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Monday, January 31, 2011

Irresponsible Election Commission: Change government to change EC Chairman

The actions of the Malaysia Election Commission in the recent Tenang by-election again not only demonstrated the lack of impartiality of the EC, the police and other civil services involved in helping ferry voter in flooded constituencies, they have also demonstrated irresponsibility in not calling a halt and postponement of the by-election thus putting voters who braved the floods to vote. It is time to change the irresponsible Chairman by first changing the Federal Government so that we can have at least fair if not free elections.

Article below courtesy of Malaysiakini: Muddy waters: Post-Tenang Reflections:

Muddy waters: Post-Tenang reflections

Bridget Welsh
Jan 31, 11
4:58pm

10 friends can read this story for free

COMMENT Malaysia's 14th by-election since March 2008 scored another victory in the BN column, as they held onto their seat. This was expected, as it was home ground for Umno and the contest was purely about the winning majority.
Even with the lower voter turnout, Umno did well with a comfortable and higher majority of 3,707. Rather than provide a numerical assessment of the voting results, let me share some broader observations and tensions that arise from the Tenang campaign.
Despite the centrality of machinery and money, this election highlights the increasing challenges of engaging the diverse electorate in Malaysia. Arguably, the dynamics of the by-election in Johor muddy the waters, making the decisions about national electoral strategies and tactics even more complex.

Decision to proceed irresponsible

The most defining feature of this election was the weather. It was dreadful, and it negatively affected the polling. Watching voters drench themselves to vote, despite umbrellas, and wade in up to knee-high water to the polling station, made me question whether the by-election was worth the risks involved.
NONEI remain deeply puzzled why this by-election was not postponed. I woke up the morning of the poll thinking that it might already be time for Noah's Ark as the overnight downpour had already affected roads and submerged parts of the constituency.
The fact that four polling stations (30 percent of the stations) were inaccessible by early afternoon made this question even more salient. It is fortunate that no one was seriously hurt and some voters were able to navigate the slick hazardous conditions, as the decision to continue with the polls appeared irresponsible.
Voters, however, braved on. They believed strongly in their civic responsibility to vote, to have their opinion recorded despite the inconveniences involved in casting it. This speaks to an important feature of Malaysian politics, that even despite lackluster campaigns on both sides, when asked to act responsibly, to fulfill their roles as citizens, they do so.
NONEIt was not only a matter of reward or partisanship, but a deep-seated desire both to be heard and be part of the national political landscape. Johoreans, in particular, feel left out of the excitement, and don't like to be ignored.
What was striking is that the weather highlighted perhaps the biggest governance problem locally – flooding. While it is easy to think that climate change and heavy rain were responsible, the fact remains that flooding is also man-made.
The land development practices of clearing land and failure to adequately monitor deforestation have contributed to the high siltation of the streams and river and created increased vulnerability to flooding. The low-lying areas are well-known, but the problem has clearly been inadequately addressed.
Part of the problem is that flooding lies in the multiple jurisdictions of state and federal authorities, but this should not have been an excuse in Johor. The infrastructure is not up to par, and regular flooding is now the norm. Just a few years ago, areas in Johor were completely submerged.
This by-election is a wake-up call to the BN government to act responsibly. The Tenang by-election showcased the problem of flooding that is now frequent in semi-rural areas throughout the country. It is a national problem that needs attention. Many of the voters who opted for the BN did so with the hope that conditions would improve in the future, that their civic responsibility would yield a more responsible government response.
Chinese not spooked by Islamic state
The reasons people voted as they did are not so easy to capture. Three interesting features stand out.
First, the focus among voters was on the party rather than the candidate. For BN voters, the dominant thread was loyalty to Umno. For the majority of opposition voters, the focus was primarily on Pakatan Rakyat.
NONEChinese voters were not as scared off with the Islamic state tactics, while those loyal to PAS continued to feel both a connection to the Islamic party and its cooperation with other component partners. In other by-elections, the candidate chosen was decisive. Here, given the credentials of both candidates, party emerged as more central.
This suggests that while the choice of candidate may be increasingly important in urban areas, the image and identity of the party remains central in more semi-rural communities. Both of the main parties concerned – Umno and PAS – have challenges in improving their images and profiles in parts of the country, especially those where they have limited machinery or tainted images.
Another feature of Tenang was the lack of political awareness or interest. Many, especially in the more rural areas, had never even heard of Pakatan and many were just not interested in politics.
NONEThe intense politicking followed closely byMalaysiakini readers does not permeate the lives of Tenang voters, and they like it that way. Unlike Sibu, there was not a major political awakening in Tenang and voters did not relate to many of the opposition concerns about corruption and justice.
This is a challenge politically, as many outside of urban centres have limited sources of political information and do not connect with issues touted by the urban-based political leaders the same way. Take 'Interlok', for example. This book was seen as distant from the life experience of voters. Meshing political issues with local outlooks remains a challenge across the political spectrum.
Finally, given the dominance of Umno and its close relationship to government officials, one of the most difficult issues involves the blurred lines between government and party. The nasty weather conditions brought this to the fore, as police, fire officials, rural development authorities and election officials faced real challenges in managing their jobs neutrally.
NONEThe scarce resources of boats and equipment added to the perception – deeply held in the Chinese-majority areas where assistance was less forthcoming – that civil servants did not respond fairly. It was exacerbated by the perception and reality that voting cut along ethnic lines and added to the view that the response was ethnically biased.
Further investigation is needed to assess this, but the perception remains and is a product of the government's failure to draw sharp lines between what is for the party work and what belongs to the citizens at large.
Given the multiple jurisdictions of governance and increased competitiveness, the need for civil servant neutrality is even more pressing. Any election should ultimately not rest on the selective use of government resources for the interest of any party. It makes the victory hollow, and raises ethical concerns and feeds unnecessarily into the increasingly racialised political lens.

