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Stop the Racist Politics of Suspicion and Hate in the Country

by Koon Yew Yin

Even before the elections took place, various UMNO leaders led by Dr. Mahathir and Utusan Malaysia have led the onslaught against the Chinese in the country. Now the results are in, they are taking to a new level the politics of suspicion, hatred and revenge in the Malay masses for what they say as a betrayal by the Chinese voters.

There are several undeniable contrary facts to their thinking. Firstly, as others have pointed out, the so-called Chinese tsunami was actually a Malaysian tsunami which accounted for the largest ever proportion of total votes – in fact the majority – going to the opposition. Simple arithmetic explains why Chinese who comprise less than 30% of the total population can barely account for at most half the total votes cast against the BN even if all Chinese had voted against the BN. Read the rest of this entry »


After 56 years, will Malaysia finally get a new government?

Former journalist for The Star in Malaysia

Every four or five years since they won independence from British rule in 1957, Malaysians have shuffled off to the polls. Every four or five years, they have woken up the next morning with the status quo intact. The country’s ruling coalition, Barisan Nasional, has been in power for every one of the past 56 years.

Malaysia goes to the polls again on Sunday. But many of the country’s citizens are buoyed by an unfamiliar sentiment: hope for change. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysian government-linked corporations crowd out private investment

by Jayant Menon, ADB and ANU, and Thiam Hee Ng, ADB
East Asia Forum
April 25th, 2013

Private investment in Malaysia never fully recovered from the impact of the Asian financial crisis.

Foreigners have continued to shun Malaysia, but it now seems that even domestic investors are fleeing, with Malaysia becoming a net exporter of capital since 2005. One explanation for the sluggish performance of domestic private investment relates to the crowding-out effect of the growing dominance of government-linked corporations (GLCs) in many sectors. The influence of GLCs, however measured, is both widespread and pervasive.

The GLC share of operating revenue is approximately one-third in the aggregate, and they control more than half the industry share in utilities, transportation, warehousing, agriculture, banking, information communications and retail trade. GLCs employ around 5 per cent of the national workforce and account for approximately 36 per cent and 54 per cent, respectively, of the market capitalisation of Bursa Malaysia and the benchmark Kuala Lumpur Composite Index. Read the rest of this entry »


Hail the Comrades for Change!

by Kee Thuan Chye
Yahoo! Malaysia

The purest and most heartwarming feature of this upcoming general election, predicted to be the dirtiest ever in Malaysian history, is the solidarity of the Malaysians who are calling for ubah (change) and proclaiming, “Ini kalilah!” (This is the time to do it!)

In the course of a year, it has swelled into a movement. Partly from the Bersih rallies that brought people closer together because they went through adverse circumstances together. Partly from the rallies organised by the Opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, that gave hope of a viable alternative to Malaysians disenchanted by 55 years of Barisan Nasional (BN) rule. Read the rest of this entry »


100,000 rally in Penang in wake of vote-buying claims

by Susan Loone
8:31AM May 4, 2013

PENANG Pakatan Rakyat held several gatherings in Penang yesterday, including a mammoth rally at the Esplanade which was swarmed by about 100,000 people who stayed until midnight.

This is the coalition’s biggest rally on the island where it managed to collect a record RM505,000 in donations from its supporters.

The carnival-like event, which included a stage and canopy, dozens of hawker stalls and DAP’s own merchandise sales corner, kicked off at 5pm while about 500 people watched a mini-concert by local bands such as Zombie Station, TUC, and Sweet Scream.

The open field facing the iconic British-styled Town Hall building was packed by 8pm, including youths and senior citizens, and the crowd spilled over onto the surrounding roads.

Several small separate rallies were held in front of the Town Hall and nearby Clock Tower with groups of supporters waving opposition party flags while blowing the vuvuzuela, wildly deafening to the ears. Read the rest of this entry »


The Penang effect

The Economist
Apr 28th 2013, 6:53 by Banyan | SINGAPORE

THE story of Lim Guan Eng, chief minister of the Malaysian state of Penang, tells much about how Malaysian politics has been transformed in recent years. Mr Lim heads the Democratic Action Party or DAP, a member of the three-party opposition coalition hoping to wrest power from the ruling Barisan Nasional in a general election on May 5th.

