Archive for the 'Pakatan Rakyat' Category

The Rocket Man

This old hit is specially dedicated to the man of the hour, the Registrar of Societies, who appears to be pretty busy of late.

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A pin-drop rally

[youtube+http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zLfCnGVeL4]

At the rate things are going (remember the recently imposed 10 conditions like no loudhailers, no banners, no speeches, no noise etc?), it looks like the planned mammoth rally at the Jalan Duta Court complex in Kuala Lumpur tomorrow may well turn into something of a test conducted by the authorities on the crowd’s ability to keep the expected cacophony to the minimum so that one could only hear a pin drop elegantly.

If lucky, the Malaysian authorities in particular and Malaysia in general might just make an entry into the Guinness Book of Records for having achieved the first silent rally in the world, or at least this side of Zimbabwe.

Things to avoid in postmodern Malaysia

Members of the Malaysian public have been advised to avoid wearing “pro-Bersih shoes”, driving “pro-Bersih cars” or travelling on “pro-Bersih buses” for their own political safety.

And if one may add another layer of caution: For those who aren’t sure and are deeply concerned about which politically correct underclothing to wear, it would do them good to quickly seek advice from the authorities concerned. This is because certain underclothes can be too revealing in their intentions.

Of course, this reminder is also aimed at those wearing that unmistakable yellow T-shirts.

The Malaysian Insider reports today:

IGP says cops to arrest those with pro-Bersih ‘shoes, cars, buses’

UPDATED @ 09:23:31 PM 29-06-2011
By Yow Hong Chieh
June 29, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — The police will not only arrest those sporting Bersih T-shirts but may also take action against anyone using any medium to promote the illegal rally, the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) has said.

“Not just T-shirts but shoes, cars, buses. If these are the tools used to encourage people to gather (illegally), this amounts to sedition,” Tan Sri Ismail Omar told reporters at Bukit Aman police headquarters here today.

Earlier today, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein declared T-shirts bearing messages in support of Bersih illegal as they were related to an illegal assembly.

He, however, did not specify the legal provision that the garments were deemed to have breached.

Ismail explained that it was the duty of the police as the “protectors of society” to safeguardpublic order and national security, which he said would be in jeopardy if the Bersih 2.0 rally were allowed to take place.

“Based on PDRM (Royal Malaysian Police) intelligence … if this rally is held, tension, chaos, the destruction of property, injury and even loss of life may occur,” he said.

“PDRM will not allow any individual or certain parties to do anything that could trigger chaos and anarchy.”

He added that the police have received information that foreign elements were poised to exploit the chaos that would “very likely” result from the rally but declined to reveal their identity or if they were working with opposition parties.

Ismail also warned Bersih organisers and supporters not to take advantage of his civil treatment of them so far to continue “inciting” the public to take part in the illegal rally.

“I am still being civil at this point but don’t force me to go to the next stage,” he said.

“Just watch … There have been arrests but you will see further action if anyone still dares to break the law.”

Ismail revealed today that a total of 1,830 police reports were lodged between June 6 and June 28, while 101 people have been arrested over the last four days, 45 of whom are still in custody.

He said the police will take further action when necessary against those detained, in accordance with the procedures and laws of the nation.

Democrazy a la Malaysia

What happened in Malaysian Parliament today may well earn the so-called august house vital points from the Guinness Book of Records, or at the very least, the Malaysian Book of Records.

Why, four Parliamentarians from the Pakatan Rakyat were suspended for six months within a day!  

According to The Malaysian Insider, Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was suspended for claiming earlier this year that PM Najib Razak’s public relations consultants APCO Worldwide had been behind both the slogans 1Malaysia and One Israel.

Subsequently, three more PR lawmakers — Subang MP R. Sivarasa, Gombak MP Azmin Ali and Bukit Gelugor MP Karpal Singh — were booted out for contempt for revealing and discussing the proceedings of the Rights and Privileges Committee on Anwar’s APCO claims.

No PR lawmakers were present in Parliament during the debate to suspend the three MPs because all opposition MPs had left soon after the motion to suspend Anwar was passed without any debate.

See here and here for context.

Is there a spin ‘ere?

PAS central committee member Husam Musa, in dismissing a Bernama report yesterday, denied that he invited maverick Zaid Ibrahim to join Pas after the latter expressed his intention to leave PKR.

In fact, Husam even urged Bernama to withdraw the report, which he labelled as “untrue and fictitious”.

Concerned Malaysians eagerly wait for Bernama’s response to know whether the alleged mistake is indeed a human error.

Needless to say, an elegant silence on the part of Bernama would only fuel the suspicion that there was a deliberate spin to the story. 

See here and here for full story.

Spot the difference

Branson calls for open competition in Malaysia

The Star – 27 Sept. 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) – British billionaire Richard Branson said Monday that Malaysia should split up and privatize large government-owned companies to increase competition and woo foreign investors.

Branson, whose Virgin Group is a shareholder in a Malaysia-based long-haul budget airline, also said political issues such as the sodomy trial of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim have damaged Malaysia’s reputation among foreign investors.

“A lot of your companies are run by the government,” Branson told a business conference. “It will be better if you privatize, break up big companies into smaller companies for them to compete with each other.”

“It will be better if Malaysia can be more liberal and open. It will attract more people to invest,” he said, when asked how Malaysia can lure foreign investment under an economic plan unveiled last week that seeks $444 billion of investments over the next decade to lift the country to developed nation status.

