Archive for category Post-2008 general election

Why I have nothing much to say at the moment (Part 1)

By Clive Kessler | November 07, 2012
UPDATED @ 07:04:27 AM 08-11-2012
The Malaysian Insider

People are kind.

They have been writing to ask how I am.

I have not said or written anything serious for weeks.

And they are beginning to wonder.

The “Phoney War” Interlude

“What is the problem?” they ask.

The problem, I reply, is not me. It’s the situation.

The situation?
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Malaysia after regime change

— Ooi Kee Beng
The Malaysian Insider
Mar 14, 2012

MARCH 14 — Malaysia had to begin life as a federation because, like all federations, its diversity of polity, culture, history, ethnicity and economy was simply too deep for a centrally controlled regime to be practicable.

That was why the Malayan Union of 1946, hopefully constructed by a colonial power recovering from a devastating world war and that badly needed to simplify its control apparatus, could never succeed. Indirect and de facto colonialism was acceptable, but centralised and direct colonialism was too much for the Malay community to accept.

And yet, as became clear in the aftermath of the 2008 general election, the country nevertheless had in reality become centrally controlled by a coalition centred around Umno (United Malays National Organisation), the party formed in 1946 by Onn Ja’afar to fight the Malayan Union.

The 2008 election results can thus be read as a strong negative reaction by the newly-liberated electorate to this sustained political denial of the country’s historical diversity. Read the rest of this entry »


Rakyat the ‘Third Force’ or ‘The Main Force’

By Richard Loh

Today I am taking a challenge to write against the tide.

In physics, a force is any influence that causes a free body to undergo a change in speed, a change in direction, or a change in shape. Force can also be described by intuitive concepts such as a push or pull that can cause an object with mass to change its velocity (which includes to begin moving from a state of rest), i.e., to accelerate, or which can cause a flexible object to deform. Wikipedia

If I am not wrong, the third force was not heard before except the term ‘fence sitter’ which described those indecisive voters pre-308. Even post 308 for over a year and a half there is no one bringing up the third force subject. What the general public saw was an opportunity for a two party system and that is when Pakatan Rakyat was created or formed.

The talk of the third force begins to appear in some blogs initiated from a movement group, sometime in late 2009 or early 2010 without mentioning that the rakyat was going to be the third force. Why suddenly the call for the third force when everything was pointing towards a two party system.
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DAP faults Umno for Perkasa threats

By Debra Chong
June 20, 2011 | The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 20 — DAP’s Lim Guan Eng pronounced Umno guilty today of fanning racial and religious strife for its tacit support of Perkasa’s “Nazi-like” threat against ethnic Chinese ahead of three massive — and conflicting — marches on July 9.

The DAP secretary-general further accused the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) lynchpin of being “politically bankrupt” for resorting to provocation to cover its own shortcomings.

Lim pointed out Umno and the BN government have been deflecting questions on health and environmental safety over Australian miner Lynas Corp’s RM700 million rare earths project in Pahang and the Tourism Ministry’s RM1.8million Facebook scandal. Read the rest of this entry »


An inspiring chronicle of change

by Jee Wan
Jan 9, 11

When we won the Asian Football Federation Suzuki Cup, our PM declared 31st December a public holiday, claiming to support the 1Malaysia concept of “People First, Performance Now”. Hurrah, hurrah.
But when our PM attended a Christmas celebration at the Catholic Church Archbishop residence, the PMO directive ordered the church officials to remove crucifixes and prohibit them from singing hymns and praying, saying it’s to protect the prime minister’s Islamic credentials.

Here we are shouting 1Malaysia this and 1Malaysia that, but know not how to respect the tradition, culture and beliefs of another religion? What message are we sending out to the public and the world at large? That we are still immature even after 53 years of independence?

That even our own leaders can’t walk the talk?

That’s just the tip of the tip of the iceberg. And our opinion would probably sound very biased to those who only read the mainstream media or who have been constantly reminded and instilled with fear of change.

But seriously; if we want to see improvement and real progress, we need to change. Change the way we think. Change the way we perceive things. Change for the better. Read the rest of this entry »


Historic mission to end Umno political hegemony and make Malaysia a normal democratic country

Fifty-three years after Merdeka and 47 years after the formation of Malaysia, Malaysians are at last within reach of a historic mission – to end Umno political hegemony and make Malaysia a normal democratic country where change of government through the ballot box is accepted as a healthy democratic process and not one to invite threats of man-made disasters.

Three years ago, before March 8, 2008, Malaysians would not dare to think or dream of this possibility in their lifetime – but now it is not only a realizable dream but one which could be accomplished in the next general elections expected to be held in the first half of next year.

This is the magnitude of the change in the political landscape brought about by the political tsunami of the 2008 general elections less than three years ago.

