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  1. #101
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – What's wrong with Malaysia

    One man. Just one man in his megalomania and greed for power, destroyed the institutions set up by the British as a check and balance on the Govt.

    What's wrong with Malaysia

    Friday, 12 February 2010 Super Admin

    The institutions, as inherited from the British, generally worked. The judiciary was independent, it was fairly conservative but it worked and the police force was okay. And other elements in the bureaucracy worked. But after 50 years of the party being in power for 50 years, a half a century, the bureaucracy and the heads of those bureaucratic institutions have become extensions of the ruling party.

    Mark Colvin, ABC News

    MARK COLVIN: More than 50 Australian federal MPs have signed a letter to the Malaysian Government protesting against the trial of the former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim.

    It's the second time Anwar has been brought to court charged with sodomy, a fact that the letter describes as hard to believe for many friendly observers of Malaysia.

    The man who organised the letter, Melbourne Labor MP Michael Danby, says supporters of the incumbent government are manipulating the legal system to drive Malaysia's best known leader out of national politics.

    Barry Wain is writer-in-residence at Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies and he says the Anwar trial and much else that's wrong with Malaysia, can be traced back to Dr Mahathir Mohamad's long rule as prime minister.

    He's just published a book called Malaysian Maverick: Mahathir Mohamad in Turbulent Times.

    I asked him to explain the Anwar case.

    BARRY WAIN: At many levels it's inexplicable because the court case is underway one doesn't want to go into all the details of it. It's sufficient to say that right from the beginning when he was accused of sodomy the second time around 18 months ago, the public opinion polls showed that almost nobody in Malaysia believed the charges, the international community does not believe the charges…

    MARK COLVIN: It's widely regarded as an entirely political trial.

    BARRY WAIN: It is absolutely regarded as a political trial.

    MARK COLVIN: The first one was pretty clearly demonstrated as such when the inspector general of police was proved guilty of having beaten him up so badly.

    BARRY WAIN: And there were other factors as well; the special branch was found to have sort of kidnapped and intimidated and tortured witnesses who were then required to testify against Anwar.

    MARK COLVIN: How does it come to this though? Your book is about Dr Mahathir and you seem to really reach the conclusion that he completely broke down the separation between the state, the government and the judiciary.

    BARRY WAIN: The broad area that he did most damage was in institutions; he really cut the institutions adrift in Malaysia. The institutions, as inherited from the British, generally worked. The judiciary was independent, it was fairly conservative but it worked and the police force was okay. And other elements in the bureaucracy worked.

    But after 50 years of the party being in power for 50 years, a half a century, the bureaucracy and the heads of those bureaucratic institutions have become extensions of the ruling party.

    And Dr Mahathir himself definitely interfered with the judiciary. He sought to subjugate the judiciary to get the political outcome he wanted and that opened a way for monetary corruption into the judiciary.

    MARK COLVIN: You said at the beginning that he'd achieved some very big things and some of those are fairly obvious; there are big buildings and bridges and things that you can see; but you also say in your book that essentially he lost Malaysia a very great deal of money. How was that?

    BARRY WAIN: I devoted an entire chapter to financial scandals and I excluded from that chapter just some massive projects; for instance he built a new administrative capital for Malaysia called Putrajaya and the initial price for that was something like 20 billion ringgit; it's a lot of money. If you go there and visit it now it's often looks like a bit of a ghost town.

    So, ultimately whether that will be successful or not is not clear at this stage and Malaysians may have mixed feelings. I excluded those things, I even excluded his desire to build a national car; the proton, because it wasn't a financial scandal or a scam as such, it was simply it might have been misplaced but...

    I just took four financial scandals and my estimate was that 50 million ringgit probably in direct losses in those. There was an attempt to rig the international tin market…

    MARK COLVIN: What's that mean in say dollars?

    BARRY WAIN: Well, that would have been $US20 billion at the exchange rate at the time and I think you can double that with the losses that you get through opportunity costs and other things other than the direct amounts.

    MARK COLVIN: Is that known in Malaysia?

    BARRY WAIN: Actually, it is known to the older generation among the politicians particularly, but it wasn't widely publicised at the time. Most of these financial scandals go back to the '80s, some of them in the early '80s; so half the population either wasn't born or was in primary school.

    MARK COLVIN: So it doesn't come into play in elections for instance?

    BARRY WAIN: It figured in some of the elections back there in the mid '80s and it figured in the split that took place in UMNO in 1987 when Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah the former finance minister challenged Dr Mahathir and almost defeated him.

    That was the main accusation that Dr Mahathir had taken the ruling party into business and been involved in some of these scams such as trying to rig the international tin price.

