Hornbill Unleashed

February 14, 2012

‘Semunya OK’ for BN

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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J. D. LovrenciearScandal after scandal, but everything remains ‘Semunya OK’ for BN

It is indeed mind boggling. The expose after expose and allegations of corruption, wheeler-dealing, big-time murders, and what have you seems to have no effect.

Both the rakyat and the BN politicians are going about in a ‘business as usual’ air. That is mind boggling. In any other Asian country, by now the corrupt would be instantly removed by public outcry and condemnation. The Philippines, Thailand and Indonesia are great examples of how the citizens returned order and civility into their governments and for the better of their nation’s future.

Destroys livelihoods (more…)

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December 5, 2011

Taib family’s illicit billions disclosed!

EXCLUSIVE: Taib family's illicit billions disclosed!

“Billions of illicit assets”: Abdul Taib Mahmud, the Godfather of Sarawak

Research by the Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) has uncovered the vast dimensions of the Malaysian Taib family’s illicit assets. According to the Swiss organization, the inner family circle of Malaysian potentate Abul Taib Mahmud has a stake in over 400 companies around the globe and holds illicit assets worth several billion US dollars.

Abdul Taib Mahmud (“Taib”) has been Chief Minister, Finance Minister and Planning and Resources Management Minister of Malaysia’s largest state, Sarawak, since 1981. He has been long criticized for corrupt practices and abuse of office but Malaysian authorities have failed to take action against him, despite an ongoing investigation by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC). Taib is a key supporter of Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. (more…)

October 18, 2011

Govt, opposition in same ‘thinking box’

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Zainal Ajamain @ FMT

Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s Economic Transformation Programme is not transforming the economy because the main emphasis is ‘in the process’ .

The recently announced budget for 2012 is not exclusive to the government and everyone else just has to accept it solely at face value.

The opposition, too, has the right to present its views on how the government can collect revenue and prioritise its spending for the benefit of the nation.

Consider this a new trend – an alternative view of what Malaysia can enjoy.

The management of public expenditure should no longer be the exclusive right of the federal or state government. (more…)

October 12, 2011

If you really want to know about GE-13, ask Rosmah

If you really want to know about GE-13, ask RosmahMaclean Patrick

The talk of the town has been that the coming 13th general election is in November owing to the fact that Prime Minister Najib Razak has a liking for the number 11. Thus, the number 11.11.2011 had been the favorite call for many election pundits and also 4D or numbers forecast practitioners, even though it was a Friday. And in the aftermath of the Budget 2012, the Chinese media has forcast November 12, a Saturday, but would Najib really dare call for an election in November?

For one, the response to his much hyped-up spending plan has been weak to say the least, refelcting the low trust the people have in him and his promises. Secondly, contrary to what most people think, even Najib himself is unsure of the date to call a general election and this means that more likely than not GE-13 will be delayed. (more…)

November 9, 2010

Eight reasons why Pakatan lost

By Bridget Welsh – Malaysiakini

The BN deservedly should claim and savour yesterday’s victories. The combined gains in Galas and Batu Sapi show significant swings across ethnic minorities, which proved to be decisive in determining the final outcome.

This is the first major turning point in the political stalemate between the BN and Pakatan Rakyat among all of the 13 by-elections since March 2008.

From the ground, it was clear that the BN had the advantage in (more…)

July 11, 2010

SUPP at the crossroads

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:04 AM
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bn supreme council mt meeting sapp sabah issue 190608 taib mahmud

By Joe Fernandez

here’s increasing suspicion in Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) circles that Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) leaders and activists may have started keeping some distance of late from beleaguered Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

This follows the failure of SUPP ministers to turn up at two major public functions with the same theme, ‘SeNada SeJiwa – One Beat, One Spirit’ that Taib hosted in Bintulu, and earlier in Sibu, recently.

It is not known what was Taib’s response to what could be construed as a deliberate snub by a party which has not hesitated to walk his path 30 years earlier.

Other public and private functions hosted by Taib (Top right), smaller ones, have been poorly attended as well by SUPP representatives. Again, the youth and the more senior SUPP representatives were noticeably absent. (more…)

July 10, 2010

Time is on Our side.

Filed under: Corruption,Human rights — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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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…)

July 6, 2010

EC is not Superman

NONE

By Pathmawathy @ MalaysiaKini

The problem could be solved, some say, if the EC is given an upper hand in independently determining what constitutes a bribe.

It should also have an enforcement and prosecution unit, rather than to have to liaise with the Malaysia Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) or the attorney-general’s chambers in taking action.

However, Abdul Aziz said the EC’s main duties are to manage and organise elections, to prepare and revise the electoral role and to review the constituency boundaries.

“The EC is the expert in matters of elections… for prosecution, there are better people at it, but it doesn’t mean we wash our hands off (allegations that crop up).

“We have friends in the other departments and they will help when we need help. If they are not willing to do so, then that is another story entirely.” (more…)

June 28, 2010

10MP: Cronies First, Corruption Now

By Pak Bui

The 10th Malaysian Plan (10MP) is a misnomer. It does not serve Malaysian interests, and there is no viable planning on display.

