Thursday, March 28, 2013

Ambiga: Four ‘good’ reasons, my foot!

RK Anand
 | March 28, 2013
The Bersih chief dismisses the four reasons given by the Star's group editor-in-chief for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's delay in dissolving Parliament.
KUALA LUMPUR: In a comment piece published on the front-page of the Star today, the MCA-owned daily’s group editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai stated four reasons for Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s feet-dragging on the dissolution of Parliament.
However, Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga is not convinced with the four “good” reasons, which were:
  • A caretaker government cannot enter into agreements at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (Lima).
  • Finishing touches to some projects and programmes.
  • Barisan Nasional’s candidates’ list not finalised.
  • Impossible at the moment for politicians to campaign freely in Lahad Datu.
Commenting on the first reason cited, Ambiga told FMT that it is not a licence to dig into the public coffers to embark on a spending spree.
“Lima contracts were all foreseeable. If this was an aim, then why lead the public on a merry ride and threaten to dissolve Parliament for more than a year?” she asked.
Ambiga stressed that it is morally wrong to extend the dissolution date on this premise, adding that the move smacked of utter desperation.
“The way they [the incumbent government] are spending suggests that they are not certain of returning to power. And that is the whole point of a caretaker government: they should not make any contracts which the next incoming government would be bound by; you must uphold the status quo.
“It is wrong to rush into contracts when it is very close to the caretaker period,” she added.
As for Wong’s second point, Ambiga argued that putting the final touches on projects and programmes is also something that was foreseeable in the past.
“This once again suggests that they are not confident. It seems that for the first time, there is a confidence crisis [in BN] with regard to retaining Putrajaya.
“However, your nervousness does not justify spending the rakyat’s money so close to the election and for keeping us on hold regarding the election date,” she said.
‘Automatic dissolution is shameful’
On BN still finalising its list of candidates, the Bersih chairperson dismissed this as the weakest possible excuse.
Ambiga said the list has to be finalised before any general election, and since Najib has been toying with the people over the election date for more than a year, BN should have worked on the list a long time ago.
“This is a pathetic excuse for delaying the dissolution of Parliament,” she added.
As for the security in Lahad Datu being used as a reason, Ambiga expressed puzzlement.
“We were previously given the impression that everything was fine and safe… for the election to be held there. This is news to me. It seems like the government is caught in its own web of misinformation… I would like to know the truth about the situation there,” she said.
Commenting on the automatic dissolution of the Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly last night, Ambiga said this is not something to be proud of as it meant that the incumbent government is being booted out of power by the Federal Constitution.
“…unless we amend the Constitution and have fixed dates for elections. Then everybody’s life goes on until the date of election; now everyone’s life is on hold… this is the psychological point and it is shameful,” she added.
Furthermore, Ambiga stated that automatic dissolution is a constitutional safeguard against recalcitrant regimes.
“Let me stress again that there was nothing to be proud of allowing for an automatic dissolution, although it was legal. No self-respecting government would allow that to happen,” she added.
Najib’s delay in dissolving Parliament has led to a litany of speculations, ranging from a lack of confidence to more last-minute plots being hatched against the opposition.
Parliament is scheduled for automatic dissolution on April 27.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Year of Jubilee -- Sabah and Sarawak to lead biggest ever Polls Tsunami

17-Day Countdown to 13GE – People of Sabah and Sarawak can make history by making this 50th Golden Jubilee year of the creation of Malaysia, the year when Malaysia joins the ranks of democratic countries in the world

