Malaysia: Dangerous Rise of Nativism

Malay Nativism on the rise in Malaysia

by Lim Li Ann

A rise in nativism, eroding civic values, and a failing democracy are exacerbating already dangerous divisions.

UMNO Racist in China

Modern Malaysia’s obsession with uniformity is tearing the nation apart.This trend, which sees difference as inherently dangerous, is being driven by ‘nativism’ – being against ethnic and religious minorities and having an instinctual allegiance towards one’s community intensified by agent provocateurs.

Within the span of a year, a state mufti has condemned the multi-racial but Chinese-dominant opposition party, DAP, as “kafir harbi” – non-Muslims who can be slain. Malay protesters, arriving in mobs, became entangled in brawls and shouting matches with Chinese vendors at Low Yat Plaza. Even the silver screen took on a dark tone when the Malaysia Film Festival segregated its nominations into “Best Films” and “Best non-Malay language films” — the former assumed to be in the Malay language.

Late last year, tens of thousands hit the streets to demonstrate support for Prime Minister Najib Razak during an event now known as the red shirt rally. The rally sought to “make it clear to Malaysian citizens, don’t challenge the Malays, don’t touch the Malays.” Despite the antagonistic rhetoric about the inferiority of other races, Prime Minister Najib Razak endorsed the rally, offering his “congratulations to everyone who attended.”

Jamal Ikan Bakar Yunus and The Red Shirts

Pockets of Malaysian society, once humble, tolerant and moderate, are now rallying behind arrogance, antagonism and illiberalism.

Such assertions of supremacy appear perplexing. Contemporary psychologist Jonathan Haidt determines one key pillar of morality to be “in-group loyalty”. At one end of the spectrum lie people whose instinct is to care universally, while those at the other protect members of their community. In The Elementary Forms of the Religious Life(1912) classical sociologist Emile Durkheim explains that these moderate feelings of tribalism are then elevated when one is in a collective.

Amid last year’s red shirt rally in Malaysia, one voice stood out. Sungai Besar UMNO division chief Jamal Yunos grabbed the limelight and chanted “Cina babi!” (“Chinese are pigs!”), triggering pitchfork-level outrage in others. But by Durkheim’s line of thought, Jamal’s behaviour was nothing egregious.

Narrating a man leading a crowd of ardent supporters, Durkheim writes:

His language becomes high-flown in a way that would be ridiculous in ordinary circumstances; his gestures take on an overbearing quality; his very thought becomes impatient of limits and slips easily into every kind of extreme. This is because he feels filled to overflowing, as though with a phenomenal oversupply of forces that spill over and tend to spread around him. … This extraordinary surplus of forces is quite real and comes to him from the very group he is addressing. … It is then no longer a mere individual who speaks but a group incarnated and personified.

Standing alone, any one person’s bold cries for racial hegemony would appear outrageous. But on that fateful day, in moral consensus with people surrounding him, social approbation begets reckless confidence in his judgment and fearlessness in his actions.

The dangerous rise of nativism in Malaysia is also explained by the country’s failing democratic culture.

Pillars of democracy can only be upheld when society embraces democratic virtues. Institutes of democracies are meaningless — precarious at best — if they do not go hand-in-hand with democratic values in the hearts and minds of citizens.

Bersih –For Peaceful Change

Outwardly, Malaysia is a democracy. Elections are held regularly, the elected are accountable to the electorate, to a certain extent as the 1MDB scandal shows, and the state apparatus to the elected members of parliament.

But, Malaysians lack the appreciation for democratic values that makes the term “parliamentary democracy” anything more than a soundbite.

And then there are the problems with Malaysia’s civic education – which helps feed this trend of nativism and democratic deficit. Malaysia’s current syllabus for Civic and Citizenship Education boils down to nothing more than a laundry list of moral dos and don’ts.

Malaysia’s civic education needs an overhaul — to be one that mandates critical moral reflection, as opposed to rote memorisation of civic duties — to overcome the political apathy that has enveloped society.

Amy Gutmann, author of Democratic Education (1987), offers that such an education should inculcate truthfulness to one’s self, mutual respect for and the ability to deliberate over differences with others, commitment to society — thus teaching the importance ranging from individual freedoms to collective social consciousness.

When formal institutions of democracy are not accompanied by a corresponding level of public commitment towards core democratic values, institutions of democracy are easily collapsible — and that won’t seem to matter.

Before we unquestioningly accept the many platitudes that are imposed on us, whether by pillars of power or factions in society, perhaps it would do us good to develop our own independent thoughts.

Ultimately, these are moral choices that we need to identify, but even more importantly, ones that we are able to legitimately justify predicated upon personal autonomy and societal interests.

Lim Li Ann is an economics and public policy graduate from Singapore Management University. She is a co-author of the chapter on arbitrary detention in the forthcoming book, The History of Human Rights Society in Singapore, 1965-2015.


Najib Razak’s Secret Deal With China To Pay Off 1MDB (And Jho Low’s) Debts

Najib Razak’s Secret Deal With China To Pay Off 1MDB (And Jho Low’s) Debts

by Sarawak Report


Marked “For Internal Use Only” an Appendix to a Term Sheet due to be approved by the Malaysian Cabinet tomorrow (27th July) lays out in detailed figures how Najib plans for over US$7 billion in accumulated 1MDB/Jho Low company debts to be wiped out by taxpayers in a secret deal between his Ministry of Finance and the Chinese state company CCCC (China Communications Construction Company).

The PM’s ‘cunning plan’ is to get the Malaysian Government to agree to inflate the actual cost of the East Coast Rail Project from only RM30 billion to RM60 billion, all to be borrowed from the Chinese Government, in order to disguise the payment of 1MDB’s (and Jho Low’s company) debts.

A whistleblower, who has supplied full details of the project, described the plan to Sarawak Report:

“The Malaysian Government is planning to award an overvalued project to launder money in order to fill the loophole of 1MDB. The plan is to award the East Coast Rail Project to a Chinese Company, China Communication Construction Company Limited (CCCC). The initial budget for the project is MYR 30b, but they have overvalued the project by another MYR 30b, making it MYR 60b. The extra MYR 30b will be used to launder out cash to 1MDB related companies.

