Archive for April 22nd, 2011

Postal votes which are never posted

By Ivy Kwek

APRIL 22 — Having acted as a coordinator for polling and counting agents for the Opposition campaign in the recently concluded Sarawak state election has made me more confused about the rationale of the electoral system in Malaysia, in particular with regard to postal voting.

Under Malaysian election laws, postal voting is mainly allowed for police personnel, members of the armed forces and Election Commission workers who are on duty on polling day. Six days before polling day, postal votes will be issued through a procedure which can be witnessed by agents from all contesting parties. The ballot papers are inserted into envelopes with an acknowledgment form attached to be ‘posted’ to the voters concerned. (*Source: Brian Moh/The Star)

Don’t be fooled by the name, though. In actual fact, only a very small number of overseas votes are sent by post. The postal votes for police personnel and members of the armed forces are dispatched by police and military officials respectively to designated police stations and army camps, whereas Election Commission workers are required to collect their own postal votes from the issuing centre.

Upon arrival at the issuing centre, the EC workers have a choice of either voting on-the-spot (a polling station a la the normal voting procedure will be set up for them), or to take the ballot papers back and return them later. The postal voting station will be open for six days until polling day.

Questions which immediately arise are: if the EC workers can come in person to collect their postal votes, why can’t they just vote on-the-spot under the normal voting procedure? Why the additional choice of issuing ballot papers in envelopes which involves more steps and makes the system more prone to abuse? Why should the EC workers be allowed to bring the ballot papers back while ordinary voters do not enjoy this privilege? Why do they need six days to return the ballot papers? Is it to wait for God’s vision of who to vote for? Read the rest of this entry »


Did you hear about the Bidayuh who voted for DAP?

By June Rubis
April 22, 2011

We were like a bad bar joke: two Bidayuhs, a Lun Bawang, an Iban, and two Malays walk into a DAP ceramah in Kuching. The crowd is mostly Chinese, and the speeches so far are all in Mandarin.

“I don’t understand what they are saying,” I complain to my fellow Bidayuh.

“Neither do we, and that is why we drink,” he replies, handing me a can of beer.

The next day is Election Day for Sarawak, and we, the motley crew representing the urban non-Chinese, cast our votes for DAP.

Times have changed for urban Sarawakians who all this while have embraced DAP as a home-grown party despite it having its origins in West Malaysia. We have seen the party struggle to grab a foothold in the state political arena for many decades.

It may be a Chinese-based party but for many of us urban voters, it represents the best possible choice for change of a state governance that we have grown weary of. Plus, you have to admit, their mascot is very cun.

Unsurprisingly, DAP has done very well in the urban areas (and 30,000 Ubah plush toys have sold out in less than two weeks), and soon everyone’s jumping on the bandwagon about how the Sarawak Chinese have rejected Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »


Challenges for BN, Pakatan after the S’wak polls

By Ong Kian Ming
Apr 22, 11

In Part 1 of my analysis on the Sarawak elections, I explained the opposition’s failure to deny the BN a two-thirds majority in terms of the insufficient and unevenly distributed non-Muslim bumiputera (NMB) vote swing against the BN.

The complexity of the changes in the level of BN support in the NMB-majority seats, and to a lesser degree, the Malay/Melanau-majority seats, were also illustrated and explained.

Here, in Part 2 of my analysis, I put forth some of the implications and challenges for each of the major parties within the BN in Sarawak as well as the opposition in light of the election results.

What will Taib do now?

The biggest campaign issue during this state election was the length of time Abdul Taib Mahmud had been in power and when he would step down as chief minister. After the election, this issue remains unresolved.

The importance of Taib’s post-election plans as a political issue occupies an even greater prominence because he is at once the BN’s as well as the opposition’s greatest asset and liability in Sarawak. Read the rest of this entry »


Sarbaini’s kin not satisfied, wants police to reveal the truth

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani
April 22, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — The family of dead Customs official Ahmad Sarbaini Mohamed are dissatisfied with police investigations and claim his death is being covered up.