This year is a year of tremendous historical importance to our young nation.
Fifty years ago, in 1963, the nation of Malaysia was created with the merging of Malaya, Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore.
This year, 2013, is the 50th anniversary for the creation of Malaysia.
And in this year of our Golden Jubilee, Malaysians have a golden opportunity to create yet another historical moment in our country’s history by ushering in a new era of democracy and freedom for our nation by voting for a peaceful transition to a new government that is clean, competent, transparent and fully accountable to the citizens of Malaysia.
Over the past five years, Malaysians have experienced many significant dates and events that will go into the history books.
March 8, 2008 or 308 has now been etched into the consciousness of Malaysians as the date when the BN’s iron grip on power was significantly weakened when the opposition denied it 2/3rds control of the parliament as well as winning control of five state legislatures.
April 28, 2012 or 428 will be remembered for the largest ever public gathering of concerned citizens on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and in many cities in other parts of the country to rally for clean and fair elections in the 3rd Bersih protest.
January 12, 2013 or 112 will be remembered for largest peaceful public gathering in Stadium Merdeka since the declaration of independence by Tunku Abdul Rahman on the 31st of August, 1957.
This year, Malaysians can create another day of history on the day of polling in the upcoming 13th general elections.
On this day, may the many millions of legitimate Malaysian voters, in the country, as well as overseas in the Malaysian embassies, high commissions and consulates, come out to vote in record numbers to counteract the effect of however many phantom voters which have been put in the electoral roll during the morally bankrupt rule of the Barisan Nasional government.
On this day, may many thousands of patriotic and responsible citizens turn up to work as polling and counting agents as well as election observers to ensure that the election process is as fair and transparent as possible.
On this day, may the millions of legitimate Malaysian voters not cast a vote based on fear and intimidation but cast their vote based on hope for a better and brighter future.
On this day, may the millions of legitimate Malaysian voters vote out the corrupt and racist BN coalition that has ruled the country with an iron grip for the past 56 years.
On this day, may the millions of legitimate Malaysian voters, vote in a new government that promises to look beyond the narrow confines of racial politics and to steer Malaysia to a new course of democratic governance.
On this day, may the BN concede to the will of the people and agree to a peaceful transition of government if the will of the people for this historic change is clearly shown at the ballot box.
Just like how Malaysia could not have been formed without the partnership of the people of Sabah and Sarawak, the golden opportunity for change in the Golden year of the Jubilee cannot be taken without the support of voters in Sabah and Sarawak.
Sabah and Sarawak deserve much better after 50 years of being ruled by BN.
The recent explosive video expose by international NGO, Global Witness, is just the tip of the icerbeg in terms of how much has been stolen and plundered by the BN in Sarawak, led by Chief Minister, Taib Mahmud, who has been in power for 32 years in the state (and counting).
The recent invasion in Sabah may well be the consequence of Project IC in the state that has been going on under previous BN Chief Ministers and Prime Ministers but which was especially rampant during the reign of Dr. Mahathir.
Both Sabah and Sarawak are no longer fixed deposits for the BN.
It is obvious that many people are sick and tired of the rotten state of affairs in both states and that they are ready for change.
Pakatan Rakyat has been working hard to reach out to voters in all parts of these two states, from the cities to the villages, from the coast to the highlands, from the north to the south and to the east and west.
The Pakatan Manifesto has promised a new deal to the voters in Sabah and Sarawak including an increase in the oil royalty to 20% and the building of the Pan Borneo expressway linking both states.
Pakatan in both states have proposed alternative state budgets which show how we can govern more responsibly and competently than the BN state governments.
Two days ago, Pakatan in Sabah launched their state election manifesto which shows how a Pakatan state government in cooperation with a Pakatan federal government can work together to achieve and implement the policies for the common good of the Sabah people.
Pakatan won only 2 out of 57 parliament seats in Sabah and Sarawak (including Labuan). Pakatan can form the federal government if it wins at least 20 more parliament seats in both states.
I urge the people of Sabah and Sarawak to lead the political tsunami that will sweep BN out of power and to usher in a new era of democracy, peace and prosperity in this country.
Fifty years ago, a new nation in South-East Asia was born. Fifty years later, this nation can finally take the step to join the ranks of democratic countries in the world.
The voters of Sabah and Sarawak can make polling day in the 13th general election a historic date in Malaysian history.

