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Thread: THE RAT RACE PART VI – MALAYSIA: HOW DID UMNO STAY IN POWER FOR SO LONG?

   
   
       
  1. #191
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    'Umno-linked gangs preserve authoritarian state'




    Recent research in Malaysia has shown that gangs, created by certain NGOs, are linked to the ruling party to preserve an authoritarian state.

    To put it simply, said French researcher, Sophie Lemiere, "Gangs are connivance (complicit) militants. They are systematic political actors that play a role in the construction and sustainability of the authoritarian state."

    Lemiere (left), who has just received her PhD from Sciences-Po Paris on the subject of ethno-nationalist and Islamic movements in Malaysia, was in Penang to present her research to students from Universiti Sains Malaysia's humanities school yesterday.

    Her paper focussed on gangs involved in what is called 'connivance (or complicit) militancy', where those studied in her research are Pekida and its assimilated or satellites groups.

    Her research was conducted throughout Peninsula Malaysia from 2008 to April this year.

    Her aim was to provide a snapshot of the behaviour of gangs between two general elections (March 2008 and May 2013) and how their allegiances and roles have adapted to the political climate and opportunities presented.

    Lemiere explained that gangs in the context of Malaysia are "secret political arrangement by which political actors or political parties subcontract legal or illegal actions to serve its interest".

    This range from advocacy, demonstrations and violence directed at groups or individuals, she added.

    "The gangs are entrepreneurs of mobilisation and violence and offer services in exchange for money or advantages and thus become political actors," she said.

    "Muscle and numbers are needed by political parties - when challenged by opponents - in action, campaign, demonstrations, and controversies," she added.

    In her one hour talk, Lemiere shared her research about gangs creating so-called NGOs to support political parties, especially Umno.

    But this does not mean that all gangs support Umno, she pointed out, as some gangs have turned to support the opposition for other reasons.

    The gang members Lemiere talked to often told her that former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was their "patron and godfather".

    "But Abdullah may not know that the NGO Pekida have gang activities. Let's give him the benefit of the doubt or they may be using his name," she said.

    In the political upheaval of the 2008 election, with the departure of Abdullah from politics, one would imagine Pekida and those involved in gangs, would have disappeared, as they were also facing internal leadership crisis.

    But instead, all those gangs changed strategy to become stronger, said Lemiere.

    The institutionalisation of gangs by NGOs, has been initiated by the opportunity that arose in the post-Mahathir era, where there was a new space for NGOs and civil society.

    "In the face of this democratisation, the ruling party has to face growing discontent, relayed in the alternative media, and a stronger opposition," said Lemiere.

    "This is where some leaders have had the need for connivance militant, in order to show more support," she added.

    Lemiere said religious and political controversies provide an opportunity for gangs to participate publicly in debate and for them to show support for the ruling party.

    She added that these are situations where groups unleash their potential for violence, mostly remained unpunished, and in some cases, supported by government leaders as in the case of the cow head controversy in Shah Alam in 2009.

    She added that there is a system of exemption (from punishment) practised by the state which allows the proliferation of gang activities that may cross the line between legal and illegal.

    This strategy remains almost unquestioned, because it is barely visible, like during rallies, where gang members infiltratethe crowd to provoke violence, she said.

    This strategy was also used during election campaigns, the cow head and Allah controvery, where there were attacks on churches and mosques, she added.

    "Gang members benefit from the system of exemption, which is why they are mostly not arrested. If they are, then you don't hear much of the trial,' she said.

    Lemiere claimed that violence perpetrated by these gangs is orchestrated as they want to ensure maximum media exposure so that those incidents may be used in debate or discourse to justify a set of very strong laws.

    "The state run by Umno today has grounded its governance in a political culture based on the threat of the breach of social peace, for example, events in the May 1969 racial riots, which lead to political discourses on the escalation of ethnic tension," she said.

    Pekida more than meets the eye, researcher finds





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    py

  2. #192
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    Three slaves and the rakyat




    The three women in London who were imprisoned as slaves have much in common with the Malaysian rakyat. Their escape plan was hatched in secrecy but their story, which is slowly unfolding, has shocked the world. It is doubtful if many Malaysians realise the similarities between themselves and these three women.

    For the past 30 years, the women were forced to serve a married couple from India and Tanzania. The oldest woman was a 69-year-old Malaysian who was denied medical treatment when she suffered a stroke, another was a 59-year-old Irish woman, and the youngest was a 30-year-old, who grew up in this family.

    The women cleaned, cooked, shopped, ran errands and cared for their masters. As punishment, they would be beaten but despite their treatment, were too terrified to escape when an opportunity to flee presented itself.

    The women were imprisoned for three decades, but the Malaysian rakyat have been metaphorically imprisoned for the most part of 56 years. The women were described as having been shackled by “invisible handcuffs”, just like the Malaysians.

    Despite being aware of the injustices and abuse of power, older Malaysians are reluctant to embrace change. The married couple are just like the leaders of Malaysia. The tools of control for both the London slaves and Malaysian rakyat, are a combination of threats and emotional blackmail. Police said that the mental hold on the women was strong and “cult-like”.

    Umno Baru leaders know how to pitch their stories. For instance, older and more conservative Malays are told that a vote for the opposition would mean that the Chinese and Christians would overrun Malaysia.

    It is ironic that younger Malaysians, despite knowing only one system of governance, can lead the charge for change. Their easy access to alternative information sites means that the world is literally their oyster.

    When Umno Baru splurges on defence contracts, weaponry or new gadgets like the automated speed traps (AES), they convince ignorant people, that the party is doing it in the name of national security or progress. Incredibly, the government makes the rakyat hand over their money as if it is doing the people a favour.

    The BR1M payment of RM500 does not last long, especially as the government plays on the greed of the rakyat into parting with their money. For example, discounts on smartphones induce people to buy one. Despite the discount, the BR1M recipient has to pay out more of his own money, either from his savings or by going into debt.

    The company which sold the smartphones is probably a crony company and the smartphones are probably sold at an inflated price, regardless of the discount. The government’s investment of RM500 brings in a good return.

    In addition, the BR1M payment divides communities, because the middle-classes do not qualify but find that they are subsidising the life-styles of the poor and government cronies.

