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Before Bersih 2.0 illegal assembly on July 9th, there were three flip flops on the Government side that encouraged the crowd to gather.
After the assembly, in the midst of a psy-war battle that is returning back to the Government side with embarassing exposure of lies by the Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat, the Government side flip flop again.
This time it is the police that fumbled.
Having been beaten badly in 2007 that result in poor election result in 2008, has the Government learn anything about communication, propaganda and psy-war game?
Pre-Bersih Flip Flop
Before the July 9th assembly, the Government side made three major flip flop that resulted in an encouraged crowd to defy police to come.
The first was for allowing Bersih Chairperson, Dato Ambiga audience with the DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agung.
Najib was not pleased with Abdullah's interference. Despite his public denial, all parties with access and knowledge to the palace are in unison agreeing that Abdullah interfered.
However, Abdullah can only interfere when someone in the palace allowed the meeting. Words heard that there is someone in the palace that leaked a draft copy of the Agong's prior special public statement to Mustafa Ali, Secretary General of PAS.
The Agong's schedule is arranged between the palace officials via Agong's Private Secretary and Prime Minister's Department. How could Najib be displeased with Abdullah?
That could only happen if palace official refused the advise from Prime Minister's Department and took only the advise of former Prime Minister, Tun Abdullah. That should not happen.
Be it the fault of Agong's staff, or Tun Abdullah Badawi or Prime Minister's Office, this gave legitimacy and credibility to Bersih.
The second flip flop was by the Prime Minister Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, followed by Minister for Home Affairs, Dato Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein, for echoing the PM's offer for a stadium assembly to Bersih.
Najib and Hishamuddin's statements before the assembly was embarassing because once gazetted as an illegal organisation, there is no law that allow a permit to be issued to Bersih. In fact, the Police Act is clearly spelled that illegal organisation will not be issued permit for assembly, including for stadium.
The third embarassment was after Ambiga and Company's audience with Agong, they claimed Agong allowed them to assemble at the Stadium.
It was only at about that time, Najib and Hishamuddin realised the legal implication and start backpeddling to explain the conditions of their offers.
Anwar Ibrahim took charge and said they insist to stage a procession to Stadium Merdeka.
Post Bersih Flip Flop
After Bersih 2.0, it comes down to the psywar to win the public's heart and mind. Bersih 2.0 were playing victim and making all sort of falsitous claims of excessive police brutality.
It is around now, when one lies after another of Bersih and Pakatan are being exposed, Election Commission made another blunder at trying to engage Bersih.
The Sinar Harian initiative only resulted in SPR Deputy Chairman being booed and heckled by the increasingly hooligan Bersih crowd.
Yet they still attempt to be civil and hope engaging this illegal organisation in a PJ organised forum will do any good. All relevant explanation were refused and rejected outright.
Never engage with hooligans. They only appreciate the stick and understand violence.
But the biggest flip flop must be by police yesterday for releasing the six Parti Sosialis Malaysia detainee.
Six PSM leaders released after 28 days in detentionThis decision to detain and now release is made by the police, who initially held the six under Emergency Ordinance for the serious offense of waging war against His Majesty The Agong.
The Star Saturday July 30, 2011
KUALA LUMPUR: Six Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) leaders including Sg Siput MP Dr Michael Jeyakumar have been freed unconditionally after 28 days in detention.
They were held over their alleged involvement in foreign-aided and subversive activities against the nation.
The detainees were overjoyed that they had been released while Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and other Barisan Nasional leaders welcomed the move to free them.
Najib said the police's decision to release the six, who were held since July 2 under the Emergency Ordinance, was based on their judgment and goodwill. He also said the act depicted that the country always upheld the rule of law.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he would soon respond to allegations that the six were detained illegally and had been mistreated.
Police Flip Flop?
Why is the police releasing them when the police public statement about the arrest of PSM members has to do with subversion?
Perhaps, the motive of reviving communist ideology may not be quite believable in this day and age. But, serious and thorough investigation should not have a problem in revealing that PSM have been indulging in serious subversion activites.
By subversion, it means there were serious activities organised by PSM members to incite a peoples' revolution as depicted by the symbol of fist and spirit of Chin Peng, Abdullah CD, Suriani and Rashid Maidin on the paraphenalia found on the upheld bus. It is believed that the PSM bus did not have any form of Bersih paraphenalia.
A speedy, thorough investigation and search of PSM office would have uncovered information and evidences of such subversive activities. Did the boys in blue took their jobs seriously?
It is ridiculous for the boys in blue to release the 6 PSM members on merely the "hunger strike" threat by Dr Jeyakumar. His hunger strike hardly come close to fasting of any Muslim children. He was consuming water and is no threat on his health.
According to blogger Sanggah Tok Janggut here, his suspicion is that the police and Attorney General seemed to be bowing to the sentiment and succumbing to defeat to the psy-war of the these minorities instead of seriously enforcing the law and putting the books on offenders.
By releasing the six detainees, it implies there will be no charges against them and that is hard to believe.
As it is, the opposition are having a field day with this release. They can be seen appearing in defiance to receive the detainees by wearing the banned paraphenelia with communist names bandied openly and in yellow Bersih T Shirt.
Politicians, including Anwar Ibrahim are claiming in press conference and Twitters that BN, Government and police are too afraid to do anything against what they claims as "rakyat".
With so many flip flops and in consistences by politicians, Government and now police, the relevent question to ask is: Are BN, Government and police afraid?
If the Government and ruling party become afraid and seen to be weak, they will erode confidence amongst fence seater. UMNO and BN better be serious in their politics if they wish to remain in power.
A weak and indecisive leader that is not taking charge and only pander to every whimsical demand will not win the confidence of the people.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
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Friday, July 22, 2011
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The Royal Commission of Inquery (RCI) on the death of Teoh Beng Hock (TBH) was just out yesterday. It turns out RCI agreed that the death was due to suicide.
Naturally, DAP, Teoh's family and some member of the Chinese community disagree because they have pre-decided that the outcome must be murder and the murderer must be some head or if not, the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission (MACC) itself.
The RCI, which seemed to be like a public inquiry that just takes in whatever was presented without much judicial assessment, seemed to pander to this request. The report by a commission of judges spend quite a bit of space on investigation method.
The issue is: Were the panel members from the police force or some law enforcement agencies and experts in the art and science of criminal investigation to make such written report?
Let's leave it at that first because the public should realised that the guilty party or allegedly guilty party, DAP seemed to got away with robbery.
Did the public bother to ask how much it cost in rakyat's money to hold such lengthy inquery which ultimately only confirms what our experts and authorities have already concluded from the very beginning?
One source said it cost more than RM1 million.
That did not include the cost absorbed by the Selangor Government to pay lawyers and were not transparent enough to admit the paid Dr Porntip a handsome fee for services she rendered, especially when it puts her credibility in question at the Inquest.
The subsequent question is: All this cost to satisfy DAP's political blame game and politics to incite racial hatred?
Unlike an earlier RCI on VK Lingam, our source, who was present at both inquiries, saw the TBH Inquery was better for it stick to within the term of reference.
The detractors of VK Lingam will disagree but according to our source, the RCI on VK Lingam astrayed from the terms of reference, which resulted in that Inquery could not proceed any further than that. VK Lingam has an application to expunge some statement made.
It raises another question about the effectiveness of RCI in resolving and establishing facts on an issue. A sweeping reaction would be the process of law through the courts looks far more superior and effective.
The conclusion on the death of TBH due to suicide did not go well even to mainstream The Star that they deliberately swayed their SMS alert towards murder by attaching to the suicide in certain quote and unquote description of MACC investigation. See below:
21/7 Royal Commission of Inquiry: Teoh Beng Hock driven to commit suicide by 'aggressive', 'unscrupulous' interrogation by certain MACC officers/STAROne wonders whether both 'aggressive' and 'unscrupulous' were used in the official RCI report.
In his fervour to accuse MACC of murdering TBH for reason many see as to cover-up DAP's indiscretion, Lim Kit Siang claimed that forced suicide is homicide. Let's read the report on Kit Siang's comment from yesterday's The Malaysian Insiders:
Kit Siang: Forced suicide is homicideThat's putting words into somebody's mouth.
