This is by far the best local picture I have seen in years.
I am glad former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has decided to put aside his differences with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and promised to return to Umno.
I don't think any Malaysian, irrespective of his or her political affiliation, will deny that Dr Mahathir is a great Statesman. His wisdom and advice is sought after not only by leaders of the developed world but also those of the developed world like former Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher (now Baronness).
Umno needs the experience of Dr Mahathir and Abdullah. Both have seen Umno at its best and its worst.
Umno has no time to waste. Past and present Umno leaders must put their shoulders to the wheel and ensure that Barisan Nasional will be given overwhelming support by the rakyat in the 13th General Election which has to be held by 2013. Differences must be thrashed out within closed doors.
Past leaders must remain in the background. They must not be seen to be interfering with the functions of the Government. They must give in-coming Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak a free hand to run the Government.
Now that Dr Mahathir and Abdullah have agreed to help Umno to return to its past glory, I am confident that Barisan Nasional will once again become a force to be reckoned with.
I am confident that the Brisan Nasional led by Najib will be given a landslide victory in the next general election, similar to the one in 2004, hardly a year after Abdullah took office.
To begin with, I hope both Dr Mahathir and Abdullah will help BN campaign in the Batang Ai, Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7.
A win in all the three elections will send a strong signal to Pakatan Rakyat that Umno has been reborn, and is now stronger than ever before.
Nampaknya Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim semakin terdesak menjelang peralihan kuasa dari Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi kepada Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak hujung bulan ini.
Semakin dekat Perhimpunan Agung Umno, semakin banyak kempen untuk menjatuhkan Najib, semuanya berbau politik mainan Anwar. Parti Keadilan Rakyat yang dipimpin oleh Anwar turut menggunakan media asing dan blog-blog yang dikendalikan oleh ahli-ahlinya untuk membuat tuduhan-tuduhan yang tidak berasas terhadap Najib. Tujuan mereka hanya satu - supaya Najib tidak menjadi Perdana Menteri.
Tuduhan yang sama dan yang semakin basi, bahawa Najib dan isterinya terlibat dalam pembunuhan Altantuya Sharibuu, seorang rakyat Mongolia dibuat sewenang-wenangnya dalam media asing dan blog-blog pro-pembangkang. Ini masih berlaku walaupun pihak polis sudah menjelaskan bahawa Najib dan Rosmah tidak ada kena-mengena langsung dalam kes tersebut.
Dengan membut tuduhan yang sama terhadap Najib walaupun setelah ianya diperjelaskan oleh pihak polis, Anwar dan kuncu-kuncunya mempersoalkan kewibawaan polis dan sistem keadilan di Malaysia. Mustahil semua pegawai dan anggota polis boleh bersekongkol dalam isu sebesar ini.
Dalam komennya tentang pakej rangsangan bernilai RM60 billion yang dibentangkan oleh Najib pada 10 Mac lepas, naib presiden PKR Tian Chua berkata: "I have to stay out of the parliament chamber. I have no appetite to stomach craps from a murderer."
Seperti yang kita tahu Tian Chua tiada kredibiliti untuk berhujah tentang isu ini kerana beliau pernah cuba membohong dengan mengatakan bahawa Najib pernah makan malam bersama Altantuya dan Abdul Razak Baginda di Paris. Bersama artikelnya bertajuk "French dinner for 3", Tian Chua juga telah menyiarkan gambar palsu untuk menipu rakyat.
Anwar pula cuba untuk memberi maklumat-maklumat palsu kepada rakan-rakan media asingnya untuk mencemarkan nama baik Najib. Wartawan The Far Eastern Economic Review, Barry Wain, dalam artikelnya membuat berbagai tuduhan terhadap Najib semasa beliau menjawat jawatan Menteri Pelajaran lagi.
Walaupun Wain menetap di Hong Kong, beliau menulis seperti sudah berada di Kuala Lumpur bertahun lamanya. Hakikatnya ialah beliau hanya mengulangi pembohongan pembangkang selama ini. Jelas "sumber" beliau adalah semuanya dari parti pembangkang.
Seorang penulis yang beretika selalunya akan mendapatkan penjelasan daripada pihak yang menuduh dan pihak yang tertuduh. Saya diberitahu Wain tidak pernah cuba untuk mendapatkan penjelasan dari Najib sebelum menulis artikelnya.
Begitu juga dengan penulis akhbar Liberation Arnaud Dubus, seperti yang saya komen di sini. Beliau juga membuat tuduhan-tuduhan yang sama. Artikelnya juga berat sebelah.
Tuduhan-tuduhan yang dibuat oleh pembangkang tidak berasas sama sekali. Semasa mengumumkan Kabinet barunya selepas Pilihanraya Umum yang ke 12 tahun lalu, Abdullah telah menegaskan bahawa semua ahli Jemaah Menteri telah diskrin dan diluluskan oleh Biro Pencegah Rasuah dan polis. Jelas isu pembabitan dalam rasuah atau kegiatan tidak bermoral sebelum tahun 2008 tidak berbangkit.
