Archive for January 31st, 2008

Mahathir right that BN and Umno incapable of reform – why BN 2/3 majority must be slashed

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad is right when he said yesterday that the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Umno are incapable of reforming themselves without pressures from the electorate.

Mahathir warned that if the voters back the Barisan Nasional government once again in the coming polls, it would be an endorsement for a coalition “centred on nepotism and corruption”.

He also expressed the hope that Barisan Nasional supporters will not vote in “corrupt and inefficient” leaders in the next general election.

I fully agree with Mahathir and this is why the denial of the Barisan Nasional two-thirds majority in Parliament and the Perak state assembly should be the common objective of all Malaysians who want to see change and improvement in Malaysian politics and nation-building. Read the rest of this entry »


3-hr Cabinet meeting on general election – a premiership quickly losing ability to differentiate between right and wrong

Speech by Parliamentary Opposition Leader and DAP MP for Ipoh Timur Lim Kit Siang at the launching of the DAP Pasir Pinji Election Operation Centre in Ipoh on Thursday, 31st January 2008 at 1 pm:

3-hr Cabinet meeting yesterday on next general election the latest example of gross abuse of power, lack of integrity and rapid degeneration of ethical quality of Abdullah premiership, which is quickly losing the ability to understand the difference between right and wrong

New Straits Times today carried an exclusive about the three-hour Cabinet meeting yesterday on preparations for impending general election under the heading “Get ready to face election, ministers told”, which reads: Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Basmullah in Kajang Prison – Karpal takes up case pro bono publico

DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh will take up the case of Dr. Basmullah Yusom, 44, the first doctor to be jailed under a technicality under the Private Health Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) 1998 as pro bono publico to get him released from Kajang Prison.

As reported by New Straits Times on 19th November 2008, Dr. Basmullah has earned the dubious reputation of being the first person to be convicted under the PHFSA for not registering his 10-year-old clinic in Desa Pandan, Kuala Lumpur.

Fined RM120,000 or three months jail, Dr. Basmullah had been languishing in Kajang Prison for the past fortnight as he does not have the money to pay the fine.

In Penang on Sunday, I had called on the Attorney-General, Tan Sri Gani Patail to intervene in this case of grave injustice and to invoke the revisionary powers inherent in his office to call up Dr. Basmullah’s case to get the Univeristi Sains Malaysia (USM)-trained doctor and father of eight out of jail without any moment of delay.

Alternatively, I had also called on the Chief Judge of Malaya or the Chief Justice of Malaysia to invoke their revisionary powers to call up the case to quash the jail sentence imposed on Dr. Basmullah.

Unfortunately, there has been no response whatsoever from the Attorney-General’s Office or the judiciary.

This was why DAP MP for Ipoh Barat, M. Kulasegaran and I visited Kajang Prisons two days ago where we received confirmation that Dr. Basmullah was serving his jail sentence although we did not get to see him.

I have since been in contact with Dr. Basmullah’s wife, Nurlizah Hassan, who also met Karpal over Dr. Basmullah’s jail term. Read the rest of this entry »


Evolving from ‘bullshit to truth’

Dr. Azly Rahman

Each candidate behaved well in the hope of being judged worthy of election. However, this system was disastrous when the city had become corrupt. For then it was not the most virtuous but the most powerful who stood for election, and the weak, even if virtuous, were too frightened to run for office. – Niccolo Machiavelli

It’s exciting; I don’t know whether I’m going to win or not. I think I am. I do know I’m ready for the job. And, if not, that’s just the way it goes.- George W Bush, 43rd President of the United States

Elections are supposed to be an educational process – not a time when propaganda rules the airwaves and cyberspace, and indoctrination rules the minds of those playing the game of choosing a new government.

It is a time when, borrowing the words of Princeton professor Harold Frankfurt, one sees the evolution of “bullshit to truth” in the continuum of “truthiness or truthism”.

But one wonders how much understanding of the election process the Malaysian voters have. We seem to rush through elections and have become good at being indecisive, secretive and calculative about the date of the general election. We should instead be preparing the minds of voters with a sense of predictability and basic understanding of what is involved in electing a government.

We must treat an election as something more that a Geertzian ‘Balinese cockfight’; a time of high stakes in a game of shame and blame. We must make our voters more intelligent so that they may in turn choose intelligent governments that respect human rights and freedom of speech, and will work for all.

As voters, we have to ask ourselves many questions. Read the rest of this entry »