Hornbill Unleashed

November 16, 2013

Youth, politics and election in Malaysia

Blackout 505 #KL622-22Firdausi Suffian

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

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

September 12, 2013

Pemantau delivers damning verdict on GE13

Lisa J. Ariffin

Bersih’s citizen monitoring group, Pemantau, concludes that GE13 was not clean and fair.

The 13th general election was neither clean nor fair, said Bersih’s citizen monitoring group, Pemantau, in its report on electoral irregularities.

Pemantau, which consists of Bersih, Malaysians for Free and Fair Elections (Mafrel) and human rights group Pusat Komas – hoped their report would help the public to decide if the Election Commission (EC) should be held accountable for electoral irregularities that happened during GE13.

“The entire political culture needs changing. The inheritance of this culture and lawlessness has been going on in Malaysia for so long,” said Bersih’s Yasmin Masidi, said during yesterday’s launch of Pemantau’s election observation report titled “Clean and Fair?”. (more…)

July 18, 2013

Indelible ink – who can we trust now?

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 1:59 PM
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Stephen Ng

The indelible ink fiasco has made a mockery of the 13th general election.

The Election Commission’s (EC) top two officials have time and again misled the people by making statements about indelible ink that even they cannot substantiate.

As custodians of the electoral process, the EC – instead of doing all it can to address the possibility of multiple voting – has taken the matter lightly.

For example, chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof has not been able to produce the Health Ministry letter that purportedly stated: ‘Anything more than 1 percent silver nitrate could be carcinogenic or cause damage to the kidneys.’ (more…)

July 1, 2013

Forgive the EC, yes, but they must first bow out

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:00 AM
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Stephen Ng

While I welcome the suggestion by former Election Commission chief, Tan Sri Rashid Abdul Rahman that the Malaysian public should focus on structural issues such as the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) monopoly on the mainstream media, the indelible ink fiasco is no small issue.

I suggest that Rashid should focus on some issues that he feels passionate about, while I personally look into the ink controversy the way I see it – as a concerned member of the public.

Why the Big Fuss?

While so many allegations have been levelled against the EC, it is this fiasco that clearly shows that the EC has, as a matter of fact, breached public trust; it is by their words, that the public form an opinion. (more…)

March 6, 2013

BN becomes caretaker gov’t on March 8

Tommy Thomas

Parliament’s term is five years. Article 55(3) of the federal constitution states: ‘Parliament unless sooner dissolved shall continue for five years from the date of its first meeting and shall then stand dissolved.’

Because the current Parliament had its first meeting on April 28, 2008, it shall automatically ‘stand dissolved’ on April 28, 2013.  As it is an instance of automatic dissolution, no action by any person is required to trigger it.

By virtue of Article 55(4), the 13th general election (GE13) ‘shall be held within 60 days from the date of the dissolution of Parliament’. Hence, the very last date on which GE13 can legally be held, at least for Parliament, is June 28, 2013. (more…)

February 22, 2013

Two party system: Why?…why not?

Danny Lim, via e-mail

A two-party system protects the rakyat from the politicians. It gives the rakyat a choice. Politicians would fear being voted out. As such they would not bully and threaten the rakyat and would be more sensitive to the needs and feelings of the electorate. In such a situation the rakyat is the boss.

Umno-BN has ruled the country since independence. If Umno-BN wins GE13, it would still be a one party state in Malaysia and the rakyat would still be under the thumb of Umno-BN. Is this bad? Let’s look at one party state in various countries. Immediately Singapore our neighbour comes to mind. (more…)

January 21, 2013

Malaysian voters abroad must submit 1B form to EC

 A. Azim Idris

Malaysian voters abroad must submit their 1B form to the Election Commission before the Parliament is dissolved for them to be eligible to cast their votes at Malaysian embassies and consulates when the time comes.

Otherwise, the EC would not be able to send the specific ballot papers of the voters’ constituencies, the commission’s deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar told the New Straits Times today.

He said the voters can get a copy of the form by down loading it from the EC’s website starting Monday. (more…)

January 15, 2013

A Battle Royal

Josh Hong

Those who are familiar with international instruments will know that every citizen has the right to participate in the conduct of public affairs, as clearly spelt out under Article 25 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

Furthermore, the United Nations Human Rights Council explains that an important aspect of the ICCPR is the state’s full compliance in ensuring free communication of information, including having a free press and conceding the right for its populace to hold peaceful assemblies in public. (more…)

January 12, 2013

Why are we here today?


Ambiga Sreenevasan

My friends, why are we here today?

Why have we chosen to give up our Saturday to gather here? Together. Again.

The answer is, we love our country. We care about Malaysia. We care about Malaysians. Our children, our parents, their future, our future.

