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Soul searching time for BN & PR

Posted: 05 May 2013 05:22 PM PDT

It's not exactly 2008 all over again but it is pretty close to a status quo. There are a few key differences which will force both coalitions to do some serious soul searching. 

Oon Yeoh, The Sun Daily

THE results of the highly anticipated GE13 was not something either party will be happy with. Pakatan Rakyat (PR) failed in its bid to take over Putrajaya. Meanwhile, Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to win back key states and a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

It's not exactly 2008 all over again but it is pretty close to a status quo. There are a few key differences which will force both coalitions to do some serious soul searching.

Let's start with BN. Prior to the polls, it was widely commented by political observers and analysts alike that Prime Minister Najib Razak needs to win big in order to keep his job.

Specifically, he needs to win back Selangor and also secure a two-thirds majority control of Parliament. In other words, do much better than in 2008.

If he fails to achieve these two things, he might face challenges to his position as president of Umno. Well, Selangor is still in PR's hands and BN still does not have a two-thirds majority in Parliament. Does that mean Najib's position as prime minister is doomed?

If one looks at what happened to former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after BN's poor showing in 2008, that would be the natural conclusion. But at the end of the day, it all depends on Umno, for the president of Umno is traditionally the prime minister of the country.

Will there be internal party challenges to topple him? Or will his lieutenants and troops instead all rally behind him and help gear up for the next five years and GE14? What Umno has to decide is whether replacing Najib will improve BN's performance in the next election or will giving him the full backing to continue with his transformation programmes do the trick.

Umno's key partners in the peninsula failed to perform. MIC managed to win four federal seats, just like the last time around. It's not a great showing but it's better than MCA and Gerakan, who performed disastrously.

MCA saw its 15 parliamentary seats shrink to a mere five. Its president Chua Soi Lek had famously declared before the polls that if MCA did worse than before, as a matter of principle, MCA would not accept any positions in a BN cabinet.

If he sticks to this principle, there would be serious implications to both MCA and to BN. What would become of MCA if it's not part of the cabinet?

Any lingering relevance of influence it would have would be gone. But it's also a problem for BN for it would mean the BN cabinet would largely consist of Umno and East Malaysian parties. Is that a viable situation for a government whose slogan is 1Malaysia?

MCA needs to seriously consider its role in the coalition. In a way, its raison d'etre is already gone. If the 2008 results indicated that the Chinese had abandoned MCA, the 2013 results confirm it.

Should it transform itself into a multi-racial party instead? Or should it adopt an even more radical approach and instead of remaining a political party, become a Chinese NGO that focuses on commerce and education, for example?

Whatever the case, it can't do more of the same. It should forget about harping on hudud and warning that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS. That simply does not work anymore. Warning Chinese voters that they would lose representation in the government if they don't vote for MCA doesn't work either. It needs to seriously think out of the box.

The same goes for Gerakan, which was completely wiped out in Penang, again. There is no hope for rejuvenation by doing more of the same. Like MCA, it needs to consider whether it should continue as a party and if so, what it needs to change in order to become relevant and appealing again.

Pakatan Rakyat parties had mixed results. DAP performed superbly, winning almost every seat it contested in. Both PKR and PAS did "so so". Both managed to wrest several seats from BN but both also lost a few to BN too. PAS however lost a state, Kedah, to BN.

In one of my pre-election commentaries, I mentioned that the most stable configuration for PR would be for DAP to have the most number of seats followed by PKR and then by PAS.

In such a scenario, DAP would be pragmatic enough to defer coalition leadership to PKR, which would be fully aware that it is not the dominant party. PAS in third place would not be able to insist on hudud. Such an optimum configuration allows for equilibrium in the coalition.

DAP has done well but its growth its limited as long as it remains a Chinese-dominated party. It needs to find a way to attract other races into the party, particularly the Malays.

This has always been a challenge for the party and it has not made much progress in that area. If it ever aspires to lead PR, it needs to be more multiracial.

PKR's Anwar has said that this would be his last election. The problem is that there is no clear successor. There is no senior party member that has his kind of gravitas or stature.

