SAPP pulls out of BN; Blogger Kickdefella detained

  • Najib new Finance Minister as part of transition deal
  • He faces challenge of global financial markets in panic
  • Abdullah goes to defence, may leave earlier
  • PM describes Anwar as “threat to security”
  • Over 30 MPs to back habeas corpus application for Teresa Kok
  • Anwar will succeed, says Nik Aziz
  • Khairy, Khir Toyo gunning for Umno Youth’s top post
  • 300 attend DAP candle-light vigil in Penang last night
  • Mahathir “persuaded” to rejoin Umno
  • ACA begins investigations into “cross-over” offers
  • Three leading Muslim NGOs condemn ISA arrests

2056: Zorro Unmasked carries an account by Marina Lee of her impression of Raja Petra after visiting him yesterday.

He has lost weight and his sugar level has dived from 8 to 4. I urged him to eat and to drink a lot of water. In fact we brought him his favorites: a 6-pack coke, chocolates, fresh plums, shepherd’s pie and caramel custard. Raja Petra asked us to take them back. He said that those interrogating him would try to use these food items as inducements to get him to co-operate. RPK said he did not want to be beholden to them. They will use favours they grudgingly grant and use these as trade offs.

He complained that the food supplied is such that our two cats will not even eat. But I encouraged him that despite that, he has to eat. He replied that he has no appetite and that most of the time he is tired as they are interrogating him incessantly. They come to his cell (8X8 concrete box without windows) and harass him at all hours of the day and night taking hourly turns having a video camera at all times.  Full text here.

2045: Three prominent Muslim groups have so far condemned the ISA arrests: Jim, Abim and Muslim Professionals Forum.

Says Abim in its press statement:

At no time should a person be detained without undergoing due process of law, in which the right to fair hearing is of utmost importance, and criminal prosecution initiated for unreasonable purposes. Such an action, regardless of the initiating party, goes against the principles of natural justice and the Syari’ah which mandates impartiality, justice and fairness.

We strongly condemn the detentions of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Seputeh MP Teresa Kok under the draconian law of the Internal Security Act (ISA). ISA is a draconian instrument that goes against all tenets of fairness, justice and demoting the rule of law. It promotes cruelty and injustice by denying its detainees the right to be heard and a fair trial. In addition, the ISA is also prone to political abuse and there have been instances where the detainees have been mistreated.

2008: Blogger Rocky reports on his last conversation with Kickdefella:

Sheih told me last night he was told the police were looking for him. “Someone who claimed to be a cop came to the office. I missed them by a whisker”.

He said he was not going to run from the law. “If they ask me to go to the police station, I will go.”

In a blog posting on 13 September, Kickdefella wrote:

My fellow Malaysian,

This country is indeed still in distress, politically and economically. Yet, I beg all of you, please let us not tarnish this beautiful Ramadan with violent actions. Let us just do this changes via a whisper. Let us not shout for change but let us beg for one.

1951: Kelantan deputy police chief SAC II Amir Hamzah Ibrahim said he could not confirm blogger Kickdefella’s detention for sedition as the Kelantan police were not informed about it, reports The Star online. The blogger’s wife, however, was informed that he was being arrested for sedition.

1932: Blog reader Sewel tells us:

Anwar, as the leader of the Opposition, is within his rights to invite members of the Government to join his party and form a government. There is no law against it.

So in essence if Anwar has the numbers he just needs to advise the Speaker of the House and the PM and seek an audience with the Agung. The Agung then notifies the Speaker to undertake a head count of members for and against the Government and the PM either survives the motion or a new PM and cabinet is elected. It’s that simple.

1913: More than 30 MPs have agreed to put forward a harbeas corpus application to cancel the ISA detention of Teresa Kok, reports Suara Keadilan. Among those present at the media conference in Parliament were Khalid Ibrahim, Guan Eng, Hatta Ramli, Karpal – and Zaid Ibrahim. “This is the first time that the nation has detained a woman MP using the ISA,” observed Kit Siang, who lamented the absence of BN MPs at the caucus. Meanwhile, Teresa has lodged a police report against Utusan Melayu, columnist Zaini Hassan and Khir Toyo for criminal defamation.

