Archive for April 9th, 2017
BY PHAR KIM BENG
South China Morning Post
9 APR 2017
The controversial listing of the Federal Land Development Authority’s commercial arm has left many of the Malaysian government’s key supporters – the rural poor – rethinking their allegiances
Viewed from afar, Malaysia’s ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), might seem nigh-on unchallengeable in the general election expected as early as this year. After all, it has been in power since the country’s first such election in 1955 – two years before the country’s independence from Britain.
Yet, while it is undeniably strong, its armour is not without chinks. The party cannot afford to lose the support of Malaysia’s rural constituencies – a dependency that has entwined its fate with that of the Federal Land Development Authority (Felda) for the past 60 years and may now represent just such a weak spot.
Felda was created by Umno a year after its maiden election win to handle the resettlement of rural poor into newly developed areas and smallhold farms. It went on to alter the development of Malaysia beyond recognition as large swathes of unused land became well-irrigated plantation schemes that transformed both agricultural exports and the incomes of its rural communities.
Settlers on Felda land have remained fiercely loyal to Umno, which forms the backbone of the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional (National Front), ever since and have played no small part in defending Umno’s grip on power. Of the party’s 86 parliamentary seats, 54 are from constituencies on Felda-developed land.
But there are signs Umno’s grip may now be loosening with opinion among its erstwhile diehard support base now deeply divided by the government’s handling of the listing of Felda’s commercial arm – Felda Global Ventures (FGV) – on the Kuala Lumpur Stock Exchange in May 2012. Read the rest of this entry »
UMNO/BN leaders and propagandists should not be so unpatriotic as to undermine sixty years of nation-building efforts with their irresponsible politics of lies, hate and fear
This year the country celebrates the 60th anniversary of the attainment of Merdeka on August 31, 1957, but it is most ironical and shocking that this is also the year where UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers have taken their politics of lies, hate and fear to an unprecedented level undermining 60 years of nation-building efforts in the country.
The UMNO/BN campaign of demonisation of DAP and DAP leaders as anti-Malay and anti-Islam is a most unpatriotic act and a great national disservice, because they are based on lies and falsehoods and seek to create racial and religious hatred and animosities, which would undermine sixty years of nation-building efforts.
Since its formation 51 years ago, DAP had always been a Malaysian party fighting for the interests of all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region, as it was never a party for any particular race or religion.
In the first general election contested by the DAP in 1969, DAP polled over 286,000 votes, winning 13 Parliamentary and 31 State Assembly seats , while in the eleventh general election contested by the DAP in May 2013, DAP polled about 1.8 million votes winning 38 parliamentary seats and with over 100 State Assembly seats in ten of 13 states in Malaysia. Throughout the eleven general elections contested by the DAP, we had a multi-racial slate whether for parliamentary or state assembly candidates, or for the final list of elected representatives.
Throughout the 51 years, DAP had campaigned for the interests of all Malaysians, as DAP leaders had never preached hatred or animosity against any race or religion.
In fact, Lim Guan Eng went to jail in 1998 and lost his position as Member of Parliament for defending the honour of an underaged Malay girl – a sacrifice which had never been duplicated by another political leader in Malaysia. Read the rest of this entry »
Najib should straighten out UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers in their demonisation campaign against me – decide whether they are attacking me for wanting to be Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister after the 14th General Election and not vacillate between the two
The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, should straighten out the UMNO/BN leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers who had been launching a demonisation campaign against me in the last four months – and decide once and for all whether they are attacking me for wanting to be Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister after the 14th General Elections and not to vacillate between the two.
When the UMNO/BN demonisation campaign against me was launched some four months ago, I was targetted for wanting to take over the Federal Government in Putrajaya as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Since then, the UMNO leaders, propagandists and cybertroopers have been vacillating – from originally attacking me for wanting to become Prime Minister to wanting to become Deputy Prime Minister, but in the last few days, the UMNO propaganda demonisation campaign have returned to the original theme of targetting me for wanting to be Prime Minister.
Clearly, the UMNO demonisation propagandists are a confused lot as they cannot make up their mind – whether I am plotting to become Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister! Read the rest of this entry »
Cabinet should seriously consider the Pensiangan Formula on promoting national unity among the diverse races, religions and regions in Malaysia
The last day of Parliament on Thursday was a black-letter day for nation building and national unity in Malaysia – not only because Parliament adjourned ahead of normal adjournment time at 5.30 p.m. of the day to disallow a debate on PAS President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill motion to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act or RUU 355, although Members of Parliament from Pakatan Harapan were prepared to take part in the debate, but also because the issue was allowed in the past year to become the most divisive issue in our plural nation of diverse races, religions and cultures.
It has been reported that the latest development in RUU 355 issue in the next meeting of Parliament will be an amendment to exclude the application of Hadi’s private member’s bill in Sabah and Sarawak so as to avoid the opposition of the 57 Sabah and Sarawak Members of Parliament – which will only highlight the divisive nature of the measure.
We should revisit the Pensiangan Formula which I proposed when visiting Pensiangan in Sabah last December to ensure that national unity should always be the paramount consideration for Members of Parliament, especially on controversial issues affecting religion. Read the rest of this entry »