Archive for August 24th, 2011

Money, money, money

— The Malaysian Insider
Aug 24, 2011

AUG 24 — When all else fails; when policies flounder; when rumbling from within grows louder; when the reform agenda stutters in the face of resistance from interest groups, throw money around in the hope of hushing up the protestations.

This strategy was used by Tun Abdullah Badawi after his fitness to lead Malaysia was questioned by Tun Dr Mahathir Muhammad and after his early promise of reforming the country dissipated into flip-flops, missteps and pandering to his party’s demands.

He increased the salary of civil servants and even put cash in the pocket of Malaysians through a one-off RM600 payment.

Underlying this move was the view that even though the ground had soured on him considerably by 2007, putting money into the hands of Malaysians would make them put their bitterness aside and vote him in again.

We know how that strategy played out. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib must guarantee reforms before polls, says Pakatan

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 24, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 24 — The federal opposition has demanded a guarantee from Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the Election Commission (EC) will carry out electoral reforms before a general election is called.

Pakatan Rakyat (PR) said today that the prime minister’s insistence that the timing of polls was not bound to a parliamentary select committee on electoral improvements raised doubts over whether “he means business.”

However, with just six weeks to go before the polls panel is to be formed by Dewan Rakyat, the opposition pact said it has not decided if a failure to offer such an assurance will see PR decline to join what Barisan Nasional (BN) hopes will be a bipartisan committee.

“There is no decision to boycott but we have made it abundantly clear that the onus is on the government to show good faith.

“The EC must take immediate action and there must be an assurance from the prime minister that he means business … that elections will only be held after the EC has taken measures recommended by the select committee,” Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told reporters after a PR leadership meeting. Read the rest of this entry »


BN pushing the panic button

— Douglas Tan
The Malaysian Insider
Aug 24, 2011

AUG 24 — What a flurry in government giving we are seeing these days!

Bonuses, dividends, loans, grants and scholarships and now doled out like candy by Umno, MCA and the like to the masses and their constituents. Acting more like NGOs or charities, the Barisan Nasional component parties have engaged on a charm offensive by handing out our money back to us, and trying to discredit the Opposition.

It really got going when our Prime Minister announced that the government half month Hari Raya bonuses for all civil servants, which would cost in excess of RM1 billion to taxpayers, despite reduced subsidies and mounting budget deficits. Read the rest of this entry »


GE-13: BN wins landslide victory

Mariam Mokhtar | Aug 22, 11

Only an optimist would believe that their vote would sweep Umno from power in GE-13. Why bother with a sham election and waste resources going through the motions of an election, where the outcome has already been decided in advance? The headlines will proudly boast: “BN wins. Najib scores a landslide victory, in a massive 103 percent turnout”.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak wants GE-13 before electoral reforms. In a functioning democracy, the rakyat has a choice. The fundamental difference is that we are denied that choice.

We distrust our electoral processes despite Najib’s assurance about the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reforms. Will Umno/BN leave office gracefully?

At the 61st Umno general assembly Najib declared: “Even if our bodies are crushed and our lives lost, brothers and sisters, whatever happens, we must defend Putrajaya”. Read the rest of this entry »