    MARK COLVIN: But for those not familiar with Malaysian politics it might seem puzzling as to why UMNO keeps on being re-elected given the failings that you have outlined.

    BARRY WAIN: Yes and that sometimes is difficult to explain. One has to understand that political mobilisation in Malaysia takes place on racial lines, on ethnic lines, everything is on ethnic lines. Almost every party represents and ethnic group.

    Constitutionally and in practice the Malays will run the country and UMNO, which is restricted of course to Malays, to a membership of Malays has always been the party of the Malays and so when it feels threatened, as it does now, it tends to play on those elements of Malay-ness and that includes Islam which is an essential element of Malay identity to rally people to the UMNO cause.

    And sometimes this just plays on anxieties, plays on fears until people worry about what might happen if the Opposition, which is often portrayed in the past as predominantly Chinese, gets into power.

    MARK COLVIN: It's a dangerous game?

    BARRY WAIN: It's a very, very dangerous game and it's already led to extremism and again Anwar's trial can be seen as extreme. One would have hoped that Prime Minister Najib Razak, coming into power less than a year ago, might have moved to make sure that trial didn't take place.

    If he was trying to, as he says he is, operating under a slogan of 'one Malaysia' and trying to bring about ethnic harmony.

    MARK COLVIN: But does it mean then that Mahathir, like somebody like Lee Kuan Yu in Singapore or like President Putin in Russia is still around as a power?

    BARRY WAIN: Well he's around. I don't think he has a lot of power. He has a blog site and it's a very popular one and he writes regularly on politics and buys into politics. He did help get rid of his successor, Abdullah Badawi, he turned on him very viciously.

    So Dr Mahathir is there, he is a force, he's still got a fairly strongly following in the country but he doesn't by any means call the shots.

    MARK COLVIN: Barry Wain, writer-in-residence at Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

    And you can hear a 15-minute version of that interview on our website from this evening at Malaysiatoday....

  2. #102
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – MALAYSIA: Najib: Divided, we fall

    Isn't this rich? Coming from the party that has done more than anyone else to divide the people in order to rule them. UMNO's idea of unity is that everybody unite behind UMNO. Unity of the people behind PR is not unity.

    The racist behaviour of all his UMNO underlings put the lie to Najib's 1Malaysia facade. Time to get rid of this cancer from our nation.

    Najib: Divided, we fall

    By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak tonight said the country’s economy will never be viable if the society remains divided, stressing that the 1 Malaysia concept is key for its future.

    “I believe that the values, the vision and the commitment behind 1 Malaysia will be vital to the long-term strength of Malaysia,” the prime minister told those attending the National Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Malaysia (NCCIM) dinner in KLCC here.

    “Business cannot succeed and economies cannot be strong when our society is divided. We will not succeed in the new global era if we do not extend opportunity to all according to their needs and look to utilise the talents of all our people, not just some,” he added. TheMalaysiaInsider....

  3. #103
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – MALAYSIA: Allah row signals Malay race fear

    Simple divide-and-rule strategies of the Ruling Class with the MCA, MIC and Gerakan as collaborators in the suppression of the Rakyat. There was no row over the word "Allah" until UMNO banned the use of the word by the Christians in 2006. Simply-said this is a manufactured row to meet UMNO's political agenda.

    Allah row signals Malay race fear

    KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 13 — Malay, Chinese and Indian Malaysians, thrown together by a colourful past, have often managed a mutual accommodation of each other’s different faiths and cultures.

    But the recent argument over the use of the word “Allah” has provoked strident — and divergent — views both within the Muslim community and outside it.

    So too has the labelling of Indian and Chinese Malaysians as “pendatang”, or immigrants, by a senior ruling party member, Datuk Nasir Safar.

    He lost his job as adviser to the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak 12 hours later.

    Meanwhile, the cancellation of a concert by US singer Beyonce, the arrest of young unmarried couples for “close proximity” and the caning sentence given to a mother for drinking beer have all attracted international attention.

    Such rows call into question whether Malaysia is a state in which different races and faiths live in equality and comfort with each other, or whether the country is becoming more conservatively Muslim at the expense of others. TheMalaysiaInsider....

  4. #104
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – MALAYSIA: Sham Democracy - A Report on Malaysian GE

    A detailed analysis of the distortion of the electoral process by UMNO in cahoots with the UMNO War Machine.

    Sham Democracy: A Report on Malaysian Elections

    Prepared by The Peoples Justice Party

    Parti Keadilan Rakyat
    September 2006
    (revised May 2007)
    Attached Files Attached Files

  5. #105
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Quote Originally Posted by pywong
    Amendment: UMNO Rebels added

    Amendment: Tentera Wataniah added under VII Militias[/color]

    Add a new member to Class VI - Social and Anti-social organisations: PERKASA. Shall we categorize them as Social or Anti-social?

