Archive for category Sarawak

The Sarawak Bersih 4 fiasco

Dr Kelvin Yii
1st September 2015

The Bersih 4 rally has been catching headlines for the past few days with the crowd in KL swelling to a record number reportedly at 500,000 over the weekend, an unprecedented amount of people willing to stretch it out for 34 hours and sleep on the streets to protest against the corrupt regime as well demand for clean and fair elections, among others.

This commands great pride for me and many other Malaysians who are sick and tired of how corruption and bad governance has wrecked our country. I as a Sarawakian have seen and experienced how corruption and money politics have ravaged our state, and oppressed our people.

The urging for Bersih wasn’t a foreign agenda, neither was it a Malayan concept. We in Sarawak need it more than ever, to stand up against corruption, electoral fraud and bad governance that has left Sarawak as one of the least developed state even though we blessed with the abundance of natural resources.

So I was really devastated reading the news on how Sarawak Bersih 4 turned out and was instead used as a platform to attack the different opposition parties. The organisers have since retracted the statement allegedly blaming Sarawak DAP for the premature end of the rally, and claimed they was misquoted, however this did not stop it from being circulated on social media and blogs, and leaving a bad taste in our mouth. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia’s Stunning Street Art: The Coolest Murals and Where to Find Them

Yahoo Travel Explorers
August 10, 2015
By David Hogan/Malaysia Asia

In recent years, street art in Malaysia has picked up quite a bit, and you’ll now find murals and paintings by both local and international artists.

While this form of art has been alive and well in many other areas of the world for decades, the movement in Malaysia really got rolling in 2012, when Ernest Zacharevic created six murals for Penang’s George Town Culture festival. The paintings were so popular that the BBC even called him the Banksy of Malaysia. Today, there are many cities around the country following in Penang’s footsteps, calling on locals of all ages to add new life to their walls. For visitors, that means it’s easy to find these open-air museums; since they are usually located in high tourist areas, you barely have to look around. But you do need to know which towns and cities to start in. Here are some of my favorites:


Penang artist Ernest Zacharevic has been called the Banksy of Malaysia. (Photo: Ernest Zacharevic)

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Whether the 11th Sarawak state general election will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead Malaysian political changes as happened in the 2006 and 2011 state polls?

Whether the 11th Sarawak state general election will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead Malaysian political changes as happened in the 2006 and 2011 state polls?

The question I want to pose tonight is whether the 11th Sarawak state general election, whether held this year or next, will be the third time Sarawakians spearhead political changes in Malaysia.

In the ninth Sarawak state general election in 2006, DAP made history in Sarawak winning from one to six state assembly seats, spearheading the “308 political tsunami” of the 2008 Malaysian general election where the Umno/BN coalition was ousted from power as the government in five States and lost for the first time its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

The 2011 Sarawak State General Election made further history when Pakatan Rakyat won 15 State Assembly seats, with DAP winning 12 and PKR three. The major electoral shifts in the 2011 Sarawak state general election spearheaded the “Ubah” political awakening in the 13th Federal general elections, where Datuk Seri Najib Razak became the first minority Prime Minister in the nation’s history and still without two-thirds parliamentary majority – as UMNO/BN won 48% of electoral support although he won the majority of the 222 parliamentary seats because undemocratic constituency redelineations.

What is in store for the 11th Sarawak state general election which must be held by next August? Read the rest of this entry »

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Scrap the 1MDB roadshows as they will end up as disastrously as the “Nothing2Hide” 1MDB Forum

One of the most accident-prone government front-benchers, the Deputy Finance Minister, Datuk Ahmad Maslan announced yesterday that nation-wide roadshows to explain the 1MDB scandal and other government controversies will be launched at the state levels during the second week of Syawal.

I would advise the Federal government to scrap the 1MDB nation-wide roadshows as they will end up as disastrously as the “Nothing2Hide” 1MDB Forum at the Putra World Trade Centre in KL on June 5 where the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak ignominiously backed out of appearance because of Mahathir’s presence, unless Najib could immediately explain whether 1MDB funds had been misused for the UMNO/BN campaign in the 13th General Election, and are now being spent and misused in Sarawak for the forthcoming Sarawak state polls.