Anwar croons ‘Sabah Hilang’ for Najib

Luke Rintod
 | March 25, 2013
The massive turnouts at Anwar's ceramahs in Sabah bode well for the opposition coalition in Sabah irrespective of the Umno 'incited' skirmishes.
KOTA KINABALU: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has tweaked the lyrics of an old Malay song – Tanya Sama Pokok – to stab at Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. These days Anwar sings his song – Sabah Hilang – everywhere he goes and this is how the lyrics go:

“Tanya sama Najib apa sebab goyang
Nanti jawab Najib Sabah nak hilang
Kalau Sabah hilang Umno melayang
Najib jadi ketua pembangkang”
Last night the exuberant PKR de facto leader sang this song again to a packed-hall of the Star City Convention Centre here where he delivered stinging attacks on the policies of the ruling Umno and its failure to protect Sabahans from foreign intrusion.
Close to 3,000 community leaders turned up to listen to Anwar’s speech, dwarfing the average crowds that other opposition leaders in Sabah could normally attract.
Anwar has also been described as “Raja Goyang” in several pro-Umno blogs before this.
Anwar reiterated his denial of any link to the Lahad Datu intrusion by Sulu terrorists on March 12, lambasting instead Umno for trying to make him the scapegoat of anything stemming from Umno’s weaknesses.
Anwar also accused the ruling BN of applying dual sets of laws on the citizens, one for the rich – ministers and chief ministers included – and another for the ordinary citizens.
He also alluded to a possibility that Umno might try to sue him over the song “Sabah Hilang”. “This would be the first anyone can ever be sued for singing a song…” he said.
The charismatic opposition leader also defended an old picture of him with former leader of Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF), Nur Misuari, which was being used by his enemies to link him to the Lahad Datu Sulu intrusion last month.
“The picture was taken back when Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Prime Minister when Nur Misuari was invited for an official visit to Kuala Lumpur,” he explained.
Massive turnouts
Anwar later launched PKR roadshow bus here before moving on to deliver another electrifying speech at Kampung Lok Batik in Tuaran, some 100km from here, where more than 3,000 people waited to hear him.
Sabah PKR head, Ahmad Thamrin Jaini, when contacted said the massive turnouts at PKR functions bode well for the opposition coalition in Sabah.
He said a small disturbance caused by Umno thugs at the launching of PKR roadshow bus earlier in Kota Kinabalu would not deter the party to reach more people.
Also in attendance at the three functions were senior leaders of Sabah PKR, DAP and PAS as well as from the two NGOs Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) and Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS).

Saturday, March 23, 2013

UMNO/BN, break the Rocket of DAP would end up as the last straw that breaks the camel's neck!

19-Day Countdown to 13GE – Najib will commit supreme abuse of power if he toys with the UMNO/BN “Dirty Tricks” department with the ploy of illegally banning DAP to exclude Rocket symbol in 13GE as it will be the “last straw that break’s the camel’s back”

In response to a question from a reporter after visiting Taman University market in Gelang Patah yesterday morning, I stressed that there is absolutely no legal, constitutional or any legitimate ground for any punitive action by the Registrar of Societies against the DAP, whether suspension or deregistration.
The DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) elections last December had been above-board and a transparent and democratic process although there was an honest mistake from a computer glitch when announcing the results.
The DAP CEC has no doubt that there can be no justification whatsoever for the Registrar of Societies to take any action against the DAP for the party elections, especially as the DAP leadership had not received any complaint from party delegates on the CEC elections while the DAP had fully co-operated with the Registrar of Societies with regard to queries and requests for clarification.
This is why I am baffled how the Utusan Malaysia today could carry a front-page headline report that the ROS were facing “difficulties in its probe” on the DAP CEC elections last December.
The Utusan Malaysia front-page headline story has proven right my suspicion of “high-level conspiracy afoot in BN ‘dirty tricks’ department to suspend or ban DAP so that the Rocket symbol could not be used in the 13GE”.
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the BN leaders have no confidence about their prospects in the 13GE and they are toying with various unprecedented “dirty tricks” for UMNO/BN to try to steal the 13GE.
The latest issue of the Economist on the 13GE carried a report “Malaysia’s looming election – Video nasties” which said: “In fact, the outcome is in doubt, for the first time in Malaysia’s history”. (The Star spun the Economist report with the headline:“Barisan tipped for elections victory”.
The Economist report said:
“Mr Najib has the advantages of incumbency—such as deciding when to call elections.”
In fact, the very opposite is the case, as Najib has exhausted all the advantages of incumbency, such as “deciding when to call elections”, because of an unprecedented series of inconsistencies and indecisiveness causing him to miss his most ideal timing for the 13GE, i.e. in 2011 including his one-time favourite date of 11.11.11.
The question now is whether Najib will continue to lead an “expired government” without Parliamentary dissolution despite the automatic dissolution of the BN-controlled Negri Sembilan State Assembly on Tuesday, 26th March.
When the final date for Parliament’s dissolution comes, whether end-March, early-April or even April 11, public interests on the subject will be minimal in Najib’s four-year premiership.
Regardless of when Parliament will be dissolved for the holding of 13GE, Najib should be cautioned against getting so desperate as to succumb to the temptation to commit the grossest abuse of power recommended by the UMNO/BN “Dirty Tricks” department to exclude the use of the Rocket symbol in the 13GE through illegal and unconstitutional suspension or ban of the DAP!
The UMNO/BN “Dirty Tricks” department may think that this ploy will inflict supreme damage on Pakatan Rakyat by excluding the use of the Rocket symbol in the 13GE ( as elections will be over even if DAP finally vindicates itself and wins a legal suit against the Barisan Nasional government in protracted litigation in the courts of law) – but this may prove to be most fatal mistake of all by Najib in his four years as Prime Minister.
This is because it may usher a new political configuration that will prove to be the undoing of UMNO/BN, not only the last straw that breaks the camel’s back with regard to public outrage to demand the end the regime of abuses of power in the citadels of power in Putrajaya, but also contributing to an hitherto unthinkable consolidation of Pakatan Rakyat, as for instance, my contesting on PAS or PKR symbol in the 13GE!

