Thursday, February 28, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 12:36 pm

Have you seen the amount of propaganda on mainstream newspapers in the country lately? Wow! Component parties of Barisan Nasional such as MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress) and MCA have gone on an advertising blitz by placing full page ads to tell the Indians and Chinese respectively why they should continue to vote for MIC and MCA. It's a full page ad and I don't have a scanner but let me reproduce some of the truths as given by MIC.

"Every Indian who has benefited directly or indirectly from MIC is a silent majority and a silent supporter who has assisted MIC to rise and evolve to where it is today" - now that's quite a sweeping statement, isn't it? Could MIC please give us the list and perhaps a Statutory Declaration by these benefactors of MIC's deeds that they are indeed MIC supporters? Otherwise, I would just treat it as sales talk.

"Vote for PAS and see where Kelantan is today. That's how your constituency will be for the next 5 years. If you think that you are not progressing under MIC, than (sic) you can now imagine getting disintegrated under PAS" - Firstly, before you start comparing PAS and Kelantan vis a vis the other states, can you please publish the amount of Federal funding given to Kelantan compared to the other states? Please don't issue threats during elections by telling people that if we don't vote for you, we will wallow in poverty. For what they have given, I think the PAS government has spent the money prudently compared to the millions or billions supposedly pumped into other states which are still insufficient. I remembered Awang Adek (the BN Kelantan menteri besar-wannabe) telling the people that he will ask and make sure he gets from the Federal government RM1 billion to develop Kelantan compared to the RM400 million now given to Kelantan. So, he acknowledges that RM400 million is insufficient, isn't it? So, don't think people are stupid and be coyed by your threats of disintegration.

"If you do not vote for MIC, you are depriving your children the right to preserve and uphold Tamil, Hinduism and the right to seek education" - Excuse me? I thought the rights to speak one's mother tongue, practice and profess a religion and education are enshrined and protected under the Federal Constitution? Since when do we actually need a race-based party to preserve and uphold these rights? Unless you are claiming that there is some unseen force within BN which threatens such rights in MIC's absence. Unless you are claiming that your fellow component parties in BN would, at the first sight of the absence of Indian representatives, deny Indians the right to speak Tamil, practice Hinduism and the right to seek education. What kind of a coalition is BN are you trying to portray to us then? I would expect an Indian representative to fight for the rights of all Malaysians in accordance with the spirit of the Federal Constitution and not just shrug off with a comment "That's a chinese problem" or "That's a malay problem". As the people's representative, you owe a duty to the people of Malaysia to discharge your duties to the nation without fear or favour. Not just jaga kain sendiri and let other fellow Malaysians who are being discriminated against go by.

I think that's enough commentary for now on this absurd piece of sales gimmick. Please don't take Indians for fools to believe your kind of propaganda and to continue to subscribe into your racial politics. It is nauseating to say the least after 50 years of independence that we should continue to vote parties which continue to perpetuate jaga kain sendiri.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 5:40 pm

Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, leader of the MCA, a component party of Barisan Nasional has just confirmed my suspicions all these while :-

That BN is made up of racist parties who would only think of fighting for their kind in disregard of the rights of those of other races, nevermind if they are Malaysians.

Why else would Ong Ka Ting say that Chinese Malaysians cannot afford to be split in their support for Barisan Nasional (BN) to ensure the survival of the community in terms of politics, economy, culture and education if it was not an endorsement that BN practices racism at its worst - that if your community is not represented, your survival in terms of economy, culture and education would be at risk?

I always thought that BN fights for equality, fairness and justice. And so it seems that this is not so behind the scenes. I can just imagine OKT and perhaps Samy Vellu and other heads of community arguing (and begging?) in a cabinet meeting with UMNO leaders to give other communities a chance to survive. This is not power sharing. This is called the mighty rules. This is what is known as the party with the most number of representatives call the shots - nevermind if you are also a Malaysian with a MyKad and contributing taxes for the benefit of everyone. And we all know that UMNO has a disproportionate number of representatives in BN as compared to the other parties vis a vis the population of this country.

