Baradan Kuppai Samy, The Star
Are you still drunk? The samsu which your political masters in BN gave you last night must have had killed a lot of brain cells or could it be that you don’t have any! Please don’t act stupid when we all know you arse-licking BN stooges can’t even understand the constitution or economics. Words that came out of the ministers made me feel so embarrassed to call myself a Malaysian. So stop writing garbage
Public accounts committee chief Azmi Khalid, why aren’t you calling a spade a spade?
Let’s face the facts, nothing will happen. It is nothing new this has been happening year in and year out. Azmi is just doing damage control. the crucial questions of fraud, abuse of power and corruption.Who is going to return all the money spend? Indeed, every sen must be returned. It is time for public to take legal action against the government for not following proper procedures in granting the loan.
Every one of those involved in the loan approval must be made liable as this is public money. And they must be put behind bars.
The local papers will carry the news that they are serious about correcting their mistakes, but nothing will happen.
To stop this mismanagement, it must start from the top.Only then will the bottom toe the line.
Don’t try to hide the facts as there has been total flouting of procedures, mismanagement of funds and to top it all, the abuse of funds intended for a specific purpose but utilised for personal expenses, purchasing condominiums, etc.
Every year you tell us the same stories and nothing changes because the civil servants have no guts to stand up against the influential politicians such as Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin and his cronies.
It is so obvious that we have the resources to make our country a first-class nation but sadly we are sorely lacking the competence and the political will to do so.
Our resources are blatantly mismanaged, wasted, squandered and leaked away by the political elites through cronyism, nepotism and corruption.
This NFC scandal is a good illustration of how RM250 million is carelessly approved by the cabinet to a crony who has no competence to manage cow rearing.
Apart from that, they abused and misused the funds for other projects/investments with the Finance and Agriculture and Agro Industries ministries impotent to control and check the funds after disbursements, according to minister Noh Omar.
Then we have Umno bigwig politicians like Khairy Jamaluddin defending the project as a success and those behind it, even in the light of what have surfaced in the Auditor-General’s Report and the abuse and misuse of funds dug up the opposition politicians.
That is how irresponsibly Umno-BN manage our wealth and resources and the country.
Don’t blame only the civil servants as you know the truth. When civil servants work with the politicians of the day, such shenanigans will continue.The 2G scam has exposed the loot of the nation in full public view by some obvious villains in corrupt politicians, collusive bureaucrats and greedy companies. However, the role played by the legal community has gone largely unnoticed. Evidence suggests that lawyers across the board – in the law ministry, in India’s largest law firms and even those who work within telecom companies – also let the nation down by failing in their duty to report and perhaps even stop the scam.
Let the facts speak for themselves. On December 26, 2007, two weeks before the scam was committed on January 10, 2008, the then telecom minister, A Raja, wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, telling him that he had a meeting with the external affairs minister, where solicitor general (now attorney general) Goolam Vahanvati “was also called to explain the legal position”, based on which he was moving ahead. Vahanvati was called in because there were cases pending in court, but among the three issues that were discussed was the issuance of new licences in 2008 at 2001 prices on a first-come-first-served basis while shunning the auction route.
Raja’s access to Vahanvati was out of line considering that the law secretary and the law minister had refused Raja a legal opinion on the same matter in writing only two months earlier on November 1, 2007. This was prominently reported in The Times of India. So why did the solicitor general give Raja advice on an issue on which the law ministry had refused its opinion?
The DoT’s affidavit in the Supreme Court defending Raja’s actions also claims in Section 86 while describing the now infamous press release of January 10, 2008, that the said press release was issued “after obtaining legal advice”. Who gave this advice and why? Is this not a blatant violation of Rule 8 of Law Officer’s Conditions of Service Rule of 1972, ie, rule 8(1)(e) which states: “restrictions – (1) (a) law officer shall not: (e) advise any Ministry or Department of the Government of India or any statutory organization or any public sector undertaking, unless the proposal or a reference in this regard is received through the Ministry of Law and Justice, Department of legal affairs”.
Further, when STel challenged the arbitrary advancement of the cutoff date from October 1, 2007, to September 25, 2007, by Raja, which was the basis of the press release of January 10, 2008, government lawyers, including the attorney general himself were unable to defend Raja’s action which the high court later also found “arbitrary and illegal”.
