Saturday, March 31, 2012

malaysiakini: How MCA barons financed Umno in Malaya.... by Tricia Yeoh

How MCA barons financed Umno in Malaya
COMMENT The intricate nexus between the worlds of business and politics has been an age-old tradition in Malaysia.

Crony capitalism, a term to describe the intertwined relationship among business, politicians and the state, where individuals in the private sector benefit by obtaining licences, concessions, government subsidies, other forms of protection from governments and appointments to key state-owned enterprises through their close relationship with politicians and bureaucrats.

The main questions to ask in the event of a regime change are: Will it really ever be possible to extricate one from the other, given the context where this is an assumed norm? Second, how would a new government go about making these drastic changes?

There has been recognition of this problem by political players from both sides of the divide.

The Pakatan Rakyat shadow Budget admits, for example, that "Pakatan will face resistance from cronies that desire to perpetuate patronage and rent-seeking" when it begins to attempt open tenders and a more transparent procurement policy.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak also announced that a new initiative under the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) would regulate financing for all political parties, where all funding must be channelled to an official party account.

He said that "a proper receipt record" would "prevent corruption and misappropriation on a grassroots' level..."

The CEO of Pemandu (the Performance Management & Delivery Unit under the Prime Minister's Department), Idris Jala stated that a first tier of internal control would be developed with a checklist of recommended actions for political parties to undertake to avoid the abuse of funding.

A second tier of external control would require that "all federal and state government entities and statutory authorities cannot include any party member who is an office bearer on their tender board", amongst others.

The academic literature on the business-politics nexus (known as rent-seeking) has been examined closely from various angles by numerous academicians. These researches suggest mixed outcomes.

Nevertheless, the research recognises that the business circle exerts strong influence over the political players as do the political players over business, often times resulting in sub-optimal use of national resource such as diverting scarce resources away from productive use (to the awarding of white elephant projects, poor quality works, constant costs over-run and when the corporation selected fails to deliver, the government is expected to bail out these companies using public funds).

The lack of stringent laws and regulations - and the enforcement thereof - has led to the present predicament in which political parties are ultimately subjected to the demands of powerful corporate interests.

But it is nevertheless a symbiotic relationship. This has become a norm in Malaysian politics.

The solution seems clear - ensure there is only well-governed arms-length relationship between business and politics. But is this really possible as the historical roots runs deep originating from Malaya's post-colonial transition and BN's economic nationalism?

Post-colonial politics and business

As Malaya was in its final years of colonial rule under the British, political alliances were taking shape between the Malays and the Chinese. The Chinese towkay (community and business leaders) entered politics through their party MCA's alliance with Umno in the 1950s.

Both parties co-operated during the Kuala Lumpur elections of February 1952 because the "Selangor branch of Umno lacked sufficient funds to fight the election".

Consequently, the MCA bore the bulk of the election expenses for the MCA-Umno coalition up to the federal elections of 1955. MCA funds also helped to secure the Alliance's electoral victory in the first elections for a fully-elected assembly in August 1959.

Chinese tycoons of the day therefore financed Umno in its earliest beginnings, and a reciprocal relationship was hence born.

tan siew sinThe Chinese leaders would benefit from such a relationship by being appointed to key positions from where economic policy could be made: HS Lee as the first finance minister, and Tan Siew Sin (left) as the commerce and industry minister, in particular.

Quite apart from these governmental positions, members of the business elite would also receive commercial favours for their loyalty to the Alliance. Lee received a banking licence to establish the Development & Commercial Bank in 1966 and Tan became the chairman of plantation giant Sime Darby in 1977.

They were adept and capable businessmen, and earned their positions based on their performance - so it is difficult to say this was a direct result of their political relationships.

However, this blurring of boundaries between politics and business would set the stage for political parties to continue to receive funding from not just Chinese tycoons, but all tycoons regardless of race.

Hence, even private sector players who were not part of the political infrastructure would require close connections with government figures to develop their businesses. Robert Kuok and Nik Kamil - the latter of whose success inspired young Malay entrepreneurs to embrace the ‘jadi ahli politik untuk buat duit' (become politician to make money) motto - are such examples.

The crony capitalism trend persisted also in Sabah and Sarawak, where similarly Chinese big businesses were more than willing to work with Malay-Muslim political power for economic and social gain.

Khoo Siak Chiew, a leading logging baron, who helmed the Sabah Chinese Association (SCA) and eventually became a minister following Sabah's incorporation into Malaysia, is an example.

Things have not quite changed since the 1960s. What has changed is that where in the past, contracts, tenders or appointments were made based on ability and expertise, with political connection being the added advantage, today it is mostly about political connection and ethnicity.

Government makes decisions not because they are the most competitive or capable but for other reasons. As such, political acumen has been an essential skill for individuals to possess, without necessarily having equal entrepreneurial or technical expertise.