The 10MP was “unveiled” with typical fanfare in Parliament like some work of art. The document was bound in a gaudy colourful cover, designed to distract from its lack of content and economic innovation. The 10MP is another prime example of outward appearance trumping substance in Malaysian politics.

Its true slogan should have been splashed across the cover: “Cronies First, Profits Now” (to paraphrase Apco and 1Israel). (more…)

June 24, 2010

S’wak BN meet to undertake four ‘arduous’ tasks

By Joe Fernandez

The Sarawak BN meet, scheduled for this weekend in Kuching, has reportedly set up four arduous tasks for itself as a decision is about to be made on whether to go for snap polls.

“These tasks are to consider four major themes for the forthcoming state elections,” confirmed a key Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) polls strategist last night.

The first of these tasks is to strategise on the polls theme that Sarawak needs to be administered by homegrown parties and “not those imported from Peninsular Malaysia”. (more…)

June 10, 2010

Holding governments to account

Filed under: Human rights,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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By Ding Jo-Ann

Najib condemns Israel’s human rights violations, but what about those that occur within Malaysia?

IT was interesting to see our Malaysian government defending the rule of law and upholding human rights in the international arena recently. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and his colleagues condemned the recent Israeli commando-style raid of the flotilla of ships attempting to deliver aid to Gaza, resulting in the deaths of nine activists.

Najib said Malaysia, currently a non-permanent UN Security Council member, would move the council to discuss taking action against Israel for its attack. He also said Barisan Nasional(BN) would table a parliamentary motion to show the Malaysian people’s displeasure with the Israeli attack. (more…)

June 8, 2010

Dr M mum on Taib and wants Samy out

mahathir cyberjaya lecture 220409 q&a sessionBy Joe Fernandez

Former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad thinks that MIC president S. Samy Vellu should quit his post altogether and vamoose “if he knows what’s good for him”.

The only reason he gave is that he (Mahathir) is no longer in government and neither are the others who were once with him.

So, by this simplistic logic, Samy should do the same disappearing act as well and not unnecessarily clutter Mahathir’s (right) neat picture of the world.

Not that Samy quitting MIC would be the end of Umno’s political problems in winning back its two-thirds majority in Parliament and the states that it conceded to the opposition in the last general election.  (more…)

May 22, 2010

Surprising signals from Sibu

sibu by election polling day 160510By Bridget Welsh

The real measure of change among the electorate is how they mark the ballot paper.

This analysis explores how people voted in Sibu, drawing from the polling station results and local interviews. The results from the Sibu by-election point to major transformations in voting behavior in Sarawak.

They show swings among voters of all the different ethnic communities toward Pakatan and consistent youth disenchantment with the BN.

The results also reveal a crack in the rural-urban divide in Sarawak voting. Even the composition of the low voter turnout under close scrutiny points in Pakatan’s favour. (more…)

May 21, 2010

‘Sibu miracle’: Money doesn’t talk

NONEBy Wong Teck Chi and Joseph Sipalan

If Pakatan Rakyat’s currency during election campaigns is ideals, promise of good governance and accountability, then BN’s currency is plain cold hard cash.

But if results of the Sibu by-election were anything to go by, pork-barrel politics ought to be brought to an end.

This was particularly evident in the voting district of Rajang Park, a Chinese majority suburb within the Pelawan state constituency.

On the eve of polling, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak told voters there during a rally that he would approve a RM5 million flood mitigation project to resolve frequent flood problems in the area. (more…)

May 16, 2010

Sibu voters could make history

NONEBy Kim Quek

Amidst the intense election campaigns of the Sibu parliamentary by-election, there is one way to help the besieged electorate make a sound decision. And that is by asking the following question:

Which political coalition – Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat – is more likely to fulfill the wishes of the Sibu people, if given the chance to run the federal government and the Sarawak state government?

The simple reason for asking the question is that only the federal government has the power and resources, and to a lesser extent, the Sarawak state government, to solve their problems and fulfill their aspirations. (more…)

May 15, 2010

Will the SUPP ever speak up for our religious freedom?

By Pak Bui

The Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) and the state Barisan Nasional (BN) have failed at every turn to speak out for Sarawakians, against suppression of religious freedom.

When the UMNO home minister Syed Hamid Albar banned the use of the word “Allah” in the Catholic Herald, he must have had the support of UMNO. When the UMNO home minister Hishammuddin Hussein allowed the seizure and retention of 15,000 Christian bibles containing the word “Allah”, he must have enjoyed the approval of his party.

When the UMNO Prime Minister Najib Razak allowed religious fanatics to protest in contempt of court against the High Court ruling that Umno’s ban was unconstitutional and illegal, he must have won lusty cheers from his party. (more…)

December 12, 2009

Who loves Parti Cinta Malaysia?

By Pak Bui

The new Parti Cinta Malaysia (PCM), based in Penang, has one of the weirdest names in the history of Malaysian politics. Thaksin Shinawatra’s Thai Rak Thai (Thais love Thailand) has a better ring to it, but then Thai has the advantage of being a charming, melodious language.

