TENGKU ABDUL AZIZ ON CORRUPTION
“I am absolutely convinced that transforming the administration is not only
desirable, but absolutely essential if this country is to succeed in claiming its right to a seat at the top table, among the clean nations that will shape the future of the world”.
Tengku Abdul Aziz at the Australian Corporate Lawyers Association delivering their International Keynote Address at their 2010 Conference at the Sydney Hilton.
Oddly enough for a subject the centre of so much discussion in Malaysia and abroad, Corruption as an offence has no clear legislative definition in Malaysia law. Instead and in place of precise drafting in legislation to deal with an issue so divisive, the subject of so much debate and anger within Malaysia, is an amorphous, meaningless and ineffective document titled The Anti-Corruption Act of 1997.
A quick glance through the definitions in that Act would lead one to conclude that a meaning for the word corruption in the Act could only be found by trawling through English dictionaries and the volumes of cases in the common law. Absent both these tools to aid in defining the term corruption, reliance must be had on a whole matrix of facts applied in context to determine what corruption really means in Malaysia.
What is beyond doubt and with the benefit of the common law (and case law) is that ‘corruption’ as an offence is broadly speaking, the giving and the taking of bribes to procure from a public official favours otherwise available on the basis of merit. Or in the alternative it is the obtaining of privilege or favour through inducement including though not limited to pecuniary or monetary inducement.
Is it then moral turpitude? Is it decadence, is it impairment of moral integrity? If so then whose morals should apply? Interestingly a defence to the charge of corruption available in the Australian anti corruption legislation against a charge of corruption abroad is ‘custom’.
Corruption is a word that could mean many things to many people in a variety of situations. A common definition is the abuse of institutional power for a personal purpose.
There are many many more definitions but in the absence of legislative definition it remains as elusive a definition subject to personal interpretation corrupting its meaning giving opportunists like the Tengku the chance to offer that ultimate insult to those he despises without reason. That includes his own country, its government and its people.
The Tengku before addressing this peak professional body of corporate lawyers in Australia should have conducted some very basic research and fact checks in order that he could have at least protected himself against fall out from his defamatory self-destructive tirade against the Malaysian government in true DAP opposition style.
Instead the Tengku adumbrates his position and his views on corruption by having publicly made allegations of corruption in Malaysia’s government without a shred of evidence or reference to any authoritative source to support his claims.
Seeing as he chose the source and support of much of the scourge of corruption in government in Asia, as his platform to deliver his contumely against Malaysia it may be worth delving into some of his hosts recent history, its character and report card when it comes to the issue of corruption.
It is relevant an issue, considering his hosts appear in his words to have supported or at least acknowledged the substance of his claims embracing his crusade not against corruption as it would seem but his anti Malaysian government rhetoric.
THE HILTON AS BACKDROP FOR A BOMBSHELL OF LIES
There could not have been a more appropriate venue for a gathering of the faithful than the Hilton Hotel in Sydney. Taking into account the tone of the Tengku, the content of his keynote address the allegations he made therein demands a befitting response.
The Sydney Hilton Hotel one would recall was the site of Australia’s most notorious terrorist incident. A bomb placed in the garbage bin outside that hotel exploded on the morning of 13 February 1978. In the hotel at the time were a large number of leaders of the commonwealth, presidents and prime ministers all there to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting better known by its acronym CHOGM. The casualties of that blast were not least of all Australia’s security intelligence apparatus ASIO and the Federal Police of Australia. Both organizations would later come under public suspicion for framing 5 individuals, members of a sect, the Ananda Marga, outlawed in India but not in Australia.
The Ananda Marga had a number of Australian followers. 5 of them were falsely implicated, charged and in a show trial found guilty of placing that bomb outside the Hilton hotel, detonating it killing 3 people and wounding 7 including a garbage collector and a policeman.
A subsequent inquiry would uncover evidence that would implicate the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Security Intelligence Organization both of which lied to the courts, manufactured evidence and framed the 8 accused falsely convicted of the crime.
