Custom Search
This div will be replaced

part 1

part 2

Senator Dr Syed Husin Ali warned PKR today not to dismiss a group of independents dubbed the “Third Force” as they could prevent Pakatan Rakyat (PR) from achieving a huge victory in the next general election.
“If it (the Third Force) is formed, this group will breathe life to Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN),” said Syed Husin in his opening speech at the seventh PKR Wanita and Youth congress today. “It will complicate Pakatan’s efforts in achieving a huge victory,” he added. PKR officials have come out strong against the Third Force as it can split the vote in multi-cornered fights that will benefit the ruling BN federal government.

Straight fights between BN and PR in Election 2008 helped the opposition pact to an unprecedented 82 federal seats and four states then. The Third Force’s initiative could result in multi-cornered fights in up to 30 of the 222 parliamentary seats that are being held or will be contested by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s PKR. In Election 2008, more than 90 per cent of the federal seats saw a straight fight between PR parties and BN. Today, Syed Husin said the Third Force needed to be handled with care.

“This matter (the Third Force) must be handled wisely,” said the PKR deputy president. Recently, Third Force co-ordinator Haris Ibrahim said his objective was to offer strong candidates to PR who would not switch allegiance in case PR forms the next federal government. Haris had said that his group aimed to prevent a repeat of the Perak constitutional crisis last year that saw the fall of the PR state government after three of its assemblymen became BN-friendly lawmakers.

PR has also lost five MPs since March 2008. Four of them — Datuk Seri Zahrain Hashim (Bayan Baru), Tan Tee Beng (Nibong Tebal), Mohsin Fadzli Samsuri (Bagan Serai) and Wee Choo Keong (Wangsa Maju) — quit, citing a loss of confidence in Anwar’s leadership. Zulkifli Noordin (Kulim-Bandar Baru) was sacked following disagreement with the PRK leadership over the “Allah” row. At a press conference later, however, Syed Husin said the Third Force did not pose a threat to PR currently. “As of now, no,” he told reporters. “It’s neither a ‘third’ nor a ‘force’. They use it to get people who are dissatisfied with the (PR) parties,” he added.

Haris, who has been working with civil society groups for the initiative, had stressed that the pool of candidates would first be offered to the federal opposition. The lawyer and active blogger said the candidates would only contest as independents if PR parties could not offer better candidates. His group of activists and bloggers has been campaigning against BN since before Election 2008 that saw the ruling coalition losing its two-thirds parliamentary majority for the first time and losing control of four states.

They were also behind a manifesto called the People’s Declaration that was endorsed by all PR parties ahead of the 12th general election. The group was also influential in mobilising urban voters to back PR candidates in 2008. Haris said negotiations with “non-BN parties” would start in January. Speculation is rife that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak will call for a general election as early as the first quarter of next year. However, the current government’s mandate only expires in May 2013.

Kempen PR di Galas

The by-election in Galas is an unusual one. Can you label it as just another by-election? Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah or Ku Li said it was going to be a friendly match, and if BN won the match, it would be excellent. But even if it lost the match, it wouldn’t be too bad either. Anyway, Ku Li has not said he would defend Galas with all his prestige, or... blood. And since it is going to be a friendly match, friendship should come before the contest itself. Period. Even if the game is lost, we should at least take the defeat in stride.

The important thing is that Ku Li said Galas was going to be a gentlemen’s fight and no one should engage in any dirty trick. He did not enter the nomination centre on nomination day, which should have been a most opportune time for a show of spirit and force. But, was BN going to show that off with Ku Li nowhere in sight? Even his Pakatan Rakyat friends such as Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat were looking for him, probably to have some kind of friendly chat among old acquaintances. It was like a party, and everyone was expecting the most anticipated VVIP. Without him the party would lose half its shine.

On such an occasion, he had no foes but friends. On Day Two of campaigning, he was seen sipping Chinese tea with some “Ah Pek” at a coffeeshop, totally relaxed and unaggressive. Did we call that election campaigning? Such a campaigning style will only put the professional campaigners at a complete loss. No smearing of rival candidate, no destroying of rival banners and flags, no exchange of words, no extremist discourse, no mammoth mobilisation of manpower... Oh dear, they will go nuts very soon!

It has been said that Ku Li has barred the Perkasa people from coming to Galas for fear that they would contaminate the pristine by-election. Ku Li seems to be telling them: “This is my place. Please play by my rules. Don’t create havoc!” His way is obviously not the way of Umno, which has just convened its general assembly and whose commander-in-chief has just sworn to grab both Galas and Batu Sapi, on the other side of the South China Sea. Ku Li was chosen as the campaign director mainly for his local influence as well as tying him to Umno’s side so that he would not secretly collaborate with PAS. Ku Li’s unbecoming calmness may have already sent many hysterical.