This is the first time since independence from Britain in 1957 that the opposition has a genuine—if still outside—chance of winning a federal-government election. That follows its startling advance in the previous general election in 2008, when, as this year, 12 of Malaysia’s 13 states held simultaneous elections. One of the opposition’s triumphs was to win the thriving state of Penang, an island off the west coast famous for its electronics and tourism industries. Read the rest of this entry »


Side Views A vote for stability or a vote for growth and change?

by Jackson Clu
The Malaysian Insider
April 28, 2013

APRIL 28 — The Reality

A vote for stability or a vote for growth and change? Personally, this general election has made me think very deeply as to what I actually want for myself and for our country. No doubt, everyone wants a stable and easy life but think deeper and ask yourself is that enough? I am no judge but I believe our votes this time round reflect our livelihood. Either we have been poisoned to the core to believe that stability is all we can have OR we are awakened by the truth making us hungry for growth and change, which in turn, brings true stability. Read the rest of this entry »


BN, please stop sending me SMS-es!

by Alwyn Lau
The Malaysian Insider
April 28, 2013

APRIL 28 – Here are six reasons why:

1. I get too many messages already; every week greedy corporations try to sell me stuff I don’t need, using cheesy messages which insult even my stupidity. Next to your corruption, KL traffic jams and our football team, corporate SMS-es will be the death of Malaysia. So stop polluting my mobile Messages and instead try a nice 1-Malaysia brochure taped to two free return tickets to Paris – this might arouse my curiosity if not my attention (but no I still won’t vote for you).

2. I can’t stand reading superficial declarations of great things to come from a party which has, for the past fifty years, been promising oceans but delivering droplets. Like that quote in Top Gun, Barisan’s mouth keeps writing cheques your body can’t cash. Worse, BN has been handing out free money to friends and cousins for half a century; but now you’ve got fewer friends because many people’s cousins are suffering from the holes you’ve been covering up with acronyms (NEP, NDP, 1M, IM4U, etc.) Read the rest of this entry »


Janji ditepikan

by Tota

Najib’s ‘janji ditepati’ is a big lie: it has fallen flat like capati, writes Tota.

Najib and the other BN leaders have been going round the country crowing about the so-called ‘janji ditepati’.

This BN slogan is a great lie, confirming that we have a BN government that has inexplicably survived through misinformation, outright lies and shameless deceit. This has been made possible by the BN-owned newspapers like Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, NST, The Star and the vernacular papers which spin pro-BN stories on a daily basis. The government-controlled RTM is nothing but a tool for BN religious and political propaganda.

If one examines BN’s track record over their long spell of 56 years as the government, it will be obvious the track is littered with a long catalogue of broken promises. Below is an analysis of the broken promises by the Alliance/BN government. Read the rest of this entry »


If you are afraid to vote Pakatan, what can you do?

by P Ramakrishnan

P Ramakrishnan advises pensioners what they should do if they are worried that their votes won’t be secret.

There are civil servants and pensioners who are fearful of voting for Pakatan. They would very much like to do so but they are afraid.

The civil servants are scared that if they are found out for supporting the opposition their promotion prospects may be affected. They think they may even be dismissed from service.

The pensioners are apprehensive that their pension may be stopped if they do not support the BN. They believe that it is the BN that is giving them their pension. Read the rest of this entry »


The Malaysian Trojan Horse

by Thomas Fann

In Virgil’s epic poem Aeneid, he told the tale of how the Greeks overcame the fortress city of Troy after laying siege to it for ten years. The Greeks built a giant wooden horse and hid a select team of warriors in it to deceive the Trojans that they have abandoned their battle and presented the city of Troy with a gift – the wooden horse.

Elated with the gift, the Trojans brought the wooden horse into the city to celebrate their victory. That night itself, while the city slept, the Greek warriors came out of the horse, opened the city gate for the Greek army who had returned and they overran the city of Troy. What they failed to achieve through military might in 10 years, they did it in one night through trickery. Read the rest of this entry »

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Deciding Who To Vote For In the Next Election

by M. Bakri Musa

Downstream Analysis: Hung Parliament Not Necessarily Bad
(Last of Four Parts)

Many fear a hung parliament as they think that would lead to chaos and uncertainty. Yes, there may be both but neither is inevitable. On the contrary I see many potentially redeeming aspects that could benefit citizens, the permanent establishment, and yes, even those politicians.

For citizens, seeing these freshly-victorious politicians brazenly jockeying for positions would be both instructive and revealing. It would be quite a sight to watch them behave worse than hookers. At least hookers are consumed with satisfying their present customers first, and would solicit new ones only after they have done that. More importantly, they do both discreetly. Those politicians on the other hand would be openly and lustily auctioning themselves to the highest bidder without even a promise of satisfactory performance to their current customers – citizens who had only recently voted for them. Those politicians would whore themselves brazenly. What matters to them would only be the price their new customers would be willing to pay, regardless how filthy and disease-ridden they are. Damn the consequences, for them or the nation. Read the rest of this entry »


Umno must pay the price in the next elections

by P Ramakrishnan

Only then will it be able to shed its arrogance and look beyond the narrow politics of race and ethnicity, says P Ramakrishnan.

I have never felt as optimistic as I do today. Tonight’s forum has a great significance for me and for all those rooting for change. Five years ago, on this day, Malaysians shed their fear and stood up for their rights. As a result, we had the tsunami of 8 March 2008!

That tsunami would have brought about a change at the federal level as well if the GE12 had been free and fair. We were robbed of a well-deserved victory because the Barisan Nasional, the National Registration Department and the Election Commission colluded and plotted together to frustrate the aspirations of the people. Read the rest of this entry »


BN’s femme fatale – the power of women

by Bridget Welsh
6:19PM Apr 27, 2013

GE13 SPECIAL Apart from civil servants, another decisive group in GE13 are women. They comprise 51.7 percent of the electorate and regularly turn out in high numbers, especially in semi and rural areas.

