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Thread: Sibu By-election: DAP Donation Campaign

   
   
       
  1. #11
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    Re: Sibu By-election: Wong Ho Leng's Victory Speech

    This is the breakthrough in Sarawak that we have been yearning for. DAP won despite the massive corruption, bribery, cheating, even up to the last minute at the SPR Postal Vote Counting Centre.

    Speech by Wong Ho Leng, newly elected MP of P212 on 16th May 2010 at the announcement of the results of the Sibu by-election

    1. Terima kasih Sibu. Terima kasih Malaysia.

    2. One small step in winning Sibu is one big step in winning power in Petrajaya, and a giant step forward in winning power in Putrajaya.

    3. Change we can. Tonight, the people of Sibu have created history.

    4. Together we won an election that was deemed impossible just a week ago, against the full brunt of the Barisan Nasional money and government machinery.

    5. It is a miracle that we created together.

    6. Forever, the history of Malaysia will remember 16th May 2010 as the begining of the awakening of Sarawak, and Sibu as the bastion of hope for all Malaysians.

    7. From now on, no one will take us - the people of Sarawak - for granted.

    8. The victory is not just a victory for DAP. It is a victory for the people of Sibu, Sarawak and Malaysia.

    9. I wish to thank all voters of Sibu for making this bold and historic decision.

    10. Let me assure you that I will serve all voters of Sibu, regardless of whether you have voted for me or not.

    11. And I will speak up for all fellow Malaysians to bring about fundamental change for Sarawak and Malaysia.

    12. Finally, to DAP members and leaders, partners in Pakatan Rakyat and all volunteers who worked tirelessly for this by-election, from the very bottom of my heart, thank you.

    Wong Ho Leng
    MP, Sibu

    py

  2. #12
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    Re: Sibu By-election: Analysis by Dr Rafick

    Good analysis by Dr. Rafick. Sudden surge in votes at the last minute equal to no. of postal voters. In one centre, at 2pm, the turnout was only 40+%. How do we explain another 30% voted in the last 3 hours?

    Solution: The SPR must be supervised by an independent Elections Commission Supervisory Board that answers to Parliament and it is run by non-political civil society leaders.

    Politics is too important to be left to politicians alone. The combination of power and unrestricted access to the national resources is too tempting for most human beings.

    A few pertinent questions:

    Why do we need postal votes at all for all personnel stationed in the country?

    They should vote in the voting centres just like everyone else.

    Why are spouses of postal voters also allowed as postal voter. They should be ordinary voters. If they need to go back to their home polling station, they should do it just like everybody else.

    If postal votes are offered to govt servants stationed overseas, why is it not extended to citizens overseas. Every nation does that, even Bangladesh, Philippines and Indosesia.

    We need indelible ink to mark all voters who voted.


    1. The SIBU by election and any other by election that will take place between now and the next General Election will show the same pattern of financial abuse by the ruling government. They will divert funds from other places to a particular parliamentary or state constituency to ensure that they can buy the people’s heart. Unfortunately, many of us are easily bought. Many see what the government does in two weeks prior to a by- election and not in the last 5 years or what they have planned for the people in the next 5 years. I would prefer the people to look at track records in the last few years before making a decision.


    2. As always the postal votes became an issue. I was following the minute by minute development on Malaysiakini and Anilnetto.com. From what transpired last night, PR could have lost the election due to postal votes and what I suspect is a massive vote tampering. This could be appreciated from the inconsistent announcement by EC at the end of voting time and his subsequent announcements. It gave rise to unnecessary suspicion among the people on the fairness of the EC. At the peak, DAP was leading by approximately 4000 votes and by the time the result was announced, they were lucky to have won by 398 votes.
    I don’t understand on why EC need to do such a thing.


    3. My research on the internet, shows the following;


    1. From the EC press release on voters turnout (BERNAMA)
    1. Total No. of Registered Voters : 54,695 (including 2,537 postal voters)
    2. Number of voters who cast ballots : 32,742
    3. Voter turnout : 59.86 per cent


    2. From the EC official results announcement (BERNAMA)
    1. Robert Lau Hui Yew (BN) – 18,447 votes
    2. Narawi Haron (INDEPENDENT) – 232 votes
    3. Wong Ho Leng (DAP) – 18,845 votes
    4. Votes cast : 37,919


    3. The difference between announce turnout and actual count is 5177 votes (ballot paper)
    (or about 2x postal ballot )


    4. From the above we could see that 5177 additional ballot paper has come in into the final tally. A few hundred more ballot papers, PR would have lost Sibu as how they have lost Batang Ai. These is something that EC need to explain. Can it be that they made a mistake at the original announcement? It sounds so unlikely. It is time a special select committee at Parliament look at this matter seriously. They need to scrutinize each individual ballot papers and voters listing tally in detail. Credibility of Malaysian Voting system is at stake here.


    5. Sometime between 800 pm to 900pm last night, unverified news spread over twitter and Anill blog that DPM has left Sibu for the airport. It was also reported on MALAYSIAKINI that DPM has cancelled the planned press conference which is to be held later that day. Why did DPM left Sibu while the EC has not finished counting? I would say it is very strange indeed. It is as if he knew of the outcome of the election. Under no circumstances, the Deputy Chairman of BN would have left Sibu unless he had been tipped on the outcome. In fact by 900pm+, BN local war lords have left the counting center. Something just does not add up.


    6. My expectation is simple. EC needs to show that they are being fair. They need to be transparent on all the process and procedures. They need to create an environment where people can vote with ease and under no pressure at all. At the moment this is currently lacking especially when it comes to postal votes. Soldiers and the police cannot vote in the confidence that their ballot paper is secret.


    7. They cannot vote true to their conscience when mentally they are under pressure of their Commanding Officer, Adjutants and Admin Officers. For that reason, soldiers voting process need to be reviewed thoroughly. They cannot vote in their camps and the voting exercise cannot be done by officers. It has to be done by civilians appointed by the EC.

    As for the PR (DAP), they would have lost Sibu if they did not get such a commanding lead. The 5177 ballot papers that were pumped in did not help! Is it a coincident that the difference is equivalent to 2x postal votes! rights2write.
    py

  3. #13
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    Re: Sibu By-election: Najib asked - Do we have a deal?

    Najib offered RM5 million to Rejang Park if they delivered the Sibu seat to Robert Lau.

    He asked: Do we have a deal? Listen to: Najib: You help me, I help you .

    This UMNO Bodoh-Sombong just cannot understand that he has violated a very fundamental cultural taboo

    "Bai jia zi" - a family wastrel, who is squandering the hard-earned assets of his forefathers - a cardinal sin in Chinese society, especially among those who had to sweat and slog for their money. That is what the people of Sibu are angry about.

