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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Royal remarks on rally Today my post is on two of the Johor Sultanah’s comments, in her role as Chancellor of UTM, during the 5th Annual Malaysian Stu

Today my post is on two of the Johor Sultanah’s comments, in her role as Chancellor of UTM, during the 5th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Hilton yesterday - see Malaysiakini's Johor sultanah: Bersih 2.0 was hijacked.

First comment was on Bersih where she, to summarise, said the movement calling for free and fair elections had been hijacked.

As one of my personal political principles/beliefs, I don’t support constitutional royalty making comments on politics. This has been my position way way before the 2008 GE, and most certainly way before a series of unwelcomed royal intervention in the politics of Perlis, Terengganu (against AAB & UMNO then) and Perak (against Pakatan) - I posted on all these events.

I have always said that royalty should only make political comments if they are politicians like Tunku or Ku Li, but never (especially) when they are constitutional Heads of States.

If a Head of State, de jure or acting, makes political comments or acts politically in like fashion as a politician, then he/she must be mindful that in a democracy any political statement or act can be challenged, commented on and criticized. Thus he/she must not/cannot take umbrage nor could his/her supporters claim lèse majesté had been committed. The Perak case springs immediately into mind.

The only way such a Head of State acting politically can get away unquestioned or unchallenged would be when he/she is an absolute monarch (e.g in Brunei, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan) as one local (late) royal member thought he was. The Malaccan Sultanh ordering the execution of Hang Tuah on the basis of a mere rumour would be another example.

However, having carefully read the news article in Malaysiakini, I have to say HRH has quite carefully navigated her way around the ambush of a student's difficult question on Bersih. I find it hard to criticise her reasonable response.

She was even handed in stating (as reported)"Of course, you can see from the mainstream media that perhaps Bersih is founded by wrong people and the bad guys, and other groups are the good guys.”

"It maybe or may not be, there is no right or wrong answer, but it may indicate that the country is heading for some kind of maturity."


But what did she mean by Bersih being ‘hijacked’? Well, Tian Chua flashed across my mental vision wakakaka. That wannabe martyr has been at his usual self – I won’t comment any further on this PKR Drama King wakakaka again. Then there was Anwar Ibrahim's pathetic attempt to (take over and) make unauthorised proposal to cancel the Bersih, but which was shot down in flames, thanks to cool sweetie Ambiga.

However, I believe HRH’s opinion on vernacular schooling, to abolish it, though fair and logical as it might be (because I once shared it wakakaka), is unfortunately way too late, as a large segment of Malaysian society no longer trusts the dodgy standards and at-times racist governance of national type schooling.

In these lamentable impressions (of not trusting national types but only vernacular schooling) we only have a series of UMNO Educational Ministers to thank, for their treatment of education as a political/nationalistic football, to kick their rotten way up the ranks of UMNO and thus to greater access to the Boleh Land gravy train.

The notorious BTN has played an equally nefarious part in confusing, corroding and corrupting the values of some school heads, who should no longer be fit to 'educate' young Malaysian minds.

Many parents now cling on to vernacular schooling as the only educational salvation for their children’s future.

What we can learn from the MIC AGM

1) MIC has no Standards

Because apparently, people who are not good enough to be MPs in the eyes of BN Kuala Selangor, is good enough to be the President of the MIC

2)The Cabinet has no Standards

You may not be good enough for the Dewan Rakyat, but you can try applying for Senatorship, Ministership and be part of the machinery known as Fastsinkingship.This is not peculiar to MIC, as it also happens in other ‘pseudo-members’ of BN like Gerakan and PPP. Coincidentally, all these parties have leaders who did not get elected (and in one case, did not even get chosen to stand for election), but managed to be Cabinet members via the mysterious ‘Jabatan Perdana Menteri’ whose functions and roles are basically whatever the Perdana Menteri fancies or can come up with that sounds important, official and ‘gempak’.

3)MIC Members Don’t Know where Putrajaya is

That is the only logical explanation as to why only half of the delegates turned up, even after the prerequisite for being a delegatewas reduced from being a divisional officebearer to merely a branch head (meaning there iss a 80% chance you are a retired headmaster/mistress)

4)MIC members do not give a F*ck about Elections

Why else will 200,000 members not be registered voters? If voting for/supporting the government is not MIC’s first and foremost aim, what is? Sucking up to the leaders? I did not say it, Palanivel did.

5)MIC Doesn’t Give a F*ck about Indians

Because they won’t allow anything on Interlok,possibly the one major thorn in the Indian community’s side at the moment, to be mentioned in the AGM.An Indian Muslim gentleman is out there fighting so that Palanivel,Subramaniam and Nijhar’s children won’t have to read and come home to Papa asking why they are called Paria, but MIC is not allowed to talk about it in their AGM

6)Indians Don’t Give a F*ck about MIC

Coz we got more important things to worry about than retired headmasters coming together to eat Iddiappam once every two years.

