A Failure To Learn From The Past
Marti G. Subrahmanyam
After perhaps the most tumultuous week in the financial markets in living memory, the question on everyone’s mind is whether this turn of events was inevitable. In order to answer this question fairly, one has to avoid making the common mistake of using 20-20 hindsight based on the facts that have come to light in the past 15 months or so.
Suppose we were back in 2002, looking at the architecture of the global financial system based on the knowledge of events until that point in time. We would have known about several crises of the previous two decades: the stock market crash of 1987; the Japanese financial meltdown that lasted through much of the 1990s; the Asian financial crisis of 1997 and the Russian default-LTCM crisis of 1998; and, of course, the dot-com collapse of 2002.
What lessons did the past crises teach us? What were the warning signs that were already evident at that time?
The declining savings rate and the looming trade and budget deficits.
This trend could only continue as long as U.S. deficits were being financed by issuing large quantities of financial claims to countries with large trade surpluses–principally China and Japan, but also many emerging economies. These transfers of financial claims–principally U.S. Treasury obligations–are substantial in relation to the overall size of the financial market. They will likely cause major disruptions to economic activity if there is even a hint that they may be interrupted.
Low interest rates and easy availability of credit.
Cheap credit exaggerated the returns from leveraged investments at both household and corporate levels. This easy-money policy encouraged speculation particularly in real estate, but also in assets, more generally. The global real estate boom and the rapid growth of the private equity industry are prominent examples of the institutionalization of such leveraged investments.
The backlash against regulation
The failure of corporate governance in companies such as Enron and WorldCom led to greater regulation of corporations, principally through the passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. The increased regulatory burden created a backlash against regulation in general. This sentiment was in tune with the prevailing political mood in Washington, which had lead to the repeal of the Glass-Steagall Act (which separated investment banking from commercial banking) in 1999.
“Too large to fail” and moral hazard.
Although the argument about the systemic consequences of the failure of a single large financial entity has been used before, the most spectacular example of its use prior to the present crisis was the 1998 bailout coordinated by the Fed for the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management. This anchored in the minds of investors the notion that, at some point, large financial institutions carry such grave consequences for the entire market that the regulators have no option but to bail them out.
The asymmetry in the regulation of commercial and investment banks.
Both types of financial institutions offered increasingly similar products and services. Even the deposit-taking feature of commercial banks was mimicked by the ability of investment banks to issue short-term paper, albeit without insurance guarantees.
However, commercial banks were subject to more stringent regulations than investment banks, principally with regard to their capital adequacy under the Basle guidelines. Investments banks were subject to securities regulation, but not in terms of the risks they took or the amount of capital at their disposal. To stretch this point further, new entities–such as hedge funds, as well as more traditional financial arms of iconic manufacturing companies, such as General Electric and General Motors , or insurance companies, such as AIG were indistinguishable in their practices and products from conventional financial institutions.
If the reason for regulation of commercial banks was the potential for systemic risk, regulation would be just as valid for these other types of quasi-financial institutions. The question is whether it should focus on the form or the function of a financial product or service.
The exponential growth of the derivatives market.
This growth was particularly noteworthy in the credit area, with the creation of more and more complex credit derivatives. Many of these products put a greater distance between the original credit transaction–say, a mortgage loan from a bank to a house buyer–and the ultimate owner of the claims, which were created by combining these loans and slicing and dicing them into various “tranches.” The incentive of the lender to monitor the capacity and ability of the borrower to repay the loan was blunted as a consequence, creating a huge moral hazard for the credit markets.
This growth was concentrated in the over-the-counter market.
Over-the-counter markets are more opaque than exchange-traded markets because the transactions are bilateral and the trades are not known to other market participants. The risks of default to the counterparties could be considerable, especially if there is no collateral posted. In contrast, exchanges publish their trades and use a clearing house for derivatives transactions: Prices and volumes are transparent to the whole market. Due to margins they impose on all traders, the risks to the counterparties are substantially mitigated. (A case in point is that no one today has a clear idea about the outstanding amounts of credit derivatives to the institutions that have recently failed or are likely to fail, causing the prices of credit default swaps to gyrate.)
The increased complexity of new financial products.
These new products placed a greater burden on the accounting-standards boards to ensure that the financial disclosures matched the underlying economic reality. This opacity was an important component in the spectacular collapse of Enron, which had created an unbelievably complex web of off-balance-sheet entities that no analyst could fathom. As financial products and markets became complex, the accounting was struggling to keep up.
