Bersatu: Apa yang ada untuk Mukhriz Mahathir?

Mukhriz Mahathir, putra Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad dan Menteri Besar Kedah berada dalam posisi yang perlu dicontoh.

Dia memiliki kesempatan untuk masuk ke barisan senjata di negeri ini, tetapi jalannya penuh dengan jebakan.

Masa jabatan keduanya sebagai Kedah Menteri Besar akan membantunya untuk bersinar di tingkat nasional atau melupakannya.

Namun, perannya dalam Parti Pribumi Bersatu (PPB), yang dipimpin oleh ayahnya, Dr Mahathir juga akan menunjukkan keberaniannya.

Sejauh ini dia tidak membuat pemotongan dalam hirarki Pakatan Haparan. Mungkin karena penampilannya yang tidak bersemangat dalam enam bulan pertama pemerintahan baru yang berkuasa.

Tapi dia masih memiliki beberapa poin kuat, dan ini mungkin mengarah pada keselamatannya dan masa depannya meningkat ke puncak kekuasaan.

Mukhriz tidak dipotong dari berlian yang sama yang dibuat oleh Dr Mahathir, meskipun apel tidak jatuh jauh dari pohonnya.

Dr Mahathir adalah pemimpin yang kuat dan yang dihormati bahkan oleh musuh-musuhnya. Najib Razak akan mempertimbangkan kekalahannya yang datang langsung dari keberaniannya untuk menentang Dr Mahathir.

Kita tidak bisa mengatakan itu tentang Mukhriz. Dia tidak mencapai banyak hal di panggung politik tetapi dia memiliki satu hal: ambisi! Itulah yang memicu kebangkitannya sebagai Menteri Besar dan perannya sebagai salah satu kandidat PM dalam menunggu.

Hal positif berikutnya untuk Mukhriz adalah usianya. Dia bisa menunggu 10 tahun lagi untuk melakukan gerakannya. Tetapi ia akan membutuhkan sekutu yang kuat – di dalam Pakatan – untuk mendapatkan benteng di pemerintahan.

Taruhan terbaik untuk Mukhriz ada di tangan Anwar Ibrahim dan Azmin Ali. Baik Anwar dan Azmin adalah hewan politik yang tangguh. Mereka akan membutuhkan pria yang lebih lembut untuk mendukung mereka dalam peran mereka sebagai pemimpin Pakatan.

Meskipun tampaknya Azmin mendapat dukungan dari kepemimpinan Bersatu dalam upayanya untuk memperoleh kepemimpinan Pakatan, Anwar dapat menimbulkan kekacauan.

PM dalam menunggu mungkin hanya memilih Mukhriz sebagai wakil PM-nya, sebuah formula yang akan memberi kesempatan kepada Dr. Mahathir untuk pensiun dengan rasa syukur.

Itu akan menyegel kepemimpinan Anwar di pemerintahan dan menggalang Bersatu untuk mendukungnya. Bersatu belum bersikap baik kepada Anwar menjelang pemilihan umum Port Dickson.

Tapi ini akan menjadi sejarah jika dia memilih Mukhriz sebagai orang nomor dua. Akan lebih masuk akal politik baginya untuk melakukan itu mengingat peran yang dimainkan oleh Azmin dalam pembagian PKR.

Anwar akan membunuh dua burung dengan satu batu dengan memilih Mukhriz, yang membatasi kebangkitan Azmin dan membunuh permusuhan Bersatu ke arahnya.

Meskipun demikian, ia harus melangkah dengan hati-hati. Amanah dan DAP juga harus diberi pembagian kekuasaan yang adil. Tetapi Anwar adalah ahli utamanya.

Dengan segala cara, Mukhriz masih memiliki peluang yang lebih baik untuk menjadi seorang Menteri atau bahkan wakil PM jika Azmin memenangkan pertempurannya di dalam Pakatan.

Disebut ‘Brutus’ baru oleh beberapa orang, pembagian PKR oleh Azmin akan membuat partai lemah. Dominasi dia akan berumur pendek jika dia tidak tunduk dengan kebutuhan sekutu.

