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Saturday, April 30, 2011

VIDEO Anwar ticks off Najib, Rosmah


Dr M says political divisions make Malays weak

Dr Mahathir said the Malays seem to be afraid of saying ‘Melayu’ in their own land. — File pic
ALOR STAR, April 30 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told the Malays today they must unite under the Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional (BN) because division into three parties has made them weak.

The former prime minister said a general election, expected to be held within the year, was an important test for the Malays.

“If we are swayed by fairy tales then we will reject BN and vote for the opposition.

“These days, I find that the cry of ‘Hidup Melayu’ (long live the Malays) does not get a lot of support. Malays seem to be afraid of saying ‘Melayu’ in their own land,” he said to over 1,000 Malays in his birthplace.

“When we say ‘Melayu’ we will be called racist,” Dr Mahathir said at a gathering here dubbed Perhimpunan Melayu Perkasa Kedah.

Malaysia’s longest-serving prime minister said that in the past, the Malays were only loyal to their respective state Rulers and were easily controlled by other nations such as the Chinese and Siamese.

He said Umno had united the Malays and gained independence from the British.

However, PAS’s emergence split the Malays into two and caused the Malays to fight among themselves, he said.

Dr Mahathir said when Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim formed PKR after being sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998, it further divided the Malays into three groups.

“He doesn’t care about Malay unity, he just wants to be prime minister,” he said.

MORE TO COME

PAS shoots down Najib’s invitation

Khalid said the DAP has never been against Islam. — File pictures
KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — PAS leaders were amused today and ridiculed the invitation by Datuk Seri Najib Razak for the party to ditch Pakatan Rakyat (PR) by joining the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

The prime minister earlier said that PAS must work together with Umno for the sake of the Malay and Muslim community, telling the Islamist party that it could not achieve its aim while partnering with the DAP.

“Why play nice with DAP? Does DAP champion Islam?” Najib asked in Kuala Terengganu today.

Najib’s invitation follows a call last weekend by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite the Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by the DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.

Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad bluntly told The Malaysian Insider that Najib was crazy and could no longer think properly.

“He (Najib) is becoming crazy and has run out of ideas. He is no longer making sense. I really do not know what to say about his comments. He is very confused. I think this is a sign that they are facing an internal problem especially with (Tan Sri) Muhyiddin (Yassin) contradicting everything he does.

“And since when did DAP declare that they were championing Islam?” he said.

The PAS central committee member added that the DAP has never obstructed the teachings of Islam compared to Umno that wants to confuse Muslims with its brand of the religion.

“DAP has always supported PAS in its efforts to bring Muslims to the teachings of Islam.

“But Umno wants to pollute Islam with their practice of sumpah laknat oath and falsely accuse someone of committing extra-marital sex without four witnesses,” he said.

Khalid added that the DAP has never been against Islam and its struggles are in line with Islamic teachings of forbidding corruption and cronyism.

Salahuddin reiterated PAS’s loyalty to PR.
PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub was more courteous, thanking Najib for the invitation but reiterated his party’s loyalty to PR.

“Thank you for the invitation but we will remain loyal to Pakatan Rakyat and will not leave the spirit of solidarity that has been formed with PKR and DAP.

“However I think the invitation is a desperate attempt by Najib. I am not surprised with this invitation,” he said.

Salahuddin added that PR’s common platform has ensured that Islam remains the religion of the federation.

Najib’s invitation continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.

The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders keen on exploring talks with Umno emerging big winners.

More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was once again broached.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into the BN entailed both PAS president Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon PR, but spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.

Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi reassured his partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.

PAS strategist Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad stressed that PAS will never succumb to Umno’s narrow interpretation of Islam.

“Umno’s Malay supremacy and narrow interpretation that Malay is Islam is against PAS’s principle that Islam is universal, meant for all races.

Dzulkefly said Umno has given Islam a bad image.
“Umno has given a bad image to Islam and PAS must continue to ensure that the religion is safeguarded. PAS cannot accept Umno’s exploitation of the name Allah and barring non-Muslims from entering mosques,” he said.