    Najib Abdul Razak justified the increase in sugar prices by saying it was necessary to prevent diabetes. Why stop at sugar, if he is sincere about the nation’s health? Why not increase the cost of cigarettes and stop the sale of unhealthy, fatty and non-nutritious foods in school canteens?

    He could ban mamak shops. Some are filthy and many sell greasy, unhealthy food. The ones which open 24-hours-a-day encourage unhealthy sleeping habits, especially among schoolchildren.

    He should promote cycling and outdoor activities and build cycle lanes in towns, and more sports facilities in housing estates. He could increase the amount of time devoted to sports in the school curriculum.

    Extremism rampant, abuses common

    The neighbours of the three women in London, saw them and their masters as a “normal family”. This is the same scenario which Najib presents to the international community. Malaysia is packaged as a moderate Muslim nation which cares for its women, children and indigenous communities.

    The events which occurred behind the closed doors of the London house can only be described as modern-day slavery. Similarly, within Malaysian borders, extremism and nationalist policies are rampant and human rights abuses are common.

    The three women waited on the couple, like slaves. Anyone who has been to a function hosted by an Umno Baru or BN politician will have observed members of the rakyat treating politicians like demi-gods, bowing and scraping and giving them deferential treatment.

    The enslaved women are highly dependent on their masters. Their level of brainwashing was so strong, that they refused to flee when they had the chance. Similarly, Malaysians have been given the opportunity to reject Umno Baru at election, but many continue to vote for Umno Baru and BN.

    The women were permitted to watch certain television channels. Likewise, Malaysians are only allowed to see pro-Umno Baru media news. The indoctrination of the rakyat restricts their activities.

    Attending opposition ceramahs is discouraged and those who persist, face problems at work. Malaysians studying overseas are warned that their scholarships may be terminated, if they attend opposition talks. People who attend marches, face violence from Umno Baru thugs and the police. With these tactics, many people fear voting for the opposition.

    Despite the hardships suffered, many Malaysians are afraid of change. The constant emotional blackmail over the past five decades has convinced them that they could not cope without Umno Baru.

    People who have worked with former prisoners, know that ex-convicts have become institutionalised and cannot adjust to normal life, when they are released. Having been used to following orders, doing things at set times of the day, eating what is given them and sleeping when the lights are turned off, means that they are dependent on their wardens’ instructions.

    That is what Umno Baru has done to many of us - reduced our ability to cope and to think independently.

    The three women who planned their escape wanted to be free and punish the people who imprisoned them. The same rebuilding of our lives is possible. We just need the courage to take the first step towards freedom. This first step is to reject Umno Baru. You are not alone. Many Malaysians, especially Malays, think as you do.


    MARIAM MOKHTAR is a defender of the truth, the admiral-general of the Green Bean Army and president of the Perak Liberation Organisation (PLO)
    py

  3. #193
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    Umno’s caveman politics – Sakmongkol AK47


    DECEMBER 30, 2013


    The donkeys in Umno are coming out braying. Here and there, they were elected as leaders. The most fundamental building block of excellence - demanding and insisting upon excellence, is totally absent from Umno’s selection criteria.


    And so, Umno Malays have a voracious appetite for dullards and dolts as leaders. Despite that, its paramount leader still talks senselessly about transformation. Does that drop from the sky or what?



    In that sense, Malays have not progressed at all – in the olden days, the musclemen and strongmen get to become leaders. These people get to lay first claim on sources of wealth, land, women, other people’s wives and so forth. Today, in the 21st century, Umno want Malays to stay mute as democratic rights get assaulted because they are done in the name and on behalf of Malays.



    All right-thinking Malays must resist this and reject Umno-style rule, because it will eventually lead to acquiescence and acceptance of intrusion into our lives. One day, it will be all right if the Umno overlord comes into our house, sleep with our daughters and even wives, and we are asked to tolerate that kind of repression because it’s done by one of us anyway.


    The Malay family will be told to accept that cruelty and abuse, because it is done by another Malay. That is how Umno define government as.


    Umno likes this kind of rule. Nowadays, it’s called the Malay government – a "kerajaan Melayu". But we want to know, what does kerajaan Melayu mean? A government synonymous with leaders who are corrupt, abusive, mediocre, discretionary, repressive, incompetent, led by donkeys?


    A kerajaan Melayu that demands complete obeisance and any form of challenge to it is treated as treasonable, as an assault on the supremacy of Malay rule and government?


    Wasn’t a challenge to Malay royalty once upon a time deemed as treasonable? So has Umno become the new monarchy?


    The business of Umno then is to perpetuate the myth of a kerajaan Melayu. It seems Umno can only extend its shelf life on the myth of Malay rule. It perpetuates these myths because it does not have to answer the issues of income and wealth distribution among Malays; it does not want to answer issues of corruption and abuse of power. It does not have to answer the pillage and plunder done in the name of agama bangsa dan tanah air. It does not tolerate question on the excesses of the government.


    This is the reason we must continue to fight Umno. Because, as how Umno defines it, absolute and unquestioning acceptance and subservience to Umno Malay rule is their version of a final expression of our political will. We must never accept that.


    The BN government and for that matter any government, that of PKR or DAP are not the final expression of our political will. A government is a work in progress, inching and moving towards better government and better governing. That is why we fight for better, as well as good governance, getting rid of corruption, rejecting incompetence, fighting for the rule of law, until these traits get adopted fuller and fuller by a reigning government.


    Our collective political will demands a government that exhibits the traits of a good government, free from corruption, clever government, efficient and productive. It must also be a government founded on the principles of the rule of law and one of these requirements is that all citizens are treated as equals before the law and the provisions in our constitution.


    Umno leaders are bringing us back to the Stone Age. In modern times, leaders are selected from the stupid and the loud and the feudal bullies. Notice lately, how Umno gravitates towards glorifying the absolute and discretionary rule of Malay rulers?


    In a regression of history, the tyranny of absolute rule of kings and overlords is elevated to prominence. We even want a Universiti di-Raja believing that stature confers immunity from challenge and adulteration from non-Malay elements.


