Check Your Voting Status

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Is Pakatan Rakyat no different from UmnoBN?

Is this equation true:

90% positive + 10% negative = 90% negative + 10% positive

With Malaysia claiming that its education system is among the best in the world there can be no argument that many educated Malaysians would say that it is true.

The above equation is an example of Malaysians learning when they see the 10% of Pakatan Rakyat negative performances as equal to UmnoBN 10% positive performances hence terming PR is no difference from UmnoBN. The 90% positive performances against UmnoBN 90% negative performances are ignored.

Malaysians are using the Selangor Assembly salary hikes, the JAIS raid and Penang Chief Minister Mercedes Benz to justify and conclude PR is no difference from UmnoBN. You have the right to argue that the three issues were wrong depending on how you judge and from whose point of views you are hearing and reading from.

There is nothing wrong with the Selangor Assembly salary hikes and Penang Chief Minister Mercedes Benz which I have given my point of views in my earlier two articles here and here.

Up till now I do not really know who or what is JAIS. There are so many different argument as who is running JAIS and the power it holds. Some say it is under the Selangor state government, some say it is under the Sultan's purview while others say it is under the federal government. Those who are angered by JAIS raid (mostly the Christians and social activist groups) and some who are playing politics, like Gerakan De-facto President, Tan Keng Liang, are blaming the Selangor state government.

No one in the state government, federal government nor the palace would want to come out with a full guidelines and explanation as to the official function, power limit and under whose jurisdiction of JAIS. This is the second time that JAIS has conducted raid unofficially, without warrant to enter, confiscate items and most likely illegally.

The Selangor state government, Federal government and the palace must issue a joint statement on the details about JAIS to avoid any more such raids. JAIS must be held responsible for any illegal activities and warned that they are not above the law, Islamic concern or not.

Malaysia next generation has risen, brave, pact with knowledge, connecting to the real world and even blame the older generation for doing nothing that allows the nation to be in such a dire state. They claim to stand on a non partisan platform and wanted check and balance but to what extend can they really achieve. Sorry, but we have to be realistic.

You lost the keys to your house, either you call a locksmith or you have to break the lock. Either way you still have to change the lock. The lock is of no use without key and the locksmith cannot be there at all times to lock and unlock whenever you want.

UmnoBN is like the lock and they have already thrown away your keys a long time ago. The opposition MPs that you elected in are just locksmiths that can just help in a small way but not in the long term. You protest, hold rallies and demonstrations in order to break the government so that you can enter in the hope that they will listen to you. This is like breaking the lock so that you can enter but without keys you can't lock and unlock as and when you like to enter or leave. The lock has to be changed and so is UmnoBN.

Malaysia has come to this point where standing on a non partisan platform no longer works in forcing the government like UmnoBN to correct themselves and to do the right things. When UmnoBN government institutes like PDRM, MACC, Judiciary can unashamedly show their partisanship in performing their duties what is wrong for you to stand on a partisan platform. UmnoBN is like the lock without key, useless and need to be changed.

You may see me as a blind opposition supporter but I am not. What I see is that UmnoBN is no longer fit to govern and that Pakatan Rakyat though may not be 100% perfect is a better choice and we cannot because of a few wrongs(individual opinion) to equate PR as no difference to UmnoBN.

You stand on a partisan platform so that you can have a better view on check and balance. Yes, you can easily check but surely you won't be able to have a balance no matter how you try when it comes to a lock without keys like UmnoBN.

You still can stand on a partisan platform, not necessary with PR but sharing the same agenda to change the useless lock without keys and that is UmnoBN comes GE14.

From now till GE 14, PR is bound to make a few more mistakes (real, unintentionally or problems created by UmnoBN) we have to judge them with an open mind unless PR has really gone the UmnoBN ways of cronyism, large scale of corruptions, wastage, leakages and becomes a lock with no keys.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

UmnoBN follies but blame it on PR and the States they rule?

What is wrong with this nation? Nothing wrong at all. The right question should be, "What is wrong with the 56 years old UmnoBN led government"? The answer would be, too many wrongs that we lost count.

In this article I will just highlight a couple of wrongs which I deem are prerequisite to the overall poor performances of the UmnoBN led government.

