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(KT) BN bites the dust January 18, 2009

Posted by elizabethwong in Democracy, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.
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17 comments

A congratulatory video, dedicated to the unsung, unseen campaign workers in Kuala Terengganu by MediaRakyat.

THANK YOU to all our new friends in KT: You have opened your homes and your hearts to us, warming us with your kindness, encouragement and hospitality. We thank you for your prayers and salute you for your courage!

HIDUP RAKYAT! HIDUP PAKATAN RAKYAT!

SARAWAK – Here we come! 😀

An awful day for Najib and BN

Commentary by Wan Hamidi Hamid (Malaysian Insider)

JAN 17 — It was a horrible blow for Datuk Seri Najib Razak. The prime minister-in-waiting has now lost two by-elections in less than five months.

Both the by-election results saw higher majority votes for the federal opposition.

Najib did his best for his beloved Barisan Nasional in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election. Yet the voters in the BN stronghold decided to vote for Umno’s arch enemy Pas.

He made many promises, granted many projects and offered a lot of goodies, and yet the voters rejected BN.

Is this a bad omen or merely another “minor” setback for the deputy prime minister who has a tough task ahead of him to take over from Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi this March?

Throughout the 11-day campaign period, Najib had worked diligently to ensure victory for BN candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh. According to journalists covering the by-election, he was one of the hardest working campaigners for the federal ruling coalition.

If it was not his fault, would BN leaders blame the voters? It may not be a smart idea to do so. After all, Terengganu voters were among those who helped BN increased its votes in the state when the political tsunami hit the country on March 8 last year.

What does the result mean for Umno and BN?

Besides the expected morose look on the faces of BN leaders tomorrow, the coalition’s backbone Umno will also face yet another question on its actual strength to bring the Malays back to its fold.

This dreaded question — is Umno still relevant — will continue to haunt its leaders. Since Abdullah is set to leave the political arena, Najib has to inherit all the misgivings and wrong perception brought about by his soon-to-be predecessor.

If Umno persists in blaming others in its post-mortem of the by-election, it would simply mean it does not want to address the root cause of the problem; and would further damage the image of the party.

Worse still, Umno will continue to lose its battle against perception of elitism, ignoring the people and too concerned with its own personal interests.

Yet in a more negative way, it can also push certain party leaders — particularly those entering the race for party posts in March — to be more insular and parochial in their racial approach to win the hearts and minds of their own supporters.

This could mean a more divided Malaysia. Unless the Pakatan Rakyat is willing to step in to provide a real alternative.

Pas candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut’s victory was a second coming for Pakatan; the much-need shot in the arm for the loose coalition, after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s official political comeback five months ago when he regained his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

Pas’s victory will also wipe away any possibility of the party trying to be friendly with Umno, despite the efforts by some of its top leaders almost a year ago. This will bring the party a new sense of confidence.

Other Pakatan partners — Parti Keadilan Rakyat and DAP — are already jumping for joy. Not only are they celebrating their partner’s victory, this is also the time for them to regroup for the next general election.

While the post-mortem on both sides will reveal the actual turn of events and provide more details, it can be safely deduced that most Chinese voters opted for Pas while there was a swing among Malay voters for Pas.

It was the Malay votes that had got Umno so worried and the damage had been done in Kuala Terengganu. Just like a football game, losing on your home turf will certainly have a deep psychological impact.

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Umno’s vigilantes tour Shah Alam January 12, 2009

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Politics, Race Relations.
15 comments

(You can also read YB Khalid Samad’s personal account here)

An incident of how UMNO goons intend to destabilise society
Published by guansin on January 11, 2009 11:59 am 

Today I want to publish a letter from Shah Alam MP, Khalid Abdul Samad of PAS, and expose the conspiracy by UMNO to create tension in the multiracial Malaysia for its own political objective.

