Archive for June 1st, 2013

Immigration DG Alias Ahmad should be censured for professional negligence and ineptitude for allowing six days to pass before clarifying misquote

The Immigration Director-General Alias Ahmad should be censured for professional negligence and ineptitude for allowing six days to pass before clarifying that he had been misquoted about invoking a non-existing law to revoke passports of dissenting Malaysians.

Six days ago on 27th May, 2013, Berita Harian reported that Malaysians living abroad who participate in anti-government activities and activities to tarnish Malaysia’s image may be barred from returning home.

Alias was quoted as saying that his department is obliged to do so under Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and that actions that can be taken include blacklisting those involved in such activities and cancelling their passports for a period of three to five years.

Responding to Berita Harian’s question on actions to be taken against Malaysians studying abroad who participated in demonstrations to protest against alleged fraud in the May 5 general election, Alias said: “We are waiting for Wisma Putra’s report regarding Malaysians doing such things while abroad”.

When the Berita Harian report of Alias’ statement was picked up by Malaysiakini on the same day, I checked Section 8 of the Immigration Act 1959/1963 and found that the Immigration Director-General was talking rubbish, as Section 8 was about “Prohibited Immigrants”.

I found it totally irresponsible, unprofessional and unethical that Alias never sought to clarify the mischievous Berita Harian report in the ensuing days, not only that Section 8 of the Immigration Act does not empower the government to cancel any Malaysian passport from three to five years of any dissenting Malaysian abroad, but failing to correct the impression that the Malaysian government is cruel, callous and heartless to the extent that it could willy-nilly cancel passports of Malaysians abroad to render them “stateless” in foreign lands! Read the rest of this entry »


Election Commission must start with a completely new slate with new Chairman and Deputy Chairman if it is to command full public confidence

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, announced today that the Election Commission (EC) will be reporting to a parliamentary select committee (PSC) from now.

He said he was transferring his office’s responsibility to oversee the election regulator to Parliament where a panel comprising members from both sides of the political divide would help improve its credibility.

He said: “With this step, it is hoped that the EC’s independence will no longer be questioned and the people’s confidence will be strengthened towards the EC.”

Without the details, it is not possible to comment intelligently on this move, although it is a step in the right direction. Read the rest of this entry »


UMNO/BN’s 13GE “War Room” had failed in one of its major and very sinister objective – to racialise the Gelang Patah contest and in the process the 13th general elections

There is now a lot of recriminations about the failures of the UMNO/Barisan Nasional 13th General Election “War Room” strategists and propagandists, with former UMNO Ministers like the former Finance Minister, Tun Daim Zainuddin and the former Information Minister and former Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief, Zainuddin Maidin openly making very disparaging and derogatory criticisms about the Umno/BN “War Room”.

Both Daim and Zainuddin have called for the sacking of Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s advisers – Daim criticising the wrong approach and strategy in the 13GE in banking on Najib’s personal popularity in the bid to help BN regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority while Zainuddin blogging about his disgust and contempt for the “I Love PM” campaign.

The critics have even flayed Najib’s “War Room” strategists as having done worse than former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah’s “Fourth Floor Boys”.

But what is most welcome is the failure of the UMNO/BN’s 13GE “War Room” in one of its major and very sinister objective – to racialise the Gelang Patah contest and in the process the 13th general elections.

Even the utterly irresponsible and reckless attempt by former Prime Minister, Tun Mahathir, to racialise the Gelang Patah contest between former Mentri Besar Datuk Ghani Othman and myself by alleging that I wanted to create a “racial confrontation” and that I was seeking to incite the Chinese to hate the Malays, failed. Read the rest of this entry »


The myth of a two-party system in Malaysia

— Nicholas Chan and Koay Su Lyn
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2013

MAY 31 — A contention exists after the 2008 general election, be it academically or by propaganda, that Malaysia will benefit greatly from a two-party system, a concept constantly thrown around but highly vague in its actual meaning, or at least in the public understanding of it. Hence, after all these years of political shakeup, did we achieve the two-party system? If yes, how far did it go? Are we enjoying the fruits of it or did it come at a cost, like the political gridlock that has been plaguing Washington?

By definition, the most commonly agreed feature of a democratic two-party system is that it is a political environment, dominated by two major political parties with either party winning in almost all the elections held. Although the system does not negate the existence of other splinter parties or independent candidates, it usually thrives in an “either-or” situation whereby the ruling party is just one or the other. The most notable example of a two-party system is the United States, as the Congress is populated by politicians from two major parties while the presidency is always a tussle between a Republican and a Democrat candidate. A two-party system is not an engraved certainty as the United Kingdom, which had witnessed a two-party system between the Labour and the Conservative for decades (except for the case of a hung Parliament in 1974), was struck by an embarrassing situation in its most recent 2010 elections, whereby neither party earned the simple majority to form the government, resulting in a Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government. Read the rest of this entry »


From excitement to fatigue

by Zan Azlee
The Malaysian Insider
May 31, 2013

MAY 31 — Last week I had lunch with my friend Liew Seng Tat, a famous award-winning Malaysian film director of Chinese descent. If you haven’t heard of him, then you know zilch about films.

Seng Tat is very politically active. He’s not a politician, he’s just one of the many young Malaysians who have a heightened sense of political awareness due to developments in the country.

He was at all three Bersih demonstrations and was even beaten up and arrested during the second one (remember the famous assault on Tung Shin Hospital? He was in the car park).

He attends a lot of ceramahs and talks, candlelight vigils, protests and even became a PACABA volunteer during the recent GE. And of course there are the Black 505 rallies.

He even sends me all kinds of SMSes, Facebook links and e-mails about politics, the government, news of corruption and human rights abuse, etc.

But when I met him for lunch a few days ago at Mahbub in Lucky Gardens, Bangsar, his mood and level of enthusiasm was a stark difference from before. Read the rest of this entry »