Archive for February 19th, 2008

Po Kuan incommunicado

Media Conference Statement (2) by Lim Kit Siang at the Perak DAP State hqrs in Ipoh on Tuesday, 19th February 2008 at 1 pm

There are four days left to Nomination Day on Sunday. It is most unfortunate that in the past few days, particularly in the past 72 hours, the DAP had shifted from pace-and-agenda setting for the 12th general election, which is the “Battle of the Century”, to one of complete disarray because of party problems particularly over Fong Po Kuan’s shock announcement that she will not contest in Batu Gajah parliamentary seat and other general election and candidature questions.

DAP leaders have been trying to reach Po Kuan since Sunday but have not been successful as she is incommunicado. From the public responses to her and my blogs, she should know that she is held in very high regard as the voice of the oppressed and beacon of hope of the marginalized.

We all hope that Po Kuan can reconsider to return to the frontline of the Battle of the Century in the 12th general election for the third contest in the Batu Gajah parliamentary seat.

I fully respect the right and responsibility of the media to report and chase news and undoubtedly, Po Kuan and the DAP’s general election problems are newsworthy.

However, the media should be fair and balanced in the coverage of all newsworthy party developments, not just of the DAP but also of Umno, MCA, Gerakan,, MIC and all other Barisan Nasional component parties. Read the rest of this entry »


Samy Vellu’s days are numbered – Subra as next MIC leader

Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has become the most unpopular politician in the country and probably in Malaysian history, being booed, jeered, car blocked, thrown stones, rotten eggs and even slippers almost every day in public places.

This public rejection of Samy Vellu has spread to MIC and Barisan Nasional (BN) functions, with other MIC and BN leaders becoming also the target of public resentment and fury, as illustrated by the meet-the-people session led by Perak Mentri Besar and Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali in Buntong, Ipoh yesterday.

The political days of Samy Vellu, MIC President and sole Indian Cabinet Minister for over 28 years, are numbered. Moves in fact are afoot for the former deputy president, Datuk S. Subramaniam, to become the next MIC leader as Samy Vellu is slowly phased out of the political scene.

I expect Subra to make a political comeback on Sunday on his nomination as a Barisan Nasional candidate for the 12th general election and preparatory to his joining the Cabinet – something Subra had been denied and been waiting for nearly three decades. Read the rest of this entry »


Mandate of heaven this nation awaits

Dr. Azly Rahman

Sometime ago, I wrote these:

1)”Let our children learn that it is terrifying to be corrupt; such as to build palaces while the homes of the poor are demolished. Let us teach them to vote with their conscience.”

2) “The current regime cannot solve the problems it creates. It must dismantle itself, die a natural death, destroy the symbols of power it has abused, and let a peaceful renewal take its natural course.”

We have 13 days of campaigning period and after that, the opportunity to exercise our fundamental rights as Malaysian citizens. We are doing this at a time when our political system is in utter chaos – the three branches of government are growing more visible thorns and climbing onto each other, while the roots are diseased in this wasteland called democracy in which the air is foul and toxic. Is this a curse of our obsession with the number 13?

These 13 days are crucial for our nation’s future. It might not be as dramatic as 10 days that shook Russia in October 1917 but nonetheless it is a time when the change we need is now. The process of getting there is “perestroikic”. The previous ruling regime that has served Malaysia for 50 years too I believe is asking for radical change to happen. This feeling resides in the collective unconscious of our race-based politics. It will be our bipolarist Freudian moment of Malaysian Machiavellianism. The calm of Mahathirism is now creating a storm of unknown proportions. Read the rest of this entry »


Just Vote opposition to deny BN 2/3 Majority

by Richard Teo

I would like to refer to the Malaysiakini article ‘Finally a chance to wrest Penang.’

In this article, Ronald Quay seems to contradict himself.His caption seems to suggest there is a good chance of the opposition wresting Penang from B.N and yet in the same breathe predicted that’B.N will still win the General Elections ,hands down’What is perhaps galling is his statement that’the Barisan national is still the best party to govern Malaysia today’.

If Ronald is so confident that his theory of opposition contesting the State seats as oppose to contesting the Read the rest of this entry »


Freedom of the press

By Ishwar Nahappan

Dr Mahathir thrust a deep dagger into the heart of fundamental and civil liberties of Malaysia. This is the legacy that he will be known best for. Progressively under his rule the concept of “Free and Fair” elections were thrown out of the window.

The expression “Free and Fair” incorporates many underlying principles including legal, ethical, and internationally accepted historical conventions. It does not just mean the freedom to vote. An open free press to express its views without duress and manipulation is a fundamental liberty which is the absolute right of ALL MALAYSIANS OF ALL RACES.

The newspapers and visual media (government controlled) are blanketed and filled with goodies and ang pows from the barisan government and all opposition activities are blocked and blacked out by a pliant press and media under the control and ownership of the constituent parties of barisan. UMNO or UMNO members control the New Straits Times, Berita Harian, The Malay Mail, the Utusan, etc. MCA control the Star and Nanyang Siang Pow and Datuk Samy Vellu’s personal family members control the Tamil Nesan.

Freedom of the press in Malaysia is like a wayang kulit, now you see it now you don’t. Or a water tap which can be turned on and off or reduced to a trickle whenever the government so chooses.

The press deliberately ignores:

• Any mention by the opposition of continuing breaches of civil liberties, the incidents of endemic corruption, acts of wasteful expenditure, the list could go on and on but I will save that for another day.

• It now appears that Bukit Bintang has 5,000 new postal voters who have suddenly appeared without any logical or legitimate rhyme or reason. One should ask WHY and the reason being is to neutralise one community’s voting strength.

• The leadership of the MIC is fast losing any residual credibility with the Indian community. Its great leader Datuk Samy Vellu has been harassed on two occasions in the last few days and just yesterday with eggs and slippers. Consequently more and more Indians are joining the DAP, totally frustrated with Samy Vellu’s self-centered and self-aggrandizing leadership. Last Thursday evening, at a dinner I hosted in Klang, 250 ordinary Indians, many of them from the MIC openly joined the DAP.

• Samy Vellu can’t even speak out and on behalf of 300 men, women and children who were demonstrating peacefully and calling them criminal to boot. Perhaps he should look at a mirror himself and adjust his coiffeur (hairdo), it might help him see things more clearly. A meaningful response to this horrendous act by the police was made by Datuk Anwar yesterday. His speech was reported in The New Paper.

Fortunately for us today and what makes this election a watershed is the power of electronic media communication both through the internet and the sms. The Thaipusam celebration which was boycotted by the Indian community at large resulted in the number of devotees visiting Batu Caves reducing to a generous estimate of approximately 250,000 people as opposed to the usual 800,000 – 1 million people. Samy’s days are numbered. It could not happen sooner. He will be the fourth of a pack of rotten apples who came to power in the seventies who so spoiled Malaysia. I wish him a peaceful retirement.