In his letter (abdulsamad-section19-temple.pdf), YB Khald Samad describes an incident that he had to respond to in his constituency. In brief, there was a group of troublemakers from Malacca who were planning to build a field to practise Silat (without permit) right besides a Hindu temple in Section 19 Shah Alam. (Yes, you can almost say that “UMNO Malacca is busy to destabilise Selangor PR state government”, rather than focusing on Malacca’s state development.) The letter carries some interactions between the MP and the leader of the troublemakers; those are interesting reads.

I commend the sensibility and fairness demonstrated by YB Khalid Samad. Residents of Shah Alam are fortunate to have elected such a representative. And to many Chinese Malaysians, who have for years misled by BN propaganda machinery and the mainstream media, this MP is the voice of conscience of PAS.

Let me highlight some of the interesting parts of the letter below. (Highlights are mine.)

Kerajaan BN telah meninggalkan banyak perkara yang perlu diperbetulkan… Di antara yang ‘lain-lain’ itu adalah persoalan kuil-kuil yang bertaburan yang telah tidak diurus dengan baik apatah lagi bertanggung jawab oleh BN.

Dasar kerajaan PR adalah mudah. Pertama, kuil-kuil yang lama ini perlu dipindahkan
ke satu tempat yang lebih sesuai. Tempat perlu dikenal pasti oleh PBT dan semestinya dipersetujui oleh pengguna kuil berkenaan. PBT perlu mengambil kira segala permasalahan yang akan dihadapi oleh pengguna kuil hasil dari pemindahan tersebut. Sambil itu, pembinaan kuil baru, selain dari hasil perpindahan, juga dihentikan.

Translation: PR state government’s policy is simple. First, old temples need to relocate to more appropriate locations. Relocation sites must be identified by PBT and the sites agreed by the temple visitors. PBT must take into consideration inconveniences that the temple visitors will face as a result of the relocation. At the same time, new temple construction, except for the relocation, must be stopped.

It is all fairness and sensibility to all members of the society.

… saya mendapat maklumat dari seorang penduduk Melayu Seksyen
19 bahawa ada sekumpulan Melayu telah datang untuk menimbulkan ketegangan di
kuil tersebut. … kebanyakan mereka orang luar… Mereka … akan mengadakan kenduri … Untuk kenduri itu mereka akan tumbangkan 2 ekor lembu!  … Orang yang mengetuai kumpulan tersebut datangnya dari Melaka! Dia menyatakan dia ‘mewakili rakyat’ dan tindakan ini terpaksa mereka ambil melalui persatuan NGO mereka yang bernama ‘PEWARIS’ … Amat jelas, soal gelanggang silat dan sebagainya hanya satu helah. Sebenarnya mereka mahu provoke pihak kuil berkenaan.

Translation: … I was tipped off by a Section 19 Malay resident that a group of Malays have come to create tension at the temple… most of them are outsiders… They … will have a function … For the function they will slaughter two cows (which are sacred to Hindus)! … The leader of the group comes from Malacca! He said he ‘represents the people’ and they were forced to take the action through an NGO called ‘PEWARIS’.. Clearly, the silat practising ground is only an excuse. They actually wanted to provoke the temple’s management.

… dia mencabar saya … “awak orang Melayu, orang Islam, kenapa awak sibuk sangat nak membela kuil ini”? Saya jawab, “kerana Islam mengajar saya supaya bertindak adil terhadap semua manusia. Mereka, walaupun bukan Islam, ada hak dan Islam menuntut kita menghormati hak mereka”. Dia diam. Seterusnya dia berkata dia tak tahu sangat soal agama ini.

Translation: … he challenged me … “you are a Malay and Muslim, why are you so busy with defending the temple?” Saya responded, “because Islam teaches me to be fair to all. They, though not Muslim, have rights and Islam teaches us to respect their rights.” He was silent. Then he said he was not sure on religious matters.

This is the voice of conscience by educated Muslim leaders of PAS. This will definitely not come from most UMNO leaders, who although are Muslim do not practise what the religion teaches them.

