Archive for category Elections

Restoration of local government elections was a DAP issue in the Oct 1968 Segamat Utara by-election where Musa Hitam was first elected MP

A commentator Hafidz Baharom in his article “On Local Council Elections” in The Malaysian Insider yesterday asked:

“Why is the DAP suddenly asking to call for local council elections. Have they run out of friends in the NGOs to place on the local councils?

“To be frank, the timing for the call for local council elections is highly suspect particularly at a time when half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”.

I will fully agree with Hafidz that at a time when “half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”, it would be highly suspect for the DAP “to suddenly…call for local council elections”.

Except that the DAP had not been “suddenly calling for local council elections” at a time when the country was trying to recover from the worst floods catastrophe within living memory. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Cabinet probably the worst in Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not

The Malaysian Cabinet Edition 2015 is probably the worst in the 58-year Malaysian history – acting like the traditional three monkeys with eyes that see not, ears that hear not and mouths that speak not.

Did the Cabinet repudiate and reprimand the Urban Well-being, Housing and Local Government Minister, Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan for his irresponsible and reckless statement that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization when supporting the equally bizarre statement by the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang that the restoration of the third vote could cause a repeat of the May 13 race riots?

Abdul Rahman is the most irresponsible Local Government Minister in the nation’s history for no other Local Government Minister had ever made such a statement in the past 50 years since the suspension of local government elections on March 1965 on the ground of threat from Indonesian Confrontation.

And yet nobody in Cabinet dared to confront him and propose that the Cabinet should reprimand him and dissociate itself from the Local Government Minister’s irresponsible and reckless remarks on the restoration of local government elections.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad had dismissed the previous Cabinet as “half-past six” and former Finance Minister Tun Daim Zainuddin had shown utter contempt of what he described as “deadwood” Ministers. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kabinet harus tolak pendirian Rahman‎ Dahlan

– Lim Kit Siang
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

Mesyuarat Kabinet hari ini patut menegur dan menolak pendirian Menteri Kesejahteraan Bandar, Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan (PBT) akan memburukkan lagi polarisasi kaum kerana ia bukan sahaja tidak benar, malah membuka ruang kepada penggantungan pilihan raya Dewan Negeri dan Parlimen pada masa akan datang.

Ini kali pertama dalam masa 50 tahun mana-mana menteri kerajaan Barisan Nasional mahupun Perikatan mengambil pendirian yang mengarut pelaksanaan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan polarisasi kaum yang lebih buruk, atau berkemungkinan mencetuskan semula rusuhan kaum 13 Mei seperti disebut Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yang mendapat sokongan pimpinan tertinggi Umno.

Pada Mac 2010, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan Selangor mengutus 2 surat berasingan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya memohon supaya pilihan raya PBT dijalankan di negeri masing-masing.

Alasan mereka berbuat demikian untuk mengukuhkan demokrasi dengan memilih ahli-ahli majlis tempatan melalui pilihan raya dan bukan lantikan, yang akan menambah akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan urus tadbir yang baik.

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dalam satu reaksi pantas menolak permintaan ini, sambil menyatakan mengembalikan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan politik di peringkat kerajaan tempatan dan tidak akan memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai.

Beliau berkata tumpuan seharusnya diberikan kepada usaha memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai dan bukannya proses yang terlibat dalam memilih ahli majlis.

Tidak pernah ada yang menyebut tentang polarisasi kaum atau representasi kaum yang tidak seimbang dalam masa 50 tahun lampau sebagai sebab kenapa undi ketiga tidak boleh dikembalikan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Squabbling politicians leaving Malaysians without much leadership or hope

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
28 January 2015

Nearly two years after the last Malaysian general elections, both the ruling and opposition coalitions are imploding – one with internal leadership crises and the other with public quarrels over policies.

In the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno and MIC leaders past and present are tussling for influence and leadership, the MCA is largely irrelevant while Gerakan and PPP are absent.

On the other side, Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and PAS are crossing swords and PKR is just opposing everything with a street protest always a handy tool to keep it seen as championing a cause.

The big loser? Ordinary Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet should reprimand and repudiate Abdul Rahman’s stand that local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue but opens the dangerous door for future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections

The Cabinet meeting today should reprimand the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman and repudiate the stand he has taken that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue, but opens the dangerous door for the future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections.