    Za'aba, the early Malay political thinker, warned against the repressive and absolute rule of ancient kings and rulers. He was specific in identifying the repressive rule of Malay rulers as the single source of Malay tragedy.


    The tyrannical rule of old was singularly responsible for Malays inheriting negative inhibiting personal traits that became ingrained as a result of hundreds of years being subject to untold tyranny and enslavement – "kena picit, perah dan ramas di tangan pemerintahnya pada zaman dahulu, iaitu pemerintah daripada bangsa mereka sendiri".


    It’s all politics in the name of Malay feudal triumphalism which is supported by feudal-minded Umno.


    Ever heard the Queen of England demanding the return of honorific titles? That would be un-queenly, right? But what does Umno know about what’s right and what’s wrong?


    Einstein said there are two things that are infinite; the universe and stupidity. But he is not sure about the former. If he had lived today, all he needs to do is to look at Umno and affirmed that stupidity indeed has no limits.


    So how do we treat statements given by the Kuantan Wanita Umno chief recently? Answer: we should treat it as statements coming from someone at the bottom of her class. Call it bottom-of-the-class thinking. Do we want to be led by ignoramuses? And that is much loved by Umno people, they just loved to be led by stupid people.


    That’s why we hear of things like 1Melayu shouted out by a person who doesn’t even looked Malay from Penang, and worse, that is accepted by the Malays. We have things repeated by normal people like only the mentally retarded do (the latter’s conduct is excusable) – like if you don’t like things around here, migrate, leave for another country.


    That kind of stupidity materialises in several forms, if the price of sugar is high, consume it less, if the price of toll increases, use other roads. If you want strong libido, consume less sugar.


    PJ O’Rourke, the writer of a number of books on political satire, offered an interesting observation on the fundamental cause of many of our troubles. If are looking for the source of our troubles, he said, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.


    Stupidity, it seems, filters downwards slowly. But like water, stupidity will find its own level. The recent statement by the Wanita Umno leader from Kuantan is an example of such stupidity revealing itself eventually. This is the kind of Malay leadership regarded by Umno that can uplift the Malays. That is also the level of leadership offered by Umno to the Malays.


    Only stupid people like the wanita Umno leader equates Umno/Putrajaya Government as the final expression of our political will. Therefore, according to her logic, those not happy, disagree with Umno and Putrajaya, should leave the country. This kind of thinking was discredited extensively recently but appears to have filtered down very slowly until eventually settling down in wanita Umno Kuantan.


    This kind of thinking is like something that floats in the gutter – unpleasant and revolting. It however comes naturally from the bottom-of-the-class thinking. – sakmongkol.blogspot.com, December 30, 2013.


    * Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de guerre of Raub MP Datuk Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz.
    *This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.
    py

  4. #194
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    Ex-EC Chairman join PERKASA. Ex-Chief Justice join PERKASA. There are the System Operators. Do we see a pattern here? This is known as institutionalized discrimitation.

    Ex-CJ's Perkasa leaning may hide systemic hobbling of Malays

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    Last updated on 17/03/2014 - 14:08
    Posted on 17/03/2014 - 12:59


    Hazlan Zakaria


    COMMENT: While he may claim to want to defend the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the Malays, former chief justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad's leanings toward Malay rights group Perkasa may hide a problem hobbling Malays from real development.


    That is, if his attitude if truly a barometer of what senior Malay civil servants feel about what Malay rights mentioned in the constitution means.


    Abdul Hamid was recently named chairperson of the National Unity Front, a Perkasa-linked outfit, he vowed to defend the rights of the Malays and Muslims, careful to add that this is to be within the ambit of the law.


    His siding with Perkasa is not that surprising since many former Malay civil servants and members of the academia too have expressed support for the movement endorsed by 'Malay champion' former PM Tun Mahathir Mohamed himself.


    But for a senior official that is supposed to be from an impartial position like him to express it, speaks of two disturbing possibilities,


    Firstly, that many Malays promoted to the highest echelons of government subscribe to the view that Malays must always depend on government handouts prescribed for a temporary problem, and maybe that is a criteria for promotion to senior posts.


    If this is true, then perhaps the discriminatory practices by the civil service against non-Malays may have received sanction, if this is the mood of the service.


    Such a thing, if true, would not only create this attitude of complacency and dependency amongst Malays and indigenous races but also alienate other races who will find creative ways of reverse-discrimination to retaliate.


    Secondly, if this dependent view that still permeates among the Malays themselves, then there is reason to see why many Malays are still backward in many aspects despite being given so much assistance.


    Then, of course, are the leakages of the Malay elites and their cronies who already took into their own pockets what is supposed to be for the people and then provoke the people to blame other races for shortfalls when it is actually they who are at fault.


    Historians have concluded that the special rights were never to be permanent as the founding fathers saw it as a way to restore an imbalance, not perpetuate dependence or award supremacy.


    But when it comes to its implementation, even BN leaders concur that there are a lot of imbalance and problems.


    And if it is true that there is bias in the civil service, then instead of helping Malays and the indigenous races climb up to equal footing with other races, the policy of perpetuating dependency on the so called special rights may have been the very thing that doomed them.


    The more they encourage the need to 'defend' these rights instead of encouraging Malays and the indigenous races to work harder to transcend their requirements of such assistance, the more likely a sublime laziness is inculcated.


    As voices would say, it's okay, we are Malays, we are indigenous, we have rights and we have qouta. Defend it and worry not about the future. Tidak apa. We are Malays. We have special rights. An attitude that may have hobbled the Malays and indigenous races from really developing their potential.



    py

  5. #195
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    Psywar: play on greed and fear.

    Fear: The corrupt leaders are fearful of being called to account should UMNO lose the General Elections while they are still greedy and want to continue robbing the Rakyat while in power.
    So they play on the fears of the gullible Malays who are also the victims of UMNO but don't know it.

    Malays a ‘minority’ split three ways, Mahathir laments


    [COLOR=#707070 !important]Lin KayKay
    | December 20, 2014
    [/COLOR]

    Former prime minister sings old tune of Malays becoming 'beggars' beholden to DAP to win power, and warns of Umno's defeat.

