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“What doesn’t break you only makes you stronger”. The phrase serves as a guide for the ousted Perak Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government as they move on from one gruelling battle to the next to regain power. And if anyone should think that the coalition no longer has any fight left in them, then they are far from right. The events of the Oct 28 sitting has done nothing to dampen the spirits of the PR brigade. In fact, according to the troop’s general, former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, they were now even more inspired to persevere. Next week, top PR leaders will congregate to discuss their next course of action, which Nizar says will encompass taking on their political foes “in a different realm this time”.
“Whatever obstruction the Barisan Nasional (BN) dares to impose upon us only makes us more and more determined. “In fact, we have become stronger, we have become wiser — it is from these trying times that we draw our greatest strengths from. They cannot break our unified front,” he told The Malaysian Insider today. Nizar admitted that support for the Perak PR was waning as many felt the ousted government should just lay down arms and wait for the next general election to launch its attack against BN. He has, however, chosen to look at the advice in a different manner, saying that such belief was born out of sympathy over the violent injustices inflicted upon PR assemblymen. “They are saying that because they are feeling sympathy for us. They are worried for our safety. They have seen what was done to us and they are aware of all the persecutions we have had to endure,” said Nizar.
He said PR lawmakers would not be disheartened by such comments but were instead proud that their supporters sympathised with them and were willing to accept it if their leaders loosened their ties and called it a day. “But we cannot stop this fight — it will go on. We want to change the political landscape, not just in Perak but in all of Malaysia. “Perak is very important because we can set the example for all the other states, which are now taking hard hits from BN,” he said. Nizar said that PR could not afford to take a break from the fight or even sneak a swig of water when the half-time whistle is blown. He knows the people may forget. They may forget how the government was “stolen”; how the PR’s Speaker V. Sivakumar had been forcible removed from the Speaker’s chair on May 7; how the police had supposedly manhandled the opposition before Wednesday’s sitting; and most important of all, they may forget how well the PR had done when they held on to government for 10 months last year.
This is why, Nizar said, the PR assemblymen had continued spreading their wings across the state through countless ceramahs and dinners, making sure the people remembered. “Yes, support is waning. But we need to prevent that. We need to remind the people of why we are fighting and whom we are fighting for. “We need to tell them, explain to them, keep them informed of the violence we have had to endure and why we cannot just give up and let go,” he said. Nizar noted that PR’s fight was not a selfish one, for they were not in the battle to regain control of the state. “What we want is to return democracy to Perak. To give the people back their right to choose their own government. I am not here because I want (Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr) Zambry (Abd Kadir) to leave the mentri besar’s room so I can sit there,” he said.
Despite his bravado however, it is clear that Nizar, like most of the other PR assemblymen, are tired of fighting. Not because they have lost their spirit but simply because they feel they have had no choice but to walk into most battles with their eyes closed. A former state executive councillor Thomas Su said that the PR assemblymen may seem strong on the outside, but were really humans inside, too. “It is quite scary to walk into something without knowing what the outcome would be. On Wednesday (during the sitting), we did not know what they had planned for us. We did not know how we would walk out of there — whether we would be safe or hurt.
Batu MP Tian Chua was today jailed six months and fined RM3,000 after he was found guilty by the magistrate's court of biting a police constable and preventing the officer from discharging his duty in December 2007. Chua, 46, whose full name is Chua Tian Chang, committed the offence against PC Rosyaidi Anuar, 21, in front of Parliament House in the incident on Dec 11, 2007. Chua, the PKR strategic director, was charged under Section 332 of the Penal Code and could have been jailed up to three years.
He faces the possibility of losing his parliamentary seat as the fine exceeds RM2,000. Chua was granted a stay of execution pending appeal. Chua committed the offence during a Bersih gathering to protest against constitutional amendments extending the retirement age of Election Commission members from 65 to 66. Earlier, magistrate Mohd Faizi Che Abu said he found Chua not to be a credible witness as his defence was a mere denial. In an immediate response, Chua said the judgment was not fair as the judge and prosecution had relied on the evidence of the constable and based it on circumstantial evidence. "It did not prove the biting took place," the MP said.
PKR Batu lawmaker Tian Chua said today his team of lawyers will appeal in 14 days his conviction by the Magistrate’s Court today for biting a police constable’s ear, in a bid to keep his MP post. The 46 year-old was sentenced to a six-month jail term and a fine of RM 3,000 for the offence committed on policeman Rosyaidi Anuar during a protest organised by poll reform group Bersih in front of Parliament two years ago. Should he lose his appeal, the country is set to stage the 10th by-election since Election 2008, and the first to be held in the country’s capital city. The Batu MP was charged under Section 332 of the Penal Code and could have been incarcerated up to three years.