DAP: Nearly 75,000 voters in Malaysia with ‘problematic’ Sabah ICs

MARCH 23, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 – DAP election strategist Dr Ong Kian Ming revealed today that there are nearly 75,000 potentially dubious voters in electoral rolls nationwide, a number that could tilt the outcome of Election 2013 in favour of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).
Ong said the number includes those with the “problematic” identification cards highlighted recently during a Sabah RCI hearing, as well as holders of the “Red” and “Green” Sabah ICs, whose voting rights are suspect.
Red IC holders are non-Malaysian permanent residents, while green IC holders are non-Malaysian temporary residents.
“I repeat the call for the National Registration Department (NRD) and the Election Commission (EC) to conduct a joint investigation to determine if these 74,988 voters are genuine voters who have been given their ICs and/or citizenship by following the proper procedures,” Ong said in a statement here.
“I stand ready to present all of my evidence to the Sabah RCI if I am asked to testify,” he added, referring to the ongoing Royal Commission of Inquiry probe on allegations that foreigners in Sabah are given citizenships in exchange for their votes.
During a recent RCI hearing, NRD assistant chief in the IC division Sabah and Sarawak Ruslan Alias revealed a list containing 130,459 problematic old IC numbers, divided into three lists called P1, P2 and P3.
P1 contains 51,300 old IC numbers with no information, or partially available information in the NRD. P2 contains 62,500 of these numbers, making the total 113,850. P3 contains 16,669 numbers which have been terminated since 1996.
Ong, who is Malaysian Electoral Roll Analysis Project (MERAP) director, later revealed that the watchdog found that 60,673 of the “problematic” IC holders in lists P1, P2 and P3 are registered as voters in Sabah’s electoral roll in the first quarter of 2012.
He later revealed the presence of 7,475 voters in Sabah with Red and Green ICs.
After expanding his search, Ong said today he discovered that the same problem affects voter rolls outside of Sabah, including in Sarawak and the peninsula.
In his statement today, the DAP strategist said a search on Quarter 1 of the 2012 electoral roll in the peninsula showed that there are 6,840 voters carrying P1 to P3 old IC numbers, as well as Red and Green ICs.
“The state of Selangor tops the list with 2412 such voters (35.4 per cent) followed by Johor with 1190 such voters (17.4 per cent) and KL with 952 (13.9 per cent).
“The evidence thus far reveals that that a total of 74,988 potentially dubious voters – P1 to P3 and ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ old ICs – in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. (60, 673 P1 to P3 voters in Sabah, 7,475 ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ voters in Sabah, 6,840 P1 to P3 and ‘Red’ and ‘Green’ voters in the rest of Malaysia),” Ong said.
Despite pressure from rights group and the opposition, EC officials have refused to respond to calls for a voter roll clean-up, arguing that some of the complaints raised were untrue while calling the high percentage of irregularities in the roll “normal”.