This means that the legal advice given was not only in violation of procedure but also lacked rigour. Ideally the law officers should have told Raja that he should not advance the cutoff date arbitrarily. Had this happened, Raja would have had no option but to hold auctions to pick the winners out of the 575 applications received for 2G licences. Conversely, if the legal advice was valid, then the law officers should have defended the case in which the same press release was held illegal.
The performance of DoT’s lawyers and solicitor general Gopal Subramanium is equally lacking. The DoT’s affidavit against Prashant Bhushan’s PIL is not only weak and indefensible, but also severely compromises the Prime Minister. While the CAG report said Raja “ignored’ the Prime Minister – DoT’s affidavit says exactly the opposite. It claims in Section 94 after a detailed description that “thus not only was there no difference of opinion with the Hon’ble Prime Minister, his office was also kept fully informed of all decisions”. Heres how: On December 26, 2007, Raja again wrote a letter to the PM informing him that “it is proposed to implement the decision without further delay and without any departure from existing guidelines.” Raja went on to do exactly as he said, which led to the staggering Rs 1.76 lakh crore loss.
While no one has any doubts about the PM’s integrity, the government’s lawyers have actually sealed the PM’s culpability and handed it over to the opposition to tear into. If the Union of India files such an affidavit and the solicitor general even argues it, why should the opposition back off in holding the PM culpable? Clearly, the DoT was being opportunistic in seeking to capitalize on the PM’s stature and credibility, but should the law officers have allowed this? Especially considering that the affidavit was filed after the CAG report was tabled in Parliament, clearly establishing Raja’s guilt. The government law officers have scripted a huge strategic blooper, causing unimaginable embarrassment to the Congress and the PM. The question to be asked is whether this is simply a blooper or is there more than meets the eye?
Raja also pulled off a “made to order” legal opinion in mid-2010 which argued that the CAG has no powers to investigate issues of policy. The CAG took no notice of this. The Supreme Court went further, by calling the CAG a “hallowed institution”, but the fact that DoT’s lawyers wrote that — whether on demand or because of their desire to please the minister — further complicated matters. The current CVC (then DoT secretary, P J Thomas) went a step ahead and chose to cite this opinion to the CAG in an attempt to thwart the CAG’s due diligence.
News reports of the CBI crying foul about joint meetings being called at the behest of law officers between them and Raja’s counsel further accentuate the rot that has set in in judicial propriety.
The private sector fares no better. Surely multibillion dollar 2G licence aspirants had access to India’s finest law firms at the time they were filling out the applications. Of the 122 licences issued in 2008, the CAG has found 85 ineligible. What was the advice being given by law firms or internal lawyers of these applicant companies? If this isn’t a story about gross incompetence then surely it is one of deep collusion.
It is now fairly clear that the telecom ministry tipped off these companies to file their applications before the September 25 cutoff date, promising to accommodate them with their glitches. The question is, should the lawyers have fallen for this bait? When the applications were going out, shouldn’t the lawyers have refused to file them in such a hurry or pointed out that the memorandum of association needs to be changed appropriately in order to meet the guidelines?
Now these companies, their lawyers and the company secretaries who signed on these “ineligible” applications could all be under a CBI investigation following the Supreme Court order of December 16, 2010.
The list of legal transgressions goes on to the issue of rollout obligation violations. These show-cause notices should have been issued a year back by DoT, which it did not do. Why was Trai compelled to do a job that the DoT’s lawyers, who are responsible for licence compliance, should have done? On the other hand, did the lawyers for the private operators caution these companies that this was a violation of the licence terms or did they give them the false comfort that the situation could be handled if push came to shove, by arguing “letter versus spirit” of the licence, “facts versus interpretation” and so forth. Or were they all morally numb, believing, like a top industrialist, that “India is becoming a banana republic” – and the DoT could be easily “managed”? Both DoT and these companies face a fresh CBI investigation on the rollout issue as well.
All of these acts call into question some very serious issues relating to the conduct and professional capacity that our legal community has exhibited both within and outside the government.
I am not a lawyer. I am a journalist. But there is no doubt in my mind that the legal community could have prevented this scam by clearly distinguishing for their clients what is lawful versus what is unlawful. This would have meant advising their clients against the actions that they took as opposed to telling them what they wanted to hear.
I am raising this issue in the hope that it will lead to further debate and introspection among those with a deeper understanding of law.