Soul searching for PAS and MCA

As the waters subside, there are two political parties that have the most soul-searching to do. First is PAS. They are losing Malay ground in semi-rural areas. While in fairness, they had little support in the first place in Tenang, this election taken with the totality of results in the past few elections, including Galas in Kelantan, suggest some serious rethinking.
tenang by election nomination day pas and bn supporters 220110 marching with flagsThe challenge for PAS is how to gain support in semi-rural areas that are multi-ethnic constituencies, e.g. Galas, Tenang and Merlimau, especially those in western and southern parts of Peninsular Malaysia.
The Islamic state agenda polarise the electorate creating a zero-sum dynamic. Finding an identity that is inclusive, across races, and does not put pressure on Pakatan partners is not easy. The recent by-elections point to PAS' Malay deficit, one that is focused in some areas more than others.
PAS is not able to effectively engage Felda settlers and break into traditional Umno ground. Despite the strong candidate, PAS appeared less connected to voters in Tenang than it did elsewhere.
tenang by election day 1 230111 chua soi lek campaigning 3For the BN, Tenang was MCA's test in its strongest base. They did not deliver. The money, the promises, the Islamic state bogey, the personal presence and the month-long campaigning tied to the Chinese New Year did not win additional votes.
There was no major swing back to MCA in its core political ground. This spells trouble for the party as it relies heavily on Umno for its seats and is unable to be seen as a strong representative of the Chinese community. The fact that very few young Chinese voters came back from Singapore to vote (many from Kuala Lumpur did however) is even more telling for MCA. The results could have been worse.
Like PAS, the MCA faces the challenge of redefining its political identity and engagement. It can see first-hand how MIC and Gerakan have weakened, and MCA – along with perhaps PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu Sarawak) – remains the last party standing that has some autonomy besides Umno.
The choices ahead for MCA are as difficult as those of PAS as it balances its subservient role in the BN with the need for its own survival.
Beyond Tenang
It is fitting that the next by-election is in a similar mixed-race constituency in a semi-rural area. Pakatan will face an uphill battle there as well. Campaigning has started already.
One hopes that the all the parties go beyond the shallow and negative messages and “goodies” that have dominated Tenang. It is the last round pre-Sarawak contest before the next general election. Both sides are weary and the fatigue is showing.
Yet if yesterday's polls are illustrative, the parties have to step up their game and give more responsible and positive options to voters to deserve the level of national commitment to Malaysia's future that the Tenang voters showed by voting despite having to wade through very muddy waters.

DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. She is in Tenang to observe the by-elections. Welsh can be reached at bwelsh@smu.edu.sg.

Comments 1 to 8 of 8

JUSTICE KINI EC annouse that election cannot be cancell or postpone.EC name the clause in the election rule under such circumtances where Human life may lose.Water level was as high as chest level.Is it not the EC concern for Human life then just to finish off a by election. Here the people was last not first and perform Now was also questionable.Proform means not taking human life as stake.ForMCA islamic issue.Answer this Was Malaysia claims as Islamic Nation and can you descript Hudud laws.Its fair and just.In one word justice to all.What is against the non muslim.This cannot be impose on them. Punishment.Hudud had seek Allah to invervent in punishment.If you murder someone will the common laws set you free.CSL come out of narrow minded way and educate yourself about Islamic laws then harp on PAS if any change their impose unjust laws.Govt macharinary.EC rule under emergency cannot cancell election.By virture can BN use Govt machinery.Under flood the Govt agencies should had allow even asisstance

8 minutes ago · Report

docs My inference from this election is that MCA has joined the likes of PPP, MIC & Gerakan - Irrelevant BN component parties and can't deliver votes for nuts.

19 minutes ago · Report

ong taik kheng If the chances of winning had favored PR, I am absolutely certain the Tenang by-election would have been postponed.

30 minutes ago · Report

Onyourtoes Continue…Nincompoop citizens need to be told that flood is also caused by disorderly and haphazard development, corruption and other neglects. But as I said, let them rot; it is ok, I think life is not too bad at this stage. I am sorry TBH have to suffer a thankless death. I hope we shall have no more TBH. It is not worth it. Let the people rot.

31 minutes ago · Report

Onyourtoes Continue…Malaysians can live through injustices and unnecessary custody death without any qualm. Malaysians can tolerate the most blatant abuse of power and corruption so long as they are not personally affected (they actually can’t see it, not that they are not affected in any way). Malaysians can drive through a three hours jam or flooded roads so long as the cars they are driving are either Mercedes or BMW. We are greedy people devoid of any sense of justice, good governance and fair play. You know what – why bother to fight for them in the first play. Let them rot. The flood in Tenang should last a little longer and may be a little more severe. We shall see who are going to provide them with boats, umbrella, food and shelter now. Of course nincompoop citizens can only relate flood to heavy rain and act of god. continue..

32 minutes ago · Report

Onyourtoes ///Yet if yesterday's polls are illustrative, the parties have to step up their game and give more responsible and positive options to voters to deserve the level of national commitment to Malaysia's future that the Tenang voters showed by voting despite having to wade through very muddy waters///. I really don’t quite understand your last paragraph. What other more responsible and positive options Malaysians deserve? What national commitment to Malaysia’s future are you talking about? As far as I can see, there is only one simple option to gain votes – cans of Milo, cheap biscuits and RM50 angpow. Did we not see these are the most effective weapons? Malaysians have no feeling and conviction on anything worthwhile. I am not a politician or going to stand for election, so let me say my piece. Continue…

32 minutes ago · Report

Observer of Johor Majority of Tenang voters voted for flood. So, they deserve it.

an hour ago · Report

sincere citizen To BN Tenang voters you all have asked for it.

an hour ago · Report

Sunday, January 30, 2011

SOS Malaysian Voters please help bring change

The events unfolding in Tenang by-election in Johore again illustrated the huge odds those striving for positive change in Malaysia are up against. Not only were the police, Fire Departments, etc, that were mobilized to help ferry voters to the polling stations discriminating against those perceived to be opposition supporters and not deploying or deploying minimal help to perceived opposition strongholds, the wastepapers (terms I now use to refer to the MSM newspapers) and even the online news site the Malaysian Insiders failed to report this discrimination that was only reported by Malaysiakini (they deserve our support for true journalism) as you can see in the article reproduced below courtesy of Malaysiakini: Pakatan decries selective assistance to voters.

