THE BEGINING OF THE END
Reports from Kiev confirm that Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has resigned in a shock move after the collapse of the ruling parliamentary coalition paving the way for new legislative elections.
Yatsenyuk is known to have been on poor terms with the more forceful and independent but dictatorial Poreshenko the president of Ukraine. The government of Ukraine came into office when all but a few in the former government and opposition were silenced, jailed, kidnapped or “arrested” after the US and UK financed “Revolution” at Maidan Square in Kiev which toppled the legitimate government of former President Viktor Yanukovic and forced him to flee to Russia.
“There has been much disquiet in the way Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk have been handling the MH 17 crisis and the civil war that is crippling the economy and security of Ukraine”, a minister in the Yatsenyuk government said on condition of anonymity.
MILITARY DIVIDED -TALK OF A COUP
“There is talk of a military coup circulating in diplomatic circles and the army because the way in which soldiers are dying like flies in the face of an internal rebellion Yatsenyuk created. Soldiers and commanders are not willing to be photo opportunity props for these two clowns” a Lt. Colonel in the Ukrainian army said. We could have resolved this dispute peacefully with the Russian armed forces and Putin. “We are closest brothers in history“, he said.
“Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk are taking scripts from Australia, Holland and the US. It is not the way Ukraine is meant to operate. Sure we have our sovereignty and our long history with Russia and we are not going to join with NATO” he said further.
THE OILGARCHS AND LONDONS COMPLICITY
Yatsenyuk is believed to have Jewish roots, a fact which many Ukrainians do not sit comfortably with. Many Ukrainians are suspicious of his links with the Jewish oligarchs who stripped Russia and Ukraine bare now living on their ill gotten gains in London. It is also widely believed that this is the reason that David Cameron British Prime Minister is so vocally pro Yatsenyuk and anti Putin. It is also a point that was not lost on the French Prime Minister when rebuking Cameron over the sale of the Mistral to Russia recently.
It is widely believed it was these oligarchs including Khodorkovesky the oil Billionaire, himself a Jew and jailed by Putin till earlier this year financed the Maidan coup in Kiev. Many are beginning to believe Yatsenyuk does not care for the Ukraine much. He is being used by outsiders like Khodorkovesky for other objectives than the advancement of Ukraine..
“We do not yet know who gave the order to fire a missile or send war planes up in the corridor used by civilian airliners that caused the MH tragedy. They are not only blaming what they call Russian separatists. They are also making the army of Ukraine look like idiots and fools and that is not the case. We are a professional army and can defend our motherland but we do not know who controls some sections of the army and that is not good. There is division and this government will have to go“.
The rhetoric against Russia has begun to recede from the US although even if it did not, analysts say there is little the US can do to weaken or “punish ” Russia because of the very well structured economic relationships Putin has cultivated throughout western Europe and elsewhere that benefits an already weakened Europe struggling to recover from a series of banking disasters recently.
AN ABOUT FACE- SO WHO BROUGHT DOWN MH 17 REALLY?
Reports coming out of the US this morning now show a change of heart as to who may have been responsible for bringing down MH 17.
Senior U.S. intelligence officials say they have no evidence of direct Russian government involvement in the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17.
They say the passenger jet was likely felled by an SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired by Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and that Russia “created the conditions” for the downing by arming the separatists.
The officials briefed reporters on Tuesday under ground rules that their names not be used in discussing intelligence related to last week’s air disaster, which killed 298 people.
They said they did not know if any Russians were present at the missile launch, and they wouldn’t say that the missile crew was trained in Russia.
This is a far departure from the very shrill bellicose rhetoric used by the US and its allies including Holland and Australia about who brought down the Malaysian airliner. They were so very sure then that it was a Russian conspiracy and the attack against Russia was being led by its illegitimate new ruler Poroshenko and Arseniyev both virulent anti Russian individuals known to be on the payroll of Oligarchs who now live comfortably abroad.
NO SANCTIONS AGAINST RUSSIA – FRANCE AND GERMANY
The French who have been relatively silent about who did what to MH 17 also have one of the more powerful and reliable intelligence services in Europe. They have finally broken their silence over the anti Russian tirades coming out of Europe and the US this week over MH 17.
It was the clearest signal yet from Paris that they are not part of this hastily cobbled conspiracy against the Russians in an effort to protect a US/ European strategy to demonise then encircle Russia,
France’s response has been to go through with the controversial deal to sell a helicopter carrier ship “Mistral” to Russia despite the Ukraine crisis. And its decision to do so came only hours after British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would be “unthinkable” for France to fulfill such an order.
“Hollande is not backing down. He is delivering the first (ship) despite the fact he is being asked not to,” Jean-Christophe Cambadelis, head of Hollande’s ruling Socialist Party, told I-Tele television on Tuesday.
“This is a false debate led by hypocrites … When you see how many (Russian) oligarchs have sought refuge in London, David Cameron should start by cleaning up his own backyard.” “Just because the Americans say ‘jump’ we shouldn’t jump,” Xavier Bertrand, a former minister under Sarkozy and senior member of his conservative opposition UMP party, told France Inter radio. “France’s word, its signature, must be respected.”
President Barack Obama expressed concerns about the “Mistral” contract in June because of Russia’s support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The wrangling over the warships highlights the difficulties the 28-member European Union has had in agreeing a joint line on dealing with Russia, a major gas supplier to countries such as Germany and Italy, as well as to central Europe.
MALAYSIA’S OPPORTUNITY TO STAND OUT AS AN INDEPENDENT NATION
Malaysia like all other civilized nations has an obligation to carpet the British and American Ambassadors along with the Australians to demand they explain their conduct and hand over their “intelligence” over the downing of MH 17 and demand answers from each of them.
The disinformation campaign (a euphemism for propaganda of lies) has been flowing thick and fast. It appears to be undeniable now that 289 people could have been sacrificed to provide a western smoke screen for the barbaric Israeli incursion and attacks in Gaza against Palestinians of all religions classes colours and creeds.
Only a few days ago Britain, Holland and the US were certain along with Ukraine that the Russians were responsible for the downing of MH 17. They must now come out with their “intelligence” to back those claims or apologise and tell the truth. Malaysia has a stake in the whole affair as it was a Malaysian aircraft and crew that was murdered by people the west say they have identified as perpetrators.
