Custom Search
This div will be replaced







In Bukit Gantang, a large crowd of about 20,000 PAS supporters had gathered at the nomination centre at Wisma Perbandaran Taiping. The whole place is a sea of green flags - the colour of PAS.

PAS candidate Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin arrived at the nomination centre at 8.40am, accompanied by his wife and several party leaders. State legal assembly speaker V Sivakumar is also present.

8.40am: Nominations for the Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections began promptly at 8am today.

9.15am: In Bukit Gantang, BN candidate Ismail Saffian enters the nomination centre. Spotted were newly-minted Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin and vice-president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. BN entourage arrives at the nomination centre at 9.05am. Some 10,000 BN supporters are present.

9.15am: In Bukit Gantang, Mohd Nizar files his nomination papers, followed by Ismail. An independent candidate has also arrived. Election Commission chair Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is also present.

9.30am: In Bukit Gantang, independent candidate Kamarul Ramizu Idris (right), 42, files his nomination papers.

The businessman and father of seven, who hails from Taiping, told reporters: "Race does not matter, what matters is that we are united. Unity does not see race."

9.42am: In Bukit Gantang, Umno's new Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin is seen shaking hands with PAS supporters and is jeered by the crowd.

9.50am: In Bukit Gantang, eyewitnesses claim that the Pakatan crowd is winning the slogan war with their continuous shouts of corruption and reformasi. Scores of flags have been raised and the supporters are also doing the Mexican wave.

10am: NOMINATIONS CLOSE. OBJECTION PERIOD (10 to 11am)

10.15am: In Bukit Gantang, the Pakatan crowd is shouting Tangkap Najib'. However the BN crowd is rather subdued. The BN crowd is also standing right under the hot sun while the Pakatan people have shaded to protect them.

part 1


part 2


part 3


Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) today picked former five-term Lubok Antu MP Jawah Gerang for the Batang Ai by-election. He will face Malcolm Mussen from Barisan Nasional in the state seat contest. Nomination day is March 29 and the by election is April 7, together with by-elections forthe Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat and Bukit Selambau state seat. The outspoken Dayak politician was first elected to the Lubok Antu seat in a by-election in early 1990. He was returned unopposed in the general election the same year, and again in the 1995 elections. In 1999, he beat David Jemut of Parti Keadilan Nasional.

The Universiti Malaya economics graduate and former supreme council member of the de-registered Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) was forced to relinquish the seat in the 2008 general elections as it was given to former native court judge William Nyallau Badak of Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), which he did not join as he was at odds with its president Datuk Seri Dr James Masing.

7.4.09 - Balik Mengundi!



By the time the three by-elections are settled on April 7, Malaysia may have answers to a host of burning questions over its political future. In what is a political analyst’s dream come true, the vacancies in the parliamentary constituency of Bukit Gantang and state seats of Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai are being seen as referenda on various issues. Coming some 13 months after the political tsunami of the 12th general elections on March 8, 2008, this is a quarter-term review of sorts on how both Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have fared in that time.

The showpiece event will, of course, be Bukit Gantang, where some even claim divine intervention in the passing of Pas MP Roslan Shaharum just four days after prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak had masterminded the takeover of the Perak state government. Perak DAP quickly challenged BN to a straight fight between ousted mentri besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and his successor Datuk Zambry Abd Kadir to see who is truly the people’s choice of government.

Pas have kept to their end of the bargain, betting all their chips on Perak. While Nizar is the best possible candidate for a win in Bukit Gantang, a defeat will silence any further claims to legitimacy by the Pas-led Perak government. Umno grassroots leaders in Bukit Gantang told The Malaysian Insider that PR’s support was not a problem. In Kampung Matang, branch leaders believe only 15-20 homes out of over 100 are loyal to the opposition. “The problem is not the opposition, but within our own ranks,” a local leader said, referring to the perennial problem of factionism within Umno. Another complained of Chinese components within BN – MCA and Gerakan – not doing enough across the constituency. Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe, who was MP here from 2004 -2008, was named as Gerakan’s election chief for the by-election here, but she has apparently spent most of her time in Kuala Sepetang. “She has not stepped foot in my area where three-quarters of voters are Chinese,” the Umno leader said.

