It would be contradiction in terms if Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim seizes accumulated capital, whether impossible wealth or otherwise. He commits political suicide!
Commentary And Analysis . . . Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim may be committing political suicide if he freezes, seizes and forfeits impossible wealth and/or capital accumulated by small group — the proverbial 25 Tun and lesser mortals — under successive government. Already, the majority of the community — Anwar’s fellow Malay speakers — are against the unity government that he heads but for different reasons including DAP being in Putrajaya.
Money laundering, under international law, is defined as having capital far in excess of what can be legitimately accumulated over lifetime.
Such assets can be frozen by civil action, seized and forfeited as state revenue.
The proof of money laundering is the assets themselves.
The onus lies on the errant party to settle out of court, based on precedents, without prejudice i.e. no admission of liability.
The precedents call for surrendering 40 per cent of seized money laundering assets.
If civil action is challenged, criminal suit would be instituted.
The Narrative in Malaysia isn’t about “race” per se but sapu bersih (clean sweep) opportunism arising from degenerating into rhetorics and polemics on xenophobia, prejudice and hate driven by clannishness, tribalism and feudalism under various euphemism.
Anwar Ibrahim Exposed
Again, it would be contradiction in terms if the Prime Minister seizes accumulated capital, whether impossible wealth or otherwise, facilitated by affirmative action programmes under Article 153, the New Economic Policy (NEP) and quota system. He commits political suicide if he undoes the struggle since the disturbances in the streets of Kuala Lumpur on 13 May 1969.
In fact, in law, there’s case against those who accumulate capital, whether impossible wealth or otherwise. Ironically, successive government before Anwar Ibrahim facilitated the sapu bersih (clean sweep) approach which observes affirmative action programmes in the breach.
It’s contradiction in terms if Anwar seizes impossible wealth from the small group which includes former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin and dictatorial former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad.
It was allegedly Daim, and ironically Tun Samy Vellu, who may have persuaded Mahathir that as many multibillionaires as possible could be created, albeit on paper, for keeping company with others who were old money. The modus operandi involved virtually plundering the public treasury under various euphemism, hijacking “pink share forms in publicly listed company”, virtually robbing the proverbial “goose — read Chinese speakers — that lay the golden eggs” and by denying the income, revenue and resources due Sabah and Sarawak.
It wasn’t only about bribery and corruption, as alleged by the Johor Sultan in hinting that Mahathir should be in jail, but abuse of power, conflict of interest and criminal breach of trust.
Suicide Moves By Anwar
Daim and Mahathir, petrified, may have jumped the gun in their old age because Anwar was making them sweat buckets in public and laughing the head off in private, before dying of laughter.
History will not be kind to Mahathir whose family roots lie in Kerala in southwest India. The good, if any, that men may do was often interred with the bones. Mahathir will remain visitation from Hell even after the grim reaper comes for him.
Mahathir has KaKa (Malayalam speaking Muslim) origin. It was KaKa who introduced rojak, roti canai (called berota in Kerala), roti jala, pal apam, apam balik, cendol and ABC (air batu campur), bubur kajang hijau and bubur kajang merah in Malaya.
Future generations including in Sabah will probably urinate on Mahathir’s grave twice a year viz. on July 10 when he was born and Dec 20 stated in the birth certificate. Mahathir was twice born like the Projek IC Mahathir illegal immigrants in Sabah in the electoral rolls. The 2013 Sabah RCI on illegal immigrants concluded, based on testimonies, that the Projek IC Mahathir probably existed. So, there’s case for Mahathir going into exile, and never returning even in coffin.
Anwar will not dignify Mahathir’s antics in the media. He will not degenerate into rhetorics and polemics on this and that and that and this.
Having said that, the unity government should not be party to illegalities like pitting people against each other, contempt and Trial by Media. It was Trial by Media that saw former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak jailed, unrepresented, on 23 August 2022.
If criminal cases, among others, are filed against Daim and Mahathir, it can only be about getting them out of the way permanently if possible, otherwise buying time for Anwar’s political dynasty.
Besides Najib, getting political enemies out of the way has already happened in the case of former backdoor Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and fellow Bersatu leaders.
