Khamis, 31 Januari 2013

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim

Beware: Crooked Malaysian Politicos Protecting Amalilio

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 07:33 PM PST

The Philippine Star

One moment the Armed Forces brass says that soldiers have been re-indoctrinated to respect civil rights. In the next it pleads for sympathy that troopers emptied rifle magazines into two vanloads of civilians since "they were only following orders."

In short the generals are saying that their men are caring, dutiful killers. No wonder Commander-in-Chief Noynoy Aquino had to tell them to stop telling tall tales about the Atimonan massacre of 13 men.

At any rate, the brass should make the 25 soldiers' commanding officer answer for shouting, "Fire!" Soldiers obey only their CO.

Something stinks about police officers owning security agencies. Will they ever fight crime as earnestly as they should, if they need to justify the hiring of their security guards by malls, banks, restaurants, offices, subdivisions, plantations, ports, everywhere? Is the number of guards in the Philippines inversely equivalent to police efficiency? In countries where police response and crime investigation are superb, businesses do not need private security services.

Will the probe of the Atimonan massacre delve as well into why the 13 fatalities were travelling armed? Reports have it that group leader, Vic Siman, and one companion, police colonel Alfredo Consemino, had just met with one Ronnie Habatin in Bicol to merge their security and mining businesses. The ambushing police officers claimed that Siman had headed a private army. Thirteen registered and one unlicensed firearms were found inside the group's two SUVs. They had not come from a shooting competition, so what were they, with three policemen and five soldiers, up to?

Philippine officials need to get hold from Malaysia the fugitive Ponzi-scammer Manuel Amalilio. So they need to be very courteous in talking repatriation with Malaysian counterparts. They also have to be very cautious. For, Amalilio's stolen multibillion pesos can bribe the Malaysians into keeping him safely in Sabah, away from Philippine justice.

The Chief Minister of Sabah, Musa Aman, was responsible for stopping agents of the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation last Friday from flying Amalilio out of there. Musa Aman is in fact viewed as one of Malaysia's crookedest officials. What could have induced him to save the head of Aman Futures, who duped some 15,000 Visayans and Mindanaoans of P12 billion?

Hours earlier, Malaysian feds had nabbed and turned over Amalilio to the NBI. Last minute, on the pretext that he is a protected Malaysian national, Sabah airport guards barred the Filipino lawmen from taking back the absconder.

After some initial confusion, the Sabah Chief Minister no less emerged as having ordered Amalilio's reprieve. When Manila showed proof that the wanted man is Filipino, Musa changed his tune. He claimed that Amalilio had conned Sabahans too, so their complaints must be investigated. He couldn't explain why Amalilio purportedly would be grilled only now. The fugitive had fled Mindanao for Sabah as far back as November; ripped-off Filipinos had been sighting him there in public.

Musa is known to lie with a straight face when exposed for sleaze. Like, when prominent Sabah timber concessionaire Michael Chia (alias Chia Tien Foh), was arrested in Hong Kong smuggling out $16.6 million last year. Musa swore he has never met him. The Malaysian press reprinted photos of Musa and Chia handshaking and arms over shoulders in several socials over the past decade.

Chia's smuggling prompted an investigation by Hong Kong's Independent Commission Against Corruption. The ICAC unearthed Musa's money laundering all the way to Zurich (starting with $20 million in 1998) and the British Virgin islands (initially with $9 million in 2005).

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission conducted a parallel probe. Uncovered were remittances from Chia and his lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes to Musa's two sons in Australia, via banks in Singapore.

International conservationists have been expressing concern that Musa is giving away timber concessions in Sabah. Deforestation there has been identified as one of the main causes of global warming that triggers catastrophic weather.

Meanwhile, some concessionaires have complained of Chia's prohibitive extortions in behalf of Musa, the chairman of Sabah's timber board. One exposé is about his grant of a lucrative logging site to Chia's mistress.

More than 40 charges were brought against Musa. But he was able to elude them — and prevent the ICAC and MACC from synchronizing their probes — through political connections.

Musa is the older brother of Malaysian Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, and a close kin of Attorney General Abdul Gani Patail.

As head in Sabah of Malaysia's ruling UMNO party, Musa is also its chief fundraiser and so a strong ally of Prime Minister Najib Razak. Razak is himself being linked to a $40-million kickback from the purchase of three submarines from France and the murder of a Mongolian socialite who publicly raised a fuss about her share. The UMNO tried to make it look like the recent dollar smuggling from Hong Kong was a donation for the forthcoming parliamentary election.