    Such principles are beyond UMNO. All they know is how to grab the nation's money, thinking it belongs to them and them use part of it to bribe the vulnerable groups.

    Is this an electoral offence? Apparently, the SPR thinks not.

    Next question: Is the SPR neutral and capable of acting in a fair manner? Response by sam.. Observe his arrogance and lack of shame in trying to bribe the people of Sibu using the rakyat's money.

    Obviously not.

    Solution: An Elections Commission Supervisory Board.

    They are not going to do it willingly. We need a million-strong BERSIH II to do the job.

    Meanwhile, continue with voter registration. That is the SPR's Achilles Heel.

    Meanwhile Karpal demands the SPR investigates Najib for corruption. Only the Sabah Eastern Times published his offer in the mainstream media. He has advised the DAP leaders in Sibu to lodge a police report. If Najib is not careful, they could be a by-election in Pekan soon. Karpal: Najib violated election law.
    py

  4. #14
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    Re: Sibu By-election: DAP Donation Campaign

    Lim said the Sibu results showed a swing of 6.4 per cent of Chinese voters from 63 per cent to 69.4 per cent while there was an “interesting” increase of about 2.7 per cent in the Malay/Melanau votes as compared to the results of Election2008.

    “The SUPP/BN campaign in Sibu was most successful in locking up the Iban long houses with twin politics of money and intimidation, resulting in the DAP candidate suffering a 2.6 per cent marginal marginal loss of Iban votes,” he said.


    Sibu renews Putrajaya dream, says Kit Siang
    By Clara Chooi

    May 18, 2010

    KUALA LUMPUR, May 18 TheMalaysiaInsider....
    py

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    Re: Sibu By-election: Analysis - Rocky road ahead for SUPP

    SUPP defeat spells rocky days ahead

    Joseph Tawie
    Monday, 17 May 2010 11:56

    THE Barisan Nasional-Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) has failed to retain the Sibu parliamentary seat despite massive injection of money worth more than RM400mil and the promise of more to come for various development projects and other “goodies”.

    Robert Lau Hui Yew secured 18,477 votes as against Wong Ho Leng's 18,845 votes, a 398-vote majority in one of the most hotly contested by-election.

    The May 16 by-election was held after the death of Robert Lau Hoi Chew on April 9.

    Serious setback

    “This is a serious setback for the Barisan Nasional especially for SUPP,” said a political observer.

    The defeat must have been very bitter especially after all federal ministers including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin put their hearts into the campaign.
    muhyiddininsibu
    Muhyiddin (right), Taib (left), Chan and the BN team will have a lot to mull over following their failure to retain Sibu.
    Najib himself made three campaign visits here to ensure the BN’s victory.

    The BN was determined to add another victory to its number of MPs after its victory on the April 25 by-election in Hulu Selangor. But all their efforts were in vain.

    So the BN leadership must be wondering what went wrong with their campaigns, their promises and their policies.

    The Sibu victory means the opposition has now won eight out of 11 by-elections since the BN was bruised in 2008 national polls.

    Many see the rejection as a clear signal of not only troubles to come for the Barisan Nasional particularly SUPP in the coming state election, which is less than a year from now, but one that may start the “vote4change” tsunami in the state, which has been controlled by the state Barisan under Abdul Taib Mahmud for more than 29 years.

    Taib govt a core issue


    In this by-election, Taib and his administration have been one of the core issues so much so that Taib appeared to be a liability. It is said that Najib had advised him not to campaign in the town areas, otherwise more Chinese would vote for DAP.

    DAP has accused Taib’s politics of development as “politics of discrimination, nepotism and corruption”.

    The policy on land and NCR land, the awarding of timber concessions and government contracts were examples of injustice and unfairness.

    And even Wisma Sanyan – the tallest building in town, which Taib’s brother owns – also became an issue.

    And SUPP, being part of the government, is also to be blamed for the discriminatory policies in particular against the ordinary Chinese, while the wealthy and influential Chinese became richer.

    Even the Ibans in the rural areas were badly affected by these policies. The lack of infrastructure, the absence of clean water and electricity supply in some of the 110 longhouses were examples of neglect.

    When Najib went to one of the longhouses to campaign, he saw some houses had no electricity. He was very embarrassed and ordered an immediate power supply. Luckily, there were some Sesco wiremen following Najib.

    Unresolved Dudong factor

    Another factor that might have contributed to SUPP’s failure to retain the seat was the prolonged bickering over the formation of the Dudong branch.

    The leader of the Dudong branch and over 3,000 of his supporters were excluded in the campaign.

    Other causes of SUPP’s defeat were the fewer number of postal votes (2,673) compared with the previous one of slightly over 3,000 votes and also the transfer of more than 3,000 voters from Sibu parliamentary constituency to Lanang parliamentary constituency.

    Implications of the defeat are aplenty.

    And the obvious one is that money is not the determining factor as far as the Chinese voters are concerned. The Chinese considered the giving of money during a by-election as proof that the government is insincere in helping the people who have been suffering for decades.

    “Why should we wait for a by-election for the Barisan Nasional to pour money into the constituency?” asked a retired civil servant.

    It is as if people can only expect government allocations if their MPs either die or resign, he said ironically.

    Secondly, the people are fed up with the present state government and are looking for change. With the existence of a two-party system, the people have a choice. If they do not like you, they will vote you out.

    Politics of promises and lies cannot last in today’s election climate as the majority of voters now are young people who can tell truth from falsehood. Threats and intimidation cannot work any more in a politically-conscious society.

    For Pakatan, the victory is considered extremely important and is badly needed to prod up its moral especially in the midst of resignations from PKR.

    Shot in the arm

    Indeed, the victory is ample proof that Pakatan has the support of the people. As Lim Kit Siang said, the victory is considered the first step in the Pakatan march towards Putrajaya.

    Locally, the victory is seen as a barometer for the coming state election that may be called between now and May next year.

    At stake are the Chinese majority seats held by SUPP including seats of Pelawan and Bawang Assan in the Sibu parliamentary constituency and the nearby state seat of Dudong in the Lanang parliamentary constituency.

    The other state seat of Bukit Assek in the Lanang constituency is already in the hands of DAP.

    The upset victory of the Sibu by-election may also roll down river to the state constituency of Repok in the Sarikei parliamentary constituency or even to Kuching, Bau, Sri Aman and Miri.

    For the first time, voters saw the formation of Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak - announced before the by-election by DAP, PKR, PAS and SNAP working as a team - as a possible alternative to the state Barisan Nasional government.

    For Pakatan, this was the first time they were working as a team and the strategy is working.

    While DAP concentrated its efforts to woo and “control” the Chinese voters throughout the campaign, PAS went all out to explain the policies of Pakatan in Malay villages.