DR MUHAMMED HANEEF ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE TENGKU’S IDEA OF TRANSPARENCY AND GOOD GOVERNMENT AND JUSTICE
30 Years later the Australian Federal Police would repeat its now well publicized practice of framing people it harbours a hatred for like the Ananda Margies were in 1978, by framing Indian born Gold Coast doctor Muhammed Haneef. Haneef was falsely charged with being a terrorist possessing a sim card linked to his cousin allegedly involved in the failed plot to bomb Glasgow airport that year.
The truth revealed not long after the event of Haneef’s arrest that Howard government minister Kevin Andrews who held the relevant portfolio for the matter had been briefed about weakness in the police case against Haneef and the evidence it was presenting to the media in support of the charges against Haneef. Regardless Andrews went ahead knowing all the time Haneef was innocent of any crime he was charged with. Andrews was and remains like Phillip Ruddock minister of immigration at the time a Christian fundamentalist or extremist. Both being rabidly anti Islamic.
HOW FAR IS FAR ENOUGH- WHAT DOES THE TENGKU CALL CLEAN
Julian Moti was attorney general in a fiercely independent Solomon islands when anti Chinese riots broke out in the island state in 2004-5. Many of the Chinese residents in the island apart from being illegal immigrants, ran illegal brothels, casinos, loan shark operations and were prolific illegal loggers.
Many of these illegals and their businesses were interests associated with Malaysian Chinese. Others still were newer arrivals from mainland China in waves like the “yellow hoardes” predicted by former Australian Prime Minister Robert Gordon Menzies. Today 27,000 illegals from China are scattered with Australia’s consent and silent approval in Papua New Guinea.
Moti an Australian lawyer of Fijian Indian parentage refused to buckle under Australian government pressure to rein in his prime minister and cabinet and their apparent anti Australian anti Chinese political stance.
The government of Manasseh Sogavereh had adopted not an anti Australian or anti Chinese stance, but like most Pacific states merely wanted to reduce their dependence on Australia and adopt a look north policy much like Malaysia’s look east policy under Dr. Mahathir Mohamed. This was seen as an act of treason and a threat to regional security, the security being that of Australia’s avaracious commercial interests.
Moti was charged with child sex offences. The case took a sinister turn when the alleged victim who spoke only French and her native language (in Vanuatu) made allegations that the Australian Federal Police had paid her and her family to testify against Moti in court.
David Marr biographer of Lee Kuan and investigative writer wrote:
“six disturbing statements [the complainant] made over … four months. All are in English, though it appears she only spoke French. None was in her own writing. None was sworn. The underlying story doesn’t change from statement to statement, but details are contradictory. Others appear fanciful. She claimed he had three testicles, but Port Vila GP Dr Frank Spooner would later examine Moti and concluded he had two…. Dates are changed; at one stage she withdrew her allegations entirely, then renewed them a few weeks later saying her previous statement was ‘not of my own free will’ and asked police to investigate. In several statements she described being beaten and raped by Moti but in others that she loved him. ‘I wanted to say that I love Julian Moti very much,’ she stated in March 1998. ‘He is a reach [rich] man he can take me anywhere I wanted and this is my belief of my future with Julian because he is so kind “
A rabid anti Muslim anti Asian now pro Chinese government was in power in Australia at the time of Moti being charged. That government in Canberra relied on the weak and pathetic support and unwarranted comments of apologists and informers, people made in the mould and character of our beloved Tengku Abdul Aziz but not Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Aziz appears to be a man without any semblance of self respect or dignity dancing hopelessley in the hands of his controllers a largely Chinese local polity on an extended leash from Singapore and perhaps Australia.
THE TENGKU OR IS IT DUNGGU?
