Archive for category Politics

Can Malaysia have a Jokowi?

By Maria Chin Abdullah
Malaysiakini
Oct 29, 2014

As politics unfold in Indonesia, many are impressed with their responses towards democracy building. On Oct 20, Indonesians witnessed a peaceful transfer of power with the inauguration of the seventh president of Indonesia.

Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, had defeated Prabowo Subianto by 6.3 percent in the presidential election on July 9, 2014. While Prabowo had initially submitted an election petition to challenge the results, he had gracefully accepted the court’s ruling when it rejected all his complaints. This sealed the Jokowi-Jusuf Kalla team’s presidential victory in the eyes of the law and the voters.

Indeed, President Jokowi’s beginnings have been anything but impressive in his quest to eradicate corruption and build a clean government.

President Joko Widodo had announced his cabinet and he had strategically submitted his ministerial cabinet lineup to the Corruption Eradication Commission for their screening as a show of his commitment to “form a clean government”.

On Tuesday, Oct 21, 2014 the commission had deemed eight of his cabinet selection as inappropriate due to their “alleged involvement in cases of graft and human rights violations.” (The Jakarta Post, Oct 22, 2014). Read the rest of this entry »

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No end to history?

by Narayan Ramachandran
Pragati
October 13, 2014

While liberal democracy may be the least imperfect system yet known to man, it is not very clear whether mankind will pursue this desirable destination without long and costly detours.

Twenty-two years ago, American political scientist and author, Yoshihiro Francis Fukuyama wrote a treatise on western liberal democracy called The End of History and The Last Man. Fukuyama wrote with authority and confidence and argued that the dominance of western liberal democracy may well signal the arrival of a ‘final’ type of government – an end to the historical evolution of political systems.

Fukuyama claimed to have been inspired by Alexendre Kojeve, a Russian-French philosopher of Hegelian persuasion – who coined the term the “End of History”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Of prostitutes, peace and chivalry

Dyana Sofya
Mail Mail Online
OCTOBER 20, 2014

Dyana Sofya suffers from dysania and is using her superpowers to pen down her thoughts late into the night. Political Secretary to Lim Kit Siang by day and she tweets from @dyanasmd.

OCTOBER 20 — It is an interesting exercise to browse through the many comments on my Facebook fan page. Reading through them recently, I began to notice a pattern. Generally, there are three types of comments: positive, negative and commiserative.

The positive comments mostly take the form of motivating words of encouragement. These are my favourite, and I am eternally grateful for the constant show of support from Malaysians of all walks of life. They have never failed to fuel me with positive energy or pick me up when I feel down.

As for the negative comments, they are as colourful as one would expect them to be. From the usual name-calling, gender stereotyping to all kinds of discriminating attacks, I have learned to accept them as part and parcel of public life. In fact, I sometimes find it entertaining, as it takes a special breed of people to be able to be so shallow and perverse.

However, there is one more type of comment that has become a constant feature in almost every thread. I find these quite puzzling. Somehow, there seems to be quite a few people out there who find it necessary to convey their pity or sympathy because they feel I am being “used.” Often, they would also predict that I would one day “wake up” and realise that I am in the wrong struggle, and that I would eventually “return” to the true path. Read the rest of this entry »

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Second coming of the woman politician

Scott Ng | October 18, 2014
Free Malaysia Today

Malaysia has a new class of women leaders, and it’s time to take notice

COMMENT

Aung San Suu Kyi. Angela Merkel. Hillary Clinton. Margaret Thatcher. Dilma Rousseff. Gro Harlem Brundtland. Indira Gandhi. The last generation saw the beginning of the rise of women to prominent roles in government, sometimes to the pinnacle of their countries’ political structures.

But Asia has had the largest number of female chief executives in the world. Take Chandrika Kumaranatunga of Sri Lanka, for example. Her mother was the world’s first female Prime Minister, and she herself ascended to the role in 1994. Or Park Geun-Hye, who won South Korea’s latest presidential elections. Or former Thai premier Yingluck Shinawatra.

