Posts Tagged ‘GE14


Why probe Shafie now and not while he was in Umno, Dr Mahathir asks

Why probe Shafie now and not while he was in Umno, Dr Mahathir asks

PAKATAN Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad has questioned the timing of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Shafie Apdal’s arrest by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

Dr Mahathir asked why MACC did not investigate Shafie while he was an Umno minister.

Speaking to the thousands of people at a PH ceramah outside Kedah Amanah headquarters in Alor Setar last night, Dr Mahathir said government apparatuses such as MACC would be used to “catch people”.

“Yesterday, Shafie was arrested, supposedly for corruption and misappropriation of funds. MACC also took his brothers and relatives.

“It is alleged that the misappropriation happened when he was the rural and regional development minister.

“Why didn’t they probe him when he was the minister? Why investigate him now? Because he is against Najib?” the former prime minister said.

Shafie was Umno vice-president when he was sacked from Najib’s cabinet in 2015, along with former deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is now Bersatu president. Both paid the price for openly criticising and questioning Najib’s handling of the 1MDB scandal.

In late June last year, Shafie’s Umno membership was suspended and Muhyiddin and Mukhriz Mahathir, who were Umno deputy president and supreme council member, respectively, were sacked.

Shafie announced his resignation from the party in the following month and went on to form opposition party, Warisan in his home state of Sabah.

Dr Mahathir said despite the many reports of Prime Minister Najib Razak allegedly stealing money, and the discovery of RM2.6 billion in his account in 2013 shortly before the 13th general election, there was no investigation.

“Apandi said they checked and (found that) Najib did not do anything wrong. He said if you don’t believe, you can ask Najib,” he said, referring to Attorney-General Mohamed Apandi Ali.

Apandi cleared Najib of any wrongdoing related to the RM2.6 billion “donation” from Saudi royalty and the 1Malaysia Development Bhd scandal.

“That is Najib’s law. You say you didn’t do it, you get off.

“When Shafie says he didn’t do it, he should be let off too. But he is still being probed,” Dr Mahathir said of the Sabah leader who is now under a four-day remand.

Why probe Shafie now and not while he was in Umno, Dr Mahathir asks
21 Oct 2017 – TMI


Najib doesn’t have GE14 in the bag

Najib doesn’t have GE14 in the bag

Malaysia’s 14th general election (or GE14) looms large. Some pundits predict that the election will be held sometime between November 2017 and March 2018. This is supposedly the best window for Prime Minister Najib Razak to lead Barisan Nasional (BN) to another victory.

But calling for a general election amid allegations of an epic financial scandal involving the prime minister himself is not an easy task. The 1MDB scandal, the subject of investigations in six countries, has badly affected Najib’s popularity. What the Prime Minister badly needs is a real feel-good factor that will overcome all these misfortunes. But this will be hard to come by.

By now, Najib must have received reports on voter sentiment from intelligence agencies such as the Special Branch, the Defence Staff Intelligence Division and the Research Division in the Prime Minister’s Department. Apart from these, he might have also seen the various situation reports prepared by socio-political agencies such as the Biro Tatanegara, the Department of Special Affairs (JASA) and the Community Development Department (KEMAS) on the state of the country’s social and political affairs. He would have also assigned his own political operators and engaged private pollsters to gauge public sentiment on the ground.

In the past, BN successfully gained electoral victory on the premise of its ability to deliver economic development and maintain political stability. But the current state of the country’s economy doesn’t look good. Although the World Bank forecasts Malaysia’s GDP to grow by 5.2% this year, prices of goods have gone up, subsidies for essential items like cooking oil and fuel have been either cut or abolished, the weak Ringgit is causing inflation, and on top of this there is the unpopular 6% Goods and Services Tax.

The 2018 budget will be tabled in Parliament in late October 2017. It will be an opportunity for the prime minister to create a feel-good factor by giving generous hand-outs to voters in order to win their votes. But the government’s coffers are depleting, contingent liabilities are huge, and the need to keep budget deficits low remains. There is very little room for the BN government to turn the 2018 budget into the feel-good factor and generate broad-based support in the general election.

But there is a silver lining for Najib. The Malay opposition is split due to the breakaway of PAS from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition in 2015. While PAS has not indicated that it will cooperate with UMNO in the upcoming general election, the split in the Malay opposition will certainly be beneficial for UMNO.

Merdeka Center’s latest poll indicates that PAS gains an average of 21% Malay support. This is enough to reduce the opposition’s chance of winning the election, especially in the Malay majority constituencies should there be “3-cornered” fights between UMNO, PAS, and the new opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan (PH) led by Mahathir Mohamad. The Merdeka Center poll puts PH support at 18% among Malays, with 12% unsure and 9% declining to answer.

