Archive for April, 2007

Ijok: A moral victory for PKR

April 29, 2007
 The Ijok official result by Malaysiakini

 PKR canvassers and Siva, Latifah, Aloysius and I @ SJKC Ijok @Pekan Ijok

Dirtiest “buy-election” in Malaysian history

Yes, it’s certainly a moral victory for PKR. I urge leaders, members and supporters of PKR and other opposition parties do not feel too sad over the defeat. Let us focus on the real battles – the impending general elections (25 Nov 2007 could be the big day. Mark my words.)Khalid managed to swing some 20 percent Chinese votes with the help of DAP. The swing would be higher if the local Chinese school was not given RM1 million as allocation by the BN camp as a blatant vote-buying effort. The number of Malay votes they lost to BN were insignificant in view of the fact that Ijok was under “maximum/total attack” by Umno. It appears to me that the Umno campaign was much more aggressive than than the MIC. Many have said that Indian voters in the estates were traditionally blind supporters of Barisan Nasional; It has not been easy to even campaign in the estates. I do not agree that PKR or Anwar have lost their ability to pull in the Malay votes. In this Ijok by-election, the party has gotten some 45% Malay support. I believe PKR has a hardcore Malay support of around 30% of the overall Malay population.

If you asked me, I would say that PKR loses Ijok with a slightly bigger majority because of the BTF tactics (Bribes, Threats and Frauds) employed by the shameless and ruthless BN camp.

Bribes

The BN started with a RM36 million development fund right before the nomination day through Selangor MB Khir Toyo. Another RM3.5 million was announced by DPM Najib to build 16 mosques and suraus. And then RM1 million for a Chinese school in Batang Berjuntai.

Voters were paid hard cash (RM200 a vote) and election workers and campaigners were rewarded generously. ( In Pekan Ijok where I spent my whole day canvassing together with other DAP leaders and supporters alongside with PKR members, one young Malay youth wearing a Pemuda BN T-shirt showed me a bundle of RM100 notes he gotten from his master as a “show-off”). Free dinners and concerts were conducted every night throughout the campaign period. Listen to this if you havew timehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJSJM2ndbSo

If you are still wondering why some 142 votes issued to voters were not returned from one of the polling streams, let me share with you what could have possibly taken place…

Voter A was asked to take out a blank voting ballot paper and pass it to a BN operator (usually undercover, not wearing the BN uniform or badges). Voter A will be paid RM200 or more for the blank ballot paper. The operator will then cross it as a vote for BN before pass it on to Voter B. Voter B will be asked to cast the ballot and at the same time retain the blank ballot paper and bring it out to the operator. This exercise went on until the entire polling is over. Trust me, these ‘missing’ 143 ballot papers were not retained by voters as souvenirs (as claimed by the Secretary of Election Commission).

Threats

Voters in general were threatenedthat there would be no development if Khalid is voted in as the ADUN for Ijok. Indian voters working for the estates were warned that they will lose their job(plus their homes) if they were found voting/ supporting the opposition. Election campaigners for Khalid were intimidated or even beaten up by thugs. Even the candidtae himself was threatened and prevented from campaigning in estates and kampungs. Several ceramahs were stopped by the police/FRU for some lame excuses when BN found out that these ceramahs were popular among the electorates.

We were threatened by the deputy Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin at the Pondok Polis Simpang Tiga Ijok when he was barred from entering the compound when two bus loads of alleged “phantom voters” from Perlis were being detained by the police . I heard Khairy repeatedly saying  “you will pay for this” over the gate. He could not ‘tahan’ the fact that we were inside the police station but he was outside. But I was not sure whether he was directing his anger to me or the police.

PKR Youth acting chief Shamsul Iskandar in front of the two “phantom buses” from Perlis  @ Pondok Polis Simpang Tiga Ijok

 Frauds

The opposition was again given the final electoral rolls late. This has denied the opposition the opportunity to check the list of voters thoroughly. We believe that the final list is full of phantom voters apart from the 37 voters who were said to be as old as 104 to 107 year-old. For no reasons, the SPR has objected the proposal of using indelible ink for the prevention of phantom voters and multiple voting. And many voters only found out that their names were missing from the electoral rolls on the day of polling.At least three voters complained that they were barred from voting because the record showed that they have voted earlier. In other words, some ‘phantoms” have taken their ballot papers. Unlike the Lunas by-election, PKR only managed to stopped two buses of phantom voters. No one knows how many phantom voters have slipped through quietly.

Believe me, the police would not dare to get to the bottom. All 80 of these so-called cooks from Perlis were Malay ladies except for two Chinese ladies. Several of them told me that they have arrived on the polling day for “jalan-jalan”. Who would believe that Umno would charter two buses to ferry their supporters  all the way from Perlis (some 7 hours of journey) just to “look see” in Ijok? What is there to “look see” in Ijok?

 

I was speaking to members of the press over the gate. They too do not believe that these makciks would travel 7 hours all the way from Perlis to Ijok just for the purpose of “jalan-jalan”.

These ladies from Perlis were giving us answers very different from Khairy and Datuk Hashim ( an UMNO division chief from Perlis) . One of the Malay ladies told me that she was in Ijok to “tengok polling”. One Chinese lady was very concerned about her mykad. Their mykads were taken by the police for investigation. She asked me whether there was anything wrong with her mykad. Before I could answer, she was told by the other Chinese lady to shut up. Anyway, none of them said that they were in Ijok as cooks for the BN campaigners. Both Khairy and Datuk Hashim were lying through their teeths. I suggest National Front should be renamed as National Fraud.

PKR has reasons to suspect that these makciks from Perlis were phantom voters. We were not allowed to check their mykads or conduct our own investigations. It’s now up to the police and SPR to prove otherwise.

Many have asked me why I was detained by the police. Here’s my side of the story…

When I was canvassing outside the polling centre at SJKC Ijok in Pekan Ijok, I was alerted by some canvassers that 3 buses carrying phantom voters were blocked in Bukit Badong and Sunger Darah and detained at the Pondok Polis at Simpang Tiga Ijok, which is just a stone’s throw from the school.

Whe I arrived with other DAP and PKR supporters, I saw two buses bearing Penang registration plates were parked in the compound and the gate was locked. I saw Ezam, Shamsul Iskandar  and Ghani and few others PKR leaders were already in the balai polis. I waited until the OCPD Ibrahim arrived and I was then allowed to enter the police station. Khairy who arrived a few minutes later was not allowed to come in. I’m sure the police was doing this him because they know him too well :-).

After making reports to DAP SG and the Parliamentary Oppostion Leader, I decided to leave the police station to join other members who came to Ijok with me from Petaling Jaya, Serdang and Klang. They were waiting fro me outside the fence. I was  then told not to leave before a statement was taken from me and other PKR leaders.

The makciks from Perlis were not detained and confined in the buses as claimed by Khairy and others. All of them were allowed to come down from the buses to use the toilet  attached with the Pondok Polis. That’s when I gotten the opportunity to ask some questions “casually”. They were allowed to leave one hour earlier than the 15 of us. We were only allowed to leave after the statements and bails (we were allowed to bail each other). We have to report to the police in Ijok on 28 May 2007. What a joke!

The children of these makciks should advise them not to become phantom voters or get involved with BN operators. It is not worth it because such action is unlawful,immoral and unethical. What if they were hurt by the angry protestors? Who should be blamed if things get out of control? 

Both Merdekareview and Malaysiakini have the stories…

BN wins with bigger majority

Apr 28, 07 7:04pm Malaysiakini 
The ruling Barisan Nasional coalition has won the crucial Ijok by-election with a bigger majority of 1,850.Election Commission returning officer Haris Kasim announced that BN’s MIC candidate K Parthiban bagged 5,884 votes while PKR’s Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, 4,034.The majority is 1,850, which is higher than the 2004 general election result, where BN won with a majority of 1,649. It has added 201 votes to its previous majority.Interestingly, both parties have increased their vote tally by around 500 votes, partly due to the higher turnout of voters and the absence of independents.The ruling coalition took 58.6% of the voters while PKR, 40.1%.BN won in seven polling districts while PKR took Malay-majority Kampung Ijok and Chinese-majority Pekan Ijok* [see correction below].Click here for the official results

According to the official EC tally, Bestari Utara, one of the polling centres, registered an unusually high number of ballot papers issued but not returned – a total of 142.It appeared that these ballot papers were given out to voters but somehow they have taken them away instead of putting them into the ballot box. The number of unaccounted ballot papers represent almost 30% of the 500 ballot papers issued in one of Bestari Utara’s voting stream.All the ballot papers which had been issued in other polling districts were duly returned apart from Jaya Setia, which has only one unaccounted ballot paper.Malay, Chinese change votes

The defeated Khalid said after the results were known that PKR intends to contests the results and reveal the incidences of bribery and phantom voters.”This is the dirtiest by-election in the country’s history,” he said.Khalid added that he was unprepared for the “viciousness of the political methods” by the other side to win.”I appreciate the dilemma of the people in Ijok to have been threatened by the fact that if you choose the opposition, you will not be given any development grants. This threatening feature is a very undemocratic way of managing the people’s resources.”PKR lost three of the four Malay-majority districts – Jaya Setia, Bukit Badong and Simpang Ijok – but retained Kampung Ijok.This translates in a swing of Malay voters to BN, but the opposition appeared to obtain a slight swing of Chinese voters in its favour.