It is unsurprising that the historical post-colonial Malaya, and the way in which political parties began, formed the very foundation of the current-day Umno's modus operandi, and that of its coalition partners.

By being members of political parties in government, one increases the chances of one's networking pool, especially to decision-makers within government.

Tomorrow: Part 2 - In the event of a regime change

tricia yeohTRICIA YEOH works in market research and is former research officer to the Selangor chief minister. She continues to write and comment on Malaysian policy matters. Her book, ‘States of Reform: Governing Selangor and Penang', will be published later this year. This article first appeared in New Mandala.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

TMI: BN and PR should agree to GST after polls says Idris Jala.... By Lee Wei Lian

BN and PR should agree to GST after polls says Idris Jala

March 27, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — The country’s two rival political coalitions should cooperate on tax reforms once the political temperature has simmered down after the upcoming general elections said Datuk Seri Idris Jala today.
The Pemandu CEO said that only 1.7 million Malaysians or six per cent of the population currently pay taxes and the goods and services tax (GST), which was postponed in 2010 apparently to head off political backlash, was the best way to spread the tax burden more evenly.
“We do need the fiscal space (provided by the GST),” Idris Jala told attendees at a certified public accountants conference here.
“Hopefully, after the election, both parties will settle down and we can agree on GST,” he said.
Jala (picture), who is also a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said that with GST, income tax and corporate tax could be lowered which would make Malaysia more competitive.
He noted that at a rate of four per cent GST, the government would realise an additional RM6.3 billion in revenue and at seven per cent GST, which is the rate in neighbouring Singapore, the government could collect an additional RM25.7 billion.
“We can then reduce personal and corporate taxes and also reduce sales and service taxes,” he said. Idris said that despite 8.5 million Malaysians being registered as tax payers, only 1.7 million actually payed any.
“We can’t rely on just a few to carry the kavadi,” he said.
The GST Bill was tabled for reading in Parliament in December 2009 but its second reading, originally planned for March 2010, was postponed due to fierce political resistance.
It was originally expected to have been implemented by the middle of 2011.
Analysts said that the government’s move to put off GST was due to a weakening of political will following vociferous opposition from Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
The Najib Aministration’s official reason was that it wanted to “engage inclusively with all segments of rakyat pertaining to the GST”.
Bloomberg reported earlier this month that the prime minister may dissolve Parliament in May for a general election that could likely be held on June 3.

TMI: Najib working on a national brand for Malaysia says Idris Jala

Najib working on a national brand for Malaysia says Idris Jala

TMI: UPDATED @ 11:54:22 PM 27-03-2012
March 27, 2012
KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 — The prime minister has a team in place working full time on creating a national brand for Malaysia,said Datuk Seri Idris Jala today.
The Pemandu CEO said that the brand would involve Malaysian perspectives on national policy as well as the pattern of behaviour of Malaysians.
“If we can align these, then we can have a national brand,” said Jala, who is also a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, when replying to a question on the country’s branding at an accounting conference here.
Malaysia has a mixed reputation internationally with some saying that it is a model developing nation that managed to virtually eradicate hard core poverty while others say that it shot itself in the foot with questionable policies and administration dooming it to perpetual third-world status.
Unlike some countries which managed to cultivate strong positive brands — think Japan for electronics, refined cuisine and politeness, Switzerland for efficiency, beautiful scenery and watches or Canada which is famed for its tolerance and acceptance — Malaysia has no real immediately identifiable image.
Malaysia was also involved in spats with Singapore and Indonesia over cultural icons such as food and dance forms.
Canada was ranked the country with the best reputation in 2011 by the Reputation Institute in its annual study measuring the public perceptions of 50 countries around the world.
The study measured the overall trust, esteem, admiration and good feelings the public holds  towards these countries, as well as their perceptions across 16 different attributes, including a good quality of  life, a safe place to live and a strong attention to their environment.
Malaysia was not covered in the study.
Canada was followed by Sweden, Australia, Switzerland and New Zealand with their strong reputations are attributed to their steady democracies, high GDP per capita, focus on active lifestyles, well developed political systems and perceived  neutrality to international political upheavals.
Japan was the highest ranked Asian country in 12th place, followed by Singapore (20) and Taiwan (25).
The lowest ranked countries in the 50-country study were Pakistan, Iran and Iraq, while the United States and China were ranked in the middle and lower tiers.
In the Reputation Institute’s survey of most reputable cities, Kuala Lumpur ranked only 69th, even below 68th ranked Johannesburg which is widely known for its crime rates and barely above Shenzhen (71) and Dhaka (74).
The top three most reputable cities were London, Geneva and Sydney.
The cities were ranked in terms of the advancement of the economy, the level of appeal of the city environment and how effective were their administrations.
Malaysia’s most famous landmark is its iconic Petronas twin towers and the Malaysian based company that is probably most widely known is AirAsia.
Despite the country’s largely harmonious multi-racial and multi-religious make-up, the most sensational Malaysia centric headlines in foreign media have focused on religious controversies that could give the impression that the country was at risk of falling prey to fanaticism such as the caning of Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno for drinking beer, the so called ‘Allah row’, the Obedient Wives Club and most recently — the canceled concert by Erykah Badu after a newspaper published a photo of her with the Arabic word for “Allah” tattooed on her upper body.

