Archive for category Elections

Election 2013 broke every rule in the book, Bersih panel finds

By Pathma Subramaniam
The Malay Mail Online
March 25, 2014

SUBANG JAYA, MARCH 25 — Every single principle governing the running of a free and fair election was breached during last year’s May 5 federal polls, Bersih’s People’s Tribunal concluded in its findings released today.

Panel member former United Nations Special Representative and constitutional law expert Yash Pal Ghai said Election 2013 had fallen short of every aspect of democracy and violated the standard of free and fair elections.

He agreed that the election had been free to some extent because those who were registered voters were not blocked from casting their ballots but said this freedom was more in a “narrow sense” of the word.

During Election 2013, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) retained federal power with 133 seats to Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) 89 seats despite losing the popular vote contest to the federal opposition, garnering just 49 per cent of the total votes cast.

“We have found ourselves compelled to reach a conclusion that there were multiple failings in the way GE13 was conducted and that virtually every tenet of free election was violated at some place and at some time,” said Yash Pal, who headed the tribunal. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sodomy 2 Ruling Creates New Excitement

By Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! News
8th March 2014

The buzz is all over town. And most probably outside of the country too. Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim has been found guilty by the Court of Appeal of sodomising Saiful Bukhari Azlan in 2008.

The High Court acquitted him of the charge in January 2012, but the Attorney-General appealed. Now it looks like Anwar’s luck has run out. The famous Sodomy 2 case has caught up with him this time.

The judge has sentenced him to five years’ imprisonment. Although Anwar’s lawyers have straight away filed notice of appeal to the Federal Court, his conviction should disqualify him from standing in the upcoming Kajang by-election, which had come about when the incumbent state assemblyman, Lee Chin Cheh, stepped down to actually pave the way for Anwar to contest – as part of the so-called Kajang Move engineered by PKR strategist Rafizi Ramli with the long-term view of possibly making Anwar menteri besar in order to prepare Selangor as the launchpad for Pakatan Rakyat to take Putrajaya.

What happens to that now? Read the rest of this entry »

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Let us pay tribute to three unsung heroes who dare to stand up for inter-religious harmony, clean elections and a better education system – Azrul Mohd Khalib, Major Zaidi Ahmad and Mohd Nor Izzah

Let us pay tribute to ordinary Malaysians who are the country’s unsung heroes who dare to stand up for a better Malaysia whether in terms of a better education system, clean elections or inter-religious harmony, for they are the salt of the earth who will ensure that Malaysia will achieve her greatness instead of becoming a failed state.

Mohd Nor Izzat Mohd Johari, the head of Suara Guru Masyarakat Malaysia (SGMM), who is facing mean, petty and punitive persecution from the “Little Napoleons” in the Education Ministry with the Education Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin too “busy” to intervene, is one such unsung hero in Malaysia.

What is Nor Izzat’s crime? None, instead he had rendered great national service in spearheading the protest against the woes of the badly-planned and poorly-conceived student-based assessment (SBA) system. He should be rewarded for his positive contribution in forcing the Education Ministry to suspend the SBA instead of being subject to mean and petty punitive actions.

Another unsung Malaysian hero is Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded instead of being penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections and is now awaiting court-martial for his great service as a patriot to the country.

Nor Izzat wants to have a better education system for our teachers and children. Major Zaidi wants the country to have a clean election system which Malaysians can stand tall in the world.

A third unsung hero Malaysians should pay tribute to is social activist Azrul Mohd Khalib who led a Malaysians for Malaysia group to spearhead a “Walk for Peace” movement among ordinary Malaysians who care about the country to push for national healing in the face of the worst racial and religious polarization in the nation’s 56-year history. Read the rest of this entry »

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Election 2013 lacked integrity, study finds

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
February 28, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 28 — A study on the integrity of elections across the globe has rated Malaysia near the bottom of the pile, with the country’s general election last year coming in 66th out of 73 elections surveyed, just above Zimbabwe.

The findings of the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP), based at the University of Sydney and Harvard University, released this month shows that Malaysia’s 13th general election was perceived as having low levels of integrity, due to problematic electoral boundaries and election laws.

Cambodia ranked below Malaysia at 69th, while the only other Southeast Asian country on the list, the Philippines, ranked 47th, signalling moderate levels of electoral integrity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kajang and the Anwar-Mahathir showdown

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
February 25, 2014

When Anwar Ibrahim announces he wants to contest in Kajang, the whole country erupted into a fit. Most affected is the BN side. They don’t know what to do and say. So they shoot at each other.