The project has been proposed to the cabinet on 25/7/2016 and will be approved by the cabinet on 27/7/2016 with total value of MYR 60b.

The Chinese company, which is backed by the China Government, will help pay off the 1MDB dept in advance and progressively. In return, this Chinese company will be rewarded with high profits and land, and of course extra influence with the Malaysian government”.

Doubling the cost of mega-project

The outrageous plan is blatantly laid out in the term sheet and internal report, which have been leaked to Sarawak Report.

The report says baldly that the actual cost of building the railway, has only been estimated by CCCC at RM27 billion. However, there is to be a so-called “Additional Differential” cost of RM29.85 billion, which will more than double the cost to make a total bill of RM60 billion, including a fat percentage of profit for the company (handily based on the total and not just the construction costs):

The company makes no bones about the incentives provided by the Malaysian Government in this “Direct Contract”, meaning that there was no open tender to get the best deal for the project.

CCCC says it has been given land on generous terms, including a chunk of land which was given cheap by Najib to 1MDB, then inflated in value at Ayer Item – the land which is valued at US$1.3 billion will be offered to CCCC for US$850 million.

CCCC will also gets tax breaks including from GST for the next ten years. And then, as a Chinese State-owned company CCCC notes the benefit of the extended influence over Malaysia the project and the massive loan of the cash (at a generous 2% interest rate) will provide.

So much for Najib Razak’s much vaunted ‘inward investment’ plans from fellow Islamic countries and his stirring of hatred against the so-called ‘Chinese Tsunami’!

Sneaking 1MDB’s debts into the project

The quid pro quo for the Chinese partners in this lucrative deal is to assist in Najib’s corrupted exit strategy for getting shot of his multi-billion dollar debts at 1MDB at a total cost of US$5.63 billion!

The first priority being to get 1MDB off the hook over its outstanding payments to Abu Dhabi’s IPIC. In the first instance this will be achieved through the payment of the $850 million to 1MDB for the Ayer Item land, but after that the company will assume the repayment of the remaining debts for the disastrous ‘power purchase’ and ‘strategic partnership loans’ which lost billions (mainly stolen).

The Malaysian taxpayer will of course have to pay the whole lot back with interest over the next 7 years in payments, all planned to be disguised by the inflated Rail Project!

Laughably, this outlay is set to be disguised by a repayment in ‘assets’ valued to the same amount of US$5.63 billion. The assets concerned are largely duds – vaunted ‘liquid and cash assets’ tucked away by 1MDB in dodgy bank accounts, including the 1MDB Brazen Sky account at BSI (alleged worth $940 milllion) and also the supposed assets of 1MDB Global at BSI, (alleged worth US$1.56 billion).

Significantly, we note that the 1MDB Global money, which was raised through a Goldman Sachs loan, is now also described as ‘Units’, raising the probability that these are in fact worthless pieces of paper representing bogus investments, similar to the ‘Units’ in Brazen Sky, which would imply, that like the PetroSaudi funds, the billions raised by 1MDB Global have all been stolen:

List of Payments totals US$7.5 billion/ RM29.8 billion

Just last week the United States DOJ explained in searing detail how all that missing 1MDB money, which is now being sneaked onto the East Coast Rail tab, was stolen by Najib and his family and associates, including Jho Low and IPIC’s Khadem Al Qubaisi, to be spent on gambling, drinking, jets, yachts, record-breaking fine art purchases (in many cases depicting under-dressed female forms).

The report sheet in our possession lays out in precise detail what CCCC/The Chinese Government has agreed to funnel through the project, in order to get Najib off the hook on all his problems.

The astonishing list contained in an Appendix to the agreement is clearly costed and totals over US$7,5 billion. It includes writing off 1MDB’s debts to the Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth fund IPIC, which is currently suing 1MDB to the tune of US$6.5 billion over unpaid guarantees.

Bailing out Jho Low’s companies also

Significantly, the list also includes an agreement to buy out two Jho Low related companies, which have long been suspiciously associated with Najib’s record of personal plunder from 1MDB. These are Loh & Loh Corporation Berhad and Putrajaya Perdana Berhad, for which Jho Low and his partners will receive a healthy US$315 million:

Sarawak Report has long since exposed how Jho Low used 1MDB money, which was secretly channeled through a so-called Islamic loan agreement with the company PetroSaudi to ‘buy out’ the Sarawak UBG group in which he and Taib Mahmud held the major stakes.

The purported buyer was Javace Sdn Bhd, a supposed subsidiary of PetroSaudi International, Seychelles (a bogus subsidiary of PetroSaudi, whose Director was Tarek Obaid, also a director of PetroSaudi). However, secret transactions obtained by Sarawak Report showed that all the money in Javace was controlled by a company Panama Investment Manager, which was owned by Jho Low.

The two subsidiaries of UBG Putrajaya Perdana and Loh & Loh are still identified as crony companies controlled by Low and Putrajaya Perdana was identified by investigators as having played a key role in funnelling cash from 1MDB’s subsidiary SRC into Najib’s own personal accounts:

Plainly therefore, Najib hopes to use his over-reaching powers at the MOF/PM’s office to launder all his dirty linen through the same simple mega-project, courtesy of secret and politically motivated Chinese cooperation.

Public estimate leaves out the 1MDB costs and commitments?

A huge sum of RM85 million is also put aside in the contract for a ‘nominated company’ to be awarded a “publicity” and “communications” and “strategic consultation” role on the project – no guesses that this will go to a crony outfit.

Finally, also attached to the papers is a totally conflicting set of calculations, which are not listed as being “only for internal consumption” and which appear to represent the public face of the planned deal. These consist of a broad-brush, ‘back of the envelope’ set of figures, which provide a broad estimate for the project at the fuller figure of RM60 billion.

In this list there is no mention of any of the costs due to be carried for 1MDB!

The agreement is due to be passed by Najib’s compliant cabinet….. about now!

