The War on Perception


Perception is the organization, identification, and interpretation of sensory information in order to represent and understand the environment. All perception involves signals in the nervous system, which in turn result from physical or chemical stimulation of the sense organs. For example, vision involves light striking the retina of the eye, smell is mediated by odour molecules, and hearing involves pressure waves. Perception is not the passive receipt of these signals, but is shaped by learning, memory, expectation, and attention (Source: Wikipedia)

(Interesting and well made advertisements on how not to judge someone / something too quickly. However not all can be subjected to these kind of presumptions – some politicians are dumb to the core)

Last week have been an interesting week…

After several times my wife complained requested me to take a look at the bathroom sink that was leaking water (something that I had tried to fix twice but nothing changed), I decided to do it professionally. Actually my wife wanted me to engage our usual handy-man to come and fix it. I know that those guys will easily charge me RM200 – RM300 for the job, so I told her to hold on to her horses for one final time and let me fix the leak for good this time. And this time I did not rush like the previous 2 times and there was no shortcuts as well. I took my time – took off the sink from the hook, unscrewed the pipes and checked the damage on the hooks & the screws that was holding it. This time I measured everything twice too.

The problem was the wall hook that held the sink – portion of the wall was broken and one of the screw was even broken and that caused the wall hook to be loose. Somehow this was expected after years of use & abuse. This needed to be fix. I had some leftover cement from other DIY projects, so I saved up on “plastering” the damaged wall. I got new screws and added wall plugs to ensure a stronger hold of the wall hooks. And to be extra sure, I barred anyone from using the bathroom until the cement really dried. I even washed the sink and replaced the pipe head. And I tested the hook for the final time before I placed back the sink on the hook. It held well and the leak had finally stopped. The only mystery after all the hard, sweaty work doing up the sink was a leftover pipe screw. Somewhere I missed screwing this back when I fixed the pipes back but since nothing was leaking, I had nothing to worry. Issued solved and it only cost me RM40 (RM38 was for the pipe head).

Moving on a broader spectrum issue – the other interesting news last week had been on DAP. Surprisingly they seems to be in the limelight almost on daily basis (for the wrong reasons) and that got me a bit curious.

In the past, when one needs a distraction from the real issues, one of the easy way out would be to blame it on the “other guys”. Sometimes it is the non-Malays, the non-Muslims, some dumb architecture (still remember the cross like shape on a roof of a house?) and of course, the “Chinese based” opposition political party. Still remember how at one point, they claimed that the RM2.6 billion donation was given by the Jews for DAP?

In my opinion, of the many political parties out there and the quality of politicians, DAP probably stands the best chance when it comes to fair representation of what’s right and wrong in this country, quality of politicians and the seriousness of issues raised. Next in the long run would be PKR although they have been shooting in the leg too many times with dumb decisions. Composition wise, yes, there are more Chinese and Indians in DAP than the Malays but does it really matter if we all want to be treated equal as Malaysians? Despite some shortcomings in the past and mind you, not all in DAP are angels, DAP as whole had been idealistic, rationale, consistent, focused and strive to put the national interests ahead of race and religion which makes it an attractive package for the younger generation.

But given the continuous bad press on DAP and coupled with the allegations that they are out to trap and cheat the Malays, I think DAP need to do more on the battlefront of perception in this country. This could be one of the factor why DAP have been lacking, to some extent, the right aura to attract a wider participation from the Malays. After all, Malays have more options, both at the ruling side and the opposition to pick their battles front and the last thing they may want to pick is a Chinese dominant political party. There is always the fear that the Malay rights and their community grievousness may be drown by other issues.

Let’s analyse some of the allegations made on DAP over the past weeks – some of these allegations are nothing new but it keeps resurfacing over & over again like a broken record:-

DAP – Anti Islam & Anti Malay

DAP can no longer afford to ignore efforts by rivals to portray it as anti-Islam and Malay after a recent survey found the campaign to be gaining traction, said Lim Kit Siang.

Results of the IDE survey showed that DAP was viewed as anti-Malay and Islam, particularly by members of the Malay community in rural areas where they party is traditionally weakest and rivals Umno and PAS, strongest.

Over two thirds of respondents also considered DAP to be a racist party that was concerned only about the interests of the Chinese community.

According to the IDE, efforts to vilify DAP accelerated following the breakup of the Pakatan Rakyat pact, with former ally PAS adding its efforts to Umno’s in attacking the secular party using religious issues.

(Source)

Threat to Malay Unity

Cheras Umno chief Syed Ali Alhabshee today warned aspiring Malay politicians against being “trapped into becoming DAP’s tool for splitting the Malays”.

He said these Malays were so eager to become members of parliament after the next general election that they had disregarded the importance of ensuring Malay unity.

He said the “racist DAP” would make “all kinds of promises” to the Malays in an attempt to ensure the success of its programme to topple Umno.

(Source)

Lost of Malay Political Power

Lim Kit Siang demanded today that Datuk Seri Najib Razak and propagandists from Umno explain how the Malays would lose political power entirely to the DAP if the ruling party were to lose the next general election.

“Surely Najib and Umno propagandists are not insinuating that the Malays in the country are simpletons, who have no intelligence or capability, that despite comprising some 60 per cent of the population in Malaysia and being the majority voters in 70 per cent of the parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia… the Malays can lose political power to the Chinese — especially with a decreasing Chinese population as compared to the Malays?” Lim asked.

(Source)

Internal Resistance to Change

Explaining at a forum here, Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming claimed that even within the party, many members have been against the idea of increasing DAP’s Malay membership and this has created a conundrum for the Chinese-dominated party.

“The dilemma is, there are many leaders who want DAP to add Malay and Bumiputera members from Sabah and Sarawak. It’s a good strategy to reduce the chauvinist views of the party. But when this was raised, members themselves were uneasy with the proposal that DAP wants 50 per cent to be Malays and Bumiputeras.

