‘We have lost a great son of Sarawak’


January 11, 2017

‘We have lost a great son of Sarawak’

Netizens, including politicians, speak highly of the Sarawak chief minister who died at 1.20pm today.

Image result for tan sri adenan satem

By popular acclaim, the late Chief Minister of Sarawak, Tan Sri Adenan Satem, was a strong leader who stood up for the rights of all Sarawakians. He will be sorely missed. Dr. Kamsiah Haider  and I wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his bereaved family.

His passing will no doubt have decisive impact on the politics of this fiercely nationalistic state. My inclination on this sad day is to dedicate Al-Fatihah to the Late Tan Sri and pray (doa) that there will be a smooth transfer of power. I also hope that Sarawak will have a successor Chief Minister who will be strong enough like Tun Taib Mahmud and Tan Sri Adenan to resist any move by UMNO to establish  a branch in Sarawak.–Din Merican

Tributes have begun pouring in from netizens, including politicians, following the news that Sarawak Chief Minister Adenan Satem passed away at 1.20pm today.

Many Twitter users spoke highly of the PBB President. Sarawak United Peoples Party (SUPP) president and local government minister Sim Kui Hian said: “We have lost a great son of Sarawak who devoted his whole life to the rakyat.”

Political leaders from the Barisan Nasional poured out their grief on Twitter with Prime Minister Najib Razak revealing that he would be heading to Sarawak.

MCA president Liow Tiong Lai echoed similar sentiments saying: “Malaysia lost a great leader today.”

Deputy Education Minister P Kamalanathan tweeted: “Greatly shocked. Great loss to all #Malaysians. My sincere condolences to the family and the people of Sarawak.”

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin expressed condolences to Adenan’s wife Jamilah, family and Sarawakians. Sabah lawmaker Rahman Dahlan said Adenan’s struggles for a better Sarawak would be continued.

“Our sincere condolences to the family members of CM Adenan & the people of Sarawak. His struggles for a better Sarawak will be carried on.”

The public, too, have been taking to Twitter to express their condolences over Adenan’s passing. One user with the Twitter handle Ahmad Tarmidzi described Adenan as a true Sarawakian fighter.

“He fought for us, Sarawakians,” he tweeted, adding that he prayed the senior politician would be placed with the pious.

Another user Miz_PhinzSJ said it was a sad day for Sarawak because the state had “lost a good leader”. Meanwhile, Twitter user syazwan said Adenan was his own man.“I actually like Adenan Satem. He is more his own man than I thought he would be as CM. Great loss.”

PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority


May 8, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

PKR Lily Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh but with reduced majority

by Sheridan Mahavera and Looi Sue-Chern

wan azizah 1

With a smaller voter turnout, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) had its absolute majority slashed by more than 3,000 votes in Permatang Pauh yesterday, but analysts dissecting the by-election said Barisan Nasional (BN) was still the bigger loser.

There are also warnings for both sides, as BN’s losses came from among Malay votes, while Pakatan Rakyat (PR)Dr Wong Chin Huat appeared to concede some Chinese votes to BN. BN’s failure to get more votes in Permatang Pauh, especially from Malay areas, mirrored the cold shoulder it got from the largely Malay seat of Rompin in the by-election there three days ago, said political analyst Dr Wong Chin Huat (right). Although BN was the incumbent in Rompin, its support level went down by 5% from 2013 levels.

BN failed to take advantage of the infighting between PKR and ally PAS, and despite a strident machinery, did not manage to erode support for PKR’s Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail. She won by a margin of 8,841 votes against BN’s Suhaimi Sabudin.

Given the lower voter turnout, her win translates into 57% of all ballots cast, roughly the same vote share PKR had in the 13th general election. In the national polls two years ago with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as candidate, it took 58.56% of votes.

In contrast, BN received 40.1% of all votes cast in Permatang Pauh this time, slightly less than the 40.3% it received in 2013.This is despite BN pouring vast amounts of resources into its campaign and the disunity in the PR machinery, which saw some PAS allies threatening to boycott PKR.

“BN campaigned hard and we expected PR to suffer. But they did not increase their votes even with all the PR infighting,” said Wong, of the Penang Institute. Noth BN and PR have internal struggles, the former from attacks against its chairman, who is Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, and the opposition from discord over hudud and threats of sabotage by some segments of PAS against PKR in Permatang Pauh.

