Posts Tagged ‘Bersih 3.0


Hanif, it’s time to wrap up

JUNE 5 — In his pitch for public acceptance, former Inspector-General of Police Hanif Omar has again failed to understand what every man on the street with a slightly higher IQ seems to understand why both the Bersih 2.0 steering committee and the Bar Council have unanimously rejected the government’s offer to probe the peaceful rally which took place on April 28.

As a matter of fact, a wider scope in the terms and reference does not necessarily translate itself to be better than one that is more focused on the core issues, which Suhakam has already adopted.

Haniff, therefore, has no reasons to brag about the 10 terms of reference that he has been given, when in the first place the panel set up by the Home Ministry lacks public confidence, and has no legal clout compared to Suhakam.

Instead, Hanif should by now recluse himself after making a statement which is deemed as truly uncalled for. The damage is already done. The bruises are deep, and it will take a long time to heal before the people will forgive him for a label that effectively turned some 250,000 people into coup d’etat traitors with communist inclinations. There is nothing more obnoxious and stupid than a statement of this nature made by former top cops!

For the sake of sanity, I strongly urge Hanif and the panel to resign en bloc, and allow Suhakam to carry out the independent investigation, instead of continuing to make a fool of themselves now that Hanif knows the stance of both the Bersih 2.0 steering committee and the Bar Council. Given that the deep injury inflicted on the rakyat on April 28, I see it has also created a chasm between Najib’s administration and the ordinary man on the street.

Umno to blame itself

In the past, no one cared a damn about the number of people at any Umno or BN party function; now, photographs are posted all over on the Internet of Umno’s 66th anniversary celebration recently, which clearly show to me that even the Malays are abandoning Najib and his tok dalang, Dr Mahathir Mohamad. It is estimated that there were not more than 50,000 people who attended the assembly, which caused the frantic Mahathir to stress that Umno members should not sabotage the party in the coming general election.

On the ground, I have also heard grouses from even my Malay friends that they, too, are disillusioned by the aggressive behaviour of party members against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim in what is known as “Tibai” and against Bersih’s co-chair Ambiga Sreenevasan. What some of them also cannot understand is how a trader driving a Lamborghini is still holding a Kuala Lumpur City Hall hawker’s licence in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, and his business has flopped even before Bersih 3.0 (with a number of Sekinchan Ikan Bakar franchisees already closed before April 28).

Hanif, it’s time to wrap up — Stephen Ng
June 05, 2012 – TMI


Questionable foreign-born citizens in voters roll

COMMENT The Election Commission (EC) produced a booklet entitled ‘The Truth Behind the Accusations and Lies towards the Election Commission’ on its website. In this booklet, the EC tried to defend itself against 12 allegations made with regard to the electoral roll.

I have written here and here to show that:

1) The EC has not been consistent in its boundary ‘correction’ exercise.

2) That the EC had deleted 14,577 names in Quarter 2, 2011 because the records of these voters were not active in the National Registration Department (NRD).

3) That the EC should be greatly concerned by the fact that 56 out of the 57 voters registered in the past year in Kampung Melayu Majidee in Johor Bahru did not have house numbers or street names and were foreign-born, meaning the 7th and 8th digits in their IC number is ‘71′.

In this article, I want to show that the EC cannot reassure us that there are no foreigners/non-citizens in the electoral roll because it is the NRD which issues the ICs and not the EC.

Specifically, I want to focus on voters in Selangor without house numbers and street addresses which have been registered by government agencies since the 2008 general election.

What I have found thus far is very disturbing because it points to the presence of government agencies (not the EC) which have been actively registering foreign-born ‘citizens’ who do not have house numbers or street names even though they are located in urban constituencies in Selangor.

And instead of investigating these cases or questioning the NRD and these government agencies, the EC has chosen to stay silent.

The EC assigns a code number to each voter registration application so that it can keep track of these applications. These applications are divided into various categories with a specific letter assigned to each category.

For example, applications which come through the post office electronically start with the letter ‘G’, those which come in through the police start with the letter ‘K’ and those which come in through the army start with the letter ‘Z’.

Table 1 below lists the categories belonging to each letter.

