Air Asia on the Nose?


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.


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.


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?


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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’.


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


  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



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.


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.


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.



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?


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.


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.



A recent comment by the editor of this blog, published on Che Det (the Tun Dr. Mahathir’s blog) about a report that Tony Fernandez of AirAsia apologized and issued a statement to the media  “accepting (full) responsibility” for the recent Air Asia tragedy drew sharp criticism from sectors of the public. Much of the criticism  in our view is misplaced for the perception that  we were attacking Tony Fernandez, Air Asia’s CEO. Fernandez is a man whose popularity and folk hero status is only matched by his flamboyance and AirAsia’s commercial successes. Fernandez knows how to ride the crest of a wave. In his case that wave was his association with Sir Richard Branson. Along with this came cheap no frills flying, a fresh approach to marketing, personalizing his product AirAsia, stamping it with the identities of the people who make it fly (and in this instance crash as well) and finally Fernandez’s his ownership of English football team Queens Park Rangers. All good so far. A real text book approach as was recently described by Caroline Sapriel, managing director of CS&A, a firm that specializes in advising clients on disaster management. But nothing it seems could stop the company having $200 million wiped off its value on the stock market. We suspect this to be the result of Tony Fernandez’s premature ‘mea culpa’. The shareholders now speak.


Not long after our contribution to Che Det on this matter was published (two days later) Indonesian authorities issued a statement in which it questioned whether the pilot had followed correct weather procedures during the ill fated flight. Later in the same day they issued a further statement about suspending AirAsia’s (Indonesia) Surabaya to Singapore flights, saying ‘the airline’s operating license only permitted flights on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays’. The question that arises in light of the official statements issued by Indonesian aviation authorities about AirAsia flight QZ 8501 now is this: Was someone operating an unauthorized flight within AirAsia Indonesia? If so how did Surabaya control allow the flight to take off in these circumstances? Djoko Murdjatmodjo, Indonesia’s acting Director General of Air Transportation, said on Saturday 3 January 2015 that “the Transport Ministry would investigate other routes used by the carrier, which flies from at least 15 Indonesian destinations“. Is the acting Director General of Air Transportation Indonesia by his statement suggesting that AirAsia is suspected of undertaking unauthorized flights out of other cities it operates in and if so how many and by what means? “We are going to investigate all AirAsia flight schedules. Hopefully we can start on next Monday,” he said. “It is possible AirAsia’s license in Indonesia might be revoked,” he added. If AirAsia’s license is revoked that may indeed sound the death knell of what was once perceived to be a great airline. “It is without question”, an Indian aviation ministry official when asked and who spoke on condition of anonymity said “that we will be checking with all countries in which AirAsia has been flying to vet their compliance with international aviation practices and with regional laws and procedures”.


Garuda Indonesia and Philippine Airlines for a number of years had restrictions placed on them flying directly into Europe and the US because of their very poor record of maintaining standards and in meeting compliance sufficient to satisfy international aviation guidelines,protocols and benchmarks. Audits on both Garuda, Philippines Airlines and in fact all Indonesian and Philippines domestic carriers found serious breaches of compliance, flaws in reporting, short cuts in maintenance and fault reporting, falsification of documentation, poor aircraft maintenance (no maintenance in many cases to save on costs) the use of diluted fuel and over worked staff some reported to be doing up to three shifts in a single daily roster. It is widely believed by aviation experts that, these same malpractices and breaches of international air safety standards AirAsia now, Garuda and Philippine Airlines before it stand accused of, may in fact be far more widespread that is admitted to or acknowledged by aviation authorities in south east Asia. Airlines regularly flying the same routes in the region flown by AirAsia are going undetected in their breaches. Business models like that of AirAsia’s in allowing full autonomy to regional partners to manage their operations of the AirAsia business, makes monitoring compliance full time by head office difficult if not impossible.


