Matters of opinion that enables me to understand or make some sense of my country- Malaysia

Archive for March, 2015

Of Lee Kuan Yew and Dr Mahathir respective styles of premiership.

Despite both PMs having strong authoritarian tendencies in governing but  TDM’s  administration  basically institutionalised a system that entrenched rampant political corruption as the norm –  whilst LKY demonstrated what can be achieved by a goverment with a zero tolerance of corruption.That’s the underlying difference between the 2 PMs and their respective ideals of Governing a nation with a multi cultural identity.
For LKY it was all or nothing,and particularly  stern against money politics that drags many Goverments down.Self-less interests style of LKY ,everything was for the best interests of his nation state vs Selfish interests of TDM’s goverment, ,inverted priorities .!
And results today in SIngapore and Malaysia ,esp of the goverment machinery is a testimony to that.

If TDM had the foresight to recognize the rot of corruption and wanted to or chosed to confront and address corruption firmly and sternly when he was at the height of his powerful premiership,Malaysia may very well have been better off  ,and who knows ,perhaps even match or surpass the efficiency and success story Singapore is today.

Point being ,both PMs and their governing style is a reflection of their own mentalities/attitudes /convictions of what and how their perspectives of the immediate world around them are , and how they view their own societies and perhaps allows a sneak peek into a window of what their personal personalities may be  like -by  the paths they chose to thread in Governing their own nation and the collective society they think they understand .

Pragmatism vs Materialism in Game of Power and  Influence

LKY’s pragmatism and foresight in recognising the formula to efficient governing above all ,  is a clean goverment with no nonsense approach to corruption- whereby TDM opted to leverage corrupt practices to his advantage and hence a barely functional goverment machinery ,prioritized by greed and personal interests in accumulating wealth , as among the driving force formulas – was put into momentum, where practices  such as  “commisions ,percentages ,third party or under table etc etc”  are the standard – without which  things may not get done efficiently.

And that momentum has been sliding downhill ever since – casting aside Govermental Transparency/ Accountability .

Dubious questionable financial practices are allowed to slide because of influence or political connections ,as long as there is a “greasing of palms” , that almost every Malaysian or non Malaysian business entities or even the man on the street has acknowledged that it is the standard on how things are done – in many Malaysian business environments,particularly in dealings with Federal/National  entities.

 

Can “Kow Tim” perhaps in Malaysia but don’t even consider the notion in Singapore !

Just mull on what the word ” Kow Tim” means to Malaysians.Essentially in most Malaysian psyches,most will just good naturedly shrugged it off as how things “are” and always “have been” .  And nothing objectionable to the term.

Yet in SIngaporean mindsets,even a whiff of something similar can land one in hot soup and is an abhorrent thing to even suggest as an option to gain any advantage in commercial enterprises or extricate one from a bind with the authorities..
That is the stark difference in the societal mindsets of the 2 nations.

Malaysians visiting or working in Singapore will never dare to even hint at “Kow Tim” when dealing with Singaporean Authorities/Civil service/Ministries , knowing for a fact that its un-acceptable and not tolerated and definitely worsen things if they are already in trouble with the authorities.

But on the other hand , almost instinctively, “Kow Tim”  or “selesai ” or ” settle”  will be  amongst the open options , considered in the mindsets , if they are in a “situation” in Malaysia, in dealing with authority. Fact is that , the thought of perhaps  they can buy themselves out of a “tight spot” in whatever trouble they are in – does come to mind.

But in Singapore,that thought is banished and dare not be entertained as a reflex and rule. That’s the difference of the environment and societal psyches in Singapore and Malaysia.,where ,in the former ,- regardless of ethnicity /nationality or country of origin – All  in residence in the city state – acknowledge and respect and take the rule of law and clean governance very seriously .

Essence of LKY’s  non-corruptible governance

And that is the essence of LKY’s premiership that to his credit ,managed to inculcate into non-Singaporean residents ,a healthy respect for the laws of the city state  , forged a level of self-discipline into not only the average Singaporeans but also those who do public service for  their own Singaporean people – always having the collective best interests of the nation and sense of well being of the people  as the priority..

And in-place is a Govermental structure that is efficient and by and large  non-corruptible.The anchor formula or foundation pillar that supports all the policies and strategies which resulted in the Singaporean goverment’s economic success and prosperity..

The very formula that TDM chosed to ignore but instead selected govermental  patronage , by selectively enriching hand picked cronies , who through their collective accumulated wealth , can be translated into power and influence that can be leveraged to political advantage. And be used to stay the hold on power.  .