Half Million Dollar Denial! - Najib's Latest 1MDB Denial Is Directed Against Obama's Key Aide

Half Million Dollar Denial! - Najib's Latest 1MDB Denial Is Directed Against Obama's Key Aide
Frank White – DuSable’s Capital Management CEO and Obama’s chief political fundraiser was 1MDB’s latest JV partner
Frank White Jr– DuSable’s Capital Management CEO and Obama’s chief political fundraiser was 1MDB’s latest JV partner
With the US President Barack Obama due to make a supposedly image-boosting visit to Malaysia next month, yet another embarrassing denial has come out from the Prime Minister over 1MDB.
This time Najib Razak has directed his denial against the testimony of a key aide of Obama himself, his chief fundraiser, the businessman Frank White Jr of DuSable Capital Management.
Our research shows that White registered a half million dollar payment from the Government of Malaysia with respect to 1MDB and he is assumed to have been one of the key facilitators of the friendly relationship between the two politicians, who played golf in Hawaii during the Malaysian flooding disaster at the start of the year.
DuSable Capital Management focuses on energy support services and over the past two years it has declared a somewhat ill-defined role in 1MDB’s latest energy project – a planned solar power plant in Kedah (which we have noted is budgeted at three times the amount of similar projects elsewhere).
In public depositions the company has stated “one aspect of DuSable’s activities will be to communicate with US Government Officials” [23.04.14] and also “to encourage the US Government to provide non-financial support for the [1MDB Solar Power] project” [26.09.13].
Given there is no obvious need for 1MDB to require any US government advocacy to support the construction of a field of power generating solar panels in Kedah, the inevitable assumption is that Frank White Jr had agreed as part of his deal with 1MDB to promote its stated boss “the Government of Malaysia” with his own political boss Barack Obama.
For example by arranging golf between Najib and the President.
Did 1MDB money flow into fixing this glorious moment for Najib?
Did 1MDB money flow into fixing this glorious moment for Najib?
Nevertheless, in a written answer to a Parliamentary question, Najib has now categorically denied that there had been any agreement between DuSable and 1MDB WHATSOEVER!
“1MDB has never signed any sort of agreement with DuSable Capital Management LLC in Kedah.” [Parliamentary reply by Najib]
The MP who asked the question, PKR’s Wong Chen, has expressed considerable surprise as a result:
“For this Parliamentary session, I put in a question for an update on the 1MDB solar power project in Kedah with DuSable Capital Management LLC (DuSable). The project was reported by The Star on 23rd April 2014.
Yesterday, I received an official Parliamentary reply from the Minister of Finance, YAB Najib Razak that 1MDB has not signed any joint venture agreement with DuSable in Kedah.
We have been told that the Prime Minister’s golfing buddy, President Obama will be visiting Malaysia again this November.
The co-founder of DuSable is Frank White Junior. He has been described by Bloomberg as “President Obama’s top individual fundraiser, a former technology executive who collected millions of dollars for the Obama’s election campaigns.
So, is Najib’s company calling Mr Obama’s aide a liar?
After all, anyone who cares to check can look up the filings made by DuSable, because the United States’ transparency laws demand that all companies register their foreign dealings under the so-called FARA (Foreign Agents Registration Act).
Frank White Jr made a number of depositions about his deal with 1MDB, beginning in 2013 when the plan to build the solar station was announced.
“DuSable has engaged in a partnership with 1Malaysia Development Berhad to develop, finance and construct a 50 MWac solar project….”  the latest 2014 filing explains (second document below):
Submission to FARA by DuSable on 26th Sept 2013
Submission to FARA by DuSable on 26th Sept 2013
DuSable amended the declaration the following year to say that the relationship would not involve any investment in the company by 1MDB, as had been stated previously.
Presumably the publicity surrounding the news that 1MDB would be investing in DuSable had been considered unconstructive:
1MDB will no longer be an investor in DuSable, but the arrangement remains in place - 2014
1MDB will no longer be an investor in DuSable, but the arrangement remains in place – 2014
What all this documentation makes clear is that DuSable certainly had an arrangement of some sort with 1MDB.

Half a Million Dollars for Frank!

What’s more, the public declarations show exactly how much money DuSable was getting “from the Government of Malaysia” for a “joint venture partnership reimbursement for solar investment project in Malaysia” – according to DuSable US$506,079:
Over half a million dollars!
Over half a million dollars!
Nice money for Frank White Jr for his activities, which included communicating with US Government Officials to provide that non-financial support. He puts in the details in a separate form, included are Frank and his co-director’s hefty travel expenses to KL showing the final total paid by 1MDB to DuSable was US$524,394.10:
Could the PM explain these payments in the absence of an arrangement?
Could the PM explain these payments in the absence of an arrangement?
But, with such talk of joint ventures and partnerships, how is that Najib has stated there has been “no arrangement whatsoever”?  Does he mean that Frank White Jr, who is Mr Obama’s close and trusted confidante, is lying?!
Wong Chen has understandably now challenged Najib to straighten things out with the US Governement:
“If there is no partnership whatsoever between DuSable and 1MDB, will the Minister of Finance file a formal complaint to the US State Department of Justice against DuSable?” he asked yesterday.
Perhaps Najib should sort this little problem before Mr Obama jets in in a couple of weeks?

