Archive for category Constitution

Will there be a tectonic shift of the fundamental basis of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963 next week in Parliament if Hadi’s private member’s bill is passed?

I visited Parliament to collect the Parliamentary Order Paper for the 25-day budget meeting of Parliament from Oct. 17 to 24th November, and I find the parliamentary business planned most surprising and even shocking.

Firstly, will there be a tectonic shift of the fundamental basis of the Merdeka Constitution 1957 and Malaysia Agreement 1963 next week in Parliament if the PAS President Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang’s private member’s bill is passed?

Hadi’s private member’s is slated as the fourth item of parliamentary business after a motion by the Youth and Sports Minister, Khairy Jamaluddin to congratulate the Malaysian Olympians and Para-Olympians for their sterling performances in the two recent world sporting events; the Advocates (Sabah) (Amendment) Bill 2016 and a Treasury motion to convert a RM500 million loan to Small Medium Enterprise Development Bank Malaysia Berhad (SME Bank) to equity.

Under the circumstances, the possibility that Hadi’s private member’s bill motion will come up for debate and voting either on Tuesday, or even on Monday, cannot be ruled out. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has Barisan Nasional consensus degenerated from the original meaning of agreement by all 13 BN component parties into a perverted and corrupt version of what is unilaterally and arbitrarily decided by UMNO even in the face of objection by the other 12 BN component parties?

An UMNO-owned mainstream media reported today that PAS President, Datuk Seri A Abdul Hadi Awang’s hudud-enabling private member’s bill would be tabled and debated in Parliament next week.
In the circumstances, the continued silence of the Presidents of MCA, Gerakan, MIC and Sabah and Sarawak component parties of Barisan Nasional on whether they have agreed on a Barisan Nasional consensus for Hadi’s private member’s bill to be given priority over official business in the budget meeting of Parliament to be debated and voted upon is no more tenable.

The time has come for all the Barisan Nasional component parties to break their silence on Hadi’s private member’s bill.

Early this month, the UMNO and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said that BN has arrived at a consensus regarding Hadi’s private member’s bill. Read the rest of this entry »

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Has Barisan Nasional consensus degenerated from the original meaning of agreement by all 13 BN component parties into a perverted and corrupt version of what is unilaterally and arbitrarily decided by UMNO even in the face of objection by the other 12 BN component parties?

What is most significant about the “policy” statements the MCA and Gerakan Presidents at their respective MCA Johor State Convention and the Gerakan national delegates’ conference today is not what they said but what they did not say.

MCA President Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai brushed off the possibility of a “one to one” fight between the Opposition and the Barisan Nasional in the next national general elections as “empty talk” although this is a prospect MCA leaders fear most – not that they are comfortable with other political scenarios in the 14GE to make MCA more than a “7/11” political party.

Gerakan President Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong struck a “holier than thou” stance and railed against former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad for “dabbling in unhealthy politics” with the statement that the Barisan Nasional government in three states of Perak, Terengganu and Johor could fall before the general election as a small change in state assemblymen could topple the BN state governments.

Mah suffered from an early case of amnesia when he said that a change in the top leadership and administration of a state could only be determined by a process of democracy via an election, and not by getting elected representatives to switch camp or entice them to defect – forgetting how Barisan Nasional toppled the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak under Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin as Mentri Besar in February 2009 by engineering a defection PR State Assembly members.

But what is more important is not their verbal gymnastics but their silence on the claim by the UMNO and Barisan Nasional secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor that BN has arrived at a consensus regarding PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang’s private members bill.

What is this Barisan Nasional “consensus” on Hadi’s private member’s bill? Read the rest of this entry »

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The Pakatan Rakyat Common Policy Framework can be the basis of the Grand Opposition Coalition to bring about fundamental political changes in Malaysia in 14GE

AMANAH Deputy President, Sallehudin Ayub reported that AMANAH has 85,000 members on its first anniversary.

I congratulate Parti AMANAH on its success, for DAP can only boast of having 85,000 members after a decade of political struggle.

Today is a special day for BERSIH 5 launched off its Nov. 19 campaign with publicity convoys from six places in Malaysia – Johor Baru, Lumut, Kangar, Kota Baru, Sandakan and Miri.

The BERSIH 5 campaign for clean, free and fair elections is even more pertinent than in the four previous four BERSIH campaigns, as the proposed redelineation of electoral constituencies have demonstrated that we have an electoral system which is utterly rotten and corrupt to the core.

