Archive for May 9th, 2013

Malaysia’s Najib: Jump or be Pushed

by John Berthelsen
Asia Sentinel
Wednesday, 08 May 2013

Election aftermath could soon claim its real loser, the current PM

Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, having been instrumental in driving his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi from power in 2009 after a poor electoral performance, now may be poised to try to do the same thing to the current prime minister, Najib Tun Razak.

It may depend on whether Najib jumps or is pushed, however. The premier is said to be disillusioned and discouraged and may leave the premiership at the United Malays National Organization annual general meeting in October, handing over power to the current vice president Muhyiddin Yassin, sources say – if he lasts that long. Najib led the Barisan Nasional to its lowest vote total since independence at 46.66 percent of the popular vote to the Pakatan Rakyat coalition’s 50.1 percent, taking a diminished 133 seats in the parliament to Pakatan Rakyat’s 89 – amid allegations of voter irregularities that put the Barisan over the top.

“I am told that Najib will hand over to Muhyiddin in October,” a lawyer with close contacts to UMNO said. “The change may finally come but voluntarily between Najib and Muhyiddin. We’ll have to let it play it out some more.”

That could foreshadow months of instability inside the UMNO leadership as a weakened Najib hangs on to power in the face of a wing of the party that wants to double down on the policies that have led to diminished returns in the last two elections. Toppling him now for Muhyiddin could well lead to costly party rifts, as it did in 2009 with the Badawi faction of the party. A change would probably signal that UMNO will steer to the conservative right, counterintuitive to what the electorate appears to have been saying. It was UMNO moderates such as Khairy Jamaluddin and Shahrir Samad who profited in the election while Malay nationalists Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin were soundly defeated. Read the rest of this entry »


How Malays voted at GE13

— Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2013

MAY 9 — Speaking at a news conference a day after the release of the results of the general election, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak stressed that: “On the whole, the people’s decision this time shows a trend of voting polarisation…This worries the government, because if it’s not handled well, it could spark tension.” These comments were made in light of the premier’s knee-jerk observation that the increasingly politicised Chinese community have now swung towards the opposition unlike Malays who are firmly in support of Barisan Nasional (BN).

Compelling as such reasoning can be, Najib’s reflex reaction towards BN’s worst defeat since 1969 masks the deeper nuances of voting patterns and trends in Malaysia. While the results of the 13th general election (GE13) provide evidence that the Chinese-Malay divide in Malaysian politics has indeed manifest itself at the ballot box, there are other developments within the Malay populace in the country that have become more apparent and may follow a more protracted course in the coming years.

The rural-urban divide is the most obvious phenomenon that has emerged among the Malay electorate. Read the rest of this entry »


Kit Siang praises Pak Lah, seeks government post for defeated rival Ghani

By Ida Lim
May 09, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, May 9 — DAP’s Lim Kit Siang today praised former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, while also asking that his polls rival Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman be given a post in the new Barisan Nasional (BN) administration.

Lim described Abdullah’s statement yesterday as being the “most sensible, level-headed and statesmanlike” comment on the results of last Sunday’s polls.

Despite holding on to power with its win of 133 federal seats, BN lost the popular vote and had a poorer showing this time round, which led the current Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to suggest that it was due to a “Chinese tsunami”.

The DAP advisor also said Ghani was a moderate and rational man, saying that the former Johor Mentri Besar had contributed to the state and country’s development during his four terms of service. Read the rest of this entry »

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Message from voters to BN — race card brings dwindling returns

By Leslie Lau
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2013

The Pakatan Rakyat rally in Petaling Jaya last night saw a very multiracial crowd. — Picture by Saw Siow MengMAY 9 — As if offended by all the post-election Chinese-bashing, a truly Malaysian crowd turned out last night at a stadium in Petaling Jaya to send a chilling message to the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

The message was many ordinary Malaysians wanted an end to the race debate surrounding Sunday’s vote in Election 2013.

Instead of election fatigue many voters were galvanised by what they saw as unfair and dishonest polls as well as an attempt by BN to blame the Chinese.

Those who attended last night’s rally did not care about the police calling the gathering illegal.

And not all were loyal supporters of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, or card-carrying members of the three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties.

Chances are of course that they voted for PR parties.

But there were many young Malaysians and it was multiracial in nature.

This should serve as a warning to politicians that playing the race card is a strategy of diminishing returns. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib, Muhyiddin and Mahathir must each apologise for their irresponsible and unMalaysian remarks completely at variance with policies of 1Malaysia and Bangsa Malaysia if there is going to be genuine “national reconciliation” after 13GE

The most sensible, level-headed and statesmanlike statement completely in conformity with the policies of 1Malaysia and Bangsa Malaysia in the past three days since 13GE Polling Day came from former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah, who demanded a stop to all attempts at racialising Sunday’s polls by blaming a particular community for Barisan Nasional’s poor showing at the ballot boxes.

Abdullah said: “This is unfair and unhelpful”.

