Media Reporting

Mahathir’s Own People Are Beginning to Question His Motives

ASIA SENTINEL: MALAYSIA’S REFORMERS: ‘ACCIDENT ON THE WAY TO HAPPEN’ – 4 JULY 2019

Asia Sentinel reports that Malaysia’s reformers are increasingly disillusioned with Dr. Mahathir and the Pakatan Harapan coalition, citing the “incompetency and lack of achievements of this government since they came to power.” Quoting author Kim Quek, “the Harapan coalition has flopped as a reformist government; it has lost its way to the promised land. Instead of sweeping reforms, we are seeing the stagnation of institutional reforms in almost all sectors: economy, education, civil service, judiciary, etc.”

For the complete article, click here.


FREE MALAYSIA TODAY: BUNG QUESTIONS NEW MACC CHIEF OVER MISSING NAMES IN SUITS OVER 1MDB MONEY – 26 JUNE 2019

Free Malaysia Today reports that UMNO leader Bung has accused the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (“MACC”) of selective prosecution in its latest effort to recover 1MDB funds said to have been channeled to UMNO divisions. Following MACC’s announcement of the 41 civil forfeiture suits, Bung highlighted the absence of non-UMNO parties from these suits, calling it a political witch-hunt. “They cannot deliver on their manifesto promises and the people are questioning their ability to govern. This is why PH wants to weaken us and see us suffer without funding,” stated Bung.

For the complete article, click here.


THE INDEPENDENT: MAHATHIR DENIES HE WILL STAY BEYOND THREE YEARS BUT ANWAR IS UNFAZED – 25 JUNE 2019

The Independent reports that Dr. Mahathir has denied a CNBC report that quoted him as saying that he would step down as Prime Minister within three years. The article also reports that a recent sex scandal involving a member of the PKR has strengthened Dr. Mahathir’s position within the Pakatan Harapan such that he is now in a position to dictate when he will transition power to PKR president, Anwar Ibrahim.

For the complete article, click here.


South China morning post : Malaysia’s Mahathir faces backlash over race quota for contractors on China-backed East Coast Rail Link – 29 mAY 2019

The South China Morning Post reports that despite his administration’s pledge to enhance multiracialism, Dr. Mahathir has announced that the government will continue affirmative action policies for Malays and other indigenous businesspeople in awarding contracts for the China-backed East Coast Rail Link. “The prime minister is playing the race card yet again,” said Ti Lian Ker, vice-president of opposition party the Malaysian Chinese Association. “Mahathir’s coalition is aware it has to pull in the Malay vote. The Malays who voted against Barisan Nasional last May are now no longer attracted to Pakatan Harapan.”

For the complete article, click here.


BLOOMBERG: MALAYSIANS JADED WITH MAHATHIR AFTER YEAR OF UNMET PROMISES – 9 MAY 2019

“When hundreds of women gathered on the streets of Kuala Lumpur to call for equal rights in Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s self-proclaimed "new Malaysia," they were met with an unexpected response: a police investigation. Officials were ordered to see if the women were in violation of the country’s draconian sedition act -- a law the ruling Pakatan Harapan party pledged to eliminate ahead of Mahathir’s historic election win one year ago. It’s just one of several campaign promises that have not been fulfilled, leaving those once elated by the 93-year-old’s return to power underwhelmed by his performance.”

“The majority of the pledges made in Pakatan Harapan’s 200-page manifesto remain unfulfilled, leaving many to doubt whether the ‘Alliance of Hope’ will be able to lift Malaysia into an era of unity, equality and prosperity.”

For the complete article, click here.


THE STAR ONLINE: SURVEY: NO TOP MARKS FOR PAKATAN IN ITS FIRST YEAR – 7 MAY 2019

The Star Online reports that the Pakatan Harapan has earned a “fail” grade for its overall performance over the past year, citing the coalition’s “[n]umerous U-turns, over-promising and breaking of promises” as contributing to its bad rating.

For the complete article, click here.


THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT : PAKATAN APPROVAL RATING 39%, DR MAHATHIR DOWN TO 46%, SAYS MERDEKA CENTRE – 26 APRIL 2019

“PRIME Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s popularity rating has dropped to 46% from 71% recorded last August, said pollster Merdeka Centre based on its latest survey. The survey also showed only 39% of Malaysian voters gave the Pakatan Harapan federal government positive ratings, just weeks short of its first year in power.”

For the complete article, click here.


REuters: Malaysia's ruling coalition loses state by-election as support wanes – 13 April 2019

Reuters reports that the Pakatan Harapan coalition’s loss in the Rantau by-election is yet another sign that public support for Mahathir’s alliance is diminishing.

For the complete article, click here.


