WHY AIR ASIA CAN’T FAIL

As all indicators point to an insolvent or near insolvent behemoth of the skies, the question arises as to what went so horribly wrong with Air Asia; the darling of the skies, of Mahathirism and of the dynamics of ‘The Asian way’ in the Asian century.

As desperate appeals for funding pour in from the airline’s chief executive to its customers, some of them indicate how desperate the airlines financial situation is. Travellers are being asked to withhold exercising their rights to a refund for services not provided by the airline. Auditors, creditors, analysts and shareholders are beginning to look more closely into the companies recent and historic annual reports, its accounts and to the inexplicably narrow margins (for error) and contingencies factored into the company’s accounts as well as its operating revenues, its earnings, its income and its cash flows over the past 5 years.

Was AirAsia reporting fiction and padding its accounts in its periodical reports? Me thinks that this is a real possibility. Was AirAsia in fact converting the debt of some of its subsidiaries into assets?

SOCCER CLUBS & OTHER NON CORE INDULGENT ASSETS

What on earth was the airline investing its surpluses in (if they did exist in recent times) ? Who funded the purchase of prestige non core assets such as an English League soccer club? There were other prestige investments and political donations which were neither core businesses nor beneficial to an airline operating in a highly volatile unstable political environment as Malaysia is today.

The real fear today is that if the airline, that came into existence courtesy of Dr. Mahathir’s largesse fails, it will have repercussions reaching far beyond Malaysia’s shores.

AirAsia’s failure will blow the lid off the standards of Malaysia’s financial reporting, the credibility of the Bursa Malaysia and yes the credibility of Bank Negara Malaysia too.

THE ZETI FACTOR AS THE VENEER PEELS ON THE REAL FINANCIAL SCANDALS

Bank Negara is the gatekeeper of Malaysia’s entire financial system (if you could call it that). The recent revelation of its failures in compliance falling squarely at the feet of its forme Chair Zeti Akhtar has a nexus to the myriad of financial disasters that has plagued Malaysia for over 2 decades covered up by the Bank.

A convenient scapegoat and distraction to the Titanic of Malaysia’s “Tiger Economy” of the Mahathir era is the trial of Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a former Prime Minister of Malaysia.

It was indeed a tangled web they wove when they practiced how to deceive. That web of deception is coming apart at the seams. Is it going to be Zeti or Fernandez’s AirAsia that will be the iceberg to sink Malaysia’s run as a “Tiger economy?”

AirAsia, the poster child of ‘wunderkind’ Tony Fernandez is beginning to not only come apart at the seams but it also threatens to spill the beans on the entire money merry go round from treasury, Petronas and other government sources of funding to an elite exclusive coterie of recipients all with a direct link to not only Dr. Mahathir but also to UMNO Baru.

It appears there was good reason for economist prince Tunku Razaleigh Hamzah to get out of the way when the wheels of UMNO Baru’s juggernaut began to fall off in the farcical games of prime ministerial musical chairs played out in parliament recently.

Already under the spotlight, Bank Negara, and revelations about its former Chair Zeti Akhtar and her failures during her term as at the Bank have begun to shake Malaysia’s “Tiger economy” to its very foundations.

Added to the fuel of Zeti Akhtar’s scandalous failures at Bank Negara, the spark of AirAsia’s current financial problems, the demand for clarity and transparency on the situation relating to many of Malaysia’s top corporations that comprise the Bursa Index is beginning to heat up.

The Bursa like Zeti was asleep at the wheel at the AirAsia bus from all accounts.

WHAT LIES AHEAD

The inevitable to the Malaysian economy and the Ringgit cannot be put off forever with leggy young nubiles and a hot PR campaign anymore. Such campaigns and self promoting dazzling circuses can’t pay the rent, the lease payments on a fleet of expensive aircraft, wages of a few thousand employees, contractors, merchant services, fuel bills and government taxes. And it hasn’t.

This simply points to an insolvent airline flying on hope and promises alone.

How Serious is government and how experienced are its advisors in preparing it for a tsunami which will consume the entire Malaysian economy in one large wave? A good guess is that the government and its advisors are not up to scratch to deal with the dominoes when and not if AirAsia falls. This will be worse than what hit Malaysia’s non banking financial sector in 1991 when Anwar was minister of finance. The world is not the same place it was in 1991.

As the heat of Air Asia’s financial troubles is turned up with Ernst & Young’s qualification of the company’s reports and its financial condition, a requiem can be heard in the background by all, except AirAsia’s biggest shareholders, its founder and his partner.

Perhaps this is because they have their proverbial headphones on and eyes shut as a distraction to what’s about to befall them.

A DEPARTURE THAT RANG WARNING BELLS- NO ONE NOTICED

The departure of Sir Richard Branson’s group from the AirAsia shareholder register in 2012 should have sounded warning bells about the management style and practices of the highly geared overly ambitious AirAsia. It did not.

There was nothing like the fanfare that greeted Virgin’s entry into the airline’s share register in 2007 when Branson’s Virgin divested its interests in AirAsia. Its executives were tight lipped about Virgins exit. But the Malaysian government and its Bursa preferred catwalks to compliance, prestige to pragmatism, pandering to the airline, instead of ordering an investigation into its practices and finances then.

They continued to pamper the airline pretending all was well with it without investigating the possibility that something was not quite right with the company. The Airline concealed its financial problems by threatening to move its head quarters and operational hub offshore. They were deft at playing musical chairs with their finances and brinkmanship with regulators.

Leaving aside the Bank Bumi scandal and the the Malaysian Housing collapse of 1998, this is the biggest economic and reputational threat hanging over corporate Malaysia, its government and its reputation as a place to do business in.

When AirAsia collapses as is expected by the financial community it will bring the economy down with it worse than what Covid has done to stronger more robust economies worldwide. The real problems that Mahathir and Anwar distracted the world with so successfully by drumming up the 1MDB and Najib circus are about to come undone. And with it will be recriminations of a kind no one has seen before.

BLAME AND RESPONSIBILITY

As was the case with previous financial disasters the accounting and banking profession have a lot to answer for it if a crash of this airline occurs. Each of Malaysia’s legal and accounting peak professional bodies must be brought to account for these failures. They were not brought to account during the Bank Bumi, Maminco, the Housing sector collapse, the non banking financial sector collapses previously and their vices were celebrated as a virtue then. Why should it be any different now?

Let’s hope Air Asia can survive as it has in the past and continue to fly on a wing and a prayer. Lots of prayers.

The Malaysian economy is more and more appearing to be like that proverbial house built on sand. Shifting sands that is. It is not Najib they ought to worry about. It is those who painted pictures of Dr. Mahathir on planes using shareholder funds that is the real concern.

When AirAsia collapses as it is expected to, the Malaysian Ringgit will go down with it as will those companies built on the largesse of Dr. Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim, their padded revenues and earnings, their off balance sheet debts and liabilities leaving Malaysia in a mess only a tsunami could otherwise leave it in.

