Archive for category UMNO
By JOE COCHRANE
New York Times
May 10, 2013
JAKARTA, Indonesia — If there was a moment after the nail-biting national election on Sunday when Malaysians could envision a respite from five years of political turmoil, it did not last long.
Within hours of the election commission’s announcement early Monday that Prime Minister Najib Razak’s governing National Front coalition had won a majority in Parliament, Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader, declared that the voting was rigged, said he would contest the results and called for nationwide protests.
The prime minister’s office countered that Mr. Anwar was a poor loser stirring up unrest, while the police warned that the opposition leader and dozens of other people who spoke at a protest rally in a packed soccer stadium just outside the capital, Kuala Lumpur, on Wednesday night could be charged with sedition.
Such tit-for-tat exchanges between the government and the opposition were commonplace after the 2008 election and in the campaign for the vote last Sunday. But analysts say that the continuing political attacks and threats of protest this time are raising the specter of a potentially explosive showdown fueled by ethnic tensions laid bare again in the vote and longstanding animosity between Mr. Najib and Mr. Anwar.
“In a way, it’s escalated things,” said Simon Tay, the chairman of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs. “And with an escalation, you’re not sure of what the results will be.” Read the rest of this entry »
Reme Ahmad in Alor Setar
The Straits Times
Thu, May 09, 2013
PM Najib Razak has to convince warlords in his own party to keep him on as chief.
MALAYSIA – Even as the dust settles from his victorious battle against Malaysia’s galvanised opposition, Prime Minister Najib Razak might be heading for another fight – convincing warlords in his own party to keep him on as chief.
Umno is scheduled to hold its internal elections, held every three years, before the end of this year.
Some expect the Umno president to face a challenge from his deputy then.
Datuk Seri Najib’s performance in the general election will be the main yardstick used by Umno leaders to decide whether to let the 59-year-old continue as president, or to allow Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, 66, to mount a challenge.
The Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition won 133 parliamentary seats on Sunday, with the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) getting 89. In the previous general election, BN had won 140 seats.
So yes, under Mr Najib, the 13-party ruling coalition had won back Kedah and kept Perak. The latter was taken from PR a year after the 2008 election as a result of defections by several assemblymen; Mr Najib has now secured a mandate to keep it.
But were Sunday’s results good enough? Analysts have mixed views. Read the rest of this entry »
May 11th 2013 |From the print edition
After a tainted election victory, Najib Razak needs to show his reformist mettle
AT FIRST sight, the general election in Malaysia on May 5th, the closest-fought since independence in 1957, looks encouraging. A lively campaign inspired a remarkable turnout of 85% of the country’s 13.3m voters. The government’s victory seems recognition of Malaysia’s solid economic performance and of the progressive reforms introduced by Najib Razak, the prime minister. He has repealed some oppressive, colonial-era laws. He has even begun to dismantle the affirmative-action policies favouring the ethnic-Malay majority over Chinese Malaysians (about a quarter of the population) and Indians (8%). Those policies are at the root of the corruption and cronyism poisoning Malaysian society.
Look again, however, and Malaysian politics seems near breakdown. The opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim alleges electoral fraud and has refused to accept the result. Whether that is true or not, it is certain that the ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, has huge inbuilt advantages. Gerrymandered constituencies meant that with less than 47% of the popular vote, its worst-ever electoral performance, it still won 60% of the 222 parliamentary seats. The state has dispensed cash handouts and other goodies, while much of the civil service works as a party-political tool, and the election commission has long brushed aside allegations of malfeasance. Add in an obsequious mainstream media, and it is rather remarkable that so many Barisan Nasional campaigners still felt the need to resort to blatant vote-buying. Read the rest of this entry »
May 11th 2013 | KUALA LUMPUR |From the print edition
The government scrapes home—allegedly aided by vote rigging
ON MAY 5th Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional coalition, led by the prime minister, Najib Razak, was re-elected for the 13th time in a row. Barisan won a majority of seats in parliament, 133 out of 222, against 89 for the opposition, a three-party coalition called Pakatan Rakyat and led by Anwar Ibrahim. The turnout was a record 85%. And so the same government which has ruled Malaysia since independence from Britain in 1957 is set for another five years in office.