Malaysia finds itself with approximately 10% women representation in Parliament, just a few notches above Myanmar’s miniscule 6%. This is below the global average, and is not representative of the fact that women compose half of the entire human race, let alone the Malaysian population.
However, on the opposition side of the floor, we’re starting to see equity between the sexes with almost 30% of Pakatan Rakyat’s members of Parliament being women. And what women they are.

In the past, the torch for Malaysia’s female politicians was carried by Rafidah Aziz, former Minister of International Trade and Industry. A common sentiment was that if Rafidah had been a man, she would have long ago been a candidate for the illustrious post of Prime Minister. To a lesser extent, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, was also a torch bearer for women politicians.

And then the political tsunami of 2008 happened and installed into power a new class of female politicians—young, driven by issues, passionate, intelligent, and most importantly, captivating. Nurul Izzah Anwar and Hannah Yeoh spearheaded this new movement, and they were joined a few years later by firecrackers like Dyana Sofya and Yeoh Bee Yin. These ladies have captured the imagination of the nation, speaking out strongly on the issues that matter not only to the youth, but the masses, powered by constant interactions with the communities they serve. Read the rest of this entry »

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Propagandist I am not!

Stephen Ng
Malaysiakini
Jun 6, 2014

COMMENT Some call me a propagandist. Others call me an apologist.

I won’t be surprised that I am also one of those in Utusan Malaysia’s wildest dream – a member of the elite Red Bean Army, except that I do not know how many millions of ringgit I am paid by the DAP for my work. Not even a plate of char koay teow for all you know!

When I wrote my two sen worth of an article about the Teluk Intan by-election, another fallen angel currently living in the comfort of the West, and an armchair critic, even called me a ‘party spin doctor’ by merely assuming that I am with the DAP. Ask the DAP if I am even on their membership roll!

I do not need to envy Anwar Ibrahim now, because even for all the efforts that I put in as an individual to fight against the ‘fitnah’ crafters in this country, I have even earned myself the label of being a ‘racist’.

For someone who always says, “Race is only skin deep”, I wonder why some people can even call me a racist. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysian Leaders’ First World Education, Third World Mentality

Review of Syed Husin Ali’s Memoirs of a Political Struggle.
by M. Bakri Musa

Syed Husin Ali: Memoirs of a Political Struggle. Strategic Information and Research Development Center, Petaling Jaya, 2013. 273 pp.

The deserved universal condemnation and merciless ridicule of the Malaysian authorities’ bungling of the MH370 tragedy did not arise in a vacuum. From leaders’ refusing to entertain questions at their press briefings to radar operators ignoring intruding beeps on their screens, this unconcealed contempt for the public, and the accompanying lackadaisical attitude, is the norm.

Our leaders may have had First World education, alas their mentality remains stubbornly stuck in Third World mode. Their bebalism and tidak apaism make the Jamaican “It’s not my job, mon!” a valid excuse by contrast.

To readers of on-line news portals, I am not stating anything new here; likewise to ordinary citizens who have had to deal with governmental agencies. However, when these general inadequacies and gross incompetence in their infinite manifestations are put in print as in books, there is satisfaction, at least to their authors, that they are being documented for posterity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teachers’ right to support political party of their choice, say teachers, NGOs

by Elizabeth Zachariah
The Malaysian Insider
4 June 2014

Teachers should not be compelled to only support Barisan Nasional as they have the right to support any political party of their choice, educationists said today.

“Teachers are just like any other citizen in the country. And like other professionals, they have political opinions too,” said Hashim Adnan, president of the National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP), in response to Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s call to teachers to return to politics under BN’s fold.

“They should be given freedom to exercise their rights,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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IGP should stop talking tough and start acting swiftly against irresponsible and reckless elements who want to cause racial and religious disharmony and strife through incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred

Enough of the Inspector-General, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar talking tough as he should start acting swiftly against irresponsible and reckless elements who want to cause racial and religious disharmony and strife through incessant incitement of racial and religious animosities and hatred.