This is the first time in 50 years that any Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance) Government Minister has taken the ridiculous and outrageous stand that the holding of local government elections would lead to greater racial polarisation – or even risks the repeat of May 13 race riots, as stated by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang which has received the support of top UMNO leaders.

In March 2010, the Penang and Selangor state governments wrote separate letters to the Election Commission asking for local government elections to be conducted in their respective states.

Their reason for doing so were to strengthen democracy by having local representatives elected and not appointed, which would enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.

In an immediate reaction, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected this, stating that reviving local government elections would only give rise to politicking at the local government level and would not improve services for the people.

He said the focus should be on improving services to the people and not the process involved in selecting councillors who would serve.

There was no reference to problems of “racial polarisation” or “imbalanced racial representation” in the past 50 years as the reason why there should be no restoration of the third vote! Read the rest of this entry »

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If PAS has no confidence in Pakatan Rakyat achieving great victories if local government elections are restored nationally, PR must return to the drawing board as this does not bode well for PR’s grand design to win Putrajaya in the 14GE

I just do not know whether to laugh or to cry.

Yesterday, the Malay Mail Online carried a report entitled “DAP seeking full ‘control’ of country through third vote, Isma claims”, quoting the latest vitriol by the Deputy President of Islamist group Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (Isma), Aminuddin Yahaya alleging that “the move to restore local government elections is part of the DAP’s strategy to take over Malaysia as the opposition party already has control of nearly 60 per cent of the state seats in the country”.

He said that DAP lawmakers make up 58 per cent of the total state constituencies in Malaysia and that the figure could reach 60 per cent, with the help of urban based PKR.

This caused me to tweet: “Ignoramus. Don’t even have Std 5 maths std”.

If Aminuddin is right and talking sense, then DAP on its own will be well on the way to capturing power in Putrajaya and forming the Malaysian government. But he is of course talking nonsense.

What a pity Isma has such a Deputy President who is so shallow in basic maths, which does not speak well for the organisation.

Out of a total of 505 State Assembly seats (excluding Sarawak) contested in the 13th General Elections on May 5, 2013, Barisan Nasional won 4,515,228 or 47.25% of the national vote, but 275 state assembly seats or 54% of the total of 505 seats; while Pakatan Rakyat won 4,879,295 votes or 51.06% of the national vote but only 229 State Assembly seats or 45% of the total of 505 seats. One state assembly seat in Sabah was won by a non-Pakatan Rakyat opposition party.

These statistics bespeak of the injustice, inequity and iniquity of the electoral system, with Pakatan Rakyat winning more votes but less seats! Read the rest of this entry »

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Hadi, ketahuilah, 13 Mei mustahil berulang

– Haris Zuan
The Malaysian Insider
26 January 2015

Peristiwa 13 Mei ialah isu eksklusif Umno-Barisan Nasional (BN) dan orang lain yang mahu menyebut, dan apatah lagi membincangkannya, boleh didakwa di bawah Akta Hasutan.

Hanya Umno bebas menggunakan isu 13 Mei (versi mereka sudah tentu) untuk membodoh dan menakut-nakutkan bangsa Malaysia, khasnya orang Melayu dan Cina.

Namun, kali ini, Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, mengeluarkan ancaman yang biasanya hanya dilaungkan oleh Umno – 13 Mei akan berulang jika pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan diadakan semula – dan kali ini Umno tidak pula marah dengan kenyataan Hadi Awang ini.

Kisah ini awalnya mudah sahaja. PAS membangkitkan isu pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan kerana mahu menyanggah dakwaan bukan hudud sahaja yang tidak diputuskan secara bersama di peringkat Pakatan Rakyat, pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan juga – yang diperjuangkan oleh Pulau Pinang dan Selangor.
Maka, dengan menggunakan logik ini, pada PAS, menjadi hak Kelantan untuk melaksanakan hudud di negeri tersebut secara bersendirian (atau dengan kerjasama Umno – parti pemerintah yang hanya menunjukkan minat terhadap Hudud setiap kali terdesak kehilangan kuasa). Read the rest of this entry »

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Greece shows what can happen when the young revolt against corrupt elites

Paul Mason
The Guardian
25 January 2015

The rise of Syriza can’t just be explained by the crisis in the eurozone: a youthful generation of professionals has had enough of tax-evading oligarchs

At Syriza’s HQ, the cigarette smoke in the cafe swirls into shapes. If those could reflect the images in the minds of the men hunched over their black coffees, they would probably be the faces of Che Guevara, or Aris Velouchiotis, the second world war Greek resistance fighter. These are veteran leftists who expected to end their days as professors of such esoteric subjects as development economics, human rights law and who killed who in the civil war. Instead, they are on the brink of power.

