Archive for May, 2012

Increasing campaign violence

– The Malaysian Insider
May 27, 2012

MAY 27 — Here’s the dichotomy. Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak is working hard to get the people’s support. From anywhere in Malaysia to the O2 arena in London. But some of his followers are pelting their political foes with eggs and stones.

The case in point is Lembah Pantai where Umno leaders have accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of provoking Thursday night’s violence during a PKR rally in Lembah Pantai, and said it should not be held responsible for the incident.

They have denied starting the ruckus. But Anwar only criticised them after the PKR ceramah was pelted with stones, eggs and water bottles, resulting in a “night of bloodshed” that saw at least two seriously injured. Read the rest of this entry »


Is Mahathir telling the world that his daughter Marina is naïve to be a pawn of Bersih 3.0 and PR to topple the Najib government by violence?

Malaysians must thank former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir for furnishing the fifth evidence of the highest-level campaign to vilify and demonise Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat and why the Hanif Omar “independent advisory panel” to investigate into Bersih 3.0 violence is totally unacceptable and should be scrapped altogether.

The four evidence were earlier provided by the Prime Minister, the Home Minister and two former Inspector-General of Police, viz:

• The wild and baseless allegation by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that Bersih 3.0 rally was coup attempt by the Opposition to topple the government;

• The instant public support for Najib’s coup allegation by former Inspector-General of Police, Tun Hanif Omar who said he identified pro-communist individuals at Bersih 3.0 from demonstrations in the 1970s with futher allegation on the use of provocateurs and children in the Bersih 3.0 rally as tactics of the communists!

• The equally instant public support for Najib’s coup allegation by another former Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Rahim Noor who went on to allege that Bersih 3.0 had used “Marxist” tactics as well as accusing the Opposition of wanting blood shed as it was not confident of taking over Putrajaya.

• The allegation by Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein in an interview with Sunday Star on May 20 that “democracy was hijacked” on April 28.

Mahathir’s blog two days ago 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 is the fifth evidence of the highest-level campaign of vilification and demonization of Bersih 3.0 and Pakatan Rakyat involving the current and former Prime Minister, two IGPs and the current Home Minister, although they have not furnished one iota of evidence to substantiate their serious allegations in the past month. Read the rest of this entry »


Berjuang untuk perubahan memang susah

— Aspan Alias
The Malaysian Insider
May 26, 2012

26 MEI — Memperjuangkan yang benar itu amat susah dan tidak ada jalan yang senang dan mudah. Sebaik sahaja manusia itu ingin perubahan untuk kebaikan ia akan tetap mendapat reaksi serta merta.

Bak kata seorang ulamak yang muktabar, “jalan ke syurga itu berduri-duri dan beronak, jalan ke neraka itu penuh dengan roti dan keju”. Pejuang yang berniat untuk kebaikan itu selalunya akan merasakan kepedihan.

Itulah sebabnya setengah orang merasa hairan kenapa seseorang itu terus menerus berjuang sehinggakan menghadapi kepayahan dalam kehidupan mereka. Sesungguhnya yang paling penting ialah kepuasan dalaman dan jika kita pautkan usaha kita itu dengan beriktikad untuk ke addin dan agama itu ia amat menyejukkan jiwa seseorang itu. Read the rest of this entry »


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 »


Najib and Hishammuddin must condemn and dissociate themselves if they do not want to be regarded as encouraging a political culture of aggression, thuggery and violence by their prolonged silence on recent series of disruptions and attacks on PR functions

The question Malaysians are asking is whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussin are encouraging a political culture of aggression, thuggery and violence by their failure to condemn the recent series of disruptions and attacks on Pakatan Rakyat functions!

Is this the route for Malaysia to take to become the world’s best democracy as Najib had boasted after Bersih 2.0 on July 9 last year?

Is this the example Najib is setting for the world on what he meant when he called for a Global Movement of Moderates to isolate and marginalize the extremists?

Yesterday, a Pakatan Rakyat ceramah in Lembah Pantai was pelted with eggs and stones, leaving several injured and bloodied. Read the rest of this entry »


Best democracy in the world – mobocracy

By Mariam Mokhtar | May 25, 2012
Free Malaysia Today

The Malaysians who oppose clean, free and fair elections, otherwise known as Umno and their cronies, have claimed two casualties; democracy and the rule of law.

In place of democracy, we now have mobocracy. S Ambiga and her neighbours have been targeted. Now anything to do with Bersih and the opposition are subject to mob attacks. How soon before the same happens to ordinary citizens like you, should you disagree with Umno policy?

The harassment of Ambiga is a calculated distraction. For the past 54 years, Umno has broken every rule in the book to continue its stranglehold on the country.

