Archive for February 5th, 2008

Video: “Malaysia Belongs to The People”


4 million eligible voters cannot cast their vote – EC should conduct 3-wk final voter registration campaign

The Election Commission should conduct a final three-week voter-registration campaign to enable more eligible voters to exercise their constitutional right to vote in the 12th general election as it is scandalous that there are four million eligible but unregistered voters in a country which claims to be modern and developed.

The Election Commission has announced that with the gazetting of the 2007 Master Electoral Roll today, the number of voters totalled 10,922,139.

This is after the incorporation of the fourth-quarter electoral roll from Oct 1 to Dec 31 with 200,393 names, comprised 148,969 new electors and 51,424 voters who had changed their polling centres.

It is a mark of failure that the Election Commission has not been able to ensure a minimum of 90% registration of all eligible voters on the Electoral Roll, as the Election Commission has been able to register only some 73% of eligible voters to enable them to exercise their constitutional right to vote.

With four million eligible Malaysians not registered, this is a walloping 27% of eligible voters who cannot cast their vote.

I told Parliament more than a decade ago that in New Zealand, its Election Commission could register voters on the eve of polling day to enable them to cast their vote the next day.

Why is the Election Commission in Malaysia so outmoded and antediluvian as to be unable to provide a more efficient and up-to-mark voter registration mechanism?

If in New Zealand, an eligible voter can register on the eve of polling day as to vote the next day, is it totally beyond the competence, capability and professionalism of the Election Commission to conduct a final three-week voter-registration exercise to enable more eligible voters to vote in the 12th general election, as its Polling Day is expected only in the first half of March? Read the rest of this entry »


Dr. Basmullah’s jailing – is Ka Ting the worst Acting Health Minister in nation’s history?

I am here with Norliza binti Hassan, 44, wife of Dr. Basmullah Yusoff – the first doctor be to criminalized and jailed under the Private Healthcare Facilities and Services Act (PHFSA) – her counsel Karpal Singh (DAP National Chairman) and Dr. Lo’Lo Mohd Gazali, Dr. Basmullah’s medical colleague (PAS Wanita leader) for an application to the High Court to get Dr. Basmullah out of Kajang Prison.

Two days ago, New Sunday Times quoted former Health Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek as asking the medical fraternity not to blame him for the jailing of Dr. Basmullah who failed to register his clinic under the PHFSA 1998.

Chua said the PHFSA was never intended to criminalize doctors. He said PHFSA, which came into force on May 1, 2006 when he was Health Minister, was intended to weed out bogus doctors who posed a threat to public health and safety.

Now that a qualified doctor, who has an annual practicing certificate issued by the Malaysian Medical Council has been criminalized and sentenced to three months jail for his inability to pay RM120,000 fine, why has Chua failed to speak up firstly, to admit that the enforcement of the PHFSA should be suspended until there is iron-clad guarantee that there would not be another case of criminalizing of a doctor like that of Dr. Basmullah; and secondly, that it is grossly unjust for Dr. Basmullah to spend another day in jail.

Dr. Basmullah has been jailed for 18 days which is equivalent to paying a fine of over RM24,000 – which is already too hefty a fine for a technical offence committed by Dr. Basmullah.

Is Chua prepared to publicly state that as Dr. Basmullah has paid an equivalent of over RM24,000 fine in serving 18 day’s jail sentence, justice demand that he be released immediately without any extra day in Kajang Prison?

I am very disappointed that for more than two weeks, there has been deafening silence from the Acting Health Minister, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting on the Dr. Basmullah case – whether he is utterly indifferent about the sufferings imposed on the father of eight or whether he is totally lost as to how to rectify the injustice suffered by Dr. Basmullah. Read the rest of this entry »


If Parliament is dissolved during CNY, BN leaders must apologise for another insensitivity

The general election is one step nearer with two further developments:

• the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi declaring that he now has “inspiration” for the 12th general election although he has not fixed the date;

• the announcement by the Election Commission secretary Datuk Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor that the main electoral roll, including those who registered as voters throughout last year, will be gazetted today.

A fly in the ointment in all the hype and escalation of preparations for the impending 12th general election is the spoiling of the spirit and mood of the Chinese New Year beginning on Thursday by a possible dissolution of Parliament in the midst of the Chinese New Year.

There is very strong speculation that Parliament will be dissolved to kick off the 12th general election campaign during the Chinese New Year period itself – with the 8th day of Chinese New Year (14th Feb) even mentioned as the likely date for the dissolution of Parliament.

Abdullah should give a public assurance that the Chinese New Year celebrations would not be marred by the dissolution of Parliament and the kick-off of general election campaign – and that any dissolution of Parliament will only be after Chap Goh Mei on Feb. 21.

The MCA, Gerakan and SUPP Ministers and leaders should impress on the Prime Minister the importance and significance of allowing the Chinese New Year festivities to be completed before the dissolution of Parliament and the kickoff of the general election campaign.

MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Gerakan Acting President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon and SUPP President Tan Sri Dr. George Chan should explain and publicly apologise if they cannot convince Abdullah to fully respect Chinese New Year celebrations and not to dissolve Parliament to kick off general election campaign until after Chap Goh Mei (21st Feb).

If Ka Ting, Tsu Koon and George Chan cannot even convince Abdullah on such a small though significant matter, what can Malaysians expect from them on larger and more important matters affecting the community, the state, the nation and future generations? Read the rest of this entry »