Archive for category Pakatan Rakyat
— Yang Razali Kassim
The Malaysian Insider
May 20, 2013
MAY 20 — On the 44th anniversary of the May 13, 1969, racial riots that gave birth to it, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) displayed signs of being in existential angst.
Though it won the 13th general election on May 5 by securing the most parliamentary seats, BN lost the popular vote and failed to wrest back its two-thirds parliamentary majority in the face of Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) strong showing.
While BN was relieved to have been returned to power, the results were a body blow that sent it into deep introspection. A significant upshot has been a proposal to transform itself from the current model of a coalition of communal parties into a single, merged multi-racial entity.
Significantly, too, this idea came from no less than the secretary-general of Umno, the party that is the lynchpin of BN and the epitome of Malaysia’s communal politics. Given his key position, Datuk Tengku Adnan Mansor could well be reflecting an internal debate now spilling into the open.
Other Umno leaders who have begun to publicly float such “radical” views in the wake of the 2013 general election (GE13) are Datuk Nazri Aziz and Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, both members of the Umno supreme council and the previous Cabinet. While Tengku Adnan and Nazri successfully defended their parliamentary seats, Saifuddin lost his despite being known for his reformist views. Read the rest of this entry »
May 17, 2013
QUESTION TIME By now the cabinet has been appointed and while there are fresh faces, no one I have spoken to expects any drastic changes from the norm especially as Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is bound to face pressure from Umno delegates at the forthcoming Umno general assembly.
We seem to be going from one election to another and delaying much needed change accordingly. And as everyone knows by now, Umno delegates don’t at all represent the common voice of the Malays but posture to make it appear as if they do.
Thus it was that when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi got a massive mandate from the people in the 2004 elections, obtaining over 90 percent of parliamentary seats, he refrained from taking measures he promised because his advisers told him there will be a backlash from Umno delegates.
Ah, well, history repeats itself, especially when you don’t learn from it, and one can expect the pressures from within Umno to stop any push towards major change which will benefit the country as a whole without descending into the morass of race, religion and language.
For Pakatan Rakyat, very much still in opposition, the fight continues in earnest. But if it wants to wrest Putrajaya from Barisan Nasional, there are a number of things it has to do and its de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim will have to bear these in mind.
Pakatan would have made much more headway in the elections just past if they had focused on even half of this. But no matter, there is always still time and it is necessary to build on the gains if Malaysians are to see the two-party system emerge.
To my mind, a two-party system emerges only when there has been at least one change of power. That has not happened yet and here is our list of 10 things that Anwar must do if he wants a fair chance of Pakatan forming the next government. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
May 19, 2013
MAY 19 — You will never read from anywhere that brand Abraham Lincoln, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King as racists.
Abraham Lincoln pawned his life to fight against the enslavement of the African Americans, Nelson Mandela traded decades of his freedom to free South Africa from the shackles of the Apartheid policy and Martin Luther King paid for his life for the equal rights of Americans. Their detractors could call them any vile names they wished but never as a racist.
Only in Malaysia, the very people who do not condone racism and voted against it are labeled as racists. Over the decades, Umnno, led by Dr. Mahathir and his armada of mass media had been accusing DAP with its vision of “Malaysian Malaysia” as a bigoted political party, hell-bent to destroy the Malay.
The rakyat particularly the IT savvy urban-dwellers who ironically voted for the multiracial parties from Pakatan Rakyat in GE13 were branded as racists because they rejected the race-based political system where every race fights endlessly to defend their respective rights.
To put things into perspective, could anyone imagine any American being branded as racist if they do not endorse Ku Klux Klan, a white supremacist organization? Read the rest of this entry »
Mariam Mokhtar| May 19, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
Najib is impotent when tackling corruption, or defusing racial and religious tensions. His weakness as a leader is reflected in the Cabinet line-up
Najib Tun Razak’s defence of the Malay daily Utusan Malaysia which displayed a provocative headline, “What more do the Chinese want?” does nothing for national reconciliation, something which Najib promised to address, after GE-13.
