Posts Tagged ‘Elections

21
May
17

How safe is BN’s 1.6 million civil servant vote bank?

How safe is BN’s 1.6 million civil servant vote bank?

AKHMA opted for the top bunk in the smallest room in a three-bedroom flat in Precinct 9, Putrajaya. It wasn’t cheap at RM280 a month, but still cheaper than a room or a whole unit to herself. The lower bunk costs RM20 extra.

Though a civil servant, she had to share the flat with five housemates.

“My flat is in the most undesirable location in Putrajaya, where most of the foreign workers live. I have been living here for 1½ years now and it’s not cheap either,” she told The Malaysian Insight at one of the government complexes in the administrative capital.

The 27-year-old from Gombak said she had to relocate to Putrajaya because of work demands, the same reason she bought a Proton Saga.

“I could’ve chosen to live in a bigger place or buy a Myvi, but I want to save at least RM300 a month,” she said, adding that she spent most of her salary on patrol and food.

She said the cost of living would be one of the major factors when it comes to voting in the next general election.

“I don’t really follow politics but I will look at their election manifestos and see which one will benefit people like me,” the undecided voter said.

Political analyst Mohamad Hisomuddin Bakar of the Ilham Centre said unlike those with perks at the top, civil servants aged 35 and under were the ones struggling to make ends meet and more willing to vote in change.

The 1.6 million civil servants, who make up 12% of registered voters, are considered Barisan Nasional’s vote bank.

“We can even see the trend in the previous election and if situation does not change, we expect a bigger swing from the civil servants,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

Factors like low salaries, rising cost of living, high housing prices and weak ringgit have changed the voting pattern even for those from hard-core Umno families, he said.

Last December, The Sun reported Congress of Union of Employees in the Public and Civil Services Malaysia (Cuepacs) president Azih Muda as saying about 700,000 to 800,000 civil servants could be categorised in the bottom 40% (B40) group.

GDP effects not trickling down

Socio-Economic Research Centre Sdn Bhd executive director Lee Heng Guie said despite forecast of stronger gross domestic product (GDP) growth in the first quarter of 2017, people were still worried about the current economic situation.

“There is a disconnection between what the data shows and what consumers are feeling. People still feel that conditions have not improved as they look at the overall economy and see that growth has slowed down for the last two years,” he said.

Lee added that the scenario could be reflected in Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER)’s consumer sentiment index (CSI), which is still below the 100-point optimism threshold. Malaysia’s consumer price inflation also hit an eight-year high in March, at 5.1%.

“Despite petrol prices dropping in the last three weeks, the cost of living is still high and that will continue to pinch on the low income and the middle income. This is due to price stickiness as traders will not lower prices even though petrol prices have come down.”

RAM Ratings expects the economy to grow 4.8% in the first quarter, a higher figure than the 4.5% in the Q4, 2016. The ratings agency cited stronger exports as the major factor for the Q1 growth rate. Bank Negara will release the Q1 growth rate today.

Hisomuddin said only senior civil servants, such as those who in premier grades or JUSA (public service premier post) are worried about a change in government.

“The dogma of civil servants must vote (ruling party) has changed but for senior officers or JUSA, it’s still about Malay Muslims who must lead the government, not a party like DAP,” he said.

Crackdown on civil servants

Despite the recent Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) crackdown on immigration, customs and police personnel in recent weeks, political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat does not think it will figure during elections.

The Penang Institute fellow said the majority of government employees were not decision-makers, law enforcers or gate-keepers in any licensing or application process.

“Hence they have no power to extract bribery or embezzle public funds. I doubt they will identify with the corrupt officials who live way beyond their legal incomes.

“Najib’s civil servant votes are shaken, not so much by crackdown on graft, but because he has no buy money to give subsidies and pay rise to buy their support,” Wong said.