Najib: No phantom voters

MCA leader Ong Ka Ting refused to comment on the swing among Chinese voters against the government. He said that the party has yet to analyse the results.

“Nevertheless, we should look at the big picture that BN has won,” he said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak said that the result is a “good precursor” to the upcoming general elections as this could be the last by-election.

When asked about the allegations by the opposition on the present of phantom voters, Najib said tersely: “There are no phantom voters. Full stop.”

He added that BN never used “underhand tactics” in its election campaigns.

When asked about the fate of PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is former deputy premier, Najib said that he preferred not to “say too much”.

“I’d rather you draw your own conclusion.” 

Highest turnout in history

The voter turnout in this hotly contested by-election is an unprecedented 83.08 percent – the highest in by-election history.

In the 2004 general election, the turnout was 76.17 percent, or 9,411 voters.

When the polling closed at 5pm today, a total of 10,195 voters had cast their votes.

Of the nine polling districts, Malay-majority Bukit Badong scored the highest with 90.10%. Another five saw over 80% turnout.

The lowest turnout is in Indian-majority Tuan Mee, 79.9%, Chinese-majority Pekan Ijok, 75.1% and Chinese-majority Batang Bestari Selatan 68.6%.



*Correction:
Earlier this evening, malaysiakinireported the unofficial results for Pekan Ijok as BN – 605, PKR – 624. However, the official results are BN – 605, PKR – 584. PRK did not take this Chinese-majority polling district as reported, but it has done significantly better compared to the 2004 general election (BN – 761, Keadilan – 306). We regret the error.It is expected that unofficial results are sometimes inaccurate. In any case, based on the unofficial results which came from our sources from various counting centres – all but one had been correct – malaysiakiniannounced that BN had won handsomely at 7.05pm, more than one-and-a-half hour before the results were declared by the Election Commission.

拦截可疑巴士者反被调查
警方盘问15名在野党党员
■日期/Apr 28, 2007   ■时间/09:18:31 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview陈子莹
           
【本刊陈子莹撰述】朝野政党就今日下午“拦截两辆可疑巴士”事件,向警方报案。人民公正党怀疑,这两辆巴士载着“幽灵选民”,而国阵领袖则指责在野党在没有确实证据下,阻拦国阵支持者。

警方正在盘问15名阻拦两辆“可疑巴士”的在野党领袖与党员,惟未确定如何处理15名人民公正党党员以及两辆巴士乘客。

在野党员已经就这起怀疑是“幽灵选民”的事件,向警方报案。与此同时,国阵党成员也因为在野党党员在没有确实根据的情况下,阻拦他们支持者的巴士而报案。

在野党15名党员今天下午在依约的武吉巴东,阻拦了两辆怀疑是幽灵选民的巴士后,目前已在依约警局准备接受盘问,惟未确定警方是否会扣留他们。

国阵以及在野党之间各说其词,巫统加央区部主席哈欣(Hashim)声称,这些车上的人是厨师,在整个竞选期间,就已经逗留在依约;不过,人民公正党青年团代团长三苏依斯干达(Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin)却说,他已问过巴士上的其中一位女子,对方告诉他,他们是今天早上才抵达依约的。

15名在野党党员于下午4时左右,在武吉巴东(Bukit Badong)的投票站,发现两辆可疑的巴士,所以前往阻止他们离开。国阵成员也在当时出现,坚持让这两辆巴士以及车上的乘客离开。双方争持不下,最后在警方以及镇暴队的介入下,把所有的人都带到依约警局。

截自晚上8时,根据人民公正党青年团宣传主任拉蒂法(Latheefa Koya),这15名在野党党员目前还逗留在警局,警方正准备向他们录口供,不过还未确定是否会扣留他们;而巴士上的乘客也还在警局内,警方已要求他们出示身份证。

15名在警局内录口供的在野党党员:

1.Mohd. Ezam(依占)

2. 刘天球

3. Shamsul Iskandar(三苏依斯干达)

4. Shaharuddin Shahabuddin

5. Hassim bin Abdul Aziz

6. Sharifah Shahidah

7. Wan Anis

8. Ghani Harun

9. Nazmi Rosli

10. SP Johari

11. Halimey

12. Azmi

13. Razak Khalidi Roslan

14. Hashima Adbul Aziz

  1. Wan Khairul Ehsan

【点击:将两辆可疑巴士拦截在警局 公正党激动高呼“烈火莫熄”】

Anwar: I’m sad for Malaysia
Apr 28, 07 1:40pm Malaysiakini 
“I am sad for Malaysia.”So said former deputy premier and PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim in response to his party’s defeat in the Ijok by-election.“I have been talking about the fraudulent process all the while but I did not think it was going to be so bad … intimidation and blatant bribery … the whole conduct of the election today,” he said.Top Keadilan leaders were absent when the results were announced. Anwar said the by-election was ridden with phantom voters and police harassment against the opposition.”We will launch an official protest on a charge of fraudulent conduct of the election,” he said.However Election Commission secretary Kamaruzaman Mohamad Nor had earlier dismissed the oppositions allegations.”There are no phantom voters,” he said. “You have to follow our (electoral) list,” he said.”The confusion arised because they used another electoral list,” he added, referring to the commission’s official list of voters.The ruling coalition has fended off a spirited opposition campaign led by Anwar to retain the semi-rural Ijok seat in Selangor with an increased majority.K Parthiban, from BN’s MIC polled 5,884 votes while PKR’s candidate Abdul Khalid Ibrahim secured 4,034.The BN increased its majority by 210 from the last 2004 general elections in the state. A total of 10,049 voters or 81.9 percent of the electorate cast ballots, a record turnout for the constituency.Only BN can help with development 

Although not contesting, Anwar has thrown his weight behind the opposition candidate in a bitter and gruelling campaign against the powerful ruling national front coalition led by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The weekend poll was widely touted as a litmus test of popularity for both sides ahead of a general election expected before 2009.

Polls opened amid tight security at 8am as voters lined up at nine polling stations in the tiny constituency.

An ethnic Indian construction worker, E Elango, 52, said he backed the ruling coalition as it could bring development to the sleepy town.

“It (the BN) can help the people with infrastructure development. The opposition cannot bring any development,” he said.

Annuar Musa, BN chief in Kelantan said the Malay-majority areas of Ijok traditionally supported the opposition.

“The previous Barisan Nasional candidate did not meet the expectations of the voters,” Annuar said, referring to former state lawmaker K Sivalingam, whose death earlier this month precipitated the by-election.

“Anwar is not a factor in this election. He can be in politics but it’s not a threat to the government,” Annuar said.

Reflecting on the party’s loss, Anwar said he remained optimistic of the people’s support for PKR.

“It is a very good turning point as I was able to articulate our views but we are dealing with a dirty process here,” Anwar said.

– AFP

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Ijok: Still 50-50 if you asked me

April 27, 2007

 This banner says it all!

After one week of intensive campaign, PKR has gained an upper hand in Chinese areas but it appears that BN has an upper hand in Indian areas. The Malay areas were unclear at this point of time. My personal reading about the Malay areas is that PKR should at least be able to maintain what it has gotten in 2004 GE through Abdul Rahman.

In my speech last night, I criticised Najib and top MCA leaders for no courage to admit their mistakes in the past. I also reiterate DAP’s undivided support to PKR in Ijok by-elections. I have specifically debunk a leaflet circulating in both Malay and Indian areas yesterday, which claims that DAP did not put in great effort to assist PKR in Ijok. I said the reason DAP did not put up many party flags in Ijok because we do not want to confuse the voters here. But DAP has sent many of its heavyweights over the last 8 days to campaign for Khalid.

I have also taken some time to expose MCA leaders who “misled” and “instigated” the Education Ministry to close down the original SJKC Damansara.