    KUALA LUMPUR: Former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, in an unprecedented interview with the media on the state of the nation, alleged in a bizarre take that the Malays have splintered in three directions and have become a minority, from being the majority.

    Umno, PAS and PKR have begun “beggars” dependent on the Chinese in DAP to win elections, he claimed. It’s wasn’t clear how the Chinese in DAP could help Umno to win elections but he appeared to equate the fate of Umno with the fate of the Malays.


    “Because the Malays have split, they have become beggars and have lost power,” said Mahathir. “This is what’s happening at the moment.”


    “By right the Malays should be the majority.”


    He doesn’t expand on the thought about Malays being the majority in the face of the fact that legislation can only be adopted from a convergence of interests, not necessarily derived from race, on a common platform.


    Mahathir also ventured that people only dared to speak up after he had first made any criticism of the government. When asked about the recent Open Letter by 25 eminent Malays against rising extremism, he conceded he had not read it, but went on to say that criticism of the government showed that Umno would lose the elections if nothing was done.


    “Leaders nowadays are only interested in achieving their personal objectives by gathering the people around them,” said Mahathir in implying that they didn’t concern themselves with the fate of Umno or the oft-cited race, religion and country theme long promoted by the party.


    “Leaders should be guided by the verses in the Quran. Trust, not indulging in plunder and striving in life is important to form a government.”


    He pointed out that “praying without making any efforts will not bring results”.


    Keeping the fate of Umno in mind, he called for a change in attitudes among the Malays and adoption of the right culture and values to succeed.


    “The nation is expected to be reach developed status soon,” he said while at the same time remaining pessimistic that the Vision 2020 target of being a developed nation could be reached. “It is not certain the Malays will be a developed people in a developed nation.”


    He agreed that he had often been critical of the Malays but this was in order that they could see themselves for what they are. “If I don’t point out the realities, they would continue to remain delusional and in a state of denial,” said Mahathir.


    “Muslims should by right unite and hold on to the teachings of the Quran.”


    The Open Letter calls for dialogue in the face of worsening polarisation, creeping Islamisation and creeping desecularisation, and defends the federal Constitution as supreme law being secular, with Islam as the religion of the Federation, and religion being a matter in the states where applicable.

    py

  6. #196
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    Dr M erred – It is Umno, not Malays who are ‘grovelling’


    [COLOR=#707070 !important]FMT Reporters
    | December 21, 2014
    [/COLOR]

    MP from DAP accuses Mahathir Mohamad of resorting to race-baiting and fear-mongering to drum up waning support of the Malays.

    PETALING JAYA: Lashing out at former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad for saying Malays had become a “minority” in the country, Zairil Khir Johari said it was Umno and not Malays who were grovelling and bending over backwards to get some semblance of support after faring badly in the last general election.


    The DAP leader said, “With only 47 per cent of the popular vote won, the Umno-led coalition is effectively a government without a popular mandate.


    “Following their disappointing electoral performance, it is Umno that has been grovelling and bending over to right-wing nationalist lobby groups such as Perkasa and Isma.”

    Zairil, who is the MP for Bukit Bendera also said Umno and Mahathir were simply resorting to desperate measures because the country’s economic situation was in tatters.


    He said, “Unable to fend off right-wing pressure and without a clear economic agenda in the face of a weakening ringgit, depressed commodity prices and the prospect of inflation and suppressed domestic consumption following the implementation of the upcoming GST, it is no surprise that Umno and Dr Mahathir is resorting in desperation to race-baiting and fear-mongering in order to drum up waning support.”


    Accusing Mahathir of sinking to new lows, Zairil said Mahathir’s latest statements were merely an “exercise in deception” because far from becoming a “minority” in their own country, Malays had never been more dominant.


    “Contrary to Dr Mahathir’s proposition, Malay dominance in every sphere of Malaysian society is actually at its peak.


    “Politically, every significant government post, from the prime minister of the Federation to 12 out of the 13 state chief ministers, is held by Malays.

    He also pointed out “Malay dominance” in the police force, the civil service and the army, saying Malays also made up the majority on the population, “recording a fertility rate that is one and a half times more than the Chinese.”


    Zairil, who is also DAP’s Assistant National Publicity Secretary, said that from an economical standpoint, the share of equity of the Malays had also grown by “leaps and bounds” under the New Economic Policy.


    Zeroing in on the number of largely Malay-dominated GLCs in the country, Zairil said, “According to the Asian Development Bank, Government-linked-companies’ share of market capitalisation of the Bursa Malaysia and the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index stands at 36 per cent and 54 per cent respectively.”


    He also said the special position Malays enjoyed was “constitutionally enshrined”, adding that any potential amendments required two-thirds majority approval in Parliament as well as the approval of Malay Rulers.


    He added, “This fail-safe (strategy) effectively means that there is no conceivable threat to the Malays in this country.”
    py

  7. #197
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    Sunday, 14 June 2015 21:32

    IT'S A SHAM: M'sia's Islamic auhorities won't give up power because of MONEY - academic







    Those in charge of religious bodies in the country will not give up their position and power due to the substantial economic benefits they receive, says law professor Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi.


    He said institutionalisation was not just a religious issue as there were economic implications.


    "These people will never give up their power because of the tremendous economic benefits they receive," he said in reference to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department's (Jakim) RM783.3 budget allocation from the federal government in 2015.


    "Don't expect them to give that up," the emeritus professor from Universiti Teknologi Mara said during a roundtable discussion on Islam and human rights in Kuala Lumpur today.


    "What is regarded as a religious struggle is a very economic struggle, for more position, power and money."


    He was responding to a question from a participant who asked how to address the extreme voices in the society who deemed others as not qualified to talk about Islam, but still received support from the institutionalised religion.


    Another panelist, G25 spokesperson Datuk Noor Farida Ariffin, earlier said many Islamic authorities and Islamic countries have completely ignored the true teachings of Quran, which emphasised kindness, not punishment.



    Datuk Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi.


    "They completely misinterpret the teaching of Quran with regard to human rights... reality is totally different. Many Islamic countries have interpreted the Quran as draconian, a religion that is unkind, emphasises mainly punishment, not kindness and justice which are the first principles of the Quran."


    She said the principles of compassion, kindness and love that are advocated in the Quran have been completely ignored.