An aviation expert from the US reinforced comments made by Indonesian authorities in suggesting that the AirAsia flight that crashed QZ 8501 may have been unauthorized. As QZ 8501 carried many Indonesian ethnic Chinese passengers, (a very wealthy and influential minority group in Indonesia), the flight could well have been ‘unofficially sanctioned’ in Surabaya. Unofficial sanctioning is a common practice in Indonesia and in many Asian countries. It simply involves paying off an official or officials to authorize an unauthorized act. In the specific case of flight QZ 8501 the SUrabaya Singapore flight may have been ‘unofficially sanctioned‘ (out of schedule) for the convenience of wealthy passengers. This would have involved administrative intervention, altering the status of the flight from one of (non) scheduled flight to that of a charter flight. In unofficially sanctioning the flight  this way, the aircraft bearing the AirAsia livery could then fly its passengers to Singapore ( who in a bizarre twist, say the flight was authorised to land in Singapore on a Sunday) as a scheduled AirAsia flight  on a date it was not scheduled to fly. Sunu Widyatmoko, Indonesia AirAsia chief, told reporters the airline, which is 49-percent owned by Malaysia-based AirAsia , would cooperate with the inquiry. “The government has suspended our flights from Surabaya to Singapore and back,” he said. “They are doing the evaluation process. AirAsia will cooperate fully with the evaluation.” Lets hope that the slogan “now everyone can fly” does not end up being “now anyone can die” in the wake of what is seen as an avoidable and preventable tragedy involving a first class airline. This according to many is what governments and businesses in south east Asia term “the Asian way” of doing business.


It is widely reported that Tony Fernandez CEO of AirAsia issued an apology “accepting (full) responsibility” for the accident (by implication of what he said and the context in which his statements were reported). There are many who believe Tony Fernandez owns AirAsia. There those who believe that an apology and ‘accepting (full) responsibility’ for an accident by the CEO of the company is the right thing to do in the circumstances. It is also a widely held belief by many that an early acknowledgement of responsibility would help to reduce the prospects of the AirAsia tragedy turning into a bigger (PR) disaster for the airline and for its reputation. With the benefit of hindsight this is not an unreasonable view to adopt, considering the disastrous handling of the public relations and media briefings by government appointed spokespeople in the MH 370 and MH 17 disasters. There is merit and much to be said for good PR and effective communication with a grieving public delivered by people at the top immediately after the event. Full and frank disclosure helps. Accepting responsibility does not on any view help the Airline or its image so soon after the event without the benefits of the full facts behind the crash.


Tony Fernandez does not own AirAsia. The shareholders of who he is one, own the airline. Fernandez is a major and significant shareholder and founder of the airline. AirAsia is the property of a public corporation. The airline is indelibly stamped with the identity and persona of Tony Fernandez founder of AirAsia and he with it. And thus far that relationship and public perception of the two in one has endured successfully over a decade and half. One entity (Fernandez) is indistinguishable from the other (the corporation) in the public’s perception (till now). Fernandez also enjoys folk hero status amongst not only Malaysians, but also amongst Britons, south east Asians, China and people in the Indian sub-continent where AirAsia operates in one form or the other. It seemed for a while that nothing could go wrong for him or his airline. And from all accounts he deserves much praise for the airline’s success and for its good public image.


On Sunday 28 December 2014 the dream came crashing down over the Java sea in what was perhaps the most dreaded event in the life of any airline operator . Western journalists went to town reporting that a “Malaysian Airlines AirAsia airbus” had gone missing over the Java sea. Very few amongst them could distinguish between the official flag carrier of Malaysia, Malaysian Airlines (MAS) and the private sector owned AirAsia and it was only a few days later that some bothered to check their facts and get the story right. “Another Malaysian Airlines plane goes down” screamed the headlines over the airwaves and front pages of western media outlets. There was a careful and deliberate avoidance of any reference to Virgin Airlines or of any mention of Sir Richard Branson and any connection to AirAsia lest the fall out should infect the reputation of Virgin Airlines. The point seemed lost on many. A friend in need indeed is Virgin and Sir Richard Branson.


The point I sought to raise in Che Det that appears to have escaped the comprehension of many readers is that by “accepting responsibility” for the problem”( i.e. the crash of the airliner AirAsia flight QZ 8501) Fernandez necessarily acknowledges and accepts the burden of legal responsibility for the consequences that flow from his “acceptance of responsibility” as the airline’s CEO. It was a dangerous and premature acceptance of responsibility on the part of Fernandez speaking for the airline AirAsia. And the market appears to have taken note of that acceptance of responsibility. All $200 milion of it. The reason I say so is this: The cause of the crash has not yet been established. The recovery operations to find the wreckage of the aircraft, its black box and the cockpit voice recorder have not yet been completed let alone located. To have “accepted (full) responsibility” in these circumstances before any other official, forensic and scientific finding is made is simply suicidal. It says something about culpability. Where were Tony Fernandez’s lawyers, where was his ‘well oiled’ PR machine?