    Initially, PAS campaigners were refused entry by the house owners, but they came through the back door and were able to convey their message.

    DAP lost heavily in the 2008 parliamentary election. But this time around, the loss had been minimised to only 500 votes.

    Viable alternative

    In the Iban longhouses, PKR was given the task to campaign.

    For decades, the people in the longhouses have never known any other party except SUPP.

    In fact, DAP leaders have never set foot in these longhouses during election times. There was no alternative, but for the Ibans to vote SUPP.

    But in this by-election, at least the Ibans know there is an Opposition as its campaigners led by PKR Dayak leaders visited every single longhouse in the Rasau, Bawang Assan, Penasu and Pasai polling districts.

    “Before, only Malays and Chinese came to talk to us about politics,” said a woman in her 70s.

    “You people are the first from the Opposition to visit us and talk to us about issues that affect us,” she said.

    It was not an easy task to campaign in these longhouses as they had been exposed only to Barisan leaders through radio and TV and have been fed with rosy stories, about politics of development, the development of native customary rights lands and the lies of the Opposition, among others.

    But the visits made by the Opposition leaders such as Anwar Ibrahim, Daniel Tajem and Baru Bian to longhouses have helped to open up their minds and eyes to see their side of the story.

    For example, the issues on native customary rights land that has been seized by the government and has been leased to big companies for the planting of oil palm trees.

    Tajem told them to defend their land as it is their most valuable asset.

    “Take away the land, the Ibans will be like fish without water. In other words, they will die,” he said.

    Tajem warned them that if they continued to vote the Barisan Nasional, they were going to lose more of their land.

    The Opposition campaigns in some of the longhouses had made the BN leaders more worried.

    Growing support

    As a result, the BN ministers made several visits to these longhouses not only to counter issues made by the Opposition leaders but also to make promises of monetary rewards.

    For instance, after Anwar’s visit to Rumah Baseh in the Bawan Assan area, the Deputy Prime Minister made a visit to the longhouse, and other federal and state ministers followed suit.

    Although the Pakatan candidate lost nearly 2,000 of the Iban votes, the voting percentage of the Ibans for Wong has increased between 30% and 35%. Previously, Wong received almost next to nothing.

    With the victory in the by-election, political awakening has slowly begun among the people.

    New battleground

    Nevertheless, Pakatan needs to work much harder in the coming election in order to waken the rural people from their deep political slumber.

    As Parti Rakyat Sarawak president James Masing once said, the rural constituencies will be the “battleground” for the coming state election.

    In other words, the road to Petrajaya in Kuching depends on who controls the rural constituencies. TheMalaysiaInsider....
    py

  6. #16
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    Re: Sibu By-election: Bridget Welsh - Sea Change in Sibu

    Sea Change in Sibu

    18th May 2010, by Bridget Welsh

    The moment I sensed a sea change in the Sibu by-election campaign was during the Friday ceramah, two days before polling. The event reminded me of a similar mood on the eve of the Sarawak state polls in Kuching. The momentum was clearly moving in the opposition's favour.

    The votes are now counted and the opposition managed to pull off an extremely close victory of 1% majority in the final tally. Coming after the defeat in Hulu Selangor and without expectations, this victory was especially sweet for Pakatan Rakyat and bitter for BN, particularly those with personal stakes in the contest, namely Prime Minister Najib Razak and Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud.

    The blame game has begun within the BN camp as the shock has yet to subside. The reasons for this close victory are multiple and cannot be boiled down to specific individuals or communities. This piece focuses on the factors that were decisive in the campaign for both sides.

    My final piece on Sibu tomorrow will showcase an analysis of the results and flesh out the political implications of these results.

    What went right for Pakatan

    Pakatan's victory was really a combination of factors, from the fairer electoral process to effective machinery cooperation.

    1) Fairer electoral process

    In rural areas such as Sibu in Sarawak, the BN is used to being able to control the election process. This is especially the case in areas where parties with weak machinery such as DAP, which lacks the manpower to staff polling stations.

    This time around, working with PAS and PKR, the DAP was able to enforce greater accountability, calling BN to task over inadequate documentation (by sending 12 unauthorised polling agents back to search for the candidate for their papers) and verifying the eligibility of the voters.

    NONEWhen the final tally was counted, the Election Commission eventually agreed to reject 208 of the postal votes (with some tense moments), and in their normal checking at the polling stations ensured that all voters who did vote had proper documentation. Affecting hundreds of voters, the impact of this routine checking, which was unprecedented in Sibu, was more than the final majority.

    From their unprecedented presence in the longhouses to the watchful eyes on the postal votes, Pakatan's strength on the ground machinery was one of the most decisive factors shaping the outcome. On its part, the Election Commission deserves recognition for following their overall professional adherence to the law.

    It is important to understand that the Sibu seat has been constructed to be a safe seat for the BN, as it includes 2,571 postal votes and is significantly gerrymandered to include Malay/Melanau villages (some relocated from the city centre) and quite a number of remote Iban voters. The fact that the process was fairer helped offset some of the inherent inequalities in the uneven playing field.

    2) Lesson on cooperation from Hulu Selangor

    This campaign was perhaps the best oiled campaign for Pakatan, even stronger than Permatang Pauh of August 2008. What made it so effective was a combination of commitment to Pakatan on the part of the campaigners and teamwork.

    Unlike the massive numbers of volunteers in Hulu Selangor and presence of many leaders (some of whom chose to languish in resorts rather than actually go to the ground), those that flew across the South China Sea were there to work.

    anwar in sibu by election dap forumFewer in number, they concentrated their efforts early on and focused on targeted areas - with PAS in the Malay areas, PKR concentrating in Iban longhouses and DAP walking the urban Chinese town. Gone (well almost gone) were the egos that undermine cooperation, as the coalition interests surpassed personal and party interests.

    They began early, with a strategy and game plan in place before nomination day. This allowed the opposition to use every day of the campaign to its advantage. Remember that this was a BN safe seat, and the opposition had to win over about 10% of the electorate.

    The hard knocks of working together in Hulu Selangor made Sibu easier, and this showed in the allocation of counting agents, ceramah composition and collegial camaraderie. All the opposition campaigners wanted to move beyond the last painful loss in Hulu Selangor.

    3) More focused DAP rerun

    The messaging of the DAP-dominant campaign echoed that of March 2008 - a focus on change - with the presentation of the team choreographed along the lines of that adopted in Penang. The script had been rehearsed before and the politicians knew their part.

    karpal singh, lim kit siang and hadi awang sibu by-electionThey brought in new players this round - with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang greeting the crowd in Mandarin - and honed in on the Sarawak chief minister and the issue of corruption. The openly public campaign coincided with substantive dialogue sessions in closed-door sessions with key local actors in the areas of religious freedom and land rights.

