Saturday, 30 July 2011

Pre-Election Tactics To Woo Indians

Najib has appointed MIC president G Palanivel as a minister in the PM's department.

This has resulted in MIC jumping for joy while everyone else watches with cynical amusement.

I believe this appointment is to win support from the Indian community. This tactic would have worked in the 70s - during the days when people were simple-minded and easily manipulated.

Still, some Indians are angry over the poor treatment of the Parti Sosialis activists by the police (and by proxy the government). So Najib is trying to placate their misgivings by this appointment.

I'm sure there will be some dumbos out there who would fall for this trick.

But I think the majority of people (including the Indians) know exactly what BN stands for and have rejected it.

"Abuse Of Online Platform"

The idiot agency has been busy as usual, spinning for their master.

The latest is about Najib lamenting the "abuse" of his online platforms, most noticeably Facebook. If you don't know what this is about, read THIS.

Poor Najib. He's just not smart enough to differentiate between 'abuse' and 'feedback'.

You can't see the future more clearly than on your Facebook, stupid.

Friday, 29 July 2011

The PSM 6 Finally Released

It's about time!!

After so many candlelight vigils, a hunger strike, some legal aid lawyers getting arrested during one of the peaceful vigils, the six activists have been released.

There was absolutely no reason for them to be detained. They were activists who were merely handing out leaflets, but their charge was "waging war against the King".

Any intelligent person can tell that these are trumped up charges to keep them away.

But after 28 days behind bars, they are finally out.

We are SO proud of those six, and the nation (save the despots) owes them a lot.

Related:PSM’s EO6 released without conditions

Thursday, 28 July 2011

Double Standards Again, But Hey - Welcome To Malaysia!

A good friend sent me the link to this article today.

I usually don't read Sin Chew, but this piece was so salient that I thought it necessary to share with my readers.

Welcome to Malaysia
Opinion 2011-07-28 12:21

Malaysia receives thousands of visitors every day. Some come looking for jobs while others are travelers yearning to enjoy our sunny beaches and delicious food.

But this article is not about jobseekers or tourists.

It is about two men.

About a month ago, Malaysia welcomed someone from a country formerly known as Rhodesia. He was treated very well and afforded all the luxuries and hospitality Wisma Putra could possibly provide.

This man, who so easily entered Malaysia, has a European Union travel ban against him name.

When this man appeared at a food summit in Rome in 2008, Mark Malloch Brown, the British Foreign Office minister for Africa, Asia and the UN commented that this was “like Pol Pot going to a human rights conference.”

The Australian foreign minister, Stephen Smith, said that the man’s attendance at the food summit was obscene because "This is a person who has presided over the starvation of his people."

In 2006, the African Union's Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights released a report which expressed concern over “the continuing violations and the deterioration of the human rights situation” and “the number of internally displaced persons and the violations of fundamental individual and collective rights resulting from the forced evictions” that was being carried out by the government led by this man.

Three years ago the Queen of England stripped this man of his honorary knighthood which was awarded to him in 1994.

Without mincing his words, a British Foreign Office spokesman said that the action had been taken "as a mark of revulsion at the abuse of human rights and abject disregard for the democratic process” in the country over which this man presided.

The man being referred to is Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. He visited Malaysia last month to attend the Ninth Langkawi International Dialogue as an invitee of the government.

Much of the world chides him. Thousands of his people have died of starvation because of his policies. Hundreds of his political opponents have been savagely beaten and tortured by the state.

Yet, Malaysia welcomes him.

Last week, the former General Secretary of the International Federation for Human Rights visited Malaysia.

This man has been very active in initiating legal proceedings in France against former Serbian or Rwandan leaders suspected of crimes against humanity and crimes of war.

He acts for Franco-Chilean families who were victims of the former dictator Augusto Pinochet. He also defends several French prisoners detained in Guantanamo.

The man also founded Sherpa, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting and defending victims of economic crimes.

In 2009, Sherpa along with other non-profit organizations lodged a complaint in France against Dalhoff, Larsen and Horneman (DLH), one of the world's leading international timber wholesalers.