The big picture, though, is whether Najib, now officially Umno president and by default BN chair, can rally his party and coalition together. Perak DAP has also recently called Bukit Gantang a referendum on Najib’s incoming premiership given his role in the toppling of the PR government in the state. This may be true, but more so for all three by-elections put together. A 3-0 sweep would be the perfect tonic for Najib who is likely to be the first Prime Minister to not enjoy a honeymoon period as he enters office. Standing in his way, other than the apparent unpopularity of his coup in Perak, is MIC’s flagging fortunes, seemingly deepened by Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu’s recently confirmed continued presidency of MIC.

With sentiment among Indians having worsened since the March 8 general elections, Bukit Selambau may very well confirm what many have known all this while – it’s the end for MIC. Yet it must not be forgotten that while 30 per cent of voters here are Indians, just over half are Malays. After yesterday’s show of solidarity by the new line-up and past presidents Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed, the Malays could swing behind Umno to “give it a chance.” Batang Ai will probably present the least problem to Najib’s BN, with even Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim having called it an “experiment” to gauge support among the Dayaks.

The results here will answer the question of what, if any, gains PR has made among East Malaysians, who are key to its plans to topple BN’s uninterrupted rule at Federal level. Significantly, if it pulls off an upset, then Anwar’s apparent strategy of grabbing the 30 required parliamentary seats from East Malaysia, whether via crossovers or in the next general elections, will gain immense traction. But undoubtedly, arching over the various issues is what Malaysia thinks of a Najib administration. And this is not lost on Najib, just five days short of being sworn in as Prime Minister.

Multiple speeches by his nemesis Anwar have been blocked of late, and opposition organs Harakah and Suara Keadilan have been banned. Question marks also hang over the multitude of independent candidates involved in the by-elections and also the unusually high number of correspondents sent in by BN-friendly media outlets. Najib cannot afford to lose Bukit Gantang or any two of the three contests so early in his reign. Similarly, the stakes are just as high for PR, and Anwar’s continued claims that all races are now united against BN will certainly be put to the test.



Azmin Ali (PKR)


Ngeh Koo Ham (DAP)


BUKIT GANTANG, March 23 — Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin has been named as Pas’s candidate for the Bukit Gantang by-elections in what is clearly an attempt by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) to go for broke. Speculation had been building since Perak DAP leaders first suggested his candidacy soon after Barisan Nasional’s Feb 5 power grab in the state.The ousted menteri besar of Perak will now run in what PR has billed as a referendum on the legitimacy of both coalition’s claims to power in the Perak.

In a rally held tonight in Simpang, just outside of Taiping, the nearest town to Bukit Gantang, Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang announced that Nizar would stand in the April 7 polls. By putting Nizar as a candidate, PR has signalled its intention to use the by-election as a potential springboard to wrest the state government back from BN even as it continues its legal challenges to Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir’s appointment as MB. But the Nizar candidacy also represents a big risk because a defeat will all but bring an end to PR’s claims that it commands the support of the majority in Perak.





In Asia alone, we see political uncertainties in many countries and Malaysia is no exception. The next general election is still three years away and Malaysians have no time to wait for this avenue to make the change. The three by-elections (Batang Ai, Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang) will be the great challenges for the Barisan government and Pakatan Rakyat to garner the win.

The people are the kingmakers as shown in the Kuala Terenggannu and Permatang Pauh by-elections. Can this be a repeat for PR to win in the coming three by-elections? The answer is a simple yes! PR will take a clean sweep. There are too many questions asked about our judiciary, police and MACC but there are no answers in sight. Such silence is one of the many killing factors for BN to lose good in the three by-elections.

It will not be a surprise that the majority in the final count will surpass an astonishing level. The present political crisis has entered an alarming phase with the stepping down of the prime minister to make way for his most unpopular deputy to take the helm. Since the internal crisis is still brewing within UMNO itself, the spill over of dissents will definitely give PR the mileage to harness their chances to win the three by-elections. The outcome of the three by-elections that are going to run simultaneously will resolve in a manner that is consistent with the constitution and democratic values. This is what all clear thinking and concern Malaysians want it to happen, unlike the hostile takeover of the Perak state by the Barisan government.

