In his explanation to Parliament, Anwar said that his jurisdiction as the Finance Minister at the time had only allowed him to force Nor’s resignation from the Bank and order for his removal from any involvement in the country’s financial affairs, whether public or private.But he could not charge Nor without Mahathir’s green light.
Umno is using several crooked and despicable methods including blatant lies to influence the electorate and win the forthcoming elections.
They already have the gerrymandered constituencies, the foreigners who have been illegally given MyKads so as to secure their votes and other crooked devices to obtain votes with the help of the equally crooked lackeys in the Election Commission.
Currency speculator George Soros not only funds pro-democracy groups in Malaysia, but has also funded activities of the Malaysian AIDS Council (MAC) which was led at one time by his chief Malaysian critic’s daughter, Datuk Paduka Marina Mahathir.
The US citizen has been in the limelight lately after government-friendly mainstream newspapers and a television station said his Open Society Institute (OSI) had funded pro-democracy groups out to destabilise the Barisan Nasional (BN) government under Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The media did not offer proof of any destabilisation efforts.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim dropped a bombshell on Monday revealing that the central Bank Negara not only lost RM30 billion trading in the currency markets but that it was former premier Mahathir Mohamad who had ordered him not to punish Nor Mohamed Yakcop, who was then in charge of the bank’s treasury.
Anwar’s revelation bolsters the view that Mahathir had knowledge of and even encouraged Nor to gamble in the global markets, racking up enormous losses that made Malaysia vulnerable to the sharp slowdown of the mid- 1990s.
“Dr Mahathir ordered, ‘don’t touch him (Nor)’. The Prime Minister at the time did not agree with taking action because he said, ‘If we make profits, you praise him (Nor), when we make losses, you want to torture him’,” Anwar told a press conference in Parliament today.
Nor Mohamed had indeed shocked the international markets with his huge deals and buy-sell orders in the 1990s. In his bookMalaysian Maverick, author Barry Wain (left) had also written that Mahathir knew of and encouraged Nor to speculate.
Nor Mohamad has never pointed the finger at Mahathir or implicated the older man. However, the fact that Mahathir has consistently refused to punish Nor has stirred suspicion. He even promoted Nor to Special Economic Adviser and gave him a key role to play in Malaysia’s controversial implementation of currency control measures during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis.
Anwar: No to bail out of Dr M’s sons
Anwar was responding during Question Time in Parliament this morning when DAP MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng had asked the government to state the actual losses suffered by BNM in the foreign exchange market between 1990 and 2012.
Guan Eng also asked why Nor (right), who has been named as among those to blame for the losses, had not been punished for his role. Nor is currently a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.
Anwar had then been the Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister and rising fast in the esteem of the Malay electorate as well as gaining a favorable reputation with the international community for promulgating anti-corruption reforms.
His refusal to bail out crony firms including those controlled by Mahathir’s sons who fared badly during the downturn triggered his downfall. In 1999, Anwar was sacked and jailed on trumped-up sodomy charges, from which he has been acquitted.
Now the Opposition Leader, he is still the main target of attack from Mahathir and UMNO, who see him as the biggest threat to their political hegemony.
Linking Anwar to Soros
Over the weekend, Mahathir had stirred up a media storm accusing US billionaire George Soros (left) of funding several NGOs as well as the Opposition so as to control Malaysian politics and who became the next Prime minister. Malaysia is due to hold its 13th general elections, the latest by June 2013.
“How can it be a good thing? He wants to control our politics. He wants to choose his own man to be Prime Minister,” Mahathir told reporters.
While Mahathir did not mention names, it was clear he was referring to Anwar, whom he has accused of being a US spy and a stooge for Jewish interests such as Soros.
Soros’ chief critic has been Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who once called the American tycoon a “moron” when his currency speculation was said to have brought down the ringgit during the Asian financial crisis in 1997/98.
