After the $40billion dollar joint venture fanfare, some hard truths: Now, "Inventor" Douglas Stewart says the $40billion cited are based on success of apps owned by other companies and he is unable to estimate revenue for the joint venture. "We have a brilliant young man, we call Mr G...Patel. He owns GSix Holdings and has opened up doors for us in the South Pacific... The Prime Minister and his wife, maam, have been very appreciative, allowing us to launch our product here in Fiji..."
Fijileaks: Did Patel inform Stewart that GSix had gone into liquidation?
His co-signatory to the joint venture - Gaurangbhai Mukundbhai Patel - ran a New Zealand company GSix Holdings Ltd which went into liquidation in October 2014, with no assets to distribute to creditors. Patel turned up in Fiji as chairman of Fiji Cricketers Association, "securing" $200,000 for the sport.
Last week, at Grand Pacific Hotel, he and Stewart got Bainimarama to launch their new venture, in the presence of Who is Who of Fiji and scores of international dignitaries - not to mention local and overseas media and dancers. What was omitted from the choreography and script was Patel's GSix Holdings Ltd which was placed into liquidation in New Zealand in October 2014. GSix Holdings was formed on 2 July 2013
Fijileaks: Gaurangbhai Mukundbhai PATEL, former Fijian cricketer and the man behind the "$40billion joint venture" is refusing to dismount from his "high horse" and tell us about his past business history; we don't blame him at all: Fijians, Fiji government, and the Fiji Media have history of falling for "businessman" promising to bring millions - billions!
Fijileaks: We like to extend our appreciation to the anonymous person who has nominated our founding Editor-in-Chief VICTOR LAL
for the 2017 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award:
"This message is to let you know you have been nominated by a member of the public for the Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Awards 2017 - in the campaigning category."
VICTOR LAL: We salute a fellow 2016 Index on Censorship Freedom of Expression Award nominee and Malaysian cartoonist Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, aka Zunar, who won't be able to be with me at the 2017 Award (pictured with me at last year's award ceremony). Malaysia has imposed a travel ban on Zunar, who is facing sedition charges and a possible 43 year prison sentence: “How Can I Be Neutral, Even My Pen Has a Stand”
“Talent is not a gift, but a responsibility. It is a duty for me as a cartoonist to use the art as a weapon to fight unjust rulers. Fear and intimidation are the potent tools being used by the regime to scare the people. I also strongly believe that, when faced with a moral crisis, there is no room to grumble in silence. We have to stand up and cry our voice out loud and clear. Neutrality is escapism for those who live in a comfort zone.” - Zunar, on winning the 2016 Cartooning for Peace Prize, Geneva; Zunar has spent two periods in Malaysian jails, firstly in September 2010 and again from 10 February 2015. Several of his books have been banned while bookstores carrying his works have been raided and three of his assistants were arrested in October 2014 for selling his books. The webmaster, who manages his website and online bookstore, has been interrogated by Malaysian police.
Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, known as Zunar, has faced harassment from the Malaysian government for his political cartoons. Five of his books have been banned in Malaysia and his office has been raided several times, resulting in the confiscation of thousands of his books.
The Malaysian government has banned his books on the grounds that they can “influence the public to revolt against the leaders and government policies” and they are “detrimental to public order.”
Any bookstore, vendor, printer or publisher who agrees to sell the cartoonist’s books also face harassment from the Malaysian government, receiving threats of having their business licenses revoked or their offices raided. Zunar’s books are now printed without the name of the publisher to protect them. Although this is against the law, he has no choice if he wishes to continue publication of his cartoons.
Zunar is being charged under the Sedition Act, which was originally put in place in 1948 to curb opposition to British colonial rule, but the law has remained part of Malaysia’s legal system. The Sedition Act prohibits any behavior that could be deemed detrimental to the government. This outdated law allows the Malaysian government to censor opposition.
His cartoons have covered a wide range of controversial topics in Malaysia, from unsolved murders to political conspiracies. His motto is proudly displayed throughout his website, “How Can I Be Neutral, Even My Pen Has a Stand” emphasising his unfaltering mindset to stand up to the Malaysian government.
Zunar has challenged the Sedition Act and the Malaysian government multiple times in the past. First in 2010 to fight the banning of his books in the country, then in 2011 against the government and police for unlawful arrest and detention. Unfortunately in both cases the courts ruled against him.
Now with a travel ban placed on him by the Malaysian government, Zunar plans to again file a suit to challenge its validity. The cartoonist discovered the ban on 17 October 2016 at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, though it has been effective since 24 June 2016.
With the court proceedings for Zunar set for 22 November, he faces a maximum of 43 years in prison for tweeting his cartoons. The cartoonist has been imprisoned twice in the past; once for two days in 2010 and again for three days in 2015, both times for violating the Sedition Act. Three of Zunar’s assistants were also arrested in 2014 for selling his cartoons.
Zunar is currently out on bail but is stuck in Malaysia with the threat of 43 years imprisonment ahead of him. Despite this, he remains dedicated to exposing the corruption of the government, stating in an interview with Index on Censorship in 2015, “I will never stop, it is my right as a citizen to express my view and my responsibility as a cartoonist to give alternative views.”