By Yow Hong Chieh
KUALA LUMPUR, July 21 — Lim Kit Siang has likened Teoh Beng Hock’s suicide under duress from graftbusters to murder and said that those responsible for his death must “face the full consequences”.
The DAP parliamentary leader said any layman would agree that being forced to commit suicide by Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers was not the same as suicide but was “equal to homicide”.
“You cannot have a situation it’s not homicide but (rather) forced to commit suicide,” he told The Malaysian Insider.
Lim (picture) claimed the national anti-graft body was “overzealous” in pursuing the case involving Teoh’s boss, Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong Hian Wah, because it was under orders to “destroy” the opposition.
A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into Teoh’s death ruled today that the DAP aide committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and continuous questioning by MACC officers.
The officers had wanted to pressure Teoh to be a witness in their case against Ean Yong for alleged abuse of public funds.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Nazri Aziz disclosed the finding today which, he said, was unanimous.
Ean Yong said he did not believe Teoh committed suicide but pointed out that the RCI report clearly showed that MACC officers had abused their power and failed to follow procedures.
“The people of Malaysia will have their own judgment on this case and we will continue to find the truth about the death of Teoh,” he said.
A royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into Teoh’s death ruled today that the former DAP aide committed suicide as a result of pressure from aggressive and continuous questioning by MACC officers.
The officers had wanted to pressure Teoh to be a witness in their case against Ean Yong for alleged abuse of public funds.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz disclosed the finding today which he said was unanimous.
The royal commission also found three MACC officers to have breached standard operating procedures and recommended that action be taken specifically against them.
Nazri told reporters the government would leave it to the police to take the necessary action against the three MACC officers.
RCI chairman Tan Sri James Foong Cheng Yuen submitted commission’s report on June 22.
The five-man commission wrapped up its report on June 15 after having heard testimony from 70 witnesses in its bid to unravel the mysterious circumstances behind Teoh’s death.
The 30-year-old DAP political aide was found dead on July 16, 2009 on the fifth floor corridor of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam after he was questioned overnight by MACC officers at their then-Selangor headquarters on the 14th floor.
The coroner’s inquest had in January returned an “open verdict”, ruling out both suicide and homicide some 18 months after Teoh’s death.
The government was then forced to establish the RCI, which first met in February, with two terms of reference: to probe how Teoh plunged to his death and to look into MACC’s investigative methods.
The report will be on sale from 10am tomorrow at the Legal Affairs Division of the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.
The 124-page report is retailing at RM45 and is available in both English and Bahasa Malaysia.
In the first place, there is no physical contact but psychological reaction from interrogation. Gawd ... who is to know when and how a person will negatively react to a certain line of questioning.
This a ludicrous expectation, which is somewhat similar to Bersih demonstrators' expectation of the FRU to give them a New York's Four Season Hotel level of service and courtesy.
Due notice given to the fact that TBH was not a suspect but a witness. He was a soft person and a more experienced and trained interrogators should know that hard investigating method may not be necessary.
However, that itself is expecting a wee bit too much. Even police are not budgeted and trained in such high input of psychological technique of investigation. What more to expect from a new outfit with limited budget and other more pressing development needs?
The more important question would be whether the three investigators mentioned in the report and now in the spotlight broke any of their Stand Operating Procedures (SOP).
Lim Kit Siang's remark shed a light on what we can label as "Opposition logic". It can be described as a kiasu attitude that everything must favour their's and only way. But the much often used political description is inconsistency.
If he assume psychological reaction is similar to physical force, then why did the opposition made fun of Saiful Bahari's statement that Anwar "forced" him to submit his posterior to be injected with Anwar's meat?
Never mind the fact that Anwar is in court on charges under the Penal Code 377B and not 377C which is more about committing anal sex than the sodomite act of "carnal intercourse against the order of nature." Read about it on MySinChew.com here.
That's about court strategy and tactics and perhaps some pre-emptive moves in the event of unexpected possibilities.
When Saiful Bahari said those words in court (I presume), many made fun and questioned whether it was possible for a 64 year old man to force his will on a stronger 20 something young man.
Betcha many would have laughed and criticised the argument in an e-mail forwarded to moi below:
Many a time in the course of the Anwar Ibrahim sodomy II trial, the question was raised as to how a strong and reluctant twenty-something-year old man could be sodomised by a sixty-plus-year old person.
This question presupposes that an element of physical force was involved to bring the victim to submission. That supposition may be entirely erroneous.
A person of authority using his position or influence to gain sexual gratification from a person answerable or beholden to him is not a phenomenon either unknown or rare. It is in fact very common.
Think of those sexual abuse cases involving Catholic priests and altar or choir boys which till now are plaguing the Catholic Church, those cases in the US military where superior officers sexually harass and exploit junior female personnel, instances in academia where instructors use their position to gain sexual advantage over students.
In many cases, because of their shame, confusion and emotional trauma, the victims took a great deal of time, sometimes years, to speak out on the victimisation committed against them.
Very often, there was no physical violence threatened or inflicted and the victims appear to have physically consented to the sexual relations.
In actual fact, their mental confusion and reluctance to question or resist the ‘requests’ or ‘suggestions’ by a person they look up to made them vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Or the exploiter is someone the victim is dependent on for job security or career advancement. The Anwar/Saiful sodomy case can easily fit into this pattern.
Some people consider it inconceivable or impossible for Anwar to have forced Saiful to submit to be sodomised. This is a very blinkered view, almost wilfully ignorant of what had happened in other parts of the world.
The answer to the question posed many times by observers as to how it was possible that a 60-year old man can sexually exploit a physically strong 20-something year-old man is that the former by using his charisma, position and influence can persuade or coerce the latter to do things against the latter’s better judgement with no physical violence or threats necessary.
So the act can appear to be physically consensual but in the mind of the victim during or after the act, it is something done against his or her will and is forced on him or her.
Far from it for me to say at this point that was what actually transpired in the Anwar/Saiful sodomy case. That’s for the trial to decide. What I’m saying is that it’s time people stop playing stupid and start to accept that it is not an impossibility for sexual exploitation to have taken place with no actual physical resistance on the part of the victim.
Things get very complicated once the victim ‘submits’ to the exploitation as the element of consent arguably becomes apparent. It is for this reason that sexual harassment laws have been formulated to deter persons holding positions of authority and power in organisations from even attempting to take sexual advantage of their underlings.
ANGELINE TAY MEI LIN
Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
The answers to both the cases are not that simple and are quite complex. Unfortunately, such is the demand of the simpleton political followers in this country for short and simple logical explanation that the explanation communicated is usually manipulated and astray from the truth.
The same with the Opposition's Logic.
They decided to see TBH as psychologically affected by the "aggressive" and "unscrupulous" questioning by MACC's "untrained" and "inexperianced" interrogators.
However, it is illogical and laughable to them that Saiful can psychologically submit to the older Anwar Ibrahim whose capable of making thousands spellbound by his speech at political rallies.
Can't imagine how their logic will evolve when the opposition seize full power of government. For sure, they will be prospective candidates for Raja Lawak Astro.
Wednesday, July 20, 2011
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One of Bersih's 8 demand was to stop dirty politics. This demand was one of those new demand inserted into Bersih 2.0 for Election Commission to work on.
Before that, Bersih had a list of 17 demands when they held discussion with Election Commission's Chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof on November 9th, 2010. There was supposed to be another meeting after the streak of by-elections and Sarawak state election ended but they suddenly said no go.
The interesting part was that the list of 17 demands had been pared down to 5 demands. Bersih included 3 new demands which include to seek stop dirty politics.
Before going any further, let's ask: Who is empowered to stop dirty politics? Actually certain act can be addressed by police, EC, court lawsuit, etc, but the honest answer is: No one.
It is thus ridiculous on Bersih to seek on the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Di Pertuan Agong or EC or any other authorities to stop Barisan Nasional, or Pakatan Rakyat or Independent and Konsensus Bebas from playing dirty politics except the politicians themselves.
Ah .. we forgot. Bersih is not partisan politics. Hehehe ...Why did Bersih drag the people to take it to the street on that last-minute-included demand? Reason is known but forgotten by many, thus allowing them to mislead and divert the mass attention.
