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Friday, December 30, 2011



Thursday, December 29, 2011

Consumers & Voters, the similarities

Its always the case of regret by voters after electing in a corrupt, racist, arrogant and abusive government. Things can change if the voters wise up and stand together in solidarity to demand for a clean and fair government but won't be effective if only a handful fight for it. Things are really heating up for change with bigger and larger groups joining forces now.

While the ruling government is fighting for their political survival what happen to the consumers? Are consumers protected from the ever greedy big business corporations?

Big business corporations tend to forget the time when they were small players like when you see how polite they were when approaching the consumers for their business. Now after getting the consumers support they turn big headed, arrogant and sarcastic.

When corporations can simply issue "verbal" Terms & Conditions as and when they like what can the consumers do? By the way is there such a thing as "verbal" Terms & Conditions set by business corporations? If the authority allows it then we, the consumers are screwed.

Most customers knew that they are screwed by business corporations every now and then but kept silence about it. There are just too many to mention and we, the consumers simply could not do anything at all. They are big timers with heavy support from you know who and lots of cash, 'dinero' that turned them into the untouchables. Even if you were to approach the Consumer Associations, there is nothing much they can do about it, except advising you to seek lawyers help and that is where it will all end. We can't afford to engage lawyers (which these corporations knew) and even if we can afford they are ever ready to take you on.

Now, we consumers must wise up like the voters, stand together in solidarity in fighting the big business corporations should they infringe into our rights.

"Consumers should not be afraid of business corporation. Business corporation should be afraid of the consumers."

On the 18th December 2011, I had a very bad experience at one of DiGi Telecommunications Sdn. Bhd store. Was told that only RM100 and below can be credited from a prepaid to postpaid upon switching and any balance above RM100 in the prepaid will be forfeited by digi. I cannot accept this and asked how can it be so. The staff replied that its digi "Terms & Conditions" which I promply requested to see a copy of it. The staff then said its a "VERBAL" Terms & Conditions which of course makes me mad, I have never heard of "Verbal" Terms & Conditions. And what really makes me even hotter and angrier is when they cannot provide a written copy nor answer my questions they just told you off "DON'T BUY". Walah what an arrogant and sarcastic business corporation.

There are many who love and adore Digi, consider that they are lucky not to have met the bad experience I have gone through and others as well.

I tweet about it and @DiGi_Telco promptly follow me and requested me to add in order to receive DM from them. Below are my tweet DM with @DiGi_Telco to date.

Hi, we're sry tt u had a bad experience with us ytd. Pls contact us via our helpline to lodge a report regarding to that. Thx.
19 Dec at 14:18

Just ans my tweets, I am afraid 2 talk to live digi person after the bad experience
19 Dec at 15:14

Will u b answering my tweet Questions?
19 Dec at 17:40

Hi, v'll try our best to do so. However, Twitter & FB pgs are nt d official CS channel 4 DiGi. Hope it explains why thr isnt prompt response
20 Dec at 10:11

A faithful customer of digi prepaid 4 10 yrs yet receiving arrogant service but guess 'faithful' does not exist in this corporate world now

Is it SOP of digi 2 tell customer off "don't buy" when they cannot ans your Q. This make me angry & due 2 this that started it all
20 Dec at 15:33

Is there such a thing as "verbal" Terms & Conditions? Can it be enforceable without a black & white written hard/soft copy?
20 Dec at 15:34

Your staff claimed they r trained to talk the way they did & I feel they r wrongly trained, guess yr helpline is trained that way as well
20 Dec at 15:34

Is digi prepaid & post paid not belonging to the same company?
20 Dec at 15:34

Y only RM100 & below from prepaid can b credited 2 post paid acct when switch, any bal will b forfeited
20 Dec at 15:34

Hi, sry for the late. This is the criteria for credit conversion from prepaid to postpaid - Max credit balance of RM100.

If u'd like to find out more, pls call us at 0162211800.
28 Dec at 11:30

Is the criteria make known to consumers in black & white? What happen to the balance, digi just take it away, like that?
28 Dec at 14:23

Sorry, no talk to live person, your personal r trained to be arrogant & sarcastic, experience that in your store.
28 Dec at 14:24

I was told to call their HelpLine which I deem unnecessary. Both the staffs at the store and their helpline are trained by Digi and they will answer you which are not exactly the answers you wanted, more likely you may received more arrogant and sarcastic rebuttal couple with the phone being slammed.

I have already made preparation to launch these issues on twitter and Facebook on the 4th January 2012 unless @DiGi_Telco can provide satisfactory answers to my questions.

If you are on twitter, do follow me and RT please. I am also on FaceBook and bloggers, please feel free to reproduce this article. Readers, please share your experiences in the comment box, not only on Digi but any other business corporations as well.

We need to bring awareness among us, the consumers, that we do not take lightly to business corporations infringement of our rights and any other things detrimental to consumers at their whims and fancies.

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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Malay Rights v Special Position

By Stanley Koh | FMT

EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was posted on Jan 9, 2011, reminding the nation’s leaders the warnings that the late Ghazali Shafie gave 10 years ago. We think it is still worth reminding our leaders the warnings.

“There are no Malay rights since our Constitution holds dear that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law without discrimination on the basis of race and religion.”

That was what the late Ghazali Shafie said in a speech at the National Unity Convention in May 2001.

He continued: “What perhaps has come to be regarded as special rights is the special position of the Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak under Article 153 (of the Federal Constitution). The change from ‘position’ to ‘rights’ is frightening. Who did that, I wonder?

“In a plural society like ours, if the leadership was not bold and sincere enough to take corrective measures so that there would be a level playing field, then the situation would indeed be bleak and our society would be a playground for those who wish us ill.”

Born in Kuala Lipis, Ghazali was 88 at the time of his death in January 2010. He had a distinguished career in politics and government.

Many bigots, opportunists and self-serving leaders of today will probably dismiss those remarks on the New Economic Policy as just one man’s opinion. If they are ignorant of history, they may even question his authority.

If Ghazali were alive and facing these critics, he would probably reply in these words, which were part of the speech at the 2001 convention:

“It was Tun Abdul Razak who asked me to devise the NEP after being inspired by Rukunegara.

“The NEP was the fruit of consultations among the various races in the Consultative Committee and later Parliament, who agreed to the corrective measures by invoking affirmative action.”

Distortions and misinterpretations

In explaining affirmative action, he paraphrased Tun Abdul Razak, who likened it to the handicap system in golf, “so that,” he said, “everyone could play together on a level playing field.”

He added: “Almost ad nauseam, it was explained that the NEP was not to make the Malay community rich but to change vocations through affirmative action. To acquire riches is the privilege of any individual and it would be contrary to the Rukunegara if the only aim was to make the Malays rich.”

When he spoke those words, the greed for riches through the NEP had long taken root. Distortions and misinterpretations of the policy had already divided the nation, and our so-called leaders tossed around the word “unity” only when elections were near, and they still do so today.

But unity, if we take it seriously, is indeed the key to resolving the profound problems that the nation faces.

Is “1Malaysia” a call for such unity? Many Malaysians do not think so. They believe instead that it is a red herring meant to deflect attention from the continuation of discriminatory policies.

The thinking public does not buy all the hype about 1Malaysia that BN is pushing through the media organisations it controls. It remains an empty and meaningless slogan.

And, as if oblivious of what the public is saying, 1Malaysia has become a favourite catchword among BN politicians. They tag the slogan to everything, like a chef sprinkling salt in every dish. Do they really think that Malaysians are stupid enough to believe that mere rhetoric can charm them out of their dissatisfactions?

Shifting goal posts

Ghazali was right when he said that our national problem had become complicated because of the kind of education Malaysians were receiving. And nothing has changed since he made that remark 10 years ago.

“We become argumentative over some words without analysis or a look at the semantics,” he said.

And Ghazali was right too when he said: “We don’t seem to care about the fundamental right to food and clothing.”

Critics accuse the Umno-led regime of spending millions of ringgit on decorative rhetoric and ceremonial reforms without making any real effort towards substantive institutional changes that would bring about compliance with democratic principles and respect for human rights and needs.

Ghazali stressed that there could be no lasting unity unless the playing field was level.

He added: “Let us not shift the goal posts when the field is beginning to level. This exercise at maintaining peace and stability must be kept in constant repair.”

Ghazali, once an Umno supreme council member himself, probably had some faith that the party would eventually come to its senses and start to set things right again. If he were alive today, would he still have such confidence?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Numb and dumb no more

By Dean Johns | Malaysiakini

When I asked a young and beautiful pro-democracy activist at dinner in Bangsar the other night how she felt about the latest antics of Malaysia’s ruling regime, she shocked me with her initial single-word response: “Numb”.

But, as she quickly went on to explain, she is vividly aware that numb and dumb is precisely how Umno/BN want Malaysians to feel, and keep on feeling, so they’ll keep tolerating the ruling regime’s regimen of repression and robbery.

And that she knows, as I do, that her momentarily depleted emotions and energies will soon be re-charged by her passion for participating in the massive awakening and spirit of change that is sweeping Malaysia.

Unhappily, however, there are still far too many Malaysians who remain politically naive or napping, having been lulled into slumber by Umno/BN’s endless litany of lies.

And then there are the countless hardcore cases; cronies and supporters of the regime so hopelessly narcotised by regular fixes of patronage, power and loot, that they’ll do anything to help sustain the dopey status quo.