Amalilio is facing some 8,000 court cases in the Philippines. President Noynoy Aquino, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Interior Secretary Mar Roxas, and Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario are collaborating to bring him back and face the music. In so doing, they will have to deal with Musa, Anifah, Patail, and Razak.

Six Israeli Security Chiefs Stun the World

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 09:01 AM PST

CNN.COM International

Six former heads of the Shin Bet, Israel's secretive internal security service, have spoken out as a group for the first time and are making stunning revelations.

The men who were responsible for keeping Israel safe from terrorists now say they are afraid for Israel's future as a democratic and Jewish state.

Israeli film director Dror Moreh managed to get them all to sit down for his new documentary: "The Gatekeepers." It is the story of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian Territories, as told by the people at the crossroads of some of the most crucial moments in the security history of the country.

"If there is someone who understands the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it's those guys," the director told CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

Against the backdrop of the currently frozen peace process, all six argue – to varying degrees – that the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is bad for the state of Israel.

The oldest amongst the former chiefs, Avraham Shalom, says Israel lost touch with how to coexist with the Palestinians as far back as the aftermath of the Six Day War of 1967, with the occupation of Gaza and the West Bank, when the country started doubling down on terrorism.

"We forgot about the Palestinian issue," Shalom says in the film.

A major impediment to a meaningful strategy, they say, are the Jewish extremists inside Israel – people like the Jewish Israeli who assassinated Prime Minister Yitzak Rabin, or the 1980 plot to blow up the Dome of the Rock Islamic shrine in Jerusalem.

A central theme of the documentary is the idea that Israel has incredible tactics, but lacks long-term strategy. That is to say, the security apparatus is able to pacify terrorists, but if operations do not support a move toward a peace settlement, then they are meaningless.

Moreh said he was shocked to hear Avraham Shalom, Austrian-born and a refugee of the Nazis, compare the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian Territories to Germany's occupation of Europe.

"Bear in mind that Avraham Shalom was born in Vienna," Moreh said. "And at the Kristallnacht he was forced by his mother to go to school and was beaten almost to death by his classmates… He said 'I experienced firsthand what it means to be under a racist regime.'"

Moreh knew that he had to include that part of the interview in the film. "I said to myself I have to keep it, because he understands what he speaks."

"Only Jews can say those kind of words," he told Amanpour. "And only they can have the justification to speak as they spoke in the film."

The filmmaker said that this is "the most pro-Israel film" he could have created. "When you see the Titanic heading toward the iceberg, what would you do?"

A spokesperson for current Israel Prime Minister said Benjamin Netanyahu had not seen "The Gatekeepers," and had no plans to do so.

"I think the fact that the PM of Israel is not willing to watch a film with six former heads of shin bet speaking and conveying a message to the Israeli public – to him and to the world. I think it just speaks about his personality," Moreh said.

Critics accuse Moreh of cherry picking to advance a political agenda that falls on the left-wing of the Israeli political spectrum.

"They are all pragmatists," Moreh told Amanpour about the subjects. "These are the six heads of the secret service of Israel saying in one and clear voice enough of the occupation – you cannot argue with that."

Moreh said that none of the former chiefs has come to him with any problems with the final product and all of them told him they stand behind the film.

Blocking Repatriation of Wanted Conman – Follow Due Process

Posted: 31 Jan 2013 12:56 AM PST

The claim by Philippine Interior Secretary Mar Roxas that Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman has blocked the repatriation of the Philippine's most wanted conman is most shocking and we demand an explanation.

The conman known as Manuel Karingal Amalilio is also said to be Musa's nephew and going by the name of Mohammad Sufian Said. This is not a petty issue as he is alleged to have cheated over 15,000 people of 12 billion pesos or about RM900 million! Musa must come clean on these allegations. Remaining silent is not an option.
Meanwhile, the Malaysian police must act in accordance with the law and must not be seen to be taking orders from political masters. The idea that our law enforcers are party to any act or conspiracy to harbour criminals is absolutely repugnant and scandalous.
I urge the Inspector General of Police to take immediate action to heed Manila's request and help bring the suspect to justice. Due process must be observed and Amalilio must be given a fair trial.

Anwar Ibrahim


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