The end of communal politics?


(Source: MageP’s Lab)

Friday, August 29th, 2008

Frankly speaking, most of the time, I just couldn’t understand why the minority coalition parties like MCA, Gerakan, MIC and etc. continue to stick with Umno in BN even though they continue to be harassed and humiliated by their big brother?

Let’s take a look at the recent Permatang Pauh by-election. During the campaign period, Bukit Bendera Umno division head Ahmad Ismail had allegedly said Chinese were “squatters” in the country, who were both selfish and unjust, at a ceramah on Aug 24 whilst trying to buttress support for BN candidate Arif Shah Omar Shah in the by-election contest against opposition icon Anwar Ibrahim.

MCA being the usual MCA, feeling intimidated by the allegation, started to make furious calls openly demanding an apology and explanation from Ahmad.

MCA Youth has submitted a letter yesterday demanding an open apology, retraction and a promise not to make similar statements in the future while Federal Territories MCA Youth today launched a signature campaign outside the MCA headquarters in Kuala Lumpur to condemn Ahmad, demanding that he be sacked from his party.

The questions are: Is Ahmad going to apologize? Let’s presume he is going to.

If that’s the case, is he going to show the sincerity and feeling repent of his remarks hurled against the Chinese community?

Again, even if he does, MCA is fighting a non-cause as history has shown us that the similar antic will resurface in the future, it’s only a matter of time before the racial remarks will be repeated?

I can’t help but to wonder, the public protest organised by the MCA Youth to show their displeasure is the only channel for them to highlight their frustration to the big brother? Does that mean MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the rest of the ministers representing the smaller component parties have no say at all during the Cabinet meeting, hence the public dissent?

The same goes to Gerakan too. It’s acting president Koh Tsu Koon, being his ownself only can afford to say that Barisan’s defeat in the by-election is another wake up call for the ruling coalition.

What a shame, especially when he continues to show dissatisfaction and at the same time, Umno continues to ignore him at their own peril.

Why? Probably Umno knows that Tsu Koon will continue to stick together irregardless of the difficult situtation the party is being put in since Gerakan has nowhere to go! No?

Then, how about the tsunami wave of change in the recent General Election? Isn’t that a wake up call for BN too? If it’s indeed a wake up call, why BN continues to act arrogantly and takes the rakyat for granted? What is the role of Gerakan who claims to act as the Opposition within the BN in fighting to ensure that BN does wake up from the painful lesson? Is it because they’re too afraid to speak up or there isn’t any opportunity at all for them to speak up, ever since the heavy defeat suffered by most of the Gerakan candidates, including Tsu Koon himself?

Why can’t he understand Gerakan is no longer relevant, especially when former party stalwart Toh Kin Woon who is dubbed as the “Conscience of BN” left Gerakan to openly expressed his support towards the “movement led by Anwar”? What about many Gerakan leaders who had lost hope towards Gerakan and gradually deserting the party in seeking a more ideal ideology like the one practised by the Pakatan Rakyat coalition?

Nevertheless, the entire affair which have taken place so far, I’m sure, has set the minority component parties in ruling coalition into deep thinking mode on whether they still can play an effective role in building a better Malaysia for us to live in, or else, necessary reform must be taken to rejuvenate themselves before they can convince the people that they, together with their big brother Umno have indeed awaken from the disastrous outing on March 8 and the most recent by-election.

Perhaps, the high-level acceptance shown by the people towards the “People’s Government” by the PR coalition proves that Malaysians nowadays are a lot more mature than what the Government wants us to be, which means, the beginning of the death of sectarian politics long practised in this country, hence the irrelevance of racial based parties in Malaysia’s political landscape.

WILL SOMEBODY BE HONEST AND OWN UP!


(Source: Zorro-Unmasked)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

NO, there is no blame game….it is blatantly a no name game. Nobody is owning up to WHO GAVE THE DIRECTIVE TO BLOCK Malaysia Today.
When Global Voices picked up this story, you know that the whole world know about this clowning that is going on in 51 year old independent country……and laughing out loud.

When a directive is given it must be given by someone. But in this case that someone seems to be no one. This is politics Malaysiana. Nobody in the government has the common decency to own up. Like most failed corporations (which the Auditor General revealed we have many, especially the government-backed ones) the buck keeps being passed around like musical chairs. But the music never stops and somebody snoozes on.

But the guy who lost an island to that little red dot, declared that the MCMC had every right to block MT. Big Mouth can bark any which way he wants because nobody listens to him except Google who may now not want to invest here with a multi-billion ringgit data centre. He really has outlived his shelf-life.

SO WHO GAVE THE ORDER?


I asked around at Visu’s birthday bash and came out with no answers. I had to go seek out HANTU. He gave me a list and asked me to do an ini-mini-minor-more stuff. Oh yes the list, preposterous but deliriously and riotiously entertaining: Let the game begin: PP-weary Najib, Just-returned Dotty. sick IJNed Police Supremo, the out-going AG, the in-coming AG of the anti-Anwar/RPK operation centre. NO, not the PM for sure as he is not aware of what’s happening.

if you have the names

you can join in the game

ini-mini-minor-more
shame the bugger, we all swore

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Freedom of speech is not a privilege but a fundamental right of all free people.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

dang, I must be off….haven’t bought ‘tea lights” yet for tonight’s candlelight vigil for our ISA detainees.


Merdeka Day: A Dream or a Nightmare?


Kuala Lumpur
August 31, 2008

Happy Merdeka or should it be Unhappy Merdeka? No Malaysian Jalur Gemilang is on display, reflecting the mood of Malaysians on the occasion of our 51st anniversary of Independence. Even the Prime MInister’s speech to the nation sounded bland. It was totally uninspiring; in fact, his appeal for national unity was at best hypocritical, given the display of extreme Malay nationalism of his party, UMNO, which we witnessed during the March 8 General Election and the August 26 by-election in Permatang Pauh.

There is growing disenchantment with the leadership of Badawi and Malaysians are completely fed up with the performance of the UMNO-led and dominated Barisan Nasional government in recent years. Are we in a period of national mourning? I wonder.

Almost everyone left town since last Friday (August 29) to enjoy the long weekend with their families and friends in their home towns, Kuala Lumpur is empty and it is pleasure to drive around since there is no the usual traffic jam except for Saturday (August 30) when the Police and the FRU cordoned off the area in the vicinity of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, Kampong Baru, where the PKR Wanita held a family day partly to celebrate Anwar Ibrahim’s crushing defeat of his UMNO opponent, Arif Shah in the Permatang Pauh by-election on August 26 but mainly to bring families,relaties and friends of PKR members together on the eve of Merdeka Day. The function ended peacefully, and the presence of the FRU and Police was unnecessary and costly.

I do not know what you will be doing on Merdeka Day. I have decided to switch off the TV and read a good book. Here is an interesting piece from Sim Kwang Yang for your reading pleasure.

I share Sim’s laments and concerns as he is of my generation. When we were growing up, we mixed freely and visited one another without fear that we are less Malay, less Chinese or less Indian. After 51 years, we are divided on the basis of class, race and religion. Our government was less corrupt during those early years, compared with the last 27 years (since 1981). What happened is entirely our fault because we were indifferent and allowed our leaders, the so-called Tuans, to act with impunity. It is time we change that and tell the present leadership that enough is enough. >

May our 52nd anniversary of independence be a less depressing one.—Din Merican

Sim Kwang Yang | August 30, 08

Merdeka celebration seems muted this year.

The severe cut in budget allocation probably has something to do with the reduced scale with which our nation’s independence is being commemorated.

Last year, the half-century independence celebration cost the nation some RM100 million.It seems like an obscene amount of money just to parade the pomp and ceremony of patriotism.

Now that the country is engulfed in a global crisis in oil and food prices with inflation rate hitting the highest peak in 27 years, such lavish spending on Merdeka celebration would not go down so well with a rakyat that has just given the BN the worst thumping in 50 years!

`malaysia merdeka 50th anniversary 280807 ethnicWhat it shows is that the grand celebration last year, and many years before that, were all popped up by huge allocation of public funds. When the degree of national joy on Independence Day is measured by how much money is available to make things happen, something is seriously wrong with our country.

Sarawakians and Sabahans will grumble about the injustice of the Malay nationalist grand narrative to no end. Once again, they will remind the world about the historical fact that Malaysia came into being on 16 September 1963, and not 31 August 1957. But these are the marginal voices out there, on the other side of a vast expanse of sea water, seldom heard in Kuala Lumpur, and so hardly deserve serious attention. The official history book cannot be wrong, or at least that is what many Malaysians think.

This year though, the voices of discontent from the East may have to be taken seriously. Sabah MPs from the ruling coalition have been making rebellious noises in Parliament. Some are eloquent in ways only Sabahan and Sarawakian MPs are capable of.

What is the use of living in a big house, they asked, if you are denigrated to a small corner near the stinking toilet? Would it not be better if you move into the master bedroom in a smaller house? Needless to say, I share their sentiment entirely.

Anwar Ibrahim factor

Suddenly, their words resonate ominously following the by-election at Permatang Pauh on the eve of Independence Day this year. The head honcho of PKR and Pakatan Rakyat, Anwar Ibrahim, has just won a significant victory in a three-corner fight, defeating the BN candidate by a two-to-one majority. Apparently, the multiracial electorate of that constituency in Penang felt revolted by the sodomy charges brought against him.

anwar pc permatang pauh 02 260808Anwar has on many occasions reiterated his plan to persuade sufficient MPs from the BN in East and West Malaysia to defect to the opposition by Sept 16 to form a majority in Parliament, and thereby bring about a regime change. If and when that happens, the PM will probably recommend to the Agong to dissolve Parliament to pave way for another general election. If the Agong should refuse his request, and exercise his discretion in appointing Anwar as the new PM, as is provided for under the Federal Constitution, then what will happen?