    Who are Perkasa?
    CPI Writings
    Written by Dr Lim Teck Ghee
    Wednesday, 17 February 2010 14:07

    Dr Farish Noor’s assessment of Perkasa as “a class issue… reflecting the anxieties of poor Malays who are scared of the globalization process” is off the mark.

    There is presently little or no data on Perkasa’s membership or ideology to support his assertion. For example, we do not know how large its membership is, the demographic and socio-economic profile of members, the reasons for participation in the group’s activities, the number of poor, middle or upper class Malays that are members, the attitudes of these members and other supporters towards the globalization process, etc.

    What are known are its origins, leadership, ideological position and the objectives and causes it stands for. The facts known about it are clear and unambiguous evidence of what the organization stands for and aims to achieve. They are a far cry from the class-based, nebulous and even heroic concerns that Farish draws attention to in his assessment.

    Perkasa is an organization registered with the Registrar of Societies on Sept 12, 2008. It traces its origins to the aftermath of the momentous March 8 general elections with the early discussion on forming the organization publicly announced in June 2008.

    Its objectives clearly prioritize the defence of “Malay special rights” (rather than the “special position” of the Malays) as well as the position of Islam, Bahasa Melayu and Malay rulers.

    There is nothing in its objectives (or its subsequent activities) to make it out as being concerned with or wanting to take up the plight of poor Malays. Instead its positions are based on the anxieties of “Ketuanan Melayu” and “Ketuanan Islam”. Who are Perkasa? and Malaysiatoday.... Race-based quota employment policies: Can they be justified?

  6. #106
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – MALAYSIA: UMNO War Machine at Work

    'Operation Harass Opposition MPs in motion'

    Feb 25, 10 7:10am

    'This so that the people can be reminded time and time again of the wanton activities of the BN government's enforcement agencies - reminded enough to vote out Umno.'

    Sivarasa, Salahuddin in police sights.

    Pemerhati: It is beginning to look as though there is a grand plan worked out by Najib Abdul Razak and his cohorts to stay in power indefinitely by hook or by crook. They seem to be employing a number of strategies simultaneously and hoping that these would produce the desired results.

    We have already seen how they have tried to polarise the communities by stoking up tension using the 'cow head', 'pig head' and 'Allah' issues. By this strategy, they hope to get back the Malay-Muslim support and keep the tension high so as to start a May 13-type of trouble and then declare a state of emergency if the election results are unfavourable.

    The second strategy, which is becoming obvious now, is to keep the opposition on the defensive by harassing and persecuting their important leaders so that they will not be able to organise their election machinery well and hence lose the next general election. As the judiciary and enforcement agencies are under their complete control, the BN government can harass and imprison anyone they like.

    Geronimo: I hope they will continue to harass the Pakatan Rakyat leaders until the 13th general election so that people can be reminded time and time again of these wanton activities by the BN government's enforcement agencies. Reminded enough to vote Umno and their lackeys out for good.

    Right now, the police, instead of using their bullets to shoot the bad guys, are actually shooting themselves in the foot.

    KayKay: Increasingly, the public perception is that the police and all government agencies have shamelessly abandoned their responsibilities to the people to focus on protecting Umno and doing in the opposition. You name it, they are at it. MACC, the police, the publications division of the Home Ministry, etc, etc.

    Meanwhile, Umno politicians are busy twisting and turning every issue into a racial issue just to hoodwink the Malays into giving them a blank cheque just as in the days following the searing May 13 Sino-Malay race riots which were created by the election-losers for their self-serving ends. The 'Allah' term is not the only issue. There are even more racial issues to come from Umno.

    They don't seem very interested in bringing the people together and managing the economy, which is going to the dogs. If the economy sinks, the first people to suffer will be the rural people. Soon Malay politics will splinter again as in 1955, 1965, 1969, 1987, 1998 and 2008.

    Bapak Toyol: Men in blue, please stop your triple standards. Many others especially in Umno have done worse things and yet no action was taken against them. Just because they belong to Umno, that does not mean that they are 'untouchables'.

    Carry on with what you are doing and this will only cause your Umno to lose even more votes in the next general election.

    Karma: Independent MP and Perkasa chairperson Ibrahim Ali also spoke a lot during the last street protest and illegal assembly in Penang. Why are no police going after him? He called the Penang chief minister a 'dictator' and threatened to protest until the latter 'surrenders'. Why no policeman called Ibrahim in for questioning despite a report lodged against him?

