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Monday, December 31, 2012


Delivering Malaysia’s Promise Of Success To Those Who Are Honest, Work Hard, Invest In The Future And Follow Rules In A Malaysia That Is Clean, Green, Safe And Healthy.

2013 promises to be momentous year whether Malaysians have to courage to change a 56 year old government that is afraid of new ideas, lost its ideals and turned its back on principles of justice, freedom, truth, democracy and integrity in governance. If Malaysia is to get back on track, both economically and political rights, 2013 should be about the people and performance not about who is more racist and extreme.

Three countries in ASEAN that have exceeded expectations serve as a reminder of the benefits of having a people-centric government that focuses on performance. Thailand has exceeded all expectations especially in tourism with the highest growth as the No. 1 tourist destination with its 2012 stockmarket as the best performer in Asia at 37% better than in 2011.

In terms of manufacturing, Phillipines is the country to watch with an economic growth rate of more than 6% and its 2012 stockmarket just behind Thailand at 33% up from 2011. Of course, Indonesia is the star performer in ASEAN, not just for its size but also for its impressive growth figures.

All 3 countries benefit from a young population that is more skilled and a government that places more importance on economics than politics, prefers performance and practical policies over racial and religious extremism as well as leaders who push for integrity and punishes corruption.

If Malaysians are to overcome those who wish to split us into racial and religious boxes, we must remind ourselves that despite our diversity and different cultural past, we are also bonded by history of Merdeka and the Federal Constitution since 1957, of shared values and millions of familiar attachments. To bridge divisions, build trust and broaden support to allow all Malaysians to connect with each other, policies must not only be legally valid but also possess moral, popular and political legitimacy.

Malaysians should take note of these 3 countries successes and ensure that bad behaviour not be rewarded but punished and reject BN with corruption in their DNA. Lies and fear tactics that change will bring about a Christian state or an Islamic state no longer work when ultimately what makes people’s lives better is the KPI that counts.

The 13th general elections due in April 2013 should be about which party can deliver Malaysia’s promise of success to those who are honest, work hard, invest in the future and follow rules in a Malaysia that is clean, green, safe and healthy.

DAP 2013 New Year Message By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur on 31.12.2012


By Lim Kit Siang

For nearly four years, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been promising one transformation programme after another – government, economic, political, educational, social, etc all under an overarching slogan of 1Malaysia under one agency or another.

All these pronouncements and initiatives have achieved is to earn the nation the epithet of “The Acronym Nation” while national deformations in all aspects of national life have proceeded unchecked.

Najib’s four-year premiership will be remembered by Malaysians as an administration of plunging global indices, and this unpleasant fact has been underlined by three international reports in the last month of this year, viz:

Corruption - In the four-year Najib premiership, Malaysia’s Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) rankings sunk to the lowest depths in 18 years – No. 56 in 2009 and 2010, No. 60 in 2011 and No. 54 in 2012 as compared to the worst ranking of No. 23 under Mahathir and No. 47 under Abdullah – suggesting that corruption under the present Prime Minister is even worse than under all the previous Prime Ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir and Tun Abdullah.

No. 1 in per capita capital flight : Latest Global Finance Integrity report showed that on a per capita basis, Malaysia with a population of 28 million, is No. 1 in the world on illicit money outflow – whether in terms of black money siphoned out of the country for 2010, which is RM196.8 billion, or for the past decade (2000-2010), which is a whopping RM871 billion or equivalent to over RM31,000 for each of the country’s 28 million population.

Double-whammy of decline in maths and science standards by Malaysian students when compared with foreign countries well as with past batches – In TIMSS 2011 for eighth-grade students, Malaysia is ranked No. 26 with a score of 440 out of 1,000 for mathematics and even lower for science at No. 32 with a score of 426, both below the international average. They are also the worst scores for Malaysia in the four TIMSS 1999-2011, i.e. in maths dropping by 79 points from 519 in 1999 to 440 in 2011; in science, dropping by 66 points from 492 in 1999 to 426 points in 2011.

These are not signs of national transformation but national deformations.

Let 2013 end the national deformations and usher in an era of genuine national transformation for Malaysians by electing a new Pakatan Rakyat Malaysian government for the first time in 55 years.

Happy New Year 2013 to all Malaysians. (2013 New Year Message in Kuala Lumpur on Monday, 31st December 2012)

Friday, December 21, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Latest GFI report on RM196.8 billion dirty money siphoned out of Malaysia in 2010 is the third warning of adverse international reports in the last month of the year that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” as far as Malaysia is concerned

By Lim Kit Siang

The latest Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report on the astronomical RM196.8 billion in dirty money siphoned out of Malaysia in 2010, resulting in a mind-boggling total of RM871 billion in illegal capital flight from the country over the last 10 years (2001-2010), is the third warning of adverse international reports in the last month of the year that “something is rotten in the state of Denmark” as far as Malaysia is concerned.

The GFI report marks a trio of adverse international reports about Malaysia in the last month of this year to warn Malaysians why the time has come for a change of Federal government in Putrajaya in the forthcoming 13th General Elections.

There are still 11 days before the end of the month of December for the year 2012. Will there be another adverse international report about Malaysia to make it a quartet of adverse international reports in the last month of this year?

The other two adverse international reports for Malaysia which were published this month are:

• Transparency International (TI) Corruption Perception Index (CPI) 2012 – Despite a change of methodology for the TI CPI score and ranking, the ineluctable fact is that corruption under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak from 2009-2012 is even worse than corruption under the previous five Prime Ministers, including Tun Abdullah and Tun Mahathir;

• Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) 2011 which showed that Malaysia is losing out in the battle for the future, as the results highlight that Malaysia is suffering a twin educational crisis, with the Malaysian education system providing an increasingly inferior education over the years as well as Malaysian students losing out to their peers in other countries in the key critical subjects of mathematics and science which will determine whether Malaysia could succeed to transform itself into a competitive, innovative and high-income developed nation in the international arena.

The year 2012 is ending very poorly both for the country and the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

There are not only this trio of adverse international reports for Malaysia in the last month of December 2012, but the country is increasingly haunted by the ghosts of past decades of corrupt, undemocratic and unjust governance.

Recently, former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir made the unforgettable quote that it is better for the people to elect the devil they know rather than the angel whom they may not know.

What Mahathir had not reckoned with is that the ghosts of the past are increasingly taking centre-stage in Malaysian politics – not only the ghosts of the murdered Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu; Teoh Beng Hock, the victim of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) and the countless who were “murdered” while under police custody in police lockups like A. Kugan crying out for justice, but other “ghosts” of the past as well.

The recent explosive “confessions” by the carpet trader, Deepak Jaikishan on the Atantunya murder case; the public exchanges between the former Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and the former Criminal Crime Investigation Department Director Datuk Ramli Yusof about the wrongs and abuses of power committed by the other; the public allegations of corruption and abuses of power made against the Attorney-General Tan Sri Gani Patail, are only some of the “skeletons” rattling in the national cupboard but nobody expects the UMNO/BN administrations to get to the bottom to uncover their truths.

Only a change of Federal Government in Putrajaya in the 13GE in the next 100 days can resolve and appease all the “ghosts” of the UMNO/BN administrations, particularly of the past three decades – including who was responsible for the murder of auditor Jalil Ibrahim in Hong Kong in the first mega-scandal of the Mahathir era, the RM2.5 billion Bumiputra Malaysia Finance (BMF) scandal in the eighties.

Perkasa Chief Insults the Malays

By Kee Thuan Chye | Malaysian Digest

To say that Perkasa President Ibrahim Ali has little between his ears because of his recent pronouncements is to say something too obvious. And yet one might be tempted to do it to dispel the misinformation he seems to be spreading.

His point about the Malays being unable to compete with the non-Malays because Islam forbids the former to participate in businesses involving gambling, liquor and entertainment outlets is, to put it mildly, moronic. And terribly misleading.

What’s more inexcusable is his statement that the Chinese will become a national security threat if they acquire more political and economic power. It could lead, he warned, to another bloody racial conflict like the May 13 riots. This, I have to say, insults not only the Chinese but the Malays as well.

But there’s surely more to Ibrahim’s antic than what’s on the surface. He has not been in politics this long to appear so simple-minded. His agenda was to strike terror into the hearts of voters. He was employing the scare tactics that Prime Minister Najib Razak and Barisan Nasional (BN) have been resorting to of late as the general election draws near. Coincidentally, at the Umno general assembly last month, Wanita Umno President Shahrizat Abdul Jalil also irresponsibly raised the bogey of May 13.

Ironically, such scare tactics betray a lack of self-confidence on the part of Najib and BN. Ibrahim must have caught on to it and sensed that BN may even lose the elections for the first time. But this does not exonerate him from saying things that are insulting, that could engender hatred. Based neither on fact nor reasoned argument.

After all, the industries that are considered haram to Muslims make up only a small percentage of the total economy. Why is he making a mountain of such a molehill?

He uses the inability of the Malays to make money from these business sectors as a reason for the Government to continue with affirmative action for them. Is that a sound argument?

Malays don’t need to rely on these sectors to succeed. Ibrahim only needs to look at Syed Mokhtar al-Bukhary’s business empire to see how a Muslim can prosper bountifully without touching any of the haram industries. That would be enough to debunk his theory that the Muslims are economically disadvantaged.

More important, when Ibrahim talks about the economic situation of the Malays, why must he invariably compare it to that of the non-Malays? In order to draw the sinister conclusion that the latter are a threat?

That the Chinese are being insulted is obvious. I very much doubt the community has any intentions whatsoever of being a threat to anyone, especially their fellow citizens, so it’s not fair to consider them as such. If of late, they have been more vocal in agitating for their rights as Malaysians and calling for better governance for the good of the country, should that be considered threatening?

But what about the Malays? Why do I say that Ibrahim’s talk about another May 13 is insulting to the Malays as well?