The code number assigned to each new voter registration application is not given to the political parties nor is it publicly displayed during the quarterly electoral roll updates. But this information is recorded by the EC.

In this article, I want to focus on voters in Selangor without house numbers and street names whose applications start with the letter ‘J’, indicating that they have been registered by a government agency which is not the Election Commission.

Informal reports from different sources have indicated that these government agencies include the Jabatan Hal Ehwal Khas (Jasa), a unit under the Ministry of Information and Jabatan Kemajuan Masyarakat (Kemas), a unit under the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development.

The primary reason I chose to focus on applications beginning with the letter ‘J’ is because of the newly-registered voters in the Kampung Melayu Majidee locality in the Johor Bahru constituency, almost all whom do not have house numbers and street names and had application codes beginning with the letter ‘J’.

I choose the state of Selangor because this is expected to be one of the key battleground states which the BN is desperately trying to win back and which Pakatan Rakyat is desperately trying to hold on to.

Questionable foreign-born citizens in voters roll
Ong Kian Ming
Jun 2, 2012 – Malaysiakini


Semangat Bersih, Harapan Negara (Video)


DAP produces video to back claims of police violence at Bersih

KUALA LUMPUR, June 6 — The DAP today launched its own video compilation to shore up accusations of police violence against protesters during the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally for electoral reforms.

The 15-minute video titled “Bersih 3.0: Semangat Bersih Harapan Negara” is intended to “show our side of the story,” said DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua.

“We brought together a compilation of videos to prove that the Bersih 3.0 rally was peaceful and there’s no rhyme or reason why police should have acted in such a manner,” Pua added.

He said the video shows police “ruthlessly beating up people who were unarmed”, during an airing of the recording to reporters today.

The video showed “clear-cut discrepancies” and the “hypocrisy” of the prime minister and the home minister, Pua continued.

Footage of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak saying on the day of rally that he had asked police to “guarantee the safety of Malaysians” and give food and drinks to protesters, was interspersed with scenes of a water cannon being fired and police attacking a protester.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein was also shown saying, “I am proud of their (police’s)… professionalism” amid the sight of police violence.

DAP produces video to back claims of police violence at Bersih
June 06, 2012 – TMI


Anti-Bersih dirty work will bury BN

In rash defiance of the old axiom “when you find yourself in a hole, stop digging”, Barisan Nasional has responded to the success of the Bersih 3.0 rally the only way it apparently knows how; with more of the lies, fraud, threats, thefts and other dirty deeds that have made it so deeply and increasingly unpopular.

Claims that Bersih 3.0 was not a call for clean and fair elections but an attempted coup against the government have only served to underscore Malaysians’ belief that the regime has no intention whatever of reforming the rotten electoral system.

And popular suspicion that BN has no intention of relinquishing power even if defeated in the next general election has been further aroused by regime-sponsored attacks on Bersih leaders and opposition ceramahs.

Many see these attacks as just a foretaste of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s notoriously stated determination to defend Putrajaya even at the expense of crushed bodies and lost lives.

And a reminder of the fact that, like his father, Abdul Razak Hussein, long suspected of fomenting the May 13, 1969 riots to wrest the prime ministership from Tunku Abdul Rahman, the allegedly “moderate” Najib has already presided over crushed bodies and lost lives.

The murder of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu by two of his bodyguards still continues to haunt Najib, as does the still-unresolved suspicious death of the witness to alleged opposition corruption, Teoh Beng Hock, at the hands of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Yet following the Bersih 3.0 rally, the same discredited MACC has had the effrontery to offer its services to determine the cleanliness or otherwise of opposition candidates in the next general election.

And as if to highlight the complete failure by the MACC to investigate the Scorpene submarines scandal that involved the murder of Altantuya, Malaysia’s current defence minister has crowed that he, Najib and other BN figures are safe from subpoena by French authorities currently examining this sordid affair.

Meanwhile, the widely-suspected beneficiary of the billion-ringgit “commission” on the Scorpene submarines purchase, Najib himself, has been busily spending untold millions of public money in a desperate bid buy himself and his rotten regime out of trouble.

