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Top 10 Little Uncircumspect, Uncircumcised Reasons for the Malay Vote Swings in PRU-13

I received this article from Apocryphalist for the benefit of all readers out there. His other articles on other matters can be read here and here.

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Top 10 Little Uncircumspect, Uncircumcised Reasons for the Malay Vote Swings in PRU-13

A total political tsunami, including a massive exodus of malay voters swinging over to the Pakatan, would have happened had it not been for some minor silly mistakes that the entire PR machinery had brought about. Remember: the kingmakers are the rakyat. And in particular, the Kampung folks and the deep suburban housewives and youngsters, and the oil palm plantation workers and the estate rubber tappers. The east coast fishermen and the west coast factory workers. These are the silent giants, the mute decision makers. You won’t want to cross them.  And crossing them was what happened in the recent election. Let’s have a look at some of them here: some of them had been gelled for some time already, while some of them emerged just a few days before election day:-

1) Cute But Vulnerable Election Slogans. It’s good to have catchy little slogans that people can carry and shout around, not to mention to make stickers with which you can stick everywhere. But if you do that, can you please make sure that they are soooo invincible that it leaves no one, and I mean no one, able  to find alternative, albeit equally catchy, phrases? So for example:-

a) Asalkan Bukan UMNO. Or ABU, as created by lawyer Harris Ibrahim. Almost overnight, its sensation and impact drizzles down when the pro-Umno guys came up with an alternative of what the acronym really stands for: Allah Bersama UMNO! Yes, that Allah that the DAP wants to share, remember? But frankly, among the kampong folks, which one do you think is more appealing: the Asalkan Bukan one or the Allah Bersama one?

b) Ini Kali Lah. I thought this one would be cute too, when lo and behold, the BN Dead Poets Society came up with their own version of what the PR reeeeaaaalllly means: Lain Kali Saja Lah

2) Cute and Witty but Harmful Remarks. Irrespective of how much you hate Dr Mahathir, no one (apart from some die-hard Mahathir dissenters in Rocky Bru’s comment columns) would so much hate the former Prime Minister vehemently. So imagine your PR number one man saying something like “Kalau mahu mati, mati saja lah …” So the karma goes back to him. And what about that do’a by the brother of Nik Aziz: “KO UMNO! KO UMNO! KO UMNO!” So it got the common and ordinary folks into thinking … hey this is really unbecoming of a group of people who claims truth and righteousness side with them. And they voted …

3) Cute Little Multimedias. Well, we’ve seen them all. The mirip Anwar sommersaulting the China Doll. The mirip Anwar groping a guy’s scrotum in a hotel room. The mirip Anwar sweet-talking a boy in another hotel room, believed to be the rudimentary beginnings of foreplay. Then there’s the mirip Azmin Ali offering some Cornetto to a lady friend in a bathroom. The mirip Stopa Ali asking his … err… wife… to massage him for RM1400 after … err… performing his duty as a husband. Yes yes I know. People are tired and loathsome with all these raunchy videos, but then, they either go back to their homes believing that UMNO is such a GRRREEAAAT filmmaker to come up with movies so very much like the original people that even great Hollywood directors could not do, or … there MAY be something to it. There MAY be something to all these allegations and proofs after all. And they thought and they thought. And then they voted.

But the voters look beyond these videos and multimedia. They observe silently, pool all the information they gather around them, and put two and two together. For example, this is what they have been thinking:

    • Nasharuddin Isa takes a trip with Najib to meet some Mid East scholars and he’s expelled? (When he was shown flanking ranks with some DAP harbis he was considered a hero)
    • Hassan Ali insisting that malay-filled Shah Alam should not be selling alcohol in public and raided a premise that did, and when he opposed Ronnie Lieuw to ask the government to “put them alcohol back”, he was expelled?
    • When Stopa Ali’s mirip video was shown, the entire PAS machinery deem it Unislamic to expose a person’s keaiban? But much earlier Hadi Awang goes on record to say that it is okay to expose the wrongdoings of a leader, and he means his raunchy ones too, if it is for the reason of telling the voters what kind of man that that particular leader is. He was, of course, referring only to BN leaders.
    • When PR leader championed LGBT, Pluralism, Israeli rights etc, none of the PAS leaders bat an eyelid?

4) A Little Over-the-Top Be Bop Flip Flop. Well how would you like to vote for leaders who, at one point says that there shall be no hudud and thereafter says that there shall. First the name of Allah can be used by those who don’t believe in His Oneness and then (for the sake of votes) say that they can’t. First you say Lynas will produce mutant babies and therafter say that it is safe. If you can flip before elections, say the voters, what makes you think that you cannot flop right after it?

5) The Lahad Datu Fiasco. Reports of Tian Chua and Sivarasa’s trip to Manila just before the intruders intruded, and Nur Misuari’s open support for PR as well as Anwar Ibrahim’s meeting before him prior to the fiasco, made people wonder just what the hell is going on. But when lives are lost, they decided they if they can’t defend their sovereignty using guns, they would do so using their voting rights. And they did.

6) The Open Zionist Israeli support for the PR. Oh Brother! Of all these 10 reasons, this one is perhaps the stupidest of all. I mean, what were they THINKING? And who was it that convinced those Israeli firsters to shoot a video of themselves and send it to Ziono-phobic Malaysia to gain votes? I mean, I would even to start believing that there are certain sections in DAP out to sabotage the party by convincing them to do this one up. Either that, or the DAP really should replace their strategists. This point is self-explanatory.

7) Increasingly glaring revelations by Anwar’s closest friends and aides. Yes. The ones who know Anwar rightly and deeply are not the Surendrans or the Sivarasas or the Rafizi Ramlis who just got to know Anwar only since last year or so. The people who were with Anwar for like more than 4 decades—the ones who created ABIM together with him, who supported him even before he was UMNO, the ones who were his schoolmates, the ones who defended him in court 15 years back, the ones who taught together with him in Yayasan Anda right during the days when Anwar still goes around in buses in rubber slippers. These are the ones who have left him, for good reasons. And the reasons, the gory details for their doing so, is scattered everywhere in the the net. And it’s not a pretty picture, I tell you!

8) Saiful’s Kaabah Sumpah Laknat. Folks, do not belittle the power of Sumpah Laknat. You know, the one that starts with Wallahi, WaTallahi, WaBillahi … A muslim can rob, a muslim can steal, a muslim can entertain his neighbour’s wife playing konda-kondi wearing expensive Calvin Klein socks and nothing else, but ask him to perform this sumpah, he wouldn’t dare. And in front of the Kaabah? Doubly wouldn’t dare. And isn’t this the very exact introductory sumpah that became the pivotal statement of Najib’s oath as a Prime Minister in front of the Agong yesterday? And let’s say, takdirwise, and nau’zubillah, that Anwar DID become prime minister. Wouldn’t he have to undergo the same sumpah in front of the Agong? That very sumpah that Anwar says is unislamic, unnecessary and above all, means nothing? And latest is, just a few days before the polls, came the exploding revelation of this former Anwar aide by the name of Rahimi. He was a close friend to Saiful, and man! Those who had any doubts in Saiful before, better be hearing this guy out. The details, the very clear picture of what happened at the heights of the Saiful allegations on Anwar, those few hours preceding it … there is absolutely no way at all that this guy could be lying. Who else would know that much detail? And equipped with all this, the silent voter goes to the polls.

9) Very dubious Characters of PR strongmen. And very strange ones too, not to mention horny. First they caught a PAS guy doing acrobatics with another man’s wife inside a train—caught red handed by the jilted husband himself! Brought him to the Tok Guru, and the latter, in the manner of a Catholic Pope, announced that said playboy had already been pardoned by Allah! Luckily no monetary indulgences were necessary. And then they trapped this PKR biggie talking to a mole in the internet, who was able to convince the guy to open up his pants and beat his meat in front of the camera. And then they sort of put two and two together, and lo and behold, suddenly Mat Sabu’s Room 121 case, Ustaz Badrul Amin’s tryst with another guy’s wife in hotel room etc etc seem all too real, too believable and too … humanly possible!

10) The sudden realization of what the WHOLE thing means. There is an overwhelming suspicion that says the Chinese are really not against corruption and fairness and transparency etc etc at all. For if applying the same standards, they would have equally complained about PR-led states like Selangor and Penang too. But of course when cornered they can always shift the blame to faulty Microsoft Excels or convenient typing errors, such errors sometimes potentially costing a billion ringgit or two. But apparently, the Object of Contention is the Malays! Yes, their slogan Malaysian Malaysia really means, Chinese Malaysia. I mean, that’s what are in the minds of these simple folk voters as to what it really means. And after the ordeal is over, especially in Gelang Patah, it is clear that chinese voters would prefer Mummy-Foo’ed Kit Siang who, in his 40 years of existence, had absolutely nothing to prove of his worth as a Malaysian politician, over squeaky-clean Ghani Othman, the architect of Modern Johore Development, just because Ghani is a malay and Kit Siang is a chinese. That, along with pictures like the ones shown below, are not helping voters to side not along racial lines at all:-

apo

Suddenly, the voters awoke from their slumber. Suddenly, the kampong voters stop to ponder what it all means:-

  1. Here’s a vote to allow LGBT to take roots in Malaysia
  2. Here’s a vote to make me complicit in establishing pluralism as a national Ideology
  3. Here’s a vote to abolish, or reduce, article 153
  4. Here’s a vote to UBAH … for the worse !

 Apocryphalist

A Samad Said does not want Anwar Ibrahim to become Prime Minister

When a person is so desperate and become too biased in his thinking, inadvertently he will become stupid. That is the case of A Samad Said. Sensing that he has no more other ideas to condemn the government led by Barisan Nasional, he blurted a racial statement which not only seemed idiotic, but has revealed that he can offer Pakatan absolutely nothing in this election campaign.

He questioned (in red below) the race of all our Prime Ministers (former and current) and remarked why are they all malays. He remarked that it is high time for voters to be critical of this fact. In his mind, there should be a Prime Minister of a different race other than malays in the near future.

With this statement, I believe A Samad Said, in his intellectual capacity, will have to go against his own Pakatan Rakyat’s choice of Prime Minister and reject the malay Anwar Ibrahim if Pakatan Rakyat wins this general election. A Samad Said must also reject Abdul Hadi Awang, the President of PAS because he too, is a malay.

But who does A Samad Said root for to be the Prime Minister? Would it be Lim Guan Eng? That seems to be plausible since DAP is the biggest opposition party right now.

Openly campaigning for Pakatan, Pak Samad tells voters to oust BN

BY SYED JAYMAL ZAHIID

APRIL 06, 2013

SELAYANG, April 6 — Bersih 2.0 co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said openly called on voters today to support the opposition and use this “once chance” to end Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule in Election 2013.

This is the first time the national literary icon popularly known as Pak Samad, has openly urged Malaysians to back the federal opposition coalition to “overhaul” the government and “amend the broken machinery” like healthcare and education, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has promised to deliver.

“This is our chance… the time has come for us to overhaul the government to that power would fall in the right hands.

“This is our opportunity to amend the broken machinery like healthcare, education and democracy of which have been promised by the opposition,” he said at an event organised by polls reform group Bersih 2.0 here.

Bersih 2.0, a coalition of over 80 non-governmental organisations, has in the past been forced to defend itself against criticisms calling it a partisan group, largely due to the immense support it had received from PR leaders for its street protests.

The former national laureate Samad (picture) said now is a critical time for voters to ask themselves why the same coalition has ruled Malaysia for more than five decades and why is it those in power are only Malays.”I am also a Malay but I often asked why is it that the powers above me are only Malays?

“Tunku Abdul Rahman was a Malay, (Tun) Abdul Razak was a Malay, (Tun) Hussein Onn was a Malay, (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) is not a pure Malay but can be considered a Malay.. (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) is also a Malay,” he said.

Despite a solid Malay leadership for five 56 years, Samad pointed to the racist tactic used by the ruling coalition to keep the country’s ethnic majority on its side.

Since A Samad Said (and Bersih) is no longer non-partisan, we can deduce that Bersih is a full fledged opposition outfit. It has been a foregone conclusion for the past few years that Bersih is the Street Demo Division of Pakatan Rakyat and with this all out support by A Samad Said, there is no longer any doubt.

However, what A Samad Said had said run contrary to what his colleague in PAS had said. The vice president of PAS, Salahuddin Ayub just told the media that there is no way a chinese will be the prime minister.

Ever.

Perhaps he is saying this in front of an audience which was mainly Malays? Maybe. Pakatan leaders have always played to the gallery. After all, their God-sent leader, Anwar Ibrahim is the chief chameleon.

GE13: A Chinese will never be PM, says PAS veep Salahuddin

Salahuddin Ayub

JOHOR BARU: A Chinese will never be Prime Minister or the Johor Mentri Besar if Pakatan Rakyat comes to power, said PAS vice president Salahuddin Ayub.

He said that it was impossible for DAP to offer a Chinese candidate for these positions as they were only contesting 50 of the 222 Parliament seats.

“I do not think that the Chinese and Indians are interested in becoming the Prime Minister or even the Agong,” he said.

“As for the position in the state, it says in state bylaws that only a Malay and a Muslim can be the Mentri Besar in Johor.”

He added that the same accusations surfaced when Datuk Chua Jui Meng was appointed the Johor PKR chief and had resurfaced with DAP advisor Lim kit Siang contesting in Gelang Patah.