Najib’s thunderous silence on the third day of the Wall Street Journal expose on Friday that the 1MDB funds running into billions of ringgit had been used to bankroll his 13th General Election campaign does not brook well that the Prime Minister’s credibility can recover with any “Public Relations” gimmicry like 1MDB nation-wide roadshows.

Why is Najib incapable of giving a detailed and convincing rebuttal to the Wall Street Journal allegation that one “trick” of using 1MDB billions of ringgit to bankroll Najib’s 13GE election campaign was through the artifice of 1MDB making overpriced purchase of power assets from Genting Group in 2012 – paying RM2.3 billion or around five times for a power plant that was only worth RM400 million, with Genting make a subsequent donation to a foundation controlled by Najib for the 13GE campaigning purposes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sarawak and Sabah should have one-third of the parliamentary seats which is not only be in the spirit of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 but a crucial safeguard to preserve and protect the fundamental principle of the constitution of Malaysia as a secular nation with Islam as the official religion

Malaysia wants to become a developed nation in five years time in 2020.

In the developed nations in Europe, the rural areas would enjoy basic infrastructures and amenities like piped water, electricity supply, as well as the most elementary educational, economic and health facilities which are non-existent for rural areas in Malaysia, particularly in Sarawak and Sabah.

I can still remember that more than half a century ago in the early sixties, there would be delegation after delegation of Sarawakians and Sabahans visiting Peninsular Malaysia because the Prime Minister at the time, Tunku Abdul Rahman, his deputy Tun Razak and other Ministers in the Cabinet in Kuala Lumpur wanted to convince Sarawak and Sabah leaders the advantages of the formation of Malaysia, promising that Sarawak and Sabah would be as advanced and developed as Malaya if Sabah and agreed to the formation of the new federation of Malaysia together with Malaya and Singapore.

Malaysia is now 52 years old since its formation in 1963, and the promises half a century ago that Sarawak and Sabah would be as developed as Peninsular Malaysia have still to be met, or tens of thousands of Ibans would not have to leave Sarawak to seek greener pastures in Johor Baru – which is why we are having a Gawai celebration in Johor Baru tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib Government is even more shambolic than the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing

The Najib Government is even more shambolic than its predecessor, the Abdullah Government, not only the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing, but Cabinet Ministers and the DPM in the dark as to what the PM is doing.

It has resulted in the Sabah Speaker and Sabah UMNO Deputy Liaison Chief , Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak virtually demanding for the resignation of the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and three Cabinet Ministers, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Khairy Jamaluddin for “trying to save their own necks” on the RM42 billion 1MDB scandal and the latest 1MDB-LTH bailout fiasco by breaching the principle of collective Ministerial responsibility, “making statements as if they are outsiders and not part of the Cabinet”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Adenan must prove himself on intentions

by Joe Fernandez
08 May 2015

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem in London on Tuesday and the day after, continuing his style since taking over from his predecessor and ex-brother-in-law Taib Mahmud, continues to say all the right things. They continue to be music to the ears of the environmentalists, other activists, the Orang Asal and even the Opposition.

In fact, he has even taken the wind out of the sails of the Opposition, being in the forefront with them, indeed away from the stand taken for so long by his ruling Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB).

In giving the benefit of the doubt to Adenan, although he’s a product of the very party and system under attack, we can best say that he may have realised belatedly that it cannot be business as usual in Sarawak for his administration. However, recognizing the need for change and being committed to that change are two different things.

We know all the usual cliches about actions speaking louder than words and the proof of the pudding being in the eating. Read the rest of this entry »

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As Najib shores up leadership amid criticism, tiny Gedong may play a big role

April 15, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The oil palm-growing district of Gedong in the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak is too tiny to get its own zip code. Even so, its 6,712 voters will soon have their own government representative.

Electoral officials are adding 11 seats to the Sarawak legislative assembly by carving out new constituencies ahead of a state election due by next year—wards that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will want to go to his ruling coalition. The Sarawak vote is a test for Najib as he seeks to shore up his leadership amid criticism of his economic and social policies and public demands by a former leader that he step down.