Judge for yourselves, my learned friends.
ts weakness in formulating economic policies like the Alternative Budget 2012 that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim read out to reporters a day before Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak presented his Budget in Parliament, is a sign of its incompetency in ruling the country.
The Pakatan Rakyat budget was a wishy-washy affair. More thought should have gone into it beyond a cursory glance at where revenue is coming from and the expenditure incurred.
Classified By: AMBASSADOR CHRISTOPHER J. LAFLEUR, REASON 1.4 (B AND D).
1. (S) Former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, speaking with polchief January 18, amplified his recent attacks on Deputy Prime Minister Najib, alleging official cover-up of Najib’s connection with the Altantuya murder case and Najib’s involvement in corrupt military procurements. Anwar (protect) asserted that DPM Najib’s aide-de-camp ordered the killing of Altantuya and that Anwar possessed firm evidence of the 2003 Sukhoi kick-back scheme. A January 19 court affidavit by jailed Najib confidante Razak Baginda revealed a link to Najib’s ADC, allowing Anwar to sharpen his public calls for police to question the Deputy Prime Minister.
Anwar expressed hope that PM Abdullah’s “weakness” could allow for a somewhat fairer playing field for Malaysian opposition parties in the next national elections and asserted that opportunities for democratic reform would end if and when DPM Najib took over. Anwar now is attempting to shift his political opposition role into higher gear. At this point, however, it is not clear that Anwar has a winning game plan and his expressed electoral hopes are very modest at best. End Summary.
Najib-Linked Scandals Damage Malaysia’s Integrity
2. (C) Former Deputy Prime Minister and opposition politician Anwar Ibrahim, accompanied by his wife Wan Azizah, told polchief during their January 18 meeting at Anwar’s Damansara home that high-level corruption had reached dangerous levels and had damaged the nation’s integrity. Anwar raised as examples the alleged cover-up in the Altantuya murder case and kick-backs paid to fronts for DPM Najib Tun Razak for the procurement of French submarines and the 2003 purchase of Sukhoi aircraft. He felt emboldened to raise these matters in recent press conferences (picked up mainly by internet news services) because he possessed solid information, including documentary evidence in the case of the Sukhoi deal. Much of the information about the latter cases came directly from senior officials who met with Anwar, including the Director General of at least one ministry and a senior officer at the Central Bank.
3. (S) On the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder (see below), Anwar (protect in this paragraph) claimed that Najib had been romantically involved with the Mongolian woman prior to her relationship with Abdul Razak Baginda (Najib’s confidante accused of abetting the woman’s murder), and implied that Altantuya had intended to incriminate Najib as well as Razak Baginda. Leaning forward and in a hushed voice, Anwar asserted that he had firm information that Najib’s aide-de-camp ordered the two members of Najib’s security detail (who are charged with murder) to kill Altantuya. Based on his information, Anwar said he had called publicly for the police to question Najib.
(Comment: In December we heard from one of Anwar’s lawyers that Razak Baginda’s wife was in contact with Anwar and Wan Azizah, suggesting one possible source for Anwar’s information. End Comment.)
Background on Altantuya Murder Case
4. (C) Note: In November 2006, Malaysian police arrested urbane think tank analyst Razak Baginda, a close confidante of DPM/Defense Minister Najib and a beneficiary of an enormous broker’s fee for the Defense Ministry’s purchase of French submarines. Police charged Razak with abetting the October 19, 2006, murder of a young Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, with whom he reportedly had an affair.
Police also brought murder charges against two police officers assigned to the Special Operations Force that protects the Deputy Prime Minister. Publicly the case has attracted sensationalist media coverage, while privately the rumor mill has gone into overdrive fueled by speculation of Najib’s possible connection to Altantuya and her murder.
Perceived irregularities on the part of prosecutors and the court, and the alleged destruction of some evidence, suggested to many that the case was subject to strong political pressure intended to protect Najib. The trial phase will begin in March 2008.
Razak’s Affidavit Supports Anwar’s Public Calls
5. (SBU) Note continued: Anwar used his January 10 press conference to urge police to question Najib, while clarifying that, “we are not inferring that (Najib) is in the know or gave the instructions (to murder Altantuya).” On January 19, Abdul Razak Baginda presented a court affidavit in support of his unsuccessful bail application. According to press accounts, Abdul Razak Baginda’s affidavit confirmed that he sought the help of Musa Safri, later identified by reporters as Najib’s ADC. On January 20, Anwar told a political rally, “It was clearly stated that Abdul Razak had gone to the deputy premier’s office to meet with the head of Najib’s bodyguards. Why can’t we question this? Why can’t we investigate?” Mainstream media subsequently carried articles citing the Altantuya family’s lawyer asking for prosecutors to reopen the case based on new information in the affidavit.End Note.