MALAY MAIL: ANALYSTS: NURUL IZZAH’S OUTBURST WIDENS ANWAR-MAHATHIR RIFT - 02 APRIL 2019

The Malay Mail reports on the resignation of Nurul Izzah Anwar, a prominent Pakatan Harapan (“PH”) leader and the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, in “a move seen as a protest against Dr Mahathir’s leadership” and “the clearest sign of a power struggle” between the pro-Anwar and pro-Mahathir factions of the PH.

For the complete article, click here.


South china morning post: Malaysia by-election: a win for Barisan Nasional - and racial politics – 4 March 2019

The South China Morning Post reports that according to Dr Awang Azman Awang Pawi, a political analyst at University Malaya, Dr Mahathir’s party, Pakatan Harapan, “is perceived to be less sensitive to the daily needs of the people”. The article reports that Pakatan has been slow to fulfil its election promises, in relation to affordable housing, youth employment and low-income rural residents.

For the complete article, click here.


Rantau By-election

reuters: Malaysia's ruling coalition loses seat in state by-election – 3 March 2019

Reuters reports that the government’s loss in the by-election is a blow for Mahathir’s coalition, while it faces criticism for failing to fulfil its promised reforms. The article reports that polls have indicated that the Mahathir government has been losing support among Malays.

For the complete article, click here.


Semenyih By-election

Bloomberg: Mahathir’s Ruling Coalition Loses Seat in Malaysian By-Election – 2 March 2019

Bloomberg reports that the government’s loss in the by-election in Semenyih may indicate that its failure to fulfil its campaign promises is starting to affect public opinion in Malaysia.

For the complete article, click here.


Malaysia is becoming an international pariah under Mahathir regime

REUTERS: MALAYSIA TO TAKE ACTION AGAINST SCHOOL OVER 'ANTI-PALM OIL PROPAGANDA' – 3 JULY 2019

Reuters reports that Malaysia has threatened to take action against an international school for spreading “anti-palm oil propaganda” after a video circulated on social media showing students talking on stage about the decrease in the number of orangutans due to the production of palm oil. Malaysia, the world’s second-largest palm oil producer, has become increasingly vocal against criticism from Europe that the cultivation of the crop results in deforestation and wildlife habitat destruction, threatening earlier this year to boycott EU goods following the EU’s announced plan to phase out the use of palm oil in its transport fuels.

For the complete article, click here.


THE ONLINE CITIZEN: 28 HUMAN RIGHTS SOCIETIES CRITICISE MAHATHIR’S GOVERNMENT OVER DELAY IN APPOINTING NEW SUHAKAM HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSIONERS – 26 JUNE 2019

The Online Citizen reports that 28 human rights groups and organizations have issued a joint statement expressing discontent over Dr. Mahathir’s delay in appointing new Human Rights Commissioners for the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (“SUHAKAM”), noting that “[w]ithout Human Rights Commissioners, there is no Human Rights Commission, and that is why we have not seen any media statements or any new public inquiries initiated.”

“One of the key questions raised in the statement is whether the delay in appointing Human Rights Commissioners for SUHAKAM lies in Mahathir and his government’s aim to seek ‘a new batch’ of Commissioners due to Razali’s outspokenness regarding the government’s position in instances where it fails ‘to defend and promote human rights’.”

For the complete article, click here.


SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST: MH17 DISASTER: MAHATHIR MOHAMAD CLAIMS RUSSIA WAS SCAPEGOATED FOR MALAYSIA AIRLINES PLANE CRASH THAT LEFT 298 PEOPLE DEAD – 20 JUNE 2019

South China Morning Post reports that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad has questioned the objectivity of the international team investigating the 2014 downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, which recently announced that three Russians and one Ukrainian will face murder charges for the deaths of all 298 people on board. “We are very unhappy, because from the very beginning it was a political issue on how to accuse Russia of the wrongdoing,” stated Dr. Mahathir, claiming that Russia has been used as a scapegoat.

For the complete article, click here.


THE INDEPENDENT: MALAYSIA’S PRIME MINISTER TELLS CAMBRIDGE UNION HIS JEWISH FRIENDS ARE ‘NOT LIKE OTHER JEWS’, CAUSING LAUGHTER – 17 JUNE 2019

The Independent reports on Dr. Mahathir’s highly controversial appearance at Cambridge Union. When asked at the event why he previously said Jewish people were “inclined towards money,” the Malaysian Prime Minister responded, “I have some Jewish friends, very good friends, they are not like the other Jews, that’s why they are my friends.” The Prime Minister’s remarks prompted laughter from the audience, laughter which Cambridge Union claims came from Dr. Mahathir’s own delegation.

For the complete article, click here.


