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Will today’s 505 rally be the bloodiest?

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 02:01 PM PDT

FMT LETTER: From Stephen Ng, via e-mail

Judging from the trend and the way things have been going these past two weeks, it appears to me that the Blackout 505 rally will be one of the biggest in the country since Bersih 3.0 on July 28, 2012.

This also may be one of the bloodiest if things go the way I predict it. Now that the general election is over, a few lives may be sacrificed on the ground, with the objective of quashing the voices of dissent and to create fear so that future rallies will not grow even bigger in numbers.

It may take the form of an amok, or something of that nature. During the acquittal of Anwar Ibrahim, they have already experimented with home-made bombs which until today, investigation has never revealed who were the culprits behind the blast.

The blame game would begin. It would of course be pointing towards the Opposition, as this rally is seen as a PKR-led protest, involving not only Pakatan supporters but also those who had gone for Bersih events in the past.

A repeat of Operation Lallang may then happen, to cripple Pakatan Rakyat, as Prime Minister, Najib Tun Razak tries to solidify his position within Umno Baru. Either way, it is not going to strengthen him in his position.

Zahid Ahmad Hamidi, as the new Home Minister, has not realised that he is being used as a pawn. Najib has moved his cousin, Hishamuddin Hussein to a new ministry, until such time when he has fully used Zahid to quash the Opposition. To further strengthen his position, Najib would place his cousin back into the powerful position as his Home Minister.

The new Inspector-General of Police, with his new zeal, would not hesitate to use whatever means to do his job, but if he chooses this path, he will walk down into history as someone considered most unpopular as a man in the blue. I hope the IGP would be a lot wiser than this – not to be used by politicians in their quest for more power.

In Malaysia, it is now a war between the people and the elite few. You will either remain neutral or you will be quashed at the end of the day, when the people gain the upper hand. This is something I believe former IGP, Musa Hassan has seen.

The Government, under Umno Baru and Barisan Nasional, has never learnt to be wiser in the way it deals with the rakyat. To go to war with the rakyat will mark the end of a quickly collapsing regime. The more you lash out at the people especially in a harsh manner like what Ahmad Zahidi had done in the past one month, the worse things will get.

If Blackout 505 turns out to be a bloody event by any means, and even if one life is being sacrificed before the end of the day, I dare not imagine how another Bersih 4.0 event would turn out.

Mahathir the cause of Umno's weak position

The rakyat's disappointments with the Mahathir's regime have reached an all-time high during the late 1990s, but now, it has reached an even higher temperature. If Dr Mahathir Mohamad had not stepped down, the rakyat – especially the Malays at that point in time – would have given the senile old man the biggest blow by kicking him out of the government. In short, he would have tasted what he did to Tunku Abdul Rahman in the early seventies.

The 1999 general election results have clearly shown that Umno Baru was in fact at the lowest point of its history, and if not for MCA, Gerakan and MIC's help, Barisan Nasional would have been wiped off during the tenth general election.

Now, the two biggest ingrates, Mahathir and Utusan Malaysia are again asking, "Apa Cina mau lagi?" This is exactly the reason why the Chinese have opted to vote for PAS than for MCA or Gerakan in GE13, because a vote for MCA or Gerakan would have been a vote for Umno and a regime that has outlived its hospitality as the ruling political party in this country.

The biggest mistake that former premier, Abdullah Badawi and now, Najib, have made is by keeping quiet over the voices of extremism within Umno. Abdullah Badawi with the Ahmad Ismail's 'pendatang' remarks, and now, Najib with Ibrahim Ali, Zulkifli Noordi and Mohd Noor Yaakob.

This is why, despite being given a bigger mandate to rule the country, Barisan Nasional under Abdullah Badawi had failed to maintain its2004 mandate in a subsequent general election in 2008. Najib is no better, with a worse result in the recent general election. Instead of capturing back Selangor, Umno has lost another two state seats, and in total Barisan Nasional had lost seven parliament seats to Pakatan Rakyat in 2013.

