Archive for the ‘MIC’ Category

May 13 and a comment by Dr Collin Abraham

May 30, 2007
“Within two days the membership of the Council was announced but perhaps one of the greatest political tactical errors was the MCA’s decision not to accept any cabinet posts. While it was understandable that the party should abdicate from its traditional partnership with Umno in the Alliance, (because of the massive defeat of its candidates in the general election), withdrawal meant that Umno had a free hand to push ahead the bumiputera position in the New Economic Policy without Chinese opposition.” Dr Collin Abraham

 May 13 and beyond (Pt 1)

Dr Collin Abraham
May 28, 07 12:06pm
Malaysiakini 
The May 13th race riots cannot be understood as an isolated event but as the cumulative convergence of historically determined disruptive political and social forces that were perpetuated and developed over a period of time.These involved contributory and precipitating causes that have to do with the acquisition, discrimination and abuse of political power, and which came to a head in the post-independence period.Indeed, in place of nation-building efforts, there was already the breakdown of law and order in Kuala Lumpur, such that May 13th itself has even been described at least by one observer as a “blessing in disguise” because it finally resulted in the lawless situation in Kuala Lumpur being brought under control. (Raja Petra: Malaysia Today, April 9, 2007). 

The contributory causes need to be recognised. First, the root cause can be traced to the Federation of Malaya Agreement itself, the first piece of post-war legislation promulgated by the British colonial government which failed to provide any semblance of political stability because the constitutional status of the different racial groups was not negotiated in consultation with the legitimate representatives of the respective communities.

The innate characteristic of powerlessness was thereby initiated and allowed to be perpetuated right into the post-colonial period. The two groups most representative of the Malays, the Nationalist Party and the Islamic factions walked out of Umno and the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) which was the only party with predominant Chinese membership (that collaborated with the British in Force 136) was not invited to participate in the negotiations. Therefore it was the elitist Umno members’ interests that were promoted in the Agreement which was unrealistically (and of course conveniently) considered by the British as representing the Malay community as a whole.

But this was an erroneous perspective. The Malay rakyat that had hitherto been politically dormant under the feudal system in the pre-colonial period had become strongly nationalistic, first because of the defeat of the British by the Japanese and then by the promise the latter to give the Malays political independence. It an be asserted that it was this nationalistic fervour, and not Umno membership as such, that enabled the mass protest against the Malayan Union proposals. Indeed it can also be argued that it was this same national consciousness that forced the resignation of Onn Jaafar when he proposed opening Umno membership to non-Malays.

The possibility of losing political power to the Chinese was the other main concern of the rakyat which was also the fear of the Malay elite, but there was the other additional reason that the latter feared the Chinese were likely to encroach on their economic interests ( with British backing). But at the same time the elite groups also needed the Malay grassroots for political support to politically keep the Chinese at bay.

Therefore it would not be difficult in the situation of the victory parade after the 1969 general election where Chinese opposition parties were claiming to have defeated the Alliance and would “take over the government” for both groups to react fiercely particularly because the threat of the Chinese taking political power seemed to be becoming a reality.

Malay case

It must be emphasised that this nationalist consciousness could be expected to have become reinforced and heightened by the fact the Malay working class, the peasantry, other low income groups as well as the lower middle class had yet to see any appreciable improvement in their social life since Merdeka, and yet the Chinese immigrants were now threatening to take over the government.

The call for the Malay youth therefore to attend the post-election rally, also from other parts of the country as well, was also intended as a demonstration against Umno leadership itself for allowing this static economic situation to continue. Therefore it would be expected that the gathering at the home of the Selangor Mentri Besar would also have included representatives of lower-middle class Malays as well as others acting as youth leaders.

