NAJIB’S SWANSONG OR KILLING OFF DR.MAHATHIR

THE TUN OF COURSE (OR OFF COURSE)

Tun Dr. Mahathir is an elder statesman who must be respected and heard for a number of reasons. However none of these reasons are those that appear to be symmetrical or allied to an opposition generated litany of rumours and odd ball accusations directed against the current Prime Minister Najib Razak (Najib)and his wife Datin Rosmah Mansour (Rosmah).

Any attempt at word play and ‘pin the tail on the donkey blindfolded’ is irresponsible. It is a self indulgent pursuit capable of backfiring not only on the author of such statements but also on the nation as a whole in this case.

Najib did not kill Altantuya. Datin Rosmah did not kill Altantuya either. Sirul and his co-accused murdered Altantuya Shaariibu (Altantuya). That is fact. That fact is admitted by both Sirul and his co-accused.

Both Sirul and his co accused had the opportunity to defend themselves in open court and were represented by lawyers. And neither of the two were able to defend themselves against or deny the findings by the courts that they and they alone were responsible for the murder of Altantuya. In fact Sirul has admitted to murdering Altantuya.

To suggest otherwise or to suggest that there should be an investigation (by implication of what the Tun has suggested) to find out who ordered the killing of Altantuya, is a reflection of the inexcusable “the devil made me do it” defense from the mindset of guilt and a total disregard for the law.

To  advocate as the Tun does for Sirul on the run because it suits a particularly expedient situation or to engineer a preferred outcome to that which resulted from Sirul’s trial is the worst form of intellectual dishonesty one can imagine.

And the Tun is an honourable man.

THE PRINCE AT WORK- A PIED PIPER PLAYS HIS TUNE

It is quite clear that Machiavelli’s “the Prince” is at work here. The Tun is quite rightly and efficiently  shepherding the prodigal flock of the Barisan by ‘dog whistling’ to the strays who abandoned the party expecting a Pakatan victory at GE 13.

And as elder statesman and UMNO’s best known son, the Tun has a right and a duty to act in the interests of the party, even if that means ‘cutting off the hand or plucking out the eyes that offend’. And this is politics.

The Tun is in his element when his back is against a wall. Politics, especially the divisive, opportunistic, multi racial politics of Malaysia is not a pursuit for the faint hearted. It is not about friends. Relevantly David Ben Gurion once said the following about friends in politics: “there are no permanent friends, just situations”.

The shameless, mercenary attention and credibility accorded Tun Mahathir by Lim Kit Siang and his allies in opposition, by Malaysia Kini and its shadows in the media because Mahathir is undermining an aloof Najib under attack, is to say the least embarrassing and cringe worthy.

To suddenly fete the very same man they blame for all of Malaysia’s ills including the floods, droughts, crime rate and their own personal failures is a sign of how fickle and hollow the opposition really is. But this is Dr. Mahathir Mohammed, the same man who united a nation in one singular objective, fear of his wrath, at his best.

The Tun is galvanizing a rudderless anti Najib coalition into a single pro Barisan opportunity and constituency sufficient to regain that historic 2/3rds majority at the next GE. For that you can’t fault the man. He knows how shallow Malaysia’s opposition is. And they are flocking to him like rats behind the fabled pied piper of Hamlin.

THE INVISIBLE MAN STRATEGY

The current Prime Minister Najib Razak’s biggest enemy is himself and his selective silence over very serious allegations of misconduct and criminality against him, his family and his government.

He appears to be surrounded by highly paid and highly remunerated coterie of political eunuchs. A college student amateur could bring him down with that crowd around him today. Najib’s team is bereft of strategy or strategic thinking and dare I say an appropriate response. Silence is never an option in situations like those Najib is faced with.

It appears from  all accounts that the best defence available to Najib is playing the ostrich in times of crisis. There is no public relations or strategic media planning capable of handling a crisis of any sort. And such a situation is critically dangerous for the PM.

The absence of effective and timely media responses to allegations of any sort may be fatal to the Prime Minister and his wife both in their personal capacities and as holders of the first office in the land. The damage done can never be reversed.

The evidence doesn’t just speak for itself. It screams obscenities.

POOR JUDGEMENTS AND EVEN POORER FRIENDS

As an example, the first family’s decision to engage Deepak Jaykishan the carpet salesman and to befriend him for whatever the reason, is a case in point of very poor character judgment by Rosmah and Najib.

Whether any of the allegations made by Deepak against Najib and Rosmah are in fact true (and there is serious doubt about the man’s credibility) as published on YouTube is a question of perception and proof. What is important is that the allegations are damaging.

Deepak is inconsistent and he is incredulous. Deepak appears to be surrounded by the same group of lawyers who drove the Balasubramaniam scandal if not created and nurtured it from behind the scenes.

Throw mud and some of it will stick.

There appears to be a string of allegations against the first family none of which have any semblance of reality to them. These include stories of criminal conduct emanating from the Malaysian Bar and NGO’s encouraged by Anwar Ibrahim if not spawned by each of these groups.

There are lurid rumours fed through the alternative opposition sponsored media infecting not only the public’s perceptions of government and the first family but also in the process distorting the perception of what Malaysia as a nation is in the outside world.

For these sins, both the Tun and the opposition must accept some blame. Many of their statements are without a factual basis and as such are irresponsible. A reinforcement of the rumours by the Tun via Malaysia Kini is thus far the most extravagant of propositions by the statesman.

IS THE TUN A COMEBACK KID OR AN AGEING HERO OUT OF STEP?

Judges in places like Australia reach the ‘age of statutory senility’ at 70. Simply put that means you are too old to function effectively at this age and must by law retire.

In the Asian context in sharp contrast to the Australian western perceptions of the elderly, older people are venerated as repositories of knowledge, experience and wisdom. Is the Tun abandoning those Asian values ith his unfounded crude attacks against Najib and Rosmah once the backbone of his moral policy platform?

Clearly the Tun was not speculating or asking questions. His ‘questions’ rhetorical as they sounded and the propositions he put to that gathering (Malaysia Kini) were statements posing as questions using very narrow and specific examples of highly controversial and topical matters which go to the very heart of the litany of  improper allegations against Najib and Rosmah.

SILENCE IS NEVER GOLDEN IN POLITICS WHERE$43 BILLION AND A DEAD MONGOLIAN ARE CONCERNED

The greatest sin in this controversy though lies with Prime Minister Najib. Not on the Altantuya matter alone because there is no legal obligation on his part to say anything even if consequently he is implicated by association in some way with Altantuya which is not the case. This is the fundamental basis of Malaysia’s and many other civilized nation’s constitutional and legal systems.

On the other hand where the processes of parliament and government is concerned and where a question or questions  arise from a reasonable inquiry as is the case with the controversial unexplained  1MDB, there is an overriding obligation on parliament, via the prime minister or cabinet to provide an clear, unambiguous, exhaustive and transparent response within reason.

