Anwar Ibrahim once seemed a certainty to rule Malaysia. Then came his arrest and imprisonment. Now, with his party shaking up the establishment, is he set to finally fulfil his ambition? By Mark Baker.
Rabble rousing … Anwar Ibrahim on the hustings in Kuala Lumpur. Photo: Austral Press
It’s nearing midnight in Penang. In a park surrounded by decaying concrete apartment blocks, a swelling crowd waits patiently amid the sticky heat and pungent aromas of food stalls, traffic fumes and open drains. This is a poor Malay neighbourhood, but there are Chinese and Indians here, too, a representative cross-section of multiracial Malaysia. (more…)
In caretaker Premier Najib Abdul Razak’s political targeting, one group has received special attention – civil servants. Why would those in the heart of government garner such special focus for an election? The reality is that in Malaysia’s close electoral races, civil servants can be decisive in shaping the final tallies. This is one of the groups that I will be highlighting as decisive in this campaign.
Over the past few years Najib’s administration has worked to stem the erosion of support from his traditional base of government employees with mixed results.
A decisive constituency (more…)
Malaysia’s 13th General Elections on May 5 will be the most important — and the most hard-fought — in Malaysian history. The United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and its coalition partners have ruled the nation since its independence in 1957. But now, for the first time in history, the Malaysian opposition is united and strong, and it believes it has a real chance of coming to power.
And also for the first time, UMNO, as well as those who have benefited politically and economically from their connections to the ruling party, fear that the voters might reject their party and the system that have governed the country continuously for over five decades. (more…)
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…)
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…)
BN chief Najib Abdul Razak today declared that BN’s candidates for the 13th general election is final, after handing the name lists to the ruling coalition’s respective component party heads.
“This is the final list, and we don’t anticipate any changes. I hope a situation doesn’t arise that will need changes.
“Legally, technically, it can still be changed. But we are hoping this is final,” he told a press conference at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon. (more…)
Malaysia is probably living one of its most exciting times, with delayed polls, never before seen handouts and an opposition strangulating the regime to its last breath.
Malaysia’s upcoming general election on May 5 seems to be scripted from the Hollywood western, ‘The Good, The Bad and the Ugly’ but there is a surprise on the timeline.
The battle to govern the nation is pitting Pakatan Rakyat leader, Anwar Ibrahim, who is living the greatest political revival in Malaysia’s history, against a regime that has probably overspent its days in power. (more…)
I keep wondering whether this “must be destroyed” mantra is working. If it is, let’s hope it will be effective much faster than it was for its originator, Roman senator Cato the Elder, who had to wait for 29 years to see his “Carthage must be destroyed” curse come to fruition.
Whereas the next best chance for Malaysians to put an end to BN, the looming general election, is more like a mere 29 days away. But no worries. The well-known RAHMAN prophecy and the fact that it’s also BN’s unlucky 13th general election could prove more decisive than any “must be destroyed” or other mantra.
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…)
Boo Teik, Khoo
Far from being discredited in the public eye, ‘DSAI’ has grown much closer to the common people than when Mahathir made him a ‘martyr’ of sorts, writes Khoo Boo Teik
Imagine you were Anwar Ibrahim in September 1998. The pharaonic PM had turned off the lights on you (even cutting the power supply to your residence). On cue, the controlled media sensationalised your alleged immorality, never once referring to your reputed religiosity.
In self-preservation, the politicians ‘in the know’ shunned you like a pariah, forgetting that they used to flatter you as the ‘anointed successor’. (more…)
Lim Kit Siang
Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will create double “history” – firstly, for the first time in the nation’s 56-year history, allowing a state assembly (Negri Sembilan) to be automatically dissolved before Parliament; and secondly, establishing a record of “indecisiveness” as prime minister, even putting the fifth Malaysian prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to shame, while he continues to agonise on when to dissolve Parliament for the 13th general election.
There are no signs that Najib would dissolve Parliament ahead of the automatic dissolution of the Negri Sembilan state assembly (tomorrow night). (more…)
With a rising opposition promising to end authoritarianism, Mahathir is seen trying to protect his legacy.
Four years after leading a charge to oust Malaysia’s previous prime minister, authoritarian ex-leader Dr Mahathir Mohamad is making his sizeable influence felt again as a close election looms.
Mahathir, who towered over Malaysia for 22 years with his grand development projects and hard-nosed politics, is 87 but has peeled back the years to step from the shadows and whip up support for the long-ruling regime he moulded. (more…)
Civil society NGOs were in two minds over the call for a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) to investigate documented claims of abuse of power and graft by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and extended family members.
The CM (left in photo) and those close to him were allegedly linked to land grabs involving native lands, later disposed for logging and palm oil plantations at huge profit.