Because he is implying that they will be envious of Chinese success. He is implying meanness in the hearts of Malays. He is implying that they cannot stand it when others achieve success and, as such, they will clash with them. He is insulting all self-respecting and peace-loving Malays.

May 13 did not happen because ordinary, responsible and peace-loving Malays decided to clash with non-Malays. It was orchestrated, as we now know. People in the ruling party whipped up sentiments to amok point. It was politically engineered, to bring down Tunku Abdul Rahman, the then prime minister.

In a sense, the Chinese were made scapegoats by the plotters, who capitalised on the theme of racial conflict to cover up their own ulterior ambitions.

Such riots don’t happen in Malaysia – at least not on such a major scale – without their being initiated by political beings. And a riot will be all the more powerful if the political beings engineering it also happen to be in power. If May 13 is going to happen again, it will have to be engineered by the people in power. Ordinary Malaysians will not fight without cause. We can be sure of that.

Ibrahim completely negates the decency and sense of responsibility of the Malay people.

He also disregards the prospect that the Malays themselves have the ability to succeed.

Why does he clamour for continued affirmative action? Is it not to perpetuate a cause that will serve his political enhancement? Is it not to pander to a market that will buy his rhetoric and vote him in again?

But is it a cause still relevant? Is it viable in today’s globalised world of which Malaysia is an integral part?

Former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad – who is, incidentally, Patron of Perkasa – should be well aware of the answer even if he often says the opposite of what he knows. Recently, however, he said that affirmative action for the Malays would have to be phased out in the future. And he seemed to momentarily make sense … until he qualified it by adding, “but only when we are certain that the Malays can compete in the market” without “the crutches”.

With his selective memory these days, he has obviously forgotten he said something contrary to that in his interview with The Star in October 2004: “We have tried to tell them if you depend on subsidies, you are going to be very weak. But they don’t seem to understand. We tell them if you use crutches, you will not be able to stand up. Throw away the crutches, stand up straight because you still have the capacity.”

Unfortunately, Mahathir has reverted to being a great advocate of crutches. But the question is, how do “we” decide when the Malays will be ready to throw them away? What are the concrete criteria? When it is as arbitrary and unscientific as “when they are ready”, the issue can remain unresolved indefinitely.

At least, the New Economic Policy (NEP) had a quantified target – that of the Malays achieving 30 per cent share of the economy by 1990. But that year has come and gone and the affirmative action still continues. It has, in fact, now stretched to more than 40 years of implementation. Why are the Malays still not ready?

Perhaps they already are. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of switching mindsets to accept that one is ready for something. Moreover, some Malays will say, as Mahathir has pointed out, that they don’t need crutches. The proof of this is that millionaire Malays are buying multi-million ringgit houses (but they are still getting the 7 per cent discount – do millionaires deserve affirmative action?).

In any case, if we accept that the Malays are not ready, then who is to blame?

Who is responsible for getting the Malays ready? Isn’t it the Government? And who has formed the bulk of the Government all these decades? Isn’t it Umno?

So why has the Government, headed by Umno, the party for the Malays, not succeeded in getting the Malays ready after all these decades?

Doesn’t it mean that Umno has failed?

If Mahathir and his sidekicks, like Ibrahim Ali, still clamour for crutches, Umno must have failed. To all intents and purposes then, the party that claims to serve the interests of the race it represents has failed its own race.

So Ibrahim has no cause to deflect the issue onto the non-Malays, just as no one should make the Chinese scapegoats for May 13.

Mahathir is one to talk. It was under his watch that the NEP got extended when it should have expired. He would never acknowledge it but in 1990, he must have realised that, as the supreme leader of Umno then, he had failed to meet the target.

So what he says now is nothing but political posturing. It’s the same with Ibrahim. He, too, knows why he says the dumb things he says, because he can’t really be that dumb.

And because all this talk – by both men – is to serve a political cause rather than the people and the nation, their action is all the more insidious. And should be taken with huge doses of scepticism.

They may not know it but they have lost a lot of maruah (dignity) for pursuing this course.

Maruah being an important element of Malay culture, reasonable and self-respecting Malays would surely not want to lose it themselves.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, available in bookstores together with its Malay translation, Jangan Kelentong Lagi, Kita Semua Orang Malaysia.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Congress marks the coming of age of the DAP

Ong Kian Ming | Malaysiakini


The recently concluded 16th DAP Congress held at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa) was my first as a DAP member. It was also my first time seeing a DAP national election up close. The following are some of my observations which may not have received the necessary attention in the media, whether mainstream or online.

DAP as a national party

With 2,576 delegates (an increase from 948 in 2008), 150,000 members (from 84,000) and 1,128 branches (from 311) and with representatives from all 13 states in Malaysia, this congress represented the coming of age of the DAP by firmly cementing its status as a national party and a significant political player on the national stage.

The 29 parliamentarians and 82 state representatives from 10 states and the Federal Territories makes DAP the 2nd largest political party in the country in terms of elected representatives. The capacity crowd at the congress venue, which included 700 observers, was the largest in party history.

With greater political influence comes greater scrutiny, which is probably why this congress was covered by approximately 100 members of the press core. And with this scrutiny, also came more discussion and headlines, including critiques against the DAP’s election system and the subsequent results.

In a sense, this kind of spotlight and scrutiny should be welcomed since it means that the party matters in the public’s eye and is an important part of the larger political landscape.

DAP’s election system

DAP uses an election system which differs from that of other political parties in Malaysia. Rather than featuring direct contests for the top posts in the party, the 20 top vote getting candidates are elected into the Central Executive Committee (CEC), with up to 10 additional members who can be co-opted.

After being voted in, the 20 top vote getting candidates will then allocate among themselves the various posts such as the national chairperson, the secretary-general, the national treasurer, the national organising secretary, the national publicity secretary, the international secretary, up to five national vice-chairpersons, and various deputy positions.

This system has been criticised as not being democratic since there are no direct contests whereby delegates can decide who specifically they want to lead the party. While this can theoretically happen, for example, the 20th vote getter being appointed as chairperson or secretary-general, this has, as far as I know, not happened before.

Furthermore, this ignores the many positive aspects of this election system, advantages which may escape the attention of the casual observer.

Firstly, it avoids the destructive internal struggles of direct contests. Battles for top positions in a political party are often winner-take-all affairs since there is usually just one winner. These contests often feature two candidates which usually translate into a party being split along two ‘camps’.

Mud-slinging and poison pen letters are part and parcel of such campaigns. It can even lead to a party fracturing as was experienced by Umno in the fight between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in the 1987 party elections.

Such contests may be necessary when a party needs to select its candidate for a presidential elections or when the head of the party will hold the position of the prime minister. But in the context of the DAP, where the head of the party is not automatically entitled to any elected position, the need for such a contest is much less urgent.

Since there are 20 positions to fill, national elections do not have the typically ‘dog-eat-dog’ flavour that is more common in winner-take-all party elections. It is not so easy for someone to ‘kill off’ their political rivals since delegates can choose candidates from various rival ‘camps’.

For example, the more ‘independent’ minded and outspoken DAP leader who is also the Selangor speaker, Teng Chang Kim (right), regularly receives support from a majority of delegates including many whom also support the top party leaders.

Indeed, this election system actually encourages more interaction and ‘horse-trading’ between leaders and delegates in the various states. In straight fights, leaders and the members whom they ‘control’ usually have to choose one side or the other, but when there are 20 seats to fill, it is possible to field requests for support from different leaders within a party.

Secondly, this election system is actually friendlier towards minority groups compared to straight fights. States with a smaller number of delegates may not be able to have leaders from their states elected into national offices if it was a straight contest since representatives from states with larger delegations would have the natural advantage.

The non-Chinese, who are in the minority in the DAP, may not have such an easy time to win positions at the national level in direct contests. Under this election system, delegates would usually reserve at least one of their votes for a candidate from East Malaysia (and increasingly, one for Sarawak and one for Sabah) as well as at least one vote for a Malay candidate (although this was not the case for all delegates this time round). This system increases the chances for minority candidates to gain representation into the top leadership of the party.

In the 2009 party elections, for example, four Indian and one Malay candidate as well as one Sarawak candidate were among the top 20 vote getters.

Thirdly, this system builds consensus within the leadership since they have to come together to decide and allocate the various assigned posts. While there may be a minority who are not fully satisfied with their positions, there is usually consensus among the majority.

While this system is not perfect – no electoral system is – there is much to be said about its positive characteristics which may be lost amidst the current focus on who was and who was not among the top 20 vote getters in the recently concluded election.

Interpreting the results

The immediate reaction to the party election results has focused on the lack of Malay candidates among the top 20 vote getters. The highest Malay vote getter was Senator Ariffin Omar who placed in 37th position out of 63 candidates with 348, votes followed by Ahmad Ton (left) who came in 38th with 347 votes (Ahmad Ton came in 12th in the previous party election in 2008).

Only three Indian candidates made it to the top 20 (the casualty was Professor P Ramasamy). While it is somewhat regrettable that an insufficient number of delegates had the political maturity to vote in the long term strategic interest of the party, what has been ignored is the fact that delegates are ‘spoilt for choice’ in terms of the leaders to choose from.

The last elections were held in August 2008, just five months after the historic March 2008 general election. The newly elected representatives in the party had not had time to establish themselves yet.

In the more four years since that election, many of these newly elected representatives (as well as some of the more seasoned hands) have had many more opportunities to serve the party at the local and state levels and also to raise their profile nationally.

The result is that the leaders who have served the party at three levels – raising important issues in parliament and/or at the state legislature, speaking at and organising fund raising dinners to bolster party funds, and working hard during the by-elections especially the Sibu by-election as well as the Sarawak state elections – have seen their support increase within the party.

For example, Anthony Loke, who raised important issues in parliament and was part of the Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reform and who also oversaw a successful transition in the Dapsy (DAP Youth) leadership, increased his position from 11th place to 4th.