No one that both DAP and PAS can accept as their prime minister-in-waiting. His daughter, Nurul Izzah, is very popular but she is also very young. Her time will come but it won't be so soon. Its second-tier of leaders will need to step out of Anwar's shadows. It won't be easy.

In recent years, PAS saw a tussle between the hardliners and the progressives. The party is currently led by the latter but the former still wields some influence. Notice how the hudud issue flared up right before the polls.

This is something PAS needs to sort out. Its relatively poor showing, particularly its loss of Kedah, which was run by hardliners, should indicate to the party that progressiveness, not conservatism, is the way to go. But can its leadership accept that wholeheartedly?

Oon Yeoh is a columnist for theSun and editor of the book "Tipping Points – Viewpoints on the reasons for, and impact of, the March 8 election earthquake."


The strong wind of anti-ruling party in Chinese community

Posted: 05 May 2013 04:01 PM PDT

The BN is now facing a new political situation, in which Malay voters are still supporting it while Chinese voters have bid farewell to it. Would it continue its transformation policy, or shift back to the conservative racial line?

Lim Sue Goan, Sin Chew Daily

The strong wind of anti-ruling party in the Chinese community has made the DAP the biggest winner of the 13th general election. However, the strategy of trying to set off a political tsunami by fielding Lim Kit Siang to contest in Johor has achieved only partial success as it did not receive a positive response from Malay voters.

The anti-ruling wind in the Chinese community is even stronger than the one set off in the 2008 general election, causing a greater defeat to the MCA and Gerakan compared to the last election, particularly in Johor, the MCA's bastion.

PAS fails to win more Malay votes

Chinese voters have voted for Pakatan Rakyat without hesitation, resulting in a big victory for DAP in Penang, while helping Pakatan Rakyat to retain power in Selangor by winning 38 state seats.

The big victory of Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah showed that he has gained one-sided support from the Chinese. However, PAS and the PKR were unable to gain more Malay votes and as a result, Pakatan Rakyat failed to win the Johor state regime and set off a political tsunami.

In addition to the good result in Johor, the DAP also won big in Negeri Sembilan and Perak. Negeri Sembilan DAP won all the contested two parliamentary seats and 11 state seats, annihilating the state MCA and Gerakan. The Perak DAP also won all the contested 18 state seats.

Massive defeat for BN Chinese-based parties

Since most Chinese have voted for Pakatan Rakyat, BN Chinese-based parties have suffered a massive blow and many leaders have been defeated, including MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Kong Cho Ha, MCA vice-president Datuk Seri Chor Chee Heung, Malacca MCA chief Datuk Gan Tian Loo, Penang BN chairman Teng Chang Yeow and SUPP veteran Datuk Yong Khoon Seng. Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and MCA Young Professionals Bureau chief Datuk Chua Tee Yong won by a narrow margin in Bentong and Labis respectively.

Among the seven Chinese-majority seats contested, the SUPP is able to keep only the Serian seat, suffering the same setback of the 2011 state election.

Chinese votes tend to support Pakatan Rakyat from East Malaysia to Peninsula. The BN must review and reflect on it. Could it be because the transformation plans are not convincing enough? Or are there problems in its governance?

There were analyses about the mentality of Chinese voters earlier. What the Chinese want is fair governance and proper management. However, due to some political considerations, some measures have failed to be put in place, such as the UEC recognition issue.

Of course, we cannot deny that there are internal problems in BN Chinese-based parties, which is also why the Chinese have lost confidence in them. These problems include party crisis in the MCA and the SUPP, as well as the failure of Gerakan to reform.

1Malaysia Penang Welfare Club's disservice

In addition, there are also problems to the campaign strategy of BN Chinese-based parties. For example, the "carnival-style" campaign organised by the 1Malaysia Penang Welfare club has brought a negative effect and sparked public discontent while blurring the BN's policies and commitments in Penang.

