Custom Search
This div will be replaced

Anwar Ibrahim

Dr Hatta Ramli

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) last night launched its campaign for the Bagan Pinang by-election with its leaders expressing confidence that the coalition will win the decisive postal votes should polling in army camps and police stations be conducted fairly. There are 13,664 voters in the state constituency, with postal voters making up more than one-third or some 4,600 of the electorate. The Bagan Pinang vote is widely expected to end PR’s winning streak in all by-elections in the peninsula since last year's general election due to the high number of postal voters which are traditionally considered a reliable vote bank for the Barisan Nasional (BN).

“I have a lot of friends in the army, I know where they stand,” Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim told a rally in the coastal village of Kampung Si Rusa near here last night. The opposition leader reiterated PR’s stand for greater transparency in the postal voting process, traditionally conducted without the presence of polling agents from political parties. “They want to vote Umno or they want to support us it’s their right; the Election Commission should defend this right,” said Anwar to some 1,000 villagers. Negri Sembilan PAS chief Zulkefli Omar said he was confident the party would obtain more postal votes this time to win the ninth by-election since last year’s general election.

“On March 8 we managed to get 1,189 or 25 per cent of the postal votes; this time we are going to win the postal votes,” said Zulkefli, who is one of the potential candidates for the by-election. The federal opposition is expected to face highly influential former Negri Sembilan Mentri Besar Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad, making the fight even tougher. Despite his tainted past, PR leaders did not touch on Isa’s suspension from Umno for vote buying, suggesting the coalition’s acknowledgement of the Teluk Kemang Umno chief’s strong grip on the constituency. “Whether he becomes the candidate or not is not an issue for us,” said Anwar, repeating his stand that PR will only attack BN on policy matters.

Nomination for the Bagan Pinang by-election will be on Oct 3 while polling has been set for Oct 11. The by-election was called following the death on Sept 4 of Umno’s Azman Mohammad Noor, who defeated PAS’s Ramli Ismail by some 2,000 votes last year. Bagan Pinang is an Umno stronghold situated within the Teluk Kemang parliamentary constituency represented by PKR’s Datuk Kamarul Baharin Abbas. Apart from Bagan Pinang, Umno also won the neighbouring Linggi state seat in last year’s election, while PR controls three other state seats in Teluk Kemang — Chuah (PKR), Lukut (DAP) and Port Dickson (PKR).

After absconding from his sedition and criminal defamation trials, fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin appears to have begun his own defence through the first in a series of video interviews of him on the Internet. Hosted on Youtube, RPK, as he is popularly known, renewed his attacks against the police and the Attorney-General for deciding to prosecute him over allegations he made regarding the prime minister and his wife’s involvement in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. He also compared his case to the vigour shown in the investigation of alleged corruption by the Selangor Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government.

“The government raids the offices of a Selangor exco based just on Internet reports. Somebody publishes a story accusing an exco member of taking money and they raid the office. “The source of the information and the allegation is anonymous but it is enough for government to spring into action,” he said in the short video clip of just over six minutes. Speaking about his own troubles with the government, he pointed out that he did not make an anonymous declaration about the Altantuya murder, but signed a statutory declaration. The allegations have been dismissed a number of times by Najib. Altantuya, a mistress of the PM’s former associate, was killed in late 2006, and her body blown to bits with explosives in a secondary jungle area just outside the city.

The former associate of Najib, Razak Baginda, was acquitted of conspiracy to murder. Two policemen were found guilty of the sensational crime. Although he provided no concrete evidence, RPK’s allegations had fed roiling speculation surrounding the murder. In his video interview posted today, RPK spoke of a conspiracy and selective prosecution by the authorities. “I didn’t publish it on the Internet,” he said of his statutory declaration. “I got my lawyers to send a copy to the prosecutors. They leaked it and it came out on an Umno website.” He claimed that the police initiated investigation and charges against him based on what was published on an Umno website.

RPK asked why the government did not detain the owner of the website that published his statutory declaration, as he was not unknown. “As soon as it came out on the website, the AG says he (RPK) has signed a false declaration. The next day the IGP says the cops will take action on the false declaration. “How did the police and the AG know I made a false declaration when no investigation was launched to determine if the information is true or false?” He claimed this showed selective prosecution. It is unclear where the video interviews were recorded. RPK’s whereabouts remain a mystery.

Malaysian police are seeking the help of Interpol to apprehend him, suggesting the authorities believe he is overseas. RPK went on the lam in April when he failed to turn up for his sedition trial. There is also a second warrant of arrest issued against him for failing to turn up for his criminal defamation trial in May. Despite being a fugitive, RPK continues to taunt the authorities and remains a thorn in the side of the Najib administration. RPK continues to write regularly on his Malaysia Today website, giving his take on political developments and criticising the police and the Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

According to a news report in May, police said they believed RPK was in Brisbane, Australia, together with his wife. But in July, a Sessions Court was told that RPK was believed to be in the country and not in Australia as reported by the media. Deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar said police investigation revealed that RPK, 59, had never left the country.

