Archive for December 17th, 2012

Congress marks the coming of age of the DAP

Ong Kian Ming
Dec 17, 2012


The recently concluded 16th DAP Congress held at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa) was my first as a DAP member. It was also my first time seeing a DAP national election up close. The following are some of my observations which may not have received the necessary attention in the media, whether mainstream or online.

DAP as a national party

With 2,576 delegates (an increase from 948 in 2008), 150,000 members (from 84,000) and 1,128 branches (from 311) and with representatives from all 13 states in Malaysia, this congress represented the coming of age of the DAP by firmly cementing its status as a national party and a significant political player on the national stage.

The 29 parliamentarians and 82 state representatives from 10 states and the Federal Territories makes DAP the 2nd largest political party in the country in terms of elected representatives. The capacity crowd at the congress venue, which included 700 observers, was the largest in party history.

With greater political influence comes greater scrutiny, which is probably why this congress was covered by approximately 100 members of the press core. And with this scrutiny, also came more discussion and headlines, including critiques against the DAP’s election system and the subsequent results.

In a sense, this kind of spotlight and scrutiny should be welcomed since it means that the party matters in the public’s eye and is an important part of the larger political landscape. Read the rest of this entry »


Apology to Najib and UMNO/BN leaders for being elected into DAP CEC at the 16th DAP National Congress and with highest votes

I wish to apologise to the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the UMNO/BN leaders that I was elected into the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) at the 16th DAP National Congress – and with the highest votes.

UMNO leaders, including Najib, had been going round the country castigating the DAP for being undemocratic, alleging that I was in the DAP national leadership although I was not an elected DAP leader.

At the recent 66th UMNO General Assembly at the end of last month, Najib returned to the same theme in his UMNO Presidential Address when he flayed the Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP.

This is what he said about me: “Although only holding the position of member of parliament despite not being an elected leader, Lim Kit Siang is evidently quite a powerful individual in the opposition party”.

It had always amused me when Najib made these attacks against me in his political tours up and down the country, wondering whether he had been misled by his cohorts of political advisers and aides or whether he had deliberately lied although he knew the truth. Read the rest of this entry »


UMNO/BN must renounce the tactics and ideology of extremist politics including Ketuanan Melayu and the four hate politics of race, religion, lies and fear if they want to compete for the support of Middle Malaysia

The unity, solidarity and commitment of DAP and reaffirmation of the Middle Malaysia concept by the just-concluded 16th DAP National Congress in Penang have struck fear in UMNO/BN and reverberated throughout the country, ringing alarm bells in UMNO/Barisan Nasional, as they realize that the agenda has been set for the crucial and critical battle in the 13th General Elections in the next 100 days to decide for the first time in the nation’s 55-year history whether there shoud be a change of federal government in Putrajay.

It jolted UMNO leaders including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak into quick reaction, claiming that it was the Barisan Nasional and not the DAP that represents “Middle Malaysia”.

If Najib is confident that it is UMNO/BN which represents Middle Malaysia, and has overwhelming support of the four million middle ground voters in the 13 General Elections – the three million new voters and the one million swing voters from the 12GE in 2008 – Najib would have dissolved Parliament and the 13GE would have been held already.

Furthermore, Najib would not have to suffer the “To Be or Not To Be” agony in the past two years to decide on the dissolution of Parliament (an agony which he is still undergoing despite Parliament having only some four months’ tenure before it is automatically dissolved under the Constitution on April 28, 2013) and the ignominy of being the longest unelected Prime Minister in Malaysia without his own mandate from the people.

The former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah was also awakened to describe the 16th DAP National Congress as an unhealthy phenomenon on the ground that it showed that DAP is monopolised by a particular race.

But the most laughable comment must go to the Gerakan President and former Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon who described the non-election of any Malays in the DAP central executive committee as against the 1Malaysia spirit. Read the rest of this entry »


How Our Democracy is Damaged

By Kee Thuan Chye
Penang Monthly
December 2012

We often hear of electoral fraud and unfair election practices but what do they really mean? What forms does electoral fraud usually take? What constitute unfair practices and how have they surfaced?

Beyond that, what are the measures that need to be taken to ensure that Malaysian elections are free and fair so that this vital aspect of our democracy is truly well-served and our vote for the candidate or party we support is not made a mockery of?

A new book called Democracy at Stake?: Examining 16 By-elections in Malaysia, 2008-2011, published by Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, answers our questions and collates our concerns into a handy and comprehensive compact.

Edited by Wong Chin Huat and Soon Li Tsin, it analyses the 16 by-elections that have been held since the 12th general election according to such relevant categories as how free, fair and clean they were; the freedom and quality of the campaigning; the political parties’ access to media; corrupt practices that were perpetrated; how impartial or otherwise the public institutions were; the amount of campaign money spent; the electoral roll; and the polling process. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno and the burning down of 1Malaysia

Dr Lim Teck Ghee
14 December 2012

The Prime Minister, Najib Razak, has stated that his vision of 1Malaysia is intended to counter the growing national divide between Malaysians on race, religion and other sensitive socio-cultural issues. He has also argued that the aim of the vision is to strengthen national unity on the basis of inclusiveness – “this policy means that we’ll try to be as inclusive as possible, in a sense that we should have a government that is able to reach out to all communities”. (Interview with CNN, Talkasia, 1 Nov 2010)

Not only was this vision of 1Malaysia markedly absent from the recent Umno general assembly but the real driving force of the party – one completely at odds with 1Malaysia – emerged from the shadows during the singing of a song by Tokyo Umno Club representative Arif Yassir Zulkafli.

The lyrics of the song ‘Lagu Warisan’ can be seen to encapsulate the ideological leifmotif of Umno. It provided the emotional and psychological high point of the meeting and explains why the song left delegates in tears and in spontaneous rendition.

It also explains why the Umno mind and mentality has remained unchanged during the last 66 years of the party’s existence – insecure, envious, delusional, un-accepting of other Malaysians, and propagating a bankrupt doctrine of ‘Blood and Soil’ nationalism akin to that of the Nazis and fascists.

Blood and soil nationalism refers to an ideology that focuses on ethnicity based on two factors – descent and homeland. Readers interested in learning more about blood and soil nationalism can read the Wikipedia. Read the rest of this entry »