Bad-hair and bad-heir days.

These days it seems that karma is getting ever-closer to catching up with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his kiasu consort Rosmah Mansor.

This week Rosmah once again demonstrated that she is not so much the first lady of Malaysia as the first liability of her husband’s rotten regime, with an embarrassing attempt to support the forthcoming GST with the claim that it could save her some of the RM1200 she proudly boasts she’s been paying for home visits from her hairdresser.

Even the very name of the group to which she gave this address, the Welfare Association of Wives of Ministers and deputy Ministers (Bakti), is an affront to ‘ordinary’ Malaysians, suggesting as it does that the spouses of the regime’s top rip-off merchants have had the hide to set up a charity for their own benefit.

Certainly Rosmah signified that she and her fellow Bakti members consider themselves a cut above the common herd, with her statement that the GST will advantage “people like us” who do not sew their own clothes or do their own hair.

And, in case her revelation that she pays more for a home-visit hairdo and dye job than the minimum monthly wage for a Malaysian worker wasn’t enough to signal her superiority over mere mortals, she underlined how out of touch she is with the rakyat’s reality with the rider that “they say the price is different in the store.”

As many people have commented on this story, it is highly debatable whether Rosmah has been getting her RM1200 worth from her hairdresser, as she looks to be having a bad-hair day every day.

In fact, in recognition of this, Malaysia’s supreme political cartoonist, Zunar, has long made a point of lampooning Rosmah’s rambut as looking like a dyed-in-the wool caricature of some datin’s wet-dream of what a first lady’s crowning glory should look like, and has had his books banned in consequence.

What her hubby Najib thinks of Rosmah’s astonishing hairstyle, not to mention the enormous cost of maintaining the thing, is anybody’s guess. Though only recently he reportedly poked fun at the notorious Samy Vellu’s strikingly similarly-looking black and bouffant locks.

But Najib now has much more to concern himself with than his wife’s and others’ bad-hair days, as he’s since had a bad-scare day to which he responded in such panic-stricken fashion as to cost himself a whole series of bad-heir days.

The whole thing started with a New York Times story that revealed suspicious dealings in expensive real-estate by identities with close ties to him and Rosmah, and made much of the lavish lifestyle of Najib and his family.

The newspaper published photographs of Rosmah with some of her collection of wildly-expensive Birkin handbags, and of course wearing her expensive hairdo, and claimed that it had documentary evidence of the ordering of “millions of dollars worth of jewellery for her in Hong Kong in 2008 and 2009.

And as if that wasn’t enough to well and truly get the shopaholic, golfaholic, jet-setting first couple’s hackles up, the story then went on to quote a statement by a former aide, Ariff Sabri, that Najib had routinely kept “piles and piles” of cash stacked in his safe.

Of course Najib could have simply denied this, in the same way he has always denied allegations of complicity in such cases as the Altantuya Shaariibuu killing or the recent conspiracy to re-convict Anwar Ibrahim. Or, alternatively, he could have given it his more customary silent treatment.

But for some reason, perhaps rattled by all the international flak he’s been getting lately, not to mention Mahathir Mohamad’s increasingly pressing calls for his resignation, he rashly elected to issue a rebuttal of the New York Times allegations and insinuations by way of his bloated and blighted Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

“Neither any money spent on travel, jewellery purchases nor the alleged contents of any safes,” the statement read, “are unusual for a person of the prime minister’s position, responsibilities, and legacy (of) family assets.”

Nothing out of the ordinary about the first part of this. Just the standard weasel words Najib would use on any why-should-I-care, can’t-be-bothered-turning-a-hair, keep-hassling-me-if-you-dare day.

But what turned Najib’s bad-scare day into a serious string of bad-heir days was that innocent-looking final phrase, “legacy of family assets.”

Because not only did it inspire Najib’s countless and very cynical critics to question the nature, source and size of this alleged “legacy”, and to conjecture that “legacy” might be Najib’s latest euphemism for theft, but in conjunction with the words “family assets” it aroused the ire of his brothers.

In what it described an “unusual move”, Malaysiakini reported that “four of Najib’s younger brothers had issued a rare ‘private’ statement…expressing worry that the name of their father…could be tarnished by such talks of family assets.”

“We wish to put on record,” the brothers’ statement read in part, “that 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 sacrifices for the nation.”

“We take issue with anyone who taints his memory, whatever the motive,” the statement continued, adding that “we would also like to add that our whole family is united on this issue.”

This latter sentence inevitably causes me to wonder whether the “whole” family referred to here is intended to include Najib and by extension Rosmah, or whether they have been declared as comprehensively persona non grata by the Razak clan as they have by the vast majority of the Malaysian family, and thus condemned to suffer their remaining bad-hair and bad-heir days in increasing isolation.