Meanwhile, despite the great loss of Chinese votes, Malay votes have returned to the BN, enabling it to regain Kedah and keep Perak while forming a phenomenon that Umno alone is able to win many state regimes.

However, the return of Malay votes is not ideal in some areas, particularly in Penang.

Umno's performance in Terengganu is also not as good as expected and it can keep its state regime only by gaining a narrow victory, allowing PAS have gained a number of seats in the state.

The BN is now facing a new political situation, in which Malay voters are still supporting it while Chinese voters have bid farewell to it. Would it continue its transformation policy, or shift back to the conservative racial line?

If Umno wants to defend its regime, it cannot return to its old line, but must continue the pace of opening up, or a polarised situation might be formed.

In addition to winning back the confidence of the Chinese, the BN should also review on why urban voters have rejected it, causing defeats even to Umno ministers in Kuala Lumpur.

Voters have made their choices and what the BN should do now is to analyse the reasons.


GE13: Sounding more like a broken record

Posted: 05 May 2013 03:22 PM PDT

Politicians have been saying the same thing for the last five years and nothing a politician says can be fresh.

They don't realise that in the end a politician is a politician regardless of political affiliation. Politics is not black and white. It is not angels vs devils.

One Man's Meat by PHILIP GOLINGAI, The Star

BLAH blah blah blah blah..., blah blah blah blah blah..., vote for me."

On Monday, I was at a ceramah in a block of flats in Ipoh Barat parliamentary constituency.

After 10 days of listening to politicians since Nomination Day, they were beginning to sound like that.

Surrounded by about a 200 mostly working class crowd, I was getting bored listening to the speaker who is a nationally known politician. What he was saying was the same.

At the ceramah I felt as if I had died and ended up in a hell where I had to listen to Psy's Gangnam song over and over and over again for eternity.

Politicians from his political divide have been saying the same thing for the last five years.

Malaysia has been in politicking since the political tsunami of 2008 that nothing a politician says can be fresh.

The politician who took a holier than thou attitude sounded like my mother.

Instead of nagging me to attend Sunday mass, he nagged me to vote for his party.

Yawn. Yawn. Yawn.

Bored, I tweeted: "I'm at a ceramah. After 10 days of listening to politicians, they're beginning to sound like this: blah blah blah blah blah blah. #GE13".

About a dozen Tweeters replied, echoing my views.

A friend tweeted: "It is getting a bit boring. Politicians talking about the same stuff. I wanna hear something interesting."

Encouraged, I tweeted: "In the end, a politician is a salesman. He wants you to buy his dope and vote him to be a YB. #GE13".

That was the last ceramah I attended in peninsular Malaysia.

I attended a ceramah when I flew back to my hometown in Sabah on Friday.

I was in Papar town about 30km from Kota Kinabalu. There were about 50 people in a house in a village not far from town. And from the number of people attending the ceramah (they look like they were his family members and friends), I knew this assemblyman wannabe would not be a YB.

Though I sleep, eat and drink politics, I'm tired of the rumours that I've been receiving since parliament was dissolved.

Actually, social media rumours are quite entertaining.

What is tiresome is the people who believe them.

While Malaysians were casting their votes I received unbelievable messages.

For example, over 5,000 voters in constituency X had their finger smeared with indelible ink. It happened from 10pm to midnight. Every single smeared finger is worth RM6k!!! Please go out and vote so politician X will not lose.

I told the person, who sent the WhatsApp message to me, to do the math – RM6,000 x 5,000 voters is RM30mil.

"I also nyaris tertipu (I almost believed it)," he replied.

Want another example? I bet a few people believe this rumour as they really want to believe in what they want to believe.

Via WhatsApp, I received this: "Dr M has departed from Subang to Europe. Reason he seek medical treatment."

At around noon yesterday, The Star sent an SMS: "Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad casts his vote at SK Titi Gajah, dispelling opposition claims he left the country last night."

Today, I'm sure I will receive more outrageous SMS, tweets or Facebook and WhatsApp messages.

If you ask me what I will not miss the last five years is how a segment of Malaysians have the "you are either with us or against us" mentality. They are so self-righteous that politics is like a cult to them.

