Archive for the ‘Clean and Fair Elections’ Category
Local opposition parties here are laughing over Sarawak United People’s Party’s (SUPP) 10-point declaration which includes “fighting corruption”.
It’s a well-known fact here that several SUPP “seniors” are Chief Minister Taib Mahmud and his family’s business cronies.
It was on this premise that opposition DAP won its 12 seats in the last state election.
Pointing out the irony of SUPP’s 10-point manifesto, Stampin DAP candidate Julian Tan said it was a pledge that came a little too late in the day for SUPP.
The Barisan Nasional partner is on an uphill batte to retain its five seats. SUPP lost two seats – Bandar Kuching and Bandar Sibu – to DAP.
Tan is himself up against SUPP stalwart and incumbent Yong Khoon Seng, 73.
Said Tan: “SUPP has been in the government over the past 30 years in Sarawak and only now it comes up with this manifesto. It should have been done many years ago. It’s a joke.”
Apart from pledging to take “swift and drastic” action combating corruption, the other key points in the SUPP declaration was a promise to “strongly” request the federal government to recognise the Chinese Unified Examination Certificate (UEC) and to urge both the state and federal governments to award government projects by public tender.
SUPP has also promised to ask the Housing and Local Government Ministry to construct at least 100,000 houses over the next five years priced at below RM100,000 for the lower income groups and to ensure that the native customary rights (NCR) land throughout the state is surveyed within the next five years.
Commenting on the declaration, Tan, who is an aerospace engineer, doubted if SUPP could implement its pledges.
“For example, on the fight against corruption, what is its stand on corruption as exposed by Global Witness implicating the chief minister of Sarawak?
“And what is its stand on the chief minister saying that he would not cooperate with MACC [Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission] as it was ‘naughty’?
“Tell the rakyat now of your stand. Don’t wait until after the election,” Tan said.
On SUPP’s second point, he said that almost every election the people heard SUPP talking about the Chinese UEC.
“All high-ranking universities had already recognised UEC, and yet Malaysia is still pending.
“When Pakatan Rakyat states that it will recognise UEC when it forms the next government, they (SUPP) too says that it will do the same. Why now after 30-plus years?”
Meanwhile, Tan also chided his opponent Yong for claiming that five DAP elected representatives had “nothing to do but make daily complaints against SUPP and the government”.
“Of course, we complain and scold SUPP every day because it does not do its work properly.
“As an opposition, it is our work to supervise the current government and SUPP, and if they do not do their job properly of course we scold them every day,” he said, referring to many broken promises and failed projects.
When it comes to hoodwinking the rakyat, no one does it better than Barisan Nasional, as evident from the hogwash revealed through the coalition’s 13th general election manifesto.
Not only does BN had the audacity to continue to lie to the people, its irresponsibility in claiming credit for things done is clear hint that the party has no intention of doing anything by the book.
BN’s manifesto, launched on April 7, is supposedly THE word given by the ruling party of action and policies that would be executed should it win the 2013 general election.
The BN manifesto promises improvement in just about every area, be it public transport, housing, education, easing the cost of living, making health services accessible, enhancing security and public safety, fighting corruption, promoting Islam, religious freedom and harmony and strengthening women’s participation.
However, going by BN’s refusal to deal with the above issues head-on during its five-year tenure post-2008, there is no assurance that the promises made in its “administration plan” are for real.
Take, for example, the issue of enhancing public transport. Tearing down buildings to make way for more train stations is not going to solve the problem until and unless the country’s public transport operators start paying respect to time and swear upon punctuality.
Ask any commuter of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) train services to rate the service provided and the reply will only be a sigh for KTM is notoriously lousy when it comes to punctuality.
Is the BN government not aware of the unsatisfactory service given by KTM to the rakyat? If it is, why then was there no improvement from 2008 until the country went into election mode?
Likewise, claims by BN that health services will be accessible to the rakyat cannot be taken at face value. Merely setting up the Klinik 1Malaysia is not good enough: are the doctors and nurses being overworked and underpaid or are they pleased to serve the rakyat?
BN manifesto lacks vision
Also, do the natives in rural areas and those living in the interiors of Sarawak have access to such clinics?
By the way, have the methadone replacement and needle exchange programmes really halved new cases of HIV since 2005?
Looks like the shameful defeat in the 2008 general election has not taught BN any lesson: had it done so, the party would have treaded cautiously on the issue of religious freedom as guaranteed under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.
Time has over and over proven that BN has never bothered extending respect to the other races, as evident from the fact that the 13th general election is slated on a Sunday, a day when Christians congregate in churches.
