Archive for May 16th, 2013

Most disappointed over UMNO betrayal of Ghani Othman who was completely by-passed instead of being appointed Senator and Minister in new Cabinet line-up

I am disappointed over the UMNO betrayal of former Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Ghani Othman who was completely by-passed instead of being appointed Senator and Minister in the new Cabinet line-up announced by the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday.

The UMNO leadership had praised Ghani sky-high during the 13th General Election campaign when fielding him as a parliamentary candidate for Gelang Patah against me, and it is most unfair and ungrateful for UMNO leaders to drop Ghani like a ton of bricks after Ghani failed to defeat me in Gelang Patah in the May 5 polls.

General elections should not be regarded as a zero-sum game, and in the case of Ghani, whom I had openly acknowledged as having made invaluable contribution to the development and progress in Johor, his talents and experience should be tapped by the Federal government as Ghani can have still many years of national service and contribution in him.

I am surprised that Ghani is facing so much resistance in UMNO as there are powerful forces who object to his return to national politics, to the extent that MUBARAK, the association of former Barisan Nasional wakil rakyats, have come out with a statement opposing any UMNO candidate who lost in the 13GE being appointed a Senator and a Minister – clearly targetting at Ghani.
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Most unimpressive Cabinet of all six Prime Ministers in the nation’s 56-year history

The Cabinet unveiled by Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak yesterday is the most unimpressive Cabinet of all six Malaysian Prime Ministers in the nation’s 56-year history.

It has in fact accentuated the great divide between Pakatan Rakyat and the Barisan Nasional in the recent 13th General Elections – that Pakatan Rakyat holds out hope and a vision of new politics for Malaysia while Barisan Nasional represent the old, tired and discredited politics of race, fear, corruption, abuses of power and injustices.

The injustices of the 13GE results and the nagging question for the first time in Malaysian historty of the legitimacy of the Prime Minister have spawned a spontaneous “black” political consciousness movement in the country, as witnessed by the 30,000-crowd at the “Black 505” rally at Ulu Tiram, Johor Baru last night, following massive crowds at other “Black 505” rallies in Kelana Jaya, Penang, Ipoh and Kuantan, drawing support from Malaysians regardless of race, religion and region finding special strength in the young generation of Malaysians who until now have been very apathetic to politics and political developments in the country.

Malaysians, particularly young people regardless of race, religion or gender, are outraged by the injustices of the democratic and electoral system to make a stand about their disappointments, frustration and anger at the outcome of the 13GE as well as the legitimacy of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister, as they feel robbed of their fundamental democratic right to help determine the political future of the country.
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Paul Low as marketing gloss for Cabinet

– Fakry Osman
The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2013

MAY 15 – The appointment of Datuk Paul Low as a minister today appears to be another symbolic gesture in the fight against corruption and to promote transparency in the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

On the face of it the Transparency International president’s appointment is a nod towards how serious the government is in tackling graft.

But is it?

After all Datuk Seri Idris Jala was also made a minister when Datuk Seri Najib Razak came to power to tackle the same problems.

Now after the GTPs, ETPs and many other acronyms, and not to mention the hundreds of millions of ringgit spent, the BN government is still seen as a failure in solving issues like corruption, rising crime and government bureaucracy.

So what can Low add to the mix? Read the rest of this entry »


Why I will not move on

— Lishan Low
The Malaysian Insider
May 16, 2013

MAY 16 — 1. Barisan Nasional (BN) does not have political legitimacy

There are two elements to legitimacy — procedural and substantive legitimacy. BN fails on both counts.

Procedural legitimacy requires that the instituted election mechanisms (however unfair) are carried out and complied with to the fullest extent. This means that even with an uneven delineation of constituencies and a questionable electoral roll, if the elections had been conducted in a professional manner, the results would have been procedurally legitimate by account of the “rules of the game.”

Nevertheless, even on this count, BN has failed to adhere to its own heavily biased and terribly unfair procedure. Allegations of ballot boxes disappearing, double voting, and ballot stuffing mar the elections purely on a procedural level. Moreover, a widespread and fairly indiscreet campaign of vote-buying is illegal and further taints the electoral process. So even if you ask me to accept the grossly unfair procedure that BN themselves have instituted, I cannot grant that the outcome was legitimate.

Substantive legitimacy on the other hand, has more to do with perception. The people, the rakyat, themselves need acknowledge that BN has a legitimate mandate to rule. Here, you cannot say that gerrymandering or a dirty electoral role are merely facts that have to be “lived with” and can only be changed in Parliament (ergo, wait till GE14). If the process itself is not perceived by the rakyat as fair and free, there is no sense in suggesting that the outcome it produces is legitimate. Furthermore, given that BN LOST the popular vote, that itself is enough grounds to discard the entire elections as an irredeemable sham.

So to those who argue that gerrymandering cannot be legally challenged (yes I am referring very specifically to a particular camp of people), I say ay, of course it can’t be legally challenged. Given that reality, wouldn’t it make sense that we call the election what it truly was in the first place — a gigantic sham! And shouldn’t it then follow that we should not accept the outcome of GE13 and demand a re-election, along with the decimation of the Election Commission? Read the rest of this entry »


Forcing a paradigm shift in MCA and Umno

by Oon Yeoh
May 15, 2013


Much has been written about MCA and Gerakan’s decision not to join the cabinet following their poor performance in the recently concluded general elections.