Guilty of such “unfair and unhelpful” statements were none other than the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, who indulged in irresponsible race-baiting and inflammatory incitements totally careless and reckless about the harm they are doing to race relations in the country.

For instance, immediately after the 13GE results were known on Sunday night, Najib talked about a “Chinese tsunami” when it was in fact a “Malaysian tsunami” caused by the political uprising and awakening not only of the Chinese, but all other communities as well, whether Malays, Chinese, Kadazan-Dusun-Murut or Iban communities.

Najib’s “Chinese tsunami” statement was immediately supported by Muhyiddin who said it was “unhealthy in a multi-racial society like Malaysia” to allow one community supporting one side and another race supporting another as it would lead to “tension in inter-racial relations and political instability”.

This is a conclusion based on a total fallacy, for the 13GE has not led to a situation of “one community supporting one side and another race supporting another” as the 13GE was not a battle between the Chinese versus the Malays, but one multi-racial coalition against another i.e. Pakatan Rakyat versus Barisan Nasional. Read the rest of this entry »


Vote-rigging helped BN win Putrajaya, Kit Siang tells rally

By Boo Su-Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
May 09, 2013

PETALING JAYA, May 9 — Barisan Nasional (BN) would not have retained federal power if Election 2013 was free and fair, DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang told a mass rally of tens of thousands last night.

Some 50,000, dressed mostly in black, packed Stadium MBPJ in Kelana Jaya here to the rafters at Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) rally against electoral fraud, shouting “Ubah” (Change) and “Reformasi” (Reformation) throughout the night.

“BN has 133 seats. Minus 30, they’re left with 103. Does he still qualify to continue to be prime minister?” roared Lim, referring to Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“No!” the multi-racial crowd yelled in response, as they sounded air horns and cheered. Read the rest of this entry »


This Little Malay Ripple That Joined The Tsunami

by Karina Bahrin (Notes) on Tuesday, May 7, 2013 at 9:07pm

Dear Prime Minister and all in UMNO

I am, by your definition, Malay. Except it is said that in our family folklore, my paternal grandmother was probably biologically Chinese. And yes, my mother is a former Catholic from the Philippines.

Not that any of that should matter because, as far as you are concerned, I am Malay.

Only, I did not vote for you. And neither did a whole lot of other Malays,despite what you would like to think. Do the math. If 80% of the population voted, then surely, you cannot blame the erosion of your power on the Chinese minority. Or did you fail that subject too?

I voted for the Opposition because as a Malay, I myself have had enough. Not because I necessarily like all the Opposition leaders, but frankly, I just like you lot less. Because despite all your rhetoric about the Opposition being a lying, conniving bunch, I have personally born witness and been on the receiving end of YOUR lies and policies that stoke racial and religious polarity. Not the Opposition’s. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib Tun Razak, Chua Soi Lek, Ali Rustam, M Saravanan and Dr Mahathir should stop racializing the 13th General Election results and focus instead on Revamping the Electoral System, starting with asking for the members of the Election Commission to resign

BN leaders should be ashamed of themselves for continuing to racialize the GE13 election results. This is thoroughly unbecoming of their status as national leaders and statesmen. Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak continues to irresponsibly racialize the GE13 results when he refused to condemn the reprehensible and thoroughly disgusting headline of Utusan Malaysia yesterday on the 7th of May which read “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?” (What more do the Chinese want?). Instead, his response which alluded that the Chinese papers were writing the same thing makes a mockery of his election night statement that he wanted to embark on a program of national reconciliation.

Dr Chua Soi Lek too has refused to apologize for making the remark that the country is now on a ‘two-race’ system. This is pure stupidity since 50 out of the 89 Pakatan MPs (or 56%) are non-Chinese (39 Malay, 10 Indian, 1 Kadazan).

Ali Rustam should also offer his profuse apologies to not just the Chinese voters in the constituency of Bukit Katil but also the Malay voters, who make up 53% of the voters in this constituency, and also the Indian voters, who make up 6% of the voters in this constituency for exercising their democratic right to choose their candidate of preference, which happens to be his opponent, Shamsul Iskandar, from PKR.

M Saravanan should also apologize for agreeing with Utusan Malaysia and with Ali Rustam by saying that the Chinese were ungrateful since I am sure that many of the 12743 voters who voted for his opponent (or 38% of the total vote) included Malay and Indian voters.

Do both of these leaders also mean to say that all those who voted against the BN, including almost half of the voters in the 95% majority state of Terengganu, are also ‘ungrateful’ voters?

The worst culprit of this race baiting is none other than Dr. Mahathir himself who continues to outdo his younger self in polarizing and dividing the country when he accused the Malaysian Chinese community of ‘rejecting the hand of friendship’ extended by the Malays. Read the rest of this entry »


What else do Chinese want?

by Allan CF Goh

This is my personal view, spoken out of my soul and conscience. Though I sincerely believe many intelligent and fair-minded Malaysians, including Malayans, Sabahans and Sarawakians, share the same sentiment, it remains my personal conviction.