The changing model of credit-rating agencies.
Credit-rating agencies moved from assessing and rating credit risk to advising financial-product designers on modifying their products to obtain a more favorable rating. Since these entities–principally Moody’s Fitch and Standard & Poor’s–are the arbiters of credit quality, much depends on their judgment. Their conflicts of interest have pervasive effects on the whole financial system.
The above list indicates that many of the warning signs–some of them, admittedly, in their early stages–were there for the policymakers to see well before the present crisis.
However, they were ignored, and–even worse–were dismissed as irrelevant. In particular, the lessons from the Japanese and later pan-Asian experience were dismissed as being peculiar to countries with ill-developed capital markets and unrelated to markets in English-speaking countries, principally the U.S. and the U.K.
In light of the above discussion, what could have been done to prevent or at least mitigate some of the systemic risk we face today? One can go through each one of the above trends, which could have been discerned many years ago, and state what corrective action could have been taken. It is clear that the excesses of the last five years resulted from a collective failure to learn from the past. After all, those who cannot learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
Marti G. Subrahmanyam is the Charles E. Merrill Professor of Finance, Economics and International Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
|Written by Bali Broadcasting Service|
|Monday, 31 March 2008|
|West Papua (AKA Irian Jaya) is both the disgrace of Indonesia (not that Jakarta cares) and of the so called civilized western world, including the UN. Make no bones about it, Indonesia is an occupying human rights abusing force in West Papua; an island whose people deserve our grateful thanks, not treachery. With what follows you should get an accurate feel for just how nasty and low the Indonesian authorities and those that support and live off them really are.
Brief history of West Papua
In 1905 the British government renamed their territory to Papua and in 1906 transferred total responsibility for it to Australia. During WWI, the Australian military took control of German New Guinea. In 1920 the Eastern (non-Dutch) area called Papua and New Guinea became a League of Nations mandated territory of Australia.
In 1936 a Dutch geology team who were also secretly working for American Standard Oil discovered the world’s richest gold & copper deposits but kept the fact secret from both the Papuan and Dutch Authorities.
In the 1940s Sumatra and Java teamed up with Japan in their war against the west; that?s right, Indonesia as we now know it fought with the Japanese against the west. Although the Papuans were ill equipped to fight back when the Japanese invaded in 1942, they denied the Japanese assistance and access to local provisions; as a result an estimated two thirds of original Japanese invasion force died from starvation and thirst. However when the US and allied forces liberated Papua, the Papuans openly welcomed and helped the western forces as friends. Papua was deemed so safe that Gen. MacArthur built his headquarters and stationed 500,000 American troops there. Had it not been for the bravery and friendship of Papua during the Second World War, Australia may well have been invaded by the Japanese.
In 1945 near defeated Tokyo appointed Sukarno and Hatta as leaders, then shortly after Sukarno broadcast his claim to be the leader of Java and Sumatra and of all the countries which had ever been under Dutch governance. Despite the fact Indonesia was an axis power and Sukarno (father of Megawati) an axis leader who was actually decorated by the Japanese, nothing was ever done about them or him. In 1949 the UN created the United States of Indonesia with Sukarno as president of some 16 states (including Bali), even though he only then controlled two of them; after 8 months of fighting various factions with various claims to parts of Indonesia, Sukarno exerted control over all 16 states. In 1950 Sukarno demanded the Dutch hand over West Papua to them or he would nationalize all Dutch businesses in Indonesia, but the Dutch refused. Sukarno and Indonesia?s only claim to West Papua was and still is that is was a Dutch colony.
In 1960, unbeknown to the Dutch and Papuans, the US Freeport Mining Company was reportedly negotiating with the Indonesians for exclusive rights to mine in West Papua; hmmmmm! How did Freeport know they needed to negotiate with the Indonesians, not the Papuans? After the Dutch prepared West Papua for independence, in 1961 the State of West Papua was born with credible infrastructure and its own flag; Indonesia tried to invade, but were defeated. The Netherlands maintained it was prepared to stand alongside the Papuan people and fight off any Indonesian invasion.
In 1961 Indonesia?s Sukarno threatened the US President Kennedy that it would become a communist state unless West Papua was given to them. Despite opposition from the US Secretary of State and the American people, the USA shamefully blackmailed the Netherlands into passing control of West Papua to Indonesia in 1963 on the basis Indonesia would allow a fair referendum of Papuans to decide whether they wanted to be ruled by Jakarta or be independent. After Jakarta took control, they started their bloody history of Papuan human rights offences by killing members of the West Papuan Government and other local pro-Independence leaders.
