Sunday, 29 December 2013
Najib Razak's step-son had bought this apartment at least a year ago. Obviously, like his dear mother, he had saved up all his life and bought it. That family ought to give financial tips on how to save money.
Or maybe not.
They could certainly give tips on how to spend it.
Interestingly, I suspect the news got out because of the film that was released in the US on Christmas Day. "The Wolf of Wall Street".
Yes, it was produced by Najib's step-son's company.
Interestingly, it bears a striking resemblance to the issue at hand. Of stealing. Of spending money that doesn't belong to you.
Because that is precisely what this movie glorifies, and exactly what the main character in this movie does. Jordan Belfort is his name and his greed and lack of integrity is part of the reason why America was brought down to its knees.
This is a very interesting open letter to the director and main star of the film by Christina, the daughter of one of Jordan Belfort's accomplices/associates named Tom Prousalis.
It is very apt and describes what greed could do to men, be they American or Malaysian.
Read The Sarawak Report for more information on this topic.
Monday, 25 November 2013
Wise words from Zaid Ibrahim.
This is in response to the Prime Minister who first brought up the topic of patriotism HERE:
KUALA LUMPUR: Tax evasion is a treasonous act as it tantamounts to deterring the country’s development, says Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak today.
Instead, Najib described paying taxes as patriotic since an increased government revenue would be used for infrastructural growth, for example.
Except government revenue hasn't been used for infrastructural growth. It's been used for bribing constituents into voting for BN in Sabah and Sarawak. It's been used to ferry plane loads of Bangladeshis into the country.
With such treasonous acts, he is in no position to talk about patriotism.
Sunday, 24 November 2013
It is natural that property prices would go up, especially at the prime areas of Kuala Lumpur, which is a vibrant and attractive city.
But there is no legitimate reason why it should have increased by such a high percentage -- more than 100% in some cases! Also, not all KL property is posh and new.
No bones about it, the federal government is out to tax the citizens of Kuala Lumpur for what it's worth. Bear in mind, the majority of KL voted for the Opposition, and not for BN, knowing how corrupted and worthless BN is.
This is the best way that BN can punish the urban voters -- by hitting at their pockets.
Apart from stupid remarks from ministers like, "Take it positively that your property value is higher", little else has been done. Boring, insignificant and irrelevant anecdotes like a minister's wife owning a penthouse and other properties in and around KL and having to pay for it has been bandied about.
I couldn't care less about a BN minister (or his wife), and neither can most KL citizens.
So 11 MPs were tasked with sorting out the issue with the federal government.
But this is how sneaky the government is: they made the MPs sign into the official secrets act, which means divulging any information regarding this fiasco to the public would make it a criminal offence.
So we're back to square one here.
The question is: will people submit to the bullying tactics of the BN government and choose to vote them in at the next General Elections (like East Malaysians perpetually do), or will people stand up and fight back?
What are the people of KL really like?
Sunday, 10 November 2013
It's not snatch thieves that you have to be worried about these days.
It's the far more violent robberies where the perpetrators don't hesitate to kill.
Everyone knows someone who has been affected in some way. Gone are the days when you had to worry about pickpockets. I still maintain a clear distance of everyone who walks past me.
But even sitting alone in your car, waiting for an appointment could be dangerous, as a friend discovered. A gang of men broke his car window and tried to pull him out. But he managed to turn his ignition on and sped away. He was later informed by the police that there were 3 robberies in that very location that day.
Just about every housing estate is now gated. The guards presumably profile every visitor before they let them in. My sister, mother and I have never been denied entry. But I do wonder what the criteria are.
Crime has become so rampant that even the New York Times has a feature on it: Wave of High-Profile Crimes Has Put Malaysians on the Defensive
It doesn't help that the authorities are so incompetent and ignorant. They start off by denying the problem exists. Then they decide that they will instruct the police to shoot first and ask questions later.
Any criminal will be emboldened, knowing that the men tasked to stop them are not worth the words that come out of their mouths.
But there is another problem: one of poverty that has not been addressed, and needs proper looking into.
Saturday, 2 November 2013
But it's directed at Najib, who is superb at dealing with foreign media and politicians, but hopeless at dealing with his own countrymen, from his own party to the voters who can't wait to get him and his party out.
I mean, look at how he and Amanpour are cosied up together like BFFs. Seriously. That woman needs a social life.
To make matters worse, he claims to be protecting the marginalised. Who? The majority.
Ahem. Yes. The majority.
Obviously, the minority can take care of themselves, which is why he casts a blind eye at the Penans, who have their homes torn down and their land deforested. And their women raped.
He's too busy taking care of the marginalised majority.
Oh yeah, he sings to the gallery. He says what the western world wants to hear. He waxes lyrical about moderation and the Muslim world.
Dei tamby. The western world isn't voting for you. They really don't give two fags about you. All they want is the oil you can supply and the money you have.
Malaysians can't stand you.
You have never been able to persuade us of your sincerity, because you simply have NONE.
Saturday, 14 September 2013
Some of you may have watched a movie called The Kite Runner. Actually it's a book by Khaled Hosseini, and I only came across it when I was living in the UK.
It describes the life of a Pashtun boy whose friend is Hazara. There is a certain amount of racism against the Hazara people who are one of the minorities (who have Mongolian ancestry) in Afghanistan. The Pashtuns are Sunnis while the Hazaras are Shiites.
Anyway, both the book and the movie describe what Afghanistan was like before the invasions by the Soviet Union, Taliban and United States of America.
Most notable is the way the women were: back in the 1960s, it appeared to be a carefree life, with educated, identificable and sociable women on the streets.
These days, the women look like walking clothes bundles. Their clothing is possibly designed to make them look as unattractive as possible as prescribed by the omniscient Taliban.
It can get depressing if you go deep into their history. I'm sure that no one expected, back in the 1960s that the state of their once proud nation would deteriorate to such levels.
The people did not elect or assign a mandate on the Taliban on a whim. It all happened because the Russians invaded, took over lands, made all sorts of rules and regulations, raped the women, stole from the men and generally made it an unpleasant place to live.
People then started moving out of there. It started steadily, but like a small stream and then started gushing like a torrent.
But the Soviet Union was defeated, and in place of them came the Taliban. Interestingly, Talib means 'student' and these guys were the students of Islam. The fundamentals of the religion. But their fervour was unchecked and they went overboard on the basics.
They probably thought that covering up their women was the solution to them not being raped. But in essence, it wasn't their skin that made them vulnerable, but the attitude of the invaders towards them.
They possibly thought that this invasion was a form of punishment by God for their past mistakes, so naturally, they outlawed homosexuality, sports, any form of entertainment including music, films, dancing etc.
Outlawing it does not mean that everyone adheres to the rules; it simply goes underground as demonstrated in The Kite Runner, where the childhood bully uses the little boy (son of the Hazara kite-runner) for his sexual pleasures.