Salahuddin is tipped to contest the Pulai parliamentary and the state seat of Nusajaya.

It is quite extraordinary for Salahuddin Ayub to say this actually. He sounded just like Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa. If any of the Barisan Nasional leaders had said this, they would be deemed as racist by the Malaysian First hypocrites like Hannah Yeoh or Lim Kit Siang.

But with A Samad Said not wanting a malay as Prime Minister, we can see there will be more peculiarities coming from Pakatan Rakyat in this next few weeks. And for A Samad Said’s information, there is nothing wrong with a malay being the prime minister. Thinking too much on the racial lines makes you a racist yourself.

And finally, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is a malay through and through. Only his paternal grandfather is of indian blood. The rest, (maternal grandparents and paternal grandmother) were of malay descent. Moreover, Tun Hussein Onn’s grandmother was from Turkey but according to A Samad Said’s standard, Hussein Onn is pure malay. All this double standard and total ignorance is unbecoming of a national laureate. True enough, when you are prejudiced, you become irrational.

Those who shouldn’t be contesting

The year is travelling so fast and before we know it, March is already upon us. And within then next 45 days, there will be a new line up of cabinet ministers that will administer this country for the next 5 years.

Back in 2009, a post was written regarding the newly appointed cabinet by the then newly minted Prime Minister, Najib Razak. On hindsight, that article was a balance between a crystal ball of “I told you so!” and something that is totally off the mark altogether. But nobody is perfect.

But what is important, in order to have a really strong government, the candidates contesting for this coming general election have to right.

We need people who are energetic, wise, intelligent, credible and above all, have the integrity to be respected by most. This applies for both sides of the divide. The highest law making body in the land is made up with lawmakers from all parties be it the Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat.

This time around, I honestly feel there are few people that should not offer themselves as candidates in the next general election.

They are:

1) Nik Aziz

He has been the Menteri Besar of Kelantan for 23 years. Already sickly and decrepit, he sometimes suffer bouts of dementia which ultimately lend credence to his senility. Who would forget a youtube video where he said it is okay for a woman to be raped because she did not cover up? At 82 years old, do we honestly think he should not give the younger leaders a chance? Do we expect him to lead Kelantan for the next 5 years until he is 87? Even Dr Mahathir retired at 78.

Back in early 2000s, Nik Aziz made a pledge that should Dr. Mahathir resigned from his premiership, he will resign the very next day as well. It is now 2013. It has been nearly 10 years since Dr. Mahathir resigned. And Nik Aziz is till clinging to power like it is the most important thing in this world. Although the afterlife is what PAS leaders always say they are focussing on, it is insignificant thing like politics is what they cherish more.

Nik Aziz should just retire.

2) Rais Yatim

What can we say about Rais Yatim which has not been said already? Turning 71 this year, surely there are more capable people that can lead the information ministry in ways so much better than he could. If he had done his job well, there will be a lot more people supporting Barisan Nasional right now. But fiasco after fiasco and bad decision making are the hallmark of his ministry.

Who could forget the Merdeka Day fiasco last year where he mishandled the issues on the merdeka theme and and the Janji Ditepati song? Even the simplest issue like merdeka logo which was made in haste and in bad taste could not be successfully mitigated by his ministry.

Surely, the Jelebu parliamentary which had been held strong by Rais Yatim all these years can afford to have a change of guard. Please do not tell us that should he is not selected as the candidate in the next general election, Jelebu will fall. That means, Rais Yatim is doing a terrible job in succession planning. Or he is a good job in promoting himself as an individual, but a really bad job in promoting his party, the Barisan Nasional.

Either way, it is time to retire. He may think he has a lot more to offer, but in actual truth and honesty, he doesn’t. Do we need a minister who will be a minister till he is 76?

3) Lim Kit Siang

Poor old Lim Kit Siang. The only thing that can make him feel relevant is to hold on to the number one post in DAP for as long as possible. He has been the supremo for that party since Tun Razak was the prime minister. That is more than 40 years of being the ruler of DAP!

Already 72 years old, what more do we need from him? He can always write his thoughts in his blog rather than be involved directly in Malaysian politics. All those time spewing hatred and giving out supremacist speeches in rallies must be tiring for an old man like him. He has already established a dynasty within his party. His son, daughter in law, and perhaps his grandson will definitely hold the reins of the party long after he is gone. So his legacy is intact. There is nothing to worry about.

It is time to go Uncle Kit. Do us this favour or you will die in office as the longest serving party dictator in this part of the region.

4) Karpal Singh

73 year old Karpal Singh is another old guard that has to go otherwise together with the names mentioned above, we shall probably have to put him as an exhibit in Jurassic Park in Melaka.

Already wheelchair-bound, it is such an inhumane thing for us voters to force him to continue servicing us as an MP. Most of us do not know the demands and the punishing schedule of an MP. There is not enough hours and minutes in their typical day. I just hope the party leadership in DAP will be more merciful to Karpal Singh. Honestly, I do not think Karpal Singh have the energy to face another 5 years of politicking anymore. What more with his often tumultuous relationship with Anwar Ibrahim and his compatriots in PAS.

Let the old man rest.

5) Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Ku Li has been an MP since 1969. One of the longest MPs still serving in our current day Parliament. Although he is still sharp at 76, I think it is high time Kelantan Umno find a replacement for his candidacy in Gua Musang. Please do not tell us that Kelantan Umno will only think about a suitable successor for Gua Musang only when Ku Li is 81 at the 14th general election in 2018. That would be a huge mistake.

Do it now when his majority for Gua Musang in the last 2008 election is still high. Surely Ku Li do not expect to be an MP forever? Please do not pull a Nik Aziz on us.

6) Khairy Jamaluddin

Now although he is still young (37), he did actually made a decision not defend his Rembau seat back in 2011. In order to maintain the integrity of all Barisan Nasional candidates, we hope Khairy will act as he had promised unless he is willing to be seen as an attention seeker who suffer bouts of knee-jerk reaction and talking without thinking syndrome. We need leaders with principles. Not drama queens.

Although we hate to see him go since he had done quite well in the youth front, we do wish him well in his future undertakings. Bon voyage.

Khairy confirms he won’t defend Rembau seat

PETALING JAYA: Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has confirmed speculation on social networking site Twitter that he will not defend his Rembau seat in the next general election.

When asked to verify the speculation that he might not contest in the 13th general election, Khairy replied “yes” via SMS.

He had earlier created quite a buzz in Twitter when he sent a tweet about taking a break from politics.

“Hope to help win more youth support for BN (Barisan Nasional) in 2011 & work hard preparing for elections. Then I’m taking a break from politics. Can’t wait,” Khairy wrote on Twitter.

His tweet generated much response from his followers who wondered if the Rembau MP was not going to defend his seat in the 13th general election.

“I would like to ‘stand down’ as they say in the UK. A couple of things I’d like to do before it gets too late,” tweeted Khairy in response to a follower who asked him what he meant by a “break”.

Asked how long he planned to be away from politics, Khairy replied: “Indefinite. Not sure what I will be doing. A few things I want to do like go back to school.”

Khairy first mentioned the possibility of not defending his seat in an interview with a newsportal last July.

At that time, he clarified his statement a day later, saying he was only mulling the possibility and that he had yet to make a firm decision on the matter.

7) All other Pakatan Rakyat leaders

If we do not have integrity and principles, then we are less of a human being than an animal. We stood our ground because we have principles. We are respected and treated seriously because we have integrity.

In 1969, the now defunct Labour Party boycotted and did not enter the general election that year because they thought the Alliance could not tolerate the existence non-communal opposition party with leftist tendency and that to participate in that election would be to condone communal elections.

That is what we call a principled decision with highest integrity.

Our Labour Party was not the first nor were they the last to have done that. In Egypt recently, the opposition had decided not to contest in the upcoming election due to transparency issue.

Therefore it is really questionable and their integrity found wanting when Pakatan Rakyat decided to contest in this 13th General Election when time and time again they have shouted on top of their lungs that this general election will be the dirtiest ever with a lot of ‘discrepancies’ and very ‘dirty’ electoral rolls.

But at the same time they are bragging that they can win up to 140 seats this time around. Again, how do they reconcile this differing point of view?

On one hand they claim that BN will ensure that they will win it by hook or by crook, but on the other hand they assured the voters that Pakatan will win 140 seats! Are they confused? Again if we do not have the integrity, it will make you look stupid. People will disrespect you.

What they should have done is to boycott the very system they said to have failed them. Why enter a race which you know is unfair from the start? Why waste money and resources?

Thus, all these skulduggery are just another one of their acts. An act of an unprincipled and dishonest venture for power.

In order for them to regain trust, they should just stand up, own up and be a man or don’t stand at all.

President of Bar Council rejects election observers

Usually those who do not have the integrity and hearts filled with bad intentions will be exposed to public sooner than later.

Take for example, Parti Keadilan Rakyat. They shouted about the general elections in Malaysia, alleging that they are dirty and unfair, but their own party elections  in 2010 are rigged and caused so much uproar that caused party stalwarts like Zaid Ibrahim and few others to leave the party in bitter disappointment.

PAS in their general assembly a couple of weeks ago prayed for Umno’s destruction. But Umno members are muslims too but PAS has no qualms in telling the world that all members are apostates and are no longer muslims. PAS who claimed to be more islamic than even the arabs had the audacity to play God and banish Umno by invoking God’s name. All this in the name of power. In retrospect, Umno in their own general assembly prayed that muslims will remain united, safe and strong.

Another classic case of manipulation gone awry was the Scorpene case involving Suaram. After much brouhaha was created by Suaram where they told media that a trial on Scorpene case is underway, and that PM Najib will be subpoenaed to appear in the tiral, a French official claimed that there are no trial taking place. Suaram is exposed as a lying organisation and left their members, especially Cynthia Gabriel with no dignity and credibility whatsoever.

And now today it was revealed that the President of Bar Council, Lim Chee Wee was reluctant to accept observers to Bar Council election 2013/2014.

The letter below (which is making rounds in Facebook) and the comment from the member of Malaysian Bar (Mohd Khairul Azam) is self explanatory.

Lim Chee Wee, a main advocate of Bersih and call for free and fair elections in Malaysia, is actually imposing double standards to his own organisation. How do you reconcile your public pursuit of Bersih with your own personal agenda within your own council? It doesn’t jive at all. I see no point of Bersih to harangue Barisan Nasional to call for foreign observers when they themselves do not want to call observers to their own little election.

“Saya adalah calon pemilihan Bar Council. Saya telah menulis surat bertanya kepada BC, “bolehkah saya memantau proses kiraan undi nanti?”. Tau apa jawapan Bar Council???? “…due to logistical and security concerns, the counting process is not open to observers”….. Dan pada masa yang sama, Presiden Malaysian Bar menyokong BERSIH menuntut ketelusan SPR dalam PRU????”

The letter by Bar Council president

They spent millions of dollars to train activists

In the wake of the news of foreign funds financing local non governmental organisations here in Malaysia and the rise and fall of ‘Arab Spring’ in the middle east, the Obama’s policy and admission of training activists in Muslim countries to change their governments (albeit undemocratically), are an eye-opener.

Have a look:

Tunku Aziz’s parting shots

I take great interest in what Tunku Aziz had to say in The Star today.

I think there are many pertinent points raised by Tunku Aziz in that interview which had confirmed or validated whatever some bloggers, including yours truly about Lim Guan Eng’s administration of DAP politics as well as Pakatan Rakyat in general.

Some of the points are as follows:

No one called you saying Tunku, please don’t go on air?

I wanted it to be a dignified exit, and to be fair. Because I am not against the party, I am not against the party at all. I am just against the attitude adopted by the secretary-general. Particularly when he first got in touch with me, it was to accuse me of going against the party position. Which was to support Bersih.

I at no time had withdrawn my support for Bersih. I have always supported Bersih for what Bersih stands for. I’ve spoken for free and fair elections on several occasions. Not as vice-chairman of DAP but in my other capacities. So to say that Tunku is opposed to Bersih is something that the party and Pakatan Rakyat had been working hard to promote, is a little disingenuous.

And somehow it smacks of a reluctance or inability to see the difference between supporting free and fair election activity, and not supporting these activities if they were illegal. There is that distinction which I think they purposely ignored, because Lim Guan Eng, in his rebuke, was rebuking me for something I hadn’t done.

Are you bitter about it, four years later having to resign from the party?

I think I was a little naive in thinking that the ideals that I had would be in fact the ideals that DAP actually practised. I don’t know about the other political parties but I expect they would be much the same.

As a man who has always been fighting against things that are unethical, would you say DAP as a party was ethical after four years of being inside?

I wouldn’t say so. Well, for example… one of the key party members set up the Rocket Cafe in Petaling Jaya, and this was done without Council approval being obtained. And when other members of the party raised this, it was just pushed under the rug and no action was taken. To me, this is not on.

Because Pakatan Rakyat is the government of Selangor and DAP controls in terms of its numbers the local councils within Selangor, PJ, and what have you.

Although people say “oh, it is a small matter”, to me, it is an important fundamental issue because you have broken your own by-laws. And if you are cavalier in your attitude to the law that you have made then, to me, it shows very sad state of affairs and bad judgment.

(Typical of Pakatan Rakyat that flouts the law even their own. There are many instances that this has happened) 

Did you raise the issue?

