Archive for category PAS

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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MCA and Gerakan have degenerated to be the most unprincipled parties in their history – even backing UMNO’s “UG” conspiracy and supporting Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen to vote for PAS hudud implementation in Kelantan State Assembly

Malaysian politics is going through one of the most tumultuous periods in the nation’s history – there is not only convulsion in UMNO, but also convulsion in PAS largely instigated by UMNO leaders and strategists with a two-pronged objective to distract attention from UMNO’s political turmoils as well as to divide and split PAS and Pakatan Rakyat with the false lure of “UG” government and hudud implementation in Kelantan.

This is the first time in Malaysian politics where political turmoils are taking place in UMNO and PAS at the same time. In the past, such political turmoils in UMNO and PAS had never coincided at the same time.

This time, the whole picture is also muddied with UMNO pro-actively instigating divisions within PAS and Pakatan Rakyat with the false lure of “UG” “unity government between UMNO and PAS) and UMNO support of PAS hudud implementation in Kelantan.

A new factor in the current political turmoil in the country is that Barisan Nasional component parties, in particular MCA and Gerakan, have degenerated to their most unprincipled stand in their party history – to the extent that MCA and Gerakan could even back UMNO’s “UG” conspiracy and support Kelantan UMNO State Assemblymen to vote for PAS hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly later this month. 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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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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Will Liow Tiong Lai and Mah Siew Keong notify the Cabinet today that their resignations from Cabinet would instantly come into effect when the Kelantan UMNO Assemblymen support PAS hudud legislation in Kelantan State Assembly next month?

Open Letter to MCA President Datuk Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong
25th February 2015 8 am

This is my third pre-Cabinet Open Letter for this month of February, but unlike the first two pre-Cabinet Open Letters to all Cabinet Minsiters, this is addressed specifically to the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, the Transport Minister and the Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong, the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department.

It is clear that the UMNO/BN strategists are taking full advantage of a possible change of political dynamics in Pakatan Rakyat with the death of Tuan Guru Nik Aziz and the imprisonment of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to refurbish and launch a devilish political plot to destabilize, divide and destroy the Pakatan Rakat which it rightly regarded as the greatest threat to the credibility and survival of the ruling coalition.

This latest UMNO/BN political plot has two phases, firstly and immediately to entice the PAS Kelantan State Government with UMNO support for the implementation of hudud legislation in Kelantan; secondly, the lure of “unity government” between UMNO and PAS.

This UMNO/BN political plot is a two-faced double prong one: on the one hand, UMNO promising and delivering support of UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen to PAS Kelantan State Government in the Kelantan State Assembly on the implementation of hudud legislation in Kelantan next month; while on the other, MCA and Gerakan launching an intensive three-week publicity war against the DAP and PKR for “betraying the rights of non-Malays and non-Muslims” in supporting PAS Kelantan State Government in hudud implementation in the Kelantan State Assembly next month.

Top MCA and Gerakan leaders have started the political offensives and the MCA and Gerakan will intensify in the coming three weeks, focusing on the Kelantan PAS State Government’s stand in the Kelantan State Assembly on hudud implementation in Kelantan while totally ignoring the support of the Kelantan UMNO Assembly members to hudud implementation in Kelantan. 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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‘Tok Guru’ Nik Aziz, the conscience of PAS

By Zurairi AR
The Malaysian Insider
February 13, 2015

‘Tok Guru’ Nik Aziz played a huge role in inter-racial reconciliations in Kelantan, and attracted even non-Muslim support for PAS and Pakatan Rakyat. ― File pic

OBITUARY, Feb 13 ― To others, he was known as Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

But to those who were fortunate enough to walk beside him, he was more fondly known just as “Tok Guru”.

It was an appropriate moniker for the soft-spoken leader, a quietly resilient man with an unassuming demeanour befitting his post as spiritual adviser of PAS, Malaysia’s largest Islamist party.

In PAS, Nik Aziz was revered as the party’s conscience and moral compass, often turned to for guidance.

Among fellow politicians, friend and foe alike, he was well-respected as a voice of reason and a symbol of humility. 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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Nik Aziz dianggap liberal dalam usaha pecah tembok perkauman, kata pemimpin PAS

The Malaysian Insider
18 February 2015

Sebelum sebahagian pemimpin dilabelkan sebagai liberal dan mengamalkan pluralisme agama, Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, mursyidul am PAS yang meninggal dunia Khamis lepas, terlebih dahulu menerima label sedemikian, kata Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Pengarah Pusat Penyelidikan PAS itu berkata, golongan agamawan, sama ada dari luar mahupun dalam parti PAS sendiri, tidak memahami strategi siasah dan pendekatan dakwah Nik Aziz dalam memecahkan tembok perkauman dan agama di negara ini.