Ahmad Maslan, the 3.85 CGPA-man, announced that Umno will use Anwar’s sex issue as the main issue. I am sure at the very moment, Kajang inhabitants wake up in the morning to find packages containing various CDs on Anwar’s sexual encounters enclosed. That’s how Umno educate Malays.

Even Dr Mahathir has entered the fray; first by saying that Anwar is only fit to become the menteri besar. As usual his initial response developed into the typical Mahathir vitriol on his onetime protégé turned nemesis.

The whole political saga involving Anwar which sets the country into political turmoil was created in the first place by Mahathir. That is why Mahathir is attacking Anwar. Mahathir knows Anwar will eventually win. So he tries to delay the inevitable. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Election Commission Chairman and members should convene special meeting to consider collective resignation as they have lost the most important ingredient of their appointment , i.e. “enjoy public confidence”

The Election Commission (EC) should have a proper sense of priorities instead of being led by the nose according to the dictates and wishes of the powers-that-be.

The latest example of the Election Commission failing to have a proper sense of its constitutional proprieties is the statement by the Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusuf that the EC is mulling to introduce harsher penalties against elected representatives who abuse the electoral process through unjustified resignations.

He said: “We need to curb the abuse of the electoral process…they (elected reps) should not resign at their whims and fancies.

“One must be aware of the hefty costs involved in holding a by-election”.

In 1997, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad created not one but two by-elections, when he handpicked the then Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk (now Tan Sri) Abu Hassan Omar to be the Selangor Mentri Besar after the then Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib was forced to resign following two charges in the Australian court over his failure to declare cash equivalent of RM2.4 million while leaving Brisbane International Airport in December 1996. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib and Hihammuddin should intervene and drop all charges against RMAF pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in 13GE

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein to intervene and drop all charges against Royal Malaysian Air Force pilot Major Zaidi Ahmad who should be rewarded and not penalised for speaking up about the indelible ink fiasco in the recent 13th General Elections.

If Pakaktan Rakyat is running the Federal Government in Putrajaya, I would have recommended that Major Zaidi should be promoted for showing utmost patriotism going beyond the ordinary call of duty instead of indulging in the mean and petty vindictiveness of clipping his pilot’ wings and reassigning him to a desk job, followed by charges before a court martial which could land him in jail for two years.

Why is the Najib government so unreasonable and even perverse as to want destroy Malaysia’s fragile international image with the latest scandal of sending a patriotic air force pilot to jail for two years not because of any heinous crime or moral turpitude but because of the basic honesty of a decent human being in speaking the truth about the “indelible ink” used in the last general elections which was in fact quickly washabke and deletable?

In contrast, the really corrupt and heinous characters in Malaysia, particularly the “big sharks” of corruption who steal tens and hundreds of millions of ringgit of public properties and wealth, enjoy total immunity and impunity,. Read the rest of this entry »

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Perspectives on national unity: heritage, home and hope

– Ramon Navaratnam
The Malaysian Insider
February 14, 2014

My perspectives from my generation.

A. Our heritage – past

Merdeka proclamation – I was there at the Merdeka Stadium.

We felt as “One Malaya” even then in 1957.

Tunku Abdul Rahman and later Tun Abdul Razak and Tun Hussein Onn treated all Malayans and Malaysians equally.

There was no name–calling like “pendatang”.

Political leaders were far more honest, polite and civil, and served the rakyat more faithfully on the ground.

Institutions like the judiciary, police, civil service, parliament and politicians were generally much more efficient and of higher quality.

We were much more united and a national happy family. Read the rest of this entry »

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11th Sarawak state general elections may be held any time after the present state assembly has completed three years on April 16, 2014

The Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud is set to step down by the end of this month, after almost 33 years at the helm of the state.

I will expect the new Sarawak Chief Minister, whether the PBB deputy president Abang Johari Openg, PBB senior vice president Awang Tengah Ali Hassan or PBB information chief Adenan Satem to opt for early state general elections to seek a new mandate from the Sarawak voters instead of heading the Sarawak state government for 12 to 18 months before holding new polls.

Opting for early state polls will give the new Sarawak Chief Minister the advantage of starting on a comparatively new slate, promising to heed the calls for change and improvements after almost 33 years of Taib Mahmud rule, which would not be available if the new Sarawak Chief Minister goes to polls after 12 or 18 months in office when he will have to campaign on his own record.

