Archive for June, 2013

Getting serious on national reconciliation

Jeswan Kaur | June 30, 2013
Free Malaysia Today

Does Najib have an answer as to why a former judge and former premier can go on making not only seditious but racist remarks?


So much ‘pressure’ is being put by the federal government on the opposition Pakatan Rakyat pact to accept the outcome of the May 5, 2013 general election if the latter is serious about ‘national reconciliation’.

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak has even gone on to say that Pakatan’s acceptance of the 13th general election result is the ‘main premise’ for reconciliation.

In fact the premier is trying very hard to appear sincere about reinstating the heavily compromised peace, to the point of claiming that the government was planning to set up a national consultative council on unity where issues concerning race, religion and policies can be discussed.

But for that to happen, Najib wants the opposition to accept the May 5 GE result.

In other words, the prime minister is saying he would only get serious about the topic of national unity if all quarters no longer questioned ‘how’ BN won the 13th general election.

While Najib dictates terms to Pakatan and all Malaysians who are against electoral fraud, his fellow Umno sycophants are sparing no efforts in hijacking any form of ‘ceasefire’ between ruling government Barisan Nasional and Pakatan.

One was the the former Appeals Court judge Mohd Noor Abdullah who a week after the 13th GE decided to court attention by calling for the defence of Malay rights. Read the rest of this entry »


Cabinet should withdraw Section 107(b) of Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to give time for Malaysians to achieve national consensus on conversion of minor children to Islam in keeping with the Constitution and to promote family integrity, freedom of religion and national harmony

The Cabinet should withdraw Section 107(b) of the Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 to give time for Malaysians to achieve national consensus on conversion of minor children to Islam in keeping with the constitutional scheme contained in Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution, read with Article 160 and the Eleventh Schedule, and to promote family integrity, freedom of religion and national harmony.

Former Cabinet Minister, United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) head Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said yesterday that the provision is a contradiction to the 1Malaysia concept of acceptance, inclusiveness and moderation, suggesting a full discussion by Barisan Nasional on this issue and related religious issues before proceeding with the provision in Parliament.

Dompok said that a few months ago when he was still in the Cabinet, he had asked for the withdrawal of a paper on the bill in Cabinet as he felt that an earlier Cabinet decision on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 should be implemented instead.

Section 107(b) of the 64-page 116-section Administration of Religion of Islam (Federal Territories) Bill 2013 provides that the consent of one parent alone is sufficient for the conversion of minor children to Islam, which is not only contrary to the Constitution but contravenes the Cabinet decision announced on April 23, 2009 that a single parent cannot convert a minor. Read the rest of this entry »


Dompok says he had told Cabinet to repeal religious conversion bill

By Yiswaree Palansamy
The Malaysian Insider
JUN 29, 2013

A leader of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition expressed disappointment today with the Cabinet for tabling a controversial bill on unilateral conversion involving children, which he said went against the 1Malaysia concept.

United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) head Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the intention to table the bill is a contradiction to the 1Malaysia concept of acceptance, inclusiveness and moderation.

“I am surprised and disappointed that this bill was approved by Cabinet for tabling at Parliament,” he said in a statement to the media today.

Dompok said that a few months ago, he asked for the withdrawal of a paper on the bill in Cabinet as he felt that an earlier Cabinet decision on the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 should be implemented instead. Read the rest of this entry »


The King’s speech and mob judgment

– Sakmongkol
June 29, 2013

A non-issue has become a contentious point by some BN MPs. Debates and opposing views on the King’s Speech are to be treated and judged the same as the slurs made against the King outside parliament – as rebellion against the King. What is happening here?

The standards of mob or crowd judgement –hysterical, unreasonable and clueless are being adopted by mob leaders inside parliament.

The leaders are easily identified- they shout the loudest in parliament and appoint themselves as leaders and spokesmen for the mob outside.

Since Independence, Royal Addresses have always been followed up by adversarial debates.

That has been the practice of parliamentary democracy.

We come to the House to debate on issues – the agenda for ensuing debates being set down by the Royal Addresses. Read the rest of this entry »


Pakatan Rakyat governments must never commit undemocratic vengeance or vindictiveness like Jonker Walk outrage in Malacca which is nothing but national retaliation

The Jonker Walk outrage in Malacca, where the Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron is seeking to close down the Jonker Walk night market by some 300 traders on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, by opening up the area to traffic, is among the worst examples of political vindictiveness and retaliation by the Barisan Nasional after the 13th general election.