Parti Cinta Malaysia has the awkward feel of a name translated directly from a different language. It creates unease, reminiscent of our grey RTM news readers enunciating ‘teknologi’ or ‘universiti’ in the Bahasa Baku style: all hard consonants, and pronouncing each word as it is spelt.

A rough English translation for the PCM would be the “Malaysian Love Party”, which veers uncomfortably close to the neighbourhood of “Malaysian Orgy”.

The sheer strangeness of the name brings to mind more colourful names like the Official Monster Raving Loony Party (Britain), the Beer Lovers Party (Russia and the Ukraine), the Imperial British Conservative Party (Australia and New Zealand), the Guns and Dope Party (United States) and the Death, Dungeons and Taxes Party (Britain). (more…)

December 9, 2009

Political Dangers in Jailing Anwar

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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By Kenny Gan

Recently the High Court dismissed an application by Anwar Ibrahim to strike out his sodomy charge on the basis that two medical reports have found no evidence of penetration. The High Court refused and set Jan 25 2010 for Anwar’s trial to proceed.

Many Malaysians believe the charge against Anwar to be politically motivated and the conduct of the prosecution has reinforced their doubts. Few believe that Anwar will get a fair trial.

Will Anwar’s jailing help BN retain power or will it do the opposite and boost the opposition’s chances? If the prosecution can prove an ironclad case the political fallout will be limited but if Anwar’s conviction is seen as a travesty of justice BN will pay a heavy political price.

To gauge the political effect of jailing Anwar it is instructive to recount the impact of the 1999 sodomy conviction and compare the different socio-political environment between the two events in the intervening ten years. (more…)

November 26, 2009

Landmines in Sarawak, Part 2

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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By Sim Kwang Yang

sarawak state seat 2006 breakdown 011208

A reader sent me an email to enquire why Sarawak cannot secede itself from Malaysia and become an independent nation like Singapore. The same query has also been making the round on Internet postings in Sarawak, behind the safe veil of anonymity.

It is a tabooed subject in the nation’s public sphere. But I feel that our nation’s citizens are mature enough to discuss this issue openly, without resorting to panic mongering and witch-hunting.

Because of the lack of public discussion, we do not know how rampant this sentiment is. I have heard of talk pointing to Brunei as an illustration. The Sultan of Brunei decided not to join Malaysia in 1963, preferring to become an independent nation on its own. Today, because of the wealth from oil and gas, the Sultan of Brunei is the richest man in the world, and the wealth of the Brunei people is the envy of Asia.

The rhetorical question is: if Brunei can do it, why not Sarawak and Sabah? (more…)

November 25, 2009

Landmines in Sarawak Part 1

By Sim Kwang Yang

sarawak state seat 2006 breakdown 011208

Being severed from the Malayan Peninsula by a vast expanse of water, the political sky over the fair land of Sarawak has very different hues and colours. Sometimes, the political quirks and kinks can seem incomprehensible to politicians and people from outside the state.

Part of the reason for this discrepancy is that the collective imagination of Sarawakians is not shaped by the national media entirely, but also by the local media in Sarawak in all forms, including and especially the radio which is often the only source of information about the outside world in much of the Sarawak rural heartland.

All the newspapers in various languages are pro-BN government of course. They are all owned by companies and business interests that depend on the state government for survival. The BN control over the formation of public opinions is water-tight.

In this way, the Sarawak BN is able to monopolise the content and the style of political discourse throughout the entire state. Alternative or dissident voices can hardly ever find the space to articulate their views. With telephone access limited to the towns and some semi-urban areas, the power of the Internet has yet to establish a foothold.
(more…)

November 10, 2009

When will the 13th General Election be?

By Kenny Gan

pakatan-rakyat-stateEver since the epic 12th general elections, which saw a realignment of the political landscape, the average Malaysian,  normally apathetic to politics due to the boring regularity of BN’s sweeping victories, have started to take an interest in elections, especially the next general election.

Pakatan Rakyat supporters who can’t wait to see BN swept out of power are notably impatient for the next general election, even though the last one was held a mere 20 months ago. As general elections are held every 5 years, the next one is not due until March 2013.

However it is the usual practice for the incumbent government to hold elections earlier, rather than wait until its term expires. This allows it to choose an opportune time, such as a booming economy, when its support may be higher. To wait until the last months deprives it of the freedom to choose a favourable timing or the ability to wait for scandals to cool, if any should pop up unexpectedly.

Another reason for holding early elections may be to clear the way to institute an unpopular policy which may harm its chances in the next election. Abdullah Badawi held the 2008 elections a full year before his term was to expire in March 2009, because he wanted to raise the price of oil drastically. True enough, Malaysians were hit with the steepest ever increase in oil price barely 3 months after the election.

(more…)

November 2, 2009

“To me, all these reports are not true”

By Rosita Maja

Cheehow-Barubian-yb-zuraidah-penan-support-groupAccording to the Borneo Post on October 29, James Masing said Shahrizat Jalil, Minister for Women, Family, and Community Development, and the Police are duty bound to let the public know the truth about Penan rape by loggers, and the police should call Shahrizat for details.

