Hornbill Unleashed

December 15, 2013

Can Pakatan win GE14?

CT Ali

Pakatan must realise that Umno is a formidable opponent with deep pockets, large armies and an uncanny ability to go into the elections with all the positives stacked in their favour.

“Based on present redelineation, Pakatan Rakyat should aim to win 135 parliamentary seats in GE14 to capture Putrajaya, with PKR, PAS and DAP each winning 45 seats and a parliamentary majority of 48.

“The performance of the Pakatan parties in the 2008 and 2013 GEs have shown that the three component parties have their basic strengths. (more…)

November 21, 2013

Penans want Najib, IGP to intervene in Murum

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Vignesh Kumar

The Penans have hit a stalemate on their negotiations with state government and the Murum Dam main contractors Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB) over compensation and resettlement issues.

Thirteen members of the Penan tribe in Murum, Sarawak travelled all the way to Bukit Aman today to handover a memorandum to the Inspector General of Police demanding that the police “stop immediately any intimidation and provocation” towards the Penans who have erected bloackades at the Murun dam site (more…)

November 18, 2013

Monkey show in Parliament?

Steven Sim

Something strange happened in Parliament.

In the morning, Minister Nancy Shukri tabled a motion to suspend Padang Serai Member of Parliament (MP) N. Surendran from Parliament for six months for insulting Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

Surendran was on the previous day ejected from the Dewan Rakyat for refusing to back off from debating on the demolition of the 101-year old Sri Muneswarar Kaliyaman temple in Kuala Lumpur. (more…)

November 16, 2013

Youth, politics and election in Malaysia

Blackout 505 #KL622-22Firdausi Suffian

The sly and charismatic President Sukarno of Indonesia once said that “beri aku 1,000 orang tua, niscaya akan kucabut semeru dari akarnya, beri aku 10 pemuda niscaya akan kuguncangkan dunia”.

This famous quote attempts to exemplify the importance of youths in the country and their contribution to national building. The youths will replace the current leaders; they are the future human capital of the country and will inherit the nation’s pride. (more…)

Development rules ignored

Is Pakatan Rakyat actually bringing change?KW Mak

IT has been close to two months since I wrote about the Sri Aman project proposed to be built on land once gazetted as open space. Thus far, the developer has issued no statement to rebut my findings. Nor have their lawyers followed up on threats to demolish some of the residents’ backyards which have allegedly encroached into the developer’s land.

At the same time, the area is fenced up and there is no signboard announcing that the place will be developed into a housing area — a requirement if development is to proceed. (more…)

November 12, 2013

PKR elected reps who quit party must abide by agreement to give up seat, says party president

PKR president Wan Azizah, seen here with Anwar, has demanded two PKR elected reps in Sabah give up their seats after they quit the party in the past week. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 10, 2013.DESMOND DAVIDSON

PKR president Wan Azizah, seen here with Anwar, has demanded two PKR elected reps in Sabah give up their seats after they quit the party in the past week.

In light of one assemblyman leaving and another on the verge of quitting, PKR wants to enforce agreements its elected officials in Sabah had signed to vacate their assembly or parliamentary seats if they left the party, said president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Wan Azizah said it was looking at its options but conceded the action would be difficult considering such agreements had been successfully challenged in court before. (more…)

November 6, 2013

More of the same in GE14

Tan Jooi Long 

Prior to GE13 last May, political observers and the opposition feared that it would be the dirtiest general election ever. Ironically, they were not disappointed.

Umno spent and splurged public funds in the billions, with the prime minister, his deputy, other ministers and deputy ministers announcing this plan or that programme, and passing out this allocation or that grant.

Cabinet members, menteris besar and chief ministers, and state ministers and executive councillors, and even ordinary MPs and assemblymen from the ruling coalition, openly utilised government facilities, vehicles and civil servants in ceramah and other campaign activities. (more…)

November 5, 2013

Sungai Limau by-election results: Is this the end of Mahathirism?

SHERIDAN MAHAVERA

Mahathir in Sungai Limau in the final days of campaigning. Analysts say he might have played a role in swaying voters who were still undecided on voting day. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Najjua Zulkefli, November 5, 2013.When Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad descended on Sungai Limau during the last hours of campaigning on November 3, one longtime PAS activist from Alor Star described it as a “relief”.