They also want to know the “real story” behind his death plunge at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) office here on April 6 — the second such case in an anti-graft office.

“We know that the late Ahmad Sarbaini fell from a high place but what caused him to fall? What caused his death?” asked a family member who declined to be named.

“Because from what I understand is that if someone falls from the third floor then the person will only suffer from broken bones but will not die from it,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Police said yesterday that the Selangor Customs assistant director died from head injuries due to the fall at the MACC building in Cheras.

Kuala Lumpur police chief Datuk Zulkifli Abdullah told reporters that it was now up to the Attorney-General to decide on the next course of action.

But the family said the police details were sketchy. Read the rest of this entry »


On suggestion of possible DAP-SNAP merger (2)

Three days ago, I had said:

“In the 13th national general elections, we should avoid any multi-cornered contests which can only benefit the Barisan Nasional and for this reason, I would even suggest that DAP and SNAP should seriously consider a merger of the two political parties to accelerate Iban/Dayak political awakening following the 416 Sarawak general elections.”

There have been different responses, both pro and con, to the suggestion that DAP and SNAP seriously consider a merger of the two parties, which are beneficial references and guides to political workers in Sarawak and Malaysia.

Veteran journalist Terence Netto described the idea of a merger between DAP and Snap as “one of the more stimulating propositions to emerge in recent times”.

There are also critics who oppose the idea painting its prospects in the most pessimistic terms. Read the rest of this entry »


Sweet and sour aftermath of S’wak polls

By Bridget Welsh

The Sarawak polls are over and the attention is now on assessing its implications at both the state and national levels. Much attention has focused on predictions for the next general elections, with the range of possible dates moving from a few months to further postponement until 2013.

My own view remains that there needs to be some time before the national election machinery is in place again, given the challenges that have emerged from the Sarawak campaign and that anything held this year would be too risky for the BN.

The political terrain is now more uncertain. In this vein, this article examines the immediate political implications, the “sweet” and “sour” challenges that the BN has to face in the wake of the state polls. Tomorrow’s piece will examine the implications for Pakatan Rakyat.

The Sarawak results indicate that the BN has suffered a serious bruising and will have to make hard decisions to improve its performance in the next general election.

Taib the victor (and loser)
Read the rest of this entry »


Behind the scenes of Raja Petra’s TV3 interview

By Koon Yew Yin | CPIAsia

At the PKR 11th anniversary dinner on Tuesday (April 19) in Ipoh, party vice president Chua Jui Meng alleged that Raja Petra Kamarudin had been bought. Chua said that money could do wonders as indicated by the recent Sarawak election result.

Why would the fugitive blogger and Malaysia Today editor just before the election, in the TV3 interview, cast doubts on his own sensational statutory declaration?

In his SD of June 18, 2008, Raja Petra swore he had been “reliably informed that between about 10pm on 19th October 2006 and early hours of the following day, the night Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered, three (3) other people were also present at the scene of the crime”.

In an e-mail interview with Malaysia Insider on April 15, Raja Petra insisted that he is not a turncoat. He said that he will continue to support the opposition – the Pakatan Rakyat.
Read the rest of this entry »


Longing For A Free Mind (Part 7 of 14)

By M. Bakri Musa

Avoiding Being Entrapped Mentally

Once we have adapted to our new open world, we need to reflect on how was it that we were under the coconut shell in the first place. More importantly, how do we prevent ourselves from being entrapped again? Can we inoculate ourselves against such a terrible fate?

As we contemplate these issues, it is well to be reminded of two major insights of modern neuroscience. One is the remarkable plasticity of the human brain, its almost infinite capacity to adapt and learn. The other, almost as the counterpoint, is the concept of, “Use it or lose it!” That is, if we do not exercise a particular mental faculty we will lose it, and much sooner than we expect. Thus if we do not exercise our free mind and critical faculty, our mind will inevitably become captive, or “un-free” and uncritical, blindly accepting everything thrown our way; our coconut shell again engulfing us.
Read the rest of this entry »