- Emmanuel Joseph

Palanivel, Cabinet numbers and Parkinson’s Laws

If Palanivel is the deeply religious person everyone seems to think and has any moral compunction, he will decline the offer of a cabinet post. But as everyone knows, these MIC leaders have too much of the mandore-quotient to let this opportunity go.


Surely, we will be told that in the name of service to the nation, Palanivel will accept the gratuitous offer for a cabinet post. Why not? It comes with the prestige and the chance to coast along giving the appearance of being hardworking.


What has Palinivel offered? He didn't win any parliamentary seat. His contribution to Hulu Selangor when he was MP there nearly cost the BN the seat last time. We all heard the folks in Hulu Selangor lambasting him for not being seen as the constituency. He was the invisible man.


He was made a senator, deputy minister and now full minister on account of what? He will do UMNO's biddings. The MIC president will be Uncle Tom-ming all along or in his case, Uncle-Jibbing all the time. Lacking the merit and mandate how can Palani speak with conviction about Indians? The just released Dr Jeyakumar is held in higher esteem than Palanivel.


What he has done is just to add to the notoriety of the Najib cabinet being the largest in our history. Tengku Abdul Rahman had a cabinet of some 16 people I think. Pak Lah had 33. Najib now has 39? That's one short of the fabled number of a group of 40 people who made a living by relieving others off their wealth and property. But then the current crop of members in the cabinet has achieved notoriety surpassing the fabled band of 40.


The Najib cabinet is eerily becoming what Mugabe is doing to the Zimbabwean cabinet. People seemed to think that the seriousness of governance is measured by the increase in the number of cabinet positions. Mugabe in an effort to demonstrate substance keeps on increasing the number of cabinet members.


Bu Jove! Parkinson's Laws do work everywhere after all.


One version of the law states that the increase in the number of employees at the Colonial Office is highest as Great Britain's overseas empire declined; the Colonial Office had its greatest number of staff at the point when it was folded into the Foreign Office because of a lack of colonies to administer.


Could it also be that the increase in our own cabinet members becomes more prominent while the actual cabinet tasks declined? That is scary.


How can we explain this fetish to increase the size of the cabinet? Perhaps two forces are at work here:

  1. A Minister wants to multiply subordinates, not rivals.
  2. And Ministers make work for each other.

That reminds me of my late Economics professor at UM, Harcharan Singh used to say, in Russia there's no unemployment of any kind because one cow is looked after by 40 people. We have a zero unemployment cabinet then. What will Palanivel do as a minister which job is not being done by someone else now? Refer to Parkinson's laws above.


That is in defiance to the promise by our PM to have a small cabinet. PKR has more Indian MPs than MIC. In the next round, MIC will probably be decimated. PPP claims to also represent the Indians. I know cabinet appointments are the prerogative of the PM as head of the cabinet. But I think cabinet appointment must also reflect a moral standing. Palanivel didn't win any seat via elections, why should he be appointed a cabinet minister. MIC which won only 2 seats last time, now has 2 full ministers. That's a 100% achievement. In addition it has deputy minister's post.


MIC Indians are a privileged lot then. Threaten the PM and he will succumb to threats. I would have thought, the PM should have taken up the dare by the MIC Indians that they will not support the BN. see if the MIC leaders can talk big without any positions in the government. They will be running groveling at the feet of the PM and will tell him, he is the greatest PM since Samy Vellu. Yes sir, Samy Vellu was PM to Malaysian Indians.


Posted by sakmongkol AK47

Najib draws attention to Muhyiddin's racial glow with Malay-first M'sian-second talk

Najib draws attention to Muhyiddin's racial glow with Malay-first M'sian-second talk

Amid growing talk of a power challenge with the UMNO party, Prime Minister Najib Razak raised eyebrows with comments that some see as deliberately highlighting perceived racial bias his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin.

At the 5th Annual Malaysian Student Leaders Summit on Sunday, the PM was asked if he saw himself as Malay-first and Malaysian-second or vice-versa. Muhyiddin had kicked up a huge storm of anger amongst the non-Malays when he said a year ago that he was Malay-first and Malaysian-second.

Despite the jeers, the move helped Muhyiddin to gain favour with some of the Malay electorate and also with the right-wing faction in UMNO. It was Najib who had to back off his multi-racial 1 Malaysia slogan and New Economic Model.

"I won't respond in a way that will divide me and my deputy. In Malaysia, that can be very dangerous. People will say, look here, the prime minister and his deputy are not on the same page," Najib said in answer to a question from the audience.

The door is half closed

Indeed, his roundabout way of answering the question by drawing in Muhyiddin confirmed swirling speculation that influential former premier Mahathir Mohamad had decided to back Muhyiddin, which means Najib is not likely to remain as UMNO president and prime minister for a second term. UMNO party polls are due to take place next year.

