Friday, March 28, 2008

The Malaysian Drama - oh, the twists!

The Main Stream Media (MSM) is buzzing, is buzzing, so let me add my bit into the mix. The drama that is Malaysian politics has more twists then my mother's favorite soap-opera, The Bold and The Beautiful. In this case, it should be called - The Ugly and The Ball-Less.

So initially 22 assembly men from Terengganu supported the (then) approved candidate for the Mentri Besar post. They lead a protest, had people screaming at the choice of the Palace and called the Sultan of Terengganu names.
The boycott of the event announced on Saturday by the 22 Barisan Nasional assemblymen did not take place as none of them was invited to the function at Istana Tetamu, but they nevertheless arrived at 7.55am to deliver two letters.

The first letter was to indicate to the council that all 22 state assemblymen - the entire government bench except for Ahmad and outgoing menteri besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh - wanted Idris as leader of the state.

The second letter was to Ahmad to warn him that stern action would be taken by Umno should he accept the appointment.

The letters were hand-delivered to palace officials by state Umno liaison chief Datuk Rosol Wahid amid tight security outside the palace compound.

Article: NST
May I remind Pak Lah (PM - Abdullah Badawi) that he said Ahmad Said appointment was unconstitutional.
The Barisan Nasional chairman and Umno president said the majority of BN Terengganu elected representatives supported Idris.

"Therefore, any appointment other than his is against the Constitution and not valid."

Abdullah was referring to the appointment of Kijal state assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said as menteri besar.

Article: NST
A lot of hoo-haa and in the end total embarrassment on the PM's part and his backers. So what is first unconstitutional is now constitutional;
Q: Is the appointment of Ahmad constitutional?

A: It was done in accordance with the Terengganu state constitution. We don't want to engage on the issue of its legality. It has been more than two weeks since we were declared the winner, so it is our intention to ensure that the people of Terengganu have a government to look after their interests and carry out projects planned for the progress of the state.

Article: NST
What an about turn! Furthermore after saying that they would not support, they now support  en masse;
Barisan Nasional has decided to fully support Kijal assemblyman Datuk Ahmad Said as the new Terengganu Mentri Besar instead of its earlier choice Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi made the announcement after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting at the PWTC yesterday. 

Article: The Star
So here are a few questions that need answering:
  1. Will action be taken against the 22 assembly men who organized an illegal rally and insulted the Terengganu palace?
  2. Who are the PM legal advisors, who clearly advised him wrongly concerning appointments and his scope of power?
  3. Why was the Sultan of Terengganu, who happens to be the current Agong of Malaysia, so upset with Idris Jusoh? And the PM clearly had a part to play in that drama.
  4. How come BN people have rapid fire tongues and short-memories? They seem to be able to support, condemn a decision and make threats, yet in the same week reverse everything they said and decided?
So the drama has only unfolded. We are watching. It gets interesting by the day and to tell you the truth, I am amazed that the MSM is spinning this in such a way that the BN never put a foot wrong.

Stay tuned for the next episode of - The Ugly and The Ball-Less.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

UMNO please respect the Monarchy!

The following picture which appeared in Malaysiakini is proof enough that UMNO has no respect for the monarchy in Malaysia, neither do they have any respect to His Royal Highness; who has the right to 'fire' the PM is he so choose.

And the current PM, Abdullah Badawi is head of UMNO. So it's a case of then subject rebelling against his boss.

UMNO has shown itself to be such sore-losers since March the 8th. In more ways than one they have resorted to biting anything and anyone that pricks their fancy. They are reminiscent of the local school bully who finally realized that the geeks are not only smarter but way better than them. So what do these bullies do? They do what is natural to them, bite back. Under the guise of being the 'better' person they hit out. They do not play fair, pulling out every trick imaginable to cause harm onto their perceived enemies.

The same behavior was evident in Penang and now clearly seen in Terengganu. It makes you wonder the level of intelligence of some of these politicians. The more they hit back at the people who voted them, the greater the resolve of the people to see them removed. I would not be surprised, if come the next election; all of UMNO reps in Penang would be removed. 

Terengganu may just as well be handed over to PAS. The BN administration is only interested in the 1 billion ringgit in ehsan money that Terengganu is getting from the federal government while the people of Terengganu are the 2nd poorest in Malaysia. The 1 billion is not going to the people but is lining the pockets of a select few. No wonder the current Agong, who is also the Sultan of Terengganu, is upset.

