Archive for category Elections

Election victories bolster scandal-tainted Malaysian leader

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
Daily Mail
19 June 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — The party of Malaysia’s scandal-tainted Prime Minister Najib Razak has won two parliamentary by-elections in a landslide, further strengthening his rule despite corruption allegations.

Najib’s United Malays National Organization retained the Sungai Besar seat in central Selangor state and Kuala Kangsar in northern Perak state in the elections Saturday with much larger majorities. The elections were triggered after the deaths of the incumbents in a helicopter crash.

The victory was expected due to a fractured opposition, as well as the ruling coalition’s well-oiled machinery and money. Voters in the two rural constituencies are mostly ethnic Malays, the bedrock of support for Najib’s Malay party.

Najib said the victory showed that the people rejected “politically-motivated slander” against his government. Last month, he also secured a major win for the coalition in a state election. Read the rest of this entry »

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Embattled PM wins by-elections in Malaysia

AFP
Bangkok Post
19 Jun 2016

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysia’s ruling party won two parliamentary by-elections Saturday that were closely watched for indications of whether graft allegations hounding Prime Minister Najib Razak were affecting his governing coalition’s support.

The results in two mainly rural constituencies were largely expected, as support typically runs strong in such areas for the dominant United Malays National Organisation (UMNO).

The UMNO-led ruling coalition also enjoys huge advantages in money and machinery over a splintered opposition.

UMNO candidate Budiman Mohamad Zohdi won the parliamentary seat of Sungai Besar of west-central Malaysia, while Mastura Mohamad Yazid won the Kuala Kangsar constituency seat in the country’s north, the election commission announced.

Both candidates also pulled off a thumping victory as predicted. Read the rest of this entry »

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Twin Malaysia By-Elections to Reveal Level of Support for Najib

by Shamim Adam
Bloomberg
June 18, 2016

Voters in two Malaysian districts head to the polls Saturday in by-elections that will indicate the extent of Prime Minister Najib Razak’s hold on his party.

More than 42,600 people in Sungai Besar in Selangor state and 33,000 in Kuala Kangsar in the northern Perak region will pick new lawmakers after a helicopter crash last month killed incumbents from Najib’s United Malays National Organisation, or UMNO.

The vote is the first test of public support for Najib on peninsular Malaysia after a year of political turmoil over funding scandals. Losses or narrower victories could spur concern in UMNO about his ability to steer it to another win in a national election due by 2018. Equally, a strong win for seats already held by UMNO would bolster his grip.

Former leader Mahathir Mohamad has recently lost traction in his bid to convince party officials that Najib is a liability and will cost them a reign unbroken since 1957. Most UMNO divisional chiefs back the premier, even amid concerns about slowing growth and its impact on ethnic Malays, the cornerstone of the party. Convincing wins would help Najib silence the Mahathir-led murmurings about his leadership. Read the rest of this entry »

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It is still not too late for every voter, especially outside Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar, to make the historic trip home to vote in the two most important by-elections in nation’s history

The 13-day campaign for the Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar by-elections are over and it is for the 32,632 voters in Kuala Kangsar and 42,365 voters in Sungai Besar to decide the outcome of the two historic by-elections today.

For the past two weeks, I had been shuttling between Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, and it is my hope that on the 50th anniversary of my political work in Malaysia, I can get a big present – a historic and miraculous victory in the Kuala Kangsar and/or Sungai Besar by-elections.

Can we “write history, create miracle” today?

I confess to be disheartened by a good round-up article in Malay Mail Online, “As poll looms, Sungai Besar voters ask: Should I bother?” by its reporter, A. Ruban, quoting several voters who were staunch supporters of the now defunct Pakatan Rakyat in two minds about casting their ballots in the Sungai Besar by-election. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Pakatan Harapan Federal Government will promote Sekinchan as an international tourist destination just as Suee Lin has succeeded in making Sekinchan a top national tourist spot in Malaysia

The Sungai Besar by-election on Saturday will have far-reaching implications and consequences for Sekinchan, Sungai Besar as well as Malaysia, and those who think that the by-election is just about who will be the new MP for the area and will have no other larger meaning or importance cannot be more wrong.

Although both the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections cannot materially change the respective parliamentary numbers and strength of the political parties, a defeat by UMNO in the sixty-year-old UMNO traditional stronghold of Sungai Besar and/or Kuala Kangsar would have an traumatic effect which will affect the future of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister – whether immediately, in the next 24 months or during the 14th General Election by 2018.