Anti-Bersih dirty work will bury BN
Dean Johns
May 30, 2012 – Malaysiakini


“Umno’s end could be imminent”

For all his boastful confidence, Najib Abdul Razak is acutely aware that Umno’s end could be imminent.

The day after the massive Bersih 3.0 rally – the biggest multi-racial act of civil disobedience in Malaysia’s history – Umno’s bigwigs dismissed it as having no ramifications. But they could not have regretted their words sooner. The impact has been huge, with pictures, video clips and eyewitness accounts of police brutality circulating on the Internet like wildfire.

The Economist, a bastion of neo-liberalism and market economy, sought to play down the effect of the protest by highlighting the “commotion” on the part of the protesters. Najib, a self-congratulatory “reformist”, no doubt delighted in the “even-handed” report. But the otherwise authoritative magazine failed to also inform their readers that Najib could eventually win a propaganda war all thanks to his tight control of the press and the media.

That the Economist also appears to have missed out the fact that the coverage of both the BBC and Al Jazeera were doctored by Astro also calls into question its professionalism, not to mention that journalists including those from the foreign media, too, came under attack by the Malaysian police.

Judging from the superficial contents of the article, one has ample reason to ask if the Economist had indeed dispatched at least as stringer to gauge the situation on the ground!

By contrast, Bridget Welsh’s excellent piece Road to Malaysia’s Day of Destiny remains the best analysis by far.

That Bersih 3.0 has created immense after-effects – to the detriment of Umno – can be seen from the freakish and capricious reactions of the Najib administration. The government first wanted to gloss over it as a non-event, only to realise the damage had been done.

It was more than obvious that blaming the crowds for breaching the barricades and “exacting bodily harm” on the police had failed to work, while more people were questioning once again why such a gigantic force had been required in response to a peaceful assembly in the first place.

As people were seething with anger, Najib and his cohorts were having a tough time showing their die-hard supporters how the government could save its own face.

The war is on
Josh Hong
May 25, 2012 – Malaysiakini


Anwar’s psy war victory

Roping in the former solicitor-general to join his defence team has dealt a severe blow to BN.


On May 22, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim together with PKR deputy president Azmin Ali and another party leader were charged in court for their participation in the Bersih 3.0 rally.

Many political analysts viewed the move as another blunder on the part of the Barisan Nasional government, as it will only increase sympathy for Anwar depending on how one looks at it.

True enough, the case has already attracted even the attention of the US government.

“We encourage the authorities in Malaysia to ensure that due process is protected and that any trial is conducted in a fair and transparent manner,” US State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was quoted as saying when commenting on Anwar’s case. She also said that the US government would be monitoring the case.

However, the case had another unexpected and interesting turning point.

Former solicitor-general II, who was heading the prosecution team in Anwar’s Sodomy II trial, Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden, appeared for Anwar in the present Bersih 3.0 case.

The bail imposed on Anwar was only RM500 but Anwar’s political shrewdness and tactical play by bringing Yusof into his defence team cost much more damage to the ruling BN government.

With Yusof’s appearance as a lawyer for Anwar, the opposition has begun another psychological war against the BN government to show that some former key government servants are joining the opposition’s cause in the face of GE-13, thereby strengthening their lobby to capture Putrajaya.

Yusof’s appearance as a lawyer for Anwar is not an isolated case either.

A few days ago, former CID director Fauzi Shaari officially joined PAS and declared that he will support and campaign for Pakatan Rakyat in GE-13, giving another boost to the opposition as he was the most senior former police officer to have joined the opposition.

Former commercial crime director Ramly Yusof also caused a stir in recent weeks by making several allegations against the former AG and IGP. Ramly is yet to make his political stand but it is already clear that he is against the BN government.

This seems to be the latest trend mooted by the opposition to win a psychological war against the BN government by showing the people that the government is in a shaky position because of the confidence shown by such senior former government servants towards the opposition.

Anwar’s psy war victory
RJ Rajah
May 25, 2012 – FMT


Legal action against Bersih sparks renewed scrutiny of new assembly law

KUALA LUMPUR, May 24 — The use of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) to claim damages from organisers of the April 28 Bersih rally has sparked condemnation from opposition politicians who are now claiming that the new law restricts the right to gather even more than previous legislation.