Within Barisan, the overriding sense is of relief. It did slightly better in terms of seats than some had predicted. Scratch the surface, however, and in almost every respect this was a lamentable result for the ruling coalition, its worst ever. Not only did it lose a further seven seats to Pakatan, but it won with only 47% of the popular vote. It is further evidence of how the electoral system is skewed in Barisan’s favour, allowing it to stack up seats in the rural Malay heartlands with far fewer voters than Pakatan needs to win seats in more urban areas. In many places the opposition increased large majorities. For instance, in Penang in the north of the country the Barisan defeat was so humiliating that its candidate for governor, Teng Chang Yeow, resigned from all his party posts. Several government ministers lost their seats.
Most striking was that ethnic Chinese (about a quarter of the population) shifted their votes away from Barisan towards the opposition. The Chinese party of the Barisan coalition, the Malaysian Chinese Association, won just seven seats, down from 15, whereas the opposition’s mainly Chinese Democratic Action Party (DAP) picked up ten seats, for a final tally of 38. Read the rest of this entry »
Friday, May 10, 2013
Kuala Lumpur: Election 2013 has laid bare the declining influence of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as a political force, an analysis of where and how he campaigned showed.
The former Prime Minister campaigned incessantly but Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates whom he backed or shared his ideals – such as the controversial Zulkifli Noordin and Ibrahim Ali – all lost.
In Kedah – where his son Mukhriz is now Mentri Besar on the back of a BN victory – local politicians and observers have pointed out that voters gave PAS the boot because of poor governance by the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party.
Brand Mahathir did not win Kedah for BN, but it was rather a case of PAS losing the state, one senior Umno politician in Kedah said.
Dr Mahathir’s attempt at painting the battle for Gelang Patah in Johor as a Malay versus Chinese battle also failed miserably.
Many analysts and BN politicians have said that his incessant playing of the race card for the Election 2013 campaign saw support for him deplete.
“He still has his niche group of supporters in the Malays, they wouldn’t simply demonise leaders whom they feel have been there for them long enough.
“But yes… at times, it may be true that his time is over.
What he says, how he says it, may not have traction among the younger generation, in the urban areas. But let us not forget – he is not the PM of the day,” Sabah Umno secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said. Read the rest of this entry »
What more does Kit Siang want? At least five things – clean, free and fair elections; Malaysia as a normal democratic country; restoration of rule of law; world-class education and a safe, green, healthy and united Malaysia
Utusan Malaysia today carried its campaign to demonise me as an ogre and monster to a new height when in its main article on its editorial page by its senior editor Zulkiflee Bakar, posed the question: “Apa lagi Kit Siang mahu?”, launched a series of baseless attacks and insinuations against me.
Let me first answer the Utusan question: “Apa lagi Kit Siang mahu?”
My answer is: At least five thing – a clean, free and fair elections; Malaysia as a normal democratic country; restoration of rule of law; world-class education and a safe, green, healthy and united Malaysia.
If there is a clean, free and fair elections system, the Prime Minister in Malaysia today after the 13th general elections is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and not Datuk Seri Najib Razak, as Pakatan Rakyat would have no difficulty in winning 125 parliamentary seats distributed among PKR 45, PAS and DAP 40 each with a comfortable majority of 28 out of 222 parliamentary seats.
Even despite the dirtiest election in the nation’s history, with UMNO/BN resorting to three main dishonest and unscrupulous strategies of “Money Money Money”, “Lies Lies Lies” and “Fear Fear Fear”, Najib is a minority Prime Minister winning only 47% of the popular vote while Anwar and Pakatan Raykat won the majority of the 51% popular vote, first time in the nation’s 56-year history of 13 general elections.
Read the rest of this entry »
— Fikry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
May 12, 2013
MAY 12 — One week after GE13, you get the feeling that some Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, especially in Umno, are in denial about what went wrong with their campaign.
Instead, they first blamed it on the Chinese for rejecting them, and then told the Chinese they were stupid enough to be duped by the DAP into rejecting them. In not so many words, the Chinese are ungrateful and stupid.
“Umno was not defeated, in fact it added more seats. If not for some quarters playing race issues, we would have won more seats,” Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said in his speech at the party’s 67th anniversary celebration at the Putra World Trade Centre here last night
“We are not a racist party, we are a party that is moderate. We have been serving other races for a long time,” he added.
One of the harsh realities of the new world is this: you cannot tailor your message to different race groups and get away with it.
Umno and BN tried that in Election 2013 and failed, Umno’s Utusan Malaysia tried to scare people with DAP being the master and PAS the puppet, while MCA’s The Star did the opposite.