I raised the issue, but you could see that it was not something they were comfortable with. And if you see recently Dr Cheah’s reports in The Star (Damansara Utama assemblyman Dr Cheah Wing Yin), this is the same kind of issue.

There are good people within DAP who want to see that we do things in an ethical manner, but there are others who you know will just go ahead in breaking their own rules. If you do this, sooner or later people are going to ask, can these people really be trusted with a bigger job?

(The story of Dr Cheah lambasting DAP’s leadership in Selangor can be read HERE. Those that will go ahead breaking rules are so happened to be in DAP’s top leadership themselves. Within Pakatan Rakyat leadership however, this is already the norm)

There is no glass half-full for integrity.

You either have it or you don’t have it. For example, when the council decides to take action against illegal hawkers, one of our key figures would intervene to say don’t touch these people; don’t take any action because they are party supporters. To me, this is an act that is tantamount to interfering, serious interference in the operating system and the administration of local government.

Many of our people forget that local government is where the public first experiences dealing with the government. Many of them will never have to deal with Putrajaya or any of the ministries, but for the average person like you or me living in particular district or area, it’s all local government.

Here’s a very unfair question. Is Guan Eng disappointment as a leader? You obviously have great admiration for his father.

The son is a different kettle of fish. I don’t want to get personal. He is a good leader, apart from other qualities. Leaders must be good listeners, this is from my observation.

So is he a good listener?

By my reckoning, he should learn to listen more and give everybody a chance to be heard.

You have to first learn to be, I think, a little modest because it’s not for you to say how well you’re doing or how well you’ve done for Penang. Let the people of Penang decide. That is really the true measure of your achievement. When people say “well done Guan Eng”. But for you to scream your head off about CAT (a DAP slogan standing for “competency, accountability, and transparency”)? What is CAT? Cat is a slogan. But to him no. But when it comes to 1Malaysia, 1Malaysia is just a slogan. But CAT is not.

(This is very telling. For further reading on Lim Guan Eng’s self grandeur and lies, the articles can be read HERE).

Is this your last venture into politics?

Absolutely, no question there. But what really made me finally decide to leave although I was thinking very seriously about what I should do was last Sunday at about 8.43AM, I had a phone call from Guan Eng. I don’t know whether to describe it as an act of contrition or whether he felt that I needed to be compensated for the loss of the Senate seat.

He offered me – now this really staggered my imagination offered me a senior fellowship at the Penang Institute, dangling travel as one of the attractions… And I said I’d have to think about it. This was followed up yesterday, after I had made up my mind.

His aide rang me at lunchtime yesterday to repeat his boss’s offer, but added that this time there would be a stipend of RM50,000 a year, along with other things. I regard this offer as totally insulting.

Totally totally insulting, and I could only conclude that it had come from someone who had no sense and not even a modicum of respect. Did he think I was that kind of person? What an insult. You rebuked me for the wrong reason, you removed my senate position, and then you offered a fellowship at Penang Institute. This man has gone out of his senses.

This was the clincher as far as I was concerned. This man has no sense of decency, in other words.

He ignored your emails, he insulted you… And I guess as a man of ethics and integrity, this Penang Institute sounded like a bribe.

It’s a bribe, it’s a salve for my hurt pride. To me, as a senior person… I’m trying to find an English word for this behaviour, and I cant. The only word is a Malay word, and it’s “biadap”. I mean, that’s what really made me decide I will not work with this man. I am prepared to be rebuked, but the reason for the rebuke must be made very clear, you know.

Is Guan Eng under pressure from Anwar because they are close to winning Putrajaya?

I can’t really be 100% certain, but one never knows. For them, it’s political expediency. It doesn’t matter because I don’t think they’d give two hoots about anything or anybody who stands in their way. Asking too (many) questions, raising issues, and so on.

(Dictatorial tendencies are really the epitome of Pakatan Rakyat politics).

So how do you feel?

I feel liberated from the tyranny of demagogy. It’s a blessed relief, I received so many wonderful messages of encouragement from people like Koh Tsu Koon, the president of the Senate, many others.

Nine people came to see me, we sat down and had a drink together. These people they have tried to, well, transform DAP at their level. They find there is so much cronyism, so many cliques. You don’t belong to the leadership clique, you’re out, You make an unfavourable comment, you’re out. I suppose no party is free from all this.

Chow (Chow Kon Yeow), head of DAP Penang, sent message saying I respect your decision. He should have been Chief Minister yet they parachuted Guan Eng in. He’s CM, Sec-Gen, MP.

(Who said in Pakatan Rakyat there is no cronyism, nepotism, corruption etc?)

So were the coalition in support of Bersih? Had they made it known?

I think they had, all the top boys. All the three parties, it was generally accepted that we were behind it. Sending out messages on Twitter and this and that, getting people to come.

I support Bersih objectives, as long as they don’t cross the police line. My instinct told me that this was not going to end peacefully, from experience, stories, reports you have read from other parts of the world. All demonstrations particularly street demos start off peacefully but the average rate of success where they end peacefully is very small.

 (Tunku Aziz just revealed that Pakatan Rakyat is behind BERSIH. What excuses will BERSIH supporters use now? The rally on 28th Apriul 2012 wasn’t hijacked during that afternoon. In fact it was masterminded by Pakatan Rakyat. Ambiga is just a mere puppet).

This interview came about because Tunku Aziz did not favour the illegal activities which are being promoted and administered by Pakatan Rakyat and its vehicle – BERSIH 3.0. I believe Tunku Aziz has valid reasons and those reasons are similar to those who oppose unruly type behaviours, anarchy, blatant disregard of the laws and gangsterism which are the characteristics of Bersih and other Pakatan Rakyat sponsored activities such as the Occupy Dataran and Mansuhkan PTPTN movements.

To understand how most of us perceive all these illegal activities, here is a video to be shared with all Malaysians.

Malaysia, a peaceful country where its citizens have always abide by its laws are currently being run down by mindless and hateful people who have no qualms in tarnishing this nation’s image and breaking its law just to justify their sick agenda.

An agenda so sick that even a professional body like the Bar council is being hijacked by political wannabes or lawyers who are trying to bypass some ground rules in the law profession by advertising their names so that they can be famous and gain more clients in return.

No wonder, one of its members – Ranjit Singh Dillon was peeved and gave Bar Council the spanking it deserved -

It is also time Bar Council change its name to Legal Department of Pakatan Rakyat.

Thank you.

Bersih 3.0 – Why are you supporting them?

Update 27 April 2012:

Thank you The Mole for highlighting yet another lie by Bersih supporters. The EC has throughly debunk and rebut their baseless allegations and unwarranted accusations. Can be read HERE.

_____________________________

Original article:

Right on cue and following the usual script of Pakatan Rakyat where, it is important to continuously create issues regardless if they are justified or even logically acceptable by common sense, the Bersih 3.0 will happen this Saturday 28th April 2012.

We must not fall under the illusion that this mass sit in at Dataran Merdeka (or any other venue they want to occupy) will be peaceful or non-political.

We have experienced this last year when the pied piper led approximately 10,000 (a generous estimate) people to demonstrate against the rule of law. It wasn’t actually an effort to have a free and fair election (that should be done on the discussion tables) but an actual test of strength by the vocal minority to usurp the rule of law in Malaysia with their brand of jungle laws.

In their books, anything goes. Malaysia has laws and rules but to them, their desire to break these rules are their basic ‘human right’ albeit a wrong one and devoid of any common sense.

Their latest stand where Dataran Merdeka is a public place and anyone have the right to sleep or set up tents there are enshrined in their democratic freedom is one such error in their outlook about human rights.

Certainly there are rules to be applied or else legal structure and system can never be applied here in Malaysia. It is sad indeed that those who are responsible to educate people about the laws are the ones actively trying to tell people to break these laws.

Case in point, the former Bar Council president and a lawyer by profession, Ambiga herself.

It is remarkable that she is vehemently trying to hold the sit in without any due regards towards the authorities. If you cannot respect the authorities, then do you think people will respect you? They might follow you for awhile, but you won’t ever get the respect you deserve.

It is certainly comical when Bersih declared:

“Bersih said yesterday it would consider calling off Saturday’s rally if Datuk Seri Najib Razak can guarantee the electoral reform movement’s demands are met before the next federal polls.”

The recent electoral reforms which was presented in Parliament by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) had greatly addressed the issues. In fact all the 8 demands (except one) have been passed and agreed upon.

This was the result of the demands of Bersih 2.0 in July last year. Congratulations to Ambiga and her gang.

Therefore, what is the purpose of Bersih 3.0?

They are now saying:

“The coalition said it was disappointed by the recently concluded Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms, saying that despite Putrajaya’s repeated assurances and promises, the panel had failed to introduce meaningful reforms to the election system.”

The act was passed barely a few weeks ago and they expect reforms to be completed overnight?

The 8 demands are:

1. Clean the electoral roll

2. Reform postal ballot

3. Use of indelible ink

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period (this is the only demand not fulfilled – the agreed number is 10 days)

5. Free and fair access to media

6. Strengthen public institutions

7. Stop corruption

8. Stop dirty politics

The PSC actually tabled and outlined an improved electoral process with the passing of 22 laws altogether. All of which were what Bersih 2.0 demanded.

Hence we are now at a quandary and a crossroad of our logical thinking. If all the demands are fulfilled, the Pakatan Rakyat and its strongest vehicle called Bersih, have no more fuel to ignite the support from their fans or enough fire to incite the population to hate the government.

What do they do?

Create ambiguity via Ambiga’s incessant vitriol that the electoral process will still not be fair. It is amazing that Bersih 3.0 now will actually demand the government to hold free and fair elections based on their own previous recommendations which have already been passed by Parliament!

Some people must really have a lot of free time these days. Someone please give Ambiga a real job otherwise all our common sense will be replaced by stupidity.

Bersih 3.0 was recently helped by another Pakatan Rakyat’s sycophant by the name of Ong Kian Ming.

He just created a special project called MERAP (Malaysia Electoral Roll Analysis Project) which had made wild unsubstantiated allegations about the discrepancies in the electoral roll.

Basically he alleged that currently there are 3.1 million dubious voters in the electoral roll. His contention was:

“Bersih accused the Election Commission (EC) today of failing to investigate 3.1 million voters whose identity card (IC) addresses differ from that in the electoral roll despite having the information since 2002.”

I believe this Ong Kian Ming, who is so biased in his political dogma refused to study the basic laws relating to the Electoral Commission law of Malaysia.

Before 2002, people can register to vote regardless what the address in the identity card is. The Act was changed in 2002 whereby your voting area will follow the address in your IC. Therefore, after 2002, if you register for the first time, your IC address will determine the constituency you will vote.

The law clearly stated that.

But if the voter changed address or live elsewhere, the place where he is voting will remain the same as what he originally registered himself. If he himself DOES NOT apply to change his voting constituency then the EC has NO POWER to change it for him.

That is why many of us go back to our hometowns to vote. This is a normal occurrence. Anwar Ibrahim lives in Bukit Segambut but he votes in Permatang Pauh. Lim Guan Eng was a candidate in Pulau Pinang but he voted in Melaka back in 2008.

I myself registered to vote in the 90s but have always voted in Melaka eventhough my IC address is in Kuala Lumpur. I have no desire to change my voting constituency. But am I a dubious voter?

Is Anwar Ibrahim a phantom voter? Does Lim Guan Eng fall under ‘a non-resident voter’ as defined by Ong Kian Ming?

The fact is, this is allowed according to the law of this country and it is the reality. Ong Kian Ming made a serious allegations without delving into the laws of the technicality of the electoral process. Simply accusing that there are 3.1 dubious voters in this country when they are actually legitimate is one of Bersih’s way to create ambiguity.

What was his methodology? Did he discuss and or make relevant consultations with the EC prior giving his press conference? Being ignorant and reckless in giving erroneous findings just to aid his political leanings is certainly not a virtue of a lecturer and an academician.

Due to ignorance and political expediency, he came out with assumptions and allegations simply based on his limited understanding of each case. I firmly believe, if he indeed want to be sincere, he should have faced the EC or at least meet them with their findings and concerns instead of making public condemnation against the EC. Bear in mind, the electoral roll he is criticising is the same electoral roll that got them 5 states and won the 82 seats in the Parliament. Kelantan, has been in the hands of PAS since 1990!

But, there are no honour among Pakatan people.

Bersih 3.0, for all it’s so called brouhaha is an illegal NGO consist of dubious groups of NGOs.

Yes, it is Bersih 3.0 who are dubious.

They claim to have 81 NGOs under their umbrella but just a glance of these NGOs, you will know that some of them are bogus entities. You can have a look HERE.

So there, a rabble rouser named Ambiga, supported by an ignorant ‘academician’ is leading a pointless, illegal movement made up by phantom and dubious organisations to champion a cause which have been addressed by Parliament.

Why are you supporting them again?

Existence of half past six politicians in Pakatan Rakyat

I find this piece of news laughable due to the sheer desperation from its originators.

Biometric system makes EC all-powerful, says Pakatan
By Clara Chooi
July 27, 2011

An official checks for traces of indelible ink on a voter’s hand during parliamentary elections in Tbilisi May 21, 2008. — Reuters file pic

KUALA LUMPUR, July 27 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders alleged today that a biometric voter verification system would only eliminate checks and balances in the present election process and grant the Election Commission (EC) absolute power over ballots cast on polling day.

