Archive for the ‘Joe Fernandez’ Category


Hello everybody!

It’s here!! The final stretch for our Kickstarter campaign. There are only 7 more days to go before the campaign ends!! With still more than half way to go to reach our goal I implore you to rally those around you, friends, family, colleagues, somewhat friendly acquaintances, anybody you can get to please help support our film. We really want this film to reach an audience and to do that we need every single pledge we can get. The issue of stateless people in Sabah is one that directly affects Sabah’s socio-economic landscape and the growing population of stateless individuals is one of the bigger problems that has been plaguing Sabah. It is high-time this issue was addressed and awareness on the human implications of the situation cultivated.

As promised we have prepared a clip from the film that showcases the opinions of various knowledgeable sources on the dilemma. I hope you enjoy the video and you have not yet pledged please pledge any amount you can so we can get this film out to the public.

Many thanks,

Azliana

 

Di Ambang: Stateless in Sabah


This is a comment piece by my friend Joe Fernandez on yesterday’s highly anticipated debate between two former Chief Ministers – Tan Sri Harris Salleh and Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

by Joe Fernandez

COMMENT If there are any lessons that emerged from a “non-debate”, of sorts, between two former Chief Ministers of Sabah on a cold rainy Fri evening in Kota Kinabalu, it was this: “that ignorance is bliss in matters of law, Parliament and the Constitution and that a little knowledge is dangerous”; that even the best subject matter expert opinion would have little chance against a wall of ignorance acting in perhaps good faith and with little else to go on.

Siapa yang makan cili akan rasa pedasnya!

If the cap fits, wear it!

Moderator Simon Sipaun, a former Sabah State Secretary, had his hands full keeping Harris Salleh, 83, from interrupting his opponent Yong Teck Lee, 55.

The debate was supposed to be about Sabah’s rights in the Federation of Malaysia which entered its 51st year on 16 Sept last month. Fifty years of Malaysia, in particular in the Borneo nations of Sabah and Sarawak, is a watershed year. The word out in the streets in Borneo is that there must be some form of consensus on the way forward. If the past 50 years is any indication, the people want no more of it.

Harris and Yong, going hammer-and-tongs against each other offered little help here. Yong was more than willing to help forge consensus on a way forward but for the most part Harris refused to play ball. He took no baits.

Harris, chief minister from 1976 to 1985, was the past which refuses to go away and offered little clues in forging a way forward for the next 50 years.

Yong brings up four issues for Debate, Harris only one

Yong, chief minister from May 1996 to April 1998, had to concede at least in his heart that he had little chance to begin with against Harris in their impromptu debate on Fri 11 Oct, 2013 at the Sabah Golf and Country Club in the Sabah capital.

He was “out-done” by Harris on all fronts in a way that only the latter could do: dismissed in a few words and sentences; or otherwise berated and out-shouted when it came to the law, Parliament and the Constitution. Yong did most of the talking; taking up his full 15 minutes allotted for every issue, while Harris did not go beyond three minutes each time on each issue.

Yong is a British-trained lawyer. Harris had only six years of school education.

One story making the rounds is that Harris was once offered a place as a mature student to do the Bar in London but apparently dropped the idea when another student in a similar situation as him gave up the idea after three years in the British capital. It must have been the English language. Had Harris completed his Bar, perhaps he could have had a better idea of the difference between Rule of Law and Rule by Law and that the Constitution is not so much about law but the ultimate political document.

Yong had four issues to bring up during the Debate: the 20 Points (20P)/1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63); the Petroleum Development Act/Oil Agreement; the surrender of Labuan island to the Federal Government; the power grab incident and the street riots which broke out in Kota Kinabalu in 1985 when the Berjaya Government headed by Harris was thrashed by the 45-day old Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) led by Joseph Pairin Kitingan in state elections that year.

Yong pledges to “shoot himself” if White Paper on SAS implicates him

Harris merely wanted Yong to explain to the crowd why the shares of the state-sponsored Saham Amanah Sabah (SAS), a unit trust, had fallen from its initial RM 1 offer price and was now hovering at about 0.35 sen. Harris felt that Yong, as a former Chief Minister, owed a duty of care to the 66,000 SAS holders – mostly Chinese housewives — saddled with bank loans in buying their stake.

Yong explained that Bank Negara (Central Bank) rules prohibited political interference and involvement in SAS or any unit trust. In short, he had no role in the misfortunes of SAS, no matter how much he sympathized with the stake holders. Yong’s successors have since tried injecting Sabah Government assets into SAS, in a bid to boost the unit trust price, but to no avail.

The SAS issue remains a political hot potato and Yong has paid a heavy price for it. In General Elections this May, his PBS-breakaway Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) failed to win even a single seat in the Federal and state legislatures. SAS was by no means the only reason but that’s another story.

Yong wants the Sabah Government to release a White Paper on SAS and pledged twice, dramatically with a fore finger to his head, that he would “shoot himself” if the White Paper on the SAS found any wrongdoing (criminal) on his part.

Harris denied that the street riots of 1985 were masterminded by the losing Berjaya leaders who allegedly hired illegal immigrants to go on a rampage of burning and general mayhem.

He admitted, in downplaying the riots, that there might have been “a little burning” but was rebutted by Yong waving pictures of the incident from the newspapers and pointing out that a curfew had to be imposed. The latter also stressed that local Muslims – Dusun and other Orang Asal (Natives), Suluk, Bajau and other Muslims – were not involved in the riots “meant to pressure the Federal Government into declaring a state of emergency” to facilitate the take over of the Sabah Government from PBS.

Mustapha failed to persuade Court on early bird theory

Harris attributed the riots to the “Malay Muslims’ being cheated by PBS in not forming a coalition government with United Sabah National Organisation (Usno). Harris is Brunei Malay on his mother’s side. His father was Indian. There are very few Malays in Sabah.

The “cheating”, Harris claimed, was behind the infamous power grab incident which saw Usno and Suluk leader Mustapha Harun clambering over the walls of the Istana (palace) in the wee hours of the morning and having himself sworn in as Chief Minister.

Usno, defeated by Berjaya in 1976, came in with 17 seats in the 1985 state elections, Berjaya had six and PBS took 25. The power grab incident saw Usno and Berjaya disingenuously forming a coalition Government together with six nominated state assemblymen. Mustapha, explaining the power grab, said that “the early bird catches the worm”. He was ousted within days by the Court which he tried to persuade with the “early bird” theory.

Harris cautioned the crowd against referring to every Tom, Dick and Harry in Sabah as an illegal immigrant. He pointed out that the present Governor was a Suluk, yet the Suluks in Sabah – and also the Bugis among others – were being referred to as illegal immigrants. He claimed that the Suluk – people from the southern Philippines like the Bajau — had been in Sabah the last 500 years and the Bugis (from Celebes, Indonesia) have also been here for a very long time.

Whenever Harris came up short in the argument, he had one constant piece of advice for Yong throughout the debate which turned out to be a stormy affair that lasted three hours: campaign hard throughout Malaysia, win two thirds majority in Parliament, amend the Constitution, and reinstate the 20P and the MA63 to set up a “banana republic” and/or win independence for Sabah and Sarawak.

He offered to be Speaker of the new Sabah Parliament, proposed his former Berjaya Deputy Mat Nor Mansor — a Brunei Malay now with Sapp – as the Sultan of Sabah and Yong as Prime Minister.

Parliament Supreme and can do anything on 20P/MA63

For Sarawak, he urged Yong to look around for a Dayak leader to be the new Rajah of that country in echoes of the Brooke Dynasty of white rajahs from England (1841 to 1941) who once ruled there for some 105 years.

It was Harris’ considered opinion that the 20P and MA63 no longer matter, that they had either been incorporated in the Federal Constitution or done away with through amendments in Parliament and in the State Assembly. He did not mention any part of the 20P/MA63 being excluded from the Federal and State Constitutions.

Yong begged to differ and wants the Sabah Government, for a start, to amend the State Constitution and restore Sabah’s status as a Negara (nation) in the Federation, a key point in the 20P.

He explained that he could not do anything on 20P/MA63 during his term a Chief Minister as the Federal Government was very powerful at that time and the “window of opportunity” did not present itself until the 2008 General Election when Sabah and Sarawak came centre stage as the Kingmakers in Parliament.

He echoed the popular view that that there was no Malaysia without 20P/MA63 which formed the basis for both Sabah and Sarawak to be in the Federation with Malaya. He wants the letter and spirit of both constitutional documents on Malaysia to be upheld, honoured and respected. His plea if true will fall on deaf years, Harris retorted.

Both Speakers did not touch on the need to interpret the intention of the framers of the various constitutional documents on Malaysia in a manner which reflected as if they contained a Basic Features Doctrine i.e. the 20P/MA63 could not be amended out of the Federal and state constitutions, done away with or not included.

Harris wants to take on Jeffrey Kitingan on colonisation

Sensing that the mood of the crowd was definitely against him, Harris denied that he was consistently taking a pro-Federal Government line on Sabah.

He claimed disingenuously in a simplistic brief that he was more concerned about the thinking among the people in Sabah on Malaysia. The Muslims, he stressed, would attribute their poverty to fate. The others including those in the kampungs (villages), he anguished, blamed Putrajaya for demolishing State rights – the famous 20P – and/or otherwise being in non-compliance on MA63.