Tony Pua (standing, left in photo), who has featured prominently at the national stage in terms of issues raised, and who has also worked the ceramah circuit tirelessly around the country and during the by-elections, went from 13th position to 8th. Teng Chang Kim established himself as a firm and even handed speaker of the Selangor state assembly as well as the chairperson of the Selcat, as well as a regular on the ceramah circuit.

Similarly, Liew Chin Tong and Teo Nie Ching, both first-time elected members of the new CEC, have had active records in parliament and played key roles in the 2011 Sarawak state elections in the Sibu and Sarikei areas respectively. The ever popular Nga Kor Ming, who draws thousands to his ceramahs, also saw his position rise from 16th to 11th.

Most of this takes place away from the public view but is common knowledge among DAP leaders as well as most of the delegates. This is perhaps one of the reasons why many of the delegates felt compelled to vote for the candidates who have done this sort of ground work rather than to cast their votes in a more ‘traditional’ sense in favor of minority candidates especially those whom they may not be familiar with.

Over time, with the right opportunities to raise their national profiles, it is very likely that candidates such as Senator Ariffin and Zairil Khir Johari would find themselves being voted into the top 20 in the next party elections (Both of them have been co-opted into the CEC).

This is not to say that there were no internal party ‘fights’ which caused some candidates to lose support. It is possible that the ‘godfather’ and ‘warlords’ tussle in Penang may have cost Professor Ramasamy some votes, causing him to fall out of the top 20. But there are multiple other reasons besides inter party rivalry which explain changes in the support levels of various candidates.

Teresa Kok, for example, who fell from 6th to 18th, used to occupy the unenviable position of national organising secretary who is responsible for matters such as the formation and organisation of branches as well as membership issues. Those leaders who experience problems in setting up new or reviving old branches will inevitably blame the national organising secretary, rightly or wrongly, which meant that Teresa took most of the flak for this unhappiness.

The overall results only saw three threecomers into the top 20 – Vincent Wu, Liew Chin Tong and Teo Nie Ching – but they were already CEC appointees after the 2008 party elections. Of the three who fell out of the CEC – Ahmad Ton, Prof Ramasamy and Tan Seng Giaw – two, Prof Rama and Tan Seng Giaw, were appointed into the new CEC.

Joining Prof Rama, Seng Giaw, Senator Ariffin and Zairil are Jimmy Wong and Edwin Bosi, both from Sabah, John Brian Anthony, who is from Sarawak and is the head of the Dayak Consultative Council (DCC), Leong Ngah Ngah from Pahang, V Sikakumar, the former Perak speaker, and Thomas Su, also from Perak.

The 30-person CEC line-up has representatives from all the major communities in the country – Malay, Chinese, Indian, Dayak and Kadazan – representing the party’s aspiration to represent all communities in Malaysia. Although the ‘ideal’ mix of leaders (as well as members) is still far from being representative of the country, this lineup makes the party leadership one of the most representative in the country (the other being PKR).


The road towards remaking DAP into a more inclusive party needs to continue with the fielding of winnable and winning non-Chinese candidates including and especially Malay, Dayak and Kadazan candidates. Once these candidates have been elected into office, they would be in a better position to attract more non-Chinese members to join the party.

Baby steps were already taken when DAP fielded its first Dayak candidate in the 2011 Sarawak state elections. But major strides are expected and needed in the next general election.

ONG KIAN MING is DAP’s election strategist. He can be reached at

Monday, December 17, 2012

Apology to Najib and UMNO/BN leaders for being elected into DAP CEC at the 16th DAP National Congress and with highest votes

By Lim Kit Siang

I wish to apologise to the Prime Minister and UMNO President, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the UMNO/BN leaders that I was elected into the DAP Central Executive Committee (CEC) at the 16th DAP National Congress – and with the highest votes.

UMNO leaders, including Najib, had been going round the country castigating the DAP for being undemocratic, alleging that I was in the DAP national leadership although I was not an elected DAP leader.

At the recent 66th UMNO General Assembly at the end of last month, Najib returned to the same theme in his UMNO Presidential Address when he flayed the Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP.

This is what he said about me: “Although only holding the position of member of parliament despite not being an elected leader, Lim Kit Siang is evidently quite a powerful individual in the opposition party”.

It had always amused me when Najib made these attacks against me in his political tours up and down the country, wondering whether he had been misled by his cohorts of political advisers and aides or whether he had deliberately lied although he knew the truth.

I had stood for every elections to the CEC since the party formation in 1966. In the last DAP 15th Congress, I also stood for election to the CEC and was fortunate to top the votes.

I had deliberately refrained from rebutting Najib for his baseless attack that I was not an elected DAP leader as I wanted to test the degree of the Prime Minister’s respect for fact and truth or the quality of intelligence of the Prime Minister’s army of advisers and aides.

If Malaysia has a Prime Minister who has no respect for fact or truth, continuing to tell untruths like his allegation that I was an unelected leader in DAP, or his cohorts and aides are so atrocious in their political intelligence as not to know that I had contested in every DAP CEC election and that I had polled the highest votes in the 2008 DAP National Congress, then the Malaysian public cannot put too much trust and confidence in the Prime Minister’s speeches, statements and assurances.

Now, what is the truth? Was Najib wrongly advised by his advisers and aides, or did he deliberately repeat a lie against me?

Would apologise Najib for lying about me for not being an elected DAP leader in the past four years? I am not asking for any apology from Najib as I do not think it is worth asking it from him. If he wants to apologise, he would have to do it on his own volition. Now Najib has changed his tune after the press reports that I had received the highest votes at Saturday’s DAP Congress.

Yesterday in Sandakan, Najib said DAP was undemocratic because “the father (Lim Kit Siang) received the highest number of votes and his son (Lim Guan Eng) came in second”.

Previously, Najib said DAP was undemocratic as I was not an elected DAP leader. Now he charged DAP for being undemocratic because I had secured the most votes.

What a cheap Prime Minister we have – a “heads I win, tails you lose” complex!

Again, I say sorry to Najib and the UMNO/BN leaders for being elected again into the CEC, and like the previous DAP Congress, with the highest votes.

Coming to the 47th year of my commitment in the DAP to help bring about a more united, just, democratic and prosperous Malaysia, I will continue to do my utmost in the 13GE to realize the hitherto impossible dream in Malaysia of changing the Federal Government in the 13GE.

I call on Najib to set a personal example to end the hate politics of race, religion, lies and fear which UMNO/BN leaders have been spreading to perpetuate UMNO/BN power and undertake to ensure that the 13GE will be smooth, clean, free and fair elections.

Furthermore, Najib should publicly distance himself from and condemn whoever raised the spectre of May 13 or “chaos” after the 13GE if UMNO/BN loses.

He should demonstrate that he is serious and sincere when he repeatedly said after becoming Prime Minister in April 2009 that “The era the government knows best is over” and give firm and categorical assurance that UMNO/BN would peacefully transfer power in Putrajaya to Pakatan Rakyat if this is the verdict of electorate – a position which should be formalized in the form of a resolution by the UMNO and BN Supreme Councils.

UMNO/BN must renounce the tactics and ideology of extremist politics including Ketuanan Melayu and the four hate politics of race, religion, lies and fear if they want to compete for the support of Middle Malaysia

By Lim Kit Siang

The unity, solidarity and commitment of DAP and reaffirmation of the Middle Malaysia concept by the just-concluded 16th DAP National Congress in Penang have struck fear in UMNO/BN and reverberated throughout the country, ringing alarm bells in UMNO/Barisan Nasional, as they realize that the agenda has been set for the crucial and critical battle in the 13th General Elections in the next 100 days to decide for the first time in the nation’s 55-year history whether there shoud be a change of federal government in Putrajay.

It jolted UMNO leaders including the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak into quick reaction, claiming that it was the Barisan Nasional and not the DAP that represents “Middle Malaysia”.

If Najib is confident that it is UMNO/BN which represents Middle Malaysia, and has overwhelming support of the four million middle ground voters in the 13 General Elections – the three million new voters and the one million swing voters from the 12GE in 2008 – Najib would have dissolved Parliament and the 13GE would have been held already.

Furthermore, Najib would not have to suffer the “To Be or Not To Be” agony in the past two years to decide on the dissolution of Parliament (an agony which he is still undergoing despite Parliament having only some four months’ tenure before it is automatically dissolved under the Constitution on April 28, 2013) and the ignominy of being the longest unelected Prime Minister in Malaysia without his own mandate from the people.

The former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah was also awakened to describe the 16th DAP National Congress as an unhealthy phenomenon on the ground that it showed that DAP is monopolised by a particular race.

But the most laughable comment must go to the Gerakan President and former Penang Chief Minister, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon who described the non-election of any Malays in the DAP central executive committee as against the 1Malaysia spirit.

Both Abdullah and Tsu Koon seem to have forgotten that UMNO is an exclusively race-based party which has yet to open it doors to all Malaysians despite the proposal by founding Umno President Datuk Onn Jaffar more than 50 years ago that UMNO should be opened to all races.

Has Tsu Koon ever told Najib that UMNO is against the 1Malaysia spirit and policy and should open its doors wide to all races?

In fact, dare Tsu Koon raise in Cabinet or the Barisan Nasional Supreme Council that the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is a bad example for Najib’s 1Malaysia policy as Muhyiddin had declared that he is “Malay first, Malaysian second”, and this open contempt and challenge to Najib’s 1Malaysia policy must be addressed and rectified without any further delay ?

DAP welcomes competition from Najib and UMNO/BN to compete with DAP for the support of Middle Malaysia, but before they could stake the claim for support of Middle Malaysia, UMNO/BN must renounce the tactics and ideology of extremist politics including Ketuanan Melayu and the four types of hate politics of race, religion, lies and fear.

