Archive for March 8th, 2013

34-Day Countdown to 13GE – Call on Malaysians to complete “unfinished business” of “308 political tsunami” five years ago by electing a new Malaysian Government and new Prime Minister in Putrajaya in 13GE

Today is a double anniversary – the fifth anniversary of the peaceful and democratic uprising of Malaysians which has now entered into the Malaysian political folklore as the “308 political tsunami” of the 12th general elections on March 8, 2008 and the 36th International Women’s Day after the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed March 8 as the UN Day for women’s rights and world peace.

Both have one theme in common – empowerment and enfranchisement of the Malaysian citizenry in the former and women as a whole internationally in the latter.

On the occasion of this “308” double anniversary, I wish to make two calls.

Firstly, to call on Malaysians to complete the “unfinished business” of 308 “political tsunami” five years ago by electing a new Malaysian Government and a new Prime Minister in Putrajaya in the 13th General Elections.

Before “308” five years ago, nobody dared to hope or think that the Malaysian political landscape could undergo a paradigm shift through the peaceful and democratic process that the prospect of a new Federal Government and a new Prime Minister for the first time in five decades of the nation’s history is dreamable, possible, do-able and achievable!

Two days before the historic “political tsunami” of March 8, 2008, I gave the following statement at a media conference when campaigning in the Ipoh Timor parliamentary constituency: Read the rest of this entry »


Intrusion confusion – A farcical invasion of Borneo gets serious, and nasty

The Economist
Mar 9th 2013

FIGHTER aircraft gave covering fire as Malaysian troops mounted what their government hoped would be the final assault on a coastal village in the Malaysian state of Sabah, on the island of Borneo, on March 5th. Their mission was to end a three-week-old incursion by scores of Filipinos, some armed, who call themselves the Royal Army of the Sultanate of Sulu. But the intruders slipped away.

The intruders had occupied the village to stake a claim to Sabah by the man they recognise as the sultan of Sulu, Jamalul Kiram III, whose forebears once held sway over parts of Borneo and of what is now the Philippines, but who himself is a Filipino citizen living in Manila. After the assault, the sultan called for a ceasefire, but told his followers to stay put. If the Malaysian government thought the assault would end the incursion, it was mistaken. Its mistake is one of a series which threatens to turn what originally had the air of a quaint historical pageant played out with live ammunition into a real guerrilla war.

The Philippine government made the first mistake three years ago, by mislaying a letter from the sultanate asking it to take into account the claim to Sabah in peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a rebel group that had been fighting for independence for Muslim areas in the south of the mainly Christian Philippines. Previous governments had pressed the sultan’s claim. More recent governments have let it lie dormant, not least because Malaysia is the broker of peace between the government and the MILF. A preliminary peace agreement signed last year makes no mention of the claim. The sultan was slighted. Read the rest of this entry »


Sabah east coast limping back to life

Azman Habu | March 7, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

The general consensus is that the situation in Lahad Datu is safe because Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is visiting.

LAHAD DATU: Life is creeping back into this east coast seaside town a week after the shock invasion and subsequent assault on an armed group of Filipino invaders who took over a remote village there.

The first signs that residents here are cautiously getting back to their routine, was when parents started dropping off their children at schools that reopened today in the town area after closing last Friday.

Only schools in town area are open. Those outside the town and near the conflict area of the Felda plantations remain closed.

“Schools are opened today but many student did not come to class probably because their parents are still unsure of the situation,” a resident said today.

Shops and businesses have also started to slowly reopen over the last few days and the daily traffic congestion on roads leading into the town areas that was habitual before the crisis broke has resumed.

“It looks like its back to almost normal but people are cautious and still uneasy,” said a parent hurriedly dropping off his child at school this morning. Read the rest of this entry »


BN must be destroyed

Dean Johns
Mar 6, 2013

I’ve expressed this obvious message in so many ways over the years – in attempts to spice it up with variety – all to no apparent avail thus far, that it strikes me that I should try mindless repetition for a change.