Trying his best to placate an increasingly cynical public, Najib vowed to be a prime minister for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, state or political views.
He said, “I love my country …… We will also continue to promote moderation among multiracial Malaysians and place great importance on racial harmony and national unity.”
Despite the sweet talk, he refused to censure Utusan, but said, “You blame Utusan but you don’t ask about the Chinese papers.”
If Najib was adamant that both the Malay and Chinese newspapers were stoking racial hatred, the right thing would have been to punish both papers.
Najib is impotent when tackling corruption, or defusing racial and religious tensions. His weakness as a leader is reflected in the Cabinet line-up. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysia in “best of times, worst of times” – call on Malaysians to keep faith and hope in moment of despair and to press on until victory is achieved for change of government and policies
The two weeks of Malaysia since the 13GE on May 5 is best described by Charles Dickens in the opening paragraph of his historic fiction of the French Revolution, A Tale of Two Cities (a book written 154 years ago and which has sold over 200 million copies):
“IT WAS the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way…”
It was “the best of times” for Malaysia, when Malaysians, transcending race, religion, region, class, gender and age, were united in the hope of change of government and policies; but it was “the worst of times” when such hopes were crushed by the dirtiest general election in the nation’s 56 year history.
It was “the spring of hope” when Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender and age dare to dream the Malaysian Dream where there is an end to the politics of race, corruption, cronyism, abuses of power and all forms of injustices; but it was “the winter of despair” with one post-13GE drivel after another from those re-established in power about “Chinese tsunami”, “Chinese taken for a ride”, “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu” and the latest challenge to patriotic Malaysians to “Migrate elsewhere” if they are not satisfied with the country’s electoral system, demonstrating that the evil tentacles of the old politics of race, lies and fear are still very much alive and powerful.
The “Light” in the epoch of “Darkness”, when there is so much disappointment, outrage and anger in the country at the 13GE results that Datuk Seri Najib Razak could be sworn in as Prime Minister with 47% of popular vote while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is denied the highest office in the land with 51% of the popular vote, is the accelerated political awakening of Malaysians, particularly the young generation of Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region and class, coming out in their tens and hundreds of thousands to demonstrate their commitment to bring about peaceful and democratic change in the country. Read the rest of this entry »
by Oon Yeoh
May 15, 2013
Much has been written about MCA and Gerakan’s decision not to join the cabinet following their poor performance in the recently concluded general elections.
Some commentators have said that because Malaysia is a multiracial country, there must be Chinese representation in the cabinet to look after Chinese needs. That’s an interesting notion because MCA and Gerakan ministers have never assumed the position of Chinese affairs minister or anything like that. Such a position doesn’t exist.
They take up other positions like transport minister or health minister or energy, water and communications minister. So, how do they look after Chinese interests if their job is to look after transportation, health or energy, water and communications issues?
Perhaps, they can speak up about Chinese-related issues privately to the prime minister. But do they have to be in the cabinet to speak the PM about such issues? Aren’t there other channels to highlight such issues besides being in the cabinet?
In fact, if the PM really wanted to understand Chinese concerns, he should speak to opposition leaders for it’s obvious they have a better handle of Chinese grouses than MCA or Gerakan leaders.
Besides, if it’s Chinese representation in the cabinet that people are worried about, the prime minister can always appoint prominent members of the Chinese community as senators and make them ministers.
But who exactly is calling for Chinese representation in the cabinet? Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for it. So has Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin. Columnist Azman Ujang has done so, too. Read the rest of this entry »
by Kee Thuan Chye
THE young are not happy with the result of the 13th general election (GE13) held on May 5. I saw that for myself at the ‘Black 505’ rally in Penang on May 11, at which most of the participants were young people – of all races.