Reforms (positive changes) will not be easily achieved in Malaysia and those struggling against such odds really need the support of Malaysians and this is a SOS call to them to mobilize and help in whatever way they can to speed up this uphill battle:

 

Pakatan decries selective assistance to voters

Kuek Ser Kuang Keng
Jan 30, 11
4:50pm

10 friends can read this story for free

The day-long downpour in Tenang had caused flooding in many areas across this rural constituency in Johor, rendering several of the 12 polling stations inaccessible to voters.
Pakatan Rakyat complained that this had significantly reduced the turnout of Chinese voters, considered the 'vote bank' for the opposition.
NONEAlthough police, army, the Civil Defence Department and various government agencies had been deployed to assist the voters to get to the polling stations, Pakatan leaders are upset that the assistance were not provided equally to all.
According to them, more transportation facilities were deployed in Felda areas, which are BN strongholds.
"Why are there no boats to ferry the voters in Labis town, which is also flooded, but Felda gets all the police and fire department boats?" asked DAP publicity chief Tony Pua in a tweet message.
BN secured 80 percent of votes in the three Felda settlements in Tenang in the 2008 general election.
“The failure to provide sufficient boats and trucks, and distribute them evenly across all polling districts will severely tilt the outcome of this by-election.
"The police and army should not just provide their assistance to selective areas because the flood is everywhere in the constituency." he added when contacted by Malaysiakini.

'Opposition voters discriminated'

At least two polling stations - SMK Kamarul Ariffin and Kampung Paya Merah multi-purpose hall in Labis town - were inaccessible due to high water level.
The former is the polling station for Bandar Labis Tengah polling district while the other is polling station for Bandar Labis Timur polling district - both predominantly Chinese areas which were won by PAS in the last general election.
NONEOut of 12 polling districts, PAS won in three - all of which are Chinese-majority areas - in the last general election.
In addition, Johor DAP Youth chief Tan Hong Pin claimed that the army trucks that went into Chinese residential areas had refused to fetch voters whom they suspect were opposition supporters.
"It happened at Kampung Paya Merah," claimed Tan when contacted.
Johor DAP Wanita chief Chew Peck Choo also alleged that army trucks had selectively picked up voters based on their ethnicity.
"PAS supporters complained to me that the army trucks refused to pick up opposition supporters or were slow in picking them up," she told Malaysiakini.
NONEAccording to Selangor DAP Youth publicity chief Lim Swee Kuan, as of 3pm, the voters turnout at Tenang Station polling district was 47.72 percent and 54.69 percent for Bandar Labis Timur - way below the average turnout rate of 65.19 percent.
Tenang Station is another Chinese-majority polling station, but this area was won by BN in 2004.
DAP Serdang MP Teo Nie Ching had openly decried that the turnout rate in Chinese areas reached only 20 percent at 1pm compared with 50 percent in the Malay-majority Felda settlements. The overall turnout rate at 1pm was 55.36 percent.
In her micro-blogging website Twitter, Teo posted several mobile numbers of DAP helpers and called on Chinese voters to contact them for transportation to get to their polling station.
"Urgent! Chinese voters turnout rate is very low. Pakatan candidate needs your vote, please called on your friends, relatives and neighbours to go and vote as soon as possible," she posted.

No suspension of polls, says EC

According to reports, Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Aziz Yusof said there will be extension of the polling period.
Although some roads leading to the polling stations had been cut off by floods, government agencies are helping to fetch the voters with their heavy vehicles and boats, said Abdul Aziz.
He said that no polling stations will be closed.
NONEExtension of polling time is not allowed under the current election law, added EC deputy chairperson Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.
Meanwhile, Johor PAS deputy commissioner and Tenang election director Dzulkefly Ahmad toldMalaysiakini that PAS is trying their best to mobilise their supporters to vote before polling comes to a close at 5pm.
"I have contacted EC and they said they will stick to their original plan."
PAS has yet to decide whether the polling should be called off, he said.
Asked whether the low turnout would jeopardise PAS' support, Dzulkefly said a low turnout of Chinese voters would benefit BN, but if Malay voters were affected than it would be an advantage to PAS.
NONE"However, the Chinese voters turnout so far has been low. We are mobilising our machinery to get them to vote."
"We are also working hand-in-hand with the EC to help get the voters to the polling stations."
Johor DAP chief Dr Boo Cheng Hau too was worried.
"We are worry about the low turnout of Chinese voters because they are our vote bank. We are doing our best to send four-wheel drive vehicles to fetch them.
"We also asked EC to inform the marine police and Civil Defence Department to send their boats and heavy trucks to fetch the voters," he said when contacted.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin had said earlier today that the floods might affect the coalition's chances of winning big.

Comments 1 to 15 of 15

dood Only Felda settlers and not Chinese townfolk get assistance to go to the polling station because everyone knows that all Felda settlers are poor and need government aid while all Chinese people are filthy rich, nevermind that the Felda settlers are living in bungalows in their own big plot of land and the Chinese are living in shoplots.

an hour ago · Report

tailek Pakatan, no point crying over spilt milk. Everybody knows the Govt machinery is selective when it comes to assisting their own supporters in Felda areas which is their fixed deposit. Felda settlers has been seduced by all the freebies especially during by-election time and even got more flood assistnace to get to the polling station. That is a given, so just accept the result and move on. Don't lose heart. The weather was kind to BN yesterday but it will not always be that way. BN may have won a battle in Tenang but they have not won the war yet. Better for Pakatan to prepare for the main GE coming up.

1 hours ago · Report

ahmike i feel like the "act of god" is already telling the voters becareful on who you vote. Every action has a equal reaction.

11 hours ago · Report

Anonymous_40f4 Every year billions of ringgit are pumped into DID for flood mitigation.Where does all the money go because the floods are always there?The Client @ agent and contractor become very rich,thats all.

