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Thread: Tenang: By-election

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Tenang By-election: Why is Umno fielding a tainted candidate?’

    Why is Umno fielding a tainted candidate?’
    G Vinod | January 26, 2011

    PAS wants Umno to explain its decision to field Azahar Ibrahim who was allegedly found guilty in land scam.

    PETALING JAYA: Did Umno know about the Muar High Court ruling in 2008 against Tenang candidate Azahar Ibrahim over a land scam in Jabi, Segamat?

    In which case why was it prepared to ‘disappoint its members by fielding a tainted’ character in the by-election? These were among the many questions posed by PAS youth today.

    Demanding that Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin explain its decision, PAS youth information chief Suhaizan Kaiat said: “The Muar High Court had ruled in favour of the complainant, Mansor Mohamed.

    “Azahar was eventually tranferred out to Renggit land office after being demoted. Why was he demoted and why is Umno prepared to disappoint its members by fielding a tainted candidate?

    Suhaizan said Mansor, who was the previous owner the land in Jabi, said his property was auctioned off in 2003 due to Azahar’s negligence in his capacity as the assistant district officer then.

    The disgruntled land owner susbsequently filed a legal suit against Azahar in 2004 and the judge ruled in favour of Mansor with costs.

    Vile scheme

    Suhaizan also demanded that Muhyiddin explain why his electoral candidate failed to inform Mansor of the auction which was against procedure.

    “Why didn’t Azahar inform Mansor of the auction? Was there a vile scheme between Azahar, the auctioneer and the bidder to get the land sold?

    “And why was the property sold off for RM70,000 which was lower than its market price then?

    “The land was worth about RM116,000 at that time. Worse, why was there only one bidder present during the the auction?” he asked.

    Suhaizan also asked why Azahar had failed to call off the aution when Mansor had in fact paid up RM10,000, which was half of his outstanding balance to the bank, a day before the scheduled auction.

    “After making his payment Mansor then informed Azahar about it and pleaded to him to call off the auction, but it fell on deaf ears,” said Suhaizan.

    Meanwhile Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman had reportedly refuted PAS’ allegations claiming that “Azahar was not involved the suit.”

    Ghani instead accused PAS of spreading lies to discredit Azahar.

    “He was merely a witness. He was never involved in any dispute,” Ghani had said
    . (Admin: How can a witness be sued and lose the case? Malaysia-today....

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Tenang can potentially be a rude awakening.

    Wednesday, 26 January 2011

    Tenang can potentially be a rude awakening.

    Who wins Tenang will depend on who can muster the support of the Malays in Tenang. There's about 7000 of them and 3000 are Felda settlers. The BN can more or less forget about getting Chinese votes. Most of the votes will go to the DAP. If DAP can secure 80% of the Chinese votes the PAS candidate stands a real fighting chance.

    It's commendable that UMNO will try to shore up MCA, its traditional partner in the BN, by giving concessions to the beleaguered party. That will improve somewhat the tarred image of the MCA. But frankly speaking, MCA needs to get used to growing public perception , that it's just a token ornament in the BN. its influence is waning.

    Chua Soi Lek must be delusory. Perhaps he is blind to the massive buildup of attendees to DAP's ceramahs in Tenang. And most of them are Chinese. Chinese voters are not exactly enamored by the charm offensive of the Chua father and son team.

    Except that it can take comfort that UMNO's influence is also waning. I have pointed this out in several of my articles. UMNO is losing touch on younger voters and building disillusionment in more mature voters. This sad state of affairs does not come about because the founding principles of UMNO were inherently defective. It comes about because UMNO sowed its own seeds of destruction when it generally adopts a culture hostile to the emergence of people who can work selflessly in UMNO. As I said in an earlier article, UMNO now adopts the principle, can I trust this person rather than can this person work?

    If UMNO loses this by election, it's due to its own stupidity (for want of a better word). I have long thought that allegiance and loyalty to its causes must be worked at, need to be cultivated continuously and assiduously. What do you see? UMNO people are behaving as though they are God's gift to Malaysia. They behave as though there's nothing worrisome and as though things are back to normal.

    For UMNO things are NEVER getting back to normal, unless the UMNO leadership rids itself of this mentality that it can get things gratuitously without working for it. That negative NEP mentality that you think you get things as of right has sadly infected the UMNO body politic. The UMNO leadership thinks it can get Malay support as of right without having to prove credibility and without having to further prove you are worth others' support.