“Hanya dengan ilmu yang mengizinkan Tok Guru meneroka dan merentas keluasan siasah dan dakwah serta faham batas-batasnya,” kata Dr Dzulkefly dalam satu tulisan sempena mengingati pemergian Nik Aziz, yang juga dikenali dengan panggilan Tok Guru, pada usia 84 tahun minggu lalu.

Label itu katanya, diterima Nik Aziz kerana orang tidak memahami pendekatannya yang luar biasa dalam menangani masyarakat plural dan pelbagai agama dan kaum di negara ini. Read the rest of this entry »

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Outpouring of sorrow, condolence messages on social media for Nik Aziz

by Looi Sue-Chern
The Malaysian Insider
12 February 2015

Minutes after news of his passing tonight, social media users, including national leaders and politicians, tweeted their condolences to the well-respected PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak expressed his sadness that Nik Aziz has passed on.

“Innalillahiwainnailaihirajiun. Saya sedih mendengar Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat telah pulang ke rahmatullah. Al-Fatihah.”

(I am sad to hear that Tok Guru Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat has returned to be with God. Al-fatihah.)

DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang tweeted that Nik Aziz’s passing was a great loss.

“Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat’s passing a great loss to nation. Deepest condolence to bereaved family. RIP. Al-FATIHAH,” he tweeted at 10.27pm.

DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng also tweeted: “Takziah kpd keluarga bekas MB K’tan Tok Guru Nik Aziz dan PAS serta ahli dan penyokong.”

(Condolences to the family of ex-Kelantan menteri besar Tok Guru Nik Aziz and PAS, as well as its members and supporters.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Nik Aziz, an obituary

The Malaysian Insider
12 February 2015

Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s death marks the loss of one of PAS’s most iconic and influential leaders – he was a cleric who has helped shape the course of the Islamist party for over three decades, and was a politician so unlike any other politician the country has seen.

Throughout his lifetime, Nik Aziz always struck a humble figure. Despite having the most powerful position in a party that boasted about one million members, and retaining the Kelantan menteri besar post for over two decades, the religious teacher was content staying in his old kampong house and driving around in his own car.

His gentle, subdued manner belied his fiery, bordering on zealous, determination to turn Kelantan into the first state in Malaysia to implement the controversial Shariah criminal law, as well as his instrumental role in overthrowing a former PAS president and turning the party around.

Even as his health deteriorated during his last months, the PAS spiritual adviser did not neglect his party during the recent Pengkalan Kubor by-election in Kelantan, and turned up at a PAS ceramah to deliver a brief but rousing speech. Read the rest of this entry »

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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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PAS veteran backs DAP’s third vote bid

The Malay Mail Online
February 3, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 3 — Despite his party president’s opposition, PAS veteran Datuk Wan Abdul Muttalib Embong has voiced support for DAP’s bid to restore local government elections.

The former lawyer who had also previously acted as the Islamist party’s legal adviser said withholding local elections from being carried out showed democracy was only being half-practised, Sinar Harian reported today.

“We don’t know what their structure is like but (what’s wrong) in in us giving democracy?

“Do you (the government) want 50 per cent democracy? Can’t be like that, you (as the government) are not transparent,” he was quoted saying by the Malay daily.

Wan Abdul Muttalib said since elections were already being held at the state and federal levels, the third vote should also be restored to show that Islamic administrators were also just. Read the rest of this entry »

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Four lies which UMNO front organisations and cybertroopers have been spreading about the DAP on the “third vote” issue in past week which must be debunked

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has today ordered the police to investigate a Twitter user for claiming that the disappearance of flight MH370 was a conspiracy and not an accident.

In a text message to Malaysiakini, Khalid said that the twitter user’s message was “disturbing” and had “bad intentions”.

“We are trying to calm down the next-of-kin. So if you don’t know what’s really going on with MH370, don’t just shoot your mouth off and say something senseless which is uncorroborated by evidence,” he said.

At 11.12 am today, a Twitter User put up a message on my Twitter account alleging that I had caused the May 13 race riots and that on May 12, 1969 I had said: “Melayu Balik Kampong. Melayu sekarang tiada kuasa. Sekarang kita Cina sudah control.”

This was an utter lie and falsehood as I was not in Kuala Lumpur on May 12, 1969. In fact, I was not in Kuala Lumpur from May 11 – 13, 1969 as Special Branch records can prove.

This mischievous and evil tweet is not the first of its kind, but the latest of a mountain of lies and falsehoods against DAP leaders by UMNO cybertroopers fomenting hatred, intolerance and extremism which will destroy Malaysia’s multi-racial and multi-religious fabric if not checked.

Khalid cannot be unaware of such dangerous tweets as I had publicly denounced such chicanery and dastard abuses of the social media several times before.

Why hasn’t Khalid instructed the Police against such Twitter users among the army of UMNO cybertroopers whose only mission is to spread and foment lies, hatred and extremism in Malaysia?