DAP SG Lim Guan Eng , in his speech, urged Ijok people to behave like bosses instead of reducing themselves  to “political beggers”. He urged Ijok people to reject money politics and vote for Khalid. He challenged Najib to apologise over the incident in which he spoke under a banner with a racist message- “Basahkan keris dengan darah Cina”. Najib was then the Umno Youth chief .

 

Several hundred voters received this fake note through mail today. The sender used envelope choped with KDU College. It must have come from the BN camp with an objective to confuse the voters and blame it to PKR.

Ijok voters would cast their votes tomorrow. All the best to Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim.

Do not ask me why the authority sent these horse-riders to Ijok. Pls also do not ask me why they sent a helicopter to Ijok, shooting  beams of light at the crowd gathered at PKR’s ceramahs.

 

Sharizat Jalil was going door-to-door in Ijok n/v ‘happily’ until she saw this huge banner hanging down from the top of the PKR operating centre. I asked her entourage to check whether their boss’s picture was up there. They seemed to be happy to see that Sahrizat’s face was not there.

白小保校委员会再捣依约
马华领袖回避派传单反驳
■日期/Apr 28, 2007   ■时间/12:19:20 am
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview记者
           
【本刊记者撰述】白小(白沙罗华小)保校工委会再度把“重开白小”的诉求,带到雪兰莪依约区(Ijok)州议席补选,盼“政治糖果满天飞”的补选,能一圆白小重开的梦想。无论如何,马华公会青年团总秘书魏家祥以“看成绩”招呼保校工委会主席熊玉生,而另一厢的民政党,则以“猫还未捉到老鼠”,向工委会承诺会继续争取重开白小。

保校委员会前日(426日)一行人前往依约镇(Pekan Ijok),向当地选民派发传单,顺道探访马华公会竞选工作室。熊玉生向魏家祥不厌其烦地叙述白小的困境,而后者则以“我完全理解你的心情”回应。当熊玉生表示“开了白小我们也不需要来了(到选区提出诉求)”,魏家祥则以一句“看(补选)成绩”回复。

两周前马六甲马接区(Machap)州议席补选期间,保校工委会也同样到该选区提出自己的诉求,碰巧遇到前往拉票的魏家祥,惟这名柔佛亚依淡(Ayer Hitam)区国会议员当时示意正在忙碌,于是向熊玉生说:“你做你的事情,我做我的事情!”【点击:公民组织到马接办活动展力量  执政党领袖纷纷回避民间诉求】

另一厢,白小工委会一行人在街上巧遇雪州行政议员兼武吉加星区(Bukit Gasing)州议员林传盛,后者向白小工委会表示“不要站到他们(在野党)那一边去”,并希望保校委员会给他多一些时间,协助争取白小重开。

他们一行人沿着街道来到民政党行动室,并获民政党代主席许子根接待。熊玉生希望许子根在他的岗位上,继续为华教做事,更频频以“不管黑猫白猫,能捉到老鼠的就是好猫”这个比喻,来说明自己“不管什么政党,能争取重开白小的就是好的政党”之立场。

而甫上任的许子根打趣说道:“老鼠还未捉到”,并表示会协助保校委员会。

副教育部长韩春锦曾于今年49日,在国会促议员勿再提白小事件,因为政府考虑再三后,认为白小己完满搬迁,所以重开的问题不存在。【点击:韩春锦国会示意白小重开无望  章瑛促马华莫再伪装捍卫华小】

白小在200113日的开学日当天被关闭,迄今已经六个年头。白小关闭后,部分学生守着学校重开的信念,到学校一旁的阮梁圣公庙上课。虽然六年来物换星移、人事已非,部份白沙罗新村村民仍坚守重开白小的信念,四处奔走要求政府重开华小。

另外,根据《当今大马》报道,白小保校工委会社区组副主任林玉秀形容,保校工委会于上星期日(422日)前往依约派传单时,碰巧遇见黄家定,当黄家定看到身穿着“救救白小”衣服的她时,神情木讷,双手慌张的摇摆,拒绝接受她递上的“重开白小”传单。

她说:“其余的部长都收下了我的传单,只有黄家定摇头拒绝并匆匆离开。”

传单满天飞

与马接一样,白小一行人探访后,依约华人新村今日流传着一张有关白沙罗华小的传单。民主行动党非政府组织主任刘天球抨击,在依约流传有关白沙罗华小的传单内容不符实。

这份传单以全彩印刷,一面印上了新白小的美丽图片,并写上“白沙罗华小新校舍,堂皇壮观,设备齐全”。另一面则印上一份刊登在2001121日的《南洋商报》上的广告《一群白小家长向社会人士的告白书》,内文强调,关闭白小是95%家长的意愿,政府只是俯顺民意批准。另外,也简略地介绍了白小事件,并写明八打灵华社全力支持马华公会。

刘天球向《独立新闻在线》指出:“这份没有署名、没有列下出版商名称和印刷商的传单,在竞选期间出现是违法的。”

虽然白小的课题跟依约似乎沾不上边,不过,一群白小保校工委会代表两度到访依约,并在前晚(426日),在人民公正党的平台上,为村民高唱《团结救白小》。

虽然这份传单没有署名是谁发出的,不过刘天球认为,可能是马华公会发出的。因为之前白小保校委员会来依约宣传,揭发马华公会才是造成白小关闭的祸首,他相信,这份传单是马华公会的反应。

他向记者指出了这份传单内几项不符合事实的内容:“传单中说白小原校的地点环境差、交通不安全,但是新白小的地点在大路边,非常危险。而且,新校舍的环境也差,建在高压电塔底下。”

刘天球(左图)继续说:“另外,虽说白小关闭,是得到人民的支持,但是全国支持华小的人士都反对白小关闭,这也是为什么保校运动可以维持七年的缘故。而且白小筹获的款项也在逐年增加,从早期的马币20万元到最近这一两年的马币30多万,可见华社的支持非常深厚。”

传单内也指出,马华公会积极协助白小取得迁校批准,并在内阁争取政府拨款建校,但是刘天球则认为,马华公会积极取得政府拨款,乃白小运动施压的成果。而且,新建的白小也成为全马唯一一间取得政府100%拨款的华小,不过,他认为这笔款项是白小运动(原校)的功劳,与马华公会无关。

他希望任何收到这份传单的依约人民不要去理会传单的内容,他也同时呼吁,依约的人民发挥正义的力量支持重开白小原校。

Ijok: Guan Eng to give a final push tonight

April 27, 2007

After a supper at the Ijok restaurant last night.

We were happy to note that the threats from the BN thugs and disruptions from the police did not dampen the spirit of the Ijok people at all. Last night, more people came to listen to Kit Saing, Anwar, Mat Sabu and other opposition heavyweights then previous nights. Thousands gathered at different ceramah points in Ijok as early as 8pm.

It’s also encouraging to note that we have a significant number of women folks and elderly citizens turned up for the ceramahs. The audience usually stay through the ceramahs except for some who “chase after ” Kit Siang and Anwar.

The Jiu Jiu Bai Xiao!!! Save Our School!!!

SOS Damansara group made its appearance at the ceramah last night. They sang the theme song-“Let’s Unite to Save Bai Xiao” – which was chosen by me when I was their adviser. Earlier, the group have distributed leaflets in Ijok to highlight their problems and expose the culprits behind the closure of their school. 

 Bandar Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road Action Committee were aslo at Ijok to highlight their problems. Samy has failed to help them as a minister. They got Khalid to endorse their cause. It’s chairman Tan Boon Wah gave a short speech at the ceramah on last Sunday.

“From an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan”

Lat night, Kit Siang has described Ijok as a swan after the BN has thrown in close to 100 million ringgit. He reminded them to “write history and create a miracle” by making Khalid the ADUN of Ijok. He once again urged everyone in Ijok to emulate Justice Bao-to differentiate between right and wrong, just and unjust- before casting their votes.

While he urged the Ijok people to give encouragement to Anwar who has the courage to admit his mistake over an old issue  some twenty years ago, he challenge the “keris-waving” Najib and MCA leaders who have betrayed the Chinese to pick up the courage to admit their mistakes in the past.  

Khalid looks very tanned after a week of intensive campaign but he was in his usual cool and steady mood. He’s not disturbed by the  “slip of tongue” which most of us do. Who would believe Khalid actually wanted the Ijok voters to vote against him? Anyway, Ijok may have two K’s to serve them after this by-elections: Khalid and Khir Toyo. Khir has set up a service centre in Ijok on Wednesday. He was rather embarrassed to see that very few Chinese (no more than 50) turned up for the opening ceremony although the centre sits in the middle of the Chinese new village.