Turning at one point on Bingkor State Assemblyman and State Reform Party (Star) chairman Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, who was seated in the front row, Harris reminded him that he had no response to his offer in a local daily (Daily Express) to debate him and other activists on the issue of whether Malaya (Peninsular Malaysia) had been in colonial occupation of Sabah and Sarawak since the British departure in 1963. The issue is that there was no Referendum on the British leaving Sabah and Sarawak after their independence – 31 Aug and 22 July 1963 — in a Federation with Malaya on 16 Sept 1963, whether expanded or new.

Harris obviously feels compelled, even though long in retirement, to speak up whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview).

Jeffrey had no opportunity to explain that a Right of Reply delivered to the said newspaper by the UK-based Borneo’s Plight in Malaysia Foundation (BOPIM) chairman Daniel John Jambun was not carried by it until the Debate day. (It was carried the next day after the Debate almost a week late.)

“No one” held under ISA for opposing Labuan handover

Harris warned Yong at one time during the debate not to imply in any manner that he had sold Labuan Island, ostensibly to become an International Offshore Financial Centre, to the Federal Government. He challenged Yong to repeat any insinuations against him on Labuan outside the debate hall and promised to retaliate with a swift lawsuit against him. He mentioned that there was already a lawsuit pending in Court on Labuan and the matter was subjudice.

Harris stressed, in response to a question from the floor, that the question of seeking compensation for Labuan did not arise at the moment since the island was a losing concern. Similarly, the Sabah Electricity Board was handed over to the federal Government without compensation because it was another losing concern.

Harris denied that anyone had been held under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) for opposing the Labuan handover and dismissed a statement on the issue by one Darshan Singh from the floor. Darshan spent some time in detention without trial under the ISA apparently for opposing the Labuan handover. A lawyer in the crowd confided that he was standing next to Darshan when the latter was detained but escaped arrest, according to him, because he was “a Muslim”.

Yong disclosed that he was in Labuan on handover day and witnessed the Federal Reserve Units and Royal Malay regiments out in full force on the island to put on an intimidating display of brute force apparently to deter any opposition. It was a defining moment for Yong as he vowed then and there to enter opposition politics to oust the Berjaya Government.

Harris, not so long ago, picked up RM 1 million in Court-awarded damages from Yong in a defamation suit where the Judge held that the latter had implied that the former had “blood on his hands”. This was a reference to the tragic 6 June, 1976 air crash which wiped out almost the entire Sabah Cabinet led by Berjaya President Donald Fuad Stephens. Harris became Chief Minister by default and days later signed the infamous Oil Agreement with Petronas, the National Oil Corporation, and the Federal Government.

Harris, in response to Yong and questions from the floor, denied that he had been under any pressure to sign the oil agreement. Nevertheless, he disclosed that there was only RM 2 million in the kitty left by the ousted Mustapha Government. Signing the Oil Agreement meant an immediate cash infusion from Petronas in the form of Oil Royalty amounting to 5 per cent.

Besides, added Harris, Sarawak and Terengganu had earlier signed the Oil Agreements. If he had not signed, he ventured, “it would look as if Sarawak and Terengganu were stupid to do so”.

Harris claimed, in defending the Oil Agreement, that it was “international law” – at one time he even referred to the Law of the Sea – that onshore waters belong to Sabah and that the offshore belonged to the Federal Government.

Parliament Supreme and can do anything on 20P/MA63

He begged to disagree with Yong’s take that the boundary of Sabah was what it had at the time that it was taken/pushed by the British into the Federation of Malaysia. Yong, while not faulting Harris for it, also pointed out that the Oil Blocks L and M handed over to Brunei not so long ago were within Malaysia’s maritime boundaries in Sabah and Sarawak.

Harris showed little evidence during the Debate of the articulate self presented of him in the numerous press statements purportedly attributed to him in the local media, the Daily Express in particular.

Age, in any case, may be catching up with Harris in more ways than one. He had little patience with issues brought up by Yong, and in no mood to be apologetic, even displaying open defiance in taking a pro-Federal Government line in Sabah.

The crowd had turned up in the mistaken belief that Harris would concede that mistakes had been made during his time in public office and that he harboured more than his fair share of regrets.

On a plus note, Harris is willing to join the pro-20P/MA63 activists in Borneo if it can be demonstrated in any way that there’s probably a “cause for action” and that “any lost rights can be recovered”.

Parliament, he reminded, was Supreme and can do anything in explaining the perception that the 20P/MA63 had not been honoured. He failed to mention that the Veto Powers of Sabah and Sarawak in Parliament, a pledge under MA63, had been done away with by the Election Commission, the Attorney General and the Registrar of Societies.

Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person. He also tutors at local institutions and privately. He subscribes to Dr Stephen Hawking’s “re-discovery” of the ancient Indian theory that “the only predictable property of the universe is chaos”. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper — or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard — whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview) or to give a Hearing to All. He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet. He’s half-way through a semi-autobiographical travelogue, A World with a View . . . http://fernandezjoe.blogspot.com/


Mere ‘fraud’ not consideration in 13th GE

by Joe Fernandez

COMMENT Malaysians by and large worry that “fraudulent practices” by way of the electoral rolls and at the ballot box will cheat them out of the Government they want in Putrajaya and in the states. This should not be read as having a Pakatan Rakyat (PR) Government in the Federal Administrative Centre instead of one formed by the Barisan Nasional (BN).

Fraud can work both ways although the outgoing BN, revamped from the Alliance Party in the wake of the searing Sino-Malay race riots of 13 May, 1969, has ruled the country since 1957 when the British left Malaya.

In the absence of proof in the form of the proverbial smoking gun, indefinite BN rule by itself should not be seen as having been facilitated by fraudulent electoral practices. The formation of the BN itself stretched out the welcome mat for the Alliance Party.

The system itself is at fault.

The playing field is not level.

The Court should not allow the gazetting of tainted electoral rolls even if evidence of such fraud, for example Projek IC and the like, was discovered well after the public display and objection period for such rolls is over.

The delineation of constituencies is another issue since it facilitates gerrymandering.

Winning by default not evidence of fraud in elections

Putrajaya, for example, is a parliamentary seat with less than 6,000 voters. There are many Putrajayas in Malaysia which are all BN territory. Indeed, it has even been estimated that with as little as 18.9 per cent of the votes cast, the BN can still obtain 112 seats in Parliament to form the Federal Government. There are 222 seats in Parliament.

Meanwhile, Opposition strongholds have anything up to 100,000 or more voters. So, BN can still lose the popular vote and form the majority in Parliament, for example. In that case, only its moral right to govern can be questioned by the Opposition and the people. The Court is not about the truth, justice or moral values. It’s about the law.

To digress a little, the Congress in India at one time, before the advent of coalition government, was able to form the Federal Government single-handedly with less than 30 per cent of the total votes cast. 18.9 per cent in Malaysia would be even more shocking!

There’s a case for limiting the number of registered voters in any parliamentary seat to 50,000, plus or minus either way, within a 10,000 range. So, Putrajaya by itself will not qualify to be a parliamentary seat.

Even so, the Opposition has not been able to get its act together in recent years until the watershed 12th General Election of 2008.

Defection of Opposition after May 13 fraud perpetrated on the people

So, the ruling party can still win by default as it has been the case in Sarawak except for one point in time in 1987 known as the Ming Court Affair. After that, the Malay-based Permas disbanded and its ally, the Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS) joined the state government in coalition, only to find itself deregistered several years later. That set back Opposition politics in Sarawak until 2009 when the Malaya-based Opposition, despite not being united, made a credible showing in the state election.

This time the same Opposition is more united than ever in Sarawak but it is only the parliamentary seats are at stake. Seven to eight parliamentary seats, out of the 31 at stake in Sarawak, are already in the bag for the Opposition. It does not have any local Opposition parties to contend with apart from the mosquito Sarawak Workers Party (SWP), bankrolled curiously among others by Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to do in a coalition partner, the rising Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), the part successor party to PBDS.

The people of Sarawak appear to be willing to place Sabah opposition strongman Jeffrey Kitingan’s Borneo Agenda on the backburner for the moment as they wrestle with the Herculean task of removing the Taib Dynasty from power. They are willing to enter a temporary marriage of convenience with the Malaya-based Opposition parties for this singular purpose. The Borneo Agenda is explained as being against everything that the parti parti Malaya in Borneo stands for and their local presence.

The 10 May, 1969 General Election became an aberration when the Opposition fled to the newly step up BN to replace the Alliance Party.

Part of the blame for the political weakness of the opposition in Malaysia can be placed on the since discarded International Security Act (ISA) which hung like the proverbial Sword of Damocles over the Opposition and also struck fear in the people at large.

Majority right to rule, minority right to be heard

Mass civil disobedience was not employed by the Opposition as a weapon in their arsenal. There were no hungry stomachs to march. People still had food on the table. It’s not like in France when Marie Antoinette, the Austrian-born Queen of France during the 1789 Revolution, infamously remarked, “If the people have no bread, let them eat cake”. This was her response to news that the peasants were starving. King Louis XVI was beheaded on 21 Jan, 1793 for treason, “trying to get help from royal supporters in England, Prussia and Austria”. Marie Antoinette was beheaded on 16 October, 1793 for the same crime.