Apa yang jelas ialah Anwar dalam ketakutan. Anwar tahu Najib bukan sebarang pemimpin. Najib boleh mengembalikan Barisan Nasional ke era kegemilangannya. Bila ianya berlaku, PKR dan Pakatan Rakyat akan terkubur. Cita-cita Anwar untuk menjadi Perdana Menteri akan turut terkubur. September 16 akan tinggal impian.
p.s. Betul ke Saiful sempat merakamkan video menerusi telefon bimbitnya?
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim must have met with the Liberation writer Arnaud Dubus when the latter came to Kuala Lumpur. Anwar must have developed a certain kind of fondness for the writer. Coincidentally, his name is Dubus. But what is not a coincident is that there is a link between the Liberation newspaper and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
The the Paris-based French Liberation newspaper recently alleged that Deputy Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak and Datin' Seri Rosmah Mansor are involved in the murder of Mongolian Altantuyaa Sharibuu.
Utter rubbish! But Dubus' article was lifted by Malaysiakini.
Apparently, one of the owners of the newpaper Edouard Rothschild who owns a majority 37 per cent of the newspaper through his investment of 20 million Euros in 2005, is a close ally of Anwar. The left-wing daily was founded by philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre and Maoist militant Serge July in 1973 but in recent years has sustained substantial losses and struggling to increase its circulation.
The French multi-millionaire is the head of Rothschild & CIE bank which he founded in 1987.
Rothschild worked closely with Anwar through the World Bank and International Monetary Fund as well as the State Department-funded Foundation for the Future, of which Anwar was once Chairman.
In his article which is highly defamatory to Najib and Rosmah, Dubus claimed that in the course of writing his article, he had travelled to Kuala Lumpur and Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.
I have many questions for Dubus? Who did he meet in KL and Bangkok? Who fed him with all the lies so convincingly that he so naively took them for Gospel truth? Must be someone for whom he holds high regard. Who looked after Dubus when he was in KL? Who facilitated his investigative reporting?
Najib is not as naive as his predecessor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Anwar is afraid that under Najib's stewardship, Barisan Nasional will regain its strength. Anwar, his Part Keadilan Rakyat and the adhoc Pakatan Rakyat alliance will then slip into oblivion.
It has become quite obvious that as the date for Dato' Sri Najib Tun Razak to take over the nation's premiership draws close, the number of campaigns to smear his good name is increasing.
The latest of one of these campaigns is a purported article which appeared in the left-wing Liberation newspaper, written by journalist Arnaud Dubus. The article, which was lifted by news portal Malaysiakini, makes various allegations against Dato' Sri Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Abdul Razak Baginda.
Abdul Razak was initially charged with the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Sharibuu, but was later acquitted without his defence being called.
Apparently, Dubus' entire article is based on a single document which was never produced in court. The fact that the document was never admitted in court, can only point to one thing - it is not credible.
The article also purportedly links Altantuya's murder and her acquiantance with Abdul Razak Baginda to Dato' Sri Najib and Datin Seri Rosmah and the purchase of submarines from France.
There are several issues here which need emphasis. Firstly, the Government has cleared Dato' Sri Najib from any wrongdoings in the submarine deal. The payment of Euro 115 million was not as commission but for services rendered to the French party. This has been answered in Parliment. Again, no issue. To those who are not happy, check the Parliament Hansard.
Secondly, Dato' Sri Najib has denied knowing Altantuya. In fact, as a Muslim he did what most other Muslims would fear to do, swear upon the Al-Quran. No guilty Muslim would do so. One example is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Thirdly, everyone know that the alleged picture of Dato' Sri Najib with Abdul Razak and Altantuya, does not exist. Perhaps the journalist got hold of the one doctored by Tian Chua (who admitted to doctoring the picture by inserting a photo of Dato' Sri Najib). This is the same Tian Chua who talks about ethics, human rights, equal rights, etc. The picture which he doctored is now all over the internet. If seen by the ignorant, they may assume that it's authentic. Dubus is one of the many ignorant ones. This is the extent of the damage created by Tian Chua.
I can't for the life of me understand why those who are against Dato' Sri Najib continue to harp on the Altantuya issue. The police have repeated said that he was not involved in the murder of Sharibuu.
Perhaps these people have run out of issues. And perhaps these people are worried that Barisan Nasional will regain the strength it lost under Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and would once again become a force to be reckoned with.
Accusations such as the one made by Dubus and given credence by Malaysiakini is an outright criminal defamation. I think it is time for the police to take action against those who hurl baseless accusations against the Deputy Prime Minister.
The police have a duty to protect the leaders in this country, especially the person who will become the Prime Minister of Malaysia in less than a month.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.