Before going any further, let's not try to bullshit about Bersih being bipartisan or independent, just like Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) is not pro-Pakatan Rakyat. It is a vehicle of Anwar Ibrahim and Pakatan Rakyat working in concert with funders and enablers from the west. There is no argument to say otherwise.
Let's recall that on March 21st, 2011, the local media was alerted to invitation by the trio Dato T - led by Dato Eskay Shazaly Abdullah, with Tan Sri Rahim Tamby Chik and Dato Shuib Lazim - to a private screening at Carcosa Seri Negara of a video of Anwar Ibrahim allegedy in a sexual romp with a China Doll prostitue.
That brought Anwar into a frantic denial. He was seen in a rage when asked by reporters on two occasion when asked about an Omega watch believed to be a specially custom made gift from a Middle East ruler.
It was followed by a political drama of denial, police reports, allegations and diversion. The diversions were an attempt to kill him or his wife by mending with his car brakes and death threat on daughter Nurul Izzah.
Apart from the usual ceramah circuit around the country, to include the Sarawak state election, Anwar seeked help from PAS to hold a massive solat hajat event at Melawati Stadium.
On Mac 26th, a meeting claimed to comprise of 60 NGOs and led by teras's perennial Chairman, Cikgu Azmi was held at one Madrasah in Gombak to discuss a so-called political crisis beseiging the rakyat but it is actually only about another Anwar's sexual misconduct.
The meeting establish a coalition of NGO that called themselves Saf Anti Fitnah (SAF).
SAF held demosntrations such as the one in front of Masjid Negara after one Friday prayers.
They had demonstration on one of Anwar's day in court.
SAF also produced brochures to explain and claim that the court had fabricated evidences and as usual there was a conspiracy to imprisoned Awnar and deny him of Prime Ministership.
By early May, SAF launched the Kempen Anti Fitnah II and demanded on Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) to implement the syariah law related to teh crime of qazaf under Seksyen 41 of the Jenayah Syariah Crimes Act, 1997 for Federal Territory.
On Mid June 16, 2011, SAF congratulated Mufti Selangor, Datuk Mohd Tamyes Abdul Wahid , Mufti Selangor for approving a politically motivated khutbah throughout Selangor on the issue of zina and sodomy slander according to Islamic syariah law.
Utusan Malaysia columnist, Zulkifli Jalil described the khutbah as the masjid was used to clean up the name of Anwar Ibrahim.
At around that time, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Dato Khalid told the press that the police had sent the video to US and South Korea and the study proves the video as genuine and not tampered but stopped short of saying who the sexual perpatrator.
By June 24th, 2011, the Dato Trio admitted guilty in court for the offense of screening or distributing pornographic materials.
They could have challenged it on the ground that it was a private viewing, by invitation and at an exclusive hotel but they chose to admit guilty, pay the fine and be over with.
However, they manged to sneek into the court proceeding their finding by a facial identification expert from Ivy League, Dartmouth College. The expert finding places a 99% probability (resemblance) that the sexual perpetrator was Anwar Ibrahim.
Voila ... by end of June when the Bersih illegal assembly was hot in the news, there was the demand to stop dirty politics.
Any idiot can spot that it was an Anwar Ibrahim agenda and Bersih was championing it to cover for his personal sexual weakness. It was no coincidence.
Most political observers would honestly admit that Barisan Nasional leaders is no angel when it comes to sexual indiscretion, but all of them quit from their post. Why is Anwar still adamant to remain in pursuit for a Prime Ministership?
BN is also no angel when it comes to own dirty politics. But not in the extensive manner used by Pakatan Rakyat and no hold barred that include accusing on Prime Minister's wife for murder based on mere hearsay and yet demand on authority to investigate.
If she is found innocent from Raja Petra's demand for investigation, anyone can win teh bet to guess Pakatan will accuse the investigation of a cover-up.
The rate Pakatan Rakyat politicians churned preposterous statements, wild unsubstantiated allegations, telling lies, spinning conspiracies, outright manipulations, and endless gimmicks that it is impossible for any Government to counter.
More so, with a rather limited capacity UMNO Information Chief and deviously calculative Minister of Information.
The most dangerous of Pakatan politics is that their practise to instigate hatred, lies, and deceit towards the national leadership, public institutions, and the nation (see video against police by Bersih) is lead to the detriment of sound governance, economic health and security of the nation.
Does Bersih want that dirty politics to stop?
Or they prefer it to go on under the name of so-called democrasy and human rights so that it helps their agenda to bring down the Barisan Nasional Government at any cost including colluding with foreign covert operation?
The connection is obvious.
Zaid Kamaruddin, who played a leading role in Bersih 2.0, and President of Jemaah Islam Malaysia (JIM) had JIM be part of Saf Anti Fitnah.
* Edited 11:55 PM
Monday, July 18, 2011
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MALAYSIA: BERSIH 2.0 MASS DEMONSTRATIONS - FUNDING UNREST
Scenes of chaos unfolded on the streets of downtown Kuala Lumpur this past weekend, culminating in an event, which many have called the most defining moment in recent Malaysian history.
Thousands of people, many well intentioned first time demonstrators gathered to voice their discontent about the Malaysian electoral system under the umbrella of Bersih 2.0, calling itself ‘The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections’, which is comprised of a ‘coalition of like minded civil society organizations unaffiliated to any political party’.
Amidst this climate of seeming neutrality, the ruling Malaysian political party Barisan Nasional declared the gathering illegal and has made stark allegations regarding group’s true intentions, accusing the movement to be a vehicle utilizing mass fervor to strengthen foreign funded political parties associated with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minster and former Chairman of the Development Committee of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.
Bersih 2.0 chairperson Ambiga Sreenevasan has admitted to Malaysian Press that two US-based organizations, the National Democratic Institute (which receives funding from the US National Endowment for Democracy) and George Soros’s Open Society Institute have donated an undisclosed amount of money to the organisation.
These think tanks and Intelligence front groups based in the United States are synonymous for authoring US Foreign Policy and shaping world opinion towards foreign leaders as they actively fund various oppositions movements through color revolutions, which lead to the installation of leaders of whom are friendly to objectives of the Anglo-American establishment and profiteers of Corporate high finance.
Malaysia is multicultural society with a history of race related tensions between the predominantly Islamic Malay ethnicity of whom tend to control political bureaucracy through preferential treatment of members within their racial group and ethnically Chinese Malaysians, descendants of settlers and economic migrants seeking employment in Colonial British rubber plantations of whom today dominate the business and commercial sectors and hold the highest national income.
Regardless of Bersih 2.0’s objectives or its utilization from Opposition leaders, the mass gathering succeeded in creating a patriotic and carnival-like atmosphere of unity between its participants of all ethnicities, as they behaved nonviolently and in uniformal stride for greater representation prior to riot police distinguishing any chance of dialogue by dispersing the gathering with waves of tear gas and chemical-laden water cannons, amidst numerous cases of heavy handed police brutality and arbitrary arrests, to the extent of launching tear gas canisters into the compound of a nearby hospital where demonstrators sought cover.
Initially, many Malaysians may naively welcome support from American Institutions, which market themselves on keen selling points such as ‘instilling democracy and funding freedom’, this funding is not intended to alleviate corruption or to justly persecute police brutality, it is intended to increase Washington’s presence in countries integrated in China’s economic orbit and the eventual installation of a compliant Opposition leader, friendly to the bidding of International Financial regulatory bodies and planners of the New Financial World Order.
Amnesty International has urged the United States Government not to be a spectator while Malaysian authorities defy human rights by dispersing its demonstrations, it’s director adding “If the U.S. government does not take strong approach to human rights in Malaysia, it will seriously affect the United States credibility and effectiveness on human rights in the region”.
Dramatic coverage from Al-Jazeera prods the same wound amidst UN experts warning the methods of crowd dispersal exercised by the Malaysian authorities actively undermine democracy.
While it is distressing to see well-intentioned people from every age demographic gather in the pursuit of creating better order in their electoral system be subject to police brutality, their activism will be leveraged and totally exploited by media outlets and foreign Governments to undermine the credibility of the Malaysian Government, which obviously then provides a outlet for Western Governments to back their own opposition candidate.
NGO’s urging the United States Government to enter the dialogue on human rights abuses is equivalent to using a searing branding iron to treat third degree burns; in fact such statements reflect total negligence for human rights by summoning a country currently involved in five wars in the Middle East and North Africa while enforcing heavily militarized domestic police protocol.