The instant development in the respective constituency is not unprecedented to win the heart of the people, but it will be unlikely to work unlike the past. There are too many “misdeeds” that are swept under the carpet and this is where the people will voice out relentlessly for a change in a legitimate way.



Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim appears on BBC World News to discuss the progress made by Pakatan Rakyat since the Mac 2008 General Election and the shortcomings of the RM 60 Billion stimulus package announced recently. He also highlighted human rights abuses taking place in Malaysia including the deaths of a number of Indian citizens while in police custody.

part 1


part 2


Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has asked the public not to read too much into a lunch meeting he had today with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi. “Too many assumptions and interpretaions have been made about my presence and that of the prime minister in Hulu Langat today,” the de facto PKR leader wrote in his blog today. Anwar and Abdullah were both guests at a special lunch in conjunction with Prophet Muhammad’s birthday in Hulu Langat.

The event was held at the Madrasah Nurul Iman in Hulu Langat and was hosted by a prominent religious leader Sheikh Mahmud. The two men had lunch together and according to those at the event spent some time talking in private. Anwar said he talked to Abdullah, but did not say what the conversation was about. The meeting between the two leaders has become the subject of much speculation. An aide to Anwar told The Malaysian Insider that he was not told what the two men talked about. “But my boss was in a jovial mood,” he said.



Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today the RM60 billion stimulus package announced by the government yesterday would not restore the people's confidence. "The biggest weakness of this package is the failure of the government to understand that the issue of the confidence of the people, of the domestic and international investors is central," he told reporters after debating the mini budget at the Dewan Rakyat. He added that promoting accountability should have been a major component in the package.

"The government needs to change their attitude in order to get the people's support, if not this stimulus package will only be seen as an exercise to rescue sick cronies and greedy monopolists, to reward the inefficient," Anwar told the House. He also painted a more gloomy picture of the economy, predicting that the economy would contract by up to five per cent this year. He added that even if the package is implemented, the country's growth would still be in the negative. "The fiscal injection is only RM15 billion where RM10 billion is for 2009 and RM5 billion for 2010. The rest does not involve development expenditure which will help generate growth," said Anwar.

"This means that for the year 2009, the fiscal injection is only RM17.1 billion. RM7.1 from the first stimulus package and RM10 billion for the second stimulus package. Theoretically, it will only contribute 3.2 per cent to the economic growth based on the GDP of RM535 billion in 2008," he added. "I hope the government will revise the package as the amount may be big but the impact will not be huge to the nation's economy," said Anwar. He also accused the government of attempting to bail out certain companies in the stimulus package.

"My concern is the allocation of RM10 billion for capital investment. Will this be used to bail out certain companies? The government had channeled RM7 billion to Valuecap where RM5 billion was borrowed from EPF? What has happened to the investment made by Valuecap?" asked Anwar. He also urged the government to reassess concession agreements with toll operators adding that he believed toll charges would go up after the three by-elections next month.

part 1


part 2


part 3


Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told members of his PKR party today to embark on a soul-searching exercise and ask themselves if they had done enough to fulfil the promise of March 8. In a special address here to party leaders just a week before the first anniversary of the general election which saw PKR and its partners make significant inroads into the dominance of Barisan Nasional, Anwar attempted to rally the faithful and acknowledge the pressure it has recently been placed under by the ruling coalition.

“If you are among those who are complacent or who feel as though the work is too hard and the sacrifice too great, let me remind you of how I felt from a dark cell, humbled by your courage, overwhelmed by your loyalty, and inspired by your extraordinary feats in the face of adversity. “It is this spirit that propelled us into a new dawn and it is the same commitment and resolve that we must renew to raise our party to the next level,” said Anwar. Today's meeting of PKR elected representatives and leaders was planned to relaunch the party's agenda for change.

He warned party leaders not to be preoccupied with government positions and awards but should instead focus on building the party machinery ahead of three crucial by-elections. His special address comes amid intensified attacks from Umno and BN, which led to the fall of the Perak state government and the investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission on Selangor's PKR Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for alleged abuse of power.