That response unfortunately has not been forthcoming from Najib. Najib has maintained a deafening silence for far too long on too many controversial subjects. And such silence against a barrage of unrelenting and often illegitimate allegations with its consequential inquiry from the public cannot go unanswered for too long.

Goebells once said something to the effect of “a lie repeated often enough gets accepted as fact or truth if not impeached”. And the longer Najib procrastinates in the face of the assault he faces he is helping to create an unimpeachable truth of these allegations against him.

THE TRUTH IS OFTEN STRANGER THAN FICTION- BUT NOT IN MALAYSIA WHERE THEY ARE ONE

Malaysia’s media, its legal fraternity and its citizens have a history of wallowing in gossip, converting baseless allegations and rumours into monuments of truth. In fact Malaysia ranks as one of the highest per capital users of face book, Linkedin, Twitter and the many of the other social media.

Many cannot tell the difference between a maggot and a snake let alone sift fact from fiction. It is to many in Malaysia the same. Many more especially within Malaysia’s legal fraternity can’t tell the difference between evidence and proof. They can’t tell the difference between admissible evidence and fiction. This makes the media a very dangerous place to be in as Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah have discovered over the past 2 years. That’s unless you have some influence over the media. Yet they appear not to have learned anything from their experiences of the past  years.

Waiting and jailing or suing people for their defamatory remarks is but one way of dealing with the problem. And that is a right all citizens enjoy in Malaysia. However considering the gravity of the allegations against Najib and Rosmah, one would have thought that given the extent of and the damage caused by these rumours born out of their silence, a well prepared erudite response would have been the appropriate thing to do ‘nipping their troubles at the bud’.

WHERE TWO WRONGS SOMETIMES MAKE A RIGHT- WELL AT LEAST IN MALAYSIA

What the Tun is saying about the Altantuya matter linking it to Rosmah which he is doing or at the very least is being reckless as to how his statements will be interpreted (as it is being interpreted)  has a parallel to the many allegations raised about his conduct in office none of which have been grounded properly on admissible evidence but incapable of proof.

It is the equivalent of suggesting that Pak Lah allowed his late wife to die so that he could marry her sister in law who he had been having an affair with during his marriage to his late wife. It is a plausible story to write about because the end result is there if one works backwards from the outcomes anything is possible.

Pak Lah did marry his brother in law’s ex wife. He was close to Jeane Abdullah during his marriage to his late wife Endon Mahmood, and she did in fact die.

The only bits to be proved is in this parallel is whether he Badawi did have an affair with his late wife’s sister in law. And the other question is what an ‘affair’ in this context  really means. It becomes a question of  perception. Badawi did allow his first wife to die but that does not mean he did nothing to help her live or that he killed her.

Again the point becomes a question of perception Being a Muslim scholar it must be a given that he knew death to be inevitable and did nothing to stop the process which no man really can when it arrives.

So here we have a plausible situation as far as the allegations go. But proving it is not easy either ways. By that same token to lend one’s own distorted perceptions to a set of situations and outcomes is equally irresponsible. What’s happening here is that UMNO is in the process of an internal power struggle.

The families of the late Tun Razak’s (that includes Hishamuddin Onn and Najib’s factions) is in a fight to the death with the families of the irregulars like the Tun. Those without pedigree or do not hail from privilege like Tun Dr. Mahathir and his following are pitted in a struggle to determine the future of Malaysia. And that may not be such a bad thing after all because change comes to us one way or the other.

We can either control change to some extent like these two political giants can or wait for it to happen. In the Tun’s case given his formidable political background and experience, it would be political suicide for Najib to maintain his silence in the old English traditions of maintaining a stiff upper lip. The Tun for his part is taking no prisoners giving no hostage to fortune. Lets hope its alls well that ends well.

HINDRAF’S CLAIM AGAINST HER MAJESTY’S GOVERNMENT

A FOOTNOTE AT THE HEAD

The High Court in the United Kingdom has thrown out the suit brought by members of Hindraf and their leader Waytha Murthi (acting ostensibly on behalf of Malaysia’s Indians).

Our article below preceded that decision and warned of such an outcome. It is not the first time we have in one way or the other attempted to bring the futility of this action in its current form to the attention of Waytha Murthi and his group.

The High Court of the United Kingdom’s decision is a sad indictment on a man and his organization that purports to act on behalf of what they call “the most vulnerable and marginalized community in Malaysia”. The Tamils.

With the squandering of another golden opportunity it is not hard to see why the Tamils of Malaysia continue to be marginalized. It has noting to do with a so called “racist constitution” but more to do with the bloody mindedness of the incompetence of a group of Tamils who lead them.

HINDRAF CLASS ACTION- FIRST PRINCIPLES

In bringing a class action (or representative proceedings) against a state, there are certain additional burdens on the plaintiff over and above that which is prescribed in the law and rules in force for commercial and tortuous actions against corporations and sovereign states.

Whilst there were and remain residual problems arising out of Britain’s departure from Malaya, the Chinese in a much more precarious position than the Indians or Malays were placed in (no China to return to if things got worse) regrouped, took stock of their position in a brave new world, made bold decisions and prospered.

The Malays themselves as a nation, as a people were subjected to British maladministration, humiliation  and subjugation during the entire colonial period. They endured the confiscation of their lands, the destruction then bastardization and dilution of their culture, their values and their identity under British rule.

Changes to the Malay culture and destruction of their long established cultural institutions, their adat, their conventions and their rights was forced upon them by the colonial administration in order to accommodate the interests of the Indians and Chinese (and the British).

None of these changes imposed on Malaya and the Malays were by consultation or consent of the Malay people. Inspite of this form of cultural genocide and exclusion of the Malays from the mainstream and whilst accommodating the needs of the other two races in Malaysia with grace, The Malays have survived not only abuse but also marginalization, without demanding a re draft of the constitution.

The current Malaysian constitution also discriminates against the vast majority of the Malays in many ways not recognized by the other two races in Malaysia.

The Malays have not only survived  British rule and its immediate aftermath. They have also emerged triumphant, thrived and prospered inspite of centuries of discrimination and subjugation by the the Indians and the Chinese post colonial rule.

It was not only the Tamils who suffered under the British. That view is a convenient distortion of the truth  and history. It is destined to fail if pleaded as such in this action against Britain and the Queen in the UK action.

Like the Chinese, the Malays regrouped, went forward and have prospered since taking control of their own destiny in the face of seemingly insurmountable resistance, odds and obstacles from the Chinese and Indians, yet they continue to face religious, cultural and racial discrimination by the Indians and the Chinese in their own country.

WHO IS THIS CLASS AND HOW DO THEY CONSTITUTE A CLASS AFFECTED?

What is not recognized by Waytha Murthi and his fellow claimants in this action is that they have yet to establish a class of persons against whom the ‘negligence’ of the British administration affected to warrant the relief they seek in damages. They have not identified an obligation under law the British had towards them which Britain neglected.

