Najib, UMNO and the BN, rides on the fact that Malaysia is a low quality democracy. Najib understands that the majority of the Malaysian electorate are fearful of change, self-centred, indifferent or ignorant. Public opinion polls conducted by various research centres indicate time and again that Malaysians are most concerned about political stability especially in race relations; economic issues such as employment, business opportunities and cost of living; and social issues such as crime and public safety. They are contended with a government that can deliver on 'bread and butter' issues and maintain 'political stability.' Hence, despite public knowledge that BN is corrupt and has an atrocious track record in critical principles such as human rights and civil and political rights, the majority of Malaysians continue to vote for BN. Furthermore, many Malaysians seem to be enamoured by the BN's concept of 'power sharing'- which over the years have come to be a mask for UMNO to ensure supremacy over Malaysia - its institutions and resources. Add together, BN's incumbency and its systematic demolition of the opposition - BN's victory, thus far has never really in doubt.
However, since March 8, 2008, Malaysians have seen that there is a credible 'government in waiting' who can deliver the same 'bread and butter' goodies while at the same time having higher principles than the BN and is genuinely attempting to put the 'Rakyat' first. What is most enticing is that there is no perverse ideology that drives Pakatan Rakyat (PR) except for the fact that while all component parties differ ideologically, the understand that they need each other equally and thereby, providing a balanced approach to meeting the needs of the 'Rakyat'. Furthermore, the largest supporters of PR, the Malay community - abhor UMNO's Malay Supremacy ideology and rejects BN's crony capitalism. Hence the focus of Najib's strategy for the past year and time to come is (i) to destroy the credibility of this 'government in waiting' and (ii) to ensure that the majority of Malaysians continue to believe that only BN can deliver.
Najib Razak became Malaysia's sixth prime minister on April 3rd, 2009 under the worst of circumstances; his coalition - the Barisan Nasional (BN) - had just been 'thrashed' at the recent general election, the global financial crisis was sending Malaysia into recession and a baggage - political and personal - that would have ended the carrier of any other politician. Therefore, to achieve the two objectives stated above, Najib had (i) to buy time to address things beyond his control such as the global economy; (ii) buy off key stakeholders and realign support back to the BN; (iii) distract the electorate from key issues affecting the nation; and (iv) systematically demolish the 'government in waiting'.
Another key strategy to buy time was to introduce policies that have delivery dates in the future. All of Najib's policies are open ended despite the promise of deliverables and deadlines. A policy such as '1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now' is verbose that it can mean anything. A clear example being Najib having to defend Muhyiddin' s declaration that he is Malay first and Malaysian second although it contradicts the aspirations of this policy.
The there is The 'New Economic Model' which is to transform the economy. The NEM is heavy on pronouncements but light in details. Most importantly, none of these policies address the key problems affecting the country such as respecting the principles and traditions of democracy such as separation of powers.
Najib's administration has yet to take any action on hot button issues such as corruption (PKFZ, V.K. Lingam case,), rising religious and racial tensions (Allah issue, caning of Muslim women, forced conversions), independence of institutions (Judiciary, the Police, the MACC, the Monarchy), human rights abuse (deaths in detention, ISA), weak economic fundamentals (shortage of skilled Malaysian labour, corruption).
At the same time, Najib has relentlessly attacked PR. He is believed to have engineered the fall of the PR led Perak government and the defection of PR legislators. Furthermore, Najib's federal government punishes opposition led states by withholding development funds, starving them of resources needed to generate economic activities. Most importantly, Najib has targeted PR leaders. Through his proxies, the DAP led Penang government has been accused of racism, the PKR led Selangor has been accused of corruption, and sought to break PAS up through Malay - Muslim unity dialogue. The brunt of the attacks has been on Anwar - who is once again accused of sodomy among many other things.
Do Malaysians realise that while Najib showers the 'Rakyat' with gifts, he is undermining the already weak democratic principles and traditions of a democracy? Will Malaysians continue to focus on 'bread and butter' issues? Will Malaysia mature as a democracy towards higher principles?
Many Malaysians know this and almost half have demanded reforms to stop this rot. This was evident in the 1999, 2004 and 2008 general elections. It appears that Najib gets the message. But the more important question is - how has Najib responded? The recent Hulu Selangor by-election is an excellent point to analyse and evaluate Najib's reform priorities and strategies since he became Prime Minister on 4th April 2009.