Melihat dia mula teragak-agak saya pun menyatakan bahawa saya tahu Pewaris dan
Pekida adalah NGO yang adik beradik. Penaung Pekida adalah PM maka semestinya
begitu juga Pewaris. Kedua-dua NGO ini dikuasai oleh ahli UMNO. Saya tahu juga
bahawa tindakan mereka ini, pada masa ini, ada hubung kait dengan PR kecil KT.
Mereka ingin menimbulkan ketegangan dan masalah kaum supaya dengan itu mereka boleh menjaja keseluruh negara bahawa PR telah gagal menyelesaikan masalah ini di Selangor; dan Selangor sekarang ada masalah perkauman. Dia diam dan selepas itu dia menegur saya kerana buruk sangka, tetapi dia tidak menafikannya.

Translation: He appeared lost for words and I told him that I knew Pewaris and Pekida are two sister NGOs. The patron of Pekida is the prime minister and therefore the same for Pewaris. Both NGOs are controlled by UMNO members. I also knew that their action at that time was related to the by-election of Kuala Terengganu. They intended to create tension and racial issue so that they could make claim to the country that PR has failed to resolve the problem in Selangor; and Selangor now has racial problem. He was quiet and later commented me for making the assumptions, but he did not renied them.

Saya difahamkan walaupun gelanggang tidak dibina, namun mereka ingin teruskan kenduri mereka. Mereka kata mereka akan menjemput saya sekali. Saya menjawab, ikut undang-undang. Kalau pembinaan gelanggang dapat kelulusan MBSA, saya datang. Kalau tidak, program Aman Palestine di stadium Melawati pada 10hb jam 10 pagi adalah tempat yang lebih afdal bagi saya untuk hadir, begitu juga dia!

Translation: I was informed that the ground was not constructed, but they intend to proceed with the function. They said they would invite me again. I responded that according to the law, if the construction of the ground is approved by MBSA, I would attend. If not, the Palestine Peace programme at Melawati Stadium on 10th Jan at 10am is a better place for me to attend, likewise for him.

NOTA PENTING: Minta disebarkan perkara ini kerana dijangka provokasi yang
sedemikian rupa akan digunakan lebih kerap lagi menjelang PRK-KT, maka harus
sentiasa berwaspada. Jangan kita terpedaya!

Translation: IMPORTANT NOTE: Please disseminate this matter because provocation of this manner is expected to be abound with the upcoming Kuala Terengganu by-election. We should be vigilant. We should not be exploited!

What we can conclude from this incident and the pattern that we can derive from the recent incidents (or even those of years ago!) is that, it completely goes counter to the popular belief that a BN government is for stability of Malaysia. It is now clear that BN, with UMNO goons around, is the most destabilising factor to Malaysia now. With their resources, many of which are gained through dubious tactics and corrupt practices from 51 years of power, and their organisation, filled with goons like those involved in the incident at Section 19, BN is in the best position to manipulate the political situation. Malaysians certainly need to open up their eyes to a powerful machinery for racial and religious tensions in Malaysia. (by Guansin, Airkosong.com)

Zunar on Obama … and PKNS November 5, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Human Rights, International, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.
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19 comments

pknscomic2

Socrates, Le Guin on writing and words October 17, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.
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4 comments

Ursula Le Guin

To misuse language is to use it the way politicians and advertisers do, for profit, without taking responsibility for what the words mean. Language used as a means to get power or make money goes wrong: it lies. Language used as an end in itself, to sing a poem or tell a story, goes right, goes towards the truth.

A writer is a person who cares what words mean, what they say, how they say it. Writers know words are their way towards truth and freedom, and so they use them with care, with thought, with fear, with delight. (…) (A Few Words to a Young Writer)

Socrates

The misuse of language induces evil in the soul

Chamil and Ibrahim still have far to go before reaching the realm of literature.

On the Sri Maha Kaliamman shrine September 30, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Human Rights, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.
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62 comments

We have seen and felt the anguish of those who were forced to defend their temples and even suraus in past years, usually due to a parcel of land being subjected to development. I have seen my friend Uthayakumar beaten and arrested defending century-old temples and shrines – and now he has been detained without trial under the ISA for a year.

So when the rakyat gave us an opportunity to govern Selangor on 8 March, this means we have to try to do things differently, and attempt to rectify the mistakes of the past as far as possible. In fact, I touched on this issue in my speeches during the election campaign earlier this year.