ZETI AKHTAR-MONEY LAUNDERER AND LIAR?

HOW LONG DID ZETI KNOW OF HER HUSBAND’S INVOLVEMENT IN THE 1MDB FUNDS?

MACC’s confirmation that RM65 million in funds belonging to 1MDB was in the possession and control of Zeti Akhtar’s husband Tawfik Ayman via one of his companies is nothing more than a formal restatement of a position that had been long canvassed and clear to anyone with an eye on the 1MDB saga.

ZETI’S WILFUL BLINDNESS TO MONEY LAUNDERING AT BANK NEGARA

For Zeti Akhtar Aziz to attempt to deny or remain silent on the allegation now will only cement her already sullied and damaged reputation and her professional and personal integrity as a banker, a professional and a public figure.

Former Bankers involved in the saga complaining now that they were given false information or threatened by Datuk Ser Najib are weak and incredulous individuals attempting to hide behind what is fundamentally a lame excuse and an indictment on their caliber as bankers, accountants and professionals. It is late mail anyway.

“The Devil made me do it” is not an acceptable or plausible defence to charges of money laundering, theft or lying. These are not schoolboys being threatened by the schoolyard bully. These were educated professional bankers, meant to be of impeccable, impeachable character and integrity. Of their late material it appears they were far from it. Surely they knew their responsibilities and obligations that came with their office. The same obligations and responsibilities applied to Zeti.

There is a much larger conspiracy at play here behind the tsunami of allegations directed against former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Rosma Mansor and the Barisan Nasional, the party that ruled Malaysia since its independence in 1957.

Allegations of money laundering against Zeti as head of Bank Negara continue to more than simply linger around her in rumours. These allegations are the subject of formal, though discreet, investigations launched in the US, in Europe and in the Middle East because of the very lax and negligent rules that prevailed during Zeti’s stewardship (as head) of the Bank Negara.

In the US her role at Bank Negara (especially during and immediately prior to 9/11) has become the subject of investigation by lawyers (and investigative agencies) acting for the families of those killed in the twin towers attacks in 9/11.

There is a nexus to the flow of illicit funds to terrorist groups through UMNO Baru and few Islamic charities that found a cover of legitimacy through UMNO Baru’s patronage and the blind eye of the Bank Negara under Zeti Akhtar’s stewardship.

Evidence suggests that very large sums of money were transferred in and out of Malaysia at the time Zeti was head of Bank Negara without question inspite of ‘red flags’ popping up before her. The billions that flowed in and out of Bank Negara immediately prior to her appointment was ignored by her when she ought to have queried suspicious transactions that were tied to the Maminco, Bank Bumi and Forex scandals in Malaysia. She had a legal duty and an obligation as head of Bank Negara to review these not too insignificant transactions involving billions of dollars in foreign exchange.

These transactions in question include the several billions of dollars which moved around in and out of Malaysia for brief periods during and subsequent to Dr. Mahathir’s tenure in office as prime minister for over 20 years.

ZETI THE NEOCONS MONEY LAUNDERING (AND THE WHARTON CLUB?)

But Zeti has her backers and apologists in the USA and in some quarters of government in Malaysia at least. Her father after all, the late Professor Unku Aziz was a CIA informant (along with several prominent members of government in the 1960’s and 1970’s). (Victor Marchetti- former CIA agent -Holland in 1971). There is also much speculation about her preferential treatment at Wharton where she secured a Phd from the university of Pennsylvania.

First of her backers are the Neocons under Paul Wolfowitz, the man who first tapped Zeti along with Anwar Ibrahim to work on the Regime Change initiatives of the Soros Foundation, Open Societies, the NED and the American Democrats linked to the Clinton Global Fund. Their job was to destabilize the Mahathir regime in Malaysia.

Then there is the “Wharton club”. All of them alumni graduates of Wharton’s Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, an exclusive club of very prominent graduates of the school like Low Teik Jho, Michael Milken and a group of bankers who were prominent in the fall of Wall Street and the Global Financial Crisis of 2008.

And like Zeti these Wharton alumni are prominent not for their academic prowess but their pedigree and ability to network to the extent they could bring down the world banking system in the Global Financial Crisis in 2008 with relative impunity.

A powerful network of financial movers and shakers they are more connected to power than to their knowledge and intellect.

UMNO BARU ISLAMIC EXTREMISTS AND ZETI’S ROLES

What Zeti really has to be more concerned about today though is the allegation she may have through willful blindness allowed or turned a blind eye to money laundering activities by religious extremist from the middle east through UMNO Baru and the Bank Negara.

These two organizations, Bank Negara and UMNO Baru are state protected organizations. The first, Bank Negara which assisted UMNO Baru to divert and to launder funds that were supposedly ‘donations’ to charitable purposes in the middle east that the US has evidence were diverted to two high profile terrorist attacks against US targets. These being the attacks on the twin towers on 11 September 2001 and the other the attack on the USS Cole that preceded it.

Back to what Zeti knew at Bank Negara. It is now becoming clearer that Zeti knew of the transfers of large sums of money from not only 1MDB to Datuk Seri Najib’s bank accounts long before it became controversial in Malaysia, but also of billions of dollars in large questionable outflows of capital after the Asian currency crisis.

It was a series of events that Bank Negara (and therefore she) and perhaps even the Singapore authorities should have queried but did not. Zeti turned a blind eye to all of it. Singapore’s collusion with the Regime Change initiative in south east Asia is now being questioned by some ASEAN leaders.

The Department of Justice in the US (DoJ), in particular Loretta Lynch, was in touch with Zeti through third parties not only tracking but perhaps also conspiring with her and others to set up Datuk Seri Najib and to implicate him in a scandal of their making.

ZETI-PERJURY AND DELIBERATELY MISLEADING THE COURTS

Zeti’s silence thus far has only assisted in implicating her more deeply in what appears to be a criminal conspiracy and a seditious one at that directed against not just Datuk Seri Najib Razak but also the Malaysian government.

With the revelation that her husband Tawfiq Ayman was in possession of a not insignificant portion of the 1MDB money, her culpability in the 1MDB conspiracy cannot be washed away or ignored through her silence or a wall of lawyers defending her misconduct.

Zeti will either have to come clean and answer honestly before a court, her willful silence and refusal to make voluntary disclosure during the trial and by that misleading the court in the 1MDB matter or go to jail for contempt and perjury. By her silence she may well have also committed the offence of perjury.

If the government and the courts refuse a motion now for a mistrial in the 1MDB matter against Najib Razak with the benefit of the MACC evidence, the integrity of the courts in Malaysia already damaged by reputation will suffer even further.

The government, it is said has no credibility left anyway. But the courts must act independently given the opportunity they now have with the MACC revelation to redeem themselves.

The courts must be seen to be independent of government. But will they stand up for themselves and be true to their creed?

ALL ROADS LEAD TO UMNO BARU SLUSH FUNDS

A CULTURE OF GREED AND CORRUPTION INSTITUTIONALIZED

It never ceases to amaze as to how corrupt and reckless many in government can be. And when I say government I mean UMNO Baru.

