Archive for category Parliament

Tempers in Parliament as Putrajaya pushes through 4 bills late night

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
9 April 2015

Tempers flared at the Parliament tonight as opposition lawmakers attempted to end the meeting at 11.30pm as the government tried to push through four more bills.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo led the opposition charge and demanded sitting be suspended as Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Wahid Omar attempted to wrap up the debate on the Malaysian Aviation Commission Bill 2015.

“It is not fair to debate four more bills tonight. And we finish at 4am. Tomorrow we have a very important Bill to discuss,” the DAP lawmaker said, referring to the amendments to the Sedition Act which is due for debate at tomorrow’s sitting.

“What is the urgency here? We cannot do it. We cannot debate it. We are not giving justice to the people.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Sedition Act revisions worst ever attack on free speech, lawyers say

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
April 8, 2015

Amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 that allow people to be jailed up to 20 years for their remarks is an attempt to stifle all dissent, according to lawyers who dubbed these the “most serious” attack on freedom of speech Malaysia has ever seen.

Civil liberties lawyer Syahredzan Johan also questioned the denial of bail for suspects charged with sedition offences that cause bodily injury or property damage, saying that while prosecutors may try to justify this, it should be the courts’ discretion to decide.

“This Bill makes for a chilling read,” Syahredzan told Malay Mail Online.

“I would say that it’s the most serious assault on freedom of speech and expression that we have seen in this country,” the lawyer added.

Under the Sedition (Amendments) Bill 2015 that was tabled in Parliament yesterday, those who cause bodily harm or property damage with their sedition crimes will now face jail terms of between five and 20 years. Those convicted of general sedition crimes face imprisonment of between three and seven years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Putrajaya has no respect for judiciary, says Ambiga after Sedition Act changes

Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
8 April 2015

The people need to understand how little respect Putrajaya has for the country’s judiciary, said former Bar Council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, after the government yesterday tabled amendments to the Sedition Act, which will also include refusing bail to those charged under the colonial-era law.

She said Putrajaya did not seem to care that the constitutionality of the act was being challenged in the court by academic Dr Azmi Sharom and as such, any amendments to it was “absolutely appalling”.

Azmi was charged under Section 4(1)(b) and Section 4(1)(c) of the Act over his comments in a news article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”.

Azmi then filed an application, saying that Section 4 was unconstitutional and violated Article 10 of the Federal Constitution, which guarantees freedom of speech. The case was referred to the Federal Court.

“The Sedition Act is being challenged by Azmi with the argument that it is unconstitutional and is, therefore, null and void,” she said in a forum titled “What is a moderate Malaysia for Malaysians?” in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur last night.

“And what does the government do before the decision by the court? They put in amendments. They don’t care what our federal courts have to say about the Sedition Act. To me, this is absolutely appalling.”

Ambiga, who is the patron of people’s movement Negara-ku, said Putrajaya had not discussed the amendments with any stakeholders, including civil society and the opposition, before tabling the amendments which were “extreme”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks to DAP’s opposition and PKR support, Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation will not be passed in Parliament next week

Thanks to DAP’s opposition and PKR support, PAS President and MP for Marang, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation will not be passed in Parliament next week.

It is now more than two weeks since the initial claims of the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong that the Cabinet had discussed and taken a stand to oppose Hadi’s private member’s bill and that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would come out with an unequivocal statement declaring UMNO/BN’s opposition to Hadi’s private member’s bill.

But these claims have been debunked by two events:

Firstly, Najib’s 15-day silence on the issue, as Liow and Mah had leaked the “exclusive news” that the Prime Minister would be making such an announcement two Fridays ago on 20th March 2015;

Secondly, the denial by three UMNO Ministers, the Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, the International Trade and Industry Minister, Datuk Mustapha Mohamad and the Youth Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin that the Cabinet had discussed, let alone taken a stand on, Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation.