13 hours ago · Report

Anonymous317_bd Anonymous, who owns the boats is not important. PK has also shown that if it does not favor them they will not do it. So don't pretend like BN is not fair. Clear point is calling all BN supporters names and vote selling and so on. Is this the way to win the rakyat ? The Opposition is no better than the BN, so let things be. In Selangor they wanted to ban the 1Malaysia slogan, they took down Najib's banner welcoming him, the did not allow use of a hall, and you still they are impartial ?

16 hours ago · Report

Black Mamba A responsible EC shoould have call off the election seeing the water level have risen to the height of a four wheel drive engine. Either BN is bloody sure of victory that it don't warrant an emergency. If this by election win for BN is an indicator of a larger snap poll, BN better hold on to thier horses as the Malaysian public has seen that they are using the govt machinery for their optimum advantage disregarding the non Malay electorates and it will certainly back fire when the state election is held again during GE13.

16 hours ago · Report

Onyourtoes Why no suspension of poll? Because it favours BN? Look, if PR is expected to win, I am sure the EC will suspend the poll and fight another day.

16 hours ago · Report

Kit Carson Aiyoho Mahyudin, looks like you can't get your 5000 majority...now you will say 'act of God' so you don't have to resign or perform hara kiri...

17 hours ago · Report

Anonymous Anonymous317_bd before you say anything in your post make sure you are certain who own those boats. Are those boats Government properties or BN properties? If BN own those boats what's credit is it to BN when everybody knows BN has more resources?So how is PR to provide boats to voters when it's neither the Government nor resource rich? corruption?If those boats are Government boats(which I think they are) then you have to ask what makes one area more Malaysia then another?"As though if you all had boats you will ferry BN supporters to the polls." Is it customary for you to accuse people for something that have not happened yet and may not happen at all?

17 hours ago · Report

pity him !!!!! To beat the bastards you need to be really prepared but alas you don't have the resources. So it's no use to bemoan nature's call to tilt the bastardly ways. Swallow the 'bullet' and prepare for GE.

17 hours ago · Report

penangmari I think the writer should ask the Pakatan fellows why PAS is not providing transport for its so called supporters? This is the normal trend in elections.

17 hours ago · Report

Anonymous317_bd ghkok, floods are a acts of God. Kindly don't tell the rakyat in your stupid post that PKR can solve floods like they have a direct line with the lord. You are a stupid person with a opposition mentality, make excuses for why your opponent is usless, but not why you are better. Pua , Going to lose go quietly la. After all if you cannot prepare to have boats run your voters to the polls , how can you help the rakyat if you win. So next best thing which the opposition have been doing all along is before losing start giving excuses why . As though if you all had boats you will ferry BN supporters to the polls.

17 hours ago · Report

penangmari I think the writer should ask Pakatan fellows why Pas is not providing transport to their so called supporters?

17 hours ago · Report

Thisia what is there to be so surprised of? as usual the "DOGS" just doing their jobs, so that they will get their "BONES" + "SHIT" once everything is over. So they will make sure that their masters can win in anyway.

17 hours ago · Report

ghkok Ok, 2 comments : 1. the pictures show flooding .. quite bad. After 53 years of BN rule, the residents of Tenang is still putting up with these floods. I know some people will say even US and australia floods. But US and Australia is experiencing unprecedented amounts of rainfall, never before encountered. Whereas in Msia, we are perpetually inundated with rain. It's nothing new. It has been raining like this since 53 years ago. AND YET, places like Tenang continues to flood. AND YET, people continue to vote BN (or so they say). AND YET, things remain the same ... irrigation and drainage never improved, no dredging of river, just like Sibu. 2. if the flood is as bad as what it shows in the photos, surely the RIGHT thing to do is to SUSPEND the by-election so as not to risk the lifes of voters, EC personnel, volunteers and rescuers, and everyone concerned. SURELY, LIFE is more important.

17 hours ago · Report

Monday, January 24, 2011

AB Sulaiman calls Markom a liar (or a Malay on the Malay Disease)

Here is another Malaysian who called the Johor Education Department director Markom Giran a bare face liar. Not only did AB Sulaiman called Markom a liar for denying he was campaigning for UMNO/BN, he also described what he sees of the Malay Mind.

Article below courtesy of Malayisakini: Markom and the Malay disease:

 

Markom and the Malay disease

AB Sulaiman
Jan 24, 11
11:32am

COMMENT One of the saddest things to witness is when government servants perform their public duties in direct conflict with their terms and reference. The recent case of Markom Giran, the Johor Education Department director caught on videocanvassing his teachers to vote for the Barisan Nasional (more pointedly, Umno) in the next election has been one such thing.

NONETo me this is a blatant abuse of authority and power. A responsible public servant should be apolitical, or neutral to any political party. He should instead focus his professionalism, performance of duty and dedication to his career as an educator, and his loyalty to the people at large.

To make this matter worse, Markom has basically resorted to thedenial mode (i.e. lies) when contacted byMalaysiakini. “I did not campaign. I was speaking to my subordinates. It is our right to identify which (political parties) our teachers are supporting,” he reportedly said.

“If they are found to be against the government, we will call them up and send them for courses to let them understand that a government servant should not be against government policy,” he stated further, hinting that it's compulsory and mandatory for teachers to support the government.

His blind and unquestioning loyalty to the ruling Barisan Nasional party coalition (and specifically Umno) is his way of showing his understanding of the country's democratic laws and constitution.

So does his willingness and readiness to lie. So in all likelihood he must have felt satisfied with this denial (and lie), folded his arms in defiance and said to himself 'Now I have done my bit in support of 'agama, bangsa, dan negara'.

Features of ethnocentrism

Markom's fanatical loyalty to Umno reminds me again of the features of the Malay mind, specifically ethnocentrism, that I have articulated in an earlier article 'the Malay problem is the root of the nation's problem'. At the risk of inviting duplication and boredom, I'd mention it again, to wit, that typical Malay mind is ethnocentric. It is a closed mind.