The claim that the Jonker Walk market is among the causes of a four-hour traffic snarl that stretches up to the Ayer Kerol toll plaza is utterly baseless.

It can probably serve three petty objectives – to take vengeance against the people of Malacca for not supporting the Barisan Nasional in the 13th general election, continuation of the Chinese-bashing indulged by chauvinist UMNO elements like the irresponsible Utusan Malaysia’s “Apa Lagi Cina Mahu” rhetoric, and to make Idris Harun an instant hero and top vote-getter in the UMNO party elections at the end of the year. Read the rest of this entry »


Going bonkers over Jonker Walk

P Gunasegaram
Jun 28, 2013

QUESTION TIME The closing down of the Jonker Walk night market in Malacca’s Chinatown is yet another reflection and manifestation of the hard stand that some people within Umno are taking against the so-called ‘Chinese tsunami’ in the last general election.

While common sense may have prevailed to stop this totally short-sighted move by the new chief minister of Malacca, who is now vigorously backpedalling after his earlier outbursts and his highly irrational justification of the closure, that something like this can happen is a major cause for concern.

Various quarters – and especially Umno-owned newspaper Utusan Malaysia – have systematically attempted to fan Malay hatred against the Chinese by perpetrating half-truths, portraying the swing of Chinese votes away from BN as a plot by the community to take over political power.

Although such an assertion cannot be true simply because Chinese voters only form some 28 percent of the total, and the opposition which also has Malay-based parties such as PKR and PAS for whom the Chinese voted, no major Umno leader has come out to openly condemn such blatantly racist and possibly seditious remarks aimed at inciting racial tensions. Read the rest of this entry »


Will Najib act against Home Minister and IGP? Malaysia hit by a second national haze emergency of accountability, integrity and good governance revolving around two top security officials, IGP and Home Minister

Even before the haze from the Riau and Sumatra peat fires, which have caused state of emergency to be declared and thousands of schools to be closed in various states, have been fully resolved, Malaysia has been hit by a new haze emergency – the haze of accountability, integrity and good governance revolving around two top security officials, the Inspector-General of Police and the Home Minister.

Who would have thought that in matter of 48 hours, it was possible to reduce to smithereens the credibility and authority of the country’s two topmost security officials, the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

On Wednesday, Kuala Lumpur High Court judge, Justice Datuk V.T. Singham (who turned 65 today and went on optional retirement a year before his term is up), found Khalid who was Selangor police chief at the time responsible in the death of suspected car thief A Kugan during police custody from grievous injuries at the Taipan police station on Jan 20, 2009.

In a landmark ruling which saw the family of Kugan winning RM801,700 in damages, Justice Singham found the police and the Government liable for Kugan’s death and said Khalid was liable for misfeasance of public office.
Read the rest of this entry »


Conscientious Reconciliation

Allan CF Goh
28th June 2013

Good politics for the people,
Is good politics for the nation.
It’s not about supremacy.
It’s about exemplary notion.
For voters in democracies,
It’s about moral imperative.
Performing with moral conscience,
Government must claim superlative.
Any government becomes bad,
When it survives on wild, constant ill,
Diverting from people’s real need,
To arrogantly plunder at will.

The treasury is sacrosanct,
Meant for enhancing peoples’ living.
It is not for official squander,
Nor for anybody’s pilfering.
All those citizens who need help,
Regardless of their colour or race,
Can appeal to their government,
To provide them economic grace.
Money derived from the taxes,
Is the people’s rightful property.
It should be used with utmost care,
With proper accounting, propriety. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Resolutions that MCA Needs to Debate On

Koon Yew Yin
28th June 2013

Just before the elections, I predicted that the curtain was coming down on the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) and warned of its demise as a force in Malaysian politics.

The elections showed that my prediction was right. The party suffered a stunning loss of support and won a dismal seven parliamentary and 11 state assembly seats. In numerical terms, the party has only 3 per cent of total parliamentarians and 2 per cent of total state assemblymen in the country’s Dewan Rakyat and state assemblies. Read the rest of this entry »


MCA with Nowhere to Go

by Kee Thuan Chye
24th June 2013

Post-GE13 (13th general election), the MCA is looking more lost than ever before. It is like the partygoer who is all dressed up with nowhere to go. Except that in its case, its dress is somewhat tattered and its face rather bruised after the beating it took at the polls. From the 15 parliamentary seats it held prior to GE13, it now has only seven – and for this poor showing, it has had to heed the call of its president, Chua Soi Lek, to refrain from taking positions in government, including the Cabinet.