Yesterday, 10 Bersih leaders, including Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, became the first persons to be sued in a civil action under the PAA, introduced just days before the April 28 demonstration for free and fair elections.

The government is claiming RM122,000 for alleged damage to 15 government-owned vehicles.

This followed Tuesday’s charges levelled against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Azmin Ali of participating in an unlawful assembly, the first criminal charges under the same law which Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said would allow freedom of assembly “in accordance with international norms.”

Lawmakers from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) told The Malaysian Insider today the law is being used “in a demonisation campaign and shows the prime minister is no reformist but reactionary.”

“The move (to sue) is headed in the wrong direction from the reforms Najib promised,” DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang (picture) said.

“What about all those who were assaulted far away from Dataran Merdeka? Should they be queuing up to sue the government?” he asked, referring to dozens of protestors claiming they were attacked by groups of policemen after violence erupted at the rally.

PAS vice-president Salahuddin Ayub also said this was what “we anticipated when the Bill was tabled in Parliament last year, that it would be more draconian and repressive.”

“The spirit of section 27 of the Police Act lives on,” the Kubang Kerian MP said, referring to the provision that required police permits for public gatherings that was repealed when the PAA came into force.

The federal opposition had staged a walkout last November when the Bill was debated in Parliament after criticising the law, which bars street protests, as being more repressive than those in countries like Myanmar, which has one of the world’s poorest human rights records.

PKR de facto leader Anwar, deputy president Azmin and Rembau chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin were charged on Tuesday with taking part in the April 28 Bersih 3.0 rally under section 4(2)(c) of the PAA.

Yesterday, the government sued Bersih under section 6(2)(g) of the law which states that organisers must “ensure that the assembly will not endanger health or cause damage to property or the environment.”

Putrajaya is asking for compensation for 15 vehicles, mostly belonging to the police, that had to be repaired at a cost of RM122,000 and a declaration that Bersih breached section 6(2)(g).

Legal action against Bersih sparks renewed scrutiny of new assembly law
May 24, 2012 – TMI


After more than 50 years, enough is enough

Never in the history of any country has a government been as hypocritical, deceptive, dishonest and destructive as this government in question.

Which country has had only one political party in government for more than half a century?

Which country allows the government to use public funds for political purposes?

Many Malaysians and I have had enough.

I can go on and on forever but I don’t want the Umno-Barisan political coalition to go on governing my country into oblivion while their sons and daughters party and drive around in Lamborghini and Ferrari cars and drive me and the nation into poverty.

The Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak and Mahathir are masters of hypocrisy and their deeds expose their forked-tongues, because they say one thing and do something else, and they are able to trick the blind and impressionable who they know how to keep in check with money and illiteracy but not with intelligence, whether they are Malays, Indian, Chinese, Sarawakian or Sabahan.

What happened to Anwar Ibrahim and Teoh Beng Hock and Kugan and many innocent Malaysians can happen to anybody when you have morally depraved politicians in power.

Whatever your place in the country, whatever your race, whatever your religion, your enemy is the one who is turning your country into a disaster zone and the sooner you vote those crooks out of power the sooner you can save your nation and get something better.

No one can do worse than what has been done to Malaysia.

Only those who are on the BN’s political payroll or get the kickbacks will disagree when there is the mounting evidence of corruption and abuses of power. The Umno-MCA-MIC and their Sarawak and Sarawak cronies have sold out their people and traded their interests for their own selfish power and positions.

I am not a member of the Opposition just a citizen sick of the situation and only a fool will want the same government that makes me so ashamed to say I am Malaysian.

I will vote for change of government for the sake of the nation.

After more than 50 years, enough is enough
May 23, 2012 – Malaysiakini letter


The quiet wave of change

MAY 21 — Timing is everything when it comes to performing. And the same can be said for politics.

For politics is, in some part, performing to an audience. Watching every step, following every move, voters are always observing what and how politicians do things and, in doing so, forming their own opinions. And sometimes, some opinions, once formed, can be unshakeable.

It is especially true when such opinions are drawn from the unspoken. In the days of the Internet and social media, the unsaid makes up most of what we hear and see. It is no surprise that many politicians, and political parties, painfully find themselves in the buff now.

