In A World of #FakeNews, Only The Fakers Are Truthers


merahza | Steemit

Despite mounting domestic opposition, the administration of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak appears determined to ram through parliament an odious bill ostensibly intended to curb fake news.

Though the government insists that the law is not intended to stop people from exercising their right to freedom of speech as provided for in the Federal Constitution, there is every reason to be seriously concerned. Under the guise of curbing fake news, the bill will gravely impair what remains of free speech and the right to dissent. The consequences will be devastating.

An array of civil society and human rights groups, journalists, lawyers, politicians and prominent national leaders are in unanimous agreement that the pending bill represents a fatal assault on our democracy. If it passes, and the indications are that it will (thanks to the shameful dereliction of duty of so many of our MPs), it will mean the end of the road for democracy in Malaysia. – Dennis Ignatius

As Malaysia Moves to Ban ‘Fake News,’ Worries About Who Decides the Truth

  • NYTimes

An advertisement in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, warning against “fake news.” The lower house of Parliament has passed a bill to fight the spread of misinformation, and it is expected to be approved by the Senate this week. Credit Reuters

What qualifies as fake news, however, is ill defined. Ultimately, the government would be given broad latitude to decide what constitutes fact in Malaysia.

“Instead of a proper investigation into what happened, we have a ministry of truth being created,” said Nurul Izzah Anwar, a lawmaker from the People’s Justice Party and the daughter of the jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.

 

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Cambridge Analytica and Malaysia


MALAYSIA’S NAJIB DENIES USING CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA, ACCUSES MAHATHIR’S SON 


Company accused of harvesting personal data from Facebook is said to have “provided advice” on Malaysia’s 2013 general election 


Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak on Tuesday denied claims his government had ever engaged the tainted data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica, and instead accused his rival Mahathir Mohamad’s son as the person who had used the company’s controversial services before he crossed aisles to join the opposition.

Speculation about Cambridge Analytica’s involvement in Malaysia has been swirling since one of the company’s senior executives was secretly recorded by Britain’s Channel 4 as saying that it had used a web of shell companies to disguise campaigning activities in Mexico, Malaysia and Brazil.

Cambridge Analytica is also at the centre of a global maelstrom after reports emerged this week that it harvested personal data about Facebook users from 2014. Read further

So Najib denies what is clearly displayed on Cambridge Analytica’s website?

Screen Shot 2018-03-22 at 4.12.12 PM

…and what about this:

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Cambridge Analytica’s Malaysia address:

16, Jalan Kenyalang 11/4G, 47810 Kota Damansara, Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia

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Malaysia – The closing of the Malay mind


The closing of the Malay mind

By Dennis Ignatius, dennisignatius.com

In his 1987 book, ‘The closing of the American mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students’, Allan Bloom, an American political philosopher, argued that the social/political crisis of 20th-century America was really an intellectual crisis resulting from an education system that rendered students incapable of critical thinking.

Given the statements emanating from the recent ‘Rise of the Ummah Convention’, one has to wonder if something similar might be going on here as well.

Have decades of politico-religious indoctrination led to the closing of the Malay-Muslim mind, diminishing their self-confidence and making it difficult for them to arrive at a realistic appreciation of the world they inhabit?

Are we, in fact, witnessing an intellectual and emotional retreat into a dark world of self-created fantasies and fears straight out of some ‘wayang kulit’ show?

The dominant narrative

Listening in on the very public discourse within significant segments of the Malay community, it appears that racial and religious issues have overtaken everything else to become the dominant narrative. Their whole world seems to have been reduced to something of an existential racial and religious struggle for survival against a plethora of enemies of their own making.

This shift in mindset is finding expression in a number of different ways. For one thing, we are seeing a rising tide of segregationist ideas including Muslims-only laundrettes, barbershops and photo-studios. As well, there is growing acceptance of the idea that it is haram to wish others for Christmas, Diwali or Chinese New Year, attend functions in non-Malay/non-Muslim homes or even to vote for non-Muslims.

The underlying presumption, though unspoken, is that non-Muslims and non-Malays are somehow unclean, that their very presence is defiling and challenging to the Malay-Muslim sense of identity and that good Malays/Muslims ought to have as little to do with non-Malays as possible.