They came by the tens of thousands, carrying Pakatan Rakyat and Malaysian flags, blowing vuvuzuelas … and sporting banners that spoke of the unity they profess: “We are Malaysian – Malay, Chinese, Indian.” For them, the race-based politics of the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) is anathema.
In that sense, the ‘Black 505’ rallies, which have since been held in Selangor, Penang and Perak to tremendous responses have become more than just demonstrations of disgust at the alleged electoral fraud of GE13; they are also manifestations of a real sense of unity among like-minded Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »
— R. Yang
The Malaysian Insider
May 13, 2013
MAY 13 — On the night of May 5, the outcome of the election was somewhat predictable — the slow release of the electoral results coupled with huge contradiction between the official and unofficial results. We were filled with disbelief, disappointment and anger towards to failure of the caretaker government and the affiliated public institutions to ensure a clean and fair election.
On May 6 evening, there was news that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) calling for a mass rally at the Kelana Jaya stadium. Upon arriving back in Singapore on May 7, my friends IV and BF informed me of their intention of participating in what would be a maiden rally for them. With little hesitation, we took the decision to be part of the historical moment in Malaysia. I informed my manager on my decision to take urgent leave and, delightfully, he wished me all the best for the trip.
On May 8 afternoon, BF and I rented a car in Johor Baru and started the journey of 400km at 3pm. In general, everything was smooth. We were stopped by policemen at Seremban who asked us where we were heading to. “Shah Alam,” I said and we were released. Some wrong exits were made but fortunately we managed to pick IV and continued our journey to the stadium.
At 7.30pm traffic was crawling along the North-South Expressway at the Subang exit. It took us more than 45 minutes to travel the final 2km and the cars weren’t moving at all after the toll. It was 8.15pm. Some drivers abandoned their cars and walked. We were lucky to locate a spot to park the car and headed to the stadium. Read the rest of this entry »
May 12, 2013
The dust is beginning to settle one week after the dirtiest election in the country’s history. Some of the dirt will stick, while others will hopefully wash away as the memory of the election fades.
My earlier pieces have focussed on the questions about the electoral process and impact of an Umno ‘victory’. Here I turn to the effects of the election on the expansion of democracy in Malaysia.
The message is one of strength, not weakness, or hope, rather than despair. Read the rest of this entry »
— Foong Wai Fong
The Malaysian Insider
May 12, 2013
MAY 12 — My brother and his friend picked me up from Saujana and we proceeded slowly over to the Kelana Jaya Museum. None of us were speaking much as it was a solemn and sad occasion; it is like we are going
for a wake… to mourn the death of democracy.
I truly felt how the family of Tan Beng Hock felt when they were told that their son “committed suicide.”
On the morning of May 6th even pass midnight of May 5th, that was how we felt, “ PR Lost.” The whole process of announcing the result make you feel that they forced it down your throat, “ I said you lose, so you lose.”
How different is this from the way they treated the death of Tan Beng Hock.
My brother and I, and some of our other friends felt we just have to be at the Kelana Jaya Rally. Read the rest of this entry »
Alyaa Azhar| May 10, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang says his statement with regard to a possible DAP-BN coalition was misconstrued by the Chinese press.
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang today said that newspaper headlines in Chinese press were to blame for a misconception that he wanted to form a coalition government with the Barisan Nasional.
“I was told that I have been the target of attacks in the social media for betraying the people. I have done nothing to justify that. The fault actually lies with the Chinese newspapers headlines, mixing two separate issues – first if DAP will join BN to replace MCA, and secondly the separate proposal of a BN-PR coalition government,” Lim told a press conference today.
Lim said that Sin Chew’s frontpaged headline gives readers, who only read the first headline, the impression that he supports the idea of DAP joining BN to replace MCA.
The main headline reads: ‘Lim Kit Siang: Can have coalition government with BN’ while the sub-heading reads: ‘Condition: Accept PR’s election manifesto’.
