Tuesday, November 22, 2016

"MELAYU BUKAN 'RED INDIANS" or "Malays are not Red Indians": An essay in Malay on Ketuanan Melayu


'Ketuanan Melayu' dari pandangan seorang Melayu
Oleh Azly Rahman
Selasa, 09 Jun 2009 15:34






(Terjemahan daripada bahasa Inggeris oleh Helen Ang, Centre for Policy Initiatives, KL)
'Wahai Manusia! Tuhan kamu itu esa dan dan kamu semua manusia berasal dari Adam dan Hawa, tidak ada orang Arab yang lebih mulia dari orang bukan Arab atau orang bukan Arab lebih mulia dari orang Arab; juga tidak ada yang (berkulit) putih lebih mulia dari yang (berkulit) hitam atau yang (berkulit) hitam lebih mulia dari (berkulit) putih), selain daripada belas kasihannya. Ketahuilah bahawa setiap Muslim adalah saudara kepada Muslim yang lain. Kamu semua adalah sama; tidak seorang pun yang lebih mulia dari yang lainnya kecuali dalam Taqwa dan beramal saleh.'
- Sabda Nabi Muhammad s.a.w (Selawat dan salam ke atas junjungan besar Nabi)
'Malaysia – dipunyai oleh siapa? Kepada warga Malaysia. Tapi siapakah warga Malaysia itu? Tuan Pengerusi Majlis, harapannya sayalah warga itu. Namun kadangkalanya, duduk di kamar ini, saya meragui kalau-kalau saya dibenarkan menjadi warga Malaysia. Ia keraguan yang membuai tergantung dalam pemikiran ramai orang,.... [sekali] emosi digerakkan dalam tindakan, manusia berlaga sesama manusia sepanjang kata-kata yang tidak terucap, kamu akan berdepan dengan perang yang akan memecahkan negara dari atas ke bawah dan meleraikan Malaysia.' – Lee Kuan Yew, Menteri Kanan, Republik Singapura.
Menaksirkan Ketuanan Melayu sebagai 'Malay superiority’ (keunggulan Melayu) sebaliknya agak tidak bermakna, tidak tepat secara asal usul ilmu bahasa dan secara falsafahnya dilihat angkuh. Saya kira kata 'kediktatoran' lebih dekat pada pengertiannya. Seterusnya membaca tulisan ini, tolonglah jauhi daripada membuat penghakiman tentang nilai dan janganlah terperangkap dalam penjara bahasa yang berhubungan dengan kata 'kediktatoran'.
Mendikte ['dikte' kata akar 'diktator'] membawa erti tersirat memberitahu, yang juga bermaksud menceritakan. Menceritakan bermaksud menjalin kisah berasaskan satu ideologi. Mengideologikan bererti mengurung. Mengurung bermaksud akan diperangkap. Kediktatoran di sini bermaksud pemerangkapan. Seseorang itu bukan menyedari kebebasan untuk memerintah tetapi sebaliknya sedar dirinya dalam perangkap – dan cuba keluar dari keadaan yang menjeratnya itu. Inilah bentuk kesedaran palsu.
Kata-kata, seperti yang diungkapkan ahli teori sastera Raymond Williams, perlu dipancangkan pada konteks/diletakkan dalam keadaan ekonomi yang muncul di dalamnya. Pernyataan terkenal Marx bahawa kewujudan manusia itu berdasarkan takrif keadaan ekonomi mereka dan keadaan ekonomi tersebut telah ditentukan sebelum mereka lagi. Ini merupakan pandangan 'ketentuan' (deterministic) dalam sejarah manusia.
Saya pertama kali mendengar ungkapan Ketuanan Melayu dalam pertengahan 1980-an dari buku karangan Malik Munip. Saya membaca karyanya, dalam masa yang sama menelaah tulisan Lim Kit Siang, ‘Malaysia in the dangerous 80s’ (Malaysia dalam tahun-tahun 80an yang berbahaya) untuk mendapatkan kesan penghujahan. Waktu itu, saya seorang siswa pengajian Sastera, Pendidikan dan Politik Antarabangsa.
Saya juga mendengar, para pelajar Melayu tidak digalakkan membaca karya Kit Siang dan digalakkan membaca 'Ketuanan Melayu'. Saya sukakan buku-buku yang diharamkan dan buku yang disebut orang supaya jangan dibaca. Terdapat rasa cabaran intelektual atas keupayaan membaca buku-buku terlarang.
Saya membaca buku Mahathir Mohamad, 'Dilema Melayu' dan buku Syed Husin Ali, 'Orang Melayu: Masalah dan Masa Depannya' serta buku, 'Mitos Pribumi Malas' karya Syed Hussein Alatas serentak pada waktu yang sama. Sekali lagi, untuk mendapatkan rasa keseimbangan.
Saya membaca penerbitan rasmi tentang keadaan ekonomi, disamping iringan bacaan rapi analisa ekonomi-politik negara kapitalis Malaysia.
Saya membaca karya Freud dan Marx bagi melihat sejauhmanakah penghujahan tentang totalitarianisme dari para pengarang besar arus pemikiran Sekolah Kajian Kemasyarakatan Frankfurt (Frankfurt School of Social Research). Saya membaca Al-Quran dan Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana dan Mahabharata untuk melihat dimanakah berdirinya hujah berkenaan keunggulan kaum dan apakah takdir masa hadapan manusia.
Jika kita membaca sejarah perkembangan ideologi ketuanan ini, kita dapat melihat ide tentang penguasaan sosial dan keunggulan kaum kemungkinan segalanya hanyalah berpunca daripada ekonomi. Tetapi soalan saya – siapa yang berhak mendakwa bahawa tanah ini dan itu dipunyai oleh kumpulan orang ini dan itu. Di titik manakah budaya dan kewarganegaraan bertemu dan merundingkan isu berkenaan kesetaraan [fahaman egalitarianisme]? Di mana 'kebenaran satu-satu budaya' itu sampai ke batas hadnya dan datang persoalan menguasai tentang 'kebenaran kewarganegaraan'?
Ia perihal persoalan yang cukup rumit. Warga Malaysia perlu menjawabnya setelah 50 tahun kemerdekaan. Kita mesti membuka ruang perbincangan berkenaan isu ini.
'Lirik propaganda'
Mari kita melihat bagaimana gagasan ketuanan Melayu disebar luaskan ke dalam jiwa anak-anak muda. Salah satu caranya, melalui kem-kem pemaksaan kepercayaan (indoctrination) dengan menggunakan nyanyian lagu-lagu.
Lebih berdekad lamanya, barangkali jutaan pelajar Melayu diajarkan lagu propaganda berbahaya, ‘WARISAN/Anak Kecil Main Api’. Salah satu rangkapnya mengungkapkan kuasa orang-orang Melayu:
… kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa
yang akan menentukan bangsa
hasil mengalir, ke tangan yang lain
pribumi merintih sendiri…
(senikata lagu Biro Tata Negara)
Saya tidak fikir kita memiliki kejernihan kefahaman terhadap maksud lirik ini. Saya juga meragui penulis lagu ini benar-benar mengerti maksud 'sejarah rakyat Malaya'. Ianya lagu yang berasaskan hasrat perkauman; liriknya ditulis seorang yang tidak memiliki kefahaman ekonomi-politik sejarah warga Malaysia, apatah lagi kemajuan terkini di bidang ilmu kejiwaan (psikologi) tentang kesedaran.
Program-program latihan yang memerangkap jerat dengan tema lagu ini bertujuan menumbuhkan perasaan takut orang Melayu, bukan terhadap orang lain tetapi diri mereka sendiri, serta mengacukan kebencian terhadap kumpulan etnik lainnya tanpa menyedari siapakah musuh sebenar orang Melayu.
Ia menggunakan kaedah merehatkan tubuh bagi membawa gelombang otak dalam isyarat alpha dan keadaan yang bersesuaian untuk penyampaian pesan-pesan tidak senonoh di bawah sedar. Dalam keadaan ini para pelatih dipukau ke dalam keadaan 'separuh tidur' bagi menyerap pesan ketuanan Melayu yang menjajah kesedaran mereka. Teknik ini dipelopori ahli sains Rusia, Barzakov dan Lozanoz di awal tahun 1970-an, dinamakan ’suggestopedia’ yang digunakan untuk menanam rasa takut yang mencengkam dalam diri seseorang dan kebencian mendalam terhadap orang lain.
Sejarah adalah himpunan corak rumit tata cara aturan susunan kata-kata yang saling mempengaruhi di antara teknologi, ideologi, budaya, taksiran dan proses yang melembagakannya. Sejarah tidaklah semudahnya dapat dikurangkan setakat lirik-lirik dangkal yang pernah dinyanyikan suatu waktu dahulu sebelum perang [Dunia Kedua] di Jerman dalam alunan gubahan semangat kebangsaan yang melampau.
Sejarah juga tentang kerumitan perkembangan beransur-ansur (evolusi) kelas pemerintah yang memiliki teknologi-teknologi pengawalan. Seperti kata Marx, pada setiap zaman hanya sejarah penguasa yang mengawal perkakas-perkakas pengeluaran yang akan ditulis dan ditulis kembali. Pemenang menulis sejarah, mereka yang kalah menulis puisi atau mengkaji sains kajian budaya (antropologi), keluh sebahagian orang lagi.
Kembali ke lirik tadi. Setelah 50 tahun kemerdekaan, siapakah yang menderita di Malaysia? Siapa yang menjadi kaya-raya? Siapa yang membesar dan berkembang menjadi raja perompak? Apa yang terjadi ke atas sistem kehakiman kita, universiti kita, jalan-jalan di kota kita, jaminan keselamatan awam kita, sekolah kita, anak muda kita dan keseluruhan penyusunan sosio-ekonomi masyarakat menjelang pilihanraya umum ke-12 yang lalu. Bagaimana ide ketuanan Melayu menyumbang terhadap keadaan-keadaan yang wujud hari ini?
Bahasa kuasa dan ideologi di alunkan dalam lirik tersebut. Penakrifan 'bumiputera' dimainkan. Ia menjadi kata yang bermasalah dalam era dekonstruksionisme [fahaman tentang kemusnahan makna dan pembinaannya kembali dalam bermacam ragam taksiran atas dobrakan pada makna tersebut]; menurut penyair WB Yeats suatu era dimana tiada lagi pemusatan, “pusat bukan lagi penumpuan segalanya.”
Pemuzik rock akan mengingati lagu terkenal kumpulan Scorpion, 'Winds of Change' bagi mengenang runtuhnya Tembok Berlin dan permulaan pecahnya Empayar Soviet. Kita perlu berdepan dengan 'kemarahan' kata-kata.
'Tamatkan Ketuanan Melayu'
Bagi umat penganut Islam di Malaysia, sabda Nabi Muhammad S.A.W ini memang biasa didengar:
'Asal usul turunanmu tidak perlu dibanggakan. Tidak juga ia membawa kepadamu keagungan. Wahai Manusia! Tuhan kamu itu esa dan dan kamu semua manusia berasal dari Adam dan Hawa. Kamu semua sama ibarat bijirin gandum di dalam cupak ... tiada yang lebih mulia dari lainnya, kecuali dalam amal saleh dan ketaqwaanmu. Untuk melihat seseorang itu dalam kekejian, mencukupi jika dia menghina orang lain dengan wang, amarah dan pembaziran....'
Saya menyatakan ketuanan Melayu merupakan gagasan berbahaya yang mengancam hubungan kaum. Ia merupakan taksiran sombong terhadap sejarah terpilih; sejarah yang memberi keuntungan besar terhadap sekumpulan orang hasil daripada penerapan ideologi ini.
Siapapun yang mempromosikan gagasan ini adalah dangkal dalam perihal perkara falsafah sejarah. Saya tidak fikir Melayu hari ini membeli ide 'ketuanan Melayu dan kediktatorannya'. Jika ada ketuanan satu-satu kaum itu, maksudnya kaum lain hanyalah 'hamba' dan 'abdi' atau 'warga kelas kedua'. Itupun kalau kita ingin menganalisa dari sudut pandang hikayat 'Tuan dan Hamba'?
Selaku orang Melayu yang ingin melihat berakhirnya gagasan layu Ketuanan Melayu dan lahirnya kesedaran baru yang menghormati martabat semua kaum dan maruah kesemua kumpulan etnik, saya menyeru warga Malaysia untuk terus bersikap kritis terhadap apa jua usaha oleh kaum manapun untuk mencanakkan gagasan ketuanan palsu mereka. Ini kerana ianya akan mencambahkan etnocentrisme [fahaman kecintaan kaum yang melampau] yang berjiran pula dengan xenofobia [fahaman kebencian terhadap orang asing].
Kita perlu bekerja sama untuk mendobrak [dekonstruk] segala bentuk susun aturan politik berasaskan kaum. Seiring dengan itu bekerja ke arah menzahirkan tata cara baru yang berasaskan kepada reka bentuk ekonomi yang lebih setara yang mengambil kira keperluaan asasi dan martabat kesemua kaum.
Kita mesti mengajar murid-murid sekolah bagaimana untuk mendobrak rasa keunggulan ketuanan kaum itu, bukan saja dengan mengajar tolak ansur tetapi kesetaraan masyarakat – melalui strategi pendidikan kedamaian. Kita akan menuai hasilnya buat generasi akan datang
WASSALAM
-- azly rahman