The animus towards non-Malays has reached such intensity that even the pathetically few senior positions held by non-Malays in public service attracts controversy. Have we gone from aspiring for a public service reflective of our diversity to one where even the few non-Malays in high office are a few too many?

And, by insisting that Islam does not permit non-Malays to hold senior positions in a Muslim-majority polity, PAS president Hadi Awang has conveniently provided a theological justification for institutionalizing discrimination against non-Muslims.

At the same time, we have government-affiliated think tanks and educational institutions regularly obsessing about cataclysmic threats to Islam from imaginary groups. Christians, in particular, are vilified and even their prayers for a better nation are considered subversive and disrespectful. The crusades ended in 1291 but apparently some have not yet received the memo.

The underlying sense of insecurity also extends to culture. Traditional Malay culture, with its rich infusion of Asian influences, for example, is now considered something of an embarrassment and is downplayed or denied while Arab culture is considered superior and extolled. In the process, key elements of Malay culture – dress, dance, art and custom – are being jettisoned in favour of the desert culture of Bedouins.

Surely, if there is a battle worth fighting, it is the battle to preserve Malay culture and its unique contribution to civilization.

And now we have clerics like Ismail Mina Ahmad attempting to rewrite non-Malays out of the history of our nation while educators like Datuk Raof Husin insist that even the meagre scholarships that non-Malays presently receive should be withdrawn on the spurious grounds that it is unconstitutional. Do they ever listen to themselves? What kind of a nation considers it okay to be so spiteful and discriminatory against its own citizens?

It is, I suppose, the next step in the evolution of the “pendatang” construct with minorities cast as interloping, unpatriotic, scheming idolaters who deserve nothing but contempt for daring to consider themselves Malaysian with equal rights and privileges.

Not by accident

Of course, all this is not happening by accident; it is, rather, the result of a well-orchestrated though ultimately destructive strategy by UMNO deep-state (with the tacit support of PAS) to reshape and refocus the Malay-Muslim mind. The objective is to ensure the party’s own survival by diverting attention from scandal and failure to imaginary threats that the party itself has invented.

And they have been so successful at this game that a wide cross-section of Malay-Muslim society has now bought into their narrative, making it the dominant framework through which everything else is viewed. When even university professors start unthinkingly regurgitating this fabricated and bizarre narrative, the stage is set for intellectual, cultural and religious conformity and rigidity – groupthink on a national scale replete with dysfunctional decision-making, the suppression of dissenting views and isolationist tendencies.

As many observers have rightly noted, race and religion have been weaponized and employed to keep Malay-Muslims subservient and non-Malays on the defensive. In the process, UMNO has condemned all Malaysians – Malay and non-Malay, Muslim and non-Muslim – to forever run on the treadmill of an existential struggle for survival against each other while leaving the party to do as it pleases.

Descent into absurdity

And so, at a time when our nation is faced with serious and very real problems from corruption and the plunder of national resources, institutional decay and the abuse of power, we have groups worrying about who should cut their hair or wash their clothes or take their photographs.

At a time when the real enemies of our nation are destroying it, we have no shortage of pseudo-nationalists ready to do battle against minorities, deviants, gays, liberals, atheists and, of course, Jews and Christians.

At a time when we are confronted with serious social problems, youth unemployment and falling living standards, we have people arguing about who is best qualified to carry out amputations for theft or proper procedures to ascertain the gender of men or women who might fall short of some airhead’s idea of what they should look like.

At a time when even Saudi Arabia wants to return to moderate Islam, we have zealots blindly pushing the nation towards an extremism that has proven so destructive elsewhere.

Such is the extent of the lunacy that has descended upon the nation.

Zenith of power, abyss of insecurity

Ironically, this shift in mindset is happening at a time when Malay power has reached a zenith unparalleled in history, and Islam itself more firmly entrenched and accepted than at any time since it first came to the country in the 12th century, courtesy of traders from India.

