr Mahathir, who has been the most powerful and vocal critic within BN over the management of the so-called... sovereign development fund, had invited the Editor of Sarawak Report to the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya to discuss issues relating to Sarawak’s environmental and human rights record....

Adenan Joins Mahathir To Condemn Timber Corruption! 17 Nov 2014; Jaws have been slowly dropping around Sarawak and Malaysia – and then on around the world.... Earlier today the new Chief Minister, Adenan Satem, echoed Malaysia’s former Prime Minister and condemned the timber corruption in Sarawak! The conversion of either men to this cause is wholly surprising, given that both are long time political associates of Governor Taib Mahmud, who has savaged this website and other concerned NGOs for criticising this very corruption.... Taib has for decades denied that Sarawak’s timber corruption even existed or that the people and the environment were sufferin.
Now, it seems that Sarawak Report has gone from being an ‘enemy of the state‘ to speaking as with one voice with the leaders of BN!.... Sarawak's chain of custody of logs is deliberately kept weak, so no one can prove the origin of timber in ponds like this...

Malaysia Moderation / Extremism? (update 16): Taman Medan church cross removal protest. Home Minister Zahid says protest against cross is seditious, IGP earlier said protest not seditious, IGP's elder brother involved in cross protest (claims to be mediator to defuse tension, not protest leader). Reactions to Jakim rules on concerts, including gender segregation.

21 April 2015: Taman Medan church cross removal protest. Home Minister Zahid says protest against cross is seditious, IGP earlier said protest not seditious, IGP's elder brother involved in cross protest (claims to be mediator to defuse tension, not protest leader). Reactions to Jakim rules on concerts, including gender segregation.

Protest in Taman Medan is seditious, says Zahid Hamidi Astro Awani | Updated: April 20, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: Action may be taken under the Sedition Act against the residents who protested in front of a church in Taman Medan yesterday, said Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.  He said, action would be taken against anyone who touches on religious sensitivity.
“It does not matter... it does not matter who. Anyone who touches on religious sensitivity, the Islamic religion especially or any other religion is subjected to the Sedition Act,” said Zahid in a press conference held today. “Definitely...definitely, any action will be taken. Yes anyone. I’m 'color blind'  (not racist), and so is the police. Action ill be taken on anyone,” he added.  When asked if any disciplinary action will be taken against any Umno members found to be involved in the protest, Zahid said Umno is a party that respected other religions, and the members involved in the protest will have to bear the consequences of their actions. “Because they have gone against the law and as Umno we respect other religions. They have to face the consequences of their action,” he said....

Top cop unfit to investigate ‘cross’ protest, says DAP MP Published: 21 April 2015 8:26 AM Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar is not the right man to investigate Sunday’s protest against a church for affixing a cross on its premises, says Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua. – The Malaysian Insider pic, April 21, 2015. Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar's quick dismissal of Sunday's protest against a church for affixing a cross on its premises proves he is unfit to investigate or comment on the case, DAP said today. Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua said it was clear that the protesters breached either the Sedition Act or Section 298A (1) of the Penal Code in demanding for the church's cross to be taken down. "That the IGP has dismissed the case against the protesters without even commencing any form of official investigation calls into question the IGP’s impartiality and judgement, especially in the light of the fact that the leader of the protesters was his own elder brother, Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar.

Taman Medan cross protest not seditious, says IGP Astro Awani | Updated: April 20, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: There is no form of sedition in the protest held in front of a church in Taman Medan yesterday, said Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.
 He said this is because the protest was held in regards to the location of the church and not the Christian religion itself. “We do not see it as seditious because it did not touch on Christianity. It was just about the location of the church,” said Khalid as reported by The Malaysian Insider.  It was reported yesterday that a group of 50 people had gathered to protest the sign of cross outside a shop lot used as a church in Taman Medan.  The group had demanded for the cross to be taken down and argued that the sign influence the minds of the younger residents there.........

Yes I’m IGP’s brother, Umno cross protest man says, ‘but it doesn’t mean what I do is wrong’ BY YISWAREE PALANSAMY Monday April 20, 201502:07 PM GMT+8 ; KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — An Umno leader who took part in a Muslim group’s protest against a church in Taman Medan yesterday has admitted to being Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s brother. Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar who is the Taman Lindungan Jaya Umno division leader however stressed that his family ties with Khalid should not be misconstrued, and that he had done nothing wrong by taking part in the protest. “Yes I am the IGP’s brother but does that mean if I do anything, I am abusing my position or whatever I do is wrong?” he told the Malay Mail Online. Abdullah also denied reports that it was him who had led the protest, stressing that he was merely the liaison between the church representatives and the protesters Abdullah runs a firearm and security business. Explaining how he became the mediator during yesterday’s protest, Abdullah said he noticed in a community chat group that several Malay residents were unhappy with the cross and that tensions were rising. - See more at:

Police reports lodged against 'cross' protesters by royce tan Updated: Monday April 20, 2015 MYT 7:39:45 PM GEORGE TOWN: Two police reports were lodged in Penang against the group that protested outside a shoplot church in Taman Medan, Petaling Jaya on Sunday.  Law student and human rights activist K. Sudhagaran Stanley, 30, who lodged the report at the Patani Road police station, condemned the actions of the group saying it provoked religious harmony in the country.
“The action of the protestors went against the freedom of religion and a violation of the Federal Constitution which accorded for all religions to be practiced in peace and harmony. “It makes no sense to argue that a church or its symbol or even other non-Muslim places of worship should not be present in a Muslim-majority area. “If that was the reasoning, then no non-Muslim places or worship should exist in Malaysia,” he told reporters outside the police station......

Jakim guidelines can damage industry, say stakeholders By Audrey Edwards and Aizyl Azlee Sunday April 19, 201507:28 AM GMT+8; PETALING JAYA, April 19 — Stakeholders of the live performances and concerts industry say the Malaysian Islamic Development Department’s (Jakim) guidelines for live entertainment are unrealistic and could damage the industry. Arts, Live Festival and Events Association (ALIFE) acting president Datuk Razlan Razali said he was shocked, as it would affect live performances in Malaysia if the guidelines were enforced.  “This is an ad hoc and knee-jerk reaction. It’s taking us 10 steps backwards,” he said.  “They didn’t take into account the industry or stakeholders. We were not consulted or involved in any way.” ALIFE is an organisation promoting live arts and entertainment.  Razlan said more clarity was needed and he wanted an explanation.  “We are not sure what the action or penalties will be,” he said........... “What is the objective of crowd segregation? Does this mean there will soon be segregation at any gathering including weddings? This is not the vision of the country or the PM.” He challenged Jakim to enforce the guidelines at the concert.  Sepang International Circuit chief executive officer said Formula One concerts in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi did not have crowd segregation. Malaysian Association of Creative Artistes president Datuk Freddie Fernandez echoed the sentiment. “I wouldn’t go to a concert if I had to be separated from my wife. A concert is a shared experience,” he said. He said the revision of the guidelines by Jakim was a knee-jerk reaction following the incident of fans hugging a Korean artiste. “I don’t think if a boy and a girl go to a concert, it will damage their morals. I don’t think the girls who hugged the Korean artiste had their morals damaged. “As long as the acts are clean, the lyrics are fine, I don’t see how concerts can be a negative influence,” he said............