This is also why the Selangor DAP State Convention today is taking place at a historic moment in the nation’s history and why it is attracting national attraction well beyond its state boundaries. Read the rest of this entry »


What’s next for Malaysia?

By Karim Raslan
The Star
Tuesday August 24, 2010

All societies need change and countries that don’t change or can’t change remain ossified and stagnant.

A few weeks ago, I hosted a lunch for a Malaysian politician and an Indonesian businessman.

The politician and I were struck by the tycoon’s steadfast support of his nation’s democratic traditions.

He stressed that he would not be where he was now had it not been for Reformasi and the turbulence of 1998.

Indeed he made a powerful argument that his country wouldn’t be powering ahead were it not for the transformation that took place after Soeharto’s ouster.

Interestingly, I think most Malaysian businessmen, including those dependent on government contracts, would agree with my Indonesian friend.

All societies need change and countries that don’t change or can’t change remain ossified and stagnant. Read the rest of this entry »


308 Political Tsunami crossing South China Sea (4 videos)

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The indomitable spirit of several thousands who stood under heavy rain to hear Pakatan Rakyat leaders in Semboyan Halilintar ke Putrajaya ceramah perdana potent sign that the goal of Putrajaya is within reach

I thought the crowd of thousands for this Semboyan Halilintar ke Putrajaya ceramah perdana in Seremban to commemorate the second anniversary of March 8, 2008 political tsunami would dissolve away when the full blasts of the rain came, but the indomitable spirit of several thousands who stood their ground despite heavy rain is a potent sign that the Pakatan Rakyat goal of Putrajaya in the next general election is within reach.

In recent weeks, Umno/Barisan especially through their owned and controlled mainstream media (msm) had tried to paint a picture of Pakatan Rakyat in disarray if not in disintegration, focusing particularly on Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) which has been reduced to 26 from 30 MPs two years ago.

Firstly, Umno/BN tried to foment trouble in Pakatan Rakyat saying that I should be Parliamentary Opposition Leader as the DAP with 28 MPs has now more MPs than PKR. Thanks but no, as DAP has decided that Anwar Ibrahim is the Parliamentary Opposition Leader heading the Pakatan Rakyat in Parliament until he becomes the new Prime Minister when Pakatan Rakyat captures Putrajaya in the next general elections.

Secondly, the Umno/BN launched a psychological warfare against PKR and Pakatan Rakyat because of the PKR cleansing process resulting in the reduction, whether by defection or expulsion, of its parliamentary strength.
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Not a time to lose March 8 spirit

By Kee Thuan Chye

There was a lot of optimism right after March 8, 2008. There was a sense that things would get better. But has there been much change two years since that day?

Instead of seeing multi-racialism being freely accepted and manifested in government policies, we find ourselves becoming more divided along racial lines. Right after March 8, Umno embarked on its campaign to warn the Malays that they were under threat and to rise up against this.

The government has assumed a schizophrenic personality – the prime minister talks about 1Malaysia while his deputy says things that are completely contradictory. The PM talks about multi-racial unity while his own party campaigns for Malay unity.

Many of us had hoped that, after the elections, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat would set aside their political differences and get down to the business of working for the national interest, of saving this country.
Instead, they have been doing their darnedest to do the dirty on each other. BN is coming out tops in that effort because it has the media under its control. Both seem to be doing their worst to win the next general election.
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The art of Managing a Crisis…do we want one?

By Hussein Hamid

Me thinks something is stirring in the Pakatan Rakyat and UMNO camps. The winds of change seems to blow ever so slowly. Diversions are being thrown around here and there by Pakatan Rakyat. The issue of selling beers in Selangor seem to take a life of its own unencumbered by thoughts of Pakatan unity. There is the ‘life and death struggle’ of Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor and the internal ‘bickering’ between PAS and DAP. For Barisan they want Selangor back and the word is out that they are confident enough to look at holding elections in Perak…it all points to the classic diversionary tactics of ‘creating a crisis’ – but by whom? Barisan or Pakatan?

What is self-evident now is that there is a growing momentum towards creating a Malaysia the people are unfamiliar with. The dismantling of the great racial divide, the real possibility of Pakatan Rakyat emerging as the next Government after the General Elections (at worse an effective opposition) and the potential demise of UMNO and the Barisan Coalition it leads as the Party in power.

Concurrently as part and parcel of this progression there is an increasing demand by the people for transparency and openness in Government – akin to Putri Gunung Ledang agreeing to marry the Sultan if given:
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Release Hindraf 5, RPK and all ISA detainees by Deepavali – or leave Barisan Nasional

With the approach of their respective party conferences and elections, It is common nowadays to read of the fierce speeches and statements by leaders and ministers of MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and other Barisan Nasional component parties, undertaking to learn from the mistakes of the past and pledging to stop being puppets or parrots of UMNO “Big Brother” and to speak up for the basic rights and interests of the people.