Bersatu leaders, unless they end cooperation with PAS, probably risk fine, jail and further jail in default on the fine. Bersatu, where defectors from Umno and PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) gather, risks collapse and implosion. Anwar has cases, coming out of the ears, against political enemies. The latest may be the RM300m allegedly stashed overseas by Bersatu strongman Datuk Seri Azmin Ali. However, in jurisprudence, it isn’t possible for anyone to know law.
Najib’s Plight In Jail
In retrospect, it has been argued that Najib’s conviction on the RM42m SRC International case wasn’t perfected in law for perfection in law. Federal Court Review Panel Head Judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, begging for disagreeing, neverthless ruled DNA (discharge and acquittal) on March 31 last year on the grounds that “there were so many transgressions against Najib”.
Former Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Hamid Sultan Abu Backer, likewise, publicly advised Najib’s family that he could be freed if they filed habeas corpus application and/or lodged Petition for Pardon with the Conference of Rulers.
Patently, Anwar should focus on whether the economic managers are delivering the goods.
If not, he should get work out of them especially on the ringgit Malaysia, the stock market, FDI (foreign direct investments), global supply chain logistics, labour woes, innovations — new way of doing old things — managing the supply side of the economy and the real economy based on the production of goods and services. Besides China, Malaysia should plug into the Indian economy as well, for following in its sure and mighty wake. India provides Malaysia with national food security, among others, although its own domestic needs are huge.
Instead, Anwar publicly gets into the 380K word Bahasa Keling (ostensibly Tamil), when the focus should be on empowering the 40K word Bahasa Malaysia as the official language under Article 152. It remains work in progress since 1969 when the 20K word Bahasa Melayu became redundant. The advent of generative AI (artificial intelligence) helps Bahasa Malaysia on loanwords from English, and local languages and dialects. English loanwords, for example, would become Malay-sounding in Bahasa Malaysia. There can be many examples like acupuncture — French word in English — pronounced as akupuntur in Bahasa Malaysia.
Bahasa aside, whether Keling or Malaysia, the proof of the pudding on the economy was in the eating. There’s nothing that succeeds like success. The elephant in the room in Malaysia remains the obsession with divisive politics driven by rhetorics and polemics on xenophobia, prejudice and hate, especially for those in the diaspora who have recent family roots in India and China.
Managers can be made. Management remains form of service for workers. Managers serve workers, and in return, get the mandate of power. Management was about delivering the goods in line with the leader’s vimoga.
Leadership remains about vision, mission, objectives, goals and activities (vimoga). Leaders are born. Leadership was about efficiency in getting work out of people.
The focus in managing the economy should be on avoiding the mistakes made during the pandemic made worse by emergency for six months.
Rule Of Law
Anwar should also accept the political reality that upholding the rule of law, the basis of the Constitution, isn’t seditious or treasonous. Lawmakers are pledged on Oath. Lawmakers declare that they will uphold, defend, respect and honour the Constitution. The Speaker has discretion. He can suspend lawmakers who violate the Oath of Office.
PAS lawmakers can be suspended, for example, in the wake of the war of words with DAP on the Syariah Committee. Non-Muslim, based purely on the rule of law, have right of representation in the Syariah Committee.
The Syariah Court in Malaysia isn’t based on the Quran but little known amendment in the Constitution. The amendment empowers legislative assemblies in the sultanates on the Syariah Court.
The Prime Minister can defang PAS on radicalisation and Islamophobia by including the party’s lawmakers as individuals in the Cabinet and government and thereby claim the moral high ground. The Prime Minister can set up partyless Cabinet and government of MPs. MPs, if invited, will accept without leaving party.
The rule of law, for those unfamiliar, isn’t legal term but political.
It arises from within the Constitution based on the ultimate political documents which set forth the governing institutions of state. The Constitution emerges as the supreme law of the land, based not on law, but force of law. Malaysia is ruled by constitutional supremacy, not parliamentary sovereignty. The sovereignty of Parliament lasts five years. No Parliament can bind a future Parliament nor be bound by previous Parliament.
The ultimate political documents are the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948, the Federation of Malaya Independence Act 1957, and the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA’63).
Conventions, the working of the Constitution, was more important than the latter i.e. the supreme law of the land.
Conventions are not law.
No court of law will hear application on convention. It has no jurisdiction i.e. it’s not matter for judicial consideration and resolution.
The court of law was only about law.