When approached by reporters outside the court, Chua insisted on his innocence, saying that the conviction by magistrate Mohd Faizi Che Abu was unfair as he and the prosecution had relied solely on proof given by the constable, and was therefore based on circumstantial evidence. Appearing calm and composed in Parliament later, Chua said the conviction will not affect anything and that it was business as usual for him. “I will continue to serve the people and perform my duty as the people’s representative,” he told reporters in Parliament. “The work of Bersih to pursue reform in the electoral system to ensure that free and fair elections takes place will also go on,” added a smiling Chua. The PKR leader is member of the Bersih steering committee.
Labels: Tian Chua
In a move to calm fears among its supporters that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) was yielding to a resurgent Umno and its own differences, the coalition’s leaders announced dates for its inaugural convention in December where it hopes to unveil its common platform. Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim played down the troubles that have plagued his own PKR and among the PR parties , and promised to reveal soon the coalition’s common platform. Umno and other BN parties have successfully taken advantage of PR’s lack of cohesiveness to paint the coalition as one which has too many ideological differences to take federal power.
Anwar, after chairing the coalition’s meeting in Parliament here today, said 1,500 delegates – 500 each from PKR, DAP and PAS – will be attending the two-day convention that begins on Dec 12. He said the pact had been working hard to draft a common platform. “We will reveal it in the nearest time,” said Anwar, who is also the parliamentary opposition leader. No details on the progress of the draft have been given so far. The Permatang Pauh MP, however, said the common platform could be seen in the party’s streamlined approach to debating the Budget to be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak this Friday. “All the party whip chiefs have been instructed to work with MPs on the debate so that we can increase and strengthen the quality of our debate on the Budget,” said Anwar.
Sometimes it is very difficult to reconcile between what politicians say and what they do. It is a sort of ‘tradition’ that politicians must always do the opposite of what they say. In layman’s terms this would be called hypocrisy. In political terminology, however, it is called expediency. The Muslim Middle East regards the United States as a Jewish ‘tool’. The US is the ‘Great Satan’. It is the US, after all, that is propping up Israel. If not, Israel would have been destroyed long ago. And day in and day out we can hear verses of the Quran being chanted in the two holiest mosques in the Muslim world, Mekah and Medina, cursing the Jewish enemies of Islam.
There is no mistaking it, as far as Muslims are concerned. The Jews are the lifelong enemy of Islam. They must be exterminated from the face of this earth. But when it comes to the oil money, the Muslim Arabs do not trust their fellow Muslims. They would rather hand over the trillions in oil money to the Jewish banks in Europe and the US. Where is the so-called ‘Muslim brotherhood’? What happened to the ‘Jews are the sworn enemy of Islam until doomsday’? It appears that Muslims prefer Jews to fellow Muslims when it comes to making money. And even Malaysia as early as the 1970s appointed the Jewish banks to advise Petronas on what to do with the oil money. Yet Umno claims it is the largest Islamic party in the world, far bigger than PAS.
Umno screams Ketuanan Melayu. They spread fear amongst the Malays that without Umno the Chinese would inherit the country. Only Umno can guarantee that the Malays would not become slaves in their own country (hamba di negara sendiri). But Umno can’t rule without the Chinese and Indians and East Malaysians. Umno, alone, can never win enough seats to form the federal government. Maybe, at best, Umno can form state governments in the four or five northern states in West Malaysia. In the rest of the country and at federal level Umno would be in the opposition aisles.
MCA, MIC and PPP are in turmoil. Would it not serve the ‘Malay agenda’ if all these non-Malay parties collapse? Then Umno would need not to ‘share power’ with the non-Malays. Umno need not allocate any seats to the non-Malays. Umno can contest all the 222 parliament seats and the more than 500 state seats. But no, Umno is worried. It is worried that if MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and all the other East Malaysian parties collapse or leave the ruling coalition called Barisan Nasional then Umno can never form the government. Umno needs the non-Malays. Without the non-Malays Umno is out of power. Even Tun Dr Mahathir said yesterday that if Barisan Nasional were to become weak then Umno would be in trouble. So they need a strong MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and whatnot so that Barisan Nasional can also be strong and which would mean Umno will remain in power.