The Election Commission had violated the constitutional mandate as laid down in the Thirteenth Schedule of the Constitution which stipulates that in any constituency redelineation, “the number of electors within each constituency in a State ought to be approximately equal except that, having regard to the greater difficulty of reaching electors in the country districts and the other disadvantages facing rural constituencies, a measure of weightage for area ought to be given to such constituencies”, but have instead done the exact opposite – widening the disparity between the largest and smallest electorates in both parliamentary and state assembly constituencies.

The Election Commission was not only acting against the Thirteenth Schedule of the Constitution, but was working with a political agenda to gerrymander the constit uency redelineation so that in Parliament, it an achieve the twin objectives of returning UMNO-BN to power in Putrajaya and with a two-thirds parliamentary majority; while at the State Assembly level, ensure that UMNO-BN can win back Selangor state power and ensure that UMNO-BN maintain the state government in both Perak and Kedah, and even secure a two-thirds state assembly majority in Perak. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib should seek parliamentary support through a motion when Parliament reconvenes on Oct 17 to refute allegation that Malaysia has become a global kleptocracy

Together with three DAP MPs, Teresa Kok (Seputeh), Zairil Khir Johari (Bukit Bendera) and Steven Sim (Bukit Mertajam), we made a five-day visit to Jakarta and Jogjarkata to meet with leaders of political parties and Islamic organisations as well as public intellectuals to understand the development of Islam and democracy, and the dangers of Islamic extremism, in a country with the largest Muslim population of some 220 million out of a national population of 250 million people.

One thing that struck us during the discussions we had during our visit in Jakarta and Jogjarkarta was the central place of Pancasila among the major Indonesian political and intellectual leaders in the nation-building process in the country, as compared to Malaysia, where the “establishment” political and intellectual leaders have virtually forgotten about the Malaysian counterpart to Pancasila, the Rukun Negara!

Leaders of the two largest Muslim organisations in Indonesia, Nahdlatul Ulama (NU) and Muhammadiyah, have no qualms in publicly stating, whether in private discussions or public forums, that their commitment to Pancasila was an important reason why the Islamic State concept was not suitable or appropriate for Indonesia, although it has the largest number of Muslims for any country in the world!

How many Malaysian political and intellectual leaders in the country are still committed to the five principles of Rukunegara, viz:

• Belief in God.
• Loyalty to King and Country.
• Upholding the Constitution.
• Rule of Law.
• Good Behaviour and morality. Read the rest of this entry »

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Najib, Mahathir and the timing of Malaysia’s polls

Ooi Kee Beng
The Straits Times
16.9.2016

According to its Constitution, Malaysia has to hold its next general election by Aug 24, 2018. That is still almost two years away. And yet, rumours of early elections persist, both at the state and federal levels.

This needs some explaining, given how Prime Minister Najib Razak waited until almost the last minute to go to the polls back in 2013.

The exercise to delineate constituency boundaries now being concluded heightens speculation that early polls are coming. Having lost its two-third majority since 2008, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) has not been able to increase the number of parliamentary constituencies; it is now able only to realign the existing ones – or rename them. And that, it is doing.

That in itself is a substantive exercise of power, especially with the independence of the Election Commission that is in charge of the delineation being in serious doubt. Read the rest of this entry »

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Barisan Nasional Supreme Council has degenerated from Federal coalition government’s highest decision-making body into a superfluous and even super-annuated creature without any bite, role, authority or purpose whatsoever

Nobody is impressed with the Barisan Nasional Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor’s announcement that the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council will meet on Friday to discuss the Election Commission’s (EC) proposed redelineation exercise.

This is because the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council has degenerated from the Barisan Nasional Federal coalition government’s highest decision-making body into a superfluous and even superannuated creature without any bite, role, authority or purpose whatsoever.

It has followed the footsteps of the Cabinet to become an utterly toothless, purposeless and irrelevant body.

Despite protestations and denials by the EC Chairman, Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah that the constituency redelineation exercise was being carried out for the benefit of certain parties, nobody believes that the Election Commission would dare to propose the most unconstitutional, blatant and flagrant constituency redelineation proposals – the most undemocratic of all five redelineation exercises in the nation’s history – without “greenlight” from the highest “political strategists” in the corridors of power in Putrajaya (which do not include anyone from outside UMNO)!

Mohd Hashim’s protestation and denials lack credibility or conviction, for the EC Chairman is unable to explain why he had jettisoned his predecessor, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s previous redelineation plan to abide by the Constitution and the democratic principle of “one man, one vote” by ensuring that there will be no super-size parliamentary constituencies exceeding 100,000 votes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Election Commission Chairman Mohd Hashim should explain why he had jettisoned his predecessor’s redelineation plan to abide by the Constitution and the democratic principle of “one man, one vote” by ensuring that there will be no super-size parliamentary constituencies exceeding 100,000 voters?