Thursday, September 08, 2016

READ THIS: BEFORE YOU DEMOLISH the GREAT BIRD of LANGKAWI


by Azly Rahman  
Read this poem before you demolish the great set-in-stone bird of Langkawi:
POETRY
for the great bird of Langkawi
"Before You Demolish Me"
Say my name
Say my name
Read my lips
It’s LANG-KAWI
not UNTA-KAWI, dude
It’s a bird so free
So majestic so pretty
Not some animal you breed
for slavery
Say my name, dude
Say my name,
Ya Maulana Ya Habibi
It’s LANG-KAWI
not your kambing biri-biri
you sacrifice to remember
some kind of human sacrifice
of a child saved by some story
crafted for a belief whose meaning
lost in heaps of subjectivity and fallacies
Say my name
Say my name
Before you demolish me
It’s LANG-KAWI
Island of the majestic eagles
symbol of freedom
symbol of bravery
soaring with high intelligence
cruising the airwaves with dignity
eyes so beautiful
with piercing beauty
a symbol of heroism
of a glorious kingdom’s philosophy
and you wish to demolish me
with your fatwa so faulty
so obsessed you and your tribe are
with your turban
and your tubular thinking
and your chains of ignorance
of the history of LANG-KAWI
Yes, say that again
It’s LANG-KAWI
and not UNTA-KAWI
or KAMBING BIRI-BIRI
you wish to replace
at the mouth
of this island
I love with sincerity
Take your fatwa and use it wisely
To catch the thieves of this country
the robbers of this nation
who stole more that the weight of gold
of this statue of this mythical bird
guarding the kingdom of old Langkawi
Take your camels, your goats, your kibbash
and your turban
and your green robe
and you unshaven beard
and rally them all with your ana
and anta
and your ya Habibi
and Ya Maulana
and your fatwa
to call upon those still in slumber
of the ills of this country
plagued with lies shroud in mystery
hidden in layers of hypocrisy
Rally against these
Demolish these
and not that bird in Langkawi
And what's my name again?
It’s LANG-KAWI
Again,
It’s LANG-KAWI
Not UNTA-KAWI
Or 72 dancing white raisins
mistaken as houris
It’s LANG-KAWI
The Eagle of the island of Majesty
and I’ve been around
a bird so free
longer than your ideology
brought by those
still struggling
to clip my wings
with your fatwas
and your hypocrisy
- azly rahman
Destroyed by those who see god in money
SO - I wrote those verses.
The proposal to demolish the statue of the mythical bird of Langkawi does not make sense, as nonsensical as the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha statue in Afghanistan and the artifacts in Palmyra, in Syria - these by destructive Islamists who do not study history nor appreciate the legacy of civilisation’s memory.
It painfully reminds me of ruins of a temple in Bujang Valley, Kedah, destroyed by those who see god in money. I wrote the following notes some time ago, in protest of the insanity at Bujang Valley.
It is not just ruins of an ancient temple demolished to a pulp, it is a semiotic piece of your very existence as a people; a reality constructed socially through language that defines it.
More than this, it is a monument upon which you are to preserve as an anchor of learning, and an installation of an inscription that inspires you to inquire into the ethics of authenticity; a system of belief of what the self is and how society in all its progressive strands of stability and harmony, and what salvation through the philosophy of samsara means and how these in turn , through a trajectory of transcultural evolution has defined you through the language you use daily with words such as:
jiwa, raga, sukma, anugeraha, sangsara, puji puja, sembahyang, citrarasa, gurindam, seloka, hina dina, duka nestapa, kala, dewata, bayu, indera, purnama, suria, cakerawala, saujana, panca indera, sandiwara, astaka, shurga, neraka, dosa, pahala, alam semesta, durjana, sahaya, nescaya, kelana, mergastua, derma, dharma, budi, bakhti, budi-daya, budaya, lakshamana, singgahsana, ceritera, sutra, sengketa, jaya, cinta, negara, ayahnda, ibunda, maya, ...
All these and more are the postscripts of the reality of who you are - these and the entire spectrum and kaleidoscope of the existentialism of your and your community’s collective consciousness.
And you are ashamed of this past you failed to see the beauty of its philosophical glory? And you are waging a jihad against what you perceive at the phallo-centric object of blasphemy? What shallow understanding of what you have of the ethics of authenticity and the paranoia you have build within yourself, projects in your insecurities worse that a Freudian misinterpretation of the Oedipal and Elektra Complexes.
And you destroy what you do not wish nor care to understand? And you call it the will of Man honouring the word of god? Or it is all about money and more money in these nice words you have crafted as a prison-house of language - words that no longer have any meaning in this world of the globalisation of Nothingness, in a world of a stream of consciousness that flows violently - a world of Legolands, this and that harems for Walt Disney, of tourism economy that destroy the environment arrogantly, endlessly, unrepentingly.
And cultural barbarians you are - that should be kept outside the great wall of our kingdom of hope built upon the natural growth of the renaissance of knowledge and upon and enlightened path shined unto us, at this yuga of a festive and joyous celebration of cosmopolitanism, of cultural acceptance, of the diversity amongst us, between us, and inside of us. These are the hanging gardens we shall build to keep you and your jihad at bay.
I have said my piece. I am still in deep anguish. Let us now ask how could this have happened and what then must we do, and how do we bring these kinds of barbarism to a grinding halt.
Have we become a nation of destroyers - of our memory, our economy, and our willingness to use history as a mirror for our pride and dignity?
Yet, we cry out loud to be called a developed country.
What the **** are we?

Read more: https://www.malaysiakini.com/columns/355156#ixzz4JiniwNs2

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

U.S. DEPARTMENT of JUSTICE TRANSCRIPT on MALAYSIA'S 1MDB and the FUNDING of the MOVIE "THE WOLF of WALL STREET" (July 20. 2016)

PLEASE STAND BY. PLEASE STAND BY. . PLEASE STAND BY. PLEASE STAND BY. 