There are three key areas - civil, political, and economic - where reforms are needed to effectively shift Malaysia's trajectory towards a mature democracy - the backbone of all successful and stable high income economies. In sequencing his reforms, Najib has unfortunately decided to focus on short-term gains. He has discarded reforms in the political and social sphere. Instead of rising to the demands of Malaysians for new politics, centred on ideas and deliberative democracy, Najib has brought Malaysia down to gutter politics and authoritarian rule - the Hulu Selangor by-election being an excellent example. Character assassination; misinformation and deception; corruption, physical and psychological threats; abuse of state resources and democratic institutions were all brought to a new low under Najib.
Najib claims he needs these "victories" to shore up his political base as his position in UMNO is weak. However, by ignoring civil and political reforms, Najib is edging Malaysia closer towards a failed state and ignoring the requirements for meaningful reforms.
Left with limited options in sequencing his reforms, Najib has decided to begin with the public sector and the economy for three reasons: (i) it appears the easiest among the three spheres of reforms; (ii) Malaysia's weakening economic fundamentals impacts BN's patronage system; (iii) restore public confidence in BN by improving the public delivery system and economy.
Ironically even in this sphere he faces stiff resistance. The resistance comes almost exclusively from UMNO - Malaysia's main log-jam. However, hiding behind UMNO are vested interests which include capitalists, leading figures from the various democratic institutions and the public sector, and representatives from various ethnic, cultural and special interests groups in Malaysia - all who prefer the current arrangements. But most dangerous to Najib is that players resisting change have coalesced themselves into PERKASA. PERKASA is dangerous as the issue it fights for - the Malay institutions - can be defended purely on emotions and without recourse to intellect. Najib is now under immense pressure internally through UMNO and élite bargaining and externally through PERKASA.
Najib was brave to sanction two key documents, the Government Transformation Programme Roadmap (GTP) to address public sector reforms and the New Economic Model - part 1 (NEM-1) which provides ideas to reform the Malaysian economy. Importantly, the documents were an admission of guilt that the BN is the cause for Malaysia's decaying state. However, none of the documents have generated substantial debates. On the contrary, instead of focusing on the evidence that Malaysia is failing as a nation, forces opposed to reforms - in the name of Malay rights - have threatened Najib explicitly not to undertake any reforms that "challenges or weakens Malay rights".
Najib is hoping that his strengthening public perception supported by his control of the government and patronage will allow him to manage the forces resisting change and eventually deliver on substantial economic and public sector reforms. This is highly unlikely as economic and public sector reforms will automatically weaken the patronage system and threaten the beneficiaries of the system.
Najib should instead begin reforms in all three spheres simultaneously. Najib must believe that public perception for him and BN will be all the stronger if he initiates these reforms as Malaysians want them. He can use the increased public support to outflank forces against him.
Najib must also find supporters within and without his government to support his reforms - of which there are many. Currently, he is the only one in government carrying the message. Both the GTP and NEM contain excellent evidence of the dismal state of Malaysia and can provide focal points to discuss solutions intelligently - but it must be inclusive. Having buy-in sessions with only the forces resisting change will only weaken any momentum for reforms.
Najib should also highlight the weakness Malaysia suffers - especially to the Malay community - and explain the dangers of continuing this path. The Malay community must be convinced that the days of 'free lunches' are over and that 'free lunches' should only be provided to the poorest. Furthermore, all should learn how to make or buy their own 'lunch'. In return the government will provide adequate support to help all Malaysians learn how to make or earn to buy their own 'lunches'.
Finally, Najib should take on the opposition with ideas not with gutter politics. The test of an idea is best debated to identify its weakness and strengths. If Najib's ideas are good, it will stand the scrutiny of public debate. This is the hallmark of all great democracies.
Malaysia requires reforms in three key areas - civil, political and economic - for Malaysia to move towards a stable high income economy. Najib has focused only on the fringes of public sector and economic reforms. Without addressing the actual log-jams, Najib's reforms will only be short-lived, possible to help him and BN win the next election but edge Malaysia closer towards a failed state.
The above photos were taken by well wishers of HINDRAF who are taking turns to keep Waytha Moorthy safe in London at the National Archives Kew London.