Black coffee and hard pretzels are all the cafe provides, together with the possibility of contracting lung cancer. But on the eve of the vote, I found its occupants confident, if bemused.

However, Syriza HQ is not the place to learn about radicalisation. The fact that a party with a “central committee” even got close to power has nothing to do with a sudden swing to Marxism in the Greek psyche. It is, instead, testimony to three things: the strategic crisis of the eurozone, the determination of the Greek elite to cling to systemic corruption, and a new way of thinking among the young.

Of these, the eurozone’s crisis is easiest to understand – because its consequences can be read so easily in the macroeconomic figures. The IMF predicted Greece would grow as the result of its aid package in 2010. Instead, the economy has shrunk by 25%. Wages are down by the same amount. Youth unemployment stands at 60% – and that is among those who are still in the country. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP remains committed to be an inclusive party embracing the rights and interests of all races and religions in Malaysia, and not just for any one race or religion

The PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang let off a time bomb in Harakah yesterday, and the reverberations are still going off all over the country, creating shock, anguish and dismay not only among DAP and PKR leaders and members, and the majority of Malaysians who have placed their trust and hope in Pakatan Rakyat, but also among PAS leaders and members as well.

For the past 45 years, the spectre of May 13 had been the favourite weapon of unscrupulous UMNO leaders to intimidate voters from freely and democratically exercising their constitutional right to vote, but I had never expected that a day would when it would also be invoked by an Opposition leader in a manner which UMNO leaders had never done before – as UMNO leaders have yet to threaten the spectre of May 13 if local elections are restored, but which they will now do readily with the precedent set by Hadi.

It is not only wrong to equate the restoration of the third vote, which the people in the country had enjoyed in the fifties and early sixties, Hadi also made a grievous mistake in giving a racial twist by suggesting that the restoration of local government elections is a grab for political power by the Chinese in the urban areas.

This is totally ignoring the process of Malay urbanisation in the past five decades, as out of 49 local government authorities in the urban areas (comprising three city halls of Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching Utara, nine city councils and 37 municipals councils), 39 have Malay majorities of over 50% of the population, three have Chinese majorities, with seven have a plurality of races with four with Chinese dominant and three with Malays dominant. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sorry, Mr PAS President, I beg to differ

By Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
Malaysiakini
Jan 25, 2015

MP SPEAKS Is it true that local government elections would lead to instability or May 13? I seriously doubt such a weird proposition, regardless whoever made that statement.

After all, local government’s elections were in this country before BN government unjustifiably abolished them.

In fact, those elections predated May 13. Thus relying on such an unfortunate event to flatly reject the revival of such elections is indeed mind boggling to say the least.

Globally speaking, local government’s election is a universal phenomenon especially in developed countries including Muslim countries. Read the rest of this entry »

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When accountability takes a backseat to race

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
25 January 2015

Local government elections have suddenly become an explosive issue in Malaysia, no thanks to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who suggested it can lead to race clashes last seen on May 13, 1969.

Umno-owned mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia has supported him, as has one federal minister who said the third vote can lead to greater racial polarisation as Malaysians voted along racial lines.

These two politicians and Utusan are probably still digesting the results of the last two general elections through their rose-tinted glasses of race and religion rather than figuring out that more Malaysians are colour-blind to race these days.

While those from Umno do see the world according to racial lines, it is sad to see that Hadi trumpet the same tune although his party puts Islam at the front and centre of its political struggle and eschews race as a platform.

Didn’t PAS talk about an Islamic welfare state in the last general elections and keeps talking about Islam – whose adherents come from all races across the world, and not just Malays? Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks to Hadi, Malaysians must focus on why there should not be local government election in Malaysia on the 50th anniversary of suspension local council polls

Thanks to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, Malaysians must focus on the question why there should not be local government election in Malaysia on the 50th anniversary of suspension of local council polls.

