Archive for May 24th, 2013

I’m afraid, really afraid!

Zan Azlee
The Malaysian Insider
May 24, 2013

MAY 24 — I’m going to be honest and say outright that I’m afraid of the recent turn of events in our country, with the numerous arrests being made and copies of newspapers being confiscated.

But it’s a complicated situation that everything is in right now. And I am seriously tired of all these complicated situations that we’ve been in since the election.

Yes, the election has come and gone. And yes, Barisan Nasional (BN) won and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lost. It’s the worst faring by BN and the best by PR.

BN was quick to swear in their prime minister, while PR was quick to declare the election process being a fraud and not recognise the results.

And since they won the popular vote, PR leaders started organising rallies all around the country, knowing full well that the turnout would be huge.

Yada yada yada. And that’s when all hell broke loose in the BN camp. Read the rest of this entry »


An open letter to the home minister

— Stephen Doss
The Malaysian Insider
May 24, 2013

MAY 24 — Dear Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi,

I write to you as someone who has followed your political ascension from Umno Youth chief to your current position as minister of home affairs.

As a young university student, I watched with pride when you took on the then Umno president and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on the issue of cronyism and nepotism at the 1998 Umno General Assembly. At the time it was unthinkable for someone so low in the ladder in politics to take on the all-powerful Dr Mahathir.

Over the years I have noticed that you have mellowed in speaking out on issues that someone like me (young urban middle class) would hold dear and value. Young individuals like me yearn for a level playing field as we lack the connections and cables that the connected and family members of politicians and businessmen have access to.

I was not surprised with the results of the 2008 general election, even less with the results of the 2013 general election. The more the leadership in Barisan Nasional (BN) speak less about the issues that are of concern to the urban middle-class electorate, then it is only natural that you begin to lose the support of that electorate. The correlation should be by now painfully obvious to those who seek the truth.

There are two ways in which political parties and politicians can react to sliding support among the masses — they can either seek to halt and reverse the declining support, or they can seek solace within their comfort zone or cocoon of ignorance until it is too late. Read the rest of this entry »


IGP must prove he is not political catspaw of Home Minister Zahid out to extract vengeance for Najib’s poor showing in the 13GE

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar protests too much when he claimed that the arrest of Opposition figures and activists were not politically motivated, that nobody is above the law and offenders should stop using politics as a shield to avoid prosecution.

Khalid is quite a “catch” for UMNO/Barisan Nasional as he is proving to be the most “political” IGP in his first week as the top police officer in the country.

In the past week under a new IGP, Malaysians do not see any new initiatives, breakthrough or success in the most important challenge of the police to make safety and security the top police priority, return the streets to the people and abolish the “fear of crime” which is paralyzing the freedom of movement and activities of citizens, tourists and investors.

What for instance is Khalid doing to end the decades-long infamy of Johor Baru as the “capital of crime” in Malaysia?

Instead, we see the police under the IGP coming down hard on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists, although public peace and order had not been undermined in any manner – raising the question of the commitment of the police under the IGP to promote and protect the human rights of Malaysians in the coming years.

It is no coincidence that the police crackdown on Pakatan Rakyat leaders and social activists comes at the same time as the announcement of a new Cabinet and a new Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi. Read the rest of this entry »


Call on Najib to walk the talk of his Wesak Day message – to take all necessary steps to end race politics and unwind the escalation of racial polarisation since 13GE since May 5, beginning with UMNO and all race-based parties in BN?

I wish all Buddhist in Malaysia a very Happy and Enlightening Wesak Day and non-Buddhists a very happy holiday.

Two thousand five hundred years ago, a prince was born and named Siddhartha Gautama who sought and attained Enlightenment.

The best way to celebrate Wesak Day, which commemorates three significant events in Gautama Buddha’s life namely his birthday, enlightenment and passing away, is to truly and sincerely strive to follow his teaching, reiterate the determination to lead noble lives, develop the minds and practice loving kindness and bring peace and harmony to humanity.

My wish on Wesak Day is for all leaders, starting with the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, to walk the talk of their Wesak Day messages.
In conjunction with Wesak Day, Najib called on all Malaysians, regardless of race or ethnicity, to come together as one.

I urge Najib to show leadership by example in his call on the people to set aside their differences at all levels of society by taking all necessary steps to end race politics and unwind the escalation of racial polarization 19 days ago since the 13GE on May 5. Read the rest of this entry »


My dream: A united Malaysia

— Aruna Sena
The Malaysian Insider
May 24, 2013

MAY 24 — Malaysia, the land of multiethnicities, faiths and cultures, harmony and stability, not to mention the tagline “Truly Asia” But is that truly the case with the people of Malaysia? Yes and no.


Because of racism.

Yes. Racism exists in Malaysia. There’s no point beating around the bush. As much as we love to sugarcoat the image of this beautiful country, this disease called racism exists and thrives. It is something we can’t deny and it is becoming worrying of late. Politicians continue to vocally play the race card. We have mainstream media doing it, we even have everyday Joes who walk among us doing it. Honestly, at times we ourselves are guilty of it without us realising.