While aggression cannot be denied on the part of Malaysian police who dispersed the event, it is curious that similar methods of crushing peaceful gatherings utilized in Europe, Israel and North America are met with a total media blackout, often using more elaborate forms of dispersal such as rubber bullets and sound frequency cannons on small gatherings dwarfed in comparison to the volumes of people present at the recent Bersih demonstration.
Obviously the mainstream accounts make no omission regarding Internationalist billionaire George Soros’s direct donations to the Bersih Organization, a man who has previously rustled feathers with leaders of the Barisan Nasional, such as former Malaysian Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad, a vocal critic against the official account of the September 11th attacks, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, and regulations of the financial institutions such as the IMF which utilize ‘gun to head’ policies of national budget restructuring through lending conditions and structural adjustment programs.
Mahathir has previously made accusations against George Soros for using his influence in the currency speculation market to contribute to engineering the 1997 Asian Financial Crisis as a punishment for allowing Myanmar to join the ASEAN Union. Malaysia’s central bank, Bank Negara reported a loss of approximately six billion USD when George Soros previously placed bets against it.
Former Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi appealed to Madeleine Albright, stating the Malaysian Ringgit and ASEAN currencies "continue to be bedeviled by currency fluctuations caused by hostile elements bent on such unholy actions. It is the height of international criminality that the fate of millions could be subject to the mercy of a few unscrupulous traders.”
During the 1997 meeting of the International Monetary Fund in Hong Kong, Mahathir stated, “Great countries tell us that we must accept being impoverished, because that is what international finance is all about. Obviously, we are not sophisticated enough to accept losing money so that the manipulators become richer. We are also warned that these are powerful people. If we make a noise or we act in any way to frustrate them, they would be annoyed. And when they are annoyed, they can destroy us altogether, they can reduce us to basket cases.”
Mahathir’s views on the negative effects of currency trading and speculation from 1997 are a breath of fresh air, especially in today’s climate where wars are fought over financial regulations, as seen in the recent attack on Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi amidst discussions of creating a Pan-African Dinar currency backed in gold.
Former Indonesian President Suharto submitted his resignation while IMF riots swept his country, as the International Financial Regulatory bodies demanded the abolition of Government subsidies on staples such as rice and bread while cutting investment contribution towards State-run enterprises; chaos ensued in the streets as the Indonesian Rupiah suffered a debilitating 85% devaluation at the hands of International speculators.
On the subject of the crisis in Indonesia, Mahathir offered, "Can it be that all the assets of that huge country, with 220 million hard-working people, are suddenly worth only one-sixth of its previous value? What, indeed, is the worth of a nation, if someone can devalue and even bankrupt it?"
Mahathir attracted the envy of other emerging markets by creating exchange controls in defense of the Malaysian Ringgit, which safeguarded the currency, as it’s regional neighbors suffered IMF imposed austerity.
George Soros is a hording Internationalist whose reputation clearly shows him to be no friend of the Malaysian people, the fact that Ambiga Sreenevasan has accepted funds from his Open Society Institute while claiming Bersih 2.0 to be “wholly funded by Malaysians” is simply not true and should raise more than an eyebrow.
George Soros has been an integral figure in the funding of opposition movements in the Arab Spring, only to pave the way to governance for opposition leaders such as Mohamed ElBaradei and other trustees of think tanks and other like-minded US based outlets that would be happy to exploit their own people in a bid to grab power; in total covert imperialism, Soros has further contributed funding to organisations attempting to author a new Egyptian constitution.
Soros’s influence over the mainstream media is astounding; Fox News reports over thirty major news organizations take his dirty money, surely this friendly contribution would not contribute bias to the programming content in anyway. BBC reports Soros vainly calling for regime change in Iran by insinuating an overthrown by means of the “bloodiest of revolutions”.
Malaysians may not be happy with the current Prime Minister Najib Razak and the coalition of Barisan Nasional (which has practically ruled Malaysia since it’s independence), however it is unfortunate that populist opinion in countries of interest to Internationalists are utilized as a vehicle for undermining national sovereignty and eventual regime change.
In the Malaysian context, opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim would likely be the beneficiary of unrest created by Bersih 2.0, as the demonstrators will express their feelings of repression during the next Malaysian election. After the previous Bersih demonstration resulted in similar methods of dispersion, Anwar’s opposition Pakatan Rakyat (People’s Alliance) party gained control of four state Governments.
Concerning the Bersih demonstrations, Dr. Mahathir offered, “Its objective is to tarnish the government’s name and the police, and with that the opposition parties will win. There will be some people very angry who will probably, because of the current arrests and action taken, be disenchanted with the Barisan Nasional.”
Curiously enough, Anwar Ibrahim served as Deputy Prime Minster from 1993 to 1998 under the administration of Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad; the pair initially disagreed on the utilization of recovery methods during the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis.
During a 1997 meeting of the Malaysian Cabinet, Ibrahim conceived something of an economic coup by approving IMF austerity measures without consent of then Prime Minister and vocal critic, Mahathir. Anwar favored an economic view open to speculators and defended George Soros as he threatened to ‘destroy the country’ and remove Mahathir from power.
During a visit to Malaysia, Al Gore referred to the mobs of people in the streets led by Anwar shouting “Reformasi!” as the “brave people of Malaysia”; the reforms Al Gore had in mind were strict IMF conditionalities which would cause strict foreign control over the Malaysian economy, of which Mahathir had spoken and guarded so eloquently against.
Anwar Ibrahim issued a statement in Asian Wall Street Journal suggesting that developing countries should stop “pointing a finger at speculators and put their houses in order first” by ending their “ambitious plans for outlandish projects.” Perhaps, Anwar views the symbol of Malaysia’s economic prosperity, the twin Petronas Towers as “outlandish”.
The tension between the two grew as Mahathir claimed, "Prospective colonialists and their puppets in Malaysia are still trying to weaken this country" and that Anwar “used foreigners and the foreign media to support the actions of his supporters in order to topple the government of our country, his country.”
After his years as Deputy Prime Minister, Ibrahim’s close friend, Paul Wolfowitz hired him as a consultant to the World Bank, amidst stints with George Soros-funded International Crisis Group and Dick Cheney’s Foundation For the Future, essentially an engine of South East Asian regime change.
While Dr. Mahathir Bin Mohamad may not have led a mistake-proof administration, his assertions on how to handle the 1997 Asian Economic Crisis were bold and his administration presided over an ultimately successful economic transformation of Malaysia, from an exporter of raw material to a manufacturer of steel and vehicles.
Cases of police brutality against Anwar Ibrahim during his incarceration are regrettable; his politics are obviously a threat to Barisan Nasional as riot police targeted him during the Bersih 2.0 demonstration by horizontally firing a tear gas canister in his direction, which struck Ibrahim’s body guard, collapsing his jaw.
(Obviously, the author was duped by International News reports. Anwar injured himself from banging into a see through glass door. The blog The Unspinners exposed Anwar's acting effort here and here.)
In this climate of apparent foreign funding subversion, the ruling Government’s actions have played out poorly; they have succeeded in appearing to be authoritarian in the world of International media bias and their actions have contributed to many Malaysians feeling spiteful, repressed, neglected, and left viewing Barisan Nasional as a self-serving hollow body.
Irrespective of Bersih’s self-publicized disassociation with any political party, surely the actions of the ruling Government spoke volumes to indirectly strengthen the opposition parties led by Anwar Ibrahim.
The pursuit of clean and fair elections by means of using indelible ink, postal ballot reform, and maintenance of the electoral roll are totally coherent and rational goals that would help to reduce corruption within the electoral system and they are goals worth fighting for; however an investigation of funds Ambiga Sreenevasan claims to have received from George Soros and the National Democratic Institute is imperative.
The Inspector General of Police recently announced an investigation of Bersih’s admitted foreign funding while commissioning the Malaysian central bank, Bank Negara to assist in tracing the international money trail.
As Western-owned international media has leveraged the plight of the Bersih movement’s activists, it’s opposition leaders are surely bound to receive credibility as Ibrahim warns of further demonstrations materializing in the form of ‘Yellow Saturdays’; If the opposition politics of Anwar Ibrahim use Bersih as a vehicle for his parties’ ascendency then ultimately, the Malaysian people will lose.