PETER: HI, EVERYBODY, I'M PETER FROM THE OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS. I WANTED TO GIVE YOU OUR TWO-MINUTE WARNING AND NOTICE WE HAVE VISUALS ON DISPLAY HERE AND ALSO IN YOUR PRESS PACKET. WE WILL HAVE THOSE ALONG WITH ALL THE COURT DOCUMENTS IN A -- ON OUR WEBSITE SO YOU CAN DOWNLOAD THEM. ANOTHER NOTE FOR THE COURT DOCUMENTS, THERE ARE MULTIPLE COURT DOCUMENTS BUT ALL OF THEM ARE ESSENTIALLY VERBATIM SO ONCE YOU SEE ONE, IT WILL HAVE ALL THE INFORMATION YOU NEED. WE JUST HAD TO FILE SEPARATE CHARGING DOCUMENTS FOR EACH ASSET THAT WE'RE SEEKING TO SEIZE. ALL OF THAT WILL BE AVAILABLE ON OUR WEBSITE. FOR TODAY'S PRESS CONFERENCE, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, LORETTA E. LYNCH, WILL BE OUR FIRST SPEAKER. FOLLOWING HER REMARKS WE'LL HEAR FROM THE ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL, LESLIE CAUGHT WELD, U.S. ATTORNEY FOR THE DISTRICT OF SOUTH CAROLINA, ILENE DIRECTOR AND ANDREW MCCABE AND OUR FINAL SPEAKER WILL BE I.R.S. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION CHIEF RICHARD WEBBER. SO AGAIN, OUR TWO-MINUTE WARNING. THANK YOU. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: GOOD MORNING, ALL. GOOD MORNING AND THANK YOU ALL FOR BEING HERE. BEFORE I BEGIN THE MORNING'S ANNOUNCEMENT, LET ME TAKE ONE MOMENT TO MENTION CAPTAIN ROBERT MELTON, A 17-YEAR VETERAN OF THE KANSAS CITY, KANSAS, POLICE DEPARTMENT SHOT AND KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY YESTERDAY WHILE RESPONDING TO A CALL ABOUT A DRIVE-BY SHOOTING. OUR HEARTS GO OUT TO THE CAPTAIN'S FAMILY AND HIS LOVED ONES AND TO ALL OF THOSE WHO ARE SUFFERING IN THIS TIME OF GRIEF. AND OF COURSE, OUR SUPPORT GOES OUT TO HIS COLLEAGUES ON THE KANSAS CITY POLICE DEPARTMENT. OUR COLLEAGUES AS WELL. AND THIS DEVASTATING LOSS IS YET ANOTHER REMINDER THAT OUR COURAGEOUS OFFICERS PUT THEIR LIVES ON THE LINE EVERY DAY IN ORDER TO SERVE THE PUBLIC, IN ORDER TO SERVE US. NOT ONLY IN THE TIMES OF HEIGHTENED TENSIONS IN WHICH WE FIND OURSELVES OR DURING AMBUSH SCENARIOS, AS TRAGIC AS THOSE ARE, BUT ALL DAY AND EVERY DAY. AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS COMMITTED TO DOING ALL THAT WE CAN TO SUPPORT OUR OFFICERS AT EVERY LEVEL AND TO KEEP THEM SAFE FROM HARM AND WE WILL CONTINUE TO ADVANCE THAT WORK AND TO KEEP THAT PROMISE EVEN AS WE MOURN THE LOSS OF YET ANOTHER GUARDIAN, ANOTHER COLLEAGUE, ANOTHER FRIEND. NOW, FOR TODAY'S ANNOUNCEMENT, I'M JOINED TODAY BY ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL FOR THE CRIMINAL DIVISION LESLIE CALDWELL AND JOINED BY THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF KEEFE ILENE DECKER AND ANDREW MCCABE AND MR. WEBBER, CHIEF OF THE INVESTIGATIVE DEPARTMENT AT THE REVENUE SERVICE AND WE'RE HERE TO ANNOUNCE A SIGNIFICANT STEP IN OUR ONGOING WORK TO COMBAT GLOBAL CORRUPTION AND ENSURE THAT THE UNITED STATES OFFERS NO SAFE HAVEN TO THOSE WHO ILLEGALLY USE PUBLIC FUNDS FOR PRIVATE GAIN. AND TODAY THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS FILED A CIVIL COMPLAINT SEEKING TO FORFEIT AND RECOVER MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN ASSETS ASSOCIATED WITH AN INTERNATIONAL CONSPIRACY TO LAUNDER FUNDS STOLEN FROM ONE MALAYSIA DEVELOPMENT OR ONE MDB, A COMPANY WHOLLY OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA. THE $1 BILLION IN ASSETS THAT WE'RE DISCUSSING TODAY ARE JUST A PORTION OF THE MORE THAN $3 BILLION THAT WAS STOLEN FROM ONE M.D.B. AND LAUNDERED TO AMERICAN INSTITUTIONS IN VIOLATION OF THE UNITED STATES LAW. ONE M.D.B. WAS CREATED TO PROMOTE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT THROUGH INTERNATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS AND FOREIGN DIRECT INVESTMENT WITH THE ULTIMATE GOAL OF IMPROVING THE WELL-BEING OF THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE. UNFORTUNATELY AND TRAGICALLY, A NUMBER OF CORRUPT OFFICIALS TREATED THIS PUBLIC TRUST AS A PERSONAL BANK ACCOUNT. OUR COMPLAINT EDGED FROM 2001 TO 2015 THESE OFFICIALS AND ASSOCIATES CONSPIED TO MISAPPROPRIATE AND LAUNDER BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM 1 MDB. THEY LAUNDERED THEIR FUNDS THROUGH OPAQUE ACTIONS IN BANK ACCOUNTS IN COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD INCLUDING SWITZERLAND, SINGAPORE AND THE UNITED STATES. NOW, THE FUNDS WERE THEN USED TO PURCHASE A RANGE OF ASSETS FOR THE CONSPIRATORS AND THEIR RELATIVES AND ASSOCIATES INCLUDING HIGH END RELIES IN NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES AND ART YORKS BY MONET AND A JET AIRCRAFT. TODAY'S CASE IS THE LARGEST SINGLE ACTION EVER BROUGHT BY THE KLEPTOCRACY ASSET INITIATIVE WHICH WAS ESTABLISHED BY ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER IN 2010 TO FORFEIT THE PROCEEDS OF FOREIGN OFFICIAL CORRUPTION AND WERE POSSIBLE TO USE THE RECOVERED ASSETS TO BENEFIT THE PEOPLE HARMED. THIS CASE AND THE KLEPTOCRACY INITIATIVE AS A WHOLE SHOULD SERVE AS A SIGN OF OUR FIRM COMMITMENT TO FIGHTING INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION. AND IT SHOULD ALSO SEND A SIGNAL THAT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS DETERMINED TO PREVENT THE AMERICAN FINANCIAL SYSTEM TO BE USED AS A CONDUIT FOR CORRUPTION AND SHOULD MAKE CLEAR TO CORRUPT OFFICIALS AROUND THE WORLD THAT WE WILL BE RELENTLESS IN OUR EFFORTS TO DENY THEM THE PROCEEDS OF THEIR CRIMES. A CASE LIKE THIS TAKES A TEAM AND LET ME THANK THE TEAM OF PROSECUTORS AND PARALLELS FROM THE CRIMINAL DIVISIONS AND ASSET FORFEITING SECTION AND THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WHO HAVE WORKED TIRELESSLY ON THIS MATTER AND ALSO WANT TO THANK THE AGENTS FROM THE F.B.I.'S INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION UNIT AND THE I.R.S. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATIONS DIVISION WHO ASSISTED THEM IN THIS CASE. I'M ALSO GRATEFUL TO THE CRIMINAL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS FOR THEIR VITAL CONTRIBUTIONS. AT THIS TIME I'LL TURN THE PODIUM OVER TO ASSISTANT ATTORNEY GENERAL LESLIE CALDWELL WHO WILL SPEAK ABOUT TODAY'S FILING. THANK YOU. 

