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Friday, September 21, 2007

Yang di-Pertuan Agong: Hope for Malaysia?

If you only have time to do your duty as a citizen of Malaysia, skip the rest and go straight to the bottom of the post.

As I have said in earlier posts before, I set up this blog for the purpose of helping promote Malaysia, the country in which I was born, of which I am a citizen, and in which I will 99% likely live the rest of my life. This post is not a post I like to publish here, but I as a citizen of Malaysia, is concerned at many developments in my country such as the actions and lack of actions with regard to the Port Klang Free Zone fiasco, the huge burden that the tax payers probably have to bear, the squandering of public funds, the lack of actions or the very light penalties imposed after various wrong doings and scandals have been exposed, etc. Port Klang state assemblyman Datuk Zakaria Md Deros got land meant for the poor alienated to his wife Zizah Ngah for a song and build a mansion (palace) on it without first obtaining planning approval, the withdrawal of 37 charges against Datuk Zakaria Md Deros under the Companies Act 1965 by just payment of a RM1,400 fine to the Companies Commission of Malaysia. Very harsh actions are taken against lesser beings. The law says if you build without planning approval, the building will be demolished. Extensions built by ordinary citizens without first getting planning approval because getting approval takes so long, are demolished without mercy. In Datuk Zakaria Md Deros case, his mansion remained and he was only slapped with a paltry (they say maximum) fine. Clearly a case of unequal treatments for different people under the law in the "most developed state of Malaysia". I think I read somewhere that when informed of the situation, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo was evasive, saying that he would only comment after reading the report. Anything happened after that? They say "no one is above the law". But maybe they are right in some sense (but I still think many people of influence are protected). Most are subject to the law but different people get treated differently according to who they are or who they know.

More crucial, many lawyers and the Bar Council (Bar president Ambiga Sreenevasan: "We have gone from one crisis to another since the 1988 judicial crisis; it is time to confront fully and completely all the issues that have arisen since then with a view to strengthen the administration of justice.") say that since the former Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamad interfered with the independence of the judiciary in Malaysia, the previously much respected judiciary independence is now in question. This was recently reinforced by the release of a video showing a prominent lawyer speaking to a person who seem to be a senior judge purportedly fixing judicial appointments. Datuk Seri Anwar who released the video named the lawyer and the senior judge during a press conference and said that a report would be lodged with the government-backed Anti-Corruption Agency. We are now eagerly awaiting the outcome, if any.

Update: Many other things are acted upon without having to be studied thoroughly first, but regarding such a highly crucial issue, statements like we have to see if the video is genuine or not, etc., are made. Anyone said that VK Lingam would be questioned? Any comment on the "coincidences" regarding the dates judges were appointed and the time frame mentioned in the video, plus which judges were appointed? Such a video demand a Full Royal Commission of Inquiry, but the Government turned that down as expected. You can view the video at Malaysia Bar Council website at Video links CJ to 'appointment fixing' scandal You can read the transcript of the video at Transkrip Perbualan Telefon VK Lingam (it is in English. I think Parti Deadilan Rakyat also have one in Bahasa Malaysia.

We can use our vote to try to change things, but with the advantages of incumbency, the monopoly on the mainstream mass media by the ruling coalition while denying access to the oppositions, the selective approval for ceramahs, the removal of the 15% limit bias for the rural constituencies and the redelineation of electoral constituencies making a rural vote worth 10 to 20 times more than that of an urban vote (just a guess but which should not be too far off. Anyone with more accurate estimate please comment, will be highly appreciated), doubts in the independence of the Electoral Commission (the Government poured huge funds to improve infrastructures and others in 2 constituencies involved in recent bye-elections to influence the voters, but the Election Commission ruled that it is not bribery as long as the funds are not disbursed by the candidate) and many other issues that I consider as irregularities, our votes will not likely change things.

There had been many complaints of phantom voters in the electoral roll but Rockybru (Ahirudin bin Attan who suprisingly admitted he never register as a voter before) said he had doubts, but not until he tried to register recently. He found that he was already registered in Perak!!! His address in both his old Identity card as well as the new MyKad is in Puchong. His kampong is in Malacca. So how did he got registered in Perak? If you want to confirm regarding his registration, view a screenshot at Phantom voter?. He said he will go make enquires at SPR (Election Commission of Malaysia) and here are the questions he asked and the answers he obtained:

When was I registered?
1999.
How was I registered?
Someone filled up the form.
How come?
Before July 2002, political parties were allowed to register on behalf of constituents who had not been registered.

Some questions they couldn't answer.
Was it the BN or the Opposition that registered me?
We don't know.
Did I "vote" for the 1999 and the 2003 general elections?
We have no idea.
How did this political party in Taman Rapat Setia register me when I never lived there?
We can't tell.

Malaysia's only hopes is the Monarchy and the conscience of the leaders of the ruling coalition, if they have any. Raja Petra has started an online petition to plea for the Monarchy to use whatever power they have left to help change things. I have signed the petition and hope that you will do so too. You can view and sign the petition at Citizens In Solidarity with Raja Petra and Freedom of Speech !. Raja Petra is of Royal lineage and seem to have very good connections and sources of information. You can read about the latest development at Yes, we are embroiled in a Constitutional Crisis.

I hope you will do your duty as a citizen of Malaysia and sign the petition. The outcome we do not know, but at least we would have done our part.

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