Friday, July 15, 2011
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BERSIH EXPOSED: BERSIH IS POLITICS
The Bersih 2.0 rally on the 9th July 2011 caught the attention of our political leaders as well as the international media.
I am fortunate to be working overseas for the last 10 years. I do love Malaysia and look forward to come back once I have completed my career goals. As a proud citizen of Malaysia, I would like to provide an independent assessment and inject some rational thinking on the current situation.
Many Malaysians who joined the rally on the 9th July 2011 have witnessed the level of unity in rallying for the same cause, i.e. a fair elections for the country. There has not been one event in Malaysia for some time that has rallied so much support to fight for one cause.
Whether it is planned or unplanned, the NGOs and the organizers have rallied support from the political leaders (mainly opposition) to catapult this rally to a different level.
While the objectives of the rally were apparently focused purely on electoral reform, most Malaysians surely would recognise that the Bersih rally has become – whether rightly or wrongly – political in nature, much like the protest rallies which took place during the Reformasi days of Anwar Ibrahim in 1997.
The logic and rationale behind getting 20,000 – 50,000 people to show up on the streets remains a mystery despite the existence of various open and civilized channels.
Even more interestingly, the leader of Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga, was granted an audience with the King several days before the date of the rally, which was ostensibly called so that Bersih 2.0 can hand over a memorandum to the King!
However you look at the Bersih 2.0, one has to give all credit to the organizers for orchestrating a successful event/rally, especially in terms of impacting the thinking of the mass population of Malaysians.
On that note, I think there are generally two groups in this country. The first group is the silent majority (i.e those who prefers to stay home and be with their families in the wake of a rally).
This group probably constitutes 80% of our population. Most of the time, they are happy to lead their own lives, and are mostly happy with the way things are in Malaysia. There are probably one or two things they aren’t too happy with, but nothing that would spur them to complain to the newspapers or in the blogs.
The second group is what I consider to be the loud minority. These are folks who are perpetually unhappy over the way things are in our fair country. Maybe they don’t like certain policies which have been put in place (and which have likely contributed in some way or other to the current prosperity and success of our country!)
In any case, these are the ones who usually speak (and sometimes scream) the loudest on blogs and Youtube, injecting truth and lies and using emotional or racial sentiments to make their point.
While I respect the right of the 20,000 – 50,000 people that attended the Bersih 2.0 rally to demonstrate peacefully, I feel that they were mostly taken for a ride by the loud minority.
If one were to interview the people on the street who came to the rally on the 9th of July 2011 and ask them the question “What are you fighting for today, sir?”, I can guarantee many of them are not able to answer accurately. The majority of those who turned up on the streets are rempits, pakcik tua on the street, people from the village and some unfortunate urban poor people who were given false hope that rallying alone can somehow change the country.
While many Facebook supporters have “liked” Bersih 2.0 before the rally, you can see only a handful of professionals, private sector people, gathered on the street on the actual day.
What you will hear generally are various answers such as “Walk of democracy”, “We want fair democracy”, “We hate the Government”, “Say no to Corruption”, “Reformasi”, “Allahuakbar”, etc.
From here, you can witness inconsistencies of understanding among those who claim to support Bersih 2.0. This is not surprising, since the Bersih 2.0 organizers are rallying a vast number of different groups (NGOs as well as politically-motivated groups) to support one cause. Hence, the understanding and true intention of Bersih 2.0 was “simplified” to ignite more fire and encourage a herd mentality amongst the people.
The problem with the whole Bersih 2.0 campaign is that people forget to really look at the 8 points that the Bersih proponents are pursuing. Most of the people in the street rally don’t even have a clue about any or all of the 8 points and the argument for and against each of them. The whole thing has evolved into a war of perception which is based on a simplistic divide:
(A) If you support Bersih, then you reject corruption and embrace democracy and you are righteousGiven this war of perception, it is clear that (A) will win over (B) in terms of popular public support. The opposition joined in on (A) and the Government and the EC, including Barisan Nasional is demonized.
(B) If you reject Bersih, then you are dirty, corrupt, anti democracy and wicked
When I watched the Youtube videos on Bersih 2.0, the organizers were being very rhetorical about the rally, and why Malaysians should attend the rally.
Because Bersih 2.0 has now "transformed" from the original 8 demands into the subject of “Cops are bad, look at this country”, most Malaysians are now fuelled with anger. Nonchalantly, the 8 demands has now been quietly swept aside without any discussion or debate or clear explanation from the present Government.
That is why I would like to return to the original point of Bersih 2.0: the 8-point demands for electoral reform from Bersih 2.0. Let us, Malaysians, return back to the subject. The 8-point demand.
I hope my independent assessment on the 8 demands by BERSIH v2.0 will inject some rational thinking and perspective so that all Malaysians can appreciate the context and content rather than marching on the streets aimlessly without any clear objective or reason.
Lets now look at the 8 demands raised by Bersih and subject them to scrutiny:
1. Clean the electoral roll
The electoral roll is marred with irregularities such as deceased persons and multiple persons registered under a single address or non-existent addresses. The electoral roll must be revised and updated to wipe out these ‘phantom voters’. The rakyat have a right to an electoral roll that is an accurate reflection of the voting population.
In the longer term, BERSIH 2.0 also calls for the EC to implement an automated voter registration system upon eligibility to reduce irregularities.
Based on the CIA World Fact book, death in Malaysia is 4.93 per 1,000 population (based on July 2011). Through extrapolation, for 28 million population, the estimated number of deaths in a year is 138,040 persons. Assuming the information is not updated in JPN over a period of 5 years, on a worst case scenario, the total “un-updated record of deceased persons” is 690,020 people.
According to the EC, we have 11.4 million registered voters. Assuming EC did not update their database due deceased people, this represent 6% inaccuracy of the true/actual registered voters.
Malaysians should ask: can a 6% “inaccuracy/irregularity” (on a worst case scenario) be a strong point to bash the EC or the Government for being unfair? I think this is absurd and politically motivated.
The fact that the opposition won more states in the next GE showed that fair election/democracy is in place.
Therefore, my question for those who are politically inclined: does the 6% translate into a sure win for the the political parties (including opposition) in the next GE?
For automatic voter registration as proposed by Bersih v2.0, many people have expressed disagreement on this subject.
There is a writer who posted something in Malaysian Insider that I would like to share ...
“Not that I have anything against people registering to vote.As for voters registered with a non-existent addresses, everyone knows that we move from one place to another as we grow.
I am a registered voter myself. However, to force something on someone — be it religion, racism and even voter registration — is something I just can’t agree with.
It’s against a person’s free will. I see it as similar to parents determining their kids’ religions at birth; performing circumcision on a kid who doesn’t know any better; or even how parents of a male child with no penis would show off their kid in a photo opportunity for the Malaysian media, as we saw in 2009.
There are many fears in having an automatic-registration system, primarily on the basis of privacy.”
Let’s assume that Ali was born in Kuala Lipis. He has an IC which has the address of his family in Kuala Lipis. 20 years later he migrated to Kuala Lumpur, then 5 years later he was posted to Terengganu for offshore assignment with Murphy Oil. 6 years later he was posted to lead a project in Sarawak.
Does it mean he has to update his IC address and inform EC every time he moves to another address?
If let’s say 10 million of our population is affected by this, do you think it is practical to enforce it in reality my dear fellow Malaysians?
In short, Bersih’s demand of the automatic voters registration basically forces people to be registered. And that cannot be seen as democracy!
It definitely contradicts Bersih’s principles of having a fair democracy.
2. Reform postal ballot
The current postal ballot system must be reformed to ensure that all citizens of Malaysia are able to exercise their right to vote.
Postal ballot should not only be open for all Malaysian citizens living abroad, but also for those within the country who cannot be physically present in their voting constituency on polling day. Police, military and civil servants too must vote normally like other voters if not on duty on polling day.
The postal ballot system must be transparent. Party agents should be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting.
According to the Government website, Malaysia has approximately 1.2 million civil servants. The police & military are consistently on duty and geographically dispersed throughout the country. In fact, they are on duty too during elections, etc.
If the police, military are forced to vote normally, then they are forced to leave their duty in various locations. Imagine leaving the jungle, strategic border locations just to vote. I think this is not practical at all.
