Archive for category Pakatan Rakyat

As amendment bill to the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code has not yet been presented to Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council for study, suggest deferment of any presentation to Kelantan State Assembly this month

Overnight, the political position of Datuk Seri Najib Razak seemed to have undergone a sea-change for the worse, particularly with the London Sunday Times report on Sunday, March 1, 2015 that its joint in-depth investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal with Sarawak Report website had been completed and they had obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to 1MDB, including its initial joint venture with the little known oil company PetroSaudi International from 2009.

As the news portal Asian Sentinel as aptly headlined its report, “Emails Blow Malaysia’s 1MDB Fund Wide Open”, the joint investigations by Sunday Times London and Sarawak Report had foiled abrupt attempts by 1MDB at the end last year to call in all of its computers, employee laptops and servers to wipe them clean of all emails.

This evening, in an email interview with Malaysiakini, Sarawak Report editor and founder Clare Rewcastle Brown confirmed that she is in possession of “thousands documents” on the dealings of 1MDB and businessman Taek Jho Low’s role in the 1MDB which were neither “forged nor hacked” material.

Although these are body blows to Najib politically, he remains a paradox of being a very weak Prime Minister whose major policy initiatives had all been dismal failures but a strong UMNO President largely because no strong UMNO contender has emerged to threaten his position – unlike his predecessor Tun Abdullah Badawi who was both a weak Prime Minister as well as a weak UMNO President, setting the stage for his easy replacement.

However, the political dynamics and disequilibrium both inside UMNO and outside will increase in intensity, focusing immediate attention not only on the forthcoming national UMNO Divisional Meeting on March 8 but also on the Kelantan State Assembly scheduled to meet on March 18.

The greater the political pressures on Najib arising from a host of political, economic, financial and family scandals, the more Machiavellian UMNO leaders and strategists will be to distract public attention from their political woes, which means the doubling up of plots and conspiracies to try to destabilize, divide and destroy PAS and Pakatan Rakyat as promoting “UG” (Unity Government between UMNO and PAS) and the false lure of Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen offering support to Kelantan PAS for hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly this month. Read the rest of this entry »

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Hudud: Umno has trapped and shackled Pas

— P Ramakrishnan
The Malay Mail Online
March 2, 2015

MARCH 2 — No one dreamt that Pas would be easily enticed to cooperate with Umno. But Umno has its hidden agenda to break up Pakatan Rakyat in order to weaken the opposition.

It has promised to support Pas when the hudud bill is tabled on 18 March in the Kelantan state assembly. This is being taken as support for hudud — which is utterly fallacious.

What choice has Umno in this issue? Can it vote against the Pas hudud bill? It cannot! It has to prove to the Malays that it is for hudud. It would be suicidal for Umno not to vote with Pas. There are no two ways about it for Umno.

It is merely hoodwinking Pas into thinking that it is helping the Islamist party to implement hudud in Kelantan.

Umno’s strategy is meant not only to weaken Pakatan Rakyat by successfully creating dissension within the coalition, it has an ulterior motive as well. It is also to drive away non-Malay support for Pas, which was given freely on the basis of Pakatan’s agreed common platform. Read the rest of this entry »

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PAS-Umno unity: A bait and a bullet

Zurairi AR
The Malay Mail Online
March 1, 2015

MARCH 1 — Last week, Umno decided to not contest in the Chempaka by-election for the sake of “Muslim unity.” The seat fell vacant after the death of PAS spiritual adviser Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Deservedly, the suggestion was lauded by PAS information chief Mahfuz Omar not only with open arms, but with a cynical suggestion for Umno to just abstain from any future elections to end politicking and social schism, insisting that Malaysia would end up “more peaceful” afterwards.

Since when has Umno cared about “unity” in any sense? In the decades it has ruled the country, Umno has unashamedly leaned on divisive racial politics and policies.

Increasingly in recent years, Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) have even condoned divisive and incendiary remarks and actions of people friendly to them, doing nothing to quell racial and religious schisms but instead perpetuating them.