On 28th October the 1st Malay Special Branch officer was spotted loitering in the research areas in the archives spying on the research work on behalf of Hindraf carried out by Waytha Moorthy. The next day 29th October he came with a Pakistani/Bangladeshi looking mystery male and pointed out Waytha Moorthy to the mystery man.
Hindraf would hold the Malay-sian Special Branch responsible should anything untoward happened to Waytha Moorthy.
We are particularly concerned with the safety of Waytha Moorthy as over the last 3 months there has been political killings (hired killers) in the UK involving at least 2 overseas Political leaders /activists seeking asylum in UK.
mi1: Most of the UMNO's dirty jobs carried out by Indians, well what else we can name him Pariah Indians, These Indians ought to be shot dead. These are the Indians who would sell their own mother, wife and children for money or so called male prostitutes.
GUA MUSANG, Oct 31 — Teoh Lee Lan, sister of the late Teoh Beng Hock, was arrested today while distributing leaflets on her brother’s death.
Lee Lan (picture) was taken to the Gua Musang police district headquarters together with Beng Hock’s brother-in-law Soh Cher Hai and two other members of Malaysians for Beng Hock, Ng Yap Hwa and Toh Chin Hong.
Three hours after the arrest, lawyer Teo Nie Ching said that the police have informed her that the group was only called into have their statement recorded under the Criminal Procedure Code.
Teo claimed that when the police brought the group from Kampung Baru to the police station, they were told that they were arrested under the Election Offences Act.
She also complained that the four were denied legal representation during the first two hours of the arrest.
“Now the police said the four were not arrested, but were only called to have their statement taken under Section 121 of the CPC,” said the DAP’s Serdang MP.
Teo said the police have also assured her that the four would be released after recording their statements.
“We have lodged a police report because they were informed that the arrest was made under Election Offences Act,” said Teo who was accompanied by lawyers Thomas Su and Wong Kah Woh from DAP to meet with the four at the police station.
The group arrived in Gua Musang yesterday to lobby for the formation of a royal commission of enquiry to investigate the death of the political secretary to Selangor executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah.
The 30-year-old Teoh was found dead on the 5th floor of Plaza Masalam last year after he was interrogated overnight in connection with suspected abuse of state funds by Selangor lawmakers.
An inquest into his death will resume on November 4.
Yesterday Soh claimed that he was assaulted by an MCA supporter while trying to meet Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Datuk Heng Seai Kie.
Heng, however, dismissed the allegations and had asked the group to keep the Beng Hock case out of the Galas campaign.
| PADANG October 30 - Opposition Chief, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim brought a clear message to the people of Sabah, especially the voters of Batu Sapi so urgent to make changes that are critical in the effort to Pakatan Rakyat to take over Putrajaya on General Elections-13 next.|
Speaking to voters in Kindergarten Tai Tong Hall last night, Anwar insists the likes of Sibu, Sarawak, which rejected the Barisan Nasional in the elections last May padsa, Batu Sapi voters can also send a clear message to the BN that the people in this parliament also rejected them.
"Umno and BN leaders and arrogant and they do not defend the poor. Balak they take, the result of oil they sweep, they had taken people's land. Yanb what people can, they are poor, living death, and the porters and servants to the boss-boss rich.
"How long does he want to trick people? Finally, what we see in Sibu, their stronghold is successful we grabbed a marker and Sibu waves of changes in the state. People are also able to create a stone cow history as the people of Sibu.
"Sabah BN command nearly 50 years, a lot of rain water but the people there. I never went to Mali, an African nation, there is no water because it rained only twice a year. Here a lot of water but water to drink no, "said Anwar, who continue to meet voters from among the Chinese community in the area Karamunting.
The same message brought to poor people in the village of Gas which is the placement of the Malay community who live in all weak.
Permatang Pauh Member of Parliament for Batu Sapi, said people no choice but to win our representative should be appointed and want their voices raised in Parliament.
"I want the people of Batu Sapi provide an opportunity for PR people to vote for us, Haji Ansari Abdullah. I promised the chairman of the People's Alliance if you, ladies and gentlemen choose him, we will monitor his performance, if not for our work in humban Anwar said jokingly.
| SANDAKAN : Ketua Oposisi, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim membawa mesej jelas kepada rakyat Sabah khususnya pengundi Batu Sapi supaya segara membuat perubahan yang kritikal dalam usaha Pakatan Rakyat mengambil alih Putrajaya pada Pilihan Raya Umum ke-13 akan datang.|
Bercakap kepada pengundi di Dewan Serbaguna Tadika Tai Tong malam tadi, Anwar menegaskan seperti rakyat Sibu, Sarawak yang menolak Barisan Nasional pada pilihan raya kecil padsa Mei lalu, pengundi Batu Sapi juga mampu menghantar mesej yang terang kepada BN bahawa rakyat di kawasan parlimen ini juga menolak mereka.
