Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Congrats...but no cause for celebrations

Congrats BN, 'tahniah' Umno.

We retained Rompin parliamentary seat in a by-election that saw our majority votes reduced by almost half (as compared to 2013) and lesser turnouts.

Our candidate Hasan Arifin (pic) may celebrate, and so are the rest of party leaders and workers. I don't see any comfort zone in the victory. In fact, I am worried. Aren't you PM Najib, Hisham (Rompin by-election director), sec-gen Ku Nan and others?
ROMPIN, May 5 (Bernama) -- The Barisan Nasional (BN) has retained the Rompin parliamentary seat after its candidate Datuk Hasan Arifin won in the by-election here today with a majority of 8,895 votes.
Hasan, 62, obtained 23,796 votes or 61 per cent of the votes cast while his challenger, PAS's Nazri Ahmad, 40, secured 14,901 votes or 39 per cent.
In the 13th General Election held in May 2013, Tan Sri Dr Jamaluddin Jarjis had retained the seat for the BN after defeating Dewan Muslimat PAS chief Nuridah Mohd Salleh with a majority of 15,114 votes.
Jamaluddin obtained 30,040 votes or 66.53 per cent whereas Nuridah polled 14,926 votes or 33.06 per cent.
The results were announced by the Returning Officer Datuk Fadzilla Salleh at the vote tallying centre at Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Ahmad Shah here tonight.
Fadzilla said voter turnout was 74 per cent and there were 591 spoilt votes.
I wrote in my previous posting that the 15,000 majority set for Rompin was simply an 'over confident' figure. With some major issues boiling up BN's pot - GST, 1MDB, Dr Mahathir-Najib saga among others - BN could lose some votes.

But Umno leaders, campaigners and workers were over-stretched by information from JASA, Jabatan Penerangan, Kemas and other when the Special Branch had earlier warned of 'a reduced majority'.

You can't count votes based on the crowd attending BN 'ceramah', neither can you harp an estimation based on turnouts at official functions by a few ministers.

Already its majority votes cut by half, what will happen in the next general elections, two or three years from now? We may have won this time but there is no reason to be upbeat about it. We may celebrate now and get complacent.

Some say we won on the 8,000 Orang Asli votes. Most probably. So, what about the Malays, Chinese and Indians?

The lesser turnout - 74 per cent against 80 per cent in 2013 - is not the indicator that BN will still be popular in GE14. That absentees are those who didn't go home to vote (it was a working day in KL and other parts yesterday) and voters who simply didn't want to cast their vote over confusion and 'fed up' with events hovering Umno.

However, congrats again...but there is no cause for a celebration! It's time to weigh possibilities and consequences, and work harder.

And let's see its impact on Permatang Pauh tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Who has the sharper knife?

A D-day for Rompin, and Permatang Pauh to follow on Thursday.

Its not about Umno's stronghold in Rompin and PKR's in Permatang Pauh. Its all about sentiments, nothing much about carpet bombings and character assassination as both do not work anymore. And neither do the goodies offered by both sides.

Yes, BN stands a better chance in Rompin. Former Umno MP Jamaluddin Jarjis or JJ who died in a helicopter accident in Semenyih on April 4 will the among the key factors for Umno to retain the parliamentary seat.

The peoples of Rompin, I believe, will pay tribute to the late JJ for all the development he brought to the constituency, unlike Permatang Pauh which 'stays as it is' under Pakatan Rakyat's 17-year reign there.

Anwar is not the topic of conversation anymore in Permatang Pauh. The rakyat talk less about him. Just like Rompin, the issue of bread and butter takes center stage.

Let us take a look at issues for BN and PR in both by-elections (Rompin today May 5), Permatang Pauh (May 7):

Strong points for BN:
-  the infighting in Pakatan Rakyat over 'hudud' law in Kelantan. PAS and DAP are at loggerheads.
-  PKR's 'no stand' in hudud law
-  Anwar Ibrahim 'the sodomite' and his moral image
-  the lagging Permatang Pauh as compared to other constituencies in Penang
-  PR and its NGOs objecting to GST, POTA (Prevention of Terrorism Act) and Sedition Act amendments 2015
-  PR as a destructive opposition
-  PR and its NGOs' robust tactics in forcing the government to resign
-  the immorality by PR NGOs for championing human rights and LGBT
-  some 'Umno supports' for PAS' hudud law
-  Malay unity
-  PKR belongs to Anwar's family; Wan Azizah as candidate
-  good economic indicator, powerful exports

