Friday, August 28, 2015

TI Malaysia Want Malaysians to Take a Stand Now

Akhbar Satar, Transparency International Malaysia’s President made this admission: “We have indeed suffered great setbacks in our battle against corruption; our institutions have been compromised – political will is lacking in the powers that be due to self-interest; self-survival or whatever reason. The people must take a stand now or the legacy we leave to our next generations will be that of a nation wrecked by the evil of grand corruption”.
 
I am expecting the TI Corruption Perceptions Index for 2015 to show that insofar as Malaysia is concerned, the country's ranking will plunge this year!
 
[Note: Transparency International is the global civil society organization leading the fight against corruption. First launched in 1995, the Corruption Perceptions Index has been widely credited with putting the issue of corruption on the international policy agenda].
 
Pursuant to MCMC’s action to block websites, Deputy Communications and Multimedia Minister Jailani Johari (left) has warned that it is not just websites but also news portals that will be blocked if they promote as well as encourage the public to participate in the Bersih 4.0 rally.
 
I suppose if the government shuts down the media, they could pretend there was no Bersih 4.0. No Bersih 4.0 means no RM2.6 billion donation. No donation to Najib Razak means no 1MDB. No 1MDB means no issue. And we can all quietly return to our normal lives. In the meantime, the thief in the house continues to steal, loot and plunder.
 
 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Batu Pahat Gears Up for Bersih 4.0













Photo: The Star/ANN










Photos from Derek Andrew Goh’s post in Mobile Uploads

It looks like our friends from Batu Pahat, Johor are impatient for Bersih 4.0! 
 
So they decided to create a sea of yellow at Dataran Batu Pahat on Wednesday night in what was billed as a prelude to the Bersih 4.0  rally!

Meanwhile, the country's Internet regulator, MCMC have moved to block websites that promote and spread information about this weekend's Bersih 4.0 rally, as support for it is burgeoning massively.

Najib cannot stop Bersih 4.0! Nobody can because it is now going forward on its own momentum.
 
Good news for Nik Raina and Borders. 
 
The Federal Court on August 25, 2015 denied the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) and others leave to appeal against a ruling declaring unlawful the department's raid and seizure of Irshad Manji's books at the Borders bookstore three years ago.
 
This brings to an end the three-year legal battle by Borders bookstore manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz against Jawi for selling a book deemed to be against the teaching of Islam.

 

S Ambiga Tweets Her Displeasure

Ambiga Sreenevasan (left), former Bar Council president and renowned lawyer is normally calm and collected. But the stories surrounding the RM2.6 billion donation spun by PM Najib Razak’s minions soon became implausible, impossible and incredulous – so much so that Ambiga herself took to Twitter to vent her frustrations:
 
“Admission of receiving donation from foreign country to keep BN in power violates so many laws that it’s mind boggling! We are lawless”.
 
“The fact that our leaders can brazenly admit to money from another country shows either they don’t know the law or they don’t respect it”.
 
“How can they take money like this to stay in power when it compromises the nation?”
 
But, why not, Ambiga? After all, Najib is both incorrigible and shameless!
 
On Tuesday, Celtic went out 4-3 on aggregate after a 2-0 defeat in Sweden. This result proves that Celtic are only good to compete in the Europa League.
 
Yesterday, I was on Level One, KPMG Tower in Bandar Utama, PJ to attend the CIMA Malaysia Toastmasters meeting. It was not a normal meeting as they only permitted one assignment speaker. And so, I was privileged to be able to deliver CC#6 titled "Regrets" – and admittedly, it was a good speech. This was accompanied by three evaluations. Meaning, I was evaluated by three persons. They served as useful practice for the upcoming Speech Evaluation contest.













 
 









Overall, an interesting meeting and it deserved a score of a 7 over 10.

