The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) isreportedly preparing to deliver subpoenas to News Corporation employees and others as part of its expanding investigation into possible violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
A separate FBI investigation is underway in response to reports that the company may have hacked into the phone messages of victims of the September 11 attacks. (Free Press is part of a larger coalition of groups urging Washington to call News Corp. executives including Rupert Murdoch to testify before Congress )
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act holds U.S. companies legally accountable for crimes committed abroad, especially bribes that are paid to foreign officials to protect and expand the company’s business interests.
News Corp. is running its own campaign to downplay these allegations, distance father and son from the alleged crimes, and contain the scandal to the U.K. The Wall Street Journaland Fox News Channel are leading the charge with carefully contrived editorials and on-air stagecraft. One person with ties to News Corp. told The Journal that the DoJ subpoenas are “a fishing expedition with no evidence to support it.”
Not according to British investigators, who received a trove of documents and emails from News International that identify at least $160,000 in bribes paid to police officers. This handover of evidence has been confirmed by more credible news outlets, including theNew York Times and the Guardian, that have covered the unfolding investigations.
Robert Lenzner of Forbes writes that News Corp efforts to cover-up the scandal are now “cracking” as two former executives come forth to claim that James Murdoch wasn’t telling the whole truth during his testimony before Parliament on Tuesday. One former executive, Tom Crone, should know. He served as part of the legal team that advised Murdoch, Jr. during an earlier investigation that involved phone hacking.
“When the full extent of the hacking and the amounts paid to police are known, the Murdochs’ claim [that] they knew nothing of these activities — and were betrayed — will go up in smoke,” Lenzner writes.
And as more leads indicate that crimes were indeed committed on U.S. soil — including actor Jude Law’s claim that his phone was hacked as he was passing through New York City’s JFK Airport — the likelihood increases that this scandal will create heat for the Murdochs on this side of the Atlantic.
More fish for the frying pan.
A global Jewish organisation by the name of B’nai B’rith International, has hit out at the Utusan Malaysia newspaper for propagating anti-Semitic hatred. Utusan had claimed in its editorial that the Bersih 2.0 rally was an opportunity for Jews to infiltrate into Malaysia’s national affairs. It further cautioned Muslims and Malaysians not to allow any party especially Jews from interfering in the affairs of this country.
Prior to that the Malay daily had also carried headlines linking Bersih 2.0 with Communism and funded by international Christian organisations and even lately that Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was working with Indonesians to bring down the country.
B’nai B’rith International called the allegation “preposterous”, harmful and “offensive” and which only serves to perpetuate an anti-Semitic attitude.” B’nai B’rith is the oldest operating Jewish service organisation with nearly 100,000 members and supporters in 50 countries.
The Utusan, as a mouthpiece of UMNO and in the forefront of the national news agenda should project a sense of professionalism and responsibility in its editorial reports. Its readership not only includes the rural Malays, but urban Malays too rely on the paper for accurate news reports as well. Such irresponsible reporting will only cause an international backlash. A Jewish Organization has picked it up and has shown its immense displeasure.
A warning well deserved and long overdue
Some people think that Utusan has just been given a veiled warning.
Indeed, it would be prudent not to underestimate the Jews and their power and influence globally. Nor antagonise them as they have the clout to cripple Malaysia. Their influence in the US Congress is very powerful and they have many elected representatives. In terms of global resources and global financial affairs, the Jews are unchallengeably in control of a huge chunk of the world’s resources.
Prime Minister Najib Razak and UMNO should not meddle with them especially when the row is due to Utusan’s own making and no one else’s by simply shooting at all and sundry, without thinking or weighing the issue with any fairness at all.
Utusan and UMNO should not be inciting the Jewish bogeyman theme if it cannot contain the ramifications. The world is already frowning on Malaysia due to the unfortunate shenanigans from Najib and Co. Malaysians and Malays should not allow the UMNO elite to destroy the country. The word is now spreading globally that Utusan is sowing hatred and racism towards the minority races in Malaysia.