As well, one would have thought that some 60 years after independence, after more than 40 years of Bumiputraism, after securing near total dominance of the nation’s political and economic structures, the armed forces, the civil service and academia, and with the steadily declining non-Malay demographic, Malays would at least feel more confident and secure.

Instead, thanks to UMNO, a siege mentality has descended over a large segment of the Malay community making them fearful and resentful, bigoted and unsure of themselves. As well, it is obliging them to retreat behind self-defeating walls that will render them less able to compete and hold their own in a rapidly changing world. If they cannot be secure and confident within the narrow confines of a small multi-ethnic polity, how will they compete in a borderless world that respects neither race nor religion?

It is, in many ways, the ultimate betrayal.

Battle for the Malay mind

To be sure, the struggle for the Malay-Muslim mind is far from over.

Alarmed by the emerging ethos, the slow extinction of Malay culture and the rising tide of intolerance, the Malay rulers, the ultimate custodians of Malay religion, culture and identity, are speaking out like never before, and in uncharacteristically strong terms.

A number of Malay groups and individuals have also risen to challenge the UMNO-inspired narrative. G25, the Patriots Association, PAGE and Islamic Renaissance Front, to name a few, have been outspoken opponents of bigotry and racism while championing an alternative vision of a Malay community at peace with itself, confident of its place in the world, open and tolerant.

They are about the only bright spot in an otherwise gloomy picture, and upon their success will rest the future not just of the Malays but of all Malaysians.


By permission from Dennis Ignatius

View Original

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Hazy Kuala Lumpur Becoming A Smart City.


Kuala Lumpur Becoming A Smart City?

merahza (53) in kualalumpur

Alibaba rolls out first overseas smart city AI platform in Malaysia – ZDNet

Dubbed City Brain, the artificial intelligence system runs on Alibaba’s cloud computing infrastructure and is the first to be deployed outside its domestic Chinese market.

I am KL born and bred and have lived in this city like forever.

The sleazy and peaceful Kuala Lumpur I grew up in has transformed into a monster. Yes there are plenty of (beautiful) skyscrapers like the Petronas Twin Towers and many many more are rising as I write. But, tall buildings aren’t enough to make a city beautiful, trust me. How I wish them skyscrapers could scrape off the (deadly) pollutants from the seasonal haze that hovers over it.

Looks like there’s a chance for that to happen with intelligent artificial intelligence (AI) to look into and solve the city chaos by Mr. Jack Ma (Alibaba founder)

In Malaysia, Ali Baba (and the 40 thieves) is a horrible pun. Its a slang for bogey business.

Whatever and however, this so called “smart city” project is urgently needed and overdue to clean up the prevailing mess of Kuala Lumpur, with its horrible city planing, eating stalls on road sides, frequent flash floods, and not to mention the ridiculous 24/7 traffic jams.

 

Kuala Lumpur flash flood

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By The Way, http://www.zdnet.com
View Original | January 29th, 2018

Alibaba has deployed its smart city artificial intelligence (AI) platform in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, marking the Chinese vendor’s first such implementation outside its domestic market.

The initiative was launched Monday with local ICT agency, Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation (MDEC), and city council Dewan Bandaraya Kuala Lumpur (DBKL), according to Alibaba Cloud.

Dubbed the Malaysia City Brain, the AI-powered platform operated on Alibaba’s cloud infrastructure and was developed to support smart cities in their digital transformation. It was touted to analyse large data volumes extracted from various sources in an urban environment, through video, image, and speech recognition. The system then used machine learning to provide insights for city administrators to improve operational efficiencies and monitor security risks.

“For example, by combining insights from the transportation bureau, observatory, public transportation systems as well as mapping app, City Brain is capable of constructing a virtual digital city model and optimising this through ongoing machine learning to make decisions in areas such as road planning, bus routes and frequency, and the length of time a particular red traffic light should be on, to increase traffic efficiency,”Alibaba said.

It added that the AI platform was first implemented in Hangzhou, China, in September 2016.

In its first phase, the deployment would enable Kuala Lumpur to use City Brain for traffic management with the goal to improve mobility around the capital city. The AI system also would generate structured data summaries, such as traffic volume and speed in specific road lanes, which then could used to facilitate tasks such as incident detection.

