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  1. #161
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    The Century of the Self - 4 of 4 - Eight People Sipping Wine in Kettering

    The satisfaction of the individual inner desires and needs was the highest priority. The political left tried to take advantage of this to gain political power

    Edward Bernays

    Appeal to the ego.

    Margaret Thatcher: Allow the individual to flourish. Focus Group Survey. Determine how people feel about issues and brands. Individualism.

    People were grouped by individual needs and no longer by class in the development of policies.

    Public Relations became mainstream and popular.
    Film stars were engaged to endorse products.

    Politicians identified inner desires through Focus Groups and used the same language to get support. Turn politics to a consumer business. Follow consumer rules, the whims and desires of the market-place. Treat voters as owners. Lifestyle marketing survey. Identify the swing voter. Neural personality polls. Make voters more secure in their lifestyle. Small-ball politics. Sub-urban voters dictated policies.

    Voters were manipulated through the identification of their desires and the politicians pandering to it. But long-term, it was not satisfactory as opinions kept changing. So politicians could not come up with a long-term policy. But this would challenge the desires of the people. The dilemma was how to appeal to the higher values of people. Politics should treat people with respect and engage them rationally. Otherwise, it should let business run politics.

  2. #162
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Psychological Warfare: Playing on hatred, envy, demonisation, dehumanisation and a false sense of racial superiority to promote support of UMNO against the rest. It works on fear.

    Finally, we have to ask ourselves: Can we afford disunity in a global world. Our competitors are the countries around the world. We need to be united to grow strong to compete with them. UMNO policies are designed to weakened us to maintain them in power.

    What are the teachings of Biro Tata Negara (BTN)?

    Taken from The Malaysian Insider

    By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

    Nov 27, 2006


    I hope those Dayak who attended this BTN course can share their experience and learning. If such are the teachings of BTN that Chinese are Jews and Christians are associated with Head and Sholder Shampoo for its doctorine of “Holy Trinity” then DPM have a lot to explained to Malaysian instead of choosing to deny BTN racialist and extremist Ketuanan Melayu agenda.

    Why are we spending so much money for such sick ideas of unity through hatred. Malaysian need the money to overcome hardcore poverty and therefor do not need such extreme negativity and may provoke the peace and stability of the country. I hope BN UMNO led supporters realize the “evil scheme”of certain UMNO Malay leaders.

    For Dayak we have to stand up and be counted and stop being cowed into the corner and whine about our problem. Do something positive with one selfand also to walk beyond one self to provide service to the community and make our community better.

    Kalau bukan kiat – siapa?

    Kalau bukan sekarang – bila?

    If BTN is just the tip of an ice-berg of UMNO racialist Ketuanan Melayu agenda, I fear for the future of Malaysia under BN led BN.

    No wonder the voters rejected BN in March 8th election. In Sarawak – the vote buying, promised of development and the award of MRP confused the voters of BN UMNO intention. The voters did not even understand that BN is led by UMNO with Ketuanan Melayu agenda. This Ketuanan Melayu agenda is the root cause for declining numbers of non-Malays in the civil service, the curtail of various religious freedom to practice, the low numbers of Dayak receiving support for tertiary education, the introduction of a single race value system to rural Dayak through West Malaysia teachers etc.

    It is time enough we make a stance and say NO to BN.

    Change WE Must
    Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani – and BTN course

    I am one of the privileged few to have attended a local public university and learned the meaning of hate, thanks to the ever popular Biro Tata Negara.

    All undergraduates were forced to attend this programme or else they would not be eligible for graduation.

    Intellectual Speakers?

    The BTN under the Prime Minister’s Department brought in “intellectual” speakers who were supposed to enlighten the students about the meaning of being a Malaysian but instead it felt more like a communist propaganda camp brainwashing those attending about the importance of “Ketuanan Melayu”.

    A Whole Day Program

    The camp would usually take place during the weekends. Students would have to register early in the morning and the programme would last the whole day.

    The organisers were always on their guard, asking participants to show their student identification cards each time they entered the hall, fearing the presence of outsiders.

    In the hall, students were asked to turn off their mobile phones.

    Do not raise any question

    During the lectures, questions were planted among the audience and the students were advised not ask raise any questions.

    One speaker began with the history of Malaysia and how much the country had gone through, always emphasising the May 13 riots.

    Malay must be united against outside threat – eg the Malaysian Chinese

    He stressed the point of how much the Malays had sacrificed and how the community should be united especially from outside threat — the Chinese community.

    BTN says – Chinese are Jews of Asia

    He said that the Chinese community were “the Jews of Asia” and were just itching to take over when Malays were disunited and broken.

    The speaker also revealed a greater Chinese conspiracy where the Chinese Malaysians were working together with Singapore to topple the Malay government.

    “Do you want to become like the Malays in Singapore?” he asked.

    Muslim are Malay

    He also went so far as to criticise Malay girls for dating boys from other races.

    He added that they should not be cheap and embarrass their families.

    Once, a student told the speaker that as Muslims, we should also respect other races who are also Muslims.

    “All Muslims are Malays so it does not matter if they are Chinese or Indians. If they are Muslims then they are Malays,” the speaker replied.

    Selangor PKR Government is doing the right thing

    This is why I was relieved when I learned that the Selangor government had moved to ban its civil servants, employees of state subsidiaries and students at state-owned education institutions from attending any BTN courses with immediate effect.

    However I believe racism in varsities does not end at BTN because classrooms have also become victims of ignorant scholars.

    My friend was verbally abused during his sociology class when he did not agree with the points made by his lecturer.

    “You must be DKK,” the lecturer told him.

    Darah Keturunan Keling (DKK)

    “What is DKK?” he asked.

    “You must be darah keturunan keling (descendents of Indians),” the lecturer said, pointing to his dark skin.

    My Saudi friend was also shocked by the comments made by his lecturer in his Islamic civilisation class.

    Orang Alsi are Palestinians and Chinese is Isreal

    “We should save our Orang Asli from the Chinese people. They are like the Palestinians and the Chinese are Israel. We must fight the Jews,” the lecturer told his students.

    Failed for quoting Western Scholar

    The lecturer even failed one of his students in his oral exam when he quoted a Western scholar in his presentation.

    “You should be ashamed of yourselves. You are a Muslim and should only use Islamic scholars,” he scolded the student.

    Christians are like Head and Shoulder’s 3 in 1 shampoo – for Holy Trinity

    I was personally saddened when my Islamic law lecturer compared Christianity to Head & Shoulder’s 3 in 1 shampoo in referring to the religion’s Holy Trinity.


    I feel that racism has been institutionalised in our country and that BTN is only the tip of the iceberg.

    Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin defended BTN yesterday and claimed that it was not racist but is line with the 1 Malaysia concept.

    I have to humbly disagree and would like to suggest maybe the ministers should bring their overseas children home and let them have a taste of what BTN is.

    ---------- Post added at 09:47 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:37 AM ----------

    BTN promotes racial unity?

    By Ding Jo-Ann | 02 December 2009 | Read [8] Comments | Print This Post

    “The courses promote racism and my own children who have attended BTN have been given booklets that encourage hate towards the opposition.”

    “The programmes are not positive to young minds, and are a waste of money which could have been used to foster real unity.”
    SELANGOR executive council member Dr Halimah Ali, announcing the state government’s policy to bar staff of state government and government-linked companies, and students of Selangor-owned institutions from attending National Civics Bureau courses.