“Many people in Sungai Limau come from a religious education background,” said the activist, referring to the community of teachers, students and parents involved in the area’s clutch of private and public Islamic schools, which are nationally renowned. (more…)

November 2, 2013

Khalid should care less and mind more

Terence Netto

The latest upsurge in speculation about the position of Khalid Ibrahim as Selangor’s Menteri Besar is owed more to the mischief of Umno mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia than to rumblings in his own party about his conduct of his office.

Khalid’s handling has been the subject of criticism for some time from within PKR, and not just from his putative rival for the post, Azmin Ali, the deputy president of the party.

Although Azmin covets the post, he is not now pressing to replace Khalid but muckraking Utusan, always looking for a chance to foment discord in opposition parties, is keen to fan the embers of dissidence in PKR. (more…)

August 30, 2013

Be loyal to BN, teachers warned

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Winston Way

Teachers working for the BN government should support BN component parties, says a Sarawak MP.

Teachers working in the Barisan Nasional administered central and state governments must be loyal to the ruling party.

Sri Aman MP Masir Kujat said although every citizen had a right of choice, “teachers working for the BN government should support BN component (parties).”

Kujat was commenting on information he had received that several teachers posted to schools in the Sri Aman division had openly campaigned for Pakatan Rakyat during the run-up to the 13th general election. (more…)

August 28, 2013

Beyond election petitions

Wong Chin Huat

IT would seem there is still dust in the air even though it’s been nearly four months since the 5 May 2013 general election known as GE13. Post-elections, Barisan Nasional (BN) filed 21 election petitions while Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lodged 35 of its own in both parliamentary and state seats. Additionally, there has been talk of a unity government even though this has been denied by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Why bother with election petitions? And what’s beyond these election petitions and all that talk of a unity government? What else do citizens need to be aware of and be vigilant about if Malaysians are to get a cleaner and fairer electoral system come GE14? The Nut Graph asks political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat.

Was there any difference in the motivation behind BN’s and behind PR’s election petitions? What’s the purpose of petitioning? Why not just accept the results of GE13? (more…)

August 22, 2013

Village Security and Development Committees (JKKK): The frontline in Malaysia’s next general election

ge13Murray Hunter

Malaysian society has been preoccupied with political discussion since the electoral ‘tsunami’ in of GE-12 back in March 2008. The result of the last election GE-13 left many feeling that the system, or distortion of the system, cheated them out of the chance of changing the political landscape of the country. However political aspirations, expectations, and debate have been primarily limited to the formal federal and state political arenas.

The Federal and State legislatures are not the only levels of government in Malaysia. Both the Penang and Selangor State governments have been toying with the idea of direct local government elections. However these initiatives have been blocked by both the federal Government and Election Commission (EC) on various grounds. (more…)

August 8, 2013

Opposition relying on court of public opinion to highlight electoral fraud

TMi

After failing in the court of law, Pakatan Rakyat is turning back to the court of public opinion to press its case on election fraud.

The opposition will present its evidence before two commissions of inquiry and the Bersih People’s Tribunal to expose wrongdoings in the May 5 general election.

The opposition coalition said this was the path it had to take since its petitions before the court were thrown out even before the merits were heard.

Pakatan – comprising PKR, PAS and DAP – and the Barisan Nasional had filed 69 petitions an almost all were dismissed on preliminary objections (more…)

June 14, 2013

Swak PKR, BN file election petitions

Joseph Tawie

Sarawak PKR has decided not to contest the May 5 general election results in Saratok parliamentary constituency and is focusing on Baram instead where it lost the seat by 194 votes.

Sarawak PKR’s Roland Engan has filed an election petition against Anyi Ngau, the Barisan Nasional candidate for the Baram parliamentary constituency.

Engan, who filed the petition at the Miri High Court, named Ngau and returning officer Joseph Belayong Punan as the first and second respondents respectively.

He is seeking to declare the May 5 election results in the Baram parliament constituency as null and void. (more…)

June 13, 2013

Malaysia gears up for corruption fight

Amy Chew , Al Jazeera

Hope and scepticism abound after government vows to tackle endemic graft that continues to anger ordinary Malaysians.

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, right, has pledged to end pervasive high-level graft [AFP]

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – When a Malaysian court rejected a former chief minister’s appeal against a corruption sentence recently, it stirred vigorous debate in the Southeast Asian nation.

