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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Too much made of The Economist Intelligence Unit Report

By Kee Thuan Chye | MSN Malaysia

Too much has been made of the recent report by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), which is part of the magazine The Economist.

The Malaysian news agency Bernama spun it to make it appear a forecast of the upcoming general election result. It claimed the EIU predicted the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government “will” win the upcoming general election while the Opposition Pakatan Rakyat, for making “costly promises”, appears “a distant second”. It also said the EIU’s conclusion was based on BN’s “successful track record, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s reform agenda, and his successful economic leadership”. On the other hand, it added, “Pakatan’s populism has remained to be simply hot air”.

Rafizi Ramli, chief of strategy for one of Pakatan’s component parties, PKR, has, however, dismissed Bernama’s spin as being filled with incorrect information. “The report in itself is very neutral,” he said, “but because of Bernama and the way they spin it, it looks like The Economist is giving us a real thrashing.”

It has to be said, after looking at the EIU’s report, that Bernama has indeed coloured its report with subjective interpretation. Nowhere does the EIU state that BN will win the general election. It merely says that BN is “likely” to win, but also that “it will probably fail to attain the two-thirds parliamentary majority that would enable it to make constitutional changes unchallenged”. Neither does the EIU intimate that BN’s likely victory would be due to its “successful” track record and Najib’s “successful” economic leadership. The use of “hot air” is also Bernama’s own editorialising.

In fact, the EIU report actually says that the BN government “has spent lavishly in two consecutive budgets in order to please voters”. And, essentially, it sees the general election as “likely to be a tight race”, and does “not expect the outcome to lead to a dramatic improvement in the public finances”.

What the report really centres on is the likely financial outlook for Malaysia in the aftermath of the general election, hence its title ‘A fiscal bidding war’. Its priority is not really about predicting which side would win.

Even so, a closer analysis of the language the report uses could indicate a slight bias. For instance, it points out that Pakatan “is making many costly promises to the electorate in its eagerness to gain power” but these have “attracted less attention than the generosity” of the BN government. There appears a fair measure of editorialising in the choice of words like “eagerness to gain power”, which throws a negative hue on Pakatan, and “generosity”, which engenders positive connotations for what is really disputable spending on the part of BN.

It also singles out the Pakatan-led Selangor state government for having been accused, mainly by BN, of breaking its promises, having implemented only 15 per cent of its election pledges made in 2008. Why does it pick on the Selangor state government on this particular aspect while it overlooks the positive fiscal achievements accomplished by it and the Penang state government, which is also Pakatan-led?

In any case, the report appears to have been made from an armchair position as it says nothing new that clued-in Malaysians don’t already know about. And for all its professional reputation as a reliable assessor, the EIU is not privy to the country’s hidden accounts and offers no reading of the Malaysian ground sentiment. Its report should therefore be given only a fair amount of serious consideration.

Has Transparency International Malaysia provisions to delete and disqualify signatories to its Election Integrity Pledge who blatantly violate its four principles in the run-up to the 13GE?

By Lim Kit Siang

The Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob has followed in the footsteps of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz to criticise Pakatan Rakyat leaders for their reluctance to sign the Transparency International-Malaysia’s (TIM) Election Integrity Pledge which was signed with such fanfare by the Prime Minister last Wednesday.

Adnan repeated the “old chestnut” that Pakatan Rakyat leaders are reluctant to sign the TIM Election Integrity Pledge because they have something to hide and that they are still doubtful whether the opposition coalition could responsibly run the country if they come to power.

Speaking at the opening of a meeting of the Pahang branch of the Malaysian Trades Union Congress in Kuantan on Sunday, Adnan said : “In future, if they abuse their powers, then the opposition leaders will give the excuse that they did not sign the integrity pledge to escape.”

I am shocked at such nonsensical argument spouted by a Mentri Besar, completely ignoring the laws of the land, religious teachings and ethics against corruption and abuses of power.

Is Adnan seriously suggesting that all the Barisan Nasional leaders, whether at the national or state levels, whether Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister, Ministers, Mentri-Mentri Besar, Chief Ministers and State Excos can claim entitlement to corrupt practices and abuses of power solely on the excuse that they had not yet signed the TI Election Integrity Pledge?

It is these lame excuses of UMNO/BN leaders which have raised questions and concerns whether the TIM Election Integrity Pact is meaningful or whether it is being used to “whitewash” all the corruption and abuses of power which have been committed by UMNO/BN leaders whether at the national or state levels in the past.

Even officials of the Election Commission (EC), which should be an independent, professional and credible body to conduct free and fair elections in the country, have joined the bandwagon to echo UMNO/BN leaders’ criticisms of Pakatan Rakyat on the TIM Election Integrity Pact.

The Deputy Chairman of Election Commission, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, hit out at Pakatan Rakyat by declaring that it is “a shame” that opposition party leaders are shying away from signing TIM’s Election Integrity Pledge.

The real shame is the Election Commission’s failure to understand it is only confirming its subservience and subordination to the ruling coalition of UMNO/BN to the extent of echoing UMNO/BN criticisms against PR, when the Election Commission should stay above the fray to conscientiously carry out its constitutional duty to conduct free and fair elections in the country.