Defamation Games: A Swiss PR; Anonymous Attacks; A Fake Twitter Army - And Information They All Share

Defamation Games: A Swiss PR; Anonymous Attacks; A Fake Twitter Army - And Information They All Share

31 Oct 2015

Sponsored content on Facebook - who paid?
Sponsored content on Facebook – who paid?
On October 23rd the latest paid PR campaign against Sarawak Report swung into its ‘new media’ phase.
We have seen it all before.
On that day a new Facebook site called ‘The Real Clare Rewcastle’ appeared online, replete with expensively commissioned cartoon videos denouncing the editor of Sarawak Report as a “liar”, “forger” and “activist posing as a journalist”.
Furthermore, it alleged that she had been paid by interested parties to work to “topple a democratically elected Prime Minister”.
On the self same day a bogus Facebook and Twitter army of  non-existent characters also made their debut to promote the videos and attack Sarawak Report.
Same things in common - started on same day, attacking same thing, same friends and followers - fake accounts.
Same things in common – started on same day, attacking same thing, same friends and followers – fake accounts.
Supposedly, the characters came from different countries, ages and backgrounds.
However, they are ‘followed’ by the same handful of organisations (including dating agencies) and share the same handful of links.
These October 23rd Tweeters and Facebook characters are all obsessed with the same issue, which is to encourage people to go and read the new Facebook site libelling Sarawak Report.
The motley crowd of allegedly unconnected fake people have also developed a parallel obsession with passing round an allegation that Sarawak Report is paid by none other than the Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis.
Why Novartis would wish to pay for an alleged plot to “topple a democratically elected Prime Minister” remains unexplained, however the company is unpopular with certain environmental groups, who appear to be targeted in an attempt to undermine support for Sarawak Report.
'KL air hostess Lillian' is invited to present herself along with her other new friends of 23rd October
‘KL air hostess Lillian’ is invited to present herself along with her other new friends of 23rd October
It is, of course, all entirely untrue.
Ella's two new oct 23rd friends Maya and Harry were soon onto the comments section of Sarawak Report  spewing venom as well...
Ella’s only three followers include ‘Erotic Beauty’ and ‘Handsome Fresh’ and her  two new Oct 23rd contacts Maya and Harry were soon attacking the comments section of Sarawak Report claiming we produce ‘no evidence’..

Promoted content

Nevertheless, the Facebook site is ‘promoted’ content, which means that Facebook is being paid to direct it towards as wide a circle as possible of interested people – eg all Malaysians.
‘Ella’ (left) and her small army of fake friends have also started trying to harass anyone involved with Sarawak Report, in order to attempt to undermine their own separate contacts.
The sponsors of the site have remained anonymous, of course, to avoid being held accountable for their blatantly libellous content.
The UMNO communications boss, Rahman Dahlan, of Lester Melanyi fame would doubtless have approved of this whole cunning ruse to attack this website, but the finger points elsewhere on this occasion.
Oct 23rd also saw the invention of 'Rosie' - pro the Najib budget and anti-SR
Oct 23rd also saw the invention of ‘Rosie’ – pro the Najib budget and anti-SR. She has two followers including “Badclass Lingerie”
A fortnight or so earlier Sarawak Report had received warnings that a Swiss PR firm was ringing round the UK looking for a partner in a ‘dirty campaign’ against Clare Rewcastle.
The campaign was to involve material gained from her whatsap communications with Xavier Justo, the ex-PetroSaudi Director who had passed her a copy of that company’s database, including the details of the 1MDB PetroSaudi joint venture involving the theft of US$1.83 billion dollars from Malaysia.
Most UK PR companies declined to be involved in this grubby job, but where there is money there is always an eventual taker.

Marc Comina

So who was the Swiss PR organising this campaign in the UK, which appears to be now manifesting itself in The Real Clare Rewcastle Facebook page and the British made videos attacking SR?
It is well known amongst Swiss journalists that the man handling matters supposedly on behalf of Xavier Justo in Switzerland over past weeks has been the PR spokesman Marc Comina, who has represented a variety of wealthy people in trouble.
Nathan created Oct 23rd and focused on attacking SR has no personal friends, just  the sort of follower you can easily acquire!
Nathan created Oct 23rd and focused on attacking SR also has no personal friends, just the sort of follower you can easily acquire!
Other clients of Comina include the former Kazakh Minister of Energy; an art dealer who is presently accused of stealing paintings from Piccaso’s daughter and a Swiss wine producer accused by the authorities of breaking rules.
In a number of these cases Comina has worked together with a well-known and expensive Geneva lawyer named Marc Henzelin and sure enough Henzelin is also engaged alongside Comina to represent Xavier Justo in Switzerland regarding his present incarceration in a Bangkok jail.
As Malaysians all know, Justo was arrested in Bangkok because he was denounced by his former colleagues at PetroSaudi for leaking their database and they accused him of blackmail.
My own Twitter - Marc Comina
My own Twitter – Marc Comina
The question is how has Justo suddenly acquired the money to hire this expensive PR and legal team in Switzerland and what are they actually up to, supposedly on his behalf?
Sarawak Report has learnt that Comina has spoken extensively to selected Swiss journalists about Justo – some were granted exclusive access to fly to Thailand and visit the former PetroSaudi director, who had expected to be freed after confessing to what he understood were minor charges for attempted extortion – but instead received a three year jail sentence.
This lengthy sentence was thanks not least to the aggressive lobbying by PetroSaudi and 1MDB, who are together trying to also discredit the leaked material in Sarawak Report.
Comina has made clear to journalists that he and Henzelin’s current advice to Justo is to confess to being a blackmailer and to apologise to the Malaysian Prime Minister for the embarrassment caused by the PetroSaudi revelations.
Lawyer Marc Henzelin represents rich people in tight spots - he gave an exclusive interview to Le Temps alleging SR is linked to the opposition and could be a forger
Lawyer Marc Henzelin represents rich people in tight spots – he gave an exclusive interview to Le Temps alleging SR is linked to the opposition and could be a forger
Furthermore, Justo is being encouraged to allege that he was the victim of a plot by Sarawak Report to entice him to provide what he is now portraying as innocent material in the PetroSaudi database (“just some emails”) so that we could supposedly ‘doctor’ it to give a bad impression.
My client has the impression he was used and manipulated” Henzelin told Le Temps.
Sarawak Report’s motive, according to the new Justo narrative, was not to expose a huge crime and a massive international story, but to carry out an ‘opposition plot’ to “topple a democratically elected Prime Minister”, for which they imply we were paid by ‘opposition forces’ (including Novartis?).
Thus, according to Marc Comina’s present PR, poor Xavier Justo had no idea what was in the material he first used to blackmail PetroSaudi and then was trying to sell for US$2 million.
He and Mr Henzelin have gone even further, to libellously imply that Sarawak Report is an unscrupulous forger.
This is what Mr Henzelin told the Chief Reporter of the newspaper Le Temps, Sylvain Besson in an ‘exclusive interview’ granted last month, during which the lawyer also takes the opportunity to promote the image of PetroSaudi:

Besson: PetroSaudi is it a reputable company? Or a simple facade?
Henzelin: I am not a lawyer for PetroSaudi, but it is common knowledge that this is a serious oil company, not an empty shell. They have oil blocks and drill ships they operate.
Besson: Xavier Justo he knew what use the documents he handed over would be to Malaysian opposition? These documents were they altered before publication, as stated PetroSaudi?
Henzelin: My client has attended meetings where the Malaysian opposition and Clare Rewcastle Brown clearly evoked the political use they intend to make the documents they had not read. He considers that the documents have been used unscrupulous way and that some have been changed. But to what extent, what volume, he does not know. What is certain is that he has the impression of having been used, handled. In addition, he has not been paid, so he’s a little angry. [Google Translate]
Mr Besson never approached Sarawak Report for our comment on these accusations, although he had our number.  If he had asked, we could have confirmed that the story about a meeting between Justo, Brown and the Malaysian opposition is a complete lie.
So is the claim about forgery.
We would have added that while Mr Henzelin denies he is serving the interests of PetroSaudi, the entire PR-managed interview with Le Temps plainly serves that company’s interests above all others.
'My client feels he is being manipulated' but by whom?
‘My client feels he is being manipulated’ but by whom?
Since Justo had very limited funds by the time he was arrested and since similar engagements with the Swiss Press by the Comina/ Henzelin team have promoted the same line ‘on behalf of their client’, we therefore question who is ultimately financing Comina, Henzelin and all this PR?
What is certain is that Justo has now reconciled with PetroSaudi and has told visiting journalists that the man who originally denounced him and got him jailed in Bangkok, PetroSaudi’s Director Patrick Mahony, has now visited him behind bars and agreed to ‘help him get out’.
What a very nice chap after all?
Meanwhile, Mr Comina has been circulating certain extra materials to his chosen contacts journalists, which include copies of whatsap messages between Justo and and the editor of Sarawak Report and also of Justo’s ‘confessions’ made without a lawyer present after he was arrested.
We have evidence that these materials were passed to Le Temps and other selected Swiss newspapers.

Dark materials!

Spinning sinister interpretations on private messages
Spinning sinister interpretations on private messages about a payment that was never made.
These whatsap messages and ‘confessions’ were also what was offered to the PR companies in the UK who were being recruited to conduct a dirty campaign against Sarawak Report.
And the same materials are exactly what are now being used out of context as the main ‘evidence’ behind the smear campaign and videos featured on ‘The Real Clare Rewcastle’ Facebook site.
For the record, Clare Rewcastle did not pay Justo any money; did not receive any money from the opposition or anyone paying Justo and only agreed in principle to try to assist Mr Justo achieve a promised third party payment for his story, as long as process was entirely legal. In the event no payment ever took place.
These private messages obtained from Justo’s law case are now being used selectively and out of context, in order to smear Sarawak Report and distract from the real crime, which was the theft by PetroSaudi and Jho Low of US$1.83 billion dollars.
Comina's real client? PetroSaudi's Tarek Obaid was paid an US$85m 'brokerage fee' by Jho Low's Good Star according to the documents acquired from Justo.
Comina’s real client? PetroSaudi’s Tarek Obaid was paid an US$85m ‘brokerage fee’ by Jho Low for the 1MDB deal according to the documents acquired from Justo.
So, who do we think is behind that?
When we wrote to Mr Comina earlier this week and asked him if he was linked to the anonymous and libellous Facebook and Twitter campaigns, which are employing and distorting the very same material he also supplied to journalists, he nevertheless failed to reply.
On the other hand, the Le Temps senior reporter who obtained that exclusive interview with  lawyer Marc Henzelin, has roundly denied to Sarawak Report that he was aware of any PR manipulation in the genesis of his newspapers stories about Justo.
Sylvain Besson last week told Sarawak Report in a series of messages:
“I’d be glad to know which PR firm is conducting actions against you, so we can be aware of its actions and possible disinformation…”
“…. I can assure you we never heard of any PR firm disseminating material. They didn’t give it to us, at least. So we are still interested to know who they are, and to what extent they manipulate Justo’s lawyer and PR man.
On the other hand Besson acknowledged:
“….I confirm we’ll publish a story based on the messages exchanged between you and Xavier Justo”
These remarks were in response to our complaint after a journalists commissioned by Besson to write yet another critical item about Sarawak Report’s involvement with Justo explained:
“my mandate is to show our readers an example of transaction between someone who stole confidential data and people that agreed to pay for it.
There shall be no consideration about the situation in Malaysia, per se.
It is just a story about a Swiss guy who got trapped by trying to sell leaks.”
So who has determined Le Temp’s ‘mandate’, if a major international financial scandal involving Swiss banks is to be thus ignored we asked Besson?
And why was Mr Besson denying he had any knowledge of the hostile PR management behind Justo and his lawyer, given that other journalists were well aware that Marc Comina is the only way to reach the story?
We find it particularly odd given that Besson rates Comina as his number 4 best friend on Facebook:
Facebook friends with the PR manager who sees Justo's best chances as accusing Sarawak Report for forgery and supporting PetroSaudi
Facebook friends with the PR manager who sees Justo’s best chances as accusing Sarawak Report for forgery and supporting PetroSaudi
Sarawak Report therefore agrees that Justo is being manipulated.
However, we suggest that the manipulators are his wealthy and unscrupulous former colleagues, from PetroSaudi, who are trying to escape from serious criminal charges regarding the theft of hundreds of millions of dollars from 1MDB.
PetroSauid conspired to bring accusations against their whistleblower to get him jailed in Thailand.
Twitter Oct 23rd Newbie loves the PM's budget but has no friends to follow him
Twitter Oct 23rd Newbie, Seth,  loves the PM’s budget but has no friends to follow him
They are now promising him help to get him out, so long as he agrees to turn accuser against Sarawak Report and make ludicrous claims about us forging and doctoring PetroSaudi documents.
We therefore challenge PetroSaudi to stop playing in the shadows with these hired PR hands and all this anonymous Facebook libel – they should instead take us to a proper court.