20 April 2015: You’re not alone, DPM tells Dr M;  New open letter by 40 urges Najib administration to restore moderation; Jakim sets out new rules for stage entertainers including no criminal record & good morals, limited jokes on stage, gender segregation for attendees etc.; 50 stage protest against cross on new church in PJ (greater KL)

You’re not alone, DPM tells Dr M by sharanpal singh randhawa Updated: Monday April 20, 2015 MYT 7:15:21 AM; KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has praised Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for never shying away from the truth. “Telling the truth and standing up has been your trademark since you were a young doctor and an ordinary Umno member,’’ Muhyiddin said during his speech at a forum. “Let me assure you, sir, that you are not alone,” he said.  Muhyiddin said Dr Mahathir had always stood up for what he believed in and saluted the former prime minister for having the guts to stand up to world superpowers in making a stand against war. Muhyiddin said this in his keynote speech before officiating the “World Forum: Engaging the Young to Criminalise War and Energise Peace” at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday. The event was also attended by Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman and Dr Mahathir and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, who is the founder and chairman of the Criminalise War Club.... Muhyiddin said extremist tendency among Malaysians must be quickly stopped before it poses a serious threat to the nation’s peace and stability. He said strong measures must be put in place to keep such threats in check and to address the root causes. Extremism and terrorism had become one of the greatest threats the world was facing, and Malaysia enacted the Prevention of Terrorism Act (Pota) to deal with such threats.....

New open letter by 40 urges Putrajaya to restore moderation Published: 19 April 2015 7:00 AM; Another group of Malaysians, including prominent former civil servants and leaders, have signed an open letter urging Putrajaya to recommit to 10 universal values which make Malaysia a moderate country. The letter signed by 40 individuals said the values – trust, responsibility, honesty, dedication, moderation, diligence, discipline, cooperation, honourable behaviour and thanksgiving – were introduced in 1982 by the government to inculcate universal Islamic values....In the letter by the 40, titled “Strengthen the foundational structure of our nation”, the group wrote that moderation as a value was being "ignored by certain quarters, including political leaders who espouse sectarian views to suit their audiences". "Never before in this country’s history have such stresses and strains been made to bear upon the foundational principles of nationhood which now threaten to subvert the bonds that have held all Malaysians together and kept the nation comprising the territorial components of Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak intact," the letter said. The three-page statement, signed by former judges, ambassadors, activists, educationists and notable individuals, said Malaysia had a "civil national order which is religion neutral".... "We consider ourselves duty-bound to call upon the federal government and the state governments to give their undivided attention to this grave peril which our nation faces." Among the signatories were Datuk Albert Talalla, former ambassador to China, Germany and the US; Bob Teoh, former general-secretary of National Union of Journalists; Datuk Choo Siew Kioh, former ambassador to Sweden and Mali; and Tan Sri Clifford Francis Herbert, former secretary-general, Finance Ministry. Others included Hartini Zainudin, child activist; Datuk K.J. Abraham, former deputy director-general of the Department of Irrigation and Drainage; Datuk Kuthubul Zaman Bukhari, chairman of Proham and past president of the Malaysian Bar; Datuk Lily Zachariah, former ambassador to Italy, Chile and Senegal; Datuk Stephen Foo Kiat Shin, former state attorney-general of Sabah; Dr Lyana Khairuddin, educator and scientist working on HIV and HPV; Datuk Stanley Isaacs, former head of Prosecution, Commissioner of Law Revision and Parliamentary Draftsmen of the Attorney-General’s Chambers. On December 8 last year, a group of 25 prominent Malays had penned an open letter asking for a rational dialogue on the position of Islam in a constitutional democracy.....;

The letter from G40 here:; ".....In 1982, the government introduced a policy to inculcate universal Islamic values that all Malaysians have little difficulty in supporting. Of these 10 values – trust, responsibility, honesty, dedication, moderation, diligence, discipline, cooperation, honourable behaviour and thanksgiving – what remains of the policy today is the single value of moderation under the concept of Islam Wasatiyyah. Even that value of moderation is ignored by certain quarters, including political leaders who espouse sectarian views to suit their audiences. It is unfortunate that the policy of promoting these 10 values has become a platform for “Islamisation" by religious bureaucrats. There is mounting disquiet on bureaucracy-driven “Islamisation” of Malaysia and the Malaysian way of life by the expanding and increasingly assertive religious bureaucracies both at the federal and constituent state levels and the posturing of extremist individuals and groups capitalising on this trend..........Let our leaders, be they from the legislative, executive or judicial arms of governance with the undivided support of all patriotic Malaysians, uphold their oath of office to preserve, protect and defend our constitution. We write this letter with deep anguish. Our leaders must, with immediacy, act intentionally, decisively and authoritatively before irretrievable damage is done to our beloved country. – April 19, 2015. "

In Malaysia, new entertainment rules restrict dressing, lyrics and crowd interaction Published: April 18, 2015 07:06 AM GMT+8 By Zurairi AR; The YouTube video ‘Perempuan melayu dicabul atas pentas oleh mat kpop B1A4 semalam’ drew angry response from netizens. — YouTube videograb; KUALA LUMPUR, April 18 — Entertainers coming to Malaysia will now have to adhere to new rules prepared by the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim), which imposes limitations on stage performances, dress and behaviour codes and gender segregation for attendees. The rules, which were released by the department this week, also stipulate that an artist should not have a criminal record, whether in a Shariah or civil court, and should maintain a “noble personality” and “good morals”, even outside the performance. During a performance, the artist must “dress decently” in attire that covers their “aurat”, which refers to the “intimate body parts” that Muslims must cover with clothing. Performances, songs, events and music videos must not insult religious sensitivities, the nation and any race, while the use of any symbolism that go against Islamic teachings and faith is also forbidden. For stage performances, Jakim insists that jokes told should be “sparing”, must “toe the line”, and should not lead to “extreme laughter”. Entertainers are also forbidden from making light of “serious and mournful matters”....

