Archive for category Elections

Has the MACC thrown even ethics out the window?

By JD Lovrenciear
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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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
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


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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The focus of 14GE will be on eight states, led by Johor, as to whether state power and government could change hands

The focus of the 14GE will not only be on Putrajaya, as to whether Federal power could change hands, but also on eight states led by Johor, as to whether state power and government could change hands.

These are Johor, Kelantan, Pahang, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, Terengganu, Kedah, and Perak.

The UMNO/Barisan Nasional Federal Government is a minority government, securing the support of only 47% of the national electorate.

Based on the 13GE results, there are eight states where the political party/coalition forming the State Government has secured 55% or less of the total state votes cast and are vulnerable to change of state government in a general election. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Najib shores up leadership amid criticism, tiny Gedong may play a big role

April 15, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The oil palm-growing district of Gedong in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak is too tiny to get its own zip code. Even so, its 6,712 voters will soon have their own government representative.

Electoral officials are adding 11 seats to the Sarawak legislative assembly by carving out new constituencies ahead of a state election due by next year—wards that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will want to go to his ruling coalition. The Sarawak vote is a test for Najib as he seeks to shore up his leadership amid criticism of his economic and social policies and public demands by a former leader that he step down.

Najib’s efforts to retain support in the resource-rich state has seen his government build more municipal facilities from hospitals to water treatment plants. His Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is banking on the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island — its traditional strongholds — to keep it in power as Chinese voters on Peninsular Malaysia defect.

“BN not doing so well in Sarawak will weaken Najib within the coalition and add to criticisms against him,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “A strong win will give him a reprieve from all the unhappiness on imposing a goods and services tax this year and concerns about growing debt of government entities.” Read the rest of this entry »

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PAS is in danger of losing nearly all of its parliament and state seats outside the northern states as a result of the tabling of the hudud private members bill

I am amazed at the gullibility and naivete of the Deputy Kelantan PAS Menteri Besar Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah who could say that he does not believe non-Muslims in the country are against hudud and that it was only the DAP which has been making noise.

Let me state that PAS is in danger of losing nearly all of its parliament and state assembly seats outside the northern states as a result of the enactment of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 2015 and the tabling of the private member’s bill by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation in Kelantan.

PAS won 21 parliament seats in GE2013, 7 of which were outside its northern strongholds of Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu. In the same election, PAS won 85 state seats, 29 of which were outside Perlis, Kedah, Kelantan and Terengganu.

Many non-Muslim voters were willing to give their support for PAS candidates in GE2013 because of their desire to kick BN out of office, their trust in the promises of Pakatan Raykat in the Common Policy Framework and the PR Manifesto, and the spirit of comradeship which existed among PR leaders. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why police presence at EC public hearing, asks DAP

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015 8:11 PM

Sarawak DAP has accused the Election Commission (EC) of breaking its rigid “closed door” rule in the public objections to its proposed redrawing of the electoral boundary in Miri with the presence of four police personnel, believed to be from the Special Branch Unit.

DAP Senadin branch chairperson, Eunice Lim questioned why the cops were allowed to take part but barred the public and media from the series of hearings in Kuching and other major towns in the state.

“Why were the SB officers allowed inside the hearing?” she asked.

“Their presence create a sort of fear to those who were making their presentation,” Lim said, referring to an incident last Thursday.

“I did not realise their presence when I was making my presentation,” she said.

“We only came to know about it when my colleague (Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling) spotted the officers sitting with the EC officers before making his own presentation.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih to seek injunction against hearings on new Sarawak electoral boundaries

The Malaysian Insider
24 February 2015

Electoral watchdog Bersih 2.0 will proceed to make good its promise to get a court injunction to stop Sarawak’s redrawing of the state’s electoral boundaries after Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof snubbed a meeting with them.

Bersih’s vice chair for the southern peninsula, Thomas Fann said he had followed Abdul Aziz for 60km from Kuching, the Sarawak capital, to the market town of Serian, hoping to meet with and persuade the EC chief.

Bersih wants the EC to stop the local inquiries on the new electoral boundaries pending the outcome of PKR’s judicial review on the constitutionality of the EC’s proposal.

Abdul Aziz and the rest of the seven-member commission were in Serian to hear the objections of voters from the state seats of Triboh and Tebedu.

Fann, who managed to have a 10-minute meeting with Sarawak EC director Datuk Takun Sangguh at the Serian community hall where the hearing took place, said he was given a “flat ‘No’” on the grounds that Bersih had no capacity or locus standi to be part of the redelineation process in Sarawak.

Bersih had on Sunday warned that the EC’s refusal to halt its inquiry sessions, which are mandated by law on any proposed boundary redrawing, may result in application of injunctions.

“We’ll file the application as soon as possible. Before the inquiries end,” Fann said.

The application would not be in Bersih’s name, but that of a local voter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Survey: M’sia’s polls boundaries worst in world

Feb 21, 2015

Malaysia has the worst electoral boundaries in the world and among the worst set of election laws, the Electoral Integrity Project (EIP) found.

This places Malaysia among countries with ‘low electoral integrity’ ranking 114 out of 127 nations surveyed along with the likes of Angola, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, and Egypt, EIP’s 2014 report said.

It trails far behind neighbour Indonesia, which ranks 51st for its presidential elections. The Philippines and Thailand ranks 91st and 88th place respectively.

Malaysia was dragged down by its score for voting boundaries, where it scored 28 out of 100 – the worst in the world. The average global score was 64.

International and domestic experts who responded to EIP’s survey after GE13, said Malaysia’s electoral boundaries discriminated against some parties, favoured incumbents and were not impartial.

Similarly, Malaysia was in the bottom five in electoral laws by scoring a dismal 33, far behind the global average of 64, the report found. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s flawed democracy

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
6 February 2015

According to The Economist Intelligence Unit’s Democracy Index, only 12.5% of the world’s population in under governments that practice “full democracy”. The EIU index further identifies that only 24 countries are “ull democracies” whereas 52 countries are regarded as “flawed democracies”. Malaysia, our great nation, is one of these countries.

Flawed democracies are defined as countries that even with the presence of free and fair elections,therein lay considerable drawbacks and limitations that magnifies the inadequacy of present political systems.

Although basic liberties or rights are recognised, they may sometimes only exist in theory and may not be practiced or applied. Read the rest of this entry »

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