    UMNO's vital internal organs are crumbling. The first thing that strikes me, is UMNO undergoing a draught or famine? With bountiful membership, we couldn't find a winnable candidate from those UMNO people who have slogged and slaved for umpteen years? Surely, this will raise disillusionment within the UMNO ranks. This will make being an UMNO member not a passport to becoming holders of public office.

    As a person versed in UMNOthink, what do you think UMNO foot soldiers will do? They will likely go out of their way to disprove the top leadership. Lets thump their noses for belittling us. Already that is taking place. Support from within UMNO is slowing. Indeed just to prove their point, the UMNO locals may even be wishing for UMNO to lose if only to remind the UMNO leadership, it needs to play ball with UMNO locals.

    That is a clear sign that bad culture has already permeated UMNO's structure to dangerous levels. The party is full of sycophants and ululating cheerleaders who are making UMNO into a party for blind flowers. It has none of that positive vibrancy that promotes internal competition so that the best come forward. Instead it practises the bully and stifling culture that only self-interested individuals work around the system, deter the more able and the less unscrupulous.

    Let me state this bluntly. UMNO is feudal by nature. It doesn't have a system that nurtures talent. I am very sorry to say this- what DS Najib proclaims about nurturing talent isn't exactly practiced in UMNO. In UMNO you arrive at the pecking order as a result of accident of birth.

    So what do you find? Suddenly you find, there's not enough talent of leadership up there. The feudal fixed deposit has dwindled. The lower reaches of UMNO are filled with less desirables. You can't get talented leadership from down there. So what do you do? You have to cast your net outside.

    This is exactly what UMNO does in Tenang. It has selected a former PTD officer over the heads of the party faithfuls. That can yield disastrous results.

    In the old days, PTD was known as the MCS. It represented the epitome of career achievement. The desire of many Malays then was to be a civil servant and eventually a District Officer (DO). Our MCS was styled essentially after the Indian Civil Service. Many of the people in these services went on to become political leaders.

    The rationale for the choice among others, it's said that the candidate is an experienced government officer. He knows how to deal with government agencies and all that stuff. The PTD badge is the giveaway passport into the green lane of political office. Plus he has some traces of politics being a son of a former ADUN, served as ketua cawangan and treasurer. Nothing to shout about, but enough to have some semblance of political pedigree on his CV. Enough also for wizened and panicky party elders to choose him over party stalwarts.

    Unfortunately, that would also suggest that among the UMNO hoi poloi, there isn't sufficient leadership material or potential winnable candidates. This will be looked as a slap in the face for UMNO Labis Division.

    The fact that UMNO has to cast its net beyond its own turf suggests there is a dearth of talent within UMNO. Uncharacteristically UMNO is facing the problem faced by the opposition parties in the 2008 elections. There weren't sufficient number of credible people to take up the mantle. Hence the opposition parties took the step of grab and offer for contest.

    I hope UMNO hasn't reached this draught in leadership material.

    Knowing the UMNO mindset, this choice of candidate will certainly be met with silent protest. That would make the by election in Tenang not so tenang after all. Surely, the UMNO grassroots and foot soldiers will be asking- haven't we fought hard in previous battles? Haven't we earned at least some modicum of appreciation and acknowledgement? We were the ones who fought hard to ensure our candidates won. Most important, all previous candidates were one of us. This candidate isn't one of us. We have gone through the mill and have chosen to remain steadfast to our struggles. These points would certainly surface in the minds of the UMNO foot soldiers.

    If UMNO from now on, casts its net outside the UMNO heartland to scour for candidates, to my mind, this raises a bigger issue. How can this strategy promote the big idea of the PM in wanting to usher in political transformation?

    What do you need first of all? You need the talent to be change agents. My question is, can a candidate plucked out from our civil service be looked upon as change agents in Najib's quest for the holy grail of political transformation?

    I may be convinced of the correctness of such a rationale, if the civil service is the cradle of super talented individuals and the standard of excellence of our civil service is the measure of competence. Unfortunately, the various measure of excellence imputed into such 'qualifications' are debatable. But it isn't about the quality of our civil service that we are now going to discuss.

    I am apprehensive of the trends regarding UMNO. And here are my reasons for being nervous.

    How does the public feel about UMNO and BN? To be more specific how does the Malay public feel about UMNO?

    Some days ago, UMNO Setiawangsa convened a meeting. It is preparing a list of election speakers to campaign for the next parliamentary candidate. They are speculating that Zulhasnan will be replaced by the anak mami from Penang but now residing mostly in KL. Shahrizat's name is being mentioned as a possible replacement for Zulhasnan, because she stands no chance at all in Lembah Pantai.