On this note, Bersih 2.0 also made a proposal to EC for party agents to monitor the entire process of postal voting. Well, this has not happened in any other countries. Please name me one country which allows parties on both divide to “intervene” in the EC processes or postal voting.
Also, postal voting happens not only for police and military personnel who are on duty, but also Malaysians who vote overseas.
If Bersih 2.0 wants party agents to be allowed to monitor the entire process of postal voting, does that mean that party agents need to be posted whenever and wherever there are Malaysians voting overseas? (I’m sure some of them don’t mind having the excuse to have a nice holiday overseas, “in the name of democracy”!)
I think this proposal suggests deep paranoia and mistrust of key institutions in the country, including the Elections Commission (SPR), which I think is simply pathetic.
In conclusion, there has not been any real issues in terms of postal voting, whether in Malaysia or in other countries. After all, from a bigger picture perspective, the impact of postal votes is small compared to the actual votes in the various constituencies.
As a citizen who support fair elections in this country, I suggest that we should be focusing on the actual voting mechanism at the various constituencies rather than debating day and night on postal voting, which, in reality, produces a minimal impact to the election results.
For those who are politically inclined to dwell on the numbers and think that this is still not fair because the postal votes can ensure a better win, imagine this:
Assuming 100% of the 1.2 million servants are forced to do postal voting, that represent 10% of the 11.4 million registered voters in this country.
Assuming ceteris paribus, if you divide 11.4 million registered voters by 222 constituencies, that is 51,351 votes for each constituency. Therefore the postal votes (i.e 10% of 11.4m) constitute 5,400 votes vs. 51,351 votes.
With all the anger and insult which I hear from the political leaders and Bersih organizers, my conclusion is simple. The impact of postal voting to the overall result is minimal.
The majority swing or “success” for each political party is based on the actual voters who attend, register and vote on the actual election day. Surely as Malaysians, we shouldn’t be so easily fuelled and vortexed into something so small until we lose our logical reasoning.
I ask again the question to my dear fellow Malaysians. Looking at the maths, is this something worth fighting for? Is this what we call unfair election or democracy by the opposition?
3. Use of indelible ink
Indelible ink must be used in all elections. It is a simple, affordable and effective solution in preventing voter fraud. In 2007, the EC decided to implement the use of indelible ink. However, in the final days leading up to the 12th General Elections, the EC decided to withdraw the use of indelible ink citing legal reasons and rumours of sabotage.
Bersih 2.0 demands for indelible ink to be used for all the upcoming elections. Failure to do so will lead to the inevitable conclusion that there is an intention to allow voter fraud.
Less than 20 countries out of 194 countries use inedible ink in their elections. Indelible ink is NOT used by developed countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, France, Japan and many others. It is used mainly in less developed countries with large populations.
Some of the countries include Afghanistan, Benin, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Gambia, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Lebanon, Mauritania, Peru, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Tchad, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.
It is also worth to note that indelible ink is not a fool-proof method and has its disadvantages such as:
In short, if Malaysia decides to use indelible ink, for a country that has a comprehensive database and biometric identification of its citizens, it can be viewed as step backwards for the nation and not a step forward. Remember, less than 20 countries out of 194 countries uses indelible ink in their general elections.
For those countries who don’t use inedible ink, do you regard them as corrupt?
Bersih organizers have really managed to divert the attention of the public on this. Pure deception
4. Minimum 21 days campaign period
The EC should stipulate a campaign period of not less than 21 days. A longer campaign period would allow voters more time to gather information and deliberate on their choices. It will also allow candidates more time to disseminate information to rural areas. The first national elections in 1955 under the British Colonial Government had a campaign period of 42 days but the campaign period for 12th GE in 2008 was a mere 8 days.
There is no standard or best practice in any countries to determine the optimum campaign period. For example, Singapore has a 9-day campaign period, the United Kingdom has 17 days and Philippines has a 90-day campaign period.
The misconception by the public at large is that the campaign period (whether it is 5 days, 21 days, 40 days, 60 days or even 100 days) guarantees a fair election.
Campaign activities must be viewed as an on-going activity by the ruling and opposition parties and not a one-off activity due to General Election. Both parties must work hard daily or throughout the year to ensure support from grass roots and voters at their respective constituencies.
The all year round consistent campaigning throughout each constituency guarantees better results than a one-off GE campaign approach. This is particularly true in the modern world’s 24-hour news cycle, where politicians constantly jostle for media and public attention.
I feel that regardless the campaign period, both parties are not privy to the actual General Election dates (while it is true that in Malaysia, the incumbent Prime Minister has the upper hand due to his constitutional role in advising the Agong regarding the dissolution of Parliament, we know that even ruling party politicians play constant guessing games regarding the exact timing of polls).
Hence, it is in the interest of both parties (ruling and opposition) to identify winnable candidates and strengthening their grassroots support through regular campaigning. I believe both sides are working equally hard at the grass root level to gain support.
In short, Bersih organizers and supporters should not view the campaign period as a key determining factor to ensure fair elections. Again, they have deceived the public and caused unnecessary anger.
5. Free and fair access to media
It is no secret that the Malaysian mainstream media fails to practice proportionate, fair and objective reporting for political parties of all divide. Bersih 2.0 calls on the EC to press for all media agencies, especially state-funded media agencies such as Radio and Television Malaysia (RTM) and Bernama to allocate proportionate and objective coverage for all political parties.
I feel this is a lob-sided request by Bersih 2.0. Free and fair access to media has been a hot topic of debate since Tun Mahathir’s time. At the same time, we are aware of the existence of alternative media which provide differing views which are sometimes being perceived as unfairly critical of one side or the other.
Lets look at some facts.
According to ITU (United Nation specialized agency for ICT), Malaysia has 17 million internet users in 2010. According to Nielsen research in 2010, newspaper in Malaysia has approximately 15 million readership (54% of population).
Malaysiakini recorded 1 million visitor in January 2011. For one year, it is estimated the total visitor is around 12 million people. And remember, we have other online news portal such as Malaysia Insider, Malaysia Reserve, etc.
On another data by Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) in April 2011, Malaysiakini recorded higher number of unique visitors at 2.7 million compared to the Star online at 2.4 million.
Therefore, if you compare the mainstream news vis-à-vis the alternative / online media, the equal number of visitors/ readers for both shows equal playing field if you want to view it politically. Why Bersih is making a big fuss out of this ?
Another strong point to note is that the Government does not ban or censor Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider or any other internet portals must be viewed as a significant step compared to other countries.
Despite much provocation from opposition-leaning portals, the Malaysian government has kept to its commitment of free and open Internet since the launching of the Multimedia Super Corridor, and I think the Government deserves a bit more credit for not emulating China in this regard.
In recent times, we have seen the birth of “invisible & anonymous online cybertroopers” whose job is to consistently post negative comments on any article that appear in various Internet portals.
Whilst we all know that these are either planned or posted by a small handful of individuals, we have not witnessed any censorship from the Government on the strings of unintelligent and provocative postings, including comments relating and blaming everything on the present Government.
The silent majority knows that most of the comments posted online at Malaysia Kini and Malaysia Insider are fabricated / scripted by certain quarters. Postings/ramblings such as “Hidup Pakatan”, “Wait for the next GE”, “Lets vote PR”, “Government bodoh”, etc are “recycled” and appeared in different articles.
If we want to scrutinize further, Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider journalists have the tendency to post a negative title to capture the attention of the readers/visitors. This makes certain quarters feel that the online-media are pro opposition.
So to sum it all, both political parties have equal playing field judging from the number of readers/visitors for both mainstream and alternative media.
To allow fair reporting for all political parties, my view is that Bersih 2.0 must also call for the EC to ensure that online media such as Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider practice proportionate, fair and balanced reporting.
6. Strengthen public institutions
Public institutions must act independently and impartially in upholding the rule of law and democracy. Public institutions such as the Judiciary, Attorney-General, Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC), Police and the EC must be reformed to act independently, uphold laws and protect human rights. In particular, the EC must perform its constitutional duty to act independently and impartially so as to enjoy public confidence. The EC cannot continue to claim that they have no power to act, as the law provides for sufficient powers to institute a credible electoral system.