Malaysia has the single greatest opportunity to show the world leadership at a time of crisis. The opportunity has been handed to it by a European American miscalculation by an act of their barbarity in shooting down a Malaysian Airliner with all its passengers aboard. Malaysia is in a position to demand answers from each of the Obama Administration, David Cameron, Tony Abbot and Mark Rutte over the MH 17 affair.
As an Islamic nation it has the moral high ground to demand answers. It has also the right to demand if MH 17 was a smokescreen used to cover the west’s indulgence of Israel’s incursion into Gaza seeing as no other Islamic nation has the moral clout it seems or the proverbials between their political legs to do so. If it does not, it remains a two bit excuse for foreign investment, devoid of political, moral and policy independence.
All Arab states (and Turkey) without exception have proved to be an insult to Islam, an anachronism where their connection and claims to represent Islam and humanity are concerned. Beginning with Saudi Arabia and the Saudi Royals with their un Islamic excesses these nations have reduced Islam and the words of the Prophet (PBUH) into a cash cow and a justification for indulging in every known excess and vice on earth.
Apart from Malaysia and its Muslims there are very few (if any ) in any other state that could call themselves Islamic and point to their conduct and lives to justify it. The Arabs themselves speak highly in praise of Malaysia and its Muslims and their examples as such. The Muslim world now needs a leader. Malaysia and Najib should step up to the plate now or forever lose the opportunity that God (or fate by MH 17) has delivered to them on a silver platter.
ALL CLUES POINT TO A FAILED ATTEMPT AT ASSASSINATION OF PUTIN
Quite correctly an indignant Russian Deputy Minister of Defence made the following statement to RT Media (a Russian Media outlet) 3 days after the downing of flight MH 17.
Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov criticized Western countries for jumping to conclusions just “24 hours after the crash of MH 17” that Russia was to blame for the crash of MH 17 without providing a shred of independently verifiable and credibly admissible evidence to support their far fetched allegations.
“They try to show to the whole world that we are responsible for the crash. It is very strange that without any evidence my colleagues from western media would like to find somebody who is responsible for the crash,” Antonov said. “It seems to me that this is part of information warfare which has been started against the Russian Federation and armed forces.”
He then put 10 questions for the Ukrainian regime in Kiev to answer which has thus far only elicited scorn and regrettably evasive and questionable answers from both the Ukrainians and the west.
TEN QUESTIONS FOR THE UKRAINIAN AUTHORITIES TO RESPOND TO BEFORE APPORTIONING BLAME ELSEWHERE
1. Immediately after the tragedy, the Ukrainian authorities, naturally, blamed it on the self-defense forces. What are these accusations based on?
2. Can Kiev explain in detail how it uses BUK Missile Launchers in the conflict zone? (Ukraine owns several of these) And why were these systems deployed there in the first place, seeing as the self-defense forces don’t have any planes?
3. Why are the Ukrainian authorities not doing anything to set up an independent international commission of inquiry into the crash ? When will such a commission begin its work if one is indeed planned?
4. Would the Ukrainian Armed Forces be willing to let international investigators see the inventory of their air-to-air and surface-to-air missiles, including those used in SAM launchers?
5. Will the international commission have access to tracking data from reliable sources tracking the movements of Ukrainian warplanes on the day of the tragedy?
6. Why did Ukrainian air traffic controllers allow the plane to deviate from the regular route to the north, towards “the anti-terrorist operation zone”?
7. Why was airspace over the war zone not closed to civilian air traffic, especially since the area was not entirely covered by radar navigation systems?
8. How does Kiev officially respond to comments on and on media reports in the press and on social media, by a Spanish air traffic controller who works in Ukraine, who alleged that there were two Ukrainian military planes flying alongside the Boeing 777 over Ukrainian territory?
9. Why did Ukraine’s Security Service start working with the recordings of communications between Ukrainian air traffic controllers and the Boeing crew and with the data storage systems from Ukrainian radars without waiting for international investigators?
10. What lessons has Ukraine learned from a similar flight in 2001, when a Russian Tu-154 crashed into the Black Sea? Back then, the Ukrainian authorities denied any involvement on the part of Ukraine’s Armed Forces until irrefutable evidence proved official Kiev to be guilty.
A HISTORY OF SHOOTING CIVILIAN AIRCRAFT IN WAR
What most of us fail to realise is that whatever we read in the media as “evidence and proof” is insufficient by any civil standards to constitute evidence let alone conclusive proof to satisfy a conviction for a motor traffic offence. But since there is a propaganda war out there it is those who speak loudest that need to be scrutinized.
Each of the US, the former USSR (not the present day Russia), the Ukraine in 2001, Israel and Belgium have all had the ignominious distinction of having shot down civlian airliners on one pretext or the other. Of these the Belgians are known to be the worst offenders as the evidence unearthed years later would show, Belgian Air force planes stationed in the Congo brought down the plane carrying Dag Hammerzhold the then UN Secretary General who did not approve of their handling of the Congo crisis.
A POSSIBLE PLAUSIBLE SCENARIO EMERGING
The fact there is a war going on in the Ukraine between rebels of many different ethnic backgrounds, many such as the Cossacks who speak Russian and identify with Russia appears lost on the west. Convenience? perhaps. But whats more astounding in the heat of this war and its most pitiful victim, MH 17 and its passengers is that, the plane and its passengers have become a “shield” for the west and its new illegitimate political progeny bordering Russia (the Ukraine) in its anti Russian propaganda war.
The US and Europe have been threatening sanctions against Russia but have thus far not succeeded because of the implications and fall out of any sanction on Europe and the US itself. Putin’s Russia has carefully placed strategic investments of the west in their grasp and hold firmly on to these. Rocket engines which the Russians supply the US cannot be replaced and substituted overnight.
Gas and oil from Russia’s massive fields are piped to Europe via Ukraine and Ukraine itself is dependent on Russian gas for which it owes Russia over $15 billion it can’t repay. The west has promised to underwrite Ukraine’s debt to Russia is it joins NATO. A listening outpost for the west on Russia’s border. It has not been easy for the west dealing with the ascendancy of a political, militarily and economically strong Russia. The western media says otherwise.
More to the point. The failure of the west cripple Russia’s military might with an illegal coup using the Maidan demonstrators to overthrown a Moscow friendly government in Kiev has embarrassed and strengthened Moscow’s hold in the region. The Black Sea Fleet is stationed in the Crimea. Without this port the Russian navy is literally non existent. Putin took it over with Russian forces. No one did anything but write about it.