This closed mind has many features and tendencies and I shall mention just four:

One, it tends to be hyperbolic with its own characters and features.

azlanTo illustrate, Markom will be the first to say (i) that the Malay 'race' is the best in the world; and (ii) Islam is the best religion also in the world.

Secondly, this mindset is overly protective of the status quo. His show of active support of the ruling party is a perfect example.

Thirdly, it is very uncomfortable with any movement from the status quo, otherwise known as change. It is afraid of new things. When such new things do come (like in this case, the right of teachers to choose their representative in the political arena) they are rejected.
Fourthly, this mentality tends to have an exclusive idea about things. What this means is that an idea, thing or situation comes in two, either black, or white; right or wrong; either you are for me or you are against me. To this mind there is nothing between black or white.

There are other features and characteristics of ethnocentrism of course and I would not list all of them. But from what has been exposed above it is persuasive to state that it is a mental deficiency. And since it is pervasive in the ketuanan Melayu polity, it can justifiably be termed as the 'Malay disease'.

Indeed columnist Dean Johns in his writing 'Hypocrisy and poxy proxies' has also given this mental condition a label, 'pox populi,' with the possible exception that my label relates to the Malay polity while pox populi refers to impact of the Malay disease to the national polity.

People suffering from the Malay disease to me are pitiful. They have this monistic mind. To them reality consists of one basic substance or element and Markom shows it when he appears to lump many elements (e.g. in his case the government with Umno) into one.

They are incapable of intellectualising. Meaning, they do not have the mental venue and ability to look for alternatives, for the myriad of colours between black and white. To them whatever have been handed down by their elders are right and must be revered and preserved. They inherited Malay culture, so this must be the best culture in the world and must be preserved. Islam is the best religion, so its sanctity must be preserved and protected.

Mainly, they are ever ready and willing to abuse power, and do all sorts to unethical behaviour to preserve the status quo all in the name of the higher ideals of race, religion and the country.

Can there be any cure for this disease? Of course, though a large part of it must come from within the Malay polity itself. There must first be awareness from among the Malay entity of its existence.

Then there must be the awareness that his collective culture is suffering from it. Thirdly, there is the willingness for the collective Malay to go for therapy.

But judging by the attitudes and posture of public servants like Markom the way ahead is not going to be easy and well-meaning Malaysians will have to suffer a bit more from pox populi.

AB SULAIMAN is an observer of human traits and foibles, especially within the context of religion and culture. As a liberal, he marvels at the way orthodoxy fights to maintain its credibility in a devilishly fast-changing world. He hopes to provide some understanding to the issues at hand and wherever possible, suggest some solutions. He holds a Bachelor in Social Sciences (Leicester, UK) and a Diploma in Public Administration, Universiti Malaya.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

An opportunity lost or action worthy of praise?

This article in Malaysiakini: A BN vote bank aided by Pakatan helps reinforce belief that while evil politicians still abounds, there are still honest many great politicians especially those from the opposite side of the now evil (they may have been good before) UMNO/BN (meaning Pakatan Rakyat) who are not in the political arena mainly because of personal interest and I hope that if ever another person come to me saying “Ah all the politicians are the same lah), this will be a reinforcement of my rejoinder to them that not all people (in this case politicians) do the same thing with the same motive.

Perhaps Dr Kumar (wonder if he is Christian) and the others including PAS members are knowing or unknowingly doing what Jesus asked his followers to do, perform your charitable work in the dark.

But if you happen to chance onto this post, hope you would leave your comment anonymously or otherwise whether you agree with Terence Netto that it is an opportunity lost especially now that those who are struggling to bring badly needed reforms to Malaysia while facing such a formidable foe with huge financial resources cum aid of compliant civil servants cum important institutions that Pakatan Rakyat has lost a golden opportunity by being so humble and not wanting to take advantage of good deed done:

A BN vote bank is aided by Pakatan

Terence Netto
Jan 22, 11
10:59am

The Temiar of Sungai Siput have long been a reliable vote bank for the BN, something like 9,000 of them domiciled on the banks of tributaries of the Sungai Perak that crisscross the constituency, giving the ruling coalition 99 percent of the vote in the general election of 1999, 96 percent in 2004, and 90 percent in 2008.
In all that time, the recipient of this largesse, MIC's S Samy Vellu, confined reciprocation to the giving out of presents to headmen while the Orang Asli Department (JHEOA) periodically supplemented the trickle with handouts.
Apparently, from whom a lot is given little is required.
A rather bleak situation, one might say, to a prospective MP trying to break the cycle of servitude in which the Temiar are immured.
penang psm dinner 181210 jeyakumar devarajBut Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), since 1999 a rival claimant to S Samy Vellu for the allegiance of Sungai Siput's voters, decided that even if naught is to be had for service to the Temiar by an opposition politician, service must still be rendered.
Thus when the 400 Temiar of some 50 households in Kampong Perje in Pos Legap needed money in 2009 to buy new cables to secure a rickety bridge over the Sungai Pelus, used by them to ferry the latex they tapped from rubber trees off the banks, they approached their newly elected MP.
“We decided that because their conditions were wretched, their needs overrode other considerations such as their solid support for the BN,” said Jeyakumar, who was elected in March 2008 on a wave for the opposition that year.
NONE“Also, representatives of Kampong Perje continued to attend meetings we held to discuss Orang Asli needs even after the fall of the Pakatan state government in February 2009,” he said. “Reps from other Orang Asli villages kept away out of fear,” he added.
Popularly known as 'Dr Kumar', the PSM activist had made forays into Orang Asli villages deep in the interior of Sungai Siput even when he was not their elected MP prior to 2008, to see what could done for them.
NONE“They are a terribly marginalised group and they needed all the help they can get,” he rationalized.
So when Pos Legap's Temiar wanted new cables for a dilapidated bridge, Dr Kumar and his crew of PSM stalwarts in Sungai Siput decided that it would be better to build a new bridge a kilometer away from the site of the old one.
“The old one was too rickety,” he said. “There was little point in shoring it up with new cables.”
But where to get the money for the new bridge, given that opposition MPs are deprived by the federal government of constituency allocations rendered to the tune of RM2 million a year to BN legislators?
PAS leader steps in to help
Dr Kumar, who was elected on a PKR ticket because PSM was not yet a registered political party in March 2008, asked help from his Pakatan Rakyat cohort in Sungai Siput.
NONEThe PAS leader in the constituency, Ahmad Mazlan Othman, a retired army engineer who had been a candidate for the Lintang state seat in the 1999 and 2004 elections, was instrumental in getting his party to contribute RM5,000 to the overall cost of the new bridge which was estimated at RM70,000.
The rest of the budget was raised from the MP allowances for Dr Kumar (RM35,000), from sundry friends of his (RM20,000) and from two Catholic groups (RM10,000).
In short, the money for the new bridge came out of a Pakatan-like collaborative effort by assorted groups. From whom much is deprived, not a little can be got.
Construction of the bridge, which was supervised at every stage by Ahmad Mazlan, began in August 2009.
NONEA squad of PAS volunteers helped out at every stage of the construction. PSM activists M Sukumaran, M Augustine, S Nagentiran and Alexis Paulraj did turns helping out with the technical and other inputs.
Jointly and severally, this motley crew pooled their slender resources which Ahmad, with his professional expertise, ably marshaled to bring the bridge to near completion.
“There is only a little more work left to be finished,” said Dr Kumar, “which Ahmad says would be completed this weekend or over the next.”
NONEThere will be no opening ceremony for this bridge that a Pakatan-like 'gotong royong' has almost brought to pass for the Temiar of Pos Legap and no plaques to honour the selfless band involved in its conception and construction.
Whether the bridge would shift the Temiar's voting allegiance is a question of some irrelevance to Dr Kumar.
“The wretched must inherit the earth,” said Dr Kumar in typically socialistic, Franz Fanon-like, style.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Will Indians still vote for UMNO/BN?