In a joint statement here, the leaders said this was because the EC would be the only authority with exclusive access to the biometric system, allowing it to manipulate the voting process.

Polling and counting agents from political parties, they claimed, would no longer be required to monitor the polling process.

“They will phase out the involvement of party representatives to monitor the voting process. So there will no longer be any checks and balances.

“Voters will come in, present their MyKads, get their thumbprints scanned and that’s it. So there will be no need for checking agents because we will not have access to the system which verifies these voters anyway,” PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli told The Malaysian Insider when contacted. - Did the EC announce how biometric validation will be conducted yet? Not yet. Thus, Rafizi is putting the cart before the horse.

He added, however, that if too many parties were allowed to access the biometric system, it would similarly be open to further abuses.

“But if only the EC has access, then who is to say that there is no manipulation?” he pointed out. - You are certain that too many parties (that include you) will abuse the system and you are also certain that if only EC has the access, they will manipulate it. I suggest we call down The Autobots to conduct, operate and monitor our general elections.

In the statement, signed by Rafizi, DAP’s Liew Chin Tong and PAS’s Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, the leaders reiterated their stand that the use of indelible ink would still be the cheapest way to clean up the election process. - Cheapest doesn’t mean foolproof. It means that it is open more to abuse. More on this later.

They said that the opportunity for political parties to send their agents to monitor the voting process is the key criterion of a clean and fair election. - Again, sheer desperation just to make the news in Malaysian Insider. But wait a minute, all these while party agents CAN monitor the voting process therefore, Rafizi is indeed, confused. A confused politician is bad for the country.

“Therefore, any measures which aim to eliminate the involvement of political parties are contrary to the will of the people expressed through Bersih 2.0. The EC must return to Bersih’s eight demands. - what measures? No announcement from EC yet. This is coming from a highly imaginative but half past six mindset.

“The country’s electoral system needs an overall reform, not minor amendments which will not only cost hundreds of millions, but also raise new issues to fuel public anger,” they said. - so, indelible ink is an overall reform?? Are you sure you know what you’re talking about?

The PR leaders argued that the new computerised system would also be subject to technical glitches and security risks. This, they pointed out, is likely why the EC itself had admitted that the system would not be ready in time for the 13th general election. – EC will conduct dry run on this.

“More important, however, is the inability of the biometric system to prevent phantom voters or double-voting because it is using the wrong approach, i.e. those with identification cards are considered valid voters … this would allow many illegal immigrants with identification cards to vote in GE-13,” they said. - there were no such instances or cases of double voting in this country. A FACT that even Ambiga of Bersih could not find any evidence of this. Anyone of you here with a shred of documented proof that says someone had voted twice using different ICs, or different names please submit it to whoever you wish that might highlight your proof. 

The leaders also claimed that the prime minister and the EC’s support for the proposed biometric system proves that the government has admitted to discrepancies in the current election process. - maybe government should not even do anything. They should just sit back and relax and don’t change anything. Obviously, constant improvement is a bad thing for Pakatan buffoons. We improve ourselves when better alternatives and technology is presented to us.

“This proves that the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership cannot afford to deny the voices of those who joined Bersih 2.0’s rally,” they said. - then you should be grateful that the government is listening for ways to improve instead of maintaining status quo or doing a Mugabe and cut both your hands. Since the government is not cruel (contrary to what your perverted mind would like to think), they strive to make things more efficient. Which can only be a good thing.

On a side note, kudos for The Malaysian Insider for showing picture of people in a former Russian colony checking for indelible ink.

By the way, do you know that in United States of America, they have only about to revamp their elections law? They have just adopted a law for a electoral process whereby photo identification is a requirement for you to vote. Apparently, all this while, it is not a requirement to produce ID when voting!

We in Malaysia is lightyears ahead of them and yet, the people in Bersih wants us to regress few steps and use indelible ink.

One of the biggest complaint of indelible ink is that unscrupulous people (they can be from Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat or other good for nothing people) can roam the rural/urban areas and trick unsuspecting voters to use the indelible ink before the election starts thus the voters cannot vote even when they turned up at the election centres. Can we afford this risk? If your grandfather’s cousin was tricked by someone a day before the election and permanent ink has been swiped on to his finger nails, he can sue the EC millions if he was prevented to vote. This is provided by the law.

The biometric on the other hand does not try to replace the IC as the IC is the all important document that can verify a voter.

For instance, can you pass the automated gateway at the airports without your passports by just scanning your fingerprints? Of course you can’t. Same with voting process.

The fingerprint being scanned by the biometric system is just a verifying tool that enables the system to recognise that the holder of the IC is indeed the same person.

It is a system that double checks your identity. Once your particulars and thumbprints have been recorded in the system, you may not be able to vote anywhere else. If there are two same fingerprints being detected, the system will flag the person and will alert the authority. This is a foolproof way to prevent phantom voters.

This is also the very same system that is preventing criminals from entering our country through official entry points (if they enter by swimming to our beaches then a bit hard to detect).

KLIA, LCCT and JB entry points for example process minimum 100K, 90K and 80K people respectively on daily basis without any major breakdowns using the biometric system. The technology is here and ready.

Importantly, party representatives from either party can still monitor the voting process by getting a live screen of electoral roll being validated by the biometric system. Previously, they have this list of voters in each polling centres which they cross check with ballot paper figures. Now, they should just add this simple technique of real time data streaming. They can then validate the voting process themselves.

Clearly the Pakatan leaders, being half past six themselves, have not studied the system to make a well informed statement. But then again, I believe they just want to trick people who are unaware of their deceit so that they can continue playing this issue over and over again.

After all, being irrelevant is a death-knell to 3rd rate politicians.

Bersih 2.0 Exposed – Bersih Is Politics

I received this email from one of the readers few days ago. I copied it here for the benefit of the readers out there. Thank you.

—————————————-

I found this article on BERSIH v2.0 (forwarded from a friend in the UK) very factual, balanced and insightful.

If you love Malaysia, love the truth and hate dirty politics, please forward this article to all your friends.

Regards,

Azhari

Bersih 2.0 Exposed – Bersih Is Politics

The Bersih 2.0 rally on the 9th July 2011 caught the attention of our political leaders as well as the international media.

I am fortunate to be working overseas for the last 10 years. I do love Malaysia and look forward to come back once I have completed my career goals. As a proud citizen of Malaysia, I would like to provide an independent assessment and inject some rational thinking on the current situation.

Many Malaysians who joined the rally on the 9th July 2011 have witnessed the level of unity in rallying for the same cause, i.e a fair elections for the country. There has not been one event in Malaysia for some time that has rallied so much support to fight for one cause.

Whether it is planned or unplanned, the NGOs and the organizers have rallied support from the political leaders (mainly opposition) to catapult this rally to a different level. While the objectives of the rally were apparently focused purely on electoral reform, most Malaysians surely would recognise that the Bersih rally has become – whether rightly or wrongly – political in nature, much like the protest rallies which took place during the Reformasi days of Anwar Ibrahim in 1997. The logic and rationale behind getting 20,000 – 50,000 people to show up on the streets remains a mystery despite the existence of various open and civilized channels. Even more interestingly, the leader of Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga, was granted an audience with the King several days before the date of the rally, which was ostensibly called so that Bersih 2.0 can hand over a memorandum to the King!

However you look at the Bersih 2.0, one has to give all credit to the organizers for orchestrating a successful event / rally, especially in terms of impacting the thinking of the mass population of Malaysians.

On that note, I think there are generally two groups in this country. The first group is the silent majority (i.e those who prefers to stay home and be with their families in the wake of a rally). This group probably constitutes 80% of our population. Most of the time, they are happy to lead their own lives, and are mostly happy with the way things are in Malaysia. There are probably one or two things they aren’t too happy with, but nothing that would spur them to complain to the newspapers or in the blogs.

The second group is what I consider to be the loud minority. These are folks who are perpetually unhappy over the way things are in our fair country. Maybe they don’t like certain policies which have been put in place (and which have likely contributed in some way or other to the current prosperity and success of our country!) In any case, these are the ones who usually speak (and sometimes scream) the loudest on blogs and Youtube, injecting truth and lies and using emotional or racial sentiments to make their point.

While I respect the right of the 20,000 – 50,000 people that attended the Bersih 2.0 rally to demonstrate peacefully, I feel that they were mostly taken for a ride by the loud minority.

If one were to interview the people on the street who came to the rally on the 9th of July 2011 and ask them the question “What are you fighting for today, sir?”, I can guarantee many of them are not able to answer accurately. The majority of those who turned up on the streets are rempits, pakcik tua on the street, people from the village and some unfortunate urban poor people who were given false hope that rallying alone can somehow change the country.

While many Facebook supporters have “liked” Bersih 2.0 before the rally, you can see only a handful of professionals, private sector people, gathered on the street on the actual day.

What you will hear generally are various answers such as “Walk of democracy”, “We want fair democracy”, “We hate the Government”, “Say no to Corruption”, “Reformasi”, “Allahuakbar”, etc.

From here, you can witness inconsistencies of understanding among those who claim to support Bersih 2.0. This is not surprising, since the Bersih 2.0 organizers are rallying a vast number of different groups (NGOs as well as politically-motivated groups) to support one cause. Hence, the understanding and true intention of Bersih 2.0 was “simplified” to ignite more fire and encourage a herd mentality amongst the people.

The problem with the whole Bersih 2.0 campaign is that people forget to really look at the 8 points that the Bersih proponents are pursuing. Most of the people in the street rally don’t even have a clue about any or all of the 8 points and the argument for and against each of them. The whole thing has evolved into a war of perception which is based on a simplistic divide:

(A) If you support Bersih, then you reject corruption and embrace democracy and you are righteous

(B) If you reject Bersih, then you are dirty, corrupt, anti democracy and wicked

Given this war of perception, it is clear that (A) will win over (B) in terms of popular public support. The opposition joined in on (A) and the Government and the EC, including Barisan Nasional is demonized.

When I watched the Youtube videos on Bersih 2.0, the organizers were being very rhetorical about the rally, and why Malaysians should attend the rally. Because Bersih 2.0 has now “transformed” from the original 8 demands into the subject of “Cops are bad, look at this country”, most Malaysians are now fuelled with anger. Nonchalantly, the 8 demands has now been quietly swept aside without any discussion or debate or clear explanation from the present Government.

That is why I would like to return to the original point of Bersih 2.0: the 8-point demands for electoral reform from Bersih 2.0. Let us, Malaysians, return back to the subject. The 8-point demand.

I hope my independent assessment on the 8 demands by BERSIH v2.0 will inject some rational thinking and perspective so that all Malaysians can appreciate the context and content rather than marching on the streets aimlessly without any clear objective or reason.

Lets now look at the 8 demands raised by Bersih and subject them to scrutiny:

1. Clean the electoral roll

The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.

In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.

RESPONSE:

Based on the CIA World Fact book, death in Malaysia is 4.93 per 1,000 population (based on July 2011). Through extrapolation, for 28 million population, the estimated number of deaths in a year is 138,040 persons. Assuming the information is not updated in JPN over a period of 5 years, on a worst case scenario, the total “un-updated record of deceased persons” is 690,020 people.

According to the EC, we have 11.4 million registered voters. Assuming EC did not update their database due deceased people, this represent 6% inaccuracy of the true / actual registered voters.

Malaysians should ask: can a 6% “inaccuracy / irregularity” (on a worst case scenario) be a strong point to bash the EC or the Government for being unfair? I think this is absurd and politically motivated.

The fact that the opposition won more states in the next GE showed that fair election / democracy is in place.

Therefore, my question for those who are politically inclined: does the 6% translate into a sure win for the the political parties (including opposition) in the next GE?

For automatic voter registration as proposed by Bersih v2.0, many people have expressed disagreement on this subject.

There is a writer who posted something in Malaysian Insider that I would like to share…

“Not that I have anything against people registering to vote.

I am a registered voter myself. However, to force something on someone — be it religion, racism and even voter registration — is something I just can’t agree with.

It’s against a person’s free will. I see it as similar to parents determining their kids’ religions at birth; performing circumcision on a kid who doesn’t know any better; or even how parents of a male child with no penis would show off their kid in a photo opportunity for the Malaysian media, as we saw in 2009.

There are many fears in having an automatic-registration system, primarily on the basis of privacy.”

As for voters registered with a non-existent addresses, everyone knows that we move from one place to another as we grow. Let’s assume that Ali was born in Kuala Lipis. He has an IC which has the address of his family in Kuala Lipis. 20 years later he migrated to Kuala Lumpur, then 5 years later he was posted to Terengganu for offshore assignment with Murphy Oil. 6 years later he was posted to lead a project in Sarawak. Does it mean he has to update his IC address and inform EC every time he moves to another address?

If let’s say 10 million of our population is affected by this, do you think it is practical to enforce it in reality my dear fellow Malaysians?

In short, Bersih’s demand of the automatic voters registration basically forces people to be registered. And that cannot be seen as democracy!

It definite contradicts Bersih’s principles of having a fair democracy.

2. Reform postal ballot

The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.

The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.

RESPONSE:

According to the Government website, Malaysia has approximately 1.2 million civil servants. The police & military are consistently on duty and geographically dispersed throughout the country. In fact, they are on duty too during elections, etc.

If the police, military are forced to vote normally, then they are forced to leave their duty in various locations. Imagine leaving the jungle, strategic border locations just to vote. I think this is not practical at all.