The pre condition for such a class action in Britain requires an identifiable class (opt in and opt out) who agree to be bound by the courts decision. That could also include punitive decisions by the court in the event it finds the claim to be without merit. It also needs to identify with clarity a cause of action and a proper defendant. Hindraf has done neither.

In such a situation the courts could hand down a punitive costs order against the claimants (Plaintiff) as a ‘class’ and they will all be bound by that decision. Often in such cases these are exemplary costs orders.

If Hindraf and Waytha Murthi courtesy of Imran Khan have managed to overcome this legal procedural threshold for that identifiable class, defendant and the duty of care to gain traction for their action then well and good for them. But much more needs to be done and Waytha and Hindraf need to take a few steps back and re consider their plan of action to determine who it is truly designed to serve.

IS THIS A CLASS ACTION OR A BACK DOOR ATTEMPT AT REDRAFTING THE CONSTITUTION?

The difficulty for Waytha can be found in his idea and interpretation of the constitution and definition of what the constitution really is. Waytha and Hindraf  possess a shallow uninformed view of and  understanding of the constitution and what it really is in the broader scope of interaction between government, its subjects and the laws of Malaysia.

The Waytha Hindraf interpretation and view of the constitution is no different to that held by Ambiga Sreenivasan, the Malaysian bar and their cronies in opposition. Almost all of them believe the constitution to be a piece of legislation (Waytha’s own words on his website) which it is not. In fact although the pre amble to the constitution says “the constitution is the supreme law of the Federation of Malaysia” (an American idea) the constitution is no law.

The constitution is in fact a set of rules both written, by convention and by custom that binds the laws, governs and sets out the parameters and rules of interaction between the various arms of government,  its subjects and institutions and persons external to it.

More destructive and an obstacle to the action is Hindraf’s (and by that I mean Waytha Murthi’s) very poor understanding of the law and how the courts operate in applying the law. This defect is no different to that faced across the board by the opposition parties in general.

EVIDENCE -THE EFFECT OF TIME AND HISTORY ON THE CLAIM

Leaving that argument aside for the moment, one must critically consider the effect on all parties to this action brought about by the effluxion of time that’s come to pass since independence and launch of this action.

It would be unfair to all involved for the passage of time. For what time does to any surviving witnesses of events, and to the reliability of evidence and recollection of events other than for those documents that have survived the passage of time and the tales of woe of individuals who remain from that period.This does not mean an injustice should go unpunished.

Britain would argue in turn in its defence to the claim that Malaya and its subjects then claimed to be ready for independence.  Britain then  acting in accordance with the wishes of its Malayan subjects then granted Independence with all its responsibilities and privileges and left their affairs from then on to them to manage.

Britain might also argue that in the circumstances that prevailed at the time they eased themselves out of Malaya in as orderly a manner as they could afford to. That whilst also taking into consideration its own interests as it was then entitled to protect, it also had to consider other priority interests in balancing the needs of the other two races.

The needs of the Malays and Chinese  was not an insignificant consideration to balance against what was then (if true) the demands and considerations of a minority of mainly Tamil labourers in Malaya.

There was also the very real and present danger of the threat of the communist insurgency and the position of Singapore to consider amongst other things.

The British did though fail in many ways to provide or compensate adequately for the damage colonization did to all the people’s of the region. And that point needs addressing. However in bringing a suit against the crown, it needs more than rhetoric, martyrdom and general assumptions based on emotions.

MALAYS CHINESE INDIANS- ASPIRATIONS AND STYLES OF LEADERSHIP

The Tamils (Indians) at independence and prior to it were in many cases managed in their roles and position in society by an entrenched class and caste system practised by the majority of Tamil Indians.

For Indians (Tamils especially at the time) this system over rode any legal or constitutional imperatives imposed on them by Britain or the newly independent Malaya. In fact the system of class and caste remains practised although it is a bane on all Indians in Malaysia even though it exists in more subtle and concealed forms. Waytha has acknowledged this point himself previously.

The Indians dominated the public service, education and health and more importantly the legal fraternity then till at least the late 60’s for which Britain could not be held responsible if they neglected their own. That is again not to say the British have no culpability for their plight of the Tamil Indians or Indians, Chinese and Malays in Malaysia. Moreover Indians were represented at all levels at the conferences that preceded the creation of the Malayan constitution.

It is fact that Indians dominated the legal profession and not simply the public service and they could not be said to have had no insight or an opportunity to input into what was developing in Malaysia in terms of the future constitution of Malaysia.

Indians had the benefit of the Indian independence movement to draw from. New Delhi had its own designs on an independent Malaya to be administered as the British had done from Delhi. In much the same way the Chinese had their own designs for Malaya through Chin Peng and Beijing.

HINDRAF NOT FOCUSED-  SQUANDERING ANOTHER GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY

Waythat Murthi is not focusing on a proper strategy in his claims against the government of Her Majesty in the High Court of the UK in London. To be kind to him it appears that this action now is nothing more than an extension of  an earlier scripted pantomime in which he and a small coterie within his group played the role of martyrs and heroes against a backdrop of the misery of all others who constitute Malaysia .

Waytha eschews proper legal and strategic advise and does not have the interests of all Indians or Malaysians at heart in this matter. In place of a broader and more just strategy he prefers his isolated view of the world. His own view of the world is underpinned by the outdated and unproductive vain strategy of emotion sans logic, the bane of the Tamil working class in Malaysia.

The British government are tolerant (even if because of what their system compels them to be in such circumstances) and will in their self serving interests of justice give Hindraf through Waytha a hearing in order for him to destroy himself and any future opportunity to hold Britain responsible for its misconduct during the colonial period in Malaya.

Imran Khan the lawyer Waytha and Hindraf have engaged is a man who is driven by public interest litigation and that is perhaps the only saving grace in this action. However if the pleadings Waytha and his mates drew up in 2007 or 2008 in this matter is what is placed before the High Court of the UK without radical amendments having been made to it. God Save not just the Queen but all of us as well.

GET THE BASICS RIGHT- BE INCLUSIVE-PRESENTATION IS EVERYTHING

The set of pleadings drawn up in 2007-20087 was embarrassing. It lacked particularization, failed to disclose a proper cause of action and was defective in almost every respect. It failed to properly plead and to particularise those facts that would go to evidence in any trial and the relief sought in their petition was disproportionate to the allegations of negligence pleaded.

Waytha is an emotional and sensation driven politician. He attracts a like following amongst the Tamils in Malaysia. Waytha for this very reason must take great care by seeking counsel for his actions lest he fall into the same trap many a politician who had stewardship of the Indians fell into. And it appears from his record he is doing no different to his predecessors in office.

Unless Hindraf and Waytha alter their strategy in their pursuit of justice by identifying the injustices first and doing it properly and in a professional manner, they risk setting back any advances the Indians have made (and they have made significant progress over the years in Malaysia) by decades.