The end is finally in sight

But it seems to me that an unstoppably growing majority of Malaysian citizens is wide-awake to the fact that Umno/BN has degenerated from a formerly respectable political coalition into nothing more than a criminal conspiracy.

And they’re increasingly politicking, blogging, protesting, walking, talking, calling and above all yearning to vote for honest, transparent and truly progressive government.

And now that I’ve seen and felt some of the power of this popular movement in an up-close and personal way, everywhere from the coffee-shops to the recent Anything But Umno (ABU) rally, I’m convinced that the end of Umno/BN is finally in sight.

Especially convincing to me is the fact that the regime appears panic-stricken at its evident powerlessness to turn back the tide of revulsion and revolt that could soon make the ‘tsunami’ of 2008 look like a ripple.

In fact, every counter-move that Umno/BN makes seems to do nothing but evoke bigger and more threatening waves of derision, dissent and determination to achieve its political extermination.

The more Najib Razak and his partners in grime and crime trumpet their rallying-call of “1Malaysia. People first. Performance now”, the more nakedly it is revealed as numbingly dumb and duplicitous.

This gruesome government’s every deed clearly demonstrates that “1Malaysia” is nothing but a mask for a two-faced system in which there’s one Malaysia for the Umnoputras and another for the rest of the people.

One law for the Umnoplunderers of projects like the Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ), National Feedlot Corporation (NFC) and countless other massive, unsolved and even un-investigated scams, and another for opposition figures like the endlessly-prosecuted and persecuted prominent opposition figure, Anwar Ibrahim.

One law for the killers of Altantuya Shaariibuu and ‘suspects’ in the custody of the Umnoputras’ lapdog police and Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), and another law altogether for ‘common’ criminals.

Two or more kinds of lifestyles

One permissive attitude to protest by Umno/BN-sponsored rabbles abusing a severed cow’s head at a Hindu temple, or against false allegations of attempts by Christians to proselytise Muslims, and quite another response altogether to people rallying to call for clean and fair elections and harmlessly banner-defacing students.

One kind of lifestyle, RM15,000 Birkin handbags, RM60 million diamond rings and all, for the Umnoputras, and another for the peasants, to whom Kedai Rakyat 1Malaysia (KR1M) stores have committed the KRIME of selling not only mislabelled foodstuffs to needy families, but also peddling sub-standard milk powder to the parents of babies.

One standard for the proprietors and operators of upmarket bars-cum-brothels like the Beach Club and Thai Club off Jalan Sultan Ismail, and another for more down-market “massage parlours” and prostitutes lacking high-level protection.

One system for those who display giant posters and pictures of their political icons that arguably contravene the belief that such idolatry is haram in Islam, and another, contrary system for those legitimately displaying non-Muslim religious symbols or even publicly singing Christmas carols.

In short, it’s clear by now to every Malaysian who’s not totally numb and/or dumb that the “1Malaysia” slogan signifies at the very least two Malaysias: one for the Umnoputras and their families, cronies and supporters, and quite another for the rest.

Lording over KL‘s night sky

And as if the “1Malaysia” part of Umno/BN’s false and self-serving slogan wasn’t making the populace feeling sufficiently insulted, the “People first. Performance now” part is driving many of those I’ve spoken to into a veritable frenzy of resentment.

Perhaps, the most vivid reaction I’ve seen in this regard has been the disgust by so many people I’ve met at the arrogant, overbearing way the Umno building has been lit so as to lord it over KL’s night sky.

This domineering display of both sainted and living Umno/BN prime ministers in a celestial blue glow is a glaring symbol of the fact that Umno/BN considers itself first, and puts the people swarming below dead last.

Especially considering that these people are endlessly stuck in monster traffic jams caused by decades of ‘people-last, performance never’ Umno/BN governments that have overseen poor planning and traffic-engineering, pathetic traffic and illegal-parking policing, and toll roads cleverly designed to line the crony contractors and operators.

And those of us who choose to walk instead of drive are confronted by footpaths that, where they exist at all, are often obstacle courses if not outright death-traps cluttered with poles, broken pavement, parked vehicles, piles of rubbish or manholes with missing covers.

So much, then, for putting people first and performing now, if ever. Thus, it’s small wonder that so many Malaysians feel a tad numb in the face of the shocking contrast between the 1Malaysia portrayed by Umno/BN and its public relations flacks and media hacks, and the stark reality of 1Malaise, ya!.

But just as my young activist friend’s innate fire and life-force will soon overcome her current emotional numbness, so will more and more of her formerly numb, dumb or glum fellow Malaysians regain their true feelings and voices.

And the rakyat will finally have both the will and the numbers to say “no more” to the numb-nuts of Umno/BN.

DEAN JOHNS, after many years in Asia, currently lives with his Malaysian-born wife and daughter in Sydney, where he coaches and mentors writers and authors and practises as a writing therapist. Published books of his columns for Malaysiakini include ‘Mad about Malaysia’, ‘Even Madder about Malaysia’, ‘Missing Malaysia’ and ‘1Malaysia.con’.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

So, this is Malay leadership

By Farah Fahmy | TMI

If our politicians are to be believed, the Malays are under threat these days. Our religion, culture and power are steadily under attack from all and sundry. Everyone has it in for us, from Christians to the Chinese. We are even warned about a so-called “Malaysian Spring” being orchestrated by “anasir-anasir Barat” (and quite possibly, the Jews, who of course, have always had it in for us).

“We won’t surrender an inch,” said the Melayu champion-in-chief (who also finds the time to be our prime minister) during a speech to Pekida recently. Malays, we were told, will never be oppressed in our own land so long as Umno is in power.

Well, glory be. I’m sure there are many others who can sleep more soundly at night knowing that there are so many out there making sure we Malays are not stripped of our position and power in our land.

But … hang on a minute.

The last time I checked we Malays, along with the other Bumiputeras, make up about 60-odd per cent of our country’s population. Islam is not just our country’s official religion, it is also the religion professed by about 60 per cent of our people. Not only are we and our religion in the majority, but let’s see, we Malays also make up most of, oh, the civil service, police, army, ruling class and politicians.

Of course, you can say that there are plenty of Malays who still need help. This, I don’t dispute. I’ve seen rural poverty in our country, where people still live without basic amenities like constant water supply and proper toilets. I’ve also seen urban poverty, with families living in small, low-cost flats in the outskirts of KL making do with the little that they earn.

Yet poor Malays aren’t the only ones who need help. There are also plenty of poor people, non-Malays, who deserve help. My brother was once approached by a young Indian man late one evening. He had just arrived from Kulai and asked my brother for help; my brother pointed him in the direction of the nearest kedai mamak.

I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: not all Malays deserve to get the help that the NEP brings. I would hazard a guess that most Malays who live in exclusive neighbourhoods in KL do not need the Bumiputera housing discount, or government scholarships for their offspring.

Are we really throwing away our “power” and “position” if we amended the NEP so that it excluded rich Malays and was open to all of our country’s poor, regardless of their race? Yes, Datuk Najib, we’ve “willingly shared power with the non-Malays” since Merdeka, but why keep harping on the past? Why not share with us your vision for the future?

I should have expected it, but I’m disappointed all the same. Is this what Malay leadership is about? Is there such a dearth of good Malay leaders in Umno that only scare tactics will do? Where is the vision about what the Malays can achieve? Why is no one inspiring us to be better? Why, in fact, is there no Malay leader out there who has the guts to say enough is enough, we Malays will never reach our full potential if we keep harping on about the help that we need? Why is no one honest enough to say that not all Malays are equal, and the haves should no longer receive a handout?

Instead of leaders who inspire us and show us how it is possible for all of us — Malay or otherwise — to have a stake in this country, we have leaders like Datuk Shahrizat Jalil. The pity of it all is that I felt that Shahrizat had not done a bad job as the minister for Women, Family and Community Development. Yet the NFC controversy has made her position untenable and shown the ugly face of Umno and our government.

Why are our ministers allowed to run family businesses that are subsidised by the government? Even if ministers are not actively involved in running such businesses, how is it that businesses run by members of a minister’s family can qualify for government assistance? Why are the people who govern our country in our name not required to declare their interests in such companies, and the assets they hold?

There is also a failure of leadership over the whole NFC debacle. Najib should have taken decisive action when it first erupted, and demanded Shahrizat’s resignation. Not doing so would mean that he condoned what she did, no?

This was our PM’s chance to show that he meant business; that even the slightest whiff of misconduct would not be tolerated, be it at ministerial level or otherwise. Well, he’s flunked the test. What this shows us is that our PM and Umno as a whole are prepared to turn a blind eye to such things. Why? I don’t know. Is it because she’s “one of us”? Or perhaps because she’s a Malay?

Is this what Najib means when he tells us to choose wisely in the next general election? Is this what Umno means when it claims to be the only political party that can safeguard Malay interests? For shame, Umno. Out of all its members, only two leaders have called on Shahrizat to do the right thing, and recognised the damage the whole affair is doing to the party.

Let me remind you what Najib said at Pekida: Umno would not allow the Malays to be oppressed in their own land. Well, the vast amounts of money that have been reportedly spent buying expensive properties and cars could have been spent improving the lives of poorer Malays, so who’s oppressing who now?

Farah Fahmy is based in London, and has written for the media. She is intrigued by trans- and international relations between Malaysia (ns) and the Rest of the World.