The NST, well, it couldn’t do really much because its sales and readership, is shrinking and it could only rely on bloggers for its news content. Read the rest of this entry »
by Bridget Welsh
May 12, 2013
The May 2013 general election was a potential transition election in which the BN governing coalition held onto power.
The majority of the Malaysians supported an alternative government, but the incumbent Umno elite, supported by vested interests and years of constructing an electoral system in its favour, won out.
Even with yet another multi-ethnic national swing in electoral support towards Pakatan and more Malaysians voting than ever before, the incumbent elite in power held on, thwarting democracy.
Earlier, I pointed to some of the specific questions surrounding the electoral roll, the placement of voters, the conduct of the election itself and the character of the results, highlighting many of the unanswered questions of GE13.
The process of evidence gathering has begun and in the months ahead many of the irregularities in the polls will be illustrated and investigated. Read the rest of this entry »
Johor UMNO, all its divisions and branches, as well as Johor UMNO leaders, should declare whether they support Ghani being appointed a Senator so that he could be made a Minister in charge of EPU?
There have not only been silence from UMNO/Barisan Nasional leaders to my proposal that the outgoing four-term Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman should be rewarded with a senior government post, there appears to be an officially-inspired rejection of the proposal when MUBARAK, the association of former Barisan Nasional MP and Assemblymen, came out with a statement declaring that those defeated in the recent general elections should not be appointed a Senator or made a Minister.
The President of MUBARAK Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Rahman can only be referring to Ghani as I had specifically suggested that Ghani, in view of his contributions and experience in Johor, should be appointed a Senator and made a Minister, and a Cabinet post suitable for him will be Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Economic Planning Unit, replacing Nor Mohamad Yakcop.
The implicit rejection of the proposal to make Ghani a Senator and his appointment as a Minister has confirmed suspicions all along that Ghani was a victim of a power struggle in UMNO, particularly in Johor, and Ghani was forced to contest in Gelang Patah to end his political career if he cannot, to use Tun Mahathir’s words, make Gelang Patah my “burial ground”. Read the rest of this entry »
By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
May 10, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 ― National reconciliation appears a distant dream post-Election 2013 for a country scarred by the “nasty, divisive” electoral campaign led by Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) in the rural heartlands, The Economist has said.
The international current affairs magazine observed that Umno, to shore up its base of rural Malay voters, had alienated the Chinese and other communities already fed up with the alleged cronyism and corruption associated with affirmative action policies that favour the country’s largest ethnic group.
“Mr Najib has said he wants to be prime minister for all Malaysians. Sadly, however, he presided over an ugly campaign by his… Umno, the main component of Barisan,” the magazine wrote, referring to Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who was sworn in for his second term as prime minister after BN emerged victors again for its 13th general election running.
“In the rural Malay heartlands, Umno was as negative, racially divisive and pro-Malay as ever,” it added.
Adding salt to wound, The Economist said blaming BN’s losses on a “Chinese tsunami” had been unwise of Najib as the vote trend had clearly shown a massive swing in votes from the young and rising urban middle class, which cut across racial lines.
“Casting the election in such racial terms is neither wise nor accurate,” the magazine wrote in one article titled “A dangerous result”. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ida Lim
The Malaysian Insider
May 10, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, May 10 ― Pakatan Rakyat (PR) may consider working together with the Barisan Nasional (BN) to form a coalition government if the former’s election manifesto is endorsed by its rival, DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today said.
Stressing that this proposal was merely his personal opinion, Lim said there would only be “basis for discussion” with BN if the ruling coalition “endorses” PR’s common policy framework and manifesto for the 13th general election.
“On that, we made it very clear, it’s my personal view, because this is something which can only be officially responded by the Pakatan Rakyat leadership,” said the veteran leader from DAP, one of three parties in the PR pact.
Think-tank ASLI had on Wednesday proposed a broad-based BN-PR coalition government, a suggestion that comes on the back of BN’s reduced support in the national polls on Sunday. Read the rest of this entry »
by John Berthelsen
Wednesday, 08 May 2013
Election aftermath could soon claim its real loser, the current PM
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, having been instrumental in driving his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from power in 2009 after a poor electoral performance, now may be poised to try to do the same thing to the current prime minister, Najib Tun Razak.