In addition, the smart city platform could connect with other urban management systems including emergency dispatch, ambulance call, traffic command, and traffic light control. This integration would enable the city to analyse real-time data extracted from the systems and optimise urban traffic flow, such as by identifying the quickest route for emergency response vehicles.

As the City Brain’s functionality expands, enterprises, start-ups, entrepreneurs, universities, and research institutions will in the future also have the opportunity to access and leverage its artificial intelligence tools to drive a wide range of innovation.

Alibaba also announced the Malaysia Tianchi Big Data Program, a big data crowd intelligence platform that aimed to gather global data experts to collaborate and compete in developing applications for real-world problems.

Supported by MDEC, the program hoped to incubate 500 data professionals and 300 startups in Malaysia within two years, offering the use of the Chinese vendor’s cloud computing and AI systems.

The Malaysian iteration also would be integrated into Alibaba Cloud’s global Tianchi community, which encompassed more than 120,000 developers and 2,700 academic institutes and businesses from 77 markets.

Alibaba last March said it would set up a distribution centre in Malaysia as part of a wider agreement to build up a digital trading network in the country. Slated to open by end-2019, the new facility would be located near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport and serve as a regional e-commerce and logistics hub.

The logistics centre was part of a wider agreement between Alibaba and the Malaysian government to establish Electronic World Trade Platforms (eWTPs), an initiative first mooted last year by Alibaba’s founder and executive chairman, Jack Ma.

Could Alibaba also look into the Kuala Lumpur “hazy” seasonal phenomenon?? (see photo)
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Original post @ Steemit

Malaysia – Its The Army Veterans Who May Well Save Their Beloved Country


merahza (51) in veterans

The patriots are a special breed of men who serve their beloved country through thick and thin when they were young and continue to do so in their twilight years.

They have taken the solemn oath risking their lives to defend the motherland and her people.

Sadly they are the neglected and unappreciated lot because they play their role without any fanfare and leave quietly after the job is done.

“Old soldiers never die, they simply fade away” – General Douglas MacArthur

True to the spirit of patriotism, here in Malaysia the patriots rise to the occasion to save their beloved country which is currently crumbling from the misconducts and misadventures of corrupted politicians.

IN SHARP SLAP TO NAJIB’S FACE, ARMY VETERANS WANT GOVT TO FORM SPECIAL COMMITTEE TO MANAGE 1MDB

PETALING JAYA – National Patriots Association (Patriots) president Brigadier-General (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji has called for a special committee to be formed to deal with the issue of debts pertaining to 1MDB.

The retired army man said that the Yang DiPertuan Agong and the Council of Rulers should step in to appoint such a committee.

Arshad cited a Singapore’s Straits Times report on Tuesday, headlined “Malaysia’s 1MDB settles debt owed to Abu Dhabi with China backing”, as the rationale for his suggestion, as he said the issue “could not be left to the government alone”.

“ST had reported that the US$602.7 million (RM2.4 billion) the state-owned company paid to Abu Dhabi’s International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC), were from funds made available by divesting its stake in two companies to buyers linked to China state-owned enterprises,” he said.

The amount was the second instalment of a US$1.2 billion debt which was due by the end of this year.

“The decision to settle this outstanding debt cannot be left to our government alone, as it has proven itself with a trust deficit.

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At the end of the day, no one else, not even the (useless) politicians in the opposition could bring any meaningful change, but the patriots.

 

Source:- Malaysian Chronicle

Related read:

‘Evil’ politicians are dividing us, says veterans group

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Originally posted @ Steemit

Singapore Premier Puts Malaysia To Shame


South China Morning Post

1MDB VS 38 OXLEY ROAD: WHY MALAYSIA ENVIES SINGAPORE

The family feud dominating public life in Singapore has crossed the Causeway, as Malaysians marvel at the Lion City premier’s open handling of the saga – and compare it to the closed-door approach of their own leader, Najib Razak, regarding his alleged links to a scandal at the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, has won widespread praise for his handling of what many believe should have been kept a private family matter. His siblings have accused him of abusing his power as prime minister to overrule the wishes of their late father – the city state’s founding leader Lee Kuan Yew – regarding the fate of the family home at 38 Oxley Road. They say their father was adamant in wanting the home to be demolished after his death, but that the premier wants to go against this wish to preserve the home and derive political capital from their father’s legacy.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong speaks in parliament about his family’s dispute over the fate of his late father’s home at 38 Oxley Road. Photo: AFP

The Lion City premier has responded with openness. Not only did he make a statement on national television – saying he had done all he could to resolve the family conflict and apologising for any harm it may have done to Singapore’s reputation – he also gave MPs a free rein to grill him in parliament.

