Archive for category Elections

The new coalition of Malaysian progressives – whether Pakatan Rakyat 2.0, New Pakatan Rakyat or Harapan Rakyat – will be sequel to 13GE battle in 14GE to rekindle hopes and aspirations of Malaysians for political change in Putrajaya

Five days ago, I posed the question whether PAS could lose Kelantan in the next 14th General Election.

I said that based on the 13th General Election performance, if there is a 4% swing of voters against PAS in Kelantan in the next poll, PAS will lose power in the state it had governed for 25 years since 1990.

Is a 4% swing in a state an unlikely happening?

In the 13th General Election in Kedah, PAS and Pakatan Rakyat lost the Kedah State Government because there was a 3.8% swing of the voters against PAS.

The voter swing against PAS was even greater and more overwhelming during the 2004 General Election in Terengganu, where there was a 15% swing of voters against PAS, sweeping out the Terengganu PAS State Government after only one term of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi as the Terengganu Mentri Besar.

There is no doubt that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would have been wiped out in the next general election if Pakatan Rakyat had contested the next polls in total disregard of the violation of the PR Common Policy Framework by one of the component parties, with hudud as a controversial issue in the election campaign. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Rakyat would have been wiped out in the 14GE if it had contested the next polls in total disregard of the violation of the PR Common Policy Framework by one of the component parties

Three days ago, I posed the question whether PAS could lose Kelantan in the next 14th General Election.

I said that based on the 13th General Election performance, if there is a 4% swing of voters against PAS in Kelantan in the next poll, PAS will lose power in the state it had governed for 25 years since 1990.

Is a 4% swing in a state an unlikely happening?

In the 13th General Election in Kedah, PAS and Pakatan Rakyat lost the Kedah State Government because there was a 3.8% swing of the voters against PAS.

The voter swing against PAS was even more overwhelming as it was nearly four-fold during the 2004 General Election in Terengganu, where there was a 15% swing of voters against PAS, sweeping out the Terengganu PAS State Government after only one term of Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi as the Terengganu Mentri Besar. Read the rest of this entry »

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More politics or less in local elections?

– Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
17 July 2015

There are two sets of contradictory ideas when it comes to the discussion of local democracy in Malaysia.

While many call for local elections, there are also some activists who call for “less politics, more professional appointments” to local councils.

At a conference on decentralisation in Penang in September 2014, a social activist and local councillor said Malaysians should emulate Seoul for electing an NGO mayor and he went on to argue the ills of having politicians at the council level. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ex-PAS man chides party over vote-splitting plan

By Terence Netto
Malaysiakini
Jul 16, 2015

PAS would be doing a ‘childish thing’ if the party decides to field candidates from its supporters’ wing against the DAP in the next general election.

This intention was broached by the Islamic party’s Election Director Mustafa Ali in the course of remarks made to a web news portal on the DAP and the new political entity being set up by PAS progressives who were routed in internal elections at the party’s muktamar held last month.

Hu Pang Chow, a founding member of the Dewan Himpunan Penyokong PAS (DHPP), said PAS should instead engage in public debates with the DAP over its vision of Malaysia rather than choose to split the votes for the opposition by fielding candidates against established opposition political parties.

“Engage in public debates with the DAP, outline your vision of a new Malaysia,” was the advice to PAS offered by Hu, who was chairman of DHPP from its inauguration in 2004 until 2010. Read the rest of this entry »

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Can PAS lose Kelantan in 14GE?

PAS leaders, like its President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and former Secretary-General Datuk Mustafa Ali have publicly stated that the PAS Progressive’s Gerakan Harapan Baru will not last more than two years.

DAP had always been concerned particularly since the Kelantan floods last December as to whether PAS could again win the Kelantan state government in the next general election.

DAP had informed the top PAS leadership before the 13th General Election in May 2013 that Pakatan Rakyat was on the way to losing Kedah state government in the 13GE and changes were needed in the Kedah Pakatan Rakyat State administration but our concerns and warning fell on deaf ears.

Is it possible that PAS will lose the Kelantan state government in the next general election (GE14)?

Even though the political sentiment at the national level does not seem favourable to UMNO/BN due to factors such as the GST, 1MDB and the worsening economic situation, unique local factors may be sufficient such that PAS may lose votes in Kelantan even as the opposition gains more votes at the national level in the other states.