Deutsche welle: Setback for eu fighter jets as malaysia bets on palm oil barter – 29 May 2019

Deutsche Welle reports that European defense companies vying for military equipment contracts in Malaysia may lose out to competitors in Russia and China if Malaysia insists on paying partly in palm oil. This comes after Dr Mahathir threatened to boycott EU goods following the EU’s plan to phase out the use of palm oil after it concluded that palm oil cultivation, with some exceptions, caused deforestation.  

For the complete article, click here.


BLOOMBERG: Global Investors Are Losing Patience With Malaysia – 13 May 2019

Bloomberg reports that global investors are losing patience with Mahathir’s government.

“Global funds are bypassing the country in favor of other markets. Stocks recorded outflows in all but two of the past 12 months, the ringgit is trailing most of its peers and bonds may be on the cusp of another sell-off.”

For the complete article, click here.


THE STAR ONLINE: PAKATAN'S HUMAN RIGHTS REFORMS A 'PROFOUND DISAPPOINTMENT', SAYS HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH – 8 MAY 2019

The Star Online reports that Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International Malaysia held a joint press conference regarding the state of reforms in Malaysia. The organizations criticized the Malaysian government and called the Pakatan Harapan’s reforms on the human rights front a year after coming into power a “profound disappointment.”

For the complete article, click here.


HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: MALAYSIA: LITTLE PROGRESS ON RIGHTS REFORMS - ONE YEAR AFTER ELECTION, PROMISES UNFULFILLED – 7 MAY 2019

“A year ago, the Pakatan Harapan government took power, pledging to make Malaysia’s human rights record respected globally,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “But the government has done little to fulfill its promises, and has even backpedalled on announced rights reforms.”

For the news release, click here.


THE STAR ONLINE: ALL ROADS TO GLOBAL JUSTICE LEAD TO THE ROME STATUTE - 14 APRIL 2019

The Star Online criticizes the Malaysian government’s decision not to ratify the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which is the governing body that prosecutes genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and crimes of aggression. The article notes that Malaysia’s decision was based on a “deliberate campaign of misinformation.”

“Whatever way you look at it, all roads to international criminal justice lead to the Rome Statute and Malaysia would have been in a stronger position in international law and peace and security had we maintained our accession.”

For the complete article, click here.


THE STAR ONLINE: HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH: U-TURN OVER ROME STATUTE A MOCKERY OF COMMITMENT TO JUSTICE – 6 APRIL 2019

The Star Online reports that Human Rights Watch has condemned Malaysia’s decision to withdraw from ratifying the Rome Statue.

Deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch, Phil Robertson, is quoted as saying, “The Malaysian government's standing on international justice has taken a nosedive because of misleading and unpersuasive criticism of the ICC. Unless the government stands firm on its original decision to join the ICC, it will be putting its whole human rights reform agenda at risk.”

For the complete article, click here.


REUTERS: EU RISKS 'TRADE WAR' WITH MALAYSIA OVER PALM OIL – MAHATHIR – 28 MARCH 2019

The European Union risks opening up a trade war with Malaysia over its “grossly unfair” policies aimed at reducing the use of palm oil, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said on Thursday.

This month, the European Commission concluded that palm oil cultivation results in excessive deforestation and its use in transport fuel should be phased out by 2030.

Malaysia, the world’s second biggest palm oil producer after Indonesia, relies on the crop for billions of dollars in foreign exchange earnings and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Mahathir, 93, said the EU’s increasingly hostile attitude towards palm oil, a commodity used in everything from chocolate spread to lipstick, was an attempt to protect alternatives that Europe produced itself, like rape seed oil.

“To do that kind of thing to win a trade war is unfair,” Mahathir told Reuters in an interview on Langkawi, a tropical resort island 30 km off Malaysia’s mainland.

“Trade wars are not something we like to promote but on the other hand it is grossly unfair for rich people to try and impoverish poor people.”

For the complete article, click here.


i24 nEWS: MALAYSIA BECOMING IRANIAN HOTSPOT FOR TRAINING PROXIES? – 27 March 2019

Could it be that Malaysia is turning into a proxy-training ground for Iran? The prime minister's anti-Israel and anti-Semitic rhetoric in the past is one sign of evidence among others.

For video, click here.


Asia Times: RACE and religion roiling Malaysian reform 27 MARCH 2019

Ten months after Malaysia’s historic election that unseated the long-ruling United Malays National Organization (UMNO), there are already signs the political pendulum is starting to swing back.

Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s multiracial ruling coalition, known as Pakatan Harapan, is now suddenly on the defensive from an emboldened opposition pact that has successfully rebranded itself after last May’s crushing electoral defeat.

For the complete article, click here.


MALAYSIAKINI: 10 unlikeable things about Dr M – 27 MARCH 2019

Nurul Izzah Anwar’s misgivings about Mahathir, aired in an interview she gave to Singapore’s The Straits Times, has been both condemned and praised for calling Dr Mahathir Mohamad a former dictator and a person who is very difficult to work with.

