Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Dr M : Choose Pak Lah For Defeat

Source : Malaysiakini

Dr Mahathir Mohamad has once again asked Umno members to desert his handpicked successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi - in the aftermath of the Permatang Pauh by-election defeat.


In his latest blog entry, Mahathir said party members and leaders must accept that under Abdullah’s stewardship, support for Umno and Barisan Nasional has dropped even more than at its post-general elections nadir.

mahathir pc 260608 05"You can continue supporting Abdullah as party president, but the people won't support Umno because it has become a tool for Abdullah and his family.

"When the 13th general election looms, the people will remove Umno and Barisan because it is the only way they can remove Abdullah... because Umno and Barisan is unwilling to act, the people would have to act," he said.

Yesterday, Umno's Arif Shah Omar Shah was trounced by PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim in a by-election preceded by tumultuous campaigning, which returns the former deputy prime minister to Parliament as leader of the opposition.

The seat was vacated by Anwar's wife Dr Wan Azizah Ismail earlier this month.

Anwar managed a higher majority than his wife, a clear signal that his support has not waned despite the best efforts of the BN election machinery and leaders.

Voters' dilemma

According to Mahathir, Malay and non-Malay voters did not want to vote for Anwar but were even less inclined to vote for BN.

This is the dilemma faced by Malaysian voters, he added.

abdullah ahmad badawi pak lah pc 060607 smiles“The BN candidate was good, but if he won, Abdullah would declare himself the winner and claim that support for BN and himself had returned. He would also claim that BN’s support was restored under his leadership.

“The message which the Malay, Chinese and Indian voters wanted to send were in vain, because Abdullah has no ears to listen, no eyes to see,” he said.

Mahathir said the Permatang Pauh result has left Umno members with only two options - stay loyal to Abdullah and risk losing the next general election, or stay loyal to the party.

"Umno must remember that votes from loyal members alone are insufficient to ensure victory. To win, Umno candidates need votes from non-party members, Chinese and Indians," he said.

Mahathir also predicted that the mainstream media would 'spin' the by-election results to Abdullah’s advantage and present a need for the prime minister to heal the party, by remaining in power.

anwar ibrahim casting his vote in permatang pauh by election polling day harakah pix 260808"Then Umno will unanimously re-elect Abdullah as the party president in December. This would weaken Umno and BN further," he added.
In a related development, Mahathir doubts that Anwar could be the next prime minister despite winning the Permatang Pauh by-election.

He believes that Anwar will not be able to get at least 30 Members of Parliament from BN to cross over to the opposition to form a simple-majority government.

"He (Anwar) may think that he can buy them but other bidders may have more money," he was quoted as saying by Bernama.

Anwar Leads Pakatan By Appointment

Source : Malaysiakini

Pakatan Rakyat has appointed Anwar Ibrahim - who will be sworn in as MP tomorrow - the parliamentary opposition leader.


The decision was conveyed in a letter to House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia this afternoon.

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali submitted the letter inked by him, DAP deputy chairperson Tan Seng Giaw and PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, to the speaker at 4pm.

pandikar amin and azmin ali parliament pc 270808 01Earlier, Pandikar Amin told reporters that he has not received any formal letter from the opposition recognising Anwar as their leader.

"It is not I who arranges who the opposition leader should be," he said.

"It is up to the opposition members to choose, except for example, if there is only one opposition representative in the House, then the president of that party will be considered as the leader,” he explained.

Pandikar Amin also stressed that parliament proceedings, including the budget presentation on Friday, would go on even without the presence of an opposition leader.

"Let me tell you honestly… it (the debates) will go on as usual," he said. "I don't see why the opposition is not efficient in this matter… unless they are squabbling amongst themselves on who should be the opposition leader."

MPs told to behave

Pandikar Amin also called on legislators to behave themselves and show proper decorum at the swearing-in ceremony to officially admit Anwar into parliament tomorrow.

"The utmost importance in parliament is the decorum," he stressed.

"I have had discussions earlier and the swearing-in ceremony will go on tomorrow after prayer session as stated in the parliament guidelines. According to the rules, a new member must be sworn in and coincidentally, we have a new member."

anwar leaving for counting center 260808Anwar, a former deputy prime minister before his shock sacking in 1998 by former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, won the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday with a much bigger-than-expected majority of 15,671 votes over Arif Shah Omar Shah, the candidate from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Anwar's return to Parliament, after an absence of 10 years, is expected to be an emotional one.

His arrest and imprisonment for sodomy and corruption charges that he says were fabricated by political enemies had sparked widespread street protests and international outcry.

Nevertheless, the charismatic 61-year old politician is back in the limelight after leading Pakatan Rakyat to a sterling performance in the March general election. Pakatan won 81 out of the 222 parliamentary seats.

All eyes are now on whether Anwar's huge popularity, especially in the wake of the Permatang Pauh by-election victory, can trigger enough BN legislators to cross over to his Pakatan alliance and help it form a new government.

MALAYSIA TODAY's New Route For Surfers

Source : Malaysiakini

Local internet users however can still access the website by typing in Malaysia Today's IP address or an alternative web address in their web browsers.


Source : Malaysiakini

In a rare move, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has ordered all internet service providers (ISPs) to block controversial online portal Malaysia Today.


malaysia today website 270808MCMC chief operating officer Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, when contacted today, confirmed that the block was ordered by the commission.

"It is being blocked because we found that some of the comments on the website were insensitive, bordering on incitement," he told Malaysiakini.

As at 7pm, a check by Malaysiakini showed users are unable to access Malaysia Today through three major ISPs - TMnet, Maxis and Time. However, users can still access the errant website through Jaring.

malaysia today blocked by tm net proof 270808This is believed to be the first time such curbs have been initiated against a non-pornographic website, posing questions as to whether the government is reneging on its no-Internet censorship pledge.

Under the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia 10 Point Bill of Guarantees, the government promises to ensure no internet censorship.

The domain name - - has been unaccessible to TMnet subscribers since yesterday evening as a result of the blockage - known technically as 'DNS blackhole list'. [See full image]

Local internet users however can still access the website by typing in Malaysia Today's IP address or an alternative web address in their web browsers.

'Ethical blogging'

Mohamed Sharil said MCMC had instructed all ISPs to block access to Malaysia Today based on complaints received by the general public regarding offensive comments posted on the website.

Asked if the move to block Malaysia Today went against the government’s guarantee of Internet freedom, he said that the matter was subject to interpretation.

“We are governed by the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998) which allows us to take preventive measures and advise our license holders (such as ISPs) when a service user may be contravening national laws,” he said.

Under Section 263 of the Act, a licensee must “use his best endeavour” to prevent his/her facilities from being used to violate any law in the country.

Mohamed Sharil said that MCMC will be communicating with the Malaysia Today owner Raja Petra Kamaruddin and other blog owners soon regarding “ethical blogging”.

“We are not against blogs, but we would like to see ethical blogging,” he stressed.

RPK: Why should I protest?

Meanwhile, Raja Petra said he is in the dark as to why his website was being blocked, adding that he heard rumours of a MCMC circular.

raja petra released from prison 090508 04“I couldn’t be bothered to protest (against the move). What do you expect me to do? Do you think they would listen?” he asked when contacted.

Over the years, Raja Petra has attracted a strong fan base and a string of lawsuits due to his no holds barred articles and knack for posting sensitive documents online.

