Archive for category Johore

“Cross” episode testimony of failure of over half-century of Malaysian nation-building

This is the sixth of my kopitiam ceramahs in five Johor State Assembly constituencies in the past three days to take the political pulse in the country by sharing with the people the latest political events in the country and to learn about their concerns about what is happening in the country.

Undoubtedly, the top issues of the day jostling for pole position include the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal; the 6% GST tax; the revolt of Dr. Mahathir calling for Najib’s resignation as PM; the two scandals in the administration of justice – the unanswered question as to who was the mastermind of the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the second jailing of Anwar Ibrahim; the Permatang Pauh by-election; the worst racial and religious polarization in the country as highlighted by the protest of a group of Malay residents at a sight of a cross in a Christian church in Taman Medan, Selangor and the future of Pakatan Rakyat.

The protest by a group of Malay residents at the sight of a cross on the ground that it was a threat to Malays and Islam is testimony of the failure of over half a century of Malaysian nation-building.

Such a reaction and protest would be quite unheard-of and even unthinkable in the first five decades of our nation-hood from Merdeka in 1957, but it seems to become quite commonplace and the norm in the country in the past five years, which is most ironical as it coincides with the period when the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is going the world as a globe-trotting salesman of his “Global Movement of Moderates”! Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Rakyat voters in five Johor state assembly constituencies have one common message – they would not support Pakatan Rakyat in 14GE if PAS reneges on PR Common Policy Framework and unilaterally pushes for hudud implementation

In the past three days, I visited five state assembly constituencies in Johore – Skudai, Nusajaya, Pengkalan Rinting, Johor Jaya and Stulang – and I received one common message from the voters who had voted for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th General Elections in May 2013: that they would not support Pakatan Rakyat in the 14th General Election if PAS reneges on the PR Common Policy Framework and unilaterally pushes for hudud implementation.

One of the greatest electoral breakthroughs in the 13th General Election in 2013 was the end of Johor as the Barisan Nasional “fixed deposit” state, as Pakatan Rakyat won five Parliamentary and 18 State Assembly seats – which nobody, whether in BN or PR, would have expected before the May 5, 2013 general election.

In fact, Pakatan Rakyat won 45.8% of the total votes cast in Johor in the 13th General Election, an if the redelineation of the electoral constituencies had been fair and democratic, Pakatan Rakyat would have denied the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in the Johor State Assembly with at least 25 and not just 18 State Assembly seats. Read the rest of this entry »

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DOE limits controversial Johor Straits housing project over environmental concerns

The Malaysian Insider
5 January 2015

China developer Country Gardens Holdings can only develop less than 1,000 acres (405ha) or a quarter of its controversial 1,600 hectares Forest City project in the Johor Straits under new limits set by the Department of Environment (DOE).

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that the DOE has verbally informed Country Garden Pacificview Sdn Bhd (CGP), a joint-venture unit of Country Gardens Holdings Co Ltd, of the new limits after complaints from locals and the Singapore government over reclamation works in the narrow waterway between Malaysia and the island state.

“The DOE has decided to limit the project to the first phase and wait for a few years to see the impact before looking at future phases,” a source told The Malaysian Insider.

“The DOE is expected to send an official letter about its decision soon to relevant parties,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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Umno seen losing grip on Johor bastion

by Yiswaree Palansamy
The Malay Mail Online
December 7, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Johor may be the birthplace of Umno but its status as the Malay nationalist party’s fortress is increasingly under threat, according to political analysts and observers.

Growing urbanisation and rural migration have put Johor under the same conditions that led to Umno and Barisan Nasional’s hold loosen before it was eventually broken in states such as Selangor and, briefly, Perak.

“The trend in Johor is just the same as with other states, whereby the more urbanised it becomes, the more likely it is for the Malays in Johor to question the long term dependency on Umno and not stick to the idea of being loyal to a particular party,” Wan Saiful Wan Jan told the Malay Mail Online.

The chief executive of think tank Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs said, however, this decrease in blind loyalty to any particular party was necessary for a healthy democracy to flourish. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib must personally speak up and explain why he had reneged on two specific promises of “no toll charges for non-users of EDL” and “No toll for EDL” and whether future Prime Ministerial pledges are any more credible and believable!

