Archive for the ‘Democracy’ Category

Yellow Saturdays from this Saturday

November 13, 2007
Yes, BERSIH will be lauching a campaign to encourage every Malaysian who cares for a truely democratic, free and just Malaysia to wear YELLOW every Saturday. We have decided to make Yellow the ‘colour of people power’.

It can be a Yellow shirt, Yellow T-shirt, Yellow Baju Kurung, Yellow Kebaya, Yellow tie, Yellow ribbon, Yellow scarf, Yellow headband, Yellow wristband, Yellow caps… anything that’s Yellow.

Let’s do it all over the country until real reforms on electoral system were being implemented.

Wear yellow every Saturday, urge rally organisers

Nov 13, 07 9:46am Malaysiakini
Malaysians were urged to wear yellow every Saturday in a protest against the government, after a rally calling for election reform was suppressed with water cannons and tear gas.

The organisers of last Saturday’s rally, which despite heavy rain and a government ban drew 40,000 people in the biggest turnout in a decade, selected yellow as the colour of “people power”.

“We are asking everyone nationwide to wear yellow on every Saturday. It can be a yellow cap, a yellow shirt, a yellow ribbon … just anything yellow,” said Syed Azman Syed Nawawi from the opposition Islamic party PAS.

The protest movement, a coalition of opposition parties and civil society groups known as Bersih, is pushing for reforms including a clean-up of the electoral roll and an end to postal votes.

They handed a protest memorandum to the king during the rally and said Tuesday they would also meet the country’s nine state sultans to press for reforms.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is expected to call snap polls early next year, has denounced the protesters for involving the king who is highly respected but has a largely ceremonial role and usually stays out of politics.

“We do not want to drag in the king and the sultans but who else can we appeal to,” Syed Azman said at a press conference along with other opposition leaders.

Gov’t has turned deaf ear

“The government and the election commission have turned a deaf ear. So we turn to the king who is the protector of the people and the constitution,” he said.

Syed Azman said that four Bersih leaders have been summoned to report to police headquarters on Thursday.

Police have said that 245 people were detained during the protests, although organisers and rights groups say that is an exaggeration and only 36 people were arrested.

Reports said today that the parents of 18 children detained at the rally will be charged with engdangering their children.

“It was an irresponsible act and wrong of the adults to bring children to the rally,” police chief Musa Hassan said according to the New Straits Times.

– AFP

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“Saya pantang dicabar!” Sekarang nak balas dendam?

November 12, 2007

 

You Have Been Challenged, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi!
M. Bakri Musa
 
 
“Saya pantang dicabar!” (lit:  “I am allergic to challenges;” fig. “Don’t challenge me!”) declared Prime Minister Abdullah in an uncharacteristically bold assertion to the media on the eve of BERSIH’s massive street demonstrations in Kuala Lumpur last Saturday, November 10, 2007.
            You have now been challenged, Mr. Prime Minister, openly and publicly by your own citizens, and you have emerged impotent!  That huge street rally may be illegal to you, but the King had consented to receiving its leaders and their petition.  In effect, the King too has challenged you, Abdullah!  In case you did not get the message, you had just been served a very public royal rebuff.
I too, challenge you, Abdullah!  Instead of arresting those ordinary citizen demonstrators, I dare you to arrest their leaders, Anwar Ibrahim, Hadi Awang, Lim Kit Siang, and Raja Petra Kamarudin.  Those ordinary folks were merely exercising their basic rights as citizens of a democracy:  the right to free assembly and to petition the authorities.
            As per the refrain of the Ghostbusters theme song, “Who are you gonna call now!” Mr. Prime Minister?  Your fabulous Fourth Floor boys?  Your son-in-law who is using you as his “protection?”  Imagine being considered as such by your son-in-law!
            Khairy Jamaluddin obviously had not heard of your “demonstrations are not part of our Malay culture” bit.  Either that or Khairy had blissfully ignored it as when he led that pathetic street demonstration against your official guest, US State Secretary Rice.
            In a speech earlier in the week, Khairy demanded that the authorities “come down hard” on the BERSIH demonstrators.  While there were some water cannons and tear gas canisters unloaded, the demonstrations went ahead smoothly and successfully to the palace.  The police even released most of those arrested.  Your son-in-law challenged you to be tough on the demonstrators, and you came out lembik (limp).
 
 
Dim Wit Understanding of Democracy
 
In denying the BERSIH demonstrators their police permit, Abdullah demonstrated only a dim wit understanding of democracy, akin to that held by Saddam Hussein and Pervez Musharraf.  Both were voted in with over 98 percent of the votes, and they took that to mean they could ride roughshod over their country and citizens.  Never mind that their elections were anything but fair and free.
            Democracy means rule of the people, but it does not mean mob rule legitimized through the ballot box.  Electoral victory is not a license for tyranny of the majority.  As Fareed Zakaria wrote so eloquently in his book, The Future of Freedom, democracy is more than just elections.  Even if elections were fair and free (far from the reality in Malaysia, hence the demonstrations!), obsession with or sole reliance on them would threaten the other far more important aspects like the rule of law, private property rights, separation of powers, and the right to free speech and to assemble freely.
            Elections regular or otherwise, honest or rigged, do not guarantee these; only independent and impartial judges could.  An independent judiciary is thus the hallmark as well as the guarantor of democracy and freedom, certainly much more than universal adult suffrage.
            As for the state of the Malaysian judiciary, the Lingam tapes painfully showed what a sorry mess it is in.  Even if BERSIH were completely successful with its petition and the Elections Commission completely overhauled, there is still the monumental task of cleaning up the judiciary and restoring its long lost integrity.
            These points are elementary and obvious to all, save the dim witted.
 
 
Time to Deliver The Next Lesson
 
There is another feature of the dim witted; they are slow learners.  It is unlikely for them to have learned a lesson from Bersih’s successful rally, or if they did it may not have stuck.
            Since the only lesson that would register on their thick skulls is election returns, my friend Din Merican had started a campaign to register voters.  The next step would be to ensure that they will vote against the Barisan coalition.
            It would encourage voters to do that if there were to be substantial and effective co-ordination among the opposition parties to ensure that there would only be a one-on-one battle with the Barisan in every constituency.  The objective here is rather modest, to inflict enough damage to the Barisan coalition such that it would precipitate internal squabbling especially within UMNO to trigger its implosion.
            Selecting the best candidate, meaning one who would most likely defeat the Barisan’s nominee, involves studying the demographics of the constituency as well as the Barisan’s candidate.  Since race is never far from voters’ considerations, the best avenue to neutralize this crucial factor would be to field candidates of the same race as the Barisan’s nominees.  This was the clear lesson from the recent Ijok by-elections.  Thus the opposition must be ready to change candidates on nomination day depending on who would represent Barisan.
            For example, if Barisan were to re-nominate the current MCA candidate but at the last minute the seat were to go to UMNO, then the opposition must be ready to substitute a Malay candidate.  If that party (like DAP for instance) cannot come up with a Malay nominee, then it should be willing to give the slot to a Malay from one of the other parties.
            BERSIH’s victory should embolden the citizens to impart to the Barisan government the other equally important lesson:  cleaning out the rot in the judiciary.  No less than a full Royal Commission with full powers to subpoena witnesses and grant them immunity should be the objective.  As Fareed Zakaria noted, an impartial and independent judiciary is the best guarantor of our freedoms and democracy.  We must keep drumming these lessons lest they forget easily.
            We must keep mencabar (challenging) Abdullah until he comes to his senses and realizes the obvious:  the job of being a Prime Minister of our great nation is way above his head.  If he does not, others either within or outside his party should be emboldened enough to tell him so.
 