In its manifesto, BN displays no vision of promoting racial tolerance between Malaysians of diverse faiths. Instead, the concern is to continue to uphold Islam as the religion of the Federation and ensure that the country’s identity as a Muslim nation remains unchallenged.
While the Federal Constitution guarantees the freedom of religion, has this aspect truly been upheld as far as BN is concerned?
The raids on events organised by the non-Malays and the proselytisation accusations hurled at them are no reflection of a government that upholds the tenets of the constitution.
The verbal abuses and threats made by the Malays against the non-Malays of this country who dare question Article 153 of the Federal Constitution which assures Malay rights and privileges have never worried the ruling BN goverment.
The condemnations and threats to burn the Malay bibles that used the word “Allah” too saw no reaction from the BN government led by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
BN’s respect for women yet to come
BN in backing up its 13th general election manifesto says it has thus far recognised religious celebrations as national events and holidays: if it is indeed so, why then the reluctance to declare the Hindu festival of Thaipusam a national holiday, unlike at present where only certain states gazette it as a public holiday?
In its manifesto, too, BN claims it will work at eradicating sexual harassment and provide women a more secure sense of being.
Not only that, should BN return to power in the 13th general election, it will promote gender equality to maximise the potential of Malaysians in all fields, gender regardless.
On both accounts, BN has failed its women voters: in the case of sexual harassment, nothing was done by BN when the Labour Department director-general ridiculed the need for a Sexual Harassment Act.
It was also BN that remained mute when its politicians including those holding ministerial posts were implicated in sexual harassment and rape cases.
Can Najib tell the rakyat why BN refused to punish these perpetrators and why nothing was done to put an end to the rapes involving the Penan women and girls in Sarawak?
The lust for power is synonymous with BN and this is evident from the about-turn made by the party in declaring that it will in the next five years focus on promoting gender equality to tap the potential of Malaysians across the board. Whatever happened to BN’s intensive witch-hunt against the LGBT (lesbians, gays, biseuxals and transgenders) communities post-Seksualiti Merdeka festival in 2011?
In its 13th general election manifesto, is BN giving its word that it will finally give the marginalised LGBT communties the much deserved respect by acknowedging their capabilities?
Ending corruption – is BN joking?
In its manifesto, BN has declared that eradicating graft has been the government’s highest priority – this by far is the worst joke coming from BN.
From Najib to the head of states, the rakyat is aware of their “penchant” for “under the table” money.
The Scorpene submarines purchase and the corruption involving senior Umno leaders to the “never say no to graft” attitude of Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to the richness enjoyed by the BN politicians: can BN honestly say it is fighting corruption that has long taken root in this country?
The truth is BN enjoys corruption and has no intention of putting an end to it.
The 13th general election manifesto with all its claims is nothing more than BN’s modus operandi of making a fool of the rakyat, of promising them a good life which the party has no desire of making it happen.
Women voters who love to have their fingernails beautifully painted with an assortment of designs should not go for manicure for the time being as polling for the 13th general election is on May 5.
The advice from state Election Commission (EC) director Datuk Takun Sunggah is: “Don’t paint your nails!”
His advice has basis for at the polling centre an indelible ink would be applied on their left index finger before ballot papers are issued to them to cast their votes.
This is in line with one of the provisions of the Election Regulations (Conduct of Elections) (Amendment) 2012 which was gazetted in February, 2012.
“All voters will be painted with the indelible ink. If they refused, no ballot paper will be issued,”
Takun told The Borneo Post yesterday.
He stressed that the indelible ink must be applied on the fi ngure nail but this could not be done on nails covered with polish.
It will take at least three days, or at most four weeks, for the ink to fade.
The practice is meant to prevent the possibility of foul play of voting twice or more.
Takun said two different colours of indelible ink would be used in the coming election and the EC was keeping the colours a `top secret’ to prevent unnecessary complications from arising.
One colour would be used for early voting, on April 30, and the other on May 5.
On the number of nomination papers sold thus far, Takun said as of Thursday, the state EC had sold 127 sets.
These forms, which need to be filled and submitted to the EC on nomination day – April 20 – by the candidates, cost RM20 each. Takun said he had no information which EC offices had sold the most number of copies.
“(There is also) no record of which party bought these forms because they (those purchasing) came as individuals.”
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia”s hybrid airline, Malindo Air is offering an extension of its special fares to and from Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, for voters to return home to vote in the 2013 General Election.
Polling day is on May 5.
The special fares to Kuching from RM78 and from RM108 to Kota Kinabalu is available for immediate booking for travel between now and July 31, the airline said in a statement.