    How was the response to that meeting? It was lackluster said my source. I think I know the reasons said i. was there any mention of money? Allocations? None said my source. There you are. UMNO people I general respond in a Maslow like behavior. They respond favorably when there are financial incentives. Of course, that kind of response isn't a crime or inherently wrong. But is shows one thing. UMNO can lose because it depends mainly on mercenary-like behavior. Rome fell because it entrusted its defences to paid mercenaries. Mercenaries fight with dedication as long as they get paid.

    Posted by sakmongkol AK47 at 5:43 AM sakmongkol.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Tenang: PAS seeks more Chinese support

    PAS seeks more Chinese support in Tenang
    By Adib Zalkapli
    January 29, 2011

    Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang speaking at the DAP organised event last night. — Picture by Choo Choy May

    LABIS, Jan 29 — PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang made a personal plea for the Chinese vote for tomorrow’s by-election as Malays continue to shun the party's candidate, Normala Sudirman.

    Speaking at a 100 table dinner organised by DAP here Hadi was hopeful that the Chinese votes, which form 39 per cent of the 14,753 voters would lead to an electoral upset in the staunchly Barisan Nasional (BN) state seat.

    “In 2008, the Chinese had supported Pakatan Rakyat. PAS and DAP won in Chinese areas. Hopefully we will see a bigger win this time,” said Hadi to about 1,000 people who attended the dinner at a Labis restaurant.

    Also present were top Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng, on his second visit drumming up support for Normala.

    In 2004 BN won the seat with a majority of more than 5,517 votes but it was reduced to 2,492 votes in Election 2008, which was largely attributed to the shift of Chinese support to the opposition.

    There are three Chinese majority polling districts in the Tenang constituency; Labis Tengah, Labis Timur and Labis where in 2008 PAS secured 50 to 67 per cent of the votes.

    Hadi’s remarks came as the PR campaign has been unable to make any inroads among the Malay voters who make up 49 per cent of the electorate. Members of the community reside largely in the Felda settlements and traditional villages known to be Umno fortresses.

    Normala’s colleagues from the Pas Muslimat have resorted to wearing red headscarves or tudungs, similar to the Umno colours, in a bid to enter and campaign in the Felda schemes.

    “I am confident all of you will work hard in defeating BN in Tenang for us to make another step to Putrajaya,” said Hadi.

    In his 20-minute speech, the former Terengganu mentri besar also sought to convince the Chinese community that PAS’s victory would not lead to marginalisation of the minority.

    The crowd showing their support at the dinner. — Picture by Choo Choy May

    “We are in one coalition, despite our religious and racial differences. PAS is an Islamic party and Islam encourages politics and politics in Islam is different from what has been practiced by Umno and Barisan Nasional,” said Hadi.

    PAS and DAP have been under attack from MCA for the Islamist party’s Islamic state agenda. Normala’s refusal to shake hands with has also been made a campaign issue by the BN’s second largest party.

    “We reject racism, we unite based on a common goal of upholding justice and ending cruelty. We are fair to all regardless of race or religion, just look at Kelantan,” said Hadi.

    Normala is facing an uphill battle against BN’s Azahar Ibrahim, whose father Datuk Ibrahim Daud was a former Tenang assemblyman.

    Umno sources say Azahar is assured of a win despite initial local opposition to his candidacy but his majority will depend on the number of Chinese voting for BN or PR.

    Polling tomorrow will start at 8am and end at 5pm. Election Commission (EC) officials expect results to be announced by 8pm. This is the country’s 14th by-election since Election 2008.

    Another by-election will be held in neighbouring Malacca where the Merlimau state seat fell vacant on January 20 when incumbent Datuk Mohamad Hidhir Abu Hasan died.

    Both Umno and Pas are expected to renew their battle in the Merlimau vote which has been fixed for March 6. TheMalaysiaInsider....

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Tenang: Muddy waters, Post-Tenang reflections

    Muddy waters: Post-Tenang reflections

    Bridget Welsh
    Jan 31, 11

    COMMENT Malaysia's 14th by-election since March 2008 scored another victory in the BN column, as they held onto their seat. This was expected, as it was home ground for Umno and the contest was purely about the winning majority.

    Even with the lower voter turnout, Umno did well with a comfortable and higher majority of 3,707. Rather than provide a numerical assessment of the voting results, let me share some broader observations and tensions that arise from the Tenang campaign.

    Despite the centrality of machinery and money, this election highlights the increasing challenges of engaging the diverse electorate in Malaysia. Arguably, the dynamics of the by-election in Johor muddy the waters, making the decisions about national electoral strategies and tactics even more complex.