I no longer wish to endorse a party or coaliation which perpetuates racists ideals. I am a Malaysian, born and raised in this country which I call home and who believes in equality, fairness and justice to all. The marginalised must be heard and assisted irregardless of their race. The poor must be given equal opportunities regardless of their race. No longer should university places and scholarships be assessed on racial preference (don't talk to me about meritocracy in place because if you were to open your eyes big enough, you will realise that it is a sham). No longer should the rich who purchases a house worth RM1 million be entitled to a discount just because he is a bumiputra. He is rich enough already.

No wonder BN leaders' call for a united Malaysian people will never materialise - because of their racist policies. Hear what Anwar Ibrahim has to say and what PKR stands for. That is what I call a party for Malaysians.


posted by PabloPabla at 10:38 am

The Barisan Nasional's manifesto for the 2008 General Elections - Security, Peace and Prosperity is more of a joke than anything else. To understand why I am saying that, it would be necessary to revisit the Barisan Nasional's manifesto for 2004 and make a comparison on what has since happened and what will be happening if Barisan Nasional is voted back into power.

The BN's manifesto 2004 reads - Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang which is translated to Excellence, Glory, Distinction! Nice choice of words and very promising indeed especially when Pak Lah was coming into the helm as the potential new Prime Minister of the country. He promised to take Malaysia into greater heights with superlatives namely Excellence, Glory and Distinction. What has since happened between 2004 and 2008?

Instead of Excellence, it has been mediocre and a downward trend - especially where our standards of education are concerned. Our once proud Universiti Malaya, long held in regard as the premier university of the country, has dropped in the World's Top 200 Universities from No. 89 in 2004 to oblivion. It wasn't even in the Top 200 in the year 2007. Whilst the debate on the use of English and Bahasa Malaysia on certain subjects like Maths and Science continues, our leader - the Information Minister Datuk Seri Zainuddin Maidin, who I believed was the ex-chief editor of the Utusan Melayu Newspaper, demonstrates to the world our atrocious standard of English - comprehension and oral.

Glory? How about the sad state of our national football team? Or hockey? The downward spiral continues and now, with no disrespect, our national football team finds it hard to even win the SEA Games gold, let alone entering the final. Or the glorious standards employed by the police and government in handling minority needs to be heard? Do we sense that the very people appointed to head the government who in turn, appointed the people to run the country are incompetent or blur? Seeing how taxpayer's monies are gloriously spent on multi-million projects which serve little purposes or worse still, with artful cracks to show despite having Certificate of Fitnesses.

Distinction? I think we must have scored as a country which espouses multi-racial harmony in one breath and at the other, issue threats like "Don't challenge us!" whilst wielding a keris in full public. Or a country which promotes multi-religious tolerance but intolerant to civil discussions on inter-faith matters. We are distinctly a country which does not practice what we (the leaders whom we appointed) preach. That, we scored a distinction.

Judging from the promises of 2004 and what has happened during the past 4 years, do we trust that the manifesto or sales pitch of Security, Peace and Prosperity would be a reality? Do we really trust that by voting BN again, the citizen's feeling of security, peace and prosperity would be real? If the crime index has worsened from 156,315 cases in 2003 to 224,298 cases in 2007 under the leadership of BN, do we expect it to be better this time around when their Cemerlang, Gemilang, Terbilang failed miserably? As parents, do you feel safe leaving your kids unattended even for a short while? As bank depositors, do you feel safe withdrawing cash? Do you need to stay in a gated and guarded community for security and peace? Or perhaps, if you are not living in such a community, do you need to make sure you double lock your house and grille up all the windows? I thought Kuala Lumpur would be a safer place to live in but when I was in UK, I stayed in a double-storey link house which uses no grilles but just a skeleton key for the main door. No gates as well. Do you think that the country's funds could have been better managed over the last 4 years to stem the rising cost of living? Seriously, if you are living in KL, you hardly have anything left to save after paying for all expenses if you are an average office worker. Those in the lower income bracket would be worst. And those who are reach get contracts due to better "connections". Have you not heard or experienced all this?

So, why should I continue to believe the propaganda that is being served by BN again? And why should you?