It is sad to think of how nations can sink to such depths.
Saturday, 7 September 2013
She's described herself as a banker, dealer and a neutral market watcher, and from the photo on her Facebook site, she appears to be an attractive young woman with an equally good-looking husband. And she speaks fairly good English. At least she writes well.
The reason I brought her up is that I read something she had written on her site that just went viral.
I read it because two of my friends had shared the post on their site as well. Both friends were non-Malays. They could have been friends of hers or have friends who know Liz Adinan.
More importantly, I want to highlight that among the educated and open-minded Malaysians, there is no longer hesitance in sharing a post, as long as it's well-written and makes sense, regardless of race or religion.
UMNO may moan about how Melayu akan hilang di dunia (some illogical prose about Malays fading away in oblivion), but the truth is, a Malay has nothing to fear, living amongst the same Chinese and Indians he has lived with for the past few hundred years for they are his brothers.
So to wax lyrical about how Tanda Putera is true history (when everyone knows it isn't) and that it should be taught in schools is not only insulting to the non-Malays, but also to the Malays.
Liz Adinan never expected her post to be shared by so many. In a subsequent post, she states it was 4000 and counting. When I took a screen shot of it on Facebook, it was at 6759 Shares and 1424 Likes.
She talks about capital outflows due to lack of confidence from foreign investors causing the Ringgit to drop against the US Dollar. She points out how Bank Negara has revised the GDP to reflect a lower percentage (4.5-5%). And she mentioned the lack of action on the part of the government before the elections to counter the increasing trade deficits and debts.
Her warning is timely.
And yes, Malaysians of all walks of life are sitting up and paying attention -- because she makes sense.
Not because of her race/religion/gender.
Monday, 2 September 2013
After all, they are the nation that gave us Aladdin (of Arabian Nights) and the computer game Prince of Persia is based on that very nation.
Sure, they were different to most Arabs, in that they were Shi'ite Muslims, as opposed to Sunnis. And they also had another religion called Baha'i (lesser known, and apparently illegitimised in Iran -- but that is a different story altogether).
For the most part, the Iranians were very Westernised, having a ruler who had been educated in a Swiss boarding school and installed by the Americans (yes, the Yanks had to have their finger in that, too) and British.
The pictures below show young Iranians going about their daily life; perhaps some a throwback from the hippies of the 60s, but for the most part, a reflection of their times and their ruler the Shah, who was eventually deposed during the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
|Iranians having a picnic in the 1970s|
The students from Sharif University could easily be mistaken for students from Britain or America. Iran was a developing nation; which some say was on par with South Korea and Singapore.
|Students at Sharif University, Teheran in the 1970s|
But things took a turn for the worse. When the Shah (Mohammed Reza Pahlavi) was deposed, the mass support went behind a religious leader called Ayatollah Khomeini.
|Voters at the June 2013 elections|
Today, the women of Iran look very different to those in the 1970s.
Some say it's progression, others say regression.
I think it's a cycle that afflicts nations that have corrupt rulers. The Shah came from a dynasty of rulers, his father was the Shah too before he was replaced by his son under the watchful eye of the Americans.
The new Shah was no better: he didn't understand the hearts and minds of his citizens. His father forbade traditional Islamic clothing, separation of the sexes and veiling of women in Iran.
That was not a good move for a nation that was prominently religious in nature. In fact, it is as equally invasive and oppressive as forcing women to veil or wear a burkha.
When the revolution came, the Shah was ousted by about 3 million Iranians who took to the streets. This was a rejection of poverty (not everyone in Iran was fabulously wealthy), of corruption, and of extravagance.
If you're wondering what extravagance is, the Shah's third wife (he divorced the first two because he had no male heirs) had a Yves St Laurent gown and Noor-ul-Ain Diamond tiara for her wedding.
I suppose that pales in comparison to what UMNO and their minions do to Malaysia by plundering its coffers, but then again, we are peace-loving Malaysians and not as hot-headed as the Iranians.
Shah Reza Pahlavi also grew increasingly brutal and autocratic when he realised that there was discontent among the Iranians. Freedom of expression was stifled.
The Iranians, on their part, had had enough of corruption and what they deemed as Western afflictions. They wanted someone noble and pious, someone who wouldn't rob them of their wealth or blindly do the bidding of the Americans.
Ayatollah Khomeini was their answer.
But like Afghanistan and their Taliban, when there is no "separation of church and state" or perhaps separation of religion and state, there is abuse of power and religious leaders impose their own wills.
And so, Iran is what it is today.
How about Afghanistan? Next up.
Related: Open Letter to Reza Pahlavi
Watch: Argo trailer
Saturday, 31 August 2013
I have been documenting various reports on the Malaysian brain-drain, but to date, no measures have been taken by the BN government, simply because they do want the Chinese (who make up the majority of the migrants) to leave.
So a bunch of them do leave for greener pastures. But not for good.
If the BN government thought they were rid of this bunch, they were wrong. Desperately wrong.
These motley crew of disillusioned and disgruntled walk-outs may be far in physical distance, but emotionally close to the nation that gave birth to them.
They're back, stronger than ever, thanks to the issues highlighted by BERSIH.
They're interested in the progress of the nation, and are not afraid of the BN government.
Thanks to the exchange rate, this group is probably also responsible for funding projects carried out within Malaysia by social and political activists.
So much for the BN government's hopes and plans of unrestricted domination.
Sunday, 25 August 2013
Was that proven to be unachievable, or perhaps even a contradiction to reality?
The administration of Najib Razak shows that when one fails, one must try again.
If the first slogan doesn't quite catch fire, try again. Datuk Seri Najib Razak is set to launch a new branding approach for Malaysia, aimed at galvanising Malaysians after the fractious Election 2013.
The new campaign, called "Endless Possibilities", is slated for launch on September 17, a day after Malaysia celebrates the 50th anniversary of its founding, sources told The Malaysian Insider.
Read the rest here: After 1Malaysia falters, Putrajaya goes for “Endless Possibilities”
Tuesday, 20 August 2013
But that does not silence Ms. Rewcastle Brown, who is one of the most effective voices calling attention to deforestation in Malaysia.
The booming economy there, she contends, has been fueled in part by the country’s willingness to tap its natural resources in ways that have enriched the leadership of her native Sarawak, a vast state on Borneo Island long known for its stunning natural beauty and biodiversity.
Through Internet postings and shortwave radio transmissions from London, Ms. Newcastle Brown has given voice to growing concerns among Malaysians about environmental degradation. She spreads her message on social media, her Sarawak Report Web site and broadcasts on Radio Free Sarawak.
Read the rest: Barred From Malaysia, but Still Connecting With Critical Jabs
Wednesday, 14 August 2013
If you're wondering where it is, it's in the Southwest corner of the Republic of Ireland. County Kerry, to be specific.
It was a two-week road trip anyway, and we stopped by at every little quaintness we saw.