If Wan Ahmad wants to dabble in politics, he should resign from the Election Commission and contest the 13GE as a BN candidate instead of continuing to undermine the independence and integrity of the Malaysian electoral process by being a subservient agent of Umno/BN.

Wan Ahmad said it is incumbent on candidates contesting in the general election to sign the pledge as the people desired representatives not merely to profess to have integrity but to practise it as well.

He said he believed the people would feel more assured in their choice if the candidates had no qualms about signing the pledge, as what Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had done.

Although I must say that Wan Ahmad has given more sensible arguments than Adnan Yaakob to present the case for candidates signing the TIM Election Integrity Pledge, his remarks reek of hypocrisy and dishonesty as the Election Commission has never taken a stand against the rampant corruption of money politics by UMNO/BN in previous general elections.

I have qualms about signing the TIM Election Integrity Pledge precisely because of the Prime Minister’s cynical signature without showing any signs that he is serious and fully committed to its principles, and the abject and disgraceful role of Election Commission in the past in ensuring a clean, ethical, free and fair elections in the country.

TIM’s Election Integrity Pledge stipulates four principles for all signatories to observe in the 13th general elections, viz:

• Truth, integrity, ethical conduct and accountability, including not accepting or giving bribes or being involved in corrupt practices in any way;

• Upholding and giving priority to the interests of the rakyat as a whole;

• Good governance and transparency; and

• Compliance with all the applicable laws and regulations of Malaysia.

Has TIM any mechanism to receive and investigate public complaints that signatories have violated the four principles enshrined in the Election Integrity Pledge – even in the run-up to the 13GE?

Are there any provisions for TIM to delete and disqualify signatories to its Election Integrity Pledge who blatantly violate its four principles in the run-up to the 13GE?

For instance, within days of signing the Election Integrity Pledge, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has violated his commitment to conduct a clean and ethical election campaign, when he declared in Kuala Terengganu on Saturday that “a vote for DAP is a vote for the oppression of Muslims” – a most unethical and shameless incitement of racial and religious hatred which is also totally against Najib’s signature 1Malaysia policy.

Will TIM communicate with Najib that the Prime Minister has violated the Election Integrity Pledge which he had signed last Wednesday to conduct a clean and ethical election campaign?

Will TIM ask the Prime Minister to withdraw and apologise for the irresponsible and unethical statement which is not only baseless and irresponsible but a most shameful example of incitement of racial and religious hatred and conflict?

If Najib is not prepared to withdraw and apologise for his unethical remark, will TIM delete Najib’s signature from its roster of signatories and disqualify him as eligible to be a signatory because of his blatant disregard of the four principles laid down in the TIM Election Integrity Pledge?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Chinese Owe BN Nothing

My posting on FaceBook

Are you not angry with this statement?
"The Chinese are successful because Barisan Nasional (BN) has ensured harmony and implemented good policies since independence, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday."
Any elected government is supposed to ensure that the people are well taken care of in fairness, equality and its duty to protect the nation harmony and peace.
We are successful not because of umno-bn but through our hard work and sweat even though we are treated so unfairly due to the mismanaged application of the NEP.
Can Najib explained why over two million Malaysians migrated or seek better opportunities elsewhere if what he claimed is true?
Until a true set of policies in education, employment of civil servants, religion and racial divide of equality and fairness to all Malaysians are implemented, whatever Najib is babbling about are just hot air to fish for the Chinese votes. The are simple 'psy' talk only, nothing more.
We need to CHANGE and CHANGE we must in this coming GE 13 - Period.

By Kee Thuan Chye | Malaysiakini

Najib the vendor of half-baked spin was at it again a few days ago when he said the Chinese owed their success to Barisan Nasional (BN).

At a 1Malaysia open house, he said BN formulated good policies and ensured there was harmony in the country and an environment that “allowed the Chinese to make a good living”.

Najib had the cheek to say this.

He of course wants the Chinese to be thankful to BN and therefore vote for the coalition at the upcoming general election. But his half-baked spin completely ignores the other side of the story.

For instance, the Chinese also owe it to BN that they became second-class citizens in their own country because of BN’s discriminatory policies – and, let’s not forget, practices.

As a result, the Chinese have to work harder to succeed. To get places in Malaysian public universities. To have their children score the highest number of As and still not get accepted to do, say, Medicine in these institutions. And therefore be forced to send them overseas, at much higher cost.

The Chinese owe it to BN that they were compelled to leave Malaysia to seek fairer opportunities overseas, some never to return, and thereby contributing to a huge brain drain for which Malaysia is now paying the price.

Many who are now settled overseas may indeed be thankful that they left, but I’m sure Najib is not looking to them for gratitude. Some of them won’t be eligible for voting, anyway, having taken citizenships in their countries of adoption.

The Chinese also owe it to BN that to take on business projects of sizable proportions, they have to pay kickbacks – some to BN bigwigs themselves, some to their cronies.