The Pakatan Rakyat Selangor state government policy is clear:- That no place of worship (whether surau, tokong, kuil, church etc.) built prior to 8 March 2008 is to be demolished, unless and until a suitable site has been identified for relocation.

So, imagine our horror when we found out a Hindu shrine was demolished recently. No doubt it might have been built in a forest reserve or wherever for that matter, but the policy still stands regardless; we begin with the premise that most of these places of worship were forced over the years into this grey zone, and neglected until recently.

(more…)

Mesej Hari Raya Aidilfitri September 29, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Event, Malaysia, Race Relations.
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7 comments

Mesej Hari Raya Aidilfitri

Sudah sebulan teman-teman yang beragama Islam menjalani ibadah puasa. Bulan Ramadan yang mulia telah melatih kita, bukan sahaja semua umat Islam tetapi secara tidak langsung keseluruhan rakyat yang duduk bersama dengan muslimin and muslimat di bumi yang dicintai ini, untuk berkorban, mengekang keinginan dan seterusnya memperkukuh akidah. Semangat ini sama dengan semangat perjuangan yang kita usahakan selama ini untuk mewujudkan sebuah masyarakat yang aman, toleran dan harmoni.

Tahun ini, rakyat Malaysia menyambut Hari Raya Aidilfitri dalam suasana ekonomi kehidupan yang semakin menekan dengan kenaikan harga minyak dan barang-barang keperluan yang terlalu tinggi. Pengurusan ekonomi kerajaan pusat yang kurang cekap dan tahap rasuah yang tidak berubah telah menyebabkan kesusahan ekonomi yang mendadah, pengangguran yang kian meningkat di kalangan orang muda serta pelaburan asing yang tidak menggalakkan.

Saya ingin merakamkan tahniah dan rasa hormat kepada semua umat Islam yang berjaya mengharungi bulan Ramadan. Kejayaan ini telah diraikan dengan penuh rasa syukur. Di samping itu, kita perlu sentiasa mengingati nasib golongan yang kurang bernasib baik berbanding kita khasnya semasa musim perayaan. Adalah penting untuk kita menghulurkan bantuan kepada mereka yang memerlukannya khasnya anak-anak yatim, orang kurang upaya, ibu tunggal dan keluarga yang miskin. 

Semoga kedatangan Aidilfitri ini akan mengukuhkan perhubungan persaudaraan sesama umat Islam dan bukan Islam di Malaysia. Bagi menghormati bulan yang mulia ini, saya harap semua pihak mengelakkan sebarang bentuk tindakan mahupun kenyataan yang boleh mewujudkan salah faham di kalangan masyarakat majmuk. Tangkapan ISA terhadap wartawan, blogger dan ahli politik dan kenyataan-kenyataan yang dikeluarkan oleh setengah pihak dengan niat mengapi-apikan sentimen perkauman amat bercanggah dengan prinsip demokrasi dan keharmonian antara kaum dan agama. 

Saya juga merayu kepada seluruh rakyat Malaysia yang pelbagai kaum dan bangsa agar menjadikan Hari Raya Aidilfitri sebagai satu perayaan untuk lebih memahami dan mengeratkan hubungan bersama teman-teman yang beragama Islam. Di samping itu, Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di negeri Selangor akan terus berusaha untuk mewujudkan suasana yang aman dan akan sentiasa mengambil initiatif untuk menggalakkan kesefahaman kebudayaan dan agama.

Akhir kata, saya ingin merakamkan ucapan Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri kepada seluruh umat Islam dan rakyat Selangor dengan ucapan:- Maaf Zahir dan Batin.

YB Elizabeth Wong
EXCO Kerajaan Negeri Selangor
ADUN Bukit Lanjan

“Here in my home” May 25, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.
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15 comments

A gift to the nation. From those who love Malaysia to those who feel the same.

This video should be mandatory viewing for politicians, from both divides, including those retired, axed, elected or otherwise.

Multi-lingual versions out soon. Please support Malaysian Artistes for Unity.