    The course, also known as Biro Tata Negara (BTN) courses, is run by the Prime Minister’s Department for university students on government scholarships and civil servants. (Source: Selangor moves to stop BTN brainwashing, The Malaysian Insider, 25 Nov 2009)

    BTN courses are not for ‘converting’ participants to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN). There are no ulterior motives; these courses are well-intended.”
    Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, defending the allegation that there was brainwashing in BTN courses. (Source: BTN courses not political indoctrination, Bernama, 26 Nov 2009)

    “The Selangor state government is just making a big issue. I have attended the course and it is all about positive thinking, patriotism and nothing to do with racialism.”
    Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, defending the BTN course. She said there was no racial content in the course when she attended it. (Source: Those who go for BTN courses love it, says Shahrizat, The Malaysian Insider, 28 Nov 2009)

    “Just like a blind man who does not know of what he does not see, how can Kit Siang talk of the BTN course when he has never attended it?”
    Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Noh Omar, ridiculing DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang‘s call for BTN to be stopped. Noh said the opposition was trying to deflect the public’s attention from its own weaknesses by making BTN courses an issue. (Source: BTN course inculcate sense of patriotism, says BN leaders, The Star, 29 Nov 2009)

    “The BTN is not the agency some quarters made it out to be. The BTN is to instil patriotism and has received the ISO 9000 certification from Sirim. It is a well-structured course … It is impossible for the government to introduce racial elements in BTN programmes as participants are coming from other races as well.”
    Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan, who is in charge of the BTN course. He said the course would continue to run in Selangor despite the state government ban, as other federal employees and university students could still participate. (Source: Govt to continue BTN courses in Selangor – Ahmad, The Malaysian Insider, 29 Nov 2009)

    “I am one of the privileged few to have attended a local public university and learned the meaning of hate, thanks to the ever popular Biro Tata Negara.

    “[One speaker] stressed the point of how much the Malays had sacrificed and how the community should be united especially from outside threat — the Chinese community. He said the Chinese community were ‘the Jews of Asia’ and were just itching to take over when Malays were disunited and broken. The speaker also revealed a greater Chinese conspiracy where the Chinese Malaysians were working together with Singapore to topple the Malay government.”
    Asril Hadi Abdullah Sani, a former participant of the BTN course, writing on his experience. (Source: BTN taught me Chinese are the Jews of Asia, The Malaysian Insider, 27 Nov 2009)

    “I agree that it should be revamped so that the curriculum is in line with the 1Malaysia concept, because we have spent so much money.

    “… I know that the curriculum now should be inclusive to be in line with what PM wants — 1Malaysia. If you only want the course(s) to be for one racial group, then it’s not 1Malaysia.

    “What [Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin] meant was BTN as a department is good, but we have to change the curriculum because now we have a 1Malaysia concept.”
    Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, announcing the government’s intention to revamp the BTN course. When asked to clarify whether or not his announcement was contrary to Muhyiddin’s statement that the BTN programme should continue as it was, he said Muhyiddin was probably misunderstood. (Source: Govt to revamp controversial BTN courses, Malaysiakini, 30 Nov 2009)

    “What had been directed [by the Prime Minister] is to upgrade the BTN modules.

    “What [Nazri] meant [when he said the government would revamp the BTN course] was to make improvements to the 1Malaysia module.”
    Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Ahmad Maslan confusing matters further by clarifying Nazri’s statement that the BTN course would be “revamped”. (Source: BTN co-curriculum – ‘It’s an upgrade, not a revamp’,The Star, 1 Dec 2009)

  3. #163
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Principles of psychological warfare by Art Harun.

    Tuesday, March 09, 2010

    The Rhetoric of Oppression*

    Umberto Eco, in his article, "The Wolf and the Lamb - The Rhetoric of Oppression" (from which the title to this article is borrowed), posits that often enough, an oppressor - such as a dictator - would try to legitimise his oppression. He or she will even try "to obtain the consensus of those he is oppressing, or to find someone who will justify it" by using "rhetorical arguments to justify his abuse of power."

    (At this juncture, I would like to add to Eco's example of an oppressor. In addition to a dictator, I would add a "totalitarian democrat", who is a so called leader elected through a controlled democratic process. I would also add to the list what Rawls terms as the "benevolent absolutist").

    The need for legitimisation of an act or acts of oppression, to my mind, stems from the desire to justify such acts which in turn is driven by purely egoistical motivation, or perhaps is due to a deep feeling of guilt. Added to that must be the desire to gain acceptance of the people and to pander to the middle class intellectual probing.

    Whatever the reason for the attempt to legitimise, at the end of the day, the rhetoric of the oppressor, to the reasonable and probing minds, would often come out as completely lame and curious - sometimes even ridiculous, stupid and laughable - babbles.

    That is because of the nature of the oppressor. He is so used to getting and doing what he wants without so much of a necessity to justify any of his actions. He thus develop this inability to answer properly when questioned; to engage when called to question; to debate when argued against.

    The oppressor rules with absolute subservience from his minions. He is the supreme leader. He is an idol of the people. His wishes are his people's commands. All the years of absolutism contributes to his feeling of being infallible. That in turn numbs his mind and thought process.

    Darwin's evolution theory has proven that when any particular biological or physical mechanism is not used or needed for some time, it will soon disappear from the being. That is true with the oppressor. Soon, he ceases from being a thinking creature.

    All that matters to him is the untold power which he wields. And the idolatry which he enjoys.

    Thus the legitimisation of his acts is actually unnecessary. It is not a rational act. Or a rationalisation process. There is no need for such process. Because at the end of the day, all that matters to the oppressor is the achievement of a goal. And that is already assured and ensured. Not much care is then needed in the process of legitimisation.

    Being so, when an oppressor tries to legitimise his oppression through rhetoric, it often sounds curious and ridiculous to the reasonable people. Needless to say, they often fall flat.

    Eco, in his work, gives us a classic "pseudorhetoric of oppression" in the form of Phaedrus' fable of the wolf and the lamb.

    In the tale, a thirsty wolf and a lamb came to a stream. The wolf was drinking upstream and the lamb was downstream. The wolf, ever the oppressor that he was, sought to start a quarrel.

    "Why are you muddying the water I am drinking?", said the wolf.

    If we stopped here, we could see the utter ridiculousness of the would-be oppressor's starting line. How could the lamb, who was downstream, muddy the water which the wolf was drinking upstream? But the wolf, as with any oppressor, does not care about reasonableness of arguments. Reasonableness is only for the weak.

    The lamb, however, represents a picture of reasonableness, when he sought to rationalise with the wolf. He answered, "I am sorry, but how could I do that? I am drinking the water that has passed you first."

    That is a polite answer. It is also an answer which any sensible member of a civilised society would offer to the oppressor's rhetoric. Faced with such sensible - and probably irrefutable - rebuttal, the wolf changes the goal post and employs another line of attack.

    "Six months ago, you talked about me behind my back," charged the wolf.

    To the reasonable mind, this is something which is totally unrelated to the first line of attack. It reflects the oppressor's inability to engage in any meaningful debate about a stand taken by him. When faced with such situation, the oppressor would create a new attack in a reckless manner.

    The recklessness in the oppressor's reply shows when the lamb said, "but I wasn't even born yet six month ago!".

    Again, the oppressor's inability is exposed. He is shamed but not ashamed. That is due to the power which he wields and the obvious differences in physical prowess between the oppressor and the oppressed. The wolf would again change his charge.

