The Agong Is There To Assist The Process of Democracy, Not To Issue Decrees Or Give Orders

Constitutional expert Prof Datuk Dr Shamrahayu Ab Aziz said a unity government is thought to be one of the main choices because it is considered capable of achieving unity among the Malaysian communities.

Our comment

With all due respect to the Prof, her interpretation of Malaysia’s constitution misleads. It is not for the Agong to ‘Decree’ that the Prime Minister must form a ‘Unity Government’, it is for the Agong to call the person who appears to command the most support in Parliament to form a government as that person sees fit.

This is because elections are not held for fun or as some kind of opinion testing exercise. They are an expression of the will of the people. Malaysia is a parliamentary democracy meaning that it is ruled by the people and not by the Agong. The Agong’s role, as a constitutional (bound by strict laws) and temporary monarch, is to remain above the political fray and to ensure the WILL OF THE PEOPLE is obeyed.

The Prof does acknowledge “the form of government is a privilege owned by the prime minister” but on the other hand suggests Anwar’s appointment is “a decree…. not merely a suggestion but an order that must be obeyed” – as if a Royal Decree is not something that has to be authorised by Parliament, which it does.

Indeed, were it simply up to the Sultan who happens to be Agong at the time to decide who gets to govern, and how, you could end up with a situation where the Agong could completely ignore the leader who commands the most support amongst the people’s representatives and appoint someone who commands absolutely no support whatsoever …..

Oooops!  That is exactly what happened, of course, in 2020.

However, the debacle of 2020 ought to be treated as an extreme lesson in what ought not happen, rather than as some kind of precedent. The excuse then was, perhaps, the extraordinary circumstances where a coup was hatched in the same week a pandemic struck.

Amidst much loose talk of ‘Decrees’ and ‘Orders’, as if the temporary Agong was an absolute monarch, Muhyiddin who was a traitor to his own party and who held no legitimate role as an elected leader of any party, was appointed PM following the Sheraton Coup.

‘Moo’ had claimed he had a majority of ‘Statutory Declarations’ from MPs supporting his bid, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. That has been proven to have been a lie and so weak was his actual following that the Agong was then obliged to suspend Parliament for months so that this imposter would not be shown up by a confidence vote.

To be clear, under the Constitution it is the Confidence Vote that confirms the position of a new Prime Minister. There is no reference to any ‘Decree’ by the Agong nor any ‘Swearing In Ceremony’ by the Agong nor ‘Orders’ by the Agong to form this or that type of government. It is Parliament that confirms that an administration has the support of the majority of the people.

In order to maintain the Muhyiddin Government through this disastrous period of minority rule, therefore, the Agong was forced to resort to another of his limited but important roles under the Constitution. He called a State of Emergency which was used to suspend Parliament altogether!

The excuse for the State of Emergency was Covid, but few other countries extended their Covid Emergencies to a complete suspension of democratic government. Quite the opposite, most countries leaned on the authority of their Parliaments to press through emergency rules that were often hard to bear.

Unsurprisingly, ‘Moo’s’ propped up regime eventually collapsed under the weight of its democratic deficit and incompetence (but not before billions in un-tendered Covid contracts had been funnelled through without scrutiny).

Now the same fellow is running around again claiming that his alleged new bundle of SDs outweigh the declarations of party leaders that have made it clear to the people and even to the Agong where the support of MPs lies.

Anwar has told the Moo cow that he can keep his unconstitutional SDs and that he will this time see him in Parliament, which is indeed the proper place, as determined under the Constitution, for this dispute to be resolved.

Anwar is confident he has his majority, hence no need to find an ‘Emergency’ excuse to block MPs nor to rely on specious talk of ‘Decrees’ and ‘Orders’ which misrepresent the role of the Agong under the Malaysian Constitution.

It is there for all to read.

Too Late Mate!

GPS will be joining the unity government that will be led by newly minted Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, as per the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s decree.

Its chief Abang Johari Openg said the Sarawak-based ruling coalition abides by the Agong’s decree, saying His Majesty wants a strong and stable government.

“The Agong advised us to form a unity government to overcome the political impasse.

“We obey the constitutional monarchy and the Rukun Negara clearly states that we must obey the king, even though we don’t have a king in Sarawak,” he told a press conference today.

Our comment

Last night Abang Jo was pledging to only support PAS controlled-PN, for reasons most Sarawakians are wondering very angrily about.

This was AFTER he had last seen the Agong, but while he still plainly hoped that his pal Hishamuddin would pull off his treacherous move to snatch the leadership of his BN party and then the country.