In fact, a defeat for UMNO in Sungai Besar and/or Kuala Kangsar will be world news and make history for by-elections in Malaysia, for it would tally with international perceptions and sentiments about the1MDB global scandal hounding and haunting the Malaysian Prime Minister and government, and a clear signal that even Malaysians in semi-urban areas are not politically apathetic or unconcerned about global scandals, good governance and the great questions of right and wrong in public affairs as many had thought. Read the rest of this entry »

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Five “atomic bomb” issues for the AMANAH candidates to hurl at Najib in Parliament if they are elected as MPs on Saturday

PKR Secretary-General and MP for Pandan Rafizi Ramli created quite a stir when at a Kuala Kangsar by-election ceramah, he said that if the AMANAH candidate, Ahmad Termizi Ramli, who is a nuclear physicist, is elected, he would be asked to hurl an “atomic bomb” at the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak in Parliament.

Everybody had a good laugh as they knew that it was a figure of speech, meaning that Ahmad Termizi would be raising in Parliament mega Najib scandals and wrongdoings, as it would be physically impossible for any human being to “hurl” any atomic bomb at anyone in Parliament – as an atomic bomb will be too heavy for any human being to hurl it around as if Termizi is a superhuman weight-lifter. For example, the two atomic bombs, “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki which ended the Second World War in Asia-Pacific in 1945, weighed more than 10,000 pounds each!

But there are cretins who took Rafizi literally as even to lodge police reports as if
Rafizi was issuing a grave threat threatenning the life and limb of the Prime Minister (if so, even DAP leaders will be the first to deplore Rafizi’s speech) and what is even more shocking, the Police took the police reports of the cretins so seriously that Rafizi had been questioned by the police and there is even a possibility that Rafizi may be charged in court for an action which would be the first in the world – for issuing a threat through use of figurative language.

We will wait to see what the Police and the Attorney-General will do in this case, but there is no doubt that if Azhar Shukor and Ahmad Termizi Ramli are elected as MPs in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar respectively, they will be expected to raise issues and scandals of “atomic-bomb proportions” in Parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

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820 Indian voters in Sungai Besar will be king-makers in the by-election on Saturday if the contest between the UMNO/BN and AMANAH/PH candidates is a close battle

The Sungai Besar by-election on Saturday is expected to be a close fight between the UMNO/Barisan Nasional and AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan candidates with the PAS candidate taking a poor third position.

If the Sungai Besar by-election is a close battle with the victor winning by a very slim majority, then the 820 Indian voters in Sungai Besar will be the “king makers” who will decide whether Pakatan Harapan candidate Azhar Shukor or Barisan Nasional candidate Budiman Mohd Zohdi is elected as MP for Sungai Besar on Saturday.

I call on every single voter, whether Malay, Chinese or Indian to come out to vote so that there is an even higher voter-turnout than during the 13th General Election in May 2013 when over 88% of the voters cast their votes.

Voters should cast their votes, not as Malays, Chinese or Indians, but as Malaysians to ensure tolerance and harmony among the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures as a fundamental principle for the creation of an united, democratic, just and prosperous Malaysian nation.

Malaysia will be destroyed if we allow the politics of race and religion to create distrust and hatred among the different races and religions, which is why it is important that we educate every Malaysian to respect the diverse races, religions, languages and cultures in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Was ransom paid or not to Abu Sayyaf for the four Sarawakian hostages? Why has Purtrajaya lost the capacity to guarantee the safety and security of Malaysians in their homeland and waters whether from Abu Sayyaf or Indonesian authorities?

Something is wrong with the governance capability in Putrajaya after some six decades of UMNO/BN government.

When will the soul of Malaysia find peace and tranquility?

The latest trauma to hit Malaysians is today’s report from the Philippines media in Tawi-Tawi that another four Malaysian nationals had been kidnapped off the coast of Sabah and brought to Sulu.

Has the Malaysian government lost the capacity to ensure safety and security for Malaysian nationals in their homeland and waters? Read the rest of this entry »

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Ismail Sabri reminded of my three tweets to him that I am prepared to forgive him but he must apologise for his nefarious lies about me or I will pursue the matter and not let matter rest

Earlier today, I sent three tweets to the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakub, as follows:

1. @IsmailSabri60 You can run, you cannot hide. Where are your examples to substantiate your allegation that I had been anti-Malay anti-Islam?