What is the truth? Isn’t it the truth that the Sarawak Government is in denial ?

The release of  the Penan Taskforce report by the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development detailed the sexual abuse over many years.

The report confirmed the truth of the allegations of the rape of Penan girls and women which has taken place over 10 years ago, since the advances of logging activities in Baram area.

(more…)

Inscrutable and divisive Chinese politics

Kaypo Anak Sarawak is a Columnist  of  Hermit Hornbill at The Borneo Post Online , His article is  published  in The Borneo Post every Sunday. (Used by permission of the Author )

mca-2WATCHING from the sideline as the sickening melodrama of the ongoing MCA crisis unfolds before us, we cannot help but cringe from the ugliness of the naked power struggle within this 60-year-old political party claiming to fight for the Chinese community in Malaysia.From the original Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat and Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek factions, we are now told of a Third Force that tipped the balance of votes in carrying the motion of no-confidence against Ong’s tenure as the MCA President.

The smoke from the battlefield of the MCA Oct 10 extraordinary general meeting (EGM) had hardly died down, when from Ong’s own support group, a number of Central Committee members hitherto loyal to Ong had agitated for the forced resignation of Ong from the presidency. This led Ong to lament publicly the disappearance of long-time friendship in politics.

To fight off this latest sabotage on his presidency, Ong has invoked his presidential power to call for another EGM, this time to decide whether there should not be another EGM to re-elect the entire CC.

(more…)

November 1, 2009

Sarawak PKR’s new chief faces BN mud-slinging

By Maximus  Kho

baru-bianFinally, it is done. Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) or the People’s Justice Party, has appointed a Sarawakian to head its Sarawak Chapter. Yesterday, at a press conference at the Telang Usan Hotel, Mr Baru Bian, a well-known, well-liked, and widely-respected Land Rights lawyer, announced his assumption of the leadership of PKR Sarawak.

This is after much clamouring from within and without the party for a local Sarawakian to head the party. Amongst the most frequently expressed views was the concern that Sarawak’s interests demand the leadership of a Sarawakian. Even George Chan ventured in with his two cent’s worth, when he was quoted as saying that the PKR could not represent Sarawak’s interests because it was headed by a West Malaysian.

Baru’s appointment therefore comes as a breath of fresh air to many. However, not all is well in Sarawak.

(more…)

October 16, 2009

One Sarawakian’s view of Bagan Pinang and the Umno revival

By Pak Bui

isa-sept30The newspapers are full of Umno triumphalism. Umno’s ecstasy is overwhelming: you’d think they had managed to take back Perak by a popular vote.

Umno’s victory in the Bagan Pinang by-election has put some spring back into Umno’s goose-steps at their 60th General Assembly.

Many pundits have argued that Umno is winning back the trust of the Chinese and Indians. There may be a tiny kernel of truth in this.

Since Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have been bickering publicly over beer raids and municipal councils, a proportion of the Indian and Chinese population may, indeed, have voted against PAS to show their displeasure with certain pea-brained squabblers. But a vote against PR’s loudmouths is hardly a vote for Umno.

Throughout Umno’s ongoing General Assembly, speakers have tried to capitalise on this perceived swing among non-Malay voters, back towards Umno and the BN. (more…)

October 13, 2009

UMNO victory in Bagan Pinang – what now?

Filed under: Corruption,Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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By  Sim Kwang Yang

isa-samadAs expected, BN candidate Isa Samad of UMNO defeated Zulkefly Mohamad Nor by a thumping majority of over 5000 votes, with a 2920 postal vote majority contributing to the BN victory.

I have expected this result from the way the campaign has been conducted all along.  Isa Samad is the local favourite.  He was MB for Negeri Sembilan for 22 years, and he must have built up a vast network of social contacts and political patronage.  Many locals of various races must have felt indebted to him personally.

The PAS campaign was apparently badly managed.  This is what Raja Petra Kamarudin has to report in his latest posting in his Malaysian Today website:

“In Bagan Pinang, the opposition is so disorganised. There are allegations that Kuala Lumpur has taken over the Bagan Pinang election campaign while the locals from Negeri Sembilan are being sidelined. It was not until the fourth day after Nomination Day when PAS invited the other component members from Pakatan Rakyat for a meeting. In the end, PAS did their own thing while PKR and DAP, who were left out in the cold, organised their own programmes independent of PAS. PAS did not even arrange for the Wakil Rakyat from PKR and DAP to speak at the ceramah.

(more…)

October 1, 2009

Bagan Pinang: the crucial uniformed factor

By Sim Kwang Yang

husamisa_1Finally, the stage for the Bagan Pinang by-election has been set, and the names of the two fighting cocks have been announced.  There may be an independent, but he will be the mouse deer between the two warring elephants.

Former Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar for two decades and Head of the UMNO Teluk Kemang Division Isa Abdul Samad will take on the PAS Negeri Chief Zukefly Ahmad Omar.

ISA is a tainted candidate, having been found guilty of money politics and vote buying during UMNO party election in 2004, and his party membership was suspended until June last year.