Way before GE13, Chua had taken the ill-advised stand that if the MCA did not get enough voter support, it would play no part in government. He had expected then that the Chinese community the party claims to represent would largely abandon it, and in order to win them back sought to make them fear that a government without MCA representation would be disastrous.

Too bad for him and the party, the strategy didn’t work. Simply because fear-mongering and threats don’t go down well with Malaysian voters any more, especially if they can think for themselves and opt to do the right thing. Besides, the Chinese already knew that MCA participation in the government was little more than endorsing whatever big brother Umno decided, rather than fighting for the community. So they dealt the MCA its biggest blow.

Now, because of Chua’s hubris, all and sundry among the MCA leaders have to abide by his foolish stand. And, naturally, this is bound to cause disgruntlement among its ranks. And likely mutiny. Read the rest of this entry »


DAP: Umno interests milking ‘Red Bean Army’ for profit

By Hazlan Zakaria | 1:37PM Jun 27, 2013

PARLIAMENT DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang today accused “vested interests” in Umno of creating the Red Bean Army story as a ploy to seek funding, supposedly for its own cyberwarriors.

More likely, he said, the funds would be destined for private pockets.

“With regard to the Red Bean Army allegations that the DAP employs thousands of cybertroopers, they are all not true.

“DAP has never spent a single sen nor funded any Red Bean Army,” Lim (right) reiterated while debating the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat today.

He claimed there are reports that some in Umno were asking for RM250 million to fight the Red Bean Army.

“Now I know why the rumour was started by those who spread the slander as a vested interest. It is not to fight the Red Bean Army, but to enrich themselves,” Lim said.
Read the rest of this entry »


Call on Malaysians to be united by a Malaysian Dream regardless of race, religion or region, in a common national vision and destiny to build a more united, democratic, free, just, competitive and prosperous nation for all Malaysian citizens

All right-thinking Malaysians find it very distressing that there was not only the most irresponsible and reckless appeals to race and religion during the general elections campaign, racism took on even worse forms after the 13th general elections results.

Even my contesting in Gelang Patah was turned into a racist issue with the former Prime Minsister Tun Dr. Mahathir who led the charge in spewing racist lines and falsehoods, alleging that I was contesting in Gelang Patah because I want:

• the Chinese in Gelang Patah and Johor to “reject working together and sharing with the Malays”;

• the Chinese in Johor “to dislike and hate the Malays” to create “conflict and antagonism between the races”;

• create “an unhealthy racial confrontation” between the Malays and Chinese in Johor, which will be “disruptive and will not be conducive to the development of Malaysia”.

Recently, in his blog on “Racial Polarisation”, Mahathir continued with his inflammatory, incendiary, seditious statements to pit one race against another, based on lies and falsehoods. Read the rest of this entry »


National Reconciliation Requires Realisation, Non-Retaliation and Reforms

Shortly after the results of the 13th general election were announced, Prime Minister Najib promised to undertake a national reconciliation program. While the intention of that announcement may have been good, the actions and words of Prime Minister Najib and some of his cabinet ministers and Barisan Nasional leaders have been anything by reconciliatory. In fact, what we saw and what we continue to see are troubling signs that the desire is not to have national reconciliation but to have national retaliation.

This comes from a misguided and mistaken view that it was the ‘Chinese Tsunami’ that caused the BN to lose an additional 7 parliament seats and to fail to win back Selangor and Penang while in fact it was a ‘Malaysian tsunami’ that saw the opposition representation strengthened at the federal and state levels. Without this realisation, without a firm commitment towards non-retaliation and to undertake extensive reforms, Prime Minister Najib’s national reconciliation plan has died before it has even taken off.