    Tan Kian Khim: Nasir Safar, Ahmad Ismail, Ibrahim Ali, Hishammuddin Hussein, Najib Razak, Muhyiddin Yassin, Jamaluddin Jarjis, Khir Toyo, Nazri Aziz, Mahathir Mohamad, etc, etc, ad nauseam have all openly and repeatedly made racist statements.

    BTN: What happened to all those racist Umno members of parliament who uttered seditious words? PDRM, do your work justly and do not show the international world yet another dark side of this country. This boleh-stuff that is not only dumb in nature but idiotic as well has to be stopped.

    Voter-Get-Voters campaign: Actually it is not the fault of the police, nor the fault of the Election Commission, the MACC or the government machinery. It is the fault of all those heads of the respective government departments who take orders blindly (or rather obediently) which in turns lead us to pin the fault entirely on BN.

    The rot in a fish starts at the head. The only way to stop the spread of this rot is to overthrow this corrupted BN. And the one and only way is to get as much votes as possible for Pakatan Rakyat via the 'Voter-Get-Voter' campaign so that Pakatan shall win with a massive majority - so massive that this crooked BN cannot cheat by fraud or 'froggies'.

    Satinah Osman: Najib, do not tell us that you are not behind all this. The tail cannot move unless the head gives the go-ahead.

    All your rhetoric about '1Malaysia' and the glorious days ahead for the 'rakyat' is stupid, unbelievable rhetoric just made up for you to hold on to your immense palace and to avoid being charged for complicity in corruption of huge magnitudes and the alleged blowing-up of foreigners on our soil.

    Rayfire: Inspector-general of police, please stop harassing the politicians especially those from the opposition team. There are a lot of criminals out there causing damage to our society so please prioritise your time to handle these people instead.
    I know you are trying hard to please the PM so that he will officially accept the Royal Malaysian Police Force as part of BN, but please don't let that divert you from your real role.

    To all sincere policeman out there, don't be silent and let IGP ruin the reputation of the once best police force in the region. Don't degrade yourselves to become servants of BN. Treat all criminals alike and be fair.

    Kgen: There seem to be two sets of laws - one for Umno who can spew out any racist rant with impunity and one for the opposition who are pulled up for frivolous reasons. PDRM, you disgust me.

    The above is a selection of comments posted by Malaysiakini subscribers. Only Malaysiakini subscribers can post comments. Over the past six months, Malaysiakinians have posted 50,000 comments. Be part of the Malaysiakini community and help set the news agenda. Malaysiakini. Subscription required.

    Malaysiakini. Subscribe now.

  7. #107
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Wednesday, February 24, 2010
    Drawing the Political Lines - a PAS-UMNO role reversal

    The General Election of 1999 saw UMNO being whitewashed in Kelantan and Trengganu, losing the 2 states to PAS. In Kelantan, UMNO had a dismal run where it only managed to secure just 1 parliamentary seat out of 14 and 2 state seats out of a total of 43. In Trengganu, UMNO led Barisan Nasional to only 4 state seats out of a total 32. All 8 parliamentary seats in Trengganu went to the opposition. The full result is here.

    Held just after the calamitous Anwar Ibrahim's unceremonious sacking from his Deputy Premiership, his subsequent ISA detention, black eye incident and the infamous mattress-and-sodomy-at-a-condominium-which-did-not-exist trial, the 10th general election saw the Malay electoral citizenry being split in a fashion not seen before.

    The split in UMNO and the backlash from the Anwar episode, coupled with the 1997 currency crisis badly affected the Barsian Nasional's performance. This was evident when KeAdilan, a party which was formed by the "Anwaristas" and contesting for the first time in a general election even managed to secure 5 parliamentary seats and 4 state seats. Overall, UMNO secured only 72 parliamentary seats, reduced from the 94 seats it had from the previous general election.

    The real gainer however was PAS. Capitalising on the UMNO split caused by the Anwar issue, PAS went for the jugular in this election. In the Anwar issue, PAS had evidence that UMNO was only about one man, namely, Dr Mahathir. In the currency crisis, PAS had a financial mismanagement issue. And to top it up, PAS had its perennial political love dolls providing endless political wet dreams to all its supporters. And that was the promise of an Islamic state.

    As a result, PAS secured 27 parliamentary seats as opposed to its dismal 8 seats secured in the previous general election. In addition, it retained its rule in Kelantan and added Trengganu to its trophy cabinet.