IT WAS A FAILED ATTEMPT TO ASSASSINATE PUTIN
It has become clear to the west that the only way to check mate Putin according to Russian intelligence is to “take him out”. He has always been aware of plots to assassinate him. Putin questioned the west’s right to assassinate Gadaffi and Saddam Hussein in the face of overwhelming silence by others. He has always questioned the west’s legitimacy to assassinating Rumanian leader Nicolau Caucescu, to kidnaping Panama’s Manuel Noriega and its aiding in the ouster of democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammed Morsi of Egypt.
Putin’s plane was dovetailing MH 17 on the fateful day of the crash of MH 17 and for reasons best known to Russian intelligence the flight took a different route over Poland avoiding Ukrainian airspace. Malaysian airlines was lapped by Putin’s aircraft returning from Brazil. Nothing is yet clear about why Putin’s plane made that diversion from its planned path. The secretive Russians are immune to western criticisms of their actions and are used to being demonized by the west.
What is clear now is that this time this matter has turned personal. If history is anything to go by, the long term consequences for the western nations that participated in what is now widely believed to have been an attempted assassination of Vladmir Putin will not be pleasant or civil. The Ukrainian leader’s President Poroshenko and Prime Minister Arsenyi Yatsenyuk have a lot to account for now.
Former KGB station head in Delhi now turned commentator and Russian critic Vitaly Yurchenko (Ukrainian) is reported to have told a reporter at the New York Times last week that both Poroshenko and Yatsenyuk have sought assurances of protection from the US following the downing of MH 17. In short what he alluded to was their request for assurance of a place to flee to in the event they are implicated in an attempted assassination of Vladimir Putin.
The Germans have washed their hands of the event an are paying lip service to sanctions against Russia. This he says is because Angela Merkel’s intelligence chief had already warned her of an impending disaster ahead. German intelligence had uncovered plans for a “black job” and identified the sources of that “black job” within the US embassy and their operatives in Bonn. It is what prompted the German response of identifying the CIA station chief in Bonn then expelling a number of US “diplomats” in the week prior to the shooting down of MH 17.
THE WEST AND UKRAINE OVERREACHING THEMSELVES
Having helped to set up an illegal regime in Kiev the west has now found itself with a battle on its hands it cannot contain lest it disrupt and weaken the new NATO states of the former Soviet Union that border the Ukraine. Poland in particular. There is no drunk compliant leader as Boris Yeltsin was signing away everything the US wanted to destabilize Russia with for a few million dollars.
There is no more a corrupt vain Sheverdnazy either for the west to rely on for their failures. They the CIA destroyed him according to a former CIA operative in the region. They were CIA funded NGO’s that entered parliament in Georgia and forced him to flee for his life. More importantly the bear, the vain CIA stooge Mikhail Gorbachev has been caged, humiliated, scorned and reduced to figure of public ridicule and contempt in the Russian Republic.
The west has to deal with a professional soldier in the Kremlin a man more than a match for the Hollywood cut out of himself the token African American Barack Obama. No choreographed Paul McCartney, Stevie Wonder props in the background. No Saddam Hussein or Gadaffi’s in the Kremlin for him to rattle. This Gremlin in the Kremlin bites and bites back hard. Obama is no strategist no soldier. he will be out of office in 18 months. Not Putin. he in for the long haul.
There is disquiet amongst the polish especially who realise the consequences of sabre rattling a Russian cage by the west without feet on the ground when the need arises. Radoslaw Sikorsky former Polish foreign minster said recently that their relationship with the US was worth nothing.
Only two weeks ago Angela Merkel the German Chancellor had the bitter experience of having to expel two very senior US diplomats accused of spying on her country and its government. In addition it was discovered that there was a nest of CIA spies working out of the US Embassy in Bonn. The US has been actively trying to destabilize its own friends in Europe for its own ends regardless of the consequences to these countries from their espionage there.
RON PAUL AND THE DANGERS OF THE US LOGIC ON RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT IN MH 17
Drawing parallels between the potential for a Russian-made missile system’s connection to the attack of the passenger jet on Thursday over the restive Donetsk region of Ukraine and the capture of US-made weapons by Islamist insurgents in Iraq, US Senator Ron Paul pointed out that the missile’s potential source of manufacture was largely immaterial.
“That may well be true, but guess what, ISIS has a lot of American weapons,” said Paul. “We sent weapons into Syria to help the rebels and al-Qaida ends up getting it — it doesn’t mean that our American government and Obama deliberately wanted ISIS to get American weapons.”
“So who gets the weapons is a big difference between how they got them and what happened and what the motivations were,” Paul added. “So even if it was a Russian weapon — doesn’t mean a lot.”
Siberia Airlines Flight 1812 (2001) Now Malaysian Airlines MH 17 (2014)
Oleksandr Kuzmuk, pictured above, the Ukrainian Minister of Defense who resigned after the shooting down Siberian Airlines Flight 1812.
WAS PUTIN THE INTENDED TARGET OF THE MISSILE ATTACK
Times of India one of many media organizations reports that there is speculation Vladmir Putin’s aircraft may have been the intended target of the missile battery that brought down MH 17. Both planes are painted in similar colours and if visual contact was required the colours of a Malaysian Airlines aircraft could have been deceptive enough to look like Putin’s Illyushin IL 96 aircraft.
Whats interesting is that the Times of India once owned by Bennett Coleman is a very pro western paper with one of the largest if not the widest circulation in the English speaking world. The claim or suggestion is no more a conspiracy theory than that being floated by US vice president Joe Biden and Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
Perhaps the Air India pilots who flew within visual range of the ill fated MH 17 could shed some light on what occurred. They were only 25 Kms behind MH 17.
ANOTHER UKRAINIAN SHOOTING OF A CIVILIAN AIRLINER? LEST WE FORGET
The precedent for the shooting of Malaysian Airlines MH 17 in the Ukraine is the shooting down in 2001 of a Russian built Tupolev passenger jet a TU 154 by Ukrainian Armed Forces missile batteries on October 4, 2001.