“We want to reduce that perception. We want to increase the membership but there is internal resistance,” he said during the Pakatan Harapan forum titled “Can the opposition party win the Malay votes during GE14?” last night.

(Source)

In this country where race and religion had been used as a ready excuse to distract the nation from greater & pressing issues, it is very easy to label a largely non Malay and non Muslim political party as anti Malay and anti Islam.

Yes, DAP had voiced out against the call to implement an Islamic State in this country and they are dead centre against the implementation of PAS’ hudud. But does that makes them as anti Malay / anti Islam? Think about it again. The notion of an Islamic State had been controversial, more often when there are people who claims that our fore-fathers had always intended this country to be one of a secular with Islam as the official religion instead of a straight-forward Islamic State.

The late Karpal Singh argued the same and so did the first Prime Minister.

On the occasion of Malaysia’s first prime minister Tunku Abdul Rahman’s 80th birthday, he stated in the 9 February 1983 edition of the newspaper The Star that the “country has a multi-racial population with various beliefs. Malaysia must continue as a secular State with Islam as the official religion”.

In the same issue of The Star, Abdul Rahman was supported by the third Malaysian Prime Minister, Hussein Onn, who stated that the “nation can still be functional as a secular state with Islam as the official religion.”

(Source)

And this,

Citing historical documents such as the Alliance Memorandum submitted to the Reid Commission in 1956, and the white paper issued by the British government in June 1957, the council pointed out there was no historical document to contradict the fact that Malaysia was intended to be a secular state.

The Alliance Memorandum was jointly submitted by Umno, MCA and MIC to the Reid Commission and specifically stated that they wanted a secular state, although the religion of the state was to be Islam.

(Source)

And talking about hudud, it is a fact that the opposition to hudud did not come from DAP alone. MCA was against hudud as well and so did a good number of Muslims in this country. Most times, the opposition to hudud has not on the issue of concept but rather on the issue of implementation. Further there is the unsettled question of why the need to introduce 2 types of laws in a secular country? Why we cannot simply improve the existing laws and move on? And if indeed DAP is anti Islam, then why more have been done for the Muslims under the DAP lead Penang State Government? They could have maintained the status quo or even reduced allocations / support for the Muslims but they did not.

Probably the best statement came from a PAS politician who said this:-

He said DAP’s opposition to hudud was based on constitutional arguments and declared that the party had never been antagonistic towards Muslims or Islam, citing its support for flood victims in Kelantan, nearly all of whom are Muslims. He pointed out that the help included the repair of mosques and prayer halls.

He also said DAP had, “in many cases,” given its full support to the cause of Islamic education in Selangor and Penang. “DAP is committed to the Federal Constitution, which means that they accept that Islam is the religion of the federation and they have never challenged that,” he added.

(Source)

Another mantra that is often use to demonise DAP is that the Malays will lose power if they vote for DAP, a “Chinese” political party. A fictional scenario comes to mind at this point.

Well, as Uncle Lim had rightfully mentioned – it is impossible for that to happen. And mathematically DAP have a disadvantage too – it does not have the numbers or seats to win enough to be in power alone. And that is why they need the coalition partners of PKR and now PAN (Parti Amanah Negara) who is made off ex-PAS members to even make a dent against the stronger & well-oiled Barisan Nasional. DAP had hardly contested against UMNO in a predominately Malay areas (they only had 2 such encounters in the last general elections and 2 seats is nothing to shout about) and history have shown that DAP cannot force others in the loose coalition of DAP-PKR-PAS/PAN to follow whatever that DAP have decided – still remember PKR’s Kajang Move and their choice for Selangor MB? In the end, PAS showed their middle finger to both DAP & PKR.

And remember, PKR and PAN has overwhelming membership from the Malay community (although PKR is another multi-racial party to watch out, very closely) and they can make the necessary check and balance if in the wildest assumption that DAP decided to make things harder for the Malays. DAP knows this too – even with their strong belief of “Malaysian Malaysia“, with almost 60% of the electoral consist of Malay votes – anything to upset the community would be a political suicide for DAP.

And don’t you think that it is a irony that these allegations of DAP will curtail the political powers of the Malays comes from the very people who have used the notion of race and fight for Malay powers to leech the power and richness from the community?

Moving on Malay unity and the reason why Malays are joining DAP – it seems to be nothing but a cast of fear for potential Malays from joining DAP. Think about it for second. Seriously, how much of Malay unity is needed as oppose to the fight against corruption, unfair & double standards of law that is currently impacting all class of Malaysians? Why there has not been any “Red Shirt” rallies for abuse of power and mismanagement of public funds which impacts the Malays themselves? Comically, we have seen a bigger riot in support of a phone thief.

And don’t you think that it is an insult to say that aspiring young Malay politicians joined DAP for the sole reason of wanting to be members of parliament? Have you talked to them and asked why they joined DAP? There are very brilliant, energetic and young Malay politicians in DAP and frankly speaking, it is a brilliant move both for the young politicians and DAP itself. There will come a time when they will do their best for the country if given the right opportunity. Even the national laureate Datuk A. Samad Said is a DAP member and he was 80 years old when he joined last year. Is he another power hungry politicians seeking for high power and status?

The allegations of resistance to new membership is something factual and one that needs to be contained and quickly resolved if DAP do truly want to be a multi racial party that it wants others to see. Change is something that will happen and so does resistance to change. It depends on its leaders and members on how fast they want the change to be. And trust me, they don’t have the luxury of time. Malaysia’s economy and political rule has been on the slide for some time now – something that is made worse by global oil price and scandals & mismanagement back home.

Thus the window for change is shrinking fast and the members must be open to receive more members from other community. After all, at the end of the day, they are Malaysians too and they are on the same boat & path as the rest of us. And if the resistance persisted, then there is no difference of some politicians demonising the non-Malays to garner free support from the Malays. And even worse, all the incorrect statements of DAP namely it is a Chinese party and is anti Malay may end up to be true.

