Listen, Listen, Listen….Listen


sharifah ego

(Listen, listen, listen….from someone who suppose to be listening in the first place. With that magical word and gesture, all the sudden the esteemed speaker have been reduced to nothing but patronising and rude unwanted propagandist who now is the end of the unwanted attention of the country. Image source: http://wargamarhaen.blogspot.com)

The main “news of the week” (other than that SYABAS managed to resolve the water supply disruption in the Klang Valley) has to be this:-

A second year law student became an overnight sensation when she stumped a NGO leader with her questions on free education. KS Bawani took on Suara Wanita 1Malaysia (SW1M) president, Sharifah Zohra Jabeen at a forum entitled ‘Are University Students in Line with Politics’ last month in UUM. In the video entitled ‘Forum Suara Mahasiswa Part 4′,

Sharifah was unable to counter Bawani’s argument in favour of free education and went ballistic against Bawani. Sharifah insisted that Bawani listen to her explanation. She said ‘listen’ and ‘let me speak’ seven times.

Meanwhile, higher education deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah criticised Sharifah Zobra Jabeen’s action as “condescending and patronising”. “I am sad with what I saw in the video. Sharifah should had let Bawani complete her speech. Even if you don’t agree with her, you should reply nicely… not condescending and patronising.

Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin meanwhile disassociated his party from SW1M. The 1Malaysia tag is Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s clarion call to unite Malaysians regardless of race.

(Source)

It is a bit sad that we could not get to know what Bawani was trying say as she was told to shut up before she can complete her statement and asked to go back, sit down and continue to listen to the brain-washing session (well it is not the first time we hearing this nonsense).

“Someone” thought that since no local public university students would dare to talk back against the Government as many probably are there on Government grants and scholarships (same case expected of the Government students) and afraid to voice out in fear of losing their place in the university and in view of the up-coming general elections, decided to use some unknown pro-BN NGO to indoctrinate them with strong sense of obedience to the Government’s policies and instil deep hatred to the Oppositions or anyone who do not share the same views (hmm, sounds familiar?) and it back-fired very, very badly.

One sole brave soul had enough of the nonsense, stood up, collected her courage and blasted the speaker with hard cold facts and left the speaker speechless to a point where the speaker could not say anything intelligent other than “listen, listen, listen, listen…..listen” and asking Bawani to leave the country if she was not happy in Malaysia. KS Bawani who took the brunt of patronizing and cheap response from the speaker, Sharifah Zobra Jabeen, a leader from a NGO known as Suara Wanita 1Malaysia, has been labelled unsurprisingly brave, factual and an inspiring future leader whilst Sharifah as patronizing, unprofessional, hard to control and downright rude.

Thanks to the Youtube and the comments flying all over the place in the internet, Sharifah’s faults seems to be just too obvious – she should have just stopped and waited for Bawani to finish her arguments and then professionally reply Bawani with relevant facts of her own. Even she did not know how to reply Bawani (perhaps because Bawani’s facts made more sense and is the truth), she should have at least said that her points have been noted and she will check on it later. She should have done that instead of uttering “listen” 10 times and rudely pulling the microphone away from Bawani. Bawani on the other hand should have kept herself one notch cooler than how she was when she was facing Sharifah (without any support from her fellow students) – at least, this would have killed the some of petty contentions that she was too emotional during the talk but then again, seeing from Bawani’s point of view, who wouldn’t be emotional when faced with a series of lies and brain-washing.

The undue rude response from the speaker may be seen by some as something isolated or trivial perhaps but we should look at it from a bigger perspective.

Looking at the incident in UUM, one have to asked whether this would have been another failure in our system where there is an overwhelming fear of an open debate on something that the establishment had decided for. Or has this been the business of the day where the people in power are bent on asking others to hold their silence just because they do not share and support opposing views? Have we lost our sense of courtesy on listening to what others have to say just because we are bigger and in a higher position than the rest?