If not for the gerrymandering and the malapportionment of the constituencies, BN would have to pack its bag and vacate Putrajaya for a new government to take over under the leadership of Anwar Ibrahim.

The solution

With the evidences and the number of police reports lodged against the Election Commission's duo, Abdul Aziz and Wan Omar, it appears to me that Blackout 505 will continue on. If today's rally becomes a bloody event, there will be more of such rallies called, and each time it is called, it will be even bigger and more ad hoc.

No one will believe that Anwar would harm his own supporters, but all fingers will be pointed towards the Barisan Nasional Government without a doubt no matter how you argue until the cow comes home. Losing one supporter for Anwar means losing one precious vote, and not only one vote, but the votes of people around him; therefore, Anwar has no reason to create any harm to the rally goers. The people know that Anwar would not be that stupid as to see even a single person being killed, as it would then mar his Blackout 505.

The indelible ink is one of the biggest lies that no one can dispute today, not to mention that EC's Abdul Aziz claiming that the Ministry of Health had instructed the EC not to use anything more than one percent silver nitrate. This has made Abdul Aziz himself, and probably the entire EC council, to be guilty of criminal breach of trust since some RM6 million of people's fund has been used to purchase an ink that can be easily removed.

Both the chief and his deputy have not been able to deny the fact that the ink was in fact a way to hoodwink the nation, and it was, in many people's opinion, done to deceive the people, while opening a door for double voting to take place undetected.

How is it that Barisan Nasional can continue to rule the country when it no longer enjoys the mandate of the people? Not dismissing the possibility of a 'hop over', what BN has become today, is nothing but a minority government as the May 5 polling results show.

The solution to Blackout 505 rally today is for the EC duo to immediately step down at the 11th hour, or for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to step in and sack the duo and the entire council members at the 11th hour to prevent a major showdown by the rakyat today.

The sacking of the duo should also immediately be followed by an urgent meeting to discuss the revamp of the new Election Commission.This would leave Blackout 505 with no reason for the rally, but I doubt that BN leaders have the guts to call the shot, not forgetting that the entire polling system has been designed to keep BN in power for so long. This is the first time that the rakyat has seen, that with even 47 percent popularity vote, it is possible for Umno and BN to retain power in Putrajaya.

In fact, based on a chart drawn up by a Mr CN Ng, BN can and will always still remain in Putrajaya by a simple majority (or 112 seats),even with a 19 percent popularity vote. The figure is obtained from a chart that showed the number of constituents in every parliamentary seat across the nation. The rural seats are eventually what it takes for BN to remain in power.



1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 11:18 AM PDT

Kuala Lumpur Mayor has received an application for CHANGE OF USE OF LAND (FROM OPEN SPACE AND INSTITUTION TO COMMERCIAL) and amendment of layout plan of the Merdeka Heritage sites consisting a 5 bilion 118 storey office tower, 2 blocks of 40 storey service department, a block of 40 storey hotel. This include THE CHANGE of Reserved People's Merdeka Park, Schools, Institution and Road for COMMERCIALPURPOSE.
Never has a project public hearing nor public consultation eversince PM announced this so call 'Warisan Merdeka' COMMERCIAL PROJECT in 2011, now our mayor silently put up a notice board on the site and small notices on 4 printed papers, announcing that you have 14 days to make objection. 

Our government's land grab techniques and land use transformation has always amused us. 

For those who wanted to write in for objection, DO IT NOW and submit BEFORE 2.7.2013. 

Important Notes:
In most cases, the objection letters are ignored unless you:
•Post/expose your objection letter and action through medias.
•Make sure you have a copy of the letter that gets stamped 'received' by DBKL. 
•Copy the objection letter to the Housing and Local Govt Ministry, Urban Wellfare Ministry, Land and Mines Ministry and PM Dept.