Datuk Seri Najib’s farcical corruption trial as well as the trials of his wife Datin Rosma Mansor and the trial of Ahmad Zahid Hamidi  all have one thing in common. The source of the corrupt funds is alleged to have come from UMNO if you listen to the prosecution. That is what the prosecution is trying to prove.

And although in the case of this trio, if it were independently heard by an impartial judge, may not be provable on the “facts” before the courts, the judge in the 1MDB trial concluded that DS Najib is guilty.

It is highly probable now that Datin Rosma Mansor and Ahmad Zahid Hamidi will likely also be found guilty on the same basis that the trial judge in DS Najib’s trial found him guilty of the charges he faced.

Now here’s what confronts the prosecution. The prosecution has a whiff of the smell of decay but it is unable to and has not found the decaying corpse to support its case of corruption against,for the present, DS Najib. It is circumstantial evidence they rely on. Even then that circumstantial evidence is very thin. Why?

The prosecution is reliant on certain facts and the evidence of certain persons and their documents which have been conveniently excluded by the court or that they simply simply can’t be found or compelled by the court to be produced or to attend to testify.

No one from the prosecution or government will touch the real evidence with a barge pole because the evidence points to the billions of dollars in slush funds, Dr. Mahathir wanted diverted to his projects even after he left office. And to go after that pot of gold now smelling like a rotting corpse is to unravel the rot and financial corruption within UMNO Baru on a monumental scale. IT has at various times infected the opposition (yes the religious parties and the DAP too have been recipients of UMNO Baru’s largesse over the years).

The prosecution will urge the judges to find each of these individuals “guilty”. Each of them will then file appeals. Those appeals will run into years of court room dramas, submissions, counter submissions, reviews and stale evidence by which time witnesses will either fall out of high rise buildings, be found strangled in banana plantations or the evidence will become irrelevant and the case difficult to prove.

FROM TRIUMPH OF MERDEKA FROM TRUST TO TREASON

The involvement in UMNO Baru’s corruption and its gatekeeper in many instances are eminent persons in various honorary government positions sitting comfortably on the boards of many large government or government linked corporations on a sinecure in sworn silence .

The Malays and in fact all other communities placed their faith in UMNO believing all Malays and successive leaders of UMNO would be imbued with the natural qualities of Tunku Abdul Rahman. Not so after one look at UMNO in the years that followed Merdeka.

Zeti, a privileged non Malay whose pedigree was built on marriage into a royal household (although not alone in this regard) is under investigation by US authorities as part of a wider investigation into the funding of radical Islamic groups and to the group behind the USS Cole bombing and 9/11.

This much we are able to reveal, having spoken to one of several law firms acting for the victims of 9/11. Zeti relies on her royal pedigree and her late father’s reputation as an academic to indemnify herself from her shameful conduct as most royals tend to do with a wink and a nod from UMNO Baru (courtesy of Dr. Mahathir’s precedents laid in holding royalty to ransom).

PUBLIC MONEY-PRIVATE BENEFIT

Thus far what DS Najib and his wife face are mere allegations not the subject of irrefutable proof of corruption. They are allegations the subject of circumstantial evidence against each of the defendants.

Having money in your bank account is not a criminal offence. Transferring money from any account into a recipients bank account without their knowledge or authority is an offence if that money is tainted with a crime.

Everyone knows where the billions of dollars that went into projects, transfers, transactions in most corruptions have come from, yet no one in the prosecution or even in the defence including Bank Negara wants to ‘bell the cat’ by calling out the sources and disclosing the records of these transfers and transactions. Yeoh Tiong Lay according to the South Morning Post written some time back was the recipient of several hundreds of millions of dollars courtesy of the Malaysian government (read Petronas) and UMNO Baru’s coffers and guarantees.

The South China Morning Post article of more than 10 years ago identified the Mahathir government as being the benefactor of Yeoh Tiong Lay and his group in their purchase of power stations, large construction contracts domestically and abroad and of government guarantees (similar to that used to prop up Air Asia today) to fund these large “investments”. And the truth is that the likes of Zeti knew or were legally bound to know about the trail of government and UMNO Baru money being channeled unlawfully to benefit private companies and individuals at public expense. Public money (UMNO Baru, Petronas and the government), Private benefit (YTL, Air Asia, Anand Krishnan, Vincent Tan and others).

All of these guarantees and ‘loans’ (largesse of Mahathir’s government) without proper parliamentary scrutiny, reporting or disclosures that were required under law for such transactions and ‘favours’. Why was there no corruption probe and subsequent trial into any of these transactions by UMNO Baru or their supporter beneficiaries of UMNO Baru and Mahathir’s government ?

UMNO Baru is coming under increasing scrutiny and heat to explain the unauthorised flow of money from Petronas, UMNO Baru’s coffers to individuals and politicians and their side kicks over the past 7 decades.

The qualifications of someone like Rafidah Aziz to sit on Air Asia’s board, the right of wealthy Chinese and Indian businessmen to benefit from billions of dollars of cheap loans from UMNO Baru’s treasure chest whilst many Malays and the national economy go begging for scraps, flies squarely in the face of the claim that only Malays are privileged in Malaysia.

There is ample material on the Mahathir years, on the Bank Negara Malaysia and the Bank Bumi scandal, the Port Klang Free Trade Zone, Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia and other large scale projects funded with government money approved by government (under UMNO Baru) compiled and researched by “a large media organization of investigative journalists” which could blow many in Malaysia’s government (and its opposition) out of the water. But they won’t because there is a sinister hand at play behind the seemingly unnoticed corruption that riddles Malaysia.

MALAYSIA WILL FAIL BEFORE IT GETS BETTERMORE TROUBLE LIES AHEAD

There is a view and one that cannot be ignored that significant pressure has been exerted on the ICIJ (International Consortium of Independent Journalists) by the US state department and certain powerful individuals and governments not to release any of the information they hold on Malaysia’s institutionalized corruption from the Mahathir years. There is good reason for it.

George Soros and the Clinton Foundation (currently being wound up too late) who backs the ICIJ want to demolish the real UMNO (as opposed to UMNO Baru) by completely destroying Datuk Seri Najib and his wife first.

THE ROMANIAN EXPERIMENTNAJIB AND ROSMA

Demonize them first then destroy them.

Soros’ first experiment in mobilizing opposition by using significant minorities (Gypsies or Roma and Hungarians of Transylvania) in Romania into a lethal movement that toppled the Caucescue government.

The immediate aftermath of that mob rampage funded and fuelled by Soros and the CIA was a frenzied mock trial (completely illegal and unconstitutional) of the Caucescues. what followed was a media celebrated lynching of Caucescue and Elena before a hastily assembled firing squad. The Romanian experiment turned Romania into a case study for Soros and the CIA to be repeated the world over in from Yugoslavia to Tunisia, from Egypt to Thailand, from Malaysia to Hong Kong where only the Asians managed to stave off the influence of Soros and the CIA because of China’s covert intervention and some resistance from locals.