The Chinese owe it to BN that they find it virtually impossible to rise to the highest echelons of public service – in the judiciary, the military, the police, the universities, the civil service. Not because they don’t have the merit to fill these positions; in fact, they do, which therefore makes it even more unjust and painful.

Can Najib name a single Chinese vice-chancellor in a Malaysian public university? Can a Chinese person become Inspector-General of Police or Admiral of the Fleet or Chief Justice?

Najib should note that despite the barriers, the Chinese accepted their lot. And many Chinese – for whatever warped or bewildering logic – actually supported BN throughout the times they were marginalised!

In fact, Najib should watch what he says in the run-up to the general election, especially if he is hoping to win Chinese support for BN.

As it is, many analysts believe that about 70 to 8o per cent of the Chinese are not in favour of the ruling party. If he wants to win at least some over, he needs to say the right things. More than that, he needs to do the right things. Although even then, one wonders if it might not be too late.

Many Chinese still remember what he reportedly said in 1987 on the eve of Operasi Lalang at the Umno Youth rally in TPCA Stadium. As the Umno Youth chief then, he displayed ethnocentric gusto in unsheathing his keris and announcing that it would taste Chinese blood by the end of the day.

It might have been an act of foolish bravado but it still resonates among some Chinese today. Considered together with the video that is making the rounds again of his address to the Umno and Malay NGOs audience in Putra Word Trade Centre (PWTC) a few days after Bersih 2.0, in which he said, with much tribal sound and fury, “We will show them whose country this is!”, many wonder if the leopard has changed its spots.

For all his talk of 1Malaysia, Najib is still an ethnocentrist at heart.

He has said he will meet the Chinese educationist group Dong Zong to discuss the latter’s demands in regard to Chinese education. In all likelihood, he will agree to meet some if not all of them as a last-ditch measure to win Chinese votes. He might even declare the Government’s recognition – finally – of the United Examination Certificate (UEC), a dream the Chinese educationists have been pursuing for the longest time.

If this consequently prompts Dong Zong to endorse Najib and BN for the coming general election, it could sway a good number of Chinese votes in the direction of BN. Then, like they did in 1999 when they saved Mahathir Mohamad’s bacon by strongly supporting his coalition when the Malays were swinging to the Opposition, they could hand BN a victory … and, who knows?, maybe even a two-thirds majority, which is what Najib desperately covets.

However, this is going to be a crucial general election. It is the one time when real change for the country can come about with a change of government.

The Chinese need to consider carefully about giving their vote to BN. They need to consider the long-term effects of another BN victory. They need to weigh the possibility of real reform in the event of BN being booted out and a new coalition taking over that could bring positive change.

They need to be wary of Najib’s sweet talk and his gifts. If he gives them Government recognition of the UEC, more independent Chinese schools, whatever, they might want to just accept these politely, say thank you and think of voting according to what they think is right.

Dong Zong on its part should remain neutral and not take a stand by endorsing BN. For if it does and Pakatan wins the general election, it would find itself in an awkward position.

The Chinese have a big role to play now in this coming general election. Najib can say anything till he is blue in the face, but they have to weigh the truth or lack of it in what he says. Besides, ensuring harmony and a conducive environment for work and living in the country is, after all, the responsibility – indeed, duty – of any government for which no gratitude from the citizens is necessary. So the Chinese don’t owe BN anything.

Above all, the Chinese must not forget about the corruption that has been rampant under BN rule for decades. And the rent-seeking. And the slow growth of our GDP since 1980 in comparison to South Korea , Taiwan , Singapore , etc. These affect the whole country, not just the Chinese, and are therefore all the more important.

So, when it comes to the crunch, the Chinese must vote for only one thing – a better Malaysia.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, and the latest volume, Ask for No Bullshit, Get Some More!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Efforts by the state to make the minorities halal

CPI Introduction

One of our readers sent this lament from an anonymous source of the way in which the racial factor works in this country and has been exploited by those that wield power. Although it may be read as an alarmist, biased and exaggerated analysis of how racial and religious dynamics are pushing the country towards a downward spiral, it does provide food for thought.

We have left out its most contentious parts lest we be accused of attempting to stoke racial sentiments and intolerance. It is an article which, however unpleasant to read, reflects many of the feelings at the ground level of the country’s marginalized communities, and which politics and policies have disappointed to a dangerously pessimistic degree.

Even if our body politic is not afflicted by a life-threatening cancerous growth as alleged by our anonymous writer, the cure for the country’s numerous boils and abscesses is to lance them, drain the contaminated pus and clean the wound. The country desperately awaits leaders who can heal rather than compound the damage to our citizenry.

Citizens to Pendatangs – Frogs on a slow boil By Ice Cream Seller

I am no science buff but remember reading about putting frogs in cold water and then slowly putting the water to boil. The frogs (unlike the Perak species) will die as they will be unaware of the change in temperature that will ultimately prove fatal.

Dear Malaysian brethren of whatever ilk, we will suffer the same fate as the innocent frogs if we let the country spiral to another Iran or Pakistan.

