Archive for August 27th, 2015

Salleh should not only ensure no jamming of phone signals but ensure that the telcos expand their capacity by at least 20-fold in anticipation of at least half-a-million people with cell phones for the Bersih 4 rally

The Communications and Multimedia Minister Salleh Datuk Seri Said Keruak has said Putrajaya will not jam telecommunication towers during the Bersih 4 rally in order to block communication amongst the participants.

The Malaysian public will hold him to his promise as in the previous Bersih 3 rally, the public have found their cellphone signals jammed which could only happen as a result of the directives from the powers-that-be to the telecommunication providers (telcos).

In an Internet and information era, Malaysians expect Salleh not only to ensure that cellphone signals during the Bersih 4 rally are not jammed and rendered unserviceable, but for the telecos to greatly increase their capacities many fold to cope with the increased traffic caused by hundreds of thousands Malaysians pouring into the Federal capital, likely to be larger crowds than Bersih 1, 2 and 3.

In this connection, it is most regrettable that the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) is already violating his public pledge that there will no interference or interruption of the free flow of information in connection with the 34-hour long Bersih 4 overnight rally. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia will be condemned as an instant rogue and failed state if police authorities allow agent-provocateurs to sabotage Bersih 4 and create chaos

I welcome and applaud the stern warning from the Inspector-general of police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to all quarters not to promote violence, including the red-shirts – the anti-Bersih group.

Khalid said the police would not tolerate acts of criminal intimidation by anyone against those who participate in Bersih 4 rally, although the police regard it as illegal.

Referring to news reports that the anti-Bersih group would be training with machetes and swords as preparation to counter the overnight rally slated for Aug 29-30, Khalid said: “Nobody should take the law into their own hands.”

Khalid said such acts could be construed as criminal intimidation, and the police would not hesitate to take action against those who gather on the streets with weapons.

I particularly welcome prompt police action, with Dang Wangi district police asking the leaders of the Red-Shirt group to record their statements later today.

The Inspector-General of Police, the Home Minister and the Prime Minister should be forewarned that the whole world is watching Malaysia on August 29 and 30.

Malaysia will be condemned as an instant rogue and failed state if the police authorities allow agent provocateurs and anti-national elements to sabotage the peaceful holding of Bersih 4 rally by creating chaos and mayhem. Read the rest of this entry »


In spirit of putting aside political differences to celebrate Merdeka, call on three million UMNO members and all members of BN parties to participate in Bersih 4 as an expression of patriotism and commitment to freedom, justice and national unity

I have just read on the news portals of the call by the Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak on Malaysians to set aside their political differences and celebrate Merdeka.

He said Malaysians claim they are loyal Malaysians but we seem to have lost the spirit of nationalism.

He lamented that unlike in sports, where Malaysians have discarded ethnicity in favour of nationalism and the Malaysian spirit, this is sadly not the case with Merdeka celebrations.

He said the impression being given is that there are going to be two Merdeka celebrations, one for those who support the government and another for the opposition.

Salleh cannot be more wrong. Read the rest of this entry »

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Breaking all the rules of democracy

Mariam Mokhtar
Aug 25th, 2015

“The tremendous support I get from Malaysians, enables me to continue our struggle,” said Ambiga Sreenevasan at a talk called ‘Why Bersih 4?’, in London, on Sunday Aug 23.

The lawyer may be slight in stature, but is brimming over with humility and gratitude. Despite the abuse hurled by Malay extremists, she said, “The good times are amazing. People come up to me on the streets, to shake my hand and say ‘thank you’, for what I am doing for Malaysia.

“The little acts by Malaysians make a lot of difference. Nameless strangers paying my bill when I eat in a restaurant. The bouquets of flowers delivered to my house, and the messages of support from people I do not know, all keep me going,” she added.

Ambiga was responding to a question about the trigger which introduced her into activism and why she continues to inspire people, despite the death threats and insults against her faith. Read the rest of this entry »

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Choice of words, and the shaping of opinions

Hafiz Noor Shams
Malay Mail Online
August 25, 2015

AUGUST 25 — When I think of the terms “coup d’état”, “overthrow”, “topple” and the like, I would think of a violent change in government. The revolutions in Egypt and Ukraine would come to my mind. Closer to home, having tanks rolling through the streets of Bangkok is another excellent example.

In contrast, when I think of the case of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi — backstabbed by his Umno colleagues and pressured to resign what seems ages ago — the whole episode falls under the realm of peaceful power transfer.

It lacks the violence or coerciveness that colours the words “coup d’état”, “overthrow” and “topple” so thickly. The events in 2008-2009 were messy but democracy is always unruly. It is never as clean as an autocrat dressed in a democrat costume would like. These autocrats think modern democracy is about having regular elections only while ignoring other prerequisites that are just as important.

I do not think the definition of “topple” I have outlined exists only in my mind. The violent undertone it brings falls within the everyday understanding of the word. If “topple” had been used to describe the end of the Abdullah-led administration, then I would think the term has been abused grossly. Read the rest of this entry »

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Where were you when this song was #1?

Greg Lopez
Malay Mail Online
August 24, 2015

AUG 24 — It was 1991.