PAS is widely seen as the opposition’s spoiler. But the picture is more complicated. The level of Malay support for PAS is not evenly spread across the country. It is mostly concentrated in the Malay heartland of Kelantan, Terengganu, northern Kedah, northern Perak and some parts of Selangor and Pahang. These are mostly large Malay-majority constituencies, in which Malay voters make up more than 70% of the electorate. There are 70 parliamentary seats in this category in Peninsular Malaysia.

However, out of these 70 seats, eight are in Kedah, where Mahathir’s strong influence in the state may swing votes away from UMNO. Apart from these, there are at least five seats in Kelantan, and one in Terengganu, which have traditionally been PAS’s strongholds: Pengkalan Chepa, Kubang Kerian, Kota Baharu, Tumpat, Rantau Panjang and Marang. These 13 Malay-majority seats are most vulnerable for UMNO. Realistically speaking, then, UMNO has a sure chance of winning in only 57 out of 165 parliamentary constituencies in Peninsular Malaysia.

Meanwhile, non-Malay support for BN has been extremely low since the last general election. Recent surveys have not seen any significant improvement in non-Malay support for the government, and the contest for votes in marginal Malay-majority constituencies—that is, where non-Malay voters are more than 30% of the electorate—will be keenly fought by all parties.

There are 47 parliamentary seats in this category, mostly situated in southern Kedah, Penang, the Kinta Valley in Perak, southern Perak, southern and central Selangor, and urban and semi-urban centres in Pahang, Negeri Sembilan, Malacca and Johor. PAS’ influence in these constituencies is relatively minimal, and may not impact much on the Malay vote split.

It is in these areas where PH is making significant inroads, posing a serious challenge to BN. Some of the parliamentary seats in these areas are already in the hands of PH parties. Apart from these marginal Malay-majority constituencies, there are 48 non-Malay majority constituencies in Peninsular Malaysia which can be considered as safe seats for the opposition.

Left for the government are 57 parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak, long said to be BN’s “fixed deposit”. However, out of these 57 seats, nine are currently held by the opposition, and are not safe seats for BN. Apart from these nine, there are at least five parliamentary seats in the east coast of Sabah where the newly formed Parti Warisan Sabah, led by former UMNO Vice President Shafie Apdal, is making significant inroads. These seats too are no longer safe seats for BN. So, out of 57 parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak, only 43 can be considered safe for BN.

With 57 safe seats in Peninsular Malaysia and 43 safe seats in Sabah and Sarawak, BN has a total of 100 out of 222 parliamentary seats that can be considered safe. This figure still falls short of the total needed to get a simple majority to form the next federal government. Unless Najib can turn the remaining seats into safe seats for BN, calling for a general election now will be a bit risky for him.

Najib doesn’t have GE14 in the bag
Marzuki Mohamad
18 Oct, 2017 – New Mandala


Malaysians deserve better

Malaysians deserve better: we deserve to live in a society where our beliefs and personal liberties will not be trampled upon, where the rights of every woman, man and child are protected. Freedom, social justice and above all, safeguarding human rights irrespective of race, religion and gender are too important to be crushed by unjust policies, tactless bureaucracy and bad governance.

Disorder, distraction and division

WE’RE close to the end of 2017 and here is what we have so far: A tainted Prime Minister and his equally tainted ministers willing to do anything to remain in power, secret negotiations with political foes to lure them to the dark side and protests involving durians, plastic buckets and beer.

We have washed-up politicians pathetically attempting some sort of comeback and also power-hungry political opportunists who blindly use religion as their ‘get-out –of-jail’ card whenever the going gets too tough and if the trail gets too hot.

We have leaders who throw a curveball in a form of banning a beer festival that has been going for the past 5 years without drawing the ire from our unrelenting overzealous brethrens.

Some blame the opposition politicians who fail to deliver. They want to know what has become of the pledge to bring back local government elections and a shadow cabinet that is supposedly long overdue.

Others blame the system that has been steered to benefit the puppet masters who orchestrated the social disarray we find ourselves in today. As a result, such occurrences have further divided our nation into smaller pockets under subcategories within pre-existing categories by exploiting our innermost insecurities.

While most of us try to reignite the burning flames of socio-political reforms we experienced in the past, the back-stabbing and betrayal that has been played out habitually in our local political landscape has left some of us lethargic or too cynical to care anymore.

And this is exactly what the puppet master has in mind – to employ sickening methods by manipulating our already fragile ethno-religious relations and crafting devious diversions to distract a nation. If you do not subscribe to any organised religion or if you are a self-professed atheist, the guardians of the far, far right will infringe on your minority rights and instil a sense of fear and loathing.

By now, most Malaysians know just how conniving the ruling elite are and the worst is yet to come. With each passing day, the elections draw closer and threatening soundbytes become louder. Those who are in federal power will be free to scheme with the most brazen decree that disregards all sense of logic and good of the rakyat.