Some commentators have said that because Malaysia is a multiracial country, there must be Chinese representation in the cabinet to look after Chinese needs. That’s an interesting notion because MCA and Gerakan ministers have never assumed the position of Chinese affairs minister or anything like that. Such a position doesn’t exist.

They take up other positions like transport minister or health minister or energy, water and communications minister. So, how do they look after Chinese interests if their job is to look after transportation, health or energy, water and communications issues?

Perhaps, they can speak up about Chinese-related issues privately to the prime minister. But do they have to be in the cabinet to speak the PM about such issues? Aren’t there other channels to highlight such issues besides being in the cabinet?

In fact, if the PM really wanted to understand Chinese concerns, he should speak to opposition leaders for it’s obvious they have a better handle of Chinese grouses than MCA or Gerakan leaders.

Besides, if it’s Chinese representation in the cabinet that people are worried about, the prime minister can always appoint prominent members of the Chinese community as senators and make them ministers.

But who exactly is calling for Chinese representation in the cabinet? Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has called for it. So has Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin. Columnist Azman Ujang has done so, too. Read the rest of this entry »


Analysts: Umno-heavy Cabinet reflects Najib’s party polls focus, could affect reforms

By Amin Iskandar, Debra Chong and Syed Jaymal Zahiid
The Malaysian Insider
May 16, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR, May 16 — Umno’s domination of the 2013 Cabinet shows Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s desire to shore up his personal support ahead of party polls but at the expense of the prime minister’s national reform measures, several observers say.

While the pundits held grave reservations over the large number of veterans in the 32-man Cabinet, they said Najib deserved a chance to prove he could deliver on his promised government and economic transformation agenda once he had secured his party presidency.

The Umno president had cast 17 of his party colleagues in ministerial positions when naming members of his Cabinet yesterday. Of the line-up, most were old government hands being switched around or promoted with the exception of new faces Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin and Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

Such an Umno-studded cast was “clever”, according to William Case, a professor in Asian and International Studies at the University of Hong Kong.

“My take is that while many critics are dismissing the Cabinet as made up most of old hacks, I see it as more mixed, possibly in clever ways, as it includes Najib’s personal supporters, reformers, and nativists,” he told The Malaysian Insider in an emailed response yesterday.

There has been speculation that Najib, 59, is likely to face a challenge to his presidency from within Umno in the party ballot due this year for failing to return the BN’s two-thirds supermajority in the May 5 general election despite improving the Malay party’s number of federal seats to 88. Read the rest of this entry »


My vote, my analysis

KJ John
May 14, 2013

In the last two general elections, I voted for Pakatan Rakyat. In fact, I campaigned privately and publicly with and for Pakatan. Nonetheless, I am not a member of any party and do not find a need to join one.

Having worked hard to influence and support the realisation of this two-party democracy in Malaysia over the last decade, I now want to move into a more neutral mode because the truth and reality of a two-party system is being evolved and can soon be realised.

Pakatan, still the so-called opposition party, achieved more than 50 percent of the popular vote. That is already an incredible and absolute victory.

If the weight of each vote was the same, in statistical terms, Pakatan would have been the government of the day. The Agong would have been inviting the leader of the ‘opposition’ to form the government.

But, alas under the cherished honour and current privilege assigned to our Agong, based on existing laws, premised upon the Commonwealth tradition of democratic governance, he has to invite the leader of the BN to form the government. I accept it but cannot even say that I congratulate them.

Therefore and nevertheless, allow me now to move towards a more neutral mode of what both sides can demonstrate about good governance. I have some advice for both sides in the Parliament, and I hope they both know how to listen.

We must grow out of cheating and lies and move to become a nation interested in truth, equality, mutual respect, and full accountability and consequent responsibility. This is our full accountability; in the here and now, and in the hereafter. Read the rest of this entry »


Kit Siang calls ex-judge ‘racist champion’ for warning Chinese of Malay backlash

By Emily Ding
The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2013

UR, May 15 — DAP veteran Lim Kit Siang has called former Court of Appeal Judge Mohd Noor Abdullah a “racist champion” for his recent statements warning the Chinese of a backlash from the Malays for their alleged “betrayal” against Barisan Nasional (BN) in Election 2013.

The Gelang Patah MP said that the ex-judge’s speech was unworthy of a person of high office because of its seditiousness and “abomination” of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia ideal.

“I have seen the video of Mohd Noor’s speech which is unquestionably the most divisive, destructive, racist and seditious speech ever made in Malaysia in 44 years,” Lim said in a statement today.

He was referring to a speech the former judge gave three days ago at a forum titled “GE13 post-mortem: Muslim leadership and survival”, organised by the UiTM Malaysia Alumni Association and Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS).

Mohd Noor, who currently sits on the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) complaints committee, had reportedly accused the Chinese of plotting to “seize political power” from the Malays, despite already having benefited economically from the “Malay’s hand of friendship”.

“When Malays are betrayed, there is a backlash and the Chinese must bear the consequences of a Malay backlash,” he was quoted as saying on independent news portal Malaysiakini. Read the rest of this entry »


Making sense of Najib’s Cabinet

By The Malaysian Insider
May 15, 2013

Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak. – File picANALYSIS, May 15 — It is apparent that Umno and East Malaysia were rewarded big time for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) return to power in GE13.

What else can be deciphered from the choices made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak?

The Malaysian Insider offers some observations about this Cabinet. Read the rest of this entry »