In an immediate reaction, Communication and Multimedia Licensee Association (CMLA) - which represents all ISP licence holders in Malaysia - chairperson Afzal Abdul Rahim urged bloggers to practice self-regulation.

“We support the open flow of information across the internet and a self-regulating environment. The best way for us to find some amenable middle ground between, airing opinions and being partial to community sensitivities, we strongly urge the blogosphere to practise a commensurate amount of self moderation,” he said.

We have burried you Khairy, Never Ever come to Permatang Pauh

Source : Malaysiakini

‘Well, the sheer display of arrogance by BN has once again been rewarded with what amounts to being nothing short of an embarrassing and humiliating defeat.'

On Official: Anwar gets BIGGER majority

G Krishnan: Well, the sheer display of arrogance by the likes of Khairy and his BN ilk has once again been rewarded with what amounts to being nothing short of an embarrassing and humiliating defeat for the BN in Permatang Pauh.

All that venom, all that despicable personal attacks on Anwar, all that fear-mongering, all the race-baiting, all those big guns of the party, and all that money poured into the by-election, and what does the BN have to show for it?

I believe most reasonable people would conclude that the voters had sent a clear message to Abdullah and his son-in-law, and Najib and his groupies as well, several months back.

But that message did not seem to resonate at the Putra World Trade Centre.

I must admit that even as I type these words, I've got a grin on my face that stretches from one ear to the other. Oh, how sweet it is to see the likes of Khairy and Najib with egg on their faces.

All I will say for now is: ‘Hey, Khairy! Look who got ‘buried'!

Rebecca Gaythri:
After 51 years of independence, Umno's policies are still not up to today's standards. It's just a race-based party that only cares for one race.

God is watching everything you do. He will put a stop to it one day.

Your days are numbered - the cries of the people will be heard. God created everything equal, but you stole it all for yourself.

In what condition would you like the Indians and Chinese to vote for BN? Under threat? Anwar has won and will bring good policies to suit Malaysians.

Peter Ooi:
Yesterday's by-election in Permatang Pauh (PP) will also be hailed as a Good-Bye Election! We hope Permatang Pauh will shout for the rest of Malaysia good-bye to

- racial policies and racist politics

- to the Malaysian hybrid of apartheid

- to unbridled greed and wanton corruption

- to a heavily sullied judiciary and police force

- to a one party system domination where scoundrels lurk and find refuge

And say hello to a New Malaysia! Didn't I say this is a good bye-election ?

Kenny Gan: Anwar has won Permatang Pauh with a thumping majority of more than 15,000 despite the overwhelming odds stacked against him by the BN machinery and polling held on a working day.

This is a convincing victory which declares that all the races, Malays included, endorse PR's multi-racial politics to BN's divisive racial politics.

If the BN government has any sense, it should heed the voice of the people and set about correcting its ways. But I fear that this message from the people will once again be ignored and Umno will continue to play on racial and religious sentiments.

The speaker of Parliament has already stated there is no urgency to swear in Anwar as an MP which is a dishonourable act to frustrate the will of the people.

As the BN government cannot or will not change, there is no choice but to continue the march to Putrajaya.

The huge support given to Anwar during nomination day and throughout the campaigning period shows clearly that the popularity enjoyed by Anwar.

The clarion call has sounded. The people have spoken. It is now up to all conscientious MPs from BN to jump ship and realise the Malaysian dream of a fair and accountable government.

One Malaysia:
This marks the dawn of a new Malaysia being liberated from the clutches of BN which in reality is worse than the British colonialists.

BN , in particular Umno, is now in damage control mode. However, the damages are already done and exposed. The rakyat has proven to the hopeless Umno that BN is no longer relevant.

BN's bankrupt mentality has worsened making Umno, MCA and MIC into more incorrigible entities.

No amount of lies will save BN now. The demise of Umno, MIC, MCA are clearly visible.

Raptor 22: The rakyat has shown that the a bigger majority does matter because they are fed-up with BN and its political drama.

Let's talk about more sensible matters and not nonsense. BN will never ever learn.

I believe if only Pak Lah gave ceramah in Permatang Pauh for the past 10 days, BN would not have lost by such a huge majority.

But with the presence of MCA, MIC and worse Najib and Khairy, they buried themselves. So now, what Khairy is going to say?

Congratulations for the big win and welcome back to the parliament, DSAI. We were waiting for this moment long enough.

Thank you Permatang Pauh. Thank you for not buying into the racist and bigoted campaign of BN.

In doing so you voted for a better future for all Malaysians. As for Khairy Jamaluddin, what was that you were saying about burying Anwar's political career?

Now let us all focus on making Sept 16 a reality.

Harris J Possible:
In any democratic institution, a newly elected member of parliament is immediately sworn in after he has been elected.

What is the problem in the newly elected member for Permatang Puah to be sworn in as early as today as the House is still sitting?

Pray, tell me why cannot the newly-elected MP participate in the deliberations of the House soon after he has been elected?

AR Anpu:
Hidup anwar! Hidup Pakatan! Hidup Reformasi! Hidup Malaysia! Hidup Negara Kita! Hidup Malaysians!

We love and die for our country. Malaysia is the best and Malaysians are the best!

Malay, Chinese, Indians and others are no more for we are all Malaysians of our motherland Malaysia.

Today is ia new year - Aug 26, 2008. Anwar, lead us with your leadership to enable us to be the best.Mooshie Mooshie: So, where is the jihadi from Pantai and the funeral parlour man from Rembau who wanted to bury Anwar? Have they gone into hiding?

Most of all, BN - are the special projects or ‘election goodies’ going to be forthcoming after the embarrassing loss in Permatang Pauh?

What are they going to say this time to delay or conveniently scrap these promised goodies?

After all, Malaysians are very forgetful people. And to the Rembau funeral man - get ready to resign, as you have promised to do so when DSAI becomes the PM.

Hiding isn't going to do you any good - come up with something more original next time around. Is there a next time for you? The clock is ticking for you, Mr Funeral Parlour Man.

Kaisim: The by-election of Permatang Pauh has sent a clear message to Umno - the people are no longer interested in racial politics and character slander.

I salute the Malay voters here, although they have been under tremendous pressure from the BN government that talked so much of Ketuanan Melayu ala Umno and that blatantly played dirty racist games in their election campaigns.

Umno must realise that there is more to life than politics and that there are other important issues like unity and the economy. The loss here is a sign of Umno crumbling and that the worst is yet to come.

All eyes are on Anwar Ibrahim, who promised to work with all levels of Malaysians in order to make this country a better place for all of us. Sybas Anwar!

Selandia & Jutlandia: I respect and value the folks of Permatang Pauh, as they know they had had two good chances (the 12 GE and this by-election) to shape the nation. They exhibited consistencies in their duty for the nation.

I knew nothing could stop them from doing their best - not even Saiful or the majority votes issue could not stop them from being consistent in their rightness.

They are people who are mature and that's why the constituency’s name is Permatang Pauh.

Anwar, by nature, being an anak kampung from Permatang Pauh is not a coincidence.

I guess it was meant to begin right. Anwar means ‘A Nation With Absolute Rights’ (A-N-W-A-R), so rakyat, we’re going to see good progress henceforth.

Alfred Ho: Once again, the people of Permatang Pauh have spoken on behalf of all right- thinking Malaysians who desperately want change - change that happened last night when Anwar Ibrahim regained his parliamentary seat.

