Archive for category Elections
– 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 »
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 »
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 »
By Mohamed Hanipa Maidin
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 »
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 »
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 »
– 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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
By Ong Kian Ming | 11:10AM Jan 13, 2015
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Ong Kian Ming | 10:23AM Jan 12, 2015
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
By Syerleena Abdul Rashid
Free Malaysia Today
January 13, 2015
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 »
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 »
By Ganeshwaran Kana
6:43PM Dec 29, 2014
COMMENT Dear Dr Mahathir Mohamad. I would consider “vociferous” as the best and most suitable word to epitomise your criticisms against Malaysia’s government of the day in recent times. As a citizen of Malaysia, one has the right to speak of and criticise his or her government.
Although some of your arguments have gained public support, the current generation of Malaysia has all the rights to question policies and actions of your governance in the past.
To set the record straight right at the start, I am neither a supporter of Umno nor of “the other side”.
Nevertheless, being a civic-minded citizen of Malaysia, I would like to request your explanations pertaining to various issues spanning throughout your 22 years in your journey as the prime minister of Malaysia.
Although I duly recognise your contributions to Malaysia, any flaw and mistakes that took place under your long premiership should be taken as your mishandling. This is what real leaders do.
And, hopefully, this commentary of mine is not to be seen as seditious. Read the rest of this entry »
False choice to believe that PAS depends on hudud issue to stay in power in Kelantan in 14GE when PR common programme on good governance and justice can ensure PR victory in Putrajaya and Kelantan
The announcement by the Kelantan PAS Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob of a special Kelantan State Assembly on Dec. 29 to amend the Syariah Criminal Code Enactment II 1993 as a prelude to the tabling of a private member’s bill in Parliament to seek approval for Kelantan to enforce hudud has caught PKR and DAP leaders, as well as the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council, by complete surprise as there had been no prior hint or information whatsoever.
Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has confirmed with me that he is in the dark about the Kelantan PAS government’s plan to hold a special state assembly sitting on the implementation of hudud.
This is a breach of the Pakatan Rakyat consensus that any new measures on hudud will first be discussed in the PR Leadership Council, while taking note and respecting the previous PAS Kelantan decisions on hudud before the formation of PR.
This is not the way to restore public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat which had been seriously shaken by recent developments, or to take full advantage of the latest political landscape where a former top civil servant, who had led the Election Commission for a quarter of a century, either as Election Commission Secretary or Chairman, has passed the judgement that UMNO and Barisan Nasional are in their “death throes”.
Even the Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhhyiddin Yassin knows that the ruling coalition for 57 years is in dire straits when he recently admitted that UMNO/Barisan Nasional would be ousted from power if the ruling coalition loses just two per cent of voter support in the next general elections.
For the first time in the nation’s history, UMNO/BN is poised of being toppled from power, not only in Putrajaya at the federal level, but also in the various states. Read the rest of this entry »
Great battle for the soul of Malaysia – politics of inclusion to unite all Malaysians to make Malaysia a great nation in international society vs politics of exclusion based on hate, fear and imaginary enemies to further divide and polarise races and religions in Malaysia
We are now engaged in a great battle for the soul of Malaysia – the politics of inclusion to unite all Malaysians to make Malaysia a great nation in international society versus the politics of exclusion based on hate, fear and imaginary enemies to further divide and polarise races and religions in Malaysia.
The UMNO General Assembly last month is a classic example of the politics of exclusion where the politics of hate, fear and lies reigned supreme, creating imaginary enemies and fears – that the Malays and Islam are under siege, that the Malays could suffer a fate similar like the Red Indians in the United States, that the Malays have become slaves in their own land, that the Chinese are out to grab the political power of the Malays, that ”if UMNO loses, Malays may never rule again”, and the “mother of all lies”, that the Chinese in Kedah burnt the Quran “page by page during a prayer ritual”!
The politics of exclusion is the politics to sow hatred, distrust, disunity and division in our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual Malaysia based on The Big Lie that the Malays and Islam are under attack in Malaysia.
It is inconceivable and unimaginable that Malays and Islam are under siege after 57 years of UMNO government and six UMNO Prime Ministers, and this is why such exclusionary politics of fear and hate have to be based on The Big Lie.
In Malaysia on the eve of welcoming the new year of 2015, Malays and Islam are not under siege although UMNO and in particular the UMNO leaders and their cronies are under attack – the Umnoputras and not the bumiputeras are under siege!
Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy UMNO President, Tan Sri Muhhyiddin Yassin recently admitted that UMNO/Barisan Nasional would be ousted from power if the ruling coalition loses just two per cent of voter support in the next general elections.
This is why UMNO and their cronies, the UMNO-puteras are under siege, and not Malays, Islam and the bumiputeras.
For the first time in the nation’s history, UMNO/BN is poised of being toppled from power, not only in Putrajaya at the federal power, but also in the various states. Read the rest of this entry »
Can Pakatan Rakyat build on the momentum of 13GE to create the two per cent shift of votes from UMNO/BN to bring about the first catalytic change of federal government in the 14GE?
The greatest challenge in the next 14GE, whether in 2017 or 2018 , is whether Pakatan Rakyat can build on the momentum of the 13th General Elections to create the two per cent shift of vote from Umno/BN to bring about the first catalytic change of federal government.
Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin warned the recent UMNO General Assembly that BN will be ousted from power if it loses just two per cent of support in the next general election.
Let this be a reminder to all Malaysians throughout the country as to how close the UMNO/BN government would have been voted out in the 13th General Election in May last year, if the electoral process had been really clean, free and fair, minus all the constituency gerrymandering and the undemocratic abuses and malpractices in the country.
Furthermore, it should also be reminder as to how close Malaysians have come to achieve the catalytic change of federal of power in Putrajaya – as all that is needed to win Putrjaya is another two per cent of voter support that had gone to UMNO/BN.
Muhyiddin admitted that a loss of two per cent voter support will translate to Barisan Nasional being reduced from its 133 seats won in the 13GE to 103 federal states, less than half of the 222-seat Parliament – comprising 68 UMNO seats and 35 non-UMNO seats.
A loss of five per cent voter support would have slashed the total BN seats to 81, comprising 53 UMNO and 28 non-UMNO seats.
It is precisely of this fear of losing Federal power that UMNO propagandists have gone all out to drum up fear and hate through lies and falsehoods to conjure imaginary threats and enemies to convince the Malays and Muslims of The Big Lie that Malays and Islam are under threat.
Will Pakatan Rakyat be able to rise up to the challenge in the 14GE, debunk The Big Lie and win Putrajaya or will it disintegrate to give UMNO/BN an unexpected bonus? Read the rest of this entry »
Reaffirmation of common policy framework and the consensus principle are the two prerequisites to restore public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat and save it from the fate of being a one general-election wonder
Pakatan Rakyat has emerged from its worst crisis in its six-year history.
Pessimists, whether inside the coalition or outside, have grave doubts about the continued viability of Pakatan Rakyat while optimists are a distinct minority.
Meanwhile UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders and strategists are working overtime to sow dissension and fan division in Pakatan Rakyat.
Yesterday, for instance, the UMNO mouthpiece Mingguan Malaysia carried a special article entitled “Nasib Pas selepas muktamar” alleging that PAS was being “bullied” by DAP while elsewhere in the non-Malay media, MCA and Gerakan leaders continue with their propaganda that DAP was being bullied by PAS.
Both allegations are equally preposterous and untrue, but the UMNO/Barisan Nasional propagandists are not interested in upholding the truth but in disseminating lies and falsehoods to sow dissension and conflict within the Pakatan Rakyat.
It will be a bonus to these UMNO/BN propagandists if they could get a few in PAS to believe that the PAS is being bullied by DAP and a few in DAP to believe that DAP is bullied by PAS in Pakatan Rakyat, for this will aggravate tensions and conflict in the Pakatan Rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »
I thank the DAP Policy Forum, an informal grouping of elected reps who are interested in policy matters, for organising the DAP Semi-urban Caucus meeting. DAP Policy Forum is a reflection of DAP’s maturity with more and more elected reps and party leaders getting involved in working out the policy alternatives of a different Malaysia under a new government. It is also a manifestation that DAP understands the expectations of the Malaysian voting public who wants more from their political leaders.
Semi-urban constituencies are indeed a new experience for the DAP. In many ways, it is an advent of a second phase for the DAP.
Previously, DAP was mostly confined to urban constituencies with high concentration of working class non-Malay voters. It is not that the DAP did not attempt to represent semi-urban constituencies but the previously prevailing circumstances worked against such efforts.
But since the political tsunami in 2008 and followed by the last elections in May 2013, DAP made substantial gains in multi-ethnic semi-urban constituencies, both at the parliamentary and at the state levels. Read the rest of this entry »