Archive for category Bersih
September 16, 2015
To an outside visitor, Malaysia’s underlying racial tensions might not be readily apparent. But a pro-government rally today (Sept. 16) in Kuala Lumpur brought them to light. The red-shirted demonstrators were for the most part young Malay men, many bused in from rural provinces with help from the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the nation’s dominant political party.
Ethnic Malays are the majority in the country, but ethnic Chinese make up about a quarter of the population and, overall, have more economic power. UMNO has controlled Malaysia for nearly 60 years, and it has reserved economic and other advantages for Muslim Malays, saying they’re needed to prevent dominance by the ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities.
Today’s rally was in fact a counter-rally. It was a show of force in response to the Bersih rallies held on Aug. 29-30. “Bersih” is the Malay word for clean, and the yellow-shirted protestors were calling for clean elections, clean government, the right to dissent, a strengthened parliament, and the rescue of Malaysia’s faltering economy. They were especially incensed over accusations that prime minister Najib Razak pocketed nearly $700 million from a government investment fund. Read the rest of this entry »
BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA
The Malaysian Insider
17 September 2015
Despite the belligerent rhetoric, yesterday’s “red shirt” rally in Kuala Lumpur was more about supporting embattled Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak rather than protecting Umno, much less about defending the rights and dignity of Malays.
A few things which happened prior to the rally indicated this. The night before the rally, Umno’s deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin urged Malays not to attend the rally.
At the same time influential Umno strongman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed disparaged it. A report by The Malaysian Insider also quoted several Umno grassroots leaders who said they were against it.
Both Muhyiddin and Dr Mahathir are Umno leaders who have clashed with Najib and are figureheads for party members disenchanted with the Umno president. Read the rest of this entry »
15th Sept 2015
COMMENT In response to the massive Bersih 4 rally last month, Umno – let’s stop pretending that it is not behind it – is planning a counter-demonstration of its own tomorrow, Sept 16, which is Malaysia Day.
Many people have expressed concern that the so-called “red shirt” demonstration might provoke racial violence, especially given the incendiary remarks of some of its leaders, the inflammatory posters that have appeared across town and the provocative choice of venue (in the heart of what’s left of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown).
Understandably, there have been calls to ban the red shirt rally.
While the red shirts have, of course, the same rights as Bersih supporters to demonstrate, they do not have licence to threaten others. They can rally to support a morally bankrupt regime if they want, but they are not free to launch a campaign of racial intimidation.
Oddly, while the federal territories minister and the police are insisting that the red shirt will not be permitted to assemble as planned, the prime minister, the deputy prime minister (who is also home minister), and the Umno Youth chief all endorsed the Sept 16 demonstration. No surprise, therefore, that the police have now relented. Read the rest of this entry »
— Mohd Fitri Asmuni
The Malay Mail Online
September 15, 2015
SEPT 15 — Perhimpunan “Baju Merah” tinggal 2 hari saja lagi untuk diadakan. Tarikh yang ditetapkan untuk Perhimpunan tersebut adalah pada 16 September 2015 iaitu tarikh yang sama dengan sambutan “Hari Malaysia”.
Pada tahun 2010, kerajaan telah mengisytiharkan 16 September setiap tahun sebagai cuti umum bagi seluruh rakyat Malaysia.
Pengisytiharan 16 September sebagai cuti umum pada setiap tahun adalah satu initiatif kerajaan bagi memperingati pembentukan negara Malaysia pada 16 September 1963 yang menggabungkan Tanah Melayu, Sabah, Sarawak dan Singapura bagi membentuk sebuah persekutuan yang dinamakan Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on all Malaysians to make a personal reaffirmation on Malaysia Day 2015 that they are not just Malays, Chinese, Indians, Kadazans, Ibans or Orang Asli but most important of all, they are Malaysians!