    She said problems that led to this were that many Muslims were ignorant of what Islam is all about, as they only relied on 'ustaz' who had minimal knowledge of Islam and Islamic authorities which were conservative.


    The reality in Malaysia, said Noor Farida, was that many of the self-proclaimed Islamic scholars and employees of religious authorities had a very shallow understanding of Islam.


    Among the reasons were that some of them only graduated from the Al-Azhar University in Egypt with a diploma, which only offered a shallow teaching of various subjects in Islamic law and was designed to cater to Malaysian students who did not have pre-university qualifications, she said, adding that she was told this by a professor from the university.


    "Then they come back and declare themselves as ulama (Islamic scholar)... they are totally intolerant of dissenting views."


    She, however, said that it was important to have continuous discourse and engagement with this group because if Islamic laws were imposed, other Muslims were also be affected.


    "We have to be pragmatic, we have to engage these religious bureaucrats, who are accusing all the NGOs of not having the qualifications to talk about islam.
    "Islamic laws affect us, and we are the stakeholders and surely we can engage with them in discourse or debate, especially when we feel that the legislation is based on the wrong interpretation of the Quran.


    "That is why it is incumbent upon Muslims to get out of ignorance and educate themselves and engage with these people in a language that they speak."
    She also reiterated G25's stand that they were against PAS's intention to implement hudud, as the Islamic law introduced by PAS was not about justice, but about punishment.


    She quoted an Islamic scholar who said: "Shariah is about justice. If injustice occurs because of any rule of shariah, then it is not shariah."
    "The most extreme example is the hudud of Kelantan, it is all about punishment, not about upholding justice," added Noor Farida.



    She also cited Islamic scholar Yusuf Al-Qardawi's argument in hudud implementation, pointing out that the chairman of the International Union of Muslim Scholars said 'ijtihad' (independent reasoning) must be applied in order to impose hudud.


    "But here our conservative Islamic clerics have closed the door to ijtihad," she said.


    She said according to the Islamic scholar, a few conditions needed to be met in order to have a perfect Muslim society which provided full employment to the people and ensured only a small gap between the rich and the poor.


    She said these conditions were important to avoid injustices like chopping the hands of a poor unemployed man who stole to feed his family and corrupt businessmen, politicians or leaders getting away despite stealing public funds. – TMI

    Last edited by pywong; 16th June 2015 at 12:27 PM.
    py

  8. #198
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    The next step will be to use the threat of May 13.

    Umno relies increasingly on rural Malay support



    Published on May 14, 2013


    Boys sitting on bicycles with the party flags of PAS (green), Umno (second from front) and BN coalition (front) behind them, in Tumpat, Malaysia. Contrary to popular opinion, Umno today is as strong as it was in 1971; it is BN that is dying, not Umno. -- PHOTO: REUTERS






    By James Chin, For The Straits Times


    WHEN the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) was founded in 1946, its aim was fairly simple - to represent Malay nationalism. It was opposed to the formation of the Malaya Union, which in its view would threaten the notion of Malay sovereignty over Malaya.


    It was successful in opposing the Malaya Union proposal, so much so that the British colonial authorities suddenly realised its political potency. The British had always looked upon Umno fondly. After all, almost all of its founding members were civil servants and members of Malay royal families - people who looked up to the British.


    The first turning point for Umno was in 1951 when founding president Onn Jaafar decided to leave after failing to convince the other leaders that Umno was best suited as a multiracial party. This marked for the first time that Umno was explicitly racial - its members were adamant that it was a Malay party representing Malay interests. After the Constitution was drawn up in 1957, cementing Malay identity with Islam, Umno stood for Malays and Islam.


    The next turning point was the 1955 local election. With two other ethnic-based political parties, Malayan Chinese Association (MCA) and Malayan Indian Congress (MIC), the Alliance won all but one seat. The Alliance was so successful that for the next 14 years, Malaya/Malaysia was the model for a post-colonial progressive multiracial society.


    All this fantasy of course crashed on May 13, 1969, when it was clear that multiracial "unity" was really elite unity among the top leaders of Umno, MCA and MIC. There was no unity among the ordinary people.


    The next and most important phase for Umno came when Tun Abdul Razak took over and launched the New Economic Policy in 1971. From then on, all pretence of a multiracial polity was dropped as Umno hardliners started their ambitious "Malay state" agenda.


    The cosy relationship between the top Alliance leaders was replaced by the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in 1974. All political parties were invited to join, but on the understanding that Umno was clearly in charge.


    The creation of the Malay state accelerated when Mahathir Mohamad became Prime Minister in 1981. There was no longer any doubt about his vision of a Malay state - after all, 11 years earlier, he had laid out his entire treatise in The Malay Dilemma.


    Tun Dr Mahathir's 22-year rule saw the "full speed" approach of creating the Malay state. What others mistakenly took as crony capitalism was in fact a work-in-progress to create the Malay capitalist class. Government privatisation was used along with other licensing frameworks to create an upper class of Malay businessmen who could equal the Chinese business elite.


    Within BN itself, Dr Mahathir and Umno became the centre of gravity. The BN Supreme Council and the federal Cabinet became talking shops - all the key decisions were taken at the Majlis Tertinggi Umno (Umno Supreme Council).


    Not only did Dr Mahathir succeed in cementing Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy), he also successfully fought off any challenge from the pro-Islamic ground by making Umno the champion of Islam as well. By the end of his rule in 2003, it was clear that non-Malays were not only subjected to Ketuanan Melayu but they were also subjected to Ketuanan Islam (Islam Supremacy). An entirely new parallel Islamic legal system was established along with a huge expansion of Islamic bureaucracy.


    The flaw in Dr Mahathir's Malay state building was the scourge of money politics. With so much money flowing out of the government into selected Umno elite, the competition became so intense that the only way to get support was to "buy" support.


    Money politics in Umno was tolerated because it did not contradict Malay or Islamic dominance of the system. As long as the money did not threaten Umno or Ketuanan Melayu, it was seen as a necessary evil for the functioning of Umno.


    Fast forward to this May 5.