Unfortunately, less attention has been given to some of the reasons for her dissatisfaction, which is of greater importance to what is happening in our country. As she further said in the interview the government, led by Mahathir, has not done enough to embolden moderates.

For the complete article, click here.


Haaretz: Malaysia Has Become Hub For Iranian Activity, Western Intel Suggests – 21 March 2019

Led by a corrupt, proudly anti-Semitic prime minister who supports Islamist groups, Southeast Asian country's long-standing connection with Hamas gets a new twist.

Under cover of the predawn darkness of April 21, 2018, two tall, burly men lay in wait for Fadi al-Batsh. He took no special precautions as he left his apartment building to head for the mosque where he often prayed.

Spotting him, the two men approached and shot him 14 times at close range. He didn’t stand a chance. The security cameras in the area did not pick up anything, and the pair – who were carrying false passports from Serbia and Montenegro – fled on a motorbike. Then they switched to another vehicle and somehow made their way out of the country. Israel was said to be behind the assassination.

Born in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza, al-Batsh later moved to Malaysia where he married and had three children.

For the complete article, click here.


THE AUSTRALIAN: Malaysian government’s reform agenda distracted by political Islam 19 MARCH 2019

As Malaysia nears the first anniversary of a historic regime change, there are questions about the viability of the new Pakatan Harapan (Alliance of Hope) government led by Mahathir Mohamad. PH has just lost the two most recent by-elections and there is every likelihood that it will lose the next by-election, in the middle of next month, as well. Losing three by-elections is always a bad sign for any government.

For the complete article, click here.


CNN: Malaysian Tourism Minister: There Are No Gay People in Malaysia – 7 MARCH 2019

“German Green party politician Volker Beck had sought to exclude Malaysia from exhibiting at the Berlin event, one of the world's largest tourism expos, saying that its government has specific policies which are discriminatory to gay people and Jews. 

“‘(A country embracing) homophobia and antisemitism cannot be a partner country,’ he said, according to Malaysiakini.”

Malaysia's tourism minister has denied the existence of gay people in the country, according to reports in German media.

Ahead of attending the ITB Berlin travel fair, Tourism Minister Mohamaddin Ketapi told German reporters that he wasn't aware of gay people in the Muslim-majority Southeast Asian country.

"I don't think we have anything like that in our country," he said, responding to a question as to whether Malaysia would welcome gay travelers, according to German national broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

For the complete article, click here.


The guardian: Israel accuses Malaysia PM of 'rabid antisemitism' over Paralympics ban – 18 january 2019

“The decision prompted condemnation from the Israeli foreign ministry, with spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon calling the ban ‘shameful’ and saying it ‘totally opposes the Olympic spirit… ‘Israel condemns the decision inspired no doubt by Malaysia’s PM Mahathir’s rabid antisemitism,’ said Nahshon. He called on the International Paralympic Committee to force Malaysia to reverse the decision or to move the event to another country.”

The Guardian reports that Mahathir has banned Israeli athletes from entering Malaysia to compete in the qualifying event for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, despite condemnation from the Israeli foreign ministry.

For the complete article, click here.


Mahathir Continues to Clash with Malaysia’s Royalty

THE STRAIT TIMES: TEST OF STRENGTH BETWEEN ROYAL HOUSEHOLDS AND MAHATHIR LOOMS - 11 APRIL 2019

The Strait Times reports on the “unfolding political crisis in Johor” fueled by Mahathir’s latest clash with the country’s Malay rulers. The piece notes that Mahathir’s vocal and public disagreement with the Johor royal family over who will appoint the next chief minister may result in a constitutional crisis.

For the complete article, click here.


Mahathir Uses 1MDB as Scapegoat for Unfulfilled Election Promises

MALAY MAIL: STOP USING 1MDB AS YOUR SCAPEGOAT, KHAIRY TELLS PAKATAN - 02 APRIL 2019

The Malay Mail reports that Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin accused the Pakatan Harapan coalition of “trying to detract public attention from its inability to fulfill its electoral promises” by blaming the country’s poor economic condition on debts accumulated by 1MDB.

For the complete article, click here.


The Malaysian regime does not respect the rule of law, or due process in any jurisdiction

THe Edge markets: ‘AG HID SHAFEE’S LETTER FROM JUDGE’ – 24 mAY 2019

The Edge Markets reports that Malaysia Attorney General Tommy Thomas has been accused of willfully hiding the contents of an exonerating letter and statements made in open court from the judge hearing Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah’s contempt case.  Shafee’s lawyer David Mathews said that Thomas’ failure to disclose the exonerating letter and statements amounted to willful suppression and non-disclosure of material facts.

For the complete article, click here.