    The wolf, this time with impatience, said, "by Hercules, then it was your father who spoke badly of me."

    With that statement, the wolf pounced on the lamb, killing it before eating it up.

    How frightening!

    Regardless of the simplicity of the tale, the reflection of the oppressor's mind and how it works in that tale is paralysingly frightening. The almost nonchalant attitude towards the exercise of extreme power by the strong and mighty over the weak and meek is symptomatic of any oppression.

    Throughout the Malay classical literature, we could see for example, the child Hang Nadim, who saved Temasek from the dreaded "ikan todak" (sword fish"), being executed for being too smart and therefore a possible threat to the Sultan. When Hang Tuah was perceived as being favoured by the Sultan more than any others, he was accused to have partied with the Sultan's "gundek" (concubine) and he was sentenced to death.

    In not too far a time before, for some reason or other, the regime wanted Tun Salleh, the Lord President, be sacked. That was the opening line as provided by the wolf. To which, Tun Salleh asked, "why?"

    The answer was, "because you have signed a resignation letter."

    The reply was, "but I have changed my mind, because I was under pressure."

    The final rebuttal, before Tun Salleh was dismissed was, "you have to resign because you have abused your power by bring your son to the authority to request a fishery license. You also have to be sacked because you promote Islam and Islamisation in your judgments and speeches."

    The utter ridiculousness and unreasonableness of the rhetoric did not matter. Because the oppressor had no ability to rationalise. Nor did he see the need to do so.

    Later, Anwar Ibrahim had to go as the DPM.

    "What did I do?", asked Anwar. That was the sensible and reasonable lamb asking the wolf who was starting a fight.

    Just like the wolf accusing the lamb of bad mouthing him six months ago, Anwar was told that he had to go because he had committed sodomy.

    The lamb, in the fable above said he wasn't even born yet six months ago.

    Anwar, said "but the apartment in which I was to have committed sodomy wasn't even completed yet at the time you said I committed sodomy!"

    Notice the uncanny similarities between the fable and the event which had actually happened?

    Faced with that, the oppressor changed his story, just like the wolf. "Okay, but you did commit sodomy at that place on a different date. And I have the mattress too."

    With that, the lamb was pounced on, killed and eaten up.

    Contemporary Malaysia is filled with stories of oppression and denied justice. The rhetoric of oppression has been perfected and repeated to utter death.

    "You are too noisy and please shut up," said the wolf.

    "What have I done?", asked the people.

    "You have insulted Islam and are a threat to national security," came the answer.

    Or, "you have to be detained for your own safety," came the mind-numbingly curious answer.

    I could go on and on. But I would just sound like a horribly scratched CD.

    The question is, what is the lamb going to do about it?


    What is the lamb going to do about it?

    * Based on Umberto Eco's "The Wolf and the Lamb - The Rhetoric of Oppression" (Turning Back The Clock, Harvill Secker, 2007).

  4. #164
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Don't hope for help from the US. We have to help ourselves!

    US Ambassador Analysis

    Jul/Aug 2008


    Friday, 22 July 2011 Super Admin

    The ruling elite maintains control over the security apparatus through party stalwarts who run the security institutions, mainly the police but also the military. We believe the military will remain loyal to legitimate leadership and is not a likely tool to overturn an elected, royally-approved and Malay-led government from either the ruling or opposition side. The police, on the other hand, follow orders from the ruling party.


    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 04 KUALA LUMPUR 000644




    E.O. 12958: DECL: 07/22/2028






    Summary and Introduction

    1. (C) The next four weeks will be a telling period in the history of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO) rule in Malaysia. For the first time in its fifty-year dominance, UMNO is faced with a multi-racial opposition alliance that has some credible prospect for forming the next government. To date, it appears the ruling party finds this situation intolerable. UMNO leaders, united behind but also in a sense using Prime Minister (PM) Abdullah, have made it clear that they are willing to blacken Malaysia's reputation to ensure the end to opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's political challenge.

    The coming Parliamentary session in the latter half of August is the next likely setting for a showdown, and could precipitate another arrest of Anwar if he is deemed to be doing to well politically between now and then. Conversely, if the ruling party concludes it has him boxed in UMNO may be content to use short-term measures such as judicial restraining orders and the like to prevent him from addressing and attracting a national audience.

    2. (C) We should continue to speak out publicly in support of the rule of law, taking care not to undermine our principled position by being perceived to be too close to the opposition. If the authorities escalate their rhetoric in anticipation of another arrest of Anwar, we will need to adjust accordingly. If, on the other hand, the ruling party restrains itself from arresting Anwar again in August, we will want to consider our longer-term approach to a period of prolonged uncertainty.

    For the time being, we should continue to press hard the bilateral initiatives currently underway as these are tied directly to profound U.S. interests and support the development of a more transparent and accountable set of systems in Malaysian government and society. As we begin to develop our public diplomacy programs for the coming fiscal year, we will seek to give pride of place to the rule of law. End Summary and Introduction.

    What does UMNO want?

    3. (C) The ruling party wants to stay in power indefinitely, and that means Anwar and the multi-racial opposition front he is leading must fail. At least so far, there is scant evidence of a more thoughtful and forward-looking analysis within UMNO. In fact, the ruling party could find some common ground with the opposition if it were willing to countenance gradual development of a two-party system of checks and balances. Instead, the ruling party defines national security primarily as a matter of protecting UMNO's superiority and ensuring that "people power," or a level electoral playing field, cannot become the opposition's means of toppling the ruling party.

    How is UMNO getting what it wants?

    4. (C) The ruling party is relying primarily on its own party structure and the embedded system of carrots and sticks to keep party membership in line. As in other one-party states, the party is seen opportunistically as a mechanism for personal advancement and enrichment.

    There is an ideological component, in terms of Malay supremacy, but that is in practice a matter of institutionalized opportunism. In good times UMNO can maintain control by distributing power and money to get what it wants. In bad times, it uses the stick, and for now that means intimidation.

    The ruling elite maintains control over the security apparatus through party stalwarts who run the security institutions, mainly the police but also the military. We believe the military will remain loyal to legitimate leadership and is not a likely tool to overturn an elected, royally-approved and Malay-led government from either the ruling or opposition side. The police, on the other hand, follow orders from the ruling party.

    The "commando-style" arrest of Anwar last week, the roadblocks and security checks throughout the city of Kuala Lumpur, the recent arrest of blogger Raja Petra, intimidation of Sabah politicians, and the authorities' strident rhetoric are all part of a broad message to the Malaysian people that they had better not stand in UMNO's path. In today's Malaysia, one can get along by going along (and of course one can go farther as a Malay rather than a Chinese or Indian), but it is also true that one can be run over.

    We only have anecdotal evidence for this, but the sad spiral into past patterns may have become the predicate for some middle and upper class Malaysians who have the option of emigrating. Rather than wait to be run over, it is far preferable to get out of the game.

    What happened to post-election reforms?

    5. (C) It is deja vu all over again. Just as in Abdullah's first term, characterized by lofty rhetoric in support of political reform but virtually no action, after the March elections Abdullah's prominent reform initiatives seem to have evaporated into nothing (ref A).

    Despite strong popular support for political reform, there is evidently even stronger opposition to reform within the ruling party. Those who have the most to lose through reform are the same ruling elites, including Abdullah's own circle, who must be persuaded to allow reform to happen. It would take strong leadership to push that sort of initiative through the party structure, perhaps going over the heads of party elites and enlisting the support of the masses.