Was this finally a signal that the government is serious about tackling rampant graft in Malaysia’s corridors of power? (more…)

June 9, 2013

Political cyber warfare

cyber_warfareLim Sue Goan

The DAP has been accused of spending RM100 million to RM1 billion on recruiting 3,000 cybertroopers to launch cyber attacks against the BN over the past six years. 

No one can ascertain whether the allegation is true, unless evidence is found. However, the cyber warfare between the ruling and alternative coalitions has long existed and not all political Facebook pages are supporting the DAP, there are also some that support the BN.

We can say that Internet users with political stands are free to set up Facebook pages or blogs to post news and articles, so that others can like it, share or leave comments, forming an online forum. Of course, some political parties might have provided them financial support, or they would not be able to constantly update information daily to retain their page visitors. (more…)

June 8, 2013

Accepting criticism with an open mind

open-minded1Douglas Teoh

I have little difficulty in confessing that I am a Pakatan Rakyat supporter.

After weighing the pros and cons of either coalition, the answer that emerges seems rather intuitive in nature. The current Barisan Nasional (BN) is corrupt, greedy and tyrannical — the worst kind of democratic government possible. Compare that to Pakatan — freedom fighters, typical wage-earning leaders, who also happen to be the electoral underdog.

In this battle, Pakatan occupies the moral high-ground, strengthening their discourse with populism and calls for social justice. Consequentially, any attack on Pakatan’s “character” by BN supporters seems ludicrous and invalid. (more…)

May 27, 2013

BLACK 505, THE ONLY HOPE

J. D. Lovrenciear

It is unthinkable when some leader within the Opposition block suddenly starts preaching about bipartisan politics and is sadid to be seeking to get into dialogues of sorts with a party that took the mantle to rule with a minority popular vote-winning. It is strange how some politicians will start making roundabout turns.

Let us start with the basics. The bottom line reality is the opposition secured 51% of popular votes leaving BN with a minority count of 47%. But BN went on to form the government.

The voters are questioning, “What happened to our voice and our choice?”

Where else in the world are minority vote winning political parties sworn in to govern a nation – only in Malaysia. Now that is what the rakyat are furious about. (more…)

May 26, 2013

Anwar broke treaty with Najib by protesting polls results, reveals WSJ

CLARA CHOOI

Anwar speaks during a rally in protest of the general election results at a stadium in Kelana Jaya, May 8, 2013. — Reuters picKUALA LUMPUR, May 25 ― Former Indonesian vice-president Jusuf Kalla has accused Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of reneging on a peace deal to respect the outcome of Election 2013 that he brokered between the opposition leader and Datuk Seri Najib Razak in April.

The Wall Street Journal reported today interviews with all three parties confirming the secret peace deal, and quoted Jusuf as claiming that he had phoned Anwar a day after the May 5 polls and urged the opposition leader to respect the commitment and “look at reality”.

“We had a commitment,” Jusuf was quoted as saying. “But they said, ‘No, no, no, no.’ ‘‘ (more…)

May 23, 2013

Analysts: For Malaysia’s sake, stop bickering

G Vinod

Political analysts agree that both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat should have a ceasefire and work in a bipartisan effort to help in the national reconciliation exercise.
With both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat still at loggerheads after the general election, analysts today called for both parties to come together in a bipartisan effort to facilitate the national reconciliation process.

Since the 13th general election, several BN leaders have embarked on racial salvos against the Chinese community for voting overwhelmingly in favour of the opposition pact.

Pakatan had also refused to recognise BN’s win and had kickstarted a series of public rallies alleging there were electoral irregularities during polling day and said that the BN is now leading a minority government as it got lower number of popular voters. (more…)

Pakatan MPs to use parliamentary strength to block unfair redelineation

CLARA CHOOI

People queue at a polling station in Gelang Patah, May 5, 2013.

 Pakatan Rakyat (PR) federal lawmakers have vowed to make full use of their increased parliamentary numbers to ensure constituencies are fairly redrawn when the Election Commission (EC) kicks off the redelineation exercise this year-end.

PKR’s Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli reminded that if the exercise involves an increase in seat numbers, a two-thirds majority vote is needed to approve the changes before they are passed by the lower House.

The ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) does not have required two-thirds majority in Parliament, with only 133 seats to PR’s 89 seats, and will require votes from opposition lawmakers to approve the exercise. (more…)

May 22, 2013

Blame yourself for defeat, Meonet tells Pakatan

Athi Shankar

The opposition pact did not have an effective strategy to net rural votes, says the election observer group.

GEORGE TOWN: Pakatan Rakyat lost the recent general election because its campaign strategy was faulty, not because it was the victim of fraud, according to the Malaysian Election Observers Network (Meonet).

Meonet chief Ong Boon Keong said today that his organisation’s ground study found Pakatan did not have an effective strategy to penetrate Barisan Nasional’s rural vote bank, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

He noted that virtually all of Pakatan’s claims of fraud involved urban constituencies, where it was more successful than BN. (more…)

May 14, 2013

Can BN and Pakatan leaders work together?

dpm vs pmAlyaa Azhar

Academics voice out their opinions on what a Cabinet line-up should consist of and should Pakatan reps be invited to form the govt.

Although some prefer the Cabinet line-up to consist of both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, some felt that such a notion would be impractical.

Aruna Gopinath of the National Defence University’s Faculty of Strategic Studies said that although it would be preferable for the Cabinet to have a participatory system where both BN and Pakatan leaders make up the line-up, she questioned the country’s readiness for it.

“I personally would want a participatory kind of system in the Cabinet line-up whereby the majority from both sides [BN and Pakatan] can work hand in glove. (more…)

May 12, 2013

The hard work starts now

Josh Hong

The result was indeed an anti-climax, but those who had longed for change can take solace in the fact that they had fought an honourable battle against all odds.

In terms of the popular vote, the rakyat has won. For the first time in history, an opposition alliance has garnered more votes than the ruling coalition, a splendid achievement against the background of rampant bribery, media manipulation and, more importantly, gerrymandering. The electoral playing ground is just too skewed for Barisan Nasional’s victory to be meaningful. (more…)

Economist: Najib’s win tainted by skewed polls

The Economist

Leading international affairs weekly The Economist has described Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s win in the 13th general election as a tawdry victory which brought to fore a system skewed towards the BN.

It stated that with the “huge inbuilt advantages” skewed in the ruling coalition’s favour, it was “remarkable” that the coalition still had to indulge in vote-buying.

“The state has dispensed cash handouts and other goodies, while much of the civil service works as a party-political tool, and the election commission has long brushed aside allegations of malfeasance. (more…)

10 things Najib must do

P Gunasegaram

The dust from the 13th general elections has not quite settled and there is some chance it may be kicked up again as Pakatan Rakyat could challenge some of the results in court. For Barisan Nasional and Najib Abdul Razak, they rule with a minority of the votes, a morally illegitimate government that reflects a flawed and fraudulent election system.

If BN wants to pick up and regain the people’s trust and recover some lost ground from Pakatan, it simply cannot continue as before. There’s no point pointing fingers at the Chinese community when there has been an urban swing to Pakatan by all communities living in major towns, cities and suburbs. (more…)

May 10, 2013

The beginnings of a Malay tsunami

NONE

Gertrude Pereira

In Viewpoints on NTV7 on Monday night, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin appealed to the opposition to be magnanimous and accept the GE13 results. I wonder if he would ask his party, Umno, and the Barisan Nasional it leads, to do the same.

Instead, one day after the elections, after Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak had said he would seek national reconciliation and healing, Umno-owned Malay daily,Utusan Malaysiaheadlines ‘Apa lagi Cina mahu?’ (What more do the Chinese want?) When his attention was drawn to it, Najib defended the paper, alluding that Chinese papers do the same.

Now, tell me who is stoking racialism in post-GE13 Malaysia and who is not being magnanimous? Apparently the Chinese voted en bloc for Pakatan Rakyat in predominantly Chinese areas where the DAP is strong. (more…)

Sea of black shows there’s no stopping this locomotive

Terence Netto

A rally like the one in Kelana Jaya last night whose attendance was in six figures on a matter like the alleged fraud in last Sunday’s polls only means one thing – the issue won’t go away.

Like Banquo’s revenant ghost that haunted the murderer in Shakespeare’s Macbeth and brought the culprit to dissolution, this huge rally and its planned sequels are going to disturb the sangfroid of suspects complicit in the grand larceny that took place in the late of the night on May 5, 2013.