This will be terribly tedious for us all of course, but the possible gain could be well worth our collective pain. Because repetition of the patently, blatantly obvious has worked a treat in the past.

Most famously, as history recalls, for Cato the Elder, who in the years between 175 and 146BC bored his fellow ancient Romans witless by ending his every speech in the senate with the statement that “Carthage must be destroyed”.

Four words that for years rendered Cato a figure of fun. But finally taken seriously and given force by the Roman sword, they proved to be a death sentence to the dreaded Carthage.

Thus my hopes for the similar success of my mantra for the foreseeable future, or at least until Malaysia’s endlessly-awaited 13th general election: BN must be destroyed.

Admittedly, BN is not a foreign threat to Malaysia as Carthage was to Rome. But this criminal coalition is arguably as dangerous to the future of the Malaysia and Malaysians as any external enemy might be.

For more than 50 years, and especially in the past 30, BN has been an insidious, creeping evil attacking and infesting Malaysia by stealth.

Steadily stealing as much of the nation’s land, oil, timber, corporate wealth and hard cash as it can get away with, and simultaneously robbing Malaysians of all possible forms of defence or redress.

BN may not be an invader, but it is certainly an all-pervader. It has systematically colonised and co-opted the civil services at every level from federal to local with its own relatives, cronies, sycophants and place-seekers. Read the rest of this entry »


Revoking citizenship status for who?

— The Malaysian Insider
Mar 07, 2013

MARCH 7 — While the country’s attention has been focused on the military offensive to get rid of Sulu gunmen in Sabah’s east coast, Umno-controlled media TV3 and its sister stations are highlighting demands calling for politician Chua Tian Chang’s citizenship to be reviewed and revoked.

Demanding citizenship to be revoked is now new in Malaysia. Other groups have asked the same for Bersih co-chair Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan for her call for electoral reforms.

Now the PKR vice-president, popularly known as Tian Chua, is the latest to get that treatment for allegedly questioning who is behind the Lahad Datu standoff and violence.

This comes at a time when both sides say the issue should not be politicised as security forces need to focus on getting rid of the Filipino militants who want to claim Sabah in the name of the Sulu sultanate.

Now what if the shoe is on the other foot? Will TV3 report it and devote 15 minutes of airtime to cover such events?

Have they covered testimony of Umno officials involved in Project IC — the citizenship-for-votes caper now being investigated by a royal commission of inquiry (RCI)? Read the rest of this entry »


M’sian Armed Forces versus Sulu gunmen in Sabah: Lessons for S’pore

By David Boey
Thursday, Mar 07, 2013

The writer, a former defence correspondent for the Straits Times, maintains Senang Diri , a blog about Singapore defence matters (

SINGAPORE – A week ago, Malaysia’s defence information officers were busy ramping up publicity for the Malaysian Army’s 80th Anniversary celebrations – a happy occasion that culminated in a massive show of force by Tentera Darat Malaysia (Malaysian Army) in Port Dickson.

After a weekend on duty, their pace of work increased dramatically with real operations in the East Malaysian state of Sabah. Ongoing operations by Malaysian security forces against Filipino gunmen in Lahad Datu, Sabah, mean that it will be sometime yet before information officers from Cawangan Perhubungan Awam (Public Relations Department) at Kementerian Pertahanan (Kementah, the Malaysian Ministry of Defence) can enjoy a restful weekend.

The exposure to real operations in Sabah will reward Kementah’s information officers with firsthand experience managing hearts and minds operations during an unfolding operation that has international dimensions.

Add in the timing of the operation, which was triggered during the run-up to the Malaysian General Elections, and the information officers entrusted to handle media operations will get a chance to learn invaluable lessons in calibrating domestic political considerations during an unfolding operation other than war (OOTW).

While it is early days yet before defence observers can compile a credible blow by blow account of the assault, here are some preliminary thoughts on the situation: Read the rest of this entry »