I was 19. I was having a wonderful time at the legendary Setapak High (a high school in Kuala Lumpur) as an Upper Six student when (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced his bold vision for Malaysia.

His vision for Malaysia was laid out in a speech titled, “The Way Forward” to the Malaysian Business Council. This vision would soon become official policy. Wawasan 2020 or Vision 2020 remains Malaysia’s primary aspiration.

I remember Wawasan 2020 for very practical reasons at school and at university. At school, it was “spotted” as a hot topic for both Pengajian Am and Bahasa Malaysia; papers that I was taking in my Sijil Tinggi Pelajaran Malaysia (STPM, the Malaysian equivalent to the High School Certificate/HSC). At university, Wawasan 2020 was a big deal as seminars and workshops were organised to discuss Wawasan 2020. Beyond the lively discussions, there was always great kuih-muih and teh tarik, and a chance to get up-close and personal with “prominent” people – as politicians were highly regarded then.

The Malaysian government was full of confidence. In 1994, for the first time since 1974, opposition members were allowed to speak at University of Malaya. Lively banter and criticism of the government were welcomed both inside and outside of parliament. Read the rest of this entry »

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Choosing sides: Days ahead in Malaysia

— Rebecca Khoo
Malay Mail Online
August 26, 2015

AUG 26 —To some, patriotism simply means ‘love for country’ which is a very valid way of looking at it. Patriotism means different thing to different people. It is rather subjective as patriotism exists on many— and different— levels. Hence, what is patriotism to you? Maybe you believe that it partly is about voting for the candidates of political parties that you pledge support for. However, have you ever contemplated that giving mandate to candidates of political parties alone is not equivalent to love for the country. That is just exercising your right to vote, which includes the right to abstain from voting.

You may still think that you love the country in your heart, but is that so? Of course, placing your hand on your heart will not instill or fire up love for the country. Neither will singing patriotic songs, nor following the national theme for the National Day. Many Malaysians who have high political awareness support either the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Opposition. The one-eyed partisanship is very clear. More often than not, people lose their rationality when it comes to politics. Staunch supporters from both sides of the political divide will come to their leaders’ defence-at all cost, never mind if the leaders are just as wrong as their opponents on the other side of the House. Read the rest of this entry »

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Come heal Malaysia at Bersih 4

– J.D. Lovrenciear
The Malaysian Insider
26 August 2015

Indeed the lyrics of the late Michael Jackson’s song “Heal the World” is most apt as Malaysians all across the country and in many locations across the world prepare to stand and walk tall for a better Malaysia.

“Heal the world (Malaysia), make it a better place, for you and for me, and the entire human race (all Malaysians)…” is what encapsulates the five demands of Bersih 4.

The quest for reforms in the electoral system, governance, freedom to protest, parliamentary democracy and the nation’s economy cannot be wrong or sinful. In fact it is truly an attempt to “Heal” Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »

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Shifting the paradigm on Aug 29

Eric Loo
Aug 26th, 2015

We’re currently walking into a political minefield with not so much as a map to guide us through. When a prime minister can openly spew alarmist racial statements and denies any malfeasance despite the leaked documents without any fear of recourse, we are headed for worsening times.

As a people, we’re still divided along sectarian lines. Umno’s racialised politics would see to it that we remain divided in order to stay in power. The prime minister’s rant that Malays would be disempowered without Umno is politically desperate beyond belief.

Deluding the Malays that they can only prosper under Umno, that a non-Malay government will not hesitate to abolish affirmative action is taking the Malay grassroots for fools.And, the wider public should take such alarmist racial polemics for what it is – nutty gibberish.

Politico-economic crises fuelled by the 1MDB scandal and an increasingly fractious ruling party with the party president in denial should offer up new opportunities to mass-mobilise for fundamental reforms in the system and transformational change in how we engage with the political process. Read the rest of this entry »

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Bersih 4 Merdeka

KJ John
Aug 25th, 2015

I think it was about 10 years ago that I decided to stop flying the Merdeka Flag on Aug 31; and only flew it on Malaysia day instead, i.e. Sept 16. My reasons were simple. I realised that the Aug 31 Merdeka day had particular meaning only to the Malayans; but the Malaysia Day had a special meaning for all Malaysians.

Therefore, surely and practically, I moved my Merdeka Day celebrations and all it has meant for me, to the Malaysia Day; the day Malaysia was formed by the remaining three entities, after Singapore left.

Therefore, this year when the Bersih organising committee fixed Aug 29 and 30 for the Bersih 4 to walk the talk; it was easy for me to see and understand all the reasons for doing the same. The goal of ‘membersihkan negara kita’ is an on-going agenda towards achieving clean and fair elections so that we can form a government of our choice and based on our election and selection.

Nobody else can and should dictate that, even with the gerrymandering tolerated and moderated by the Election Commission.

Consequently also, when one former minister asked the Bersih 4 organising committee to march with Malaysian flags to celebrate Malaysia’s Merdeka; it was an easy and natural thing for all true-blue Malaysians. Therefore, this year with Bersih 4, we will also carry little Malaysian flags to celebrate this nation that we uphold and love but nevertheless also want to see things cleaned up. Read the rest of this entry »

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