Why is Khalid talking about the use of any law, including Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma), inciting racial tension when the police has not even sent investigation papers to the Attorney-General’s Chambers to arrest and for charges to be laid against those responsible for the self-styled “Council of Islamic NGOs’ “chicken and slap” demonstration in Kuala Lumpur on Feb. 6 where a slew offences had been committed including criminal intimidation, sedition, incitement of violence against a woman, incitement of violence against a Member of Parliament, incitement of another May 13 riots?

For more than three weeks, not a single person had been able to step forward to point out where DAP National Vice Chairperson and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok’s “Onederful Malaysia CNY 2014” video is anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Rulers, although I said I would ask Teresa Kok to withdraw and apologise for the video if there is such evidence.
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Advice to All Politicians: Keep Calm, Cool and Collected

Koon Yew Yin
8th February 2014

When Theresa Kok’s video clip for the Chinese New Year first appeared, I saw it as a cleverly done piece of political satire. It was funny, original and thought provoking. I thought the references to various personalities and public issues of concern captured some of our recent political controversies in a refreshingly irreverent and comical way. The clip brought back to me memories of that hugely popular and successful British television series, “Yes Minister” which first ran in the 1980’s and has been recently revived.

At the same time that I appreciated the black humour and wit in the “ONEderful Malaysia!” video, I was concerned that it would be viewed the opposite way by the Government and UMNO’s political supporters and would become ammunition for them to hit back not only against her, but also the DAP and the opposition parties as a whole.

Clearly the video was intended to draw attention to issues of public concern. It was also meant to draw attention to Theresa Kok as a politician and to enhance her public image. But what if the Government or its supporters twisted it around and concocted elements of racial or religious discord to smear the DAP and Pakatan coalition? I was especially concerned that the targeting of the video to a Chinese audience and timed for the Chinese New Year period was strategically unwise and could backfire.

My worse fears have now proven correct. Read the rest of this entry »

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Three things we learned from: The Teresa Kok video

The Malay Mail Online
February 7, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — Scorching temperatures of the current lunar new year are no match for the heated tempers surrounding a seemingly innocuous Chinese New Year by DAP’s Seputeh MP, Teresa Kok.

But while the video itself was veiled in sly innuendo for the sake of plausible deniability, the responses that it triggered have laid bare three things:

1. Malaysians have lost their humour

The video is satire, that much is undeniable. Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, for one, noted that the real crime was that it was not humorous at all.

While the jury may be out on the quality of the comedy, even non-native speakers of the Mandarin and Cantonese used within will see that all it does is caricaturise personalities and events it claims not to.

Of course there is the sting to the ego if you were to find yourself the subject of ridicule, but that is life. Sometimes the world laughs with you; other times, it laughs at you. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mengapa politik Malaysia terjerumus ke tahap paling hina dengan pembohongan berterusan?

Sambil 27,222 pengundi dalam Dewan Undangan Negeri Sungai Limau di Kedah mengundi hari ini untuk menentukan siapa akan menjadi Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri mereka, sama ada calon PAS/Pakatan Rakyat Mohd Azam Abdul Samat atau calon Umno/Barisan Nasional Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim, satu persoalan sepatutnya difikirkan oleh semua parti politik dan pemimpin, iaitu mengapa politik Malaysia terjerumus ke tahap paling hina dengan pembohongan berterusan?

Kempen Umno/BN dalam pilihanraya kecil Sungai Limau bermula dengan pembohongan tentang DAP yang kononnya mahu membentuk negara Kristian, menghapuskan sistem Raja Berperlembagaan, anti-Melayu dan anti-Islam.

MCA turut tumpang berbohong dengan mendakwa bahawa walaupun lebih 50% dari 1,842 pengundi Cina di Sungai Limau adalah ahli MCA, hanya 10% pengundi Cina di sana mengundi Barisan Nasional dalam pilihanraya umum pada 5 Mei 2013 lalu.

Seperti yang saya sebutkan sewaktu berkempen di Sungai Limau Dalam dua hari lalu, sekitar 1,400 dari 1,842 pengundi Cina keluar mengundi dalam pilihanraya umum lalu dan daripada jumlah itu PAS/PR mendapat sekitar 800 undi dan BN meraih sekitar 600 undi – iaitu sekitar 55% mengundi PAS/PR dan 45% mengundi Umno/BN.