Not that they’d be lonely, because as long as they can get their hands on plenty of plunderable public money, be it from the forthcoming GST, or the dodgy “investment” vehicle 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) or wherever, they will always enjoy the company of the meretricious members, rent-seeking cronies and paid supporters of the BN regime.

But let’s hope this state of affairs doesn’t drag on too much longer. Because while it lasts Malaysians are condemned to live with the stench of corruption, theft, extrajudicial killings and countless other forms of government-sponsored crime. In other words, every day under BN is by definition a bad-air day. And after decade after decade of suffering this stinking, suffocating state of affairs, it’s time the people finally had their day.

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Happy whatever New Year!

Even among alleged experts in Chinese astrology, opinion appears to be a bit woolly as to whether 2015 is the Year of the Sheep, the Goat, or the Ram.

But whatever, here’s wishing a hearty Gong Xi Fa Cai to all my fellow creatures of goodwill, and as beastly a year as possible to all those of ill-will.

It has certainly started on a baaad note for many of the latter, with heightening determination to hunting-down of such predators as ISIS and Boka Haram, and increasing global attacks on Malaysia’s BN regime for its countless animal acts.

A great many genuinely democratic governments and respectable news media have woken up to the fact that BN sees the Malaysian people as nothing but a bunch of flocking Sheep to be fleeced, and government as a licence to act the Goat while engaging in Rampant corruption.

And far from dying down, this anti-BN outcry is getting louder. Today as I write this, for example, on the second day of Chinese New Year, the Sydney Morning Herald is running an editorial that is stridently critical of the Malaysian regime.

Entitled “Anwar case a stain on Malaysia’s reputation”, it includes such statements as “ordinary Malaysians are increasingly fed up with the vast wealth displayed by the nation’s elites, by the abrogation of the rule of law, and the rulers’ almost casual disregard of people’s needs.”

The “rampant greed” of the ruling regime, the editorial continues, has empowered the opposition in its promise of “a long-overdue change from Malaysia’s usual system of entrenched patronage and corruption”, and in the 13th general election Pakatan “was only prevented from taking power by the distribution of votes in Malaysia’s gerrymandered seats.”

And it concludes with the observation that besides such “regressive” court decisions as in the Anwar case, using “archaic sedition laws” to try and silence such critics as the cartoonist Zunar “is hardly the mark of a modern, moderate nation in charge of its destiny.”

Of course Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his gang of BN hoons, goons and buffoons are apt to write such criticisms off as just so much impotent bleating by insolent foreigners.

But following revelations of apparent international laundering of regime members’ and cronies’ ill-gotten billions, and the Swiss government’s avowed intention to take the Anwar case to the United Nations, BN would be wise not to push its luck too much further lest it provoke global sanctions of its activities and seizures of its loot.

Such possibilities don’t appear to have given BN much pause thus far, however, as the legal bigwig the regime hired to head its most recent prosecution or rather persecution of Anwar Ibrahim, Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, seems to imagine that this is the Year of the gloat.

Not satisfied, apparently, with having assigned Anwar to jail, Shafee has now embarked on a highly injudicious, indeed arguably illegal if not outright criminal campaign of character assassination against his victim, variously branding him a “closet homosexual” and “blackmail risk.”
The latter charge being one that applies to Shafee himself and everybody else implicated in the rotten BN regime, as they all have the guilty goods on each other and thus, in paraphrase of the immortal words of American revolutionary Benjamin Franklin, they have to hang together lest they be hanged separately.

The spectre of hanging inevitably takes us from the Anwar atrocity to another potentially even more serious threat to Najib and his accomplices in the BN regime, the apparently never-ending case of the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Having been somehow allowed to take flight to Australia, one of the two former members of Najib’s bodyguard who have been sentenced to death for the murder, Sirul Azhar Umar, appears to be planning to make this his Year of the scapegoat.

Claiming that he was only following orders from above, and in any case that he had not confessed to complicity in the killing, he has been threatening from the relative safety of Sydney’s Villawood Detention Centre to tell all to the highest bidder among the Australian media.

Long suspected by many if not most of complicity in the Altantuya killing, or at the very least of being an accessory after the fact, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was asked by a Malaysiakini reporter for his reaction to Sirul’s possible revelations as he emerged from a Chinese New Year event hosted by the MCA, a party in cahoots with Umno in BN.

Clearly rattled at being questioned, not only by a mere peon of the press, an institution he considers nothing but a cog in his propaganda machine, but on such a personally confronting matter, the only response that Najib could muster was several repetitions of “total rubbish” and “utter rubbish.”