The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, failed big time in Johor Bahru on Tuesday when he tried to explain the rationale for the astronomical, unconscionable and unjust 480% causeway toll hike at the Johor causeway from August 1.

All he could say was that the decision to increase the Johor causeway toll at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) Complex at the Sultan Iskandar Building in JB was made after a two-year study following the government’s decision not to impose toll at the Eastern Dispersal Link (EDL).

Wahid said toll collection at the EDL by its concessionaire, Malaysian Resources Corp Bhd (MRCB) was supposed to have started in 2012, and the government is paying the concessionaire RM11 million a month in compensation.

After a two-year study, it was decided that there was no requirement for the government to take over the EDL.

Wahid has not given any rationale or reason whatsoever to justify the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak breaking two public and solemn pledges to the people of Johor Bahru in 2012, viz “No toll charges for non-users of EDL” and “No toll for EDL”! Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya salah strategi isu kenaikan tol Tambak Johor: Bahagian 2

Nur Jazlan
The Malaysian Insider
8 August 2014

Kenyataan Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdul Wahid Omar, Selasa lalu, mengenai kajian untuk menaikkan kadar tol Tambak Johor pada 1 Ogos, sudah dilakukan sejak dua tahun lalu bagi menampung kos pembinaan Lebuhraya Penyuraian Timur (EDL) sebenarnya, membuktikan betapa kerajaan terus ‘berahsia’ kepada rakyat.

Pada masa sama kenyataan menteri yang bertanggungjawab untuk Unit Perancang Ekonomi (EPU) itu mengesahkan segala telahan dan andaian rakyat Johor selatan sebelum ini, mengenai kenaikan kadar tol Tambak Johor adalah untuk menampung pembinaan EDL yang siap sepenuhnya pada 2012.

Bagaimanapun, timbul pula persoalan mengapa syarikat MRCB yang diberikan konsesi membina EDL tidak dibenarkan mengutip tol pada lebuh raya sepanjang 8 kilometer itu? Sedangkan menjadi amalan dalam konsesi lebuh raya di negara ini, syarikat yang membina lebuh raya boleh mengenakan tol kepada penggunanya. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor is now the front-line state in the 14GE as PR victory in both Putrajaya and Nusajaya are now within reach for the first time in nation’s history

I congratulate PAS Johor for its successful three-day 60th Anniversary Carnival concluding with the ceramah tonight.

For 90 per cent of its 60-year history in the state, PAS Johor faced an uphill battle in the state as Johor had all along been the fixed deposit state and virtually unshakeable fortress of UMNO and Barisan Nasional.

But a political sea change took place in the last 10 per cent of the 60-year history of PAS Johor, which succeeded in achieving a political breakthrough in the 2008 General Elections winning two State Assembly seats which increased to four State Assembly seats in the 2013 general elections last May.

Before 2008, if anybody should ask whether it is possible for the Oposition to win power in the Johor State Government, the answer would be an unanimous and categorical “No”!

But after the 2013 General Elections, if anybody should ask whether it is possible for Pakatan Rakyat to win the Johor State Government in Nusajaya, the answer would be a powerful “Yes” for the majority of thinking people in the State. Read the rest of this entry »

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Uncontrolled Development – “Pulau Ubah”

(Speech 3 in Dewan Rakyat when taking part in the debate on Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address on Thursday, 13th March 2014)

Allow me to bring the attention of the House to the problems of uncontrolled and poorly regulated development activities in Iskandar Malaysia which caused irreversible damages to our precious environment and severely hurt local livelihoods especially the poor who are largely dependent on natural resources for their sustenance.

This is the case that took place at Pendas and Tanjung Kupang, within the parliament constituency of Gelang Patah. It is located in the district of Johor Bahru and also part of the Iskandar Development Region.

Since January this year, a coastal reclamation project has rapidly taken shape in the waters of the Johore Straits close to Tanjung Kupang. This is close to the Second Link and the Malaysia – Singapore maritime border. There are no signboards, no public information, no approval from the authorities be it federal agencies like the Department of Environment, the Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA), or the State Government which is supposed to regulate and control all earthwork activities.