Malaysia Day 2015 Message by DAP Parliamentary Leader and MP for Gelang Patah Lim Kit Siang in Kuala Lumpur on 15th September 2015:
Nobody would have expected that Malaysia Day 2015 would turn out to be the most critical Malaysia Day in the nation’s history, with Malaysia at the crossroads – whether for Sabahans, Sarawakians or Malayans.
In recent years, there is growing alienation and disaffection among the people in Sabah and Sarawak causing even calls for secession from Malaysia to be raised because of over half-a-century of neglect and underdevelopment of Sabah and Sarawak.
But is there full and unreserved support for the idea, concept and vision of Malaysia by the people in Peninsular Malaysia?
May be not, from the insistence of those who want to hold a “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16, although this highly-charged and provocative racist rally threatens not only racial peace and social harmony of the country, but undermines the very idea, integrity and vision of a Malaysian nation.
But the organisers of the Red Shirts Sept. 16 “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” are the modern-day hijackers, which is why the former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad was spot-on when he rubbished the notion that the red shirts rallying tomorrow are defending the Malays or that Bersih 4 was racist. Read the rest of this entry »
Is UMNO through its Kota Baru division, spearheading an inter-cultural and inter-religious fusion, with Kota Baru division enacting Taoist rites of effigy-burning and setting up of an altar, complete with joss sticks and fruit offerings
The first thought that came to me when I saw the Kota Baru UMNO Division video on Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan and me was whether UMNO, through its Kota Baru division, is spearheading an inter-cultural and inter-religious “fusion” with Kota Baru Division enacting the Toaist rites of effigy-burning and setting up of an altar, complete with joss sticks and fruit offerings.
The second thought was the actual role of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in this video episode as his former political secretary and Kota Baru UMNO division chief, Fatmi Che Salleh, was the key character in this “inter-cultural and inter-religious fusion”.
Probably I should feel flattered as the UMNO leaders and propagandists are attributing to me super-human powers, not only able to lead UMNO through Kota Baru UMNO Division leaders to spearhead an inter-religious “fusion” with Kota Baru UMNO leaders participating actively in the last day of the Month of the Hungry Ghosts, but also to “mastermind” the Bersih 4 overnight rally on August 29 and 30 although I had nothing to do with it. Read the rest of this entry »
Andrew Harding, NUS
East Asia Forum
11 September 2015
As it tussles with multiple crises of political legitimacy and governance, Malaysia has reached a decisive point in its more than half-century history as an independent nation. What started as a shocking but not exceptional scandal has turned into a political crisis of unprecedented proportions. This was underlined by the Bersih 4 protests on 29–30 August in Kuala Lumpur, attended by an estimated 250,000 yellow-T-shirted Malaysians.
First, it was discovered that a development agency, 1 Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), set up by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak in 2009, was in debt to the tune of RM42 billion (US$9.6 billion). Where, it was asked, did this vast sum of money go? What mismanagement or corrupt practices led to such a meltdown?
Then it was reported that the sum of RM2.6 billion (US$700 million) had shown up in Najib’s personal bank account. It has been admitted— in instalments —that this money was indeed placed in that account, but it is claimed to have been ‘donated’ from Middle Eastern sources as recognition of Malaysia’s role in fighting ISIS and maintaining Sunni Islam. Given the timing (just before Malaysia’s general election in 2013) and Najib’s claim that the funds were used for party political purposes, the money was clearly intended and used to ensure victory for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition, led by Najib’s UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) party.
Najib claims that nothing about this was illegal, given the current lack of statutory control over campaign spending, maintaining that he held the funds in trust for his party. But since BN won the election with a clear minority of votes, yet a majority of the seats in parliament, the legitimacy of the result was already in serious question even before the donation scandal came to light.
It gets worse. Najib’s response to attempts to get to the bottom of these matters has raised further questions about accountability and governance in Malaysia under BN rule. At first he was reluctant to give any explanation. Ultimately, denials followed by evasive answers raised many further questions. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ghazala Irshad
PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia — The irony that leaders of the country hosting an international gathering against corruption are themselves embroiled in an embezzlement scandal provided unprecedented drama for 30 million Malaysians and a rare live case study for more than 1,000 anti-corruption conference delegates who visited Malaysia last week from around the world.