MS. CALDWELL: THANK YOU, ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH. THIS IS A SIGNIFICANT MILESTONE IN THE DEPARTMENT'S KLEPTOCRACY INITIATIVE AND OUR GLOBAL FIGHT DEFENSE CORRUPTION. THE COMPLAINT FILED TODAY REALLY GOES IN GREAT DETAIL ABOUT THE COMPLEX WEB OF TRANSACTIONS THESE CO-CONSPIRATORS USED TO LAUNDER BILLIONS OF DOLLARS THEY STOLE FROM THE PEOPLE OF MALAYSIA. SEVERAL SPEAKERS WILL TALK ABOUT DIFFERENT ASPECTS OF THE CASE. WHAT I'D LIKE TO FOCUS ON NOW IS ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT INVOLVING TWO BOND OFFERINGS IN 2012 THROUGH WHICH 1MDB RAISED SOME OF THE MONEY SIPHONED OFF BY THE CORRUPT OFFICIALS AND THEIR ASSOCIATES. THE STATED PURPOSE OF THE BOND OFFERINGS WAS TO ALLOW 1MDB TO RAISE MONEY TO INVEST IN VARIOUS ENERGY ASSETS OF THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT AND PEOPLE. ALMOST IMMEDIATELY AFTER RECEIVING THE PROCEEDS OF THE TWO BOND ISSUES, ROUGHLY 40% OF THE MONEY THAT WAS RAISED WHICH WAS ABOUT $1.37 BILLION, THE 40% WAS THE $1.37 BILLION, WAS TRANSFERRED OUT OF 1MDB'S ACCOUNTS AND TRANSFERRED INTO A SWISS BANK ACCOUNT THAT WAS IN THE NAME OF A SHELL CORPORATION INCORPORATED IN THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS. THE COMPLAINT ALLEGES THAT THE NAME OF THAT SHELL COMPANY WAS CHOSEN BECAUSE IT SOUNDED LIKE THE NAME OF A LEGITIMATE COMPANY THAT WAS INVOLVED IN THE BOND OFFERING BUT IN FACT THE SWISS BANK ACCOUNT WAS CONTROLLED BY CORRUPT OFFICIALS AND ASSOCIATES. FROM SWITZERLAND THE CORRUPT OFFICIALS TRANSFERRED MONEY USING A SERIES OF TRANSACTIONS INVOLVING MORE SHELL COMPANIES AND BANK ACCOUNTS LOCATED ALL OVER THE GLOBE. EVENTUALLY MORE THAN $230 MILLION OF THAT MONEY FOUND ITS WAY IN THE ACCOUNT OF SHELL COMPANIES WHOSE BENEFICIAL OWNERS WAS A CLOSE RELATIVE OF A SENIOR 1MDB OFFICIAL AND THAT INDIVIDUAL USED MONEY TO BUY LUXURY REAL ESTATE IN THE UNITED STATES AND OTHER ASSETS AND ALSO USED THE MONEY TO FUND A MOTION PICTURE COMPANY CALLED RED GRANITE PICTURES WHO IN TURN USED MORE THAN $100 MILLION OF THAT MONEY TO FINANCE THE AWARD-WINNING 2013 FILM "THE WOLF OF WALL STREET." OF COURSE, NEITHER 1MDB OR THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE SAW A PENNY OF PROFIT FROM THAT FILM OR THE OTHER ASSETS PURCHASED WITH FUNDS SIPHONED FROM 1MDB. INSTEAD THAT MONEY WENT TO RELATIVES AND ASSOCIATES OF THE CORRUPT OFFICIALS OF 1MDB AND OTHERS. BECAUSE THE ASSETS WERE LAUNDERED MONEY, THE FUTURE RIGHTS TO THAT FILM ARE SUBJECT TO THE FOREFITCH YOU ARE COMPLAINT FILED TODAY -- FOREFORFEITURE COMPLAINT FILED IN LOS ANGELES. THE ASSISTANT WE'VE GOTTEN FROM INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS HAS BEEN CRITICAL IN IDENTIFYING AND RESTRAINING ASSETS AND I THINK THAT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION AND THE ACTION WE'RE TAKING TODAY, WHICH I SAID IS THE LARGEST ACTION TAKEN TO DATE IN CONNECTION WITH OUR KLEPTOCRACY INITIATIVE AND SHOULD SEND A MESSAGE TO CREPT CREATES AND CORRUPT -- KLEPTOCRATS AND OTHERS THAT THE UNITED STATES IS NOT A SAFE HAVEN FOR THEIR STOLEN MONEY AND CANNOT AVOID LAW ENFORCEMENT THROUGH SHELL COMPANIES, NOMINEE ENTITIES AND OTHER STRUCTURES THAT ARE ESSENTIALLY DESIGNED TO THWART LAW ENFORCEMENT. THE DEPARTMENT WILL CONTINUE TO TRACK AND CONTINUE TO SEIZE ASSETS THAT KLEPTOCRATS AND OTHER CORRUPT OFFICIALS STEAL FROM THE PEOPLE OF THEIR COUNTRIES. I NOW WOULD LIKE TO TURN IT OVER TO ILENE DECKER FROM THE U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN CALIFORNIA. 

MS. DECKER: GOOD MORNING. I'M FROM THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE BASED IN LOS ANGELES. IT WAS FILED BY PROSECUTORS IN MY OFFICE, THE COMPLAINT, IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT IN LOS ANGELES. ANOTHER PHASE OF THIS MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEME OCCURRED IN EARLY 2013 IN CONNECTION WITH A THIRD BOND OFFERING RANGED BY GOLDMAN SACHS INTERNATIONAL. IF THIS OFFERING, 1MDB RAISED APPROXIMATE $3 BILLION PURPORTEDLY TO FORM A JOINT VENTURE WITH AN ENTITY FROM ABU DAUBUE TO PROMOTE GROWTH IN MAKE LATER A AND ABU DAUB -- ABU DHABI AND INSTEAD OF USING MONEY, THE OFFICIALS MISAPPROPRIATED A SIGNIFICANT PORTION OF THE FUNDRAISED. IN FACT, ONLY DAYS AFTER THE INITIAL BOND SALE, APPROXIMATE $1.26 BILLION WAS DIVERTED FOR THE BENEFIT OF INDIVIDUALS ASSOCIATED WITH 1MDB. APPROXIMATE $137 MILLION OF THE PILFERED MONEY WAS SPENT TO PURCHASE WORKS OF ART, INCLUDING A $35 MILLION WORK BY CLAUDE MONET OF THE WORK IN VENICE AND IT WAS NOT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE POPULATION BUT OBTAINED TO FURTHER ENHANCE THE LUXURY AND LAVISH LIFESTYLES OF THOSE STEALING MONEY FROM 1MDB. FUNDS DIVERTED FROM THE THIRD BOND OFFERING WERE ALSO TRACED TO THE PURCHASE OF AN INTEREST IN THE PARK LANE HOTEL IN NEW YORK. AND WE SEEK TO FORFEIT APPROXIMATE A QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS INVESTED IN THAT LUXURY HOTEL. THE LAUNDERING OF THE PROCEEDS CONTINUED THROUGHOUT 2013 WITH AN ADDITIONAL $106 MILLION USED TO PURCHASE AN INTEREST IN E.M.I. MUSIC PUBLISHING. E.M.I. IS THE WORLD'S THIRD LARGEST MUSIC PUBLISHING COMPANY BY REVENUE AND THE COMPANY HAS THE RIGHTS TO PUBLISH APPROXIMATE $2.3 MILLION MUSICAL COMPOSITIONS INCLUDING A NUMBER OF TOP HITS FROM GRAMMY AWARD-WINNING ARTISTS. SINCE THE CONSPIRATORS PURCHASED THENS IN E.M.I. IT WAS THEY AND NOT THE CITIZENS OF MALAYSIA WHO EARN MONEY EVERY TIME THOSE SONGS WERE PERFORMED PUBLICLY, RECORDED OR DOWNLOADED. IN SEEKING TO SEIZE THESE FORFEITED ITEMS THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE IS SENDING A MESSAGE WE WILL NOT ALLOW THE UNITED STATES TO BECOME A PLAYGROUND FOR THE CORRUPT AND THAT WE WILL NOT ALLOW IT TO BE A PLATFORM FOR MONEY LAUNDERING OR A PLACE TO HIDE AND INVEST IN STOLEN RICHES. THANK YOU VERY MUCH. NOW I'LL TURN THE PODIUM OVER TO ANDREW MCCABE. 

