Malaysia’s Efforts To Combat Human Trafficking Recognised

Malaysia has been taken off the US Human Trafficking Watchlist after its position in the watchlist has improved to Tier-2 (pic courtest of Fact Retriever)

Slavery has been around since the beginning of time. Up until the introduction of the English Common Law in the Malay States, those who can no longer afford to pay taxes entered bondage slavery to keep their daily bread. Such was the time when slavery was almost all about labour exploitation.

And then the British brought in workers from Southern China and India to toil the tin mines and rubber plantations respectively.  Other than bringing in opium to keep them happy, Chinese females were also brought in to fulfill their sexual desires.

Today, there are more human slaves in the world than ever before in history. There are an estimated 27 million adults and 13 million children around the world who are victims of human trafficking. (Skinner, E. Benjamin. A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery. New York, NY: Free Press, 2008).  Nearly 80% of human trafficking is for sex, and 19% is for labor exploitation (http://www.ncdsv.org/images/NCADV_HumanTraffickingFacts.pdf ).

Two years ago we were shocked by reports of Malaysia being used as a base for human traffickers with the discovery of 28 camps and 139 graves of trafficked Rohingyas in Wang Kelian.

A forensic policeman transports body bags with human remains found at the site of human trafficking camps in the jungle close the Thailand border after bringing them to a police camp near Wang Kelian in northern Malaysia May 25, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj

Since then the government has pulled out all stops in its efforts to eradicate the menace. Najib Razak even made a personal decision to become more involved in combatting human rights violators, especially in the realm of human trafficking. He instituted a government-wide initiative to consolidate efforts. Working with law enforcement, immigration authorities, the manufacturing and agriculture sectors and NGO’s, the Malaysian government planned and executed a comprehensive effort to combat trafficking at the local and regional levels.

The efforts have since paid off.  The latest US State Department’s Trafficking In Person (TIP) report, Malaysia was elevated from a watch list to “Tier 2”, which represents significant efforts to combat human trafficking.  This is as a result of the Prime Minister driving the efforts to improve in several key areas, which the US has today recognised as achieving.

Not all are thankful that the efforts made by the government, notably Klang MP Charles Santiago who calls the US State Department’s TIP report a ‘farce‘ that is ‘driven by political objectives.’

The Farcical MP

Charles Santiago is the same person who in 2015 asked then-US President Barack Obama NOT to elevate Malaysia’s TIP status from Tier 3.  Nothing good should ever come to Malaysia for as long as it is not he nor his comical colleagues that are in power.

Charles Santiago asking Obama in 2015 not to make Malaysia look good to anyone

This MP is from the very same Pakatan coalition that the US Department of Justice’s suit on 1MDB-related individuals and companies are not politically-motivated because it would hit the Barisan Nasional hard, but argue that the US State Department’s TIP report as politically-driven instead because it does no good to the Pakatan’s aimless struggle.

Making stupid calls over nothing

According to the US TIP report, the Malaysian government conducted 106 risk assessments and ultimately granted six victims work visas and 12 special immigration passes for freedom of movement. An additional 28 victims were approved for freedom of movement. Prosecutions were initiated by the Malaysian government against 175 alleged traffickers, up from 38 initiated the previous year. The government convicted 35 traffickers—18 for labour trafficking and 17 for sex trafficking.  There were 1,558 trafficking victims identified in Malaysia last year and 3,411 cases investigated by the Royal Malaysian Police.

The report added that the Malaysian government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period. During the reporting period, the Malaysian Attorney-General approved and the Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi enforced implementing regulations for the amendments to the anti-trafficking law.

As for the protection of the trafficking victims, the report says that Malaysian officials provided three NGOs with funds to conduct various programs and activities with trafficking shelter residents. They also increased its funding allocation to the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development to operate government facilities for trafficking victims.

As a matter of fact, the Ministry of Women, Family, and Community Development maintained seven facilities specifically to house trafficking victims, and the government allocated RM3.06 million (USD682,270) to open three new trafficking shelters.

With this elevation, Malaysia is now a regional leader in combatting human trafficking.  Najib Razak will be working with regional countries, in particular the ASEAN nations,  that are lagging behind, and will support efforts by Myanmar, Laos and Thailand to solve their trafficking problems.