Bersih and the other 80 or so Soros/ US funded regime changers have not quite finished with DS Najib. They have run UMNO from behind the scenes using their agents of influence like those who sit on boards of large corporations and influence the destruction of Malaysia’s economy.

Unless the Malays and concerned UMNO supporters raise their voices in the trials of DS Najib, Datin Rosma and Zahid, all of them (the Malays) the Malays are doomed to return to the days of peons and drivers for the wealthy Malays and Chinese.

A real fear is that DS Najib and Rosma will be turned against each other. Najib’s star is rising. No one wants him to be leader again lest he unleash his revenge on those who betrayed him and the country.

Nicola and Elena Caucescue were in the process of spring cleaning their government when Gorbachev’s political recklessness gave Soros and the CIA the opportunity to engage in their own spring cleaning in Romania and use Romania as their lab for regime change. For a time they succeeded.

How Deep was UMNO Baru’s Role in Funding 9/11 and the USS Cole Bombing?

As the controversy into Bank Negara’s handling of black money laundered through secret banking destinations like Singapore hots up domestically, its failure to report billions of dollars of suspicious transactions that flowed through it has investigators abroad from as far away as Israel and the US taking a closer look into the Bank and its former governor Zeti Akhtar Aziz.

It is widely known though not necessarily in Malaysia, that Khalid Amdhilar, Nawaf Alhazmi and two others identified as two of the 9/11 plotters stayed with a former major of the Royal Malaysian Armed Force in Cheras on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur prior to 9/11.

What is not as widely known is that 4 US intelligence agencies, amongst these the FBI and the CIA were actively trailing 6 of the Arab hijackers of the 9/11 aircraft in Kuala Lumpur trailing them and monitoring all of their local movements and contacts.

The 9/11 commission report out of sheer embarrassment avoided any direct mention of the intelligence operations in any great length or depth for two specific reasons.

The CIA and FBI both had the opportunity to nab the hijackers in either Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok after they split into 2 groups upon leaving Malaysia. They failed to do so.

The FBI and the CIA in competing to take credit for capturing the Arab hijackers (as wanted men) in the process, failed to share vital information about the Arab extremists, their movements, whereabouts and any intelligence about their activities and networks in Kuala Lumpur, Manila and Bangkok between themselves.

It was a fatal and disastrous element of pettiness on the part of the intelligence agencies which also exposed their weaknesses, this being the second reason.

However lawyers acting for the families of victims of 9/11 assisted by former operatives of the CIA and the FBI have begun to work to uncover Bank Negara’s negligence, Zeti’s (and her colleagues)failures and those of the Malaysian government under UMNO Baru in the process.

This is now an inescapable feature of the Zeti Bank Negara axis that demands investigation into Bank Negara and how it operated under Zeti. The unauthorised, unlawful transfer of large amounts of money in suspicious transactions from 2000-2016 at least when Zeti was in charge of the Bank cannot now be ignored.

Zeti can’t simply wash her hands of these transactions now because she has already assisted the government in disclosing DS Najib’s personal banking transactional details and transactions said to be connected to it and 1MDB.

She can’t be selective about what she realeses and what she does not unless of course there are matters of state security involved. And if they are, parliament must be informed of it first to determine whether the Bank and Zeti are justified in refusing to release important documentary evidence evidening large suspicious financial transactions. And there have been many.

The purpose of that meeting in Kuala LUmpur between the 6 Arab extremists and others meeting at that place in Cheras in 2000 was to plan amongst other things, the final stages of the attack on the twin towers and the attack on the USS Cole. That intelligence is not going anywhere in a hurry.

The flow of funds to various “Islamic charities” and “foundations” was channeled through ‘donours’ in Malaysia. Petronas and UMNO are not just believed but known to have been on the FBI’s radar in this regard  at the time. But the FBI failed to inform the CIA and the money trail was not properly investigated then.

Malaysia resisted any inquiry at the time into either of the Saudis who came to Malaysia or the financial transactions (quite large) out of Malaysia to Singapore and other foreign banks at the time. There are reasons for it.

Investigators and lawyers in the US on behalf of the families of 9/11 victims and Israeli investigators are known to be still on the trail of a group of Malaysian and Singaporean bankers and at least 2 cabinet ministers of the Malaysian government who at the time arranged for large amounts of money (purportedly diverted from Petronas) paid to Arab extremist groups as ‘donations’ just prior to 9/11. Bank Negara covered up those transactions. And theyn were not acting alone.

Bank Negara knew or ought to have questioned the source and purpose of those funds and transactions at the time because it involved the transfer of large amounts of cash from Malaysian banks to hitherto unknown recipients. However Bank Negara failed to report it or raise any suspicion about the transactions. There was no 9/11 anti terrorism laws in place at the time. But money laundering laws were in place.

Lawyers for the families of the 9/11 victims are believed to be hot on the trail of those transactions and those involved in it in Malaysia. They are being assisted by locals some from inside UMNO because of the large bounty available for such information. Thus far none of the lawyers representing the victims of 9/11 will publicly comment on the Malaysian connection inquiry except to say “inquiries are on going”.

Jack Abramoff the disgraced Washington based lobbyist for Malaysia was paid millions of dollars to keep any inquiry into the Malaysian connection into the USS Cole bombing and 9/11 away from the media and US investigators. Jack Abrahmoff was convicted and jailed in the US in 2006 for 6 years.

Abramoff collected money from Mahathir’s government to fund Jewish charities one of which included a sniper’s school in the west bank. He later went on to purchasing a $200,000,000 floating casino (partly funded by and UMNO subsidiary it is said).

The families of the victims of 9/11 are not going to let UMNO Baru or Mahathir or those who may have funded the 9/11 and USS Cole operations walk. Whether their involvement was intentionally or not -it is known that much of the money including funds to Abramoff was Petronas funds channeled illegally via members of UMNO Baru and bankers connected to them at the time.

It won’t be long before lawyers for the families of the victims of 9/11 come knocking at UMNO’s and Bank Negara’s door in search of details the Bank with held from investigators. Zeti Akhtar will have difficulty denying them an answer.

UMNO Baru and Zeti Akhtar Aziz have a lot to answer for their roles in money laundering for support of the 9/11 hijackers. She was once the darling of many in the US but not anymore. It is now becoming clearer why.

UMNO AT THE CROSSROADS (Pt 1)

A seismic seminal event occurred a few weeks ago on the way to the forum. Zeti Akhtar Aziz former controversial governor of Malaysia’s Central Bank  disclosed publicly certain facts about suspicious large financial transactions (SLFT) related to the 1MDB scandal whilst defending allegations that her family may have also been beneficiaries of that same scandal tainted money. But what about the other hundreds of millions of dollars in SLFT’s she had a duty to report but failed to?

