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The pain of pebbles in our shoes

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:58 PM PDT

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Officially, we are very good at pretending that we interact and mingle well but we know that's not true. It's all become very superficial. As I have said before, over the years, we have lost many touch points: from the schools we attend, the places we eat at, the TV channels we watch and the music we listen to.

June H.L. Wong, The Star 

he strong response to what the Aunty said last week has prompted her to share her thoughts today of what needs to be done on this important inter-racial issue.

THERE is a scene in the movie Ever After, based on the Cinderella story, where the stepmother, played by Angelica Huston, has just sold her stepdaughter, played by Drew Barrymore, to a villainous low-life. The dialogue goes like this:

Stepmother: You are not my problem any more.

Stepdaughter: Is that what I am? Your problem? I have done everything you've ever asked me to do and still you deny me the only thing I ever wanted.

Stepmother: And what's that?

Stepdaughter: What do you think? You are the only mother I have ever known. Was there ever a time, even in its smallest measurement, that you loved me at all?

Stepmother: How can anyone love a pebble in their shoe?

To me, this scene encapsulates how the people in this country feel about each other. To the non-Malays, especially those born here, this is their motherland. Yet, they often feel like stepchildren yearning for love and acceptance.

To the Malays, they believe the Chinese and Indians see them as obstacles that block them from achieving their best for the country and taking their rightful place under the Malaysian sun. So we are pebbles in each other's shoes.

Perhaps it has always been like that. After all, to the Malays, the Chinese and Indians were indeed pendatang (immigrants) foisted upon them by the British to work in the rubber estates and tin mines. It wasn't like they had much say at that time.

Then came the fight for independence and because the British insisted, the Malays joined forces with the Chinese and Indians in a spirit of cooperation and power-sharing. It was indeed a magnanimous act even if it was born out of necessity. So while not quite pebbles, everyone had sand in their shoes that could not be dislodged; not very comfortable but one could still walk in them.

Whatever the cause – racially divisive politics, lopsided implementation of policies, the politicising and fragmentation of the education system and so on – power-sharing has become an unhealthy power struggle over who controls the political and economic spheres. As a result, that esprit de corps in the early years of the Alliance has been gradually evaporating and worse, the sand seemed to have become pebbles and, I fear, perhaps even sharp, painful stones.

This was brought home to me in the huge outpouring of responses to my column last week, Rebooting our racial quotas. I argued for the case of reverse quotas for Chinese and Indians to be added as a KPI to heads of the civil service, police and armed forces to correct the obvious racial imbalance in these sectors.

Not surprisingly, all the e-mails from Chinese and Indian readers agreed with me. They were grateful that such a "sensitive" issue that had rankled for so long was raised openly.

But the three e-mails from Malay readers, while polite, made it clear they didn't believe there was discrimination in the hiring and promotion practices of the public sector or anywhere else.

One said the Chinese then and now are different, meaning the Chinese then were patrio­tic so they were willing to join the police and army but not any more. Present day Chinese aren't willing to serve and die for this country; they just want good paying jobs. She ended up calling me a racist.

Another said he understood my pride in my dad (a retired Special Branch officer) as he is a son of a soldier and we should celebrate our dads' contributions. That was nice but he also concluded by saying there were just too few non-Malays applying and they would get in if they did. "Just get in the queue" as he put it.

The third Malay said it was clear the Chinese controlled everything, presumably because of the Chinese shop signs he sees everywhere and that they dominate top professions like engineers, doctors, and scientists. He added that the Chinese should be sincere in wanting to help the Malays and what's wrong with "a little privilege" as provided for in the Federal Constitution.

I received only one sms from a Malay friend, a senior civil servant, who agreed with me and lamented about the good old days.

This struck me as how wide the gap of perception of reality is between the Malays and the non-Malays. The Malays honestly believe they are entitled to special help. The way they see it, the Chinese still dominate everything and aren't interested in serving in the police, army or the civil service because of the low pay.

For the Chinese and Indians, that is just untrue. They have plenty of anecdotal evidence from friends and family to prove there is an entrenched practice that discriminates against them from getting into government service and if they did, from getting their due rewards and promotions.

That's why non-Malays support my proposal for the Government to implement a mandatory quota for the Chinese and Indians in government, be it the police, the armed forces, teaching profession or the civil service itself. As a reader put it: Who doesn't want a shot at a job that is an "iron rice bowl"?

Non-Malays, especially the Chinese, are also dying to tell their stories of patriotism to prove that given the chance, they would serve and even die for this country. Clearly, there is a dire need to bridge the perception gap. The only way to bring both sides to a better understanding of each other's grievances and frustrations, hopes and fears is to get closer to see each other at work, play and pray.

Officially, we are very good at pretending that we interact and mingle well but we know that's not true. It's all become very superficial. As I have said before, over the years, we have lost many touch points: from the schools we attend, the places we eat at, the TV channels we watch and the music we listen to.

But the experience of Mohd Izam Mahazir is an example of how we can break down racial walls. He was interviewed in March by The Star's Shahanaaz Habib for her "Heartland Voices" series. Shahanaaz wrote:

The 27-year-old uprooted himself from Alor Setar to start a jeruk business at Chowrasta market in Penang and loves it here so much that he doesn't want to go back.

"When I was in Alor Setar, I lived in a 100% Malay community, so my thinking was a bit narrow. But in Penang, I got to mix around with all the races and I found my perspective has opened up. I am a changed person.

"We Malays are less competitive because we depend too much on the Government. And the Federal Government maintains its power by allowing this kind of thinking – that without them and special rights, the Malays would never be able to come up," says Izam, who now makes RM20,000 a month from his business.

He feels it is time for the Malays to be tested. "Right now, even with all the help the Government is giving to the Malays, it is the Chinese and Indians who are doing better economically and this is because they have been forced to compete. Before I came to Penang. I never quite saw things this way."

Here is one young Malay who, once removed from his one-dimensional cocoon, came to realise what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur – basically hard work and persistence – and an appreciation of what most ordinary non-Malays face to make a living.

On the other hand, the non-Malays should appreciate the latitude the Malays have given them in terms of vernacular schools, recognising non-Muslim religious festivals as public holidays and there has never been any Idi Amin-like attempt to throw out the so-called pendatang.

The Chinese should also show a better understanding of and allay the Malays' fears and expectations, like embracing and speaking fluent Bahasa Malaysia, and not dismiss them as unfounded.

Ultimately, if there is to be national reconciliation and a genuine desire to forge national unity and multiracialism, the Government must take the lead and encourage important and painful issues to be openly discussed and make the necessary changes and adjustments to policies and practices.

Not only that, the rascals who continue to play the racial card and fan fear and hatred by using a particular community as the bogeyman must be shamed, silenced and shunned.

For far too long, it has been a one-way street, even dead-ends, when it comes to communities understanding and knowing about each other, which has led us to the sad state we are in. There is no better time than now to make it two-way. Then only will we be able to remove any pebbles in our shoes and finally walk, no, run together.

The writer hopes that everyone and the ­powers-that-be will keep an open mind and heart to ­listen, listen, listen. Feedback: junewong@­thestar.com.my 

Mati Dalam Lokap

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:53 PM PDT

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Policemen are facing a bad reputation. They're no longer feared, they're more known as someone whom can be bought by money and reputation. 

Raged Indian 

Yet another death in police custody and all we can do is sit and watch. You see, taking it from a practical point of view, it is impossible not to beat a detainee in the lock up if he is involved in some heavy cases, such as the one Mr. Dharmendran was involved with; shooting. It is normally unofficial part of the interrogation process; but to beat someone to death is another thing altogether. Over the past decade, hundreds of detainees had died in the lock up, with hardly any action taken against the culprits behind it.

The image of the police force in this country is fast deteriorating because of these mistakes.

I still remember when I was about 18 years old; I was waiting for the bus in the Taman Sentosa bus stop while checking out some Meenachis when few Machas zig-zagged several times with their Honda EX5's. No helmets of course, and they were doing some monkey stunts trying to impress the Meenachis.  Obviously not interested with the monkeys (and also me), they were sitting restlessly hoping that the bus would soon arrive.

 

And then it came. Not the bus, but a police patrol car. The Waja managed to force stop one of the bike while the rest managed to run away. One huge bulky Indian policeman came out and went to the Macha, and the conversation was something like :

Police : 'Ingge enada pandringge? Helmet engge? ' (What are you doing here, where is your helmet?)

Macha : (Blur look)

Less than 5 seconds later, I heard a thunderous sound, and the Macha slumped to the side of the road. I don't know how to exactly describe it, but if you could measure it in terms of data consumption wise, it would be a terabyte-slap. The Macha obviously started crying and the policeman shouted :

Police : "Edethete vitteke poda!" (Go back now with your bike!).

ACP Datuk Paramasivam

That was the first time I saw ACP Paramasivam, one of the most feared policemen at that time. When Klang and Taman Sentosa was polluted with dangerous criminals, ACP Param was posted to Klang, to 'take care' of it. A fearless cop, he went down to the ground to battle these criminals; and when Taman Sentosa was at the peak of it's criminal activities, ACP Param restored faith to the people. The hardcore criminals that was hiding in Taman Sentosa was gunned down. The rest of the pullepuchi criminals knew ACP Param was not an ordinary man, and ran away knowing that this man is not to be messed with…

Similarly, another legendary cop that most of the younger generation's are not aware of is DSP Kulasingam. He rose to fame when he was assigned to capture the most notorious criminal in Malaysian history, Botak Chin. A bachelor, DSP Kulasingam dedicated his life to the police force. A mere mention of his name will make criminals tremble in fear, knowing DSP Kulasingam track record. As far as I know, this is the only policeman whom I know is more notorious than any other criminals out there, busting crime as it happens and fucking up criminals no matter how dangerous they were…

DSP Kulasingam

Quoting source:

"The first attempt was in 1975. He had stopped at a traffic light junction when 11 shots were fired at him. One of the bullets shattered his right rib, pierced his liver, and grazed his lungs.

He survived and went on fighting crimes.

"On April 7, 1976, Kula was shot in the stomach during a robbery at a jewellery shop in Paramount Gardens, Petaling Jaya.

He also survived

when a 44-pound jar of formic acid was splashed on his legs and chest;

when a tree fell, killing a helper instead;

when an axe-wielding man rushed at him;

and when a patrol car in Sarawak was ambushed and another officer with the same name as him was killed."

Both were exemplary policemen. They fought crime and they fought it hard. They went down to the ground and showed the criminals who's the boss. But because of politics nowadays, the policemen are facing a bad reputation. They're no longer feared, they're more known as someone whom can be bought by money and reputation. You know exactly what I'm talking about, but I can't elaborate further.

You can catch me for some shitty case, but your reputation is down the drain because hundreds of innocent Malaysians are dying in the streets as a result of snatch thieves and robbery. Why protect fucking criminal politicians who steals millions of dollars but kill an Indian who fought in a restaurant?

Read more at: http://ragedindian.com/2013/05/28/india-mati-di-lokap/ 

Voters: Cops harrassed us over ink reports

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:51 PM PDT

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(The Star) - The police officers repeatedly asked if anyone had ordered them to lodge the complaints, the two men told a press conference called by PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin in Gombak here yesterday. 

Several people have claimed that the police intimidated and harrassed them when they lodged reports over the indelible ink used during the general election.

Two voters, who had lodged reports at separate police stations on Monday over the alleged ineffectiveness of the ink, claimed that they were repeatedly queried and close-up photos of their faces were taken.

Abd Razak Mohamad, 58, and Saharudin Abu Bakar, 46, claimed that they were among 14 people who had lodged police reports on that day.

The police officers repeatedly asked if anyone had ordered them to lodge the complaints, the two men told a press conference called by PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin in Gombak here yesterday.

Abd Razak, who was also questioned by a Special Branch officer at the Ulu Klang district police headquarters, said he was confused but knew that this should not be the way for taking a police report.

"The officer kept saying that it was normal to take photos of any complainants," said Abd Razak.

Saharudin, who had lodged his report at the Gombak district police headquarters, said that the investigating officer had asked about his background.

Shamsul Iskandar said that he wants the Home Minister and the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to explain whether this was the correct procedure when accepting a police report.

Gombak district police chief Asst Comm Abdul Rahim Abdullah said that he will verify the claims first with his staff before commenting further on the matter.

He added, however, that it was normal for the police officers to take down all the statements of those who lodged complaints.

In Ipoh, an MP and two Perak assemblymen, all three of which were from PKR, had lodged reports over the same matter at the Ipoh district police station yesterday.

The three were Gopeng MP Dr Lee Boon Chye and assemblymen Chang Lih Kang (Teja) and Tan Kar Hing (Simpang Pulai).

Dr Lee said that the indelible ink, which was supposed to last for at least five days, remained on his finger for only about 48 hours.

"I just used normal soap to wash my hands (on polling day, May 5) and the ink totally faded by the next day," he claimed. 

The fast-changing Malaysian landscape

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:48 PM PDT

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Zhen M, Business Circle

With the rise of digital media and its increasing popularity, it may seem that traditional media is being replaced by the nebulous ideal of "new media" driven by audience interaction and "crowd sourced" content.

Generation Y, aged 18-32, are very attached to their gadgets. Generation Z, the first generation truly born into the digital era, are even more so. With a growing population made up of young digital savvy citizens, and the older generation also embracing the new technology and media, is traditional media losing relevance?

With the increasing usage of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, consumers are now able to instantly connect to the internet and be constantly updated on the latest news and gossip. Information is in real-time, unlike having to wait for the next day for the physical newspaper. Indeed, so many tales, good or bad, have gone viral online over a short period of time – sometimes way ahead of proper news channels, which would probably not report the bulk of these juicy "shares" anyway.

The newspapers in the country have done admirably expanding online and are among the most accessed Malaysian sites. Chinese daily Sin Chew even went a step further to have an English portal, too.

But the perception is that traditional media is losing ground to alternative new portals as the latter are deemed less pro-government. The situation became more serious following the recently concluded General Elections (GE13), with various quarters calling for boycott of one media or another for alleged unfair reporting. If Facebook "tales" were to be trusted, some publications have already suffered losses in subscriptions and readership post-GE13.