The Malaysian government retains an ownership interest in most key industries, which gives it the final say in corporate direction despite opening highways, telecommunications, electricity, airlines and autos to private investment since the 1980s.

Large government-linked companies are significant providers of essential services and employment, and account for more than a third of stock market capitalization. Such corporations are also key beneficiaries of government contracts and privileges, drawing criticism of unfair playing field for others.

Budget airline AirAsia has long complained of unfair competition with national flag carrier Malaysia Airlines. Branson’s Virgin Group has a stake in AirAsia’s long-haul affiliate, AirAsia X.

Turning to politics, Branson said Anwar’s second sodomy trial is negative for Malaysia’s image with investors.

“Not in a major way but it’s definitely a thorn in the side of Malaysia’s otherwise very good reputation,” he said.

“This has gone on for a long long time. It looks bad overseas. If you are a bold leader, you should get rid of things like that which damages your reputation,” he said, without elaborating.

Anwar, a former deputy prime minister, is on trial for sodomizing a former male aide.

He insists the government concocted the charge to sideline him after his opposition alliance made unprecedented gains in 2008 polls. The government denies conspiring against Anwar.

He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted of sodomy, a crime in Muslim-majority Malaysia. It is the second time Anwar has been accused of sodomy. He was imprisoned for six years starting in 1998 for sodomy and corruption. The sodomy conviction was later overturned.

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Iklim pelaburan: Richard Branson selar sikap Anwar

Oleh WAN NAJIB WAN DAUD (Utusan Malaysia)

KUALA LUMPUR 27 Sept. – Bilionair dan usahawan terkenal dunia, Sir Richard Branson menyelar sikap bekas Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim sebagai perosak kepada imej dan iklim pelaburan negara.

Beliau yang juga pengasas Kumpulan Virgin berkata, iklim pelaburan Malaysia di peringkat antarabangsa amat menggalakkan tetapi beberapa isu perlu ditangani agar tidak menjejaskan reputasi negara di kalangan pelabur asing. – Utusan

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Branson says Anwar trial ‘damages’ Malaysia

By Yow Hong Chieh (The Malaysian Insider)

September 27, 2010

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson has called on the Malaysian prime minister to intervene in Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy trial, calling the issue “a thorn” in Malaysia’s otherwise good reputation.

“If you’re a bold leader, you should get rid of things like this which are damaging your reputation,” he said today at the “Dawn of the New Decade: Alternative Investments in Asia” conference here.

“This has gone on for a long, long time. It looks bad overseas.”

While Branson did not think Anwar’s Sodomy II trial was causing foreign investors to shy away from Malaysia in any major way, the mercurial entrepreneur nonetheless said more people would want to invest in Malaysia if it were more open and liberal.

He added that it was incumbent on the prime minister to address the “damaging” trial as good leaders looked after their citizens well, much like how good employers take care of their employees.

Branson was speaking at the “Dawn of the New Decade – Alternative Investments in Asia” forum in the capital hosted by the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (MIDA). He went on after MIDA Director-general Datuk Jalilah Baba gave her address.

Anwar, the 62-year-old PKR de facto leader, is charged with sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at Unit 11-5-1 of the Desa Damansara Condominium in Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara here between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26, 2008.

The former deputy prime minister has denied the charge, describing it as “evil, frivolous lies by those in power” when the charge was read out to him. He is charged under section 377B of the Penal Code and can be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years’ jail and whipping upon conviction. The trial is taking place 18 months after Anwar was charged in court in August 2008.

Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption in 1998 after he was sacked from the Cabinet and was later convicted and jailed for both offences.

He was freed in September 2004 and later resurrected his political career by winning back his Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in a by-election in 2008, which had been held in the interim by his wife.

He had earlier led the opposition coalition, Pakatan Rakyat, to a historic sweep of five states and 82 parliamentary seats in Election 2008.

Anwar’s Sodomy II trial will resume on October 14.

The truth about Malaysia’s MSM

In his latest outburst, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz reprimanded the Utusan Malaysia for not giving support to UMNO president Najib Razak, particularly in relation to the daily’s backing of the controversial Perkasa and ex-premier Mahathir Mohamad.

He also reminded the vocal Malay mainstream newspaper that it should behave like many other mainstream dailies, particularly The Star (owned by MCA), that is, not only do they know who their real bosses are but also support their bosses’ actions and policies.

Nazri also attempted to draw a parallel between the above mainstream newspapers and party organs such as the Harakah and Suara Keadilan, which, according to him, toe the party line.

There are two things that need to be said arising from the Nazri statement: firstly, he only reaffirms the contention by many media observers and political analysts all this while that dailies such as the Utusan Malaysia and The Star are indeed owned by the component parties of the BN coalition. This is where the factor of editorial influence, if not control, by the political parties concerned comes in.

And secondly, there is a vital difference between the said mainstream newspapers and the party organs: the dailies pretend to be the newspapers that reflect and represent the interests of the ordinary Malaysians while the party organs, by their very definition, rightly prioritise the interests and concerns of the respective political parties.

Given this situation, it is no surprise that many ordinary Malaysians have abandoned the mainstream dailies because of their questionable credibility and consequently have opted for the online newspapers (and other forms of new media), which they perceive, rightly or wrongly, to be socially responsible and exercising some degree of investigative journalism.

To be sure, the credibility of most of the mainstream newspapers cannot be simply enhanced by mere persuasion or cajoling from government leaders in calling on the ordinary folks to embrace the mainstream dailies because they claim these dailies are more trustworthy. Credibility, as many journalists worth their salt would tell you, is normally built over many years of fair, free and responsible journalism.