Admission of Guilt

No one has ever admitted the wrongs that were originated right from the heart of PutraJaya, starting from the Prime Minister, Ministers down to the civil servants. While it is acceptable to many that they don't admit their guilt what is worst is that they can use all the highest authorities to defend their wrongs, from Bank Negara, PDRM, MACC and if necessary the judiciary. Cases such as the NFC, PKFZ, the billions of illegal capital flight, 'Extravagant expenditures' and the year in year out Auditor General Annual Reports, just to name a few.

It is fine if you do not admit guilt but to continue with the wrongs instead of correcting and putting a stop to it reflects how bad the government is performing.

Attitude of US against YOU

UmnoBN seem to have forgotten that they are running the federal government and all authorities, except the Inland Revenue Department, also have forgotten they are there to serve everyone. They are running the nation like it belongs to them solely and if you voted against UmnoBN, express in any way against government policies or simply not happy with what they are doing, YOU are told to leave the country. After 56 years they have become so arrogant that they would not allow any slightest dissent and whatever they do YOU have to accept it, failing which they use their famous phrase 'National Security' and turn YOU into a criminal.

PDRM is supposed to maintain law and order and act without fear or favor, ARE THEY? As the highest law authority of the nation they cannot simply imagine, concoct nor speculative of crimes without clear evidence or facts. Case in point is the TURUN rally on New Year eve.

As for MACC and other authorities, do I need to go into details? They may all claim to be impartial and act without fear or favor but their actions (the exact opposite) speak louder than their words.

The whole UmnoBN machineries are not performing like any government should be but working hard to destroy anyone that are against or not happy with them by using whatever means. This kind of attitude "If you're not with US, you're against US" does not bode well for the nation progress at all.

UmnoBN Federal Government against PR State Governments

The rise of Pakatan Rakyat has weaken and brought UmnoBN to it's knees. They are trying to show off that they are still capable of standing tall but not doing it in a gentleman's way. They are not just hitting below the belt but much further down trying to create as much pain as possible to Pakatan Rakyat. Being famous for who they are the past 56 years, they can never admit that the states under PR are doing very well with competent leaders. They are on the look out for any slightest mistake to create a very big issue out of it. If they found none they will fear nothing to create something out of nothing.

This bring me to the issue of the Mercedes Benz purchased by the Penang state government for use by the Chief Minister. What is wrong with that, may I ask? UmnoBN came out in full force to chastise the CM and even Malaysiakini unashamedly came out with the headlines As rakyat tightens belt, Penang CM rolls in new Benz.

Has UmnoBN critics and Malaysiakini find out why, who, what, how that cause the rakyat to tighten their belts? Is it really because of CM Lim Guan Eng's Mercedes Benz and his poor performances that will cause hardship to the rakyat?

UmnoBN federal government controls everything in this nation as a whole and economically as well. The well being of the rakyat and nation, be it good or bad, to tighten belt or not lie solely on UmnoBN federal government performances. Penang no doubt is under PR but Penangnites have to tighten their belts is not because of the state government but UmnoBN federal government mismanagement.

To put it simply, Penang is under PR management but controlled by UmnoBN federal government. All taxes go to federal coffer but unfair and unequal distribution back to PR states, even funds allotted to MPs bypass the opposition. Penang government has to find its own money to sustain running the state well and well being of Penangnites and CM Lim Guan Eng is doing a fine job. Since 2009 the state government has being distributing cash allowances to various groups of societies, the retired, students, schools and many others on a yearly basis. Road upgrading, paving and playgrounds are being carried out where necessary or required. These are all carried out irrespective whether there is any election.

As a Penangnite I can see that Penang under PR and CM Lim Guan Eng is well managed with the least leakage/wastage/corruption but as a Malaysian I can see that UmnoBN led federal government is leading the nation to oblivion. So, for such a good performance by CM Lim Guan Eng the reward of a Mercedes Benz is too much? Just for comparison, is the PM 1Malaysia Air Force One a necessity or waste?

When UmnoBN critics are blind to their own follies and blame others for it, YOU should wake up and make your stand against such a government that cares not about YOU but themselves. The case in point is that Gerakan BIG chief Tan Keng Liang twitting and holding a forum #OhMyGaji aiming at Selangor assembly salary hike claiming boldly that he is fighting for the rakyat but chicken out when ask to hold the same forum in Kuching and another on the toll hike #OhMyToll. YOU can all clearly seen the hypocrisy of these UmnoBN leaders when they start talking about championing and fighting for the rakyat.