PM@Ijok

Also yesterday, AAB came to Ijok new village for a short while (stopping over at the local MCA and Gerakan operation centres) after attending the installation ceremony of Agong in the morning. He spent 150 minutes in Ijok, visiting four different operation centres. It’s rather unusual for the PM to campaign in by-elections. To me, it says that there were serious cracks in the BN campaign and the team led by Najib is not confident at all.

In my speech last night, I invited the Ijok people, members and supporters of DAP and all the other opposition parties to canvass for Khalid on Saturday.  I urge them to turn up in full force at all the polling centres. I believe the visible presence of opposition supporters would help to encourage the Ijok voters (who were intimidated by BN thugs) to cast their votes for the candidate representing the opposition parties.

C U in Ijok tonight. And do not forget to show up on Saturday.

Ijok: Kit Siang returns to Ijok tonight

April 26, 2007
Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang decided to give another push to the PKR’s campaign by meeting the Ijok people tonight. This will be his third visit to Ijok since Tuesday.I will be there early to make the necessary arrangement before his arrival at 8pm. The question now is whether ceramahs lined up tonight would be allowed to take place or again stopped or disrupted by Kuala Seloangor OCPD Ibrahim with the help of FRU just like the previous two nights.DAP SG Lim Guan Eng is scheduled to return to Ijok on Friday, the eve of polling day.I will be talking to the Ijok people on issues closest to their heart, and explain why a vote for Khalid could change their lives.I will also ask the Ijok people should the OCPD of Kuala Selangor resign for failing to carrying out his duties and responsibilities effectively.

On the other hand, Tan Sri Khalid has another nice surprise from the former prime minister TDM. He has urged the Ijok people to send a signal to the “rotten” Umno-led BN Goverment. He too believes that BN has changed the nature of the race from by-election to buy-election.

Malaysiakini has the report.

Send signal to the ‘rotten’ government

Fauwaz Abdul Aziz
Apr 26, 07 10:53am
Malaysiakini
The Ijok state seat by-election this Saturday is the right time for the voters to shatter the government’s propaganda that all is well, said former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.While he did not outrightly called on the 12,000-odd Ijok voters not to back the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition, he nevertheless urged them to vote wisely this Saturday.“If you don’t think (about) what you are doing, you don’t use your vote intelligently, then of course, you are to be blamed,” he told malaysiakini yesterday.

“Unless you send a signal to the government that, ‘Look, if you don’t behave yourself, you may not get my vote at the next election,’ then the government will say, ‘You see? The people are voting for us. We are doing well,’ he said.

He added that if the Ijok voters got swayed by the by-election goodies in the form of new development in the state constituency, they will only have themselves to blame if a ‘rotten’ government is voted in.

“If you vote (BN) because you get a lot of money or because you get a lot of projects, you may get a rotten government which uses money in order to buy your vote,” said Mahathir.

He lamented that BN supporters would blindly vote for the ruling coalition.

“They don’t care whether it is a good government or not. We are Barisan people. We vote Barisan. No assessment, no study. We vote (Barisan) because we must. That’s why I say a country deserves the government it gets.

“If you don’t think (about) what you are doing, you don’t use your vote intelligently, then of course, you are to be blamed,” he added.

If they lose, Khir Toyo will be blamed

He predicted that should the ruling coalition win, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would get all the credit.

“If they win, it’s because of Pak Lah, if they lose, it’s because of (Selangor Mentri Besar Mohd) Khir Toyo,” he said with his trademark sarcasm.

While declining to describe that he was urging Ijok to register a ‘protest vote’, Mahathir said the BN should not be given unquestioned support.

“Don’t vote BN blindly, don’t vote PAS blindly, don’t vote DAP blindly. Think. Use your faculties to think,” he said.

The Ijok by-election has been called following the death of its incumbent K Sivalingam on April 4.

BN’s MIC candidate K Parthiban will faces off against opposition candidate Khalid Ibrahim of Parti Keadilan Rakyat in the by-election.

In the past week, the landscape of Ijok has changed with millions of ringgit being allocated for mosques, schools, newly surfaced roads, drainage, street lights and other facilities for the voters in this Malay-majority constituency 50km northwest of Kuala Lumpur.

Previously Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had said that there was a ‘feel good’ atmosphere pervading the country, and that he was waiting for the ‘feel good factor’ to get even better before calling for general elections.

Mahathir has been involved in a running battle with his handpicked successor over the latter’s alleged mismanagement of the country’s economy, corruption and cronyism.

Fact boxes on Ijok

Ijok : BN banks on money and threats

April 25, 2007

LATEST: Opposition leader and several other opposition MPs went to the Batang Berjuntai police station with deputy internal minister Johari at 7 pm today to lodge police report on what happened last night. Several ceramahs were cancelled by the police for unjustifiable reason. Those who accopmpanied Lim are PKR President Azizah and DAP SG Lim Guan Eng.

BN always banks on money(taxpayers’ money) to win by-elections, so much so that it has a become a curse to their elected representatives (you know what I mean).On record, more than RM50 million has been pumped into Ijok as of today ( Machap: RM 30 million- according to its District Officer).Money, you can bet, it’s their most powerful weapon.

When money alone may not win the election for them, they have no qualms to use another weapon i.e. threats and warnings. The politic of fear is being used in Ijok right from the Day of Nomination because BN is “kiasu” this time.

The BN camp knows pretty well that they have done many things that upset the Ijok people over the years.

The late K Sivalingam did not provide good service to the Ijok people. Instead, he becomes a big bully over the years. He also broken his promises on the closure of landfill and donation for the local primary Chinese school, SJKC Yuk Chee.

Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo has not bothered to visit Ijok for years. He refused to entertain the call made by the local MCA leaders on the issue of the smelly landfill in Batang Berjuntai. He likes to use Kuala Selangor as the dumping grounds for Kuala Lumpur because he could not get along with the MP of Kuala Selangor. He has opened another landfill in Jeram, also in Kuala  Selangor.

MCA President Ong Ka Ting is also not popular among the Ijok MCA leaders. Ong never bother to entertain them on the issue of landfill.

On the other hand, Samy Vellu has really upset Thirumoorthy and other local MIC leaders and members by appointing Partiban, an outsider. Partiban’s name was not even on the original namelist (23 names). He was selected because of Umno. Partiban works as the special assistant of Nor Omar, a deputy minister of education. If elected, he will listen 100% to Umno leaders, instead of serving the interest of Ijok people on behalf of MIC.

Opposition unity is another big headache the Bn camp has to handle.

No one should rule out the possibility of another “Lunas”. The Ijok people has given their full support to BN over the last 50 years. They have the right to shift their support to the Opposition now that they have seen the true colours of BN leaders – who were arrogant, greedy and serving self -interest – in general.

On the same day, Anwar responded to the allegations made by MCA on the issue of sending teachers who were not well-versed in Mandarin to Chinese primary schools some 20 years ago when he was the Education Minister. Inthe press conference, Anwar explained that he would not defend the decision which he made under the Umno education policy. He admitted that that decision was biased and he acted within the framework of Umno.

DAP SG Lim Guan Eng opined that “whoever becomes the education minister would not be able to act against the policy and framework of Umno”. In other words, we need to change the system dictated byUmno or put it simply, change the oppressive and racist  Umno-led BN government if we want a fair and just mother tongue education policy.

Merdekareview.com has the story…

回应1987年华小争议事件
安华坦承受巫统制度框架所限
■日期/Apr 25, 2007   ■时间/06:13:40 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview.com宏祥
           
【本刊林宏祥撰述】1987年调派不谙华文教师出任华小高职事件中,备受争议的教育部长安华依布拉欣今日正式承认,自己过去在“巫统制度框架”里办事,把“打压华教”根源追溯到巫统制度底下的产物。他承认当时政策执行时可能出现违背目标的偏差个案,并表示不会捍卫自己过去的所有作为。

安华,华人不安”的形象,一直是造成部分华教斗士对安华,以及其所领导的改革运动有所避忌、保留的障碍。安华最近在马接、依约补选站台时,公开以数理科教学英化、废除新经济政策课题逼马华公会表态,导致后者重挑1987年事件反击安华,并大肆批评当年反对安华、如今却为安华站台的华教斗士陆庭谕以及民主行动党秘书长林冠英。【点击:“团结一切可以团结的力量” 陆庭谕回应马华指为安华站台】

目前是人民公正党顾问的安华今日连同民主行动党秘书长林冠英、人民公正党副主席西华拉沙(Sivarasa Rasiah)、该党最高理事罗志昌在其八打灵再也办公室召开记者会,对这起20年前的事件作出交待与回应。

1987年事件道歉?