So what does the UMNO candidate selection in the Bagan Pinang by-election tell us about UMNO? (more…)

September 17, 2009

Sabah and Sarawak: when will they become Malaysia’s real king makers?

By Sim Kwang Yang

5246 malaysiaDayYesterday was Malaysia Day, commemorating the 46 anniversary of Sarawak and Sabah independence through forming Malaysia with Singapore and the Malayan Federation.

I purposely did not comment on it, since there are far more people nowadays talking about the meaning of this date.  I have also stopped talking about the 20 point agreement signed in a joint memorandum 46 years ago.

We all know that Sarawak and Sabah have had a raw deal from 46 years of Malaysian independence.  The thing to think about is how to reverse this trend.

Sarawak has 31 parliamentary seats and Sabah 25 parliamentary seats, which were all but swept by the BN in the 2008 general elections.  The Sarawak and Sabah state governments are also firmly in the hands of the state BN.

(more…)

September 15, 2009

MIC and Samy Vellu: a truly dying breed

20090812180935_samyvelluBy Sim Kwang Yang

I have not been following the MIC party election that closely, because I know the outcome is predictable.

The outcome of the MIC party election is predictable, because, despite their humiliating thrashing in the last general election, this grand old party is still mired in the fossilised outdated and dying mode of strongman politics.

Strongman politics has died out in the old dictatorships in the Philippines, Indonesia, and elsewhere.  It is that brand of politics where the entire political organisation or country is controlled by one domineering charismatic personality.  The retirement of Dr. M marked the end of strongman politics in Malaysia.  Whether it has ended in UMNO or not is yet to be seen. (more…)

August 20, 2009

Permatang Pasir: a milestone in the long march against racism

By Sim Kwang Yang

unite against racismThe Malaysian government is thinking of doing away with the category of “race” in all official forms.  I have been filling those forms all my life and I have always hated that particular category.  When the forms do not really matter, I just fill in “human” for my race.

But removing the category “race” from forms will not begin to eradicate racism that is so entrenched and institutionalised in Malaysian national life.  It has its deepest roots in party politics.  As long as political parties find that racist sentiments are the most effective tool in mass mobilisation of populist support, racism will continue to colour all our daily judgements.

In short, race-based political parties and their race-based nation-building policies are the real cause of racism in Malaysia. (more…)

August 10, 2009

Umno, the Malay heartland and the Winds of Change

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:01 AM
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“”  Election after election, UMNO expects the rural Malays to vote them back into power and they have fulfilled that expectation. Beneath the peace and the tranquility, the sleepiness and the simplicity, the rustic countryside holds the key to the real political power in the land. “”

water-buffalo

By Kenny Gan

Bright sunshine pours out of a glorious blue sky and bathes the rustic scene of wooden stilted houses set among coconut palms and banana trees close to the winding ribbon of bitumen road.

Padi fields stretch into the distance on both sides like a sea of fresh, vibrant green stalks waving in the gentle breeze.

The deep grunt of a water buffalo penetrates the still air as it waddles in a muddy pool and contented cows rest under shady trees as all around flows the shimmering heat, encompassing everything in its benign embrace, keeping people indoors. (more…)

July 24, 2009

What is a Royal Commission?

By Pak Bui

Teo-Beng-Hock_CandleTeoh Beng Hock’s political martyrdom is another catastrophe in the barely hundred-day-old infancy of Najib’s malformed administration.

Prime Minister Najib has bowed, finally, to public demands to set up a Royal Commission to review the interrogation tactics of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). But he has refused to allow the royal panel to probe the harrowing death of the Selangor political aide.

Teoh died during, or following, MACC interrogation. He died after the MACC denied him his basic human rights. This was labeled the first “political death” of the Najib regime by 17 civil society groups, including the Bar Council, Jamaah Islah Malaysia, the Centre for Independent Journalism, and Suaram. (more…)

June 7, 2009

SKY Counters George Chan – on a lazy Malaysian Sunday!

By Sim Kwang Yang

George Chan Hong NamThe public political conversation in Sarawak can only be described as primitive at best.  How I know it!  I was engaged in frontline politics for nearly 20 years in Bandar Kuching, trying to elevate the level of political narrative in my home state.  It was near impossible, because the media was all closed, and the weight of the Internet had yet to be felt.

Thanks to the Internet, I can read the Borneo Post online everyday these days.  Living in Cheras on the edge of Kuala Lumpur as I do, it is my way of touching base with my home state, so to speak.

On June 5, in a story headlined Pakatan Rakyat cannot bring progress, this is what I read about what George Chan has to say. (more…)

June 5, 2009

Another Project by BN…falls to pieces

By Pak Bui @ Hueditor

QEH

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah’s main hospital, has been crippled since last year. Health Minister Liow Tiong Lai admitted last October that the main QEH tower block, housing 250 beds, the forensic medicine block, and the boiler room, had all been deemed unsafe. Hospital staff and patients had been sounding the alarm for eight long years, terrified by pieces of concrete dropping to the floor in the wards and toilets.