To them, only their brand of politics is clean. To them only their politicians are clean.

I kind of laughed when some of these "clean" politicians ditched their party on nomination day and contested as Independents.

So how now? Before Nomination Day, these were "clean" politicians. But after Nomination Day, instantly like Maggi Mee, these politicians became "dirty".

They don't realise that in the end a politician is a politician regardless of political affiliation.

Politics is not black and white. It is not angels vs devils.

For the last one year I have lived a life postponed. I could not plan for a holiday.

Probably the most asked question in the last one year was "when is GE13?" About 99% got their prediction wrong.

Today, I'm hoping we will live in a less politically intense Malaysia.

I checked Twitter and there were Malaysians who were experiencing political fatigue.

For example, @Rekka86 tweeted: "Really can't wait to get over GE. I think I'm done hearing so much news, the uncountable number of flags, banners, posters, ads everywhere!"

But the prediction is we will not get back our life after GE13. It will be politics as usual. We have awakened, politically.

I wonder when is GE14.


GE13: Reeling from Chinese tsunami

Posted: 05 May 2013 03:15 PM PDT

Barisan Nasional keeps its hold on power thanks to the Malay breakwater that held back a Chinese wave that swept over the country.

Joceline Tan, The Star

A CHINESE tsunami swept over the country last night. It ripped through all the seats that had a significant Chinese electorate and devastated Gerakan and MCA in the peninsula and SUPP in Sarawak.

The tsunami was basically about the Chinese electorate going for change. The result was that the DAP emerged the big winner, making new gains everywhere, including in Johor.

But it was evident that the Pakatan Rakyat slogan of "ABU, or Asalkan Bukan Umno (Anything But Umno)" had also resonated with the urban populace in general because Pakatan regained Selangor with a two-thirds majority.

The Chinese tsunami also helped to carry many of the PKR candidates in many of the mixed seats.

However, the tsunami could not quite make it to Putrajaya.

At about 1am, a solemn-looking Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced that Barisan Nasional had a simple majority to form the government.

At press time, Barisan had attained 133 seats, still short of the 138-seat majority won by his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Najib was clearly disappointed but he spoke in a calm and steady voice as he urged everyone to accept the election result as part of the democratic process.

The Malay electorate, especially those in the rural states, continued to back Barisan. It is a small consolation to Najib that the Malays have returned to Umno in a significant way.

The Malay wall held back the Chinese tsunami and Barisan won back Kedah. It also held on to Perak, which was a subject of speculation until close to midnight.

At press time, Barisan won Perak with 31 state seats against 28 by Pakatan. But Pakatan continued to dominate in Penang with an increased majority.

PAS managed to hold on to Kelantan with a much reduced majority, which showed that Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat's appeal as a religious figure still commands support in the state.

As predicted, PAS won the least seats among the Pakatan parties and DAP is now the dominant party in Pakatan with the most number of seats. It can also lay claim to having defeated a top Umno leader, namely former Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Ghani Othman in Gelang Patah.

The Pakatan wins also mean that Johor and Sarawak are no longer the fixed-deposit states for Barisan.

The zero sum game of politics means that DAP's gain is MCA's loss because both parties contested in Chinese-majority seats. MCA won only seven parliamentary seats, far short of the 15 that it won in 2008.

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek tweeted late last night that the party would not be accepting any government posts.

This was in keeping with the pledge made that the party would not accept posts in the Government if it did not do better this time.

A big question mark hangs over the future of MCA as well as Gerakan and SUPP and they will have to do much soul-searching after this.

The Chinese rejection of Barisan is a big blow to Najib, who went out of his way to persuade them to come along on his economic and political transformation journey.

The Chinese have rejected a moderate and inclusive leader, who has made more overtures to the Chinese than any other Prime Minister before him, and Najib and his coalition will have to reassess all this in the months to come.