It is one humongous project as far as coastal reclamation is concerned. The size is 2500 acres to be exact (according to official documents that we have sighted). I visited the ongoing reclamation site by boat twice. First on 15th February 2014 and then on 24th February 2014. It was shocking. The damages were beyond words. In the middle of nowhere, an island was in the making so rapidly that just between my first and second visit, the size of the reclaimed island has doubled. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Khaled Nordin to lead a study tour of all 56 Johor State Assembly members to the new island Pulau Ubah which sprung up off Tanjung Kupang in past two weeks and to understand the serious threat to the eco-system caused by mysterious massive land reclamation

The Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Khaled Nordin should lead a study tour of all 56 Johor State Assembly members to the new island, Pulau Ubah, which sprung up off Tanjong Kupang, Gelang Patah in the past two weeks and to understand the serious threat to the eco-system caused by mysterious massive land reclamation works.

Yesterday, accompanied by the DAP Johor State Assemblyman for Pengkalan Rinting, Cheo Yee How, and Pakatan Rakyat leaders from PAS and PKR, I discovered and visited a new island off Kampung Pendas (some ten minutes of speedboat trip) which is growing every day and will eventually be some 10 or 20 times bigger than its present size when the creation of the island is fully completed.

This is a man-made island and is not to be found in any of the maps in the country, and I believe even Khaled is not aware of the new island’s existence.

The island was named Pulau Uban during our visit. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor Pakatan Rakyat should embark on a three-point strategy under its “Johor Leads” motto to fulfil the Johor Dream to make Johor the front-line state in Peninsular Malaysia in the 14GE in the march to Nusajaya and Putrajaya

The Pakatan Rakyat national leadership endorses the “Johor Leads” motto of Johore Pakatan Rakyat announced by the Johor PR leadership on Friday.

In fact, the PR Leadership Council at its meeting at PAS Hqrs in Kuala Lumpur on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 decided to give full support to the Johor PR objective to fulfil the Johor Dream to make Johor the front-line state of PR in Peninsular Malaysia in the 14th General Elections in the march of PR towards Nusajaya and Putrajaya.

In line with Johor as one of the key front-line states in the 14GE, national PR leaders from PAS, PKR and DAP will be making frequent visits to Johor after the Chinese New Year.

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and PAS Deputy President, Mohamad Sabu will in fact be visiting Johor during the Chinese New Year period, culminating in an important joint national-state PR leadership and strategy conference in Johor on Feb. 24. Read the rest of this entry »

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14 GE: Towards Putrajaya! Towards Nusajaya!

Yesterday, the DAP Johore State Convention decided on a twin-engine turboprop Johor DAP state leadership led by Liew Chin Tong as Johore DAP State Chairman and Dr. Boo Cheng Hau as Johore DAP State Assembly Opposition Leader to continue to position Johore as the front-line state of Pakatan Rakyat in Peninsular Malaysia in the 14th General Elections to ensure Pakatan Rakyat’s victory in Putrajaya to form the federal government of Malaysia.

The immediate task of DAP’s twin-engine turboprop Johore leadership is to work out a strategy with Johore PAS and PKR to achieve the first step in Pakatan Rakyat’s Battle of Putrajaya in GE14 – to win over Barisan Nasional’s eight marginal parliamentary and eight marginal state assembly seats in Johore.

Marginal Seats are defined as seats which are won by 55% or less votes.

Based on the 2013 General Elections results and present constituency redelineations, the Barisan Nasional eight marginal parliamentary seats are Labis, Pasir Gudang, Segamat, Muar, Tebrau, Ledang, Sekijang and Pulai. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Battle for GE14 in Peninsular Malaysia begins and ends in Johor

In November, 2013, I outlined a 12 point strategy on how Pakatan can capture Putrajaya in GE14.

In Peninsular Malaysia, Johore holds the key in unlocking the gates to Putrajaya. For Pakatan to win Putrajaya, this strategy must first and foremost work in Johore.

The Battle of Johore for the Battle of Putrajaya in the 14GE is the greatest challenge of the DAP State Convention to be held in Batu Pahat on Sunday.

In GE13, Pakatan has shattered the fixed deposit state of Johor by winning 5 parliament and 18 state seats, a worthy achievement given the resources that were spent by the BN in this state.

