Archive for May 17th, 2012

Time to restore decency and civility to politics and public life

When the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib spoke about “uncivilized enemies” who will lead Malaysia to ruin at the UMNO anniversary gathering at the Bukit Jalil Stadium last Friday, Malaysians immediately thought of two “uncivilized” acts which occurred only the day before – the Perkasa “funeral rite” in front of Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng’s house in Penang and the setting up of a burger stall in front of the house of Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan’s house at Bukit Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.

Since then there had been a third “uncivilized” act which had never happened before in Malaysian politics and public life in the nation’s 54-year history – the utterly insensitive and deplorable “butt” dance by a group of armed forces veteran in front of Ambiga’s house two days ago, with the promise of more and bigger “uncivilized” actions to come!

What is most shocking is that these “uncivilised” actions had at first the approval and support of important personalities in government – especially the Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Khalid Abu Bakar and some Ministers who asked what was wrong with setting up a beef burger stall in front of Ambiga’s house. Read the rest of this entry »


Slippery slope to lawlessness

— Aliran
The Malaysian Insider
May 17, 2012

MAY 17 — Aliran is shocked by Deputy Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar’s glib reaction to the May 10 protest by Malaysian Small and Medium Entrepreneurs Alliance (Iklas) members outside Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan’s home.

“What offence? If you want to sit in front of her house without disrupting other people, there is no offence,” he states without a trace of human understanding.

“Which privacy? They didn’t enter her house, they were in public space,” he maintains without an inkling of the dangerous situation created by these trouble-makers intent on causing mischief outside Ambiga’s house.

Such comments coming from the No. 2 man in the police force no less encourage lawlessness and open the flood gates to mischief-makers, hooligans and thugs to go on a rampage. His comments are unacceptable and unbecoming of a police officer of his rank who is entrusted with the peace and harmony of this country founded on the supremacy of the Federal Constitution.

Already, spurred on by his comments, another bigger rally involving 500 traders has been planned for May 24. Read the rest of this entry »


Let us not forget free and fair elections

— Galvin Wong
The Malaysian Insider
May 17, 2012

MAY 17 — The last two weeks have been filled with events that have displayed violence, disrespect and the true character of politics. On April 28, we experienced Bersih 3.0, the biggest protest in our country’s history that started off on a good note but quickly degraded into an event of confusion and violence. The days that followed were filled with allegations and blame shifting from all parties involved. After that came the burger selling and bum exercise incidents in front of Ambiga Sreenevasan’s house. And just two days ago, DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim ended a dispute he had with the party by resigning on national TV.

I write this article today not to talk about these incidents, but to remind us that all these incidents have stemmed from one issue we all fought for in July last year and in April this year — free and fair elections.

Our focus and the pressure placed on the government have both diminished and shifted away due to the many other incidents that have happened. One reason I feel the Election Commission has not done much since 2007 is because we failed to place constant pressure on them. The public scrutiny on their work came in waves, the 2007, 2011 and this year’s waves. After they weathered the short storm during these years, they went on in a business-as-usual mode, only succeeding in fulfilling ONE Bersih demand — the use of indelible ink. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP believes Malay appeal still sound without Tunku Aziz

By Clara Chooi
The Malaysian Insider
May 17, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 17 — Despite their initial shock at Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim’s resignation, DAP leaders believe his sudden departure would not affect the party’s appeal to the Malay electorate.

DAP Socialist Youth chief Anthony Loke told The Malaysian Insider that the DAP has been successful so far in its quest to encourage more Malay participation within its ranks, including the recruitment and grooming of more leaders from the community.

Loke said the DAP would have to live by Tunku Aziz’s quitting and respected his decision.

“Even though there will be a small setback, the party’s momentum will not be affected, even when it comes to reaching out to Malay members,” he said when contacted.

The Rasah MP pointed out that when Tunku Aziz decided to withdraw from seeking a reappointment of his senatorship, the latter was replaced by another Malay leader — Prof Dr Ariffin Omar, a 63-year-old academician who lectures at the National Defence University of Malaysia.

“We have more Malay participation now. And even though he left, his replacement is also a Malay leader of great prominence.

“And there will be many other Malay leaders to emerge in the future,” Loke said. Read the rest of this entry »


Lowest of the low in journalism

Eric Loo | May 14, 2012

‘Oh Carol, I’m a bloody fool; darling I love you, so you treat me cool.’ That was what I thought I heard from the radio. That was how, as a kid, I sang Neil Sedaka’s 60s hit until I checked out the lyrics in an old musty songbook.

Oh, journo, you’re a bloody fool when you sing your political master’s tune without a bother to check the original script. And, bloody guttered is your paper when it falsifies, fabricates and intentionally misrepresents to peddle a political message.

Just like Utusan Malaysia in its May 1 article, and repeated the next day in New Straits Times (NST), which turned an Australian senator, Nick Xenophon, into a xenophobe. NST retracted and contritely apologised after the senator, with hearty support from Malaysians, threatened to sue for defamation. Utusan apologised on May 12.

Utusan’s and NST’s falsification of Xenophon’s speech delivered in the Australian parliament on Nov 17, 2009 marks the lowest of the low in journalism standards. Any educated sceptical reporter will ask “Did I hear it right?”

As in real life, always assume that there are alternative views. Each ‘fact’ can always be countered if you research and talk to different sources. Any reporter with a modicum sense of accuracy and fairness will know to cross-check with the original source the veracity of controversial political statements. It doesn’t take much effort these days to Google search.

Sure, journalists are not infallible. Lapses in ethical practice and news judgment happen due to the short news cycle and thus the rush to judgment, misattribution of sources, misquoting, and, in the Malaysian newsroom culture, editors slanting the news on cue by the authorities.

Errors happen often because journalists deal with human sources who see the world through tinted glasses. But, as ‘professionals’, journalists are duty bound to check and verify. Failing which are reports that are based on assumptions, generalisations and biases exacerbated by a lack of context. Read the rest of this entry »


Rise against feudal Umno

Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | May 17, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

Malays today unite for causes and for ideals that are beyond what our prime minister and Umno can muster.


Umno thinks Malays are a herd of cows which they can herd into submission. How do my criticisms on what Umno has done to Malays constitute a reason for Malay disunity?

In addition, there are the usual invectives about my joining the DAP, which has caused Malay disunity. Please don’t try to impose your condescending views on me.

I am not less Malay than you.

Let me tell you now that Malay unity is not the monopoly of Umno nor does Umno own the rights to Malay unity.

Malays unite for causes and for ideals beyond what Umno can muster. The main cause of Malay disunity is Umno’s culture of enslaving the minds of Malays.

It’s a feudal party infusing the feudal mentality into the Malays. A Malay is a Malay only when he is an Umno Malay.

Very sorry, most of us don’t subscribe to this moronic redundancy. Umno candidates got two million out of the 5.7 million Malay votes in 2008. Read the rest of this entry »