Archive for category Elections

I did what I had to for my country, says airman sacked over indelible ink claim

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 »

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Why BN does not want more Parliament seats

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.
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In 2015 delimitation, is Najib going for ‘nuclear’?

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.
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Singing the praises of Major Zaidi

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 »

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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 »

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Epitomising Dr M’s criticisms of the gov’t

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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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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 »

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Entering DAP’s second phase with semi-urban constituencies

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 »

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Joko Widodo must not waste his mandate in Indonesia

Financial Times
July 23, 2014

The new leader has the chance to take the country to the next level

After an extended count lasting the best part of a fortnight, Joko Widodo, governor of Jakarta, has narrowly won the race to become president of this nation of 250m people. Initial fears that Indonesia’s second truly democratic passage of power might end in violence and chaos have proved exaggerated; the presidential baton has been transferred relatively smoothly. Opportunistic attempts by Mr Widodo’s opponent, former general Prabowo Subianto, to question the fairness of the process have fallen on deaf ears. Given the definitive nature of the result, Mr Subianto should do the graceful thing and concede in a way that confers legitimacy on the victor.

Mr Widodo, universally known as Jokowi, has much to prove when he takes office in October. One reason the result was so close was that he turned out to be a lacklustre candidate, far less organised and politically astute than his more ruthless and better-funded opponent. Things are unlikely to become any easier now the count is over.

Having campaigned against the old elites that have dominated Indonesian politics for so long, Mr Widodo must show that he can govern effectively without their patronage. In particular he must redeem his promise to avoid traditional horse-trading and appoint to his cabinet only those with the character and capacity to hold their offices. Given the new president’s lack of a reliable majority in parliament, this will require political skills of a high order – ones he has yet to demonstrate he possesses on the national stage. Read the rest of this entry »

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Election dispute emerges as serious test for Indonesia

By Ben Bland in Jakarta
Financial Times
July 14, 2014

After 16 years of peaceful democracy, the dispute over who won Indonesia’s presidential election is turning into a serious test for both the country and outgoing President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, whose legacy will depend on how he handles the clash.

Both Joko Widodo, the reformist Jakarta governor, and Prabowo Subianto, a self-styled military strongman, have claimed victory in the July 9 election, although most polling agencies and independent political analysts suggest Mr Widodo has won.

The official vote count will not be completed until July 22, but both sides have already accused each other of trying to rig the process. If neither side accepts the outcome of the official count, it will be left to the national election commission (KPU), the Constitutional Court and President Yudhoyono to find a solution.

“Without question, the vote-count will be the major test for Indonesia’s democracy and, in particular, President Yudhoyono’s presidency,” says Tom Lembong, managing partner of Quvat, an Indonesia-focused private equity fund manager. “People only remember the beginning and the end.” Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP loses a seat but scores a political point

Jun 3, 2014

YOURSAY ‘Fielding Dyana is still a good strategy, despite the result.’

DAP’s strategy missteps cost Teluk Intan

CQ Muar: Obviously, the elderly voters of Teluk Intan were not receptive to being represented by a young Malay woman, but rather preferred a man-about-town, who is a local figure; plus the lackadaisical attitude of young outstation voters, who took things for granted.

Other factors are those issues relating to hudud, internal strifes and party squabbles, which must be quickly addressed and halted.

The next GE is around three years from now, but by then the senior voters will probably see a dip in their number, while young voters an increase theirs.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance that DAP and Pakatan Rakyat need to penetrate the heartlands of the Malays, and continue to convince urban voters simultaneously.

AA: I am not a supporter of any of the political parties, but I did hope for Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud to be elected as her election would be a clear victory against racial politics. Read the rest of this entry »

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BN’s racial politics still work, but not for long

Jun 2, 2014

YOURSAY ‘A lesson to learn is that changes come in baby steps, not giant strides.’

Delving into DAP’s shock defeat

Fair Play: For DAP, a lesson to learn in the Teluk Intan by-election is that changes come in baby steps, not giant strides. The road ahead is often fraught with uncertainties, obstacles and frustrations and takes a pathway of ‘one step forward, two steps backward’ approach.

A good start would be to identify young and qualified right-thinking Muslim Malaysians as political secretaries to key DAP politicians and train them as future leaders. Do not forget young and qualified Indian Malaysians too.

DAP has to break the political mold (perception) that it is a Chinese Malaysian political party. For almost all Malaysians, perception (how they see thing) is reality.

Examples like Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud is a good start, but need more fine-tuning and adaptation. Be patient and plan for the long haul. If there is hope, there is a future. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Dyana effect

– Philip Yong
The Malaysian Insider
2 June 2014

So Dyana Sofya, the DAP candidate for Teluk Intan’s by-election, lost to Gerakan president Mah Siew Kong. It was a close fight. I am sure it was heartbreaking for her and many other opposition leaders, volunteers and caring Malaysians who campaigned day in day out. This article is written especially for those who have fought hard in this battle.

There are already so many articles out there that are negative, so I thought I should write something that will uplift the spirits of all who strive for a better Malaysia.

Well, Dyana, if I am a voter in Teluk Intan, I would have voted for you. For very logical reasons.