Bersih vows to ‘shame’ GE13 candidates involved in political violence

MARCH 23, 2013
Ambiga speaking at the press conference today where she said lawmakers should come out to condemn political violence. On the left is Bersih co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said.KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Any Election 2013 candidate deemed responsible for violent incidents during political events will be “named and shamed” on social media sites like Twitter by polls watchdog Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan warned today.
The Bersih co-chairman said the move was part of the group’s response to the failure by local authorities and national leaders to condemn and stop the recent escalation of political violence.
“It is incumbent upon the lawmakers to come out to condemn it (political violence), it’s endemic,” she told a press conference at the launch of the coalition’s “Reject Political Violence” campaign at the KL Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall here.
“Silence is not an option,” the former Bar Council president said, adding that inaction against the violence was tantamount to “participation in the act of violence” itself.
Ambiga said it had become standard practice by national leaders to absolve themselves from the violent conduct of their supporters despite agreeing to ethical conduct during elections.
Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, along with leaders from BN component parties, recently signed Transparency International-Malaysia’s Election Integrity Pledge, in a move they claimed displayed their seriousness in playing fair in the upcoming polls.
But Najib and his coalition have come under heavy fire for their muted response to several violent attacks on the opposition, allegedly perpetrated by BN supporters or members of hardline groups linked to Umno, the ruling coalition’s Malay lynchpin.
At the press conference, Bersih listed down several violent incidents that have taken place since January including physical assaults on Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in Johor where purported Umno members threw stones, woods and firecrackers.
We remind all sides that political violence is a violation of not only the rights of the candidates contesting in the elections, but also that of voters. — Bersih 2.0
At another incident in Pahang last month, Anwar’s daughter, Nurul Izzah, was almost physically assaulted by Umno supporters and although her supporters managed to prevent it, the PKR vice-president continued to be verbally abused.
On March 12, suspected Umno members were again implicated in a violent attack against the opposition, including a threat to torch PKR’s headquarters just days after the party’s leadership alleged assault by BN supporters in Malacca.
Members from right-wing groups pelted rocks, sticks and traffic cones on the PKR building. A few torched the party’s flag. The incident took place under police observation. No action, however, was taken.
PKR leaders have blamed the police’s “soft” response to previous such incidents for the escalating violence, saying their inaction as well as the silence from the Attorney-General’s Chambers had encouraged and emboldened Umno supporters to attack their PR counterparts.
Party strategy director Rafizi Ramli recently said that police inaction had forced Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders to hold Najib, who has been silent on the matter, responsible for the violence.
Bersih leaders today called the use of violence as political tool is a form of dirty politics.
“Bersih 2.0 is appalled that political leaders are condoning the violence by making excuses for the perpetrators or by staying silent. We remind all sides that political violence is a violation of not only the rights of the candidates contesting in the elections, but also that of voters,” the group said in a statement.
Ambiga said the group will be releasing a model code of conduct for candidates contesting in Election 2013 as part of its campaign to ensure clean and fair elections.
Those found violating the code of conduct will be publicly “named and shamed” through social media sites like Twitter, she said.
Observers believe Election 2013 will be the country’s tightest race to date. BN lost its two-thirds supermajority in the last national polls and five states.
Najib is facing tremendous pressure to restore the ruling coalition’s strong mandate. Incidentally, observers said the upcoming polls will likely be the “dirtiest”.

Thursday, March 21, 2013






     马华总会长蔡细历批评林吉祥“打了就跑(hit and run)”。这句话不错,在我国政治里,有不少人是该被打的。打到了恶势力,稳定了江山,交给了下属接手,当然要跑去别的地方再打,这是“开荒定律(Law of Pioneering)”,可见林吉祥已经掌握这门学问!