Anwar urged party leaders to revisit the party's agenda and not to be satisfied with the victory last year. “On this eve of the anniversary of our March 8 victory I ask you to reflect on whether you have worked hard to fulfil this promise. "I ask you whether you have — in your capacity as a leader — done everything you could have to raise this party to the status which it deserves,” he said. He also warned the opportunists in the party not to belittle the party's struggle by asking to be rewarded after PKR's success.

The former deputy prime minister said the party had lately been bogged down over issues of race, religion and the royalty, which he said could reverse PKR's efforts in promoting change. “The current political scenario has put Pakatan Rakyat at a crossroads. "We are facing an emotional propaganda — three Rs — race, religion and royalty. These three emotive issues have developed into the Malay psychology. If the people are not shown the real picture on these issues they will be fooled with arguments on the symbols of race, religion and royalty, which will bring their way of thinking back into the feudal era,” said Anwar. “The issue of the Malay Rulers must be handled with moderation. We must be diplomatic but firm. It has to reflect mainstream thoughts and not just rhetoric,” he added.





The English debate is raging again in Malaysia - in all the country's languages. Six years after Malaysian schools first began using English exclusively to teach maths and science, some race-based interest groups are demanding a return to the old ways. The policy, referred to as PPSMI, was introduced by former premier Mahathir Mohamad in 2003 to arrest the decline in English standards, but many objected vehemently from the start. Before 2003, the two subjects had been taught in Malay in national schools, and in Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools.

The issue is being revisited following the roundtable talks held by the Education Ministry on it last year, from July to December. Some groups said PPSMI erodes their respective languages and cultures. And politicians fear that if they support it, they will lose the support of the many rural Malaysians who say their children cannot cope with English. On Monday, the five states under opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat united against the policy. PPSMI had dealt a blow to the "sanctity of Malay", its executive council members in charge of education said.

On the same day, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim spoke out against the policy on his blog. The importance given to English showed that "after half-a-century of independence, the narrow-minded colonial mentality still haunts us", he wrote. Barisan Nasional member parties - such as the Malaysian Chinese Association, Gerakan and the Malaysian Indian Congress - have also been calling for a return to the mother tongue. Joining them are groups such as Chinese educationists Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) and the Federation of Malay Writers Associations (Gapena).

On Feb 15, Gapena plans to organise a protest in KL dubbed the 152 Rally after Article 152 of the federal constitution, which holds that Malay is the official language. Eight Chinese associations, including DJZ, have urged the government to abolish the policy. Otherwise, they say they will take part in protests held by the Malay organisations.

Community opponents of the policy have been waiting for this day. It was pushed through over their objections, with the government insisting that dissenters wait for the first batch of primary school pupils to finish six years of studies under this system before passing judgment. Last year, the six years were up. In December, the keenly awaited results of the UPSR - the equivalent of Singapore"s PSLE - were announced.



In 2001, the Federal government changed the medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science to English, prompting an outcry from vernacular educationist groups. Currently, the Education Ministry is studying the feasibility of maintaining the policy or switching the language of instruction for these two subjects back to Bahasa Malaysia or in the case of vernacular schools, back to their respective languages.
Malaysiakini spoke to students of SM Bukit Bandaraya in Bangsar to get their views on the teaching of Maths and Science in English after 6 years of implementation.

Six years after Malaysian schools first began using English exclusively to teach maths and science, some race-based interest groups are demanding a return to the old ways. The policy, referred to as PPSMI, was introduced by former premier Mahathir Mohamad in 2003 to arrest the decline in English standards, but many objected vehemently from the start.

Before 2003, the two subjects had been taught in Malay in national schools, and in Chinese and Tamil in vernacular schools. The issue is being revisited following the roundtable talks held by the Education Ministry on it last year, from July to December. Some groups said PPSMI erodes their respective languages and cultures. And politicians fear that if they support it, they will lose the support of the many rural Malaysians who say their children cannot cope with English.