Today, carefully crafted facades are now a thing of the past. Today, politicians and political parties are constantly evaluated in real time; not just on what they say and do, rather, also the manner in which they say and do things.

It is, for the most part, a matter of timing.

Amusingly, that is seemingly lost on Barisan Nasional. Despite the apparently hip and tech-savvy prime minister’s leadership, many of those leaders are still dangerously slogging through the quagmire of self-contradiction. Like moths to the light, many took to Facebook, Twitter and the blogosphere in droves. Yet like moths to the light, many haven’t got a clue what they’re doing.

And that fact didn’t take long to show. The social media is rife with gaffes. As we live in a time where public blunders easily, quickly go viral, the margin of error in social media is nearly non-existent if public image is the mainstay of one’s career. Many are failing the test of impromptu.

In kind, recent developments over the Bar Council’s criticism and apparently dismissive treatment of graft concerns (especially electorally) augment the increasingly dishonest aspect emanating from the ruling coalition over recent years. With the mainstream media struggling with conflict of interest issues, it’s an open secret that many Malaysians are still only seeing part of the whole picture.

A case in point: Last month, Suaram filed a complaint in a Paris civil court over the Scorpene submarine sale to Putrajaya, with allegations of bribery and kickbacks involving the prime minister and possible links to the Altantuya murder case. It would have been a massive scandal in most countries. Against expected journalistic tendencies, however, it is hardly reported here.

Quite telling, too, is the sudden abundance of public service advertisements highlighting the recent government-funded financial aid to the needy. The uncannily close timing to the looming general election smacks of vote-fishing. Most suspicious is how the assistance and the assisted are portrayed. In portraying those receiving aid with well-known, state-specific dialects, the different advertisements carry the same flavour: It is the Barisan Nasional government that is always there for them, not their elected representatives from the opposition.

And that is without even touching on the unprecedented and conveniently timed windfall for FELDA settlers, or the controversial passing of the Peaceful Assemblies Bill, or the relative silence on the NFC “cowgate” scandal.

The quiet wave of change
May 21, 2012 – TMI


Najib the biggest loser for charging Anwar over Bersih 3.0

I was in the Kuala Lumpur court complex this morning where the Parliamentary Opposition Leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and PKR leaders Azmin Ali and Badrul Hisham were charged in connection with the Bersih 3.0 rally on April 28 which could result in their five-year disqualification from elective office and disenfranchisement in losing the civic right to stand for elective office whether as MP or State Assembly member if fined over RM2,000.

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak will be the biggest loser in the prosecution of Anwar, Azmin and Badrul, the first case to be charged under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA), as it will totally discredit his various transformation programmes, in particular his Political Transformation Programme.

Greater repression not reform

Pakatan Rakyat MPs have warned in Parliament that Najib’s promises to amend or repeal undemocratic and draconian laws and provisions contain the seeds of greater repression as the new laws and replacements provide for even more repressive measures – as in the case of the prosecution of Anwar, Azmin and Badrul under the PAA.

The prosecution also sends out a very clear message to Malaysians, and in particular to the hundreds of thousands of Malaysians, regardless of race, religion, region, class, gender or age who had gathered peacefully in Kuala Lumpur on April 28, armed at most with salt and water bottles to protect themselves from indiscriminate police shooting of tear gas and chemically-laced water cannon, with the unmistakable message to the Najib administration that they want clean elections for a clean Malaysia.

Najib’s message to them is one of utter contempt for their message to want to have clean elections and a clean Malaysia!

Najib should realise that he will have to pay a very heavy political price in the forthcoming general elections with such arrogance of power and contempt for the legitimate and ordinary aspirations of Malaysians transcending race, religion, region, class, gender or age.

ANOTHER BUNGLE: Najib the biggest loser for charging Anwar over Bersih 3.0
Lim Kit Siang
22 May 2012 – Malaysia Chronicle

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All that is necessary
for the triumph of evil
is for good men
to do nothing.

- Edmund Burke
When the people
fears their government,
there is TYRANNY;
when the government
fears the people,
there is LIBERTY.

- Thomas Jefferson
Do you hear the people sing?