Najib had dismally failed in his recent UMNO Presidential Address to represent Middle Malaysia, as his speech failed on three main grounds:

• Firstly, it highlighted the fact that Najib’s 1Malaysia policy had never been endorsed by the UMNO General Assembly in the past four years and no Umno general assembly had ever declared that Ketuanan Rakyat Malaysia and not Ketuanan Melayu is the overarching UMNO objective and mission.

• Secondly, inability to demonstrate UMNO’s commitment to support his declaration to make Malaysia “the world’s best democracy” by giving firm assurance that UMNO will transfer power peacefully to Pakatan Rakyat if this is the voters’ verdict in the 13GE.

• Thirdly, failure to touch even on the problem of corruption, when the problem of corruption under Najib is even worse than under the previous Prime Ministers, whether Tun Abdullah and Tun Mahathir, and a clean and incorrupt government is one of the pillars of a Middle Malaysia.

Is Najib prepared to battle with DAP for the hearts and minds of Middle Malaysia, by distancing himself and castigating irresponsible and reckless UMNO political leaders who resort to the politics of fear warning about another May 13 like Wanita Umno leader Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil or about “chaos” like Muhyiddin?

Dare Najib seek endorsement of the Cabinet as well as the highest decision-making bodies in Umno/BN for the 1Malaysia policy and the subordination of Ketuanan Melayu to Ketuanan Rakyat Malaysia?

I agree that the failure at the 16th DAP National Congress to elect Malay candidates to the 20-seat CEC is a setback to the DAP cause to represent all Malaysians.

This is however not because the DAP is anti-Malay or anti-Islam, as the DAP had right from the beginning of DAP’s formation in nearly 47 years ago in 1966 committed itself to be a party for all Malaysians, regardless of race, religion or region.

This is borne out by the history of DAP’s first general elections in 1969 where DAP fielded Malay candidates for both parliamentary and state assembly seats – getting two Malay candidates elected as state assemblymen in Perak and Negri Sembilan.

Over the decades, DAP had held firm to our multi-racial commitment and fielded Malay candidates for both parliamentary and state assembly seats, with several Malay leaders elected as State Assemblymen and the late Sdr. Ahmad Nor elected as MP for Bayan Baru in Penang.

It has always been an uphill task for the DAP to reach out to the Malays, with the UMNO and its mainstream media carrying out a sustained campaign to poison the minds of the Malays and demonise the DAP as anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

DAP will not be, and have never been, anti-Malay or anti-Islam.

This is why the new DAP CEC has taken immediate action to co-opt and appoint Senator Dr. Ariffin Omar as DAP National Vice Chairman and Zairil Khir Johari as Deputy Publicity Secretary.

I will like to ask which Barisan Nasional party has Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Iban members in their central committees? There is none, which shows that DAP is more inclusive than anyone of the 13 Barisan Nasional component parties, including UMNO.

We will persevere to reach out to the Malays as well as to all communities, although to date, the politics of Malaysian solidarity, democracy and justice as represented by DAP has taken a lower priority to the Malays than the politics of race as represented by UMNO and the politics of religion as represented by PAS.

Over the decades, more and more Malays have realised that what the UMNO propaganda mills have churned out against the DAP, that it is an anti-Malay and anti-Islam party, are pure lies and falsehoods.

As a result, DAP is getting increasing Malay support not only from ordinary Malays, but also Malay voters. This is what is frigthening UMNO and BN.

We will continue to improve ourselves and learn from our weakness and setbacks to ensure that DAP can more effectively and successfully represent the interests of all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazans or Ibans.

This is why the DAP made history as the first Pan-Malaysian political party, with branches and political activities not only in all the states in Peninsular Malaysia but also in Sarawak and Sabah.

The 16th DAP National Congress is testimony of DAP’s unbowed commitment to grow, develop and expand as an inclusive Malaysian party representing all Malaysians, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazans or Ibans; whether Muslims, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, Sikhs or Taoists; and whether in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah or Sarawak for a Middle Malaysia.

If Pakatan Rakyat succeeds in the “Hundred Days to Putrajaya” campaign and forms the next Federal government say with 125 parliamentary seats (PKR 45, DAP 40 and PAS 40), the stage will be set for the fruition of a Middle Malaysia.

How Our Democracy is Damaged

By Kee Thuan Chye
Penang Monthly
December 2012

We often hear of electoral fraud and unfair election practices but what do they really mean? What forms does electoral fraud usually take? What constitute unfair practices and how have they surfaced?

Beyond that, what are the measures that need to be taken to ensure that Malaysian elections are free and fair so that this vital aspect of our democracy is truly well-served and our vote for the candidate or party we support is not made a mockery of?

A new book called Democracy at Stake?: Examining 16 By-elections in Malaysia, 2008-2011, published by Strategic Information and Research Development Centre, answers our questions and collates our concerns into a handy and comprehensive compact.

Edited by Wong Chin Huat and Soon Li Tsin, it analyses the 16 by-elections that have been held since the 12th general election according to such relevant categories as how free, fair and clean they were; the freedom and quality of the campaigning; the political parties’ access to media; corrupt practices that were perpetrated; how impartial or otherwise the public institutions were; the amount of campaign money spent; the electoral roll; and the polling process.

Wong, who is in my opinion one of the sharpest political analysts we have, sets the standard for the conduct of elections in his introductory article.

Well-researched and replete with references from many documented sources, it explains why electoral fraud is wrong (“Even if one person is disenfranchised … even if one vote is rigged, democracy is damaged because political equality is compromised to favour the ones who play foul”) and explains what we as citizens should expect of a free and fair election.

The most fundamental of expectations are that we “must be able to register as voters with minimal cost and trouble” and be able to vote “without much difficulty”, and our votes “must be counted with integrity”. By that token, we must also expect that the electoral roll “includes all citizens who are eligible to vote” and “nobody else”.

Wong, however, declares that the electoral rolls in Malaysia “fail on both accounts”. This is partly because as of March 2012, three million eligible citizens are still not registered voters. But what we may find more disturbing is his revelation that the electoral rolls “include many names who [sic] should not be there in the first place, such as illegally enfranchised foreigners, deceased voters, multiply-registered voters, voluntarily and involuntarily transferred voters who are non-residents in the constituency”.

It is amusing to note that entries like Kampung Baru and a Police Station at Kampung Kerinchi are registered voters on the electoral rolls.

Wong proposes synchronising the electorate database maintained by the Election Commission (EC) with the citizenry database of the National Registration Department (NRD) to minimise errors and allow for corrections to be made continually.

Although he does not say so explicitly, it would also facilitate automatic voter registration, one of the eight demands of Bersih, the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections of which Wong is a steering committee member. The synchronisation of databases would alert the EC to instances of citizens turning 21 and attaining eligibility for voting.

Another disturbing point Wong raises concerns the legal impediments to transparency in the procedure for correction of errors. Section 9A of the Election Act 1958 prevents the electoral rolls from being challenged in court, and Regulation 25 of the Elections (Registration of Voters) Regulations gives “unchecked power” to the EC to “correct any errors free from any public scrutiny”.

This point is particularly pertinent in regard to the Malaysian EC because the public has lost much confidence in the commission’s ability and inclination to be independent and neutral in the conduct of its duty. One important measure that the public needs to take, therefore, is to lobby for the EC to be truly independent and neutral.

If this were achieved, we can be better assured that other conditions necessary for free and fair elections will be facilitated.

These would include what Wong describes as allowing citizens to make “informed decisions after deliberation” from the “availability of information from all perspectives”.

As such, there should be campaign freedom – a reasonable period for campaigning once an election is called; free airtime for all contesting parties on State-owned broadcast media like RTM and unbiased coverage in Bernama as well as private-owned media, like Utusan Malaysia, The Star, Sin Chew, Media Prima’s TV stations, etc; and no restrictions like those imposed in three by-elections at which the Home Ministry banned campaigners from “mentioning (a) Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian model cum interpreter whose murder was linked to Prime Minister (PM) Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor, and (b) the role of the Perak Palace in the state’s constitutional crisis”.

The impartiality of public institutions should also be upheld. This includes no abuse of government machinery by the ruling party, such as using official cars and helicopters for party campaigning or, worse, announcing development projects like in the Hulu Selangor “buy-election” when BN offered about RM136 million in projects, payments and compensations while the Pakatan Rakyat Selangor State Government offered about RM27.6 million’s worth.

And of course there should also be no pork barrelling at the hustings, the most famous example being the “I help you, you help me” offer of RM5 million for flood mitigation that Najib made to the Rejang Park voters in the Sibu by-election in return for their support of the BN candidate.

Nor should there be outright vote-buying, as in the alleged giving out of RM100 cash to each Chinese voter at a polling station during the Merlimau by-election.

It is the duty of the EC to report such transgressions but, unfortunately, it has not been fulfilling that duty.

By and large, the individual analyses of the 16 by-elections in the book, contributed by about a dozen observers ranging from journalists to researchers to political scientists, reveal how inept the EC has been, especially in not attending to electoral roll irregularities and preventing abuse of public institutions and corrupt practices.

In the Permatang Pauh by-election, for example, a voter was turned away from the polling station because on the electoral roll, he was said to be dead.

Furthermore, 949 voters were discovered to have disappeared from the constituency’s electoral roll. As the media reported the issue and the EC’s deputy chairman could not explain the disappearance, Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin called on the EC to investigate it. However, “no finding was revealed to the public”.

In Bukit Selambau, election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (MAFREL) backed the Opposition’s claim that more than 60% of the voters in a housing estate were phantom voters, but the EC merely dismissed it.

In fact, the picture that emerges from the 16 analyses is that many of the complaints and allegations made during the by-elections were not resolved afterwards.

On the whole, as the editors sum up in the final chapter, “the integrity of the electoral rolls in Malaysia is highly questionable”. Citing extensively from research done by political scientist Ong Kian Ming, they elaborate on unexplained deletions of names; unaccounted-for additions; high number of voters registered under the same address; unusually high increase of military/police voters (most markedly in Lembah Pantai, currently a Pakatan Rakyat seat held by Nurul Izzah Anwar, which has seen a 1,024% growth of such voters); and other manifestations.