For this reason, the Sarawak DAP and Pakatan Rakyat must gird itself to be ready to face the 11th Sarawak state general elections any time after the present state assembly has completed three years after April 16, 2014. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will Kajang by-election be the dirtiest or cleanest by-election in Malaysian history?

Will the forthcoming Kajang by-election in Selangor be the dirtiest or cleanest by-election in Malaysian history?

It has the capacity of being either depending on the role of the contending candidates, the two political coalitions of Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, and the supervising bodies like the Election Commission, the police, etc.

The Kajang by-election promises to be a by-election of many surprises.

The very holding of the Kajang by-election is itself a surprise – the first surprise. Read the rest of this entry »

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From the Kajang by-election to the bigger picture, Anwar tells all

by Sheridan Mahavera and Mohd Farhan Darwis
The Malaysian Insider
February 04, 2014

PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is no stranger to controversy. This time, it concerns his party’s attempts to get him elected as a state lawmaker in Selangor by triggering a by-election in the Kajang state seat. Anwar sat down with The Malaysian Insider to reply to criticisms the plan has generated and to tell the public why PKR feels it is justified, despite spending public funds on another electoral exercise.

Q: Let’s start with the background on the Kajang by-election. What was the motif behind this? It was a big surprise to your allies in Pakatan, even people in PKR did not know about it. Is it worth all this negative publicity?

A: It has been brewing for some time and we have to take into consideration the importance of Selangor, despite the fact that it was well managed and it was given a good and impressive mandate in the last general election.

As a major strategic consideration, we see that Selangor is under tremendous pressure and incessant attack by Umno and BN, including exploiting race and religious sentiments. We therefore feel, together with economic management, that there needs to be political leadership that is effective enough to mobilise and stop these excesses on behalf of the Malays and non-Malays in the state. Enough is enough.

This requires additional force and political clout, and a very strong message. To us it’s consistent with our statement on the national consensus that we cannot allow a small minority to hijack the national agenda and carry out threats to any citizen or group in the name of religion and race.

They are not nationalists; they don’t protect the interest of poor Malays, who are the vast majority of Malays, just the rich cronies. Or portray Islamic ethics well. Look at the manner it is played up and the character of those who profess to have religious leanings. No consideration of basic ethics or morality in the manner they display their arrogance and high handedness in dealing with issues.

We have a major problem in Selangor. This issue of race and religion shows the abdication of the Prime Minister and the government. They are either ignoring this or dismissing this or passing the buck to the state.

Second, economic problems. Inflation and spiralling prices are having a major impact and ramification to the state. It is close to Kuala Lumpur. Folks face hardship.

I think it is time we move to make Selangor a model and convey this strong message of how you govern politically and economically, and this will play when we wrest control of Putrajaya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar Ibrahim in Kajang state seat is good for Malaysia

By Augustine Anthony
4.1.2014

When Dato’ Sri Anwar Ibrahim’s decision to run for the now vacant Kajang state seat in Selangor was announced by Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, the current Mentri Besar of Selangor, the extent of criticism against Anwar Ibrahim, PKR and Pakatan Rakyat as a whole ranged from thumbs down and negative to downright hostility.

The looks on the ordinary and mostly educated middle class people whenever this issue was raised was one of disgust.

You cannot defend the indefensible and, in this case Anwar Ibrahim’s candidacy for the Kajang state seat, is the general feeling. A betrayal of voters’ hopes, aspirations and confidence is no small matter and such an act must bear the full brunt of the nation’s backlash.

But there was an unusual landscape during the announcement by Khalid Ibrahim. Not as picturesque as anyone would have expected and not quite like the time during the 13th General Elections and the accompanying euphoria whenever opposition candidates names were announced.

Amidst the gloom, there sits “THE” towering figure in the Malaysian politics. His appearance cleverly hides the depth of his experience, knowledge and understanding of the Malaysian political, social, as well as matters of national policies. The honourable Lim Kit Siang sits on the right side of Anwar Ibrahim while Khalid Ibrahim sits on the left side of the Opposition Leader. That caught my attention.

From the time of my childhood days I have admired Lim Kit Siang. He is a Malaysian success story and richly deserving too. A success story imagined, engineered and achieved not by sheer luck but by unrelenting pursuit and single mindedness of the goal ahead. Read the rest of this entry »

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Anwar’s bumpy road to Kajang a reminder of Umno’s shenanigans

NEWS ANALYSIS BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
February 02, 2014

In the throes of Malaysians debating the correctness of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim contesting the Kajang state seat, comes a stark reminder that evil resides in Umno.