Most of it just rolling hills and meadows as we burned up the miles.
We were actually headed for Brandon Point. The other half had a painting of it, and wanted to see the real thing.
We hiked up a bit and the view was gorgeous.
The waves of the Atlantic slammed against the cliffs, which I found really impressive, but I thought of all those people who left Ireland for a better life in the United States a few centuries ago.
Did they regret leaving the beauty and serenity of their homeland?
Friday, 2 August 2013
He was really keen to expose the alleged link between police and the underworld.
But his enthusiasm for exposing crime came with hazards.
He claimed harassment by several individuals and was followed by a group of men while having a drink with his friend at a popular coffee joint at the LCCT airport.
So he lodged a report at the Sepang police station.
No action was taken.
A few days later, he posted on his Twitter account that a hired gun was out to get him, saying: "A @PDRMsia cop told some syndicate fellow that he'll get them firearm & told them to fire few shots at my house to scare me/family!"
And then just eight hours later, he got shot in the abdomen while he was driving his car in a sleepy little town.
So this beggars the question: Why did he get shot?
This is the first time I have heard the concept of being "too outspoken". Things do not get resolved if you're not outspoken.
There is no point in being enthusiastic about anything if one is not outspoken. One is the consequence of the other -- and it is a good thing.
But evidently, not everyone seems to think so. Certainly not the former Inspector General of Police, who is obviously implicated in this matter:
Former police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan considers Crime watchdog My Watch president R Sri Sanjeevan as too outspoken until a party decided to shoot him.
He said that he had advised Sanjeevan not to be outspoken and to solve several issues through the right channel.
“Sanjeevan is too outspoken, and I’ve advised him that if has any information, he needs to go to MACC. If he wants to cooperate with the police, do it properly. Cooperate with the police that he trust, give them (the information) for them to take action. But he decided to do his own monitoring. He was in Jempol to monitor and he received threats,” he told Astro AWANI.
Apparently, according to the former IGP, the "right" channel is the MACC (Malaysian Anti-Corruption).
Obviously, that wasn't a safe channel for Teoh Beng Hock or that Customs Officer who suffered a similar fate.
If there is a connection between the police and the underworld, the last place to go, last people to trust, last course of action are the police. (The second last would be the underworld, of course -- in case you were wondering).
So it's natural that one would be suspicious of the incidents surrounding this shooting. Who is implicated?
All fingers point in the same direction.
Guess who's touchy.
Wednesday, 31 July 2013
It is pure, unadulterated drivel from the mouth of one who is illegitimately in the role of a national leader.
PUTRAJAYA: Action that touch Muslim sensitivities must stop or else it will create tension just like what is happening in other Muslim countries.
Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the action by certain quarters should not happen in a country that is enjoying the peace.
“This shows that there is no deep understanding within society.
“Muslims do not insult the religion of non-Muslims such as Christianity and Hinduism.
“But non-Muslims are insulting our religion,” he said at the breaking of fast with orphans of Rumah Amal Kasih Bestari here last night.
Whoa there, Quasimodo.
Muslims do not insult Christians? Really?
Did Muslims not raid a Christian community thanksgiving dinner?
Did the Muslims not firebomb 5 churches and 1 school? I personally have proof of a church that got razed in case anyone is planning to deny it.
And how about the way Muslims treat the Hindus?
Have people forgotten how a bunch of fools carried a severed and bloodied cow's head AND stepped on it to show contempt for another religion?
The cow is a sacred animal for Hindus. It was done deliberately to provoke anger and is the ultimate display of contempt and disrespect.
Upon realising how bovinely stupid they looked, they made a lame attempt at denying it, saying that the appearance of the cow's head at the protest remains a mystery.
I could go on about the temples that they've demolished, and the dead bodies of Hindu men that they've snatched in a last ditch attempt to convert them.
Stealing dead bodies!! How low could one stoop if you don't even let the Hindus pay their last respects to their dead loved ones?
At this point, it's pretty evident that you don't need the non-Muslims to insult the Muslims, because really, no one can insult Islam as well as the Muslims themselves.
Monday, 29 July 2013
He started off writing a book called The Malay Dilemma, where he recited the 'failings' of the Malay race and how they needed to be controlled and manipulated (perhaps not in those exact words).
Apparently, there is now a Chinese version of it.
Excerpt from the Malaysian Insider:
It is giving the DAP or Anwar Ibrahim far too much credit to suggest that many Malaysians voted for them because of their rhetoric or electoral promises.
It is also plainly dishonest to say that Chinese voted for DAP because they wanted political power.
Read the rest: No dilemma, Dr Mahathir, just the need for a better Malaysia
Saturday, 27 July 2013
Friday, 19 July 2013
Last week, the Malaysian government announced its allocation of public university seats for the upcoming academic year.
Only 19 percent of Chinese students got places, along with 4 percent of Indians despite the fact that the two together make up about 30 percent of the student population.
Last year, Chinese students got 23 percent, in line with their proportion of the overall population.
That was the first tangible fallout from the 13th general election held on May 5, in which the Barisan Nasional, the ruling national coalition, won 133 of the 222 seats in the Dewan Rakyat, or Parliament, preserving its majority despite the fact that it only received 47.38 percent of the popular vote against 50.87 for the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition headed by Anwar Ibrahim.
The second came yesterday with the revelation by Democratic Action Party National Publicity Chairman Tony Pua of the award of a RM1 billion (US$314 million) commuter railway project in the massive government-backed Iskandar development in the southern state of Johor to Metropolitan Commuter Network Sdn Bhd, a 60:40 joint venture between Malaysian Steel Works Sdn Bhd and KUB Malaysia Bhd, both of which are linked to UMNO, to build and operate a 100 km inter-city rail service in Johor.
According to an official with the company quoted in local media, Masteel will receive a 37-year build-own-transfer arrangement on the project despite the fact that it is slated to break even in 12 years.
Although Masteel says the project was a private sector initiative dating from 2008, it is inconceivable that it would have been granted without the imprimatur of the government.
Read the rest here: Post-Election Payback Time in Malaysia
Repeal Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958
If you're wondering what Section 9A is, read on.
Section 9A of the Elections Act 1958 stipulates that:
“After an electoral roll has been certified or (and) re-certified, as the case may be, and notice of the certification or (and) re-certification has been published in the Gazette as prescribed by regulations made under this Act, the electoral roll shall be deemed to be final and binding and shall not be questioned or appealed against in, or reviewed, quashed or set aside by, any court.”
This in substance means that once an electoral roll is gazetted, it cannot be challenged in court. The Election Commission has absolute power in controlling the electoral roll and cannot be challenged, even in the presence of elements of fraud legally proven or admission of irregularity by the Election Commission itself.
I'm not putting up with this; I hope you're not either.
Thursday, 18 July 2013
Concerns that the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will be disadvantageous to Malaysia are largely misplaced as negotiators will certainly safeguard the country's economic and trade interests during the trade talks.
