God Help Us All……………….
Posted by ErnieJean on April 3, 2009
Friday, 3rd April 2009……….The day I will always remember as feeling totally helpless, disheartened and depressed……..
Because, on one hand, the leader of the opposition political pact has been forced to prove his innocence instead of his prosecutors proving otherwise, while on the other hand, the leader of a rempit-style racist political party gets all the allegations swept under the heavy carpets of Putrajaya, no matter how strong the evidences seem to be, without having to break any sweat to prove his innocence, besides that “Quran-Swearing” incident, of course.
Because, despite, all the petitions and clear signs pointing to the “unsuitability” (until proven otherwise) of the said Quran-Swearing-politician to lead a multi-cultural nation, he’s been sworn in anyway.
Has there ever been anywhere else in history of a proudly proclaimed democratic country where the nation (helplessly) witnessed the swearing in of a character whose reputation has been so sullied by corruption and criminal allegations, that this much-tainted scandal-ridden leader of his equally scandal-ridden political party has been on the receiving end of much attention (OF THE WRONG KIND, if I may add) from the international media community.
Clamping down on all voices that were deemed too “distracting” at the same time certainly is NOT going to “white-wash” the reputation of, perhaps, the most corrupted top “larded” couple the nation has ever seen……….
Below are just a few of the links of UMNO Malaysia’s 6th Crime Prime Minister in the eyes of the international community :-
http://www.hollywoodcelebgossips.com/2009/03/05/najib-tun-razaks-altantuya-shaaribuu-relationship/ (Gasp!! Even a celebrity gossip blog has featured the new PM’s scandals…..how proud can one be!!!)
And to top it all, what gift is more befitting of such a great occasion than to have our country listed amongst the 4 countries BLACKLISTED by G20 nations for being tax-havens to CORRUPTED OFFICIALS…………..
G-20 leaders blacklist Malaysia as one of 4 tax havens
LONDON: Four nations were blacklisted as uncooperative tax havens after G-20 leaders declared the age of banking secrecy was over and said they would no longer tolerate shady havens draining away badly needed tax revenue.
At the request of the Group of 20 summit of rich and developing nations, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development named the Philippines, Uruguay, Costa Rica and the Malaysian territory of Labuan as the worst offenders, saying they had refused to adopt new rules on financial openness.
Leaders also said Thursday that nations that refuse to exchange tax information could in the future face tough sanctions – including the withdrawal of financing by the World Bank or International Monetary Fund.
“The time of banking secrecy has passed,” French President Nicholas Sarkozy said following the summit. “Everyone around the table wants an end to tax havens. Everyone knows we need sanctions.”
The announcement reflects mounting concern that banking secrecy in tax havens has helped to worsen the economic crisis by disguising the true value of some global assets.
Anti-poverty activists say such places provide corrupt officials places to stash illicit funds, often depriving poor nations of needed resources. (Sounds too close for comfort, isn’t it? Need we elaborate????)
The OECD has divided countries into three categories: those who comply with rules on sharing tax information, those who say they will but have yet to act and nations which have not yet agreed to change banking secrecy practices.
Switzerland and Liechtenstein, which both have strong banking secrecy traditions, said last month they would adopt international rules on tax cooperation and were ready to comply with G-20 demands.
Liechtenstein, Switzerland’s tiny Alpine neighbor, said it has already met with British officials to prepare for the new standards. Monaco said earlier that it would be more transparent with foreign tax authorities.
In return they were spared the fate of being blacklisted but were left in a gray area of countries that still have to implement their commitment to accept new information-exchange standards. China supported the blacklisting, but would not agree to have two territories, Hong Kong and Macau, classified as uncooperative tax havens.
Potential sanctions for transgressors include extra audits of those who use tax havens and curbs on tax deductions claimed by businesses using the territories.
In their communique, leaders said they may consider further penalties in their bilateral relations with tax haven territories. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Brown and President Barack Obama played a key role in pushing for a crackdown on tax havens.
At least 35 offshore tax havens, from Britain’s Channel Islands to the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean, are under increasing pressure to provide more information to international authorities to prevent people from evading taxes or hiding income by shifting money to such places.
Stephen Timms, financial secretary to the British Treasury, said a culture of banking secrecy had worsened global economic problems.
“That lack of transparency – that opaqueness – has contributed to the severity of the problems we are seeing in the world economy at the moment,” he said. – AP
The Star, April 3, 2009
Well, what can I say….except…..at least we made it onto the top of a list of sorts, regardless of what it is all about, and Singapore didn’t????