A defining question in the collaboration and first coming together of Umno and MCA in the Alliance party to contest the KL municipal elections is nothing more than a case of false consciousness. It needs to be strongly emphasised that this so-called political accommodation was essentially a ‘fluke’ shot in the political arena. It was totally devoid of any notions of political theory or ideology. But it was conveniently accepted as a sufficient condition to work for political independence because it was intended to maintain the status quo and therefore serve the common interests of the British, the Malay ruling class, and the Chinese business class.

The Alliance party therefore ensured that the unequal and discriminatory colonial social structure was maintained at the expense of egalitarian policies for Malay rakyat and the Chinese working classes. Put simply it was a case of ‘each man for himself and God for all’ and it follows that the election process that offered the only known hope of effecting a change to bring about a more caring society for all had become a farce.

Chinese case

The situation of the working class Chinese community was also one of a continuous struggle to survive. Emerging from what is perhaps the most exploitative system of indentured labour in Malaya recorded in documentary evidence as the ‘pig trade’ and subjected to ‘vice’ items to earn revenue by the colonial government through opium, alcohol, gambling and prostitution, a small proportion managed to set them selves up as independent workers in the tin industry and related occupations subsequently. But with increasing population and denied access to land they turned to wage employment and pressed for better working conditions through trades unions. However because the unions had the support of the CPM they were suppressed and declared illegal. Moreover because of this and the lack of jobs for the Chinese educated many joined the CPM because they had to fight to survive.

What the Chinese lacked most was political power. Persuaded by the colonial government, their businessmen organised themselves to protect their economic interests, so from its very inception the MCA was a political party representing the towkay class. It is important to recognise that while the fledging party could have worked to build up the party and provide political and economic support for the Chinese community as a whole, the leaders instead chose to forge links with the Malay ruling class and thereby develop mutually beneficial interests as a class.

The Chinese providing the economic support to the Alliance Party through the provision of huge funds for election purposes and economic representation in their larger business consortiums for the Umno elite, and in return seeking political legitimacy through representation of more parliamentary seats of the Alliance party. Their indifference to the Chinese community is evidenced by one of the most ‘outrageous’ scenarios of MCA indifference in the failure to present the Chinese Memorandum to the British Government at the Mederka Conference to demand a place in the independent Malaya. The Chinese interests therefore were not presented to the British government. Instead according to a statement attributed to Tunku Abdul Rahman the Memorandum was thrown into the wastepaper basket!

What this means is that literally the ‘mass’ of Chinese were automatically alienated from the political process from Day 1 and therefore sought political representation through opposition parties such as the Labour Front and the DAP. In fact it can be argued that in effect the reduction of political power of the Alliance in the 1969 election was because of the rejection of MCA candidates by the Chinese. Because the opposition parties were ‘outside’ the normal conservative value system of being subservient to the political status quo as in the MCA the Chinese members were therefore free to express political dissent with regard to their marginalised political status with a minimum of restraint in the opposition parties

To add to this was the confidence they had gained from the entry of the Peoples’ Action Party (PAP) of Singapore into the Malaysian political arena. The demand by PAP leader Lee Kuan Yew for a Malaysian Malaysia provided added emphasis to these Chinese to back the opposition parties with confidence and a sense of legitimacy. To them, Malaya belonged to all and as Malays are not necessarily the only indigenous community, they must necessarily accept the Chinese as equals in a power-sharing government.

1969 general election

On the eve of the 1969 polls and against this background there was the question of granting a police permit for a large funeral procession to go through the town centre for an opposition party (Labour Party) member who had been shot by the police. There are some conflicting accounts about the decision to grant this permit. Tunku Abdul Rahman told me that he was against a permit being issued because of the highly charged political climate.

But according to the Tunku the permit was finally issued by Abdul Razak Hussein (photo) when the latter was acting prime minister (after the Tunku had returned to his home town in Kedah for the weekend).Apparently pressure by Dr David Tan of the Labour Party convinced Razak that there was no legitimate reason why a permit should be withheld.