Singapore ‘Court Case’

By this we do not include the latest whispering to newspapers from unidentified sources that Justo is to ‘bring a case’ next week against Sarawak Report in Singapore.
Since Sarawak Report has never been notified of any such case, this represents just more nonsense and gossip from those who dare not challenge us openly.
Another Oct 23rd Tweeter in favour of the budget and accusing Novaritis of paying SR to attack PetroSaudi.
Another Oct 23rd Tweeter in favour of the budget and accusing Novaritis of paying SR to attack PetroSaudi.
Justo, PetroSaudi, as well as the authorities in Thailand and Malaysia have the originals of all the documents we obtained – if we have doctored them it is entirely open to them to prove the matter in the UK courts (under whose jurisdiction the joint venture deal was done).
Otherwise, the Swiss media should stop regurgitating Marc Comina’s malicious PR and start to cover the real story, which is the role of their banks in Malaysia’s Heist of the Century.

'Creating A Culture Of Fear': Human Rights Watch Point The Finger At Malaysian Government In New Report

'Creating A Culture Of Fear': Human Rights Watch Point The Finger At Malaysian Government In New Report

"Freedom of expression and assembly in Malaysia are currently under attack" say Human Rights Watch
“Freedom of expression and assembly in Malaysia are currently under attack” say Human Rights Watch
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak comes under damning further criticism today with the release in Kuala Lumpur of an in-depth report by the leading US human rights organisation, Human Rights Watch, in advance of the planned visit by President Obama later this month.
The 145 page report accuses the Malaysian Government of creating a “culture of fear” and of “criminalising freedom of expression in Malaysia” and it is based on an in-depth analysis of Malaysia’s draconian laws between 2014-2015, including the Sedition Act, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Communications and Multimedia Act, the Peaceful Assembly Act and the Penal Code, all of which have been increasingly used against voices that are critical of the ruling Barisan Nasional government.
Human Rights Watch spotlights the worrying trend of abuse of the legal process, including ‘late night arrests’, ‘unjustifiable remands’ and a ‘pattern of selective prosecution’.
In doing so the NGO joins an army of critics, who are increasingly reporting on the strong-arm tactics used by Malaysia’s Prime Minister to silence dissent.
Sarawak Report itself recently reported how Najib Razak has been swiftly executing legal measures to outlaw and criminalise individuals, who attempt to take up their constitutional duties as a representative of the opposition or to exert their rights as critics of his regime.
In a statement issued today, Human Right Watch’s Asia Director, Brad Adams said:
“Prime Minister Najib Razak and the Malaysian government have repeatedly broken promises to revise laws that criminalise peaceful expression. Instead, Malaysia has gone on a binge of prosecutions of critics. The government is making a mockery of its claims to democracy and fundamental rights by treating criticism as a crime.
After the ruling coalition lost the popular vote in the 2013 elections, a crackdown on its critics began. That repression has intensified in the past year in the face of critical media coverage and rising public discontent over issues ranging from the imposition of a new Goods and Services Tax, to the government’s response to a spiralling corruption scandal involving the government-owned 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), whose board of advisors is chaired by Prime Minister Najib.
Rather than engage in debate on the merits of these issues, the government has responded by arresting and often prosecuting those with critical views, including opposition politicians, activists, journalists, and ordinary citizens, suspending two critical newspapers for three months, blocking websites, and declaring peaceful protests “unlawful.
Malaysia should stop shutting down media and shutting up critics. These actions are increasingly noticed by the international community, and send the signal that the rule of law is under threat.”
Sarawak Report has been blocked in Malaysia under the Communications and Multimedia Act
Sarawak Report has been blocked in Malaysia under the Communications and Multimedia Act.
Sarawak Report have also recently found ourselves at the brunt of these newly enacted or amended laws, as Human Rights Watch points out.
Amongst other cases, Human Rights Watch highlight the use of arbitrary laws against Sarawak Report
Amongst other cases, Human Rights Watch highlight the use of arbitrary laws against Sarawak Report
This blog has been blocked in Malaysia under the Communications and Multimedia Act because of our investigations into the 1MDB scandal, on the grounds that our articles, have been deemed “indecent, obscene, false, menacing, or offensive in character with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten or harass.”
The Editor has also found herself investigated under the Penal Code for “activities detrimental to parliamentary democracy” and a warrant of arrest has been issued against her, along with requests for her to placed on Interpol’s Red Notice List.
Requests that were swiftly rejected by Interpol.
Amongst several examples of Malaysia’s arbitrary laws being used against opposition politicians, human rights defenders, journalists, lawyers and even ordinary citizens, therefore, the report hones in on the blocking of Sarawak Report and calls on the Malaysian Government and the Malaysian Multimedia and Communications Commission to unblock our website and to cease investigations against us.
Human Rights Watch send a clear message to the MCMC
Human Rights Watch send a clear message to the MCMC!
In a letter to Malaysia’s Minister of Home Affairs, Ahmad Hahid Zamidi, Human Rights Watch posed the following question:
Although the Communications and Multimedia Act specifically states that “nothing in this act shall be construed as permitting censorship of the Internet,” the government has used that law to block access to the website Sarawak Report and its reporting on possible corruption involving 1 Malaysia Development Berhad, to prosecute individuals for “offensive” comments on social media, and to investigate online news portal The Malaysian Insider for its reporting on a matter of public interest. Does the government now take the position that it can and should censor the Internet?
Najib Razak has been accused of creating a culture of fear since the ruling party lost the popular vote in GE13
Najib Razak has been accused of creating a culture of fear since the ruling party lost the popular vote in the 13th General Election.
This question along with a host of others were sent to the Minister of Home Affairs, the Attorney General, the Inspector General of Police and the Multimedia and Communications Ministry well in advance of the report being published. Unsurprisingly, Human Rights Watch received no response.
The report will make it difficult for world leaders to ignore the human rights abuses taking place under Najib Razak, many of who will be landing in Kuala Lumpur next month for the 27th ASEAN Summit.
The hard-hitting report includes interviews with civil society activists, journalists, lawyers, academics, opposition politicians, as well as public statements by the government, and media accounts of criminal proceedings involving free speech or peaceful assembly.