He added Umno together with Perkasa and its ultra-Malay members have a very extreme understanding of Islam.

“PAS will not give a lifeline to Umno and its fight for Malay supremacy. Umno only wants to represent the Malays while PAS will fight for Islam, Malays, Chinese, Indians and other communities in the country,” said the Kuala Selangor MP.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insider last year, Nik Aziz also said there was no possibility of PAS working with Umno or joining BN.

“Absolutely not. There is no way that PAS would even consider unity talks with Umno,” he had said.

He recounted how PAS had in the past briefly joined BN and that it resulted in a divided PAS.

According to Nik Aziz, back in 1971 PAS had joined BN’s bandwagon when the late Tun Abdul Razak — Najib’s father — extended an invitation to the Islamist party.

“Umno was desperate back then, especially after the May 13 riots in 1969. When PAS joined BN, PAS Kelantan was split into four groups, and we were not united because each group supported a different idea,” he said.

Nik Aziz pointed out that Umno eventually “kicked PAS out” of the BN coalition.

The Origins of May Day

The happy idea of using a proletarian holiday celebration as a means to attain the eight-hour day was first born in Australia. The workers there decided in 1856 to organize a day of complete stoppage together with meetings and entertainment as a demonstration in favor of the eight-hour day. The day of this celebration was to be April 21. At first, the Australian workers intended this only for the year 1856. But this first celebration had such a strong effect on the proletarian masses of Australia, enlivening them and leading to new agitation, that it was decided to repeat the celebration every year.

In fact, what could give the workers greater courage and faith in their own strength than a mass work stoppage which they had decided themselves? What could give more courage to the eternal slaves of the factories and the workshops than the mustering of their own troops? Thus, the idea of a proletarian celebration was quickly accepted and, from Australia, began to spread to other countries until finally it had conquered the whole proletarian world.

The first to follow the example of the Australian workers were the Americans. In 1886 they decided that May 1 should be the day of universal work stoppage. On this day 200,000 of them left their work and demanded the eight-hour day. Later, police and legal harassment prevented the workers for many years from repeating this [size] demonstration. However in 1888 they renewed their decision and decided that the next celebration would be May 1, 1890.

In the meanwhile, the workers’ movement in Europe had grown strong and animated. The most powerful expression of this movement occurred at the International Workers’ Congress in 1889. At this Congress, attended by four hundred delegates, it was decided that the eight-hour day must be the first demand. Whereupon the delegate of the French unions, the worker Lavigne from Bordeaux, moved that this demand be expressed in all countries through a universal work stoppage. The delegate of the American workers called attention to the decision of his comrades to strike on May 1, 1890, and the Congress decided on this date for the universal proletarian celebration.

In this case, as thirty years before in Australia, the workers really thought only of a one-time demonstration. The Congress decided that the workers of all lands would demonstrate together for the eight-hour day on May 1, 1890. No one spoke of a repetition of the holiday for the next years. Naturally no one could predict the lightning-like way in which this idea would succeed and how quickly it would be adopted by the working classes. However, it was enough to celebrate the May Day simply one time in order that everyone understand and feel that May Day must be a yearly and continuing institution.

The first of May demanded the introduction of the eight-hour day. But even after this goal was reached, May Day was not given up. As long as the struggle of the workers against the bourgeoisie and the ruling class continues, as long as all demands are not met, May Day will be the yearly expression of these demands. And, when better days dawn, when the working class of the world has won its deliverance then too humanity will probably celebrate May Day in honor of the bitter struggles and the many sufferings of the past.

‘Common enemy’ too powerful for minnows

Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is the man to defeat for his allies and foes but his position is unshakeable.

COMMENT

The spat between Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) and its small partner Liberal Demoractic Party (LDP) is not likely to end any time soon. In fact, the row is getting worse.