Waytha and Hindraf further risk alienating and perhaps even severing what’s left of the good relations the Indians enjoy with the other two races especially the Malays.

IF IT IS THE CONSTITUTION THEN JOIN THE OTHERS OR FAIL ALONE

If the constitution is racist, it is racist against all Malaysians. If it is unjust, it is unjust against all Malaysians and not the Tamils alone. Hindraf fails to identify the class of people who bring this action and who amongst this class are the potential beneficiaries of this action. They fail to determine for the rest of the Indians how they are qualified to be in this class.

There has been no consensus as far as we are able to ascertain, not that this is necessarily fatal to bringing a class action in the UK, but if it is in the interests of all Malaysians (using the Indian case) then there has to be consensus and consultation. These two elements are missing in Waytha’s quest for “justice, constitutional change and democratic rights”, unless of course his pursuit for justice is only for Tamils who support him. In such a case his quest is for race specific rights and must in all conscience fail.

If the Malaysian constitution is defective as he claims it is and discriminatory as he also claims it to be, then it cannot be changed without consultation with the other two major race groups who are in a more significant majority in terms of their contribution to the nation let alone in numbers.

If his application to the UK courts is to also seek to re define the constitution of Malaysia he needs to consult with all Malaysians. If he has not been doing that then Waytha must fail and the Indians need to find a more consultative, inclusive and bolder leadership and representative than Hindraf under Waytha Murthi and his brothers.

Air Asia on the Nose?

LIQUIDATING OR DOWNSIZING?

The disposal of significant amounts of the operating assets of any company is quite often viewed as a paring down of the company’s operations, a partial liquidation of the company (much like the paying of large dividends) or an attempt by the company to raise money in a market which may not be too friendly to them.

Air Asia is in trouble. Air Asia’s troubles began not after the crash of QZ 8501 but long before when their ‘round the clock’ strategy of grabbing market share at any costs began to eat into their budgets. The consequence of the strategy to grab market share in a highly competitive market in Asia meant having to cut corners. The crash of QZ 8501 merely accelerated  the inevitable in terms of the discovery of a lose management structure involving so many different jurisdictions many like Indonesia and the Philippines who eschew international airline regulations where labour exploitation and aircraft maintenance and safety standards are well below international expectations and established standards.

If not all of the suggested reasons for sale of the Aircraft by Air Asia, then at least a number of them appear to apply to Air Asia’s recent announcement of its intention to sale (and lease back) a number of its operating assets, its aircraft.

What is not part of the announcement by Air Asia’s board (who we assume authorised the statement as it should be the case) about its decision to sell 11 aircraft, is the reason why Air Asia sees it to be a wise decision to sell its operating assets in order to achieve what it could otherwise achieve in a more competitive way on the open market.

Another question which needs to be answered is this: Have the shareholders of Air Asia been properly informed of the move with all its attendant reasons and is court approval required for the company to take such a significant step to possibly reduce or alter its capital structure and through such a move its asset base without prior shareholder approval.

WHY AN ASSET SALE IS A RED FLAG

In early 1980 Qantas then still a government owned and a very well-funded airline sold 3 of its new Boeing 747’s to Eastern Airlines in the US in almost similar circumstances. A carefully concealed note in its accounts reported the source of a jump in its earnings and the resultant profit from sale of the 3 Jumbos.

The problem with such exercises and trades is this. Qantas then like Air Asia is today is in the core business of aviation and that means transportation by air. If it reports a profit arising from in-flight food and beverages sale as a key component to its profits, then an analyst would see a red flag in such a report, discount the sales from inflight food and beverages  to reveal the real bottom line and performance of the airline from its core activities before making any recommendations to the market.

In 1976 American brewing giant Anhauser Busch reported a large profit for that year in its accounts when the market for its products were reported to be flat. On closer examination it was discovered that Anhauser Busch’s profits for that year in question arose from the profitability of its transportation arm and not from beer sales. In short if the penny still hasn’t dropped, Anhauser Busch beers were not selling. That is the core business of Anhauser Busch.

In order to try to raise more capital for expansion and perhaps acquisitions it considered offers for its transportation arm from a number of suitors in the road haulage and transport sector. It however did not sell its transportation arm as was widely expected in the market. Anhauser dipped into its reserves tightened its belt and held the fort till the turnaround came.

AIR ASIA FOLLOWING CRASH OF QZ 8501

The point is this. Following the disastrous crash of QZ 8501 Air Asia’s soft underbelly was exposed by a series of public relations gaffes, badly managed poorly structured press releases and a series of near mishaps involving the airline.

Air Asia now the subject of heavy scrutiny in most of its destinations outside Asia could have but appears not to have corrected its rapidly declining perceptions in the markets it wishes to tap into.

Asian airline operators (excepting Singapore) have a history of poor maintenance standards and records of their aircraft and low standards of airline safety and training of its staff and crew. Yet they operate with relative impunity in Asia where such lower standards are tolerated as if it is permissible as long as there is money to be made in the sector.

The recent record (over a period of a decade) of Asian airlines (Philippines and Indonesia in particular) being banned from operating flights into European and American sectors bears testimony to this point.

What is the reason for Air Asia, once the darling of the skies, selling off 11 of its aircraft? What will its balance sheet look like after the event and can the impact of the sell-off be explained away in a note to its annual report?

Why has Air Asia not been able to raise the money it needs in the market on competitive terms or simply favourable terms if it is indeed not bleeding or being held in circumspection by its lenders, the market and the general public?

BLESSING IN A WEAK CURRENCY MARKET WHAT BLESSING?

The bit about the sale of Air Asia’s aircraft being ‘a blessing in a weak currency market’ (meaning weaker Malaysian Ringgit )against which currency in particular is not answered by this statement.

What about the need to meet debt obligations denominated in foreign currencies, does that of itself not provide an answer to the sale down of assets? Is there a hedge against any currency fluctuations for the lease back? Or is there a suggestion that the aircraft is being sold to a Malaysian entity where no currency hedging is required in the sale lease back transaction? If this is the case who then is this entity purchasing the aircraft? If it is local I suspect it would be a local bank run leasing company, where regulation and prudential standards of lending is often trampled on where big players are concerned. And if it is indeed a local entity will there not be foreign currency implications for them when paying US$271 million for 11 aircraft? There are too many unanswered questions for a transaction of the sort being touted by Air Asia.

DOWN BUT NOT OUT?

In a period of record low fuel prices why is an airline like Air Asia selling down its assets instead of approaching the market the conventional way to raise money because this is precisely what the exercise appears to be about in the absence of a fuller picture to explain the sell down of assets.

It would not be the case of a sell off or partial liquidation of the airline as such sell off’s are sometimes referred to as in accounting circles, unless of course there is tacit admission by Air Asia that passenger numbers have dived so drastically since the crash of QZ 8501that these aircraft have become a burden on the Airline without the capacity to earn their keep post- crash in the foreseeable future.