Feeding on people’s fear

By Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz | FMT

The recent Umno general assembly proved one fact, which is that the party survives ‘by fabricating lies and manufacturing stories'.

Let me ask you this question. How does Umno sustain itself? You get the answer if you analyzed what just went on in the recent Umno general assembly.

Umno gets on by making Malays believe that they are being besieged, attacked, assaulted and victimized. That’s how Umno can survive. How does it do that?

By fabricating lies and manufacturing stories. The Chinese are going to eat you up. The Chinese are going to Christianize you. They are going to wipe out the sultans, ban use of Bahasa Malaysia, and abolish Jawi and so forth.

You feed on people’s irrational fear. You want to maintain stupid and mute people.

Can you sustain whole people like that – turning people into xenophobes? I say this is a recipe for destroying Malays, not cultivating them to become self-confident people.

What kind of political party and government by extension, that keeps its people on a leash and drumming into them a debilitating dependent mindset?

I say this is a party not interested in cultivating people. Let me ask you why the real big issues were not and never discussed?

That’s because Umno fears for its future.

As far as the Malay agenda is concerned, the 62nd Umno meeting was a non-event.

It was not about Malay agenda. It wasn’t a congregation of minds meeting to discuss how the real Malay agenda of uplifting them, their economics, and their future.

It was a congregation fearful of Umno’s future. It was speaking about the Umno agenda.

For those reasons alone we must deny these so called Malay leaders a chance to concentrate power.

If given such power, they shall apply it to the misfortune of the majority of Malays and to the misfortune of this country.

Give us power bellowed, (Umno president) Najib Tun Razak. Why? Because we want to continue with the agenda?

Why wasn’t the agenda, whatever it is, debated in that assembly?

‘Love fest and blood fest’

Give us power, intoned KJ (Khairy Jamaluddin), so that the ‘nikmat’ or tidings we enjoy with having power is kept.

But ‘nikmat’ to do what? To pillage and plunder?

The Umno GA 2011 was an ‘love fest and blood fest’.

This delegate loves Najib. That delegate said more about how Najib is the savior and all that.

The agenda of the meeting was actually to whip delegates into frenzy about how to defend Umno and defend the life as the leaders and Umno warlords have always known.

It’s the life of the leeching aristocrats feeding off the fears and hopes of the silent Malay majority.

It’s a life of living a lie pretending to fight for the interests of the majority and the interests of the nation.

The writer is a former Umno state assemblyman and a FMT columnist

Umno’s missed opportunity

By Awang Abdillah | FMT

Issues of national concern were not discussed at the recent Umno general assembly. Delegates also failed to call on Najib to step down for Umno to rise again.

Frankly, the recent Umno general assembly was the best venue and probably the last chance for Umno leaders to show their sincerity in addressing party and national concerns.

Instead of adopting the Mahathir doctrine or rather its despotic policy, Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should have discussed with the party leaders on how best to tackle the party and national problems.

Disgruntled members should have urged Najib to step down as one of the solutions for Umno to rise again. Personal leadership, party strength and national issues and problems are all inter-related.

Glaringly missing at the Umno general assembly were discussions on issues of national concerns.

Allow me to list it all out here.

(1) The national debt

The most prominent of the major national issues is the growing national debt which now stands at RM437 billion, dwarfing the expected revenue of RM186.9 billion for 2012.

A massive national debt is one of the main factors that can destabilise the economy of the country.

Such a gigantic problem can be seen from afar by financial institutions and fund managers, the Employees Provident Fund board, foreign investors, dealers and speculators in the Malaysian foreign exchange market, investors in Bursa Malaysia, trading partners and our neighbouring countries.

If this problem remains unsolved, a number of fallouts are expected: banks will hold on to credit outflow leading to higher lending rates; flight of capital out of Malaysia; panic selling of the ringgit leading to a free-fall of the currency; panic selling of stocks in Bursa Malaysia; foreign direct investment will be neglible; unemployment will rise; delays in public funding of development projects, and so on.

There is no reason for a country like Malaysia – blessed with natural resources, high exports of primary commodities and other goods valued at RM639.4 billion for 2010 – to become a net borrower for development funds.

We believe as much as 30 to 40 percent of the development allocations in the yearly national budget goes indirectly to Umno politicians and Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu (PBB), too, and its companies.

For 2012 , a sum of RM51.2 billion is allocated for development. As much as 30 to 40 percent of the amount may be siphoned away through marked-up prices of government contracts, maintenance of public projects and supplies to government ministries, departments and agencies.

Some of such practices are partly revealed by the Auditor-General Report 2010. Unfortunately, the Auditor-General made false reports on the Sarawak government’s public accounts for the last nine years, for reasons best known to him.

If Umno cares about the welfare of the rakyat, then Najib and his top party leaders should discuss ways during the party general assembly to reduce this serious national problem instead of pushing it aside.

For any country, if its national debt keeps on growing, it would mean that government development funds in the past years have not been properly utilised for productive economic projects, which can give good returns to the government. Instead, a big portion of it goes to the personal accounts of Umno politicians.

(2) Weed out corruption among the Umno and BN leaders

Under an undemocratic-despotic government where gross abuse of power is the hallmark of the regime, it is of no surprise then that no concerted efforts have been made by the government to tackle such malpractices let alone remove corrupt federal ministers, chief ministers and menteris besar.

Thus, we see these ministers and heads of state governments plundering and looting the wealth of their respective ministries and states without fear of being caught.

After all, they share the loot together. Our stepbrother, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), has been trained to be obedient to his master but ready to pounce on and attack those who are perceived to be his master’s “attackers”.

(3) Umno should rebuild good qualities of leadership

Right now, the leaders and delegates are shifting blame on the opposition, especially PKR and DAP, for Umno’s ill-fortune and the state of affairs of the country.

In fact, the Umno and national problems are the work of the Mahathir undemocratic-dictatorial government and the Najib undemocratic-despotic rule. Since 1981, Umno has wielded so much political power that it has become the de facto federal government.

In such circumstances, how can the opposition be the root cause of Umno’s woes? Umno leaders should instead rebuild the party through the good value system and abandon the Mahathir or Najib political doctrine. Umno is a failed party that cannot anymore protect the Malay interests, let alone the national interests.

The party should be rejected outright and the rakyat should look to Pakatan Rakyat, with other minority parties from the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the opposition, as the future federal government.

Awang Abdillah is a political analyst, writer and FMT columnist.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Najib’s split personality

By Mariam Mokhtar | FMT

Najib plays different tunes for political purposes but in the process, it is causing a rift in Umno.

At the Selangor Taoist solidarity dinner on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak recalled Tunku Abdul Rahman’s long-term vision and praised him for being “far-sighted in administering a complex nation such as Malaysia”. His remarks were at odds with the opening speech at the 62nd Umno general assembly, a fortnight ago.

The solidarity dinner saw Najib urging Malaysians to emphasise the similarities in their respective religions, for a stronger and more united Malaysia. He espoused universal qualities like courtesy, filial piety, trustworthiness and diligence as shared values.

“If we can emphasise on the common values, then we will have similarities between us. We can develop good citizens regardless whether they are Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Christians, Taoists… what is important is being good citizens who love the nation, are loyal to the country, respect the law and other religions.”

At the Umno party conference, Najib was playing a different tune. He told delegates that if Umno were to lose power, the Malays and their religion would be threatened.

Using the favoured “3R” strategy of race, religion and royalty to win over the dwindling Malay support, he warned: “Who will preserve the sanctity of Islam? Who will protect the Malays and its agenda and who will protect the rulers?”

Najib may have adopted a nationalist leaning at the Umno conference, but he played to the crowd at the Taoist solidarity dinner and related his version of events which prompted the downfall of the Malacca empire 500 years ago.

“It fell not because Malacca lacked warriors or due to poverty, it was overthrown because there was no unity and there were traitors.”

He praised his “1Malaysia” concept of inclusive policies which sought to eradicate poverty regardless of race.

“When the government extended the RM100 (school assistance), every student irrespective of whether he or she is from sekolah kebangsaan, or Chinese, Tamil or religious schools got it, and soon we will give the RM500 assistance to households earning below RM3,000 (per month)”.


Political observers slammed him and said that Najib’s administration was politicising government aid. In mid-November, PKR Ampang MP Zuraida Kamaruddin claimed that students from a primary school in Ampang had to collect their RM100 aid from the Umno division head, at the Umno building.

Investigations by an online newspaper revealed that a directive had been issued by the secretary- general of the Education Ministry Rosli Mohamed, dated Nov 11, which stated that “elected representatives, including members of parliaments, state assemblypersons or leaders from the federal government” were to be present during the disbursement of the aid. Rosli claimed that the decision had come from a Cabinet meeting on Oct 28.

Pressure has been exerted on Najib to recapture the Malay vote for Umno in the 13th general election (13th GE). Last week, in Shah Alam, Najib openly endorsed the Malaysian Missionary and Welfare Association (Pekida) in exchange for their votes, in scenes reminiscent of his infamous “You help me, I help you” plea in the Sibu by-election.

Around 12,000 Pekida members gave Najib their pledge of allegiance after he had promised to help them build a college in Malacca. Earlier, Pekida’s deputy president had openly solicited for funds, to help alleviate its burden and to assist its ayahandas (godfathers) and adik-beradik (lieutenants).