Tengku Aziz is a Malay nobleman by birth as distinguished by his title Tengku. But that’s about the extent of his nobility it seems. He is a member of the DAP (Democratic Action Party) a Chinese dominated political party languishing in the political wilderness, a perennial frustrated and ineffectual opposition, a permanent fixture of Parliament occupying its opposition benches. In the DAP is a sprinkling of a few token Indians and disgruntled Malays like the Tengku.
The statement (at the top of this article) extracted from his address to the converted of an elite corps of Australia’s legal fraternity who according to the Tengku were in agreement with his many allegations and the substance of his message of corruption in Malaysia needs further examination.
At the outset the above statement is nothing more than an aspirational feel good statement devoid of any meaning in any given context. It is simplistic and smacks of the American ‘good guy bad guy’ rhetoric. But then again he was addressing Australia’s elite corps of corporate lawyers. And given the rich tapestry of corporate failures in Australia running into the billions of dollars of wasted and stolen shareholder funds, a speech like the Tengku’s would resonate quite loudly and approvingly finding acceptance in that crowd with little resistance or difficulty.
It is not the corporate failures alone that matter in a country as morally “unimpeachable” as Australia would have us believe it is that matters. It is also about the endemic and deeply entrenched systemic corruption across the spectrum of Australia’s corporate, religious, government and judicial bodies that makes the celebration of Tengku Aziz’s person, his comments at that forum and the stature accorded him by the legal fraternity there odd, if not a dangerous invitation to expose them for who they really are. And I willingly accept that invitation:
Aziz failed to with any degree of conviction identify a single instance of corruption in Malaysia for which he was able to show some degree of proof or reference that would have convinced anyone to act to remedy the situation he so desires.
The Tengku instead generously mouthed of his bile to an entertained and highly amused audience of racists that the country he comes from is corrupt. He failed to identify what he meant by corruption. His guests did ask nor did they alert him to the unique defences available at Australian law against a charge of ‘corruption’ committed abroad by Australians. Yet he claims they were all quite aware of the problem he spoke of and were largely in agreement with him (my words).
The Tengku drunk with the adulation showered on him by his hosts went a step further makig reference to the ‘waste‘ of public resources under Tun Dr. Mahathir and in particular was critical of the Tin Council debacle and currency speculation as espoused and propagated inaccurately by Barry Wain a Singapore think tank operative.
Wain is more than merely inaccurate in his book about Malaysia under Dr. Mahathir but also wilfully and deliberately off the mark as far as facts and events are concerned. He writes of events that occurred more than two decades ago of which much more has already been authoritatively written by a trader who firsthand was caught up in the heat of the boiler room behind the events he writes of . That trader being none other than Craig Copetas.
In Copetas’s diarised account of events then, the Chinese of Ipoh, Taiping and Singapore are implicated in undermining the Tin cartel with the help of the now infamous Marc Rich, American fugitive financier and law breaker on a grand scale. But that’s not what Tengku Aziz was briefed to do. His peony intellect overtook him, his feeble ambitions and his uncontrolled emotions in a rush to claim his 15 minutes of infamy.
Never let the truth get in the way of a good story Tengku, especially where your credibility as a Tengku, a politician and a human being is at stake.
There is an old saw that is appropriate for people like the Tengku: “You lie with dogs, you get fleas”.
PRISTINE, UNIMPEACHABLE AUSTRALIA TENGKU’S ROLE MODEL
Since the early 1990’s when recovery from the 1987 market crash of black Friday was in its infancy massive systemic frauds were perpetuated against innocent members of the public in Australia. These were acts of moral and statutory corruption by government operatives and respectable captains of industry, all of them ably aided by lawyers from this elite corps the Tengku addressed as keynote speaker. Amongst these were the following events committed by Australian government and private corporations aided ably by members of this elite corps;
a) HIH FAI Insurance failure
b) AMP an insurance giant pillaged through internal corruption resulting in a $15 million payout to the imported American CEO Trumbull as a parting gift for his failures out of public shareholder funds.