1911: Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy is going for Umno Youth’s top post.

1849: Kickdefella’s wife believes that he was arrested for sedition, reports Malaysiakini.

Abdullah’s description of Anwar as a “threat to the country’s economy as well as a possible threat to (national) security” now sounds ominous.

1820: Rocky’s Bru has revealed that blogger Kickdefella was picked up by police. He was detained in Kota Baru at 5.00pm today.

1815: The ACA has begun investigations into claims by BN MPs that they are being offered money by Pakatan Rakyat to cross over, reports The Star.

1811: Sapp has come up with an 8-point declaration:

  • Good governance and non-racial politics,
  • Autonomy for Sabah,
  • 20% oil royalties,
  • Return of Labuan,
  • Review of unfair laws and detrimental departments,
  • Borneonisation of the federal civil service,
  • Solution to the illegal immigrants issue, and
  • Redress economic and social imbalances.

1804: Sapp president Yong Teck Lee explains why his party has pulled out of the BN:

The BN has lost its “BN spirit”. It was not that the people who did not want the BN, it was the BN who abandoned the people. In spite of repeated appeals from some BN members to other BN leaders to be more sensitive to the peoples’ feelings, these leaders continue to treat the people with contempt. Perhaps, after 50 years of uninterrupted government, some BN leaders have got it in their heads that they have a divine right to rule.
Full statement here.

1733: Pas information chief Mahfuz Omar says the Cabinet reshuffle reflects Abdullah’s weakened position. Mahfuz is worried that the PM will use the Defence Ministry as a lifeline to thwart Pakatan’s goal of a political transition.

1713: As alluded to earlier, Sapp has pulled out of the BN, a day after its leaders attended a Sabah DAP forum. It will become an independent party. Party deputy chief Raymond Tan is quitting the party. It’s been another dramatic day.

1712: “Panic is mounting in (global) financial markets,” according to an economic report I have just received. Dozens of US banks and many hedge funds are in serious trouble. “The fallout of the financial turmoil in the U.S. is becoming global with stock markets all over the world plunging.”

The Malaysian economy is unlikely to be spared from the fallout. Has the PM, now safely ensconsed in the Defence Ministry, knowingly allowed Najib to assume the hot seat while he “monitors his performance” to see whether his deputy is fit to take over?

1618: Khir Toyo has reiterated his stand that he is going for Umno Youth’s post, according to Bernama. That explains his recent “high profile”.  The other hopefuls are Mukhriz and Padang Besar Umno division chief Zahidi Zainul Abidin.

1608: The KLCI has dropped to 1003 now from 1008 around lunch-time.

1600: PM Abdullah Badawi has described Anwar as a “threat to the country’s economy as well as a possible threat to (national) security.” (Malaysiakini)

1556: The global economy slowdown is likely to affect the Malaysian economy and pose a serious challenge for new Finance Minister Najib. It’s not going to be smooth sailing for the new man unless far-reaching pro-people economic policies are introduced to benefit ordinary Malaysian and to help workers and disadvantaged groups cope with rising prices. Does Najib have the right experience for such a critical time?

1523: But why is Abdullah taking over at Defence at this time?

1456: The Sabah DAP forum in Kota Kinabalu yesterday was attended by more a thousand people, according to Sapp. Guest speakers included Yong Teck Lee, Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim and Jeffery Kitingan. Kit Siang presented the closing speech.

1451: By now, we can see what kind of impact 916 has had on the government: The ISA arrests, Mahathir’s planned re-entry into Umno, Zaid’s resignation, Sapp reconsidering its position in the BN today, and now this Cabinet surprise. Are they all isolated incidents or isn’t it more logical to see a common thread running through them: the demand for change from the people post-8 March?

1445: Abdullah is taking over Najib’s defence portfolio.

1434: It may be seen as a serious weakening of Abdullah’s own position in the Cabinet in relation to Najib. The PM says he will not stay on after 2010 but “may go earlier”. Najib has strengthened his hand in government. Perhaps the hope is that this Cabinet swap will pre-empt the Mahathir-inspired faction, Razaleigh and Muhyiddin from gaining momentum and pacify Najib until Abdullah is ready to hand over. In one way, it may be seen as history repeating itself. Abdullah’s current position may be reminscent of the tail-end of Tunku’s tenure in 1969-70 when Najib’s father Abdul Razak for all intents and purposes held real power even though the Tunku only stepped down later. But has Abdullah got a trick or two up his sleeve?