The one way all-in-fare is applicable on its 168 seats in economy on the four daily flights to and from Kuching as well as three daily flights to and from Kota Kinabalu. – BERNAMA
Bersih 2.0 co-chairman Datuk A. Samad Said openly called on voters today to support the opposition and use this “once chance” to end Barisan Nasional’s (BN) rule in Election 2013.
This is the first time the national literary icon popularly known as Pak Samad, has openly urged Malaysians to back the federal opposition coalition to “overhaul” the government and “amend the broken machinery” like healthcare and education, which Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has promised to deliver.
“This is our chance… the time has come for us to overhaul the government to that power would fall in the right hands.
“This is our opportunity to amend the broken machinery like healthcare, education and democracy of which have been promised by the opposition,” he said at an event organised by polls reform group Bersih 2.0 here.
Bersih 2.0, a coalition of over 80 non-governmental organisations, has in the past been forced to defend itself against criticisms calling it a partisan group, largely due to the immense support it had received from PR leaders for its street protests.
The former national laureate Samad said now is a critical time for voters to ask themselves why the same coalition has ruled Malaysia for more than five decades and why is it those in power are only Malays.”I am also a Malay but I often asked why is it that the powers above me are only Malays?
“Tunku Abdul Rahman was a Malay, (Tun) Abdul Razak was a Malay, (Tun) Hussein Onn was a Malay, (Tun Dr) Mahathir (Mohamad) is not a pure Malay but can be considered a Malay.. (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) is also a Malay,” he said.
Despite a solid Malay leadership for five 56 years, Samad pointed to the racist tactic used by the ruling coalition to keep the country””s ethnic majority on its side.
“So why are we repeatedly reminded that the Malay rights will be threatened?”
The private screenings of controversial “Tanda Putera” film purportedly depicting the May 1969 racial riots only to Malays in the run up to the elections was a testimony to the racism perpetrated by the BN government, he added.
“It is to sow fear in the heart of the Malays,” he said.
Bersih 2.0 is now leading the campaign to reform Malaysia””s polling system which the coalition of rights groups claimed is rife with irregularities.
It is also launching a nationwide tour to educate voters on election laws aimed at making them “citizen observers” and reduce fraud including curbing vote-buying under its “Jom Pantau (Let””s Monitor)” campaign.
Samad pointed to widespread vote-buying when the Najib administration gave out cash handouts to key constituents under the People””s 1 Malaysia Aid (BR1M) programme which he said signalled BN””s fear that its rule would come to an end soon.
“You must ask why is it that the government had suddenly want to give out money? This government is desperate, that is why they even promised more BR1M,” he said.
Najib had said that BR1M, which started as a one-off RM500 cash aid to households earning less than RM3,000, could be an annual event if voters re-elect his coalition. In its first phase of distribution last year, the BN chairman””s approval rating stood at a high 69 per cent.
The opposition and rights group, however, saw the programme as “blatant bribery”.
“Why is it that when the elections is near, the government suddenly realised that there are so many poor people and begin to give money?” Samad said.
“Take the money, nevermind. But remember, you must look at the motive behind it. The money did not come from the ministers, they belong to the people, to this land. Do not once feel indebted to them,” he added.
Najib will be seeking to redeem BN””s record losses in the last elections through a stronger mandate, which will be his first as prime minister since he took over the ousted Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2009.
Political pundits said Election 2013 will be Malaysia””s tightest polls contest to date where BN is no longer the firm favourite as it faces the strongest opposition for the first time in the country””s political history.
Najib continues to warn voters against gambling the country””s future by supporting a divided pact and an untested government.
Samad called it a scare tactic and urged voters not to cave in.
“Do not fear, we can improve democracy,” he said.
So at last we are going to have a general election after all. The months of waiting have taken its toll on most people, but it’s important that they continue to have energy and spirit and to work hard to make this GE a meaningful one.
This week I want to talk to the Malays. They form the biggest block of voters and to them I say, this is your chance to have a new government. A new government will enable you to make a comparison with the one we have now. You have been told time and again that no one besides Umno/BN can govern and protect you, but wouldn’t it be better for you to try to find out for yourself? How can we know if Pakatan would be worse than Umno if we do not give them a chance?
You have to be brave and not let others bully you with fear and intimidation. The opposition parties have more Malays than BN so they will not harm you. They have worked hard and deserve a chance. For all you know, you may get better schools, better teachers for your children (as they may devote more time to teaching than politicking) and better security from the police and the army. Even your household income may improve as there will be more for the government to share with less corrupt leaders at the helm.