Yet, even with internal strife in both camps, BN was the weaker of the two, Wong said. It failed in this by-election to capitalise on the chaos and disillusionment with PR to garner more votes.

PKR outpolled Suhaimi in Permatang Pasir and Penanti, constituencies with majority Malay populations of 72% and 76% respectively. Dr Wan Azizah won 63% of the popular votes in Permatang Pasir and 57% of all votes cast in Penanti.She won majorities in 16 out of 19 polling districts in those two constituencies. In at least eight of those districts, she managed to beat Suhaimi by a vote margin of 2 to 1.

Dr Wan Azizah said after the results were made official last night, that Malay votes went up by 4% to 5%, mostly among young voters.“At the end of the day, people may not like the PR but they hate BN more,” said Wong.

Wan Saiful Wan JanTaking a different view was Wan Saiful Wan Jan (left) who said PR had nothing to shout about since it did not increase its vote share even with all the issues plaguing BN, such as the unpopular goods and services tax (GST) and scandals involving government-owned fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

PR’s infighting prevented it from getting more support from a public disenchanted with BN, Wan Saiful said. (Permatang Pauh) showed that even if people are angry with BN, they are not convinced enough to vote PR. This is why PR really needs to resolve its internal squabbles soon.”

Those squabbles, he argued, were starting to eat into its support base among the Chinese.In Sungai Lembu, a polling district which is 98.7% Chinese, BN managed to increase its support of the popular vote to 30.4% compared with the 16% it garnered in 2013, according to Gerakan Youth chief Tan Keng Liang.

Wong, however, said this did not represent a true swing of the Chinese vote towards BN but more of a reluctance to vote for PR this time. This is based on lower turnout – 75% of Sungai Lembu’s 533 voters came out to vote in the by-election, compared with the 90% in 2013.

Also, there was no swing apparent in Seberang Jaya, a constituency with a 23% Chinese population.“There were ads in a Chinese newspaper that said that ‘both sides are disappointing’, so it could have swayed Chinese voters to stay home and not go out and vote,It is unrealistic to expect Chinese voters to go back to BN, but realistically, they could stay home and not vote.BN does not need the Chinese to vote for it, all it needs is for the Chinese to not vote for PR.” .” said Wong.

Either way, if PR’s internal discord continues and makes voters feel it is no better than BN, it could hurt the opposition pact’s ability to hold on to marginal seats.

http://www.themalaysianinsider.com

Looking Back @ Rompin By-Elections: Disadvantage Najib


May 7, 2015

Phnom Penh by The Mekong

Looking Back @ Rompin By-Elections: Disadvantage Najib

by Nigel Aw@www.malaysiakini.com

ANALYSIS: The Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Hudud may have been the dominating issues during the Rompin by-election campaign but a crucial factor that appeared to have been overlooked was a brewing revolt by FELDA settlers.

While Barisan Nasional (BN) ‘s share of votes was reduced in most Malay majority areas, likely due to resentment against the GST, the swing against the ruling coalition was significantly higher in FELDA settlements. For example, according to polling district data, areas such as Muadzam Shah (96 percent Malay), Sungai Puteri (85 percent Malay), Kota Bahagia (86 percent Malay) and Sarang Tiong (90 percent Malay) saw an average swing of between three to six percent against BN. However, the data showed that the figure almost doubles in Felda polling districts with several seeing swings of almost 10 percent against BN.

Among them include FELDA Keratong 3 (10.1 percent), FELDA Keratong 4 (9 percent), FELDA Keratong 6 (9.1 percent) and FELDA Keratong 10 (9.9 percent).

While PAS campaigned heavily on GST in towns and villages, FELDA issues was its trump card while the party’s candidate Nazri Ahmad himself being a descendent of a FELDA Keratong settler. PAS central committee member Mazlan Aliman, who leads the NGO National Felda Settlers’ Children Association, said the revolt was already anticipated during his campaign.

Mazlan (photo left) said that unlike previous by-elections where FELDA were considered near impenetrable BN strongholds, settlers were receptive and turned up at their ceramahs.