It is alleged that during the civil war in Liberia from 2000-2003, DLH brought timber from Liberian companies that provided support to Charles Taylor's brutal regime.

According to the claimants, by importing timber from forest concessions operated by corrupt Liberian companies, the French arm of DLH is guilty of handling and profiting from goods obtained illegally which is punishable under French criminal law.

The man being referred to is French human rights lawyer William Bourdon.

He arrived in Malaysia last week at the invitation of local human rights group Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) to attend three fund-raising dinners. After the first dinner in Penang, Bourdon was detained by the authorities on his return to Kuala Lumpur and then unceremoniously deported.

Bourdon is in fact engaged by SUARAM to represent them in a case pending at the French courts concerning alleged financial kickbacks received by top government officials both in France and Malaysia over the purchase of the Scorpene submarines.

The Mugabe and Bourdon incidents raise grave concerns about the Malaysian foreign and immigration policies.

How can it be possible that we welcome an undisputed, evil despot but kick out a human rights campaigner who at the end of the day is merely advocating the stand of a local organization trying to have their day in the French courts?

I guess it all comes back to something I have written about before.

We don’t like it when it is about us.

March and rally all you like if it is against Israel or America. But it is not alright to march when it concerns local issues like free and fair elections.

Welcome to Malaysia if you don’t criticize us, doesn’t matter about what you do elsewhere.

Get out if you are here to talk about the possible shortcomings of those in government.

Only time will tell if Bourdon and SUARAM succeed in proving their case. But one thing is for sure. Robert Mugabe is no hero and if there is one person in this world that does not deserve to enter this land, it would be him.

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

"Diam Lar!"

My sister and I are highly tickled by this irritated person who tells Najib to shut his trap.

It all started on Najib's Facebook page that was advertising his latest blog posting about how it was his responsibility to maintain peace as a leader.

Yes, one can predict how nauseating that article could be when the evidence of political intimidation is out for all and sundry to see.

It must have overwhelmed this person who commented, "Diam lar", or 'shut up' in Malay.

Predictably, his comment was deleted, but not before someone got a screen shot of it and created a community page on Facebook.

Since then, "Diam lar" sites on Facebook have mushroomed. The original "Diam lar" site has, to date, more than 10,000 Likes.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

What's On BN Payroll?

We thought having APCO, parent of the One Israel concept and later the 1Malaysia concept was bad enough.

It was a huge waste of public money - spent on enhancing a political party's image.

Now it looks like BN has hired pro-Israeli bloggers for Malaysia Matters - a website to promote BN leaders.

Armstrong, who is also a professional 'blogger for hire', has made no secret of the fact that the project was commissioned by the Malaysian government - he lists them as a client on the website of his company WebStrong.

Anti Islam Bloggers On BN Payroll

Monday, 25 July 2011

The Economist Censored With Black Markers!

This is an interesting, must-read article from The Economist because the print version was censored by the government:

MALAYSIA is one of South-East Asia’s stabler nations; but a rally in Kuala Lumpur on July 9th in demand of electoral reform turned surprisingly nasty, leading to the arrest of more than 1,600 people. The police fired tear gas and water cannon into the crowd, and one man died of a heart attack.

All those arrested were released fairly quickly, but Amnesty International, a London-based human-rights group, called it “the worst campaign of repression in the country for years”. The government’s reaction showed a lot of nervousness about how much opposition it can tolerate.

Read the whole article: Taken to the cleaners

A while back, the Far Eastern Economic Review was banned in Malaysia by Dr Mahathir for less-than-flattering comments about his administration.

The Economist probably fears the same eventuality.

A spokesman for The Economist said: “I can confirm that any apparent censorship of The Economist in Malaysia last week was not of our own doing. However we won't be commenting on the matter any further.”

RELATED: Malaysia censors Economist article on protest -The Telegraph

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Candlelight Vigil for PSM 6

I just got back from the candlelight vigil in solidarity with the Parti Sosialis Malaysia activists who are being held under the emergency ordinance for "waging war against the King".