There will also be soul-searching on the part of PAS, given its loss in Kedah and the defeat of several of its top leaders, including its deputy president Mohamed Sabu in Kedah and vice-president Salahuddin Ayub in Johor. Another vice-president, Datuk Husam Musa, lost in Putrajaya.

One of the most disturbing aspects of the election result is that the ruling coalition is dominated by Umno and the Malays while the opposition Pakatan is dominated by the Chinese-based DAP.

The impact of this will become clearer as the dust settles over the most closely-fought election ever.


The winners and losers of GE13

Posted: 05 May 2013 02:47 PM PDT

What is crystal clear is that many Malaysians want a system of check and balance.

The Malaysian Insider

Take a bow, Malaysians. You are the big winner from GE13, you have firmly entrenched the two-coalition system in the country. The days of Barisan Nasional (BN) having unfettered power are truly over. The result of 2008 was not a flash in the pan, it merely was the start of a trend. Yesterday, that trend continued and Malaysians gave Pakatan Rakyat (PR) 89 federal and 230 state seats and 51 per cent of the popular vote.

What is crystal clear is that many Malaysians want a system of check and balance.

Now the audition for the next polls begins. It is really up to BN to accept that despite the victory, much is wrong with the BN formula and that the non-Malays, especially Chinese, sought refuge with PR simply because the excesses of BN politics and overt racism in this beloved country have become intolerable.

For PR, today will be tough but the prized jewels of Selangor and Penang still remain in your clutches and your popular vote was some 240,000 over BN, despite facing a machine with billions of ringgit at its disposal.

But the fact remains that many Malays remain unsure about your policies and direction. And without the support of Malays in Malaysia, change is impossible.

All said, Malaysians take a bow. Activism is very much alive in this country and people were willing to speak up for their convictions and political ideals, stepping out of their comfort zones for what they believed. And turning out to vote in record numbers. That is true patriotism.

The other winners from GE13:

● Najib Razak

Though the BN performed worse than five years ago, Datuk Seri Najib Razak's (picture) position as the president of Umno is secure.

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad suggested a month ago that Najib could come under threat during the Umno polls in November if he did not matchTun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's position but the simple fact is that Brand Najib carried Umno to victory this time around.

Yes, money was thrown around like confetti and populist policies were the norm in the run-up to the polls but it is arguable that without his stamina on the stump, Umno would not have won so many seats. Hard to see anyone rising to challenge him from within Umno.

● Nurul Izzah Anwar

Don't think there is a more loved politician than this woman of grace. Some tout her as a future prime minister but her rise and rise in Malaysian politics is testimony that you don't have to indulge in muck raking and negative politics to come up.

When Nurul speaks, she talks about hope, so unlike many Malaysian politicians who fear monger. She was carried across the line against the financial might and organisation of Senator Raja Datuk Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin by Malaysians who truly cherish her humility and inclusiveness.

● Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud

He thumbs his nose at the MACC and doesn't care what people think about his integrity or how well endowed all members of his family are. Why?

Because in Sarawak, he is king. Just before the Sarawak elections, Najib gave him a timetable to retire. Might as well junk that timetable.

He delivered big time for BN and sent a powerful message that he is truly formidable in Sarawak. Sad but true. No doubt helped by a fractured opposition. Any chance of the MACC visiting him soon? Don't hold your breath.

● Liew Chin Tong

This young man is the architect of the DAP's victory in Johor. He figured that PR might as well take the battle to the heart of Umno and BN rather than wait to be mauled and assaulted in their own strongholds.

He convinced a few party elders and rising stars to join him in Johor, and along the way, expanded the DAP's federal seats total to 38 with the combined multi-racial support of Johor.

If there ever was a Johor Way, Liew found it and showed the rest of Malaysia that nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.

● Khairy Jamaluddin

Five years is a long time in politics and it has been a boon for a young man who has matured into an astute politician in his quiet way.

The Umno Youth leader also tripled his majority from 5,746 votes in Election 2008 to 18,357 in the May 5 general election, showing that there are BN politicians whose popularity is real in his constituency and beyond.