On this note, Bersih 2.0 also made a proposal to EC for party agents to monitor the entire process of postal voting. Well, this has not happened in any other countries. Please name me one country which allows parties on both divide to “intervene” in the EC processes or postal voting.

Also, postal voting happens not only for police and military personnel who are on duty, but also Malaysians who vote overseas. If Bersih 2.0 wants party agents to be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting, does that mean that party agents need to be posted whenever and wherever there are Malaysians voting overseas? (I’m sure some of them don’t mind having the excuse to have a nice holiday overseas, “in the name of democracy”!)

I think this proposal suggests deep paranoia and mistrust of key institutions in the country, including the Elections Commission (SPR), which I think is simply pathetic.

In conclusion, there has not been any real issues in terms of postal voting, whether in Malaysia or in other countries. After all, from a bigger picture perspective, the impact of postal votes is small compared to the actual votes in the various constituencies.

As a citizen who support fair elections in this country, I suggest that we should be focusing on the actual voting mechanism at the various constituencies rather than debating day and night on postal voting, which, in reality, produces a minimal impact to the election results.

For those who are politically inclined to dwell on the numbers and think that this is still not fair because the postal votes can ensure a better win, imagine this: Assuming 100% of the 1.2 million servants are forced to do postal voting, that represent 10% of the 11.4 million registered voters in this country. Assuming ceteris paribus, if you divide 11.4 million registered voters by 222 constituencies, that is 51,351 votes for each constituency. Therefore the postal votes (i.e 10% of 11.4m) constitute 5,400 votes vs. 51,351 votes.

With all the anger and insult which I hear from the political leaders and Bersih organizers, my conclusion is simple. The impact of postal voting to the overall result is minimal.

The majority swing or “success” for each political party is based on the actual voters who attend, register and vote on the actual election day. Surely as Malaysians, we shouldn’t be so easily fuelled and vortexed into something so small until we lose our logical reasoning.

I ask again the question to my dear fellow Malaysians. Looking at the maths, is this something worth fighting for? Is this what we call unfair election or democracy by the opposition?

3. Use of indelible ink

Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.

Bersih 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.

RESPONSE:

Less than 20 countries out of 194 countries use inedible ink in their elections. Indelible ink is NOT used by developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Japan and many others. It is used mainly in less developed countries with large populations.

Some of the countries include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tchad, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

It is also worth to note that indelible ink is not a fool-proof method and has its disadvantages such as:

· Indelible ink itself can be used to commit electoral fraud by marking opponent party members before they have the chance to cast their votes; and

· There have been cases in Afghanistan where “indelible” ink have washed off voters’ fingers using bleach; such ink was blamed for contributing to fraud in the first Afghan presidential election in 2005.

In short, if Malaysia decides to use indelible ink, for a country that has a comprehensive database and biometric identification of its citizens, it can be viewed as step backwards for the nation and not a step forward. Remember, less than 20 countries out of 194 countries uses indelible ink in their general elections.

For those countries who don’t use inedible ink, do you regard them as corrupt?

Bersih organizers have really managed to divert the attention of the public on this. Pure deception

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.

RESPONSE:

There is no standard or best practice in any countries to determine the optimum campaign period. For example, Singapore has a 9-day campaign period, the United Kingdom has 17 days and Philippines has a 90-day campaign period. The misconception by the public at large is that the campaign period (whether it is 5 days, 21 days, 40 days, 60 days or even 100 days) guarantees a fair election.

Campaign activities must be viewed as an on-going activity by the ruling and opposition parties and not a one-off activity due to General Election. Both parties must work hard daily or throughout the year to ensure support from grass roots and voters at their respective constituencies. The all year round consistent campaigning throughout each constituency guarantees better results than a one-off GE campaign approach. This is particularly true in the modern world’s 24-hour news cycle, where politicians constantly jostle for media and public attention.

I feel that regardless the campaign period, both parties are not privy to the actual General Election dates (while it is true that in Malaysia, the incumbent Prime Minister has the upper hand due to his constitutional role in advising the Agong regarding the dissolution of Parliament, we know that even ruling party politicians play constant guessing games regarding the exact timing of polls). Hence, it is in the interest of both parties (ruling and opposition) to identify winnable candidates and strengthening their grassroots support through regular campaigning. I believe both sides are working equally hard at the grass root level to gain support.

In short, Bersih organizers and supporters should not view the campaign period as a key determining factor to ensure fair elections. Again, they have deceived the public and caused unnecessary anger.

5. Free and fair access to media

It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. Bersih 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all political parties.

RESPONSE:

I feel this is a lob-sided request by Bersih 2.0. Free and fair access to media has been a hot topic of debate since Tun Mahathir’s time. At the same time, we are aware of the existence of alternative media which provide differing views which are sometimes being perceived as unfairly critical of one side or the other.

Lets look at some facts.

According to ITU (United Nation specialized agency for ICT), Malaysia has 17 million internet users in 2010. According to Nielsen research in 2010, newspaper in Malaysia has approximately 15 million readership (54% of population).

Malaysiakini recorded 1 million visitor in January 2011. For one year, it is estimated the total visitor is around 12 million people. And remember, we have other online news portal such as Malaysia Insider, Malaysia Reserve, etc.

On another data by Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) in April 2011, Malaysiakini recorded higher number of unique visitors at 2.7 million compared to the Star online at 2.4 million.

Therefore, if you compare the mainstream news vis-à-vis the alternative / online media, the equal number of visitors/ readers for both shows equal playing field if you want to view it politically. Why Bersih is making a big fuss out of this ?

Another strong point to note is that the Government does not ban or censor Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider or any other internet portals must be viewed as a significant step compared to other countries. Despite much provocation from opposition-leaning portals, the Malaysian government has kept to its commitment of free and open Internet since the launching of the Multimedia Super Corridor, and I think the Government deserves a bit more credit for not emulating China in this regard.

In recent times, we have seen the birth of “invisible & anonymous online cybertroopers” whose job is to consistently post negative comments on any article that appear in various Internet portals.

Whilst we all know that these are either planned or posted by a small handful of individuals, we have not witnessed any censorship from the Government on the strings of unintelligent and provocative postings, including comments relating and blaming everything on the present Government.

The silent majority knows that most of the comments posted online at Malaysia Kini and Malaysia Insider are fabricated / scripted by certain quarters. Postings / ramblings such as “Hidup Pakatan”, “Wait for the next GE”, “Lets vote PR”, “Government bodoh”, etc are “recycled” and appeared in different articles.

If we want to scrutinize further, Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider journalists have the tendency to post a negative title to capture the attention of the readers/ visitors. This makes certain quarters feel that the online-media are pro opposition.

So to sum it all, both political parties have equal playing field judging from the number of readers/visitors for both mainstream and alternative media. To allow fair reporting for all political parties, my view is that Bersih 2.0 must also call for the EC to ensure that online media such as Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider practice proportionate, fair and balanced reporting.

6. Strengthen public institutions

Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights. In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.

RESPONSE:

I fail to comprehend how Bersih 2.0 can make this call for “reform” of the institutions mentioned, when the Government has been doing precisely this for several years now, beginning with the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police, the establishment of the Judicial Appointments Commission, as well as the establishment of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.

In other words, the transformation of various national institutions is an ongoing process. And so, rather than continuing to lambast and ridicule vital institutions of the state such as the MACC and the police, I suggest that the Opposition and their friends in Bersih 2.0 should start being more productive and suggest concrete measures to transform our institutions for the better.

This is especially true for the Elections Commission. Other than continued calls from the Opposition for the EC to “report to Parliament” (what does that mean, anyway? Who is Parliament should they report to? How would reporting to a committee made up of squabbling politicians be any improvement from the current way that the EC is established?), we have not heard any specific and concrete measures to improve the EC.

Stop hiding behind vague rhetorical statements, and try to be more specific and concrete about what changes you propose to make.

7. Stop corruption

Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.

RESPONSE:

I agree and support Bersih 2.0’s call for war on Corruption. I am totally behind this as no one likes or condones corrupt practices in this country.

It took me several days to study this in greater depth and looking at what the present Government is doing vis-à-vis other countries. I am very passionate to share my findings with my fellow Malaysians who are there in KL raving about corruption.

My view can be simplified as follow.

Fighting corruption is an on-going battle, and I believe each country have to come up with preventive measures to curb corruption. When I looked at developed countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States, it took them more than 10 years to fight corruption to a level where it is acceptable by global standards.

One of my ex-colleague is in a top 3 global investment bank and she had the opportunity to sit in to listen to the Government Transformation Programme (GTP as popularly known in Malaysia) update during an analyst roadshow in Singapore and Hong Kong. From her discussion with many other analyst, Malaysia has placed a number of significant game changer initiatives to prevent corruption and this is clearly reflect in the GTP annual report (which I’m told can be downloaded for free).

As this most hotly debated topic in Malaysia, I did some research on the web to get a better understand on what she meant by “significant game changer initiatives”.

For the first time, a Whistle Blower Act has been gazetted and now every Malaysians can submit a case and his/her identity will be protected. This is something new for all of us in Malaysia.

Next was the announcement of 18 corruption courts expedite corruption cases so that swift action can be taken. I think this is a brilliant idea! Not many countries have this.

From the MACC website, I found out more than 800 people have been arrested for corruption in 2010 alone. And 200 + confirmed cases have been published on the MACC website with names, IC number and photographs. This is indeed a significant milestones for this country if you ask me. I think we are following closely the Hong Kong model. For the record, ICAC of Hong Kong do publish the statistics of the convicted cases on their website.

I also managed to check how transparent the Government is in publishing the government award contracts, I have found this website called MyProcurement. Quite rough but it fits the purpose of listing more than 3,000 government award contracts. Not bad if you think about it.

Overall, although more can be said about Malaysia’s effort in fighting corruption, I feel Malaysia in the recent time has made leaps and bounds to build preventive measures.

At the end of the day, the corruption case may not reduce to zero overnight, but as a Malaysian, we have to give some credit on MACC’s effort.

Coming back to Bersih 2.0. Yes, I do support this demand/request by them. In fact, Bersih should work with the Government to bring the corruption cases along with the evidence forward as they have 18 corruption courts to expedite the matter. Anyone can make vague and unsubstantiated claims about corruption. Why Bersih 2.0 did not bring forward actual corrupt cases and work with MACC or EC remains unclear.

So Bersih should stop riding on this demand knowing the fact that Malaysia is doing everything they possibly can to fight corruption. In fact, stop being rhetoric about such pronouncement of intent. Rather, please work with MACC and bring solid corruption cases ! The public at large are sick of talk and debating about rhetoric stuff and all we need is to bring more corruption cases forward!

8. Stop dirty politics

Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.

RESPONSE

If there is one demand from Bersih 2.0 that I like, then this will be it. We must stop dirty politics on both sides.

Politics in Malaysia is still at infancy stage. Fact based argument is often twisted to inject doubt in the society. Racial sentiments are always played to spark racial divide. Personal allegation and remarks between political leaders are often chosen as the best method as opposed to fact based arguments or healthy intellectual debate.

If you look in the last 10 years, the existence of a digital community has changed the landscape on how we think and altered our perception on they how we view a particular subject. More predominantly when everyone can express themselves through a combination of facts, fiction, lies and emotions on the web (i.e blogs, online media), then things start to change. This is coupled with the existence of “invisible cyber troopers” (from both sides) starting to post comments on negative things about this country.

Slowly but surely most of us in Malaysia are now blaming the Government’s education system for our kids’ lack of achievement despite given scholarship, good residential schools, etc. We blame the Government for the high cost of living despite having the lowest interest rate for car loans, property loans, etc. We blame the Government for not giving the rakyat enough subsidy despite being one of the most highly subsidized countries in the world. We blame the Government for not having sufficient investors into the country despite our Bursa Malaysia reaching 6 times record high in 2011 alone, etc.

I hope we do not come to a stage where we blame the Government for climate change too.

On the statement by Bersih 2.0 on “ we are interested in policies that affect the nation”, I managed to do a quick research about the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that the Najib administration talked about. After hours of research and reading, I almost fainted to count the number of articles and report from financial analyst/economists around the world on the national transformation agenda. Whether it has impact or not, one thing for sure the stock market in Malaysia has record high at 1580 points in 2011. That excludes that the fact the our stock Market has reach at least 5 times record high in 6 months of 2011 !

I mean, on one hand we demand “policies that affect the nation”, one one hand we forgot about the very achievements which are taking place infront of our eyes.

Dear fellow Malaysians, reading and observing how we act as a country, for a homogenous society, we need to embrace and forgive our differences.

We should be grateful. Malaysia is blessed with so many positive things surrounding us vis-à-vis our neighbouring country.

Each of us have a role to play.

Rallying and street demonstration doesn’t guarantee a better future.

Let’s stop the bickering and dirty politics.

Let’s focus on building this country together.

BERSIH 2.0 For Dummies

I got a lot of queries from college/university students and schoolkids about the recent Bersih 20.0 demonstrations. Therefore, today I would like to provide my point of views and hopefully the most definitive guide for those who want know what Bersih 2.0 is all about.

So guys and girls, here it is. Astound your family and friends with these facts:

What is Bersih 2.0?

BERSIH started out as the Joint Action Committee for Electoral Reform, which was formed in July 2005, and the coalition’s objective was to push for a thorough reform of the electoral process in Malaysia. This committee thought that the election process in Malaysia is unfair and not free from the influence (imaginary or otherwise) of current ruling government of Malaysia. Hence they established this committee to look into these electoral processes.

