Corruption, Cronyism, Nepotism

The above title consists of the very words that are being used by the Opposition, from the days of the Barisan Alternatif through its current form, the Pakatan Harapan.

Those words remain as their battle cry to convince voters that the Barisan Nasional, in particular UMNO, is corrupted to the core.

Hence, when long before 1MDB and the RM2.6 billion story ever happened Najib Razak announced in 2012 that the BN was to have its candidates’ list for GE13 screened by the MACC, everyone treated that as a sign of the end of the world as predicted by the Mayans.

Din Merican’s take on the announcement by Najib Razak in 2012

However, the Barisan Nasional did submit its list of election candidates to the MACC recently, whereas it is the Opposition that has been resisting a similar move!


In an attempt to spin the BN’s move into something negative, left-leaning The Malaysian Incite quoted unnamed sources within UMNO lamenting the arrest of BN figures such as Latif Bandi, Isa Samad et al but failed to mention that that is the same reaction that the PKR and DAP gave when their ranks were arrested for corruption.

Well, my unnamed party insider told me even BEFORE the Haj season that the BN supreme council is happy that far lesser people have thronged the PWTC promoting themselves as GE14’s candidates ever since Najib Razak decided to submit the list to the MACC.

The Pakatan Harapan is far from being clean. Cheats and corrupted people thrive there too with the likes of Adam Rosly, the UNISEL scandal, Chegu Bard’s various reports on corrupted practices by Azmin Ali, the investigation into DAP’s corrupt practices that resulted in the death of Teoh Beng Hock, Phee Boon Poh’s abuse of position, Lim Guan Eng’s double corruption charge, just to name a few.

Let us also not forget chronic liar Rafizi Ramli who was not only found guilty of lying but also for disclosing to the public contents of documents protected under the Laws which is a breach of trust by a Parliamentarian whose job is to protect such trusts.

Recently he was exposed to have been paying himself through his own companies for services rendered to his own company in the region of RM100,000 per transaction. He also solicited funds from the public to help him pay for damages he caused the NFC by publishing lies about them.

Yet, he did not pay up as ordered by the court and chose to allow NFC to file a bankruptcy notice against him. We wonder what happened to the millions of Ringgits collected to pay NFC? Did he use the money to pay his own self?

Yet the PKR chose to protect such compulsive criminals within their ranks thinking that the voters of today have the same IQ as the ones in the 1950s, that they are stupid enough to judge. Hence the reaction by Wan Azizah when the MACC suggested for PKR’s candidates be screened by the latter.

Fan-wielding Taiji master tai-chi-ing all efforts to make PKR clean

 

DAP, too, reacted negatively towards the MACC’s suggestion. Pulau Pinang’s Deputy Chief Minister Ramasamy a/l Palanisamy said that the MACC cannot vet the DAP’s candidates list as the former lacks the moral authority to do so as it is reticent about those involved in the 1MDB although they have been named by the US Department of Justice (DoJ).

Ramasamy a/l Periasamy

Again this shows the stupidity of the people in the Pakatan Harapan either by defaut or by design, with the latter perhaps trying to make fools out of their supporters.

We all know that the MACC had declared that the donation received by the account of Najib Razak was not from the 1MDB and at no point was Najib Razak ever named in the DoJ case.  He was only mentioned as Malaysian Official 1 because he is not the subject under any form of investigation by the DoJ.

Furthermore, the case that is being investigated by the DoJ, made public more than a year ago, has not gained much grounds as it is based on the reports made by Datuk Botox and Matthias Chang, the office and despatch boys of U-Turn Mahathir.  If it was a solid criminal case, we would be sitting in front of the TV watching CNN while stuffing our face with popcorn.

The party that has a lot to do with corruption thus refusing the MACC’s help to clean its candidates list is the DAP, and not just the PKR.  With Phee Boon Poh, Lim Guan Eng and maybe soon others as well, both the PKR and DAP would have a very short list of candidates that it will not be enough to cover the constituencies it already holds even if all of them ran for both Parliamentary and state seats.

That is also why Lim Guan Eng desperately clings on to power and fights on all corners to have his corruption charges dismissed on technical reasons rather than answering the charges made against him, just as long as he could remain as the corrupted but jail-free Chief Minister.

But of course, in the course of trying to discredit the MACC, Pakatan Harapan would throw everything at the MACC including the kitchen sink and onions too, a tactic they have been using against all government agencies since before the 1969 general elections.  When they lose, they will automatically blame the voters and the voting system.  Then again, what else is new?

This is why the public needs to rally its support towards having cleaner candidates to run for public office.  Although there is nothing in the law that says that candidates must be vetted, the MACC is the agency that should be doing the vetting of candidates to ensure that they do not have the tendency to be corrupted.

Having said that, this is also the reason the MACC should be given more manpower and remuneration reviewed, as should the PDRM, instead of having Paul Low’s JITN to be formed as a new department, burdening the government further with an increased budget.

I do not know what is Paul Low’s agenda in wanting to interfere with the MACC and other institution of integrity but the nasty smell his move has made stinks all the way from Perdana Putra to Padang Besar.  You can read more what a blogger thinks Paul Low is doing and let you be the judge of it. Nothing dissimilar to what Lim Kit Siang is doing now.  But I will come back to that in another post later.

All I know is that for the MACC to combat corruption effectively it needs a boost in manpower and expertise, a boost in remuneration, and a pledge that it shall remain independent as a Commission.

