Yesterday, I put to the Minister for Communications and Multimedia, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak a second tranche of five questions to answer so that he could restore his right to ask questions and demand answers from others, as he had forfeited such right when as a Minister responsible for the portfolio of information, had failed to answer numerous questions about government scandals and failings.
Today, I put to Salleh a third tranche of five questions for him to answer to perform his Ministerial duty before he could start asking questions and demanding answers from others.
My third tranche of five questions are:
One of the questions posed in an electronic media today is as follows:
“If 1MDB is squeaky clean, why are people charged abroad?”
In Singapore, bank officer Yvonne Seah was jailed for two weeks, while her supervisor Yaw Yee Chee was jailed for 18 weeks for abetting businessman Jho Low to launder funds linked to 1MDB.
While the Singapore government has prosecuted the few private investment bankers and closed BSI Bank and Falcon private bank, nothing seems to have happened in Malaysia to the few, untouchable men, namely Jho Low and the prime minister’s stepson Riza Aziz, without whom this massive financial scandal could not have taken place, causing US$3.5 billion to be stolen from the Malaysian people, as alleged by US attorney-general Loretta Lynch.
Can Salleh explain the unending reverberations in other countries of the roiling international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal, when the Malaysian government continues with its pretence that there is nothing wrong with 1MDB.
Are Yvonne Seah and Yaw Yee Chee wrongly convicted and jailed in Singapore?
Would Salleh agree that the Court of Appeal’s acquittal of student activist Muhammad Safwan Anang of his sedition conviction this morning is most welcome and encouraging.
Would Salleh raise at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow on the need for the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to honour his 2012 promise to repeal the archaic Sedition Act and to present such repeal in the March meeting of Parliament?
Meanwhile, the Cabinet should instruct the Attorney-General to stay all prosecutions under the Sedition Act and direct a moratorium on any further use until the repeal of the Sedition Act in the March meeting of Parliament.
Does Salleh agree that Malaysia, whether Cabinet, Parliament, the civil society or the citizenry cannot accept with complacency and equanimity the epithet of a global kleptocracy – defined as a rule by a thief or thieves.
In November 2012, an academician Professor Dr. Syed Farid Alatas warned that Malaysia may descend into a “kleptocracy” if corruption is not addressed effectively and comprehensively.
Four years later, Farid’s dire warning has come to pass.
Would Salleh raise in the Cabinet tomorrow the need for Malaysia to launch an international campaign to rebut and refute the ignominy and infamy of being regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy?
DAP and Pakatan Harapan leaders are prepared to take part in such an international campaign to rebut or refute the epithet of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy.
There are political leaders in the country who claim they remain committed to combat corruption, but they have no quarrel with Malaysia being regarded world-wide as a “global kleptocracy”, have no concerns about the international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal or not bothered who is “MO1”. Does Salleh agree these political leaders are “wolves in sheep’s clothing” in the fight against corruption and even worse, kleptocracy and cannot be trusted?
Two full weeks after the release of the results of Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015, the Malaysian Education Ministry is still struggling how to give a satisfactory explanation as to why Malaysia’s PISA 2015 results had been disqualified and Malaysia excluded from the rankings of PISA 2015 in three subjects (mathematics, science, and reading) tested in what has been described as world’s school report.
Will Salleh raise this subject at tomorrow’s Cabinet meeting, and tell the Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid that there is no need for the Ministry to crack its head to invent a cock-and-bull story but to just tell the truth and if the Education Ministry was guilty of cheating and trying to get good results in PISA 2015, to admit the transgressions and to give an undertaking that such dishonesty in PISA tests would not happen again.
Would Salleh raise the recent spate of international disasters and tragedies like the assassination of the Russian ambassador in Ankara, the suspected terrorist attack in the killing of at least 12 people and the wounding of dozens more when a truck plowed through a Christmas market in Berlin against the backdrop of the destruction of Aleppo with hundreds of thousands of civilians killed across Syria in the worst mass slaughter since the genocide in Darfur so that Malaysia can learn the right lessons from such catastrophes and not allow the politics of race, religion and hate to continue to polarize, poison and divide multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural Malaysia?
Question 6 –
In early October, the country was convulsed by reports of the rampant corruption in the Sabah Water Department, especially the revelation that 60 per cent of the RM3.3 billion earmarked by the federal government to improve water supply to residents, including those in remote areas in the Sabah State, had been “siphoned off” by corruption.
Would Salleh agree that the 60% corruption at the Sabah Water Department, for which no one has yet been charged in court for corruption, is proof that Malaysia is not serious about combating corruption, even less so with regard to grand corruption affecting top political and government leaders.
Can Salleh explain why China is catching “tigers” and Indonesia “crocodiles”, but Malaysia has not been able to catch a single “shark” at the national level in the war against grand corruption?
Former finance minister Tun Daim Zainuddin has called for a key planning unit, the Special Economic Committee, set up by the Prime Minister in August last year, to be replaced, saying it has failed.