I am – in today’s parlance – a 3rd generation pendatang. Let’s call it Genpentiga (Generasi Pendatang Tiga). I suppose it can’t be that bad when a Genpendua became PM for 22 years. But then he metamorphosed into a Malay and cut his Indian roots only to go back to Kerala recently to see if there were any offshoots, I suppose, or perhaps some trait of mortality dictated that he visit his roots in his autumn days.

I look at my children Genpenempat and wonder what place they have left under our sun. Should I leave them in the water where they are comfortable or kick them out of their ‘comfort water’? Old frogs like me might as well die in the Malaysian water anyway; we are fast reaching our sell-by date.

I would like to share, if I may, some developments and events that have brought me to this juncture and by doing so, hope that the Genpenempat open their eyes wider and see beyond what meets the eye. These are in no order of priority but illustrate the point to me nonetheless.

Fuad Stephens

I am no East Malaysian but I remember how he perished in a plane crash with a few others. What if his plane was sabotaged? What would have been if this did not happen? Would Sabah be the same as it is today, with millions of new Malaysians? Would he have stood up to the shenanigans in KL? Would Sabah be 1/4 partner in Malaysia together with the Malaya, Singapore and Sarawak instead of being colonised into 1/13 and be submissive to Putrajaya? Would Malaysia be the same today?

Perak heist

What played out in the ‘transfer’ back to BN control opened my eyes as to what could happen on a Federal level. If the elected Speaker can be literally dragged out of his seat, what is there to suggest they can’t drag you out of your house? Remember, you are a PENDATANG. Of course, his replacement could not be a Malay so they had to get another pendatang to be the puppet to try and even the score. The new Menteri Besar is also a pendatang but he has the right qualification as PM Genpendua if you get my drift.


The goings on currently in Selangor mirror Perak to some degree. The previous Menteri Besar, also a Genpendua but with the deemed suitable qualifications, ran the administration like a bandit in Java but still has not been brought to the 14th floor in Shah Alam to coerce some information from him about how he managed to have such a successful dental practice to be able to own a palace bigger than what he could have seen in Java.

Teoh Beng Hock

Pendatangs beware. If your children are getting married soon, even the next day, keep them under house arrest for their own safety. Every time my kids go out, we worry till they are back safe. If you work for the ‘wrong’ boss, it could cost you your life. But then, if you work for the ‘right’ boss, you may save your life and yet lose your soul. So pendatangs, choose between your life and your soul.


I ask myself if the same fate would have been met if it was someone with a fairer complexion or at least the same ‘qualification’ as the ex-MB of the same state in which he died. Kugan and his type are today seen as an inconvenience, pests, scroungers and lately even christened “pariahs”. I suspect Kugan had deeper roots in Malaysia than the ex-MB. Whatever wrong he may have done, the video clips of his relatives barging into the mortuary and the outpouring of anguish left a lasting impression.

In the same vein, when one of my staff was killed in a motor accident, the records at the mortuary showed that the cause of death was “mabuk”. He was a teetotaller. On my insistence and with the timely arrival of the foreign pathologist who was employed there, the records were corrected. Just because he was of Indian origin, it was felt apt to put in “mabuk”!

History syllabus

In the school that I went to (Victoria Institution), we were taught history only till Form 3 unless you did Arts in Forms 4 and 5. My children were both Science stream students till Form 5 but they had to do History. I had a peek at their textbooks; seems like History has changed a fair bit.

They are fed rubbish, to put it mildly. It is His Story as told and imagined by a few bigots. My daughter’s book had an image of a Sikh with a turban but with the description Orang Bengali! Don’t they know that Bengalis are from Bengal and Sikhs are Punjabis from Punjab ?

I suppose this is to be expected when many wear the mantle of ‘Malay’ despite coming from all corners of Asia. They have tried to lose trace of where they originate. Turks, Arabs, Chinese, Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Cambodians, Thais are all re-badged Malays. We now await the Africans, Caucasians and Eskimos to join ranks and be members of Umno Baru. A relative of Obama might yet lead Malaysia .

SPM answer scripts (I laugh so loud on this…)

When my children sat for their SPM examinations a few years ago, they had to tick a box to indicate if they were Muslim or not. Was it because they were in need of divine intervention in the event they are not Muslim? Or were the scripts marked according to whether they were halal or not?

Matriculation courses

It is widely accepted that the successor to the HSC, the STPM, is a tough examination. But stroll into an STPM class and you will observe that the Bumi students are conspicuously less. They are doing matriculation which we are led to believe is on par with STPM for entry to local universities.

Genpempat are likewise conspicuously less in matriculation courses. The intakes to universities are then claimed to be on merit despite being based on different examinations. With all this, how does one unify a nation?


The very fact that there is an attempt to copyright this word shows acute insecurity. In Pakistan, I was greeted withAssalammulaikum during my work visits there. To them, it was just being polite and civil. Here, it becomes “confusing” and threatening. The fact that the Catholic Church won a High Court case in this matter only to have it appealed with no hearing date in sight illustrates the insecurity and illuminates the deceit of the authorities.