Thus leaving us all in considerable doubt as to what he meant. That he considers the reporter, or Malaysiakini in general, or Sirul’s allegation of “orders from above” utter rubbish? Or all of the aforementioned?

Or could it possibly have been a self-assessment on Najib’s part? Certainly he’s infamous for uttering total rubbish. From making rubbish promises he had no intention whatever of delivering on, like “the world’s best democracy” and “zero tolerance of corruption” and his perjured pre-GE13 election pledge to talking total trash about trivia.

As in his unforgettable statement likening economic cycles to the fluctuating price of kangkung, his claim to be able to buy RM1 chickens with which he attempted to divert public attention from the disappearance of MAS flight MH370, and his more recent proposal that all Malaysians should play golf, just like he was in Hawaii with the US President at the height of Malaysia’s recent floods.

This totally reality-handicapped golfer and his gofers in government, PR, the mainstream media and the comments sections of the online news portals seem to have no idea whatever that all they’re achieving with such ridiculous rubbish is the widening of their credibility gap into a yawning gulf.

So, however inauspiciously if not outright disastrously the Chinese New Year of the Sheep/Goat/Ram has started for members and supporters of the rubbish BN regime, it’s bound to only get worse for them. And consequently all the happier, healthier and wealthier for the rest of us.

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No justice.

There is clearly no such thing as “natural” justice. Most creatures are condemned to living under the law of the jungle, in which might is right and only the fittest, fattest, fastest or fiercest survive. And in any case life inevitably ends in a death sentence.

A patently unfair situation from which we humans have devised two ingenious ways to try and escape. First a system of earthly justice designed to make things more equitable for us all in this life, and secondly a concept of “heavenly” judgment to reward virtue, punish vice and thus even things up in some great hereafter.

But both kinds of justice appear to have failed in Malaysia this past week. Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, otherwise affectionately known as Tok Guru, the “spiritual” leader of PAS and longtime menteri besar of Kelantan, sadly died at the age of 84.

Why a divinely-decreed death sentence, I have to ask, for this humble and virtuous man, when his vicious virtual opposite, the malicious, malevolent, mendacious and megalomanic former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, is still alive and kicking?

Of course one could argue that Tok Guru has been lovingly called to his richly-deserved eternal reward. But what’s the point of calling him so many years younger than Mahathir?

Maybe the Almighty rightly considers that Mahathir needs much more time to repent before he faces the heavenly court. And possibly also that in the meantime his continued presence will serve as a punishment for others of his ilk.

Certainly he’s hell-bent on handing-out as much punishment as possible right now, what with proclaiming in a speech that if he was a prime minister as unpopular and incompetent as Najib Abdul Razak is he would resign, and blogging at length about what he considers “rotten” about the current BN government.

So rotten as to be utterly irredeemable, if the response to the death of Nik Aziz by Najib’s cousin, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, is any indication. Claiming that he and his colleagues had been “enlightened” by the passing of the PAS veteran, he added that he respected Nik Aziz as a leader based on “various values that he encapsulated and could be adopted.”

It strikes me as pathetic as well as pertinent in the extreme that Hishammuddin could not bring himself to even so much as name the virtues that he perceived Nik Aziz as personifying, let alone consider himself and his colleagues’ following such a shining example.

And, let’s face it, almost any example would be shining in comparison with the criminality of the regime that Hishammuddin and his BN accomplices represent.

A regime so deeply and incurably criminal that even its so-called judicial system is complicit in its repeated, indeed systematic perversion of justice, as in this week’s jailing of Anwar Ibrahim following a Federal Court decision to reverse his earlier acquittal on a second trumped-up sodomy charge.

This was such a travesty of justice that it was highlighted rather than mitigated by a lame attempt by the Prime Minister’s Office just minutes after the verdict to claim that the sodomy charge had been made by an individual and had nothing to do with the government, and that in any case the judges had arrived at their decision independently.

But the most outrageous lie of all lay in the statement that “Malaysia has an independent judiciary, and there have been many rulings against senior government figures.”

Everybody in Malaysia and around the world very well knows by now that Malaysia has not had an independent judiciary since then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad criminally crippled the institution back in the 1980s.

And the world is also vividly aware that, far from having made many rulings against senior government figures, the judiciary has since been used by a succession of attorney-generals to selectively fail to prosecute regime members and cronies, and to persecute critics and opponents.

In fact, if Malaysia’s judiciary had any genuine independence at all, Mahathir and his accomplices in literally countless political, economic and civil crimes against Malaysia and its citizens would all have been in jail instead of the hapless Anwar Ibrahim.