2014 is here, will UmnoBN continue doing what they are best at or start managing the country in a proper and right way?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Journalists, Fight for Your Freedom!

By Kee Thuan Chye | Yahoo! News

The scourge is upon us. The Government is getting unreasonably authoritarian by suspending the publishing licence of the news weekly The Heat. We are seeing the beginnings of a return to Mahathirism, to the culture of fear that former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad imposed on us. It’s time to nip it in the bud before it gets more grim.

I call on the media and all journalists to do their part to stop the tyranny against media freedom. Stand up and take back your right to freedom of speech and expression. Push for the repeal of the Printing Presses and Publications Act (PPPA) which accords power to the Home Ministry to grant and revoke licences.

A friend of mine who works in the media suggests a sympathy strike by all journalists, with media owners in tacit support. Is that doable? Or is it too much to ask?

Well, perhaps getting the cooperation of media owners will be virtually impossible – especially those of the mainstream media since most of them are affiliated to the ruling coalition – but journalists can stage the strike on their own.

So often, mainstream media journalists complain to me about having to take bullshit from their bosses, about having to do things that grate against their journalistic beliefs. So often, they say they are fed up. Now is the time for them to say, “Enough is enough!”

It’s time to refrain from being just bread-and-butter journalists or, as Sasterawan Negara A. Samad Said calls it, carma (cari makan) journalists.

The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) should facilitate this fight for media liberation. Once and for all, it should do what people expect it to do – represent journalists, fight for their welfare. And by fighting for their welfare, I mean not just fighting for material benefits like better pay. Far more important than that is satisfaction at work – and, certainly, the pride of being a journalist.

Reclaim that pride, journalists. The pride that you lost in the last few decades because megalomaniacs in the ruling establishment ensured that you didn’t do your job as you should, because they ensured that sycophants were promoted to become editors-in-chief. Now that megalomania is returning, it is incumbent on you, as watchdogs of society, to regain your traditional role and help our country move forward, away from the shackles of a regressive regime.

Reclaim that pride of being able to tell the truth, report the news as it should be reported and serve your reading public rightly. Instead of spinning the truth to serve the sinister agenda of the ruling coalition.

Editors-in-chief, change your stance of being a servant of the Government. Get your cojones back. Start publishing reports that expose the truth about what the Government does instead of those that seek to protect it; give equal coverage to the Opposition; be critical of both; give voice to the people in the Op-Ed pages. As long as a report is not libellous or seditious, it does not contravene the law. So what is there to fear?

If every media publication tells it like it is, would the Home Ministry suspend them all? Well, test it and see. Let the ministry suspend all and see what happens.

The Heat was doing its journalistic duty of telling it like it is. That’s why it has been stopped in its tracks. But what it did in no way broke the law. So how could the Home Ministry suspend it just like that?

The ministry gave it a show cause letter to which it must respond within two weeks. But only nine days after issuing the letter on December 10, the ministry ordered suspension on December 19. How come? Why didn’t the ministry have the courtesy to wait? Where is the fairness in that?

Most important of all, what law has The Heat broken to deserve such punishment? We don’t know. The ministry has given no reason for the suspension. Sure, it is not bound to do so – because the PPPA does not say it needs to. But this makes the PPPA an ass. It makes the PPPA unfair to the media.

Malaysiakini and theSun have speculated that the suspension could be motivated by The Heat’s article in its November 23-29 issue about Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor’s spending of public funds. If this is so, the Home Ministry has erred. This is not a valid reason for it to suspend the weekly. There is nothing in the article that breaks the law. In fact, in publishing it, The Heat was providing a public service in informing its readers about what the prime minister has been doing with our money.

If Najib and Rosmah are displeased with The Heat for exposing their extravagance, they should sue the weekly. No government agency should intervene in the matter instead and summarily inflict punishment, whether or not the couple requested it.

My lawyer friends think The Heat should contest the ministry’s action in court. I totally agree.

One says it should file for a judicial review. “It’s time to relitigate the constitutionality of the law,” he says.

First, the PPPA impinges on our right to freedom of speech and expression as guaranteed in Article 10 of the Federal Constitution. Second, it gives too much power to the Home Ministry. Third, it does not make it mandatory for a reason to be given for the suspension or revocation of a publishing licence, and this is unfair.