These three UMNO Ministers are virtually calling Liow a “liar” with the MCA President insisting today (Sin Chew) that the Cabinet had discussed Hadi’s private member’s bill at its meetings on March 20 and 27. Read the rest of this entry »

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The seven anti-terrorism bills for download and scrutiny

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Defer the seven anti-terrorism bills for debate in next Parliamentary meeting starting on May 18 while establish Select Committee to study and make recommendations

Today’s arrest of two more editors, Edge publisher Ho Kay Tat and The Malaysian Insider (TMI) chief executive Jahabar Sadiq, in addition to the arrest of three senior TMI editors, Lionel Morais, Amin Shah Iskandar and Zulkifli Sulong yesterday are the latest in the police crackdown in the past week and a campaign to impose the reign of white terror in the country.

These arrests raise one disturbing question – whether the police and the government-of-the-day can be trusted with untrammelled powers, like the one they are asking under the anti-terrorism laws.

This question could not have come at a more appropriate time as Parliament was presented with seven anti-terrorism bills, which would empower the Executive with the untrammelled power of indefinite detention without trial that cannot be challenged in court. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three possible outcomes in Parliament for Hadi’s private member’s bill on hudud implementation

There are three possible outcomes in Parliament for PAS President and MP for Marang Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill on hudud implemention which was submitted on March 18, totally against the Pakatan Rakyat Leaderhip Council decision on February 8, where Hadi was present, that any private member’s bill on hudud implemenation should first be presented to the PR Leadership Council for discussion.

Up to now, despite the passage of 12 days, DAP and PKR MPs have not seen or any idea about Hadi’s private member’s bill.

These three scenarios are:

Firstly, Hadi’s private member’s bill will be ruled out of order as being against the Federal Constitution and not appear on the Parliamentary Order Paper on April 2, 2015, after fulfilling the 14-day requirement for private member’s bill as provided by the Parliamentary Standing Orders.

Secondly, Hadi’s private member’s bill will appear on the daily Parliamentary Order Paper from April 2 until the end of the current meeting on April 9, but will not be given time for debate as the official business of various government bills, in particular the trove of six Bills dealing with terrorism and related laws, i.e. Prevention of Terrorism Bill 2015, Special Measures Against Terrorism in Foreign Countries Bill 2015, the Criminal Procedure Code (Amendment) Bi8lll 2015, the Prevention of Crime (Amendment) Bill 1959, the Security Offences (Special Measures) Amendment Bill 2015, and the Penal Code (Amendment Bill) will take up all the parliamentary time up to April 9.

Thirdly, a debate and vote on Hadi’s private member’s bill. Read the rest of this entry »

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Committee of Privileges should haul up IGP Khalid over the police breach of parliamentary privilege over false arrest of Nurul Izzah and to decide how the police could purge itself for utter contempt for institution of Parliament

I hope to highlight several issues which the veteran MP from Gua Musang Tengku Razaleigh on Monday said has caused a “historic juncture” as Malaysia’s economic and political situations are in a “gridlock” and teetering on crisis.

Firstly, the police arrest of two MPs, the DAP MP for Rasah Teo Kok Seong on Saturday and the PKR MP for Lembah Pantai Nurul Izzah Anwar on Monday, and their overnight remand at the Jinjang Police Station, and in the case of Kok Seong, the police sought another four-day remand but the magistrate only allowed remand for another day.

The police knew well beforehand that Kok Seong and Nurul would be reporting at the Dang Wangi Police station but on the day in question, the police did absolutely nothing to record their statements after their formal arrest, in order to justify an overnight remand for both at the Jinjang Police Station.

This is not police efficiency and professionalism at their best, but police pettiness and vindictiveness at their worst.

Nobody blames the police personnel at Wang Dangi for such petty and vindictive abuse of police powers, showing utter contempt and disrespect not only to Kok Siong and Nurul but also the institution of Parliament!

Nobody believes that the ordinary police rank and file are capable of such pettiness and vindictiveness against MPs. I do not believe that senior police officers would want to exhibit such police pettiness and vindictiveness which do not reflect well on police efficiency and professionalism – and such police abuses of power and contempt for MPs, particularly from Pakatan Rakyat, can only come from the command of one person, the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should come to Parliament himself to answer personally criticisms by Mahathir and others and not through a proxy or underling

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim told Malaysiakini that he would answer former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir’s criticisms about the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, especially with regard to the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and Najib’s family wealth in Parliament tomorrow.

