Archive for the ‘Opposition unity’ 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.



United opposition Vs BN

June 5, 2007
It’s great news for members and supporters of opposition in Penang. Take over Penang from BN certainly works in the interest of Penangites. No difference among the opposition parties could be bigger and more important than the interest of the Penang rakyat.17 years of Koh Tsu Koon was proven to be boring, unproductive and unimaginative. Penang has not progressed fast enough under Khor’s leadership. The Pearl of the Orient (a.k.s the Garden of the Orient) has become one of the dirtiest state in Malaysia. Besides, he has no guts to face the political ‘hooligans’ from his other component parties. That is shameful for a seasoned politician like Koh, who’s now Gerakan’s  numero uno.

Opposition plots ‘Fortress Penang’ plan

Athi Veeranggan
Jun 5, 07 12:12pm
The days of splitting the opposition vote may be over in Penang, based on hard lessons learnt in the 2004 general election. The DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat lost to Barisan Nasional (BN) in the Batu Kawan parliamentary seat and state seats of Bagan Dalam, Bukit Tambun and Sungai Pinang.

This time around, the opposition parties plan to work closely to ensure straight fights with the BN.

PKR Penang chairperson Zahrain Mohamad Hashim said his party, DAP and PAS are involved in serious talks on seat allocations throughout Malaysia to ensure that “we don’t contest against each other”.

“We should come up with an amicable solution soon. The most imperative is for all straight fights between an united opposition front and BN,” he told malaysiakini.

Penang has 13 parliamentary and 40 state seats.

PKR won only the Permatang Pauh federal seat through the party president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, although it contested five parliamentary and 16 state seats in 2004.

Zahrain said the party is interested in maintaining its presence, especially if the election is held after April next year and de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is free to contest in Penang as he plans.

“All parties have agreed in principal that Anwar will lead an united opposition front in the next general election. It’s a boost to PKR to fare better than 2004,” he said.

Wiser now

Penang DAP secretary Danny Law Heng Kiang said the party will contest more than 20 state seats, with its secretary-general Lim Guan Eng widely tipped to be among candidates.

In 2004, DAP won the Bagan, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Mertajam, Bukit Gelugor and Tanjong parliamentary seats and the Sungai Puyu state constituency.

Law said the previous three-cornered fights with PKR occurred because of several former Penang DAP leaders in PKR – however, they are no longer there.

He said the opposition front is mature enough to be able to reach consensus on seat negotiations.

“We have never had disagreement with PAS and only minor problems with PKR that can be resolved easily,” he said.

Law said the party with the best chance to win a particular seat would field the candidate and that the opposition front would back the person.

Speculation is growing over a snap election being called even this year, although the government’s mandate does not expire until 2009.

Umno/BN our common enemy

June 4, 2007

 Beware of the venomous reports from The Star, the MCA-controlled newspaper. Here’s a good example…(

Election director Datuk Mustafa Ali offered a bleak scenario saying only five states were about 70% ready for the polls while the rest were not even half prepared.  He also said that PAS members continued to regard both the Barisan Nasional and DAP as the enemy. 

“I know you are not comfortable with the DAP but between the two evils, the DAP is the lesser evil,” he said.  (The Star)

And here’s what Mustafa Ali has actually said to his members…

” I know some of of you were unhappy with DAP and have even regarded DAP as enemy because some DAP leaders have been turning down the offer to work together with Pas many times over the press. But our common enemy is BN. We still have to work with DAP. I know you are not comfortable with DAP but between the two evils, DAP is the lesser evil.

It’s true that DAP has been turning down the overtures from Pas on many occasions because the party is uncomfortable with Pas on issues such as our disagreement with Islamic State. That was the sole reason why DAP opted to leave BA in 2001. But UMNO / BN is our common enemy, not Pas. We would not treat Pas as enemy. We would work with all opposition parties including Pas on common issues such as ‘NO’ to ISA, OSA, fuel and toll hikes and ‘YES’ to mother-tongue education, cultural and economical rights and maintaining peace, harmony and prosperity for all Malaysians.

If Pas and DAP start treating each other as enemy, our true enemy will be laughing all the way to the bank!

Anwar’s role in PKR and the question of democracy

May 28, 2007
To me, Anwar and his party should not be overly concerned about the so-called democratic process. After all, democracy is not a perfect system that is so sacred, rigid and dogmatic. Political leaders must do what it takes to strengthen their party, rather than worrying about the norms and rules of democracy. I heard the Speaker of the congress addressed Anwar as ‘ pemimpin utama’ ( supreme leader ) when he invited him to take the stage as the last speaker. We all know that such title or position is not in the PKR’s party constitution; but it really does not hurt the party as the President of the party happens to be Wan Azizah. If the President is someone else, it would be highly questionable or even objectionable. Yes, Anwar is the de facto leader of PKR. If there was no sabotage from the ROS, Anwar would have been elected officially as the President, the real supreme leader of PKR. 

I don’t see why we could not view Anwar as the numero uno of his party. We look forward to work with Anwar and his party leaders to face the Barisan Nasional.

 Analysts: Anwar faces comeback hurdles

May 28, 07 3:17am Malaysiakini
Barred from public office and beset by party grumbles, former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim has big hurdles to overcome if he is to return to the political frontline.Anwar’s unexpected decision over the weekend to withdraw his candidacy for the presidency of the opposition PKR party has left both himself and the movement in a difficult spot, analysts say.For now the party will continue to be led formally by his wife, Wan Azizah Ismail, after another contender also pulled out of the leadership race at its weekend national congress. But in the longer term it puts a big question mark over Anwar’s attempt to return to Malaysian politics.“Anwar seems to be facing different sets of pressures now at a time when he cannot afford to lose support,” commented Yang Razali Kassim of the School of International Studies at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University.