Leaked documents implicating Prime Minister Najib Razak in the embezzlement of $700 million from a state development fund prompted protesters nationwide to don yellow and call for his resignation, ahead of the 16th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC) last week.
The scandal was the proverbial elephant in the room on the opening day of the IACC hosted by Malaysia on September 2. Then Jose Ugaz, president of global corruption watchdog group Transparency International, boldly addressed it head-on.
In a fiery speech introducing the new keynote speaker, the Malaysian minister of governance and integrity — who replaced Razak at the last minute — Ugaz clearly outlined all of Razak’s ethical violations and demanded specific answers from an independent probe.
“There are unanswered questions about the $700 million that made its way into the Prime Minister’s personal bank account,” Ugaz said, as the conference hall thundered with applause and cheers.
“In recent weeks we have seen the attorney general who was critical of the government suddenly replaced, the [state development fund] task force suspended, investigators at the Anti-Corruption Commission arrested or transferred, and newspapers suspended for reporting on the matter,” Ugaz continued.
“These are not the actions of a government that is fighting corruption. Malaysia is facing a corruption crisis.” Read the rest of this entry »
By Mong Palatino
September 11, 2015
Another troubling sign that the ‘race card’ is being exploited in the country’s politics.
More than 250 licensed non-government organizations in Malaysia are planning to mobilize 30,000 people on September 16 to protect and promote Maruah Melayu (Malay dignity). The event also aims to show support for the beleaguered leadership of Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is being implicated in a corruption scandal.
The event was clearly organized to counter the Bersih (which means ‘clean’ in Malay) protest last August 29 and 30, which gathered more than 100,000 people in Kuala Lumpur. Some leaders of the Malay Pride Rally have ridiculed Bersih as a Chinese conspiracy. To prevent the Chinese protesters from undermining the government, they urged their fellow Malays to join the September 16 gathering and to wear red in order to oppose the yellow color of Bersih.
This framing of the issue is rejected by many who insist that it is a distortion of the real politics of Bersih. While it is true that Chinese protesters were present during the Bersih protest, they were joined by Malays and other citizens who believe that Najib must resign and that a clean election is needed to promote good governance in the country. Last month’s Bersih, and the three previous Bersih protests, didn’t pit the Chinese versus the Malays, although some allies of the government wanted the public to believe that racial sentiments are undermining the country’s stability.
From the beginning, the issue was about corruption and abuse of power by the ruling coalition, which has been in power since the 1950s, yet leaders of the Malay Pride Rally continue to speak about Chinese machinations. Read the rest of this entry »
Tale of two T-shirts, two rallies and two Malaysia Day highlight the gravity of the prolonged crisis of confidence which plague Malaysia why Malaysians must think beyond race, religion, region or even politics to Save Malaysia
The tale of two T-shirts, two rallies and two Malaysia Day highlight the gravity of the prolonged crisis of confidence which plague Malaysia and why Malaysians must think beyond race, religion, region or even politics to Save Malaysia.
There is firstly the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt, with the five objectives of:
*Free and Fair Elections.
*A Transparent Government.
*The Right to Demonstrate.
*Strengthening the Parliamentary Democracy System.
*Saving the Economy of Malaysia.
Then there is the red T-shirt screaming the slogan “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu”, with the explicit threat of communal confrontation and if the message was not clear enough, there was also also the vivid imagery of a communal “bloodbath”. Read the rest of this entry »
Sept 16, 2015 should be a red-letter Malaysia Day marking first important steps by Putrajaya to restore genuine autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak which should not be spoilt or overshadowed by “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in KL
On the 52nd Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 next Wednesday, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak should not just be in Kota Kinabalu for a Public Relations gimmick to join the Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers at Padang Merdeka to sign the commemorative Malaysia Day document to re-enact the formation of Malaysia 52 years ago.