Umno and its so-called non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have started their campaign to block Anwar from reaching out to voters – the sure sign of how worried they remain of a politician they themselves have tagged as a has-been.

From Perlis down to Johor, every trick in the book has been employed against the opposition. At times, the royal households are used, sometimes the religious authorities are co-opted.

Often, laws are bent to suit the whims and fancies of Umno.

So it seems to be the case in Kajang where Anwar was barred from giving the tazkirah (a short speech before the Friday sermon) at the Impian Saujana mosque in Kajang on orders from the Selangor Islamic Affairs Council (Mais). Read the rest of this entry »

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Zainuddin’s infantile but dangerous gambit to racialise Kajang by-election is utterly irresponsible and cause of worsening racial polarization in Malaysia

Former Cabinet Minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidin is up to his mischief of communal politicking again.

He said in his blog that the Chinese community has a “golden opportunity” to regain the trust of the Malays in the wake of the so-called “Chinese Tsunami” of Election 2013.

He said: “The Kajang by-election is not the chance for Malays to repay the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ but must be seen as a golden opportunity for the Chinese community to overturn Malay views that the Chinese can no longer be trusted as political allies.

He said that “it is undeniable that this trust was broken by the ‘Chinese Tsunami”.

Zainuddin said a BN victory would also serve as a platform to rebuild Chinese-Malay co-operation that will benefit racial harmony, boost the economy and stabilise the political climate in the country.

Zainuddin’s infantile but dangerous gambit to racialise Kajang by-election by describing it as a golden opportunity for Chinese to regain the trust of Malays in the wake of so-called “Chinese Tsunami” is utterly irresponsible and it is prevalence of such racist attitudes in the corridors of power which is the cause of worsening racial polarization in Malaysia.

It is most deplorable that while the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had used his 2013 New Year’s Message to try to clarify his unfortunate and inappropriate term of “Chinese Tsunami” on the night of the 13GE, which was downright racist, against his 1Malaysia signature policy and contrary to his talk of “national reconciliation”, Zainuddin wants to resurrect the spectre of “Chinese Tsunami” to racialise politics in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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14 GE: Towards Putrajaya! Towards Nusajaya!

Yesterday, the DAP Johore State Convention decided on a twin-engine turboprop Johor DAP state leadership led by Liew Chin Tong as Johore DAP State Chairman and Dr. Boo Cheng Hau as Johore DAP State Assembly Opposition Leader to continue to position Johore as the front-line state of Pakatan Rakyat in Peninsular Malaysia in the 14th General Elections to ensure Pakatan Rakyat’s victory in Putrajaya to form the federal government of Malaysia.

The immediate task of DAP’s twin-engine turboprop Johore leadership is to work out a strategy with Johore PAS and PKR to achieve the first step in Pakatan Rakyat’s Battle of Putrajaya in GE14 – to win over Barisan Nasional’s eight marginal parliamentary and eight marginal state assembly seats in Johore.

Marginal Seats are defined as seats which are won by 55% or less votes.

Based on the 2013 General Elections results and present constituency redelineations, the Barisan Nasional eight marginal parliamentary seats are Labis, Pasir Gudang, Segamat, Muar, Tebrau, Ledang, Sekijang and Pulai. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Battle for GE14 in Peninsular Malaysia begins and ends in Johor

In November, 2013, I outlined a 12 point strategy on how Pakatan can capture Putrajaya in GE14.

In Peninsular Malaysia, Johore holds the key in unlocking the gates to Putrajaya. For Pakatan to win Putrajaya, this strategy must first and foremost work in Johore.

The Battle of Johore for the Battle of Putrajaya in the 14GE is the greatest challenge of the DAP State Convention to be held in Batu Pahat on Sunday.

In GE13, Pakatan has shattered the fixed deposit state of Johor by winning 5 parliament and 18 state seats, a worthy achievement given the resources that were spent by the BN in this state.