 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

#OccupyParliament











Pix courtesy of Kesatuan Mahasiswa











The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, August 25, 2015











Image credit: http://greatermalaysia.com/2015/08/26/occupyparliament-came-to-an-abrupt-end-last-night/

Ahead of this weekend’s Bersih 4 rally, a contingent of university students had gathered in front of Parliament for a sit-in protest dubbed “#OccupyParliament” and had refused to leave until Prime Minister Najib Razak steps down. They had camped along the road leading to Parliament House since Monday and then finally, the police moved in last night and arrested seventeen of them. 
 
Among those detained were: Khairol Najib, Lau Yi Leong, Lee Chung Lun, Saw Jia Ying, Ng Xiang Yi, Wes Oung, Oung Kang Wei, Sharafi Ilman, Teo Ann Siang, Mustapha Kamal, Faizzudin, Zul Asrag, Ammar Atan and Awis.
 
This is the second occupy movement that has taken root in Kuala Lumpur, the first being #OccupyDataran,, which staged their camp-in after some 500 tertiary education students marched through Kuala Lumpur on April 14, 2012 to demand the abolition of the National Higher Education Fund (PTPTN).
 
Liverpool maintained their unbeaten start to the EPL season as they played out a thrilling goalless draw with Arsenal on Monday. It was a game that saw the Reds dominating the first half and the Gunners in control in the second half. And yet, neither side could carve out a victory and deliver an early psychological blow among the contenders at the top of the table.
 
On Tuesday, I was at the Money Mastery Toastmasters meeting where I delivered CC#10 titled “Impossible Dreams”. I was evaluated by CP Lau. I also evaluated an Advanced speech presented by Haji Hashim Adnan – it must have been good because I was voted Best Evaluator.
 















 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A good meeting although it started four minutes late and ended ten minutes behind schedule. A 4 over 10 score for this meeting.
 

 

1MDB Lasso the Swiss and the Saudis

Two countries, Switzerland and Saudi Arabia, have been sucked into the 1MDB quicksand.
 
FINMA, the Swiss financial regulator announced on August 19, 2015 that it was investigating the extent of involvement which its banks may have had in any of the alleged ‘dubious’ transactions linked to 1MDB. Supposedly Swiss media reports suggest that at least six banks were under scrutiny.
 
The Gulf Times named four of them as Falcon Private Bank (owned by Aabar Investment, a company heavily linked to 1MDB), BSI (based in Lugano, and with a branch in Singapore), JP Morgan (bankers for 1MDB’s former joint-venture partner, PetroSaudi), and Coutts & Co (which has become entangled in UMNO’s RM2.6 billion foreign ‘donation’ claim). A couple of accounts were also reportedly frozen in the wake of the said investigations.
 
Two days later, the Swiss Attorney General’s Office confirmed that it has opened criminal proceedings against two 1MDB entities as well as “an unknown person”, after a complaint filed by the Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund. Swiss law prohibits its banks and businesses from involving themselves in money-laundering or corruption anywhere in the world.
 
Saudi Arabia is also said to be ‘uneasy’ about having been dragged into 1MDB’s improprieties.
 
Prime Minister Najib Razak had claimed that a large chunk of the money he received in his personal bank account came from a Saudi “donor” – but whether this is really true or not, we don’t know.
 
The Saudi government is reportedly not amused about making the headlines in the 1MDB case, and at Falcon Private Bank’s parent, Aabar Investment – a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi-government-owned International Petroleum Investment Company – two top executives, Chairperson Khadem al Qubassi and CEO Mohamed al Husseiny, had been shown the door.

1MDB and their scandalous troubles give Malaysia unwanted notoriety. And yet, the one person responsible for 1MDB doesn’t give a shit.
 
On Monday, I attended a joint meeting of Sime Darby Healthcare Toastmasters Club and Summit Toastmasters Club. I evaluated an Advanced speech from the "Interpretive Reading" manual and I thought it was a polished effort.
 











 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
A decent meeting and I would score it a 6 over 10. And I was voted Best Evaluator.