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Jumaat, 5 Disember 2014

Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


RCI report ‘whitewashing to the pits’

Posted: 05 Dec 2014 01:30 AM PST

Malaysiakini

Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim today said the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) report on the presence of immigrants in Sabah had failed to mention the role of the national security council and the Prime Minister's Department in the issue.

"It did not even attribute any blame on them, notwithstanding the overwhelming evidence to that effect," he said in a statement today.

"While it is well-known that the Umno-Barisan Nasional government will never own up to its failings, we would have expected at least a modicum of contrition, followed by a resolve to make good the errors and misdeeds of the past".

The PKR de facto leader lamented how Malaysians were once again treated to another "farcical display of chest thumping and proclamations of grandeur, reminiscent of the recently concluded Umno general assembly".

Although it was no surprise that the RCI report had absolved the BN government of any culpability, Anwar said it had taken the art of "white-washing to the pits".

He pointed out how the report placed the blame only on errant civil service runners for what was clearly the "biggest illegal immigrant scandal in our history since independence".

"The masterminds and the real culprits responsible for the nefarious importation into Sabah of illegal immigrants from southern Philippines and Indonesia are completely off the hook," he added.

The Permatang Pauh MP said although the hearing had held out the promise of some form of justice for the people of Sabah, the RCI instead yielded a 366-page document of predominantly "meaningless verbiage".

"(It had also exonerated) all the government agencies and departments of any culpability, citing monetary gain as the motive," he said.

The RCI on Wednesday had cleared the government and political parties from involvement in the mass issuance of citizenship to migrants in Sabah.

Instead, the report pinpointed to syndicates involving former National Registration Department officials as the culprits who raked in millions of ringgit.

[VIDEO] Najib’s Sedition Act U-turn ‘puzzles’ US

Posted: 04 Dec 2014 10:32 PM PST

Exclusive: US Ambassador to Malaysia Joseph Yun says the United States is ‘puzzled’ by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s decision to maintain the Sedition Act.

Malaysian govt still harboring Amalilio

Posted: 04 Dec 2014 09:06 PM PST

PhilStar

The Malaysian government is fooling the Philippines — again. It already freed last month Manuel Amalilio from a 20-month prison term for passport fraud. But it is breaking its promise to deport him to Manila, to face worse charges of scamming 15,000 Filipinos of P12 billion (891M ringgit, $205M). Supposedly its Ministry of Home Affairs has changed its mind about extraditing the fugitive out of "neighborliness." Just like that. So the Interpol, Philippine courts, and Amalilio's victims, mostly working-class Muslims like Malaysians, are left twisting in the wind.

Manila had trusted Prime Minister Najib Razak's word too much. Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Feb. 2013 already alerted the Philippines about impending deceit. He divulged then, through this column, that Amalilio held high influence. The conman is a nephew of Razak's foreign minister, solicitor general, and the Sabah chief minister (see Gotcha, 2 Feb. 2013). They were not mere ruling party mates of the PM; the Sabah politico, one of Malaysia's sleaziest for multimillion-dollar bribes from forestry grants and money laundering in Hong Kong, was Razak's main bankroller. Malaysian sources hinted of the kinsmen's ties to Amalilio's Ponzi scheme in Muslim Mindanao. So it was unlikely they would turn him in to Philippine justice.

Razak's officials were in fact already playing games at the time on Philippine counterparts. Amalilio, since fleeing from Mindanao in Nov. 2012, had been spotted several times partying in Sabah. Informed by Malaysia Interpol, Philippine lawmen flew in to take custody. At the airport, however, Sabah local cops stopped the flight and retook the fugitive. Purportedly he had just been charged with entering his Sabah home state on dubious travel papers, so had to be tried. Whereupon, they checked him into a hospital suite, and in two days "sentenced" him to prison till 2014. Interior Sec. Mar Roxas, who was helping Amalilio's victims file charges, was so stunned that he publicly denounced the odd twist of events. The to-do subsided only after Razak's gofers promised Foreign Sec. Albert del Rosario and Justice Sec. Leila de Lima to deport their criminal countryman after serving jail time.

Last month, upon Amalilio's release, de Lima tried to collect on the Malaysian promise. The Home Ministry gave no reason for withholding Amalilio from justice. That is just Razak's "neighborliness" with a nation of the same Malay race. Implicated years ago in murder and multimillion-euro kickbacks, Razak simply is untrustworthy.

