With Peter Anthony’s Case If It Is Not Victimisation, What Is It Then?

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DETENTION OF WARISAN VEEP SEEN AS A CHARADE TO CRIPPLE THEM POLITICALLY; MANY ALSO SEE MACC AS TAKING SIDES AS THEY SAY BN POLITICIANS ARE CULPABLE

COMMENT: Most people knew it was coming. BorneoToday even did an exclusive story Wednesday writing that the arrest of a businessman-politician was imminent.

When it took place on Thursday, it was not an earth shattering news; it had to be bigger than the Sabah Water Works Department or “Watergate” case with Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) seizing cash and luxury goods worth around RM114 million for Sabahans to sit up and take notice. Pretty blase or unimpressive we have become.

Warisan Vice President, Peter Anthony and two others, a company director and ex Government officer in Kuala Lumpur have now been remanded for five days (and six) to facilitate investigations into the alleged abuse of RM1.5 billion public funds in Sabah.

The case is now being investigated under Section 17(a) of the MACC Act which deals with soliciting and receiving gratification from an agent.

Peter Anthony, handcuffed, being led to the courts in Kota Kinabalu on Friday to be remanded. Other personalities with the right connections are not handcuffed, so say Warisan supporters.

MACC must be commended for doing their job; the top graft buster Dzulkifli Ahmad has done a reasonably good job since he took over, that even UMMO people are not feeling comfortable.

However, there are differing viewpoints on the arrest of Peter Anthony.

The BN supporters are of course ecstatic as many believe he is guilty already. But, those who are with the opposition, especially Warisan supporters, are cynical and even angry over the arrest.

Many see Peter as a victim, and Warisan President, Shafie Apdal described it as a “witch hunt”.

Peter is a well-known personality around town, notorious for brandishing his pistol in an altercation with the Lido Kapitan Cina, Kwok Leong Pin over a parking problem when he parked his luxury car in the middle of the road which obstructed the traffic flow in the area a few years ago. Kwok made a police report, but decided to withdraw it later as an amicable solution was found when senses returned.

Zulkiifli and Azam Baki talking to the media outside the MACC office in Kota Kinabalu on Friday.

Peter also had an earlier brush with MACC over so-called “false claims” of RM42 million while undertaking a work contract with Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

Nothing came out of it as UMS had then issued a certification of completion of the works.

In the scheme of things with Warisan, Peter is generally seen as the money man, even though Terrence Siambun is the Treasurer of the party.

With reported RM179 million worth of assets frozen, if the general assumption about Peter being the moneyman is right, Warisan has to rely on other financial resources to keep going. It has since come to this writer’s attention that the bulk, if not all, the money belongs to companies owned by the contractor, one of three remanded.

Warisan supporters generally see his detention as a charade to cripple them politically; from what can be gathered, Warisan is confident that they can give BN here a good fight in the coming election and BN is running scared, they said.

Many also see MACC as taking sides as they say many BN politicians live in palatial homes, way beyond their means, and yet no action has been taken to examine their source of income.

Then there are many other cases reported in the media, the one that stands out is the missing RM100 million from the Federal Ministry of Sports; so far nothing is heard on this.

Hundreds thronged a Warisan even in Tenom on Saturday, a day after Peter was remanded. He was the man behind the Tenom event.

So, With Peter’s case if it is not victimisation, what is it then? They asked.

If the government is really sincere to weed out corruption, the law should be applied fairly across the board from the top to the bottom and not selectively, like how the public perceive it, they said. Otherwise it is seen as a political exercise and not the rule of law action.

As a government agency MACC must therefore restore public confidence and restore impartiality.

For Warisan if they can handle this baptism of fire, then they can face anything and be a political force to be reckoned with.

“They should take heart and learn from history how a fledgling PBS toppled the mighty Berjaya Government with no money and no organisation to speak of only with hope in their heart. The art is to get the people to be with you,” an old Sabah political observer opined.

In any political contests, like they say, if you play with fire, then you must be prepared to be burned. The stakes are high.

WHEN WILL THIS STUPIDITY END? CAN YOU IMAGINE A SCHOOL WHERE PARENTS AND STUDENTS ARE PUNISHED FOR DIFFERENT POLITICAL INCLINATIONS

Nothing is sacred anymore. Even classrooms were not spared.

The Federal Territories Minister, Tengku Adnan Mansor officiated a school event at SK Presint 14 in Putrajaya last Tuesday where UMNO flag waving and the singing of party’s song took place; many people were not too happy with this.

Veteran politicians like ex-Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad and DAP advisor, Lim Kit Siang said it reminded them of some authoritarian regime with that kind of reception for their leader.

During the ceremony Adnan also cajoled the teachers to join UMNO forgetting that teachers with different political affiliations will bring toxic politics to school.

There are so many negativities associated with political activities in school that it was not clever of him to bring it up.

Can you imagine a school where parents and students are punished for different political inclinations?

Teachers will cite political reasons for absenteeism, and it will not be beyond any of them to demand promotions and even perks despite indifferent commitment to teaching as Big Brother is with them.

MAHDZIR KHALID

This will definitely erode confidence in national schools.

The Minister of Education, Mahdzir Khalid did not appear to be upset that another Ministry had trespassed into his portfolio.

In fact he saw nothing wrong with it and even defended it as part of educating the pupils that UMNO was one of the parties responsible to achieve the country’s independence, he said.

A DAP grassroots leader in Penang had now applied to the Education Department there to hold a “Penang and DAP” contest in all primary schools in the state next year, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the party’s governance in the state. He was inspired with what happened in Putrajaya, he said.

When will this stupidity end? All this in primary schools where pupils cant even vote!?

Surely education is all about the country’s future and not a place for political indoctrination over basic education.

With many of our graduates unemployable, and schools are supposed to be free from politics, with all this happening. Surely our politicians know what is right and what is wrong. Do they?

Let children be children for goodness sake.