Mahathir was absolutely right in his blog that there’s “something rotten” about the Malaysian government. But what he didn’t mention was that the rot started with him, and has steadily progressed to the point at which, as I’ve said many times before, the ruling regime is not a political coalition, but a criminal cartel.

Complete with not just a compromised and compliant judiciary, but massively corrupt and outright criminal institutions of every kind, from the police force, anti-corruption commission and electoral commission to the massively over-staffed and suspiciously over-funded prime minister’s department.

Not to mention a home minister who, having only weeks ago suspiciously demanded the release of some gambling kingpin held on criminal charges in the US, had the effrontery to assure the public that his former friend Anwar would receive no special treatment in jail.

Everywhere you look, there’s evidence of criminal activity and crude attempts to cover it up. One highly pertinent and current case in point being the so-called 1Malaysia Development Fund (1MDB), which has massive debts on which it keeps missing deadlines to pay the interest.

And not only is the Prime Minister a patron of this can of worms, but his consort, the shopaholic Rosmah Mansor, and other shadowy first-family relatives and cronies are also heavily implicated.

Recently the New York Times ran a series of investigative stories on massive US real-estate purchases by members of various unsavoury regimes around the world, and Malaysia turned out to be one of them.

A fact that leads to the thought that, rather than merely diplomatically criticizing such wrongdoers for their illegal acts, as the US, UK, Canada and Australia have done in the case of the Malaysian regime following its latest judicial assault on Anwar, nations that respect the rule of law should put their money where their mouths are and freeze or confiscate assets that have clearly been purchased with the proceeds of crime.

But unfortunately international justice can be even slower and more uncertain than the domestic kind. So let’s for now concentrate on just removing Mahathir’s admittedly “rotten” BN from office, and, as I suggested in a column way back in 2011, justly sending these criminals from Putrajaya to Putrajail.

 

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Maliesia revisited.

Of all the almost 400 columns I have written for Malaysiakini, the one that I recall as receiving the most critical reader comments was my 14 July 2010 effort entitled “What about Maliesia?”

Many apparently misread it as a gratuitous slur on the “good” name of Malaysia, when on the contrary it was a tongue-in-cheek attempt to make the blindingly obvious point that Umno/BN had given the nation a bad name.

Such a bad name as a result of chronic, systematic lying, falsehood and fraud by the ruling regime that the country might as well be called Maliesia. Or alternatively, in recognition of the regime’s anal obsessiveness in its persecution of Anwar Ibrahim, Malarsia.

Considering how many hackles were raised and cages rattled by these name-change proposals way back when I first made them, I can’t wait for the reaction this time around.

Because here we are five years later, waiting breathlessly for yet another verdict in the trials of Anwar by the same old, same old regime that has made Malaysia look for all the world like some dangerously deranged Malarsia.

And Umno/BN’s perversion of Malaysia into Maliesia is as prevalent and pernicious as ever, as perfectly portrayed this past week by the pack of lies following the Facebook post by Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob urging Malays to boycott Chinese traders who refuse to sell their goods cheaper despite reduced fuel prices.

When public outrage followed this blatantly racist call, Ismail Sabri started lying in typical BN regime fashion, first claiming that he had only meant “stubborn” Chinese traders, and then denying that he had intentionally singled-out Chinese traders at all.

In a television interview aired on the regime-compliant RTM, he claimed that his boycott call had not been Chinese-specific, but “a general statement.”

“I hope that those who cannot accept what I said, who are sensitive and see it as an attack against a certain community, should see the bigger picture,” he went on.

But apparently many of his BN colleagues were delighted to see it as an attack against a “certain” community, as a gang of them gathered at the Riverside Cafe, an Umno hangout at the Putra World Trade Centre, to treat Ismail Sabri to a “hero’s welcome”, complete with a standing ovation, cries of “Hidup Melayu”, “Hidup Umno”, and placards proclaiming that “We are all Ismail Sabri”. As indeed, to Malaysia’s considerable cost and shame, they all are.

Meanwhile, Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, asked by a reporter from Sin Chew Daily following a cabinet meeting whether Ismail Sabri would be asked to retract his original anti-Chinese call, lied that “since (Ismail’s) statement was not meant at (sic) calling on the Malays to boycott traders,” there was “nothing to retract.”

Similarly, the Prime Minister’s Office falsely stated that Ismail Sabri’s boycott call had been “aimed at all traders and not traders of any particular race,” and added that “Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had stressed that the BN government will continue to defend and safeguard the interests of all races.”

Mention of the Prime Minister inevitably takes us to the very heart of Maliesia, and thus to such a monstrous tangle of mendacity as to boggle the mind and bedevil all understanding.

