Archive for category Politics

Who has the final authority on the police ban of the Mahathir-Nazri debate – the IGP or the Home Minister?

The Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, has turned the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, into a cypher (dictionary definition – “a person of no influence”) on whether the police should ban the Mahathir-Nazri debate to be organized by Sinar Harian at its premises in Shah Alam on Friday.

What is most shocking is that the police ban came within 24 hours of written police consent for the debate.

Not only the majority of Malaysians, but the majority of the police force, cannot accept Khalid’s absurd claim that the police are merely exercising their discretionary powers provided under Section 3(3) of the Police Act 1967 in banning the debate between former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Abdul Aziz on grounds of maintaining public order.

Khalid is scraping the bottom of the barrel invoking Section 3(3) of the Police Act, as this section makes no mention that the police enjoys “discretionary powers” to ban the debate. Read the rest of this entry »

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Malaysians must Save Malaysia, which lost it way in failing to be an exemplary economic and political success in the last six decades, to reset nation-building directions and policies

My political life started in Batu Pahat, from my political interests in my school days in Batu Pahat High School.

My class of the Year 1959 in Batu Pahat High School had been quite active and outstanding, as it produced six doctors including a surgeon (Dr. Chong Guan Chock, Dr. Chan Soh Ha, Dr. Hee Tien Lai, Dr. Chia Sze Foong and Dr. Ow Yang Chee Wah), two engineers, two lawyers, two architects, two journalists, two university academicians, an accountant, a quantity surveyor, a town planner, a timber grader, a dozen educationists and teachers as well as others.

It produced three Members of Parliament who became a Minister (Datuk Mustapha Mohamad), a Deputy Speaker (Dr. Hee Tien Lai) and a Parliamentary Opposition leader.

I did not get involved in politics until 51 years ago, and I can still remember seeking the views of classmates at the end of 1965, and they thought that it was quite crazy for me to give up a comfortable and secure job as a journalist for the unknown challenges and terrain of direct political involvement.

The last 51 years had not been a holiday or a “bed of roses”, but a tough political journey and even a “crown of thorns”. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rahman Dahlan should prove he is a patriot by asking Najib to resign as Prime Minister if Najib is not prepared to clear Malaysia of the curse, infamy and ignominy of being ridiculed world-wide as a global kleptocracy because of 1MDB money-laundering scandal

I am quite bemused by the latest antics of the Barisan Nasional Strategic Communications Director Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan, although I must thank him for finally resolving the question in my mind as to what are the job specifications of a BN Strategic Communications Director – which is clearly to create and amass “strategic lies” about the Opposition and to use them to attack the Opposition parties in the BN-UMNO owned or controlled mainstream mass media and the social media.

This is the reason for the outpouring, close to an avalanche, of demonization of myself in the last three months in the UMNO/Barisan owned or controlled mass media, like the New Straits Times, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, Star, or TV3, when for the past half a century of my political activities, I was blacked out in these media, with clear directive given in one mainstream media that my photograph was never to be used.

Now I appear almost daily, if not in New Straits Times, then in Utusan, Berita Harian, Star or TV3, even with pictures – but there were no news, facts or truth, but downright lies, falsehood and fake news.

A recent egregious example of such lies, falsehoods and fake news is the allegation that Tun Mahathir and I had a secret meeting on Dec. 3 last year where a secret deal was struck that Mukhriz Mahathir would be the Prime Minister and I be the Deputy Prime Minister, when there was never such a meeting between Mahathir and myself on Dec. 3, and we had never discussed the subjects of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in our discussions so far.

The latest example of such BN “strategic lies” is that I had masterminded electoral fraud in the DAP party elections in 2012, which is a new twist to a tissue of lies which had been concocted and disseminated in BN/UMNO misinformation campaign in the past few years.

Abdul Rahman wants me to retire from politics for failing to topple Barisan Nasional in previous general elections and he said that I should “feel ashamed” towards DAP party members and should make way for other capable leaders.

