View Full Version : Politics: PKR's Lee Chin Cheh vacates Kajang DUN seat

30th January 2014, 06:34 PM
Law expert: Palace can't say no to MB candidate (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253189)

Aidila Razak | 1:48PM Jan 30, 2014

The Sultan of Selangor has no legal right to reject a candidate as menteri besar as long as that candidate commands the support of the majority of the state legislative assembly, constitutional law expert Abdul Aziz Bari said.

Assessing the possible scenario raised by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim’s bid to enter the state assembly through the Kajang by-election, Aziz said if Anwar is presented as the new MB, the sultan cannot say no.

The law professor said the palace only has discretionary power (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/252937) in the appointment of the head of government when it is not clear whether the candidate presented commands the support of the House.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/tbnzkoEPhfTg64Rl7O23lNwTQw6_4XQM91wfGNWp3T4CjnfgT9 ovQzKyCp89lCAE5xVo6yXhN-2pirWntQThe likely Selangor scenario, Aziz said, is different from the Perak constitutional crisis, where there was a dispute over whether then-menteri besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin (left) had majority backing.

“In Perak it was 50-50. In Selangor, Selangor DAP has already voiced support for Anwar’s candidacy.

“With the backing of DAP and PKR, this means that if Anwar is presented as the candidate to replace Khalid he will have the support of the majority of the House, whether or not PAS backs it,” he toldMalaysiakini.

In the 13th general election, PAS won 15 seats, PKR 14 and the DAP 15 of the 44 Selangor legislative assembly seats.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/717/48a2124df22c50969017691e4867b2de.jpgSelangor PAS Youth had earlier threatened to boycott the Kajang by-election, but this seems to have been trumped by the party’s central leadership, which said it will stand by PKR.

According to Aziz, the Selangor constitution is identical to the federal constitution on the appointment of the head of government, except that Selangor requires the MB to be a Malay and Muslim.

Article 53(2)(a) of the state constitution states that the sultan shall appoint as menteri besar “a member of the state legislative assembly who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the assembly”.

‘Only deference’

Aziz’s reading of the constitution goes against Khalid’s statement, in which the menteri besar said the palace could ask for an alternative candidate for post if the ruler does not agree with the candidate proposed.

Khalid, in an interview (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253104) with Malaysiakini, said this was not uncommon and has taken place before in menteri besar appointments in the other states.

“What does it mean? He (the sultan) can say, ’Can I have another person?’ We look at the history of Perlis, Terengganu, Kedah and Pahang. It is common.

“(The sultan) may not accept the new candidate... And do you know that it may not just be one group (vying for the post)? There will be other groups lobbying for the job,” Khalid had said, referring to coalition partners PAS and DAP.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/717/71d1c30a2c71d18aa384867a247c7cd8.jpgAziz said that in the examples cited by Khalid, the sultan in the states in question, too, had no legal right to choose but were allowed to do so out of deference.

The constitutional expert, who was sacked from his post at Universiti Islam Antarabangsa over controversial statements made about the powers of the palace, added that the sultan also cannot dissolve the assembly on his own accord.

“He can only dissolve the assembly upon request of the menteri besar. From recent developments, it appears that Khalid will step aside so this scenario is academic,” said the professor, who had contested in the 13th general election on a PKR ticket.

The Kajang seat was vacated by PKR’s representative Lee Chin Cheh to trigger a by-election in what PKR argues is a tactical move to push for Putrajaya.

Anwar’s candidacy for the by-election, which must take place within 60 days of the seat’s vacation, was announced by Khalid.

PKR Youth said this could pave the way for Anwar to replace Khalid as the menteri besar.

However, critics have slammed the party for triggering a by-election to sort out an internal dispute between Khalid and rival factions within Selangor PKR.

30th January 2014, 06:35 PM
Liow between a rock and hard place (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253172)

Wong Teck Chi | 11:43AM Jan 30, 2014
ANALYSIS The upcoming by-election for the Kajang state seat has put MCA, especially its newly-minted president Liow Tiong Lai, in an uncomfortable spot.

Liow will be spearheading MCA's first by-election in the past seven years, barely two months into his new role as president. The last by-election for MCA was for the Machap state seat in Malacca in 2007.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/Iur-CcS7VEE3jG-tyi2zKlCtRi0MQTVa9ETm2SlOFyg83dIzJR2n2SeqJ7DmA6KZu YfN1RI1LCxM4vQVMoYBoth Liow and the party are still locked in infighting, with former president Dr Chua Soi Lek (right) recently claiming that his successor had reneged on their deal.

Furthermore, since the 2008 general election, MCA had been abandoned by the Chinese electorate and the Kajang seat comprises a large number of Chinese voters.

It appears that whether or not MCA contests this seat, it is a Catch-22 situation for both the party and its president.

And to make matters worse, the PKR candidate for the seat is none other than Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

Umno Youth has already openly asked for the best candidate from BN to be fielded, with its chief Khairy Jamaluddin saying that the old formula should be discarded (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253031) and therefore hinting that an Umno candidate should vie for the seat.

If Liow bows to the pressure from Umno and surrenders the seat, the move would be in contradiction of his team's criticism against the former president.

They had taken Chua to task for handing over the Kuantan, Gelang Patah and Wangsa Maju seats in the last general election.

But if MCA insists on doing battle in Kajang, then the next question is who would be the best candidate to take on a heavyweight like Anwar.

And if MCA is unable to name a credible candidate, Umno would have more reasons to ask for the seat.

At the moment, it is speculated that the possible candidates are Lee Bang Seng, who contested the seat in the last general election, and MCA organising secretary Wyman Yoo Wei How.

Lee had lost to PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh, who garnered a 6,824 majority. The latter had resigned (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/252904) this week to pave the way for a by-election and allow Anwar to contest.

Kajang is a mixed seat with 48 percent Malay voters, Chinese 41 percent and 10 percent Indian voters.

Although Kajang is a traditional MCA seat, the fact that Malay voters form the biggest chunk of the electorate is also another strong point for Umno to aim for the seat.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/0Sa_alJnMV7therD1erjzg4R_GZ6vJX6n7l3tNfjl2v49d4gT1 sc0vjl2QNcT2YV3ttyZjXki8qlh4MOssAaAs for Liow and MCA, this by-election could be an opportunity to return to the light after being cast into the political darkness since 2008.

The party is hoping to capitalise on the dissatisfaction among voters with regard to PKR engineering this by-election and that the popular Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim could be ousted.

So MCA would be hoping to slash Anwar's majority or even emerged as the victor.

But if the party loses badly, then Liow would be in trouble. The guns in Chua’s faction would be trained on him.

30th January 2014, 06:37 PM
Surprise Kajang polls 'necessary' (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253069)

Rafizi Ramli | 11:51AM Jan 29, 2014
COMMENT I am aware that a lot of explanation has to be made on PKR’s decision to vacate the Kajang state seat to force a by-election.

I am also acutely aware of Ambiga Sreenevasan’s advice, communicated personally to me, that we have to be as honest as possible with the people.

So let me begin by offering the sincerest apology to the public, especially the voters in Kajang. The by-election will certainly consume public money and public space at a time when the people have to go through economic hardship.

There is no excuse for wasting public money except to offer my sincerest apology, and for the party to be prepared if the voters of Kajang decide to punish us.

In all honesty, as the strongest proponent of the scheme I bear most responsibility for the decision.

Dynamics in Umno

Precisely because we are honest with ourselves and the people, we have to acknowledge that we are facing problems and challenges in Selangor that require intervention.

While Abdul Khalid Ibrahim’s administration has shown a sterling performance over the last six years that has endeared him to the public, there is room for improvement in many areas, especially given the latest dynamics in Umno.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/yr8nyRIjUjRh37apsh2hHjuR36apw3Z5duY3cJXvVMZhHc6TRl ZF-xec1_6CpVhEH8I2zgwVmjpFLDnGlu4It is an open secret that the move to remove Najib Abdul Razak (right) has begun.

As a party strategist, I cannot rule out the possibility that, should Najib be removed, Umno would fall to the ultras led by Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s faction.

The unscrupulous attacks and schemes to take Selangor by hook or by crook will begin the moment the weak Najib is removed. Even as we speak, Umno’s cards are all too obvious, as seen in the racial and religious controversies stirred up in Selangor over the last few months.

Should Najib fall, expect a full-blown manipulation of racial and religious issues to create mistrust and frustration with the Selangor government.

Launchpad for Putrajaya

While Khalid’s administration has set a gold standard in integrity and prudence in managing public funds, we also have to admit there are also other areas that we can improve.

We need a radical approach to resolving traffic woes, and the pace of affordable public housing has to pick up. There is a need for more rigorous forward planning of water resources and some hard decisions have to be made soon.

We have to vigorously protect the rights of the minorities who are the targets of Umno’s political game.

As a MP, I certainly believe we can do better especially with regard to cleanliness and the livelihood of the people. We have the potential to become a model state with the least number of potholes in densely-populated areas.

In other words, Selangor has to be doubly better than what it is today if it is to become Pakatan’s showcase in its quest for Putrajaya.

Just as Istanbul was a launchpad for Erdogan and Jakarta is a launchpad for Jokowi, Selangor can be a great launchpad for Pakatan to take over Putrajaya.

Fortification of Pakatan

The job is not done and we are about to face another onslaught from Umno.

Therefore, while it is certainly inexcusable to spend public funds unnecessarily in a by-election, it would be an even bigger dereliction of public duty if we do not do anything, knowing that this round is going to be tougher.

What PKR and Selangor Pakatan Rakyat need is fortification so that we can expedite reforms and simultaneously fend off political attacks and manouevring by Umno.

We need as many of our top leaders around Selangor as possible to defend the state because it remains the crown jewel of any political coalition in the country.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/ueUYWo2JufwVlPsWb5Ix1tsvkMDKE2TK_F4_WndDQU_WtKR2uA _aOhYUg5gJ4TxDHBj031darV6g_AFnhwHence the decision to field Anwar Ibrahim for a state seat as this provides an option that we can readily exercise, should the need arise.

Does this mean there will be a change of stewardship of the Selangor government? Maybe yes, maybe no. But we do have the option to optimise our leadership potential if Umno stirs up more trouble.

Option is key. Having the option means having the flexibility of manouevres that can easily frustrate Umno’s game in Selangor especially with regard to racial and religious controversies.

Avoid the Kedah experience

At the end of the day, I know no amount of explanation can soothe public anger. I only appeal for time to let the rationale sink in and space for us to do what is necessary.

I also have to apologise on behalf of my party for the differences we have among ourselves that are seen as factional and often frustrate the public.

Yet we trying our best to resolve it now for the sake of Malaysians, because not doing it now will certainly condemn us to the same experience of Pakatan in Kedah.

We learnt the lesson bitterly that differences must be managed early because the party always has to be whole to face Umno.

Game-changing move

Good political leaders will never be popular.

It pains me that we have to drag Anwar through this and subject him to public anger, yet his willingness to be a part of the bigger picture is the mark of the man.

Throughout the last few days, I’ve reassured myself that it was Churchill who chose to be unpopular and remained a minority voice of alarm against the advancing Nazis till the end despite a public popularity to appease the Nazis. An the height of Nazi power, Churchill stood alone when every one else in Europe bowed to Hitler.

The conviction of doing the right thing, in the face of extreme criticism and public anger, remains a yardstick of what honest leadership is.

I thank the top leadership of Pakatan which understands the necessity of doing this. I thank my comrades in the second leadership line-up of Pakatan who have given us the moral and political support to proceed.

I hope that one day when we are in Putrajaya, we can look back to the difficult days of what will be called the ‘Kajang Move’ as the game-changer in our quest for Putrajaya. I honestly hope that it will be a defining moment that allows us to move one step closer to Putrajaya.

I maybe naïve and ridiculed for my naivette, but that’s as honest as I can be.

Let’s look ahead for a stronger Pakatan in Selangor - one that is posed to take over Putrajaya in the next election and which won’t look back.

RAFIZI RAMLI is the PKR director of strategy

31st January 2014, 10:10 PM
PKR owes everyone an explanation, says Ambiga (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253038)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/717/4bedebdfb038d25026cb3030dc3c5f59.jpg Former Bersih 2.0 co-chairperson S Ambiga has expressed shock over the shenanigans within PKR, saying that the party owes an explanation to the public as to why the Kajang state seat was vacated to enable a by-election.

While noting that it appeared as if PKR was trying to resolve an internal leadership crisis through this move, she said she was waiting for PKR to come up with an “overwhelming” reason.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/AyMSwaiXs7z364weXugervW3D_yeqRUXZ8_JHycN2DPMvaLo81 8SKKk7o9e00UTGLnYP03_et1nvdgUa9g“I think they owe everybody an explanation,” Ambiga told the press after attending a youth dialogue session with DAP leader Lim Kit Siang (left) last night.

She was also asked to respond to a question on whether PKR would be wasting public funds and time by creating the by-election.

“Of course it is, isn’t it? Because barely a year after the (13th general) election, money has to be spent because of this by-election. That’s why people are not happy with it, they don’t understand it,” she added.

PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned from the Kajang state seat two days ago.

Yesterday, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced that PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim would contest the seat.

However, Anwar denied that he will replace Khalid as the menteri besar should he win, claiming that the by-election would help the party “optimise our performance in the state”

31st January 2014, 10:28 PM
7:43PM Jan 28, 2014 Abdul Khalid: If I leave, it will be my choice (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253023)

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EXCLUSIVE As controversy rages on over what appears to be a ‘coup’ to oust him, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim doesn’t appear to be rattled.

Instead, Abdul Khalid said that although he would prefer to complete two terms as MB, whether or not he leaves the post before that will be up to him to decide.

He explained that if he decides he has done enough as Selangor MB, then he will not fight any push for him to resign.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/cgjpDUtuE57FJ1_ixS-Egi9Jk8H-AXfcCHGXqqOK3oWWl6-iiHBdfpM5iUDgqru-G5Cgroh09XE9c4h6474“If I feel it is necessary (I will step aside), but (not) if I don't feel it to be necessary. If I cannot do reforms, then I will stop because it means I'm not working anymore. If I can do the reforms, I will do them,” a relaxed Khalid said in an interview with Malaysiakini today.

“I will not fight it if I assess that I have done enough in fighting for reform.”

For now, he said, he does not see the necessity for his resignation and that there is still much work to do.

However, loyally toeing the party line over PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's candidacy in the impending Kajang by-election, the MB said there will be no bad blood if Anwar eventually tells him to pack his bags.

Asked if this would be a betrayal, he said: “No, the one who makes the decision is me.

“Stepping aside means you (as MB) cannot do (the job). I will accept that. Unless you want it fight it, but no, you don't. You pack your bags and then ... you have a lot of books to write.”

Having withstood pressure from within the party for five years, Abdul Khalid downplayed the latest escalation of events as “nothing abnormal”.

Group decision

He said that although it may appear that the whole party is against him, it is actually only “three or four” individuals who oppose him.

This was why he chose to announce Anwar's candidacy at a press conference this morning.

“You must show group decision. If you don't, then how will you get the confidence of the people? You must!

“There are differences but when it comes down to it, you have to show group decision. And group decision means complying with that group decision,” he said.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/ueUYWo2JufwVlPsWb5Ix1tsvkMDKE2TK_F4_WndDQU_WtKR2uA _aOhYUg5gJ4TxDHBj031darV6g_AFnhwAsked if he was forced into agreeing with the decision that Anwar should stand as a candidate in Kajang, he firmly said “No.”

“I have no power to stop (Anwar from contesting), no power to choose.
You may want to ask this awkward question: Why don't you stop Anwar from contesting because he may take your place as MB later?

“No. In the first place, as I see it, he can enter Kajang. Taking the MB’s post is a later question of whether it is necessary or not. At the moment, it is not necessary.”

He also said that the Kajang by-election will be part of a “programme” to bring unity to the warring factions within the party.

“Well, there are internal disputes but you amalgamate these things into a programme. That is the way I see they plan things,” he said.

An MB for two terms

Abdul Khalid said that “volatility” within politics is to be expected, much more than when he was in the corporate sector. However, having expected such uncertainty, he is able to reduce stress and focus on more important things.

This includes succession planning as he settles into what he said was always intended to be his last term as MB.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/zy8r4uSoNo8TNA_p871_fu998lc28O8lFMXUoMXZxV2pE-yELzAX36iirjd-mG0RAFLovcvPxOd2R-LOmwvwSubscribing to the American tradition of two-term in office, Abdul Khalid said he is now putting things in place for a “team” of successors to continue with a legacy of a clean government.

This morning Anwar was announced as the candidate for the impending Kajang by-election, which follows the resignation of PKR's Kajang assemblyperson Lee Chin Cheh (right).

PKR Youth (http://http//www.malaysiakini.com/news/252945) has already said this will pave the path for Anwar to replace Abdul Khalid as MB.

The official line from party leaders is that Anwar is contesting Kajang to set the momentum for Pakatan before heading to the Sarawak polls and then the 14th general election, which can be called as early as 2016.

Lee's resignation came following widening fissures between the MB and Selangor PKR chief Azmin Ali, prompting critics to slam PKR for triggering a by-election to solve internal conflict.

31st January 2014, 10:30 PM
3:49PM Jan 29, 2014 MB: There may be a royal twist to the Selangor saga (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253104)

EXCLUSIVE Some three hours after Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced that PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim will be contesting the Kajang state seat, observers were still scrambling to understand the ramifications of the latest development.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/zjCqzI_ZnY3GAPN_FLjHlI4JKHn4VDI52Y0uZBip4u4Ff80byV p0vDxwvzwvsGmFBf6wu2eRPZ6c6kxiVoMThe announcement had come in the wake of intense speculation that Anwar was entering the state arena to unseat Khalid and assume the post of MB.

But as the turbulence whirled around PKR and the bombshell Khalid just dropped, the MB's office, however, was an oasis of calm.

By the time Malaysiakini was ushered into his plush office at the Selangor State Secretariat building in Shah Alam about 2.30pm yesterday, Khalid would have been in back-to-back meetings since 8am.

First at his home, to iron out last-minute details of the Kajang plan, then to the PKR headquarters to make the announcement, then straight to media interviews to explain the confounding turn of events.

Skipping lunch for another media interview, Khalid, the hater of hair combs and lover of strategic management, seems to have figured it all out.

"Today is..." he trails off as he typically does when his mouth presumably forgets to catch up with his thoughts.

"I think I can see the difference between the corporate world and the political world. In the corporate world, I also experienced volatility.

"But in the political world, the volatility is very much faster than in the business world," he said when asked to describe the day.