     蔡细历也批评林吉祥是一触即走(Touch and Go)。“一触即走”是一个很差的翻译,正确翻译应该是“一触即通”!蔡细历讲得好,林吉祥是“Touch and Go”,以我国的状况,尤其主要的领域,如同几条动脉和静脉严重阻塞了,那么国家需要林吉祥这个“一触即通”,他一出手,国家的动静脉即通了,那不失为一件好事呀!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Video expose implicates Sarawak CM, kin in alleged land graft

UPDATED @ 01:53:25 PM 19-03-2013
MARCH 19, 2013
A new video implicates Taib and his family in shady land deals.KUALA LUMPUR, March 19 — An international activist organisation provided today video proof of shady land deals in Sarawak that implicates the state’s Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his family, with parts of the clip aired on the Al-Jazeera news channel at 10am.
In a covert investigation, Global Witness (GW) captured on video dealings with Taib’s cousins and several other intermediaries to acquire thousands of hectares of forest land that the London-based activist said revealed the systematic corruption and illegality that lay at the heart of Malaysia’s biggest state.
“This film proves for the first time what has long been suspected — that the small elite around Chief Minister Taib are systematically abusing the region’s people and natural resources to line their own pockets,” said Tom Picken, forest team leader at Global Witness, in a statement released today. 
“It shows exactly how they do it and it shows the utter contempt they hold for Malaysia’s laws, people and environment.”
In a 16-minute video clip, GW investigators, who posed as foreign investors, recorded snippets of their conversation with Taib’s cousins and lawyers, to purchase the land for hefty profit and which the environmental campaigner said would displace thousands of the indigenous people living there.
A recorded conversion with sisters Fatimah Abdul Rahman and Norlia Abdul Rahman — who are the daughters of the state’s former Chief Minister Tun Abdul Rahman Ya’akub and first cousins with the incumbent CM — provided a very telling glimpse into the means of how business is conducted in Sarawak to enrich the ruling elite.
Fatimah: Ample Agro belongs to my family, but my sisters, the four elder ones are in the company. The Land and Survey Department, they are the ones who issue this licence... Of course it’s from the CM’s directive but I can speak to the CM very easily.
GW: Can you?
Fatimah: Yes.
GW: And you think he’ll agree?
Fatimah: Yeah, he was the one who gave us the land. He’s my cousin [laughs]. His mother and my father are sisters and brothers, siblings. He’s my cousin so it’s quite easy.
The sisters said they were owners of 5,000 hectares of land given to them for a nominal sum by Taib, and which they were looking to sell under their company, Ample Agro, which they admitted to be a shell company.
GW: You’re proposing basically, Ample Agro, which is your company OK, sell your company, rather than the land. And your company owns the land?
Norlia: Yes... I bought that company as a shell company for this land.
Their lawyer, Alvin Chong, was also recorded in the video telling the GW “investors” how to evade real property gains taxes.
Another lawyer, Huang Lung Ong of Huang & Company Advocates, was also recorded trying to sell land for his uncle, a prominent businessman in Sibu, Datuk Hii Yii Peng, said to have close ties with Taib, saying that at least 10 per cent of the sale price would have to go to the chief minister as commission.
In its statement, GW alleged that senior government officials and a timber company executive said it was standard practice in Sarawak for companies to pay a personal fee to Abdul Taib in return for approval of timber and plantation licences.
London lawyers representing the chief minister have denied the allegations, the NGO reported.
“The Government of Sarawak issues licences for land in very controlled circumstances,” the law firm, Mishcon de Reya, was quoted as saying. “This is an administrative exercise, not political patronage.
“Our client never demands or accepts bribes for the grant of licences and leases.
“He has not issued any ‘directive’... illegally to benefit his cousins.”
Taib, 76, has been Sarawak chief minister for 32 years, having taken office in March 1981.
His personal wealth has stirred much controversy, with detractors alleging he gained much of it through dubious means.