Already, there are the odd over-imaginative commentators who wonder aloud whether the ensuing confusion would entice the armed forces to take over the government in a coup-de-tat. I suppose they have been mistakenly inspired by events in Thailand. But I doubt very much if that will happen. Our military has never enjoyed the kind of influence in national politics as the Thai soldiers. They have had a half-century tradition of obedience and loyalty to their political masters in the civilian government.

So I am waiting to celebrate my National Day on Sept 16. Events in the next two and a half weeks ought to be messy. Everybody would be holding his breath to see whether or how Anwar Ibrahim is going to pull another giant rabbit out of his huge political hat! At least, you cannot blame Malaysian politics for being dull these days!

Nevertheless, we are so embroiled in the daily political drama unfolding before our eyes that perhaps there has not been sufficient reflection on the true meaning of independence.

Certainly, for young Malaysians, it means just another public holiday, for shopping and lazing around. On the eve, it offers another occasion for them to descend upon Bukit Bintang in large numbers for another orgy of noisy and boisterous fun and the countdown to midnight.

Fearful negative connotations

What independence means is nothing less than national liberty, freedom from the yoke of colonialism, the right to determine our own destiny, and the power of self-determination so that our citizens will enjoy the fruit of their labour. We are supposed to be the master of our own destiny. Those were our dreams, and the dreams of our founding fathers.

Independence also means freedom from the bondage to a foreign power, from being taxed without our consent, and the lack of the responsibility for the defence of our homeland.

These ringing words that were so powerful and loud in the 50s and 60s are now seldom heard, as if they have been forgotten. In fact, we discover that those laws and regulations that were enacted and used to fetter the freedom of Malaysians by our former colonial masters are now used to oppress dissidents and critics of the government.

merdeka 51st celebration 290808In fact, freedom is now painted as a word with fearful negative connotations. Day in and day out, we are reminded by our elected leaders that freedom is equal to license, the nihilistic idea of doing what one wants without responsibility and restraint.

Freedom has been equated with seditious tendency, with people going wild and violent because they have ultra-sensitive religious and racial nerves, and with riots and rampant killing on the streets that will destroy stability and economic development.

For 50 years, we may have said farewell to our former British colonial masters, but their colonial instruments for the oppression of the people and the suppression of their fundamental liberties have been preserved, reinforced, and abused by the same group of ruling elite to ensure their hold on political power.

Like their former colonial tuans, the new ruling class in the new nation-state has monopolised all rights towards the articulation of national interest. In the name of that national interest, which only they can narrate, they – like their colonial masters before them – severely limit citizens’ rights to free speech, free expression of ideas, freedom of the press, and freedom of association. Until today, an assembly of more than five persons is still considered by the police as an illegal assembly. What has our half century of independence achieved?

In the half century until today, I have grown from a young boy of nine to an old man of 60. I have watched how political discourse in our public sphere has been dominated by the language of fear, especially the language of xenophobic fear of one race for another. Like their former colonial masters, the post-independence ruling elite have entrenched this pathos of nameless fear to divide and rule a nation of many races, and a small multiracial handful of politicians and their cronies grow fabulously rich overnight.

‘I have a dream’

In the past week, numerous orators in the American Democratic Convention have made reference to the fact that this year marks the 45th anniversary of the “I have a dream” speech made by Martin Luther King. Meanwhile, they proceeded to nominate an African-American to be a presidential candidate for the first time in their history.

bill hilarry clinton campaign 061007 obamaIt must be noted that King’s dream is not a dream only for Afro-American dream; it was meant to be the reformulation of the American dream. Barack Obama’s campaign is run entirely on an appeal towards reviving and reinventing this American dream, rather than succumbing again to Bush’s past campaign of xenophobic fear.

Back in Malaysia, we have Malay dreams, Indian dreams, Chinese dreams, Sarawakian and Sabahan dreams. We have as many dreams as there are ethnic communities, thanks to the 50 years of race based politics. So where is the one Malaysian dream to unite and define our polyglot citizens into one proud people.

2008 has been a watershed in our history. To describe any historical event as a watershed is to indulge in cliché I know. In this case, the cliché may be warranted.

From here on, the political waters in our country may be flowing in a different direction. The idea of justice for all may be just the kind of concept that is needed to transcend the narrow constricting strait jacket of racial politics. The old idea of “justice” needs to be beefed up, but the ten-thousand mile long march must begin with the first step.

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Merdeka: Dream or nightmare?

Budget 2009: What the experts say


August 29, 2008
Several experts share their views with Malaysiakini regarding the Budget 2009 unveiled by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

MCPX

David Cohen, director of Action Economics, Singapore:

It is a populist budget to deflect the growing popularity of Anwar (Ibrahim). (Prime Minister) Abdullah (Ahmad Badawi) is obviously under pressure as witnessed by the rollback in fuel prices last week.

Lee Heng Guie, chief economist at CIMB Bank:

I think most people already expected a budget that won’t have many negative points. So this is one factor that helped the market to rise and also because overseas markets were good last night. But the overall mood is still cautious because there is still uncertainty.

Given the tough macro situation, they may have little choice but to spend more now. Whether it’s the right choice depends on how they fine-tune the deficit going forward.

Khoo Kay Peng, political and economics analyst:

Anwar can, if he wishes, make any amendments he thinks are necessary. We don’t know what alterations he will make, but for example he has mentioned before the RM10 billion extra allocation for the growth corridor projects – which Abdullah asked for in the mid-term review.And Anwar has said that we do not need any new mega-projects at this point in time.

Whatever it is, there is uncertainty and this will keep the markets quiet. Even when Anwar comes into power as he says, investors will want to see how he performs, what sort of plan he’ll raise then.

For Abdullah, he needs to have a yardstick, a performance yardstick instead of just voicing hot air bubbles. He needs to stimulate local consumer demand, find concrete measures to increase wage-earners’ pockets, and look at transportation as he has promised. There must be more buses and other forms of public transportation put on the roads.

Also, on whether the government has enough money, nobody really knows because there is a lack of transparency. Abdullah must find concrete ways to cut down public administration, reduce bureaucracy, for example shift us more to e-government. We have one of the biggest bureaucracy in the region, we are too labour-centric and this is why we have the image of being not efficient. Yes, in the past the public administration is used as a political tool, a vote bank. But we must take politics out of the equation. Anyway, it hasn’t help them (Abdullah and his Umno party) in the elections anymore.

Dr Ramon Navaratnam, prominent economist and president of Transparency International :

On thee one percent reduction of income tax for the highest bracket, the rich can take care of themselves very well – therefore the tax cut was unnecessary.

The middle and lower income groups are the mainstay of Malaysia and the groups which will agitate for change. It would have been better to address their needs. The poor should always be the priority.

There seems to be a shift in budget strategy whereby it attempts to address basic needs and not on unnecessary mega projects.

However attempts to share wealth when inflation is not controlled, will still see the erosion of income for the low and middle income groups.

Tricia Yeoh, director Centre of Public Policy Research:

Such a record expansionary budget with huge funds is theoretically a good thing, given the urgent need to generate growth in the face of economic slowdown.

However, it can only be considered a thoroughly good thing if we can be assured that the money will be channelled in the right direction, without any unnecessary leakages.

Unfortunately, the past track record of government has been poor in this respect. With a rampant culture of corruption and weak institutional structures, this may lead to continued wastage and abuse. I would therefore emphasise strengthening the institutions of governance, so that the funds are actually optimised and maximised.

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Badawi’s 2009 Budget


Last Friday (August 29, 2008), the Prime Minister as Finance Minister tabled his 2009 Budget totalling RM207.9 billion (development expenditure: RM53.7 billion and operating expenditure for running UMNO-led Barisan Nasional Government: RM154.2 billion).

The New Straits Times(August 30, 2008) says the budget “enhances the purchasing power of the people with tax cuts and a variety of other measures to stimulate the economy”. The Star calls it “Right track”and Utusan Malaysia, the UMNO controlled newspaper, describe it as “Bajet Prihatin”.

I will have my take on it on Monday (September 1, 2008) after I have read the Treasury Report and the entire Budget speech. In the meantime, here is a report by Beh Lih Yi from http://www.malaysiakini.com (below):

Anwar: Fundamental flaws remain
Beh Lih Yi | August 29, 2008 9
The Budget 2009 unveiled by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today has failed to address‘fundamental flaws’, according to new Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim.

MCPX

budget 2009 290808 06“There are some sweeteners here and there but it fails to address some fundamental flaws in the economic policy, issues of efficiency, governance and endemic corruption,” he told reporters at the Parliament lobby after the PM’s budget speech this afternoon.

He said these sweeteners do not commensurate with the vast increases in inflation and living cost. Hence, he added, the largely disappointing budget will not alleviate the problems and suffering of the poor.

The Budget 2009 was the first time for Anwar – who was newly sworn in as the Permatang Pauh MP yesterday – to be present in the House since 1997.

In 1997, Anwar who was then the deputy premier tabled Budget 1998 in his capacity as the finance minister. He was sacked from government the following year after an acrimonious fallout with then premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

‘We’re stuck in the old policy’

Elaborating on the Budget 2009, Anwar said the issue of competitiveness was not addressed.

“We continue to be in a state of denial. We are not able to shift from the obsolete economic policy, the rampant corruption and the failure to become more competitive because we are stuck in old policies.

“I see no way how we can attract foreign investment. Without foreign investment, Malaysia can’t propel its economy and unfortunately this is not addressed,” he said.

budget 2009 290808 04Other than foreign investment, Anwar also regretted that the “endemic corruption, the tenders awarded to cronies and their families, failure to cut cost and be more efficient” were not addressed.

He explained that it was an ‘exceptional case’ for Malaysia to continue to record a expansionary and deficit budget since the country is an oil producing country.

“Malaysia is the only country that continues to register a major deficit. It is understandable for a country that does not have resources (but we are not),” he said.

Meanwhile, Anwar rebutted Abdullah’s criticism towards the end of his speech where the premier hit out at the opposition for trying to seize power through “illegitimate means.”

