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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anwar: People have decided on Najib ( Malaysiakini)

Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim today said that Umno's failure to win the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat was an indication of people's rejection of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

"The by-election was a referendum on him. Their entire line of campaigning was that this new leader must be given a chance.

"They said that Umno made a mistake in the past and now it should be given a chance under Najib...that's fine.

"And they even brought back Dr Mahathir...that was the problem," said Anwar in a press conference at the PKR headquarters this morning.

The Opposition Leader added that the Umno/BN campaign was to promote Najib's unity call involving all races, apart from playing up the Malay supremacy race card.

"But that has crumbled," he said.

Anwar said that Najib should now have some humility to acknowledge that his calls for reforms have failed.

"He must take the initiative to make the reforms," he added.

He also dismissed suggestions that Najib would be calling for a snap election anytime soon.

"Umno will not consider that at all. If they do, god willing, we will form the next government," he said.

He added that unlike Umno, PKR and Pakatan would not play the race cards to win elections.

He said that in their campaigns in the by-elections, they had stressed that they will look everyone as the same.

"We must appeal to Malays to endorse all candidates, even non-Malays and non-Muslims. This shows our maturity," he said.

And it was this which he said resulted in the Chinese and the Indians continuing to support Pakatan candidates in both Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.

He also added that the Malay support in Bukit Gantang was sustained while it was increased in Bukit Selambau.

Fairus to remain state rep

Anwar also suggested that his candidate in Batang Ai Jawah Gerang could have lost the by-election as a result of some vote-manipulation.

"We did not make a mistake in naming him. I think he was the right candidate.

"He lost in the interior areas, areas where the votes were not counted in places where they should be counted," he said.

He also joked by saying that PKR would have won in Batang Ai if Umno had sent its former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad over there for campaigning.

He refused to comment further on Mahathir's last-minute campaigning for Umno in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.

"No comment on Tun. Let him say what he wants to say about me... he has been doing that for a long time."

Anwar also rubbished speculations that Penang Deputy Chief Minister (1) Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin will be resigning as the Penanti state representative.

"Not true. He will resign as the deputy chief minister and state exco member effective today. Nothing else," he said.

When pressed by journalists if the Penanti seat will become vacant soon, Anwar said Fairus will be the state representative for the seat until the next general election.

Anwar was also asked on the ‘big announcement' which he was supposed to make after the by-elections.

He was originally slotted to be making the announcement during a ceremah at Bukit Selambau but he held back stating that the time was not right.

Today when asked about it, Anwar said that he had actually made a big announcement in Bukit Selambau in regards to the defections of PPP members into PKR.

"We announced the virtual dissolution of Kedah PPP. Isn't that a major announcement?" he asked.

Nizar's victory speech

Najib to name cabinet tomorrow

tmi-n.jpgKUALA LUMPUR, April 8 - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will name his Cabinet line-up tomorrow after getting the Yang diPertuan Agong’s approval.

Sources say Najib’s list includes a mix of old and new faces, including some who will have to be appointed senators.

It is understood that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be the deputy prime minister.

Among the Umno ministers likely to be retained from the current Cabinet are Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Nazri Aziz, Datuk Seri Rais Yatim and Datuk Seri Mustapha Mohamed.

It is learnt that Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon could join the Cabinet as a senator.

Earlier, several ministers said they have yet to be informed if they will be part of Najib’s cabinet.

“He is keeping his cards very close to his chest. The current ministers don’t even know if they are on the list,” a source told TheMalaysian Insider.

Najib has met all Barisan Nasional component party leaders this week to discuss potential names.

It is learnt he wants to trim the cabinet size to just over 20 by merging some ministries. It is understood the post of second finance minister could be dropped as several corporate figures and GLC heads have declined to join the cabinet.

The criteria for the new line-up is they must have university degrees and are not seen as having any political baggage or corrupt. However, most Umno and Barisan Nasional politicians are seen as having baggage or are corrupt, leaving Najib with very few options.

As many as 15 ministers could be new, including some returning to the cabinet, a few deputy ministers being promoted and possibly a corporate figure, another source said.

The bulk of new faces will be from Umno as six ministers lost in the party polls last month.

One of them who lost and who has confirmed resigning is Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad.

An Umno source said there was no guarantee that those who won or retained their place in the party supreme council will be named to the cabinet.

However, the top Umno office bearers are almost guaranteed of being in the front bench.

“Only the top guys know they will get something. Everyone else is in the dark ,” the Umno source told The Malaysian Insider.

Najib had said he will reshuffle the cabinet this week ahead of his first trip abroad as prime minister when he attends the Asean+3meeting in Pattaya tomorrow.

Local newspapers have speculated on the new cabinet with some reporting at least 10 ministers could be dropped.

Among those likely to face the axe include Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Azalina Othman, Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed, Minister in PM’s Department Senator Tan Sri Amirsham A. Aziz, Energy, Telecommunications and Water Minister Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor and Women,Family and Community Affairs Minister Datuk Ng Yen Yen.

Malaysia’s sixth prime minister could also face a headache of naming ministers as Tun Dr Mahathir had warned him against appointing Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin, who defeated his son in the party polls.

It is now understood that Khairy will not be named to the cabinet, in a repeat of former Umno Youth leader Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s status in 1993 when he crossed Mahathir.

Mahathir, who ruled the country for 22 years before retiring in 2003, has called Khairy corrupt.He has accused Khairy and father-in-law Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who succeeded him as PM, of undermining his legacy.

Another hiccup for Najib is the bigger defeats in two by-elections yesterday that reflected the poor confidence in his and Umno’sleadership of the country.

Cabinet line-up seen as crucial test for Najib

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 – Over the last few days, Prime Minister Najib Razak has tirelessly sent out a message that his administration will not be shackled to narrow party interests, but the real test will be his Cabinet line-up. His aides say the announcement could be tomorrow.

The announcement is closely watched as it could make or break his new image as a leader who wants to be in touch with the ground.

There have been hints that a number of ministers, particularly from his Umno party, will be dropped as they do not have the approval of Malaysians. Speculation is rife that the Cabinet could be trimmed by up to six posts.

There is also talk that a prominent corporate figure could be second finance minister. That will be welcomed as this is seen as a technocrat’s job with Datuk Seri Najib likely to retain his finance portfolio.

The names bandied about are Tan Sri Mohamad Nor Yusof, a banker and former managing director of Malaysia Airlines, and Tan Sri Azman Mokhtar, managing director of investment arm Khazanah Nasional.

Najib has been meeting the Barisan Nasional component party leaders since Monday for their input.

He has raised expectations in recent days when he reached out to minority communities, released detainees under the Internal Security Act, and lifted the ban on two opposition newspapers.

“I believe that Najib will cleanse the party and government of corruption and corrupt persons. The signs will be seen when he sets up his Cabinet,” former premier Mahathir Mohamad wrote in his blog yesterday.

Cabinet posts traditionally go to party loyalists, with representation from the biggest component parties and states. It will be tough to abandon this formula.

Furthermore, the minorities want a bigger role. The MCA has asked for a Chinese deputy premier, or a Chinese affairs minister. The Malaysian Indian Congress wants a second ministerial post.

The chances are slim if Najib is to trim the Cabinet.

But his toughest job will be the Umno warlords. Several winners in the recent Umno elections may expect to be rewarded, but they are unpopular with Malaysians while a few of those who lost are respected.

There are currently 32 members in the Cabinet with 27 ministries. Umno holds the lion’s share at about two-thirds of the Cabinet.