In mid-2014 there was talk of Air Asia merging or taking over MAS (Malaysian Airlines). It was not all talk or speculation though because there were at least 2 banks involved in a first stage due diligence of at least one of the two airlines. That exercise ended up costing a significant amount of money to carry out. Shareholder money.

How was that expenditure deferred and the costs associated with it accounted for in Air Asia’s annual report? MAS and its largest shareholder Khazanah denied any such merger was even in their contemplation. Not so according to two accountants who were part of that dialogue and preparation.

CONCLUSION

Our take on the sale of 11 Air Asia aircraft is that Air Asia whilst being hyped to the sky (no pun intended) and the flamboyance of its CEO and high exposure public relations which did work for a while is now as productive an investment as Queens Park Rangers the soccer team owned by Tony Fernandez CEO of Air Asia is.

Nurul Izzah’s Parliamentary Outbursts is No Privilege

PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE

While Members of parliament (for convenience Members) can be said to enjoy absolute privilege in terms of freedom of speech and debate during ‘proceedings in parliament’, not all of such speech engaged in by Members may fall within ‘proceedings in parliament’.

There has been considerable debate over the different forms and occasions of communications by Members which could fall within the definition of qualified privilege, especially in relation to their correspondence with Ministers, and between constituents and Members.

The British Parliament’s Parliament and Constitution Centre has described qualified privilege as ‘a legal concept extending well beyond the scope of parliamentary privilege’, the law of which is based primarily common law.

Qualified privilege exists where a person is not liable for an action of defamation if certain conditions are satisfied While freedom of speech for Members is clearly protected within the chamber or committee rooms, Members are not immune from the ordinary laws of defamation in respect of words and statements spoken outside of the chamber or committee rooms. In fact, in an important development supported by recent court decisions have potentially cleared the way for actions in defamation on the grounds that words uttered outside parliament may be actionable because by reference they include statements also made in parliament under privilege.

WHO DECIDES WHAT PRIVILEGE IS AND WHEN IT APPLIES?

The principle of ‘control by parliament of its own affairs’, free from interference by the courts, is referred to as ‘exclusive cognisance’. Exclusive congnisance is a critical component of parliamentary privilege. Not only is parliament independent from the (executive) government and judiciary (in a bicameral parliament).

In a bicameral house exclusive cognisance extends to each House’s, as each House is independent from the other (the senate and the House of Commons). In a bicameral parliament each  of the senate and the House of Commons has the right to decide the validity of its own proceedings and the powers it possesses to for instance command the attendance of witnesses or the production of documents in proceedings before it. Sir William Blackstone in his Commentaries on the Laws of England, said thus of this point:

‘the whole of the law and custom of Parliament has its origins from this one maxim, that whatever matter arises concerning either House of Parliament, ought to be examined, discussed and adjudged in that House and not elsewhere’.

While many issues prevail regarding the law of parliamentary privilege there is one area which is rarely challenged. That is the significance and centrality of parliamentary privilege to parliamentary democracies. Meaning in short that only the House (or both Houses acting independently of the other or on concert) may decide how to decide on and punish a member for what’s done within parliament. And dare I suggest that that discretion and power could also extend to the referring of a complaint of abuse of privilege or outrage on the judiciary and courts to the Inspector General of Police under any law or rule parliament as a House decides in the exercise of its discretion and powers should be the case.

WHAT IS THIS PRIVILEGE WE TALK OF?

Parliamentary privilege has long been considered essential in enabling parliaments to perform their functions as representative institutions, in creating effective legislation and in scrutinising government activity.

These privileges, which are an exception to ordinary law, are comprised of freedom of speech and debate, freedom from arrest, exclusive cognisance of the Houses, and the power of Houses to punish contempt. Immunities, belonging to individual Members acting in a collective capacity, such as freedom of speech, are seen as protections rather than privileges outright that allow parliamentarians to perform their duties without fear of intimidation or constraint.

The powers belonging to a House of Parliament to punish contempts and regulate its own constitution are, widely recognized by academics and lawyers alike to be ‘for the protection of Parliament’s own authority and dignity’ not for that of any individual parliamentarian or their ‘party’.

The (law) and practice of parliamentary privilege is complex and that complexity has given rise to many tensions and uncertainties in its practice. Issues such as sub judice, search warrants and subpoenas, the power of Houses to punish contempts, citizen’s right of reply, immunity of non-Members and the scope of freedom of speech have, on occasion, brought parliaments in conflict with constituents and the executive and have resulted in substantial number of court challenges and litigation.

The history of court challenges and litigation on this subject of parliamentary privilege provides no discernible direction or trend or authority as most challenges  turn on the particular facts at issue’ no two of which are similar in every respect.

The structure and practice of privilege in many jurisdictions has elucidated the conflicts and tensions that exist in maintaining an effective separation of power between legislatures, the judiciary and the executive.

Centuries of developing legal and procedural rules and frameworks with respect to the issue of parliamentary privilege hasn’t altered the uncertainties surrounding the role each of the 3 arms of government is intended to perform. The only certainty is that these ambiguities will continue to exist. Indeed, the idea that parliamentary privilege is a complex topic of which there are still persistent ‘grey areas’, some of which may never be resolved is echoed in extensive literature on the subject.

Parliamentary democratic governments founded on the principle of the separation of powers doctrine will inevitably encounter tensions in their attempts to attain a balance between accountability, transparency and effective governance.

WAS NURUL IZZAH’S OUTBURST COVERED BY PRIVILEGE?

Parliamentary privilege is an integral part of what the House of Representatives is. Without those privileges, powers and immunities or if they had taken a different form, there would have been a different House. As the (lower) House ‘is master of its own proceedings and free of judicial control, the concomitant consequence of this freedom is that it is principally for the House to assert and enforce its own privileges’.

There are no constitutional relief valves for anyone caught in the vice of the power of the House for violating privilege as if it belonged uniquely to them as an isolated unrelated constituent of ‘the House’. It is often said that ‘the despotic power of government lies with the House’. What is clearly not understood by many political commentators, academics and lawyers alike is that firstly the idea of political parties is a fiction.

The constitution does not expressly recognize political parties. These are an invention of the late 16th Century (as some commentators and historians suggest) when the powerful Churches in their efforts to control government after Henry VIII broke away from the Roman Church sought ways of influencing government. Some say the formation of political parties and voting along party lines in parliament (a very undemocratic practice) has its genesis in a time even longer ago before Henry VIII’s break with the Roman Church in the time of Socrates in Greece. Either ways one looks at it, the current predicament faced by Nurul Izzah Anwar PKR member for her outbursts in parliament bringing the judiciary and courts into disrepute constituting an outrage on the judiciary will further erode the credibility of her family in political circles.