2. Most shocking in this holy month of Ramadam @IsmailSabri60 can still tell such nefarious lies. Am prepared to forgive you if you apologise.

3. If @IsmailSabri60 does not apologise, I will pursue the issue whether in Parliament or the courts. Ball in your court. Over to you.

There has been thunderous silence from Ismail who had pretensions that he is one of the most Internet-savvy Cabinet Ministers in the country.

Ismail had said that he can compile a whole book to prove that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam and I had told him that the book can wait, but to cite an instance a day up to the by-election polling day on Saturday 18th June 2016 that I had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics.

Three days have passed and Ismail already owed me three examples. Will he come up with one example a day today and tomorrow, to produce a total of five examples in time for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections – which should be “chicken-feed” since he claimed that he could compile a book, which should have at least 100 examples.

I had hoped to make some money from Ismail but he seemed to have realised that he is on a slippery slope which would be very costly for him. If Ismail has now realised that he had wrongly defamed me, he should have the honesty and decency to publicly apologise for telling baseless lies and falsehoods about me – especially in this holy month of Ramadan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three reasons why Dr. Rani Osman should withdraw as a candidate in Sungai Besar by-election to ensure that the AMANAH candidate Azhar Shukur can give a big blow to Najib and UMNO/BN to save Malaysia

At the Pakatan Harapan Majlis Iftar Perdana at Sungai Panjang earlier in the evening, the Selangor Mentri Besar and PKR Deputy President, Azmin Ali, declared his support for the AMANAH candidate, Azhar Shukor for the Sungai Besar parliamentary by-election on Saturday.

Azmin offered well wishes to the PAS candidate for the Sungai Besar by-election Dr. Rani Osman, who is also PAS Selangor Assemblyman for Meru, who was also present at the Iftar Perdana, expressing the hope that Rani “forges ahead with the determination that despotism must be dismantled”.

When the Sungai Besar by-election first became the subject of public discussion, the by-election was regarded as a contest between UMNO/BN and PAS, and Amanah/Pakatan Harapan was not in the reckoning.

We have past the half-way mark in the by-election campaign, and it is now very clear that the Sungai Besar contest is in fact between UMNO/BN and Amanah/Pakatan Harapan candidates, as PAS does not stand any chance of winning the seat.

In fact, I had publicly estimated that the PAS candidate would lose by some 10,000 votes in the by-election as compared to the PAS vote in the 2013 General Election result, a prediction no PAS leader dared to publicly challenge or refute.

The best way to “dismantle” the “despotism in Putrajaya” is to ensure that UMNO/BN is defeated in the Sungai Besar by-election, and the best way to ensure such an outcome is for Rani to withdraw from the Sungai Besar by-election to ensure a “one-to-one” contest in the by-election on Saturday.

There are three reasons why Rani should withdraw as a candidate in the three-cornered contest in the Sungai Besar by-election to ensure that the AMANAH candidate Azhar Shukur can give a big blow to Najib Razak and UMNO/BN to save Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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SUPP President Sim Kui Hian failed big time although he is treated like a “conquering hero” to save MCA, Gerakan and even UMNO in the two by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar

SUPP President, Senator Sim Kui Hian failed big time although he is treated like a “conquering hero” to save MCA, Gerakan and even UMNO in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections on Saturday.

This is the first time in 43-year Barisan Nasional history that the SUPP President is regarded like a “saviour” to MCA and Gerakan which had fallen on “bad times”, as the SUPP President had always been regarded by the MCA and Gerakan as a “little brother” and never as a “saviour” in BN history.

But Sim did not act like a “saviour” for MCA and Gerakan, or he should have spoken up for the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong who are afraid of losing their Ministerial posts by making it clear to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the Ministerial motion in Parliament on May 26 to “fast-track” Hadi’s hudud bill is a fundamental breach of 43-year Barisan Nasional policy and consensus that hudud violates the Malaysian Constitution and not suitable for a multi-religious Malaysia where Muslims comprise 62% and non-Muslims 38% of the population.

Sim should have spoken up in support of the proposal that the Prime Minister and all the leaders of the 14 Barisan Nasional component parties should make a joint declaration three days before polling day, i.e. by 15th June 2016, to reaffirm the Constitutional principle and the 43-year Barisan Nasional consensus to reject Hadi’s hudud bill, as well as to state in no uncertain terms that the Ministerial motion by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was a great mistake as it violated the Constitution and the Barisan Nasional consensus and to ask for her resignation from the Cabinet.