The Asian media may forgive Fernandez (as should the rest of us) as his reported statement must have been a spontaneous heartfelt comment by a grieving CEO and an honest slip at that made by the man in the heat and emotion of such a disaster. However to make such an admission (which is what this is) by “accepting (full) responsibility” for something for which responsibility cannot yet be apportioned to, is a statement insurance companies, relatives and lawyers who will inevitably become a part of the gouging process in the aftermath of this tragedy would love to hear. Many may already have picked up on Fernandez’s acceptance of responsibility statement. Where were his legal advisors? Where was his well oiled media PR machine? An acceptance of responsibility has the effect of reducing an insurers liability if not partly at least, then wholly. There are then the relatives of the passengers and the owners of cargo QZ 8501 who have an interest and a right to sue the Airline who will not ignore the acceptance of (full) responsibility by AirAsia’s CEO to consider. What impacts his words as reported will have on the immediate and long term future of the airline is yet to be determined.


QANTAS has had four aircraft technical failures in the air whereby aircraft had to return to base in a matter of one month in December 2014. Nothing in the international press. Thats PR. Thats containment. A Greek cruise ship caught fire off the Adriatic coast also in December 2014. The media reported 10 dead. The magistrate conducting the inquiry now in Italy has established 98 not accounted for in addition to the 10 confirmed dead. A ship was deliberately steered onto shallow waters and to rocks and is listing badly in Northern Scotland .4 people confirmed dead. Nothing is said of it. No apology issued no acknowledgement of responsibility as in the case with the Greek cruise ship. Paying huge sums of money to western based PR companies is never the answer. Common sense is. Another example as to what could happen when airlines (MAS) are privatized and short cuts and profit are the overriding consideration.

Najib to Stand Down in 2015?


The end of the road for Najib Razak as prime minister of Malaysia appears nigh. We understand from sources close to government and within UMNO that there have been intense (and confrontational) albeit secret discussions between groups jostling for the position of prime minister and by default leadership of the United Malay Nationalist Organization (known by its acronym UMNO).

Najib Razak’s tenure as prime minister of Malaysia was as it now appears only a stop gap for convenience and borne out of necessity following the disaster that was the Abdullah Badawi government. That government of Badawi tore apart the fabric of UMNO, of Malaysia and drove a wedge between the races  destroying the harmony and prosperity that existed before he arrived and thrust himself into the top job.


It is an indisputable fact that Abdullah Badawi was cultivated by (the Neo Cons) Washington during his posting at the UN. He was trapped (cultivated), wined and dined in much the same way Habibie the impotent president of Indonesia was before being shooed into office after former president Suharto was forced to step down there.

Anwar had originally been cultivated to take over Malaysia’s leadership in much the same way as Habibie was and by the same crowd. However a vigilant Mahathir intervened in time and the rest as we now know is history.

In Habibie’s case his impotence in office allowed the west to divide Timor into east and west Timor. In dividing Timor they ensured they would retain a hold on the strategic deep submarine caves of east Timor to counter the strategic foothold the Russians had gained for their nuclear submarines in the deeper waters off Cam Rahn Bay in Viet Nam.


For the past 6 years the political landscape in Malaysia has been fraught with instability and internecine fighting within UMNO. Deep divisions have also arisen within the Indian and Chinese communities at all levels.

UMNO’s fate lay in the hands of the Badawi clan cultivated and lying in wait for an opportunity to strike. It was Badawi who sowed the seeds of discontent and division within UMNO and the rest of the coalition in government.

Badawi washed his hands of any responsibility for the country after lighting the fuse that gave rise to the large number of opposition groups, alternative media that turned into a juggernaut of foreign funded groups vying for power and Washington’s largesse to assist their varied agendas for Malaysia.

Badawi then tied the hands of the law enforcement agencies also whilst he was in government. His support of Ambiga Sreenevasan, the Malaysian Bar and other foreign funded groups in particular Chinese opposition groups is legend and well documented.

UMNO the organization, once the Achilles heel of Malay unity has been the subject of internal power struggles, betrayals and allegations of massive corruption, financial excesses, impropriety and personal feuds between regional political leaders. Once more the Badawi government’s handi work in these divisions is evident.


Najib Razak by his indolent and lacklustre performance whilst at the helm of government appears to have only encouraged divisions amongst Malays and the coalition parties originally created by Badawi. Najib even allowed his personal integrity, his reputation and that of his family’s to be sullied and defamed to a point his leadership has been severely undermined and his reputation irreparably damaged.