    While PAS and KeAdilan (as a newcomer) made considerable inroads in the political landscape of Malaysia in 1999, DAP was stagnant. It retained its 10 parliamentary seats but saw its leader, Lim Kit Siang, losing his seat. It would appear that the loose "alliance" that DAP had with PAS during that election had isolated and frightened off many of its supporters. Lim Kit Siang described the result as “a catastrophic defeat with our traditional non-Malay and Chinese supporters abandoning the party”.

    As a result DAP lost its standing as the major opposition party to PAS. To rub salt in the gaping wound, Lim Kit Siang lost his seat.

    The stage was thus set for a Malay showdown. Malaysia was not going to be the same, ever, again.

    The lost of support from the traditional UMNO stronghold - the Malay heartland - was a blow to UMNO, the Barisan Nasional and especially to Dr Mahathir. This jolted UMNO in general and Dr Mahathir in particular.

    There were two options left to UMNO. It could discard the racial tone evident in the 1999 general election and work together with its main partners in the Barisan Nasional - the MCA and MIC - to forge a united Malaysia and focus on its economics policies to rebuilt Malaysia's badly hit economy and financial standing after the 1997 crisis and continue its march towards vision 2020. Or it could concentrate on the shifting paradigm of the Malay political power base by trying to reconquer the Malay heartland support as well as widening its appeal to a wider Malay working class.

    It has been proven time and time again that when push comes to shove, an entity would always go back to its root in order to regroup. UMNO was no different.It chose the second option.

    The obvious question was how was UMNO going to regain lost ground? The answer was even more obvious than the question itself.

    I remember it was Lim Kit Siang who first wrote about it. Immediately after the 1999 election, he spoke of the "danger" which was lurking post 1999 general election:

    “The danger of the historic electoral setback for UMNO in the 1999 general election and the emergence of PAS as the dominant Opposition in Parliament with 27 seats and a very marginalised DAP with ten seats is that Parliament in the next five years will principally become the battleground between UMNO and PAS for the hearts and minds of the Malays in the Malay heartland, resulting in a spiral of Islamisation policies - threatening a democratic secular Malaysia and sidelining all other great issues of the Malaysian people.

    “There are four circumstances where such a spiral of competitive Islamisation policies between UMNO and PAS to take the centre stage of Malaysian politics in the next five years could be avoided:

    UMNO refusing to compete with PAS on the Islamic terrain, which is unlikely as its sole agenda in the next five years is not only to win back lost Malay heartland to PAS, but to ensure that there is no further encroachment of UMNO support in the next election leading to the loss of state governments in Perlis, Kedah and Pahang.

    A courageous and principled MCA, Gerakan and MIC in the Barisan Nasional which could stop any UMNO lurch towards greater Islamisation policies, which nobody can ever hope based on the ingrained subservience of MCA, Gerakan and MIC to UMNO hegemony.

    A strong DAP to block such Islamisation policies, which is not possible with the marginalisation of the DAP in Parliament and Malaysian politics as a result of the election result.

    PAS refraining from responding to any UMNO political actions to up the ante in the battle for the Malay heartland by resorting to Islamisation policies, which is not very optimistic.

    ”As these four circumstances do not seem likely to exist, Malaysia is set on a very uncertain and perilous future.”

    He was correct on two counts, namely, the Islamisation counteraction by UMNO and the limpness of MCA, Gerakan and MIC to stop that process. And he was in for a big surprise on the other two counts.

    It was obvious that UMNO saw PAS' political advances in the 1999 general election as a sign of the Malay's acceptance of PAS' idea of - and perhaps a desire for -an Islamic state. It therefore decided to discard its neo-liberal credential within itself and plunged head on into what it thought was appealing to the Malay masses, the Islamisation of Malaysia. To do that, UMNO had to out-Islamise PAS. UMNO must be more Islam-centric.

    Lim Kit Siang was spot on.

    The "Malay showdown" was not about a struggle within the Malay working class shoving each other for a bigger share of the economics pie or education opportunities. It was also not about the struggle for social justice, freedom of expression and universal rights. Nor was it about equal opportunities, a just and equitable spread of resources and empowerment. Rather, it was about the neo-religious-fundamentalists-nationalists UMNO versus the traditional left winged Islamist (I am using the word "Islamist", as opposed to "Islamic" deliberately) and PAS trying to out-Islam each other.

    By 29th September 2001, none other than Dr Mahathir himself declared in an UMNO General Assembly that:

    “UMNO wishes to state loudly that Malaysia is an Islamic country. This is based on the opinion of ulamaks who had clarified what constituted as Islamic country. If Malaysia is not an Islamic country because it does not implement the hudud, then there are no Islamic countries in the world.

