Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mahathir's letter to Yitzhak Rabin (Dec 1993)

Mahathir's letter to Yitzhak Rabin Dec 1993

Posted on 29 February 2012 - 09:39pm

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 29, 2012): The following is the letter written by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel in 1993, as released by the Foreign Ministry here today.


21 December 1993

His Excellency
Mr Yitzhak Rabin
Prime Minister of Israel

I would like to thank you for your letter of 17 October informing me about the Agreement of Principles and Mutual Recognition between Israel and the PLO.

My government supports this positive development and views it as a first step towards the realization of a comprehensive solution to the Middle East problem. As a demonstration of Malaysia's support to this development my country was represented at the Donor's Conference to support The Middle East Peace held in Washington and subsequently pledged a modest financial contribution to the Palestinians to assist in their new tasks. My government has also offered the Palestinians technical assistance under the Malaysian Technical Cooperation Programme.

Malaysia as a matter of general principle is prepared to develop relations with Israel at the appropriate time. In the meantime, we would like to see tangible progress in the implementation of the peace agreement.

The Middle East problem particularly the Palestinian issue has been a cause of instability to the region and I hope the recent agreement between Israel and PLO would contribute to lasting peace to the area.

I look forward to normal relations with Israel. (this last sentence is hand written)


-- Bernama

Dr Mahathir's letter to Ehud Barak (June 1999)

Mahathir's letter to Ehud Barak June 1999

Posted on 29 February 2012 - 09:43pm

KUALA LUMPUR (Feb 29, 2012): The following is the letter written by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Elect of Israel, in 1999, as released by the Foreign Ministry here today.


8 June 1999

His Excellency
Mr Ehud Barak
Prime Minister Elect of Israel

Your Excellency,

May I extend my congratulations on your victory in the recent elections. With this impressive mandate, I hope that you and your coalition partners will be able to guide the destiny of the people of Israel at the threshold of a new Century.

I would like to take this opportunity to reiterate that Malaysia has always sought peace and the settlement of problems between neighbours through negotiations. It is therefore our hope to see the mutual implementation of the agreements signed between the PLO and Israel. We also believe that if the peace process is to be salvaged, sincere and effective steps must be taken to honour commitments.

As an important partner in the peace process it is crucial for Israel to be more accommodating. The Palestinians have made major sacrifices. They no longer demand the elimination of Israel. They are even prepared to share Jerusalem with you. It is therefore timely that Israel respond positively so as to sustain the hopes of the people in both Palestine and Israel. Solemn commitments made by a previous Goverment must be honoured. The alternative I am afraid, would be a permanent state of conflict and regional instability extending into the next Century. This is certainly a prospect that must be avoided.

The crux of the problem is that no party should revert to the old ways of taking what belongs to others, on the one hand and instigating hatred and violence, on the other. Malaysia cannot countenance aggression by anyone, whether friend or foe. Any country that focibly takes over land and properties of others, or demolishes dwellings belonging to others in order to set up its own settlements cannot be said to be sincere in wanting peace.

Malaysia is of the firm conviction that the security of all countries in West Asia can only be assured with the establishment of a just, lasting, and comprehensive peace in the region. This must be based on the principle of "exchange of land for peace" and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The world looks foward to Israel under your leadership, to push foward the peace process with true determination. It is my sincere hope that the attainment of a comprehensive settlement in the region would allow Malaysia to realistically envisage a positive move towards the establishment of normal relations with Israel.

Yours sincerely,


-- Bernama

Definitely brilliant strategy by UMNO

So now do you get it? Umno has given up on the Chinese. They have abandoned the Chinese voters. What they want is the Malay votes because one Malay vote is equivalent to two Chinese votes. Pakatan Rakyat needs to win 100,000 Chinese votes to win just one seat while Umno can get two or three seats with that same 100,000 Malay votes.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Have you noticed that of late there appears to be an explosion of controversial issues and statements regarding Islam and isu Melayu-Cina (Malay-Chinese issues)? Today alone Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has made a few statements, as he has been doing for a while now.