Action now. 
Save Merdeka Heritage. 

Save Rakyat's lands from cronies capitalists. 

The Chinaman's Burden

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 10:47 AM PDT 

The political environment in Malaysia does not favor the Chinese community with the ruling government criticizing the Chinese community for not supporting them in the general election. That leaves the Chinese community in a dilemma because their economic dominant strength will face challenges with the political institution condemning their political direction.  

Natesan Visnu 

Extract from Dr. Mahathir's blog:

 "If today the schism between the races is deeper it is because the DAP reject the Malay/Chinese/Indian "kongsi". The DAP wants the Chinese who already dominate the economy, to dominate Malaysia's politics as well. It is clearly racist and rejects inter-racial sharing of power and wealth as advocated by the BN. Racial polarization has become more pronounced as a result. It will become more so in the future"

Extract from Lim Kit Siang's blog:

"What they want is a new politics of a Malaysian Dream which could unite all Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region, in a common national purpose to build a new Malaysia where all Malaysians can hold their heads high as proud citizens of a Malaysian nation where there is freedom, justice, good governance, prosperity for all Malaysians where the politics of race is a nightmare of the past"

The recent spat between two senior leaders on racism has intrigued the younger Malaysian to analyze further the concept of Malaysian Dream and racial polarization. The younger generation needs to dig further on the statements made by the leaders with a fair mind without any emotive sentiments towards political belief or support.

The Malaysian Chinese dominates the business and commerce sectors of Malaysian economy. Chinese community contributes 90% of the national income tax and 60% of Malaysia's national income. In context of socioeconomic, the Chinese makes up the higher percentage of Malaysia's educated and professional class. Chinese are the highest white-collar workforce and highest household income earner in Malaysia. Chinese community dominates the Malaysian economy.

In the current development of political economy, the scholars described 'political economy' as interdisciplinary studies of laws, economics and political science. The study explores relationships between political institutions, political environment and economy (capitalist, socialist & mixed) and how the three disciplines influence each other. Translating to our current political scenario, the political environment in Malaysia does not favor the Chinese community with the ruling government criticizing the Chinese community for not supporting them in the general election. That leaves the Chinese community in a dilemma because their economic dominant strength will face challenges with the political institution condemning their political direction. 

How a community with economic superiority does survive in the political chaotic environment? We examine the political chaotic environment using the prisoner's dilemma game. It is a game analyzed in game theory that shows why two individuals might not cooperate, even if it appears that it is in their best interests to do so.

Two members of a criminal gang are arrested and imprisoned. Each prisoner is in solitary confinement with no means of speaking to or exchanging messages with the other. The police admit they don't have enough evidence to convict the pair on the principal charge. They plan to sentence both to a year in prison on a lesser charge. Simultaneously, the police offer each prisoner a Faustian bargain. If he testifies against his partner, he will go free while the partner will get three years in prison on the main charge. Oh, yes, there is a catch ... If both prisoners testify against each other; both will be sentenced to two years in jail. (Wikipedia)

Advocating from traditional Prisoners' Dilemma structure;

Both political parties may choose to "Cooperate" or "Defect". The following describes the payoff matrix:

R (Reward) – if BN and DAP choose to cooperate

T (Temptation) and S (Sucker) – if BN defects, DAP refuses to cooperate and vice-versa

Punishment (P) – if both defects

                                           Cooperate (DAP)                                   Defect (BN)

Cooperate (BN)               R (BN), R (DAP)                                  S (BN), T (DAP)

Defect (DAP)                   T (BN), S (DAP)                                    P (BN), P (DAP)

The above is an example for mutual cooperation is greater than mutual separation. In the context of politics, DAP will never cooperate with BN because of fear for dominant strategy. Economic superiority will lose its strength when it is not backed by political will. The dominant player will always win the game regardless of the condition. In our current development, the Chinese is left with a burden to assist or rather develop the socio-economy of Malays, Indians, Iban, Kadazan, etc. Eliminating the strategy to work with BN leaves DAP with no options to pursue the mutual political cooperation via economic development and transformation at national level.