He said that Sin Chew and it sub-editors should be careful in ensuring that their primary headlines do not create misconceptions.
“They cannot assume that readers will read the full contents or even the sub-headings. You know how it is nowadays, most people only read the primary headline and not the full report,” he said.
He added that to avoid misunderstanding, both the main headline and sub-headings should not vary drastically. Read the rest of this entry »
Athi Shankar| May 10, 2013
Free Malaysia Today
Lim Guan Eng accuses Umno of trying to break up the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.
GEORGE TOWN: DAP has no interest in joining Barisan Nasional for posts, said Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng in a statement here today.
This is because, he said DAP struggled for principles and people-centric policies not positions and personal interests.
He claimed that BN was using underhand tactics to split up Pakatan Rakyat by inviting DAP to join the coalition.
He stressed DAP’s urgent priority of polls reform that respected the “one-man, one-vote, one-value” principle would not be undermined by such underhand tactics.
He claimed that Pakatan’s failure to wrest the federal government from BN despite garnering more popular votes demands urgent polls reforms.
He said Pakatan was willing to co-operate with BN to implement polls reform to reflect the unhappiness of majority Malaysians, who voted for change and yet discover that despite winning the popular votes, they could not vote out BN. Read the rest of this entry »
ABC Radio Australia
10 May 2013, 21:47 AEST
Malaysia’s opposition is planning several political gatherings across the country this month, over last Sunday’s disputed national elections.
The protests could be the most provocative challenge to the Malaysian government in years.
Mr Lim Kit Siang, a veteran senior member of the DAP, a component of the three-party Pakatan Rakyat, told Asia Pacific that the Opposition is studying allegations of fraud in between twenty to thirty constituencies.
Mr Lim, who caused a political upset last Sunday by winning a seat in Johor state against the incumbent chief minister, says media reports of a ‘wave of protests’ are erroneous.
Presenter: Sen Lam
Speaker: Lim Kit Siang, member of parliament for Gelang Patah, and senior member of the opposition Democratic Action Party
LIM: Well, we’re having ceramahs (meetings) in order to explain to the people the electoral fraud, as well as the latest political situation in the country. I had one last night for instance, a DAP ceramah. Of course people are angry and frustrated that the election process has been so unfair, not having a level playing field, that has deprived the country of a government that they wanted – which is a replacement of the present government and prime minister.
LAM: Are you concerned that such ongoing protests might lead to national instability?
LIM: Well, we definitely do not want an ‘Arab spring’ in the sense of having national incidents and all that. We want to continue to have peaceful and orderly process, where there can be public meetings to explain to the people the latest political developments in the country, including the electoral fraud. Read the rest of this entry »
by Dr. Lim Teck Ghee
Finally the general election is over. For politicians and analysts, the work of number crunching, deciphering the results and trying to understand the choices made by voters is just beginning.
Some conclusions are easy to arrive at. Firstly, despite a skewed electoral playing ground and the rolling out of more than RM2.6 billion worth of financial and other incentives to voters, the BN could not improve on its 2008 performance. Although it regained power in one state and has a comfortable majority at parliamentary level, its share of state and parliamentary seats has been substantially reduced. Had a fair election prevailed, it would have been consigned to the opposition benches. In fact BN lost the popular vote count by a substantial margin nation-wide. In most if not all electoral systems found in the world, it would have been booted out of office. In our case, it came dangerously close to it. Read the rest of this entry »
— Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2013
MAY 9 — Speaking at a news conference a day after the release of the results of the general election, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stressed that: “On the whole, the people’s decision this time shows a trend of voting polarisation…This worries the government, because if it’s not handled well, it could spark tension.” These comments were made in light of the premier’s knee-jerk observation that the increasingly politicised Chinese community have now swung towards the opposition unlike Malays who are firmly in support of Barisan Nasional (BN).