Thursday, February 21, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 3:28 pm

Woot! We have got a new tiger of Jelutong in the making - Jeff Ooi! And if news that Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon is also vying for that seat, this will be an interesting battle indeed with a political heavyweight going head on with a blogger heavyweight. No doubt, the mighty BN machinery will be with Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon and he will be the overwhelming favourite but can Jeff Ooi pull one of the biggest upset ever to be seen in Malaysian election history?

If Koh is going for that seat and loses, he would lose his hopes of being a Federal Minister and it would be a situation where a Gerakan's chief would be left without a ministerial post! That could spell the end of his political career!

It's your call Jelutong!

update : Er...nope. Koh is going for the Batu Kawan seat. He's probably got lots of kawan there to support him against Prof. Rama of DAP. The announcement of the election candidates are coming in fast and furious. I can't help thinking that this is like a Royal Rumble on wrestling channels and how exciting it is becoming. Read Malaysiakini for breaking news.


posted by PabloPabla at 10:47 am

If the news conference at 2pm is anything as expected, MCA's no. 2 man, will be announcing his decision not to contest the 12th general election. Speculation has been rife that he is declining renomination due to health grounds. So, where does this leave the nation as far as the alleged RM4.6 billion Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) scandal is concerned? Rather easy and convenient way of avoiding an explanation or inquiry into that alleged scandal, isn't it? Now we all won't know the truth as far as the allegations are concerned.

If he goes, then we can expect a new Transport Minister to be appointed (as well as Health Minister since this post has been vacant due to the resignation of Datuk Seri Dr. Chua Soi Lek). Would there be any improvement to our nation for the next 5 years in these two ministries under the leadership of new Ministers? Only time can tell. For now, I can only expect that the people of Penang Island, which measures only 285 sq kilometres as opposed to Singapore at 682.7 sq kilometres, would dream that after this General Elections, the public transportation system on Penang Island would be improved from what it is today. Let us not compare Malaysia with Singapore but we can always compare Penang Island with Singapore.

Growing at about the same time as Singapore as part of the Straits Settlement (together with Melaka), the pace of development and modernisation of Penang Island pales in comparison with Singapore. Well, okay. Let's for a moment remember that Singapore is a country and Penang is only a state. But hey, since it is only a state, would it not be easier to develop it as compared to a nationwide development exercise? You have lesser people and land to deal with. And afterall, who says we Malaysians don't have the funds? Pak Lah, who is from the state of Penang has just announced multi-billion ringgit development corridors around the country. Surely we can afford to spend 50 billion on Penang Island to restore it to its previous glory during the Straits Settlement days. Give Singapore a run for its money.

Oh well...that won't (probably) be part of Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy's problem anymore. And neither will it be Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon's.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 4:56 pm

Those of you who uses a water filter at home, please raise your hands. Or if you don't use one but your brand new white shirt turns yellow after a couple of washes and you suspect the water is not as clean as it should be. How has the water quality been for the past 5 years? Any improvement which takes away the need for the installation of a water filter?

How about the street lighting outside your house? Is it adequate? Bright enough to deter would-be snatch thieves? I have seen many street lights which are nothing but dim lights which serve little function. Funnily, they seem to cost quite a dent in the expenditure budget of our local government. Who approves them anyway?

Do you have an acceptable public transportation system around the area you live? Or are they a mere fiction? Of course, you can't expect a public bus to be plying a route just outside your house but does it take you more than 2 kilometres to walk to the nearest bus stand? And having walked 2 kilometres, how long do you wait for the bus to arrive?

Now that the bus arrived, do you see a trail of smoke belted out by the exhaust pipe as the bus coughs and puffs away? And did you notice the bald feature of the bus tyres or were you more distracted by the bumper or side panel having been bruised by an accident sometime ago? I wonder what did the Transport Ministry do about these buses.

Oh, let's not talk about the taxis whom many passengers hail down with a 50/50 chance of being given a chance to take a ride. You only get to take a ride to your destination provided the taxi driver feels like driving to that part of the town. And having taken the ride, do ensure you have not been taken for a ride and having to pay like you have just sat on a stretch limousine when all you did was just cramping yourself in a Proton Iswara and going around the town in a big circle. I thought there were promises to crackdown on errant cabbies?

