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…)
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…)
Each year we lose around RM20 billion through all sorts of leakages in our economy. When the government cannot explain incompetence, negligence, corruption, falsification of prices, they use the term leakages. This is reported year in and year out by the Auditor General. The danger here is that these wrongdoings continue to be unceasing.
Our unconcern indicates that we have not developed a culture of detesting any form of wrongdoing. Its especially made more difficult to fight against it, if the public spirited voice belongs to a non-Malay Malaysian. His/her crusade against the wrongdoer usually the government, is seen as cause carried out by a non-Malay against a Malay dominated government. This is most unfortunate- the issue here is the wrongdoing, not the wrongdoer.
Umno has political, and not religious, reasons for its ban on the use of the word “Allah” by the Catholic newspaper The Herald. Therefore, the only solution to such a ban is political. The ban should be met with a thoughtful response by our society, rather than religious fervour or rage.
PAS MP Mujahid Yusof Rawa gave a rebuttal of the ban that was intelligent and measured (and obviously prepared in advance). “Interfaith dialogue is the way forward.”
Language used as a weapon
Language is perhaps our most beautiful human trait. Our Creator has bestowed on us a gift of language that sets us apart from other species. (more…)
J. D. Lovrenciear
Racism is bad. Race based arguments, justifications and politicking is sinfully against the universal principles of humanity. Likewise dichotomies along religious parameters also go against the very global intentions of peace and brotherhood amongst humanity.
But in Malaysia this is the heightened season of racism and religious fervor.
Going by the actions, reactions, statements and positions taken by the leaders within the UMNO barracks, one can be forgiven for believing that this is the very season to talk, think and act in a racist manner spiked with generous doses of religious fervor – given the soon to held UMNO general assembly and elections.
Are all Malays Umno Malays? (more…)
Nawawi Mohamad, Stan Lee
During the ‘Cold War’ between the West, led by the US, against Russia and the Eastern Bloc countries, both so-called ‘superpowers’ had comparable military strength and arsenal to annihilate each other.
Thus, no one party was willing to be the first to push the button. And even when the two enemies were at ‘war’, because their might against each other was balanced out, peace of a sort could still be maintained.
Najib has upper hand but only for now
In UMNO, the warring factions are always on the move because there is no balance, let alone ‘check and balance’. At present party president Prime Minister Najib Razak has the upper hand. His enemies have tried to attack him from all the different directions and in different ways but failed to inflict critical damage. (more…)
Mohd Ariff Sabri Aziz
The Umno media complex which is loyal and serves only Najib Tun Razak has already begun an overt war to circumvent Muhyiddin Yassin’s bid for the top seat.
The official 13th general election maybe over, but the underground polls is not. It is still going on.
The underground polls is coming and this clash will not be between cultural groups.
It will be between the sad class – our own les miserables, Frantz Fanon’s Wretched of the Earth and the Malay-Chinese bourgeoisie. (more…)
National elections on May 5 haven’t cooled political and racial tensions
Any hope that May 5 national elections in Malaysia would cool the political atmosphere appears to have been misguided, leaving a country entangled in deepening racial problems and creating the risk of a real threat to the legitimacy of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s reign.
While not calling for Najib’s removal, the prime minister’s most potent critic, former Premier Mahathir Mohamad, damned him with faint praise, telling Bloomberg News in an interview in Tokyo last week that the United Malays National Organization will continue to support him “because of a lack of an alternative.”
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…)
A former Umno veteran says most Umno Supreme Council members bought votes and now this culture, with the help of the prime minister, is trickling down to the rest of the country.
Cash handouts, revised salaries and other financial perks given to Malaysians as polls approach are just an extension of Umno’s culture of buying votes for party positions, said former Umno veteran Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.
Abdul Kadir, who was an Umno member of 56 years until he quit last year, told FMT in an exclusive interview that most Umno Supreme Council members gained their positions by bribing members up to millions of ringgit. (more…)
Anwar is now leading the Malay and non-Malay spectrum of voters while Mahathir is reviled for numerous economic and social misgivings.
Knowing the Barisan National culture, would it not have been easier for Anwar Ibrahim to have joined the ruling coalition after his release in 2004? Instead, Anwar opted to face the BN’s brutal force in full brunt!
“The demands of the people remain to be good governance, accountability for corruption, political empowerment and social justice.” said Anwar in an Asian Renaissance forum in 2011 in Phnom Phen, Cambodia. Anwar has always fought for all that he mentioned in that event. (more…)
Speaking at the launch of a book on the Malaysian monarchy, Prime Minister Najib Razak said that the Malay Rulers “are above politics” (see “Najib: Constitutional monarchy fosters stability, prosperity”, The Malaysian Insider, January 30, 2013).
He said that the Malaysian monarchy “provides a solid foundation” for turning Malaysia into a high-income nation.