    Abdullah doesn't seem to have that kind of leadership in him, even if that were his goal.

    6. (C) Instead, the ruling party seems intent on sustaining the patina of reform without actually undertaking any step that might genuinely involve systemic change or weakening of executive power. For example, against the backdrop of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's arrest, last week the government arrested a number of immigration officials for corruption. These men are to be forgiven for wondering, "why me?" Of all who might be prosecuted, including the most senior leaders or their families, why these relative small fry? Through their sacrifice UMNO can claim action against corruption without actually doing much of anything.

    What does Anwar want?

    7. (C) This question is not as easily answered as one might think. For the short term, he wants to be Prime Minister.

    First and foremost Anwar is a pragmatist, as evidenced by his ability to yoke together in an opposition front the Islamist party (PAS) and the Chinese. What are his firm guiding principles? What are the limits of his ability to compromise or accommodate? We are not sure. It was clear, for example, that he tolerated PAS's use of America as a political foil during the recent campaign season, and opposition foreign policy announcements on Mideast issues since the election have tended to follow PAS lines. But broadly speaking, he wants political liberalization and he can be expected to be an ardent supporter of the rule of law and a market economy, given his personal history.

    Malaysian foreign policy might not change as much as we would like to think under and Anwar government, especially in areas relating to Islam and the Middle East in which PAS will have an important say.

    8. (C) For now, we may have to content ourselves with identifying what Anwar does not want. He does not want to be boxed in and made irrelevant by UMNO, or jailed. Anwar currently speaks in terms of "becoming Prime Minister or going to jail," as an either/or proposition.

    At age 61, he does not want to let slip what may be his last, best chance to lead the Malaysian government. He also does not want arch-nemesis DPM Najib Tun Razak to become Prime Minister, as Anwar believes Najib is much more likely than Abdullah to use harsh authoritarian measures to stop him and the Opposition.

    What will happen in the months ahead and what should we do?

    9. (C) UMNO will try to keep Anwar on the defensive and prevent him from winning defections to his opposition front from the ruling party's coalition. The loose coalition of UMNO loyalists who seem to have banded together around Abdullah will likely try to limit the cost of each step they feel they must take to contain and eventually eradicate Anwar's influence. If they can preserve the status quo without putting Anwar in jail on the sodomy charge perhaps they will do so, content to keep it as a ready tactic to deploy against him whenever necessary.

    If Anwar is unwilling to remain boxed in by that tactic, and history suggests precisely this outcome, the authorities seem entirely prepared to put him in jail for a longer period of time. The government has taken a strong stand against popular street demonstrations, hoping to prevent Anwar from developing the kind of national popular response that will be necessary to create an environment in which he can win converts from the ruling party coalition.

    10. (C) The skirmishing around these objectives will continue throughout July and August, and we can expect the opposition to seek to up the ante the closer we get to the Parliamentary session in the latter half of August. The initiative rests with Anwar. If he goes quiet, his political hopes fade and his personal freedom is more secure in the coming weeks; over a longer period Anwar sees himself as vulnerable to jailing or government action unless he removes himself from politics. The greater his political success, the greater a threat he is to UMNO, and the more his personal freedom becomes problematic.

    11. (C) We need to continue to speak with authority from Washington and this Embassy in support of the broad principles underlying the debate in Malaysia. We should avoid undermining our principled position, and the opposition parties themselves, by appearing too close to the personalities involved, especially Anwar. Publicly, our words should continue to revolve around universal values, the criticality of the rule of law to every dimension of our bilateral relationship and Malaysia's political and economic success.

    12. (C) Privately, we will want to underline the futility of the Malaysian effort to deny the political nature of the crisis before them. Whatever they believe about the "facts" of the sodomy case, at this point the ruling party has no chance of success in conveying to the Malaysian or international audience that this is merely a case of one citizen's charge against another. The authorities themselves betray that fiction on a daily basis in the pages of the domestic press, and barely one in ten Malaysians are buying into the party line a survey tells us.

    UMNO leaders may fail to grasp the consequences of upping the ante; they hear what we are saying, but do not understand sufficiently well how difficult it will be for them to overcome the shadows they are casting on the country. They no doubt thought they were choosing the more palatable path in using the criminal law, and thus the sodomy charge, rather than detaining Anwar as a matter of national security under the Internal Security Act. But contrary to their intent, many in the international community will take this as escalation.

    Now the criminal law is laid bare as a political tool, just as useful to the ruling party as the national security law.

    What is the long-term horizon for bilateral ties?

    13. (C) Most of our relationship already hews tightly to the principle of mutual benefit. Our liaison, law enforcement, military, and commercial ties are well developed and tied directly to key national interests on both sides. Regardless of the heat of the rhetoric between us, I would expect Malaysia to seek to preserve the core relationships it has with us.

    With regard to the political dimension of our policy, Malaysia already has a less than inspiring record at the UN and is keen to preserve its options with the likes of the Nonaligned Movement. It may not be possible for Malaysia to become less helpful in international political areas identified with the United States, and it is unlikely to retreat in areas that are primarily multilateral (peacekeeping, for example).

    The biggest costs to us over the long term if Malaysia continues to undermine its own legal system are precisely in the domestic legal arena.

    14. (C) Much of the promise of our bilateral ties is rooted in the notion of a transition towards a thriving civil society and robust rule of law in Malaysia. We wish to expand our export control and non-proliferation cooperation with Malaysia, for example.

    It is neither in our interest nor Malaysia's for this country to become increasingly a place where smugglers can do good business. Thwarting such a development (or rolling it back) requires a sophisticated set of export control laws and robust enforcement by a strong and secure government, not one struggling to justify itself to its citizens.

    Despite the local paranoia about U.S. intervention in internal affairs, our influence is actually being brought to bear to support and promote precisely those objectives that most Malaysians want for their own benefit.

    15. (C) If the authorities are able to get through the next several months without doing fatal damage to the rule of law in Malaysia, I hope the public diplomacy dimension of our bilateral ties will take on a decidedly more legal and judicial cast. We should push ahead with our FTA talks if possible because that serves both our own economic interests as well as the broader goal of establishing more transparent and accountable systems in this country.

    In addition, to try to bring public focus to the centrality of the rule of law in our ties, we might want to organize visits in the short and medium term by a Supreme Court Justice, the Attorney General, and representatives of the American Bar Association. We will also review our international visitor program and other people-to-people exchanges in the coming fiscal year to ensure a central focus on the rule of law. My speeches and those of my staff will put the rule of law at the center.

    16. (C) We will continue to monitor closely the situation for signs that more robust policy responses are needed. In the meantime, we should continue to exploit every opportunity for authoritative bilateral exchange to ensure we have done all we can to open Malaysian leaders' eyes to the international costs of efforts that diminish the rule of law.


  5. #165
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    This is psychology - how to catch wild boars.

    Another story from Sabah: In the jungle, when you see swarms of mosquitoes, you can expect a wild boar to come by within 30 - 45 minutes. The mosquitoes know.

    If you have been offered a carrot to prolong your retirement, please read this.....


    There was professor in a college that had some exchange students in the class. One day while the class was in the lab, the professor noticed one young man, an exchange student, who kept rubbing his back and *stretch**ing as if his back hurt. The professor asked the young man what was the matter.

    The student told him he had a bullet lodged in his back. He had been shot while fighting communists in his native country who were trying to overthrow his country's government and install a new communist regime. In the midst of his story, he looked at the professor and asked a strange question. He asked: "Do you know how to catch wild pigs?"