More is expected of the Prime Minister to do something more substantive, as giving import and significance to the occasion, especially in the meeting of the Prime Minister with the Chief Ministers and Sabah and Sarawak such as to mark Putrajaya’s first important steps to restore genuine autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak.
Najib has committed himself to grant more autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, and the 52nd Malaysia Day on Sept. 16, in his sixth year as Malaysian Prime Minister, should be the historic occasion to see the start of the process of Putrajaya honouring such a commitment.
There are at least four things Najib could do on Sept. 16 to begin the “first step in the journey of thousand miles” to grant meaningful autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, viz: Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
9 September 2015
Saya tidak menyokong perbuatan tersebut, tapi saya berpendapat rakyat Malaysia patut membiarkan ia berlaku tetapi motif saya berlainan.
Biarlah si baju merah semuanya berkumpul di Bukit Bintang, beraksi semula dengan kayu-kayan, berguling sana sini, mengucapkan apa-apa yang mungkin bersifat perkauman dan anti Cina, menunjukkan mereka kononnya perwira bangsa Melayu.
Biarlah setiap kata-kata mereka direkodkan dan dimuat naik ke semua laman sosial. Biarlah setiap kata-kata mereka diterjemahkan ke semua bahasa yang rakyat Malaysia dan warga asing di sini faham.
Biarlah video-video berserta terjemahan dalam setiap bahasa ini disebarkan oleh rakyat Malaysia sendiri melalui laman sosial ke Bangladesh, Korea Selatan, Jepun, Amerika Syarikat, Kanada, New Zealand, Australia, United Kingdom, China, Vietnam, Singapura dan Rusia – mana-mana negara yang mempunyai kepentingan perdagangan dengan Malaysia.
Maka dengan aksi sedemikian rupa, kerajaan sendiri perlu menanggung tanggungjawab penyokong politik mereka sendiri. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should cancel the Sept. 16 programme in Kota Kinabalu for signing of commemorative Malaysia Day document with Sabah and Sarawak Chief Ministers and have it either one day earlier or later so as not to be overshadowed by the Red Shirts pro-Najib rally in Kuala Lumpur
When the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak endorsed the greenlight given by the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi for the Red Shirts “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rally in Kuala Lumpur on Sept. 16, it marked not only a great failure of Najib’s premiership, but a pathetic admission of the failure of his signature 1Malaysia policy when he became the sixth Prime Minister some six years ago to create a united nation where every citizen will regard himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion, region and socio-economic status second.
Six years after Najib’s 1Malaysia Policy, the country should be having “Kebangkitan Maruah Malaysia” rallies and not regressing to hold “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” rallies – which is the very antithesis of Najib’s 1Malaysia policy.
Is Najib suggesting that there should also be “Kebangkitan Maruah Cina Malaysia”, “Kebangkitan Maruah India Malaysia”, “Kebangkitan Maruah Orang Asli”, “Kebangkitan Maruah Iban” or “Kebangkitan Maruah Kadazan-Dusun-Murut” rallies all over the country?
Najib and the Cabinet should be asking Zahid why the Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister is practicing double standards in warning of “stern action” against organisers and participants of Bersih 4 rally but gave the okay for UMNO members to attend the Red Shirts rally?
Why did Zahid personally sign a ban of the yellow Bersih 4 T-shirt on the eve of Bersih 4 rally, but endorsed the sale of red “Kebangkitan Maruah Melayu” T-shirts? Read the rest of this entry »
– Dennis Ignatius
Former Malaysian High Commissioner to Canada
7 Sep 2015
The newly minted deputy minister of foreign affairs, Reezal Merican, has warned that Wisma Putra would be monitoring Malaysians involved in BERSIH rallies overseas and be reporting them to the relevant agencies for follow-up action. [Malaysiakini, September 4th 2015]
Obviously, he has a lot to learn about the proud traditions of our foreign service. In the first place, Wisma Putra is not a spy agency with embassies abroad keeping tabs on the activities of Malaysian citizens. That is something that countries like North Korea, China and Iran do. In all my 36 years in the foreign ministry, we never spied on our citizens, kept records of their activities or threatened them. In fact, we went out of our way to build rapport with them because we recognized that they could contribute to promoting Malaysia.