In close races, how women vote can make the difference. Numerically, women are largely in the urban areas, but disproportionately they are more influential politically in the more rural areas, as men are often outstation for employment.

Let’s take a look at how women can shape and have shaped the election so far, recognising that they will make an important impact this election and the trends are moving against the BN. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia is no Egypt

by Tricia Yeoh
25 April 2013 – 07:54pm

NEGATIVE advertisements are flooding mainstream newspapers in this very electric season of the 13th general election campaign, but many fail to convince. One full-page advertisement caught my attention, paid for by the MCA, a component party of the Barisan Nasional.

Its title reads “Ubah (Change) for the worst? What can we learn from the Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain free fall?” and describes what it imagines to have taken place in these countries during and after the Arab Spring.

The advertisement outlines the following series of events: “People get fed up with the government; Ruling party is forced to step down; Civil war in the streets and chaos in the country; Political instability, economic turmoil; Economy goes down, unemployment goes up; People get fed up with new government; Want to go back to the previous government.” Read the rest of this entry »


What voting for BN means

by Tota

We have seen the BN ads in the mass media portraying the opposition parties in a sinister light. Tota now shares with us his thoughts on what the BN stands for.

I have been sickened by the anti-Pakatan Rakyat advertisements in the BN controlled mainstream print media (see above). BN tactics are downright dirty. For a change, let me tell the rakyat what voting for BN portends.

A vote for BN is a vote to:

  1. Maintain a throughly corrupt regime to plunder the country’s wealth.
  2. Allow Umno to continue to exploit and manipulate mercilessly the poor Malays using religion and political propaganda.
  3. Encourage government that lies, cheats and deceives.
  4. Read the rest of this entry »


Catch him if you can: the mysterious escape of Malaysia’s second richest man

by Mark Baker
Editor-at-Large, The Age

Onn Mahmud was a wealthy tycoon with a bulging property portfolio when he jetted off without warning in 2007.

Number 10 Wylde Street, Potts Point, commands views to die for on a harbour not short of heart-stopping vistas. Perched high above Woolloomooloo Bay, it faces directly across the sweep of the botanical gardens to the Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For a while, a few years ago, it was the site for one of the most luxurious apartment developments in Australia. In 2008, the duplex penthouse in the five-storey project was sold off the plan for a record price of $20 million.

A year earlier – on the cusp of such riches – the Malaysian tycoon who had brought the project close to fruition abruptly sold the site as he quietly folded most of his substantial Sydney property portfolio and exited the Australian business scene. Read the rest of this entry »


Winds of change

by Mark Baker
Editor-at-Large, The Age

Anwar Ibrahim once seemed a certainty to rule Malaysia. Then came his arrest and imprisonment. Now, with his party shaking up the establishment, is he set to finally fulfil his ambition? By Mark Baker.

It’s nearing midnight in Penang. In a park surrounded by decaying concrete apartment blocks, a swelling crowd waits patiently amid the sticky heat and pungent aromas of food stalls, traffic fumes and open drains. This is a poor Malay neighbourhood, but there are Chinese and Indians here, too, a representative cross-section of multiracial Malaysia.

Suddenly a slim figure in dark trousers and white shirt emerges from the darkness through a side gate and the crowd erupts in jubilation, clapping, cheering and sounding horns. A squad of armed security men guides him through the crush and up towards the fluorescent glare of a makeshift stage. “There have been attacks by provocateurs at other meetings. We have to be careful,” says a senior aide. Read the rest of this entry »


Can you smell the elephant in the room?

by Stan CH Lee


Recently DPM Muhyiddin Yassin proudly announced that Malaysia’ branding is something that is real, rooted in reality. Not something that it aspires to be.


I guess he has to justify the staggering amounts paid to some Israeli PR firm for massaging the image. He obviously believes the guy who said “Get a good creative person and he can make a stinking dead elephant smell like perfume.” To be sure, good creative work can even wipe a dark past clean, but for this to work, the subject must have already started on the road to redemption. You could have been a scoundrel in your younger days, but are now a responsible member of society. If you continue in your merry old ways, it shows up jarringly against the branding.

Bikin tak serupa cakap, they say. Read the rest of this entry »


BR1M brings misery

by P Ramakrishnan

The joy of receiving RM500 has been fleeting. Now, the coffee shops, market traders, hawkers and food courts have all increased their prices, and the pain will not go away, observes P Ramakrishnan.

The Barisan Nasional is feeding opium to the people through BR1M. The people then become deluded into believing that a lot of money is being given out. Indeed they feel elated and happy clutching the RM500 that is dished out to them.

At that moment – after waiting in long queues and sweating in an uncomfortable environment – when they finally receive the RM500, they feel that they are suddenly rich. For the poor people this has a big impact. Read the rest of this entry »