    While many point to the fact that BN lost the popular vote and that Umno is weak, I would argue the reverse. Many Malaysians are misreading the situation. Umno today is as strong as it was in 1971; it is BN that is dying, not Umno.


    The Malay heartland, all in rural areas, backed Umno and that is why it increased its number of parliamentary seats and why there is an Umno-alone government in Kuala Lumpur today.


    Despite losing the two-thirds majority in 2008, Umno failed to tackle the corruption issue or move to the middle ground. It cared only about control over Malay minds and control of the federal government.
    Reforms undertaken after 2009 were mainly cosmetic and in the economic arena; real political reforms did not take place and that is why the urban polity rejected Umno this year. For example, on the issue of Ketuanan Melayu, rather than deal with it, the party simply "subcontracted" the work to Perkasa, a Malay right-wing organisation established after 2008.


    The urban public did not buy the argument that Umno had reformed when Perkasa's president and deputy president became BN candidates this year. It became clear that Umno would not change its political leanings.


    It has become increasingly clear in the past two decades that Umno is now BN and BN is Umno. Umno accounts for just less than half of Cabinet ministers. In Parliament, the overwhelming bloc within BN is always Umno. In 2008, Umno won 79 seats out of BN's 140. This year, Umno won 88 out of BN's 133 seats. In percentage terms, this translates to 56 per cent and 66 per cent respectively.


    Today after 56 years of independence, Umno still controls the rural Malay mind. Yes, it is true Umno has lost control over large sections of the Malay community in urban areas. Under Malaysia's electoral system, it is the rural seats that decide the federal government, not urban seats. Urban seats account for less than a quarter of Malaysia's 222 parliamentary seats while about 150 seats are Malay/bumiputera majority seats.


    Umno is unlikely to reform in time for the 14th GE, and does not need to. As long as the first- past-the-post system continues to allot disproportionate weight to rural voters, all Umno has to do is to keep the fire of Ketuanan Melayu and Ketuanan Islam burning brightly in rural Malaysia.


    stopinion@sph.com.sg


    The writer is a senior visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (Iseas).

    py

  9. #199
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    Oct 2008
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    13,392
    We are now coming very close to the end of our saga. With the election loss of UMNO/BN on 9th May 2018, there has been a peaceful change of Government, although UMNO tried their best to scupper it. The past 15 months has seen many erratic movement towards reform, which at times seem to go in the reverse direction. Mahathir, after an initial period of liberalism, is reverting to his old habits, manipulating events for his own advantage. Sadly, old habits die hard. But now, we are very close to the core of the onion, seeing the Deep State manifest and expose itself. The following 4 articles by Murray Hunter explains some of the missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle.

    1. https://www.asiasentinel.com/politic...islamic-state/

    Malaysia’s Deep Islamic State

    June 20, 2019
    2245


    By: Murray Hunter


    Soon after Mahathir Mohamed became Prime Minister in 1981, he embarked upon bringing Islam into Malaysia’s government. He opened an Islamic university, started an Islamic banking sector, strengthened Islamic jurisprudence and centralized Federal Islamic affairs under the Prime Minister’s Department.Thirty-eight years later, that has created an unassailable Islamic bureaucracy that is independent of the executive branch, with their own sources of funds in addition to federal and state budget allocations. Elected governments, even under a new reformist Pakatan Harapan coalition that drove out the United Malays National Organization and the component parties of the Barisan Nasional, do not dare to cut down the size of the Islamic bureaucracy due to the potential political outcry that would follow from ultra-Malay-Islamic groups across the country.This is a radical change from the country at its birth in 1957, when Tunku Abdul Rahman, who loved horse-racing and Scotch whiskey, was the head of state and entertainers like P Ramli dominated the movies whose audiences included miniskirted teenagers.With or without Mahathir, the Islamic resurgence began in the early 1980s where ethnic Malays, thrilled with the Islamic wave created by Ayatollah Khomeini that humiliated the west in Iran, were becoming much more religious, with Malay social codes becoming much more observant of Islam. More women began covering their heads, Arabized dress started becoming synonymous with Islam and the Malay language itself was becoming Arabized.An astute Mahathir saw this being translated into growing support for the rural-based Parti Islam se-Malaysia or PAS. So in 1982 Mahathir recruited the popular Anwar Ibrahim, who was president of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (ABIM) into his party UMNO to strengthen his Islamic credentials. Anwar moved through the senior political ranks very quickly, becoming Youth & Sports Minister in 1983, Agriculture Minister in 1984, Education Minister in 1983, Finance Minister in 1991, and finally Deputy Prime Minister in 1993.


    Mahathir was able to decimate PAS in the 1986, leaving them with only one parliamentary seat although PAS rebounded and wrested the Kelantan state government from UMNO in the 1990 general election and has ruled it since.
    The Malaysian Constitution specifies that Islam is the official religion of the nation, although freedom of religion is also supposedly guaranteed. In addition, under the constitution, ethnic Malays cannot convert to any other religion unless the Sharia Court grants permission, which is unheard of. Islam is a matter for the states to regulate and each head of state, raja or sultan is also the leader of Islam. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong or king is the head of Islam in the Federal Territories and states which don’t have a royal head of state.


    As Islam is a state responsibility, each state has a Multi Department which issues fatwas based on interpreting the Quran, Hadiths, and Sunna, maintains mosque operations, and identifies and controls the spread of deviant Islamic teachings. State Islamic Departments are responsible for family law, mosque maintenance, Sharia enforcement, education, and general Islamic affairs. Each state will also have an agency and Islamic foundations which invest in Islamic insurance, Islamic education, and the spending of Zakat monies. The operations of these business arms are substantial, and the control of Zakat monies creates massive outreach into the community.Although each state government has an executive council member responsible for Islamic affairs, the Mufti and State Islamic Departments tend to run autonomously without political interference.During Mahathir’s first tenure, the Division of Islamic Affairs was upgraded to the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (JAKIM). With a Director-General in charge, JAKIM became responsible for Islamic affairs in all Federal Territories. JAKIM’s aim was to maintain the purity of Islam and Islamic teachings, coordinate law enforcement, and oversee Halal regulation. Within JAKIM is the National Fatwa Council made up of state Muftis and an additional five Islamic Scholars selected by the Conference of Rulers. Once a fatwa was approved by the Conference of Rulers and gazetted, it becomes legally binding within the Federal Territories.