    While many in Sibu found some of the national issues alienating, notably the issue of GST (Goods and Services Tax), the ability of the DAP to sharpen a practiced message to a relatively non-politicised electorate worked to its advantage. The messages were focused, sharp and largely consistent.

    The reason Pakatan could play a rerun was that they did not have to face the issues of multiple sovereignty. They are in opposition in Sarawak, unlike in Hulu Selangor where they had to address their record in office. This made for an easier and more familiar pattern of campaigning for Pakatan, and contributed to sharp contrasts for voters.

    4) Easy Sarawak targets

    The terrain was also much easier to sow politically for the opposition. Taib Mahmud's 29-year tenure has created considerable antipathy among voters, with his popularity very low, especially among urban Chinese voters (who I will argue in my next piece were the critical swing voters).

    It is not just Taib himself, but the perceptions of corruption and cronyism. These are core issues within the reformasi agenda of the opposition and thus reinforced the focused messaging. While Taib was more of the opposition's focus, the local component party of the BN, the SUPP, was also seen as weak as its leader's personal ties to the CM spilled over to the Sibu polls.

    Consistently, voters spoke angrily about white elephant projects, unfair contract allocations and unequal distribution of resources. The call by BN that the opposition were “liars” only backfired as many Sibu voters believed that “enough was enough” and sent a protest vote back to Kuching and Kuala Lumpur.

    What went wrong for the BN?

    5) Najib's tactics, not persona

    The BN has established a well-honed practice of using goodies in exchange for votes. Sometimes it is effective, such as in Ijok just before the 2008 general elections, and it is more effective in some communities than others, e.g. Iban areas.

    NONEIt is expensive and does not engender long-term growth in the economy, and in most cases, fails to bring development to communities although some projects are useful and valued, including the funding for schools.

    This use of patronage is common globally, but it is often tied to corruption and cronyism. These were coincidentally the negative push button issues for many voters in Sibu. As such, a campaign based primarily on this strategy has limited traction.

    More fundamentally, patronage is based on the fact that you know the person giving you the reward. Reciprocity is tied to trust. Many of the “givers” from West Malaysia were unknowns, and the rerun of promising development for issues such as flooding that have been around for more than a decade just did not seem adequately believable for many. They know that election “fire fighting” with money does not address the underlying causes of the fire.

    What weakened the effectiveness of “money” further was its delivery. In Rejang Park, Najib threw his last 'Hail Mary' hoping to entice voters on the eve of the polls with an offer of RM5million (for a problem that needs RM1 billion to solve properly). It was crude, as many expressed concerns about the blatant politicking of the “offer”. Voters in Rejang Park spoke, as support for the opposition in this Chinese-majority area increased from 62% to 68%.

    The disdain was with the method, not the man delivering the message. Najib's popularity was the strongest feature of the BN campaign. It is thus not surprising that he visited Sibu four times this year, thrice during the campaign itself.

    NONEInstead of deal making and throwing mud, he could have discussed his model for the economy and recent economic successes. Instead of pointing to recognition of his leadership of Malaysia by China and the United States (which is, considering its successes, a given for Malaysia), he could have pointed to his plans of how these countries fit into Malaysia's future.

    Voters want leaders who have ideas. These ideas give them hope for the future. The crowd that attended this event genuinely expressed a desire to support their PM, and felt disappointed with the offer of money to fix their drains rather than tap into their dreams.

    More broadly, this highlights a consistent pattern in BN campaigning. It speaks to the tendency to talk down to voters, to essentialise their interests as purely material. Sibu voters may seem simple - due to their straight-forwardness and focus on key priorities such as family and education - but they were not simpletons and many recoiled in anger from this form of this engagement.

    6) BN shoddy campaign


    The last-minute offers were part of an overall poor campaign, arguably the worst BN campaign since March 2008.

    The campaign brought over a few of the posters from Hulu Selangor, but they did not fit into a coherent message. One message was notably missing - 'Mampu Berubah' (Able to change). None of these themes were substantively engaged in the BN ceramah. The messages were confusing and boiled down to 'vote for us because we will actually pay money and we are the government'.

    Frankly, this just isn't enough to win votes in a close race and stands in sharp contrast to the efforts of Hulu Selangor.

    NONEWhat compounded the incoherency was SUPP's own rerun. It returned to the issue of the Islamic state that was part of the 2001 state campaign (yes, nine years ago). What the SUPP has failed to appreciate is that the contestation over religious issues in Malaysia is no longer simply about opting for Umno instead of PAS.

    Sadly, and perhaps incorrectly, Umno has now been seen as the agent of removing religious rights of minorities in areas such as the Bibles and identity cards. More fundamentally, the engagement over these issues has broadened to civil society, making the debates of the role of religion in Malaysian politics more complex and intense.

    The debate also connects into controversial discussions of ethnic identity, as concerns were raised about Perkasa. So, as SUPP showed clever posters of kampua mee and Pakatan leaders sleeping together, they showed limited understanding of the current complexities and, more importantly, an appreciation of ordinary voters' understanding of these complexities.

    The SUPP was not ready for this contest as its machinery was poor and its engagement with the more modern campaigning now honed on the Semananjung took hold. Distance from online media, a failure to develop a decent website for the campaign and more, showed a leadership of a party out of touch with its voters, and even more damning, an arrogance that alienated.

    They needed to go beyond urging voters to support a man of the past and effectively build up the image of the party candidate as a person of the future.

    7) Inexperienced candidate

    Beyond the dichotomies I have mentioned earlier before the campaign in an earlier piece, what became clear is that the BN candidate Robert Lau Jr had limited engagement with the electorate.

    NONEThis is common for a new candidate, and where the party and more experienced politicians come in. The candidate is a respected professional from a successful family. He under-utilised the media and his own insights on the development of Sibu.

    For some, he seemed standoffish, and for others, uncomfortable on the campaign trail. He was at a disadvantage to the DAP candidate, Wong Ho Leng, who is a seasoned politician and as comfortable in a coffee shop as he is in the courtroom.

    Mentorship in politics is crucial, and this was lacking on the part of the SUPP.

    SUPP party infighting

    The reason was simple. The party remains in a crisis, provoked by their loss in the 2006 state election and inability to effectively regenerate and connect to Chinese Sarawakians. It is a party at war with itself.

    sibu by election 070510 wong soon kohThe divisions between Wong Soon Koh (right) and others in the party were discussed openly by the electorate, with considerably antipathy towards Wong. This was especially strong in his own state seat where the flooding issues and neglect of infrastructure are shameful.

    Rumours circulated that the battle among the tycoons over the direction of SUPP spilled over into the campaign, with claims that workers did not come to vote due to a lack of encouragement by one of the major tycoons. These lack evidence.