Sim should have warned that if the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and the 43-year Barisan Nasional consensus are allowed to be violated with impunity, it could lead to the disintegration of the Malaysian Federation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ismail Sabri, a book can wait, but let’s have one example a day until polling day – or five examples that I had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics

Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob yesterday accepted my challenge to cite an example in my 50 years in politics to prove that I am anti-Malay and anti-Islam, and said that he can compile a whole book on the anti-Malay and anti-Islam speeches that I had made.

But he did not cite a single instance to back up his allegation.

Let me tell Ismail – a book can wait, but let’s have one example a day until polling day for the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections on June 18 or five examples that I had been anti-Malay and anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics.

He should have given one example yesterday. As he did not, he owes me one example. I await his one example a day until Friday i.e. five examples in all, which is not too much to ask, since he is talking about a book, presumably at least 100 examples!

I have been tickled to no end reading the fulmination of another UMNO Minister for Agriculture and Agro-based Industries, Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek, who said that Tun Dr. Mahathir was just the DAP’s latest “warhorse”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Would voters who vote for UMNO’s Mastura in Kuala Kangsar or Budiman in Sungai Besar “sinned and be damned by Allah”?

Apart from refusal to be loyal to the Common Policy Programme of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and his insistence to exercise a veto power overriding the decisions of other PAS leaders reached at the PR Leadership Council, there is another powerful reason why the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang wanted to cause the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat – his refusal to accept Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Prime Minister as he himself wanted to be Prime Minister.

When Hadi found that the other two parties in Pakatan Rakyat would not endorse him as Prime Minister of Malaysia, he had no use for the Pakatan Rakyat and decided on a new political course for PAS led by him, acting as “adviser” to the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak – even when this required him to be blind to Najib’s two global scandals, the RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin mega financial scandals.

Under the circumstances, it did not come as a surprise that Hadi was unmoved and not interested to rock Najib’s boat although former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir met him three months ago to explain about Najib’s “wrongdoings”.

What Mahathir revealed at the Second Colloquium on the RM55 billion 1MDB global scandal in Kuala Kangsar yesterday was news to the whole country, that he had taken pains to meet the PAS President to explain to him about the 1MDB scandal and other “wrongdoings” of the Prime Minister, but although Hadi admitted that there was some truth in what Mahathir had told him, the PAS President decided to side with Najib.

Hadi’s reply to Mahathir was most revealing. Read the rest of this entry »

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Challenge to UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite and build an united, great, just and prosperous Malaysia

The statement by the UMNO Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob in Sungai Besar is typical of the lies and politics of hatred spouted by UMNO leaders, even in this holy month of Ramadan.

Ismail accused former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir of working with a group who wants to reject Malay special rights and Islam, and said that if Mahahtir is “with Lim Guan Eng and Lim Kit Siang that speak for itself”.

I challenge UMNO Ministers to cite just one case that I had been anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in politics or they should stop their politics of lies and hatred and focus on how to unite Malaysians of diverse races and religions in the country to build a great, just and prosperous Malaysia.

I can cite a list of the racist speeches by Ismail and other UMNO leaders, including Ismail’s infamous call to Malays last year to boycott Chinese businesses, but can they cite just one instance of my being anti-Malay or anti-Islam in my 50 years in Malaysian politics?

I do not think there is another political leader who had suffered more sustained and greater demonisation in the past 50 years than myself, as I had been accused of all sorts of dastardly and evil deeds especially through the Barisan Nasional-owned and controlled mainstream media.

I have been accused of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam, anti-Malay Rulers, anti-Chinese-educated Chinese, anti-English-educated Chinese, anti-Indian, an agent of Russian KGB, agent of American CIA, agent of British M16, agent of Australian Intelligence Services, and a host of unimaginable allegations.

I had been accused of causing the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur, of having led illegal processions through the streets of Kuala Lumpur hurling anti-Malay slogans and provocations and even urinating in the house of the then Selangor Mentri Besar, Datuk Harun Idris, in Kampong Baru in Kuala Lumpur, as was portrayed in the film “Tanda Putera”!