Najib should come to Parliament himself to answer personally criticisms by Tun Mahathir and others and not through a proxy or underling, even though a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

I do not believe previous Prime Ministers in Malaysia, or Prime Ministers and heads of government in other countries, need to depend on their underlings to answer criticisms directed at them.

Why is the Prime Minister not prepared to face Members of Parliament to answer the mountain of criticisms against him, from both inside UMNO and outside? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Najib administration has become a hydra-headed government with Ministers and heads of departments giving different stands on a whole variety of issues

The Najib administration has become a hydra-headed government with Ministers and heads of government giving different stands on a whole variety of issues.

The present meeting of Parliament is providing multiple examples of a hydra-headed government.

For instance, the Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi in a written answer to the DAP MP for Kulai, Teo Nie Ching, said police have completed investigations on incendiary statements by Umno leaders, the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and the former Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim and are waiting for further instructions from the Attorney-General.

A total of 32 police reports were lodged against Ismail over his call for Malay consumers to boycott Chinese businesses as a way to force down the prices of goods while ten police reports were lodged against Mashitah, who had said that Chinese people had burned the Quran in a religious rite in Kuala Kedah, which was a downright lie as it never happened.

But while the Home Minister said that the Police are waiting for instructions from the Attorney-General, another Minister, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, cleared Ismail Sabri of any offence or any crime! Read the rest of this entry »

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Auditor General Ambrin must buck up as six-day inaction on investigation into 1MDB dereliction of duty

The Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang must buck up and get on with his work and responsibility as the six-day inaction on investigations into the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal is a major dereliction of duty.

Malaysians want to know why the Auditor-General has not swung into immediate action to investigate into the biggest financial scandal in the nation’s history after the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak had directed him on Wednesday to independently verify 1MDB’s accounts
Malaysians can still remember the poor and unacceptable reasons given by Ambrin last November why he was not auditing 1MDB accounts.

This was what Ambrin said on November 12, 2014 at a media session in Kuala Lumpur in conjunction with the third series of the auditor’s report 2013:

“My answer is as far as their accounts are concerned, it has already been audited by one of the big four (audit firms), so there is no reason why we should ask them to open up their books because auditing financial statements is very laborious (with) examination of documents and things like that.”

Ambrin was rightly flayed in the media for “passing the buck to The Big Four”, and “lectured” that if auditors were infallible, there would be no financial scandals in the world. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why is the Police fighting a losing war with Islamic State – has IS developed a local leadership structure in Malaysia with dedicated recruiters scouting for new recruits for the terrorist movement in Syria and Iraq?

Yesterday, the Police announced that “A civil servant said to be one of the most senior Islamic State (IS) members in Malaysia and a 29-year-old housewife who recruited a 14-year-old girl into the militant movement are among three people detained by Bukit Aman”.

The 39-year-old civil servant was arrested by the Bukit Aman Special Branch Counter-Terrorism Division in Kuala Lumpur on Monday while the housewife was picked up in Muar on Saturday.

The third suspect – a 22-year-old trader – was also arrested in Perak on Monday.

The civil servant, described by the police as “a senior IS member with direct links to Malaysians in Syria”, is believed to have used his position to recruit members to ensure the local militant network ran smoothly.

This is most shocking news. How “senior” is the civil servant who was arrested, and who are the more “senior” IS leaders in Malaysia?

Malaysia are entitled to ask: Why is the Police fighting a losing war with Islamic State – has IS developed a local leadership structure in Malaysia with dedicated recruiters scouting for new recruits for the terrorist movement in Syria and Iraq? Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet tomorrow must decide whether to establish RCI headed by Zaid Ibrahim into RM42 billion 1MDB scandal or give support for full-scale PAC public inquiry taking priority over all other PAC agendas

Will the Cabinet meeting tomorrow hide and run from the biggest financial scandal in the country and the issue which is casting the greatest cloud and doubt on the credibility, integrity and good governance of the Malaysian Prime Minister and government, both nationally and internationally – the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal?