Was it a smooth ride? Or did you just felt that you have gone on a nature's trail with all those potholes and bumpy roads? I understand we have some of the best highways and road system in the world or Asia but it seems rather bumpy for me when I reach the housing estate where I live. Perhaps it is due to the fact that only certain designated areas like the U-Thant, Duta, Damansara and Bangsar enclave are destined for smooth as silk roads whilst less glamourous areas like Balakong, Cheras, Serdang and Ijok only get a coat of tar come election time.

Meanwhile, excuse me while I go replace the water filter cartridge since it is as brown as the cup of teh ais I had this morning. I thought I just replaced it last time flies.


Tuesday, February 19, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 3:50 pm

I have always thought highly of YB Fong Po Kuan of Batu Gajah. This young gutsy lady gave much of her life to serve the people having been elected into Parliament at the young age of 24. I mean, how many young ladies at the age of 24 would rather stand in Parliament fighting for the good of the people of this nation, having to tolerate sexist remarks from disgusting and dishonourable BN MPs and giving up time for the people than to take a normal 9 to 5 job to earn a decent living oblivious to what is happening around the country, much less politics? Her breaking news (more of heart breaking news to her supporters) reported by Malaysiakini two days ago brought dismay and disbelief to her and DAP supporters and much glee to the mighty BN.

Now, for all her intelligence and aspirations for a just and fair nation, I am pretty much disappointed with her decision to call for a press conference to announce her decision not to stand as a candidate for Parliament at the eleventh hour. Don't get me wrong. I know she must have her reasons. Well, she did say that the reasons were internal politicking. Naturally, the top DAP leaders deny the existence of internal politicking but the damage has been done. Being politics, the truth of whether there is internal politics or how serious it is is anybody's guess. After all, it's politics we are talking about.

But being a two term MP (and a popular one at that), she should know that such an announcement made one week prior to nomination would have caused a dent in the party's morale, greatly disappointed those who supported her work all these while, created further rift in the party and jeapordises some of the good work which her colleagues have been doing all these while. If at all, why should she call for a press conference? She could have just left it to the party's leaders to nominate a new candidate (since she is insistent that her decision is final) come nomination day.

I find it hard to consolidate her allegations of not all is rosy in Perak DAP leadership vis a vis her statement that she would continue to support and fight for DAP's cause. Does she then mean that she would still be a party member but disagree with the leadership? If she truly wants to serve and is willing to serve the public (considering her popularity with the people in her constituency), would she consider exiting DAP and standing as an Independent candidate based on her principles and aspirations for the nation?

If she had said that she wants to make way for others and spend more time with her husband since they have just got married and said this earlier, it would have been easier for the people to accept and allow her to go. Afterall, a politician is also a human being and needs to have a life of their own. But to call a press conference one week before nomination day and dropping a bombshell against her own party is a little too reckless, I must say. I seriously don't think that this was a spur of the moment decision. She must have thought long and hard about it. In fact, it was even reported that she didn't even want to stand for the last election.

What took her so long to decide Enough is Enough and then deciding that this is the best time to say adieu? Your guess is as good as mine.


Monday, February 18, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 11:49 am

After writing about how every vote counts towards the future governance of this country, I stumbled upon Jeff Ooi's reply to an email posted by a reader. In case you've missed all the alternative news in the midst of BN related news posted in the mainstream media (which I won't blame you), Jeff Ooi - a popular Malaysian blogger at that, will be running for Parliament and word has it that he will be vying for a seat in Penang. The reader advised him not to contest in Penang saying that (my summary and I accept any imperfection or inaccuracy in it) the DAP's apparent full challenge for Penang seats would result in the losers being the Chinese.