Compelling as such reasoning can be, Najib’s reflex reaction towards BN’s worst defeat since 1969 masks the deeper nuances of voting patterns and trends in Malaysia. While the results of the 13th general election (GE13) provide evidence that the Chinese-Malay divide in Malaysian politics has indeed manifest itself at the ballot box, there are other developments within the Malay populace in the country that have become more apparent and may follow a more protracted course in the coming years.
The rural-urban divide is the most obvious phenomenon that has emerged among the Malay electorate. Read the rest of this entry »
By Leslie Lau
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2013
The Pakatan Rakyat rally in Petaling Jaya last night saw a very multiracial crowd. — Picture by Saw Siow MengMAY 9 — As if offended by all the post-election Chinese-bashing, a truly Malaysian crowd turned out last night at a stadium in Petaling Jaya to send a chilling message to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.
The message was many ordinary Malaysians wanted an end to the race debate surrounding Sunday’s vote in Election 2013.
Instead of election fatigue many voters were galvanised by what they saw as unfair and dishonest polls as well as an attempt by BN to blame the Chinese.
Those who attended last night’s rally did not care about the police calling the gathering illegal.
And not all were loyal supporters of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, or card-carrying members of the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties.
Chances are of course that they voted for PR parties.
But there were many young Malaysians and it was multiracial in nature.
This should serve as a warning to politicians that playing the race card is a strategy of diminishing returns. Read the rest of this entry »
by Mariam Mokhtar
May 6, 2013
It is widely believed that a happy and contented Singaporean is one who has achieved the 5Cs – cash, credit card, car, condominium and country club.
In neighbouring Malaysia, the victorious Umno Baru leader is defined by the 6Cs; corruption, chaos, cheating, cronyism, cowardice and concubine.
BN head Najib Abdul Razak injected many millions of ringgit into the country to secure a victory, and unleashed a violent campaign of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to defend Putrajaya. In the end, he only managed a ‘win’ by a handful of seats.
For many Umno Baru leaders, the effort has been worthwhile because the alternative is a long spell behind bars.
Ironically, the worst damage inflicted on Najib and BN, was Najib’s own ‘1Malaysia’ slogan.
Malaysians are fairly reticent people and not known for outward displays of public-spiritedness, but yesterday, in the true spirit of ‘1Malaysia’, Malaysians of all races were united in defending their polling stations against foreign ‘phantom’ voters. Read the rest of this entry »
The Malaysian Insider
May 06, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 ― Barisan Nasional’s (BN) weaker showing in Election 2013 points to a strong wave of rejection from all Malaysians and not just from the minority Chinese, a former editor of the Umno-owned New Straits Times said today.
Datuk A. Kadir Jasin observed that the 13-party coalition not only drew fewer seats in the 222-member Dewan Rakyat and 12 state assemblies in yesterday’s general election compared to 2008, but also lost the popular vote for the first time since polls in 1969.
“Is it not possible that this is not a Chinese tsunami or racial chauvinism but a Malaysian tsunami that is centred on the aspiration and new reality, especially among young voters?” the man who had been group editor-in-chief of the public-listed News Strait Times Press during the Mahathir administration wrote in his blog.
BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak had alluded to a “Chinese tsunami” in an immediate speech just after midnight when the Election Commission announced the BN as winners by a simple majority, but the veteran journalist today brushed aside the perception as unlikely. Read the rest of this entry »
FMT Staff| May 5,2013 FMT
Free Malaysia Today
Pakatan Rakyat says that it would not accept the results, blaming the EC for manipulating the polls to ensure a BN victory.
PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional has formed the federal government by winning 134 out of 222 seats. In 2008, it won 140 seats.
Pakatan Rakyat meanwhile won 88 seats – six more than their total in 2008.
DAP emerged as the biggest winner among Pakatan parties, romping home to win 38 seats. PKR won 29 seats while PAS brought home 21 seats.
In 2008, PKR was the biggest winner with its 31 seats, followed by DAP (28) and PAS (23). Read the rest of this entry »