At around the same time, the statesman prince Tenku Razaleigh Hamza a veteran of Malaysian politics, urbane, educated and highly respected, threw down the gauntlet to Malaysia’s largest political party the United Malay Nationalist Organization (now UMNO Baru) to validate their legitimacy in parliament  in a challenge to the late Justice Harun’s decision to invalidate the legitimacy of the original UMNO of 1946.

Mired for decades in controversy and corruption, the UMNO Tenku Razaleigh was confronting was not the UMNO of 1946. Instead his challenge was directed to the more recently created UMNO in its place UMNO Baru. UMNO Baru is the by product of a divisive and controversial former prime minister Dr. Mahathir Mohammed. The new UMNO although appropriating to itself the same acronym by which UMNO (1946) is known is not the same as the 1946 model.

UMNO Baru has dominated Malaysian politics for decades and has become a by word for financial scandals, tribalism and for having abandoned the economically disadvantaged and rural Malays. Not for good government. UMNO Baru is also characterized by the cult of patronage, corruption and scandal, and for leading the country into turmoil and to its first defeat in over 6 decades of government at the 2018 general elections.

Decades of internal squabbling within UMNO Baru, has crippled the machinery of government so much so that the judiciary, parliament and the reserve bank (Bank Negara) have all become mired in corruption in stark contrast to their sworn obligations to upholding the constitution, transparency, independence and integrity within the law. Neither parliament, Bank Negara nor the courts observe their respective obligations or honour their commitments to the people or to the constitution today.

Although volumes have been written about the sin of corruption engulfing government, none has yet come close to identifying with any degree of specificity, the source and nature of the problem in any substantive way.

Malaysia’s courts, its parliament and the legal system are in convulsion. Gripped by a paralysis of fear and ignorance, they each have to guess what their powers, limitations and roles are in a parliamentary democracy to simply survive. And if the courts, the legal system and parliament can’t get it right, you know the country is in trouble.

Tenku Razaleigh’s courage in standing up to the issues that confronts political instability in Malaysia is like rain upon a barren desert landscape. Unexpected yet subtle, it is welcomed for the promise it brings with it. The only reason UMNO Baru and the opposition have not yet responded to his speech is that they have been taken by surprise.

Delegitimization of the old UMNO and appropriation of its assets by UMNO Baru is on any reading of Justice Harun’s decision 30 years on is not only reversable and a bad decision but a seminal legal wrongdoing as well. That decision was conceptually flawed. A review of that decision will not only open up a can of worms, it will release the bats out of hell.

What’s been described by some observers as reclaiming the “Golden Fleece” snatched from the Malays some 30 years ago perhaps, lies at the root of UMNO’s internal problems. In truth it goes much further than that.

Zeti Akhtar Aziz holds the keys to resolving the other half of the equation at the core of Malaysia’s problems stemming from financial corruption. The Bank holds vital records to many SLFT’s executed in inexplicable circumstances, benefiting certain individuals and organizations which must see the light of day for scrutiny. That obligation on Zeti and the Bank is unavoidable.

A myriad of SLFT’s  that have never been previously reported by Bank Negara, which Zeti as governor ought to have known and reported remain ignored and undisclosed. Recent selective disclosures by her and the Bank appear to have been politically motivated.

The real fear that grips parliament, UMNO Baru and government from Zeti’s and Tengku Razaleigh’s separate though unintendedly convergent actions is this: that disclosures of SLSFT’s spanning decades, will reveal the extent of illegality and financial corruption on an industrial scale within government and UMNO Baru. And with such disclosures of the extent of corruption especially within UMNO Baru will bring the organization down.

Tengku Razaleigh and UMNO Baru are each acutely aware of that ticking timebomb within UMNO Baru and Bank Negara’s records since Zeti’s selective disclosure of those records relating to 1MDB.

This is Tunku Razaleigh’s nuclear option. UMNO Baru is vulnerable. The Bank Negara and in particular Zeti Akthar Azis is vulnerable to investigation on undisclosed financial transactions not only those relating to UMNO cronies, the Petronas transfers but also and more importantly those relating to funding of extremist Arab Islamist groups. The opposition can’t take any comfort in this situation as it too is vulnerable.

Tenku Razaleigh now confronts the damage done by Justice Harun’s decision to Malaysia’s majority, its Malays, in creating UMNO Baru (the refuge of the urban elite). This is a matter that’s been lying dormant at the heart and heat of an internecine decades old battle for that “Golden Fleece”, UMNO. The real UMNO and its vast asset base that is.

What can be implied from Tengku Razaleigh’s recent move is this. He has the keys to unlocking that door behind which lies a panacea for root causes of the nation’s woes. Exposing the naked truth of corruption. It is a relatively simple solution he offers to a complex web of problems. So what was it that caused Tengku Razaleigh to spit the dummy?

Fueling Tengku Razaleigh’s tour de force is that much maligned ‘elephant in the room’ Zeti’s explosive though selective disclosure of details of the 1MDB transactions which condemned DS Najib. Zeti’s disclosures of alleged financial impropriety by the former prime minister, the consequences of which she hardly expected or foresaw has exploded in her and in UMNO Baru’s hands.

Her disclosures has added to the impetus of Tengku Razaleigh’s drive to a clean-up politics and government and with it UMNO Baru and its political structure. Many of whom do not have a legal right to sit in parliament. Zeti’s disclosures on 1MDB has politicized the Bank and her role in it. The Bank and she are now bound to reveal the rest of the available evidence of years of suspicious LSFT’s from corrupt activities in the Bank’s possession. The disclosures will not rattle UMNO Baru alone. Opposition members seeking to benefit from such disclosures are themselves vulnerable.

COVID-19 ARE THE MALAYS AND GOVERNMENT TO BLAME?

There is an emergent consciousness developing amongst the rural and common people in Malaysia. They include the majority Bumiputera and non Malays who are neither rent seekers nor the urban ‘educated’ or affluent.

Most people are awakening to the tragic failure of government to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic effectively because of criminal interference by organized anti-social groups parading under the guise of ‘concerned Malaysians’ and NGO’s.

Malaysia overcame several epidemics in its history, many in truth pandemics, when it was a less developed nation in the 50’s and 60’s. There was malaria, typhoid, tuberculosis (TB), small pox, diphtheria, cholera and a host of other infectious and fatal diseases. These diseases killed off, mainly children and the under nourished.

Yet it was the humble local health officer, some trained abroad, who went village to village inculcating in people the need to isolate, to adopt better personal hygiene practices like washing their hands and boiling their drinking water. These public health officers were locals who responded to the call of duty and in pursuit of their professional obligations, reached out to the people. And it worked like clockwork.

They delivered and administered drugs and vaccines to the common folk. They educated rural communities in overcoming superstition, ignorance and fear associated with vaccines. The drive to eradicate these diseases succeeded. It was a bold effort without foreign funded NGO political interference and its success drew the attention of academics fromm various schools of tropical medicine. Yet we know little of these gallant footsoldiers of public health today.

Doctors were far and few in those days.

So what’s gone so terribly wrong with Malaysia’s approach to dealing with Covid-19 some 60 years later?