The PKR supremo has consistently claimed that the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat which he leads will obtain an extra 30 seats through defections from BN MPs – and then take over the federal government.

Anwar said the premier made these remarks because he was worried about the possible crossovers.

“They still have the audacity to talk about democracy and to preach about democratic process. Mind you, democracy means in terms of governance, an independent judiciary and free media which they don’t have.

“To my mind, it is really disappointing they have not seen the demand and the vast calls for reforms,” stressed the opposition leader.

What other Pakatan leaders say

Lim Guan Eng (DAP-Bagan), Penang chief minister:

debat of land scandal 200808 lim guan ying pc(Our hope for a) RM200 million soft loan for heritage conservation has not been met. Instead, there is a RM15 million allocation for both Malacca and Georgetown. It’s a good start but I think it is still insufficient. Heritage conservation is quite an expensive business, it’s national pride. The Penang state government feels that much more resources should be put into this.

We are also disappointed there is nothing about the Mengkuang dam (in Penang) being mentioned. This is very critical for Penang’s water needs. We were hoping that (Abdullah) will announce the construction of the RM1 billion dam so that we can ensure Penang’s water supply, otherwise we may have critical water shortages in 2012.

In that respect, we are disappointed that Penang has not been given its due attention. We will continue to be hopeful and continue to ask the prime minister to reconsider.

Kamaruddin Jaffar (PAS-Tumpat), PAS secretary-general:

kamaruddin jaafar 00The high deficit this time shows inefficiency in the government system. We are also surprised that the premier did not take the opportunity to announce anything about petroleum prices because if his idea is to counter inflation, the fastest and most effective means would be to cut back petrol prices at the kiosk level – but they have not chosen to do that today.

The pump priming of mega projects were still announced. We are concerned with that as we believe most of them have been awarded through direct negotiations and therefore yet again, inefficiency creeps in. The public is not getting their money’s value.

This is a post-Permatang Pauh (by-election) budget.


Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera), DAP strategist:

liew chin tongThis is the biggest ever budget. Anwar’s last budget, Budget 1998 was only RM68 billion. Budget 2009 costing RM207 billion is a huge jump from last year.

This is an election budget at the wrong time. However, we can see the prime minister has taken a cue from Pakatan, such as the electricity fee waiver which is similar to the water tariff waiver implemented by the (Pakatan-led) Selangor state government.

However it is a good thing – a learning process for (the BN-controlled) government and now there is competition for better policies.

Another interesting thing to note is the development allocation for the Prime Minister’s Department has increased tremendously from RM3.6 billion last year to RM10.22 billion this year. This is a fund to buy over the MPs and to do politically linked works.

The DJ is back


The DJ is back. Let us start with some rock n roll and rhythm and blues. I am presenting Fats Domino, Bill Haley and His Comets and Roy Orbison for your listening pleasure. Have a good weekend. Don’t expect too much from Badawi’s 2008/2009 Budget which table in Parliament this afternoon; otherwise you will have a depressing weekend.—DJ Din Merican

ps. I have asked Johnny Tillotson to join, and dedicate “Poetry in Motion” to my Big Apple Kedahan, Mr. Bean. When this was first released in Malaysia, I was in Kulim to enjoy my academic year end holidays. Kulim is not far from Penang, even then (1961).

Go for Barack Obama, Jong, Mr. Bean and others, but let us not forget that Senator John McCain who I met in Phnom Penh at a US Embassy function a few years ago is a formidable opponent and a war hero. We need to watch the debates for a clear indication of who will emerge to be the next President after George W. Bush. But I think it will be a close Presidential race. May the best man will win. Leave it to the American people to decide who they wish to be their President.

Fats Domino- Blueberry Hills

Bill Haley and His Comets–Rock Around the Clock

Roy Orbison–Pretty Woman

For Mr. Bean in New York City: Take It Away, Johnny T

IS ANWAR AN IMF BOY?– No, he is Pro-Economic Growth with Social Justice


August 29, 2008

by Allyn Young(2008)*

When Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad finally announced the inevitable sacking of his Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Anwar Ibrahim on September 3, 1998 following the introduction of Keynesian-style capital controls a day earlier, a group of anti-imperialists and third world nationalists proclaimed that Mahathir had finally laid to rest the so called neo-liberal malaise that Anwar had purportedly subjected the Malaysian economy to with disastrous results.

Anwar was branded as a puppet of the IMF, who was simply seeking personal glory ‘by choosing to sell the interest of Malaysians to foreigners’. Mahathir – himself considered an authoritarian leader who had destroyed the key institutional instruments of governance in Malaysia to check any credible challenges to his leadership – became an icon among these anti-imperialists the world over.

Using evidence from my advisory role, this commentary is targeted to correct this presumptuous claim. Instead of focusing on the scientific and historical evidence associated with epistemology, the anti-imperialists and pseudo critics of the Washington Consensus( IMF, the World Bank and the US Treasury) found a straw man in Anwar and a savior in Mahathir to build this ‘great story’ of how Mahathir saved Malaysia from certain collapse by ‘discontinuing Anwar’s deleterious neoliberal financial policies’.

While I have much to say about the circumstances that faced Malaysia in 1997 which offered the country the option of seeking capital controls when Korea, Thailand, Indonesia and Philippines had to go cap in hand to the IMF, I focus on Anwar’s actions as Malaysia’s Finance Minister.

Anwar had time again insisted in some of his meetings that the free flow of capital and the Malaysian ringgit was causing havoc to exchange rates and the stock market. He even lamented once over the massive offshore ringgit kept in Singapore that affected Bank Negara’s capacity to manage monetary policy. He cited that instruments were necessary to provide sufficient control of the ringgit against volatile fluctuations caused by currency traders. What he did not share with Mahathir was his stand on corruption and cronyism.

I remember Anwar saying that all Government linked Companies(GLCs) destabilized by losses should be supported with fresh loans but only after proper audit scrutiny. Now no scholar or sensible politician – whatever their ideological learnings – would support bailouts that arise from losses in consumer benefits through a misallocation of funds to the corrupt and incapable. Anwar was in support of Keynesian style packages but wanted them introduced alongside instruments that would weed out corruption.

Anwar was also serious about fiscal policies to take account of distributive justice in the months between December, 1997 and April, 1998. In fact, he had dismissed a report prepared by a team of IMF-style consultants on measures to rescue the East Asian economies affected by the 1997-98 Financial crisis. He had written on the cover of that report that it must be rewritten to address problems of social justice.

I was approached by his advisors to rewrite the report and took it on eventually after his team headed by Khalid Jaafar agreed to allow me to change it completely. It was unfortunate that Anwar did not manage to present it as he was replaced by Daim Zainuddin and sacked by Mahathir.Yet, there is enough historical evidence to back Anwar’s claim that he is a believer in social justice. After all, mentored by the widely respected social activist and former University of Malaya academic Professor Dr Syed Husin Ali during his undergraduate days, Anwar was arrested and jailed for his role in championing the rights of the poor during the Baling riots and the protests he commandeered as a student union leader at University of Malaya in 1974.

It must be said that the young and brash leader of the 1970s was then a champion of the poor at a time when government policy was very much in line with the dictates of the IMF and the World Bank. However, he had become a mature leader in the 1990s following his apprenticeship as the Finance Minister of Malaysia from 1995 to recognize the need to connect distributive justice with sound economic principles. In addition, in the spirit of intellectual discourse, Anwar had also developed the capacity to exchange views with experts from different schools of economic philosophy in a cordial and constructive manner. As a result, he enjoyed strong friendship with several heads of governments and global organizations.

Anwar remains a strong advocate of the humane economy as articulated in his Malaysian Economic Agenda and reflected in the 2008 Election Manifesto for Pakatan Rakyat, which he again stressed during his ceramahs and meet- the people- sessions during the campaign for the Permatang Pauh by-election. The fact that he won decisively over his UMNO opponent showed that his economic agenda founded on sound economic growth and distributive justice was fully endorsed by voters.

——————-
*Allyn Young (2008) is a pseudonym used by a Cambridge educated economist who lectures at one of the major public universities in the Kuala Lumpur area.

Lagu Tan Ah Liat 1


August 28, 2008

by Khalid Jafaar

Lagu Tan Ah Liat 1

Mujurlah majoriti yang diperolehi oleh datuk seri lelaki selalsa lalu melebihi yang diperolehi oleh datuk seri perempuan. Bukan kepalang susah datuk seri lelaki, di saat-saat intim, untuk menjawab sindiran datuk seri perempuan: “Abang, I lebih popular dari you tau!”

Anwar Ibrahim adalah orang yang penuh keyakinan. Dan kadang-kadang keyakinanya itu tidak rasional. Sebelum Kak Wan meletakkan jawatan sebagai ahli parlimen Permatang Pauh suaminya memberitahu beberapa orang, kebetulan saya juga ada di situ, semua tokoh-tokoh kerohanian memberitahu beliau akan menang besar, menang dengan ‘hands down’,maksudnya menang dengan mudah.

Benar mudahkah kemenangan itu? Nampak mudah, setelah keputusan diistiharkan. Tetapi ketika mata hari tegak di Penanti keyakinan datuk seri lelaki mula bergoncang. Ini hanya saya tahu kemudian. Tetapi saya sendiri, mengetuai ketembukan sukarelawan Melaka di daerah mengundi Tanah Liat Mukim 9 dan Sungai Semambu, sesak nafas jam dua petang. Saya tidak tahu Azmin panik atau tidak. Tetapi bibir Dr. Mansor, strategos pilihanraya, toreh tak berdarah.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Thank you/Terima kasih, Permatang Pauh

…for shoring up my faith in what is right
…for showing me what is wrong
…for revealing that the Malaysian way is just that, nothing more, nothing less
…for showing me that it mattered that I cared
…for showing me what it is I need to be, to be a better Malaysian

…for a future

and the Malaysian dream…

thank you, Permatang Pauh, for showing us who and what, and why and when we could be everything we were too scared to be…

thank you for Malaysia

Malik Imtiaz Sarvar

To the arrogant Mr. Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar


Dear Mr. Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar,

We are not stupid. If you have grounds to say that Raja Petra is publishing “libellous, defamatory and slanderous” stuff, please take him to court and seek legal recourse.