Should we blame the world and Jews for telling ‘lies’ then? How can we do so when our minority races are telling us the same things over and over again? Do not the local news portals resound with similar outrage against the Utusan almost daily? Does not Utusan deserve the shelling 100%?
So let us be mature people and admit our own faults, especially the UMNO elite. As we criticise the Ibrahim Ali Leadership Award, I wonder if any Malay would be proud to be likened to any of the UMNO elite? The UMNO elite like to condemn everyone else in the world as inferior, but ironically, this is due to their own inferiority complex. What are the faults of the UMNO elite, let’s just look at two of the top characteristics – are they not corruption and hypocrisy?
The party of Hatred
Like the Jews, the Christians are also powerful. Europe, America and Russia too are all interconnected. Embarrassing them will only lead to bad public relations that will affect much needed investment. And it is also a terrible attitude to think we should cosy up to them – the Jews, the Christians and the Chinese – just so that we will can enjoy their goodwill in business ties. Do you seriously think they are so stupid?
If Malays think like this, then it is time to take the UMNO leadership to task for giving the race such a poor upbringing. Surely, Malays must have better sense than this. We, being human beings of the Islam faith, should be nice to the Jews and the Christians because they are also human beings. What happens in Palestine is another matter that must be tackled with different medicines. This is the moderation and maturity of any man of common sense. Not the talk-a-lot but no-action moderation espoused by our good PM Najib Razak.
Already Malaysia is reeling from international condemnation by the foreign news media and Jew conspiracy theories – again from that UMNO party – will only antagonize them further. Faham tak? In a nutshell, stop blaming people when it is your own fault. Stop using race and religion as the ingredients in your ‘spin’ and plots and conspiracies to further UMNO’s political agenda. It takes a huge toll on our country and the UMNO elite must simply be more responsible.
It is a known fact that the Jews and the Chinese control the economy of the world. Medical equipment like CT scans and heart pacers are Jewish manufactured and so is Intel Corp – a giant manufacturer of the chip that powers our computers. George Soros, blamed by former premier Mahathir Mohamad for the Ringgit’s devaluation, is also Jewish.
Utusan is creating an uncomfortable atmosphere on anything Jewish, Christian and Chinese. Even among Muslims, it doesn’t spare its hatred and goes after PAS Malays and PAS Muslims. At the end of the day, this is simply called Hatred. Utusan is the mouthpiece of a party, UMNO, that is now widely perceived to be a vessel for containing and spilling Hatred. This is is how it appears to the world and to our own citizens and sad to say, they are not wrong.
Voice of the Malays or disgrace of the Malays
Utusan is a Malay national newspaper that reports the news in Malay. Those in UMNO who control the paper must get it through their heads that this will not stop international journalists from picking up its slanted news reports, and making mincemeat of the nation. Using the Jews as the bogeyman is simply not very bright. It is tantamount to UMNO destroying Malaysia with its stupidity, venom and inferiority complex.
Utusan’s sensationalism has often made the government look foolish, while causing racial disharmony in the country. It is becoming a monster too big to be reined in by the government because driving the train are the powerful UMNO leaders in charge at the board. And these guys have always placed self before nation.
Unintentionally causing a cold war between nations with silly conspiracy theories, involving the Americans, the Jews,Turkey, Singapore and lately Indonesia, Utusan should seriously reconsider their propaganda strategies because it makes Utusan look extreme and stupid. By extension, do we want Malays to look stupid in the eyes of the world since Utusan is always insisting it is the voice of the Malays?
If not, then it is time for UMNO to act smart. Get rid of the troublemakers in the party and this means the elite. But probably, this is beyond the grassroots and middle members. In all previous party elections, less than 0.1 per cent of the total party membership can vote, no wonder the elite keep getting richer and the grassroots poorer.