Rallies planned for Ipoh tomorrow (this one is still tentative) and for Penang on Saturday, are going to garner crowds, if not as huge as the one in Kelana Jaya last night then even larger – that’s sure to put a blowtorch to the trail of the Election Commission which will be difficult to extinguish. (more…)

May 8, 2013

GE13 an urban, not Chinese swing, say analysts

BOO SU-LYN

File photo of a DAP ceramah in Skudai on April 30, 2013, though overwhelmingly Chinese, attracted large numbers of Malays and other non-Chinese too.

The outcome of Election 2013 was not simply the result of a “Chinese tsunami” as Datuk Seri Najib Razak has claimed but a major swing in the urban and middle-class electorate that saw Malaysia’s urban-rural rift widen, analysts have said.

In their preliminary reading of the vote trend, analysts noted that despite the increase in Chinese support for Pakatan Rakyat (PR), the political tsunami had also swept with it “large numbers of the Malays”, many among them forming part of the country’s middle- to upper-class voters. (more…)

Uncertain times ahead after GE13?

Nigel Aw

As the dust from the 13th general election settles, it became apparent that BN only garnered 47.38 percent of the popular vote compared to Pakatan Rakyat, which bagged 50.87 percent while 1.74 percent went to independents and other parties.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will now helm a government sustained by gerrymandering but one that does not enjoy the backing of the majority of voters can hardly claim to have the mandate of the people.

But a shaky government aside, even forming a government would be a hurdle as BN no longer will have any Chinese representative, since the MCA and Gerakan have said they will not join the government this time due to their abysmal performance. (more…)

May 4, 2013

GE13 aftermath: The new mass media

ge13 huH. Lee

It is common knowledge that the majority of our mainstream media is skewed towards the ruling political coalition, simply because they own it and have clout to call the shots. It therefore comes as no surprise that some newsworthy events never see the light of day in such media simply because the editors toe the line of their masters.

What surprised me though was that The Star published advertisements by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in blatant attempts to influence the people to reject Pakatan Rakyat (PR). In advertising, we sell the advantages and benefits of our products or service, not run down our competitors’ products or service. (more…)

Two factors in BN’s favour

ge13 huLim Sue Goan

Pakatan Rakyat has thrown BN into the shade with its packed political ceramahs. However, as a political party that has ruled for over half a century, of course BN would not easily admit defeat. There are two major factors that are favourable to BN, namely Malay nationalism and the “shield” in rural areas.

The dynamic movements in urban areas and the Chinese community have been expected and these are, after all, Pakatan Rakyat’s strongholds. The static situation in rural areas is, however, enigmatic.

Rural voters have been proven to be the kingmaker at crucial moments in by-elections, such as the Hulu Selangor by-election. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has also admitted that rural voters have been BN’s most loyal supporters and thus, BN is confident of winning the election. (more…)

May 3, 2013

GE13 a war of symbols and slogans

Ooi Kee Beng

These critical days, if one reads – and believes – the Malaysian mainstream media, which seem to have thrown off all pretense of being anything other than BN propaganda machines, one must draw the conclusion that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s presidential style election campaign is succeeding beyond all expectations.

At the same time, if one attends the countless opposition rallies being held throughout the country every evening, one must think that the movement to reform the country’s governance is growing day by day, and is close to the point where the longest-serving non-communist government in the world will fall.

But as we are lazily prone to say when a bit confused, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. The problem though, is that the middle is a huge space in Malaysian politics at the moment, meaning that the options are numerous. (more…)

April 29, 2013

A passionate call for every Malaysian to vote

ge13David Quek

Malaysians, friends and colleagues!

First, I want to state that I am not a politician, and do not belong to any political party, by choice. But this does not mean that I do not support a better choice for a better renewed Malaysia!

I am but a simple professional, a doctor, who has had to fortune to rise up in society, because of good school grades, good parents/family who’d worked multiple jobs, great dedicated teachers of the past, to get to where I am today, although I hail from a poor background. I worry that for the next generation however, the future may not be as rosy and challenges would be aplenty! (more…)

April 28, 2013

Hudud and violence, frightening voters from casting ballots?

Jahabar Sadiq

If you happen to be charitable and buy local newspapers, you’ll notice the headlines this past week has about Islamic criminal law hudud and rising violence in the GE13 campaign. 