    The professor thought it was a joke and asked for the punch line.

    The young man said that it was no joke. "You catch wild pigs by finding a suitable place in the woods and putting corn on the ground. The pigs find it and begin to come every day to eat the free corn. "When they are used to coming every day, you put a fence down one side of the place where they are used to coming. When they get used to the fence, they begin to eat the corn again and you put up another side of the fence.

    "They get used to that and start to eat again. You continue until you have all four sides of the fence up with a gate in the last side. "The pigs, which are used to the free corn, start to come through the gate to eat that free corn again. You then slam the gate on them and catch the whole herd.

    Suddenly the wild pigs have lost their freedom.

    They run around and around inside the fence, but they are caught. Soon they go back to eating the free corn. They are so used to it that they have forgotten how to forage in the woods for themselves, so they accept their captivity."

    *The young man then told the professor that is exactly what he sees happening in Malaysia.* The government keeps pushing toward the Bumiputras and keeps spreading the free corn out in the form of salary increments for the civil servants, programs such as supplemental income, tax credit for unearned income, special bumi privileges, tax exemptions, dairy subsidies, payments not to plant crops (CRP), welfare, medicine, drugs, etc. while we continually lose our freedom, just a little at a time.

    *One should always remember two truths*: ****

    1: There is no such thing as a free lunch, and ****

    2: you can never hire someone to provide a service for you cheaper than you can do it yourself.

    If you see that all of this wonderful government 'help' is a problem
    confronting the future of democracy in ****Malaysia****, you might want to send this on to your friends. If you think the free ride is essential to your way of life, then you will probably delete this email. But help us all when the gate slams shut!

    *Quote for today:

    "The problems we face today are there because the people who work for a living are now outnumbered by those who vote for a living." -- **Anonymous**

  6. #166
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Psychological warfare.

    The manufacturing of the fear culture

    COMMENT Fear has been the primary weapon for social and economical cohesion in Malaysia, and religion or more accurately Islam has been the ‘keris' - either sheathed or unsheathed - that has reminded us of our place in the natural order of the BN-constructed reality.

    The politically-motivated acquittal of Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on his politically-motivated charges has brought on the real possibility of a new era of government comprised of a contentious group of political, racial, social, economical, but most importantly, religious interests.

    If it truly is to be a Malaysia for all Malaysians regardless of race or religion, we have to understand Islam and why we have come to fear it. And we are not alone.

    All over the world there is a deep undercurrent of discontent when it comes to Islam and this cannot be merely dismissed as the angst induced by right-wing or nationalistic propaganda. I say "we" because I am not merely referring to non-Muslims but also to Muslims.

    If the non-Muslim fears to speak out when his or her rights are trampled on for fear of the repercussions, so it is for the Muslim who fears to speak out in case he is labelled a traitor to his religion or worse.

    Fear is the commonality and it binds believer and non-believer alike.

    BN's social engineering

    A fear culture is about control. It takes shape in a variety of forms depending on the impetus of its makers, be it ideological, social or religious. In Malaysia, where Islam is the dominant method of controlling the population and discourse, it is the majority Malays who are under the most pressure from the state.

    And it is with them that the future of this country rests. The fear culture needs for large swathes of the population to be fearful of the 'other'. It needs for them to be ignorant of the state's own malfeasances.

    It uses the instruments at its disposal - education and the media - to inculcate a culture of distrust that serves its own agenda. It does this by conflating race and religion and it has done an extremely good job of giving shape to the fears of a large population of Malays.

    The fact that the discourse in Malaysia is always dominated by race and religion is testament to how effective the ruling regime has been in carrying out its various social engineering programmes.

    When I was a young naval officer, I wrote a paper comparing the May 13 riots to a Christmas party if ever Malays fought among themselves for control of their community and the destiny of Malaysia.

    The problem is that the term 'Malay' itself has become meaningless with the introduction of constitutionally created Malays to bolster the voting power of the ruling Umno regime. What this has done is to introduce 'foreign' cultural elements that are both myopic and outward looking into mainstream Malay society, and of course Islamic discourse.

    If ever there is an eventual showdown between Umno and the Anwar-led dissidents, it would involve more that just 'authentic' Malays but rather a whole range of diverse Muslim informed ethnic groups vying for control over, what has been championed as Malay rights, and in the end, control of this nation.

    Religion and race which were wilfully conflated will become the Pandora's Box that plunges this country into communal violence.
    If the tide of bigotry and governmental malfeasance is not stemmed, we will go the route of the failed state and be confined to the trash can of history.

    Non-Malays willing participants

    What of the role of the 'other' in this fear culture? We non-Malays and non-Muslims have been cast in the role of victims in this culture and we have passionately embraced this role never realising that it was with our consent that this reality has taken root over the years.

    We have been willing participants as our rights have been eroded, our various faiths mocked. We have colluded in the denunciation of those who have chosen the more difficult non-mainstream road of dissenting against the established order that we wholeheartedly embraced.

    It matters not to me if this system is merely a relic from our colonial history or that the established racial divisions a cunning ploy of our colonial master. What matters to me is how we (ab)used the system in the name of racial and religious integration when it was anything but.

    Early arguments about being grateful for being allowed to live here have given way to more sophisticated 'racialist' concepts of Ketuanan Melayu and the need to defend Islam against interlopers.

    History has been reshaped to fit the narrative of the Malays as being benevolent hosts and later imperiled bumiputeras.

    We willingly shaped this country into what it is today and we are repulsed by our own creation. My concern has never been for the urban Christians who flock to houses of worship who nurture their consumerist instincts and pastors who are bestowed great wealth by parishioners in the guise of divine blessing.

    It is not for the temple priests who bathe themselves in gold and charge the faithful in coin for the benevolence of a thousand different gods.

    My concern is for the people whose religion has been mocked and their faith disenfranchised. The indigenous people whose choice of religion makes them targets for they dare wonder off the religious reservations imposed on them.

    It's for the 'poor' churches and temples which are destroyed and whose worshipers are intimated when they do their god's work, servicing communities who don't share the same faith as them.

    The Brutuses among us

    For far too long, many non-Muslims who were in a position to vocalise the distress of others, at the inequality that surrounded them, did nothing but pray to their gods for their own self-enrichment, conveniently leaving politics to 'others'.

    Now it seems they have discovered their courage and the full force of the state's fear instruments have been deployed against them.

    Suddenly, issues which were subservient to consumerist desires have become important but because they have been apathetic to the needs of their own communities, they have neither the skill nor the fortitude to combat these forces.

    So they look either for divine guidance or to other more seasoned veterans to fight their battles for them, ironically the same disenfranchised religious groups who have been articulating their fears for years.

    By their omissions, the non-Malays have not only done a disservice to their own communities but we have done a greater disservice to the Malay community.

    Our silence and complicity all these years has empowered the more radical Islamic elements (and disenfranchised the more moderate ones) who have always been against the corrupt practices of the state.

    And the state's more militant response in its Islamic social engineering programmes was to counter the lack of Islamic credentials arguments promulgated by the ever changing Islamic party.

    The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.

    Dismantling BN's fear culture

    If we are to have faith in Pakatan Rakyat, then they must convince voters of any race or religion that they are willing to break the culture of fear that the BN has cultivated over the years.