Another thing, Utusan as Malay paper should always champion Islam, but attacking other religions and races is hardly Islamic. Take a leaf from Pakatan Rakyat, at least it has taken the trouble to separate people from issues, rather than plunge headlong into cooking up incredible conspiracies, one after another.
“Pakatan Rakyat is not against Jews. We have never preached any form of bigotry against Jews. From day one, we opposed APCO because of its Zionists links as related to the Palestinian state and nothing to do with Jews and Jewishness,” PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.
Malaysia Chronicle appends below the full text of the B’nai B’rith International statement
B’nai B’rith Decries Malaysian Government-Backed Newspaper’s Claim Of Possible Jewish Interference In Domestic Affairs
B’nai B’rith International condemns the editorial that ran in the July 18 edition of the Utusan Malaysia daily, a government-backed publication, warning against a possible attempt by “foreign Jews” to use a domestic reform movement to interfere in government affairs.
This attempt cites the July 9 march in Kuala Lumpur of some 20,000 people advocating for election reforms as an opportunity for Jewish groups to undermine government initiatives in Malaysia.
The editorial states that Malaysians: “cannot allow anyone, especially the Jews, to interfere secretly in this country’s business,” and that: “Muslims and Malaysians should not allow any party, especially the Jews, to discreetly interfere in the country’s administration.”
Though no specific plot was mentioned in the editorial, the accusation of a possible Jewish interference in Malaysia’s internal affairs is an outlandish claim that promotes anti-Semitic attitudes. As many Malaysians rely on government-backed media outlets for news and information, this destructive claim is likely the only information some citizens receive on this issue.
“This claim is preposterous and offensive, made especially harmful by the legitimacy imparted by its dissemination in a government-backed newspaper,” B’nai B’rith International President Allan J. Jacobs said. “Turning an internal call for reform into a forum for religious prejudice is unacceptable, and serves only to induce anti-Semitic sentiments.”
Malaysia, an Islamic country, maintains no diplomatic ties with Israel. The Malaysian government strongly supports the Palestinian Authority and has been strongly critical of Israel’s actions in the region.
“The reference to ‘foreign Jews’ within the editorial is anti-Semitic and a clear attempt to demonize and delegitimize Israel—and is a completely foundationless attempt to vilify Jews totally unaffiliated with an internal reform movement,” B’nai B’rith International Executive Vice President Daniel S. Mariaschin said. “It is unacceptable that such hateful accusations are propagated through government-backed media.” – ENDS
The Bar Council said today the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is fully responsible for the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock and urged the graftbusting agency and the government to issue public apologies.
Council president Lim Chee Wee said the council did not agreed with the suicide conclusion made in the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) report released on Thursday as it was not supported by facts and the evidence.
“It is very clear to the Malaysian Bar that full responsibility for Teoh Beng Hock’s death lies squarely and solely on the MACC,” he said in a statement today.
As such, Lim (picture) said the officers named in the report should be punished immediately for committing offences under sections 304 and 304A of the Penal Code, namely for culpable homicide not amounting to murder and for causing Teoh’s death by negligence.
“The Malaysian Bar also calls on the government of Malaysia and MACC to consider offering an unqualified written apology to Teoh Beng Hock’s family and to the citizens of Malaysia for his death and making reasonable recompense to Teoh Beng Hock’s family in respect of his death,” he said.
Lim also rejected the notion that Teoh’s “weak character” had led him to suicide, as described by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz when he announced the release of the RCI report.
He pointed out that forensic psychiatrist Professor Paul Mullen had not testified that Teoh had a “weak character” and had not concluded that Teoh had committed suicide.
On the other findings in the RCI report, Lim said the council had concurred with the royal panel that Teoh had been subjected to “aggressive, relentless, oppressive and unscrupulous interrogation” and that most of the MACC officers involved in the case were not credible as they “had the inevitable habit of lying”.
Lim said the council also agreed that the massive operation launched by the Selangor MACC at the time had been based on a mere belief without proper ground work or verification.