Namun, sekali lagi, Bersatu tampaknya adalah partai yang akan mencapai kesepakatan yang lebih baik untuk mendorong Azmin menjadi PM. Persembahannya dengan Dr Mahathir bukanlah fiksi. Dia mungkin membuat kesepakatan bahwa Mukhriz jika dia belum menjadi Menteri atau DPM di bawah Anwar, mungkin mendapatkan peran tertinggi kedua di bawahnya.

Dan itu akan menyegel tawaran Azmin untuk menjadi PM dalam tujuh tahun ke depan karena kami yakin Anwar tidak akan bertahan lebih dari satu masa pemerintahan sebagai PM.

Oleh karena itu, kesegaran dan kelemahan Mukhriz di arena politik yang mungkin membuatnya menjadi pos yang paling tidak mungkin di pemerintahan. Jika dia memainkan kartunya dengan baik, itu.

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Pakistan membebaskan seorang wanita tetapi pengunjuk ingin dia mati

Pakistan membebaskan seorang wanita yang dituduh melakukan penodaan agama. Namun para pengunjuk rasa melemparkan sepatu pada foto-foto Perdana Menteri Imran Khan yang baru dicetak.

Banyak yang mengatakan mereka menginginkannya mati. Menurut mereka, penghujatan harus dihukum mati. Tampaknya PM Khan telah membuka sekaleng cacing.

Beberapa bertanya apakah mengabaikan kasusnya dan meninggalkannya di penjara akan menjadi langkah yang lebih baik.

Namun, Khan menegaskan ini adalah Pakistan baru. Dia mungkin percaya negara harus bergerak dari keyakinan abad pertengahan.

Ribuan pengunjuk rasa – yang disebut Islamis oleh media barat – berada di jalanan. Mereka menghentikan Pakistan.

Becak, mobil,  truk hancur dan terbakar. Selamat datang di Pakistan,

Balas dendam mereka: Pembebasan seorang wanita Kristen yang menghabiskan delapan tahun dalam kematian atas tuduhan pencemaran nama baik.

Pembebasan Asia Bibi adalah langkah kecil menuju lebih terbuka Pakistan dan ini adalah salah satunya. Namun para pengunjuk rasa tidak setuju.

Khan mengancam respon kekerasan pemerintah jika para pengunjuk rasa tidak ingin bubar.

Namun para pengunjuk rasa mengatakan mereka akan mengorbankan hidup mereka untuk tujuan mulia.

Mereka menyebut sikap Khan tentang masalah ‘sampah’.

Aasiya Noreen yang lahir pada 1971 lebih dikenal sebagai Asia Bibi. Dia seorang Katolik. Dia mendapat masalah setelah terus-menerus mengkritik wanita Muslim dan dia tidak ingin  minum dari gelas mereka.

Laporan mengatakan komentar Bibi Asia membuatnya bermasalah.

“Saya percaya pada agama saya dan di dalam Yesus Kristus, yang mati di kayu salib untuk dosa manusia. Apa yang dilakukan Nabi Muhammad SAW untuk menyelamatkan umat manusia?”

EU rights court bans defaming Prophet of Islam

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled against defamation of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

It said such activities exceed the permissible limits of freedom of expression.

The ECHR ruled against an Austrian woman who called Prophet Muhammad a pedophile was not protected by free speech. The applicant claimed she was contributing to public debate.

The ECHR said that defaming Prophet Muhammad “goes beyond the permissible limits of an objective debate”.

It also said this “could stir up prejudice and put at risk religious peace”.

According to the ECHR, the Vienna Regional Criminal Court (VRCC) found that the statements made in a seminar titled “Basic Information on Islam” were defamatory and in February 2011 convicted Mrs S. for disparaging religious doctrines.

She receives a fine €480 (approximately $547) which is also the costs of the proceedings.

“Mrs S appealed but the Vienna Court of Appeal upheld the decision in December 2011, confirming, in essence, the lower court’s findings.

The ECHR says the Supreme Court rejects a request for the renewal of the proceedings in 2013.

Mrs S relied on Article 10 (freedom of expression). She says the domestic courts failed to address the substance of the impugned statements.

Nevertheless, she says it was her right to freedom of expression.

The ECHR statement also affirmed the decision taken by the domestic court. It says this did not violate Article 10 of the EC on Human Rights.