How, for example, can Najib justify his false “1Malaysia” slogan in light of his conflicting claim that he and his party simultaneously claim  to “defend” the Malay race and Muslim religion.

Of course this latter is a pathological lie, as the self-styled Umno “elite” or so-called Umnoputras are so clearly in business for themselves and their cronies, and ordinary, unconnected Malays can go hang along with the Chinese, Indians and those insultingly identified as lain-lain, or “others’.

In fact this lie goes from pathological as to the defence of race to literally patheological in terms of religion, considering Umno’s woefully un-Islamic record of corruption and countless other species of criminality in addition to its habitual lying.

Nothing in Najib’s 1Malaysia, or rather 1Maliesia, makes sense or rings true. And every pack of lies is designed to conceal or divert attention from others. For example, Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s racist attack on Chinese traders is clearly designed to support the regime lie that it cares for the economic well-being of “ordinary” Malays, and to blame the regime’s economic plunders and blunders on the Chinese.

In fact the entire farrago of falsehood has been faked as a distraction from other, more threatening crimes and lying cover-ups like the never-ending case of the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the looming scandal surrounding the 1Malaysia Development Corporation (1MDC), the highly suspicious support of an alleged criminal in US custody by Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and of course the possible repeated unjust jailing of Anwar Ibrahim.

Just as PM Najib’s international pose as a Muslim “moderate” is intended as a cover for his domestic message to Umno to “emulate the spirit” of the Middle-East’s murderous Islamic State and his broken promises to repeal repressive Malaysian laws like the Sedition Act.

And just as his blatant lies that he is determined to make Malaysia the “world’s best democracy” with “news media Malaysia can be proud of” and to show “zero tolerance of corruption” are nothing but camouflage for the fake elections he falsely swore would be clean and fair, fraudulent mainstream news media that routinely lie in support of the regime, and the rampant corruption and organized crime that are the very life-blood of Umno/BN.

But thanks to the sheer incredibility of Najib and his fellow Umno/BN misleaders, a great many more Malaysians are aware of the perfidy and perjury behind the regime’s fake veneer of piety than they were when I first jokingly proposed the name Maliesia five years ago.

And since then, of course, others have made similar suggestions, like Moolaysia, for example, as I recall, when the RM250 million National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scam was big news, and MASlaysia in recognition of the regime’s incompetence, callousness, secrecy and confusion in its alleged “loss” of flight MH370.

So I’m not expecting quite so much flak from my “Maliesia” proposal this time around. Unless, of course, Najib’s minders unleash the pack of cyber-curs they pay to yap on his behalf in the online news media, but whose idiocy and illiteracy only serve to make his lies look even more ridiculous.

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BN’s wash and spin cycles.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s repeated criticisms of Malaysiakini for “spinning” stories against him and the rest of the illegitimate and outright criminal BN regime are coming across as increasingly dizzy and desperate.

And no wonder. In the letter he wrote to the FBI defending “gambling kingpin” Paul Phua Wei Seng against criminal charges in Nevada, the so-called “national security” with which he claimed Phua was of help to the BN regime was almost certainly a euphemism for what large-scale gambling is notoriously employed for by organized crime: money-laundering.

Certainly Zahid and his fellow guardians of BN dirty linen have always been vividly aware of this. Thus their determination to monopolise the process of washing and spinning everything from the plunder of land, natural resources and public funds to politically-motivated murder.

And for decades they had the game sewn-up, thanks to their control of the so-called ‘mainstream’ print and broadcast news media.

But then along came the online media, Malaysiakini and all the rest, with their mission to expose and clean-up the whole sordid mess.

With the result that in the 2013 general election the BN regime was finally revealed to be virtually washed-up and ready to be hung out to dry.

And it was only through ferocious spinning by Najib Abdul Razak and his accomplices in government, the media and civil services, not to mention lashings of gerrymandering, postal-vote manipulation and voter bribery, that BN avoided a total white-wash.

Ever since, however, the regime has been looking decidedly threadbare, and has had to resort to putting its critics and opponents through the wringers of racism, religionism and sedition.

Plus, of course, making false accusations of lying and spinning against tellers of the truth, as Zahid and various other BN operatives have been attempting, plus barring Malaysiakini reporters and photographers from attending official events, and illegally seizing publications like Zunar’s books of cartoons.

Zahid has also turned his attentions to companies so rash as to print foreign newspapers in Malaysia, threatening them with legal action on the grounds that his ministry’s publication control division had found “negative elements” in such newspapers that “tarnished the image” of BN by making “baseless allegations” against the government.