I wish to convey my heartiest congratulations to Anwar for his resounding victory against the BN candidate. While we celebrate Anwar's huge success, let us not forget the many people who were behind the scenes making this election victory possible for him.

We must also not forget to acknowledge people such as Raja Petra and the leaders of the Pakatan Rakyat parties for their kind assistance in helping to make Anwar's win in the much talked about by-election possible.

With a dynamic person like Anwar returning to parliament to head the opposition, I have no doubt whatsoever that BN will try all ways possible to deprive Anwar of his sweet victory by continually putting obstacles in his path.

The impending court case against Anwar for sexual crimes is just one good example. BN crooks will stop at nothing to prevent Anwar from forming the new government just so that they can continue to plunder the nation with impunity.

As I have said many a time, all right thinking Malaysians are desperately crying out for change, and Anwar is just the right person to help us effect change in this respect by forming the next government.

Augustine Yeo: Firstly, I would to congratulate Anwar Ibrahim for defeating BN with a majority of 15,671 votes. What is BN going to say about the results? Despite the odds against Anwar, the rakyat are the deciders and they don't make U-turns.

With all of their resources behind the BN candidate, they still could not change the mind set of the voters. With the media controlled by the government, we had little access to what Anwar had to say.

We are heading toward vision 2020 thanks to sites like these. Through the Internet, the up-and-coming younger generations cannot be fooled by the BN government with all types of promises and goodies.

All the allocations poured into Permatang Pauh were of taxpayers’ money and were unfairly distributed. This was the dirtiest and most expansive election with the purpose of burying DSAI’s political future.

The dirty tactics used by BN are not well received by the rakyat. What is the outspoken KJ going to say about the results of the election?

Instead of burying DSAI, BN has been thrown out. All the ministers in BN need to be overhauled and replaced with PK leaders by Anwar Ibrahim.Bernard: Let us thank god that PKR has defeated Umno. Now it is time for Pak Lah and his crony Najib to depart.

Najib should be investigated. Is he above the law? It is one beautiful day for Malaysia, and this is just the beginning.

Chelvam Rengasamy: First, my warmest congratulations to Anwar for his victory and my highest appreciation for the people of Permatang Pauh, all of whom stood against government propaganda and made a wise choice.

Indeed, this victory has brought new meaning to the word merdeka. My living area houses a multiracial community with hundreds of people. Every year, in the first week of August, we all raise the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ in our homes and fly it proudly.

However, this year no one did - it was somehow due to the current regime in this country. As the results of the Permatang Pauh by-election became known, all of the residents in my housing area - including me - raised the 'Jalur Gemilang' around 11pm.

What does it show? I guess, for once, we felt there was a certain ‘freedom’ and ‘hope’ for Malaysians of all races - regardless of colour or creed. We are one family, and this land belongs to all.

The rakyat have spoken - it’s time for all to get back to work and get Malaysia back to where it belonged once. Today, Malaysia is lagging behind many countries, even those in the Asean region.

The time has come for serious action to remedy the situation. Merdeka Merdeka Merdeka, Daulat Tuanku!

Millionth Citizen: Like millions of others in the country, we want to thank the people of Permatang Pauh for this new beginning in the nation.

We would also like to thank Raja Petra, the jailed Hindraf members and those recently arrested, everyone seeking refuge from persecution in other countries and all the people who have helped in this by-election - we thank you all.

We also urge the electorates of constituencies now under BN to tell their representatives that the New Dawn has begun, and if they have any conscience, they need to do something for their children and their future and cross over to a party that will be fair to the whole nation.

We also give a million thanks to workers and supporters for seeing the future.

Michael Lee: As a Singaporean, I can only view and comment from the sidelines. Permit me to express my sincere opinion about this person Anwar Ibrahim:

1. He is one of Malaysia’s Malays who can unite all, regardless of language, race and religion,

2. In power as PM, he will bring equality, peace and prosperity to all people,

3. Investments shall pour in from all over the world and, more importantly, he will get a high Singapore commitment,

4. All outstanding issues with Singapore will likely be settled, as he has a good, reasonable vision,

5. He knows what is good for Malaysia and the people, and knows good neighbours for partnerships in win-win situations,

6. He will definitely not betray the Malays, but he will also share prosperity among all races,

7. The world is looking at him to do damage repairs and Malaysian can count on him for this,

Give him a chance to improve and bring Malaysia forward in 2009. As Malaysia prospers, so will Singapore – both forever.

Xman: DSAI to be sworn in tomorrow. This is indeed the dawning of a new era for Malaysia. God willing, our politics will become clean again, a long overdue notion indeed.

Meng: Having just returned from Permatang Pauh, it appears that the ground has shifted completely. During the campaign period, many were puzzled by the lack of the presence of foot soldiers at the many BN bilik gerakan.

The usual floods of BN supporters, their cars and their rumblings - which are often overwhelming and almost intimidating during by-elections - were conspicuously missing this time around.

Perhaps there are no more grassroots. Perhaps, after March 8 and after following the despicable and lowly smear tactics of BN leaders, the BN grassroots have abandoned the ship. All that’s left are the few generals and simple palace guards.

I think BN leaders and MPs have to think long and hard if they desire to continue to serve the people.

It’s not that they are all bad, but they serve a very weak set of leaders who are more concerned about their own survival than that of the nation.

It is time for them, including the remaining upstanding MPs in BN, to come over to Pakatan Rakyat and truly represent the people of Malaysia. The grassroots have all moved. Merdeka!

Dr SK: To all of you who voted for BN, your man Arif and none of the BN big guns or supporters had the grace to attend the announcement of the results of the Permatang Pauh by-election. ‘Thank you’ for voting for them.

It goes to show how typically ungrateful Arif and BN are. They do not care at all about how you feel - deserted in their defeat, they care only about winning.

Once again, Arif’s and BN's disappearance exemplifies exactly what is so despicable about BN.

Ganga: I would like to congratulate Anwar on his win. From now on, PKR has a new set of challenges. The current government will not give up its power just like that. There will be many dirty games starting now.

Some of the things BN might do might be like tales from a Tamil movie. I have seen many episodes, and now I will experience it in my own land. Parliamentarians are subject to money politics.

An entrapment will be elaborately set up to break the opposition MPs in the likes of the Perak case. Racial tension will by played up to create unrest within the opposition.

This will benefit BN, as they are a race-based party.

Anwar himself will be entrapped with many legal charges, like with the lies of the Saiful case. Backstabbing will take place, like the Nallakaruppan allegation of corruption against Anwar.

There are things BN will plan to get Anwar using its government legs to create unrest. There are so many unimaginable things coming to terms.

I hope PKR and its coalition leaders are ready to once again live up to new challenges to save the country from this tyrant BN.

M Kamil Nurul Azman: Friends, countrymen, comrades - god has helped us. The truth will always triumph over evil. While writing this comment, I still feel the utmost satisfaction with last night’s results.

I believe that the right mind set and the clear judgment by the Malay voters in Permatang Pauh were the determining factors in the victory.

For the second time running, all the BN propaganda on television and in the newspapers fell on the deaf ears of the Permatang Pauh folks. Good job!

As for the PM’s in-law, being a Kelantanese voter, I still remember the time when this person came to campaign in my part of the world.

I remember his words, him saying in campaigns that he wanted to give Kelantan as a present to the PM, and that BN will return to power in the East Coast state.

Well, the rest, as they say, is history.

On Win a 'defining moment for nation'

Lim Keat Hoe: Only the Umnoputras will deny that this is a ‘defining moment’.