But I was never in Kuala Lumpur during the May 13, 1969 days as I had flown to Kota Kinabalu early on the morning of May 13, 1969 to help in the belated election campaigning in Sabah and Sarawak and I learnt about the tragic events of the May 13, 1969 riots in Kuala Lumpur when I was whispered the shocking news while speaking at a massive public rally at the Sabah capital. Read the rest of this entry »

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If the 14 BN component parties cannot issue a joint statement by June 15 to admit that Azalina’s Ministerial motion to fast-track Hadi’s Hudud bill was a great mistake and violation of BN principle and consensus, MCA and Gerakan should end their electoral fraud and withdraw the by-election slogan of “Vote BN to stop Hudud”

In the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangar parliamentary by-elections, MCA and Gerakan Ministers and leaders are going around with the slogan: “Vote BN to stop Hudud”.

This is the greatest electoral fraud in the nation’s history after what happened in Parliament on May 26, where the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said moved the Ministerial motion to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill motion.

Who did Azalina represent when she moved the Ministerial motion in Parliament? Herself, UMNO or the Barisan Nasional government?

MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers and leaders claim that Azalina moved the Ministerial motion in Parliament without MCA, Gerakan or MIC consent and that they never knew that Azalina was going to move the Ministerial motion.

Now Azalina has publicly said that she had not moved the Ministerial motion on her own initiative, but on the directive of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi.

Did the MCA, Gerakan and MIC Ministers and leaders confront Najib and Zahid and demand a satisfactory explanation from the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister why Azalina violated Barisan Nasional consensus and discipline to move a Ministerial motion in Parliament on May 26 to fast-track Hadi’s hudud bill when this violated the Barisan Nasional policy, principle and consensus since its formation in 1973 that hudud is not suitable for a multi-racial and multi-religious nation like Malaysia? Read the rest of this entry »

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Hishammuddin cannot be more wrong when he claimed that Mahathir’s “harping” on Najib was irrelevant as PM not contesting in twin polls

The Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein cannot be more wrong when he dismissed former premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s message as irrelevant to the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections because Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak isn’t contesting.

Hishammudin, who was reacting to Mahathir’s visit to Sungai Besar this morning to endorse Parti Amanah Negara’s candidate Azhar Abdul Shukur after the latter signed the Citizens’ Declaration petition calling for Najib’s ouster, said:

“What was raised by Mahathir in his ceramah in Sungai Besar is unrelated.

“I would like to remind that Najib is not contesting in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections.

“What does issues touching on Najib have to do with Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar?”

The Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary constituencies are among the 10th most marginal and most unsafe seats won by UMNO in the 13th general elections although they had been traditional UMNO strongholds since Merdeka, never before lost by UMNO in the past six decades.

However, if on June 18, UMNO/BN loses Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar and they indicate a trend that there will be a 5% fall in voter support for UMNO/BN in the 14th General Election, it would mean that UMNO/BN would lose up to 52 seats, leaving the UMNO/BN coalition with only 81 out of 222 parliamentary seats – evicting UMNO/BN from Putrajaya for the first time in the nation’s history. Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP and Pakatan Harapan are not enemies of ordinary UMNO and PAS members and we invite UMNO and PAS members to join in the “Save Malaysia” campaign to stop the country from sliding down the slippery slope of corruption and abuses of power to become a failed state

We are almost at the half-way mark of the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-election campaign.

At the beginning, the AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan candidates in these two by-elections were the true underdogs.

When I first went to campaign in Kuala Kangsar, I was asked by the press whether the AMANAH/Pakatan Rakyat candidate, nuclear physicist Professor Dr. Ahmad Termizi Ramli would lose his deposit in the by-election.

The situation in both by-elections is now clearer, that in both places, it is a contest between UMNO/BN and AMANAH/PH candidates, as a vote for the PAS candidate in both constituencies would be a wasted vote with no chance whatsoever that the PAS candidate can win in either one of the two constituencies.

In fact, I had said publicly that I expect the PAS candidate in Sungai Besar to lose by some 10,000 votes and in Kuala Kangsar to lose by some 5,000 votes as compared to the votes polled by the PAS candidates in these two constituencies in the 13th General Election in 2013, and no one in the PAS leadership has come forward to contradict me.

I want to make four points tonight:

Firstly, the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections are capable of creating political earthquakes in Malaysia. If Azhar Shukor is elected MP for Sungai Besar and Prof Termizi the MP for Kuala Kangsar on June 18, winning in traditional UMNO strongholds which no UMNO candidate had ever lost in six decades, the message is clear – either Datuk Seri Najib Razak steps down as Prime Minister or UMNO/BN will be defeated in the next 14th General Election. Read the rest of this entry »

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The DNA of the present MCA leadership is not only different from the DNA of DAP leadership, but have mutated and degenerated as compared to the DNA of the early MCA leadership

The MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai made a very immature and uninformed statement in Jerlun in the Kuala Kangsar by-election campaign when he said that PAS and AMANAH “share the same DNA”, and asked the voters not be duped by DAP once again.