Of course, there were times when we disagreed with their actions or the positions they took on national issues. Our response, however, was always to engage them, explain government policies and endeavour to win them over. We won some and we lost some; that’s the way it goes in a democracy. Whatever the outcome, the Malaysia I represented then always respected the rights of its citizens even when we disagreed with them. There was no question of trying to intimidate them. Read the rest of this entry »
Farouk A. Peru
The Malaysian Insider
9 September 2015
By now the dust settled on the greatest show of defiance Malaysia has ever seen. Despite the typical strong arm tactics by Umno politicians to discourage Bersih 4, Malaysians came out in force to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
However, from the very beginning of Bersih 4, given the racial make-up of its participants, the inevitable question was asked – where were the Malays?
This is actually an unfair question and I am sure the government along with its racist supporters would so love that Bersih 4 would be bereft of Malay presence.
This is of course not the case. I happen to know some Malay participants and I highly doubt that those whose pictures were taken while praying and the many women who wore headscarves were photoshopped in! Read the rest of this entry »
If the Cabinet today cannot set the country right to address and resolve the multiple crisis of confidence plaguing the country, then it is not a Cabinet Malaysians need
Today’s Cabinet meeting is a critical one for the nation as it will be the last Cabinet meeting before next Wednesday which is a public holiday for Malaysia Day.
This is not because next Wednesday commemorates the formation of Malaysia 52 years ago but because of a “racially-fuelled” Umno or pro-UMNO Sept. 16 red-shirt rally which the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) secretary-general Datuk Seri Syed Hussein Al-Habshee has warned would have “castastrophic” consequences.
In a statement yesterday, Syed Hussein said the rally will “trigger negativity and erosion of business sentiments, affecting foreign investors’ perceptions and tourism and add further pressure on the ringgit”.
The secretary-general of NCCIM, which represents the Malay, Chinese and Indian chambers of commerce and industry, said he feared the effects of the rally could cripple the Malaysian economy, halting its ability to recover.
He said: “It might leave us without fixes to yield a quick recovery process.” Read the rest of this entry »
Prof Dr. Mohd Tajuddin Mohd Rasdi
8th Sept 2015
I am writing as a concerned Malaysian and as a responsible Muslim against the overt threats of those I will refer to as the RSMM – the Red Shirt Malay Menace.
I have no idea what the official name of this group is, so I am using my academic licence to call them RSMM. Were this a Bahasa Malaysia article, I would dub them MMTM – Melayu Merah Tiada Maruah.
But strangely enough, this article is not about the RSMM but more about the deafening silence from the Malay political leadership, the Malay leadership of public universities, the Malay ulama who are muftis, and the Malay leadership in one particular political group which claims to be the sole warriors of Islam.
From the first day that the activities of this group were reported in the media and online videos showing them as ‘pahlawan’ or warriors getting ready for battle, I have kept a close eye on not their childish statements and loud bravado but on who amongst the Malay elites of this country holding the bastion of power socially, religiously and politically would say about this group and their more-than-clear intention. Read the rest of this entry »
Appoint Nazir Razak as honorary Ombudsman for “stupid things” by “Power People” with jurisdiction to summon miscreants to publicly lecture them for their stupid utterances or acts which undermine Malaysia’s national image
Two days ago, I had asked whether there was a competition in Najib’s Cabinet as to which Minister could say the most stupid things, which I had entitled:
“’Walking Dead’ – Is there a competition in Najib’s Cabinet as to which Minister could say the most stupid things?”