In one of the two long interviews I had with Tunku Abdul Rahman in Penang, (while 1 was teaching a race relations course at USM), the Tunku attached great importance to the funeral procession that was held on the eve of the general election. It was his strongly held view that this funeral procession sowed the seeds for the May 13th riots. The shooting of a Chinese opposition party member by a Malay policeman just days before the election, and the funeral procession being allowed to go through the KL town centre was, to the Tunku, a recipe for trouble.

According to the Tunku however, the decision to overrule him and grant the permit also had a personal dimension. He explained that while he was aware of a move by certain Umno leadership for him to step down as prime minister, no one had actually approached him to do so. He therefore felt that the permit approval against his earlier decision amounted to open criticism that he was no longer in touch with reality and should therefore resign.

There was also increasing concern among the Umno leadership at this time that certain MCA officials (and some Chinese businessmen as well) were moving in the inner circles among the Tunku’s close associates. Although it was agreed that this was purely in his private capacity it might nonetheless compromise the Tunku’s position as prime minister.

Read Part 2 here.

May 13 and beyond (Pt 2)
Dr Collin Abraham
May 29, 07 11:29am
Malaysiakini 
It is clear that the 1969 election results and victory parade were the two main precipitating factors leading to the race riots. It must be recognised at the outset that these were distinctly separate events and it is important to distinguish between the two.In fact because the resulting race riots were the direct outcome of the aftermath of the victory parade itself, they will not be taken up for analysis here except to reiterate that the level of racial insults and threats to continued Malay government seen during the election campaign had in fact become too extreme even to mention.

The years of being in the political wilderness, and the expected revolution of rising expectations resulting in the revolution of rising frustrations, had taken their toll. 

Once the spark of the fuse had been lit all hell broke loose and the only steps that could be taken were to try to bring the law and order situation back under control. For example at the height of the riots, Ismail Mohd Ali recorded that Abdul Razak Hussein (photo) wanted to drive down to the epicentre in his official car and directly call on the rioters to stop the bloodshed. Ismail’s response to Razak was simple and effective: “They will probably tear you to pieces.”

(It might not be out of place to seek a word of clarification as to whether the riots could be strictly termed as ‘race’ riots. Had they really been so, they would have spread to rural areas as well and Chinese shopkeepers and others in small-scale business scattered around the kampongs would have been massacred.)

In retrospect, the 1969 election campaign itself was the writing on the wall that there could be some racial trouble because of the strong ‘anti-racial’ tone of the entire campaign that according to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah also extended to the candidates from PAS and Umno itself. And yet there were no attempts either by the Alliance government or the police to take pre-emptive steps to maintain law and order.

Undue delay

Even when the election results showed that the Umno-dominated Alliance had in fact suffered a major setback when it lost the two-thirds parliamentary majority that it had enjoyed since the inception of democracy, there seemed a lack of preparedness for any likely adverse outcomes.

Indeed, even with the opposition’s victory celebrations over the gain of Penang and Kelantan and when Perak and Selangor were on the brink of falling into their hands, and with Chinese and Indian demonstrators calling on the Malays to quit Kuala Lumpur, leaving the seat of government to the opposition, there is little evidence of police preparedness to face a deteriorating law and order situation.

The seriousness of the situation might be gauged from the following statement: “For the first 24 hour period, sections of the police force simply became demoralised due to the impact of widespread violence and the regular police forces are a key element in maintaining any long range security in this country.” (17th May 1969, Confidential to FCO, cited in Kua Kia Soong, May 13th p50)

As regards the tragic aftermath of the riots in terms of the deaths, casualties and untold suffering and misery of the victims there is little doubt that it was worse because of the undue delay on the part of the authorities to deal with the situation. The fact was that the political leaders were caught by surprise and hence even after three days of rioting there was still no directive from the government to the army to move in to control the situation. Neither were the army chiefs of staff able to initiate action on their own volition.

Indeed, in an informal discussion with one of the generals summoned by Razak and questioned as to why the army was failing to take prompt action, he was astonished to be told that the army was waiting for instructions!