One group supported the call for the RCI as being the only way the matter may be investigated, expressing a total lack of confidence in the independence and impartiality of the police and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in handling it. (more…)
SUPP’s choice of a new face as a candidate for Stampin has not gone down well with everyone, with many in the party wanting the incumbent to retain the seat.
Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) is in a dilemma over its candidate for the Stampin parliamentary seat. While the party leadership has decided on Wilfred Yap to battle DAP’s Chong Chieng Jen, the other top leaders in the Sarawak Barisan Nasional coalition want Yap dropped.
These “top leaders” don’t believe Yap, who is SUPP Youth secretary-general, can beat Chong, who is DAP secretary-general and currently Bandar Kuching MP. In the 2011 state election, Chong wrested Kota Sentosa from BN. (more…)
As Election 2013 fever spurs Malaysian politicians from both sides to serve up expensive sweets to boost their bid.
As Election 2013 fever spurs Malaysian politicians from both sides to serve up expensive sweets to boost their bid, a Singapore paper reminded voters today that they would be the ones to pick up the tab.
“The intense fight for votes has led both the administration of Prime Minister Najib Razak and the opposition PR to promise more and more populist measures.
“You could call it Santa Claus politics,” Reme Ahmad, assistant foreign news editor in the widely-read Straits Times, wrote in an opinion piece for the paper’s Sunday edition. (more…)
It is already past March 8, 2008, more than five years since the last general election and yet Parliament has not been dissolved.
Parliament will dissolve automatically on April 29, 2013.
If Premier Najib Abdul Razak does not dissolve Parliament by that date, that would be most embarrassing for him and confirm to all that he is indeed a very weak leader – it’ll be a gift from Najib to former premier Mahathir Mohamad and Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to kick him (Najib) out for good.
So, it is clear that Parliament will be dissolved by April 29, 2013, unless the war in Sabah does not end and Najib declares a state of emergency throughout the nation. (more…)
Ong Kian Ming
March 13, 2013, national news agency Bernama quoted Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as saying:
“We have been able to buck the external global economic trend. In the last quarter, we achieved 6.4 percent growth, which indicates the resilience of the national economy.
“When we talk about benefits to the people from 2009 to 2011, our gross national income (GNI) per capita has grown from US$6,670 to US$9,970, roughly about 49 percent. There is no country in the world that has achieved this kind of result.”
Najib said this in the ‘Conversation with the PM’ programme aired by Media Prima group’s TV3 on Tuesday night (March 12). (more…)
Chong Pooi Koon, Bloomberg
On day one of taking power, a People’s Alliance government would liberalise newspaper licences, Anwar said in an interview in Kuala Lumpur today.Pakatan Rakyat will win the country’s upcoming general election with a parliamentary majority of more than 10 seats and control at least six of the nation’s 13 states, leader Anwar Ibrahim said.
Policy priorities within the first 100 days would include education, corruption and government procurement. No retribution would be taken against past leaders, including Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who sacked him in 1998, he said.
“I don’t want to sound over confident, but I believe looking into the trend now it will be a comfortable majority,” the 65-year-old politician said. “Beyond 10 is comfortable.” (more…)
Can it be said that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak plans to delay the dissolution of Parliament, thus effectively delaying holding the 13th general election?
Is there a plan to delay the general election? All things certainly seem to point to that direction.
The dateline is approaching near and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is desperate as he knows that the rakyat is waiting anxiously for the polls to be held.
Despite his rhetoric that “everyone has gone back to Barisan Nasional”, he has not displayed any sense of urgency in holding the polls at all. (more…)
Parliament’s term is five years. Article 55(3) of the federal constitution states: ‘Parliament unless sooner dissolved shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting and shall then stand dissolved.’
Because the current Parliament had its first meeting on April 28, 2008, it shall automatically ‘stand dissolved’ on April 28, 2013. As it is an instance of automatic dissolution, no action by any person is required to trigger it.
By virtue of Article 55(4), the 13th general election (GE13) ‘shall be held within 60 days from the date of the dissolution of Parliament’. Hence, the very last date on which GE13 can legally be held, at least for Parliament, is June 28, 2013. (more…)
For a fat fee FBC will promote you on its regular news programmes – Defterios interviews Najib on CNN
American blogger Josh Trevino’s belated confessions about the more than one million ringgit he received from Malaysian PMs Abdul Badawi and Najib Razak to attack and slander the opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim and others has left his former colleagues and bosses at FBC Media exposed.
This includes the high-profile CNN anchorman John Defterios, who was the registered President and a shareholder of FBC Media until shortly before the company folded in 2011. (more…)
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 (left) 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. (more…)
BN has changed tack as the 13th general election looms, and the new strategies appear to pay off.