Dengan mendakwa PAS/PR mampu mendapat 90% daripada undi Cina di kawasan luar bandar seperti Sungai Limau, tidakkah dengan itu MCA seolah-olah mengatakan bahawa PR telah mencapai sesuatu yang mustahil, iaitu dengan mendapatkan 150% undi Cina di kawasan bandar?

1842 orang pengundi Cina di Sungai Limau tertumpu di lima pusat pengundian:
Simpang Tiga (26% Cina), Sungai Limau (19% Cina), Kabu Sepuloh (10.2% Cina), Batu Enam Belas (12.1% Cina) dan Kampung Titi Batu (13.4%).
Analisis DAP ke atas trend pengundian pengundi Cina di Sungai Limau yang telah saya terima seperti berikut:
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Happy Deepavali? DAP MP and SA prevented by MIC from entering Deepavali bazaar

by K Siladass

On the eve of Deepavali (1st November 2013), Member of Parliament for Kluang, Liew Chin Tong; State Assemblyman for Mengkibol, Tan Hong Pin and I, along with several others decided to take a stroll along Jalan Station, Kluang to see the stalls set up to peddle Deepavali wares.

At the entrance of the row of stalls, a group of men holding out to be MIC officials stopped Chin Tong and Hong Pin from entering on the ground that they had organised the stalls and that they, as the purported organisers, were not given notice of Chin Tong and Hong Pin arriving there.

Chin Tong politely pointed out that it was a public road and he could walk. The men refused to yield and spoke aggressively whilst claiming that it was an MIC organised event. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why have Malaysian politics descended to the lowest level of “lies, lies, lies”?

While the 27,222 voters of in Sungai Limau state assembly seat in Kedah are casting their votes today to decide whether the PAS/Pakatan Rakyat candidate Mohd Azam Abdul Samat or the Umno/Barisan Nasional candidate Ahmad Sohaimi Lazim will be their State Assemblyman, one question that should worry all political parties and leaders is why Malaysian politics have descended to the lowest level of “lies, lies, lies”!

The UMNO/BN campaign in the Sungai Limau by-election started off with the lies that the DAP wants to form a Christian state, abolish the system of constitutional monarchy and that the DAP is anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

The MCA also contributed its lies when it claims that although more than 50% of the 1,842 Chinese voters are MCA members, only 10% of the Chinese electorate in the Sungai Limau constituency voted for the Barisan Nasional in the 13th general elections on May 5, 2013.

As I pointed out when I campaigned in Sungai Limau Dalam two days ago, about 1,400 out of 1,842 Chinese voters turned out to vote in the last general elections, of which PAS/PR secured some 800 votes and BN managed to obtain about 600 votes – i.e. some 55% to PAS/PR and 45% to UMNO/BN.

If PAS/PR could secure 90% of Chinese votes in a rural constituency like Sungai Limau, is MCA suggesting that the PR achieved the impossible of securing the support of some 150% of Chinese votes in the urban areas? Read the rest of this entry »

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100 days after GE13: Moving on with public wisdom

Saifuddin Abdullah
‘Second Sphere’
Opinion
fz.com
August 8, 2013

THIS Aug 13 marks the 100th day of the completion of GE13. Even though to some politicians, analysts and pundits, the debate on its result will carry on, perhaps endlessly, but to most people, it is time to move on.

This is the time where, we the people, no matter how diverse our views and standpoints are, and regardless which part of the house we are seated in, make the best out of what has come out of GE13.

We can, though admittedly it is not going to be easy, if we are genuinely passionate about making Malaysia a better nation.

This is an opportunity to engage ourselves around public issues (not politics) that are fundamental (not because they are viral) in ways that generate a coherent and shared voice of ours, infusing the democratic process with common sense and guiding intelligent decision making.

We must continue the new conversation that has started prior to GE13, with the aim of discussing what needs to be taken into account in order for us to produce long-term inclusive benefits.