BERSIH: PM worried about Agong’s intervention

November 12, 2007

  Bringing the people’s memo to the King on behalf of BERSIH

PM Abdullah blamed the Opposition for dragging the monarchy into politics. He spoke as if HRH Agong has no mind of his own.

Come on, AAB. Please learn to respect our King. Our monarchy is not mere rubber stamp. Under the Federal Constitution, they have the rights to right the wrong in the administration. And it’s only natural for the rakyat to turn to the King for help when the BN government is failing all Malaysians in every aspect of its administration. 

It was also wrong for AAB to claim that the rakyat were angry with the Opposition for organising the protest rally. In fact, more and more people now understand the importance of a clean and fair electoral system. What is so important about causing traffic jam compared to the demand of a clean and fair electoral system? To be fair to BERSIH, the traffic jams were created by the police. They should not have set up so many road blocks in the first place. The traffic jam has very little to do with BERSIH.

Lim Kit Siang nabbed at the airport

June 28, 2007

LKS Series # 3

 

Dear Sir

 Re: Hello Lim Kit Siang. (28  years old). On 13th May 1969, where art thou? 

The 1969  May 13th   racial riots started from the house of  the then Menteri Besar, Dato Harun Idris. The house was in Princes Road ( Jalan Raja Muda). Half a kilometre away, at Fook Chuen Mansions, Batu Road ( Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman ) was the office of the then Secretary General of the Democratic Action Party, Mr Goh Hock Guan.*. He was and still is a Chartered Architect and Town Planner practising under the name of M/s Goh Hock Guan and Associates.

 

Prior to 13th May  1969, LKS  was a political  Liliputian. He was the DAP National  Organising Secretary and the Editor of The Rocket** then.  His first  political debut projected to the Malaysian public was his  participation in the “ Great Cultural Debate” between the DAP and the Gerakan which took place before the General Elections of 1969. At that point in time Gerakan was in the Opposition. After the 13th May riots, Gerakan joined the Alliance to form the Barisan, until today. The debate was held at the MARA Auditorium which was at Batu Road, Kuala Lumpur.

 

When the ethnic riots started on 13th May 1969,  LKS was in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. A political novice, untried with no credentials to back him up. He was campaigning for the independent candidates there. Fellow members of the DAP in Petaling Jaya called LKS on the phone asking him not to come back to Kuala Lumpur for his own safety until such a time when  things cooled down. (Official fiqures:190 plus, Malaysians killed.)

 

LKS in his maiden political quest for justice, freedom, upholding of democracy and an equal right to happiness, dignity and fulfillment in life,  was already under the “protective” custody of the KK police. He replied that he “ is going back to Kuala Lumpur immediately and is not afraid to DIE for his political convictions” — all for a better life for all Malaysians. There was no choice. He had to martyr himself. There was no alternative. However, in case his life was spared, LKS was prepared to face any charges that the Alliance Government will bring up and charge against him.

                                                                          1

Flights between East and West Malaysia was suspended.  Also at that point in time there was no direct flight between Kuala Lumpur and Kota Kinabalu. LKS took the first flight out of KK to Singapore en route to KL on 15th May 1969. He had to stopover in Singapore.  

When he was in Singapore, he had many friends and supporters to discuss the racial riots and its consequences on opposition members. Anything can happen. There was no guarantee on his safety. LKS was adamant that it was his sacred duty to go back to KL.

 

He took the first available flight to Subang International Airport ( now Sultan Abdul Aziz Airport ) on 18th May 1969. He boarded the plane at the Paya Lebar International Airport, Singapore The  plane took off for KL.

 

While airborne, all of a sudden, LKS found that he was now alone. Alone to face the music. He cannot turn back then, unless of course the pilot turned the plane around. Samuel Taylor Coleridge can describe him as:-

“Alone alone, all all alone

Alone on a wide wide sea

And never a saint took pity on his soul in agony” – in the Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

                                                                                  Samuel Taylor Coleridge

 

The airborne mariner cannot change his mind then. Can he call for help? Call who? Call the CIA?. Call the FBI? Call the KGB?. Call MI 5?. Call OSS?. Call Chin Peng?. Call Chen Tian?. ( there were no mobile phones then)

 

Lim Kit Siang believed that he was going to be eliminated. On this last home coming  flight,   he  decided  to write a  last  letter to his wife – a homemaker. He asked his wife to be strong, to  expect  the EXPECTED and  to  bring up the four children.***.  To LKS, the demise of LKS is NOT important. The Political Future of Malaysians and the Future of Malaysia ARE of Paramount Importance. Malaysia MUST GO ON!  The letter was physically handed to the flight stewardess for posting. But it was without a stamp. Until today the letter was not delivered.  

The curfew was on. There were  lots of soldiers around the Subang Airport  then. They were there guarding the airport and to PROBABLY “welcome” home  in a formal reception “ceremony” for Mr Lim Kit Siang. All the soldiers’ SLR rifles were on a horizontal level. Their forefingers were just glazing the side of the trigger, in preparation to shoot at any time.

 

The moment of truth had arrived. The stage was set. The grand finale was about to begin. LKS came into  the arrival  hall. The atmosphere was unexceptionally quiet. Nobody was talking. The silence was deafening. It was tense and solemn because everybody were expecting the arrival of the Yang Berhormat,  the DAP MP for Bandar Malacca (now Kota Melaka). LKS was no fugitive. LKS, a young, non violent, non belligerent man, stepped out of the arrival hall. A group of Special Branch Officers  and soldiers with their horizontal SLRs “greeted” him. LKS need not hail a taxi for his transport to KL. There were no taxis anyway. There was also NO shooting.

                                                                     2

                                                                     

On his journey to the High Street Police Station, LKS saw for himself the senseless carnage, atrocities, plunder and destruction. Smoke can still be seen from houses which were torched. After a few days of detention in the High Street Police Station, LKS was  sent   to a Police Station in Kuala Selangor, Selangor. 

                   

Prior to 13-05-69, Dato Dr Ismail (later Tun), left the Government. He joined back the Government immediately after 13-05-69. The first words he said was “Democracy is Dead”.  As the Minister of Internal Security, Dato Ismail signed the Detention Order on LKS. LKS was then sent to the Muar Detention Camp. He was entitled to free food and lodging for the next 18 months at taxpayers’ expense. Ironically, Muar was 32 miles away from LKS home. His house is in Batu Pahat,  Johore

The Internal Security Act is an Act of Parliament formulated to suppress the communist insurgency and to arrest the communists at that period of time. Ironically, the PAP’s ( later DAP) Member of Parliament for Bungsar (now Bangsar) , Mr Devan Nair supported the ISA Bill earlier then.****. It is detention without trial.