In the twilight of his mediocre premiership, will Abdullah now act as a statesman that Malaysians can look back on in the future with pride?

Namely, he should stop the legal pursuit of Anwar.

But, sadly, I am sure he won't or can't. The political high drama will continue, but history has shown that the will of the rakyat cannot be subdued forever.

For the sake of the nation - in the name of peace, unity and prosperity - I pray that the powers-that-be will cease and desist.

On Election Commission denies fraud charges

Maran: Kamaruzzaman said 'Our figures fully accounted for'. Then how come his figure for turnout is only 63% but actual figure shows 80%?

Kamaruzzaman should explain his capablity in mathematics to the country and it is a disgrace for the nation to have people like Kamaruzzaman as election officers.

On Najib regrets polling day scuffle

Timo FP: Dear Mr DPM - you, your party and your candidate have been given a well-aimed kick in your ample behinds.

You would be well advised to return to Putrajaya and lick your wounds instead of pointing fingers for the defeat.

Scuffle? My foot. Your BN goons aren't exactly angels either. It was fair play, and you and your cohorts have lost big-time.

By the way, we can all thank your protege sandiwara-man from Rembau for getting your 'loser-from-the-start' BN candidate buried by the avalanche of votes.

Listen well, Mr DPM - nobody bought your drama. The ones who did, did so for the pay-dirt that is now not going to materialise.

The constant barrage of carefully-documented visuals depicting you greeting locals in a market, kicking a football, visiting a so-called injured pix-man in the hospital and swearing in a mosque (which the mainstream media were quick to publish with blind-loyalty) flopped big-time.

After your sterling performances in box-office hits like ‘An Evening In Port Dickson’ and ‘High-Flying In Mongolia’, we are extremely disappointed by your insipid outing in your latest effort, ‘Why Now? In Permatang Pauh’.

It was a box-office disaster impounded by your novice sandiwara-man from Rembau.

You may be in self-denial, but you would be well advised to pack and await your turn at one of your lifeboats because your once-mighty ship is sinking under its own weight of deceit, sex scandal and corruption.

Sang Kancil: It is always the culture of BN-Umno to blame the opposition for all the bad behaviour.

Just look at the uncvilised behaviour portrayed by those Umnoputeras on nomination day. These guys are fit to be in jungle.

But our friend Najib blames the opposition. Please look and educate your guys first, Mr DPM. Anyway, this election will be the final death siren for BN-Umno.

On 5 'phantom' buses stopped, MP arrested

Sitha: Though I am happy with the victory of Anwar and Malaysia, I am also saddened with what happened to Gopalakrishnan and his family. How many times has Malaysia witnessed a family being arrested for doing good for the country?

And how many times has Malaysia witnessed a family in full swing, working their butts off under the hot sun, trying to make sure the election processes takes place fairly only to get assaulted for it?

Gopalakrishnan and his family should be released immediately. They are the examples of how we want the Malaysians to be - fighting for a good cause, no matter of what race or belief.

We are proud of them and we want them out from detention now.

On PKR leader: If Anwar wins, 13 Sabah MPs will cross over

KSN: I wish to point out to the BN MPs that BN (through Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and the parties from Sabah and Sarawak) has not only betrayed the country, but their respective communities as well.

There is no need to elaborate and provide details, as the country is aware of it - you MPs more than others.

We have seen a lack of leadership in taking the country in the right direction - towards harmony and social justice and away from corruption, abuse and misuse of public funds, cronyism and abuse of power just so that a few could become rich.

Those in the BN with any shred of conscience, integrity and honour left - whether they are from Umno, MCA, Gerakan, MIC, Sabah or Sarawak - should help to stop the country from continuing along this destructive path.

Please cross over - give Malaysia and its people a chance. There is no need to have second thoughts about morality here - to stay with BN and continue to support it is immoral and you know it.

What do you say, BN MPs? Can we count on you to do the right thing?

Umno leaders call PM to quit after defeat

Source : Malaysiakini

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi faced calls to quit from within Umno after opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim scored a landslide by-election victory.


abdullah ahmad badawi pak lah angry anwar lookAnwar won the vote to return to parliament despite an intense campaign mounted by the Barisan Nasional, which he has promised to unseat within a month with the help of defecting lawmakers.

The failure to check Anwar has heaped more pressure on Abdullah, who has fought to hold on to his job since the March general election in which the opposition gained unprecedented ground.

Veteran Umno leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah called for a new leadership "to unite our people... and forge a clear national direction."

"(Abdullah) does not have the minimal credibility needed to run the country day by day, let alone to take it in the new directions we need to go in a complex world," he said. "This dangerous situation cannot continue."

tengku razaleighRazaleigh said the coalition's by-election campaign, which was criticised for its racial overtones and focus on sodomy allegations against Anwar, has "embarrassed and divided the nation with its ugliness."

"It is time to face the music: it is we who have been buried," he said.

umno special briefing abdullah ahmad badawi announce resignation date 100708 2"Our leadership is rejected by the rakyat and, moreover, is rejected by our own members. BN's vote count was less than the number of Umno members in the constituency.

"Within and among our component parties we ran a poorly coordinated and listless campaign against a motivated opposition.

"What scraps of credibility the prime minister and his deputy had left after March 8 are gone," he added.

Wave cannot be stopped

Razaleigh also called on Umno members and BN component parties to stand by Umno in 'our hour of crisis'.

"The people of Malaysia and along with them, Umno's ordinary members, have found their democratic voice," he said, warning that the wave cannot be stopped.

Razaleigh plans to challenge Abdullah for the party leadership in the Umno polls this December, but is likely to fail after the premier silenced calls for his immediate ouster by agreeing to hand over power to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak in 2010.

Abdullah's main critic, former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, has also called for the resignation of his successor after relations between the two soured in 2006.

mukhriz mahathir 290508Mahathir's son Mukhriz, another senior Umno figure, who is vying for the top spot in the party's influential youth wing, also called for Abdullah's immediate resignation.

"I think Abdullah should strongly consider for all our sakes, to step down now," he told AFP.

"This is a second time that the Malaysian people have given a clear message, with the first at the general elections. It is a rejection of the present leader and he must leave now."

Anwar won the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat after defeating BN’s Arif Shah Omar Shah with a majority of 15,671 votes.

Anwar to be sworn in tomorrow

Source : Malaysiakini

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia announced this morning that Anwar Ibrahim, the new member of parliament for Permatang Pauh, will be sworn in tomorrow.

Anwar makes his return to the House in grand style after an absence of 10 years by winning the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday with a majority of 15,671.

The de facto PKR leader is also expected to be appointed parliamentary opposition leader for the 81 Pakatan Rakyat MPs.

"The parliament speaker has said Anwar will be sworn in as an MP on Thursday," said Tian Chua, information chief of PKR, which leads the three-member alliance.

"We will all be there to welcome Anwar as the leader of the opposition and the parliament will be very different with his voice," said Tian, who is MP for Batu.

"It is a real morale boost for the Pakatan Rakyat in Parliament."

All eyes now on Sept 16

Anwar yesterday won the by-election in his old constituency of Permatang Pauh with a thumping majority, despite claims of a "dirty tricks" campaign mounted by the ruling coalition to sideline him.

The 61-year-old opposition leader spent six years in jail before the sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004. But he now faces new sodomy charges levelled by a former aide which he says have been concocted by the government.