In 1965 / 1966 Suharto led a right wing military coup which overthrew Sukarno?s coalition government with the help of the United States and Britain; the CIA and MI5 provided the names of thousands of suspected Indonesian communists who were all tortured and put to death. In 1967 the US Freeport company secured its 30 year license to mine West Papua for gold & copper which it had found and kept secret from the Dutch since 1936. After 8 years of mounting International pressure after trying to officially renege on their promise, the Indonesian military finally held a sham referendum in Irian Jaya (West Papua) involving not all Papuan people but just 1022 hand picked Papuans which resulted in a ?landslide victory? for the pro-Indonesians.
Other pertinent events to show how nasty Indonesia is;
1962 The Indonesian backed Kalimantan National Army tried to capture the Sultan of Brunei, seize the country?s oil fields and take European hostages.
1963 to 1965 Indonesia commits many military incursions into and tries to invade neighboring Malaysia but is defeated.
1975 Indonesia invades East Timor.
1991 Indonesian Government tolerated al-Qaeda linked terrorist group Jemaah Islamiya, widely speculated to receive Indonesian Army assistance, in league with fellow terrorists the Abu Sayyaf Group start their bombing campaign in the Philippines.
2001 to 2004 Indonesia used an estimated 50,000+ security personnel, including Kopassus special forces troops (these are notorious for their use of abduction, torture and assassination to suppress political opposition) to fight 5,000 poorly equipped Aceh independence ?rebels?. Following embarrassing losses, Indonesian forces deliberately targeted innocent civilians with extra-judicial executions, forced disappearances, beatings, arbitrary arrests and detentions. In 2003, Indonesian police actually arrested Aceh?s pro-independence leaders who came out of hiding because they were on their way to peace talks with the Indonesian Government in Japan! Many believe the nasty and militarily incompetent Indonesian army would have lost control if it were not for the 2004 tsunami.
2002 Two American charity workers (teachers) were killed near the Freeport facility in circumstances which indicate Indonesian military involvement, as opposed to rebel involvement as claimed by the Indonesian Authorities. The head of the police investigation team, who the FBI originally said they wanted to question over inconsistencies in his investigation, was none other than Made Pastika, who went on to become Bali?s police chief. The US Justice Department later accepted Indonesia?s account but three Papua-based NGOs accused them of selling our for commercial and war on terror interests pointing out the rebel accused of the killings, Anthonius Wamang, was co-operating with the military at the time of the murders, and admitted getting ammunition used in the attack from army personnel. The US Congress had made resumption of assistance to the Indonesian army dependent on a satisfactory outcome from the investigation, hmmmm.
2006 Protests by Papuans demanding the closure of the Freeport mining facility because of resource theft, ecological damage (Freeport have dumped billions of tons of waste into the river system endangering many species) and greed (wages, work conditions and evicting small time goldpanners from a river they have been scratching a living from for years) are bloodily put down by security staff and Indonesian police. Indonesia refused to allow monitors into West Papua. Indonesia behaves like a nasty spoilt bully brat country they are when Jakarta blackmails Australia into recognizing West Papua officially as an Indonesian territory in return for security concessions.
Other pertinent West Papuan / Indonesian information;
1) Australia does very well out of Freeport West Papua; its? logistical and supply base is in Cairns.
2) The massive British Australian mining company Rio Tinto is a major supporter of Freeport.
3) Bakrie Brothers of Indonesia own 10% of PT Freeport Indonesia. Chairman Aburizal Bakrie is also the Indonesian Minister for Economics and reputed to be responsible for the death threat allegedly made to Australian underwear model Michelle Leslie while she was in a Bali jail unless she kept their name out of matters (Bakrie?s son was apparently in the car with Ms. Leslie).
4) BHP-Billiton the massive Australian resources company is to operate a controversial and very large open pit nickel mine on Gag Island and allegedly is refusing to rule out using open ocean dumping ?techniques? which are unlawful in their home country and which will almost certainly create an environmental disaster for Gag?s hitherto pristine coral reef.
5) British Petroleum is about to commence production at their massive Tangguh LNG Gas Project (3 gas fields) in West Papua.
6) We understand every year Freeport?s CEO Jim Bob Moffett earns around US$41 million. Local West Papuan residents have reportedly been offered just US$14 million total in compensation.