The making of "meter"

It is not every day you hear the name Khairy Jamaluddin being mentioned followed by rounds of applause.Then again, today’s event was no ordinary event. It may even have been historic to a certain degree, but one thing's for sure... it was certainly unique. 15Malaysia, a joint effort between 15 independent film-makers and Packet One Networks (P1), a wireless broadband company.

Among the familiar faces present were actor Harith Iskandar, director Amir Muhammad, as well as Batu MP Tian Chua, who is the lead in one of the 15 films. ("One Future" by director Tan Chui Mui.) “The films use us as material and try to put forward issues to the public,” said the PKR parliamentarian. 15Malaysia’s producer Pete Teo told the media that the films in the project deal not only with the issue of race relations but also various social and political issues faced by Malaysians today. However, the question of whether these films will drastically alter people’s perceptions of issues is still uncertain. The one condition the project required was that total "creative freedom" be given to the artistes and the directors, said Michael Lai, CEO of P1.

So how did Umno Youth chief Khairy fit into the picture?.His portrayal of a lamenting taxi driver in "Interview With The Taxi Driver" by Benji Lim and Bahir Yeusuff has earned him lots of praise and applause. A few people who attended the launch went so far as to say that if politics does not work out for Khairy, acting is definitely something he can fall back on. Indeed.

I am not in a position to judge Khairy the politician, but I can judge his performance in this video and I must say it was very good! Kudos to the team – very interesting script and simple direction that helps bring focus to the issues in the video. Regarding the issue of language, it is such a politicized issue. It seems that non-Malays are always targeted for apparently not knowing Malay but I beg to differ. From my experience, at least with SPM, many non-Malays actually do score better results in the language as compared to some native speakers themselves. I do not wish to over generalize here but I only hope that Malays do the same and not over generalize our (non-Malays) supposed handicap at the language.

I do however agree to a certain extent that many non-Malays cannot speak Malay fluently (despite excelling in reading/writing/listening). This is largely due to the lack of practice in speaking the language. This in turn, I feel, is partly due to the fact that Malay exists in many dialects and very few Malaysians actually speak ’standard’ Malay (I think only newscasters). In that light, non-Malays should not be squarely blamed.

part 1

part 2

part 3

part 4

Having successfully swept the stakes in the past eight but one by-elections since his thumping return to active politics last year, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim appears impatient to face off with his bitter rivals from Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming contest for Bagan Pinang. “Now we must win Bagan Pinang in Negeri Sembilan. We have to work hard, pray hard so we can get 9-0,” the former deputy prime minister turned Opposition Leader told a thousand-strong multicultural crowd at the Tow Boo Keong hall here last night, earning a rousing applause in return despite some dodgy mathematics.

All but one of the previous eight votes, the most recent of which was in Permatang Pasir, were taken by the PR coalition. BN secured its solitary win in Batang Ai in Sarawak, where it was the incumbent, and conceded the Penanti seat without contest, making the score now 7-1 in favour of Anwar’s alliance. The Bagan Pinang state seat was declared vacant following the death of its assemblyman, Azman Mohd Noor from Umno last Friday, paving the way for the country’s ninth by-election since Election 2008. In the March 8 elections, the late Azman had garnered 6,430 votes over PAS rival Ramli Ismail’s 4,037, earning him a 2,333 vote-majority win.

While the seat is widely considered an Umno stronghold, Anwar seemed highly convinced that his three-party Pakatan Rakyat (PR) faction will be able to snatch a sure-fire victory from the grand old party. “We’ve changed that,” the 62-year-old grandfather told reporters who trailed him from Tow Boo Keong to his last stump at a village surau near the Lost World of Tambun, on the city’s fringes here late last night. “They have to accept the reality that people are clamouring for change,” he added, referring to the wide margin won by PR in the seats previously considered Umno strongholds, namely the recently-ended Permatang Pasir by-election and Bukit Gantang, won by toppled Perak mentri besar, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.

But he shied away from giving his reading on the way the vote may swing at this point. “It’s too early to say. We’ll work very hard. The 5,000 postal votes will complicate matters,” the PKR supremo said. He also criticised the Election Commission for failing in their duty to ensure free and fair elections are carried out at poll centres. “Notwithstanding that, we’ll continue to work together with all parties to give a formidable challenge,” Anwar added. The fiery orator had earlier admitted to troubles creeping up on the fledgling three-party alliance.

But he tried to play down their severity, calling them “one or two problems” and painting a picture that there were open channels among his own PKR, the secular DAP and the Islamist PAS. To the non-Muslim crowd in the hall, Anwar said he had just had a long two-way talk with the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng before swinging into Perak, and will be speaking with PAS’ Datuk Seri Hadi Awang and his No. 2 soon. He added the alliance leadership will be meeting next Thursday.

Template by - guahensem - 2008