While we should all be proud of this achievement, we should spare no effort to eradicate this inhumane trade.  However, credit should be given where credit is due, and politicising issues such as this shows how selfish one can be putting his/her agenda above the nation’s.

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,

Screen Shot 2016-08-24 at 10.36.52

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.

Will MACC Not Act Again?

  
Today, Datuk Huan Cheng Guan has lodged a report against Lim Guan Eng on the No.25 Jalan Pinhorn property issue and how it is linked to the Taman Manggis land sale.

Earlier, Lim Guan Eng mentioned in a press conference that he had no knowledge that the Taman Manggis land had been earmarked for the construction of low-cost affordable homes. Perhaps Guan Eng also suffers from memory loss like Mahathir:

  
The MACC, probably under pressure to do something as the spotlight is now on the agency, has announced that an investigation paper has been opened on the Lim Guan Eng case:

  
A previous investigation on Lim Guan Eng was forwarded to the MACC HQ in 2010 but there was no further action – not even forwarded to the then-Attorney-General, not even to its oversight panel. Of course there wasn’t any donkey cries as in the recent case of the SRC/1MDB. Let me recap:

12-02-2010, 06:58 PM

GEORGETOWN: Suruhanjaya Pencegahan Rasuah Malaysia (SPRM) Pulau Pinang sudah menyerahkan kertas siasatan berkaitan kos ubah suai dan sewa banglo mewah Ketua Menteri, Lim Guan Eng, kepada ibu pejabat suruhanjaya itu di Putrajaya, bulan lalu.
Perkara itu disahkan Pengarah SPRM negeri, Datuk Latifah Md Yatim, pada sidang media di pejabatnya di sini, pagi ini.
“Kami sudah serahkan kepada ibu pejabat untuk tindakan lanjut,” katanya yang enggan mengulas lanjut.
Julai lalu, Pemuda Gerakan Pulau Pinang, membuat laporan kepada SPRM berhubung kos pengubahsuaian banglo mewah yang disewa Guan Eng di Jalan Pinhorn di sini.
Laporan itu dibuat selepas Guan Eng tidak memberi maklum balas terhadap permintaan Gerakan yang mahu beliau menjelaskan isu berkaitan banglo sewa itu termasuk nilai sewaan.
Ketua Menteri berpindah ke banglo berkenaan kerana kediaman rasmi, Seri Teratai di sini, mengalami kerosakan serta banyak anai-anai.

Pada sidang media itu, Latifah juga memaklumkan tiada tindakan pendakwaan terhadap mana-mana pihak berhubung dakwaan Aminah Abdullah bahawa beliau cuba disogok supaya menarik diri pada pilihan raya kecil Dewan Undangan Penanti, Mei lalu.
“SPRM memperakukan tiada mana-mana pihak akan didakwa dalam kes ini,” katanya.
Menjelang pilihan raya kecil itu, Aminah yang bertanding atas tiket Bebas mendakwa didatangi pemimpin Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) dengan menawarkan jawatan Yang Dipertua Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang (MPPP) dan wang tunai RM80,000 supaya menarik diri daripada bertanding.
Aminah, yang juga bekas Ketua Wanita PKR negeri turut mendakwa PKR menawarkan jawatan Timbalan Ketua Menteri I jika beliau menang pilihan raya kecil itu, dengan syarat menyertai semula parti itu.

Beliau mendakwa didatangi seorang pegawai kepada Exco kerajaan negeri dan seorang ahli majlis PKR negeri untuk membuat tawaran itu.

So when an investigation paper on a member of the Opposition gets to the MACC HQ, it enters a black hole.

We will see how far will this “investigative” effort get. Perhaps, it will be just another NFA.

By the way, does anyone still remember that there was an allegation of abuse of power by a senior ranking MACC officer but was dismissed by the MACC top man? Apparently there already was a police report being made on that in Kota Bharu just after when the alleged abuse of power took place. No action was taken.

Recently there was another report made in the Klang Valley by the same complainant on the same allegation involving the same MACC person. So far that too has been met with silence on both the PDRM and the MACC side.