Such allegations are unfortunately inevitable, considering that RTM is government-owned and all the other large media entities are linked to the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (BN) and its component parties. The Utusan Group is Umno-owned and is now widely regarded as more of a propaganda tool than a news provider. Malaysia's largest media group Media Prima is controlled by Umno proxies. Leading English daily the Star and group is owned by MCA. MIC politicians or their families own the three national Tamil newspapers.  The nation's Chinese publication industry is monopolised by Chinese Media International Ltd, controlled by BN-friendly Tan Sri Tiong Hiew King.

"The reputation of our politically-linked media has been battered, collectively and individually. More than ever before, they will have to put in extra effort to win back the trust of the people," one observer said.

Read more at: http://www.businesscircle.com.my/the-fast-changing-malaysian-landscape/ 

Malaysia’s 13th General Election: Rising Citizen Participation – Analysis

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:42 PM PDT

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The trend shows a level of participation that transcends just following tweets or updates. The underlying motivation appears to be one of active engagement, of a deeper and more committed involvement in issues that matter. Hence, new ways of engaging these citizens need to be considered. 

Malaysia's much anticipated 13th general election saw a rise in citizen participation. This poses a new challenge for the country's political elite: how to respond to this change.

Yeap Su Yin, Eurasia Review

WHILE MALAYSIA'S 13th general election saw an intense contest between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) what is of equal significance has been the participation of ordinary citizens in the process. In the run-up to the elections, many have taken the initiative to be involved – in many different ways through different channels.

The numbers who turned out to vote on 5 May 2013 perhaps reflect this shift in political activism. According to the Election Commission, 85 per cent cast their votes for parliamentary seats while 86 per cent for the state legislative assembly seats. This was the highest number of votes cast in any general election in the country's history. Many researchers have referred to this as the "people's election".

A rapidly changing political landscape

While the country is seeing the beginnings of a new political environment the question remains: how should its political elite respond to such trends?

Recent global events from the Arab Spring to the Occupy Wall Street movement have given the world unexpected glimpses of the power of citizen participation; where demonstrating masses with the means of the Internet as a tool are able to play a significant part in the overthrow of long-standing regimes or in spreading the cause of a movement to many parts of the world.

While many have pointed to the increase in Internet connectivity as one of the main causes of these examples of citizen activism, opinion remains divided. Some analysts caution against reading too much into the effects of the Internet and social media in particular, citing the phenomenon of "clicktivism" as akin to being mere "armchair activists or politicians". They argue that social media provides the means for an easy response which does not translate to actual and substantial participation. However, others are more inclined towards the notion that the improvements in information and communication technologies have empowered the average citizen.

They note that the increase in Internet connectivity has reduced the cost of access to information and networking opportunities, paving the way to new heights in citizen participation. Whichever the case, it appeared that few governments caught up in the Arab Spring saw the signs of these changes and even fewer knew how to manage it effectively.

Read more at: http://www.eurasiareview.com/27052013-malaysias-13th-general-election-rising-citizen-participation-analysis/ 

 

New MDA licensing scheme for news websites

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:41 PM PDT

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(Asia One) - From June 1, websites that regularly report Singapore news and have significant reach will require individual licences to operate.

Currently, most websites are covered automatically under a class licence scheme. But the Media Development Authority (MDA) will require websites to be individually licensed once they meet two criteria.

These are: if they report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore's news and current affairs over a period of two months, and have at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a period of two months. The individual licences have to be renewed every year.

Under the new framework, these sites must also put up a performance bond of $50,000, similar to that required for niche TV broadcasters.

Announcing the ruling on Tuesday, the MDA said the move would place such sites on a "more consistent regulatory framework" with traditional news platforms like newspapers and television stations, which are individually licensed.

The licence makes clear that online news sites are expected to remove content that is in breach of MDA standards within 24 hours, once notified to do so.

This material could cover content that is against the public interest, public security, or national harmony.

When the MDA deems that a site has met the criteria for individual licensing, it will issue a formal notification and work with the site to move it to the new framework.

After a visit to the Tamil Murasu newspaper office at Genting Lane, Minister for Communications and Information Yaacob Ibrahim was asked how the Government intended to enforce the rules on sites based overseas. He said that an amendment to laws to cover media services, including foreign websites that target the Singapore market, will be introduced next year.

Ten sites currently fit the media regulator's criteria, of which seven are run by Singapore Press Holdings.

The 10 are:

  1. asiaone.com
  2. businesstimes.com.sg
  3. omy.sg
  4. stomp.com.sg
  5. straitstimes.com
  6. tnp.sg
  7. zaobao.com
  8. todayonline.com
  9. channelnewsasia.com
  10. sg.news.yahoo.com

 

'Buy Chinese last': NGOs blame Red Bean Army

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:37 PM PDT

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A group of Muslim NGOs, led by the Muslim Consumers Association of Malaysia (PPIM), which called for a boycott of purportedly pro-Pakatan Rakyat companies, said today it was DAP's supposed 'Red Bean Army' which first started such boycotts.

"Some of the slander against us is that we are ruining the economy, that we are extremist and much more.

"But I would like to share that the 'Red Bean Army' is the one that started it first. They started systematically in 2011," PPIM executive secretary Nadzim Johan told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur today.

According to Nadzim, the "Red Bean Army" started an online campaign in 2011 calling for the boycott of breadmakers Gardenia.

"They said boycott Gerdenia because it is an Umno brand, it is linked to politics, but I do not know when Gardenia became an Umno brand.

"Their purpose is just to demonise and dislodge Umno," he said.

'Our boycott is justified'

The Red Bean Army is supposedly a team of 200 cybertroopers hired by DAP at a cost of RM108 million over the last six years, widely reported in Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and Umno-linked New Straits Times .

DAP said that the group was a figment of Utusan's imagination while pointing out that the numbers quoted in such reports just don't add up.

Gardenia, partially owned by Syed Mokhtar Albukhary was caught in a vicious online campaign with racial undertones since 2011, accusing it of being a crony company with calls to support rival Massimo bread by Robert Kuok.

Gardenia Bakeries (KL) Sdn Bhd had in Nov 2011 issued a statement, stating that it was a "Malaysian company" and hired people "regardless of race of religion".

Nadzim also read out several online comments on the boycott which he said was translated from Chinese, which had derogatory references such as the word "pig" which is deemed highly offensive among the Malay community.

"Our boycott is justified, but their boycott (Red Bean Army) is to sow hatred. If Malays were to read this what would happen?

"This is what is said to be sowing disunity. Whoever read this would surely be upset," he said.

Read more at: http://my.news.yahoo.com/buy-chinese-last-ngos-blame-red-bean-army-090913845.html 

 

Chua: Scope-Matang deal not an 'asset stripping' exercise

Posted: 28 May 2013 01:06 AM PDT

(The Star) - The reverse takeover deal between Scope Industries Bhd and Matang Holdings Bhd is not an "asset stripping" exercise by the MCA, said its president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek.

The share exchange between the two companies, he stressed, would result in a reverse takeover of Scope Industries by Matang Holdings.

"Such a deal is meant to add value to Matang shares. It (the deal) does not involve the sale of assets belonging to Matang Holdings.

"It is wrong to construe this transaction as asset stripping by MCA. Hence, it was not tabled in the MCA central committee meeting for deliberation nor did it need the two-thirds approval of the central committee," said Dr Chua in a statement here Tuesday.

Matang Holdings was set up on April 3, 1978, as a public limited investment holding company with the principal objective of fostering inter-communal economic cooperation.

MCA's investment arm Huaren Holdings has an approximate 10% stake in the company.

It was previously reported that several DAP leaders had criticised the deal as a possible move by MCA to dispose its assets.

Dr Chua said as MCA president, he did not have the right to call off or stop the Matang Holdings' extraordinary general meeting (EGM).

Although MCA via Huaren Holdings had about a 10% stake in Matang Holdings, he said the remaining 90% of shareholders might still support the proposed transaction.

He also took Parit Sulong MCA chief Datuk Tan Teck Poh to task, asking him to stop politicising the reverse takeover deal.

"If Tan has a better proposal on the reverse takeover of Scope Industries by Matang Holdings, he should table his proposal in black and white to all shareholders for consideration during the EGM, which will be held on May 31," said Dr Chua.

Dr Chua said MCA, through Huaren Holdings, would be happy to consider if there was a written proposal tabled by Tan in the EGM.

"I am disappointed with Tan, who is obviously not familiar with the rules and regulations of the company's EGM," he said.

Meanwhile, several MCA central committee senior members, including party deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, are against the proposed takeover of Matang Holdings by Scope Industries.

Liow said MCA's investment arm Huaren Holdings should look for the deal that would serve the best interest of minority shareholders.

"Failing this, MCA will be letting down its members, especially those who have held on to Matang Holdings shares for over 30 years.

"This could even be another blow to the party, which has already undergone a punishing experience in the recent general election," he said in a statement here yesterday.

Liow said he believed the focus now should be on re-consolidating and re-invigorating the party, and not "weakening it further by disposing of valuable assets such as Matang Holdings".

He also strongly insisted that the Matang Holdings' extraordinary general meeting (EGM) set for May 31 be cancelled.

"Based on the MCA's constitution and a statement by the president (Dr Chua) on May 21, the disposal of party assets can only be done with the approval of at least two-thirds of the party's central committee.

"However, until today, the MCA treasurer-general has neither tabled the proposal to the CC nor obtained its approval," he said.

A significant discrepancy, added Liow, was also discovered between the two valuation reports on the property value of Matang Holdings.

"This, in itself, has raised alarms and created concern among shareholders that it will be an inequitable deal that will leave them out in the cold," he said, adding that Matang Holdings was a stable, debt-free company with RM25mil in liquid assets.

"Unfortunately, the shareholders will not reap the benefits of the company's fortunes via dividends as the entire amount will be summarily transferred to Scope Industries as part of the deal," he said.

Shareholders, said Liow, would also not be able to dispose of their shares as there was a four-year share lock-up period after the proposed takeover.

 

We are what we are today because of what happened in the past (part 4)

Posted: 28 May 2013 01:00 AM PDT

The Umno-MCA alliance could have turned out to be no more than a temporary arrangement of convenience. Given that the first real electoral contest took place in Kuala Lumpur which was largely Chinese-majority, Umno found it necessary to work with MCA to defeat its rival, the IMP. Had elections been held elsewhere where Chinese votes were insignificant, there might not have been a reason for Umno to seek a Chinese electoral partner. Nevertheless in 1952 it was more than just electoral battles that led Umno and MCA to work together. They now had to forge a common front to negotiate with the British on constitutional change.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

By Lee Kam Hing, CPI (6 February 2010)

Road to Independence (2): MCA's missed opportunity

Local elections: The demise of the IMP and the emergence of the Alliance Party, 1952

In late 1951, local elections were introduced in Malaya to prepare the country for self-government. The first election was in Penang in December 1951. But it was in Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital and where IMP was contesting for the first time, that the elections in February 1952, attracted wide interest.

The Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) which fielded candidates in all 12 wards seemed formidable, having on its side Onn Jaafar, founder-leader of Umno, and Tan Cheng Lock, founder-leader of the MCA. Several other senior MCA leaders including Tan Siew Sin, Khoo Teik Ee and Yong Shook Lin were with the IMP too. The IMP was also supported by the MIC.

Selangor MCA, then headed by H.S. Lee, reached an agreement with Dato Yahya Razak, chairman of KL Umno's election committee to field a single slate of candidates. Lee's election manifesto which was released on 3 January stated that "the MCA Selangor Branch are also of the opinion that the interests of members of other communities should also be represented."

This had attracted Yahya's attention. He thereupon contacted a former school-mate Ong Yoke Lin, another MCA leader, who then fixed a meeting of representatives from Umno and MCA. On 7 January both sides agreed to fight jointly in the elections. The alliance fielded 5 Malays, 6 Chinese, and 1 Indian.12

The KL electoral pact was an entirely local initiative but the alliance drew strong criticisms not only from IMP but also from some MCA and Umno national leaders. Yahya Razak's own division head Datin Putih Mariah resigned on 10 February just days before elections in protest at the pact. There were objections from other branches and Yahya was accused of selling out the Malays by working with a Chinese party.

On the MCA side, two senior leaders Tan Siew Sin and Khoo Teik Ee declared during the elections campaign that the party's central working committee had not approved the Umno-MCA merger and both instead called for support of the IMP.

For MCA this was its first experience in participating in elections while for Umno it needed to improve on its Penang performance where it won only one seat. Both Lee and Yahya saw the elections initially as a battle for control of the KL Municipal and focused on local issues. But the elections turned out to be a test of strength between Onn Jaafar's multi-racial IMP and the communally-based Umno and MCA, and soon questions of self-government and larger political concerns were raised.13

To the surprise of some observers, the Umno-MCA alliance defeated the IMP by winning 9 of the 12 seats at the KL elections.

Contemporary commentaries while suggesting that the "MCA-Umno victory is superficially proof that the Malays and the Chinese can work together for political ends noted that voting was along ethnic lines for both parties."14 Although the electorate numbered only about 11,000 and turnout was 75%, the result was a major boost to the new alliance and it marked the beginning of IMP's demise.

The new alliance of Umno-MCA maintained its winning momentum and swept municipal elections held in the rest of the country later that year.

Formalising inter-ethnic cooperation in the Alliance, 1952-53

As observed, inter-ethnic cooperation in Malaya could have taken either the multi-racial IMP form or in the form of a coalition of communal-based parties. Tan Cheng Lock, on his part, remained cautious about an Umno-MCA alliance. He believed that several important issues had to be resolved before he was agreeable to formalising Umno-MCA collaboration.

He wanted to find out whether Tunku Abdul Rahman, the new leader of Umno, accepted jus soli in relation to the citizenship issue and the concept of a Malaya for Malayans. Writing to H.S. Lee on 29 February Tan explained that "there must be communal equality in the Federation involving equality of opportunity and treatment and in shouldering the duties and in sharing the rights of Malaya Citizenship among all the domicile communities making up the population of Malaya.15

Tan and other mainly Western-educated MCA leaders had initially embraced Onn's non-racial IMP and saw it as moderate compared to Umno. In particular Tan appreciated Onn's willingness to stake his position as Umno president by insisting on liberalising citizenship requirements and opening the party to non-Malays.