The first past the post system should be reviewed to allow for the voices of the losing voters to be heard in the legislature, through non-constituency based seats, if a party which failed to win even one seat in any legislature managed to muster a minimum five per cent of the votes cast nationwide. While the majority – as reflected in the legislature – has the right to rule, the minority i.e. the losing votes in elections, has a right to be heard. That’s true democracy!

Effecting the outcome the principle in determining election fraud

The BN, thick-skinned as they are when it comes to corruption issues, are extremely sensitive when it comes to any hints of any element of fraud in the quest for power. It’s aware that the eyes of the world are on it and besides there’s the question of the Malay maruah – self-respect – and the issue of legitimacy to consider on such issues, if not in corruption.

This maruah/legitimacy factors, the Malay Achilles Heel, has seen the BN Government setting up the long-awaited Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the extraordinary population explosion in Sabah and its reflection in the electoral rolls. The same factors, maruah and legitimacy, has seen the BN wrestling with the issues of statelessness, and the marginalisation and disenfranchisement of the Indian Nation in Malaysia, the legitimacy of Malaysia in Sabah and Sarawak, and the right of Malaysians abroad to vote.

Legitimacy by itself has wider implications, embracing security considerations, and its reflection on valuation in the economy in several areas driven by investor and consumer confidence viz. the strength of the currency, value of stocks, property prices, credit risk, credit rating and the like. When politics comes in through the door, economics will fly out the window with widespread security and other implications which will render any quest for political power either pointless or a phyric victory.

When it comes down to brass tacks, mere fraudulent practices in the GE, abominable as they are to those who claim the moral high ground, are not the main consideration in law.

No election anywhere in the world is without an element of fraud.

What’s more important to consider in the post-GE period is whether fraudulent practices in terms of vote count at the ballot box were of a magnitude which affected the outcome; what would be the response of the Court if indeed fraudulent practices had determined the outcome.

Many options for people to act against fraud in elections

The respective share of the popular vote is immaterial except for the Opposition and the people taking to the streets and demanding fresh polls, free and fair, under an Interim Government or the inclusion of the Opposition in the division of Cabinet and Government posts without resort to coalition government.

A 3rd alternative is a Revolutionary Government formed by the people. Revolutionary Government would also be the option if the people conclude that there’s no way that the BN can be dethroned through the ballot box.

Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person and tutor at local institutions. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper — or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard — whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview). He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet. He’s half-way through a semi-autobiographical travelogue, A World with a View.

Fraud in Malaysian politics never-ending

by Joe Fernandez

COMMENT If the 1987 Umno presidential election is taken as one yardstick, the response of the Court may not be in favour of a novel development of the law or, as some would allege, making law.

In that party election, the Court discovered that votes from 30 illegal party branches may have contributed towards Mahathir Mohamad’s narrow 43-vote victory over his challenger Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. It was alleged that the 30 illegal branches were aligned towards Mahathir. Even so, in a surprising ruling, Judge Harun Hashim declared the entire party unlawful. Had the Judge concluded that the illegal votes may have gone in the direction of Razaleigh, that ruling would not have arisen since the outcome was not affected!

Harun Hashim bought kamikaze arguments and denied Razaleigh

The Court did not take into consideration that the presidential election was only unlawful to the extent of the illegal votes and the party unlawful to the extent of the illegal branches. The Jury may still be out on the question of whether the Judge could have discounted the illegal votes and handed the presidential victory to Razaleigh. Many will argue that he could have but unfortunately he didn’t. The good judge has long gone to meet his maker. Dead men tell no tales.

Even if Mahathir had won by one vote, and it was determined that his victory was due to one illegal voter, the outcome had been affected. Both Mahathir and Razaleigh, the one illegal vote removed, had tied.

One mitigating circumstance against the party being declared unlawful was that it had helmed the country since independence for Malaya in 1957 and steered the birth of Malaysia in 1963.

That approach could not be misconstrued as judicial activism using the fig leaf that our system of justice is adversarial.

Alas, the Judge bought the kamikaze arguments in Court that he had no alternative but declare the entire party unlawful if the Court concluded that illegal branches had participated in the presidential elections and illegal votes had also been counted. Again, the Court is not about the truth, justice or moral values but the law, no matter how much weighted against the public interest.

Court no help in awarding victory to the real polls winners

In another case, on 8 June, 2001 Election Court Justice Muhammad Kamil Awang made a landmark decision declaring the March 13, 1999, Likas election result null and void after upholding two election petitions filed by losing PBS candidate Dr Chong En Leong and former Chief Minister Harris Salleh of Parti Bersekutu. Justice Kamil had affirmed that the Likas electoral roll was tainted with more than 5,000 phantom voters. But who obtained those votes?

Former Barisan Nasional-rotated Sabah Chief Minister Yong Teck Lee, who polled 9,110 votes against 4, 962 by Dr Chong, lost the seat. Yong had won by 4, 962 votes. Harris drew 3,576 votes.

Even if all of the Likas-resident Harris’ votes came from the illegals, a likely possibility but nevertheless strenuously denied by those in his camp, that still left over 1,424 votes from the illegals for Yong since these people wouldn’t vote for PBS, then in the Opposition. If these 1,424 votes are discounted from Yong’s margin of victory, he still won by 3,538 votes. Only judicial activism could have saved Yong unless the ballot boxes were opened up and each voted recounted.

In a 15 June, 2001 media statement, then Dap National Chairman Lim Kit Siang lamented the subsequent disclosure that the Judge had received a telephone directive from someone at the top of the Judiciary to strike out the Likas petition without a hearing. Lim’s beef was that the Judge did not disclose the telephone call in Court.

So, not much can be placed in the case of proven electoral fraud, on the Court stripping the winner of a disputed victory and awarding it to his nearest challenger.

Never ending go back to India, China cries from Nusantara people

There should be a system in place for the Court, in case of election petitions alleging fraud, to scrutinize the ballot papers and determine who collected whose vote. That would be the most efficient way to determine polls winners instead of a re-poll which would necessitate the cleaning up of the electoral rolls, a process which has been bitterly disputed in the past.

Still, the bottomline may not even be the extent of electoral fraud.

It comes back to the system again.

The greatest fraud perpetrated against the people of Malaysia is the formation of pre-polls coalitions. These coalitions circumvent the democratic process by endorsing elite power-sharing and denying the grassroots majority meaningful participation in the electoral process. The formation of coalitions should only be allowed, by law, after the elections are over.

Coalition government need not be inevitability.

The party with the most number of seats in Parliament, for example, can share the Federal Cabinet and Government posts with other political parties without entering into coalition government.

If coalition government is the option exercise, such a coalition must disband on the eve of the next elections to ensure a free for all at the ballot box. That by itself would spell the end of political parties based on narrow considerations like race and religion.

Politics can then be fought on issues and these may be urban, suburban, rural, coastal, from the interior or the high mountain country. No longer would anyone be identified by his race or religion in politics or whether he’s an Orang Asal, recently or long arrived or the descendents of those recently arrived or long arrived.

No longer would anyone be told to “go back to India or China”, for example, if they are “not happy in Malaysia”.

No pledge from Dap not to fraudulently embrace Umno

Every election, and in the run-up to elections, the Indian community in particular are subject to all sorts of indignities, racial abuse and derogatory remarks in the struggle to confine the national cake to a smaller number of people.

The Indians are united by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi, the Chinese are united by their bank drafts, and the Malays by their overdrafts. The makkal sakthi – people power in Tamil – cries of Interlok Pariah Umno is being heard again as the seatless Indians rail against the ruling party.

The Opposition is a marriage of convenience united by Malay hatred in particular for the BN in general and Umno in particular. The marriage appears to be less unholy now than when it was first formed.

The BN in Malaya, apart from Umno, has fallen apart and will crumble under a united Opposition assault come this 13th GE but will continue in Sabah and Sarawak, mauled and bruised in the latter in particular but still taking power.

In the absence of a public pledge, it’s being speculated that the urban and Chinese-based Dap would not hesitate to abandon its Malay and Islamic partners, PKR and Pas, in the aftermath of the 13th GE and team up with Umno to share the Federal Government provided the MCA and Gerakan are removed. That would be like the Pap of Singapore fraudulently achieving by the backdoor what it failed to do in Malaysia.

People of Borneo given the short end of the stick in Malaysia

The greatest fraud perpetrated in Malaysia was to weaken the voice of the people of Borneo nations in Parliament.

The two countries, Sabah and Sarawak, have a combined 57 seats in Parliament, less than the at least one third plus one promised by the 1963 Malaysia Agreement. This is 18 less seats than they should have out of 222 seats.

To add insult to injury, many of the 57 seats are held by Malaya-based parties across the political divide, thus further weakening the voice of the people of Borneo in the Malaysian Parliament.

The Registrar of Societies (ROS) is a party to these political parties being in violation of the Malaysia Agreement. It facilitates Putrajaya ruling Sabah and Sarawak through rogue elements – Projek IC operatives, Moro National Liberation Front, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Abu Sayyaf – local proxies (local Muslims and illegals) and their stooges (Orang Asal).

The Malaya-based parties have not even been locally-incorporated in Sabah and Sarawak to comply with at least the letter, if not the spirit, of the Malaysia Agreement.

If politics is all about the re-distribution of power and resources, the people of Borneo are being given the short end of the stick in their already disputed participation Malaysia. There could be no greater fraud than this.

Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person and tutor at local institutions. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper — or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard — whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview). He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet. He’s half-way through a semi-autobiographical travelogue, A World with a View.