So what Ketuanan Melayu are we talking about? And how does Umno serve the Malay agenda when it needs the non-Malays more than it needs the Malays to remain in power? Only half the Malays support Umno -- slightly over 50% to be exact. The other 50% support the opposition. And Umno can do nothing to bring back Malay support. So Umno needs the non-Malays more than it needs the Malays if it wants to remain in power. See what is going on in the Bagan Pinang by-election where the voting is going to end soon. It is Malays who are whacking Malays. Fights have erupted and heads are being broken. Malays are spilling Malay blood. Umno regards the fellow Malay PAS as its greatest enemy. And PAS too regards its fellow Muslim Umno as its greatest enemy.
So it is Malay-Muslim Umno versus fellow Malay-Muslim PAS. Without the heavy presence of the police, by now there would already be a few bodies in the mortuary. The only reason no Malay-Muslims have killed fellow Malay-Muslims in Bagan Pinang is because there is no opportunity to do so. Withdraw the police from Bagan Pinang and see what happens. The mortuaries in and around Port Dickson would be stacked with bodies, all Malay-Muslims killed at the hands of fellow Malay-Muslims. No, there is no Malay brotherhood. There is not even Muslim brotherhood. In spite of the rhetoric from the Malay-Muslims from both Umno and PAS, Malay-Muslim brotherhood does not exist. Umno as well as PAS need the non-Malay ‘infidels’ to win elections. And they spill the blood of fellow Malay-Muslims just to win the election.
While on the subject of the Bagan Pinang by-election, and since the voting is almost over, let me reveal that this by-election is probably the opposition's worst managed by-election since the March 2008 general election. Has the opposition become too arrogant or become over-confident? Does Pakatan Rakyat think it can win elections without trying? Just because the opposition rallies (ceramah) attract ten times the crowd that Barisan Nasional rallies attract does not mean you are assured of a win. We have been saying this for the last 20 years or more. Opposition rallies or ceramah always attract huge crowds. But in many cases the opposition loses that constituency when it comes to votes.
Many of the people who attend these rallies are not even registered voters in that constituency. Most are outsiders. And many attend these rallies just for entertainment purposes. They love to hear the speeches of the better orators from the opposition. Many within the crowd of spectators are even Umno members who come to get entertained but will never vote for the opposition. Gauging your chances of success by the crowd you can attract to your rallies is foolhardy. And we have been saying this for more than 20 years but the opposition never listens. Embarking on a voter registration exercise instead of wasting your entire resources organising rallies or ceramah would be better. Don’t forget, only 50% of eligible voters actually vote. And 60% of the 50% who do not vote are not even registered to vote.
Only eight million people come out to vote when those who are eligible to vote total about 15-16 million. So we do not need more people attending ceramah, especially if they will not be voting in that constituency. We need more people coming out to vote. Why can’t the opposition get this through its thick head? In Bagan Pinang, the opposition is so disorganised. There are allegations that Kuala Lumpur has taken over the Bagan Pinang election campaign while the locals from Negeri Sembilan are being sidelined. It was not until the fourth day after Nomination Day when PAS invited the other component members from Pakatan Rakyat for a meeting. In the end, PAS did their own thing while PKR and DAP, who were left out in the cold, organised their own programmes independent of PAS. PAS did not even arrange for the Wakil Rakyat from PKR and DAP to speak at the ceramah.
We would have imagined that after the March 2008 general election, and the many by-elections since then, the opposition would improve itself because of the experience it has gained. This does not appear to be so in Bagan Pinang. It appears like they have gone backwards and act like this is their first election. What has happened to Pakatan Rakyat? The Bagan Pinang by-election is not a PAS by-election. It is a Pakatan Rakyat by-election even though the candidate is from PAS. And how can Kuala Lumpur just walk in and take over while sidelining the local Negeri Sembilan boys? Maybe it is good that PAS loses this by-election. Maybe this is what is needed to wake them up. Umno cannot make it without the other 13 component members of Barisan Nasional. What makes PAS think it can make it all on its own without PKR and DAP -- and worse, without the involvement of the local boys on the ground?
I would not be too disappointed if PAS gets massacred good and proper later today. Maybe they need this wake up call. But what hurts is the fact that they would get massacred not because Umno is strong but because Pakatan Rakyat conducted themselves like a bunch of amateurs. Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat both realise that only through group effort can they make headway. The turmoil in MCA, MIC and PPP worries Umno. They know that a weak MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and so on will result in a weak Barisan Nasional and which, in turn, will result in a weak Umno. So they scream about Ketuanan Melayu but they know that Ketuanan Melayu will not send them to Putrajaya. Umno needs MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and the rest more than the non-Malays do.