The DAP MP for Serdang, Dr. Ong Kian Ming’s repartee to the denial by the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Mohd Hashim Abdullah that the constituency redelineation exercise is being carried out for the benefit of certain parties is a gem: “Yeah right, and I’m sure that Jho Low had nothing to do with 1MDB either…”

Can Mohd Hashim explain why he had jettisoned his precedessor, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof’s redelineation plan to abide by the Constitution and the democratic principle of “one man, one vote” by ensuring that there will be no super-size parliamentary constituencies exceeding 100,000 votes?

Abdul Aziz had gone on public record to say that in the new constituency redelineation to be proposed by the Election Commission, “a constituency with a large number of votes, more than 100,000, has to be divided into two, so that the constituents could obtain good service from the elected representatives”.

Why did Mohd Hashim abandon this important Constitutional and democratic principle in the final proposal of the Election Commission for the redelineation of electoral constituencies?

Is this at the behest of the powers-that-be in UMNO? Read the rest of this entry »

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Election Commission’s proposed redelineation of constituencies is not only undemocratic but runs afoul of the 1Malaysia Policy to build a nation of Malaysians

In my 53rd Malaysia Day message, I asked whether the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia Policy is dead or alive.

This was because the Election Commission’s constituency redelineation proposals, made public on the eve of the 53rd Malaysia Day, was not only undemocratic in violating the “one man, one vote, one value” principle, but clearly against the 1Malaysia policy to create a nation where every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first and race, religion or region second.

Let the Election Commission Chairman, Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah explain whether the constituency redelineation proposals had been inspired by the 1Malaysia policy to promote a nation where every Malaysian regards himself or herself as Malaysia first or will in effect exacerbate racial polarisation and consciousness, and undermine national unity, in the country.

Furthermore, let him answer critiques that the new redelineation proposals are in fact more undemocratic than previous redelineations in violating the democratic principle of “one man, one vote, one value”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Onus is on Election Commission to prove that it is not gerrymandering the current constituency redelineation exercise as in the past to keep UMNO in power

The onus is on the Election Commission to prove that it is not gerrymandering the current constituency redelineation exercise as in the past to keep UMNO in power.

There are two reasons why the Election Commission shoulders such an onus.

Firstly, the public admission or confession at the end of 2013 by the former longest-serving Secretary and later Chairman of the Election Commission, Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, who managed six of the 13 general elections and responsible for three of the four electoral constituency redelineations in Malaysia that he had gerrymandered the redelineations to ensure that the Malays remain in power.

Secondly, preliminary study of the current redelineation exercise indicate that it is driven by the overall agenda to keep UMNO in power and to eliminate Opposition leaders in vulnerable seats from Parliament, like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Pagoh and Nurul Izzah Anwar in Lembah Pantai than to comply with the democratic and constitutional principle of “one man, one vote, one value” and to establish that the Election Commission is transparent, independent and professional not beholden to the dictates of the government of the day. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to convene special Parliament meeting before National Day on August 31 to debate the country’s burning issues, including Najib’s twin global scandals, the NSC Act and worsening racial/religious polarisation highlighted by Pahang mufti’s incendiary “kafir harbi” statement

I call on the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to convene a special Parliament meeting before National Day on August 31 to debate the burning issues in the country, including Najib’s RM55 billion 1MDB and RM4.2 billion “donation” twin global scandals, the National Security Council (NSC) Act and the worsening racial/religious polarisation in the country highlighted by the Pahang mufti’s incendiary “kafir harbi” statement.

Parliament adjourned on May 26 and is next scheduled to reconvene on Oct. 17 – a recess of some five months.

In an era of fast-changing developments, especially with many burning national issues crying out for answers and solutions, it is the height of irresponsibility for Parliament to adjourn for as long as some five months and this is why Najib should convene a special meeting of Parliament before National Day on August 31, where the two newly-elected MPs from Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar can officially take their oath of office.

There are many national burning issues awaiting answers or resolutions, and I will touch on three of them. Read the rest of this entry »

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A paradox, but two by-election victories make UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for general election victory and there will be greater demonization campaign against the opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam or even anti-Chinese

This is a paradox – but the two by-election victories in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar have made UMNO/BN leaders more desperate for victory in the 14th General Election and I expect a greater demonization campaign against the Opposition – such as painting me as anti-Malay, anti-Islam and even as anti-Chinese.

