Archive for May 26th, 2012

We shall overcome

— Jacob Sinnathamby
The Malaysian Insider
May 26, 2012

MAY 26 — Can you hear it? Listen closely. Now can you hear it?

I am talking about the deafening silence from the prime minister downwards on the burgeoning violence and thuggish behaviour by Umno and its subsidiaries.

What happened at the PKR ceramah in Lembah Pantai, where blood was drawn after rocks, eggs and bottles were rained on PKR leaders by Umno Youth affiliates, was not the first show of state-encouraged violence.

It is not even the second or third time, but the umpteenth time in recent months that groups affiliated to the ruling party have shown disdain for the rule of law.

Nurul Izzah Anwar and Mat Sabu have faced stones and thugs before while speaking at Felda events, Lim Guan Eng faced thugs during the anti-Lynas demo in Penang recently, and Bersih organisers in Merlimau had their vehicles damaged. And the list goes on. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia after regime change

– Greg Felker
New Mandala
May 26th, 2012

Credibility and the search for a new developmental model

In comparative politics the word “regime” refers to the formal and informal institutions by which political power is acquired and exercised. In political economy, a regime refers to an enduring combination of “socio-economic alliances, political-economic institutions, and a public-policy profile” (Pempel 1998: 20). In the case of Malaysia, the Barisan Nasional (BN) regime’s durability in the former, political sense has been closely associated with a particular sort political economy, or regime in the second sense. Despite significant changes over the years, Malaysia’s hegemonic-party political system, centered on United Malays National Organisaion’s (UMNO) dominance, has since the early 1970s practiced a form of developmentalism that has shaped Malaysian society in profound ways. As the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) understands, its challenge to the BN’s national political monopoly is inescapably a contest about Malaysia’s economic development model, as well. To what extent, and in what ways, does the prospect of change in Malaysia’s political regime imply a change in the country’s pattern of development?

Contemporary debates make clear the close connection between political contestation and economic policy choices. Indeed, one of the UMNO-led government’s vulnerabilities is a sense, growing in recent years, that the Malaysian development miracle has wavered and, for large segments of the population, inadequately fulfilled its promise of a steadily improving quality of life. The notion of the “middle-income trap”, first popularised in a global context by Geoffrey Garret in 2004, quickly became a frame for discussions of possible policy reform within Malaysia and among foreign observers. Two themes have been prominent in these discussions. One is the issue of the quality of governance as this affects broader economic efficiency and productivity. Second is the mooted necessity of a broad liberalisation of restrictions and regulations to enable greater flexibility and entrepreneurial dynamism. In both areas, the opposition and pro-reform civil society organisations have made telling critiques of the incumbent leadership. For its part, Najib Razak’s administration has launched a series of reform initiatives under the New Economic Model (NEM) that speak to the same concerns about governance and the structural challenges to Malaysia’s continued economic development. This dimension of the new competitiveness in Malaysia’s politics adds programmatic substance to a political tableau in which mass protest, scandal, and cultural controversies have comprised much of the drama. Read the rest of this entry »


A reply to Umno Youth’s challenge to debate

Hiu Woong-Sin
May 25, 2012

An open reply to Umno Youth’s challenge to a debate published in The Star over my ‘heckling’ of PM Najib Razak in London:

Dear Khairun Aseh,

There is enough evidence on YouTube to substantiate my act of chanting “Bersih” (during Najib’s event in London). I do not know what other evidence you require from me to substantiate what I did.

If you wish to understand what Bersih is all about, there’s plenty of information and evidence provided by the organisation’s steering committee online.

Rather than debate with me about Bersih wouldn’t it make more sense for you to publicly engage with its steering committee? A principled government will engage with civil society groups like Bersih instead of using the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 to suppress civil dissent.

I am aware that my actions have attracted numerous responses through media and social network.

Your challenge to me is but an act of redemption for your president and an act that avoids a loss of face for Umno.

In other words, your challenge is just another public relation stunt for that party and it will not benefit the Malaysian taxpayers who had already paid for the PM’s promotional stunt in London. Read the rest of this entry »


Instead of raging over Mahathir’s outrageous and preposterous blog, Malaysians should commiserate with him

Yesterday, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir blogged that the Bersih 3.0 rally was a “preparation” and “warm-up” by Pakatan Rakyat for violent demonstrations to reject the results of the 13th general election should the opposition fail to win it.