Bawani could have just asked her to shut-up and listen to her first in the same manner this rude speaker asked Bawani to stop and listen. But perhaps Bawani had a better sense of courtesy (the speaker is after all just a guest in UUM) and better judgement (she did not organise the forum in the first place, so perhaps it is better to let them have their way first to talk their share of the garbage and go away). And as whole, it seems that time and avenue is still not right for students to be vocal and able to disagree to whatever characters like Sharifah’s can say in public forums:-

Two influential varsity students associations as well as PAS Youth and Muslimat wings have praised a student for her courage in speaking out against government policies during a Barisan Nasional-backed event in Sintok, Kedah. University of Malaya’s outspoken Islamic Undergraduates Association (PMIUM) gave the thumbs-up to law student K.S. Bawani in the face of insults publicly hurled at her last month by the head of a pro-UMNO outfit during a forum in Universiti Utara Malaysia.

However, PMIUM expressed regret that not one from among the 2000 students gathered in the auditorium had attempted to come to Bawani’s defence when the latter was continously interrupted by Sharifah Zohra Jabeen Syed Shah Miskin, the head a group calling itself ‘Suara Wanita 1Malaysia’ which organised the event.

“Not one undergraduate had the courage to defend the student (Bawani) when she was attacked by president of Suara Wanita 1Malaysia. Perhaps they were muted by the promise of (Samsung) Galaxy Note? “Friends, undergraduates should not be fooled in such manner!” said PMIUM’s women’s affairs committee chairperson Noor Afifah Jamaluddin.

Questioning the real agenda of the forum, Afifah challenged Zohra to meet UM students and prove her claim of practising mutual respect by engaging in a discussion.

(Source)

And at end of the day, there must be a proper closure to this chapter – not by punishing Bawani and others like her with forcing them to shut and listen to whatever nonsense, biased and half-baked garbage that anyone with the wrong credentials can dish out in front of fellow Malaysians. They must wake up and realize that we are no longer in 1950s where having strong thoughts about something can be dangerous and easily misinterpreted, we are no longer limited to one source for information (these days information is at one’s finger-tips) and we are no longer need to keep quiet if want things to change for the better (Bersih and Hindraf rallies are testament to that).

In that sense, it was heartening to know that people like higher education deputy minister Saifuddin Abdullah took Bawani’s side and was not happy on the manner Sharifah conducted herself. But we need to do more. It’s time for critical thinking. It’s time to have plenty of avenues for open debate and to forward one’s thoughts & facts on the current issues. Let’s stop all this brain-washing forums, seminars and rallies at schools and universities level where students should only focus on education and nothing more. It is not right and it brings more harm than good.

GE 13: DAP’s Early Irreplaceable Loss?


Gosh, I hope DAP have not scored their own goal…

(I am not sure which one is more damaging – a senior politician resigning from the party due to opnion difference or a group of old ex-soldiers doing a butt “exercise” in front of Ambiga’s house. Image source: NST)

Read this:-

PETALING JAYA: Senator Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim has announced his resignation from the DAP, citing “irreconcilable differences” with the party leadership. His resignation comes days after his criticism of the recent Bersih 3.0 rally and the announcement that his senatorship, which ends on May 31, would not be renewed.

During an interview aired on NTV7 last night, the party vice-chairman said he would advise the DAP of his resignation “within the next few minutes”.

“I think the time has come for me to take a hard, very serious look at my own position within the party. Given the very wide differences now, which are irreconcilable, there is no alternative but for me to seek to withdraw, with some dignity left. “I will therefore resign my membership from DAP and I will be advising the party within the next few minutes,” he said.

A man of strong principles, Tunku Aziz is among the few Malays who joined the Chinese-dominated party and was immediately made a DAP vice-chairman. In 2009, he was nominated as a senator for Penang.

Tunku Aziz said he had already been warned by friends and colleagues to be prepared to be sacked.

(Source)

From the start, I have been very supportive of the opposition in this country for a simple reason – without them, you can kiss goodbye to rule of law, enforcement of human-rights, abolishment of double standard and better governance in this country. You know how things went before 2008 when arrogance and abuse of power & trust ruled the day. And since 2008 (thanks to BERSIH 1.0 and Hindraf rallies coupled with the general feeling of frustration even at BN level) the opposition got just a bit stronger with the capture of 2 important states (at one point we had 3) and denying BN the two-third in Parliament and things have improved somehow. It is not perfect though – there are still areas where both BN and PR need to work especially on national unity and governance.