It would seem very strange that such senior military officers who would have probably have been trained overseas including top British military institutions failed to grasp the seriousness of the law and order situation and to have acted accordingly. When I probed the matter further, the general‘s response was that the army was waiting for the police to withdraw from the scene so that it could be free to take such action it thought fit. It was only after Razak signed a directive that the army finally moved in.

There is no question therefore that the earlier colonial government, and the entire Alliance government should be held accountable for this tragic situation where ordinary law-abiding men, women and children were hounded like animals and died like dogs in the streets through no fault of their own.

It can be seen from the above analysis that the entire elite ruling class of both races were more concerned about maintaining their cosy neo-colonial status quo after independence while being themselves protected by the Anglo-Malaysian defence treaty against foreign aggression. This is all the more incriminating considering that that in my recent book I argued that neither Umno nor the MCA had a popular mandate to take over the Government from the British at the time of independence. (‘The Finest Hour”)

MCA pullout

The question of the establishment of the National Operations Council (NOC) must also be recognised. Whatever else may be said about the usurpation of democratic powers by the military it must nonetheless be conceded that the law and order had been brought under control and the political situation was in hand.

Particularly to those with first-hand experience of the lawlessness in parts of KL controlled by gangsters and secret societies prior to the elections, and especially to those who saw their relatives being suddenly massacred and they themselves severely injured or being forced to become refugees, the NOC might be said to be a blessing in disguise.

Within two days the membership of the Council was announced but perhaps one of the greatest political tactical errors was the MCA’s decision not to accept any cabinet posts. While it was understandable that the party should abdicate from its traditional partnership with Umno in the Alliance, (because of the massive defeat of its candidates in the general election), withdrawal meant that Umno had a free hand to push ahead the bumiputera position in the New Economic Policy without Chinese opposition.

But the fact remains that while there was no policy to enhance a multiracial society under colonialism, indeed policies such as divide and rule were designed to ensure that integration did not take place. But even after Independence the continuation of political parties based on race essentially perpetuated the divisiveness of society along racial lines rather than to work towards integration.

It should be clear to readers therefore that our entire society in on a fault line and therefore we have no option but to get off it as soon as possible. With respect, it happens that both my recent books ‘The Naked Social Order’ and ‘The Finest Hour’ provide discussion and analysis on these vital questions and it is my considered opinion therefore that we need to reject the post-colonial social structure in its entirety once and for all and to seek an alternative model if we are to avoid racial conflicts in the future.

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Bad news for our Indian brothers and sisters

May 14, 2007

“Indians will always vote BN”; ” MIC remains united”; ” No reasons to sack Samy”… all these headlines appeared in Malaysiakini and other newspapers were bad news to the Indian community.

It means Samy will not step down as yet after holding his ministership for more than 26 years; it means MIC remains strong but the community it claims to represent will remain poor, marginalised and neglected just like before; it means Indian temples will continue to be destroyed without any justification and Tamil schools will continue to be neglected without sufficient government aids; it also means that the BN as a whole needs not lift its finger to help the Indian community because ” MIC still enjoys the support of the Indians even if the community was neglected and marginalised”; it simply means that there’s no HOPE  for the Indian community in this country.

I have been told many times that “Samy is semi God to many Indians”.  Yes, he does dishing out some hard cash (everyday?) in the famous brown envelopes for those who managed to see him in his house or  office; but is that all he could do as the President of MIC and a Minister?

So, when will our Indian brothers and sisters wake up to the fact that Samy is actually ‘piggy-back ‘ on the support and trust of the Indian community to enrich himself?

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。”

Anwar invited to speak to DAP delegates on Sunday

May 6, 2007

On Sunday (6 may 2007), Sdr Anwar Ibrahim will be speaking to all DAP delegates who are attending the special EGM to be held at a hotel in Kuala Lumpur.