There are several near-certain appointments. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the current International Trade and Industry Minister, will be appointed deputy prime minister. He will also have another portfolio, and it is understood that he has asked for a post that does not entail much overseas travel.

The three Umno vice-presidents will get major portfolios. The finance, defence, home, foreign, international trade, and education portfolios are traditionally held by Umno.

The vice-presidents are current Education Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and National Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Shafie Apdal. The speculation is that Datuk Seri Hishammuddin could move into the powerful international trade portfolio, or the Home Ministry. These are not likely to ruffle feathers.

But controversy could arise if Najib appoints Khairy Jamaluddin, Umno’s new Youth chief, to his Cabinet.

Under normal circumstances, the position would put him as a prime candidate for a junior ministry. But Khairy, the son-in-law of former premier Abdullah Badawi, was found guilty by Umno’s disciplinary board of buying votes in the party’s recent internal elections, and was controversially still allowed to contest.

Najib is also expected to drop several unpopular Umno ministers. Fortunately for him, many had lost in the party elections. They include Tourism Minister Azalina Othman Said, Rural and Regional Development Minister Muhammad Muhammad Taib, and Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

As for the MCA, Housing and Local Government Minister Ong Ka Chuan, and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Ng Yen Yen may be dropped.

The talk is that two new MCA faces will be made full ministers – Deputy Finance Minister Kong Cho Ha and Deputy Education Minister Wee Ka Siong.

Another new full minister could be Deputy International Trade Minister Ahmad Husni Hanadzlah.

For now, Najib is keeping the list close to himself. – The Straits Times

End of the road for Samy

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 – The decisive defeat suffered by MIC/Barisan Nasional in Bukit Selambau on Tuesday signals the end of the road for party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's political career after he had ignored strong advice from Umno leaders to walk away.

Instead, Samy had led the MIC campaign from the front, turning off Indian voters with the constant refrain that he has done great things for the Indian community.

The community had clearly rejected him on several occasions – first in the November 25 2007 protest, then in boycotting the Thaipusam festivities at Batu Caves in 2008 and finally at the polls on March 8, 2008.

Despite such overt rejection, Samy had refused to step down but instead went on a “rebranding” exercise of the battered party which even his former loyalists now say was a futile exercise.

“What the party needs is a new leader, a new face, a new vision and new hope,” said Datuk M. Muthupalaniappan, the man who mounted a challenge against Samy last month but was disqualified from contesting by allegedly foul means.

“The defeat of the MIC once again tells us that the MIC needs new leadership,” Muthupalaniappan told The Malaysian Insider.

Another retired MIC leader who did not want to be named said Samy must acknowledge the voter rejection and hand over power in the MIC immediately.

“It has got to be now…not next week, not next month or next year. It has got to be now,” he said.

Samy had led the often rough campaign in Bukit Selambau using MIC youth members and other outsiders to browbeat the PKR in the hope of regaining the upper hand but the methods backfired as PKR candidate S. Manikumar trounced Samy’s handpicked candidate Datuk G. Ganesan.

Samy had been campaigning well before nomination day and believed he had a head start.

“His hope was to win in Bukit Selambau and ride that victory to make a comeback but all that is now a pipedream,” a former aide of Samy said.

He even had MIC division chiefs to raise hopes in his Tamil Nesan daily that after “victory” Samy should be appointed senator and returned as minister in the new cabinet to be announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“He has no plans to hand over the party any time soon,” the former aide said. “He is going to come back with a new scheme.”

“Umno leaders have to press Samy to hand over the party because there is nobody in the MIC or in the Indian community who can do it – persuade Samy to leave,” the former aide said.

Samy, who lost his Sungei Siput parliamentary seat in the March 2008 general election, was “re-elected” MIC president for a 11th term last month and immediately announced this was his last term as president.

He has promised to hand over the party leadership to his deputy but since he can legally stay as president until 2013, the timing of his eventual retirement is still unclear.

In the MIC elections to be held this September, the focus will be on the deputy president’s post with three likely contestants – former deputy Datuk S. Subramaniam, incumbent Datuk G. Palanivel and aspiring candidate S. Sothinathan.

Party insiders said Samy would manoeuvre to get his man elected so he can remain the power behind the MIC throne.

The question is who will he choose as his candidate.

The honeymoon is over - DAP

Najib Razak has his work cut out for him and it is quite clear that Malaysians will not give him a 100-day honeymoon period to perform, says Tony Pua, DAP national publicity secretary.

“He must hence immediately institute firm and resolute measures to eradicate corruption, overhaul archaic and repressive laws and dismantle discriminatory policy tools antithetical to his ‘One Malaysia’ agenda,” he said in a statement Wednesday (8 April).

Pua, who is also MP for Petaling Jaya Utara, said the most decisive and convincing manner by which Pakatan Rakyat have won the two by-elections in Peninsula Malaysia, particularly in Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat where the majority increased by nearly 80%, demonstrates without a doubt the aspirations of Malaysians.

He pointed out that together with the overwhelming results from Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu in the past few months, the people have sent a few messages to the Barisan Nasional government.

He said the results are a clear endorsements of the Pakatan Rakyat 10 month-old Perak government for its multi-racial and multi-cultural policies benefiting the rakyat from all segments of the community.

The Kuala Sepetang polling district where the Chinese community comprises 97% of the 2,311 electorate voted 84.3% for a PAS candidate. This is an earth-shaking result demonstrating that barriers to racial and communal politics are being torn down and are being replaced by the politics of good and quality governance, Pua added.

My shortest article ever

Image

No, I am NOT going to write a new article today. I am just going to rehash what I wrote in this same column on 6 April 2009. That article was called: Another day to go and Najib is going to eat humble pie. And this is going to be my shortest article ever.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

And this was what I wrote yesterday:

Batang Ai has 8,000 registered voters, about 95% Ibans. The two contenders are five-term Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang and newcomer Malcom Mussem Lamoh from Barisan Nasional. The feedback I get is that there is heavy internal sabotage, which may thwart the opposition’s chances of winning this seat.

In 2004, Bukit Gantang, which has about 55,000 voters, was won by Barisan Nasional with a majority of 8,888 votes and, in 2008, Pakatan Rakyat, with a majority of 1,566 votes. That is a swing of about 10,000 votes. Pakatan Rakyat must win it this time with a majority of 2,500 to 3,000 votes to really make Najib eat humble pie.

Bukit Selambau has about 35,000 voters. In 2004, Barisan Nasional won this seat with a majority of 7,695 votes and, in 2008, Pakatan Rakyat, with a majority of 2,362 votes. That is a swing of about 10,000 votes just like in Bukit Gantang. Again, to make Najib eat humble pie, Pakatan Rakyat must win this seat with a majority of 2,500 to 3,000 votes.

Well, that is my wish list for tomorrow. Is that your wish list too?

Hard lessons from Bukit Gantang

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com


Dr M speaking to voters in Taiping on 6 April
(All pics by Raj Kumar, courtesy of theSun)
DESPITE the Barisan Nasional's earlier denial that the Bukit Gantang by-election was not a referendum on the country's new leadership, the ruling coalition turned it into just that within the last few days before polling.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was brought in for the campaign and publicly endorsed Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the new prime minister, showering praises on his capabilities.

Mahathir plugged the new Umno leadership elected at its recent general assembly. "I am confident that Najib's leadership reflects the original Umno," the octogenarian ex-premier said.