It would appear that in 1952, the IMP with its multiracial platform as well as the quiet backing by the British was the preferred party to work with for some of the senior leaders of MCA. The IMP too was supported by the MIC. Many MCA leaders were unsure of the untested Tunku who had taken over Umno in August 1951.

Then why did Tan break off with Onn? Some studies criticized Tan for letting Onn down. If Tan and the MCA had sided with IMP instead of Umno, could the whole political scenario for the country have changed? Could we have a situation of a dominant or competing multi-racial parties instead of a coalition of ethnic parties leading the independence movement?

H.S. Lee favoured expanding the Umno-MCA alliance. In the weeks after the KL elections, Lee was in regular contact with the Tunku. The Tunku was the first to congratulate Lee on the KL election results. On 22 February Lee informed Tan that the Tunku favoured enlarging the alliance into a nation-wide organisation and that the Umno leader would be asking party heads to contact the various local MCA branches.16

H.S. Lee's role in events affecting Umno-MCA alliance was crucial. He was worried about the continued association of Tan Cheng Lock with the IMP. On 22 March 1952 he wrote to Tan that senior MCA state leaders had expressed to him their deep concern about Tan calling an inaugural IMP Malacca meeting, and there was a possibility that he would be made state chairman while still leader of the MCA. More importantly, Lee wrote, "They feel that if you accept the Presidency of the IMP in Malacca, it might not be conducive for frank discussions with the Umno in the future."17

Unwilling to abandon Onn and the IMP, Tan proposed giving MCA branches the right to work with either IMP or Umno. Speaking to the press on 18 February 1952, Tan declared, "I support the principle of IMP-MCA-Umno cooperation."18 To Lee on 22 February he explained, "You are materially aware that influential members of the MCA want cooperation with IMP. So probably the MCA is divided on this question."19

Umno, which regarded IMP as its main rival, would certainly not have accepted Tan's proposition. And neither did Lee and the more politically conservative Chinese. Writing to Tan on 1 March 1952 Lee revealed that the Tunku indicated to him privately that he accepted jus soli although there was a minority within Umno strongly opposed to such a concession.

It might have been, as some writers had argued, that Lee preferred an Umno-MCA alliance because he and Onn were not on good personal terms. But correspondence at the end of 1951 showed that there was cordiality between the two leaders and even after IMP's inaugural meeting Onn again invited Lee to join IMP.20

Rather, Lee did not believe that the multi-racial IMP could get popular support. On 18 February 1952, Lee wrote that "...it seems unlikely that the IMP will be able to achieve any success elsewhere. Indeed they have obtained the two seats [in Kuala Lumpur] by a very small margin (50 odd votes)..." 21

Lee's stand was more likely influenced by his association with groups in the MCA which were worried about the future of Chinese education, language, and citizenship. These groups believed that the Chinese were politically weak and divided, and a distinctly Chinese party was therefore needed to safeguard the community's interest especially at a time when British policies were interpreted as anti-Chinese. They therefore believed that MCA's future could best be pursued by retaining its identity, and therefore an alliance with another communal party like Umno was a more suitable and workable option.22

Lee managed to eventually bring Tan to his viewpoint. On 5 March, Lee alerted Tan to the Select Committee's Report on the Immigration Ordinance of 1950. Onn was a signatory to the Majority Report with recommendations unfavourable to the Chinese and this was opposed by Chinese members of the Legislative Council. Lee therefore raised doubts in the mind of Tan about Onn's commitment to multi-racial fairness.23

Eventually, Tunku and Tan Cheng Lock met on 18 March. After several more rounds of talks involving other MCA leaders, a nation-wide Umno-MCA alliance was institutionalised.

Consolidating inter-ethnic coalition, 1953-55

The Umno-MCA alliance could have turned out to be no more than a temporary arrangement of convenience. Given that the first real electoral contest took place in Kuala Lumpur which was largely Chinese-majority, Umno found it necessary to work with MCA to defeat its rival, the IMP.

Had elections been held elsewhere where Chinese votes were insignificant, there might not have been a reason for Umno to seek a Chinese electoral partner. Nevertheless in 1952 it was more than just electoral battles that led Umno and MCA to work together. They now had to forge a common front to negotiate with the British on constitutional change.24

In March 1953 the coalition declared that its aim was to achieve self-government and eventual independence in Malaya. As a first step, the Alliance called for elections to the Federal Legislative Council and for at least 60 per cent of seats be elected directly by the people. Up until then, Council's members had all been nominated

The Alliance leaders encountered resistance from the British over their demands for political reforms. The British still favoured the non-communal IMP and disregarded the political strength of the Alliance as revealed in the elections. Furthermore, some colonial administrations were not convinced that Malaya was ready for independence and they anticipated a long period of British mandated rule.

On 1 February 1954 the committee set up by the colonial administration to look into federal elections recommended that only 44 of the 92 members of the Federal Legislative Council, or less than half, would be elected. Significantly too, the committee did not recommend early elections.

On further discussions, the number of elected seats was raised to 52 out of 98 seats. But Alliance leaders rejected the proposal and sent a delegation to raise the matter with the Secretary of State for Colonial Affairs, Oliver Lyttelton. The Secretary of State turned down the request for 60 per cent of elected members.

In reaction, the Alliance called for an independent commission to consider constitutional reforms, failing which they would carry out a boycott of the government and withdraw all its representatives from the legislature, municipal, and town councils. This request was rejected and the Alliance members went ahead with the boycott. They organised a nation-wide demonstration and also met the Malay rulers to get support.

The boycott forced the British to come to a compromise. The Colonial Office proposed that five seats that would have been nominated by the High Commissioner should now be decided by the majority party in the Council. These five seats could then ensure an elected majority at the Federal Legislative Council.25

In July 1955 the first federal elections were held. Dato Onn had disbanded the IMP and formed Parti Negara to contest the elections. The inter-ethnic Alliance coalition fielded candidates in all seats and in its manifesto promised that it would seek early independence. Now joined by the MIC, the Alliance won 51 of the 52 seats. It formed the first locally-elected government with Tunku Abdul Rahman as the first Chief Minister.

After the elections, the Alliance called on the British Secretary of State, Alan Lennox-Boyd, to set up an independent commission to draw up a Constitution as a step towards independence for Malaya. Lennox-Boyd soon afterwards invited the Alliance to send a delegation for discussions in London.

Alliance leaders gained national support and prominence from the 1955 elections and won the right to negotiate for independence. They had enhanced their political position by taking a strong stand together against the colonial administration over the issue of federal elections. They were willing to risk detention by their boycott of the representative bodies.

In the end they succeeded because of the evolving inter-ethnic solidarity and by showing that they could act together. The experience created a bond of friendship and this enabled them to resolve contentious matters during negotiations for a new constitution and independence.

********************************************************

Dr Lee Kam Hing's essay is originally titled 'Forging Inter-ethnic Cooperation: The Political and Constitutional Process towards Independence, 1951-1957' and published in the book Multiethnic Malaysia — Past Present and Future (2009).

CPI with permission from the author is reproducing his essay in three parts for online reading in our website. Today's Part 2 is as above.

Dr Lee is research director at Star Publications. He was visiting Harvard-Yenching research scholar at Harvard University, and visiting scholar at Wofson College, Cambridge University. He was previously history professor of Universiti Malaya.

TO BE CONTINUED

********************************************************

Footnotes:

[12] Malay Mail. 15 February 1952

[13] Straits Times, 20 January 1952

[14] Singapore Standard, 19 February 1952

[15] Tan Cheng Lock to Col. H.S.Lee, 29 February 1952, Malacca, in unpublished H.S.Lee private papers, Kuala Lumpur

[16] H.S.Lee to Dato Sir Cheng Lock Tan, 5 March 1952; H.S.Lee to Tengku Abdul Rahman, 7 March1952, both letters in unpublished H.S.Lee private papers, Kuala Lumpur.

[17] H.S.Lee to Dato Sir Cheng Lock Tan, 3 March 1952, Kuala Lumpur, unpublished HS.Lee private papers, Kuala Lumpur

[18] Straits Times, 19 February 1952

[19] Tan Cheng Lock to Col H.S.Lee, 22 February 1952, Singapore, in unpublished H.S.Lee private papers, Kuala Lumpur

[20] Dato Onn Jaafar to Col H.S.Lee, 4 September 1951, Kuala Lumpur, Unpublished H.S.Lee private papers, Kuala Lumpur.

[21] H.S.Lee to Dato Sir Cheng Lock Tan, 18 February 1952, in unpublished H.S. Lee private papers, Kuala Lumpur

[22] Straits Times, 20 January 1952

[23] H.S.Lee to Dato Sir Cheng Lock Tan, 5 March 1952, Kuala Lumpur, in unpublished H.S.private papers, Kuala Lumpur

[24] Heng Pek Koon, Chinese Politics in Malaysia: A History of the Malaysian Chinese Association, Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1988, pp.179-220

[25] Joseph M.Fernando, The Making of the Malayan Constitution, Kuala Lumpur: Monograph No 31 of the Malaysian Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, 2002, pp 35-63

 

In brewing MCA revolt, Soi Lek backs Matang-Scope deal

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:16 AM PDT

Clara Chooi, TMI

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek (pic) denied today that the party was undergoing any asset-stripping exercise, throwing his weight behind the proposed reverse takeover (RTO) bid by Matang Holdings Bhd in a move that could spark a major dispute with his deputy Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Just hours after Liow and several senior party leaders slammed the deal at a press conference, Dr Chua issued a statement to insist that the planned takeover of listed electronics firm Scope Industries Bhd was meant to "add value" to the Matang Holding' shares.

"It does not involve the sale of the any Matang Holdings asset and it is wrong to construe this transaction as asset stripping by MCA," he said in the statement.

"The deal will also enable Matang Holdings to become a listed company and the biggest shareholder in the company," he added.

Matang's largest shareholder is MCA-owned Huaren Holdings with a controlling stake of 10.75 per cent, while many among its 19,984 minority shareholders are said to be Johor MCA members and their associates who had bought the shares in 1981.

Three DAP lawmakers voiced suspicion yesterday over the Matang-Scope RTO deal, suggesting the possibility of asset-stripping by the beleaguered MCA, which suffered colossal losses in the just-concluded general election.

"MCA must answer whether it is embarking on an asset-stripping exercise by exchanging hard-earned savings of ordinary MCA members and their friends to secure the financial position of its political elite and its cronies," DAP's Liew Chin Tong, Tan Hong Pin and Liow Cai Tung had said.

They pointed out that a large number of the 19,984 Matang shareholders are Johor MCA members and friends, who had bought the shares in 1981 which allegedly helped the state MCA raise RM50 million in "interest-free loans".

"Many of these shareholders have held on to their Matang shares for 30 years, only to be now exposed to a deal that jeopardizes them.

"Worse still, these small shareholders face an uphill battle to stop the RTO deal since they will likely be outvoted by Matang's largest shareholder, Huaren Holdings, which is also MCA's investment arm," they said.

They claimed that in the RTO deal, Matang Holding's assets, which includes a 1,105ha oil palm estate, had been deliberately undervalued.

Obtaining it at such an undervalued rate would result in a windfall for Scope, the trio added.

The lawmakers also alleged that the deal would include offering Matang Holding's entire RM25 million cash holdings in exchange for Scope's shares, which they claimed are lower in value.

At a 2pm press conference today, Liow and other senior leaders, including MCA Youth chief Datuk Wee Ka Siong, voiced their objection to the impending deal and proposed that Matang Holdings cancel its extraordinary general meeting (EGM) this Friday.

READ MORE HERE

 

Kelantan PAS rejects toppling government using force

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:07 AM PDT

(Bernama) - Kelantan PAS, in concert with several party leaders, has rejected the effort of certain parties trying to topple the government through violence and street demonstrations.

Kelantan deputy Menteri Besar Datuk Nik Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah said the effort to topple the government via the 'Arab Spring' would not be beneficial but would instead be detrimental to the nation.

"Kelantan PAS rejects violence or going down to the streets because it is not suitable in Malaysia as it will bring much evil to the country. We wait another three years at least and select through a general election.

"We in Kelantan too have never discussed whether it is necessary for us to gather like in other countries. For PAS, it is better, regardless for what purpose, that it be done in accordance with democracy," he told reporters at his office, here, today.

Nik Mohd Amar, who is also Kelantan PAS Deputy Commissioner 111, on the other hand, said it would not be wrong if a gathering was peacefully held to criticise and protest against the government.

Recently, the PAS Headquarters also stood firm against backing any effort to topple the government using violence.

Its secretary-general, Datuk Mustafa Ali said this was because there were still avenues available especially through the court or petition to challenge the result of the 13th general election (GE13).

Meanwhile, PAS Youth deputy chief Nik Mohd Abduh Nik Abdul Aziz also rejected the effort to topple the federal government, which was picked legitimately by the people in GE13, through a series of street gatherings and regarded the action as hasty.

Nik Mohd Abduh, who is the son of PAS Spiritual leader, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat also invited the public to think of victory through patience and not through an 'explosion' on the road.

 

Haris, Tian Chua, Tamrin detained again

Posted: 28 May 2013 12:01 AM PDT

Also detained with the trio was student activist Safwan Anang.

K Pragalath, FMT

Anything But Umno (ABU) founder Haris Ibrahim, PAS member Tamrin Ghafar and PKR vice-president Tian Chua have been re-arrested under the Sedition Act four days after they were released from police detention.

The fourth person detained was student activist Safwan Anang who is Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia president.

Apart from Tian Chua, the others were arrested at about 7pm and taken to the Dang Wangi district police headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.

"The police are recording their statements now. They were arrested in pursuant of an arrest warrant," said lawyer Gobind Singh when contacted.

According to Tian Chua's Twitter administrator, the Batu MP was detained at 9.15pm.

Sources stated that they are expecting all four to be charged at the Jalan Duta Court Complex tomorrow.

Haris, Tian Chua and Tamrin were arrested five days ago and detained in Jinjang for calling the people to topple the BN government through street demonstrations.

Haris had made the call during a May 13 forum as a way to express their dissatisfaction over the GE13 results.

A day later, the trio were freed after magistrate Norashikin Sahat rejected the police's remand application.