 

While under detention LKS was appointed the 3rd  National Secretary General of the DAP (in absentia). There was a vacancy. The appointment was necessary because somebody had  disappeared  but  can be found in another country. He stayed put in that country then. “ I am NO LIM KIT SIANG.  If  I  go back  then,  all of you will be deprived of a Great Leader”.    The vacancy was filled. LKS  held  the  post of  National Sec-Gen  till 1999.

 

LKS could have absconded while in Singapore. ( Singapore was given independence by Malaysia in 1965). He could have asked for political asylum in another country. He could have been an MP in exile. He was and is a true loyal Malaysian Citizen. With guts, he went back to the hornet’s nest – “a river of no return”,  says Marilyn Monroe. Sorry. My apologies. He was and is  still in one piece. He was never charged in open court then. He will still be around for many years to come.

 

Cowards die many times before their deaths, the valiant never taste of death but once”—Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare

Again sorry lah Kit, (as he is fondly known as).  We do realise that, the particular effective organ that is part of your anatomy is your gift of  the gap – a non lethal instrument. Now we know you are battle hardened. In spite of your tireless, relentless political pursuit, vocal, articulate or otherwise, until today, matters have become from bad to worst. True, “That All Men Are Born Equal but then some selectives are more equal than others—Abraham Lincoln’s version for  2nd class citizens.

 

LKS was again detained, the 2nd time in 1987, (after the 1986 General Election)  under the Mahathir Administration. He got free curry lunch, lodging, bed and breakfast again for another 18 months, on the auspicious pleasure of the host — the Barisan Government ala taxpayers. Again  no charges were brought against him. Can somebody name me a similar Malaysian likewise?

                                                                 

                                                                      3    

Somebody say LKS only NATO ( No action, talk only). If that is the case, let him talk! We like to hear him talk. Why detain him to stop him from talking? You are hitting below the belt. Do you want him to talk on what you like to hear and then stop him from talking on what you don’t like to hear? But at the same time you go on talking and talking on what we don’t like to hear! (Editor: hahah…that’s a good one! )

 

Finally, a belated sincere tribute must be made to the powers that be, at that critical, predatory point of time. LKS’s life was spared. The expected was not performed. The expected was unexpected – so to speak! Had LKS, the political apprentice left us to join the happy hunting ground, he will be forgotten. Nobody will raise an eyelid after all:-

                                                                      

“When beggars die, no comets are seen.

The heavens blaze forth the marriage of princes  Julius Caesar,  William Shakespeare’s

                                                                                 modern version

The powers that be was still rational then. Maybe its was mercy.

  

The quality of mercy is not strained

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

The Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare                                                           

                                                                      

So to the players of  May the 13th, I am wishing a belated words of  thanks. To Whom It May Concern.  Thank You Very Much  for the fact that we still have LKS around. Say what we like. We argue.  We are all still Malaysian Citizens. We are born here. Do you want to deprive LKS  of his citizenship like Mr Lim Lean Geok ? By the way LKS is local born and can be classified as a Baba and his wife a Nonya. He is more Malaysian than  a bigger number of Malaysians put together!

Finally, we reiterate that we are all peace loving citizens. Some say we are citizens “by default”. This is subjective and debatable. Supposing we ARE citizens by default, we are still citizens, maybe 2nd class citizens or otherwise.

 

To all Malaysian mankind:-

He loveth best, who loveth best, both man and bird and beast.

He loveth well, who loveth well, for all things both great and small

For the dear God who loveth us, he made and loveth all.”  

Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s moral message to humanity especially to Malaysian humans.                                                                                              

The writer notes that after the riots of 13th May 1969, the Deputy Prime Minister, Dato Abdul Razak (later Tun) set up  The National Operations Council. Parliament was suspended after all “Democracy is Dead”. Looking after this NOC, was Dato Ghazali Shafie (later Tun).                                                             4

Incidentally, the 3rd man in ranking, in  the  NOC  then, was a slim, serious, handsome, no nonsense looking man – a politically unknown then.  He was probably the “executive secretary” of the NOC. He literally commanded the day to day operations of the NOC —  hands on. He was already a “Chief Executive Officer” and “Prime Minister” then, way back during 1969.  He looked familiar and was identical  towards  a former school mate of mine from my Alma Mater : Methodist Boys School, Penang. My school mate’s  name was and is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

 

Lastly, to all the participants of May the 13th that are not indicted including Lim Kit Siang. All are still executives of  liberty,  happy,  free from all encumbrances and despotic control. All will live happily ever after including LKS.

                                                                    

* Mr Goh Hock Guan was the 2nd DAP Secretary General (1968 to 13th May 1969). Mr Goh’s  sister, Ms Phyllis Goh was an architect undergraduate then and was a college mate of the writer.

In 1969, the writer was staying above the office of M/s Goh Hock Guan & Associates at Fook Chuen Mansions at Batu Road, Kuala Lumpur. He had a 1st Class ring side seat cum an On Line, Real Time bird’s eye view of the May 13th story.

   

** Lim Kit Siang was the 1st DAP National Organising Secretary and Editor of The Rocket. (1966 to 1969).

Lim Kit Siang was appointed the 3rd  DAP Secretary General (1969 – 1999) – the longest serving DAP Sec Gen.

   

*** As at 13th May 1969, Lim Kit Siang has four children then. The eldest is a son 9 years old then. He is Lim Guan Eng,  the  present day  Secretary General of the DAP.  An Australian Graduate of  Monash University, he is an Accountant by profession.

 

The second child is a daughter. She was 7 years as at 13th May 1969. She hold a double degree – in law and in accountancy.

 

The third child is also a daughter. She was 6 years old as at 13th May 1969. She is a B.A degree holder.

 

The last and fourth child is a son. He was 3 years old as at 13th May 1969. He is a heart specialist. A few years ago, I understand that he was attached to the IJN (Institut Jantung Negara) as a cardiologist.

                                                                       5

     

****

PAP is the People’s Action Party of Singapore which was already ruling Singapore in 1964.

                                                                 

Mr Devan Nair was  born in Malacca on the 8th of August 1923. He was the main organizer and founder of the DAP. Naturally he became the 1st Secretary General of the DAP ( 1966 – 1968). He stood as a PAP ( later DAP) candidate in Bungsar in the 1964 General Election. Winning this Bungsar seat, he became the Member of Parliament for PAP in  the 1964 – 1969 parliamentary session. From 1981 to 1985 he was appointed  the President of Singapore. Dr Chen Man Hin, the present day DAP Life Advisor said “ Without him the DAP may not be born”.

 

The writer at 18 years old, campaigned for Mr Devan Nair during 1964 General Election. His son Janadas (now Ph D) recalled the days when he was small boy as at 1964. He remembered an incident when the writer was nearly apprehended by  the police when the writer put up a  2nd  political banner at the Railway Station  KL  prior to the 1964 General Elections. The setting up of the 1st banner was earlier accomplished at the flyover, beside the KL Railway Station. The banner says “ Vote  PAP – a  Non Communist  Democratic Socialist Party”. The writer then was able to outwit, out manoeuvre and  run away from the  police in  a  busy  KL  because he was young,  agile and  was on a portable bicycle! 