LETTER

by Joe Fernandez

Some Hindraf Makkal Sakthi veterans are demanding that the NGO’s chairman, P. Waythamoorthy, decide whether Indians should support the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Opposition Alliance led by Pakatan Rakyat (PR). It’s not the done thing to give Waytha a 48-hour ultimatum.

Besides,  it’s not Waytha’s idea to meet with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

Najib himself asked for the meeting with Hindraf. How can the Hindraf leader spurn the Prime Minister? That would be downright kurang ajar! It must be remembered that Hindraf wanted to meet with then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2007. Badawi initially agreed but backed off when the racists in Umno made a hue and cry and insisted that the Prime Minister should not “lower himself” — jatuh standard —  by meeting with any Indians. The Indians, the racists insisted, should meet with MIC President S. Samy Vellu, the man who had been squatting on the Indians for over three decades and had no power to decide on anything. Apparently, the Malaysian Prime Minister was only for Malays. Samy was the Prime Minister for Indians. The Indians had no choice, in the absence of dialogue with the Government, to take to the streets on 25 Nov, 2007 and in mid-Feb 2008 in Putrajaya.

According to these veterans, the Indians are confused as to who they should support in the 13th General Election. There’s nothing to be confused about!

Why should Hindraf dictate to the Indians who they should support? These so-called Hindraf veterans should have their heads examined! Such stupidity even after 56 years of suffering under BN. These people deserve whatever they have been getting since 1957. Probably, it’s a congenital thing, brought about by not mixing with anyone outside their own tiny little circle of katak di bawah tempurung.

Hindraf is not the self-serving MIC which has been squatting on the Indians for over half a century in return for some crumbs from the Umno table for a handful of its leaders.

The Indians should draw lessons from the tragic fate of the Christian minorities in the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring and focus on avoiding political victimization when the polls are over.

If they root for BN and PR comes in, what will be the fate of the community for the next five years? Likewise, if they root for PR instead and BN still manages to cling on to power as in the past 56 years, are the Indians going to head for the nearest toilet bowl to put their heads in for a dose of bitter reality? BN cannot be even more vicious and vindictive than they have already been towards Indians. But what about Anwar Ibrahim? This man will be even worse than Mahathir Mohamad. You can see it in his conspiratorial face and his sneaky, cynical, sneering smile. The Indians didn’t get even one tiny benefit from the PR Governments in Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Kelantan. So great is the hatred this man, a grandson of a Tamil, has for Indians. That’s why Mahathir, another Indian, is shitting bricks these days and is leading the BN campaign together with Daim Zainuddin, his Siamese comrade in plundering the Public Treasury, instead of Najib who has been virtually pushed to one side as a Bugis puppet.

God help Malaysia if Anwar Ibrahim becomes Prime Minister! This is a very bitter man plotting, scheming and conniving to be the head of Government. The voters will be extremely foolish to take such a risk. Anyone who aspires to be Prime Minister must be someone like Obama, not someone who has more than his fair share of skeletons in the cupboard and has a poor track record. The Opposition should woo Tengku Razaleigh, the man who Mahathir cheated out of the premiership in 1987, if they want to maintain some credibility on the issue of who among them should be Prime Minister. Not that turbanwallah Hadi Awang from Pas. Karpal Singh, as Mahathir suggested, would make a better Prime Minister for PR. In his own warped and jaundiced way, Mahathir is pointing out that PR has no Prime Minister in Waiting to lead the charge.

Indians should support neither BN nor BN come the GE.

The issue is simple.

Indians, despite nearly one million of them being on the electoral rolls, do not have even one seat in any legislature in Malaysia, whether Parliament or state. This is the biggest crime perpetrated by the MIC against Indians.

This means no Indian can be elected by Indian votes. In Segamat for example, where MIC Deputy President Subramaniam is the incumbent, Indians make up only ten per cent of the voters while the remainder are equally divided between the Chinese and Malays. How can Subramaniam claim to represent the Indians on speak up on their behalf? No wonder he never opens his mouth in Parliament on Indian issues.

Any Indian elected to any legislature would need non-Indian votes. Such vulnerability rules out the possibility that they can open their mouth in the legislature on Indian issues. The Indian legislator, naturally, degenerates into being a political mandore, i.e. one to marshal Indian voters to the ballot boxes on behalf of the Malays and Chinese in return for some crumbs from the powers-that-be for himself. This has been the classic MIC modus operandi over the last 56 years.

The safest approach for Indians to take is to vote against all incumbents, whether from BN or PR, by spoiling their ballots. This would be the best way to protest against marginalization and disenfranchisement and bring international attention to bear on Malaysia on the plight of the Indians. There’s nothing in the two-party system for Indians.

If new faces are fielded, Indians should decide for themselves which candidate deserves their support.

Obviously, it must be a candidate who takes note of the following: (1) the Sapu Bersih deviations and distortions in the implementation of Article 153 and the NEP — shades of Apartheid, Nazism, Fascism, Communism, Political Islam, caste system —  must be ended; (2) the Government of the day must stop enacting administrative laws — not law at all but government policies in action — which are anti-non-Malay minorities and anti upward social mobility for the non-Malays. There’s a case for a Ministry of Orang Asal and Minority Affairs (MOAMA); (3) the Syariah and the Syariah Court must not intrude into civil law; (4) Islam must be kept in its proper perspective as per Article 3 of the Federal Constitution which doesn’t mention an official religion; and (5) change must mean change of the ruling party at regular intervals through free and fair elections.

Indians must bury MIC once and for all to end mandore politics.

In the 67 parliamentary seats in Malaya, and the related state seats, where Indians decide, the community should support Hindraf if it fields any candidate.

The purpose of such an exercise, win or lose, is to demonstrate that Hindraf has more Indian support than PR and BN combined.  Hindraf can count on other 3rd Force allies as well. Hindraf co-Founder P. Uthayakumar is showing the way here.

So, Indians should stop being confused.

Forget the Hindraf Blueprint.

Both PR and BN will never endorse it although the amount involved is a measly RM 4.5 billion, just a tiny fraction of the RM 225 billion Budget for this year. If the Hindraf Blueprint is implemented by the Government of Malaysia, the sky will fall down.

The Government of the day, whether PR or BN, can appoint Indians to the Senate and even the Federal Cabinet, GLCs, and the government sector to represent the Indian Nation in Malaysia. One good start would be the Ministry of Orang Asal and Minority Affairs which can be headed, for a start, by either an Orang Asal or an Indian. Many countries have such a Ministry to cater to the Original People and Minorities. If the Federal Government is interested, Jeffrey Kitingan, Waytha and this writer can suggest who should head the Ministry. We have discussed the issue at length. Keep out the vested interests so that we can see some real change for the communities concerned and Malaysia. the Government should not surround itself with the usual bunch of sycophants, hangers-on, fat cats, and cronies claiming to represent the Orang Asal and Indians.


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENTIf the Government in Putrajaya is truly honest with itself, it will confront the fact that there’s very little sympathy in Sabah and Sarawak on the ground for the security forces apparently battling it out in Lahad Datu. It’s 50 years too late. They might as well pack up and go home and instead recall the Sabah Border Scouts and Sarawak Rangers.

At the same time, the continuing statements from one Jamalul Kiram III, the Manila press, the Philippines Government and Nur Misuari of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) on Sabah and Sarawak are being viewed in the right perspective.

Local political parties in Sabah and Sarawak are convinced, like the descendants of the heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate and Nur Misuari that the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague is the best venue to settle rival claims to the two Borneo nations. Already, the State Reform Party (Star) led by Jeffrey Kitingan, has reportedly included the ICJ option in their draft Manifesto for the forthcoming 13th General Election.

The ICJ is also the best venue to address the fact that Singapore was expelled in 1965 from the Federation of Malaysia by unconstitutional, unlawful and illegal means. It’s an open secret that then Malaysian Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman had the doors of Parliament locked until the MPs agreed to the expulsion of the city state from the Federation.

The general consensus across both sides of the Sulu Sea is that the Sabah/Sarawak issue will not go away unless there’s a final resolution one way or another. In the absence of a final resolution, the security of both Sabah and Sarawak will continue to be compromised and thereby affect investor and consumer confidence.  

Singapore Application would be a continuation of Pulau Batu Putih case

If Singapore is featured as well at the same time that the cases of Sabah and Sarawak are considered, it would amount to a revisitation of the Pulau Batu Putih hearings which saw the island of a few rocks being awarded to the city state.

The Singapore Application could be made by the Government of that island or vide a Class Action Suit commenced by concerned citizens seeking closure on an issue which has bedevilled relations on both sides of the causeway since 1965.

The descendants of the nine heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate claim that they have private property rights to Sabah or parts of it. They further claim and/or used to claim that sovereignty over Sabah rests with the Philippines Government. This is a grey area since one Sulu Sultan apparently “transferred” his sultanate’s sovereignty over Sabah to the Manila Government by way of a Power of Attorney which has reportedly since expired.

Jamalul Kiram III claims to be Sultan of Sulu.

Sulu claimants, Nur Misuari don’t have a leg to stand on in Sabah, Sarawak

At last count there were some 60 claimants to the Sulu Sultanship, not all being descendants of the nine heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate.