Friday, March 23, 2012

malaysiakini: Lynas: Scientific doubts and popular will..... by Prof. Chan Chee Khoon

Lynas: Scientific doubts and popular will
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has declared that “the government will not allow the Lynas rare earths plant in Gebeng, Kuantan, to operate if scientific evidence proves that the plant is harmful to people’s health and the environment” (, Mar 22, 2012).
Central to these discussions are the ‘safe thresholds’ of 1 mSv/year (public) and 20 mSv/year (occupational) that Dr Che Rosli Che Mat (Hulu Langat MP), Dr Looi Hoong Wah (Kuantan physician), Lynas, AELB, and IAEA have repeatedly invoked.

These ‘safe thresholds’ are derived from the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) risk models which are currently under critical scrutiny and challenge, in the wake of excess childhood leukemia near nuclear power plants that can’t be explained by radiation exposures which are much below the ‘safe thresholds’.

Most recently, two large epidemiological studies in Germany (KiKK, 2008) and France (Geocap, 2012) have reported statistically robust findings of a doubling of leukemia risk for children living less than 5km from a nuclear power plant, where radiation exposures were much below the 1 mSv/year ‘safe threshold’.

Could the excess leukemia be due to inhaled or ingested radioactive particulate (internal emitters) not satisfactorily accounted for in ICRP’s risk models?

Opinions of UK panel members
(ICRP’s quantitative risk models were calibrated against external sources of irradiation, most importantly, the Hiroshima/Nagasaki atomic bomb blasts along with their long-term effects on survivors).

A UK expert panel (2004, could not arrive at a consensus regarding the health risks of low level exposure to these internal emitters.

Opinions among the UK panel members ranged from negligible adverse effects to an underestimation of risk by at least a 100-fold.

Could the excess leukemia be due to electromagnetic radiation from high voltage power cables linked to the nuclear power stations? Or to population mixing and vulnerability to infectious agents suspected of causing leukemia? (Kinlen hypothesis).

Nobody can be sure at this point. While most sides agree that there is excess occurrence of childhood leukemia in the vicinity of nuclear power plants and nuclear reprocessing facilities, there is much less consensus on the likely cause(s) of these excess leukemia.

Even as the scientific and research community continues their debates over this, Angela Merkel has bowed to the popular will (and to the precautionary principle) to phase out nuclear power plants in Germany.

Will Najib and the Malaysian government likewise allow the popular will to prevail in Kuantan, where the safety of Lynas operations is similarly contestable?

Beyond the scientific evidence (and its currently ambiguous status), the prime minister is also aware that the collateral damage on the local economy and on livelihoods in Kuantan-Kemaman, driven by the community’s risk perception and its risk aversion, cannot be simply wished away.

Chan Chee Khoon is attached to the Center for Population Health Dept Social & Preventive Medicine Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

SMSL & Malaysian NGOs Statement against LYNAS

SMSL & Malaysian NGOs Statement against LYNAS

Save Malaysia Stop Lynas (SMSL) together with the undersigned civil society organizations of Malaysia, would like to strongly implore you as the Malaysian Prime Minister and to immediately suspend the license issued to Lynas and to stop any shipment of rare earth ore concentrate into Malaysia.

The Lynas Advanced Materials Plant (LAMP) in Gebeng is the world’s largest rare earth refinery project owned by speculators with no real experience in industrial processing or rare earth.  Rare earth refining is linked with serious pollution and health risks.  The plant is located in a densely populated area unlike most industrial estates.  The closest housing estate is a mere 2km from the plant and within a 30km inland radius live 700,000 people.

 The LAMP is the world’s biggest rare earth refinery owned by a lone-project speculative company with no previous experience.  Its design is based on the Chinese technology. Yet approval and an operating license were given without due consideration into the full extent of its impact which will only be uncovered through a detailed EIA. 

 Lynas would not be allowed to construct a plant similar to the LAMP with its associated waste management plan anywhere in Australia. Currently, several other rare earth proposals are being considered in Australia.  All of them are committed to adopting a zero-waste water discharge policy and having their radioactive waste returned to the mine site for proper disposal. Clearly, Lynas has not been transparent in claiming that its LAMP project is of international standard.
Specifically we would like to draw your attention to the following facts:

·       Serious construction problems of the LAMP - 22 concrete tanks in the processing area was defective and will result in corrosive and radioactive materials leaking onto the plant floor and into the ground eventually.  These tanks were not moisture-proof, which is a standard engineering practice for this kind of plant.  It is especially essential in a damp swampy environment. We have and continue to receive confidential accounts of failed electrical wiring and installation, failed hydro tests where major tanks with structural cracks and leaks were detected, broken underground water pipes that need to be redone and so forth. A large section of the plant has sunk.  Many of these defects could not be easily fixed or safely repaired. Lynas is believed to have grossed over the problem and have summarily covered up the defects.  The full extent of the construction defects and design problems can only be uncovered by a thorough independent engineering audit.