Dr Jana (as he is known to me) who is now residing in Canada. He was here  on  2006 during the DAP Devan Nair Memorial. We recalled the good old days.

 

The writer deliberately put in the names of the literary writers because of requests from the younger readers.

 

AKAN DATANG

Watch out for

1)  Dr Lim Kit Siang.

2) “Lim Kit Siang – 18 months after 13th May 1969” in the coming episodes.

3) Lim Kit Siang an opportunist and an agent of UMNO?

  

Yours truly,

  

James Bond Zero Zero One

BERSIH: Greater electoral reforms

June 5, 2007

We were least surprise when MCA leader like Ong Ka Chuan and several Umno leaders say ‘no’ to the use of indelible ink. That’s because with the introduction of indelible ink, they cannot manipulate future elections with multiple voting anymore. In past elections, certain members of the ruling parties were specailly tasked to vote more than once on polling day. Can you imagine, constituency like Kuala Terengganu had a turnout rate of more than 95%!

One needs not ‘sympathise’ with BN component parties because they still have plenty other manipulations in their hands to help win elections. Thier mantra is Cheat to Win!

4 June 2007

Media Release
————-

BERSIH welcomes EC’s decision on indelible ink

BERSIH welcomes the Election Commission’s decision to consider the use of indelible ink in elections. Its responsiveness to one of BERSIH’s three immediate demands will strengthen our democratic institutions
and increase the legitimacy of the elected government.

This long-awaited decision is the result of the unwavering demands of the 64 NGOs and political  parties that support BERSIH. This encouraging development suggests that civil society’s voice counts and all Malaysians who desire accountability, transparency and participation in public affairs must articulate and lobby for other forms of electoral and political reform.

However, the SPR must be seen to act speedily to ensure the implementation of indelible ink for the next election and further to make sure that such implementation is in accordance with internationally accepted best practices.

These efforts to promote democracy must be supported, nurtured and continued. BERSIH urges the Elections Commission to take up the other reform demands listed below:

1. Cleaning up the electoral roll

While indelible ink can eliminate multiple voting, it does not prevent the impersonation and involuntary transfer of voters. To ensure all legitimate voters and only all legitimate voters can vote in the elections, EC must advice against any decision by the government to hold elections before the electoral roll is satisfactorily cleaned up
and updated.

2. Abolition of domestic postal voting

Dialogues and debate on the continuity or termination of this non-transparent process must begin immediately. Should the EC, security forces and others object to the abolition of this process, they must articulate their rationale publicly or else suggest ways to overcome the problems associated with this process, such as the disappearance of 5,000 ballots in Lumut over four consecutive ,elections since 1990.

With the exception of personnel who are on active duty on polling day, army and police personnel should be allowed to vote in polling centres. For personnel on active duty who are required to cast their votes before polling day, polling agents from the contesting parties should be allowed to observe the polling process.

We understand that EC Chairman is leaving office at the end of this year unless his term is extended by the Government. Tan Sri Abdul Rashid, who served as Secretary of the EC between 1979 and 1995,
returned to serve as its Chairman since 2001. Unfortunately, the 2004 general election saw some of the worst irregularities ever and this trend worsened in the recent Ijok by-election. If Tan Sri Rashid wishes to leave office with some form of legacy of reform, we demand
that the EC act on other more long-term actions such as:

1. Duration of campaigning period

The campaign period should be a minimum of 21 days, if not five weeks. Short campaign periods of less than 10 days must be reviewed. A shorter campaign period tends to disadvantage opposition parties, which operate with fewer resources than the Government, as well as lack access to state and public media. The Government’s prerogative to
call an election as and when it suits its partisan interests is
another reason why a longer campaign period is needed, in order to maintain a ‘level playing field’ for all parties.

2. Media access

All parties should have equal access to local and national media, particularly during the campaigning period. One administrative measure that could be taken would be an organized debate on national TV. The EC should champion rights of freedom of expression and freedom of
information, in order to ensure a more level playing field during elections. Recognising problems with the concentration of media ownership in the hands of governing political parties, the EC should further champion the cause of diversity of media ownership.

3. Right of reply

A code of conduct must be issued to ensure balanced reporting in all media, based on the Malaysian Press Institute’s code of ethics for election reporting, as presented in the draft Media Council Act 2001.

Voice of a concerned group: Be careful of BN

May 30, 2007

This is a letter emailed to DAP leaders yeasterday by a group of concerned Malaysians. I have taken the liberty to edit the letter to make it more readable. Happy reading!

Dear all,

Be careful of BN (Barisan Nasional) in this coming election, 

BN = Barang Naik  but income stays the same ?

Voice of rakyat Malaysia

      We are regretted to bring up our concern which have been kept in the
heart of Malaysian people where some of the Malaysians do not know how to
voice up or dare not highlight their problems which might be causing
trouble to themselves when commenting the faults of our government.

  Our government seems to be governing the country without listening to the voices of the rakyat.How Malaysians would survived under these leaders?

  Malaysian government leaders are great pretenders and blood suckers; they have cut the throat of the people by increasing the prices of everything. They were doing it without taking the negative impact to the people into consideration.

  The fuel price worldwide had gone down,and those countries like Singapore, China,Hong  Kong so on have reduced their fuel prices accordingly,but our government still pretending that nothing has happened. 

  The toll rates keep increasing every three years and some of the places like Prai, Penang
suddenly added toll booths to collect toll from the people. 

  The price increase has triggered an inflation. How are we going to survive? It will create more crimes when the people have no money.

  Most of the companies are at dying state with less earnings,and our factories were just working for 3 days a week because of no purchase order from the overseas and local markets.

  People have low earnings and poor buying power. Cash flow was slow and buinesses are under pressure, but how could the government continue to claim that the domestic economy is doing very well? 

  The n minister is bullshiting by giving false information and data. we are now lagging behind many ASEAN countries. 

  We are all suffering now ! If we still do not open our eyes, what is going to happen? ?Although we are
always a BN supporter,but it looks like we must change direction to BA now. We continue to support BN but we will ended up with more violence and criminal acts like robbing and stealing. Please do not blame  the police alone because the government should be responsible. Adding more policemen will not solve the problem.

  The ‘rasuah” and “close one eye” culture still exist in most of the government departments; for  example, ZAKARIA  has escaped. Nothing has happened to him.

  Recently, we sent our company vehicles to PUSPAKOM for inspection, but every time we must bribe to get a pass.; otherwise,they would make all sorts of excuses , such as paint no good,cushion no good …which were not related to the safety of the vehicles at all. There was once our company vehicle got a pass from the Puspakom but one of the wheels was actually damaged seriously and may cause accident. What is the use PUSPAKOM? The ministers are  still sleeping. Please close down Puspakom!

  Dear fellow Malaysian, please cast your vote carefully this time. BN will only bring more problems to Malaysians, making the country more insecure and chaotic. 

  Unless BN is willing to listen and change the way they governed the country,we should not be supporting BN anymore.

  Before our government is getting more rotten,we need to take a stand for the sake of our future generations. 

  Once again, please be careful to cast your vote. We are not asking for more trouble by voting out BN. Continue support for an “unchangeble” BN only works against our interest. 

Peace upon all Malaysians.

Voice from a group of Malaysian people.