It may depend on whether Najib jumps or is pushed, however. The premier is said to be disillusioned and discouraged and may leave the premiership at the United Malays National Organization annual general meeting in October, handing over power to the current vice president Muhyiddin Yassin, sources say – if he lasts that long. Najib led the Barisan Nasional to its lowest vote total since independence at 46.66 percent of the popular vote to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition’s 50.1 percent, taking a diminished 133 seats in the parliament to Pakatan Rakyat’s 89 – amid allegations of voter irregularities that put the Barisan over the top.
“I am told that Najib will hand over to Muhyiddin in October,” a lawyer with close contacts to UMNO said. “The change may finally come but voluntarily between Najib and Muhyiddin. We’ll have to let it play it out some more.”
That could foreshadow months of instability inside the UMNO leadership as a weakened Najib hangs on to power in the face of a wing of the party that wants to double down on the policies that have led to diminished returns in the last two elections. Toppling him now for Muhyiddin could well lead to costly party rifts, as it did in 2009 with the Badawi faction of the party. A change would probably signal that UMNO will steer to the conservative right, counterintuitive to what the electorate appears to have been saying. It was UMNO moderates such as Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahrir Samad who profited in the election while Malay nationalists Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin were soundly defeated. Read the rest of this entry »
— Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2013
MAY 9 — Speaking at a news conference a day after the release of the results of the general election, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stressed that: “On the whole, the people’s decision this time shows a trend of voting polarisation…This worries the government, because if it’s not handled well, it could spark tension.” These comments were made in light of the premier’s knee-jerk observation that the increasingly politicised Chinese community have now swung towards the opposition unlike Malays who are firmly in support of Barisan Nasional (BN).
Compelling as such reasoning can be, Najib’s reflex reaction towards BN’s worst defeat since 1969 masks the deeper nuances of voting patterns and trends in Malaysia. While the results of the 13th general election (GE13) provide evidence that the Chinese-Malay divide in Malaysian politics has indeed manifest itself at the ballot box, there are other developments within the Malay populace in the country that have become more apparent and may follow a more protracted course in the coming years.
The rural-urban divide is the most obvious phenomenon that has emerged among the Malay electorate. Read the rest of this entry »
By Ida Lim
May 09, 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today praised former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while also asking that his polls rival Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman be given a post in the new Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.
Lim described Abdullah’s statement yesterday as being the “most sensible, level-headed and statesmanlike” comment on the results of last Sunday’s polls.
Despite holding on to power with its win of 133 federal seats, BN lost the popular vote and had a poorer showing this time round, which led the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to suggest that it was due to a “Chinese tsunami”.
The DAP advisor also said Ghani was a moderate and rational man, saying that the former Johor Mentri Besar had contributed to the state and country’s development during his four terms of service. Read the rest of this entry »
Dato’ Mohd Tamrin b. Tun Abdul Ghafar Baba menyangkal fitnah UMNO terhadap Lim Kit Siang dan DAP sebagai dalang peristiwa Mei 13, 1969.
Fitnah 13 Mei: Dato Ghani Othman perlu lebih berani, tegas dan serius untuk menolak kempen politik kotor
Saya kesal kerana risalah fitnah kononnya saya menjadi pencetus peristiwa 13 Mei 1969 masih disebarkan tanpa sebarang tindakan tegas daripada pihak berkuasa. Malah sikap tidak serius Dato Abdul Ghani Othman, calon BN yang menjadi saingan saya bagi Parlimen Gelang Patah, membayangkan seolah-olah beliau tidak peduli dengan kempen kotor yang dilakukan oleh pelampau kaum di Johor.
Saya telah beberapa kali meminta Dato Ghani beliau supaya bersama-sama dengan saya untuk memastikan kempen pilihanraya benar-benar bersih dan tidak dicemarkan oleh penipuan dan pembohongan. Sebagai bekas Menteri Besar yang lama berkhidmat, beliau tentu faham betapa pentingnya untuk mengamalkan kempen PRU yang bersih.
Fitnah 13 Mei terhadap saya bukan sahaja kejam dan keji di sepanjang kempen PRU ini tetapi ia juga akan memberi kesan buruk kepada hubungan antara kaum selepas selesai PRU. Ini adalah kerana ia berasaskan pembohongan dan penipuan semata-mata. Dato Ghani Othman perlu lebih berani, tegas dan serius untuk menolak kempen politik kotor ini.