50 stage protest against cross on new church Updated: Monday April 20, 2015 MYT 7:28:23 AM
PETALING JAYA: About 50 residents staged a peaceful protest against a new church situated in a shop lot in Taman Medan after the congregation put up a cross on the building facade. The group, which gathered at about 10am while Sunday service was going on, contended that the sight of the cross in a Muslim-majority area “challenged Islam” and could influence the young. The group was later pacified by a village leader, who spoke with the pastor of the church. “After meeting with the pastor, the church agreed to take down the cross the same day. “If they have the authority to operate, we cannot stop it. “But we ask, out of concern that this is a Malay area, that they take down the cross,” said protest leader Datuk Abdullah Abu Bakar. Other protesters, however, felt that the existence of a church in the vicinity was an affront to their faith.  Some of them also threatened a reporter, saying “You better write about us nicely, or else ...” with some holding on to his shirt as he interviewed protesters....

11 April 2015:  92 detained for suspected IS links, held under Sosma (security offences act) - cops monitoring armed forces and civil servants for militants

IGP: Cops monitoring IS elements within Armed Forces Updated: Saturday April 11, 2015 MYT 8:15:12 AM; KUALA LUMPUR: Police are working closely with the Armed Forces to identify elements of the Islamic State (IS) within its ranks, said Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar..... Referring to the two Armed Forces personnel detained with 15 other suspected militants on Sunday, Khalid said police were monitoring members of the group that returned from Syria and those still in that country. “We are auditing government departments and agencies for civil servants who could be involved in militant activities,” he said, adding that police are expecting the group to plan terror attacks and their acti­vities are constantly being monitored. “So far we have been getting very good support from the public in informing and giving us information on suspected members of IS. We hope this will continue,” Khalid added........ On Sunday, Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter Terrorism Division officers rounded up 17 militants in raids in Kedah and the Klang Valley. Those detained were between the ages of 14 and 49. They are being held under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma). The latest arrests bring the number of those detained for suspected IS links to 92 since February 2012.

10 April 2015: After 12-hour debate, amendments to Sedition Bill passed; PAS hudud facilitation bill will be resubmitted in May; Umno leader says his party’s apparent support for hudud was “just politics” and “Hudud isn’t mainstream"

After 12-hour debate, amendments to Sedition Bill passed with voice vote by yuen meikeng, hemananthani sivanandam, AND martin carvalho Updated: Friday April 10, 2015 MYT 7:40:08 AM
KUALA LUMPUR: The Sedition (Amendment) Bill 2015 was passed by Parliament early Friday, together with several changes to the proposed amendments brought by the Government.
It was passed after the voice vote was taken among the MPs.... The Bill finally got the nod from the House at 2.30am after a gruelling 12 hours of debate, despite attempts by Opposition MPs to stop the amendments.... The Opposition had proposed nine changes to the Bill during the committee stage of the debate but failed to get them approved by the House. However, the Home Ministry’s four changes to the proposed amendments were passed. Among the changes introduced was to preserve the discretion of the Court, whether to grant bail for seditious offences.... This was done via the deletion of Section 5A which states that anyone charged with Sedition shall not be released on bail if there is a "certificate in writing" by the Public Prosecutor stating that it is not in the public interest to grant bail to the person charged... However, the changes to the Bill retains Section 5B which seeks to empower the Public Prosecutor to apply to prevent an accused, who is released on bail, from leaving Malaysia.
The Bill also stated that the Court can also, upon application from the Public Prosecutor, order the accused to surrender his travel documents.... Other changes include reducing the minimum jail term for seditious offences that cause bodily injury or damage to property from five years to three years.
The new changes also state that the act of importing seditious publication is no longer an offence under the principle Act..... Another change made was the removal of the illustration which was inserted to make clear that the act of "exciting any person of group to demand for the secession of any State from Malaysia.".... The part that was removed read "A excites a person or a group of persons to demand for the secession of State B from Malaysia. Such act is seditious."... Meanwhile, Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a press conference at the parliament lobby early Friday, clarified that the issue of secession depended on the interpretation and definition of the courts.... "Some say the interpretation is wide and will lead to abuse. It is the court that does the interpretation based on the terms and present legislations," he told reporters.... Dr Ahmad Zahid also said he was thankful that the amendments to the Sedition Act went on smoothly.... He added that the amendments were vital for three sensitive issues relating to sedition, namely secession, use of social media and religion.... "It is not true for the Opposition to say that this Act will be used to oppress the voice of dissent against the Government as it is clear that the provisions relating to the criticism to the Government in the principal Act were removed," he said.... Dr Ahmad Zahid clarified that the amendments were more focused on those who committed sedition that resulted in bodily injury and property damage....

Umno playing politics with hudud push, Saifuddin tells students in Australia BY SHAUN TAN; KUALA LUMPUR, April 10 — Support for hudud exists only on the fringes despite the high-profile coverage on the controversy over the Islamic penal law in Malaysia, said Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah. Speaking during a summit organised by the Malaysian Students Council of Australia (MASCA) in Brisbane, Australia yesterday, the Umno leader also said his party’s apparent support for hudud was “just politics”. “Hudud isn’t mainstream. The mainstream is moderation and democracy,” he said. During discussions on the topic, he said while the Quran uses the word “hudud” 14 times, none of the mentions involves a fixed punishment, but instead appears in relation to marriage, divorce and kindness to orphans. Saifuddin also condemned last year’s Bible seizure by the Selangor Islamic Religious Department and the attempts to ban non-Muslims from using the word “Allah,” as well as the ruling party’s stance on Islam and society. “Barisan Nasional has lost the plot,” he said. “We have to rewrite the script (and reclaim) the new middle ground.” - See more at:

May tabling for hudud Bill Updated: Friday April 10, 2015 MYT 7:38:00 AM; PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s Private Member’s Bill did not make it for debate as the Dewan Rakyat adjourned for the day. His Bill will have to be re-submitted during the next sitting in May. Earlier, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of parliamentary affairs Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim confirmed that there was no indication from the day’s order of proceedings that Abdul Hadi’s motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisidiction) Act 1965 would be read by the time the sitting ended last night....

6 April 2015: On eve of Prevention of Terrorism Act, 17 arrested for plotting terror acts

Malaysia Detains 17 People Suspected of Plotting Terror Acts Associated Press  KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia — Apr 5, 2015, 11:36 PM ET; Malaysia's police chief says 17 suspected militants have been detained for allegedly plotting to carry out terrorist acts in the country's largest city, Kuala Lumpur. Inspector General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar says the 17 people were detained Sunday. Khalid tweeted on Monday that two of them had just returned from Syria. No further details were immediately available. The government has detained scores of Malaysians believed to be supporters of the Islamic State militant group. Last month, the home ministry proposed two new anti-terror laws that will reintroduce indefinite detention without trial and allow the seizure of passports of anyone suspected of supporting terror acts to curb militant activities in the country. Critics, however, say the new laws as a return of oppressive policies that will curb civil liberties....