Add to that explosion of murders involving guns and knives.

Today, the MCA-owned The Star daily front-paged the surge in electoral violence across the country, none of which occurred in the past 24 hours.

The popular English-language daily also reported Inspector-General of Police Secretariat’s assistant head Assistant Commissioner Ramli Mohamed Yoosuf said 1,166 cases of polls-related violence and intimidation had been reported since nomination day on April 20, with 43 people arrested so far. (more…)

April 25, 2013

Taib Panics And Offers Headmen A Living Wage!

Sarawak Report

Inside his Rolls Royce – fear is opening Taib’s tight purse….

What better sign of BN’s panic that they may lose this election than the frantic handouts and sudden promises of ‘projects’ that we have been seeing this week?

In 2008 the average election bribe that BN paid to poor rural folk per vote was a mere RM10.  Yet this week the timber tycoon MP Tiong Thai King was going round offering a fat RM1,000 each!

So, now people are starting to learn what these politicians can really afford and why it pays to stand up to the bullies in BN. (more…)

Anatomy of a political strategy

Zefry Dahalan

Has Najib erred in his insistence on fielding ‘winnable’ candidates?

Umno president Najib Tun Razak began talking about fielding “winnable candidates” as early as 2010.

The mood in Umno then was to blame Najib’s predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, for Umno’s dramatic losses in the 12th general election. Many said he blundered in his choice of candidates by accepting the proposals of the state Umno chiefs instead of listening to the grassroots.

In most cases, the state Umno chiefs were also the chief executives of their states. It was said that at least in Selangor, Kedah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan, the state chiefs proposed only their loyalists, sidelining potential candidates who were popular at the grassroots. (more…)

BN must be destroyed VIII

Dean Johns

In little more than a week from now, Najib Abdul Razak will be faced with the fact that he and his phoney 1Malaysia have finally lost Malaysia, and the vast majority of Malaysians will be congratulating themselves on having won their beloved country back.

Because even if BN manages to steal back into power by hook or its customary crook, it will be living on borrowed – or rather bought – time, and surviving only in fear and dread of how even more urgently than ever the people will want to see it destroyed. (more…)

April 24, 2013

Electoral misconduct detected during nominations

FMT 

Election watchdog Pemantau claims both sides of the political divide committed various election misconduct during nominations last Saturday.

Pemantau Pilihan Raya Rakyat (Pemantau), an independent election watchdog, has claimed that there were various acts of misconduct committed by supporters of both sides of the political divide during nominations for the country’s 13th general election, on April 20.

Pemantau, a coalition of non-governmental organisations, said one of the most glaring incidents was when PAS’ Unit Amal tried to stop PKR candidate Badrul Hisham Shaharin from filing his nomination papers for the Sungai Acheh state seat in Penang. (more…)

April 19, 2013

GE13: Advantage BN

FMT

While BN seems to be slightly ahead in this polls for now, the ground shifts fast during the campaign period.

With just two days to go before nominations for the country’s 13th general election, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) seems to be ahead in the race, especially in terms of candidate selection and preparation for the polls.

The BN’s systematic approach in ironing out seat swaps among component parties, the early announcement of candidates, minimal back biting and the ability to drum-up support for the candidates have all led to the BN leading the fight. (more…)

April 14, 2013

Chance for change? The possibility is there

Bridget Welsh

Well, the dates have finally been set and Malaysia heads towards the most competitive electoral contest in the nation’s history. It is important to step back and look at how and why GE13 is competitive.

The broad reason is clear: this election offers the possibility of an electoral transition of power. More power is in the hands of ordinary Malaysians than ever before. The underlying dynamics that might make this change happen however, are more obscure.

This article – as part of a special series of pieces on the polls – maps the contest nationally and draws attention to fundamental shifts that are making the May polls historic, whatever the outcome. (more…)

BN’s cut and paste to woo voters

Selena Tay

BN copying more than 20 offers from Pakatan’s manifesto is not mere coincidence, it simply shows Umno-BN are bankrupt of ideas.

For the forthcoming 13th General Election, one of the major factors most voters especially the fence-sitters will be looking out for will most likely be the respective manifestos of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) and Barisan Nasional (BN).