Fifty years ago, on 1st March 1965, the then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman suspended local council election, giving as justification the threat of Indonesian Confrontation. However, he gave the solemn undertaking that “The very moment peace is declared, I can assure this House that the elections will be held”.

It is 50 years down the road and Malaysians are entitled to ask why they should continue to be denied local government election, when local government election is accepted as a basic democratic right of citizens in countries committed to a democratic way of life.

Of course, I do not agree with Hadi that local government election may lead to another May 13 race riots. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yang tidak dimengerti Hadi tentang ‘undi ketiga’

– Izmil Amri
The Malaysian Insider
23 January 2015

Salah tanggapan Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang terhadap pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan amat disesalkan. Di saat Pakatan Rakyat (PR) berusaha menjauhi wacana politik perkauman, beliau pula gigih membangkitkan momok 13 Mei, dan mengaitkannya dengan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan.

Tidak jauh beza dengan buah butir percakapan kumpulan-kumpulan ultra Melayu. Sikit-sikit 13 Mei, seolah-olah tidak ada hujah bernas lain selain hujah kaum dan politik ketakutan.

Lebih menyedihkan, modal pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan ini kini dijadikan modal perbandingan dengan cita-cita pelaksanaan hudud di Kelantan. PAS membandingkan urusan jenayah syariah berasaskan firman Tuhan, dengan isu pemilihan tukang urus longkang tersumbat dan lampu jalan tidak menyala. Ini amat memilukan hati.

Apa yang Hadi nampak barang kali, hanyalah kalau dibuat pilihan raya ini, yang akan jadi ahli majlis dan datuk bandar, semuanya Cina belaka. Geleng kepala. Read the rest of this entry »

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Between ‘divine’ punishments and taxpayers’ rights

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
23 January 2015

In PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s worldview, punishments like chopping off hands and stoning for crimes are par for the course but taxpayers cannot elect local government representatives because it can lead to racial discord.

He also subscribes to the view that most Malays still remain in rural and semi-rural areas while the Chinese are the majority in urban areas, if his comments against the DAP’s proposals to have the third vote is anything to go by. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sacked airman says dismissal proves honesty doesn’t pay in Malaysia

by Yiswaree Palansamy
Malay Mail Online
January 15, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Former airman Zaidi Ahmad said his discharge from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for blowing the whistle on the weaknesses of the indelible ink used in Election 2013 demonstrates that honesty comes with a price here.

On Monday, the Military Court found Zaidi guilty of misconduct for publicly complaining about the inefficacy of the indelible ink used in the 2013 general election, and ordered his dismissal as a major in the RMAF.

“The honest ones are often the ‘criminals’, while liars who betray are the ones who are adulated and given various recognitions,” he told Malay Mail Online in an email interview.

Despite his misgivings over the court martial, Zaid said he accepts the decision with “an open heart”. Read the rest of this entry »

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I did what I had to for my country, says airman sacked over indelible ink claim

by Yiswaree Palansamy
The Malay Mail Online
January 15, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 15 — Despite being discharged from the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for questioning the integrity of the indelible ink used in Election 2013, former airman Zaidi Ahmad says he has no regrets over his actions.

On Monday, a military court found Zaidi guilty of misconduct for publicly complaining about the inefficacy of the indelible ink used in the general election, bringing an abrupt end to his 26-year career as an air force pilot with the rank of Major.

He was also found guilty for publishing an article without the consent of the Defence Ministry, and revealing the contents of official documents on the indelible ink without authorisation from the Malaysian Armed Forces Council, and was subsequently discharged from duty.

To the authorities, Ahmad may be viewed as a disloyal soldier who was insubordinate, but to the general public, the father of four has been hailed as a true Malaysian hero.

“I did what I had to do for my country and I will continue doing it,” Zaidi told Malay Mail Online in an email interview.

“As a responsible citizen, I must always strive to help the nation and its people to fight for justice and truth, combat lies, misappropriation and corruption,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why BN does not want more Parliament seats

By Ong Kian Ming | 11:10AM Jan 13, 2015
Malaysiakini

MP SPEAKS The fact that no new no Parliament seat was added in Sarawak by the Election Commission is a very good indication that the yet-to-be revealed peninsular Malaysia and Sabah delimitation plans will also not include parliamentary seat increases.