This process should include new approaches in doing things, for example, more consultation, participation and deliberation, and should move beyond partisanship.

Tom Atlee calls this process “institutionalising the power of public wisdom in our government”. I call it “New Politics”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Launch on “Water Ubah” in Penang in keeping with Malaysian Dream to have a united nation where Malaysians regard themselves as one people despite diversity of race, religion, culture and region

The launch of “Water Ubah” in Penang this morning is in keeping with the Malaysian Dream to have a united nation where Malaysians regard themselves as one people despite the diversity of race, religion, culture and region in the country.

In fact, some 50 years ago, on July 9, 1963, the Malaysian nation was conceived when the Federated Malaya, North Borneo (Sabah), Sarawak and Singapore signed the Malaysia Agreement which gave birth to the new Malaysian federation two months later, and this is why the presence of the DAP Iban Central Executive Committee member Dr. John Brian at the ceremony today is particularly pertinent apart from the fact that the Ubah mascot is inspired by the hornbill in Sarawak.

Credit must be given to Ooi Leng Hang, the “father of Ubah” and his team of creative artists and publicists in conceiving the Ubah mascot for “Change” and capturing the imagination of all generations of Malaysians, regardless of time, place, age or gender.

As signified by the launch of the “Water Ubah” today, we must have the conviction and courage to continue to dream of a better Malaysia for ourselves, our children and children’s children, and to do our part to create a Malaysia:

• which is the model of democratic freedoms and human rights, good governance and public integrity with low levels of corruption in public life;

• where there is the best education for all children, from primary, secondary to university level; and

• which is greener, cleaner and safer, where the people are not haunted by high crime rate and live in fear of crime, so that Malaysia and Malaysians can be internationally competitive with the focus on our competitiveness with the rest of the world instead of Malaysians versus Malaysians. Read the rest of this entry »

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No Red Bean Army ‘command centre’ seen in DAP visit

By Jarni Blakkarly | 11:46AM Jul 4, 2013
Malaysiakini

A visit last night to the so-called command centre of the ‘Red Bean Army’ of cybertroopers that Malay daily Utusan Malaysia said are paid at least RM100 million to work for the DAP showed no evidence of such a centre in operation.

The 10pm visit to the centre at a four-star hotel in Kuala Lumpur was organised by DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang, who wanted to put to rest the allegation against the party.

Lim led a team of party leaders and members of the media to the hotel in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and straight away went to the hotel’s restaurant to hold a press conference to rebut the claim made by the Umno-owned daily.

Soon after May 5 general election, BN leaders and Utusan claimed that DAP had spent between RM100 million and RM1 billion to fund a Red Bean Army of cybertroopers to attack the BN and the government in cyberspace, and named Concorde Hotel as one of its bases.

Among the DAP leaders present last night were vice-president and Bandar Kuching MP Chong Chieng Jen, national publicity secretary and Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua and treasurer and Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Loon.
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The myth of a two-party system in Malaysia

— Nicholas Chan and Koay Su Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2013

MAY 31 — A contention exists after the 2008 general election, be it academically or by propaganda, that Malaysia will benefit greatly from a two-party system, a concept constantly thrown around but highly vague in its actual meaning, or at least in the public understanding of it. Hence, after all these years of political shakeup, did we achieve the two-party system? If yes, how far did it go? Are we enjoying the fruits of it or did it come at a cost, like the political gridlock that has been plaguing Washington?

By definition, the most commonly agreed feature of a democratic two-party system is that it is a political environment, dominated by two major political parties with either party winning in almost all the elections held. Although the system does not negate the existence of other splinter parties or independent candidates, it usually thrives in an “either-or” situation whereby the ruling party is just one or the other. The most notable example of a two-party system is the United States, as the Congress is populated by politicians from two major parties while the presidency is always a tussle between a Republican and a Democrat candidate. A two-party system is not an engraved certainty as the United Kingdom, which had witnessed a two-party system between the Labour and the Conservative for decades (except for the case of a hung Parliament in 1974), was struck by an embarrassing situation in its most recent 2010 elections, whereby neither party earned the simple majority to form the government, resulting in a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Read the rest of this entry »

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Zahid may want to be an UMNO “hero” for the upcoming UMNO party elections by being a macho and belligerent Home Minister who dare to declare DAP unlawful even if it is gross abuse of power

The statement by the director-general of Registry of Societies (RoS) Datuk Abdul Rahman Othman that many DAP members who were eligible to attend its national congress on December 15 last year did not receive notice to do so is both baseless and most unprofessional.