The formulation of the Joint Communique
The Joint Communique was a result of an ‘Electoral Reform Workshop’ held in Kuala Lumpur in September 2006. The Joint Communique defines the long-term objectives and the immediate working goals of the coalition. One of it is the establishment of the steering committee below.

BERSIH Steering Committee
The Committee comprises members from the political parties, as well as representatives from the following NGOs: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram), Women’s Development Collective (WDC) and Writers Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI). Note that most of the NGOs are led by people actively involved with the opposition or known to affiliate themselves with the opposition. Although most of the NGOs are legitimate, the coalition itself is illegitimate as it did not register itself as a unit with the Registrar of Society.

The Beginning of BERSIH
BERSIH was officially launched on 23 November 2006 in the Malaysian Parliament building lobby. It was attended by political party leaders, civil society groups and NGOs, including PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, PKR vice-president Sivarasa Rasiah, DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng, DAP National Publicity Secretary and MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok, PAS deputy president Nasharudin Mat Isa, PAS Youth chief Salahudin Ayub, PSM Secretary-General S. Arutchelvan, Malaysian Trade Union Congress Syed Shahir Syed Mohamud, WDC executive director Maria Chin Abdullah and SUARAM executive director Yap Swee Seng.

Thus with names cited above, the opposition friendly BERSIH was formed.

8 Points

Bersih’s call for FREE AND FAIR ELECTION is summarised in the following 8 points:

1. Clean the electoral roll

The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.

In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.

2. Reform postal ballot

The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote. Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.

The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.

3. Use of indelible ink

Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.

BERSIH 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.

5. Free and fair access to media

It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. BERSIH 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all potlical parties.

6. Strengthen public institutions

Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights.

In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.

7. Stop corruption

Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.

8. Stop dirty politics

Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.

BERSIH 1.0 in 2007

In 2007, BERSIH launched it’s first ever demonstration on November 10th 2007. The original BERSIH was led by led by a group consist of PKR President Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaffar, Wong Chin Huat, DAP publicity secretary Teresa Kok, MTUC President Syed Shahir Syed Mohamad etc.

Most of them are members of the opposition. The rally was epic. Some estimated that up to 40,000 people gathered in the streets of Kuala Lumpur to deliver the Bersih Memorandum to the King.

Upon delivery in Istana Negara, Anwar Ibrahim and PAS President, Abdul Hadi Awang were also present to lend a credence to the memorandum.

Launch of BERSIH 2.0

BERSIH issued its first joint communiqué on 23 November 2006.

At its formation, BERSIH comprised civil society organisations and political parties with the objective of campaigning for clean and fair elections in Malaysia.

BERSIH’s journey thus far has been both monumental and memorable. The public demonstration of November 2007, which saw thousands of ordinary Malaysians take to the streets in support of clean and fair elections, was a critical juncture in our nation’s electoral journey.

They believe that after almost 3 ½ years later, the aims of BERSIH continue to be relevant.

They wanted to continue its crusade for clean and fair elections independent of any political party. BERSIH is thus re-launched as BERSIH 2.0, a coalition of like minded civil society organisations. However their claim to be unaffiliated with any political party remains untrue. But of course, their aim is to effectively monitor both sides of the political divide.

The Steering Committee members of BERSIH 2.0 are as follows :

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, Chairperson – (She was the Bar Council President during the tenureship of our 5th Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah Hj. Ahmad Badawi)
Andrew Khoo - (Bar Council member)
Arumugam K. – (President of Suaram)
Farouk Musa - (President of of the Islamic Rennaisance Front)
Maria Chin Abdullah - (Executive Director of Empower)
Haris Ibrahim – (President of Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM), a splinter political party of PKR)
Liau Koh Fah – (Chair of the Civil Rights Committee, Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall)
Richard Y W Yeoh - (Pakatan Rakyat’s Councillor of Petaling Jaya, Selangor)
Toh Kin Woon - (ex-Gerakan leader who quit the party to join the opposition)
Wong Chin Huat – (Chair of Writers’ Alliance for Media Independence (WAMI), a very active opposition activist)
Yeoh Yang Poh – (Former President of Bar Council)
Zaid Kamaruddin – (President of Jamaah Islah Malaysia, a PAS affiliate)
Faisal Mustaffa – Coordinator of the Secretariat (also member of PKR, Kelana Jaya division)

Events prior to 9 July 2011

Dato’ Ambiga took over the leadership of BERSIH to continue the pursuit of electoral reforms with the EC. On 27th November 2010, Ambiga and the BERSIH committee met with the EC and discussed the 17 demands for electoral reforms.

The 17 demands are:

 1. Investigation of Election Offences

2. Obstruction to voters registration

3. Automatic Registration

4. Lowering of voting age from 21 to 18

5. Absentee voting for all.

6. Indelible Ink

7. Minimizing gerrymandering

8. Minimising malapportionment of constituencies

9. Meaningful campaign period of 21 days minimum.

10. Free and fair media access

11. Control of party expenses

12. Public Finance of Party Expense

13. Right to contest election after resignation

14. Administrative neutrality

15. Restoration of Local Government elections

16. Full Judicial scrutiny on Election Petitions

17. Right to observe elections

As the result of the meeting, BERSIH cut down the demand into 8 points as stated above and all the 17 demands above became redundant. The reason for the decrease is due to the invalidity and irrelevance of the other 9 points and the inability of BERSIH to find proof of the concerns. For example, point number 12 above – Public Finance of Party Expense which is translated as public money to finance political party’s expenses. A bit dumbfounded don’t you think? Why would our tax money be used to finance politicians?

Another one is the obstruction of voters registration. It was dropped because they could not find any evidence on the obstruction.

The rest of the demands are either not connected to the EC, or the EC is already implementing them or it is beyond the powers of EC to deliberate.

When we are negotiating to improve something for the good of the country, we would usually meet and have a dialog with the relevant authorities many times. Just like in school when you are a committee member and is tasked to organise a project, your committee and the relevant bodies will meet many times to see it through.

However, BERSIH only met the EC once on 27th November 2010 but subsequently proceeded to announce that the EC will not cooperate.

The announcement was triggered due to the collapse of a 2nd meeting in April 2011. The EC were said to unable to meet them due to the hectic preparation of the Sarawak state election in May 2011.

However, instead of rescheduling for another date, BERSIH announced that they will organise a demonstration scheduled on 9th July 2011.

Election Commission’s response

The EC is an institution that reports directly to the Parliament. They do not report to any ministers or political parties.

Hence, any change in the electoral process must be done by the Members of the Parliament which consist of the Barisan Nasional MPs and the MPs of the opposition pact because they are governed by the Election Act, 1958 which are passed through Parliament. They can however make recommendations to Parliament. But ultimately, it is the parliamentarians who will pass any changes in the law.

Note that with the obvious heavy presence of opposition MPs backing the BERSIH line-up, no suggestions to reform the electoral process were presented by the MPs in Parliament since 2007. Surely this would be a good and efficient way to actually improve something? However, not one Private Member’s Bill concerning electoral reforms was tabled in Parliament since the formation of BERSIH.

Nevertheless, EC’s feedback on the 8 points presented above are as below.

1. Clean the electoral roll

One of the major concerned of BERSIH is the existence of deceased persons in the list of Malaysian voters. Since people die everyday, it is impossible to update the list on real-time basis as it is required by law that the next of kin of the deceased person to personally contact the EC to notify of the death. The EC do not, and can not have the authority to automatically wipe out the names without a formal notification by the next of kin.

Imagine if the election is today. There will still be names of dead people in the list because there are people that just died yesterday.

EC’s own improvement initiative is to continuously, and expeditiously clean the electoral list immediately after being informed of any deaths.

Another point of contention is the existence of irregularities whereby there are people registered under different address or multiple persons registered under single address.

This had also been improved by the EC when changes to the Act was made in 2002. From thereon, your place of voting is determined by your address in the IC.

The irregularities existed because previously, political parties, through agents, can register their members without the members knowing it. Hence, your voting address will be determined by the person registering it for you.

Plus, in the period before 21st century, most places in Malaysia do not have individual address to a specific home. Most mail/letters that were sent to rural or semi rural areas were sent to one specific spot and collected by the people on daily basis. These spots were mostly, some ‘kedai kopi’ in the villages, post offices, house of the village head etc.

Most people at that time have ICs that indicate addresses which have only the name of the area they live in. This was way before postcodes were invented. By the way, postcodes were only introduced in the late 80s.

Due to this predicament, the problem of specific addresses in the ICs would spill over to the problems of voters’ address in the electoral roll.

However, this was rectified in 2002 whereby voting address will have to be the same with the address appearing in your IC. Voters can at anytime check their voting status and place to vote online with the EC at http://www.spr.gov.my and is encourage to report to them should there be any discrepancies.

Another problem is implementation of automatic voter registration system.

It actually means, once you reach 21, you are automatically be registered by the EC to vote.

In the highly rigid Singapore, it is MANDATORY to vote. Any citizens who did not vote will be penalised by the government.

Malaysia is different in a way she gives you the democratic right of NOT to vote. As an extension, she is giving you the right not to register as a voter as well. People have the right to vote or not to vote. And this is enshrined in our Constitution. You can actually sue the EC and demand why have you been automatically registered when the Constitution does not say so?

BERSIH’s demand seemed to take away this right. EC has the view that, even though voting is very important responsibility of a Malaysian, they must be given the right not to discharge it.

Thus, the EC do not agree with this point. However, they continuously implement awareness programs to ensure that people would know the importance of registering as a voter. They are aware that if the have to impose automatic registration, the Constitution must be amended first before they can actually implement it.

2. Reform postal ballot

BERSIH has this idea that all Malaysian citizens should vote within the SAME DAY.

Due to the illogical manner and the improbability of this to happen, the EC have only to a certain extent, implement some of the changes to improve the postal ballot.

Police, military and other security forces which made up about 200,000 voters cannot vote on the same day with the rest of us due to the fact that they have to be on high alert during election day. If all military and police personnel go out to polling centres, then obviously there will be no proper security to guard our country at that time.

Imagine if all the policemen and the army queuing up for hours on election day. Who shall look after the streets and our borders?

That is why, these people will vote few days earlier than the rest of us. This is called postal voting because the voting process is done at their police or army posts. Recently, the EC had changed the name of postal voting to ‘advance voting’. The process is still the same where you queue up, show your identification, your name will be crossed out, you receive your ballot papers to tick the candidate you choose and the ballot paper will be then slipped into a transparent box. All this will be done under the watchful eye of political parties’ agents.

The votes will then be counted on the same day. No mailing of the votes involved. Perhaps that is why there was a misperception. Just because the process is called ‘postal vote’, people thought the votes will be mailed somewhere else which gave rise to the perception that it could be abused.

3. Use of indelible ink

With regards to indelible ink, it is used among countries which have no IC, such as Africa and India. It is a very low-tech approach. It is as if everyone else is using Twitter or Google+ but BERSIH still wants you to use Friendster.

The countries in Africa or even India have not reached our level yet. We only have 12 million voters. Why should we turn our system backwards when we have reached this level of technological advancement? The reason there is a push for the use of indelible ink is due to fear of double-voting, but we have an adequate system to handle voter identification and it is nearly impossible for people to register twice.

Everyone has one IC number and one identification card. This is the ultimate control system that is used to register and identify the voters. Ever heard of anyone with two ICs? No you have not.

However, to ensure even more security and to improve on voters identification, the EC is seriously considering the biometric system. This is the thumbprint scan very similar to the ones you use in the airport when your passport is scanned.

Another big risk of the indelible ink is the potential abuse. What would stop anybody from going around in rural areas with the same indelible ink and tricks some unsuspecting old grandma into using that ink BEFORE polling day? Come voting day, she will not be allowed to vote by the officers at poll centre because her finger has already been marked. It is against the Constitution to disallowed a registered voter to vote and the grandma can sue the EC for turning her away.

Hence, biometric is the way of the future because let’s face it, everyone has thumbprints.

4. Minimum 21 days campaign period

Longer campaign period is the norm in big countries with a lot of population such as Indonesia and Thailand. We simply cannot compare our country with others that have longer campaigning days. Look at how big the number of voters is in countries such as Indonesia or Thailand.

The EC has the jurisdiction to determine the number of campaign days that they see fit. Remember, the longer the campaign period, the bigger costs are involved to manage the whole election period. More resources such as police and EC officers have to be on duty. This will take a toll in the EC expenses and ultimately, the tax payers will have to pay for these incrementals.

The shortest campaign period was 8 days in the general election of 2008 while the longest was 42 days (more than one month!) back in pre-Merdeka days of 1955. Naturally, back in those days, there were no internet or TV to quickly disseminate your political manifestos. Hence, the longer campaign period for the politicians to go around the country. How things have changed.

5. Free and fair access to media

BERSIH’s whole idea of existence is to negotiate the demands with the EC. However, this particular demand is beyond EC’s jurisdiction because they do not control the media such as Malaysian Insider, Malaysiakini, Malaysia Today, Harakah Daily Utusan Malaysia, New Straits Times and The Star.

Therefore, this demand is invalid and irrelevant.

6. Strengthen public institutions

This is also not in the purview of the EC as they are not the bosses of the Judiciary, Attorney-General, MACC and the police. There is also no law for the EC to instruct any of these institutions. In other words, the EC is indeed have no power to ‘strengthen’ public institutions.