c) Jodee Rich, James Packer, Lachlan Murdoch and One Tel (their accountant). Two of Australia’s richest young men ripped off for hundreds of millions of dollars by the spouse of a lawyer for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission the peak regulatory body for corporate governance and compliance in Australia.
d) Alan Bond- winner of the America’s cup friend of prime ministers and governments who gave him favours out of the public purse became Australia’s best known and its most audacious bankrupt having stolen over a billion dollars from the public.
e) Collapse of the State Bank of Victoria then the State Bank of South Australia (the Jacobs Royal Commission)
f) Cheryl Kernot’s (Leader of the Australian Democrats and her long standing extra marital affair with Australia’s foreign minister Gareth Evans who presumably used his bedroom prowess to entice her to defect to the Australian labour party then dumjped her like and unwanted Christmas present.
g) Aboriginal Deaths in Custody (Police culpability not as bad as TBH and Kugan) There have been numerous abroiginal deaths in custody none of which has resulted in the conviction of the police in whose care they were at the time of their deaths. This includes the recent transportation of an aboriginal prisoner in a van, locked up in seering 100 degree heat through the desert in which van the man literally cooked to death.
h) Deporting our own? (QANTAS Stewardess Cornelia Row). Over zealous immigration officers deporting Australian citizens, arresting and keeping them in custody at immigration detention centres.
i) Rene Rivkin and the missing millions (Minister Graham Richardson and Ors) disgraced stock broker and financial advisor to lawyers and government ministers who turned out to be nothing more than a corrupt insider trader
j) The Governor General Archibishop Hollingworth (defending Child Sex Offenders)
k) Child abuse – Aboroginal deaths in custody)
l) Church abuse (the Catholics and Anglicans pay hundreds of millions in compensation)
m) Helen Demidenko (The Hand that signed the paper, but not the woman who wrote the book and collected the award- intellectual dishonesty)
n) Telstra under Ziggy Swikowski and Richard Li (a $4 billion scam involving public funds- no recriminations)
- o) BHP (Stern Hu, Beswick, Dai Hung, Cambodia and Utah)
p) Brian Burke (West Australian Premier Part 2 of an age old state sponsored scam)
q) The oil for food scandal involving Irak
r) Australian Wheat Board scandal paying off Saddam Hussein
s) NAB market manipulation (Homeside lending and its UK investments-“paying caviar for monkeys”)- billions of dollars of public funds lost. No recriminations
t) Australia’s own version of the US housing market collapse
u) State funeral for disgraced judge Jeff Shaw
v) Perverting the course of justice and lying by Federal Court Judge Einfeld
w) Jailing of Chief Magistrate Di Fingleton 2005 and its implications for Qld Judiciary and its legal system.
x) The Fitzgerald inquiry into corruption in Queensland- Commissioner Terrence Lewis-Robin Loh (1980’s).
The above is not an exhaustive list but a window sufficient to give one a small glimpse of the extent and nature of corruption in Australia. It however does provide a wide example much wider than one could ever imagine happening in Malaysia.
Amongst the many notable and very publicly confirmed events of corruption in the above list are events of state corruption, institutionalized corruption sanctioned by state inaction and corruption within the judiciary of Australia (a small sample).
It is a map of the extent of and the depth of corruption at every conceivable level in Australia which the Tengku sought to use as a platform to run down his own.
A noteworthy comment as to how corruption is perceived in a class divided society as ‘egalitarian’ Australia is the comment from the bench in the case against Sir Andrew Grimwade, who according to the judge should be spared a jail term because he had suffered public humiliation (reference its impact on him as a knight commander of the British Empire). Joe blogs the common man would have served a decade at least for ripping off the public to the tune of millions of dollars as Grimwade had been found guilty of doing.
There are several standards in Australia as to what constitutes an offence and what does not. Punishment varies according to one’s status in the closed clubs of the major cities and to ones ethnicity.
THE WORM IN GOVERNMENT
Al Grasby minister for immigration in the Whitlam government was found by the crime commission to have associated with the Griffith Mafia of drug peddlers and murderers, using his office to by pass the normal entrance requirements for immigrants from southern Europe.