安华曾于422日在依约华人新村站台时公开表示,他愿意正视自己的过去,如果他过去曾做错任何事,他愿意为自己犯下的错误道歉。无论如何,他当时并没有明确说明自己曾犯下什么错误,也没有正式就任何他在任时犯下的错误道歉。【点击:安华:昔日犯错我愿道歉 马华公会轰安华一错再错】

在今日的记者会上,“我道歉”这三个字并没有从安华口中说出。然而,当《东方日报》记者询问他是否会对调派不谙华文教师出任华小高职事件道歉时,他的答案是:“是!如果出现失误(Yes, if there were mistakes)……”

而他在回应《当今大马》记者首次提问会否道歉的问题时则说:“我当时在巫统的政策下做事。在我的行动中,我的理由是行政问题。我执行的时候,我的目的是为了让行政更顺畅。然而下层执行时,可能出现弱点,我接受,我不会捍卫所有我做的东西。问题是,这个课题还合时宜吗?”

安华(左图)坚持捍卫早前“调派不谙华文教师出任华小高职是为了方便书信来往”的理由,但是不讳言执行过程中,可能出现偏差的个案。他透露,他本身确实在出任教长时,亲自到过无法以马来语作为书信来往媒介语的学校,故作出上述决定。然而,他也强调,“1987年的事情不能在2007年回答”,目前华小校长不谙马来语的问题,已经不复存在。

《独立新闻在线》记者以马华公会昨日文告中举的例子,即马六甲野新育贤华小,当时被调派到该校的第一副校长、第二副校长、课外活动主任,都是不谙华语文的教师向安华提问时,他否认当时发出“委派超过一个不谙华文教师出任华小高职”的指示,更强调这不是政策的原意,惟表示“倘若查证后证实上述个案的确发生”,他愿意就这个个案承认错误。

总的来说,安华在1987年委派不谙华文教师出任华小高职的事件上,依然坚持此政策在1987年的情景是正确的,惟“个案”出现失误。稍整理安华前后的说法,我们可说他在前后的回答中,“间接”地表示愿意为“执行过程中出现偏差的个案”道歉。至于此立场、态度会否略嫌含糊,又会否被华社接受,则又是另一个话题了。

世界变了,巫统没变!

安华在记者会上也解释“当年”与“当下”马来社会的迥异,并娓娓道来自己在大学时期的观察所得。他说,语言的问题在1930年代已经开始被讨论,并形容1950年代的讨论变得强烈(kencang),并在1960年代变得炽热(hangat)。

他叙述自己活跃于学生运动的196070年代,马来人圈子的辩论都围绕在“扶助华小会威胁马来学校、继而导致马来学校落后”的焦虑。但是他提醒,目前已经是2007年,华团、民主行动党,非但没有质疑,更都已接受了“马来文为国语”的地位,因此“扶助华小会威胁马来学校”的问题并不存在。

记者也质疑安华“华文经济价值提升、因此支持华教”的论述,并认为捍卫母语教育本该出自捍卫基本人权的立场,否则经济价值尚不如华文的淡米尔文,便不受落。

安华澄清,自己也捍卫淡米尔文源流教育,并表示这是出自于对基本人权的尊重。他解释,他之所以不断以“华文在世界地位提升”来论述自己支持华教的理由,旨在点出“世界已经改变了”,而巫统领袖却停留在旧有的思想,以为支持华教会引起马来社会的反弹,故继续打压华教。

安华趁势批评马华公会:“我已经迈向2007年了,只有你的朋友(巫统)还停留在1960年代。我知道马华公会想用主流媒体来挑出、放大安华过去做了什么,但是我想问的是,现任教长侮辱、威胁华人,你(马华公会)的立场是什么?”

现任教育部长希山慕丁(Hishammuddin Hussein)也是巫统青年团领袖,曾经在20052006年两度在巫统大会上“拔剑出鞘”,恫言切勿质疑“新经济政策”。

安华也透露,他将在依约补选后,召集来自不同源流教育的教师,辩论马来西亚多元流教育的问题。

巫统制度的问题

林冠英(左图)也指出,认为打压华教的根源出自巫统,并称:“不管谁成为教育部长,只要他是来自巫统,这个个人并不能带来改变。”

他继续说:“我们需要的是制度的改变,不是个人,如果安华现在成为巫统的教育部长,他也不能做什么。”

他列举三项课题,即在数理科教学英化政策、白小重开以及华淡小拨款上的不公,反问马华公会何以不能在上述课题中,支持安华的立场?他更出示图表,指出第九马来西亚计划拨款的不公比例,即华小学生占21.2%,却仅获3.6%教育拨款;而淡小生占3.2%总人数,却仅获1.3%教育拨款。

他不忘讽刺副首相纳吉,指马币九亿元的军购交易佣金如果可以拨给华小、淡小,甚至是宗教学校,将让这些源流的学校获益无穷,总好过把钱给自己的朋党,即阿都拉萨巴金德(Razak Baginda)以及前马六甲州首席部长阿迪阿旦(Adib Adam)。

当记者提问会否就纳吉曾经发表‘用华人的血洗马来人的剑’的言论,挑战纳吉道歉,安华以自己过去是体制的一部分,不愿就此课题深谈,但是他重申本身曾经就1987年茅草行动事件,向当时首相马哈迪反映自己的看法。

他说:“这个事件本来是巫青团与马青年总团的领袖挑起,茅草行动时,被扣留的是民主行动党、回教党、非政府组织的领袖,马青的李金狮去了澳洲,而纳吉后来升职。”

安华坦承本身过去在巫统局限:“在巫统的安华,不能像现在的安华如是自由,不止是这个(教育问题),贪污问题也是。我对抗,但是我在内部对抗。但是我不能公开谈论。现在的问题是,马华公会在里面也没有反抗!我当时调换华文老师,马华公会哪有向我反映?没有!”

他说:“真正的华教斗士,是民主行动党领袖、陆庭谕老师这样的华教斗士!”

安华最后表明自己回答了马华公会的指责,只有马华公会还在回避他提出的问题,更讽刺说国阵大玩种族政治。他说:“巫统女少青团(Puteri UMNO)跑到马来甘榜说我亲华人,而马华公会说我反华人,哈哈……”

Ijok: BN “kiasu” (scared to lose)

April 24, 2007

 

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang called the BN camp “kiasu”. He made his first appearance in Ijok last night. The gentleman sitting on my left is Thomas Soo Kheng Seong. He’s a DAP state assemblyman from Ipoh. T Kannan, the deputy campaign director of Selangor DAO Campaign support Team, is standing on his right.

Many have predicted a victory for Khalid. Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang describes the attempt to stop PKR’s ceramahs as “kiasu” (takut kalah) . He persuades the Ijok people to create history, sending Khalid to the Selangor state assembly to bring hope to Malaysian democracy. More tha 1,000 people turned up for the ceramah. The police have tried to stop the ceramahs earlier, claiming that there were no permits for these gatherings. The OCPD of Kuala Selangor tried to snatch Kit Siang’s microphone. But the election rules stated clearly that the candidate or his agent needs only to inform the police about the time and venue of the ceramah. The question of permit does not arise at all. Police must stay out of party politics. They must not take side with the ruling parties. But can they understand simple rules and regulations?

Kit Siang, Chong Eng and  Po Kuan spoke for the first time in Ijok last night. Others who spoke were Anwar, Azmin and Khalid. I have opted not to speak in order to spend some time talking to some local voters.

Khalid has slimmed down quite a fair bit after several days of intensive campaigning. We are banking on him to win Ijok for the opposition. Go, Khalid Go! Whack the BN fellows in the state assembly for all of us.

It appears to me that Khalid has an upperhand over Partiban in the Chinese areas at the moment. He himself is confident about getting the majority of the Malay votes. He even believes that he could win quite a good percentage of the Indian votes.

A reliable source says that Samy Vellu has not resolved the internal problem of his own party. His open statement about good chances of winning even without the Chinese votes (he said it in Taman Suria, Batang Berjuntai) has upset a lot of Chinese voters here.

Another source says that the local Umno MP was not in good terms with the Menteri Besar of Selangor. And the local MCA Youth members were still unhappy with the top BN leadership (incl their own President Ong “kata nothing”) over the rubbish landfill issue (the dump site has been making the whole town stink like nobody. It was only ordered to be closed one day after the death of K Sivalingam. Before that, BN has promised to shut it down after the last general election but it has broken its promises on several occasions.) Many are now saying that the landfill will be reopened as soon as the by-election on 28 April 2007 was over.