DAP need to strive on 2 main perceptions that is even more damaging that the so-called of claims of it’s being anti Malay or anti Islam – one that there is no hope for the Malays in DAP and that it is merely using the Malays for it’s own survival and two that the DAP members themselves are not ready for a greater participation and membership of the Malays in the party and the call for more Malay members is a sham. Address these 2 incorrect perceptions on a greater scale and over time, this itself will address the distorted picture that DAP is anti Malay and anti Islam.

DAP need to change and truly represent themselves as multi-race and multi-religion before they can call themselves to do better at the national level. After all, no matter what our race, religion, culture or political beliefs are but in the end, we are all in the same boat.

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Guys, Can We Prioritise on Real Issues?


Read these first:-

hudud

(Which is more critical and urgent to the rakyat in Kelantan – tabling of a new Islamic laws that overlaps & duplicates the existing convention laws or reconstruction of homes & lives of people involved in the worst natural disaster that the country have seen? It is not an issue of religion or sedition but rather an issue of priorities. Source: The Malaysian Insider)

The real question is whether we are prioritizing the right things in this country.

As you are aware, the PAS led government had tabled the Syariah Criminal Code (II)(1993) (Amendment 2015) on last week to enable the implementation of PAS’ hudud law in Kelantan. And this was unanimously passed the next day by the State Assembly, much to the irk of its partners in the Pakatan Rakyat. The Bill is expected to be tabled to the Parliament so to ensure that the Kelantan Government will be able to enforce the hudud laws.

There are already plenty of arguments for and against it in the internet and have put a considerable crack on the alliance between DAP & PAS within Pakatan. We will see how BN comes into the picture once PAS tables the Bill in the Parliament. There are also been arguments in the internet that it will not impact the non Muslims and therefore they should not be talking about it or question it or having nothing to worry about. That is not true as well – just read on how Islamic law in this country will impact the non Muslims here

For me, it is simple – the politics and religion should never mix in the first place and so is the law of the country, especially when the country is consists of multi race, multi culture society. Otherwise it will going to be a very highly sensitive issue and wide open to personal interpretations and that is going to leave things very messy. The hudud proposed by PAS itself is now opened to many interpretations – from it being the God’s law to PAS party loose interpretation of God’s law:-

Writing in his blog OutSyed the Box, he republished an old article and said the word occurred in only 14 verses of the Quran and were used only in relation to social behaviour and domestic relationships, and not in the legal sense as used by PAS. He challenged readers, both Muslim and non-Muslim, to question the religionists and explain the difference between the “hudud” of the Quran and its usage by those such as PAS.

He dismissed the PAS usage by saying: “The Hudud Laws as propounded by PAS – that is exactly what they are, i.e. the hudud of PAS.”

(Source)

The influential G25 echoed the same and in a broader perceptive:-

Questioning the necessity of hudud in Malaysia, G25 said any law passed after Independence is declared void if it is inconsistent with the Federal Constitution, as governed by its Article 4.

Citing several Islamic scholars, the group also expressed concern that the enforcement of hudud in PAS-led Kelantan would not be in line with Quranic teachings, and problematic due to its lack of modern and relevant interpretation.

G25 claimed that no state has fulfilled the pre-conditions needed to implement hudud as espoused by Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the chairman of the World Union of Muslim Scholars: establishing a pious and God-fearing society, meeting the economic needs of the public, providing employment opportunities for all, and ensuring no poverty by closing the income gap.

Citing Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies chief Prof Hashim Kamali, G25 also said Kelantan’s original 1993 hudud bill had failed to reflect Quran’s balanced outlook or contemporary Malaysian society’s social conditions and realities.

(Source)

Let’s consider the implications. Let’s ponder for a moment why there is an urgency for hudud when we already have a well entrenched and complete penal law in place? Why fix something that is not broken? There the police  to investigate and arrest the criminal and we have the good hands of the law to determine and provide the correct punishments. Yes it is not perfect, there are loopholes but then again, largely it has been working well. Now why want to introduce another set of laws that runs parallel to this and create uncertainties and injustice?

Back in 2012, Dr M mentioned this:-

“In hudud, if you steal, you can have your hand chopped off. But they want to chop off only Muslims’ hand, not the non-Muslim who steal same amount of money. Surely it’s not justice,” he told the audience during the question-and-answer session

(Source)

As I have mentioned before, the problem in this country had never been a lack of the necessary laws to curtail crime. And where there are shortcoming in the law, we always have the Parliament to make the necessary amendments to the law. So one cannot see how hudud will make things all better. Yes the punishment maybe more harsher but the same can be amended for the existing laws. Then there is an issue of enforcement as well and what if someone makes a mistake?

No doubt, the introduction of hudud into a secular country will revoke more questions. The same was the case of Eric Paulsen.

The IGP subsequently defended his action of arresting the civil rights lawyer Eric Paulsen under the Sedition Act by saying that he did it so as not to provoke a retaliation from the IS militants. He has a good and valid point there – too many people in the world do not think with an open mind when it comes to discussing on religion. They are just too emotional and are very quick to dismiss any talk on the religion – being holier than the holy. No one knows what kind reaction it will attract.

But at the same time, I am not sure if Eric Paulsen had uttered anything else that deemed to be so serious that the IGP had him arrested under the Sedition Act or it will provoke IS. He alleged to have said “Do not simply believe that everything will be okay with hudud implementation – no basis that hudud will run smoothly in Malaysia” – I don’t see the seditious part of the statement. In plain simple English, it means nothing but fact. Eric is correct – will everything will be okay with hudud implementation especially when one have to consider that we already have a rule of law in place and the courts & the police to address the enforcement? If any, it is an opinion and is not far from what others have also said in the past few days.

This country has more challenges to address than just determining which law to use. Kelantan still reeling from worst flood in recent years and yet the implementation of hudud seems to be more critical & urgent at the moment? Why the rush when there are other matters that need to be attended more urgently like getting ready the state for the next major flood? Have they put the resources, money and time to prevent the next wave of flood? How about improving the poverty index? Or monitoring and providing better healthcare, education and enforcement in HIV cases – one of the highest in the country? The point is, there are issues far important that need to be handled first.