Around the constituency, too, are BN posters and banners calling on voters to reject the PAS candidate as a way of showing disapproval, disgust even, for "traitors". That is what PAS's embattled menteri besar and candidate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin has been called for his resistance to the Perak sultan's decision not to allow a dissolution of the state assembly and refusal to step down.

But the BN seems to have forgotten that it, too, has "traitors" on its ship. The takeover of the state was formed through one defection by the Bota assemblyperson and three deserters who became "BN-friendly independents".

At the end of the day, this might have been an ordinary by-election had it not been for two factors that preceded it: the Perak constitutional crisis, and Najib taking charge of the country's administration.

In a way, PAS cleverly fashioned this by-election into a referendum on the Perak crisis when it chose Nizar as its candidate.

But even though PAS has won, it is still hard to gauge which issue voters had in mind as they cast their ballots today. Can sentiment about the Perak crisis and the sultan's role be separated from public perception of the transition of national power to a new regime under Najib?


Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and his supporters after he was announced the winner

The bigger issue

The two have conflated, but political scientist Prof Dr Mohammad Agus Yusoff feels national leadership has overtaken the Perak crisis as the bigger issue.

For one, people may have grown tired of the state's political quagmire, which is still unresolved and pending in court.

Secondly, the BN campaign capitalised on the change in Umno and government to dilute focus on its takeover of the state. Voter understanding of the legal points of the Perak crisis may not have been in-depth to begin with. The BN thought it was speaking the language of rural Malay Malaysians by simplistically describing the scenario as treason against the sultan. But PAS's win speaks of its effectiveness in explaining the crisis.

"The Perak crisis is still important. But other factors have cropped up, and voters may have adjusted themselves accordingly. You can't deny that the by-election is about Najib; it is about the new government; it is about a new Umno and the way forward for the BN. People are thinking of the national aspect," says Mohammad Agus, who shuttled between Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau from 29 March to 7 April to observe the campaigns.

The bigger overall winning percentage of 6.81% compared with last year's general election result of 3.89% majority indicates a strong unhappiness with the BN, whether it is over the Perak takeover or unease with Najib's leadership.

The bigger majority also speaks of the kind of voice Bukit Gantang voters want in Parliament, since the seat is a parliamentary one.

Along racial lines

Closer inspection of polling data will reveal whether the by-election was decided along racial lines. For now, a loose inference from the results announced tonight — which were released verbally according to polling streams in the 112 polling stations — shows that Nizar won on the back of Chinese Malaysian votes. Voter turnout was also higher this time, at 75% compared with 72.6% last year.


A PR supporter rides the waves in Kuala Sepetang

Results at polling-centre level in predominantly Chinese Malaysian areas such as Kuala Sepetang and Simpang, for example, show that Nizar won overwhelmingly with 200-plus or 300 majorities. He also won, in some cases with much narrower majorities, in some areas within the Malay Malaysian-dominated Changkat Jering state seat.

BN candidate Ismail Saffian appears to have had the edge in areas in the Trong state seat, also a predominantly Malay Malaysian area.

These early indicators are largely keeping in trend with the 2008 general election results, where Changkat Jering and Kuala Sepetang were captured by Parti Keadilan Rakyat, and Trong by the BN.

If the bulk of Chinese and Indian Malaysian votes went to PAS, it shows that the Islamist party is on its way to becoming "a centrist party", says political analyst and The Nut Graph columnist Wong Chin Huat.

"They got the non-Malay Malaysian support, while Umno has become a flank party," he adds, flank being a nicer word short of "extremist".

Chinese Malaysians, which comprise 27.1% of Bukit Gantang's population, and Indian Malaysians 9.1%, have traditionally been the kingmakers in this constituency where the Malay Malaysian vote is split, with a slight advantage for Umno.

PAS's win means it must continue to be centrist to retain support. It confirms the new trend realised in last year's general election, that PAS can only perform among non-Malay Malaysian constituents when it cooperates with the DAP and PKR.


The BN's Ismail Saffian (right), earlier on polling day, 7 April

For the BN, it is a reminder that change cannot be cosmetic. The government and Umno's new leadership have yet to be tested, and they must follow up on Najib's promises of reform in the party, politics and the economy, on repressive laws, media openness, and more.

If polling data reveals that younger voters — the bulk of the national electorate — opted for PAS, it also signifies an uphill battle for the BN to form the government in the next general election unless it responds effectively

MACC records statement from Guan Eng, Ramasamy

The Sun
ImageGEORGE TOWN (April 7, 2009) : The Penang Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister II were questioned by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) in the course of its investigations into alleged graft involving Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin.

Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said his statement was recorded by a team of MACC officers led by the Penang director Latifah Md Yatim at his office yesterday evening.

"When they came to record my statement, I readily gave them my full cooperation," he said, adding that the session lasted for about an hour.
Speaking in a press conference at his office today, Lim said he has also instructed all of the state executive councillors to cooperate if the MACC wants to record statements from them.

"They have also recorded a statement from Deputy Chief Minister II Prof Dr P.Ramasamy and they may be recording statements from one or two other excos," he said.

Lim reiterated that the state government will not hide or cover up anything and is willing to extend its full cooperation to the MACC in its investigations into the case.

"We have nothing to hide and nothing to fear," he said.

However, Lim questioned why MACC did not conduct an investigation into Malacca chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam over alleged money politics.

"Why do they act so fast and can even take a statement from me when a case involved a Pakatan Rakyat leader but when it is a Barisan Nasional leader, they did not even start any investigations and had immediately said there were lack of evidence?" he asked.

"It looks like the MACC has different values where they have one standard for Pakatan Rakyat and another for Barisan Nasional," he said.

Last month, Mohammad Fairus was questioned by MACC officers for the case. Mohammad Fairus has since tendered his resignation from the Deputy Chief Minister I post effective this April 8.

The whole issue came to light when national PKR Youth exco member Amizudin Ahmat made allegations that two PKR leaders are working with several quarries in Penang to cover up illegal activities.

On whether the state government has a candidate to take over the Deputy Chief Minister I's post, Lim said he will need to discuss it with the state exco first.

"We will try to announce this as soon as possible," he said.

Lim also hit out at Teluk Bahang state assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya for twisting the truth behind the state government's successful hardcore poverty eradication programme.

"This is obviously due to sour grapes that we are able to achieve what they are unable to do," he said.

He clarified that under the programme, the state government will top up the monthly income of each family that earns less than RM500 to bring it up to RM500 each month.

"So, if a family earns RM300 a month, we will top up RM200 to bring it to RM500. We will do this every month until the family is able to earn RM500 a month," he said.

He ticked off Dr Hilmi for giving misleading statements that the state government will review this every three months.

"We will continue to give the contributions as long as we are the state government. Every three months we are only going to update our database so that we will also cover some families who may have fallen into the hardcore poverty line due to loss of income," he said.

Yesterday, Dr Hilmi reportedly hit out at Lim for claiming to have eradicated hardcore poverty in Penang. He said the state government has failed to solve poverty problems and that there are still many poor people who needs help.

He had said the financial aid given to the hardcore poor by the state government is only for the first three months before it was reviewed and that this is not sufficient to help the hardcore poor.

Kenyataan Media Anwar Ibrahim Berhubung Keputusan Tiga Pilihanraya Kecil

–KENYATAAN MEDIA UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA–
8 April 2009

Alhamdulillah, saya panjatkan rasa penuh kesyukuran ke hadrat Allah S.W.T di atas kemenangan pilihan raya kecil pada 7hb April 2009.