For them, chaos is not a pit rather it is a ladder that can propel one to greater commanding heights and the only way to ensure this is to keep the rakyat busy fretting over trivial matters while the larger more sinister deed takes place behind closed doors.

Keeping Malaysians intellectually clumsy and logically impaired will only be advantageous to the ruling elite, and unfortunately, some are lacking the skills to read between the lines and understand political patterns of subtle confrontation.

But these skills can be learned and understood through discussions and asking the right questions.

At present, the elite and the kleptocrats understand that their influence on our nation is slowly wearing off, hence, the tightening grip on religious issues and absurd rulings that contradict our secular nation.

We should always remember that once a nation is made to legislate upon religious arguments and basis, we make ourselves susceptible to every single form of persecution, bigotry and odious dogma. We should also remember that when a scandal is exposed, those in power will utilise their mechanism to create a distraction by rerouting our priorities and rechanneling our anger.

Malaysians deserve better: we deserve to live in a society where our beliefs and personal liberties will not be trampled upon, where the rights of every woman, man and child are protected. Freedom, social justice and above all, safeguarding human rights irrespective of race, religion and gender are too important to be crushed by unjust policies, tactless bureaucracy and bad governance.

The night in Malaysia is dark and full of frightening uncertainties, therefore let our intellect and reason be the guiding light we need to help walk a nation through this temporary menacing gloom. – October 7, 2017.

Disorder, distraction and division
Syerleena Abdul Rashid
7 Oct 2017 – TMI


Attempt to ‘buy’ Syed Saddiq is Najib’s GE14 game plan

Attempt to ‘buy’ Syed Saddiq is Najib’s GE14 game plan, says Dr Mahathir

BERSATU Armada (Youth) chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman is not the first to have received inducements to abandon the opposition camp, Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad said tonight.

“This is the work of Umno. Especially by this particular aide of Najib’s. He is the one who is always trying to buy over people,” the Bersatu chairman said, in response to request for comment on Syed Saddiq’s revelation earlier today that he was offered RM5 million to leave the party and pursue further studies.

“The offers run into the millions. But he (the aide) was mistaken if he thought Syed Saddiq could be bought over,” Dr Mahathir told The Malaysian Insight.

Dr Mahathir named the aide which The Malaysian Insight is withholding.

“It’s not just Syed Saddiq, others have received offers, too. This is the way Najib Razak wants to win the general election,” Dr Mahathir added.

Bersatu’s 25-year-old Youth chief today revealed he was offered RM5 million by a senior adviser to the prime minister to leave the party and continue his studies at Oxford.

“All this was organised by an aide to the prime minister. I was offered RM5 million to leave Bersatu and take up a scholarship at Oxford University.

“I’m not leaving Bersatu, but will continue to expose this systematic network of corrupt activities,” Syed Saddiq told the press earlier.

Attempt to ‘buy’ Syed Saddiq is Najib’s GE14 game plan, says Dr Mahathir
2 Oct 2017 – TMI


Report: PAS may lose Kelantan in GE14

Report: PAS may lose Kelantan in GE14

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 ― After almost three decades of governing Kelantan, PAS may be voted out in the next general elections due to poor economic conditions in the state, a report said.

Singapore daily, the Straits Times (ST) noted that though the state capital Kota Baru enjoys good business, much of rural Kelantan, where agriculture is the mainstay, remains neglected. It quoted residents who said much of the rural local economy is propped up by remittances from Kelantanese working in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

“It used to be different here and we looked down on the other (states),” chicken supplier Mohd Sakri Husain, who lives in Renok Baru located 180km from Kota Baru, told ST.

“Now our economy is weak and young people have to leave Kelantan to look for work.”

ST reported estimates from polling houses that said at least 15 per cent of Kelantan voters are workers based outside the state.

Aside from abandoned wooden houses on stilts along Kelantan’s main trunk road and vacant new shop lots, ST reported that some infrastructure have yet to be rebuilt after the state’s worst floods in history in 2014 and many residents who lost their homes have yet to receive any assistance from the state government.

“I do not care very much about politics because I have to put food on the table. But I know which party I would not vote for,” restaurant helper Rozilawati Ibrahim told ST.

Tumpat MP Datuk Kamarudin Jaafar reportedly expressed concerns about three-cornered fights in Kelantan and also the rest of the country.

“Unless the Opposition can come to some agreement on seat-sharing and avoid three-cornered fights, PAS will likely lose Kelantan and the Opposition could face trouble in the rest of the country,” the PKR leader was quoted saying.

The newspaper noted that even though PAS currently dominates the state legislative assembly by controlling 31 of the 45 seats, more than half of the 45 seats were won by narrow majorities in the 13th general elections that had seen straight fights between Umno and the federal Opposition.

