Articles, Opinions & Views: We need real probe into our cash-and-carry politicians By P Gunasegaram


 
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In A Foxhole
“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.”

“May God have mercy upon my enemies, because I won't .”
“The object of war is not to die for your country but to make the other bastard die for his.

“Nobody ever defended anything successfully, there is only attack and attack and attack some more.

“Fixed fortifications are a monument to the stupidity of man."
“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died.
Rather we should thank God that such men lived.

The Soldier stood and faced God


Which must always come to pass

Photobucket
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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We need real probe into our cash-and-carry politicians By P Gunasegaram
Tuesday, June 21, 2022


Malaysiakini : Muhyiddin was alleged to have received RM1.3 million. Other prominent people said to have received money, according to entries in a ledger and confirmed by a former administrative manager of the company (Ultra Kirana Sdn Bhd, or UKSB), included Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin, who was alleged to have received RM3.7 million.

Other prominent names in the UKSB ledger include Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, then rural development minister and Warisan head Shafie Apdal, then foreign minister Anifah Aman and the then deputy foreign minister Reezal Merican Naina Merican (now housing and local government minister). These names were also mentioned in MACC’s forensic report.

Scandal widens

Zahid is facing 33 charges of receiving bribes amounting to S$13.56 million (RM42 million) from UKSB as an inducement for himself in his capacity as a civil servant and the then home minister to extend the contract of the company as the operator of the One-Stop Centre in China and the Foreign Visa System (VLN) as well as to maintain the agreement to supply VLN integrated system paraphernalia to the same company by the Home Ministry. 

For another seven counts, Zahid was charged as then home minister to have obtained for himself S$1.150 million, RM3 million, €15,000 and US$15,000 in cash from the same company in connection with his official work.

The latest allegations effectively widen the case to other key leaders. Muhyiddin has denied the allegations, saying that in July 2018, he had undergone surgery for cancer and had gone on leave for several months.

"In fact, on one of the dates mentioned by the witness where I reportedly received the cash bribe, I was actually undergoing treatment at a hospital abroad,” he said.


READ MORE: Fact check: Does Muhyiddin's denial match UKSB's ledger?


Muhyiddin’s statement was disputed by, of all people, the one who claims to have received a US$681 million “donation” from a Saudi prince, former prime minister of 1MDB fame Najib Abdul Razak.

This “donation” to Najib is over 2,000 times more than the alleged “political donation” to Muhyiddin of RM1.3 million in total. Najib is facing criminal charges over this and other matters.

Anyway, Najib maintained that for all three alleged instalment payments totalling RM1.3 million to Muhyiddin and dates of payments, news reports indicated that Muhyiddin was well and out and about. Good of him to point that out.

Curious statement

Needless to say, the MACC, so eager to investigate a sitting judge based on an allegation by a discredited blogger and who once was (still is?) a fugitive, has now said it will investigate the allegations.

That is a rather curious statement considering that it was the investigating authority then and all of UKSB’s ledger entries were available to it. Did the ledger entries not pique their curiosity or were they so focused on single-mindedly investigating Zahid that they ignored possible questionable donations right under their noses to other prominent politicians?

In many of the current cases involving both corruption and money laundering, the standard defence seems to be political donations as if that alone is enough to remove blame from the recipient.

If indeed it is a political donation or a donation of any sort, there is a process that has to be followed, and it should be made to the political party and appropriately declared, not to an individual, especially someone who is in a position of power to grant very valuable favours.

For the MACC, surely it must know that the line between political donation and corruption is quite clear and that a lot of politicians clearly live beyond their means. It is up to them to investigate and bring the cases to light.

By working together with the police, the Inland Revenue Department and other regulatory and enforcement authorities, it will be possible to build a comprehensive, watertight case against them based on the laws of criminal breach of trust, corruption and money laundering, amongst others.

At the end of the day, it is a matter of political will - is there a desire to see all crooks, including those who are politicians and those in positions of power, brought to book and put where they belong - behind bars? How could there be if the top is already rotten?

That will require a sea change in Malaysian politics, attitudes and sensibilities, starting with throwing this backdoor government out of power at the next polls. That is the first step to re-initiate change to focus on the fight against corruption - the mother of all ills - and to work for the betterment of Malaysia and the rakyat.

posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:45 AM  
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