I was sent by DAP to fly the DAP flag in Malacca and stood as a candidate for the then Bandar Melaka parliamentary constituency in 1969.
I believed that I had discharged the trust and the mandate of the party to the best of my ability from 1969-1986 when I was for three terms MP for Bandar (and then Kota) Melaka and Malacca State Assemblyman.
In my years as elected representative of Malacca, I had raised in Parliament the grievances and legitimate expectations of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region – whether the economic, political, social and cultural expectations of the Chinese in Malaysia, the plight of the padi farmers and the Felda settlers, the impoverishment of the estate labourers, the grievances of the Orang Asli or the legitimate grievances of the Sarawakians and Sabahans.
I remember that although the thought of becoming a Minister at the age of 30 was tempting, I had no hesitation in rejecting the MCA proposal from the then MCA President, Tun Tan Siew Sin for DAP’s dissolution and join MCA for Chinese Unity as we are not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans or Kadazans, we are first and foremost Malaysians.
After the 1986 general election, where I campaigned in Penang to be the front-line state for change and a better Malaysia, Lim Guan Eng took over as the MP for Kota Melaka.
He continued the DAP battle for all Malaysians, and went to jail and was disqualified as a Member of Parliament for fighting the cause of an underaged Malay girl – for DAP is committed to the well-being and welfare of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.
This is the first time, and remain the only case, of a political leader going to jail and sacrificing his MPship for championing the cause of a Malaysian involving another race.
That we are first and foremost Malaysians, and not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli, must remain at the very core in the battle for the Malacca state general election on Nov 20, 2021 which is being forced on the Malacca voters in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Malacca state general election on Nov. 20 is a forerunner to the 15th General Election which must be held less than 19 months away by May 2023.
DAP Malacca workers in the Malacca general election must always work not for Malacca alone, but for a better Malaysia.
We do not know what is in store in the 15th General Election.
The 14th General Election had been a game-changer.
Who would have expected the invincible and the unbeatable UMNO to be toppled in the 14th General Election in 2018, giving way to a Pakatan Harapan government?
Malaysians expected a lot of changes with the establishment of the Pakatan Harapan government, but they were disappointed when the Pakatan Harapan government was toppled by the Sheraton Move conspiracy which ushered in a backdoor, undemocratic and illegitimate government – one followed by another in the last two years.
The Pakatan Harapan government was slow in the start, and before it could initiate many changes, it was toppled in 22 months by the Sheraton Move conspiracy. The Pakatan Harapan government thought it had five years to fulfil the Pakatan Harapan election pledges but it was toppled before it could develop the momentum for wide-ranging reforms and changes.
But the Pakatan Harapan government did make mistakes and the Malacca state general election is an opportunity for a review of these mistakes.
All Pakatan Harapan leaders and workers must remain humble and modest in the election campaign to restore confidence and hope for a Malaysia which, in the words of Bapa Malaysia,Tunku Abdul Rahman could be a “beacon of light to a difficult and distracted world” – which sums up the Malaysian Dream of all Malaysians.
(Speech by DAP MP for Iskandar Puteri Lim Kit Siang at the launch of the DAP Malacca General Election Machinery at DAP Malacca headquarters on Sunday, 24th May 2021 at 5 pm)
*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.
Tajuddin Rahman, a senior Umno MP has proposed that a new policy be enacted to help the Malays. The current National Development Policy, he opined, has not been successful, despite the current budget allocating RM11.4 billion for Bumiputra programmes. The attack on the National Development Policy is aimed at Dr Mahathir Mohamad who in the 1990s wanted Malays to excel through privatisation and to move the country towards commerce and industries. Tajuddin lamented the Malays are still poor and objected strongly to this policy of cash handouts made popular by Najib Razak. These cash handouts, he said, have not uplifted the Malays. Another Umno leader from Sabah criticised the small allocation for development for Sabah and Sarawak; he wanted more.
Tajuddin’s call for a new bumi policy begs this question: What more do these Malay heroes in Parliament want? What sort of special upliftment do they expect the Malays to get year in year out? A race-based budget is just not done anywhere else in the world – and yet the Malays are still poor?
The truth is Malays are not poor anymore. There are some who are but there are other poor people in the country too. Why not talk about them? If you drive from Penang along the North-South Highway ; you can count more than four hundred billboards depicting the success of Malay / Muslim products and businesses. The Malay Muslim direct selling companies selling Muslim products – textiles, cosmetics, foods, services, Aqiqah and many more – are generating revenue of billions of Ringgit.