The MAC confirmed with The Malaysian Insider that it received funds from OSI and the Global Fund, which is involved in awareness programmes to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
“Yes, MAC also received foreign funds and it is used for awareness programmes such as campaigns to raise awareness about AIDS and HIV issues and other programmes,” said a MAC spokesman.
The organisation said last year it received funds amounting to US$75,000 (RM232,500), said the spokesman who declined to be named.
Last week, disputes over Malaysian NGOs receiving foreign funding became a hot issue that was played up by the mainstream media controlled by Umno and the ruling BN coalition.
It was alleged that such foreign funding is intended to bring down the Malaysian government and leaders’ image.
The NGOs that have been targeted include Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), journalist training group Seacem and the MalaysiaKini news portal that have been accused as attempting to destabilise the government or the country.
Suaram recently came under close scrutiny of the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM) due to its foreign funding sources and the government agency said earlier last week that it plans to charge the activist group for its “misleading accounts”.
The human rights NGO has been actively pursuing the Scorpene scandal in the French courts, determined to expose the government of alleged corruption in the purchase of the multibillion submarines in 2009 and possibly reopen the murder case of Mongolian model Altantuyaa Shaariibuu, who was said to be linked to the deal.
Dr Mahathir suggested two days ago that Soros was attempting to usurp political power from the BN government by appointing his own leader as the next prime minister of Malaysia.
“How can it be a good thing? He wants to control our politics,” Dr Mahathir told reporters on Sunday.
To make absolutely certain of a win they are using the monopolised media to spew their usual lies to influence the Malaysian electorate.
In the past, former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Umno – in addition to the above mentioned crooked methods – had also used the fear tactic (May 13 bogey), trumped-up sodomy charges against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, the communist bogey and any other outrageous lies their crooked and evil minds could think of.
Now true to his despicable character Mahathir has come up with the ‘Soros wants to install puppet as PM’ lie. It is not worth spending any time analysing his obvious lies.
International financier George Soros wants regime change in Malaysia? Are you serious? Soros does not give a hoot. Malaysia is nothing special to Soros.
But Malaysia is everything to us. And we are the ones who want the change. We have had enough of the corruption, lies and manipulations, the scare mongering, the stealing, the waste and the destruction you and your buddies are intent on perpetuating.
So please, please no more. Give us back our dignity, allow us to be what we can be.
Wow! It is this kind of brilliance in uncovering such sinister plots by inside and outside evil forces that has kept him PM for 22 years.
It would be difficult to find, in the history of any country (i.e. other than Malaysia) a leader who is so dedicated and protective of his country, he would tirelessly lead the nation for so long and even after retiring continue to dictate what is right and detect conspiracies.
We wish he will live up to 150 years and make sure that Malaysia is protected from evil and is always under the safe hands of people with the utmost integrity and character, such as Najib Razak, Chua Soi Lek, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Abdul Taib Mahmud, Mohd Khir Toyo and Ibrahim Ali to name a few… and of course, his sons.
The devil has spoken. Now, where can we summon the angel to save Malaysia from this evil?
It’s a real pity that Mahathir thinks that politics and political administration in today’s world is the same as what it was some 30 or 40 years ago.
Political perception and formation of governments have undergone major and significant changes since the 1980s when Mahathir took premiership and was prime minister for more than two decades.
Puppet regimes are no more and it is not possible for any billionaire, including Soros, to ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ countries as they deem fit. Massive advancements in information and communications technology have made it possible for today’s electorate in any country to be equipped with fingertip knowledge about mismanagement of democracy and abuse of power.
A bad government which forever finds excuses to blame the opposition for all its blunders will eventually be kicked out by its own people. The BN government is digging its own grave. It is not necessary for Soros to waste his precious time and money to do that job.
Mahathir is God-sent. How else can he be made to spout this much of nonsense to convince Malaysians that this regime must go?
Anonymous_3e2c: The people of Malaysia should read more about the work Soros’ Open Society Foundations around the world, especially in Eastern European countries where majority of them were previously under the communist Soviet bloc.