Liow said that liberal factions do not exist within AMANAH or PAS, claiming that “there are only two factions in PAS and AMANAH – extreme or more extreme”.

It is sad that we have national leaders in government in a plural society who do not understand the struggle that is ongoing, not only in Malaysia but world-wide, between an open, broad-minded and inclusive understanding of Islamic politics and a closed, narrow-minded and exclusive exposition of Islamic politics.

In Tunisia, the Ennahda or Renaissance Party, a moderate Islamist political party which is the largest in the Tunisian Parliament, just held a historic national congress under its President Rached Ghannouchi pioneering the development of Islamic politics by separating its religious activities from political ones. Ghannouchi described Ennahda as a “political, democratic and civil party” although its point of reference remain rooted in the values of ancient and modern Islam.

It is worth noting that Tunisia, whose population is 99.8 per cent Muslims, does not have hudud.

One of the leaders of Ennahda, Said Ferjani, in a dialogue with DAP leaders during his visit to Malaysia last August, said ensuring peace and freedom of religion should be the priority in politics, especially among Islamists, even more than implementing hudud.

He refuted assertions that the Islamic penal code should be a prerequisite of faith, relating that even Prophet Muhammad did not implement hudud during his time as a state ruler.

What do we have in Malaysia? A revival of the hudud debate following the success of the Najib-Hadi plot in Parliament on May 26 to distract national attention from Malaysia’s first twin global financial scandals – the RM55 billion 1MDB scandal and the RM4.2 billion “donation” scandal of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. Read the rest of this entry »

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If AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan candidates can win in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar, it will be an important signal that Malaysia is ready to become a normal democratic country where voters can change government through the ballot box like other developed countries

Sungai Besar is the most marginal and most unsafe parliamentary seat in the Peninsular Malaysia won by UMNO in the 13th General Election while Kuala Kangsar is eighth on the list of UMNO’s most marginal and unsafe seats in Peninsular Malaysia.

If the AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan candidates can win in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections, it will be a major signal that Malaysia is ready to become a normal democratic country where voters can change the government through the ballot box like other developed countries.

It will also mean that the AMANAH or Pakatan Harapan candidates stand a good chance to win the 10 most marginal and most unsafe parliamentary seats won by UMNO in Peninsular Malaysia, namely:

1. Sungai Besar
2. Kuala Selangor
3. Pasir Gudang
4. Bagan Serai
5. Ketereh
6. Machang
7. Jerai
8. Kuala Kangsar
9. Arau
10. Bera

Many people look at this list and conclude that these seats are not winnable, but I belong to those who look at the list and think of the ways Pakatan Amanah can win in these ten seats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mah Hang Soon should not have used Wan Mohammad Khair-il’s name in vain or has he got the permission from Mastura’s approval to use her late husband’s name?

Since Nomination Day on Sunday, I have just made a tour of the Sungai Besar and the Kuala Kangsar constituencies where parliamentary by-elections are underway caused by the tragic helicopter crash during the Sarawak state general elections.

In both constituencies, the AMANAH/Pakatan Harapan candidate started as the underdog in the three-cornered fight in Sungai Besar and the four-cornered fight in the Kuala Kangsar by-elections, but after four days of the by-election campaigns, it is clear that the contest is between UMNO/BN and AMANAH/PH candidates, as a vote for the PAS candidate in both constituencies would be a wasted vote with no chance whatsoever for the PAS candidate to win in either one of the two constituencies.

In fact, I had said publicly that I expect the PAS candidate in Sungai Besar to lose by some 10,000 votes and in Kuala Kangsar to lose by some 5,000 votes as compared to the votes polled by the PAS candidates in these two constituencies in the 13th General Election in 2013.

To defeat the UMNO/BN candidate in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar in the by-elections would cause quite a political earthquake as both constituencies had been UMNO strongholds, never won by any Opposition candidate in the past six decades.

But this political earthquake could only achieved by the AMANAH candidate and NOT the PAS candidate because of the demographic composition of the constituencies and from the voters’ reactions in the past four days. Read the rest of this entry »

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