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Protestors Make Their Voice Heard At Hydro-Power Conference

Posted: 23 May 2013 11:30 AM PDT

However, they gathered in protest outside and made their voices heard and their presence felt anyway.

Taib had made provision for a group of selected stooges from Murum and elsewhere to be allowed inside the conference to give an impression of native support.

However, at least 300 demonstrators had made their way to Kuching to protest outside and they claim that it is they who represent the majority of their people and they demanded to know why they too have not been allowed representatives to attend the International Hydropower Conference?


Baram's contested seat

Thanks to today's protest International delegates from the dam building industry can no longer be in any doubt that if they get involved in SCORE they are betraying the 'Sustainability Protocol' they claim to uphold.

This Protocol requires proper information for and consent from native communities affected by dams; proper environmental assessments and an overall consensus that there is no sensible alternative to a dam being built.

None of this has been achieved with any of Sarawak's dams so far, including the Murum Dam now completing construction.

To the contrary, Taib's extraordinary SCORE programme is being pushed through against massive native opposition and with no justification other than that the Chief Minister reckons it is a pretty fine way to get even richer than he already is.


Richard Taylor, the Executive Director of the International Hydropower Association comes out to say he is 'listening' 

The dispute over the results in the Baram seat at the recent election is also a heightened embarrassment.

Taib will want to tell delegates that he won this seat and that this shows the popularity of his projects.  However, everyone in Malaysia knows Baram is the most disputed of the marginal seats that are now coming under scrutiny for blatant rigging earlier this month.

Usual intimidation by riot police, but the occasion passed off peacefully

This rigging concern comes on top of the existing gerrymandering and the refusal to enfranchise well over half the population in key areas and also after the outrageous bribery of impoverished voters.

Despite such disadvantages and the iron control of the media and all government employees by BN, the Baram count was first won by the opposition candidate Roland Engan.

Engan had fought his anti-dam focused campaign against the huge power and wealth of BN in this enormous seat, where government types travel by helicopter while the rest struggle about in longboats or on useless state roads.

But after the initial declaration in favour of Engan, the far too familiar scenario of lights going out in counting centres and disputed counts set in.  Eventually, lo and behold, when the lights came on and the 'confusion' cleared, Engan was judged by BN's tame Election Commission to have lost Baram after all, by Malaysia's slenderest majority of 198 votes!

Baram is one of the key seats that is due to be contested by PR in court and the full details of this particular scandal and of Taib's overall handling of elections in his rural seats will come under scrutiny then.

Read more at: http://www.sarawakreport.org/2013/05/protestors-make-their-voice-heard-at-hydro-power-conference/ 

Unsung Heroes of GE13

Posted: 23 May 2013 11:02 AM PDT

The 13th General Election is over and the result showed that majority of Malaysians wanted to "Ubah", that is, to see change. Many who have worked hard for it are disappointed with the outcome but we realise that we must move on and prepare ourselves for GE14.

We salute the tireless efforts of politicians and civil society leaders at the forefront of this push for change. Many of them travelled the length and breadth of this country, keeping an insane schedule for the past few months just to make themselves heard at the hundreds of ceramahs or rallies across this nation. It was almost a superhuman effort. Though they have lost the battle to take Putrajaya this time, they are still heroes of this struggle for a better Malaysia.

But this struggle is not theirs alone. Throughout these last few years and especially in the last few months in the run-up to the 5th of May, it has been my absolute privilege to have served together and to have known ordinary Malaysians from all walks of life who shares a common passion for this country. To me they are no less heroic in their efforts and their sacrifices are no less significant. I want to sing the praises of some of these unsung heroes of GE13.

  • Felicia is a Malaysian who has lived in Singapore for many years, never registered and never voted before. Just after Parliament was dissolved and election called, she checked her voting status at the SPR's website and found herself registered not only as a voter but as an advance voter in Putrajaya. Not wanting anyone to cast her vote on her behalf, on 28th April, the day advance voters were supposed to vote, she got into her car very early in the morning and drove the 340km from Singapore to Putrajaya to cast her vote by 9am and then turned around and head back to Singapore.

  • I met Boon at the campaign office of a candidate. He has volunteered himself to help out with some of the administrative stuff there and we got talking. I found out that Boon and his family have been living in the UK for many years but have keenly followed the political developments of Malaysia and decided to fly home with his wife to cast their votes, for the very first time.

There were probably thousands of folks just like Felicia and Boon, Malaysians who live and work overseas who came back to vote. Some thoughtless individuals might have considered these overseas Malaysians unpatriotic but I challenge them to find me more committed people than these, who came home at great personal expense to cast their one vote. For them it was more than a vote but a stake in the future of this country, a country they love.

