Surely this can't be happening again? Right before the start of the PKR National Congress, party president Anwar Ibrahim has been hit by allegations of sexual misconduct against a former aide. Meanwhile, PKR Youth's vice-chief says a hitherto unconfirmed meeting, said to be of Azmin Ali's supporters, will definitely take place in KL at the same time as the national congress; the gomen has suddenly and mysteriously decided to up the allocation for TAR University College despite insisting otherwise earlier; and, Najib Razak continued his arresting testimony at his own trial.

More PKR naughtiness?

Another day, another sex scandal?

Oh no, not again.

Six months after PKR was rocked by claims that one of two men featured in a sex video was its deputy president Azmin Ali, the party now finds allegations of sexual misconduct leveled against its leader, Anwar Ibrahim.

The allegations first appeared in a Facebook page featuring a video recording of a “press conference” given by a 26-year-old former Anwar aide, Muhammed Yusoff Rawther, the grandson of the Penang consumer advocate, S.M. Mohamed Idris.

In the video, Yusoff expresses his frustrations that no action has so far been taken against Anwar’s political secretary Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak. This after Yusoff claims to have lodged a police report against the man with the coolest name in Malaysia for allegedly threatening and assaulting him last May.

The assault is said to have stemmed from an incident in October last year which (allegedly, allegedly!) occurred at Anwar’s house in Segambut. In the video, Yusoff says he has sworn a statutory declaration (SD) over the October incident, but had been advised by his lawyers not to divulge its contents.

However, the same FB page (a newly-created one, mind you) has pictures of what is claimed to be the SD. Of course, there’s been no independent verification if said SD is real. But if authentic, then Yusoff claims to have been the victim of indecent exposure, molest and a lewd proposal, allegedly committed by Anwar.

In an immediate response, PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil said the allegation is nothing but a ploy to sow discord and confusion in PKR. The pre-Congress timing of the allegation is an indication of this “standard script”, he added. Farhash went one better, fingering former PKR central leadership council member Badrul Hisham Saharin as the mastermind behind the plan against his boss. Even Yusoff’s own family is having a hard time swallowing the story, saying the guy is being manipulated. 
 

This is not the first time Anwar has been hit with allegations of sexual misconduct with men. You must have been living on Mars all this while if you haven’t heard of Sodomy I and Sodomy II. Why do these sex scandals happen in 10-11 year cycles??!? 

But Fahmi’s reasoning does make sense. The timing of all this does seem a little fishy. On the eve of the PKR National Congress? At a time when Anwar and Azmin are clearly at loggerheads? 🤷‍♂️

A 'rose' by any other name ...

So, it’s confirmed then. An alternative PKR “Congress” will be held this weekend, at the same time as the actual congress.

Party Youth vice-chief Nazree Yunus calls it a “meeting”, but there’s no mistaking it. This is a “congress” of sorts. The purpose? A show of support for Azmin over PKR head honcho Anwar, and possibly the venue of a no-confidence vote against the party chief.

Nazree says PKR No. 2 Azmin Ali and his head cheerleader (OK, so that’s what we, not Nazree, are calling her) Zuraida Kamarudin will attend the “programme” on Saturday and Sunday, and that PKR members are free to attend any programme they wished.

But will Azmin actually be at this meeting? The PKR deputy president had initially been scheduled to open the Women’s wing congress at the official PKR powwow after Nazree’s boss had rescinded the Youth wing’s invitation for Azmin to open their congress.

However, after Azmin met with Anwar yesterday it was announced that Azmin would open both wings’ meetings at the congress. That, of course, doesn’t mean Azmin will be missing the meeting in KL, so it’ll be interesting to see how Azmin plays his cards here. 

The choice of venue — Renaissance Hotel — is significant to a point. When the party was first launched as Parti Keadilan Nasional all those years ago, it was at the very same hotel, in the very same ballroom. You can read all about it in this piece, which has an interesting take on the choice of venue.

The PKR congress begins today in Melaka. But all eyes will be on whether this alternative meeting is going to take place and what comes of it. 

Stay tuned folks.

Losing face? Volte-face

And former PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was the one who was labeled flip-flop???

The government has performed an about-turn (much like their election promises from GE14) and decided to increase funding for MCA-owned Tunku Abdul Rahman University College. So, instead of RM30 million, the TARCian Alumni Association (TAA) will now get RM40 million — that is as soon as it sets up a trust fund.

Taking a swipe at those who’ve been claiming the allocation is illegal, Money Minister Lim Guan Eng said the same people deem that “billions stolen from 1MDB”  to not be in violation of the law.

No matter what kind of spy code Lim was using in his statement, the move is nothing but a volte-face cos the ruling coalition sees its support among the Chinese dwindling.