You are supposed to be a lawyer. So please start behaving like one and do not make arbitrary decisions whch are essentially politically motivated. Stop grand standing since it only reflects your personal inadequacies. I have been reading Petra’s blog and I know how careful he can be. His comments and analyses are fact based and the information is from impeccable sources.

Your government is increasingly repressive and people of this country are sick and tired of the pontifications of our Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and ministers of the UMNO-led and dominated Barisan Nasional government. One would have thought that Badawi and others including yourself would have learnt something from the March 8, 2008 General Election. But it is quite clear to all of us now that the loss of 5 key states of Penang, Perak, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan and the two thirds majority in Parliament was not humbling enough.

UMNO was again severely beaten only two days ago in Permatang Pauh when Anwar Ibrahim trounced the Mandarin speaking Ariff Shah of UMNO with a majority of over 15,000 votes. If the election was more open, transparent and free from harassment by the Police and the FRU and UMNO’s dirty tricks and threats (using paid agents) with the help of Rashid Rahman and his staff at the Elections Commission, Ariff Shah would have probably lost his deposit! In stead of learning from this latest fiasco, UMNO and the government are flexing their muscle against the Malaysian people.

You cannot win, Mr. Minister, when you take on the people of Malaysia. Please remember this: the winds of change that have hit our shores since March 8, 2008 are unstoppable. You should behave yourself and make sure that you use the power in your hands with a high sense of responsibility. Be accountable. That is my humble advice.

Remember BERSIH, Hindraf and the actions you took in recent months that caused massive traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur including the highway arrest of Anwar Ibrahim by balaclava-clad men of the Police Force, and rectumus politikus (politik jubur) UMNO played in Permatang Puah and the Koran swearing nonsense by Saiful Bukhari, Deputy Prime Minister Najib, and former Menteri Besar of Perak, Tajol Rosli. People put you in office and they can remove you. People are also laughing at the antics of UMNO.

I spent 10 days among people in Permatang Pauh and saw what UMNO with the help of the Police and FRU and Vet 69 personnel, Special Branch,and Military Intelligence and its agent provocateurs were doing. I visited places in Permatang Pauh where you would probably never dare to go. I talked and listened to the hard working ordinary Malaysians in the kampongs.

The message is clear: first, the government is no longer connecting with them, second, UMNO leaders and politicians are corrupt and cannot be trusted, third, they want a change in the leadership of our country and fourth, they no longer believe the mainstream media, tv 1, tv2,and tv3.

Permatang Pauh is a clear sign that people have hand enough of this government. It is time for Badawi and his colleagues to take stock of the government’s performance record since 2004 and act. —Din Merican

_____________

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Malaysia Today banned for ‘slanderous’ postings

August 28, 2008
Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar said today that the prominent political website Malaysia Today had been banned because it published “libellous, defamatory and slanderous” content.

MCPX

syed hamid albar putrajaya pc 310708 02“I think we don’t intend to curtail people’s freedom and right to give information and debate,” Syed Hamid told reporters.

“But when you publish content that is libellous, defamatory and slanderous to other people I think it is only natural we take action,” he said.

He defended blocking access to Malaysia Today that has attacked top leaders, saying it had ignored warnings against publishing “slanderous” articles.

“So many warnings and opportunities have been given and it is not heeded, so I am sure they have exercised their authority well under the law.”

raja petraMalaysiakini reported yesterday that government-backed watchdog Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission had ordered all internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block the errant website, whose founder Raja Petra Kamaruddin (left), has already been charged with sedition.Malaysia media is tightly controlled by the government, and it has expressed frustration over its inability to rein in Internet news portals which have become popular alternative news sources.

Mirror site still up and running

Raja Petra Kamaruddin, founder and editor of Malaysia Today, said a mirror site had been established with a foreign provider.”I will fight the government action all the way. Their action will not stop me from writing,” he said, promising to challenge the shutdown in court.

malaysia today website 270808A check by Malaysiakini revealed that Malaysia Today mirror site is still up as at 4pm.

Raja Petra is already facing a sedition charge and a defamation suit after linking Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife to the sensational murder of a Mongolian woman.

Media watchdog Reporters Without Borders ranks Malaysia 124 out of 169 on its worldwide press freedom index, and says the main media are “often compelled to ignore or to play down the many events organised by the opposition”.

The government has previously threatened that bloggers could be punished under draconian internal security laws which provide for detention without trial.

Freedom of Media at Work Malaysian Style


Malaysia Today blocked! Order from MCMC
Andrew Ong | August 27, 2008
In a rare move, Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) has ordered all internet service providers (ISPs) to block controversial online portal Malaysia Today.

MCPX

malaysia today website 270808MCMC chief operating officer Mohamed Sharil Tarmizi, when contacted today, confirmed that the block was ordered by the commission, which is the regulatory body for online content.

“It is being blocked because we found that some of the comments on the website were insensitive, bordering on incitement,” he told Malaysiakini.

As at 7pm, a check by Malaysiakini showed users are unable to access Malaysia Today through three major ISPs – TMnet, Maxis and Time. However, users can still access the errant website through Jaring.

malaysia today blocked by tm net proof 270808This is the first time such curbs have been initiated against a non-pornographic website, posing questions as to whether the government is reneging on its no-Internet censorship pledge.

Under the Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) Malaysia 10 Point Bill of Guarantees, the government promises to ensure no internet censorship.

The domain name – http://www.malaysia-today.net – has been unaccessible to TMnet subscribers since yesterday evening as a result of the blockage – known technically as ‘DNS blackhole list’. [See full image]

Local internet users however can still access the website by typing in Malaysia Today’s IP address or an alternative web address in their web browsers.

‘Ethical blogging’

Mohamed Sharil said MCMC had instructed all ISPs to block access to Malaysia Today based on complaints received by the general public regarding offensive comments posted on the website.

Asked if the move to block Malaysia Today went against the government’s guarantee of Internet freedom, he said that the matter was subject to interpretation.

“We are governed by the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998) which allows us to take preventive measures and advise our license holders (such as ISPs) when a service user may be contravening national laws,” he said.

Under Section 263 of the Act, a licensee must “use his best endeavour” to prevent his/her facilities from being used to violate any law in the country”.

Mohamed Sharil said that MCMC will be communicating with the Malaysia Today owner Raja Petra Kamaruddin and other blog owners soon regarding “ethical blogging”.

“We are not against blogs, but we would like to see ethical blogging,” he stressed.

RPK: Why should I protest?

Meanwhile, Raja Petra said he is in the dark as to why his website was being blocked, adding that he heard rumours of a MCMC circular.

raja petra released from prison 090508 04“I couldn’t be bothered to protest (against the move). What do you expect me to do? Do you think they would listen?” he asked when contacted.

Over the years, Raja Petra has attracted a strong fan base and a string of lawsuits due to his no-holds-barred articles and knack for posting sensitive documents online.

In an immediate reaction, Communication and Multimedia Licensee Association (CMLA) – which represents all ISP licence holders in Malaysia – urged bloggers to practice self-regulation.

“We support the open flow of information across the Internet and a self-regulating environment,” said CMLA chairperson Afzal Abdul Rahim.

“The best way for us to find some amenable middle ground between airing opinions and being partial to community sensitivities, we strongly urge the blogosphere to practise a commensurate amount of self-moderation,” he said.

http://www.malaysiakini.com

Terima Kasih Permatang Pauh: Jasa mu kami kenang


PERMATANG PAUH, MALAYSIA, 26 OGOS 2008

Alhamdulillah, Allah memberikan kita kejayaan. Kemenangan ini merupakan saat penentu dan bakal menentukan hala tuju negara ini.

Saya berkongsi kegembiraan yang dirasai oleh semua rakyat Malaysia pada hari bersejarah ini. Ianya merupakan kemenangan buat rakyat.

Pada 8 Mac rakyat Malaysia memilih Harapan Baru. Hari ini di saat kita bakal menyambut hari kemerdekaan, rakyat menyahut seruan tersebut. Dengan ini kita merayakan hari kemerdekaan sepertimana pendiri-pendiri negara kita inginkan-sebuah negara dan rakyat yang bersatu.

Berhadapan dengan cabaran yang getir, kita memilih untuk menumpukan perhatian kepada isu yang berkaitan dengan negara ini. Seruan kita agar negara ini bersatu, mulai mengamalkan urus tadbir yang baik dan memperkasakan ekonomi telah menguburkan kempen yang berbaur perkauman, cita-cita individu yang sering mendapat habuan hasil dari penyalahgunaan kuasa dan eksploitasi politik yang berasaskan ketakutan serta penipuan.

Kami telah menjanjikan satu lembaran baru untuk Malaysia dan kami pasti akan melaksanakan janji kami. Kami akan melaksanakan Agenda Ekonomi Malaysia untuk memulihkan keadaan ekonomi kita, membasmi kemiskinan dan membantu sesiapa sahaja yang terpinggir tanpa berasaskan kaum. Kami akan memulihkan intergriti badan kehakiman, memerangi rasuah dan membina sebuah negara yang bersatu.

Dan kami akan menjadi sebuah kerajaan yang komited untuk merealisasikan aspirasi rakyat.

Dengan kejayaan 8 Mac dan juga kemenangan malam ini saya berani untuk menegaskan kita mampu bersama-sama menghadapi segala rintangan di masa hadapan.