MR. MCCABE: GOOD MORNING. SO I'LL WALK YOU THROUGH THE DETAILS OF ONE OF THE ADDITIONAL SCHEMES THAT HAVE BEEN OUTLINED IN TODAY'S COMPLAINT. AS AALLEGED IN THE COMPLAINT NOT LONG AFTER 1MDB WAS ESTABLISHED IN 2009 CORRUPT OFFICIALS AT 1MDB AND THEIR ASSOCIATES BEGAN A SOPHISTICATED SCHEME TO ENRICH THEMSELVES. IN THE FIRST TWO YEARS OF THEIR EXISTENCE, ALMOST $1 BILLION WAS TRANSFERRED OUT OF 1MDB TO BANK ACCOUNTS IN SHELL CORPORATIONS AND THEY WERE CONTROLLED BY ASSOCIATES OF CORRUPT 1MDB OFFICIALS. THE FUND WERE STOLEN UNDER THE PRETENSE OF HAVING 1MDB INVEST IN AN OIL EXPLORATION JOINT VENTURE WITH A FOREIGN PARTNER. ON PAPER, THE $1 BILLION WAS TO BE 1MDB'S INVESTMENT IN WHAT PURPORTED TO BE NATIONAL RESOURCE RIGHTS. BUT THIS WASN'T A LEGITIMATE INVESTMENT FOR 1MDB OR THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE. INSTEAD, THE FUNDS TRANSFERRED TO THE SHELL COMPANIES WERE USED TO THE PERSONAL ENRICHMENT OF THE CORRUPT OFFICIALS AND THEIR ASSOCIATES. THEY USED THE MONEY TO PAY GAMBLING DEBTS AT LAS VEGAS CASINOS, THEY RENTED LUXURY YACHTS, THEY HIRED A INTERIOR DECORATOR IN LONDON AND SPENT MILLIONS ON PROPERTY, SOME OF WHICH IS SUBJECT TO SEIZURE AND FOREFITCH YOU'RE -- FORFEIT YOU ARE. AMONG THE PURCHASES WAS A JET FOR THE PURCHASE PRICE OF $35 MILLION. SO WHY DOES THIS MATTER SO MUCH TO US? CERTAINLY THERE'S A LOT GOING ON IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW, TERRORIST ATTACKS, VIOLENT CRIME AND SERIOUS THREATS TO AMERICAN CITIZENS AND PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD. WHY DOES THE CORRUPTION CASE HALFWAY RAN THE WORLD MATTERO SO MUCH TO US HERE TODAY? WELL, I'LL TELL YOU FOR A FEW REASONS. FIRST, BECAUSE SOME OF THE PROFITS OF THESE SCHEMES WERE INVESTED IN THE UNITED STATES. AND WHEN CORRUPT OFFICIALS BRING THEIR ILL-GOTTEN GAINS TO THE UNITED STATES, THEY ALSO BRING WITH THEM THEIR CORRUPT PRACTICES AND DISREGARD FOR THE RULE OF LAW AND THAT PRESENTS A THREAT TO OUR ECONOMY AND IMPACTS TRADE AND INVESTMENT AND FUELS THE GROWTH OF CRIMINAL ENTERPRISES AND UNDERMINES OUR FAIR DEMOCRATIC PROCESSES. SECOND, BECAUSE THE STABLE, HEALTHY DEMOCRACIES AROUND THE WORLD ARE THE CORNERSTONE OF GLOBAL SECURITY. THE MORE WE CAN DO TO HELP OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS ESTABLISH AND MAINTAIN STABLE GOVERNMENTS, ACCOUNTABLE TO THE RULE OF LAW, THE MORE WE DO TO ENSURE U.S. NATIONAL SECURITY. AND FINALLY, WE DO IT BECAUSE THE F.B.I. AND THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND OUR COLLEAGUES AND FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ARE UNIQUELY POSITIONED TO PROVIDE THE SORT OF ASSISTANCE. THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE WERE DEFRAUDED ON AN ENORMOUS SCALE. ITS SCHEMES WHOSE TENTACLES REACHED AROUND THE WORLD. THIS CASE IS BEYOND THE SINGLE -- ANY SINGLE AGENCY'S ABILITY TO EFFECTIVELY INVESTIGATE. WE HAVE INVESTIGATORS AND PROSECUTORS WITH DEEP EXPERIENCE WORKING MATTERS LIKE THIS SO OUR INVOLVEMENT IS A NATURAL FIT. LAST YEAR WE ESTABLISHED THREE DEDICATED INTERNATIONAL CORRUPTION SQUADS BASED IN NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, AND HERE IN WASHINGTON. THESE SQUADS INCLUDE AGENTS, ANALYSTS AND ACCOUNTANTS WHO ARE EXPERTS IN COMPLEX FINANCIAL SCHEMES. THESE SPECIALIZED TEAMS ARE SHOWING REAL RESULTS. THIS IS THE LARGEST KLEPTOCRACY SEIZURE IN U.S. HISTORY. WE HOPE THIS INVESTIGATION WILL SEND A MESSAGE TO CORRUPT OFFICIALS AROUND THE WORLD THAT NO PERSON, NO COMPANY, NO ORGANIZATION IS TOO BIG, TOO POWERFUL, OR TOO PROMINENT. NO ONE IS ABOVE OR BEYOND THE LAW. SO AT THIS POINT, I'D LIKE TO THANK A FEW OF OUR PARTNERS. FIRST, I'D LIKE TO THANK OUR F.B.I. LEGAL OFFICES, THESE TEAMS ARE STATIONED OVERSEAS TO COORDINATE GLOBAL INVESTIGATIONS LIKE THIS. AND PART OF THEIR JOB IS TO BUILD STRONG PARTNERSHIPS SO WE CAN WORK CLOSELY, QUICKLY AND EFFICIENTLY WITH OUR INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS ON CRIMINAL AND TERRORIST THREATS. I'D ALSO LIKE TO THANK OUR PARTNERS WITH THE I.R.S., THE LOS ANGELES U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, THE CRIMINAL DIVISION HERE AT THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, AND OF COURSE OUR AGENTS AND ANALYSTS IN THE F.B.I.'S NEW YORK AND LOS ANGELES FIELD OFFICES. THIS CASE IS ONGOING. CORRUPTION, UNFORTUNATELY, WILL NEVER BE ERADICATED BECAUSE, QUITE FRANKLY, GREED NEVER GOES AWAY. BUT WE ARE COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH OUR PARTNERS HERE AT HOME AND AROUND THE WORLD TO DO WHAT WE CAN TO STOP IT, TO ENSURE THE LEGITIMACY OF PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND TO CREATE A LEVEL PLAYING FIELD FOR ALL. NOW I'D LIKE TO INTRODUCE CHIEF RICHARD WEBBER OF THE I.R.S. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION DIVISION. 

MR. WEBBER: THANK YOU, ON BEHALF OF THE I.R.S. CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION I'M PROUD TO STAND WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO ANNOUNCE THE SEIZURE OF SEVERAL REAL PROPERTIES AND ASSETS IN CONNECTION WITH THE INVESTIGATION. 1MDB WAS ORIGINALLY ESTABLISHED TO DRIVE STRATEGIC INITIATIVES FOR LONG TERM ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT OF MALAYSIA. INSTEAD, IT IS ALLEGED THAT MONEY WAS SIPHONED FROM THIS FUND FOR PERSONAL INVESTMENT, NOT FOR THE GOOD OF THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE AND NOT FOR THE ACHIEVEMENT OF THEIR GOALS. THE CASE IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE ABILITY TO FOLLOW MONEY THROUGH COMPLEX MONEY LAUNDERING SCHEMES AND THE WEB OF OPAQUE TRANSACTIONS AND FRAUDULENT SHELL CORPORATIONS. IN OCTOBER OF 2015, MY L.A. FIELD OFFICE JOINED THE INVESTIGATION SPECIFICALLY FOCUSING ON RED GRANITE PICTURES. APPROXIMATE $238 MILLION WAS WIRED TO RED GRANITE CAPITAL IN SING TORE, AN ENTITY CONTROLLED BY OOMBINGS ZIZ. WIRE TRANSFERS TOTALING APPROXIMATE $64 MILLION WAS SENT FROM THE RED GRANITE CAPITAL ACCOUNT FOR AN ACCOUNT AT CITI NATIONAL BANK IN THE UNITED STATES, MAINTAINED BY RED GRANITE PICTURES, A PRODUCTION COMPANY ALSO OWNED BY AZIZ. THIS MONEY WAS USED TO FUND RED GRANITE PICTURES OPERATIONS INCLUDING THE PRODUCTION OF THE FILM "THE WOLF OF WALL STREET." ADDITIONALLY THE MISAPPROPRIATIONS WAS USED TO ACQUIRE $100 MILLION IN RELIES IN THE U.S. AND THE UNITED KINGDOM AND ELSEWHERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF AZIZ. INCLUDING IN THE LIST OF PROPERTIES, AND WE HAVE THE PROPERTIES OUTLINED IN THE CIVIL COMPLAINT IN VARIOUS DIAGRAMS BUT THE PROPERTIES INCLUDE A BEVERLY HILLS MANSION, CURRENTLY UNDER CONSTRUCTION, A PARK LAUREL CONDO IN NEW YORK CITY AND A TOWNHOUSE IN THE UNITED KINGDOM. FIGHTING WORLDWIDE CORRUPTION IS IN THE INTEREST OF THE UNITED STATES. CORRUPTION THREATENED GOOD GOVERNANCE, SUSTAINABILITY DEVELOPMENT AND THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND FAIR BUSINESS PRACTICES. CORRUPTION ERODES TRUST IN GOVERNMENT AND PRIVATE INSTITUTIONS ALIKE AND UNDERMINES CONFIDENCE AND FAIRNESS OF FREE AND OPEN MARKETS AND IT BREEDS CONTEMPT FOR THE RULE OF LAW. THIS INVESTIGATION IS CONTINUING AND ONGOING. WE WILL NOT ALLOW THE MASSIVE AND BLATANT AVERSION OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS FROM 1MDB AND THE ALLEGED LAUNDERING OF THOSE FUNDS THROUGH U.S. FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS TO CONTINUE. THIS CASE REPRESENTS A MODEL FOR INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN SIGNIFICANT CROSS BORDER MONEY LAUNDERING MATTERS AND SENDS A MESSAGE THAT CRIMINALS CANNOT EVADE LAW ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITIES SIMPLY BY LAUNDERING MONEY THROUGH MULTIPLE JURISDICTIONS AND THROUGH A WEB OF SHELL CORPORATIONS. THANK YOU AND LET ME TURN THE PODIUM BACK TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: THANK YOU, CHIEF WEBER. WE'RE HAPPY TO TAKE QUESTIONS AT THIS TIME. 

REPORTER: IF THIS IS A FUND WHOLLY OWNED BY THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT, AT WHAT POINT IF EVER DID THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT SEND UP A FLAIR AND SAY WE THINK LOTS OF OUR MONEY IS BEING STOLEN? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: THE INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING SO WE'RE NOT ABLE TO PROVIDE A LOT OF DETAIL NOW AS TO WHEN WE BEGAN LOOKING INTO THIS OR WHAT PRECIPITATED THAT. WE CAN GET TO THE CONCLUSION OF THAT, WE MAY BE ABLE TO PROVIDE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THAT BUT I'M NOT ABLE TO GO INTO THAT NOW. 

REPORTER: THE MALAYSIAN OFFICIALS WERE AWARE PROJECTS AREN'T BEING FUNDED THE WAY THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO AND THE MONEY BEING RAISED WAS NOT BEING DIVERTED CORRECTLY? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: CERTAINLY I CAN'T SPEAK TO THE STATE OF MIND OF THE INDIVIDUALS AT THAT TIME. I CERTAINLY THINK THAT AS WE'VE INDICATED, PEOPLE ARE AWARE OF OUR INVESTIGATION AND AWARE OF THE ISSUES THAT HAVE BEEN RAISED THERE AND CERTAINLY AS OUR HOPE AND GOAL AT THE CONCLUSION OF THIS FORFEITURE PROCESS TO RETURN THE FUNDS TO MALAYSIA, WHETHER THOSE INITIAL PROJECTS WILL STILL BE USED OR NOT WE DON'T KNOW BUT COULD BE USED BY THE GOVERNMENT FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE THERE. 

REPORTER: PRIME MINISTER NAJIB SET IT UP IN 2009 AND IS NOT NAMED IN THE COURT DOCUMENTS YOU FILED TODAY. WOULD YOU RULE OUT IMPLICATING HIM IN ANY OF YOUR FUTURE INVESTIGATIONS OR COURT FILINGS? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: WE DON'T HAVE A SPECIFIC COMMENT ON ANYONE WHO HASN'T BEEN NAMED SO FAR BECAUSE THIS IS A CIVIL FORFEITURE COMPLAINT AND WILL LOOK A LITTLE DIFFERENT FROM WHAT YOU'VE SEEN BEFORE. WE ESSENTIALLY ARE DESCRIBING THE TRACING OF THE ASSETS, THE USE OF THE FUND AND WHO WAS INVOLVED IN THE TRANSACTIONS THERE. SO WE'RE NOT COMMENTING ON ANYONE ELSE WHO MAY OR MAY NOT BE NAMED IN THE MATTER AT THIS TIME. 