The Cabinet tomorrow should give special focus to the 1MDB scandal, and either decide to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by former Law Minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim and other independent credible Malaysians into the 1MDB scandal or give support for a full-scale PAC inquiry into 1MDB scandal, taking priority over all other PAC agendas.

The five Pakatan Rakyat MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Deputy PAC Chairman Dr. Tan Seng Giaw (Kepong – DAP); Kamarul Baharin Abbas (Telok Kemang – PKR); Kamaruddin Jaffar ( Tumpat – PAS), William Leong Jee Keen (PKR – Selayang) and Tony Pua (PJ Utara – DAP) want a PAC hearing on 1Malaysia Development Bhd so that the Finance Ministry-owned firm’s past and present chief executives and auditors would be held accountable.

Even the PAC Chairman Datuk Nur Jazlan Muhamad (Pulai) has recently changed his stand on the 1MDB scandal and wants the Auditor General’s Department to immediately carry out an audit of the government-owned 1MDB’s deals before PAC calls up the company.

But this is all before the latest shock expose that Sarawak Report website with London’s Sunday Times newspaper have completed an in-depth investigation into the trail of the missing billions at the heart of the 1MDB scandal, claiming to have obtained access to thousands of documents and emails relating to 1MDB transactions which the company had attempted to wipe clean from its computers and servers at the end of last year.

This development has changed the picture completely. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to announce before Chempaka by-election nomination on March 10 that UMNO will not contest in any Permatang Pauh by-election arising from Anwar’s disqualification to demonstrate his commitment to promote Malaysian unity and not just Malay unity

When the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced on Wednesday that UMNO will not contest the Chempaka State Assembly by-election in Kelantan caused by the death of Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, he said this was to promote Malay unity.

I responded in a series of four tweets, viz:

• Expected in my pre-Cabinet Open Letter yesterday;

• Should announce same to show bona fide! http://goo.gl/2dnOqx No decision on Permatang Pauh yet, says Najib (MMO).

• UMNO decision to stay out of Chempaka welcome but it should herald a virtuous cycle of national unity/reconciliation.

• Make it national unity, not just Muslim unity, Kit Siang tells Umno (MMO).

Najib’s announcement took no one by surprise as it was very much to be expected at this stage of UMNO power play and the plot by certain UMNO leaders to cause a break-up of Pakatan Rakyat by promoting the “UG” (Unity Government) concept of UMNO-PAS Government. 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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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 proposes a two-day special Parliament meeting on Jan 26 and 27 on the revised 2015 Budget instead of Najib unilaterally announcing restructuring of the 2015 Budget in utter contempt not only of Parliament but also of Cabinet

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, seemed bent on announcing his restructured 2015 Budget tomorrow.

This will mean that the revised 2015 Budget is made not only without parliamentary sanction or approval, but also without Cabinet approval or sanction.

This is because the Cabinet would only meet the day after on Wednesday, January 21 2015.

This is most irregular and improper, revising the 2015 Budget after the Dewan Rakyat had approved the original budget on Nov. 25 after more than a month of debate, both on general policy as well as during the detailed committee stage, by MPs from both the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat in the Dewan Rakya

This could only mean that what the MPs from both BN and PR had said on the 2015 Budget, both during the policy and committee stage debate, were an utter waste of time, resources and effort as far as the Finance Minister was concerned!

Now Najib proposes to announce his revised 2015 budget tomorrow, when clearly it has not been cleared or approved by the Cabinet.
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It is not too late for Najib to convene a special meeting of Parliament to present the revised 2015 Budget

The question the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak must answer is why he is not convening a special meeting of Parliament to present the restructuring of the 2015 Budget.

As it is Parliament which approved the RM273.9 billion 2015 Budget, it is only right and proper, fully in accord with the principle of parliamentary democracy, that Najib should convene a special Parliament to present the restructured 2015 Budget because of the weakening of ringgit and the plunging oil prices.

It is not too late for Najib to do what is right, and convene a special meeting of Parliament to present the revised 2013 Budget as a special Parliament can be convened even within 48 hours. Otherwise, Najib would be showing utter contempt to Parliament and the principle of parliamentary democracy. 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
Malaysiakini

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
Malaysiakini

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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