·       The absence of a scientific consensus on what is a safe dose of radiation exposure– There are increasing medical and scientific evidence that prolonged exposure to low-dose radiation is harmful.  Lynas has conveniently ignored this risk and the IAEA had grossed over this point without any substantiated reason. The responsible approach under this circumstance is to adopt the precautionary principle of no safe dose and to impose a zero discharge strategy to minimize risks.

·       Lynas will not be able to return the waste to Australia or to a third country. The Western Australian Government has stated TWICE publicly declared it will not accept any of Lynas’ waste from Malaysia – refer to the attached scanned copy of the official statement from the Hansard.  At the end of 20 years, Lynas will be dumping 10 million tonnes (wet weight) of solid radioactive waste that will be hazardous for longer than the lifespan of planet earth.  This is NOT in Malaysia’s national interest.

·       No safe permanent site for the storage of radioactive waste.The failure of the AELB in managing the radioactive waste from the Asian Rare Earth (ARE) plant in Bukit Merah casts serious doubt that Malaysia has the capacity to safely manage such hazardous waste. Lynas’ solid waste contains many other hazardous substances and heavy metals which should be carefully managed and disposed of.  They should NOT be allowed to be commercialized either as gypsum or as a fertiliser.

·       No Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) - Serious water contamination by the discharging of 500 tonnes of contaminated water every hour into the important mangrove habitat of the Balok River. Air pollution caused by Lynas’ proposed “air dispersion” technique which is a cheap and unsafe way to disperse the polluting gases into the atmosphere. The refinery plant is located on top of a peatland when cleared is prone to floods and fires. The huge amount of fuel, concentrated acids and other combustible substances which will be kept in the LAMP premises will become fire hazards.

·       Need for a Socio-economic impact study (SIA). - The strong and persistent protest actions against the Lynas project is a clear indication of the threats the project poses to local communities. Our fears are due to the potential loss of a safe environment to live in; potential loss of incomes, and decline in the tourism industry as well as the property market. Furthermore outward migration of families from well-educated and high socio-economic background from Kuantan will lead to a further brain-drain of people who have invested for over a generation and contributed much to the prosperity and development of the town and the state.

·       Lynas’ unrealistic timeline & incompetence.  Lynas has promoted an unrealistically early production date for September of 2011 to be the first outside of China to supply rare earth oxides.  In truth Lynas has conveniently deceived its investors by attributing the delay to the protests and the licensing delay.  The AELB has persistently assisted Lynas by making contradictory public statements both declaring the granting of the licence for the benefit of Lynas just to deny it in another time to appease the angry Malaysian public.  Had Lynas admitted to its own failure, its stock would have slipped to a dangerously low value potentially sending Lynas to bankruptcy.

  • Economic activities spin off from the LAMP will be limited -Socially responsible and ecologically conscious corporations and investors will not want to associate its operations with or next to a controversial hazardous plant like the LAMP. Decent companies with a clean and green reputation will not risk locating their plants close to the LAMP nor source their supply from Lynas. 
  • Malaysia risks gaining a bad reputation as a haven for toxic projects.  The massive amount of waste, in particular contaminated air (90,000 cubic metre an hour) and water (500 tonnes an hour), which will be discharged into the natural environment has the potential to contaminate a wider area of coverage thereby posing potential threat to lives in the neighbouring countries. By accepting and facilitating the Lynas project. Malaysia has essentially opened its door to polluting industry escaping tighter scrutiny and carbon tax from industrialised developed countries forced to cut down their carbon pollution from the threat of climate change. 

We therefore strongly appeal to you to immediately cancel all LYNAS operations based on the clearly serious life threatening consequences it has on the lives and environment of all peoples in Malaysia.