53% of Malaysian has supported Pakatan Rakyat. The challenge for the Chinese community is to uplift the poor Malaysians from poverty. The political support from Malaysians have demonstrated the desire for a Malaysian Dream. The aspiration from Malaysians must be transformed into reformation actions. The new politics as advocated by Lim Kit Siang has garnered political support but failure to develop socio-economy will definitely affect the support for Pakatan Rakyat. The failure in Kedah is an alarming signal from the public that if Pakatan Rakyat fails to perform, the people will not hesitate to vote PR out of public office.

DAP has demonstrated their political ambition to form a multiracial society. DAP has recruited leaders from all races to represent them. Lim Guan Eng has contributed to Islamic religious activities in Penang more than any other state in Malaysia. On the other hand, PKR has appointed a DAP woman to become the 1st female speaker in Dewan Undangan Negeri. The 'rakyat' truly appreciates the initiatives towards a multiracial society without race, religion or ethnicity. Kudos to Pakatan Rakyat!

The initiatives should not be stopped and the people are expecting more economic initiatives from Pakatan Rakyat. The strength for Pakatan Rakyat at this juncture comes from Chinese community economic strength, 53% popular votes, retaining Selangor, Kelantan and Penang and the additional 7 seats in Parliament. The Malaysian political landscape is divided into two fraternities with the ruling government with the political power and the opposition with the economic power.

Both political parties have a level playing field to deploy dominant strategy. Advocating on the prisoner's dilemma game, if the players are converted into race instead of political parties, the cooperation between Chinese and Malay will reward the relationship. On that note, PR needs to use economic strength to dominate the political environment.

The failure to transform the socio-economic condition of other races will reduce the support for Pakatan Rakyat. DAP should initiate economic reform actions in uplifting the socio-economic condition at massive scale for PR political dominance. PR should form a joint economic council with participation of major Chinese corporations and business owners for economic advancement of other races. The strategies from social business enterprises should be studied further for implementation in Pakatan-led states. The Chinaman's burden continues in the wake of the Malaysian political paradigm shift.  

Conversion of minors: No justification

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 10:41 AM PDT 

Should a man who betrays the trust of a family and abdicates his responsibility be welcome into Islam? Should such people be allowed to bring disrepute to the religion? 

P Ramakrishnan, Aliran executive committee member 

The Federal Court was wrong in its judgment in 2008 about the conversion of minors, says P Ramakrishnan.

A lot has been said that Islam is a just religion, a religion of peace and compassion. All this is true.
In keeping with the virtues and values of Islam, Islamic adherents are under a solemn obligation to give meaning to this by what they do and practise.

In other words, the Islamic faithful cannot be indifferent to the fate of someone who is of a different religion. They cannot deny the rights of these people nor can they be dismissive of the suffering when one Islamic faithful leaves his former family in the lurch after converting.

As a human being, he is expected to provide for his wife and children notwithstanding his embrace of Islam. If he fails to discharge this responsibility that is expected of him, should Islam embrace him? Should a man who betrays the trust of a family and abdicates his responsibility be welcome into Islam? Should such people be allowed to bring disrepute to the religion?

Unfortunately this is what is too often happening today. Secretly, the man converts, and all hell breaks loose for the family. He is not bothered. He compounds the misery of his wife by unilaterally converting his children to Islam. He shatters the life of a mother; and claims refuge in Islam. There is a moral question here.

One would expect religious authorities to guide him in the path of righteousness before he is allowed to convert. He should be advised to exemplify Islamic virtues by displaying compassion and discharging his responsibility to his family before he can find a place in Islam.

The religious authorities contribute to the family break-up when they convert his children without the knowledge or consent of their mother. By so doing, they add to the suffering of the helpless mother. Is this fair?