Now, far too belatedly, Abang Jo is claiming that some ‘Decree’ by the Agong has instructed for him to be part of a Unity Government.

This is not how the Constitution of Malaysia works. Much as the ceremony and ‘Swearing In’ at the palace may have made for a great news story and a symbolic acceptance (at last) of the fact PH won most seats at this election, it is not for the Agong to ‘Decree’ the nature of his government.

That will be confirmed by Parliament when Anwar demonstrates what has become obvious (even at last to the King) which is that he commands a majority of MPs. It is for Anwar to appoint his coalition colleagues following negotiations between themselves.

However, owing primarily to his crass behaviour of the past few days, Abang Jo is not part of that configuration. It was not thanks to GPS ‘Kingmaking’ that Anwar achieved his numbers, but thanks to the majority of BN’s MPs, whom Abang Jo sought to destabilise with his plotting with PN and the likes of Hishamuddin and Ismail Sabri.

Abang Jo may be desperate now to jump on the bandwaggon with his GPS lackeys. But they have all shown they had preferred to work instead to support a PAS led coalition, and had been prepared to actively undermine the collaboration between PH and BN designed to achieve a stable government.

The Agong may have ‘Decreed’ a unity government, but he cannot decree that Anwar gives any of these GPS chancers a single seat in his slimmed down cabinet – and nor should he!

Abang Jo Should Heed The Will Of The People

Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) will leave it to the wisdom of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to decide who should be the prime minister.

GPS said this in a statement today, two days after it claimed that it would support a government led by Perikatan Nasional’s (PN) Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister.

Its latest statement does not mention Muhyiddin at all, nor did the coalition nominate anyone else.

GPS said this although it had previously proposed the formation of a government comprising PN, BN, GPS and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)…

Our comment

Having first proclaimed he would surrender Sarawak to a coalition dominated by the malignant voice of the extremist PAS and a leader who just before the election proclaimed PH was a front for a ‘Jewish and Christian Plot’, Abang Jo has now said he will submit entirely to ‘the wisdom of the Agong’.

Why have elections at all?

The Agong has a role in the process as a constitutional monarch who acts as the objective umpire to make sure that the WILL OF THE PEOPLE is obeyed – not his will. He is not a capricious autocrat, who may or may not be wise, but a titular head of state.

Abang Jo should stop making a fool of Sarawakians and press for their interests in this process. That doesn’t not involve submitting to PAS nor submitting to a Malay Sultan.

No Clue Who Would Be In Government Voting BN/PN

Caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob today described the shadow cabinet poster that went viral on social media as nothing more than a psychological war waged by his opponents.

Ismail Sabri said the opponents have no “product” to sell to the voters and that he would not use such a tactic in his focus on winning the 15th general election.

“It is up to them (the opponents) to unveil the shadow cabinet. I did not form a shadow cabinet because my focus is on winning the election,” he told a press conference after attending the Semarak Uniti Keluarga Malaysia programme at Dataran Kerayong in Bera.

Our comment

Ismail has not revealed his own shadow cabinet because he has no clue whatsoever who’d be in it!

He knows that if he and his sometime enemies and sometime allies from PN were to grab power (he has no hope of winning) it could only be achieved by making endless bargains with each other and several other parties.

He doesn’t even know if he could hang on to being PM, given Muhyiddin is desperate to get the job and Zahid is hovering in the wings. If he did he would have to pay off PAS, GPS,  and a swathe of frogs like Azmin (if he keeps his seat).

So, the first thing that would be revealed by an Ismail shadow cabinet would be the sheer shocking size it would be bound to be, with jobs for dozens of squabbling egos who could not even settle their differences to agree on a joint election slate.

Anwar, meanwhile, is able to present his ‘product’, namely his team and manifesto – like a normal democratic party from anywhere in the world –  so people know exactly who and what they would be voting for if they tick PH ….  and how many ministers they’d be paying for as well!

Becoming increasingly clear to voters is that there is one party in this election which is fit and ready to govern.

The rest who are not fit to govern will make their excuses, like Ismail Sabri has just done.

RM500 BILLION In Contracts + Zero Oversight = Big Election Handouts?

Pakatan Harapan (PH) will investigate former Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin for allegedly awarding RM500 billion in contracts during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Melaka PH chairman Adly Zahari said PH will do so if it manages to form the government after the 15th General Election this Saturday.

“We promise to carry out the investigation on the case even though Muhyiddin said the money was to combat Covid-19, we have to look at it from every aspect.

“If there are any irregularities, we will charge him in court because it is the country’s money,” said Adly when met after a campaign in Kampung Ujong Padang. Also present was PH candidate for Masjid Tanah Mutalib Uthman.