Admirers of the opposition giant in Ijok

Pls read http://wengsan.blogspot.com/2007/04/ijok-by-election-dramatic-night-at.html

Battle for Malay votes: Umno turns to fear
Fauwaz Abdul Aziz
Apr 24, 07 4:49pm
Malaysiakini 
Malay votes in the upcoming Ijok by-election in Selangor is crucial and Umno has launched an all-out campaign to bag support in the Malay-dominated areas.One of the targeted areas is Bukit Badong, a district of 1,900 voters which Keadilan won in the 2004 general election.However, some villagers warned that the strategy employed by the ruling coalition could backfire.According to them, the tactic of combining fear, nostalgia and the lure of a more comfortable life, could only yield short-term results.

Another stumbling block for Umno and its counterparts is that many of those aged 40 and below in Bukit Badong are hardcore opposition supporters.

Eighty-five percent of Bukit Badong residents are Malays, with Indian and Chinese villagers making up about 13 and two percent respectively.

In the 2004 general elections, the late incumbent K Sivalingam of Barisan Nasional won in the non-Malay areas of Berjuntai Bestari, Tuan Mee, Pekan Ijok and Sungai Darah.

Whereas, the opposition candidate from Parti Keadilan Rakyat Abdul Rahman Muharam won in the Malay areas of Bukit Badong and Kampung Ijuk and took half the votes in Sempang Ijok and Jaya Setia (see chart below). 

The April 28 by-election will see another duel between the two parties. BN is represented by K Parthiban while PKR, Khalid Ibrahim.

Doom and disorder

For this election, Umno is said to be concentrating its campaign on Bukit Badong’s older generation, painting a dismal picture of doom and disorder should the opposition party win.

“My peers have been told that things will revert to the days of old if we vote in the Keadilan (PKR) candidate,” Suraji Puniran, 65, told malaysiakini when met today.

“It may or may not work with the older people. Many of them remember the huru-hara (chaos) of the Japanese occupation and communist insurgency,” said Suraji, who heads the PAS Bukit Badong branch.

Another villager claimed that Umno workers told elderly villagers that if PKR wins, the ensuing social and economic unrest would deprive their children and grandchildren of education and stability.

But is this fear tactic successful?

“No!” said villager Ansor Abdullah Kamari (left). “This goes against proper Malay conduct and manners.”

According to him, even the older generation of Umno members in the village are being turned off by the aggressiveness of the young campaigners.
Recounting an incident that occurred last night, Ansor said elderly villagers who gathered near the PAS Bukit Badong branch for a chat were interrupted by loud young Umno workers passing in a truck.

Gempur!’ (attack!) they shouted as they passed us. It was very rude of them. Some of us sitting there were PAS (members), and some were not, but their behavior was just plain kurang ajar (rude) to all of us!” he said.

Election banners

Disgruntled BN supporter Azmi Atan, 52, (photo, below) said the fear tactic was also visible in some of the election banners put up in parts of the village.

“Patah tak tumbuh, hilang tak berganti’ (What’s broken cannot grow back, what’s gone cannot come back’). What else is that supposed to mean?” he asked.

He said the villagers could see past the carrot-and-stick approach and would not be fooled by the cosmetic display of development projects and cash payout.

“The repairs to houses, roads, streetlights, and drains have all been done very quickly over the past several weeks since the by-election was announced.

“But these works are already showing signs of being shoddy and low quality. Holes are already appearing in some of the roads that have recently been tarred,” he noted.

Another villager, Mohd Daim Safuan said some elderly villagers were even told they would be arrested if found to have voted for PKR.

“It took me a long time to convince one particular elderly couple, who are also disabled, that they need not be scared of voting for PKR,” he said.

Ijok: MIC would not not get all the Indian votes

April 23, 2007

BN is so desperate that they even used the local public library as one of their operation centres. The SPR (EC) closes one eye on such abuses once again.

 LATEST PROGRAM: Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang and several DAP MPs including Dr Tan Seng Giaw, Chong Eng and Fong Po Kuan have confirmed with me that they will be speaking in Ijok tomorrow i.e Tuesday night. 

On top of that, both Chong Engand Po Kuan will be joining Khalid, Anwar and Azizah in the “walkabout” in Batang Berjuntai town from 5pm.

C U There!!!

  A sandiwara(show) was put up by Samy Vellu yesterday to fish for more Indian votes in Ijok. In the function, Pandithan hugged Samy Vellu and said that Samy is his dear friend. So what kind of friendship he was talking about? What happened to the coffin he brought in and out for Samy Vellu?

Pandithan has suffered from leukimia for some time now. He recently asked IPF members to support Samy Vellu but that move has backfired. Pandithan’s followers think that he has no principle because Samy Vellu remains the same Samy Vellu except for paying a visit to Pandithan when he was lying on the bed in hospital. Some suspect that Pandithan has changed his tune could be due to some private dealings between the two men. These IPF leaders were sacked for openly questioned Pandithan’s move. Partiban would not be able to get their votes, for sure.

The ousted MIC deputy president S. Subramaniam has some 200 t0 300 supporters in Ijok. They too have no reason to vote for Partiban.

And grassroot members who are loyal supporters of the sacked Kuala Selangor division chief Thirumoorty would not likely to vote for Partiban. Samy Vellu has dropped and sacked thier chief and even said that MIC could still win without their support. They were even not requested to turn up on the Nomination Day. Why should these 300 to 400 members support Partiban now?

And the DAP Indian members and hardcore Indian supporters here (about 10% of the total voters) would certainly vote for Khalid.

And we are trying to resolve the problem between some local estate workers and Khalid here with the help of PSM. The party has issued a statement to urge its party members not to support BN three days ago.

Let’s has faith in our Indian brothers and sisters in Ijok. They too know that MIC leaders like Samy Vellu have betrayed the Indian community, so much  so that the Indian community has been marginalised for the past 50 years in our land .

And the Maika Holdings scandal is still fresh in their mind where 90% of the 10 million Tenaga Nasional shares alloted by the then Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim were hijacked by Samy Vellu.

We want to impress upon them that a victory to Khalid would be more meaningful than voting in another MIC candidate.

Two foes embrace for Parthiban
RK Anand- Malaysiakini
Apr 23, 07 12:16pm
A wise man once said that, in politics, friends are never friends for life and enemies are never enemies for life. The sleepy hollow of Ijok – now wide awake – bore testimony to this yesterday when two sworn enemies hugged each other, not once, but twice.After years of mud slinging, name calling and even a macabre protest involving a coffin, MIC president S Samy Vellu and Indian Progressive Front (IPF) president MG Pandithan publicly buried the hatchet.“It was an emotionally charged event,” noted an observer who was at the function at the IPF operations centre in Taman Cahaya.In the presence of about 1,200 people, some clad in the black-and-red IPF outfit and others wearing tops bearing the MIC logo, the veteran politicians locked themselves in an embrace.They had come together to ensure victory for Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate K Parthiban, 38, in the by-election on Saturday. A former education officer, he will take on Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate Khalid Ibrahim, 61.Though seriously ill, a frail-looking Pandithan took to the stage and said he considered Samy Vellu a dear friend. He described the public end to their acrimonious relationship as an emotional event.

On his part, Samy Vellu said his party’s co-operation with IPF would continue even after the by-election.

Pandithan was previously a popular leader in MIC and commanded strong grassroots support from the Indian working class. He rose up the ranks to become vice-president.

However, his ties with Samy Vellu became strained when he backed a faction opposed to the president. In 1988, he was slapped with a show-cause letter for allegedly practising caste-oriented politics.

In June that year, Pandithan embarked on a hunger strike in front of the MIC headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. He brought along a coffin to signify that democracy was dead in the party.

This led to his expulsion on July 16, 1988, together with 13 of his loyalists. Two years later, he formed IPF which is backed by 1,069 people in Ijok, which has an electorate of 12,272.

Opposite effect

Bernama reported that Samy Vellu and Pandithan’s willingness to share the same stage augured well for a BN victory in Ijok.

Quoting observers, the news agency said the co-operation between the two former political foes paved the way to obtain the full support of Indian voters.

However, one MIC member warned that the reconciliation could prove to have the opposite effect as Indian voters might view it as another political gimmick.

“After all the squabbles and insults, the two hug each other. Indian voters might just laugh this off and become discouraged from voting for Parthiban. Will he (Samy Vellu) be hugging (his former deputy S) Subramaniam next?” asked the Ijok resident, who declined to be named.

Subramaniam (left), who had a protracted feud with Samy Vellu, lost in last year’s party polls to G Palanivel, who was backed by the president.

The MIC member also said there was much discontent among supporters of former Kuala Selangor MIC chief P Thirumoorthy for the way he was treated by the president.

Thirumoorthy had crossed swords with Samy Vellu after he was overlooked as a potential candidate for Ijok. He then threatened to resign, to which the president said he was free to leave.