The nine Plaintiffs viz. Dayang Dayang Piandao Kiram, Princess Tarhata Kiram, Princess Sakinur Kiram, Sultan Ismael Kiram, Sultan Punjungan Kiram, Sitti Rada Kiram, Sitti Jahara Kiram, Sitti Mariam Kiram and Mora Napsa were recognised by C. F. Mackasie, Chief Judge of Borneo, on 13 Dec, 1939 in response to Civil Suit No. 169/39.

The Judge ruled that the nine heirs, as the beneficiaries under the will of the late Sultan Jamalul Kiram, who died at Jolo on 7 June 1935, are entitled to collect a total of RM 5,300 per annum from Sabah in perpetuity for having foregone in perpetuity the right to collect tolls along the waterways in eastern Sabah. The reference point was the deed of cession made between the Sultan of Sulu and the predecessors of the British North Borneo Chartered Company on Jan 22, 1878, and under a confirmatory deed dated April 22, 1903.

If the descendants of the nine heirs end up at the ICJ in The Hague, there are no prizes for guessing which way the case will go.

The Sulu claimants don’t have a leg to stand on in Sabah.

Nur Misuari ready to do battle with a battery of lawyers

The Sulu Sultans of old were extorting tolls, virtually a criminal activity, from the terrified traffic along the eastern seaboard of Sabah. The Brunei Sultanate meanwhile denies ever handing any part of Sabah, or the right to collect tolls along the waterways, to Sulu.

The British North Borneo Chartered Company had no right whatsoever to enter into negotiations on behalf of the people of Sabah with anyone.

The entire land area of Sabah, by history, Adat and under Native Customary Rights (NCR), belonged to the Orang Asal (Original People) of the Territory.

The sovereignty of Sabah rests with the people of Sabah. This sovereignty was re-affirmed on 31 Aug, 1963 when the state won independence from Britain which had occupied the state after World War II. Therein the matter lies. The sovereignty of Sabah had never been transferred to Brunei, Sulu, the Philippines, Britain or Malaya, masquerading as Malaysia since 16 Sept, 1963.

Likewise, Sarawak’s independence was re-affirmed on 22 July, 1963 when the British left. Sarawak had been an independent country for over 150 years under its own Rajah until World War II intervened and the Japanese occupied the country. The war over, the British coerced the Rajah to hand over his country to the Colonial Office in London because they had plans to form the Federation of Malaysia with Sarawak as one of the constituent elements. British occupation of Sarawak was illegal and an act of piracy.

Nur Misuari claims that Sarawak had belonged to his family, from the time of his great great grandfather. He claims that he has the services of the best lawyers at his disposal to make his case at The Hague.

Cobbold Commission a scam by British and Malayan Governments

The outcome of any hearing at The Hague will be a forgone conclusion: the Sulu and Nur Misuari petitions will be struck out without even a hearing; the Court will rule that the people of Sabah and Sarawak never agreed to be in Malaysia; and Singapore will hear that its expulsion from Malaysia in 1965 was unconstitutional, unlawful and illegal. The people of Sabah and Sarawak must be given the right to intervene in the Applications at the ICJ which will determine their fate. There’s nothing to prevent the people of Sulu and the southern Philippines from throwing in an Application that the Philippines Government has no business to occupy their traditional Muslim homeland.

The people of Singapore decided in a Yes or Note Vote in 1962 to the idea of independence through merger with Malaya via the Federation of Malaysia. The inclusion of Orang Asal-majority Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei was to facilitate the merger between Chinese-majority Singapore and non-Malay majority Malaya.

Brunei stayed out of Malaysia at the 11th hour after an armed rebellion in the Sultanate against the idea of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei being in Malaysia.

No Referendum was held in Sabah, Sarawak, Brunei and Malaya on Malaysia. The Kelantan Government even took the matter to Court.

A sampling of community leaders conducted by the Cobbold Commission found that only the Suluk and Bajau community leaders, perhaps sensing some personal benefits for themselves as proxies of Muslim-controlled Kuala Lumpur, agreed with the idea of Malaysia.

Revolution another possibility to finish off Sulu, Nur Misuari, Manila

Orang Asal community leaders wanted a period of independence before looking at the idea of Malaysia again. They asked for further and better particulars on Malaysia to be used as the reference point for a future re-visitation of the Malaysia Concept. They were not provided these further and better particulars.

The Chinese community leaders, keeping the eventual fate of the resources and revenues of the country uppermost in mind, totally rejected the idea of Malaysia. They were not wrong. Putrajaya today carts away all the resources and revenues of Sabah and Sarawak to Malaya and very little of it comes back to the two Borneo.

The Cobbold Commission disingenuously declared that two third of the people in Sabah i.e. Suluk/Bajau + Orang Asal supported Malaysia. The Commission made the same declaration in Sarawak where only the Sarawak Malay community leaders supported the idea of Malaysia for self-serving reasons.

When Singapore was expelled from Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak – the facilitators of the merger between Singapore and Malaya – were not allowed to exit the Federation. This is a crucial point which will feature at the ICJ.

Security became an afterthought. But as the continuing influx of illegal immigrants into Sabah and Sarawak, and the Lahad Datu intrusion, has proven, there has been no security for both Borneo nations in Malaysia. ESSCOM (Eastern Sabah Security Command) and ESSZONE (Eastern Sabah Safety Zone) comes too little too late, after 50 years.

In the unlikely event that the ICJ rules in favour of the heirs of the defunct Sulu Sultanate and Nur Misuari, it would be the sacred duty of Sabahans and Sarawakians to launch a Revolution and decapitate all the claimants to their countries from the Philippines.

This would bury the issue once and for all and shut up the Manila press and the Philippines Government.

Singapore’s re-admission to Malaysia, if it materialises, would not persuade Sabah and Sarawak to join the Federation as well. The people would want Malaya even quicker out Sabah and Sarawak. It would be the end of a long drawn out nightmare.

 

Joe Fernandez is a graduate mature student of law and an educationist, among others, who loves to write especially Submissions for Clients wishing to Act in Person. He feels compelled, as a semi-retired journalist, to put pen to paper — or rather the fingers to the computer keyboard — whenever something doesn’t quite jell with his weltanschauung (worldview). He shuttles between points in the Golden Heart of Borneo formed by the Sabah west coast, Labuan, Brunei, northern Sarawak and the watershed region in Borneo where three nations meet.


by Joe Fernandez

COMMENT Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak, in his Deepavali Day message, asked the Indian Nation in Malaysia – a people without territory in the Diaspora – to place Nambikkai (trust) in him. If he wants to be given the benefit of the doubt, there’s little indication that he deserves it.

This should not be about a man, a personality cult, but a system. Leaders come and go, but a system lives on, a people live on.

Indians, others as well, cannot continue to be held to ransom by whoever occupies the Prime Minister’s chair.

Instead, they need to see concrete action on the ground to dismantle the apartheid-like structure that Umno has foisted on Malaysia.

Indians in particular are victims of this structure of evil which is a manifestation of racism – feelings of inferiority – prejudice (being against something for no rhyme or reason) and opportunism (the ruling class monopolizing all opportunities).

Deepavali is a Time for Remembering that the Government continues to take away from the Indian Nation in Malaysia what little they have in order to reduce them to a community of thieves, beggars, and prostitutes eaking out a living in the shanty towns so that some other people can look good and feel good.

Indians are bearing the brunt of government policies which works against them. If this process continues, Indians will become refugees in their own land, internally-displaced people confined to the shantytowns.

Indians first in Peninsular Malaysia after Orang Asli

If we go back in history, we will discover that Indians were the first people to be in Peninsular Malaysia after the Orang Asli who themselves made their way from East Africa by way of the Indian coast. Between now and the coming of the Orang Asli, there have always been Indians in Peninsular Malaysia. The Kedaram Civilisation in Kedah arose from more than a millennium ago on the back of colonials, the Pallavas, from India. The purpose was to act as the middlemen in trade between India and China.

Indian presence in Peninsular Malaysia predates the Thais and the present Malay-speaking communities – Bugis, Javanese, Minang, and Acehnese etc – but has been downplayed by politically-minded historians to a mere phenomenon of British colonialism from two hundred years ago.

Away from history, Indians in Peninsular Malaysia today find themselves marginalized and disenfranchised under the Umno Government which has lasted, by hook and by crook if not default, for 55 years. Indians don’t have even one seat in Parliament or any of the state assemblies.

The result of marginalisation and disenfranchisement has as placed Indians in an unfortunate position where even the little that they have continues to be taken away from them by Umno under administrative laws – government policies in action – and there appears to be no let up in the process.

Najib’s nambikkai focused on ballot box, his survival

It’s in this atmosphere of mistrust and distrust that Najib is pleading for nambikkai from Indians with an eye on the ballot box and his political survival.

An example, as pointed out by Hindraf Makkal Sakthi Legal Advisor P. Uthayakumar, is that no local authority in Malaysia will issue even a cendol licence to Indians. If Najib cannot ensure that Indians can’t obtain even a cendol licence, he has no business asking for nambikkai from Indians.

The civil service, at one time, used to be the bastion of support for Indians to the extent that they made up over 60 per cent of the top-ranking staff. Meritocracy reigned.

Today, it’s a far cry as the lack of diversity – blame it on mediocrity — in the civil service has seen the number of non-Malays decline to less than 10 per cent. This may be attributed to the fact that former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohd advised the civil service in his day to throw away applications from non-Malays. This fact was recorded in a PhD study by Professor Ramasamy, the present Deputy Chief Minister II of Penang. Rama was booted out from a university for the revelation and was invited by Dap to join up. The rest is history.