Daim had suggested instead setting up an economy management squad to replace the Special Economics Committee, tasked to do immediate and medium-term planning to strengthen the country’s economic fundamentals, which should comprise professionals with high technical skills, efficient and dare to speak the truth, and enjoy the trust of the rakyat and investors.
Daim said, as of now, the level of confidence among the people towards the government was at an all-time low and that without their confidence and support, solving national issues would be difficult.
Daim referred to the 2016 Edelman Trust Barometer research findings which showed that the Malaysian general public’s trust towards the government was only at 39%, while for the educated public it was at 34%.
Daim said this “deficit” in trust stemmed from the lack of integrity and moral bravery among the leaders and elite, which escalated after the people felt that immediate action had not been taken against those involved in corruption and bribery.
Does Salleh agree, and if not, why not.
Does Salleh agree that the police and the Attorney-General should stop selective prosecution and discriminatory law enforcement?
The latest example is the persecution of cartoonist Zunar – whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque – who had faced repeated arrests throughout this career over his cartoons that are critical of the government.
He is also facing nine charges under the Sedition Act 1948 since last year.
What type of a society the UMNO/BN government is building in Malaysia when, as said by prominent cartoonist Ujang, whose real name is Ibrahim Anon and known for his work in the popular cartoon magazine Gila-Gila and Ujang, cartoonists are regarded as more dangerous than robbers?
Would Salleh support the recent call by NGOs and the civil society that the government should stop its campaign “to discredit and demonise human rights activists and civil society organisations who have voiced criticisms and dissent against the government”, which had resulted in the arrest of Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah under the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012, the summoning of activists from Suaram, Lawyers for Liberty and Empower for investigations, the police raid and seizure of the offices of Bersih and Empower and the numerous news reports making allegations against various organisations in respect of the foreign funding, including the Malaysian Bar Council?
Recently, DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng against the son of former Inspector-General of Police, Abdul Rahman Mohd Hanif Omar for lodging false police reports in making baseless allegations that foreign funds were distributed to the fictitious “Red Bean Army” (RBA), purportedly controlled by DAP, but no police action had been taken!
Does Salleh agree that there had been too many cases of selective prosecution and selective police investigation which is a further cause of loss of confidence in the present government to uphold the rule of law impartially and professionally?
Does Salleh agree that based on the statements yesterday by two UMNO leaders, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Jamil Khir Bahrom and Deputy Minister for International Trade and Industry, there is a political conspiracy between UMNO and PAS not only against the various State Governments but also against the other 13 component parties in the Barisan Nasional to support PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355), and to explain the reason for such UMNO betrayal of the fundamental consensus principle with the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties.
Does Salleh agree that the refusal of the Transport Minister, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai to support immediate expansion plans for Penang International Airport although it is bursting at its seams having reached 6.5 million air passenger traffic capacity in 2016 instead of in 2020, smacks of irresponsible Ministerial abuse of power to wreak petty vengeance against the DAP-led Penang State Government for MCA’s dismal “7/11” performance in the 13GE, and that the Cabinet should immediately allocate a supplementary vote for expansion of PIA to cater for 10 million passengers?
Question One: why the government’s conspiracy of silence over the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal when there is breaking news all over the world several times a week for the past many months about it.
Last Friday, for instance, a second banker in Singapore was jailed in connection with the 1MDB money-laundering investigations in Singapore.
In Thailand, a Swiss IT expert, Xavier Justo, jailed for three years last August for attempting to blackmail his former employer PetroSaudi International, a Abu Dhabi oil firm involved in the 1MDB money-laundering dealings, is expected to be able to celebrate Christmas with his family in Switzerland as he is among the thousands of Thai and foreigners granted a royal pardon by the new Thai king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradevarangkun.
Early this week, a US federal judge in Los Angeles, California rejected a move by family members of Penang billionaire Jho Low to claim assets seized by the US government in its probe into the international 1MDB kleptocratic money-laundering scandal.
But there is only thundering silence in Malaysia, the home of international 1MDB kleptocratic scandal. Can Salleh answer: Who is “MO1”?
Question Two: Can Salleh explain and justify the shameful conduct of the Malaysian Parliament and the UMNO General Assembly in failing their national responsibility to rebut and refute Malaysia’s international ignominy and infamy of being regarded worldwide as a “global kleptocracy”?
This would not have happened under the first four Prime Ministers – Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak (Najib’s father), Tun Hussein and Tun Mahathir who led the Federal Government in the first 46 years of the nation’s history.
In the eighties, the father of Independence and Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman worked with DAP for a more democratic, clean and responsible government.
Tun Razak would have no truck with any kleptocracy, and all Malaysians should know of the “swimming pool” story told by Nazir, the younger brother of the Prime Minister, to illustrate how his father, Tun Razak, was selfless in his dedication to nation-building and feared the corruption of absolute power.