I will give three examples post twin by-elections:

Firstly, I would place in such a category the statement by the former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad who alleged that Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s support of opposition parties DAP and Amanah in the recent by-elections were “detrimental to Malays”.

He said that the former prime minister could try and oust Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from within Umno, but should steer clear of lobbying for support within the Pakatan Harapan opposition alliance as the chances of Malays retaining power once they have lost it is “very slim”.

Could the former Chief Justice answer the two questions which had been posed by the National Laureate Pak Samad:

“How are Malays under threat? How can religion (Islam) and Malays be threatened when those in power have been Malay for over five decades?

“What have they (Malay leaders) been doing for five decades (if Malays can be under threat)?”

Whatever happens in the 14th General Election, whether Najib is toppled as Prime Minister or UMNO loses the Federal Government, the Malays in Malaysia will continue to exercise political power in Malaysia as there is no way they will lose their political power. Read the rest of this entry »

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SUPP President Sim Kui Hian failed big time although he is treated like a “conquering hero” to save MCA, Gerakan and even UMNO in the two by-elections in Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar

SUPP President, Senator Sim Kui Hian failed big time although he is treated like a “conquering hero” to save MCA, Gerakan and even UMNO in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar parliamentary by-elections on Saturday.

This is the first time in 43-year Barisan Nasional history that the SUPP President is regarded like a “saviour” to MCA and Gerakan which had fallen on “bad times”, as the SUPP President had always been regarded by the MCA and Gerakan as a “little brother” and never as a “saviour” in BN history.

But Sim did not act like a “saviour” for MCA and Gerakan, or he should have spoken up for the MCA President, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai and Gerakan President, Datuk Mah Siew Keong who are afraid of losing their Ministerial posts by making it clear to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the Ministerial motion in Parliament on May 26 to “fast-track” Hadi’s hudud bill is a fundamental breach of 43-year Barisan Nasional policy and consensus that hudud violates the Malaysian Constitution and not suitable for a multi-religious Malaysia where Muslims comprise 62% and non-Muslims 38% of the population.

Sim should have spoken up in support of the proposal that the Prime Minister and all the leaders of the 14 Barisan Nasional component parties should make a joint declaration three days before polling day, i.e. by 15th June 2016, to reaffirm the Constitutional principle and the 43-year Barisan Nasional consensus to reject Hadi’s hudud bill, as well as to state in no uncertain terms that the Ministerial motion by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said was a great mistake as it violated the Constitution and the Barisan Nasional consensus and to ask for her resignation from the Cabinet.

Sim should have warned that if the fundamental principles of the Malaysian Constitution, the 1963 Malaysia Agreement and the 43-year Barisan Nasional consensus are allowed to be violated with impunity, it could lead to the disintegration of the Malaysian Federation. Read the rest of this entry »

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Nazri is avoiding the issue, going ahead to gazette the NSC Act without giving due consideration to the proposal by the Conference of Rulers is not only disrespect but contempt for the Rulers

Former Minister in charge of parliamentary affairs, Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz is avoiding the issue of disrespect to the Malay Rulers, for there is no doubt that going ahead to gazette the National Security Council (NSC) Act into law without royal assent, without giving due consideration to the proposal by the Conference of Rulers, is not only disrespect but contempt for the Rulers.

Nazri said any amendments to the NSC Bill could only be tabled as a new bill in the next meeting of Parliament, but the question is why the NSC Amendment Bill could not be presented to the May meeting of Parliament as the Conference of Rulers had returned the NSC bill to the Attorney-Generral’s Chamber for “refinement” on Feb. 17?

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali had then said he would review some sections of the bill while the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said he took note of the rulers’ suggestion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Focus on reforms, not political hudud

— G25 Malaysia
Malay Mail Online
June 13, 2016

JUNE 13 — It is incredible that we have politicians and Islamic activists suggesting that only Muslims who are experts in religion have a right to discuss and comment on the shariah and hudud.

They should know it is normal in a democracy for citizens to take an interest in public affairs and to express their views freely.

As the recent tabling of the “hudud bill” is about amending an act of parliament and more importantly amending the constitution also, the public concern goes beyond religion and the Muslims.

This is a matter about the very foundation of our federation of 13 states and it is therefore an issue of grave concern to all races, including our citizens in Sabah and Sarawak.

The surprise manner in which the bill was allowed to be tabled has also alarmed the public that such an important matter was handled so frivolously.

The whole episode smells of a plot to take Malaysia on the road to an Islamic state. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pluralism remains critical to Malaysia

Opinion
Straits Times
JUN 10, 2016

Those fearing a creeping Islamisation of Malaysia reacted sharply when the government, led by the United Malays National Organisation (Umno), allowed Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) to table a Bill on hudud – the controversial Islamic criminal code. The debate over its widespread application, if legislated, has divided Malaysia’s multi-religious landscape.