So come on guys, let’s get our acts together and let’s focus on what is more important at the moment. The last thing we need now is to have the wrong priorities at hand and escalating the trivial problems unnecessarily and end up running the country and its people to the ground.

How to Win General Elections?


I have been away from the country on work assignment but hardly a day passes by without me checking into the latest happenings in the country.

Criminal gangs have now turned to grenades for turf war in Bukit Bintang and at least 1 innocent person have been killed. A politician who earns more than RM21,000 comes around and says that as a Member of Parliament, he had to make do with insufficient money (he had to “ikat perut“) and even complained that MPs in Uganda are paid twice and this comment came after Najib decided to reduce the petrol subsidies causes the petrol price to go up 20 cents. Somehow that made it easy to predict where the savings from subsidies is going to end up. And speaking about taxpayers’ money, it seems like more money is splashed on Rosmah’s pet projects (Najib had announced RM711 million in the recent budget but how much of it is for Permata remains unclear for the moment).

And to add the problems & the rising cost that the common man is facing on daily basis, we still had to content with this kind of news:-

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today that the Chinese could not make demands on Barisan Nasional (BN) if they continued to support Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Speaking at the MCA’s 61st annual general assembly, Najib said BN would only be fair to the Chinese if they supported the ruling coalition instead of PR.

However, Najib conceded that he did still “try” to be fair to the Chinese community now, despite the fact that there were only two MCA ministers in the Cabinet.

(Source)

The PM may be misquoted or he may have say this in light of another situation but then again, it was clear that he was not happy with the Chinese community after the elections and asked what else the Chinese wants. Doesn’t the Chinese who had voted for Pakatan Rakyat also pay taxes, participated in the development of the country and some had even paid the highest sacrifice for this country? If a Prime Minister of a country can do things for a community only based the votes given to his political party, then what’s the point of having elections in this country? What’s the point of having oppositions in this country? Why not he just disband democracy in this country and just rule the nation as a ruthless dictator?

Anyway, what was more interesting on what the PM had said previously:-

Suitable candidates, strong machinery and a united Barisan Nasional are key factors to ensure victory for the coalition in the 14th general election, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

Najib, who is Barisan chairman, said the combination of the three factors was proven with the big win for Barisan in the Pengkalan Kubor state by-election on Sept 25.

(Source)

It is laughable indeed.

This shows that the PM had not learned anything from the last 2 general elections where it saw the number of votes in favour of BN dwindled. More than 50% of the country voted against BN in the last general elections. He still sticks to a formula that does nothing to regain voters’ confidence in the government.

The PM speaks about of having the suitable candidates as a key factor to win the general elections. That is true indeed but the fact is BN does not really have suitable candidates to offer – at lower levels, perhaps there is still some hope but forget the same at Federal level. What BN could possibly offer that is so new compared to the dumb, sick line-up of politicians that it has given us in the last 2 general elections?

The same politicians who are quick to ask Malaysians to leave the country to leave if they are not happy with the Government or makes seditious statements but quick to act on others who makes non seditious statements (one even asked suggested arrests to those who oppose to draconian laws) or embroiled in corruption scandals continues to be in the limelight and running the show. Dumb statements have been far too many when one had expected to be more intelligent and courteous.

1173906_670548666297596_567516001_n

(Are these politicians qualify as suitable candidates for winning the elections? Image source: http://malaysiaflipflop.blogspot.hk)

What about Najib himself? After all, he is the leader of the pack and have all the powers to engage and sack and to determine and overrule. He alone can make a huge difference on how the people sees the Government.

Najib, I am sorry to say, is definitely is not one of the better Prime Minister that this country have seen. Only history will tell whether he is better or worst that the sleepy Pak Lah. His performance todate as the Prime Minister that not been that impressive either.

How many times he and his wife have taken lavish overseas trips at taxpayer’s expense since becoming the Prime Minister? How many times he had failed to step in and eliminates any seeds of disunity among fellow Malaysians? How many times he has kept his silence and let the radicals & extremists of race & religion in the country to have their say? Far too many times.

And as the Finance Minister, how many times he has come across strongly against the mismanagement of funds in this country and taken strong action to curtail them? For example, despite all the red flags going off, he has only kept his silence on some of the potential economic time bombs such as this:-

Lurking beneath Malaysia’s solid investment-grade sovereign rating is a risk posed by a $14 billion investment fund that is not even generating enough cash from operations to cover interest costs.

Regarded as a cross between a sovereign wealth fund and a private investment vehicle, with Prime Minister Najib Razak chairing its advisory board, 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) is struggling under the burden of $11 billion in borrowed money.

The government says it only guarantees around 14 percent of the debt. The investment community assumes it would provide more if needed, and it is the potential strain on Malaysia’s debt position from these contingent liabilities that raises concern.

“We don’t know how well 1MDB is doing,” said Christian de Guzman, senior analyst of sovereign risk group at ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service. “It does pose a risk in terms of the amount of borrowing they have made over the past few years.”

Controversy has dogged 1MDB almost since it was first set up months after Najib came to power in 2009, and used for funding projects that form part of his Economic Transformation Program.

Critics have questioned its investment choices, the size of its debt, $2.25 billion parked in a Cayman Island fund, hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue earned by Goldman Sachs for handling its bond issues, delays in its accounts, changes of auditors, and a perceived lack of transparency.

(Source)

One thing that is going very strongly for BN is a strong election machinery – there is no secret about this. It has the money, support and more importantly the control of the media. But for how long he expects to rely on this to get the crucial votes to keep his Government in place? Information is at the finger tips these days and when the Government tries to spin the truth, the more truth comes up in the open.

