Returned early to our hometown on Tuesday to escape the traffic jam.
That enabled us to visit few elderly relatives. Mostly the old, the ill, the lost loved ones, or the less fortunate. Interestingly, the same questions that kept propping up in conversations was the Low Yat Plaza fracas.
There have been many highly seditious statements made by oppositions, left wing activists and super-liberals against the Malay and Islam's status, rights and practices, but yet it is the perceived racial fracas arising from the stolen handphone that got the Malays' attention.
The Raya festivities is a significant event in the Malaysian calender and it is an important occasion from the perspective of propaganda. If events in the last few days of Ramadhan could dominate the Raya conversation, then it is successful in creating the Hari Raya buzz.
Low Yat fracas
To the law enforcement official, the Low Yat incident was a clear cut case of theft. IGP Tan Sri Khalid blamed the accused of talking to the social media and spreading the version of cheating.
Khalid was trying to control the situation by not mentioning that groups of Malay got agitated when the kid was beaten up by a group of young Chinese salesmen. That resulted in Malay groups converging by the thousands at Low Yat.
There were fracas that resulted in several Chinese media journalist was reported injured. Situation was under control by the wee hours of the morning. To date, 24 were held for investigation and released.
Blogger Papagomo, an UMNO division chief and activist Ali Tinju were held by police and was reported to be charged under the Sedition Act.
This could lead to another discontent as Chinese politicians and media social players were equally guilty of the doing the same alleged seditious act but no police action or prosecution done. Khalid had since given assurance that Chinese and Tamil social media will be investigated.
The lawyer for the openly challenged Khalid's statement as judgemental. He raised issue on the date on the CCTV video and denied the accused spoke to any social media, etc. [read here]. Words are the alleged stolen Lenovo handphone is not available as proof.
Despite being an issue of theft and racial incitation, there are segments in the Malay community that saw it in a positive light.
They claimed it as a unifying factor for "oppressed" Malays. Many were impressed with the viraled claim that the accused to return to the scene of the crime and Malay gangs managed to drive out Chinese gangs in their own territory.
Already Low Yat's business are affected by the incidents and shops closed few days. Social media is calling for boycott till they are out of business. Police raided Low Yat to capture those beating up the accused.
The Chinese retribution could be the buzz for Hari Raya.
Plot to topple
The opposition anticipate the Low Yat incident will be the buzz for Hari Raya and was quick to lay the blame on UMNO.
Bar Council activist, Eric Paulsen accused PM of using Low Yat to detract attention away from 1MDB [read MMO here]. In the joint press conference by the opposition and left wing NGOs, Rafizi warned 1MDB issue will not go away by this incident.
PAC is due to meet in early August. The past and present CEOs, Dato Shahrol, Arul Kanda and Dato Hazem are due to appear on the 4th, 5th and 6th. After the sessions with Auditors, PAC claimed to have found few issues to raise to the CEOs.
The Auditor General (AG) submitted their interim reports. Minister of Finance II, Dato Husni Hanazlah pointed out that the report concluded there were no missing RM42 billion and the transfer of USD700 million to a certain individual. [read Rocky Bru's here].
The said individual is presumably Jho Loh and allegedly done via Good Star Limited. 1MDB have clarified and it was repeated several times in the blogs with documents that Good Star is a subsidiary of Petrosaudi and not owned or controlled by Jho Loh.
Some bloggers like SatdD, Jebat Must Die and Freddie Kevin inferred the USD700 million is linked to the alleged campaign fund that was deposited into Dato Najib's three personal account with Ambank and is the diverted invested fund into Petrosaudi.
Their reaction generally arise from lost of trust with government for the late clarifications and several inconsistencies between the statements and claims by Ministers with certain claimed documents or other statements.
Tony Pua claimed Husni did not mention the questionable issues raised in the report. Which Auditor does not have questionable issues? It is there to be answered first by the organisation.
Thus far, Taskforce have frozen six accounts but said none belongs to Najib. There is no specific statement on the alleged Dato Najib's account except that it is closed. When was it closed? Does it tally with the dates of the transfers as alleged by WSJ?