Umno is only showing its true colours. It has little interest in “national unity”, caring more about just “Muslim unity.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan Rakyat’s disintegration would mean Umno rules by default

― Liew Chin Tong
The Malay Mail Online
FEBRUARY 27, 2015

FEBRUARY 27 ― The potential disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat would mean Umno can continue its 60-year rule without challenge from a credible alternative or replacement. Umno has ruled the country since the first Federal Election on July 27, 1955.

The 2008 and 2013 elections have clearly shown that Malaysia is now in a 50-50 two-coalition competition, as far as elections are concerned. Yet the ruling coalition led by Umno is trying very hard to turn the clock back to a time when it was the sole power holder.

To turn the clock back, redelineation of electoral boundaries is high on the agenda of Umno leaders and the Election Commission. A constitutional amendment with two-thirds majority approval is required to increase the number of parliamentary seats. But Barisan Nasional has only 134 seats, which is 14 seats away from the two-thirds threshold.

So how can Umno do this? Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka by-election welcome but it should be forerunner to promote a virtuous cycle of national unity and reconciliation

The decision announced by the UMNO President and Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak after the UMNO Supreme Council meeting last night that UMNO will stay out of the Chempaka state by-election in Kelantan is most welcome although not for the reasons given.

Najib said that the decision was for the sake of Muslim “unity” as well as to allow the federal government to focus on its flood relief, rehabilitation and reparation works still in progress.

It is sad that 58 years after Merdeka, and six years after the launching of his 1Malaysia signature policy, Najib has retreated to talk about Muslim unity instead of Malaysian unity.

The UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka by-election should be a forerunner to promote a virtuous circle of moderation, tolerance, national unity and reconciliation, after a most prolonged, cacophonous and divisive period where the rhetoric of hate, intolerance, extremism and bigotry whether of race or religion, have held sway in the public domain raising disturbing questions about the future of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Let MCA and Gerakan Presidents explain whether MCA and Gerakan had agreed to Kelantan UMNO Assemblymen supporting PAS’s hudud legislation in Kelantan State Assembly next month as part of the UMNO strategy to break up Pakatan Rakyat?

The MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and the Gerakan President, Datuk Mak Siew Keong should explain whether MCA and Gerakan had agreed to Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen supporting PAS’ hudud legislation for implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly next month as part of the UMNO strategy to break up Pakatan Rakyat?

Suspicion of such an agreement has been caused by three developments:

• firstly, the sudden increase in the number of speeches and statements by all levels of MCA and Gerakan leaders on this issue in the past few days;

• secondly, the sudden two-hour meeting of the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council last Friday night within 24 hours of the death of Tok Guru Nik Aziz on the night of Thursday, 12th February, necessitating the holding of a by-election in the Chempaka state constituency; and

• thirdly a statement by a UMNO Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Deputy Umno Youth leader Razali Ismail on Tuesday, 17th February that “despite the death of PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, UMNO will continue to support the Islamic party on the implementation of hudud in Kelantan”.

So is the stage set for a “big drama” from the Barisan Nasional component parties for next month’s Kelantan State Assembly, with Kelantan UMNO State Assemblmen voting in support of hudud implementation in Kelantan but ignored by MCA and Gerakan leaders and publicists who will concentrate on their attacks on the DAP and PKR for “selling out the rights of the non-Muslims in Malaysia” because of PAS Kelantan State Assemblymen and women voting for implementation of hudud in Kelantan?

In the uproar and din of multi-party attacks and counter-attacks, accusations and counter-accusations, the inability of the Kelantan State Assembly to implement hudud unless Parliament authorizes it will be temporarily forgotten. Read the rest of this entry »

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Remembering ‘Tok Guru’

— Clive Kessler
The Malaysian Insider
February 16, 2015

FEBRUARY 16 — We go back a long way together, Tok Guru and I.

To the beginning, each of us after his own prior apprenticeship, of our ensuing public careers in our closely intertwined fields of work.

Two synchronous starts

His work, that is, of pursuing and exemplifying an identifiably “traditional” and committed Islamic life within the modern political world; and mine — born of a conviction, held against the grain and bias of prevalent academic attitudes at the time, that efforts such as that of Nik Aziz to “make Islam real in modern political life” needed to be understood — as a scholarly analyst of and commentator upon such things.