This was after the statement by the CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak who warned a fortnight ago that those he described as “power people” should stop issuing stupid remarks amid the worsening economic crisis in the country, especially with the decline in the value of the ringgit, which had plunged to levels unseen since the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis.
I noted that although Nazir, who is also the brother to prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had urged the “power people” in an Instagram post to “Accept & adjust quickly” as “capital is super sensitive; bad news & bad signs amplified” and to avoid saying “stupid things”, the situation has gone from bad to worse, as if there is a total breakdown of discipline of the Najib Cabinet after the reshuffle of July 28, with the sacking of Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Apdal Shafie.
I pointed out that in the previous 12 days since Nazir’s advice, the “stupid things” uttered by Najib’s “power people” had increase by leaps and bounds, and I listed such 13 “stupid things” said by Najib’s “power people” in the past 48 hours, i.e. at the shocking rate of more than half-a-dozen a day!
The volume and velocity of “stupid things” uttered by Najib’s “power people” had not slowed in the least, as seen by the new list of such “stupid things” from the headlines of Malaysiakini in the 48 hours after the first list of “stupid things” on Sunday, viz: Read the rest of this entry »
Nurul Izzah Anwar
Sept 7th, 2015
MP SPEAKS The planned Sept 16 red-shirt racially-based rally is deeply troubling, fomenting concerns of racial provocation in times when unity is sorely needed in facing Malaysia’s many adversities. It is especially disheartening to see a minister openly supporting this racist ideology. The Star Online reported Umno supreme council member Ismail Sabri Yaakob will be sending party members to join the rally in his capacity as Bera Umno division chief.
Just yesterday a police report has been lodged against this racially provocative protest. The police must immediately act to ensure such acts of provocation does not proceed with any sense of impunity. Continuing silence from the authorities is even more troubling when contrasted with the home affairs minister’s incessant urgings to hunt the few outliers who desecrated images of PAS and Umno leaders in the Bersih 4 rally.
Notwithstanding general disapproval and condemnation over such crude insults against any political leaders as well as their symbols ; the social harmony of our society necessitates priority. The police must act to stem any efforts to racialise events – as this is clearly an effort to further divide Malaysia along racial lines.
What’s worse, the posters being displayed in KL associated to the Sept 16th event is akin to inviting violence on one racial group by another. This is completely flouting existing laws and reason and cannot be allowed to continue. Read the rest of this entry »
Call on Cabinet and the UMNO Supreme Council to take a clear Malaysian stand against any rally seeking to provoke and incite tension and hatred of one race against another in Malaysia, whether Sept. 16 and Oct. 10 gatherings
The Cabinet and the UMNO Supreme Council meeting on Wednesday should take a clear Malaysian stand against any rally seeking to provoke and incite tension and hatred of one race against another in Malaysia, whether the proposed Sept. 16 or Oct. 10 gatherings.
The fundamental right to freedom of assembly to peacefully advocate constitutional rights and liberties of Malaysians must be defended as a basic democratic liberty and human right of Malaysians, but there can be no right whatsoever to commit heinous crimes as inciting racial or religious tension, hatred and conflict in plural Malaysia.
It is in fact the basic duty and responsibility of any government to ensure that those who want to provoke or incite racial or religious hatred to create conflict, disharmony and chaos in plural Malaysia must be stopped in their tracks, and not allowed any room whatsoever to commit the heinous crimes of inciting inter-racial or inter-religious tension and conflict.
The Sept. 16 and Oct.10 rallies were conceived as Malay counter to the purported Chinese Bersih 4 rally of August 29 and 30, alleging that Bersih 4 was a Chinese show of force against Malay political power – which is a most irresponsible allegation totally without basis, as there was not a tinge of racialism at all in the Bersih 4 rally where Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, sex, gender or even politics converged in Kuala Lumpur, Kuching and Kota Kinabalu for a common cause for good governance and free, fair elections – issues which completely transcend race. Read the rest of this entry »