Sarawak Repost

SARAWAK

Give enough rope and he will hang himself

That is how the idiom goes.  Muhyiddin was the first one to admit that there was a conspiracy to topple Najib Razak.  Then recently Mahathir himself named the conspirators as former Governor of Bank Negara Zeti Aktar Aziz, former Attorney-General Gani Patail, and former head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Abu Kassim.  Mahathir’s favourite news portal Sarawak Report has now joined in and underscored the role of the three in trying to bring down Najib Razak. This time around, the Sarawak Report (SR) has gone overboard by including His Majesty The Yang DiPertuan Agong into the conspiracy.

The SR claims that by middle of 2015, all three conspirators agreed that Najib Razak had embezzled billions from public funds “not only to fund lavish frivolities for the PM and his wife and family, but also influence the outcome of a very tight election.”

First and foremost, the investigation into the 1MDB was far from over in the middle of 2015.  A quick check of SPRM’s press statements archive found no such announcement being made. Furthermore, Najib Razak as the accused had not been called to give his statement regarding the 1MDB, and it was only in December 2015 that Najib Razak was summoned to do so.  How a charge sheet was drafted before investigation was completed is beyond me.  When investigations were completed and submitted to the 20-member Public Accounts Committee, the PAC released its findings on 7th April 2016 that there is absolutely no truth in billions having gone missing, and that the 1MDB issue is solely governance in nature.  This findings was also agreed and signed by six Opposition members of the PAC including Tony Pua himself.

As for influencing a very tight election, the SR’s myopic reporting means that nothing is ever mentioned about journalist Nile Bowie’s report on the millions of USD channeled to the Opposition and/or Opposition-friendly organisations annually to fund activities that would destabilise the ruling government.The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) has channeled millions to beneficiaries such as SUARAM, BERSIH, Merdeka Center for Opinion Research through the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs (NDI) and the International Republican Institute (IRI).  The IRI, said Nile Bowie, received $802,122 in 2010 to work with “state leaders in Penang and Selangor to provide them with public opinion research, training and other resources to enable them to be more effective representatives of their constituents”. IRI claims that it “does not provide direct funding to political parties” in Malaysia, but their lack of transparency, significant budget and emphasis on helping broaden the appeal of political parties in opposition-held states suggests at the very minimum that funding is taking place indirectly.

The SR also claims that Najib Razak is the sole shareholder and decision-maker in the 1MDB and the only man able to sign off investment decisions such as the Joint Ventures with Petrosaudi and Aabar,

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Perhaps, the SR does not know that the Minister of Finance (Incorporated) was passed in an Act of law in 1957 through the Minister of Finance (Incorporation) Act, 1957 that was revised under Mahathir Mohamad’s tenure in September 1987. Its objectives are to ensure sustained and continuous economic growth; to strengthen national competitiveness and economic resilience; to ensure effective and prudent financial management; to pursue a more equitable sharing of national wealth; and to improve quality of life and well being of society. It is headed by one Encik Asri of Bahagian Menteri Kewangan (Diperbadankan). And mind you, Najib Razak is not the only Minister of Finance. There is a dedicated Minister of Finance whose time is 100 percent there unlike Najib Razak. He is NOT a Deputy Minister, he is a FULL Finance Minister.

Of course, according to the SR, the conspirators then had no choice but to bring the matters to His Majesty Yang DiPertuan Agong, and the Yang DiPertuan Agong agreed that Najib Razak should step down “while prosecution took its course.”  Like I mentioned above, how was it possible for prosecution to proceed when Najib Razak himself had not been questioned on his involvement by the very agencies claimed by SR to have decided to prosecute? Furthermore, what Constitutional powers does the Yang DiPertuan Agong have to tell Najib Razak to step down?  Even Lim Guan Eng, already investigated and charged in court on two counts of corruption, has not left office to let prosecution take its course!

On the 28th July 2015, Gani Patail was removed as the Attorney-General and was replaced by Mohamed Apandi Ali.  SR pointed that the act of removing the AG was unconstitutional.  Allow me to go slightly deep into the Federal Constitution of Malaysia to comment on this claim.

The Federation of Malaya was born on 31st August 1957, adopting a new Constitution that replaced the Federated Malay States Constitution of 1948.  During that time, the Attorney-General was Cecil Majella Sheridan, a practicing solicitor who joined the Colonial Legal Service to help reopen the courts in 1946 after World War Two.  He was posted to Kelantan and Terengganu to become the States’ Legal Adviser and Deputy Public Prosecutor. In 1955, he became the Legal Draftsman for the Federation. Upon Indepence, Sheridan was made the Solicitor-General and subsequently the Attorney-General in 1959. Sheridan then began to prepare for the enlargement of Malaya into Malaysia (with the accession in 1963 of Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak). In the process, he worked closely with Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, and Lee Kuan Yew, of Singapore.

During this time, Article 145 of the Federal Constitution was limited to five clauses only.  Article 145(5) then provided that “the Attorney-General shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court.”  This Article was drafted by the Reid Commission and subsequently passed to be included in the Federal Constitution of 1957.  A Government White Paper explained the need for Article 145(5):

It is essential that , in discharging his duties, the Attorney-General should act in an impartial and quasi-judicial spirit. A clause has therefore been included to safeguard the Attorney-General’s position by providing that he shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and in the like manner as a Judge of the Supreme Court.

This is still maintained in Articles 105(3) for the Auditor-General and 125(3) for the Judges.