I was convinced that the new, and newly assertive, politics of Islam within, and even against, the modern world had to be studied, not dismissed as a mere relic of an earlier, now waning pre-modern political era. He, on his part, believed that that kind of Islamic politics needed to be pursued and deepened. Both of us took the matter seriously, and each of us was committed to his own part of that task.

The two parts were complementary, but not symmetrically so. His side of the challenge did not need me or mine; my part made sense, and could only exist, in relation to his.

Our careers came together as they began. As we began those two public journeys and careers, he as a noted Islamist politician and I as a student and observer of Islamic politics, in Kelantan in 1967. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including PAS President Hadi Awang, to focus single-mindedly on how to save Pakatan Rakyat and discourage efforts and elements within our ranks who are prepared to destabilize and even destroy PR

In my Chinese New Year Message on 17th February, I had said that many issues will jostle as the top Malaysian concerns and conversational topics during the Chinese New Year.

This is the third day of the Chinese New Year, and I confess that I had expected Anwar’s conviction and five-year jail sentence for Sodomy II by the Federal Court and his fourth incarceration in his 47-year political struggle as the No. 1 conversation topic of all Malaysians in the Chinese New Year.

I was however wrong, for another issue caught up and gained an edge over Anwar’s conviction and 5-year jail sentence to compete for the No. 1 Chinese New Year top conversation topic – another Federal Court decision concerning a nine-year-matter, the heinous murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu and the blowing up of her body with military C4 explosives in the Shah Alam bushes on Oct. 19, 2006.

On the day I issued my Chinese New Year Message on 17th February, Sirul Azhar, one of the two convicted murderers of Altantunya who had absconded and is seeking asylum in Australia, told Malaysiakini that he was mulling over the possibility of “telling all” about the Altantuya murder as he was only acting “under orders”.

The fast-paced five-day developments of the Altantuya murder case from the Sirul perspective, threatening to reveal “all” in a video conference from Australia tomorrow (Monday) morning, catapulted the issue into a greater cause celebre during the Chinese New Year family re-unions, get-togethers, discussions and coffee-shop talks than the Anwar case – although both these cases were unchallenged as the two top-most first and second conversation topics in the Chinese New Year.

These two high-profile cases highlighted a common defect in our system of governance – a deep rot in the leadership of the 130,000 strong police establishment in not allowing the men and women in blue to act efficiently, independently and professionally to uphold what is right and lawful rather to be subverted to glorify “might is right”’ and the shocking lack of commitment and quality of performance by the political leadership and public service to provide good governance.

I am thoroughly shocked and outraged at the failure of our system of administration of justice in both these high-profile cases in keeping with the maxim to ensure that “justice is not only done, but seen to be done”.

There were several burning issues which qualify to be described as the concerns and top conversation topics of all Malaysians on the occasion of the Chinese New Year of the Goat in the past few days, and among those competing for the second tier level of the Chinese New Year concerns and top conversation topics are: Read the rest of this entry »

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DAP’s SSS (Support Sympathy Solidarity) Anwar Ceramah has 3SAVE objectives – to save Anwar from prison, to save Pakatan Rakyat from disintegration and to save Malaysia from becoming a “failed state”

This is the third DAP SSS (Support Sympathy Solidarity) Anwar Ibrahim Ceramah, the first in Taman Cheras Jaya in Selangor on Sunday and the second at the Han Chiang School Hall in Penang last night.

DAP proposes to organize hundreds of SSS Anwar ceramahs, vigils, gatherings and events throughout the country in the next three years before the 14th General Elections with 3Save objectives – firstly, to save Anwar from prison, secondly to save Pakatan Rakyat from disintegration and thirdly, to save Malaysia from becoming a “failed state”.

Anwar has exhausted the judicial process and lost out when the Federal Court returned a shocking 5-0 unanimous decision to dismiss Anwar’s appeal, as even the most pessimistic about Anwar’s chances believing that he would lose in the Federal Court appeal had expected either a 3-2 verdict or at worst a 4-1 decision.