Merdeka came in 1957, while I was still in an English medium school during the 50’s. Then life was very slow and simple. True values were the basis of one’s education and upbringing, cutting across the racial lines. Indian, Malay and Chinese classmates mixed around as fully accepted Malayans, without being aware of, or awkward about our different colours. We visited each other’s home, and sometimes ate the food offered, without hesitation. Some may recall, we even called each other “racist” names as endearment, in real friendship without malice. No offence was taken. I remember some Malay classmates even took Bible Knowledge in their Form 3 Examination, with the full blessing of their families. They still remain good, devout Muslims.

When merdeka arrived, all communities welcomed it with great hope and unity. Merdeka was pledged to all, without exception. Reading the Straits Times and Straits Echo in the school library (we could not afford our own newspapers at home) during breaks, we were constantly assured by the then Alliance leaders from UMNO, MCA and MIC, that all races would be treated equally. Read the rest of this entry »


Putting the record straight

R. Nadeswaran
The Sun Daily
8 May 2013

The outburst in cyberspace reflects the anger of ordinary Malaysians who view such audacious campaigns as insulting their intelligence.

On a similar note, will the same newspapers publish an advertisement paid for by well-minded citizens which reads: “Can you trust a party which is led by a crook?”

This question can only be answered by none other than owners of publishing houses who have accepted and consented to publish those questionable and code-breaking advertisements.

– R. Nadeswaran, The Sun, April 25

I am disappointed with him because when I was president of the 4As, I sided with him when he took on the issue of corruption in the outdoor advertising industry. At that time, I received death threats after speaking up against illegal billboards in the Klang Valley.

After a year, the situation has remained unchanged. However, he has moved on from his anti-corruption stand to talking about advertising, but his own newspaper has accepted and carried the same advertisement.

– Datuk Vincent Lee, The Star, May 3

IN most newspapers, editors tell reporters to “write for the readers in simple language that they understand”. Readers of this newspaper will attest that we make a conscious effort to get rid of bombastic and pompous language. Read the rest of this entry »


Najib’s hollow victory

by Mariam Mokhtar
May 6, 2013

It is widely believed that a happy and contented Singaporean is one who has achieved the 5Cs – cash, credit card, car, condominium and country club.

In neighbouring Malaysia, the victorious Umno Baru leader is defined by the 6Cs; corruption, chaos, cheating, cronyism, cowardice and concubine.

BN head Najib Abdul Razak injected many millions of ringgit into the country to secure a victory, and unleashed a violent campaign of ‘blood, sweat and tears’ to defend Putrajaya. In the end, he only managed a ‘win’ by a handful of seats.

For many Umno Baru leaders, the effort has been worthwhile because the alternative is a long spell behind bars.

Ironically, the worst damage inflicted on Najib and BN, was Najib’s own ‘1Malaysia’ slogan.

Malaysians are fairly reticent people and not known for outward displays of public-spiritedness, but yesterday, in the true spirit of ‘1Malaysia’, Malaysians of all races were united in defending their polling stations against foreign ‘phantom’ voters. Read the rest of this entry »


Lim: Stop racialising elections results

G Vinod| May 8, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

The DAP veteran urges Barisan Nasional leaders to improve the fraudulent electoral system instead of racialising the poll results.

KUALA LUMPUR: DAP has criticised Barisan Nasional leaders for racialising the recent general election results instead of revamping the electoral system marred with irregularities.

Speaking at a press conference held at the party headquarters, DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang reiterated that the massive swing of support to Pakatan Rakyat was a Malaysian wave rather than a Chinese one.

“No doubt there are was considerable swing from the Chinese but it also involved the Malays and the other communities. Do you think I could have won the Gelang Patah parliamentary seat without the support from the Malays and the Indians?” he asked.

On Sunday, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak attributed the heavy losses suffered by the ruling coalition due to a “Chinese tsunami.”

Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia yesterday carried a provocative headline, “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu?” (What else do the Chinese want) attacking the Chinese for backing Pakatan Rakyat. Read the rest of this entry »

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A People’s Election

In the aftermath of this historic election, we would like to thank all Malaysians for their support of DAP and Pakatan Rakyat. To all Malaysians, including those who did not support our coalition, we are indebted to the public for their extensive involvement in the campaign and commitment to the future of Malaysia. All races of Malaysians are united in one purpose to make our country strong and people stronger.

It is in this spirit of strengthening our country that we need to turn our resolve into the tasks that can move our country forward.

Foremost is the need to properly account for all of the irregularities during an election that was not only the dirtiest election in our country’s history, but also the most marred in its process. We support Bersih’s people’s tribunal as an essential step for justice and transparency. We call on all Malaysians to come forward to share their experiences and help us get to the truth.

We also will be supporting the electoral petitions to challenge the flawed contests where we have credible reports of tampering, electoral fraud and manipulation. The process for reform in Malaysia is ongoing, and we need to carry on. Read the rest of this entry »