Dinner: Reclaim PJ Parliamentary and State seats

May 28, 2007

Congratulations to the PJ Action Team for the successful dinner held in Sg Way (Seri Setia) a while ago.

Sec Gen Lim Guan Eng and deputy sec gen Chong Eng came all the way from Bukit Mertajam and Kota Melaka respectively to give the potential candidates in PJ their greatest support.

Other speakers tonight include Lau Weng San (PJ Action Team Chairman), Ean Yong Hian Wah (Selangor state chairman), Liew Ching Tong ( DAPSY leader), Thomas Goh ( PJ Action Team Treasurer), Tony Pua ( Economic Advisor to Sec Gen DAP), Rama ( Chairman of Kg Tun Razak ).

In my speech, I criticised the MCA local elected reps for not helping the residents and villagers. I also explained what has happened to my OSA case ( no fruther development) and the compensation I won from the case against the former IGP some six months ago was still not paid to me.

I did an opinion poll on the spot and to our delight, majority of the supporters said Yes to opposition cooperation; only 3 persons said No. I have no time to ask them why but I did use the opportunity to explain why we should get the opposition parties to work together.

In my speech, I explained why DAP leaders believe that the coming GE will fall in November this year ( NOV 25, to be more precise) or latest by March 2008. 

I also expressed my deep regret that the voters who lived in Jalan 4 and Jalan 18, Sg Way were fooled by Chew Mei Fun and Dr Wong Sai Hau in the 2004 GE. They were promised land titles immediately after the GE but guess what, their homes were all demolished by the authority in 2006. Both Chew and Wong did not even give it a fight. Not only that, they even failed to get the rightful compensation for many of them: No monthly rental subsidy of RM120 per family. No transport/ moving cost subsidy. No homes for second family…

But it’s too late for the residents who have trusted Chew and Wong. Chew has even gotten a promotion after the 2004 GE. There’s nothing the villagers can do except for voting against the two in the coming general elections.

Other speaker touched on issues such as mother tongue education, quality of tertiary education, freedom of religion, the importance of voters registration, rampant corruption and abuse of powers, increasing crime rates in PJ and Selangor, the restructuring of police force to fight crimes, the reasons for strengthening the DAP and other opposition parties, the NEP and income divide, the sexist Umno MPs ( we played the video clips of the relevant Parliamentary seating) and what should we expect  from a state assemblyman and Member of Parliament.

Everyone in the audience agrees with DAP speakers that Malaysia is not a better place to live after Abdullah has taken over from Dr Mahathir. We were all greatly disappoineted with the performance of Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Another year of house arrest for Aung Sun Suu Kyi

May 26, 2007

It’s too late and too little as far as support and solidarity from the world is concerned. Little wonder the Burmese junta again ignored the international call for the release of democracy icon Aung Sun Suu Kyi.

The junta, just like any other dictatorship in the world, would not respond positively unless and until the world really mount much greater pressure. It appears that the junta would put the national hero under house arrest forever if the world’s action stops at memorandum and economic sanctions.

ASEAN should have done more for the release of Suu Kyi. But the organisation can only do little or nothing as long as they stick to its so-called principles, such as ‘constructive engagement’ and ‘non-intervention in member state’s internal affairs’. (Myanmar is a member state of ASEAN)

The world community should make a stand through the United Nations, giving an ultimatum to the junta for the release of Aung Sun Suu Kyi. Give the junta a deadline or else millitary force would be used to set her free. The UN sec gen Ban Ki Moon should take the lead.

One more year of house arrest for Suu Kyi
May 26, 07 11:26am Malaysiakini 
Burma’s political icon Aung San Suu Kyi has her house arrest extended for another year by the country’s military leaders, ignoring international calls for her freedom. Police sources told AFP that officials visited the Nobel Peace Prize winner at her lakeside home in Rangoon to inform her, they said. “We issued an order of further detention,” one source said.Another police source confirmed her latest period of detention, which started in May 2003 and was set to expire this weekend, was extended by a year.

“We informed her about the extension,” said the source, who was among the officials who visited Aung San Suu Kyi.

A Western diplomat in Rangoon also said the democracy leader’s house arrest was extended “by one year without surprise.” The decision attracted condemnation from the international community, with the United States leading the criticism.

17 years under house arrest

Aung San Suu Kyi, 61, has spent most of the past 17 years under house arrest and has little contact with the outside world, apart from her live-in maid and visits from her doctor.

The last time the opposition leader – the only Nobel peace laureate in detention – was able to leave her house was November 2006, when the junta allowed her to meet visiting UN envoy Ibrahim Gambari for one hour.

The extension was widely expected, with observers saying the junta is fearful the hugely popular democracy leader could threaten its rule.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s opposition National League for Democracy (NLD), which won a landslide victory in 1990 elections but was never allowed to govern, quickly denounced the extension.

“Our government totally ignored domestic and international calls demanding her freedom,” said Myint Thein, an NLD spokesman.

“We are very disappointed by this. Her detention is not good for the country,” he said. Political figures from across the world have ramped up calls for her release, with ex-US president Bill Clinton and 58 other former world leaders sending a joint letter last week to junta head General Than Shwe.

Two other Nobel peace laureates – former US president Jimmy Carter and former South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung – were among those who signed the appeal.

Citing Burma’s rights violations, including Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention, the United States last week renewed sanctions against the regime for another year, as did the European Union in April.

‘Detention must end’

“The United States condemns the generals of the State Peace and Development Council of Burma for the extension of the house arrest of Nobel laureate Aung San Suu Kyi,” said White House national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

“The regime’s unjustified continued detention of Aung San Suu Kyi and repression of other democratic activists must end,” he added. UN chief Ban Ki-moon also expressed concern.

“The secretary general deeply regrets the decision,” Ban’s spokeswoman Michel Montas said in a statement.

“He strongly believes that the sooner restrictions on Aung San Suu Kyi and other political figures are lifted, the sooner Myanmar will be able to move toward inclusive national reconciliation, the restoration of democracy and full respect for human rights.”

In the past week the junta has detained at least 60 pro-democracy activists as they went to pagodas to pray for Aung San Suu Kyi’s release, and 45 people, mostly NLD members, still remain in custody.

The United Nations has estimated there are 1,100 political prisoners in the country which has been ruled by the military since 1962.

– AFP

KeADILan Vs Umno

May 22, 2007

Parti KeADILan Rakyat (PKR) will be holding its national congress and election in Seremban from Friday to Sunday this week. The party’s 1,800 delegates will elect its President and 20 supreme council members to lead the party as well as facing the coming general elections.

Time and again, those who were critical about PKR have said that this is a party for Anwar Ibrahim. Nothing more, nothing less. And that was said at the time Anwar was still in jail. And what would they say now that Anwar is running for the presidency and very likely to be elected (unless sabotaged by the Registrar of Societies)?

We would know better what PKR would lead to after Anwar has taken over the party leadership from Wan Azizah.

Before that, let’s examine what Anwar has been saying in terms of national policies, versus Umno.