Today it seems that the more foreign degrees health professionals acquire, the less of an education from it they are able to demonstrate when dealing with pandemics or applying the sciences they are meant to have acquired from abroad. There is more focus amongst them on civil rights and the ‘right’ to refuse to conform, because some “will not be caught wearing a face nappy”.

In the midst of all of this is a seemingly ineffective rudderless government unable or unwilling to take those hard decisions by enforcing public health laws. They fear what foreign funded NGO’s and the liberals in the community may think or how they might react to harsh if necessary effective enforcement of public health rules.

In this context, it’s not just Asia, but the world that appears to have forgotten how Lee Kuan Yew would have dealt with the pandemic. Of course those chauvinistic and parochial observers in Malaysia will be  quick to point out that Lee was Chinese and use that as justification to demand a Chinese led government in Purtrajaya. But not so fast.

Lee Kuan Yew had good reason for not taking in every Chinese Malaysian who applied to migrate to Singapore in the 1960’s. He only accepted the best and brightest and left the racial chauvinists behind where they belonged.

The belief that the pandemic and its outcomes in Malaysia is a Malay government problem is about as credible as the perception that the pandemic was caused by the Chinese. It is a perception that’s gain ground worldwide. Thats the mind set that Lee fought to eradicate.

Tragically most of the problem today behind the spread and management of Covid-19 is due to politicization of the problem and a refusal even to the point of death to conform to controls because it is administered by a Malay government.

Breaches of public health preventative rules is often blamed on Malays alone. Much of it driven by foreign NGO’s their local representatives and non Malays using it as a tool to destabilize government and the Malays as a nation.

Malaysia continues to labour under the spread of a disease that even the worlds most advanced nations from the US, India, China, Europe and Israel aren’t able to completely control or eradicate.

To blame the Malays and government alone does not and will not help in the eradication of Covid-19.

IS THE KING BEING PROPERLY ADVISED?

The latest from the Istana Negara is that the Yang Di Pertuan Agong (YDPA) is to meet with the 114 candidates (all members of parliament in order to ascertain if the number of MP’s given to the YDPA in fact do support Ismail Sabri a contender for the vacant post of Prime Minister (PM).

Why would the YDPA do that? The YDPA has the prerogative power to appoint anyone he believes may have the confidence of the majority in the lower house of Parliament. The constitution does not require YDPA to be convinced that his decision will be correct or that he is required be accurate with his decision in this regard. The YDPA is by convention required to obtain the advise of a responsible minister of his government in such decisions as the appointment of a PM.

There is no place in parliament for members tied to their statutory declarations or sworn obligations to serve one side or the other. To do so or to give it legitimacy is to restrain and to fetter the freedom of choice and independence in decision making by parliamentarians who are sworn to uphold the constitution, the laws of the country, the YDPA and the office they hold. Now how could they achieve that if they are sworn to uphold the interests of a future PM or his party? How could the YDPA poorly advised retain his discretions if he is to stoop to the level of being a captive on an unconstitutional practice of ascertaining who in his discretion is likely to enjoy the confidence of the majority in the lower house. Tea leaf reading is allowed in these circumstances because it is a personal discretion of the YDPA.

Members of parliament are in fact sworn to advance the interests of their respective constituents and not those of their party. They do pledge alliance to their political parties because as a strategy, and out of political necessity, parties are convenient vehicles that serve as a collective of members with their numbers to advance common causes of their collective membership. The constitution does not give recognition to political parties, something not understood by Malaysians and many others elsewhere.

If Anwar or Ismail Sabri were to be appointed by the YDPA to the post of PM, they are not obliged by anyone, their constituents or the YDPA to call for a show of confidence in the incumbent in the office of PM on the floor of parliament in two weeks, three weeks or at all.

There is a procedure that allows for one or more of members of the parliament (even if in a majority) to force a motion of no confidence in the PM or the government. There is ample scope for the speaker to deny that motion. There is even more scope for the government of the day to deny the motion and or to call it off till perhaps one side secures a majority to force such a motion and succeed. Even then members could be sanctioned from the majority side for a number of reasons and their rights and privileges curtailed till such a motion as threatened has evaporated.

Going down this track one understands why it is incumbent on the YDPA to suspend parliament, appoint a firm hand in the position of PM and as commander of the armed forces, put troops on the streets as they have in Sydney and now Melbourne in Australia in order to combat the undisciplined mobs in public who breach the Covid lockdowns and are threatening the lives of others with infection.

The YDPA must show some spine. Otherwise the merry go round of musical chairs will continue to spin with people especially like Anwar Ibrahim threatening stability and encouraging lawlessness with his disturbances every time he inflicts a wound by his own incompetence in the interests of the US.

The YDPA has no business rewarding sedition unless he himself is a republican at heart.

A RESPONSE TO TOMMY THOMAS’S INTERPRETATION OF THE CONSTITUTION

WHY THE CONSTITUTION IS NOT LAW

The first step in attempting to interpret the Malaysian constitution is to understand that the Constitution is not a law in the strict legal sense of the word. This is because the constitution is not the command of the sovereign.

A breach of law on the other hand carries with it punitive sanctions . e.g if for instance the Constitution were a law, then if the Prime Minister does not resign for reasons he is alleged to have breached the Constitution; or where the Sovereign fails to dismiss the prime Minister, (which in truth he is able to) then (if the Constitution were a law) there would be punitive sanctions to follow its breach as a consequence.

That consequence would be that they go to jail or are fined or demoted in rank or office for their breach. That’s the difference between laws and the Constitution.

The Constitution is a set of rules that regulates how the 3 arms of government discharge their duties individually or collectively towards each other, citizens and other institutions of government.

The Constitution generally provides as to how these institutions are to discharge their functions and powers amongst each other and in their own right, within the rules of that sacred overarching doctrine “The Separation of Powers”.

Within the Constitution and under Malaysia’s style of constitutional government, as it is in the case with Britain’s constitution, there are 3 powerful institutions. The Executive branch, the Courts (the Judiciary) and the Legislature. Much like the Christian expression of the Holy Trinity, the father the son and the holy spirit. 3 persons in one God but not 3 gods. And as it is with the case of the Holy Trinity, one of the 3 is more powerful than the other two. But there is harmony between them each knowing full well that to disturb the harmony of the unity is to undermine the collective power of them all.

UNDERSTANDING THE WESTMINSTER CONSTITUTION

The second, more troubling aspect of interpreting the Malaysian Federal Constitution is the need for academics, jurists and parliamentarians alike to understand the British constitution, its conventions and the framework out of which Malaysia’s own Constitution was carved out. They don’t. Why? Because at the foot of every constitution are its conventions. Not all of it imported from Britain, but in Malaysia’s case at least most of it had to be and incorporated into the federal Constitution. This is simply because much of Britain’s constitution is largely unwritten because it is underwritten by its conventions.