The then-Selangor MACC deputy director Hishammuddin Hashim, he said, had been accurately described in the RCI report as “arrogant, given to falsehoods, untruthful and uncompromising” and “just too stubborn to retreat from his mistake in mounting such a massive operation”.
“Hishammuddin should be held responsible for the actions taken by him and his officers that led to Teoh Beng Hock’s death,” Lim agreed.
The RCI report, which was released two days ago, ruled that Teoh committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and prolonged questioning by MACC officers.
The officers had wanted to pressure Teoh into becoming a witness in their case against his boss, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, for alleged abuse of public funds.
“I have not violated any law in Malaysia and strongly protest my detention,” Bourdon’s statement written in French read.
“I do not understand the rationale of this detention; secondly, I have acted professionally as Suaram’s lawyer; and thirdly, I only came to explain the details of the Scorpenes lawsuit.”
His wife Lea Forestier, who travelled from Paris with him, was not detained. She read out the statement at a briefing to the press. The authorities have closed off access to William.
“He is demanding exit flight to be arranged tonight instead of prolonged detention. The only other experience of William Bourdon and myself being denied entry was from Tunisia under Ben Ali, that was a banana republic then,” Lea said.
The detention and deportation of French lawyer William Bourdon is another string of bizarre acts by Najib and his administration. This is not the first time the Immigration Department has played its part in the Altantuya saga.
Playing with immigration – again!
Back in 2007, it was revealed that travelling details for Altantuya and her cousin were erased from the Immigration Department’s computers. There were no records of the two ever entering Malaysia. Hishammuddin was unable to provide an answer when queried on this fact. Instead, this point was quickly shoved under the rug, out of the public eye.
And now in 2011, the lawyer engaged by Suaram is unceremoniously removed from a plane, detained and deported for reasons unknown.
Already, this act by the Immigration Department smells of a cover-up. It is a cover-up of the highest level, indicating the depth of the corruption that colors the 2007 purchase of Scorpene submarines.
Small wonder if Malaysia would now be ranked among the governments that not only repress and oppress their own citizens but also foreign nationals. Bourbon was treated like an illegal upon reaching Kuala Lumpur from Penang.
Ironic that his first entry into Malaysia was hassle free, yet it seems his speech at the Penang fund-raiser had ruffled the feathers of those involved with the submarine corruption.
Not a very good leader
At a time when the Najib administration is so focused on censuring any manner of news that portrays the country in a bad light, Najib himself pulls a stunt guaranteed to up the level of protest from within and outside Malaysia.
It reflects a panicking administration unable to handle the truth which has surfaced. An administration so desperate to hang on to power that it has negated all common sense and logic. Instead, it is an administration living within its own false reality, that it is still the best and the greatest and the answer to all of Malaysia’s woes. Najib is blind to his own inability to control his own personal urges to act the bully to remain in power.
He is thus, a leader by mere name but does not fully comprehend the role he has to play both in Malaysia and in the international scene. A lover of the glory accorded to national leaders, he is lazy to be a leader among men and women, he has truly lost his bearings.
The deportation of Bourbon has merely served to accelerate the investigations into the submarine purchases. Najib, in effect, has only himself to blame.
Regardless of how and what the spin by the main-stream media will be concerning the detainment and deportation; everyday Malaysians know.
Najib has something to hide, and in trying to hide it deeper; he shows us just how guilty he really is.
In the aftermath of the Bersih rally Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai tried to bulldoze away reports that the police had fired tear gas and water cannons into the Tung Shin hospital by bare faced denials backed up by a cowed hospital board member despite the wealth of video, photos and eyewitness accounts. He soon suffered intense public and political attacks until he was forced to recant his earlier statements and ordered an enquiry. He even had to beg the public for sympathy with his piteous claim that some quarters were trying to pull him down.