He said: “Their defeat will be followed by violent demonstrations that will go on and on so that the election results are rejected and a new government is put in place, that is approved by the opposition.

“After that, they will attempt to hold an election again that they can manipulate.”

Mahathir must hold the Malaysian record of having made the most number of outrageous and preposterous statements in his political life, before, during and after his 22-year premiership (1981-2003) but what he blogged yesterday must rank as among his most outrageous and preposterous statements.

It was a complete figment of his imagination as there is no truth or basis whatsoever – like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s ludicrous allegation that Bersih 3.0 was an Opposition coup d’etat attempt to topple the government (an idea probably inspired by the discredited Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor) when all that the peaceful protestors were armed with, if at all, were salt and water bottles to protect themselves against any indiscriminate police teargas and chemically-lacked water cannon. Read the rest of this entry »


Perubahan tetap akan berlaku, yang penting bersabar

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
May 25, 2012

25 MEI — Bergiat dalam politik hari ini merupakan satu aktiviti yang bukan sedikit seriknya. Politik tanahair hari ini merupakan politik yang paling getir sekali yang belum pernah kita alami selama ini. Bahangnya panas terik dan ianya hanya boleh digiatkan oleh mereka yang benar-benar yakin dan menjadikan keyakinan mereka itu sebagai penambahan kepada tenaga yang dikeluarkan oleh penggiat politik.

Saya sendiri telah berehat daripada bergiat selama lebih dari satu dekad dengan menghabiskan masa di rumah dan kadang-kadang pergi melihat di tempat-tempat yang belum saya lawati. Selama saya berehat itu saya tidak dihubungi oleh mana-mana pemimpin Umno walaupun saya pernah bersahabat dengan mereka.

Tetapi saya tidak pernah putus hubungan dengan kawan-kawan yang berada di strata bawah parti Umno dan jumlah kenalan saya yang saya kenali dengan rapat adalah ribuan jumlahnya di seluruh negara. Setelah saya mengambil keputusan untuk memutuskan hubungan saya dengan Umno, saya telah mengambil keputusan untuk berfikir di luar kotak dan menyertai DAP pada 8hb Januari yang lalu.

Saya menyertai DAP setelah berfikir dan melakukan introspeksi yang mendalam selama bertahun lamanya. Saya berfikir kerana jika saya menyertai parti itu tentulah kerana saya bersetuju dengan perjuangannya dan akan bersamanya buat selama-lamanya. Saya katakan kepada ahli keluarga saya serta sahabat-sahabat akrab saya, ‘that I am going to grow old together with DAP’. Saya impikan untuk bersama sebuah parti politik yang mempunyai intergriti yang tinggi dan mengutamakan ‘rule of law’ serta memperjuangkan sebuah kerajaan yang mempunyai ‘governance’ yang tinggi.

Saya telah nampak dengan jelas bahawa DAP adalah parti yang penuh dengan disiplin, berintergriti, menghormati undang-undang dan mendukung semua yang tertulis di dalam perlembagaan persekutuan kita. Saya tidak boleh dipengaruhi oleh momokan Umno dan media arus perdana kerana saya menumpukan kepada mengasah pemikiran yang tidak boleh dipengaruhi oleh unsur-unsur jahat dan negatif apatah lagi jika momokan itu datangnya dari Umno sendiri. Read the rest of this entry »

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Police appeared to have bad faith, says Pak Samad

By Nigel Aw | 1:48PM May 25, 2012

INTERVIEW Observations made by a number of Bersih 3.0 participants during the April 28 rally are that many of the policemen on duty that day were somehow different from the usual courteous officers and men patrolling neighbourhoods.

Their uniforms did not have the shinny numbers and name tags, which spruce up the men in blue. And it was many of these officers, the protesters said, who had beaten them up.

The widespread occurrence of this, Bersih co-chairperson A Samad Said said, seemed to concur with the belief that the actions were endorsed by higher powers.

“They had no name tags, they wore no identification serial numbers… many were like that. My interpretation is that if the police did not want to show their names and ID numbers, then it meant that they already had ill intentions.
Read the rest of this entry »