Not a straightforward deal

The question on everyone's minds, however, is not whether the Selangor MB has learnt the pace of politics but whether he would still be MB if Anwar wins the Kajang by-election?

https://lh6.ggpht.com/teUx-dn_7B_MsmRbAp2NbsbwgCz38DufwKUMFEml40IxIqz7oMyNw8b kinm3jnvT1LRw1sHXiIldG6SkYpoHaving assessed the risk, he said the situation is "50-50".

"He (Anwar) can say 'I need you' or 'I don't need you'."

However, Khalid, was quick to point out that "it is not a straightforward deal, based on the history of Malaysian palace politics”.

The menteri besar has studied the Selangor constitution and by his assessment, the sultan has the prerogative to reject a candidate for the post of menteri besar, even if the candidate has the support of the state assembly.

"What does it mean? He (the sultan) can say, 'Can I have another person?' We look at the history of Perlis, Terengganu, Kedah and Pahang. It is common.

"(The sultan) may not accept the new candidate... And do you know that it may not just be one group (vying for the post)? There will be three other groups lobbying for the job," he said referring to coalition partners PAS and DAP.

"There is an element of uncertainty. It will be naïve to say that it is (a) done (deal) because palace politics has its own dynamics," he said.

Khalid's administration was previously painted as being at odds with the palace but observers now generally agree that he actually has a good working relationship with the sultan.

Understanding Anwar

Having conceded that he will not cling to power if he is eventually shown the door, will Khalid use this good ties with the palace to sabotage the party's chosen man?

"As far as that is concerned, if the party says 'Mr X'... As the delivery chap, I can deliver (the message to the palace). No issue."

For now, the speculated person who may take over his post is Anwar. This move, analysts say, is a way to quell pressure against Khalid from a rival faction in the party.

This is probably among the reasons the MB greatly respects the man who could take his job.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/thqFwNlRgEAasnt0W4YJjIi8FVAXmb3UdbXExeZJZyUUIe8zje tnQKGcyaHZmuhB0EeJR_1sFULDn2euxTQrAnwar, he said, is "the most experienced political animal" and his ability to read situations and turn "awkward situations" into opportunities is unparalleled.

"I am trying to adapt, and I have to understand him (Anwar) or else I will not achieve my objectives. He, too, has to understand me. To bear with me. It's a mutual thing... It has its own complexities and it is not ordinary."

Khalid also said that in their anger against Anwar, the people did not consider the risks Anwar was taking in putting himself in a position that some see as beneath him.

"He is taking risks too because if he is not successful, this is after 20 years of hard work. Hey! It's (the risk) much more than other people!

"He is not going there with a red carpet laid out for him. You must appreciate that. The fact that he is willing to take the risk is also important."

Khalid said that after all the struggles, it is inconceivable that Anwar's "main aim in life at the end of the day is to end up in Selangor".

But it is difficult for us to see the way a political animal sees things.

"You look at Anwar in terms of his life experiences, we will not have imagined that. That is the difference... This is the reason you have to look at it from this perspective. I doubt you understand fully.

"Just like I was trying to understand (Nelson) Mandela. If I was jailed for 25 years in that cold thing (prison), the first time I have power, I will be looking for these people to let them experience it too," he said.

Three tigers on a mountain

Khalid said the people may be angry that the party is using a by-election to solve internal disputes but this is all part of political "evaluation and evolution".

"The people will have to understand that it will go back around, and they will be able to ask, 'Are you not doing what we want?' Then the (party) will have to change.

"No political party is so stable. Even the best of communists... Even in North Korea, the uncle is now gone! (Laughs). Where is stability?" said Khalid, referring to the execution of the uncle of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"If the internal issue is (handled) for the better, then it is good for the people," he said.

Khalid said that while disputes are "not abnormal", what he hopes for is greater maturity and a "certain etiquette" in handling them.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/TZ-0f6bzmkEBCEuHzp6f_QjQ4WVWJEHE3_slOQ2RUAOizRnfxsnL5 sKiG2YEQGFpkXzvIcU7E01FrMeef1E"Actually, a successful business is only done with a handshake. It is not the 30 or hundreds of pages of agreement. The more we do business in that manner (with handshakes), the faster we do business. The same in politics," he said.

He admits that Anwar, himself and his rival and Selangor PKR chief Azmin Ali, have "not yet built that bond" but can "accept each others' differences".

There is a Chinese saying that there can never be two tigers on the same mountain. With Anwar in the mix, the mountain that is Selangor will have even more than two.

"Well, let's see. Let's see how it goes."

Interview by Steven Gan, Fathi Aris Omar, Radzi Razak and Aidila Razak.

31st January 2014, 10:38 PM
10:49AM Jan 30, 2014 MB to 'spend more time' pleasing the party (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253166)

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INTERVIEW When Malaysiakini walked into his office for an interview on Tuesday, Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim was munching kuih bangkit, leaving crumbs all over the front of his shirt.

Having skipped lunch for back-to-back interviews, Khalid sat in front of media cameras, his hair uncombed, the pant on one leg awkwardly hitched too high and shirt buttons straining around the gut.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/teUx-dn_7B_MsmRbAp2NbsbwgCz38DufwKUMFEml40IxIqz7oMyNw8b kinm3jnvT1LRw1sHXiIldG6SkYpoHaving made the money in his previous life as a corporate bigwig, Khalid is not short of funds to make the appropriate fashion statement.

It is just that in fashion, as well as in state administration, the menteri besar is not one for keeping up appearances.

“My objective for Selangor is reform. The other (part), pleasing people to gain their support, will be second priority,” Khalid said, unflinchingly.

But this is the most common complaint against Khalid. Critics agree that he is a good administrator, but say he treats Selangor like his own company, is completely unaccountable to the party but leaves the party to deal with political fallouts.

As a member of the political bureau, he is often absent from the meetings, leaving others to speak for him. Communication between the party and the state, critics say, should not be done through intermediaries.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/2JggjFlIVcb7NR8eJRG9EsxGbyT7Ypn5-0ae6orRfbA1Nl33c4_zjtpbxKvYRbSiXsEOe7Bvz_OeNnD_PQN ow faced with what seems like a bid by the party to replace him, Khalid concedes that he can do better in the area of political diplomacy.

“If you spend 80 percent of your time trying to make sure the administration is good, you spend 20 percent of your time politicking and all that, then maybe you should move from 20 percent to 40 percent, to 60 percent,” he said.

This is how he speaks - frequently referring to himself as 'you' instead of 'I', as if he has taken a step back and is assessing the situation from the outside.

And then, as if negotiating a business deal, he makes an offer: “Forty percent (of politicking), without compromise. In the sense that the communication is done, but not the hanky panky.”

Eyes wide open

Khalid does not elaborate on what he means by “hanky panky”, but he insists there is no way he will “compromise”.

“The term is to compromise - you close your eyes and all that. I don't,” he said.

One of the things he refuses to back down on, he said, is “jumping over files”.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/696/0f4b39e1e4d058031f29f4c8685471ac.gif“I want to check that nobody uses delay as part of getting preference and secondly, I don't want people to become runners, because runners spoil decision-making.

“They (assemblypersons) got very upset, because they do not have the income. So I gave more provisions for allocation to them. I increase the provision and all the programmes through Merakyatkan Ekonomi (Democratising the Economy). They have enough programmes,” he said.

Today, he said, the annual allocation provided for each constituency, via its assemblyperson in Selangor is RM500,000 – 10 times higher than what the previous BN administration provided.

However, those frustrated with Khalid say it is not just political gimmicks they are after. Some big decisions – such as the decision to cooperate with the federal government on the water takeover – should be done in consultation with the party. Instead, the party was left looking foolish.

Khalid stoutly defends his tight-lipped stance on the water issue.

“You must understand. In the corporate world, there is an element called the 'insider'. If I want to negotiate with somebody and everybody knows my negotiation strategy, I tell them, 'When I tell you this, you have seal your (lips)'...

“In politics, there is no such thing as sealing your lips. And (when someone) uses this information and becomes an insider, how will you stop it?”

Anwar kept in the loop

It is not true, Khalid said, that no one in the party knew about the water issue. PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim too was in the loop and he insisted that the state should act autonomously from the party.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/zjCqzI_ZnY3GAPN_FLjHlI4JKHn4VDI52Y0uZBip4u4Ff80byV p0vDxwvzwvsGmFBf6wu2eRPZ6c6kxiVoM“Yeah, he (Anwar) knows (about the water takeover decisions), but he wouldn't know at what price (we are making offers). (He) shouldn't.

“You can track it. That is what transparency is about... you can audit it, but you cannot be involved in the business decision-making. You cannot and you have to learn that,” Khalid said.

Likewise, he said, other unpopular decisions were made with the sole agenda of reforming the state and removing the rentier class.

To do this, he said, he raised the assemblyperson's salaries – a move that caused much political backlash at a time when Malaysians are forced to tighten their belts.

“Because the amount of income to an assemblyperson and all that doesn't even pay the cash requirement they need to service their constituency.

“So they may have to work on other things in order to support (their constituency work), and it's a very frustrating thing.

“The reform agenda we want is we don't want a rentier class. We agreed on that. If you have a rentier class, then the whole game is the same. We understand (the assemblypersons') frustration, but we don't want to help them,” Khalid said.

Having predicted the growth in Pakatan's takings in Selangor in the 13th general election, Khalid stoutly believes that the people of Selangor are behind him.

In fact, he claims the bulk of Selangor backbenchers and the party backs him – save for “three or four people” he does not care to name.

“You do a survey,” he challenged.

Easier to yell 'Reformasi!'

Will he be able to convince his key detractors within the party about his methods?

https://lh6.ggpht.com/mBmEiAYUdMGkF9bOQNI5HUE8OE-vI6rhkryF9w7BND5vLZV3rTSR3JqjgOYogtlTjzgIynGca2dGY 6tV8k_c“Well, I'm convincing myself, too. This is the better way. If not, you don't talk about reform.”

Having joined PKR at its lowest ebb in 2007, Khalid said he used to be terrified when asked to give political speeches on reform because he knew what the party was promising was not an easy task.

Five years into the job, he still maintains that cleaning up a government is an uphill battle, and it is a battle he is still fighting, even when the daggers are already out for him.

“Some go in front of thousands of people and say 'We reform! We reform!' but when it comes to translation (into action), well...

“They say 'reform', but when there is opportunity to do so, they don't want to (reform). You can't do that. You can't.”

Interview conducted by Steven Gan, Fathi Aris Omar, Radzi Razak and Aidila Razak.

31st January 2014, 10:42 PM
1:00PM Jan 30, 2014
The dearth of transparency and democracy in PKR (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253185)

http://malaysiakini.com.s3-website-ap-southeast-1.amazonaws.com/img/tool_a0.png (javascript:;)
COMMENT For years I defended Anwar Ibrahim. For years I defended PKR. I defended and I defended, until the day came where it became impossible to defend the indefensible.

People always like to speculate whether people change their positions due to money. In all honesty, I think that’s a healthy speculation.

After yesterday’s article, more than one person asked about the profits I made working for the Selangor government. I had a good run, and earned a similar amount as the people I went to school with, for the three years I was with Selangor.

In the middle of last year, I was informed my services would no longer be required.

They did not explain why at length (except perhaps to hint that I was costing too much), and I did not really ask or pursue the matter. My last day of work was around November 2013, and I have not had any professional engagement with them since.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/zjCqzI_ZnY3GAPN_FLjHlI4JKHn4VDI52Y0uZBip4u4Ff80byV p0vDxwvzwvsGmFBf6wu2eRPZ6c6kxiVoMGiven the abrupt dismissal, perhaps people would have been less surprised if I had turned on Abdul Khalid Ibrahim instead of Anwar Ibrahim.

In any case, let’s get to it.

Many people are throwing about words like ‘tactics’, ‘strategy’, ‘Mahathirism’, ‘racial and religious incitement’, ‘strengthening Pakatan Rakyat’, etc, etc.

I’ll spend a few words on all those later, but for my money, they have nothing to do with the most important implication of what is going on.

The murky game of cloaks and daggers

To me, the real problem pivots on how Anwar and his associates are running PKR in a manner that is completely bereft of transparency, accountability and democratic principles.

Let’s carry out a simple thought exercise: How did the decision to carry out the Kajang plan come about?

I don’t know, do you?

Many have speculated (myself included), many claim it happened one way or another, but the truth is: nobody outside the nebulous ‘inner circle’ has any idea.

PKR has a large supreme council that is mostly democratically elected, and a smaller political bureau. Can we say with confidence that members of both were given an opportunity to voice their opinions, much less be made fully aware of what was going on? Are there official minutes perhaps, that we might refer to?

Beyond PKR, there are the leaders of PAS and DAP, and there are the representatives of the Selangor State Assembly - all democratically elected as representatives by party members, and by the rakyat.

How many of them had a say in the decision that would so heavily influence who would be the number one person in the Selangor state government? Were there broad consultations among party leaders, elected representatives, and (God forbid) the rakyat? Or was it presented to the world as a fait accompli?

https://lh5.ggpht.com/u2My1yFtLt9f5x2Q4L0qvvi-9TeSjjrWY5mUMnO76PAn5GS-VvEbRURgPebtxvz781_tFCXnFKeTsac_aAoThe day Lee Chin Cheh (left) resigned his seat in Kajang, someone theoretically in the top 10 ranking of PKR leaders messaged me, saying: “I guess I’m always the last to know. Sigh”

If he/she is the last to know, what more the rest of us?

This is the latest - and by my reckoning the last straw - in a culture of cloak and dagger politics within PKR that for too long now has circumvented transparency and democracy in favour of whispered deals made in backrooms that no one is privy to.

I suppose it was stupid of us to expect democracy from a party whose ‘de facto leader’ has no democratic mandate whatsoever.

These issues have not been the focus of public attention, but in my mind, the implications of this style of politics continuing to spiral out of control is the most significant factor in the entire crisis.

‘The bigger picture’

All these years, I felt that despite these problems, it was important to maintain unity in order to fight the bigger enemy: Umno.

It’s a sad day when you turn around and realise that the people you’ve been fighting for have come to live and breathe so deeply the culture you thought you were fighting against.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/NbMGAWOQ5Vo9mUlkYgleyGSxbfTgxW5Q2P47hS7noCvxVxTNY1 l5jdGqJJhK18ByWEyvmq8YM6aTTsZ4gKIOver the years, I have spent countless words trying to fight cynicism against politics, and speaking out against armchair critics who seem fuelled mostly by self-righteous anger, and who never seem to get their hands dirty.

I did this because, like so many others, I wanted to concentrate on the big picture. I desperately wanted a Malaysia free of Umno.

On Tuesday, I realised how far some politicians would go in abusing and manipulating this desperation.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/cWtOPbCBCup9aMDUbll-k4h3JKwLFzb1vABksazTcq48_xFFMJiOZFd8XyVy23Nwr_Nvrl f-l-vbCv79TQIbFor too long now, I think Anwar, PKR and Pakatan have become convinced that they can get away with murder, because they believe those of us who hunger for change simply have no other options.

They assume we truly, truly will vote for Pakatan (and Anwar) no matter what, as long as no alternative (like another party, or say, Khalid) exists.

I had always thought there was a limit as to how far they would go. It would appear not.

Talking cock

Alarm bells should start ringing when politicians say things that don’t make sense, and expect you to believe it.

At some point in ‘The Life Of Pi’, a pair of Japanese gentleman are presented with two different stories, and are asked: which story do you prefer?

The question was not which do you think is true, the question was: which do you prefer?

Too often we believe what we want to, not what the facts suggest. It is a struggle to be objective, but it is a struggle well worth undertaking.

The first story

Let me try to present, as objectively as I possibly can, two stories that might explain what is going on.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/7Xd88ygvJZVsGHnRQczWSK4FGzKbbJZM8rVGIg0hpiVC0G1SQJ 8xP5DaLCMQeko2NZn0SHb3MAnfj61iIjwThe first has been articulated most popularly by Rafizi Ramli - a man whose sharp intelligence is reflected crystal clear in the politically savvy tone he used to make his argument.

This story suggests that we are on the edge of a crisis; that forces linked to former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad are looking to dethrone Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, and instigate an era of unprecedented racial and religious strife.

This story has it that in order to take Putrajaya, it is imperative that Anwar be a state assemblyman of Selangor.

That is all that Rafizi claims at this point, but I think it is not too much of a stretch to assume that he means that Anwar must become the Selangor menteri besar in order to effectively use Selangor as a “launchpad” to take over Putrajaya.

It is nothing short of comical to think that Anwar has some other role to play as a state assemblyman alone.

This story also has it that “option is key” - that somehow the ability to chose between Khalid, Anwar and someone else does not represent potential instability, but is rather some kind of ace up PKR’s sleeve against the Umno leviathan.

Given the process that needs to be carried out in order to change the menteri besar, the palace dynamics and the uncertain position that PAS will take, it seems to me that this move will actually create great instability all around, where once the only instability existed was those perpetrated incessantly by party leaders.

There is also a warning about Selangor becoming Kedah, despite the fact that while Pakatan lost Kedah in the elections, Selangor increased its seat count by eight times more than any other state government that gained more seats in GE13.

Other people allude to reasons that they “can’t talk about” things behind the scenes that we “wouldn’t understand”.

If we were really privy to all the discussions and the real reasons, I personally don’t think we wouldn’t understand; it’s more like we wouldn’t approve. That’s why we haven’t been made privy to them, and are served in their place steaming piles of horse manure.

The second story

Now let’s try another story. In this story, Khalid runs the state in a way that makes the people happy, but makes politicians unhappy.

The last thing I want to do is make things up out of thin air. To elaborate on the previous statistic - in GE13, Negeri Sembilan increased its state assembly seats by one; Penang did the same. Selangor increased its seats by eight.

People love to yell until they’re blue in the face, saying that this or that is what the public really thinks, but this hard statistic is nevertheless incontrovertible. It does not prove conclusively that the public is happy with Khalid, but there are more statistics that provide statistics that suggest the opposite (which is quite remarkable, considering Khalid’s complete deprioritisation of public relations work).

https://lh5.ggpht.com/VdX7x2kwX1nZftZEDZlfkWwhNvgJjnvhrMe1HuG5kLGCRwFzcZ uiOKDebQARowDezvp9D0eVR7XkNZaehb0Recently, in a poll by The Star, Khalid was top choice for menteri besar, obtaining nearly the same amount of votes as the next two candidates put together (Anwar and Rafizi).

I could be wrong, but was there a Merdeka Center poll some years back where Khalid was shown to be a more popular leader than Anwar? If so, I can’t imagine it made Anwar feel too good.

The part where Khalid makes politicians unhappy I think goes without saying - sometimes for perfectly valid reasons, reasons I myself have experienced and been frustrated by.

Are they reasons enough to remove him? For my money, not by a long shot.

In any case, Khalid probably thinks it is beneath him to defend his record (can you imagine anyone else in his position maintaining the relative silence that he has?), so I won’t presume to do it for him.