 

Stop the rallies, Anwar

Posted: 27 May 2013 05:23 PM PDT

Highlighting the fact that Pakatan had won 51% of the popular votes, the rallies have attracted thousands of participants nationwide. Yesterday, Anwar ruled out any notion that he would halt the rallies, saying he has yet to cover the states of Perlis, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak.

G Vinod, FMT

Analysts today called upon PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim to stop with the rallies and focus Pakatan Rakyat's energy in the nation building process.

Universiti Utara Malaysia political analyst Mustafa Ishak said it was time for Pakatan to lick its wounds and regroup for the sake of the people.

"You are now the opposition, so play your role as the opposition. People need good governance and someone that will focus on the nation's progress," he said.

After the general election, Anwar has embarked on a series of rallies called Black 505, alleging the Election Commission (EC) had "stolen" the election from Pakatan.

Highlighting the fact that Pakatan had won 51% of the popular votes, the rallies have attracted thousands of participants nationwide.

Yesterday, Anwar ruled out any notion that he would halt the rallies, saying he has yet to cover the states of Perlis, Kelantan, Sabah and Sarawak.

Mustafa, however, accused Anwar of cheating the public in terms of the electoral results.

The academic argued that Malaysia had always practised the "first past the post system" and it was never about who won the popular votes.

"Anwar is harping on the popular votes but since Merdeka, it was never the criteria to win elections. It's about how many seats you win. You are fooling the rakyat," said Mustafa.

He also cautioned Anwar against meddling with public sentiment, saying it could cause problems as it would upset those who had voted for Barisan Nasional (BN).

"In 1969, the Alliance party lost the popular votes and when the opposition contested the results, we had bloodshed. It took us years to recover from the tragedy.

"So stop inciting the people. We must respect the rule of law and the people's decision," said Mustafa.

'People growing tired'

He urged Anwar and Pakatan to focus on their role as opposition and strengthen themselves as a solid check and balance to the government.

"And stop all this rally nonsense. People are growing tired," said Mustafa.

Echoing Mustafa's sentiments, Universiti Sains Malaysia political analyst Mohamad Zaini Abu Bakar said that Anwar should ask himself whether the rallies would contribute anything towards making the country a developed nation.

He also said that it was best for everyone to focus on how to maintain the stability in the country so that Malaysia could move forward in the challenging global arena.

"Let's learn from the West and countries such as Japan and South Korea. They became strong nations because they focused on political stability, which in return facilitated their economic and education development.

"All these rallies will only contribute to havoc and political uncertainties," said Zaini.

He also reminded Pakatan that Malaysia was built on consensus among all races, not at the back of shallow interest of any political leader.

"As a respected leader, Anwar should channel the people's aspirations towards a compromise on this matter," said Zaini.

READ MORE HERE

 

Pakatan Rakyat elok boikot Parlimen dan DUN-DUN seluruh negara

Posted: 27 May 2013 05:19 PM PDT

Aspan Alias

SPR hari ini mencabar Anwar dan Pakatan Rakyat untuk memboikot Parlimen jika benar-benar yakin ada penipuan dalam pilihanraya 13 yang baru lalu ini. Timbalan Pengerusi SPR Dato Wan Ahmad mencabar Anwar untuk memboikot Parlimen. SPR seterusnya mempersoalkan Pakatan Rakyat kenapa menerima keputusan yang memihak kepadanya (PR) di Selangor dan Pulau Pinang.

Cabaran SPR ini wajar di terima oleh Anwar kerana sememangnya tidak bermoral jika Anwar dan PKR menerima keputusan itu jika berkeyakinan ada penipuan besar dalam PRU yang lepas ini. Tetapi bagaimana pula penerimaan PR terhadap kemenangannya di Pulau Pinang dan Selangor? Kata Dato Wan Ahmad, mereka yang menyertai perhimpunan itu adalah orang yang sama yang menerima keputusan pilihanraya di P Pinang dan Selangor.

Adakah perlu Pakatan Rakyat menolak kemenangan di kedua-dua negeri itu kerana penipuan tentunya berlaku dalam negeri-negeri ini juga. Jika Anwar benar-benar jujur dengan tuduhan itu maka beliau sepatutnya memulakan 'initiative'  untuk membubarkan Dewan-Dewan Undangan negeri P Pinang dan Selangor kerana berkeyakinan berlaku penipuan yang besar-besaran dalam pilihanraya yang lalu.

Kita tunggu reaksi Anwar terhadap cabaran SPR ini dan reaksi dari Anwar merupakan satu perkara yang sangat 'interesting' untuk disaksikan bersama-sama.

Bagi saya dan tidak kurang ramainya di bawah ini, bukan tidak bersetuju dengan 'rally' itu, tetapi perhimpunan itu elok dilakukan setelah Mahkamah memutuskan kesahihan ada berlakunya penipuan itu. Bukan sedikit jumlah orang yang akan turut bersama dalam perhimpunan itu jika benar SPR telah melakukan kecuaian dengan penipuan besar-besaran itu.

Tetapi jika Anwar tidak menerima cabaran untuk memboikot Parlimen dan menolak keputusan pilihanraya termasuk di Selangor dan P Pinang itu maka Anwar akan dipersoalkan keluhuran niatnya mengadakan perhimpunan-perhimpunan itu. Bukan tidak ada cara bagi sesiapa untuk memaksa SPR dibubarkan setelah didapati benar-benar penipuan itu dilakukan oleh badan yang menguruskan pilihanraya negara ini.

Tetapi biarlah penipuan itu disahkan oleh pihak Mahkamah dahulu. Apabila selesai semua kes yang dibawa ke Mahkamah itu barulah kita tahu dimana penipuan berlaku dan dimana penipuan tidak berlaku. Maka jika tidak terdapat penipuan itu di Pulau Pnang dan Selangor maka tidak payahlah mengadakan pilihanraya di kedua-dua negeri itu.

Tetapi jika Mahkamah pun tidak diyakini boleh memihak pada yang benar, maka Pakatan Rakyat yang ditunjangi oleh Anwar ini juga jangan menerima keputusan pilihanraya di negeri P Pinang dan Selangor itu.

Jika terbukti ada penipuan yang besar-besaran saya sendiri akan turun bersama-sama yang ramai untuk menyertai perhimpunan itu. Mungkin ramai yang akan menjawab hujah ini yang  Mahkamah pun tidak akan mengadili isu ini dengan adil, maka elok kemenangan Pakatan Rakyat di Pulau Pinang dan Selangor juga wajar ditolak oleh Anwar.  Seperti tuduhan Anwar penipuan berlaku dimana-mana, maka tentulah ia juga berlaku di kedua-dua buah negeri yang dimenangi oleh Pakatan Rakyat itu.
 
 

PR may hold 'mammoth' street protest

Posted: 27 May 2013 05:15 PM PDT

'A million strong' Bersih 4.0 if govt fails to enact badly-needed electoral reforms, says party leader 

(The Malay Mail) - PAKATAN RAKYAT is planning a mammoth street protest next for electoral reforms, raising questions among various quarters as to whether such demonstrations would ever end.

Claiming that the people would even want to go beyond protest, Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hopes that taking to the streets once again would rejuvenate the opposition following its setback in the general election.

PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu had said about a million people were expected to join the next Bersih rally in protest if Putrajaya did not implement immediate electoral reforms.

He pledged his party's commitment to organising the next Bersih rally, saying it would be necessary if the government did not initiate proper polls reforms before the next general election.

Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MAICCI) president Datuk K.K. Eswaran said that as businessmen, the rallies had a negative effect on the community.

"When rallies are held they make it difficult for people to go out and carry on with their daily chores," he said.

"They create congestion, traffic jams and effects restaurant and shopping mall businesses because the public are reluctant to go out."

He said that Malaysia would continue to attract foreign investors because they are drawn by a stable government under the stewardship of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

"In countries where street protests removed governments they still remain in turmoil. PR must accept the result and start serving the people who elected them."

Eswaran said if PR was unhappy with the results their polling agents should not have signed off on the results but instead called for recounts until they were happy with it.

"You cannot have it both ways by accepting the results in Penang, Selangor and Kelantan but rejecting the results from elsewhere," he said.

"PR can always work towards the 14th general election. They must end the rallies and let people get back to their normal lives."

PKR vice-president Tian Chua claimed the people were unhappy with the results and were voicing their displeasure over the Internet.

He said PR had a duty to listen to the voice of the people as there was a strong calling for another Bersih rally.

''We are organising Bersih 4.0 to change the electoral system. The Election Commission must be more independent and accountable," he said.

''The EC must undergo a complete transformation process to ensure fair results." Tian Chua said election petitions and rallies were two different things.

''Laws regarding the election petition are "repressive" and you have to prove that any wrongdoing has a direct effect on the results," he said.

PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas said the rallies were already having an adverse effect on the tourism industry.

He said the Hong Kong Tourist Association had recently advised its members not to organise any tours to Malaysia because of the rallies.

EC deputy president Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar said the election was a series of processes and any aggrieved party had the right to appeal the results by filing an election petition.

He said the EC had no reason to meet with PR because they were going to meet them in court.

"The people have already spoken and they have picked their representatives," he said.

"We will leave it to the courts to decide when the petitions are filed. "If there are issues that need to be discussed we can always do it after the courts have decided on the election petitions."

The organisers of the "Black 505" gathering, of which Solidariti Anak Muda Malaysia was one, said the rally marked "only the beginning".

"We are giving a final warning from the people that they are prepared to walk peacefully, if the EC (chiefs) are still not fired or if they do not step down"the Suara Rakyat 505 coalition said in a statement yesterday.

"The people are now prepared to take to the streets anytime starting now, for the sake of our democracy that has been blackened."

 

We are what we are today because of what happened in the past (part 3)

Posted: 27 May 2013 04:06 PM PDT

The Malay radicals had been marginalised in the talks among Umno, the British, and the rulers. The MNP saw the Federation Agreement as a move to maintain colonial rule in Malaya. The AMCJA-Putera called for a hartal on 20 October 1947 to protest against the Federation of Malaya Agreement. Towards the end of 1947, the government banned the AMCJA and Putera and most of their leaders, except for Tan, were arrested or went into exile. In June 1951, Dato Onn declared at the Umno General Assembly that independence could only be achieved if there was unity with the other races. He therefore proposed opening Umno membership to non-Malays and the party renamed as the United Malayan National Organisation.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

By Lee Kam Hing, CPI (5 February 2010)

Road to Independence (1): Birth of Umno and Malayan Union

Inter-ethnic cooperation was a prerequisite set by the British for the transfer of power to Malayans. The colonial authorities believed that the races needed to work together to create the necessary conditions for a smooth political transition and that this could then counter the Malayan Communist Party's claim of being the only movement representing the people's struggle. Local leaders themselves also accepted that only when the various races began working together could a start be made to the nation-building process.

Two forms of inter-ethnic cooperation were attempted in the pre-independence period. The first was a single multi-ethnic party, the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) and the second was a coalition of ethnic-based parties, the Alliance Party. Not without some significance, the founders of the ethnic-based political parties of the United Malay National Organisation (Umno), Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) were directly involved in setting up IMP.

In the end it was the Alliance Party which prevailed over the multiethnic IMP. In 1955 the Alliance Party won resoundingly in the first federal elections and with this electoral success took the lead in negotiating for independence. Since then it has served as the dominant form of interracial cooperation.

Negotiations for the new nation's Constitution in 1956 and 1957 involved difficult issues of a communal nature requiring tough bargaining among the leaders. Throughout the negotiations, however, a spirit of friendship and goodwill prevailed as the early leaders struggled to arrive at compromises to safeguard the interests of the respective communities.

Efforts were made to ensure that the Articles in the Constitution would be fair and balanced. This was not easy. The Constitution held inherent contradictions and tensions. Where it was possible in certain Articles, leaders chose to be silent on details because they feared that to do otherwise could provoke strong reaction from their respective communities and the resulting discord might jeopardise chances of early independence.

Still, differences in interpreting some of these Articles surfaced soon after independence and they gave rise to major political disputes. It was management of communal discord that remains the main challenge to inter-ethnic relations.

Inter-ethnic discourse took place within a changing political environment. There were the post-war ethnic disturbances in 1946 and the repercussions on race relations of the Emergency (1948-1960). At the same time, the British and the Malays realized that in the battle against the communists, the support of the Chinese was essential and that alienating the community from the mainstream of politics could undermine the political stability of the country. Increasingly, Chinese leaders were aware of their weaker bargaining position because sections of the Chinese community were implicated in the insurrection and also because after the 1955 federal elections, UMNO had a predominant share of seats won.

All sides recognized the need to work with one another and to reach compromises even though these might not satisfy fully their own communities. Achieving independence was foremost in their minds and this united them.

Rising communal consciousness: Seeking ethnic solidarity, 1945-1949

Efforts to achieve inter-ethnic political cooperation in Malaya have been relatively recent. While Chinese business leaders and Malay rulers developed commercial collaboration in the past, the rest of the respective communities had generally lived in defined and separate economic sectors, mixing only in the market place in what J. Furnivall termed as a plural society.

This separateness was further underlined by a growing but divergent political consciousness among the various communities in the early 20th century. Whilst the Malay community came under the influence of Pan Islamism and Indonesian nationalism, the Chinese were attracted to the reformist and revolutionary politics of China, and the Indians had their political influence stemming from the anti-British independence movement in India.1

This rising political consciousness instilled a sense of solidarity within each of the communities and a determination to protect the rights and interest of its members. Malay leaders in the pre-war years such as Dato Onn Jaafar and Zainal Abidin Ahmad (Za'ba) spoke out against government neglect of Malay welfare and expressed anxiety that the Malay population would be outnumbered by the continued inflow of Chinese migrants into the country, and they called on the colonial authorities to halt Chinese immigration.2

Chinese and Indian leaders, meanwhile, were divided between concerns in Malaya and what some still regarded as their homeland in China and India. Increasingly they were critical of colonial neglect of the educational and employment needs of their communities especially in the Depression years when price of tin and rubber fell. There were fears of social and labour unrest and dissatisfaction with the lack of government efforts to provide social relief.

Inter-ethnic relations deteriorated dangerously in the months after the Second World War. Japanese treatment of Chinese during the Occupation had been harsh while a policy to win over the Malays was practised.