But this is not enough. To achieve the goal of winning Putrajaya in GE14, Pakatan must set a target of winning half of the parliament seats in Johore. To do this, we must firstly defend our marginal areas (Bakri and Batu Pahat) and our newly won areas (Kluang, Kulai and Gelang Patah). And then, we must go on the offensive to capture the marginal BN areas including Segamat, Sekijang, Labis, Ledang, Muar, Tebrau, Pasir Gudang and Pulai. If we have won all of the marginal BN areas, Pakatan would have won 13 out of 26 parliament seats in GE13. Read the rest of this entry »

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This is how Pakatan can win Johor

Liew Chin Tong
Free Malaysia Today
January 7, 2014

Johor finds itself at the frontlines of a political battle like never before, and to go the distance, Pakatan must rethink and strategise comprehensively, covering all angles.


The biggest take away from the 2013 election is that Barisan Nasional no longer has any more fortresses or fixed deposits.

Pakatan Rakyat’s breakthrough in Johor signals the beginning of the end for the BN model of politics and economics. If Pakatan is able to capture Johor, then taking federal power will be possible.

In order to successfully replace the BN model in Johor, we must present our own credible new discourse of Pakatan’s approach towards politics and economics.

Johor is a shining example of the BN model. Since Independence, the Alliance model has cultivated a ruling class from all races.

Post 1970s, the survival of the BN model depended on Umno obtaining above 60% of the Malay vote, and – before 2008 – BN obtaining at least 40% of the Chinese vote. Read the rest of this entry »

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Johor MB Khaled should advise MBJB to end its “wild goose chase” and stop harassing tenants and landowners over cut-outs of Zacharevic wall graffiti which gives “vandalism” a good name

Johore Mentri Besar Datuk Mohamed Khaled Nordin said on Sunday that things might have turned out differently about street artist Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic’s “high crime” street mural in Johor Baru if he had been asked the question by the press earlier, but the issue had become academic as the mural had been wiped out by the Johor Baru local authority.

This is a most extraordinary statement, considering that Zacharevic’s street mural had dominated not only Johor but national headlines for almost a week, and even hitting international coverage, before it was “white-washed” by JB city council workers.

Khaled must be the only potentate in Johor State blissfully unaware of the boiling controversy over Zacharevic’s “high crime” street mural in Johor Baru in the week before it was white-washed by JB council workers.

Could this be true, when DAP State Assemblywoman for Johor Jaya, Liow Cai Tong had even spoken on the subject in the Johor State Assembly during her debate on the 2014 Johor state budget and even tried to move an emergency debate on Zacha’s wall graffiti before it was “white-washed” by the JB council workers?
Read the rest of this entry »

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Just as 13GE ended Johore as BN “fixed deposit” state, PR must end Sabah and Sarawak as “fixed deposit” states to reach Putrajaya in 14GE

One of the highlights of the 13th General Elections was to transform Johore, one of the three “fixed deposit” states of Barisan Nasional with Sabah and Sarawak, into a Pakatan Rakyat front-line state.

During the last general elections, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir not only led the campaign to ask the people of Johore to ensure that Gelang Patah become my “kubur”, Barisan Nasional leaders talking about making Johore into an “zero-opposition” state.

In the event, Johore achieved the greatest political breakthrough for Pakatan Rakyat in the 13GE, increasing from one parliamentary to five parliamentary seats (500% increase) and six State Assembly seats to 18 State Assembly seats (300% increase). In popular votes, Pakatan Rakyat achieved the biggest increase of 10.3% from 34.7% in the 12GE in 2008 to 45% in the 13GE – transforming Johore from a BN “fixed deposit” state into a PR “front-line” state. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cop ‘joins’ Zachas’ JB mural to ‘pounce’ on robber

By Aidila Razak | 11:59AM Nov 13, 2013

Local artists have added a Lego policeman to the controversial Johor Bahru mural by artist Ernest Zacharevic – a move that appears to soften the message and possibly, save the mural.

With his eyes set on a Lego woman carrying a Chanel handbag, the Lego mugger appears unaware that an police officer – complete with handcuffs – is ready to nab him.

It is unclear who the local artists behind the addition are, but according to the photograh uploaded by Zacharevic on his Facebook page, duo worked on the mural last night.