So UMNO really needs to just shut-up and sit tight. Gain the respect of the people, prove to the people that they genuinely want to help the people and just move on. Stop issuing funny statements such as schools in the five (opposition) states should not invite local ex-co members for ceremonies in the school. Only government administrators are allowed to be invited.

Hello? Isn't the government of the day the administrators too. So whether you are opposition or not, you're a government administrator. Wouldn't it just be better for the federal government to just come clean and say, "Don't invite the opposition politicians to your school", rather than cook up half-baked reasons to justify your own bitter-ambitions?

UMNO is not the government, the people form the government and whoever the people choose is the government.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Don't SMS me, I don't want to be raped

I am surprised at the level of intelligence that our men in blue have. I have nothing against the Police force in Malaysia, a few of my relatives are hard working police-personnel but I can't say much about their leaders.

Hence the following remark made by a high ranking police head in Kelantan:
Kelantan police have recorded a 20% increase in rape cases with most of the victims being under 16.

“We are very concerned with the casual lifestyle adopted by the teenagers who use the short-messaging system (SMS) to interact with their friends,” said state deputy police chief Senior Ast Comm (II) Tuan Amiruddin Hamzah.

“As a result parents find it difficult to detect any immoral activities by their children,” he said at the state level celebrations to commemorate the 201st Police Day at the state police contingent headquarters.
SMS is my primary mode of communication with my family and friends. It's convenient and a hell a lot cheaper than calling people. So, I'm propagating casual living and so do the 21 million or so Malaysian who own a handphone.

It is a sad thing but I see this news report by the MCA owned Star as being another thing than merely a report on rape and "super-smart" policemen. It specifically named Kelantan which has been governed by PAS for the pass 18 years. It specifically mentions that the rise is evident in victims under 16 years old. In a way, it paints a picture of Kelantan as being wayward even when it is the most Islam of states in Malaysia. I think this is wrong.

Rape cases cannot be specifically pointed to a political environment neither onto religious affiliations. Rape is rape. An act of human evil that transcends religious, political and ethical lines. 

What the police should do is not to point out the mistakes of the victims but rather what are their measures in countering the rise. Have the police taken off rapist from the streets? What is the percentage for other states?

Another thing, victims are raped by someone they know and in most cases it's an evil family member. It does not necessarily mean it is a friend from outside. So SMS friends does not mean one will be raped. This seems to be implied by Tuan Amiruddin Hamzah in his statement above. So what then?

Should telcos be held responsible for allowing a casual lifestyle to creep into Malaysia? I can hear the telcos reeling in pain. Can I then sue the telcos for causing hurt to a love one because they were actively SMSing?

So scrapping SMS services would in turn reduce rape cases? Idiotic as it may seemed but who knows, the police need all the help in the world to reduce rape crimes.


Monday, March 24, 2008

Take care of your house before telling people what to do?

I'm amazed at the events unfolding in Terengganu. For days the Malaysian-State-Media (MSM) have been lambasting the opposition for its (seemingly) lack of coherence in deciding the state government of Perak and here is an example of it happening in the ruling party.

Get real-la! So protesting against the Terengganu regent's choice is not considered dis-respectful towards the palace? Instead words such as, "It's the will of the people" had been used to describe the turn of events where UMNO MPs are boycotting the swearing-in-ceremony of the new MB. In fact they are saying it is un-lawful since the fella has been given the boot by the party.

Things are seriously going out of since it clearly shows that politics in Malaysia is not about what the people want but rather how much I can make. All these people are protesting because their guy is not in the main seat purely because it affects their money-making schemes. Much like a reverse Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM) scheme, the top line feeds the down-line. The top-line needs to be on your side to make money.

So that probably could explain why 20 over grown men (elected MPs) decide to hit out against the regent of Terengganu's decision. They were probably shock when there sure-win-way-to-riches was cut short.

These turn of events also show the level of confidence the monarchs have in the PM's choice of leaders for the state. Twice we see that the monarchs have turned down the PMs choice and installed their own choice. Bear in mind, the current Agong hails from Terengganu and that in itself shows (in unseen ways) the state of mind of the King of Malaysia towards the PM.

It's time to step down, Mr.PM.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

From 32 to 27.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Monday a 27-seat Cabinet line-up.

More than half of the ministers are new faces.

They are Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Zaid Ibrahim, Amirsham Aziz, Ismail Sabri, Douglah Unggah, Ong Tee Keat, Ng Yen Yen, Noh Omar, Zin Mohamed, Liow Tiong Lay, Ahmad Shabery Chik, Shahrir Samad, Muhammad Muhammad Taib, Ong Ka Chuan, and Shaziman Abu Mansor.