The full report “Creating A Culture Of Fear: The Criminalisation Of Peaceful Expression in Malaysia” can be read [HERE]

NEW PRIME MINISTER WON'T ENJOY SAME POWER AS NAJIB: Dr M turns activist to unseat former protégé

He makes a most unlikely blogger. And, for many, an even more unlikely full-throated advocate of freedom of speech.
But that is the role Mahathir Mohamad has carved out for himself inMalaysia, the nation he is credited with transforming into a regional economic powerhouse.
As he enters his 91st year, he has become the country’s most prominent and undoubtedly most effective activist.
He has come out of retirement to throw allegations of arbitrary arrest, throttling of the press and corruption against current prime minister Najib Razak – similar to accusations that were lobbed against him during his own premiership from 1981 to 2003.
Sitting in his cavernous office and surrounded by gifts from world leaders, the man whose two decades in power are described by rights groups as autocratic has slipped seemingly with ease into his new role.
“People are very angry but they have no way of voicing their feelings,” he said during an interview with the Guardian.
He said he felt compelled to speak out on his blog against Najib.
“It’s not something I enjoy,” he said. “I find I need to do something because lots of people came to see me, complaining about the government and asking me to do something.”
Mahathir has become the ringleader for one side of a political battle against Najib, his own handpicked heir who entered office six years ago.
The embattled premier is facingallegations of corruption linked to a heavily-indebted state fund, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).
Najib has vigorously denied that a sum of nearly $700m that was moved into his personal bank accounts is linked to 1MDB, while Malaysia’s anti-corruption agency says the cash was a donation from the Middle East.
But Mahathir, speaking in the country’s administrative capital Putrajaya, says the allegations convinced him that Najib has to step down, and he has created a coalition of politicians to denounce the man he sarcastically calls “the king”.
This month, Mahathir held a press conference with members of the ruling party who have been sidelined by Najib, including sacked deputy prime ministerMuhyiddin Yassin. He condemned “a climate of fear among the people” and abuses of power after two men investigating Najib were arrested.
Dressed in his trademark khaki suit, Mahathir talked of Najib’s ills, painting a picture of a man obsessed with holding on to power.
“Previous prime ministers – we have had five prime ministers – have never been so condemned for corruption as this one and everybody says so,” he said. “[Najib] controls the mainstream media. They dare not say anything, they sort of censor themselves voluntarily,” he added.

Dr M
“They may be be transferred, they may be sacked, their paper may be stopped from publication. There are all kinds of things that he can do. He can call up the editors for questioning, which is always quite unpleasant, so people try to avoid that.”
Taking occasional breaks to cough, the 90-year-old has lost his youth but kept his direct gaze. Dwarfed by piles of books, documents and newspapers, he remains a central part of Malaysian political life and is visited at his riverside office by the country’s elite, who keep him informed.
“The only avenue is for a vote of non-confidence,” Mahathir said of hisdesire to oust Najib. “Or some demonstration to the ruler that he has lost the confidence and support of the majority of members of parliament.”
His relationship broke down gradually with Najib, he says: “I tried at first to talk to the prime minister. He doesn’t do anything at all to take that advice. Then I had to tell him privately that I no longer supported him. That also didn’t have any effect. Then I went public and told the public I am not supporting him.
“That had to go through the alternative media because he has literally blocked out anything that I say from the mainstream papers. Lots of people read my blog and they have commented on it,” he said.
Many Malaysians feel his attack on Najib is somewhat incongruous from a man accused of using repressive laws to silence or imprison his own critics.
“What a lot of us feel is that he started that. And we are reaping what he sowed,” said Shamini Darshni, Amnesty International Malaysia executive director. While Darshni says the current human rights climate is worse, she adds that detention without trial started with Mahathir.
While in office, he was condemned for his regular use of the Internal Security Act to detain individuals indefinitely and for curtailing the power of the judiciary through rewriting laws and intimidating of judges.
In 1999, 2000 and 2001, the Committee to Protect Journalists put Mahathir on its list of the 10 worst enemies of the press for his stranglehold on the mainstream media. Some of the Malaysian publications that are being intimidated by the current administration were also harassed by Mahathir.

When pressed on the point that Najib is using executive powers that come from Mahathir’s time in office, the former prime minister claimed he used them only to quell sometimes violent racial divides. Muslim Malays make up around 60% of the 30 million population, with ethnic Chinese at about a quarter and ethnic Indians less than 10%.
“During my time, yes, there were things that I did that were maybe not considered democratic and all that, but my job was to ensure that the race relations in this country remained healthy,” he said.
“To that extent, I never used [the powers] for my personal gain, for trying to acquire funds in an illegitimate way. That is an abuse of power.”
Mahathir has never contented himself with his successors, three times turning on men he handpicked to continue his work at the helm of the United Malays National Organisation (Umno) party.
He first contrived to give the reins to his former deputy Anwar Ibrahim, who is now in prison for sodomy, a crime in Malaysia.
“Sodomy is not a crime in many countries. Even [foreign] ministers now come with their boyfriends. That is very acceptable. These people think I am not giving enough freedom. Well, this country is very conservative. We don’t want that kind of behaviour to be connected with our prime minister,” Mahathir said.
“I wanted him to succeed me, I brought him up. But with his faulty moral character, I don’t think he was suitable to become prime minister.