EC Chairman Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has declared that Malaysia has “the cleanest electoral rolls in the world”, with problematic registrations amounting to only 42,051 names, but according to Ong’s research findings, the number is closer to 3 million.

Whomever you choose to believe, the outlook is far from rosy. The editors believe the irregularities are caused by deliberate fraud rather than administrative or clerical errors. They consider the state we’re in an “Orwellian absurdity”.

On our part, we the public should be pressing for accountability from the EC and other related authorities. Although Democracy at Stake? does not suggest how we could go about doing this, it focuses attention on a serious issue of our political life.

It’s up to us now to protect our democratic right. Taking to the streets through the Bersih rallies has been done and resulted in some headway, but this is unlikely the way to achieve the ultimate goal.

We need to think of other ways to shake the powers that be to get the real democracy we deserve.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, available in bookstores together with its Malay translation, Jangan Kelentong Lagi, Kita Semua Orang Malaysia.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ubah Rocket Style

Ubah Rocket Style video launched during DAP 16th National Congress

Monday, December 10, 2012

Penang Lang must defend Penang at all cost

Your PM is blackmailing and using his 'legal' bribery 'I help you, you help me' bribing his way to recapture Penang. Penangnites must not fall into this dangerous trap.

Your Prime Minster has proven beyond doubt that he is a very weak and incapable leader. His daily speeches, a multitude of plea, threat, admission, omission and deceptive promises that allowed one to see how a man looks like when the fear of losing power is imminent.

His latest trip to Penang on the 8th December 2012 was to galvanize support to retake Penang in the next General Election with more ambiguous speeches and deceptive promises.

Every Malaysian must ask this question "Who is paying for all the extravagant expenses of your PM playing Santa Claus Merry going round the country"?

What kind of leadership is he trying to prove, a leadership for all Malaysians or just to those who like and support his Umno coalition BN?

He made a call to Penangnites to ensure a BN victory only then will they get to have (mind you, only pledges) 20,000 affordable homes and monorail. Is he a real joker PM or what? Can I put three questions to him.

What has Umno/BN done during their 50 years of taking power in Penang when these affordable homes and monorail were much needed back as early as the late 90's?

Is your PM trying to say that there will be no help from the Federal government if Penang is still under Pakatan Rakayat?

If that is the case, can Penangnites insist that they will not pay their taxes directly to Federal government but instead to the State government?

1Malaysia was incorporated into your PM GTP (Government Transformation Plan) and it failed miserably, now he is saying it was deliberately designed to be vague, can you believe that? Will he said again that the whole GTP is a vague planning should it collapse or failed, which is now seen failing by the day?

A PM leading a nation with vagueness and ambiguity should not be making all sorts of promises. What happened if you give your mandate for him to run another term and he failed to implement his promises and tell you that all the promises were said in vagueness? There you will be conned yet again after living with their lies for 55 years!

Your PM is also the President of Malaysia's largest political party, Umno, with over 3 million members. He admitted that he cannot reformed his party without the public mandate. What a funny PM you have.

He is the President and yet he is powerless to reform his party and calls for public help. Yet, he is talking about transformation of a nation of over 28 million people, how the hell is he going to do it. Do you think he can do it if the people were to give him the mandate in GE 13? He has been the PM for nearly four years and he has done nothing except to crow, cry and beg!

"What happens if after obtaining that endorsement, reactionary factions in UMNO interpret the mandate as support for the status quo in party and government which means that reform would then not be necessary and that it should be business as usual?" - Terrence Netto

I have created a FaceBook Fan page "Penang Lang must defend Penang at all cost" here. Please help to spread and Like the page.

Even though this Fan Page is created to defend Penang at all cost, all Malaysians can like the page and make it a 'Malaysians must defend Malaysia at all cost" from the devil you know that is corrupt, racist and arrogant with a weak and incapable PM taking the nation to nowhere.

Will UMNO/BN regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority or will Pakatan Rakyat capture Putrajaya with a 20 Plus majority in the 13GE?

By Lim Kit Siang

There is one person who is working even harder than the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to ensure that UMNO/Barisan Nasional not only win the 13th General Election but also regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority.

This person is Tun Dr. Mahathir, who is supposed to have retired from politics when he stepped down as Prime Minister after 22 years at the end of 2003.

Yesterday, Mahathir was in Sik to remind UMNO members to rid themselves of the feeling of dissatisfaction over candidates chosen by the top UMNO/BN leadership if they want to see UMNO/BN remain in power after the coming 13GE.

He said UMNO members must all set aside their differences and give their full support to the selected UMNO/BN candidates as the priority should be ensuring victory so that BN can win big and form a strong government.

It is most extraordinary but typical Mahathirism that Mahathir should be warning of the “Melayu mudah lupa” complex as the cause of the disgruntled in UMNO not supporting the chosen candidate, when Mahathir himself was the best illustration of the “Melayu mudah lupa” complex when he campaigned actively against the premiership of Tun Abdullah in the 2008 general election.

It is clear that to Mahathir, what is at stake in the 13GE is not so much the Najib premiership but the Mahathir legacy, and no one has any doubt as to which would get the priority if there is a clash between the Najib premiership and the Mahathir legacy!

This is why Malaysians find Najib’s statement in his interview with Malay Mail last Friday that he needs a mandate from the voters in order to reform UMNO so outrageous.

Firstly, it flies in the face of his UMNO Presidential Address at the 66th UMNO General Assembly ten days ago, where he clearly admitted that the UMNO/BN’s debacle in the 12th General Elections in 2008 was “a clear signal of the Malaysian people to Umno and its partners in the Barisan Nasional to change, according to the tastes, aspirations and expectations of the people”.

When Najib said he needs a mandate from the voters in the 13GE in order to reform UMNO, he is in fact admitting that he has failed to reform UMNO despite the “clear signal” of the people in the 12GE that UMNO must change – reason enough why UMNO/BN must be replaced by Pakatan Rakyat in Putrajaya in the 13GE. Secondly, Najib’s statement also flies in the face of what Mahathir said three days before the 66th UMNO General Assembly, and captured in the headline of Malaysiakini report : “Dr. M: We’ve reformed, what more do you want?”

Be that as it may, whether it is for the sake of Najib premiership or the Mahathir legacy, Najib has put up a front of supreme confidence after the UMNO General Assembly to achieve a two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming general elections.

Will UMNO/BN regain its two-thirds parliamentary majority or will Pakatan Rakyat capture Putrajaya in the 13GE?

If UMNO/BN recaptures two-thirds majority in the 13GE, the total number of Pakatan Rakyat parliamentary seats would be slashed by at least eight seats to 74 from 82 won in the 12GE in 2008, giving the BN a majority of at least 74 seats.

However, if Pakatan Rakyat can win an overwhelming majority of the four million middle ground voters in the registered electorate of over 13 million voters on the electoral register – comprising three million new voters and one million swing voters from the 12GE – Pakatan Rakyat can defeat UMNO/Barisan Nasional and win a majority of over 20 parliamentary seats.

In such a best-scene scenario, the likely distribution of Pakatan Rakyat seats in Parliament would be 45 seats for PKR while DAP and PAS would each have 40 seats – yielding a small Pakatan Rakyat majority of 28 seats over UMNO/Barisan Nasional.

However, Pakatan Rakyat parties must work hard to win over the middle ground voters, for developments in the past month have given reasons for middle-ground voters to hesitate as to whether Pakatan Rakyat parties of PKR, PAS and DAP are fully committed to the PR Common Policy Framework and Buku Jingga common platforms.

These doubts and hesitations, which are fully exploited by the Barisan Nasional mainstream media and cybertroopers, must be addressed immediately or Pakatan Rakyat will lose the golden opportunity to win Putrajaya in the 13GE by sheer default.

Najib’s Farcical Presidential Speech

By M. Bakri Musa
10 Dec 2012

That Prime Minister Najib Razak is oratorically-challenged is patently obvious, and a severe understatement. The pathetic part is that Najib is determined to delude himself that he is otherwise. His presidential speech at the recently-concluded UMNO General Assembly was only the latest example.

He confuses ponderousness with deliberateness, equates yelling as emphasizing, and thinks that furrowing his forehead as being in profound thought. In the hands of a gifted actor, those could be great comedic acts. Alas, Najib is also far from being that.

I learned early in high school at Kuala Pilah that if I did not know what to do with my hands when delivering a speech, to keep them in my pockets or behind my back. Do not gesticulate wildly as that would only distract the audience. Worse, I risked looking like a monkey on speed. Najib apparently did not learn that at his expensive British school.

As an aside from the personal hygiene perspective, I hoped they sanitized the microphone thoroughly after he spoke; there was an awful amount of spit splattered on it during his delivery.

Najib should take comfort in the fact that there are many effective leaders who are neither charismatic nor great orators. Germany’s Angela Merkel readily comes to mind. Najib should also be reminded that the converse is even truer. Leaders with great oratorical gifts and generously endowed charisma can often be among the most corrupt and inept. Sukarno mesmerized Indonesians with his mercurial personality and spellbound speeches, but that country remained a basket case economically and in many other ways during his presidency.

Had Najib delivered his address in his usual persona, without the put-on gravitas or pretensions of grandeur, he could have finished his nearly hour-long speech in half the time. Then he and his audience would not have missed their Maghrib prayers. Besides, there was nothing in Najib’s speech that was so urgent or important to justify that. As self-professed champions and defenders of Islam, Najib and his fellow UMNO members do not need to be reminded of the importance of prayer. He and UMNO might need it for the coming election!

Or perhaps those UMNO folks believed in the canard that their party is God’s choice, and thus dispensed from having to pray.

