Archive for December 10th, 2011

Nationwide protests under way in Russia

10 December 2011

Moscow rally against “poll fraud” by ruling party attracts tens of thousands, with protests in many other cities.Last Modified: 10

Protests in Russia are taking place against Vladimir Putin’s 12-year rule amid signs of swelling anger over a poll won by his ruling United Russia party with the alleged help of widescale fraud.

More than 20,000 people have already gathered on a square across the river from the Kremlin on Saturday, after receiving permission from the Kremlin for the event.

Authorities had detained about 1,600 activists over the past few days who had joined unsanctioned rallies against the December 4 vote.

The opposition is also organising rallies in at least 14 other major cities in a rare outpouring of mistrust in a system put in place by Putin when he first became president in 2000.

Protests have already begun elsewhere, with several hundred marching in Vladivostok, seven timezones to the east of Moscow.

A 30,000-strong demonstration would be the largest to hit the Russian capital in 20 years, in what some see as the first warning bell for the former foreign agent and his secretive inner circle of security chiefs. Read the rest of this entry »



by Allan C.F. Goh

Friends, I am glad to have found you,
Who have added much to life’s hue.
Our friendship remains in my core;
It’s getting richer, more and more.
The sun may rise and set each day,
Friendships never set nor delay.
You are there with extended hand,
When I am down in troubled land. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno Baru at a crossroads again

Nur Jazlan Mohamed
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 10, 2011

DEC 10 — The recently concluded Umno General Assembly came and went and offered little in terms of the new manifesto of the party. The public were disappointed with the lack of new policy initiatives. Many Umno delegates who had to sit through many stale and uninspiring speeches were left with little enthusiasm to return to their respective constituencies to rally their fellow members in preparation for the impending 13th General Election soon.

The uninspiring lack of ideas put forward by the members best describes the state of the party at the moment. Umno has the largest base of members and voters of any political party in the country. It is the party that claims to have the most support from the Malay population which is the largest ethnic group and expected to be about sixty per cent of the population by 2020.

But as a party that claims to represent the majority race in the country , it doesn’t seem to able to break away from the “Malay under siege mentality” rethoric it has used since the fight for independence to attract support from the public. The party is frozen in time and is paralysed to steer the nation through a more challenging future.

The party has failed to offer new ideas to attract the young Malays to support its idealogy which in recent years has drifted more to the right. The Prime Minister, Dato Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak, through the concept of One Malaysia has tried to bring Umno back to the centre space of national politics where race and religious tolerance is at equilibrium. Read the rest of this entry »


Human Rights Day 2011

Message from Aliran
The Malaysian Insider
Dec 10, 2011

DEC 10 — This year has been a memorable year for Malaysians in our struggle for democracy and recognition of human rights in our country.

The July 9 rally for clean, free and fair elections was an event all generations of Malaysians will cherish in history. It was the day ordinary Malaysians showed courage and grit in opposing violence and repression by sections of riot police armed with tear-gas and water cannon.

Besides the brave leaders of the Bersih 2.0 movement led by former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan and leaders of Pakatan Rakyat and civil society groups who came out in support of the movement, ordinary Malaysians including elderly, disabled persons and youth braved tear gas and water cannon to demand that elections be clean, free and fair.

The run-up to the July 9 rally was equally dramatic and tortuous with the unjustified arrests of Parti Sosialis Malaysia activists. The PSM 30 were initially accused of waging war against the King for no apparent reason. Six of them, all key members including Sungai Siput MP Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj, were later detained under the Emergency Ordinance. It was perhaps too much for reasonable and fair-minded members of the public to swallow. Thankfully, the EO 6 are now free and all charges have been dropped against the PSM 30. Read the rest of this entry »


Not too late for Najib to heed opposition to Peaceful Assembly Bill, withhold it from Senate and set up instead a PSC to conduct full consultation on Bill

After the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s boast and claim during Malaysia Day celebrations this year to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world”, Malaysia should stand tall today to celebrate the International Human Rights Day.

But this is not the case.

Just like yesterday’s International Anti-Corruption Day, the Malaysian Government is quite sheepish and quite guilty-conscious about the event.

Result: no word or message by Najib whether on International Anti-Corruption Day or International Human Rights Day! Read the rest of this entry »


Civil service as Umno’s fixed deposit or game buster

Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
9th December 2011


The new civil service remuneration scheme recently announced by the government provides civil servants pay rises of between seven and 13 per cent. Coming just before the elections expected soon, it is clearly intended to influence the outcome of the elections. Umno leaders see members of the civil service not only as their fixed deposit but also as the key game changer in the elections.

Will the generous pay rise make a difference in voting patterns of civil servants in the country? At first glance, it appears a politically astute move given the disproportionate weight of civil servants in the voting population and the high voting rate that has been associated with this segment of voters.

If we add up the 1.2 million civil servants and family members and assume that there is an average of three to four voters per civil servant household, this provides a total of between four to five million voters out of the 12 million registered voters. The fact that over 80 per cent of civil servants are Malays means that whichever party can win over the Malay civil service vote will take over the reins of political power in the country.

Will this group of voters fall for what appears to be an extra large carrot being dangled in front of them? Already the mainstream papers are carrying the mandatory follow up reports of how appreciative the teachers, police and other government staff are with this government recognition of their contribution to the country’s development and progress through the new salary scheme. This, together with the earlier sustained bashing of DAP Tony Pua’s suggestion that the number of civil servants be reduced, appears to have given a decisive edge in the battle for civil service votes to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN). Read the rest of this entry »