Malah Dato Ghani sebagai seorang pemimpin yang sederhana serta bijak dalam bidang akademik sepatutnya lebih sedar tentang sejarah Malaysia. Beliau sepatutnya tahu bahawa saya tidak terlibat sama sekali dengan peristiswa 13 Mei 1969. Read the rest of this entry »
7-Day Countdown to 13GE Polling Day – DAP membantah Berita Harian, akhbar kawalan UMNO-BN, yang menghasut orang Melayu supaya membenci DAP dan kaum-kaum lain di Malaysia
DAP membantah Berita Harian, akhbar kawalan UMNO-BN, yang menghasut orang Melayu supaya membenci DAP dan kaum-kaum lain di Malaysia. Fitnah yang mereka lemparkan semakin tidak masuk akal, malah menghina daya pemikiran orang Melayu.
Fitnah terbaru datang daripada Berita Harian edisi Ahad hari ini 28 April 2013 dalam satu komentar yang ditulis oleh seorang yang bernama Mahfar Ali. Tajuk rencana itu sahaja sudah menunjukkan sikap hipokrit dan pembohongan media kawalan UMNO-BN tersebut. Tajuk “Pertahan prinsip kesederhanaan, tolak ekstremisme” cuba berselindung di sebalik kebencian penulis kepada perpaduan antara kaum yang dianjurkan oleh DAP dan Pakatan Rakyat.
Dia menulis: “Apakah nanti demonstrasi jalanan dan gerakan LBGT (Lesbian, Gay, Biseksual dan Transgender) yang menjadi budaya Barat, akan turut diterima di negara ini? Inilah kemelut dua parti diketuai pemimpin Melayu yang diperkudakan DAP – parti cauvinis Cina yang dasar pentadbirannya di Pulau Pinang dilihat lebih banyak menekan orang Melayu. Barangkali juga DAP menyertai pakatan pembangkang sebagai mainan politiknya untuk memecahbelahkan orang Melayu dan Islam.”
Berita Harian sebagai lidah UMNO cuba menggambarkan bahawa PKR dan PAS sebagai parti orang Melayu – kerana UMNO hanya faham politik yang berasaskan kaum semata-mata, ia tidak faham demokrasi, hak asasi, keadilan sosial. Dan kedua-dua parti itu dianggap oleh UMNO sebagai mudah diperalatkan oleh DAP.
Jelas Berita Harian buta sejarah dan enggan menerima hakikat kebenaran. DAP adalah parti politik yang sah yang menjunjung dan mempertahankan Perlembagaan Persekutuan 1957. Ini bererti DAP menerima Perlembagaan yang mendaulatkan agama Islam sebagai agama Persekutuan dan pada masa yang sama melindungi hak agama-agama lain untuk diamalkan secara bebas.
Read the rest of this entry »
by P Ramakrishnan
Only then will it be able to shed its arrogance and look beyond the narrow politics of race and ethnicity, says P Ramakrishnan.
I have never felt as optimistic as I do today. Tonight’s forum has a great significance for me and for all those rooting for change. Five years ago, on this day, Malaysians shed their fear and stood up for their rights. As a result, we had the tsunami of 8 March 2008!
That tsunami would have brought about a change at the federal level as well if the GE12 had been free and fair. We were robbed of a well-deserved victory because the Barisan Nasional, the National Registration Department and the Election Commission colluded and plotted together to frustrate the aspirations of the people. Read the rest of this entry »
by Bridget Welsh
6:19PM Apr 27, 2013
GE13 SPECIAL Apart from civil servants, another decisive group in GE13 are women. They comprise 51.7 percent of the electorate and regularly turn out in high numbers, especially in semi and rural areas.
In close races, how women vote can make the difference. Numerically, women are largely in the urban areas, but disproportionately they are more influential politically in the more rural areas, as men are often outstation for employment.
Let’s take a look at how women can shape and have shaped the election so far, recognising that they will make an important impact this election and the trends are moving against the BN. Read the rest of this entry »
We have seen the BN ads in the mass media portraying the opposition parties in a sinister light. Tota now shares with us his thoughts on what the BN stands for.
I have been sickened by the anti-Pakatan Rakyat advertisements in the BN controlled mainstream print media (see above). BN tactics are downright dirty. For a change, let me tell the rakyat what voting for BN portends.
A vote for BN is a vote to:
- Maintain a throughly corrupt regime to plunder the country’s wealth.
- Allow Umno to continue to exploit and manipulate mercilessly the poor Malays using religion and political propaganda.
- Encourage government that lies, cheats and deceives.