It is also believed that both he and his wife Rosmah Mansor do not want to call snap polls but other factions in his party fear that rising prices and a soft economy might cause the UMNO votes.

The 58-year old Najib also insisted that 1 Malaysia was still alive, but sadly for him, few Malaysians see it as anything more than a talking or reference point. Racial polarization has increased in the past 2 years of Najib's rule. He himself says different things to different audiences.

The most telling barometer is the UMNO-owned Utusan, which reports directly to Najib for editiorial guidance. In the past two years, Utusan has been condemned for stirring up all sorts of racial and religious bigotry.

The most recent attack was against DAP videographer Chan Lilian, whom Utusan accused of inciting hatred amongst the Christians.

"Take it from me: 1Malaysia is still our guiding philosophy, fair and guided by our constitution," said Najib, steering clear away from definitive statements.

- Malaysia Chronicle

GE-13: Only one chance to vote out BN

GE-13: Only one chance to vote out BN

Despite the popularity of Pakatan Rakyat the 13th general election is still a David vs. Goliah contest on an unlevel playing field where the incumbent has colossal advantages in media, money and machinery. BN controls all the levers of power including the most crucial one, the Election Commission and is not ashamed to use whatever means - fair or foul - to beat off the PR challenge, mostly foul.

Given the unevenness of the contest I venture to say that the 13th G.E. will be more of a contest on whether BN can regain its two-thirds majority rather than a frenzied fight for Putrajaya. The two most crucial states to the campaign, namely Sarawak and Sabah which together contribute 25% of the parliamentary seats still remain BN’s fixed deposit to a large degree. In Sabah the illegal immigrants absorbed into the electoral rolls have undermined the right to self-determination of native Sabahans.

However all is not doom and gloom and there still remains a thin wedge of chance that PR can overcome the odds to unseat the juggernaut BN. It all hinges on that ever recurring political event in Umno – a power struggle – coupled with a serious underestimation of civil society by the corridors of power.

Pakatan’s Last Stand

But first of all, let us consider what happens if PR fails to unseat BN from Federal power. The signs are already clear that BN will take certain steps to ensure it will never have to face the threat of losing power again. This will be achieved not by increasing BN’s popularity but by underhanded methods to compromise the electoral process so that BN can rule without fear of losing power, short of a street revolution.

Already the Election Commission is in collusion with an enthusiastic BN to implement an opaque biometric verification system which will allow BN greater scope to cheat using phantom voters and illegal immigrants issued with MyKads. Co-incidentally or maybe not, the biometric data of 2 million foreign workers are being collected. This expensive system which is largely useless for preventing multiple voting is favoured instead of the much cheaper and simpler indelible ink which would put the brakes on phantom voters.

Even more ominous, the government is establishing Territorial Army companies in all 222 parliamentary constituencies and there are rumblings that they will eventually be given postal votes. When army companies are established by parliamentary constituencies instead of more appropriate criteria one can infer that their main purpose is not the defence of the country.

Both the biometric system and the Territorial army companies are not expected to be implemented in time for the 13th G.E. but will be firmly in place for the 14th G.E. We should also not forget that gerrymandering will be another BN weapon in the 14th G.E. as the present delineation of electoral boundaries is not expected to be completed in time for the 13th G.E.

What this means is that the 13th G.E. may well be the last window of opportunity left for the people to choose their government before the regime entrench itself through a severely compromised electoral system. The 13th G.E. will be Pakatan's last stand before Malaysia becomes a full-fledged dictatorship with false trappings of democracy.

Najib’s Last Stand

But if the 13th GE is Pakatan’s last stand it is also Najib’s last stand. The writing on the wall is clear. Get back BN’s two-third majority or be pulled down.

Throughout most of Najib’s troubled premiership he has been dogged with odd acts of sabotage by his subordinates especially with regards to his 1Malaysia concept. Things have come to a head now and it is no longer possible to ignore the rumblings of a power struggle in Umno.

Recent events point to this tumult in the corridors of power. The police’s heavy oppression of the Bersih rally bordering on the ludicrous as if to enrage civil society, the flip-flop by Najib on the stadium offer to Bersih (probably forced by hardliners), the leakage to the media of Rosmah’s RM24 million diamond ring, the formation of Amanah and Najib’s cutting short his family holiday to rush back to Malaysia are symptoms of this struggle.

The unjust and illogical detention of the PSM-6 for frivolous reasons can only be intended to weaken Najib politically. Although they have released the damage has already been done. When a deputy Minister starts criticizing the handling of the Bersih rally the fight has shifted to the public arena.

The anti-Najib faction cannot allow him to win two-thirds majority in the next general election or his job will be safe. The conspirators have to weaken him politically and limit the extent of cheating in the polls to give PR a chance.