In a recent case, it is reported that a husband abandoned his wife from Jelebu in February last year without providing for her welfare, and converted to Islam. In April this year, very quietly and without the knowledge of his wife, he converted both his children aged five and eight.

These children were not born Muslims. Is it right to convert minors who have no knowledge of Islam? Having been brought up in the Hindu faith, how do they reconcile their conversion to Islam?

It is wrong for Negeri Sembilan State Islamic Affairs Department director Datuk Johani Hassan to insist that "when one parent embraces Islam, the children can be automatically converted. … The law does not say that we need the consent of both parents before we can convert their children."

The Federal Court might have erred when it ruled that the word "parent" in the Constitution meant a singular person and therefore a single parent could convert the child. But the phrase "consent of the parent" could not have meant that. If that was the intention of the framers of the Constitution, they would have expressed the intention as "consent of either parent".

This contention must be correct. Malaysian Bar president Christopher Leong had pointed out that "Article 160 of the Federal Constitution explains the rules of interpretation. … It is stated that words importing the masculine gender include females and words in the singular includes plural and vice versa."

How this important point could have been overlooked is a mystery to me. According to Mr Leong, "Until 2002, the Bahasa Malaysia version, as published by the Government Printers, translated 'parent' as 'ibu bapa'. However, in the 2002 edition of the translated Federal Constitution, the word 'parent' was translated as 'ibu atau bapa'," he added.

For the word "ibu bapa" to be changed to "ibu atau bapa" would require an amendment to the Federal Constitution. But from what can be ascertained, there was no such amendment. The original intention of the Constitution must remain unaltered.

That is crystal clear. The Malaysian Bar must move to have the Federal Court decision reviewed. Otherwise, a great injustice will be perpetuated.

In this unpleasant and worrying controversy, why is the Cabinet not speaking up especially when a decision was made in April 2009? It was then decided that children of parents where one of them opts to convert must continue to be raised in the common religion at the time of marriage.

Minister in the Prime Minister's Department at that time, Datuk Seri Nazri, said it was decided in the Cabinet meeting that a spouse who has converted into Islam would also have to fulfil his or her marital responsibilities according to civil marriage laws.

"Religion should not be used as a tool to escape (marital) responsibilities. Conversion is not a ground for the automatic dissolution of a marriage," he said at a press conference at Parliament building on Thursday (23 April 2009).

"The children should be brought up in the common religion. For the spouse who intends to convert into Islam, he or she would also have to come clean," he said.

This is a fair and just Cabinet decision. Why is the Barisan Nasional government not enforcing this decision? Why is the Prime Minister allowing this unnecessary controversy to drag on? Our nation should not be embroiled in this issue.

Please speak up, Mr Prime Minister. 

P Ramakrishnan is the former president of Aliran and now serves on the Aliran executive committee  

More rallies, yes! But with a more "unifying" theme

Posted: 21 Jun 2013 10:40 AM PDT
I strongly urge the opposition to move on from the electoral fraud issue. The electoral fraud theme has got a subtle divisive under-tone in it as there are still 48% of the Malaysian electorates voted for the BN/UMNO regime for whatever reasons.
Kuo Yong Kooi
Here are some historical events for examination on ideas for finding the right unifying theme for future rallies. 

The January 2011 Tharir square revolution started with a united voice of grievances of Egyptian protesters on a broad brush of issues from legal and political issues like lack of free elections, freedom of speech, corruptions, police brutality (sounds familiar?) and including economic issues like high unemployment, low wages and inflation. 

The Tunisian revolution events began in December 2010; precipitated by high unemployment, food inflation and government corruptions and other political freedom issues.

The late nineties Asia's Economic crises was the catalyst for the overthrow of the 32 years Suharto regime. Student protests started in early May 1998 at Trisakti University. The protests were against fuel and energy price rises.