I fail to comprehend how Bersih 2.0 can make this call for “reform” of the institutions mentioned, when the Government has been doing precisely this for several years now, beginning with the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysian Police, the establishment of the Judicial Appointments Commission, as well as the establishment of the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission.
In other words, the transformation of various national institutions is an ongoing process. And so, rather than continuing to lambast and ridicule vital institutions of the state such as the MACC and the police, I suggest that the Opposition and their friends in Bersih 2.0 should start being more productive and suggest concrete measures to transform our institutions for the better.
This is especially true for the Elections Commission. Other than continued calls from the Opposition for the EC to “report to Parliament” (what does that mean, anyway? Who is Parliament should they report to? How would reporting to a committee made up of squabbling politicians be any improvement from the current way that the EC is established?), we have not heard any specific and concrete measures to improve the EC.
Stop hiding behind vague rhetorical statements, and try to be more specific and concrete about what changes you propose to make.
7. Stop corruption
Corruption is a disease that has infected every aspect of Malaysian life. BERSIH 2.0 and the rakyat demand for an end to all forms of corruption. Current efforts to eradicate corruption are mere tokens to appease public grouses. We demand that serious action is taken against ALL allegations of corruption, including vote buying.
I agree and support Bersih 2.0’s call for war on Corruption. I am totally behind this as no one likes or condones corrupt practices in this country.
It took me several days to study this in greater depth and looking at what the present Government is doing vis-à-vis other countries. I am very passionate to share my findings with my fellow Malaysians who are there in KL raving about corruption.
My view can be simplified as follow.
Fighting corruption is an on-going battle, and I believe each country have to come up with preventive measures to curb corruption. When I looked at developed countries like Hong Kong, Singapore and the United States, it took them more than 10 years to fight corruption to a level where it is acceptable by global standards.
One of my ex-colleague is in a top 3 global investment bank and she had the opportunity to sit in to listen to the Government Transformation Programme (GTP as popularly known in Malaysia) update during an analyst roadshow in Singapore and Hong Kong.
From her discussion with many other analyst, Malaysia has placed a number of significant game changer initiatives to prevent corruption and this is clearly reflect in the GTP annual report (which I’m told can be downloaded for free).
As this most hotly debated topic in Malaysia, I did some research on the web to get a better understand on what she meant by “significant game changer initiatives”.
For the first time, a Whistle Blower Act has been gazetted and now every Malaysians can submit a case and his/her identity will be protected. This is something new for all of us in Malaysia.
Next was the announcement of 18 corruption courts expedite corruption cases so that swift action can be taken. I think this is a brilliant idea! Not many countries have this.
From the MACC website, I found out more than 800 people have been arrested for corruption in 2010 alone. And 200 + confirmed cases have been published on the MACC website with names, IC number and photographs. This is indeed a significant milestones for this country if you ask me.
I think we are following closely the Hong Kong model. For the record, ICAC of Hong Kong do publish the statistics of the convicted cases on their website.
I also managed to check how transparent the Government is in publishing the government award contracts, I have found this website called MyProcurement. Quite rough but it fits the purpose of listing more than 3,000 government award contracts. Not bad if you think about it.
Overall, although more can be said about Malaysia’s effort in fighting corruption, I feel Malaysia in the recent time has made leaps and bounds to build preventive measures.
At the end of the day, the corruption case may not reduce to zero overnight, but as a Malaysian, we have to give some credit on MACC’s effort.
Coming back to Bersih 2.0. Yes, I do support this demand/request by them.
In fact, Bersih should work with the Government to bring the corruption cases along with the evidence forward as they have 18 corruption courts to expedite the matter.
Anyone can make vague and unsubstantiated claims about corruption. Why Bersih 2.0 did not bring forward actual corrupt cases and work with MACC or EC remains unclear.
So Bersih should stop riding on this demand knowing the fact that Malaysia is doing everything they possibly can to fight corruption.
In fact, stop being rhetoric about such pronouncement of intent. Rather, please work with MACC and bring solid corruption cases!
The public at large are sick of talk and debating about rhetoric stuff and all we need is to bring more corruption cases forward!
8. Stop dirty politics
Malaysians are tired of dirty politics that has been the main feature of the Malaysian political arena. We demand for all political parties and politicians to put an end to gutter politics. As citizens and voters, we are not interested in gutter politics; we are interested in policies that affect the nation.
If there is one demand from Bersih 2.0 that I like, then this will be it. We must stop dirty politics on both sides.
Politics in Malaysia is still at infancy stage. Fact based argument is often twisted to inject doubt in the society. Racial sentiments are always played to spark racial divide. Personal allegation and remarks between political leaders are often chosen as the best method as opposed to fact based arguments or healthy intellectual debate.
If you look in the last 10 years, the existence of a digital community has changed the landscape on how we think and altered our perception on they how we view a particular subject.
More predominantly when everyone can express themselves through a combination of facts, fiction, lies and emotions on the web (i.e blogs, online media), then things start to change. This is coupled with the existence of “invisible cyber troopers” (from both sides) starting to post comments on negative things about this country.
Slowly but surely most of us in Malaysia are now blaming the Government’s education system for our kids’ lack of achievement despite given scholarship, good residential schools, etc.
We blame the Government for the high cost of living despite having the lowest interest rate for car loans, property loans, etc.
We blame the Government for not giving the rakyat enough subsidy despite being one of the most highly subsidized countries in the world.
We blame the Government for not having sufficient investors into the country despite our Bursa Malaysia reaching 6 times record high in 2011 alone, etc.
I hope we do not come to a stage where we blame the Government for climate change too.
On the statement by Bersih 2.0 on “we are interested in policies that affect the nation”, I managed to do a quick research about the Government Transformation Programme and the Economic Transformation Programme (ETP) that the Najib administration talked about.
After hours of research and reading, I almost fainted to count the number of articles and report from financial analyst/economists around the world on the national transformation agenda.
Whether it has impact or not, one thing for sure the stock market in Malaysia has record high at 1,580 points in 2011. That excludes that the fact the our stock Market has reach at least 5 times record high in 6 months of 2011 !
I mean, on one hand we demand “policies that affect the nation”, one one hand we forgot about the very achievements which are taking place infront of our eyes.
Dear fellow Malaysians, reading and observing how we act as a country, for a homogenous society, we need to embrace and forgive our differences.
We should be grateful. Malaysia is blessed with so many positive things surrounding us vis-à-vis our neighbouring country.
Each of us have a role to play.
Rallying and street demonstration doesn’t guarantee a better future.
Let’s stop the bickering and dirty politics.
Let’s focus on building this country together.
(From an e-Mail)
Thursday, July 14, 2011
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Public sentiment was leaning in favour of the Government, specifically the law enforcement.
Other than those die-hards party supporters and naive young voters, the public and business community were generally against the Bersih 2.0 march. Their reaction was visible at the two anti-Bersih demonstration in Penang and Ipoh.
Bersih's stubbornness to negotiate were seen negatively.
They were indeed adamant to proceed with the march to the Istana Negara. When they did a tactical withdrawal to concede for Stadium, they insist on the Stadium Merdeka and be allowed to march to the stadium.
It was a classic marketing case study of Coke and Pepsi. Both were going eyeball-to-eyeball, but someone blinked and Bersih got their way and reenergise it's supporters.
Bersih's basis for their illegal assembly was human and constitutional rights to assemble. Be it using the Constitution or UN Charter on Human Rights, both documents could be used to rebuff their selective interpretation.
Their justification was their call for a clean and fair election. Dato Ambiga was sneeky to offer Barisan Nasional to march together.
But their bluff was called.
EC exposed that Bersih were flip flopping from a demand of 4 for Bersih 2007 to 17 in their November 2010 meeting, slashed down to back to 5 and 3 new demand added to become 8. Out of 8, four is not in the jurisdiction of EC.
The four demands against EC were not seriously thought through and understood by Bersih.
Past speeches of Pakatan leaders in political ceramah indicated their intention to do a Tahrir like revolution. Bersih 2.0's electoral demand were mere excuse towards creating riot and possibly a Tahrir Square like seizure of power.
Mainstream media pounced on the inconvenience and past business loss during past major demonstrations. Bersih was seen as stubborn for their insistence to refuse the initial offer for use of stadium. They were not getting support from the local business and community.