The various groups now jostling for power within UMNO and the Malays have reached consensus concluding that Najib Razak must go. We take that point one step further now with the news the King and a number of the sultans have also made it clear (but in private) that Najib Razak’s prime ministership has become untenable and that they can’t support it or him anymore.

Much has been invested by the US and some European countries supported by local Chinese groups and so called NGO’s to breaching that rock solid unity of the Malays UMNO.

Opposition funded from abroad has been designed to divide the Malays first and then to substitute Malay political and cultural dominance for ethnic Chinese domination of political power in government. Achieving this change would it seems complete the post independence vision of the Chinese to rally against others in their quest for political and economic supremacy and domination of government first, ensuring total Chinese domination over the peninsula and beyond in south east Asia guaranteeing US hegemony in the region.


Dr.Mahathir Mohamed former prime minister and elder statesman has confirmed in an interview with a Malaysian journal , the call to Najib Razak to step down by his party. It is further reinforcement of our report that prime minister Najib Razak’s term as prime minister of Malaysia may be close to an end.


Many Malays believe that UMNO has lost its direction, its political and its moral authority to validly represent the Malays as a people. They believe UMNO as an organization and they as its beneficiaries have been abused and used to further and to advance the personal ambitions and fortunes of UMNO’s current crop of leaders.

Many more Malays believe the excesses of UMNO’s current leadership has been nothing short of a betrayal of the promises of the founding fathers of UMNO that the organization in whom they placed their trust would be custodians of their future, their land and their inherent political and cultural rights into perpetuity.

The general neglect of the Malay community and the deep class divisions that now prevail within is evident in not only the political and social dialogue over cyberspace but also in the emergence of what appears to be a credible preferred alternate political group claiming ascendancy over UMNO to represent Malay aspirations. That group and new entity is Perkasa.

UMNO is widely seen as a platform for the promotion of the interests of the Chinese, some Indians and the wealthy connected urban elite group of Malays to the detriment of UMNO’s grass root constituents now being absorbed by groups like Perkasa whose appeal appears more in focus with Malay aspirations.


From the information provided to us, it is evident that negotiations on a succession plan have been on going for some time now (accelerated since the outcome of GE 13) between factional leaders. Our sources tell us that these negotiations have been held in secret and conducted largely outside Malaysia in places as Australia, London, the US and at other times in secret locations within Malaysia.

Dr. Mahathir Mohamed who although not directly involved in these discussions and negotiations has been asked to refrain from any overt comment or direct action in the dispute and succession plans  for fear it may add to greater volatility in an already tense situation. It is feared that any comment by the former prime minister now elder statesman would serve to further inflame the present situation adding to the inertia of Perkasa’s momentum and its ascendency amongst the Malays.

The situation is volatile and the Malays deeply divided. Dr. Mahathir’s input it is believed by many political observers will inevitably hasten if not bring about the  demise of present day UMNO. The Malays are from all indications demanding radical surgery for UMNO, the dismantling of the current power structures within it and a more inclusive organization and a more meaningful consultative role in government.


The alternatives for UMNO and prime minister Najib are limited. Any failure on his part to address the current situation pro-actively, sensitively and with haste, paramount to which is the divide amongst the Malays and address the excesses (perceived and real) and indulgences of an elite within its leadership  according to political observers, will further undermine his and UMNO’s credibility. Unless he takes some drastic and immediate steps to bridge the divide and rein in corruption within UMNO the current leadership of both government and UMNO it is inevitable that UMNO will implode leaving Perkasa standing as the only legitimate representative of the majority Malays.

Perkasa and Isma and the momentum they have gained given the vacuum created by UMNO appear to be more representative of the aspirations of Malays. They will emerge to victorious, fill the void and assume the mantle of UMNO as representatives of the political and cultural will of the Malays.

No one contacted within Perkasa’s leadership recently has been prepared to comment on the subject matter of this article.


In an insult to the freedom of expression and independent media, online media outlets like Yahoo have embedded in their news portals, anti government media organizations like Malaysia Kini, the Star and the Malaysian Insider. News items on Yahoo are now attributed directly to each of these private media organizations redirecting ereaders to their websites allowing them control any rebuttals and comments to their “news items”. It also allows the likes of Malaysi Kini, the Malaysian Insider and the Star to do as they always have done and that is to censor any blogging, comments or responses to their “news” items. They censor anything that is not anti government or letters and comments that challenge the veracity of their journalism.

Yahoo has been identified along with Google as an eves dropping device and station of US intelligence and homeland security.  Their conduct in this regard is nothing short of censorship and interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign state.

We stand by our sources and the credibility of their information