“I think he should have succeeded me. In fact, I was ready to step down after the Commonwealth games in 1998. I thought, ‘I’ve had 18 years of prime ministership, it’s time I go and give it to him.’ But it was exactly at that time that these things were exposed. I felt that he no longer deserved to become prime minister.”
Next to go was his once-loyal deputy Abdullah Badawi, whom Mahathir cultivated for years before Abdullah rose to become prime minister from 2003 to 2009. Mahathir came out of retirement to say he had lost confidence in Abdullah.
Najib, who headed several posts in Mahathir’s cabinet, was sworn in a day after Abdullah resigned. But now Najib too has fallen out of favour, Mahathir is considering whether any Malaysian can hold the office and the power he had in his grip for so long.
“I think if [Najib] steps down, whoever takes over will not be given the kind of authority he had, especially over the police,” he said.
“I think the people have learnt our lesson. They cannot give too much power to the prime minister.”



Written by Iskandar Dzulkarnain

Deputy Prime Minister cum Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has revealed to Parliament that the Police have opened three investigation papers on former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad for criminal defamation.
The probes followed two police reports in Klang and one police report in Jinjang against the former premier which has been promptly submitted to the Attorney-General's Chambers on Oct 9 for further action.

Inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar previously said Mahathir was being investigated for criminal defamation for accusing Umno of corruption during the Bersih 4 rally and his increasingly aggressive efforts to oust Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

So the Home Minister, who surely has the blessings from his boss Prime Mnister Najib Razak, has finally shown his hidden card to reveal that Tun Dr Mahathir is indeed under probe and may face arrest soon enough, just like Umno Rebel Zainuddin Abu Hassan and Lawyer Matthias Chang who has been charged for allegedly sabotaging the country’s economy.

Will the day come, when Dr M be handcuffed and paraded in front of a witness stand like a terrorist, and charged under the Sosma Act, or is it merely another ploy to silence other critics from questioning the government?

Is the ongoing probe retaliation for his press conference held the other day, which he and other top BN leaders vehemently protested against the misuse of Sosma to jail crtitcs under the terrorist Act?
Those present at the protest were former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, former Umno Vice President Shafiie, Umno supreme Tengku Razaleigh, ex Minister Sanusi Junid and former MCA President Ong Tee Keat.
A leader extraordinaire

Tun Mahathir led the country as Prime Minister for 22 years. In that time he has implemented many policies good and bad, which has touched and moulded our present existence in one way or another.
He was a strong leader who possessed good political acumen that kept him in power long after he has overstayed his welcome.

Although there are a good many out there who continues to curse him to his grave, most if not all have given him space to regret his past actions and to leave him alone in his twilight years.

He is 90 years old today and nobody can continue to be vengeful of an old man or try to settle any old scores with him. None whosoever, safe for one present embattled Umno President who cannot wait to get rid of him, just like what he did to ex Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
What are the repercussions if Dr M is arrested and jailed

.Most people are powerless to stop the flow of historical events following his 22 year old rule. While to some he is the devil incarnate, to others Dr M remains a hero that has brought much development to this country.

He still continues to be an inspiration to the masses, and wherever he goes he continues to garner deep respect, love and adulation. Just imagine how the rakyat would feel if he is arrested and jailed for speaking up against corruption and mis-governance?

Sincerely, it is very hard to believe that Dr M, or for that matter anyone, could be arrested simply for asking Najib to resign for his failure to answer for the suspicious RM2.6 billion in his personal accounts.
A perseverant critic, Dr M has also accused Najib of mishandling 1MDB, bribing certain Umno leaders and for stealing the country’s money.
The Police’s misplaced agenda

The rakyat too is suspicious as to why so much of our precious Police resources are channelled into probing a harmless critique like Dr Mahathir or Bersih activists, while Najib seems to be above suspicion?

Someone slyly commented that for some strange and inexplicable reason, our IGP can believe that somebody, Arab or not, is willing to donate RM 2.67 billion to our dear Prime Minister!

How gullible can anybody get or how mentally-challenged can a head honcho of a Government Department be? Just where did UMNO BARU/BN Government dig up all their Department Heads???

Tuan IGP, please investigate that donation and go easy on that over-staying ‘Warga Emas! (Golden Years Citizen) We enjoy having him around! And for goodness sake; please stop taking the people for granted.
A Stunning backlash with People’s Power expected

Malaysians are pleasantly surprised that Dr M still has the fighting spirit to defend the country against the crooks out there, whom he accuses of looting the country and destroying it.
Any attempts to touch him, arrest him or incarcerate him will only accelerate the demise of Umno and BN. It will lead to a stunning reaction amongst the masses who are supporting Tun and others who are supportive of the government.

Clashes and skirmishes cannot be ruled out and it will be total chaos which will lead to a divided nation. Umno itself would experience a big split right down the middle resulting in massive internal haemorrhage.

The Malay masses will rise up in such numbers that even Arab Spring will look like a kindergarten walkabout. How can any true blue blooded Malay allows such humiliation of a respected elderly statesman being stripped of his self respect?

Already the murmurings have begun, with many staunch Malay critics vowing to retaliate and cursing; over their dead bodies, should even one hair of Dr M be touched.

The meeker ones are calling for ‘Solat Hajat’ prayers for divine intervention to open their eyes as to who speaks the truth and which leader is lying through their teeth, and may God’s wrath be upon them!

Others are accusing Najib of playing the role of Police Chief, Chief Justice, Jury and Executioner as well, and if he is brave enough to arrest Mahathir, he wont last 24 hours as the backlash will nail Najib’s political goose right up to the wall.

It will also be Dr M’s final trump card, if the authorities ever fall into his trap to have him arrested. “Mahathir incarcerated for trying to save the country or Najib jailed for corruption and theft’, will be the blaring headlines. Who do you think the people will support?

Not only would it be the most talked about news of the year with daily headlines like; “Mahathir arrested” “Najib a freeman” - it will also be the drama of the century with everyone hoarding pop-corn to watch the spectacle unfolding before them.

Najib too will face international condemnation for arresting a past leader responsible for Malaysia’s progress and the repercussions will jettison the BN coalition into deep space before the year is out.
Letting him be, however may bring new blood flowing again through Umno’s varicose veins, while Najib’s unconditional resignation may be the only answer for Umno and BN to wake up from their ICU(Intensive Care Unit) induced coma. - MAILBAG
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Malaysian Indian Ethnic Cleansing by UMNO led government