It wasn't a great turn-out, perhaps because it has been held almost every day to demand the release of these activists.

About 70 people showed up including those standing around the sides. It could have been better.

Of course, the cops had to show up as well, but they only stood along the sidelines and didn't rush the crowd.

People took turns to share their opinions and to encourage each other in the fight for justice and to end oppression. The PSM 6 are being bullied by the authorities and are kept as an example to those who dare defy them.

But we will not bow to this sort of pressure. This is even more reason for us to demand the release of our fellow comrades.

We need you to stand with us - from the oldest to the youngest.

This kid will know the meaning of democracy when she grows up, unlike the millions of apathetic Malaysians making an existence today.

Free The PSM 6!

For the love of God, haven't these six activists been held for long enough?!!! WTF is wrong with Najib and his minions?

We need to do something. Step up the pressure.

There's a Solidarity Vigil on today folks.

Date: 24 July 2011
Time: 8:00pm
Venue: Dataran Merdeka.

Bring reading materials for the arrested six.

See you there.

Friday, 22 July 2011

Driven To Suicide?

I'm really very curious to know who in Malaysia actually believes that.

Teoh Beng Hock was not a criminal. He had nothing to hide. His boss Ean Yong was cleared of any wrong-doing.

Moreover, he was due to be married the next day to the woman who was carrying his child.

NOTHING, and absolutely NOTHING in my opinion, would have driven him to suicide.

The RCI can conjure up anything, but the public know the truth.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Serious Repercussions

It really looks like Najib has bitten off far more than he can chew.

The rally on the 9th could have easily been a forgotten affair by now had Najib joined in and promised electoral reforms or merely allowed the rally.

You could not pay me enough to be in Najib's shoes right now. It must be totally shameful to be booed by one's own countrymen in a foreign country.

It must have been awkward meeting a yellow-clad Queen.

Then it all looked fine when he met the Pope.

But the embarrassment came from his own government this time, or rather his government mouth-piece - the rag called Utusan Malaysia.

There is no limit to Utusan Malaysia's ludicrous claims - you and I know that - but this one is a special little gem:

'When the drums are pounded hard in the name of human rights, the pro-Jewish people will have their best opportunity to interfere in any Islamic country. We might not realize that the enthusiasm to support actions such as demonstrations will cause us to help foreign groups succeed in their mission of controlling this country.'

Yep. When in doubt, always create a Jewish conspiracy.

This is not working to Najib's benefit though. I can imagine he might have been just a little mortified in the presence of people far more intelligent than his fellow UMNO goons.

It's too late now, but if only Najib had made wiser decisions prior to the rally, things would have been far different.

Read more at The Diplomat: Najib, The Queen and The Pope

Monday, 18 July 2011

Surrender Evidence Of Police Brutality

"Surrender video recording of illegal rally to determine the truth", the
idiot news agency implores the public.

Surrender the original copies of the videos and destroy all other
duplicate copies too.

Well, they didn't say it in so many words, but I bet that is what the
IGP meant.

How stupid do they think we are? Does he think we will all blindly and
stupidly surrender this sort of evidence?

In fact, surrendering a video would only make the police blacklist the
individual and perhaps pay him some visits regularly.

Pure and simple harassment is what it would be called.

It is enough that most Malaysians and the world know what the BN
government is really like.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

God Save The Queen! :-)

Everyone is up in excitement over Her Majesty's outfit.

In fact, someone even mentioned that the flowers in the background are also yellow in colour!

I can explain the flowers. It is most likely that the flowers would have been chosen to match the Queen's dress. There are in-house consultants for this sort of thing, as celebrities (especially Royals) thrive on a positive public image.

However, the dress is a little hard to explain. I am sure the Queen would have been briefed on the recent history and current events of Malaysia prior to Najib's visit.

For an impartial stand politically, I would have expected the Queen to have worn something other than yellow. More startling is the fact that the Queen tends to wear pastel colours, while this outfit is anything but.

It would actually have been polite to have removed anything remotely yellow if she was to be politically neutral.