It is easy for Mahathir to fool the many Malaysians who have not been to Europe but today, information is readily available on the Internet for people to read.
It’s ridiculous for Mahathir to demonise Soros just because he supports civil societies across the globe to promote freedom and democracy.
He accused Soros for the Asian financial crisis in 1997 but failed to admit there were fundamental weaknesses in their economies, including that of Malaysia. Clearly, he blamed the crisis on Soros to deflect public attention and hide his own failures.
For Mahathir to speak ills of Soros now shows that he has hidden agenda. We would do well to take it with a pinch of salt.
So what if Soros really wants to install a puppet as the next prime minister of Malaysia? He can try all he wants but ultimately, it will be decided by the estimated 12 million Malaysians who make up the voting population.
Mahathir too can try to install his own choice of prime minister like Muhyiddin Yassin or his son, Mukhriz. And whether he agrees or not, the voters will still get the final say.
Mahathir was so proud when he met Soros in Kuala Lumpur. He was so proud to go to United States to get an award. He paid so much money to American lobbyists to have a meeting with then US president George Bush. Is there anybody in the world who is a bigger hypocrite?
I wonder how many regimes Soros has managed to change? In fact, we should be grateful that there those out there willing to provide token sums to fund democratic channels and mediums for the people to vent their views.
For far too long, the views of Average Joe has been self censored or ignored. Now, with Malaysiakini and others, and with the shield of anonymity against a vengeful regime, the powers-that-be have a barometer of the political climate to gauge voter sentiments.
But they seem to be ignoring this weather wane instead of intelligently taking cognisance of the groundswell – all at the peril of another good whacking at the polls.
Yes, one of Mahathir’s sons is among top 20 richest man in Malaysia. If you want to become billionaire in this country, the important things is which party you are from and which father you have.
Change the headline instead – ‘Dr M wants to install puppet as PM’.
Obviously, it takes two hands to clap. If billionaire George Soros is named the currency manipulator, then Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) official and present minister Nor Mohamed Yakcop must have been his accomplice and former PM Mahathir Mohamad the co-offender.
I remember back then Jaafar Hussein who left Price Waterhouse to become the Bank Negara governor of the time later resigned to take responsibility.
I had later spoken to currency traders in Singapore, Hong Kong and London who had told me that BNM was well known in the market for its huge appetite for big ticket deals.
Soros speculated in the currency market using his own money, whereas Mahathir and Nor Mohamed speculated using taxpayers’ money. Soros did make his pile of money but our two useless chaps lost RM5.7 billion.
Bagan MP Lim Guan Eng is absolutely right in pointing this out. BNM undertook currency speculation in the 1990s under former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s direction and lost billions of ringgit.
No action was ever taken against the rogue traders then. That clearly shows the biassed nature and double standards of Mahathir.
This is all Johnny comes too late. For someone who had lost billions, we mustn’t forget he was appointed first as the second finance minister before being appointed minister in the PM’s Department in charge of economic planning and privatisation.
So we can more or less imagine what sort of financial management, economic planning and privatisation we can expect from the billion ringgit losing man.
He is not the only one with such good fortune, by the way. What about a former director-general of Economic Planning Unit caught with a hundred thousand cash in his office, who was subsequently appointed Bank Negara governor in the aftermath of the 1997/98 financial crisis after Anwar was sacked?
We should know who the one who made all these decisions was – the old man who is still calling the shots today, two prime ministers later.
In most countries, politicians who have been detained and incarcerated for their political beliefs such as Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela wear it like a badge of honour.
In BN-ruled Malaysia, only politicians who have been embroiled in mega financial scandals and controversy are destined for high office. This is Malaysia Boleh and PM Najib Razak’s ‘Janji Ditepati’.
It is clear that Umno is only interested to vilify PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim for it own political mileage and protect Mahathir and Nor Mohamed.
If Anwar was really involved in the Bank Negara forex (foreign exchange) scandal, then I should think that Mahathir and Umno with all its power would have pinned Anwar down.