Najib has made no effort whatsoever to ensure that the civil service embraces the concept of diversity. Instead, we are being told that non-Malays are not interested to signing on and a great pretence is being made in wooing non-Malays. Ajak ajak ayam!

In 2008, Indians voted against the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and helped the Opposition win by default in the face of an urban-rural divide.

Recipe for political victimization after 13th General Elections

This time, Indians are being asked to choose between the BN and the Opposition. This call makes little sense since the community has been effectively marginalized and disenfranchised as evident, at the risk of repetition, in zero seats for them in Parliament and the state assemblies. Hence, being forced to choose between the BN and the Opposition is a sure recipe for political victimization in the aftermath of the elections.

The Indians would be better off if they eschew party politics and coalition politics.
Hindraf Makkal Sakthi is engaged in talks with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR). The ad hoc human rights organisation working across the political divide has a 18 Point List of Demands. http://hindraf.org/18-points-demand.html

Najib has jumped on the bandwagon and wants to engage Hindraf too. He forgets that Badawi, his predecessor, spurned the opportunity in late 2007 in the face of racist advice and suffered March 2008.

It’s not really necessary that Indians must be represented in Parliament and the state assemblies since such representation does not benefit them but only a handful willing to subscribe to tokenism and window-dressing. Hindraf calls it mandore politics, whatever that means. But they may have a point or two here if Indian legislators are afraid to even utter the word “Indian” for fear of being branded “racist” and losing their non-Indian votes.

It’s a no win situation.

Indians must flock to the ballot box independent of the Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) and other political parties.

Indians must forsake party politics, coalition politics

This calls for voting against any Indian who offers himself or herself to the electorate at the forthcoming 13th General Election.

Indians must also forsake party politics and coalition politics and look at the track record of the incumbents and candidates who offer themselves.

Indians, being members of a 3rd Force which can emerge in Parliament to ensure that no one has a two-third majority, should not vote for or against parties or coalitions.

They should vote against incumbents who have not performed for them.

They should also vote against incumbents who have performed for them but have been in the state legislatures or Parliament three terms or more in a row.

Elements of the 3rd Force in Parliament: Sabah and Sarawak in general and the Orang Asal in particular; Sabahans & Sarawakians in Peninsular Malaysia; Orang Asli; other minorities; Christians in Peninsular M’sia; fence-sitters i.e. those who support neither PR or BN; the Indian underclass and other Indians; Youths including the children of the Tudungs; and Women including the Tudungs who are being enslaved mentally and being deprived of their human rights; the urban poor; and the citizenship-holding relatives of stateless people, special pass holders, temporary residents & permanent residents; and victims of loan sharks, banks – being denied access to credit — the Land Office, local authorities, the Courts and police brutality.

Deepavali is a Time to Focus on Victory over Evil, Light over Darkness.

Evil, keeping the Nazi holocaust in mind, is best defined as the lack of empathy.



(Picture taken from Sabahkini.net http://sabahkini.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13401:joe-fernandez-wartawan-kehabisan-modal&catid=37:politik&Itemid=41)

Dear Editor,

Attached a COMMENT piece, Everyone has Right of Reply, no need to run amok!, for your kind attention.

Thanking you
Regards

Joe Fernandez

COMMENT It’s not the done thing for Jeffrey Kitingan’s State Reform Party (Star) to take a leaf from the mosquito political parties in Sabah and run amok, samseng-style, whenever they run into a spell of stormy weather in the media. The verdict from the Barisan Nasional (BN) is that the party (Star) needs a dose of its own medicine after running amok in recent weeks with numerous statements in the media.

Star’s inspiration stems from one particular mosquito party in the opposition – allegedly planning a reverse frogging after the 13th GE — in Sabah which has been known to avoid press interviews like the plague, preferring to hide behind public relations statements structured as “news stories” and written by journalists on the take – “ang pow journalism” — in the local media, and responding to criticisms with venomous personal and offensive attacks against journalists who incur its wrath.

Again, it seems that Star has now adopted the same approach as well.

If it’s a storm in a tea cup, no need to carry on as if one has been hit by a tsunami.

Not the end of the world

Criticisms in the media are not the end of the world. One must think of living to fight another day. There’s no need to get carried away in politics by one’s own bulls..t. We need to know where politics ends and good government begins. The people are watching!

Two recent articles in the alternative media, and they are self-explanatory, has Star up in arms:

http://selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/jeffrey-extends-olive-branch-to-party-rebels/

http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=35608:no-indications-jeffrey-is-a-game-changer&Itemid=2

The piece in selvarajasomiah was also carried in borneoherald.blogspot.com which is run by Dusuns including one who was formerly political secretary to Jeffrey when he was Deputy Federal Minister for Housing and Local Government post-1994.

Star can exercise Right of Reply.

It has waived this right.

Instead, the party’s cybertroopers are now out in full force running amok all over blogosphere and FaceBook, Twitter, Chat and emails, launching downright racist, personal and highly offensive attacks in spin on yours truly. One comment made an unflattering comparison between this writer’s tan and “another Keling but putih” who recently passed away after serving as a press secretary of sorts to former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh.

It’s not known whether Jeffrey is behind these attacks which is very much unlike him but what’s certain is that he’s in the know and apparently making no attempts to stop these attacks.

“Nothing but spin and bullshit”

The cybertroopers attack has been set by the following article originally penned for Sabahkini.net, where it was not greeted enthusiastically, and therefore lifted by a mosquito political party-linked wikiSabah and for good measure posted in Malaysia-today.net where it drew only criticisms against the cybertroopers, among others.

The article – “nothing but spin and bullshit” — is self-explanatory.

http://wikisabah.blogspot.com/2012/07/joe-fernandez-wartawan-kehabisan-modal.html?showComment=1341374898226#c5367884390854390412

Sabahkini.net, malaysiakini.com, freemalaysiatoday.com, selvarajasomiah.wordpress.com, borneoherald.blogspot.com have all been dragged into the debate without the slightest respect for even an ounce of the truth.

The fact is that malaysiakini is yet to settle its legal bill in Kota Kinabalu after being sued by a PKR division chief. The case was struck out by the High Court in the Sabah capital.

To add insult to injury, yours truly has been bombarded with text messages, however not all as virulent as those in blogosphere, and many long telephone calls, some threatening, to put it mildly.

Hit-men from the Philippines

One caller in particular in the dead of night, who sounded as if he had one too many for the road, said that he just has to give the word and his “boss” will finish off yours truly for good. Visions of hit-men from the nearby Philippines came to mind.

Another foul-mouthed caller, liberally spicing his call with various derogatory terms, swore he had a battery of lawyers ready to spring into action on behalf of Star.

The thrust of the matter is Jeffrey Kitingan who has the unenviable reputation of being the King of the Frogs in Sabah. His latest contribution to political theatre in Sabah has been to label all Sabah politicians, including his brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan, as frogs. The Jury is still out on this.

He has yet to convince the voters beyond a shadow of doubt that he has been truly rehabilitated since the dark days of 1994 and that he would not betray the people’s cause in the run-up to the 13th General Election.

Drums of war on Sabah, Sarawak rights

In recent months, the Star Chief has been beating the drums of war on Sabah and Sarawak rights in Malaysia but without producing any concrete evidence that he’s not all just hot air to get the votes.

Jeffrey was in fact accused of betraying Pairin in 1994, albeit through various media statements, and causing the downfall of the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Government. Many believe that then Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad made many promises to Jeffrey, after allegedly seizing the latter’s international accounts, and which (promises) he had no intention of keeping. Jeffrey had then just been released from detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) after being incarcerated for two two-year terms.

Jeffrey, who has a PhD from Harvard University, has also yet to convince his former colleagues in PBS that he has fully recovered from the PhD – “permanent head damage” – which he reportedly suffered at the Kamunting Detention Centre. PBS loyalists believe that Jeffrey was subject to repeated attacks on the head with telephone directories to “damage his brains and thinking faculties”.

Exercise Right of Reply

The bottomline is that if Jeffrey is on the level, he will exercise his Right of Reply.

He will also say what he means and mean what he says and not go all over the place bogged down by ancient history.

As Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president, his major complaint was that the party did not respect Sabahans and Sarawakians and did not subscribe to their rights in Malaysia.

So, he left in a huff to form his own political party instead of standing firm with the opposition alliance to bring about a much-needed change in Putrajaya.

Now that Jeffrey is on his own, there’s no indication either that he’s serious about Sabah and Sarawak rights beyond generating hot air to provide entertainment of sorts in the rural areas in particular.

Hindraf Makkal Sakthi was serious about assisting Jeffrey & Co to internationalize the plight of Borneo in Malaysia. The Star Chief appears to have spurned the offer, withdrawn on co-operating with the London-based NGO, and tried to squat on anyone in the party thinking of taking the UN route with or without Hindraf.

Meeting Najib the Mother of all Lies

Jeffrey and a girlfriend had all their bags ready to leave for London in early 2010 to address the House of Commons on Borneo. Suddenly, he had cold feet, and withdrew after telling his supporters that Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak wanted to see him to discuss Borneo.

In fact, it turned out to be the Mother of All Lies and Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy was shocked beyond belief.

As a cover-up Jeffrey claimed that it was de facto PKR Chief Anwar Ibrahim who suggested that he try to see Prime Minister on the plight of Borneo in Malaysia.