He has shown his party that his appeal is beyond the core conservative right-wing elements and that he can reach out to most Malaysians his generation. Umno and BN would do well to keep rising stars like him in the front and centre of their future government and campaigns.

● Bersih

This organisation must take some credit for energising Malaysians to go out and vote. Messrs Ambiga Sreenevasan and others have done a sterling job in making Malaysians understand that voting is a civic duty of every citizen and highlighting the many weaknesses of the current electoral system.

The record voter turnout of 80 per cent and the largely peaceful elections are proof that civil society has a large role and place in Malaysia.



A politician under siege

Posted: 05 May 2013 02:22 PM PDT

For Najib, events that will come next will overtake him as he stands utterly alone, powerless and unable to do anything to save himself.


Najib Tun Razak's curse is that everything came too easy for him. Born with a silver spoon and into a life of privilege, he did not want for anything. He was the son of Malaysia's second prime minister and nephew of the third.

At the age of 23, with the memory of his father's recent death still fresh in the mind of all of us, Najib won election unopposed as MP for Pekan. At 25, he was appointed a deputy minister and at 29 became the Pahang menteri besar.

He married at the age of 23, divorced 11 years later and married again.

He became deputy to prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi because his name came up every time Pak Lah prayed for divine guidance in his choice for a deputy. Divine help for Najib if you insist!

Having become a deputy to Pak Lah, Najib profited from Dr Mahathir Mohamad's spiteful and relentless pursuit to oust Pak Lah.

Everything came too easily for Najib. At each juncture he was the victim of circumstances as events overtook him. He was never the master of his own destiny. Najib was always content to allow the tide to take him anywhere, and eventually the tide took him to Seri Perdana.

For Najib the alignment of the stars converged in April 2009 when a beleaguered Abdullah, having had enough of Umno's politics, handed the prime ministership to Najib without so much as a whimper.

Abdullah was a man for whom the giving up of political power was something he could do with ease because his commitment to Allah was greater.

So with no great effort on his part Najib found himself as the prime minister of Malaysia and by his side he had the formidable (both physically and in her determination to be the better half of their partnership) Rosmah Mansor: An asset to any man who would want his life partner to ride shotgun in his life's adventures.

Now after so much success in his life, Najib is about to find out that with great success also comes great failures. And like everything in his life, Najib is finding out that failure too comes easily to him.

Politics of opportunism

We are familiar with Najib's political trajectory. It peaked when he was picked by Abdullah as his deputy – not when he became prime minister.

I say this because after he was picked by Abdullah to be deputy prime minister, Najib did not conduct himself with honour as Pak Lah's deputy. Muhyiddin deserted Pak Lah in his hours of greatest need. Najib too did the dishonourable thing.

As in countless times before, Najib allowed himself to be carried away by the politics of opportunism. He allowed himself to be used by Mahathir to oust Pak Lah.

What he also now finds is that he is in a position where he must be the master of his own destiny.

He has run out of tides to ride, the sea is becalmed and he has to make his own waves if he is to be carried onwards towards his next destination after this slim, slim win yesterday.

It is quiet obvious that Najib is all at sea in trying to do this by himself.

Nothing in his time in politics had prepared him for what is to come. And it shows! For the millions of Malaysians what Najib need first to clarify beyond reproach is his involvement (or not) with the tragic death of Altantuya Shaaribuu. How did Najib deal with this?



Pakatan Rakyat should not concede defeat!

Posted: 05 May 2013 01:25 PM PDT
The Opposition Alliance, Pakatan Rakyat (PR), should seize the moral high ground on the 13th General Election concluded on May 5 and refuse to concede defeat without putting up a fight of its life over the Barisan Nasional (BN) seizing victory from the jaws of defeat through means more foul than fair. If PR refuses to concede defeat, BN cannot claim any legitimacy in Government. 

It's now or never! Ini Kali Lah!