The EGM is held to enable the party to postpone the party convention/ conference for one year in view of the impending General Elections (which was widely speculated to be held some time this year). Such postponement would allow the party to focus on the preparations for the coming general elections. The party leadership will also be using the occasion to seek the views and opinions of the party grassroot leaders on the issue of opposition unity and inter-party cooperation.

Earlier this year, Umno and MCA have decided to postpone their party convention/conference to 2 years and 1 year respectively.

Meanwhile, Anwar rallied the Barisan Alternatif workers by launching the “spirit of Ijok” declaration. Malaysiakini has the story…

Anwar to Samy: I am ashamed of you
Bede Hong
May 5, 07 3:41pm
Malaysiakini
MIC supremo Samy Vellu received a lashing from Anwar Ibrahim last night for what he alleged as the Indian leader’s neglect of the his own community in the country.“The Indians in the estates were treated like slaves. They live in abject poverty in fear of thugs and their overlord minister,” Anwar said.“The Indians were treated as third class, not by us but by you,” he added, referring to Samy, who is also works minister.Speaking to an audience of over 1,000 PAS members in Taman Melewar, Kuala Lumpur, the former deputy premier also claimed that the estate workers of Ijok were intimidated and bribed into supporting the BN.

MIC had been the best performing BN component in the by-election, winning over 80 percent of the Indian vote.

While winning half the Malay vote and over 60 percent the Chinese vote, the opposition PKR registered a 1.5 percent increase in Indian support compared to the previous election. Indians comprise 28 percent of the Ijok electorate.

Fear and bribery

Apparently emboldened, Samy had, on Thursday, issued a challenge to Anwar to contest in the former’s turf in Sungai Siput should the election be held after April next year.

“The MIC leader proudly boasted the fact that vast majority of Indians are behind him and MIC,” said Anwar.

“I want to remind my friend, Samy Vellu, that as a Malaysian, a Malay and a Muslim, I am ashamed and saddened that you can [make such proclamations] when the Indians live without running water, with little or no [amenities], living in abject poverty.”

“I am ashamed they voted for you, out of fear, and because they were bribed,” he added.

The PKR advisor claimed that his party campaigners were not able to enter the private estates, as they were “blocked by Samy’s hired thugs and police who acted on his behalf.”

Asked later at a press conference on whether he would contest in Sungai Siput, Anwar described the challenge as a “cowardly” move to “used those words” as he has been “denied” of his right to contest.

“However, I heard that Nallakaruppan would be contesting there,” he added, referring to PKR Kepong division chairperson and businessman S Nallakaruppan, who signed up with the party late last year.

A reminder 

Meanwhile, Anwar rallied the Barisan Alternatif workers by launching the “spirit of Ijok” declaration.

“Ijok should be a reminder of what we are fighting for. The struggle must continue. Now is the time to act!”

“We must fight until we take control of Malaysia to right things. We must rally the people, the Muslims, the Buddhists, the Christians [and all the races]. We must rise to defend the rights of the people,” he said.

He also told the crowds that since the 1980s, Malaysia has been dependent on foreign direct investment: “We cannot compare ourselves to other countries that have limited freedom. We cannot act as though we are insulated from the world, because we are not.”

APAS deputy president Nasharuddin Mat Isa, PKR vice-president Azmin Ali and treasurer Khalid Ibrahim also spoke at the ceremah. 

Ijok: 80% of Indian voters supported MIC/BN

May 3, 2007

MIC President claimed that 80% of the Indian voters in Ijok have voted for the MIC/ BN candidate K Partiban. We believe his claim is accurate and true.

So why do the Indian voters in Ijok (and even in the entire country in general) still remain loyal to MIC/BN despite of the fact that both MIC and BN have not served the interest of the Indian community well all these years?

There are many reasons and let me share some of the reasons with our bloggers.