When they joined to form Malaysia, little did they realise that this majority Christian state was going to be swamped by aliens to the extent that the aliens outnumber the natives. The flushing in of these aliens over a concentrated period of time had a very sinister motive. Pendatangs should always be conscious of this. In Malay I call it niat jahat. The parallel that comes to mind for me is Ali Jinnah and his actions in carving out Pakistan (history as I learned many, many years after leaving school) from pre-independence India. Till today, Pakistan knows no peace for a sustained time.


The man in the street seeks justice on earth in the courts. Our judicial system simply fails the test on perception alone. Our history books as they stand are not going to record how this institution degenerated into the sewers by the actions of one man principally. The Attorney General has an image problem (and I am not referring to his face). The Chief Justice is supposed to be on record as having admitted to bribing clerks or junior staff to get things moving during his time as a lawyer. Add to that he was an Umno member. Pendatang, do you see the writing on the wall?

Scaling Mt Everest

Two of the mountaineers who reached the summit were of Indian origin. Rumour has it that the premier at the time was dismayed that the expedition leader couldn’t be there instead due to blisters on his feet. The injured leader however, never begrudged them and shared in the joy of the conquest.

One of the two mountaineers has since died and his widow is still bewildered over the snatching of his body on claims that her husband had masuk Islam. Pendatang, when you die, your wife may be subject to so many hassles you wonder if it was worth conquering Everest. Your carcass is more important than your conquest. (I use the term “carcass” deliberately.)

Jail for Lim Guan Eng

This Pendatang is now a Chief Minister and doing a damn good job in between ducking attacks from Utusan and Umno and their stooges. But remember he went to jail for speaking up for a victim of rape. From a perverse point of view, was it because he was a Pendatang and the alleged perpetrator was not? Pity there wasn’t Wikileaks then.

Cow head incident

Blatant, flagrant, insulting. But not as dangerous as a candlelight vigil with women taking part. Whilst the cow’s head went on display in Shah Alam, the Home Minister went on display to show the cow brains over television. That the police allowed them to bring it all the way to the MB’s office gate shows their partiality as far as I am concerned. Mark this episode, Pendatangs.


Malaysia’s own fifth column. Just observe how they move about like uniformed thug especially when raiding foreign workers’ quarters. They are just insecure bullies garbed in state sponsored uniforms. Many are not in it for love of country. More for love of money from extortions. Close parallel to what exists in Iran. Ideal source for extra judicial activities, so Pendatangs, be wary. Also progressive/liberal/moderate Muslims need to be aware. Again, just like what happened over the years in Iran and Pakistan.


A car I have vowed never to buy for what it represents. Aggregate all the money to protect this deity, we could have used the same to fund a decent public transport system in the country. Like others taken for a ride, I beamed with ‘pride’ when the first car was launched. Now, it has become a mirror of the NEP implementation –

overpriced, under-performing, waste of resources. I suspect the hidden agenda behind this project was to have a halal car.

Buka puasa

My Muslim friends tell me that buka puasa is a time to have a simple meal to break the fast. What we are having on display is an orgy of gluttony. Tables in hotels overflow onto passageways and corridors for this time of year. And many a time, the host of a table is a Pendatang. The guests come sometimes shamelessly comparing the offerings at different hotels in front of their paying hosts. Is there any meaning left in this supposedly holy month?

Ivory Coast

The person clinging to power in the Ivory Coast – at great cost to his country – is giving us a taste of what can happen in Malaysia. Please pay attention to what Laurent Gbagbo does. The same ingredients are here. Umno will take heart from him, from the Burmese Junta, from Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka, from Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

For Ibrahim Ali, these are angels sent from heaven and will be given honorary Perkasa membership.

Legacy of Mahathir

There is no denying his intellect. Unfortunately, I will remember him as the person who singularly destroyed what Malaysia was to me. No need to elucidate – it is there for all to see.

The Malaysia as I knew and loved is no more. It died a slow death after battling cancer for 22 years but is there hope for resurrection in the horizon not for me but for Genpempat?

* The write-up above had earlier appeared in Malaysia Today on 10 Jan 2011.*

Twins of evil

by Mariam Mokhtar | Malaysiakini

He was a Machiavellian ruler who is alleged to have corrupted his way to the top, and became Malaysia’s longest serving prime minister, but will the historians have to revise Malaysian history?

Some argue that former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia with an iron fist for 22 years, should be remembered as a visionary leader and a tireless administrator. Others disagree and call him a ruthless dictator who silenced his critics and allowed corruption, cronyism and nepotism to flourish.

Today, Mahathir is as divisive as ever and despite being retired, has managed to upstage the current Prime Minister, Najib Abdul Razak, many times during the latter’s tenure.

Najib could have ordered an investigation based on Mahathir’s own admission about the influx of illegal immigrants being given citizenship provided they voted for the ruling party; but Najib is more scared of Mahathir. If Najib had not been weighted down by so much baggage, he could have silenced Mahathir once and for all.

Many Malaysian housewives are familiar with the ‘Buku 555′; the four inches by three inches notebook in which they would record purchases from their travelling grocer. Mahathir is alleged to have a ‘Buku 555′, which is worth its weight in gold; it allegedly lists the wrongdoings of his cabinet ministers and cronies.