"Pemimpin Umno dan BN sombong dan bongkak dan mereka tidak membela rakyat yang miskin. Balak mereka ambil , hasil minyal mereka sapu, tanah rakyat mereka rampas. Apa yanb rakyat dapat, mereka terus miskin, hidup melarat dan menjadi kuli dan hamba kepada tauke-tauke kaya.
"Berapa lama dia mahu tipu rakyat? Akhirnya apa yang kita lihat di Sibu, kubu kuat mereka berjaya kita rampas dan Sibu menjadi petanda gelombong perubahan di Sabah. Rakyat Batu sapi juga mampu cipta sejarah sebagaimana rakyat Sibu.
"BN perintah Sabah hampir 50 tahun, air hujan banyak tapi bekalan air rakyat tidak ada. saya pernah pergi ke Mali, sebuah negara Afrika, juga di sana tidak ada air sebab hujan turun hanya dua kali setahun. Di sini air banyak tapi air untuk minum tidak ada," tegas Anwar yang terus menemui pengundi daripada kalangan masyarakat Cina di kawasan Karamunting.
Mesej yang sama di bawa kepada penduduk miskin di Kampung Gas Besar yang merupakan penempatan masyarakat Melayu yang hidup dalam keadaan serba dhaif.
Ahli Parlimen Permatang Pauh itu berkata rakyat Batu Sapi tidak ada pilihan melainkan memenangkan wakil Pakatan Rakyat sekiranya mahu suara mereka diangkat dan diutarakan dalam Parlimen.
"Saya mahu rakyat Batu Sapi memberi peluang kepada Pakatan Rakyat dengan mengundi calon kita, Haji Ansari Abdullah. Saya berjanji sebagai pengerusi Pakatan Rakyat jika tuan-tuan dan puan-puan pilih dia, kami akan pantau prestasi dia, kalau tidak buat kerja kita humban dalam laut kata Anwar secara berseloroh.
The Constitutional Conference of January-February 1956 agreed that a Constitutional Commission would be set to address many issues, one being to "safeguard the position and prestige of the Rulers" plus to "safeguard the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of the other (non-Malay) communities". There is no agreement on the Malays being accorded special rights and privileges and it was agreed that the new Federal Constitution of Malaya would be based on what the Constitutional Conference decides.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
By G Vinod (FreeMalaysiaToday)
KUALA LUMPUR: India has increased the scholarship fund for ethnic Indian students in Malaysia from RM3.5 million to RM5 million
This was an increase of RM1.5 million on the annually disbursed funds.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who made the announcement while on a state visit here recently, also said announced 20 new scholarships for Malaysian students to study traditional system of medicine in India.
The scholarship fund was established in 1946 by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru to help Indian students in Malaysia.
Meanwhile, in its blog, Human Rights Party (HRP) took credit for the Indian government’s decision to increase its scholarhips to Malaysian students.
“We submitted our requests in the form of various letters and memoranda to the Indian High Commission here as well as directly to the Indian premier.
“All those numerous letters have been put up on this website over the last several months as well,” reads the blog.
“This is a clear message to the Umno government that the international community is aware of its racists ways,” it said.
Speaking to FMT, HRP information chief S Jayathas thanked Hindraf Makkal Sakthi chairman P Waythamoorthy for his efforts in highlighting the woes faced by Indian students here on the international arena.
“We have been pursuing the matter vigorously with the Indian government this year, with assistance from Waythamoorthy ,”said Jayathas, who is also Hindraf Makkal Sakthi’s national information coordinator.
He criticised the government for blacking out the news (on the Indian scholarships), alleging that it deliberately muzzled the mainstream media.
“The increase in allocation was a big blow to the Umno-led government. I hope this will be a lesson… to treat Indian students fairly,” said Jayathas, who urged the government to allow Indian students who score 7As and above in SPM to enter university.