As far as the documents revealed by WSJ, CEO of CIMB Islamic, Badlisyah Abdul Gani questioaned the discrepencies with the Swiftcode thus deemed the documents as questionable. Sarawak Report (SR) responded by diverting attention on Datin Seri Rosmah.
Badlisyah had announced his resignation [read here] in the midst of rumours that Dato Nazir Tun Razak had approached the G18 PAS-offshoot group [read here]. It re-affirm Nazir's long believed political aspirations, biasness and undemocratic tendency to personal opinion by others' than himself.
Question remain as to the existence of large sum of money allegedly transferred into Najib personal accounts.
One source with linked to a certain Minister claimed no such transfer and accounts existed. It will eventually be revealed. While one source linked to a government outfit claimed it's existence, but unthinkable for source to be trusting of SR, The Edge, and WSJ.
Last week, rumours broke out that opposition leaders - Tony Pua and Rafizi, The Edge's Dato Tong Kooi Ong and Ho Ko Tat, Sarawak Report's Clara Rewcastle and Xavier Justo met in a Singapore Hotel.
In the latest development, Dato Rahman Dahlan made a police report on the meeting and conspiracy to topple the government [Read Rocky Bru here and here]. The editor cum researcher for SR, Lester Melanyi made a PC to confess to the conspiracy to topple government:
Rafizi's butt is burning, wrote Bujai [read here]. Clara was at her lying best to dispute [read MMO here].
Only few days ago, the NGO, CAGM made a press statement of an unnamed SD by an ex-Ambank staff claimed of being force to effect the alleged transfer [read FMT here]. Yesterday, CAGM denied the SD and said it is only experiment on Malaysians gullibility [read here].
Will the experiment take the heat of Dato Najib? Lim Sian See see the walls are closing in on Najib's critics [read here].
The silent buzz in certain circles are forecasting the resumption of onslaught by Tun Dr Mahathir after Raya. The new target deadline to bring down Najib has shifted from end of June to August.
New allegation surfaced in Australia by The Age on allegation of counterfeit money. Najib made a statement to sue. At least, he is fast on this.
A certain blogger attempted to revive the Tabung Haji-1MDB issue through his blog and maybe other avenues too. [Read Apanama here and FMT here.]
Whether 1MDB was a case of swindling of a mega preportion, his attempt to create a viral of distrust among gullible depositers towards TH has bad intention written all over. It will create the undesired impact of destabilising and at the worst of situation, destroy an important Islamic institution through lies and deception.
The posting is devoid of any facts on the subject matter and shows a clear lack of understanding on any non-political issues. The fact as taken from Bigdog here is that the land purchase was made on a discounted valuation, far cheaper than a nearby last done transaction.
TH bought the KLFID land at RM188.5 million as compared to international valuers figure of RM194 million. The land is not sold yet despite receiving several offers. There have been suggestions by MPs to not sell the land.
The decision will be based on long-term benefit to depositors and not some myopic and anarchic political play. The choice is between a one-off RM5.5 million profit versus developing the land for potential profit estimated at RM177.5 million over 3 years.
On the issue of halal or haram, someone unschooled in Islamic jurisprudence has no legitimacy to judge. Buying and selling of the said KLIFD land or any land transaction are halal in Islam.
TH has got decades of experience in property investment and are far more conversant on halal or haram matter in protecting their 8.6 million depositors than politics-only blogger. In comparison to other institutions, TH have the most stringent halaalan toyyiba criteria.
Certainly, depositors' money cannot be simplistically assumed as bailing out 1MDB. The evaluation and negotiation of the KLIFD proposal was made since 2013 and undergone several level of committees' scrutiny. The leakage at the level of BOD and certain evaluation committee have been detected through the information trail.
Nevertheless, the attempt to create a Hari Raya buzz out of the TH issue is not likely to succeed. There is a bigger political happening in the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat. But, it could not outshine the attention given to issues championed by Tun M.
Looking forward for after Hari Raya.
In the meanwhile, to all readers:
Selamat Hari Raya dan Maaf Zahir Batin.
* Edited and updated 17/7 10:30 PM