If you're wondering where that came from, it was taken from the frivolous rag known in these parts as the New Straits Times.
Now just about everyone knows that when the NST publish anything, they are almost certainly lying.
They just can't help themselves. If you asked them a straight forward question like what two plus three was, they'd feel compelled to lie and say any other number than five.
In this case, it's not so much a case of lying. There are plenty of lies in the rest of the article should you have the poor sense and judgment to read it seriously (you may, of course, read it for comic value).
What was striking is that NST attempts to convince readers that Malaysian negotiators sent by the Malaysian government would have the capability to protect our best interests.
To begin with, the government is only interested in what it can gain for itself. Further to that, it is full of rank incompetents who joined the civil service because no one else would consider employing them.
They are in no position to safeguard anything, not even a coop of chickens.
NST should read aloud what it writes. Only then will it realise what baloney really sounds like.
P.S. You may find this interesting: NST Fell For It
Pakatan Rakyat has filed a lawsuit against all seven members of the Election Commission (EC) in a bid to seek, among others, a declaration that the results of the 13th general election are null and void.
PKR's Subang MP R Sivarasa said this is with regard to the EC members' alleged fraud in the botched implementation of indelible ink and 'biased' conduct.
"We want a specific court case to highlight and expose this issue and the main relief is the declaration that the EC failed to perform the constitutional duty, and maliciously and dishonestly engaged in fraud in the misuse of indelible ink in the 13th general election," he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby this morning.
"If the court agrees with us, then the logical conclusion is the results (of the general election) would be set aside. We want a declaration (for the outcome) in all 222 parliamentary seats to be declared void."
As a consequence of the alleged fraud, Pakatan is also seeking a court order for the removal of all seven EC members, including its chairperson and deputy chairperson.
Pakatan is further seeking damages from the seven EC members, but said the amount would be assessed by the court.
The suit was filed at 10am today at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
The plaintiffs - PKR, PAS and DAP and several individuals - were represented by constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas (left), who is the lead counsel.
The individual plaintiffs include two ordinary voters and PKR's Kulim Bandar-Bahru candidate Saifuddin Nasution, PAS' Kuala Selangor candidate Dzulkefly Ahmad and DAP's Cameron Highlands candidate M Manogaran.
'EC members must take responsibility'
PKR's Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar said the suit did not name the EC, but all seven individual members of the commission in their capacity as EC members.
The move, she explained, is for the individual members to take responsibility so that the buck will not be passed to the government if any damages are ordered to be paid.
"This (is the) best way to manage and hold the top seven (members of the EC) responsible for their action or abuse ... we want to protect taxpayers' money," she said.
Nurul Izzah noted that the EC is planning to conduct a redelineation process at the end of this year and said she hopes the hearing of the suit will be expedited to remove the EC members before then.
PAS' Kota Bahru MP Takiyuddin Hassan said that, despite the countless police reports about the 'removable' indelible ink, no action has been taken.
The DAP's Seremban MP Anthony Loke said the EC has continued to protect the identity of the supplier of the indelible ink, which has been found not to match the specifications.
The EC had initially said the indelible ink would last up to a week. On polling day, however, many voters found that they could wash it out within hours of having their index finger marked.
Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Shahidan Kassim later revealed that the ink only contained food dye and there was no silver nitrate, a critical component that makes the ink indelible.
Thursday, 11 July 2013
JUNE 28, 2013
He could have been in a comfortable teaching position somewhere in Malaysia, earning a decent salary, driving a Myvi and planning for a family. An everyday man charting an anonymous middle-class life, the Malaysian dream for many.
Instead, Adam Adli Abdul Halim has been arrested more times than even Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He has been assaulted and threatened with multiple legal action, including sedition. And he is not cowed.
And what about Safwan Anang, once prisoner No 3130 2770? He could be planning for a future in the civil service, employment that would give him job security, a comfortable life for his wife and baby on the way. A young Malay man making his way up the ladder.
Instead, Safwan Anang has also been arrested a couple of times, thrown into Sungai Buloh prison with murderers and rapists after he refused to pay a RM5,000 bail. And he too, is not cowed by the authorities.
Both these 24-year-olds belong to a group of young Malay political activists who have emerged in the last few years. They have taken a confrontational approach against the government, pushing for more democratic space and freedom for students.
They do not believe in submitting written requests or making representations to their elected representatives. They protest.
They speak without fear at forums and also take part in sit-ins as they did, pitching tents at Padang Merbok in the heart of Kuala Lumpur on June 22 after the Black 505 gathering. When they were eventually evicted from those tents, they made their way to Parliament House where Adam, Safnan and others were arrested... again.
Some of the activists are affiliated to Pakatan Rakyat or close to Opposition-friendly groups like Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia, Solidariti Anak-Anak Muda Malaysia and Gerakan Penuntut Akademi Bebas. Others are drawn by issues and the fact that their parents too are activists.
What is perhaps surprising is that many are the products of the New Economic Policy, the affirmative action programme designed to give Malays and other bumiputeras a leg up through quotas, scholarships and other special privileges.
So why are these Malays rising up against a system which in theory is stacked in their favour?
One reason, say pundits and political commentators, is that many Malays do not believe the NEP benefits the larger Malay population. They believe it is, instead, a vehicle abused by the elite and the politically connected to get rich.
With the gap between the have and have nots growing wider in Malaysia every year, this feeling of anger and disenchantment against the establishment has also grown.
Analyst Ibrahim Suffian of the Merdeka Center, the country's premier polling and research outfit, also noted that many young Malay activists are products of political Islam and have family members who are active PAS or PKR members.
They believe that it is their religious duty to fight oppression and injustice and have no fear of retribution from the state from doing so.
Adam, who has become a star among young Malaysian activists, says that he is fighting against irrelevant and outdated policies and laws, such as the legislation which restricts the involvement of students in politics.
He started small, upset at the policies formulated by Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris (UPSI), where he was a trainee teacher.
"I felt that the policies formulated by the university administration did not take into account the feelings and opinion of the students. There was no independent student union to fight for the rights of the students," Adam told The Malaysian Insider.
He came to national prominence in December 2011 when he lowered a banner with the image of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak during a demonstration at the Umno headquarters at the Putra World Trade Center.
He was called all sorts of names by the Umno-owned media, threatened with punitive action and eventually suspended by the university for three semesters.
But the fire burning in his belly was not put out.
Since then, he and fellow activists have regularly gone to the streets to protest on a variety of issues, from the suspension of law professor Dr Abdul Aziz Bari from the Islamic University of Malaysia to the Bersih rallies for fair elections to the need for academic freedom. Now the rallying cry is the need to save democracy in the country and challenge the alleged electoral fraud that occured in the 13th general election.
Every time he is arrested, Facebook pages are flooded with messages such as "We are all Adam Adli" and hashtags like #bebaskan Adam adli.