Najib said he was touched by their gesture and urged Pekida’s members to help him secure victory in the 13th GE by warning them of what lay in store, if Umno were to lose.

“Pekida must be ready to defend our administration. We cannot allow the Malays diinjak-injakkan (to be stepped upon) on our own land.” He might have added, “By anyone but Umno.”

Selangor PAS condemned Najib for his ultra-Malay stance and said that he had “forsaken his own wasathiyah (principle of moderation) and “1Malaysia” rhetoric. Selangor PAS deputy commissioner Khalid Samad described Pekida as a “dodgy” organisation which Umno once avoided having official links with.

Khalid said, “His (Najib’s) presence at a Pekida function has shown his ‘hardline’ side, akin to an ‘ultra-Malay’. It is a departure from the wasathiyah or moderation that he once espoused.”

Extremist rhetoric

Najib is not averse to extremist rhetoric to stoke nationalist feelings, when he deems it politically expedient.

Besides the pressure from Umno infighting, Najib is trying to curry favour with Umno chief supremo, whom younger Umno delegates affectionately term “the don” – Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib seems oblivious that Umno has ceased to be a party which fights for Malay issues. Both Najib and Umno refused to acknowledge that the younger generation and changing times, mean that Malays have begun to embrace the 21st century.

Nowadays, Umno is characterised by a party with several factions, all vying for power and glory – Najib’s lot, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s bully boys or the militias who still swear allegiance to Mahathir.

They wish to carve up the billions of ringgits in contracts, land grabs and monies siphoned from public institutions, for themselves. They are not concerned about the well-being of the rakyat, nor the interests of the Malays. The party is supposed to uphold the interests of the Malays.

The Malays are only mentioned in passing and come in useful when the leaders need to further their needs. The non-Malays make useful scapegoats to rouse sentiment in the Malays.

Najib’s inability to deal with his split personality may well hasten the split in Umno, and lead to its demise.

Mariam Mokhtar is a FMT columnist.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

ABU and I can't vote PR!

ABU - "Anything but Umno/BN" PR - "Pakatan Rakyat"

We can see many simpletons in the form of cybertroopers on twitter showing their stupidity and wonder why they are paid to act stupid.

My earlier posting Why ABU was in response to some people asking me in twitter. When I replied back in twitter to their question in the form of blog posting, all they can say is 'others are worst'. I tweet back asking them to provide issues like I did on ABU, none can and five unfollowed me and ran.

I have given 5 issues as defence for my supporting ABU and you can read them here.

Many would asked this silly question, 'if you don't like Umno why you reject BN'

BN is supposed to be a coalition of 14 different parties that run this country but its a known fact that Umno, one of the coalition party, is the only party that controlled and managed the overall governing system. Thus, no matter how you wanted to defend BN, BN is Umno and Umno is BN.

Do you see any Umno logo on the ballot paper, no, only BN, hence to get rid of Umno you have to get rid of BN. There may be some good souls in the other component parties but sorry, to use Dr. Mahathir's word, "collateral damage."

ROS, under the watchful eyes of Umno, is holding back the application of PR, a coalition of DAP, PAS and PKR with no valid reason. Umno knows that the people are seeking a two party system and should PR be registered, Umno will be defeated even faster.

This coming GE 13 we will not be able to see PR logo on the ballot papers, so that is why I can't vote PR. Until DAP, PAS and PKR formed the next government, PR will not exist officially but an active working coalition from the sideline.

In order to get a new government, voters have to vote "anything but Umno/BN", a coalition just in name but under Umno's control, that failed to bring unity, equality, corruption free, religious freedom to the rakyat. Umno/BN does not only failed the rakyat and nation but will be enforcing more new draconian laws and policies to stifle the people's democratic freedom, rights and progress.

On polling day, at all constituencies you will surely see the BN logo on the ballot papers, just ignore it. Put the cross over PAS, DAP or PKR logos depending on which constituency they are standing. You may also see independent logos but there won't be many. The decision is yours to make should you encounter any independent as long as you do not cross the BN logo.

And lastly, the simpletons will still claim that a new government could be worst. Nobody can know what will happen tomorrow and I agree that we will not know how the new government will perform unless we give them a chance to do so.

You are the boss of a big corporation and you found that your GM is so corrupted, making huge loses for the company, you have no choice but to fire him. You have to employ a new GM but are you going to hesitate just because you fear that the new GM could be worst? You can vet through the application resumes, interview and talk to them and then decides which candidate you are comfortable with.

Likewise, PAS, PKR and DAP have submitted their resumes in the form of their governing the 4 states under their rule. Yes, the good resumes may only be at state level and that is the more reason that we should give them a chance to show that they can continue their good performances at Federal level. That is a risk that we have to take and if the simpletons do not know, PM Najib has personally call upon the rakyat "don't be afraid to take risks".

Once again, the call is "anything but Umno/BN' for the 13 GE. Take the risk, you have nothing to lose but an opportunity to see better governance from a newly elected Federal government.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Why 'Anything But Umno/BN' (ABU) - My view

Twitter is a platform open to anything and everything (for now). You can be funny, angry, hates, loves, polite, vicious, evil intention, preaching, prolific own business, spread lies, personal thoughts, political sparring, disruption from cybertroopers and that summarised it all as the good, the bad and the ugly of twitting.

The 140 characters limit has caused many tweets to be misconstrued and misinterpreted as many were trying to argue their points within the limit. This happened to people like me with poor English and not being able to make short sentences easily understandable.

There was this question posed to me on twitter why "Anything But Umno/BN" (ABU) most likely from a MCA supporter. I can't answer this question in 140 characters for sure and I promised him that I will blog the answer for him.

We cannot blame the young generation or first time voters for not understanding ABU. They have yet to experience the systematic erosion of almost everything under the rule of Umno/BN for over 50 years.

I will provide 5 issues why 'Anything but Umno/BN" Its not political but facts that Umno/BN have failed the rakyat and nation after having ruled for over 50 years.

1) Umno is BN, BN is Umno
Anything Umno supreme council agrees upon has to be accepted by all. Even though BN comprises a coalition of 14 political parties, non has the power to speak out against or to disagree and even if any dares, they will retract after a fierce look from Umno. Umno is now running the country not BN

2) Education
For any government, education should be placed as top priority and not a single Malaysian child be neglected or deprived of. Education is the live blood to an energetic, progressive and matured nation.

To put it bluntly, our education system is in a total mess. I can vouch that our education in the 60's was among the best in Asia (I was educated in the 60's) and where are we now?

Our education is in a mess mainly due to political interference, restrictive and control of syllabus that will only allow students to learn not more than they should have.

Our Education Minister is appointed not on whether he knows anything about running the education system but a stage for him to climb to the next level.

Umno led government is using education as a tool to control the mind of students that can see only the mirage good of the government and not the bad things they are doing behind closed doors.

Don't you think that its time to replace the education minister post with Educators from a pool of professional educationists to chart out a coherence education system. BM will remain a prerequisite pass for all examinations while the Educators will work out the other subjects syllabus and what language to be taught, reminding themselves that we are not challenging our own selves but the world.

3) Corruptions
I really do not know how to write about this point. There are many blinded by their support of Umno/BN that they felt corruptions are a non issue, won't hurt the nation or its minimal, happening only at the lowest level between commoners and civil servants.

There are calls to stop giving or stop taking and wahla, corruptions will be eradicated. A PM can give and ask rakyat to take "You help me, I help you" during election is acceptable, that is not bribery. And now they wanted to introduce taking integrity pledges and hope that corruptions can be wiped out. All are just sugar coating.

To those who are entrusted to fight corruptions, MACC & Pemandu, must first realised that corruptions are so entrenched into the governing system that sugar coating or simple panadol is not going to cure this sickness.

It becomes worst when blind supporters of Umno/BN voicing out their call to fight corruptions but silence or defending that their leaders are clean when the rakyat can see that their whole bodies are covered with dirt.

MACC fairs no better, not being able to perform their duty "without fear or favor", chasing after ikan billies especially from the opposition, vigorous interrogation till death on RM2.5K but inaction or slow motion when big sharks are swimming happily.

Billions upon billions of ringgit that belongs to the rakyat are lost through corruptions and leakages from the top level and those experts in fighting corruptions are happy with their performances of catching and solving hundreds of mini corruption cases.

4) Government Institutions
Almost all the institutions one way or another are leaning on the side of Umno controlled government. They can scream and shout that they are not but the rakyat can see it all.

MACC is so unresolved towards the big sharks and only able to go after the ikan billies and the opposition. How many cases have they solved with the AG reports coming out year after year. Should we claimed that there are major corruptions at the top level, of course we can't, they would want proofs but yet they cannot explain where our billions lost have gone to.

PDRM is to serve and protect the rakyat but are we seeing that. They are protecting Umno more then it should have. They will act and follow the rules when you protest against the Umno led government or having candle light vigils but the law seems to be no where when the cow head protest can proceed and even the home minister welcome the protesters into his office. PDRM and the SB are wasting a lot of resources and energy just to ensure any public dissent against Umno government are thwarted and will never happen again, hence you got the Public Assembly Bill (PAB2011)

c) Judiciary
Just one question and you can judge yourself how our judiciary perform or are they protecting anyone. Why the court did not ask PDRM to pursue the motive and who order the killing of Altantuya?