4 April 2015: It’s not even Islamic hudud, it’s PAS hudud, says Dr M

It’s not even Islamic hudud, it’s PAS hudud, says Dr M BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 4 April 2015 11:40 AM; Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says today PAS’s intention to implement hudud is to win elections. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, April 4, 2015.Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad says today PAS’s intention to implement hudud is to win elections. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, April 4, 2015.The hudud that is proposed by PAS is not Islamic, and the Kelantan Umno assemblymen who had voted for it‎ were not even aware of what they were supporting, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today. The former pr‎ime minister said PAS's hudud law was unjust because it created two sets of laws, one for Muslims and another for non-Muslims, and included the punishment of stoning to death, which was not even included in the Quran. He added that PAS's intention to implement hudud was not to uphold Islam, but for politics and to win elections. "The hudud that is p‎roposed by PAS is not Islamic hudud. It is PAS hudud. "If you are not just, you are not Islamic. If you have political intentions, it's not Islamic. So the people in Kelantan Umno who supported this don't even know what they're supporting," said Dr Mahathir at a forum in Cyberjaya today.......He added that only the hadith mentioned cases of people being stoned to death, and said the two incidents were unique rather than the norm. "When you start anything, as a Muslim you say, 'bismillahirrahmanirrahim' which means 'in the name of the God, the most merciful and compassionate'. You think it's merciful and compassionate to stone people to death? "It is an unjust law. What they are introducing, because they are confining to Muslims and not to Muslims, it is unjust. If it is unjust, it is not Islamic."........ He added that as long as the government applied common law and upheld justice, it was already obeying the teachings of Islam. "I never felt any guilt at all that what I was doing was un-Islamic. I felt I was doing things Islamic in having certain family matters placed under Shariah and other crimes placed under common law to achieve justice."

Tun M: PAS' hudud is just to fish for votes  by joseph kaos jr Updated: Saturday April 4, 2015 MYT 2:14:23 PM; CYBERJAYA: Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad (pic) has criticised PAS’ implementation of the hudud law in Kelantan, calling it “unIslamic” and used only to fish for votes. He explained that the Islamic hudud promotes justice and the hudud law that is proposed by PAS excludes the non-Muslims from punishment and therefore is not just. “In the quran there are 43 verses that say that when you judge, you must judge with justice. But under PAS’ hudud, it only applies to Muslims. If a Muslim and a non-Muslim were caught for robbery, the Muslim will get his hand chopped off while the non-Muslim only goes to jail. “Tell me how is that fair? If it is not fair, it is not Islamic,” said Dr Mahathir, who was responding to a question fielded by a participant of the “What Youth Should Know” leadership conference here on Saturday. Dr Mahathir also said PAS’ “niat”, or intention, to implement hudud was not for Islamic reasons but rather political reasons. “PAS’ niat is not for Islam. It is for winning elections and proving there are more Muslim than Umno. If politics is your ‘niat’ than the hudud they are trying to implement is no longer Islamic. “Kelantan Umno voted for hudud but they do not even know what they are supporting. Dr Mahathir said that as a multi-racial country, it is not viable to implement hudud in the country. “We cannot apply hudud in Malaysia as it is a multi-racial country. But the common law is there to uphold justice. I always believe when you uphold justice, than you are upholding the principles of Islam,” he said.

3 April 2015: Malaysia freedom of speech concerns and the rise of sensitivities

Malaysia faces harsh Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) act that critics worry could be used to detain political opponents indefinitely without trial (in an apparent return of the feared features of the colonial era Internal Security Act). Concerns in Malaysia are rife with "with more than 150 people arrested or investigated in the last two months mainly over freedom of expression.." (see MI article below). It seems that ever since George Bush's "war on terror" (example, "you're with us or against us" and the push to be silent on public criticism for fear of demoralising the troops and being seen as unpatriotic), sensitivities increasingly seem to trump freedom of speech considerations.

Meanwhile in Singapore, Amos Yee, a teenager, has been charged as an adult for a hate speech - an obscenity laden tirade which dwells on recently deceased Lee Kuan Yew in the most part; with some negative words that might upset Christians. On the latter, a petition for forgiveness was started by a Singapore Christian (Petition: Release Amos Yee from your anger*).

Broadly speaking, in chats with people in KL and Singapore, a significant number feel that sensitivity / sensibility issues are important (and it seems that the substance was of lesser concern than the form or format). Also, some in KL feel that Singapore is a good place (comparatively speaking) and that Amos Yee was "terribly ungrateful." In a chat with researchers this morning, we noted the negative responses that a postings on Singapore's relatively developed status (thanks to British colonial rule) and the important role of Lee Kuan Yew's lieutenants in building the newly independent island city were attracting. Do some regard this as wrong or wrongly diminishing Lee Kuan Yew's stature? Furthermore, some may also feel that in a time of mourning, there should not be any criticisms whatsoever?

*The petition has "Reasons for signing" section that includes many opinions including these: "The boy's views are expressed rudely, but arresting him would simply prove him right. It is a failure of our education system that we cannot enable people to express dissent in a polite manner. I know people with exactly the opposite views (from him) who are equally rude. He is more a symptom than a problem, and a symbol of what's wrong. Don't punish the messenger....... Please do not follow Malaysia footstep on silent minority voices. Atheism is not a crime ... Forgive is the way to go ....... I would like to take this opportunity to show him grace and mercy bcos my Lord Jesus loves him as who he is. Jesus came for the sinners and not the righteous.....I find Amos Yee to be an extremely talented youth. He may have problems, I am not sure, but his videos surely are telling me that he belongs to a rare breed of talented people... Please do not punish him, but help him. Thank you.....What shocked me was how unprepared Singaporeans are for it. I watched your other videos and was impressed with so much genius. Your video on how to speak Singlish is simply brilliant, thank you for it. Your article on your 4 years spent on high school is one of the most intelligent things I’ve read written by a Singaporean and it beats anything I have read on Singaporean newspapers. You are an inspiration for those who appreciate sarcastic humour, like myself........  If you arrest this kid, then why isn't there any arrest made on the Grassroots leader who made that vicious, self-centered threat to harm this kid, as well? We all have seen pictorial proof of what the grassroots leader said. Why isn't he arrested for causing disharmony as well? This grassroots leader is equally dangerous to society with his sinister mentality as the young kid might have been!......he is a kid for God's sake. Plus you've got lots of people hurling obscene word at others (uploaded on Facebook) but are not persecuted. Is this another way to instil fear in the hearts of others?..........I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of choice. And transparency of government.....Everybody should have freedom to speak, to fight for their future......Let he who has not sinned at 17 cast the first stone....I am signing this because this kid got balls....."I may not agree with what he says but I'll defend to the death his right to say it." .... "

Critics miss the point, problem lies with hate speech law in Amos Yee case By Carlton Tan Apr 02, 2015 5:33AM UTC

Singapore Teen Charged With Obscenity After YouTube Rant  By Lucy Westcott   3/31/15 at 1:41 PM