Few ministers would dare act honourably, fearful of the release of potentially explosive material which could end their political careers and jeopardise their ill-gotten fortunes.

Four decades ago, Mahathir used the Malays to further his own political ambitions. He and others realised that the Malays were in deep trouble. So, out came the economic policies which were supposed to help them but which only benefitted his close allies and family members.

Now, Mahathir is again using the backwardness of the Malays to urge them to vote for BN. He used emotive language such as “The British managed to conquer Malaya without losing a single soldier,” and that the Malay rulers had a hand in this.

If Mahathir’s memory was not so bad, he would have remembered his history lessons and known that the foreign invading forces had superior firepower. Perhaps the Malay rulers wanted to avoid unnecessary bloodshed. It is disingenuous and disrespectful of Mahathir to blame the Malay rulers in this flippant manner.

A few hundred years earlier, at the invasion of Malacca in 1511, the certain traders valued their trading rights more than their honour and betrayed the Malacca sultan, thus forcing him and his sons to retreat into the jungles and flee to Perak, Johor and Sumatra.

Last week, Mahathir accused the Malays of relinquishing their economic power to non-Malays. He said, “We let immigrants take over because we do not want to work and do not want to learn to do new things… we prefer to fish and plant padi.” Ironically, most of the immigrants were brought in by Mahathir in his ‘Project M’.

Dependence culture

It was Umno which created this dependence culture and it was Umno’s affirmative action economic policies which made the Malay less competitive. Umno sold them the idea that the Malays were the greatest and they believed that they could achieve success, without hard work.

Today, Najib has carried this trend of affirmative action further, by giving them cash. When will the Malay become independent of government handouts?

Perhaps, Mahathir’s most despicable act is the call for the constitution to be amended, so that Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga can be stripped of her citizenship. She did not admit hundreds of thousands of foreigners to our shores. Mahathir did.

Umno does not respect diversity nor does it encourage fairness. It has reduced Malaysian politics to salacious entertainment.

Najib has appeared on television in Chinese New Year adverts dressed in Chinese costume and beating drums. In a radio advertisement, he speaks Mandarin with his son. This induced many to switch off their radios.

At Thaipusam, why did Najib not carry a kavadi and get pierced? Is the Indian vote not important? Did Najib think that doling out packets of rice to the Indians was sufficient? At Christmas, why did Najib not don a Father Christmas costume and dole out his BR1M vouchers from his sack of goodies?

It is time Najib stopped treating politics as a reality television show. If he wanted to get the public on his side, he should get a firm grip on his leadership, and punish the people who are responsible for police brutality, corruption and abuse of power.

Instead, he protects those who are guilty. No one has been made accountable, no one has been sacked, and no one has been shamed.

When Mahathir said that BN had to win a two-thirds majority in GE13, he was issuing a warning to Najib and to the greater public, especially the Malays. Najib had the audacity to remind the opposition not to create chaos should it lose the general election and yet, at press conferences, when he was asked if BN would agree to a smooth transition of power to the winner, Najib would not comment. He would just walk out and abruptly terminate the session.

Whatever the outcome of GE13, Mahathir already has a musical named after him, ‘Tun Mahathir’. Dance routines and songs depict his life from his childhood to his premiership; though it is more of a fairy tale than a musical. None of the corruption, cronyism and nepotism which flourished under his rule, are featured.

According to the Petronas blurb, the Twin Towers which dominate the KL skyline are supposed to symbolise modernity and a progressive nation. They are supposed to be the brainchild and inspiration of Mahathir and T Ananda Krishnan. The outline of the towers resembles the letter ‘M’ for Malaysia.

Who knows, one day, some sycophant might say that the ‘M’ stands for Mahathir and they will be renamed the Mahathir Towers.

How awful it would be if, every time we see the twin towers, we were reminded only of the twin evils of corruption and cronyism.

MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

The PM is Demeaning Himself

By Kee Thuan Chye | Malaysiakini

It looks like Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Najib Razak has outdone himself at self-debasement. His appearance in the now much-talked-about Chinese New Year advertisement has not only shown his desperation to win Chinese votes in the soon-to-be-held general election; it has also elicited responses from viewers full of derision and contempt.

I showed it to someone who is non-partisan, sensible, well-educated and who exercises good judgment, and these were her reactions as she watched it:

“Hak sei ngor! (Shocking)” … “Unheard of” … “Eeyer! Geli! (Makes my skin crawl)” … “Trying too hard”.

Her remarks are uncannily similar to those that have been expressed on Facebook by many other Malaysians.

In the advertisement, as Chinese New Year preparations are under way, a little girl brings out a small drum to play. A figure suddenly appears. To instil a sense of mystery, the video shows only his legs. He asks the girl, “Do you know how to beat a drum?” Then we see the man for the first time, but only the lower part of his face. Najib’s famous pink lips and moustache are instantly recognisable!

It is at the recognition of Najib that my friend gasped, “Hak sei ngor!”

The girl gives Najib her drum. But why? We don’t know. Going by his question, wasn’t he supposed to show her how to beat a drum?