Source: The Star Online

Last cabinet was a massive 32 seats but now it's only 27. Missing from the line-up is his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin. Guess Pak Lah wud be around for a while.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

PM step down! Tun Mahathir's son sends letter.

Finally, someone with enought balls has called upon Abdullah Badawi to step down as PM of Malaysia. Yesterday, Mukhriz Mahathir sent a letter to Abdullah Badawi calling on him to take full responsibility for the massive lose for BN in the previous general elections and to step down.

In typical I'm-falling-asleep-fashion Abdullah Badawi left it to someone else to make the decision on what to do with Mukhriz. Why can't he himself (as Prime Minister) make a decision on what to do?

Clearly this sets the stage for a showdown within the UMNO party ranks. One side that is opposed to Abdullah and the other holding up Abdullah. Those opposed would most likely rally around Najib Razak, the current Deputy Prime Minister, to take over the helm. Najib would have the backing of the previous PM, Tun Mahathir and all those aligned to Tun Mahathir. Whereas on the other side of the fence, you would have the Abdullah die-hards rallied together by his son-n-law Khairy Jamaludin.

It would be interesting to see if the other component parties within the BN would also call for Abdullah's resignation. MCA and MIC were totally humbled during the last general election while Gerakan was made irrelevent. If the component parties call for Abdullah's resignation, then surely he will have to leave.

If UMNO were to sack Mukhriz, it would give enough resolve for all opposing parties to launch an all out war to remove Abdullah Badawi thus Hishammuddin has a tough decision to make. To remain relevant Hishammuddin has to support the current head of government if he wants to see his own wish to see Khairy Jamaluddin removed. If he decides to sack Mukhriz, he'll been seen to have aligned himself to Abdullah's camp thus removing himself from the picture if ever Abdullah is removed. If he decides to merely reprimand Mukhriz, he would be seen as a Tun Mahathir supporter thus allowing Khairy Jamaluddin enough ammunition to launch a bid to have him removed from the Youth Presidency post.

Such is the play within UMNO circles. Interesting fodder that would never make it into the mainstream media. Lets watch and see who has the balls to speak against Mukhriz. I'm sure it would surprise everyone.


Friday, March 14, 2008

UMNO Penang are such sore-losers

There are some really stupid jokers in the Penang government and they are all UMNO:
Penang Umno will recommend to the Federal Government to stop all proposed mega projects in the state, include those planned under the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), the second Penang Bridge, the light monorail transit system, the Penang Outer Ring Road, the Penang Sentral and the RapidPenang bus service.

State Umno secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said the previous Gerakan-led state government had worked together with the federal government to bring all sorts of development to Penang.

"Since the people have clearly rejected development and made their choice for a change, we will recommend to the federal government to cancel all such projects. Don’t blame us for this," he said after a state liaison committee meeting here today. In March 8 polls, Umno only won two parliamentary seats and 12 state seats.
They have the nerve to blackmail the populace. 

This is typical, if we can't have it then no-one will, attitude of a pompous UMNO. The people have voted for a change in government and they have the nerve to heavy-handedly twist the people's arm into submitting to their own wishes. It is an insult to the fairness in government where policy is separated from the government of the day. 

Whatever promises that where made on the federal level before the elections should and must be honored. The federal government is still intact in the hands of BN of which UMNO is the largest shareholder. And rather than looking at their own faults, these jokers in Penang decide to blame the people. Insulting the people's intelligence and subtly telling the people that they were stupid to vote the DAP into government because by doing so, all mega-projects would be withdrawn. 

It were threats are what made BN end up where they are today. Blatantly publishing newspaper adverts proclaiming "Only One Choice!" 


They people had another choice and they made that choice. The rakyat did not vote for no-development, they voted for no-corruption, no-racism, no-religious-drama and no-confident-BN.

So remove the plank in your eye before you judge the speck in your neighbor's eye.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lim Kit Siang clears the air over Perak statement

As reported by Malaysiakini:

The crisis which developed yesterday over the appointment of a PAS menteri besar in a DAP-led Perak state assembly seemed to have been resolved today.

DAP stalwart Lim Kit Siang who rejected the appointment of a PAS candidate today apologised for any offence caused to the Perak royalty over his statement.