  • 安華宣佈林吉祥來屆大選上陣振林山後,與林吉祥互擁打氣。(圖:星洲日報)

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Coming Tsunami in the Catholic Church

(Stock Free Images)
I believe God showed me He is sending a wave of His Spirit to bring reformation.
More than 10 years ago, I had the most vivid dream I’ve ever experienced. I told my wife about it the moment I woke up because it was so profound. The scenes are still etched in my memory.
I dreamed I was standing inside the Vatican. Keep in mind that I’ve never been a Catholic, and I’ve never visited Italy. But in my dream, I was in an ornate hall decorated with marble columns and a fancy paved floor. I walked over to a huge, arched window where I could see a panoramic view of Vatican City.
Suddenly a huge wave appeared on the horizon. A tsunami was coming. The wave got closer and closer, but I did not feel panic, even though I could hear people running and yelling as they prepared for the impact. I stood near a wall and braced myself.
When the wave hit, the palatial building began creaking and tilting. Antique tables, chairs, candelabra and statues began sliding to one side as the floor moved. Chandeliers were hanging at odd angles. Within minutes the floor was perpendicular to the ground and more furniture came crashing down. The movement continued until the floor became the ceiling. More religious icons, statues and paintings fell and broke into pieces.
In my dream, I did not feel anxious about this catastrophe. Nor did I ask the obvious questions: How could a tsunami reach that far inland since the Vatican is almost 20 miles from the Mediterranean coast? How could a tsunami turn a huge building upside down? And why was there no water anywhere? I knew in my dream that what I had witnessed was a spiritual event.
At that point I heard a commotion at the other end of the hall. When I got close enough, I discovered a group of Catholic nuns and priests who were praying in the Holy Spirit. They had their hands raised and they were worshiping God fervently, as if they had experienced another Pentecost.
The atmosphere was spiritually charged. Yet, as these people prayed, a man dressed in ornate religious garb began to shout angrily at them in Italian. He was obviously not happy with the way these Catholics were behaving. This upset me, and I began to rebuke him. I was speaking in my prayer language, so I didn’t know what I was saying. But I knew God was rebuking the leaders who were opposing His work.
At that point, I woke up. And I felt the Holy Spirit say to me: “I am going to turn the Catholic Church upside down.”
I don’t believe all dreams are from God. Sometimes our brains just think in Technicolor while we sleep. Other times a dream is simply a crazy subconscious reaction to the pepperoni pizza we ate before bedtime. But in this case, I have come to believe God was showing me something big that He plans to do in my lifetime.
Pope John Paul II was still in office when I had this dream. Pope Benedict has since come and gone, and this week, cardinals are electing a new leader—at a time when the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics have been reeling from reports of child abuse and sex scandals among clergy.
I believe a great shaking is coming to the Catholic system, and it will have both positive and negative impact. God is not pleased with man-made religious structures (in any denomination) that hinder people from knowing Him, and He is serious when He asks us to tear down the idols we have created to take His place. In the end, God always judges idolatry.
On the flip side, He also cares about the millions of people in the Catholic Church who call upon the name of Jesus and who desire His presence. For them, the coming wave of God’s power will unleash a new hunger for the Holy Spirit and God’s unadulterated Word. As corruption is exposed and structures are shaken, I expect to see Catholics around the world experience a 21st-century reformation movement. Traditionalists will fight it, of course, but dead religion is powerless when faced with genuine spiritual awakening. Young reformers from various nations will challenge the system and say, like Moses said to Pharaoh, “Let My people go” (Ex. 5:1).
I know there are many of my evangelical brothers who have written off Catholics as heretics, and they leave no room for redemption or reformation. They’d rather see the whole system crash and burn. Perhaps they forgot that we have our own idols, sex scandals and institutional corruption, and that we need a spiritual tsunami to turn us upside down as well. I’m bracing myself as I pray. Send the wave, Lord.
J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of The Mordecai Project( His latest book, Fearless Daughters of the Bible, will be released in Spanish next month from Casa Creacion. You can follow him on Twitter at leegrady. 


  • 林冠英首度蒞临芦骨,掀起一阵不小的“林冠英旋风"。(图:星洲日报)
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Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Malaysia's U.S. Propaganda

Kuala Lumpur paid American conservative journalists to smear an opposition leader.