That PAS should push for hudud is hardly surprising. The party’s insistence on Malaysia becoming an Islamic state governed by syariah law, including hudud, has constituted its core political mission for decades. What is noteworthy about the hudud Bill being on the parliamentary agenda is the signal of a possible convergence of interests between Umno and PAS – two Malay-based parties whose erstwhile electoral rivalry expanded space for multi-religious politics. Nominally, the Bill seeks to only enhance the present powers of syariah courts. The larger purpose behind it is the Islamisation of the country through the induction of hudud into the body politic. Read the rest of this entry »

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Call on Najib to give undertaking that National Security Council Act will not be enforced until concerns of Conference of Rulers addressed by way of amendments to be presented in forthcoming Parliament

Tuesday, 7th June 2016 is a black-lettered day in the history of Malaysia, because on this day the National Security Council Act was gazetted and became the first law in the country which was NOT given the Royal Assent.

Under Clause 4(a) of Article 66 of the Federal Constitution, a bill becomes law 30 days after it is presented to the Yang di Pertua Agong, even if the Agong does not give the Royal Assent.

The Conference of Rulers on Feb. 17 had returned the National Security Council (NSC) Bill to the Attorney-General’s Chambers asking for refinement.

The Attorney-General Tan Sri Apandi Ali then said he would review some sections of the bill while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said he took note of the rulers suggestion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Islamic law bill splits Malaysian cabinet

Jeevan Vasagar in Singapore
Financial Times
June 2, 2016

Ethnic Chinese ministers have threatened to quit the Malaysian government if a bill giving Islamic courts powers to impose tougher penalties is passed into law.

Critics of Najib Razak, the prime minister, say the bill is an attempt to distract attention from the 1MDB state investment fund scandal ahead of by-elections this month and a general election that must be held by 2018.

The bill, proposed by the Islamist opposition but fast-tracked last week by a government minister, will be debated in parliament in October. It comes at a time of concern over rising intolerance in Southeast Asia, a region once regarded as a model of religious coexistence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Will PAC Chairman Hasan apologise for his several breaches of parliamentary privileges in connection with PAC Report on 1MDB and make amends by tabling in Parliament the Report of Auditor General on 1MDB as he had promised on 7th March and re-open investigations into 1MDB scandal?

Will the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) Chairman Datuk Hasan Arifin apologise for his several breaches of parliamentary privileges in connection with the PAC Report on 1MDB and make amends by tabling in Parliament the Report of the Auditor-General on 1MDB as he had promised on 7th March?

On 7th March 2016, Hasan gave a categorical statement that the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB investigations would be “declassified” under the Official Secrets Act 1972 once the PAC tables its report to Parliament.

The PAC Report on 1MDB was tabled in Parliament on April 7, and there are no signs that the Auditor-General’s final report on the 1MDB will be tabled in Parliament, which will adjourn on Thursday this week.

Hasan had said at the time that the Auditor-General Tan Sri Ambrin Buang had explained that the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB will no longer be a classified document under OSA once PAC tables its 1MDB report.

Can Hasan explain why he is dragging his feet in tabling the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB as attachment to the PAC Report on 1MDB?

What has Hasan and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his government to hide in refusing to make public the Auditor-General’s final report on 1MDB? Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians should speak up to oppose Najib’s plan to turn Malaysia into a national prison where critics and opponents of the Prime Minister and Government are prohibited from travelling freely overseas

Yesterday, I had asked whether there will be any Minister who will resign on a matter of principle if the Cabinet today is not prepared to countermand the arbitrary and undemocratic ban on Bersih Chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah and DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for PJ Utara, Tony Pua from free travel overseas.

I have not heard of any news that any Minister or Deputy Minister is resigning his or her post in protest against such lurch towards undemocratic and arbitrary practices which have so far been the hallmark of communist and closed societies, representing a major and fundamental difference with democratic and open societies.

Is Malaysia an open and democratic society or has it regressed to become an autocratic and closed society like the North Korean communist regime?

This is a policy question which should involve every Minister and Deputy Minister in view of the “hair-raising” undemocratic and arbitrary decisions to bar critics and opponents of the Najib government like Maria Chin and Tony Pua from free travel overseas.

The Malaysian Parliament itself has become a farce if MPs like Tony Pua and civil society leaders like Maria Chin could be denied their fundamental and democratic right to travel freely overseas. Read the rest of this entry »

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