This is not unprecedented.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Cut losses in 30 BN bastions, DAP strategist says in polls gambit

The Malay Mail Online
July 10, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, July 10 — The opposition should forgo 30 Barisan Nasional (BN) strongholds in its bid for Putrajaya and focus resources on 38 marginal seats to make Umno fall like dominoes, a DAP strategist said today.

Liew Chin Tong, the DAP election planner whose brazen plan to contest against Umno in its stronghold state Johor in Election 2013 saw Pakatan Rakyat taking five out of 26 seats, said the opposition should not stretch itself by trying to take seats where the odds of victory are low.

“Let’s be clear, elections are won or lost in marginal seats. For the new Opposition coalition to form the next government which is stable and with a strong legitimacy, defeating Umno in the Peninsula has to be the priority.

“But to cause Umno to fall like dominoes, we should not set our sights on its strongholds but work on where it is weakest: the marginal seats,” the DAP national political education director said in his analysis titled “The Peninsula Dominoes”. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Peninsula dominoes

— Liew Chin Tong
The Malay Mail Online
July 10, 2015

JULY 10 — Let’s be clear, elections are won or lost in marginal seats.

For the new Opposition coalition to form the next government which is stable and with a strong legitimacy, defeating Umno in the Peninsula has to be the priority.

But to cause Umno to fall like dominoes, we should not set our sights on its strongholds but work on where it is weakest: the marginal seats.

Umno won 88 seats nationally, of which 14 are in Sabah and one in Labuan. The rest of the 73 seats are in the Peninsula.

Of these 73 Peninsula seats, Umno would win at least 30 rural seats, which were “tailored-made” for Umno in the first place anyway, with the “built-in” Felda votes, postal votes and government machineries assisting Umno in campaign. The Opposition should forget about these 30 seats.

But the rest of the seats, which are mostly multi-ethnic, are ready to fall on the back of antipathy against Umno since 2008 among non-Malay voters and a Malay tsunami against the economic hardships imposed by the Umno government.

Of the 38 marginal seats which Barisan Nasional won with less than 10 percent margin in the last election, 32 are Umno seats.

This is the battleground where the next election will be fought.

Focusing on the middle ground with strong leadership, clarity in policy and a convincing message to unite all ethnic groups while riding on the wave of a brewing Malay revolt could just tilt the balance. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has the MACC thrown even ethics out the window?

By JD Lovrenciear
Malaysiakini
Jul 7, 2015

The Malaysiakini latest news report (Pre-polls goodies not graft, says MACC official, July 7, 2015) on how the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) interprets corruption probably best sums up why this nation is all tangled up in a web of political turmoil laced with allegations of billions of ringgit gone missing. And in all likelihood then we may never get out of this sinking hole of corrupt practices.

According to the deputy chief in charge of prevention at MACC, pre-election promises and handouts by the government is not to be regarded as bribery.

For Mustafar Ali of MACC, a case of graft applies only when gratification is ‘given for the purpose of inducing the recipient to do something, or refrain from doing something’.

In other words, when the government gives out goodies in kind or cash close to or during election campaigns there is no inducement whatsoever. It is charity? It is some kind of goody-boy Santa at work? It is a reward to the citizens for being poor and deprived these past five years since the last voting exercise? Read the rest of this entry »

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MACC should do soul-searching why its credibility on war against corruption in high political places is zero and explain why it has failed to land a single shark in the past six years

The Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) should come out of its cushy air-conditioned offices and go to the ground and do a soul-searching why its credibility on the war against corruption in high political places is zero, whether the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, the MARA property corruption scandal blowing up in Melbourne or the recent Wall Street Journal expose that 1MDB funds were used to bankroll Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s campaign in the 13th general elections.

It is a reflection of the MACC’s utter lack of credibility and impotence as far as fighting corruption in high political places is concerned that 10 days after the Wall Street Journal report (June 19) on electoral abuses and corruption in the 13th General Elections, several NGOs, led by Coalition for Free and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), Centre to Combat Corruption and Cronyism (C4) and Transparency International Malaysia (TI-M) had to gather at the MACC to demand action by the anti-corruption agency yesterday.

What have the MACC officials been doing in the past 10 days over the WSJ report?

Just twiddling thumbs?

Have MACC officers called in the officers and personnel from 1MDB, Genting Plantations and Yayasan Rakyat 1Malaysia (YRIM) in the past 10 days to begin investigations arising from the Wall Street Journal report?

Has the MACC opened a file to investigate whether Najib as Prime Minister had misused his position and channel funds from 1MDB to bankroll his 13GE campaign?