In that crash 64 Siberian Air passengers and 12 crew on board the ill fated aircraft en route from Novosibirsk to Tel Aviv were killed when the plane was shot down over the Black Sea by a Ukrainian missile. No reason was cited for the shooting down of the plane except for the speculation that it was a military exercise gone wrong. The victims were mainly Jews.
There was an outpouring of grief and the Ukrainians were described as anti Semites by various Jewish groups following this event (and for their history of supporting Hitler and their documented careless disregard for human life in world war 2). It did not help that at the time of the crash their denials over the shooting down of a civilian airliner were equally careless as it is with the crash of MH 17.
More notably the Ukrainian armed forces then too offered speculative reasons as to what happened attempting to blame others for the shooting down of the Air Siberia TU 154.
DENIALS THEN AS THEY ARE NOW
It took a while for the Ukraine to admit that it had in fact shot down the aircraft. And that too after considerable pressure was brought to bear o the Ukrainian leadership by Russian investigators.
Ukraine’s then-president, Leonid Kuchma, eventually conceded that the Ukrainian military was responsible for the shooting down of the Russian passenger jet.
The day of the shoot-down of the aircraft occurred at a time the Ukrainian military was conducting a massive military exercise which involved shooting down 23 missiles at drones. “Experts say that the radar-guided S-200, among the farthest-flying and most capable antiaircraft missile in the arsenal of former Soviet nations (at the time), simply locked onto the Russian airliner after it raced past the destroyed drone some 20 miles off the Crimean coast,” the New York Times’ Michael Wines reported then.
Then President of the Ukraine Leonid Kuchma accepted the resignation of his Minister of Defense, Oleksandr Kuzmuk, following the admission that the military was culpable. From 2003 to 2005, Ukraine paid a total of $15.9 million to families of victims following a deal with the government of Israel.
Oddly enough the Ukrainians today rush to play what they say (without independent verification) that they intercepted radio conversation between Russian backed separatists discussing the shooting down of an aircraft at the same time MH 17 went down. The west likewise keen to demonise the Russians and take the heat off the Ukraine on one side whilst conveniently taking the attention off Israel’s bullying of Palestinians by their armed forces on the other is playing up that smokescreen of Ukrainian “evidence” that Pro Russian separatists brought the aircraft down.
If it indeed was a Russian mistake then how different a mistake would it be to that of the US shooting down an Iranian Air civilian passenger aircraft in the late 1980’s? In that particular instance, the US claimed its radar could not distinguish between civilian and military aircraft. How criminally convenient.
THE MYTH OF THE AUDIO INTERCEPT
The latest from the “audio intercept” as the Ukrainians claim to have in their possession is one which requires very close scrutiny for what it does not say rather than for what it purports to. The Russians have one of the most sophisticated field radio systems for communication in a battle zone which is designed to hop frequencies and to avoid detection.
The Russian made ant aircraft radio or wire guided missile batteries which the Ukrainians and the American say brought down the MH 17 aircraft is in the military inventories of both nations.
The BUK (s 300 or its predecessor S 200) is a Russian designed and built anti aircraft system often marketed to client states via Belorussia and the state arms corporation Rosoboronexport. To “brother states” like the Ukraine it is sold directly. Most former Soviet states have these in their inventories.
It seems that social media is attributing many absurd claims about the crash of MH 17 to a pro Russian military commander. And the US and Australia appear to be lending credibility to these absurd comments each time they appear in the press.
IT WAS ” (THE MUSLIM) COSSACKS” AND THE GRU- GOOD GUYS BAD GUYS
The rush to blame Russia and the Cussacks (the ethnic Muslim Russians who live in the Ukraine supporting Russia) in the “intercepted radio messages” is suspect. Being Muslims they the Cossacks are an easy target of hatred worldwide. The apocryphal so called radio message “audio intercept” released by the Ukraine does not support Russian (or any other trained army) protocols for communication on the battlefront in the field.
The Russians and their allies do not contact the GRU directly just as the filed operatives of US backed militia in Iraq, Afghanistan or other battle zones do not contact the CIA and its director directly to report an event. It is unlikely and it is unprecedented. It is for the consumption of the likes of Tony Abbott, Australia’s “wet behind the ears” prime minister and the Huffington Post.
NEW IDEAS NEW TACTICS- NO SUCH THING AS AN INNOCENT BYSTANDER
There was no such radio intercept of the downing of the 3 other aircraft or more supposedly downed by Pro Russians separatists in the Ukraine. Suddenly all sides change tactics radically with the Pro Russian separatists speaking to the head of the GRU Igor Sergun and a Russian Major in the armed forces of the Russian Federation we are made to believe.
Then we have the paradigm shift in Ukrainian tactics of intercepting highly classified but uncoded open line communications by pro Russian separatists with Moscow.
What is tragic about this incident coming so close to the heels of the yet unsolved MH370 incident is that civilians are now more than ever coming to grips that there is no such thing as “innocent bystanders in a conflict” as the Palestinian hijacker of a BOAC aircraft in the early 1970’s told his passengers.
A LESSON FOR MAS AND THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT
It is time the government of Malaysia and its national Airline learned how to deal with the world and the media by engaging professional people regardless of their race colour class or creed when dealing with such disasters. There is nothing wrong in an investment in quality, impressive public speakers (without the fake US accents) personnel, trained and savvy when dealing with the international media.
As it stands the prime ministers own ability to impress is impaired following the MH 370 incident. The then acting minister Hishamuddin Onn although not incompetent was short of what the media had expected. There is a special skill required to deal with a media organizations and agencies run by sensationalists ready and waiting to bait an ill prepared minister or other official in such situations. And that damage from not being prepared in such situations may be irreversible.
There is an art and a skill not present within the existing Malaysian media scrum. Neither is it present in Malaysia’s government apparatus capable of dealing with such a situation. And that’s a disaster in itself.
Government needs spokespersons who are skilled. People who are informed, with a legal background, international current affairs specialists who are forensic, articulate and possessed of people and crisis management skills sufficient for them to be able to interact amiably with the diverse and often hostile international media that throng to KL each time something like this occurs.
The Staccato Malaysian accent is horrible and for most of the time not understood. With punctuations and expressions all misplaced in what should otherwise be a short and sharp response is often dragged on, disabled by the accent, the diction, mispronounced words and analogies.
It is best that Malaysia give the media a plausible explanation of events than for them to make up their own minds and lend their own interpretations in frustration from dealing with incompetent spokespersons.