    As the alliance with the sole Islamic party - PAS - a party in the midst of vicious internal political infighting between moderate and fundamentalist impulses, and with PKR beholden to said parties influence and ground-level reach, it is incumbent on Pakatan to demonstrate that they can balance the religious needs of their most strident members without resorting to the old ways of Umno.

    What Pakatan has going for it is both its strength and weakness. The DAP which has been labelled 'racist' and 'anti-Muslim' has been on the just side of the religious debate since the slow creep of Islamisation through the decades. However, they have effectively been cut off from a rural Muslim population that views them as both a foreign influence, intent on usurping their Malay sovereignty and a threat to their religion.

    Furthermore, the so-called urban Muslim intelligentsia beholden to Umno for obvious reasons continues to demonise any form of egalitarian discourse emanating from the DAP.

    The recent high-profile inclusion of two Umno stalwarts into the DAP is a good sign, but one wonders how this will eventually turn out considering the enormous pressure placed upon Muslims and their role in the public discourse.

    But I take great comfort in the intellectual premise articulated by slain Islamic scholar Farag Foda who said, "There is quite a big difference between the Islamic religion and an Islamic state. Criticising an Islamic state does not mean deviating from Islam.

    "One may find much to say about or object to in an Islamic state, even in its greatest days. But one can only bow reverentially, adoringly and faithfully when one talks about the Islamic faith."

    Open and honest national discourse

    I, like many others, wonder of the shape of things to come when an emboldened PAS steps into the power vacuum left by a defeated BN.

    This fear culture perpetuated by Umno (and at times PAS) using Islam, manifests in many forms and its main aim has always been to separate the various ethnic groups in the hope of replaying the old Roman game (and perfected by the British) of divide and conquer.

    If we are to become an authentic Malaysian culture, we must be able to have open and honest discourse unclouded by the conflations bestowed upon us by the powers-that-be.

    If this fear culture is to be dismantled, the first place to start is the way how the state influences public discourse. It is an established practice when it comes to the discourse of human rights or any variety thereof; non-Muslims are constantly reminded that any
    issue concerning Islam remains the sole province of Muslims.

    This way the dissenting opinion (which is based on a religious or secular framework) is subservient to the notion that the non-Muslim concern is incompatible with Islam and therefore incompatible to the welfare of his fellow Malay Malaysian.

    The non-Muslim is rejected as a participant in the national discourse and what he becomes is an interloper interfering with Islam.

    This interference is violently rejected by Muslims, or at least the Umno-influenced ones, because to do otherwise is to acknowledge the commonality of the various ethnic groups in Malaysia. So, the non-Muslim dutifully accepts that some rights don't apply to Muslims, and this is expressed in one form or another by the various non-Malay component parties of the BN.
    The question here is how does the BN claim to be for all Malaysians, when there are different roles attributed to each ethnic group and the welfare of each is dependent on different sets of criteria determined not by principle but by the ruling Umno regime?

    The vocal cheerleaders

    There is an almost malicious side to this equation in that the state tactically supports pressure groups created to enforce not only the dogma of the religious interpretations of the state but also to control the discourse through threats and intimidation.

    In this way, Umno gets to control how the discourse is framed and the role non-Muslim/Malays play in it.

    The states apparatus - be it the media, law enforcement or the judiciary - act as vocal cheerleaders for those so-called non-governmental pressure groups, whose agenda it is to enforce the will of the ruling coalition by reminding non-Muslims that they here by the magnanimity of a certain segment of the ruling Malay population.

    Understand now, when I say this new government should influence the nature of public discourse, I merely mean that their influence should only extend to encouraging a plurality of voices and sanctioning those who would use threats of violence or intimidation to silence differing opinions.

    By doing this, what the state is doing is creating an environment where different groups regardless of race or religion band together to express an opinion without fearing repercussions for speaking out against a state-enforced doctrine.

    In other words, Malaysians in spite of race or religion are forced to articulate their views either in solidarity with members of different ethnic groups or religions (discovering common ground) or find their views rejected by the mainstream population.

    Furthermore, any form of rhetoric that says that Islam needs to be defended should be dismissed by the state and should not be in any way part of the state's reform agenda. The state should treat all religions equally, while recognising that Islam is the official religion.

    The so-called defenders of the Islamic faith are in reality the most virulent of bigots conflating the issues of race and culture and instigating an ignorant population into fearing that their way of life is under attack and needs defending. These groups or individuals should only be sanctioned if their conduct becomes seditious or they become a very real threat to public safety.

    This extends to anti-Christian statements from government-funded scholars or from government-funded institutions.

    What is to be done to move forward

    It's time to abolish the BTN (Biro Tatanegara) courses. This has been an instrument of indoctrination for the civil service and graduates to instill fear of the 'other' and to create a subculture which assumes that they are tools of the government and not that the government is a tool of the people.

    The BTN course not only distorts the teachings of Islam but furthered perpetuates the myth that the Malay community, and by extension Islam is under siege.

    Disempower government-funded agencies from issuing statements deemed to be anti-communitarian in nature based on religion, such as when religious bodies issue statements proclaiming that Muslims should not attend non-Muslim activities. Reinterpret the roles of these religious bodies as government organs that foster interfaith communication and inter-ethnic goodwill.

    And lastly, religious conversion and the consequences of it - once and for all, make it clear that there is separation between the civil and Syariah Courts and in the case of conversions involving non-Malays, the proper avenue for such cases is the civil courts and not the Syariah Courts.

    The Syariah Courts have been used by Muslim converts for their own agendas, making a mockery of Islamic jurisprudence which further alienates and fosters a climate of fear in a vital section of the Malaysian public.

    I realise that these suggestions are merely wishful thinking but if there is a serious attempt to implement them then perhaps one day, we will wake up to a new dawn, one not in the fear culture where a politician like DAP leader Lim Guan Eng does not have to say that no member of his political party ever wishes to be the next prime minister of the country he or she was born in, as if such an aspiration should be beyond the expectation of non-Malay citizens.

  7. #167
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Robber-baron Socialism to the Che Det Consensus — Sakmongkol AK47

    (Admin: He learned from the best in Africa - Mugabe.)

    January 19, 2012

    JAN 19 — We, who watched the news on TV3 yesterday (January 17), saw a beaming adviser to Proton. He has all the reasons to smile. Last week he stated Khazanah is not in position to retain its shares in Proton. A few of us already knew his game. He was merely paving the way for DRB-HICOM to acquire those shares. We all know the end game of Mahathir. He wants to be the Malaysian “King” Croesus. Croesus was a legendary king in a country known as Lydia in Asia Minor. He was fabulously rich it’s said that gold from the mines and sands filled up his coffers.

    Allow me to tell a short story about King Croesus. You can Google about it but I am retelling in my own style. I hope he will suffer the same fate as the original King Croesus. When the Greek lawgiver Solon came to Lydia, Croesus displayed all his wealth and asked Solon to name three individuals who Solon regarded as happiest. Solon named three unknown persons and Croesus was expectedly angered and asked why he, with all his wealth, wasn’t included in the three. Solon answered — how could Croesus be included as Croesus does not know what God has in store for him.

    Shortly after the incident, Croesus consulted the Oracle of Delphi just as the Persian King Cirrus was embarking on his empire building. The oracle told Croesus that if he goes to war with Cirrus, he will cause the destruction of an empire. Croesus went to war and was defeated by Cirrus. The empire that was foretold was his own!

    He is manipulating the business world, just as he is preparing the way for Ibrahim Ali to get into Umno and contest in the next elections. It’s an open secret that Perkasa is backed by Mahathir, funded by Syed Mokhtar. And Najib is handling Perkasa sheepishly.