Najib’s efforts to retain support in the resource-rich state has seen his government build more municipal facilities from hospitals to water treatment plants. His Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition is banking on the states of Sarawak and Sabah on Borneo island — its traditional strongholds — to keep it in power as Chinese voters on Peninsular Malaysia defect.

“BN not doing so well in Sarawak will weaken Najib within the coalition and add to criticisms against him,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, head of the Kuala Lumpur-based Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs. “A strong win will give him a reprieve from all the unhappiness on imposing a goods and services tax this year and concerns about growing debt of government entities.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysia facing not only crisis of identity but crisis of survival for first time since formation of federation in 1963

Malaysia is facing not only a crisis of identity but a crisis of survival for the first time since the formation of the Malaysian federation in 1963.

The month of April has not been a good month for Malaysia, starting with the GST implementation on April 1, which has caused hardships all-round to Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region; followed by a week of infamy when Parliament “stopped the clock” twice in four days to rush through the passage of the Prevention of Terrorism Act and the Sedition Amendment Act, both of which attracted universal international condemnation for Malaysia becoming the human rights “black hole” as well as opening the Pandora’s Box of undemocratic, arbitrary and repressive powers and laws.

But looming in the background, there was an even bigger crisis – the crisis of survival for Malaysia as it is intimately concerned with the question as to whether the Malaysian federation, as conceived by the Malaysia Agreement 1963, could survive and flourish or whether it would perish and fail. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib forewarned that the UMNO “UG” conspirators should not be allowed to continue to play with fire as it could lead not only to the disintegration of Pakatan Rakyat, but also Barisan Nasional and even the Malaysian Federation

The month-long Parliamentary meeting starting on March 9 and adjourning in the early hours of April 10 has gravely undermined and damaged both the political coalitions in the country, the Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat.

It has been said that truth is stranger than fiction.

While the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak may rejoice that the “hudud” plot of the UMNO’s “UG” conspirators has succeeded in causing grave damage to Pakatan Rakyat, he should rue its threat not only to Barisan Nasional but the Malaysian federation as well.

Najib had not realised that the “hudud” weapon of UMNO “UG” plotters’ is a double-edged sword, which could not only damage the unity and solidarity of Pakatan Rakyat with its success to entice PAS support with purported UMNO endorsement for PAS Kelantan State Government hudud implementation, it also threatens the unity and even survival of Barisan Nasional and the Malaysian Federation as well.

In fact, the “hudud” plot of the UMNO “UG” conspirators has the potential not only to destroy both coalitions, Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, but also the nation or bring about a realignment of political forces in the country.

The warning signals are clear for all who have eyes to see.
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Why do we still need the Sedition Act?

by Boo Su-Lyn
Malay Mail Online
April 9, 2015

APRIL 9 — We are just five years away from our goal of becoming a developed nation by 2020.

Yet,in this day and age, we still have a law dating back from the colonial times guarding our speech and worse, the government is attempting to enhance punishments under the Sedition Act 1948.

People convicted of seditious speech can be imprisoned for up to 20 years under the proposed Sedition Act amendments, with a minimum jail term set at three years. No bail is allowed either.

Speech deemed to be seditious under the Sedition (Amendment) Bill 2015 involve issues of race and religion, secession, the rulers, and Bumiputera privileges, among others.

These are matters crucial to our democracy that Malaysians are prohibited from discussing freely.

The revised Sedition Act outlaws exciting “ill will, hostility or hatred” on grounds of race and religion, but such terms are extremely vague. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kelantan’s hudud breaks basis of secular Malaysia, Sarawak churches say

The Malay Mail Online
April 8, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 — Kelantan’s hudud enactment violates the secular foundation upon which Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak had formed Malaysia, Sarawak churches said today.

The Kuching Ministers’ Fellowship (KMF), a network of church pastors and leaders in Sarawak, joined the Sabah Council of Churches in criticising the passing of the Kelantan Shariah Criminal Code II Enactment 1993 (amendment 2015) last month in the east coast state run by Islamist party PAS.

“The recently-passed Kelantan hudud enactment is in direct contradiction to the aspirations of founding fathers of our nation to keep Malaysia a secular state as evidenced in several historical documents that explicitly state this,” KMF chairman Pastor Daron Tan said in a statement.