    What was clear, however, was that by comparison, SUPP lacked the team spirit of the DAP in this campaign. This extended to the cooler relations with component parties within the BN camp, particularly the relationship with the West Malaysian partners. The sense was that SUPP was unable to effectively move beyond its own concerns to connect with the electorate and its BN partners.

    9) The man with the silver hair

    In part, this by-election had much to do with the 'white hair' in the room, or rather the campaign trail. The SUPP's own transition, divisions and regeneration are linked to the issue of Taib Mahmud and the leadership succession.

    The proud history of the SUPP as a fighter for Sarawak has been overshadowed by the long tenure of the CM and alleged concerns with corruption. The CM's presence in the campaign serves as a lightning rod and gives fodder to the opposition. As the next Sarawak elections loom, this issue perhaps weighs the most on the BN's political future in the state.

    As I left Sibu yesterday morning, the sun was coming up with glorious shades of red, paralleling the rich colours of the Rajang River. Sibuans have already moved on to continue their normal lives, many with some extra money in their pocket in what was an expensive election campaign - estimated over RM50 million in allocations and 'grants'.

    Yet with the Pakatan victory, voters have sent a message that they want change, but arguably from observations of the Sibu campaign, most of the anger of change is focused on the state of Sarawak itself.

    DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. She was in Sibu to observe the by-election. Welsh can be reached at bwelsh@smu.edu.sg. Malaysiakini. Please support by subscribing as a reader.
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  7. #17
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    Re: Sibu By-election: DAP Donation Campaign

    This is how BN/UMNO have won elections for so many years - manipulate the postal votes. They get 96% of the votes as the officers vote for the soldiers and the rank and file. In an election conducted with secret voting, 96% is statistically almost impossible. The mass voting by the officer shows up in the witness signatures where we have the same witness but different signatures. That was the reason so many postal votes were rejected. Then they give the Postal voter another vote on the normal voter roll by registering them using their civilian IC no. Generally, the opposition parties have to win by a margin two times that of the postal votes to have a chance of winning. That is a huge challenge.

    This time, the Pakatan Rakyat team managed to block the cheating. Next time, it will not be so easy.

    The only solution is to cancel postal votes even for overseas voters. If not, open postal voting to all overseas voters and not just govt servants.

    No postal votes for police and military.

    For by-election, employ SPR officers who are not voting in the constiuency of the by-election.


    DAP won the Sibu by-election, but conspiracy theorists claim that what transpired in the few hours before the final tally was announced could have changed the results.

    In the dying minutes of the final count, the DAP's Wong Ho Leng was leading by 2,651 votes ahead of SUPP candidate Robert Lau (right), after all 110 ballot boxes were counted with only the postal votes remaining.

    The drama surrounding the release of the postal votes result was worthy of its own television series as DAP leaders and Election Commission officers argued and pointed fingers, throwing everything but the kitchen sink at one another.

    And just so the SUPP didn't feel left out, some DAP leaders raised suspicions that the local party and the EC were working in cahoots to rig the votes.

    DAP Youth chief Anthony Loke said they had a lot of reasons to be suspicious, claiming inconsistencies in the signature of witnesses for at least a few hundred postal votes. All postal votes have to be validated by witnesses.

    Fuelling further suspicions, Lau and his polling agents had parked themselves at the postal vote counting centre at Wisma Sanyan - about three kilometres from the main tally centre in Dewan Suarah - even before counting had begun.

    "He stayed until the end. As it was, the counting itself started late, at around 6pm and finished around 8.30pm," said Loke.

    "The votes were packed into their boxes and were ready to be moved to the polling centre, but the RO (returning officer) was holed up with SPR officials in a room for two hours.

    "We were told they were tabulating the figures. They kept on delaying and we got nervous because we were worried that there might be an attempt to fix the postal votes,"
    he said when contacted.

    Showdown at Sanyan

    The drama came to a head at around 10pm when an EC official named Ismail told EC workers to start bringing down the ballot boxes without issuing the Form 15, which is a standard requirement in any election to prove the final tally for postal votes had been completed.

    "We verbally told them not to touch the boxes. That was when I called a chief inspector to take over the security situation," said Loke (left), commending the swift police action in sending several officers up to tape off the area where the boxes were kept.

    At this juncture, Loke said an EC official finally came up to show them the form, which he claimed had not been signed by polling agents from either DAP or SUPP.

    "But we saw the figures and found we would still get the majority, we decided to leave (albeit) in protest," he said, pointing out that by then he had lost track of time.

    Back at the counting centre at Dewan Suarah, the postal votes arrived at around 10.30pm, and after it was included in the overall final tally, returning officer Wong See Meng announced Wong Ho Leng the winner with a 398-vote majority.

    Based on the final figures released by the EC that night, SUPP received 2,323 out of the 2,827 total postal votes, while DAP got 70 and independent candidate Narawi Haron got 30. 208 postal votes were rejected and 190 unreturned.


    EC blames DAP

    SUPP Sibu information chief Daniel Ngieng however called the DAP's antics "hooliganism", echoing his Sibu chief Wong Soon Koh's view that the DAP led an "unruly mob".

    "We are very surprised with the attitude of the DAP. We have to leave it to the EC to do their job. Everyone has to follow procedures.

    "We cannot harass the election workers. They (the DAP) should know that Sarawakians are very mild people. I'm not complaining, but from what I observed, they are trying to be very aggressive.

    "I'm not saying if something is not right, leave it alone... you can claim whatever you want, but at the end, the voters should be given the opportunity to exercise their rights," he said when contacted.

    The EC, particularly its chief Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof on Monday denied DAP's claims that the EC were delaying the postal vote count, pointing the finger back at the DAP for being the ones stalling the announcement.

    The DAP Youth chief rubbished the accusation, explaining that they had good reason to stop the boxes from being moved, but the delay they caused was nowhere as long as the two hours the EC took to do the math.

    "The boxes can only move once the official papers are out. We probably stalled it for around 20 minutes. There are only 11 ballot boxes, and it would take at the most 30 minutes to tabulate (all of them), but they took nearly two hours," he said.

    Ngieng has shrugged off Loke's claims as paranoia.

    "The last time they said the boxes cannot be kept at the police station because they would get short-changed, but all the boxes are sealed. Why worry?

    "Even I myself am not too happy with how they (the EC) are so sticky with minor things, but that's just how it is done.

    "If I were petty, I would raise many things that the DAP have done, but at the end of it all, we just have to accept the results," he said. Malaysiakini. Please support by subscribing as a reader.
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  8. #18
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    Re: Sibu By-election: The real measure of change among the electorate is.....

    The real measure of change among the electorate is how they mark the ballot paper.