And let’s not even go to the aspect of an united Barisan Nasional – it is a mirage. We all know that UMNO runs the show and the rest are just there to manage their own influence on their own community. We are just sick of a race based country. Everything that one touches has to be determined based on race. And notion of race divides the country even more – one race pitched against another and sometimes allocation of national resources & time spent on one race is often questioned and deemed unfair. This is not the way the country should be heading. Najib brought the concept of 1Malaysia but it too proved to be nothing but another illusion and tactic to rein in the votes.

So, to say that having suitable candidates, strong machinery and a united Barisan Nasional are the key factors to ensure victory for the coalition in the 14th general election is incorrect. What is more important to have greater transparency, responsibility and commitment to the people. We all know what it takes to regain the voters confidence in the Government. Najib and his people knows this well too. If he chooses to ignore it and insist to keep his own personal politics, ignore to mismanagement of funds in this country and leaves racial & religions fanatics unchecked, then there is no point even talking about suitable candidates, strong machinery and a united Barisan Nasional.

Karpal Singh: 1940 – 2014


10250182_10151988732690906_7407693506563380298_n

(He may have said many things but he have always been consistent and highly principled and that earns the respect and admiration. Image source: Malaysiakini)

From theStar:-

Bukit Gelugor MP and veteran DAP leader Karpal Singh died in an accident near Gua Tempurung here early Thursday. The prominent lawyer and his assistant, C Michael, died on the scene. His son Ramkarpal and the car’s driver, C Selvam, were injured in the 1am incident. Their bodies have been brought to Kampar Hospital. The Toyota Alphard in which Karpal and the three were in had collided with a lorry. Karpal was on his way to Penang to attend a court case.

A great loss to DAP and Pakatan Rakyat indeed!

RIP, The Tiger of Jelutong

N25 Kajang: Pakatan’s Hunger Games?


Read these first:-

img_3206

(Kajang is very famous for its satay – we used to drive into the town just for this but in recent weeks, the town of Kajang has been in the focus for a different type of food on the dish – Pakatan’s rather childish games with the voters in Kajang. Image source: http://sumptuousblog.wordpress.com)

If you have read enough posts in this blog, you will know that this blogger leans more towards Pakatan rather favorably. It is not because they are best one around but rather because we had enough of the nonsense, corruption, wastage of taxpayers money, lack of transparency & accountability, selective prosecution and seeds of disunity that Barisan politicians spews or cordons on a regular basis and we only have very limited choice for alternatives. Between the two, Pakatan somehow edges more positively (yes, screw the independents – they have screwed things for the wrong reasons in the last general election).

Anyway a total overhaul from top to bottom is long overdue. But that does not mean we can blindly accept whatever Pakatan fellows say and do – they are after all just politicians with a different clothes & purpose and they can also resort to the same cheap politics to score their own politician mileage. They must not forget that the high expectations and ideals that we expect of any elected politician applies the same to Pakatan politicians.

Recently we had this:-

Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh has resigned as an assemblyman, Selangor state speaker Hannah Yeoh announced today. With the resignation, she officially declared the N25 seat vacant.

When asked on Lee’s reason for resigning, Yeoh declined to answer on his behalf and requested reporters to ask Lee directly instead. Yeoh admitted that she was surprised by the move.

(Source)

Of course, the question on everyone’s mind why should Lee resign when there is no real reason for anyone to resign. Even Lee himself could not come up with a good excuse than this:-

PKR’s former Kajang assemblyman Lee Chin Cheh finally broke the silence over his surprise resignation today, but left those awaiting clarification without the satisfaction of a clear answer.

With speculation going into overdrive that his departure was to pave way for Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to get into the Selangor mentri besar’s seat, Lee chose only to add to the mystery with a cryptic reason for his resignation.

“My decision to vacate the N25 Kajang seat is for the greater good and to reinforce the ability of (Pakatan Rakyat) to serve the people of Selangor,” Lee said in a three-paragraph statement tonight. He also thanked the voters of the constituency for their trust and co-operation.

(Source)

And now Anwar is more or less confirmed to run for the seat and the funny part is that Pakatan actually think they will win the seat without a sweat. They even had asked BN not to contest to “save” taxpayers money for the by-election – it seemed that BN is destined to lose in Kajang so why bother, right? It is simply morally wrong too and it does not make any sense and here’s why Pakatan should not have an easy ride in Kajang:-

1

There is no real need for a vacant state seat in the first place. It is not like Lee Chin Cheh had (sorry to say this) died (like in most cases for by-elections in the past)some incurable sickness and is going to die anytime soon. Or he had been caught red handed on something that is legally or morally wrong (of course no politician in this country had never took responsibility for their actions and had resigned as a gesture of accountability. Most instead get promoted with a fat salary and assigned with special duties. So why Lee Chin Cheh should anyway be different?)

2

The very excuse to vacant the seat – “for the greater good and to reinforce the ability of (Pakatan Rakyat) to serve the people of Selangor” is demeaning and downright insulting. We all know that this is not the real reason for it – why reinforce something that you already have? The very same mistake a BN politicians often do – take the voters for ride. Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan had said that PKR must show an “overwhelmingly good reason” for this unexpected by-election in Kajang and we are still waiting for this reason.

Lately there have been another excuse in circulation and this time it is from Rafizi Ramli – that Anwar Ibrahim is needed in Selangor to prevent the federal government suspending the state legislature by invoking emergency laws (source). He went to say that Anwar needed political legitimacy in the state.

That unfortunately does not hold water as well – firstly Anwar as the key person in PKR & Pakatan does not need a state seat for political legitimacy in the state (he already has political legitimacy by default by being the leader of opposition and the de facto leader of PKR), secondly why can’t Khalid & Azmin who already have a state seat and is deep in the administration of the state handle whatever Anwar hope to do with a sole seat in the state and finally, if BN had decided to invoke the emergency laws and proceed with suspension of state legislature, do you think that Anwar owing one state seat would make any difference (after all they hardly blinked in Perak).