And transparency and accountability in Governance need to take a back seat in order to consolidate his power, through the purchasing of influence by keeping his stable of wealthy, powerful and hence influential circle of  supporters – well fed.

Inadvertently ,the wealth of the nation was unevenly distributed, and even those supposed to be  beneficiaries of  the Govermental affirmative action policies was invariably sidelined..

Simple equation of -Financial Clout equates to Political Power !

Perhaps Mahathir subscribed to the view that to be a powerful effective leader, first priority is to accumulate as much wealth as possible, wealth equals power – to buy influence – to have the financial  clout or resources to ward off challenges to his leadership and to fund his own political battles.

Perhaps TDM was convinced that everything/everyone  has a price..and thus,he wants to ensure He can afford it all ,whatever the price tag..

Bryanbb

Also read : country-comparison-malaysia-versus-republic-of-singapore/

Bewildered amusement .

For many of us who are not aware, it is an offence to lodge a false police report. The question that arises now is this: was Datuk Zulkifli Noordin, when making a police report against Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar for statements made in the Dewan Rakyat,  guilty of making a false police report? Let us see. –

See more full article : can-zulkifli-noordin-be-guilty-of-making-a-false-police-report-

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Isn’t this Zul Nordin stepping over the head of the Speaker of the house as if the Speaker doesn’t know his job and don’t know what can or cannot be said in Parliment?
Tuan Speaker, don’t know what may be seditious meh?

Because isn’t it suppose to be the speaker’s duty to ensure MPs don’t get out of line with their statements and he will caution MPs accordingly if it happens..

And sure as heck , not the public watching a video of the YB MP’s speech – like Zul Nordin to determine what is seditious.
And he makes a police report on a video he says he watched ?
To compound that, there is a Police follow-up on the report ,as if it is treated like a petty crime being commited .

But we are talking about the lawmaking house our nation – of parliment and the nation’s lawmakers. (it just seems so ludicrous and the absurdity of it seems so clownish that if it weren’t for the seriousness of the subject matter involving members of venerated August house, one can almost chuckle in amused disbelief.)

But is making a police report, the right /normal procedure to file a complaint on what is interpreted as seditious in the contents of a MP’s speech during a Parlimentary session.,or is there supposed to be another channel ?

Because imagine if it is the norm- that is to make a police report, when a Parlimentarian is personally interpretated by an individual like Zul Nordin in this case, as being seditious..and the Police will follow up .
Then the floodgates of police reports on the behaviour of some of the MPs and what they say in the August house will explode.

Afterall, knowing and seeing so often ,the antics and the remarks often been made in Parlimentary sessions by many of the YB MPs ,and the very loose interpretation of what is seditious..

What is to prevent the public from making police reports on seditous remarks made in parliment ? What are seditious remarks are personal interpretation. Much like this instance , since Zul Nordin can do so and MPs cannot hide behind the immunity of parlimentarians if they are viewed as being seditious …

Just too bad , mischief making or being obnoxious is not a crime.Or Zul Nordin will be locked up already.
Or perhaps someone needs to make a police report that Zul Nordin has made a false police report or ..??
Somebody needs to sue this guy for something..

most interesting Sarawak report,conspiracy to defame Anwar

Managing The Media And Then Foreign Policy – How Jho Low Took Over!

 

After Jho Low and his partners from PetroSaudi had completed the 1MDB deal,

the management of public perceptions about what had happened clearly became crucial.

The joint venture buccaneers can soon be seen to have started to wield the most extraordinary influence over the presentation of 1MDB and then even the management of Malaysia/Saudi relations, through their manipulation of their alleged contacts through PetroSaudi boss Tarek Obaid and his largely inactive partner, Prince Turki.

Jho Low had already played shamelessly on Prince Turki’s connections to give the impression to 1MDB that the joint venture was linked with state to state relations, implying that he was acting on behalf of the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the father of the Saudi Prince, King Abdullah.

This is what he wrote to 1MDB CEO Shahrol Halmi on Sept 18th, introducing him to PetroSaudi executives

“I am pleased to confirm as per YAB Prime Minister’s discussions with HM King Abdullah Al-Saud on furthering Saudi-Malaysia bi-lateral ties, together with YAB PM’s discussions with HRH Prince Turki Al-Saud, PetroSaudi and 1MDB is on track with respect to your USd2.5b JVC partnership. “

This impression was also played up to the press at the launch of the deal, although the partners at PetroSaudi showed themselves notably anxious to avoid as much publicity as possible.