It is a “political twist” to the RoS investigations into the DAP and I see a political “black hand” behind it – all the way to the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Zahid Hamidi.

Since becoming the new Home Minister a forthnight ago, Zahid had tried to politicise all the departments under him.

Firstly, being the most “political” Home Minister in partnership with the most “political” Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, he has created mayhem to police priorities, allowing crime and the fear of crime among Malaysians to run riot because he is obsessed with using police powers to crack down on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists – not having said a single word on the primary duty of the police to keep crime rate low as well as to eradicate the people’s pervasive fear of crime.

As a result, Zahid’s two-week term as Home Minister takes on the hues of a return of Mahathirism, with arrests and prosecution of Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists while Umno/BN leaders and their kind enjoy immunity and impunity for the most sedious and racist utterances. Read the rest of this entry »

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The combination of the most “political” IGP with the most “political” Home Minister will concoct a toxic brew for democracy and human rights which will speed the end of the authoritarian Umno/BN regime

Malaysia today is having the most “political” Inspector-General Police in the nation’s history in the person of Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar who has established this dubious reputation for himself in the week he was elevated to the office of the top police officer of the land.

The country is also have the most “political” Home Minister in the nation’s history, with the appointment of Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi who had not said a word about how to get the police to roll back the tide of crime and the mounting fear of crime felt by Malaysians, particularly in Johor Baru, the capital of crime in Malaysia as his only obsession is how to use police powers to crack down hard on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and civil society activists.

In the past week, student leader Adam Adli had been arrested and charged in court for sedition; the trio PKR MP for Batu Tian Chua, democracy activist Haris Ibrahim and PAS activist Tamrin Ghaffar arrested for sedition in connection with their speeches at a forum on May 13 with the Home Minister announcing that the police will appeal against the magistrate’s decision rejecting the police application to remand the three for another seven days; the police harrassment of Pakatan Rakyat leaders like founding DAP Chairman Dr. Chen Man Hin, 86, and DAP elected representatives; the pending prosecution of DAP MP for Ipoh Timor Thomas Su, PKR Perak Secretary Mohammad Anuar Zakaria and Penang Pakatan Rakyat executive secretary Ong Eu Leong tomorrow under the Peaceful Assembly Act and the confiscation of party publications, Harakah (PAS), Rocket (DAP) and Suara Keadilan (PKR).

Thanks to Malaysia having the most “political” Home Minister and the most “political” IGP, Malaysians are reminded of an eerie return to the bad old days of Mahathirism, where all the institutions and instruments of state as well as the laws of the land are subverted to serve one and only one objective – to violate all democratic and human rights of Malaysians just to protect the political regime of the day.
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Malaysians do not want the most “political” IGP to defend the existing regime but the most “professional” IGP to protect the most human and fundamental right of Malaysians – to be free from crime and the fear of crime

Yesterday, I said that Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar has proven to be the most “political” Inspector-General of Police in his first week as the top police officer in the country.

Khalid should realise that this is no compliment at all. What Malaysians want is not the most “political” IGP to defend the existing regime but the most “professional” IGP to protect the most human and fundamental right of Malaysians – to be free from crime and the fear of crime.

Although the new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi has publicly claimed that he had no hand in the police crackdown on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and civil society activists, he should realise that nobody in Malaysia believe him.

His statement yesterday that the police will appeal against the decision by magistrate Norashikin Sahat rejecting the police application to remand PKR MP for Batu, Tian Chua, democracy activist Haris Ibrahim and PAS activist Tamrin Ghaffar for another seven days for investigations under the Sedition Act 1948 is proof of Zahid’s political interference with the police in this matter.
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