Strong points for PR:
-  Confusion over GST, that the Goods and Services Tax is adding woes to the rakyat
-  The 'war' by Tun Dr Mahathir against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
-  1MDB
-  Anwar as a 'political prisoner'
-  Corruption in BN government, the MACC
-  POTA and Sedition Act which they call 'repressive'
-  The allegedly lavish spending for PM daughter's wedding
-  Action by the police in picking up opposition leaders from the street, deaths in lock-ups
-  Freedom of speech, human rights
-  Distrust for the Election Commission
-  Treasury's 'lack of funds'
-  PAC findings that many ministries and government agencies 'misused' funds

So, who has the sharper knife here?

Let's see if Anwar Ibrahim is still the factor for Permatang Pauh. Also, if Dr Mahathir and Najib saga is not the dominating issue for both by-elections.

Umno is expected to win Rompin but the 15,000 targeted majority is an 'over confident' figure. A reduced majority for PKR is seen for Permatang Pauh but Umno can spring a surprise.

Let's see. It all depends on the 'knife'...

Monday, May 4, 2015

More insult

Another provocation against Muslims worldwide, this time it happened in Dallas.

Two men opened fire outside an event holding a cartoon contest of the Prophet Mohammed before they were shot dead by police in suburban Dallas Sunday night.

While details about the gunmen, including their religion or their motive, weren't immediately known, the shooting — as was the case in France in January and Denmark in February — targeted a facility where depictions of the revered Muslim prophet was being caricatured.

And it quickly reignited the debate on free speech versus provocation.

The keynote speaker at the event in Garland was right-wing Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who was placed on an al Qaeda hit list. And it was organized by the American Freedom Defense Initiative — considered an anti-Muslim group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

"The Islamic jihadis are determined to suppress our freedom of speech violently." Pam Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative, told CNN. "They struck in Paris and Copenhagen recently, and now in Texas."

NOTE: Freedom of speech? By insulting other religions? The propagators of such freedom (including some Malaysians), I think, have the brain of monkeys!

Will Gani resign?

Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia has stepped up pressure to force out Attorney-General Gani Patail, asking federal authorities to seek a replacement in view of his health.

In its weekly column by Awang Selamat, the collective pseudonym used by senior editors, the newspaper said the time had come for him to step down. The editors’ remarks come two months after they first raised the subject, speculating that Gani was serving his last term in office.

Their remarks in March had come while Umno lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah was in the limelight, having led the government’s prosecution of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on contract with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Shafee had also made headlines in his involvement with alleged gambling kingpin Paul Phua and his criticism of the Malaysian police characterising Phua as a member of an organised triad network.

Shafee Abdullah had also public stated in January 2014 of his readiness to take on the task and that public service was more important than making money. (Shafee is in public practice.)

In today’s column, Awang Selamat said besides Gani’s health, there had also complaints over the Attorney-General’s purported delay in acting on offences related to the goods and services tax and police reports filed about insults to Islam and royalty. There were also opposition complaints about lack of action against Perkasa president Ibrahim Ali in a remark about burning the Bible.
“Rumour has it that Gani is on leave due to health problems,” Awang Selamat wrote, quoted by Malaysian Insider. “Let us pray that he recovers quickly. Personally, Awang is of the opinion that it is not right for Gani to continue to be burdened by such a heavy and challenging task.”
Awang Selamat claimed that Gani was not interested in continuing after his current contract expires. “When you reach a certain point in life, your health and time spent with your family become more precious. Let someone else take up the challenge. Who could that be?” Awang asked.
Other criticisms of Gani have come from opposition politicians who have accused him of bias in prosecution and of abuse of power, and a suit against him has been filed by Selangor executive councillor Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad of PKR.

Talk has been circulating in recent weeks that Mohd Shafee (pic) was aiming, or was being placed in position, to become the next Attorney-General. Shafee, who is in private practice, was appointed by the Attorney-General on contract to lead the government prosecution team in opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal against conviction on sodomy charges.

If it comes about, it would be a repeat of 1998, when Anwar was first charged with sodomy, and abuse of power.

It was because of that trial that Gani himself had come to prominence when he was chosen to lead the prosecution team. Anwar was sentenced to jail, but the sodomy conviction was later overturned on appeal.