1. There’s still a big number of Indians who were not well-informed; they were not aware of the true colours of MIC and BN leaders; they see Samy Vellu as their hero and actually believe that the BN government has done their best for the community. They believe that only MIC and BN leaders could help them, even if they were not getting any real help from them in the past; they would have no qulams if someone pays them money to exchange for their votes;

2.There is another group of Indians who were aware of the weaknesses, abuses and mistakes of MIC nad BN leaders. But they were not aware that it would be better if they could vote for the opposition parties to affect a change. Some of them do not have any confidence with the opposition parties.

3. There is a group of indians who were of the so-called “pro-winner mentality”. They would only vote for the the winners. They do not believe in the power of checks and balances and they would never support a party that stands no chance to take over the government. So long as the opposition were not united as one and all out to challenge the existing government, these group of voters would not vote for the opposition.

4. Some Indians have become fairly successful as professionals and businessmen. Some of them have even joined MIC and thus enjoying some vested interests as its leaders and supporters. They believe in keeping the present status quo to safeguard their own intertest. They have traditionally become the hardcore supporters of MIC/ BN. 

We have many indicators to believe that some 90% of the Indian voters have supported MIC and BN in the 2004 General Elections. This shows that there is now a swing of 10% in Indian votes if the claim made by Samy Vellu was accurate and true.

Let us work on the identified factors and try to change the mentality of the Indian voters in general. We must work out a winning formula for our Indian brothers and sisters to see. We must demonstrate to them that if the opposition wins and take over the government, we will cerainly be able to help changing the lives of every Indian in the country.

(In Selangor, for instance, should we take over the power, we will appoint an Indian as one of the deputy MB, working alongside closely with a Chinese deputy MB and a Malay deputy MB.  And a  special social and economic program to help the Indian community will also be implemented.)

80% of Ijok Indian voters supported BN
May 2, 07 3:49pm Malaysiakini 
MIC President S Samy Vellu today said that almost 80 percent of the Indian voters in Ijok had supported the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition in last week’s by-election.However he indicated that the percentage could have been higher if all eligible Indian voters had registered themselves as voters.At present there are 3,369 eligible Indian voters in Ijok and Samy Vellu said there were many more who weren’t registered.In some cases, he said, a single house had as many as four or five unregistered voters.

To overcome this, the party has set a national committee to spearhead a voter registration campaign.

According to Bernama, the committee would be headed by one of the party’s three vice-presidents.

“We want every eligible Indian to be registered as a voter to face the next general election,” Samy Vellu was quoted by Bernama today.

“The Indian votes are very crucial for the Barisan Nasional as evident from the Ijok by-election,” he said.

The Works Minister also said that more than 4,000 MIC branches had been given a month to submit to the party headquarters the list of eligible but unregistered voters nationwide.

“The MIC headquarters will then assist the Election Commission to register them,” he said.

The party branches have also been instructed to make house-to-house visits to identify the new voters.

The party president also said that MIC branches had been told to identify voters who had changed their house addresses so that they could be traced during an election.

In the Ijok by-election, MIC retained the state seat when its candidate K Parthiban defeated Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Khalid Ibrahim by a majority of 1,850 votes.

Partiban, 38, polled in 5,884 votes and Khalid, 61, garnered 4,034.

The by-election was held following the sudden death of K Sivalingam on April 4.

Changing mentality

Sivalingam was also a Selangor state exco and his death has created a vacancy for the party to fill up in the state cabinet. Sivalingam’s portfolio was Unity and Plantation Workers.

Relating to this, Samy Vellu was quoted in another Bernama report as saying that he had proposed a name to the post.

“I have made my proposal in a letter to Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and it is up to him to decide and announce the name,” he was quoted as saying.

He also said that the Ijok by-election has taught a lesson to the party that all MIC elected representatives and divisional and branch leaders must go down to the ground to serve the people well.

“We need to change our mentality in serving society,” he added.

“All MIC division leaders would have to submit to me their reports on what they have done for their respective areas.”