Nurul Izzah’s outbursts which cannot simply be justified for its undignified language and tone  and it certainly cannot be protected by her interpretation of the privilege she claims under parliamentary free speech. Nurul Izzah’s comments are an outrage in any language. It serves no useful purpose. She could well have made the same comments before the trial, or gone to the ICJ with her complaint about the Malaysian judiciary and the courts of Malaysia with the evidence to prove that Anwar Ibrahim could not possibly secure a fair trial in Malaysia. On her evidence if proved it could have served as an indictment on the courts and the justice system in Malaysia.

The cacophonic chorus of supporters she joined with including former diplomats, lawyers and the Malaysian Bar whose ideas of justice and fairness are nothing more than self-serving statements have served to ridicule her and her father’s cause further than it should have.

IS PARLIAMENTARY PRIVILEGE ABSOLUTE?

In the United Kingdom parliamentary committees have conducted several reviews into the scope and application of privilege and have decided against the codification of privilege.

The Clerk of the House warned against codification in the House of Commons Select Committee on Parliamentary Privilege as noted in its report in 1977:

It would be a mistake first and foremost because it would introduce an element of inflexibility into the manner in which the House upholds its privileges and punishes contempts. It is true that the House would be in no danger of abridging its privileges or powers by a mere resolution setting out the sort of cases upon which it normally proposed to act. But formulas which may appear precise and faultless at the time at which they are drafted, may be found to be defective at a later stage owing to some undiscovered loophole or developments which could not be envisaged at an earlier stage.”

In principle, parliamentary privilege may present issues on which courts must rule in carrying out their duties.  In other words some part of parliamentary privilege may become actionable through the courts and brought before a court.

The problem is this: Central to the nature and functioning of parliamentary privilege is that it should to free from amongst other intervention, judicial control. The only way by which such justiciable issues can therefore be resolved before the courts where it concerns parliamentary privilege necessarily requires that the courts exercise their functions in a way that is consistent with this principles of non-intervention in parliamentary matters.

The separation of the legislature and the judiciary. The broad rule, derived from case law, is ‘that the courts will inquire into the existence and extent of privilege but not its exercise’.

Article 9 of the Bill of Rights 1689  (UK) is fairly proscriptive in regard to such proceedings and it explicitly provides that parliamentary proceedings should not be ‘impeached or questioned in any court or place out of parliament’.

The UK Joint Committee Report notes that this legal immunity is ‘comprehensive and absolute’. Furthermore, academics have asserted that this ‘prohibition is statute law and, unless there has been amending legislation to the contrary, the protection this immunity confers on the House may neither be waived or not insisted upon by either House’.

ADVICE TO ANWAR

If Anwar should indeed secure the pardon of the King, his return to the House and his ‘rights’ therein will still be subject to the discipline, the powers and the discretion of Parliament as a House.

Parliament could silence him, deny him entry to the House, censure his speeches and thwart any attempts by him to use the House for furthering his political aims through Parliament.

What is clear in all of this is the patience exercised by Parliament for over a decade of abuse by Anwar and his family, his lawyers, the Malaysian Bar and those others in opposition who have claimed all along to have absolute rights to what they have undertaking in attempting to bring the government (and the courts) down.

The government in our view appears to be cracking down and doing so in a very subtle and consistent manner. It is now just a matter of time waiting for that ‘knock on the door’ for many in the opposition. It will come.

Anwar: Blow by Blow

ANWAR: CONVENIENTLY FORGOTTEN TRUTHS ABOUT THE MAN AND MYTH

  1. Anwar Ibrahim did nothing to reform the system when he was an insider. And mind you, he was sitting at its apex and even acting as prime minister between May and July 1997.He did nothing towards a repeal of the ISA, OSA, Emergency Ordinance or Sedition Act. Nor did he roll back the restrictions imposed by the Societies Act and the UUCA.
  2. In the 16 years that Anwar was rising up the Umno ranks until he was a heartbeat away from the very pinnacle, he made no changes for the better from the inside. On the contrary, it was he who poisoned Umno’s well through expanding and entrenching the culture of patronage and money politics.
  3. He is no democrat. In 1995, the Umno general assembly decided that the top two posts should not and would not be contested in its 1996 party election.

The assembly instructed that only Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Anwar could be nominated for president and deputy president respectively. Anwar was deep in the bowels of the BN system that has been dubbed a “guided democracy”.

Neither is Pakatan democratic. In the DAP, the first families of Lim and Karpal rule like as if the party is their personal fiefdom.

Guan Eng’s younger sister Hooi Ying is Penang DAP secretary. Three of Karpal’s children – Jagdeep, Gobind and Ramkarpal – are YBs. Ramkarpal was gifted an inheritance of his father’s Bukit Gelugor Parliament seat.

As for the PKR first family, Daddy is Anugerah Tuhan aka ketum parti, Mommy is president and Oldest Girl is vice president. There’s even talk of Younger Girl being given the chance to contest Permatang Pauh, previously rotated between her parents.

What democracy are Pakatan people talking about?

  1. Anwar was so Machiavellian in the ruthless way he toppled Ghafar Baba. Anwar was confirmed twice as Umno deputy president – in the 1993 and 1996 general assemblies.

He planted cells everywhere, appointing his coterie to vital and pivotal positions in the superstructure of the state. He was like a giant octopus with tentacles spread over the Umno machinery and the entire government bureaucracy. In short, he was a control freak.

Side note:

Man-in-a-hurry Anwar only served as Dr M’s deputy in Umno for five years (1993-1998) before trying to oust his boss. Unlike the treacherous Anwar, Tun Razak was a loyal deputy to Tunku Abdul Rahman. Tun Razak was Umno deputy president for 20 years (1951-1971) until Tunku resigned his party presidency in June 1971.

  1. True, Anwar was infamously given a black eye by the IGP but he was certainly not “beaten to within an inch of his life” as his declared by his lawyer. Reminder:A member of the Bar is not an aspiring novelist (or is he?). Hence he should always endeavour to be more factually precise in his expression and refrain from engaging in hyberbole.

Anwar, on the other hand, is an acknowledged drama queen. If you’ll recall, he had also alleged that he was being poisoned with arsenic. Oh, and the stage props – that ubiquitous neck brace and the wheelchair.

  1. As for the claim that Anwar was persecuted by Dr Mahathir, consider this: Among Dr M’s rivals, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah had posed the most serious challenge. Yet in 1996, Dr M allowed KuLi to come back into Umno. He was not vindictive towards KuLi.

Musa Hitam was not expelled from the establishment either in spite of his falling out with Dr M. He enjoys a Tan Sri title and was given plum diplomatic postings and quangos despite the parting of ways with No.1.

Dr M is not vindictive. Guan Eng is.

  1. Anwar allowed himself to be co-opted into Umno in 1982. In doing so, he betrayed the cause of Abim.

Dr M commented: “His inclination would have been to join PAS. But he joined Umno because he foresaw no future for PAS. There was no way PAS could ever make him prime minister.” (Asiaweek interview, 26 Jan 2001)

Anwar does not “fight for the country”. He is serving himself and his own over-weaning ambition.