Abdullah’s Weakness Creates (Limited) Political Opening
6. (C) Anwar confided to polchief that Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi’s “weakness” and his inability to control fully the government, police and party apparatus could allow for a somewhat fairer playing field during the next national elections. PM Abdullah, however, had already shut down discussion of significant electoral reforms, which the Electoral Commission chairman had urged in public comments made in early January. Anwar expected the government would continue to shut off his access to the mainstream media.
(Comment: There has not been a complete black-out on mainstream press coverage of Anwar; however, his activities and public remarks find rare mention in major papers, and none that we have noticed on television. End Comment.)
Democratic openings and prospects for reform would end, Anwar argued, if and when the DPM replaced Abdullah, given Najib’s character and his inner circle of supporters.
7. (C) Anwar’s Malaysian People’s Justice Party (Keadilan) and the Democratic Action Party (DAP) identified opportunities to make some electoral gains in Penang, Sabah and Selangor states in the next national election. Anwar noted that he spent a large amount of time brokering meetings between DAP and the Islamic Party of Malaysia (PAS) in order to foster a better working relationship among these opposition parties. Given limited access to the media, Anwar stated that he had difficulties reaching rural Malay voters to explain his positions, particularly his opposition to the current Malay set-aside programs, which he believes should be based on need, not race. Polchief raised 2006 polling data that indicated a strong racial divide among young Malaysians and, when asked, Anwar did not identify any trend away from race-based politics.
8. (C) Anwar stated that he was encouraging foreign democracy NGOs to initiate activities in Malaysia in hopes their programs and presence would contribute to a freer political climate. He was reaching out to organizations from the U.S. (NDI, IRI), Europe, Turkey and Indonesia. Anwar noted, in particular, the importance of non-American groups taking up issues of democracy in Malaysia, and indicated his own desire not to become closely identified with the U.S. out of concern his opponents would use this against him. Anwar noted he would continue to engage in international meetings, but would curtail or resign from official roles in some overseas organizations to better position himself for politics in Malaysia. Expressing disappointment with the limited influence of MAFREL, an election monitoring NGO, Anwar supported efforts to stand up a more high-powered, independent election watchdog, possibly headed by noted lawyer and former UN special envoy Param Cumaraswamy (who is part of Anwar’s legal team in his suit against former Prime Minister Mahathir).
9. (C) Anwar, surrounded by boxes in his home, told polchief he had sold the house in the elite Damansara neighborhood and purchased a large home in a poorer neighborhood further from the city. He implied that the reasons for the move were financial.
10. (C) Due to his conviction in April 1999 for misuse of his official position, Anwar remains barred from seeking political office until April 2008. However, he now is clearly back in Malaysian politics and attempting to shift his political opposition role into higher gear after spending much of his time overseas following his 2004 prison release.
Using press conferences to lob bombshells focused on Najib-linked corruption and the sensationalistic Altantuya murder case is a tactic whose impact is limited by Anwar’s modest coverage in the government-dominated mainstream media but which is in keeping with the gadfly function traditionally played by the weaker Malaysian opposition parties.
11. (C) Political gossip is Malaysia’s favorite indoor sport, and some here speculate that Anwar nurses bigger ambitions. Najib personifies the privileged UMNO elite into which he was born and lacks Anwar’s Islamic activist credentials or personal magnetism. However, after Abdullah, UMNO currently has no serious alternative to Najib. By chipping away at Najib’s reputation, Anwar could be looking to raise doubts inside UMNO about the wisdom of that succession and perhaps weaken resistance to Anwar’s eventual return to the fold and perhaps even to leadership. Some speculate, too, that Abdullah is well aware of this dynamic and intends to use Anwar to keep Najib in check. However, as Anwar also continues to take pot shots as well at Abdullah, there remains uncertainty about the likelihood of real reconciliation with the PM.