With all the daunting challenges facing Malays, Najib could come up with only two piddling policy prescriptions: One, increasing Amanah Ikhtiar Malaysia’s (AIM) loan amount to RM100K from RM50K; and two, reviewing the country’s bankruptcy laws. This from the leader of a party that purports to champion the Malay cause!

In announcing the loan increase, Najib looked approvingly to Wanita members, and they in turn responded in kind. Meaning, they were the intended beneficiaries. I have no problem giving those ladies who are hairdressers or trained pre-school teachers loans so they could start their own beauty salons or kindergartens, but simply by virtue of their being Wanita members would be folly. Besides, if all you have is some vague idea of starting basket weaving, you do not need such outlandish amounts.

AIM is Malaysia’s government-sponsored version of “micro-credit.” Muhammad Yunus, its pioneer, would be flabbergasted to know that a loan of RM100K is considered “micro.” This is yet another example of Najib adopting an otherwise brilliant idea from elsewhere and then screwing it up in the implementation. AIM’s generous program has degenerated into another massive and lucrative UMNO patronage machinery.

As for reviewing the bankruptcy laws, I would have been reassured had Najib made it part of an overall scheme to encourage economic entrepreneurialism and business risk-taking especially among Malays. Alas, none of that! It was prompted simply to rescue the many UMNO leaders who are bankrupt purportedly from guaranteeing loans of their members in return for their support. With the proposed changes, those local leaders would be spared from bankruptcy, and then they could be their party’s next “winnable” candidates! Having not learned their lesson, they would then mortgage the country’s future.

What is obvious here is that Najib and the entire UMNO leadership are bereft of ideas. They are intellectually bankrupt. The brilliant political cartoonist Zunar captures well this degeneration of UMNO leaders with his latest cartoon, “Evolusi UMNO.”

The only remedy for the intellectual bankruptcy of our current leaders is to have an entirely new leadership.

Fully aware what Mahathir did to Abdullah Badawi, Najib heaped profuse praise on the still powerful Mahathir. It was sucking up performance par excellence! Najib singled out Mahathir’s commitment of loyalty to leaders, which he (Mahathir) apparently forgot when Abdullah Badawi was in charge.

According to Najib, Mahathir had impressed upon UMNO members the importance of loyalty to leaders, presumably in contrast to fidelity to principles. Najib readily or more accurately, desperately hung on to that! These UMNO leaders are nothing but opportunistic characters, modern-day Hang Tuahs.

In his speech Najib was like a little kid desperately seeking approval and relishing praises from grown-ups. Apart from gushingly citing Mahathir’s approbation, Najib reminded his audience of IMF’s Christine Legard’s praise for Malaysia’s “gravity-defying” economic performance. Najib needs to be reminded that the IMF, World Bank, and other “respected” international bodies were running out of superlatives to describe the country’s economic stewardship right up to the day before the 1997 Asian economic contagion.

When he was not consumed with sucking up and seeking approval, Najib was obsessed with demonizing the opposition, in particular its leader Anwar Ibrahim. Najib feigned disgust at Anwar’s alleged crime, for which he was jailed but subsequently acquitted on appeal.

Najib and others of his ilk conveniently forgot that whatever crime Anwar may have allegedly committed, no one was murdered. Instead, Anwar suffered a black eye, literally and metaphorically. Now compare that to the fate of the beautiful young Mongolian lady Altantuya. She and her unborn child were literally blown to pieces. The fact that her killers are close to Najib (they were part of his official bodyguard unit) or the explosives used are available only to his department remains unexplained.

Najib smugly let on that he had other “secrets” of Anwar which he (Najib) would unhesitatingly reveal at the opportune time. Left unsaid are the many secrets of Najib now swirling openly in cyberspace that he has yet to respond. The biggest remains the tragedy of that poor Mongolian lady.

It is hard to pick which part of Najib’s speech was the most obscene or offensive as there were many vying for the top spot. His closing remarks must clearly rank high up there.

It is an accepted tradition in Islam that once you have uttered vile words or committed evil deeds, your wuduk (ablution) would be nullified. You would then have to re-cleanse yourself (take another wuduk) before reciting any dua (supplication) or verse from the Koran. The reason is clear and obvious: You cannot invoke Allah’s name when your heart is filled with bile and hate. It makes a mockery of your good niat (intention).

In vilifying the opposition and uttering those ugly words, Najib had committed evil deeds. I could also add that he had demeaned himself, but then he could not get any lower.

Earlier, UMNO folks were appalled when PAS members, led by their leader Nik Aziz, had a prayer calling for UMNO’s downfall. Like many, I too was utterly repulsed by that vulgar gesture.

Yet there was Najib, frothing at the mouth vilifying the opposition and attributing the most evil of motives to them, and then with his instant put-on piety leading his followers to a recitation of dua calling for Allah’s blessing! They in turn responded in kind with their collective exuberant “Amen!” and “Allahu Akhbar!” (God is great!). Only UMNO’s carma (contraction for cari makan – lit. seeking food; fig. opportunistic) ulamas would approve of that.

Nonsensical Najib must be very nervous!

By Martin Jalleh
9 Dec 2012

The General Elections beckons and it looks as though the Prime Minister (PM) has gone berserk. He is making comments most bizarre! He blurts out statements beyond human logic!

Soon after the last General Elections he had warned his political party that either it changes or the government that it so dominates will be changed by the people.

He now surprisingly admits that Umno needs to change (The Malaysian Insider, 7 Dec., 2012). In other words, his party has not changed – which in fact clearly contradicts what he and his cohorts have been saying!

For instance the Sun Daily reported on 1 Dec. 2012: Following up on his apology for Umno’s past wrongdoings, at the opening of the party’s 66th general assembly…Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak today closed the annual event by exuding optimism that the people’s confidence for Umno is well on recovery mode.

“There is such tremendous response,” he told a euphoric crowd of delegates who seemed charged-up to defend the party’s hold over Malaysia in the upcoming general election.

“Not just from the Malay people…. The non-Malays also see Umno more positively than in the earlier times.

“They see that with each passing day, Umno is recovering even more… With each passing day, they see that Umno is qualified even more, to rule this country.

“We have shown that we are capable to remedy our condition. We are closing ranks and displaying an extraordinary spirit,” he said in his presidential speech at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

“Indicating to the party faithful – and voters at large – that Umno has indeed transformed and improved from what it was in the 2008 general election when the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition it led lost four states and its two-thirds majority in Parliament, he proceeded to dish out warnings at those in the party who may hamper it in the next election.”

First you say Umno has changed. Yet in your latest comment you admit that it has not changed! Alas dear Mr PM are you not being a chameleon which you so often accuse Anwar Ibrahim of?

What is most preposterous is that Najib says “he needs a mandate from voters in order to reform Umno” (The Malaysian Insider, 7 Dec., 2012)!

“If I want to reform the party, I need a mandate from the people. Without the mandate from the electorate how can I reform the party?” he told the Malay Mail in an interview published recently.

The Malaysian Insider commented:

“Reforming Umno has proven to be a monumental task despite the party’s and Barisan Nasional’s (BN) flagging popularity, particularly in urban areas.

“The Umno president has been pushing a reform agenda which included the repeal of security laws considered draconian and the push for a more multi-racial agenda.

“But conservative forces within the party, especially those linked with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, have resisted change and have pushed a more Malay-centric platform.

“Mindful of Dr Mahathir’s continued influence, Najib has been careful not to alienate the former PM who had contributed to BN’s worst electoral performance in Election 2008 when he campaigned against the administration of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

“But ahead of key national elections due next year, Prime Minister Najib said he was pleading for voters to grant him the mandate to continue his reform policies that can spur Malaysia forward for the greater good even as he acknowledges his party and the ruling BN coalition’s sluggishness towards change. (The Malaysian Insider, 7 Dec., 2012)

“With this mandate, a strong mandate from the people, I will deliver what I promised. This is not just about GE13, it’s about transforming the nation and I’m committed to it.”

Why don’t you try to change your own party before you try to transform the whole nation, Mr PM?

“If I want to reform the party, I need a mandate from the people. Without the mandate from the electorate how can I reform the party?”

The mandate given by the people (the electorate) in the General Elections is to transform the country and not to reform your party! That’s Umno’s and your job!

Please get the mandate from your own party members to reform your own party! It appears that either you have failed to get the mandate from Umno members to change the party or in spite of the support given to you, you have failed to reform it.

And since you have failed to reform Umno, the party will be an obstacle to your plans to transform the country. It would not make any sense for you to continue as Umno president and as the PM.

And if you cannot even change your own party are we to expect that you are going to bring about change in the country?

Alas, perhaps it is time to change the president of Umno and the Prime Minister of this country!

What transformation is Najib talking about when he could not even get UMNO GA to endorse his 1Malaysia policy nearly four years as PM and UMNO President?

By Lim Kit Siang

In his interview with Malay Mail yesterday, when asked about “factions that were skeptical of 1Malaysia in UMNO itself”, the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said that it was by design that he did not define the concept very clearly as “there should be an element of strategic ambiguity so that once you introduce the concept like that, as time goes by, the definition could be defined by taking on board the views of people as we go along”.

He claimed however that “the concept of 1Malaysia is now clearly understood”!

This is indeed a tall claim which Najib could not possibly believe himself.

In fact, Malaysians are entitled to ask what transformation is Najib talking about when he could not even get the UMNO General Assembly to endorse his signature 1Malaysia policy nearly four years since becoming Prime Minister and UMNO President, when the 1Malaysia Policy represents the very basis of all his “transformation” programmes, whether government, economic or political, i.e. GTP, ETP, PTP, etc.

Malaysians are surprised that after nearly four years, Najib is saying that he had deliberately left the 1Malaysia concept vague and nebulous, which was not what he said in his first year as Prime Minister.

For instance, in February 2010, in his keynote address at the 1Malaysia Economic Conference, Najib expressed unhappiness about the various misconceptions over the 1Malaysia concept which he introduced upon taking office in April 2009, lamenting: “ I am greatly saddened that such an idea, which is not terribly complicated, is so often not understood.”