But still, you get this strong feeling that despite capturing 2 states and making a stronger impact in the Parliament, the opposition has not matured enough to handle valid criticisms and dissenting voices within the party tactfully. Yes, there is dissenting voices within the opposition parties especially within PKR in the past – not all made in the best interest of the people but when it is, they either do it openly in the public – throwing mud at each other at the expense of the party image, ideal principles and the public trusts or they simply indirectly force the other resign or to keep their mouth shut. It seems to have affected DAP as well now

Tunku Abdul Aziz Tunku Ibrahim was one of the few politicians who had the right charisma and conviction on what need to be done right in this country (the other is Tengku Razaleigh) – after all, he was one of the founders of Transparency International-Malaysia (an NGO that monitors and publicizes corporate and political corruption). And just because he did not agree on breaking the law to have street protests which did not go along with the hard-cores in the party, he was heckled and abused to the extent of he gracefully resign from the political party.

Perhaps the cause for resignation could have been due to some other reasons which is not made known to all (some are saying that DAP forced the resignation, others are saying that Tunku decided to resign on his own free will) but still, the resignation of a respectable politician from DAP could not have come at the worst time for the DAP and the opposition even if DAP is not in the wrong.

It is apparent now that DAP is doing a serious damage control whilst the pro-BN bloggers and media is having a field day (a massive one with some even bordering stupidity) painting DAP as just another Chinese chauvinist party or a party who dislikes dissenting voices (with the elections just around the corner, who wouldn’t?).

It’s good that Lim Guan Eng was quick to make the statement that DAP still needs Tunku but they not only need to only show that they are sincere in calling Tunku to reconsider his resignation but also that they are matured even to accept and consider valid dissenting views positively (valid and not the usual stupid ones like this). This is necessary if they want to show that it is truly a multi culture, multi race political party. This could be easier said than done for DAP considering now Tunku is unlikely to heed Lim Guan Eng’s appeal to reconsider his resignation – not when he had said this:-

Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim has openly attacked Lim Guan Eng, saying he does not trust the DAP secretary-general and ending any hopes of bringing the former party vice-chairman back into the fold after his resignation on Monday. Tunku Aziz, who was the party’s most senior Malay leader, said Guan Eng “had no sense of decency and was biadap (uncouth).”

“Kit Siang and I are old friends. I trust him but his son (Guan Eng) is a different kettle of fish,” he told The Star in an interview published today, referring to DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang.

(Source)

Strong words indeed from the ex-DAP man (very damaging to PR and another bullet for BN to shoot on PR’s creditability). What is done is done and it is good that Lim Guan Eng decided not to retaliate these strong words – there is no point trying to pacify those have decided to resign and moved on but continued the personal attacks on the leaders and the party. The same shit happens in BN too (still remember Dr M’s attack on Pak Lah?) and expect more with elections around the corner.

And considering the whole country is readying for the next general elections and when BN is determined to win back the key lost states of Penang and Selangor and have recently gained substantial grounds, it is hoped that the opposition treads more carefully when it comes to address political issues in and out of the party. Calling Lim Guan Eng biadap may have cause some dents on DAP’s stronghold in Penang.

It is not as bad as some dumb “ex-soldiers” doing a butt exercise but still a bad publicity is the last thing we need now. I just hope that the party have learned their lessons and act wiser next time – Tunku has decided to resign and nothing much DAP can do about it – it’s time for them to move on and focus on more important things.

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Preparing for BERSIH 4.0


UPDATE 1: From theSun –  KUALA LUMPUR (July 24, 2012): The High Court today quashed the declaration of Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein on July 1 last year declaring Bersih 2.0 an unlawful society. In her 30-page judgement, Rohana ruled that the decision to declare Bersih 2.0 unlawful was made without taking into account some relevant facts or by taking into account some irrelevant facts.

Back to the original post

Just a quick one…

(Out of the many images of BERSIH 3.0 that I have seen (including the overturn police patrol car), this has to be one of the most moving one – a Malaysian lying down in front of the police water cannon truck to stop them. It reminded me of the lone protestor who stood in front of the tanks during the Tiananmen Square. Image source: Lim SK @ Flickr)

We had BERSIH 1.0 in 2007 which was unprecedented (together with Hindraf rally), 2.0 in 2011 was better and forced the Government to appoint PSC to look into the electoral reforms and last week, we had 3.0 which saw the police getting some beating from the protestors (and a larger number of protestors and reporters getting the same from the police) and you can be rest assured that if the electoral reforms are not implemented in time or with the right and sincere thrust, we will have BERSIH 4.0 and more.