In the immediate post-war days, the Malayan People's Anti-Japanese Army, mainly Chinese, attacked those they considered collaborators. Many of the MPAJA victims were Malays and the retaliation from the community took on an ethnic dimension. Serious clashes occurred in Johor and in Perak. Significantly, one leader who played a major role in calming the situation was Dato Onn Jaafar, an emerging Malay leader from Johor. He brought community leaders together and organised relief operations in the affected areas.3

Then in the early months of 1946, the Malays mobilised themselves to oppose British plans to set up the Malayan Union. The Malayan Union would have led to the liberalising of citizenship requirements for non-Malays and the loss by Malay rulers' of their sovereignty. The plan was strongly resisted by the Malays. Dato Onn led the opposition against the Malayan Union.

On 11 May 1946 Umno was formed with Dato Onn elected as its President. For the first time, the Malays in the country were united under one organisation. Faced with mass demonstrations and boycotts by the sultans, the British agreed to negotiate with Umno and the Malay rulers. The resulting 1948 Federation of Malaya agreement, which replaced the Malayan Union, included terms favourable to the Malays.4

Soon afterwards, moves were made to form a party to unite and represent the Chinese. The MCA was formed during what were probably the most troubling time for the Chinese. The community was still recovering from the difficult, and at times dangerous, years of the Japanese Occupation. Now in 1948 they were caught between an armed rebellion that was communist-led but largely Chinese-supported and a colonial regime seen increasingly as pro-Malay.

Nearly half a million people, mostly Chinese, were – as a consequence – resettled in the New Villages. Facing such a situation, many Chinese saw an urgent need to have a party to rally the community together and to represent them in the constitutional discussions that were expected.

Sir Henry Gurney, High Commissioner of Malaya, was keen that anti-communist Chinese should help fight the MCP-led insurrection. In December 1948, Gurney met 16 Chinese members of the Federal Legislative Council and assured them that the British supported the forming of a Chinese organisation.5 For several weeks then, Chinese guilds and association all over the country held meetings to select delegates to the inaugural meeting.

At a gathering on 27 February 1949 the MCA was formed and Tan Cheng Lock, a Straits Chinese leader, was elected president. In the subsequent months, the party was preoccupied with welfare work in the New Villages where a third of the Chinese population had been resettled.6

Political consciousness and mobilisation among the Indians drew inspiration from events in India. Many Indians sympathised with the independence struggle in India and during the war a number joined the Indian Independence League and its armed wing, the Indian National Army.

After the war, Jawaharlal Nehru, a leader of the Indian Congress Party, visited Malaya, and at his suggestion a conference was held on 29 August 1946 to encourage active involvement of Indians in Malayan affairs. In that meeting, the Malayan Indian Congress was formed.7

Early efforts at inter-ethnic cooperation, 1946-1951

Both Tan Cheng Lock and Dato Onn Jaafar, although founders of ethnic-based parties, were also conscious very early of the need to develop inter-ethnic cooperation.

Tan was most aware of impending political change. He also had a keener sense than any other Chinese leader of what Malay aspirations were. There was recognition that in any political transition Chinese interest would be safeguarded only through cooperation with the British and to an extent with the Malays too.

When the Malayan Union which liberalized citizenship requirements was announced, Tan saw the proposals as offering hope to the non-Malays. Tan was therefore very disappointed when the British abandoned the Malayan Union in the face of strong Malay opposition.

He pointed out to the British the unique opportunity they had to weld together the different peoples in Malaya into one united nation. Tan called on British commitment to a democracy where there would be equality in rights and obligations for all. He strongly criticized the colonial authorities in October 1946 when they proceeded to discuss only with Umno and the Malay rulers on constitutional changes.8

There was a sense of bitterness in Tan when the proposals of the Federation of Malaya Agreement were made public. He criticized what he described as a pro-Malay character of the Federation proposal.

Tan thereupon took a more pronounced anti-colonial stance and sought out other political groups to oppose the Federation of Malaya Agreement proposals. On 7th December 1946 he together with leaders of the Malayan Democratic Union formed the Pan (later All) -Malayan Council for Joint Action. The MDU, multi-racial but mostly non-Malay led, modelled itself on the left-wing of the British Labour Party. The AMCJA in mid-1947 February linked up with several radical Malay organisations led by the Malay National Party.

Among Malay leaders in the MNP were Musa Ahmad, Ahmad Boestamam, Aziz Ishak and Dr Burhannuddin Al-helmy. They joined other Malay dissidents to form Putera in February 1947.

The Malay radicals had been marginalised in the talks among Umno, the British, and the rulers. The MNP saw the Federation Agreement as a move to maintain colonial rule in Malaya. The AMCJA-Putera called for a hartal on 20 October 1947 to protest against the Federation of Malaya Agreement. Towards the end of 1947, the government banned the AMCJA and Putera and most of their leaders, except for Tan, were arrested or went into exile.9

For Dato Onn, the shift from a narrow communal stance to a more inclusive approach in Malayan politics came following the signing of the Federation of Malaya Agreement. In 1949 he called on the Malays "to obtain closer ties with the other people in this country.10 Now seeking self-government and eventual independence, he wanted greater accommodation with non-Malays who had settled in Malaya and he persuaded Umno to change the party slogan from 'Hidup Melayu' to 'Merdeka'.

Meanwhile Sir Malcolm MacDonald, the British Commissioner General for Southeast Asia, set up the Communities Liaison Committee (CLC) in 1949 to provide a platform to help resolve political differences among the various communities. There was inter-ethnic unease lingering from the immediate post-war months and this was heightened by the outbreak of a largely Chinese communist insurrection. Tan and Dato Onn, as leaders of the two major communities were brought into the CLC and both tried to work out a more enduring inter-ethnic understanding.

At the CLC Tun Tan and Dato Onn developed a friendship and through this reached some broad agreement to resolve contentious issues affecting inter-ethnic relations. Citizenship based on jus soli for non-Malays and special rights for Malays were the two pressing issues. Dato Onn agreed to liberalise citizenship requirements for non-Malays while Tan supported the Malay special position. Both agreed that the future government of Malaya should be multiracial and as well as one that was inclusive.

In June 1951, Dato Onn declared at the Umno General Assembly that independence could only be achieved if there was unity with the other races.11 He therefore proposed opening Umno membership to non-Malays and the party renamed as the United Malayan National Organisation. It has been suggested that Malcolm MacDonald encouraged Dato Onn to take the new position. But it could argued that Dato Onn himself recognized the political realities of the changing times and hence this accounted for his bold approach regarding working with the other races.

However, while senior party officials were prepared to accept Dato Onn's proposal, the general body within the party rejected moves to open Umno to other races. Unable to gain wide acceptance to his proposals, Dato Onn left Umno to set up the non-communal IMP on 16 September 1951. Tan supported Dato Onn and the IMP. He chaired the inaugural IMP meeting in Kuala Lumpur and headed the party's Malacca branch. Tan was joined by several senior MCA leaders including Tan Siew Sin, Khoo Teik Ee and Yoong Shook Lin.

These early efforts by leaders of different communities to work together were tentative and temporary. The promoters of the experiment such as the AMPAJA-Putera collaboration and the CLC had to reconcile almost irreconcilable positions involving communal issues. But these attempts laid the groundwork for future inter-ethnic partnership that were more sustained.

TO BE CONTINUED

*******************************************************

Footnotes:

[1] William Roff, Origins of Malay Nationalism, New Haven: Yale University Press, 1967, pp. 56-90; Yen Ching Hwang, The Overseas Chinese and the 1911 Revolution, Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press, 1976, pp. 36-145

[2] Abdullah Hussain dan Khalid M.Hussein, Pendeta Za'ba dalam Kenangan, Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 2000. pp.188-233; Adnan Hj. Nawang, Za'ba dan Melayu, Kuala Lumpur: Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd 1998, pp. 160-219; Adnan Hj. Nawang, Memoir Za'ba, Tanjong Malim: Univesiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, 2005, pp.50-73

[3] Cheah Boon Kheng, The Making of a Nation, Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, 2002, pp. 1-48;Ramlah Adam, Dato Onn Ja'afar: Pengasas Kemerdekaan, Kuala Lumpur: Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, 1992, pp.58-80

[4] Gordon P.Means, Malaysian Politics, London: University of London Press,1970, pp. 99-102

[5] Richard Stubbs, Hearts and Minds of Guerrilla Warfare: The Malayan Emergency 1948-1960, Singapore: Oxford University Press, 1989, pp.202-203

[6] Heng Pek Koon,??? Cheng Lock's Vision and Mission???, The Star, 9 July 2007; Fujio Hara, Malayan Chinese and China: Conversion in Identity Consciousness, 1945-1957, Tokyo: Institute of Developing Economies, 1997, pp. 53-77

[7] S.Arasaratnam, S., Indians in Malaysia and Singapore, London: Institute of Race Relations, 1967,pp. 112-113

[8] Tjoa Hock Guan,??? The Social and Political Ideas of Tun Datuk Sir Tan Cheng Lock???, in Kernial Singh Sandhu and Paul Wheatley (eds), Melaka: The Transformation of a Malay Capital, 1400-1980 Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian Studies/Oxford University Press, 1983, pp. 299-323.

[9] K.G. Tregonning, 'Tan Cheng Lock: A Malayan Nationalist???, Journal of Southeast Asian Studies, Vol.X No.1, March 1979, pp.25-76

[10] Joseph Fernando, "The Rebel in Onn Jaafar???, The Star, 18 June 2007

[11] Ibid

 

EC challenges Anwar to boycott parliament

Posted: 27 May 2013 03:12 PM PDT

Its deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar tells the PKR supremo to skip the upcoming parliament session if he won't accept the results of 13th GE.

Priscilla Prasena, FMT

The election commission today threw a challenge to Anwar to withdraw from parliament if he does not accept the results of the 13th general election.

"Those taking to the streets are the same people who had accepted the results in Penang and Selangor," EC deputy chairman Wan Ahmad Wan Omar told FMT.

"In Penang, they were sworn in immediately after the election. If you do not accept the results and claim that the election was unfair, why swear in?" asked Wan Ahmad.

"This is a sheer hypocrisy," he said. "I challenge Anwar to boycott Parliament if he is unhappy."

Wan Ahmad explained that a petition could be filed within 21 days after the results have been gazetted.

The results were gazetted on May 20, which now provides an avenue for dissatisfied parties to voice their grievances in a proper manner and through the right channel.

"I would like to thank PAS for accepting the election results and I urge all Malaysians to follow the law.

"There are avenues to express grievances, the courts can decide if the EC has failed to carry out its duties accordingly, instead of taking it to the streets," said Wan Ahmad.

He stressed that the EC had carried out its duties according to the law and the constitution, and anyone who claims otherwise should challenge them in court.

"Malaysians are not gullible. People today are smart enough to differentiate claims by irresponsible parties who might have their personal agenda," EC deputy chief explained.

READ MORE HERE

 

Perkasa demands 60pc Bumi equity, public university quotas

Posted: 27 May 2013 03:01 PM PDT

Boo Su-Lyn, TMI

Perkasa will push for 60 per cent Bumiputera equity targets and quotas for enrolment in public universities, double the current 30 per cent quota, the Malay right-wing group's acting president Datuk Abd Rahman Abu Bakar has said.

Abd Rahman pointed out that Barisan Nasional (BN) had enjoyed increased support from Malay voters in the May 5 general election, noting that Umno had bagged 88 out of the ruling coalition's 133 federal seats, up from the 79 seats it won out of BN's 140 seats in Election 2008.

"We're not asking for something that's unrealistic," said Abd Rahman in an exclusive interview with The Malaysian Insider, pointing out that Bumiputeras comprised 67 per cent of the population.

"The government should be thankful to the Malays," added the Perkasa deputy president, referring to the results of Election 2013 that showed a bigger victory for Umno.

Abd Rahman, however, accused the Chinese of not appreciating the government by deserting BN in the 13th general election despite preliminary analyses showing that middle-class and urban voters had supported Pakatan Rakyat (PR) across racial lines.

"Jangan mencurah air di daun keladi," he said, quoting a Malay proverb in reference to the BN government's "wasted" efforts to draw support from the Chinese community.

Perkasa's demand for increased racial quotas will likely complicate Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's efforts to reform the economy and roll back race-based policies to transform Malaysia into a developed nation by 2020.

Malaysia recently reported a gross domestic product (GDP) growth of just 4.1 per cent in the first quarter of the year, the slowest pace of growth since the third quarter of 2009 and lower than the 5.5 per cent rate projected by economists.

When Najib first took power in 2009, he announced reform plans to spur economic growth, increasing transparency and dismantling pro-Bumiputera affirmative action policies.

But Najib's ambitions have been dashed by Malay rights groups and conservatives within Umno. He has yet to come up with major steps to remove ethnic privileges that are seen to benefit Malay elites, instead of the poor majority.

Abd Rahman also said that Bumiputera companies should be prioritised in mega government projects and called for the Ministry of Entrepreneur Development to be revived to assist Malay businessmen.

He added that public universities should reserve 60 per cent of admissions for Malays and other Bumiputeras.

Abd Rahman also said that the government should stop providing funds or land for Chinese and Tamil schools, besides limiting the enrolment in public universities and government scholarships to students from national schools.

"We also request for Malay and Bumiputera students to be given full scholarships," he said.

"The government should consider continuing Vision Schools... they promote unity," added the deputy president of the Malay lobby group.

READ MORE HERE

 

Utusan brands Anwar an anarchist

Posted: 27 May 2013 02:53 PM PDT

(TMI) - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was today labelled an anarchist by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia, allegedly for opposing the rule of law as seen in spurring street demonstrations to pave his way to Putrajaya instead of through the ballot box.

In its Op-Ed piece headlined "Jalur anarki anutan fahaman pasca-modernisme [Anarchism a conviction of post-modernism], the broadsheet painted the opposition leader as an anti-establishment figure who rejects authority, whether it is the authority of the existing government or religious authority, in order to achieve his personal dream of grasping federal power, posing a danger to the country's future.

"The anarchism in Anwar (picture) has long been there. It will surface when his personal political ambitions are not reached. 