Voters in Ijok had expressed their dissatisfaction with Sivalingam, stating that he had not brought any progress to this tiny constituency.

Ijok: complete results

Ijok: Lessons for the opposition parties

May 1, 2007

LATEST: Tan Sri Khalid will be going back to Ijok to thank the people for supporting PKR at 3.30pm today. The team will be led by PKR advisor  Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, party chief Datin Seri Wan Azizah, information chief Tian Chua and others. I have accepted their invitation to join the walkabout in Pekan Ijok and Batang Berjuntai.

The writings is on the wall. BN had won 92% of the Parliamentary seats in the 2004 GE and defeated the opposition in all the five by-elections (except for Batu Talam which was contested by an Independent). We need to find a winning formula to defeat BN.

BN has been able to win big because there was no true unity among the opposition parties. There’s no true opposition unity to face the the might of BN coalition. There’s no way to beat BN if the opposition parties could not work together effectively to face their common enemy-the Umno-led BN coalition.

Yes, the people of Malaysia suffer much under the current BN administration. They hope the opposition parties could work together to pose a real challenge to the mighty Umno-led BN coalition.

The people do know that BN is corrupt to the core. They know that BN leaders abuse their power to amass wealth for themselves. They were fed up with empty promises and very disappointed with the Prime Minister who could not walk the talk. But where is the alternative? 

Please bear in mind that only the well-informed voters and hardcore supporters vote for the opposition. Voters with pro-winner mentality (commonly called lalang, fence-sitters, the silent majority etc) would only vote for the winners (or potential winners).  They would never vote for the opposition if the opposition looked set to remain as opposition. But these voters with pro-winner mentality is not a small group. And we would not be able to win their votes without presenting them a winning formula.

 Please vote for Khalid !

It’s the duty and responsibility of the opposition parties to offer a winning formula for all to see. Politics of hope is an essential ingredient that we must provide for the voters. The opposition parties must project a winning position and work towards a winning agenda. We owe it to ourselves to do it. 

Yes, the opposition parties are having opposing views on the issue of religion. But that does not mean that we could not resolve or put aside our differences.

Malaysia is rotting slowly day by day. We are facing all kinds of problems and crises. We are also losing our pace to our neighbouring countries. The answer lies in a change of government. Only a change of government could get rid of these greedy and corrupt BN politicians. What could be more important than serving the larger intertest of the people by affecting a change of government?

Ijok is a good beginning for opposition unity. Top opposition party leaders and members in general have put in serious efforts to campaign for PKR. But we were facing various problems due to a poor uncohesive campaign machinery. I personally feel that Khalid could have done better or even made it if there were greater cooperation among the opposition parties. Only true opposition unity and cohesive machinery could destroy the BTF tactics (bribes, threats and frauds) launched by the corrupt BN coalition.

I strongly suggest DAP to openly team up with PKR, and PKR to team up with Pas. And DAP and Pas must at the same time declare that their common enemy is the Umno-led BN coalition. DAP and Pas may not be allies but we are certainly friends in the opposition. It’s only natural that friends in the opposition must put aside our differences for the benefit of the rakyat. We need to help each other to challenge our common enemy.

We will never be able to convince everyone to agree with the strategic partnership among the opposition parties. But politics is about taking risks. The fear of losing seats is something we need to overcome. The ruling class and those with vested interest will be all out to discourage the opposition from achieving true unity and full cooperation. In short, they fear  opposition unity. They know if the opposition really works together, they will eventually lose their grip on power.

Dear fellow Malaysians, there’s no point crying over spilled milk. Ijok is just a temporary setback. We must not lose sight and we certainly must not lose hope. Ijok is nothing compared to the real war-general elections.

The defeat in Ijok actually gives me hope. What about you?

Source: Malaysiakini

HAPPY Labour Day! Highest tribute to all workers who contribute towards nation-building and a peaceful and prosperous society.

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: 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.