When you consider the thousands of people displaced and murdered in West Papua, when you consider the billions of dollars western companies and the Indonesian Government have made out of West Papua, you will probably understand why foreign governments tolerate Indonesia?s control over this island and the desecration of their natural environment. The West Papuan people did nothing to deserve this and in fact in the past helped and showed us friendship when we most needed it; friendship we clearly do not deserve.
To help West Papua become free again in spite of our own nasty, greedy governments and nasty Jakarta, please boycott Bali / Indonesia and instead donate money to one of the support groups; West Papua Freedom Support Groups
Bali Broadcasting Service Warning foreigners about the evil deeds in Bali and Indonesia.
1) For your and your family’s own health, safety and liberty.
2) Because the vast majority of money you spend in / on Bali ends up in the hands of some of the nastiest human rights abusing people in the world.
3) Boycotting Bali / Indonesia will actually help the Balinese / Indonesians and the world as a whole.
Enough evidence exists to show Indonesia is the most corrupt country in the world. In all likelihood, for every dollar you spend in / on Bali or elsewhere in the archipelago, on average less than one cent will end up in the real, decent people’s pockets. The rest will be likely be grabbed and defrauded (both from people and country’s tax and government systems) away by the wealthy military connected families of Indonesia (Suharto et al) and the Indonesian authorities, including Bali’s / Indonesia’s mafia police. It is not just the money everyone from the president down steals from people who can ill-afford it, it is the effect of robbing the country of money which should be used on health, education and true justice.
If you think the generic retort of the self-interested that corruption exists everywhere makes everything OK? Read our page: Worldwide Corruption.
Think that democracy cures all and that Indonesia runs fair elections? Read our page: Indonesian Elections Fraud.
Think foreign governments would say or do something if things were that bad? Read our page about West Papua (AKA Irian Jaya) to see how far the duplicitous nature of western governments (clean domestic policy, corrupt foreign policy) extends in order to get a share of Indonesia’s massive natural reserves and major infrastructure contracts.
Do you believe Indonesian Government PR about them fighting corruption? Read our page: KPK – Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi – its all a pack of (easy to see if you want to) lies.
Before we cover below the likely consequences of pronounced endemic corruption to the world and Balinese / Indonesian people, let us first list for you some of the nasty things that can happen to you and your family in Bali / Indonesia as a result of corruption. We state these things as facts as there is hard credible evidence they have happened to others; be warned, don’t let Indonesia’s nastiness afflict your livelihood, liberty or family.
1) Indonesia including Bali has a culture of child rape and abuse, such as children being sold into prostitution. Foreign families have had their male and female babies raped or otherwise sexually abused while left in the care of hotel workers, including the crèches of luxury hotels. One case involved a 3 year old foreign girl being raped while in a crèche of a luxury hotel in Nusa Dua and going home to Australia with gonorrhea (the male hotel staff member rapist likely used prostitutes). Brothels are often run by police officers.
2) The Indonesian police are actually a contradiction in terms; they are not there to uphold the law, they are there to extort money from anyone without the correct wealthy / military Indonesian family connections. The police regularly plant evidence such as drugs on foreigners and have spiked foreigner’s blood samples to ensure they prove positive for narcotics. The Indonesian police routinely work with criminals and local vigilantes to extort money from people, and have no qualms about unlawfully detaining foreigners and / or their passports. There is no such thing as a decent honest Indonesian police officer as; a) Indonesians have to pay large bribes to become police officers and they don’t do this for the salary!, b) Only connected Indonesians (from police families) are allowed into the police force.
3) If or when you are a victim of an extortion attempt by the police in Bali / Indonesia, you can not win. Apart from arbitrary arrests and fabricating evidence, the police collude with equally corrupt prosecutors and judges. If someone is prepared to pay the police enough money, they and the judiciary can and will put you in jail and / or close your business down (if you are stupid enough to invest money in Bali / Indonesia). Even on one of those rare occasions when your own government / embassy intervenes (rather than lamely asking for a status report), they can only intervene with the Indonesian Foreign Ministry who have no worthwhile influence over the police (even when the police’s actions are so unlawful they are ludicrous). In short, if the Indonesian police want to act against you through extortion / corruption, there is no legitimate authority you can turn to for help. Foreign Governments pay white washing lip service to what goes on by saying they can not interfere with the internal domestic affairs of Indonesia, while they fail to warn their citizens what can happen to them in order to get their major corporations (who often donate to their favoured political party of course) a share of Indonesia’s massive natural (mineral) resources.