Everybody was floored by the unanimous 5-0 decision. There were not only no dissenting judgment, there was no other judgment from the five-member Federal Court quorum, apart from the single judgment by the Chief Justice, Tun Arifin Zakaria!

Anwar may have lost in the courts of the Malaysian judiciary, but he has won two battles in the first week of his five-year jail sentence – firstly, the court of public opinion in Malaysia and secondly, the court of international opinion, as it will not be easy to find another Federal Court judgment in the past two decades which had met with such instant universal condemnation, not only inside the country but also outside. Read the rest of this entry »

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From Sodomy I to Sodomy II – Malaysia regressing to the darkness and repression 17 years ago when the country should be moving forward to greater freedom, justice, prosperity and confidence after the passage of almost two decades

Wishing all Malaysian Chinese as well as Malaysians, regardless of race or religion, a Happy Chinese New Year as it is now a festivity celebrated by all Malaysians regardless of race and religion.

Chinese New Year, which begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice, has been described as the most important holiday for Chinese people worldwide.

In China, it is marked by the world’s largest annual human migrations with 2.8 billion trips made across the country in the mass exodus of students, migrant labourers, factory workers and office employees making their long journeys home to celebrate the Chinese New Year.

Chinese New Year in Malaysia has become a very Malaysian affair, despite its ethnic origins and associations.

In Malaysia, the Chinese New Year is also marked by major human migrations, but not confined to the Chinese as it affects other ethnic groups as well.

Many issues will jostle for top attention among Malaysians during the Chinese New Year. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters to save Pakatan Rakyat from latest UMNO/BN wiles by uniting behind a Eight-Year PR Roadmap to save Anwar

I call on all Pakatan Rakyat leaders and supporters to unite to save Pakatan Rakyat from the latest UMNO/Barisan Nasional (BN) wiles to sow discord and distrust among Pakatan Rakyat parties and leaders with the agenda to divide and destroy the most formidable challenge the ruling coalition had ever to face in its history.

The latest UMNO/BN gambit is to fully exploit Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s five-year incarceration and the passing of Tok Guru Nik Aziz resulting in two by-elections, the Permatang Pauh parliamentary and the Kelantan Chempaka State Assembly by-elections, with UMNO staying out of the Chempaka by-election but going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

This will be a revival of the plot by certain UMNO schemers and strategists to promote the UG concept or “unity government” of UMNO and PAS, but which have not been able to make much headway to date because of the staunch and uncompromising opposition from Nik Aziz.

To these UMNO schemers and strategists, the death of Nik Aziz brings new hope for their dormant “UG” conspiracy.

I am very intrigued however as what the promoters of “UG government” really meant, when it is obvious to all that there is no unity in UMNO itself, with former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir going all out to topple Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Umno President and Prime Minister of Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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UMNO/BN may stay out of Chempaka by-election in Kelantan to create disunity and distrust among Pakatan Rakyat parties while going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election

With the five-year jail sentence for Anwar Ibrahim upheld by the Federal Court on the day of infamy of February 10, 2015 (Tuesday), and the passing of Tok Guru Nik Aziz on Thursday night, two by-elections for the parliamentary seat of Permatang Pauh and the Kelantan State Assembly seat of Chempaka are shaping up.

However, the UMNO leadership is already orchestrating a new plot to try to further undermine Pakatan Rakyat and foment disunity and distrust among the PR parties through the ploy of UMNO/BN staying out of the Chempaka by-election in Kelantan while going all out in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.

UMNO leaders like the Umno Kelantan Chairman Datuk Mustapa Mohamad, the UMNO Youth leader Khairy Jamaluddin and even the Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong have been given the “green light” to sound out in public the proposal that UMNO/BN should stay out of the Chempaka by-election, giving all sorts of grand-sounding reasons to camouflage the political design behind such a move. Read the rest of this entry »

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Barisan once dangled DPM post if Anwar ditched Pakatan, says Nurul Izzah

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
15 February 2015

Barisan Nasional (BN) once offered the deputy prime minister’s post to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim if he abandoned Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which had won 52% of the popular vote in 2013, his daughter said last night.