In this story, the most important thing about Khalid is that he does not easily accede to party wishes. If you ask his detractors, this applies to questions of policy (though I cannot think of many such policies). If you ask his supporters, this applies to how the party wants the state to be a bigger “resource” for party activities.

If you ask a cynic, he or she would say, all the PKR people want is their fingers in the jar that Khalid has kept so tightly closed.

Is it all just about the money? To say so would probably be a disservice to the varied members of the ‘Anwar for menteri besar’ team.

Or, is it mostly about the money?

I suppose you will have to look as objectively as you can at the things they are saying. If they make sense to you, then the answer is ‘no’. If they do not make sense to you, then the answer is ‘yes’.

Feudal politics and Umno DNA

People like to say that PKR is like Umno, but they seldom go into specifics. In what way does it or does it not resemble Umno?

https://lh5.ggpht.com/jhY4XIsBxIctYrjee2kfu_vKK666NYPYZSJQXj1m87PFXQxYbD ngFvh_5o7BlKTUY2oCGGCtIGUXjQ9aFh77I think PKR is most like Umno in that it is an extremely feudal party. The most efficient and traditional feudal boss is Azmin Ali (a man who perhaps stands to gain the most from a debacle in Kajang), while Anwar’s feudal style leans more towards playing people off on one another, thus making himself as indispensable as possible.

Feudal politics cannot exist unless there exists money, resources and power to dole out. The Selangor menteri besar can dole out a lot. Opposition Leader? Not so much.

In the latter story, perhaps this latest ploy is also consciously or subconsciously motivated by a desire to stay relevant - to inspire followers who are losing faith, energy or both, and to do so at any cost.


It appears PAS is divided. Its newly-minted Youth chief has taken a hard stance, which I can appreciate, while the rest of the leaders may once again be bullied (for the “bigger picture”) to go along for the ride. Why they keep letting PKR do this to them? I do not quite understand.

Meanwhile, motivating some quarters in DAP is the belief that someone like Anwar can relieve some of the pressure they are feeling due to the Allah issue.

If they think Anwar has the magic bullet that will bring us closer to actual solutions on this issue, I fear they will be sorely disappointed. However, this is merely an opinion of mine, for which insufficient space for elaboration exists.

The grass is always greener on the other side, and I think it will be too late by the time the delusions clear, and people realise exactly what they threw away when they replaced Khalid.

Enough politics of fear

We believe what we want to. Sometimes this leads to idolatry. Inside so many of us lives a burning yearning for change, and a pining for shining heroes to make that change real.

These are completely understandable yearnings; but if we let them compromise our objectivity and our judgment, then we shall be forever lost.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/T9KC_bAViX75bLsXnlrOOWmAg1egY0uwHAzDJsokujdMmSe-Avy0HY4nYxLccxRWWDuF1pjrLDBelX38XgI was saddened to see Lim Kit Siang use May 13 as some sort of bogeyman after so many years of berating MCA for doing exactly the same thing.

If you read Rafizi’s admittedly eloquent, beautifully crafted defence with greater care, you will see significant strains of the same politics of fear: we must do this because of the Umno threat; we must do this because without Anwar, Selangor will crumble like Kedah; we must do this because only Anwar is a light strong enough to fight the oncoming dark.

Scary words, but the facts quite simply do not seem to bear them out.

Every one of us will have to choose in this free marketplace of ideas which stories make the most sense, and every one of us will have to live with the consequences of our choices. At the end of the day, as always, we will get the government we deserve.

It’s been a difficult time, but there is no point in living unless we truly believe that for every closed door, a window opens. All we have to do is to find it.

NATHANIEL TAN tweets @NatAsasi, and wishes everyone Gong Xi Fa Cai

31st January 2014, 10:55 PM
JANUARY 30, 2014

Zaid Ibrahim (http://www.zaid.my/?author=1)

Kajang – It’s not about Ambition (http://www.zaid.my/?p=1132)

It’s painful to hear Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim being ridiculed once again in the Barisan Nasional-controlled media for being “selfish” and “ambitious” by standing for the Kajang (N25) state legislative by-election.

Yet again, Anwar has to endure personal attacks and humiliation, coming even from his own supporters, all because he wishes to save the directionless and malfunctioning Pakatan Rakyat from paralysis in Selangor.
Kajang is not about Anwar’s or Azmin Ali’s ambitions. It’s about the potential failure of Pakatan Rakyat as a political alliance in the state.

The problem started in 2008 when Anwar—jubilant that Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim the corporate millionaire had agreed to join PKR—promised that Khalid would be Menteri Besar if the Pakatan captured Selangor. Anwar had previously promised Azmin the same position and credit is due to Azmin for accepting the change gracefully.

So, when Khalid became Menteri Besar, he did not take kindly to the decisions and directives made by Anwar or the party as a whole. In fact, he mostly ignored them. In my brief sojourn at PKR, I saw clearly that Khalid was “uncontrollable” from the political point of view.

One of the reasons why Datuk Salehuddin Hashim (the former Secretary-General of PKR) left in a huff in 2009 was Anwar’s inability to prevail over Khalid on key issues such as how party funds should be managed and the way Selangor could help PKR politically.

Anwar’s penchant for avoiding difficult decisions and procrastinating on important issues is the real reason for the present trouble in Selangor. Political parties that want to remain viable need adequate funds and the state must be able to provide that funding if democracy is to function.

Selangor had to find legitimate ways to channel funding to all political parties—including the Barisan Nasional—in proportion to the votes obtained at the general election. Khalid openly rebuffed this idea and Anwar didn’t have the stomach to contradict him.

Today, he wants to remove Khalid from the post but Khalid understands state politics quite well. After the 13th general election, PKR wanted Azmin appointed as Menteri Besar but the Pakatan could not agree to it. As such, it’s easy for the Sultan of Selangor to reject any request to remove Khalid if the request comes only from a single party (i.e. PKR).

Had the Pakatan Rakyat acted as a single and united political entity, then the change would have been an issue worth fighting for. It would have been a matter of the people’s democratic choice of representative government and the role the constitutional monarch plays in that choice. The people usually win such contests but the opportunity was lost.

So it is desperation with Khalid that has led Anwar to engineer the coming by-election. This move, however, will not be publicly understood unless people know about the Pakatan’s internal difficulties in Selangor.

Meanwhile, the Barisan-controlled media will go to town with Anwar’s unusual political tactics and they will probably succeed in convincing the public that Anwar is power-crazy. And truly, the outcome is unclear: Anwar might lose in Kajang; and even if he were to win, what makes anyone think the Sultan will appoint him Menteri Besar?

I suggest that it’s not too late for Anwar and other Pakatan leaders to wake up from their slumber and start acting as a single organised group. Top leaders must seek an audience with the Sultan, who will certainly not refuse them on such an important matter of state.

Leaders should provide His Highness a list of prospective candidates for Menteri Besar, and the list should not be petty and detail only PKR candidates. There are other excellent Malay-Muslim candidates in the Pakatan: Anwar and Azmin are certainly suitable, but so also are Dr Abdul Aziz Bari and Khalid Abdul Samad.

The DAP can put up Datuk Mohd Arif Sabri Abdul Aziz (better known as “Sakmongkol”). Any of these individuals will be a capable Menteri Besar. As such, leaders of the Pakatan Rakyat must start trusting one another. They must behave like an alliance in fact, not just in name. In this sense, it doesn’t really matter which party ultimately contests the Kajang by-election.

His Highness will also be required to make a stand on the matter, and any acceptable candidate will have a good chance of winning the by-election.

Anwar has sacrificed a great deal for the country but to be successful he must change his style of leadership. He must learn to trust his Pakatan Rakyat team and he must know that he cannot beat the Barisan Nasional by pandering to narrow party interests. He must galvanise the forces of change, for the rakyat will provide its support only if his intentions are clear.

The Pakatan Rakyat in Selangor must speak with one voice. It should ideally propose only one candidate for Menteri Besar and not lobby for different names from PKR as is being done now.

Unfortunately, we have come to the point where Selangor Pakatan Rakyat members must be prepared to break ranks, if necessary, in order to forge real political unity.

Neither Anwar nor the Pakatan Rakyat can survive without that unity.

31st January 2014, 11:13 PM
2:12PM Jan 31, 2014
Why shouldn’t Anwar be the MB of Selangor? (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253256)

OPINION There is a lot of talk and debate on this issue. There are many views opposing Anwar Ibrahim as the next menteri besar of Selangor. And, many are reluctant to even try and understand the reason behind such a strategy.

One must understand that any political party is entitled to strategise. In fact, it must, for its survival and for the betterment of the party and the coalition it represents.

What is so wrong in Anwar becoming the next menteri besar of Selangor? This must be looked into from several angles.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/ueUYWo2JufwVlPsWb5Ix1tsvkMDKE2TK_F4_WndDQU_WtKR2uA _aOhYUg5gJ4TxDHBj031darV6g_AFnhwBesides the fact that any party having its right to strategise, several other problems can also be resolved by Anwar (left) becoming the menteri bsear, with the immediate settlement of the Abdul Khalid Ibrahim-Azmin Ali being one.

Selangor will also have the advantage of getting the PKR supremo as its head of government.

Further, Anwar is already the economic adviser to Selangor. This shift in political position will only help him steer Selangor to greater heights and Selangorians will enjoy being led by the top leader of Pakatan Rakyat.

What could be a better opportunity to showcase to the people of Malaysia how a state should be run? The people of Malaysia can look to Selangor as a way in which the country can be administered one day.

As to the view that the Sultan of Selangor may not agree, I think this is presumptuous. His Royal Highness will surely know that ours is a constitutional monarchy, where the leader of the party that commands the majority support in the legislative assembly will have the right to lead and form his cabinet, or executive council, as the case may be.

Anwar has much more experience

Comparatively, Anwar comes with much more experience than Khalid. No doubt that Khalid has performed remarkably well, for Selangor has grown to be a prosperous state under his leadership.

Good governance and integrity were instilled rightly and the overhaul in governance has resulted in doubling revenue collections. No doubt about this.

But if the party wishes to strategise, democratically there is nothing to stop it. It does not mean a candidate vying to be the prime minister of the country cannot be the chief minister of a state as well.

Instead of taking the narrow view, this issue should be seen from an expanded perspective. Just look at examples around the world. In India for instance, the chief minister of Gujarat state, Narendra Modi, has already been announced by his party to be the presidential candidate.

India is the largest democracy in the world and Indians accept that the BJP party in India has got the right to nominate a state chief minister to be their presidential candidate.

Drawing an analogy, the effective leader of DAP, Lim Guan Eng, is the Chief Minister of Penang. So what's wrong with Anwar, the de facto leader of PKR, being the menteri besar of Selangor?

On the political point of view, and this is I think is the most important, Anwar becoming the menteri besar of Selangor will have serious implications on the BN.

Rest assured that Selangor will be under Pakatan for a long, long time to come if Anwar becomes the next menteri besar. Selangor will be forever lost to BN and this is what BN is afraid of. Isn’t that wonderful?

We must not forget the bigger picture. Do not zoom in on the trivial issues like how it is being done but rather why and how are we going to benefit from it. Let us not lose sight of our common enemy. Let us educate ourselves to be a little more visionary.

M MANOGARAN is the former Member of Parliament for Teluk Intan.

31st January 2014, 11:17 PM
Khalid a good statesman but lousy politician, Rafizi says (http://my.news.yahoo.com/khalid-good-statesman-lousy-politician-rafizi-says-013700483.html)

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim is not a “skilled” enough politician to handle Barisan Nasional’s (BN) political onslaught, PKR’s Rafizi Ramli said last night as he defended his party’s decision to field Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the coming Kajang by-election.

Speaking at a forum here, the chief engineer of the Kajang move said that while the embattled Khalid is known to be a popular technocrat, he was less stellar in his role as a politician.

“We all know in Pakatan Rakyat (PR), attacks based on racial politics and religion must be countered with political games as well,” the PKR strategic director told a forum discussing the by-election here.

“Although we have high respect for his administrative prowess, we have to also call a spade a spade: Khalid is not a skilled and experienced politician to face Umno’s racial and religious political games.”

According to the Pandan MP, PKR had decided to give Anwar a shot at snapping a seat on the Selangor legislative assembly to send a message to BN that it is serious in defending the state seen as PR’ crown jewel.

In a statement on Wednesday, Rafizi had claimed there are plans in the pipeline by Umno and BN to use racial and religious issues to cripple the PR administration in Selangor, which is now led by Khalid.

Rafizi was backed in the forum last night by political activist Hishamuddin Rais, who claimed that Anwar would be a better choice as a mentri besar, particularly as he would be able to better articulate the pact’s position on issues regarding race and religion.

“If Anwar becomes an MB in this federalism system, then he will enter as MB into the conference of rulers, talking about land, religion,” said Hishamuddin.

“Who else has better authority, better skills, the credibility, and international stature to say that we do not agree with the ‘Allah’ issue and land?”

To emphasise his point, Hishamuddin accused Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and Khalid of squandering their opportunities to air the issues with Malay rulers during their respective tenures.

“It cannot be denied, that (Khalid) is a brilliant economist but he is not the best politician … Now we reverse it, Khalid will be the economic adviser to Selangor, Anwar to be the mentri besar. What do you think of that?” the activist asked the crowd to cheers and applause.

The third panelist in the forum was Socialist Party Malaysia (PSM) secretary-general S. Arutchelvan, who appeared less convinced of Rafizi and PKR’s explanation than Hishamuddin.

But Rafizi continued to defend his party, standing firm on the notion that Anwar’s presence in the Selangor assembly would help scuttle any ploy by BN to play dirty.

The PKR strategy director even seemed to hold back tears as he tried to hit back at critics who mocked his apology over what he dubbed “the Kajang Move”.

“We come with utmost humility to say we are sorry to do this, but it is a responsibility that we have to take … It pains me, because it’s my idea and to drag Anwar into this is not an easy thing,” said Rafizi.

In a surprise move on Monday, PKR’s Lee Chin Cheh resigned as Kajang assemblyman resigned without reason to pave way for Anwar to contest the by-election.

Despite the latest developments, the Selangor government and Anwar have continued to deny that Khalid will be removed as MB.

While popular with the general public, Khalid’s penchant for unilateral decision-making in administering the country’s wealthiest state is understood to be a source of dissatisfaction among PR leaders in the state.

PR currently holds 44 of the 56-seat Selangor state assembly, with PAS and DAP having 15 seats each, while PKR has 13 after Lee’s resignation.

1st February 2014, 10:26 PM
Friday, 31 January 2014 18:22
FACTS ARE 1. Anwar will sweep Kajang 2. Umno can forget about S'gor with him as MB (http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=221432%3Afact-is-with-anwar-as-mentri-besar-umno-can-forget-about-regaining-sgor&Itemid=2#axzz2rzBQyncK)

Written by P Dinesh, Malaysia Chronicle

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The end of 2013 saw Malaysians hit with multiple price hikes and subsidy removals. The BN government, through its incompetent administration of the economy, was squarely responsible for these outrages on our wallets.

Perhaps to distract attention from these economic difficulties, religious tension was released and used to pit Muslims against Christians. It is worth noting, at this point, that it has been the political practice of the ruling BN, for decades, to use race and religion to divide the people, so that they may continue to remain in power.

The doctrine of ‘Divide and Rule’ has been made dull by BN’s formulaic use of it as elections approach. This formula will fail once Malaysia reaches the right level of urbanization and as more people have access to information.

It was against this gloomy backdrop that Anwar Ibrahim made his announcement that he would be standing for the state seat of Kajang in the state of Selangor.

Selangor had been plagued for some time by tensions between the MB, Khalid Ibrahim, and Azmin Ali. PKR had 14 seats and DAP and PAS had 15 each. Khalid had clearly been exploiting these numbers to ensure Azmin did not replace him, playing off PAS and DAP against PKR.

It was a most unhealthy state of events. The problem appeared insoluble, a Gordian knot. With his announcement, Anwar has presented us with a most Alexandrian solution.

Dull performance from Khalid & his quarrelsome aides

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT2BS1zbdjexUIXEcUdSc0PuwlhcKwN8 pzhbuJu9ObnPxZdVkjojgYet, it is a shallow analyst who would conclude that the Kajang by-election is simply PKR’s way of solving an internal problems.

The fact is that Khalid Ibrahim’s performance as Menteri Besar has been a most pedestrian one.

The people’s expectation, when they unexpectedly found themselves presented with a Pakatan government one morning in 2008, was that they would soon be living in Camelot. Or that Pakatan would soon turn Selangor into a Silicon Valley.

No such thing has happened. Five years later, Selangor is little different from how it was under the BN. The town councils remain indifferent and apathetic. PJ’s restaurants remain filthy, offering watered-down dishwashing liquid to those who want to wash their hands. There is little new development.

Lots of money also equals lots of wasted OPPORTUNITIES

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTskZnsoRTuc43PAp8DCBRYgrjdoRvU7 igvxZe9lJ5Wg7BK_neyxgApparently, there is more money in the bank as Khalid Ibrahim is a frugal fellow. This would no doubt be a most useful skill if one were an urban housewife confronted with endless price-hikes.

Also, he is touted as incorruptible because he has already made his money as a businessman! While this is excellent news, if that were the only measure of evaluation for an MB, we could replace him with a cigar-store Indian, or a clump of bananas.

Selangor has 2 Billion or so in the bank, representing not savings, but opportunity lost. Investments would have generated and increased revenue for the state, and put more disposable income in the pockets of the people.

Unable to manage infighting not just in PKR but within Pakatan Selangor

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTa1uEJGYCRRITNlebkS7J7TCrJJcOMw hh02NEo-PexrYM8iVfZIATo be fair to Khalid, he has been best known for managing plantations, and that is poor preparation for a globalized world where technology and high-end services are key drivers of growth. Naturally, Pakatan continues to praise Khalid as a good manager, but these are political statements.

Khalid has also been unable to manage the different groups of stakeholders within Pakatan, witness the endless squabbling. Further, Khalid had led PKR Selangor to a poor showing in the 2013 elections. Under his leadership, PKR was left with 14 seats against the 15 of its coalition partners PAS and DAP.

The lesson of Kedah must have been a factor in the calculations that led PKR to the decision to replace Khalid. The people will not hesitate to punish those who do not deliver. In the case of Kedah, PAS failed to act on the infighting within PAS Kedah. Development had come to a practical standstill as the other Pakatan partners appeared helpless to solve the problem.

Yet Pakatan hubristically assumed that the people of Kedah would still vote for them. Such assumptions were proven wrong when Pakatan was roundly trounced in the 2013 elections.

And so, perhaps, PKR has acted to put an end to the Selangor conundrum. 4 more years of lacklustre rule and infighting in Selangor will simply not do.