5) Governing
Can a nation survive on political governing? From the above 4 issues we are seeing a government that is more concerned with its party survival than working towards a better nation and serving all Malaysians. Well I can imagine readers now shooting at me, our great PM has started his 1Malaysia, People First Performance Now, transformation plans, GTP, ETP, NKEA, NKRA, EPP bla bla bla

At such a short time the PM thought that he can do magic with it all without really looking to resolve or remove the cancer stricken system in the government.

It really surprised the whole nation when Najib as PM will talk about his 1Malaysia, GTP, ETP etc but turn racist when facing the Malay community during the Umno assembly and talking to Pekida. The most dangerous game they are playing with, Religion, is outsourced to Perkasa, Utusan and BN component parties. Very shocking indeed. How not to debunk PM Najib's 1Malaysia.

I do not have to stress further on the goodies being given to the rakyat, you all should know the reason why only now. Take a look at the BR1M RM500. When the nation was still rich, I did not receive a single cent, no money for scholarships or built more schools or fighting poverty but how come when we are almost at the brink of bankruptcy, the umno government can cough out all these cash payment? Should we appreciate and thanks the racist Umno president for the RM500 when its not from Umno's coffer but money they taxed from the rakyat?

The umno leaders failed when they are only striving to be the best among the worst. Why can't we strive to be the best among the best.

With the above non performances of these standard requirements of any government, do you think that we should continue to allow Umno ruin run this nation?

So, the call now is very loud and clear "Anything but Umno/BN" (ABU) for the coming 13 GE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Malaysia's 6 prime ministers: When did the corruption and racism start?

Written by Nawawi Mohamad | Malaysia Chronicle

Many of us may have asked; when and why did the racial divisions in Malaysia start and who is to blame? Obviously, the racial divide did not exist in old Malaya, where the different races could live together in harmony in the kampongs (villages) and small towns. Now, it seems that we are forever at the brink of racial tension or even racial war. In fact, jihad (holy war) has been declared several times by the Umno-linked Perkasa against the Christians as well as the Chinese.

We should also ask why a-still-young-nation with all the potential to be prosperous could so quickly face impending bankruptcy. Also, what has happened to patriotism; did it burn out or was it never really instilled into our hearts? To find out, we have to go back in history.

The starting point

When UMNO was formed, the late Onn Jaafar who was one of the main founders and who was the then president, had to leave the party because a group of new faces disagreed and fought with him over the political direction to be taken. They insisted their ideas were better than his and this inevitably led to the changes in policies, rules and objectives.

Whereas Onn was more for uniting the Malays from all walks of life, with the Chinese, Indians and other migrants under one organsation, and then jointly struggle for independence, the group of UMNO leaders led by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman was more interested in meeting the qualifying terms set by the British for achieving independence - no matter how onerous.

The idea of a non-communal political party

Onn Jaafar - the grandfather of current Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein - had indeed been farsighted and visionary; he felt the need for racial harmony and a non-communal political party was the best way to secure a prosperous future for Malaya. No doubt the British did create the Malayan Union comprising all races with equal rights, and even diluted the powers of the Malay rulers, but the British were not really sincere at all.

The British did not really want Malayans to be united as one, like in Onn's vision. Neither did the British really want the Malayan Union to succeed. So the Malays were led into rejecting the Malayan Union, paving the way for its dissolution.

Had the British been sincere, they would have backed Onn’s idea. Instead the British supported Tunku when he was elected the new UMNO president after Onn resigned. Onn had to quit after failing to garner the majority support from the delegates on his multiracial vision after his speech in the UMNO General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur in August 1951 backfired. The Malays have never been united since then.

The idea of non-communal political party still lives on

But did Onn Jaafar really have so little support? The answer is no, he had the support of the Malays all over the country and at the grass root level. In fact when Tunku tried to manage UMNO, he found out that most of the people were not aware that Onn had left the party. The staff manning the UMNO offices were also reluctant to work with Tunku as they still supported Onn. In the end, Tunku had to abandon the old UMNO office bearers and create a new set-up, appointing his own people to manage the party and its activities.

Further proof of the British ill-intent was when they told the Malayan entourage negotiating for independence consisting of UMNO, MCA and MIC that Malaya could not be given independence since the three major races were not united! Onn's multiracial proposal was the best and it still is and the British also knew that. Yet, they managed to convince the Malayan delegates to agree on an Alliance with UMNO, MCA and MIC the pioneer members.

To their discredit, all three of them fell for it. Presumably this had been outlined by the British for Tunku to implement.

UMNO failed us from the start

Here UMNO has thus failed twice; Firstly, to unite the Malays and consolidate their political power and losing the opportunity to unite the various races under one non-communal party. Secondly to really lead a more meaningful struggle. Unlike the other true independent struggles seen all over the world, Umno just “negotiated” for a 'walkover' from the British.

UMNO may argue that it was the ingenuity of their leaders that helped Malayans gain independence without bloodshed. This is not true! There was indeed a lot of bloodshed but not amongst the UMNO people. What about the struggle led by other groups and individuals? Let us also not forget that during this period there were many other groups and individuals struggling and fighting for independence and with the inevitable bloodshed. We were not informed about their struggle as if the Alliance was the only one who struggled. PAS deputy president Mat Sabu had exposed this one-sided history for us. Besides the Communists, there were many others from all the races.

Nations that experienced, endured and managed to overcome all obstacles leading to the true sense of independence are usually of a different breed. The struggle instills real patriotism and their citizens really value what they have achieved unlike Malaysians too, who need to be lured to fly the Jalur Gemilang almost every time we try to celebrate the National Day.

In the end, the UMNO-BN celebration of the 31st August National Day has become something of a mediocre, wasteful, and meaningless effort, without zeal and substance, without the real feeling of patriotism at all. The annual procession is just for show as the number of people flying the Jalur Gemilang keeps dwindling year after year till the number of road vehicles flying the national flag can even be counted on our fingers. The national day celebrations are only being looked forward to by the Mat Rempits and the like, including their bohsias.

UMNO and Malaysia under Tunku Abdul Rahman: Going Nowhere

Malaysia under Tunku was not really independent, it had to depend on the British and they were more than willing to maintain their support, mainly due to economic reasons. The British had invested so much in Malaya in plantation, mining, banking, media and education. Furthermore, Malaya was one of the growing markets for everything English.

After gaining independence, the Tunku was not able to really achieve anything more substantial. He was not even able to defeat the ragtag Communists, and Malaysia was still backward in every sense of the word. The young democracy and new nation was just at its infancy and without any coherent policy, objectives, vision and actions although there were some sort of localized economic activities in the towns, and racial harmony in the kampongs.

With the Communists still active not only in the jungles but also in the urban areas and their ideology spreading in the University of Malaya, real peace and unity as a nation were not attained during his reign. Even Singapore was separated from Malaysia. The economy was not doing well since Malaysia was more on a commodity-based economy, and at the mercy of the British who controlled prices and the trade itself.

At this stage of the nation building, Malaysians had nothing to celebrate or cheer about. There was nothing to hold on to, nor was there a sense of belonging. Not only were the business, finance and money still under the British, the Supreme Court was also in Britain. Nothing substantial belonged to Malaysia. The Malays in particular had nothing except for the small plots of land in the kampongs and the Malay rulers to be proud of. Tunku did not have any real plans for the Malays despite UMNO being so-called the United Malays National Organization..

Racism during Tunku’s period

The Tunku fell into the trap set by the British when the racial based Alliance was formed. He had not done enough to set any solid foundation for the country and he realized too late how fragile the racial harmony was when after the 1969 general election. The Gerakan and DAP had celebrated their wins with a victory parade in KL on 12th May 1969. Then UMNO led a counter march the next day, and this is when the racial riot known as the infamous May 13 racial riots erupted. May 13 also led to Abdul Razak Hussein taking over the nation's leadership.

But was it really a racial riot? Were both the Gerakan and DAP really so insensitive to the political situation that they organized the march and failed to control their members? The Alliance managed to win 77 out of 140 seats in Parliament; UMNO still held power. Furthermore it was very interesting to note that Malay opposition parties saw a sharp increase in votes in the peninsula, rising drastically from about 15% in 1964 to 25% in 1969. UMNO did not have the full support of the Malays and apparently the Malays did not agree fully with UMNO even then!

UMNO under Razak: His inaction led to the next stage of failure

Razak, the father of current Prime Minister Najib Razak, was quite thoughtful and managed to bring about some changes. He started the process of nation building by introducing the word “pembangunan” which is development. For this, he was eventually bestowed the title of “Bapa Pembangunan”. After the infamous May 13 racial riot, he introduced the New Economic Policy (NEP) which had good and noble intentions although it was miserably abused to the core in later years.

The NEP was meant to re-engineer the wealth of the society, encompassing education, business opportunities, employment and preferences to eradicate poverty amongst the entire population and across all racial boundaries. But UMNO leaders took advantage of this policy to fatten their coffers leaving both the Malays and other poor Malaysians to continue being deprived of all that were intended for them. We can clearly see and understand the situation now.

Razak also empowered FELDA (which was formed by the British in 1956 for their own reasons) to aggressively embark on opening new land schemes and making Malays do something to upgrade and improve themselves. The FELDA story is still unfolding now.

As the Malays were earning some extra income, Tabung Haji ( the brainchild of Professor Ungku Aziz) was formed to inculcate the habit of savings for the rainy days and to help save enough money to perform the haj. Sad to say, as has been reported, Tabung Haji was not safe from the dirty hands either.

