- Time for Pakatan to pack it in on Anwar?
Why the opposition doesn’t deserve to take over the federal government
The last general election is almost six months behind us, in which the narratives of Malaysian politics have been defined. The Pakatan Rakyat may have won the popular vote, leading some to believe that the opposition coalition is owed a moral mandate. However under a “first past the post” electoral system, the game is about winning seats, not aggregate votes. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) assemblyperson for Ba’Kelalan Baru Bian admitted today he and two of his colleagues, Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How and Krian assemblyperson Ali Biju, have been enticed to join Barisan Nasional some time before the last sitting of the dewan undangan negeri in an attempt to weaken PKR.
“They told us that the three of us had a better future with BN than with Pakatan Rakyat. But we have rejected their offer because we believe our struggle is with PKR and Pakatan,” said Baru, who is state chairperson for PKR.
He was asked to comment on speculation that Ali would join BN in after he was seen in the company of BN leaders giving away prizes. (more…)
Raja Ahmad Shahrir
- In the first of a two part series, a research associate from Institute Rakyat addresses issues on Budget2014.
“What you cultivate during the next seven years, when the time of harvest comes, leave the grains in their spikes, except for what you eat. After that, seven years of drought will come, which will consume most of what you stored for them. After that, a year will come that brings relief for the people, and they will, once again, press juice (olives and grapes).” Joseph: 47-49, Quran
As the lesson from the story of the prophet Joseph goes, livelihood is a cycle of economic ease and hardship. Keep during the good times, and sustain during the bad. With patience and fortitude, the good will eventually rise again. (more…)
De facto Law Minister Nancy Shukri gave her assurance today that the insertion of the controversial Section 203A into the Penal Code that Parliament passed yesterday is not meant to curb graft exposes.
The new clause bars government officers from revealing any information, obtained in the course of their duties, to the public, and was opposed by Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers.
Nancy admitted to reporters at the Parliament lobby today that the provision was too general and that she would seek further revisions through the Attorney-General’s Chambers to make it more specific.
“It is not about (exposing) corruption. Its more to do with officers who reveal information of, say, an impending drug raid,” she said. (more…)
EILEEN NG AND JENNIFER GOMEZ
Putrajaya rolled back on its reform agenda and reintroduced preventive detention through amendments to the Prevention of Crime Act (PCA) which was passed by parliament at 12.50am on Thursday after the clock was “stopped” to enable the debates to go on.
This is the fourth time in Malaysian history that Parliament had to “stop” the clock to allow lawmakers to debate.
The opposition has, in the run-up to the passage of the bill, repeatedly said the changes were similar to the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA), which allowed for detention without trial. (more…)
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…)
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…)
Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian slams armchair critics who ridicule and malign Sarawakians over the recent general elections, adding that “change takes time”.
A senior Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat leader has rebuked armchair critics within the cyber realm who continuously malign Sarawakians over the 2011 state and recent parliamentary elections.
Since the parliamentary polls, there have been countless attacks on Sarawakians and Sabahans through social media and online news portals.
Critics blamed voters in the two states for “reaping what they sow”, in relation to them voting in Barisan Nasional despite the coalition’s failed promises and pledges. (more…)
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…)
Nurul Izzah Anwar
Thousands of Malaysians voted abroad during the 13th general election. Many more returned from Singapore, Australia, Hong Kong, London and Taiwan, traditionally places with large numbers of Malaysians, to exercise their right to suffrage on May 5th.
This is a peculiar phenomenon.
Why do Malaysians who have found greener pastures abroad feel compelled to return to the country to cast their ballot? This certainly goes against the thesis of Albert O. Hircshman — who argued in a famous treatise in 1970 that when people have the chance to leave, they will, especially if they have found the entity to be increasingly dysfunctional and inefficient.
Malaysia, or rather its government, over the last few decades, has certainly manifested such features. (more…)
Lim 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…)
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…)
PKR president Wan Azizah says her party is willing to work with the BN govt to restore democracy and for an electoral system overhaul.
PKR is calling for a bi-partisan effort to restore democracy . Its president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said her party is willing to work hand-in hand with the Barisan Nasional government to achieve this.
Speaking at PKR’S annual national congress Wan Azizah said the fact that Pakatan Rakyat has garnered 51% of the popular votes in the recent polls but only won 89 out of 222 parliamentary seat shows the urgent need for a system overhaul. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Online research house PoliTweet.org said BN gained most of its votes from rural federal seats while PR increased its support from urban and semi-urban areas in GE13.KUALA LUMPUR, May 22 – Pakatan Rakyat (PR) won in 59 mixed-race federal seats, almost double its 30 wins in Chinese-majority seats in Malaysia’s Election 2013, according to a new research, debunking Barisan Nasional’s (BN) claim of a “Chinese Tsunami” that cost it more losses.
Independent online research house PoliTweet.org also said the ruling BN gained most of its votes from rural federal seats while PR increased its support from urban and semi-urban areas in the South-east Asian nation chasing developed nation status by 2020.
“BN represents the rural majority and can retain power with rural and semi-urban seats alone. This election highlighted PR’s weak areas which are rural seats, Bumiputra Sabah majority and Bumiputra Sarawak majority seats,” said the report, which can be found on PoliTweet’s official blog. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Thousands could not make it into a Kelana Jaya stadium brimming with a heavily passionate crowd last night, and many could not even drive anywhere close to it as Petaling Jaya was caught in a gridlock by those heading to the mass protest rally against the Sunday’s polls alleged fraud.
At least half of the 120,000 people who descended upon the stadium for one of the biggest rallies in recent times did not even get to hear their leaders speak.
Many did not have a clue when or where the likes of Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang spoke. Part of the sound system in the stadium was inaudible to the outlying areas and even to some stands at the far end of the stadium. (more…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
Lim 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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
“They don’t know who their allies and enemies are.”
A better way to put it, S Arutchelvan, would be “with friends like this, who needs Umno-BN enemies?” Under the title ‘PKR, you can’t enter Putrajaya with your brand of arrogance!’ my comrade in this struggle for regime change, blogger Zorro Unmasked, writes:
“I will not vote for Sivarasa in Subang, my parliamentary constituent, if PKR disturbs with a three-cornered fight in Kota Damansara, my state constituency. I have nothing against Sivarasa. I voted for him in 2008. It is the posture PKR is taking that I vehemently am opposed to. This is tantamount to bullying, Umno-style.” (more…)
Koh Jun Lin
Amid concerns of a flawed electoral roll, Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar appears to have roped in prominent pro-electoral reform leader Ambiga Sreenevasan’s assistance.
Ambiga made an appearance at Nurul Izzah’s campaign trail last night, where Nurulo Izzah addressed some 400 people who had crammed into a narrow alley in Bangsar to listen to her.
They two are also scheduled to help promote Bersih’s Pemantau volunteer election monitoring campaign at Bangsar’s Lucky Garden morning market today. (more…)
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 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…)
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…)
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…)