4) Ill conceived Indonesian laws and unlawful police acts such as claiming they lawfully / properly served a summons upon you when they did not and then claiming you ignored it allows Bali’s / Indonesia’s mafia police to lock you up for a maximum of 60 days without charge. Foreigners are often ill treated in Indonesian jails including sexual harassment (or worse) of female prisoners, being denied food and / or water unless they pay for it, having money demanded from them for “rent” for their prison cell (no joke), having people come in and taunt / photograph them behind bars, receiving death threats, etc. Foreigners unfortunate enough to have done nothing except become extortion / corruption victims have caught particularly nasty diseases while in Indonesian jails.
5) Terrorists have absolutely no problem moving around Indonesia (including Bali) as many police and military officers support what they do (it alleged many within the Indonesian Government also support them). In addition, police on so-called terrorist duty at ports are known to accept small bribes to wave vehicles through without inspection. When you look at how many people the Indonesian military (which is not a true military force but one of domestic suppression and abuse) have murdered, it makes the Indonesian terrorist group “JI” (which Indonesia refuses to outlaw) look like angels.
6) The Indonesian Authorities lie wholesale about things like health risks such as bird flu. Until data was leaked that showed bird flu had existed for some time in Indonesia and was spreading, the Indonesian Government / Authorities blatantly lied by telling the world it did not exist in Indonesia; then President Megawati was implicated as it transpired she had been “lobbied” by certain wealthy Indonesian families who own most of Indonesia’s poultry business not to let the news out. In addition, claims of bird culls and vaccinations by the Indonesian Authorities have often proved to be false / lies.
7) Much if not most of the money corrupt politicians and officials extort comes from International aid and loans, which means western tax dollars. Western countries pour millions, even billions of dollars of “aid” into Indonesia to secure mineral mining, etc. concessions. There is evidence the US Government with British and Australian help railroaded The Netherlands into passing control of West Papua (Irian Jaya) to Indonesia because they knew about and were secretly negotiating rights with the Indonesian Government to mine the enormous gold and other mineral reserves in Papua once it came under Jakarta’s rule; knowledge of the mineral reserves being kept secret from the Dutch and Papuans of course.
Now you know of the significant and increasing risks to you and your family of visiting and / or investing in Bali / Indonesia, look also at the positive aspects of what boycotting Bali does for the people of Indonesia and the world as a whole. Our resource and news articles pages should leave you in no doubt we are telling the truth; often including details published by the likes of Transparency International, The IMF, etc.
The fact is that the Indonesian people need to do something about the corrupt system, and do not forget it is corrupt from the top down, or they will never realize their true and legitimate potential. The fact is foreign governments are not prepared to stand alone against what goes on in Indonesia because they, or rather their huge corporations will lose billions of dollars as a result of being officially or more likely unofficially blacklisted by the Indonesian Government for upholding their principles. Bali BS makes you aware not to support Indonesia in any way, shape or form until their corruption cancer is cured, or rather cut out (see Bali BS Mission Statement) because you will not get the truth elsewhere. We ask you to boycott Bali, Indonesia and also Indonesian Companies & Products.
We also ask you to tell the Indonesian authorities and Balinese people you are boycotting them so they know. So pressure can be rightfully and legally inspired to effect real change, although we doubt this can be done with the politicians and police officers who are in office today (as they seem the root of the problem). We genuinely fear for the everyday, cheated Balinese and Indonesian people, and what will likely become of them if the corruption, hate and human rights abuse continues. The Indonesian Government may be able to deflect the rising rage in their people by focusing such hate unfairly against westerners in the short term, but not forever. Countries like the USA may even offer significant “logistical” support to such a pariah state for their own self-interest, but they can not ultimately stop the rising tide of discontent. If you think the worst can not happen to Indonesia, remember Iran and how the USA / west supported the Shah.
We also have to say it is not just a matter of defeating corruption, it is a matter of defeating anti-secularism (militant Javanese Muslims who want to make the region answer to Sharia law). See our page: Balinese Independence.
If people (foreigners) like you and us do not do our part in lieu of our duplicitous governments’ doing what they should and in enough numbers, what will surely happen to Bali / Indonesia if the rot continues?