Jeff wrote a well written reply on the role of an MP and / or State Assemblyman and how they serve the nation and people. You should read it to understand these roles so that you will be able to make a better decision on whom you should vote for this coming Malaysian General Elections. At the risk of repeating myself and what Jeff had said, the role of MPs are primarily to formulate decisions for the betterment of the nation. We have all heard about the announcement of the SCORE (Sarawak Corridor of Renewable Energy) worth RM110 billion by the PM last week with apparently no consultation with groups which may be affected by the developments as well as no documentation of the environmental impact these developments may cause. Till todate, I am not aware of any official response to these concerns. I would be interested to see this being debated in Parliament after the GE as this is not merely a state development issue but of national importance as well (on how much we emphasize preservation of environment at the expense of development as a nation).

As it is, development orders seem to be issued with impunity by local councils (read what Jeff says about who appoints local councillors in this country). Residents in Jalan Medang Tanduk in Bangsar / Medan Damansara are up in arms due to the latest development project which threatens their last remaining green lung. Likewise in Bukit Persekutuan / Federal Hill and slow but sure destruction of Bukit Kiara Park. I am not against development but development must come second after ensuring that it has minimal impact on the environment. That's where the role of the MP is so important. Not day to day job like ensuring drains are clear or that this student gets a deserving scholarship.

Talking about scholarship, the Star committed 2 full pages of stories (propaganda?) about how chinese students obtained PSD scholarships after assistance by the MCA. Even the President of MCA, Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, took it upon himself to personally assist these deserving students who were initially turned down by PSD. Well, MCA did its job and that's commendable but did everyone ponder the question - if these students merited the scholarships, why weren't they given the scholarships when their applications were put in in the first place? Why must it waste valuable time and resource of political parties like MCA (and I am sure MIC and others) and their Presidents to appeal on their behalf? There is definitely something wrong with the scholarship screening process as it was reported that through MCA's efforts, 2100 students obtained scholarships over the last 7 years. That averages 300 students per year! That means the PSD failed to assess the merits of 300 students per year (and that is from MCA's report alone!). The person/s in charge of PSD should be held accountable and resign from such incompetency and inefficiency. But alas, accountability and resignation from accountability are alien to management and governance ala Malaysian style.

Need I say more?


Friday, February 15, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 4:23 pm

If you have registered yourself as a voter, will you be exercising your rights to vote come this 8th March as the citizens of Malaysia determine the government for the next 5 years? If you are, I am glad that you are doing what you are expected to do. This expectation, in my own interpretation, is from all other Malaysians. It is an expectation that each eligible voter exercise his right to vote so that the choice government would be formed. I am not a politician and neither have I studied politics. It brings me dismay everytime an eligible voter remarks "Politics is not for me" or "So what? My one vote counts for nothing" or "I can't be bothered as I am too busy". I think they don't realise that their failure to vote can manifest great consequences when combined with the others who also fail to vote.

In a General Election (GE), voters will be voting for a Member of Parliament (Parliament seat) and / or a State Assemblyman (State seat). The former sits in Dewan Rakyat. The latter sits in the State Assembly. The Dewan Rakyat (also known as Parliament) makes policy decisions for the nation. The State Assembly makes certain policy and admin decisions for the State (eg. Penang, Perak, Selangor etc).

The Dewan Rakyat is made up of 222 representatives elected through this GE process. The formulate policies, debate and pass these policies which governs and manages the Country. A political party which garners a simple majority (112 seats) will form the Government of Malaysia. It is presently the BN as they have 199 out of the 222 seats. With such an overwhelming majority (which is more than 2/3), policies and Bills drafted by BN are almost certain of being passed through the Parliament as there is insufficient Opposition members to veto even if there are great cause of concern with the contents of some of these Bills. These Bills (which requires 2/3 majority to be passed), once passed, will go to the Dewan Negara (with Senators sitting) for approval before finally going for the Royal Assent before becoming law.

I personally feel that a healthy democracy is one where the government of the day has less than 2/3 majority in Parliament (also known as the Legislature) for the simple fact that once the government has 2/3 majority, it could bulldoze its way to passing any new laws or amend existing laws with minimal dissenting voices. Putting it very simply, each vote that determines who sits in Parliament can have a bearing on how easy or hard it will be for new laws to be enacted or existing laws to be amended. We should also bear in mind that individual MPs belonging to a certain party do not usually criticise the Bills supported by his or her own party. Eg. BN MP will rarely criticise a proposed Bill which is tabled in Parliament though his conscience may prick him. This is due to what is known as an internal disciplinarian feature which requires their members to "toe the line".