Syabas saya ucapkan kepada pengundi di Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang dan Batang Ai. Sokongan yang anda berikan menjadi bukti kekuatan rakyat untuk berani berhadapan dengan kekuasaan. Undi yang telah anda berikan untuk Pakatan Rakyat menjadi saksi akan kemahuan yang kuat menuntut Perubahan.

Tahniah saya ucapkan kepada para calon dan petugas Pakatan Rakyat kerana bekerja keras untuk memastikan kejayaan hari ini. Kemantapan kerjasama di antara Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Pas dan Dap semakin hari semakin utuh.

Kemenangan di Bukit Selambau dan Bukit Gantang serta sokongan pengundi Batang Ai membuktikan rakyat masih yakin terhadap kepimpinan Pakatan Rakyat untuk terus menerajui perjuangan menuntut Perubahan bagi mencipta Malaysia Baru yang adil dan saksama. Hari ini rakyat menghantar mesej yang jelas. Mereka mahukan Perubahan yang nyata, bukan sekadar janji politik untuk terus kekal berkuasa.

Kemenangan Dato’ Seri Nizar di Bukit Gantang merupakan satu referendum agar dikembalikan Kerajaan Perak yang sah. Rakyat menuntut agar Dewan Undangan Negeri dibubarkan dan pilihanraya diadakan di seluruh Negeri Perak.

Kepada pendukung Pakatan Rakyat di Batang Ai, kita berhasil mengungkapkan isu tanah adat dan peminggiran rakyat yang terjadi di Sarawak. Parti Keadilan Rakyat dan Pakatan Rakyat akan terus berjuang membawa Perubahan kepada rakyat Negeri Sarawak.

Sekali lagi kewibawaan proses pilihanraya menjadi pertikaian. Pengiraan awal yang tidak dilakukan di tempat pembuangan undi serta penggunaan helikopter untuk mengangkut membuka ruang kepada penipuan. Ini seharusnya menjadi pembakar semangat untuk terus bekerja keras membawa Perubahan, bukan sahaja di Batang Ai, tetapi juga di segenap pelusuk tanah air.

Walaupun berulang kali berhadapan dengan kekerasan, fitnah dan ugutan penguasa, ianya tidak akan
menghambat kami dari menunaikan janji yang telah diberikan. Pakatan Rakyat akan terus mempertahankan keluhuran Perlembagaan dan berusaha melaksanakan agenda serta dasar untuk membantu sesiapa sahaja yang terpinggir tanpa berasaskan kaum. Pakatan Rakyat tidak akan sesekali mengkhianati amanah yang telah diberikan rakyat ini.

Saya menyeru rakyat Malaysia untuk tetap bersama-sama dengan agenda Perubahan dan Pakatan Rakyat. Sudah tiba masanya kita meniup nafas segar kepada demokrasi dan memperkukuhkan kembali kedaulatan undang-undang di negara ini.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Continue reading ‘Kenyataan Media Anwar Ibrahim Berhubung Keputusan Tiga Pilihanraya Kecil’

Fight of Indian

Dear All,
The call for Indians support is an indication that UMNO has lost the confidence of Malays at large.
So the Indians are deemed to be minority and cannot win any Election on their own so the Indians should appreciate the BN govt for "sedekah" to the Indians.
This has been the long time preaching of cheating the Indians of their legitimate rights and earnings which the Indians should brush a side.
In other words, the BN inablility to deliver is the real truth being hidden from the rakyat to stay in power.
Well, gone are the days where the rakyat were repeatedly reminded of MAY 13 and that the certain ethinic group will be angered if they are left behind in progress of the nation.
This is a silent way of closing the door for rakyat to be satisfied with whats provided and be contented with.
The last General election has pulled the iron curtain on fear instilling in the raykat where the Malaysian citizens of the voters group in special, sat, side by side to take Malaysia to another miles stone in nation building.
One must admit that its not the Indians who should vote the BN to power out of guilt but the Malays at large came to the concious to vote out UMNO and BN for non performance.
One noble Malay didnot take the gift of luxury and stood to stand against corruption and many other shortcomings that all Malaysians were taken for a ride last 50 yrs.
So the acid test comes to supportors ,who lost a sudden wind fall to the opposition and are hoping to regain the lost kingdom.
If not for the sustaining pressure to revive the ISA and the timely arrest of the HINDRAF leaders under ISA which further pressured the BN to take a second look on their iron rule, Malaysians shall continue to be pressured into submitting for non support.
The PAS is a predominant Malay party. Why is that they can win Kelantan but not other areas in majority parts of Malaysia? So why should that Indians have to be majority to win the constituency.
Can UMNO win any constituency without MCA or MIC or others support. Malaysian voters should not fall to shallow means of campaign. Malaysians should look forward to more dinamic promises from reps. to take Malaysia to another dimension of success.
GOD save the Nation and the Rakyat.
Let the next generation be protected from undue threats of low image individuals for good.

Manikavasagam Maybe Arrested Any Moment as MIC’s Defeat Confirm

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Sg Petani - Police had targetted to arrest Manikavasagam . Federal Reserve Unit and hundreds Police personnel together with Plain cloth Polieofficers marched towards a Restaurant where Kapar Member of Parliament and his supporters having supper.

Earlier Police chased away Pakatan Rakyat supporters gathered at PKR’s Main Operation Room which is just two blocks away from MIC’s . Police almost threaten to confiscate Manikavasagam’s camera from one of his assistant whom trying to take photo of Police chasing and arresting one of the supporters. It’s believed they arrested about four of supporters gathered there.

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Manikavasagam’s aide whom taking photo from inside a restaurant. While dozen of reporters took photos too. Manikavasagam managed to grab back the camera and after some negotiation they let him go. Federal Reserve Unit’s started to build up there after as loyal Pakatan supporter remain around PKR operation room.

Just 10 minute’s before midnight Police instructed Shop owner to cease business. As the crowd whom still having their drinks and foods shouted they allowed the shop to continue serving. Police did the same 5 minutes later but this time they walked towards Manikavasagam table but remain outside the restaurant compound . Police RAJA di Malaysia today showed authority thru their Chief’s Anger Face.

When Manikavasagam asked “ don’t we have Freedom to eat food ” the Police Chief replied arrongantly by saying GO AND ASK YOUR GOD. Manikavasagam whom surrounded by his supporters managed to get into his car waiting just outside the restaurant. Police made him to take longer route to his hotel as they blocked nearby roads. For Readers Information FRU fired tear gas towards Pakatan Rakyat Supporters on Mar 23, 2009 just opposite the restaurant.

The Victory for Pakatan Rakyat in Bukit Selambau is assured based on negative reaction by Police Authority against Pakatan leader.

Prior to this incident Police instructed PKR grass root member to stop giving his speech as MIC youths of about 40-50 people trying to provoke the Pakatan Rakyat supportes whom out numbered of about 3000 . WHY POLICE SO COWARD to ask MIC Youth’s to stop Provoking PKR leaders whom addressing the supporters.

Manikavasagam whom arrived just after that , called the crowd to remain calm and instructed supporters to attend PKR Defacto Leaders Speech at Yayasan Aman. He then walked to nearby restaurant to have his Dinner with some supporters present there.

The act of letting Manikavasagam just a Political Gimmick as they afraid any harassment towards him just hours before voting starts may let Barisan Nasional’s suffer heavy defeat. A check at Hotel where most of UMNO leaders staying shows , most of them had run out of Bukit Selambau.

