Mention Malaysia and people like Najib Abdul Razak, Mahathir Mohamad, Rosmah Mansor, Taib Mahmud, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Ambiga Sreenevasan, Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang come to mind.
Tourism Malaysia announced 2014 as Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) and visitors will fly on Malaysia Airlines or Air Asia to visit Penang, Kuala Lumpur, Sabah or Sarawak. No trip is complete without visiting Taman Negara, the Petronas Twin Towers, the Mulu Caves, Malacca or scaling Mount Kinabalu before diving in the sea off Sipadan. Away from the beaches and tropical jungle, the reputation of Malaysia (formerly Malaya), is tarnished with tales of corruption, police brutality, deaths in custody and violence against peaceful pro-democracy protestors.
Najib, the Umno-Baru president, dismissed allegations of cheating at GE-13 and declared himself the winner. He promoted the â€œ1Malaysiaâ€ soundbite and leads the minority BN coalition; but Malaysians are fascinated in the excesses of his wife, Rosmah, the self-styled First Lady of Malaysia (FLOM) and her alleged penchant for 24-million dollar rings and Hermes handbags.
Bersih, the NGO which advocates clean elections, has warned about simmering tensions concerning fraudulent elections and the crackdown on supporters of the Opposition Pakatan coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim. Student activist, Adam Adli joins Haris Ibrahim, Tian Chua, Safwan Anang and Hishamuddin Rais have been targeted by the police and accused of sedition. The much disliked Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi dismisses his critics by telling them to emigrate.
Malaysia, sometimes known as â€œBolehLandâ€ â€“a country where anything goes â€“ is where space tourists masquerade as astronauts, Scorpene submarines cannot submerge, and the National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) scandal exposed the alleged use of public funds by a ministerâ€™s family to buy luxury condominiums, instead of cows for farmers. Malaysia, a nation where Umno-Baru Malays are the worldâ€™s most protected species.
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