As PetroSaudi Director Patrick Mahony had put it to CEO Shahrol Halmi on Sept 21st:

“With regard to liaising with Robert [press advisor] on what we can release to the media, I will be the point person. I would suggest you send to me a draft of what you would like to release and we will let you know if it works for us. PSI is very press shy and usually never announces our investments (one of the main reasons governments like to work with us) but we understand you will need to make some statements and we would be happy to make them jointly with you.”

However, on the day of the deal, Halmi warned the team at PetroSaudi in an email that, despite their reluctance to involve Prince Turki, the Prime Minister had insisted on a “quote” from the Prince to make it appear that the Government of Saudi Arabia was involved in the private deal.

Interestingly, both sets of collaborators were not keen on the matter being played up to the international press, they just wanted to foster the concept of Saudi investment for local consumption.

From: Shahrol @ Hotmail [mailto:shahrol.a.halmi@hotmail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, 29 September, 2009 4:36 PM
To: Patrick Mahony
Cc: Casey Tang; Robert Ho
Subject: joint press release
Importance: High

Hi Patrick, can you help take a look and see if this is ok? The PM insisted on the quote from HRH Prince Turki and the equity figures. This statement is going to be released only to the local media, but there is no guarantee that the wire services won ’t pick it up. Planning to send this out late morning tomorrow, Malaysia time.
PRESS RELEASE

Show email

In response, PetroSaudi Director Patrick Mahony warned his own team (and his boss Rick Haythornewaite) to say nothing to journalists and to indicate to ‘bhe’ [Buried Hill Enterprises] that the deal was about waste management.

Buried Hill was the company which actually owned the Caspian Sea concession on which PetroSaudi had based its vastly inflated valuation. Perhaps it can be concluded that Buried Hill were unaware on how this association had been played up to the Malaysians?

” If any journalists ask, it is no comment. If bhe asks us, please say this jv is more around our waste management business and other areas of interest. Main point is to not comment to media and not say anything about numbers. Many thanks  [Patrick Mahoney to his team – Sept 30 2009]

Visit to Saudi Arabia January 2010

As part of the image building around this joint venture, Jho Low can soon be seen getting stuck into arrangements surrounding the January 2010 visit to Saudi Arabia by Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah.

Far from the “zero involvement” claimed, Jho Low can be seen to have been in the thick of these negotiations, making key initial introductions regarding this country to country diplomatic venture and putting the PM’s office in touch with the King’s staff via his contact with Tarek Obaid.

What was the Embassy up to?

Email correspondence even shows that Jho Low composed a letter on the 19th November 2010 on behalf of Najib Razak to be sent to the King. The ever helpful Li Lin Seet drew up the draft, while the entrepreneur involved himself in the timings of the arrangements:

Fyi attached. Comments pls.
Sent via BlackBerry from T-Mobile

From: seet.lilin@gmail.com
Date: Thu, 19 Nov 2009 00:20:36
To: Jho Low (gmail)<jho.low@gmail.com>

Subject: Emailing: Letter to KSA v2.docx

Change mid-dec to early next year

It seems that such was the youthful entrepreneur’s influence that he had gone from determining economic policy to foreign policy – and he had got in a handy plug for his other master Taib Mahmud and his pet SCORE plan as well!

The Malaysian PM, naturally, did achieve a meeting with the Saudi Arabian leadership. But, it had nothing to do with the PetroSaudi joint venture, although the Malaysian press continued to be spun the impression it was.

Conspiracy to defame Anwar?

From: Low Jho

To: Tarek Al-Obaid

Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2009 12:26:39 +0000

Subject: VERY PNC NOTE

VERY PNC NOTE, delete post reading:

From MDM:

This is a very “focused & effective” trip. Objective is not MOU or general business ties.

Specific that PM is seeing the 3 highest levels in Saudis (one on one) being the King, Crown Prince and Prince Naif while First Lady sees the Queen and Crown Princess to build “effective ties”.

One on one discussions ensure “more open and frank discussions” to enhance “personal

Intriguingly, just in advance of the meeting, Jho Low sent a ‘Very Private and Confidential Note” to Tarek Obaid about the meeting, purporting to have been speaking to “Mdm”.

Given Jho Low’s close relations to his friend Riza’s mother, there will be speculation that the message reflects the wife of the Prime Minister’s agenda for the visit………

From: Low Jho

To: Tarek Al-Obaid

Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2009 12:26:39 +0000

Subject: VERY PNC NOTE

VERY PNC NOTE, delete post reading:

From MDM:

This is a very “focused & effective” trip. Objective is not MOU or general business ties.