REPORTER: WASN'T THERE SOME KIND OF AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE U.S. PROSECUTORS AND THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT NOT TO NAME THE PRIME MINISTER. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: OUR AGREEMENT IS TO ONLY DRAFT THE COMPLAINT AS WE DO IN CIVIL FORFEITURE MATTERS AND IT'S A COMPLAINT AGAINST THE ACTUAL MONEY OR ASSETS AS OPPOSED TO AGAINST AN INDIVIDUAL. WE DON'T HAVE ANNOUNCEMENTS ON ANYONE NOT NAMED SO FAR. SO THIS WILL BE A COMPLAINT THAT SEEKS TO RESTRAIN AND FORFEIT THE SPECIFIC ASSETS MENTIONED. 

REPORTER: IF THERE ARE $3 BILLION MISAPPROPRIATED WHY ARE YOU SEEKING ON THE FORFEITURE OF $1 BILLION? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: YOU'LL SEE FROM THE COMPLAINT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO TRACE APPROXIMATE $1 BILLION AS HAVING GONE THROUGH THE U.S. FINANCIAL SYSTEMS. AND THAT MONEY LAUNDERING ESSENTIALLY GIVES US THE JURISDICTION OVER THOSE ASSETS. WE'VE ALSO BEEN ABLE TO LOCATE SPECIFIC ASSETS IN THE U.S. AND OVERSEAS. AS ALSO WAS DESCRIBED, HOWEVER, AND IS OFTEN AS COMMON IN CORRUPTION CASES, A LOT OF THE FUNDS WERE DISSIPATED, PAYING GAMBLING EXPENSES, LIFESTYLE EXPENSES AND THINGS OF THAT NATURE IS A LOT OF THE FUNDS HAVE BEEN DISSIPATED BUT AS WE'VE NOTED, THIS INVESTIGATION IS ONGOING AND TO THE EXTENT THAT WE CAN IN FACT CLEARLY LOCATE OTHER ASSETS AND TRACE THEM, WE WOULD CONTINUE THE ACTIONS HERE. 

REPORTER: WHAT'S THE SPECIFIC PROCESS FOR "THE WOLF OF WALL STREET" IS PROBABLY THE MOST WELL KNOWN ASSET, HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT GETTING THE RIGHTS? IS IT THE WHOLE MOVIE OR JUST RED GATES? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: RED GRANITE. 

REPORTER: A PORTION OF THE ASSETS, HOW DO YOU COLLECT THE ROYALTIES? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: ESSENTIALLY WE'RE SEEKING TO RESTRAIN ANYTHING THAT RED GRANITE WOULD RECEIVE ON AN ONGOING BASIS FROM ROYALTIES OR ANY FEES COMING IN FROM THEIR INTEREST IN THAT FILM. 

REPORTER: WHAT ABOUT PAST ROYALTIES? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: I DON'T BELIEVE WE CAN. LET ME CHECK WITH LESLIE ON THAT. 

MS. CALDWELL: NO, I DON'T THINK WE'RE ABLE TO SEIZE ANYTHING RETROACTIVELY. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: GOING FORWARD, OF COURSE IT WOULD NOT BE THE ENTIRE PROCEEDS BUT WHAT RED GRANITE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE IS WHAT WE'RE SEEKING TO RESTRAIN. THEN I WAS COMING HERE AND I'LL GO BACK TO YOU. 

REPORTER: THANK BUT YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT CAPTAIN MELTON. WHAT DO YOU BELIEVE EXPLAINS THE SPIKE IN ATTACKS ON POLICE OFFICERS IN THIS COUNTRY? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: THAT IS CERTAINLY A VERY SERIOUS QUESTION AND I'M GLAD IT'S SOMETHING UNDER DISCUSSION TODAY. YOU KNOW, WE LOOK AT EVERY INCIDENT AND EVERY INSTANCE INDIVIDUALLY AND SEE A NUMBER OF DIFFERENT CAUSES, FOR EXAMPLE IN THE TRAGIC SITUATION YES, THIS BRAVE OFFICER WAS RESPONDING TO A DISTURBANCE AS SO MANY OFFICERS DO ON A DAILY BASIS. WE'VE SEEN WHERE OFFICERS WERE TARGETED AND AMBUSHED AND WE'RE SEEING IT AIMED FROM A NUMBER OF SOURCES AND IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EVERYBODY TO TAKE NOTE OF THIS AND BE AS SUPPORTIVE AS WE CAN OF LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THESE TIMES AND WE'RE CONTINUING TO DO THAT WITH SPECIFIC TRAINING FOCUSED ON ACTIVE SHOOTER SITUATIONS, FOR EXAMPLE, DEESCALATION SO WHEN OFFICERS FIND THEMSELVES IN SITUATIONS WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO GIVE THEM WHAT WE CAN FOR DEAL WITH THESE SITUATIONS. 

REPORTER: AS A FOLLOW-UP, WHAT DO YOU THINK HAS CREATED A CULTURE WHERE POLICE OFFICERS SEEM TO BE ALMOST LIKE AN OPEN SEASON ON THESE INDIVIDUALS? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: LAW ENFORCEMENT IS FEELING UNDER SIEGE BECAUSE OF THESE INCIDENTS AND IT'S TRAGIC. MANY OF THE EFFORTS THE DEPARTMENT IS ENGAGED IN DATE BACK TO SEVERAL YEARS WHEN WE SAW POLICE OFFICERS COME UNDER ATTACK AS WELL AS FEDERAL AGENTS COME UNDER ATTACK IN THE BEGINNING OF THE ADMINISTRATION AND THE DEPARTMENT SET UP A NUMBER OF GROUPS OF OFFICER SAFETY AND WELLNESS GROUP IN 2011 TO START WORKING ON THESE ISSUES AND FOCUS ON PROVIDING TRAINING AND SUPPORT TO ADDITIONAL OFFICERS TO SUPPORT OFFICERS IN THE FIELD. IT'S WORTH NOTING THIS IS AN ISSUE LAW ENFORCEMENT HAS FACED BECAUSE IT'S A DANGEROUS PROFESSION AND THEY'VE CONTINUALLY BORNE THIS WEIGHT AND CERTAINLY WE WANT TO HIGHLIGHT THE ISSUES TODAY, USE THEM TO START A CONVERSATION BUT LET'S NOT FORGET OUR BRAVE MEN AND WOMEN IN LAW ENFORCEMENT HAVE BEEN ENGAGED IN A INHERENTLY DANGEROUS UNDERTAKING. I'M MOVING OVER HERE AND THEN I'LL COME BACK TO THIS GENTLEMAN. 

REPORTER: TWO QUESTIONS FOR YOU, ATTORNEY GENERAL, THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE MOVED REALLY QUICKLY TO OPEN UP THE CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION INTO THE DEATH OF ALTON STERLING BUT IN THE DEATH OF CASTILLE YOU'RE PLAYING A SUPPORTIVE ROLE AND AFTER SEEING THE VIDEO, CAN YOU EXPLAIN TO LAY PEOPLE HOW YOU DECIDE TO OPEN UP A FEDERAL INVESTIGATION INTO AN OFFICER INVOLVED SHOOTING? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: SURELY. AND CERTAINLY AS YOU'RE RIGHT, BOTH OF THOSE INCIDENTS, ALSO A TRAGIC LOSS OF LIFE WERE VERY VISIBLE BECAUSE OF VIDEO. IN THE CASE INVOLVING MR. STERLING'S LOSS OF LIFE IN LOUISIANA, THAT WAS A MATTER WHERE WE WERE REQUESTED TO MOVE IN EARLIER WE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH LOCAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AND I BELIEVE THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IN BATON ROUGE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GOVERNMENT MOVES FIRST IN A STATE THAT MAY PRESHREWD THE ACTION BECAUSE OF LAWS. WE WAIT UNTIL THE LOCAL PROSECUTORS HANDLED MATTERS. WHERE WE'RE ASKED TO COME IN WE TAKE THEM UNDER CONSIDERATION AND IF WE FEEL AGAIN WE'RE ABLE TO DO SO AS IN BATON ROUGE, WE WILL. SO BATON ROUGE IS A BIT OF AN UNUSUAL SITUATION AGAIN BECAUSE OF THE RECUSAL. 

REPORTER: THE SECOND YES IS ABOUT LAST WEEK'S RULING, THE F.B.I. MAY NOT WANT TO WEIGH IN. HOW MUCH MORE DIFFICULT IS YOUR JOB NOW AFTER THAT DECISION SO PEOPLE HAVE SUGGESTED AN INABILITY TO ACCESS DATA STORED OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES IS EVEN A GREATER THREAT THAN PERHAPS THE SO-CALLED GOING DARK OR ENCRYPTION PROBLEM. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: CERTAINLY IT RAISES SERIOUS CONCERNS FOR US AS EVIDENCED IN OUR VIEWS IN THE CASE BEFORE THE DECISION CAME DOWN. WE'RE STILL LOOKING AT THAT DECISION AND DETERMINING WHAT'S THE NEXT STEPS ARE. WE ALSO WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH OUR FORMER COUNTERPARTS IN THE EUROPEAN UNION, FOR EXAMPLE, AND ARE VERY COMMITTED TO WORKING WITH THEM TO COME UP WITH AGREEMENTS WHERE WE CAN SHARE LAW ENFORCEMENT OR EVEN COMMERCIAL DATA SAFELY AND SECURELY AND PROTECT PRIVACY. IT IS A DECISION THAT MAY HAVE SOME IMPACT ON THAT AND WE'RE LOOKING AT THE RAMIFICATIONS OF THAT. TO THIS GENTLEMAN. YOU'RE NEXT. 