Perhaps the Queen actually has an opinion on the state of democracy in this country.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

"Deliberate Campaign To Undermine The Police"

According to our favourite news agency, Bernama:

Certain quarters have launched a deliberate campaign to undermine the police by claiming that they had resorted to violence to quell the July 9 illegal rally, said Deputy Inspector-General of Police.

Lots of you were out there on the streets that day.

Tell me, did you not see police brutality on that day?

And those of you who watched those videos, did you not see it with your own eyes??

Friday, 15 July 2011

A Newspaper Actually Speaks The Truth!!!!


The Edge must be the only mainstream media that reports accurately instead of fabricating lies for its master like others.

A display of the people’s spirit

Written by Max Koh
Monday, 11 July 2011 10:39

When I volunteered to cover the Bersih 2.0 rally on the eve of the event, I felt an equal sense of excitement and trepidation.

I was excited because the rally has gathered a momentum not seen before, with increasing support from the public. But I was also fearful as certain quarters alluded to the possibility of rioting and mob violence.

The night before, I read up on the precautions and measures to take before going for the rally. I packed salt (which was easier to carry than toothpaste and cheaper), some Snickers bars, a towel, a water bottle and a change of clothes. I took note of what to do in case I was detained by the police.

I also deliberated on my choice of attire. I had to wear a neutral colour that did not link me to any particular movement or political party. So instead of red, yellow, blue, green or purple, I wore black.

Read more on the site.

A Few Good Doctors


We, the undersigned doctors, wish not to enter into the polemics of the Bersih 2.0 march on 9th July 2011 but would like to clarify the inconvenient truth.

We are outraged at the incidents, and the subsequent responses from the authorities, to the events where tear gas and chemical laced water were shot into the compounds of Tung Shin and Chinese Maternity Hospitals, two adjacent buildings along Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur, with scant regard for the safety of patients, staff and the general public who were at the buildings that afternoon.

Hospitals are considered as safe sanctuaries for all, even during war times, but these consecrated places of refuge and protection were violated by the defence forces that afternoon. Police even entered the buildings in search of some of these peaceful marchers. What was most frightening and witnessed by many was the unprovoked violent assault within the hospital compounds and apprehension of several protesters who had merely run into the hospitals to seek shelter from the tear gas and the water cannons!

It is repulsive that the authorities entrusted with policing the nation and protecting the weak and needy, have shamelessly denied publicly, the occurrence of these incident IN SPITE of countless photo/video and eye witness accounts of what was evident to all independent observers.

A few of the undersigned were actually visiting or working in the hospitals concerned at the time of the events and will gladly provide sworn affidavits, if required, as to veracity of the incidents

The Malaysian public expect holders of high public office to honour their positions accorded by the citizens, by discharging their duties with moral integrity, dignity and transparency.

Their failure to do so raises the public's doubts in their competence and credibility as much as it demeans those high offices.

Dr Ng Kwee Boon - Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Datin Dr Low Paik See - Consultant Paediatrician
Dato’ Dr Musa Mohd Nordin - Consultant Paediatrician & Neonatologist
Dr Mazeni Alwi - Consultant Paediatric Cardiologist
Dr David Quek - Consultant Cardiologist
Dr Sheikh Johari Bux - Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist
Dr Steve Wong - Consultant Plastic Surgeon
Dr Ahmad Farouk Musa - Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon
Dr Ng Swee Choon - Consultant Cardiologist

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Najib Is Getting His Ass Kicked Big-Time

I recently commented on how the Bersih 2.0 rally could have been hijacked by Najib by simply joining the march and promising reforms.

Malaysia is a nation of empty promises anyway, so Najib could have certainly gotten away with it.

Everyone would have ignored the rally and that small turn-out would have yielded next to no publicity at all.

The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg both have blunt rebukes for Najib.

Crackdown 2.0 in Malaysia

Based on the evidence of this weekend's rally in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysians aspire for a more competitive political system than what they have. Also based on this weekend's evidence, Prime Minister Najib Razak isn't prepared to give it to them.