12. (C) At this point, it is not clear to us that Anwar in fact has a winning game plan and his expressed electoral hopes seem very modest at best. In 2006, former Prime Minister Mahathir’s challenge to PM Abdullah ironically stole much of the opposition’s thunder, or at least the public’s attention. With the Mahathir threat largely diffused for the time being, the field may be more open for Anwar to stake out a position as Malaysia’s primary opposition voice in the year ahead.
Remember that awkward silence that fell across the nation back in ’94 when Bill Clinton’s surgeon general used the M-word?
Jocelyn Elders, speaking at an AIDS conference at the U.N. about reducing the risk of sexually transmitted disease, said that masturbation “is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.”
Clinton, rather than defend frank, honest talk about sexuality at the national level and condemn its opposite, caved under the weight of the gasps and titters and fired Elders, explaining that the outspoken surgeon general’s comments reflected “differences with Administration policy and my own convictions.” Differences on masturbation? A couple years later, the Monica scandal erupted and things were a little clearer — oh yeah, this is how we talk about sex in America.
Are we a serious nation or what?
What passes for sexual openness is mostly commercial exploitation. In reality, sex is still in the closet as a subject of serious national discussion, despite all the complications associated with it. Sex scandals are a media staple, of course, but in recent weeks we’ve been rocked by a new wave of sex abuse scandals — rape scandals — the dark, disturbing power of which, as always, lies in the likelihood that there are a lot more revelations and accusations still to come, more authority figures’ reputations to be shattered, more honor-steeped traditions to be exposed as hollow.
When sex is hidden in the shadows — when it’s something you can’t talk about (but you can brag about) — it easily becomes one more tool of domination, wrapped in an unspeakable shame that preserves its secrecy. The crime of rape is the crime of predation, the crime of “I own you.” And it is an institutional failure first — on college campuses, in the U.S. military — as evidenced by breaking news stories reporting not merely allegations of sexual molestation over a long period of time, but of their quiet cover-up by those in charge, granting de facto impunity to the victimizers. The pattern is always the same.
By fascinating coincidence, two recent developments highlighting the endemic problem of sexual abuse in the U.S. military are in the news just as the child-molestation scandal in college sports programs and other macho domains has begun to widen.
At both Penn State and The Citadel, the military college in South Carolina, the sex abuse allegations emanate from their summer camp programs for boys, reopening the ghastly concerns first forced upon the public a decade ago by the sex-abuse revelations that shook the Catholic Church. If such institutional paragons of traditional values can’t be trusted, are children safe anywhere?
Maybe it’s time to look at the values themselves — beginning with those of our military culture, which is the model, and indeed the metaphor, for every other form of domination culture: The prime value is winning, achieving dominance over some sort of enemy or “other.” Around this core of dominance, we construct a fortress of honor, righteousness, cleanliness of mind and spirit. We revere the fortress, but in its dark interior, our natural impulses are ungoverned and often manifest themselves in perverse mockery of the values we salute.
That this paradox describes military culture was made clear, once again, last week, when Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) introduced a bill that would, among other things, establish a separate office — that is, outside the Department of Defense — to handle the investigation of all sexual-assault claims in the armed services.
“The vast majority of men and women who have been sexually abused in the military have come to realize there is no justice in the military’s chain of command,” Speier said
. She cited the Defense Department’s own statistics: some 19,000 rapes a year in the military, only a fraction of which get reported because military culture still — after years of exposure and adverse publicity — seeks first to silence, humiliate and crush the victim. The post-rape ordeal is often worse than the initial crime, many victims have said. The accusers are often the ones who are punished and drummed out of the service.
The very next day, the federal court in Alexandria, Va., held its first hearing in a lawsuit — Cioca v. Rumsfeld — filed last February on behalf of 28 plaintiffs (25 women and three men, from every branch of service), against former defense secretaries Robert Gates and Donald Rumsfeld, charging them with tolerating and perpetuating a military culture that countenances rape and punishes those who report it.
Attorney Susan Burke told the court, as reported in the Daily Beast
, “how some of her plaintiffs had been ‘forced to live alongside their rapists, forced to salute their rapists every day.’”
Nothing about any of this is new, not even the uproar. For instance, eight years ago, a scandal at the Air Force Academy — with some 60 female cadets and former cadets coming forward, charging they’d been raped, then subsequently silenced — elicited solemn, and by now long forgotten, promises of system-wide change from the brass.
My belief: As long as such values as honesty, empathy and love are subservient to conquest and domination, both inside and outside the military, nothing will change.