Lately, the LDP, once helmed by Chong Kah Kiat, a former Sabah chief minister, is becoming bolder and more strindent in its criticism of the BN, especially Chief Minister Musa Aman.

Everything that Musa does is open to LDP attacks. In the process, the party is being increasingly isolated from the Sabah BN, which is rapidly turning into an Umno-PBS dominated arrangement.
Musa’s strongest critic is LDP deputy president, Chin Su Phin. By now Chin is no longer a welcome figure in BN circles, especially at Musa’s and Umno functions. Observers said that Chin has openly been rebuked by Umno leaders at such events.

While LDP president VK Liew, a federal deputy minister, may not agree that his party’s relationship with BN is strained, it is understood he is trying to play it down for his own political survival.

Political analysts said the man behind the attacks on LDP is Chong Kah Kiat. His tiff with Musa became public while he was a minister in Musa’s cabinet.

He went ballistic when his project, the “Mazu”, the statue of a sea goddess in Kudat, was halted by Musa for its proximity to a mosque there. That was in 2006. Chong had since left politics. He resigned in April 2007 in protest against Musa’s action.

LDP was also upset when Musa appointed mostly Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Chinese

leaders to political posts that were previously held by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).

Common enemy

SAPP left BN soon after the 2008 general election in protest against Musa’s hand in BN’s decision not to field SAPP president Yong Teck Lee in that polls. So, LDP and SAPP now have a common “enemy” in Musa.

Chin and other LDP leaders openly criticised Musa for preferring PBS to LDP, which traditionally represented the Chinese. They were also hoping that with SAPP out of the picture, LDP would stand to benefit.

Recently, Musa got the LDP all riled out when he picked a new second deputy chief minister to replace Peter Pang (who left LDP for Gerakan). Musa went for PBS deputy president, Dr Yee Moh Chai, over LDP to represent the Chinese community in his Cabinet.

LDP could not stomach this choice because PBS, through its president Joseph Pairin Kitingan,
already holds the other deputy chief minister’s post. LDP leaders openly complained that there is a plot to isolate the party, which was formed in 1989. It joined BN in 1991.

They also accused Musa of not appreciating the party’s contribution during elections including the recent one in Batu Sapi which was successfully retained by a PBS candidate.

However, Musa yesterday brushed aside LDP criticisms, saying: “I would not be dragged into petty squabbling. I have more important tasks to do – delivering developments to the people.”

Some weeks ago, Musa said he had no problem with LDP (the party). Many local analysts interpreted the remark to mean that Musa was telling that certain leaders in LDP are the problem, and not the party.

Now observers are wondering how far LDP leaders would go to redeem themselves in the court of the powerful Musa. If they stay put with BN under Musa, they will have to swallow their pride and be contented with the treatment they are getting now.

Tiny party

The position is simple: LDP is just a tiny party with only one MP (Liew) and one assemblyman (after two others left it for Gerakan). Many believed that LDP, unlike PBS or even SAPP, has no grassroots support good enough to cause a major shift of balance to Sabah BN.

“Even Liew, a Sino-Dusun from Kota Belud, won in Sandakan with a slim majority in 2008. And Sandakan is where Musa has a big following. If Liew were to move to the Kudat parliamentary seat in the next election, even Musa would not be able to guarantee Liew would win,” said an analyst.

“Besides, LDP is always quarrelling with local Umno leaders in Kudat,” he said.

“LDP secretary-general Teo Chee Kang (the assemblyman for Tanjung Kapur in Kudat) may also find it difficult to be renominated as the area is considered a Muslim mixed constituency,” he added.

Teo was anointed by LDP to replace Raymond Tan who was dropped as deputy chief minister not so long ago. But Musa again flexed his muscle by appointing LDP’s Pang instead. It was like a slap on the faces of Liew and Chin, and this explains the bad blood between Umno and LDP.

Another cause for concern in the Sabah political scene is LDP’s perceived “link” with the opposition SAPP. Chong and Yong who could not see eye-to-eye in recent years were said to have met and talked about politics and Chinese community issues at some functions lately.