Anwar has said that the Pakatan Rakyat will be able to form the next government by Sept 16. He needs to secure the support of 30 government defectors in order to topple the coalition.

He told Malaysiakini two weeks ago that one of his first task as opposition leader was to reconnect with those government MPs who had indicated their willingness to defect.

"The prime thing is to get back in contact with those MPs that have given their word that they would support (Pakatan) when I return to Parliament."

Monday, August 25, 2008

Permatang Pauh : This is the dirtiest elections ever, says ANWAR

Source : Malaysiakini

Sleaze and race are dominating the Permatang Pauh by-election where opposition leader and self-proclaimed prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim is fighting to return to parliament after a decade-long absence.


Anwar tells voters that if he is elected he will be just one step away from toppling the government and replacing it with a new one that is free of racial discrimination and corruption. He proposes to do that by inducing defections from the ranks of the ruling Barisan Nasional.

anwar ibrahim ceramah in tok kandu permatang pauh by election 220808 06In response to Anwar’s challenge, the ruling coalition has unleashed money, patronage and the overwhelming control it has over the mainstream media to convince the 58,000 voters in this constituency that Anwar is simply unfit to be anything, let alone the next prime minister.

Their main weapons in this campaign are sleaze and the manipulation of racial fears to influence the voters, 70 percent of whom are Muslim-Malays.

One matter persistently used in the campaign is the charge filed against Anwar on July 26 that he allegedly sodomised former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The trial starts on Sept 13.

In the meantime, Azlan has sworn on the Quran that Anwar had sodomised him and a video recording of the swearing, done at a leading mosque in the capital on Aug 16, is now being screened in every village and town here to influence the Malay voters.

The question voters are prompted to ask at every turn is that if Anwar, who says he is a victim of a frame-up, is not guilty then why is he afraid to swear on the Quran.

Ministers, senior ruling party leaders and even Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi have turned the knife in urging voters to ponder the matter in a desperate attempt to turn away Malays and defeat Anwar in his family stronghold.

Anwar: This is the dirtiest elections ever

Anwar has consistently said he will not swear on the Quran because it is against Islam to do so.

"I have already fulfilled my obligation as a Muslim by filing a complaint against the false accuser in the Syariah court,” he said in an interview on the sidelines of a hectic campaign schedule that starts at 6 a.m. with a walkabout at the morning market and ends well past midnight.

"They are using dirty tactics, race and making false accusations to win over the Malays," Anwar told IPS. "This is the dirtiest election ever."

pas ceramah permatang pauh 240808 08Despite the use of the sodomy allegation, Malays are flocking to his campaign rallies by the thousands and enthusiastically clapping and cheering as he slams government corruption and mismanagement of the economy.

Anwar faces BN candidate Arif Shah Omar Shah and Hanafi Mamat, of the Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia in the contest for the Permatang Pauh seat which fell vacant when Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, vacated it so he could contest.

The move is a strategy to unite the opposition under Anwar’s leadership and take on the BN government which is politically at its weakest point after suffering massively in the March 8 general election.

"This by-election has yet to deliver the quality of campaigning that can generate confident optimism in Malaysia’s future," said Bridget Welsh, an American academic observing the by-election campaign.

najib at bn leaders mca function in permatang pauh 250808 02"The BN campaign is focused on Anwar’s character, and systematically used character assassination as a means to reduce Anwar’s majority," she said.

"Studies show that this sort of attack serves to consolidate a party's core traditional supporters, and rarely sways undecided voters," she added in an article on the campaigning.

Political analysts said it is significant that both sides have failed to move the campaign debate from political character assignation to meaningful dialogue on freedom, democracy and tolerance in a multi-ethnic society.

Civil society activists are disappointed, saying the key issue before the voters is the future of secular guarantees on which this nation was founded and how freedom has eroded on pressure from Islamic fundamentalism.

What does he mean by change?

While the government has not given voters a clear vision of the future, neither is Anwar giving them a clear idea what he means by ‘change’ - the key word in his campaign arsenal.

"Does change mean a society that puts the constitution over Syariah? Or does it mean just less corruption, more accountability," asked a prominent lawyer who declined to be identified.

"The key issues of today are religious freedom, rule of law, judicial independence and preservation of the constitution from fundamentalists," he said. "None of these major issues are raised or debated.”

barisan rakyat pakatan rakyat pkr dap pas leadersEven within the opposition, by now it is clear that five months after the gains of the general election change means different things to the disparate political parties that form the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

Islamists are increasingly demanding a society entirely based on Syariah, while non-Muslims hunger for a return to an earlier era when secular guarantees were respected and applied to all citizens equally.

Voters at the by-election - mostly rice farmers, petty traders and factory workers - are not being asked to choose between one political programme and another, but are merely bombarded with sordid tales designed to influence their sentiments.

Race is another key factor being exploited to win voter support.

anwar yayasan aman pc 250808 03Anwar has won over the minority Chinese and Indians voters with his promise to abolish corruption, apply special rights to all who need it and treat all citizens as equal.

The government is playing on Malay fears that the Chinese, who are economically dominant, are riding on Anwar and would gain if Malays voted for the former deputy prime minister.

"He is a traitor to the Malays," said Umno vice-president Muyhiddin Yassin during a campaign rally last week.

The "Chinese would gain" theme is played over and over in the government controlled mainstream media, at political rallies, in leaflets and during "whispered" house-to-house campaign.

"If Malays fall for it then it is back to the drawing board for him," said a diplomat with a European mission, on customary condition of anonymity.

While the authorities beat the racial drums, Anwar’s camp is also selectively appealing to particular racial groups with particular messages while keeping its promise of inclusive politics and multi-racialism carefully vague and undefined.

Despite the many setbacks, Anwar is expected to win and return to parliament as the opposition leader. Beyond that, becoming prime minister is a difficult task considering the upcoming sodomy trial he faces and the coercive powers that his opponents enjoy.

Nevertheless, the impact of a convincing victory for Anwar would be felt across the country and raise hopes for a new Malaysia without race and discrimination, after five decades of dominance by Umno

The results are also bound to echo across much of the world where Anwar is seen as a leading moderate Muslim leader who is able to successfully marry Islam with secular democracy.

Permatang Pauh : EC SECRETARY Dares To Take Him To Court

Source : Malaysiakini

With just a day left for polling, confusion reigned over the electoral roll that is to be used for Permatang Pauh by-election with at least 710 voters may be unable to cast their votes tomorrow.


The problem came amid dispute over two sets of electoral rolls - one gazetted and one ‘updated' - adopted by the Election Commissions (EC) for the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

A heated argument broke out between EC secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor and a group of journalists as he attempted to clarify the matter at a 90-minute press conference in Penang today.

election commision pc 250808 02 He was met by reporters during a meeting and final preparation works by the EC workers at the Tuanku Bainun Teachers' Training College, which will be used as the counting centre tomorrow.

At the end of the press conference, he suggested to the media to take him to court if they are not happy with the explanations he provided to quell doubts raised by opposition PKR yesterday.

The heated argument however did not stop at the media session as it continued in a separate 40-minute meeting between Kamaruzaman and PKR leaders R Sivarasa and Fuziah Salleh later.

Permatang Pauh : High Turn Out Expected

Source : Malaysiakini

High turnout expected

At the separate 40-minute session with the two PKR leaders later, Kamaruzaman insisted that the EC has come clean and complied with laws in the election's conduct including the electoral roll.

election commision pc 250808 03As the two parties insisted on their own stand, the meeting ended with the PKR agreed to submit the 868 names which they have found to be removed to EC this afternoon for verification.