Asian (read Chinese) syndicates had by the time Grassby left office infiltrated the Liberal National coalition and the Australian labour party for years. They continue to have a sinister and overbearing impact on decision making at local government levels in all of Australia’s major cities apart from now dominating prostitution with imported illegal underage Thai and Cambodian girls in numerous brothels scattered in the suburbs of Australia whilst 90% of drug mules caught at Australian customs check points are of Chinese descent.
Prior to Grassby’s misadventures being discovered by an over enthusiastic and xenophobic Australian media the prime minister of Australia Gough Edward Whitlam attempted to by pass parliament and the constitution to secure funding for his government’s grandiose schemes, his money bills having been rejected by the senate.
Whitlam through Rex Connor one of his cabinet colleagues contacted Tirath Khemlani a Pakistani finance and commodity broker who claimed he had access to Iraki petro dollars. Khemlani collected huge up front fees and set up Whitlam an otherwise brilliant orator and visionary for his downfall. Vanity was his cause. The governor General at the time Sir John Kerr sacked the Whitlam government and the rest as they say is history.
THE TOP TABLE AMONGST CLEAN NATIONS?
Now this is the the top table, among the clean nations that will shape the future of the world that the Tengku refers to?
Rather than to go into details of individual acts of corruption in this model nation, one that has a vested interest in changing Malaysia into a client state using the likes of its opposition members as its Trojan horse, I invite readers to google each f these events and familiarize themselves with the details of institutionalized corruption in Australia the host of the Tengku.
Corruption is very much like that picture of a nude hanging on the walls of a public gallery. It is obscenity to some and art to others. The truth lies in between and more appropriately in the minds and the eyes of the beholder.
Corruption institutionalised is the manifestation of a collective consciousness of the community which it affects and corrupts. There is no denying that Malaysia celebrates corruption at every level of society. From the bayar pintu at the cinema, the kopi money paid to contractors, police and other public officials to look the other way or to obtain a higher number in a queue, corruption finds its breeding ground in the minds of those in our midst who chose to remain ignorant of their own conduct that is part of the cancer that now eats into the body of the community. Yes much of it is exemplary conduct. Conduct that is imbued in us by our parents and guardians, teachers, peers, rulers and leaders at times. It is tolerance of mediocrity and the mindless celebration and cult worship of unmeritorious celebrities in pop stars, sporting identities and loud mouths. The fish it is said, rots from the head.
Thus far the Tengku like Anwar, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh and their followers have failed to make out a case for corruption especially where UMNO and Dr. Mahathir Mohammed are concerned. Yet their conduct leaves a lot to be desired, and even less to be emulated. Loud, brash and offensive but in the end they leave little to be celebrated and even less for the rest of us who look up to them for guidance to emulate. Words alone aren’t enough.
Once more the writer puts out a challenge to those who accuse governments and individuals within government of corruption to come up with the proofs required to charge corrupt officials or shut up. The writer suggests that if the Tengku like the other celebrated royal, brothers in arms perhaps, Raja Petra Kamaruddin has real admissible proof not only of corruption, but of corruption against those he names so publicly without proof thus far, he has a duty then to come forward and initiate a proper course of action through the courts rather than to entertain a bunch of less than worthy lawyers whose only interest in such matters arise from their belief that Asians are a lesser people.
There is nothing more entertaining to westerners than to have their ‘house boys and girls’ on a leash performing to their tune. If we can’t stop the organ grinder then perhaps we should restrain his monkey.
There is little the Tengku can now do to salvage his reputation or redeem himself having so willingly taken up the cudgels of a coeterie that see him and his kind as nothing less than a stooge and a mindless mouth that echoes their political sentiments.
What the Tengku engaged in in Australia is nothing short of what he accused the Malaysian government of. Corruption. Unbridled, undiluted corruption of the soul and the mind.