When PR launched its manifesto on Feb 25, 2013, all the BN leaders laughed at it and said that PR’s People’s Manifesto will certainly bankrupt the nation. (more…)

April 13, 2013

Rakyat wants change – not transformation

JD Lovrenciear

Why does the rakyat want change as promised by Pakatan Rakyat and do not seem the least fascinated with BN’s calls for transformation?

Here are the answers and the signs written on the walls of balloting centres:

Firstly, the rakyat are tired to the bone. They, the working middle-class that forms the bulk of decisive votes, have been struggling all these while under the BN regime.

Yes we have fascinating skyscrapers. Yes, we have a Disney-like city carved out in Putrajaya. Yes, we have oil. Yes we have this and that.
But what is the reality on the ground? (more…)

April 10, 2013

Cops must ensure peaceful power transition, says Musa

Nigel Aw

Former inspector-general of police Musa Hassan today said the police must ensure peace if there was a peaceful transition of power.

“The police must ensure the situation is calm for a smooth transition of power.

“If there are any parties that are planning to do something (to disrupt the transition), they must take action straight away,” he told a press conference in Petaling Jaya this afternoon.

He said regardless of whether BN or Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, both sides must accept the results of the upcoming general election. (more…)

April 9, 2013

How we reared a little demon called Taib

Pak Bui

Taib has been demonised: he is the distillation of all our anger and discontent. But he is a symptom of a deep-seated cancer.

According to conventional wisdom, without Taib, Sarawak would be richer, happier and more harmonious. As with any oversimplification, this is partly true.

But Taib did not come to power, and dominate Sarawak for 32 years in a vacuum.

There was, of course, misguided support for his uncle Abdul Rahman Ya’kub and Taib himself, from Tunku Abdul Rahman and Umno, certainly. There were long years of Umno oppression during Mahathir’s reign, that helped to prop Taib up. (more…)

Independent radio stations hit on all fronts ahead of GE13

Nigel Aw

London-based Radio Free Sarawak and Radio Free Malaysia have been jammed and their online portals inaccessible after being heavily hit by distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks.

“There have also been attempts at broadcast interference on both radio stations by jamming from different parts of the world over the past few days.

“These have had limited success so far and we have been working on tracing the perpetrators,” the founder of the stations, Clare Rewcastle-Brown, said when contacted. (more…)

April 8, 2013

Cyber Mania And Radio Jamming – BN Falls Back On Cheating!

Sarawak Report

Dangerous for the ears!

BN have effectively acknowledged that they have to cheat in this election and cannot afford the opposition view point to be heard by voters.

Over the weekend they have spent large sums of public money launching full-scale attacks on Radio Free Malaysia and Radio Free Sarawak.

They have both attempted to jam their broadcasts and tried to knock out their online websites, with limited success so far. (more…)

BN and Pakatan indulging in populism

Nigel Aw

The BN general election manifesto appears to be aimed at outdoing Pakatan Rakyat through populist policies and this competition may not bode well for the country, analysts say.

“It is very unfortunate that this political contest (the 13th general election) has lead towards more populist policies.

“The nation has finite resources and the more (cash handouts) you give, the more revenue you will need or the deficit will increase,” political analyst Khoo Kay Peng (left) said when contacted.

Such populist policies, Khoo said, would come at the expense of allocations for other critical fields such as development and education, with this already taking place. (more…)

April 7, 2013

BN’s nonsense continues…

Selena Tay

There are many examples to show that the BN camp wil always engage in nonsense.
Now that Parliament has been dissolved, one can expect more slick tricks executed by Barisan Nasional’s lackeys.

A journalist reported in Harakah ( April 5-7) that in Kedah for the past one month or so, many people there have been getting what can be termed as a “mysterious phone call”.

A sweet female voice will introduce herself as a researcher and then proceed to ask which is the keyword that is the easiest to remember among these three keywords: Najib, 1Malaysia or Barisan Nasional. (more…)

Who calls the election date?

Ravinder Singh, via e-mail

On paper, the EC decides the election date. How true is this?

One news item I read stated: “Even within Umno, many believe Najib would try to delay as long as possible, while his rivals such as Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin have publicly hinted that polls should be held before the end of April.”

The EC being a department in the Prime Minister’s Office surely cannot take it upon itself to decide the election date. It would amount to insubordination. It is not an independent body which is not answerable to the PM, but one that is beholden to the PM. The unwritten purpose of the EC has been to ensure BN victory. (more…)

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