1428: Najib is the new Finance Minister with immediate effect, according to my media sources. I interpret this move as giving him more power in the government as part of the transition deal, perhaps to pacify him until such time as the PM steps aside.

1424: The Sapp meeting scheduled for today is to discuss the party’s status in the BN. Meanwhile, Sapp leaders were at a Sabah DAP forum last night titled “Malaysia Towards a New Era”. Kit Siang referred to Yong’s presence as part of the “Pakatan Rakyat Plus Team”.

1414: Mahathir has been “persuaded” to rejoin Umno, reports the Malaysian Insider. “God willing, he will submit his membership application form soon, possibly before Aidilfitri,” it quotes Mukhriz as saying.

1404: Pastor Sivin Kit of the Bangsar Lutheran Church has set up a “prayer wall” on his blog, where you can post prayers for the immediate release of the ISA detainees.

1358: A Muslim NGO, Jamaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), has come out strongly to condemn the ISA detentions of Teresa Kok, Raja Petra and others. It has also questioned the detention of journalist Tan Hoon Cheng. Read the full statement here.

Firman Allah s.w.t. dalam surah Al-Hujurat ayat 6, penyebaran perkhabaran dan maklumat yang tidak sahih lagi meragukan menyebabkan berlakunya pertimbangan yang tidak adil, lantaran mengundang kepada musibah fitnah yang melanda masyarakat.

Riwayat hadith Ibnu Majah dan Abu Dawud menyebutkan bahawa kadi yang menetapkan hukuman kepada seseorang bedasarkan sumber-sumber bukti yang tidak benar akan dicampakkan ke dalam api neraka sewajarnya cukup menjadi pengajaran bagi kerajaan untuk mengutamakan prinsip keadilan Islam yang rasional berbanding dengan sentimen-sentimen perkauman yang rapuh dalam menjaga kemaslahatan masyarakat.

Regarding the Azan issue, JIM says:

Penahanan Ahli Parlimen Seputeh, Teresa Kok pula merupakan satu ketidakadilan kerana dakwaan bekas Menteri Besar Selangor keatasnya telah dinafikan sekeras-kerasnya. Malah, masjid di Damansara yang dikatakan disuruh perlahankan bunyi azannya telah memberi penjelasan bahawa azan tidak berbunyi dengan kuat kerana alat pembesar suara azannya mengalami kesulitan teknikal, bukannya kerana ditentang penduduk bukan Islam.

Penduduk bukan Islam di kawasan perumahan sekitar sebuah masjid di Puchong pula dilaporkan hanya memohon supaya diperlahankan penggunaan pembesar suara untuk majlis kuliah bacaan ayat al-Quran, bukannya azan itu sendiri.

1347: An hour-long DAP candle-light vigil near Gurney Drive in Penang last night drew about 300 people. Among those who addressed the crowd were MP Liew Chin Tong and a couple of Penang state assembly members.  As the crowd swelled and the singing began, police asked the organisers to end the event. Parking tickets were issued and one state government official received a parking ticket!

1336: Waiting for word on the outcome of a press conference in KL involving a senior cabinet minister.

1335:  Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) is expected to make a crucial decision this afternoon on its position in the Barisan Nasional (The Star online). Sapp’s two MPs have indicated they will be present at the meeting.

1332: Nik Aziz is confident Anwar will succeed in his plan to take over the federal government, the NST reports:

Nik Aziz said the Sept 16 date was just a “technical” point when told that Anwar had failed to honour his claim that he would be in charge on this date.

“His failure today is nothing… He did not lie to the people as he had tried his best but his efforts were curtailed by others,” Nik Aziz said.

“I support the move to form a new government at the federal level. I will pray that Anwar’s effort will succeed.”

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18 Sep 2008 11.44am

MM, I, too, hope that Pak Lah will be our Gorbachev. He is in the best position to make things right.