…more
How safe is BN’s 1.6 million civil servant vote bank?
19 May 2017 – Malaysian Insight

16
Sep
16

We have got a rotten deal from Umno/BN

To save our nation, both Najib and Umno/BN must go

COMMENT The hot talk in town is that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak may resign soon and that Umno and BN will go into the next general election (GE14) without him at the helm. This story seems to have appeared, probably because of an article by Dr Lim Teck Ghee, which appeared recently.

Titled ‘Why Prime Minister Najib is on his way out’, this article has resulted in numerous comments and feedback from the public. Some commentators have agreed with Lim, who incidentally is a friend of mine, and his prediction that Najib will call it a day and leave office ahead of GE14 so as to give Umno an advantage in the election.

But others have disagreed with him. So strong is the public disapproval and disgust with what has happened in the 1MDB case, as well as that unbelievably gigantic donation into the PM’s personal bank account, that many Malaysians want to see Najib pay the price for these two scandals, which are costing our taxpayers billions of ringgit.

I am with the other Malaysians who hope that the prime minister will not be able to get away scot-free. Or, in the words of Lim (on right in photo), be able to engineer “the great escape” from these two scandals that have made headline news around the world for the wrong reasons.

One thing I must say about the piece is that Lim was trying to be a good social scientist and was not directly putting out his personal views on the prime minister’s integrity or leadership.

Misuse and absuse of power by Umno and BN

Lim has already written enough in the past on the misrule and abuse of power by Umno and BN. Those of us who know him and those who are familiar with his writings know where he is coming from and what he is getting at in this most recent article.

But I agree that his article opens up lots of questions. Not only about what Najib is going to do next or when he is planning to go. Also, what Umno’s supreme council leadership may be discussing, quietly among themselves and behind the back of the prime minister.

As Lim says, leaders from Umno and the other BN leaders must be nervously looking at the 1MDB mess and wondering if this mother of all financial scandals may have a final eruption that will take Najib down, as well as Umno/BN with him.

To me, and many thinking people in this country, it is simple.

This is that both Najib and Umno/BN must go. We have given them a lifetime of being in office and provided them with positions, power, privileges and perks. And what have we got in return? This is a question which every Malaysian must ask himself and herself.

What we have got from Umno/BN is a rotten deal. Let me enumerate some of the details of this rotten deal that have come with this lifetime of BN rule.

Piratisation, Cowgate, bailouts galore, brain drain, millions of foreign migrants, a sub-standard education system, GST, unaffordable housing, unemployed and unemployable graduates, super-cronies, grand corruption engaged in by several Tan Sri, sick man Proton and approved permits (APs) – the list of abuses and cases of bad governance can fill up several books.

…more
To save our nation, both Najib and Umno/BN must go
Koon Yew Yin
1 Sept 2016 – malaysiakini

13
Aug
16

Our PM is not “elected by all the people”

Does Nixon’s ‘I am not a crook’ statement resonate for us today?


Prime minister system

Now, in Malaysia we do not use the presidential system, which has also been adopted by our big neighbour Indonesia for the last couple of decades.

We employ the system of prime minister within a constitutional monarchy. One big difference is that presidents are voted in through a national election i.e. the electorate of the whole country gets to cast their vote and he or she can claim to be “elected by all the people”.

Note the following drawbacks in our system, one that I believe has led to kleptocracy as alleged by the US Department of Justice.

1. First, our prime minister, in the Westminster system, is the leader of the party or coalition that has an absolute majority of seats in Parliament. That coalition has been Barisan Nasional or its predecessor the Alliance, since 1957. The party within that coalition that holds the most seats (but not an absolute majority in Parliament, by itself) is Umno. All six past and incumbent PMs have been the Umno leader.

Thus, the PM cannot claim to be “elected by all the people” as the US or Indonesian president can. He has always been the leader of Umno which doesn’t, by itself, have an absolute majority of MP’s in our Parliament. Umno is merely the party with the largest number of MPs but their number is less than an absolute majority within Parliament.

2. Within Umno itself, the president and deputy president can agree not to contest against each other and then win the presidency/deputy presidency merely by being uncontested for those positions.

That means, even within Umno, the leader cannot claim to be “elected by all the Umno members” since no contestation took place!