PKR vice-president and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar told a ceramah in Penang that the offer was made during post-election reconciliatory talks.

“He was told to ignore PKR’s allies, PAS and DAP. Accept the offer, form a government… ‘que sera sera’ (whatever will be, will be), ‘kita bergembira bersama-sama’ (we be happy together).

“What decision did he make? He rejected the offer to the end because it dealt with the life and death of our struggles. As a coalition, we can only work together as long as it is based on principles,” she said at the ceramah in the Seberang Jaya expo site in Permatang Pauh where Anwar is the MP. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call for an eight-year commitment by three PR component parties to maintain the two principles which had been the recipe for PR success in its first six years – PR common policy framework and the operational principle of consensus

In the past two days, the predominant feeling of ordinary Malaysians of reason, common sense and good will is one of pain and shame at the injustice and outrage of the spectacle of a nationalist and patriot like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who had devoted 47 years of his life to the struggle for freedom, justice, human dignity and national unity, should be sentenced to a five-year jail term, returning to prison for a third incarceration in his life.

Ask Malaysians who are the top political leaders, past and present, they think should be languishing in jail for five years, many different names would be mentioned, but Anwar’s name will not be among them.

Anwar is now 67 years old. After the five-year jail sentence, he will be disqualified from standing for any elective office for another five years, knocking him out of the electoral arena till he is 77 years old.

This is cruel, heartless, repressive and oppressive, and only People’s Power can cut short Anwar’s present travail if the UMNO/BN federal government can be toppled in the 14th General Elections in three years’ time.

Malaysians nationwide should transform their pain and sorrow into strength and energy to knock out the Umno/BN Federal Government in the 14th General Elections, as this seems to be the only way to save Anwar from the decade of darkness of his third incarceration and disenfranchisement of his civil rights to vote and to stand for elections. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pakatan on knife-edge now Anwar in jail

The Malaysian Insider
11 February 2015

The jailing of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim dashes the dreams of millions of Malaysians yearning to oust the country’s authoritarian regime, unless his shell-shocked opposition movement can bridge deep differences without his unifying presence, analysts said.

The opposition, now without a leader, must continue its fight against a government that, despite a worsening reputation at home and abroad, is digging in its heels and looks unlikely to face any serious international repercussions for throwing the opposition leader behind bars.

Since it was formed seven years ago, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance has had little in common other than a desire to defeat Umno, which has ruled with a tight grip since independence in 1957.

PR’s ability to seize unprecedented swathes of parliament in recent elections allowed it to push aside questions over its cohesiveness, but no longer, said Ibrahim Suffian, Malaysia’s leading political pollster.

“Anwar’s jailing forces them to deal with those problems now. The question is whether they can,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia again in the international doghouse over the rule of law, democracy and human rights – no more terrible start for Malaysia this year as member of UNSC and Chairman of ASEAN

The 5-0 unanimous decision of the Federal Court yesterday rejecting Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal was not only a dishonour to Anwar’s 47-year patriotic service in furtherance of justice, freedom, human dignity and Malaysian nation-building, it was also a disservice to Malaysia’s international reputation as well as Vision 2020 for Malaysia to join the ranks of developed nations in five years’ time.

Thanks to the Federal Court on Anwar’s appeal yesterday, Malaysia is again in the international doghouse over the rule of law, democracy and human rights –no more terrible start this year for Malaysia with the double responsibility as member of the United Nations Security Council and Chairman of ASEAN.

The United States, United Kingdom, Canadian and Australian governments, the European Union (EU) as well as international press and human right bodies have all raised the red flag about Malaysia’s descent to a “rogue” state.

The White House national security council spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said the United States was “deeply concerned” with Anwar’s conviction and is concerned about the rule of law in Malaysia.

The United Kingdom’s foreign and commonwealth office said that apart from the integrity of the rule of law, Malaysia must embrace moderation and tolerance to succeed.