Kita tidak akan menang tanpa dokongan kukuh dari rakan-rakan kami dalam Pakatan Rakyat dan juga sokongan ribuan rakyat Malaysia tidak kira samada Melayu, Cina, India, Iban, Kadazan, yang datang ke Permatang Pauh, bekerja keras, memerah keringat serta mengirim doa demi memastikan kemenangan ini. Saya sangat menghargai keberanian, tekad dan kesungguhan anda semua; saya mengucapkan tahniah terhadap komitmen saudara semua terhadap prinsip bersama sebuah kemerdekaan, keadilan dan demokrasi.

Langkah kecil buat Permatang Pauh hari ini akan memastikan perubahan besar buat Malaysia.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

————————
PRESS STATEMENT FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PERMATANG PAUH, MALAYSIA, 26 AUGUST 2008

We won! And our victory is decisive and overwhelming.

I share in the joy felt by all Malaysians on this historic day. This is a victory for the people. And it’s great to be back!

On March 8th Malaysians voted for a New Dawn. Today, on the eve of our independence day, we have reasserted that call. We celebrate our nation’s independence in the spirit that our founding fathers intended – a nation of one and a people united.

In the face of the greatest adversity, our campaign focused on the issues that matter to Malaysians. Our calls for national unity, good governance and a vibrant democracy have silenced the voices of racist chanting, those who profit from the abuse of power and exploit the politics of fear and deceit.

We have promised a New Dawn for Malaysia and we will deliver on our promise. We will forge ahead on our Malaysian Economic Agenda to revive the economy, and to uplift the poor and the marginalized of all races. We will restore the integrity of the judiciary, fight corruption and build a truly unified nation.

We will be a government that is totally committed to realizing the people’s aspirations.

With the success of the eight of March and tonight’s resounding victory, I daresay we are indeed ready to face the challenges of the future, together.

We could not have won without the firm, unwavering support of our friends in the Pakatan Rakyat and the tens of thousands of Malaysians – Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadhazans – who have come to Permatang Pauh to work hard for this victory. I truly appreciate your courage, conviction and valour; and congratulate your commitment to our shared principles of freedom, justice and democracy.

This may be one small step for Permatang Pauh but one giant leap for the people of Malaysia.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Pulau Pinang
Ogos 27, 2008

Salam dari Din Merican, Din Ahmad dan Shogun Shah

Kemenangan besar Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim pada malam 26hb Ogos 2008 merupakan satu sambungan perjuangan rakyat yang telah mula digerakkan pada pilihanraya umum 8hb Mac 2008. Mesej yang disampaikan ekoran keputusan pilihanraya kecil Parlimen P.44 Permatang Pauh begitu jelas sekali mengukuhkan kenyataan bahawa Rakyat kini menuntut pembebasan dan perubahan. Perubahan yang dituntut ini bukanlah sekadar menukar watak dan otak di kalangan pemimpin UMNO, tetapi perubahan yang dituntut ini adalah supaya keseluruhan jentera Barisan Nasional diundurkan daripada barisan kerajaan Malaysia.

Kini, harapan kepada perjuangan kita semua amat cerah dan makin hampir. Apabila mandat yang besar diperolehi daripada penduduk Permatang Pauh, Pakatan Rakyat dan khususnya Dato Seri Anwar kini boleh melangkah masuk ke Parlimen Malaysia dan seterusnya bertapak di Putrajaya dengan penuh keyakinan, InsyaAllah.

Wajah dan senyuman manis penduduk Permatang Pauh ketika keluar mengundi jelas mempamirkan keyakinan mereka terhadap pemilihan yang telah mereka buat. Pemilihan yang akan merupakan titik permulaan laungan MERDEKA UNTUK RAKYAT dari Permatang Pauh sehingga Putrajaya. Senyuman manis dalam keadaan kesesakan akibat hujan, sekatan jalanraya dimerata-merata oleh pihak pasukan keselamatan serta keujudan pihak Pasukan Simpanan Polis beserta, lengkap dengan senjata M16 yang agak menggerunkan seharusnya dipuji. Kepada yang datang daripada luar kawasan ini seolah olah zon peperangan.

Namun, Suara Rakyat Suara adalah Suara Keramat. Apa yang diingini oleh Rakyat jelata akan tercapai juga akhirnya, sejajar dengan konsep Ketuanan Rakyat yang diperjuangkan oleh Pakatan Rakyat.

Ucapan…Syabas!! dan terima kasih juga seharusnya dirakamkan kepada Kerajaan Pulau Pinang dibawah pimpinan Ketua Menteri Yang Berhormat Tuan Lim Guan Eng kerana telah banyak menyumbang kepada proses menegakkan demokrasi semasa pilihanraya kecil ini, khususnya apabila mengumumkan hari percutian umum kepada warga Pulau Pinang bagi membolehkan mereka mengundi pada hari yang bersejarah ini.

Kepada penduduk-penduduk di Permatang Pauh, kami amat menghargai jasa mu serta layanan baik tuan-tuan dan puan-puan serta saudara dan saudari semua terhadap kedatangan kami. Pengalaman yang manis ini akan disemaikan di dalam hati buat selamanya. Dengan ini terimalah satu lagi sajian pantut kami buat perpisahan sementara ini:

Seminggu bersama bersua muka

Kini masanya sudahpun tiba

Perpisahan sementara buat ketika

Di masa depan kita berjumpa

Janji dan Amanat tidak dilupa

Akan dipikul bersama sama

Yayasan amal menjadi Urusetia

Kepada Permatang Pauh kami berusaha

Tahniah Permatang Pauh dan Syabas Anwar Ibrahim: Era Baru untuk Semua


Win a ‘defining moment for nation
Beh Lih Yi | August 27, 2008 3
Newly-elected Permatang Pauh MP Anwar Ibrahim has described his landslide victory in the by-election as a ‘defining moment’ that should serve as a ‘major lesson’ for the ruling BN.

MCPX

“I thank the voters and consider this as a very defining moment in our history. This is in pursuant to the clamour and demand for change that you have seen during the March 8 general election,” he told a packed press conference after he was declared as a winner.

anwar pc permatang pauh 02 260808Anwar won the parliamentary seat with a handsome majority of 15,671-majority vote after defeating his opponents, BN’s Arif Shah Omar Shah and Akim’s Hanafi Hamat.

An elated Anwar, who was accompanied by top leaders from the opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat, also said the election results should serve as a major lesson for BN to stop making personal attacks against him.

He said this when asked to respond to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak who had congratulated Anwar for his electoral victory at a separate function.

“I must thank him (Najib) for the congratulatory remark. This should be considered as a major lesson that in any election or by-election, all issues (discussed in the campaign) must be on the (political) agenda and issues of politics.

anwar permatang pauh polling day 260808 11“(They have to) stop the malicious and scurrilous attack or racist remark in the campaign. I thank him for his kind word and I would ask us – both BN and PKR – to move forward and discuss on the national reform agenda,” said Anwar.

One of the issues that has been consistently featured in the BN’s by-election campaign was the sodomy charge against Anwar, which has been denied by the opposiition leader as politically-motivated.

He’s taking the oath

The BN leaders have also repeatedly challenged Anwar during the election campaign to make a religious oath that he has not sodomised his ex-aide as claimed. Anwar has staunchly declined to do so.

permatang pauh by election results map 260808“All this controversy of oath will be resolved because I have now decided to take the oath,” he quipped in referring to his oath-taking ceremony as a parliamentarian in the Parliament soon.

On the timing of when he will take the oath as MP, Anwar said it will be subject to the discussion between Election Commission and the House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia.

He expressed hope that there will not be any undue delay of the ceremony, which will see his return to the Parliament after a 10-year hiatus since his unceremonious sacking from the government.

Anwar was tightlipped when asked on the impact of his electoral victory to the Sept 16 plan, the self-imposed deadline of the defection plan involving BN MPs which he has claimed will eventually see the BN government being toppled.

“I will take the oath, discuss and meet with the Pakatan leaders first and then announce (the next step),” he replied.

On the sodomy charge against him, he reiterated his confidence that there he would not be affected by it as “there is no case as far as I am concerned”.

On his immediate plan, he smiled: “I’ll catch some sleep and get back to Kuala Lumpur.”

According to his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, the family is likely to leave Permatang Pauh tonight to return to Kuala Lumpur.

Party leaders said Anwar may be present in Parliament tomorrow despite no scheduled oath-taking ceremony.

No reason to delay swearing-in

anwar pc permatang pauh 01 260808Also at the press conference were Wan Azizah, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, as well as PAS vice-president Husam Musa (right).

Speaking at the same press conference, Kit Siang said there was no reason why there should be any delay into Anwar’s swearing-in ceremony as past record has shown it could be done in 36 hours.

“Any delay will be disservice to the Permatang Pauh voters who have acted on behalf on 27 million Malaysians who have voted for democracy, justice and freedom,” he said.

anwar permatang pauh polling day 260808 07Husam said he was proud with the decision of the Permatang Pauh voters as it signalled people’s demand for fundamental changes in the government.

Whereas for Guan Eng, who is also DAP secretary-general, he said the results showed that the racial politics does not work anymore in the new era of politics.

The press conference ended when Anwar asked his wife, who he has described as his “pillar of strength” throughout his career, to speak.

anwar leaving for counting center 260808Wan Azizah, the ex-parliamentary opposition leader and Permatang Pauh MP, said she was proud with the voters for having risen above racial barriers to vote for the future that Anwar advocates.

“I am proud to have been their representative of Permatang Pauh in the time when it was bad and now the time for the future and for change. I am very happy,” she said in a visible jovial mood.

source:www.malaysiakini.com

Anwar Ibrahim wins decisively with a 15,671 majority


http://www.malaysiakini.com

Official: Anwar gets BIGGER majority
August 26, 2008
Malaysiakini goes live today with the by-election coverage, giving updates on the voting and other happenings in this constituency. Please click ‘Refresh’ or ‘Reload’ in your browser for the latest reports from Permatang Pauh.

MCPX

[See map]

9.50pm: Official EC tally - Anwar got 31,195 votes, Arif Shah, 15,524, Hanafi, 92. Anwar won with a majority of 15,671.

Anwar’s wife, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, won the seat with a 13,388 majority at the March 8 general elections.