The Indians and Chinese do not care a damn what happens to MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and the rest. But Umno does because Umno needs their non-Malay partners to be able to stay in power. Umno, alone, can’t do it. They can never win enough seats on their own. Without the seats from MCA, MIC, PPP, Gerakan and the rest Umno can never form the government. Pakatan Rakyat is even weaker than Barisan Nasional. Even a united Pakatan Rakyat is not good enough to march to Putrajaya. What more a Pakatan Rakyat that does not understand the meaning of working together as a united coalition like what is happening in the Bagan Pinang by-election.
Bagan Pinang By-Election: Zulkefly Mohamad Omar (Candidate) 08/10/2009
Bagan Pinang By-Election: YB Nizar Jamaluddin 04/10/2009
He made muruku and carried babies in his attempt to convince the Indian community in Bagan Pinang to continue backing PAS. Zulkefly Omar visited two estates with a high concentration of Indian voters yesterday and also made house-to-house visits in Bradwall and Siliau estates. The two estates are home to almost 1,000 out of the 13,664 voters in the constituency. The visit was made significant by the revelation of a survey yesterday that Datuk Seri Najib Razak's approval rating among the Indians remained high at 68 per cent.
But the Indian votes look uncertain for Pakatan Rakyat (PR) as the Barisan Nasional (BN) events held at the estates have been well-attended, with party leaders giving away goodies to the voters, ranging from rice cookers to sarees and hampers. The ruling coalition had also promised to revive the six-year-old public housing project in Siliau which has been delayed.
“That was a lie. The project is an old project, after so long there is still no sign of construction, how to believe them now, and the workers earn only about RM400 a month; they cannot afford the house and are not qualified to get loans unless the government wants to give the houses for free,” said PKR's M. Ravi. However, the Port Dickson assemblyman admitted that there will be a slight drop in PAS's share of Indian votes.
“Because this time Muhyiddin is making the promises, some of them might take him seriously, but it won't be more than five per cent as the younger generation is solidly behind us,” Ravi told The Malaysian Insider, referring to Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin's repeated visits to the estates throughout this campaign. In the last general election, the majority of the Indian voters in Bagan Pinang, who form 20 per cent of the electorate, voted for PAS.
Campaign for the Bagan Pinang by-election begins today with Umno’s strongman Tan Sri Mohd Isa Abdul Samad facing Negri Sembilan PAS chief Zulkefly Omar in a straight fight. Returning officer Abdul Wahab Samsuddin announced the acceptance of their nominations at 11.20am, saying that the Election Commission received only two objections and both were rejected. Former PKR member Shahruddin Abdul Wahab, who had announced his intention to stand, failed to submit his papers as his proposer is not a voter in the Bagan Pinang state constituency.
PAS is expected to manipulate Isa's tainted past and the fact that the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar's candidacy was also opposed by Umno veteran Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. “The basis of a clean government is a clean candidate,” said PAS's Datuk Husam Musa, adding that he does not see bringing up Isa's past as a personal attack. “If it is related to governance, the public has the right to know,” added the Kelantan state executive councillor. Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin told the press the party will handle all issues raised by the federal opposition including on corruption. He reiterated his stand that Isa is the best candidate who understands local issues.
“I am not a recycled candidate, I only did not contest in 2008; the PKR leader did not contest for six years, so who was recycled,” said Isa, referring to opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who was imprisoned for six years. “I'm here only to serve the people,” he added when asked if he will seek to be reappointed as mentri besar if he wins. Zulkefly, who had contested and lost three times before, also defended his candidacy just minutes after it was confirmed. “I was born and raised in Negri Sembilan,” he told reporters when asked about his chances as he is a registered voter in the Lenggeng state constituency.
Earlier, supporters of both parties started gathering as early as 7am at their respective meeting points just outside Port Dickson to march to the nomination centre at the municipal council building.vPolice too started blocking the road leading to the nomination centre and traffic along the major federal road connecting this coastal town to Malacca was reduced to a crawl.The thousands of supporters who were marching to the nomination were then greeted by heavy rain just before the nomination began at 9am.
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim arrived with Zulkefly at about 8.30am amid heavy rain. While Isa arrived just a little before 9am accompanied by BN election chief Muhyiddin, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and BN component party leaders Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat, Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
RPK Speaks His Mind - Insulting Islam? Please!
RPK Speaks His Mind - Altantuya Statutory Declaration
RPK Speaks His Mind - Meeting Altantuya's Father
RPK Speaks His Mind - ISA and Solitary Confinement
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.
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