All these are political “sharp practices” – as the leaders and Ministers from MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and other BN component parties are equally guilty as their Umno counterparts for the worsening multiple crisis of confidence in the past seven months because of their failure to insist on government reforms after the March 8 political tsunami.

Seven full months have passed since the March general elections – and it is not only the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and UMNO which have nothing to show, the MCA, Gerakan, MIC, SUPP and other BN component parties have also nothing to show in terms of long-needed reforms.

What is worse, things have gone from bad to worse as could be seen by the worsening multiple crisis of confidence, whether political, economic, educational, institutional, anti-corruption or nation-building.

In the last seven months, nation-building suffered a major setback when Umno leaders took communalism to a new height in drumming up slogans on “ketuanan Melayu” when all Malaysians should be focusing on “ketuanan rakat Malaysia” after more than half-a-century of nation-building.

UMNO Bukit Bendera division chief Ahmad Ismail’s “Chinese are penumpang” was the last straw, furnishing another completely unacceptable example of first-generation or second-generation locally-born “bumiputras” questioning the loyalty and patriotism of sixth or seven-generation locally-born “non-bumiputras”! Read the rest of this entry »


ISA for RPK and show-cause letters to three newspapers while 3-year Umno suspension for Ahmad Ismail – is this the Abdullah justice and rule of law?

The detention of blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin (RPK) under the Internal Security Act (ISA) and the show-cause letters to three newspapers, Sin Chew Daily, the Sun and Suara Keadilan why action should not be taken against them over their news coverage on a number of political issues must be condemned by all Malaysians concerned about human rights and democracy.

These actions make a mockery of the claims of the Abdullah administration to usher in a more open and democratic society under a just rule of law.

It shows the administration’s utter cynicism and Machiavellian politics in unblocking RPK’s news portal Malaysia Today after a two-week censorship only to arrest RPK under the ISA in less than 24 hours.

The unblocking of Malaysia Today was made to demonstrate the country’s commitment and allegiance to the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Bill of Guarantees to the world of no Internet censorship but it is just naive for the government to think that the world can be fooled by such subterfuge – as by detaining RPK and taking him out of public circulation, the Malaysian Government has effectively blocked off Malaysia Today and violated the “no internet censorship” Bill of Guarantee!

The detention of RPK had only deepened the multiple crisis of confidence besetting the Abdullah premiership.

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RPK just arrested under ISA

The police have just taken Raja Petra Kamarudin from his house in Sg Buloh under the Internal Security Act.

Seems to be the beginning of a crack down.


BN forced to seclude its MPs in 12-day “overseas retreat” as it is not sure of the allegiance of 30 to 40 per cent of its MPs come “916”

The Barisan Nasional leadership has been forced to come out with the idea to corral and seclude its Members of Parliament in a mysterious “overseas retreat” for 12 days from Sept. 7 – 19 as it is not sure of the allegiance of 30 to 40 per cent of its MPs come ”916”.

Some BN leaders are getting “cold feet” and more than a touch of panic.

While the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, have been claiming that nothing would happen on September 16, with the former even invoking the name of the Yang di Pertuan Agong as if the King is taking political sides, there is undoubtedly growing nervousness and jitters among the various levels of Barisan Nasional leadership with every passing day.

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Opposition and Anwar Ibrahim – Make no mistake on your sincerity and integrity

by Foong Wai Fong

The events in the next couple of weeks, leading to whether Anwar will contest a by-election will demonstrate to the People of Malaysia whether they have indeed make the right choice, by voting in the Opposition. The People are troubled by these post-election developments.

A message to the OPPOSITION:

1. Many people voted you in not because how good you were or will be, but more they just wanted to throw out the other guy, deny the 2/3 majority given to the ruling coalition.

2. If you walk your talk, you MUST NEVER do what the other guy has been doing in the past decades.

The electorate wishes to see REAL Change, sincerity and integrity; not making deals and bargains wrapped in exchange of cabinet positions for alliance — this makes the OPP no different from the incumbent ruling class. Any mistakes on the part of the OPP in strategy will bring serious backlash, that mistake has the high risk of throwing Malaysia into a state of chaos and instability. This is SERIOUS matter.

On the other hand, if the OPP and Anwar Ibrahim can be a little patient, taking things one step at a time, act with integrity and sincerity, THIS IS A HISTORIC OPPORTUNITY. Any tactic that involves trading of bargains of power would diminish all hope that we are entering a new era. For we believe any of those MPs or state assembly members out there who cross over because they did not get the so-called “rewards” in position would do no good for the OPP. All cabinet and government positions are positions to provide service, not positions for reward of winning the election! It serves the OPP well to remember that. Read the rest of this entry »