It was not a ‘Chinese Tsunami’ that allowed Kelantan to be retained by Pakatan Rakyat. It was not a ‘Chinese Tsunami’ that almost saw Pakatan take over the state government of Terengganu where 96% of all voters are Malay. It was not a ‘Chinese Tsunami’ that allowed Pakatan to capture the 88% Malay seat of Kuala Terengganu, the 98% Malay seat of Kuala Nerus, the 96% Malay seat of Dungun, the 64% Malay seat of Temerloh, the 61% Malay seat of Alor Setar, the 57% Malay seat of Sepang and the 66% Sabah Bumiputera seat of Penampang. It was not a ‘Chinese Tsunami’ that saw PAS increase its state seats in Selangor from 8 to 17, all of them in Malay majority areas.

It was a ‘Malaysian Tsunami’ which saw all three Pakatan parties increase their share of vote in Peninsular Malaysia. It was a ‘Malaysian Tsunami’ which allowed Pakatan to win 713,000 more votes than Barisan Nasional in Peninsular Malaysia. It was a ‘Malaysian Tsunami’ which allowed Pakatan Rakyat to win 51% of popular vote in Malaysia thereby making the BN a minority supported government. It was a ‘Malaysian Tsunami’ which saw BN’s vote share in Perlis – a 85% Malay state – fall by almost 5%. It was a ‘Malaysian Tsunami’ which saw BN’s vote share in Pahang – a 70% Malay state – fall by 4.3%. It was a ‘Malaysian tsunami’ which saw BN’s vote share in Sabah – a 80% Sabah Bumiputera state – fall by almost 7%. It was a ‘Malaysian tsunami’ which saw BN’s vote share in Johor – a 53% Malay, 39% Chinese and 7% Indian state – fall by more than 10%. Read the rest of this entry »

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How do we proceed from here?

– The Malaysian Insider
Jun 27, 2013

If Malaysians are to have respect for the country’s institutions, they must have respect for the men and women who staff these institutions. The minute we harbour doubts about the character and integrity of an individual leading an organisation, it only stands to reason that our view of that organisation will be down in the dumps as well.

This premise holds true for the police and the Election Commission.

Yesterday the standing of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar’s took a big hit. He was accused by Justice Datuk VT Singham of malfeasance in the death in police custody of A. Kugan.

He was the Selangor Chief Police when there was a cover-up to hide the fact that police personnel beat the suspect to death. It is no wonder that there are calls for his resignation.

We should expect nothing less than integrity, honesty and a great respect for the rule of law from any policeman. These are minimum standards. How much more should we expect from the IGP? Read the rest of this entry »


Environment Minister Palanivel and even PM Najib should be censured for failing to ensure that the Royal Address at the official opening of Parliament this morning address the government’s agenda on the haze emergency

Environment Minister Datuk Seri S. Palanivel and even the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should be censured for failing to ensure that the Royal Address delivered by the Yang di Pertuan Agong at the opening of the 13th Parliament this morning address the government’s agenda on the haze emergency.

In a constitutional monarchy, the Royal Address at the opening of Parliament outlines the government’s agenda for the coming year. The Royal Address is prepared by Cabinet Ministers outlining the government’s legislative agenda and their national priorities.

It is not that the haze emergency occurred only last night, catching the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Ministers by surprise so that they could not incorporate the government’s concerns, agenda and priorities in addressing the haze catastrophe in the Royal Address.

The country has been haunted and hounded by the haze catastrophe for a week, with thousands of schools closed in the past week throughout the country, affecting the lives, health and livelihood of millions of Malaysians in various parts of the country, starting from Johor Baru and Muar in the south and moving progressively northwards to Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Pahang and Penang with the change of winds from the raging peat fires in Riau and Sumatra. Read the rest of this entry »


The EC is playing God

Mariam Mokhtar
Jun 24, 2013

We have heard the same trite comments before: “We’re clean. We’re not guilty. It wasn’t us.”

Umno Baru’s most sanctimonious hypocrite, Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, has denied claims of cheating.

Abdul Aziz expressed sadness that the indelible ink used in GE13 could easily be washed off and in an interview with the Malay daily Sinar Harian said, “If people ask me now, what is the saddest thing in my life, I would answer: ‘Indelible ink’.”

The indelible ink had been tested before use and he said, “On the much-awaited day, the power of Allah is greater when the ink could disappear after being washed several times. Where is the mistake?” Read the rest of this entry »


The case for electoral reforms

– Sakmongkol AK47
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2013

One of the most important objectives of the Black 505 Rally that took place on the 22 of June (622) was to ask for the resignation of the chiefs of SPR. It stands accused of impartiality, perpetuating and abetting electoral fraud, refusing to clean the electoral rolls and acting hapless when called upon to act on the massive discrepancies in electoral registers. The Chairman and the Deputy of the EC stood out as exemplars of Little Stalins impervious to demands for the EC to facilitate democracy not to hinder and suffocate it.