MIC’s defeat at Bukit Selambau is Confirm.

It could possibily an act of taking revenge against Manikavasagam as he managed to highlight their (police) Wrongdoings lately such as Prabakar Hot Water and Death in Custody of Car Theft Suspect A Kugan.

Makkal Sakti hits the campaign trail in Bukit Gantang

Nizar wins!

By Adib Zalkapli and Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

UPDATED

TAIPING, April 7 — In a major boost to the ousted Pakatan Rakyat state government, PAS won the Bukit Gantang by-election with its candidate Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin defeating his closest rival, Barisan Nasional's Ismail Saffian, by 2,789 votes.

The former Perak mentri besar, who was ordered to resign by the state Ruler, obtained 21,860 votes while Ismail garnered 19,071 votes.

Independent Kamarul Ramizu Idris only managed to secure 62 votes and lost his deposit of RM10,000.

A total of 41, 626 voters out of 55,471 or 75.1 per cent cast their ballots.

The by-election was widely seen as a referendum on the newly-formed Perak government led by BN's Datuk Dr Zambry Kadir and today's outcome was the clearest sign yet that the move by the coalition to form the new state government has not gone down well with the people.

BN formed the government in February after three PR lawmakers left the alliance to become BN-friendly independents and Nizar's attempt to dissolve the state assembly to pave the way for state-wide election failed.

And with the swearing in of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the sixth prime minister last Friday, the by-election also became the first test of his leadership and his reform agenda.

Nizar told a press conference after the announcement of the result that his immediate priority would be "to stabilise the political situation in Perak" and to seek the dissolution of the state assembly.

"This is a very strong signal from the people that they reject corruption, but they want democracy and they want a free and fair election," he said, agreeing to suggestions that the outcome of the election was an endorsement of the ousted PR-led government.

He was also confident that the alliance would win with a bigger majority if state elections are called.

"Our policies are not discriminatory," he added.

Earlier in his speech, Nizar urged party supporters who had gathered outside the polling centre to disperse.

Meanwhile, Perak Umno secretary Datuk Ramly Zahari insisted that the outcome of the polls did not justify the call for state elections.

He said the non-Malays voted strongly for PAS because of the populist policies of the PR-led state government including awarding permanent land titles to new villagers.

"We need more time to explain to them on the legality of this populist policy adopted by the previous government," said Ramly.

"And probably also our strategy was not right. We couldn't focus much on the by-election because of party elections and in Perak itself we have been busy handling the political turmoil," he told The Malaysian Insider.

PKR’s Manikumar wins in Bukit Selambau

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

SUNGAI PETANI, April 7 — First-timer S. Manikumar has ensured that Bukit Selambau is represented in the state executive council after a hard-fought but convincing 2,403-vote win over Barisan Nasional's Datuk S. Ganesan.

The PKR candidate polled 12,632 votes to defeat the former Lunas assemblyman who managed 10,229.

The win in the mixed constituency is a fillip for the PAS-led government of Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak as speculation of defections to topple the Pakatan Rakyat continues to swirl.

With Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's MIC also failing to deliver the crucial tie-breaking Indian votes who make up 30 per cent of the electorate here, it also brings the beleaguered party on the brink of irrelevance.

Ganesan was nowhere to be found, having told reporters he would not be at the counting centre as BN reels from yet another election setback with the 2-1 defeat in the triple by-elections.

With even the influence of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad failing to swing the tide, tonight's results confirm that the new leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not see a honeymoon period.

Samy Vellu said: “I am certain we have increased Indian support. Even though we are disappointed, we accept the verdict and will work hard to regain the confidence of the Indian community.”

Datuk Johari Abdul, PKR's election director for Bukit Selambau and Sungai Petani MP, said: "Umno may have done well but the other BN component parties have not."

He said BN took most of the Malay areas but PKR won in Chinese and mixed areas even though the Indian support decreased.

Pakatan scores higher in 2 Bukits, BN keeps Batang Ai

UPDATED AT 11pm

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 — Wounded from losing Perak, Pakatan Rakyat fought back with greater ferocity to retain both Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau with bigger majorities, reinforcing a two-party concept and striking a blow to new Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's “One Malaysia” idea.

Najib's ruling Barisan Nasional kept the Batang Air state seat in Sarawak with a bigger majority but the results laid bare the lie that its Election 2008 defeat was due to former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's weak leadership.

Ironically, Abdullah's trenchant critic and predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad campaigned vigorously yesterday for Barisan Nasional in both Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau and endorsed Najib as a better leader for the country's future.

The people in Peninsular Malaysia decided otherwise, with Bukit Gantang giving PAS candidate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin a higher majority of 2,789 votes in what was seen as a referendum of BN's putsch in Perak when it ousted the popular mentri besar.

Far from being a washed-up has been politician known for defying a state Ruler, the Pasir Panjang state assemblyman will now have a national stage to fight his cause apart from increasing the Pakatan Rakyat numbers to 82 in Parliament.

In the Kedah state seat of Bukit Selambau, the first scent of BN's loss came when candidate Datuk S. Ganesan told reporters he will not turn up at the counting centre in Sungai Petani. PKR's S. Manikumar retained the seat with an increased majority of 2,403 votes and won himself a state executive councillor post.

Their victories have brought to four by-election wins by the Pakatan Rakyat after earlier victories in Permatang Pauh last August that returned PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Parliament and in Kuala Terengganu which was won from Barisan Nasional.

Anwar was happy with the results, conceding they did not expect to win in Batang Ai which he had earlier declared was the beachfront to take Sarawak.

"Malaysians want to change irrespective of the new PM. They still want a change. They are stronger in their support for Pakatan Rakyat," he told reporters near Taiping.

He said he was satisfied with the results and glad about the Bukit Selambau win where Manikumar was one of 15 candidates, the largest field of candidates in Malaysia.

Asked if the Bukit Gantang results reflected the people's desire for fresh state elections, Anwar said: "Certainly there should be fresh elections."

Perak Umno secretary Datuk Ramly Zahari said: "We still maintained the Malay votes that we got in 2008."

He said the non-Malays voted for PAS because of the populist policies of the PR-led state government including awarding permanent land titles to new villagers.

"And probably our strategy was also not right. We couldn't focus much on the by-election because of the party elections and in Perak itself we have been busy with the political turmoil," he told The Malaysian Insider.

PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas said the results were more disappointing than his own defeat in Election 2008, adding he believed BN could win and this was not a referendum on Najib who is widely blamed for ousting Nizar.

"Don't prejudge him. He has not formed his Cabinet yet, give him time," Kayveas said in Taiping.

"Najib's takeover and changes are yet to be felt on the ground. It will take six or seven months for it to be felt," he said, adding some did not even know that ISA detainees had been released.

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat said the defeats reflected a desire for real change and it would take time for BN to regain the people’s trust and accept there is only one political master, the people.

"We have a long journey ahead and there is much to be done as well as undone before we can firmly say BN is well grounded with the people to know how to serve the people.

"We must seize the opportunity to change or be forever silenced," said the Transport Minister, adding the setback will spur BN to work harder while the win in Batang Ai is encouraging ahead of the Sarawak state election.

Gerakan president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon said the results were a reminder that BN has to effect reforms more concretely. "Admittedly, the results showed BN has yet to turn the tide in regaining support from the people, especially the non-Malay voters," he said in a statement.

The former Penang chief minister said BN should learn lessons from these by-elections and retune its strategy and approach, which he described as the great challenge for the next two years.