    This analysis explores how people voted in Sibu, drawing from the polling station results and local interviews. The results from the Sibu by-election point to major transformations in voting behavior in Sarawak.

    They show swings among voters of all the different ethnic communities toward Pakatan and consistent youth disenchantment with the BN.

    The results also reveal a crack in the rural-urban divide in Sarawak voting. Even the composition of the low voter turnout under close scrutiny points in Pakatan's favour.

    The findings suggest that not only has the opposition gained a seat in a historic upset, there is now a major challenge on BN's 'fixed deposit' hold on national and state power.

    Impressive Chinese swing for Pakatan

    The most obvious development this round is stronger locally-based Chinese support for the opposition. Traditionally Chinese voters have been swing voters, moving toward the government in 1995 and 2004, for example, and away from the BN in 2008.

    Within the national picture, Sibu has not experienced the same level of movement. Local factors have driven contests more than national ones. This by-election was an exception. Moreover, traditionally, the Chinese in Sibu have favoured the BN in greater numbers than in West Malaysia or even Kuching. This contest they moved, and did so, for Sibu, in historic proportions.

    There are 46 polling stations in Sibu. Of these 20 are majority Chinese areas, over 77% Chinese. In March 2008, Chinese support for the opposition was 62%. This time round it jumped to 69%, a gain of 7%. Chinese turnout overall remained the same, at 65%.

    sibu by election chinese crowd in dap forumThe fact that many younger Chinese voters - who were already more inclined in 2008 toward the opposition - did not return home for the by-election in large numbers suggests that more Chinese voted this round. This is to say that the potential Chinese swing could have been even higher, as Chinese Sibuans showed increasing alienation from the BN.

    What were the factors beyond those discussed yesterday that affected the Chinese? Foremost were concerns over religious freedom and the 'Allah' issue. Sibuans want to be able to read the Bible in Bahasa Malaysia and to practice one's religion without political interference.

    Sibu has a high concentration of Christians, over half the Chinese voters, like other parts of East Malaysia. Concerns were also expressed about Perkasa and ultra Malay nationalism. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak made a wise move to cancel the May 13 rally, otherwise the majority for the opposition would have been much larger.

    The concerns about racial discourse and ethnic exclusion run deep among Chinese Malaysians, and in Sibu these issues were percolating with the same level of intensity that one finds in West Malaysia.

    Sadly, the ultra-Malay chauvinism of Perkasa challenges the credibility of 1Malaysia, which was the rallying cry for the BN symbolically in the Sibu campaign. Many Sibuans asked for more substance for the laudable 1Malaysia goals.

    Chinese Sibuans also voted for the opposition due to the sense that their interests are not protected within the BN and in government.

    There is a real feeling of discrimination and second-class citizenship that does not rest well. This was not helped by perceived weaknesses of SUPP in Sarawak and MCA nationally as advocates.


    Compounding the party shortcomings in deliverables to and representation of the Chinese community was a failure in the BN camp to engage in its usual outreach to Chinese social organisations, from clans to secret societies. This vacuum was filled by the DAP.

    Finally, and perhaps most damning of all, many Chinese Sibuans lost faith in the ability of the federal and state government to create security and opportunities for their children. Many are sending their children abroad for school and work.


    They are looking outside of Malaysia for opportunities and the future. They are angry that they cannot live in the home where their family has lived for generations with respect, inclusion and opportunity.

    The BN faces an uphill task to win back the confidence of deeply alienated Chinese voters. Economic growth will help, but it will not be enough to substantively address the psychological and structural factors that underlie the raw wounds of exclusion.

    Pakatan Delivers the Malays/Melanau

    Both sides organised their campaign strategies as a battle for ethnic support upfront. Recognising its disadvantage, the BN concentrated on its base, the Malay and Iban areas. They have always had the advantage in these communities.

    This had to do with the shortcomings of the DAP in Sibu which has not traditionally engaged with these communities, largely due to a lack of familiarity, machinery and resources. In Sibu, and arguably in Sarawak as a whole, the DAP has been seen as a Chinese party.

    In this campaign, the DAP was able to engage reach out through Pakatan. At issue was a test for whether the Pakatan partners could deliver the bumiputera base, and whether the DAP could shed its Chinese chauvinist image.

    Nationally the crucial contestation is over the Malay vote goes since it goes to the heart of legitimacy to govern. Since March 2008, the contestation for Malay votes has become fierce. For the BN and Najib, they have worked to increase Malay support to strengthen their mandate, largely by portraying the view that the opposition has betrayed Malays in their supposed control by the Chinese.

    Sadly, this strategy has worked on the ground in places such as Hulu Selangor. Pakatan has faced a growing Malay deficit, as Malay support has declined.

    This Pakatan Malay deficit has national implications in that the level of Malay support shapes Anwar Ibrahim's (left) appeal for national power and connects into PAS' role within the opposition coalition. More Malay support for Pakatan strengthens the cooperation among the opposition component parties and enhances PR's multi-ethnic credentials.

    In this context any movement in the Malay vote in Sibu was to be sign, a sign of PAS's ability to deliver for the DAP and even more important, a sign of the appeal of either national Malay leader Najib or Anwar to represent the majority ethnic community in the country.

    The field was not even, as the Malay/Melanau communities have had much stronger support for the BN in Sibu traditionally than in West Malaysia. Personal patronage and relationships plays a much larger role in harnessing support in Sarawak as well.

    Dissimilar political dynamics

    Political dynamics in the Malay community in Sarawak are not the same as in West Malaysia. They are comprised of a more diverse group, including the politically powerful Melanau based in Taib's PBB. Few appreciate that there are the differences and tensions between the Malay and Melanau communities, as each has their own individual ties to the federal and state governments.

    While patronage is a prominent feature of the relationship to both during elections, how they identify and connect with state and federal actors differ. What makes the issues even more complex is that many Sarawakian Malays/Melanau have different feelings about the importation of West Malaysian parties - namely Umno and PAS, both of which played major roles in contest for Malay votes this round.

    The PBB was overshadowed by the penetration of a more prominent Umno-PAS campaign. Given the importance of the contest to Najib/Umno and Pakatan, this contest reflected a growing "national" transformation of the actors contesting for the Malay/Melanau ground.

    When the results came in the two majority Malay polling stations, the BN lost (yes lost) support among Malays/Melanau on the margin of 3%. In real terms they picked up a few votes in numbers, since these areas had a greater increase in the number of voters over the last two years, but the BN lost their overall share.

    What is most striking is the massive drop in Malay turnout, from over 68% in 2008, dropping to 50% this round. This was especially the case in Datu Nyabor where turnout only hit a paltry 40%.

    Rather than vote for the BN, and Taib (right) in particular, they stayed home. Given the stakes at play, this was a substantive gain for Pakatan.