    How do we respond to that? We must get rid of the party that declares its commitment to religion, race and nation. It’s none of that since 1988 when Mahathir kicked out the old Umno. This present Umno is just a pretender. The old Umno fought for a cause and placed complete trust in the whole rakyat. The Umno pretender places its trust in only three million Malay members to the exclusion of the majority Malays. You are Malay only if are Umno Malay. It’s a party by the members, from the members but for the chosen and anointed few.

    The slogan for religion, race and nation is just rhetoric repeated mindlessly by Umno members. It’s just like the situation described by Franz Fanon in “The Wretched Of The Earth”: the downtrodden and marginalised peoples echo mindlessly the symbol of democracy — Parthenon — until it’s reduced to just a barely audible. “thenon”. The significance of what the Parthenon represented is lost just as the slogan — “for religion, race and nation” — is reduced to rhetoric and fiction.

    The gap between that fiction and reality is getting bigger. But Umno must defend the fiction nonetheless because it represents status quo. Status quo means the decadent life as the Umno leadership knows it. How can you give that away and let it go? Mahathir and Najib now want to retain the status quo even if it means selling the idea represented by now, only a fiction. Umno ideology is an ideology of power, and power must be retained because the status quo needs to be retained. Hence, we must defend Putrajaya at all cost, boomed Najib. All other interests are subordinate to the party’s interest.

    When I asked the Oracle of Syed Putra, the alter ego of Tun Daim Zainuddin, why TDM is doing this, he wouldn’t answer. So I remarked: is TDM still collecting? I remembered a much earlier remark by the Oracle that Khazanah at one time was supposed to be the golden handshake to Mahathir. That was the reason why almost all the equity in big companies is concentrated in Khazanah’s hands. They were to be divested to private companies in line with the much exalted public-private sector partnership. It should be called collusion between the political elite and the business elite. You get therefore a plutocracy. If Mahathir cannot get Khazanah directly, he gets it indirectly through his business associates.

    Now, read this. Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd (KTMB) has been asked to assist MMC Corp Bhd to conduct due diligence on the national railway company. That was last year. The due diligence is important for MMC to decide if it wants to privatise KTMB. MMC plans to pump in some RM1 billion into KTMB and take over its operations. And KTMB was asked to assist them. Assist them means what? KTMB said they have not received any instructions from the government to put the matter on hold. In other words, it’s an ongoing process. When will the takeover take place?

    It’s not rocket science. When Dr Mahathir paves the way for MMC to take over is the answer. How can it recoup the huge investments or finance it?

    You will remember the double-tracking project from Gemas to JB has been delayed for 10 years. It will take off when MMC takes over KTMB and goes to the government to say, since they are the end user for that facility, we can build it ourselves. Maybe we team up with the Chinese to give face to China.

    So how do you describe our economic system since the time of Mahathir? The smorgasbord of acronyms — ETP, PDP, NKEA, EPP — all mean nothing. The system we have surely can’t be called a Singapore-style autarchy since any association with the little red dot in the south is anathema to Mahathir. So what do we have? A capitalist development state like Japan? Malay mysticism mixed with market economics? That can’t be because Ibrahim Ali hates free market economics. Can it be a slow motion version of Soviet style economics where the elite grabbed productive public assets for private gain? It looks that way since Mahathir and Najib talk about welfare all the time. Our economy should be called Robber-baron Socialism.

    I prefer to call it a new model — the Che Det Consensus. It’s an economy built around a practical, problem-solving and technologically-innovating model. Except it’s practical for the business and political elite, solves the problem for the robber barons and masked under the guise of technological innovativeness. Hence you have the fashionable phrase of unlocking value, releasing potential… ad nauseam. The hired lackeys and running dogs of the Che Det Consensus are working overtime. —

    * Sakmongkol AK47 is the nom de plume of Datuk Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz. He was Pulau Manis assemblyman (2004-200.

    * This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

    Copyright © 2012 The Malaysian Insider.

  8. #168
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Proton-DRB deal part of a larger land grab exercise?

    A conspiracy within the highest echelon of the federal government and its investment arm Khazanah, plots to transfer valuable and strategic parcels of land to the control of local business tycoon Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, claims the DAP.

    “The latest purchase of Proton by DRB-Hicom gives Syed Mokhtar control over valuable land in the form of the company’s 250-acre Shah Alam plant, as well as other assets of which the book-value is low and not revalued,” its international secretary Liew Chin Tong (right) said in a statement today.

    Liew also mentioned other cases which he believes are of the same vein:

    • Syed Mokhtar’s takeover of Pos Malaysia in April 2011, means he effectively controls acres of land around the country, currently vested with the Federal Land Commission.

    • Syed Mokhtar is also pursuing KTM which owns even a bigger landbank nationwide.

    • Syed Mokhtar-owned MMC Corp is also a MRT “project delivery partner” which will allow him the usage of strategic land in the Klang Valley.
    Going through the list of companies of strategic and national interests which fell into Syed Mokhtar’s (right) hands, Liew claims that the tycoon’s flagship enterprises MMC Corp and DRB-Hicom are involved in a wide array of nationally strategic sectors and industries; from multi-billion defence contracts to rice and sugar, to ports and independent power generation plants.

    He claimed that the businessman is also poised to enter the telecommunications sector via newcomer Puncak Semangat, which has been reported to be among the biggest winners of 4G spectrum allocations.

    “It begs the question whether there exists a conspiracy at the highest echelon of the Federal Government to transfer assets, especially land, to the hands of Syed Mokhtar in the event of a change of government in the next general election.

    “Prime Minister Najib Razak who is also finance minister must explain the government’s position on this matter,” added Liew.

    As at press time, Malaysiakini’s attempts to contact DRB-Hicom for comment have been unfruitful.

  9. #169
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Tuesday, 31 January 2012 07:29

    Najib condemned for using RELA against the people

    Prime minister Najib Razak’s green light to the People’s Volunteer Corps (Rela) to act against demonstrators shows his insecurity and his endorsement of chaos, said PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu.

    “Not only the police, army or Rela, he will even use fire-fighters,” quipped the outspoken PAS leader.

    Last weekend at a gathering of Rela members (right) where he announced a pay hike by RM2 per hour, Najib warned the public that Rela members would be on BN’s side to defend the country in case of chaos due to demonstration.

    “When the chips are down, Rela will be with this government to defend the country. Do not cause havoc in this country because the 2.8 million Rela members will not stand idly by and watch the country descend into chaos,” he reportedly said.

    Mat Sabu, saying Najib was only concerned about his hold on power, questioned whether he would allow Rela or police to act against those demonstrators from UMNO who stage protests against the Penang state government as well as disrupt Pakatan Rakyat organised ceramah.

    “In Penang, they carry out non-stop demonstrations and gatherings, but Najib’s government has done nothing, in fact they are encouraging them,” he lambasted.
    Describing Najib’s threat to use Rela as inciting chaos, Mat Sabu urged the people to vote him out in the next general election.

    “He is dangerous,” he added.


  10. #170
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Art of War: Use propaganda and fear. Ratchet up the stakes. Always worked in the past, maybe not this time. The Rats are too fed-up.

    In dealing with fascists, never face them at the point of their greatest strength, which is force of arms. Attack at the Achilles Heel, which is the cash-flow of the sysem.