“The introduction of hudud law is a fundamental breach and deviation from the expressed commitment to complete religious freedom, a key term underpinning the Malaysia Agreement signed in July 1963 between Sarawak, Sabah and Malaya,” he added. Read the rest of this entry »

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In Sedition Act changes, detractors fear clampdown on calls for Borneo autonomy

by Boo Su-Lyn
The Malay Mail Online
April 9, 2015

KUALA LUMPUR, Apr 9 — Critics of Putrajaya’s proposed amendments to the Sedition Act 1948 claim the changes would not only criminalise calls for Sabah and Sarawak’s secession from Malaysia but may also be abused to punish those seeking more rights for the east Malaysian states.

Once the revisions to the Act are approved and gazetted by both houses of Parliament, analysts and lawmakers alike fear that authorities may choose to interpret any demand for greater autonomy in east Malaysia as prompting secession.

Universiti Malaysia Sabah senior anthropology lecturer Dr Paul Porodong stressed that it should not be considered secession for east Malaysians to call for a review of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 — the treaty upon which Malaysian federation was founded — press for greater state autonomy, or to demand more oil royalties.

“My worry is they’ll lump everything into secession and silence the voice of the people,” Porodong told Malay Mail Online. Read the rest of this entry »

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Renegotiate Federal Constitution if Kelantan must have hudud

— Civil Society Organisations of Sabah and Sarawak
The Malay Mail Online
April 8, 2015

APRIL 8 — We — Civil Society Organisations of Sabah and Sarawak — hereby call for a thorough renegotiation of the Federal Constitution if Kelantan insists to enforce its Shariah Criminal Code II (1993) 2015.

We solemnly hold the following positions:

1. In forming Malaysia with Malaya and Singapore in 1963, Sabah and Sarawak signed up for a secular federation, not a theocratic one where any religious criminal justice system may be in force in any part of the Federation.

2. Religious freedom was amongst the top demands of Sabah and Sarawak in the Malaysia negotiations which produced the Inter-Governmental Committee Report and eventually the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. Sabah and Sarawak would not have been part of Malaysia if Shariah criminal law was an item in the negotiation.

3. Secular justice system on crimes as a federal jurisdiction is part of the entire constitutional package embodied in the Ninth Schedule of the Federal Constitution. Any fundamental change to this packaged deal requires a thorough renegotiation of the Federal Constitution. Read the rest of this entry »

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Thanks Dave, always good to feel less lonely in quest for the Malaysian Dream

It is always good to feel less lonely in the quest for the Malaysian Dream where Malaysians regardless of race, religion or region, unite in a common national vision and destiny to build a more united, democratic, free, just, competitive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens.

I refer to Dave Anthony’s Open Letter to me which ended thus: “Saudara Kit Siang, yours may be the lone voice even in the DAP. Never mind, you too step forward and please let your voice ring loud and clear to reach the ears of all Malaysians. You have thrown us a life-line, and I am sure enough of us will take it. Malaysia desperately needs a leader like you.”

Thanks Dave, for throwing me a life-line!

True, what I had raised in the past week represent my personal views and not the official position of the DAP, as it has not been discussed at the various DAP decision-making councils. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Sabahan or Sarawakian can also be Prime Minister of Malaysia in post-BN, post-PR new coalition before 14 GE, and possible candidates include Anifah Musa, Rosnah Rashid Shirlin, Abdul Ghapur Salleh from Sabah and Fadhlah Yusuf, Nancy Shukri and Rohaini Abdul Karim from Sarawak

There are two political coalitions in the country, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which won 53% of the national vote in the 13th general elections in May 2013 but denied the opportunity to form the Federal Government in Putrajaya; and the Barisan Nasional (BN), the first minority Federal Government in Malaysia but won 60% of the parliamentary seats by gerrymandering and undemocratic redelineation of electoral constituencies.

Both political coalitions suffered grave and unprecedented damage this month because of the latest political game played by UMNO conspirators exactly one year ago, when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom told Parliament on March 27 last year that the Federal Government was ready to work with PAS Kelantan State Government to implement hudud in Kelantan.