    Decision to proceed irresponsible

    The most defining feature of this election was the weather. It was dreadful, and it negatively affected the polling. Watching voters drench themselves to vote, despite umbrellas, and wade in up to knee-high water to the polling station, made me question whether the by-election was worth the risks involved.

    I remain deeply puzzled why this by-election was not postponed. I woke up the morning of the poll thinking that it might already be time for Noah's Ark as the overnight downpour had already affected roads and submerged parts of the constituency.

    The fact that four polling stations (30 percent of the stations) were inaccessible by early afternoon made this question even more salient. It is fortunate that no one was seriously hurt and some voters were able to navigate the slick hazardous conditions, as the decision to continue with the polls appeared irresponsible.

    Voters, however, braved on. They believed strongly in their civic responsibility to vote, to have their opinion recorded despite the inconveniences involved in casting it. This speaks to an important feature of Malaysian politics, that even despite lackluster campaigns on both sides, when asked to act responsibly, to fulfill their roles as citizens, they do so.

    It was not only a matter of reward or partisanship, but a deep-seated desire both to be heard and be part of the national political landscape. Johoreans, in particular, feel left out of the excitement, and don't like to be ignored.

    What was striking is that the weather highlighted perhaps the biggest governance problem locally – flooding. While it is easy to think that climate change and heavy rain were responsible, the fact remains that flooding is also man-made.

    The land development practices of clearing land and failure to adequately monitor deforestation have contributed to the high siltation of the streams and river and created increased vulnerability to flooding. The low-lying areas are well-known, but the problem has clearly been inadequately addressed.

    Part of the problem is that flooding lies in the multiple jurisdictions of state and federal authorities, but this should not have been an excuse in Johor. The infrastructure is not up to par, and regular flooding is now the norm. Just a few years ago, areas in Johor were completely submerged.

    This by-election is a wake-up call to the BN government to act responsibly. The Tenang by-election showcased the problem of flooding that is now frequent in semi-rural areas throughout the country. It is a national problem that needs attention. Many of the voters who opted for the BN did so with the hope that conditions would improve in the future, that their civic responsibility would yield a more responsible government response.

    Chinese not spooked by Islamic state

    The reasons people voted as they did are not so easy to capture. Three interesting features stand out.

    First, the focus among voters was on the party rather than the candidate. For BN voters, the dominant thread was loyalty to Umno. For the majority of opposition voters, the focus was primarily on Pakatan Rakyat.

    Chinese voters were not as scared off with the Islamic state tactics, while those loyal to PAS continued to feel both a connection to the Islamic party and its cooperation with other component partners. In other by-elections, the candidate chosen was decisive. Here, given the credentials of both candidates, party emerged as more central.

    This suggests that while the choice of candidate may be increasingly important in urban areas, the image and identity of the party remains central in more semi-rural communities. Both of the main parties concerned – Umno and PAS – have challenges in improving their images and profiles in parts of the country, especially those where they have limited machinery or tainted images.

    Another feature of Tenang was the lack of political awareness or interest. Many, especially in the more rural areas, had never even heard of Pakatan and many were just not interested in politics.

    The intense politicking followed closely by Malaysiakini readers does not permeate the lives of Tenang voters, and they like it that way. Unlike Sibu, there was not a major political awakening in Tenang and voters did not relate to many of the opposition concerns about corruption and justice.

    This is a challenge politically, as many outside of urban centres have limited sources of political information and do not connect with issues touted by the urban-based political leaders the same way. Take 'Interlok', for example. This book was seen as distant from the life experience of voters. Meshing political issues with local outlooks remains a challenge across the political spectrum.

    Finally, given the dominance of Umno and its close relationship to government officials, one of the most difficult issues involves the blurred lines between government and party. The nasty weather conditions brought this to the fore, as police, fire officials, rural development authorities and election officials faced real challenges in managing their jobs neutrally.

    The scarce resources of boats and equipment added to the perception – deeply held in the Chinese-majority areas where assistance was less forthcoming – that civil servants did not respond fairly. It was exacerbated by the perception and reality that voting cut along ethnic lines and added to the view that the response was ethnically biased.

    Further investigation is needed to assess this, but the perception remains and is a product of the government's failure to draw sharp lines between what is for the party work and what belongs to the citizens at large.

    Given the multiple jurisdictions of governance and increased competitiveness, the need for civil servant neutrality is even more pressing. Any election should ultimately not rest on the selective use of government resources for the interest of any party. It makes the victory hollow, and raises ethical concerns and feeds unnecessarily into the increasingly racialised political lens.