Joe Fernandez

PR has estimated that it's not happy with the counting process in well over 20 parliamentary seats alone which would have taken it pass the 112 seat threshold. The errant counting process must be coupled with the revelations so far at the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in  Sabah which is set to resume its hearings very soon.
Besides, there are other factors to consider like illegal immigrants on the electoral rolls in Malaya as well, brushed aside ever so often by the Election Commission (EC), and which make the entire gazetting process of the rolls inherently null and void from the beginning.
A gazette is not law but merely the publication of a government announcement. Surely, it cannot be the intention of Parliament to allow the gazetting of tainted electoral rolls.
It's not a question of closing the stable doors after the horses have bolted.
The Opposition has raised various malpractices with the EC on numerous occasions but has always been given the short end of the stick on their constant complaints. The Opposition, being rather naïve on their part, deluded themselves into thinking for a while that the extent of electoral fraud would not be perpetrated to a degree that would affect the outcome.

Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened on May 5. The election results corrupted by malpractices which affected the outcome are inherently null and void. Such errant votes must be discounted for the actual tally to be known.
The media has reported the complaints of voters who found that they couldn't cast their votes because someone else had apparently stolen their identity and beaten them to it. Such complaints could be the tip of the iceberg considering that not all registered voters turned out to cast their votes. This would not prevent rogue elements from getting mercenaries to vote on behalf of the absentee voters.
There could be eligible voters who did not bother to register themselves but were registered anyway by other rogue elements who could have shepherded mercenaries to vote on behalf of such "voters".
How many dead voters still on the electoral rolls turned up to vote?

These things have happened in the past in Sabah as raised with the EC by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Supreme Council member Christina Liew Chin Jin Hadhikusumo in Sabah. She had discovered some two dozen 100-year-olds still on the electoral rolls and who had reportedly "turned up to vote in elections". It's not known whether the 100-year-olds turned up on May 5.
The bottomline is whether the extent of ineligible people voting affected the outcome of the elections.

There are various approaches which can be taken in the event that PR cannot concede defeat.
For starters, the Opposition needs to take up the counting process with the EC which would be well advised to stop being a BN lackey and take heed of objections and either provide the necessary and acceptable clarifications or make rectifications. The infamous postal votes are a sore point as well as the not so indelible ink. In the meantime, it cannot rush to gazette the election results.
The matter of objections would also mean that the EC should not inform the Chief Secretary to the Government that any coalition or party has won the 13
th General Election.
In case the EC stubbornly decides to bulldoze its way through to the Chief Secretary's Office, the Opposition should take up the matter with the Secretary of the Palace who can then advise the King accordingly.
No Government must be sworn into office in Putrajaya until and unless the real winner can be determined in a definitive manner by the EC, the Election Court or the King.
The question of the BN chairman Najib Abdul Rahman laying claim to the Prime Minister's position in the meantime does not arise. The King would not be able to conclude by any stretch of the imagination that Najib commands the confidence of the majority of the Parliament "elected" on May 5. There should be a vetting process on this.
Not all MPs in Sabah and Sarawak are happy with Najib and they should be allowed to have their say on the issue of who should be Prime Minister i.e. Najib, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim or someone else. The matter should be put to vote among the MPs whose victories are not in dispute.
Within Najib's own party, Umno, the Tengku Razaleigh faction may not be on the same page as the party president and coalition chief.
The Election Court may not be the ideal solution if it continues to take the view that the electoral rolls, once gazetted, cannot be challenged. Such a law is unconstitutional and against the principle of Rule of Law but assuming the electoral rolls are not challenged, the gazette itself and gazetting process can be challenged.
There's a risk here that the Court will fall back on technicalities, aided by the Attorney General, and knock out any electoral petition. It has happened before and can happen again.
The swearing in of the MPs can be delayed except where both sides of the divide agree on a list of seats which are not in dispute. Such MPs may be able to facilitate the summoning of Parliament and its opening by the King.
The King can also step in and swear in an Interim Government composed of both sides of the divide in Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak. This would call for the sharing of Federal Cabinet and government posts among the three territories until a regular Government can be set up.
The Interim Government would be the best way for BN to avoid getting into tricky legal grounds following the not so clean and not so fair elections on May 5.
No matter what happens as we go forward in the days and weeks ahead, and even months, it's clear that except for Umno, the BN is deader than dead in Malaya. It cannot be business as usual, a point which was made on Sat 8 Mar, 2008 after the 12
th GE.
The BN is alive and kicking in Sabah and Sarawak where it continues to be mauled by the Opposition.
The 2011 Sarawak election was a watershed as the Opposition took 16 seats in the state assembly.
Fast forward to 2013, the Opposition has taken 12 seats in the Sabah state assembly and three parliamentary seats and another six parliamentary seats in Sarawak.
There are 165 parliamentary seats in Malaya. PR has taken 80 seats and BN 85 seats.
In Sabah and Sarawak, the question is whether the BN's 48 parliamentary seats in Borneo are still pledged to continue supporting BN in Malaya or whether it will have any qualms in defecting to the PR camp if they are given the short end of the stick as in 2008. It was then Borneo which saved Umno in Malaya.
The refusal of Putrajaya to reward Sabah and Sarawak in the wake of the political tsunami in 2008 forced the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) to quit the BN on 17 Sept, 2008. The pullout took place a day after the 16 Sept, 2008 People's Revolution envisaged by PR failed to materialize for various reasons including the commencement of the Sodomy II prosecution against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.
The fear is that Sun 5 May, 2013 may be a repeat of Sat 8 Mat, 2008 and both Sabah and Sarawak will continue to be stubbornly shortchanged by Putrajaya even as PR waits in the wings.
Malaya cannot continue to hog the Federal Government which the 1963 Malaysia Agreement holds should be shared with Sabah and Sarawak in equal partnership.
Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person. He also tutors at local institutions and privately. He subscribes to Dr Stephen Hawking's "re-discovery" of the ancient Indian theory that "the only predictable property of the universe is chaos". He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper -- or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard -- whenever something doesn't quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview) or to give a Hearing to All. He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet. He's half-way through a semi-autobiographical travelogue, A World with a View.