Anwar in a class of his own

https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSS7jnGlVvzuR7krfrAB9vUE_6S3s-4cnhzY97jM7lwvTOj57wwThe people of Kajang can look forward now to be served by Anwar Ibrahim, who will, denials notwithstanding, be their new Mentri Besar.

Combined with the poor management of the economy by BN, Anwar can look forward to a much-improved majority in the coming by-election.

And we can all look forward to having Anwar Ibrahim play the role of chief executive. For Umno, this is their nightmare scenario. Selangor, which Umno so desperately wants to regain, will be untouchable once Anwar becomes Mentri Besar.

Meanwhile, some have argued that Anwar should not take the post of Mentri Besar as he is meant and has all the capabilities to be the new Prime Minister after the next election. Well then, why are we wasting the talents of such a man for four years? Jerry Brown was Governor of California, then mayor of Oakland, now he is Governor of California again at 75. Oakland has 400,00 residents and California has a population of 40 Million. And he is defeating the Californian budget deficit, where even the Terminator, Arnold Schwarzenegger, failed! The important principle, clearly, is to serve the people, not to be concerned with one’s personal status.

Pakatan, and Anwar, have most certainly made the right move with this decision. They have shown that they can think out of the box. It cannot have been an easy one, and would not have been lightly made.

Nevertheless, it is a wonder they did not think of this earlier! In business, this would be called a game-changer. Pakatan takes the initiative, BN is left stunned and defensive!

And in Selangor, Anwar Ibrahim will surely deliver to us, finally, Camelot! - Malaysia Chronicle

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1st February 2014, 10:31 PM
No crisis in Selangor – Tommy Thomas (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/no-crisis-in-selangor-tommy-thomas)

FEBRUARY 01, 2014

My attention has been drawn to an article by Edmond Bon which claims that there would be a constitutional crisis in Selangor if Anwar Ibrahim desires to become Menteri Besar after a victory in the forthcoming Kajang by-election. I disagree for the following reasons.

As a constitutional ruler, the Sultan of Selangor does not have a free hand in the selection of his Menteri Besar. Articles 51 and 53 of the Selangor Constitution are relevant. Articles 51 (2) and 53 (4) must be read together. Under Article 51 (2), the candidate must be “of the Malay Race and profess the Muslim Religion.” However, Article 53 (4) provides that His Highness “may in his discretion” dispense with provisions in the Constitution like Article 51 (2) which restricts his choice. Obviously, the Menteri Besar of any state must be a citizen of Malaysia but in Selangor there are no residential qualifications. Thus, he or she (there is no gender bar) need not be born in Selangor nor have a permanent residence in the State.

The most significant provision however is Article 53 (2) (a) which states that the Sultan can only appoint a person as Menteri Besar if :

(i) that person is a member of the Legislative Assembly of Selangor; and

(ii) “who in His judgement is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Assembly.”

The Federal Constitution and all the State Constitutions have identical provisions to Selangor’s Article 53 (2). They are all modelled on Westminster constitutions with the standard words “commanding the confidence of the majority” of parliamentarians. Since Merdeka, the political party or coalition that claims to be the governing party after winning the most seats in general elections always selects its own leader. Thus, in every case where there has been a vacancy in the office of Prime Minister, whether caused by resignation or death, the leader or acting leader of Umno / Alliance / Barisan has been appointed the Prime Minister. Likewise, after each of the 13 general elections. The Agong had no discretion in such appointments. So too in the case of all the states. If there were exceptions in some states, Menteri Besars were appointed without regard to constitutional niceties.

In the 56 seat Legislative Assembly of Selangor, Pakatan has 44 seats and Barisan 12 seats after GE13, which is comfortably more than a 3 / 4 majority. Thus if Pakatan nominates Anwar Ibrahim to become Menteri Besar after a Kajang victory, the Sultan has no discretion under the Constitution to reject him. Can you imagine if the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong had not sworn in Najib Razak as Prime Minister, being the leader of Barisan in May 2013 when he enjoyed a 44 seat majority in the Dewan Rakyat? In both scenarios, neither constitutional ruler has a discretion in the appointment.

Ultimately, if the Sultan of Selangor refuses to appoint Anwar upon nomination by the Pakatan State government or if Khalid Ibrahim refuses to resign in order to pave the way for Anwar’s appointment, the Speaker (Hannah Yeoh) can summon a special sitting of the Selangor Legislative Assembly for the purpose of tabling 2 motions :

(i) expressing no confidence in Khalid Ibrahim; and

(ii) expressing confidence in Anwar Ibrahim.

Since Pakatan enjoys a massive majority, both resolutions would easily be carried. Thereafter, the Sultan would, under constitutional law, have to remove Khalid and appoint Anwar.

I am confident that good sense will prevail, and this option will not become necessary. Whatever the outcome, there is no crisis (constitutional, political or otherwise) caused by the resignation of the Kajang member and Anwar’s intention to contest in the ensuing by-election. – February 1, 2014.

*Tommy Thomas is an advocate and solicitor.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

3rd February 2014, 05:27 AM
Worry not, Kajang not waste of funds, says DAP (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253356)
http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/654/a5b775177814bb362406fb590873cf86.jpg In a show of solidarity, DAP has assured the people that they need not worry over the orchestration of the Kajang by-election as it is neither "a waste of public funds nor a betrayal of their trust" on the part of PKR.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/so6LkuBh-BtkOjSunwfmYAmJDvqZNMTCNXLQvDBR8FNRFOX0P1A0KGqGNQZ Ub44HJKqImMxW350Rv0jD__VADAP national chairperson Karpal Singh explains that a by-election is a "barometer" to gauge if a federal or state governments continue to enjoy the people’s mandate to rule.

"Nine months have passed after the general election. The (federal) government should be prepared to subject itself to scrutiny in a by-election.

"I cannot see a reason why BN leaders are complaining. Waste of public funds is being given as the main reason.

"On the other hand, an expense of RM2 million in the by-election is worth the price for testing whether Pakatan has the continued confidence of the people in Selangor, and whether BN has the moral authority to continue being in office at national level," he said in a statement yesterday.

Karpal explained that prior to amendments made to the federal and state constitutions in 1990, there had been nothing prohibiting an elected representative from resigning, and no five-year ban for said representative to contest.

“This amendments was included by then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad to deter by-elections,” he said.

The amendments, he said, went against democracy as the elected representative who resigned could at one time choose to recontest as means of determining the people’s support.

DAP, PAS initially not in the know

The Bukit Gelugor MP added that the Kajang polls further accord the opposition alliance the opportunity to raise national issues such as price hikes, human rights violations and increasing crime rate, and for BN to defend them.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/FSErJz1VWew8ufnumAtQEtAguOZWmysffB9ksAiFF2T6ln1D1c ESzBd-VYb67HpNcSpsu3fd8gCRqPHOaIwHe had, two days ago, declared his backing of PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim's (left) candidacy for the seat, reportedly stating it was the latter’s right to do so, as he is already the Selangor economic advisor and that friction within the party must cease.

He also assured all Pakatan component parties have given the nod over the move.

Karpal's statement is aimed at quelling the storm which has arose from incumbent Lee Chin Cheh's resignation (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/252904) as Kajang assemblyperson last Monday.

Suspicions over the motives behind the move were heightened when DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng stated he, too, had been in the dark (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/252967) while Selangor PAS even said it was mullingboycotting (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/252996) the election campaign.

However, Lim (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253093) and PAS (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/253119) deputy president Mohamad Sabu later announced their support towards Anwar.

3rd February 2014, 07:08 PM
Reasons solid and subtle for Anwar’s candidacy (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253396)

Terence Netto | 11:31AM Feb 3, 2014
COMMENT Tonight Anwar Ibrahim and Khalid Ibrahim are scheduled to explain PKR’s decision to force a by-election for the Kajang state seat in Selangor at a ceramah.

Aware of the mostly negative vibes the decision has drawn from the public, the opposition leader and Selangor menteri besar have been forced onto the back foot.

There they will stay if they do not put forward arguments more cogent than the ones adduced thus far by PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli, the decision’s principal proponent - by his own confession - and most ardent defender.

Last week, in the wake of the announcement that PKR Kajang assemblyperson Lee Chin Cheh had resigned and Anwar was to be fielded as substitute, Rafizi attempted to stem spiralling criticism with an explanation of the reasons for this turn of events.

He observed that Khalid had done well in administering the richest state in the country; and he would be prodded to do even better, said Rafizi, if Khalid has Anwar in reserve.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/5y_Q7kGNihGaNjIRcvcmS0FimgxID8vBAYjWANOKo7GBCKtb5v 6OKNDyWSAZBG6p8mk77fXCLOaHAHq7CXoqRafizi (right) also said the move to field Anwar was also preemptive because he expected Najib Razak to become the second prime minister in succession to fall to Umno curmudgeon Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s ‘chop and change PMs’ penchant.

This lopping off, Rafizi predicted, would be the start of a sustained and multi-pronged campaign to shake the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor to its foundations.

Selangor is the diamond in the 13-state Malaysian crown. Najib’s replacement was expected, on Mahathir’s promptings, to brook no restraint in the battle to oust Pakatan that would be waged by Umno.

The MP for Pandan, the brightest talent in PKR’s constellation of second-tier leaders, said Anwar’s presence in Pakatan’s leadership cohort for Selangor would boost the coalition’s strength and resilience in the face of an expectedly marauding Umno.
As a first term parliamentarian, Rafizi perhaps had not as yet heard of a principle of parliamentary democracy called the ‘right of recall.’

If he had, he would certainly have deployed it among the reasons he furnished for explaining PKR’s decision to force a resignation in a state ward held by the party and field their top leader for the vacancy.

The right of recall caters for the need of elected representatives to resign and pave the way for by-elections in times when combustible issues are flaring in the public arena.

Right of recall a legitimate resort

Since an election is a placebo for a democratic polity’s periodic distempers, the right of recall is a legitimate resort of elected representatives when combustible issues arrive at ignition point in the public arena.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/beipEMBZ57fnZ-NLlXSL0dLG_VgPlPeSYfwnFiIA5-Aqm0NouMwGkt_QBmMN5YpE06YodXIKCLWfXQWqAgThis was what Umno’s Shahrir Samad (left) did in August 1988 when he quit his JB parliamentary seat and forced a by-election in which he stood as an independent and won.

1988 was a fraught year in Malaysian politics. In May of that year, the head of the judiciary, Salleh Abbas, was removed as Lord President, a move he resisted, prompting impeachment proceedings presided over by the very judge, Abdul Hamid Omar, who stood to gain had Salleh been found guilty of the charges preferred against him by an international tribunal of judges.

In the event, Salleh was impeached and Abdul Hamid took over, a sequence of events that - if one considered the spate of Internal Security Act detentions that occurred in October the previous year in which more than a hundred politicians and social activists were rounded up - constituted the most severe and sustained implosion to have occurred in Malaysian politics since the May 13 racial riots of 1969.

Shahrir’s exercise of the right of recall in August 1988 was that democratic principle’s most eloquent invocation in Malaysian politics in the post-May 13 period.

His re-election in that poll conveyed the point that the then-prime minister Mahathir’s dictatorial actions had incurred the ire of voters.

Shortly afterwards, the rules governing by-elections were amended to make them rather difficult to compel, a typically Mahathirian response - if he met a rule he didn’t like, he brought it to heel by amending it.

Lee Chin Cheh’s resignation as assemblyperson for Kajang comes at a time that is comparably fraught to the one that led Shahrir to resign and re-contest in August 1988

Unlike Shahrir, Lee is not re-contesting but is stepping aside so that his PKR party leader may be fielded.

This is not an abuse of the right of recall. Lee knows Anwar is the more effective candidate for the fulfillment of the right of recall in the present situation.

Anwar is not just the PKR, but also the Pakatan, leader most equipped to combat Umno’s racially- and religiously-tinged campaign to polarise Malaysian society between Umno-supporting right wing Malays and opposition-favouring non-Muslims allied with autocracy-disdaining Muslims.

This polarisation was exacerbated by the decision of the Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) to seize copies of Malay and Iban language Bible from the premises of the Bible Society of Malaysia on Jan 2.

Domestic cause celebre, with international overtones

Jais’ action has ratcheted up tensions between Muslims and Christians in Malaysia which have been steadily rising since a legal battle over the issue of whether Christians can use the word ‘Allah’ in rituals of worship and faith education broke out in 2009.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/l7jpaKgVVVld7KhB5DltnH8yio5kf1NU87nC8ML7Q_SPu13zqq 7PyP28DwTN_V484oy7gXLwtV5EyK00EQ8The issue has become a domestic cause celebre, with international overtones. Anwar and his Pakatan colleague, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang, have espoused the line that non-Muslims can use the word ‘Allah’ provided use of it is not abused.

If elected, Anwar’s presence in the Selangor state assembly and path to the MB’s position would enable him to bring his powers of persuasion and reasoning to bear on such councils as the Rulers’ Council, the annual conference of the nine hereditary rulers of states in the Malay peninsula whose deliberations on matters of grave importance like judicial appointments and promotions and Malay reserve land issues can be of decisive import.

Malay reserve land is being sold by greedy cabals in Umno rather cheaply to commercial interests. This is spreading disquiet in the Malay community, a feature that has not been adequately conveyed to the community’s ostensible guardians in the Rulers’ Council.

Sceptics may demur but Anwar is committed to the persuading arts. His candidature for the Kajang state seat will deepen and widen his access to opinion-making circles with high impact on policy.

In short, there are reasons solid and subtle for PKR’s pitching their iconic leader into the Selangor legislative fray.

TERENCE NETTO has been a journalist for close on four decades. He likes the occupation because it puts him in contact with the eminent without being under the necessity to admire them.

4th February 2014, 03:28 PM
Selangor's ills need urgent intervention (http://m.malaysiakini.com/news/253362)

William JK Leong | 3:14PM Feb 2, 2014

COMMENT Anwar Ibrahim contesting the Kajang by-election in the wake of the Azmin Ali’s PKNS sacking, has led many to speculate that this is an internal power struggle and not the struggle for the people.

Despite Rafizi Ramli explaining (http://http//www.malaysiakini.com/news/253069) in his article ‘The Kajang Move: A Game-Changer for Putrajaya’ that Anwar is contesting the by-election to meet Umno’s changing tack in intensifying racial and religious tensions, the media, for obvious reasons, continues to play up the internal power struggle angle.

It is not denied that the Kajang by-election is about governing Selangor, however, the objective is for the good of the people of Selangor and Malaysia and not for any individual within or without the party.

What has been forgotten in the hullabaloo and media speculation is that the people of Selangor and Malaysia will be better served with Anwar Ibrahim directly in the state to meet the coming economic difficulties and tense political times.

Horses for courses

Those saying the by-election is due to the purported feud between Azmin Ali and Khalid Ibrahim fail to mention that both Khalid Ibrahim and Azmin Ali support Anwar Ibrahim contesting the by-election.

They also omit to point out that PKR members and leaders have consistently acknowledged the strengths and weaknesses of Khalid Ibrahim’s administration.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/-eQaPXC2u-yhro5pvLOTESpId9BzXdI3ycbWfZCg8-T1IyishGCv4ilZ9R1xipXC4cWzQz_ityLE2kwUxAYMany harped on the fact that while accolades were showered on Khalid (right), there were also criticisms as proof of a feud.

It must be realised PKR is a reformist party. Its leaders and members speak without fear or favour.

They will not hesitate to point out what is wrong if they see something is not right nor will they withhold praise when credit is due.

What is important is the criticisms are constructive, made sincerely and genuinely for the good of the state government.

The concern has always been that the Pakatan government delivers to the people of Selangor.

It is on public record that delegates from Perlis to Sarawak from the Party’s 6th National Congress in 2010 at Kota Baru to the 9th National Congress on 25th May 2013, repeatedly voiced their concerns on Khalid Ibrahim’s policy of building a massive reserve instead of spending on development projects.

Khalid built up a reserve of RM3 billion from the RM760 million he inherited from BN in 2008.

In his winding up speech at the 2013 Congress, Khalid accepted that he was “frugal” because he is taught to look after other people’s money with utmost care.

It is acknowledged by all from Pakatan to his BN opponents, in particular, the auditor-general reports that Khalid had been financially prudent in running the state.

However, the implementation of state projects have not been satisfactory.

One example is the Auditor-General's Report 2012revealed Selangor only spent RM640.24 million or 56.3 percent of the RM1.14 billion it received from the federal government for the maintenance of non-federal roads between 2010 and 2012.

Even though the under-spending accumulated RM631.27 million in surplus funds, the report said it reflected inefficiency in managing funds provided by the federal government.

Furthermore, the report said a survey conducted by the Auditor-General Office of 545 respondents in Klang, Gombak and Shah Alam showed 80 percent of them expressing dissatisfaction with the conditions of the local roads.

Another problem is Selangor's drainage and irrigation department's (JPS) frequent answer for the woes caused by the repeatedly occurring flash floods and lack of flood mitigation projects is that there are no funds.

However, it has since been discovered that the Selangor JPS spent only RM45 million out of a RM67 million budget in 2012.

Therefore there are efficiency and co-ordination issues that have to be addressed.

Culture of inefficiency

Khalid cannot be faulted entirely because he inherited a civil service with a five decade culture of inefficiency and complacency.

However, Anwar is correct in being concerned with the tardiness in taking action and implementing measures for the benefit of the people.

Anwar at the Nov 24, 2013 Special Congress in Shah Alam said: “Pakatan Rakyat’s achievements are not measured in terms of whether there is a surplus or deficit in the budget but how we prioritise the needs of the public”

It is giving priority to the people’s needs that is the ultimate objective of the Kajang by-election.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/xcQY7Mwi7s7butCJUZKZ2VvIEG38dR9ePxcYBOuGpihSsYXI_I UpaakGUk_vx-nWAXnwYD-zDC8gm8zRPAsBesides inefficiency there is also sabotage and non-cooperation by the agencies and privatised entities.

The public may not realise that throughout Khalid’s administration he has to do battle with forces bent on retaking the state through the withholding of services and non-co-operation by these agencies and privatised entities.

One example is Alam Flora’s sudden termination of municipal waste collection services.

The state had to scramble to appoint contractors to avert a disaster. Another is the water supply shortages when the dams were full.

In the ongoing and protracted negotiations for the state to take back control of water distribution and the holding back of the Langat 2 Project, the National Water Services Commission (Span) has put on hold 878 development projects on the grounds that there will be insufficient water supply in the future. However Khalid points to the fact that there is sufficient supply presently.