    Soul searching for PAS and MCA

    As the waters subside, there are two political parties that have the most soul-searching to do. First is PAS. They are losing Malay ground in semi-rural areas. While in fairness, they had little support in the first place in Tenang, this election taken with the totality of results in the past few elections, including Galas in Kelantan, suggest some serious rethinking.

    The challenge for PAS is how to gain support in semi-rural areas that are multi-ethnic constituencies, e.g. Galas, Tenang and Merlimau, especially those in western and southern parts of Peninsular Malaysia.

    The Islamic state agenda polarise the electorate creating a zero-sum dynamic. Finding an identity that is inclusive, across races, and does not put pressure on Pakatan partners is not easy. The recent by-elections point to PAS' Malay deficit, one that is focused in some areas more than others.

    PAS is not able to effectively engage Felda settlers and break into traditional Umno ground. Despite the strong candidate, PAS appeared less connected to voters in Tenang than it did elsewhere.

    For the BN, Tenang was MCA's test in its strongest base. They did not deliver. The money, the promises, the Islamic state bogey, the personal presence and the month-long campaigning tied to the Chinese New Year did not win additional votes.

    There was no major swing back to MCA in its core political ground. This spells trouble for the party as it relies heavily on Umno for its seats and is unable to be seen as a strong representative of the Chinese community. The fact that very few young Chinese voters came back from Singapore to vote (many from Kuala Lumpur did however) is even more telling for MCA. The results could have been worse.

    Like PAS, the MCA faces the challenge of redefining its political identity and engagement. It can see first-hand how MIC and Gerakan have weakened, and MCA – along with perhaps PBB (Parti Pesaka Bumiputra Bersatu Sarawak) – remains the last party standing that has some autonomy besides Umno.

    The choices ahead for MCA are as difficult as those of PAS as it balances its subservient role in the BN with the need for its own survival.

    Beyond Tenang

    It is fitting that the next by-election is in a similar mixed-race constituency in a semi-rural area. Pakatan will face an uphill battle there as well. Campaigning has started already.

    One hopes that the all the parties go beyond the shallow and negative messages and “goodies” that have dominated Tenang. It is the last round pre-Sarawak contest before the next general election. Both sides are weary and the fatigue is showing.

    Yet if yesterday's polls are illustrative, the parties have to step up their game and give more responsible and positive options to voters to deserve the level of national commitment to Malaysia's future that the Tenang voters showed by voting despite having to wade through very muddy waters.

    DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. She is in Tenang to observe the by-elections. Welsh can be reached at .Malaysiakini. Subscription required.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Dam sabatoge. That explains a lot of things.

    Friday, 13 April 2012 07:05

    Dam sabotage by UMNO cost us Tenang by-election: Hadi

    PAS president Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang has made a startling revelation about last year's Tenang by-election in Johor, saying UMNO had sabotaged a dam there to cause flash floods in the constituency during polling day to turn results in its favour

    In an exclusive interview with Harakahdaily's editor-in-chief Zulkifli Sulong, Hadi claimed that early preparation had been made in anticipation of floods on polling day on January 30, in the form of boats to carry voters from affected areas to the polling stations.

    "That was very dirty cheating and undemocratic,” said the Marang member of parliament.

    Tenang is a rural area in northern Johor, and comprises of three Felda settlements, 8 Malay and Chinese villages, 25 mixed residential areas, one government quarters, four estates and two Orang Asli villages. PAS's Normala Sudirman was defeated by BN's Mohd Azahar Ibrahim by a majority of 3,707 votes.

    Flashfloods had then been blamed on low turnout of voters, at only 67 percent or 9,833 voters, out of 14,511 eligible voters. This was far from the Election Commission’s prediction of 80 percent.

    Against this backdrop, Hadi said in the coming general election, PAS could win in Felda areas, adding that “change can happen and we can win”.

    Hadi also said there was overwhelming response during his recent convoy tour to Johor, and said the future was bright for PAS in BN’s strongholds.

    “Our ceramah was attended by thousands, mainly younger generation. This at least points to a good future for PAS," he said.

    Besides Johor, the PAS president said the convoy, organised by the party's information bureau, also stopped by Terengganu and Pahang.

    Expressing satisfaction with preparation for the polls, Hadi said voters between 21 and 40 years of age would be deciding the victors of the coming general election as they make up 30 percent of total voters.

    “That is why BN has been indecisive in determining the date of election although the cash distribution programme has been on-going," he said, referring to the series of nationwide stops by senior BN leaders to distribute so-called cash aids for the poor.

    But Hadi opined that such gestures would only work for some older citizens.

    "For the younger generation, they have no confidence in the country’s economy as well as many other factors."

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