Some writers have drawn some similarities between the likes of Adam, Safwan and other young Malay activists with a certain student leader who was arrested in 1974 leading a protest against rural poverty. Anwar Ibrahim was detained under the ISA, became an even more famous leader after his detention and was courted by both Umno and PAS.
He joined Umno from Abim (a popular Muslim-based NGO at the time) in 1982 and rose up the ranks to become the deputy prime minister before being sacked by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in September 1998.
Ibrahim of Merdeka Center said that there is every chance that today's activists could be on the main political stage in 10 years. And it is also clear that both Umno and Pakatan Rakyat are trying to build bridges with the young firebrands.
Safwan, an Islamic studies student at Universiti Malaya and chairman of Solidariti Mahasiswa Malaysia, said that he and other activists have been labelled as pro-opposition but prefer to think of themselves as non-partisan agitators.
He says they are fighting injustices in the system and unjust laws and will carry on protesting even if there were a change in the government if that new government did not act on changes to the system to block election fraud.
Sometimes, their rage and drive even surprises the opposition. Safwan was upset with Pakatan Rakyat representatives for not boycotting the swearing-in ceremony. He and Adam were among those arrested outside the Parliament House on Monday.
In fact, in the wake of allegations of cheating at GE13, the political activists have taken the most hardline position: no end to demonstrations until there is full electoral reform.
"We will continue to pressure both PR and BN. We will continue to agitate them until the core issues are resolved," Safwan said.
His are not empty words. Recently, he became prisoner No 3130 2770 at Sungai Buloh Prison, the result of refusing to post the bail of RM5,000 after being arrested for sedition after speaking at a post-election forum.
Like other prisoners at Sungai Buloh – Anwar's home for six years – he was given a blanket and had to sleep on the floor. He spent the day reading the Quran and when his wife visited him, she was surprised to note how calm he was.
"I visited him and was proud because my husband was not a criminal. He is fighting for the truth, someone willing to sacrifice everything for justice," she wrote in Harakahdaily.net, the PAS news portal.
Indeed, these young activists enjoy strong support from their family members and this net of affection and admiration drives the likes of Safwan and Adam on. They expect to be arrested and have little fear of incarceration or demonisation.
Adam said: "I have overcome my fear of the authorities… My parents understand that what I am doing is right, something which needs to be done." - June 28, 2013.
Friday, 5 July 2013
The journalist, Clare Rewcastle Brown, who was sent back to Singapore, is the founder of the Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak, two news outlets that have taken on the Malaysian government on issues like deforestation and corruption in the state of Sarawak, on the island of Borneo.
A native of Sarawak, she has been in increasingly contentious battles with local power brokers and officials in the state since setting up the two news outlets in 2010.
In an interview on Thursday, Ms. Rewcastle Brown said she arrived in Malaysia on Wednesday at Kuching International Airport on an AirAsia flight from Singapore but was denied entry by immigration officials, who detained her and put her on the next flight back to Singapore.
Ms. Rewcastle Brown, a British citizen who operates her news sites from London, said she had last been let into Malaysia in 2011.
Malaysia recently held democratic elections in which its prime minister, Najib Razak, was re-elected. Critics said the government used its strong hand over the country's news media to help ensure that Mr. Najib remained in power.
During the campaign, the Sarawak Report was often inaccessible because of what it said were cyberattacks.
Officials in Sarawak State did not comment on the matter.
Malaysian officials have said Radio Free Sarawak is operating illegally because it does not have a license.
Read the rest: Malaysia Denies Entry to Journalist at New York Times
Also: Gordon Brown's activist sister-in-law Clare Rewcastle Brown denied entry to Malaysian state
Tuesday, 2 July 2013
Folks have started the "Object to the 118 Megatower, Cease the Warisan Merdeka Development Project Immediately" online petition.
They need your help and support in signing it and disseminating the information to get it off the ground.
Here's the link: http://chn.ge/18mP1a3
Please forward this link after signing it.
Monday, 1 July 2013
The former Congressman Ron Paul is a controversial figure but what he said about the PRISM programme and its whistleblower makes sense:
"My understanding is that espionage means giving secret or classified information to the enemy. Since Snowden shared information with the American people, his indictment for espionage could reveal (or confirm) that the US Government views you and me as the enemy."
Interestingly, it's not just the American citizens who are the enemy. It's you, me, Snowden and the Germans too.
According to a report (well, one of the documents leaked out by Snowden), the US taps half-billion German phone and internet activities a month.
US combs through half a billion of German phone calls, emails and text messages on a monthly basis and has classified its European ally on the same target level as China, a German news magazine revealed.
The NSA document leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden and published by Der Spiegel classified Germany as a “third-class” partner, on the same level as China, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, meaning that the US surveillance in Germany was stronger than in any other EU country.
"We can attack the signals of most foreign third-class partners, and we do it too," the document states.
It revealed that NSA monitors phone calls, text messages, emails and internet chat contributions and has saved the metadata (connections and not the content) at its headquarters.
NSA snooped through 20-60 million German phone connections and 10 million internet data sets a day, Der Spiegel claims.
In comparison, US tapped around 2 million connection data a day in France.
The only countries exempt from the surveillance attacks were Canada, Australia, Britain and New Zealand.
Talk about abusing your own allies.
I guess you're not an equal if you don't speak English like the rest of the big boys, who really hate being caught with their pants down.
It is amazing how Snowden has been vilified by the US government. He has been viciously called a traitor and a criminal. But what is truly criminal is the invasion of privacy by the government spying programme. All forms of spying is unethical, but this is really out of control.
Even more staggering, in my opinion, is this bit from Sovereign Man:
Yet amazingly enough, many polls show that roughly half of Americans think that Snowden is a traitor and should be prosecuted. And among the Twittering classes, the discussion quickly turned to Snowden’s ‘hot or not’ status as a potential sex symbol.
Such data is truly profound. Roughly half of Americans don't give a rat's eye about their own liberty. And it's obvious that the US government has every intention to continue these programs full speed ahead.
It worries me that people do not see the writing on the wall.
Sunday, 30 June 2013
After all, any wrong-doing or crime can be explained away with the help of the right connections and elimination of the pesky elements (like Mongolian models and private investigators).
Somehow, I get the impression that Khairy isn't feeling just quite so invincible at this very moment.
He says as quoted by theStar:
Well. The high crime rate would NOT be a serious problem in our country if policemen focused on just doing their job instead of going out to bother and provoke patriotic Malaysians who want their voices to be heard on the streets.
If only policemen investigated criminals instead of sex tapes allegedly of Anwar Ibrahim.
If only policemen went out to get proper evidence instead of simply killing the suspects in custody.
Saturday, 29 June 2013
So why would we need even more office space in the form of a 118 storey tower called, "Warisan Merdeka"? To begin with, most people don't even want it.
Two Malaysian landmarks, the Merdeka Stadium and Stadium Negara, will be eclipsed by a 118-storey tower that will affect the landscape and lives, a group of activists and politicians said in Kuala Lumpur today.