    The presence of PAS, who camped out in the Malay/Melanau areas, was unprecedented, and suggests that the contestation for Malay votes will be more heated in the future, as networks form.

    One has to ask what would have been the dynamic if there had not been the financial wherewithal of a by-election campaign.

    The BN gains among Malays in West Malaysia did not extend to Sibu. While the BN wins the overwhelming majority of Malay votes, 78%, the Sibu Malay swing suggests that Pakatan has made inroads into what was seen as an impenetrable community.

    Pakatan made inroads among the Iban

    The gains for Pakatan in the Malay community were unexpected. The hope for the opposition was to make inroads among the Iban. Here the remoteness of the long houses and link between the government and rumah tuai puts the BN with an advantage upfront.

    The contest for the Iban speaks less to national power, but to state control in Sarawak. Throughout the campaign there were reports of intimidation in Iban areas, blockades against the entry of opposition leaders and, of course, intense vote buying for each pintu and offers of development projects for the long houses.

    This community, comprising 17% of the vote in Sibu, was seen as critical in the outcome of this contest and the state as a whole.

    When the votes were counted, the BN won more, with a positive swing of 3.5 percent in the three majority Iban areas overall. Turnout was high in these areas as well, over 80 percent, which was surprising given the upcoming Gawai festival two weeks away which would have prevented many young voters from returning just to vote.

    Yet a closer look at the polling station results show that the actual share of voter turnout cast for the BN and Pakatan remained on par with the 2008 polls, and there was interesting variation in the Iban vote.

    The BN won most of its support in Penasu and lost support in Rassau and Bawang Assan in the range of 2-3%. Here too, this suggests that Pakatan made inroads, although only marginally and inconsistently. Yet, considering the amount of money thrown this can only be seen as a Pakatan victory.

    In real terms, Pakatan stemmed the tide of support for the BN in these areas, as it will be difficult for the BN to repeat the financial incentives in the state and national election. This may, however, prove to be a wash as Pakatan also faces the challenge of maintaining its machinery and engagement in Iban areas.

    Generational transformations

    The ethnic transformation highlights some dark clouds for the BN. Looking at the saluran results indicate a real storm. They did not pick up support among younger voters in the overall share. In fact among the areas where there is a range of saluran (although not a large number), there was a drop of support among younger voters by 2 percent.

    Turnout among younger voters also dropped. This was expected since many could not return home to vote.

    The disenchantment extends across ethnic communities, although much less in the Malay and Iban areas than in the Chinese. It is important to note that in these areas the BN still commands the majority.

    What was the most surprising from the results were the gains for the opposition among older voters, usually the diehards for SUPP.

    While the oldest voters stayed more loyal to the BN camp, those under an estimated 55 years moved toward the opposition, especially among Chinese. This indicates a move toward Pakatan across generations in Sibu.

    New urban-rural dynamics

    The usual dichotomy in Sarawak points to strong urban support for the DAP, with the BN commanding the rural heartland. This round there are cracks here for the BN as well. Pakatan gained an estimated 6% in rural areas overall, particularly among rural Chinese.

    This rural swing was the product of better machinery and more engagement with these areas, but it is on par with the swing ethnically by the Chinese overall. This fact only further suggests real political changes in the Sarawak landscape.

    It will be a challenge for Pakatan to maintain this momentum, but it shows that the rural ground is no longer as hard as it was in the past. More broadly this suggests that the nature of Sarawak politics is shifting, as money is no longer as effective as it was in the past. It appears that as messages connect, exposure widens and engagement deepens, the BN loses support in Sarawak.

    Assessing decreasing voter turnout


    It even lost support in who turned out to vote. On the surface, the voter turnout suggests a disengagement with the process. No question, both sides could do more to mobilise voters.

    A close look, however, indicates that the composition of this drop was concentrated in one community, the Malays, and among younger voters, who did not return home.

    Many Malays opted not to vote - some expected the win for the BN, others pointed to neglect and yet others pointed to real reservations with the BN this contest, especially concerns over land, flooding and corruption. This indeed should be really worrying for the BN.

    Political upshot of voting trends


    So what does all this mean politically? It is important to understand that this is a by-election and conditions are fluid. It is also important not to read too much into one contest.

    This said, Pakatan has gone beyond expectations in gaining support. While Hulu Selangor still stings for Pakatan and suggests a real need to reevaluate the West Malaysia campaign, Sarawak has opened up.

    The opposition has now a chance of breaking the BN iron hold on power in Sarawak, perhaps more than doubling their seats, and buttressing the defections with seats from East Malaysia, with more parliamentarians nationally.

    It will be a major challenge for the opposition to replicate the machinery and cooperation in East Malaysia, but the terrain across the South China Sea has transformed since March, making the possibility of Putrajaya stronger than it has been since March 2008 and East Malaysia now more important politically than ever before.

    DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. She was in Sibu to observe the by-election. Welsh can be reached at bwelsh@smu.edu.sg.
    Malaysiakini. Please support by subscribing as a reader.
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  9. #19
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    Re: Sibu By-election: Mariam Mokhtar on Najib's Cheap Deal

    Typical Bodoh-Sombong Wastrel who never did an honest day's of work in his life. If this is all APCO is capable of in advising Najib, he should send them packing and save Malaysia a few million ringgit.

    How about it, Najib? Do we have a deal or not?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwNLT...&feature=email

    ‘Deal or no deal’ falls flat

    By Mariam Mokhtar
    19.5.2010

    As they say, politicians are like nappies – they should be changed often and for the same reasons. Yesterday, the people of Sibu made history when they elected DAP and rejected BN.

    Days earlier, at Rejang Park, the prime minister convinced me that BN does not have the interests of the people of Sibu at heart.

    1. He said: “I don’t have to come here…..to Rejang Park……This is not the place for a prime minister to come.”

    2. He insulted the intelligence of the people by making deals in exchange for public service.

    3. He lowered the tone of his speech by saying “Bull Shine”. Is vulgar slang accepted speech by a prime minister?

    Without the involvement of money politics, DAP’s majority could easily have been in the thousands rather than just 398 votes.

    Nevertheless, this win has caused a tiny seismic shift in the Malaysian political landscape. Once again, politics has become interesting and dare I say it, fun too?

    DAP’s victory is well-deserved but it must be under no illusion, for if the electoral dice had fallen differently, politics in Sarawak and Malaysia would have been business as usual.
    Was there one single factor for the swing away from BN? Or was it a combination of factors? There was more money available last week than at any single time over the past 47 years. Was it divine intervention, in retribution for the PM’s fleeting visit to the Tua Pek Kong temple?