 He said the allocation was a big amount and even though it is said that it is to save the people and the country from the pandemic, it must be investigated.

Our comment

The question everyone is asking is how did PN/PAS obtain the deep pockets to engage in their lavish electioneering in every seat…. and now, it sadly seems, in dirty old-fashioned vote buying?

One senior Terengganu PAS candidate appears here to have shamelessly plastered his own photo and name across a gifting pouch in the shape of money – in this case the alleged recipient has advertised RM150 found inside.

Yet PAS, previously out of office for decades, had been famously short of money until Najib started courting them before GE14. What has made them rich this time round, could it be their new partnership with the stunningly well off Bersatu, whose present leader Mahiaddin Yassin enjoyed office for 18 months during the pandemic?

Mahiaddin (aka Muhyiddin) snatched power after betraying the party he had hitched on to for the election (he is an ex-UMNO man who got sacked by Najib for trying to take advantage of 1MDB to usurp his boss) and then joining up with all the losing parties.

The Agong appointed him PM despite his having registered the support of not a single MP. Instead, ‘Moo’ had visited his local Sultan of Johor in a prolonged visit a couple of days before the coup. The Sultan is the Agong’s brother-in-law, maybe he advised him that Moo was ready to serve?

Days after that coup the Covid alert became a global issue and the new government took full advantage of the situation, using the Agong to declare a state of emergency. This allowed Moo to suspend parliament and crack down on protests against his coup for months and months.

Now it emerges that while Malaysia suffered under one of the cruellest Covid regimes on the planet – and also one of the most incompetently managed – Moo was handing out contracts under the emergency legislation and the excuse of Covid to the tune of RM500 BILLION.

There was no open tender and no scrutiny whatsoever – and very little impact for the money as far as ordinary Malaysians were concerned.

The appalling mismanagement of the Covid crisis in Malaysia eventually gave Moo’s UMNO rivals their opportunity to seize the upper hand in the coup coalition, something that after a meagre protest Malaysia’s shortest serving PM accepted.

Was this because he knew he had a war chest stashed away unlike any other?

It would appear that Moo bided his time and built his bridges with PAS while cooperating with those who had sidelined him. That lasted until the moment the election was called. Sensationally, and seemingly against all electoral logic the ex-PM then set himself up in opposition to his coalition allies fighting UMNO in every single seat.

This despite the razor thin majority presently held by the alliance over the winners of the last election, Pakatan Harapan. What was Muhyiddin about?

Now that the money has started to flow the answer is becoming clear. Moo is planning his revenge, and far from his new party Bersatu being wiped out at this election (it was after all a vehicle set up by his predecessor Mahathir who is now vehemently against him) he believes he has accrued the deep pockets to bulldoze victory over his former UMNO party, together with his new allies, the extremists cum lapdogs from PAS.

PH is right to say it will scrutinise those un-tendered Coved contracts.

Sarawak's Budget Black Hole Comes Under Fire From A Man Who Knows

Abang Johari Tun Openg must tell Sarawakians how much is the State Reserves now, said Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) president Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh….

“He (Abang Johari) has to let us know how much is our State Reserves now. Also, how much Sarawak government owes to others either in the forms of bonds, loans or other commitments?

“How much money has the state government given to DBoS and how is DBoS doing in terms of managing the funds? Because DBoS cannot raise funds from outside the government and the money must come from the State Reserves,” he told a press conference at PSB Bawang Assan Branch here today…

He noted that See Hua Daily News quoted Abang Johari as saying that the State Budget 2023, which he will table after the 15th general election (GE15), would see the state’s revenue estimates exceeding RM10 billion…

He observed that Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian had on several occasions said that Sarawak is rich given the RM10 billion revenues.

“Dr Sim is muddle-headed. He doesn’t know what he’s talking. He keeps on saying we have RM10 billion but not all of that money is for development because you still need to cover expenditure,” Wong said.

Our comment

As a poacher turned opposition party gamekeeper Wong Soon Koh is very well placed to comment on the actions of the GPS government when it comes to the mishandling of public money.

He was a former finance minister of the state for many years under the kleptocratic rule of Taib Mahmud, after all.

So, Wong knows better than most first how money is siphoned away from proper development purposes and second how the likes of ‘Premier’ Abang Jo seek to hide that fact through lack of budget transparency.

The state government has even sought to sue the opposition leader Chong for ‘defamation’ for doing his job in demanding that missing and undeclared financial figures be presented for scrutiny. Chong pointed out long ago that around half the money raised from the state has been disappearing into a ‘Black Hole’ that is simply unaccounted for to the public.