REPORTER: DO YOU KNOW IF ANY FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS LIKE GOLDMAN SACHS WERE AWARE OF THE MONEY LAUNDERING THAT WAS GOING ON, AND IS THAT SOMETHING YOU PLAN TO INVESTIGATE GOING FORWARD? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: I CAN TELL YOU AGAIN, WE'RE FOCUSING NOW ON THE TRACING OF THE ASSETS. LESLIE, YOU WANT TO ADD ANYTHING ON ANY OF THE ENTITIES THERE? 

MS. CALDWELL: SO I CAN'T COMMENT ON THE INVESTIGATION THAT WE'VE DONE THUS FAR BUT YOU CAN SEE IN THE COMPLAINT THAT GOLDMAN SACHS AND A NUMBER OF OTHER INSTITUTIONS WERE INVOLVED IN VARIOUS ASPECTS OF THESE TRANSACTIONS. WE ARE CONTINUING TO INVESTIGATE AND WE'LL GO WHEREVER THAT EVIDENCE TAKES US. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: AND I PROMISED IN YOUNG LADY NEXT TO YOU. 

REPORTER: THE CASE DOES TARGET THE HEAD OF STATE OF A U.S. ALLY, WHAT EXTENT DID DIPLOMATIC CONCERNS PLAY A ROLE IN THE CASE OR WERE THERE ANY DISCUSSINGS WITH THE STATE DEPARTMENT ABOUT THIS AND TWO, ALSO, WHY NOT CHARGE THE PEOPLE THAT YOU NAMED IN THE FORFEITURE ACTION, WHY JUST BRING THE FORFEITURE ACTION FIRST? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WHEN WE HAVE THE EVIDENCE WE CAN SEEK RESTRAINT OF ASSETS TO MOVE IN A FORFEITURE CASE TO IS HE CAN AVOID THEM BEING SOLD TO SOMEONE ELSE OR DISSIPATED OR TRANSFERED TO SOMEONE ELSE THAT WOULD MAKE IT HARDER FOR US TO RESTRAIN THOSE ASSETS. AS WITH ALL CASES EVEN WITH CIVIL FORFEITURE WE BRING THE ACTION WHEN THE FORCES COME TOGETHER AND WE FEEL WE HAVE SUFFICIENT CAUSE TO GET A JUDICIAL ORDER TO ALLOW FOR SEIZURE AND RESTRAINT OF ASSETS AND WHERE WE ARE HERE. WITH RESPECT TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN MALAYSIA, I DON'T HAVE A COMMENT ON ANYONE IN PARTICULAR EXCEPT TO SAY THAT MALAYSIA DOES CONTINUE TO BE AN ALLY OF OURS, PARTICULARLY IN COUNTERTERRORISM EFFORTS, BUT THIS EFFORT IS INTENDED TO -- AS IS THE ENTIRE KLEPTOCRACY INITIATIVE TO BENEFIT THAT COUNTRY BY ALLOWING THE RETURN OF ASSETS AT THE END OF THIS PROCESS TO THE GOVERNMENT OF MALAYSIA AND TO THE MALAYSIAN PEOPLE. 

REPORTER: YOU MET YESTERDAY WITH PRESIDENT OBAMA, THE DIRECTOR AND THE HOMELAND SECURITY DIRECTOR JOHNSON TO TALK ABOUT THE TENSIONS BETWEEN -- WITH POLICE KILLINGS. COULD I JUST GET YOUR READOUT OF THAT MEETING, WHAT WAS THE POINT OF HAVING THE MEETING, AND DO YOU FEEL THAT AT THIS POINT THERE'S ANYTHING MORE THAT THE ADMINISTRATION SHOULD BE DOING TO HELP TAMP DOWN THE TENSIONS THAT HAVE FLARED? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: THE PRESIDENT HIMSELF PREPARED THAT AFTER THE CONCLUSION AND I DON'T HAVE MORE THAN TO REITERATE THE PRESIDENT WANTED TO MEET WITH MYSELF AND SECRETARY JOHNSON TO REVIEW THE EFFORTS THIS ADMINISTRATION IS TAKING AND HAS TAKEN FOR SOME TIME TO SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT IN THE FIELD. AS I MENTIONED EARLIER, THE EFFORTS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE HAS BEEN TAKING FOR SOME TIME INCLUDE THROUGH OUR GRANT MAKING PROCESS PROVIDING FOR THE HIRING AND RETENTION OF OFFICERS, ALSO THE TRAINING OF OFFICERS AS IS OFTEN REQUESTED BY OFFICERS IN THE FIELD IN AREAS LIKE ACTIVE SHOOTING, DEESCALATION, ALSO THE EFFORTS THAT WE UNDERTAKE THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT'S MANY FACETS, INCLUDING OUR CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION AND OUR COPS OFFICE WHERE WE PROVIDE DIRECT PEER TO PEER SUPPORT AND WE OFTEN DO A LOT OF WORK MATCHING UP LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES WHO HAVE DEALT WITH A PARTICULAR CRISIS OR SITUATION WITH OTHER DEPARTMENTS WHO SEE IT DEVELOPING IN THEIR AREA AND CONNECT POLICE CHIEFS TO POLICE CHIEFS TO HAVE THOSE DISCUSSIONS AND TRY AND BE A WAY OF EXPANDING THE DISCUSSION AND THE DIALOGUE AND TALK ABOUT THE THINGS THE DEPARTMENT HAS CONTINUED TO DO AND WE ALSO SPOKE ABOUT THE EFFORTS ONGOING THROUGH THE DEPARTMENT TO SUPPORT LAW ENFORCEMENT AND A CONSTRUCTIVE DIALOGUE ON THIS ISSUE. AS MEN OF YOU KNOW, I'VE BEEN ENGAGED IN A COMMUNITY POLICING TOUR FOR THE LAST YEAR AND HAVE VISITED 12 CITIES, FOCUSING ON THE ISSUE OF POLICE-COMMUNITY RELATIONS, HIGHLIGHTING CITIES THAT HAVE HAD A VERY DIFFICULT, VERY CHALLENGED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND LAW ENFORCEMENT, YET JURISDICTIONS THAT HAVE DONE THE HARD WORK AND ESTABLISHED A POSITIVE WORKING RELATIONSHIP, NOT PERFECT BECAUSE THERE'S NO PERFECT SITUATION, BUT A RELATIONSHIP WHERE THERE'S COMMUNITY INTERACTION WITH THE POLICE DEPARTMENT ON ISSUES OF TRAINING, ON ISSUES OF COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT AND WHERE THERE IS DIRECT LAW ENFORCEMENT INVOLVEMENT IN GETTING TO KNOW THE COMMUNITY, PARTICULARLY BUSINESSES, YOUNG PEOPLE, AND BRINGING ALL THOSE VOICES TOGETHER. AND WE SPENT TIME TALKING ABOUT HOW WE CAN ADVANCE THOSE EFFORTS AND CONTINUE THOSE DISCUSSIONS WHICH MANY PEOPLE HAVE FOUND HELPFUL. I THINK IT'S SOMETHING THAT OTHER COMMUNITIES, I HOPE, WOULD ALSO FIND HELPFUL. I THINK THAT WE'RE AT A SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE ARE TRULY RECOGNIZING THAT THE TRAGEDIES THAT WE ARE SEEING ARE AFFECTING ALL OF US, THAT THE INDIVIDUALS WHO TALK ABOUT NOT FEELING SAFE ARE ALSO ECHOING WHAT OUR POLICE OFFICERS SAY WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT HOW THEY ARE NOT SAFE IN MANY SITUATIONS. AND THAT IS NOT A SITUATION FOR GROWTH AND DOESN'T BRING OUT THE BEST OF US. AND I THINK WE'RE ALSO IN A SITUATION WHERE PEOPLE REALLY WANT THINGS TO IMPROVE. THEY WANT EVERYONE TO GET HOME SAFELY. THEY WANT LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS TO FEEL SUPPORTED AND THEY WANT TO BE ABLE TO CALL ON LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WHEN THEY ARE IN TROUBLE. THAT HAS ALWAYS BEEN AN ISSUE THAT CERTAINLY I HAVE SEEN IN MY OVER 20 YEARS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT. SO WE TALKED ABOUT WAYS IN WHICH TO ADVANCE THAT DISCUSSION. LET ME GO TO THE GENTLEMAN BEHIND YOU. 

REPORTER: THANKS. I JUST WANT TO FOLLOW UP ON THE QUESTION ABOUT PERFORM NAJIB. THE DESCRIPTION IN THE COMPLAINT OF THE MALAYSIAN OFFICIAL NUMBER ONE CERTAINLY SEEMS TO MATCH THE PRIME MINISTER'S BIOGRAPHY AND JOB DESCRIPTION. CAN YOU ELABORATE A LITTLE BIT ON THE LEGAL CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVED THAT PREVENT YOU OR THAT HELP YOU DECIDE NOT TO IDENTIFY THAT OFFICIAL AND OTHERS BY NAME WHEN SEVERAL OTHER PEOPLE WERE IDENTIFIED? 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: I CAN SAY AS I'VE INDICATED BEFORE, WHEN WE HAVE A CIVIL COMPLAINT THAT TRACES ASSETS FROM ANY ENTITY THROUGH OTHERS AND INTO AN ASSET THAT WE'RE TRYING TO SEIZE, WE ESSENTIALLY ALLEGE WHAT WE NEED TO ALLEGE WITH SPECIFICITY IN ORDER TO OBTAIN THE LEGAL PROCESS THAT WE NEED TO OBTAIN. WE DON'T GO BEYOND THAT AND SO WE'RE NOT GOING BEYOND THAT IN THIS PARTICULAR COMPLAINT. 