With the imminent formtion of the Federation of Malaysia, Sheridan amended Clause 5 of Article 145 and added Clause 6 to facilitate his eventual removal from the AG’s position.  Article 145(6) of the Federation of Malaysia Constitution, 1963 reads:

The person holding the office of the Attorney-General immediately prior to the coming into operation of this Article (note: specific reference to Sheridan) shall continue to hold the office on terms and conditions not less favourable than those applicable to him immediately before such coming into operation and shall not be removed from office except on the like grounds and the like manner as a judge of the Federal Court.

And Clause 5 of the Article was changed to the following:

Subject to Clause (6), the Attorney-General shall hold office during the pleasure of the Yang DiPertuan Agong and may at any time resign his office and, unless he is a member of the Cabinet, shall receive such remuneration as the Yang DiPertuan Agong may determine.

Article 145 was amended for two reasons according to Sheridan’s successor, Abdul Cadir Yusoff: one is the desire to have “the most suitable person available for the performance of the onerous tasks” of the AG’s office regardless whether the person was from the pubic service or not, and secondly the impartiality of a political appointee could be assured by conferring on him “untrammelled constitutional discretion.” Bear in mind that Abdul Cadir was both a lawyer and a politician and could not have been appointed under the previous version of the Constitution.  Nowhere in the Constitution, in its present form, requires for the formation of a tribunal to remove or replace an Attorney-General as applicable to the Auditor-General and Judges via Articles 105(3) and 125(3).

Therefore, Gani Patail’s removal was not unconstitutional.

I refuse to comment on the rest of the fairy tale that Clare Rewcastle Brown had conjured because she seemed excited plucking these stories from a very low sky that her nipples probably scrape the ground giving her that pleasure. Like the story about the fire that had occured at the Royal Malaysian Police Headquarters in Bukit Aman, as she claimed “destroyed evidence of money laundering” when the division that was investigating the 1MDB issue is housed in a different building in a different part of the Bukit Aman complex.  Also on the murder of DPP Kevin Morais whom she said was the one who had drafted the charge against Najib Razak when the poor sod was confirmed by his own brother and by authorities not investigating 1MDB.

You can choose to believe Sarawak Report if you wish to.  All Clare Rewcastle Brown does is to repost trash and expands on it, grabbing more invisible low hanging fruits while her nipples harden at being scraped against the asphalt. Must make her wet teling lies. But it’s funny how the white trash seem to have conveniently omitted Justo from the equation.

Nothing to hide? I don’t think so.

Functioning Parachute

The Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission started off as a unit called Special Crimes Unit of the Royal Malaysian Police’s Criminal Investigation Department back in the 1960s. I am sorry to disappoint many youngsters but yes,corruption  did not just happen yesterday. In 1967, a body called the Badan Pencegah Rasuah was formed and police officers from the Special Crimes unit were seconded to this new outfit.

In 1973, the BPR was again restructured and was called the Biro Siasatan Negara, only to be restructured in 1982 and renamed the Badan Pencegah Rasuah.  Among the police officers seconded to the BPR was the late Mohd Jamil Mohd Said, brother-in-law of the late Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department the late Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Othman. Jamil, a no-nonsense God-fearing disciplinarian knew a lot about the going-ons in the early 1980s administration.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the opposition-leaning CEO of IDEAS was reported as saying that Datuk Mustafar Ali, currently number three in the MACC, should replace Abu Kassim upon the latter’s retirement. Parachuting an outsider, said Wan Saiful, would only disrupt the transformation of the Commission.

History is very important sonthat we can learn from the past. The MACC in its current form is an organisation that is being looked at with doubt and distrust. It was not that long ago when we saw a charge sheet being drafted BEFORE a statement was obtained from Prime Minister Najib. Yet in the Lim Guan Eng case, the MACC took its own sweet time to investigate and had it not been for public pressure, Lim Guan Eng would still be walking around like the Emperor he believes he is. Not only that, leaked documents suggest that they have come from various sources including the MACC. If this is true, there is a serious erosion of integrity amongst the MACC officers. Parachuting an “outsider” would probably create resentment, but it would also bring about reform and not just transformation.

In 1993, a senior police director was parachuted into the Prisons Department and everyone in the prisons organisation resented that. But Tan Sri Zaman Khan (then Datuk) managed to transform the department into a much more efficient organisation because the change in leadership saw officers with potential whom were kept beneath the radar finally came out with brilliant ideas on how to reform and transform the organisation. It was during Zaman’s tenure that the management of prisoners became better, prison conditions began to get better, and the idea for allowing parole was mooted. Two years after taking office, Zaman, got the Prisons Act 1995 effected.

One of the two persons tipped to become the next MACC chief is Tan Sri Noor Rashid, the current Deputy Inspector General of Police. Like the late Jamil Said and Zaman, Noor Rashid is another no-nonsense senior police officer who rose through the ranks while being in the Criminal Investigation Department, the origin of the MACC. He would be the most suitable candidate to replace Abu Kassim in my opinion.

When I took over my squadron in 1993, I signed 96 transfer forms on the first day of taking office because of organisational requirements and told those who think that they cannot work with me to do the same. In the end I was left with just 30 non-commissioned officers and junior ranks to do the job of 126. But I had 30 excellent men and women working for me.

Perhaps it is time for the MACC to have a new boss to give it a good shaking-up. Those who resent having an outsider as a boss should leave or learn to adapt. Hopefully we will get to see a more efficient and trustworthy MACC soon.