How can you say Malays are poor? They received cash from the government at regular intervals. If you stop in Kuala Lumpur and play golf in the most expensive golf clubs in the country and ask the caddie master how many golfers are Malay, he will tell you more than seventy percent of them are Malay. You then drive south and stop over at Johor Premium Outlets in Johor Bharu. You will see those buying the Calvin Klein jackets, Hugo Boss shirts and Ferragamo shoes are predominantly Malay. Talk to the cashiers in the outlets, and you are convinced Malays are no longer poor.
The poor are not the Malays these leaders spoke about in Parliament but the poor quality leaders the Malays have elected, who regularly make silly decisions for selfish reasons. It’s the poor quality Ministers who asked for “extras” from government contracts, ostensibly to take care of party expenses that make us poor. It is ridiculous for the supplier of services to be asked to quote more than the cost he was willing to do, so that party members can be happy. It’s called “donation” in this country, but corrupt practice anywhere else in the world.
This government that frowned upon Najib’s kleptocracy is in fact equally dirty in their dealings with public money. Government contracts are freely awarded to cronies and helpers, so long as the so-called party expenses are taken care of. Its clear that Malay-based institutions are poor – in the sense of being devoid of decency and uprightness. The departments and Ministries are headed and peopled by Malays but they do not follow the rules. They followed what the ministers want, and we all are poorer for it.
The bureaucracy is bloated and is no longer affordable. It is also killing fresh initiatives but this government still recruited new staffs to make full use of public money for friends and neighbours to savour government expenses. Ministers, regardless of portfolio, are able to appoint the full works of Advisers and Directors – such as a Cultural, Financial, Economic Advisers, Sports, Medical and Unity Advisers – since they have to project the right image in all aspects of Malaysian life to foreigners.
Taking full advantage of public money without shame is what makes Malay institutions poor. Some of the Malays they talk about in Parliament are poor, but so are the Indians, the orang Asli, the Chinese and the Dayaks. Why talk of poverty as if others don’t matter?
I hope our members of Parliament do not use the word Malays and Bumiputras too freely without giving serious thought to their meanings and implications. Do not be afraid to speak the truth about the moral depravity of our leaders.
When leaders no longer care about honesty and integrity; they will cease to care about the interests of ordinary Malaysians who need help. No policy change can do much good. It will be just another wasted effort even if you replace development policy with something more esoteric.
*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.
Susulan kenaikan hutang kerajaan sebanyak RM300 bilion serta pengambilan dividen melampau sebanyak RM140 bilion dari Petronas sejak PRU14 akibat pemansuhan GST dan lockdown separuh masak antara paling panjang tempohnya dalam dunia, kewangan kerajaan dan kemampuan kerajaan untuk bantu Rakyat yang terjejas akibat pandemik adalah terhad.
Sebab itu, kerajaan perkenalkan cukai makmur ‘one-off’ sebanyak 33% akan dikenakan bagi syarikat berpendapatan melebihi RM100 juta – iaitu kenaikan dari cukai biasa sebanyak 24%.
Ini perbandingan kadar cukai korporat beberapa negara:
Hong Kong: 16.5%
MALAYSIA: 33% (biasanya 24%).
Saya pernah menulis beberapa kali bahawa antara niat sistem cukai GST ialah untuk turunkan cukai korporat dan cukai peribadi ke paras lebih kompetitif degan negara-negara jiran bagi menggalakan perniagaan baharu dan pelaburan asing dalam negara.
Ini juga trend seluruh dunia.
Dan ini juga dibuktikan apabila cukai korporat dan peribadi diturunkan beberapa kali dari 28% ke 24% semasa saya PM.
Malah, negara Filipina turut turunkan cukai korporat dari 30% ke 25% pada tahun ini sebagai satu usaha membina semula ekonomi mereka yang terkesan teruk oleh pandemik.
“Philippines to cut corporate tax to 25% to aid recovery from COVID”
Ini antara kebimbangan saya dalam perbahasan saya semalam bahas di Dewan Rakyat.
Saya menyedari bahawa hasil kepada kerajaan dijangka rendah dan
kewangan kerajaan ketika ini sangat tertekan atau kritikal.