REPORTER: DEPUTY DIRECTOR MCCABE, CAN I ASK YOU FOR YOUR ASSESSMENT TO CURRENT THREAT ON THE LAW ENFORCEMENT, SORT OF THE ENVIRONMENT, WHETHER QUANTITATIVELY, MORE THREATS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT, ARE YOU SEEING THAT? 

MR. MCCABE: WE TRACK THOSE NUMBERS CLOSELY AND I DON'T HAVE FIGURES TO SHARE WITH YOU TODAY, OBVIOUSLY NOT THE TOPIC OF OUR ANNOUNCEMENT. SUFFICE IT TO SAY THAT WE WORK VERY CLOSELY WITH OUR STATE AND LOCAL PARTNERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY, HAVE OVER 17,000 POLICE DEPARTMENTS IN THIS COUNTRY COVERING A BROAD, VAST, AND DIVERSE GEOGRAPHY, EVERY COMMUNITY IS A LITTLE BIT DIFFERENT, EACH PLACE POSES A DIFFERENT SET OF CHALLENGES AND DEMANDS. OUR CHALLENGE AS A FEDERAL AND NATIONAL LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATION IS TO PROVIDE SUPPORT AND ASSISTANCE AND GUIDANCE TO THOSE INDIVIDUAL LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES TO THE GREATEST EXTENT THAT WE CAN. ONE OF THE WAYS THAT WE DO THAT IS WE WATCH FOR AND COMMUNICATE THREATS TO LAW ENFORCEMENT WHENEVER THEY COME TO OUR ATTENTION. WE CERTAINLY HAVE BEEN DOING THAT A LOT LATELY BUT BEYOND THAT I CAN'T GIVE YOU A CHARACTERIZATION. 

ATTORNEY GENERAL LYNCH: THANK YOU ALL. THANK YOU.

SOURCE: https://recapd.com/w-57b342

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ramadan, Einstein, and a memory

by Azly Rahman



  
Yes indeed the Muslim kids in Malaysia today have it easy during the fasting month; their conversations with Time is as speedy as the speed of the ‘Internet of Things’ (the IoT). Time is compressed in this global village characterised by the rapidisation of things. Relativity is the key word here as we speak of how the mind, body, spirit, and soul respond to the demands of the worldview of Ramadan.
Technology to ease the suffering of hunger and thirst has today progressed in Einsteinian proportions, as how the advancements have been made since Einstein scribbled his grand theory of everything, of Relativity and Black Holes, Worm Holes, and quasars and pulsars and said, in his broken German-English accent to the world:
“Here it is, my proof of the existence of black holes. One day (yes, about a hundred year later in 2015) and after the release of James Cameron’s movie Interstellar, you’ll have the proper instruments and a couple of great scientists mainly from Columbia University in the NYC to build that machine to see black holes. One day you’ll see my calculations come alive.”
How fast technology has changed and our conversations with modernity and hyper-modernity in this post-post-post Age of Techno-humanism have advanced, too. For Ramadan, today’s Muslim kids can sit in an air-conditioned room the whole day and play video games and check their Internet phones every six minutes and go take a two-hour nap, and next go back to the AC room and next, it’s break fast - or Bukak Posa Time!
Time is compressed. Technology has a life of its own, ‘a technologically-deterministic being’ it has become, as Marx predicted and alluded to in his magnum opus with Friedrich Engels, ‘Das Kapital’.
I remember my childhood days of Ramadan when technology in my house in my gangsta Malay village in JB was still in its Neanderthal stage. One step backward and it was the Age of No Tech, Low Tech, and one more step behind was the Age of the Perak Man... the age of the early man who got lost trying to decide which way to go: Bota Kanan or Bota Kiri. He went bald thinking hard.
He died waiting at the junction, at the crossroad of human evolution. He gave up. Although he was said to be a determined man who lived for hundreds of years (we need to check his birth certificate though), he gave up right there near Changkat Jering, now a dangerous highway. He was a brave man - he walked from Africa alone and didn’t know where he was going and ended up in Perak. Hence the name Perak Man.
But that is another story of why he walked out of Africa. I saw him once in the National Museum in Kuala Lumpur, a few years back. He was lying in an enclosed glass bed, tired from the long walk to freedom. He was all bones. He was bald.
Twelve hours felt like twelve months
I remember my childhood Ramadan of the sixties. It was pure torture. It was a Buddhist experience of samsara. Of a life of suffering. Of denouncing water, food, and other childhood Earthly pleasures. Although the suffering was about twelve hours, it felt like twelve months of dying, of the experience of the Perak man’s marathon solo-walking. Herein lies Einstein’s Relativity.
I had no iPhone nor iPad to play with, no PlayStation Seventeen to play games that have me shoot people. no blasting high-fi air-conditioning machine to ease the cells in my body and to freeze them pleasurably so that they would not wilt like raisins in the sun, as how Langston Hughes said about the self in his poem ‘Dreams’.
And I didn’t have 700 channels of junk on TV to help me escape the reality of suffering and to bring me to this Hollywood or Bollywood nirvana.
None of these I had. Nor was I as a kid fasting the full swing of 30-day delight as strong as our man, the Perak man. Every day of the journey, I felt my body slowly getting weak and turning into that Malay pancake called ‘lempeng’; a sorry state of beingness with the feel that by the Time the bilal hit the ‘kentong’ (sounding ‘tong... tong... tong...) or that bamboo ‘break fast announcement instrument from the kampong masjid yonder’ and next, by the time I heard the imam clearing his throat at the microphone like Matt Monroe or Louis Armstrong, ready to azan or ‘bang’ (not banging people’s head, mind you... but ‘bang’ means calling for the maghrib prayer - signifying the end of suffering,) and lastly... by the time she announced, “Lekas, boleh berbuka kita... orang dah bang tu...” (Let us now break our fast as the imam has called for prayer - by the Time all these happened, I thought I had already died, ready to be reincarnated the next day for another round of the hunger game.
So - it seems like - in Ramadan death cometh daily. The madman Mansur Al-Hallaj said that, too, running around the street yelling, “Ana al Haq... Ana al Haq... I am the Truth... I am the Truth”.
And then I would be alive again. Time. Time. Time. Relative is Time.
As the Quranic verses go: “Time. Verily, Man is in a state of Loss and Utter Despair. Except those who do Good and Keeps the faith and remind others to do Good.” In other words: To promote peace and to keep peace and to build peace, after making peace with the self.
So - with no AC, how did I ease the suffering? Here is what I did daily. The tempayan was my friend, I’d go to the bathroom and climb into the huge earthen-ware pot, turn on the tap, water would flow through the mouldy green hose, the tempayan/pot would fill up to the brim, and I’d be sitting in there as cool as the Perak Man in the Pahang River. Cooling myself with water coming to the level of my neck.
Liiikkk kau buat apa lama lama dalam bilik air tu, nak... Dah dekat sejam.
My mother would call out after an hour of wondering if I had drowned in the gigantic pot and died and perhaps transported to Africa and walked with the Perak man and get confused like him at the junction of Bota Kanan or Bota Kiri.
Lik mandi mak... sekejap lagi habis. Nak sabun badan ni. (I am bathing, mother. Now is the soap-ing part...)”
Ultimate goal is the finishing line
I was happy for that Einsteinian hour in that day on the month of extreme test of spiritual endurance. For about twelve hours daily, I was both the Perak man and Siddharta Gautama or the ‘Buddha Matrieya’, wandering like Moses in an exodus for 40 years in the desert of my hyper-consciousness, in this Hunger Game called fasting - a game whose ultimate goal is the finishing line... to still be alive to hear the ‘tong... tong... tong...” sound of the masjid’s kentong. Mind-body-spirit game.
I suppose Einstein would agree. Life is not about finding happiness. It is about evading pain. Not about suffering. But to find victory in the battle within. The jihad within - and only within. And that jihad is Love and nothing else. In memory of the greatest Love - my mother.
Today, sixteen hours of my journey of the Perak man, in the blazing saddle heat of the New York Indian Summer Ramadan... I have felt nothing. I only eat one simple meal a day. A dead simple minimalist meal.
Thank you to the memory of the Perak man. And of course the tempayan, the huge pot in the bathroom. And the sound of the tong tong tong... I could still hear - from more than a thousand miles away!

DR AZLY RAHMAN grew up in a village in Johor Baru, Malaysia and holds a Columbia University (New York City) doctorate in International Education Development and Masters degrees in the fields of Education, International Affairs, Peace Studies and Communication. He is pursuing his fifth Masters in Fine Arts, specialising in Fiction and Creative Non-Fiction Writing. He has taught more than 50 courses in six different departments and has written more than 350 analyses/essays on Malaysia. His 25 years of teaching experience in Malaysia and the United States spans over a wide range of subjects, from elementary to graduate education. He has edited and authored six books; Multiethnic Malaysia: Past, Present, Future (2009), Thesis on Cyberjaya: Hegemony and Utopianism in a Southeast Asian State (2012), The Allah Controversy and Other Essays on Malaysian Hypermodernity (2013), Dark Spring: Essays on the Ideological Roots of Malaysia's General Elections-13 (2013), a first Malay publication Kalimah Allah Milik Siapa?: Renungan dan Nukilan Tentang Malaysia di Era Pancaroba (2014), and Controlled Chaos: Essays on Mahathirism, Multimedia Super Corridor and Malaysia’s ‘New Politics’ (2014). He currently resides in the United States where he teaches courses in Education, Philosophy, Cultural Studies, Political Science, and American Studies. His forthcoming book, One Malaysia, under God, Bipolar, a joint project between Gerakbudaya and World Wise Books of New Jersey, USA, is his seventh compilation of essays on Malaysian Cultural, Creative, and Critical Studies. He is currently working on his eighth book, on Gifted and Talented Education in Malaysia, honouring a prominent educator. Twitterblog

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