The danger of having a single coalition party governing the country and having 2/3 majority in Parliament for the past 50 years is that policies drafted and approved by them may not be for the best interest of the nation. In all the years of ruling this country, the BN has never garnered more than 65% of popular votes. At the last GE in 2004, BN secured 91% of seats in Parliament even though it only garnered 64% of popular votes. In other words, the 199 BN MPs are only supported by 64 out of every 100 voters whilst the 36 voters are only represented by the 23 opposition MPs. This British Westminster model can grossly misrepresent the people's choice of representative as shown above.

Whatever laws that govern this land called Malaysia has always been approved by representatives who have less than 65% popular votes. More often than not, the voice of the minority 35% (which is not at all a small minority) are brushed aside as the might of the 2/3 majority forces its way through with whatever laws it create. There are enough laws today which suppresses the rights of many and have hints of possible abuse of power by the government. The Internal Security Act 1960 is one clear example. Without an effective dissenting voice, there is little room for checks and balance on the policies implemented by the government. Checks and balance are important to ensure that the country is governed and administered effectively and resources are put to optimum use. For example, how much money should be spent on infrastructure and how much on defence. How much on aid for the poor and how much on subsidies.

No one can run away from politics - no matter how far they think their lives are detached from these politicians who are sitting up there in Parliament. That single vote from you could be a turning point that decides who represents the constituency in the Parliament or State Assembly (a couple of seats were won by less than 50 votes the last time around). If it is not that dramatic, winning by a small majority should rightfully spur the winner to work harder to get a bigger majority the next time around (which should benefit the constituents) and the loser would work doubly hard to wrest the seat the next time around. Hence, every vote counts - no matter how inconsequential you think. I am pretty sure the politicians use the number of votes they garner as a yardstick.

Many Malaysians have been brought up to think that politics is something separated from their day to day lives and that it revolves around politicians. The reality is that it is so close that it affects their daily lives. From the price of toll to the price of essential goods to the building and upgrading of the school and hospital next door. Have you woken up from political slumber and tidak-apaness and will you be exercising your right to vote?


Thursday, February 14, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 10:49 am

I am still on vacation and blogging from a dial-up line (who else but Tm.Net) which is moving at a snail's pace. I learnt that Parliament was dissolved yesterday by the PM though he refuted claims the day before that it would be dissolved yesterday. So much for his credibility as a leader who espouses and promotes Islam Hadhari. I just can't help it but need to express my thoughts on the coming General Election and how sick and tired I am of the way this country is being governed.

Dear PM, when you openly declare your faith and claims that your governance would be based on the virtues of your faith, you are putting yourself and your faith into public scrutiny. I truly believe that you are someone who fears God and that when you took up the helm as the PM of this country, you were driven by the desire to manage this country with equality, justice, righteousness and fairness. I believed that you will bring about a change in how this country would be governed. A country which is governed by an open and transparent government and being accountable to the public. I voted for your BN the last round. Not this time.

What kind of changes have you brought to rid the police force of the black sheeps? Do you still remember the "nude squat" clip and the resulting commission which spent precious hours studying the police setup that we have in this country and their recommendations to improve the police force? And please, the "Saya Anti Rasuah" campaign is a joke because it is popularly known as "Saya N-anti Rasuah". Such is the perception of the public towards the police force. And why are the public not coming forward to report these black sheeps so that they can be brought to book? You should realise that the public has no confidence in the police force, the ACA and the judiciary. The whole system is in such a state of suspicion that people would rather just forget about it and move on than spend time making a report (if at all they don't get pushed from one police station to another) and making countless trips to the ACA and Courts to have the matter disposed off. When your enforcing agencies are not seen or felt to be incorruptible, you lose the confidence in your people (and investors too). A simple question you can ask anyone on the street is this - If you were speeding and stopped by a policeman for speeding, would you consider bribing the police officer or would the police officer hint "kopi" money to get off cheap? Chances are you will get a "Yes" or "Most Probably" answer. Then you ask anyone on the street in Singapore or Hong Kong the same question. You will see the difference in their answer. That's precisely because their law enforcement agencies are less prone to corruption. And I have not even gone on to dwell on the other civil service departments like the Land Office, Customs, Immigrations, Stamp Office, etc.