Tapi saya amat bimbang dengan dua langkah kerajaan untuk menaikkan cukai korporat dari 24% ke 33% bagi syarikat yang untung lebih RM100 juta bagi tahun 2022 serta langkah untuk mula mengenakan cukai ke atas pendapatan yang diperolehi dari luar negara untuk menambah pendapatan kerajaan.
Akibat pemansuhan GST, yang menyekat langkah kerajaan BN dahulu
untuk menurunkan cukai korporat dan peribadi, kadar-kadar cukai negara kita sudah menjadi paling tinggi di ASEAN ketika ini – malah lebih tinggi berbanding Amerika Syarikat yang sudah turunkan kadar cukai mereka dengan ketara sejak 2 tahun lepas.
Saya faham, kenaikan kadar cukai korporat bagi syarikat-syarikat yang menjana keuntungan RM100 juta ke atas adalah langkah sementara untuk satu tahun sahaja, tetapi, ianya akan menghantar mesej yang boleh menghakis keyakinan pelabur. Mereka akan berasa khuatir perkara seperti ini boleh berulang pada masa yang akan datang apabila kerajaan terdesak untuk mendapatkan hasil tambahan.
Perlu kita sedari, semasa kita memilih pelabur asing, pelabur asing juga memilih kita dan mereka mempunyai negara-negara lain sebagai pilihan alternatif.
Sebab apa pelabur asing mahu memilih negara kita dengan kadar cukai yang tinggi untuk melabur apabila tawaran negara-negara jiran kita lebih menarik dan semakin menarik?
Kita boleh lihat daripada kejatuhan teruk pasaran saham sebanyak 33 point sehingga pukul 12 tengahari tadi akibat langkah tersebut.
Malah semasa saya berdiri ini …………….
Nilai sekitar RM25 bilion ini telah dihapuskan dari pasaran kita. Dan yang akhirnya menanggung kerugian ini adalah rakyat secara langsung atau secara tidak langsung melalui tabung-tabung simpanan rakyat seperti KWSP, ASB, Tabung Haji serta Unit Trust.
Sekiranya matlamat perbelanjaan kerajaan yang paling besar ini adalah untuk menjana peluang pekerjaan yang baharu dan memulihkan ekonomi serta menambah pendapatan kerajaan, ada banyak lagi cara selain memperkenalkan cukai-cukai baharu.
Akhirnya, nilai sebanyak RM33.8 bilion sudah musnah dalam pasaran saham kita semalam berbanding hasil tambahan RM3 bilion kepada kerajaan yang dikutip dari cukai makmur ini.
Kerugian RM33.8 bilion untuk mendapat hasil RM3 bilion? Adakah ianya wajar?
Saya sangat bimbang bahawa langkah sementara ini akan memberi impak jangka masa panjang terhadap keyakinan pelabur dan ekonomi negara kita serta nilai aset simpanan Rakyat.
*Kandungan di atas hanya mewakili pandangan penulis sendiri. Sekiranya anda mempunyai pertanyaan mengenai kandungan karya, hak cipta atau masalah lain, sila hubungi Newswav.
Catatan ini pertama kali muncul di laman Facebook Najib Razak.
Firstly, I want to thank Kee Thuan Chye for writing about my past. I did not know what he was writing and I was quite curious when he gave me the first copy of the book when it was published – and I find it most readable and absorbing.
He did not ask me very much of my school days and I found to my surprise that he has learnt quite a bit. The stories were true although some aspects were quite apocryphal, gained from the telling and re-telling of the stories.
Whatever lessons we can learn of the past, it is the future that is my concern – for I think we are in one of the most critical times of the nation.
As this webinar has posed the question: Malaysian first – Boleh Ke?
I do not think anybody has an answer to this question, but one thing is sure, if we cannot be Malaysian first, then the future is a bleak one – there is no way to stop Malaysia from heading towards a kleptocracy, kakistocracy and a failed state.
Yesterday, I came across an article by Murray Hunter on “The Dark Forces Changing Malaysian Society” and I am reading Nazir Razak’s book “What’s In a Name”.
Fortuitously, we are in the midst of the Malacca general elections with Polling eleven days away on Nov. 20.
For the past 50 years, the nation-building policies moved away from “Malaysia First” approach, and as a result, we lost two million of our brightest and the best sons and daughters to the diaspora in the world.
They emigrated to other countries to become supermen and superwomen when they should remain in Malaysia to help build the country into a world-class great nation.