The official voter turnout was 81.1 percent, or 47,410 out of 58,459 registered voters – which was much higher than what the EC had stated earlier. There were 599 spoilt votes.

Meanwhile, outside Tuanku Bainun Teaching Institute, thousands of jubilant PKR supporters have gathered to embrace their leader’s return to Parliament.

PKR vice-president Azmin Ali is already there to address the crowd numbering some 6,000. Other party leaders like R Sivarasa and Tian Chua are also there.

Anwar is expected to address this ecstatic group of supporters later as well. Tian said that the overwhelming victory showed that “the prime minister’s racial politics is bankrupt”.

The EC made the official announcement at 10.05pm. Only Anwar and Hanafi were present at the announcement.

9.25pm: Official EC results - With final five ballot boxes to go, Anwar has bagged 29,526 votes, Arif Shah (14,444) and Hanafi (89). Majority so far: 15,082.

9.12pm: Official EC results - With 11 more boxes to go, Anwar has won the by-election with a 14,551 majority. He garnered 27,977 votes while BN’s Arif Shah obtained 13,426 while Akim’s Hanafi Hamat got 85.

8pm: Unofficial results - Anwar Ibrahim wins with a majority of 16,210 votes. He garnered 26,646 votes while Arif Shah Omar Shah got 10,436.

However, PKR unofficial results – Anwar wins with a majority of 17,652, obtaining 31,949 votes. BN’s Arif Shah garnered 14,297 while Akim’s Hanafi Hamat got 74. Hanafi to lose his RM15,000 deposit. This figure would mean 46,320 voters cast their ballots instead of the EC’s 38,144.

7.59pm: Unofficial latest count, Anwar has obtained 16,101 votes as opposed to Arif Shah’s 6,071.

7.43pm: The EC starts to announce official results as per the ballot boxes it has counted. As it stands, Anwar is leading by 3,507 votes.

The breakdown is as follows: Akim’s Hanafi Hamat (9 votes), Anwar (5,398 votes) and Arif Shah (1,891).

So far 20 ballot boxes of a total of 111 have been opened and counted. Anwar had won in ALL these 20 boxes. In one particular box, he had obtained 441 votes compared to Arif’s 14.

The EC said that 38,144 ballots were cast today, out of 58,459 eligible voters.

7.25pm: There are signs of significant swing to PKR despite the lower turnout. In the state constituency of Penanti, which PKR won at the March 8 general elections, the party has bagged the sole polling station, Telok Wang, it failed to win five months ago.

March 8 result: BN – 261 votes, PKR – 227
Aug 26 result: BN – 232 votes, PKR – 260

Anwar is also making gains in the state constitutency of Seberang Jaya, where PKR had lost to BN candidate Arif on March 8.

7.25pm: Anwar’s press conference at 9pm is believed to declare his victory. The press conference was rescheduled to 9pm from its original time of 7.45pm.

7.20pm: Unofficial results so far: Anwar 5,855; Arif Shah 1,910

7.13pm: PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim is to hold a press conference at his by-election headquarters at Yayasan Aman at 7.45pm. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will also be holding a press conference at about 9pm.

6.55pm: Counting in all 25 polling stations is now underway. From inside sources, Anwar is leading in all voting streams. Votes are being counted simultaneously in all the polling stations with the results to be sent to the main counting centre for the final tally.

According to EC secretary Kamaruzaman, 38,144 voters went to the ballot box today with turnout being 65.25 percent. This is much lower than the 82 percent turnout at the March 8 general elections

6.30pm: Thousands of supporters, almost all from PKR, have gathered at the main counting centre. A police helicopter was hovering above the centre. Numerous police roadblocks were also mounted along the roads leading to the centre – this despite the police blocking the main access to this place.

About 30 police and FRU trucks were also seen in the vicinity, along with hundreds of police personnel

6.05pm: According to EC secretary Kamaruzaman, voter turnout was at 63.7 percent at 4pm. Final voter turnout yet to be released but expected to be lower than the 82 percent at the March 8 general elections.

5.53pm: The police have blocked the main road to the Tuanku Bainun counting centre where the announcement will be made later tonight. Even journalists with EC tags are not allowed to pass through. The move is seen as an attempt to deter people from gathering at the centre.

5.26pm: BN candidate Arif Shah is still confident of taking the seat.

5.11pm: PKR top leaders are confident that Anwar would win the seat as their exit polls show that he is leading by 18,000 votes.

5.10pm: EC officials will start counting votes polled at the respective polling centres by 6.30pm. The final count from all 25 polling centres will then be brought to the Institut Perguruan Tuanku Bainun for the official result to be announced.

5pm: Polling ends for the Permatang Pauh by-election.

4.35pm: Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is understood to have left Penang to Kuala Lumpur, an early indication that the premier has accepted defeat and has no reason to stay back.

4.25pm: Voter turnout stands at 53.5 percent, according to EC secretary Kamaruzaman at 3pm. He also denied rumours that the EC had extended the voting hours to 6pm. Polls will close at 5pm.

2.35pm: PKR vice-president Azmin Ali wants all party supporters to use motorcycles to go to the polling centres due to the massive traffic jams in all roads leading to these centres.

“From the indications we are getting, we are very confident of Anwar’s lead,” he said.

But he said that traffic gridlock on the narrow roads of the largely rural electorate had disrupted exit polling aimed at determining how voters cast their ballots.

“It is so bad that it’s very hard for us to determine accurate exit polls due to the large number of people filling the polling centres and the long jams outside,” he told AFP.

2.30pm: A worried-sounding BN candidate Arif Shah urged voters to come out to vote.

2.20pm: Malaysians for Free and Fair Election (Mafrel) spokesperson Ong BK said the election watchdog has recorded three cases of voters’ names missing from the electoral roll this morning.

He said these complainants have all voted in the previous elections but could not find their names on the roll today. In one case, the complainant found his name missing despite his wife being allowed to vote.

“We don’t know whether this is going to be a pattern as we have to continue to monitor the process until polling is closed” he told Malaysiakini.

1.27pm: The rain has stopped in certain areas, the traffic situation has improved in some parts and voters seem to be taking their time off for lunch first.

1.15pm: All roads leading to voting centres are going nowhere! Traffic has come to a standstill in most parts of Permatang Pauh.

Najib attributed the massive traffic jams at the centres to narrow roads and on voters coming out early to vote.

1pm: Election Commission secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor said voter turnout as at noon was 44.8 percent.

However EC deputy chief Wan Ahmad Wan Omar told Malaysiakini that he estimated the turnout to be at about 53 percent as at 1pm.

scuffle tense situation in permatang pauh by election polling day 260808 0412.55pm: Eyewitnesses claim of a tense situation at the SMK Penanti polling centre between supporters of BN and PKR over the former’s pondok panas which is located very close to the polling centre. [See map]

The situation is still under control but the respective supporters are continuing to trade barbs. The police are keeping a close watch.

12.30pm: Najib says he is happy with the polling so far.

“No untoward incidents so far and everything is under control,” he told reporters in Seberang Jaya.

He also visited a BN pondok panas at the polling centre in Seberang Jaya, talking to party workers and volunteers.

12.10pm: As predicted it’s raining in Permatang Pauh now!

11.20am: An Election Commission official says that they are not allowed to reveal details of voter turnout.

“Only EC secretary Kamaruzaman Mohd Noor can give those details,” she said when contacted.

Kamaruzaman is presently on his rounds visiting the polling centres.

11.05am: PKR polling agent at SK Seberang Jaya 2 Rodziah Ismail confirmed that there were no discrepancies in the electoral roll used in the polling station. She said that only the pages were different in the roll used today as compared to the previous one.

scuffle tense situation in permatang pauh by election polling day 260808 0511am: The crowd at SK Sri Penanti has dispersed. However, a small group of around 300 still remain a small distance away. Police are keeping a watchful eye on them. No untoward incident has been reported.

10.52am: Third candidate Hanafi Hamat told Malaysiakini that he was on the way to visit a polling station in Kubang Semang.

“I think I have chance to win,” he said.

“But even if I lose, it’s okay as our message has gone down to the voters. They are aware of our message,” he added.

scuffle tense situation in permatang pauh by election polling day 260808 0310.42am: Penang police chief Ayub Yaakob is at the scene at SK Sri Penanti. The crowd is given five minutes to disperse. The FRU are slowly moving the crowd out of the place. PKR information chief Tian Chua is also at the scene, asking the police to give more time for their supporters to be there.

10.30am: A PKR supporter is arrested for allegedly throwing an object to the BN side at SK Sri Penanti polling centre. There are about 1,000 supporters from both BN and Pakatan still gathered at this centre. They are kept afar on either side of a road opposite the centre.

scuffle tense situation in permatang pauh by election polling day 260808 02Eyewitnesses say that there are about 600 Pakatan supporters as opposed to 400 from BN. They are very boisterous. At least nine truck-loads of Federal Reserve Unit personnel are on standby at the place.

10.10am: “I hope to take oath in Parliament tomorrow,” said a highly-confident Anwar.

“We are entering Parliament with a clear agenda and they (BN) should wake up with the stark realities of the day.”

He said that he was receiving a strong support from the people of Permatang Pauh. He said this in a short five-minute speech after casting his vote.

10.05am: PKR’s election bureau deputy director Fuziah Salleh told Malaysiakini that they were checking with the Election Commission on the discrepancy in the voters’ list at SK Seberang Jaya 2 polling district.

anwar ibrahim permatang pauh by election polling day 260808 0110am: Anwar and Wan Azizah left after casting their votes. Anwar said that he was confident of winning today.

“It’s not Anwar versus the (other) candidates. It’s Anwar versus the entire government machinery,” he said.

He added that the most important thing was winning.

“As you can see, the groundswell is great. God willing, I’m confident of winning,” he added.

He however expressed his fears of vote-counting manipulations.