Tergum Ictus

Raja Petra asks if Shahrir Samad is Isa Samad’s real target?
Just a few minutes ago I received a copy of a press statement from the Prime Minister’s Officer stating that Idris Jala has been appointed as an indepedent party to establish the facts and recommend the way forward regarding Felda Global Ventures’s (FGV) latest fiasco.

The press statement from the Prime Minister’s Office
For a statement to have come out from the Prime Minister’s Office shows that the Prime Minister himself is taking interest to protect those whose livelihood depend on FGV and wants to find out the inside story of how FGV has gotten itself in such a mess.

Isa Samad was appointed as the Chairman of FELDA and also became the Chairman of FGV.  Obviously he is a political appointee meaning that he had been entrusted to ensure that the needs and interests of the voters in FELDA are well taken care of.

This did not happen. Instead of becoming something that the settlers could bank on, FELDA was treated badly under Isa’s management, or mismanagement if you must.

There was that sturgeon farm initiative that cost FELDA a loss of RM47.6 million through a subsidiary called FELDA Caviartive Sdn Bhd.

Another mess that happened under Isa was by FELDA Wellness Corp Sdn Bhd., a loss-making biopharmaceuticals company wholly owned by the statutory body, had been wound up last year.

In less than three years of operation, FELDA Wellness accumulated losses of RM154.76 million, and current liabilities of RM154.03 million as at end FY15. The company’s total assets amounted to RM4.34 million.

The company was eventually wound up by Australia-based Gordagen Pharmaceuticals Pty Ltd for debts owed to it by FELDA Wellness amounting to RM2.1 million.

Another outfit called Global Settlers Sdn Bhd (GSSB), which opened a chain of five restaurants and incurred losses of more than RM 8.4 Million, then closed down after 3 years of operations. If that is not bad enough, GSSB paid RM2.29 million to a Pastry Project called Schneeballen without having any supporting documents. In October 2015 that Pastry project was terminated after having spent another RM6.39 million for equipment.

I shan’t go into the failed investments by the FELDA Investment Corp. There’s at least half-a-billion Ringgit worth of losses by the FIC.

It was only right that the Prime Minister decided enough was enough and put Tan Sri Shahrir Samad at the helm, leaving Isa only as a non-executive Chairman of the FGV.

Although a lot of damage had been done by Isa, Shahrir’s appointment was welcomed by settlers and observers alike. Through Shahrir they see a management that would be able to surmount the obstacles Isa had laid.

But the latest fiasco of Isa using the Board of FGV to ask the CEO Zakaria Arshad and three others to go on a forced leave has again shaken the trust of the people in FGV.

I don’t know how kosher Zakaria is, but a thorough probe by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) into the affairs of the FGV is a very welcomed move.

Isa et al should realise that FGV and FELDA are of public interest and that he was entrusted by Najib Razak to make sure that the settlers’ interests are not foresaken.

Instead, Najib and the settlers have had their back stabbed.

In The Spirit Of Air Lanas

On the 23 August 2012, I wrote the following:

This was the way the British divided and ruled. Eventually, swayed by the profit they were earning from the Malay States that they forgot their promise to the Sultans which was to protect the interest and welfare of the Malays. The bulk of the Malays lived in rural areas and they had very minimal contact with the other races, the Chinese were basically in towns and tin mines, while the Indians were in rubber plantations. The effect to this was that the Malays remained backwards and were told to stay as peasants or tillers of the soil, the Chinese inherited all the tradings in the Malay States and became the richest residents, and the Indians remained as rubber-tappers without proper infrastructure. The Malays, according to Chai Hon-Chan:
“…merely retreated from the tide of commercial activity and material prosperity…whereas the British, Europeans, Chinese and Indians had the lion share of the country’s wealth…”
As a result, the Malays who were given land to cultivate, forced by economic disadvantages, began charging or creating a lien (collateral) over their land to the Chettiars. The Malays, already in a disadvantaged position, cried foul and started the “Malaya for Malays” movement in the late 1800s. EW Birch, the 8th British Resident of Perak, recognized this dire situation and quickly proposed a policy of preserving the Malay land. The only way to him to preserve the Malay race was to “free them from the clutches of those people who now remit to Indian large sums of money, which they bleed from the (Malay) people.”

The Malays were in a very disadvantageous position just before Merdeka, one of the reasons the Malayan Union was rejected so as to protect the rights and position of the Malays then.

FELDA was created 60 years ago to provide organised smallholders farming through resettlement of rural Malay poor who did not own any land. A year later Tunku Abdul Rahman launched the first settlement in Air Lanas, Kelantan where 400 settlers were relocated.

FELDA has grown into a very respectable organisation and has diversified its activities. FELDA Global Ventures, although separated in terms of its structure, is the third largest palm oil company in the world by acreage that also has downstream activities in oleochemicals.

Of late, FGV has not been performing well. Being in Malaysia, the government gets the blame although FGV has its own board. And the Opposition pins the blame on one person and one person only: Najib Razak.

Reading Raja Petra’s latest instalment does make me wonder if Isa Samad who is both the Chairman of FELDA and FGV is aware of the damage FELDA is causing to UMNO.

The allegations that Isa Samad and family is using FELDA/FGV as personal treasure chests is not something new. My only question is why is this cancer not nipped in the bud? 

It is still not too late for Najib Razak to act, and act he must! It would be sad to see a legacy left by his late father and the Tunku before that, that started in Air Lanas, be ruined by greed and irresponsible behaviours.

And what more if it is true as Raja Petra alleged that FELDA is being used to destroy UMNO in the upcoming general elections.

I can only echo a post on Facebook by Azmi Arshad – act now and save FELDA!