[Youtube=”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8Wl3firJQk”%5D

BN guide to “101 on crushing the dreams of our youths” May 25, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Current Affairs, Democracy, Malaysia, Note2Self, Politics, Race Relations.
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21 comments

Hands up, everyone who had once dreamt of being a doctor, to help society, cure diseases, world peace etc.

(Even I once taped a paper cutting of an article on ‘Flying Doctors’ next to my bed for a full year when I was a student, to inspire me while dreaming of helping the poor and marginalised, alongside other possible occupations eg. being an agriculturist, writer, artist, quantum physicist etc.)

Today, a 17 year old from my state constituency Bukit Lanjan, despite having 12 As, was told he couldn’t qualify a JPA scholarship, evidently based on his ethnicity. He too dreams of being a doctor and to be of service to society. And despite the recent announcement by the Ministry of Education that all those 9As and above will be recipients, our young friend still has not received an new offer from MoE.

He is not the only one out there.

Our young friend has penned a most articulate letter to Malaysiakini as a result:-

The signals are clear for BN that it needs to reform after the massive vote of no-confidence especially in Peninsular Malaysia. Alas, there are none so blind as those who will not see.
(more…)

On charging non-Muslims caught khalwat-ing with Muslims April 4, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in Huh?!, Human Rights, Islam in Southeast Asia, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.
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62 comments

The above is another gem of a proposal from the Institute for Islamic Understanding (an oxymoron?) and the Syariah Judiciary Department of Malaysia.

Syariah Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Mohd Asri Abdullah even had to cheek to say that these non-Muslims should be charged in CIVIL courts.

The most dispassionate response to all this nonsense is:- It is plainly unConstitutional.

Pls go back and reread the Federal Constitution, Datuk.

KeADILan’s Malaysian Economic Agenda (MEA) March 16, 2008

Posted by elizabethwong in "We can do better", Current Affairs, Democracy, Economy, Human Rights, Malaysia, Politics, Race Relations.
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34 comments

Let there be no confusion about this.

KeADILan Media Statement (English)
15th March 2008

KeADILan HAS CLEAR AND FIRM STAND ON NEP

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People’s Justice Party) has a clear and firm stand on the New Economic Policy (NEP). As explained by the Ketua Umum of the Party, Anwar Ibrahim in his 20-page article as well as through his many public pronouncements and ceramah, and further reaffirmed in several Party documents, including the Election Manifesto, we intend to replace the NEP with the Malaysian Economic Agenda.

The NEP, after nearly 40 years is already anachronistic. It has been abused by a handful leaders and cronies in Umno-Bn to rob the country of its wealth to enrich themselves, in the name of the Malays as a whole. It has led to discriminatory practices that are against the spirit of justice and fairness for all Malaysians, particularly the poor, marginalised and disadvantaged groups of all races.

The Malaysian Economic Agenda aspires to:

(a) institute and implement fair, just and equitable redistribution of the wealth in the country;

(b) fight against and finally abolish the evil practices of corruption, cronyism and nepotism and ensure the award of contracts and projects are done in open and transparent manner;

(c) continue the policy of positive discrimination in favour of poor dan deprived Bumiputera while at the same time giving equal opportunities to poor and deprived non-Bumpiputera on the basis of need and not racial greed;

(d) utilise the wealthy resources of the country to provide better social facilities – especially education, health and housing – for the poor, irrespective of ethnic backgrounds; and

(e) generate pro-people development and strengthen the competitive capacity of Malaysia so that she can stand tall with all developed countries, starting with those in Asia.

Those leaders of Umno-Bn and the media they own that accuse Parti Keadilan Rakyat as having no stand on the NEP and on other ways of improving the lot of the poor, marginalized and disadvantaged Malays are deliberately indulging in lies to mislead the public. We wish to emphasise that a policy of positive discrimination in favour of all Malaysians who are poor, marginalized and disadvantaged will benefit the Malay rakyat more, because they form the big majority of this category of people.

Dr. Syed Husin Ali
Deputy President
Parti KeADILan Rakyat