It matters not to Razak that Manila is a major ally, whose help he needs when Malaysia chairs next year the ASEAN economic integration. Forgotten perhaps was Malacañang's all-out war against a titular Sultan of Sulu, whose ragtag army had "invaded" Sabah in 2013. (Razak falsely had linked Anwar to that side issue in a vain attempt to silence him about Amalilio's political and blood ties. Two of Anwar's fellow-oppositionists, MPs Tian Chua and Rasiah Sivarasa, were charged with sedition for meeting in Manila, at the height of the Amalilio furor, with scam victims, prosecutors, and Filipino newsmen.)

Razak's duplicitous treatment of Manila is highlighted by a similar row with New Zealand. Last May police there charged a Malaysian envoy with sexual assault and burglary. Invoking diplomatic immunity the offender fled to Kuala Lumpur and from there slandered the female complainant. New Zealand persisted with its raps, forcing Razak to turn over the envoy last Oct. of course, con artist Amalilio enjoys from Razak more than just diplomatic cover.

*      *      *

Englishman reader John Denne expounds on the nursery rhyme, "Ring a ring o' roses," which I cited Friday in relation to quarantining:

"When growing up we were told that the rhyme referred to the Great Plague of London, a severe strain of flu. It was thought that heavily scented flowers were a form of defense. Moneyed folk then surrounded themselves with such flowers, especially English roses, and wore flowers on their dress. The first signs of disease in sufferers were sneezing, which turned to fever and death. (This also led to people blessing someone who sneezed.) So the poor children would mock them and sing, 'A ring, a ring of roses, a pocket full of poses. Atishoo! Atishoo!, They all fall down'."

*      *      *

Filipinos would learn historical lessons from the book, "Panahon ng Hapon: Sining sa Digmaan: Digmaan sa Sining (Japanese Occupation: Art in War: War in Art." Published 1992 in 50th anniversary commemoration of World War II in the Philippines, it features the body of literary and artworks during conflict.

That conflict, editor Gina Barte reminds, began with a militaristic neighbor-state grabbing surrounding islands. Concept was by Bing Roxas, then chief of the Cultural Center of the Philippines. Barte was director of the CCP Museo ng Kalinangang Pilipino.

Now head of the International Council of Museums-Philippines, Barte sees repeats of history. She endorses map exhibitions and researches on the trueness of the Philippine claim and the falsity of China's "nine-dashed line" over Scarborough Shoal. Foremost scholars on the topic are Supreme Court Senior Justice Antonio T. Carpio and Dr. Jay L. Batongbakal, experts on Law of the Sea.

U.S. VP tweets concerns over Sedition Act

Posted: 04 Dec 2014 09:04 PM PST

Malaysiakini

United States Vice-President Joe Biden has expressed concern over the stifling of the opposition in Malaysia with the use of the Sedition Act and other laws.

He also commented on the upcoming verdict for opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s final appeal against his sodomy conviction.

In a Twitter posting today, Biden said amid growing US-Malaysia ties, the Malaysian government’s use of the legal system and Sedition Act to stifle the opposition raises rule of law concerns.

However, he expressed hope that the government would make things right through Anwar's case.

“Anwar’s appeal gives Malaysia a vital chance to make things right and promote confidence in its democracy and judiciary,” Biden added.

Biden's call today is reminiscent of former US vice president Al Gore who had famously rebuked the Malaysian government for suppressing freedom, even praising Malaysians who had rallied against former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad as "brave".

”And so, among nations suffering economic crises, we continue to hear calls for democracy and reform in many languages – people’s power, doi moi, reformasi.

”We hear them today – right here, right now – among the brave people of Malaysia,” Gore had said back in 1998 at the annual meeting of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, although he had always been criticised for trying to foster closer ties with the US, made a complete U-turn when he announced that the Sedition Act will be retained as well as fortified at the Umno general assembly last week.

Najib had said that the Act would be strengthened to protect Islam and other faiths, as well as to deal with calls for secession of Sabah and Sarawak.

The Federal Court is still preparing the judgment on Anwar's final appeal to set aside his conviction and five years' jail sentence for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, six years ago.

The highest court in the country will make its ruling on whether to allow or dismiss Anwar's appeal to set aside his conviction and jail sentence imposed by the Court of Appeal on March 7 this year, after it had overturned a High Court decision to acquit him.

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