Wong is one man who can spill the beans on some of these shenanigans right up till 2019. He should agree to stand as a witness in the outrageous court proceedings against his opposition rival on this matter.

Only A Man Can Represent Rural Areas?

Perikatan Nasional election director Azmin Ali has come to the defence of Kedah Menteri Besar Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor, who recently said that a woman is not fit to become the MP for the rural Sik constituency.

Azmin told reporters this afternoon that Sanusi (above) had explained the matter to him and the PAS leader did not mean to be condescending to women in his speech at the constituency….

“He comes from Sik, he lives in Sik, and to the people there, it (what Sanusi said) was nothing unusual to them. He did not mean to insult women,”

Sanusi was caught on video, which went viral on social media, criticising BN’s move to field Maizatul Akmam Othman in the Sik parliamentary seat.

Sanusi said that, without meaning to demean PAS Muslims, the area is vast and rural with many poor residents. He claimed it might be beyond the capabilities of women to serve there.

Our comment

Do women not live in rural areas and do not their magnified problems (after all they have to do all the physical work in the house and much of the physical work on the land) make it all the more important to include woman in decision making roles?

Women may be the weaker sex, but they also have more stamina for the longer hauls. One wonders who would really be the first to run out of puff traipsing round the far flung constituencies – a tough lady or the average puffing, portly, ageing PAS cleric wading round in his flowing gowns?

After all, as everyone knows, the more familiar mode of transport for PAS’s Rolex-wearing clerics is the back of a Toyota Vellfire or Mercedes Benz.

Hopping in and out of a river boat or climbing up walkways?

It would be fun to watch the likes of Kedah’s bigoted Menteri Besar (after all his real reason for excluding women is that he fears them being treated equal) in action!

Hadi And Co Would Be "Stupid" To Declare Their Assets!

PKR’s decision to compel its candidates to declare their assets prior to election day was a form of “stupidity”, according to PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang.

“Asset declaration is sometimes a form of stupidity. They want to menunjuk-nunjuk(show off).

“What should we show the public? We should show that we are good people,” Hadi told reporters after delivering his weekly lecture in Marang, Terengganu today.

Hadi said this when asked to comment on whether PAS would follow PKR’s footsteps in having election candidates declare their assets.

Our comment

The extremely religious Hadi Abang is of course absolutely right. He would be completely stupid to declare his assets, let alone ask his devious band of allies to do the same. Azmin Ali has angrily claimed “it’s all a farce” – in his case it would be.

Malaysians already know these are people who say one thing and do another. Yet, to have to openly acknowledge the fleets of custom cars and bikes, the designer watches and all the more hidden treasures (such as properties abroad) would make a mockery of these holy men who claim to put the people first.

Best ignore and demand that people judge them by their words and not their actions!!

Another 'Trust Fund' That Sarawakians Are Asked To Trust?

Premier of Sarawak Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg has assured Sarawakians that the proposed sovereign wealth fund will be well-managed by a full team of international professionals, thus securing the future of younger Sarawakians.

“Our sovereign fund will be completely professionally managed, even the board directors will be of all international professions. We hope that will give us secure future for Sarawakians,” he said in his speech during the Development Bank of Sarawak’s (DBOS) 5th anniversary dinner here, last night.

Reiterating that a Bill to set up the sovereign wealth fund will be tabled in the State Legislative Assembly next month, Abang Johari said the fund will be managed professionally and able to generate excess funds for rainy days.

Apart from that, he said it will allow the state government to provide free and quality education and send young talents to renowned world universities to pursue knowledge and skills.

Our comment

What guarantees are written into the legislation to support these claims of good governance and where will the exact level of oversight be spelt out?

Abang Jo presides over a state government that has sought to sue the opposition leader for doing his job in pointing out that half the entire state budget had been disappearing into similar so-called ‘trust funds’ which have proven to have had zero accountability.

Rather than meet the required transparency and providing the figures to explain where the public money had gone the Sarawak state government drove the Malaysian courts to over-turn every global legal precedent to allow a public body to sue for libel.

The same regime, which Abang Jo has been part of for many years, has allowed the shameful looting of a raft of other ‘trusts’ presiding over the enforced alienation of funds from the community.

These include the shocking pillaging of the Amanah Saham Sarawak Berhad (ASSAR) fund involving over half a billion ringgit of compensation money due to thousands of landowners forcibly deprived of their heritage – a fund which was so badly and opaquely managed that instead of providing steady ‘dividends’ to its enforced ‘shareholders’ it is now worthless, the money having somehow been lost.