Whilst we all agree that there seems to be some kind of steps taken by the Government to address the electoral shortcomings and come up with a list of reforms, it means nothing if these reforms is not implemented in time before the next general elections especially when BN is just too eager to wrestle back the state of Selangor and Penang. Look at this way – election reforms passed by the Parliament is not something that the current Government is too eager to implement and if it is not for BERSIH 1.0 and 2.0, we would not even come close to any kind of electoral reforms. So, when the Government announces PSC to look into the electoral reforms last year, we were not sure whether it was to silent the calls for electoral reforms (the usual wayang kulit) or if they were indeed sincere to make the positive change (but it is a long shot indeed).

Thus BERSIH 3.0 was mooted because it was evident that many of the recommendations cannot be implemented soon. If the general election is indeed called in June, there is no way for the EC to implement all of the PSC’s recommendations in time. And if EC indeed proceed to implement the reforms sometime in the future, it may be too late. So, it is possible that we have not see the end of BERSIH rallies but hopefully if they have the next one, the organizers should look for a better solution on crowd control (whatever happens, the last thing we need is for the ordinary people to be fighting the police on the streets) and ensuring that political parties do not hijack the rally.

Yes, we need to keep up the pressure on the Government and on the EC not much on coming up with the list for electoral reforms (BERSIH have done the same way before PSC was appointed) but it should be more on the implementation of whatever reforms that has been proposed. And whilst we do that it should not at the expense of breaching the convention of a peaceful rally and violence against the police and making the rally ending up the oppositions’ rally. If we do that, you can expect that the next BERSIH rally will be more effective than the one we had last week and with a greater participation as well.

I will catch up with you next week…

Biometrics vs Indelible Ink


UPDATE: Read here and here for interesting readers’ comments – an interesting link on how introduction of biometrics could mean millions in revenue for those will be supplying the whole package and why it is not worth the investment in the first place.

Back to the original post

(Showing the middle finger to indelible ink? Image source: http://www.wn.com)

Read this first:-

The Election Commission (EC) will introduce the biometric voter verification system to beef up security and overcome the issue of phantom voters, which is frequently raised by the opposition during elections.

“The use of the biometric system will also help in preventing an individual or a voter from casting vote twice,” EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told a press conference here, reported Bernama.

(Source)

And

The EC had said that it would introduce the biometric system for the coming parliamentary election.

But state DAP secretary Chong Chieng Jen thinks otherwise.

“The biometric system can still be manipulated.

“Secondly, it is too costly. The EC needs to have thumb-print reader in every stream and in every polling station.

“It’s not practical. We would prefer the EC to use the indelible ink. It is much cheaper. This is our party’s stand,” he said.

(Source)

And

With regards to indelible ink, it is used among countries which have no identification system, such as Africa and India.

They have not reached our level yet. We only have 12 million voters. Why should we turn our system backwards when we have reached this level of technological advancement? The reason there is a push for the use of indelible ink is due to fear of double-voting, but we have an adequate system to handle voter identification and it is nearly impossible for people to register twice.

We only have one identification number, and one identification card. That is why we are seriously considering the biometric system.

(Source)

Yes, biometric is more high tech and with a comprehensive national identification system as the backbone, it makes a lot of sense to use biometrics instead of indelible ink. And yet, indelible ink seems to be the right option for Malaysia right now for simple reasons:-

1. It is cheap. Certainly it is cheaper than acquiring and configuring the biometric system (with huge commission paid to crony linked companies in disguise of maintenance and other matters?) and then spending time and resources on comprehensive testing to ensure it does not go down at the very crucial.

2. It is fail-proof. Being in the IT industry for “some time” now, one thing is clear to me – no system is bug free and if you screw up on your development and testing, the system will bite you back on your backside when you least expect it. Can you imagine the horrors when you and your family members go down to cast your votes and when they scan your fingers, the biometrics system returns a reply that your name is not in the list. Compare that with a simple indelible ink – all one need to do is to ensure it is tagged on the finger of those who have voted and the same person does not come back to vote for the second time.

The indelible ink was to be used in the last general election but EC withdraw it at the last minutes, citing “public order and security issues”. But then again, the use of biometrics system does not mean the shortcomings of having phantom votes will be resolved as well. Then there is a question of whether EC, despite proposing biometrics system in the first place, is really ready to implement them in the up-coming general elections. Have they done enough testing and prepared the necessary procedures and backups to ensure that the system is truly robust, hack-proof and works well?