  1. After Zahid Hamidi attacked Dr M at the Umno Youth general assembly in June 1998, Dr M counter attacked by revealing the names of those cronies who benefited from the NEP nepotism. Prominent in the list were members of Anwar’s family.

Now how about explaining the source(s) of Anwar’s wealth where expenditure, like his residence nicknamed “Istana Segambut”, exceeds all visible legal income.

  1. It was Anwar who undermined the things that the Dapster evangelistas are today loudly clamouring for, i.e.
  • Religious freedoms – During Dr Siti Hasmah’s era, young Malay women did not cover their hair. It was Abim’s Yayasan Anda dakwah undergrads who popularized the wearing of tudung litup in our university campuses.
  • Role of English – Anwar was the Malay language nationalist who downgraded the use of English. As Education Minister, he renamed the national language Bahasa Melayu. It was Bahasa Malaysia previously.
  • Vernacular school – Anwar precipitated a crisis and Ops Lalang by sending non-Mandarin speakers as senior assistants to the SRJK (C).
  • Secularism – Anwar fast-tracked Islamism in the civil service and academia, and weakened the separation between ‘church’ (mimbar) and state.
  • Press freedom – He put his men in charge of the party and government media apparatus.

Daily the belligerent Dapsters will hurl curses at Ketuanan Melayu.

They fail to detect the anomaly in anointing Anwar as their PM-in-waiting given ketum’s past wherein it was he, more than any other Umno leader, who epitomized the Ketuanan concept. Ever heard the urban legend about Anwar’s threat to stop temple bells from ringing? (Oh, tapi dia dah bertobat. Ya ke?)

Duh, Dapsters can really be so self-delusional.

  1. The Dapsters hate Tun with a vengeance but seemingly forget that Anwar had been a close associate of Dr M for decades. In fact, the doctor even gave drafts of hisThe Malay Dilemmamanuscript for Anwar to preview. Yup, the two of them go back a long way and that’s why Dr M brought Anwar into Umno in 1982 – after a mere one year following his ascension as Prime Minister.

The ironic contradiction – Dapster embrace of Anwar as saviour and their damning of Umno, both in the same breath – invokes the split personality of his Chinese supporters as much as that of Anwar as Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

  1. Anwar is an Umno veteran albeit one who was expelled from the party. He is also a veteran of the establishment.

Apart from the Education portfolio in his earlier career, Anwar handled the Finance Ministry right up till his sacking. So, what education policies are there to show of Anwar’s that have benefited our country? Which financial policy formulated by Anwar has had a lasting and positive impact on our economy?

It was Dr M who rolled up his sleeves in 1998 to stave off the IMF 

  1. Anwar is a chameleon and Pakatan a chimera. The former is all rhetoric whereas the latter is pretty polemics … of not much substance than ear candy.

“Anak Melayu anak saya, anak Cina anak saya, anak India anak saya”, goes the Anwar hook. And why not? It’s the kind of Bangsa Malaysia sop that Firsters – those non-Malays clutching at straws – desperately want to hear.

Now imagine Lim Kit Siang, the other one-third of the Pakatan triumvirate, saying: “Anak Melayu anak saya, anak Cina anak saya, anak India anak saya”. Now that would make the Malay toes curl and laugh.

As for the Indians, they will jolly well ask Kit Siang, “Hey, what happened to your Gelang Patah declaration?” Nothing of the DAP promise (plagarized from Hindraf’s blueprint) has been delivered to the Indian community since Lim Sr won the Johor Parliament seat in GE13.

Ultimately, what kind of man is Anwar? Consider all the many, many people who have turned their back on him. Read Dr Chandra Muzaffar, for starters.

  1. Anwar empowered the evangelistas.

It is repackaging the hardline Islamist with a Hallmark (greeting card) multiculturalist wrapping.

He goes to church and he tells the congregation that he had read the Bible every other day during his time in jail. Zul Noordin who helped to pack Anwar’s stuff upon his release has revealed that he did not come across any Bible among Anwar’s possessions.

It says something about the parishioners, doesn’t it, to whom the “I read the Bible” fairy tale was told. Why are they so easily duped by such hypocritical and cheap populism? (Answer: Too much J-Juice.)

  1. Anwar gave the Chinese false hope.

The Chinese like to posture as if they know it all. But in truth, they have swallowed a lot of bullshit, not to mention having poor judgment.

The Chinese rejected the best of Umno that is to say Dato’ Onn Jaafar but are embracing the worst of Umno – this B-grade actor Anwar.

They easily believe in all kinds of conspiracy theories and swallow propaganda (read how Odikal – Otak Di Kepala Lutut they are). Take the irony of DAP’s Ubah –from bashing Anwar during his Umno days, they now hype him as PM-in-waiting.

It was actually Karpal who denounced in Parliament the homosexual activities of Anwar (see Hansard @ Oct 22 and Dec 18, 1997).

Anwar is not innocent, okay. It is his coerced/consensual sex partners who are the real victims.

  1. Anwar is the consummate political animal. He will eat gullible little fools.

The above material is reproduced here by kind courtesy of its author Heleng Ang

ANWAR ANWAR OH ANWAR

A MUCH AWAITED DECISION: NO SURPRISES

Consider how this matter first arose. As Hansard (dated 22 October 1997, 18 December 1997) recalls, the very first time an MP stood up in parliament holding a statutory declaration that accused Anwar Ibrahim of sexual – homosexual – assault, Anwar Ibrahim was Deputy Prime Minister and his accuser was not a member of the government, but in fact an opposition MP from the DAP. And who was his original accuser? The late Karpal Singh, MP, a brilliant lawyer. Any account of the criminal and then political downfall of Anwar Ibrahim should recall who threw the first stone”.

(extracted from the New Straits Times 11 February 2015- A quote from Lawyer Shafee Abdullah’s Statement on Sodomy II)

Anwar did little to displace the evidence and the allegations against him on the charge that he had sex with Saiful (anal intercourse). He did not challenge the evidence or the corroborative testimony of his accuser sufficiently for him to raise reasonable doubt that his accuser was lying or that the evidence especially the DNA evidence presented against him was unreliable.

Anwar focused his defence on political issues. Speculative and conspiratorial theories of government and assassination of the prime minister’s character were central themes in his defence inside and outside of the courts. And Anwar with his supporters in tow went on a political rampage worthy of vandals.

In the process and from his unsworn statement from the dock, Anwar did not refute the challenges and allegations raised by the prosecution over the charges laid against him. His supporters did little to aid in his defence by their commentary in every public forum available to them. That comment goes also to his political allies and the political party he leads and to a handful of “journalists” who believed they were acting in furthering his legitimate interests. None were. They had become an albatross around his neck.