It is Abdul Rahman who is a man of no shame, who does not realise that he is making a fool of himself, trying to shed “crocodile tears”.
If I am such a political failure in DAP, then Abdul Rahman should be praying fervently that I will remain instead of wanting to see me retire. What hypocrisy, cant and utter bunkum from the BN Strategic Communications Director! Read the rest of this entry »


Puad has confirmed that he is not fit to be Deputy Education Minister or JASA director-general

I always had doubts about the communication skills or language comprehension of Mohd Puad Zarkashi and wondered how he could be a Deputy Education Minister in the first Najib administration and now the director-general of the propaganda outfit in the Communications and Multi-Media Ministry, JASA.

My doubts about Puad’s intellectual capability has been confirmed from a WhatsApp “JASA Update” message put out this morning, as follows:

“*Fitnah Lim Kit Siang Dan Pembangkang Dipatahkan Lagi* -> Read the rest of this entry »

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Journalism a sacred duty to uphold truth, not a mere tool of the regime to perpetuate lies and falsehoods, nor a political implement to dumb down Malaysians in order to stay in power

I would like to acknowledge the statement issued by Geramm (Gerakan Media Marah), a loose coalition of media practitioners and journalists, entitled ‘Media is not the enemy’ in defence of a fellow journalist who had an altercation with me during a press conference welcoming Datuk Zaid Ibrahim into the DAP on Monday.

The journalist who identified himself as coming from TV3, had asked if I would be speaking about the BMF and forex scandals differently if former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not within the opposition ranks.

Mahathir, who was seated next to me at the presser was visibly amused at the question. The amusement increased as soon as the person said that he came from TV3, inviting jeers and laughter from the audience around him. Even other fellow journalists at the event did not voice out any protest against the so called altercation nor the jeering by the crowd later.

Perhaps because it is well understood that the DAP and the rest of the opposition has been the regular target of the traditional media owned and controlled by UMNO for as long as we can remember. TV3 in particular has become the main tool to paint the DAP as being anti-Malay and anti-Islam, demonizing our leaders with every other lies and falsehoods you can think of, without ever giving a right of reply. Read the rest of this entry »

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Obama’s Farewell Address: How Presidents Use This Moment Of Reflection

Tamara Keith
January 10, 2017

In giving his farewell address on Tuesday night in Chicago, President Obama will follow a tradition begun by America’s first president.

George Washington offered a series of warnings, what he called a “solemn contemplation.” His parting words have been deemed so valuable that they are read on the floor of the U.S. Senate each year, including his warning about the dangers of partisanship:

“It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms; kindles the animosity of one part against another; foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which find a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passion.”

The presidential farewell address became a fixture in the 20th century, right along with the arrival of television in American homes. In these modern farewell speeches, almost all of them talk about the difficulty of the job, and urge the American people to be nice to the next guy. Read the rest of this entry »

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Great regret that Ku Li is playing the racial card of reducing Malaysian politics into Malay versus Chinese when it should be a battle between integrity, good governance and democracy versus corruption, bad governance and authoritarian rule

The launch of the seven-week Bersih 5 convoy in Johor, which is held simultaneously today in five other locations in the country, is a historic occasion for patriotic Malaysians regardless of race, religion, region or politics to reclaim the country from undemocratic, corrupt and opportunistic forces in the country which are prepared to see the country hurtle down the slippery slope towards a failed state provided they can achieve their selfish and greedy objectives.

The Election Commission’s most undemocratic redelineation of electoral constituencies in the nation’s history, even more unfair and undemocratic than the four previous redelineation exercises, has only highlighted the importance, relevance and urgency of the Bersih’s cause and primary objective to have clean, free and fair elections.

Nov. 19 should be a rendevous with history for all Malaysians concerned not only about the future of democracy but also the future of the plural Malaysian nation – why a country with so much promise for greatness in various fields of human endeavour and which could be a showcase of successful multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-religious and multi-cultural nation to the world has overnight becoming a “basket-case” of nation-building? Read the rest of this entry »


Brexit is not just Europe’s problem. It highlights a crisis in democracies worldwide.

By Dan Balz
Washington Post
June 27, 2016

LONDON — Britain’s political system remained in turmoil Monday, virtually leaderless and with the two major parties divided internally. But the meltdown that has taken place in the days after voters decided to break the country’s ties with Europe is more than a British problem, reflecting an erosion in public confidence that afflicts democracies around the world.