The veteran fighter has seen battles 10 times more powerful and momentous than the one in Galas. While he hopes the battle could be won, so that his political life in Umno can be further prolonged, he will never want to sacrifice his friendship with PAS at the expense of a by-election. He understands better than anyone else that his political stage is more than just Umno, but includes also the vast space that is overlapped by the two major political camps in the country. His supporters have come out with the manifesto “Ambo nok parti Kuli” (We want Ku Li’s party), not the outright Umno or BN banner.

The by-election is momentary. Whether the game is won or lost, Ku Li’s political career still needs to go on beyond the election. In a similar manner, inter-party competition is also momentary, and what is more important is the country’s democratic process. Such gently fought friendly matches might, who knows, constitute a positive model for future political competition in Malaysia. — -

part 1

part 2

part 3


BATU SAPI, Oct 30 – On the stump for PKR in one of the party’s more shaky by-elections to date, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has urged Batu Sapi folk to ask for “double the rations” of Barisan Nasional’s (BN) election “bribes”. The PKR de facto leader (picture) said that PKR was not out to compete with the ruling coalition’s massive election machinery but wanted to change the people’s mindsets instead. “We have to anticipate that (BN’s large machinery). I think in all our speeches, we say, please accept. Please ask for more.

“In fact, we said, please ask for more because this is the one by-election when you are going to get it and the next round will be in the next [general] election. “So please ask for double the ration because of inflation, the higher cost of living,” he told reporters here, smiling. Anwar however urged the people to use their vote wisely come polling day this November 4 by selecting PKR’s Ansari Abdullah as its representative in the parliamentary seat. Batu Sapi folk, he added, needed to learn the lessons from voters in states like Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah who were brave enough to make a change in government.

“We want to tell them (Batu Sapi voters) that there is nothing wrong with you accepting handouts from BN but use your vote wisely because it is after all, secret ballot,” he said. Anwar admitted that in the past, PKR’s campaign tactic was merely to attack the BN and its unfair policies. “And then they would come along with all their bribery and the people take it and feel indebted to vote for them. So I say, take it but vote wisely,” he said. Anwar had hit the Batu Sapi campaign trail with PKR’s Ansari yesterday but received less than rousing response from the local folk.

The Malaysian Insider reported this morning that several villagers in Kampng Gas had admitted that they were more favourable of BN as the ruling coalition was generous with its handouts during the elections period. In his speeches however, Anwar told voters that there was nothing wrong with accepting election sweeteners from BN but it would be a grave mistake to vote it into power. “If you are tired from work and hungry, go to the BN election camps and ask for food. If you are out of money, go to them and ask them for money. But give your vote to PKR,” he had told villagers in Kampung Gas and Kampung Lupak Meluas last night.

Today, he said that voters should pay close attention to what the BN had done for Sabah during its rule. “Look at the bridge incident with Ansari. It was good, in a way, not good that he fell but good because of the effect of the incident. This is not a question of one bridge in one kampung. “But everywhere we travel here, people say – Datuk, be careful of that hole, Datuk be careful of that broken plank. This is the risk the people face, even after 50 years of independence and revenue from timber in the billions... you cannot even build one bridge? I think you only need one or two huge logs to rebuilt all the wooden pathways in Kampung Gas,” he said. Anwar was referring to yesterday’s incident when Ansari took his second tumble since the start of the campaign period after a bridge collapsed in the village.

PKR elections director Fuziah Salleh, who was also at the press conference along with several other Pakatan Rakyat leaders, noted that in the past, the people of Sabah voted for BN merely out of habit. “They were used to it. But we want to tell them now that they will not stand to lose anything if they vote for the opposition. “In fact, they will get more than just the election sweeteners from the BN,” she said. Such handouts, she added, only came during the elections. “But in the five years that the BN governs, the people are left abandoned,” she said. Meanwhile, Anwar reiterated his view that PKR was likely still trailing behind in the race for Batu Sapi.

He however said that PKR had made plenty of inroads so far and would work round the clock to change its fortune. “One thing about things here in Sabah is that the contest is not so intense. The people, although there are many who are yet to support us, still keep open minds. “We went to visit them and they were friendly to us. They can see our ways and that we do not give promises, we tell them what we have done. Hence, I see a greater potential,” he said. Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, agreed and added that the people of Sabah could use the examples set by the Pakatan Rakyat government in Selangor.

“There may be three choices in this by-election, between BN, PKR and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). I have explained however that the only ones that have track records are BN and PR. “SAPP has no record, not even if you take into consideration the fact that SAPP candidate Datuk Yong (Teck Lee) was the chief minister for two years,” he said. Yong is also vying for the Batu Sapi seat, along with PKR’s Ansari and BN’s Datin Linda Tsen Thau Lin. “PR in Selangor has only governed for less than three years and we already showed our capabilities. We do not wait until the elections to deliver promises,” he said.

Template by - guahensem - 2008