It is not that we have not achieved anything in the past six decades.
We have the Malaysian Constitution, which celebrated Malaysia’s plural society, the separatuion of powrers, the rule of law, good governance and human rights.
We have the Rukun Negara principles of nation-building, although I suspect we now have Ministers who do not subscribe to the Rukun Negara principles.
And then we have the 2018 general election which performed the impossible and toppled Umno the hegemon was an undoubted achievement, more so because UMNO was so invincible.
But the Pakatan Harapan government squandered the opportunity to bring about institutional reforms and changes in the country before it was itself toppled after 22 months, ushering in two backdoor, illegitimate and undemocratic governments by the Sheraton Move conspiracy in February 2020.
The rejection of the “Malaysian First” nation-building policy is sadly illustrated in the 22-month Covid-19 pandemic, with Malaysia becoming one of the worst performing states in the world, ranked No. 20 among nations with the most cumulative total of Covid-19 cases, with over 2.5 million Covid-19 cases and nearly 30,000 Covid-19 deaths.
But there are too many negative vibes in Malaysia today. There is a sense of apathy, hopelessness, despair and desolation in the land.
We have a new Prime Minister Ismail Sabri who coined the “Keluarga Malaysia” slogan, but could he live down his past for he was one of the main UMNO leaders who went on a rampage on “race and religion” rhetoric, particularly over the ICERD ratification lies and misinformation.
Then we have the 2022 budget which even the former economic adviser of the Pakatan Harapan government, Mohammad Abdul Khalid, asked where was the fairness over the measly allocation of millions of ringgit for non-bumiputeras but billions of ringgit for the bumiputeras.
I worry the voter turnout in Malacca and the subsequent Sarawak state general election may be as low as less than 30 per cent, as Malacca and Sarawak general elections will be important forerunners of the 15th General Election to decide whether the Malaysian Dream for Malaysia to become a world-class great nation has come to an end and there is no way for Malaysia to become a successful plural society and a world-class great nation.
Do we say No to the question: Malaysian first – Boleh ke?
I still believe that it is still possible.
Man do not live by bread alone. We all have a dream larger than ourselves.
I have not asked Kee Thuan Chye why he named his son Jebat Arjuna Kee. This is his dream for a better and greater Malaysia.
Malaysia is at the confluence of four great civilizations – Malay/Muslim, Chinese, Indian, Western. There is no reason why we cannot leverage on the values and virtues of these four great civilisations to make Malaysia a world-class great nation.
We owe it to our children and children’s children to continue to try until we succeed. Malaysia First – Boleh ke?
*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav. This post first appeared on Lim Kit Siang‘s blog.
Andrés Iniesta and the sporting directors of this year’s breakout teams have analysed the competitiveness of Spain’s top flight, where Real Sociedad lead the way, newly promoted Rayo Vallecano are sixth and CA Osasuna are pushing for European qualification too.
One third of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season is in the books and it’s already clear that this campaign is following the pattern of the past few years, with maximum competitiveness and excitement from the first to last minute of every game, as well as a bunched-together table with teams able to set ambitious objectives. The 2020/21 campaign was already the most fascinating competition in Europe, producing one of the closest title races of the century as four clubs were separated by just three points with five rounds to go, and now the current season promises to be just as tight.
After 13 rounds of action, the top three sides are separated by just one point, as Real Sociedad have 28 points and Real Madrid and Sevilla FC have 27 each. The distance between the sixth-placed team in the league, Rayo Vallecano, and the league leaders is just eight points. These stats once again place LaLiga Santander as the most competitive and thrilling of the five major European leagues, with none of those other competitions as close as Spain’s top tier. In Serie A, there are 13 points between first and sixth. In Ligue 1, there is even a 10-point gap between the leaders and second place. It’s a polar opposite situation.
The goal difference stats of LaLiga Santander also show how competitive the competition has been. Real Madrid have the largest goal difference at this stage, with +15, but that’s not as high as the goal difference leaders in England, Germany, France or Italy. Looking at the other end, Getafe CF and Levante CF have the worst goal difference stats in LaLiga Santander right now with -13, but each of the Premier League, Bundesliga, Ligue 1 and Serie A has at least one club with an even lower number than that. This shows that there are few easy games in LaLiga Santander, as no teams are being thrashed week after week.