Nazir illustrated Razak’s frugality and integrity with the “swimming pool” episode, recounting the failed attempt of the Razak children to ask their father for a swimming pool to be built at Seri Taman, the Prime Minister’s residence, and the “lecture” they received from Razak about the important distinction between public office and private use.
Razak told his children that anything spent on the proposed swimming pool in the Prime Minister’s residence would have to come from public funds, and there was no way he was going to allow the state coffers to be depleted on something as frivolous as a swimming pool.
Tun Razak was concerned about “what the people would think” if he used public funds to build a swimming pool in his official residence for the use of his children, but his son, Najib, as the sixth Prime Minister, was not perturbed as to what the world would think with Malaysia dubbed as a global kleptocracy!
What a difference between the father and the son.
Tun Hussein’s commitment to fight corruption is legendary, which can be testified by his son, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein – but again, what a difference between the father and the son.
Tun Mahathir’s opposition to the 1MDB scandal needs no introduction.
Clearly, the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia is doing something which the first four Prime Ministers would never dreamt of doing – in allowing Malaysia to be regarded world-wide as a global kleptocracy.
Can Salleh explain why?
Third Question: Was Najib or UMNO/BN government responsible for the expensive, glossy and multi-coloured 20-page publication, entitled “1MDB PASCA LAPORAN AUDIT NEGARA DAN PAC – SAMAN DOJ (JABATAN KEHAKIMAN AMERIKA SYARIKAT) MERAGUKAN” distributed as an anonymous booklet at the UMNO General Assembly?
The booklet raised doubts as to whether “MO1” was the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak although a senior Cabinet Minister had identified “MO1” as Najib in a BBC interview.
The booklet even alleged that the biggest US DOJ kleptocratic lawsuits to forfeit US$1 billion 1MDB-linked assets in the United States, United Kingdom and Switzerland was the result of complaints lodged by former UMNO leader Datuk Khairuddin Abdul Hassan.
Are the questions, assumptions and assertions made in the 1MDB booklet distributed anonymously at the recent UMNO General Assembly the official positions of the UMNO/BN government, and if not so, why the booklet was allowed to be distributed at the UMNO General Assembly?
Fourth Question: Why the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had acted in a most irresponsible manner when through his UMNO Presidential Speech on Nov. 30, he launched a Nazi-style “Big Lies” propaganda offensive against the political opposition, plunging Malaysian politics into an era of fake news, false cartoons and fake allegations.
One such UMNO Nazi-style “Big Lie” propaganda is the allegation that DAP and myself are anti-Malay and anti-Islam and that if UMNO loses the 14th GE, the Malays will lose political power to the Chinese who will dominate politics in Malaysia.
I have been in politics for 51 years. Can Salleh cite or uncover a single instance or example in my more than half a century of political life to substantiate the UMNO falsehoods that DAP and I are anti-Malay and anti-Islam?
Or will Salleh accept that the inability of the UMNO Government and leadership to cite any such instance as the strongest proof of DAP’s commitment for more than half a century to the Malaysian Dream of a nation for all Malaysians regardless of race or religion – and that the DAP is not anti-Malay or anti-Islam?
Another example of UMNO Nazi-style “Big Lie?” propaganda is the fake Cabinet line-up on the social media entitled “Barisan Kerajaan Baru 2017 – Pakatan Harapan DAP/PKR/PAN/PPBM”, with me as Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Tun Mahathir Mohamad as Deputy Prime Minister, PKR President Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Ismail as Woman and Family Development Minister, Amanah President Mohamad Sabu as a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of “Agama Islam & Hubungan Antara Agama” and President of PPBM, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of “Integrasi Nasional & Pengurusan Prestasi”.
The whole objective of the fake Cabinet line-up was to buttress the Nazi-style propaganda offensive of lies and falsehoods that the DAP is the “master” and the other parties, PKR, Amanah and PPBM, are subordinates, stooges or subservient to DAP.
Another false cartoon of such Nazi-style “Big Lie” propaganda portrayed the DAP as the “master agent” directing PKR, Amanah and PPBM for a mastermind – financier George Soros.
This is the reason for the circulation of fake cartoon, entitled “War of PRU 14”, picturing financier George Soros as the mastermind funding all the Opposition parties in Malaysia, with me representing DAP as Soros’ chief agent yelling “READY TO ATTACK” while directing Azizah of PKR, Sabu of AMANAH and Tun Mahathir of PPBM to go to “war”.
Is Salleh prepared to denounce such Nazi-style “Big Lie” falsehoods and fake cartoons against the political opposition?
Fifth Question: Will the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) 2015 be the second international infamy which Malaysians have to suffer in the year 2016, after being regarded worldwide as a global kleptocracy?
Can Salleh explain why the Malaysian government tried to cheat in PISA 2015, regarded as the world’s school report, resulting in Malaysia’s exclusion and disqualification from the official PISA 2015 rankings – one of three countries to suffer such shame and ignominy in PISA 2015?
This is the first tranche of questions Salleh will have to answer before he could restore his right to ask questions and expect answers.
WRITER: LIM KIT SIANG