    BN's art of war: Politics of fear and division

    COMMENT Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s government is increasingly showing a pattern of tacit support for violence and even threats of “war” by ultra Malay elements like Perkasa as Putrajaya contemplates losing its grip on power after the 13th general election, if not outright capitulation.

    Not only has a government failed to crack down on extremists’ calls to arms against perceived threats to Islam and decades of Malay economic and corporate dominance, ministers, political allies and even the prime minister himself have orchestrated an environment of fear and division, pitting one race against the rest of multi-ethnic Malaysia.

    Otherwise, Barisan Nasional and its allies have watched and cheered as the proverbial keris has once again been drawn.

    It suits BN today, as it attempts to deflect attention from a cascade of corruption being revealed by multi-racial opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat and ever more strident support for change of government.

    Putrajaya’s strategy is to portray such assaults on its legitimacy as the beginning of the end to a presumed constitutional privilege for Malays, the relegation of Islam to just-another-religion status in an essentially secular nation and the demise of the Malay sultanate, in whose lineage are the supreme religious leaders of all Malaysian Muslims.

    The informed Malaysian can only see it as yet another wayward wayang kulit (shadow play) of BN prevarication, denial of the inevitable and the coalition government’s inability to account for economic, social and moral sins.

    Most of us in this rainbow fabric of races do not and will not harbour such leanings.

    But words are nourishment, even poisonous words, and today’s affronts and threats to civil society by groups such as Perkasa may become tomorrow’s anything but auspicious dragon that can’t be controlled, and we would do well to recognise extremism for what it is, lest the talk becomes the walk.

    The most recent and alarming narrative thread from BN is Rela, a largely Malay corps of youth volunteers also known as Ikatan Relawan Rakyat Malaysia, or the Peoples’ Volunteer Alliance.
    Rela will be with this government

    To put matters into perspective, Najib himself says Rela entails a federal spend of hundreds of millions every year. It reportedly enjoys a membership of 2.8 million.

    Early this month, the PM said in Kuala Lumpur: “When the chips are down, Rela will be with this government to defend the country.”

    While he was speaking to about 30,000 Rela members, whose umbrella body is already notorious in Malaysia for having shown itself as bearing vigilante colours, even an unarmed militia in waiting, Najib’s message was clearly directed at the forces opposed to his government: “Do not cause havoc in this country because the 2.8 million Rela members will not stand idly by and watch the country descend into chaos.”

    In less than one month, Putrajaya has announced it will draw a new Rela Act, pay Rela volunteers an additional RM2 an hour and proposed that members could be posted to other countries, in a membership drive for an organisation that Human Rights Watch in 2007 said should be disbanded.

    And just in case a force of nearly three million is yet lacking when the chips are down and democracy seeks to rule, Putrajaya announced a RM6 million outlay on a virtual firing range, for Rela cadet practice.

    Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein lauded the launch of the centre, saying he hoped young people training there would understand the predicaments police find themselves in.
    “I ask those who accuse the police (of wrongful shooting)... to come to this centre. They can see for themselves what they will do when faced with the choice of shoot or be killed.”

    You could easily draw a line between today’s moves on Rela and the weeks before July 9, 2011, when tens of thousands of Malaysians defied a police ban and threats of mass arrests to take to the streets of the capital under the Bersih flag.

    They were demanding sweeping changes to the electoral process as well as its legislative instruments, and essentially telling the ruling coalition, ‘your time is up, balik kampung’.

    Here is where BN’s art of war, in the face of likely defeat, probably began. This is when Najib’s administration rolled out its politics of division and fear.

    Barely 24 hours had passed since that watershed Saturday in Malaysian history when Najib told the NGO coalition and rally organiser Bersih, “Don’t doubt our strength”.

    Speaking before a crowd of thousands that included martial arts (silat) groups, Najib reportedly said: “If we (Umno) gather one million members, it is more than enough. We can conquer Kuala Lumpur.

    "If we want to create chaos, we can. But we uphold the laws of Malaysia, we like peace.”
    Then, as if dismissing any notion of the conciliatory gesture, he later thundered to the media: “This is just a part of Umno’s strength.

    "We gathered 6,000 members here today in a short amount of time... they are waiting for a signal, they’re willing to do anything.

    “If you mention or question Islam, they will rise up.”

    Bersih seen as threat to national security

    Days earlier, as pressure continued to build around a hapless BN over the coming rally, the PM had described exponents of silat and other martial arts forms as a line of defence against such threats to national security as Bersih.

    In attendance were Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Badawi, and members of Pertubuhan Seni Silat Lincah Malaysia (PSSLM), an association of Malay martial arts groups that had challenged Bersih’s refusal to abandon the rally.

    This was the same PSSLM whose leader Omardin Mauju had publicly declared: “We maintain our stand to go to ‘war’ if they (Bersih) still want to proceed with this illegal rally.

    "If it happens, I cannot guarantee I can control the emotions of my members because they have been taught to act when faced with opposition.”

    The PM had himself set the tone for the heightened invective that sprouted during the Bersih lead-up: “Who doesn’t know Ambiga,” he told another gathering of Umnoskies and their ilk, referring to Ambiga Sreenevasan, the Bersih chair.

    “She’s the one who threatened Islam,” he said, in one fell swoop turning a lawyer, former Bar Council president and campaigner for reform into one who would fight Islam, a traitor to the country no less.

    Presumably, the PM was speaking for the benefit of ultra Malays in his audience who would then take up the ‘sacred fight’. And he was not to be disappointed.

    He was ably abetted by Umno mouthpiece and Malay language daily Utusan Malaysia, which reported that Bersih was swimming in millions of ringgit that had been donated to it by a Christian group and that Ambiga was “angering Muslims and Malays”.

    Hallmarks of a police state

    It would come as no surprise that Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali had taken the cue to refer to the Bersih leader as a “dangerous Hindu woman”.

    Ibrahim continued in his diatribe and explicity warned the Chinese community not to participate in the rally. “Anything could happen”, he said, knowing his pointed reference to the May 13, 1969, riots would strike home.

    Penang DAP’s Lim Guan Eng called the statement a “Nazi-like” threat against ethnic Chinese, accused Umno of fuelling racism and ultra religious fervour by not condemning the “Nazi like” threat and denounced Ibrahim’s remarks as “vile and malicious... nothing short of seditious”.

    Since then, there have been bomb plots, death threats, sedition, traitorous citizens, threats of violent state crackdowns on further public rallies, scene after selected scene of sexual allegations that we will not elaborate upon any further - all the hallmarks of a police state.

    Lately, pig heads have greeted Muslims at their mosques in acts that have been widely described as deliberate attempts to portray one race and one religion as being under siege by anti-Islamic elements.

    Malaysians should be rightly terrified at BN’s depth of desperation as Najib & Co, finding themselves caught between a batu and a really hard place, choose to fan the flames of mistrust, fear, hatred and violence among a multi-racial and secular community.

    Realising it has gotten nowhere by showing Malaysians it will stop at nothing to deny Pakatan any form of victory at the 13th GE, it has embarked on a narrative on how forces may be marshalled to destroy any such victory, should it eventuate.

    This is not Zimbabwe, East Timor, Burma, Iraq or Uganda. This is not Nazi Germany and the Sturmabteilung, the ‘brown shirts’. This is Malaysia today.

    WILLIAM de CRUZ is a Malaysian journalist now based in Sydney. He gratefully acknowledges the use of archived news reports by Malaysia’s alternative web-based media for this commentary.

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