"With his oratory talent, he will be a great storyteller and spark deep hatred towards the ruling government," the Malay broadsheet said.

According to Utusan, Anwar had been anti-establishment since his student days when he chose to oppose university rules, and public demonstrations have also been his style, linking the opposition Pakatan Rakyat's (PR) recent series of "Blackout 505" rallies nationwide that have drawn thousands of people to protest the results of the 13th general election.

It noted Anwar has been growing "more extreme" after the landmark Election 2008, when the PKR leader made his return to active politics and joined up with PAS and the DAP to form the PR opposition pact.

"Before GE13, his anarchistic attitude was more pronounced. 

"He was very confident in winning and kicked off the Ini Kalilah [This time-lah] and Ubah [Change] campaign to raise an awareness among the Chinese in the cities to leave the MCA and Gerakan because Lim Kit Siang will soon be installed as the deputy prime minister," it said, alluding to Anwar's alleged promises in the run-up to the May 5 polls.

Election 2013 saw the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) returned to power with 133 federal seats to PR's 89 seats despite losing the popular vote by scoring just 48 per cent to PR's 51 per cent.

PR leaders have maintained that Election 2013 was fraught with irregularities, starting from the use of an indelible ink that was not indelible to discrepancies in the voter roll and outright cheating on polling day itself through the alleged use of phantom voters and electricity blackouts.

Utusan has been carrying daily reports, citing known right-wingers and those with hardline religious views against Anwar and PR in the wake of the divisive May 5 polls, portraying them as being opposed to even the basic structure of order — the family unit.

On May 21, the National Fatwa Council reiterated a "fatwa" declaring demonstrations and rallies to topple the government through violence as "haram" (forbidden), becoming the latest Islamic body to comment on the issue.

The religious edict came after Muslims nationwide were told in an official Friday sermon earlier this month that it is "haram" to rebel and fight against the nation's leaders, including by protesting their decisions through "illegitimate channels".

It warned that "demonstrations without permission" were Anwar's choice and his style to "teach" today's youth to disrespect the law.

"It is a wrong message towards the youth and the country's future," it said.

READ MORE HERE

 

It’s gerrymandering and malapportionment, stupid!

Posted: 27 May 2013 02:44 PM PDT

FMT LETTER: From Stephen Ng, via e-mail

Once again, the Election Commission has defended its position, instead of listening to the rakyat, that Malaysia's voting system will keep BN in power forever.

By quoting the examples of a number of Commonwealth countries, including Britain, Australia, New Zealand and India, which uses the first past the post voting system, it is telling only half-truth – or in my opinion, a blatant lie – to the whole nation.

No one is disputing that the first past the post is a fair system. If you have 222 members of parliament, and you have 112, you form the simple majority government and if you have 144 seats, you have two-third majority.

During an interview with the Malaysian Insider, EC's deputy chairman, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar is still trying to hoodwink the nation, with what is on the surface.

By doing this, Wan Ahmad is blatantly lying to the nation that the country's democracy is as alive as other more mature democracies in the world.

However, what he has failed to do is to reveal the popularity votes in these countries, compared to a pariah system that is allowed to continue. In any case, if a similar situation had occurred in Australia, for example, the Members of Parliament from both political divides would have corrected the discrepancies by making sure that the government of the day represents as closely as possible the majority of the voters.

Whereas Malaysia's Election Commission is only answerable to the prime minister, in these more mature democracies, the Election Commission as well as the other important organisations, such as the anti-corruption body, are answerable to the parliament.


Deaf to truth, stop talking nonsense

What 505 Blackout is all about is nothing to do with the first past the post democracy. No one even disputes it, until Wan Ahmad raised it up in order to justify the position of the Election Commission.

What the rakyat have been shouting about are two words: "Malapportionment," which means unequally-sized constituencies and "Gerrymandering", which means the manipulation of electoral boundaries to favour the ruling party.

For example, Kapar has over 100,000 voters, whereas Putrajaya has only 6,000 voters. By studying the demographics of the country, it is possible to re-delienate the constituencies based on the voting patterns of the people.

For example, based on a state constituency alone like Paya Jeras, a former Umno stronghold, which had collapsed to PAS for the first time in 53 years, the constituency can be broken into two instead of one.

The voting stations give an indication of the voting patterns in each part of the constituency; therefore, it is easy for Umno to take back Paya Jeras, by redelineating the constituency to retain Kubu Gajah and Paya Jeras under Paya Jeras, while Aman Puri and Taman Ehsan goes under Bukit Lanjan. Although this is for the time being a hypothetical case, it is how gerrymandering has been taking place in the past.

Because of gerrymandering, each constituency no longer follows the logical geographical area or the number of people represented by the elected Member of Parliament or State Assembly. N45 Selat Kelang is a very good example, where the entire constituency is separated by land and sea.

READ MORE HERE

 

Myth of the 'Popular Vote'

Posted: 27 May 2013 02:34 PM PDT

The continued reference to and reliance on the 'popular vote' as indicative of who should be sitting in Putrajaya is unfortunately a misconception in our political system which has adopted the Westminster 'first-past-the-post' race. As a Malaysian I couldn't help but cringe and grow red in the face when a foreign academic lambasted our Election Commission's deputy chairperson for 'misrepresenting' (a polite term but which actually means 'lying about') a foreign country.

KTemoc Konsiders

Free Malaysia Today's Going back to the polls? tells us:

More Malaysian voters who have begun to weigh heavily towards Pakatan Rakyat (PR) are absolutely devastated that it is instead Barisan Nasional (BN) that has been installed as the government–of-the-day after the 13th GE.

Saying and describing that the majority of voters, as the popular votes were in favour of Pakatan, were "devastated" is to put it mildly as tens of thousands of Pakatan supporters are gathering at mass rallies to protest against the outcome of the 13th GE.

While Pakatan has stopped short of organising mass rallies and to take to the streets in the form of mass demonstrations, their leaders have nevertheless gone to the ground to get the rakyat to nullify the results of the recently-concluded general election.

Going by the huge turnouts at these rallies, with Pakatan claiming that they have been robbed of victory by the Election Commission (EC) and BN partnering to ensure victory for the latter, Malaysians of all walks of life, including non-voters are beginning to realize that all is not well in the political arena.

By and large, it might be that the best solution would be to call for fresh general election, only this time round with major changes being made in how the election proper is conducted.


We know journalists have to write interesting articles, and the only interesting articles in Malaysia today are those which are controversial, racial and provocative. Hence in the above FMT article, we read of  "the majority of voters, as the popular votes were in favour of Pakatan, were "devastated" is to put it mildly as tens of thousands of Pakatan supporters are gathering at mass rallies to protest against the outcome of the 13th GE".

The continued reference to and reliance on the 'popular vote' as indicative of who should be sitting in Putrajaya is unfortunately a misconception in our political system which has adopted the Westminster 'first-past-the-post' race.

But is all well and kosher with our electoral system? I grant that the EC hasn't helped its required characteristics of being independent, impartial and professional by its lamentable performance, aggravated by pathetic statements from its Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson, the latter being the worse for his nonsensical utterances (I'll give an example shortly in the case of the so-called indelible ink).

For a start, its gerrymandering has been gross, an obscene example being the Putrajaya versus Kapar contrast.

Okay, Putrajaya's electoral standing as a federal parliamentary seat, despite its paltry 15,000 voters (was only 12,000 in the 2008 GE) is protected by the Constitution (thanks to Dr Mahathir, but where were MCA and Gerakan?) and thus the EC's hands are tied, but I need to ask why it has been paralytic for decades in the case of Kapar and other federal and state constituencies in which non-BN parties (especially the DAP) are favoured?

The three common techniques of gerrymandering seen in Malaysia are:

  • Sardinization (copyright kaytee wakakaka) or the 'compressed packing' of opposition voters like sardines into BN's unwinnable seats, eg. Kapar and at state level, Paya Terubong in Penang (compared to BN's Teluk Bahang in same state)
  • Mincing (copyright kaytee wakakaka) or chopping up potential bloc of opposition voters (like Indians) and then spreading the mince over a number of seats where they would only be only useful, I suppose, under MIC guidance, and
  • Lite omelette (copyright kaytee wakakaka) or spreading just an egg or two to make a light omelette but one which covers the breath of a federal parliamentary seat like Putrajaya and Labuan or at state level Teluk Bahang in Penang, obviously for UMNO candidates.

Additionally, the EC is not trusted (how the f**k to?) when it's known to be a bullshitter as in the case of the indelible ink where its reason(S) for the shameless joke was initially about EC staff not shaking the ink bottle properly (hence its weak state making it a non-indelible ink), but that excuse (not reason, meaning it was bullshit) quickly changed to an Islamic requirement, which hopefully should deterred questioners from further broaching a sensitive' subject.

The Islamic requirement was the ink had to be deliberately diluted so as to be NOT indelible because Muslims have to conduct mandatory ablution prior to prayers and an indelible ink would have prevented that.

I wonder for the utter f**k of it all why the use of the ink wasn't completely abandoned if its application would prevent Muslim voters from conducting religious ablution?

Can some kind Muslims please advise me because the idiotic EC couldn't! OTOH, don't bother because it's apparent the excuse (again not reason, meaning it was bullshit) was to hopefully explain away why voters could easily erase the so-called indelible ink, and it was way way too late by then to abandon the bullshit.

And couldn't the EC have at least stuck by one given reason instead of changing its excuse (not reason) which not only showed it was lying in the first place (and hence would likely be again) but also its executives' sheer lack of competency.

Then to show the utter idiocy of the EC deputy Chairperson, he dismissed the issue of the non indelible ink as unimportant because, according to this Malaysian Solomon, the voters won't be able to vote THE FOLLOWING DAY.

And believe me, he didn't-won't give a f* if you cough blood on his moronic utterance. We know he and his stupidity would be well "protected".

I suppose that's why the EC's motto is cekap dan telus - cekap in doing the required things for UMNO and telus because it doesn't give a f**k what you think, wakakaka.

Then in either a shameless blatant lie or gross ignorance, the Malaysian Stolid Salmonella-ed Solomon stated NZ and Australia also practise the first-part-the-post system. 

This drove an enraged NZ academic, Dr Tessa Houghton, an assistant professor in Media and Communication, and director of the Centre for the Study of Communications and Culture, University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus, to write a stinging rebuttal of the EC deputy chairman's bullshit - see TMI's Open letter to the EC ― Tessa Houghton in which she excoriated Malaysia's Stolid Salmonella-ed Solomon as follows:

... your claim that NZ "uses FPP" and conflation of the two systems is a grave misrepresentation of New Zealanders' opinions on the system of FPP used in Malaysia. Ordinary NZ citizens understand the myriad voting systems available and have clearly registered their preferences. I take issue with you misrepresenting my country in an attempt to silence both the widespread criticism of both Malaysia's iteration of the FPP system and the EC's conduct.

As a Malaysian I couldn't help but cringe and grow red in the face when a foreign academic lambasted our Election Commission's deputy chairperson for 'misrepresenting' (a polite term but which actually means 'lying about') a foreign country.

Wan Ahmad should be Japanese and go now to commit seppuku for the honour of King and Country, or raja, bangsa, agama dan negara. But some kind Samaritan will have to show him which end of the knife is the cutting & stabbing part.

READ MORE HERE

 

The ‘Datuk Onn syndrome’, 60 years on

Posted: 27 May 2013 02:17 PM PDT

The most important question now is who, particularly in Umno, is going to take that crucial step of reliving the "Datuk Onn Syndrome" so to speak, and declare the end of race-based parties and politics. And then probably suffer the same fate as the founding father of Umno 60 years ago.

By Syed Nadzri Syed Harun, FMT

Call it what you want — rebranding, reconstruction or repositioning of Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the aftermath of the divisive 13th general election. But it will all boil down to one huge definitive component: political will.

In today's lingo, balls. And this inevitably includes putting in the guts to go through the Datuk Onn Jaafar road once again.

Some clear messages that cropped up from the election results have surfaced with certain quarters calling for a transformation of Umno in the face of new realities, while some are suggesting that BN becomes a single multiracial party for the sake of its survival, and to attract younger voters.

In the true spirit of striking it while it is hot, in which many Malaysians are adept, the move should be met with a resounding "boleh". But along the way, it is not going to be that easy at all.

The push for modifications even prompted Prime Minister and BN chairman Najib Tun Razak to state on Sunday that there was no other option for the coalition but to adapt to changes now.

Just before that, his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin had said the proposal to turn BN into a single party was rational but needed to be studied in detail. He also noted that the feasibility of merging 13 parties into a single entity needed to be determined by all its component party members.

The most important question now is who, particularly in Umno, is going to take that crucial step of reliving the "Datuk Onn Syndrome" so to speak, and declare the end of race-based parties and politics. And then probably suffer the same fate as the founding father of Umno 60 years ago.

Under all kinds of pressure from the British colonial masters and the Johor palace not long after Umno was formed in 1946, Onn sought to open Umno's doors to non-Malays. In the face of deep sentiments among Malay hardliners at that time, it proved to be his greatest undoing.

Onn had to leave Umno and formed the Independence of Malaya party in 1951. He failed miserably at that. Later he set up Parti Negara and that failed as well. So, who among the present crop of Umno leaders would want to go through that road again even if it is established that race-based politics is so Jurassic?

The sentiments are just not right at the moment, especially when what is in the minds of some people is that it was indeed a "Chinese tsunami" that caused the drubbing of MCA and Gerakan candidates and the BN to lose ground considerably in the latest elections.

Old sentiment will prevail

It cannot be denied that this Chinese factor seems to be stuck in some critical Malay minds, causing a backlash of sorts and some sections to even call for a boycott of Chinese businesses said to be supportive of Pakatan Rakyat.

Their simple argument is that if the Chinese themselves are not receptive to the various BN programmes benefitting all, why should the BN administration continue having them in the team when it is clear that Malays will form 70% of the country's population in a few years.

This, in fact, is anticipated to be a battle-cry in the coming Umno general assembly, more so since it is election time for the party where every single merit point counts. It is expected that, with the current prejudice on misjudged Chinese support, the person who is most vocal about the interests of the Malay community would do well in the Umno polls.