The siphoning of money that we see now, the unscrupulous civil servants and their abuse of power and unchecked corruption also started during Razak’s premiership. He was not able to closely monitor all the things that he had implemented.

One glaring example is the construction of the wooden houses for the FELDA settlers. But instead of houses, the settlers got what were basically just pieces of sawn wood nailed together with some sort of roofing to protect the inhabitants from the elements of nature. Yes, the 'house' was just a shed. These houses can still be seen in the FELDA settlements as a testimony to the plundering of the allocations by unscrupulous groups of people.

This was the beginning of the money-making schemes, and those in UMNO saw the doors opening to all the golden opportunities that had never existed for them before. The government officials too found the opportunity and took what they could and as much as they could.

When RISDA was formed to help the rubber small holders, they were provided with free fertilizers, weed poison and other incentives like the money to keep the rubber plantation clear of all other plants, shrubs and small trees. This was to ensure improved rubber production, easy maintenance, safety and prevent the rubber plantation to be any form of hideouts for vermin, wild animals and the communists.

While they were supposed to be given the items free of charge, the officials still demanded money from the small holders and a substantial amount of the fertilizers and poisons went into the wrong hands and were eventually sold to the hardware shops to be re-sold to others. The money-making schemes were carried out openly to the extent the RISDA emblem on the sacks could be clearly seen. Yet, the authorities did nothing to stop the corruption.

Almost all the projects awarded to the UMNO-putras during this period was executed as Ali Baba schemes leaving the UMNOputras with just 5 percent of the profit which was too little. Since they were not real businessmen, they spent extravagantly within a few months finished all their gains. Thus more projects had to be given out to fulfill their lust. The Ali Baba business trend began here.

It was the same with other government projects and procurements. The instant noodles supplied as army ration were paid by the Ministry of Defense at RM0.65 per packet while the market price was just RM0.25 each.

The police and the army were also in a world of their own with free cigarettes, cheap alcohol, partying in their messes. They were oblivious to their surroundings. The police were so callous in their duties that the IGP was shot dead point blank by two assailants on a motorbike when his car halted at a congested road on his way to the office.

The inefficient civil servants were preoccupied with so many tasks in their offices. Hospitals and medical staff were few in numbers, and the school teachers were the most respectable group of people in society then. But unfortunately not anymore now.

The Biro Siasatan Negara (National Bureau of Investigation) was operational but they did nothing. At this stage, the UMNO government ignored all the warning signs of blatant corruption, misuse of funds and pilferage. As such, the next stage of failure was inevitable and more so under Hussein Onn, who was Razak's brother in law.

First huge scandal under Tun Hussein Onn

Hussein Onn was like Abdullah Badawi. He was not able to fit into Razak’s shoes. Hussein Onn left the country on auto-pilot. Thus, more corruption and wrongdoing spread all over the country including to Sabah and Sarawak which had huge amounts of natural resources especially timber.

Sandakan in Sabah once held the world record of the highest numbers of millionaires (from the greedy rampage and corruption of the timber industry) per square mile. Sabah is now without a virgin forest except at the national reserve. This too will not be spared for long and Sabahans still remain poor today.

The first huge scandal for UMNO which was the RM2.5 billion losses by Bank Bumiputera Malaysia Bhd, which began in 1976 with its wholly owned Bumiputera Malaysia Finance (BMF) lending money to property developer Carrian Group in Hong Kong. The mess unfolded in1983 kicked off the Umno plundering tradition on a huge scale.

You see, no one was punished for the crime. UMNO leaders condoned such debacle creating a precedent that when one is a strong UMNO man and with proper connection, one can get away scot-free. The bailout tradition too began from this point on.

Since Malaysia was on auto-pilot, the ordinary citizens had to survive on their own.

Mahathir: All forms of failure and a sad lack of vision

This was a very interesting period for UMNO. There were failures galore - all and every form of failure that could happen did happen. There was systematic failure at all levels of government to understand the magnitude of the situation, from stripping the Malay rulers of their powers, using the full force of the ISA on the opposition, breaking up UMNO, looting the nation’s funds, antagonizing the West, full-scale bailouts of cronies, destroying the integrity of the police and judiciary to being a dictator. Obviously, this resulted in resentment throughout the entire society leading to the formation of Pakatan Rakyat.

Mahathir was the one who broke the national piggy bank, blazing the trail to unmitigated government borrowings. He failed to provide enough funds for rainy days. Many of his supporters boasted that he was famous for his vision, but time has proven that Mahathir in fact lacked it. He lacked vision simply because he was not able to see beyond himself.

Mahathir failed to understand the inherent economic cycle and be prepared for eventual downturns. He knew Lee Kuan Yew had special funds to be used under the power of the President. But Mahathir siphoned out the only real funds we had in Petronas, thus even the once rich Petronas has to borrow money now.

The police under Mahathir was for most of the time working for him and not much for the rakyat. The police was used to defeat the opposition, harass individuals, put people in jail using the ISA and determining the most suitable time for a general election. Crime was high since the PDRM was preoccupied with UMNO and Mahathir. Lawyers were know to be unscrupulous but it was during his time that the judiciary system was turned into shambles and judges could be openly bought, thus ending the integrity of the entire law and order of the country.

Mahathir also failed to uphold the monarchy by stripping the Malay rulers of their powers. The Malays have lost their last bastion of pride and for the rest of the Malaysians the last bastion of justice, as can be seen in the awkward position of the Sultan of Perak being manipulated by UMNO in the Perak power grab of 2009. The Perak Sultan sanctioned UMNO's coup d'etat, while the Agong only had enough power to acknowledge BERSIH as legitimate, while the Sultan of Selangor had to play safe in the JAIS -DUMC case with UMNO breathing down his neck.

Mahathir in his endeavour to make Malaysia a developed nation by 2020, failed to safeguard the nation from being plundered by refusing to prevent and take action against corrupt people. This could be because he was himself a cohort in some, if not most of the fiascos. The Tajuddin Ramli-MAS scandal is an example and a living testimony to the failures of the Mahathir-era, while the RM12.5bil PKFZ scandal is still unfolding.

Mahathir also failed to see the inept capability of Badawi and the hopeless Najib who both have no real ability of their own. Nonetheless, one cannot turn back time or erase the systematic failures Mahathir caused. In any case, he was ready to pass the baton to Abdullah Badawi by 2003.

Badawi sleeping away

Badawi was not able to fit in the shoes of Dr. Mahathir. He tried to undo several of questionable projects started by Mahathir. But even this, he fumbled and bungled.

Badawi tried to create some economic corridors, have some fancy slogans like working together with him and Islam Hadhari, which he himself found difficult to explain. Till now, the questions ring: what are the corridors, the slogans and Islam Hadhari really all labout?

The economy became stagnant and to spur development Malaysia had to borrow more money. He was able to create some sense of economic activities but just for the elections.

Fortunately for him but unfortunately for the rakyat, he had the fourth floor goons headed by his beloved son-in-law, Khairy Jamaludin who made things worse.

Our nation was in jeopardy because it was being managed by a twenty-something de-facto prime minister. Although Khairy was an Oxford graduate, he was not savvy enough to run a country much to the disgust of Mahathir. Both the nation and UMNO are now in disarray. A classic example of a Khairy deal gone awry is the failure of the Shahrizat-linked Gemas NFC debacle.

Badawi did form the MACC but for what? They are just the same people from the Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) in different uniform.

Free for all, grab what you can now under Najib

Najib is long on ideas but short on action, thus has no results to show. Basically, this is due to his ideas being copycats of other systems, such as the Pakatan's Buku Jingga or economic blueprint.

Najib’s vanity

But first of all since he was not elected to his post and his image was tarnished by the useless and unsinkable Scorpene submarines that also led to the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaaribuu. Possibly influenced by his mischievous wife, Najib decided first and foremost to restore his image.

He engaged APCO and FBC Media for a full scale image makeover, spending at least RM55 million of tax-payers’ money for expensive propaganda to glorify himself, his government and his policies and having it screened on international channels like CNN, CNBC and BBC. This is utter stupidity of the highest level and Najib has failed miserably.

To repair the damage to his image, Najib should have rectified the mistakes and not try to whitewash them and incurring further blunders in the process. There is really no point in putting on thick make up during the day when everyone can see the thick layer of 'paint and powder'.

Transformation programs that go nowhere

Then Najib went on to try to transform several major things but he failed to see what the causes were that led to past failures. All the sounds and bombast of his Economic Transformation Program may have seem rather impressive to the layman, but what are the results so far? Unfortunately we have not been able to feel good about anything that Najib and his ETP people have announced.

His main showpieces are the six National Key Results Areas (NKRA), twelve National Key Economic Areas (NKEA) - all part of his Economic Transformation Program. On 23rd November, Bernama reported that Najib underlined six high impact programs to boost the growth of the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to 8.7 by 2020 but, what about now or next year?

The economic policies that the UMNO-BN government under Najib have been undertaken but show no improvement in the economy. Thus, until now, it has been 'nothing for nothing Najibnomics'.

As for Najib’s Political Transformation Program, it has proven to be a farce - heavy on proclamations and full of doublespeak as in the recent Peaceful Assembly Bill, which actually restricts our freedom and not grant greater democratic space as he had promised.