You see TARUC may be an equal opportunity establishment, but it was created by MCA to help needy students, and the majority of its students are Chinese. After getting trounced in the Tg Piai by-election, Pakatan probably realises they need to do something if they are to have any harapan of winning Chinese voters back.

How else can anyone see the change of heart, considering Lim’s previous position that MCA relinquish control of TARUC before any extra funding is given to the university college? He and the Pakatan government received all sorts of brickbats for that, in particular from MCA and its president Wee Ka Siong, who told Mr Moneybags to stop the political persecution of TARUC.

Well, whatever it is, at least TARUC and its students are no longer pawns in these political gambits.

It wasn't me

After blaming Jho Low for all the world’s 1MDB and SRC International’s troubles, Day #2 of taking the stand in his RM42 million criminal case saw Najib training his guns on several more targets yesterday.

First in his crosshairs was former SRC MD and CEO Nik Faisal Ariff Kamil. The ex-PM claimed the latter “played both sides”, toying with him and the company’s board of directors. Jibby refuted earlier testimonies that he used Nik Faisal to give instructions to the board.

Najib said that was not how Ministry of Finance Inc. companies (SRC was one such company) operated and there was no need for him to get involved in instructing the board of directors.

Najib claimed that during meetings, Nik Faisal would tell him the board of directors had made certain decisions, while when with the board of directors, the MD/CEO would tell them the PM had made the decision.

Is this possible? Certainly. Too bad we can’t hear Nik Faisal’s side of the story as, like Low, he has disappeared.

Anyhoo, Najib then took aim at former Second Finance Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah who had earlier testified he was just a glorified office boy with Jibby really the one calling all the shots. Najib quipped that Husni must have been “a very happy office boy” then, claiming the latter had wanted to stay in the ministry even after being transferred out.

Asked about Husni’s claim of being issued a directive to steer clear of SRC matters, Najib said there were documents that showed Husni was kept in the loop and even approved several key memoranda.

Meanwhile, Najib maintained that transactions into his private bank accounts amounting to RM3.2 billion were donations from the Saudi royal family. The transactions, between 2011 and 2013, were from senders identified as Prince Faisal Turki, Blackstone Real Estate Partner, and Tanore Finance Corp.

Jibby said he believed these were part of donations from King Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Saud. He added that supporting documents were shown to him by his former special officer Azlin Alias, who had told him the documents came from, you guessed it, Malaysia’s favourite laddoo, Jho Low.

So, let’s recap. Najib is basically saying he was the only honest man in a sea of crooks, liars and swindlers. He’s also basically admitting to not being very bright, if he’s so easily taken in by every Jho, Nik and Husni.

Perhaps the best thing to do would be to lock up the Jibster for a nice long time – to protect him from all the dishonest people around him, of course.

Odds and ends

Yesterday was a busy news day, so here are some of the other big stories:
 

  • Here’s another record Malaysia can do without. Malaysians experience the biggest percentage of spam calls in the world, according to new data.
     
  • E-hailing drivers who fail the written PSV licence test three times will be given a special verbal test as part of gomen efforts to help these drivers. Err … if a person can’t read well enough to do the test, should they even be driving other people around?
     
  • Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has written to the German ambassador to Malaysia to express regret over a Nazi salute given by a student in Sabah at a convocation ceremony, saying that Nazism was not part of Malaysian DNA. All well and good, but why hasn’t the government officially denounced this yet?
     
  • The government has decided women must be given the option for a rider of the same gender when ride-hailing services begin. No hanky-panky please; we’re Malaysians. Jokes aside, this is a good idea.
     
  • A woeful national Under-23 football team was sent home early from the Sea Games after going down 1-3 to Cambodia, a team we’ve never lost to in the history of the SEA games.

“Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets.”

- Andy Warhol -

IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • Law experts called to testify before Congress have said Donald Trump’s Ukraine actions are impeachable, as lawmakers laid the groundwork to file formal charges against the US President.
     
  • Meanwhile, at the NATO Summit in London, Trump called Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau “two-faced” following a video clip in which the latter appeared to mock the former.
     
  • North Korea has warned the UN Security Council not to discuss the country’s human rights record, saying any such discussion would be considered a “serious provocation” and that Pyongyang would “respond strongly”.
     
  • Millions of people are expected to go on strike in France, in protest at being forced to retire later or risk a reduction in their pensions. It’s the country’s biggest strike in years and will be joined by school and transport workers as well as police, lawyers and hospital and airport staff.
     
  • Here’s something for fans of the Dark Knight. LA police will be using a Batman-style contraption called the BolaWrap, designed to snare people with a cord.

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

This weekday newsletter is brought to you by Trident Media, a group of Malaysian journalists with 60 years of combined media experience in four countries across TV, print and digital media.

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Trident Media · Seksyen 35 · Shah Alam, Selangor 40470 · Malaysia

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