Only time will tell whether this warming up of relationship between LDP and SAPP would have a significant impact on Sabah politics. And time is running out for LDP and SAPP as the general election could be held anytime now.

Then there is Upko (United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation), a Kadazandusun-based party which had also been intermittently critical of the Umno leadership, especially with regard to power-sharing.

Though not as highly critical as LDP, Upko is seen as another possible detractor of Musa, come the general election, according to observers

Political minnows

MCA and Gerakan are just minnows in Sabah. PBRS (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) faces certain annihilation in the coming general election as its rural supporters are still waiting for the party to deliver on its promises of development.

MCA won its single-allotted seat in Kepayan through default rather than design when Edward Khoo gained much less than the combined votes of the opposition there in 2008.

Gerakan, although bolstered with former LDP and SAPP leaders joining its ranks, is too demoralised to be a credible threat to Musa, said analysts.

Observers believed that Musa will put more PBS candidates in the next general election, including in one or two areas previously held by SAPP like in Likas, Luyang, Tawau, Elopura and Karamunting.

Most observers agreed that PBS has been the most steady and trusted partner of Umno in Sabah. They said Musa has acknowlegded this, and hence his heavy tilt towards the PBS.

Thus, Liew, Chin and other LDP leaders must have come to the conclusion that their political future will remain bleak as long as Musa is around.

In Sabah BN, Musa is the man to defeat, but he is too powerful right now. The only other man who could ruffle a few feathers in the state is Shafie Apdal but he is said to be reluctant to rock the boat for fear of losing his position in the federal Cabinet.

Analysts believed there is no way that leaders like Shafie, who is an elected vice-president of Umno, would be tempted to leave a strengthened BN. Only leaders from LDP and Upko would harbour such a move (leaving the coalition) for reasons best known to them, they said.

State Legislative Assembly Speaker, Salleh Said, who is Musa’s deputy in the state Umno liaison committee, has openly supported Musa (and was duly rewarded with the Speaker’s post). Thus it is difficult to see a sudden change of leadership at the helm of Sabah Umno.

As a result, LDP has no allies to outmaneouvre Musa unless it leaves the coalition. LDP can only bark.

In the next few months, LDP, Upko and Umno will be assessing their respective position in the coalition. Only time will tell whether they can retain the spirit of camaraderie.

Najib lays down BN carpet for PAS

Najib invited PAS to carry on its fight within BN. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, April 30 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak today threw open the doors for PAS to join Barisan Nasional and further the concerns of Malays and Muslims, telling the Islamist party it could not achieve its aims while partnering with DAP.

“Why play nice with DAP? Does DAP champion Islam?” Najib asked in Kuala Terengganu today.

The prime minister is currently in the Terengganu state capital, where he is visiting together with Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and other Cabinet ministers.

“(Datuk Seri) Hadi (Awang), enough of the DAP, leave the DAP, join BN,” Najib was quoted as saying by state news agency Bernama today.

Najib’s invitation follows a call last weekend by Umno-owned daily Utusan Malaysia for a “1 Melayu, 1 Bumi” campaign to unite Malays against what the newspaper said was racial politics by DAP to stir up Chinese sentiment.

It also continues concerted efforts by Umno post-Election 2008 to get PAS to join forces in the name of Malay-Muslim unity.

The subject of unity talks between PAS and Umno had dominated the 2009 PAS Muktamar, which saw a number of leaders who are keen on exploring talks with Umno emerging big winners.

More recently, top PAS and Umno leadership met at a Christmas Eve dinner hosted by the Yang diPertuan Agong last year, during which the subject of Malay unity was once again broached.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider the move then to bring PAS into the BN entailed both PAS president Hadi and his deputy Nasharuddin Mat Isa being given a prominent role in Putrajaya if the party decides to abandon Pakatan Rakyat (PR), but that spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat continues to be the major obstacle in bringing PAS closer to the ruling coalition.