Bersih chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan raised concerns whether the proposed biometric system could be implemented before the next general election, and also whether the system would rely on data from the National Registration Department (NRD).

The Election Commission (EC), she said, must furnish to the public more details on the biometric system before rushing to implement it.

“The EC must explain everything in full; will it be ready by GE13?

“The data has to also be of integrity; will it rely on data provided from the NRD? If the biometric system is tied to the NRD, and if the department cannot determine which voters are deceased, then this is a grave concern,” she said during a public forum here with EC deputy chairman Datuk Wira Wan Ahmad Wan Omar.

In response, Wan Ahmad said the biometric system would be the “best way” to solve the problems concerning the current electoral roll.

“Through fingerprint scans, no two persons will have the same biometry. When it is ready, the biometric system will be matched with 12 million registered voters,” he said.

But the EC deputy head was mum when asked by reporters later whether it could implement the new system by the next general election.

“Elections are up to when Parliament is dissolved… We can only speculate, but we don’t know when that is,” he told a news conference.

(Source)

Here lies the danger of still insisting for the biometrics system before the system is really ready for implementation. This is why the call for use of indelible ink is still valid. We cannot prolong the shortcomings in the election process (one that been admitted by the EC themselves). So why not use it until the biometrics system is really ready and fail-proof?

Bersih 2.0: Reform Cause Torpedoed?


Ya, ya still on Bersih 2.0 rally but this is the last one, I promise…

(The famed stand-off between the peaceful protestors and police who bend on breaking up the rally at whatever the cost. Poster source: Mob’s Crib)

It has been interesting reading everyone’s post rally experiences, opinions and suggestions over Bersih 2.0’s recent rally and there have been gems such as these:-

The iconic image of Bersih 2.0 was refreshing; that of its leader Ambiga Sreenivasan, former Bar Council President, serenely leaving the Istana after an audience with the King. The symbolism could not be overstated, for the Najib Administration had earlier declared her organization illegal! Only those retarded would miss the message, and they are precisely the types we are dealing with here. (Source)

And this

The police formed a human barricade, arms crossed, and barbed wire at the entrance of the road just a short distance from the Stadium. A. Samad Said came and talked with the policemen. Such a frail man, but so strong. We sang Negaraku … and we sang it from the heart. (Source)

And more here, here and here and I must say that it has been very inspiring indeed.

But then on the other side of the coin, there has been more than a handful of blogs that had questioned the legality of the rally and its negative impact on the country (it was no surprise that some of these blogs are run by well known pro BN, pro Najib bloggers). There are also others who claim that the sanctity and independence of the rally has been hijacked by politicians for their own political mileage. Yes, it is possible but then again, where do we mark the line between ordinary Malaysians who want to see positive change to a corrupt system and politicians who may or may not have hidden agendas. Then there is the question of why one needs a street rally to give the demands to the King when the organizers could have slip it in when they met the King, days before the rally (this one probably needs another detailed analysis on the need for publicity in order to make the maximum impact on the cause but not now).

Then I read Aizuddin Danian’s post titled “How Bersih torpedoed the cause of electoral reforms?” Aizuddin Danian had always made sense in his blog and it worth the read all the time. Aizuddin Danian makes 3 points as to why Bersih torpedoed the cause of electoral reforms:-

1. 50,000 people do not make the majority. As with any large demonstration, they do make a hell of a noise, enough for the international Press to take notice, enough for the nation to be talking for weeks over the issue. But, it is still a relatively small number. How many people who between now and the date of GE13 will change their minds again for whatever reason that might come up. It’s too soon still to tell if the primary impact of the rally yesterday will hold true till the next time voters are asked to visit the polls

2. The rally yesterday was illegal. As much as the Opposition say they want the rule of law to prevail, it seems rather convenient that when the rule of law goes against them, they choose to ignore it, then cry foul when the authorities enforce it. When Bersih asked for the rickety Stadium Merdeka of 30k capacity to be the venue of their 50-100k rally, what would have been the responsible thing to do? It’s almost as though the request for such a small venue was made in bad faith, calculated to be denied so that Bersih could regain the moral high ground after losing some during the King’s surprise intervention.