Liow Tiong Lai’s brazen attempt to bulldoze away the inconvenient truth may have worked in the 1970s when the mainstream media monopolized the flow of information but it does not work now. Back then the mainstream media could make or break any issue but technology and the internet have overtaken their dominance. The public have alternative sources of information now and anybody with a mobile phone and a PC can be a photographer, videographer, reporter or commentator.
Why then did the unfortunate Liow attempted something so foolhardy? He was neither a maverick nor a fool but a living symptom of BN’s inability to deal with the public at large. Instead of moving with the times to deal with a matured and well informed public BN’s thinking seems fossilized in the past, stuck in the time warp of the 1970s while technology and socio-economic conditions have evolved far ahead.
Disconnect with information technology
In conjunction with the increased accessibility to information the people’s mindset have evolved to be more matured , critical and demanding. There are higher expectations for a cleaner, more democratic and more accountable government. No longer are we willing to accept whatever the government tells us at face value as if the government knows best.
BN has failed to recognize that disinformation no longer work because they have been superceded by technology. Beside alternative sources of news and opinion people are more tightly networked than ever before and share information efficiently through social media. This means that the state controlled media has effectively lost the ability to mould and shape public opinion to the will of the regime.
Yet another eloquent example of how the authorities have lost the plot is the mainstream media’s intense attempt to demonize the Bersih rally which fell flat when tens of thousands took to the streets in defiance of police warnings. The public are not impressed with weird fantasies used to demonize a rally for free and fair elections as if they do not know better.
The recent censorship of “The Economist” article on the Bersih rally using black marker pen has been heaped with ridicule over the stone-age method used to control information which has no doubt boosted readership of the article online.
Insulting our intelligence
We have witness time and again the almost bizarre statements of our Home Minsters from Syed Hamid Albar’s “ISA to protect a journalist” to Hishamuddin’s strange defence of the cow head protestors. Uneven application of sedition laws and double standards in law enforcement create disgust instead of admiration for law enforcement When Umno Youth or Perkasa demonstrate they are exercising their rights but woe betide others who think they will be accorded the same treatment.
We also have an awkward sodomy case held together by string and glue shafted down the disbelieving throat of the public. We are told that the government cannot afford subsidies to the people but the even bigger subsidy to the IPPs cannot be touched.
The intelligence of the public is being insulted on a daily basis but to Umno they are not talking to educated well-informed Malaysians. In their minds they are still addressing half-illiterate simple minded kampong folks who will believe anything the government tells them. One wonders who the real simpletons are here.
Turning every issue into race and religion issue
Turning an issue into a race and religion issue is Umno’s speciality and they have elevated it to a fine art. There is no issue which Umno or their rightwing Perkasa cannot turn into a racial or religious issue.
Utusan and Berita Harian tried to turn the outcry over Teoh Beng Hock’s death into a racial issue by depicting the attack on MACC as an attack on a Malay institution. The Bersih leaders have been demonized as anti-Islam, anti-Malay, funded by Christians and Umno’s lackey Ibrahim Ali tried to frighten Chinese to stay at home and stock up on food. Even the anti-Lynas protest over health and safety concerns was twisted into a racial issue by some hired thugs
The opposition threat to BN’s political power is depicted as “Malays in danger of losing power” as if there are no Malays in PKR and PAS. Meanwhile the incessant racial and religious attacks on the Penang state government are too numerous to detail. The furore over the banning of the use of ‘Allah’ for non-Muslims was depicted as an attack on Islam.
This practice of using race and religion as a defensive measure is a throwback to the days of British divide and rule which Umno adopted and expanded. The Malaysian public is frankly revolted with such abhorrent posturing in a multi-racial society. It’s time they learn that Utusan Malaysia’s racist outpourings have no effect on the majority of Malaysians and only serve to destroy BN’s multi-racial credentials.