There followed a chaotic period of scrambling for beds. QEH patients were bounced around to private hospitals, including the high-priced private Sabah Medical Centre (SMC), and the Beaufort District Hospital, half a day’s travel away for patients and their families. (more…)

May 28, 2009

Lord Lester QC: Najib talking nonsense

By Chee How @ Hueditor

zambryWhen a lawyer friend of mine heard in the news on Sunday that PM Najib expressed regret that the Opposition accused the BN government of influencing the Court of Appeal’s decision in determining the rightful Perak Mentri Besar, she was bewildered and instantly sent me a short message.

No, she was not baffled by Najib’s attack on the opposition and their claim that the Court of Appeal was influenced to overturn the High Court decision to determine that Zambry Abdul Kadir is Perak’s rightful Menteri Besar. Which intelligent soul in Malaysia would have been buffled? It’s just Najib jumping onto the stage for his clown dance.

“Najib said that the Court of Appeal’s decision was hailed by international legal experts, including Queen’s Counsel Lord Anthony Lester!” I can sense her anger and shock. (more…)

May 24, 2009

What next in Perak … on a lazy Malaysian Sunday?

By Sim Kwang Yang

PALACE-OF-INJUSTICEThe Appellate Court decision yesterday to restore BN’s Zambry as the Perak Mentri Besar should not have surprised too many informed Malaysians.

We have lived through the constitutional crisis in 1988, when judicial independence was stripped through constitutional amendments rammed through the Parliament by the BN two-third brute majority.  We have lived through the Lingam Tape scandal before the 2008 general election.  We have seen half-past-six attempt on judicial reform after the 2008 political tsunami.  It is judicial business as usual, Malaysia style.

Even if Nizar gets his written judgement, and he appeals to the Federal Court against the decision of the Appellate Court, what do you think the final decision of the Apex court will be?  You want to bet, even for a cup of coffee? (more…)

May 19, 2009

Watch out! The Indians are angry!

By Sim Kwang Yang

gladiatorsIt seems like the nature of human affairs that persecution is the best engine for growth for some social or political causes.

If the early Christians had not been fed to the lions or slaughtered by the gladiators in the Roman amphitheatres, the religion would perhaps not spread so far and wide in the Roman Empire.  Christianity seems to thrive on persecution, beginning with Jesus Christ himself.

Ever since the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) has been outlawed, they have appeared to be divided, and lost for direction. (more…)

May 15, 2009

Letter from America 4

By Bunga Pakma

While I’m here, America is my subject.  Two events conspire to distract me from it, the first alarming, the second wonderfully beautiful.

SHAME (Custom)The news that cops, perhaps armed, had been sent into Perak’s State Assembly chamber and forcibly removed the elected Speaker was a sharp tug on the leash that tethers me to home.  Commentators wiser than I (and on the scene) have written about this awful incident at length.  What I wish to add is a deep historical context that I have not yet seen anybody note.

The United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy whose head of state (more…)

May 11, 2009

A tribute to RPK: storm the Bastille!

By Sim Kwang Yang

I have never met Raja Petra Kamarudin RPK; through I did talk to him briefly on the phone a few times.ln-asia-msian

I do read his entry on Malaysia To-day first thing in the morning, every day. He does have a way of gaining access to very private information denied to most Malaysians, including me.

Though I do not always agree with him, I like to read his stuff because his view is often incisive, original, provocative, and sometimes ironic, a literary technique that few Malaysian bloggers are capable of.

He is a very well-read person and a writer with a flourish that keep readers’ interest to the end of an article. Almost single-handedly, he has pried open a new open sky on the Internet for a multitude of alternative narratives to bloom and blossom in Malaysia.

Now he is on the run, a fugitive from unjust archaic laws which should have been banished to the dustbin of history long ago. That is what I call creative civil disobedience. Socrates would not have agreed, but this is modern Malaysia, not ancient Athens 25 centuries ago. (more…)

May 8, 2009

A Coup d’État in Perak

By Pak Bui @ hueditor@gmail.com

American hawk Edward Luttwak wrote in Coup d’État: a Practical Handbook, that “a coup consists of the infiltration of a small, but critical, segment of the state apparatus, which is then used to displace the government from its control over the remainder.”

sivatheheroThis is what took place on Black Thursday, May 7, in Ipoh. The State Assembly Speaker, V Sivakumar, was removed forcibly from his seat and dragged out of the State Assembly. A new Speaker, R Ganesan, was installed by the BN State representatives. The scuffle caused damage to the speaker’s chair, and great offence to the dignity of the Perak State Assembly.

The men who carried off Sivakumar wore name-tags printed with the word “Official”. They did not identify themselves as policemen, but there was little doubt these were plainclothes policemen. In fact, the police have no jurisdiction in any State Assembly or Parliament.

Separation of powers ignored

Article 72 (1) in the Federal Constitution states clearly that “The validity of any proceedings in any Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court”.

This applies also to the other branch of government, the Executive. The Legislative Assemblies are independent of the Executive and the Home Ministry. The State Assembly Speaker arranges all security for the Assembly. Legislators at a sitting in the state Assembly are, therefore, not subject to the actions of the police.