Last Thursday’s Brexit vote cast a bright light on the degree to which the effects of globalization and the impact of immigration, along with decades of overpromises and under-delivery by political leaders, have undermined the ability of those officials to lead. This collapse of confidence has created what amounts to a crisis in governing for which there seems no easy or quick answer.

The debris here is clear. The Brexit vote claimed Prime Minister David Cameron as its first victim. Having called the referendum and led the campaign to keep Britain in the European Union, he announced his intention to resign the morning after the vote. The results also now threaten the standing of Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who faces a likely leadership election after seeing more than two dozen members of his leadership team resign in the past two days.

Alastair Darling, a former chancellor of the exchequer, outlined the extent of the crisis here during an interview with the BBC’s “Today” program on Monday. “There is no government. There is no opposition. The people who got us into this mess — they’ve gone to ground,” he said “How has the United Kingdom come to this position? We have taken this decision and have no plan for the future.”

The seeds of what has brought Britain to this moment exist elsewhere, which makes this country’s problems the concern of leaders elsewhere. In Belgium and Brazil, democracies have faced crises of legitimacy; in Spain and France, elected leaders have been hobbled by their own unpopularity; even in Japan, where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe faces no threat from the opposition, his government has demonstrated a consistent inability to deliver prosperity. Read the rest of this entry »

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Stung by a betrayal, former London mayor Boris Johnson ends bid to lead Britain

By Griff Witte
Washington Post
June 30, 2016

LONDON – It was a scene lifted from the scripts of Shakespeare — or perhaps a binge-watching session of “House of Cards.”

When Thursday morning broke, Boris Johnson, the transparently ambitious former mayor of London, was preparing to give the speech of his life — one that would vault him out of the political mayhem wrought by last week’s referendum on the European Union and straight to the job he had long sought: British prime minister.

But the man who was to be Johnson’s campaign manager had a different idea: Michael Gove, the bookish justice secretary who has repeatedly denied any aspiration to higher office, was getting ready to stick a dagger into Johnson’s chances, and twist.

By day’s end, Britain would be reckoning with one more betrayal in a political season full of them. This one stunned an already dazed nation, and left no doubt, if any had remained, that Britain is divided, directionless and leaderless as it prepares for a leap into the unknown of life outside the E.U.

Johnson, the mop-headed rogue who had been considered the odds-on favorite to take the keys to 10 Downing Street, has now been shunted to the sidelines of the contest to lead the Conservative Party and, by extension, the nation. Read the rest of this entry »

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New Deal for Malaysia

– Liew Chin Tong
The Malaysian Insider
24 January 2016

With mega crises on all fronts, (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) and Umno look doomed. But they might just survive politically by creating a “Low Yat incident” every other week.

The game plan is simple: pit underprivileged kids of one race against another, then they will be so busy fighting each other that they will forget who keeps them poor to begin with. The accusation of “poor Malay cheated by Chinese handphone taukeh” is untrue. Why would a “rich” young Chinese work for a handphone shop for meagre pay?

Can we, DAP, see the shared fate of the bottom 60% of the economy – youngsters who are Malay as well as Chinese and other races? Can we articulate their wishes and aspirations in a single breath?

The even more crucial question is this: do we even actually know them? Do we actually know who the Malays are? What the Malays are? Where the Malays are?

It is sad to note that some of us see the Malays as one single entity with a set of stereotypes. For example, we didn’t even realise that we are being racial when we see most Malays as policemen, enforcement officers, Mat Rempit, etc.

The same is true for others who only see Chinese as rich people and business owners who always cheat Malays. After 50 years, the narrative has stayed the same. This is sad. Read the rest of this entry »


‘Flawed democracy’ Malaysia slips down in The Economist unit’s ranking, behind Indonesia

Malay Mail Online
January 22, 2016

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 22 — Malaysia stayed mired among countries rated as “flawed democracies” in The Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Democracy Index 2015 released this week, losing three positions from the previous year.

According to the EIU table, Malaysia is now 68th out of the 167 countries measured, after it scored 6.43 in the index, down from 65th in 2014, putting it behind Indonesia (49th) and the Philippines (54th), but ahead of 74th placed Singapore.