But he said BN has a good platform to perform, implement positive reforms and good policies benefiting the people as it remained the federal government and, in winning Batang Ai, retained the confidence of Sarawak's rural people.

Barisan Nasional's only consolation was in Sarawak where Batang Ai returning officer Nelson Mujah declared BN's Malcom Mussem Lamoh the winner at 7.40pm to thunderous applause.

He won with 3,907 votes against PKR's Jawah Gerang's 2,053 in the remote constituency of 8,006 voters where the voter turnout was 71 per cent (5,670 voters).

Election officials said the final turnout in Bukit Gantang was 75 per cent or 41,626 out of 55,562 voters while it was 70 per cent in Bukit Selambau or 24,687 voters from 35,140 voters.

Counting started at 3pm in Batang Ai while election officials said counting began at 5.30pm in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.

There were stand-offs between rival supporters in both Bukit Gantang, where riot police earlier fired tear gas, and Bukit Selambau where police had to stop them from throwing water-bottles at each other.

Riot police fired tear gas in Pengkalan Changkat Jering to disperse rival supporters in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election but voters continued to stream in to cast their ballots.

Polling was more peaceful in Batang Ai and Bukit Selambau, although the Kedah state seat had tense moments when PAS supporters stopped several busloads of people suspected of being phantom voters. Police said they were just BN supporters.

Witnesses said the FRU were called into the SMK Pengkalan Aur polling centre in Air Kuning, Changkat Jering to diffuse tension between rival supporters who threw bottles and chairs at each other between 11am and 12.30pm.

Some of the elderly who came out to vote were affected by the tear gas which was apparently fired at the Barisan Nasional side. Apart from the FRU, police Light Strike Force personnel had to rush around the parliamentary constituency to keep both PAS and Barisan Nasional supporters apart.

A downpour at 1pm in Bukit Gantang did not last long, and the sun was back within the hour, bringing the voters streaming back.

Election officials said the final turnout in Bukit Gantang was 75 per cent or 41,626 voters while it was 70 per cent in Bukit Selambau (24,687 voters). In Batang Ai, Election Commission chairman Abdul Aziz Yusof said it was 71 per cent (5,670 voters).

Bernama reported that six out of the 25 polling stations in Batang Ai were closed by 11am due to the small number of voters.

Sarawak EC director Takun Sunggah said the polling stations were at SK Ulu Engkari, SK Nanga Delok, SK Nanga Aup, Sempang Kemas kindergarten, Salcra Batang Ai multi-purpose hall and the Nanga Patoh Agriculture Office.

It is learnt that at least three buses with suspected phantom voters were stopped in Lubok Antu. They are now being held at the police station.

The EC said in the three by-elections, senior citizens and women were the majority of voters in the morning, while more young voters were expected to cast their ballot papers in the afternoon and evening.

In Sungai Petani, Kedah EC director Zainal Abidin Zakaria said the voting process for the Bukit Selambau seat went on smoothly and the fine weather was the reason many came out to vote in the morning at the 22 polling centres.

Kedah police chief Datuk Syed Ismail Syed Azizan said police were patrolling the roads and monitoring all the voting areas besides carrying out air surveillance.

“So far, so good. No untoward incident has happened except for some shouting and jeering by party supporters in the hot spots,” he said.

He also said a busload of BN supporters was mistaken for phantom voters by their political rivals.

Later, police said two men, one aged 37 and the other 54, were detained at Kampung Bukit Lembu this morning for stopping the bus, which was carrying BN election workers to their assigned stations across the constituency.

Police said the two men, driving a Toyota MPV, cut across the path of the bus and forced it to stop before boarding it and preventing the driver from proceeding with his journey.

Manikumar arrived at his SMK Taman Ria Jaya voting centre and told reporters he was hoping for a bigger majority. He is one of 15 candidates running for the state seat, making it the largest field of candidates in electoral history.

His BN opponent, Datuk S. Ganesan, was seen casting his vote at SJKT Ladang Perbadanan Kedah.

Independent candidate M. Vinsen has complained of discrepancies in the ballot papers at the Institut Kemahiran Mara polling centre.

He said that his name was placed next to someone else's logo in the ballot paper. He also said that his name was misspelt in the ballot counting box which would be used for the counting process later.

Vinsen said he has lodged a police report and intends to take action against the EC. But the commission said it was a mistake that has been rectified.

Earlier, some supporters prayed for Nizar's success at the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election, where a victory will be seen as vindication for his short tenure as Perak mentri besar before he was ousted in February.

He was mobbed by supporters outside the Sekolah Kebangsaan Changkat Jering but booed by BN supporters who greeted him with shouts of “Traitor” for having defied the Perak Ruler by refusing to quit as mentri besar.

The Bukit Gantang constituency has traditionally been pro-Umno but they voted for PAS in 2008 due to dissatisfaction with outside Umno candidate, party treasurer Datuk Azim Zabidi.

The BN candidate is local boy Ismail Saffian, who is confident of faring better and regaining the seat.

Ismail arrived at the SRK Bukit Gantang about 8.45am to cast his vote and told reporters later that he expected victory with a 3,000-vote majority. Apart from Nizar, the other candidate is independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris.

BN supporters were quieter and seemed content to wave BN and Umno flags. All shows of support have been peaceful thus far.

However, seven police Light Strike Force personnel complete with helmets, shields and armed with batons had to form a barrier between vocal PAS and BN supporters outside one voting centre.

Taiping OCPD Asst Commissioner Raja Musa told reporters Light Strike Force personnel have been placed outside all voting centres to monitor and prevent rising tensions. The normally sleepy constituency and its main town of Taiping was heavy with traffic and there was congestion in some areas.

Supporters from both sides are providing transport for voters to the polling centres which closed at 5pm.

The by-elections in Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai were held following the death of the incumbents, Roslan Shaharum (PAS) and Datuk Dublin Unting Inkot (BN) respectively, while in Bukit Selambau it was due to the resignation of its assemblyman V. Arumugam (PKR).

UMNO scores a hatrick

Three straight lost in a row in Parliament by election for UMNO. After losing Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu, the rakyat has given Najib his third eggs. He received the first two as campaign director for Barisan Nasional and the third as BN’s Chairperson.

It is also the first defeat for Mahathir Mohamed after enjoying so much supports from the opposition supporters during his exile period.

It looks like UMNO has become less popular now with Mahathir Mohamed returning to the party he created in late 80s.

Perhaps, it’s time for UMNO members to force Najib to fully use the space emptied by 13 inmates in Kamunting.

It is also perhaps time for the people to march to the Palace in Kuala Kangsar to show their undivided loyalty to the Sultan of Perak and to beg forgiveness for voting to outs the Sultan’s decision in a by election perceived as referendum on the Sultan’s decision.

Overall it is not a bad result for BN as they only lose 1-2 to the Pakatan Rakyat.

Malaysian Elections: A Case of Too Little, Too Late for the Government?

By Farish A. Noor

The by-elections in Malaysia this week have demonstrated in many ways the fact that Malaysia’s political landscape has changed very little over the past year: The ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front) that is dominated by the UMNO party won the by-election in East Malaysia, but lost both by-elections in the West Malaysian states of Perak and Kedah. In the case of the latter, the results of the elections have shown that the prevailing political mood in West Malaysia remains in favour of the opposition made up of the parties of the Peoples’ Alliance (Pakatan Rakyat), which won a majority of the votes in the Peninsula during the general elections of March 2008.