You said Malaysia is for Malaysians and everyone should be treated equally and have their rights protected as per the Federal Constitution. But why the unequal treatment given to any demonstration which goes to challenge weaknesses in your government or even the Elections Commission? If the police force is so capable of ensuring minimal traffic disruption during big events like CHOGM, Le Tour de Langkawi, OIC and others which necessitated closure of roads for a couple of hours to facilitate motorcades and other movements, why are they suddenly paralysed with fear of breach of national security when a couple of thousand people want to assemble to make known their feelings? I don't see any rational in the police force conducting road blocks as far away as Kampung Malaysia (along Besraya Highway) which is about 15 km away from the capital city so as to deter would-be troublemakers. The policemen were just waving the vehicles to pass through after making them sit in a 2 km traffic jam caused by their road block. I don't blame inconvenience on my fellow Malaysians who have a grouse to tell. I blame the police for their incompetency. And please, those businessman who complaint about their loss of business as a result of these demonstrations - I wonder if they also complaint about their loss of business during the organised disruptions? Why was there no aired interviews with people who support the demonstrations? Oh, silly me. Those were censored.

Your government machinery enjoys the use of mainstream media (MSM) to create propaganda and stifle information to the public. Let's not pretend this is not the case. How then do you explain the lack of coverage given to the opposition parties to make statements regarding how this country is being run as opposed to the coverage granted to BN? Perhaps the political need of yours have outweighted the need for fairness and equality. Would your God approve of your unfair tactics to further your political survival? (Now, before you readers think that I am bashing Islam, I am not. I direct this post to the PM as the head of the government and to his ministers of different faith.) Even ASTRO has joined the propaganda with a recent "advertisement" / short movie about how a chinese girl from a poor family wanted to further her education in a local university (but her dad was hoping to put her to study overseas) since scholarships are now more readily available to the Chinese. Come on! If you believe in equality and fairness, all deserving poor student should qualify for a scholarship irregardless of their race. This is Malaysia for Malaysians. It is not as if the Chinese have just migrated to Malaysia, the Indians have just migrated to Malaysia and the Malays (from Indonesia?).

How accountable and open is your government? Zakaria still has his palace in Klang despite the overwhelming evidence against him and public outcry. Your MPs from Jasin, Kinabatangan, Jerai and Sri Gading were still loudspeaking in Parliament despite the kind of words they have used (which in some country, would have been good enough a reason for them to step down in accountability). But alas, after all the years you have been sitting as PM, an open, transparent and accountable government you have failed to created. But a more divisive government you have allowed to flourish. A government which does nothing to stem and stop racial politics. Tell me, how would BN fare as a political party if all the component parties are dissolved and merged as a single entity? So, don't be a hypocrite and tell others not to dwell into racial politics when your three main components of UMNO, MIC and MCA are race-based with the aim of protecting the interests of the Malay, Indian and Chinese respectively.

Do I have nothing nice to say about you? No. As a matter of fact, I do. You seem like a nice guy and much more humble than your immediate predecessor. I don't doubt that the country has still managed its competitiveness to a certain extent vis a vis other countries in the region. But you have failed much when it comes to improving the core issues of accountability, justice, equality and fairness. And no, I don't believe what your colleagues say about having to vote for BN to ensure that this country sustain its competitiveness and growth. I believe that my fellow Malaysians are resourceful enough to make this country competitive and grow because of the talents that they have. My vote for the Opposition is to ensure that you and your colleagues do take us Malaysians seriously and make changes for the good of the nation in an open and transparent manner with accountability.


Tuesday, February 05, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 12:32 pm

I got this from an email. You may have received it in your inbox too but you might just want to read it again in case you have forgotten. Stats given in the email are not verified and it is up to you to make your own conclusions.