Or has absolutely nothing been done on the Wall Street Journal report in the past 10 days? Read the rest of this entry »

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Which is in worse shape: BN or opposition?

– Koon Yew Yin
The Malaysian Insider
26 June 2015

Although it is a long way to the next general election, the current developments we are seeing will, in my opinion, be decisive in shaping the outcome and winner of the next elections. Firstly, we have seen a lot of adverse publicity given the break up of opposition pact, Pakatan Rakyat.

Pro-Barisan Nasional (BN) observers and also some disillusioned opposition supporters are claiming this is dealing a death blow to the opposition’s election hopes. But is this so? I beg to differ from them.

What is happening to the Pakatan is actually a blessing in disguise for them. In fact, it is a big blessing. This is because if we look at the political configuration closely, it is not that the opposition coalition is breaking up. It is the hard line faction of Pas that is splitting from the rest of the Pakatan. This faction wants to chart a future for the country based on Islamic law and a more rigid Islamic state. But can they succeed?

Well, despite the conservative candidates sweeping all the leadership positions in the recent Pas elections, deep down I am sure that they realise that they represent only a minority of the Malay Muslim population. My reading is that the majority of Muslims do not want a more fundamentalist Islamic society. They may have concerns about some aspects of modern life and western values. But even the less educated among them know what has been happening in fundamentalist Islamic nations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Whether the 11th Sarawak state general election will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead Malaysian political changes as happened in the 2006 and 2011 state polls?

Whether the 11th Sarawak state general election will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead Malaysian political changes as happened in the 2006 and 2011 state polls?

The question I want to pose tonight is whether the 11th Sarawak state general election, whether held this year or next, will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead political changes in Malaysia.

In the ninth Sarawak state general election in 2006, DAP made history in Sarawak winning from one to six state assembly seats, spearheading the “308 political tsunami” of the 2008 Malaysian general election where the Umno/BN coalition was ousted from power as the government in five States and lost for the first time its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

The 2011 Sarawak State General Election made further history when Pakatan Rakyat won 15 State Assembly seats, with DAP winning 12 and PKR three. The major electoral shifts in the 2011 Sarawak state general election spearheaded the “Ubah” political awakening in the 13th Federal general elections, where Datuk Seri Najib Razak became the first minority Prime Minister in the nation’s history and still without two-thirds parliamentary majority – as UMNO/BN won 48% of electoral support although he won the majority of the 222 parliamentary seats because undemocratic constituency redelineations.

What is in store for the 11th Sarawak state general election which must be held by next August? Read the rest of this entry »

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Hopes for achievement of PR Common Policy Objectives without PR in 14GE is not impossible as UMNO/BN in self-confessed terminal stages from being in “wad biasa”, “wad kecemasan”, “ICU’ and “tanah kubur”

Today is special for two reasons.

Firstly, it is Duanwu Festival, which the Chinese celebrate with zongzi or dumpling. It commemorates the death of the poet and minister Qu Yuan 2,355 years ago in ancient state of Chu during the Warring States period of the Zhou Dynasty, for his sacrifices in his principled stand against corruption and abuses of power.

Malaysia is today mired in the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history, the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal, with new exposes almost everyday highlighting the lack of good governance, accountability and transparency in an administration which had at first boasted about National Transformation Programme and commitment to combat corruption and abuses of power in high political places.

The latest chapter in the 1MDB scandal is the Wall Street Journal expose yesterday alleging that the 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit were used to bank-roll Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib’s 13th General Election campaign.

Najib’s extraordinary and ominous silence, coupled with the failure by the Prime Minister either to announce his readiness to appear before the Public Accounts Committee to undergo full investigation on the Wall Street Journal allegations or institution of legal suit against Wall Street Journal for defamation signify that Najib does not lead a Nothing2Hide administration as he seems to have a lot of things to hide.

If Qu Yuan had been alive today, he would be in the forefront against such government abuses regardless of the cost to his life and future. Read the rest of this entry »

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My forecast that Pakatan Rakyat might not be around in two weeks’ time seems to have come true and what is left are the funeral rites

A fortnight ago, I gave my most pessimistic forecast that in two weeks’ time, there may not be a Pakatan Rakyat left.

It would appear that my worst-scene forecast for Pakatan Rakyat has come to pass and all that is left are the funeral rites.

Today, the PAS 61st annual congress passed a motion to sever ties with the DAP and yet remain in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) without debate.

With this PAS Muktamar motion, Malaysian politics has entered into unchartered waters with immediate consequences.