Arab Saudi mendakwa wartawan mati di konsulat itu

Arab Saudi, selepas minggu kebimbangan dan kutukan antarabangsa, akhirnya mengakui kehilangan wartawan yang dibunuh di sebuah konsulat di Istanbul.

“Rundingan antara Jamal Khashoggi dan mereka yang bertemu dengannya semasa Konsulat Saudi di Istanbul membawa kepada pertembungan dan konfrontasi fizikal, yang mengakibatkan kematiannya,” kata kenyataan itu.

Turki juga telah mengubah kisahnya, dengan mengatakan bahawa Khashoggi dibunuh oleh pembalasan selepas pertikaian itu.

Tiada butiran yang muncul dalam pertikaian, tetapi versi rasmi akan mati dengan larangan.

Walau bagaimanapun, selagi badan masih hilang, kebenaran tidak akan diberitahu.

Pada hari Sabtu pagi, Arab Saudi mengumumkan kematian wartawan yang hilang Jamal Khashoggi, mengatakan siasatan awal menunjukkan bahawa dia telah kehilangan nyawanya setelah bertanding di konsulat Saudi.

18 orang Arab ditahan berkaitan dengan kejadian itu, kata pendakwa raya.

Negara itu juga mengeluarkan dua pegawai dari jawatan rasmi mereka. Timbalan ketua kakitangan Ahmed Al-Asiri telah dibuang dari jawatannya di Agensi Perisikan Am dan Saud Al-Qahtani dari peranan penasihatnya di Mahkamah Diraja, perintah itu diperintahkan.

Khashoggi: US asks Turkey for audio recording of murder

Is there such a thing: Khashoggi audio?

The United States today asked the Turkish government to provide audio recordings which Ankara said is evidence the journalist was killed.

Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi journalist entered the Saudi Arabian consulate office in Istanbul. He never came out, according to records.

But Turkish newspapers say he came out in body parts. They claim the Saudis killed him, butchered his body while he was still alive. Then the body parts were transported in a black Mercedes van to the house of the Consul.

From there, it was transported in a private jet to Saudi Arabia where obviously, the evidence would have gone missing. That is destroyed.

It sounds very plausible. But there is a lack of evidence. And when there is no ‘body’ to show, there is no crime.

However, Ankara, in its attacks against the Saudis, says it has audio recordings of the murder while it was taking place.

Turkish newspapers, fed by the Turkish intelligentsia, is publishing gory details of a murder well planned.

They talk of the cries of the man who is being cut into pieces by a specialist flown in from Saudi Arabia to do the dirty job.

Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, who has been identified as the head of forensic evidence in the Saudi general security department, was one of the 15-member squad who arrived in Ankara earlier that day on a private jet.

Tubaigy began to cut Khashoggi’s body up on a table in the study while he was still alive, the Turkish source said.

The killing took seven minutes, the source said.

As he started to dismember the body, Tubaigy put on earphones and listened to music. He advised other members of the squad to do the same, Turkish newspapers are saying.

However, Saudi newspapers are arguing that the Turks failed to publish the recordings. 

The Turks are saying Khashoggi installed a software in his Apple Watch that allowed him to record the conversation at the consulate.

Then came the gory moments. The killing, the cutting of the body parts.

But the Turks, to be on the safe side, are also saying most of the recordings were deleted by the Saudi death squad that attacked the journalist.

As Korean leaders meet, thousands rally in support peace process

By Jonathan Edward

SEOUL, Sept 18, 2018: As South Korean president Moon Jae-in met his North Korean counterpart in Pyongyang over the future of the peninsula today, thousands of peace activists converged at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium in a show of support for the reunification talks.

Organised by the Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL), a non-profit which advocates peaceful reunification with the North, the event drew over 50,000 supporters from 110 countries.

The gathering, held annually since 2014, drew 30 former heads of state from Romania, Ukraine, Burundi Nepal and Kyrgyzstan among others who joined delegates representing various religious organisations and other peace groups.

Also present were veterans of the Korean War, fought between the North and South between 1950 to 1953, resulting in a division that has persisted to the present day.