“These countries also have free and fair elections and, even if there are problems (such as infringements on media freedom), basic civil liberties are respected.

“However, there are significant weaknesses in other aspects of democracy, including problems in governance, an underdeveloped political culture and low levels of political participation,” the EIU explained.
Read the rest of this entry »


Don’t have to invent the wheel, just have the political will to do what is right and just to implement the Cabinet decision of April 22, 2009 or resign as Ministers

All eyes are on the Cabinet meeting today – will the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his 36 Ministers in the jumbo Cabinet end one of the greatest injustices of the seven-year Najib premiership – the Indira Gandhi injustice where a mother had been forcibly separated from her 11-month old baby daughter not for one or two years but for seven long years!

For seven long years, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, Parliament and the Judiciary have all failed Indira Gandhi and her daughter, and the Constitution, the laws, the courts and the system of governance have been manipulated to deny Indira and her daughter their fundamental rights as a mother and a child to be to see, hold and touch each other!

There is no need for the Cabinet today to invent the wheel. Just have the political will to do what is right and just to implement the Cabinet decision of April 22, 2009 that there should be no unilateral conversion of children and that the children of parents where one parent chooses to convert to Islam must continue to be raised in the common religion at the time of the marriage. Or resign as Ministers!

Furthermore, the Minister should demonstrate that it is not only a Cabinet of compassion and humanity, but of justice and competence by directing the Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar and all relevant agencies to ensure that within 48 hours, Indira Gandhi should be able to re-unite with her daughter whom she had not seen for seven long years. Read the rest of this entry »

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10 things about: Steven Sim, the computer engineer turned MP

by Opalyn Mok
Malay Mail Online
January 10, 2016

GEORGE TOWN, Jan 10 — Steven Sim Chee Keong was relatively new in DAP when he first stood for elections in 2013 for the Bukit Mertajam parliamentary seat and won.

Prior to that, he was the Seberang Perai Municipal Council councillor and had been helping his predecessor Chong Eng and later, Berapit state assemblyman Lydia Ong Kok Fooi with party matters.

Ever since he won the seat, the 32-year-old has been using technology to try and improve governance and delivery to the people, particularly his constituents in Bukit Mertajam.

He is the one behind the introduction of a user-friendly application called “Citizen Action Technology” for the public to lodge complaints to the local authorities.

He also wrote a book titled The Audacity To Think: An Invitation To Rethink Politics which is his take on political concepts based on his experience.

It is hard to imagine that this young energetic politician used to be a chocolate entrepreneur before calling it quits to continue his studies in computer science. Read the rest of this entry »


Restoring hope in politics

Syerleena Abdul Rashid
The Malaysian Insider
8 January 2016

Fundamentally, I am an optimist who always believes that silver linings do exist in any situation we find ourselves in, even in situations so bleak and depressing.

However, there are quite a number of dark moments when my faith is sorely tested and I have to admit, there are times when I feel that the odds are stacked way too high.

Desmond Tutu said it best, “Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness”. These are the words that every Malaysian must try to remember.

The injustice and the humiliation we encounter as we soldier on in the name of political and democratic reforms will probably worsen as the general election draw closer. Read the rest of this entry »


My six-month suspension from Parliament a most symbolic way to mark my 50 years in politics in pursuit of the Malaysian Dream

Fifty years ago, I started my involvement in Malaysian politics and my current six-month suspension from Parliament in a most symbolic way marked my half-century of political work and patriotism where I dedicated virtually my whole life to the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream of an united, inclusive, progressive, just and prosperous Malaysia for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, language, culture, region, politics or class.

My six-month suspension from Parliament is a salutary reminder that the pursuit of the Malaysian Dream is not a completed journey but very much a work-in-progress, that it is not a smooth-sailing venture but requires courage, commitment and vision to overcome the trials and tribulations of an upstream, against-the-current struggle to build a better Malaysia for all Malaysians, where good governance and justice is the order of the day and an end to the ever-lengthening list of political and economic scandals suffocating the country. Read the rest of this entry »


Call for a national roundtable conference of eminent citizens, community and religious elders, political and civil society leaders to brainstorm to search for an exit for the country’s unprecedented quandary and to restore Malaysians’ lost self-confidence to compete with the best in the world

I thank the people of Sabah who have shown unstintingly their support for the “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana RM2.6 billion?” campaign in the past two days during our tour of Tenom, Keningau, Kudat and Kota Kinabalu, continuing tomorrow to Tuaran and Sandakan.