Report: PAS may lose Kelantan in GE14
September 29, 2017 – MMO


Pakatan Harapan will win battle for Selangor in GE14

Ong: PH will win battle for Selangor in GE14

Serdang MP Ong Kian Ming says well-informed voters in richest state will follow trend of rewarding the government which has delivered on its promises.

PETALING JAYA: DAP election strategist Ong Kian Ming has no doubt that voters in Selangor will go with the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition in the next general election (GE14).

Recognising all the efforts by the Barisan Nasional (BN) to win back the state owing to its importance, particularly to several mega projects under the federal government, Ong said it will all come to naught.

“Many big-ticket infrastructure projects such as the East Coast Rail Line (ECRL), the High Speed Rail (HSR), the LRT and MRT projects, water projects and new toll roads, require the approval of the Selangor state government.

“Having a well-governed Pakatan Harapan (PH) state government on the doorstep of Putrajaya is also a headache for the BN because voters can compare and contrast the performance of the Selangor state government with other BN state governments as well as the Federal Government,” Ong said in a statement.

Ong, who is Serdang MP, summarised the simple rationale for his argument on why BN is expected to fail in Selangor.

“There is nothing in BN’s track record and leadership which indicates that voters in Selangor will reward it in GE14 especially when the best the BN can do is to parade out a line-up of three ex-menteris besar, one of whom was convicted of corruption and another who was found carrying a suitcase full of cash to Australia.

“The track record of the Selangor state government, while not perfect, has been positively felt by the voters in the state through many of the welfare programmes under the ‘Inisiatif Peduli Rakyat’ umbrella including free medical cards for low income families and individuals and free buses in each of the districts/municipalities in the state,” he said, adding that investments and jobs continue to pour into Selangor.

The higher access to information on alternative media and social media, and better education and income profiles will also contribute to voters going with PH, according to Ong.

On the basis of past performances and the voter track record in the state, Ong said Selangor recorded the most drastic change in voting patterns from general election to general election.

He attributed this volatile voting pattern down to the fact that Selangor voters are well informed.

Ong: PH will win battle for Selangor in GE14
September 26, 2017 – FMT


PM’s ‘father of Indian development’ label just hot air, say Indian leaders

PM’s ‘father of Indian development’ label just hot air, say Indian leaders

PRIME Minister Najib Razak’s “father of Indian community development” remark at the MIC annual general meeting this morning only works on MIC members, say Indian leaders.

“He can say that in front of MIC members and they will believe him, but go and try to make the same speech in front of the general Indian community. He will not be so confident.

“When he held many important posts in the government prior to becoming the prime minister, what has he done for the Indians? Basically nothing.

“Even the Malaysian Indian Blueprint (MIB) was merely a paper that holds no weight as it is not policy,” said Malaysian Indian group Rapat’s president, A. Rajaretinam.

The MIB was launched in April to empower the Indian community in Malaysia.

It included an allocation of RM500 million by Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) for the Bottom 40 (B40) group within the Indian community, and a special clearance system to grant citizenship to Indians who resided or were born in Malaya before 1957.

“The blueprint was not endorsed in Parliament. The funds given can be cut anytime if the government does not have the money to execute the plan. To me, it is just a piece of paper,” he said, adding that the MIB was just to fish for votes.

“But MIC no longer appeals to the Indian community, not after 2007. 2008 and until now, their voting patterns have changed,” said Rajaretinam.

Meanwhile, Hindraf chairman P. Waytha Moorthy called Najib’s claim laughable.

“He is probably the father of kleptocracy and the reason why there are mini napoleons within the MIC leadership to continue to plunder the community further,” said Waytha Moorthy.

He said, after the 2008 General Elections, Najib as then deputy prime minister chaired the newly established Cabinet Committee on Indian Concerns.

Then, when he became the prime minister, he formed the Special Implementation Taskforce (SITF) in 2010.

“The prime minister is well known for planning and creating new units, but there is always no implementation, or it is handed down to the same old guards who have been looting the Indian community for the last 60 years.

“Furthermore, all these units are ad hoc in nature and have no formal standing or binding with the planning department of the government, even though they are under the Prime Minister’s Department,” Waytha Moorthy added.

He said Hindraf had previously forged an alliance with the government for the Indian community but left 8 months later after it realised that the ruling party had gone back to its old antics.

Waytha Moorthy also said that the MIB was practically a watered down Hindraf blueprint, revived to hoodwink the Indian community.

“After almost 10 years since Najib started, we are back to square one without any permanent long term solution for the Indian community to be on par with national development,” he said, adding that the MIB only offered piecemeal solutions without addressing core issues.

Klang MP Charles Santiago said Malaysians need a prime minister who strives for the development of all Malaysians and creates opportunities for all his citizens, not just Indians.

PM’s ‘father of Indian development’ label just hot air, say Indian leaders
24 Sep 2017 – 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?