GE13: Chandra - Significant Chinese vote swing has implications

Posted: 05 May 2013 12:48 PM PDT 

"This is a great pity because we are a multi-ethnic society. No MCA representation in the government would be a setback to the multi-ethnic and kongsi (share) policies we believe in," he told The Star.

The significant swing in Chinese votes towards Pakatan Rakyat has several implications as the country moves forward in the aftermath of an extremely tense 13th general election, said Dr Chandra Muzaffar.

The International Movement for Just World (JUST) president said the overwhelming Chinese preference for DAP had resulted in a lack of community representation in the new Barisan Nasional government.

He pointed out that MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had said the party would not take up any government posts if its performance worsened from the 2008 general election.

It had won 15 parliamentary seats in 2008, while at press time, the MCA won just eight seats this time.

"This is a great pity because we are a multi-ethnic society. No MCA representation in the government would be a setback to the multi-ethnic and kongsi (share) policies we believe in," he told The Star.

Dr Chandra believed that there would be a strong backlash from the Malay community as well, saying that many of them believed that Barisan chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had "bent over backwards" to win Chinese hearts in the past five years.

He said this could in turn affect Najib's position within Umno itself, as his efforts to woo the Chinese had not yielded the hoped-for results.

Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute CEO Tan Sri Michael Yeoh said the big swing in Chinese voters towards DAP had occurred because they believed Barisan would be booted out of office.

Calling it a "Chinese tsunami", he said it was quite clear the results showed greater racial polarisation with the rural Malays moving largely back to Umno as well.

"What's important is that there has to be some form of healing for the nation. We must bring the people back together again in the next several months," he said.

International Islamic University of Malaysia professor Datuk Seri Dr Syed Arabi Idid hoped that MCA would not relinquish its representation in the Government.

He felt the strong Chinese swing was not so much about racial polarisation but was based on issues.

"Moving forward, Barisan should address some issues of national interest that cut across all political parties and resolve them together with the opposition," he said, adding that Najib's message of national reconciliation was a very positive stand.



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