Gani was appointed Attorney-General in 2002, while Musa Hassan, the police officer who led the investigation against Anwar, was appointed Inspector-General of Police in 2006.

Anwar has accused Gani and Musa Hassan, who led the police investigation, of fabricating evidence against him, an allegation which has been backed by a former Kuala Lumpur police chief Mat Zain Ibrahim.

In its March 1st posting, Awang Selamat said talk in legal circles was that Gani would retire at the end of his contract in October next year, and the names of several candidates had been raised.
“Awang is excited to know who this new face will be… as everyone knows, the A-G seat is a hot one, what with the current challenging political landscape,” the column said.
As Attorney-General, Gani has the power of the Public Prosecutor, and has been embroiled in several controversial decisions, such as choosing not to prosecute Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali who had made a threat to burn Malay Bibles.

He is also the government’s chief lawyer and headed the legal team to the International Court of Justice on Malaysia’s claim to sovereignty over Pulau Batu Puteh, which was disputed by Singapore. The court awarded the island to Singapore, after controversial claims about faked photographs being submitted by the Malaysian side.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

'Peaceful' my foot!

They said it would be a peaceful rally but it was marred with explosions and vandalism. They were proud of it because the police did not take any action.

However, about 30 of them were nabbed after the anti-GST rally was over.

The police personnel were very tolerable although the protesters defied a directive that the rally was only permitted at the Padang Merbok. But the challenged and provoked the authorities by marching to KLCC and Sogo Complex.

Uncivilised and a la gangster!
KUALA LUMPUR: Thirty individuals including social activist and lawyer S Ambiga and PKR Rafizi Ramli were detained by police last night to assist in investigations into the Anti-Goods and Services Tax (GST) rally held in the city earlier.City police chief Tajuddin Md Isa said those detained, aged between 17 and 60, were being investigated under Sections 143, 448 and 427 of the Penal Code and Section 4 of the Corrosive Substances and Explosives Act 1985.“Ambiga was detained at 10pm at the Dang Wangi police station and police will be seeking remand orders on all the suspects tomorrow (today),” he was quoted as saying by Bernama in a statement.Lawyer Latheefa Koya explained Ambiga would be investigated under Section 143 for being a part of an unlawful assembly. “She’s not even one of the organisers,” she told reporters.Meanwhile Ambiga told Malaysiakini, “I am shocked by this. It was a peaceful rally.”Latheefa also tweeted last night that apart from Ambiga, Seremban MP Anthony Loke and PSM secretary-general S Arutchelvan were also detained and would be held overnight in the police lock-up so that a remand order could be sought the next day.
During the rally - which Latheefa claimed as a peaceful one - at least five explosions were heard as participants marched to Dataran Merdeka and then to KLCC.
Four explosions occuring a minute part were heard near the Bandaraya LRT station locted across the Sogo Complex between 3.12pm and 3.16pm.
Yes, they used firecrackers on Friday but if we are so easy on them, sooner or later they will bring guns and rocket-launcher!

Friday, May 1, 2015

You don't like Malay-led govt? Choose a Chinese then!

Former information minister Zainuddin Maidin has urged Dr Mahathir Mohamad to suspend his campaign to oust Prime Minister Najib until the Permatang Pauh by-election is over.

What? Why until Permatang Pauh by-election? Over confident that the saga has no adverse effect on Rompin by-election?

Remember who said about the possibility of 'a Malay tsunami' taking place at both parliamentary by-elections; that the Malays are already blase with such bickering?

Zam says in a blog article today that the former prime minister should not spoil any chance Barisan Nasional might have in reducing Pakatan Rakyat’s majority in the May 7 by-election. Such a result, he says, will be a “victory in defeat” for BN, particularly Umno, because the constituency is the stronghold of jailed Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
“If this happens,” he says, “it will definitely be a booster for Umno. It will give the new spirit that Umno and BN supporters throughout the country need at a time when their leaders are threatened by political, economic and personal crises, made worse by incessant attacks from the former prime minister.
“I don’t think Tun Mahathir wants BN to be defeated because Anwar Ibrahim has been his biggest enemy in his political career. BN’s defeat will be partly blamed on Mahathir if he continues to attack Najib during the by-election campaign period, even if he does not speak anywhere in the Permatang Pauh constituency.
“Won’t Mahathir share in BN’s happiness if it manages to get more votes than it has done before? It will raise Umno’s morale, and not just Najib’s.”
Zainuddin says he doubts that BN will be able to increase its share of the votes, but asserts that a reduction in the Opposition’s share will be enough of a victory.