How could Najib now claim that he had deliberately allowed “an element of strategic ambiguity” in the definition of 1Malaysia, when the definition of 1Malaysia was clearly, fully and plainly spelt out right from the very beginning, particularly in the 1Malaysia Government Transformation Programme (GTP) Roadmap, viz:

“The goal of 1Malaysia is to make Malaysia more vibrant, more productive and more competitive – and ultimately a greater nation: a nation where, it is hoped, every Malaysian perceives himself or herself as Malaysian first, and by race, religion, geographical region or socio-economic background second and where the principles of 1Malaysia are woven into the economic, political and social fabric of society.”

The 1Malaysia GTP Roadmap declared that Malaysia has “chosen a unique route – that of unity of diversity and inclusiveness, while ensuring fairness to all and remaining anchored in our Constitution” – which means that “we embrace our diversity of ethnicity, religions and beliefs and, by being inclusive, build mutual respect and acceptance into a social foundation of trust and cohesiveness”.

It is clear right from the beginning Najib could not get the UMNO leadership and the Cabinet to endorse his 1Malaysia Policy, as his Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin did not mince his words when he repudiated the 1Malaysia policy by publicly declaring that he was “Malay first, Malaysian second” – with no reprimand or contradiction by Najib.

In fact, in July 2011, Najib dodged the question when asked at the Malaysian Students Leaders’ Summit whether he was prepared to state that he was Malaysian first and what he thought of Muhyiddin’s infamous remark of being “Malay first and Malaysian next”.

Najib did not answer the question, saying:

“I don’t want to respond in a way that will divide me from my deputy. 1Malaysia is our guiding philosophy. It does not matter what you say, just as long as you follow (the 1Malaysia concept.”

Most ominous of all, Muhyiddin had the support of the UMNO eminence grise, Tun Dr. Mahathir who publicly said he did not understand Najib’s 1Malaysia concept and that “Malaysia has become more racial than ever”.

Now Najib is making a virtue out of necessity, trying to camouflage his failure to get the endorsement of the UMNO leadership for his 1Malaysia policy as a deliberate stance of strategic ambiguity to get more people “on board” the concept!

1Malaysia has degenerated to sheer electioneering gimmickry to win votes for UMNO/BN in the 13GE, “transforming” from the initial giveaways of 1Malaysia T-shirt, 1Malaysia-Tupperware and 1Malaysia notebook to 1Malaysia Water Tanks, 1Malaysia Clinics, 1Malaysia Housing and 1Malaysia RM500 Cash Aid.

But UMNO is still fully committed to the exclusive ideology of Ketuanan Melayu which is the very antithesis to a supposedly-inclusive 1Malaysia concept.

This is illustrated by the episode in the recent UMNO General Assembly where UMNO delegates stood in silence and shed tears touched by an overseas UMNO club student representative’s rendition of ‘Anak Kecil Main Api’, a song that bemoans the fate of Malays for being sidelined in their own land.

The song, which was written by former National Civics Bureau (BTN) chief, was taught to all those who attended the BTN courses, which is compulsory for students before attending local public universities or going overseas on government scholarships.

The questions raised by this episode include:

• 55 years after Merdeka, 42 years after the New Economic Policy and half a century of UMNO political hegemony, who must bear responsibility for the fate of the Malays marginalised in their own country? Shouldn’t the UMNO-putras bear the greatest responsibility?

• With 1Malaysia concept and policy, shouldn’t the focus be on the marginalised and discriminated among all Malaysians in their own country, whether Malays, Chinese, Indians, Orang Asli, Kadazans or Ibans, and not just one community?

• Is this not the best proof that Biro Tata Negara has become the chief agency in government sowing anti-1Malaysia concept?

Can Najib answer these three questions in the spirit of 1Malaysia?

The PM has been leading this country on a vague idea!

By Martin Jalleh
December 7, 2012

1 Malaysia concept vague ‘by design’, says PM

When Najib Razak first introduced “One Malaysia” to Bolehland, no one except him knew (or we thought he knew) what it really meant. As time passed by his Cabinet ministers and his cohorts chanted the slogan trying to convince the rakyat that they knew what it really meant.

Now, three years later, the man who mooted the concept says he had “deliberately not defined the idea so its meaning could absorb different views over time”.

PM: I didn’t define the concept very clearly, but that was by design. I had decided it needed to have an “element of strategic ambiguity” when I introduced it three years ago so that the concept could be broadened to include other views from the public.

MJ: So vague is now the vogue of your premiership, Mr Prime Minister? What a “strategic excuse” when after three years of your tenure 1 Malaysia has become one big absolute joke and being mimicked by your Cabinet and cohorts who pretend to know what it all means!

PM: The concept I envisioned, to promote the idea of inclusiveness among the races, has been translated into policy and was clearly understood now even though some quarters have been sceptical at the onset.

MJ: The results of your vague vision are very clear – never before has this country been so divided by race and religion than now! Indeed, Umno’s exclusiveness has never been as evident than now!

PM: They may not see 1 Malaysia as something practised within the entire government system. But then again people must realise this is a journey. (He said this in response to scepticism from the minority races outside the ruling Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Malay party, Umno.)

MJ: Indeed, it has been a long journey of flip-flops, farcical transformation, fanciful public relations, fraudulent claims and foolhardy decisions by you and your government, Mr PM.

PM: My idea is more comprehensive than had been previously envisioned by the country’s past leaders as I have promoted the fundamental principles and values of social justice, inclusivity and moderation.

MJ: “Social justice, inclusivity and moderation”? Alas, you choose to have only a vague idea of what is really happening in this country, Mr PM. It was only yesterday that you admitted that Umno has not changed and your party has everything to do with the very opposite of “Social justice, inclusivity and moderation”!

PM: This is the first time that we’re trying to really define it in terms of the principles and values associated with 1 Malaysia. In the past, people talked about working together, but there was no real operational definition of what that meant.

MJ: In the past, there was no need of sloganeering and rhetoric like yours! We learned to live together, we co-existed, there was interdependence. Then the Umnoputras got greedy and corrupt and began to bleed the country dry. The Malays were mislead, manipulated and made to believe that their sufferings were due to the non-Malays!

MJ: Please note – with each passing day, the future of your premiership is becoming very vague!

(Quotes taken and adapted from Malaysian Insider, 7 Dec 2012, which highlighted excerpts from an interview published in the Malay Mail today)

Has corruption in M’sia really gone down?

Ramon Navaratnam | Malaysiakini

It is arguable whether Malaysia has really done better in the latest Corruption Perception Index (CPI) report released by Transparency International-Malaysia, on behalf of Transparency International in Berlin.

As the report states clearly, the scoring system this year has been upgraded. Hence it cannot be accurately compared to last year’s scoring.

Thus it can be misleading to highlight the claim that Malaysia has moved up six places to number 54 this year, compared to the ranking of 60 last year.

Furthermore Malaysia scored 49 out of 100 marks for this year. This is below the half mark of 50 thus placing Malaysia amongst the two-thirds of the 176 countries surveyed, that have serious corruption problems.

So how can we say that we have improved? If at all we have improved, it is a very insignificant improvement, which does not deserve all the praise bestowed on this dubious success.

Indeed it is disappointing that after so many government initiatives through MACC and Pemandu to combat corruption, we are not making much headway to improve the universal perception that we have a high level of corruption in Malaysia.

More disturbing is the TI Bribes Payers Survey which indicates that we scored the worst score at 50 percent of respondents who said they had ‘failed to win a contract or gain new business because a competitor has paid a bribe’ in the last 12 months!

This is very damaging to our image especially to the foreign and domestic investors and our overall perception of well-being and the new Happiness Index that we plan to introduce in the national budget.

All this begs the question as to why we should go so far to pat ourselves on the back for perceived success when we should be ringing our hands in concern and do much more to fight corruption?

Being unduly optimistic can in fact become counter-productive as we can become unnecessarily complacent and lose the war against corruption.

But perhaps there could be some misconception or misunderstanding on the part of TI Berlin in their analysis of our corruption?

It may be that local and foreign contractors fail so badly to get contracts and new businesses, because of the official preferential treatment that we widely practise in the award of government contracts for goods and services?

Therefore I would urge Pemandu and TI-Malaysia therefore to take this matter up with TI in Berlin to set this bad record straight.

Could also our low scores in combatting corruption, be due to our relative lack in our success to fight grand corruption, which includes the big fish that get away?

We seem to be more successful in catching the small fish and this is most unfortunate, as it sends the wrong signals to the public.

But there are lessons to be learnt. Now that we know how poorly we are assessed by TI Berlin, even with the new revised CPI, we need to introduce much stronger measures to fight grand corruption.

We need to raise our sense of urgency and political will, to go all out to fight corruption or we will surely lose out in improving our quality of governance, our quality of Life and happiness and also our prospects to achieve Industrial status by 2020.

RAMON NAVARATNAM is chairperson of the Asli Centre of Public Policy Studies.

For Malaysia’s Governing Party,’ Defining Point’ Is Near

By LIZ GOOCH | New York Times

December 3, 2012

KUALA LUMPUR — Bathed in a sea of the party’s signature red, the headquarters of the United Malays National Organization swarmed with thousands of party faithful last week, eager to hear from their leader as the clock ticked toward Malaysia’s next election.

UMNO, the largest party in the National Front coalition, which has governed Malaysia for more than half a century, is preparing to contest what many analysts predict is likely to be its toughest election yet.

Vowing that the government would fight for every vote, Najib Razak, the prime minister of Malaysia and president of the party, said Thursday that it would be “no ordinary election.”

“It will be the defining point for the destiny of the people and country,” he said during a spirited speech to flag-waving party members at the UMNO General Assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

With the wounds inflicted by the opposition during the last elections still fresh in the minds of party members, the next election, which must be held by June, will mark the first time Mr. Najib will seek a mandate from voters.