Then, more begin to unfold.
The initial expose of communist paraphenalia found with the Parti Sosialis Malaysia activists held by police in Penang and Johor may not touched the nerve of the younger segment of the public.
But Ambiga's acknowledgement of funding from foreign subversive funders such as CIA-linked National Democratic Initiative (NDI), and George Soro's Open Society was alarming and was intensively highlighted by bloggers on the blogosphere.
As demonstration date draws near, Molotov cocktails, and parangs were found hidden in the vicinity of the hotspots, specifically Sogo. Although police did not accused, the public suspected it to be associated with Bersih.
On July 1st, Minister for Home Affairs, Dato Hishamuddin Hussein Onn announced Bersih's application to form an Association was rejected and they are gazetted as an illegal organisation.
That has a far reaching legal and administrative implication that many did not realised.
By Monday morning, there was another added boost.
The mainstream newspapers frontpages were splashed with a special statement issued by the Yang Dipertuan Agong on Sunday night. The English translated decree is as below:
Several parts of the special statement subtly did not condone the street demonstration.
First, Tuanku expressed confidence in the leadership and action of Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak. Second, Tuanku insist that the fervour to promote democrasy must not emulate other countries and lead to destruction. Third and final, Tuanku said "street demonstration bring more bad than good".
However, the twisted and "tidak beradat dan beradab" Bersih and Pakatan politicians insisted that Agong did not express opposition to street demonstration. They were disrespectfully spinning his majesty's words.
On Tuesday July 4th, Ambiga was reported saying that they had requested to meet the Agong. It attracted quite a few reactions.
How could an organisation just declared illegal and stubbornly defying the authority and request of His Majesty's Government and public be given audience with Agong? Perkasa had written several times to seek audience to discuss issues affecting the Pribumi community had not received answer.
They - Ambiga, Dato A Samad Said and Zaid Kamaruddin - were allowed into Istana on Wednesday July 5th.
Ambiga came out saying Bersih "accept the government offer", "will cooperate with the government and accept their offer to have the event at a stadium" and "rally on the street will not take place."
That brought to light Najib's statement to offer use of Stadium. The media conveniently did not highlight the caveat in the agreement to offer to use of stadium and Najib is seen to be conceding ground.
Hishamuddin, who inadvertently said he has given the "mandate" for the police to act, was bodeking the boss by echoing the same offer.
When he said, he gave mandate to the police, he did not realised that he does not have the power to give police any mandate to do their work on security. Police are empowered by the Act of Parliament, Articles in the Constitution, and by convention to be independently responsible for the affair on security and intelligence of the state!
Najib and Hishamuddin had brought to light Clause 2(d) Section 27 of the Police Act. It clearly state that illegal organisation like Bersih cannot get permit. No way Jose.
On the other side, words were the Bersih people was willing to concede for the Stadium on the conditions that it is Stadium Merdeka and they are allowed to march towards the stadium.
Then issues of stadium capacity, crowd overflow, and security came into the picture. Someone realised this and advised Najib that like everyone else, Bersih must apply for a permit.
Bersih's response was refusal to abide the law and Anwar announced that they will march towards Stadium Merdeka.
It was a standstill.
Then words surfaced that sleepy had awoke.
Tun Abdullah Badawi had arranged for Ambiga's audience with the Agong via a palace official. The name of the palace officials that kept cropping up is Dato Zuki Ali, Senior Private Secretary to the Agong.
Ambiga disclosed to the press that she met Abdullah on Tuesday.
All it takes is to recall that Ambiga was the Bar Council President that colluded with Abdullah, when he was Prime Minister and and Dato Zaid Ibrahim was briefly Minister in charge of judiciary, to hold that grand dinner bash at rakyat's expense to announce compensation for the judges expelled in the 1986 judicial crisis without any review.
Back to Bersih, Abdullah later denied arranging Ambiga's audience with Agong and claiming he advised Ambiga to not proceed. (See below.)
To be more believable, Abdullah slams Bersih and defend police action. (See in Free Malaysia Today here). Yeah ... sure.
From sources of those who had private late night meeting with the Prime Minister at his Jalan Duta home, he was not pleased with Abdullah's meddling. One of the sources understands it as Najib was not in the know.
Najib later clarified and elaborated his statement to offer the stadium is subject to conditions of police permit, stadiums other than in Kuala Lumpur city and Stadium Merdeka, etc.
From there on, the subsequent events unfolds.
Najib or whoever said Bersih can be held in Shah Alam stadium still erred. The law just cannot allow for Bersih to be held, even on instruction by PM or Minister for Home Affairs or decree by Agong. No one is above the law.
Abdullah is a reknown compulsive liar. His public denial or statement cannot be trusted, especially when he realised he made grave mistake and matters involving personal and family interest. So does his denial in arranging Ambiga's meeting.
Since there was no statement from Agong on the meeting with Ambiga and company and also it is improper for Agong to issue such statement, there have been several theories floating on the meeting.
One theory and it is a likely scenario said Abdullah bulldozed the appointment with the Agong's Private Secretary, arranged it but was not present in Ambiga's meeting.
A twist to it says Abdullah was around the Istana but was not in the meeting. He left through a back entrance or something?
Another theory said Najib knew of the meeting and met Agong earlier to advise him accordingly. Ambiga met later in the afternoon after Najib.
This is also plausible because the Prime Minister would traditionally have audience with the Agong on Wednesday morning, before going to his weekly cabinet meeting.
There is one theory being spread by Pak Lah's diehards that Najib was the one arranging the meeting. The basis is all Agong's appointment is arranged in concurrence between Agong, his Private Secretary and the Prime Minister's Department.
The story goes that Agong was reluctant to meet Ambiga because his majesty had issued a special decree and the knowledge that Bersih is an illegal organisation. Najib was insistent on Agong to meet them to cool thinsg down.
He spread rumours that it was Abdullah who arranged it through his good past relationship with Agong's Private Secretary, Dato Zuki .
The most intriguing theory must be that Abdullah through his relationship with Zuki and Tengku Razaleigh in his relationship with Agong got Ambiga the audience with Agong.
According to this theory, Ku Li and Abdullah were invisible hands behind Bersih. Anwar is on his way to Sungai Buloh till the end of his life. Pakatan is void of a leader to replace Anwar and have found and offered it in Ku Li.
Ku Li will head a coalition of Pakatan Rakyat and certain faction in UMNO for a coup d'etat or participate in the General Election. Perhaps, Zaid Ibrahim's KITA has a role somewhere.
The problem with this theory is Ku Li has expressed he will not leave and remain loyal with UMNO. At his age and as a statesman-like politican, he is not likely to stoop to such political play to go back on his words. He is not about to do something not in accordance to the Constitution.
For politicians, there is always a ceveat. For Ku Li, the only possible caveat would be if something drastic happen to the country. The question now is it drastic enough for Ku Li to come forward to the call of duty?
Bersih is now over.
Some say, they did achieve what they set out to do. Their message was lost. No political ground was gained.
It is how they exploit post Bersih that matters. Thus for the campaign to sell neckties, which is most likely to clear stock.
As it is, they are campaigning to rubbish the police institution for brutality. Such message appeal abroad but not locally.
The locals would just say, "Dah tahu perhimpunan haram, kenapa pergi?" (You know it is an illegal assembly, why go?)
"Nak lawan FRU, tak akan mengharapkan perkhidmatan lima bintang hotel? Mesti ada kekasaran. Begitulah mana-mana dalam dunia." (To take on riot police, do not expect 5-star hotel service. There must be some aggression. That is the way around the world.)
Bersih refused to continue from their November 2010 discussion and said all doors are closed to EC's offer for discussion.
Anti-Bersih campaigners will pick on every inconsistencies between what was said by everyone involved in Bersih and what happened on July 9th to counter.
There are lots of it.
But the question that remains is who blinked and spoilt everything advantage to give Bersih supporters the courage to defy police?
If the leadership keeps blinking, flip flopping and indecisive in crucial moments, respect and support from it's diehards and Government machinery will waver.
Bersih exposed UMNO and Barisan Nasional is in dire need for leadership and the party urgently need to be resolute to want to hold onto power. It just can't afford a single blink anymore against a feisty Pakatan Rakyat.
* Edited 10:15 PM
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