3. Third, once the Umno president assumes his position, he has to keep the majlis tertinggi Umno or its supreme council members happy with him. There are both elected supreme council members as well as members appointed by the Umno president. This is a total of 30-40 people.

It is fortunate that these are all people of impeccable character and ethical behaviour otherwise it would be a simple matter for someone to induce them to vote as he wants them to, simply by dishing out a few million each eg 40 X US$5 million is only US$200 million. With a billion, you can do it 5 X and none will be the wiser.

Fortunately no one has that kind of money, yet, to play around with.

It becomes crystal clear that:

A. Our national leader is not one that is “elected by all the people”; and

B. Our system is highly leveraged so that an unscrupulous person with plenty of cash can easily induce a small number of leaders to do as he says; and

C. A cunning leader can use the financial system to generate vast amounts of cash, ostensibly to develop the nation, scoop up a vast ‘cut’ for himself and friends, and then use it for political purposes as well as buying expensive paintings, multicoloured diamonds, Manhattan and London penthouses and paying friends’ gambling debts.

…more
Does Nixon’s ‘I am not a crook’ statement resonate for us today?
7 Aug 016 – malaysiakini

16
Jul
15

‘BN may still fall despite Pakatan breakup’

If Umno continues to self-destruct with infighting and corruption allegations, and BN remains in disarray, pundits are convinced the opposition stands a chance to take Putrajaya in the next general election.

“BN component parties have problems, MIC has become a joke but nobody bothers to talk about it,” said Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who heads the Institute of Democracy and Economic Affairs (Ideas) think-tank.

He was referring to MIC leadership tussle, where president G Palanivel has suspended his deputy, Dr S Subramaniam. However the latter claims he is the new acting president and that Palanivel is no longer a member of the party.

Wan Saiful (photo) added that MCA is not in a healthy state either, while in Umno, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is under continual attack from former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“It’s quite positive that the opposition stands a fair chance to take Putrajaya if Umno continues to destroy itself.”

However, Wan Saiful added this is also subject to how soon the new opposition coalition is formed and if it manages to tackle its challenges head on.

Attacks on Najib

Political analyst Tang Ah Chai reckoned that the issues brought by Mahathir and other detractors pose a threat to Najib and his administration.

“Mahathir continues to play up the issues of debt-laden 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) and the luxurious lifestyle of Najib’s family. He has attacked Najib alone, but left BN and Umno untouched.

“If Najib fails to handle this diligently, he will not only strike the rakyat as an incompetent leader, but will be perceived and labeled as a leader with integrity issues,” added Tang.

Citing the former Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud, where the opposition had mounted a sustained attack on his integrity, Tang warned that the premier may face the same experience if he fails to resolve this issue. At this point, Najib’s (photo) refusal to step down favours the opposition pact, he reckoned.

Tang however said it was too early to tell if the opposition will make it to Putrajaya.

“When Mahathir took up the issue of 1MDB, it became a hot issue as the rakyat generally shared his views. However the opposition has failed to harp on it for its benefit, but instead were busy with their internal problems,” he said.

As they gear up for the battles in the next general election, they need the support from the civil movement and voters to materialise political change.

…more
Jun 21, 2015 – malaysiakini
By Kow Gah Chie
‘BN may still fall despite Pakatan breakup’

13
Jun
14

Umno thinks it has the DIVINE right to rule?

DRUNK BY POWER! Umno thinks it has the DIVINE right to rule, that it OWNS the govt & country

Written by John R Malott

COMMENT In ancient days, kings claimed that they had a divine right to rule, and that they were accountable only to God. They thought that they and the country were one and the same, and that everything and everyone belonged to them.

They could confiscate your lands and wealth, or they could give you property and riches. They could lock you up in the Tower, or make your dreams come true. It was all up to them. King Louis XIV, who ruled France for 72 years, famously said, “L’etat, c’est moi” – I am the country.

And so it is with Umno. Because it has ruled Malaysia continuously since independence in 1957, Umno has come to believe that it, the government, and the nation are all one and the same.