Is the MACC covering for the wrong-doings by its ranks?

No Further Action

  
I haven’t said much about the RM2.6 billion money that was donated through a vehicle bearing Najib Razak’s name. What I know for sure is that the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission sent three officers to meet up with the source of the donation or the donor’s agent. I also mentioned on other socmed posts that the Attorney-General has every right to not indict any case that is forwarded to his office as per Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Many cry foul, till today, but could never come up with arguments based on legal facts, including (I don’t feel sorry for this) idiots who think that by being in the MACC they know everything. They simply don’t. So, let’s visit the facts.

Case Facts

  1. Najib Razak received a political donation equivalent to RM2.6 billion,
  2. The money was received through a private account bearing Najib Razak’s name.

Legal Facts

  1. The Constitution of a political party that was approved under the Societies Act allows a political party to receive political donations;
  2. Najib Razak received the donation as the Head of a political party, not as the Prime Minister or as Najib Razak the individual. To those who carry signs bearing the words “Mana RM2.6 billion” I say up yours, the money is NOT for you.
  3. Therefore, based on the facts given by paragraphs 1 and 2, there is no burden of law on Najib Razak for receiving the money.
  4. The Anti Money Laundering Act (AMLA) is a law to control monetary   transactions. Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) would have to approve those transactions.
  5. In Najib’s case, BNM had already approved the transaction. Therefore, BNM has to abide by the law, terms and regulations pertaining to the law.
  6. Approval of that transaction also means the transaction is free from any burden of the law.

Based on the facts above I opine that the Attorney-General had made the correct decision and everyone should give it a rest.

Now I hope someone would tell the Attorney-General to dig up this particular issue that I believe was buried by someone under the instruction of someone else:

  

To Officially Act On Secrets

  
During the Emergency many Armed Forces personnel, the Army in particular, would remember how loose talks caused the death of many.

In the present day context, imagine someone from KOMTAR leaking documents pertaining to sale of lands by the Penang state government or of the channel tunnel deal.

Not that the DAP-led government cares anyway as long as money is or has been made.

Many a times raids on “massage parlours” welcomed by law-abiding citizens and housewives end up as failures because someone had leaked details of the operations to the operators.

I welcome the Attorney-General’s proposal to amend the Official Secrets Act. Many don’t realise the dire effects of having untrustworthy employee or public servants who whistleblow without giving due consideration to the course of law. Editors of the mainstream as well as alternative media would find these leaked information as a means to increase readership. There is nothing patriotic in how these editors treat the information at hand – money is the only tangible god in their world.

I don’t want to add on anymore to integrity and what-nots because it means shit for you holier-than-thou cow shit for brain people who think secrets are things that should be shared. But perhaps you would like it if official information on DAP evangelists like Teresa Kok, Lim Guan Eng, Hannah Yeoh are leaked to members of the local IS cells by officers without integrity.

Perhaps only then you would understand the need for such amendments to the law.

Pillow Talk

  
The Attorney-General has decided not to proceed with the case of the RM2.6 billion donated into a special account bearing the Prime Minister’s name as the account holder with two persons nominated to administer the account on Najib’s behalf.

That has prompted  the Director for Special Operations of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission, Datuk Bahari Md Zin stating to the press that he will appeal on the AG’s decision. MACC also issued a press statement saying that it will forward the AG’s decision for a review by the commission’s Operations Assessment Panel (PPO).

  
As a layman, I now feel that the MACC is being run and managed by amateurs. They should first and foremost know that the Attorney-General has the final say whether or not a case should be instituted, conducted or discontinued, other than cases that come under the Syariah Law, the native court, or a court-martial. This is specified in Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia.

MACC’s PPO does not have the jurisdiction nor authority to review the decision of the Attorney-General. It only acts as a “check and balance” mechanism for cases that are being investigated as well as cases that have been acknowledged by the commission for prosecution or cases that the commission has recommended to be closed. You can read further the terms of reference of the MACC’s PPO here.
How is it that such a body that is supposed to be run by professionals who uphold the law and theintegrity of the commisssion not know of its own limits and boundaries that it starts to act ultra vires?