Anything can happen in LaLiga Santander. RC Celta Vigo can come back from a 3-0 half-time deficit to draw 3-3 with FC Barcelona, or Valencia CF can pull off a comeback of their own against Atlético Madrid, scoring two stoppage time goals to turn a 3-1 disadvantage into a 3-3 draw. Newly promoted sides like RCD Espanyol or Rayo Vallecano can defeat Real Madrid 2-1 or FC Barcelona 1-0 respectively. Second-bottom Levante UD can play out a thrilling 3-3 draw with Real Madrid and even bottom-placed Deportivo Alavés can earn a 1-0 victory over the reigning champions, beating Atlético Madrid 1-0. Anything goes. If you blink, you might miss it.
In the current campaign, this has certainly been the case as comebacks are the order of the day, with stoppage time proving decisive game after game. Around 10 percent of the goals scored so far have come in stoppage time, with as many as 36 points changing hands in those additional minutes across the first 13 matchdays of this LaLiga Santander season. There is drama from minute 1 to 90… and then beyond as well!
REAL SOCIEDAD: FIRST AMONG EQUALS
In this league of equality, the first among equals are Real Sociedad, the impressive leaders of the table at this stage. The Txuri-Urdin are one of the clubs to have made the most of the more equal sharing of income that has existed in LaLiga since 2013, thanks to the centralised sale of audiovisual rights and the league’s Economic Control framework. With a solid academy structure and with efficient signings in the transfer market, acquiring talents such as Alexander Isak or David Silva, La Real have become the perfect example of how savvy management can build a squad capable of taking on the best teams of Spain. The CIES Football Observatory even ranked Real Sociedad as having the second most sustainable squad in Europe’s top leagues in terms of player age, average stay in the first-team squad and contract duration. Right now, there are 12 academy graduates in the first team and that squad has an average age of 25.6.
The result of all this is that Real Sociedad have been in the top positions in LaLiga Santander at various points over the past couple of seasons, with six matchdays at the very top in the current season. According to Beyond Stats – a big data project from LaLiga and Microsoft, using Mediacoach stats – Imanol Alguacil’s team rank third-best for goals conceded (10) and third-best in terms of making the most of each goal (earning 0.47 points per goal). Looking at other stats, Álex Remiro is the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets (seven) and Mikel Merino is the best player for ball recoveries in the opposition half in LaLiga Santander and the second-best overall. Centre-back Robin Le Normand has stood out too, winning the October Player of the Month award. Making all of this even more impressive is the fact that Real Sociedad are one of the youngest teams in LaLiga Santander and they have also been playing in the Europa League and have overcome a plague of injuries. This all proves that La Real are worthy leaders and, even if they weren’t among the main title favourites, they have earned respect across Spain and Europe.
Discussing the bright start to the season, Real Sociedad’s sporting director Roberto Olabe explained: “We operate in a difficult world, as LaLiga Santander is one of the best competitions. Leading the league is a way for us to grow and it helps our young players, in a mental and an ambition sense, to ask ‘why not?’ and we’ll then see where that takes us. We aren’t dismissing any possibility, as we know that this is yet another very competitive and even LaLiga Santander season, with points being shared. We want to be part of the action at the top this season.”
RDT: THE TOP SPANISH SCORER PLAYS FOR A NEWLY PROMOTED TEAM
After Real Sociedad (28 points) are Real Madrid and Sevilla FC (27 points) and then, just a little behind, Atlético Madrid (23 points). These are three of the four clubs from the 2020/21 LaLiga Santander title race, which went down to the wire. The fourth was FC Barcelona, who have slipped to ninth with 17 points. An 11-point gap to the leaders would be enough for seventh in the Bundesliga, fifth in Serie A or even third in Ligue 1! But, there is little margin for error in LaLiga Santander, where 17 points is currently 11 points away from both the leaders and the bottom-placed side.
That’s because there are many other clubs who keep collecting points week after week, making the mid-table very strong. For example, last season’s LaLiga SmartBank winners RCD Espanyol have come up and kept performing well, meaning they’re currently on the same number of points as their city rivals Barça, ahead of the Derbi de Barcelona next Saturday, November 20. The Pericos have achieved several eye-catching results, such as beating Real Madrid 2-1 in front of their home crowd, drawing 2-2 away at Real Betis and holding Europa League champions Villarreal to a 0-0 draw when they came to town. Making RCD Espanyol so tough is the fact that they have Raúl De Tomás, nicknamed RDT, leading their line. With seven goals so far, the same as Vini Jr and Luis Suárez, he is the leader in the race for the Zarra Trophy, the award given out each season to the highest scoring Spaniard. It has certainly been an impressive start for this side that played in LaLiga SmartBank last term.