Endorsed by/ Disokong oleh:
  1. Pusat Komunikasi Masyarakat (KOMAS)
  2. Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM)
  3. Saya Anak Bangsa Malaysia (SABM)
  4. Education and Research Association for Consumers (ERA Consumer)
  5. Persatuan Masyarakat Selangor dan Wilayah Persekutuan (PERMAS)
  6. Persatuan Sahabat Wanita, Selangor
  7. Center Policy Initiative (CPI)
  8. Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
  9. Malaysian Indian Progressive Association (MIPAS)
  10. Malaysian Youth CARE Association (PRIHATIN)
  11. Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation (PRIMA)
  12. Federation of Volunteers, Malaysia
  13. Partners for PEACE, Malaysia (PfPM)
  14. Society for Community Welfare and Charity Services (CWCS)
  15. Persatuan Perkembangan Kaunseling dan Psikologi Malaysia
  16. Malaysian Indian Rights and Transformation Action Team (MITRA)
  17. Health Equity Initiatives
  18. OHMSI Sdn Bhd
  19. Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility (MPSR)
  20. Lawyers For Liberty (LFL)
  21. Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH)
  22. Anak Muda Sarawak (AMS)
  23. Community Action Network (CAN)
  24. Pertubuhan Advokasi Masyarakat Terpinggir Kuala Lumpur dan Selangor (PAMT)
  25. Water and Energy Consumer Association of Malaysia (WECAM)
  26. All Women's Action Society (AWAM)
  27. Solidarity for Civil Rights in China (SCRC)
  28. LLG Cultural Development Centre
  29. Jaringan Rakyat Tertindas (JERIT)
  30. Sinui Pai Nanek Sengik (SPNS)
  31. Jaringan Kampung Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (JKOASM)
  32. Peoples Service Organisation (PSO)
  33. Malaysia Youth and Student Democratic Movement (DEMA)
  34. Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (SADIA)
  35. Panggau Sarawak
  36. PACOS Trust, Sabah
  37. Borneo Resources Institute, Malaysia (BRIMAS)
  38. Institute for Development of Alternative Living (IDEAL)
  39. Malaysians Against Death Penalty and Torture (MADPET)
  40. Tenaganita
  41. Malaysian Physicians for Social Responsibility
  42. Empower
  43. Centre for Independent Journalism (CIJ)
  44. Women's Aid Organization (WAO)
  45. Persatuan Pemuda Hainan Negeri Sembilan
  46. Kumpulan Kerja Jaringan Wanita Orang Asal Se-Malaysia


Tel/Fax: 03-79685415

Sunday, March 18, 2012

malaysiakini: The link between Anwar and Dickens ... by Terence Netto

The link between Anwar and Dickens
COMMENT Improbable as it seems there is a connection between Charles Dickens and Anwar Ibrahim.

There is a thread that links the year's bicentennial of the world's first celebrity author and the global peregrinations of Asia's leading spokesman of constitutional governance.

This is that the former, who is renowned for creating such indelible characters like Ebenezer Scrooge and Tiny Tim, Pip and Miss Havisham, Fagin and Oliver Twist, has come to be regarded as the supreme artist of democracy and the latter has established himself, in the face of all manner of repression, as the Pied Piper in the modern age of government by consent of the governed.

"You only have to look around our society and everything he wrote about in the 1840s is still relevant," said Dickens' biographer, Claire Tomalin.

"The great gulf between the rich and poor, corrupt financiers, corrupt Members of Parliament ... You name it, he said it."

The same can be said about Anwar Ibrahim.

You only have to give him a pedestal and this evangelist for democracy will use it to espouse the themes of freedom and equality with an ardor that is comparable to the ferocity Dickens displayed in attacking their lack in English institutions of the 19th century in such works as ‘Oliver Twist', ‘Hard Times', ‘Bleak House' and ‘Little Dorrit'.

Sure there is suspicion of the huckster in Anwar when he is caught in such liberty-negating twists as his decision to withdraw from a conference in New Delhi yesterday to which the writer Salman Rushdie (left) was invited.

But that does not mean that Anwar supports the Khomeini fatwa of capital punishment against the novelist; only that he declines to be seen in the company of someone who wrote a novel that derided the Prophet of Islam.

Not a radical

Like Dickens, Anwar is not a radical: the novelist stopped way short of wanting to take apart English institutions by the roots - he said they were not working well for want of compassion and equality; Anwar sees the same lack in supposedly democratic institutions in countries where the forms of constitutional governance is a cover for violations of their actual spirit - he wants form and function to match to beneficial effect for the hoi polloi.

Earlier this week, Anwar told the 20th World Public Relations Conference in Dubai he saw no difference between the spirit that animates the Arab Spring from the one that drives the Occupy Wall Street movement.

"The repercussions of the Arab Spring have been so far reaching that some say that Occupy Wall Street has been sired from its loins," intoned Anwar.

"Many may take issue with that," he acknowledged.

But, Anwar argued that "a more apt description" of the two phenomena is that both are "borne from winters of discontent."

He elaborated: "Indeed, Occupy Wall Street is a clear indictment against market fundamentalism. It wants to nail the lie on the Wall Street mantra of ‘leaving it to market forces.' It exposes the flaws, some say fatal, in the foundations of the capitalistic economic model."

Anwar buttressed his argument thus: "Arab Spring aspirants want free and fair elections i.e. equal opportunity to compete and on a level playing field. Likewise Occupy Wall Street wants equality and is that is not possible an egalitarian deal, a 21st century New Deal."