The “Solidarity with Lim Kit Siang and Mana RM2.6 billion?” campaign is not about me, but the future of 3.3 million Sabahans and 30 million Malaysians – whether Sabahans and Malaysians have the right to demand that their elected representatives raise the issues that matter to the people in Parliament and the State Assemblies, like Prime Minister’s Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s RM2.6 billion “donation” and the RM50 billion l1MDB twin mega scandals.

Malaysia is now in unprecedented times and we are in fact in “no man’s land” in terms of our political and nation-building experience.

There have been many strange goings-on in our country in the past year demonstrating that what we see openly and publicly may not reflect the many powerful under-currents flowing below the surface in our political society. Appearance is not the reality, as things may not be what they seem on surface.

I will give three illustrations. Read the rest of this entry »


Malaysia in political stalemate

By Murray Hunter
On Line Opinion
26 October 2015

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib is facing accusations of fraud with the 1MDB fiasco, and the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaaribuu, while the economy is going into a ‘nosedive’.

After six and a half years in office, Premier Najib presides over a nation with contracting growth, rising inflation, growing unemployment, a Ringgit at a 20 year low against the US Dollar, significant capital flight, a massive debt problem, disappearing sources of income, and low consumer confidence.

Although some of these problems are the result of global factors such as declining oil and gas prices, low commodity prices, and sluggish growth of major trading partners, Malaysia’s problems also greatly exist today as the result of policy failures. Extremist policies have also led to social and ethnic tensions within the country. In addition, the depreciation of the Ringgit and introduction of the GST have put undue hardships on the people. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political freedom and char kuey teow on a chilly London night

by Dyana Sofya
Malay Mail Online
October 7, 2015

OCTOBER 7 — The air was chilly but festive. Crowds of Londoners were streaming in, most of them in their work attire as it was a weekday evening.

Amid the hustle and bustle, a few people clad in Malaysian traditional costumes were giving out red hibiscus clips. I took one of myself and pinned it on my hair.

Our national flower as an adornment — what a neat way to commemorate our country on this evening celebrating Malaysia Night in London.

Spread out around Trafalgar Square were stalls selling a variety of Malaysian delicacies such as satay, roti canai, apam balik and much more. For many Malaysians living in London, it was a real treat, even if it was a bit of a luxury at GBP5 per meal (but then again, where else can you get roadside nasi lemak in London?).

As I sat on the steps of Trafalgar Square while waiting for the festivities to begin, a young Malaysian student beside me opened his container of hot, steaming char kuey teow from one of the stalls. I couldn’t help commenting how great it smelled and looked, and tried to recall when was the last time I had a plate of flat rice noodles cooked with seafood, chives, chilli paste and soy sauce. If there’s one thing Malaysians miss almost immediately after leaving home, it is our food!

And so the char kuey teow became an ice-beaker and I began to chat with the student and some of his friends. They all wanted to know about what was happening back home, from donations to 1MDB. The topic of Bersih 4.0 naturally came up, and one student shared with me her interest to participate in the rally, but did not because she and other JPA scholars had received a “love letter” warning them not to attend or risk their scholarships. Read the rest of this entry »

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Political ‘earthquakes’ that realigned Malaysian politics (Part 1)

— Liew Chin Tong
Malay Mail Online
September 25, 2015

SEPTEMBER 25 — In the wake of an earthquake, tectonic plates will shift and realign. It takes time before gradually stabilising. In the process of seismic shifting, instead of hoping for a more stable surface, it would be better to reflect on the possible changes after the earthquake.

The spectrum of Malaysian politics experienced three great political earthquakes that caused shifting and realignment. After each shaking, the scenario that emerged was a previously unthinkable one. Once the tectonic plates shift, the outcome is a change that will never be the same again.

The first pre-Merdeka pan-Malayan General Election in July 1955 saw the success of the Alliance, using the UMNO-MCA-MIC formula. 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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