Why didn’t the attorney-general prosecute Anwar then, if there was evidence of his involvement in the forex losses?
It clearly shows that Mahathir and Nor Mohamed gambled away our money in the forex market and Umno had no choice but to protect their ‘father of corruption’.
They can vilify Anwar for all the wrongdoings that he has done and it will all point back to Umno.
As part of Umno, whatever Anwar had done was an Umno wrongdoing. If they find fault with Anwar now, why not charge him and dig out all the dirt to see whose this dirt belongs to?
Boiling Mud: Nor Mohamed must answer to Anwar’s assertion at the lobby of our supposedly august house that he had instructed him (Nor Mohamed) to resign and to relinquish all posts in the financial world, including those in private companies.
We have also read that Bank Negara lost a whopping RM30 billion or so while trading on the forex market over many years. Can we have the real truth on the people responsible for this terrible financial disaster and the amount actually lost due to currency speculation?
It is most unlikely the Umno-controlled government will reveal the truth. We will need a new honest government to do that.
In this case, Dr M was right when he recently said that BN was the devil we know. Twelve terms of misgovernment by the known devil is more than enough. It is time for change.
Vijay47: Mahathir’s latest revelation from high heaven is that Soros is out to install a puppet whom he would then manipulate for some foul reason or the other.
Thus any person in cahoots with some power to surrender Malaysia’s sovereignty would be guilty of high treason.
Such being the case, perhaps the IGP (inspector-general of police) should commence action against Mahathir and Mohamed Yakcop for fraternising with enemies of the state, as shown in photographs of the two together with Soros.
Why is George Soros vilified as a rogue speculator, but the person responsible for the loss was given a promotion?
Because Soros is a Jew, whereas the amateur gambler is, like Mahathir, a ‘first-class Malay’.
by Dr. Bridget Welsh@http://www.themalaysianinsider.com
Too much of the reporting on political events within Malaysia is based on fabrications, rather than analysis anchored in research and responsible journalism. There has been noticeable decay in the professionalism of journalists, either from selling out their principles to engage in partisanship, or through the lack of proper mentorship or training.
Some of this is a product of the growing competitive political environment, where formerly more reliable mainstream papers have compromised their integrity for their political masters, while in other cases, the drive to publish the story first and make it the most sensational has comprised the due diligence of proper reporting.
Simple things, such as checking facts and quotes, have gone by the wayside. Worse yet, it has become acceptable for some to publish shoddy work, and rather than be chided for this practice, it is openly encouraged and financially rewarded.
Readers sometimes take what is published at face value, rather than adopting a more discerning approach to what they are reading. Too much of the discussion of politics is tied to misrepresentation and misunderstanding.
It is a time of political transition in Malaysia. The incumbent party that has held onto power since 1957 ― 55 years ― is facing the most competitive polls in history. At a public forum on Monday September 17 in Kuala Lumpur, I explained why based on polling trajectories and fieldwork, the Barisan Nasional (BN) has not regained significant ground since March 2008.
I suggested, however, that voters alone will not decide the electoral outcome. Concerns involve the fairness of the elections. The impact of a widening unlevel electoral playing field is not yet known. We have also seen over the last three years since the March 2008 polls that the situation is very fluid, as Najib Razak’s administration reached a high in support last November and has been declining in popularity since the April BERSIH rally, although at varied levels among different communities.
While most Malaysians have decided how they will vote, the middle ground is in flux and has the potential to move again as the campaign evolves. As such, the election is difficult to call. My own analysis indicates that a third of the seats are extremely close. I pointed to the states of Sabah, Pahang, Perak, Johor and Selangor as the states with highly competitive seats, but argued that every seat will matter in the upcoming General Elections.
The campaign, candidate selection and use of state resources will also shape the final outcome. The majority of my other remarks focused on new trends in voting behaviour, issues that will be presented in future articles.
The quality of the media coverage of the forum raises concerns and provokes a call for greater constructive and responsible dialogue as Malaysia enters new uncertain political terrain. When the forum began, we asked the media to check quotes with speakers and to operate with professionalism.