PKR under Anwar  Vs Umno under Abdullah

Multi-racialism Vs Ketuanan Melayu (Malay Supremacy)

No to NEP   Vs Yes to NEP (New Economic Policy)

Freedom of Religion Vs Islam supremacy in the name of Islam ‘Hadhari’

Multi-culturalism Vs Dominance of Malay culture

Promote mother tongue education Vs  Suppress mother tongue education

Freedom of Information Vs Control of Information

I for one believe that Umno is corrupt to the core and ‘condemned beyond repair’. No one should harbour any hope to change Umno from within or without. It’s time to dump Umno into the South China Sea, the sooner the better.

I hope the summary above would help bloggers to understand why KPR deserves the support of all Malaysians. 

We hope PKR will grow from strength to strength under the stewardship of Anwar Ibrahim.

DAP:EGM approved constitutional amendment

May 6, 2007

The special party EGM today agreed to postpone the party congress/conference to ONE year in view of the impending general elections which was widely predicted to be held some time end of this year.

Only six delegates disageed with the move which was largely endorsed by the party delegates all over the country. The party could now focus all its energy, finances and time in peparing for the coming general elections.

Party chairman Karpal Singh, SG Lim Guan Eng and Oppositoion Leader Lim Kit Siang spoke to the delegates on issues related to general elections and cooperation with PKR and other like-minded opposition parties and NGOs.

In the lunch-talk in the afternoon, special guest of honour (PKR’s advisor )Anwar Ibrahim thanked the DAP for going all out to help PKR in Ijok. And he streesed emphatically that what Umno fear most was opposition unity. He hopes DAP and PKR could move together closely from now on to reform Malaysia. 

Anwar cetagorically denied that he would return to Umno; he even said that Umno is the real problem in Malaysian politics; to him , MIC, Gerakan and MCA were just “small boys who listen to the big brother”. 

He spoke at length on issues such as the need to challenge SPR for electoral reforms, replacing NEP with a new Malaysian economic agenda , fair treatment for mother tongue education, freedom of religion, the jurisdiction of syariah courts, Islamic State and greater cooperation and understanding among the opposition parties.

I am reproducing DAP SG Lim Guan Eng’s speech in full here. Your comments are welcome.

Speech By DAP Secretary-General Lim Guan Eng During The DAP Special Congress On 6.5.2007 In Federal Hotel Kuala Lumpur.

Reclaiming Democracy & Restoring Bangsa
Malaysia

More than four decades ago, the DAP was formed with a singular idea of national unity through shaping a Bangsa Malaysia granting political equality and economic freedom to end social injustices. DAP believes that we can forge a great Malaysian nation by being part of Bangsa
Malaysia that  rejects racial and religious divisions. DAP’s Malaysian Malaysia resonated with Malaysians who considers themselves as Malaysian First and Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazan and Ibans second.
 

Our courageous struggle appeared to bear fruit when former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir adopted Bangsa Malaysia in 1991 as one the nine strategic challenges of Vision 2020 to make
Malaysia a developed nation. Mahathir defined Bangsa Malaysia as   “people being able to identify themselves with the country, speak Bahasa
Malaysia and accept the Constitution”.
 Unfortunately Bangsa
Malaysia as part of national policy lasted only 15 years when Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak rejected it last year. Najib said Bangsa
Malaysia was not part of national policy but only a general concept. At a time when we are celebrating our 50th Merdeka anniversary celebrations the country should be looking forward to the challenges of globalization and a market economy with new and current ideas of the new millennium. Instead the ruling regime continues to reach back 60 years ago to 1946 that stresses the idea of nationhood that revolves around the idea of racial dominance.
 

There is neither logic nor reason in preferring racial dominance to a Malaysian race. Self-interest to preserve the ruling party is the sole reason for such emotional appeals to the baser instincts of race.   We have a historical duty to renew our struggle for a Bangsa Malaysia. However this contest must not be seen solely from the perspective of political rights or social injustices but also from the economic perspective of wealth creation and distribution. Malaysian First is a continuation of Malaysian Malaysia with equal economic opportunity as its central core. 

Equal opportunity is not just giving everyone the right to study, the right to work, right to spend what is earned, right to own property and have the state as a servant and not as a master but also about our obligation to help the needy.  No one is fated to be poor just as no one is entitled to wealth. Social justice gives everyone the opportunity to improve their standard of living.  We must free up the potential of our greatest resource – our human resources. We must empower every Malaysian with economic freedom and equal opportunity to achieve the great Malaysian Dream of success through hard work and ability. 

If we succeed, we can transform
Malaysia into a united nation identified with a common destiny sharing values of democracy, freedom, justice, integrity and human dignity. If we fail, we have a sham democracy that can not differentiate between right and wrong.
 Last week, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that the Ijok by-election showed that democracy was “vibrantly alive” in
Malaysia because the opposition was given every opportunity to campaign. No DAP or opposition supporter would agree that we were given every opportunity to campaign when BN can employ such dirty tactics of fear, deception, money, compulsion and violence.
 

Not only were DAP and PKR supporters beaten up in Machap and Ijok. Even a reporter and a photographer from Tamil newspapers were manhandled and threatened by BN leaders. No action was taken against the culprits and the victims were invariably blamed. In both Macap and Ijok by-elections, BN announced development projects of RM 30 million and RM 36 million or almost RM 3,000 per voter.   Democracy under BN is both flawed and fraudulent. Malaysians need to reclaim democracy from those who cheat, frighten and buy our votes. Failure to resist such perversions of democracy would be no different from surrendering our right to treat the government as our servant.  

Give RM 5,000 To Every Family From The Bottom 40% Of The Population Who Do Not Earn A Montly Income Of RM 3,249/-

Instead of getting a government that listens to us, delivers good governance and performs its constitutional duties in accordance with the rule of law, respects press freedom and basic human rights as well as overcome social injustices; that Confucious says “a cruel government is more rapacious than a ravenous tiger” will become a reality where –1.      Corruption becoming more rampant until Transparency International ranking for, Malaysia has declined from No. 37 in 2003 to No. 44 in 2006 shown by:-1.1.  The RM 900 million commission paid by the suppliers of war submarines and Sukhoi fighter jets to Abdul Razak Baginda and a former Melaka Chief Minister;1.2.  The ACA Director-General is himself investigated for corruption and sexual crimes or the Deputy Internal Security Minister Datuk Mohamad Johari Baharom is investigated for the RM 5.5 million “freedom for sale” scandal involving the release of 3 kingpins of black society triads, one of the three allegedly the younger brother of a MCA Deputy Minister.1.3.  The refusal of Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to sue Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for his alleged involvement in the murder of a Mongolian model by his close aide Datuk Abdul Razak Baginda;2.      Malaysians suffer the worst income inequality between the rich and poor in
South-East Asia with the share of income of the bottom 40% of the population declining from 14.5% in 1990 to 13.5% in 2004 whilst the share of the top 20% of the population increased from 50% in 1990 to 51.2% in 2004.
3.      Unfair contracts against national interest given to highway concessionaires where total amount of toll collections and government compensation paid of RM 62 billion far exceeds the RM 27 billion construction and maintenance cost.4.      The presence VIP politician godfathers involved in crime and the increase in crime by 10.7% for the first three months of the year thereby failing to ensure that Malaysian can live, work and study safely;5.      The failure to share Petronas’ profits of RM 500 billion in since 1974 with the people;6.      Poor delivery system with cracks on walls and ceiling collapsing in the new RM 270 million Kuala Lumpur court complex in Jalan Duta, following similar damage to other government buildings in Putrajaya. Yes, Bursa
Malaysia has risen to a record high of 1,363 points on Friday, but we are the last ones to do so in the region.  China, India, Hong Kong and
Singapore are all nearly 30% above their previous record highs achieved in the 1990s.  Even Thailand, Philippines and
Indonesia have broken their previous records many months ago.  In this globally competitive world, its not about whether you grow, its how fast you grow in relation to other countries.  And by this yardstick,
Malaysia is faring very very poorly.  In the early 1990s, our stock market capitalisation was significantly larger than
Singapore’s.  But today, in just a little more than a decade, the Singapore Exchange is now some 3 times larger than Bursa
Malaysia.
 