To be above politics means to not interfere in the political workings of the country and to take no sides in party politics.
To act as a foundation to the economy so that Malaysian citizens enjoy high incomes means abstaining from and disapproving the undemocratic use of the public’s wealth and resources. (more…)
“There is a tide in the affairs of men,
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.”
William Shakespeare (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…)
The fires of May 13, 1969 still burn in the mind of older Malaysians who lived through the racial riots that swept through the major cities of the peninsula.
I was a teenager then and the sight of my father quickly putting on his shoes to go out to our middle-class and predominantly Chinese neighbourhood to call for the menfolk to come out and defend their homes if the Malays attacked us was hard to reconcile with the ‘happy-go-lucky’ life we were enjoying. (more…)
The writer takes a cynical and satirical look on how the Malays must come to terms with themselves.
Liberalism and pluralism have engulfed the nation, and this negative phenomenon is slowly afflicting the Malays, causing them to turn away from the path of righteousness.
Even Umno which has been lovingly protecting the Malays for the last 50 years and the various religious authorities are now watching open-mouthed in horror as liberalism sweeps across the land unhindered – infecting unsuspecting Muslims. (more…)
Authorities would like to shut opposition sites, but former PM promised it would stay free
In August of 1996, when he launched the 50 km-long Multimedia Super Corridor between Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia’s new international airport in an attempt to lure high-tech startups to his country, then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made a promise to prospective international investors that the Internet would remain forever free from political interference.
It is a promise that successive governments – and belatedly perhaps Mahathir himself – have had trouble keeping or wish had never been made, as exemplified by the raid last week on Malaysiakini, with 300,000 daily readers the biggest of the flock of independent or opposition news sites that have altered Malaysia’s political landscape. (more…)
Lim Sue Goan
There are not many date options left. The 13th general election is likely to fall in November this year, January or March next year.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently hinted that the general election might be fall in November, as 11 is his favourite number. Therefore, people started to speculate that, in order to avoid the Deepavali and Awal Muharram on November 13 and 15, the polling day could fall on November 3, 11 or 25.
However, it could also be a false alarm, as there is still no sign showing that the election will be held in November. If the Prime Minister wants to distribute goodies on September 28 when the Budget is tabled, it will take time to achieve the expected effects and they would not make it by November. (more…)
I haven’t watched TV3 for a very long time. During the weekend I found myself without my laptop and I don’t own any iPad either. So with nothing to do, I found myself having to watch the propaganda mouthpiece of the Umno/BN government.
What I saw confirmed what I have been saying for a long time. It’s a one-sided communication means whereby the government of the day, because it can, by virtue of controlling the federal government, spread lies and deliberate disinformation and cuckold the minds of the public.
Immediately you are bombarded with what Umno and BN is doing. It is clear Umno/BN does not want an enlightened and informed public. What it wants is to glorify what little achievements the PM accomplished — distributing zakat from the bank the government owns (meaning if PR wins, it can do the same), frying murtabak here and distributing the delicacy to seemingly starving people. Are we not ashamed to see so many people are poor in the PM’s backyard and then we are subjected to his hypocritical speech about what Allah likes and doesn’t like. It is just an elaborate PR exercise extolling the form rather than substance. (more…)
These are ruthless politicians who are trying to play God, and the minute they are in power, they need to restrict Muslims from moving out of line.
Gerakan vice-president Dr Teng Hock Nan has accused the Pakatan Rakyat-led state governments of moving towards Islamist governance.
Citing the Kuala Selangor District Council (MDKS) prohibiting unmarried Muslim couples from sitting together in cinema halls, he said Pakatan had failed to understand the sensitivities of non-Muslim communities. (more…)
Clearing out the Borneo Jungle – more profit for Musa Aman?
A court case, lodged in the High Court of Sabah in Sandakan in February, raises further questions over the business relationship between the Chief Minister, Musa Aman, and the family of Michael Chia, as well as the lawyer Richard Christopher Barnes.
Aman has denied that Michael Chia was his favoured ‘adopted son’ or that he has had any business relations with him. (more…)
Teoh El Sen
The two aides and a deputy minister were named in an anonymous blog claiming to have evidence of their involvement in corruption.
Allegations of corruption against top government officials, including two aides linked to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin, have surfaced in an anonymous blog.
Written by one “TheWhistleblower711”, the blog claims to have evidence – in the form of documents and informants – to also implicate a deputy minister of improper conduct.
The blog has so far named three government officials whom the author claimed have been “bought” by one businessman for the purpose of obtaining contracts from the federal government and its agencies. (more…)
Issues of national concern were not discussed at the recent Umno general assembly. Delegates also failed to call on Najib to step down for Umno to rise again.