Because it is the self-proclaimed defender of the Malay race – a people whom Umno says are still constantly under threat despite 57 years of protecting their interests – Umno thinks that all Malays should support it.

If a Malay does not, then they risk being denied business and educational opportunities, tried for sedition, or even branded as a “traitor,” as Umno Wanita leader Shahrizat Abdul Jalil brazenly suggested DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud (right) was one last week.

Foreigners who criticise the authoritarian ways of the Malaysian government, such as myself, are labeled “anti-Malaysia.” Some, like Australian senator Nick Xenophon, are denied entry; others, as I discovered during my recent visit to Malaysia, just two weeks after United States President Barack Obama came, are on a “watch list.”

Because Umno has been in control of the government for nearly six decades – reportedly longer than any other political party in the world – it probably is understandable that they have come to think that party and government are one and the same, and that what belongs to the government also belongs to the party.

But in a parliamentary system, the political party or coalition that won a majority of votes is asked to “form” the government. They do not “become” the government. The word “form” has a special definition in this regard: it means “to compose” or “to serve as” the government.

There is a clear recognition, which is lost on most Umno politicians, that the party is only “the government of the day.” The party does not “own” the government, its personnel, or its resources.

Abuses of gov’t resources

The election campaign in Teluk Intan has provided a number of examples of Umno’s confused mind, and how it misuses government resources for the ruling coalition’s political benefit. It is a case study in how Malaysia’s electoral system is tilted against opposition candidates.

Here are just a few examples that I have found in the past few days; I am sure Malaysiakini’s readers will find more in the days ahead.

Umno information chief Ahmad Maslan used a school for a political gathering and said, “I do not see why I cannot hold a ceramah here. I am a BN deputy minister. This is a government school.”

Home Affairs Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi campaigned before an official gathering of government paramilitary members, Rela, and turned it into a political party rally. He said, “I promise that if (the BN candidate) Mah (Siew Keong) wins, I shall immediately buy you new uniforms.”

Zahid also said Teluk Intan would get a constituency allocation from the government of RM1 million, but only if the voters elected Mah. He bluntly informed them, “I don’t have to tell you how much you stand to lose if you choose others.”

In that same Rela gathering, Zahid said chillingly, “In the 13th general election, 2,019 Rela members did not vote. I checked one by one, and I know who did not go out to vote. We must make sure they vote this time around.”

Communications and Multimedia Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek said his ministry is prepared to improve broadband facilities in Teluk Intan, but only if it is represented by a BN representative.

Bernama, the government-owned wire service, had an article that sought to label Dyana as an outsider to Teluk Intan. Far from balanced, it had five quotes calling her a carpetbagger, one neutral quote, and no one speaking in her defence.

Separation of party and state

Malaysia is a member of the International Parliamentary Union (IPU), an organisation of 164 parliaments around the world. In 1994, the IPU adopted a Declaration on Criteria for Free and Fair Elections.

Among other points, it said that its member states, such as Malaysia, should “ensure the separation of party and state.” This, of course, is something that Umno and the Malaysian government have failed to do for years.

…more
27 May 2014 – Malaysia Chronicle
DRUNK BY POWER! Umno thinks it has the DIVINE right to rule, that it OWNS the govt & country
Written by John R Malott

20
May
14

The demonisation of democracy by Dr M

The demonisation of democracy by Dr Mahathir – Ravinder Singh

That’s what Dr Mahathir Mohamad did when he said Bersih’s demonstrations were an attempt to bring down Putrajaya.

Isn’t it the hallmark of a vibrant democracy for the opposition in any country to try and bring down the ruling government through the ballot box? Otherwise, how do governments change in a democratic system? And do governments never change in democracies, or must they never be changed?

How else do people in a democracy maintain a check and balance on their government?

Mahathir’s democracy, or if we may call it “Demokrasi cap Mahathir”, is a very vile democracy. It cares nothing for fair play. All dirty means are halal to grab power and cling on to it.