    During this campaign, only a person with a heart of stone would not have been troubled by the poverty that sits uncomfortably beside the wealth in Sarawak. The state is blessed with an abundance of natural resources. Why then is a sizeable portion of its people living in shanty towns devoid of running water and electricity?
    My single defining reason to tick the box for DAP, had I been a voter, would have been Najib Abdul Razak’s speech at Rejang Park.

    Who could forget that ’speech’? Some people have called it ‘You help me, I help you’ talk. Those present witnessed the display of arrogance of condescension; how he talked down to people; and disgracefully made the public gesture of money in exchange for votes.

    He showed us how NOT to demean people and thus get the backs up of those whom we wish to help us. Surprisingly, Najib overlooked how the Internet beamed his unflattering comments worldwide.

    Najib also showed the political elite how NOT to treat the electorate or to make empty promises. To a lesser extent, it revealed how his spin doctors, who stage-managed his campaigns, failed to register the suffering of the Sibu people.

    The PM joked about solving the flooding, saying: “Can we have deal or not? Can we have an understanding or not? You help me, I help you. It is quite simple.”

    I recall how a policeman once stopped me for apparently going through a red light, even though I had not. He also used similar phrases like, “We got deal or not? We have understanding, yes? I can help you. Easy-lah.” These phrases sound very familiar don’t they?


    Needs long neglected

    Najib told the crowd he would have a cheque ready to help solve the flooding, only if Robert Lau Jr was elected. He wasn’t aware of the actual cost for the flood defences, but guessed it to be RM3 million.

    He insulted the intelligence of the crowd by believing they could be easily seduced. Equally, Lau’s credibility was given little value. If he (Lau) had any pride, he would have been angered that his selection as candidate was not because of integrity, hard work and public service, but only because Najib was feeling generous.

    Sibu’s flooding problem is not new and it is impossible to imagine there were never discussions about this at cabinet meetings – RM 3 million or even RM5 million is a fraction of the total cost.

    The whole scenario is reminiscent of an auction with shouts of ‘lelong! lelong!’. Have we stooped as low as this?

    Then came the shock declaration: “’I don’t have to come here…..to Rejang Park……This is not the place for a prime minister to come.”

    I am sorry, Mr Prime Minister but your statements have done you and BN untold damage. What sort of place is suitable for a PM then? We are sorry if Rejang Park is not as luxurious or exclusive as Belgravia in London or the White House, which you visited last month, in Washington DC.

    Rejang Park is often flooded, but it is still home to thousands. They live, work and play here. And for the past 47 years, the government has neglected to serve them.
    When the PM told us about the security concerns of his visit, he said: “My security boys say there are back alleys…..”

    Yes. Sibu is infamous for its gangs. Civil law and order is included in the long list of Sibu’s problems. If the PM was advised to stay away, then it speaks volumes about the law and governance of the place.

    Stupefying effect

    People will recall how when Princess Diana died, the British premier – then Tony Blair – captured the mood of the nation’s grief and called her the “People’s Princess”.

    When Najib amused us with his visits to the Sibu pasar, the people thought he was “really friendly”. He used the term “People’s Prime Minister”. I am sorry, but three trips to Sibu’s pasar does not make him the “People’s Prime Minister”. If only it were that simple.

    He then said that his government would “fight for the people”. So, why does it hold the people to ransom? Sibu’s problems include flooding, lack of basic infrastructure, land issues, poverty and economic malaise. Offers of help should not come with a proviso. That is not responsible government. That only creates mistrust in an already maligned political system.

    The PM claimed that “people come first” and “people really matter”. However, these ideals are not addressed in Sibu. Withholding peoples’ rights does not win the battle for hearts and minds.

    The repeated use of “I never fail to deliver my promises…we honour our commitment” throughout the speech has the same stupefying effect as someone saying, ‘I never tell a lie’ or ‘Honestly speaking’. The opposite effect is achieved.

    Body language relays important signals. The regularity with which the PM wiped his mouth with his handkerchief during the speech is disturbing. What is his subconscious trying to wipe off his lips?


    Now that the electorate has shown BN the door, what lies ahead for the people of Sibu?

    Will Najib’s compassion shine through? Will he solve the flooding and other problems in a calculated move to win back the trust of Sarawakians for the upcoming state elections?

    Or will he punish Sibu and cancel the cheques for the schools and leave the people to drown their sorrows, in the floods that wreck their lives?

    If he does that, the state elections and GE-13 would create another massive tidal bore, just like the ones the Sungei Rejang – and now Sibu – is famous for.

    MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real–speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.
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  10. #20
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    Re: Sibu By-election: EC gets complaint on Sibu postal vote delay

    EC gets complaint on Sibu postal vote delay

    May 19, 10 5:52pm

    The DAP has submitted an official complaint to the Election Commission (EC) over the controversy surrounding the tallying of postal votes during the Sibu by-election last Sunday.

    Youth chief Anthony Loke handed over an official letter detailing the party's grouses to a representative of EC chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof.

    The 'irregularities' pointed out by the DAP are:

    1) More postal votes were returned than was issued out by the EC.

    2) The questionable practice by the EC of allowing 290 of its staff who took part in the by-election to register as postal voters and take home their postal voting slips.

    3) The different signatures signed by the same witness on different postal ballots from army camps.

    4) The two-hour delay in announcing the postal vote tally and the missing Form 15 listing the results of the postal vote tally, which is still outstanding.

    5) A Pakatan polling agent was refused entry to a polling centre located in a longhouse in Limbang.

    Also present were PAS Youth information chief Suhaizan Kaiat, DAP assistant national organising secretary Wu Hin Ven and Negri Sembilan DAP committee member Mary Josephine.

    All three had been on duty as polling agents during the by-election, which the DAPs Wong Ho Leng won by 398 votes.

    The EC had blamed the DAP for causing the delay.

    Consider doing away with postal ballots

    Loke told reporters at a press conference afterward that he hoped that EC would take the matter seriously.

    “The commission should change or its credibility will continue to be questioned,” he said.

    He also added that the EC had promised to provide a written reply to his official letter.

    Loke also made the suggestion that the EC should look into the possibility of abolishing postal votes.

    “Only a few cops and army personnel need to vote via post - and most of them are in the area - but they have to vote by post just because they are in the police or army.

    “Why not make army camps a polling centre, allow polling agents to monitor and allow candidates to campaign in camps.

    “As of now, the PM and federal ministers can visit army camps but opposition candidates cannot,” he added.

    Suhaizan chimed in, “This is not a level-playing field.”

    Quizzed on the possibility of BN using the discrepancies pointed out by DAP to go to court and invalidate the Sibu election results, Loke said that it is BN's right to do so.

    “But they did not complain about it during the by-election,” he added. Malaysiakini. Please support by subscribing as a reader.
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