Policemen were bound by the Constitution to request permission from the Speaker V Sivakumar, before entering the State Assembly. Perhaps they whispered politely in his ear while they were dragging him away. (more…)

April 19, 2009

Former Court of Appeal Judge judges the judge

By Sim Kwang Yang

(Perak is embroiled in a constitutional crisis, not moving to the various courts.  Why are the verdicts so predictably against the Pakatan Rakyat and the Speaker of the Perak state assembly?  Is there another way of examining the judgement?  Justice N. H. Chan, former Appeal Court Judge judges the judge.  In case you have missed his judgement in Malaysian Insider, we reproduce his judgement below.  A must read for all lawyers and judges in Sarawak!  —  SKY)

A judge who does not appear to be fair is useless to the judicial process. As such he is a bad judge and is therefore unfit to sit on the bench.

By Justice N.H. Chan, former Court of Appeal Judge (The Malaysian Insider)

APRIL 16 – The story unfolds with the application of three turncoat members of the Perak Legislative Assembly for a declaration that Speaker V. Sivakumar’s order, which was made in the Legislative Assembly, that their seats in the Assembly have become vacant because they have resigned was illegal. Here is the report from theSun newspaper, Thursday, April 2, 2009:

IPOH: The High Court yesterday dismissed the application by Perak State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar to strike out an original summons brought by the three independent assemblymen, seeking a declaration that Sivakumar’s order to declare their assembly seats vacant was illegal. (more…)

April 18, 2009

An invitation to freedom

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:04 AM
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By Sim Kwang Yang ( SKY )

I was the top dog of the Sarawak DAP for a number of years. I was also an important member of the DAP CEC for many years. I attended many meetings, in which I liked to introduce new ideas.

Once, (I think it was in the 1990s), I proposed that we sold off the party building in PJ to raise RM one million for our Tanjong project to finance our campaign to take power in Penang. It was shot down after a prominent member of the CEC said, “What if every state DAP request RM one million to finance their state project.”

One day, I proposed that the CEC administration be computerised instead of relying on the old physical filing system. The Treasurer brought up many objections, saying we had no space, no trained personnel, and no money for computers. Naturally, he knew nothing about computers. (more…)

April 16, 2009

What would you do if you are the Sarawak CM?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 5:55 AM
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By Sim Kwang Yang

Recently, I posted an entry, wondering whether free universal health care would be possible or not for Sarawak, based on my Canadian experience.

One reader questioned whether Taib can be prevailed upon to implement this concept. Another wondered whether I was being too idealistic. Fortunately, a young Canadian undergraduate at my old alma mater the University of Winnipeg came to my rescue out of the blue and confirmed that universal free health care is indeed being implemented in Canada.

Apparently, my readers missed an important hypothetical assertion in my entry that day: “If I were the chief minister of Sarawak….”

The Internet is a wonderful tool, and the Sarawak blogs are our precious alternative media. The cyberspace there is the only refuge where I can seek reprieve from the deadening sterility of the Sarawak print media.
As I trawl through the political blogs in Sarawak every day, I am often moved by the bloggers’ expression of love and concern for our fair land and her people. That is the kind of love and concern that I share.

But something bothers me deeply in Sarawak’s cyber space.

There, we hear the cry of frustration and helplessness of our fellow Sarawakians, (more…)

April 15, 2009

The new Cabinet with the new PM

By  Sim Kwang Yang (SKY)

Finally, we have a new prime minister, a new federal cabinet, and a new administration. Though the media are going crazy with endless comments over this latest development, and friends have advised me to give them 100 day honeymoon before commenting on them, I just do not find the energy in me to get excited about the whole orgy of media frenzy.

Going by the radiance of the new PM’s face, he is still basking in the euphoria of his new found glamour. If I were him, I would be dead worried. Just imagine; he has inherited a government that has been denied a two-third majority in parliament. Four (or five) state governments are still in the hands of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition. The BN has lost four by-elections since March 8 in 2008.

His BN partners, MCA, MIC, and Gerakan are reduced to the status of mosquito parties. The Malaysian economy is going down the drain, and people are losing jobs and income. The new PM has come into office with a low rating on approval. He is also tainted by the whiff of personal scandal, and even Kuli has asked him to come clean on the matter. His UMNO continue to be embroiled in internal intrigue, including the latest episode in Terengganu.

If Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is not careful, he may well be the last UMNO prime minister in Malaysia.

UMNO cabinet

Of the 28 new and old federal ministers, 19 are from UMNO. (more…)

April 13, 2009

Why BN won in batang Ai?

(We posted an analysis on why BN won in the Batang Ai by-election. To day, we offer you a rebuttal by John – sky)

Dissecting symptoms from root causes – It is nothing natural to vote BN

By John

Andy’s singular focus on the end results of the Batang Ai by-election again shows how our society tends to reduce complex scenarios into manageable and recognizable entities. It is about simplicity, on the surface, when there are so much that we don’t know, never bother to find out, lie beneath the surface.