There is a saying in the military that if one is a Corporal, the wife is a Sergeant. In the case of Datuk Bahri, his wife must be the Head of MACC.

 The question is, how much does Datuk Bahri’s wife know of the investigation into the RM2.6 billion donation, or of any other investigation? What kind of pillow talk have this couple been having?

Perhaps the police should investigate Datuk Bahri under Section 8(1)(d)(iv) and (e)(iv) of the Official Secrets Act, 1972, and investigate the wife under Section 8(2) of the same Act. If this is how a senior ranking officer of the MACC behaves, I wouldn’t be surprised if in wartime, he would spill everything to the enemy.

Talking about the police, the MACC has a lot to learn from this organisation from where the MACC once came from. The police has had thousands of cases deemed as “No Further Action” and you don’t see them whining on the Internet like spoilt brats or like undergraduates with alleged perforated stomach. The integrity of the MACC is virtually ZERO!

They should have their feet firmly planted on terra firma. This is not Bollywood! So start behaving professionally!

Truth Prevails

For almost a year now Malaysians and non-Malaysians alike have been fed with the story that both Prime Minister Najib Razak and 1MDB have been doing a mega con job that puts Malaysia at peril.

Exorbitant figures were given and accusations kept flying around that have caused a deficit in trust among Malaysians and eroded the confidence of foreign investors. These figures as well as the goalpost (if there was any) keeps changing every time there is a rebuttal by both Najib and the 1MDB.

Notwithstanding the explanations given Mahathir kept up his attacks on Najib by sending his paid lieutenants to lodge police reports all over the world, colluded with the opposition, created a false perception that Najib would be a wanted man if he travelled overseas, while Mahathir himself met up with Tony Pua of the DAP at the Fullerton and also Sarawak Report’s Claire Rewcastle Brown to open up new battle fronts against Najib.

Even the New York Times, an associate of Syed Mokhtar’s Malaysian Reserve, ran an article in Bahasa Malaysia connecting Jho Low to Najib’s stepson and eventually, Voila! Najib himself! The millions of Malay Americans in the US must have benefitted from that article!

Three days ago the Attorney-General has cleared the 1MDB from any wrongdoing. Although the Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) has twice recommended for officers of the 1MDB to be charged based on the Exchange Control Act, 1953 which really is about online form-filling and is subjective to BNM’s interpretation of whether the information given is complete or not. In BNM’s words, the charge was that the approvals obtained for the 2013 fund transfers were based on inaccurate or without complete disclosure of material information relevant to BNM’s assessment  of 1MDB’s application.

There was no mention of malicious fraud in the declarations at all; neither was there any mention if missing billions nor of money being laundered.

BNM never made any recommendation based on either the Anti Money Laundering Act,2001, or the Anti Money Laundering and Anti Terrorism Financing Act, 2014 which can only mean one thing – after investigating the transactions made by the 1MDB, there is no basis found for it to be charged under either Act.

This goes to show that Mr Botox, Mr Multi-Religious Hunger Striker who are Mahathir’s paid lieutenants, his well-paid bloggers, the Bruno Manser Fund (Sarawak Report) have all been malicious in trying to destroy the reputation of one man even at the expense of ruining this country by undermining its finances and economy. This tantamounts to terrorism –  acts of persons acting on behalf of, or in connection with, any organisation or individuals which carries out activities directed towards the overthrowing or influencing, by force or violence, of the Yang DiPertuan Agong’s government or any other government de jure or de facto.

Now that his lieutenants have been arrested Mahathir paints the “pariah nation” image onto Malaysia, saying that there is no freedom of speech here despite having said so many malicious things for the longest time.

Lest we forget it was Mahathir himself who, during his 22-year rule by fear, jailed hundreds wrhout trial, orchestrated the removal of two deputy prime ministers, fired a deputy prime minister, fired four ministers, shut down newspapers such as The Star, Watan and the Sin Chew Jit Poh for speaking against him.

And what did the Chief Pariah say last night about his next step against Najib and the 1MDB in spite of all the “all clear” given?

  
Anything goes for him as long as Najib goes – even if Malaysia goes as well. Even without hard evidence.