Agong, based on the confidence factor, can appoint any MP as Prime Minister. Agong decreed in late November 2022 that SD (statutory declaration) wasn’t proof of support. The vote of confidence or no confidence, if accepted by the Speaker, must be moved in Parliament. Other approaches would be deterimental, under sec 124B of the Penal Code, for parliamentary democracy. In law, the line must be drawn somewhere, lest Pandora’s Box opens. No court in the world will open the floodgates.
Parliament can select any MP as Prime Minister-Designate. There should be at least three candidates in the fray, including a woman, and MP from the former British Borneo.
There’s real risk that those on the other side of the Southeast Asia Sea may no longer be interested in Malaysia. The focus should be on keeping them interested.
Citizenship is service and/or service is citizenship. Citizens aged 18 years and above can vote for any citizen under symbol registered with the Election Commission (EC). Bankrupts and convicts can and may be disqualified by law as lawmakers.
There’s no “race”, language, culture, clan, tribe, Orang Asal (original people), DNA, geographical origin, religion or symbol (under party or otherwise) in Parliament. There are only lawmakers elected by all, and sworn on Oath, for upholding the rule of law — the basis of the Constitution — and serving all constituents including those who didn’t vote for them. The only Social Contract is the Constitution.
The Speaker was bound by what happens in Parliament and lawmakers bound by pleadings.
The Speaker has discretion and can or may remove lawmakers who violate the rule of law which remains the basis of the Constitution.
There can be no law that only Muslim and Malay, for example, can be Prime Minister. In law, Article 8 in Malaysia, there can be no discrimination and no sunset clause for discrimination on the premiership. Agong and Parliament can appoint non-Muslim and non-Malay as Prime Minister whether Muslim and Malay concede or otherwise.
Case For Reforms
The case for reforms, long promised by Anwar, will never end.
In law, there are many Articles which stand redundant in the Constitution or need amendment.
Article 153, for example, became redundant in 1972 when the 15 year sunset clause expired. In law, Article 8 in Malaysia, there can be no discrimination save as provided by law. In case of discrimination, i.e. by law, there must be sunset clause. Sunset clause can’t be renewed upon expiry or removal. The sunset clause in Article 153 was removed after the May 13 disturbances in Kuala Lumpur in 1969.
Article 153, when repealed, will also end the related Article 3 on Islam — aberration in law — and the Definition of Malay in Article 160(2) as form of identity in Singapore and Malaya. Merdeka, 31 August 1957, was the cutoff point in law for declaration on form of identity.
It’s inconceivable that Anwar can concede on Article 153, Article 3 and the said Definition in Article 160(2) and live to tell the tale.
In law, Article 4 in the Constitution, invalid law remains valid unless the court rules otherwise. Parliament may not remove redundant Articles in the Constitution. Therein the matter lies on key reforms. The Constitution, being based on the rule of law, cannot by its very nature go against itself, and if it does, it does not exist by the extent of the inconsistency as superior law presides over inferior law.
Law ceases to exist as if it never existed and if it exists, no longer exists, if it isn’t enforced, cannot be enforced, and/or is widely flouted.
There’s law, no law, no law but there can be law but not in retrospect, and where there can be no law.
In jurisprudence, it isn’t possible for anyone to know law.
Law exists, and has always existed, based on common sense, universal values and the principles of natural justice.
Law, ultimately, remains the power of language, showing proof of wide reading, ability to cite, ability to think on law and/or like lawyer, and ability to fathom the judge’s thinking on law.
The court of law remains only about law.
The court of law isn’t about ethics, moral values, civilisational values, theology, sin, God, righteousness, justice or truth.
In jurisprudence, God isn’t source in law.
Law must have source for jurisdiction, authority and power.
Islam and syariah, for example, are not law.
Syariah was based on a person’s willingness to accept it. It would be unconstitutional to impose syariah on anyone.
Islam was based on the concept of sin.
In the rule of law — the basis of the Constitution — there’s greater emphasis on the spirit of the law, albeit read with the letter of the law.
The letter of the law, by itself, isn’t law at all. There’s no democracy, no consent of the governed, no legitimacy and there has been loss of sovereignty. The letter of the law, by itself, is rule by Man, rule by law, the law of the jungle where anything goes. It’s about acting with impunity. — NMH
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.