For example, the previous chairman of the Election Commission (a body in the PM’s Department and thus under the PM’s direct and firm control), Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman, had boldly told Malaysians how the re-delineation exercises carried out during his time were calculated to ensure the “Malays would remain in power”.

Mahathir laments that “it was strange how even after fresh elections, when the elected government was agreed on by the majority, the minority still continues with street demonstrations”.

Did he fail mathematics in not knowing that the popular vote of 52% obtained by the opposition is the majority, although they obtained less seats due to fraud in delineating constituencies, with some BN strongholds having just a fraction, or even a small fraction, of the electorate in opposition strongholds?

Acknowledging that democracy is not perfect, and insisting that it is by far the best system of government that Malaysia could have, he philosophised, “If democracy is to survive and to serve the purpose for which it was devised, there must be some acceptance of the limits to the freedom which we consider democratic.”

So is gerrymandering a sacrifice Malaysians must accept for the continuance of “Demokrasi cap Mahathir”? And is Project IC of Sabah another such sacrifice? And there should be no other democracy in Malaysia except “Demokrasi cap Mahathir” for democracy to survive in Malaysia!

…more
The demonisation of democracy by Dr Mahathir – Ravinder Singh
April 30, 2014 – TMI

16
Mar
14

Najib’s reconciliation plan a little too late

Pakatan pours scorn on Najib’s reconciliation plan, says it’s a little too late

Pakatan Rakyat leaders (PR) have poured scorn on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s National Reconciliation Plan (NRP), saying that it is a case of “too little too late”.They pointed out that after months of raging racial and religious tension, where Putrajaya had remained mostly silent, Najib’s overtures now seemed more like mere talk without any decisive action.

What Najib should have done immediately, they said, was to take firm action against extremist groups who have started to threaten society’s fabric, by warning them that they will face the full brunt of the law.

In describing the NRP as a recipe for Najib to abdicate his responsibility as the nation’s chief executive but still wanting to cling on to the perks of office, DAP veteran leader Lim Kit Siang said the opposition had never been consulted on the NRP.

Instead, Pakatan’s olive branch to Barisan Nasional on a national consensus to resolve outstanding issues is still waiting for an official response from Najib and the BN leadership.

“It is certainly presumptuous on the part of a government elected on a minority vote of 47% of the electorate to work quietly and in secrecy to conceive a NRP without consultation and input from Pakatan, which has secured a majority of 51% of the national vote,” he said.

He questioned whether the NRP is different from the National Unity Blueprint prepared by the National Unity Consultative Council (NUCC), and if it is, why is there a need for the Blueprint which would be similar to the NRP.

Lim (pic, left) said he was initially excited when he found out that Najib had blogged about an update on national reconciliation, hoping that it would signal an end to the nine-month rudderless government after the 13th general election last year. However, Lim said he was disappointed, as it does not inspire hope that there would be a new purposeful leadership.

The Gelang Patah MP was especially scornful over Najib’s call to all Malaysians to ignore the extremists, saying what the premier should have done is to promise a pro-active and pre-emptive
action by not condoning the actions of any groups who promote hate and violence.

“I could not think of a more inane, useless or irresponsible plan to save the country from the sinister and nefarious forces out to pit race against race, and religion against religion, and to create racial chaos and religious conflagration, especially when it is the Umno and
BN-controlled printed, electronic and social media which gave precious oxygen to such instigators by sensationalising their extremist demands – in particular Utusan Malaysia and the Umno/BN controlled electronic media of radio and television.

…more
Pakatan pours scorn on Najib’s reconciliation plan, says it’s a little too late
BY EILEEN NG
February 26, 2014 – TMI




Nuclear lessons for Malaysia (Part 1) (Part 2)
BN govt is directing attention to distant past and distant future, in order to distract people from present misdeeds and poor governance
Felda - A picture is worth a thousand words
How the 1MDB Scandal Spread Across the World (WSJ)
We cannot afford ridiculously expensive RM55 Billion ECRL!
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?

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