PKR has been banking on Anwar’s star quality to gain support for the party, whose profile has declined since its creation in the wake of his 1998 sacking from government.

The once heir-apparent to then-prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad was dropped after being jailed for six years following sodomy and corruption charges.

The sodomy charge was overturned in 2004 and Anwar was released, but he is barred from public office or holding any position with a political party until April 2008 because of the corruption conviction.

Anwar said his decision not to run for the leadership of PKR was because of fears its registration could have been cancelled.

“My problem is that the party comes first. ‘Anwar’ should not be the reason to sacrifice the position of the party,” he told the 2,000 delegates.

However he said he would remain as the party’s de facto leader behind the scenes, arguing he could still be effective without an official post.

That left some observers sceptical.

“It will be interesting to see what role Anwar will be playing, after all this,” independent political analyst Khoo Kay Peng told AFP.

“He has positioned PRK as a party that fights for democracy, but he being a de facto leader is a mockery of democracy.

“It is a political blunder on his part right from the beginning,” he said.

Dissent from within

Anwar also had to deal with dissent from insiders after a party official questioned his legitimacy as a prospective leader.

Another prominent party official, S Nallakaruppan, resigned last week, saying Anwar had told him to withdraw from the contest for the party’s vice-presidency.

PKR itself is not faring too well as a party. In the last 2004 general elections it won only one parliamentary seat, for Anwar’s wife.

“What he is trying to do is to put up a political point that the government is trying to stop him from making a comeback, he is playing a victim’s role,” Khoo said.

“But core national issues are more important to Malaysians than petty party positions.”

Yang Razali said Anwar’s ambitions of leading the opposition into the next elections, due by 2009, will stumble if he faces internal conflict.

“He is always known as a bridge-builder for the opposition,” the political analyst said, “but even in PKR he is facing dissent, so it does look like the opposition will be affected if he cannot overcome this.”


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.

Haris has got a good idea…

May 27, 2007

Save the Constitution: No 2/3 Majority for BN

 Haris Ibrahim

This is no longer an option.

It is imperative that the government be denied another 2/3 majority in Parliament, if we are to put a stop to any further destruction of the Constitution and to have any hope, at some time in the future, of restoring the Constitution to what it was before.

In the last general election, 219 Parliamentary seats were at stake. BN took 199 (90.87%). Opposition won 19 seats and 1 seat was won by an independent candidate.

Not accounting for increased Parliamentary seats arising from a redelineation exercise, if the government is to be denied a 2/3 majority in Parliament after the next elections, Opposition and Independent candidates would need to secure 74 seats.

The Parliamentary seats that did not go to BN after the 2004 elections were:

Pendang (PAS)

Tumpat (PAS)

Pengkalan Chepa (PAS)

Pasir Mas (PAS)

Rantau Panjang (PAS)

Kubang Krian (PAS)

Bagan (DAP)

Permatang Pauh (Keadilan)

Bukit Mertajam (DAP)

Bukit Gelugor (DAP)

Tanjong (DAP)

Ipoh Timur (DAP)

Ipoh Barat (DAP)

Batu Gajah (DAP)

Kepong (DAP)

Bukit Bintang (DAP)

Seputeh (DAP)

Cheras (DAP)

Bandar Kuching (DAP)

Sandakan (Independent)

These 20 seats must be retained by the Opposition after the next election. The last thing we need to see happen at the next election is BN making inroads in any of these 20 non-BN seats.

If we are serious about denying the government a 2/3 majority after the next election, my sense is that we cannot leave this to the Opposition parties alone.

We, the voters, whose rights under the Constitution are being imperilled by the very persons entrusted to protect them, must act.

I would therefore like to initiate a ‘Keep our MP’ effort in these 20 constituencies.

If readers who are registered in any of the 20 constituencies mentioned above want to get together to work to ‘Keep our MP’, please send an e-mail to

Even if the 20 seats mentioned above are retained by Opposition, that would still leave us short of 54 to deny the government a 2/3 majority.

How do we, the voters, even begin to try to wrest 54 seats from BN?

My thoughts on this in the next post.

Meanwhile, all ideas are welcome.

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

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

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
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
                                                                                                            LIM GUAN ENG 

07年5月6日 下午3:25














“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。”








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。















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
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: 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: A moral victory for PKR

April 29, 2007
 The Ijok official result by Malaysiakini

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

Dirtiest “buy-election” in Malaysian history

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Both Merdekareview and Malaysiakini have the stories…

BN wins with bigger majority

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

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

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

Najib: No phantom voters

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Highest turnout in history

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

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

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

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

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

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

■日期/Apr 28, 2007   ■时间/09:18:31 pm
■新闻/家国风云   ■作者/merdekareview陈子莹




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

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

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


1.Mohd. Ezam(依占)

2. 刘天球

3. Shamsul Iskandar(三苏依斯干达)

4. Shaharuddin Shahabuddin

5. Hassim bin Abdul Aziz

6. Sharifah Shahidah

7. Wan Anis

8. Ghani Harun

9. Nazmi Rosli

10. SP Johari

11. Halimey

12. Azmi

13. Razak Khalidi Roslan

14. Hashima Adbul Aziz

  1. Wan Khairul Ehsan

【点击:将两辆可疑巴士拦截在警局 公正党激动高呼“烈火莫熄”】

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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