An estimated 20,000 or more people peacefully gathered in Kuala Lumpur Saturday to call for free and fair elections. Their complaints included vote-rigging and gerrymandering of constituencies to the ruling party's benefit. Bersih 2.0, as the rally was called, was the biggest event of its kind in four years. The original Bersih (the word means "clean" in Malay) called for electoral reforms in 2007.

As with the original rally, this one was met not by understanding from the government but by police deploying tear gas and water cannons. More than 1,600 attendees were detained and released late Sunday. One demonstrator died from a heart attack.

Bloomberg warns of economic consequences to this sort of over-the-top government thuggery.

Investing 101 Means Looking Out the Windows More

Arab Spring, meet Malaysia’s summer of discontent.

That thought is surely on Prime Minister Najib Razak’s mind as the dust settles from Saturday’s botched demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur. By “botched” I mean the way Najib mishandled what should have been a ho-hum political-reform rally of little note by the international news media.

Public-relations experts would have told Najib to let the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections have their day in the capital. Let them wave signs and wear their yellow shirts. Instead, he tried to stop the rally, increasing its size. Then, he cracked down. Police fired tear gas and detained 1,697 people, turning the event into a top cable TV news story.

The over-the-top response did something worse: It enraged Malaysians who weren’t all that interested in rallying before Saturday. It also underlined the rise in political risk sweeping Asia, something that investors would be wise to track.

Read the entire articles on their respective sites.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Good Move By The Malaysian Government

I am shocked. A huge fraction of my politically apathetic friends have been converted to the right path ;-)

Now, these are the people who love saying that politics is dirty and that they'd prefer to stay as far away from it as possible.

Thanks to the roadblocks running up to the rally, Bersih 2.0 steering committee did not need to put out advertisements. The government did it on their behalf.

Tanks of petrol were consumed, legs were aching from alternating between clutch and accelerator, there was severe exhaustion, bad manners on the road - well, those have imprinted into the minds of the average citizen that there is something very rotten about the government.

Thanks to the roadblocks, I had a colleague ask me, "Bersih 2.0? What is it - an environmental effort?"

Never too late, I thought, before explaining exactly what the cause behind this rally was.

Suddenly, political awareness mushroomed like never before. No other rally had ever brought out this amount of interest.

This is by far the biggest rally I have ever attended - it attracted people from all walks of life.

Monday, 11 July 2011

UMNO Youth Rallies In The Middle Of Bukit Bintang!!

The ruling coalition (and unfortunately, the federal government) in Malaysia says that public demonstrations are illegal because they cause a lot of disruption to the public.

However, it is evident that there are double standards in the way the government deals with its political allies and political dissenters.

You decide for yourself what to do this coming election.

Show Of Force In Jln Tun Perak

Tung Shin Hospital Got Gassed!

There are some who don't believe it! So here is the documented evidence.

The crowd was being tear-gassed at Jalan Pudu. At that time, it started to rain heavily which was good for dispersing the gas, but bad for the people who were getting drenched.

So a whole bunch of people decided to take shelter in the hospital until the rain ceased.

But there was a helicopter patrolling the skies. The authorities must have discovered that there was a big crowd there.

Frankly, none of us were expecting to be tear-gassed in there. Not only because it was a hospital, but because no one was chanting or moving anywhere.

So I was startled to hear a scramble and see a cloud of smoke engulfing the area.

The police did not fire the tear gas on the road outside Tung Shin hospital. They fired a canister into the very compound of the hospital!

This is hospital, for the love of god!!!!

The authorities really are not thinking!!! Are these the people we have given so much power to?

Sunday, 10 July 2011

International News On The Rally

The rally has caught even more attention internationally.

Malaysia cracks down on protesters; tear gas fired, 1400 arrested - International Business Times

Malaysia Clamps Down on Unrest - Wall Street Journal

Thousands Protest in Malaysia's Capital - Voice of America

Tear Gas Erupts as Malaysia Detains Hundreds of Protesters - TIME

Malaysia police arrest 500 after street battles for electoral reform - Telegraph

Malaysia rocked by mass protest - Sydney Morning Herald

Have You Seen A Tear Gas Canister?