Observers say he will confront an influx of unpredictable young voters and a stronger opposition, setting the stage for a tight race.

Mr. Najib, the son of Malaysia’s second prime minister, was installed as party leader in 2009, replacing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi after the National Front lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament in 2008 for the first time since independence in 1957.

Mr. Najib, 59, has sought to present himself as a reformist, abolishing a number of restrictive laws and implementing a comprehensive program known as 1Malaysia to bolster national unity among the country’s ethnic groups.

But analysts and critics say that many of the reforms have not gone far enough to improve civil rights and that UMNO has failed to embrace genuine change and become a truly inclusive party that addresses the concerns of all Malaysians, regardless of ethnicity.

Formed in 1946 in what was then a British colony, UMNO became known as the organization that helped achieve independence and represented ethnic Malays, the country’s dominant ethnic group.

In its early political incarnation, it formed an alliance with the parties that became the Malaysian Chinese Association and the Malaysian Indian Congress, drawing in the two largest ethnic minorities in the country, with other small parties joining in later years.

“When they put together the National Front coalition it was just about impossible to beat them because every major party except the D.A.P. went into the coalition,” said Barry Wain, a writer in residence at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies in Singapore and former journalist, referring to the opposition Democratic Action Party.

“There wasn’t any real, strong opposition for a long time.”

The National Front has presided over impressive economic development, transforming what was a largely rural agricultural society marked by high levels of poverty in the 1970s into one of Southeast Asia’s success stories, with extreme poverty now rare among the country’s population of 29 million.

But the political landscape has changed markedly.

UMNO remains Malaysia’s largest political party, with more than three million members, but the opposition has gained strength in recent years, led by Anwar Ibrahim, a former deputy prime minister under Mahathir Mohamad.

Mr. Wain, the author of the book “Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times,” believes the party has been in “long-term decline” since the late 1990s.

He said that Mr. Mahathir, the former prime minister who led UMNO for 22 years, had a “profound impact” on it because of the length of time he held office and his authoritarian rule.

In the party’s early days, Mr. Wain said, people joined because they wanted to improve the country. Now it has become a “patronage machine” that dishes out contracts to its followers and lacks long-term ideas about how to improve the country, he said.

Wan Saiful Wan Jan, the chief executive of the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs in Kuala Lumpur, said that the opposition, which won five states in the 2008 election — with one state since returning to the National Front — had shown the public that it can govern.

Another challenge for the government is likely to be the large number of first-time voters, he added.

“They grew up in an environment where UMNO has been increasingly accused of being corrupt, and at the same time the economic situation of the country makes it not that easy for them to get a job anymore,” Mr. Wan Saiful said.

“They grew up in a different environment from the older generation. They don’t feel indebted to UMNO, and being young, they’re not afraid to experiment.”

While the Malaysian economy grew 5.2 percent in the third quarter, Mr. Wan Saiful said that wages were not keeping pace with the rising cost of living. He said young workers were particularly affected, which could lead to dissatisfaction with the government.

Clive Kessler, an emeritus professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia and a longtime observer of Malaysian politics, said the last election, in 2008, showed it was clear that “the old regime framework,” which promoted Malay supremacy through a range of affirmative action measures favoring ethnic Malays known as the New Economic Policy, could no longer work.

Mr. Kessler said that after the 2008 election, when the government lost the support of many non-Malays and urban voters, the party needed to become a “genuinely centrist, progressive party” but instead, “it capitulated to the hardline Malay right.”

But leaders of the party insist that it has done much to address voters’ concerns.

During his speech Thursday, in which he warned that the country’s economy would be destroyed if the opposition were to win, Mr. Najib outlined how the government has undertaken political and economic transformation.

Among other changes, he said the government had abolished the Internal Security Act, which allowed for indefinite detention without trial, amended a law to allow university students to join political parties and removed the need for newspapers to obtain printing licenses annually — changes that critics argue fail to go far enough to protect civil liberties.

Mr. Najib appeared to take stock of the “bitter experience” of the election in 2008, adding later in his speech that “we put our palms together in apology for any oversight.”

While he said that the government had never been complacent in defending the rights of all races, Mr. Najib also vowed “to give priority to the well-being of the people, uphold the Malay race, fortify faith and safeguard Islam.”

Analysts also noted that some party delegates continued to call for action against those who engage in homosexuality, pluralism and liberalism.

Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, the party’s secretary general, said that the government had made a number of changes to help non-Malays, like making more government university scholarships available, and that the National Front had performed well in by-elections since 2008.

“This is a trend to show us what we are doing since the 2008 election, we are moving on the right track,” he said in an interview. “I think the citizens of Malaysia realize we are a party that they can trust.”

Mr. Tengku Adnan acknowledged that UMNO was not a “perfect party,” but strongly denied allegations of patronage.

“It’s not fair to say we are a party of patronage,” he said. “We are open for anyone. If you feel that the party is wrong, you come in and correct the party because we are a democratic system.”

While most analysts are expecting tight elections, some said the opposition may have a chance of victory for the first time.

Bridget Welsh, an associate professor at Singapore Management University who specializes in Malaysian politics, believes the government may have a slight advantage over the opposition, but said that the situation was fluid and that there was no guarantee that the UMNO-dominated National Front would retain power.

James Chin, director of the School of Arts and Social Sciences at Monash University Malaysia, said that while there had been an increase in support for the government among Malays in rural areas because of a number of government cash handouts, winning over urban voters would remain problematic for the governing coalition.

Despite the government’s assurances that it had taken steps to improve the electoral system after three large street protests calling for free and fair elections, some analysts remain highly skeptical.

But Mr. Tengku Adnan insisted that the opposition could not have won five states in 2008 if elections had not been conducted fairly.

“It’s been a fair election from the first election through until today,” he said.

Discourage rather than encourage a repetition of May 13

by Koon Yew Yin

The biggest losers will be the Malays

As the countdown to the elections begins to take place in earnest, we are getting more and more calls from desperate and irresponsible politicians drawing attention to the possibility of a repetition of the infamous May 13 violence if the election results should go against the expectations of various political parties and interests.

The fact that these calls are directed towards the Bumiputra component of our population, are expressed in the national language, and are widely carried in the Malay mass media and internet world makes me suspicious of the intentions of these politicians who claim that they are simply doing Malaysians a favour by warning of the backlash should the election outcome not bring about a continuation of the present power structure.

To my mind, these politicians are not only applying crude pressure on the Malay electorate to vote for them but they are also blatantly revealing their trump card – that violence, chaos and political instability will automatically erupt in the event that the opposition parties win the elections.

This blackmailing of our electorate as well as incitement of disruptive and hooligan elements in our society is totally unacceptable. Various groups such as academicians and individual politicians from the opposition have spoken up against such fear mongering in the recent past. However, not enough has been done by members of the business community and other professional organizations to speak out against these warnings and threats although they will be the main losers should another May 13 episode takes place.

Much more needs to be done by key stakeholders to condemn the individuals and organizations making these threats as the risk of them becoming self-fulfilling prophesies increases by the day.

Sharizat’s Not So Veiled Threat

The latest round of May 13 invocation took place at the UMNO General Assembly meeting held recently. In that meeting, the Wanita chief, Shahrizat Abdul Jalil warned that the May 13 tragedy might be repeated should Umno became weak and not be able to overcome its challenges. That this warning was not made obliquely but was served up as part of her opening speech testifies to the way in which this kind of desperado thinking has become the mainstream in certain political circles.

What is more worrying is that both Najib and Muhyiddin as UMNO President and Deputy President, and more importantly as the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, failed to repudiate or rebuke Sharizat for fear mongering. Instead the Deputy Prime Minister attempted to defend the speech by explaining that chaos will be inevitable under Pakatan Rakyat rule.

Other UMNO leaders, notably UMNO vice-president Hishammuddin Hussein have even gone so far as to dismiss the attention brought by Shahrizat’s May 13 statement as a case of “spinning” and to put the blame on a pro-opposition media and other opposition elements. “Shahrizat has already told me that this will be another matter that will be used for spinning by certain quarters, just because it coincides with the general assembly”, the country’s Minister in charge of internal security is reported to have responded in his dismissal of public concern when questioned about it.

Even if it is a case of over reaction by the media and a fearful public, it is hoped that Sharizat and her colleagues will not play with fire or pander to the psyche of insecurity found in UMNO party members by constantly harping on the possible recurrence of 13 May and even worst, by condoning or justifying violent and catastrophic racial riots as they appear to be doing in the run up to the elections.

Aftershocks of electoral violence

Should there be bloodshed and violence arising from the next elections, it will not be non-Malays primarily who will lose out or be hurt by the collapse of the share market and the larger economy as we see a rush to exit the country by local and foreign businesses and investors. It will be all Malaysians especially those who are now enjoying the good life.

The biggest losers will be the Malays

Malays must bear in mind that in the 1969 incident while they may have had less to lose, today the situation is completely different. There is Malay control of a major part of the commanding heights of our economy such as the banks, manufacturing, hi-tech industry, etc. and the largest listed companies. These gains which have given birth to the creation of a sizable Malay middle and upper class will be put to great risk should there be another May 13. They may even disappear as the economic aftershocks and loss of economic confidence spiral out of control.

Another May 13 is unthinkable and unforgivable except to those who are so blinded by ambition and their lust for power that they need to keep reminding themselves and their supporters of that horrific possibility. However, should it happen, unlike in the first May 13 incident, it will be clear as to who are the instigators.


I trust this article will encourage more stakeholders, bankers, business leaders, academicians and leaders of all political parties to speak out and condemn those who are using the threat of another May 13 if there is a change of Government. The Malays must remember that even Pakatan Rakyat win control of the Government, there will be more Malay Members of Parliament and the Malays are the biggest losers if there is another May 13 riot.


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