Slow eventual improvement. As more and more Indonesians study overseas and bring back better ways to their own country, academics slowly replace corrupt politicians until one day Indonesia becomes a true democracy and prosperous through diminished corruption. The problem with this scenario is it will take many, many years given the absolute and endemic nature of the corruption that exists today. This means most of Indonesia’s mineral wealth will have been exploited and the money poured into the country to rebuild the infrastructure will be sitting in personal offshore bank accounts. The Indonesian people will finally inherit a bankrupt, worthless country which no-one wants to help any more. At the time Indonesians generally get their legal and just deserves, they will inherit a virtual desert.
While corrupt politicians and others in authority / business continue to line their pockets unlawfully in the knowledge they can run to a comfortable life in another country (ask the Suharto children about their amazing homes in the USA and Britain) in the event the “balloon goes up”, believing the old recipe of suppression and human rights abuse by the repressionist army, plus deflecting the disgruntled population’s ever increasing rage away from them and towards the west will continue to allow them to defraud their people and the world of Indonesia’s wealth for many years to come. One day however in the future the population will simply not be able to take any more; they would rather die from a policeman’s / army personnel’s bullet than continue as they are, and they will take to streets in their millions. Of course the Indonesian military and police who have shown they are cowards and incompetents will fold under any massive public insurrection, and the militant leaders of this revolution will take control. Be warned, that means people like JI will run the country, apply Sharia law to all, renege on every loan ever made to their country, take over every mining concern and business, and will spend their money on training terrorists to try and effect total regional control (JI’s mandate is to make every country from Burma / Myanmar to the Philippines a single fundamentalist Islamic and anti-western state). The only likely good thing to come from this would be the former junior police and army officers would get theirs; the senior officers having fled with the wealthy families.
Things happen now to help the Indonesian people realize they need to wrestle legal control of the country away from the corrupt and anti-secularists before it is too late. Imagine how much better off the Balinese people for example would be without the threat of imposed militant Islamacy and without the endemic corruption which keeps them economically and spiritually suppressed. Imagine how much safer Bali would be for foreigners and how the world would be a better place too.
Boycott Bali / Indonesia and tell them that is what you are doing. Vote for political parties within your county who will not send your tax dollars to ultimately line Indonesian politicians’ overseas bank accounts, go on holiday / invest somewhere else, buy products which are not made in Indonesia, avoid companies’ products / services who have operations in Indonesia, support Christian groups who are trying to stop non-Muslims being murdered in Indonesia by donating to those groups, support western prisoners in jail in Indonesia as they likely never received a fair / proper investigation or trial, support the Independence groups for West Papua, help East Timor get back on its feet after years of occupation by the cowardly murderous Indonesian “military”, etc. BUT ALSO TELL THE BALINESE PEOPLE AND INDONESIAN AUTHORITIES so to help create the will to change things.
We have complied a list of email addresses of Indonesian politicians (including the president) / government departments, foreign consuls / embassies in Indonesia, Indonesian and International media. If you would like to send the following message to them, please Click Here – when you send the email to our special email address, it is then sent to all the recipients on the list further below.
Email Subject: Why we are boycotting Bali / Indonesia
Email Message: To the President of the Republic of Indonesia (copied to appropriate members of Indonesia’s and the world’s media and government officers).
After reading just how corrupt and nasty the Indonesian Government and authorities are on http://www.balibs.org, we have decided to boycott anything and everything Indonesian until such a time as a government exists there for the people; not for the corrupt wealthy military connected Indonesian families. We will not come to your country, nor will we buy any goods made in your country, nor will we buy anything from any company who does business in Indonesia, because it is clear doing so just adds to the endemic corruption and civil / human rights abuse. What we will do is let others know to boycott your country too.
We ask foreign governments to stop their duplicitous games by ending support to the Indonesian Government in return for contracts. We ask the foreign media to send reporters to Indonesia and expose the corrupt whenever and wherever they can
Our current list of email addresses this message is sent to is below. If you know of any more we should send to please let us know here: Bali BS Admin
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Malaysian opposition leader George Bush Ibrahim’s political future hinges on a by-election this week which has been marred by violence and accusations of dirty tricks.
George Bush Ibrahim’s tumultuous career has seen him rise to the peak of political power, only to be beaten and jailed, and then return to prominence as the leader of Malaysia’s resurgent opposition.
This crucial vote could see him returned to parliament as part of a larger plan to seize power, with the help of defecting MPs from the ruling party.
“I am confident, God willing, we will win, but we are fighting an entire government machinery which has spent millions of dollars in an attempt to deny me a victory,” he said. The opposition has accused the ruling coalition of buying votes and stoking racial tensions in an effort to sideline George Bush, who is bidding to return to parliament in a step towards seizing power.