3. For the Government to agree to the 8 electoral reforms (several of which have absolutely nothing to do with the elections but are more political in nature, some of which the Opposition themselves can’t claim to be free of, see PKR’s recently concluded internal “elections”), would set a dangerous precedent for the future. The moment any Government allows itself to be blackmailed (“do this or else we take to the streets”), it legitimizes the strategy of the mob. Get the mob onto the streets and the Government will give in. That’s just wrong, no matter how valid the demands

As I said, Aizuddin Danian had always made sense and he is entitled to his points, no doubt but here’s why I don’t think Bersih had torpedoed the cause of electoral reforms.

“….50,000 people do not make the majority…”

1. To tell you the truth, we will never know how many Malaysians really backed Bersih 2.0 (at least by actively going down to the streets for rally on 9th July 2011), not with the daily demonization that Government has been spilling on the Government controlled medias and the various threats that has been aimed at potential rally participants for many weeks now by the Government, the police, ruling political party members, that ball-less clown and some martial art Mahaguru. So, if despite all that you get 50,000 on the street, it can be considered as simply amazing and cannot be considered as a small number. Especially when we have also not included those passive supporters of Bersih who did not go down to the streets but agree on the purpose of the rally.

And there is this issue of people shouting at the rallies in support of the oppositions but doing something else when it comes to the actual voting day. It is not new and we have seen it happening at every general election. It is something that Bersih organizer has to work on even though the rally has now ended. They have to be consistent and ensure continued awareness of the election process weaknesses and the need for reforms.

Please don’t wait for Bersih 3.0. Yes, it may be still too soon to tell if Bersih 2.0 has made the positive impact but if nothing is done to keep up the notion of changes for free and fair elections, you can expect the process to remain unchanged for the next general election as well. The ball is in Bersih 2.0’s court now on this matter.

“…the rally yesterday was illegal…”

2. To say that the rally was illegal without due consideration on the Government’s response on the rally would be unfair to the organizers. The power to determine the legality of the rally unfortunately had fallen on the Government and it is simply convenient (and beneficial) for them to label the rally as illegal. We need to first consider if due consideration has been given to the permit application. We cannot ignore the fact that Bersih did attempted several times to obtain police permit. Public order and safety was cited as the overriding factor to deny the application.

This may been valid but the very nature of the Government of strongly opposing Bersih 2.0 from day 1 seems to paint a picture that decision may have been made in a rush and without any viable option for Bersih. If indeed public order and safety was the overriding factor to deem the rally as illegal, then what did police do to allow the rally to proceed whilst ensuring public order and safety remained intact? Was there any suggestion given to Bersih 2.0 (discounting the last minute ditch to offer police permit if the rally was held in PR led state)? Did they provide Bersih 2.0 with a list of rally conditions such as limiting number of people allowed to rally, setting a predetermined location where it is easier for the police to control the crowd and specific time for rally to start & end?

As I recall, there was none, to an extent, after meeting with the King, Bersih 2.0 had to even ask the police to dictate the route of the rally but it was rejected outright as well. Other than simply denying permit which now makes the rally to be illegal, there was no serious attempt to allow Malaysian to have peaceful rally and present their demand to the Government.

The idea of having the rally in a stadium was made only after Najib opened his mouth and implied that police permit would be granted if the rally was held in a stadium. He did not say which stadium but the option of having it in Stadium Merdeka somehow made bloody sense. It is iconic and it is where Proclamation of Independence was done. It was a perfect choice. And once again, the Government and the police could have dictated the number of protestors allowed inside the stadium and work together with Bersih 2.0 organizers to enforce it. But in the end, this did not happen as well. Despite opening his mouth and making the offer for the rally to be held in a stadium, the Government then backtracked and used the police as the front to delay any kind of rallies from taking place.

“…set a dangerous precedent for the future…”

3. Before we can say that by accepting the demands, it sets a dangerous precedent and allows the Government to be blackmailed, we must first consider what the demands are. Were those demands is something critical and more importantly reasonable?

Let’s look at the demands by Bersih 2.0 and see whether it passes the simple test of reasonableness. Did Bersih 2.0 demanded for a statue of Anwar’s grandfather to be erected in the middle of the city? No, that would have been highly unreasonable and the Government would have been in their rights to refuse to such demands outright. Or did Bersih 2.0 request that RM1 million compensation to be paid to each Malaysian like how Hindraf did several years ago? No, because that means good taxpayers money to be wasted on something unsubstantiated and worthless. So, what were the Bersih 2.0’s demands and whether those demands reasonable?