The people power revolution of the Philippine in 1986 against Ferdinand Marcos started with initial non violent protest against electoral fraud and state violence. State sponsored murders and political assassinations were rampant during the years Marcos reigned in power. The tipping point that got people to turn out en masseagainst Marcos was the assassination of the popular opposition figure Benigno Aquino.

The examples from these four countries showed us that the sparks that started the fire against their government's authoritarian rule comes from a culmination of different factors. 

We need to cast a wider net to give reasons for the 48% who voted for the BN in the last election to participate in the rallies. I think drawing the line just below asking for the "overthrow" of the government is a good idea. The 48% voted for BN and many more from the 51% who voted for Pakatan do not feel comfortable with the idea of "toppling" the government. Malaysians are different from the Middle Eastern. Further more I think we haven't got to a tipping point yet. One of the major boiling points usually involve economic matters.

What then is the furthest you can go below the "toppling" of the government line? 
As mentioned in my previous letter to the editor "Why not a four-heads-rolling-in-one" rally,, I've made some points on better rally themes that unite people. I also highlighted that holding rallies on themes around electioneering matters do not go far enough.

I strongly urge the opposition to move on from the electoral fraud issue. The electoral fraud theme has got a subtle divisive under-tone in it as there are still 48% of the Malaysian electorates voted for the BN/UMNO regime for whatever reasons.

The initial skirmish at Taksim square was over the controversial construction plan for Istanbul's Gezi Park. That later spread onto groundswell support in shows of discontent against Erdogan's increasingly authoritarian rule.

The latest Brazil's June 2013 demonstrations were sparked by a "bus fair increase" protest which later culminated onto issues of high cost of living and lavish new stadium projects.
The two very recent massive demonstrations overseas showed us that the groundswell support from the masses do not have to necessarily come from just political issues.

I think the "law and order" issue is coming to a tipping point. Deaths in custody, daylight robberies, constant news of houses and cars break ins, corruption and the misappropriation of police resources against opposition political activists, are solid examples where the "law and order" issue is at it's tipping point.

By the look of it, a demonstration to ask the current IGP to resign to give way for a non partisan IGP and asking for a change in our police force's culture has got a higher chance of massive groundswell support than a demonstration on the electoral fraud issue.

The best question to ask when looking for a unifying theme is "will the other 48% turn out to support this theme?" and "will we lose further support from the 51%?". The "law and order" issue will give a yes answer to the former and no answer to the later. If you follow that logic, not much can go wrong with rallies along the theme of "law and order".

Conceding defeat in the GE-13 election does not necessarily mean that you are a loser, it could also mean that you are civilised, matured and have humility. It also portrays the opposition on a positive light by being responsible in moving on and addressing urgent matters of national interest.

As I am a Buddhist, my line of thinking is "the present moment is all we have" and "nothing is permanent". We should have a break from the constant battles of harping around the post GE-13 issues. Give our weary minds and bodies a rest, things might just turn around by itself without much effort. The Najib administration has previously shown to have constantly shot themselves in their own foot in the past. 

The UMNO regime with it's mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia and Perkasa are doing the hard yards on national reconciliation for the opposition. The UMNO regime had already united the unlikeliest of allies like PAS and DAP. Give it another four to five years, the other 48% of the electorate will vote for the opposition and the national reconciliation project can be declared a success, thanks to the Najib administration.

The implementation of the GST is just around the corner. 

That could be another potential massive rallying point for the opposition. The "anti GST" rally theme can be a unifying factor as economic themes are less divisive than political themes. The GST is another potential fuel for fire and it might well be the economic or "hip pocket" tipping point. The Najib administration has technically gathered enough fuel to light itself up.

All the opposition needs to do now is to get "the Pakatan house in order", looking for a winning formula in the rural constituencies and get the delineation process right. We might probably able to march into Putrajaya come GE-14 without much struggle "inshallah" (god willing).


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