READ MORE HERE

 

The racist argument of DAP supporters

Posted: 27 May 2013 01:46 PM PDT

There is no country that i know of which adopt as a public policy this racial segregation education system. Countries try to unite the people but they believe in segregating people by race. In fact isn't this against human rights? Why isn't this racist? 

The Right of Reply 

By now the issue has always been the same. I think some of you who have read this before may skip this. As I encounter new readers I'll be repeating the same thing over and over again. Man, I expect the same will happen for the next five years.

For the past few years, people call me racist merely by uttering I'm Malay first Malaysian second. I'm racist if I call for Malays to unite. I'm racist if I defend any of the Malay rights.

This is certainly a result of brainwashing of DAP and PR. What we see now Chinese unite for political purposes. This is not racist. We see DAP fighting for Chinese right and culture. This is not racist. We see DAP / PR play the racial card and this is not racist.

DAP has used racist argument very wide to the point that anything to do with Malay unity and rights as racist but others doing the same is not. My current argument with partisan dap/ pr supporters attest to this mindset and thus the reason I'm writing again.

Core to this racist propaganda is the Malaysian Malaysia concept propounded by DAP. All those who argued against me accept the fact and believe that one must put Malaysian first above race of ethnicity. Thus they pompously deride anyone saying being Malay Malaysian as racist.

But this is where the problems lies. At the same time they wholeheartedly support segregating our youngs by race. They don't care if my children has no non Malay friends. They don't care whether our children are separated in racial silos and carry deep racial prejudices. All they care are putting their race language and culture above Malaysian interest.

Read more at: http://hakbersuara.wordpress.com/2013/05/27/the-racist-argument-of-dap-supporters/ 

 

Jeffrey’s STAR crumbling?

Posted: 27 May 2013 01:36 PM PDT

Political observers claim STAR was on the back foot in the media propaganda wars adding that "discipline was low and decisions not always right". 

Luke Rintod, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: Jeffrey Kitingan's State Reform Party (STAR) in Sabah is said to be on the verge of disintegrating after its dismal performance in the recently-concluded general election.

Sources in the opposition party said many of its senior leaders are taking a vacation from active politics in a prelude to leaving the party altogether.

In the May 5 polling, STAR only won one state seat in Bingkor through its Sabah chapter chairman, Jeffrey who also bidded for the Keningau parliamentary seat but lost to his brother, Joseph Pairin, who stood on a Barisan Nasional ticket.

STAR had placed its candidates in a total of 70 parliamentary and state seats in Sabah.

For parliamentary seats, except for Keningau and Pensiangan seats, all other STAR candidates lost their deposits, mostly finishing third behind either the BN or the peninsula-controlled Pakatan Rakyat opposition alliance.

The party's candidates also fared badly in state seats with majority losing their deposits too, some only garnering a few hundreds votes.

Days after the election Jeffrey admitted he was surprised by the poor performance of his party in Sabah especially after the warm reception it got from the people when they held political campaigns.

The more than 1,000 Borneo 'tea-parties' that the United Borneo Front (UBF), an NGO linked to STAR that took on the role of educating the people on Sabah's history seemed to have failed to get the message across as the final results from the ballot boxes show.

The party's election manifesto, launched days before nomination, was trumpeted as among the best alternatives for Sabah with fresh initiatives, but failed to attract Sabahan voters to the party.

Party insiders blame the delay in launching the manifesto as one reason the content of the "attractive" manifesto failed to reach the masses.

It has since come to light that not many STAR manifesto booklets were able to be distributed to the people during the campaigning period, something that the party had failed to notice.

But observers have always stated that STAR was on the back foot in the media propaganda wars.

READ MORE HERE

 

With big lead in popularity, Najib heads for win in Umno battle

Posted: 27 May 2013 01:13 PM PDT

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Despite the BN's poorer overall electoral results, Najib's leadership had ensured Umno succeeded in netting a significant nine more seats in Election 2013, giving the Malay party a total of 88 in the Dewan Rakyat compared to 79 in Election 2008, the paper reported.

(TMI) - Datuk Seri Najib Razak is likely to prevail in the upcoming contest for Umno's presidency because there is practically no one in the country who matches his stature and popularity at the moment, Singapore's Straits Times (ST) newspaper reported today.

The newspaper said that the win will strengthen his position as prime minister and give him the power to carry out his "national reconciliation" after the divisive May 5 general election.

In an analysis of the post-GE13 scenario, the Singapore daily pointed out that possible contenders for the party's top post could be his own deputy or one of the three vice-presidents. 

It could even come from an unknown Umno member who mounts a symbolic challenge just to embarrass him or to underline the unhappiness of some sections over his leadership, the daily noted.

"Some say Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin is unlikely to challenge his boss as he appears to be sticking to his role as a loyal deputy. But things may change if he feels he will get sidelined during Mr Najib's second term. Nonetheless, without the backing of (Tun) Dr Mahathir (Mohamad), Tan Sri Muhyiddin can expect a very tough fight which could cost him his political career.

"As for Dr Mahathir, he will remain in the background, now that his son Datuk Mukriz, the new Kedah Menteri Besar, is back on track in his political career."

Despite the BN's poorer overall electoral results, Najib's leadership had ensured Umno succeeded in netting a significant nine more seats in Election 2013, giving the Malay party a total of 88 in the Dewan Rakyat compared to 79 in Election 2008, the paper reported.

Although Dr Mahathir had said that Najib may be ousted in party polls, the 87-year-old's recent remarks to journalists in Tokyo signal that Najib's position is safe for now due to the "lack of an alternative".

"Dr Mahathir's words imply that he is not inclined to do the same to Mr Najib. Other contenders will now have to think twice before making any move against Mr Najib in the party elections."

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/with-big-lead-in-popularity-najib-heads-for-win-in-umno-battle/ 

 

Open letter to the EC

Posted: 27 May 2013 01:04 PM PDT

I take issue with you misrepresenting my country in an attempt to silence both the widespread criticism of both Malaysia's iteration of the FPP system and the EC's conduct. 

Tessa Houghton, TMI

Dear EC Deputy Chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar,

I wish to comment on your recent statements in an interview reported in The Malaysian Insider, dated May 27, 2013 (reproduced below):

According to Wan Ahmad, the electoral system used in Malaysia is also used by developed countries that have been practising democracy for a long time.

"Britain, already a few hundred years practising democracy, until now it uses first past the post... Australia, first past the post. New Zealand first past the post mixed a bit with the proportional representation (PR) system. India, the largest democratic country in the world, 800 million voters, first past the post," he said.

The EC deputy chairman said it would not be possible for PR to win so many seats, including a few states, if the "first-past-the-post" system was unfair.

New Zealand does not, as you state, utilise FPP "mixed a bit" with PR. It utilises the Mixed Member Proportional system (MMP), which is distinct from simple/'single winner' FPP. New Zealand used to suffer under the same simple FPP system as Malaysia currently suffers from, which resulted in the right-wing National Party consistently gaining power despite a majority of New Zealanders voting for the left-wing Labour Party, and in a lack of recognition of smaller parties. Wide-scale electoral reform was undertaken in 1992 in response to huge dissatisfaction with the system, through a referendum that allowed NZ citizens to decide on their preferred voting system.

Almost 85 per cent of New Zealanders voted to throw out FPP, with over 70 per cent voting to replace it with MMP. A 2011 referendum held to re-gauge New Zealander's voting preferences found almost 60 per cent of New Zealanders in favour of retaining MMP, and less than half of the 42 per cent wanting change expressing a desire to return to FPP.

As such, your claim that NZ "uses FPP" and conflation of the two systems is a grave misrepresentation of New Zealanders' opinions on the system of FPP used in Malaysia. Ordinary NZ citizens understand the myriad voting systems available and have clearly registered their preferences. I take issue with you misrepresenting my country in an attempt to silence both the widespread criticism of both Malaysia's iteration of the FPP system and the EC's conduct.

Read more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/open-letter-to-the-ec-tessa-houghton/ 

 

PKR leaders miss main message from GE13 results

Posted: 27 May 2013 12:59 PM PDT

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The grassroots leaders boldly admitted that the party's machinery was weak in rural areas and even gave suggestions to improve it but the national leaders preferred to focus on the "blatant acts of fraud" in GE13.

by Tarani Palani and Meena Lakshana, FZ.COM

Merely three weeks after the 13th general election, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) held its 9th national congress which was postponed from last year.

Instead of using this opportunity for a little soul-searching to address its weaknesses in order to make further strides in the coming five years, the rhetoric and the message of its leaders – including president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, de-facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution - clearly deferred from the message the grassroots delegates were trying to convey to their leaders.

The grassroots leaders boldly admitted that the party's machinery was weak in rural areas and even gave suggestions to improve it but the national leaders preferred to focus on the "blatant acts of fraud" in GE13.

The delegates, all fresh from the bruising election, stressed one message which became clearer within the two days: that the PKR central leadership needed to assist and support the branches and divisions if it expected PKR candidates to win in elections, especially in the rural areas.

Speakers at the two-day congress last week also emphasised on the need to field more women candidates.

One delegate from the women's wing spoke on the importance of building  a proper network in Felda settlements in order to break Umno's hegemony there as the party is surprisingly not even known in some of the settlements.

"They will ask you, what is PKR," she said.

Feisty Pahang representative Murnie Hidayah from the Srikandi wing, who contested and lost the Paya Besar parliamentary seat, also spoke about lack of support from the party central leadership.

"There are 10 Felda settlements in Paya Besar and we lost every single one of them. We have a central bureau for Felda and another for women's support so why can't the central party play a bigger role in ensuring the victory of the women candidates?" she asked during discussions by the women's wing.

Many delegates stated that the women were left high and dry with hardly any support to go all out during the election.

PKR's Youth wing emphasised the importance of creating a solid machinery to penetrate the rural areas, stressing that youths, especially women, in rural areas were not aware of Pakatan Rakyat's messages.

PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin was unabashed in his speech, saying Pakatan also needed to address the competition within the coalition, as exhibited by the seven seats both PKR and PAS had vied for in the election.

He also stressed a grassroots-based marketing of the party, relying on youth members to convey the much-needed messages and policies of Pakatan to the rural electorate.

Selangor representative Najwan Halimi said that PKR needed to fend for its own and build the strength of its own machinery rather than relying on the machinery of other parties namely PAS.

Another delegate who really struck a chord was Sarawak representative Joshua Jabeng, who plainly said the only way for PKR to penetrate rural areas in Sarawak is to be creative in its approach in order to break the money-politics promoted by Barisan Nasional, which has kept village heads subservient to the ruling coalition.

All this hard-hitting messages and keen analysis of PKR's performance in the May 5 polls was lost on its top leaders.

Read more at: http://fz.com/content/pkr-leaders-miss-main-message-ge13-results#ixzz2UYZC23KY 

 

No passport, IC will do, say lawyers

Posted: 27 May 2013 12:56 PM PDT

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(fz.com) - The director-general of the Immigration department has no jurisdiction to stop Malaysians from coming back to the country by revoking their passports, lawyers said.
 
Commenting on a statement by Immigration director-general (DG) Datuk Alias Ahmad, who was quoted as saying that action could be taken under Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 to revoke Malaysians' passports from three to five years for protesting overseas, civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan said that Section 8 only applies to foreigners, not Malaysians.
 
Syahredzan also pointed out that Section 7 of the Immigration Act explicitly provides that a citizen is entitled to enter Malaysia without need for permits or passes, except to Sabah and Sarawak.
 
"A passport is just for administrative purposes," Syahredzan told fz.com in a phone interview.
 
When a Malaysian travels overseas, the passport is a document to prove that he is a Malaysian, because the other country does not recognise the identity card issued by the Malaysian government. When a Malaysian lands in Malaysia, if he does not have a passport, he can show his identity card to prove that he is a Malaysian, he added.
 
"He (the DG) has no business in trying to stop Malaysians from entering Malaysia. And he has no business in commenting on what Malaysian people are doing overseas, because this is beyond his jurisdiction," Syahredzan said.

Read more at: http://fz.com/content/no-passport-ic-will-do-say-lawyers#ixzz2UYY6Jbx9 

The Hudud Boogeyman is Back

Posted: 27 May 2013 12:34 PM PDT

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What many of the non-Muslims who support Hudud fail to understand is for Hudud to be implemented, the environment must also be right. I am not referring to the climate. I am instead referring to a conducive environment. 

Parwaiz Win 

Khalid Samad, "As far as PAS is concerned, the basis of our struggle and reference is the same and will never change,". "When we talk about Islam, we will talk about hudud. And obviously we'll never say we have given it up,".  "Our struggle is to convince society to accept its implementation. All of Islam including its legal system will be part and parcel of our objective,". "Our struggle is to open up the society, have all our views presented and convince the public that there would be no harm if Islamic law is implemented,".

Karpal Singh, "There is no change in our stand whatsoever. These matters have already been put away and for them to bring it up again now is not quite right,". "I speak on behalf of my party and not in any circumstances will it change its stand,".

We are now a few weeks past GE 13 and the thorny issue of Hudud has come back to the forefront.

I feel it is not my right to question the validity of Hudud or its effectiveness this day and age. This is god's law for the Muslims and I have always believed in respecting everyone's religious beliefs.

I instead have another aspect I would like to explore which I feel a lot of people seem to have overlooked when discussing Hudud. A lot of opposition leaders have made it quite clear that Hudud will only be applied to Muslims; whether such a statement is just to garner the support of non-Muslims for PAS is anyone's guess.

With this current development, I have read of many fellow non-Muslim opposition supporters who voice their support for Hudud since it is meant only for the Muslims and many feel with Hudud, UMNO leaders will either have their hands chopped off, their privates chopped off and etc. Overall, the general consensus among many non-Muslim opposition supporters is that Hudud will end UMNO's stranglehold on power and UMNO leaders will have to face Hudud for their alleged wrongdoings. Again, this is debatable and this too is not what I want to bring forward for discussion.

For the sake of discussion, let's assume Hudud is implemented and specifically for Muslims alone. Let's not dwell on constitutional hurdles before Hudud can be implemented. Let us instead look at the dynamics for Hudud to be implemented in Malaysia.