And more importantly we are here because we have hope. We think that a better Malaysia is within our grasp. We know it is. I know it is. And it is all because of you ― a rakyat that cares enough to do something about achieving a bright future for our country. (more…)

December 19, 2012

How our democracy is damaged

Filed under: Politics,PRU 13 Election — Hornbill Unleashed @ 12:40 AM
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Kee Thuan Chye

It is amusing to note that entries like Kampung Baru and a police station at Kampung Kerinchi are registered voters on the electoral rolls.

We often hear of electoral fraud and unfair election practices but what do they really mean? What forms does electoral fraud usually take? What constitute unfair practices and how have they surfaced?

Beyond that, what are the measures that need to be taken to ensure that Malaysian elections are free and fair so that this vital aspect of our democracy is truly well-served and our vote for the candidate or party we support is not made a mockery of? (more…)

November 21, 2012

Will social media sway Malaysia’s elections?

Kalinga Seneviratne

Politicians are becoming media savvy in Malaysia, using social media to appeal to “netizens”.

“We lost the internet war,” Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has said [Reuters]

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Malaysia is gearing up for a general election in six months and as the campaigns enter the crucial voter-courting phase many observers are wondering if the political “tsunami”, which severely weakened the ruling National Front coalition (BN) at the 2008 polls, might be repeated. (more…)

May 11, 2012

LET’S GET REAL: Will Najib put in electoral reforms or will he CHEAT?

LET'S GET REAL: Will Najib put in electoral reforms or will he CHEAT?

Moaz Nair

Some 250,000 people gathered for the Bersih 3.0 rally in several parts of the capital on April 28, 2012 clamouring for urgent electoral reforms to be carried out before the next general election. The event saw protests in over 80 cities around the world. They were all focused and united for a mutual cause.

Rally was not hijacked

The aftereffects of the rally in Kuala Lumpur were quite melancholic. More than 500 protesters were arrested and scores injured, including policemen and journalists. Regrettably, UMNO and its media are exploiting the aftermath of this event by orchestrating and side tracking the real issue of concern to all Malaysians – the desire for a clean electoral process. (more…)

October 5, 2010

Sarawak polls just around the corner?

By Stephen Winfred

The writings are on the wall that the 10th Sarawak state election is just around the corner, with predictions that it could be held as early as the last week of this month or in November.

Political pundits here also do not discount the possiblity that the state election may be held simultaneously with the Galas — a Kelantan state assembly seat — by-election after the Umno general assembly, to be held in Kuala Lumpur, from Oct 19 to 24.

The possibility of simultaneous elections arose after Election Commission chairman Abdul Aziz flew in to meet Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud late last week.

June 22, 2009

Letter from Iran

A Different Iranian Revolution

This article was written by a student in Iran who, for reasons of safety, did not want to be identified by his full name.


WE look over this wall of marching people to see what our friends in the United States are saying about us. We cannot help it — 30 years of struggle against the Enemy has had the curious effect of making us intrigued. To our great dismay, what we find is that in important sectors of the American press a disturbing counter narrative is emerging: That perhaps this election wasn’t a fraud after all. That the United States shouldn’t rush in with complaints of democracy denied, and that perhaps Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is the president the Iranian people truly want (and, by extension, deserve).

Do not believe it. Those so-called experts warning Americans to be leery of claims of fraud by the opposition are basing their arguments on an outdated understanding of Iran that has little to do with the reality of what we here are experiencing during these singular days. (more…)

April 8, 2009

Kampong Vs Urbanites in Malaysia – Same same but different

By John Riwang

Immediately after last year’s March 8 parliamentary election results came out, my good friend from Ipoh called and yelled at me on the phone “What the hell is wrong with you guys?!” Five states in Semenanjung Malaysia – including my friend’s home state of Perak – decided to opt for change by installing the new Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government. For the first time in almost 40 years, the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) lost a 2/3rd majority in the election. Imagine, all those below 40 years old only know about BN this and BN that.

Sarawakians as spoilers?

My friend was referring to the ‘political tsunami’ that never hit Sarawak’s shores on that fateful March 8. BN retained 30 of the 31 parliamentary seats in Sarawak and thus, saved the national BN from further humiliation.

I remained silent after my friend’s outburst, thinking of all kinds of excuses to say to him. But nothing came out. Quietly, I asked myself “What the hell is wrong with us?” It’s as if Malaysia’s political fairy tale was single-handedly spoiled by us, Sarawakians. If indeed our nation’s history is a fairy tale that should end with a “living-happily-ever-after” page, then it really is a poorly written fairy tale. Or more like a badly written suspense novel.

This is my simple take on the March 8 ‘political tsunami’. (more…)

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