Peddling old fears
Old fears die hard but they can be put to rest. For too long has BN used the ghost of May 13 to subtly threaten the minorities to vote for BN but continuing to trot out this old bogeyman is getting stale. Yet we still see oblique references to May 13 from the likes of Mahathir, Perkasa and even MCA leaders, usually in the vein of “we do not want another May 13”. All the effect they have is vomit inducing disgust rather than fear.
What about Chinese fear of an Islamic state? MCA President Chua Soi Lek demonstrates how fossilized his mentality is by trying to resurrect this old fear in by-elections. In an age when Chinese are comfortably voting for PAS he still keeps flogging this dead horse. Someone should tell him how foolish he sounds when he rants on and on like a broken record.
Imprisoning people without trial has no place in a modern democracy and only earns the wrath of right thinking people. The ISA was meant to be a weapon of terror but frequent abuse has reduced its fear status. It is an outdated tool which turns its victims into heroes instead. Its victims know they cannot be held long because the length of their incarceration is in direct proportion to BN’s political damage.
The last time the ISA was used on the Hindraf 5 it turned them into heroes and caused BN to suffer at the polls. But the authorities have not learned their lesson yet and have repeated their power abuse with the unjust detention of the PSM 6.
Practicing Gutter Politics
The new politics which evolved after the last general election is the politics of engagement, performance and accountability. Malaysians expect more matured politics between the ruling party and the opposition but are dished out the gutter politics of sex and sodomy with state oppression thrown in.
Is it so important to pursue Anwar Ibrahim with all the might of the state over the alleged private violation of an individual’s arse, given consensually if the charge is to be believed? Spreading pornographic filth over a dubious sex video involving Anwar only serves to backfire on its perpetrators than smear its victim.
Selangor state legislator Elizabeth Wong was also the victim of such gutter politics. Opposition elected representatives have also been victims of spurious charges like biting a policeman, obstructing a policeman, sedition or illegal assembly. The general principle is that if you haven’t been charged with something you aren’t somebody in the opposition yet.
Malaysians expect the ruling party to engage with the opposition rather than indulge in such gutter politics. It is time BN treats the opposition as an essential part of the democratic system instead of pests and enemies to be oppressed. How many times has the Speaker in parliament shot down opposition motions for debate on important national issues? The answer is “all the time”.
How would Americans feel if President Obama told them to defend Washington D.C. at all cost against the Republican enemies even with crushed bodies and lost lives? They would certainly think him mad but this is what Najib expect Malaysians to swallow with his “defend Putrajaya at all cost” line.
A government out of sync with the public
Hence we see that instead of engaging the public in a matured and intelligent manner BN is still clinging to disreputable old practises which no longer work while society has moved ahead. They are a party stuck in a time warp, unable to deal with enlightened and educated Malaysians in a modern world.
The reason for BN’s stagnant mindset is twofold. One is the arrogance of power after ruling more than 50 years in a one party system with fear of losing power. The second is that Umno’s political culture is as stagnant as the old guard who hold the reins of power.
Recently we have more to insult our intelligence with the police inordinate fear of yellow T-shirts, the illogical demonization of a coalition for free and fair elections, the unbelievable suicide verdict of the Teoh Beng Hock RCI, the unjust detention of the PSM-6 and the unfortunate death of Ahmad Sarbaini whom the MACC claimed mistook a 3rd floor window as an exit door.
Civil society is frustrated and infuriated with being treated like idiots. The antics and shenanigans of BN leaders, the unending corruption, the police oppression and the constant use of race and religion to divide and rule have caused the public to lose faith in public institutions and confidence in our leaders.
A matured Malaysian civil society is agitating for reforms but the reality disconnect between the BN government and the society will only grow wider. Bersih is the awakening of a new Malaysian consciousness that we do not have to take all this lying down.
Faced with diminishing popularity BN will have to depend more and more on a tilted playing field and cheating to win elections. But if democratic methods fail, society will correct itself with harsher methods. If BN is impossible to remove at the polls, it risks being removed by a Malaysian Spring in the manner of the Arab Spring sweeping the Middle East.