Requests by the journalists to have another EC press conference this evening to clarify the matter was not entertained when Kamaruzaman repeatedly replied that he will check the matter first.

Nevertheless, upon the repeated requests by Fuziah and Sivarasa, Kamaruzaman retracted his earlier claim at the press conference that the PKR was lying.

Meanwhile, Kamaruzaman said he expected a high voters' turnout at the polling tomorrow. In the March general election, it recorded a 81 percent voters' turnout.

The polling result is expected to be announced between 9.30pm and 10.30pm.

PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim faces BN's Arif Shah Omar Shah and Akim president Hanafi Hamat in the three-way fight.

Permatang Pauh : EC Covers Its Mistakes

Source : Malaysiakini

This is a lie'

The controversy began with claims from PKR yesterday that there are a total of 868 names which could not be found in the electoral roll which was ‘updated' on July 31 - to be used tomorrow - as compared to the roll which was gazetted on June 19.

Usually, a gazetted electoral roll will be used as the official roll in the conduct of an election. The gazetted roll is final and cannot be questioned in court even if there is any dispute.

election commision pc 250808 04 However, strangely, the EC has decided to use the ‘updated' roll on July 31 - and yet to be gazetted - for the by-election tomorrow and led to questions over it.

Apart from that, PKR also claimed the electoral roll was tainted with over 400 doubtful postal voters and argued these defects could eventually affect about 2,000 votes in total for the party.

Explaining on the 868 names which went ‘missing' in the ‘updated' roll, Kamaruzaman clarified today that there were only 158 names which were removed in the latest roll.

The reasons why these names were removed among others include ‘wrong' voters registration, deaths, those who aged above 100 and deemed fit by the EC to remove their names from the roll on the presumption that they have passed away.

Hitting out at the PKR's claim, a visibly annoyed Kamaruzaman said: "This is a lie. This is done to tarnish the good name of the EC."

There are a total of 58,459 eligible voters who can cast their vote tomorrow, an increase of 10 new voters compared to the March general election.

Temperature at the press conference ran high as journalists repeatedly attempted to clarify the discrepancy in the figures provided by the EC secretary, which could not be tallied.

Pressed on why a non-gazetted roll was being used in the by-election, he shot back and said: "Can you show me which provision of the law (which requires) me to gazette the roll?"

"Those names which I have deleted (from the roll) was done under the power given to me as a chief registrar, I don't need to display (the new roll)," he argued.

The press conference ended after 90 minutes with the group of journalists leaving in an utterly confused state.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Permatang Pauh : ARIF SHAH, My Wife Is A Naughty Girl

Source : Malaysiakini

‘My wife is a naughty girl’

The Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency houses three state seats - Permatang Pasir (PAS), Penanti (PKR) and Seberang Jaya (Umno), where Arif Shah has represented for two terms.

permatang pauh 230808 poster man 2The BN man faces PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim and Akim president Hanafi Hamat in a three-cornered fight. Polling is on Tuesday.

According to Arif Shah, Permatang Pasir is the major ‘black’ area, followed by Penanti.

Asked on the possibility of Hanafi taking votes of PAS supporters away from Anwar, Arif Shah said that would be something positive for him.

The BN candidate said he will cast his vote at the Sekolah Seberang Jaya (II) on polling day at exactly 8am, which he believed is an ‘auspicious’ time.

Clad in a blue BN shirt, Arif Shah appeared slightly fatigue during the press conference after eight days of non-stop campaigning but he entertained all questions from journalists passionately.

permatang pauh 2008 results for state and state seats 140808According to him, he had only sleep for two to three hours a day since nomination day last Saturday.

Despite the hectic schedule, Arif Shah said he wake up every morning to perform his subuh prayer.

“My wife is a naughty girl. She would wake me up at 6.30am. I’d thought she was waking me up for something else, but my wife said, ‘you need to go for prayers’. That somehow forced me to wake up (early),” he quipped.

There are 58,459 eligible voters in Permatang Pauh.

To ensure a higher voter turnout on the polling day, which is a working day, the Pakatan-led Penang state government has today declared a special holiday for Aug 26.

The seat was vacated by PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to pave the way for her husband Anwar to return to Parliament after a 10-year hiatus since his sacking from the government.

Permatang Pauh : Abdul Hadi Awang Calls To Vote For Anwar

Source : Malaysiakini

Any differences on who will become the next prime minister should Pakatan Rakyat form federal government were put aside last night as PAS supporters turned out in full force to back "their" candidate.

At Taman Guar Perahu, which is 99 percent Malay voters, party president Abdul Hadi Awang and spiritual healer Dr Haron Din allayed rumours of a PAS pullout by urging the crowd to support "our warrior".

In this particular part of Penanti - one of the three state constituencies in Permatang Pauh - some 4,000 people braved the light drizzle to listen to PAS top guns.

hadi awang 010807Though Hadi's ceramah only lasted 10 minutes, his final words should be enough for anyone doubting PAS’ commitment to PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim's campaign.

"I urge Permatang Pauh voters to once again give your votes to PKR and let Anwar return to Parliament. And if there is a chance to lead this country as well," said Hadi.

pas ceramah permatang pauh 240808 08It put to rest, for the moment, his own ambitions to helm the nation.

Before that, he touched on issues of governance and why Barisan Nasional, in particular Umno, should be rejected.

Later, it was announced that Hadi was not feeling well and hence the short but no less crucial message.

Sodomy allegation

Meanwhile, Haron's ceramah also helped kill off lingering doubts Malay voters may have regarding the sodomy allegation against Anwar.

pas ceramah permatang pauh 240808 06"These people are using Islam when it suits them," said the 68-year-old religious scholar-turned-politician.

"When they made accusations, they go to the mosque, hold the Quran and swear in God's name. But what about the other part of Islam requirements?" he asked.

"If they want to use syariah to swear that the crime did take place, he (accuser Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan) should also present four credible witnesses."

Under Islamic law, accusations must be backed by four credible witnesses otherwise the accuser is guilty of qazaf (false accusations).

So far, the Umno campaign has revolved around the sodomy allegation and Anwar’s ‘betrayal’ of the Malay cause.

pas ceramah permatang pauh 240808 05Haron's defence just two days before polling is the best that PKR could wish for to help satisfy questions on why Anwar has not taken an oath to deny the allegation.

Umno will no doubt crank up the pressure over the next 48 hours with around-the-clock public screening of Saiful's swearing.

But for the PAS faithful, Haron and Hadi are enough to combat BN's more high-tech campaign.

Aug 26 special holiday in Penang

Source : Malaysiakini

Aug 26, the polling day for the crucial Permatang Pauh by-election, has been declared a special public holiday in Penang by the state government.


lim guan eng and penangChief Minister Lim Guan Eng made the announcement today in a press statement saying that the special holiday was to ensure a full turnout of the 58,459 voters for the critical by-election.

“The Penang state government has been mulling over the decision ever since the Elections Commission fixed a working day on Tuesday August 26 as polling day in defiance of public opinion that this will reduce the voter turnout,” he said.

The announcement came a day after the Education Ministry declared a special school holiday in Permatang Pauh to allow schools to be used as polling stations.

“By fixing polling day on a working day and giving such preferential treatment of a special school holiday, the Education Ministry is trying to gain an advantage for a certain party and their candidate,” said Lim.