The latest is that Jeffrey has put the much awaited party manifesto and its vision, mission statement in cold storage although the drafts are ready.
The people are waiting with bated breaths to see how much of the content reflects the plight of Borneo in Malaysia.

Ominous sign

An ominous sign is that his aides have meanwhile dismissed the draft manifesto and the party’s vision, mission – reflecting the plight of Borneo in Malaysia and prepared by party seniors — as just spin and bullshit.

If Jeffrey doesn’t stick with the plight of Borneo in Malaysia, he would have betrayed the cause of the people and betrayed the opposition alliance as well after having found them more than wanting.


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

Leaders and members in the State Reform Party (Star), Sabah chapter, are heaving a sigh of relief after chairman Jeffrey Kitingan extended an olive branch to known “rebels” in the party despite being humbled for the first time by them at an emergency meeting this morning (Fri) in Kota Kinabalu.

Falling short of waving the proverbial white flag, Jeffrey for starters reportedly did an about-turn with about 20 party leaders including rebels. He claimed that he had never issued a gag order recently against them. It was stressed that the gag order was a “mistake” on the part of some of his more “over-zealous” aides.

The more vociferous among the leaders gathered begged to disagree on making a complete scapegoat of Jeffrey’s errant aides. However, it appears that they did not protest too much on the gag order “in the interest of party unity” after the party chairman announced that two members, a male and a female, would be appointed as his political secretaries.

Lawyer Moses Iking and Ranau member Juliana Situn, it was agreed, would both be offered the post of political secretary to Jeffrey.

This is the second time that Moses is being offered a party post. He was earlier offered a vice-chairmanship but declined on the grounds that the party took no action against another vice-chairman blacklisted by the Insolvency Department.

“Many of us would have liked the aides to be hauled up for disciplinary action but the matter was not discussed,” said a number of party leaders approached separately after the session. “The appointment of the two political secretaries is expected to cut Jeffrey’s errant aides down to size.”

The party leaders, who requested anonymity for fear of being accused of fishing in troubled waters, fumed that the errant aides had not only acted with or without permission in the chairman’s name but also had been “kurang ajar” (disrespectful) of late to several senior party leaders who tried to tick them off privately.

The meeting generally did not comment or did not disagree too much when Jeffrey proposed that the gist of all press statements prepared by party leaders be first cleared with him, at least by telephone, before being issued. His main concern appeared to be on “not souring relations with other opposition parties” and “not touching on party policies”, the latter being read as euphemism for anything the party chairman didn’t like.

One party leader said he had no objections to seeking clearance from Jeffrey on his press statements “provided the party chairman bothered to answer their telephone calls”. Jeffrey, it appears, has a reputation for not picking up telephone calls, not returning missed calls, and not responding to text messages or emails. It’s even said that he doesn’t read emails except on his Blackberry if it’s not too full.

“The chairman promised to take all calls especially from party leaders,” said one party leader who attended the meeting. “He also promised to be punctual in future for appointments.”

The party chairman allegedly turns up late, anywhere between an hour to three hours, for public gatherings and meetings.

The meeting did not fault Jeffrey for this tardy time management on his part but advised him not to take on too many appointments or simply agree each time to the times set by others. He was further advised to learn to delegate and trust his fellow party leaders.

So far, Star has yet to set up any Bureaus, Committees or Sub-Committees although it claims to have a membership of 200,000, of which 175,000 it was further claimed signed up within the first three months of the party being set up in Sabah recently.

The meeting agreed with Jeffrey that the party needs to hold regular meetings and all its Bureaus, Committees and Sub-Committees need to be set up as soon as possible.

The meeting agreed that the party’s proposed vision and mission statements and manifesto, all bones of contention among the leadership and rank-and-file, need to be dusted off and tabled for discussion.

The party’s vision and mission statements and manifesto, Jeffrey agreed, would not be finalized without input from all stakeholders and unanimously agreed at a series of party meetings called specifically for the purpose.

It was tentatively agreed that the first meeting of the proposed Political Bureau would be held tentatively in the afternoon on Mon to discuss the vision and mission for a start. The discussion on the manifesto would be shelved to a later date. In the morning, on Mon, Star would sign a pact with Transparency-International Malaysia in Kota Kinabalu, the meeting learnt.

The party leaders already have draft copies of the vision and mission and manifesto following input by several Supreme Council members. However, the matter became controversial when Jeffrey’s aides sent several emails to senior party leaders dismissing their input as “just spin and bullshit”.

The offending emails by the errant aides have been cited as the reason for the current tension between the party headquarters in Kota Kinabalu and senior party leaders. It appears that snatches of these emails have found their way into FaceBook, Twitter, Chats and text messages.

Jeffrey reportedly promised that he would brief the Political Bureau on Mon on his meetings earlier this week with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) vice president Tian Chua and party Treasurer William Leong.

No details related to Star were disclosed this morning.

Elsewhere, the meeting learnt that de facto PKR Chief Anwar Ibrahim is wary of Sabah Umno veteran Lajim Ukin and Upko deputy president Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing planning to defect to his party.
“It seems that both Lajim and Ukin are not interested in PKR but want to stand under the party symbol provided their respective factions are allotted 20 Muslim and 18 Native (Orang Asal) state seats,” said a Star leader. “Wilfred is willing to concede only one or two Native seats to Star.”

The suspicion is that both men would defect with their factions after the 13th General Election, said the leader. “We think that both Lajim and Wilfred would frog back to the Barisan Nasional (BN) after winning seats under PKR.”

Jeffrey announced in mid-April that Star would contest all 60 state seats at stake in Sabah and 26 parliamentary seats including Labuan in the 13th General Election.

The party is yet to climb down from this extreme position, reportedly a strategic move, but the word along the political grapevine in Sabah is that it would be prepared to retreat to 35 state seats and the related parliamentary seats.

It’s not known whether the 35 state seats include that which would be contested by the pro-tem United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) under the Star symbol. Usno had been reported to be eyeing 18 state seats.


By Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT State Reform Party (Star) chairman Jeffrey Kitingan is once again in the news for the wrong reasons. He has stirred a hornet’s nest in Sabah by claiming that all politicians in Sabah, including his brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan, are frogs.

He thinks that this will explain him being discredited time and again by Sabahans as the King of Frogs. Jeffrey has, by most counts, moved through as many as six political parties but all this is water under the bridge and for the most part irrelevant.

His considered opinion is that other politicians continued their political frogging until they secured a comfort zone for themselves, albeit “at the expense of the people”.

In his case, according to him, he continued frogging until he could find a political vehicle which could accept his “struggle for the people”.

Of course, there’s the little matter of him not finding any political vehicle for his struggle until he set up Star. This begs the question of why he didn’t make such a move earlier.

Jeffrey’s comments on other political frogs have been dismissed by them as completely untrue. They claim to be struggling for the people too – by “bringing development to them” – instead of focusing on whatever Jeffrey is preaching all the time.

So far, it has all been needless indulgence in the politics of distraction and disruption from the real issues of the day. No doubt politicians in Sabah love the sound of their own voices.

The Star chairman obviously feels that “man does not live by bread alone”.

“What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his own soul?” asks Star deputy chairman Daniel John Jambun rhetorically. “This is the thrust of our struggle.”

Daniel may have a point about struggling for the soul of Sabah — i.e. to save it and obviously from the clutches of Peninsular Malaysia and their local proxies and their stooges — but that’s about as far as it goes.

His boss seems to be squatting so far on the so-called struggle for the people.

He has blown hot and cold on Daniel John and Co internationalizing the struggle for Borneo in Malaysia.

Therein lies an emerging split in Star which will either see Jeffrey being ousted from his own party or many Supreme Council members leaving for the Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) which has been approved in principle in recent weeks. The party is awaiting its registration certificate. PCS plans to join the Star-initiated, formed and led United Borneo Alliance (UBA).

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Jeffrey has confined himself thus far in his ceramah to explaining the history of Sabah before and in Malaysia. No one can fault him here since not many people, especially the younger generation, are conversant with the historical facts.

But the movement for Sabah does not seem to be moving from rhetoric to action.

To digress a little, the younger generation doesn’t seem to be too bothered by Sabah’s history in Malaysia.

Instead, they have cut the Gordian knot and are asking why Sabah should be in Malaysia at all.

Their logic is simple: Peninsular Malaysia is so far away, we can’t even breathe without their permission, and “why are we in Federation with them especially since we can be on our own?”

Others ask: “How did we get into this situation and how do we get out?”

Jeffrey has no answers and it would be foolhardy for anyone, judging from his politics since 1984, to look to him.

True, he did lead a rowdy Star crowd to greet Prime Minister Mohd Najib Abdul Razak on his recent visit to Keningau where he (Najib) announced a quarter billion ringgit loan to Sabah for a water treatment plant.

They had placards reading “Sabah’s independence” and castigating Putrajaya for behaving like an Ah Long (loan shark) with Sabah after seizing almost all its revenue for itself.

This is the first time that Jeffrey has been associated with “Sabah’s independence”. No one is sure what it means. So, the excitement was lacking.

It would have been different had Jeffrey stated in no uncertain terms that Malaysia has ceased to exist following the Federal Government’s non-compliance on the five constitutional documents and/or constitutional conventions on Malaysia i.e. the 1963 Malaysia Agreement (MA63), the Three-Point Oath Stone (Batu Sumpah) witnessed and solemnized by the Federal Government in Keningau, the 20/18 Points, the Inter Governmental Committee Report and the Cobbold Commission Report.