    If UMNO says that Malaysia is an Islamic country, it is because in an Islamic country non-Muslims have specific rights. This is in line with the teachings of Islam. There is no compulsion in Islam. And Islam does not like chaos that may come about if Islamic laws are enforced on non-Muslims" (source: Malaysiakini report, 29th September 2001)

    There was even an added twist to the Islamisation drama in Malaysia. And this is due to the odd compulsory marriage between the legal Malays, as defined by the Federal Constitution, - as opposed to the genetic biological Malays - and Islam as a faith itself.

    This brought about a political convenience to UMNO and its ilk. Why not kill 2 birds - and many others - with just one proverbial stone? In the equation of Malay-ness to Muslim-ness, and vice-versa, UMNO found a convenient way of gaining support within the Malay mind set, whether real or on the surface, by espousing Ketuanan Melayu and denouncing any questioning of the position of Islam as seditious, an affront to the powers of the Rulers and even a threat to national security (as evident by the illegal detention of Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the ISA for allegedly "insulting Islam").

    The Malays, albeit not all of them, ate the Islamisation bread crumbs straight from UMNO's palm. Hence the proliferation of Islamic this and Islamic that in Malaysia. To give a substantive credence to the Islamic state claim made by Dr Mahathir, a parallel Syariah High Court and Appellate court system was even established, giving them immense powers to police morals and religiosity among the suffering Muslims in Malaysia.

    This mixture of racialist-nationalist-Islamist stance formed a potent counteraction to PAS' Islamic-hudud state aspiration.

    The real losers were however not PAS. They were the peace loving Malaysians in general and in particular the urban as well as the open minded Malays of the working class who saw their freedom and liberty being eroded by a double edged sword. They are quite obviously not Malay enough and/or Muslim enough.

    The hardliners' nationalist-Islam-centric policy was given a different dimension and approach during Tun Abdullah's time as the PM. He propounded Islam Hadhari, a set of Islamic driven rules which he thought would assimilate - and hence consolidate UMNO's Islamist agenda - the Islamist-fundamentalist hard line position with progressive thinking. This was given large propaganda by the state controlled mass media.

    Regardless of the apparent softening and progressive nature of the Islamic images portrayed by Islam Hadhari, the Islamist-fundamentalist stance continued quite relentlessly at the ground level. For instance, after Abdul Malik Mydin swam for more than 17 hours across the English Channel, questions were raised in Parliament by UMNO parliamentarians on how Abdul Malik could have prayed while doing so! (source: Lim Kit Siang's article). That was obviously an effort to out-Islam PAS in the Parliament.

    Similarly, when Malaysia's first astronaut (to borrow the Government's terminology) was preparing to go to space, it was thought important that a guideline should be announced by the ulamaks on how he could pray in space.

    Such was the inclination to display the government's Islamic credential in opposition of PAS' brand of Islamic-hudud ideology.

    In football, Manchester United is famous for absorbing attacks after attacks before making a swift counter attack (which would normally involve just 4 or 5 passes) which results in a beautiful goal. Why am I talking about football suddenly?

    The bigger picture in politics is of course to win election and to govern the State. That is the goal. Unfortunately for UMNO, all this focus on out-Islamising PAS had taken off their attention from other real, and more tangible, grievances of the people. Blatant corruptions, hikes in petrol prices, abuses of powers, police brutality, inconsistent implementation of various policies, and general wrongdoings were issues which the people observed and kept in their heart. To top it up, the widening accessibility to real news via the Internet had made the people, particularly the younger generation, more aware of the social and political landscape of Malaysia.

    The people grew more and more critical of the government. When BERSIH organised a rally to protest against unfair elections, 60000 people came out on the streets to brave acid-laced water and baton wielding FRU. When the Linggam tape surfaced, 3000 lawyers walked to the PM department demanding justice.

    Anwar Ibrahim, who was just released from the prison by the Federal Court, was working overtime to create a viable alliance between PKR, DAP and of all the parties, PAS. This loose alliance consisting of a motley crew of political parties with different ideologies, approaches and even mannerism managed to unseat the Barisan Nasional in 5 states and took away the much coveted two-third majority from the BN in the Parliament in March 2008.

    That was a typical Manchester United counter-attack I was talking about. While UMNO was busy attacking on the Islamist-fundamentalist front, they left their rear open (no pun intended please) and they paid a heavy price. They conceded a political goal against the run of play via an unforeseen counter attack.

    And this is where Lim Kit Siang was wrong. He said in his statement above that he was not very optimistic that PAS would not respond to UMNO's Islam-centric counteraction. It was obvious that UMNO had thought the same too.

    As it transpired, PAS was, and still is, a smarter political animal than UMNO - or Lim Kit Siang - would care to acknowledge. Recent post-Tun-Abdullah events would show that PAS could redefine pragmatism when necessity demands.