Such a situation always ends up causing untold damage to a nation that has gained so much in a short time and has so much to lose in a shorter time by the poor handling of these events.
A PLAGUE ON OUR HOUSES
In 2004, when Heinrich Kieber told a criminal psychologist that he, “no longer held the keys to the kingdom of Liechtenstein”. Kieber wasn’t telling the whole truth.
Liechtenstein is one of the world’s leading centres of shadowy private banking services to the wealthy. The others are Switzerland, Monaco, Israel (secret if you are not Jewish), Singapore and Dubai. Kieber was the most significant defector and whistleblower from the world of secret banking in the last 65 years.
Kieber’s ‘declaration’ that he had returned all of the confidential client data he had stolen in 2002 from LGT Group, the financial fortress owned by the Liechtenstein royal family was in fact not true at all.
“At the time, we all trusted him,” said Wolfgang Mueller, his lawyer in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein. Muller’s fees at the time ironically and in a bizarre twist of events were paid by LGT.
The bank and a few thousand very wealthy individuals in Europe and the United States were very worried. And they had good reason to be so.
KLIEBER’S AND OTHER REVELATIONS
Income tax and generally tax evasion is a criminal offence in Europe and the United States punishable with a jail sentence and confiscation of untaxed assets.
Kieber, who has been in hiding with a new identity has also possibly undergone cosmetic surgery to conceal his physical identity. He is known to have sold copies of the data he downloaded at the bank to several foreign governments. It does not stop there. Kieber is also wanted by Interpol.
Kieber a former data entry clerk at LGT, not a very highly rated position in the bank precipitated one of the biggest banking scandals in years.
Nearly a dozen global tax authorities, including the United States Internal Revenue Service are now using Kieber’s treasure trove to ramp up their scrutiny of former LGT clients. Kieber is not alone.
In 2008 Credit Suisse handed over to US authorities over 2000 names of account holders at their bank whose accounts may have violated US laws. In 2013 the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) revealed to US IRS (Internal Revenue Service) the identities of several suspected money launderers from Mexico, Columbia and the US who had laundered tens of billions of dollars through their bank over the past decade.
For its early admission HSBC was fined over US$1.9 billion.
More recently French bank BNP Paribas agreed to pay US$8.9 billion in fines for unlawfully laundering Iranian oil money in breach of a US embargo on Iran. Germany’s Commerzebank is likely to have to cough up over $500 million US dollars for the same offence. Each of the major European banks have histories of concealing and salting away illegally obtained money from politicians in the developing world.
The cross trading of PETRONAS oil from its vast and diverse oil assets worldwide, supplying to customers of Iranian oil in Europe and in Asia is being investigated by US authorities for breaches of the Iran embargo. Nothing concrete of the investigation has yet yielded a prosecution in the case of PETRONAS.
What has to be said about the PETRONAS case is this. Whilst it is without doubt a 90% Bumiputera dominated and run institution the benefits of cross trading of its oil and the profits from those activities are going to investment banks in Europe, Singapore, and China. And the operatives in this business apart from a handful of elite foreign trained and educated Bumiputeras in PETRONAS’S case are mainly Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore.
WHO AMONGST IS WITHOUT GUILT?
In 2010 another informant, believed to be a German intelligence operative, breached banking secrecy again provided an American TV network with information relating to private accounts held in Singapore by government officials, industrialists and high profile personalities from places as far away as Australia and New Zealand and as close to Singapore as Malaysia. is. Europe was his primary target though. The rest of his information was collateral damage to his cause.
But the Kieber affair is not just peeling back layers of banking secrecy and exposing a tiny Alpine country blacklisted by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) for being a money-laundering haven.
His revelations have had far reaching effects in governments far and wide. It has rattled the cages of a range of institutions from the Vatican to the US senate and more relevantly in places such as Malaysia.
SOURCES AND APPLICATION OF FUNDS
The data from Kieber and the more recent revelations by other foreign banks forced by US authorities to hand over information has revealed a wide range of illegal depositors from an equally wide range of countries.
There are Princes, Kings from Europe, Sultans, royalty in general in the Malay states, churches, NGO’s and their executives issuing false invoices to their organizations or paying off the local media. A Scandinavian princess and the wife of Spain’s recently crowned King are but two examples of Royalty engaged in criminal activities using secret banking accounts.
More interesting in this cache of information obtained from Kieber and others recently is the revelation of the sources of money and its links to political and clandestine organizations in places like Malaysia, Afghanistan, Syria, Tunisia, Hong Kong, Pakistan, Egypt and Thailand.
The relevance of the discovery of these sources of funds and their political purposes was not apparent till the uprisings in Thailand, Egypt, Tunisia and Malaysia reached their peak and local agencies attempting to trace the origins of funding for these “springs” began running into a common source, where previous inquiries ran into ‘brick walls’. It was the ICCI Bank all over again.
The resignation of the last Pope Benedict the XVI threw up more information about the uses of secret money passing through these banks to organizations in places such as Malaysia in furtherance of ultra right wing activities by their ultra right wing think tanks set up during Pope John Paul the II’s time.
The widening investigations which had earlier threatened to bring to light more LGT client names, according to a person briefed on the matter came to a halt in 2012. It has now come back to life with the discovery of new identities arising out of US investigations into circumvention of the Iran embargo by banks.
Kieber’s treasure trove, which he sold secretly to authorities in Germany, Britain and the United States, details billions of dollars in tax evasion by 1,400 LGT clients, 150 of them American, according to officials who have seen the documents.
Malaysia interestingly did not seek to access any of the information from Kieber’s treasure trove. Of the remaining 1250 in Kieber’s list at least 60 are known to be Malaysians. High profile Malaysians whom people would least expect to be violators of tax laws and laws against money laundering.
The Kieber data cache, the subsequent German intelligence coup and the Swiss hand over to the US of secret banking information is conveniently avoidable issue for Malaysia.
MALAYSIA AND THE TIP OF A VERY LARGE ICEBERG
In general countries like Malaysia do not go after tax dodgers abroad. The situation with this revelation by Kieber’s conduct changes that perception that Malaysia’s tax dodgers and clandestine money (Black money) industry is an unsophisticated one.
In February of 2005 German tax authorities raided the home of Klaus Zumwinkel, a corporate pillar who is the former chief of Germany’s postal system based on Kieber’s information.