Hindraf has complained that Indians form the great majority of those who died in police custody and only recently there was another case – a wireman M Krishnan which initial post mortem said died from complications arising from a stomach ulcer. However, the family complained that Krishnan body was covered with bruises leading to suspicion of torture and assaults and it took much protests before the police changed their mind over a second post mortem.

Despite all this, how will Indians vote in the upcoming Tenang by-election. Will they still be fooled by the APCO inspired public relations by Najib?

Article below courtesy of Malaysiakini: Second post-mortem on custodial death victim:

Second post-mortem on custodial death victim

Zaidatul Syreen Abdul Rashid
Jan 21, 11
11:34am

The body of the wireman who was found dead in the Bukit Jalil police station on Jan 7 was officially sent in for its second post-mortem at Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC)at 12.09pm, after it was re-identified by a younger brother, M Panirselvam, 32.
The hospital's Pathology Unit head Dr K Mathiharen was then given the green light to proceed with the post-mortem on M Krishnan, 37, with the POL61 Form from the police force.

Mathiharen said the process would take six to seven hours.

NONE"We will wait for the outcome of this second post-mortem. But no matter what, we still have an eye-witness to the assaults, and of Krishnan not getting medical treatment while he was still alive and in pain," the family's lawyer N Surendren said.
"I also suggest the home minister himself smells out death-in-custody bodies himself, to see what the police force has done... you won't know the hurt until it hits your family."
He wants the home minister to explain the tortures inflicted on and the deaths of detainees in police custody.
Surendren also said if the on-going post-mortem showed police brutality as the cause of Krishnan's death, he would demand immediate action from the attorney-general.
"If (this is) proven, the family will sue the government of Malaysia and the PDRM. The AG must take immediate action against those involved," he added.
NONEKapar MP S Manikavasagam, who also turned up at the hospital, said Krishnan's body would be taken to the Bukit Jalil police station for prayers on Sunday, before proceeding to the Cheras Crematorium in Kuala Lumpur.


"I warn the police force... do not intimidate or create any problems on Sunday, especially when the family wants to perform prayers for Krishnan at the site inside the Bukit Jalil police station where he was found dead.


"I am warning them not to intimidate anyone or cause problems, as such in Kugan's case before. I believe a lot of people will turn up to give their support for Krishnan. Their job is to just watch the traffic," he said.

Meanwhile, widow P Revathi said she was glad that the second post-mortem was finally taking place.
The family is expected to claim Krishnan's body from UMMC at 10 am tomorrow.

Both the police and the attorney-general two days ago allowed the family's request for the second post-mortem, in a settlement recorded before High Court judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah.


The first post-mortem, conducted at HUKM, concluded that complications related to a stomach ulcer to be the cause of Krishnan's death.


The family claims that Krishnan's body was covered with bruises, and also had an open cut on the right abdomen and contusion i the right eye.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Wow! Umi Hafilda could have helped UMNO/BN win more March 08?

You heard what Umi Hafilda said according to PKR vice-president N Surendran. He referred to Ummi Hafilda's outrageous claim that the opposition victory in March 2008 in winning four new states and retaining Kelantan was due to her absence from the electoral campaign, thus saying she said a lot of malicious things but made little sense.

Wow! You believe had Umi Hafilda came out to campaign for UMNO/BN, PR would not have prevented UMNO/BN from losing their customary two-third majority in Parliament?

Articles below taken from Malaysiakini’s Umi Hafilda a new low for BN with their permission:

Ummi Hafilda 'a new low for BN'

Jan 15, 11 12:50pm

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Newly-appointed PKR vice-president N Surendran has expressed surprise that the ruling BN has gone even lower than it had ever gone before, in prepping the public for the next general election in resurrecting the 'colourful' Ummi Hafilda Ali.
snakes pc 210307 n surendranAfter trying since 1998 to demonise and eliminate Anwar Ibrahim and the opposition reformasi movement from the political scene by recourse to the police force and the judiciary, said Surendran, the “increasingly desperate” BN has now taken to reviving Ummi Hafilda, that “faded and vaguely sinister figure” from Anwar's first sodomy trial.
Recounting Ummi Hafilda's press conference last Thursday after a 13-year hiatus from the public limelight, Surendran said the sister of PKR number two Mohd Azmin Ali “exuded a great deal of malice but made very little sense.”
He was referring to Ummi Hafilda's outrageous claim that the opposition victory in March 2008 in winning four new states and retaining Kelantan was due to her absence from the electoral campaign.
Ummi Hafilda had also threatened to sue Anwar and several others, but making only vague reference to the abuse of power that Anwar had earlier been convicted of and imprisoned.
Otherwise, said Surendran, “there appears to be no legal cause of action known to our jurisprudence to support her ridiculous claim.”