The other lawyer feels The Heat should go to court precisely to force the ministry to give its reason or reasons for the suspension. If nothing else, this would show up the different treatment that the ministry accords the newspaper Utusan Malaysia, which, as we know, has got away with publishing content that bordered on sedition.

Litigation will, however, take time. Meanwhile, the media as a whole must seize the moment and fight for its freedom.

If it doesn’t do that, the ministry will read its inaction as fear and continue to bully it into submission each time the Government wants to control what readers can read. It will happen again and again, as it has over the years.

The ministry will apply the disgusting tactic of suspending the media organisation’s licence indefinitely, thereby keeping it on tenterhooks, unsure of when its licence will be restored. It may even threaten to revoke the licence. All for the purpose of teaching the media organisation a lesson. We should not tolerate this any more – unless we want to remain a backwater democracy.

Journalists should come together and with one voice shout, like the character portrayed by Peter Finch in the movie Network, “We’re as mad as hell, and we’re not going to take this any more!”

That’s the way to stand up to bullies. Once and for all.

Kee Thuan Chye is the author of the book The Elections Bullshit, available in bookstores.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Najib’s approval rating takes a plunge, Merdeka Centre survey reveals

The Malaysian Insider December 18, 2013

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's approval rating has taken the lowest dip since assuming office in 2009, declining to 52% in December, from 62% in August, a Merdeka Centre survey has found.

Two months after replacing Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as prime minister, Najib had a 65% approval rating.

The pollster said the survey was conducted between December 4 and 12, 2013, after the reduction of fuel subsidies in September 2013, and the tabling of the 2014 national budget during which the government announced the introduction of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in 2015.

The survey also showed that Najib’s drop in popularity cuts across all races, with the most significant decline being among the Indians, with a drop from 76% to 57%.

Among the Chinese, the approval rate stands at 21%, after a 15 percentage point loss, while a seven percentage point drop, from 73% to 66%, was recorded among the Malays.

Merdeka Centre said in a statement that concerns over the economy, particularly rising costs and inflation, rose to its highest ever level, up to 67% of all respondents.

The survey found that 55% of Peninsular Malaysia voters said that they did not quite understand how GST will affect them.

Additionally, 54% of respondents reported that they did not believe in statements by government leaders about the country’s economic situation.

The number of those expressing “happiness” with the government has also declined to 38%, compared to 50% in August 2013, showing a significant reduction in positive attitude from across major ethnic groups.

Merdeka Centre also released data from previously unreleased opinion surveys conducted in June 2013 and August 2013.

The latest survey, which coincided with the recent Umno general assembly, polled 1,005 registered voters comprising 60% Malays, 31% Chinese and 9% Indians through telephone interviews in the preferred language of the respondents.

They were selected randomly, representing Malaysians of different races and genders.

The June 2013 survey had 1006 respondents while 1008 were polled for the August 2013 survey. - December 18, 2013.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Saluting M’sia’s Mandelas

By Dean Johns | Malaysiakini

In the wake of the death of the man who led South Africa to freedom from apartheid, many here have wondered whether there will ever be a Mandela-style leader to liberate Malaysia from the curse of Barisan Nasional.

Of course this robber-regime has already made a brazen bid to steal the spirit of Mandela for itself, with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak ludicrously claiming that his Umno party’s ‘struggle’ is similar to that of South Africa’s ANC.

A claim that was neatly rebutted by US President Barack Obama in his speech in celebration of the life of Nelson Mandela, in which his statement that “there are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people” was clearly directed at the Najibs of the world.

In any event, there was never much of a struggle to free Malaysia from colonial rule, except by socialists, trade unionists and communists.

And the Alliance that finally achieved Merdeka under the benevolent and broad-minded leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman all too soon degenerated into the Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional that has ever since so disgracefully re-colonised the nation for its own and its cronies’ benefit.

So that just as Mandela’s dream of a resurgent South Africa has degenerated into the current reality of a sink-hole of gross inequality, rampant crime and corruption under the unlovely Jacob Zuma, so has Tunku Abdul Rahman’s idea and ideal of Malaysia descended into today’s Najib-style nightmare.