Not long afterwards Kieber was filmed, face blocked out by investigators for a United States Senate subcommittee in which he described LGT’s inner workings and disclosed other global clients, including an unnamed “head of a social government department” in “a third world country” with $5 million in income from unexplained sources. What the redacted information did not reveal was that this was merely the tip of a very large ice berg.
There was in fact much more of unaccounted for wealth from the third world. The money of former Indonesian minister for petroleum under Suharto, Ibnu Sutowo which passed through LGT disguised as a trust of a foundation which his and Suharto’s families controlled. And their booty ran into billions of dollars.
Malaysia’s PETRONAS did not appear in the Kieber data although there is widely held suspicion from later revelations that kick backs flowed into Swiss, Dubai and Singapore accounts for contracts traceable to PETRONAS from the 1990’s. These are believed to have been discovered in other records if not discoverable.
CORRUPT EUROPEAN GOVERNMENTS AS BAD AS THOSE OF ASIA
Several other government officials and ministers in these so called “third world” countries had deposited tens of millions of dollars in private secret accounts.
Subsequent information emerging from later revelations would provide the impetus for anti corruption and pro compliance audits capable of implicating heads of European and Asian governments and the multi lateral organizations in the west that sprout NGO’s as an arm to their political activities in donour states.
Many of those in Europe implicated in bribery scandals and secret commissions took secret commissions from recipient countries for the aid given to them. These commissions were stashed in secret accounts in the LGT or Switzerland.
Very few European countries, Australia or the US are not guilty of the foreign aid kickback scams. Australia’s government is still reeling from disclosures they bribed Saddam Hussein in the food for oil scams.
Money sources ranged from disaster relief donations, foreign aid and money for political causes paid for by countries like the US, France, the UK and other developed nations funding regime change in smaller countries.
OH HOW THE MIGHTY FALL
The recent arrest and charging by French police of former French Prime Minister Nikolas Sarkoszy whose government decorated Malaysia’s Bersih leader, is the target of a wider investigation that began with Kieber’s whistleblowing and grown into a monster of intrigue and political bastardry. There is more to come on the Sarkoszy affair.
Malaysian industrialists, Churches, NGO executives, Sultans, heads of several funds (including a large Islamic religious statutory benevolent fund) and members of parliament including prominent members of the opposition in Malaysia have all been stashing away money obtained illegally and placed in secret foreign accounts. Most of it not settling in Lichtenstein.
The arrest of two Cardinals of the Vatican on similar money laundering offences by the Italian and French authorities is also believed to have its origins in the Kieber revelations even though it occurred over a decade ago.
THE TENGKU ABDUL RAHMAN – “MR. CLEAN” THE MYTH
In Malaysia the Tengku the much revered “Mr. Clean” of Malaysian politics appears to have been the most corrupt of them all. He had 4 wives. One an English woman, two Chinese women and a Malay wife who was nothing more than a part of his accessories and a dress up if there ever was one to satisfy his Malay Muslim credentials. These were, Meriam Chong, Violet Coulson (his landlady in England and a former Special Branch UK operative), Sharifah Rodziah Alwi Barakbah and another Chinese but unnamed woman (for legal reasons).
A prominent Chinese banker in Malaysia at the time laundered all of the Tengku’s 10% of almost every deal that was awarded by the public sector. Tengku for his part had a relatively small Swiss account. Most of his fortunes were kept behind proxies in Singapore banks. It is known that when the Tengku was cultivated by the CIA having already been secured by British Intelligence and set up by them, he was plied with women, money and property in exchange for his services to the organization.
One of his roles, created for him by the CIA was to help set up the Organization of Islamic Conference in 1969. Corrupt as he was he was seen as a better less controversial Muslim leader (wine women and song) and a more malleable one at that for the CIA to manipulate. And manipulate him they did with little effort.
The Tengku would also be supported by Washington to help set up the Islamic Development Bank which acted as a personal piggy bank not to him alone but also to a large number of Malaysian Chinese and at least 3 known British businesses to which he channeled Islamic Development Bank monies. This was the quid pro quo for his compliance with the CIA’s agenda for him.
In 1960, when he was still the Prime Minister, the Tengku declared Islam the official religion of Malaysia and established the Islamic Welfare Organization (PERKIM) as a guiding body for Muslim converts. He became president of PERKIM and served until a year before his death.
As President of PERKIM, he channeled money from PERKIM and other sources through PERKIM to mainly Chinese businessmen who converted to Islam for convenience. One of these is believed to have been the late Lim Goh Tong of Genting Highlands fame. PERKIM also received funding for its activities from the Saudi and other pro western Muslim governments for a different purpose. But who was checking? It was a convenient ruse by a corrupt political elite in Malaysia then who continue to claim the Tengku was Mr. Clean.
A number of Malaysian cabinet ministers over the years including a prominent member of a royal family who had fallen out of favour with the Mahathir government had also amassed a sizeable fortune courtesy of an English private bank and his Hong Kong connections. Much of it unaccounted for wealth.
There are others in opposition prominent and those within government who are as dirty as they come with public money. And if the government were truly serious about putting an end to corruption all they need do is to ask. Money channeled out of government coffers during the time of Anwar’s stewardship of the ministry of finance is staggering.
It is difficult in the circumstances if not impossible to believe that as responsible minister in that portfolio Anwar Ibrahim had no knowledge of the plunder of state coffers and the corruption within particularly the insurance and banking sectors then.
Nothing remains hidden forever.
HOW SECRET BANKING WORKS
What is not known by those who siphon money from places like Malaysia to deposit it in foreign secret accounts via Singapore is that the process which works like this leaves behind a trail.
Initially a fee for setting up the account is charged to the client. Setting up the account say, at the Union Bank of Switzerland Singapore branch, necessarily involves the use of a shelf company first (Shelf company 1). It is used to deposit the money of the client in the Singapore branch of a foreign bank like the UBS. The depositor is the first shelf company. Its directors all nominees provided by lawyers and the UBS.
At the next step the Singapore Bank like the UBS (for example alone) then wires that money on the instructions of the client (that shelf company 1) to a third country (Bahamas or Lichtenstein countries with similar banking secrecy legislation) where it arrives and is deposited in the name of another shelf company (Shelf company 2) created in the Bahamas for the purpose with nominee directors again provided by the bank in Bahamas. The Shelf company 1 is now deregistered in Singapore. No trace now of the original depositor or that transaction (well…… to a point).