Therefore, it is simply illogical for BERSIH to make this demand in the first place. The parliament is the correct platform to do this.

7. Stop corruption

Just like point number 5 and 6 above, stopping corruption is not the responsibility of the EC. BERSIH cannot demand the EC to end all forms of corruption because simply put, eradicating corruption is not just the duty of the EC but also the duty of all Malaysians.

The Election Commission cannot be expected to apprehend people that are bribing policemen or catching some dishonest businessman who just inflated the price of his project.

Vote buying instances have been documented to be practised by both sides of the divide and those instances have been brought to courts. Again, it is not the EC’s duty to preside over fraudulent cases. That should be the matter of the courts.

8. Stop dirty politics

Perhaps the best way to stop dirty politics is for the politicians within the government and the opposition to practise a more ethical campaigning methods.

This is certainly not under the jurisdiction of the EC.

BERSIH demonstration on 9th July

Without due regards to common courtesy and decorum, BERSIH pushed for demonstrations even after the EC had responded with the responses stated above. The tagline for BERSIH is ‘Free and Fair elections’. And they wanted to handover the 8 points memorandum to the King.

Some say it is their right to show dissatisfaction and by that extent, the people’s right to have freedom of speech.

However certain quarters have the impression that the demands do not warrant a public rally since the EC are quite open for the changes and improvements (except for the ones outside their powers).

Therefore, why should BERSIH incite the people of Malaysia to rally based on the demands that are invalid or already implemented?

If they want to call for free and fair election, at least the call must be fair and also must be free from political motives.

That is why the King made a statement that demonstrations are not the way to solve any issues in Malaysia. He practically asked BERSIH to discontinue their intention to hold street demonstrations.

A day after that, on 5th July 2011, Ambiga and several others had met the King and agreed not to organise a street rally. Interesting to note that Ambiga did not give BERSH’s memorandum to the King at this point of time.

At the same time the government had announced that BERSIH can hold their rally in a stadium which BERSIH readily accepted the offer.

Before any chance for the police to identify which stadium with the most minimum risk to congregate thousands of people, BERSIH announced that they will hold their rally in Merdeka Stadium.

Since the stadium is situated in the middle of Kuala Lumpur the police declined to give BERSIH the permit. Instead, they told the organisers that issuance of permit will be given if the rally is held at Melawati Stadium in Shah Alam. Furthermore, the management of Stadium Merdeka could not approve the use of its stadium because renovations are currently underway.

BERSIH was adamant to use the stadium despite the inability to get permit and despite the fact that Stadium Merdeka is closed for renovations.

As the result, police deemed any illegal gathering around the stadium or in Kuala Lumpur on the 9th of July will be dealt with severely. Warnings have been issued out.

Laws in this country were made to ensure everyone can live comfortably without fear. It is just like in school when there is a rule that everyone must attend all classes.

Imagine when an illegal club in school began to incite other students not to attend classes and gather in the canteen during school hours because they claim one of the school toilets is dirty.

Most of the students have never been to that toilet and do not really know the actual condition of that particular toilet. The janitor of the school made several attempts to explain to that illegal club that the toilet was indeed not perfect or slightly dirty but it is still usable and there are efforts to clean it up even more.

But this does not warrant all the students to assemble at the canteen and break the rule of not attending the classes. The rule is there to maintain order. Students are not allowed to be just anywhere they want to be during school hours. What would the school administration do?

They will naturally penalise the people who had broken the rule. Prefects will herd the students back to the classes while teachers will administer some form of punishment. Does this fall into the freedom of speech concept. Freedom of speech must first be a a valid one. It cannot be based on lies and importantly, it must not break the law.

It is the same with the BERSIH illegal gathering. The protesters made the first retaliation by not adhering to the law of public gathering whereby any mass gatherings must apply for a police permit.

Our Constitution states that we have the right to freedom of speech and expression and the right to assemble peaceably and without arms. However these rights are restricted if it is against public order or security of the people. That is why police will always supervise the issuance of permits.

On the other hand, police must practise caution when dealing with stubborn and ignorant protesters as they are humans as well regardless whether they are there with or without permit.

In order to defeat the illegal gathering, roadblocks had to be set up. This resulted in massive traffic jams all over the city. When options were available to hold the rally in a less hectic venue such as the Melawati Stadium, the police had to cordon off half of Kuala Lumpur so that thousands of protesters can be dispersed easily.

Just like the prefects in school using various methods to discipline the crowd, police used their own anti-protesters methods to drive away the crowd.

In the mean time, BERSIH leader, Ambiga had a press conference with other opposition leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Datin Wan Azizah, Lim Kit Siang and Hadi Awang in Hilton Hotel to announce Pakatan Rakyat’s backing over the illegal gathering.

The rally which started at 2pm, ended around 5pm. However, they still failed to hand over the memorandum to the King. Reason for this failure is not clear although rumour has it, the memorandum was lost along the way because BERSIH leaders were busy on the streets near Stadium Merdeka when in fact they should just have made a quick drive to Istana Negara to hand over the document.

The number of people that gathered that day was estimated to be as low as 6,000 and to be as high as 50,000 although the figure of 10,000 is more likely.

Results and accomplishments

1. The BERSIH organisers achieved their objective in mobilising thousands of people to gather illegally in the streets of Kuala Lumpur that day.

2. The BERSIH organisers failed to hand over the memorandum to the King TWICE.

3. Pakatan Rakyat succeeded in hijacking BERSIH’s call of ‘free’ and ‘fair elections’ and morphed it into ‘bring down the government’ and ‘reformasi’.

4. Pakatan Rakyat succeeded in painting a bad light to the government.

5. Government succeeded in giving itself a bad name.

6. Police managed to curb the demonstrations within 3 hours.

7. BERSIH managed to hoodwink the Malaysian public that the free and fair election tagline was actually not a really fair tagline.

8. Malaysia managed to be in the international media because somebody is sad that the EC will not put a permanent ink on your finger.

Thank you.

Top 10 Reasons Why The BERSIH Rally Failed

Apocryphalist’s Analysis

1. No Brutality

Or absence thereof, of the Police one, that is. There were many from the street hooligans’ sides, though. Anyway, the image of a “vicious, brutal and inhumane Malaysian Police” that the PAS-DAP consortium tried to convey to the rest of the world out there got stunted by a totally different picture as shown here. Unless of course you call the few watersprays, the occasional crowd-dispensing smoke canisters, roadblocks and chasing the troublemakers around Petaling Street corner, brutality of the highest order. But no. The world out there was not presented with a picture of police clubbing people’s heads until they get bloodied, or shooting live bullets, or gory confrontations. Well they even tried to photoshop a foreign scene of a police manhandling the protesters and captioning it as yesterday’s happening, but the lies got seen transparently. Yes, with the Malaysian Police who smilingly provided standby medical treatment, buffet lunches in tents for the newly captives and makeshift prayer tents for those who got tired of shouting and would like to pray Zohor prayers instead, this has GOT to be the world’s most brutal police force. No wonder Chin Peng’s cohorts had a field day exterminating them in Balai Polis Pukit Kepong.

2. No Deaths

Well okay. There was one: a 70 year old husband of a PKR officer with no history of being profusely chased by the police chase, slipped and fell, and his heart failed him. They wanted to pin the death on Police Brutality but darn! This is the age of the internet and no sooner than you begin to type your twitter lies, the truth comes out. By the way, I think it’s better for people of the Kubur-Kata-Mari age to tend to gardening or flirting with lasses a quarter his age, instead of running around for a lost cause, don’t you? Anyway, deaths are necessary — to make others look up. To make martyrdom of. Is that why some people are like —- err, kene sekel sedikit tapi riuh satu kampung?

3. Anwar’s Injuries – Not!

This has GOT to be the most comical of all. We are made to believe that a hospital-bed-laden Anwar, with eyes drooping in agony, neck braced and Oxygen-tanked, is now about to be brow-mopped by the Lord. “Anwar punched by the Police” one DAP twitter tweeted. “Anwar brutally manhandled” said another. “Anwar clubbed severely and is now in ICU” they tried to spin. But alas! Lies do not auger well in the age of the internet. Xavier Jeyakumar (Anwar’s 2nd Lieutenant) was the first to tweet about what really happened to Anwar, and HE was there by his side. He slipped and fell, and someone stepped on him, Professor X said. Case closed. The droopy eyes, the neck brace (you have a bruised cheek and your knee hurts and you have to wear a NECK brace? You know, the neck brace of the they-tried-o-kill-me-with-Arsenic fame?) are nothing more but props in a very laughable melodrama.

But then you have to hand it over to Anwar for Melodramatics. The famous black-eye, he said, was due to the police making an attempt on his life. What really happened was that he was punched by the IGP for calling him a dog! Hey wouldn’t you? Call me a dog in front of my face and you may know how loving is my fist. Then the case of the fleeing to the Turkish embassy in Sodomy 2. In this case, he was the target of an assassination, said he. I wonder how those embassy officers would talk to him in any phone conversation nowadays. “Yeay Mr Anvar! Are they going to ASSassinate you or not? If so, when?”

Brader Anwar Bin Ibrahim, let me get this message across to you. In truth, no one is interested to kill you. You are a has-been. A persona-non-grata. A non-issue. An anomalous ansatz in the equation of Malaysian Politics. We will just let you rot away, is what it is. In fact, we wish for you to live longer. If not to give you more time to be able to repent, then to enable you to see with your own eyes the fruit of your failures.

4. No Slogans

Well actually, there was too much of it. First it’s “Reformasi!”. Then its “Ayuh jatuhkan BN”. Then it’s “La Ilaha Illallah”. And do I hear “Hidup Chin Peng” chorused somewhere in between? But yes, LOTS of slogans, all slogans EXCEPT “Free and Fair Elections” which was what the rally was all about, as Ambiga promised in the first place.

But a lack of cohesive catchword is the manifestation of the lack of a true purport, aim and objective. Except, perhaps, to be just purely hooliganistic and vicious. Anti-Establishment: THAT is the only thing they want to establish. Period. And therefore, the establishment sends the troops. Tit for Tat. So where is the wrong in that?

Yes. A true political rally is glued together by a cohesive ideology cemented by its corresponding slogan. Without one, Bersih is nothing more than a rebel without a CLAUSE. So just in case they need one, can I suggest a few? How about “WORKERS OF THE WORLD: UNITE!”. Or “Down with Heteros. We are happy AND Gay” wouldn’t be too bad, don’t you think? And here’s one for Mat Sabu: “I had fun. In Room 121”.

5. No Representations

Now how could they ever miss this one. Somebody mentioned 98% of the rally-goers were made-up of only a single ethnicity. Now how can THAT be representative of a multi-racial population, about half of it made up of non-malays? And the sms messages reported sent by DAP’s head honcho does not help either: in it he encouraged the Chinese to stand down during the rallies and “let the Malays fight among themselves”. Hehehehe. It’s Malaysian Malaysia in the making, folks.

Now the police were the ONLY force to confront the rabble rousers. If need be, there would be more. The red-shirted patriots, the ever-to- confront PERKASA, even Silat leader Omar Din promised 100,000 strong “warriors” to come down should the rallies turn ugly. How about PEKIDA? Now THESE guys make the Yakuza look like kindergarten tots. Of course, we are not even counting the army’s full capability to control situations. And did someone mention Chin Peng? Surely we don’t want to wake up the old Pak Mats in his bendang, the Rajoos of Siliau Estate, the Haji Samdols herding his cows and others whose youth and family suffered from the hands of the Tiga-Bintang insurgents, to come out of retirements unsheathing their parangs and teach some lessons to these communist sympathizers a thing or two about the meaning of life and peace?

6. No Numbers

Seriously, folks. No numbers. The armchair revolutionaire, sipping ice-blended Mocha from some Wi-Fi’ed Old Town KopiTiam in PJ deduced a certain quantity just by looking at a few hundred heads in some newly-uploaded MKini jpegs and extrapolating the numbers out to – oh, 50,000 wasn’t it?

The police counted 6,000. At most, 10,000 tops. And even I look at the papers this morning, the pictures there do NOT show 10,000. But OF COURSE the half-baked Malaysian Malaysia politicians should be believed more than those pesky police force, equipped with 5 helicopters scanning the entire area in bird’s eye views ever since the crowd began from zero, with long-range cameras mounted in KL’s highest spots and a network of police personnel keying in and connecting events via HF/VHF radios almost every minute onto a Central Command post in HQ.

But let us say, for the sake of making people happy, that 50,000 DID come. Now that’s less than 0.2% of our population, folks. Is that the voice of the majority? Hey come put Ziana Zain with Erra Fazira and throw in Raihan as the backing chorus for free and we guarantee more than 50,000 coming, and they even can get in to sing in as well.

7. Murder on the Orient Express Effect.

What do you think of a rally led by individuals who have either closet skeletons, or purely just popular themselves? Anwar Ibrahim is presently facing a second sodomy charge and things are not looking too good. He reported to the police about people faking his persona in a sex video when, upon analysis by foreign professionals, it turns out that the video is true. THAT itself is chargeable under making false police reports. And if these two are not enough, there is a list on tow: the Norlailas, the Miors, the Rahimis all ready to present THEIR cases now against Anwar Ibrahim. Let us not forget gouging out what Datuk Nallakurapan knows in their 20 or so odd years of acquaintance. Or Ezam Mohd Nor’s “Super Big Secret” that he would reveal only if he were to be brought to court. Oh, we are not even counting yet Datuk T’s rest-of-the-story sex package escapades in Thailand that he fronted for Anwar. In short, PKR folks: it’s better to abandon this ship now than later. 40 or so top-notch VIP co-founders of PKR already left him after knowing the man full well. When will you?