FELDA settlements have traditionally been difficult to reach by the opposition due to its often isolated locations and self-subsistence thanks to dedicated facilities built by the government.

“If we were to compare to the 13th General Election, at that time, FELDA Global Ventures (FGV) was only just listed and settlers received a windfall of up to RM15,000 so BN won big.

“But since then, FGV shares have fallen and our warnings about how FELDA settlers will face hardship turned into a reality,” he told Malaysiakini.

During the general election, FGV’s shares which was distributed to settlers was worth around RM4.60 each. The share closed at RM2.09 today (May 6). Voting data suggests that the youth vote swing was more than 10 percent, while there was also noticeable swing among the elderly voters, who have traditionally been staunch BN supporters.

Pending lawsuits against FELDA

Mazlan pointed out that the FELDA Keratong cluster had been a focus for PAS, which was assisting some 700 settlers with their lawsuits against FELDA for allegedly cheating them by purchasing their oil palm fruits at a lower price than what they are worth in the market.

“Seven hundred settlers is a significant number and when they are angry at FELDA, they are also angry at the government as FELDA is a federal agency,” he said. He added the discontent in FELDA was further aggravated by the fall on commodity prices which made life difficult for them.

Putrajaya’s announcement during the by-election that it was offering houses to the descendents of FELDA settlers for merely RM90,000 instead of the initial price of RM125,000 did little to ease this anger. When the by-election was finally over, BN lost two FELDA polling districts to PAS, namely FELDA Keratong 2 and FELDA Keratong 4.

In contrast, PAS only succeeded in winning a single polling district during the last general election, namely Bandar Baru Rompin due to anti-government sentiment among Chinese voters. Even FELDA Keratong 9, which saw the smallest swing against BN among the settlements, stood at 5.6 percent while other settlements in the Keratong cluster are FELDA Keratong 1 (8.7 percent), FELDA Keratong 2 (6.3 percent) and FELDA Keratong 8 (6.8 percent).

Smaller FELDA settlements also saw similar trends with FELDA Selanchar 3 seeing a 13 percent swing against BN while FELDA Selendang saw a 4.5 percent swing against the ruling coalition.

The anti-GST sentiment also helped PAS snap up other polling districts such as the fairly developed township of Muadzam Shah and Pianggu.

The polling districts of Pianggu and Leban Chondong were outliers with the former swinging heavily against BN, at 13.2 percent while the later swung 12.3 percent in favour of BN. It should be noted that both polling districts were affected by the massive flooding last year and local factors such as how well reconstruction efforts went could have influenced voters.

Chinese voters backed BN

Even though PAS bagged several new polling districts, it lost Bandar Baru Rompin, possibly due to the party playing the hudud card towards the tail end of the campaign.The polling district, which comprise 81 percent Malays and 14 percent Chinese,  swung 4.4 percent in favour of BN.

This pattern can be observed in all other polling districts with substantial Chinese voters including Kuala Rompin (27 percent Chinese) which swung 9.6 percent to BN and Endau (16 percent Chinese) swinging 5.7 percent to BN. But PAS Vice President Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who led the party’s machinery in the Rompin by-election said GST was a bigger factor compared to hudud.”GST was a major factor as it was PAS’ slogan that a vote for it is a vote against GST. This was why  the youth rejected UMNO.

“Hudud was not a major factor as PAS did not use it as a campaign issue, it was only used minimally,” he told Malaysiakini when contacted. It is however difficult to draw a objective conclusion on Chinese voting patterns as they make up only 2 percent of the constituents.

BN’s Hasan Arifin, who is former Pahang Deputy Menteri Besar, retained the parliamentary seat with a 8,895-vote majority, significantly lower than predecessor Jamaluddin Jarjis’ 15,114-vote majority. Hasan (photo, waering songkok) garnered 23,796 votes while PAS’ Nazri Ahmad received 14,901 votes.

BN may attribute its reduced majority to the low turnout of 73 percent compared to 85.5 percent in the last general election, the fact remains BN lost several polling districts to PAS and its share of votes fell.

UMNO Vice President Hishammuddin yesterday appeared to acknowledge this, stating that the government needed to take cognisance of the by-election outcome.

“We also understand that people are sending certain messages to the government – both state and federal – we will take note of these (messages),” he had said.