Instead, a reporter from The Malaysian Insider (TMI) and subsequent media reports by journalists who were not at the event, have distorted the discussion, misquoted remarks and acted irresponsibly. None of the reports on the event have followed the request to check their facts and most of the reports of the event are second- and third-hand reports made from the original flawed report TMI report.
Initially, there were two areas of concern. First of all, the TMI media report of the event focused on the response to the last question of the night in the two-and-a-half hours of discussions, rather than covering the discussion in the meeting as a whole.
The mischaracterization of the forum as a discussion of “casting doubts about Pakatan” was from the onset a distortion. The article’s headline was misleading and not reflective of the proceedings. This is a troubling trend in Malaysian reporting ― a focus on sensationalism rather than substance.
The issues that were discussed covered a range from human rights concerns and Sabah politics to the rising environmental movement and the role of morality in voting.
Second, the TMI report had a number of factual errors. For example, my position to the question whether “Can Pakatan Rule?” was not reported. I clearly stated that “Malaysians voters should decide.” Subsequent interpretations of this inaccurate reporting of my response have been misconstrued to imply that I support one side or another.
My remarks in the forum highlighted the challenges both sides will face in governing. I noted that whoever won the election would face a trust deficit among a share of voters, as Malaysian voters are polarized.
In another example of error, the TMI reporting completely misconstrued the discussion of Dr Mahathir’s legacy on Malaysian politics. My remarks discussed the challenges UMNO as a party faced to reform, pointing out that it has not reformed since 2008, and arguing that this had to do in part with the legacy Mahathir left on the party.
I argued that both Tun Abdullah Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak faced difficulties in carrying out reforms due to pressures from this legacy of constraint. The overall context of the discussion was left out of the report and mistakenly interpreted as praise for either Mahathir or Najib. The irony of the errors in the report by TMI is that they completely missed the key points of analysis.
To compound the original problems in the reporting of the forum, other journalists who were not at the event and also did not check their facts used it for their stories. In one column for The Star newspaper by columnist Baradan Kuppusamy, elements in the original article were embellished with such partisan gusto and mischief that it had evolved away from misconstrued reality to fantasy.
To suggest, for example, that the speakers buttressed “Najib’s reformist credentials” is factually incorrect. This is a complete fabrication. My own remarks centred on public concerns with corruption and public perceptions of the lack of substantive reforms. I never used the word “reformist” or “reformer”.
The focus of my remarks was on factors affecting voting behaviour and their possible impact on the next polls. The column is embarrassingly riddled with multiple factual errors, as the columnist was not present at the forum nor did he follow due diligence in checking the facts. It is a sad day when this sort of reporting is paid for.
In the initial TMI report, the reporter was inexperienced, and my original tack was to have a quiet word to encourage better practice. Also some of the original report did accurately account some of the issues that were raised, even if the context was not provided and the headline misleading.
The situation became even more egregious when reporters who did not bother to do any homework opted to use a flawed report as the basis of a story or in at least one case a fable. I understand that in the Malaysian context misreporting is common. It is unfortunately clear that fabrications are also becoming more common as well.
This does not take away from the reality that these practices are wrong and destructive. Media integrity and low standards of professionalism are serious problems and those that are hurt by them are ordinary readers. They are undermining the constructive discussion that is needed to strengthen Malaysia as it moves toward a better future. Malaysians deserve better.
TMI Editor’s Note: The Malaysian Insider apologises for misrepresentation and errors made in its report of the forum after checking with the reporter’s notes and recording. The news report has been corrected with the full quotes made by Dr Bridget Welsh in the forum to the question that was asked. Once again, our apologies to the speakers in the forum. Thank you.
* Dr Welsh asked that this comment be appended following the publication of her piece. “Thank you, TMI, for your professionalism, graciousness and constructive response.” readmore http://suarakeadilanmalaysia.blogspot.com/2012/09/ten-years-on-question-of-israel-and.html