Frankly, the recent Umno general assembly was the best venue and probably the last chance for Umno leaders to show their sincerity in addressing party and national concerns.
Instead of adopting the Mahathir doctrine or rather its despotic policy, Umno president and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak should have discussed with the party leaders on how best to tackle the party and national problems.
Disgruntled members should have urged Najib to step down as one of the solutions for Umno to rise again. Personal leadership, party strength and national issues and problems are all inter-related. (more…)
Najib plays different tunes for political purposes but in the process, it is causing a rift in Umno.
At the Selangor Taoist solidarity dinner on Wednesday night, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak recalled Tunku Abdul Rahman’s long-term vision and praised him for being “far-sighted in administering a complex nation such as Malaysia”. His remarks were at odds with the opening speech at the 62nd Umno general assembly, a fortnight ago.
The solidarity dinner saw Najib urging Malaysians to emphasise the similarities in their respective religions, for a stronger and more united Malaysia. He espoused universal qualities like courtesy, filial piety, trustworthiness and diligence as shared values. (more…)
The 2011 UMNO General Assembly has come and gone, leaving little impact on the Malaysian political scene except that we know now what the party’s strategy going into the 13th General Election will be.
The UMNO game plan will be positioned on race and religion, and make no mistake it will also be one played out to the very end by a coalition desperate to stay in power.
The dominant and the submissive
The stance taken by UMNO is interesting, as it has been endorsed by both deputy UMNO president Muhyiddin Yassin and president Najib Razak.
The fact that Najib has given up on his multiracial 1Malaysia concept is an indication of how great a store UMNO places on race championing to win the GE-13. (more…)
‘People First, Performance Now’ has been replaced by ‘Cover-ups in corruption’.
It is doubtful that Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak believed a word of what he said, in the closing ceremony of Umno’s 2011 general assembly last week.
He claimed to have achieved his four objectives for the party conference: Umno was united, the party was geared up for the 13th general election, delegates fully supported the Government Transformation Programme (GTP) and Umno can be relied upon to provide a better future for the rakyat.
If Najib wants to earn the respect of the rakyat, he should assume leadership and address the financial irregularities which have embroiled members of his Cabinet. (more…)
Malaysia is that rare country with an unequivocal national narrative. It goes something like this: Malaysia’s 28 million people, comprising mainly Malays, Chinese and Indians, make up a moderate and modern emerging democracy. Unlike members of other multiethnic countries, they respect one another’s beliefs and values and share a commitment to achieving prosperity. The official religion is Islam, but other faiths are freely allowed and celebrated. This is one harmonious place.
Much of that narrative is true — but not all of it. Malaysia’s economic miracle has stalled, and while the nation is, indeed, somewhat pluralistic, it is no melting pot. Indeed, it is a society where people define themselves first and foremost by race.
The country’s political leadership has in some respects reinforced those ethnic identities. For the past 40 years, policymakers have doled out special privileges — in education and business — to one community: the majority Malays. The program is one of modern history’s greatest experiments in social engineering and possibly the world’s most extensive attempt at affirmative action. But the policies have also bred resentment among minorities, distorted the economy and undermined the concept of a single Malaysian identity. (more…)
By Pak Bui
Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) head prosecutor Abdul Razak Musa made a humiliating spectacle of himself in front of the coroner’s court during the hearing into the death of Teoh Beng Hock.
His self-abasement is a terrible setback for UMNO’s efforts to regain votes in the next general election. The MACC has plumbed the depths of public mistrust, and in so doing has reflected badly on its masters in UMNO.
Public anger towards the MACC will also be directed against UMNO, since Malaysians of all races understand that the MACC behaves as a political weapon, wielded by UMNO and its allies against their opponents.
The MACC’s move to attack celebrated Thai pathologist Dr Pornthip Rojanasunand appears to have backfired. Abdul Razak Musa was ill-prepared, and cracked under the intense pressure on him to cast doubt on the Thai doctor’s findings that Teoh’s death was no suicide. (more…)
By Bunga Pakma
The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly small.—ancient Greek proverb.
What is the most appropriate metaphor I can find to describe the political events of the past week? “Massive traffic jam” is the image that comes into my mind and refuses to be replaced by any other.
In my mind’s eye I see Kuala Lumpur at rush hour. Crossing a bridge over the Federal Highway on foot—I’m lucky; I can walk home—I see something unusual. Eastbound and westbound, all lanes are entirely filled with vehicles. Cars, vans, lorries, tankers carrying petrol and liquid oxygen, trailers hauling seriously heavy machinery stretch away in both directions until they disappear behind a distant curve. Every thirty seconds one lane crawls forward a dozen meters, then stops. The air throbs with the noise of thousands of idling engines and stinks with diesel exhaust.
Maybe there was a major accident, or a flood, or a sinkhole opened. (more…)