Anwar said the Occupy Wall Street movement was a "clear indictment of the invisible hand which has remained invisible so often that governments in the free world have felt compelled to intervene in situations traditionally left to market forces."

Toward what would be the thrust of these interventions?

"Social justice," is Anwar's unequivocal response.

Egalitarian principle
Anwar told the Financial Times which highlighted him in an article in a weekend edition of the prestigious paper in late January that his theory of social justice would be modelled on the egalitarian ideas of John Rawls.

The American philosopher, who died in 2002, laid the whole weight of his theory on an egalitarian principle which holds that an increase in the prospects of the better-off are justified only if they maximise the expectations of those most disadvantaged.

The FT journalist who interviewed Anwar was sceptical that Rawls could be a common reference point in what he described as the "ideologically inchoate opposition movement" (Pakatan Rakyat) in Malaysia that Anwar leads.

But Anwar pushed back against the doubts by saying that any major reform or change his government would introduce would have to take heed of the rights of minorities and would have to have widespread support.

In other words, Anwar was saying that he would apply the Rawlsian principle that the reasons his government would give for any policy would have to make sense to citizens who do not share the ideology or faith of its proponents.

This would put Anwar Ibrahim, John Rawls and Charles Dickens in the same boat, distrusted by both left and right, theocrats and liberals, for reason that George Orwell in 1939 gave for Dickens' enduring appeal - that the novelist was a 19th century liberal who tenaciously exercised his "free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are contending for our souls."

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them. It is the ideal occupation for a temperament that finds power fascinating and its exercise abhorrent.

"Planetary Genocide": Fukushima One Year Later : The Poisoning of Planet Earth ... by Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri

"Planetary Genocide": Fukushima One Year Later : The Poisoning of Planet Earth

by Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri
Global Research, March 8, 2012

“The most difficult thing of all is to see is what is right in front of your eyes.”  Goethe.

As we approach the tragic one-year anniversary of Fukushima’s multiple nuclear reactors’ accident on March 11, that initially affected the entire Japanese population, we now know that this nightmare has engulfed all of us. Let us also not forget that this is the third nuclear attack on the Japanese (the first two were Hiroshima and Nagasaki). Given what has not been done to ensure public safety, we cannot think of it any other way. From the very first day, there were lies and a massive cover-up of the extent of the destruction and the inherent radioactive dangers –not just from Japanese officials and TEPCO corporate reports, but also from the US. The Mark 1 reactors, built by General Electric, have design flaws. There are many of these same-designed reactors in the US.

A year later, much of the corruption, deceit, and careless practices have been documented extensively here at Global Research –while mainstream news continues Orwellian doublespeak. Last month, in a rare but very belated mainstream account, CBS News reported that after the tsunami and nuclear accident: “The normal lines of [government] authority completely collapsed in Japan.” See:

Early on, even essential radioactive monitoring was shut down. In May 2011, the prestigious Norsk Institute’s online site was blocked from the US. They had been monitoring on a daily basis the worldwide radioactive contamination to which we were all –and continue to be– exposed. Conveniently, any early radiation monitoring in the US was inconsistent, with numerous sites supposedly not working for one or another reason. Then the so-called “acceptable” radiation levels in food were raised in the US and EU:

As Dr. Helen Caldicott and Dr. Chris Busby have repeatedly reported: “There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water, or other sources. Period.” See:

So, what is not monitored, or where the radiation rates are manipulated, then no one –government officials and corporations– can ever be held accountable, nor can increased death rates, diabetes, stillbirths, birth defects ever be attributed to this catastrophic planetary event.

When have we ever been told the truth about our life-long systemic radiation poisoning? For decades, we have been uninformed experimental laboratory rats since before the Manhattan Project. There never were any ethical or precautionary considerations. Greed and secret agendas trumped everything else.

With various half-lives –some eons-long– of numerous radioactive components, the human race and every other living creature on our planet is on its way to extinction, due to the known sterilization effects of radiation. Here is a short list of the half-life of five of the radioactive isotopes that are and will continue to poison all of our children, and us, ad infinitum, in the air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink and in which we bathe:

Cesium 137: 30 years

·         Plutonium 239: 24,000 years

·         Strontium 90: 29 years [mimics calcium in the body]

·         Uranium 235: 700-million years

·         Iodine 131: 8 days [absorbed into the thyroid and gives heavy radiation dose. Also goes into the soil, passed onto us through cow’s milk.]

In a report released just a few week’s ago, the milk tested in the San Francisco area still had radioactive levels of Cesium 134 and Cesium 137. According to even a compromised EPA, these are now at “150 percent of their maximum contaminant level.” Here’s the chart:

In addition, Fukushima’s Unit 3 reactor also used MOX [mixed oxide], a plutonium-uranium fuel mixture that is deadly. A single milligram of MOX is 2-million times more deadly than enriched uranium.