“To ensure a level-playing field and fairness to all candidates, the Penang state government has decided to declare August 26, 2008 as a state public holiday,”

According to Lim, the special holiday is taken as an additional holiday in the state and need not be replaced by taking away another holiday.

The chief minister urged all voters to turn out to cast their votes on Tuesday.

“The state government requests all factories to assist their workers in Permatang Pauh to carry out their duties to determine not only their choice of wakil rakyat but also decide the destiny of the country.”

No Datukship For Kids

Source : Malaysiakini

First, it was Nicole David.


I was really shocked when 24-year-old Nicole was awarded the datukship last month. Why? No doubt she’s the world squash champion but she’s only a ‘kid’ and since when did we start giving out datukships (originally meant for senior, deserving citizens) to school kids?

Now, it’s Lee Chong Wei!

lee chong weiCome on, Mr Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng. This is your most ridiculous act yet in your first few months as Penang’s chief executive.

These are young people only in their twenties - and to award them the datukships - whatever for? What is happening these days? Surely, there are other more appropriate and more useful rewards or incentives we can offer our young sportsmen and sportswomen.

I always think of a datuk as an older person, someone highly revered (even idolised or feared perhaps) and who has contributed immensely to the state and nation. A datukship used to be awarded to those holding high public offices such as governors, ministers, top civil servants and prominent philanthropists.

rais yatim 03In recent times however, a datukship has almost become ‘valueless’. Palace hands have been alleged to be involved in ‘selling’ the honorific titles. Ask Dr Rais Yatim. Some years ago, he accused such people of being involved in corruption by acting as middle-men and surprisingly, none of the royal households came out to dispute it. So, we can form our own conclusion on Rais’ allegation.

But right thinking Malaysians are still hoping that our king, sultans and governors give out the datukship to those who are truly deserving, with outstanding contributions to society and nation. It will be better if the number is kept small to uphold the dignity, quality and value of the award.

I will be honest. Since the March 8 general election, I have been hoping that the new Pakatan Rakyat state governments will do away with the Barisan Nasional’s way of rewarding their members and cronies with honorific titles, the datukship in particular.

Titles used as rewards

Let’s look at these examples. Is it not true that when a certain BN leader is not selected as a electoral candidate, he will be given a datukship as a means to pacify him? Isn’t it true that business people who contribute to the BN coffers will be rewarded with honorific titles and with promises that there will be more coming if they remain loyal cronies? And isn’t it correct to say that when a senior BN leader is forced to step down from office, he will be given another high-sounding title - maybe a ‘promotion’ from Datuk to Tan Sri - again to pacify him. As for the heavyweights, they are likely to be made Tuns. (Aha, it’s also the BN’s way of shutting up a ‘big mouth’. Ever wonder why Dr Lim Keng Yaik has suddenly become ‘dumb’!)

But I am really disappointed. Barely two months into office, new Perak state exco members are starting to reward themselves with their sultan’s birthday honours as if these are the ‘spoils from the war’ they just won.

ngeh koo hamA case in point is senior exco Ngeh Koo Ham, who was made a datuk. I don’t know how he feels when even his more senior and accomplished party colleagues like Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Dr Chen Man Hin and Dr Tan Seng Giaw are still ‘datuk-less’.

If I were Ngeh, I would not hesitate to decline the datukship out of respect for my party veterans and elders. As it is now, Ngeh is the first serving DAP leader to become a datuk. Oh yes, he has every reason to feel proud about it, but I doubt many in the DAP feel much pride. In case Ngeh is still in dreamland, let me respectfully inform him that several party stalwarts are not pleased with his ditching the DAP’s long-standing, unwritten rule of not accepting honorific titles.

No different from MCA

anwar ibrahim sodomy allegation saiful bukhari azlan first day in court 070808 lim kit siang 01Of course, Ngeh could always sing the old, familiar tune of ‘it would be disrespectful to decline the award from the sultan’. But then, many of us are aware that before awarding a candidate with a title, the palace or the relevant department will write to inform the candidate and he or she can decide whether to accept or decline the award. It has been said that Kit Siang has turned down a datukship before and I think he genuinely feels good about it.

I do not know Ngeh personally, but I have to say again I am very disappointed. I may sound unfair but it’s also possible that perhaps next year, Ngeh may recommend a datukship for his cousin, Nga Kor Ming, who is also a state exco member.

So now, how is this different from the MCA style of ‘towkay politics’ the DAP has been fighting against all these decades.

I am sorry, DAP. Some of your Perak leaders seem to be falling into the same class-conscious and egoistic-society trap that has destroyed Gerakan and badly damaged the MCA. (To be fair, let me exclude Fong Po Kuan and M Kulasegaran from this equation).

I am aware that the new Perak menteri besar from PAS was also conferred a title. I refrain from commenting negatively about Malays receiving honorific titles because I believe it is part of their culture. The Malays have long historical ties with titles and awards from the old sultanate days and it would be wrong to deny them the joy and pleasure of receiving such recognition.

But it is a different matter when it comes to the non-Malay communities. Being called a datuk has never been part of Chinese or Indian culture. So let’s be honest about it - it is nothing more than a mere ego-boosting symbol. It sounds good but is actually hollow.

Let me appeal to the Pakatan state governments to stop dishing out such honorific titles to non-Malay leaders or business people. I’m sure there are long queues waiting for the sultans or governors’ birthdays by now. Show the people you intend to make a difference; and making one difference is to NOT do what the BN has done and is still doing - making use of the birthday awards to reward their people and cronies, thereby demeaning them in the process. Put a stop to this.

Give to the retired

A Chinese paper recently speculated that Lim Kit Siang and other DAP veterans like Liew Ah Kim and Dr Tan Seng Giaw are to receive the datukship from the Selangor Sultan on his forthcoming birthday. While they are deserving recipients indeed, there are many who feel that the DAP’s long-standing unwritten rule should stay. However, DAP veterans who had retired like Dr Chen Man Hin, Liew Ah Kim, Sim Kwang Yang, Lau Dak Kee and others should be given priority - if at all they are keen to be made datuks.

Remember Khir Johari and Ghafar Baba. They had respectfully declined all awards while in office and only agreed to be conferred only upon retirement. What exemplary leaders they had been!

Back to Penang, I must salute Guan Eng too for not giving himself any state award on the governor’s birthday last month. Conferring Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail the ‘Datuk Seri’ was a clever move as she is truly a deserving recipient - an exemplary wife, mother and leader.

nicol david nicole david squash playerBut to award the datukship to Nicole David and Lee Chong Wei is silly, awkward and un-chief minister-like. I describe them as ‘kids’ because they are viewed as such when weighed against the title which is normally given to senior citizens.

Guan Eng’s reason that “Chong Wei was being honoured because he had done not only Penang but also Malaysia proud with his achievement as the first Penangite to win a silver medal at the world’s biggest sports event” does not hold up for the datukship at all.

Hey, Yap Kim Hock and Cheah Soon Kit also brought the silver medal home from the 1996 Atlanta Games. And what about Jalani and Razif Sidek. They won Malaysia’s first Olympic medal, albeit only a bronze, in Barcelona in 1992. They should all be made datuks too, if Guan Eng’s reasoning is to be taken as a yardstick.

Then what about our other sporting greats like Rabuan Pit, formerly Asia’s fastest man, former Mr Universe Soloman Ismanto, or our football legends like the late ‘Spiderman’ R Arumugam and Santokh Singh - why were they not awarded the datukship? Indeed, there is a long list of sportsmen and sportswomen who had also brought glory and honour to the nation too.