In foreign investments, while Malaysia’s foreign direct investment has fallen from US$7.2 billion to US$3.9 billion in 2006 in 10 years,
Singapore’s FDI has increased more than 3 times from US$9.1 billion to US$31 billion within the same period.
 How many Malaysians have benefited from rising share prices when they find difficulty in bearing the financial hardships of inflation, rising prices coupled with no annual bonuses nor real wage increases this year? In the face of so much wealth why can’t the government follow
Singapore and
 distribute RM 5,000 yearly to the 40% of Malaysian households that do not earn the average household monthly income of RM 3,249?
 

Winning Together for Malaysian First.The theme of this year’s DAP Special Congress ‘Winning Together for Malaysian First’ requires us to examine the extent of our efforts in preparing for the next general election, which could be held as early as the end of this year. The CEC is concerned that party elections at both the national and state levels due at the end of the year may be severely disrupted if general elections are called then. There are already clear indications of an early poll. From Election Commission Chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman calling on new voters who wish to vote in the next general elections to do so by August 2007.  UMNO Youth President Datuk Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn that UMNO members must be prepared for a general election to be called any time or even the printing of election materials. 

As the party constitution does not allow for postponement of party polls for any period of time, any postponement in the event of general elections questions the legality and validity of our duly constituted CEC or state committees and organs. To avoid such an illegal eventuality, the CEC had decided to postpone party polls at the national and state levels for a period of 12 months. Only branch and Parliamentary liaison committee elections remain unaffected.  The CEC seeks the endorsement of all the delegates. Further, such a postponement would allow us to focus on preparation by all state committees and branches for the general election. Let me be frank by saying that all state committees are still not in FULL election mode. 


Malaysia is at a political crossroads the crossroad and to make DAP the choice of Malaysians we must present ourselves as “electable’ and fulfill high public expectations. 马来西亚处在向上提升或者继续往下沉轮的十字路口 To do so, let us all be crystal clear about this: that elections must be won by conscious effort!
 Contesting 54 Parliamentary and 115 state Seats Nation-wide In the Next PollsDAP state committees have proposed contesting 54 Parliamentary seats and 115 state seats nation-wide, including Sabah and
Sarawak. While at times individual candidates may have won elections by default or due to massive protests against Barisan Nasional, there is no way the entire party is going to win by just depending on BN’s misrule and maladministration.
 

In the first chapter of the much treasured Sun Zi’s treatise on war(《孙子兵法》), Sun Zi said “The art of war, then, is governed by five constant factors, to be taken into account in one’s deliberations, when seeking to determine the conditions obtaining in the field. These are: (1) Principles; (2) Heaven (climate); (3) Earth (local factors); (4) The Commander; (5) Method and discipline.” (道、将、  Guided by these principles, let us ask ourselves how well are we prepared in face of the coming elections?  

First, it is our belief that the principles of Malaysian First to reclaim democracy, restore Bangsa Malaysia, fair distribution of wealth and equal opportunity is the way forward for
Malaysia. Second, the political climate appears to favour the opposition but this situation may change with the short memory of the electorate, especially when the government distributes political goodies.
 Third, have we measured local factors in elections? Have we done enough in tilting local factors into our favour? Fourth, are our ‘commanders’, central, state and branch leaders, prepared? Are we prepared to lead our comrades and supporters to fight a good fight?   Fifth, do we have disciplined machinery to do the job?  

While we are well ahead of our opponents in terms of upholding the principles cherished by Malaysians and there may be a swing amongst Chinese voters in our favour, we are lagging behind in terms of the last three factors. The three factors are local factors, preparedness of all level of leadership and, finally, our machinery as evidenced by the recent Machap by-election.  I urge you to take a hard look at the four bare minimum ‘Rs’ that are urgently needed to generate electoral victories. These should be our KPIs, or key performance indices, for the remainder of the year in preparation for the general elections.   1.      Registration of new voters;2.      Recruitment of volunteers and members trained not only as polling and counting agents but also as future party activists and leaders;3.      Retailing The Rocket to overcome increasing press restrictions and media ban where Freedom House ranked press freedom in Malaysia as “Not Free” deteriorating from to 141 in 2006 from 150 in 2007; and4.      Rapport with local constituents, associations and press media. 

These are the 4 areas where we have to work hard together to survive. I am always hopeful and optimistic about DAP’s election prospects but the Ijok and Machap by-elections have injected a healthy dose of realism. Unless we have our machinery in place, BN will cheat, use money to buy and frighten voters to gain their dishonourable victories. For the first time in party history, state-wide meetings shall be held in place of state conventions solely to discuss election preparation. I urge the members to remember that when you face those who assure you of glorious victories by DAP do not be too over-confident and get carried away. Be humble and gently remind everyone of the dirty tactics employed by BN to win. When facing those who dismiss and unfairly criticize the party be patient, restrained and respond by “using constructive conduct to face destructive acts”.  

6 Key Principles for Co-operationIn the coming general elections, the DAP does not walk alone.  Apart from PKR’s Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, we are willing to co-operate with all public organizations or political parties that share the common platform of respecting basic human rights. Six key principles are crucial namely:-a)      Acceptance of Bangsa
Malaysia,
b)     Respecting Bahasa
Malaysia as the official language as well as promotion and fair treatment of mother-tongue education;
c)     Acceptance of 1957 social contract as set out in the Merdeka Constitution that
Malaysia is not an Islamic state;
d)     Replacing the corrupt New Economic Policy with a policy that combines efficiency with needs and wealth creation with wealth distribution.e)     Pursuit of excellence in education based on merit and equal opportunity; andf)      Placing environmental protection equal in importance with development.  This contest between Bangsa
Malaysia on the one hand and racial dominance on the other will decide not only the rights of all Malaysians but the destiny of our nation. Malaysians must choose between the two opposite principles of right and wrong. Racial dominance has not benefited the Malays who remain poor whilst the few BN leaders amassed huge wealth. We either prosper together as part of humanity or submit to common fears of prejudice that discriminates many to enrich the few?
 A million talented Malaysians have voted with their feet against BN  by emigrating overseas for the last 35 years. The time has come for a change to stop the rot. DAP comrades, Let us stand together and united to reclaim democracy and restore Bangsa
Malaysia!
                                                                                                            LIM GUAN ENG 