Old habits die hard

Even at this very critical juncture, in the last lap to the “Mother of all Elections”, UMNO still continues to award contracts without following the proper procedures. At present there are several projects under the various ministries that have been allocated to their cronies and when the time comes, by hook or by crook, these projects will come to light whether UMNO-BN wins the GE-13 or not. So too will all the money-making schemes planned with guarded secrecy, the PKFZ scandal, the Scorpene scandal and the Gemas NFC debacle.

The Najib government has also told the rakyat that it will not be involved in financing the mega-projects he has announced; they are mostly under the Private Financing Initiatives (PFI), he assures. But we were not told that the Umno cronies will have to borrow from the banks and none of the clear minded private banks would ever lend them any money.

The private banks know that these projects are just money-making schemes without any guarantee of success and will eventually need bailouts. Thus all the burden of financing has been given to Bank Pembangunan, the government bank, with money from the government. Still the money will be taken from our already depleting EPF and Tabung Haji or borrowed somewhere and bringing Malaysia closer to becoming another Greece.

Chaos at the ministries

The Ministry of Defense has set the plan moving for the purchase of new fighter planes from Russia as reported in a defense magazine but Ahmad Zahid Hamidi denied this recently. The ministry will also continue with the building of the exorbitantly expensive naval ships and boats.

The Ministry of Education has embarked on building several campuses in Perlis and Pahang and even the HUKM pediatric hospital in KL and being awarded to their cronies.

The Ministry of Transport has already approved the KVMRT project, the Integrated Transport Terminal in Subang Jaya with another going to be in Gombak and in Melaka and as we all know Malaysia Airports Holding Bhd has a free hand to impose any charges on passengers and complete the KLIA2 tour at whatever cost.

The Ministry of Agriculture will eventually bail out the failed Gemas NFC project and the wasteful rice bowl “National Rice Bowl” project in Sarawak will get more money - some to be reinvested and the rest pocketed.

The Ministry of Finance will continue paying the PKFZ thieves and continue dumping more money into MAS despite the purported win-win share swap with AirAsia as MAS has already announced RM400 in losses recently. Petronas has been set to bail out TNB by absorbing the gas cost.

The Ministry of Tourism too have their money-making schemes through various advertisement projects, while the Ministry of Information uses FINAS through the loans and grants issued for movie productions and the misuse of FINAS assets for some influential individuals.

The other ministries too have their problems and these could be revealed later.

Enough is enough

Najib has turned Malaysia backwards by not trying to reject the wrong doings of UMNO-BN. Where his father was too busy, Najib's problem may be because he has his own scandals; thus a change of government is the only true means of saving this country. The recent UMNO AGM showed the country the party's true colors; its racists/fascist bent and the fact that it had no real agenda for the country.

So after tracking through the 6 prime ministers, all of whom came from UMNO, it is clear the party is the cause, the main ingredient, the catalyst and the main element of all the failures that have befallen the nation.

We have had enough and enough is enough!

From Arab Spring to Malaysian Monsoon?

By Kim Quek

The restlessness for change triggered by the Arab Spring, and subsequently spread to Singapore and Thailand (as shown in their recent elections), has made the recently concluded Umno General Assembly a focus of much attention.

Observers were looking for clues to answer the critical question in the backdrop of imminent election: Will Umno – one of the world’s longest reigning political parties – also fall in the current wave of rising popular dissent?

The clues are aplenty.

As someone who has watched the live telecast of the opening session of the assembly, my first impression of the top hierarchy on stage is that they looked worried and disconcerted. This feeling of diffidence was not dispelled by the President’s opening speech, which lacked the kind of substance that reassures that all is well and the party has the wherewithal to move the country forward for the next five years.

The next few days saw leaders engaged in the usual racial exhortations and opposition-bashing, and requests for more government patronage. Rather unique to this assembly, leader after after leader pleaded for refrain from backstabbing and sabotage from within, for which the entire assembly took a collective oath to pledge their loyalty to party and party president.

In the concluding speech, Party President Najib Razak warned the delegates point-blank that if Umno is defeated, it will be doomsday for the Malay race, the Islam religion and the Malay Royalties. Turning to the “28 million Malaysians out there”, he said bluntly that either they elect the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) for a brighter future or face destruction under the opposition.

Assembly is only warmongering

Reviewing the entire episode, my conclusion is that this Umno assembly is only an exercise of beating the war drums and calling members to battle. There were no deliberations over the unprecedented challenges we face, and how BN will take the nation out of the current quagmire. Najib’s only reference to these issues is his oft-repeated recitation of his various “transformations”, without coming up with convincing substance that these are anything but slogans.

The only credentials he attempted to present is Umno’s supposed “glorious” records of past achievements, which are highly questionable, as this claim is debunked by the fact that Malaysia has slipped badly in every field against its former peers or inferiors like Singapore, Korea and Taiwan. In fact, Malaysia is now struggling to keep pace with former laggards like Indonesia and Thailand.

The inescapable impression that one gets from the proceedings of this assembly is that Umno is fighting for its own survival and nobody else – certainly not for the country, nor for the Malays for that matter.

If everything is fine as claimed, then why is the Malaysian government plunging more steeply than ever into record level of debt in recent years in an unbroken spell of 15 years of hefty budget deficits, despite enjoying unprecedented boom in petroleum prices? Why has the private investment to GDP ratio stuck stubbornly at the doldrums of 10% (among the lowest in the region) since the nineties when it peaked at 37%? Why are the people crying out in pain over ever escalating costs against stagnant income?

Transformation an illusion

If Najib’s “transformations” have worked, then why has corruption worsened as reflected in the unprecedented plunge in Corruption Perception Index monitored by the prestigious Transparency International, and the continuing massive leakages in the BN administration as recorded in the latest Auditor General’s report?

If BN has looked after all the races and communities well as claimed, why has the temperature of racial and religious tension risen sharply in recent years?

Umno in this assembly adopted the strategy of demonizing the opposition and frightening the Malays with catastrophe to their race, and the country at large, with unspeakable disaster to the nation, if Umno is not re-elected to power.

Umno claims that if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, Chinese will rule the country through DAP, and Malays will be reduced to beggars, Islam substituted by Christianity, and the Malay Sultans’ fate in peril. But this nightmare scenario is easily lampooned when DAP points out that in the 2008 election, DAP only fielded 47 candidates, against 97 by PKR, and 66 by PAS for the contest to fill the 222-seat parliament. Besides, PAS is completely Malay and PKR is dominated by Malays. So how can DAP overpower PKR and PAS – as well Umno for that matter – to become the super power in Malaysian politics?

The fact that Umno has to resort to construct such a ridiculous bogeyman to achieve its political object is manifest of its utter desperation and panic.

Pakatan shines through

Najib in his concluding speech said that Pakatan Rakyat, if elected, will destroy the country.

But how can that be when the Pakatan-controlled state governments have been consistently commended by the Auditor General for their prudent financial management, and distinguishing themselves for keeping corruption at bay and introducing transparency and accountability to their respective administrations?

Isn’t it a fact that their good governance has been recognized and confirmed through the robust influx of private investments, in spite of having suffered under ill treatment by the BN federal government?

Isn’t it a fact that the Pakatan state governments have treated all the races with fairness and justice?

If the Pakatan political leadership has proven to be incorruptible and competent and just in their management of resources and treatment of the people, then isn’t it logical to conclude that such a political leadership is exactly what Malaysia needs to check the current slide and restore confidence and good governance to move the country forward?

I am quite sure that the people have the good sense to make the right choice, if informed of the true facts.

So the electoral battle ahead is a battle of information dissemination.

If Pakatan Rakyat succeeds in conveying the true picture to the majority of the people despite BN’s stranglehold on the mass media, in time for the next poll, then the current Umno assembly may prove to be a watershed event. It may go down in history as the advent that triggered the enlightenment of the people to the folly of clinging to a defunct feudal political system.

Such enlightenment will cause a decisive break from the past – the replacement of race-centric politics by governance-centric politics – and sweep Pakatan to power to usher in a new era for the nation.

UMNO General Assembly: Beating the drums for another May 13

Written by Dr Lim Teck Ghee

The UMNO General Assembly has come and gone. Most political observers had expected it to be the usual rah-rah event aimed at rallying UMNO members ahead of the coming elections and in support of the leadership of Najib Razak, the party president. They were right. The public were subject to yet another spectacle of sound and fury on how important the party is to the future of Malays, albeit with the occasional reminder of how indispensable the party is to the well being of all the citizens of the country.

Optimistic observers who had hoped that the party would live up to its rhetoric of being a mature and transformed party of moderation – at least for the duration of this publicly viewed occasion – were disappointed. The collective breast beating led by the party president and deputy president – on the greatness and goodness of the party compared with the weaknesses and evilness of the opposition – was quite unprecedented in the history of the party’s general assemblies.

The attacks against PAS, PKR and especially the DAP during the meeting have only just begun. Can we expect it to continue with greater viciousness and spitefulness as UMNO leaders fan out into the grassroots to campaign in the next few months leading to the elections? What should be of concern is not just the running down and bad mouthing of the opposition. This has been the norm in past assemblies, especially those leading up to the elections. What is new and unexpected is the vitriol and venom directed openly and without inhibition at opposition parties and their leaders.