WATCH: Singapore teenager Amos Yee jailed for video critical of late founder Lee Kuan Yew and Christianity  BY  Associated Press  /  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS/ Wednesday, April 1, 2015, 1:44 PM

Amos Yee: Singapore charges teen over anti-Lee Kuan Yew rant 31 March 2015

Crackdown may eventually backfire on BN, say analysts BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 1 April 2015 6:59 AM There was a huge turnout at the #KitaLawan rally on March 7. Soon after, Putrajaya began cracking down on dissent, leading to the arrest of many activists, opposition politicians and academics. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 1, 2015.With more than 150 people arrested or investigated in the last two months mainly over freedom of expression, political analysts say the police crackdown might cripple dissent briefly, but would ultimately backfire on the ruling coalition. While the arrest and investigations on opposition politicians, activists, academics and media personnel would cow the public for a while and drain the resources of those critical of Putrajaya, such actions would not be effective for long, they told The Malaysian Insider. “In the short term, it certainly helps the ruling coalition because it has a chilling effect on the public and reduces the ability of the opposition to take advantage of the ongoing internal problems in Umno,” said Ibrahim Suffian, the director of independent pollster Merdeka Center.... “But in the longer run, it will affect public sentiment. These days, you can’t keep a lid on things. It will create problems and affect the legitimacy of the government.” Dr Lim Teck Ghee, the director of think-tank Centre for Policy Initiatives, said urban and educated voters would see no logic for the arrests, despite the official justifications. He said most Malaysians would rather have the police concentrate on their crime and security mission rather than take on a political role. - See more at:

Sedition Act won’t shield corrupt leaders forever, says Zaid Ibrahim Published: 3 April 2015 10:32 AM; Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must remember that the people always win against corrupt and oppressive leaders, says a former Umno minister. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 3, 2015. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak must remember that the people always win against corrupt and oppressive leaders, says a former Umno minister. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, April 3, 2015. Although the Sedition Act has been retained, a former Umno minister warned that leaders who have "wronged" the country should not use the colonial-era law to "shield" them from their wrongdoings. Writing in his blog, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said oppressive means to stifle dissent would not be popular, adding that it was a matter of time before the legislation was abolished. "All I can say is that the people of this country do not need the Sedition Act.  "This law is used to prevent people like you and me from talking about abuses that affect our country. "Najib and his friends must remember that the people always win against corrupt and oppressive leaders, no matter how much force is used to suppress their will. It’s just a matter of time," he said in reference to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. "The Sedition Act will go once the country is free. For now the act can shield them, but without it, the leaders who have wronged this country will be exposed."
- See more at:

31 March 2015: Malaysia Insider editors and bosses caught up by police over news reports on royal opposition to hudud - which were denied as true

Malaysian Insider's top bosses Ho and Jahabar detained by Charles Ramendran  Posted on 31 March 2015 - 12:19pm; KUALA LUMPUR: Barely a day after three senior editors of Malaysian Insider were held under the Sedition Act, the web news portal's publisher Ho Kay Tat and chief executive officer Jahabar Sadiq were detained soon after being summoned by police for questioning today.
Ho and Jahabar had turned up to be quizzed at the Dang Wangi police headquarters here at about 9am.... They were summoned over a news report published last week in Malaysian Insider that claimed the royal institution had opposed to the amendment of the Federal Constitution to enable hudud laws to be implemented....

27 March 2015: Ruler's deny hudud remarks, Kelantan hudud plans never presented in the first place!

Murky happenings.

Rulers’ office denies issuing hudud remarks, lodges police report Thursday March 26, 201505:30 PM GMT+8 KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — The Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal denied today issuing any statement on Kelantan’s hudud plan, and is seeking a police investigation into the matter. In a statement quoted by Bernama, Datuk Seri Syed Danial Syed Ahmad said a report has been lodged at the Jalan Travers police station. “The Conference of Rulers has never discussed the matter at its meetings. “The office (of the Keeper of the Rulers’ Seal) did not issue a press statement dated March 25 on the matter,” he reportedly said. Online news portal The Malaysian Insider carried a report yesterday claiming the Conference of Rulers had rejected Kelantan’s proposed amendments to a federal law meant to enable the enforcement of hudud. A Kelantan government leader, however, disputed the article. Datuk Mohd Takiyuddin Hassan, who is head of Kelantan’s permanent secretariat on hudud, said yesterday he was informed by Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob that the state’s hudud plans were never presented to the royal council in the first place. - See more at:

26 March 2015: Malay rulers rejected hudud proposal put up by Jakim-Umno-Pas group - Straits Times; Lim Kit Siang asks if PM Najib will deviate from stance of the first five PMs against hudud; is PM Najib's prolonged silence on hudud part of a strategy against his political enemies - Malaysiakini

The question swirling in KL at the moment: Can PM Najib retain control of the genie now let out? Some tell of some Muslim politicians with strong views that hudud is a topic only for Muslims to discuss. What is the level of contestation on this policy among Muslims? Some ask if it's likely there is "no choice but to agree" for many Muslims? KL-ites avidly looking for how Parliament approaches the matter. Who in BN is for/against hudud? News on Malay Rulers views a potential big development - are they rulers before all else?  (see Conference of Rulers denial in 27 March posting above). Questions on triggers for out-migration.

Malay rulers rejected hudud proposal - They felt it encroached on their constitutional authority as religious heads By Shannon Teoh, Malaysia Correspondent in Kuala Lumpur Published on Mar 26, 2015; PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang has submitted a Private Member's Bill in an attempt to get the federal law changed.... A MOVE to introduce the Islamic penal code or hudud in Kelantan is proving to be much harder than first envisaged, as it has run into resistance from Malaysia's respected Council of Rulers. As a result of the rebuff by the nine-member council earlier this month, Kelantan had to go about using a Private Member's Bill to try to introduce changes to a federal law that are necessary if hudud is to take effect in the state.... The proposal was put to the rulers' council by Jakim, a federal Islamic agency, after discussions between representatives of Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) in an unusual joint effort between Malaysia's ruling party and the Islamist opposition party, which runs Kelantan.... The agreement was thrashed out at a little- known hudud technical committee set up last year to promote the implementation of the criminal code in the state.

Every PM's been firm against hudud, save Najib By Lim Kit Siang  10:00AM Mar 26, 2015
MP SPEAKS Time is running out for Prime Minister Najib Razak in the next 24 hours when the cabinet holds its weekly meeting on Friday (during parliamentary meetings).  This is as to whether Najib has deviated from the stand of the first five prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Dr Mahathir Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Badawi and the bedrock Umno/BN nation-building principle and policy that hudud law is against Malaysian constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and not suitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia.
For nearly 60 years, every prime minister if asked will have no hesitation to declaring the federal constitution and the Malaysia Agreement of 1963 will not permit the implementation of hudud laws.