Specific that PM is seeing the 3 highest levels in Saudis (one on one) being the King, Crown Prince and Prince Naif while First Lady sees the Queen and Crown Princess to build “effective ties”.

One on one discussions ensure “more open and frank discussions” to enhance “personal ties”. That is most important.

Will encourage Saudis to use words like “personal”, “trust”, “friendship”, “bond”, “ties”, etc… You get the gist of it. – the objective of visit is so that when PM is done with this visit:

a. Top 3 leaders in Saudi knows that PM is a trusted ally and someone they can pick up the phone and chat to re anything in Asia and beyond

b. Malaysians will realise from King Abdullah’s statements that it is a very personal relationship with PM and things happen because of that personal trust (award further substantiates that)

c. Quietly, Anwar is full of lies and for all those that believe Anwar has strong ties with the top leadership with Saudi, that is complete nonsense and people will tell over time he is a complete liar and lose all sense of credibility in Middle-East (his only last stand left beyond usa). If senior leadership in Saudi and Abu Dhabi make it quietly known to their friends in the gulf re their views on Anwar, he is history and even key business supporters will stay away from him knowing the position of the big boys.

———————————————————–

In which case, the references to the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is now controversially languishing in jail, are particularly significant. Because, “Mdm” was clearly fearful and jealous of Anwar’s perceived influence in the Middle East and wanted him crushed.

Following this meeting there were numerous reports in the Malaysian press implying that Saudi Arabia and Malaysia were building ties and that the joint venture with PetroSaudi was involved.

Procuring Malaysian support for Saudi attacks on Yemen

Meanwhile, the increasingly wealthy and influential Jho Low was also apparently setting about doing diplomatic favours in the other direction.

In November 2009, Saudi Director of PetroSaudi, Tarek Obaid, whose brother is senior in the Saudi Governement, was asking Jho to organise a diplomatic favour after the Saudis had launched controversial attacks into North Yemen:

From: “Tarek Obaid” <tarek.obaid@petrosaudi.com>
Subject: Saudi Announcement
To: Low, Jho (Personal)
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2009 21:03:00 +0000

Dear Joe :-

Further to our discussion today, it would be highly appreciated if Malaysia could issue a strong statement of support to Saudi Arabia and it’s recent military operations and categorically condemn the incursions into Saudi territory of the Northern Yemeni rebel group known as the Houthis.

Please find below a draft statement that the Malaysian Prime Minister should issue in this regard.

Respectfully,
Tarek

Show email

 Six days later it appears that Jho Low was able to deliver:

Fixed by Jho Low for Tarek - Malaysian solidarity for Saudi Arabia's attacks on North Yemen

By this time, of course, the fun loving young billionaire’s influence was assured as the key contact man between Najib, Rosmah and the Middle East.

In the wake of their handsome joint venture deal the PetroSaudi team hired one of the most expensive yachts in the world for a jaunt in the Mediterranean – and who should they invite and entertain for a week that summer on the Tatoosh, but the Prime Minister of Malaysia and his wife?

The Tatoosh rents for half a million dollars a week - Jho Low attracted press attention by inviting Paris Hilton on board in 2010

Naturally, Tarek’s well-connected friend, the founder of PetroSaudi, son of the then King of Saudi Arabia was also there.

Reportedly, there have been further Mediterranean cruises of this nature between Jho Low, Rosmah and Najib, the last being last summer when the couple controversially chose a charged political moment during the disappearance of the jet MH 370 to leave Malaysia and enjoy the sundeck instead with their now close friend Jho Low and his Saudi contacts.

Tony Blair connection

Another key target of Jho Low and PetroSaudi’s diplomatic offensive appears to have been former prime minister Tony Blair.

In the wake of the joint venture deal PetroSaudi hired Blair as a consultant and also as a valuable PR protection for the deal – a connection that has been widely used to try and sway public opinion:

Front man? Tony Blair's failure to check out PetroSaudi and his cash for access offers have landed him with more criticism this week in the UK

His association with PetroSaudi on a retainer of $65,000 a month and his offers to negotiate deals for the company with Chinese investors and to make introductions for PetroSaudi threatens to land the ex-PM in the latest round in the UK’s on-going ‘Cash for Access’ scandal.

Malaysians might say that the billion dollar scandal surrounding 1MDB make “cash for access” a minor problem by comparison.ils

 

full report and details of emails

sourced http://www.sarawakreport.org/2015/02/managing-the-media-and-then-foreign-policy-how-jho-low-took-over/

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