Call that human nature or the process of our societal conditioning but the end results cannot be the dictate of what is a continuing process. After all, there are more ways than one – through election – to show one’s displeasure towards the government.

Yes, the fact remains that BN MENANG with an increase majority.

Other factors at work

But other facts are important contributing factors. (more…)

April 12, 2009

The Dayak urban-rural divide

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 2:26 PM
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Sim Kwang Yang ( SKY ) @ The Nut Graph on April 10, 2009

THE loss of Jawah Gerang and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Batang Ai by a shocking majority of 1,854 votes has jolted many party members and supporters to the core. I hear that even on the morning of polling day on 7 April 2009, some of Jawah’s closest associates were still expecting a glorious victory for him.

Onlookers like me were less involved and can afford to be more objective. Something was amiss with Jawah’s campaign in the dying days of the battle. To be fair, the odds were so stacked against PKR that the party’s candidate, whoever he or she was, would not have made much difference.

But one critical question keeps pecking at the back of my mind: what happened to the much-touted groundswell of Dayak support for PKR in Sarawak? What happened to that resurgence of hope among the usually hopeless Dayaks for redemption from poverty and mental enslavement?

Article Link : http://www.thenutgraph.com/dayak-urban-rural-divide

Sizing up the new PM

Sim Kwang Yang ( SKY ) @ Malaysiakini

So we Malaysians have a new prime minister, a new cabinet, and a new administration.

MCPX

From the way the BN controlled mainstream media cover the event, you would think that the whole country is exploding with joy at the arrival of a new Messiah and his twelve apostles.

Inevitably, the press will publish “positive” response from the BN component parties, business leaders, community leading lights, and the odd selected men and women on the street.

najib announce new cabinet lineup 090409 03I have lived to watch five prime ministers come and go. Najib Abdul Razak is my sixth PM. To call him “my” PM is a little awkward, for I did not vote for him, but the convention of linguistic usage has to be observed.

Thanks to alternative media like Malaysiakini, my cynical “anti-social” voice has found a perfect platform. But my cynical voice is not born from any form of destructive nihilism, but from my idealistic dream of what Malaysia could be.

From that seemingly paradoxical position of idealistic cynicism, let us proceed to evaluate the early days of the new premiership of Najib Abdul Razak.

Article Link :- http://www1.malaysiakini.com/news/102147


April 3, 2009

Reading between the lines and newspaper spinning on Batang Ai

By Apang

The Borneo Post, the largest broadsheet paper of Sarawak has to report for the BN. Its owner, KTS, survives on the patronage churned out of the BN system of governing in Sarawak. Sarawakians know that KTS is one of the few big loggers in the state and it is known that you don’t get to be the big few without the approval of the White Rajah.

So, you are expected to show your devotion to the Rajah by doing anything and everything for the Rajah, irrespective of whether you were asked or not. So, it is up to your non-imagination to come up with what you think is desirable to please the Rajah.

As a newspaper, then you are to do anything and everything to be seen to please the old white Rajah, irrespective of whether it is appropriate or not. With the federal laws among others, requiring all publishers to renew permits yearly, surely no capitalists will want to lose their multi-million if not multi-billion investment on publishing newspapers on some principles of democracy, good governance and the likes. No, no capitalist will do that because their self interest is just way too much.

Then, your reporters and editors must know how to spin and spin the issue, in order to show in public at least that the paper is an obedient lot. Never mind that the reporters, editors and the owners do not agree with the oppression, the suppression, and other evils. After all, who is going to feed their families if they are in jail, or out of work? Some Sarawak reporters already have gone through the fate of being sacrificial lambss.

So don’t expect them, who are merely “earning a living” (more…)

March 30, 2009

Money, money, money, Abba and Marx say it all

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:42 PM
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By Henry

On one occasion a friend of mine named Ted, delivered a speech and ended it with a punch line, “Money isn’t everything but without it you are almost next to nothing”. For the first time I realized the truth that was very much contrary to what my late father had always preached in his usual Sunday sermon.

256d8ffc1b8ae6e04aaf9653d1d5073a-grandeI always thought even without money I am always somebody. Popular pop group, Abba, and the father of communism, Karl Marx, say it all about money that proves my friend’s punch line carries much truth.

Abba, in their song, and part of the lyrics, which I quote below that read:
I work all night, (more…)

March 29, 2009

I am a member of the human race!

By Sim Kwang Yang/SKY

One of the most virulent toxins in Malaysian politics is racial and ethnic politics. Politicians and activists of various ethnic origins still dream about the unity of their race.

I can understand their aspiration for unity, though I disagree with them. They think that once their race is united, they will have greater political representation, and their race will enjoy greater socio-economic benefits.

But 46 years after independence, the facts speak for themselves in Sarawak. Despite the dominance of PBB in more than four decades within the Barisan Nasional, the ordinary Malays and the Melanaus in the coastal regions of our vast state are still dirt poor. Although the Dayaks are well represented in the ruling coalition by the four Dayak components, the Dayak people are still dirt poor, by and large. In sharp contrast, how many of these ethnic representatives in the state assembly and the state cabinet have not grown opulently fat? (more…)

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