As enemy crumbles, Najib delays hudud stand; On Feb 10, the Prime Minister's Office broke a record of sorts when it swiftly issued a statement on the Federal Court's decision to uphold Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction, even before sentencing.... But six days after PAS moved one step closer towards its theocratic goal of implementing hudud, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has remained silent over how his administration or the ruling party view the matter....

25 March 2015: G25 says no place for PAS' hudud - problems arise if hudud enforced before the conditions for its application are met. Where's PM Najib's statement?

There are calls for PM Najib to make a statement on hudud. Silence so far.

Najib to issue statement over hudud - UMNO Supreme Council member Astro Awani | Updated: March 22, 2015  (First published on: March 22, 2015 15:29 MYT).  KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will make an official statement regarding  the hudud law soon, revealed an insider from UMNO Supreme Council. The statement, said the source will put an end to various accusations hurled by the Opposition against Najib on his views on the hudud law. “We have to wait for Najib’s statement on the hudud law which will be issued soon. It will be the party’s stance on the implementation of the law in Kelantan,” said the source to Astro AWANI when contacted, today.

G25: No place for PAS' hudud in moderate Malaysia by victoria brown Updated: Wednesday March 25, 2015 MYT 6:16:56 PM; PETALING JAYA: The implementation of PAS’ hudud will indicate to the world that Malaysia has abandoned its moderate path, said a group of prominent Malays, dubbed G25.... “The Prime Minister has continued to steer the Government along this path and has launched the Global Movement of Moderates to show to the world that the country is committed to the principle of moderation. ... “The imposition of PAS’ hudud laws will signify to the world that Malaysia has abandoned the moderate path.... “We will be seen as a country governed by religious laws which are subjected to the vagaries of interpretation of the ulama who are also fallible human beings,” said the group of retired civil servants in a statement on Wednesday. The group further expressed its concerns as to whether hudud would succeed in upholding justice. “A perusal of the 2015 Hudud Enactment of Kelantan reveals that it has retained the emphasis on punishment rather than repentance and rehabilitation as enjoined in the Quran,” the group said in a statement on Wednesday... The group quoted World Union of Muslim Scholars chairman Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi that problems would arise when hudud is enforced before the conditions for its application are met.....

24 March 2015: Impossible to enforce hudud in Malaysia, says law minister; who's for / against? 

Those speaking out against hudud include: DAP, PKR and two BN/UMNO members - Nazri, Nur Jazlan, and BN component parties from Sarawak under Nancy Shukri. Those supporting hudud include: UMNO Kelantan, Tengku Razaleigh, Shahrir Samad (BN Backbencher Chairman).

Impossible to enforce hudud in Malaysia, says law minister ‎BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH Published: 24 March 2015 10:37 AM; De facto law minister Nancy Shukri today dismissed the chance of hudud being implemented in Kelantan, saying the Private Member's Bill on the issue will never get a single vote from Sarawak lawmakers in Parliament. She agreed with fellow minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz that it was impossible to implement the Islamic penal code in Malaysia, as‎ there were already provisions for criminal offences in the penal code. "We have the federal constitution. We have to look at the offences under hudud. There might be double jeopardy," Nancy, who is Batang Sadong MP, told reporters in ‎Parliament today. googletag.cmd.push(function() {googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1400601790726-3');}); "A lot of provisions are already under the federal constitution, there needs to be a another study if we were to allow hudud to pass through." Nazri, the former law minister, said that hudud was unsuitable for Malaysia and those who discussed it were fools. The first Umno minister to openly dismiss the implementation of the Islamic penal code, he said that the hudud could only be implemented by amending the Federal Constitution and this would require two-thirds of legislators in Parliament to support it. - See more at:

19 March 2015: Kelantan state assembly votes unanimously for hudud bill

Kelantan's hudud bill amendments passed by syed azhar Updated: Thursday March 19, 2015 MYT 2:03:15 PM; KOTA BARU: Amendments to Kelantan's Syariah Criminal Code 1993 were passed unamiously by the State Legislative Assembly here on Thursday. The amendments were passed at 12.05pm after more than two and a half hours of debates by four state assemblymen and two winding-up speeches including one by Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yaakob. Ahmad's motion was supported by his deputy Datuk Mohd Amar Abdullah. The vote was passed unanimously by 44 assemblymen comprising 31 from PAS, 12 from Umno and one from PKR.....

28 February 2015: I fought for all Muslims (against intimidation), says Borders manager after court frees her

I fought for all Muslims, says Borders manager after court frees her BY JENNIFER GOMEZ Published: 26 February 2015 1:42 PM Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz (centre) with other staff of Borders Bookstore. She says her legal battle is to ensure that other Muslim workers will not be intimidated by the authorities for doing their job. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 26, 2015.Borders Bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz said her legal battle with Islamic authorities over a charge of selling and distributing a book deemed to be against Islam had changed her and made her realise her larger role to ensure other Muslims are not harassed for doing their jobs. Given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal by the Shariah High Court today, Nik Raina said she had been a shy and reserved person before the raid on May 23, 2012 on the bookstore where she worked, but her ordeal had turned her into a more outspoken person. Along the way, she realised that she had a role to play in facing up to the charges against her... Nik Raina said most of the management staff at Borders are Muslims, and she feared they could be subject to the same intimidation if she did not stand up for her rights in facing the charges. - See more at:

25 February 2015: PM Dept says Imams must report deviationist teaching - Malaysia has 22,000 mosques and suraus with 15,254 imams

Imams must report any deviationist teaching - Jamil Khir Bernama | Updated: February 25, 2015
KUALA LUMPUR: The imams must play a more aggressive role in preventing the spread of deviationist teachings which can confuse and destroy the faith of Muslims or lead to other problems spreading in the country.... A minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said in this regard, the imams must report to the authorities if they detected the spread of any deviationist teachings.... "Such things cannot be left unchecked because it can spread rapidly if no drastic action is taken to prevent it," he told reporters after closing the National Level Conference of Imams in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the existence of the National Mosque, Tuesday.
He said there were 22,000 mosques and suraus throughout the country with a total of 14,254 imams....

14 February 2015: In social media in Malaysia a list of Bumiputera and non-Bumiputera consumer goods and F&B is making the rounds with other tit-for-tat boycott ideas - triggered by the boycott call of Agriculture & Agro-based Industry Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob (who has denied being racist, and has been defended by Prime Minister Najib on having misstated*); Brunei's rising restrictions on non-Muslims

Also being circulated is the Brunei restrictions on Chinese New Year (next week) celebration displays:

In addition an UMNO  Division Chief who has been cited as saying he does not require non-Malay voter support has been identified via social media postings as being a Managing Director of a public company that owns a subsidiary producing or distributing beverages including global brand soft drinks and others. It is being suggested that if he is not needing the political support of these groups, he / his company also does not need their consumption support. 