“My three-paragraph statement at 7pm last night that the DAP central executive committee emergency meeting on March 9 had not given approval for a PAS mentri besar to head a Perak coalition state government was not made out of disrespect to the Perak sultan and regent, both whom I have always held in the highest regard and I apologise for any offence caused," he said.

“The statement was on the party position at the time. There have been further discussions and developments on the matter in the hours after the statement. Announcements of the latest position will be made.”

Full article:
I was amazed at a few things.

The Star was quick to report that there was a mutiny of sorts in DAP over Lim Kit Siang's orders for the DAP assemblymen to boycott the swearing in ceremony. As I predicted, Lim's statement became fodder for the pro-government media to heap dirt on the opposition even before they have a chance to prove their mantle at leading the state of Perak.

MCA's Ong Ka Chuan had something to say too:
DAP has cheated its voters as a PAS state assemblyman will be sworn in as the Perak mentri besar today, Perak MCA chief Datuk Ong Ka Chuan said.

Ong, who is also the MCA secretary-general, said DAP should apologise to its voters, saying it was sad to hear that Perak PAS secretary Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin will be the mentri besar.

He said Mohammad's appointment went against the wishes of voters, especially non-Muslims.

“Having a mentri besar from PAS creates fear among non-Muslims. This also creates political instability.”

Article: The Star.

When the BN was leading, the Chief Minister's post was held by a non-Chinese. Why make it an issue now? Playing on the race and religion card was what made the people angry at BN and having politicians drumming up the same things after the election would not help the cause of BN to win over support.

Some things never change and some people never learn.


Perak Chief Minister is PAS man

The cat has been let out the bag and the Perak Chief Minister (CM) is PAS man Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin. But it was a bitter pill for DAP to swallow as Uncle Lim called all the DAP assemblymen to boycott the swearing in ceremony.

This will not go down well with the other members (PKR and PAS) of the opposition front. No doubt DAP has every to claim the CM's post by virtue of the number of seat it secured during the 12th General Election but it also said that it would respect and honor any decision made by the Sultan of Perak, Raja Nazrin.

So where is the respect now?

This will be fodder for the pro-government media, who have until now been looking out for any dirt they can throw at the governing opposition front. One thing is for sure, DAP has not lost it's opposition spirit even when it is suppose to govern.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

A Malaysian Malaysia - Perak Dilemma

The DAP-PKR-PAS coalition has submitted an official list of candidates to Perak Sultan Azlan Shah.

The list was handed over to the Sultan’s secretary at 2pm today by a tripartite delegation, and the Ruler is expected to make an announcement within the next two days.

At a joint press conference, DAP chairperson Ngeh Khoo Ham confirmed that each party has submitted one name.

They are Ngeh himself who is Sitiawan assemblyperson, Pasir Panjang assemblyperson Mohamad Nizar Jamaludin and PKR’s Behrang assemblyperson Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi.

“All three parties have unanimously agreed that we will fully endorse the Sultan’s choice,” said Ngeh, speaking for coalition.

He stressed that, irrespective of the Sultan’s choice, the new coalition government will make decisions collectively.

“We therefore call upon party supporters from all three parties to fully support the new menteri besar,” he said

Asked why three names had been submitted - instead of the coalition settling for one nominee - Ngeh replied that the decision was made based on various aspects of the state constitution.

Complex circumstances

Under the state constitution, the menteri besar has to be a Malay Muslim, but there is a provision that allows the Sultan to waive the requirement.

None of the 18 DAP elected representatives are Malay Muslim, even though the party controls the most number of seats in the new state government.

It is learnt that the three of seven Malay Muslim PKR assemblypersons were ruled out as they are deemed not to have suitable paper qualifications.

This makes Mohamad Nizar, 51, the frontrunner as he has academic credentials and ranks high in the PAS Perak hierarchy.

Observers have noted that the three parties cannot automatically nominate Mohamad Nizar for the post, or the DAP would suffer severe political repercussions.

DAP has vehemently rejected PAS’ conservative religious agenda in favour of a secular ‘Malaysian Malaysia’ and had even left the PAS-PKR Barisan Alternatif coalition in protest in 2001.

In each general election, however, DAP has worked out a seat-distribution formula with PKR to avoid three-corner fights.

Article: Malaysiakini
It is a complex situation especially if you look at from a this-is-how-we-use-to-do-it stance. But think outside the box and looking at it from a democratic point of view - the answer is obvious. The party that won the most seats should take the lead. It is what the people voted for and it is what the people should get. In this case, it was DAP who pulled in the most seats for the state of Perak. PAS should not make it so much an issue since they already have Kedah and Kelantan. PKR has already got Selangor. Whereas Penang was outrightly won by DAP. So to balance things out, Perak should got to DAP. But some people may defer on this but we all can have an opinion on it.