Vastly aided and accelerated in this descent by 22 years under the prime-ministership of Mahathir Mohamad, a cynical, self-serving autocrat who modelled himself not on South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, but on his old pal Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, in his efforts to turn Malaysia into some kind of personal Zimbabi.

And he claimed to be doing it all, as his successors have similarly pretended, in ‘defence’ of the Malays and Islam. When in fact as any intelligent person, Malay, Muslim or otherwise, very well knows, the BN regime would be an absolute disgrace to any race or religion.

BN has also by implication insulted Malays by falsely patronising them as backward, ignorant and ineffectual, and, considering they compose the majority of the nation’s citizens systematically robbed them even more unmercifully than Malaysians of other races.

Stealing so many countless billions of ringgit that should otherwise be spent on health, education, public infrastructure and social services that Malaysia has for years led the world in illicit capital outflow per capita.

And otherwise misappropriating such a fortune in public funds for such purposes as buying votes, funding regime-propagandist media and supporting regime ministers, members and cronies in their preposterously profligate lifestyles that the country can no longer afford even the pretence of properly caring for the people.

Attempts to keep up the pretence

Though of course the regime makes strenuous attempts to keep up the pretence, as with Prime Minister Najib’s laughable claim that removal of the subsidy on sugar sold by BN monopolists is an anti-diabetes initiative, and increases in electricity tariffs are necessary for the continuing profitability of filthy-rich crony power companies.

However, none of Najib’s endless flow of frauds or falsehoods are as low as his attempt during the recent Umno general assembly to pass off BN’s 52 to 47 loss of the national vote as ‘proof’ that Umno is the “bravest and most popular party in Malaysia”.

Everybody is patently aware that this alleged popularity was achieved through blatant voter bribery and every other conceivable kind of electoral corruption and fraud.

And as for the claim of bravery, just how brave does a party have to be to fight elections, in blatant breach of the democratic principle of the fundamental democratic principle of the separation of powers, with the entire might of the police, judiciary, civil services, election commission and mainstream media on its side?

With such overwhelmingly superior forces ranged against the rakyat, Malay and non-Malay alike, and with the whole corrupt and criminal system illegally funded with public money, it’s no wonder so many Malaysians have taken to hoping and praying for a Mandela-style saviour.

But what’s the point of waiting for the kind of charismatic leader who arises as rarely as a Nelson Mandela? In any case, as I’m sure the great man himself in his legendary humility would have been the first to concede he was just the foremost among many.

Hundreds if not thousands of black, coloured and even white South Africans suffered, and a great many died for the anti-apartheid cause. In fact one of the common ways in which the white regime’s jailers killed anti-apartheid activists in their custody was by what they called “defenestration”: throwing them out through high windows.

A practice later allegedly adopted by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in several cases, most notoriously that of the young DAP “witness”, Teoh Beng Hock, whose ‘fall’ from a 14th-floor window of the MACC building was subsequently deemed by the BN regime as “neither murder nor suicide”, and whose interrogators have never been charged with his killing.

But back to the point I’m ineptly endeavouring to make, which is that it takes more than one man or woman, even one as gifted and courageous as Nelson Mandela, to overthrow a corrupt, criminal, racist and repressive government.

And it’s clearly evident that Malaysia is blessed with countless such honest, upstanding, tolerant, truth-loving people. From many if not most of the leadership of opposition parties PAS, PKR and the DAP through unprecedented numbers of activists in opposition NGOs to countless individuals who blog, write, cartoon and otherwise fearlessly express the Malaysian Mandela spirit.

I mention no names for fear of missing some out, and in any case there’s not space here to list even a small fraction of them. But I will take a line or two to pay particular personal tribute to the Malaysian family in which I am proud to have married.

A family currently headed by my 90-year-old Chinese father-in-law and much younger Malay mother-in law, and so dedicated to the concept of racial equality as to welcome not just me, an Australian, but other members from afar afield as Botswana and Germany.

But of course Malaysians and their families don’t have to intermarry with other races to demonstrate their enlightened, egalitarian natures.

All they and the individuals of which they are composed have to do is proselytise, protest and above all vote at every opportunity in the spirit of Mandela and out of love for an honest, clean, inclusive and thus, by definition, BN-free Malaysia.

As a majority did in GE13, and as I’m willing to bet almost anything you like overwhelming numbers will do come the increasingly eagerly-awaited GE14.

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


Related Posts with Thumbnails