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Senarai Produk BUMIPUTERA
1. Roti Gardenia (Syed Mokhtar)
 2. Beras Jasmine (Syed Mokhtar)
 3. Minyak Masak Tiara (FELDA)
 4. Minyak Masak Saji (FELDA)
 5. Susu Manis Pekat Saji (FELDA)
 6. Susu Manis Cair Saji (FELDA)
 7. Magge Sajimee Saji (FELDA)
 8. Mayonis Saji Mayo Saji (FELDA)
 9. Marjerin Pelangi (FELDA)
 10. Sos Cili Pelangi (FELDA)
 11. Sos Tomato Pelangi (FELDA)
 12. Jem Peanut SunBear (FELDA)
 13. Sardin Agromas
 14. Sardin Pertima
 15. Kopi Hang Tuah
 16. Bihun Sufi
 17. Mi Kuning Sufi
 18. Kuey Teow Sufi
 19. Garam Sufi
 20. Sos Lada Hitam Sufi
 21. Sos Cili/Tomato Sufi
 22. Kicap Masin/Manis Sufi
 23. Tepung Goreng Sufi
 24. Minyak Masak Sufi
 25. Telur Cap Sufi
 26. Ubat gigi Najwa
 27. Ubat gigi Halagel
 28. Garam Halagel
 29. Tepung gandum Cap Bidara
 30. Tepung gandum Faiza
 31. Jus minuman Safina
 32. Syampoo D’herbs
 33. Pasaraya Mydin
 34. Pasaraya MyMart (kedai keluaran Mydin)
 35. Bihun Kampung
 36. Burger Ramly
 37. Air Mineral Eden
 38. Air Mineral Ala Fonte (Mofaz)
 39. Beras Faeza
 40. Beras Langsat
 41. Kicap Adabi
 42. Kicap Cap Kipas Udang
 43. Minyak Masak Alif
 44. Nugget Ayamas
 45. Sos Rohaya
 46. Sos Adabi
 47. Barang Kosmetik Secret Garden

1.A&W (Milik KUB)
 2.Burger King (Milik Ekuinas)
 3.The Manhattan Fish Market (Milik Ekuinas)
 4.Poppeyes (Milik Ekuinas)
 5.San Francissco (Milik Ekuinas)
 6.Tutti Frutti Ice Cream (Milik Naza)
 7.Ramly Burger (dijamin masih milik melayu)
 8.Otai Burger (Melayu)
 9.1901 Hot Dog Fast Food (Melayu)
 10.Burger Bakar Abg Burn (Melayu)
 11.HPA Radix Fried Chicken (RFC)
 12.Old Malaya Kopitiam (Selangor)
 13.Lam Yong Kopitiam (Selangor)
 14.Jonker Walk Kopitiam (Selangor)
 15.Lay Pak Kopitiam (KL)
 16.Umai Kopitiam (Negeri Sembilan)
 17.Pak Tam Kopitiam (Negeri Sembilan)
 18.Manjung Kopitiam (Perak)
 19.D'Impian Kopitiam (Johor)
 20.Mai Kopitiam (Kedah)
 21.Umai Kopitiam
 22.Kfc (Milik Qsr Brands)
 23.Pizza Hut (Milik Qsr Brands)
 24.Rasamas (Milik Qsr Brands)
 25.Ayamas (Milik Qsr Brands)

1.Roti Massimo
 2. Bihun Aminah Hassan
 3. Minyak Masak Sri Murni
 4. Nugget Sri Murni
 5. Tuna Marina
 6. Sos Cili Aminah Hassan
 7. Sos Tomato Aminah Hassan
 8. Tepung Gandum Cap Sauh
 9. Beras Cap Rambutan
 10. Ali Café PowerRoot
 11. Cereal PowerRoot Oligo
 12. PowerRoot 9SPOT ISOTONIK
 13. Malta
 14. NutriMalt
 15. Teh Cap Masjid
 16. Teh Guru Cap Masjid
 17. Pau Ahmad
 18. Old Town White Coffee
 19. Pasaraya EconSave
 20. Pasaraya KK mart
 21. Pasaraya 99 SpeedMart
 22. Minyak Masak Knife
 23. Minyak Masak Buruh
 24. Minyak Masak Naturel
 25. Minyak Masak Daisy
 26. Drinho ALL DRINKS
 27. Isomax Isotonic
 28. HomeSoy
 29. Farm Crows Butter
 30. Tempura Marina
 31. Hotdog Marina
 32. Kacang Peas Hijau Marina
 33. Kacang Baked Merah Marina
 34. Beef ball Marina
 35. Nugget Marina
 36. Burger Saudi
 37. Pencuci Muka Shahirah
 38. Pencuci Muka Safi
 39. Ubat Gigi Safi
 40. Pencuci Muka Balqis Safi
 41. Café Powerroot Ali
 42. Mee segera Ruski
 43. Pasaraya Long Wan
 44. Pasaraya Bilal
 45. Beras Cap Masjid
 46. Air Mineral Spritzer

Restoran NON Bumiputera
1.The Chicken Rice Shop
 2.Old Town White Coffee
 3.Mc Donald
 4.Kenny Rogers
 5.Papa John’s Pizza
 6.Wendy’s Hamburger
 7.Krispy Kreme
 8.Starbucks Coffe
 9.Kyros Kebab
 10.TGi Fridays
 11.Dave’s Deli
 12.Baskin Robin’s
 13.Coffee Bean
 14.Domino’s Pizza
 15.Carls JR
 16.Secret Recipe
 18.Dominos Pizza
 19.Kemaman Kopitiam
 21.Pak Li Kopitiam
 22.Pak Hailam Kopitiam
 23.Mr.Kaya Kopitiam
 25.Roti Bakar Kopitiam
 26.Victoria Station
 28. Nandos

x suruh pun boikot...cuma suruh pilih mana yg lebih utama.. kalau bangsa yahudi diorg akan utamakan bangsa diorg.. bangsa cina pun sama jgk wlupun diorg menafikan hakikat sbnr.. org inggeris pun sama diorg akan utamakan bangsa diorg.. sama jgk org kulit hitam pun.. kita org Melayu ni ja yg kebanyakan x pentingkn bangsa kita sendiri... kononnya takut bangsa lain angap kita rasis pdhal bangsa lain kita x nmpk plk yg diorg tu sbnrnya lg rasis dr kita... so..sendiri pikir la yea...

A loose translation: I am not telling you to boycott, but to ask you to choose which is more important. If the Jews can favour their own, and Chinese does the same as the Jews but the Chinese will not admit to this truth, the English also favour their own race... same with the black people. Why then do the majority of Malays choose not to favour their own race. ..apparently because Malays are worried other races will consider us racist, when in reality, the other races themselves fail to see that they are more racist than the Malays, so please think for yourself….