Political commentators and analysts will now set about dissecting the results of these elections and engage in the arcane art of political predictions: Not least for the simple reason that the by-election results will be seen as the peoples’ verdict on the standing and popularity of the country’s new Prime Minister, Datuk Najib Razak.

Sworn in as the country’s sixth Prime Minister less than a week ago, Najib Razak hails from one of the oldest elite families that have dominated the internal politics of UMNO – and by extension Malaysia – for more than half a century now. Son of the country’s second Prime Minister and connected to several of the aristocratic families of the country, Najib ironically cuts a curious figure in the context of Malaysia’s new and increasingly complex politics. In the 1950s and 60s he would have been seen as a prime candidate for the office of Prime Minister thanks to his elite background and Western education. But today Malaysia is witnessing the emergence of a new society that is infinitely more complex compared to the Malaysia of the 1950s.

After several decades of uneven development, Malaysia is an anomaly of sorts: The country that once boasted of having the tallest building in the world is also one where the Health Ministry recently announced a two and a half-year course in ‘traditional Islamic healing’ that also involves, among other things, lessons for treating victims of witchcraft, black magic and all manner of hocus-pokus shenanigans that apparently is widespread in Malaysian society today. This is a Malaysia that on the one hand thinks of itself as an Islamic state while at the same time is deeply engaged in sorcery of all kinds, to the extent that a magic spell was found under the table of the former Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

It is also a Malaysia that is in many ways unable to speak to itself, and unable to deal with its manifold contradictions. As soon as he came to power Najib Razak made his first speech calling for national unity and propounded the notion of a ‘united Malaysia’ where all races and religious communities would be given equal treatment. Yet Najib leads the very same UMNO party whose leaders have, in the recent past, unsheathed weapons including the traditional Malay dagger (keris) in public while calling for the re-statement of Malay numerical dominance in the country. This is a country that aspires to reach the first-world status of a respectable democracy, yet also a country where Malaysians of Indian origin have suffered disproportionately while under police custody.

Prime Minister Najib needs and wants to be given a chance to show that he can succeed in changing the trajectory of the nation as it lumbers down the precarious path of intolerance and inequality. But the results of the by-elections in West Malaysia would suggest that many Malaysians are neither willing to listen or be persuaded by the rhetoric of reform that was, after all, articulated by his predecessor Badawi who failed singularly in his own appointed tasks of reforming the judiciary and police force.

So as the dust settles and Malaysians brace themselves for the full impact of the global economic recession that may well send the country back by two decades, Malaysia’s political impasse seems to have remained at the status quo of 2008. The victory of the opposition in the two by-elections demonstrate that Malaysians who support the opposition are prepared to think out of the box and to go against the grain of outdated political norms. One of the victorious candidates who won, for instance, was from the opposition Malaysian Islamic party, and he had won even in areas dominated by non-Malays and non-Muslims.

UMNO and the Barisan’s rhetoric, however, is still struggling to re-present itself as a discourse of national unity while at the same time harking on issues such as Malay rights and privileges. All of this is bound to send worrying signals to the leadership of UMNO and the Barisan, and add to the impression that the ruling coalition is living out its final salad days before its ultimate collapse. As in the case of other long-established parties such as India’s Congress party and the LDP of Japan, the case of UMNO and the Barisan in Malaysia demonstrates that being in power for too long may ultimately be the cause of one’s own downfall and undoing.

LIVE: Pakatan conquers Bukits, submerged in Batang Ai



Pakatan Rakyat win in Bukit Gantang a strong signal to BN

From The Sun Daily
By Giam Say Koon

TAIPING (April 7, 2009) : The Pakatan Rakyat convincingly retained the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat today with a “landslide” majority of 2, 789 votes.

Former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad, garnered 21, 860 votes in the three-cornered fight against Barisan Nasional (BN)’s Ismail Saffian who obtained 19, 071 votes while independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris, received only 62 votes.

A total of 41, 626 voters or 75.1% of the registered voters casted their ballots which was higher than the 72.4% turnout during the general election last year. There were 456 spoiled votes.
The parliamentary seat which fell vacant following the death of PAS MP Roslan Shaharum, of a heart attack on Feb 9,

Roslan had secured the seat with a majority of 1, 566 votes also in a three-cornered fight against BN’s Datuk Seri Abdul Azim Mohd Zabidi and independent candidate M. Mohganan during the general election last year.

Meeting the Press after the announcement of result was made by the Election Commission returning officer Datuk Mahmud Mursidi at 9.40pm, Mohammad Nizar, 52, said he was very happy that PR had won the by-election.

“As a MP for Bukit Gantang, I will do my job cleanly, proudly, justly and transparently…
“The result is a great signal to the federal government that the people do not want any more corruption and injustice. They want fairness, justice, good governance and a good democratic system,” he told reporters.

“I think this election, with the majority that I have been given by the voters actually sends a lot of signals to everyone….. even to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that the people want good governance.

“In a way it (the by-election) is very much a referendum; it is a manifestation of the requirements and needs of the people in Malaysia and Perak.

“It is a referendum to show that we want pure democracy, the right to the people to elect their government on a fair and just manner.

“As a prime minister (Najib), he should have the unifying factor, which he is actually lacking at the moment, so the signal is that credibility is lacking on his side.

“Something needs to be cleaned before the whole Malaysia will unanimously agree that he is the prime minister and that is the message which is strongly sent to him now,” he added.

Mohammad Nizar said the people want the Perak state government to be dissolved to give them the right to choose the right government under an arranged democratic system.

“We do not want any policy made with racial elements and discrimination in governing Malaysia and Perak,” he said.

Asked as to his immediate concerns, Mohammad Nizar said he wants to unify the people of Bukit Gantang so that they can work with PR.

“We are going to request for a quick and urgent dissolution of the Perak government so that the constitutional crisis in Perak can be resolved and that will be my immediate action to stabilise the political scenario in Perak,” he added.

More than 5,000 of supporters from the PR had filled up the Jalan Kota in the Taiping town from 7pm to await the results of the election.

This is the third election for a parliamentary seat that the BN has lost to the Pakatan Rakyat after the Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu seat since the general election last year.

Meanwhile, opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, through a phone interview, told the press that the by-election results sends a message that Malaysians want to change irrespective of the new prime minister.

“They (the people) are stronger in their support for PR,” he said.

Asked if the political tsunami still blows after the last general election, he replied: “Certainly.”
Anwar also said he was very satisfied with the results of the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections although PR did not expect to win in Batang Ai.

On the most important factor in winning the two seats, he said it was the result of three parties working cohesively as a team.

The total number of registered voters is 55,462, of which 63.5% are Malays, 27.1% Chinese, and 9.1% Indians.

KENAPA SAYA MASUK BALIK UMNO


1. Ramai yang mengalu-alukan penyertaan saya semula dalam UMNO. Tetapi ramai juga yang mengkritik saya kenapa saya menyertai sebuah parti yang saya sendiri menuduh sebagai pengamal rasuah dan pemimpinnya menjadi pemimpin kerana menyogok wang kepada pengundi.

2. Yang pertamanya di waktu saya keluar UMNO pada Mei 2008 saya telah nyatakan saya hanya akan kembali menyertai UMNO apabila Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi tidak lagi jadi Perdana Menteri.

3. Sekarang Tun Abdullah tidak lagi Presiden UMNO atau Perdana Menteri Malaysia dan syarat saya sudah dipenuhi. Justeru itu saya perlu tunaikan janji saya.