“Now that’s a true vandalism! Malaysia never fails to amuse me,” Zacharevic quipped in his caption.

A number of those commenting on the mural’s expansion were not too amused.
Read the rest of this entry »

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JB to remove ‘inappropriate’ mural by foreign artist

By Kow Gah Chie | 11:34AM Nov 11, 2013

The Johor Bahru City Council will remove three murals painted by an internationally-recognised street artist, following a controversy over one mural that addresses the high crime rate in the city.

However, city mayor Ismail Karim said, all the three murals by Lithuanian-orn Ernest Zacharevic will be removed as they were painted at inappropriate places, China Press reported today.

Earlier, Malaysiakini reported that Zacharevic – better known as Zachas – defended his mural, which has been criticised by the state government has having ‘tarnished’ the city’s image.

“Art does not damage a city’s image, crime does,” rebutted Zacharevic (right) yesterday in an email response.

The Lithuanian-born artist had reportedly been invited to the city to put up his artwork, and contributed three pieces earlier this month.

The ‘contentious’ mural, dubbed ‘JB, home of Malaysia’s very own Legoland’, shows Lego figures portraying an armed robber lying in wait to rob from a woman carrying a Chanel handbag.
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With state of emergency declared for Muar and Ledang, and probably for Bukit Rambai and Malacca town with API 428 and 415 respectively at 11 am, time has come for Najib to fly to Jakarta for emergency meeting with Yudhoyono on haze

Having declared emergency status for Muar and Ledang because the Air Pollutant Index (API) readings there have reached the dangerous level of 746 at 7 am today, and probably also for Bukit Rambai and Malacca town with API 428 and 415 respectively at 11 am, the time has come for the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to fly to Jakarta for an emergency meeting with President Yudhoyono on the haze catastrophe choking millions of people in the three ASEAN countries of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia.

Top of his agenda with the Indonesian President must be the Indonesian ratification of the Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution 2002 which provides for a ASEAN Regional Haze Action Plan with provisions on monitoring, assessment, prevention, scientific research and technical co-operation as well as lines of communication and simplified customs and immigration procedures for disaster relief.

Although the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution have been ratified by nine ASEAN member states, Brunei, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia has not ratified it. Read the rest of this entry »

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Environment Minister Palanivel sleeping on his job when Malaysians particularly in Johore are suffering from haze hazards

I am both impressed and dejected – impressed by the professionalism of the Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA) in recording and posting on its website the hourly Pollutant Standards Index (PSI) to provide accurate and timely information about air pollution levels in the island republic; dejected by the contrasting failure and lack of professionalism of the Malaysian Department of Environment (DOE) to provide prompt readings on its website of the Air Pollutant Index (API) from its 52 Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS) locations in the country, although the API readings are only provided thrice a day at 7am, 11 am and 5 pm.

I was checking the 11 am API readings on the DOE website,, but the results only appeared after more than two hours, i.e. after 1 pm.

In contrast, when I checked the PSI readings of the Singapore NEA, its 1 pm reading promptly appeared at 1 pm sharp. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should make special visit to Jakarta to meet with Indonesian President Yudhoyono to highlight gravity of current haze emergency to millions in three ASEAN countries, and in particular the three states of Johore, Malacca and Negri Sembilan

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should make a special visit to Jakarta to meet with the Indonesian President, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to highlight the gravity of the current haze emergency to millions of people in three ASEAN countries, in particular to the three states of Johore, Malacca and Negri Sembilan in Malaysia, and the need for urgent common Asean action to bring the perennial transboundary emergency under control.

The Singapore Environment Minister Vivian Balakrishnan flew to Jakarta yesterday and met with his Indonesian counterpart Environment Minister Balthasar Kambuaya on the haze emergency, with a letter from the Singapore Prime Minister to the Indonesian President.

In contrast, the Malaysian Environment Minister Datuk Seri G. Palanivel is only going to Indonesia to meet with Indonesian government officials next Wednesday, more than a week after the outbreak of the latest haze emergency which have been posed serious health and environment threats to the people in Johore, Malacca and Negri Sembilan, resulting in the closure of some 700 schools.

Why is the Malaysian Environment Minister so slow and tardy in rising up to the challenges of the latest haze emergency afflicting Malaysians? Read the rest of this entry »

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