3

Let’s assume Lee Chin Cheh had to resign for a very good reason but unable to tell the real reason in public, don’t tell me that out of the many people in Pakatan (or rather PKR), they unable to find a good candidate to replace Lee and had to resort to Anwar as the last resort? He is not local as far as Kajang is concerned. This simply reinforces the notion that Lee resigned just for Anwar to step in and for no other reason.

Pakatan have been making the same mistake from day 1 and it is getting tiresome for some of us. If you take a closer look at Pakatan, there are way too many people holding more than 1 seat – one at Federal level and another at State level, as if there is only so many people in Pakatan capable to run for these seats. This has to stop and Kajang would be a good place to reinforce this message to politicians in Pakatan.

Pakatan should gets its seasoned politicians to focus on national issues at Federal level whilst the young, aspiring (and very loyal) politicians should be given a chance to play their role and contribute at State level. This way, Pakatan can be assured that there will be a sense of continuity and quality when the old and seasoned politicians retires.

4

Even if we take Anwar as the next best candidate for Kajang (let’s just assume lah), can he take the dual responsibility of managing Permatang Pauh and Kajang at the same time even though it may not be the same thing (ya, one deals with Parliament, another deals with State Assembly)?

Anwar had said that he has no problem managing the 2 constituencies and he may be right in a way. After all, the real work on ground is not done by the busy elected politicians but rather by their paid minions. It is nothing new and is normal since elected politicians simply don’t have time for all the trivial issues and that is the point here with Anwar.

Anwar should be focusing more on the national issues and on keeping Pakatan in one piece. It is very likely that he will not have time for constituencies (minions are helpful but it is not the same thing as they are not elected by the people)

5

Organizing a by-election is not cheap. It is a sheer waste of taxpayers money and time. There is no reason why we need to waste another few millions just because someone had an itch at a place where the sun don’t shine. Not when we are seeing price of basic goods skyrocketing in recent months.

So why add more to the expenses by the taxpayers? There is also an issue of the people need to spend time from work & more crucial activities to assist on the campaign and to vote. Will they be compensated for the time wasted?

6

Calling for BN to stay away from the by-election to save taxpayers money is undemocratic and borders political bullying. Just because the State is ran by Pakatan and they think that they can win the seat with one eye closed, that does not mean they can ask others to buzz off. Just imagine if BN had made the same call, Pakatan head honchos would have rolled on the floor in protest. Besides, it was PKR who caused the by-election in the first place, so why they should profit from it without a sweat?

7

It sets a dangerous precedent of political parties to take the electoral to resolve their internal dirty politics. We once thought that the back door ambush of powers in Perak a few years ago was the lowest point anyone can hit with electoral but with this sudden vacant of the N25 seat for no good reason means the threshold need to be revised again. This is indeed dangerous and the people should not be dragged into the political party internal issues. Why can’t they just resolve this within themselves?

8

With Anwar coming on-board after the public spat between Azmin Ali & Khalid Ibrahim, it may spell the end of Khalid’s remarkable administration of the State. Yes, they may say now that Anwar will not be the next MB and stress to the voters that at the highest he will go is until EXCO level.

But that does not mean the situation will not change in the near future when the relationship between Khalid and Azmin gets worse? Or when Anwar turns around and say that Khalid had “agreed” to step down and he or Azmin now takes over the MB seat? That would be disastrous indeed, not when Khalid is much favored by the people of Selangor and PKR’s partners in Pakatan to helm the Mentri Besar office.

Pakatan has going to the town apologizing to people of Kajang for the by-election and had called for the voters to support Pakatan again. But then again, it is an election that should not have happened in the first place. I think Anwar & Pakatan under-estimated the public backlash when Lee announced his resignation without a good reason & Anwar jumping on aboard to run for the seat.

Coupled with the reasons mentioned above and as much as I prefer Pakatan to Barisan anytime anywhere, perhaps democracy is best served by showing Anwar & Pakatan the exit in Kajang. A point must be made that no one – whether from Barisan or Pakatan can take the voters for a ride and in the end turns around and show the middle finger.

GE13: What Chinese Tsunami?


fnutusan07e

(“Chinese Tsunami” – would it be Najib’s new “unity” motto for the next 5 years? Why call for national reconciliation when at the same whack one community for your failures at the polls? What else the Chinese want, you ask? How about an all out fight against corruption, fair treatment for all Malaysians and wastage of public funds & resources? Image source: http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com)

GE13 polling has officially ended but not the subsequent implications. It will take probably weeks and even months before things get settled down. Anwar have indicated that Pakatan will not accept the outcome of the elections until EC explains on some of the glaring irregularities – they just had a large public rally on this which in turned caused a massive traffic jam (Raja Petra however raised concern of something more sinister) and surely there will be legal suits flying around. And there are quite number of states and seats won on slim margin – so one needs to wonder if there will be another round of frogs jumping ships as what we saw back in 2008? And trouble is brewing in Selangor as to who will get the Menteri Besar seat – I just hope the PKR fellows do not screw things up big time – pro-BN bloggers already having a field day on this.

The Results

All in all, it is a good election for Pakatan Rakyat. Racial bigots of Ibrahim Ali and Zulkfli Noordin were promptly shown the exit by multi racial voters but rest assured they will be around to cause the usual trouble. Nurul Izzah won the closely contested Lembah Pantai seat and a big thanks to the extra vigilant supporters, had managed to ensure the fight was fair and square and won it accordingly. Dr M got a good slap when Lim Kit Siang won the Gelang Patah seat with a good majority of 14,000 plus votes – still remember this old-man asking people to bury Lim Kit Siang in Gelang Patah and then recklessly said that there will be racial confrontation if Lim wins? Thankfully the voters thought otherwise and handed Uncle Lim a good margin to win.