The satisfactory resolution of these issues must not be at the expense of the Selangor people and requires the co-operation and talents of not only Khalid but all Pakatan leaders including Anwar.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/jhY4XIsBxIctYrjee2kfu_vKK666NYPYZSJQXj1m87PFXQxYbD ngFvh_5o7BlKTUY2oCGGCtIGUXjQ9aFh77Both Khalid Ibrahim, Azmin Ali (right) and all of the PKR leadership support the Kajang by-election because they are fully aware that Malaysians are about to face the perfect storm of economic hardship coupled with heightened political tensions.

There is an urgent need to batten down the hatches and strengthen the Selangor government leadership.

It is not a case of changing horses in midstream. It is to recognise that there are horses for courses.

There are three immediate concerns.

The first is the 1997 financial crisis is looming to be repeated.

The second is self-inflicted by the BN federal government putting the economy into a shock therapy by its fiscal structural adjustment measures.

The third is the escalating tension that is reaching May 13 levels instigated by irresponsible elements.

Any government, federal or state will welcome Anwar Ibrahim with his experience on its team as they prepare for the storm that will soon be unleashed by these three converging factors.

Tomorrow Part 2: Repeat of Asian financial crisis

WILLIAM JK LEONG is MP for Selayang, and treasurer-general of PKR.

9th March 2014, 05:49 PM
7:49AM Mar 7, 2014

Anwar guilty of Sodomy II, jailed five years (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/256282)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/731/8aca869dc3f027634dc6dda1f389ca92.jpg LIVE REPORTS

7.45pm: Bail will be posted on Monday. Karpal says he will file a notice of appeal on the same day.

"I have never seen the rush by the court in sentencing in my years of practice, as normally there is medical report made," he says.

7.33pm: Anwar emerges at the back entrance of the Palace of Justice.

The crowd, which had already anticipated his exit from there, burst out in deafening chants of reformasi.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/c6EITEVvtxLPb4DMqhm_5r3UCQ6YVryfour4Ca6rdyNh-ScD93pZ8yYR0JJmX_F4-z2ZO0GsFcWqDipUTQAnwar stands on the entrance staircase for two minutes and waves to supporters but makes no speech.

As he enters his vehicle, he stands from the side of the car and waves, the crowd erupts in mad cheers as he shake their hands.

After Anwar departs, PKR vice-president Tian Chua addresses the crowd, which numbers around 60 people.

"The court has sentence Anwar to five years in jail but this is not the rakyat's decision, we can no longer rely on the legal system and Najib's crony to deliver justice.

"Today is the day the rakyat arise, we will use our power to free ourselves, this nation, our grandchildren and the legal system."

https://lh4.ggpht.com/SJ2_GKSnEaFdUpvkgfEQf7q4GCYIoLbdKYAtb8VVKk6A5C_BZ7 VMZ4IjcXKkGyCRdSAPtWYc6wJo9tW_sFwTian Chua called on people to turn out in force at Kajang stadium tonight where Anwar already has a scheduled event.

He also declared the Pakatan Rakyat convention tomorrow at Dewan Setia Alam, Shah Alam to be opened to every man in the street.

"Who wants to defend Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar Ibrahim and the people, let us gather at Dewan Setia Alam to show support," he said.

Tian Chua also announced that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's days were numbered.

"The court has sentence Anwar to five years in jail, but the rakyat will rid of Najib in five months," he said.

7.30pm : Anwar says he will continue his campaign in Kajang despite that he may no longer be the PKR candidate in the by-election. He says he will let the people show their wrath.

"But I will be there in Parliament and we will shoulder on."

He also lambasts Shafee for claiming he is a threat to "national security."

https://lh5.ggpht.com/IWGgjHkMDf27zzlkFua3RpvEzSvLofhUZ2Yn7480tQ0Fuqbzox N6-Tjwe-Tydqh9eFSg1G_PoTWBOcjeWZYHWan Azizah says the Palace of Justice is a beautiful palace but there is no justice.

Meanwhile, Rafizi Ramli describes the verdict as a travesty of justice.

"After 16 years, we thought that we have progressed but this case shows we have not."

7pm: Anwar's children and Wan Azizah hug Anwar. The couple are seen carrying their grandson in court.

6.56pm: Shafee says he has no objection if the bail is post. Court allows Anwar to post bail the latest by 11am on Monday.

Court is adjourned. It appears that Anwar needs not spend his weekend in jail.

6.52pm: Two of Anwar's daughters arrives at the back entrance of the Palace of Justice.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/OsETzDj__YU8SnDZ_wsBraSrbBP0a2er-N9gPxtDS3v20OO7yDd7L4G_yXq09iNMachWEKp4eDkTG0qeSZ8 They alight with Anwar's grandchildren but were briefly stopped from entering the complex.

After police sought permission from their superiors, they are allowed in.

6.52pm: Karpal responses bail was not granted in the first instance.

"Normally he (Shafee) does not object, of course he is now on the other side. That is why he is a mercenary."

Judge Balia asks the two sides to stop arguing. Justice Balia says the application of stay of execution is allowed, pending appeal with bail of RM10,000.

6.48pm: Karpal applies a stay. Shafee says he has been instructed by the attorney-general to bring the matter for a stay.

"I have been asked to put in an objection on the grounds of the case of Anwar itself. Outside this court, (you can hear) the chanting."

Shafee says the judges can also hear it (the crowd outside).

"The stay is for purposes of execution of sentence. We are objecting on grounds of public order. An appeal is not a stay."

6.46pm: Judge Balia says the court having heard what the counsel told the court and has found Anwar guilty.

"He is convicted and sentenced to five years."

6:46pm: The external compound that was earlier quiet is now rowdy with suporters gathering and shouting, "Free, free, free Anwar!", "Reformasi" and "Down with Najib!"

A supporter Amir Hamzah whips up the crowd reminding them of the events of 1998 during Sodomy I.

6.41pm: A female PKR supporter walks out of the courtroom saying she finds it hard to respect the court.

Shafee continues, saying Anwar attacked prosecutor Yusof Zainal Abiden and the PM.

"The accused that he is found guilty of this act, in a position of power now in the opposition and opens himself to blackmail and source of extortion and is a danger to national security."

"The country will open up the national security issue," he says.

6:38pm: Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong, Xavier Jayakumar, Batu Caves rep Amiruddin Shari are among those who fail to enter the court. They remain outside with the supporters.

6.36pm: Shafee says Anwar has conviction for abuse of power.

"I also been asked to mention this, in 2004 in the Malaysian Law Journal made the observation in the Federal Court - that the accused is involved in acts of sodomy."

Shafee says there are other court proceedings.

Those in the public gallery shout at Shafee. Judge Balia says those who make noise will be thrown out in court.

Shafee continues, saying that Anwar is the Permatang Pauh MP and Selangor government advisor as well as candidate in Kajang.

6.35pm: "The circumstances is clear from the notes. This is not the first time the accused has taken advantage of him," says Shafee.

Karpal says that statement has been expunged.

Shafee says that no condom was used and this was an irresponsible and dangerous act.

"He took advantage of the Saiful," he says.

Anwar shouts from the dock: "You have got what you wanted."

6.32pm: Judge Balia says that the court will pass sentence.

Shafee says he took instructions from the attorney-general, who is in Sabah.

"The complainant is a young man, 23 years old, and an employee under his (Anwar's) charge."

6.30pm: Karpal says the court has to consider the sentence along with the medical report.

Balia says the DPP is not challenging it. Karpal says this court is not being reasonable.

"Can I take it that a medical report is not necessary?"

Balia says they will take it for whatever it is worth.

"Under the circumstances of this case, a medical report is not necessary," says the judge.

6.25pm: Judge Balia, after consulting with the other two judges, asks whether that is all.

Karpal says he is not abandoning the right to mitigation.

Shafee says if there is certain conditions, the prosecution will not object.

"We know he has back condition and we are willing to take the statement from the bar," he says.

6.20pm: Prosecutor Shafee says the medical report can be "onward management" of the matter.

He said sentencing is on the offence.

Balia asks whether there will be other mitigation.

Karpal stresses that the defence need time to prepare the medical report.

"All this matters must be placed on record. No reason to rush this trial," he says.

Balia: "We are giving you your right."

Karpal: My lord, when you consider the sentence, the medical report will set out what the respondents and the sentence to be imposed. What is your hurry?

Balia: We are not in a hurry.

Karpal: I am unable to take instructions from my client.

Balia: You are unable to mitigate?

6.17pm: Court in session. Mitigation begins. Defence lawyer Karpal says Anwar suffers from back pain, high blood pressure and heart ailment.

"I have to submit a medical report on this and pray that we will be given time. I cannot be making statements from the bar."

6.14pm: Police asks court to get ready. It will be called into session soon for sentencing.

6.10pm: PKR's Machang Bubuk state assemblyperson Lee Khai Loon arrives at the Palace of Justice back entrance, but like other elected representatives, he was denied entry.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/w_PWU1rdlea8W5CH3AAoqtW1Oa-jUMt6WuJieZKNfgWJoZlEevYesvfAx95SC-UNFGRQXfM_nNfB6m9On2PRThe crowd outside grows to about 50, almost half of whom are journalists.

Lee told Malaysiakinithat unlike the verdict at the High Court in 2012, the opposition coalition did not mobilise anyone today as the decision today was a surprise.

"It is all so sudden, we didn't ask people to come because normally decisions would take some time," he said.

However, the cops are not taking any chances and have tripled their numbers at the back entrance.

Some 20 police officers form a human shield in front of the staircase into the Palace of Justice.

Some 20 more officers are also seen stationed nearby in addition to around 10 light strike force units that have just arrived.

6:05pm: Police presence at the rear entrance increases to 10 officers and several special forces officers. This appears to be in response to the crowd that is growing impatient.

6.01pm: All senior PKR leaders are in court including deputy president Azmin Ali, Kuantan MP Fauziah Salleh, Batu MP Tian Chua, Padang Serai N Surendran.

DAP leader Lim Kit Siang is seen talking to Azmin and Pandan MP Rafizi.

According to the Penal Code 377b, Anwar could be facing a maximum of 20 years in jail and shall also be liable to whipping.

5.39pm: Court is expected to resume at 6.10pm to announce sentencing for Anwar.

5:35pm: The rear entrance of the courthouse is tightly controlled and only certain people such as elected reps are allowed through, and have to show their ICs to the police.

Tensions rise when 10 supporters gather outside the door, prompting the police to shut it. This annoys Bukit Katil MP Syamsul Iskandar Mohd Akim and two of Anwar's lawyers who are shut out.

After the supporters back off the trio are finally allowed in.

5.23pm: Wan Azizah and her children are seen crying.

Anwar says the 1998 incident is repeating itself, referring to his previous conviction.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/731/06fca0aa4530d5ed9009dc4b36d71727.jpg"It's all over again, they want to put me in the lock-up, that is why they want to continue with the mitigation," he says.

5.15pm: The number of Anwar supporters at the courthouse's back door continue to swell.

The situation becomes increasingly tense as they begin to chant "reformation" and "free Anwar" as Batu MP Tian Chua and PKR deputy president Azmin Ali arrives.

5.11pm: Justice Balia says, "We will allow time and come back in one hour."

Anwar stands up and says, "We do it (mitigation) now.”

Wife Wan Azizah rushed from her seat to calm the opposition leader down.

Meanwhile, daughter Nurul Izzah sarcastically shouted from the public gallery, "What's the rush?"

Public gallery erupts with Anwar supporters shouting at the judges.

5.08pm: Karpal blasts back, saying if Shafee is on this side, "He would say that mitigation would be done on another day."

"He is speaking with a forked tongue and this is why a mercenary DPP should not be appointed."

5.06pm: Shafee objects saying appeal has been delayed.

"If mitigation ought to be required it should be done today. We should hold the mitigation today I am also unprepared but am prepared to hold it today."

5:03pm: Karpal applies for mitigation to be done next week.

4.57pm: Justice Balia noted that the prosecution argued that the trial judge has erred in its decision.

"The learned judge had misconstrued on the integrity of the samples. He ruled there was tampering of the HKL plastic bag.

"We have scrutinise evidence of the IO Jude Blacious what he did was cut the bottom of the plastic and put the recepticle, in each envelope."

"The tampering is on the plastic bag and not the evidence. The seals of the samples are intact and did not compromise the samples."

He said if the learned judge conclude the tampering is on the plastic bag only, and having examined the grounds in the judgment.

"We find the judge has no reason to depart from his earlier finding (in calling the defence)."

"The learned judge has failed and appreciate in coming to the conclusion. The judge has erred in listening to the foreign experts.

"We find the judge had misdirected himself on the issue of the integrity of the sample.

"We allow the appeal and found guilty of the charge."

4.55pm: Justice Balia Yusof says this is a unanimous decision.

4.52pm: Court resumes.

Anwar’s daughter and Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar is seated with her three sisters near their mother and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

4pm: The atmosphere in the courtroom is quite tense as it remains uncertain when the panel will decide on the case.

People go in and out of the courtroom, but those already seated are not leaving their seats in anticipation.

Outside Anwar's supporters increase to roughly 30. They are awaiting a judgement that they believe will be issued today.

3.36pm: Justice Balia says they will deliberate and return later. This indicates a possible decision will be made.

3:31pm: PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli arrives with supporters. Minutes later Anwar's eldest daughter Nurul Izzah Anwar arrives.

3.30pm: The government-appointed lawyer says the doctor confessed that there were two lawyers asking him to do a statutory declaration over the meeting.

Shafee says whether there is a conspiracy of three doctors, or the chemist, and the IO to amount to all of it.

He ends his submission.

3.25pm: Shafee wants the court to scrutinise Pusrawi's doctor's testimony carefully due to the limited space in the report.

"The patient says he was assaulted with the introduction of a plastic (object) introduced into his (Saiful's) anus."

"If you turn over the next page, the doctor wrote 'advice sodomised. Advise to go the HKL'," he said.

3.22pm: Shafee replies that he does not have any absence of memory when DP Vijendran was asked to testify from the dock.

"Vijendran is a much better criminal lawyer than me, and he was advised by then late Christopher Fernando (Aris Rizal) to make his testimony from the dock."

3.20pm: Shafee agrees with Karpal that in criminal proceedings the burden of proof has to be beyond reasonable doubt.

"However, not all items are required to prove beyond reasonable doubt, but in some ingredients it would be on balance of probabilities."

3.17pm: Shafee says is the defence is only asking if the DNA had been planted in Saiful's rectum, or planted while in possession with the police officer.

"The defence never addressed the issue how Male Y's semen ended up in Saiful's rectum," he said.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/Pwc9KTNfDZmFUQT46WQlst_N6_612NzRuqK-43RzU5KoAC4x8dVttmCDQXyaDzT1aj1KEIS31yZiHFMXby03.0 0pm: Shafee cites a murder case in Queensland, Australia, where the murder took place in 1984 and the body was covered with a red towel and buried in a shallow grave.

He says the grave was uncovered and tests conducted on the towel showed there was semen and using DNA tests, the assailant was found.

"A 13-year period, still the DNA sample can be found. The assailant was later convicted in 2001."

2.50pm: Shafee says the prosecution has answered clearly about the degradation and contamination issue.

He cites a case, saying, "We are talking about degrees of degradation. You need a minuscule amount. Seah (chemist) says degradation begins once the fluid leaves the body."

2.47pm: Court in session.

2.40pm: Anwar arrives at court and jokes with reporters that he had his Friday prayers in Kajang and sat near Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He adds that the khutbah (sermon) was about the banning of the Ultraman book.

Anwar asks in his heart when the Home Ministry will take action on the anti-hadith group. Although he mentioned no names, he is likely referring to Kassim Ahmad (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/255320) and his nemesis former PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

12.30pm: As soon as Anwar exits the court he is greeted with supporters packed outside.

About 20 supporters encircle him shouting "Reformasi" loudly four times, while security in the area is tight. The hearing continues after Friday prayers.

12.22pm: Court breaks for Friday prayers and will resume at 2.45pm, with Shafee slated to submit. Shafee promises his submission will take half an hour.

12.12pm: Noorin says that degradation had been taken into account in the analysis.

She says the differential fraction examination process to separate the sperm and non-sperm cells were performed.

"The sperm fraction tests were done and the chemist said there was sperm already there."

She says that had Seah admitted there was contamination in the peri-anal region and the unknown contributor is the non-sperm.

The learned judge had actually dealt with the scientific evidence at the end of prosecution's case and Noorin claims that Justice Zabidin did not go through that evidence in defence.

12:05pm: Noorin says the word "pristine" came from McDonald as there is almost a high reading on the sample.

She defended that Seah had not said there was no degradation.

"Any scientist has yet to come up with a test on degradation as it will always be there, and it is a matter of interpretation."

"McDonald's last test was done in 2004, and since then, he only interprets the results," she says, pointing to McDonald's field work.

11.50am: Now DPP Noorin Badaruddin is submitting on the matter of the 18 allele.

"DNA profiling is based on the 16th DNA loci. The 18 allele is found on one or two locus to two different chemist.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/J5bdLIawNpwJJqKA6Xs65IsSrXNeycf2RYJh8AJA4V9d0K1dlw O78XcHteVJLuIT8UX9QK_YHKw7ogDrtfk"That is why Nor Aidora (the chemist) did not report the 18 allele. The allele is only found on one loci and it was not necessary to report it."

11.47am: Karpal replies to Shafee on the question of the alibi of the witness.

"By right, the statement made from the dock is evidence and it must be considered.

"This is also misdirection of the judge which requires attention (by this court)."

Karpal ends his submission.

11.42am: Anwar’s counsel Karpal Singh says Shafee suffers from “bouts of amnesia” as the Umno lawyer said that a person who testifies from the dock is of low-mental capacity.

"However, Shafee had represented DP Vijendran and he testified from the dock."

Justice Zawawi asked if this was in reference to the the former deputy speaker, to which Karpal replied yes, to laughter in the court.

He adds that statement from the dock is evidence.

11.40am: Ram says investigating officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira had been found "a liar" in the past and the finding was made by Shafee.

"We find the evidence of Jude as totally unsatisfactory as he is constantly not telling the truth or suffer from absence of memory and that is what was written by Shafee," he said.

Jude, Ram said, is central to the exhibits.

"He had the sample and intimate samples. There are third-party allele in there.

"This is what we call tampering. We have to support the finding of the High Court judge as what if the swab used were tampered with."

Ram concludes his submission.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/PnYr0Jx1N9Wzzhp7lt2IH3larrGiQQQWFoPTuv7ewIG0eeZnMC 2w3StAeqChLcA1chQrwdlUXZY6I8lN3Bg11.35am: Ram says the manual on this states that the separation of the cells must be made to remove non-sperm cells.

"The fact remains that in the sperm fraction analysed, there is non-sperm cells in them.

"It can be modified and even if the prosecution's version (is correct), it would be impossible to say that the sperm cells comes from male Y," he said.

Ram says Seah cannot say that for sure and as such, Shafee should not be saying that the sperm cells are from male Y (Anwar).