Najib, on the other hand, has remained largely silent regarding a scandal at the state investment fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) – where investigators claim to have traced some US$700 million wired into his accounts. Najib, who has denied any wrongdoing, is accused by critics of trying to shut down debate on the scandal. He has banned parliament from mentioning 1MDB and has removed key figures from his cabinet after they spoke out about the issue.

“The Singaporean PM has asked forgiveness from the people because of his siblings fighting. The Malaysian PM robbed billions, cricket noises,” said Twitter user @normgn. “Find it amusing to see the level of response of Singapore towards the Oxley Road house versus here for 1MDB. Just so weird,” said another, @yoongkhean. “One side got parliament seating just to explain it, one side … ignorance is bliss.”

The contrasting approach of the two leaders has been made more obvious as new details emerge about the US Department of Justice’s investigation into 1MDB.

As the public digest the details of the saga in the usually scandal-free Singapore – which has included Facebook posts from the premier’s family and private emails made public – they are also poring over the latest details of the Department of Justice’s investigation into 1MDB. The latest filing in the case seeks to recover US$540 million in assets including a yacht, a Picasso painting gifted to Leonardo DiCaprio, and a diamond necklace purchased with money stolen from the government fund.

Department of Justice documents allege that nearly US$30 million stolen from the fund were used to buy jewellery for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1” – jewellery that is said to have included a 22-carat pink diamond necklace. The documents do not identify Najib or his wife Rosmah Mansor by name, but say the jewellery was for the wife of “Malaysian Official 1”. Cabinet minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan has identified Malaysian Official 1 as Najib.

A cartoon by Zunar depicts an Inspector Clouseau-esque character. Handout photo

Controversial political cartoonist Zunar responded to this revelation by drawing a picture of a witch with a beehive hairdo riding a 1MDB broomstick and waving a large pink diamond pendant. Another cartoon depicts an Inspector Clouseau-esque character, a reference to the pink panther and a large pink diamond.

Last month, Rosmah’s solicitor released a statement saying that her lawyers were closely monitoring all postings on social media platforms and other publications, cautioning the public from making any false and malicious postings and statements.

In June, model Miranda Kerr turned over jewellery worth US$8.1 million that had been given to her by Malaysian financier Jho Low, who was instrumental in the development of 1MDB.

Australian model Miranda Kerr turned over jewellery given to her by Jho Low worth more than US$8.1 million. Photo: AFP

Even opposition politicians have taken to social media to vent their frustration at the lack of debate surrounding 1MDB. Member of Parliament M. Kulasegaran tweeted: “Openness by Singapore PM on a controversial issue speaks well of a government. In Malaysia?”

And Speaker of the Selangor State Assembly Hannah Yeoh said on Facebook: “When a controversy happens of this nature, being answerable to parliament is the right response. Lee Hsien Loong, you’re a good PM & I hope 1MDB can be dealt with like this in the Malaysian parliament too. Truly, not every son of a former prime minister is the same.”

WATCH: Singapore PM says siblings’ charges ‘baseless’

 

Najib is the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, Abdul Razak Hussein.

Lawyer Ong Yu Jian also shared Lee’s public address on Facebook, saying: “No matter how embarrassing or personal the issue, he has the b**** to air it in parliament, invite questions from MPs and ask the party whip to be lifted for this issue.”

Political analyst Oh Ei Sun of the Pacific Research Centre said Najib’s silence was because he was confident he had the support of voters ahead of an election that may be called as early as this year.