The scene changes, and the lyrical background music gives way to drum beats. We then see a close-up of a pair of hands beating a large Chinese drum with sticks. A lion’s head appears. The girl gasps. Firecrackers are set off. A lion dance is on. More drummers join in. A crowd watches the dance with awe. But after a while, their expressions change to curiosity. One or two crane their necks to get a better view of the drummers. More firecrackers explode.

Then an elderly man lets out a cry of surprise. No wonder! The drummer is revealed in full glory. It is – lo and behold! – none other than Najib! Wearing a red Chinese costume, Najib beats the drum once, twice, then flings both arms out like an eagle to signify the end of the performance with a cry of “Hah!”.

At this point, my friend exclaimed, “Eeyer! Geli!”

The smiling crowd applauds. More firecrackers explode. Next we see the girl whispering something in Najib’s ear. A smiling Najib says something back to her. This is followed by a shot of a Chinese word on a piece of red paper and then of Najib, hands clasped together, wishing everyone, “Gong Xi Fa Cai.”

My friend had a good laugh. “He’s trying too hard,” she remarked.

Paying attention to detail

On Facebook, those who know Chinese criticised the writing of the Chinese word and pointed out it should have instead been written as “吉”, with the upper horizontal line being longer than the bottom one. In the advertisement, it is rendered the other way around, which apparently connotes bad luck.

And since the word denotes an approximation of “Jib”, which Najib has come to adopt as his Chinese name (Ah Jib), it doesn’t forebode well for him.

One really wonders why his advisers did not pay attention to detail. And why they did not caution him that performing in this advertisement might bring him lower in public esteem.

To be sure, there were some Netizens who expressed appreciation for the advertisement and his role in it, but far more were full of ridicule.

“Oh, gosh! This ad actually made my mind go blank for a good five minutes … that’s before I burst into laughter. Stupidest ad ever!” wrote one. And this was among the milder ones.

On Najib’s performance, many said it was “lawak” (clownish). One called him “an absolute clown”, another called him “Maharaja lawak” (king of clowns).

A kinder critic wrote, “We do not need a PM who can play drums, we need a PM who can stop corruption.”

In almost the same vein: “Dear PM, we would like to see you spend more time managing the country rather than carry out a PR exercise like this.”

And of course, some demanded to know how much of the people’s money was spent on this “desperate act by a desperate PM”.

Also, because the advertisement endorsed the burning of firecrackers, which is actually banned in Malaysia, one Netizen summed up the sentiment surrounding this issue by commenting, “Sejak bila kaum Tiong Hua dibenarkan membakar mercun? Janji tidak ditepati!” (Since when has the Chinese community been allowed to burn firecrackers? Promise unfulfilled!)

A most telling comment was the one that echoed my friend’s: “Aiyer … geli!”

And the one that sought to predict the near future: “Hahahaha … jawatan baru lepas kalah PRU13 … Ketua Ketuk Gendang Tarian Singa!” (Hahahaha … new job after losing GE13 … Head Lion Dance Drummer!)

Najib’s public relations advisers have truly mucked up. Strategies such as putting out this advertisement to try and win votes can, in fact, have the reverse effect. They annoy people.

It’s the same with the letters, postcards, SMSes that BN has been sending out wishing people Happy Chinese New Year or Happy Birthday or greeting them during other festivals. It freaks people out that BN is privy to their private particulars, like their birthdate or their mobile phone number.

The recent Chinese New Year letter is accompanied by ang-pow packets with Najib’s face on them. What a waste of money printing them! Who is going to use ang-pow packets with his face on them? For some Chinese, it could mean bad luck!

Normally, ang-pow packets carry symbols of happiness, luck, prosperity or the image of the animal of that year. Never the face of a person. A person steeped in Chinese culture said to me, “Even Mao Zedong never had his face on a red packet!”

Obviously, Najib’s advisers are not well-versed in Chinese culture. They were also not smart in getting the Korean K-Pop sensation Psy to perform his ‘Oppa Gangnam Style’ number at the BN Open House in Penang on the second day of Chinese New Year.

Obviously, the event was meant to attract a mammoth crowd so that BN could boast that it and Najib had the support of Penangites. But as it turned out, most of the people who went for it were not there for Najib but for Psy. And once Psy’s performance was over, many left in droves. That took the thunder away from Najib.

More than that, cynical questions were raised about the astronomical cost of bringing Psy in for such a brief performance. Even though the organisers said that a private sponsor underwrote it, the gesture showed a penchant for extravagance that starkly contrasted the difficult economic times, especially for common Malaysians coping with the rising prices of essential goods.

As for winning votes, one doubts Penangites would be fooled into siding BN just because it brought Psy in to perform for them. However BN may underestimate their intelligence, Penangites are not stupid.

Sure enough, just before Psy was about to appear, Najib asked the crowd three times, “Are you ready for Psy?” and each time the crowd shouted, “Yes!” But when he followed that with the ill-advised question, “Are you ready for BN?”, the crowd replied with a resounding “No!” And he foolishly asked it three times as well, each time getting the same negative reply. Frankly, he looked stupid. So much for Malaysia’s prime minister.