Rethink his style

We can appreciate that Guan Eng is a young chief minister (I consider those below 50 young lah) and he intends to thrive on doing things differently, which is well and good. But this awarding of the datukship to ‘kids’ is definitely not well and good and the young chief minister has to be advised as such.

penang land scam 290708 lim guan engIn future, Guan Eng should consider awarding permanent scholarships from the Penang government to the state’s high achievers in sports.

For example, Nicole or Chong Wei could be given scholarships to further their studies, say in sports science at USM or overseas, when they retire from the sporting arena. That would be a more appropriate reward from the state government than the datukship.

In future, I sincerely hope the chief minister can take a moment to rethink his style of dishing out datukship to ‘kids’.

It ain’t so comforting and it will be even embarrassing to hear RTM’s Hasbullah Awang commenting on Chong Wei when he next steps onto the badminton court, “Oh, Datuk Lee tersungkur ke lantai gelanggang dan tumbang di tangan Lin Dan."

Thanks to CM Lim Guan Eng, Lin Dan has created history by taking his first Malaysian Datuk scalp - he floored and defeated Datuk Lee Chong Wei.


Permatang Pauh : Hindraf leaders arrested in Seberang Jaya

Source : Malaysiakini

Eight Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders, including national co-ordinator TS Thanenthiran, were arrested this evening after staging a protest against a splinter group outside a Chinese temple in Seberang Jaya, Penang.


hindraf penang protest 230808 protestThe protest began around 2pm, swelling to about 200 people by the time the arrests were made. The splinter group, which also claims to represent Hindraf, was carrying out a bonfire prayer at the temple.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in town to help campaign for his coalition in the Permatang Pauh by-election, dropped by to visit the temple around 5.30pm. He chatted briefly with members of the splinter group and shook hands with some of them before leaving.

hindraf penang protest 230808 arrestSoon after that, the demonstration got out of hand and the arrests were made around 6.30pm.

Police said the eight people, including two women, were arrested for illegal demonstration.

Hindraf chief P Waythamoorthy called Malaysiakini from London, saying that the splinter group did not represent Hindraf and the prayer ceremony was not sanctioned by the Indian rights group.

Seeking divine intervention

Bonfire organisers VK Regu had told reporters earlier that the event was organised by the Makkal Sakhti movement, which is sometimes used interchangeably with Hindraf, in collaboration with an NGO.

“We want to seek divine intervention to secure the release of the five Hindraf leaders detained under the Internal Security Act,” he said, adding that the event
was also to urge Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to fulfil Hindraf’s 18-point memorandum on Indian affairs submitted to Abdullah last year.

hindraf penang protest 230808 templeShortly after, Regu was confronted by the 10 Hindraf activists and a shouting match erupted between the two groups before the protest began.

The Hindraf activist claimed that the bonfire organisers were out to confuse Indian voters in Permatang Pauh by engaging Abdullah at the event.

The demonstration began immediately after Abdullah left the event with protesters shouting “reformasi” and “long live Anwar” before they were dispersed by the police.

Permatang Pauh : Offensive Banner, BN Denies

Source : Malaysiakini

Controversial banners and ‘fake’ leaflets aimed at discrediting PKR candidate Anwar Ibrahim have surfaced in and around Permatang Pauh, as campaigning for the by-election heads into the final lap, with balloting slated for Tuesday Aug 26.


Malaysiakini found some of these ‘fake’ leaflets, allegedly originated by groups within PAS and PKR itself, and containing offensive remarks about Anwar in the election campaign offices of archrivals Umno and Barisan Nasional..

One such leaflet, claimed to have come from Permatang Pauh PAS Youth division, carried the headline ‘An insult to Islamic state to be led by a sodomite’ and called on the voters to reject Anwar.

Another leaflet, allegedly from PKR Selangor bearing the party’s logo, attempted to confuse voters with reverse pyschology, asking them to support PKR for advocating ‘rakyat supremacy’.

“The Malay supremacy made Malays live with the crutches. We must get rid of the Malay crutch so that the Malays will be stronger and bolder. The PKR and DAP will lead the Malays to a better future,” the leaflet stated.

It is believed the leaflet was meant to antagonise Malay voters away from the Anwar camp.

Although the name of the printer or publisher were conspicously absent as required under election laws, the leaflets were placed openly on tables in the Umno election campaign offices. Stacks of similar ‘fake’ leaflets can be seen in the offices as well.

Numerous banners too have been put up overnight that sought to snipe at Anwar ‘s bid to be prime minister and over his recent promise to reduce fuel prices the very next day after he succeeds in forming a new government.

Banner: US to be allowed to set up airbase

These banners, spotted in Seberang Jaya, include one which said ‘Today Anwar becomes premier, Tomorrow Israel opens embassy in Kuala Lumpur, The day after the Americans open airbase in Butterworth.” (photo below)

pkr and umno supporters quarrel over banners 230808 israelThese allegations coincide with Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin’s claim at a ceramah last night that he was privy to Anwar’s alleged discussion with the United States to open an airbase in Malaysia once the PKR leader succeeds in seizing power.

Another banner was about the bumiputera-based Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM). PKR’s Selangor menteri besar Khalid Ibrahim stirred up a hornet’s nest when he recently suggested the university to open up 10 percent of its seats to other races.

On the banner were the Malay wordings ‘Today rule Selangor 10 percent UiTM places for non-bumiputeras, Tomorrow rule Malaysia 90 percent UiTm places for non-bumiputeras’.

penang gua punyaAnwar was not their sole target. His colleagues in Pakatan Rakyat were also not spared.

A banner spotted in the Malay-majority Permatang Pasir showed DAP secretary-general and Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng’s face accompanied with the words ‘Penang gua punya’ (Penang is mine). (photo)

Another banner which carried PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang’s face said ‘Hadi is more qualified to be Pakatan’s prime minister’, an obvious reference to his non-committal answer when recently asked if he would support Anwar’s bid to be prime minister. (photo)

bn banners anti anwar in permatang pauh 230808 04All the banners did not carry a party logo and the name of the printer. This breaches election laws and the Elections Commission can actually take action to have them removed.

Tension too ran high when a group of campaign workers, suspected of being from the BN camp, tried to hang some of the banners during the wee hours of the morning. They clashed with PKR workers who tried to stop them. However, 40 police officers arrived in time to stop the brawl.

Umno: It wasn’t us!

In another incident, two female election workers - who were wearing BN tags - were seen distributing a set of controversial leaflets during a function attended by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in Seberang Jaya this afternoon.

bn leaflet on saiful swearing 230808The leaflets carried a ‘frontpage’ portraying DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh clad in a traditional baju Melayu alongside Anwar, Hadi, Guan Eng, Anwar’s wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Karpal’s son Gobind Singh Deo. (photo)

The picture showed Anwar apparently holding the Quran, an obvious reference to his refusal to bow to his detractors’ demand that he swear on the holy book to prove he did not sodomised his ex-aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

It carried the caption ‘Anwar said Saiful’s swearing is not Islamic, is this swearing Islamic?’

BN candidate Arif Shah Omar Shah who was present at this afternoon’s function said he would look into the matter. However, Penang Umno deputy chief Abdul Rashid Abdullah denied his party was behind the leaflets and banners, adding that someone else could have done it in the name of Umno.