Does Khalid wants me to furnish proof of such mischievous Tweets before he would take action? Read the rest of this entry »

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Restoration of local government elections was a DAP issue in the Oct 1968 Segamat Utara by-election where Musa Hitam was first elected MP

A commentator Hafidz Baharom in his article “On Local Council Elections” in The Malaysian Insider yesterday asked:

“Why is the DAP suddenly asking to call for local council elections. Have they run out of friends in the NGOs to place on the local councils?

“To be frank, the timing for the call for local council elections is highly suspect particularly at a time when half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”.

I will fully agree with Hafidz that at a time when “half the country is trying to recover from floods; an economic ‘non-crisis’; and a government trying to reduce spending”, it would be highly suspect for the DAP “to suddenly…call for local council elections”.

Except that the DAP had not been “suddenly calling for local council elections” at a time when the country was trying to recover from the worst floods catastrophe within living memory. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kabinet harus tolak pendirian Rahman‎ Dahlan

– Lim Kit Siang
The Malaysian Insider
28 January 2015

Mesyuarat Kabinet hari ini patut menegur dan menolak pendirian Menteri Kesejahteraan Bandar, Perumahan dan Kerajaan Tempatan Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan (PBT) akan memburukkan lagi polarisasi kaum kerana ia bukan sahaja tidak benar, malah membuka ruang kepada penggantungan pilihan raya Dewan Negeri dan Parlimen pada masa akan datang.

Ini kali pertama dalam masa 50 tahun mana-mana menteri kerajaan Barisan Nasional mahupun Perikatan mengambil pendirian yang mengarut pelaksanaan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan polarisasi kaum yang lebih buruk, atau berkemungkinan mencetuskan semula rusuhan kaum 13 Mei seperti disebut Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang yang mendapat sokongan pimpinan tertinggi Umno.

Pada Mac 2010, Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang dan Selangor mengutus 2 surat berasingan kepada Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya memohon supaya pilihan raya PBT dijalankan di negeri masing-masing.

Alasan mereka berbuat demikian untuk mengukuhkan demokrasi dengan memilih ahli-ahli majlis tempatan melalui pilihan raya dan bukan lantikan, yang akan menambah akauntabiliti, ketelusan dan urus tadbir yang baik.

Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak dalam satu reaksi pantas menolak permintaan ini, sambil menyatakan mengembalikan pilihan raya kerajaan tempatan akan mengakibatkan politik di peringkat kerajaan tempatan dan tidak akan memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai.

Beliau berkata tumpuan seharusnya diberikan kepada usaha memperbaiki perkhidmatan kepada orang ramai dan bukannya proses yang terlibat dalam memilih ahli majlis.

Tidak pernah ada yang menyebut tentang polarisasi kaum atau representasi kaum yang tidak seimbang dalam masa 50 tahun lampau sebagai sebab kenapa undi ketiga tidak boleh dikembalikan. Read the rest of this entry »

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Squabbling politicians leaving Malaysians without much leadership or hope

COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER
28 January 2015

Nearly two years after the last Malaysian general elections, both the ruling and opposition coalitions are imploding – one with internal leadership crises and the other with public quarrels over policies.

In the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN), Umno and MIC leaders past and present are tussling for influence and leadership, the MCA is largely irrelevant while Gerakan and PPP are absent.

On the other side, Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) DAP and PAS are crossing swords and PKR is just opposing everything with a street protest always a handy tool to keep it seen as championing a cause.

The big loser? Ordinary Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cabinet should reprimand and repudiate Abdul Rahman’s stand that local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue but opens the dangerous door for future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections

The Cabinet meeting today should reprimand the Minister for Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government, Datuk Abdul Rahman and repudiate the stand he has taken that the restoration of local government elections could worsen racial polarization as it is not only untrue, but opens the dangerous door for the future suspension of State Assembly and Parliamentary elections.

This is the first time in 50 years that any Barisan Nasional (previously Alliance) Government Minister has taken the ridiculous and outrageous stand that the holding of local government elections would lead to greater racial polarisation – or even risks the repeat of May 13 race riots, as stated by the PAS President, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang which has received the support of top UMNO leaders.

In March 2010, the Penang and Selangor state governments wrote separate letters to the Election Commission asking for local government elections to be conducted in their respective states.

Their reason for doing so were to strengthen democracy by having local representatives elected and not appointed, which would enhance accountability, transparency and good governance.

In an immediate reaction, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak rejected this, stating that reviving local government elections would only give rise to politicking at the local government level and would not improve services for the people.

He said the focus should be on improving services to the people and not the process involved in selecting councillors who would serve.

There was no reference to problems of “racial polarisation” or “imbalanced racial representation” in the past 50 years as the reason why there should be no restoration of the third vote! Read the rest of this entry »

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