However, he adds, if BN does see an increase in votes for it, then Mahathir will have to consider whether he should continue with his campaign against Najib even after the by-election.

Hello Mr Zam! Many people wanna see both seats fall to the Opposition. Why? This will add strength to efforts in pushing down Najib.

Is that what we, the Malays (especially in Umno) want? Dr M wants it, probably, to let Umno and Barisan Nasional take a tumble in the next general election.

A 'Malay tsunami'?

Probably. Many of them are fed up. What's happening now is not about bringing Najib down but to kill Umno and BN. Its a 'grand design' to topple BN by casting away the Malay (and the non-Malays too) votes.

So, who would the Malays opt as a prime minister when their trust for their own race is eroding?

Choose the non-Malays laaaa... Lim Guan Eng? Why not? If we don't trust a Malay-led government anymore, fine. We got options, right? And that option is to support a Chinese or an Indian. A Benggali (Sikh) is also can since we have a few MPs among them.

And Mr Zam, why wait until Permatang Pauh by-election is over for Dr M to continue attacking Najib?

On paper, we don't have any chance. Dr M-Najib saga aside, we have GST and 1MDB among the boiling issues to address and convince the voters that BN is doing it for the rakyat...and for the rakyat!

And from where would that 15,000 majority vote coming for Rompin?

Yes, as a Malay, I am fed up... and I better shut up and think of my own option after this...

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Sarawak to kick out DAP, PKR and PAS too!

Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem is a fair mind. DAP tried to outsmart him by wanting the state government to ban Umno from the state but in the end the Peninsula-based Chinese party has to suck its own toe!

Adenan has agreed to back Kota Sentosa Assemblyman Chong Chieng Jen’s motion in the Assembly but with a stinging condition - the ban must include DAP, PKR and PAS.

NOTE: So, what say you Chong and DAP? You think you are playing the right game, the one you invented but you end up as loser!
“As long as you (party) receive orders from Kuala Lumpur, you are not welcome in Sarawak,” said Adenan in the Sarawak Assembly, suggesting that Chong who is DAP Sarawak Chairman re-table the motion. “We welcome the motion provided it includes other parties besides Umno.”
“Don’t listen to all these Peninsular Malaysians politicking. That’s why I don’t want these people here. Sarawakians can better understand Sarawakians.”
The Chief Minister told the Sarawak Assembly that he’s throwing a cordon sanitaire, French for sanitary cordon, a reference to protecting Sarawak by keeping undesirable elements out.

“We have the right, under immigration powers, to safeguard our unity by preventing racial and religious extremists from entering Sarawak.”

The list covers bigots, extremists and “troublemakers”.

He was referring to his decision to ban several politicians from the peninsula, all from the Opposition, from entering Sarawak. He has also banned two controversial personalities, Ibrahim Ali of Perkasa, and lecturer Ridhuan Tee.
Also among those banned are several Opposition MPs including Zuraida Kamaruddin (Ampang), Rafizi Ramli (Pandan), Tian Chua (Batu) and Teresa Kok (Seputeh) who has also been banned from Sabah.
Former PKR Secretary-General Saifuddin Nasution Ismail is also on the blacklist along with Negara-Ku Patron and former Bar Council Chairman Ambiga Sreenevasan and Maria Chin Abdullah, Chairman of the BERSIH 2.0 Steering Committee.
Chong was suspended from the Sarawak Assembly last year after he challenged Housing Minister Abang Johari to table a motion to ban Umno from Sarawak.
Immigration is under the Federal List in the Federal Constitution.

However, under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and 20/18 Points (Sabah/Sarawak), the Prime Minister can delegate his immigration powers to the Chief Ministers of Sabah and Sarawak but only involving the issuance of work permits to Peninsular Malaysians wishing to work in Sabah and Sarawak.

Likewise, the Home Minister can delegate his immigration powers to the state secretaries in Sabah and Sarawak.

The intention of the framers of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and 20/18 Points and the founding fathers in Borneo, on immigration, have never been tested so far in the Federal Court, sitting as the constitutional court.