*Najib defends Ismail Sabri, says comment meant for ‘all traders’ Published: 4 February 2015 5:12 PM; Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today defended Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob's Facebook comment on Chinese traders, saying the Umno minister was not targeting any specific race.
The Prime Minister's Department in a statement said the Cabinet was told that Ismail's post was a reminder for all businesses to lower the price of their goods....

4 February 2015: Speak up for secular politics, Anwar and three others tell Muslims; Agriculture & Agro-based Industry Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob clarifies he only meant to urge Malay consumers to boycott stubborn (not all) Chinese traders but some readers of his blog postings are not convinced

Speak up for secular politics, Anwar and three others tell Muslims Published: February 1, 2015 08:34 AMUPDATED: February 01, 2015 10:50 am; KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 1 — Muslims must reject the commingling of religion and politics to avoid falling victim to religious extremists and authoritarian governments purporting to combat them, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has said in an opinion with three other Muslim world leaders. In the piece published by Indonesian news portal The Jakarta Globe and in response to last month’s Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris that was triggered by the magazine’s caricatures of Prophet Muhammad, the four also said that freedom of speech was an inalienable right in Islam. The article was penned by Opposition Leader Anwar along with founder of Khlass Le Silence Felix Marquardt, president of the World Council of Religions for Peace Ghaleb Bencheikh, and imam and rector of the Great Mosque of Bordeaux Tareq Oubrou.... In the article titled “Islam is a victim of global terrorists”, the quartet condemned the “barbarous” killings in Paris by Islamist gunmen and said that violence — physical or verbal — was not the way Muslims should defend their faith.....

'I meant stubborn Chinese traders, not all' by Malaysiakini; Under fire for urging Malay consumers to boycott Chinese traders in order to bring prices down, Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob now clarifies that he did not mean all Chinese traders....

Blog postings don’t lie, but ministers do By Yoursay; YOURSAY ‘Clearly his blog was intended to induce hatred of the Chinese.’....

30 January 2015: Selangor Mufti 'beat the wife" comdemed by NGOs saiying it is unlawful under Domestic Violence Act

NGO condemns Selangor Mufti’s ‘beat the wife’ call by FMT Reporters  | January 30, 2015
Malaysians urged to stand up and reject the Selangor Mufti’s extremist, misogynistic, and unlawful statement. domestic-violence SHAH ALAM: The Joint Action Group for Gender Equality has condemned Selangor Mufti Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid for reportedly stating that a man is allowed to beat his wife and children under certain circumstances.... The Selangor Mufti Department’s objectives include providing “advice and guidance to the Sultan, the State Government and society”, pointed out the Group in a statement, “not propagate misogynistic and unlawful views”.... The Group warned the Selangor Mufti that Penal Code section 323 criminalises “voluntarily causing hurt”, and the Domestic Violence Act makes it very clear that abuse by a husband towards his wife, physical or psychological, is a crime....

13 January 2015: Sarawak cancels talk on the Prophet in the Bible by Iraqi Islamic scholar

Sarawak cancels Islamic talk after Christians object BY DESMOND DAVIDSON Published: 13 January 2015; Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman, the minister in charge of Islamic affairs in the state, said he “advised” the organisers to cancel the talk because of objections from the Association of Churches in Sarawak (ACS), certain individuals and politicians. The talk – organised by the Islamic Information Centre (IIC) and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) – was scheduled for tomorrow and Thursday.... But it was deemed unhelpful in defusing religious tension between Muslims and Christians in the country.... The talk, in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad's birthday, was to feature Iraqi Islamic scholar Shaykh Afeefuddin Al-Jalani speaking on the Prophet Muhammad in the Bible.... PKR state chief Baru Bian, who today faxed a letter to Daud, stated that the topic of the talk was “an affront to Christians because Prophet Muhammad was never mentioned in the Bible, contrary to what the topic implies”. He said many church leaders considered the topic to be blasphemous. “Imagine how the Muslims would feel if a group of Christians proposed to invite a Christian scholar to talk about the Quran. “I shudder to think of the reaction from the extreme ‘defenders of the faith’ in West Malaysia,” he added....

12 January 2015: Paris attackers never visited Malaysia says Royal Malaysian Police

Jewish store attackers never visited Malaysia for a holiday - IGP by Astro Awani | Updated: January 11, 2015 (First published on: January 11, 2015 09:27 MYT) KUALA LUMPUR: The Inspector-General of Police of Malaysia Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has denied that France's terror duo involved in the Paris kosher grocery store massacre had entered Malaysia for a holiday, as reported by CNN.
Khalid wrote that checks by Royal Malaysian Police proved that the duo had never been to this country....

10 January 2015: Minister warns on Paris-type massacre risk, DAP's Kit Siang criticizes Najib inaction on extremism and points to Malaysia ranking #48 in Global Terrorism Index 2014

After Hisham’s caution on Paris massacre, Kit Siang queries unfettered extremism in Malaysia Published: January 10, 2015 09:13 AM; KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — A minister’s warning that Malaysia could see its own version of the Charlie Hebdo massacre in Paris that left 20 people dead has prompted DAP’s Lim Kit Siang to ask why growing religious extremism is not muzzled here. Agreeing with Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein’s prognosis on the threats of religious extremism, Lim nevertheless lamented that the minister was commenting on the symptom — the threat to national security — rather than the cause: growing religious fundamentalism and extremism. Citing the Global Terrorism Index 2014 released by the Institute of Economic and Peace in November, the DAP parliamentary leader noted that Malaysia has climbed 91 spots in the ranking since 2012 and was now 48th in a list topped by war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan.... Criticising Putrajaya for its inaction against open provocation and bigotry, Lim then juxtaposed the government’s incongruous silence against extremism against Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s repeated messages espousing moderation both at home and abroad....

29 December 2014: Sarawak bars controversial Ridhuan Tee, moderate Muslims initiative

CM's Office bars Ridhuan Tee from entering Sarawak; 1:39PM Dec 26, 2014  By Bernama; The Office of the Sarawak Chief Minister has issued a directive prohibiting the entry of academician Dr Mohd Ridhuan Tee Abdullah into the state.

SIS: Ridhuan's thinking may lead to real terrorism; 10:29AM Dec 18, 2014 Malaysiakini
If the arguments put forth by people like controversial academic Ridhuan Tee Abdullah are not countered, we may soon have our own version of Islamic State (IS), warns an NGO.

Ridhuan given his just desserts in Sarawak; 8:39AM Dec 28, 2014 By Yoursay ; YOURSAY ‘Sarawak doesn't want you and neither does the rest of the country.’

Moderate Malays initiative gathering momentum 8:10AM Dec 19, 2014  By Yoursay
22 Muslim activists show support for Eminent 25