Then, along comes Ambiga and Bersih to reproach the government for its shoddy election practices. Bersih stands in the way of the continued Umno domination of Malaysia and the face which one normally associates with Bersih, is Ambiga’s.
Read the rest of this entry »


Ambiga a victim of race and religion, says Pak Samad

By Nigel Aw | 4:00PM May 24, 2012

Today, as Bersih co-chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan’s Bukit Damansara residence is turned into a bizarre combination of a mini market, crime scene and conflict zone with pro- and anti-Ambiga groups taking their positions under the watchful eyes of the authorities outside her house, it is business as usual at the Bangsar Utama flat of her fellow co-chairperson A Samad Said.

Since the Bersih 3.0 protest on April 28 which organisers claimed saw some 250,000 participants taking to the streets of Kuala Lumpur, anti-Bersih groups have taken their counter-protest to the doorstep of Ambiga’s residence with burger stalls, butt exercises and now, a mini-market.

But for the 77-year-old A Samad, or more fondly known as Pak Samad, the situation at his residence has been anything but unusual, despite his cheeky baiting of the protesters at Ambiga’s residence.

This tale of two Bersih chiefs, Pak Samad said, is likely because Ambiga is being targeted for her race, religion and to some extent, gender; issues that are often played up by the powers-that-be.
Read the rest of this entry »


‘Then there was Hang Tuah, now Hang Samseng’

By Nigel Aw | 3:19PM May 23, 2012

During the glorious days of the Malacca sultanate, the legendary warrior Hang Tuah, leading his four other ‘Hang’ companions, stood out as a symbol of pride for the Malay kingdom.

But in modern Malacca, ‘Hang Samseng’ (gangster) have emerged, lamented Bersih co-chairperson A Samad Said, in reference to the violence targeting his colleague Ambiga Sreenevasan in Merlimau, Malacca, last Saturday.

“When Ambiga was going to Merlimau… There were around 200 gangsters waiting there. Ambiga was invited by PAS to explain Bersih’s struggle. This is democracy.

“But before she could arrive, our friends there called and asked her not to come because there already were gangsters in the land of Hang Tuah.

“Think about it, in the land of Hang Tuah, there is ‘Hang Samseng’,” added the national laureate, fondly known as Pak Samad.
Read the rest of this entry »


Bersih supporter hit by tear gas may lose sight in one eye

By Susan Loone | 1:02PM May 24, 2012

One the most serious victims of tear gas during the chaos of Bersih 3.0 rally has come forward today to tell his tale of woe.

Asrul Wadi Ahmad, 26, from Kepala Batas, has been reviewed by four doctors and may be diagnosed as blind in the right eye if his condition does not improve in six months.

Asrul (second from right) said he was hit by a tear gas canister directly on his face at about 3.15pm around Masjid Jamek, when he was participating in the Bersih protest on April 28. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib has discarded the robes of “the Great Transformer” for those of “the Great Reactionary” signaling he is no more prepared to listen to the real voices of the people for change

The Najib government’s gross mishandling of Bersih 3.0 of April 28 is proving to be even more disastrous than its initial mishandling of Bersih 2.0 of July 9, 2011.

At least, the Najib administration realized in the nick of time and reined in its excessive over-reactions to the Bersih 2.0, performing a volte face two months later by announcing on Malaysia Day on Sept. 16 a slew of repeal or reform of draconian laws like the abolition of Internal Security Act to make Malaysia “the best democracy in the world”.

Ever since, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has taken pains to emphasise that no one else but the Barisan Nasional should take credit for the slew of reform of draconian laws, like the revocation of the four Emergency Proclamations, the repeal of the Internal Security Act, amendments to the Printing Presses and Publications Act and enactment of the Peaceful Assembly Act because the Barisan Nasional government is prepared to “listen to Malaysians who want change”.

I concede that Najib and the Barisan Nasional Government had attempted to listen to Malaysians who wanted change as represented by the Bersih 2.0 rally which saw 50,000 Malaysians peacefully gathering in Kuala Lumpur for free, fair and clean elections.

But the government had not listened fully or attentively, which is why four or even five times the number of people who turned out on Bersih 2.0 – some 250,000 Malaysians – gathered peacefully in Kuala Lumpur on April 28 in response to Bersih 3.0 call for free, fair and clean elections.

The Najib government at least made an effort to the listen to the people’s demands in Bersih 2.0 although the efforts at reform proved to be half-hearted, half-baked and generally unsatisfactory like the recommendations of the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms.

But what has distinguished the Najib administration’s reaction to Bersih 3.0 as compared to Bersih 2.0 is its complete inability and refusal to “listen to the people’s demands for change”. Read the rest of this entry »


World Bank warns there will be no high income economy for Malaysia without implementing structural reforms

By Dr Chen Man Hin, DAP life advisor

The World Bank in its bi-annual report on East Asia and the the Pacific said that in view of the slow down in the economy in the years ahead, due to a massive world debit problem, the GDP of Malaysia would slow down to 4.6% this year and 5.1% in 2013.

He advised that Najib should stop fiddling with the economy with his multiple reforms which have not brought encouraging progress. He advised Najib strongly to implement structural reforms to bring about a strong recovery in the economy.