Now you have.

To those of you who were hit by that choking sensation when some metal thing fell next to you, this is what holds the gas chemicals.

This particular one was manufactured in 2005.

Apparently, when the canister is fired, the top comes off and the gas is released from the hole in the middle.

The corrosion at the edge of the cylinder head should be sufficient to demonstrate how potent this stuff is.

Thanks to Sekaran for displaying his prized memento :-)

Saturday, 9 July 2011

What A Rally!!!

Hello folks,

I'm back home and safe and sound, though extremely tired from the day's adventures.

I got tear-gassed about 3 times and it ain't the best feeling in the world.

It was good to see such a good turn-out though. None of the organisers were expecting such a huge crowd.

If you look at the crowd in this picture:

you'd be amazed to find that it is only a small portion of this huge mass of people!

And this in turn is only part of the group demonstrating in that region. It's mind-boggling when you realise that there were a number of splinter groups there.

It is very evident that people want change.


Friday, 8 July 2011

We've Hit The New York Times

From the NYT:


Analysts say the Bersih campaign could help the political opposition.

"The opposition parties have jumped on this bandwagon because they would be direct beneficiaries of electoral reform," said Ibrahim Suffian, director of the Merdeka Center, an independent polling firm in Kuala Lumpur.

Describing Bersih's demands as "perfectly normal in terms of what's expected in a functional democracy," Mr. Ibrahim said that if large numbers of protesters turned out Saturday, it could slow the government's momentum after a recent series of by-election victories.

"I think that is the deeper concern: that a show of protest, a show of force by the opposition and NGOs demanding reforms from the government, could sway undecided people to feel that the government is not doing enough," he said.

Ong Kian Ming, a political analyst at UCSI University, said that the rally came at an "opportune time" for the opposition and that a violent crackdown on the protesters could be "a game changer" in the coming elections.

We've Hit BBC


Malaysia rally: Kuala Lumpur 'to be locked down'

Malaysian police have said they will block access to the capital Kuala
Lumpur for 24 hours because of a planned pro-electoral reform rally.
Major roads will be shut and public transportation suspended from
midnight (1700 GMT).

See How They Cheat

To all those gullible people out there who think that the government is no worse than any other: watch this and tell me if we have free and fair elections or not.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Heavy-Handedness Will NOT Stop Us

I have been publicising this Bersih 2.0 event since November 2010. Not for a moment did I expect that it would attract this level of heavy-handedness from the government.

A friend of mine who attended the first public event (the launch) organised by Bersih 2.0 was disappointed, saying that the demands were the same as with 2007 and the committee was too soft.

In many ways, I still feel the Bersih 2.0 steering committee is not aggressive enough for my liking.

I like Ambiga, I like Haris, and I like those guys and girls who are working hard to make this country a better place, but in my honest opinion, what we need is an arrogant a$$hole like Ibrahim Ali (but not as stupid) to lead this movement.

The government is obviously frightened by this force, but not frightened enough of the individuals. Heck, the government doesn't even have an ounce of respect for the YDP Agong - so on second thought, maybe there really is no hope for the government after all!

The village idiot whom some call the Home Minister of Malaysia, undertook it upon himself to shamelessly defend the cow-head protestors and even said that their voices need to be heard.

Suddenly, when it came to the issue of Free and Fair Elections - which is infinitely more important than the bimbo issue that the cow-head protestors were getting their polka-dot panties in a knot over - the heavy-handedness appeared.

Double standards? Hell yeah!

Words like "stubborn", "disobedient", and "uncooperative" are being thrown at the Bersih 2.0 steering committee by the authorities. This assault on our senses is perpetuated by the mainstream media which has been ordered to vilify the Bersih 2.0 rally.

The word "illegal" has been used so many times that I am tired of it. And even immune to it.

Even now, I just watched the news on TV. The sanctimonious little top cop said that the organisers of this "illegal" rally were so "degil" and "cuma nak lawan je".

Some don't even get the irony of their own words. The news presenter said, "... of the illegal rally by the Coalition for Free & Fair Elections..."