Despite this, Thirumoorthy, who had since relinquished his post, pledged his support for Parthiban but it was said that his supporters might vote for the opposition as a mark of protest.

In a related development, Samy Vellu addressed a small gathering in Batang Berjuntai organised by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress. He told them to vote for Parthiban because he is “young, good looking and energetic”.

He also promised to return to the constituency twice a month to ensure that all the election promises are kept.

Coffee shop to kampung, Anwar charms Ijok
RK Anand
Apr 23, 07 11:30am
Malaysiakini
It was a modest Chinese coffee shop in the heart of Ijok. At its best, it could probably accommodate little more than 50 customers.However, last night the shop was bursting at its seams as hundreds descended upon it. The crowd spilled onto the streets, causing a traffic jam in the tiny hamlet, tucked amongst dense plantations some 50km northwest of Kuala Lumpur.They were there for one man, who showed up soon after in a chauffeur driven dark-coloured Rover. As the car pulled up, the crowd began to jostle for a closer look and when he emerged there was a thunderous applause.

This was none other than former deputy premier and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Anwar Ibrahim who had come to campaign for Khalid Ibrahim – his party’s candidate in the April 28 by-election.

Yesterday’s function was testimony to his popularity, not only among the Malays, but other races as well.

Since the 500 or so people who jam packed the coffee shop were predominantly Chinese, Anwar decided to touch on topics close to their hearts such as the economy, mother-tongue education and not to forget, Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein’s infamous keris-wielding incident.

Peppered with generous doses of humour and wit, Anwar drew much laughter and applause from his audience during his brief speech.

Repressive policies

As for Hishammuddin, who is also education minister, Anwar said wielding the keris during the Umno general assembly was nothing short of a warning to other races, especially the Chinese.

He said the Umno Youth chief had since explained that raising the traditional dagger was part of the Malay culture.

“You think the Chinese are stupid ah?” he asked, cracking up those present. “It was a warning (to the other races). Don’t challenge the Malays or else…”

The PKR leader also said the New Economic Policy (NEP) was detrimental to all races, including the Malays which it was crafted to provide assistance for.

Anwar said he was not raising these issues just to please the Chinese and that he would tell the Malays the same thing as well.

“If Malaysia is to move forward, all races must participate,” he said, adding that race-based politics was not good for the country.

“I don’t understand why the Chinese still support this Malay (Umno) government,” he quipped much to the amusement of the audience.

On a more serious note, Anwar said he does not want to support policies that are repressive and discriminatory. “I don’t want to see this country go down because of leaders who squander.”

As for education, he said the current standard was deplorable and asked why a non-Malay could not head a local public university.

The former deputy premier also took a swipe at the language-switch policy mooted by his predecessor Dr Mahathir Mohamad which saw English being used as the medium of instruction for Mathematics and Science.

“I challenge MCA leaders to respond to my call to have the language switch reverted and have Chinese schools teach these subjects in Chinese,” he said.

Anwar also drew loud cheers when he stressed on the importance of learning the Chinese language and revealed that three of his six children have learnt the language.

Better Malaysia

On a more personal note, the former deputy premier, who was sacked by Mahathir in 1998 and subsequently spent six year in prison, said he was not fueled by the desire for vengeance.

“I have gone through the cycle. I have dined with Kings and I have eaten horrible meals in prison. I am not seeking revenge, I just want Malaysia to be a good country for all Malaysians.”

He also took a swipe at Umno campaigners for telling Malay voters that he has changed and that he was now pro-Jew and pro-Chinese.

“MCA will come here tomorrow and tell you (Chinese voters) that I am pro-Malay. Both are lies, I am pro all races,” he said.

Immediately after his speech, Anwar was whisked away to another location in Batang Bejuntai, where he spent several minutes in the company of a few Indian PKR leaders and activists who launched a verbal assault against the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition. Their primary targets being MIC and its president S Samy Vellu.

Following this, the dark-coloured Rover headed towards the nearby Kampung Sungai Darah, escorted by youths on motorcycles carrying PKR flags.

Here, he addressed more than 300 people, made up mostly of Malays and Indians. Once again, Anwar’s wit and humour had the crowd in stitches.

Mongolia to KL

He said the Tuan Mee area now has the most number of sewing machines in the world as BN has just given out some 200 of these machines to the residents there.

“This is the time to ask for all sorts of things, go ahead and take them but when polling day comes, vote for PKR,” he said.

He also quipped that there were no tractors in Penang at the moment as the machines have come down south on the behest of the ruling coalition to work on the roads and drains in Ijok.

“Ijok is now world famous. Before this, nobody knew where it was. Now, right from Mongolia to Kuala Lumpur, people know where this town is,” he said.

Anwar also reiterated his corruption allegations concerning Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak over the purchase of submarines and fighter jets.

Apart from this, he also stressed on the importance of religious freedom and criticised any form of coercion in this matter.

Several minutes into his speech, businessman KS Nallakarupan made his way through the crowd, to which Anwar said in jest:

“Here comes Nalla, look at the way he walks, just like MGR (late Tamil actor and politician).”

The PKR advisor also told his audience that even a single opposition representative in the Selangor state assembly could make a difference.

“Do you think (BN candidate) K Parthiban can represent you effectively. I don’t think so, Khalid is the best choice,” he stressed.

Fact-boxes on Ijok

Ijok: MIC must be condemned for threatening Y4C

April 22, 2007

 Dinner Ceramah at Ijok last night. In my speech last Friday, I said a big portion of the so-called RM36 million development fund would have gone into certain pockets, instead of being spent in real projects. My suspicion was proven correct. I was informed today that all the jobs were outsourced to some 30 contractors and most of them were not from Ijok. And the engineers from JKR and local councils were completely by-passed. It was estimated that only half of the RM36 m will be spent on real works.

1.I was informed by Lee Khai Loon of Youth for Change that his team (some 40 of them) was threatened by the MIC Cameron Highlands MP Devamany  when they were doing a house-to-house visit in Ijok. He warned them that they must leave Tuan Mee Estate immediately or “their safety will not be guaranteed”.

Devamany must be condemned for his shameless act and MIC President should ask him to apologise to Y4C. And don’t you deny, Devamany. Because your ugly act has been captured in a video clip (go to Malaysiakini ).

2.Tan Sri Khalid has endorsed the signature campaign launched by the Bandar Mahkota Cheras Open Access Road Action Committee. He also pledged to raise the matter in the Selangor state assembly if he is elected. The BMC OARAC team was led by its chairman Tan Boon Wah. Tan gave a briefing to the Ijok people, telling them how they were victimised by the toll concessionaire who enjoys the full backing of the BN government.

In their outing earlier, they managed to see Samy and Najib seperately. Samy, as usual, put the blame of not removing the blockade to the developer Tan Sri William Cheng of the Lion Group. Najib refused to endorse the memo of the group without giving an answer.

3. Apart from DAP SG Lim Guan Eng who rushed back from Ipoh, Khalid’s campaign in Ijok was boosted by the presence of foremost Chinese educationist Loot Ting Yee and academician Prof Lim Teck Ghee. PKR has donated some fund to Lim Lian Geok Foundation.

4. In my speech last night, I condemned the action of Devamany, Hishamuddin, Khairy Jamaluddin and those Pemuda Umno members who attacked Khalid with mineral water bottles. A freelance photographer who accompanied Khalid was injured on Saturday afternoon. I reiterated the importance of opposition unity and why Khalid should be elected. I said we Malaysians have had enough of the “same old shit” from the racist Umno-led BN Government for the past 50 years. The time has come for real political changes in Malaysia. A victory to Khalid would provide new hope to all Malaysians and say goodbye to the Umno hegemony.

5.Khalid has challenged Partiban for a debate on who should be elected as the wakil rakyat of Ijok. But I dare to say that Partiban is no different from the MCA leaders; he too would not have the courage to face Khalid in an open debate. Please prove me wrong, Mr Partiban.

6. Also last night, Ng Lam Yong of PKR passed a copy of the Altantuya leaflet to Najib in the market place in Pekan Ijok. He quickly threw it away after a glance. hahahah….

7. Do you have friends and relatives living in Ijok? Pls call them up to persuade them to vote Khalid/ Opposition on 28 April 2007.

Shock for students conducting poll survey
Wong Yeen Fern- Malaysiakini
Apr 23, 07 2:15pm 

The youth-based Youth for Change (Y4C) came up against aggressive response while conducting an election-related survey at an estate near Ijok, where a by-election will take place on Saturday.

The group, which had conducted similar surveys in Ijok town and Bukit Badong, was attempting to get the views of Tuan Mee Estate workers as to whether they were receiving sufficient information about the by-election.