To judge from his reversion to such customary bluster and bullying since his initial deathly silence following the exposure of his letter in support of Paul Phua Wei Seng, Zahid apparently thinks he can spin his way out of punishment for his own outrageous behaviour.

But two previous home ministers have both apparently turned against him, having denied that they ever sent such letters during their own times in office, and his boss Najib has apparently been too busy as usual taking spins around the world in his personal jet, and spinning his own self-importance, to be bothered even mentioning the matter.

Such silence is odd, to say the least, in light of Najib’s remark in his address at the recent opening of the Razak Science Centre at his alma mater, Malvern College in the UK.

Claiming that being sent at an early age to study in this foreign environment and culture had helped him overcome his previous shyness and become adaptable, he bragged that today he feels “equally at ease when speaking with Obama, Cameron and Xi Jinping.”

What a pity, then, that he apparently feels not at all at ease speaking with respectable and responsible news media or the Malaysian people about pretty well anything at all of any substance.

Declining, for example, to publicly discuss such issues as Zahid’s disgraceful letter, or racist agitation by BN-sponsored fake NGOs, or the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu by members of his bodyguard back when he was defence minister, or the endless trials of Anwar Ibrahim, or his massively debt-burdened 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), and even, except on rare occasions, to bother turning up to debate the nation’s affairs in parliament.

Instead confining himself to occasional utterances about such trivia as kangkung, the price of chickens or the export of circumcision technology, or resorting to such blatant spins as his recent declaration that “Malaysia is not in crisis.”

I assume he meant by this that Malaysia is not in economic crisis, though how this could be given that the price of oil has plunged to half that forecast in the most recent budget, and that massive BN-regime corruptions, thefts, embezzlements, wastages and illicit outflows of funds rage unabated, is anybody’s guess.

But in any case Malaysia is certainly in as serious a crisis as ever as far as the biased electoral system, lawless if not outright criminal police force and politicized judiciary are concerned.

And even as I have been writing this column, the BN brain-washing machine has been spinning relentlessly on, first with the blatantly false statement by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman in response to recent Canadian urging of the Malaysian government not to use its Sedition Act undemocratically to silence its critics.

The Act is “not meant to curb freedom of expression,” Aman lied, in clear contravention of the fact that it has obviously been used almost exclusively against BN critics and opponents, and not against regime-sponsored race-hate groups like Perkasa.

And just minutes later came the announcement by Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) director-general Azharuddin Abdul Rahman that the mysterious disappearance last March of MAS Flight 370 was an “accident”.

This is clearly the latest attempt by the BN regime to wash its dirty hands of negligence or complicity in this fiasco. But as with the Altantuya murder affair, the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy saga, countless killings of “suspects” in police “shootouts” and official custody, Zahid’s FBI letter and the laundering of the proceeds of regime robbery through gambling and allegedly “legitimate” overseas real-estate and other investments, no amount of spin will eliminate the stench of sin.

And nothing but a political revolution will rid Malaysia of the ugly stains that decades of Umno/BN crime and grime have left on the nation’s international reputation and deeply ingrained in the very fabric of its civil institutions and its citizens’ lives.

 

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14K triad, K9 regime.

It’s been clearly evident for decades that Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional regime is not so much a political coalition as an exercise in organized crime.

BN, in concert with its cronies and accomplices on both sides of the law, has systematically robbed the Malaysian people of not only untold fortunes in natural resources and public funds, but also of every possible protection and right from equitable justice and trustworthy news to free and fair elections.

So the recent revelation that Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had written a letter attempting to kid the FBI and a US court that Malaysian illegal-gambling suspect Paul Phua was not a member of the 14K triad, but on the contrary was somehow helpful to the BN regime on matters of “national security”, hardly came as a surprise.

Nor did the fact that this small matter was never mentioned by Malaysia’s so-called “mainstream” media, as of course they are firmly under Zamidi’s and his department’s control.

Unsurprising, too, was the initial deafening silence from Zahid and his BN bosses following the foreign and online media’s revelation of his support of a criminal suspect.

In light of the fact that Zahid had apparently acted without the approval or even knowledge of the BN cabinet, and in curious conflict with earlier advice to the FBI by the Malaysian police that Phua was indeed a member of the 14K triad, he needed as much time as possible to get his story straight.

But unfortunately for Zahid, the suspiciously-speechless Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and the rest of the BN gang, the “explanation” he gave in the press conference that the pressure of events finally forced him to call only served to make him look even more crooked, if possible.

So, soon after lamely lying to the assembled media that “I issued the explanation letter on Paul Phua’s status to the FBI, and it was not a support letter for not charging Paul Phua, as reported by pro-opposition news portals,” he turned from self-defensive to attack-dog mode against the allegedly offending portals.