11:30am: Anwar's supporters have shifted to the back door to await the opposition leader when he is led out of court.

To while away the time, 'Uncle Sow' recited poetry to the listening group.

11.25am: Ram submits that Seah did not separate the sperm fraction and other cells.

"She says it is impossible to separate sperm and non-sperm cells. But our expert witness (Australian DNA specialist Dr Brian McDonald) says it is possible to separate them."

"When she says the sperm cells came from male Y (Anwar), she is merely assuming it came from sperm cells. However, the separation was not done," he said.

11.15am: Ram says the DNA tests were not properly carried out.

"It was not determined which cell source the DNA came from."

"DNA can come from skin, hair, saliva, sperm, etc. It is not in dispute that when it came to the chemist, it came in the form of mixture and there is doubt that the sperm is actually from male Y (Anwar)," he says.

11.12am: Court is in session.

11.10am: DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang enters the court. Also in court are other lawmakers, Johari Abdul, Wong Chen and Sim Tze Tzin.

10.57am: PKR director of strategy Rafizi Ramli is seen on the grounds, chatting with the gathered supporters.

Meanwhile, three police four-wheel drives is observed there, with the dogs from the K9 unit inside.

10.40am: Court recess.

Meanwhile outside, some 80 supporters of Anwar Ibrahim gather on the grounds next to the Palace of Justice.

According to one supporter who came from Penang, the group have gathered peacefully there as they were not allowed into the courthouse.

“They (the police) did not allow us entry, so we gather here. That is alright as there is shade beneath the tree. We come to support Anwar, that is all,” he says.

Meanwhile, three uniformed police personnel are seen in the area monitoring the group.

10.30am: Ram further defends the expertise of the foreign experts which Shafee had earlier questioned.

Ram says Shafee takes a simplistic view of the law in excluding all this.

He adds that the required burden of proof requires that the integrity of the samples is ensured.

"However, in this case it is not... There are many questions. If there is anomaly it should be taken in favour of the accused."

10.20am: Ram says Shafee took a simplistic view by saying Jude only cut open the HKL plastic bag but did not disturb the samples.

Despite this, he says there are the unexplained contaminations.

"There are two types of contamination, direct and indirect.

"The cases referred by Shafee shows there was nothing peculiar but in this case, even if it is said that Jude cut the plastic, there is no explanation on the degradation and contamination."

10.10am: Defence lawyer Ram argues the possibility of the 18 allele coming from investigating officer Jude Pereira could be there as he held the samples for a period of time.

"It is not for us to speculate, but for the defence to create reasonable doubt. It is incumbent on the prosecution to exclude the presence of the third party."

9.50am: Ram questions chemist Seah's testimony on the high rectal swab as at first she said it the 18 allele was important but later when asked further in her testimony, she said it was not important.

He also raises questions on another chemist Nor Aidura Saedon's testimony over her examination of the 'Good Morning' towel.

"She said the reason she did not report the 18 allele as it is below the threshold and it could be a 'starter'.

"I put it to her it was not a starter, and it did not follow her Chemistry Department guidelines and she agreed."

The point, Ram says, the 18 allele is there, but the chemist did not conduct further tests on it as it is from another male contributor.

"It shows there is contamination in the intimate sample and we do not know who the contributor is."

9.40am: Ram moves on to the issue of contamination.

He says the 'Good Morning' towel retrieved from Anwar's cell have an unidentified characteristic with the presence of an 18 allele in the DNA reading.

"The 18 allele, is also present in the high rectal swab. This means a third person's DNA has been found in the anus but high up the rectal."

There are two ways this could happen. With the sexual intercourse, the semen was ejaculated inside the anus.

"Complainant (Saiful) says he is not homosexual, so how can one explain the 18 allele in there.

"The chemist says the presence could have been as result of drop-in (contamination)."

9.30am: Ram says chemist Dr Seah Lay Hong had testified there was no evidence of degradation to the high rectal swab.

"The point here is the prosecution is in agreement of the defence that the sample was 'pristine'."

9.24am: Continuing from yesterday, Ram Karpal submits that the peri-anal sample shows sign of degradation but the high rectal swabs shows no sign of degradation.

"All these samples are taken at about the same time and all should show signs of degradation. However, the high rectal swab did not.

"This raises the question on the possibility of tampering."

9.14am: Court now in session with justices Balia Yusof Wahi, Aziah Ali and Mohd Zawawi Mohd Salleh on the Court of Appeal bench.

Balia complains that the proceeding is late by 15 minutes.

"When we say 9am, it is at 9am."

Defence lawyer Ram Karpal says they were on time and it was possibly because the court thought lead defence lawyer Karpal Singh will come.

"Karpal will come in later," he says.

Justice Balia wants the counsel to conduct the proceedings professionally.

Balia reminds them not to read from their submission as judges have already read them.

9.10am: The situation outside the court house is quiet and calm. There are about a dozen police officers milling around the area. There are no protesters today.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/731/58f171f581002fc429c22e7816e95366.jpgMeanwhile, there are about eight police officers standing guard at the back of the court complex. The police also brought in two dogs from their K9 unit.

8.56am: Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his wife, PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, arrive at the Palace of Justice along with three of their children.

They go to the second floor where the Court of Appeal is located.

8.55am: Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the private lawyer appointed by the government to lead the prosecution team in this appeal, enters the courtroom.

Also in court are a number of international observers as well as PKR supporters. The public gallery is filling up fast.

8.50am: Some embassies send two representatives, say court staff. Today there are more people asking for passes and some journalists may be - like yesterday - unable to go into the courtroom.

8.28am: Security at all entrances at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya is tight, with uniformed police helping the court's auxiliary police.

8.20am: The prosecution's appeal against Anwar Ibrahim's acquittal in Sodomy II continues today with defence lawyer Ram Karpal resuming his submissions on the semen samples taken from complainant Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Ram indicated to court yesterday that he would need another two hours to wrap up his submission. He is expected to provide further arguments on the issue of the integrity of the semen samples and the possibility of the samples being tampered with.

Much focus on the prosecution and defence rests on the integrity of the samples as Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Mohd Zabidin Mohd Diah in acquitting Anwar, found it was not safe to call for conviction based on the possibility that the samples could have been tampered with.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/SrfYqDNqlQ8AmzESHg5DDAA5yOBAsnShdnfCWZ3mJYR7kPv3Cd YZhTmTDT5M9H0kPzTELOkXB00GlmsmilQIt was revealed in court that investigating officer Supt Jude Blacious Pereira had opened the sealed plastic bag from Hospital Kuala Lumpur (HKL) and placed the 12 samples in separate envelopes before handing them over to the chemist for analysis.

While government appointed lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah maintained the chain of evidence (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/256275) was not broken despite the plastic bag from HKL being opened, Ram suggested otherwise due to the “pristine” nature of the semen samples despite being examined four days after the alleged incident.

After the alleged sodomy incident on June 26, 2008 at the Desa Damansara condominium, Saiful testified that he did not bathe and wash in order "to keep the evidence". He lodged a police report two days later and the samples were retrieved on the night of June 28 and early morning 29.

The samples were then kept by Pereira, not in a freezer as instructed by HKL doctors, but in a metal cabinet in his office and later handed to the chemist on the evening of June 30.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/730/a13c3d3455bfd7a30369c1854b8baf8e.jpgShafee (right) had also made a technical argument in that the court's test should be on the balance of probabilities, while senior counsel Karpal Singh said this was wrong as the court must adopt the ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ approach.

In criminal proceedings, the prosecution is often required to prove its case beyond resonable doubt while normally the balance of probabilities is adopted in civil cases.

After the defence submission this morning, Shafee will proceed with his reply. He took two and a half hours in arguing the prosecution's case yesterday.

It would be interesting to see whether the three-member bench led by justice Balia Yusof Wahi will deliver its decision today or instead announced it at another date.

For Anwar, the decision may affect his bid to contest in the Kajang by-election where nominations have been fixed on next Tuesday.

Malaysiakini is covering the second day of the Sodomy II appeal hearing LIVE.

9th March 2014, 05:51 PM
5:49PM Mar 7, 2014

Stay granted, Anwar walks free... for now (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/256362)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/731/46ef3a8329f5adee568b39d7e81a8413.jpg The atmosphere was tense with Anwar Ibrahim looking at the possibility of having to spend the next three nights in prison after being slapped with a five-year sentence for Sodomy II this evening.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/IWGgjHkMDf27zzlkFua3RpvEzSvLofhUZ2Yn7480tQ0Fuqbzox N6-Tjwe-Tydqh9eFSg1G_PoTWBOcjeWZYHHowever, the Court of Appeal allowed a stay of execution pending an appeal with the Federal Court and ordered Anwar to post the RM10,000 bail by 11am on Monday.

Prior to sentencing, Anwar had described the development as deja vu.

"The 1998 incident is repeating itself... It is all over again, they want to put me in the lock-up. That is why they want to continue with the mitigation," added the 67-year-old politician.

When the Court of Appeal announced its verdict in upholding the prosecution’s appeal, Anwar’s wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and the couple’s children, including Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah, could not hold back their tears.

Six years in prison

Anwar was sacked as deputy prime minister in 1998 and later charged with sodomy and abuse of power.

After having spent six years in prison, he was released after the Court of Appeal overturned the conviction.

In 2008, he was charged with sodomy again. This time, following a police report lodged by his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan.

Like the previous charge, Anwar has claimed that the current case is also a political conspiracy by his rivals.

Meanwhile, the Court of Appeal's decision this evening riled up his supporters who were gathered outside the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

The familiar chants of "Reformasi" and "Bebas Anwar" reverberated.

9th March 2014, 05:52 PM
1:53PM Mar 9, 2014

Wan Azizah to replace Anwar in Kajang (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/256501)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/732/1e00ea532e6f9e8d6d8e3db14eb1a40a.jpg PKR today announced party president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as its new candidate for the Kajang by-election.

Wan Azizah will replace her husband Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR de facto leader, who was initially the party's candidate for the by-election, but is now disqualified from contesting following his five-year jail sentence for sodomy handed on Friday.

This was announced by Anwar at a press conference in Kajang this afternoon, who temporarily remains a free man after being granted a stay of execution by the Court of Appeal.

"As the judiciary was manipulated by Umno to prevent me from contesting, therefore PKR, in consultation with DAP and PAS, would like to announce the candidate (for Kajang) is Wan Azizah Wan Ismail," said Anwar.

The announcement was preceded by a solemn message for the families of 239 passengers on flight MH370 that went missing over the Vietnamese coast yesterday.

Speaking up for women

In her acceptance speech, Wan Azizah said her nomination was fitting of International Women's Day which was yesterday.

"I am thankful for the trust and responsibility given to me and it is fitting for International Women's Day.

"I call on all the rakyat to join me in sending a strong message that we cannot continue to be oppressed by injustices," she said.

Wan Azizah denied being a seat warmer for Anwar, stressing that she represented the values of the party as well as women.

Prior to the general election, it was speculated that Wan Azizah may contest a state seat in Selangor but this eventually fizzled out.

After the Court of Appeal sentenced Anwar to five years in jail on Friday, he had announced that 12 names were being short listed as his replacement in Kajang.

'Pakatan endorses Wan Azizah'

Among the front runner was rumoured to be PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution, who was also present at the press conference.

Asked why Saifuddin was ultimately not nominated, Anwar said: "I was keen to have Saifuddin but he was reluctant and wanted to (continue as PKR) secretary-general.

"And in light of the current circumstances, Azizah was the suitable candidate - he (Saifuddin) was firm and adamant about that," he said.

Nomination day for the Kajang polls is fixed on March 11 and polling day will happen on March 23.

PKR deputy president Azmin Ali was notably absent at the announcement.

Also at the press conference were DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and PAS' central committee member Dr Hatta Ramli.

The duo endorsed Wan Azizah's candidacy and expressed hope she can defeat BN's Chew Mei Fun by a larger majority, and if possible cost the ruling coalition its deposit.

They also expressed condolences to relatives of passengers on flight MH370 and urge the government to provide accurate information to the public.

9th March 2014, 07:18 PM
New era of repression – Kim Quek (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sideviews/article/nnew-era-of-repression-kim-quek)

MARCH 09, 2014

The transgression of justice with which the Court of Appeal had summarily convicted and jailed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim on the charge of sodomy on March 7 will go down as one of the most shameful episodes in Malaysia’s judicial history.

The court has not only regurgitated the falsehood spewed by the prosecutor lock, stock and barrel, but rushed through to overturn a solid High Court decision and passed a five-year jail sentence in lightning speed, against all established judicial norms and common decency.

In doing so, it has shown the entire world how hopelessly servile our judiciary is to its political masters..

Lead prosecutor Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah had on the previous day falsely alleged that High Court judge Zabidin Diah made the mistake of thinking that the individual receptacles containing the DNA samples were tampered with when in fact only the sealed plastic bag containing these receptacles were cut open.

He went on to allege, also falsely, that based on this singular issue, Zabidin had set Anwar free.

The truth is: Zabidin was crystal clear that only the plastic bag was opened up, not the individual receptacles. And contrary to allegation, Zabidin dealt extensively with other relevant issues in addition to the issue of sample tampering before arriving at his verdict.

High Court judge did not err

In para 204 of Zabidin’s judgment (“the Judgment”), he clearly described that all the receptacles were labelled and sealed and they were, in turn, put into tamper-proof plastic bag which was then heat-sealed.

The prosecution had argued in the High Court that when investigating officer Jude Pereira opened the plastic bag without authorisation, the integrity of the DNA samples in the individual receptacles was not compromised because these receptacles were sealed.

But Zabidin pointed out in para 205 that defence’s specialist witness Professor Dr David Wells had testified that, after examining the receptacles, he found them not tamper-proof, as the seal could be removed and resealed from the manner in which they were sealed and from the material used for the seal.

In other words, while the plastic bag was tamper-proof, the individual receptacles containing the DNA samples were not, hence the latter’s vulnerability to tampering.

Significantly, Wells’ view was not challenged, neither did the prosecution advance an alternative view.

With that, Zabidin had ruled that “by cutting open the plastic bag, confidence in the integrity of the samples was gone”.

Note that Zabidin did not say the samples were tampered with, he only said he lacked confidence in the integrity of the samples, which view is perfectly legitimate under the circumstances.

And that is sufficient in criminal law to constitute reasonable doubt over, in this case, the only evidence that could have corroborated the complainant’s accusation.

And no amount of chest-thumping or challenges by prosecutor Shafee to the defence to show conspiracy between officer Pereira and the chemist or to explain how Pereira could have cheated with the samples could overturn this “reasonable doubt” so established by the defence.

In fact, the onus of poof is not on the defence to show evidence of how the investigation officer had cheated with the samples, but rather, it is on how the prosecution could convince the court that the integrity of the samples is guaranteed throughout the entire chain of events from the extraction of samples to the hands of the chemist.

Besides the fiddling of the plastic bag, Zabidin also dealt with issues such as the implausibility of retrieving a good semen sample for DNA analysis of sperms after an unprecedentedly lengthy lapse of 56 hours after alleged sexual assault (normal limit is 36 hours), and the unanimous finding of all the four doctors who had examined complainant Saiful Bukhari Azlan that there was no sign of anus penile penetration on him.

Any reasonable judge who has read the judgment should be able to readily discern the falsity and distortion of prosecutor Shafee’s submission against Zabidin’s judgments, but not the panel of three judges in the Court of Appeal.

The latter merely repeated the gist of Shafee’s argument in a few words and almost immediately after that, overturned the High Court judgment.

Court panel aping prosecutor

In passing judgment, panel leader justice Balia Yusuf Wahi (the others are Aziah Ali and Zawawi Salleh) said Pereira had merely cut open the bottom of the plastic bag to put the receptacles into envelopes.

He did not tamper with the samples as the seals on the receptacles were intact.

Balia said if only Zaibidin had realised that the tampering was restricted to the plastic bag, he would not have made the wrong judgment.

Balia also said Zabidin had erred in giving “undue weight” to the two foreign experts, whom he described as “armchair experts”.

He said Zabidin had misdirected himself on the integrity of the samples. With these few words, he pronounced: “we allow the appeal and found the accused guilty of the charge.”

It is clear that the panel had essentially repeated Shafee’s false claims that judge Zabidin had misconstrued on sample tampering, upon which the latter acquitted Anwar.

Meanwhile, the panel had completely ignored the defence’s exhaustive submissions over the past two days on many crucial issues that had effectively thrown the prosecution case into serious doubt.

Prosecution case riddled with holes

As it turns out, it is not Zabidin who had erred, but the judges who had failed to direct themselves over critical issues that include:

Integrity of the samples cannot be guaranteed once the plastic bag was cut, as the receptacles were not tamper-proof.
Pereira gave a phoney reason for the unauthorised opening of the plastic bag which was to re-label the receptacles, as these were already individually packed and labelled by experts who collected them, as rightly pointed out by Zabidin. Being a senior police officer who knew the serious consequence of such a breach, Pereira must have a compelling reason to commit such a desperate act. And since he had lied over the true reason, he had become a suspect for manipulating the samples.
Pereira had kept the samples in his steel cabinet for 40 hours instead of placing it in the police freezer and delivering them to the chemist in the first instance as strictly instructed. This had compounded the degradation of the already badly degraded semen samples due to the unprecedentedly belated extraction from the complainant’s body. Pereira’s failure to explain such bizarre conduct had deepened suspicion of foul play.

Despite such delays and extended exposure to room temperature (56 hours before retrieval from the body and another 40 hours under room temperature) which must have totally destroyed the semen and sperm samples for DNA test, the chemist’s report tendered in court indicated that the DNA was found to be in “pristine condition”.

Such miraculous phenomenon speaks for itself with regards to the credibility of the samples or reports.

No satisfactory explanation was given over irregularities in DNA tests for semen retrieved from Saiful’s upper and lower rectum and anus, including the puzzling presence of bodies other than “Male Y” which prosecution claimed to belong to Anwar.

All the four doctors who examined Saiful had reported “no sign of anal penile penetration”.

With such a mountain of flaws, unanswered questions, irregularities and suspicion of the prosecution case staring at them, how could these judges in clear conscience pronounce that the prosecution has established Anwar’s guilt beyond reasonable doubt and jail him for five years?

New wave of repression

As if such an atrocious judgment was not stunning enough, the judges further rattled the defence and the audience by ramming through from deliberation to judgment to mitigation to sentencing all in a record-breaking time.

The court took only 90 minutes of deliberation to overturn the verdict of a trial that lasted two years and an appeal that stretched another two years.

It allowed only one hour for defence to prepare mitigation before sentencing, despite protests that defence needed a few more days to prepare a medical report on Anwar’s multiple ailment and for Anwar to attend the opening of a new parliamentary session and deliver his speech to the House as parliamentary opposition leader.