4. Ini tidak bermakna saya terima amalan rasuah dalam UMNO. Rasuah mesti dihapuskan. Saya berpendapat Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak lebih mungkin berusaha menghapuskan rasuah daripada Abdullah. Saya percaya dia tidak akan pilih perasuah yang terkenal dan diketahui umum seperti Khairy dan beberapa lagi sebagai Menteri atau anggota Kerajaan.

5. Walaupun saya sekarang adalah ahli UMNO, ia tidak bermakna saya tidak akan kritik UMNO atau Kerajaan Barisan Nasional jika ada apa-apa kesalahan yang dilakukan. Selepas saya berhenti daripada menjadi Perdana Menteri tetapi masih menjadi ahli UMNO saya telah kritik UMNO dan Abdullah apabila perbuatan yang salah dilakukan oleh Kerajaan.

6. Saya juga telah kritik Najib. Tetapi saya sedar yang dia bekerja di bawah Abdullah dan tidak sanggup bersikap bebas. Sekarang dia tidak lagi terdedah kepada tekanan oleh Abdullah dan sudah pun bebas. Oleh itu kemungkinan dia menolak amalan buruk yang menjahanamkan UMNO dan BN yang dilakukan oleh Abdullah memang ada.

7. Perkara yang baik telah ditunjuk oleh Najib apabila dia secara terbuka menunjuk dia tidak bermusuh dengan saya seperti yang dikehendaki oleh Abdullah bagi semua Menterinya.

8. Dalam ucapannya menutup mesyuarat agung UMNO Najib telah menjelaskan bahawa selain parti, rakyat juga harus menguasai Kerajaan. Tidak seperti ramai pemimpin UMNO sekarang, dan ketua mereka dahulu yang berpendapat Kerajaan adalah milik UMNO sahaja dan mereka sahaja yang harus dapat "keuntungan" daripadanya. Najib nampaknya berpendapat rakyat juga punyai saham dalam Kerajaan. Justeru itu rakyat tidak boleh diketepikan oleh Kerajaan yang diketuai oleh UMNO.

9. Rakyat tidak dapat menyertai mesyuarat agung UMNO tetapi mereka akan dapat menunjuk pendirian mereka apabila pilihanraya diadakan.

10. Jika Najib hanya layan UMNO, kemungkinan besar UMNO akan dikalahkan dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke-13.

11. Jika Kerajaan pimpinan UMNO dianggotai ahli dan pemimpin UMNO yang perasuah, rakyat dan juga sebahagian daripada ahli UMNO yang kecewa akan tentukan BN dan UMNO akan kalah juga.

12. Pada hari kedua Najib jadi Perdana Menteri dia telah pergi berjalan-jalan untuk berjumpa rakyat berbilang kaum. Ini juga meyakinkan saya yang dianya lebih prihatin terhadap masalah rakyat.

13. Oleh kerana sebab-sebab ini saya berpendapat Najib akan cuba bersihkan parti dan Kerajaan daripada rasuah dan perasuah. Tanda-tanda ini akan diperlihat apabila beliau menubuh Kabinetnya pada 8 April, iaitu esok. Walaupun Abdullah tidak lagi memimpin UMNO, jika ternampak kuasanya keatas UMNO masih ada, saya akan anggap syarat saya tidak dipenuhi.

Status-Quo Maintained In Three By-Elections

KUALA LUMPUR, April 7 (Bernama) -- Status quo is maintained in three by-elections today, with Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) maintaining the respective seats they won in the March 2008 general election.

The ruling BN won the Batang Ai state constituency in Sarawak after its candidate Malcom Mussen Lamoh beat PKR's Jawah Gerang, and retained the Sarawak interior seat for the BN in convincing fashion.

The BN man polled 3,907 votes against Jawah's 2,053 in the battle for the Iban heartland. There were 59 spoilt votes.

Malcom's 1,854-vote majority is more than double the 806-vote margin recorded by BN's Datuk Dublin Unting Inkot in last year's general election. Unting died on Feb 24 this year, paving way for the by-election.

Analysts said the victory proved that it was difficult for Peninsular Malaysia-based opposition parties to make inroads in east Malaysia.

The result, they said, reinforced the fact that voters in the interior of Sarawak are still with the BN and are unlikely to abandon their allegiance in the near future.

"This is because the BN delivers on the promise of development. So why change when you are enjoying the benefit?" said a BN component party.

In the peninsula, opposition parties retained their respective Bukit Selambau state and Bukit Gantang parliamentary seats.

In Bukit Selambau in Kedah, PKR's S. Manikumar beat BN's Datuk S. Ganeson in the by-election which would go down in the record book for having the most number of candidates -- 15 altogether, including 13 independents.

Manikumar polled 12,632 votes as opposed to Ganesan's 10,229 votes to win the seat by a 2,403-vote majority.

There is a slight increase in the majority for the seat in this by-election, compared to the 2,362-vote majority obtained by PKR candidate V. Arumugam in the 2008 general election.

The seat fell vacant after Arumugam resigned on Feb 8, 2009, citing personal problem as among the reasons.

For the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat in Perak, PAS candidate Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, the former Menteri Besar, defeated BN's Ismail Saffian.

Nizar polled 21,860 votes against Ismail's 19,071 votes.

The PAS leader obtained a 2,789-vote majority, much higher than the 1,566-vote majority obtained by the party's candidate, Roslan Shaharum, in the 2008 general election.

Roslan died on Feb 9, 2009 due to a heart complication, paving the way for the by-election.

Political analysts and observers said the results in the three by-elections showed two sides of the political situation in the country -- one being the fact that the BN would still need time to win back the hearts of minds of the people in the two northern states in the aftermath of the 12th general election.

"The new leadership now has to prove that it is sincere and has the welfare of the people at heart," said a component party leader, who declined to be named.

Observers also pointed out that the appearance of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang a day before the polling might have come a little too late.

The second aspect, the said, was that opposition parties wanting badly to make a headway in Sarawak failed miserably despite vigorous canvassing by PKR advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Here, observers said the opposition parties did not have a strategy that was suited to the Land of the Hornbills as they merely relied on the same strategies used in the peninsula.

Bukit Gantang... Good for New Malaysia

The final result is out. It's now four waterloos in less than 12 months for Umno-dominated Barisan Nasional.

This time in the tri-elections, the only place that BN won was the only place that Dr Mahathir didn't go for campaign, Batang Ai.

The people have given their verdict, the increased majority in the two Bukits speaks louder than the GE2008 political tsunami -- The People stay their course.

In Bukit Gantang, two persons got terribly bruised along the road: New PM Najib Razak, and the aged and ageing Sultan of Perak.

I had the opportunity of helping in the last lapse of the campaign in Bukit Gantang, when my comrades in Pakatan Rakyat started to get physically worn off, though the fighting spirits soared day by day.

I thank the 12-member team from my Jelutong DAP Service Centre, the same team who helped put me in the Parliament, for taking no-pay leave to accompany me in the hard work.

It's well worth the effort -- late nights, RM30-per-night clan-house rooms, and hawkers' meals daily rain and shine in Simpang, Sepetang and Taiping.

It's well worth the effort because Umno's ego got dented, and the people -- Malays et al who delivered those 21,860 votes to Mohd Nizar and PAS today -- memohon derhaka and showed their middle-fingers at their rulers in and outside democracy and constitutional monarchy yet in a civilised, democratically manner.

Good for New Malaysia

Does the emperor wear any new clothes? Malaysia never felt this good.