Some are direct attacks while others are indirect and camouflaged. You, of course, can clearly see the direct attacks but you do not notice that the indirect attacks are actually targeting something else.

I know many of you, in particular readers of Malaysia Today, will foam at the mouth and scream ‘racist’. Dr Mahathir is a racist. Najib Tun Razak is a racist. Ibrahim Ali is a racist. Umno is racist. Perkasa is racist. Pekida is racist.

Firstly, you need to distinguish between racist (prejudiced person), chauvinist (war hawk) and nationalist (flag waver). Most readers understand only one word, racist, and everyone is called a racist.

Would those who fight for Chinese education and Chinese schools then be considered a racist? Are they prejudiced?

They would be prejudiced or a racist if they think that Malays are an inferior race, just slightly better than animals, and that is the reason they are fighting for Chinese education and Chinese schools -- to uphold and maintain the more superior Chinese language and culture.

Most Chinese educationists are not racists. They could, in fact, even be called sentimentalists or romantics. For all you know, they could even be connoisseurs and scholars of Malay poetry and literature while still wanting to uphold Chinese education and schools. So how can they be racists?

I know many scholars of Islam who are actually Christians. They love doing research on Islam and they have published more books than all the lecturers of UITM combined. Muslims call these types of people ‘orientalists’. Some have even classified Prophet Muhammad as the most influential person in history, even above Christ, the Prophet of Christianity, the religion of these orientalists.

Fighting for your language, culture, community, etc., does not make you a racist. It might make you a chauvinist in some people’s eyes. You become a racist only when you feel you are of a superior race and that all other races are inferior and you discriminate against those you regard as inferior.

In that same spirit, the Hindraf people are not racists. And neither are the Umno, Perkasa and Pekida people.

Now, before you stop reading at this point and start posting comments whacking me for ‘defending’ Umno, Perkasa and Pekida, as most of you normally do, read on till the end and see why I say this. If not you will again be commenting off tangent, as many of you normally do.

The Umno people (meaning also Perkasa, of course) actually do not hate the Chinese. In fact, most, if not all, do business with the Chinese (and they just love China Dolls). Many of them have become extremely rich because of their links with the Chinese. The Umno-Perkasa people will be the last people in Malaysia to go to war with the Chinese.

Read what Dr Mahathir said today. Many Chinese have become rich under the NEP. A few days ago, Umno said that the NEP has created many billionaires. Who do you think all these billionaires are? And sometimes those Chinese or Indian billionaires do not really own everything they are perceived to own. Only part of their wealth belongs to them. Part of it belongs to their ‘silent’ partners who they are holding the shares under trust for -- meaning, of course, the Malays in the corridors of power.

How do you think all these Chinese and Indians became billionaires if not because of their links with the Malays? How do you think all those Malays became millionaires (or even billionaires in some cases) if not because of their links with the Chinese and Indians?

You people reading Malaysia Today are so dumb. You foam at the mouth and scream ‘racist’. Hell, they are not racists. They are Bapak Kapitalist -- Capitalists of the highest degree. They are only pretending to be racists. And they have been fooling you good and proper for a long, long time.

Lim Goh Tong, Robert Kuok, Khoo Kay Peng, Vincent Tan, Francis Yeoh, Tan Kay Hock, Ananda Krishnan, Samy Vellu, and many more of their ilk would never have become what they have become if not because of Umno. From the days of Merdeka and the days of the First Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Chinese and Indians have made it big because of Umno.

I am not saying that some Malays also did not make it big. But note one thing. While the Chinese and Indians made it big in partnership with Umno, the Malays made it big while fronting for Umno. In other words, do these Malays actually own all that wealth or do they own just a percentage of their wealth while the lion’s share actually belongs to Umno whom they are fronting for?

Even Daim Zainuddin’s wealth is questionable. How much belongs to him and how much belongs to ‘others’ and Umno? Does anyone other than the people concerned know the real situation?