With 31 out of 222 seats, Sarawak currently has 14 percent of the total Parliament seats. This figure would be diluted further if parliamentary seats are added in peninsular Malaysia and Sabah but not in Sarawak.

Any Sarawak chief minister would not have agreed to the new Sarawak delimitation plan if there was no assurance from the BN at the national level that no parliament seat will be added in either peninsular Malaysia or Sabah. This way, the current distribution of parliamentary seats and power at the federal can be maintained.

The delay in revealing the new delimitation plans for peninsular Malaysia and Sabah also indicates that a decision has been made to present plans without any increase in Parliament seats.
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In 2015 delimitation, is Najib going for ‘nuclear’?

By Ong Kian Ming | 10:23AM Jan 12, 2015
Malaysiakini

MP SPEAKS The map for the proposed new seats in Sarawak was publicly displayed on Monday, Jan 5, 2015. The timing of this display – before the display of the Sabah and peninsular Malaysia maps – and the proposed changes – 11 proposed new state seats without a single new parliament seat – was unprecedented.

The Sarawak delimitation exercise also points to a more worrying possibility – that Najib will exercise a ‘nuclear’ option for the upcoming peninsular Malaysia and Sabah delimitation exercise.

What exactly is this nuclear option? That no parliament seats would be added in either peninsular Malaysia or Sabah, that state seats would be added only in the states where the BN enjoys a two-thirds majority in the state legislature and boundaries would be redrawn in BN’s favour in states with no additional parliament and state seats.
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Singing the praises of Major Zaidi

By Syerleena Abdul Rashid
Free Malaysia Today
January 13, 2015

COMMENT

This MPPP councillor pays tribute to a “true patriot” who was willing to risk it all to expose a broken electoral system and push for political reforms.

Growing up, everybody had a favourite hero. It could have been Superman, Badang or even a Sesame Street character but as we grew older, our tastes in heroes and our perception of qualities that defined heroism changed. We broke away from fiction and began to look at real life for inspiration. We sought intellectual heroes; political leaders, activists, great thinkers or even authors who observed our societal behaviours and witty life anecdotes while transfixing the subtlety of modern life grievances into words and then, on to pages.

Aristotle believed that heroes were “associated with courage and integrity and a disdain for the cramping compromises by means of which the unheroic majority manage their lives. Heroes were capable of something momentous – the defeat of an enemy, the preservation of a political system, the completion of a voyage – which no one else could have accomplished.” In other words, heroes were the embodiment of a superb spirit.

In modern times, heroic figures included martyrs, whistleblowers and good Samaritans. We often associate heroism with grandiose acts of valour, sacrificing or risking one’s life with unabashed gallantry but heroism can also occur less dramatically – one that is engaged voluntarily and conducted as a service to improve social or political stature. It is often initiated out of compassion without any expectations of material gain.

Many of us, have found highly commendable heroic qualities in everyday men and women; Mahatma Gandhi who taught us the power of passive resistance, Karpal Singh who reminded us to be strong and remain principled in life, Adam Adli who introduced us all to a generation of young Malaysians who were not afraid to reclaim ownership of our country and Ambiga Sreenevasan who displayed fortitude and determination to purge corruption from our system. Of course, there are many more heroes… too many to list, in fact. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is the armed forces and the Najib government which had been dishonoured by Major Zaidi’s conviction and the travesty of justice in sacking him for standing up for the truth

Major Zaidi Ahmad “dishonourably discharged” from the armed forces by a court martial for blowing the whistle about the washable “indelible ink” in the 13th General Elections?

How can a person be “dishonourably discharged” for doing an honourable thing, as speaking and standing up for the truth in a nation that cherishes truth and moral values?

It has been said that justice is truth in action. In Major Zaidi’s case, we see truth in action being penalized, making the court martial proceeding a travesty of justice and blot on the moral conscience of the country.

It is the armed forces and the Najib government which had been dishonoured by Major Zaidi’s conviction and the travesty of justice in sacking him for standing up for the truth. Read the rest of this entry »

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