In Penang for instance, the PAS Muktamar motion will make it impossible for PAS representatives to continue at the various levels of Penang State Government.

In Selangor, the worst scenario will include a Selangor state general elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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MALAYSIA: AS THE ECONOMY WEAKENS, AUTHORITARIANISM CREEPS IN

by Nithin Coca
Equal Times
2 June 2015

First, it was the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. Then, senior journalists and editors at the country’s top independent media website.

Bloggers followed, even a political cartoonist.

Over several months, Malaysia’s leaders have, piece-by-piece, used colonial-era laws to turn the country, long considered one of the shining lights of south-east Asia, firmly towards authoritarianism.

“Over the past year, the government has harassed, targeted and even imprisoned a wide range of individuals considered possible ‘threats’ – including opposition politicians, human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists,” said Josef Benedict, Asia-Pacific Campaigner for Amnesty International, based in Malaysia’s capital city of Kuala Lumpur.

Behind this unprecedented crackdown are signs of a ruling party losing grip on power, as its rule, built on an economy dependent on natural resource exports and a fragile racial and religious balance, threatens to unravel. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak and Sabah should have one-third of the parliamentary seats which is not only be in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 but a crucial safeguard to preserve and protect the fundamental principle of the constitution of Malaysia as a secular nation with Islam as the official religion

Malaysia wants to become a developed nation in five years time in 2020.

In the developed nations in Europe, the rural areas would enjoy basic infrastructures and amenities like piped water, electricity supply, as well as the most elementary educational, economic and health facilities which are non-existent for rural areas in Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak and Sabah.

I can still remember that more than half a century ago in the early sixties, there would be delegation after delegation of Sarawakians and Sabahans visiting Peninsular Malaysia because the Prime Minister at the time, Tunku Abdul Rahman, his deputy Tun Razak and other Ministers in the Cabinet in Kuala Lumpur wanted to convince Sarawak and Sabah leaders the advantages of the formation of Malaysia, promising that Sarawak and Sabah would be as advanced and developed as Malaya if Sabah and agreed to the formation of the new federation of Malaysia together with Malaya and Singapore.

Malaysia is now 52 years old since its formation in 1963, and the promises half a century ago that Sarawak and Sabah would be as developed as Peninsular Malaysia have still to be met, or tens of thousands of Ibans would not have to leave Sarawak to seek greener pastures in Johor Baru – which is why we are having a Gawai celebration in Johor Baru tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

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We thought we could tweet our way to a socialist paradise. The election changed that

Suzanne Moore
Guardian
11 May 2015

As the Labour bubble burst amid a volley of disbelieving posts on election night the echo-chamber limitations of Twitter and Facebook became all too clear

One of the biggest shocks of this election is the realisation that you can’t get a socialist paradise on Earth by tweeting. Or even by putting up really angry statuses on Facebook. Who knew? Actually, as people who do this kind of thing all follow each other, it seems that many of them still don’t realise. In the echo chambers some of us inhabit online, everyone not only votes Labour but crows about it in 140 characters.

I love social media and think it is brilliant in all kinds of ways for connecting us, but its limitations have been clearly shown in this election. Declaring one’s allegiances is fine if you understand who you are declaring them to. No one really does. Hope soon changed on election night into disbelieving, angry tweets. Is there an emoji for howling? All of this happened in self-selecting universes.

We all of us inhabit bubbles, and in the current postmortem at least we can see more clearly what some of those bubbles are. Read the rest of this entry »

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Permatang Pauh win shows M’sia ready for more women leaders

by Syerleena Abdul Rashid
Free Malaysia Today
May 9, 2015

COMMENT

The voters of Permatang Pauh have spoken. They have chosen dignity over conceit, honesty over corruption, coherence over illogic.

By now, Malaysians from all walks of life have heard of PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s victory in the Permatang Pauh by-election. She won with a majority of 8,841 votes and defeated Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Suhaimi Sabudin. Her victory symbolises the yearning Malaysians have for much needed political reforms, ending tyrannical regimes, upholding social justice and above all, restoring democracy.

However for the women of this country, her triumphant return into Parliament symbolises a newfound hope that Malaysians are more than ready to discard traditionalist views and are keen on accepting women in leadership roles. Wan Azizah, herself, acknowledged how essential women’s roles are in supporting socio-political reform movements, “Women’s political, social and economic rights are an integral and inseparable part of their human rights”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Azizah’s solid and impressive win in Permatang Pauh by-election paves the way for her to be re-elected as Parliamentary Opposition Leader

Datuk Seri Dr. Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s solid and impressive win in the Permatang Pauh by-election paves the way for her to be re-elected as Parliamentary Opposition Leader.

UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders had belaboured under the mirage that the Permatang Pauh by-election was a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity to wrest back the seat which for the past 17 years had been the command-and-communications centre for political change and the concept of Ketuanan Rakyat.

Despite UMNO Vice President Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s promise of “shock and awe” at the beginning of the by-election, the UMNO/Barisan Nasional campaign, which was one of the dirtiest and dishonest in Malaysian election history exploiting and abusing the social media with lies and falsehoods, fizzled out and did not even materially improve on UMNO/BN’s share of the total votes cast.

UMNO/BN had the Election Commission to be grateful and thank, for if the polling had been held on a weekend, allowing more voters from outstation to return to vote, and the voter turnout had reached 80% and not just 74% recorded yesterday, Azizah would have no problem securing a bigger majority than the 11,721-vote majority won by Anwar Ibrahim in the 2013 general election (when voter turnout was as high as 88.2%). Read the rest of this entry »

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United Kingdom Election – five days to go

Adrian Beaumont
The Conversation
2 May 2015

The United Kingdom election will be held in five days on Thursday. The current UK Polling Report (UKPR) poll average has the Tories on 34%, Labour on 33%, the Liberal Democrats (Lib Dems) on 9%, the UK Independence Party (UKIP) on 14% and the Greens on 5%; this represents a 1% gain for the Tories since last week.

Based on uniform swings in England and Wales, and a separate uniform swing for Scotland, UKPR has Labour winning 290 of 650 seats, to 263 for the Tories, 19 for the Lib Dems, 60 for the Scottish National Party (SNP) and a few Others, and 18 for Northern Ireland parties. My adjustment to this is to take 20 seats off Labour and give them to the Tories owing to sophomore surges; this method gives the Tories 283 seats to Labour’s 270. If this is the result, the Tories would be the largest party by 13 seats, but Labour would form some sort of government with SNP support.

There are some signs that Labour has regained ground in the last few days. Four of the last five polls have given Labour a 1-2 point lead, and the fifth was tied. As a result, the May 2015 poll average now has a dead heat between the major parties, after showing a slender Tory lead. A caveat is that the most recent polls are Internet based panel polls, and phone polls have been better for the Tories.

The last three Scottish polls all give the SNP over 50% of the Scotland vote, with Labour in the low to mid 20’s. As a result, there has been some speculation that the SNP could win all 59 of Scotland’s seats. The latest forecasts have the SNP winning between 49 and 56 seats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Two speeches by UMNO Ministers in Permatang Pauh yesterday highlighted the urgent need for UMNO to get a real education in democracy by being sent to Opposition benches with the end of its national monopoly of power since Merdeka in 1957 and Malaysia in 1963

Two speeches by UMNO Ministers in the Permatang Pauh by-election campaign yesterday highlighted the urgent need for UMNO to get a real education in democracy by being sent to Opposition benches with the end of its national monopoly of power since Merdeka in 1957 and formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The first was the haughty, arrogant and insufferable statement by the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister, Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who said that applications for agricultural funds and projects in Permatang Pauh will not be approved if Pakatan Rakyat wins the by-election again.

Speaking at the Kuala Mengkuang polling district, Ismail said:

“This is an agricultural area. I will surely approve if it is Suhaimi Sabudin (BN candidate) who is making the applications.

“If it is (PKR’s president and candidate Datuk Seri Dr) Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail), she will not even get past my office lobby.

“There is no reason for me to see her. She is from the opposition.”

Ismail, of the “call to Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses” notoriety, who not only highlighted the ingrained racist thinking of certain UMNO Ministers but also the double standards in the “administration of justice” by the Police and the Attorney-General’s Chambers, clearly had no notion that his Ministerial responsibility is to 30 million Malaysians regardless of race, religion, territory or political affiliation; that he is not paid by UMNO funds but by public funds by all taxpayers and his duty is to be a Minister for all Malaysians, and not just to UMNO (which, eventually, ends up in only UMNO cronies)!

In a truly democratic administration, a Minister who make such petty-minded, anti-people and undemocratic sentiments would be immediately hauled up by the Prime Minister and made to retract his statement, even facing the risk of being sacked from the Cabinet, with or without such a retraction. Read the rest of this entry »

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