So, if all these people are not really racists, then why of late have they been acting like racists? What’s with this Islam and Melayu rhetoric? Why antagonise the Chinese and Indians and risk losing their support and votes?

Umno and Barisan Nasional know that they have already lost the Chinese support and votes and nothing they say and do is going to reverse that. They also know that the Indians have swung back to Barisan Nasional and they are confident of getting no less than 50% of the Indian votes. So that leaves only the Malays and the natives of Sabah and Sarawak to worry about.

The Malay heartland is very crucial to Umno. There are more ‘Malay’ seats than ‘Chinese’ seats. Malay seats are as low of 20,000 or 40,000 voters. Chinese seats are as high as 100,000 or 120,000 voters. Hence, there are double or more ‘Malay’ seats compared to ‘Chinese’ seats. Hence also, this means that if 50% of the votes go to the opposition while Umno gets also 50%, Barisan Nasional can still form the government with around 60% of the seats in Parliament, as long as Umno’s 50% comes from the Malay heartland.

So now do you get it? Umno has given up on the Chinese. They have abandoned the Chinese voters. What they want is the Malay votes because one Malay vote is equivalent to two Chinese votes. Pakatan Rakyat needs to win 100,000 Chinese votes to win just one seat while Umno can get two or three seats with that same 100,000 Malay votes.

That is why Umno, MCA, Gerakan, etc, are all playing on the Malay sentiments and issues related to Islam. They want to win as many Malay votes as they can to compensate for the loss of the Chinese votes. DAP-PKR can take all the towns. Umno will take all the kampongs. There are more seats in the kampongs than in the towns. And this includes Sabah and Sarawak as well.

It is a bonus for Umno when the Chinese and Indians react negatively to Umno’s ‘racism’. That helps Umno in its strategy. When the Chinese and Indians also resort to Malay-Islam-bashing, Umno can use this as ‘proof’ to convince the Malays in the kampongs that Pakatan Rakyat is a threat to the Malays and Islam and that if Pakatan Rakyat takes over the Malays will become second-class citizens and hamba (slaves) in their own country.

Actually it is a brilliant strategy. Make tons of money in partnership with the Chinese. Use the Chinese as the bogeymen to frighten the Malays. And then let the unsuspecting Chinese do the rest in proving how dangerous they are by their own words and action.

Brilliant or not?

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The man behind PKR


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Let us continue the story regarding Datuk John Soh Chee Wen.

After the euphoria of the March 2008 general election, which for the first time since May 1969 saw the opposition make impressive inroads into creating a two-party system in Malaysia, there was a need to get down to the business of governing.

As what John Soh tried to emphasis and to make the opposition understand: winning the election is not the hard part. That is only the beginning of your problems, not the end of it. Your problems really start after you win the election because running a government is more difficult than winning it.

John Soh realised that the first thing to do was to get proper premises for PKR plus furnish and equip it so that it can function as a proper nerve centre, not only for PKR but for the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, as well. More importantly, there was a need to establish a strategic plan on how to govern effectively with the objective of winning the next general election expected in 2012-2013.

That only gave them four or five years, which is not really that much time to do everything that needed to be done to become a credible and viable federal government.

What was unknown to many, except to those within Anwar Ibrahim’s inner circle, John Soh was not just PKR’s financier. He was the master strategist who focused on how to win the federal government in the next general election. However, to be able to do that, you must first demonstrate that you know how to govern. Only this will give you the federal government.

There are no short cuts. It was going to be a long and winding road over the next four or five years. And that journey starts today. But it was not going to be just a long and winding road. It was going to be a rocky road as well. And almost from the word ‘go’, John Soh and Anwar could not see eye-to-eye on many issues.

John Soh kept reminding Anwar that his sentiments and emotions must not get in the way of the agenda, which was to form the next federal government. But that warning did not go down well with Anwar. Anwar felt that John Soh was trying to ‘control’ him just because PKR depended on his financial support to realise its aspiration.