Would the non-Chinese mind a Chinese Chief Minister? Or is the idea of race-politics totally ingrained into the minds of Malaysians, that they are unable to look beyond race or religion? But for all that democracy promises, these issues of the person's creed, race or religion holds such importance in choosing the leader. The Perak Dilemma is no different then the one America (the world's biggest democracy) is facing.

Should they elect an African-American or a Woman into the most powerful seat of power in the world?

Even Obama's religious stand was put into question, who says these things only happen in Malaysia? A (so-called) civilized nation like America, would put into question the same issues we deal with when choosing their leaders.

By all logic it should go down to the best person for the job and the choice for Perak rest solely on the shoulders of the Regent of Perak. There is great respect for Sultan Azlan Shah and whatever decision he makes would have taken into consideration the welfare of the state and its people. I believe he would be able to chose the best person for the job. The person that best fits the wants of the people. The best person that would work with the people, to make Perak a great state.

It would also be a test of tolerance and unity on the part of the political parties involve and the people who voted them in. Remember, it was the people who voted the people in and these same people demand that they be heard. These are Malaysians choosing what they want for Malaysia.

I pray that no matter who gets chosen, it would a Malaysian who strives to make Malaysia a better place.


Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hard economic times for Malaysia?

Malaysiakini had a report on the Malaysian Bursa that took a tumbled in response to the results of the 12th Malaysian General Elections (12thGE). This should not be a surprise as most of the companies listed on the bursa are partly government owned or government-linked. These companies have the most to fear from the lost of the ruling BN in states such as Penang, Perak and Selangor, where most industries are located and also Kuala Lumpur where most companies have their headquarters.

What is in store for Malaysia in the coming years?

They may be a slowdown in terms of the performance of the bursa. The ruling BN made the mistake of tagging the health of the nation (economically) to the performance of the bursa. Performance of the bursa does not mean the nation is healthy economically. Instead it merely means that money is shifting hands on a level that is purely limited to a select few. Only a few players are earning from it and not the general public. The people may be poor but those playing the shares game are the ones getting rich.

The tumble is not because of the fear of instability rather because of the strong presence of the Opposition in parliament, the movement of government money to support the bursa would now be closely monitored. It merely means that more eyes would keep watch over the nations money rather than a select few. This is the fear of the GLC (Government Linked Companies). Previously if they performed badly, big-brother (government) was always around to bail them out. Now, it would not be that easy.

So would the bursa correct itself and start moving up again? I think it will but the movement would be slower than usual.

Hard economic times for Malaysia? I believe so and it has nothing to do with the resources of the nation but everything to do with the political struggle going on behind close doors.


Monday, March 10, 2008

Stunned by democracy - Malaysians have spoken

Stunned is the only word to describe the results of the recent 12th General Elections. Five (5) states went to the (government labeled) 'Opposition' and this effectively denied the current National Front Party (BN) a two third majority. Instead, the BN can only form government with a simple majority.

The main task for the Opposition in the 12th GE was basically to deny BN the two third majority, which gives power to the ruling government to amend the constitution, something the BN government has done 40 times.

Five states, namely Penang, Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan. A worthy note must also be made of the fact the Opposition also took the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. Yes, the capital of Malaysia is also under the Opposition.

The taking of the five states is a major setback for the ruling BN. Primarily because these states are economically some of the riches in the country. Plus, they are also well developed compared to other states in the country.

The lost of Selangor, especially, was a big surprise to BN. There were few indications that Selangor would fall to the Opposition but BN fail to take into account - Malaysian voters are smarter than they think. The surprise came when Malay voters swung to the Opposition. These voters are not simple people but rather intellectuals, who for years have been mentally insulted by the ruling BN. These are the voters who do not agree with the hypocrisy of BN. Promising to rid corruption yet practicing it within their own establishment. These are the voters who watch (in horror) as wealth is accumulated by a select few while the rest are left to beg for scraps. Yes, these are also the voters who have turned to alternative news sites because the BN controlled media has been rampantly lying to the people.

It was Tun Mahathir who summed up what I believe is the sentiment of the people. They don't necessarily support the Opposition, it is simplt because they are angry at BN.

So arrogant BN were humbled by the people they said would give them the two third majority.

Such is democracy, the people had their say.


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