First whining to his captive audience of minions in the monthly home ministry assembly that the ministry at large was under assault, when in fact he personally is the sole target, then yapping that “these news portals are always on the hunt for negative news,” and have a “culture of spinning”.

This was rich indeed, considering the culture of secrecy and spin that Zahid and his underlings insist on in the news media dominated and/or owned by the BN regime.

This reality notwithstanding, however, Zahid then proceeded to go totally rabid in an attempt to turn the tired old “man bites dog” line to his account with a laughable attempt to “joke” that “the postman who is bitten by a dog is a normal thing, no need to be written as news. But if a postman bites a dog, that is news for them. So they are always looking for postmen who bite dogs.”

At which point one has to wonder, is this man not only as crooked as the proverbial dog’s hind leg, as evidenced in general by his membership of the BN regime and in particular by his denial that the 14K triad exists in Malaysia or that “gambling kingpin” Phua belongs to the thing, but also a few huskies short of a sled-team?

Whatever, all his frothing at the mouth about postmen and dogs only serves to remind me, and doubtless many others, that the 14K triad, whether and where it exists and who is or is not a member, could hardly be more criminal than the BN K9 so-called government.

An organization that, under cover of its false claims to defend royalty, race and God, is as busy as ever ensuring that Malaysia goes to the dogs.

Where top dogs are free to make a killing, in every sense of the word; their poodles in the police, judiciary, media, election commission and every conceivable other sector of society are trained and paid to sit, fetch and perform sundry other cunning stunts on their behalf; and the critics, opponents and all the millions of passive, powerless underdogs can go begging.

Begging for scraps like subsidies and occasional bones like BR1M and election-day bribes to help them afford overpriced, crony-monopolised goods, services and tolls.

Begging for an end to endemic nepotism, rent-seeking and corruption. And begging for justice to be done in the name of the vast majority of Malaysians who are sick to doggone death of seeing regime-connected crimes ranging from massive theft and fraud to murder go unpunished.

A case in point being, to mention just one of hundreds because it’s particularly topical right now, the shooting and dismemberment with C4 military explosive of Mongolian translator in the Scorpene submarines corruption scandal, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

What an absolute dog’s breakfast the K9 BN regime has made of this. Changing judges, failing to call key witnesses and persons of interest, erasing the victim’s immigration records, permitting the two finally accused to always appear hooded to conceal their identities: the list of irregularities and illegalities is almost endless.

And all that we underdogs have to show for all our years of begging and hounding the regime for justice are two photographs purporting to be of the perpetrators, and the news that one of these murderous mongrels has somehow gone astray.

To Australia, it seems, of all places, or so the police apparently suggest, where he finds himself unable to afford to travel back to Malaysia.

A shaggy-dog if not outright dingo story if ever I heard one, as Australia, like many other countries, doesn’t grant entry visas to foreign nationals without return tickets home.

But if it turns out that indeed the suspect is down here, at least I hope that Canberra will refuse to extradite him back to Malaysia on the grounds that he is facing the death sentence there, and that thus he will be free to tell all about who unleashed him and his co-accused on the late, lamented Altantuya, and why.

Let’s not get our hopes up too high, however. Like the Mafia, Yakuza, the 14K triad and all similar such criminal gangs, the K9 BN regime undoubtedly sees informers and other truth-tellers as “dogs” to be disposed of.

Which is why it’s so vital that we witnesses to the truth keep reminding ourselves that we may not have the killer instincts or vicious temperaments of our criminal enemies, but our numbers are so overwhelming that if we hunt in packs together our collective bark will eventually beat their bite.

 

 

 

 

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Je suis Charlie..and Altantuya.

Impelled as I am to join billions of my fellows around the world to identify with the victims of the massacre at the office of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, I also feel that it is vital to put this atrocity in some kind of perspective.

Starting with the observation that, as tragic a toll as Islamic fundamentalism takes of its critics and innocent bystanders, as everywhere from New York’s World Trade Centre to Sydney’s Martin Place and now the heart of Paris, the overwhelming majority of its victims are Muslims themselves.

So my sympathy at times like this extends to the vast majority of virtuous, peace-loving Muslims whose lives are threatened or lost, and whose creed is brought under suspicion, scorn and opprobrium by lunatics and criminals allegedly acting in the name of Allah.

And not just individual lunatics and criminals, or even massive groups of such murderous scum as Boka Haram, al Qaeda and Islamic State (IS), but entire governments like those of countless Islamic or Muslim-majority nations.

The most pertinent current case in point being Syria, where Muslims are being killed, maimed and dispossessed on an industrial scale in a civil war caused by the obscene al Assad regime’s desperation to keep ruling the roost for the benefit of its members and cronies.