Besides those in Incheon, over 200,000 supporters gathered simultaneously in 97 countries including the United States, France, Mongolia Sri Lanka, Malaysia, South Africa and Germany chanting the groups’ slogans – “We are one” and “World Peace”.

Founded as a lobby group for the peaceful reunification of Korea, HWPL has since become a major force in advocating non-violent conflict resolution including successful involvement Mindanao peace process, resulting in the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro in 2014.

Led by the charismatic Lee Man Hee, himself a Korean War veteran, the group has a presence in 170 countries and is lobbying for the United Nations to adopt its draft Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War (DPCW).

Engaging in “personality diplomacy”, Lee has managed to draw together an array of high profile individuals including political and religious figures besides building an international network of like-minded non-governmental organisations worldwide.

“I sincerely ask each nation’s head of state to show their endorsement of the DPCW to achieve peace and cessation of war that all nations and people long for.

In the near future, the DPCW, in the form of a resolution, will be submitted to the UN to have it implemented at the international level,” he told the gathered masses.

The document contains 10 articles concerning the outlawing of the use of force to settle disputes between countries, an end to racial and religious discrimination and an emphasis on peace education.

It aims to provide a legal framework to discourage the use of force in the settling of disputes between countries and is meant to be legally binding, though the ability to enforce its articles may limit its effectiveness.

Relations between Pyongyang and Seoul have markedly improved in recent months with Moon’s visit to the North’s capital being the first visit by a South Korean head of state to the North and the third dialogue session between the two leaders this year.

In June this year, Kim met with US president Donald Trump and signed a joint statement agreeing to security guarantees for North Korea, reaffirmation of the de-nuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, recovery of soldiers’ remains, and follow-up negotiations between high-level officials.

Despite combat operations ending 65-years ago, the two countries are still technically at war with only a cease-fire and not a peace treaty. Moon and Kim have pledged to bring a formal end to the conflict.

While there is nothing to stop the two Koreas from signing a bilateral peace treaty, analysts concede the involvement of China and the US in supporting the North and South respectively, means their blessing would be needed for any lasting solution.

Anwar Ibrahim granted full pardon says Mahathir

Anwar Ibrahim, the jailed opposition leader was given full pardon by the Malaysian King, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V.

The Star newspaper in its online edition today said the Sultan has consented to granting  Anwar Ibrahim a full and immediate pardon.

Newly minted Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad said to the Star:

“The Agong has told (DAP secretary-general) Lim Guan Eng that he has agreed to grant a full pardon to Anwar.”

This was what Mahathir told a press conference Friday after a Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting.

“We will go through the proper process of obtaining the pardon for Anwar. It’s going to be a full pardon, which means that he is not only pardoned but released immediately,” he added.

Dr Mahathir said that Pakatan would immediately begin the process of getting Anwar’s pardon formalized.

During the election campaign, Mahathir made Anwar’s pardon and release a major horse battle.
This might, according to observers, has added to the ‘Malay Tsunami’ that helped overthrew the Najib Razak regime.
The impact of Anwar Ibrahim in the elections are huge, and his ‘reformasi‘ movement would have contributed largely to the success of the Pakatan Harapan victory.
Mahathir and Anwar were two powerful leaders of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) in the 1990’s.
They had a fall-out following the Asian currency crash in 1997-1998, which led to Mahathir’s jailing of Anwar.
But Anwar formed a reformasi movement right after his firing as Minister of Finance and deputy Prime Minister in 1998.
This movement has changed the political history of Malaysia and now it has a hold in the Malaysian power game.
However, Mahathir said on Friday that Anwar would have to become a member of the Parliament first before the Pakatan decides on any cabinet role for him.

“That might take a long time,” said Dr Mahathir.

Apple record share buy back indicates belief of investors undervaluation by investors

That fact that Apple is still buying back shares–at a pace even faster than before–indicates that it still thinks it is dramatically undervalued by investors.

Apple spent an astounding $23.5 billion on stock repurchase, more than twice its recent pace.

Since 2012, Apple has spent a total of $199.6 billion in share buybacks. Over the past two and a half years, it has paid between $6 and $11 billion per quarter on both open market and Accelerated Share Repurchase programs to buy its back stock.

