Major Surprises in Malaysia Election’s Shock Result

fountainhall
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#1 Major Surprises in Malaysia Election’s Shock Result

Postby fountainhall » Thu May 10, 2018 5:54 am

The ruling party which has held power in Malaysia for more than 60 years since Independence has finally been kicked out! At yesterday’s general election a coalition of smaller parties beat out the corrupt and scandal-ridden government of Najib Rajak.

The first surprise is that the coalition was led by former strong-man Prime Minister, the 92-year old Mahatir Mohammed. Najib had been his chosen successor, but he turned against the younger man in the wake of the massive corruption that has come to light over the last few years.

The second is that he has claimed he will resign after two years and install his former Deputy of 20 years ago, Anwar aibrahim, in his place. This is even more extraordinary because Anwar has been in jail for much of the last 20 years on what are generally accepted as trumped-up charges of sodomy. Ironically, it was Mahatir that started this witchhunt against Anwar who has been leading the opposition from his jail cell and with assistance from his wife who became an MP after his jailing. Now Mahatir says Anwar will be pardoned next month. In the interim, Anwar’s wife will be named Deoity Prime Minister. Quite extraordinary!

Will this do anything to change the country’s notorious anti-gay legislation, the hangover from British Colonial rule? Given that Mahatir did nothing to change it in his more than 20 years in power, he himself is unlikely to lead any change. But if Anwar truly is to become his successor, given all he has been through I think there might finally be a chance, although much will depend on the influence of the religious parties in the new partliament.

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#2 Re: Major Surprises in Malaysia Election’s Shock Result

Postby fountainhall » Fri May 18, 2018 10:39 am

I have just watched an extensive interview with the now-officially pardoned Anwar Ibrahim on CNN. I remain amazed that this man, once only a heartbeat away from the leadership of his country, who for 20 years has been vilified, wrongly imprisoned twice on trumped up sodomy charges and who by all accounts should be extremely bitter about his one-time mentor, Mahatir Mohammed - now Prime Minister again, remains committed to bringing back the rule of law, the independence of the judiciary and the rooting out of the extreme corruption of recent years. I have started to hold out a degree of hope that the anti-sodomy law will finally be struck from Malaysia's statue books.

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#3 Re: Major Surprises in Malaysia Election’s Shock Result

Postby fountainhall » Sun May 20, 2018 10:54 am

The drama being played out south of our border in Malaysia is increasingly becoming a tragic/comedy of Shakespearean proportions - albeit one that may have a happy ending by putting the country on a more liberal course. What was long assumed, Anwar's two sodomy convictions have been confirmed as "trumped up and politically driven". This man was for years placed in solitary confinement and forbidden even from seeing his wife and young children. Yet like Nelson Mandela, he has been released, pardoned and now stands in waiting as the country's hope for the future. As he says in an interview in today's Observer -

“I’ve always talked about democracy, freedom, liberal ideas, but there is a difference when you taste it: you value these ideals more,” said Anwar. “When it is denied to you, freedom is a torture and also a reason for survival.”

The eminence grise in this story, Mahatir Mohammed, was the man who put Ansar in jail and who, following Anwar's first release in 2004, famously continued his tirade. “Imagine having a gay prime minister. Nobody would be safe.” Yet it was Mahatir who made the first approach to Anwar that they join forces to defeat another of Mahatir's proteges, Najib. Anwar says he has forgiven Mahatir but his former mentor has never apologised for his actions.

Now the noose is closing around Najib, the outgoing Prime Minister at the centre of the 1MDB scandal where US$4 billion went missing from a state fund. Najib has never answered satisfactorily how $681 million ended up in his own personal account, nor how his stepson found the cash to bankroll Martin Scorsese's movie with Leonardo DiCaprio, The Wolf of Wall Street. DiCaprio also received a Picasso and a Basquiat collage worth $12 million, artworks he has now surrendered to US authorities who were the first to break news of the massive financial scandal.

Two days ago a raid was mounted on Najib's homes. Malaysians are gripped at news of the haul which included 284 Hermes bags and 72 bags of cash, jewellery and watches.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/ ... e-malaysia

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#4 Re: Major Surprises in Malaysia Election’s Shock Result

Postby Gaybutton » Sun May 20, 2018 12:09 pm

fountainhall wrote:Two days ago a raid was mounted on Najib's homes. Malaysians are gripped at news of the haul which included 284 Hermes bags and 72 bags of cash, jewellery and watches.

Why am I thinking of Imelda Marcos . . . ?

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#5 Re: Major Surprises in Malaysia Election’s Shock Result

Postby fountainhall » Mon May 21, 2018 10:33 am

Gaybutton wrote:Why am I thinking of Imelda Marcos . . . ?

I remember from an episode of Sex and the City around 2002 that a Louis Vuitton hand bag then cost around US$4,000. The Hermes Birkin bags now start at around $12,000 and go up to as much as $300,000. Even at an average of $50,000, Najib's wife's collection cost over $14 million! Nice to have the power to loot a Treasury!

Which reminds me. Has there been any action on the Thailand Deputy Prime Minister's luxury watch collection said to be worth US$1.5 million? It was a major media scandal in January and was referred to the anti-graft agency. Since then I've heard nothing. Buried under some s--t, no doubt!


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