And of course Muslims are also dying like flies in the bloody internecine struggle for political clout and material loot between the Sunni and Shiite Islamic sects in Iraq, the Yemen and elsewhere.

In short, as tragic as the attacks in Paris and other parts of the world surely are, and as gruesomely as the crazed killers’ claims that they’re acting because “God is great” may grate on us infidels and outright atheists, they grate to an even greater extent on the majority of virtuous Muslims.

Nor is Islam exclusive in so grating on its adherents. In fact Christianity has been corruptly employed by power-mad, greed-crazed allegedly “divinely-appointed” potentates and their priesthoods for almost half a millennium longer and around much more of the globe.

So outraging the people of Europe in the process as to finally, several centuries ago, provoke the so-called “Protestant Reformation” and the French Revolution.

The latter starting in Paris, not far from the recent Charlie Hebdo atrocity and, appropriately enough, driven by such deep antagonism to the proposition that “God is great”, and such dire loathing for the nexus between regal power and religion as to move the great revolutionary writer Denis Diderot to the deathless declaration that “men will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”

Unfortunately for France, it never occurred to Diderot or any of his contemporaries to suggest strangling racists along with royalists and religionists.

Which was a great pity, as this extra consideration would have saved the Republic from both causing and suffering a great deal of grief as a result of its unwillingness to extend its avowed principles of liberty, equality and fraternity to foreign “colonials” like the Algerians and Vietnamese, or even to French-born Gypsies and Jews.

And the attack by Islamists on Charlie Hebdo, an emblem of the nation’s historically hard-won freedoms, may prove a setback to French enlightenment, as it could clearly be an inspiration to France’s reactionary, if not outright royalist, religious, racist and indeed virtually neo-Fascist far–right political party, the National Front (FN).

Mention of which inevitably transitions us to Malaysia, where the National Front or Barisan Nasional is not just some maliciously madcap minority group as in France, but a coalition that has been running – and steadily ruining and robbing – the country for almost 60 years.

And maintaining its grip on power by pretending to stand for the so-called “three pillars” that it purports to “defend” in its “struggle” for supremacy: royalty, race and religion.

Royalty as represented by nine Sultans who don’t seem to do much but sponge off the populace and take it in turns to spend four years as Agong or King in the splendid new palace paid for by the people.

Race being specifically Malay, which for some reason is officially deemed superior to not only later “immigrants” like the Chinese and Indians, but also to much earlier inhabitants of Malaysia like the Orang Asli and many other “native” peoples.

And religion, of course, being Islam, to which, quite contrary to Malaysia’s constitutional provision of freedom of worship, the regime requires Malays to belong and forbids them to leave.

Never mind that the regime itself is led by the main Malay-Muslim party, Umno, whose members, cronies and supporters run a system so riddled with secrecy, lies, greed, corruption, fraud, nepotism, embezzlement, theft and even homicide as to be, as I’ve said so many times before, a disgrace to Islam or any other known religion.

In other words, BN has much the same mindset at the rulers of doomed pre-revolutionary France. Complete with a prime minister who imagines he’s some kind of monarch, and whose dereliction of duty and devotion to golf clearly reveal that he is every whit as out of touch with the peasants as Louis XVI so fatally was.

And his self-deluded, shopaholic consort demonstrates much the same “let them eat cake” attitude as has been – perhaps unjustly – historically attributed to Marie-Antoinette.

But the most deadly connection with France that haunts Malaysia’s BN regime is not historical, but far more contemporary and criminal. The acquisition by now Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, back when he was defence minister, of French Scorpene Class Submarines.

A purchase whose price is persuasively alleged to have included hundreds of millions of Malaysian ringgit in “commissions” or in other words corrupt kickbacks, and subsequently also resulted in the “mysterious” murder of the Mongolian translator used in the deal, Altantuya Shaariibuu, allegedly by members of Najib’s special bodyguard.

So while we regret and memorialise the casualties of the latest international atrocity in the name of Islam with the declaration that “Je suis Charlie”, let’s each of us never forget to remind him or herself that in Malaysia it’s also and forever a case of “Saya Altantuya”, “Saya Teoh Beng Hock”, “Saya Ananthan Kugan” and “Saya every other victim of the criminally un-Islamic faux-Muslim ruling regime”.

Because the slain must be remembered, and, however long it takes, their killers brought to justice. Or as a present-day admirer might be forgiven for expressing this truth in paraphrase of the illustrious Denis Diderot, “Malaysia will never be free until the last Umnoputra is strangled with the entrails of the last religio-racist”.

 

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