In the most recent quarter, however, Apple spent an astounding $23.5 billion on stock repurchase, more than twice its recent pace, said Apple Insider.

Apple’s $23.5 billion stock repurchase–in a single quarter–is nearly 8 times the size of its largest-ever acquisition (Beats) and more than twice the size of Google’s acquisition of Motorola Mobility.

It’s close to the IPO valuation of Spotify or Microsoft’s massive acquisition of LinkedIn–albeit was quietly performed without any lengthy regulatory approvals or the layoffs of redundant talent. And unlike Beats, Motorola, Spotify or LinkedIn, Apple’s acquisition target is actually profitable.

Apple’s buybacks are not only reducing its outstanding share count but are also erasing the doubters among its shareholders, effectively reducing the volatility in its share price.

Despite massive buybacks, Apple still has a huge pile of cash for global investment

Due to tax laws, Apple has been using much of its domestic U.S. cash flow to finance stock buybacks and dividend payments. To tap into its foreign earnings, it also began issuing bonds at extremely low interest rates around the world. It no longer needs to do this. 

The company currently holds $267 billion in cash reserves overseas and $122 billion in total debt. Subtracted from cash holdings, this means Apple has $145 billion in liquid assets apart from the more than $10 billion in free cash flow it generates every quarter.

Berenger for President in MMM-MSM alliance

Talks between the MMM and the MSM are still on, despite denials from the MMM leadership.

The latest we heard is the MSM’s offer to put MMM leader Paul Berenger as President after the next General Elections.

The elections are not due until next year, but electoral alliances are the talk of the day in Port Louis city.

While sources are saying an MMM-MSM alliance is already sealed, we can say it is not final.

The MSM is still pondering on the MMM’s offer for a dissolution of the Parliament soon, and an alliance after the polls.

But sources told WFTV the MMM will have a hard time in the elections if it were to contest alone against the Labour Party and the PMSD.

However, the MSM is offering the presidency to Berenger as a token of appreciation if the latter agrees for an MMM-MSM alliance.

Nevertheless, a source within the MMM told WFTV the party would do better to go on its own, with Madan Dulloo as PM candidate.

Dulloo is known as the architect who patched the MMM together in the October 1982 crisis the party faced.

He was then offered the post of deputy PM by Sir Aneerood Jugnauth but refused.

Dulloo then mitigated the fall of the Jugnauth government in March 1983, backing the latter as PM.

Turnbull’s son says he is a victim of 1MDB

Alex Turnbull

Alex Turnbull (above picture), who says he is a victim of the 1MDB scandal, has threatened to sue a blogger.

The son of the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Turnbull has urged blogger to pull down articles from his blog.

The blogger has allegeded that he benefited in the 1MDB scandal.

Turnbull rejected the claims in emails sent to Sahathevan.

Turnbull said he called upon the insane pricing and bizarre structure (of the 1MDB deal) at Goldman Sachs, instead.

“I called out the insane pricing and bizarre structure at GS when the deal was done.

He also said he was ‘yelled at’ by compliance for casting doubt on the integrity of PFI.

“As a result I was “b tracked” and resigned.

“This will all come out in a book in September by Tom Wright at the Wall Street Journal,” he wrote.

When Sahathevan refused to pull down the articles, Turnbull suggested the blogger should talk to Wright.

“We could move to a formal discussion about defamation law in Australia. Let me know.

“I am not going to do this in public to drive traffic to your site and cause a media circus.”

He then said ultimately “I’m not the one making unfounded ridiculous accusations.”

“If you don’t want to do even the vaguest bit of research and then publish that’s your problem legally speaking.”

Alex Turnbull has been an executive director of Goldman Sachs Group’s special situations group.

His father Malcolm was co-chairman of Goldman Sachs’s Australian unit between 1997 and 2001.

In his blog yesterday, Sahathevan wrote that he will not take down the articles.

He even suggested to Mr Turnbull to proceed with the lawsuit.

Sahathevan also published a Bloomberg article that refers to Mr Turnbull’s previous link with Goldman Sachs.

And he says the threat of a lawsuit in Australia, while Mr Turnbull is in Singapore, should not be ignored.

He was refering to the fact that the Turnbulls are the most powerful family in Australia.