    In forging an alliance with PKR and DAP in the Pakatan Rakyat (now, Pakatan Rakyat Malaysia), PAS had to ostensibly ditch its Islamic-hudud state aspiration. UMNO thought that this was PAS' - and hence the PR's - Achilles heels.

    UMNO then began a series of surreptitious moves to de-stabilise PAS and the PR by approaching the ulamaks faction within PAS and making very public statements about a unity government between UMNO and PAS. By doing this it was clear that UMNO was running impatient with the pathetic infighting within MCA and the even more pathetic inability of MIC to ditch Samy Vellu from its leadership despite the loud and very clear signal from UMNO that he was not wanted.

    In a way, this move was a calculated one. It gave a clear signal to MCA and MIC of UMNO's willingness to go it alone without them. It also could split PAS into two factions, the hard liners Islamic-hudud state ulamaks faction (Hassan Ali, Hadi Awang et al) versus the moderate-progressive-liberalist faction (Khalid Samad, Tok Guru Nik Aziz et al). And had PAS bitten this Malay unity cum Islamist-fundamentalist gesture by UMNO, it would also spell the end of the PR.

    However, as was stated earlier, PAS was, and still is, a much smarter political animal than it was thought to be. PAS rode the internal bickering through the perseverance and leadership of Tok Guru Nik Aziz and stuck with its alliance to the PR (now PRM).

    Meanwhile, UMNO's Islam-centric posturing continued in recent time. Despite the 1 Malaysia sloganeering by the Prime Minister, UMNO has continued, through its leadership and grass root warlords, to cavort with Islamist elements, or what they perceive as Islamist elements.

    Thus we saw when some Malay Muslims carried a severed and bloodied cow head to protest against a planned relocation of a Hindu temple to their area, UMNO's top gun met and heard them and even came up with statements saying that their actions were "understandable".

    We also saw when Kartika was sentenced to 6 stroke of caning for drinking alcohol in public, UMNO just shut its mouth while the Prime Minister managed to muster an advise that Kartika should appeal against the sentence. The Home Ministry, which initially said that the authorities were ill-equipped to perform such sentencing later changed its story after a demonstration of the caning in the Minister's office. As it is, Kartika is yet to be caned. Nobody knows the real reason for this legal procrastination.

    (Readers should contrast these boneless act of quiet acquiescence with what Dr Mahathir did before. I remember when some religious authorities raided a beauty pageant and arrested a Malay participant, Dr Mahathir quickly made a statement condemning that action and nicely putting the religious authorities to their rightful place! If there was a thing which I admire about Dr Mahathir, it is his ability to whack anybody for anything which he disliked. )

    The Islam-centric stance came to a head when the High Court declared that the Herald newspaper may use the word "Allah" in its publication and declared the Home Ministry's banning of the usage of the word by the Herald was illegal and void.

    UMNO took a real risk in protesting against that High Court decision. It risked international condemnation. It risked a backlash from Sabah and Sarawak (which are the source of 56 parliamentary seat altogether). It risked isolating the non-Muslims. But it took all these risk and protested against the decision.

    Again, PAS showed its pragmatist credence by taking an open minded and more liberal stance than UMNO. Khalid Samat spearheaded and encapsulated PAS' stance in that matter by imploring acceptance by Muslims of the non-Muslims' proper usage of the word "Allah".

    UMNO paid more than what it bargained for when its apparent cavorting of the more fundamentalist elements within the Malay society - as evident by UMNO's initial willingness to allow the mosque demonstrations - resulted in churches being torched and burnt. These incidents threatened to blow into a full scale hate war when some opportunistic youths tried to burn suraus.

    This however does not stop the UMNO driven government from allowing the latest display of Islam-centric actions. Three Malay Muslim women were recently sentenced to caning for illicit sex and were duly caned in secret. Contrary to the usual predisposition of the mainstream mass media to go into hysterical mode (or in Minister Rais' words, to "change mode") every time there is some news involving sex, especially at the Syariah Courts, (reflecting the society's predisposition towards anything which has to do with sex), the MSM did not carry a single report of these events until after the events! And even then, they chose an opportune time to carry the "news" in the middle of the Chinese New Year festivities!

    This had caused outrage. MCA, UMNO's loyal partner all these while had condemned the caning. But within UMNO, even its own lady leader, the Women, Family and Community Development Minister, Senator Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil supported the caning. She is now even planning a convention of sorts on the matter.