The 2004 GE showed how many of us trusted him to free us from the shackles of corruption and oppression. Now it is time for him to fulfil his promises.

18 Sep 2008 11.34am

I think between DSAI and AAB the poker game has ended. I think AAB knows DSAI has the numbers. Otherwise, no need to make the threat. Between them, the cards are all shown, it’s now AAB daring DSAI to take all the money on the table. …

18 Sep 2008 11.10am

Anonymous Says:

The Coward Flip Flop is nothing but indeed a Coward Flip Flop and now intended to cling on to power via hiding behind the use of ISA knowing fully very well that his Government has (perhaps) technically collapsed.

What is the big deal in Swapping the Portfolio from a … incompetent Flip Flop to another … incompetent …. Finance Minister, do you think there could be any improvement to the lives of Malaysians, could there be any relief to the hardships suffered by the people of Malaysia with this swap??? It could just be worse off….??

18 Sep 2008 9.29am

For those rightfully MPs, please do not hesitate to reform Malaysia to a BETTER MALAYSIA. Anwar is not God, he could not do it alone, he just merely started the change as the power still lies in your hand. With your righful act, you’ll be rewarded, not only in heaven but now in the land of great, Malaysia! Trust it because nothing is greater than you and your creator. Don’t look right and left, you make the decision base on your rightful thinking. Coward does not decide but not you great Mr MP. Just look at all those wrongly prisoned… Read more »

18 Sep 2008 5.45am

This obnoxious piece of legislation was not even drafted by the Malaysian Parliament. Correct me if I am wrong. At that time of desperate circumstances, the ISA was specifically introduced in order to meet the Communist threat. It was never intended to be used on ordinary civilians. However the British failed to repeal this law and the Alliance Party, and later on the BN conveniently carried it on up to this present day. The Communist threat had long ago been overcome yet the state of Emergency is still not been officially declared over. This is a negligence on the part… Read more »

Kah Seng
18 Sep 2008 3.26am

11 NGOs including CIJ, Komas, Y4C came out with a statement that accepted the crossover of MPs, provided they explain to their constituents: “Whilst this is not the most ideal path for a new democratic government to be formed, we are of the view that there are several historical and present mitigating circumstances that can make such a crossover not unethical, unprincipled or immoral as alleged by some government officials, mainstream press, commentators and activists. …” For full statement, read Would it be interesting to organize bloggers to voice whether they endorse, not endorse, or reserve their opinions? PKR’s… Read more »

18 Sep 2008 1.47am

this is worrying…. i actually think there’s a sudden effectiveness from UMNO to diffuse DSAI after 916… they seems to have done more in a day than they have been able to do for months….

feels like they r outdoing themselves….could it be a puppet master’s return??


18 Sep 2008 1.38am

Anil, My contribution to the great transition debate: If Abdullah Badawi is hinting that the ISA would be used on Anwar then there should be early strategies to preempt that. He did the same thing with RPK –dropping clear hints of the arrest. Should we tell Adullah that we know what his gameplan is — to take down the whole country with him — as he experiences the free fall from UMNO and the BN. Using the ISA is pure retribution, just a cowardly strategy. The whole country will just suffer more turmoil over one mediocre and incompetent leader who… Read more »

18 Sep 2008 12.26am

After thinking about it some more, I think DSAI is keeping the list to protect himself and other opposition MPs. To me it seems like DSAI and AAB are playing a game of chicken, with AAB came out today telling DSAI: “You move, you go to jail.” Which also explains why DSAI wants to meet with AAB. It is to end this game of chicken. That’s the only logical way to avoid the bad outcomes for both sides. But apparently AAB is in no mood to entertain this suggestion and dare DSAI to make a move. Never in my mind… Read more »

Anak Pulau Pinang
Anak Pulau Pinang
17 Sep 2008 10.47pm

Watch Out. Badawi’s statement that DSAI is a threat to our economy and “national security” stinks of a deaparate move by Badawi and UMNO to remove DSAI from the scene – probably for a long time. The PR should not waste any more time. An approach must be made to the Agong to have this situation brought under control. The BN govt seems to have no care … – just as long as they can cling to power and money. … with Badawi now taking over the reins of Defence. … Quit badawi, your fight for this seat that you… Read more »

17 Sep 2008 9.31pm

That Khir Toyo is a coward and his guilt is admitted via removal of the relevant posting of M/S Teresa Kok on his blog.