On Monday, the five states under opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat united against the policy. PPSMI had dealt a blow to the "sanctity of Malay", its executive council members in charge of education said. On the same day, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim spoke out against the policy on his blog. The importance given to English showed that "after half-a-century of independence, the narrow-minded colonial mentality still haunts us", he wrote. Barisan Nasional member parties - such as the Malaysian Chinese Association, Gerakan and the Malaysian Indian Congress - have also been calling for a return to the mother tongue.

Joining them are groups such as Chinese educationists Dong Jiao Zong (DJZ) and the Federation of Malay Writers Associations (Gapena). On Feb 15, Gapena plans to organise a protest in KL dubbed the 152 Rally after Article 152 of the federal constitution, which holds that Malay is the official language. Eight Chinese associations, including DJZ, have urged the government to abolish the policy. Otherwise, they say they will take part in protests held by the Malay organisations.

Community opponents of the policy have been waiting for this day. It was pushed through over their objections, with the government insisting that dissenters wait for the first batch of primary school pupils to finish six years of studies under this system before passing judgment. Last year, the six years were up. In December, the keenly awaited results of the UPSR - the equivalent of Singapore"s PSLE - were announced. But nothing was resolved, because the figures were interpreted differently by opposing camps. "The Education Ministry says the results are better. We beg to differ," a Gapena spokesman told The Straits Times. The ministry noted a surge in the number of pupils who chose to do this year"s maths and science papers in English - they could have done them in Chinese, Tamil or a mix of the languages - as a sign the policy was working. The number who opted to sit for the exams in English shot up by 200 times for maths and 100 times for science.



While Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders are saying yesterday’s Perak state assembly sitting held under a tree has made Malaysia a laughing stock, a court order served on the Speaker today suggests it may well have been valid. And if it is valid, that would mean the three motions approved hurriedly by the sweaty state assemblymen while standing by a roadside in Ipoh is also legally binding.

The document served on Sivakumar today reads: “It is hereby ordered that the 1st defendant YB Sivakumar a/l Varatharaju Naidu is restraint from convening any unlawful meetings purporting it to be a meeting of the Perak State Legislative Assembly.” Legal experts say a court order has no retrospective effect and as such the question of whether yesterday’s “under the tree assembly” is valid is still unanswered. BN lawyers may need to seek further relief from the courts to have the “under the tree assembly” declared invalid.

But that will stretch to the limit the question of whether it can be considered a judicial review of assembly proceedings, which is not allowed under the federal constitution. A more significant poser are the three motions approved by the “under the tree assembly”. And probably the most significant of the three is the endorsement of Sivakumar’s decision earlier to suspend de facto Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his executive council members from the assembly for between 12 and 18 months.



Perak stands on the verge of an administrative breakdown tonight as the state’s executive and legislature appeared locked in battle for control of the state. Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, the mentri besar of the de facto Barisan Nasional (BN) government, has declared an attempt to hold an emergency sitting of the state assembly a “threat to national security.” “If anyone is involved in tomorrow’s assembly, the government will not compromise with anyone who threatens national security,” he said.

Perak Speaker V Sivakumar has called for an emergency sitting of the state assembly tomorrow where a vote is likely to declare support for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government of Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and call for the state legislature to be dissolved. Zambry claims that the emergency sitting is illegal without the consent of the Sultan. He cited Articles 8, 11 and 36 of the state constitution. However, a check with the Perak constitution confirms that Articles 8 and 11 cited by Zambry were not related whatsoever with what he argued.

Articles 8 and 11 are in relation to the state seal, and the executive action of the authority being conducted in the Sultan’s name, respectively. Article 36 says, among other things, that “His Royal Highness shall from time to time summon the legislative assembly and shall not allow six months to elapse between the last sitting in one session and the date appointed for its first sitting in the next session.” However lawyers representing the Speaker are arguing that the last sitting of the assembly had only been adjourned sine die, or indefinitely. Therefore, the emergency sitting would only be a continuation of the last sitting.

Meanwhile, Speaker Sivakumar also said tonight that he will be suspending assembly secretary Abdullah Antong Sabri and has appointed Nizar’s political secretary, Misbahul Munir Masduki, as replacement. The Speaker said Abdullah had failed to exercise his duties impartially when the latter claimed that the emergency sitting would be invalid without royal consent.

Template by - guahensem - 2008