38 Oxley Road, the residence of Singapore’s first prime minister, the late Lee Kuan Yew. Photo: EPA

“At end of the day, the 1MDB scandal will not significantly affect the vote banks for the ruling coalition, the Barisan Nasional, or even his party Umno specifically.

“Najib relies primarily on the urban and rural poor and for these people 1MDB is almost a soap opera. They may follow it but don’t feel acute hatred towards Najib as do the first group of people. They are more interested in whether they get a share in the next handout as they depend on these handouts. They won’t stop voting for the Barisan Nasional because of 1MDB. ”

Oh also said that there was less need to clarify issues in Malaysia, as Singaporean voters were “more sophisticated and educated”.

Still, many Malaysian voters and lawmakers are frustrated at what they see as a clampdown on discussion of the 1MDB scandal.

Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak can avoid discussing the 1MDB scandal because he is confident of voter support in an upcoming election, analysts say. Photo: EPA

Opposition MP Steven Sim said parliament was not even allowed to mention it on the pretext that it was subjudice. “Despite investigators in at least six countries investigating and taking legal action against 1MDB-related parties, including the US Department of Justice, Najib’s government has not only removed key leaders in his cabinet and in civil service who spoke out against him on this issue – notably his deputy prime minister, second finance minister, the attorney general, and the head of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission – parliament is not allowed to even mention 1MDB.

“By allowing serious and damaging allegations to be openly debated in parliament, Lee Hsien Loong demonstrated he has nothing to hide, is willing to come clean and answer to the people,” Sim said.

“The same cannot be said of Najib Razak.” 

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Malaysia – The second corporate raid


It was not the British government that seized Malaya, but a private company, run by an unstable sociopath

EIClogo

People still talk about the British conquering Malaya, but that phrase disguises a more sinister reality. It was not the British government that seized Malaya at the end of the 18th century, but a dangerously unregulated private company headquartered in one small office, five windows wide, in London, and managed in India by an unstable sociopath – Clive.

clive

Robert Clive, was an unstable sociopath who led the fearsome East India Company to its conquest of the subcontinent. Photograph: Hulton Archive/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

The first corporate raid.

In 1511, Melaka was conquered by Portugal, after which it was taken by the Dutch in 1641. In 1786, the British Empire established a presence in Malaya, when the Sultan of Kedah leased Penang Island to the British East India Company. The British obtained the town of Singapore in 1819, and in 1824 took control of Melaka following the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. By 1826, the British directly controlled Penang, Melaka, Singapore, and the island of Labuan, which they established as the crown colony of the Straits Settlements. By the 20th century, the states of Pahang, Selangor, Perak, and Negeri Sembilan, known together as the Federated Malay States, had British residents appointed to advise the Malay rulers, to whom the rulers were bound to defer to by treaty. The remaining five states in the peninsula, known as the Unfederated Malay States, while not directly under British rule, also accepted British advisers around the turn of the 20th century. Development on the peninsula and Borneo were generally separate until the 19th century. Under British rule the immigration of Chinese and Indians to serve as labourers was encouraged. The area that is now Sabah came under British control as North Borneo when both the Sultan of Brunei and the Sultan of Sulu transferred their respective territorial rights of ownership, between 1877 and 1878. In 1842, Sarawak was ceded by the Sultan of Brunei to James Brooke, whose successors ruled as the White Rajahs over an independent kingdom until 1946, when it became a crown colony.

On 31 August 1957, Malaya became an independent member of the Commonwealth of Nations.

After this a plan was put in place to federate Malaya with the crown colonies of North Borneo (which joined as Sabah), Sarawak, and Singapore. The date of federation was planned to be 31 August 1963 so as to coincide with the anniversary of Malayan independence; however, federation was delayed until 16 September 1963 in order for a United Nations survey of support for federation in Sabah and Sarawak, called for by parties opposed to federation including Indonesia‘s Sukarno and the Sarawak United Peoples’ Party, to be completed – Wiki

Just like any sovereign state, Malaysia trotted on to progress and prosperity independently, with all the ups and downs for six decades under six prime ministers.

Currently, this relatively young nation is going through rough seas. The captain of the ship has (literally) lost his bearings, and the vessel is heading towards a iceberg, a collision of an enormous proportion, which will make the Titanic look pale in comparison.

