Archive for January 13th, 2013

Mainstream media’s epic fail

— The Malaysian Insider
Jan 13, 2013

JAN 13 — Going by Malaysia’s mainstream media coverage of the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally yesterday, a television viewer or newspaper reader can assume the organisers failed to get its targeted crowd, overfilled a stadium and participants broke the law by bringing their children.

And, oh, for some media, it was actually the Himpunan Shamsidar.

In both the Malay and English-language Sunday papers, there was no coverage of the issues of the day that drew thousands to Stadium Merdeka for three hours, or for the speakers who wanted to highlight burning issues that will be part of the election campaign this year.


How can the media be mainstream if it stops covering a major event in the capital city or even cover it honestly? Is it a wonder that the circulation and readership of some newspapers have dropped? Read the rest of this entry »


7,605 steps to freedom

— May Chee
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 13, 2013

JAN 13 — My husband wears a pedometer whenever he walks. It read 5500 when we left KLCC and 13105 when we stepped on the grass at the Stadium Merdeka. That meant he executed 7605 steps following the route taken by the Himpunan Kebankgitan Rakyat leaders leaving from KLCC.

As usual, we enjoyed the camaraderie prevalent in such rallies. People we met in the washroom in KLCC remembered us during the march to the stadium. They were from Terengganu, Kelantan, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, etc, from every nook and cranny of Malaysia. Just fantastic! Though the crowd was made up mostly of our Malay brothers and sisters, I believe there was more than adequate representation from the whole of Malaysia.

Clearly, from the banter we had all along the way, was this clarion call for Change. Ubahlah, Kali inilah, Undur BN, Undur Isa Samad and all accompanying chants pointedly showed Malaysians need and yearn for Change. As Ambiga rightfully reiterated, “This is it”, Change must come now.

BN has been given the mandate for more than 55 years to govern the peninsula and almost 50 years, Sabah and Sarawak. The land flowing with milk and honey they promised has since been inhabited solely by themselves and their ilk, leaving many others living in subhuman conditions. This is unacceptable. We were a blessed nation with vast resources. There’s no reason why some of us are expected to be resigned to a fate so cruel and not one of our own making but that of our corrupted and greedy leaders.

The exploitation, oppression and political repression by our modern-day overseers, mouthing reforms just smack of plain hypocrisy on their part. They behave as if they are an alien authority, flogging the common rakyat for more and more. Their greed knows no bounds. Stupidity, too, if they think they can continue in their avaricious ways. Read the rest of this entry »


88-Day Countdown to 13GE – KL112 the major turning point for maturing democracy in Malaysia

The peaceful and successful holding of the Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat at Stadium Merdeka (KL112) yesterday is a major turning point for maturing democracy in Malaysia.

It achieved many historic firsts in Malaysia, including:

• The peaceful gathering of 100,000 patriotic and visionary Malaysians of all races, religions and region, regardless of age or gender, coming together in hope, goodwill and unity for a better Malaysia where there is freedom and justice for all Malaysians and future generations;

• No playing of the race or religious card, no race or religious baiting or incitement to provoke hatred and conflict in any of the speeches whether by Pakatan Rakyat leaders or civil society representatives;

• No dissemination of lies or falsehoods, as has become the wont and modus operandi of Barisan Nasional leaders and their propaganda organs in their attacks on the Pakatan Rakyat;

• 10-point call by Pakatan Rakyat and civil society for freedom, justice and sustainable development representing all races, religions and regions to build a united, harmonious, progressive and prosperous Malaysia;

• Pakatan Rakyat pledge with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim leading 100,000 Malaysians chanting “Merdeka” to continue the Merdeka legacy of Bapa Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman who shouted “Merdeka” seven times in Merdeka Stadium on August 31, 1957 – symbolising the new phase of the Merdeka struggle to free the country from local oppressive rule;

• At the end of KL112, never before in Malaysian history has the national anthem Negaraku been sung with such passion, hope and deep feelings by Malaysians of all races, religions and regions for democratic change to bring about a better Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »


Winning by popularity: Can Umno rely on the prime minister’s personal standing?

— Clive Kessler
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 13, 2013

JAN 13 — “BN needs to milk Najib’s popularity harder, say analysts” reads a recent headline (The Malaysian Insider, 12 January 2013).

Sorry, but this is just delusional.

A strategy that seeks to use Najib’s supposed popularity to save Umno/BN, to pull its chestnuts from the fire at the last moment, will fail miserably.

Umno has been around, and in charge (though in recent times unconvincingly), for over half a century.

Najib has been PM for less than five years.

So, with reason, he is less unpopular than his now increasingly unpopular party. Read the rest of this entry »


Letter to Hisham

— Gobind Singh Deo
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 12, 2013

JAN 12 — Tens of thousands of Malaysians gathered today at Stadium Merdeka. Contrary to what the Minister of Home Affairs would like to believe, there was no unrest, no chaos and no violence which would go down in history to yet again mark this day with the likes of earlier demonstrations in the city.

The police were not required to assemble in thousands in the city. They did not have to stand in line in the sun up against their own fellow Malaysians. The water cannons didn’t have to be used. Not only that, there were no arrests. There was no makeshift police station specifically set up to house the thousands of people arrested. There was no need for the police to send out teams of investigating officers who would need to work tirelessly taking down statements from all those arrested.

There was also no need for lawyers to be lined up outside these stations all night waiting for access to those detained. There was no need for the families of those detained to worry about their safety not knowing their whereabouts or what was to happen to them next.

There were no incidents in which anyone was injured. There was no overturning of cars, no scenes of persons being shot at by water canons or running in fear or being chased or beaten by the police.

There were no scenes of people, old or young, drenched with chemically laced water, with their eyes swollen, having difficulties breathing. There were no reported incidents of people dying on the streets.

All in all there are no news reports published to the rest of the world wherein we the people of Malaysia are depicted as criminals who run riot in our own country in need of attack from our own police. Read the rest of this entry »


Why are we here today?

― Ambiga Sreenevasan
The Malaysian Insider
Jan 12, 2013

JAN 12 ― My friends, why are we here today?

Why have we chosen to give up our Saturday to gather here? Together. Again.

The answer is, we love our country. We care about Malaysia. We care about Malaysians. Our children, our parents, their future, our future.

And more importantly we are here because we have hope. We think that a better Malaysia is within our grasp. We know it is. I know it is. And it is all because of you ― a rakyat that cares enough to do something about achieving a bright future for our country.

As far as Bersih 2.0 is concerned, we just want clean and fair elections. If there is to be change in the leadership, we want to do it through the ballot box. Our objectives are clear and clean and fair. Our message to all the political parties is: Respect our rights as citizens, honour our vote, and, give us clean and fair elections!

Yet I have unhappy news ― by all accounts, GE 13 will be far from clean and fair. I will not go into the details, many of you know them. The recent fiasco with the overseas voters is yet another example. The suggested process is not clean, not transparent and the conditions that have been imposed on overseas voters are not, in my view, constitutional. Read the rest of this entry »