Britain it is said has no written constitution. A fallacy of sorts. It has no single written document which can be referred to as its constitution. It has over 400 separate documents in legislative and treaty form that comprises their constitution apart from the numerous conventions which have evolved over the years. And all of these 400 or so documents are underpinned by the conventions which include the reserve (or prerogative) powers of the sovereign- In Malaysia’s case it is the Yang Di Pertuan Agong (and parliament) who wield these powers. In simple terms they are like a veto in the Yang Di Pertuan Agong’s hands.

In Malaysia the Constitution is further problematic and these problems are amplified by the lack of any formal guide to constitutional interpretation. Not in a codified documentary form on the subject nor by reference to it in the Constitution itself. This creates the myriad of problems we are witness to today in skewed commentary from academics, jurists, lawyers and from the former Attorney General Tommy Thomas.

TOMMY THOMAS ‘CONSTITUTIONAL EXPERT’

Thomas is said by some to be a ‘Constitutional expert’. Yet he demonstrates nothing of constitutional knowledge or his claimed expertise beyond his shallow attempt at explaining the Agong’s obligations (which they are not) in the context of the current constitutional controversies raging within government in Malaysia.

Thomas is said by some to have been the man credited with advising Dr. Mahathir on his resignation paving the way for Muyhiddin the current Prime Minister to assume the position of Prime Minister on Dr. Mahathir’s resignation. A stroke of genius by some a an unmitigated disaster by others.

Tommy has penned a piece today 5 August 2021 which is circulating in social media offering his advise and interpretations of the Constitution presumably to the Yang Di Pertuan Agong.

Constitutional interpretation in Malaysia’s courts is at best confusion. In other instances it is inconsistent and unpredictable.

THE POWER OF THE SOVEREIGN TO APPOINT AND DISMISS A PM

Legally in the UK the Queen has the power to appoint whomsoever she wishes to be her prime minister. Convention has it that she will appoint a member of the lower house who SHE believes is likely to command the confidence of the majority in the lower house. Indeed she has the legal power to appoint whomsoever she wants.  Whilst this may be the formal legal position it is convention and out of political necessity that she will appoint someone who is likely (not someone who has) the support or the majority of the lower house.

Now here’s why. Firstly Turpin and Tomkins (British government and constitution) quite correctly state that there is no legal requirement in the UK for there to even be at all times a prime minister. The Queen is ‘invited’ by one of her responsible ministers in the government to exercise her prerogative to appoint someone they may advise her on her choice of prime minister. There is no compulsion on the part of the Queen or YDPA under this conventions of the constitution to appoint a member of the lower house on the advise of their ministers.

Even if that convention is to be upheld, who then is a ‘responsible minister” in context to advise the Queen? In the case of the Whitlam sacking, it was members of the opposition in the lower house that advised the Queen through her Governor General to dismiss the prime minister Gough Whitlam. The Queen of course and for good reason 50 years later claims she was not aware of the moves to sack Gough Whitlam nor was she according to the palace advised of it.

NO SUCH THING AS A BACKDOOR PM

To make the point clearer in the current crisis in Malaysia there is something more to consider;

Teresa May and Boris Johnson are by Malaysia’s opposition’s reckoning ‘backdoor prime ministers’ whatever that slogan means. It is without doubt a manufactured slogan for the ignorant by the ignorant because to assume office in the circumstances Boris Johnson, Teresa May and Muyhiddin did is neither unlawful nor unconstitutional. It is perfectly acceptable, legal and part of constitutional government; and there is ample precedent in the commonwealth and in Britain for such appointments.

This manufactured outrage against the appointment of Muyhiddin is simply a backlash from a group of malcontents because prime minister Muyhiddin did not lead the party in the last general elections to a win (as was the case of Teresa May and Boris Johnson and many more like them). Nor was Harold Wilson a ‘backdoor prime minister‘ even though Edward Heath had a larger support base than he had in parliament.

The Queen realizing what a narrow majority a Prime Minister like Edward Heath could result in, as opposed to a good one at the helm, appointed Harold Wilson in preference to Heath. Her appointment of Wilson over Heath was in the exercise of her prerogative. No one shouted “backdoor government” in Britain then nor did they when Boris Johnson took over from Teresa May.

Much of this and differences between how the British and Malaysians think in this regard is that parliamentarians in the UK believe in and understand the doctrine/ concept of responsible government. In Malaysia it appears very few (if any) subscribe to or understand that doctrine and the term. And they are not all in parliament.

Mahathir put paid to that concept with his dictatorial “to hell with the Constitution” government of 20 years. Many of those who support Anwar fail to realize that Anwar is no real alternative prime minister. He is the other side of the Mahathir coin. Two peas in a pod.

The Gordon Brown/ Cameron example inspite of their majorities in parliament suffered similar problems as did Teresa May and in some respects Boris Johnson today. It is no easy task interpreting the constitution. Especially one as incomplete and poorly drafted as the Malaysian Constitution is.

NO GOVERNMENT HAS THE ENDURING SUPPORT OF ITS MEMBERS ALL THE TIME

No government can claim to have the enduring support of the majority in parliament. They may have so at given times but not all the time. There is no static support for the Prime Minister in any government that lasts for the duration of the parliamentary term. That’s one reason why the royal prerogative is necessary.

For instance in hung parliaments and in small majority parliaments, certain bills can and do split the house. MP’s often cross the floor on conscience votes. Such events if and when they occur provides an example of a tacit if not an express fall or withdrawal in support of the government or the prime minister. Yet it has only in extreme circumstances led to a fall in government or necessitated the sovereign’s intervention to dissolve parliament. It happens everywhere, it happens all the time.

As Lord Radcliff said  in Adegbenro vs Akintola

British constitutional history does not offer any but a general negative guide as to the circumstances in which a sovereign can dismiss a prime minister…………………….Discussion of constitutional doctrine bearing upon a Prime Minister’s loss of support in the House of Commons concentrates therefore upon a prime minister’s duty to ask for liberty to resign for a dissolution, rather than the sovereigns right of removal, an exercise which is not regarded as being within the scope of practical politics”.

It is not for individual or collective parliamentarians to dictate to the sovereign what his powers ought to be or how it ought to be exercised. It is for the sovereign to decide whether or not he should adhere to the advise of his ministers even if the Constitution and conventions stipulate he should.

If the sovereign’s discretion is subject to the whims and dictates of any other authority or power he is no longer sovereign nor his discretions discretionary.

Again Turpin and Tomkins: The Queen has the prerogative to dismiss “her ministers” individually or collectively. The legal power is overlaid by convention. In practice though the fate of individual ministers is in the hands of the prime minister. Although in extreme cases as a last resort the prime minister could advise the sovereign to exercise their discretion or prerogative power to dismiss a minister.

However this does not mean the sovereign has to adhere to or follow the advise of the prime minister. It is pragmatic political reality that will drive the sovereign to exercise their reserve or prerogative powers. Not a lynch mob of disrespectful MP’s or opportunistic government members.