The RM5 billion project by Permodalan Nasional Bhd (PNB), which will include other buildings, is to be developed on a piece of land that was gazetted as a People’s Reserved Land. It has angered people, and not only because Kuala Lumpur City Council (DBKL) gave landowners 200 metres from the site 14 days to voice their complaints.
“We’re disappointed that the project was planned without the consultation of the people,” said Chua Tian Chang, the MP of the Batu constituency who is better known as Tian Chua.
The development known as Warisan Merdeka is right beside Stadium Negara and Stadium Merdeka, the latter an iconic landmark where Malaysia’s independence ceremony was held on August 31, 1957.
“We don’t see how a 118-storey tower adds any architectural value to the landscape of Kuala Lumpur,” said Chua.
Read the rest here: PNB’s 118-storey tower to impact heritage sites and neighbours
What kind of name is "Warisan Merdeka" anyway? In what way would a 118 storey building reflect the heritage of our independence as is what the name suggests?
The problem with these stupid, corrupt politicians is that the smell of money is so strong up their nostrils that they can't hear themselves think for the pounding of their avaricious hearts.
Because if they could, they would realise how stupid it sounds and appears.
Tuesday, 18 June 2013
Tan Twan Eng is the author of two novels (both of which have Asian themes -- Malaysian and Japanese, to be specific) which have been translated into other languages.
He has won awards for his writing, the latest being the Walter Scott Prize for The Garden of Evening Mists.
From the Telegraph:
Commenting on the prize, the judges said: “All the authors on this year's shortlist have written wonderful books, illuminating times and breathing life into personalities in a way that is enlightening and which brings lasting pleasure to the reader. However The Garden of Evening Mists is the book that left the deepest imprint on us.
Like many acclaimed Malaysians, he doesn't live at home anymore, though I doubt it makes him any less Malaysian.
And it doesn't mean I will be any less proud of him.
Monday, 17 June 2013
If you have been too busy to keep up with the news (or have taken up dwelling under a rock), the gist of it is that Snowden was a CIA programmer who was working on a project called PRISM that involved shamelessly unforgivable and unscrupulous spying on ordinary citizens.
His conscience presumably got the better of him and he spilled the beans to the Washington Post (which I once respected but now regard as a tool of those more equal than others) and the Guardian (a notably left-wing newspaper that can be a bit bunny-hugging at times but usually has its head screwed on).
Since then, the Americans have been trying to get their hands on him with a vengeance. But apparently, the ire is not limited to them Yanks. Guess what the Brits are up to:
KUALA LUMPUR — The British government asked Malaysia's national airline to block former spy Edward Snowden from boarding flights to the United Kingdom, the carrier told AFP Friday, after he leaked details of Washington's secret surveillance programmes.
The request came following reports that the UK had issued an alert to airlines around the world urging them not to allow the former CIA employee to board flights to Britain.
Britain's Home Office told carriers to deny Snowden passage on UK-bound flights because "the individual is highly likely to be refused entry to the UK", the Associated Press reported.
The news agency said it had seen a photograph of an "alert" with a Home Office letterhead taken Friday at a Thai airport issuing the directive.
It added that a British diplomat had confirmed the document was genuine.
A Malaysia Airlines spokeswoman in Kuala Lumpur told AFP Friday the carrier had received a notice asking it not to allow Snowden to board flights to the UK.
"We have received a notice and we have issued it internally systemwide," she said in a text message.
The notice was marked as a "message from UK border", said the spokeswoman.
"Apparently the notice came from UK Border. So don't allow him on flights to UK," she added.
On the subject of PRISM, Foreign Secretary William Hague has denied that Britain has done anything wrong but GCHQ's statement doesn't issue a denial of the allegations made by Snowden of complicity with the Americans.
To begin with, Edward Snowden is not stupid. There is no way he is going to waltz into Britain, the country he is equally implicating. So why issue formal restrictions?
Further to that, it is disturbing that Britain is acting as a running dog to the US government. This sort of fawning is expected of third world nations. This display of authoritarianism is more akin to China than any nation that professes to uphold human rights and democracy.
However, all is not lost; a British former solicitor with extensive data protection knowledge has this to say:
Data protection in the USA is often thought to provide too low a level of privacy protection for Uncle Sam's citizens, seen from a British perspective.
That the UK government doesn't appear to be supporting Edward Snowden's stance is accordingly disappointing.
Given that there is often data-sharing between US and UK security services, it can be thought highly likely that the UK will have benefitted from PRISM programme disclosures.
The whole issue requires detailed and thorough investigation to ensure that online privacy rights have not been breached and it is understood that the Information Commissioner is quite properly calling for such an investigation so as to ensure that the UK government holds to its obligations under binding international treaties.
It remains to be seen whether the UK government will indeed hold up its end of the bargain or whether it will too easily bow to US demands; tension is thought likely to arise behind close doors.
Perhaps the rest of the world ought to tell these two countries exactly what it thinks of them.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
But dictating terms to "lesser mortals" is what he considers a personal calling, therefore he is still at it:
Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad has urged the government to no longer be soft towards the opposition who continue to insult the nation's democratic system.
"We need to be a bit tough and not give them face," he told reporters after attending a dinner in conjunction with Langkawi International Dialogue (LID) 2013 here today.
He said the opposition who wanted to recognise the people's choice changed overnight when they failed to get majority support in the 13th general election (GE13).
"Initially, they wanted to recognise the people's choice but now they want to topple the government. They reject the democratic system and opt for street demonstration."
Read this, folks, and be outraged.
We don't need a low IQ politician telling us what or what not to think. Freaking thugs-with-fancy-self-ascribed-titles that they are.
Friday, 14 June 2013
But in the absence of miracles in this day and age, and a personal lack of prophetic abilities, I shall contend with a smug smirk at the damage on the UMNO building in Penang which occurred as a result of a freak storm.
I must say that I am impressed by the efficiency with which the Chief Minister has got his act together to deal with it.
I am particularly surprised that he has even taken it upon himself to sort out the UMNO building which belongs to his enemies.
It takes a big man to do that, and the people of Penang ought to be proud of him.
Friday, 24 May 2013
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Malaysian authorities detained three anti-government figures, charged a student activist with sedition and seized hundreds of opposition newspapers Thursday, raising political tensions after recent national elections triggered claims of fraud.
Opposition activists have staged numerous peaceful demonstrations since the May 5 general elections, which the National Front coalition won with a weakened parliamentary majority. The activists insist the coalition, which has governed since 1957, retained power through bogus ballots and other irregularities, though Prime Minister Najib Razak and electoral authorities deny manipulating the results.
The latest arrests involve Tian Chua, a senior official in opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's People's Justice Party; Haris Ibrahim, a rights activist who leads an anti-government group; and Tamrin Ghafar, an opposition party member. The men had criticized the National Front at a recent political gathering.