You will not lose if you vote for the opposition. If the opposition gets stronger because of your support but BN still wins, then you will get more cash handouts than they had promised. Money and projects have only been given to you because the opposition was strong — if the opposition had been weak, you wouldn’t have gotten the BR1M 1.0 and BR1M 2.0. It makes sense to vote for the opposition if you want more from the BN. Learn to value your votes to improve your livelihood.
Umno will use all the scare tactics in its arsenal, like telling you that Islam will no longer become the official religion and that the Malay Rulers will disappear if the opposition wins. You should ask your children and grandchildren if any of these can come true. Even they will tell you that this is all nonsense, just fear mongering by those desperate to cling to power when everything else has failed.
The Malays need to change their loyalty and support PAS as their protector. PAS is a Malay party just like Umno. The difference is that PAS has never been entrusted to rule the country. If the Malays can give Umno 50 years to govern, surely it’s not too much to give PAS at least five years. The opportunity for PAS to rule (in coalition, of course, with PKR and the DAP) is an historic moment for the Malays to seize. If PAS is not able to govern well then the people can always go back to Umno. Choice is what the Malays need for their own wellbeing — they have not had it in the last 50 years.
I know it’s easy to persuade the Malays to support their leaders and not go against them. They will be reminded of the cash and all the help that’s been given to them. They will be told to be grateful. They will be told that BN and the government are one and the same so if you want more from the government, then only BN leaders can help you.
Again, I urge you to talk to your children and grandchildren. The monies/salaries that BN leaders give in exchange for votes do not belong to them, but to the people of this country. It’s wrong for leaders to bribe you for votes. They have not been sincere to you. It’s not wrong for you to vote for the leader/party of your choice and still keep the money. In fact, if you vote for the opposition then BN will have to give you more next year. Either way, you win by supporting the opposition. —
A young Malay undergraduate told a friend of mine that she really doesn’t mind or is scared if a Chinese becomes prime minister. Because why? The Chinese fler will be from a minority group and will always have to keep the interests of the majority in mind when making decisions.
Win-win situation lor.
I tell you ah…these undergraduates…
If Barisan Nasional loses the 13th General Election they will make a damn good Opposition man.
They will know and be able to spot all the tricks known to politicians and civil servants.
Pakatan Rakyat will have a tough time if they want to cheat. The Opposition will be on their asses all the time.
Hey! Isn’t that a great thing?
Vote for Barisan Nasional. Vote for Pakatan Rakyat.
Vote with your heart and your mind.
Sarawakians working in Peninsular Malaysia, Brunei and ‘outside Sarawak’ have been urged to return ‘home’ to cast their votes as this election would their last opportunity to help change the government.
In making this appeal, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said: “This is the last chance to exercise our rights to form the next government.
“I ask all our people who have registered as voters, wherever you are in Brunei, Semenanjung Malaysia and outside Sarawak to make arrangements to return to Sarawak once the date of the polling is known and cast your votes.”
NGO, MoCS is arranging some air tickets for Sarawakians wanting to return to cast their votes on Polling Day. Please contact them here for more details.
Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman, was responding to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s announcement yesterday dissolving parliament.
He hoped that the run-up to the election will be a peaceful one and advised voters not to get agitated by rumours and even threats by certain political leaders, campaigners and candidates.
“Don’t be afraid. Have courage to cast your vote in accordance with your conscience and desire.
“I also ask that voters not to fall into money politics or be persuaded by people with promises with money and projects and other goodies,” he said.
Bian, who is contesting the Limbang parliamentary seat, said that PKR is fully prepared for coming general election.
“We are prepared to work hard until polling day, and I am confident we can win in areas that we have focused ourselves on,” he said.
PKR is expected to contest between 12 and 15 seats in Sarawak.
So far, it has announced candidates for Limbang, Baram (Roland Engan), Saratok (Ali Biju), Hulu Rajang (Abun Sui) and Batang Lupar (Abang Zulkifli).
These seats are among the seats that ruling Barisan Nasional has identifed as “grey areas”.
Other seats are Mas Gading, Lubok Antu, Bintulu, Kanowit and Lawas.
Chief Minister Taib Mahmud had yesterday reportedly said that the state coalition could lose as many as eight seats in 13th general election.
Although he did not identify these seats, it is understood that he was refering to Sarawak United Peoples Party’s (SUPP) six seats in the Chinese majority constituencies such as Stampin, Bandar Kuching, Sarikei, Sibu, Lanang and Miri.
The other two seats are likely to be Sarawak Progressive Democratic Party’s (SPDP) Saratok and and Baram seats.
The opposition in Sarawak are however confident that they can wrest ‘at least’ 12 seats.