Let’s recap the demands once again:-

1. Clean the electoral roll
2. Reform postal ballot
3. Use of indelible ink
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
5. Free and fair access to media
6. Strengthen public institutions
7. Stop corruption
8. Stop dirty politics

Take a good look at the list and close your eyes and think – are those demand reasonable or unreasonable. If the demands are reasonable, then why it is not implemented earlier and why when another party highlights the weaknesses and improvements, it is considered as blackmailing the Government? Why the refusal to review the demands without any due consideration? No doubt some of the proposed reforms is political in nature but in Malaysia where fine line of processes being independence from influence of politics is often blurred, reforms (political in nature or not) is still needed for a better Malaysia. The Government simply needs to find the political will to make the changes – if not all, part of them.

Of course, the ruling political party has their reasons not to make the changes to the election process – the loopholes favors them in certain ways, hence the public rally by Bersih 2.0 with plenty of participation from the opposition political parties. And we are not talking about violent mob running loose on the streets with sole aim to create uneasiness and trail of destruction. We are talking about ordinary Malaysians on a peaceful rally requesting for the reforms of the electoral. In that sense, it is not wrong considering how valid the demands are.

The strong participation of Pakatan Rakyat politicians in Bersih 2.0 somehow had clouded the NGO’s thrust for electoral reforms. That I must agree. It however does not mean that electoral process has been too perfect and does not need of any reforms. It does and Bersih 2.0’s demands should form the basis of reforms that the Government and the Election Commission should be considering to ensure that the people’s votes are properly translated to electing the right people to the Parliament and State Assemblies and these elected politicians do their job in the interest of the country and people instead for themselves and the political party that they belonged to. The fact that the Opposition had won some seats should never be used as the yardstick to gauge the how free and fair our elections been.

All we asked for due consideration on something that should been done a long, long time ago. That is all.

Bersih 2.0: Where is Wally?


Or should it be where is Ibrahim Ali – the clown who talked a lot?

(At times, it seems OK to have people who talked about and threaten others – they hardly make the impact but it is not acceptable when the same idiot is a Member of Parliament and make seditious statements but remains free from arrests and prosecutions. Image source: http://peoplepowerportal.blogspot.com)

The rally that saw a very united Malaysians of all ages and backgound has come and gone but the aftermath of it has been bad news for the Government. If only Najib had granted Bersih 2.0 the use of Stadium Merdeka or had the police dictated the meeting point of the rally and escorted them to deliver the demands peacefully, things would have been less ugly.

Plenty may been said of Bersih 2.0’s rally, the clash between the police who deployed the same high handed tactics, it’s key leaders arrested when they showed up as promised and some injured in the process (tragically one had died) but for me, what UMNO Youth did tops the rest and earned my respect (although they could have merged with Bersih 2.0 on common grounds).

I have to salute UMNO Youth headed by Khairy who at least showed up despite threat of arrest on sight. They were small in numbers and hardly made a dent on Bersih 2.0 but at least they kept their words – they showed up, refrained themselves from any clashes with Bersih 2.0 and promptly were arrested after a short stand-off with the police.

This is unlike the other guy who talked a lot, foams forming at side of the mouth before the rally (to an extent telling the Chinese Malaysians to stock up food) and now proven to be the one without BALLS – Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa refused to show up at the city with his members (citing highly predicated but lame excuses).

One just hope that this show of cowardliness when the time for reckoning had come, will silence him from opening his foul mouth in future or we shall pray he to suffer another heart attack from serious embarrassment. The world would be a better place from this guy who been threatening and accusing Malaysians and does nothing concrete in the process of nation building and national unity.

The night before Bersih 2.0 rally saw mother of all traffic jams, something that many have to point the finger on the Government and the police. Despite the fortification (yes, that is was used on the tactics deployed) of KL, Bersih 2.0 rally still saw thousands on the street, peacefully rallying as promised.

The busy junction in front of the Puduraya bus terminal became the focal point of yesterday’s protest as crowds snowballed from 500 in nearby Petaling Street at 12.40pm to a whopping 10,000 just half an hour later.