Many of us point fingers at the politicians for these sentiments and the media for hyping it up, especially during the recent events which unfolded after GE13. We look at the numerous race-based political parties that cater to different ethnicities. Some of us continue to support them. But I believe if we truly dream of a single united Malaysian, this manner of racial politics must come to an end. Read the rest of this entry »


Now anybody can stop reading Utusan Malaysia

— Mustafa K. Anuar
The Malaysian Insider
May 24, 2013

MAY 24 — The excessive reaction resorted to by Utusan Malaysia and other Malay-based groups over the fair criticism made by AirAsia X chief executive Azran Osman Rani is disturbing and worrying.

Azran had criticised what he rightly considered to be a racial slur in the daily’s post-general election coverage.

Utusan Malaysia columnist “Awang Selamat” even threatened that the daily would not hesitate to punish AirAsia by not accepting the budget airline’s advertisements.

Such a knee-jerk reaction sadly reveals an alarming inability and incapacity — displayed by the daily and other quarters concerned — to accept and appreciate the legitimacy of differing opinions and dissent in a democracy. Such behaviour suggests that there’s only one way of looking at things in Malaysia, and that is a perspective that necessarily aligns itself with that of Utusan Malaysia and its political masters — which must be denounced as bunkum.

Equally disconcerting is that this issue erroneously suggests that a Malay individual who holds an opinion that runs counter to that of the Malay daily and its political owners, i.e. Umno Baru, is regarded as having betrayed his/her own ethnic community. Read the rest of this entry »


The Unsung Heroes of GE13

Thomas Fann
May 24, 2013

The 13th General Election is over and the result showed that majority of Malaysians wanted to “Ubah”, that is, to see change. Many who have worked hard for it are disappointed with the outcome but we realise that we must move on and prepare ourselves for GE14.

We salute the tireless efforts of politicians and civil society leaders at the forefront of this push for change. Many of them travelled the length and breadth of this country, keeping an insane schedule for the past few months just to make themselves heard at the hundreds of ceramahs or rallies across this nation. It was almost a superhuman effort. Though they have lost the battle to take Putrajaya this time, they are still heroes of this struggle for a better Malaysia.

But this struggle is not theirs alone. Throughout these last few years and especially in the last few months in the run-up to the 5th of May, it has been my absolute privilege to have served together and to have known ordinary Malaysians from all walks of life who shares a common passion for this country. To me they are no less heroic in their efforts and their sacrifices are no less significant. I want to sing the praises of some of these unsung heroes of GE13. Read the rest of this entry »


Utusan On War Path?

( – The Hammer
22 May 2013

It still puzzles me how Utusan Malaysia has censured AirAsia X CEO Azran Osman-Rani for his comments regarding the newspaper’s headline recently post General Elections 2013.

Now Utusan refuses to accept any ads from AirAsia until Azran apologizes; Azran had earlier threatened to pull out all ads from Utusan.

All this seems a little pointless to me.

Because for the whole of last year AirAsia spent slightly over half a million Ringgit on advertising in Utusan. And when you look at the paltry RM10,000 they forked out for Kosmo, Utusan’s sister publication, these are just drops in the ocean.

In fact, AirAsia spent more than RM700,000 with competitor Berita Harian last year.

However, these are Nielsen ad tracking figures based on published rates, which also means AirAsia’s spend is very much lower than stated above.

But what really puzzles me is why a newspaper that has been experiencing a decline in readership and diminishing advertising revenue in recent years can be so bold and
blacklist an advertiser in clear daylight. Sources say that it is a tit-for-tat reaction to Azlan’s earlier threat. Read the rest of this entry »

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Open Letter to those BN elected Members of Parliament with integrity and conscience

by Richard Loh
May 23, 2013

Dear Yang Berhomat Ahli ahli Parliament Barisan National,

It is with much regret to go against my principle to call for your reconsideration in remaining with your coalition party, Barisan National.

There must be a very good reason, at times, to go against one’s principle for the sake of the people and nation.

Before going into the reasoning in suggesting that you reconsider your position to remain with Barisan National let me asked a few questions in reminding you what and who you are.

1) What is your purpose to be an elected Member of Parliament?

2) Is high position (being a minister) and power solely or one of your motive to be an elected Member of Parliament?

3) Have the deterioration of racial harmony and religious intolerance caught your attention?

4) What is your priority being an elected Member of Parliament, party first or people/nation first?

5) Can you see what is happening right now with BN especially umno?

Read the rest of this entry »

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In Malaysia, a Historic Chance for Reform

New York Times
May 4, 2013

MALAYSIANS are going to the polls Sunday for the most important election in our history. The opposition stands a real chance of winning, for the first time since independence from Britain in 1957. Recent polls show the People’s Alliance, the opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim, running neck and neck with the governing National Front, led by Prime Minister Najib Razak.

The National Front, the direct successor to the Alliance Party of the 1950s, has been one of the world’s longest-governing parties, outside of authoritarian regimes like China, North Korea and Cuba. For half a century, until 2008, it had a two-thirds parliamentary majority, which allowed it to amend Malaysia’s Constitution at will.

Since the 1980s, the governing party has resorted to stoking fears among the country’s many ethnic communities — Malays, Chinese, Indians and many non-Malay indigenous peoples — to keep them beholden to its rule. It has abused affirmative action policies, intended to help impoverished ethnic Malays, in order to enrich its members and their cronies.

Malaysia’s outdated model of governance — a system of racially exclusive parties that deliver patronage to captive racial voter blocs — is no longer sustainable.

The National Front’s brand of racial politics is the disease to which it pretends to be the cure. And it is the reason genuine reform is not possible without a change of government. Read the rest of this entry »

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