But they walk a fine line as there is a danger of overdoing things. The 13th G.E. is a David vs. Goliath battle but when two giants battle David may sneak in and run away with the crown.

Civil Society Strikes Back

On his first day as Prime Minister, Najib Razak said:

“Economic progress and better education have directly resulted in the birth of a class of voters who are better informed, very demanding and highly critical. If we do not heed this message, their seething anger will become hatred and in the end this may cause them to abandon us altogether.”

Unfortunately Najib did not follow his own advice nor did he impose this on his subordinates or the instruments of government. The intelligence of Malaysians are being insulted on an almost daily basis as if our society exists in the time warp of the 1970s when access to information was limited and the word of the government was trusted. Whether it is the imaginative reasons manufactured to demonize the Bersih rally, Anwar’s shaky sodomy trial held together by a compliant judge or the speculative suicide verdict of the Teoh RCI, Malaysians are being treated as gullible simpletons.

Civil society is frustrated and infuriated at the government’s lack of respect for them. The government is behaving like a dictatorship and not a democracy. They have taken their frustration to cyberspace and the social media and will find an outlet in the next general election. BN has completely lost the urban middle class. They have also lost the Chinese, the Indians, Christian, the fence sitters and the young voters.

But the people who talk down to others are themselves not smart enough to realize the effect they are causing. There is a sharp disconnect between state and society fostered no doubt by a sycophantic press which deprives the government of valuable feedback. The stage is set for a swing of anti-BN votes to PR by those who want an alternative to an abusive and corrupt government, any alternative as long as it is not BN.

Pakatan’s Strategies

However PR should not celebrate yet because it takes a lot to displace BN. It is not enough to be a little more popular than BN, it takes overwhelming support to overwhelm BN’s cheating.

To level the playing field a little PR should push for implementation of at least three essential election reforms, namely proper conduct of postal votes, use of indelible ink and allowing all overseas Malaysians to vote.

There should not be any more public dissent within the group. PR must present a united front and a cohesive group. All arguments should be behind closed doors and no party or individual should go to the press to settle any argument.

For the first time ever the opposition front can claim to be able to displace BN with a high degree of credibility. This changes the dynamics completely from merely trying to be a strong opposition to being a government in waiting. PR is now able to make wide sweeping promises of what it intends to do it if it wins the election.

Promises such as reducing the price of oil and electricity to relieve the burden of the people can be made with good effect. Even BN traditional strongholds like Felda can be breached by promising a better deal for them. However populist measures such as distributing cash should not be made. The intelligence of Malaysians should be respected and the public knows what is sustainable and what is not.

The later the election is held the more favourable for PR with more young voters joining the rolls, more BN scandals emerging and the economy biting deeper. If it is to be held this year it will probably be November and we should know by October when Najib presents the budget. If an election budget is presented and should the Election Commission be as stubborn as it is now, Bersih 3.0 should be called and this time it should be held in every major town. The EC may still not act but it will deal BN a few body blows or even buy more time for PR if the election is postponed to next year.

The People’s Last Stand

The 13th G.E. may be the one and only time that Malaysians have any chance of replacing BN with another government. Such a chance may never come again as the goalposts will be moved after the 13th G.E. It should be noted that the present level of cheating will not work if Malaysians come out in large numbers and vote against BN.

We should not waste any votes on so-called third force parties like MCLM, HRM and KITA. Such split voting will only help to BN retain its power. There is no such thing as a third force unless there is a two party system in place. Although the level of support for PR is high enough to be considered a two party system in theory this is only true if both parties respect the rules of democracy. If the ruling party continues to oppress the opposition, abuse its power and corrupts all the institutions of democracy to perpetuate its rule while depending on a compromised election system to win, it is still a one party totalitarian rule in practice. A two party a system will only be in place if BN loses power at least once.

There are some who do not like BN but think that PR is not good enough to get their votes. They are missing the point because it is not about voting angels to parliament but creating a two party system. What can angels do in Parliament if BN is still the Federal power? MCLM which prides itself on selecting sterling candidates should answer this question. If PR does not perform we can easily vote them out but the same cannot be said of BN.

Another type of voters fear change and prefer to maintain the status quo. “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t” is their adage. But they fail to understand that the status quo cannot be maintained if BN continues to rule. There is only so much economic plunder and uncompetitive racial policies that one country can take. Economic decline has a way of accelerating exponentially. When we become a maid exporting country everybody will suffer except the Umnoputras.

The 13th general election represents a nexus of conducive factors which may just work together to push out BN. A united opposition, a power struggle in Umno, an alienated civil society and most important of all, an election system which isn’t totally corrupted yet. This is not only Pakatan’s last stand but also the People’s last stand against tyranny and economic mismanagement. The chance may never come again.

- Malaysia Chronicle