    Fatwa decisions are based upon the principle of collective decisions (Shura) of the Fatwa Council. They are opinions based upon the Islamic texts and advice given to the council. In effect, Fatwas cannot be challenged although there have been many cases of contradictory fatwas issued by various councils, where on occasion they have also been contradictory of the Federal Constitution.JAKIM and the state religious departments have strong connections with the police. This relationship is outside the control of ministers and state executive councillors. The Selangor Islamic Department (JAIS), for instance, conducted raids with the police in 2014 on the Malaysian Bible Society that were embarrassing for the then-opposition Pakatan state government in Selangor.These massive state and federal bureaucracies are directed by unelected bureaucrats and muftis. Their modus operandi based their interpretations upon the Quran, Hadiths, Sunna, and Fiqh texts, which cannot be challenged. The royal connection due to the Sultans and Yang di-Pertuan Agong being the heads of Islam takes away any accountability. Any attack upon the actions of the Islamic bureaucracy can easily be deemed an attack upon Islam and royalty itself.This tenure with royalty is also mutually serving both parties’ interests. State Religious Departments and the rule of ‘Islam’ are protected by Royal patronage and royalty is protected by its position as the head of Islam.The nexus here is Islam-Royalty-Malay Rights which is a completely unchallengable platform, enabling agendas to be carried out that are not even trusted to the political parties of the country. This is the core of the deep Islamic state within Malaysia. A massive group of civil servants is loyal to this philosophy rather than flag and modern nationhood. This is an almost unmovable barrier to any sense of secularism.This deep Islamic state is ever increasing its powers, aided by the previous deeply corrupt government headed by Prime Minister Najib Razak, who saw in embrace of religion a bulwark against a secular insurgency spearheaded by the opposition. It worked for a long time.Imams in mosques have long been forbidden to present their own speeches for Friday prayers as they are forced to read state prepared texts. JAKIM stopped non-Muslims using the Arabic word ‘Allah’ in 2007. JAKIM treats the LGBT community as deviant. The deep state prevented the federal government ratifying the ICERD treaty on anti-discrimination. JAIS acted against a forum on Malay women’s rights to not wear the hijab. Now JAKIM is opening a new special unit to investigate insults to Islam.The disappearance of Pastor Raymond Koh in 2017 was found by the Malaysian Human Rights Group Suhakam to have been undertaken by the state. The further disappearances of Pastor Joshua Hilmy and his wife Ruth, converts away from Islam, and that of Amri Che Mat, a Muslim activist abducted by masked men in SUVs in Perlis, remain unexplained. Mahathir remains publicly unperturbed.This Islamic state has turned Islam into an authoritarian and totalitarian tool for control of peoples’ daily lives. Malaysia has become a pseudo-theocracy where anyone with opposing views will be pursued and prosecuted. Anybody giving a talk on Islam requires a permit.Soon after the Pakatan Harapan victory last year, calls by a group of eminent Malays known as the G25 were made to the Conference of Rulers to review the functions of JAKIM. This was resisted. Mahathir announced in July 2018 that there would be an inquiry into the functions of JAKIM and was attacked by the Malay Rights group Pemantau Malaysia Baru, led by Lokman Noor Adam. Until now there is no sign of any report.When Pakatan Harapan first came into office, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, the minister responsible for Islamic affairs, tried to reel in JAKIM’s enforcement activities, but after criticisms have backed off. Islam mixed with politics and the philosophy of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy) has brought many skewed discussions about Islam.This has inhibited national debate about important Islamic issues. Issues relating to ethics, social justice, equity, corruption, the alleviation of poverty, education, and racial tolerance from any Islamic perspective are glossed over in favor of more trivial issues that hold the Malaysian narrative captive today.Within this framework there is little real debate regarding social, spiritual, and the economic evolution of what Malaysia should be. The paradox is that there is actually little Islamic influence upon policy and decision-making within administrative government. The agenda and tight grip on bureaucracy and the executive are too hard to undo. Both Anwar and Mahathir helped to create this deep Islamic state. When they are both gone, this is the legacy the people of Malaysia will be left with.
    py

  10. #200
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    Oct 2008
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    13,392
    2. The Special Branch - a State within a State. This article throws light on why the ICERD was withdrawn, a Mahathir effort to protect the SB.

    https://www.asiasentinel.com/politic...ch-deep-state/



    Malaysia’s Special Branch and the Deep State

    July 11, 2019
    3724


    By: Murray Hunter


    Malaysia’s Special Branch, a secretive division within the Royal Malaysian Police force (PDRM), has functioned as one of the country’s most covert units, or did until earlier this year, when the human rights NGO Suhakam accused it of being behind the disappearance of two social activists, Amri Che Mat and Pastor Raymond Koh.The new Director General of Police, Absul Hamid Bador, denies the accusation, claiming that the unithas no operational capabilities. Nonetheless, the accusation shines a light on a shadowy organization that had its beginnings as an intelligence unit established by the British after WWII to primarily gather human intelligence (HUMINT) on the communist insurgency throughout North Borneo and Malaya as well as spying to counter the growing Communist influence as well as watching the Singaporean trade union and political movements. A third important task was to undertake surveillance and infiltrate the Chinese triads operating in the towns throughout Malaya.As a colonial creation, it has never been legitimized by act of Parliament, It has, no public charter, and reports neither to the National Parliament or the executive. It became an arm of the police organizational structure with a director who reported to the Director General of Police (IGP). The only indication of its mission and objectives are on the police website, stating that it is“responsible for collecting and processing security intelligence to preserve the law and order of the public and maintain Malaysia’s peace and security.”Today it conducts surveillance, intelligence gathering, and infiltrations that span all aspects of Malaysian society including religious organizations, mosques, churches, and temples, Chinese schools, universities, the state and federal civil services, government agencies, local government, trade unions, NGOs, media organizations, social activists, and even Royal households. Special Branch attends many public gatherings, press conferences, and events where there are people of interest. Both opposition and government members of parliament are kept under surveillance. It has expanded from just utilising HUMINT gathering and now utilizes all the tools of modern electronic intelligence gathering, with sophisticated cyber abilities.