CA OSASUNA: KINGS OF STOPPAGE TIME, THE THIRD-BEST AWAY SIDE AND SEVENTH OVERALL
Also in the middle of the pack are Athletic Club, a historic Spanish club who are currently eighth. Then, one point and one position above them are CA Osasuna, another of the standout teams so far. Depending on who the Copa del Rey winner is, seventh could grant qualification for the Conference League, which would be a mighty achievement for this modest club that only returned to Spain’s top tier in 2019. Under Jagoba Arrasate, they’ve been doing so well and finished 10th in their first year back up and then 11th. This year, they’ve taken another step forward and were unbeaten on the road up until Matchday 12, having won 2-1 away at Villarreal CF, having drawn 0-0 at the Bernabéu against Real Madrid, having produced two awesome 3-2 comebacks against Cádiz CF and RCD Mallorca. At this stage, the Rojillos have actually won the most points from stoppage time so far, with five.
Analysing the start to the campaign, CA Osasuna sporting director Braulio Vázquez said: “Dreams are important in football and it’s nice for us to see people thinking big. That’s the magic of the sport. But we know at this club how difficult it is just to stay in LaLiga Santander, so there’s no doubt that this remains the main objective. Michael Robinson did always say that CA Osasuna is a big club with unhealthy conformism, so we don’t want to fall into that trap either and we need to stay ambitious. At the same time, I like to remember a phrase from our former coach Pedro Mari Zabalza, who said ‘If we become overconfident then we’ll be bad’. We need to find the balance between the two attitudes to keep growing. We know we can compete against anyone and that’s what we have been demonstrating.”
FALCAO: THE STRIKER WITH THE BEST MINUTES-PER-GOAL RATIO PLAYS FOR NEWLY PROMOTED RAYO VALLECANO
Another team to have competed against all opponents is Rayo Vallecano, who have surely been the biggest shock of the Spanish football season so far. With Andoni Iraola, the team from the capital have the youngest coach in the division and they have impressed. After finishing sixth in LaLiga SmartBank last year and coming up through the playoffs, they’re now sixth in the top tier and would qualify for Europe if the season finished right now. They’re only one point behind the Real Betis of Nabil Fekir and then there are just two more points to reigning champions Atlético Madrid.
David Cobeño, the Rayo Vallecano sporting director, reflected on the great start, saying: “There are some very good squads at LaLiga SmartBank level. We then kept the core group we had last year, building on the momentum of the promotion, and we have added an extra touch of quality with the signing of certain players, such as Radamel Falcao.” The Colombian superstar has certainly been a key part of the early season success story, joining La Franja at the very end of the transfer window. Already he has five LaLiga Santander goals, scoring at a rate of one every 67 minutes, which is the best minutes-per-goal ratio in the division.
One of those goals earned the team a last-gasp 2-1 victory away at Athletic Club. Another of those strikes secured the 1-0 win over FC Barcelona, a match where nine of Rayo Vallecano’s starters were also at the club in LaLiga SmartBank last year. Cobeño continued: “We have to remain humble and achieve our goal of survival first of all, but from there it is free to dream. We have the recent example of Granada CF to look to, as they won promotion into LaLiga Santander and went straight into the European qualification spots. That could be an example for us to look towards.” The Granada CF success story was another demonstration of how anything is possible in Spanish football, as they went from playing in the 2018/19 LaLiga SmartBank season to facing Manchester United in the 2020/21 Europa League quarter-finals. This year, though, the Andalusian outfit have had an inconsistent start and are down in 17th. Anything can happen, for good or for bad, in the very competitive world of LaLiga Santander.
Andrés Iniesta, the former FC Barcelona player who is now a LaLiga Icon, reflected on this, stating: “The nice thing about LaLiga Santander is that it is all very even, with lots of parity. Every matchday is intense because every fixture is very complicated. I obviously hope that Barça win LaLiga Santander, but I’m sure it’ll be a difficult and hard-fought title race. We’ll need to see if Real Sociedad, Sevilla FC or Atlético Madrid can keep up their current pace and consistency until the end, but we have seen in recent years that other teams have managed to stay up there and that is nice for those watching.” A decade ago, when Iniesta was wearing the FC Barcelona shirt, both Real Madrid and the Blaugrana managed to win the league title with 100 points in back-to-back seasons, which was a LaLiga Santander record. Now there isn’t such an imbalance. It’s the opposite, as we’re witnessing the tightest and most exciting league in Europe.
In Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist, when the character, Mr Bumble is informed that “the law supposes that your wife acts under your direction”, Mr Bumble replies: “If the law supposes that, the law is an ass – an idiot.”
Today’s column is not on hen-pecked husbands but what is law perceived and supposed in a couple of make-believe situations.
Supposing I am a crook who has stolen billions from the people. In my possession, I have luxury goods, jewels and hard cash in currencies of different countries which runs into millions.
The long arm of the law caught up with me and my wife. They took away part of the wealth we had accumulated and both have been indicted on several criminal offences and the state has filed civil suits seeking the return of the riches so that it can be added on to its coffers.
In the meantime, the government seeks to forfeit all those ill-gotten riches. So, they go and seek an order from the court so that they get to keep what they had seized.
But the court said that the onus is on the claimant, in this case, the state to prove that I accumulated all the wealth from illicit and illegal activities.
Although it is common knowledge that the wealth was not inherited and neither could I have earned that kind of money during our working lives, the court then tells the state: “Please produce evidence to show that the money was the proceeds from something illegal.”
For a good measure, it meant that if you can’t show proof, they can get to keep everything. Does it mean criminals can keep their loot while the victims weep in pain and suffering? Yes, something like that.
If you are just an ordinary joe with no titles, status or position – past or present – could it be a different story? What if you don’t have a battery of lawyers and the money to fight the forfeiture order?
But before that, probably a public parade in purple or orange for the TV cameras would be the start, and perhaps a week or so incarnated with food and boarding paid by the state.
But wouldn’t any anti-corruption body use its powers to ask you to declare your source of income? Or will the taxman come after you asking you to pay your portion of the wealth in your possession?
If you are a politician, you can always plead: “Your honour, it was a political donation meant for the party.”
Isn’t the law an ass?
Mr A had about RM1 million in a bank in a foreign country and the source of that money was and still remains a mystery.
The money was deposited in small amounts (for whatever reasons) through cash deposit machines that are dotted around that country.
Those who deposited the money were unknown to him and bank officials and as the account starts to swell, an alert bank manager calls the cops.
“I say, mate, there’s some fishy business going on. We are getting dribs and drabs of money and it is being deposited anonymously to one single account. It looks suspicious and could be money laundering,” says the banker.
The account is flagged and the incessant flow of money continues and is keenly watched. A check on the systems shows that Mr A is a senior police officer in his country.
So, a polite note is exchanged between the police chiefs of the two countries. It simply said: “Can you get Mr A to come over and explain things? We just want to elucidate some answers to these mysterious deposits.”
The media in both countries go to town with the story and hopefully, get some truthful answers. The silence became deafening but Mr A’s boss says: “He had explained everything to us. He has a son studying there and opened an account there and the money in that account are proceeds from the sale of his house.”
But isn’t it the usual and proper practice for the buyer to get his solicitor to send the money to his solicitor, who will, in turn, deposit the money in Mr A’s bank account?
But when did he buy the house and where did the money come from? No one knows and the mystery can only be solved if Mr A opens his mouth.
But Mr A didn’t. Neither did he travel or offer any other plausible explanation, and interestingly, he just allowed the money to be forfeited. The parting shot was: “I don’t need it. You can keep my money.”
If it was ordinary joe, there would have been an extradition process, he would be strutted in handcuffs through the offices to the courts and probably put on the next flight, and arrested and charged upon disembarkation for money laundering.
But no, there are different strokes for different folks.
Isn’t the law an ass?
R NADESWARAN looks at two imaginary scenarios, interprets, analyses and draws his own conclusions.
*The views expressed are those of the author. If you have any questions about the content, copyright or other issues of the work, please contact Newswav.
Nomination day in Melaka, former pm Najib Razak accompanied UMNO state liaison chief Rauf Yusof to Tg Bidara nomination centre, it’s shaping up to be a three-cornered fight here among UMNO, Bersatu and PKR. No crowds gathering, a good sign, 12-day campaign begins from 11 am.