Letting Ambiga lead the rally was an exercise in error. I heard the numbers of people wanting to join in would be much more initially when, upon hearing Ambiga’s stand on the Murtad issue, a sizeable chunk fluttered away. In the malay-muslim psyche, you can be bad, you can be anti-government. Heck you can even be anti-Sultan. But two issues are non-compromisable to them: Murtad and Homosexuality. And portraying Ambiga as one SuuKyi-like “oppressed” lady being courted by Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama does not impress the malay society at all: Ambiga is as much a hero to Malaysians as it is ok to win recognitions by selling your soul to the devil. After all, how do you think Hamid Karzai and that Iraq president fare to the Afghanis and Iraqis whence, upon being a made a stooge of the western powers, they end up selling their own country?

Mat Sabu! Ah what can one say about this bubbly chap, whose only talent is to concoct up new jokes and catchphrases to supplement his otherwise pointless and empty speeches? But hey, this approach is appealing to the simple kampong folks, you know.

But do not under-rate this sluggish, slothish, over-exposed baby-faced slob. Do not ever suggest he is not as handsome as David Beckham is faithful to Victoria. He has a juicy scandal of his own! Norma, Room 121 are catchphrases which are anathema to him. Fortunately, all is well that ends well for both Mr and MRS Mat Sabu now, wink wink wink.
So there we have it, the main players of Bersih. It reminisces of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express where – (warning! Spoiler ahead!)— detective Poirot finds out that the murder was done by people who had motive –and that means everybody on the train!

8. No Reason

Let’s see. The rallies are for what now—Free and fair elections? You mean the elections were so rigged that it resulted in 5 formerly BN states to fall into opposition hands? That sound like unfair elections to you? What else could we think about … hmmm…

Tahrir Square! Yes that’s it. If they could do it in Tahrir square why not here? But this is also a false premise. A sizeable chunk of Egypt’s population are jobless, the ones with the highest education there, the university professors, are paid like half of what a kerani here gets, they don’t have money to buy food, and the dictatorship there forces people to be taxed more but paid less. The opposite is true here. Malaysia is almost a tax heaven, salaries high compared to Egypt (much, much higher), food is aplenty and as Singaporeans who cross over the straits can attest to you, the delicious food have laughable pricings in the Johorean food stalls or elsewhere. Billionaires abound, more than 90% of them non Malays, and we don’t have major grudges against the government, except that methinks the new Negaraku tempo is too fast-paced. So why should the people wanna go revolt? Unlike Indonesia, we let the chinese keep their own names (after which they hurriedly change them to Elizabeths or Johnsons) or let them teach their kids in their own language (even though against the constitution). Perhaps we are like Johnathan Swifts’ Gulliver, who concluded that the Lilliputians and the Brobdingnags fought one another because the former break their hard boiled eggs on the narrow end while the latter break theirs on the wider end!

9. No Way!

The roads leading to the city were blocked, taxi services were minimal, the LRT didn’t stop at 8 strategic places and over all, on Saturday there was no one entering the city, or even interested to do so. So they there really was no way. It’s like a grand kind sort of potong-steam kind of thing laa…

10. No Shoes, No shirts, No problem, No hal.

Personally, I am bemused with the way Najib handles the whole affair. The Bersih rabble rousers should be treated as it should be: with deference! I mean, it’s a totally non-issue. The ever-lying MalaysiaKini and other syiok-sendiri opposition blogs were already giving cute “assessments” on the entire government machinery regarding the situations. “Najib peeing in his pants” they say. “BN cabinet ministers already shaking in their boots”, they say. One even twitted the dissolution of the parliament (and then quickly disowned the action soon afterwards). But the truth is, from the statements the ministers gave out, it was as though the July 9th event was a non-event at all. Except for an occasional praise or two on the silent majority, Najib was more concerned about Koperasi Initatives in Felda, as was shown in his speeches. And they are all doing what again—peeing in their pants? Fat chance. The only ones peeing in their pants are those poor sods being chased by the FRU along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, or one yellow-shirted sodomizer suspect extra-ordinaire, neck brace and all.

Apocryphalist

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Thank you Apocryphalist for the article above which was sent to me via email. Once in a while I give some opportunities for my commentators to air their views as a complete posting.

Operasi Lalang in 1987 – Part 2

Did you read the previous article line by line?

Before we proceed to the next part, below is the analysis from an international observer on what had happenned on that fateful week:

By Graham K Brown – Balancing the Risks of Corrective Surgery: The political economy of horizontal inequalities and the end of the New Economic Policy in Malaysia

“The first indication that sections within the MCA was willing to push a harder line for the resolution of Chinese grievances came in November 1986, when the Selangor branch of the MCA, which was headed by the national deputy president and Labour Minister Lee Kim Sai, passed a resolution calling for the abolition of bumiputera status for the Malays and the East Malaysian natives. The resolution provoked an immediate backlash from UMNO members, who interpreted it as a demand for the end of the cherished Malay ‘special rights’. Forty-six UMNO MPs wrote to Mahathir, asking him to sack Lee from the cabinet, who himself offered to resign. Whilst the rift was quickly patched over in public – the Selangor MCA withdrew the resolution and the Sultan of Selangor publicly reprimanded Lee and warned him not to question Malay special rights – many within UMNO remained unappeased, and it contributed to deteriorating relations between the parties, most notably in the virtual demonisation of Lee that was to arise later in 1987 (Asiaweek, 23/11/1986).

Tensions between the MCA and UMNO soon spilled over into broader ethnic tension with Malaysian society. Language and education issues – a political flashpoint since the days of the Malayan Union plan in the 1940s and, as we have seen in relation to the Merdeka University controversy, accentuated by the social programme of the NEP – proved to be the spark point for the escalation of tensions.

The first round of protests came in August, when Universiti Malaya instituted a ruling limiting the use of Mandarin, Tamil and English in the teaching of elective subjects. The decision provoked demonstrations from non-Malay students, who interpreted the ruling as an attempt by the administration to boost the academic performance of the Malays compared to the other ethnic groups (NST, 02/08/1987).

The ever-belligerent UMNO Youth soon waded into the controversy, criticising the demonstrators but doing nothing to prevent counter-demonstrations by students supportive of the university’s move (NST, 04/08/1987).

As the protests continued, police were forced to keep the contending groups of demonstrators apart (NST, 18/08/1987).

By October, the DAP had become involved in the protests and the police were making numerous arrests (NST, 10/10/1987).

The Universiti Malaya uproar was soon overshadowed, however, by a national level dispute, also concerning language and education, when the Education Minister Anwar Ibrahim announced the promotion of around ninety teachers who were not educated in Chinese-language schools to senior positions in government-supported Chinese-language primary schools. The promotions caused a storm of protest from the Chinese community, which saw the move as an attempt to ‘change the character of the Chinese schools’, and perhaps ultimately pave the way for their disestablishment (Tan 2000: 244).

Although Anwar quickly backed down over the appointments, Chinese opposition parties and educationalist groups continued to protest, demanding the instant withdrawal of the appointees. Again, the Chinese parties in the BN were clearly pressurised by the protests into adopting a more chauvinistic position, for fear of losing ground to the DAP. In a sensational turn, the MCA and members from other Chinese parties in the BN, again led by Lee Kam Sai, thus joined a protest rally with the DAP and other Chinese-based opposition parties, calling for a boycott of the schools involved (NST, 12/10/1987).

The boycott saw over thirty thousand children kept away from school by their parents (NST, 16/10/1987).

The cycle of protest was intensified by a series of counter-demonstrations organised by various groups with UMNO. On the same day as the MCA-DAP joint rally, some five hundred UMNO members also held a demonstration, but the primary target of their anger was their coalition partner the MCA, rather than the DAP; demonstrators burnt MCA flags and posters (NST, 12/10/1987).

Subsequently, on October 17, UMNO Youth held a rally at a disused stadium in Kampung Baru, a large Malay district in Kuala Lumpur. The rally, attended by some six thousand people, was highly chauvinistic, and the target of the protesters wrath was against the government MCA rather than the opposition DAP.

Banners called for the resignation and of Lee Kim Sai, and urged the MCA to ‘go to Hell’ (pergi Jahanam). Other banners expressed broader and often violent anti-Chinese sentiments: ‘May 13 has begun’, a reference to the ethnic riots of 1969, and ‘Soak [the kris] in Chinese blood’ (Malaysia 1988: 17).

The UMNO Youth president, Najib Tun Razak, addressed the crowd, calling for Lee’s resignation and demanding that the MCA acquiesce to government policy, or else leave the BN (Asiaweek, 20/10/1987).

By the end of October 1987, then, ethnic tensions in the country were reaching critical levels. As news spread of freak shooting incident when an army sergeant (Prebet Adam) ran amok killing one Chinese and wounding another Chinese and a Malay in the Chow Kit area of Kuala Lumpur, the centre of the 1969 riots, many people rushed to stockpile food, fearing the outbreak of rioting. Increasing public attention was focussed on a mass rally planned for 1 November to celebrate UMNO’s fortieth year, postponed since 1986 (the actual anniversary) and relocated from Johor (UMNO’s birthplace) to Kuala Lumpur. Up to a half million Malays were expected to join the rally, in what was seen by many as a show of strength by Mahathir against the UMNO dissidents (Asiaweek, 06/11/1987).

With ethnic tensions running high, however, it was feared that the rally would prove to be the spark point for fresh riots. In such a context, there was little doubt that the government needed to take action to calm sentiments and prevent an escalation of conflict.”

Now if you’re the PM, what would you do at this point?

By Khoo Boo Teik – Paradoxes of Mahathirism : An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad

On Tuesday, 27 October 1987, the police launched Operasi Lalang [Operation “Weed Out”] within the first day, Operasi Lalang made fifty-five arrests, all under the ISA [Internal Security Act which provides detention without trial] of DAP (Democratic Action Party) MPs, a DAP state assemblyman, second echelon MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) leaders, Chinese educationists, prominent NGO figures, and university lecturers.

Three newspapers, The Star, Watan, and Sin Chew Jit Poh, were suspended indefinitely.
Over the next few days, more people were arrested, including politicians from Pemuda UMNO (UMNO Youth) … Gerakan, PAS (Malaysian Islamic Party,) and the PSRM (Malaysian Socialist Party,) local Muslim teachers, members of some Christian groups, and other NGO activists.

The arrests spread geographically from Peninsular Malaysia to Sarawak where local environmentalists and anti-timber logging natives were also detained. The waves of arrests, though lessening after October, continued until the number of detainees reached a peak figure of 119 in December.

Anyway, part two here is the final part where we focus on other main elements that were causing the tension culminating to the Operasi Lalang back in October 1987.


Some of these elements still persist to this day albeit in a different form or hiding behind different name.

We must be vigilant at all times because regardless what our political leanings or religion is, we must stand united against any elements that can destroy the very fabric this nation had stood for.

We must not be cowered or made to believe that things will not go out of control or pressured to accept unhindered freedom of speech as the norm in this country. Sensitivities must be adhered to. Liberalisation of the mind must always be accompanied by accountability of action which as a fledgling nation, we are not yet well equipped or mastered.

Freedom is one of the most difficult concept to control.

Thank you.

Operasi Lalang in 1987 – Part 1

Let’s talk about my favourite subject.

History.

Specifically, the Operasi Lalang.

Currently there is so much myths going on regarding that incident that many have differing perceptions on the whys, the hows, the whens, and the whose who in that particular part of our history.

When at present many of our political observers from the opposition have a one sided view of it, it is not surprising that with the malicious pandemonium they brought along would permeate into the psyche of every Malaysian today.

So what really happened during Operasi Lalang in 1987?

Many of the Pakatan Rakyat mindless supporters would invariably believe all that had been said by their leaders. Among the main issues that were mentioned were:

1) More than 100 innocent opposition leaders were detained without trial in 1987 under the Internal Security Act (ISA),

2) These detainment were unprovoked and without any justification,

3) 3 main newspapers were suspended (The Star, Sunday Star, Sin Chew and Watan). This shows intolerance towards free press by the government.

That’s about it. Approximately 100 opposition leaders were detained and a few newspaper publications were suspended nearly 24 years ago and judging from how the current events in 2011 are shaping up, there is a risk that the same thing will happen again.

If we subject ourselves to the whims and fancies of Pakatan Rakyat, of course, I am sure what we fear most will come true.

Above all, apart from the BERSIH fiasco, there are a dearth of valid issues that the opposition can play therefore, what better way to, rightly or wrongly, continue to raise tension and racial discord among the races?

Make sense? After all, strife and chaos is the bread and butter of Pakatan Rakyat.

Pasted below is the white paper on Operasi Lalang which was presented to the Parliament by the Home Ministry in 1988. The paper was direct and related the events as it were.

It is hoped that we can learn from our history so that mistakes will not happen again. Due to the lengthy presentation of the white paper, we shall view this in parts. This first part are the main provocations used by the antagonists and the reactions that arose prior to the mass capture of  100 over politicians and activists.

Cover page

To be continued..

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