In many speeches made at the assembly, there appears a concerted attempt at inciting racial and religious emotions and issues and exploiting Malay insecurities with imagined and wildly exaggerated threats of the looming new dawn of non-Malay and Christian dominance for Malaysia should the party fail to win the coming elections. The many socio-economic and political challenges facing the community and nation – many arising from bad governance, abuse of power, and corrupt practices practiced or condoned by the party and its coalition partners during the decades of Barisan rule – received little mention or attention.

UMNO’s Ultimate Game Changer

The question which arises now is whether the party is laying the ground work – deliberately or inadvertently – for the game-changing political development sought after by hard line UMNO leaders in case the coming election results do not go UMNO’s way. This game changer is a repetition of the 1969 May 13 racial riots.

In his opening address to the assembly, it is notable that amongst the developments listed by the Prime Minister, Najib Razak as influencing the party he referred to the 1969 racial riots as one of the party’s eleven game changers in its past and current history. What is regrettable is the way in which he appears to condone the racial violence that resulted in authoritarian rule and the suspension of Parliament, and pins the blame for this darkest event in our history squarely on the opposition.

“Let us never be negligent because there are some among the opposition leaders who are stoking flames and slogans to belittle the Malays so that there will be a 13th May”.

The PM as the responsible leader of our nation must clarify this statement and allay the anxieties and fears of our citizenry and voters on the possible recurrence of racial violence. He and his Deputy President must never give the impression to Malaysians and to UMNO supporters especially that they are seeking to fan or are condoning extremist sentiments in any way whatsoever.

The oblique warning by the prime minister that there is a possibility of another recurrence of racial violence may not have been apparent to political analysts, drowned by the assembly proceedings and verbiage. However, that this potential game changing option is being contemplated in high circles is beyond doubt.

May 13 was sparked off as a result of election results in which the opposition parties denied the UMNO-led Alliance their customary two-thirds majority in Parliament. Should the coming election fail to deliver the expected victory for UMNO, are we to expect hard-line UMNO leaders to resist the handing over of power peacefully and to agitate for power by other means?

Ominously, the scapegoat for any new outbreak of racial and religious violence has already been identified – not UMNO extremists but those on the other side of the political fence.

Besides being alerted to UMNO’s and the BN’s efforts to cling to power through well honed electoral manipulation (especially through massive gerrymandering and mal-apportionment in constituency electoral numbers) and using a combination of divide and rule racial and religious strategies as well as the buying up and harassment of the political opposition, it is important that the public – Malays and non-Malays – pay attention to – but are not intimidated by or co-opted into any attempted deployment of this ultimate game changing solution to the loss of political power. Neither should the public be confused or taken in by the spinning on who are the patriots and who are disloyal to the country.

Fascistic elements in UMNO (as well as various support elite groups in key institutions) will push the line that the best way to deal with the political challenges confronting the party and failure to win the coming elections is to declare emergency rule and to suspend the democratic process. A return to authoritarian rule a-la the period immediately after the May 13 racial unrest can then be justified in terms of preserving national unity, security and harmony and the thwarting of the enemies of the Malays and Islam. In reality, it will amount to an UMNO led coup and a major setback in the country’s evolution to a normal democratic system.

It is hoped that wise and responsible leadership will prevail in the campaigning during the coming elections. All of us will be losers if the irrational logic and ferocity of the UMNO meeting is unleashed on the country in the next few months.

Monday, December 5, 2011

GE 13 : Pakatan Rakyat should name their candidates now

Don't waste time on speculating or predicting on when the PM is going to dissolve parliament and call for the 13th General Election. Treat it like its going to be held next week. Its only 15 months to go before the 5 year term ends. PM has to do it within these 15 months, so don't let him has the upper hand to play you all around.

As a voter, my view is that Pakatan Rakyat should name all their candidates now.

These are my reasons:

1)It will confirm that seats distribution among the 3 parties are all finalised. No more last minute fighting over seats allocation.

2)There will still be time to make changes if feedback from rakayt on any candidate is unfavorable. Rakyat can scrutinised the candidates in more details where the CEC may have miss out.

3)Reading the news on "Karpal hits out at DAP warlords", it is the more reason to name the candidates now. You can flush out all the unhappiness, warlords or Trojan horse(if any) and concentrate fully when campaigning starts.

4)Voters are more wary about candidates now after seeing the numerous elected representatives jumping ship and some not performing.

5)Those selected candidates can start working the ground and identify what kind of problems the rakyat are facing (especially those seats that are now under BN).

6)You will have sufficient time to cool things down from the upheaval confronting unhappy members not selected.

Not naming candidates ahead but until the last minute may be part of political manoeuvring against your opponent but I doubt it really help in the present new era.

There may be some risk factors in naming the candidates early but as the saying "No risk no gain" and the PM himself is bold enough to say "Don't be afraid to take risks", so?

This will be a true test and challenge for Pakatan Rakyat to make changes to the political scene.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Who lied – Najib/Muhyiddin or Chua Soi Lek? Or all three?

By Lim Kit Siang

The 65th UMNO General Assembly closed yesterday with one big question among thinking and patriotic Malaysians, regardless of political affiliation: – “Who lied – Najib/Muhyiddin or Chua Soi Lek? Or all three?”

At first the lies and poison were only told and used at closed-door UMNO meetings. Then they were spread by anonymous UMNO blogs and cybertroopers on the Internet, followed by the UMNO media.

When these lies and poison failed to achieve the desired public and political impact with the approach of the 13th General Elections, UMNO strategists became more irresponsible, reckless and desperate.

In the past week, these lies and poison became the staple diet of UMNO leaders in the meetings preparatory to and during the sessions proper of the 65th UMNO General Assembly, with the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, in their capacities as UMNO President and UMNO Deputy President giving their personal stamp of approval by adopting and retailing these lies and poison to sway votes in favour of UMNO in the coming polls.

Culminating in Muhyiddin and Najib, one UMNO leader after another in the past week have taken to the public pulpit in a carefully-orchestrated campaign to demonise the DAP and frighten Malay voters with the lies that the Malays will lose their rights and power should Pakatan Rakyat win more federal seats in the next general election, or in the words of the UMNO information chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan, “the Malay language will be lost, say goodbye to the Malay Sultans, Say goodbye to Islam because they (DAP) are agents of Christianisation”.

Muhyiddin was completely unabashed in playing the race card when he falsely accused the DAP of being anti-Malay, anti-Islam and anti-Malay Rulers, even telling the lie that the DAP’s agenda is to establish a Republic in Malaysia.

Muhyiddin made history as the only Deputy Prime Minister in the world who was caught out telling a bare-faced lie, for he had been completely silent to my challenge to him to substantiate his allegation that the DAP wanted to abolish the constitutional monarchy and establish a Republic.

I had publicly said that Muhyiddin’s “despicable, irresponsible, incendiary and seditious” allegation that the DAP’s agenda is to form a republic is completely founded on a lie, particularly his rhetorical question to buttress his allegation:

“If not, do they dare to suggest the prime minister’s position be selected based solely on elections and without being chosen by the Yang di Pertuan Agong? What is the meaning of this?” (Muhyiddin quote)

This suggestion and rhetorical question are a complete figment of Muhyiddin’s imagination (or that of his ghost writer) and show the length certain irresponsible, unprincipled and unscrupulous UMNO leaders are prepared to go in order to tell lies and spread poison to mislead, scare and panic the voters in multi-racial Malaysia.

This is certainly not the action of an honest, honourable, principled and patriotic Malaysian political leader.

As I had declared for the record in my immediate response on Wednesday to Muhyiddin’s falsehood, DAP had never proposed that “the Prime Minister’s position be selected based solely on elections and without being chosen by the Yang di Pertuan Agong”.

Right from the beginning, the DAP had declared in Parliament in my first speech 40 years ago in Parliament on Feb. 23, 1971 that DAP fully supported the system of constitutional monarchy and that we “do not and have not questioned the sovereignty of Rulers”.

In his winding-up speech yesterday as UMNO President, Najib adopted the Muhyiddin and UMNO lie that DAP is manipulating PKR and PAS, specifically alleging that PAS is “under the thumb” of DAP.

This line of allegation is totally at variance with the accusations which the MCA President Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek and his cohorts have been hurling against the DAP – that the DAP is the stooge of the PAS.

Who has lied? Najib and Muhyiddin or Chua Soi Lek?

The UMNO and MCA leaders cannot all be telling the truth – as the DAP cannot be a stooge of PAS and PAS also a stooge of DAP one and the same time.

Either UMNO or MCA leaders have lied.

There is of course another scenario – which is the true and correct position. Najib, Muhyiddin and Chua Soi Lek have all lied.

Unlike Barisan Nasional where UMNO is the hegemon and the other Barisan Nasional political parties completely subservient to UMNO agenda and interests, Pakatan Rakyat is a coalition of equal political parties based on mutual respect and political consensus founded on common policy programmes founded on the fundamental features of the Malaysian Constitution.

In Pakatan Rakyat, no political party plays the role of Big Brother like UMNO in Barisan Nasional – which means that Najib, Muhyiddin and Chua Soi Lek have all been perpetuating lies in their struggle to keep their political parties alive in the next general election.

The Malays will not lose power when PR win more seats in the next general election as those who will really lose power will be UMNO and UMNO-putras.

In fact, the ordinary Malays stand to gain more rights and power when PR win more seats in the next general elections as UMNO and UMNO-putras will have to return and surrender the rights and power that they have seized and hijacked from the ordinary Malays in the past few decades.


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