'Foolish woman'

Surendran said bringing out Ummi Hafilda and having her “dusted off” is significant given Anwar's challenge recently to debate Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over matters of national economic policy-making.
“Instead of engaging in an open and free discussion of national issues with the leader of the opposition, the BN chooses to respond by digging up the mouldering bones of an old and discredited slander.
NONE“Oppressive and dishonest, the BN advances its political agenda by engaging in sordid conspiracies against its political opponents.
“Unable and unwilling to engage in free political discourse, the BN constantly seeks to use state powers to criminalise and destroy its opponents,” said Surendran.
“Trotting out this foolish woman just as the general election looms closer is surely a new low even for the BN government,” he added.
Surendran said BN's antics were typical of the behaviour of "tyrants".
“But like so many other tyrannies, this one too shall come to an end, and our nation will shake off the restraints imposed by BN and stride forward to meet its great destiny.”

UMNO sponsored Umi Hafilda's press conference? Your verdict

Previouw post asked: Umi Hafilda or Azmin Ali: Who would you believe?. Now there are more things to chew over for a conclusion.

According to a Puchong PKR member who attended the event expressed surprise at how the whole press conference:

"There were so many Umno members that the whole event was suspicious. Also, they outnumbered the reporters."

"It was the Umno members who were shooting her with questions… this is something unusual."

"Even the questions were not the kind the reporters would ask. One question posed was: why did Anwar go to Azmin Ali’s house to bathe his daughter Afifa? Malaysian reporters don’t ask such unethical questions."

"Every time Ummi Hafilda attacked Anwar and Wan Azizah, the Umno boys shouted and cheered like it was all a big Umno party."

"Ummi Hafilda also failed to describe the kind of suits she would file against Anwar and his team."

So looks like the conclusion is pretty straitht forward isn't it?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Ummi Hafilda or Azmin Ali: Who would you believe?

Ummi Hafilda Ali trained her machine gun at his brother Azmin Ali as well as Anwar Ibrahim, saying she wants to save the country from Anwar. Among her claims were that Anwar fathered an illegitimate child with Shamsidar, the wife of her brother Azmin Ali.

Now this is not a fresh allegation but was subject of a court case where the author of 50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot be PM in which the author of the book Khalid Jafri was found guilty of publishing false information under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984. In the trial, DNA tests proved that Shamsidar and Azmin were the biological parents of the child and not Anwar. So based on this, is Ummi telling the truth? You judge.

Article below, Ummi reignites family fued reproduces with kind permission of Malaysiakini:

Ummi reignites family fued

Jan 13, 11 8:56pm

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After a 13 year hiatus, Ummi Hafilda Ali has resurfaced to launch a fresh assault on her nemesis Anwar Ibrahim and her brother Azmin Ali during a press conference today.
NONEBacked by eight 'supporters' who jeered whenever journalists posed tough questions to her, Ummi Hafilda was a picture of calm as she delivered a flurry of fresh and renewed allegations against the duo during the one-hour long session.
Chief among her allegations were aimed at Azmin's wife Shamsidar Taharin.
Among others, Ummi Hafilda claimed that Shamsidar was appointed to a high ranking post in a bank through dubious means by Anwar when he was finance minister.
“I will submit such evidence to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) soon. You will all be informed of this.
"I am also prepared to swear and take an oath on the Quran on this just as what Mohd Saiful (Bukhari Azlan) did,” she said, referring to the alleged complainant in Anwar's ongoing second sodomy trial.
Ummi Hafilda also repeated allegations that Anwar and Shamsidar had an illegitimate child.
“You can compare the picture of this daughter with Azmin's other children,” she said.
This allegation was first raised in Khalid Jafri's book 50 Reasons Why Anwar Cannot be PM in 1998. In 2005, he was found guilty under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 for publishing false information.
During the course of the trial, it was determined that DNA tests showed that Azmin and Shamsidar was the biological parents of the child in question.
Azmin soured family ties
Ummi Hafilda also accused Azmin of souring family ties by distancing himself.
“Before Azmin and Shamsidar went for the haj pilgrimage last year, they met mother. Mother had advised them to repent. I heard Shamsidar saying they will.
“However, despite all the allegations (it was) I that have been described as an outcast in the family. This is not true as I am close with the family but it is Azmin who chose to distance himself,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ummi Hafilda also attempted to paint Azmin as a one-time loyalist of former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
NONE“When Azmin was 25, he would follow Mahathir anywhere. Mahathir had even visited and shortly tended Azmin when he lost his kidney. Yet, Azmin had turned against Mahathir later,” she said while showing three pictures of Azmin with Mahathir.
Training her guns on Anwar, Ummi Hafilda described him as a hypocrite who had enriched himself and his cronies.
She alleged that through Azmin, Anwar had attempted to offer her RM30 million to retract her allegations related to the first sodomy trial.
"I declined the offer as I know Anwar's true character and I am a patriot. You can also ask KS Nallakarupan," she said, referring to Anwar's former tennis buddy turned enemy.
To a question, Ummi Hafilda denied claims that she was being sponsored by former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin, Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and former Malacca Chief Minister Rahim Tamby Chik.
“There is no truth to such claims. I did not receive anything from Umno or (Prime Minister) Najib (Abdul Razak),” she said.
'Anwar is afraid of me'
To another question, Ummi Hafilda said that she will campaign for Umno and BN if she receives an invitation to do so.
“If anyone is willing to invite me, I will go. Some may say Anwar is a great orator but I know he is afraid of me,” she said.
She said that during the 2008 general elections, she stayed out of the fray and this led to Anwar campaigning "arrogantly".
“You see Anwar spreading lies and because of this the opposition won five states. If I go around the country campaigning that will be the end of Anwar because I know his secrets,” she said.
Ummi Hafilda said she did not help former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the election campagin as he had attacked Mahathir and introduced questionable policies.
“I am a patriot and that is why in my blog I also attack Pak Lah(Abdullah), when he attacked Mahathir's policies,” he said.