On a bigger scale, despite failing to capture Putrajaya (which many of us were hoping for), Pakatan improved their number of seats in both parliamentary and state level. They kept Penang and Selangor with a higher majority and came close to regaining Perak and Terengganu. The popular votes also went to Pakatan – with 51% of the votes going to them (BN got 47% of the votes). The Kedah was a different story altogether – the votes in Kedah shifted to BN in a big way not because BN was better than Pakatan but rather it was because PAS screwed things up after they won it in 2008. Still remember them going over the board with their extreme Islamic way of governance even on non Muslims? We would have been dumb to still think that PAS would be able to keep Kedah. Its fall was predicted from day 1 and it did. Terengganu was a 50-50 thing.

However the biggest disappointment that Perak did not go to Pakatan – especially after they were robbed of the state by 3 frogs that jumped to BN last time around. Was it because Perakians had forgotten about this incident? Or it was rigged in a way that BN were meant to win – after all it was a very close fight with BN’s 31 seats against Pakatan’s 28 seats. Some of the stories reported do raise some red flags:-

“At that point the results for the Perak state seats were 29 for BN and 28 for Pakatan. I insisted on the recount because the results from these two seats would be the deciding factor in the formation of the next Perak government. “When I insisted that these documents be produced before the announcement of the results, the returning officer instructed the police to push my polling agents and me out of the hall.”

At this juncture, Vasantha Kumar said, “Saravanan threw a chair at me while I was being pushed out.” “I was shocked when the police manhandled me, pushing me 50m out of the centre, while Saravanan and his assistant tried to attack me. However, the police stopped them.” Vasantha Kumar claimed that he and his counting agents were pushed out by the police all the way to the main road outside the hall.

(Source)

It was also disappointing to note that a number of spilt votes screwed up some of the seats for Pakatan. Independents (all whom been wiped out for good reasons) screwed up the chance for Pakatan in Cameron Highlands big time – MIC’s G Palanivel got more votes against him and yet he won with slim margin, no thanks to almost 1,200 votes going to independents. The Pakatan’s screw up in Kota Damansara and Semenyih however is not excusable. Two good state seats were lost because of the stupid in-fighting within Pakatan for the same seats. Thankfully Pakatan had garnered enough seats to form the State Government otherwise Pakatan fellows would have kicked themselves for the major screw-up.

Hopefully this would be the last time Pakatan make a fool of themselves and have overlapping claim for the same seat. Every win counts (especially in situation like in Perak now) and the last thing they need to give away the seat on a platter with split votes. That would be really dumb.

najib_sweets

(Still remember the various promises before the election? Come on lah, Malaysians are not stupid – if the Government had wanted to, as a responsible government, they could have carried up the various promises way before the election. Instead it was back to the usual “you help me, I help you” nonsense from Najib’s administration. A clear breach of election laws but one that EC did nothing to curtail or punish the offenders. Image source: theSun)

Interestingly despite the claims of the success of NKRA especially in area of crime fighting, BRIM 1.0 & 2.0 give-outs, lavish dinners & live concerts (including one by Psy) and over the board “be grateful” propagandas, “you help me, I help you” rallies and advertisements in the media, Najib still fared worst than the sleepy Pak Lah by winning less parliamentary (and state) seats compared to 2008. Although some of these pre-election money, gifts and promises had influenced some of the voters to vote for BN especially in the rural areas and helped them to starve off the Pakatan onslaught for Putrajaya, a majority of them (especially in Penang and Selangor) did not buy them in exchange for their votes:-

No one asked you to give free dinners, RM500, lucky draw, etc. You syok sendiri. The Chinese did not cheat you. But I must congratulate the Penangites. They had two weeks of free food (no need to cook), a lot of free entertainment, money, and 2 weeks later, they get a good government in place! You have got the best of both world!

(Source)

He also failed to wrestle back Selangor despite leading the BN’s well oiled election machinery and with defeat of some of the BN Chairman in other states which included Malacca, Penang and Johore, the Fat Momma’s expensive overseas trip in coming months may be short lived. And the consequences would have been worse for him in the coming months if the allegations of phantom voters and other irregularities are proven to be true.

The Chinese Tsunami?

Najib after been declared as the winner as far as BN and the federal government is concerned started on the wrong footing by blaming the defeat wholly on the Chinese and then half sincerely turns around and calls for national reconciliation (it seems nothing changed for BN and nothing will in the future). It did not take long for UMNO-run Utusan Malaysia and Dr M to rub it in and provide the fuel to the fire:-

Mahathir repeated his stance that the DAP’s campaign was to make the Chinese community hate the Malay community. “I have said this several times in my campaign, even in Johor. Lim Kit Siang brought about the concept of Malaysian Malaysia, with the intention of making the Chinese hate the Malays,” he said. “As a result, many Chinese rejected the Malay hand of friendship.”

(Source)

At the end of the day, it has nothing to do with the Chinese, Malay or even the Indian tsunami. Yes the number of Chinese turning up and voting for Pakatan was higher than before. Are you going to blame them for that? Where it says that the Chinese (or any Malaysians for argument sake) have to vote for BN only? What a bunch of sore losers! It’s a fact that Pakatan could not have gained more votes using Chinese votes alone.

Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng lambasted the move to turn the Chinese as “scapegoats” and shape the election results as a “Chinese-versus-Malay” vote. “Many analysts have disputed this as a gross distortion of data, as this was more a urban-rural divide between Pakatan Rakyat and BN,” Lim said in a statement today. “How can this be a Chinese tsunami in states like Terengganu when PAS won 15 state seats as compared to Umno’s 17, when more than 95 percent of Terengganu voters are Malays?”

And the same was reflected by PAS:-

PAS has expressed gratitude to Chinese voters who backed Malay Pakatan Rakyat candidates in the recently concluded general election, even if it meant having to vote against a fellow Chinese. PAS information chief Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man said the action of these voters proved the claim by Umno that the Chinese had rejected the Malays to be slander.

“There are tens of Parliament and state assembly seats that were contested by Malay candidates against candidates from the Tiong Hua (Chinese), in mixed constituencies, which were won by the Malays, proving that Chinese voters were willing to reject candidates of their own race,” Tuan Ibrahim said in a statement today.