This has resulted in the Kelantan State Assembly re-enacting the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code 1993 with amendments on March 19 (with the support of UMNO Kelantan State Assemblymen) and the March 18 private member’s bill by the PAS President and MP for Marang Datuk Seri Hadi Awang on hudud implementation.

This has caused enormous damage to Pakatan Rakyat as Hadi’s private member’s bill was a multiple violation of both the spirit and letter of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition – violating the PR Common Policy Framework which committed all PR parties to defend the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution as well as the consensus principle as the Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council at its meeting of Feb. 8 decided unanimously that proposed amendments to the 1993 Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code and any private member’s bill in Parliament should first to brought to the PR Leadership Council for discussion.

Neither of the two PAS commitments, made in the presence of the PAS President, was honoured. In fact, up to now, after a passage of 11 days, DAP and PKR MPs have not even been shown a copy of Hadi’s proposed private member’s bill! Read the rest of this entry »

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Who can be the new Prime Minister of a new coalition government in Malaysia to defend the Malaysian Constitution?

DAP fully endorses the stand of G25 of prominent Malay former civil servants urging Putrajaya to uphold the Federal Constitution and that the implementation of hudud law means the abandonment of the path of moderation chosen by the country since Independence in 1957 and the formation of Malaysia in 1963.

The G25 statement said:

“The imposition of PAS’ hudud laws will signify to the world that Malaysia has abandoned the moderate path.

“We will be seen as a country governed by religious laws which are subjected to the vagaries of interpretation of the ulama who are also fallible human beings.”

I am not a Muslim but I am fortified by the G25 group’s citation of Islamic scholars for this position, especially Sheikh Yusuf Al Qaradawi, who is chairperson of the World Union of Muslim Scholars, who said the application of Syariah must be governed by Ijtihad or creative thought, to determine how it would be enforced today as it would not be helpful to take rulings from ancient texts and apply them in totality to modern societies. Read the rest of this entry »

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Why police presence at EC public hearing, asks DAP

by Desmond Davidson
The Malaysian Insider
7 March 2015 8:11 PM

Sarawak DAP has accused the Election Commission (EC) of breaking its rigid “closed door” rule in the public objections to its proposed redrawing of the electoral boundary in Miri with the presence of four police personnel, believed to be from the Special Branch Unit.

DAP Senadin branch chairperson, Eunice Lim questioned why the cops were allowed to take part but barred the public and media from the series of hearings in Kuching and other major towns in the state.

“Why were the SB officers allowed inside the hearing?” she asked.

“Their presence create a sort of fear to those who were making their presentation,” Lim said, referring to an incident last Thursday.

“I did not realise their presence when I was making my presentation,” she said.

“We only came to know about it when my colleague (Piasau assemblyman Alan Ling) spotted the officers sitting with the EC officers before making his own presentation.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Speaker Salleh to support a DAP motion in April Sabah State Assembly to set up a Sabah State Assembly Select Committee to hold public inquiry to review 52 years of Sabah in Malaysia

Recently, the Sabah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak suggested that the Federal Government consider giving partial autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak, as both states lacked independence in decision-making.

He said Sabahans and Sarawakians must be made to feel they are partners in Malaysia and not servants of West Malaysian colonialists, and the matter should be dealt with quickly before state elections are held in the next few years.

He said the present system of the federal government practically running the two states did not go down well, as the states were supposed to enjoy a certain level of autonomy.

He said Sabah and Sarawak did not really want independence, as proposed by some.
“What is of concern to Sabah and Sarawak is the federalisation of the state government and the loss of its autonomy in deciding some matters,” he said.

He said the federal government not only decides on development expenditure but also controls how, what and when development is implemented.
“This causes delays, wastage and overlapping of functions between the state and federal agencies. Many times the state is left out entirely in the decision-making process,” he said in an article on his blog.

Salleh’s admission about the legitimacy and gravity of grievances and unhappiness by the people of Sabah and Sarawak about their “step-children” treatment by the Federal Government is commendable, although his call for “partial autonomy” only address the symptom but not the root of the problem in both Sabah and Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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