Following the furore over the Christmas Eve meet, Hadi had reassured partners in PR that the Islamist party was committed to remaining in the pact.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insider last year, Nik Aziz also said there was no possibility of PAS working with Umno or joining BN.

“Absolutely not. There is no way that PAS would even consider unity talks with Umno,” said Nik Aziz.

He recounted how PAS had in the past briefly joined Barisan Nasional (BN) and that it resulted in a divided PAS.

According to Nik Aziz, back in 1971 PAS had joined BN’s bandwagon when the late Tun Abdul Razak — Najib’s father — extended an invitation to the Islamist party.

“Umno was desperate back then, especially after the May 13 riots in 1969. When PAS joined BN, PAS Kelantan was split into four splinter groups, and we were not united because each group supported a different idea,” he said.

Nik Aziz pointed out that Umno eventually “kicked PAS out” of the BN coalition.

The Ballot Box: The Ultimate Arbiter in a Democracy

… Come, my friends,
’Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down;
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles,
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew. (56–64)

Alfred Lord Tennyson, Ulyssess

The Ballot Box: The Ultimate Arbiter in a Democracy

by Terence Netto @www.malaysiakini.com

COMMENT Because the ballot box is the ultimate arbiter of distempers in a democracy, Malaysian voters must be anticipating the next general election – the 13th in their history as an independent country – with unusual keenness.

The fact that the number 13 is freighted with an ominous significance because it connotes a tragic chapter in Malaysian history – the May 13 riots of 1969 – renders added frisson to the anticipation.

The thunderheads that have boiled up on the political horizon to set voters on edge present an idiosyncratic mix of issues of personal sexual morality and ones of grave national import.

Just now an issue concerning the sexual morals of a contender for the prime ministerial position, Anwar Ibrahim, has taken centre stage, to the exasperation of legions of his supporters, not because they do not think that it matters, but because they view the rules for adjudicating it as hopelessly rigged against him.

Also, it is of little help to their serenity that they see at least one of his accusers, in the case of the video allegedly showing him in a transaction with a sex worker, as tainted with same brush that is now being used to blacken Anwar. Few things are as annoying as the pot calling the kettle black. Likewise, few things can be more exasperating that attempts to infer an aspirant’s moral credentials to govern from his or her private sexual morals.

One does not have to subscribe to Plato’s dualism of the mind and body to hold that it’s best to keep the spheres of public and private morality separate, especially private sexual morality. But because to the majority of Malaysians religion is a public matter, these spheres cannot be held to be separate.

No precedent in modern history

No politician has done more in the last four decades in Malaysia to make religion a public matter than Anwar Ibrahim. So there is a rough kind of poetic justice to the travails he has now to endure.

It is hard to find a precedent in modern history for the very public and humiliating trials by innuendo and insinuation he and his family have had to endure – in Sodomy I, Sodomy II and now in the sex video controversy – over the last 13 years.

Perhaps the closest comparison one could find would be the hounding of the American civil rights Martin Luther King Jr by FBI director J Edgar Hoover in the 1960s. Hoover kept up a steady stream of pressure on King and his wife by circulating aural evidence of the civil rights leader’s sexual misdemeanors. But, in the main, that pressure was applied away from the public gaze. Consequently, the psychic hell that King and Loretta had to endure was private.

In contrast, Anwar and family have had to endure very public tribulation which the ordinarily decent are loath to justify. The fact that elementary standards of due process have been denied him in this odyssey of public humiliation adds to the repugnance felt by the decent over his and his family’s treatment.

That is why at this juncture the 13th general election is being awaited with mustard-keen anticipation.There are issues of grave public moment that should compete for the public attention’s but right now the manufactured sensation of Anwar’s private sexual morality has taken centre stage.

It makes you want to believe in the truth of the concept of the wound and the bow, the literary principle that the psychic wounds one suffers on the way up in life become the bow that launches the effort at grand rectification.

One hopes that would be true about Anwar. He has had to endure much; would that eventual vindication and rectification be proportionate to his travails. - Din Merican