I wondered how free and fair could be illegal.

The possibility is that tomorrow and on Saturday, all internet and mobile communications will go dead. We won't be able to contact each other. This will make it difficult for us to gather and coordinate our movements.

No prizes for guessing that we have become a police state.

Death threats. Bomb threats. Warning on revocation of citizenship. Preventive detention. Arrest of hundreds for wearing Yellow T-shirts.

But we need to fix that, and as the Bersih 2.0 steering committee say:

"Our first and foremost responsibility is to our future and our children, and we have resolved that they shall inherit a nation ruled by not by fear, but by the principles of justice.

Whatever happens between now and then, the rakyat will gather peacefully in an orderly fashion to call for clean and fair elections at Stadium Merdeka on the 9th of July at 2pm. We are coming, we will be peaceful and together, we will build a better Malaysia."

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Article On Asian Democracy In The Australian

Asian democracy crusades take root

By Gerhard Hoffstaedter

Bersih 2.0 has eight demands that ought to make elections fairer and more transparent, among them the use of indelible ink as well as the strengthening of public institutions and wiping out corruption. Clearly, the latter are aspirational demands and the former commonsense ones that the electoral commission could feasibly act upon without controversy.

The electoral commission chairman, Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, however, has accused Bersih 2.0 and its chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan, a former Bar Council president, of being supported by opposition parties and thus being political.

The government is trying to hinder this rally as it is seen as an opposition ploy to undermine the government parties. Reactionary movements such as Perkasa, an NGO that aims to keep Malay special rights in Malaysia, are seizing on this and portraying Bersih in a racial (political) light. They claim the rally will cause chaos in Kuala Lumpur. Perkasa, with several other right-wing organisations, has called for an alternative demonstration to counteract the electoral reform push. Their posturing is meant to discourage Bersih marchers.

Why would anyone want to stop any movement toward electoral democracy and a transparent electoral process?

The main reason is that "clean" politics would diminish UMNO's stranglehold on federal parliament and the considerable government's coffers. Already, the government has responded with mass arrests, declaring Bersih 2.0 illegal.

In addition, Bersih is in effect telling the world the current Malaysian government is corrupt and that elections in Malaysia are corrupt. No government likes to hear this from their own citizens, and it will be instructive to see how the government responds to Bersih's demands. It has wielded the usual tactics of delay and containment, recently arresting key political figures in the campaign.

Read the whole article on the web, it's too good to miss.

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Media Campaign Against BERSIH

From Human Rights Watch:

(Bangkok, June 30, 2011) – The Malaysian government should immediately end its crackdown on the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih) and release everyone arbitrarily detained for involvement in its activities, Human Rights Watch said today. Police should return all Bersih-related materials confiscated during the past week and cease pursuing spurious criminal charges, including sedition and “waging war against the king,” against peaceful political activists, Human Rights Watch said.

On June 29, 2011, police raided Bersih’s office at the organization Empower, arresting seven people and confiscating computers, office equipment, Bersih literature, posters, and t-shirts. According to the inspector general of police, Tan Sri Ismail Omar, 101 people have been arrested on various charges in the past five days for promoting what he termed an “illegal assembly,” namely Bersih’s planned march in Kuala Lumpur on July 9.

“The Malaysian government’s crackdown on an electoral reform group shows utter disregard both for free expression and for the democratic process,” said Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “Governments that elected Malaysia to a second term on the UN Human Rights Council might feel duped.”

The Malaysian government, instead of responding substantively to Bersih’s eight-point electoral reform program, has begun an apparent campaign to discredit the coalition and to scare off Malaysians who had considered participating in the July 9 march.

A campaign to discredit the BERSIH coalition? How, you may ask.

Answer: The mass media.

With the Bersih 2.0 rally just around the corner, the authorities have launched a media campaign to label the rally as an illegal gathering to the extent that TV stations are required to submit daily reports detailing their news coverage on the rally.

Daily reports detailing their news coverage on the rally!!!

Forget other events that deserve the publicity - the BERSIH rally must be of top priority to be smeared.