The three were arrested separately and taken to a police station where lawyers were informed they were under investigation for sedition and would be held overnight.
The Prime Minister's office issued a statement saying the men were detained "after the police received numerous reports against the defendants by members of the public."
"In such circumstances the police are required to investigate and are following due and proper process," the statement said, adding that the men would face "fair and open court proceedings" if charged.
After his arrest, Chua tweeted that Malaysians should not allow themselves to be "overtaken by fear (but should) continue to assemble peacefully and have faith."
Their arrests occurred hours after prosecutors charged student Adam Adli, 24, with making seditious statements that included calling for people to "go down to the streets to seize back our power" while addressing a political forum. He pleaded innocent at a Kuala Lumpur district court Thursday and was released on bail ahead of a hearing July 2.
Sedition as defined by Malaysian law includes promoting hatred against the government.
Rights activists have long criticized Malaysia's anti-sedition law as a tool to curb democratic dissent. Najib said last year the government planned to eventually abolish the Sedition Act, which was introduced in 1949 during British colonial rule, and replace it with new laws that would strike a better balance between allowing freedom of speech and ensuring public stability.
Adam, who was arrested last weekend, faces three years in prison and a fine if convicted.
Hundreds of people demonstrated peacefully in recent days against Adam's arrest. Adam became publicly known in 2011 when he brought down a flag bearing Najib's portrait at the ruling party's headquarters during a demonstration. He was subsequently suspended for three semesters from his teaching course at a Malaysian state-backed university.
Separately Thursday, the Home Ministry said it had seized more than 2,500 copies of newspapers published by opposition parties from stores nationwide since Wednesday. The government-issued publication licenses for those newspapers specifies they should be distributed among party members only and were not for retail sales, the ministry said in a statement.
Thursday, 23 May 2013
12:00PM May 17, 2013
Of late, many so called 'political leaders' and individual Malays of questionable repute have been urging not only Chinese, but Malays, Indians, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists and others to 'leave Malaysia' because of the dissatisfaction over the Election Commission's (EC) failure to be an entity of integrity as a fair referee in a political competition. It has taken all my personal strength and professional standing as an academic and as an acting civil servant to restrain my emotion and really give these people 'a piece of my mind'. If I were a retiree, I would really lash out at these people in my Penang colloquial style lingo!
But alas, I am a fully active civil servant and an established academic with an honest and reputable name. I am not like Ibrahim Ali who shows himself to be from a poorly developed cultural upbringing who knows nothing but spout venom to achieve his own personal game. He is not interested in the well-being of Malays, only himself. I have also none the luxury of a Zulkifli Noordin who masquerades as an 'Islamic Warrior' using the Quran not to please Allah the Most Beneficient, but to fulfill his own agenda of pleasing others who can give him material honour. He has forgotten or chooses to forget what the Quran says about selling the religion for a small gain.
If these two utter such words, I would have not paid much attention for they are clearly nobodies and need to constantly shout, rant and spite in order to be noticed. But when national leaders or the equivalent thereof ask Malaysians to leave their homeland, I feel that someone must remind these leaders politely in the old Malay kiasan or sindiran manner.
I will tell Malaysians how my father runs his family and how I fared with mine. My father was an ordinary police constable serving in the police force for 30 years. His number was 'Mata Mata 28847'. In honour of him, I have committed this number to memory ever since I could recognise them. My father passed Standard Three King Edward and speaks fluent English. I never get scolded in Malay but in English. My father displayed an exemplary style of leadership that would shame our present ministers.
On one occasion, my brother was offered a job as a teacher, a dream of any poor Malay parents rearing six children on a meagre salary. But my brother did not want this job and refused to report for duty. My father was angry but he never uttered the words of 'get out of this house'. Never. After that my brother chose to live in the storehouse in the police barracks and slept there with my father's old Vespa. Later in life my brother became a weather technician which he enjoyed immensely. He helped my father and me financially later on in life.
The next case was my eldest sister. She was pretty and bright but was forced to care for my other invalid brother, a victim of muscular dystrophy. My parents did not have the heart to send him away but because my mother suffered from anxiety disorder, my sister had to bear the brunt. When my sister rebelled and took it out on my mother, again my father said a few choice words but... Never... Get out of this house! Never.
Fast forward 45 years, I stand arguing with my eldest daughter about some matter. I shouted, "I do not want to see your face, get out to Nenek's house." For clarification, Nenek's house is also my other house for we own four houses within walking distance of the area. So in effect, I was not 'throwing my daughter out' but telling her to go to my other house! But she interpreted it to mean that I was throwing her out and that nearly cost our family's unity. After the storm was settled by my wife, I sat alone and admitted to myself that however hurtful my daughter's words were, she was but a child, but what was my excuse? I had almost crossed the line that my father laid down.
Now my daughter and I are closer than ever. She rewarded me with a beautiful grandson, the apple of my eye. And she became an academic bent on fighting racism and liberalising the idea of Islam in society. Double rewards! I could not be a happier man. But I almost lost everything with the utterance of those despicable words... 'Get out of my house!' Upon reflection, I wished that my father was still alive. He would have made a better minister for Malaysia, a primary third grader who speaks Queen's English, quiet but can put you in stitches with his jokes... and above all gentle with all the womenfolk... and of course very stern with his sons who are tasked to take care of the family. I, on the other hand, would probably never make a good minister of Malaysia for I almost failed the test. Perhaps that is why I remain at best an academic of many books and writings and a peddler of the quill to prick the conscience of society.
And thus the lesson here is that we are all one family. One Malaysian family. We Chinese, Indians, Malays, Dayaks, Kadazans. Yes, we Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims and others. We need responsible ministers as our 'parents' to be listening and choosing the wisest words to say not the first words and thoughts that come to mind in a heat of anger. The Malay proverb goes terlajak perahu boleh diundur tetapi terlajak kata... We may lose our family of Malaysia if those elected to the office treat their words callously. For me, the values of Islam guide me as a Muslim and the Rukunegara of kesopanan dan kesusilaan as my signpost of mature citizenry in Malaysia.
A family is a precious small nation - the first nation. A caring parent is all that it needs. A nation is a big family - the real nation. For a big family we must have a bigger caring minister.
PROF DR MOHAMAD TAJUDDIN MOHAMAD RASDI is a 23-year veteran academic and teaches architecture at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia. He specialises in mosque and Islamic architecture particularly that which relates to Malaysia using a hadith-based and socio-cultural approach in order to create the total idea of built environment suited for a whole social structure.
Thursday, 9 May 2013
Wednesday, 8 May 2013
For Malaysians, the national identity card is the most important document there is, apart from a birth certificate.
Without it, you cannot open a bank account, get a loan, renew your driving license, passport etc.
But on the 5th of May 2013, hundreds of identity cards were carelessly discarded for after the election, they were worthless.