The money is then passed through another bank like the LGT group bank in another secrecy banking country from the Bahamas. The Shelf company 2 and the account is now closed in the Bahamas after the money is transferred from the Bahamas to the LGT in Liechtenstein. Here Shelf company 3 is waiting to receive the funds. Again its directors are provided by the bank all nominees.
In its final stage the money from Shelf company 3 is then wired back to Singapore into a numbered account from Liechtenstein into a Singapore bank which only the client and certain bank officers know the details of. The entire transaction can take an hour to accomplish. The account in the LGT is not closed. It is where the money now remains.
The Singapore account is nothing but a reflection of what Liechtenstein’s LGT keeps in its secret books accessible by the client and the responsible officer known only to the client. Singapore has no jurisdiction over the money unless the bank is a Singaporean bank.
DIRTY MONEY FROM MALAYSIA
A prominent Malaysian entrepreneur with connections to franchising businesses and sports is known to have been identified by another whistleblower this time in Switzerland and not by Kieber. His money is believed to have been passed through several transactions originating in KL via Singapore then returning to Malaysia via Singapore as loans and profits to his companies and his personal wealth.
Several of Royalty, Sultans and their connections including members of parliament in Malaysia connected to them have also been identified as holders of secret numbered accounts going through Liechtenstein and Switzerland to Singapore and Dubai. These accounts comprise “commissions” paid for influencing deals and at least two are known to have receive money this way for providing Knighthoods (Datukships).
No one in Malaysia has been yet been charged or investigated as far as we know for money laundering through numbered foreign accounts o this day. The Bank Bumiputera scandal in Hong Kong in the early 1980’s did leave a trail which did not go quite cold as believed to be by the key players in that scandal. George Tan and his friends did open their mouths to avoid prosecution by US authorities in Oakland California and in other places.
That information was subsequently passed on to third parties and more importantly and in breach of client confidentiality stored by accountants in the employ of two of the large accounting firms of the time. That information has been sighted by one of the authors.
Money in commissions originating from transactions involving Malaysia’s national Airline MAS is believed to have gone through Swiss, Singaporean, Dubai and Liechtenstein banks to conceal commissions between 1995 and 2009. The recipient and payee were German nationals and a Chinese Malaysian national.
Nothing about the controversial French submarine deal so widely touted by NGO’s has surfaced thus far.
Neither side of government in Malaysia is keen to pursue the issue of foreign accounts and tax evasion of this sort because Malaysia’s legislation is weak in this respect.
The KL turf club, two of the largest accounting firms in Malaysia and several large law firms have also been identified as being conduits for the rich and well connected having sent money abroad on their behalf and under the radar so to speak.
Most large Malaysian companies are known to use foreign banks in secret banking domains as Switzerland, Lichtenstein, Dubai and Singapore in this regard to effect transfer pricing of their goods and services. Transfer pricing is a practice whereby skimming off the top any profits rightfully belonging to their customers via accounting means and third party intermediaries not at arms length.
A reason proffered for the lack of prosecution or investigation into compliance issues in the corporate sector in Malaysia is that the vast majority of Malaysians companies even the listed ones have been historically treated by their majority shareholders as virtual personal piggy banks.
There has been little or no shareholder activism to check the excesses of corporate boards and management and the legal fraternity lack the will the skills sets or the capacity to tackle such problems. In many cases they are complicit in the commission of these offences. The practice has become so rampant that the regulator is not interested or willing to investigate what is now customary practice there.
Mario D’Marco, David Capella and Stella Chan each contributed to this article
THE CAULDRON BOILS OVER WITH MALAY ANGER
There is growing concern amongst foreign governments and in diplomatic circles in Malaysia and Singapore that the continued provocation of Malays in Malaysia by opposition groups and religious minorities promoting a hatred for Islam and anything Malay will spill over soon
An unnamed British diplomat has suggested that the atmosphere in Malaysia today is more heated and polarized than it was prior to 13 May 1969. The “sweep you back into the kampungs” rhetoric has been replaced by the incessant and highly inflammatory social media promotion of anything negative about Islam to a Malay majority highly sensitive about negative references to their religion Islam.
This hate propaganda includes contributions by so called “Malay Muslim Liberals” (the urban and urbane elite) whose contribution to the propaganda campaign is often conveniently and poorly disguised as a part of the international campaign on gender equality and government reform in the developing world.
There have been reports of violence reported recently in provincial districts outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, with the ransacking and ‘trashing’ of opposition Democratic Action party (DAP) offices and threats by now radicalized Malay Muslim groups to take the law into their own hands.
The government of the Barisan Nasional (BN) a Malay majority government under English educated current Prime Minister Najib Razak is seen by many Malays as having been too soft on the opposition for far too long. The government of Najib Razak is also viewed by many Malays and non Malaysia as being complacent and indolent in the face of a well orchestrated and financed hostile anti Malay, anti Muslim campaign funded from abroad.
ANOTHER NIGHT OF LONG KNIVES OR FORCING KETUANAN MELAYU?
Large numbers of Malays especially the youth from rural areas and urban die hards of the Malay dominated UMNO (United Malays National Organization) have been seen gathering in and around the capital defiantly dressed in their national costume complete with songkoks and traditional ceremonial daggers, the “Keris”. This was a sight not seen in Malaysia since the bloody communal riots of 13 May 1969 often referred to as May 13 by those who remember that bloody night.
Many more Malay youth have been seen driving in SUV’s motor cycle groups and in trucks wearing white bands around their songkoks traditional Malay headdress) in a threatening show of defiance and readiness to tackle in their own way what they see is over a decade of humiliation and antagonistic rhetoric directed at them freely since the resignation of the former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammed in 2002.
Malaysia observers and diplomats all point to an internal power struggle within UMNO as being a catalyst for the current eruption by radicalized Malays. “It won’t get any better till it gets worse and the feeling of frustration, humiliation and anger has been spent” according to a Singaporean diplomat who did not wish to be named.
When pressed further about contingencies and arrangements for foreigners to flee into Singapore in the event the situation in Malaysia gets worse as it appears to be getting, he replied “contingencies have been in place to relocate and accommodate Europeans, Australian, Canadian, New Zealand and American personnel working in Malaysia for some time now. In other instances non-essential personnel from embassies will be evacuated but that’s not new or novel”.