Current radiation levels reported on Feb. 25 in Tokyo, 100 miles from Fukushima and an international hub, are “25 times the Fukushima mandatory evacuation zone.” The eminent physicist Dr. Paolo Scampa has reported in detail his latest calculations on deadly radiation exposure here (see page 2):

For 30-million Japanese this is an epic tragedy.

Any reasonable safety precautions or realistic evacuations never took place at Fukushima or elsewhere. In addition, a collection of 40-years worth of 600,000 spent fuel rods posed an immediate HazMat threat that never went away. The water poured over them evaporated into radioactive steam to go directly into our planet’s atmosphere and the tons of sea water sprayed on the entire nuclear conflagration were criminally dumped into the Pacific Ocean. Again, because it was not monitored, we will never know how many millions of tons of radioactive water were dumped into the Pacific Ocean. The entire web of ocean life then was irreversibly contaminated with radioactive nuclear waste and detritus, as the ocean currents carried this nightmare to the west coast shores of North America (California, Oregon, Washington, and Vancouver). As with other major planetary bodies of water, the Pacific Ocean has become an enormous radioactive garbage dump of incalculable proportions that are beyond any remediation currently known to science. This majestic body of water has become one of our planet’s toilets.(1)

What about the entire web of ocean life? From the great and magnificent whales to the variety of microscopic life, this entire vast ecosystem has been poisoned. Yet, we will never know the immense extent of death and destruction that Fukushima caused to it. Even knowing that the ocean food chain is contaminated with radioactivity, this was not reported by mainstream media. So, the fishing industry is catching and selling various fish and crustaceans that are radioactive. How many tons of these have gone up through the entire food chain, and then sold to uninformed consumers who eat these HazMat foods? Profits always trump our safety and well-being. This is the massive global poisoning of our only home –Mother Earth. We are fortunate, however, that the alternative internet media has reported on these dangers.

While hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions?) will develop various radiation-related illnesses (cancers and diabetes, as well as radiation-induced miscarriages, stillbirths and birth deformities) over the next decades, the coffers of the medical profession, pharmaceutical companies, and nuclear industry will be bursting with profits. The 1986 nuclear accident at Chernobyl continues its deathly impact –and that was only one reactor.(2) Fukushima had six reactors.

Medical reports are already showing a significant rise in deaths due to Fukushima’s radioactive fallout. Noted toxicologist and internist Dr. Janet Sherman recently said:” Based on our continuing research, the actual death count here [in the US] may be as high as 18,000…but we continue to find that infants are hardest hit because their tissues are rapidly multiplying, they have undeveloped immune systems, and the doses of radioisotopes are proportionally greater than for adults.” See:

This massive and frightening crisis is the result of no precaution, no prevention, and no care or concern for human or any other kind of life on our planet. None of this is mainstream news. E.O. Wilson (“The Future of Life” and “Biodiversity”) and Bill McKibben (“The End of Nature”) were writing about these issues decades ago. The dangers of the nuclear age continue to mount with off-the-scale disastrous results to all of us.

How much longer can we be deceived about the extreme dangers of nuclear energy and nuclear weapons? Everything that encompasses nuclear energy is unsafe. It is hazardous in the extreme. Further, nuclear waste has been accumulating for six decades. There is NO LONG-TERM SAFE WAY TO STORE ANY NUCLEAR WASTE. For example, countless drums of nuclear waste have been dumped into the ocean, and have been found to be leaking radioactive poisons.

Everything on our planet has been contaminated with life-long and long-term radiation. I continue to write: “Invisible does not mean safe.” With many nuclear facilities in the US old and having numerous problems, the core issue of it as a hazardous endeavor remains. Two nuclear plants with serious troubles are Vermont Yankee, and just last month San Onofre (built right on a fault line). They are just the tips of the proverbial radioactive iceberg.

So, as long as profits trump safety, and as long as the entire nuclear industry has ties to the military, we will never be safe. Valid citizens’ and medical concerns continue to be ignored. We are all expendable.

This is not a one-issue health and/or environmental crisis. We MUST think of the bigger picture, across many disciplines. We are in the midst of a long-planned and multi-pronged assault on our health and our planet’s. The destruction of real and long-term good health has been replaced by multiple and chronic diseases (often caused by enormous toxic pollution that envelops all of us). Our entire biology has been battered for a century. The blood-brain barrier has been breached. Nano-technology and invisible stealth-created micro-organisms –both unregulated– are our modern-day plagues. Many were created in some bio-hazard lab. To add to this is the poisoning of our water, air and food supply. In 1998, the print-edition of London’s “The Ecologist” (perhaps the earliest environmental magazine, first published in the 1970s), devoted their entire issue to “The Monsanto Files. Can we survive genetic engineering?”(3) For many years, F. William Engdahl (“Seed of Destruction”) and Dr. Mae Wan-Ho both have written about the abundant and well-documented dangers of genetic engineering and the GM poisoned foods.