And why? Because these are cards that do not belong to citizens born and bred in Malaysia. They were issued to foreigners purely for the purposes of voting for BN.
I know it shouldn't anymore, but it still shocks me that the government stoops so low to cheat in this manner.
The atrocities that happen in our nation are too shocking for many normal people to comprehend.
Sunday, 5 May 2013
It has all the information and evidence of cheating that you need to believe just how dirty this election is.
I am very amused by the Malaysia Airlines executive asking in a very careful and roundabout way if the airline was going to have to bear the cost of ferrying those illegal voters around.
This is by far the dirtiest election ever.
1. Vote early, defend your polling stations and also, if you can, test out the indelible ink on your finger with different solutions - bring along small quantities of soap, nail polish remover, alcohol swab etc.o use after voting -but away from prying eyes. And if the stain comes off, let the relevant NGO know right away.
2. You may also want to follow the suggestion regarding smudges. Take note too that if SPR Kerani 3 tries to fold your ballot paper before giving it to you, you have every right to tell him/her politely not to do that.
From New York Times:
Analysts say that Malaysia's 13.3 million registered voters have been given a stark choice: the continuation of a political and economic system based largely on race, by a group that has firmly held power since the country's independence in 1957, or a completely new direction with a combative but untested opposition promising dramatic changes.
"It's either to accept that we need to mature as a country and support reform, or be stuck in the old ways of semi-authoritarianism, controlled media, an economic policy lacking in transparency and using the old race-based economic policies," Mr. Anwar said in an interview.
Mr. Najib has countered with a "stay the course" argument, touting political, social and economic changes and saying that the government's policies have maintained Malaysia's status as a stable, modern emerging country with Southeast Asia's third-largest economy.
"That is why the opposition's call for reform has had a poor response from the people," Mr. Najib said during a campaign rally this week in the northern state of Terengganu. "Which is better: street demonstrations or respecting the law? Which is better: sowing discord in the community or inculcating good moral values?"
Hong Kong (CNN) - Malaysia's closest-ever election is also fast becoming what some have described as its most violent amid reports of petrol bombs, texted death threats and beatings in the weeks leading up to Sunday's poll.
Just days before polling booths opened, the potential for voter fraud was also being alleged after reports that indelible ink used to mark the fingers of advance voters was washing off with water.
"The whole purpose of introducing indelible ink is to cut off multiple voters -- that is now being compromised by low quality ink," said Maria Chin Abdullah from BERSIH 2.0, which campaigns for electoral reform.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Most countries, if not all, have had a dose of political intrigue, a few lofty falls from grace, or the embarrassing blunders of elected officials.
Yet even by this measure, the recent history of Malaysia has been utterly over the top.
The tight general elections set for Sunday have undoubtedly been influenced by the culture of scandal that has permeated domestic politics, but the outcome could determine if Malaysia is past all that or if it will sink deeper into the cross-fire of tabloid-style sleaze.
The two main players heading into the polls, one of whom will surely be the next leader of Malaysia, have hardly been immune, or averse, to political hardball.
Najib Razak, the prime minister, has vehemently denied links to the 2006 murder of a female Mongolian translator who was shot twice before her corpse was obliterated with C4 explosives in an abandoned field outside Kuala Lumpur.
Bone fragments linked the killing to two members of an elite police squad who have been described as Najib's former bodyguards. Both were sentenced to death by hanging.
The incident has been back in public re-play mode since March when a private investigator, who gave sworn testimony that placed Najib with the woman at a café in France, died of a heart attack. Najib took a public oath at a mosque to declare that he never met her.
His opponents, as could be expected, made public calls to re-open the case.
Read the rest: http://aljazeera.com/story/201352145851553210
Thursday, 2 May 2013
Najib now needs to win this election in order to rule Malaysia under his own mandate – but analysts conjecture that if the BN were to lose any more seats on Sunday, Najib could easily be replaced as leader of the country.
That may explain why Najib's party, Umno, has invested heavily in this election, says Malaysia expert Bridget Welsh at Singapore Management University. According to Welsh's research, Najib's administration has spent nearly 60bn ringgit (£13bn) on "election-related incentives" in the past four years, making this the most costly runup to any election in Malaysia's history.
Billboards around the country allude to the incumbent coalition as aproduk, or product, that lasts. Voters have been offered food coupons and cash for attending Umno meetings, while Najib himself has handed out thousands of cash bonuses to state-linked corporate employees.
"There is a clear orientation to find potential groups of voters, identify their immediate needs, and provide it," Welsh recently wrote in online news portal Malaysiakini. "The bottom line in the BN's strategy is that it assumes Malaysians can be bought."
Thursday, 25 April 2013
Underhanded tactics by the ruling coalition will only result in a vote for the Opposition.
Sunday, 14 April 2013
After 5 years and 2 months, a decent proportion of Malaysians are anxious to return to the ballot boxes with greater urgency than even the previous elections.
The fever is international. Malaysians from every corner of the world are either excitedly following the progress of the upcoming days or even flying the thousand miles to come home and vote.
This time, an international audience is also watching. Not content with the ruling coalition's morality (or lack thereof), Bersih has beseeched Australia to get involved.
“Australia can and must play a critical role in ensuring a close UN member, Commonwealth friend and long-standing ally like Malaysia heeds its democratic obligations and respects the rights of its citizens without resorting to widespread violence, intimidation and electoral fraud,” said Global Bersih.
Malaysians have had enough. In the last 5 years, the crime rate has increased drastically. So has national debt. Meanwhile, the quality of life has steadily declined.
When things were going well, people turned a blind eye to corruption, racist practices, cronyism and nepotism. But life has stepped up the pace (all over the world, not just in Malaysia) and people are just not willing to accept old practices anymore.
So what are Malaysians voting for? Is it a certain political party? Or a particular personality? Or is there more to it?
Perhaps virtue may have a hand in it?
Like maybe, Empathy? Accountability. Transparency. Integrity. Stewardship.
Do those still matter?
Interestingly, the airlines appear to be cooperating with those returning around the 5th of May.
Airlines are hoping to cash in on the huge interest in Malaysia’s upcoming May 5 elections by offering discounts and promotions to entice Malaysians living abroad to come home to vote.
“Fly Home to Vote” kicked it off, with cheap tickets offered by discount carrier AirAsia Bhd.
There are over one million Malaysians living and working outside Malaysia, according to MyOverseasVote, a group set up to campaign for the right of Malaysians abroad to vote. Roughly 40% work in Singapore and 20% in other Asian countries, the group said.
“We’re urging people to come back to vote and be sure that their votes will go to their preferred party because we’re gravely concerned about the possibility of fraud,” Bersih co-chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan told The Wall Street Journal.
National flag carrier Malaysian Airlines System Bhd isn’t offering any special fares, but it will allow Malaysians to change their flight schedules to around the election period free of charge, a company spokesperson said.
The elections were exciting the last time round. This time it's going to be riveting.