Very early in the day, John Soh argued that there was a need to groom a new generation of leaders, given the lack of quality among the present crop that were voted in on March 2008. Even Anwar admitted openly that many who had won the 2008 election were not expected to have won and that it was a mistake to field these people as candidates.

Nevertheless, Anwar would not act on this matter -- even when the Elizabeth Wong fiasco exploded and John Son insisted that something be done about it. John Soh told Anwar that the Elizabeth Wong matter was more serious than many people know and it may be better to nip the whole issue in the bud before it comes back later to haunt the party.

That did not go down well with Anwar who felt that John Soh was overreacting and that they can always cross the bridge when they come to it and embark on damage control later only when the need arises. John Soh told Anwar that pre-emption is always better than damage control but he could not get Anwar to make the move.

Another focus of John Soh was the Malay heartland. John Soh stressed that it would be impossible to win the election unless one had the support of the Malay Diaspora. It was very crucial, therefore, that Anwar focused on the Malay heartland. This too was not done because Anwar preferred to concentrate on his overseas audience rather that waste time in the villages.

It was already apparent even at that very early stage that John Soh and Anwar had conflicting ways in handling matters and different priorities. John Soh chose the ‘strike first’ route while Anwar preferred the ‘wait until it happens and then cover our arses’ route.

Actually, the falling out between John Soh and Anwar started earlier than that, although it did not peak until much later. The first signs of ‘incompatibility’ revealed itself when Anwar announced his 16th of September plan.

September the 16th of 2008 was supposed to be the day that Pakatan Rakyat takes over the federal government. But to do that Anwar has to first persuade at least 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament to cross over.

Getting 30 Barisan National Members of Parliament to cross over was not that much of a problem. All it needs is money, RM300 million to be exact -- to pay each Member of Parliament RM10 million as an ‘inducement’ to cross over. The problem would be: after paying them the RM300 million, which would have to be in advance, of course, how can they be assured that Umno would not up the figure by RM15 million and buy them back?

The bottom line would be: Pakatan Rakyat pays them RM10 million each and Umno also pays them RM15 million. They would receive in total RM25 million each and remain in Barisan Nasional. If they can be bought, then others can also buy them for a higher price. And they will take the higher price without returning the RM10 million you gave them.

John Soh’s bone of contention was that he would be the one who has to pay the RM300 million. If it works, well and fine. But what if it fails, as it did in Perak, and Umno counter-offers these 30 Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament a higher figure? The RM300 million would be money down the drain.

John Soh did not agree to fund the RM300 million take-over-exercise unless Anwar could ensure success. But how could Anwar guarantee success? These were 30 ‘for sale’ Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament they were talking about. If they can sell themselves to one side then they can sell themselves to the other side as well.

John Soh refused to fork out the RM300 million and that ended the September 16th dream to march into Putrajaya. And that also meant Anwar would have to face trial for Sodomy 2. The only way to escape Sodomy 2 would be for Anwar to become the Prime Minister, which was not going to happen now.

For weeks Anwar refused to talk to John Soh. He put the failure of September the 16th squarely on John Soh’s shoulders. When they finally met, Anwar and John Soh had a heated exchange of words. When Anwar said that John Soh was to be blamed for the September 16th failure, John Soh retorted, “If you are so confident it was going to work then why not fund it yourself? Bring back some of the billions you have stashed overseas and pay the RM300 million from your own pocket!”

That was more or less the beginning of the end of their relationship. With that one retort, John Soh destroyed any possibility of a compatible ‘marriage’. From then on it was downhill all the way and they disagreed on almost every issue thereafter. Anwar never forgave John Soh for the 16th September failure.

One issue after another cropped up that widened the gap even further. John Soh was propagating reforms but all his plans to push for reforms were always met with resistance. Only then did John Soh realise the influence Azmin Ali had over Anwar. If John Soh wanted Anwar to agree to anything, he must first get Azmin Ali to agree to it. Only then would he be able to get Anwar to go along with the proposal.