1. I personally believe that DAP made the right choice by fielding a young lady like you. You are educated, smart, energetic, clean and most importantly you embody a true Malaysian. A Malaysian who fights for all Malaysians. A Malaysian who cares for all Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Taking Chances

— Christine SK Lai
The Malay Mail Online
June 02, 2014

JUNE 2 — So after all the analysis, post-mortems and opinions, where does it leave us? Everyone has their favourite theory on why Dyana Sofya lost in Teluk Intan.

But that’s not really the issue, or is it? In fact I am pretty sure there are many who will ask ‘Dyana who?’ despite the fact that she has catapulted to celebrity status and is everyone’s fave target for group selfies. Outside of Teluk Intan, I hazard a guess that there are probably many who don’t even know there was an election there. There is such a thing called ignorance, apathy, indifference, complacency — all same category. But I am not pointing fingers, I hasten to confess I am guilty of all that at some time or another.

When I first saw that pretty young face splattered all over on-line news ( there is no denying she is pretty and she is young), mentally I saluted the old man behind her — it takes foresight and guts to do what Lim Kit Siang did, pushing this novice up the way he did, and kudos to the party who dared take a chance to lose. I have to admit though I was a bit tired of all the politicking that seems to be going into over-drive not only in the small town of Teluk Intan but seemingly every where, and not just during a by-election but almost every other day. One time it’s why only certain people can call God a certain name. The next it’s hudud. Then it’s chocolates. Wonder what it will be tomorrow. And oh by the way, it’s not confined to the peculiar species called politicians. NGOs, bloggers, big shots, small shots… everyone can say anything and everything is fair game. Guess that’s the price of democracy. So I kind-of ‘tune off’ these days. It’s very easy to grow tired of it all. Like I said, apathy… Read the rest of this entry »

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Too soon to write off DAP’s Teluk Intan wager, analysts say

by Pathma Subramaniam
The Malay Mail Online
June 2, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — By going against the current, the DAP challenged a pattern of communal voting that has been ingrained for decades.

It lost the contest for Teluk Intan, but it remains to be seen if the gambit of fielding the likes of 26-year-old Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud will work out in the next general election in which political analysts say the makeup of voters and issues will vary.

“It is work in progress and DAP has taken the lead,” said Ibrahim Suffian who heads Merdeka Center. “I’m confident that in the long run people will vote for policies and no longer just for one’s skin colour.”

The head of the independent pollster noted that while it is tempting to blame DAP’s loss on racial silos, the result may also be skewed as by-elections are generally “tougher” for the opposition as it cannot match the might of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) federal strength.

“[By-elections are] unlike in a general election, [where] the resources of both sides are spread out thinly so that allows a smaller party to ride on the national sentiments and issues,” said Ibrahim who heads independent pollster Merdeka Center. Read the rest of this entry »

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Dyana Sofya tewas di Teluk Intan, tetapi DAP menang

Amin Iskandar
The Malaysian Insider
June 01, 2014

Kekalahan Dyana Sofya dalam Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK)‎ Teluk Intan kepada Presiden Gerakan, Datuk Mah Siew Keong dengan majoriti tipis 238 undi membuktikan ramalan Ketua Parlimen DAP, Lim Kit Siang minggu lalu ada benarnya.

Lim sebelum ini menghantar mesej kecemasan (SOS) kepada semua pengundi luar PRK Teluk Intan agar pulang bagi membantu kemenangan setiausaha politiknya.

Lim juga menyeru agar pengguna Internet datang ke Teluk Intan membantu kempen ‎Dyana Sofya sehingga menang.

Sebagai orang lama dalam politik, sudah tentu mudah bagi Lim untuk membaca sentimen di Teluk Intan.

Satu dua lawatan bertemu dengan rakyat Teluk Intan sudah cukup bagi Lim untuk mengetahui sama ada DAP mendapat sokongan atau tidak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Open letter to the people of Teluk Intan

By Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud | MalayMailOnline
May 29, 2014

To the good people of Teluk Intan,

It has been an exhausting but exhilarating two weeks since I was nominated by my party to be the candidate for the Teluk Intan by-election. I have experienced more in the last two weeks than any time in my 27 years of age.

Suddenly, I became the centre of attention of UMNO Ministers who could not resist taking digs at my looks. Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan asked voters not to support me just because I put on “lipstick”. Datuk Zahid Hamidi remarked that I am “not so pretty in person”. Datuk Ahmad Maslan stressed that even his wife, or Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman’s, would win if it were a beauty contest.

My looks and appearance are not important at all in this very important by-election. I did not sign up with DAP to take part in beauty pageants. I call upon the voters of Teluk Intan to judge me for my ideals, my principles and my dreams for a better Malaysia. I want to win this election not because of my appearance, but because of my ability to make a difference in the Malaysian political landscape in the highest legislative institution of the country.

My opponents have attacked me viciously behind nameless blogs aligned to Barisan Nasional (BN), as well as anonymous leaflets denigrating me with fake pictures and spurious allegations of my moral ethics. During the visits to some evening markets, there were UMNO bullies who heckled, disrupted and attempted to block the campaign trail. Read the rest of this entry »

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