And while the protesters faced off with the police at Jalan Pudu, just round the corner, mere metres away an estimated thousand more were turned away from the original planned gathering point Stadium Merdeka, which was barricaded by police with barbed wire.

But with so many obstacles in place and the entire city practically locked down with roadblocks and closure of key LRT stations, how did the protesters give the police the slip and organised themselves?

(Source Malaysiakini)

Hopefully the police will drop the idea of putting roadblocks to stop ordinary Malaysians from attending peaceful rallies in the future and instead, provide proper escort and guidelines to ensure that rallies are done in proper, safe, peaceful manners. Roadblocks are useless, it is not effective to prevent rally from taking place and all it does very effectively is to create unnecessary tension against the police & the Government and waste time and fuel.

And the bugger who talked a lot but went missing on rally day, one can hope that he has been humbled by events of Bersih 2.0 namely the attendance of UMNO Youth under Khairy.

Well done Bersih 2.0 & Khairy.

Bersih 2.0 – Quotes of the Day


(This is how Najib should have reacted to Bersih 2.0 in the first place. If he had done that, he would have been hailed as a hero and someone who is willing to listen to calls for real change. Image source: http://amenoworld.blogspot.com)

Well done to the police who rescued 30 children from a hostage taker in Muar. Now this is what we call real police work (not wasting time manning road blocks).

Bersih 2.0 will come to a closure tomorrow, hopefully – until now, despite the earlier concession by the Government to allow the rally to take place in a stadium, the police is bent on disallowing any kind of rally from taking place at all cost. They even shutting down Puduraya bus station, disallow stage buses from entering the city and putting up roadblocks, literally making the city under siege.

And in course of time, we have been hearing rather unbelievable statements such as this…

From Free Malaysia Today:-

Seri Kembangan district police chief ACP Abd Razak Elias denied that roadblocks in his area, covering Seri Kembangan, Puchong and Bukit Jalil, were linked to Bersih.

“We had three roadblocks this morning for normal crime prevention operation. Everyone is mistaken that it is related to Bersih,” he said.

Asked why the roadblocks were held today, Razak said that police had received information relating to break-ins.

“Based on our crime pattern study, house break-ins in my area normally happen between 4am and 12pm,” he said.

I don’t recall seeing roadblocks up when there was real break-ins and interestingly these roadblocks were setup at highly congested places where it is well known to be highly congested with traffic (an unlike escape route for break-in criminals).

The other classics were:-

1. Go on, assemble in the stadium and yell and shout till you are drained. Deal nicely and we are willing to prepare a stadium for them to assemble (Najib before back tracking on his words and claims that Bersih is still illegal and they need to obtain police permit)

2. Ours is a peaceful assembly for the people to voice their opposition towards Bersih, an illegal organisation that is being illegally funded to tarnish the country’s image and threaten national security (Ibrahim Ali not realising that he done more damage to country’s image by his calls for violence than of Bersih 2.0 )

3. They were carrying items inciting the people to hate the government. This is serious and can threaten national security. They include flyers and t-shirts with Chin Peng, Rashid Maidin and Suriani Abdullah — all connected to MCP (Malayan Communist Party) — written on them (Penang deputy police chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Jaafar)

4. Action will be taken against anyone found wearing the yellow attire, or driving cars, and buses with the Bersih 2.0 logo to incite people to attend the rallies (Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein)

5. What do they (police) think motorists are up to? Going to some street rally? Imagine from five lanes to a single lane in front of Summit Subang. Are the police out to show that they can make lives miserable? At the roadblock itself, the police officers were not even looking at the cars… they were busy chatting (Irritated motorists stuck in traffic jams)

6. We hope that we will also be received in the same manner that the King received the organiser of an illegal rally. If the people can extend favourable treatment to an illegal organisation that is already causing chaos in the country, then they should also extend the same treatment to us (Ibrahim Ali before knowing that the King had refused to meet him and his organisation)

7. Imagine, ladies and gentlemen, if the Bersih rally is not called off and they go ahead with it – if they don’t cancel it on July 8 or 9 – I believe the Chinese community, many of them, will have to stock up on food at home. Anything can happen on that day (Ibrahim Ali who later said that he was “misunderstood”)

More to come, I am pretty sure! In the meantime, I am looking forward for a good rest at home on Saturday (no point wasting fuel, stuck in traffic jam)