So what’s the hurry, if it is not to meet a dateline to thwart the so-called “Kajang move”, which is a plan for Anwar to head Selangor as a stepping stone to Putrajaya?

Nomination for the Kajang by-election, where Anwar will stand as a candidate, is on Tuesday, so by hook or by crook, the court had to have Anwar convicted and jailed by March 7 (Friday) so as to disqualify him for the nomination.

What we have seen is a new low to which Malaysian judiciary has descended. To the point that it has virtually become a mere political instrument in Umno’s struggles to hang on to its precarious hegemony.

More than that, Anwar’s conviction has ushered in a new era of repression and persecution, starting with Anwar, to be followed by DAP chairman Karpal Singh who will be sentenced on March 11 on a sedition conviction, followed by many others who have already been charged and awaiting trials.

Unless the masses are awakened to this stark political reality and become proactive in defending their constitution rights from further erosion, the country is in for a bleak future. – March 9, 2014.

* Kim Quek reads The Malaysian Insider.

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of The Malaysian Insider.

9th March 2014, 07:41 PM
Conviction of Malaysian opposition leader draws UN rights office concern (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=47299&Cr=justice&Cr1#.UxxPVvmSx8H)

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Rupert Colville, spokesperson for the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). UN Photo

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7 March 2014 – The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Pages/WelcomePage.aspx)) expressed serious concern today over the conviction of Malaysian opposition leader, Karpal Singh, who was found guilty of sedition late last month and is due to be sentenced on 11 March.

Under Malaysia’s 1948 Sedition Act, Mr. Singh was charged “after suggesting at a press conference in 2009 that it was possible to bring a legal challenge against a decision by the Sultan of the Malaysian state of Perak to dismiss the then Chief Minister,” explained (http://www.ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=14327&LangID=E)OHCHR spokesperson Rupert Colville in Geneva.

“The prosecution in the case argued that Mr. Singh’s words had the tendency to create hatred towards the Sultan,” he said.

“Lawyers must be able to discharge their professional functions without intimidation, hindrance or improper interference of any sort and should be entitled to express views in their professional capacities on matters concerning the law,” Mr. Colville continued.

In addition to being a prominent lawyer and a Member of Parliament, Mr. Singh is also the chairperson of Malaysia’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Action Party.

He faces a fine of up to 5,000 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately $1,500) and/or three years’ imprisonment. If he is fined more than 2,000 Malaysian Ringgit or sentenced to more than a year behind bars, he could lose his parliamentary membership.

“The 1948 Sedition Act is not in conformity with international human rights law. Using this law to limit freedom of expression and opinion could stifle enjoyment of these rights in Malaysia,” said Rupert Colville. “We urge the Government of Malaysia to review Mr. Singh’s conviction and to repeal the Sedition Act – something which the Prime Minister had, in 2012, publicly undertaken to do.”

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Malaysia: UN rights office urges Government to rethink ban of civil society group (http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=46907&Cr=Malaysia&Cr1=)

13th March 2014, 11:34 AM
Even if it is not making headlines any more, Kajang still matters to some (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/even-if-it-is-not-making-headlines-any-more-kajang-still-matters-to-some)

MARCH 13, 2014

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/prk_kajang_pix2_540_359_100.jpgDatuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (centre) is now contesting the Kajang by-election after her husband, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, was sentenced to four years' jail for sodomy. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 13, 2014.

Huge posters of a smiling Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail dominate strategic traffic intersections in Kajang. Below the PKR candidate’s profile is written: “Dari Kajang ke Putrajaya”.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/kajang-signpost2_130_116_100.jpgThis is the script that PKR is sticking to as it tries to spark flagging interest in a by-election that now does not seem as important as it was first made out to be.

That message is that the by-election is part of its larger campaign to gain federal power or the so-called “Kajang move”.

The scorching weather, haze, national attention on the missing MH370 and the Appeals Court ruling on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has sapped the energy from the by-election itself.

Dr Wan Azizah will go head to head with Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun in Kajang.

After all, there was attention on Kajang because it was Anwar’s vehicle into the state administration, and most probably into the menteri besar’s post.

It was something that PKR talked up as the “Kajang move” and which according to a Universiti Malaya survey and The Malaysian Insider’s own interviews with voters, sparked a lot of interest.

But despite the lukewarm appetite for the by-election, it is still seriously being pursued by both PKR and Barisan Nasional which hope to turn it into referendums on each other.

And at the centre of it is none other than Anwar himself, who despite being elsewhere other than in Kajang, still dominates the conversation just like how his wife dominates roadside posters.

In Dr Wan Azizah’s separate interviews with the media and in PKR press conferences, the topic of Anwar continues to crop up. This is also the case when talking to BN leaders and activists.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is spearheading BN’s whole by-election machinery, admitted that the Appeals Court ruling disqualifying Anwar was being made into an issue to get votes.

“These people have no other ideas. It is all about their accusations that we manipulated the courts. Our judiciary is independent,” Muhyiddin said recently after visiting the Taman Mesra BN operations centre in Kajang.

A BN activist met the same centre later said: “You should ask PKR. Don’t they have any other candidates? Why are they putting up recycled personalities?
“If the Federal Court frees Anwar and his wife is ADUN (member of the state legislature), is she going to resign so that he can contest again?”

Anwar can seek to overturn the Appeal Court ruling by filling a case at the Federal Court. If the Federal Court declares that he is ultimately not guilty, he would be eligible to contest again.

Muhyiddi also ran down the whole justification for PKR’s “Kajang move”.

“Now that Anwar can’t contest, the ‘Kajang move’ is pointless. Why did they even do this in the first place? This is something we want the rakyat to think about.”

PKR, on the other hand, hopes to reignite the 1998-99 reformasi spirit when Anwar was found guilty in his first sodomy case.

“When people see my face, they think of Anwar,” said Dr Wan Azizah in an interview yesterday.

“I want people to remember the injustice that we are fighting against,” she said, adding that the ruling could attract more Malay Muslim support to PKR.

Yet at the same time, both sides realise that it cannot just bank on how voters feel about the Appeal Court decision.

Dr Wan Azizah and PKR have drawn up an election manifesto that concentrates on four areas of concern for residents: crime, job opportunities, traffic congestion and municipal services.

These areas had also been identified as the top-most issues among voters by a Universti Malaya Centre for Elections and Democracy Studies (UMCEDEL) survey published on February 20.

The hope, said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli, was that the manifesto and the eventual delivery of its pledges would be seen as a model of PKR’s brand of good governance.

On the BN side, Chew has been busy making her rounds in the constituency ever since she was announced as candidate on February 21.

In her meetings with various groups, Chew has reportedly promised to take their grouses up to the state government when she was elected as their state representative.

She also uses her experience as a former deputy minister and two-term MP to sell herself as a committed public servant.

So while both BN and Pakatan’s political operators work overtime to inject their own national narratives of either injustice or abuse of the democratic process, the by-election itself may just pivot on who has the best plan to ease traffic congestion or rubbish collection.

At the end of the day, national tragedies may pass. But for Kajang residents this by-election could affect how safe their neighbourhoods are, the quality of their roads and whether the rubbish is picked up daily. – March 13, 2014.

24th March 2014, 12:25 PM
6:23PM Mar 23, 2014 PKR retains Kajang with reduced majority (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/257966)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/740/8a4f0ab5870a057ff2cc876df08c411f.jpg The tallying of votes for the Kajang by-election is currently underway and Malaysiakini is reporting the total number of votes received by BN and PKR according to their unofficial count.

The voter turnout today stands at 72 percent, which is significantly lower than the 88 percent recorded during the general election in May 5, 2013.

LIVE reports

9.10pm: Returning officer Hassan Nawawi announces Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as the new Kajang assemblyperson.

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/740/30060e9de37e5d8720220d7d93e3f7e6.jpg9.01pm - OFFICIAL RESULTS

PKR - 16,741
BN - 11,362

Majority - 5,379

9.05pm: Kampung Bukit Angkat - While MCA hails its increase in Chinese votes, party's Wanita chief Heng Seai Kie concedes BN lost Malay votes and speculated that some voters could have voted along racial lines.

Meanwhile, MCA president Liow Tiong Lai also conceded that the party has also lost ground among young voters and pledged to work harder to win them over.

"MCA promises transformation so as to strengthen the party. The support we received (from Chinese voters) has given us the spirit to continue our work," he says.

PM Najib Razak, who was scheduled to meet BN supporters in Kajang, has cancelled his plan at the last minute.

9pm: MCA operation centre - MCA candidate Chew Mei Fun, who has somehow accepted her defeat in by-election, congratulates PKR party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

Despite the defeat, Chew reveals that MCA has actually achieved two targets - reduce PKR majority votes and increase Chinese votes up to 25 percent.

She says the unofficial results show that the total Chinese vote for MCA has gone up from the previous 18 percent in last year's general election to 24.8 percent.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/vjKC_3xtRwKtSAYSMkgCDZJgpDke9X1zt6H7X1FakcOLS3w_Ww FvmBqwhKBAS8P5XsDgLImgOZoew5MkUCY=s0"We didn't manage to win this by-election, but in terms of unity of MCA, we have proven that...

"As the new leadership took over the party only two to three months ago, we have increased Chinese votes near to 25 percent - this is considered quite a good result," she enthuses.

One possible explanation to the increase of Chinese votes for MCA and a similar increase of Malay votes for PKR could be perhaps some of the Chinese and Malays voted along racial lines.

8.56pm: PKR operations headquarters - PKR communications director Fahmi Fadzil provides a quick analysis on the results:

https://lh6.ggpht.com/qTTDpZLliUzAxpPF6Fq88dIuJC-d-knhrZwAPkXXzOlxjxuUxgKFfil6mtSO2Bu0ROwEKs37FRwpRqZ M1x4=s0PKR won in two of Umno strongholds and reduced its rival's majority in two more.

According to him, PKR won Sungai Sekamat by 45 votes and Taman Delima by three votes compared to the last general election where it lost both areas by 239 votes and 123 votes respectively.

"At Sungai Kantan, we lost by 420 votes last time but it has reduced to 225 votes while at Batu 10 Cheras, it has similarly been reduced to 151 votes.

8.55pm: Anwar accompanies Wan Azizah arrive to the tallying centre. Also present are Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, PKR Wanita chief Zuraida Kamaruddin and a host of other PKR, PAS and DAP leaders.

There are no BN leaders around so Pakatan leaders occupy seats allocated for both parties.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/66i5viUjreUjDK7yLHYVQiEBw-neeW71aMStj9cATP-mgfB8eiEqCxaIpeH7_LDWurO4I93FAGN8HNLNtZQ=s08.53pm: A victorious Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrives at the MPKJ stadium.
The returning officer will announce the official results soon. Tenaga Nasional has send some workers to ensure that there are no blackouts at the tallying centre.
8.38pm: Some 150 people including BN supporters and journalists have converged at Kampung Bukit Angkat to await Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's arrival while also enjoying the local satay and nasi lemak.
Najib is expected to turn up and greet supporters but it is unclear if there will be any changes to the plan.

8.42pm: Unofficial final results:

PKR - 16,770
BN - 11,401

Majority - 5,369

Its winning majority is reduced by 1,455 votes on lower voter turnout of 72 percent.

At the 13th general election last year, PKR's Lim Chin Cheh won with a 6,824-vote majority. The voter turnout was 88 percent.

Both PKR and BN have increased the percentage of the votes.


2013 - 19,571/33,749 = 57.99%*

2014 - 16,770/28,171 = 59.53%

Increased by 1.54%


2013 - 12,747/33,749 = 37.77%*

2014 - 11,401/28,171 = 40.47%

Increased by 2.7%

*six-cornered fight. Note: Spoilt votes not factored in

24th March 2014, 12:31 PM
7:22AM Mar 24, 2014 A bittersweet victory in Kajang? (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/257990)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/740/d68380c059f2b92378022b4a97f5d4d5.jpg COMMENT As expected, the opposition PKR won the Kajang by-election. It did so with a smaller majority in number of voters, 5,379, but a larger share of the overall vote, up from 56.8 percent to 59.1 percent.

This was an important win for the opposition. Yet, the results did not send the decisive signal of a growing groundswell of support for Pakatan Rakyat nor did it send a signal of gains for the incumbent BN government, which ordinarily in a time of national crisis would have won stronger support.

Rather it points to minor shifts in voting behaviour that suggest both sides need to improve their strategies of engagement with voters.

Disjointed campaign

Kajang is a constituency with a long history of political activism. Close to Kuala Lumpur and one of Malaysia's national universities, the roots of political activity run deep. In fact one of the striking features of this seat is how few fence-sitters there were, with both sides trying hard to convert the converted.

The campaign evolved from a focus on the 'Kajang Move' resulting from tensions over the state leadership in PKR to the sentencing of party’s de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim. It changed from disadvantaging the opposition to placing the government on the defensive.

There was an element of stepping back in time to a period where outrage over a politically motivated conviction moved voters. Based on focus group discussions and interviews, the sentencing of Anwar over a decade ago was the number one issue that influenced voting behaviour.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/Ky50FMo8m9S5okjDmqwV6P-O57I3rh4GXPQEDp_WRFIBsg9pn8GD4Bcnjky4EMMjvGymqEOkf OIK3uKTIQ=s0In this rerun, there was less anger and more resignation. The majority of voters nevertheless sent a clear signal that the methods used by the BN towards the opposition were not acceptable.

Despite the core issue, the two-month campaign was filled the conflicting and confusing messaging. The mantra of ‘Wan Azizah to Putrajaya’ just did not make sense to many voters, who were not sure whether she was running for the state leadership or national power. It was also not clear if they were voting for her or her husband, Anwar.

If confusion clouded the votes for Pakatan, then contradictions were paramount in the BN messaging. BN moved from highlighting division in the opposition to promoting a racially divisive message calling for the Chinese to vote along ethnic lines.

The messaging was all over the place, as both the BN and Pakatan used every play in the book to win voters with limited results. Neither side evoked the 'spirit' as it was not clear who was more tired - the campaigners or the voters.

Indeed, both sides relied on the old playbook in their campaigning. BR1M 3.0, transportation allowances and 'gifts' of food were the dominant mode of BN engagement, with efforts focused on maintaining their political base - although comparatively less money was spent on this 'buy'-election than others.

This vote buying was buttressed by grassroots mobilisation of both the Umno and MCA political base with appeals along racial lines. MCA was more explicit in its call to vote for a Chinese representative, although race and religion were a major undertone on all sides.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/rW8c4acIzdw2SscmyDKXOK-5mfCvUt298U_AIHY2HF2fn2X6ADo_7Kzme1RDhy_nZZZfYfS_q bEC3tTYCQGz=s0For Pakatan, the 'Putrajaya' song was replayed but it seemed out of tune with this by-election. With political infighting within the opposition over the Selangor government and jockeying for positions within PKR for its May party polls close to the surface, the dance steps to the music seemed unclear, with the campaign itself highly decentralised, uneven and disjointed.

In terms of coordination, there was a flashback to the Hulu Selangor by-election, where PKR contenders did not appear to be helping each other. The overall focus seemed on winning power rather than representing people, with a campaign heavily personality based.

The opposition appeared to be replaying Reformasi 2.0 without a clear programme and plan on what the revised reform programme would be.

Lackluster turnout

The end result is that the campaign relied on negative messaging on both sides, alienating those in the middle. The level of inspiration was overall missing. Those aligned came out to vote, with those less connected staying at home.

Beyond the messaging and campaigning, four factors help us understand why fewer voters came to the polls.

Foremost is the impact of MH370 which overshadowed the campaign. For many Malaysians this crisis, this period of loss for the families and commitment to finding the plane was far more important that the continued saga of BN-Pakatan political contestation.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/d4Z786y_JBIr8Z00LXkGHn_iFFbj0nusbitmqsECg1lI1t3dIY-5htGUo0KRnmTbJb1Av_dnBnpGX_l19xA=s0Frankly, many voters could not be bothered with what some saw as the persistent petty squabbling of politicians. Elites across the political spectrum do not appreciate that many in the public are tired of the fighting and focus on winning power rather than governance. MH370 brought this home, eclipsing the campaign.

An estimated quarter of voters lived outside of Kajang, disproportionately Chinese and younger voters. With the Ching Ming festival beginning next weekend, many Chinese voters did not return for the polls. The timing of the by-election appeared to be set carefully to make it less viable for more opposition-inclined voters to come back and vote.

Along with timing, the incentive to vote was not as strong. This involved, for some voters, financial incentives, with fewer goodies distributed. But the main deterrent was that this vote was a 'sure win' for the opposition and many voters did not think their vote was needed.

Finally, this election was not seen as making a difference. While the opposition touted the election's symbolic value, there was little doubt who would win and whether it would matter.

In addition, many voters are losing faith in elections - not helped by yet another 'blackout' during counting in this by-election reported in Sungai Chua. Doubts were also centred on what would happen after the elections with regard to the Selangor government.

The impact on political power at the national or state level was not clear. The reasons to come out to vote beyond Anwar did not resonate with voters. It is thus no wonder that 16 percent less turnout was recorded.

Shifts in voting behaviour

In spite of this, there are important shifts in the voting behaviour. The results were affected by the straight-fight (no independent candidates) dynamic, but not completely so.

There are small changes to the status quo in voting. Already reported are swings among Chinese and Malay voters, ranging from seven to 10 percent.

Let's take the Chinese voters first. This swing towards BN needs to be treated with caution as it is the Chinese youth primarily who did not return to vote, and if they had, the outcome would have looked very similar to the 2013 results. At best, the MCA held onto its political base, especially older and female voters.

Its focus on local issues kept many of its loyal voters, and its appeal to racial representation reinforced traditional affinities. A closer look shows that the MCA gains were not substantive, although to keep its base in the current context showed some resilience among its voters where they have had decades of grassroots support.

What stands out however is that MCA continues to have very minor level of support among the constituency it claims to represent, reinforcing its persistent legitimacy crisis and weakness within the Umno-led government.

https://lh6.ggpht.com/Phk4dNYiqWhYk-8z5-1jveIPTlvaJYcMGOAJrTAmjBDtqRsTtr-pNplXO4bhCHXWM0yMwhMJKycpB6a6pgY=s0The Malay swing towards the opposition is more meaningful. There were fewer Malay voters living outside the constituency, and interviews pointed to some shifts in loyalties. These were concentrated among Malay women and younger Malay voters.

The connection to PKR’s Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and the sympathy she invoked resonated, along with increasing frustration with higher costs of living. For the first time since 1999, a plurality of Malays appeared to have voted for the opposition in this constituency, revealing a decline in support in the Umno base.