There was available to Anwar’s defence team, various other ways, means and tactics throughout this whole ugly and sad episode of his trial and the appeals that could have been deployed and successfully turned to his advantage. Unfortunately Anwar’s defence team fell desperately short of both experience and legal knowledge, and were equally distracted by the man and his antics, thereby failing to depart and dislodge themselves from Anwar’s “devil made me do it defence”. In the end they too were drawn into his vortex of troubles.

FLAWS IN HIS DEFENCE

Instead of trying to conduct a trial de Novo in an appeal, the defence ought to have focused on re visiting the legal and factual matrix that made up the charges against Anwar leading to the original decision at the heart of the appeal.

Anwar’s defence team had the opportunity to focus on the pleadings in the original trial as they should have. They should have dealt with any flaws in the judgement and the facts. They should have focused on the basis of the judgement which acquitted him. They should have focused on the evidence in both the forums in the lower courts and not ventured on the course they adopted which any competent fresh law graduate could have advised them was a slipper slope to a disaster. They did not.

The defence ought to have attacked the flaws (if any) in earlier decisions and the evidence used to convict the man attacking these instead in the context of the law and facts. Such a move may have supported an appeal in Anwar’s favour. They did not. He failed.

Suggesting the DNA was unreliable because it had been degraded since the trial, then attacking the credibility of the lab and reliability of the DNA in the appeal, in the manner in which that aspect of the evidence was presented and attacked was a fatal flaw in a desperate defence.

Saying (as Ramkarpal did) that the DNA had been degraded and therefore should not be relied upon as evidence is as pathetic and fatal as saying, as an example in analogy say in the case of statutory rape of an under aged girl thus:

“the girl’s age today is 21 therefore it can’t be statutory rape today. And her present age at 21 cannot be relied upon to convict on  a charge of statutory rape because her age has changed (like the DNA in Anwar’s case) from what it was at the time of the charge to what it is now”. The logic is both absurd and outrageous.

AND ANWAR WAS AN HONOURABLE MAN

As has been said a number of times before, this was a case in which many of Anwar’s so called allies have to be called to answer for his demise. It was never their intention to let the man lead or become Prime Minister of Malaysia if he and the opposition did win an election. The allegation is documented (Bersih). Anwar’s search for conspiracies should have been directed introspectively.

Anwar himself today cuts a pathetic figure as a refugee from a failed attempt at a coup all those years ago in 1998. Now abandoned, outed and discarded by forces that once believed they could use him as a proxy for US hegemony in the region Anwar stands alone.

He continues to see himself as a persecuted Messianic figure, a Martin Luther King Jnr., Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela type which he clearly is not. Anwar is delusional, broken, dysfunctional a man today as is the opposition in Malaysia that he leads.

Anwar worked for foreign intelligence services and foreign government’s using undemocratic means to sell his nation to the highest bidder a matter so widely and convincingly documented but denied only by Anwar.

His self appointed heir apparent Ambiga Sreenivasan works for the same causes and same objectives as he, funded and directed by the same discredited organizations and forces behind the scenes.

Alas it is pre election time in the US. They have the Ukraine, Europe and the very volatile middle east apart from a myriad of serious incurable destructive domestic issues to contend with. Anwar’s problems pales into insignificance when compared to the wider problems the west faces today. His use by date has long come and gone.

Anwar today is a distant and bad memory for most of his handlers and backers. His fate had been sealed a long time ago when he attempted to throw the country into chaos then grab power unto himself and his friends in the heady “reformasi” days supported by the tail winds of a similar movement in Indonesia.

What remains is the runt of a group of self serving individuals borrowing the cliched slogans of western trained vandals. None of them have any clout. None have any credibility where it matters. None have any basis for continuing their journey on a cart  whose wheels have now well and truly fallen off from its heavy load.

In its wake is a silent majority, denied a voice by the loud rattle of the Bersihs and PKR’s to properly combat all those ills of government, we all know about but can’t do much about because the opposition has become an incredulous, a dirty and a discredited by word for incompetence.

A PAPAL RESPONSE TO CHARLIE HEBDOU

AN INTRODUCTION

The following is an article by a Reuters correspondent whose name appeals at the head of the article. The contents of the article below are the Pope’s (Pope Francis) responses to questions about Freedom of expression and religion and the provocation of others through expression of these freedoms.

Pope Francis’s responses has disturbed and angered the France, a devoutly Catholic nation and others like it in Europe who expected him to apply the cliched responses of “liberty, freedom, fraternity and western democracy” and to stand united with them condemning Islam. Not to be.

The Holy father’s responses  are candid, independent, honest and honourable unlike those of his predecessors who contributed to the lies and justification of blood baths by western governments against weaker nations and people of other religions, especially the Muslims.

Is this man that light at the end of the tunnel the world (especially its Christians) has been waiting for?

HOW FAR OUR FREEDOMS

By Philip Pullella

Pope Francis, speaking of last week’s deadly attacks by Islamist militants in Paris, has defended freedom of expression, but said it was wrong to provoke others by insulting their religion and that one could “expect” a reaction to such abuse.

You can’t provoke, you can’t insult the faith of others, you can’t make fun of faith,” he told reporters on Thursday, aboard a plane taking him from Sri Lanka to the Philippines to start the second leg of his Asian tour.

Francis, who has condemned the Paris attacks, was asked about the relationship between freedom of religion and freedom of expression.

“I think both freedom of religion and freedom of expression are both fundamental human rights,” he said, adding that he was talking specifically about the Paris killings.

“Everyone has not only the freedom and the right but the obligation to say what he thinks for the common good … we have the right to have this freedom openly without offending,” he said.

To illustrate his point, he turned to an aide and said: “It is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if (he) says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal”.

You can’t make a toy out of the religions of others,” he added. “These people provoke and then (something can happen). In freedom of expression there are limits.”

Seventeen people, including journalists and police, were killed in three days of violence that began with a shooting attack on the political weekly Charlie Hebdo, known for its satirical attacks on Islam and other religions.

PAST RELIGIOUS WARS AND CHRISTIAN CULPABILITY

Referring to past religious wars, such as the Crusades sanctioned by the Catholic Church against Islam, the Pope said:

“Let’s consider our own history. How many wars of religion have we had? Even we were sinners but you can’t kill in the name of God. That is an aberration.”

The Pope was also asked if he felt vulnerable to an assassination attempt or an attack by Islamic extremists.

Earlier this week, the Vatican denied Italian newspaper reports that U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials had informed the Vatican that there could be an imminent attack by Islamist militants.

Francis said he was more worried about others – rather than himself – being hurt in an eventual attack and that he was confident about security measures in the Vatican and during his trips.

I am in God’s hands,” he said, joking about having asked God to spare him a painful death.

Am I afraid? You know that I have a defect, a nice of dose of being careless. If anything should happen to me, I have told the Lord, I ask you only to give me the grace that it doesn’t hurt because I am not courageous when confronted with pain. I am very timid,” he said.