Pol Gen Somyot advised his Malaysian counterpart Khalid Abu Bakar in talks at the Royal Thai Police Office that Malaysia must use the proper channels, including the Office of the Attorney-General and the Foreign Ministry, for information about Xavier Andre Justo because he is not a Malaysian national.
The police chief repeated Thailand’s position on no green light for Malaysian authorities to probe the Swiss man and reminded Mr Khalid that the police investigation into the case remained unfinished.
No luck there, I suppose. This is the second time in a week that the Malaysian authorities are trying to get access to Justo to determine if he should be extradited. The first unsuccessful attempt was on 16 July.
Meanwhile, is Najib now a lame-duck PM, in the same way that the Tunku was after May 13 and Abdullah Badawi after GE2008, before they stepped down (or were phased out, if you like)?
Clive Kessler, emeritus professor of sociology and anthropology at the University of NSW, seems to think so, according to this report in The Australian, which is worth a read.
(Najib) may be happy to hang on, under the face-saving condition that he won’t be able to do very much — but a stalled nation that desperately needs to get on with urgent and unforgiving business cannot afford to let him stay there”.
Inside the citadel of the rule of his embattled UMNO party, he hangs on, trying to tough it out — and dares his foes to come and dislodge him,” …
Malaysia’s economic strength and dynamism, as well as its political coherence, are just draining away.
Two key questions come to mind:
- To what extent are the BN’s ‘fixed deposits’ in Sarawak and Sabah still safe – or have they been eroded?
- How will Umno raise the considerable campaign financing it requires in the next general election, post-1MDB, given that its usual sources of patronage and financing seem to be drying up and the economic outlook appears bleak?
Anwar Ibrahim has written a piece for WSJ. I reproduce a couple of paras:
Still, there is real danger ahead. Middle-income nations like Malaysia—after several decades of economic mismanagement, opaque governance and overspending—can devolve into failed states. The irresponsible manner in which the current leadership is handling religious issues to curry favor from the extreme right is fueling sectarianism. Increased political repression may drive some to give up on the political system altogether and consider extralegal means to cause change, thus creating a tragic, vicious cycle.
Yet there remains a clear path out of this mess: a return to the underpinnings of the Malaysian Constitution, which preserves and protects the rights of all Malaysians; a devolution of power from the executive, whose role now resembles that of a dictator more than a servant of the people; elections that are truly free and fair; and a free media unafraid to challenge authority.
Malaysia is ready for change. This is why, rather than flee my country, I chose to stay and continue the fight for peaceful, democratic reform from my prison cell. …
Aliran for its part urges the authorities to counter whistleblowers’ allegations with evidence of their own instead of using repressive laws.