The PKR supreme council was a lame duck council because Anwar was constantly referring to his old Umno mafia on how to run the party. What upset John Soh the most was the party-within-a-party structure where within the official party circle was another unofficial all-Malay circle comprising of ex-Umno cronies. In fact, this second inner circle would hold its own separate meetings further to the main meetings.

When Zaid Ibrahim joined the party, John Soh immediately sensed an opportunity to push through the much-needed reforms with Zaid leading the charge. John Soh saw the opportunity offer itself during the Jeffrey Kitingan crisis and he asked Zaid to help calm the situation. John then engineered Zaid’s meteoric rise in Sabah and Sarawak.

John Soh hit the roof when Anwar did a U-turn and rejected the Sabah Peace Plan after having agreeing to it earlier. John Soh had worked hard on this peace plan so he was furious when he found out that the person who had torpedoed the whole thing was Azmin Ali.

In another incident, John Soh supported Zaid’s bid for the Deputy Presidency and was disgusted at the level of cheating that took place. In his own words he said, “I did not think Anwar and Azmin would sink to such low levels.” That was yet another blow and only made things worse.

When things came to a head and it became impossible for any reconciliation, John Soh and Anwar parted company. The final straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was the Sarawak State Election disaster almost a year ago.

The PKR headquarters building actually belongs to John Soh and PKR has been squatting there all this while free of charge. Before that, since early 1999, PKR was squatting in Datuk Ravi’s building in Phileo Damansara, also free of charge. (Incidentally, Datuk Ravi is a Samy Vellu nominee).

PKR, of course, denies this. Saifuddin Nasution, PKR’s Secretary General, told the press that PKR is paying rent. But Saifuddin said he is not clear who the owner of the building is and how much rent the party is paying.

PKR’s Treasurer, William Leong, on the other hand, has refused to comment about whom PKR is renting the building from. William Leong added that PKR was renting the premises at RM20,000 a month and that rental was paid promptly. However, reports have emerged claiming that PKR had not paid any rental since November 2008, bringing the arrears to RM600,000. (The Star, 10 June 2010).

If this were true, then the accumulated unpaid rental since the beginning would come to about RM1 million or so.

It is being speculated that John Soh may be claiming back that unpaid rental of RM1 million. He has already spent RM20-RM30 million to fund Anwar, and then PKR, since 1998. If he had gone along with Anwar’s 16th September plan then it would be RM330 million rather than RM30 million. Whether that would mean Pakatan Rakyat would now be the federal government and Anwar Malaysia’s new Prime Minister, or whether it would just mean money down the drain, is, of course, not something we can determine.

Anwar needs to raise at least RM600 million (versus Barisan Nasional’s RM1.5 billion) for the coming general election if we really want to see a change of federal government. If not, then we may see Barisan Nasional still in power for a long time to come. And that money was supposed to have come from John Soh. But Anwar has already burned his bridges with John Soh. Will Anwar kiss and make up or will the divorce be absolute and final?

PAS and DAP have no problems. They can scrape through with a shoestring budget. In fact, they always have, for half a century. But PKR cannot. It needs money to move its machinery and to get its people to work (basically, Umno culture). Without RM600 million, PKR is dead in the water and DAP or PAS is going to emerge the taiko in the next election with the most number of seats. PKR will then be relegated to the younger brother in Pakatan Rakyat with hardly enough seats to claim the post of Opposition Leader, let alone Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Yes, at the end of the day, Malays ‘play politics’ but would be nowhere without money, mainly Chinese money. As I said: look for the Chinese behind the Malay politician, on both sides of the political divide. That is the story of the lives of Umno, Semangat 46 and now PKR. Luckily PAS has people committed to Islam who are prepared to do God’s work free of charge. With Allah as their calling card they do not need money. In fact, their supporters give the party money instead, something PKR wishes it could see as well.

The 100-million-dollar question now is: have PKR’s legs been cut off from under it? The answer to that question would reveal itself around dinnertime on Polling Day of the 13th General Election. Meanwhile, don’t hold your breath. You might turn blue, the colour of Barisan Nasional.