Archive for September 6th, 2012

Failure of BN to honor points engraved in the Keningau Oath Stone

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to revisit the historic Keningau Oath Stone together with Dato Seri’ Wilfred Bumburing, the MP for Tuaran who had recently left the BN and aligned himself with the opposition. The Oath Stone was erected as a reminder of the guarantee of the Federal Government to honor the 20 point agreement made with Sabah before the formation of Malaysia. Almost 48 years later, it is evident from the DAP Sabah initiated Janji Ditepati Public Hearings, that the three main points engraved in the Keningau Oath Stone – guaranteeing freedom of religion, upholding land autonomy and protecting native customs and traditions – have been cast aside by the BN government.

Sabahans from all walks of life and backgrounds in Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Ranau, Tenom and Keningau have voiced out clearly and loudly, with their personal testimonies, that the rights of the Sabahans have not been upheld but have instead been abused and ignored in contravention to the spirit of the Keningau Oath Stone.

No less than Tan Sri Simon Sipaun, the former Sabah state secretary, has expressed doubt in the empty slogan that is Janji Ditepati when he said, during the Kota Kinabalu public hearing, that ‘the government is very long on eye catching slogans but very short on delivery’ akin to ‘lots of thunder and lightning but without the rain appearing.’ He is particularly well placed in making the statement that the BN government does not have the political will to solve the problem of ‘Pendatang Asing Tanpa Asing’ (PATI) as evidenced by successive half hearted and failed attempts over the past 25 years. One particularly egregious example of an empty promise was that made by Musa Aman, Chief Minister of Sabah, in 2006, to solve the problem of the illegal immigrants in Pulau Gaya which to date remains far from being solved. Read the rest of this entry »


A different Merdeka this year

By Bridget Welsh
Sep 6, 2012 | Malaysiakini

Malaysians celebrated 55 years of independence on Aug 31. Most did so the usual Malaysian way – with family and friends, along with good food and great friendship.

Despite high levels of political anxiety, angst and uncertainty, there is much to celebrate. Malaysia is a great country, with a proud history and warm wonderful people.

I celebrated the event in Ipoh, where Perakians showed me the fine hospitality of good cheer and company. It is clearly evident that Malaysia’s finest assets are its people.

Najib and Muhyiddin at a rally to celebrate country’s 55th Independence Day in Bukit Jalil StadiumThis year’s Merdeka was markedly different, however. The event became highly politicised, as both sides of the political divide used the occasion to woo supporters. The use of government resources for logos, songs and political slogans and politicking during the official celebration with Umno-like political speeches does not reflect well on the governing coalition. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s big dilemma: When to call the polls?

By Bridget Welsh
Sep 5, 2012 | Malaysiakini

Pundits continue to speculate on the election timing, with views ranging from Prime Minister Najib Razak making a surprise announcement to speculation that he will go the full term.

One thing is certain: The polls have to be held before the end of June next year. The person who appears most reluctant to hold the polls is Najib himself. He is now Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister without his own electoral mandate.

The pressure to call the polls and deliver a comfortable majority remains intense. Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was forced to resign when he failed to win two-thirds of the parliamentary seats in the 2008 GE.

Based on fieldwork and polling, of the 222 seats up for grabs, 84 percent of them are “competitive” – and with the BN and the opposition having about the same number of “safe seats”. Read the rest of this entry »