To continue to force the Yang Di Pertuan through social media, street marches even when these are forbidden and to manufacture constitutional interpretation and its meaning is to invite not only republican revolt, against the Yang Di Pertuan Agong. It also threatens to demolish the institution of the monarchy and the very cornerstone of the parliamentary democratic government Malaysia enjoys.

This is an attempt to demolish the separation of power doctrine, whereby the Yang Di Pertuan Agong, the Courts and the Legislature remain separate independent entities exercising those checks and balances on each other independently which allows the system function in a practical and fair way however difficult that may be at times.

But without it, the prime minister becomes all powerful, the Agong powerless along with the Courts (something which has gained traction in the first and second government of Mahathir) and the legislature becomes the mere rubber stamp for a dictator.

Covid is not a justification for anything. The most scientifically advanced countries in the world have not dismissed their leaders or parliaments on the grounds of poor performance by their leaders to defeat Covid. India, the US, the UK, Spain, Italy or Brazil have all disputed the methods and means by which government have sought to end the pandemic or control it. No one has succeeded because if we knew what Covid really is, the problem would have ended a long time ago.

Tommy Thomas simply did not and still does not understand anything beyond very fundamental concepts of constitutional law. More disturbing is his demonstrated lack of knowledge of how the constitution works. And for that he was made for a short time, the Attorney General of Malaysia.

Its the Agong’s call or its a republican coup against the palace

The many interpretations of the constitution by academics and politicians in Malaysia in recent days is all about who should and who should not be prime minister in the context of the Yang Di Pertuan Agong’s powers  (King or YDPA). These discussions appears to be an exercise in intellectual skirmishes and navel gazing rather than in proper informed academic discourse.

A difficulty in achieving consensus, consistency and predictability in interpreting Malaysia’s constitution, is explained in Andrew Harding’s “The Constitution of Malaysia”. In one of the chapters of his book he correctly and succinctly addresses the core problem that exists with Malaysia’s constitution. It is to be found in a fundamental flaw arising from a critical omission by drafters of the Malaysian constitution.

Malaysia’s constitution suffers from a fundamental drafting oversight, a defect, in so far as the constitution makes no mention nor provides a guide to constitutional interpretation. There is no legislation either codifying the critical subject of constitutional interpretation or even mentioning it in the constitution. The result is that when judges are seized with a constitutional problem in Malaysia, they approach it as if it were an ordinary piece of legislation as if it were the penal code, the family law act or the corporation’s law.

The preamble to the Malaysian constitution may refer to the constitution as the “supreme law of the land” which  in truth is an American import rather than a factual description of what the constitution really is.

A law (if the constitution is indeed a superior law) is defined as a command of the sovereign (either in parliament or by the King himself) the breach of which carries with it punitive sanctions. None of these qualities are evident in the Malaysian constitution nor can it be supported by the confused rhetoric advanced by Malaysian academics, commentators or jurists alike.

Secondly, Malaysia’s constitutional framework was imported from Britain as was Fiji’s, India’s Sri Lankas, Nigeria’s and Granada’s as an example. The constitution itself necessarily imports the conventions of the British constitution (the unwritten parts of it). At the feet of every constitution is laid the conventions that effectively underpin its foundations.

In the case of the Malaysian and other commonwealth constitutions they are necessarily pinned down by the conventions imported from the English model without which these other constitutions in their written form are meaningless and profoundly unstable. In Malaysia’s case the absence of the constitutional interpretation contributes to this problem of confusion in interpretation.

The YDPA’s prerogative powers are quite potent and powerful in that are the residual powers of a King which although over time may have fallen into disuse like the Queen’s have, if revived in certain exceptional circumstances may override parliament, the executive branch and judiciary and all their individual and collective powers.

The appointment of a prime minister during a parliamentary term is the prerogative of the YDPA to exercise. Similarly the appointment of a candidate elected or otherwise to the post of prime minister is the prerogative power of the YDPA, although such a precedent has not been identified in Malaysia’s very recent history and its experience with its Anglican constitution as imposed on a largely non Christian polity.

It is not necessary (although the convention) that the party with most seats in parliament will necessarily have the prime minister of the day appointed by the YDPA from its ranks. This follows on from the British constitution and its conventions. And if the history of such exceptional events is to be scrutinized it is not difficult to understand why this makes sense.

The conventions of the constitution are lodged between the enumerated, express, implied and concurrent powers of the YDPA, the states, the executive and parliament. Many Malaysian commentators on the federal constitution rely on those express powers written into the constitution as a document, whilst ignoring the power, depth and significance of the YDPA’s extensive reserve powers in the conventions.

In the context of the current attempts by members of a dysfunctional and unruly opposition to unseat the current prime minister, lies a group of malcontents bent on diluting the powers of the YDPA and the Raja Raja Melayu to create a republic which will in fact displace the Malays, their rights and privileges. That is their fundamental objective. It is to disassemble the protection of their religion (Islam) and their cultural links with the Raja Raja Melayu in order to weaken the Malays as a whole. It is designed to destroy the deeply rooted cultural link between the Malays as a society and to their protectors reposited in the YDPA and the Raja Raja Melayu in the constitution.

The caravan of Lawan and the Berish’s, all of whom whilst espousing the virtues of a foreign funded revolution and republicanism in Malaysia and claim to be aspirants to greater democratic freedoms, represent neither in numbers, nor the strength, nor the values and virtues of that vast cross section of Malaysian they claim to represent.

These are but late converts to the notion of liberal democracy. Having only lately acquired the veneer of disruptive liberal democracy from the west which they have read via social media or during their student days in the west now attempt to deceive with their unlawful street protests and poison letters from the King as if these are original concepts of their own making. Far from it.

Oddly enough these same western nations who spawned these ‘revolutionary’ concepts now seek to discard them in favor of something more authoritarian and race centric especially in Europe and the US.

In Malaysia they promote such political culture via Lawan and Berish via the same tired and discredited warhorses like Ambiga, Anwar, Marina and her fallen father idol Tun Dr. Mahathir. And there is no shortage of converts to ape the west of 30-40 years ago now presented to us in these small but loud enclaves – Again Lawan and Bersih.

When circumstances make it convenient for them the Anwars and Mahathirs (two rotten peas in a pod) they publicly embrace the pluralism and inclusive models of democracy. And when not, mass arrests and riotous and illegal assemblies of destabilization follow. (Mahathir, Anwar and 20 years of Mahathirsm). They embrace these political concepts of democracy and constitutional government (even though they do not quite understand it sufficiently for them to speak authoritatively about the subject, whilst their record in government supports the practice of fascism, totalitarianism and dictatorial government (Mahathir’s admissions in 2018).

Inspite of it all, Malaysia urban elitists the so called educated go along with the hollow rhetoric of the likes of Anwar and Mahathir not realizing how it damages their intellectual, moral and academic integrity in the process.

As for Anwar and Mahathir the words of English Postmaster General in 1911(then a cabinet post), Charles Hobhouse come to mind immediately: “Ill mannered, boastful, unprincipled and without any redeeming features”.

If Malaysians falls for the same trick twice, there’s something for them to consider;

fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”

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