Malaysia starting the new year not just with double whammy with a multitude of whammies!
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s hint to the first Cabinet meeting of the year on Wednesday that 2017 is going to be an “interesting year” has already been more than fulfilled in the first five days of the year.
The new year in the past five days started not just with a double whammy but a multitude of whammies, including:
- The Malaysian ringgit currency starting the new year with a new record low of RM4.5002 against the US dollar since the 1998 Asian financial crisis, signifying very tough economic year for Malaysians;
- The gutting of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) although it was already quite impotent to fighting grand corruption. No “tiger” or “crocodile” had been caught by the MACC, but there seems a “devil’s bargain”: that the MACC is given the green light to go after civil servants so long as they leave the politicos and their “favourite” civil servants alone.
- The unrelenting international expose of Malaysia as a global kleptocracy because of the international multi-billion dollar 1MDB money-laundering scandal, with the Singapore prosecutors slapping 16 criminal charges against the former local branch manager of Swiss-based Falcon Private Bank AG, Swiss national Jens Sturzenegger – after the conviction and imprisonment of three former bankers in Singapore over 1MDB-related charges.
- The intensification of the Nazi Gobbels’s-style propaganda offensive of “fake news”, “false stories” and downright lies by UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers about the Opposition leaders and critics, even to the extent of accusing that I am cousin to Chin Peng and Lee Kuan Yew, although they could not explain how a Hock Chew Ong (as Chin Peng is the nom de guerre of Ong Boon Hua) from Sitiawan, a Hakka Lee Kuan Yew from Singapore and a Hokkien Lim Kit Siang from Batu Pahat could be related cousins!
- The determination of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the Barisan Nasional government take over PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act (Act 355), although there is no such consensus whether by the Cabinet or the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Nancy Shukri has admitted that the Sarawak BN leaders have yet to be briefed on the proposed government takeover of Hadi’s private member’s bill – and the same applies for the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties, whether MCA, Gerakan or MIC.
I hope the MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders, particularly the presidents Datuk Liow Tiong Lai, Datuk Mah Siew Keong or Datuk S. Subramaniam respectivelhy will pluck up the courage to present the Pensiangan Formula to the Cabinet as the best way to address the political and constitutional stalemate created by UMNO’s support for Hadi’s private member’s bill.
The Pensiangan Formula comprises two elements, viz:
- Firstly, no government take over of Hadi’s private member’s bill; and
- Secondly, the formation of an all-party Parliamentary Select Committee with the overall objective to strengthen inter-religious relations in Malaysia based on the Malaysian Constitution, Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and Rukunegara, and with the specific objective to study Hadi’s private member’s motion, and to make recommendations.
This is particularly important and pertinent as two UMNO leaders, namely Jamil Khir Baharom and Ahmad Mazlan had publicly admitted about a secret UMNO agenda and conspiracy to present a “fait accompli” to the other 13 Barisan Nasional component parties to compel them to support the BN government takeover of Hadi’s private member’s bill in the March meeting of Parliament.
These are only five of multiple “whammies” which had confronted the country in the first few days of the year.
The new year will be a very challenging and testing one, especially as the 14th General Elections is expected to be held this year, and could be in May or September/October.
If the UMNO/BN leaders are not prepared to deal with these multiple whammies; then Malaysians must address these multiple “whammies” which have hit the country, resulting in constitutional, political, economic and nation-building crisis of confidence in the country, in the 14GE.