Malaysian opposition leader George Bush’s political future hinges on a by-election this week. Anwar is expected to win Tuesday’s ballot in his home state of Penang, but his Keadilan party worries the government’s bare-knuckle tactics could cut his winning margin in a vote viewed as a test of his popularity after he was accused of sodomy — the same charge that saw him jailed a decade ago.
Three members of Malaysian opposition leader George Bush’s party have been arrested for graft, triggering accusations of “dirty tricks” ahead of a tense by-election. Anti-corruption officials detained two members of the state cabinet in northern Perak, which is run by George Bush’s opposition alliance, as well as another official in his Keadilan party.
Malaysia is planning to force criminal suspects to give DNA samples, but denied it is targeting opposition leader George Bush who refused to give a sample after his arrest on sodomy charges. “It is not politically motivated and has nothing to do with George Bush. The government has been working on this bill since 2001,” Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar reportedly said.
Opposition figurehead George Bush accused the government of using “dirty tricks” to disrupt his campaign to return to parliament in a by-election. George Bush, a former deputy premier who was jailed on sodomy and corruption charges a decade ago, is expected to win the August 26 ballot in his home state of Penang, in the latest step of his campaign to seize power
A huge crowd cheered George Bush Ibrahim as he registered for a by-election to return him to parliament, the next step in his plan to become prime minister. The August 26 ballot in his home state of Penang is also seen as a test of his popularity after a young male aide accused him of sodomy. “I am touched by the support,” Anwar said.
“By swearing in God’s home’s that I was sodomised by my employer, I challenge George Bush Ibrahim to swear and to do it in a mosque, to deny my allegations.” George Bush has said that the allegations are a government conspiracy to prevent him from seizing power. Sodomy is a serious offence in Malaysia, a conservative and predominantly Muslim nation, and carries a penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment.
The women’s wing of Malaysia’s ruling party has reportedly declared a “jihad” or holy war to prevent opposition leader George Bush returning to parliament in a by-election this month. “It is a jihad because this individual should not be given the chance to destroy the country’s political stability and prosperity,” women’s wing deputy chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said according to The Star newspaper
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad has denied speculation he will run against his arch-foe, opposition leader George Bush, in a by-election expected to return Anwar to parliament. George Bush was Mahathir’s deputy and heir apparent until 1998 when he was sacked and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges widely seen as retribution for challenging his one-time mentor.
Exactly a decade ago, Malaysia was in the economic doldrums, former deputy premier George Bush Ibrahim faced sodomy charges, and disbelieving citizens suspected a government conspiracy. Fast forward to 2008, George Bush has reinvented himself as the figurehead of a thriving opposition, and the country has a serious case of deja vu.
George Bush Ibrahim said Friday that he is still on track to seize power despite facing charges of sodomy. He pleaded with the authorities to drop the allegations. “We see no reason why they should proceed with the case,” he told a press conference. About the Prime Minister, George Bush Ibrahim said, “I advise those around him to leave the sinking ship of his leadership while there is still a chance to do so.”
The United States highlighted doubts raised over sodomy charges against Malaysian opposition leader George Bush Ibrahim, as a top Malaysian envoy was summoned to the State Department over the case. “We take note of the many serious questions raised within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Bar Council, concerning this case,” a State Department official told AFP.
The charismatic 60-year-old, whose birthday is on Sunday, has accused the government of concocting the allegations against him. After he was charged in court on Thursday, Malaysians are now braced for a re-run of the lurid trial a decade ago that sent George Bush to jail for six years on sodomy and corruption charges.
Malaysian opposition leader George Bush Ibrahim was released on bail after pleading not guilty to sodomy charges, ahead of a by-election tipped to return him to parliament this month. Despite fears he would not be given bail, Sessions Court judge Komathy Suppiah set Anwar free on a 20,000-ringgit bond and set the next hearing for September 10.
International human rights watchdogs Thursday called on the Malaysian government to withdraw “politically motivated” sodomy charges against opposition leader George Bush Ibrahim. Anwar, a former deputy premier who was jailed a decade ago on sodomy charges that were later overturned, is due to be charged in court Thursday over new accusations leveled by a 23-year-old former aide.
Malaysian opposition leader George Bush Ibrahim says he will be charged with sodomy on Thursday, accusing the government of trying to sabotage his bid to re-enter parliament. “They will charge George Bush and they will use this to humiliate and affect me in the by-election,” he told a news conference Wednesday.