Ever since Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak took office in 2009, speculation on the date of the 13th general election (GE13) has been rife and constant. As we enter the fourth year of Najib’s term in office, the polls have still not been called. However, with March the most likely polling month, a macro overview of Barisan Nasional’s strategies over the past three years – analysing their effectiveness and BN’s final tactics these two months – is in order.
When Najib took over in 2009, BN’s political rhetoric has been one based on moderation. He started the 1Malaysia slogan that has since been incorporated in numerous government programmes. He promised political change which he did fulfil albeit very reservedly. (more…)
Najib stressed that voters at the coming 13th general election were more concerned with what the government could do for them in future. – File pic
Social media is both a boon and a bane for Umno as it caused Barisan Nasional (BN) to lose its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority in Election 2008, Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday.
The prime minister told CNN anchor Fareed Zakaria at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Switzerland yesterday that voters were getting more educated and critical.
“I see the advent of ICT, social media as both something good, but also our bane. Could be our Achilles heel as well,” said Najib in the interview with Fareed. (more…)
A win for Pakatan Rakyat would put Malaysia into uncharted political territory.
Malaysian economist Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajuddin gave a presentation in Singapore last week that cost him his job.
His analysis, outlining risks for investors from a narrow election victory for Malaysia’s opposition, was reported by a Malaysian online news site as a prediction the long-ruling Barisan Nasional coalition government would fall this year.
The response from his employer, government-linked Bank Islam, was swift. It suspended him on Monday and Azrul, who was its chief economist, told Reuters he would resign this week. (more…)
Controversial businessman Deepak Jaikishan said today he expects to reveal everything about P. Balasubramaniam’s second sworn statement in 2008 in relation to the 2006 high-profile murder of Mongolian model Altantuyaa Shaariibuu.
Deepak (picture) said he was summoned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) this morning at about 10.
“They want me to give a statement on the SD2,” he said, referring to private investigator Balasubramaniam’s second statutory declaration, which contradicted his first sworn statement. (more…)
The DAP’s Ong Kian Ming today urged Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to explain if his honorary doctorate from the United States Sports Academy (USSA) is linked to a RM22.9 million Education Ministry deal involving the institution’s local agent, allegedly helmed by a Puteri Umno leader.
The USSA, which yesterday awarded Muhyiddin (picture), the education minister, an honorary doctorate, had last June sent its staff to Malaysia to train 1,000 physical education teachers under its “International Diploma in Physical Education and Scholastic Sports (IPDESS)” programme. (more…)
The show of support at the Saturday rally is yet another clear indication that the rakyat wants a change and that too for the better.
The politicking post-Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat continues for the federal government which is bent on having the last laugh, that too at the expense of its nemesis, the opposition Pakatan Rakyat.
Last Saturday’s gathering dubbed “the people’s uprising” at Stadium Merdeka under the aegis of Pakatan, which saw a turnout of some 100,000 supporters, was all about demanding that the ruling Barisan Nasional government do the “right thing” which included reforming the electoral system, reviewing the Felda administration, equal treatment for Sabahans and Sarawakians and upgrading the use of the English language and preserving Bahasa Malaysia. (more…)
Abdul Rahim Sabri
The chief economist of Bank Islam has been suspended following media reports on a presentation he made predicting a narrow victory for the opposition Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th general election.
The top officer, Azrul Azwar Ahmad Tajudin, received the suspension letter yesterday afternoon, after allegations of “serious misconduct” were made against him.
Contacted byMalaysiakini today, Azrul said he did not know the reason for his suspension but confirmed that it was linked to the presentation he made in Singapore recently. (more…)
Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak. Photo: AFP
THE plot has all the trappings of a B-grade movie: the murder of a glamorous Mongolian socialite amid allegations of high-level bribery, blackmail, betrayal and political cover-up.
But these are real-life events, and they could set back the chances of Malaysia’s ruling coalition in an election that Prime Minister Najib Razak must call by midyear.
Mr Najib denies involvement but the allegations will not go away. The internet in Malaysia is running hot with allegations by a disaffected businessman, Deepak Jaikishan, who is well connected in the ruling United Malays National Organisation. (more…)
A new poll of voters released today points towards hotly contested elections this year, with fewer than half of those surveyed saying they were happy with the government or the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN).
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s ratings, while still relatively high, dipped slightly by two points to 63 per cent in the poll conducted late last month, from 65 per cent in November.
According to Merdeka Center, the survey carried out among voters in Peninsular Malaysia at the end of December 2012 found that the prime minister’s approval rating had slipped slightly from 65 per cent in November 2012 to 63 per cent. (more…)