Ummi wants to 'save the country' from Anwar

Respect voice of Selangor citizens (Press conference)

Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor

Civil Society and Selangorians to hold public rally to pressure Chief Secretary to declare Khusrin’s appointment null and void

THE Civil Society and Selangorians have come together to form the group Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor (HSRS), which is strictly a rakyat initiated effort, to show their disappointment and anger over the appointment of Datuk Mohd Khusrin Munawi as the new Selangor state secretary.

The group, formed on January 11, 2011, will hold a public rally soon to pressure the Chief Secretary to the Barisan Nasional federal government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Haji Hassan, to declare Khusrin’s appointment null and void.

Information on the public rally and HSRS will be revealed at the press conference this Friday.

Details of the press conference are as follows:
Date: January 14, 2011 (Friday)
Time: 11.00am
Venue: KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Kuala Lumpur

We would appreciate your sending your journalists to attend this press conference. For further details, please contact Aloysius Pinto at 016 2778418.

Regards,

Haris Ibrahim

President
Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM)
On behalf of Hormati Suara Rakyat Selangor

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Najib: This is what civil societies Teoh’s family wants

RCI to investigate Teoh Beng Hock’s death: I hope the civil societies and the Malaysian public do not let APCO Najib get away with another useless expensive public relation exercise funded with public money. After all Najib had already blown countless millions on PR to improve his and UMNO/BN’s image plus billions on useless military spending including those useless Scorpene submarines.

Najib should not waste money on an RCI to investigate violations of Teoh Beng Hock’s human rights, a fact already known. This is what Teoh Beng Hock’s family, the civil societies and the Malaysian public wants

1. 7 trusted prominent citizens named below

2.  Selection panel for RCI to include Teoh’s family

3. Terms of reference finalized with consultation with Teoh’s family and to include investigating cause of death and those responsible

4. Investigate allegations of torture, illegal detention and other misconducts by MACC

Article below courtesy of Malaysiakini: NGOs propose 7 for Teoh Beng Hock RCI:

 

NGOs propose 7 for Beng Hock RCI

S Pathmawathy
Jan 11, 11
12:52pm

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Civil society groups have proposed a list of "potential commissioners" for the royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the events leading to the death of DAP political aide Teoh Beng Hock.

The 120 NGOs, led by the KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), also backed the Malaysians for Beng Hock Movement.

They stressed that the government should appoint individuals who:
- are outstanding and professional figures with high integrity;
- have a proven track record of defending human rights; and
- have relevant experience in the area of human rights, law enforcement, judiciary and non-governmental activism.

The individuals propazlanosed include former deputy prime minister and Suhakam chairperson Musa Hitam, former Bar Council presidents Ambiga Sreenevasan and Raja Aziz Addruse and former Court of Appeal judge NH Chan.

Also suggested were former inspector-general of police Haniff Omar, Tenaganita director Irene Fernandez and former Malaysian Medical Association president Dr Ronald McCoy.

The NGOs further proposed that a panel of individuals be set up to select the RCI members.

The selection panel should include representatives of Teoh's family, the Bar Council, the Selangor government and the human rights community.

This, they said, would ensure "full consultation and credibility”.
They also insisted that the federal government must not finalise the terms of the RCI or announce its membership without consulting the Teoh family, Selangor state government and the human rights community.
"Otherwise, the RCI will be seen as a public relations exercise of the federal government, with its independence and credibility called into question even before embarking on its task," said Lawyers for Liberty representative Fadiah Nadwa Fikri.
azlanTeoh had been called in as a witness by the Selangor MACC on July 15, 2009 over allegations of irregularities into the use of funds by members of the Pakatan Rakyat-led state government.
He was found dead the following morning on the fifth-floor landing of Plaza Masalam, Shah Alam.The Selangor MACC's office is located on the 14th floor.
Last week Coroner Azmil Muntapha Abas declared an open verdict on Teoh's cause of death after an 18-month inquest.

Last week, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak announced the formation of a RCI to determine whether the MACC had breached procedures and violated human rights when interrogating Teoh.

'Terms of reference'

Najib is expected to announce the terms of reference for the RCI and the names of commissioners tomorrow.

Civil society groups want the terms of references to include the cause of Teoh's death, "especially identifying the cause of bruise which appeared on his neck".

"(The RCI must) identify thrights group on shooting deaths 041210 fadiah nadwa fikrie political, administrative and criminal responsibility of all individuals or institutions whose decisions and acts had directly or indirectly led to the death of Teoh and recommend specific actions to charge or penalise these individuals," said Fadiah Nadwa (right).
"(It must investigate) other allegations of torture, illegal detention and other misconduct by MACC if and when necessary and propose reforms to the formal procedures of the actual practices in MACC's investigation and interrogation."

Other concerns highlighted were a review of the MACC's investigation protocols to be in tandem with human rights standards and international best practices.
Tan Yew Sin, president of civil right committee of KLSCAH, added that Teoh's death was a "well publicised" matter but the open verdict could not resolve the doubts of the people.
"The RCI must ensure to rekindle public confidence in the system," said Tan
The Bar Council's human right committee chairperson Andrew Khoo added that the RCI may not be adequate to end the issue at hand if the terms were ones that were specific.
"There has to be a wider range of terms of reference," he said.

Khoo also expressed doubt as to whether the government has the "political will" to implement the RCI's recommendations when the inquiry ends.