This posting can not be found at archive of his blog

simon li
simon li
17 Sep 2008 9.26pm

As history has shown starkly, time and again the last frenzied throes of a desperate, drowning man are the most violent and beyond any restraint!

The mind is gone, and all care abandoned for the consequences of his final actions even to himself.

17 Sep 2008 9.01pm

Finally, SAPP is out. The domino effect will start soon….

simon li
simon li
17 Sep 2008 8.37pm

PKR, PAS, DAP and all Reformasi supporters must be prepared for the next move by the “nice fella”. ALL THE SIGNS ARE THERE that (they) could be getting ready to detain — under whatever “law” they can think of, if not the ISA. And if this move backfires, the dragnet (could) nab other DAP and PKR leaders. They (may) avoid touching PAS, depending on how the chips fall. The scales are finally falling off to reveal the cornered …… . Many of you may still not believe it, but those who have closely observed his career and character know that… Read more »

17 Sep 2008 7.53pm

Man these jaguh kampung leaders of ours do not have the leadership ability necessary to navigate our beloved country thru the turbulent times up ahead.

Plus its a distraction while they are busy … our country like there’s no tomorrow (coz there isn’t a tomorrow, for them anyhow)


Thanks Anil. Love your blog. Let me please buy ya a drink when you are in KL next. – VV

17 Sep 2008 7.44pm

SIL 11th hour strategies…

17 Sep 2008 7.12pm

Badawi is a nice fella but he is not above the law. In Malaysia there is a protocol for everything. he cannot simply declare emergency, he has to get clearance from dymm tuanku mizan first. If the agung tells the PM to review his decision the PM cannot declare emergency. there must also be a clear and present danger to national security etc. before emergency can be called. So you cannot just enforce emrgency. Anwar as the leader of the opposition is within his rights to invite members of the government to join his party and form government. there is… Read more »

17 Sep 2008 6.32pm

The Main Question here:

What’s the real agenda of Badawi in taking the Defense portfolio?

His action really created a spark which rather shivering than exciting. And it is very clear that his action is corresponded to what PAKATAN RAKYAT has been doing. There’s a big possibility that Anwar (could) be arrested… which worries all the Good Rakyat.

Kah Seng
17 Sep 2008 6.03pm

Chinese e-media had 2 interesting sideline observations about the PM’s press conference in which he announced Najib will take up the Finance Ministry. 1. The PC was arranged for 12pm but started only after 2pm. 2. The PM only announced that Najib would take up the FM position. It was ONLY AFTER a reporter asked that the PM said he himself was taking up the Defense Minister position (as though it was an after thought). If these observations are true, it would seem many things were rushed and in turmoil or disorder. (Chinese language version) (Machine translation. Not… Read more »

17 Sep 2008 5.58pm

check out at Rocky’s blog

17 Sep 2008 5.51pm

So… 916 went a little too quietly u guys got time to play musical chair, uh???

ok…. my latest question is : new Finance Minister…. why d hell r we still paying RM2.55 for petrol???


17 Sep 2008 5.30pm

The more interesting statement coming from the mouth of Pak Lah is “Anwar is a THREAT to ECONOMY & (National) SECURITY.

Sounds like Mugabe saying about Tvengarai !

simon li
simon li
17 Sep 2008 5.23pm

Both Karpal Singh and Nik Aziz are towering leaders who fight for freedom and justice. However, right now, one is prepared to seize the moment, the other is not. Karpal thinks it’s not right for elected MP’s to jump ship. Nik Aziz has no such qualms. An MP’s party and his personal character both are factors contributing to his/her election. In exercising the mandate given by his electorate, should an MP follow his party or his conscience? What extent of negligence, wrong or outright evil must his party commit before an MP should abandon that party – or is this… Read more »

17 Sep 2008 5.07pm

1655: SAPP confirms pullout from BN – Bernama News.

17 Sep 2008 5.05pm

This is getting highly uncomfortable. This move is going to leave the country bankrupt and in tatters… Act NOW Pakatan Rakyat!