However, the 40 students led by convener Lee Khai Loon, were threatened with trouble if they did not stop “disturbing” the workers.

“Do you want 100 of us to come here now?” asked a man who saw them.

Cameron Highlands parliamentarian SK Devamany, who was at the estate, told the youths that they were on private property.

“I advise you to get permission from the estate management. There is a by-election going on, it is not a (suitable) time for you to come here,” he said, adding that the youths were welcome to do community work after the polls.

Lee explained the visit as an exposure trip for youths to take an interest in the by-election process.

“It does not have a political agenda,” he said.

Devamany appeared dissatisfied and reprimanded Lee for breaching the provisions of the Universities and University Colleges Act, which prohibits student participation in political activities.

After Devamany walked away, several people warned the students to leave, accusing them of perverting the by-election process by conducting irrelevant surveys.

A man snatched the survey forms from the students and questioned their basis for asking those questions.

Lee said he had obtained permission from an estate worker to conduct the survey.

The by-election was called after the seat fell vacant with the death of MIC’s K Sivalingam on April 4. Candidates from Barisan Nasional and Parti Keadilan Rakyat are involved in a straight fight.

Watch the two-minute Youth For Change video here.

Ijok: It’s 50-50 at the moment

April 21, 2007

Some 500 people turned up at the dinner ceramah at Taman Suria, Batang Berjuntai last night. DAP SG Lim Guan Eng came to Ijok for the first time. He will be back again tomorrow night to campaign for Khalid in the spirit of opposition unity. He made a very persuasive speech in a mixture of Mandarin and Hokkien.

After three days of intensive campaigning from both camps, I would say it’s 50-50 at this point of time.

While BN has spent no less than RM40 million to lure the Ijok voters apart from closing down the smelly landfill temporary for a week now, it was neutralised by the campaign led by Anwar with the help of some top leaders from DAP and Pas, plus the fact that Khalid has a clear upper hand compared to Partiban.

The situation is still very fluid at the moment. The internal problem of MIC was still not resolved while MCA and Gerakan are still keeping a low profile. Umno leaders have been very agressive on the ground but they were damaging their  own image with more incidences of violence and gangsterish acts.

And almost every top BN leader who was campaigning here does not enjoy a good image. They were either tarnished by corruption, abuse of power or even murder.

But the BN has a very powerful weapon at their disposal-plenty of hard cash. They may decide to buy the support- by hook or by crook.

The Opposition has plenty of issues and never short of good speakers. But we have difficulty in reaching every voter due to the short campaigning period granted by the Election Commission. The controlled media was not helping at all except for one or two Chinese newspapers.

The rainy season is not good for campaigning.But unlike the Opposition, the ruling power could use TV and Radio stations to engage the people at home. We only have the Internet but the Ijok people were not known as net-savvy.

It’s still too early to predict the final result. The next one week is deadly crucial.

  

Ijok: Khalid attacked by Umno hooligans…

April 21, 2007

Breaking news: Khalid was attacked by Umno members this afternoon at about 3pm at a restaurant near Batu Lapan Ijok. He was not hurt but blogger Jeff Ooi suffered a minor injury from a flying mineral water bottle that hit his spectacles in the ugly incident this afternoon.

Who says the brandishing of keris and irresponsible speeches by Umno leaders have no negative impact on their members?

And who knows Malaysians may start asking the BN government to ban mineral water in this country?

Watch this blog for more datails later. I will be speaking tonight at Taman Suria Batang Berjuntai together with Khalid, Lim Guan Eng, Anwar Ibrahim and others.

TERKINI: Rombongan Tan Sri Khalid diserang oleh Pemuda Umno di Ijok, seorang jurugambar dicedera Print E-mail
Sabtu, 21 April 2007
 IJOK (21 April) – Apabila meninggalkan Batu 8, Kg Ijok pada pukul 3 petang, rombongan Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim dikepung oleh ahli-ahli Pemuda Umno yang bertindak ganas dan tidak terkawal.Ketika rombongan tersebut mula bertolak, pemuda-pemuda Umno mengepung kereta dan mengacau ahli rombongan secara verbal dan fizikal, termasuk menendang kereta-kereta ahli rombongan.Selain daripada mencuba merampas kamera dua orang jurugambar yang mengiringi Tan Sri Khalid, pemuda Umno juga membaling botol-botol air mineral terhadap kereta mereka, seperti yang dilakukan pada hari percalonoan.Satu botol terkena seorang jurugambar tersebut. Akibatnya, cermin mata jurugambar tersebut pecah dan mukanya luka.Tan Sri Khalid kesal, tetapi tidak hairan langsung dengan tindakan liar ini di restoran berdekatan markas Pemuda Umno – “Kita sudah lama sedar bahawa memang begitulah perilaku Pemuda Umno – tidak berdisiplin, tidak matang, dan ganas sekali.”

Anwar increases attacks on Najib
Beh Lih Yi
Apr 21, 07 5:29pm
Malaysiakini

Believe it or not – Anwar Ibrahim is now anxiously waiting to be sued!

And he is hoping that Najib Abdul Razak would take the initiative as this would enable him to expose more in court of what he knows about the Mongolian murder case.

Last night, the opposition icon continued his attack on Najib by ‘inviting’ the deputy premier to initiate a lawsuit against him for linking the latter to the murder case of a Mongolian national.

“I prefer him (Najib) to sue me because I can go to court then and speak more about the matter,” Anwar told a crowd of about 400 at a dinner in Ijok – where a by-election is being held.

His challenge was made in the wake of Najib’s statement on Thursday that the deputy premier has no plan to take Anwar to court for the time being over the allegation.

Najib had said: “I don’t have to sue him. I have the option to sue him but what’s important is to let the law take its course.”

‘I know Najib too well’

Anwar, the PKR advisor, has repeatedly drawn Najib’s name into the gruesome murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The Mongolian national, aged 28, was murdered and her body was blown to bits with a powerful plastic explosive at a secondary forest near the Subang Dam at Puncak Alam, Shah Alam last October.

Two officers from a police elite unit have been charged with murder while a think-tanker closely linked to Najib has been charged with abetting them.

At the dinner last night, Anwar also claimed he knew Najib “too well”.

He then asked the crowd whether they want to know more government scandals, to which the audience replied with a loud “yes”.

But Anwar responded in Mandarin: “Man Man (slowly), we still have the general election to come. In Ijok, we reveal bit by bit.”

Apart from the murder case, Anwar also raised the language-switch policy in the teaching of Science and Maths and the need to do away with the New Economic Policy in his speech. 

PKR is fielding its national treasurer Khalid Ibrahim against BN’s K Parthiban, who is the Tanjung Karang MIC division secretary, in the April 28 by-election.

‘Nothing to do with me’

Commenting on this matter today, Najib said the opposition was raising non-issues in their election campaigns.

As such, he added, they were talking about matters that did not relate to the people of Ijok.

“What is the relationship between the Mongolian woman and the people of Ijok? There is no relationship, it has nothing to do with me too,” Najib told reporters after opening a new annex to the SRJK (Tamil) Bestari Jaya in Batang Berjuntai.

“It has nothing to do with me, yet it is being raised up here as an election issue,” he added.

Najib also said that the opposition was incapable of championing the cause of the estate workers.

He added that Khalid had always been “at top” and had no inkling of the woes faced by the estate workers.

“Who knows better about the problems of the estate workers other than people who were born in the estate such as Parthiban?” he said.

DAP, PAS join in campaign

DAP leaders Teresa Kok, Ronnie Liu and Ean Yong Hian Hwa were also present at the dinner in support of the PKR candidate.

The event, hosted by PKR at a Chinese restaurant, attracted more than 200 people who showed up after the party handed out dinner coupons during their house-to-house visits earlier in the day.

Another 200 – a mixture of Malay and Chinese crowd – followed the opposition leaders’ speeches outside the restaurant. There were few Indians among the crowd.

After the dinner, Anwar proceeded to two ceramahs held at Batang Berjuntai and Kampung Jaya Setia which also featured PAS leaders Dr Hasan Ali and Dr Hatta Ramli.

About 500 people turned up at the ceramah in Kampung Jaya Setia, a Malay-majority polling district believed to be PKR stronghold.

In the 2004 general election, PKR secured 41 votes more than the BN in the area.

Anwar’s speech, punctuated with Quranic verses, appealed to the locals to defend Jaya Setia as a “fort of the people’s struggle”.

However, despite the considerably good turnout at the ceramah, most of those in the crowd were not locals and this has caused some worry to the party.

Out of 10 people malaysiakini approached last night, only two confirmed they are locals while the others came from Kuala Lumpur, Klang and Seremban.

Photos by Bede Hong