Never in the history of Malaysia, has the SPR been overtly political. The two people helming SPR are seen to be the most politically proactive. Their political adventures and frolics lead people to justifiably conclude that the SPR is but another satellite of the BN. it is a tool serving the interests of the BN government. It therefore stands of the side of the Oppressor.

Our SPR has complete lost its credibility and integrity as an independent commission answerable to The Agong. Does the Agong countenance fraud and partiality of the SPR? The SPR must not only actually behave with extreme impartiality, but it must also be seen to behave as such. Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t scold neighbours, fix problem instead

– Koran Tempo
The Malaysian Insider
Jun 24, 2013

It is very sad when officials have yet to really learn about how to act when facing a haze disaster like right now. The haze problem is a routine disaster, happening every year. Yet, when the dry season comes, they are still confused about how to overcome the haze.

Those of sound mind will shake their heads looking at the minimal action taken by the government. This is especially so when we see Coordinating Minister for People’s Welfare Agung Laksono getting worked up and angry with Singapore’s frustration at seeing the haze, and saying “the neighbouring country’s action is childish”.

Mr Agung’s attitude is not helpful at all, and in fact shows how rotten government policy is in dealing with the haze. The disaster this time is fairly severe.

The Standard Air Pollutants Index owned by PT Chevron in Dumai showed a reading of 400, meaning the air quality was very hazardous. In Malaysia, the pollutants index reached 383.

The result is that thousands of students in Malaysia and Singapore were sent home. Former Singapore prime minister Goh Chok Tong even said “the child is being suffocated”. Read the rest of this entry »


Smoke gets in our eyes: A way out

Dr Lim Teck Ghee

Returning to Kuala Lumpur after several weeks abroad, the pea soup of polluted air that greeted our descent was the worst I have ever experienced. It seemed to stretch interminably for miles on end far beyond the horizon. The acrid smell of burnt wood induced bouts of coughing amongst fellow passengers as we queued for our taxi ride. “Welcome to foggy Malaysia”, someone remarked in a futile attempt at raising everyone’s spirits.

On board our taxi, the friendly Pak Cik driver asked where we had come from and how long we had been away. He was quickly absorbed in talking about the number one topic currently on the mind of millions in Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia as lungs continue to be assailed by the smoke coming from the Sumatra fires.

The taxi driver’s point was indisputable although diplomatically expressed. Neighbours in an apartment or kampung should keep their own as well as the common environment hazard-free and clean. They also need to watch out for each other.

Clearly Indonesia needs to do more to get its act together to prevent the illegal burnings that are an annual occurrence. But as noted by the former Singapore Prime Minister, Goh Chok Tong: “Forest and peat fires are not easy to put out. They are not like our lalang or bush fires, small and confined. They burn and smoulder over thousands of acres in remote places far from the reach of fire fighters. So it is best to prevent man-made, illegal fires from being started in the first place.”

Past attempts at preventing illegal fires have failed miserably – not only in Indonesia but also Malaysia. Because they have failed, tens of millions of ringgit and thousands of billions of rupiah have been spent purchasing the latest haze monitoring equipment to keep us informed, and fire-fighting and rain-inducing equipment to help put the fires out. In the meantime, incalculable sums are being lost in terms of the impact on productivity, health, tourism revenue, and other knock-on effects. If the haze persists for a few months, we may be talking of losses of billions of dollars and perhaps even a few points shaved off the region’s GDP. Read the rest of this entry »


Haze now heading north to KL and PJ and beyond

By Trinna Leong and Kimberly Yeo
The Malaysian Insider
June 24, 2013

Sibu and Bukit Rambai are the latest areas where the Air Pollution Index (API) has been flagged as unhealthy as the haze from Indonesia moves northwards.

With this, a total of 21 areas have been rated as unhealthy.

In the capital, Kuala Lumpur’s API increased to 198, just slightly short of the very unhealthy level. Many people are now wearing face masks. Petaling Jaya is almost as bad at 193.

Authorities told The Malaysian Insider that strong winds blowing towards the northeast from the southwest of Peninsular Malaysia means the haze is clearing up in Johor. Read the rest of this entry »