Malaysia is in turmoil, politically and economically. The local currency Ringgit has dropped to a twelve year low and is in a free fall position. The political situation is in a state of disrepair as the ruling party UMNO under the leadership of prime minister Najib is losing popularity by the minute even as we speak.

Corruption is rampant in the government and UMNO, and it starts right from the highest echelon cascading down to the clerks in every ministry and department of the civil service.  Many arrests have been conducted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)

Malaysia scored 49 points out of 100 on the 2016 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. Corruption Index in Malaysia averaged 49.73 Points from 1995 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 53.20 Points in 1996 and a record low of 43 Points in 2011.

The country’s reputation dived head down internationally as the infamous 1MDB scandals were blown out of the pandora’s box. Billions of dollars went ‘missing‘ into the pockets of rouges closely connected to the PM, while some RM2.6b were trailed into the PM’s personal account.

1mdb

The massive amount of debts by 1MDB triggered investigations and several law suits by authorities and creditors in United States, Switzerland, Dubai, Singapore and Hong Kong.

Najib will hope that a friendly figure in the White House will help his chances in the biggest kleptocracy case brought by the US justice department to date. It’s seeking $1 billion in assets that it says are tied to “public corruption and a global money laundering conspiracy.” – Quartz

The second corporate raid

communistmalaisie2

Many mega projects have been interrupted or halted as these projects are in financial rout and seeking bail-outs or sourced out to foreign financiers. The biggest and main taker is China.

The Finance Minis­try (MoF) has called off a deal to sell 60% of Bandar Malaysia – a mega property development project estimated to have a gross development value of RM160bil when completed in 20 years – has sent shockwaves through the country and the region – TheStarOnLine

Proton the first Malaysian car is up for sale and the Chinese automaker Geely is a promising buyer.

Even the Bilderberg Shell have sold their refinery in Port Dickson to a Chinese company Hengyuan International Ltd.

Chinese presence in the ailing Malaysian economy are seen as bailing out Najib’s misadventures and not as genuine investments.

Playing the domestic cards by opening its borders to China’s investment and development projects – many of which have shown traces of fatigue in the long run – Najib brought the Chinese government to understand that he needed them for his own political survival. – TheIndependent

Here are some national mega projects where the Chinese are literally and desperately begged to participate by Najib to restore his unpopularity, saving his neck and retain power all at the same time:

What comes with all these Chinese participations (interventions) and financing? One has to be too naive to think that its all purely business investments on the part of the Chinese and that Malaysia is just so good and fortunate to attract foreign investments, but silly enough to offer opportunities to foreigners, especially China as giveaways whilst herself missing the chance to reap fortunes from her own viable, profit making projects?

Desperate times call for desperate measures, even if it means selling one’s own mother to save one’s own neck. This is a more accurate observation by concerned Malaysians and that history is beginning to repeat itself is glaringly apparent.

The British East India Company came in a quite different time, scenario and circumstances as the corporate raid was done singularly and stealthily during a time and period the people were innocent simpletons, unsuspecting and unaware of what was going on until it was too late to do anything to stop the marauders… and the rest, as they say is history.

For a century, the East India Company conquered, subjugated and plundered vast tracts of south Asia. It was the original corporate raider. The lessons of its brutal reign have never been more relevant.

With that unforgettable episode of Malaya (then) in the back of the people’s heads, Malaysians are witnessing, with their eyes wide open this time history repeating itself.

Malaysians lowered the Union Jack on August 31, 1957 to regain their freedom, and sixty years later, will they be seeing the raising of another corporate flag – the Five Stars Red flag and be slaves all over again? One must remember, most of the big Chinese corporations are controlled and owned by the State. Only this time it will be a communist takeover instead of the capitalist fascists and oh, how paradoxical it has turned out, as the people of Malaya had fought so hard with their lives to rid off the communist terrorists (which were supported and backed by China), during the Emergency period.

What else will be sold to complete the corporate raid? Highways, water, power, utilities public transport and telecommunication services next? Will the people knowingly sit back and allow a second corporate raid this time around?

 

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