    A former officer who wants to remain anonymous told Asia Sentinel writer that during the first Mahathir era in the 1990s, his responsibility was to film and photograph cabinet ministers and state chief ministers in compromising situations which could be utilized as a lever against them if necessary at some future point. The ex-officer went on to say that a number of guest rooms in hotels around Malaysia have been set up for this specific purpose, making it intriguing that recently Mohamed Azmin Ali, the former Selangor chief minister and current minister of economics, was allegedly surreptitiously filmed in a homosexual liaison by unknown actors.Politicians from Sabah and Sarawak are of particular interest due to the sensitivities about succession from the Federation. Just recently Parti Warisan Sabah, a member of the Pakatan Harapan government, announced publicly that they would ban SB officers from their press conferences. However, Abdul Hamid Bador, formerly the agency’s director, said it is the SB’s prerogative to send in their people to press conferences despite the ban.The unit has even been involved in royal household politics, choosing sides in a power struggle within the Kelantan Royal household in 2010 by reportedly ambushing the then-Sultan Ismail Petraon the road to prevent him from travelling to Singapore for medical treatment and restrained him in hospital.The SB’s Political Division monitors the political climate and regularly undertakes its own polling. Its officers actually knew that the Najib government would most likely lose GE14 when that was by no means clear to political analysts. However, we will never know what role it played during the election and transition.However, the warning that Abdul Hamid Bador gave to Najib when he was dismissed as deputy director and mothballed within the Prime Ministers Department before the election may in retrospect be very telling. The Political Division conducts propaganda and misinformation campaigns.

    During the first trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy, the then director Mohamed Said Awang told the court the Special Branch had conducted ‘turning over operations’ to change the political views of targets. Wikileaks revealed correspondence between Australian and Singapore security agencies in which the Singapore agency told the Australian agency that the allegations against Anwar were true and result of a ‘honey trap’ set up.Activities are not restricted to Malaysia. Officers are found in countries where Malaysians are studying including Australia, New Zealand, UK, Germany, Ireland, the United States, and Egypt. SB officers monitor the activities of Malaysian students and also use the opportunity to groom and recruit potential informants, where those students on scholarships will be future civil servants. Officers usually work independently of Malaysian consular missions, although some officers may either work within the consulates or are the consul in charge of student affairs.The SB also operates in Thailand, especially the southern provinces. Another SB officer who also wished to remain anonymous told me the main focus in Thailand was to monitor Malaysian criminals and Islamic sects with Malaysian connections. The officer also said that if the SB wanted to capture their targets, they would abduct and take them straight across the border. These extrajudicial renditions are usually carried out on those wanted in Malaysia and using Thailand as a safe haven.The Malaysian and Singaporean special branches have very close relationships. A Malaysian officer once told me the Singapore SB are “their brothers,” which allows Malaysian SB influence to flow down into Singapore. Time Magazine reported that the Malaysian special branch knew Sarawak Report editor Clare Rewcastle Brown had planned to visit Singapore and had arranged for their Singapore counterparts to arrest her upon arrival.The SB uses the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) which replaced the infamous Internal Security Act (ISA) as a platform to arrest and interrogate people of interest. Although hundreds of suspected terrorists have been arrested and held under SOSMA, the Act has also been used to arrest and hold civil rights activists, including Maria Chin Abdullah of Bersih.This is purely political. Other detainees under SOSMA/ISA have included politicians Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Jeffrey Kittingan, Karpal Singh, Michael Jayakumar, Lim Guan Eng, Mohamed Sabu, and Teresa Koh.According to ex-detainees the special branch methods to interrogate suspects include stripping them, forcing them to stand for long periods of time in the cold, intimidation, threats against families, isolation in spotlights or darkness, sleep, food and water deprivation, ‘good cop, bad cop’ routines, and truth drugs. The aim is to make the detainees completely dependent on their captures to break them down mentally.Detainees have no right to lawyers, no right to judicial review, or other legal recourse. The SB itself has no known system of checks and balances, which leads to abuse. The 2005 Dzaiddin Royal Commission into Police Reform found that many SB actions fall outside the law. Interrogations also contravene the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture, a treaty which the Malaysian government has refused to ratify. Mahathir as Prime Minister has always been close to the Special Branch. In 1987 he cracked down on his critics in what was known as Operation Lalang, rounding up more than 100 politicians, social activists, academics, students, artists, and people seen as being critical of the government. The prime minister’s hold over the unit is just as strong today with his staunch ally Abdul Hamid Bador, the newly appointed IGP. Mahathir in support of the SB was dismissive of Suhakam’s findings about the abduction of Pastor Koh. This is in stark contrast to former Prime Minister Najib Razak’s experience. Suspicious of the SB is that it built its own security apparatus from the Malaysian External Intelligence Organization, known as ME10. Building ME10 up to more than 1,000 operatives, Najib bypassed the SB. The charges against the former Director-General of ME10 Hasanah Abdul Hamid for misappropriation of election funds can be seen as payback for the letter she wrote to the CIA before Najib lost the federal election last year. Today, the SB has a budget of more than RM500 million, which doesn’t include the slush funds it has to run secret and sensitive operations. Over the last decade SB staff have more than doubled to over 10,000. This doesn’t include 10-15,000 informers that the SB is handling across the country. This represents about one SB operative to 1,500 citizens, a ratio not unlike the old East German secret police, the Stasi. Rather than use sodomy to destroy an adversary of Mahathir, ironically the SB is now using misinformation dissemination, aka ‘deepfake’ to protect a Mahathir ally. Many more clandestine operations to handle the transition are certain to follow. The SB is now in the hands of a person who has used it before to blackmail, silence, incarcerate, and detain his critics. If Malaysia aspires to be a true democracy, then the SB is totally out of control. Who is a subversive or terrorist is left for the SB to decide. Extra-judicial abductions are unconstitutional. Many detainees have been prisoners of conscience or prisoners for their religious beliefs.Under Mahathir the SB is even more powerful now than it was under the last BN Government.
    Last edited by pywong; 8th August 2019 at 05:22 PM.
    py

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