HSBC was the ‘trustee’ that oversaw that debacle, so much for ‘safe international management’. The decision makers were all politically connected folk from Sarawak after all.

Or how about the other native fund, the Forest Concession Area Trust Fund (LKWKKH), supposedly to compensate for rampant logging on customary lands? No surprise that this trust has also gone the same way with less than 1% being spent on the promised benefits to the supposed local beneficiaries.

Once again, lack of transparency has left the actual destination of the money something of a mystery although few were surprised to learn that the management of this cash was largely handled by companies controlled by the Taib family – of Abang Jo’s predecessor and political ally.

There has been no condemnation by Abang Jo of any of these disastrous ventures – all promised as being well-managed trusts to benefit the people. So, why should anyone trust his words this time?

Shafee's 'Get Out Of Jail Free' Card Tells Voters All They Need To Know

Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah walked free from four criminal charges linked to RM9.5 million from former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The Kuala Lumpur High Court this morning ruled that the prosecution has failed to establish a prima facie case against the veteran legal practitioner.

Today was set for a decision at the end of the prosecution’s case involving the alleged laundering of the funds.

During the open-court proceedings, trial judge Muhammad Jamil Hussin said the prosecution failed to prove that the two cheques – one worth RM4.3 million and the other RM5.2 million – were the proceeds from unlawful activities.

“The prosecution failed to show that these monies were the result of unlawful activity,” Jamil said, adding that prosecutors failed to establish any predicate evidence that Najib or anybody else was linked to any unlawful activity.

“To prove that the RM4.3 million and the RM5.2 million are the proceeds of unlawful activity, the prosecution must prove the unlawful activity whereby the money was obtained.

“I find from the testimony proffered by the prosecution that there is no evidence on any predicate offence involving the RM4.3 million and RM5.2 million,” Jamil said…

… The lawyer was also charged with two counts of engaging in transactions resulting from illegal activities, namely submitting incorrect tax returns, which is in violation of paragraph 113(1)(a) of the Income Tax Act 1967 for the financial years ending Dec 31, 2013, and Dec 31, 2014.

He was purported to have omitted income of RM4.3 million received on Sept 13, 2013, and RM5.2 million that was received on Feb 17, 2014, in his tax returns.

Our comment

Voters can consult the facts they know and then consider the conclusions arrived at by this judge.

Everyone in Malaysia knows that Shafee was paid his RM9.5 million in cash from Najib’s bank account – the one that received the billions which were directly stolen from 1MDB.

Global investigations have made it crystal clear how that public money was stolen and then secreted into Najib’s account using bogus off-shore investment funds and an Abu Dhabi bank that has now been fined with its chairman thrown in jail.

However, the High Court Judge has complained the prosecution failed to provide evidence that the RM4.3 million and the RM5.2 million were the proceeds of unlawful activity. One is left to wonder how they could have been so negligent?  Or, as the jubilant Shafee put it, “I think the reasons provided [by the judge] are not only sound, they are also original and groundbreaking”. Indeed!

Everyone also knows, because it has never been disputed, that Shafee never mentioned the receipt of this RM9.5 million in cash from the prime minster to the tax man either.

Yet the lawyer has likewise been let off on the tax evasion charges also brought against him. What are ordinary folk who worry every year about filing their tax forms correctly and without mistakes (on pain of possible imprisonment) to make of that?

These charges did not even start to deal with WHY Najib might have seen fit to pay this lawyer so much money. Was it for his services offered at the time of the murder of Altantuya?

Or was it for agreeing to prosecute Najib’s arch political rival, Anwar Ibrahim, ‘for free on behalf of the nation’ when the public prosecutors balked at appealing Anwar’s acquittal on charges shown to have been personally orchestrated by this criminal client of his (Najib)?

Shafee has never explained either why he turned up at the hospital on the day of the murder of banker Hussein Najadi, hovering round the ambulance. Najadi had filed a police report about Najib’s illegal accounts after all, so had Shafee been asked to watch the case?

The reasons behind Najib’s vast payments to Shafee remain undisclosed because Shafee had sought to keep them secret rather than detailing them in his accounts like one is supposed to do.

However, Shafee is just one of a raft of UMNO henchmen who have escaped the consequences of their criminal charges following the political coup by the election losers of 2018. Indeed, ‘getting off’ appears to have been the primary motivation for seizing power and their primary motive as they seek to win GE15 – by hook or crook.

The fact that the likes of Shafee have raced to get their botched prosecutions settled before the election as opposed to after is perhaps a sign they realise that voters may not share their priorities in this respect.