1. Barisan lost 2/3 majority once, in 1969. Only briefly and UMNO went berserk.

2. Since 1957, it has amended the constitution 690 times to propagate its power. By comparison, USA which is more than 200 years old has only amended its constitution 27 times; Singapore as little as only 4 times.

3. Barisan's ability to amend the constitution as it likes (and makes unjust and unfair constitutional changes) must be stopped now.

Here are the statistics from the 2004 election:

a) UMNO received 35.9% of the popular votes but has 110 parliamentary seats or 50% of all parliamentary seats.

b) in total, Barisan received 63.8% of the popular vote but has 199 parliamentary seats or 91% of all parliamentary seats.

c) the opposition received 36.2% of the popular vote but has only 20 parliamentary seats or 9% of all parliamentary seats.

d) why? Because of gerrymandering, or unfair election rules. The election rules are stacked against the opposition. No matter what happens, the opposition will never, I repeat, will never be able to win the next election.

Here's the decision-making power process within our present cabinet.

a) UMNO not only controls parliament via Barisan, it has allocated itself 24 cabinet positions or 71% of all cabinet positions.

b) MCA has 5 cabinet positions or 15% of the cabinet positions.

c) MIC has 1 cabinet position or 3 % of the cabinet positions.

d) Gerakan has 1 cabinet position or 3% of the cabinet positions.

e) other component parties hold 3 cabinet positions or 8% of the cabinet positions.

f) the opposition with 36.2% of all the popular votes is not given a single cabinet position.

One should take note that although UMNO controls 50% of all parliamentary seats, it controls 71% of all the decision making processes within the cabinet.

4. Many marginalization issues or unfair election practices are the result of legislations passed by Barisan (lead by UMNO) unchecked in a dominant Barisan parliament. Under the Barisan Party whip system, the majority component party within Barisan will dictate the rules of the game. Other Barisan component parties like MCA, Gerakan or MIC cannot vote against what UMNO decides in whatever it likes, even if they wanted to.

5. Worst part is this: even if the opposition won all the seats it contested, no single opposition party can form the next government.

Why? Gerrymandering (of the present election borders) has ensured that even if Barisan were to win 50% of the popular votes in the upcoming election, it will still control 2/3 of parliament. As an example, in 2004 Barisan took 64% of the popular votes but ended up controlling 91% of parliament. It is easy to see why if they win only 50% of the popular vote in the next election they will once again be able to dictate absolute power in parliament.


Monday, February 04, 2008
posted by PabloPabla at 12:50 pm

My guess on the outcome of the coming General Elections is this - BN will win and continue to govern this country. It goes without doubt that they have the monies to do so. Just look at the insane amount of money donated and pledged into all kinds of projects around the country from Development Regions to building funds for chinese schools to ang pows for the rakyat to sudden tarring and beautifying of roads. The amount of publicity generated on all these projects cannot go unnoticed and I am very sure that many Malaysians would feel good about this and continue to vote for BN. So, should the general public buy the BN politicians' sales pitch that all should vote for BN for continued progress and stability of the country?

I look at it differently. Having a healthy number of opposition MPs will in fact make this country a much stronger and stable country than before. Having a bigger number of opposition MPs would enable policy decisions by the government to be kept in check and ensure that the country's funds are managed in a more transparent manner. To this end, having someone like the ex-Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to sit in Parliament as an opposition MP would be desirable. I will not dwell on his past performance as a BN leader but I will focus on his undoubted skills as a shrewd politician. His oratory skills would put many BN leaders to shame and his past experience and knowledge of the going-ons in BN would be useful indeed to keep the BN leaders in check. Just imagine having him, Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh giving the BN leaders a run for their money in Parliament. The BN MPs would probably hesitate to pick a debate with Anwar and co. Just see this short video of Anwar's take on fuel prices.

Having a healthy number of opposition MPs does not mean that the country will degenerate into chaos. Countries like the UK have a sizeable number of opposition MPs to raise issues to keep the government's MPs accountable for their actions and question questionable policies. A healthy democracy is one where there is proper check and balance. One where the minority voices are allowed to be heard and be recognised its importance. It's time to make some noise.