Structural reforms means that the New Economic Policy must be stopped and in its place, implement free market policies like those in Singapore, Hong Kong, S. Korea and Taiwan. A free market policy propelled the growth of the economies of these four ASIAN TIGERS, each of which have a per capita income of over US $20,000.

For Malaysia to have a high economy, the GDP must grow by at least 6% a year, which would make Malaysia a high economy nation by 2020.

Two months ago, Najib gave a glowing report and boasted that Malaysia had a per capita income of US$9,500, and would attain high economy status by year 2020. These predictions of Najib have been brushed aside by the World Bank.
Read the rest of this entry »


Legal action against Bersih sparks renewed scrutiny of new assembly law

By Shannon Teoh
The Malaysian Insider
May 24, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The use of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) to claim damages from organisers of the April 28 Bersih rally has sparked condemnation from opposition politicians who are now claiming that the new law restricts the right to gather even more than previous legislation.

Yesterday, 10 Bersih leaders, including Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, became the first persons to be sued in a civil action under the PAA, introduced just days before the April 28 demonstration for free and fair elections.

The government is claiming RM122,000 for alleged damage to 15 government-owned vehicles.

This followed Tuesday’s charges levelled against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali of participating in an unlawful assembly, the first criminal charges under the same law which Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said would allow freedom of assembly “in accordance with international norms.”

Lawmakers from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) told The Malaysian Insider today the law is being used “in a demonisation campaign and shows the prime minister is no reformist but reactionary.”

“The move (to sue) is headed in the wrong direction from the reforms Najib promised,” DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said.

“What about all those who were assaulted far away from Dataran Merdeka? Should they be queuing up to sue the government?” he asked, referring to dozens of protestors claiming they were attacked by groups of policemen after violence erupted at the rally. Read the rest of this entry »


Stop personal attacks on Ambiga, invasion of her privacy and show decency and mutual respect

Joint Press Statement by Bersih 3.0 Perak and Coalition of 51 NGOs

Stop personal attacks on Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan. Stop Invasion of Privacy. Show Decency and Mutual Respect

Malaysians and in particular Perakians have followed with increasing disgust the persistent attacks on Bersih 3.0 Steering Committee Co-Chairperson Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan to intimidate and “break” her resolve.

The perpetrators have stooped so low as to have absolutely no qualms in belittling her religious sensitivities and have further undertaken acts of vulgarity and indecency unheard of in our society! And there seems to be no stopping them, not even by the powers that be. More such dirty, disgraceful and simply unacceptable activities by any standards of a civil society are being planned outside Ambiga’s home.

It is time we made our STAND known in no uncertain terms!

That is why Bersih 3.0 Perak and the coalition of more than 51 NGOs, after receiving so many calls from the public, including from people who are usually placid but now find that their patience is running out, have decided that we, the people, need to take a STAND on this matter and send a clear message to the perpetrators that this is not the Malaysia we want and hope for, for our children and future generations. Read the rest of this entry »

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Utusan Malaysia just produced latest proof that UMNO/BN totally against clean, free and fair elections, especially Bersih 2.0’s Demand to “Stop Dirty Politics”

The UMNO daily, Utusan Malaysia, has just produced the latest proof that UMNO/BN is totally against clean, free and fair elections, especially Bersih 2.0’s Demand to “Stop Dirty Politics”.

As I tweeted earlier this morning: “When DAP appears on Utusan Malaysia front-page, it is bad news/political trouble because distortion n unethical/dishonest journalism at play”.

DAP appeared on the Utusan Malaysia front-page today, with the headline “Karpal perjuangkan PM bukan Melayu”, quoting DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh as saying:

“Selagi saya hidup, saya akan berjuang untuk melihat seorang bukan Melayu menjadi Perdana Menteri”.

This “life-time” quote was a total distortion of what Karpal told the Utusan Malaysia reporter as he had only referred to the Malaysian Constitution which provides that the office of Prime Minister is open to all Malaysian citizens. Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t trust a party which doesn’t trust us

By Sakmongkol AK47 | May 24, 2012
The Malaysian Insider

MAY 24 — Why can’t Umno carry the Malays to greater progress? Because it’s a low trust organisation. It doesn’t trust the majority of Malays and it doesn’t trust the rakyat in general. It has ceased to become a political party. It has morphed into an organisation of black hands composed of three million members. It puts its trust on the three million members NOT on the rakyat. This is the principal reason why we must reject Umno.

It fears the rakyat and their judgment. The leader of Umno who calls others accursed bastards is willing to unleash the instruments of suppression on the rakyat, firing water cannons and spraying tear gas that immobilise people instantly. Where did the Umno government buy the new variety of tear gas? From Israel?

Umno is not trusted nor does it trust those outside itself. This is a hallmark of a backward organisation composed, like Dr Mahathir says, of a half-past six leadership belonging to an organisation which is rotten to the core, corrupt from top to bottom and made up of dullards. Mahathir said all that.
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