The High Commission of Canada in Kuala Lumpur notes that Anwar’s conviction has come at a time when “Canada and other countries have conveyed concerns regarding selective prosecutions, including the Sedition Act 1948”.

Even the Singapore Business Times editorialised that “public confidence in the judiciary has slipped to the point that few were shocked with yesterday’s outcome”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Facing possible jail time, Anwar concedes Pakatan’s future with younger leaders

By Zurairi AR
Malay Mail Online
February 10, 2015

PETALING JAYA, Feb 10 — Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim conceded last night that the future of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lies with its young leaders, hours before the Federal Court delivers a decision that might spell the end of his political career.

Speaking to over 1,000 supporters on the grand finale of the “Rakyat Hakim Negara” tour to drum up support for him, Anwar admitted that the recent friction among PR leaders was caused by old wounds that have festered over time.

“Sometimes, the older leadership is dragged by issues that are old and outdated … It is important that we give way to the young leadership in PR, because they are more forward-looking,” Anwar said from a stage erected on Dataran Petaling Jaya here.

“We should ensure that this new and young group can see the future of Malaysia with confidence, and not with outdated mindset that can pit one with each other.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Merit in suggestion that younger post-Merdeka generation of leaders should begin to take over leadership positions in DAP, PKR and PAS

In another 12 hours, we will witness another crucial milestone in a 17-year conspiracy to crush and destroy a Malaysian patriot and nationalist who have dedicated his entire life to the betterment of our country in furtherance of freedom, justice and human dignity.

If the 17 years of energy, effort, time and resources mobilized single-mindedly by the authorities for the destruction of one man had been devoted towards answering his challenge in the realm of ideas and public policies with regard to justice, freedom, development and human dignity, Malaysia would have been a much better and successful nation today!

Tomorrow, Anwar Ibrahim may leave the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya a free man or he may begin his third spell of incarceration.

Whatever the outcome, we want to assure Anwar that the battle for justice, freedom, human dignity and particularly in Malaysia, unity, harmony and peace of our multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-cultural population will press on until victory is achieved.
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If it ‘agrees to disagree’ so often, can Pakatan ever rule Malaysia?

by Sheridan Mahavera
The Malaysian Insider
9 February 2015

The fact that Pakatan Rakyat needs a special meeting to trash out differences on whether to have local council elections is an admission that they have found another critical issue where they have to “agree to disagree”.

Analysts said this raised questions of whether the six-year-old coalition was cohesive enough and ready to rule this country, as local council elections, unlike hudud, were in their common manifesto.

Hudud, the Kelantan Shariah criminal law, is special because it was passed in 1993 by the PAS-dominated state government and preceded PR’s formation in 2008.

Local government elections, some PR leaders said, were agreed upon by all coalition partners in the 2013 in its common policy framework, which is a manifesto of sorts.

So if these three parties are fighting over something they had already agreed upon as a coalition, one wonders what other points of agreement they are going to fight about if it took over federal power in the 14th general election.

“If this internal turmoil keeps going on, one wonders if they really are ready to replace Barisan Nasional,” said political scientist Dr Maszlee Malik. Read the rest of this entry »

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When did PAS Muktamar pass a resolution to oppose restoration of the third vote as since the seventies, PAS position in Parliament was to support restoration of local government elections?

The restoration of the 50-year suspension of local government elections is an important building block not only for democracy but also for plural nation-building in Malaysia.

It has nothing whatsoever with the 3Rs of race, religion or rulers, as some are trying to imply.

Like other countries, local government is concerned with the other 3Rs of “Rates, Roads and Rubbish” although the scope of local government responsibility has expanded by leaps and bounds worldwide, such as including community services like libraries and parks, tourism, urban renewal, community health services, accessible transport and pollution control.

Elected local government is to empower citizens with the democratic right to participate in the third tier of democratic governance to take ownership of the decision-making process about their immediate environs – serving as a training ground for citizens in the direct experience of democratic governance at the grassroots level.

The restoration of local government elections, or the third vote, has recently and suddenly become a subject of controversy, marked by many myths, misconceptions and downright lies. Let us deal with some of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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