“Not so” according to a long time foreign press correspondent who works as an academic at a Singaporean university. “The heightened level of security and intelligence gathering on the situation in Malaysia by foreign diplomats and governments is far greater now than it was before GE 13″.
RATS DESERTING THE SHIP?
At least 7 of Bersih’s more prominent activists are known to have made requests to seek assistance and refuge at foreign embassies in the event the situation in Malaysia deteriorates.
The Prime Minister’s faction within UMNO appears intact for the present although members of the Youth Wing and known to be leading an internal rebellion calling for sterner and more decisive action against anti-Islamic anti Malay groups within the opposition.
NOT A FIT AND PROPER PERSON?
A recent decision of the High Court against Jude Blacious Pereira (Pereira) a former police office turned lawyer seeking admission to practice in its jurisdiction is to say the very least antithetical to good law and a troubling decision that cannot go undisturbed.
That decision in Pereira appears to be grounded on political rather than on legal or equitable principles. To add to the inequity of the court’s decision in Pereira is the egregious indirect interpleading in the matter by Suhakam, a political organization with a human rights ‘fig leaf’ for its cover.
SUHAKAM A LAW COURT OR A LAW UNTO ITSELF
Reading through Act 597 (Act) the Act of parliament which created Suhakam, one finds nothing within that Act to suggest that Suhakam is a source of legal authority with the power to make a ‘finding’, or a ‘decision’ (Finding) in the legal sense of the word against anyone. Further there is nothing in the Act by which any Findings by Suhakam, if that is what it is indeed, is binding on a higher tribunal as the High Court or justifies the High Court receiving into evidence a Finding by Suhakam in the context of Pereira’s application.
For the purposes of Pereira’s application for admission at least, what occurred in Suhakam at a tribunal of inquiry level and the way in which their Finding came about could not be admissible as ‘evidence’ of his ‘character’. Suhakam’s Findings in this regard have no legal sanction or force of law for their conclusions to constitute a valid and adverse Finding against Pereira. If it did, it should have properly been referred to a court of law because of the inferences of perjury by Pereira and an allegation he misled the court in Sodomy II.
The ‘evidence’ of that Finding against Pereira by Suhakam that Pereira is not a ‘fit and proper person’ to be admitted as an officer of the High Court and as a legal practitioner is not evidence in any proper sense capable of impeaching Pereira’s character. Neither is that ‘evidence’ binding on any properly constituted court of law as the High Court for a number of reasons only some of which for convenience is addressed here.
THE HIGH COURT – A LOW POINT
The High Court erred in subordinating its powers and its authority to the Findings of an inferior tribunal without any legislative or inherent power enabling it to do so.
The High Court and the presiding judge likewise possess no authority or power to accept into evidence as they erroneously did, the ‘evidence’ or submissions of Suhakam’s ‘Findings against anyone including Pereira in this regard.
Interestingly it is observed that there was criticism of Pereira’s failure by the court to challenge or to seek to set aside the Findings of Suhakam against him. A point to be made here on that criticism is this; there is no legal requirement on the part of Pereira to seek to set aside or challenge the Findings of a body as Suhakam as a pre-condition of his application to being admitted to the High Court as a legal practitioner of that court.
Suhakam made no legal Findings capable of being admitted into evidence on Pereira’s character in any meaningful way other than by its visceral judgment.
The Findings of Suhakam against Pereira has no force of law. Suhakam is merely an advisory body set up to advice government on matters relating to the subject of international human rights and its potential for application to domestic legislation. It is not a court of law.
SUHAKAMS BACK DOOR ENTRY ON BEHALF OF ANWAR
Apart from controversially receiving into evidence Suhakam’s Findings against Pereira, the High Court allowed into the proceeding damning indirect criticisms of the Court of Appeal and the High Court itself. It did so by accepting into evidence the further allegation that Pereira had ‘fabricated evidence and lied’ to the court in the Anwar Ibrahim Sodomy II trial. That allegation against Pereira of ‘fabricating evidence’ and having ‘lied’ in the Sodomy II matter had no place in the High Court in Pereira’s application.
Having erroneously and controversially received into evidence this particular aspect of Suhakam’s Findings against Pereira the result simply is this:
- Suhakam opens itself to the charge of contempt of Court of Appeal and High Court
- Suhakam opens itself to a charge of bringing the High Court and Court of Appeal into disrepute
- Suhakam opens itself to allegations of abuse of process in the High Court by its conduct in the matter of Pereira, by using Pereira’s application as a secondary platform by which to advance a defence on behalf of Anwar Ibrahim on the charge of Sodomy II
Sodomy II has already been properly tried before a competent court in Malaysia. In that hearing Anwar Ibrahim was found guilty after considering all the relevant and admissible evidence laid properly before that court. Suhakam and the High Court in Pereira is certainly not the proper forum or mechanism in which to challenge the evidence of the Court of Appeal or court of first instance in Sodomy II.
Of the three points above, c ) is particularly relevant. This is because it raises issues in respect of the manner in which Suhakam seemingly in Anwar’s defence, seeks to advance in an unlawful and inappropriate way for a collateral and improper purpose, a rehearing of evidence in Sodomy II.
KILLING OFF JUDE PEREIRA FOR THE MOMENT
Nothing of substance about the character of Pereira of any value to support a challenge to his admission is raised in Suhakam’s submissions, its Findings. In this respect the High Court in its jurisdiction ought not to have received into evidence Suhakam’s allegations (and that’s what they are, mere allegations) against Pereira for the reasons above.
Suhakam’s conduct points instead to a political lynching of a man in uniform who properly and impartially discharged his duties as an officer of the PDRM on the instructions of his superiors and in compliance with the law. The legal profession and those self-appointed guardians and unelected champions of the ‘Human Rights’ of Malaysians on the occasion of their arrest felt they were above the law in being detained and denied access to lawyers when in fact they had contravened a law and disobeyed a lawful direction given to them by the Police to disperse.
The conduct and political partiality of those lawyers whose complaints led to the Suhakam inquiry against Pereira is evident and characterized by their choice of forum by accessing Suhakam in preference to the more appropriate jurisdiction of the law courts to ventilate their complaints against the lawful conduct of Pereira.