来届大选出战54国115州
行动党修改党章展延党选
郭史光庆
07年5月6日 下午3:25
Malaysiakini
行动党秘书长林冠英(左图)今日表示,该党有意在来届大选中攻打54个国会议席和115个州议席,并把选战主力集中在槟城、霹雳以及森美兰州。惟他强调,此事依然有待与人民公正党协商后,再做出最后决定,以确保反对党能够一对一与国阵直接对垒。不过,他重申该党与回教党毫无合作关系,若面对出战选区重叠一事,行动党将不惜展开三角战。林冠英也强调,该党领导层与公正党顾问安华的合作关系成熟。事缘该党成功在依约补选中为公正党争取更多华人票,安华也因此而公开致谢行动党,相信两党的关系,并不会因为竞相争取华人票而发生冲突。林冠英拒绝透露何处上阵

林冠英今日在吉隆坡一家酒店为行动党特别党员代表大会发表政策演词时表示,该党各州委员会已经建议,要在来届大选中竞选54个国会议席和115个州议席,包括沙巴与砂拉越(惟不包括去年刚进行选举的砂拉越州议席)。

林冠英较后在记者会上表示,上述建议来自该党的各州委员会,不过目前还未获得中委会的通过。

“如果可以,我们希望能够通过他们的建议,但是我们必须先与公正党进行商讨,确保反对党与国阵一对一竞选。”

针对会否与回教党进行议席谈判的询问,林冠英表示,行动党要竞选的议席,大多是该党曾经参选过的传统选区,与回教党选区重叠的可能性非常低。

“不过若被迫与回教党展开三角战,那么也只好进行三角战,我们与回教党没有任何合作关系。”

不过,林冠英拒绝透露与公正党议席谈判的进展,以及自己将在什么选区上阵的问题,“我只能说自己肯定会参选”。

行动党在上届大选攻打44个国会议席和104个州议席,分别赢得12个国会议席和15个州议席,在加上在去年砂拉越州选举中拿下的6个州议席。不过在马口州议员林辉明跳槽马华后,目前行动党共有12个国会议席和20个州议席。

指公正党靠民行争取华裔选票

针对公正党在依约补选声称获得多达六成的华裔选民支持,以及一些政论家看好公正党有望在下届大选赢得更多华裔选票一事,是否会导致两党在争取华裔选民方面出现竞争时,林冠英强调,其实是行动党在依约补选中为公正党争取华人票。

“安华已经向行动党致谢,因为行动党在依约补选中为公正党争取华人票……我想我们应该建设性地看待此事,安华了解我们的长处,不然他不会这么说(致谢),我们不应该让这项课题影响两党的关系。”

“当然一些人以为可以利用这些所谓的问题(来达到自己的目的),但是我认为行动党领导层与安华的关系已达成熟阶段。”

安华:反对党先搁置回教国课题

另一方面,行动党今日也邀请了安华(左图)前来与特大代表进行交流。而安华在交流之前也召开记者会,针对反对党之间的合作关系侃侃而谈。

“我们已经看到反对党之间拥有更好的合作关系 我们看到行动党在依约补选期间全体动员大力助选,以确保我们的候选人胜出,我们可以从这点出发,有关政党的领袖将针对各项课题的细节进行谈判与讨论。”

受询及行动党与回教党因理念相冲,尤其是回教国的课题而不咬弦,他要如何拉近这两个政党的关系时,安华对此保持乐观,表示反对党会先搁置回教国课题。

“行动党已清楚表达(针对回教国的)立场,我也传达让回教党知道,这不是一项新课题,我们也不是在这个基础上推动(反对党之间的合作)。”

“我们的工作建立在公正党和行动党紧密合作的基础上,我们也开始和回教党展开更强的联系,确保有关课题不会剥削其他族群的权利,或让其他人士感到不安。”

“这也包括回教国的课题,不过我们先将之搁置在一旁。目前反对党之间的关系正在向好的一方面发展,只要国营电视台RTM、第三电视和巫统的报章不要刻意炒作(回教国课题)就行。”

拒回应展延党选不当批评

行动党今日所召开的特别党员代表大会,是为了修改党章以授权中委会展延,原本预定在今年9月开始举行的党选。

不过,在今年1月遭罢免的行动党前雪州主席王志坚却不认同展延党选,并形容此举是当权派欲巩固权力的手段。

新海峡时报》记者Chow Kum Hor今日在一篇评论中,引述行动党内部消息认为林冠英可能是因为担心在本届大选前举行的党选中得票不高,本身领导威信受打击,重演在2004年中委会选举中排名过低(在20获选中委排名第12名)的历史,所以才决定展延党选。

受询及展延党选的批评,林冠英却不愿公开回应,“我想我们不须要公开讨论此事,党内设有讨论管道,为何不在特大里提出讨论,却要从外面来丑化行动党?”

至于为何在野党之中只有行动党展延党选,林冠英解释说,有别于其他只须在中央领导层进行改选的在野党,该党是唯一须要进行州级改选的在野党,因此较长的党选期很容易与大选撞期,届时将严重影响党选的程序和大选的备战。

他解释,过去该党也曾经违章展延党选,所幸当时的社团注册局没有追究,因此此次修改党章将能够一劳永逸解决这项问题。

合作关系必须符合6大原则

另外,林冠英较早前在发表政策演词时,列出6项与其他政党和组织合作的主导原则:

(一)接受马来西亚国族这个概念;
(二)尊重马来语为官方语文,同时公平对待和提升母语教育;
(三)接纳1957年独立宪法的社会契约,即马来西亚不是一个回教国;
(四)以一个综合绩效、需求、制造财富和公平分配财富的政策来取代腐败的新经济政策;
(五)追求卓越与平等机会的教育制度;
(六)环境保护与发展并重。

林冠英较后在记者会上表示,“我们只与符合这6项原则的政党合作,至于那些不符合的政党,我看要合作非常困难”。

当记者询问这是否意味着回教党遭排除在合作对象之外时,他笑笑表示,“我想我们的立场已经非常清楚,不必再进一步说明吧!”

坦诚竞选机关落后,备战工作不足

此外,林冠英也在政策演词中,直指该党领袖尚未做好迎战大选的准备,“让我坦白地说,所有的州委会还没有全面备战”。

他引用《孙子兵法》的道(原则理念)、天(政治气候)、地(地方因素)、将(领袖)、法(方法和纪律)5种战略因素来分析行动党的形势。

“虽然我们在倡导马来西亚人所认同的价值观遥遥领先,以及华裔选票可能会回流给行动党,但是我们在后面三个因素落后他人。这三个因素就是地方因素、各阶层领导的准备程度和竞选机关,最近的马接补选就是最好的证明。”

因此,他提出4项备战大选的主要指标,并称之为“四广工作”或“4R工作”,即广泛登记(Registration)新选民、广泛招揽(Recruitment)自愿人士和党员、广泛销售(Retailing)《火箭报》突破新闻封锁,以及广泛推动(Rapport)与地方上的选民、社团和媒体的互动。

“虽然我对于行动党的选举展望保持希望和乐观,但是依约和马接补选却敲醒我们必须面对现实。除非我们准备齐全,要不然,国阵依然能够通过欺诈、买票和恐吓选民的方式来取胜。”