Archive for category Politics
By Steven Sim
Jun 23, 2015
MP SPEAKS Two months ago, Lim Kit Siang proposed a crazy idea; a post-BN post-Pakatan Rakyat “Save Malaysia” grand coalition. Many criticised him, including allies and supporters and even DAP members.
Lim, the DAP parliamentary leader, was inviting Malaysians, including Malaysian politicians, to “think the unthinkable”, going beyond the much cherished two-party system into something else.
What does this “something else” look like?
I was to discover part of the answer when I joined Lim on a trip to the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »
Zairil Khir Johari
The Malaysian Insider
17 June 2015
Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-incurred immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s own understanding without the guidance of another. This immaturity is self-incurred if its cause is not lack of understanding, but lack of resolution and courage to use it without the guidance of another. The motto of enlightenment is therefore: Sapere aude (dare to know)! Have courage to use your own understanding! (Immanuel Kant)
The discussion on secularism in this country is a problematic one, chiefly because the term has become trapped in the narrow framework of identity politics dominated by the hegemony of ethno-religious nationalist discourse. As a result, secularism is now an emotive expression invoked as a label to paint its targets as anti-religion. In the Malaysian context, that always means anti-Islam.
Malaysia’s Department of Islamic Development (Jakim), the foremost religious authority in our country, for example, has issued warnings against conspiracies by “enemies of Islam” to manipulate them through ideas like secularism, pluralism, socialism, feminism and positivism. In May last year, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, added “human rightism” to the list of offending ideologies that threaten the faith of Muslims.
Why has secularism come to be so demonised? Read the rest of this entry »
As my proposal for a post-BN, post-PR “Save Malaysia” grand coalition continues to be the subject of controversy and misunderstanding, deliberate or otherwise, let me clarify what the proposal “is” and “is not”, and the background for such a proposal.
Firstly, I had said that the proposal for a post-BN, post-PR “Save Malaysia” grand coalition is based on the premise that the two existing political coalitions in the country, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, have lost all public trust, credibility and legitimacy, in which case, Malaysians must think the unthinkable and move beyond the present political scenario dominated by two political coalitions in a post-BN, post-PR phase of Malaysian politics.
We need not tarry here as to why and how the two political coalitions, BN and PR, could lose all public trust, credibility and legitimacy.
Clearly, if anyone of the two political coalitions, BN or PR, can continue to command public trust, credibility, legitimacy and support of Malaysians, then we have not arrived at the post-BN, post-PR phase of Malaysian politics. Read the rest of this entry »
Malaysians should seriously consider the possibility of a new political configuration to “Save Malaysia” which is post-BN and post-PR, based on principles and national interests and not opportunism or self-interests
More than two months ago have passed since I first broached the idea of a new political alignment in the country to form a new coalition Federal Government which is post-BN and post-PR with a new Prime Minister to “Save Malaysia” to resolve the debilitating multiple political, economic, educational, social and nation-building crisis plaguing the country.
Since mid-March, the crisis in both political coalitions, UMNO/Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat have worsened with no light at the end of the tunnel.
The war between the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the former longest-serving Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, whether directly or through proxies, has reached a new pitch.
Today, I read of a new NGO threatening to sue Mahathir for RM100 billion losses as a result of the numerous financial scandals during Mahathir’s 22-year premiership from 1981 to 2003. Read the rest of this entry »
BY ANISAH SHUKRY
The Malaysian Insider
17 February 2015
Old guards in Malaysia’s political parties are slowly leaving the scene paving the way for younger leaders to come forward, but between the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the pace of rejuvenation differs vastly.
Both sides have hugely respected and influential stalwarts but the number has dwindled down to one each – in BN, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is the sole veteran still in active politics as Gua Musang MP and in PR, Gelang Patah MP Lim Kit Siang is still DAP adviser.
In PR, there is potential now for younger leaders to rise and develop even more responsibilities with the passing of PAS’s Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat and DAP’s Karpal Singh, as well as the incarceration of PKR de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In BN, party’s top posts are filled with second-generation leaders, such as Datuk Seri Najib Razak, the Umno president and prime minister, and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, an Umno vice-president and defence minister.
But the crucial difference between the two coalitions was that with BN, the party’s rejuvenation process seems to have come to an abrupt stop with Najib’s generation, while in PR, younger leaders continue to join the coalition and rise up the ranks, analysts said. Read the rest of this entry »
By TK Chua
Dec 20, 2014
Only in this country could a small group of extremists label a chief minister of a state a holy pig and “kurang ajar” and get away with it. Only in this country would a chief minister making a statement based on his legal interpretation be considered as encroachment into the rights of others. When are these extremists going to grow up?
Whatever Lim Guan Eng had said or did not say, we should all debate decently and if possible allow the due process to determine whether he has infringed any law in the country.
But this is not the case. Everyone in the country knows that the extremists are bullying others with raw power and brutal force. They know non-Muslims and non-Malays are the minority and powerless to retaliate. In fact, have you seen non-Malays resorting to trigger-happy demonstrations like this group of extremists in Penang? Since Pakatan took over the helm of the state government, may I know how many demonstrations have been staged by them?
Don’t forget that the tactic used was most uncouth and depraved. We have not forgotten the cake in the shape of faeces that was presented to the chief minister. We have not forgotten the photograph of the chief minister put up as if it was for his funeral. We have not forgotten there was once a challenge to “fist fight” with the chief minister.
We have not forgotten the aggressive storming of the state government office building. We have not forgotten the intrusion into the state assembly building. Now, surely we will not forget how the chief minister of the state was labelled as a holy pig, a wild boar, et cetera. Read the rest of this entry »
Let the Global Terrorism Index 2014 be a wake-up call to all political parties, NGOs and Malaysians that we jeopardize the future of Malaysians if we do not check the rhetoric and politics of hatred, intolerance and extremism and hew closely to the path of moderation
Malaysia has climbed 42 places in an international terrorism indicator that has cited religious extremism as the primary cause of terror attacks worldwide.
In the 2014 edition of the Global Terrorism Index produced by the Institute of Economic and Peace, Malaysia is now 48th in a ranking that has Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan at the top, having risen from 91st spot in the 2012 issue of the report.
Malaysia’s score on the index measuring the number of terrorist incidents, fatalities and casualties as well as damage to property has also risen steadily from 2012, going from 0.415 out of a possible 10 to the current 3.04. Ten signifies the highest impact of terrorism.
Regionally, the Philippines, (9th/7.29), Thailand (10th/7.19) and Indonesia (31st/4.67) scored worse than Malaysia. Singapore was 124th, with a score of zero, indicating no negative effects from terrorism.
The Global Terrorism Index 2014 is bad news for Malaysia, for overnight, Malaysia has shot into the international radar of the top 50 countries under the world’s terrorism-watch, having overtaken 43 countries in a matter of two years as a country where terrorism is a bigger problem – overtaking countries like Uganda, Belarus, Saudi Arabia, France, Chile, Italy, Kazakhstan, Morocco, Tajikistan, Spain, Jordan, Switzerland, Zimbabwe, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Serbia.
What has gone wrong as Malaysia has always prided itself as a model for the world for inter-racial and inter-religious understanding, tolerance and harmony that we are now in the top 50 countries in the world in the Global Terrorism Index on the negative impact of terrorism, when Malaysia should be one of the countries with score of zero, indicating no negative effects from terrorism. Read the rest of this entry »
By Maria Chin Abdullah
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 »
by Narayan Ramachandran
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 »
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 »
Scott Ng | October 18, 2014
Free Malaysia Today
Malaysia has a new class of women leaders, and it’s time to take notice
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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »
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:
Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
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 »