  • When the call went out for volunteers to serve as polling and counting agents, literally tens of thousands of Malaysians came forward to be trained and deployed on Polling Day to do their part for a clean and fair election. Many came out with no expectation of payment and if they received any allowances for their services, they donated back these allowances. Money cannot buy such people and they can't be bought, they are priceless.

  • Thanks to the news of foreigners being flown in to vote in our election, thousands of citizens came forward to volunteer as election observers or as "ghostbusters", standing guard under hot sun or rain outside polling stations. At several of the polling stations I visited that day, I saw between 30-50 residents standing outside their own polling stations until polling ended and for some, they followed the ballot boxes all the way to the main counting centres. All this they did on their own accord without anyone telling them what to do.

  • Ariff and his friends were one of those who stood guard outside a main counting centre. At around 10.30pm they saw a taxi bringing in additional ballot carriers with a uniformed but unnumbered policeman in it. They stopped the taxi and challenged the legality of such last minute additional ballots. The taxi turned around and sped off with them in pursuit by foot.

  • In the early hours of May the 5th, a factory manager in Johor found out from his HR manager that 100 of his foreign workers were not turning up to work. They told the HR manager that their agent was coming to fetch them to collect ICs so that they could vote. The factory manager rushed to the police station to make a report and with the report he managed to stop the workers from voting. But he didn't stop there. He made copies of the police report and pass it to as many election observers as he could find so that they would be on the lookout for foreign voters. A true patriot!

  • Ben and his wife went to cast their votes early and decided to stay back to help those who were queuing up to check their salurans (channels) number. They told those who already knew their numbers to go straight to join the queue at the saluran so as to save some time. But their efforts to help were not appreciated by the SPR officer-in-charge who insisted that all must check for their salurans before queuing again to vote. They were ordered to leave but they remained outside the school gate to continue assisting those coming to vote till the end of polling at 5pm.

  • I know of a young man whose life was miraculously saved from the burning wreckage of his car seconds before it exploded on 8th April. He was hospitalised for more than 3 weeks and still suffered serious spinal injuries when polling day came. He insisted on casting his vote and was wheeled from the hospital to the polling station to cast his vote for change. A life spared, a vote counted.

Read more at: http://thomasfann.wordpress.com/2013/05/24/the-unsung-heroes-of-ge13/ 


Open Letter to those BN elected Members of Parliament with integrity and conscience

Posted: 23 May 2013 10:56 AM PDT

Dear Yang Berhomat Ahli ahli Parliament Barisan National, 

It is with much regret to go against my principle to call for your reconsideration in remaining with your coalition party, Barisan National. 

There must be a very good reason, at times, to go against one's principle for the sake of the people and nation. 

Before going into the reasoning in suggesting that you reconsider your position to remain with Barisan National let me asked a few questions in reminding you what and who you are. 

1) What is your purpose to be an elected Member of Parliament? 

2) Is high position (being a minister) and power solely or one of your motive to be an elected Member of Parliament? 

3) Have the deterioration of racial harmony and religious intolerance caught your attention? 

4) What is your priority being an elected Member of Parliament, party first or people/nation first? 

5) Can you see what is happening right now with BN especially umno? 

By answering the above questions truthfully you will know what position you are in right now. 

You can see clearly the different rhetoric perpetuated pre 505 and post 505. Pre 505 rhetoric are favoring the rakyat with tonnes of money flowing freely and unrealistic promises to garner votes. Post 505 after failing to attract the voters to its side the tone set is completely the opposite using the race card to the tilt. 

Yes, BN won 133 seats to enable it to form the federal government and with Najib swearing in with haste as the Prime Minister. Pakatan Rakyat is challenging the result claiming that they are being cheated off the win. They have every right to do so with their evidences to prove it. If you are a Malaysian living long enough in this nation you will be able to conclude what will be the outcome, but, today we are not talking about Pakatan Rakyat. Let them do what is right according to the "law" hoping that judgement will be free, fair and conducted without fear or favor. 

The clarion call for GE 13 is to change the federal government to kick start a two party system that will enable any new federal government to rule together with the rakyat and not act arrogantly, corrupt and being racist. The popular vote has shown this is what the rakyat wanted but due to many obstacles being put in place in the election system the results gave the incumbent the 133 seats to stay in power. 

Pre 505, umno bn leaders including the caretaker PM, Najib, have claimed that voters need not have to change the federal government cause umno bn can change themselves if voted in. Many have seen through this lie and the popular votes proved it. Umno bn did win the GE 13 but what are we seeing now post GE 13? They have indeed changed, not for the better but even worst.

Read more at: http://ousel.blogspot.com/2013/05/open-letter-to-those-bn-elected-members.html 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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