One Netizen summed it up aptly on Facebook: “The irony for BN is they spent close to RM3,000,000 for a publicity stunt that backfired, and it became a people’s forum to say NO to BN.”

In his desperation to ensure victory for BN at the coming general election – and especially the two-thirds majority that he may need in order to keep his job – is Najib aware that he is losing his self-respect?

Well, the way he’s been going around begging the people to keep BN in power for another term; the lack of confidence he exhibited when he said on Jan 5 that he hoped he would still be prime minister to have the opportunity to open KLIA2 on June 28; the cash handouts he’s been throwing out to win the people’s favour; and now the Chinese New Year advertisement and Psy circus, he seems willing to do anything to attain his desperate goal. Even if it means losing his dignity.

Perhaps he thinks that if he keeps doing it, people will kesian (pity) him and give him sympathy votes. But any way you look at it, that’s really pathetic. Especially for the person who holds the nation’s highest office. What he needs to understand is that people will not respect him if he doesn’t respect himself. And without respect, he has no business being PM.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the bestselling book No More Bullshit, Please, We’re All Malaysians, and the latest volume, Ask for No Bullshit, Get Some More!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Penang CM Lim Guan Eng Chinese New Year Speech

Respect for Diversity, Public Integrity And Rule of Law Is Not The Problem But The Solution Towards Realising Malaysia’s Aspirations of A Peaceful and Prosperous Developed Nation.

DAP Chinese New Year Message By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng In Kuala Lumpur On 11.2.2013.

The Year of the Snake will be a challenging year as it will also be a general election year that will determine not only the course of our children’s future but also the nation’s destiny. However this gives Malaysians the rare opportunity to signal clearly that respect for diversity, public integrity and rule of law is not the problem but the solution towards realising Malaysia’s aspirations of a peaceful and prosperous developed nation.

As Malaysians embrace the K-pop culture and national leaders indulge their love for PSY, we must remember that South Korea’s success is tied to these values and solution. For this reason, Malaysians must make their choice based on which party maintains consistent principles, offer people-centric policies and is competent in delivering performance.

No longer shall Malaysians submit, but will stand up to condemn the use of racist and derogatory remarks by UMNO leaders towards minority communities. The habitual racist remarks by UMNO leaders are individually repulsive but what is most deplorable, when these attitudes are held by those in government.

DAP believes that Malaysians will reject former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s call that BN be returned with a 2/3 majority so that the Federal Constitution can be amended to strip off the citizenship of dissenting Malaysian lawyers such as Bersih co-Chair Datuk S. Ambiga. Previously UMNO MPs had asked for Datuk Ambiga to be hanged for organizing the Bersih rallies.

When the UMNO-backed Perkasa made the incendiary call to burn the Bible, Muslim and Malays stood up together with non-Muslims to condemn such irresponsible acts. Some Muslims even publicly read passages from the Bible to show their solidarity and respect for other faiths.

The challenges for the Chinese community are inextricably intertwined with those faced by all Malaysians. The problems of Chinese education whether lack of funding or non-recognition of Unified Examination Certificates, lack of equal opportunities and erosion of political rights must be resolved together with those faced by other communities. Our goals of a fairer, freer, cleaner, safer and prosperous society can not be advanced if another community suffers and injustice.

Just as we must not ignore but accept our differences, we must also not dismiss but respect our diversity. Regardless of what gods we pray, we are all created differently. It is these differences that we are one – one human race.

Similarly Malaysia achieved Merdeka with full recognition of our differences and diversity. It is the recognition and acceptance of these differences by Tunku Abdul Rahman that makes Malaysia one nation. Let us reaffirm our commitment towards a Merdeka united by common values of justice, democracy and freedom regardless of race, religion and background.

—-Mandarin Version —












Monday, February 11, 2013

Are you ready for PSY, YES, YES, YES Are you ready for BN 'SAI' NO, NO, NO

Why must umno-bn be so desperate to play politics even during the Chinese New Year and they claim they are not when they brought in PSY to perform in Penang. The event happening proved that they lied and indeed its all about politicking and not about celebrating the Chinese New Year with Penangnites even to the extend that PSY refused to join in.

My two tweets before the day of the event:

Richard Loh ‏@MalaysiaForAll 2 Feb
A quick poll via sms to friends of both sides. 'Any advantage 4umno-bn to bring in PSY' All 10 friends say NO! 6 added that it may backfire!

Richard Loh ‏@MalaysiaForAll 6 Feb
Penangnites welcome @NajibRazak @drchuaSL with open arms 2celebrate CNY No political speeches/politicking if ur sincere 2 celebrate with us

Watch the following YouTube and see how Penangntes welcome PSY and totally rejected umno-bn Najib 'SAI":

Wednesday, February 6, 2013





Saturday, February 2, 2013

Check your voting election STATUS and Voting tips - VERY IMPORTANT

Please check your status constantly to ensure that your name is in the voters list or not being moved to another constituency

Please pass it on.

Genral Election Voting Tips


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