Articles, Opinions & Views: Allegations against Guan Eng – echoes from the past - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy

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“When you're left wounded on

Afganistan's plains and

the women come out to cut up what remains,

Just roll to your rifle

and blow out your brains,

And go to your God like a soldier”

“We are not retreating. We are advancing in another direction.”

“It is fatal to enter any war without the will to win it.”

“Old soldiers never die; they just fade away.

“The soldier, above all other people, prays for peace,

for he must suffer and be the deepest wounds and scars of war.”

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Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God

Which must always come to pass

He hoped his shoes were shining

Just as bright as his brass

"Step forward you Soldier,

How shall I deal with you?

Have you always turned the other cheek?

To My Church have you been true?"

"No, Lord, I guess I ain't

Because those of us who carry guns

Can't always be a saint."

I've had to work on Sundays

And at times my talk was tough,

And sometimes I've been violent,

Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I never took a penny

That wasn't mine to keep.

Though I worked a lot of overtime

When the bills got just too steep,

The Soldier squared his shoulders and said

And I never passed a cry for help

Though at times I shook with fear,

And sometimes, God forgive me,

I've wept unmanly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place

Among the people here.

They never wanted me around

Except to calm their fears.

If you've a place for me here,

Lord, It needn't be so grand,

I never expected or had too much,

But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne

Where the saints had often trod

As the Soldier waited quietly,

For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you Soldier,

You've borne your burden well.

Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,

You've done your time in Hell."

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Allegations against Guan Eng – echoes from the past - Commander S THAYAPARAN (Retired) Royal Malaysian Navy
Thursday, June 04, 2020
Malaysiakini: “You are now seeing a new Malaysia that is passionate about transparency, accountability, competency. This is a different Malaysia from the global kleptocracy at its worst. This is a new Malaysia that wants to free itself from the past of corruption and abuse of power.”  – Lim Guan Eng.
COMMENT | Maybe some readers are too young to remember this but the rhetoric of the “opposition” in the all or nothing days of the BN regime, specifically when the old maverick was the grand poobah, was on the issues of cronyism, abuse of power and conflicts of interest between the plutocrat class and political operatives.
Opposition political operatives had a field day pointing out numerous dubious relationships between business tycoons and the political class, and people were first shocked, but later became apathetic, by the bare-faced denials from the Umno/MCA combo that dominated business and politics at the time.
To get a feel of the kind of rhetoric and how the opposition viewed corruption and conflict of interests read Kua Kia Soong’s piece "I would prefer Lim Kit Siang as attorney-general", a broadside against (then) oppositional politics which had embraced the old maverick.
The allegation that Lim Guan Eng when he was finance minister during Pakatan Harapan’s brief stint at the helm about facilitating with the attorney-general (AG) on some sort of deal for a tycoon to unfreeze his accounts points to the dysfunctional system that Harapan claimed it wanted to correct.
Now, I can say that I have no trust in the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). As it is, the MACC is currently embroiled in a brawl with the former AG concerning a sweetheart deal with Riza Aziz. And now, we have another kind of sweetheart deal with someone from the plutocrat class.
The responses of Guan Eng has been troubling. Equally troubling is the fact that many so-called anti-corruption activists have been as quiet as church mice. Once you strip off all the legalese and conspiracy theories surrounding the MACC and the media organisations that broke the story, questions remain as to what exactly was going on in “New Malaysia”.
Forget about the nonsensical outrage of the MACC about leaked documents and about how politicians or government officials are petitioning on behalf of tycoons. Just read the responses of Guan Eng to this issue, and you should be very concerned about the way Harapan not only abandoned its manifesto but was merely playing games that Malaysians were used to under BN.
Lim said: "Cases which are not within my jurisdiction are referred to the relevant authorities." First of all, what is a tycoon or his representatives discussing with the finance minister about unfreezing assets in an ongoing corruption case? It is not a question of “jurisdiction” but a question of propriety. If an Umno minister was sought by a tycoon and the minister referred the case to the relevant authority, what would you think the response would have been from that section of the rakyat shouting about accountability and transparency?
The fact that Guan Eng even chose to contact the AG about this case is highly suspect. Why didn’t he, in his capacity as the finance minister, ask the tycoon or the tycoon's minions to make representation through the proper channels and the tycoon's high-priced mouthpieces? Why didn't the finance minister simply say that it was inappropriate and suspect for representations to be made to him?
Then AG Tommy Thomas had said that lawyers making representations for their clients is a normal practice in the system when he was refuting MACC's narrative in the Riza plea bargain case.
Guan Eng said that it would be “wrong” if he did not refer such cases to the relevant authorities, but this is bizarre. What is “wrong” is that a tycoon has access to the finance minister to discuss his case about unfreezing bank accounts and the minister then refers the case to the AG. And there is allegedly correspondence between the two and some sort of resolution based on political connections. This is what this case was about, a politically-connected tycoon securing the unfreezing of his assets.
Guan Eng said he does not have access to the documents that the media organisation possessed but left it in the hands of the MACC to investigate. Really? The FMT reports claimed that it had exchanges between Thomas and Guan Eng. Did Guan Eng verify or refute these exchanges?
If someone accused me of brokering a deal between a tycoon and the Attorney-General's Chambers and claimed to have exchanges which point to some sort of malfeasance, I would certainly like to verify the authenticity of those exchanges. Doesn't anyone else find this strange and inappropriate?
Remember Thomas (photo) said he would not want to let down Harapan by giving a deal to Riza. Now we have allegations of exchanges between a former finance minister and him about unfreezing bank accounts even though recovery of monies was low. This issue is something that Guan Eng has been publicly aggressive about.
It does seem strange unfreezing the assets of someone who has not paid back full amount considering Guan Eng's statement in the press about retrieving 1MDB funds where he said: “If you asked me, I would want the whole hog, but I think the AG should be allowed to make a decision what is the best solution.
“You may want everything, but whether that is achievable, whether that’s practical or not… Lawyers will know better, how far, how much. You must do the necessary cost-benefit on the time taken.”
Isn’t the cosy connections between tycoons and politicians exactly the kind of relationships that were supposed to be anathema to the Harapan base? The fact that Guan Eng is sketchy about the nature of the case - who contacted him, why did they contact him - and apparently does not see anything inappropriate about allegations of a finance minister lobbying for a tycoon should tell us something about New Malaysia, however brief it was.
Instead, Guan Eng casually brushes aside the allegations leaving questions unanswered but more importantly, staining the credibility of the Harapan government. Just look at the response when the Riza deal first broke out and the righteous statements by Harapan officials on the matter.
I have no doubt the reason why this is happening now is that the MACC and the Malay uber alles government are making moves against political adversaries. This, after all, is part of the political game. Remember when Guan Eng was going on about all those “red files” and how the previous regime had “stolen” GST funds?
But this should not detract from the reality that Harapan campaigned based on a platform of changing the system. Does the opening quote reflect the Harapan base? Nobody would have been surprised if these kinds of allegations cropped up during the BN regime. Seeing as how I always claimed that Harapan was morphing into BN redux, I am not surprised now.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 11:12 AM  
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