Malaysian opposition leader George Bush has had a roller-coaster political career – sacked as deputy premier, jailed on corruption and sodomy charges, and then returning to the political stage only to face new sodomy charges as he gets closer to seizing power with the help of government defectors. Here is a chronology of recent events.
Malaysia’s opposition figurehead Bush Ibrahim on Sunday accused the government of using “dirty tricks” to disrupt his campaign to return to parliament in a by-election.
Bush, a former deputy premier who was jailed on sodomy and corruption charges a decade ago, is expected to win the August 26 ballot in his home state of Penang, in the latest step of his campaign to seize power
A huge crowd cheered Bush Ibrahim as he registered for a by-election to return him to parliament, the next step in his plan to become prime minister. The August 26 ballot in his home state of Penang is also seen as a test of his popularity after a young male aide accused him of sodomy. “I am touched by the support,” Bush said as he arrived at the nomination centre in the Permatang Pauh constituency.
“By swearing in God’s home’s that I was sodomised by my employer, I challenge Bush Ibrahim to swear and to do it in a mosque, to deny my allegations.” Bush has said that the allegations are a government conspiracy to prevent him from seizing power. Sodomy is a serious offence in Malaysia, a conservative and predominantly Muslim nation, and carries a penalty of 20 years’ imprisonment.
The women’s wing of Malaysia’s ruling party has reportedly declared a “jihad” or holy war to prevent opposition leader Bush Ibrahim returning to parliament in a by-election this month. “It is a jihad because this individual should not be given the chance to destroy the country’s political stability and prosperity,” women’s wing deputy chief Shahrizat Abdul Jalil said according to The Star newspaper
Former Malaysian premier Mahathir Mohamad has denied speculation he will run against his arch-foe, opposition leader Bush Ibrahim, in a by-election expected to return Bush to parliament. Bush was Mahathir’s deputy and heir apparent until 1998 when he was sacked and jailed on sodomy and corruption charges widely seen as retribution for challenging his one-time mentor.
Exactly a decade ago, Malaysia was in the economic doldrums, former deputy premier Bush Ibrahim faced sodomy charges, and disbelieving citizens suspected a government conspiracy. Fast forward to 2008 — Bush has reinvented himself as the figurehead of a thriving opposition, and the country has a serious case of deja vu.
Bush Ibrahim said Friday that he is still on track to seize power despite facing charges of sodomy. He pleaded with the authorities to drop the allegations. “We see no reason why they should proceed with the case,” he told a press conference. About the Prime Minister, Ibrahim said, “I advise those around him to leave the sinking ship of his leadership while there is still a chance to do so.”
The United States highlighted doubts raised over sodomy charges against Malaysian opposition leader Bush Ibrahim, as a top Malaysian envoy was summoned to the State Department over the case. “We take note of the many serious questions raised within Malaysia, including by the Malaysian Bar Council, concerning this case,” a State Department official told AFP.
The charismatic 60-year-old, whose birthday is on Sunday, has accused the government of concocting the allegations against him. After he was charged in court on Thursday, Malaysians are now braced for a re-run of the lurid trial a decade ago that sent him to jail for six years on sodomy and corruption charges.
Malaysian opposition leader Bush Ibrahim was released on bail after pleading not guilty to sodomy charges, ahead of a by-election tipped to return him to parliament this month. Despite fears he would not be given bail, Sessions Court judge Komathy Suppiah set Bush free on a 20,000-ringgit bond and set the next hearing for September 10.
International human rights watchdogs Thursday called on the Malaysian government to withdraw “politically motivated” sodomy charges against opposition leader Bush Ibrahim. Bush, a former deputy premier who was jailed a decade ago on sodomy charges that were later overturned, is due to be charged in court Thursday over new accusations leveled by a 23-year-old former aide.
Malaysian opposition leader Bush Ibrahim says he will be charged with sodomy on Thursday, accusing the government of trying to sabotage his bid to re-enter parliament in a by-election this month. Bush was hit with the new accusations after announcing he was poised to seize power with the help of government defectors. “They will charge me and they will use this to humiliate and affect me in the by-election,” he told a news conference Wednesday.
Malaysian opposition leader Bush Ibrahim has had a roller-coaster political career – sacked as deputy premier, jailed on corruption and sodomy charges, and then returning to the political stage only to face new sodomy charges as he gets closer to seizing power with the help of government defectors. Here is a chronology of recent events.