But this is not enough. To achieve the goal of winning Putrajaya in GE14, Pakatan must set a target of winning half of the parliament seats in Johore. To do this, we must firstly defend our marginal areas (Bakri and Batu Pahat) and our newly won areas (Kluang, Kulai and Gelang Patah). And then, we must go on the offensive to capture the marginal BN areas including Segamat, Sekijang, Labis, Ledang, Muar, Tebrau, Pasir Gudang and Pulai. If we have won all of the marginal BN areas, Pakatan would have won 13 out of 26 parliament seats in GE13. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is how Pakatan can win Johor

Liew Chin Tong
Free Malaysia Today
January 7, 2014

Johor finds itself at the frontlines of a political battle like never before, and to go the distance, Pakatan must rethink and strategise comprehensively, covering all angles.

COMMENT

The biggest take away from the 2013 election is that Barisan Nasional no longer has any more fortresses or fixed deposits.

Pakatan Rakyat’s breakthrough in Johor signals the beginning of the end for the BN model of politics and economics. If Pakatan is able to capture Johor, then taking federal power will be possible.

In order to successfully replace the BN model in Johor, we must present our own credible new discourse of Pakatan’s approach towards politics and economics.

Johor is a shining example of the BN model. Since Independence, the Alliance model has cultivated a ruling class from all races.

Post 1970s, the survival of the BN model depended on Umno obtaining above 60% of the Malay vote, and – before 2008 – BN obtaining at least 40% of the Chinese vote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Barisan risks losing further urban support with 20% toll rebate removal, say critics

by Eileen Ng
The Malaysian Insider
January 02, 2014

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government will continue to lose further support in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur by ending the 20% toll rebate for frequent users, even as most Malaysians tighten their belts to face the rising cost of living, say opposition lawmakers.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers warned that the latest move, coming on the heels of an impending toll hike, will further burden Selangor and Kuala Lumpur residents who use privatised highways that criss-cross Malaysia’s wealthiest area in their daily commute.

BN has lost the majority of seats in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor in the last two general elections, apart from losing the popular vote in the 2013 elections. The next election is due by 2018 and BN is expected to continue relying on rural seats to keep power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cat out of the bag – Perkasa is the unofficial 14th member of the Barisan Nasional coalition with greater heft and more influence than “7-11” MCA and the other 12 BN component parties combined

The cat is out of the bag. The extremist and racist Perkasa is the unofficial 14th member of the Barisan Nasional coalition with greater heft and more influence than “7-11” MCA and the other 12 BN component parties combined.

We must thank the Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali for his hubris at the annual general meeting of Perkasa a week ago getting much too big for his shoes for this expose of this top Umno/BN secret for the past four years.

Clearly relishing the idea of being Prime Minister of Malaysia one day, Ibrahim toyed with the possibility of a political “reverse take-over” when he offered Perkasa as an alternative to UMNO, asserting that Perkasa is the “most structured political party in the country with 500,000 members”.

Claiming that Umno and BN will not be able to win in the recent general elections without Perkasa’s assistance, particularly in Perak and Kedah, Ibrahim said that although Perkasa supported BN during the last general election it is not guaranteed who it would side with in the future.

This prompted the riposte by UMNO veteran, former Minister and Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar and currently Felda Chairman Mohd Isa Abdul Samad who asked: “We protected Perkasa and it received plenty of benefits from us. How will it replace us?” Read the rest of this entry »

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Ministers and police chiefs have done a great disservice to the nation trumpeting to the world about a “fairy tale” plot on New Year’s eve to “topple the government” as if Malaysia is a “basket case country” on the verge of political and economic collapse

Cabinet Ministers and police chiefs have done a great disservice to the nation in the past ten days trumpeting to the world about a “fairy tale” plot on New Year’s eve to “topple the government” as if Malaysia is a “basket case country” on the verge of political and economic collapse at any moment.

The whole “topple government” caper was started by of all persons the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who should have shown greater professionalism and gravitas instead of shocking the country ten days ago with the flighty announcement that a planned gathering on New Year’s eve at Dataran Merdeka to “topple government” was “a national threat”, vowing action under the Penal Code and SOSMA – Security Offences (Special Measures) Act – and threatening that any person guilty of the offence of activity detrimental to parliamentary democracy can be jailed for a maximum of 15 years.

Even Cabinet Ministers like the Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek got into the act to present to the world the spectacle of Malaysia as a “basket case country”, although warning that the December 31 rally is “to divert the people’s attention from the lies spread by the opposition after failing to capture Putrajaya in the May 5 general election”.

Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP are even accused by UMNO mass media and cybertroopers of masterminding the New Year’s eve “plot” to topple the Najib government. Read the rest of this entry »

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