Part of this can be explained by the Umno campaign, less spending and the fact that the PKR candidate was a Malay. The results however reveal the main challenge ahead for Umno lies with the disconnect between its promises and governance in the post-GE13 environment, especially in managing the economy.

Prime Minister Najib Razak's political legitimacy is dwindling as it appears that he is losing ground among the group his party touts itself to represent.

While race still is the dominant paradigm to interpret the results, the meaningful fault lines in this election were generation and gender divides. PKR did capture the majority of youth, as it did in 2008 and 1999, with the BN relying heavily on older voters.

BN on its part continued to win over women, although not to the same extent as before, especially among younger women.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/qZOri8BFV_kJ0-aF2fcGBdioraIwntlQ9jWbnsHLadMavBT8xeiOU6H4ueG1VBFB gws5GbGboMo5RyxvnA=s0With two women in the campaign, the mobilisation of women was evident, and this helps us to understand the persistent Chinese base for MCA (disproportionately female and connected with Chew Mei Fun's style) and the decline of support for BN among Malays, who are more connected to Wan Azizah.

If there are any implications evident in this by-election from voting behavior, it is that women and youth still hold the future trajectory of electoral victory for either side.

Rocky path ahead

This by-election is just one of the many battles for Malaysia's continued polarised political contestation.

This 'sure win' will be followed by what will likely be a decisive victory for BN in Balingian, Sarawak. What makes Kajang more impactful is its multiethnic composition and the effects on the opposition leadership.

For Najib's government, the post-GE13 climate is much harder to navigate as the policies of cutting back subsidies and the resultant higher cost of living are hurting its base particularly hard.

The prominent use of racial politics narrows its ability to reach out to the non-Malays. Najib as a leader has been weakened and has less electoral appeal. Infighting within his own party continues to percolate, as the PM continues to face discontent within Umno. The by-election results, especially the changes in Malay votes, will place additional pressure on Najib.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/cfo0YtiMg58qBk32sgaOTORPm6bm8FoN-fiBUPCH05p6NRQ_Uwtfs9WVB0xK5GtZQEUlc0ME2Xjr5I_97IT d=s0For the opposition, the battle will be inside Pakatan. The fulcrum will move back to the reasons for the 'Kajang Move' in the first place and disagreements over leadership. The struggle for power in Selangor will continue and infighting within the opposition will persist until it is resolved, likely with the PKR May polls.

Voters will have to deal with both sides focusing on internal politicking rather than governance. Kajang may seem sweet for both sides giving it a reduced majority and victory respectively, but the bitterness is coming.

Given the distractions from attention to the problems of ordinary citizens, both sides need to keep in mind that the real bitterness they have to worry about is further alienation from a public who would like less focus on politics and more attention to people.

DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. She can be reached atbwelsh@smu.edu.sg.

24th March 2014, 12:33 PM
How many more Kajang moves must the public endure? (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/how-many-more-kajang-moves-the-public-must-endure)
MARCH 24, 2014

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/KAJANG_BY-ELECTION-azmin-anwar_ibrahim-wan_azizah-khalid_ibrahim-23031-TMI-NAJJUA_540_369_100.jpgPKR leaders (from left) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim celebrating Dr Wan Azizah's victory in the Kajang by-election last night. The victory does not resolve the Selangor menteri besar question. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 24, 2014.
So is Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail going to be menteri besar now?

That question seems like pouring cold water on all the cheering and back-slapping that was going on last night after PKR’s Dr Wan Azizah was declared the winner in the Kajang by-election.

Yet, that was the question and it was asked repeatedly by the media because it was the reason behind the by-election in the first place.

Going by the party leaders’ replies, no concrete answer will be forthcoming any time soon. There is speculation, however, that she will not be taking over from Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim but will instead hold a senior post in his administration.

Pakatan’s critics have said the vagueness about this whole exercise and why it was done represents a bigger problem of leadership in Pakatan Selangor.

Others argue that it is valid strategy in the face of the imperfections of Malaysia’s democratic system.

Public but sensitive

“Let us concentrate on Kajang first. We want to implement what was promised in our manifesto for the Kajang folk,” Dr Wan Azizah told reporters yesterday.

“We want to improve our administrative performance. This is not a question of any individual,” said Selangor PKR chief Azmin Ali when asked the same question.

The “menteri besar issue” was a ghost that followed Dr Wan Azizah and the Pakatan machinery throughout the campaign and its sensitivity is seen in how quickly the question is deflected whenever it was brought up.

PKR leaders have admitted that the Kajang by-election was triggered so that party supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim could replace Khalid.

Anwar was supposed to contest in Kajang until an Appeal Court verdict upholding his earlier conviction for sodomy disqualified him from contesting.

PKR justified the exercise, dubbed the “Kajang move”, as a way to bolster the Selangor government’s ability to deal with political crises and attacks from Umno.

It was to also solve an internal feud between Khalid and party Selangor chief Azmin Ali.

“Let us win the election first then we’ll figure those things out” was the standard answer, given by PKR leaders and Dr Wan Azizah herself when asked about it during the campaign.

But the issue was a potent weapon in the psychological war that was waged for the hearts and minds of fence-sitters up until voting day yesterday.

PKR claimed to have stopped a lorry in Sungai Kantan which carried posters that copied the iconic design of Dr Wan Azizah’s profile with the slogan “From Kajang to Putrajaya”.
Instead, the slogan had been replaced with “Vote for Wan Azizah, the Selangor menteri besar candidate”.

No one has claimed responsibility for the posters but the aim can be guessed at.

They were targeted at the sizeable number of PAS members and supporters in the Malay Muslim enclave of Sungai Kantan.

The Islamist party has gone on record as saying that the question of who is the menteri besar, or who replaces Khalid was a separate matter from the by-election.

It other words, it does not buy into PKR’s justification that Anwar needs to replace Khalid. Or that it Khalid is replaced, it should be someone from PKR and not from PAS.
The posters then, it is speculated, were designed to sow distrust among PAS supporters so that they would not come out and vote.

If voters think it is ok, then is it wrong?

The touchiness of the issue, even while the party has made it public, is why observers such as political analyst Khoo Kay Peng still feel that the by election was a waste of time.

If the logic is to replace Khalid with someone else, why should that person have a court case hanging over his head which could disqualify him at the last minute? asked Khoo.

“Also, is Pakatan saying that their solution to problems is Anwar? That without Anwar, you cannot solve problems? So instead of institutions, we get personality politics from Pakatan. This does not bode well,” said Khoo.

On the other hand, PKR itself feels that Dr Wan Azizah’s victory and the increased percentage of popular votes the party received meant that voters did not have a problem with the “Kajang move”.

“The polemics surrounding the ‘Kajang move’ did not affect our chances,” said PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli.

Another view is that the whole exercise was necessary because of Malaysia’s imperfect parliamentary system that is heavily tilted to whoever holds administrative power.

“Pakatan can win 49 per cent of all seats in Malaysia but that counts for nothing,” said political analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat.

“A federal opposition leader has no respect and no power compared with even a menteri besar of the smallest state. Its only when you have power that you enact real reform.”

In parliamentary systems, Wong said, the party leader must become the government leader so that government policy paralleled party ideology and principles.

Wong said it was an imperfect solution, but one that suited our imperfect system.

So perhaps the question should be not whether Wan Azizah is going to be menteri besar. But how many more “Kajang moves” must the public endure and would they be worth it? –

March 24, 2014.

24th March 2014, 12:37 PM
Chinese not returning to BN, they just didn’t return to vote, says DAP (http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/chinese-not-returning-to-bn-they-just-didnt-return-to-vote-says-dap)BY EILEEN NG
MARCH 24, 2014

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/MUHYIDDIN_YASSIN_KAJANG_240214_TMINAJJUA_03_540_36 0_100.jpgMCA says more Chinese voted for its candidate Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun (right) in the Kajang by-election. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 24, 2014.DAP poured cold water on MCA's claims that Chinese voters were returning to the Barisan Nasional, and said it was due to outstation Chinese voters who did not come back to vote.

DAP strategist Dr Ong Kian Ming, conceding there was a decrease of support for PKR in yesterday's poll, said this was due to the lower turnout, which included many of the 2,400 outstation voters who did not return to vote.

He attributed it to the fact that PKR was expected to retain the seat as well as the timing of the by-election, held 1½ months after the Chinese New Year celebrations.

"Many of them are living outside Kajang and the majority are Chinese working in Johor and Singapore. They won't come back again, especially when the outcome is not in doubt.

"If I was MCA, I would not be so confident because these outstation voters are young and tend to vote for Pakatan," he told The Malaysian Insider last night.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/assets/uploads/resizer/ong_kian_ming_300_200_100.jpgOng (pic, left), who is the Serdang MP, estimated that turnout among the 16,000 Chinese voters was less than 70%, as opposed to GE13 where it was over 85%.

Although MCA, a senior partner in the ruling Barisan Nasional pact, failed to wrest the seat back from PKR, it was happy that it managed to reduce PKR's majority and more importantly, boost its Chinese vote share from 18% in the May national polls to 25% in the by-election.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail easily won the urban mixed seat against BN's Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, but with a majority of 5,379, less than the 6,824 vote majority PKR received in last year's general election.

PKR had been expected to win the seat, but after voting closed at 5pm with 72% turnout, party campaigners conceded that they would not be able to match the majority it got in the 13th general election.

In May last year, PKR's Lee Chin Cheh won the seat by obtaining 19,571 votes, defeating BN's Lee Ban Seng who got 12,747 votes, on the back of a 88% voter turnout.

Lee resigned in January, triggering the by-election.

The by-election result is a shot in the arm for MCA after six years of falling support.

Since the 2008 general election, the party has been deserted by the minority Chinese community, who were drawn to Pakatan Rakyat's pledge to tackle corruption and end affirmative action policies that many said only benefitted a small group of people.

The Chinese party has also been mired in numerous internal crisis that saw several leadership changes.

Suffering from the perception that it is unable to check its big brother Umno, its image was dealt a further blow when it decided to go back on its decision not to take up government posts after GE13.

MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai conceded his party had lost ground among young voters but pledged that it will work harder to woo them.

He expressed hopes that the increase in support among the Chinese voters will continue.

"The support we received from the Chinese voters have strenghtened our spirits and given us the impetus to work harder," he said. – March 24, 2014.

24th March 2014, 07:23 PM
4:58PM Mar 24, 2014 Tee Keat: Face it MCA, Kajang a severe defeat (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/258059)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/739/f07979658fc0acaa3a915d04050776d5.jpg Despite MCA's efforts to portray yesterday's by-election as a small victory in gaining Chinese support, its former chief says party leaders should drop their "denial syndrome" and face the fact it was a "severe defeat".

"We are one week away from 100 days in power for the current leadership of MCA.

"My personal assessment is that they have little to show for it other than a costly extraordinary general meeting (EGM) and a severe defeat in a by-election," said Ong Tee Keat in a statement today.

"Most importantly we need to ask ourselves why a MCA vice president heavily favoured by the MCA president, managed to lose 14 out of 16 PDM (polling districts), including those won in GE13 and other previously 'stronghold' areas," he said.

https://lh5.ggpht.com/2AFYVjsPD47JnHzDTOuXDAEwqRpTEZVViQWGLIL0OqTMCS2iQG jGkUvF3hurA85XA8j5IMABmfWxH_KHTA=s0Ong (left) called for an end to the "denial syndrome" over Kajang candidate Chew Mei Fun's defeat at the hands of PKR president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, saying "a serious postmortem into the performance of MCA" at the poll is needed.

"It is no point to harp on a negligible change in voter sentiment from a particular community," he said.

Despite heavy backing from the BN government, Chew lost to Wan Azizah by 5,379 out of a total 28,103 votes cast.

While PKR saw a reduced majority in real terms due to the lower turnout, in percentage terms it gained an additional 2.2 percent from GE13.

MCA however trumpeted its apparent 7 percent gain in Chinese votes as a minor victory for a party struggling to regain the community's support.

24th March 2014, 07:26 PM
3:23PM Mar 24, 2014
'Tense atmosphere may have caused low turnout' (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/258046)

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http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/739/6dd2d4f340336f3be45bb0a23ebdfaa1.jpg A combination of heavy riot police presence, over-enthusiastic supporters and poor polling station arrangements by the Election Commission (EC) may have contributed to the low turnout for the Kajang by-election, election watchdog Malaysians for Free and Fair Election (Mafrel) says.

Mafrel chairperson Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh said observation at two polling stations, Sekolah Rendah Agama Batu 10 and Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Sekamat, saw party supporters attempting to court voters, even though the campaigning period was over.

"As emotions ran high under the hot sun, I observed a few scuffles between party supporters of contesting candidates, prompting the presence of Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) trucks," Syed Ibrahim said in a statement today.

https://lh4.ggpht.com/5xImXO32nNF2tmTbozW_oUOnPFKBf5stevPQWG2sDd0Iu2JFus JKL_dzbLYfo_g0mg5ETFXRcwePJ0eTiQ=s0He added that heavy police presence may have also discouraged voters from coming out.

"I observed that at 3.15pm, suddenly a convoy of buses and trucks carrying FRU and Light Strike Force men entered the polling stations (in Sungai Chua).

"Was it preventive action by the security forces or was it an attempt to intimidate voters, especially in a Chinese majority area?" he said.

https://lh3.ggpht.com/TyUfd6-wlwpzqo59xalke-zKcxpOgQ9Qh9Cjn8R1FTtmO78wBLeq5y30xxs-vGuSMkmTQsV9QY4q6GA6qQ=s0Syed Ibrahim (left) said the poor arrangement of polling stations in Sungai Chua also resulted in bad traffic congestion.

"Four voting stations (in Sungai Chua) were placed in a one kilometre radius using the same narrow access road that is only suitable for light vehicles," he said.

He added that EC's intention may have been good to make it convenient for voters but placing so many polling stations close to each other could have the opposite effect.

Pollster Ilham Centre in a survey released yesterday also acknowledged Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's conviction and missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 which grabbed headlines had distracted voters from the by-election.

It said these events had caused the attention of Malaysians and particularly Kajang residents, to shift day by day throughout the Kajang by-election period

27th March 2014, 06:18 AM
11:58AM Mar 24, 2014 Lessons from Kajang polls - winners and losers (http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/258012)

http://mk-cdn.mkini.net/740/63057df00f4bae2a20b33a5c93bef9cd.jpg The results of the just-concluded Kajang by-election will subsequently be reduced to a diagnostic, academic exercise as arguments, justifications and interpretations keep hogging the mediascape.

BN has already started presenting its viewpoints along race-based analysis consistent with its long years of race-based politics. Some others within Pakatan would also fall into the same gutter as they share their seemingly learned viewpoints on the winning.

But here are some lessons for both winners and losers. The bottom-line is pay attention to common sense and logic. Look at the outcomes through the lenses of the rakyat allowing humility and commitment to take precedence and priority.

Lesson One: On learning about BN losing, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should not have changed his mind. He should have appeared in Kajang as was reported he would, earlier.

By not appearing before the rakyat there, he has sent two very strong messages. First, that he is more a president of partisan politics rather than a prime minister for all people irrespective of who or which party they voted for.

Second, it clearly drives home the perception that the president of the BN political party does not even honour the thousands who still voted for his party. That is a letdown. The people who still cast their precious vote will in all likelihood take this into cognisance the next time around. Malaysians ‘mudah lupa’ is being already proven as a fallacy.

In fact, if the prime minister had turned up and went about to congratulate the winning party and candidate, he certainly would have won greater admiration even amongst those who cast a vote for his opponents.

Lesson Two: BN losing the by-election was a forgone conclusion from day one. That, BN would have known from the very start. Hence the knee jerk reactions as soon as news got around that Anwar Ibrahim would be contesting the forced-vacant seat.

When you know you are contesting against all odds, your campaign strategies cannot hinge on the unrelenting, battering and humiliating tactics targeted at your opponents.

Instead you should have seized upon a positive and ‘healing-touch’ approach where you showcase your success stories in the constituency even though you lost badly in the last elections here. It is all about the power of magnanimity.

But it takes courage and conviction to show a humane, principle-centred approach in your campaign trail. That can only happen if you have a track record of above-the-belt party politics.

Lesson Three: The fact that the tallying centre saw a significant absence of BN leaders whereas the entire machinery of leadership from the opposition congregated, is a lost opportunity for BN. Therefore the BN leadership has only itself to blame for the future.

As much as you tried to muscle your presence by sending military artillery to be stationed at the Kajang Stadium, you have also bazooka-blown your reputation with your total absence at the centre.

A woman of hope

Lesson Four: This lesson is for the winning team. While congratulations and blessings of hope are rightfully showered upon Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, she needs to know that the countdown of her coalition’s march to the MB’s office or to Putrajaya has begun.

And she is at the forefront of this potentially and highly possible defining moment-of-truth in the history of this nation.

Therefore, Wan Azizah needs to recognise that she needs to be seen more in the constituency. She needs to walk the talk more. She must recognise that she is perceived as a woman of hope and as the wife of a man who is brutalised by his opponents.

As such she has every opportunity to keep increasing the winning of the hearts and minds of the whole nation.

By appearing and participating more frequently amongst the local Kajang folk at public places like markets, shopping centres, community functions, etc, she will garner a national image of a caring, concerned woman, mother, wife, sister - a capacity-leader with a face, a heart and total presence.

Although it is easier said then done; although arguments will keep popping up that there are more important things to do as an elected representative, do not discount the Malaysian mindset and human behaviour.

Do not make the same mistakes that BN so often finds itself entrenched in.

Lesson Five: Pakatan must take inventory of yet another crucial fact. Each time its coalition draws to an election date, that which spills out in the public foyer is talk of divisiveness within its barracks.

From now on, if Pakatan is serious about Putrajaya, it must have zero-tolerance policy and action on divisive, internal bickering politics. It cannot discount that crucial need to put up a truly united front. Otherwise be prepared for another 52 percent winnings in the next general election.

It better be a ‘Walk the Talk’ and ‘Talk the Walk’ crusade within Pakatan.

Lesson Six: Both BN and Pakatan need to accept that unwritten rule that at the end of the day winning an election is not about statistics. It is about perceptions that lead to action.

What is significant in the just concluded election is that Malaysians are marching beyond the borders of race and religious prejudices, hatred and blinkered visions. What is driving the fast-growing awareness amongst the voting population is that this nation is for all citizens.

People as a result of the increasing economic and financial hardships are beginning to recognise that here is a nation that need not be poor. As such, they will seek out leadership that thrives on principle-centred thinking and actions.

The old school that promotes gerrymandering will not hold water in next general election. If the practice continues, then the nation must be prepared for greater chaos. Guns and gunpowder, or muscles and fists will not gain support from the voting population.

As in the song of Bob Dylan, the times they are a changin.

Once again syabas to the winner; and shame on you losers for not being a sport but choosing partisan politics.