Bernama Has A Bizarre Sense Of Humour

The guiding light of the true journalist: accuracy.

Now this is ironic because Bernama almost NEVER reports any bit of news accurately, at least where politics is concerned.

And a priceless gem from the PM:

He said while the internet made it easier than ever to get a story out first, it also made it easier than ever for the readers to know of a journalist who did not get it right.

"It allows them to rapidly check facts, analyse claims and decide for themselves about the truth of the matter.

"And once your readers decide that your reporting is not accurate and cannot be trusted, you will find that they very quickly cease to be your readers at all," he said at the National Press Club (NPC)-Naza Awards 2011 here Monday night.

I guess they have already deduced why no one reads The Star and New Straits Times anymore :-)

Sunday, 3 July 2011

BERSIH 2.0 International Rally

In Malaysia, the BERSIH 2.0 rally wouldn't last even 2 hours before the heavy-handed authorities clamp down on the participants.

However, there are Malaysians living abroad in countries that do not have a fascist government. And these Malaysians have decided to rally as well in certain cities.

These are the 24 participating cities around the world.

UTC + 12 - New Zealand
UTC + 10 - Canberra, Australia
UTC + 10 - Sydney, Australia
UTC + 10 - Melbourne, Australia
UTC + 10 - Adelaide, Australia
UTC + 10 - Hobart, Australia
UTC + 09 - Osaka, Japan
UTC + 09 - Seoul, Korea
UTC + 08 - Manila, Philippines
UTC + 08 - Perth, Australia
UTC + 08 - Taipei, Taiwan
UTC + 08 - Hong Kong
UTC + 08 - Singapore
UTC + 07 - Bangkok, Thailand
UTC + 09 - Jakarta, Indonesia
UTC + 01 - Austria (FB event for the moment)
UTC + 01 - Zurich or Bern, Switzerland
UTC + 01 - Paris, France
UTC + 00 - Edinburgh or Glasgow, Scotland
UTC + 00 - United Kingdom
UTC - 04 - Ottawa, Canada
UTC - 04 - New York City
UTC - 04 - Washington DC, USA
UTC - 07 - San Francisco, USA
UTC - 07 - Los Angeles, USA

Go to this Wiki-Bersih page for more information.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Perkasa Wants To Join Forces With BERSIH???

Talk about bizarre.

From the NST:

.....Pertubuhan Pribumi Perkasa Negara (Perkasa) vice-president Musli Oli said the police could arrest as many people as they wanted, but it would not change their message.

"The people are no longer afraid because we are becoming increasingly aware of our rights to freedom to choose our government."

In a surprising deviation from what his president, Datuk Ibrahim Ali, has been saying, Musli said he believed Perkasa and Umno Youth should join forces with Bersih.

"If there is dishonesty on the government's part, all political parties must band together to correct that error, in this case, unfair election processes," he said.

Ibrahim could not be reached for comment.

Construction Flaws In Lynas Refinery

I don't want to sidetrack from the main issue in these past few weeks, but I thought there may be some of you out there (especially those in Kuantan) who might be interested in this article from the New York Times.

Of main concern is this: The Fear of a Toxic Rerun

But the construction and design may have serious flaws, according to the engineers, who also provided memos, e-mail messages and photos from Lynas and its contractors. The engineers said they felt a professional duty to voice their safety concerns, but insisted on anonymity to avoid the risk of becoming industry outcasts.

The problems they detail include structural cracks, air pockets and leaks in many of the concrete shells for 70 containment tanks, some of which are larger than double-decker buses. Ore mined deep in the Australian desert and shipped to Malaysia would be mixed with powerful acids to make a slightly radioactive slurry that would be pumped through the tanks, with operating temperatures of about 200 degrees Fahrenheit.

The engineers also say that almost all of the steel piping ordered for the plant is made from standard steel, which they describe as not suited for the corrosive, abrasive slurry. Rare earth refineries in other countries make heavy use of costlier stainless steel or steel piping with ceramic or rubber liners.

This sounds like a serious hazard.