9.43am: Anwar, accompanied by his wife Dr Wan Azizah, enters the polling centre. He is wearing a long-sleeved blue shirt and a songkok. Wan Azizah will also be casting her vote at SK Sri Penanti.

9.38am: Anwar arrives at SK Seri Penanti. [See map]

9.35am: At SK Sri Penanti, almost all voters are using the PKR line to check their status before voting. Exit poll shows nine out of 10 favoured Anwar.

najib guan eng permatang pauh 260808 029.31am: Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Gerakan acting president Koh Tsu Koon are at SK Seberang Jaya 2 polling centre where they bumped into Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng and DAP leader Lim Kit Siang. The political leaders shook hands and exchanged greetings.

However their respective supporters were less cordial, with the Pakatan group shouting ‘Altantuya! Liar! Cheater!’ at Najib. BN supporters responded by shouting ‘Hidup Barisan!’

9.10am: A PKR alert states that the voters’ list used in the SK Seberang Jaya 2 polling district is different from that given earlier. It is however learnt that only the page numbers are different, but with the same list of voters.

9.05am: The crowd at SK Sri Penanti has now swelled to about 1,000, with almost two-thirds of them being from Pakatan. They are waiting for Anwar to arrive to vote.

8.45am: BN and Pakatan Rakyat supporters have started gathering at SK Sri Penanti where Anwar will be casting his ballot. About 300 Pakatan supporters have been teasing and mocking their rivals from the BN camp. The 50-odd BN men are also not slow to retort, singing away ‘liwat’ songs. Pakatan supporters respond by chanting ‘Altantuya’.

About 30 voters are also in line to vote here.

8.30am: There are about 70 supporters from both sides at SK Seberang Jaya 2. Anwar supporters are seen wearing Anwar masks, goading the BN supporters. Bantering between the two sets of supporters are jovial and in good mood.

permatang pauh by election 260808 arif shah vote 038.08am: BN’s Arif Shah is among the earliest to vote. His polling centre at SK Seberang Jaya 2 is close by to his house. He told reporters that he was confident of winning today. [See map]

“I voted at 8.08am as eight is a good number for me,” he told reporters with a beaming smile. His wife, Latifah Asmawi, and son, Izwan Shah, also cast their votes with him.

8am: Polling starts. Almost all polling centres have voters milling around to vote early.

7.30am: It’s polling day in Permatang Pauh, with a total of 58,459 voters who can vote to determine their chosen elected parliamentarian.

The contest to be the elected MP is among PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, Barisan Nasional’s Arif Shah Omar Shah and little known Hanafi Hamat from Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim).

This has been Anwar’s fort since 1982 and in his absence in the past 10 years, the seat has been held for him by his wife and PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

The by-election is necessitated by Wan Azizah’s decision to vacate the seat in July 31, to allow her husband a way back into the Parliament.

Permatang Pauh has three state seats under it – the BN-held Seberang Jaya, PKR’s Penanti and PAS’ Permatang Pasir. Arif is also the state representative in Seberang Jaya.

There are 25 polling centres, with 110 polling stream – all opened for voting since 8am. They will remain open until 5pm.

The weather in Permatang Pauh is clear and sunny. However, rain is expected later in the day. Voters are being reminded to be ready with their umbrellas and raincoats.

It has been constantly raining in the evenings in this constituency for the past week.

Heavy traffic is also anticipated throughout the day, especially with the narrow, kampung roads that dot most part of the constituency.

The police have also closed some roads in the constituency for better traffic management.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reminded voters at his ceramah last night to come out early to vote.

PKR’s Anwar Ibrahim is expected to cast his vote at Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) Sri Penanti at about 9am while his rival Arif Shah Omar Shah from BN will be voting at SK Seberang Jaya 2.

The third candidate, Hanafi, is not a voter from here.

Some 400 voters had been waiting at SK Seri Menanti, one of the  key polling stations, since early morning to cast their ballots.

Both PKR and BN have also identified several measures to lure voters to come out to vote today. Both sides have placed volunteers to ferry voters to the polling centres. Umbrellas are also on stand-by for the voters in case of a sudden downpour.

Arif Shah’s Umno has deployed some 5,000 volunteers to help out in the by-election. Both Umno and PKR are also preparing food for the voters.

The rival parties have also set up their own websites for their supporters to monitor the situation today.

BN’s website can be accessed here while PKR’s site is located here.

A Merdeka upside down?


August 26, 2008

by Azly Rahman@Columbia University, New York

http://azlyrahman-illuminations.blogspot.com/2008/08/merdeka.html

A Vote for Anwar is a Vote for a Real Merdeka

“Our Nation, Malaysia is dedicated to: achieving a greater unity for all her people; maintaining a democratic way of life; creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably distributed; ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural tradition, and building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology.

We, the people of Malaysia, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends, guided by these principles:

• Belief in God

• Loyalty to King and Country

• Upholding the Constitution

• Sovereignty of the Law, and

• Good Behaviour and Morality” – From the Rukunegara, circa 1970

The words above constructed and proclaimed in 1970, after the bloody riots of May 13, 1969, contain internal contradictions if we are to analyse them today.

As we approach August 31, our independence or Merdeka Day, we read the following stories:

- an irate prime minister mulling action against a blogger for flying the Malaysian flag upside-down in cyberspace;

- a by-election campaign in Pematang Pauh in Penang, that shows up the ugliness of smear campaigns focusing on race, religion, and personal issues instead of presenting solutions to national crises;

- an aborted Bar Council forum on conversion to Islam, disrupted by groups claiming to represent the survival and dignity of Malaysian Muslims;

- an angry Vice-Chancellor of an all-bumiputera university threatening to sue the chief minister of Selangor for the latter’s suggestion that Universiti Teknologi MARA be opened to non-bumiputera;

- a teacher in Selangor reprimanded and transferred for hurling racial slurs at her Malaysian school-children of Indian origin;

- the continuing and intensified work of the prime minster’s propaganda outfit, Biro Tata Negara, in ensuring that the ideology of Ketuanan Melayu remains funneled into the minds of Malay students, educators, and civil servants;

- the continuing refusal of the Ministry of Higher Education to grant freedom to students to gain concepts and skills of political consciousness by its refusal to radically revise the University and University Colleges Act;

- an increasingly cacophonic and toxic relationship between the Executive, Judiciary, and Legislative as a consequence of the 22-year misrule of the previous Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir Mohamad;

- a hyper-modernised country trapped in the excesses of nationalism and globalisation at a time when the global food and energy crisis is taking a toll on the economic and political lives of nations.

After 51 years, what do we have?

These are among the snapshot items of Malaysia circa 51 years of Merdeka or independence. The composite image of divide and conquer left by the British colonials continue to be artistically refined into subdivisions of divide and conquer, aided by the propaganda machine of the ruling class.

What can now be seen in Malaysia are images of the little brown brothers becoming the new colonisers and transforming themselves into ‘emperors in new clothes’.

If the words of the1970 proclamation are to be our benchmarks of Merdeka, we must ask these questions:

- How have we fostered unity amongst the nation when our government promotes racism thorough racialised policies and by virtue that our politics survive on the institutionalisation of racism?

- How have we maintained a democratic way of life, when our educational, political, and economic institutions do not promote democracy in fear that democratic and multicultural voices of conscience are going to dismantle race-based ideologies?

- How are we to create a just society in which the wealth of the nation is equitably distributed, when the New Economic Policy itself is designed based on the premise that only one race needs to be helped and forever helped, whereas at the onset of Independence, poverty existed amongst Malaysians of all races?

- How are we to promote a liberal approach to diverse culture and tradition when our education system is run by politicians who are championing Ketuanan Melayu alone and ensuring that Malay hegemony rules at all levels and spheres of education, from pre-school to graduate levels?

- How are we to build a progressive society based on science and technology when our understanding of the role of science and society do not clearly reflect our fullest understanding of the issues of scientific knowledge, industrialisation, and dependency?

A failed Malaysia? Across the board, the country is in distress. Education in shambles, polarised, and politicised. The economy is in constant dangerous flux. The judiciary is in deep crisis of confidence. Public safety is of major concern due to declining public confidence in the police, and politics remain ever divided along racial and religious lines.

This is the Malaysian depiction of Dorian Gray, one that shows the image of a “vibrant nation of progress and harmony, racial tolerance and a robust economy” but behind that is actually a deformed Malaysia, a mere continuation of the past’s feudal and colonial entity.

Broken promises

The colonised have become the colonisers. The state has become a totalitarian entity using the ideological state apparatuses to silence the voices of progressive change. The nationalists have nationalised the wealth of the nation for themselves and perhaps siphoning the nation’s wealth internationally.

This is the picture of the broken promise made by those who fought for independence; the vices of the early radical and truly nationalistic Malays, Chinese, Indians, Ibans, Kadazans, Sikhs, etc, of the early Merdeka movement.

How then must Malaysians celebrate their 51st Merdeka? By flying the Jalur Gemilang upside down? Or to do better than this – by putting justice in place, by engineering a multicultural jihad against all forms of excesses of abuse of power and to de-toxify the nation entirely, and then next – begin Year Zero of our cultural revolution by using a gentle enterprise called peaceful education?

Education is the solution. I believe we need a radical overhaul of everything, philosophically speaking. We have the structures in place but we would need to replace the human beings running the system.

We have deeply racialised human beings running neutral machines. We have ethnocentric leaders running humane systems. We have allowed imperfection and evolving fascism to run our system.

We have placed capitalists of culture behind our wheels of industrial progress; people who have the dinosaur brain of ketuanan this or that.

We have created these monsters and have unleashed them to run our educational, political, economic, and cultural systems. We have Frankenstein-ised our Merdeka.

We need to re-educate ourselves by reinventing the human beings we can entrust to run our machines. We must abolish the present system and create a new one; just as how we created our new cities – Putrajaya and Cyberjaya – the symbols of our oriental despotism and Asian capitalistic decadence.