Add to that:, we have an illegal but on-going geo-engineered aerosol 24/7/365 stealth assault overhead that has completely changed our air and poisoned our health. In numerous lectures and research papers, Clifford Carnicom has documented that our air has been transformed to a plasma state; and with it is the associated tragedy of Morgellons syndrome that was created from some synthetic self-replicating nano-organism. There is no “off switch” for this; but the media ridicules sufferers. Time magazine recently published an article noting that these very real and documented symptoms were “delusional.” Into this synergistic nightmare are also 100,000 chemicals –90 percent of which are untested– that surround our every move.

Last, but by no means the least, of these hazards is the hidden dangers of the EMF/RF spectrum [Electromagnetic Frequency/Radiation Frequency]. The proliferation of this deadly technology encompasses: cell phones and Wi-Fi and their towers that poison our landscapes. With more than 5-billion cell phones sold, consumers were never told how dangerous they were. Outdated data and reports do not include the now constant barrage of these higher frequencies that wreck our health. There is also newly reported research demonstrating that this also includes impairment of cognitive function and brain damage.(4)

The latest release of this hazardous technology is the so-called “Smart” Meters that are being installed all over North America and Europe without any mandate and without any preliminary research that the utility [electric, gas, and water] companies did on the numerous biological threats they are already causing people who have had a meter installed.(5)

With 8,000 complaints, California leads the US in the most vocal concerns about these meters. Several cities, including Santa Cruz, CA, have banned them with year-long moratoria. There was never any mandate to force these meters on anyone; the utility companies did not warn customers of the extreme risks of constantly pulsing EMF, nor did they warn customers about breakage to our DNA or brain damage. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (founded in 1965) has called for a moratorium on these dangerous meters.(6) It is conceivable that the unfolding EMF crisis will be far worse than the asbestos and tobacco hazards combined. Scientist Prof. Olle Johansson of Sweden’s prestigious Karolinska Institute, has been warning about these invisible biological dangers for decades. See:

Corporations have personhood and have the same legal standing as any real humans. They have the financial means to block any real justice for the environmental and health damage their products continue to cause. They are rarely held accountable. Add to that the destruction of 30-years of environmental laws meant to protect us, this is another part of the disaster recipe in which we live out our days. The nuclear industry has never told us the truth about the permanent level of radiation dangers to which we are all exposed. The plunder of our planet and the destruction of vast ecosystems have been documented for decades. These poisons, mostly invisible, envelop our every move, contaminate our DNA, and wreck our health and ability to reproduce safely. The past 10 years this destruction has been accelerated at a phenomenal rate, while mainstream media continues to report lies.

Nevertheless, more and more millions of people are waking up and connecting many of the dots of these epidemics of serious illnesses, loss of millions of jobs, theft of millions of homes, stealing of trillions of dollars of wealth to pay off banksters, CEOs and insiders, while the middle class around the globe is in extremis. Evidence continues to mount of what insider trading and printing of fiat money has done to destroy people’s lives and economies around the globe. We cannot minimize or discount a situation that is totally out of control; and we cannot think of each of these HazMats as separate problems. They are all inter-related and they are destroying out health. Connecting the dots of this multi-pronged assault on all of us as well as our entire biosphere is ESSENTIAL. It is not sustainable. It is up to all of us to become well-informed and educated about what is happening, join together, and to paraphrase Dr. Rosalie Bertell “refuse to co-operate in our own destruction.” We still have that choice.

Remember: What we don’t look for, we can’t find. If those in charge decide NOT to monitor or report the dangers, then no one is ever held accountable –that includes those in charge. We all suffer the consequences.


1. Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri. “The Pacific Ocean: A Radioactive Garbage Dump.” May 14, 2011:

2. Mittica, Pierpaolo, et al. “Chernobyl. The Hidden Legacy.” London: Trolley, Ltd., 2007; and Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri. “Chernobyl: The Horrific Legacy. 25 Years and Counting.” April 25, 2009:

3. “The Monsanto Files. Can we survive genetic engineering?” London. The Ecologist. Vol. 28, No. 5: Sept./Oct. 1998.

4. Adamantia Fragopoulou et al. “Brain proteome response following whole body exposure of mice to mobile phone or wireless DECT base radiation.” Jan. 25, 2012.There is an abstract at:

5. See: “The Invisible Hazards of ‘Smart’ Meters.” August 19, 2011:; and ‘”Smart’ Meter Dangers Update: Scientific Proof of These Hazards.” Feb. 10, 2012:

6. “American Academy of Environmental Medicine calls for a halt to wireless smart meters.” Jan. 23, 2012:

Educator and environmental writer Dr. Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is the author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Uterine Crisis.” London’s “The Ecologist” calls this book “an inspiration.”

Ilya Sandra Perlingieri is a frequent contributor to Global Research.  Global Research Articles by Ilya Sandra Perlingieri