A general election is expected next month in the Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia, and that usually means political shenanigans—abuse of national security laws, media manipulation and character assassination. After the last election in 2008, when the ruling coalition barely held on to power, public anger at such practices prompted Prime Minister Najib Razak to redraft laws and reform the electoral system. However, new revelations that his government paid American journalists to attack opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim raise questions whether those changes went far enough.
In January, conservative American blogger Joshua Treviño belatedly registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, revealing that from 2008-2011 he was paid $389,724.70, as well as a free trip to Malaysia, to provide "public relations and media consultancy" services to the Malaysian government.
These consisted of writing for a website called Malaysia Matters, now defunct, as well as channeling $130,950 to other conservative writers who wrote pro-government pieces for other newspapers and websites. When questioned in 2011 by the Politico website about whether Malaysian interests funded his activities, Mr. Treviño flatly denied it: "I was never on any 'Malaysian entity's payroll,' and I resent your assumption that I was."
Associated Press
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim
The campaign was more targeted than the Malaysian ruling coalition's domestic attacks on Mr. Anwar. Mr. Treviño's site mainly went after the opposition leader for anti-Semitic remarks and his alliance with the Islamist party PAS, and even accused him of links to terrorists through the International Institute of Islamic Thought. Mr. Anwar has made anti-Semitic comments—though that's in part to fend off domestic accusations that he's too cozy with Zionists. He also has ties to organizations that have taken Saudi money, but the suggestion that he somehow has "ties to terrorism" is preposterous.
The site also defended an outrageous charge of sodomy brought against Mr. Anwar from 2008-2012, and it criticized the U.S. State Department and The Wall Street Journal for taking Mr. Anwar's side. These postings were clearly aimed at sowing doubt among other would-be Anwar defenders in the U.S., especially on the right of the U.S. political spectrum.
Mr. Treviño paid other writers who know almost nothing about Malaysia but mimicked his propaganda. The New Ledger, edited by Ben Domenech, was even more vociferous, calling Mr. Anwar a "vile anti-Semite and cowardly woman-abuser." One posting was entitled, "Muslim Brotherhood's terrorist money flowing to Anwar Ibrahim." According to Mr. Treviño's filing, he paid Mr. Domenech $36,000 for "opinion writing." Three contributors of anti-Anwar items to the New Ledger—Rachel Motte, Christopher Badeaux and Brad Jackson—were paid $9,500, $11,000 and $24,700 respectively.
Mr. Treviño was initially paid by public relations multinational APCO Worldwide, which had a longstanding contract with the Malaysian government. APCO's Kuala Lumpur representative through 2010, Paul Stadlen, now works in Prime Minister Najib's office. David All, who at the time ran his own PR firm and collaborated on Malaysia Matters, also provided cash.
But from 2009-11, the Malaysian money came through Fact-Based Communications, which under the leadership of journalist John Defterios produced programs on client countries for CNN, CNBC and the BBC. After this was revealed in 2011, the three networks dropped all FBC programs, and Atlantic Media Company President Justin Smith resigned from its board.
Influence-peddling has a long and sordid history in Washington, and governments that use repressive methods at home yet want to remain on friendly terms with the U.S. typically have the biggest bankrolls. It's not unheard of for PR operators to pay less reputable journalists and think-tankers to write favorable coverage, as the Jack Abramoff case in the mid-2000s showed.
The Malaysian scheme, however, is notable because it drew in respected writers such as Rachel Ehrenfeld, who has contributed to the Journal in the past and took $30,000, Claire Berlinski, who got $6,750, and Seth Mandel, an editor at Commentary magazine, who was paid $5,500. Some of the articles appeared in well-known publications such as National Review and the Washington Times.
Mr. Najib's falling popularity at home suggests his days as Prime Minister could be numbered. The irony is that he was more democratic and played a more responsible role in the region than his predecessors. Even opposition figures have quietly admitted to us that he has steered Malaysia in the right direction. That should have been more than enough for a legitimate public relations operation to work with. Resorting to underhanded tactics to undermine the opposition has only backfired for Mr. Najib, at home and abroad.

A version of this article appeared March 9, 2013, on page A12 in the U.S. edition of The Wall Street Journal, with the headline: Malaysia's U.S. Propaganda.