We must be aware that class in the broadest and most comprehensive sense of the word is what we are dealing with and through class and cultural analyses, we can arrive at a different path to a new Merdeka.

This Merdeka, the rakyat, armed with wisdom of a new era, must now speak softly but carry a big stick. Our struggle for Merdeka has only just begun.
—————-
If I may be permitted to add to Dr. Azly Rahman’s article, it is this: August 26 will be the start of change for Malaysia. That is why we must have Anwar Ibrahim in Parliament and then on to Putrajaya he goes. I am pleased that the voters in Permatang Pauh understand what is at stake and are turning up in full force early at various polling stations. The weather is fine.

We want our best minds to return home and serve our country and that means changing our incentive system to make our environmment attractive for work and continuous self learning. Education must be thoroughly revamped so that it will be merit based. Standards should not be lowered. In stead, we must educate Malaysians to meet standards for entry into our tertiary institutions. Our universities must, therefore, be excellent centers for research, innovation and intellectual development.

Academic freedom must be returned to all our campuses. Political interference in the Universities must cease so that we do not have the obstacles to “a liberal approach to diverse culture and tradition”. We must also have create a community of intellectuals and artists in Kuala Lumpur like those in Paris, New York, Berlin, etc. Our nation badly needs a soul. —Din Merican in Permatang Pauh.

Pesanan Anwar Ibrahim: Memerdekakan Rakyat! Demi, Memerdekakan Negara!


Permatang Pauh, Ogos 26, 2008

Tarikh 31 Ogos merupakan satu tarikh keramat bagi seluruh rakyat Malaysia. Ia menandakan kita merdeka dari penjajahan yang sudah sekian lama menzalimi serta menindas. Beberapa hari lagi maka genap 51 tahun kita merdeka, 51 tahun sudah negara tercinta ini bebas dari penjajahan yang menindas.

Namun kita melihat selepas 51 tahun keadaan menjadi lebih buruk. Pengangguran bertambah berkali-kali ganda, inflasi berada di paras tertinggi dalam sejarah yang mengakibatkan kenaikan harga barang secara mendadak, manakala kerajaan tidak mampu untuk menurunkan harga minyak ke paras yang munasabah bagi mengurangkan beban rakyat.

Kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang diketuai UMNO sudah tempang dan gagal memenuhi hasrat rakyat yang inginkan perubahan demi kehidupan yang lebih baik, makmur, harmoni dan adil. Akan tetapi kita kesal demi menggelincirkan proses perubahan, Barisan Nasional sanggup untuk menggunakan politik fitnah dan adu domba.

Saya menyeru penduduk Permatang Pauh agar bersama-sama menolak segala penipuan dan kezaliman yang dilakukan oleh UMNO dan Barisan Nasional. Mari kita kuatkan iltizam serta perkukuh tekad perjuangan di dalam kita melawan fitnah serta perancangan jahat Barisan Nasional yang diketuai UMNO.

Marilah kita merdeka dari politik fitnah dan adu domba ini. Teladan yang ditunjukkan oleh Nabi Muhammad S.A.W dan anbiya lainnya seharusnya dijadikan iktibar. Saya menyeru kepada mereka yang terbabit supaya jangan menghina Syariah demi kepentingan politik. Kemukakan bukti dan saksi di Mahkamah Syariah bukannya bersumpah demi memenuhi nafsu politik semata!

26 Ogos 2008, undilah saya demi untuk keluar dari kesengsaraan hidup, rasuah dan kerencatan ekonomi. Bersempena bulan Merdeka ini marilah kita bersama-sama di Permatang Pauh ini mendakap semangat merdeka yang sebenarnya. Kita sampaikan kepada rakyat sudah tiba masanya untuk merdeka dari kesengsaraan hidup, merdeka dari rasuah dan merdeka dari keadaan ekonomi yang lembap.

Marilah kita Memerdekakan Rakyat! Demi Memerdekakan Negara!

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Despatches from Permatang Pauh Nr.7: Negara ini Rakyat punya, bukan Ahmad Albab punya…


August 25, 2008

0leh Din Merican, Din Ahmad dan Shogun Shah
@Urusetia, InfoMedia Parti KeADILan Rakyat,
Bangunan Yayasan Aman, Permatang Pauh

Negara Rakyat, bukan Negara UMNO,Negara ini rakyat punya, bukan Ahmad Albab punya, bukan Dollah Badawi punya, bukan Najib punya dan bukan UMNO punya.

Oleh yang demikian, adalah tanggungjawab kita semua untuk membela nasib bangsa dan negara. Kalau pimpinan yang sedia ada korup dan tidak cekap, kita semua tidak boleh menyalahkan orang lain. Alhamdullilah, pengundi-pengundi kawasan parliamen Permatang Pauh bernasib baik kerana mereka diberi peluang untuk memilih pada 26hb. Ogos 2008 wakil mereka di Parlimen Malaysia dan juga mengasaskan perlantikan Anwar Ibrahim, InsyaAllah, sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia yang baru.

Lima Janji Anwar

Sebab itu lah, Anwar Ibrahim menjanjikan 5 perkara yang akan menjadi teras perjuangannya sebagai Perdana Menteri.

PERTAMA, beliau berjanji akan mendirikan Malaysia sebagai NEGARA MADANI yang menjamin keadilan untuk semua rakyat, menjunjung prinsip-prinsip perlembagaan, mengukuhkan institusi kehakiman dan mengankat darjat kemuliaan insan, kebebasan dan haknya.

KEDUA, beliau akan melaksanakan AGENDA EKONOMI MALAYSIA agar ekonomi Malaysia kembali setaraf dengan Singapura, Korea Selatan dan Taiwan. Ini adalah penting bagi menjamin keadilan sosial untuk semua agar tiada lagi bumiputera atau kaum yang terpinggir dan mundur. Hak orang Melayu tetap dipertahankan dan kepentingan orang bukan Melayu juga tidak diabaikan. Disamping itu, martabat Islam tetap dipelihara.

KETIGA, adalah langkah penyusunan semula pasukan polis untuk menjadikannya badan PENCEGAHAN JENAYAH yang berkesan bersama agensi penguatkuasaan yang lain dan memastikannya bebas dari pengaruh politik dan rasuah.

KEEMPAT, beliau berjanji untuk MENGURANGKAN BEBAN HIDUP RAKYAT dengan menurunkan harga minyak, tol serta pelbagai tarif lain disamping membekalkan barang keperluan yang mencukupi dan memperjuangkan gaji minimum sebanyak RM 1,500.

KELIMA, beliau berikrar akan mencipta HARAPAN BARU untuk masa depan Malaysia dengan menjamin pendidikan percuma dan memastikan mutu pembelajaran di sekolah, kolej dan universiti di Malaysia adalah yang terbaik di rantau Asia Tenggara.

Kesemua janji diatas adalah selari dengan konsep “Ketuanan Rakyat”. Ketuanan rakyat bermaksud setiap langkah serta usaha yang diambil oleh kerajaan ialah untuk memperkasakan hak rakyat, untuk mensejahterakan hidup rakyat serta untuk meningkatkan ekonomi rakyat. Rakyat yang perkasa, rakyat yang hidup sejahtera dan rakyat yang kaya akan menjaminkan sebuah negara Malaysia yang gemilang dan dihormati oleh masyarakat Antarabangsa.

Kita semua perlu sedar yang kerajaan UMNO sekarang ini sudah ketandusan semangat untuk membawa kebahagiaan kepada rakyat. Mereka sebok memperkayakan diri sendiri, kaum keluarga serta kroni mereka dengan mengambil kesempatan keatas rakyat Malaysia terutamanya orang Melayu yang penuh dengan sifat kesabaran dan kemaafan. Sikap ini telah dianggap oleh pemimpin UMNO sebagai memberi mandat kepada mereka untuk memperbodohkan dan memperkudakan kita.

Sikap UMNO yang jelas menganggap orang Melayu di Permatang Pauh sebagai bodoh terbukti apabila mereka hanya mengunakan isu liwat yang menjatuhkan maruah serta mertabat orang Melayu sebagai senjata mereka untuk menjatuhkan Anwar, tanpa memperdulikan pandangan masyarakat antarabangsa terhadap kita.

Ini bukan zaman filem P.Ramlee dimana kekayaan orang miskin seperti Ahmad Albab boleh diselesaikan oleh jin dari alam khayalan. Hari ini kita perlu bekerja keras untuk bersaing dengan negara lain. Disamping itu kita memerlukan sebuah kerajaan yang cekap, bertanggungjawap serta telus untuk menentukan kekayaan negara kita tidak dilenyapkan melalui rasuah serta kepincangan pentadbiran.

Politik amalan UMNO yang suka mengadu-domba masyarakat berbilang kaum negara ini hanya akan menyebabkan ketegangan serta pertelingkahan kaum yang tidak akan menguntungkan sesiapa selain dari musuh-musuh negara. Politik mereka ini hanya akan menjunamkan negara ke dasar lautan kehancuran.

Pakatan Rakyat pimpinan Anwar Ibrahim percaya setiap keupayaan, kecekapan dan kebolehan seorang rakyat negara ini perlu dimanfaatkan demi masa depan kita bersama. Lima janji beliau diatas akan merupakan titik permulaan pembangunan semula negara untuk memgambil tempat kita yang sewajarnya di persada dunia. Masa depan negara berada di tangan kita, maka kita yang wajib mengubahnya.

Salam Perpisahan, bukan Selamat Tinggal

Akhir kata kami semua yang datang dari jauh ingin mengucapkan selamat mengundi dan jaga ketentaraman bersama ketika keluar mengundi. Kami terhutang budi diatas layanan serta kerjasama yang diberikan semasa kami berada di Permatang Pauh.

Ribuan suara mencorak perubahan

Pengorbanan Umat berpandangan jauh

Undian Rakyat penentu perjuangan

Terima kasih Permatang Pauh

Parlimen dalam tangan

Putrajaya dalam jangkauan

UNDI LAH ANWAR