    Meanwhile, the racialist-nationalist-fundamentalist stance has taken a wider road. The establishment - with a not so hidden support by UMNO - of the ultra-Malay-Muslim right-wing nationalist movement called PERKASA has brought a greater dimension to the Islamist agenda of UMNO. Although on paper, PERKASA's leader, Ibrahim Ali, is an independent MP, UMNO's apparent acquiescence to PERKASA's extreme right-wing aspirations, despite the Prime Minister's 1 Malaysia sloganeering, is all too obvious. This is amply evident when PERKASA was even invited to speak at UMNO-organised ceramahs.

    It is of course within the collective wisdom of UMNO's top leadership to continue trying to out-Islamise PAS to win Malay support. And we, the lay people, will never be able to appreciate such wisdom from the outside of the UMNO tall building.

    Whether such move would bear fruits in the coming 2013 General Election in the face of greater awareness among the voters and at the risk of isolating whatever support it may still have among the non-Muslims remains to be seen.

    Only time will tell whether UMNO's focus on Islam-centric moves will bring them closer to winning the Malay heartland support instead of focusing on the real and tangible issues at hand, such as:
    corruptions such as the PKFZ saga
    abuses of power
    inconsistent implementation of the law by the authorities, such as the arrest of 5 lawyers trying to see their clients and the 90 students in front of Sogo as opposed to allowing 300 people to demonstarte outside the Australian Embassy
    police brutalities (Kugan comes to mind)
    Teoh Beng Hock's death
    the Perak fiasco
    sodomy 2
    incompetence - the jet engines episode and the submarine which fails to submerge
    the upcoming GST, petrol price hike and probably electricity tariff hike
    the fate of our economy in the face of lukewarm foreign direct investments, massive capital outflow and declining Petronas' income

    However, the clear fact which has arisen from Malaysia's murky political swamps thus far is that PAS is not playing the fool's game and it's support remains intact.

    It is ironic that in 2010, PAS has reversed its hard line image to a progressive driven Islamic party in the face of UMNO's relentless Islam-centric efforts.

    In 2010 Malaysia, it would appear that PAS and UMNO has rebooted and in drawing their respective political lines, they have exchanged their respective political role. Art Harun.

  8. #108
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – RPK on Gerrymandering

    Why the two-thirds is crucial (UPDATED with Chinese Translation)

    Tuesday, 02 March 2010 Super Admin

    In a gerrymandering exercise you lump all the opposition voters into one huge constituency and you spread out the government supporters into many seats. So, the opposition can garner 100,000 votes but it will be only one seat while the 100,000 votes that the ruling party wins will be in three or four seats.


    Raja Petra Kamarudin

    Soon after the 8 March 2008 general election, Umno held a seminar at the Holiday Villa in Subang. I invited a few non-Malay friends to join me in this seminar. Initially, they did not see any point in attending an Umno do. However, I managed to convince them to go so that they can get a good idea on what Umno is thinking. There were other seminars held in Petaling Jaya, Johor Bharu, and so on -- some which I also attended with my non-Malay friends in tow and some which I sent ‘agents’.

    In the Holiday Villa seminar, amongst those who spoke were Fahmi Ibrahim, one-time political secretary to Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Harun Idris, and Mazlan Harun, Datuk Harun’s son. Datuk Harun is of course synonymous with May 13, the tragic race riots of 1969 that erupted two days after the 11 May 1969 general election.

    We all know what happened on 13 May 1969, and why it happened, so we need not deliberate on that matter. What I want to talk about is the seminar in the Holiday Villa, which I have in fact already written about before.

    “The reason we lost Selangor in 1969 was because of the non-Malay votes. So we decided to take Kuala Lumpur out of Selangor and turn it into Federal Territory to reduce the non-Malay voters in the state. Then we created a new Malay city called Shah Alam so that we can flood Selangor will more Malays and dilute the remaining non-Malay voters in Selangor.”

    That was what Fahmi explained -- the reason why Selangor was split into two with the creation of the Federal Territory and the reason why Shah Alam was created as the new State Capital cum Malay city.

    “It worked for awhile as long as the Malays vote Umno and the non-Malays vote opposition. But when the Malays also vote opposition then this strategy no longer works. So we need to think of a new strategy.”

    The ‘new’ strategy Umno is talking about is not actually new but is an ongoing strategy. This strategy is called gerrymandering and it was invented by the Americans. Malaysiatoday....

  9. #109
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – Sabah Population increased from 3.1M to 5.1M

    Sabah Population increased from 3.1M in 2003 to 5.1M in 2009! UMNO War Machine at work.

  10. #110
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    Re: THE RAT RACE PART VI – MALAYSIA: The Judiciary, one of the rotten arms....

    The Judiciary, one of the rotten arms of the UMNO War Machine. How much more rot are we going to tolerate?

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