(Source)

GE13numbers

(Pakatan had won the popular votes but was it due to an overwhelming swing by the Chinese Malaysians or was it due to Malaysians from all races in the country who just fed up on the blatant corruption, wastage and unfair treatment? Image source: Malaysiakini)

Well, to those who keeping harping on the Chinese tsunami and how the Malays will be left out in the country, it is not about the race, and here’s why.  It’s a fact that Najib did miserably when it comes to fighting corruption and national unity.

He did nothing on instances of sheer corruption just because those implicated were from his own political party and he needed them for his own political survival. It took two independent journalists to break the story on PKFZ, a young politician from Pakatan to prove the abuse of taxpayers money dubbed “The Cowgate” (Najib even did not have the balls to sack the Minister) and some foreigners going undercover to show that there indeed a shadow state in the country. Despite the urgency and the need for an independent and robust corruption busting agency, Najib did nothing to strengthen the MACC – it remained lame duck. He promised to do something about it but that promise came with a condition that BN must win the election. Now he had won, will Najib keep up his promise?

On the national unity, it seemed a joke for Najib to call for national reconciliation. By blaming the Chinese for his own losses, he had started his administration by pitting the Chinese against the Malays. The king-makers Indians who were the darling of politicians before the election are now nowhere to be seen. Tough luck for Hindraf and their MOU with Najib – let’s see how sincere Najib will be now that he blaming it on the Chinese. He started the notion of 1Malaysia which seemed to be a good thing as we head towards the year 2020 but did nothing to curtail racial statements from his own party controlled mainstream medias and the UMNO friendly Perkasa extremists who even at one point threatened to burn Bibles. Where was the tough action back then? Najib justify the remarks in Utusan by saying that the Chinese media does the same. Once again, where the tough action against the Chinese papers if they been doing the same?

Is this how a Prime Minister of a multi-racial country speaks when it comes to curtailing racial incitements?

So What’s Next?

At end of the day, there must be a proper closure – both to the acceptance on the outcome of the GE13 and incorrect blame of the losses on the fellow Malaysian Chinese.

Yes we must protest against unfair election process and bring forward any irregularities to be rectified but then again, we should go on with our life – after all, there is a government to be run here. It is almost sure every political party (in addition to the various blogs, political analyst, media, etc) out there would be making their own assessment on the outcome of the elections, see where they have made mistakes and how they can improve on it for the greater benefit of the people and country (not for themselves and the political party).

Pakatan must improve their standing in the next general elections if we want to see a real change at federal level and hence improvement in competency, accountability and transparency. Unlike some politicians from the other side, Pakatan politicians need to ensure that their service centre are still operating and still providing the best service especially in areas where they had lost. Losing does not mean doing nothing and blaming others. Losing means an opportunity to improve on their standard of service and engage the people on the real issues facing them. The sooner the politicians do this, the sooner the country can get back on its feet.

GE13: GE Videos & EC Boo-Boos


Johor-ceramah-crowds

(No doubt the number of crowd attending the ceramahs may not translate into confirmed votes but the sheer number of people attending the recent ceramahs In Johore should have given the BN fellows something to ponder on. Image source: Anilnetto)

Just 2 days to go before we will know whether we will see another 5 years of corruption, race based policies, double standards on enforcement & deployment, wastage of tax-payers money, “we are still better than Zimbabwe” nonsense, culture of fear & disunity, cronyism, MACC (still) have no power to catch the big fish and insult to fellow Malaysians OR dawn of a new era for Malaysia.

And already there are allegations of vote rigging and movements of phantom voters (mainly foreigners). If BN had denied outright and laughed at it, we could have labelled Anwar’s allegations as a serious spin and a desperate move. But instead they actually admitted that such flights are taking place but they claim that it is for the Malaysian voters and it is financed by a mysterious  “friends of BN”. Who are they really, this friends of BN? Perhaps they are the same jokers who took the expensive advertisement for the so-called First Lady of Malaysia. Anyway, since it seems Pakatan fellows are “doing the same” (unfortunately they can only afford buses instead of planes), let’s put this aside – on who is right or wrong will depend on whether you end up seeing strings of nervous Banglas & Indons at polling station on Sunday.

But probably the biggest news when it comes to EC and their blunders would be on the indelible ink which some have alleged can be cleaned off immediately. The blunder is not on the fact that the indelible ink were washable without trace – as EC had mentioned, the ink is an indelible ink and not permanent ink. Depending on washing agents used, it will remove the ink to some extent; I am pretty sure of it although the latest EC’s demo shows otherwise.

The blunder however is on the failure of the processes in dealing with the said indelible ink. Why it was not shaken as the process requires it to be? EC claims that their officers were “nervous” and thus failed to follow the right procedures. Such excuse is not acceptable especially when it is for the first time the indelible ink is being used, there are certain expectations on the deployment of the ink and the EC officers have been trained before and are professionals. Didn’t they do a dry run before this? Because of this blunder, now hangs a question of whether in the coming polling day, there will be more officers getting “nervous” and failed to shake the bottles right. If this happens, EC would have a serious issue of integrity and accountability.

In the meantime, enjoy these interesting videos that touch on the upcoming election and the need to pick the right Government (p.s. MIC’s one is in for the joke – now that Hindraf is the sleeping partner of BN and leads the “fight for the Indians”, MIC indeed had become one big joke):-

Undilah

PKFZ Scandal

MIC Song Parody

Hindraf & Nambekei

3 Questions for BN

Please also read also Rafizi Ramli’s Open Letter as well.

Have a good day on Sunday and vote wisely. Vote for the Government that plans for the future and politicians who see Malaysians as their boss and not the other way around. Don’t vote on what you have seen, paid and experienced in the last few months – judge the politicians on what they have done and said in the last 5 years. Reward them or punish them accordingly and don’t fall for the (overwhelming) overdose of “feel good” propagandas and vote-buying “gifts” – it does not guarantee a bright future.