At this juncture, I hope everyone will put aside politics and truly try to understand what I am trying to bring forward. This is food for thought and by the end of the article, if I have not made you to think in a rational manner with regards to Hudud then I can confidently say you did not put aside political affiliation when you processed what you have just read.

Imagine now Hudud is implemented In Malaysia and it is only applicable to Muslims; one might say, lovely, it does not affect the lives of non-Muslims. If you believe this then you are so far from the truth; maybe the implementation of Hudud alone will wake you up from day dreaming.

Putting aside the logistics, manpower and etc to implement Hudud, what many of the non-Muslims who support Hudud fail to understand is for Hudud to be implemented, the environment must also be right. I am not referring to the climate. I am instead referring to a conducive environment. You lost me? Ok, let me get you back on track.

Hudud is god's law and it is fair in principle and in spirit. But Hudud cannot be implemented not just because of logistics but also because for Hudud to be implemented the environment has to be ideal.

Meaning, one cannot just impose Hudud and have clubs, bars, girls in micro minis, magazines with provocative pictures and many more things which will tempt those who can be charged with Hudud in direct contact with such temptations.

Islam is fair; one cannot implement Hudud if temptations are readily available. Are you still following me?

Hence, everything that can coax, tempt and rattle the soul of a man must be removed and he be given an environment where he will not go on a head to head collision with Shariah and Hudud.

Besides providing legal means for discipline, Islam also provides non-legal teachings for the reform of society, which greatly help in curbing crimes. This implies that a state cannot absolve itself of its duties by just enforcing the Hudud; it is also responsible for creating an atmosphere that discourages the incidence of crime in the first place.

With that being said, how is Hudud not going to effect the non-Muslims? One must be truly gullible to think otherwise. The primary foundation before Hudud can be implemented is the absence of motivating factors.

How do we now ensure a fair chance … well, we will need to surely remove the motivating factors. This, my friends is a fact! Whether you like it or not, this is what is needed before Hudud can be implemented. And you still think Hudud for Muslims only will not affect you?

Many might argue that we will practice a Malaysian version of Hudud; well my dear friends, there is only one version of Hudud. There is no such thing as a Malaysian version of Hudud.

Islam is a fair religion and those that will be judged under Hudud will be given a fair chance. This is the spirit of Shariah and Hudud. It is not just a law to wield the axe; it is a law which gives those that will be judged an environment which is void of temptations which can lead to an action that runs contrary to Shariah.

Again I ask you, how is PAS going to create such an environment and yet at the same time not affect the rights of non-Muslims?

One cannot expect to have clubs, China dolls, skimpy dressed girls, bars, prostitutes, casinos and other things everywhere and not expect a person to be tempted. Be fair … Muslim are also humans and they too have weaknesses. Contrary to popular belief, they too have blood flowing in their veins.

Was it not PAS who said they would shut down Genting Casino if they won? Why shut it down? Is this not a case of interfering with the rights of non-Muslims? I believe Nik Aziz even went on to say even other religions do not condone gambling. Is this again not a form of infringement on the rights of non-Muslims?

What TG Nik Aziz has failed to see is that unlike Islam which does not waiver, many religions of this modern age have changed or to the least been liberalized with time. A classic example is how gay people are now able to get married.

TG Nik Aziz's point of view is that of a Muslim and his failure to grasp that he should not equate the Islamic principles with that of other religions is what will effect non-Muslims if Hudud were to be implemented in Malaysia.

This does not mean TG Nik Aziz is wrong and the implementation of Hudud is wrong; it just means, non-Muslims will be affected.

Finally, allow me to make one thing clear; this is not about if Hudud is good or bad. This is to bring some kind of awareness to what it takes for Hudud to be implemented. So … my dear non-Muslims who seem to welcome Hudud with open arms but at the same time with eyes closed …. You still want Hudud?


 

Shrinking population of the Chinese and Indians

Posted: 27 May 2013 12:17 PM PDT

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And more and more Chinese and Tamils or Indians are starting to realize that they will forever be classified as 'pendatang' or outsiders. Pendatang is not an immigrant. A pendatang is someone who is outside of the Nusantara or Dunia Melayu. 

 

Mansor Puteh 

 

I don't think the Chinese and Tamil newspapers will ever allow a Melayu to write a column in their papers extolling the virtues of the sekolah kebangsaan.

 

The truth is the Chinese and Tamils who study in the sekolah kebangsaan are better behaved. They also look pleasant, and are easy to deal with.

 

No Chinese and Tamil with the sekolah kebangsaan background is known to be chauvinistic in their attitude.

 

And no Chinese and Tamil or Indian in America, the United Kingdom, Australia or New Zealand or even France would ever want to or be able to send their children to the vernacular Mandarin or Tamil schools, where their communities could demand and expect to get land and financial aid from the respective governments.

 

Despite having the Pancasila, the Indonesian government will never give an inch of land or a rupiah for the establishment of Mandarin or Tamil schools in Indonesia.

 

This proves that the Melayu are liberal for allowing your column to be published in the NST.

 

But the trick here is to allow you to express certain slanted views on the matter concerning vernacular education, until it becomes apparent that it has failed even the Chinese and Tamil communities including the Melayu who studied there.

 

A high-ranking RTM official told me they could not get even one Melayu to read the Mandarin news because none is good with reading. I told him it would be fun to see a tudung-clad Melayu woman reading Mandarin news as much as the Tamil news.

 

Maybe RTM did not make an effort to get Melayu women to read Mandarin and Tamil news because that could cause an uproar amongst the Chinese and Tamil communities, like there are no Chinese and Tamil-Muslims in the country.

 

I am afraid the Mandarin and Tamil schools are the main reasons why many of the Chinese and Tamils are backward, economically.

 

How could they develop themselves if they stop schooling early?

 

Here are some facts that you should consider.

 

Most of the Chinese and Tamils who are involved in illegal and criminal activities are those with vernacular background; they could not find jobs in the government and private sectors, and therefore had to create new job opportunities for themselves.

 

The same with the late Lim Goh Tong who was not educated, who spoke simple bazaar Melayu and no English; he too had to get involved in the gambling business.

 

It was a major mistake made by Tunku Abdul Rahman to allow him to operate the casino in Genting Highlands as this one core activity had allowed the Chinese to expand their economy in Malaysia, which is largely based on those activities which Muslims consider to be haram.

 

Millions of Chinese are also indirectly involved in such businesses, especially illegal money-lending or 'ahlong', bars, massage, prostitution and other entertainment centers, after it became untenable for them to solicit funds from traders and small businessmen by extortion as what the early gang or triads had done in the country right up to the break of the 13 May, 1969 incident, all of which involved a certain degree of corruption to allow these actions to go virtually unnoticed.

 

In fact many of the factories operated by the Chinese in Selangor and in the other states have been known to be illegal despite them having been around for more than a decade.

 

How could all this go unnoticed if there is no corruption involved? 

 

But the real problems faced by the Chinese in Malaysia today - the New Malaysian-Chinese Dilemma today is how they are displacing themselves living in ghettos created by the British, which includes the schools which sprouted in those communities called 'kampung baru Cina'.

 

The fast shrinking population of the Chinese is another cause of alarm for them so in another decade all the Chinese communities will be 'surrounded' by the Melayu who are encroaching their turf and businesses so much so that young Chinese will start to be happy serving as amah and drivers for the Melayu as what happened in the past.

 

Even Tunku Abdul Rahman had Chinese cooks and amah and gardeners at The Residency when he was prime minister, and he adopted Chinese babies.

 

My grant-aunt and few sisters-in-law were all former Chinese who were given to Melayu couples because their parents did not trust the Chinese to be able to look after them.

 

The new Malaysian-Chinese Dilemma is also mostly about how the Chinese realize that they do not belong in any race as the term Chinese is not a race as such; it is just a description of the people and citizens of China as much as the Indians who are citizens of India.

 

There are no Chinese or Indian languages.

 

But the Melayu exists as a race as there is the Melayu language.

 

And more and more Chinese and Tamils or Indians are starting to realize that they will forever be classified as 'pendatang' or outsiders. Pendatang is not an immigrant. A pendatang is someone who is outside of the Nusantara or Dunia Melayu.

 

Indonesians and other Melayu in Southeast Asia are not pendatang in Malaysia; they are perantau or saudara kita. They are not like the Chinese and Indians who are orang lain or orang asing.

 

Therefore it is good that the NST is kind enough to allow you to have a column. The trick, I believe, is to allow your stilted views on Chinese education to show their true colors as the population of the Chinese in the country shrinks further, as much as the economy of the Chinese.

 

So by 2050, there will be 80% Melayu and Muslims in Malaysia and just 15% Chinese and about 5% Indians.

 

Unite under UBA to Safeguard Borneo Rights

Posted: 27 May 2013 12:08 PM PDT

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The strength of Borneo unity and role of Sabah and Sarawak as "Kingmakers" cannot be more emphasized than the position of the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak after GE-13 which has contributed a record 11 Ministers and 10 Deputy Ministers and with their own ministries unlike being "Menteri Jalan-Jalan" without portfolios under the PM's Department in the past.

Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Chairman STAR Sabah

"The people and political parties of Sabah and Sarawak should unite under a single umbrella to safeguard Borneo rights and secure their future under the Federation of Malaysia" said Datuk Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, STAR Sabah Chief, in response to the various opinions on opposition unity in Sabah.

Ever since the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and the ejection of Singapore from the Federation in 1965, the position of Sabah and Sarawak has been eroded and rights taken away through a series of subtle and not-so-subtle manipulations by the Federation of Malaya and their political leaders in Kuala Lumpur.

The list of wrong-doings is long and ever-growing.

The Malaysia Agreement was not implemented and thrown down the drain;
The 20-Points have not been complied with;
The Head of State has been downgraded from "Yang DiPertua Negara to "Yang DiPertua Negeri" in 1975";
Sabah's oil and gas resources had been unjustly and unlawfully vested to Petronas in 1975;
Sabah's federal taxes and other revenues are siphoned wholly by the Federal government to the tune of a whopping RM38 billion in 2012 and another RM40 billion is targeted to be collected in 2013;
Sabah's population demographics and political franchise are changed forever with the unwarranted issuance of dubious MyKads and ICs to unqualified foreigners born outside Sabah;
Sabah's security has been totally ignored as can be seen in the recent Lahad Datu intrusion by armed foreigners, many alleged to be holding ICs and Umno memberships;
From the second richest State in 1970s, it is now the poorest in the country.

Even the history of the formation of Malaysia is twisted and the false re-written history is taught to our young in schools. Malaysia never existed before 1963 and never gained independence. Yet we have been made to celebrate Malaya's independence since 1963 instead of Malaysia Day and Sabah's Independence is cast aside and not even confined to the history books as if it never happened.

The Umno/BN propaganda machinery and brainwashing have been so complete that the young generations have lost their thought that Sabah and Sarawak are not supposed to be subservient States to Malaya/Malaysia but equal partners with special rights equal to Malaya.  

As can be seen from the results of the recent GE-13, the voters in Sabah and Sarawak were taken in by the concept of a "2-Party System" contest between BN and PR when in reality and in practicality, a "2-Party System" and Malayan-based political parties cannot best fight for the rights and autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak.

If the "2-Party System" is entrenched in Sabah and Sarawak in GE-14, the special rights and autonomy of the Borneo States will be lost forever and Sabah and Sarawak will be downgraded to and remain as the 12th and 13th states of Malaya/Malaysia forever.

It is therefore imperative for Sabahans and Sarawakians to stand united under a single Borneo umbrella, both at state-level and jointly, which can champion and safeguard their rights and autonomy. We cannot rely on Malayan political parties, which sometimes have conflicting agendas, and their local proxies and stooges to safeguard Sabah and Sarawak rights and interests.

The common platform for Borneo unity is already available under the UNITED BORNEO ALLIANCE (UBA). It is a matter of getting the relevant parties to work together and forging ahead to re-claim Sabah and Sarawak rights and autonomy.

The strength of Borneo unity and role of Sabah and Sarawak as "Kingmakers" cannot be more emphasized than the position of the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak after GE-13 which has contributed a record 11 Ministers and 10 Deputy Ministers and with their own ministries unlike being "Menteri Jalan-Jalan" without portfolios under the PM's Department in the past.

Even the 25 non-Umno BN MPs from Sarawak and 8 from Sabah could have toppled the BN federal government by switching camp to PR and in the process could have demanded the restoration of the rights of Sabah and Sarawak. That is the strength of Sabah and Sarawak in the current political equation in Malaysia.

Unfortunately and ironically, instead of fighting for the rights of Sabah and Sarawak, the MPs and local BN components have settled for personal ministerial positions when they could have created history by restoring the rights of Sabah and Sarawak and at the same time maintain their ministerial positions in the new coalition/federal government.

Not only are the rights and autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak are at stake. The future of all Sabahans and Sarawakians are at stake. These rights, autonomy and future can be secured by a united opposition under UBA, both at state and joint Sabah/Sarawak levels, and there is no better alternative at the moment. 

Malaysian defense minister visits ‘home’

Posted: 27 May 2013 12:05 PM PDT

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(Jakarta Post) - Malaysian Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi revealed his Javanese heritage on Thursday in Yogyakarta during his state visit. 


He said he had Javanese blood as his paternal grandparents originally came from Kulonprogo in Yogyakarta.

"I am coming home," Zahid told The Jakarta Post, adding that he would be staying in Yogyakarta for two days with his wife, having attended the Jakarta International Defense Dialogue (JIDD) on Wednesday.

While in Yogyakarta, Zahid plans to meet relatives including Yogyakarta Mayor Haryadi Suyuti and friends including the Yogyakarta sultan's brother, GBPH Joyokusumo, as well as visiting the royal cemetery in Imogiri, Bantul.

Zahid said that his grandparents moved from Kulonprogo to Malaysia in 1932, while his mother's grandfather had come from Ponorogo, East Java, and later married a Malaysian woman. He added that the fact that he had Indonesian blood made it easier to handle political disputes with the Indonesian government. 

"Complications can be solved because of this closeness," said Zahid, who was previously Malaysian deputy tourism minister.

Among the Indonesia-Malaysia issues that he was attempting to resolve included problems relating to Indonesian migrant workers working in Malaysia and the dispute over the Ambalat sea block.

 

Kredit: www.malaysia-today.net

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