Non-compliance ipso facto meant that Sabah’s self-determination of 31 Aug 1963 (Sarawak 22 July 1963) remains undiminished.

Jeffrey lost a golden opportunity in Keningau to say what he meant and mean what he said.

In any case, he appears to be no messiah for his flock.

The thrust of his complaints thus far has been that the Federal Government has been in non-compliance on MA63. He wants Putrajaya to set up a compliance mechanism.

This is unlikely to happen as MA63 has ceased to exist by virtue of non-compliance but Jeffrey refuses to accept this and continues to flog the proverbial dead horse on a compliance mechanism.

Not surprising he has been accused by no less than former Sabah Chief Minister Harris Salleh of seriously misleading the people with his propaganda barrage on a compliance mechanism. Harris claims that MA63 – and the four other constitutional documents and/or constitutional conventions – “has been overtaken by events”. This is euphemism for non-compliance. However, Harris dreads and avoids the term non-compliance.

Jeffrey’s politics also glosses over the fact that Sabahans are by no means united on being out of Malaysia or even in Malaysia.

Putrajaya has done a very successful job since 1963 of pitting the people in the state against each other, introducing polarisation a la Peninsular Malaysia, and ensuring proxy control of the politics of the state.

The political situation has been further compounded by the influx of illegal immigrants who have over the years allegedly found their way into the electoral rolls.

These illegals see Putrajaya and Malaysia as the best guarantee of their continued existence in Sabah.

Local Muslims see the illegals as being in the state particularly at their expense, further marginalizing and disenfranchising them as the opportunities that should go to them dwindle even further.

Jeffrey is yet to bridge the non-Muslim-local Muslim disconnect created by Putrajaya over nearly five decades. So far, only some of the Dusuns including Muslims and Muruts are with him. The same goes for the Suluks, Brunei Muslims and Chinese. He has hardly any support among the Bajau and Irranun.

The Chinese appear caught between the Orang Asal (Natives) – the Murut and the Dusuns including the Kadazan or urban Dusun – the local Muslims and the illegals.

Jeffrey will be no game-changer unless he can get his act together and help forge total unity among Sabahans i.e. Orang Asal and the others alike to take on the illegals allegedly on the electoral rolls.

Charity begins at home.

Getting his act together would first mean setting his own house in order.

There are growing complaints that Star is a one-man show with little evidence of democracy in action, unrepresentative, and no empowerment of the leadership and members.

Jeffrey’s aides seem to be more powerful than even the party’s three deputy chairmen. The aides have since prevailed on their boss to issue a gag order on anyone other than Jeffrey issuing press statements. These statements are invariably written by the aides.

The party has also yet to reveal its vision, mission, objectives, goals and activities although there’s a draft prepared by several Supreme Council members. The draft has reportedly been dismissed by Jeffrey’s aides as “spin and bullshit”.

The oft-cited party Manifesto, again provided by several Supreme Council members in draft form, has been allowed to gather dust on the shelf by Jeffrey’s aides on the grounds that it was not written by their boss, “it was just spin and bullshit”, and that “Star (meaning Jeffrey’s aides) has its own way of doing things”.

It appears to be clear to many that if the two respective drafts can be “rejected”, then Jeffrey is clearly no game-changer and can be discounted from the emerging political equation in Sabah and Malaysia.


by Joe Fernandez
Guest Columnist

COMMENT The latest talk along the political grapevine in Kota Kinabalu and the local media is that the Sabah People’s Front Party (SPF) might be more than willing to “accommodate” the so-called Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) on one condition: that the SWP fields and finances SPF candidates in Sabah under its (SWP’s) banner.

The alternative is that SPF, led by Deputy President Osman Enting, would apparently “go all out to destroy SWP”.

The prime-movers behind SWP aren’t taking the bait so far and are unlikely to do so since that would be tantamount to their admission of being complicit in an alleged illegality. It would have been quite a different matter if the story had not gone public. In that case, the prime-movers would have been more than willing to throw money at the problems to make them all go away.

Obviously, the purported “destruction threat” relates to SPF’s charge that no EGM was ever held by the party to approve the name change to SWP and the shifting of its headquarters, if any, to Kuching. Hence, the complaint goes, any minutes related to a purported EGM held by SPF on the matter were “falsified”.

The purported EGM was supposed to have been held at the Palace Hotel in Kota Kinabalu but in reality “only happened on paper”. The party constitution calls for any name change to be endorsed by two-thirds of its Supreme Council

The disclosure by Osman makes up the thrust of a police report lodged by him and 31 other senior party leaders in Kota Kinabalu on May 31 and a complaint filed at the Registrar of Societies (ROS) in Kota Kinabalu. Ironically, it was the ROS Sabah which obtained the name change documentation from Putrajaya and handed them over to SPF in response to an official request from the party.

The police report has been lodged with the Registrar of Societies in Putrajaya together with the minutes of a special party meeting convened on June 3 in Kota Kinabalu under Osman to suspend SPF president Berman Angkap and secretary-general Salun Dueasim. Osman heads the party’s disciplinary council.

The SPF’s reported “about-turn”, if true, is not just on. There are even reports that Osman has withdrawn the police report in order to “settle the matter internally”.

This is not a situation where “compromise” is possible between contending factions i.e. one led by Osman, another by the “suspended” president, and the third by SWP activists in Kuching.

Serious charges have been levied and the law must be allowed to take its course and those found indulging in wrong-doing must face the consequences of their action. The list of wrong-doers would include anyone in SPF who, on second thoughts, may be actively moving in the direction of the so-called compromise.

SPF’s name change to SWP is clearly non-existent in law although approved by the ROS on April 2 this year.

It’s a principle in law that if someone obtains official documentation and/or certification by falsification, deception, fraud and misrepresentation, then such documentation and/or certification is void and a nullity in law as if it never existed from the very beginning. The “approval” of the ROS does not exist in law.

For another, the ROS should not take lightly the rampant practice of “selling” and “buying” political parties. Indeed, such practices would not take place if the ROS had not been only too willing to be in cahoots with the Home Ministry to deny any application for registration of a political party deemed a threat to the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. It’s unconstitutional.

SWP deputy president George Lagong, putting up a brave front, claims that the SPF’s registration certificate in the new name is “legitimate”. His group, led by “President” Larry Sng, “would not entertain any claims by SPF in Sabah”, according to George.

There’s genuine fear in those “earmarked for destruction” by SWP that the parties in conflict over the name change would be allowed by the ROS to paper over their differences, so to speak, in order to legalize an illegality. Clearly, this is not possible since the proverbial cat is out of the bag.

The overwhelmingly Iban Dayak-based Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS), for one, which has been targeted for demolition by the “still-born” SWP is crying foul and is determined to see that the law is upheld and the miscreants face the music. It’s understood that the party has written to the ROS in Putrajaya for clarification and followed this up with a meeting.

The party intends to keep tabs on the SPF/SWP situation and ensure that the latter is not resurrected from the dead. The party is even prepared to claim locus standi, based on newspaper reports issued by SWP against it, and seek a Judicial Review in Court to squash the decision by the ROS to approve SPF’s name change to SWP and its migration to Sarawak.
Lawyers for PRS are confident that the party will win hands down if push comes to shove.

The consensus among the legal community and others in the know is that the police in Kota Kinabalu should follow up the report lodged by Osman and send the investigation papers to the AG’s Chambers. It appears that Osman cannot withdraw the police report if the allegations are true, and if untrue, he faces possible criminal charges for making a false police report.

However, 31 other witnesses cannot possibly be wrong when they alleged that the so-called minutes of the purported EGM had been falsified.

Independent of the police probe, the ROS is duty-bound to seek further clarification in writing and in person from those who collected the name change certification and have it recalled and suspended. There may be grounds here for the ROS himself to lodge a police report against those who collected the name change certification.

Needless to say, those who collected the name change certification to SWP and those listed as office bearers in Sarawak would be “blacklisted” by the ROS, Special Branch and the Home Ministry from applying for the registration of any new political party.

Meanwhile, the ROS would be further duty-bound to write officially to SPF to show cause why it should not be deregistered.

It’s a certainty, in that case, that SPF would be deregistered.

SPF’s latest woes can be traced back to certain quarters reportedly linked to Sabah Umno veteran Lajim Ukin. The veteran, it appears, forked out several hundred thousand ringgit to set up a new headquarters for the party in Kota Kinabalu with a view to taking it over. The sums may include that paid out to certain SPF leaders who were alleged involved in the purported EGM and the related minutes.

Unfortunately for those eyeing SPF in Kota Kinabalu, the party subsequently went on “sale” in Kuching where the modus operandi for its transfer and re-birth were hatched in not too many details.

SPF claims to have a membership of 50,000 in 42 branches throughout Sabah.

Its avowed objective is to drive Umno out of Sabah.

SWP claims to be BN-friendly except for its declared aim of wiping out PRS.

Larry had not so long ago claimed to be PRS President, a dispute which involved the ROS, and brought the party to the brink of deregistration if not for a timely move by then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step in and support embattled President James Masing. PRS was quick to expel Larry and his faction from the party despite the best efforts of Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud to step in and save the young Chinese politician aspiring to lead the Dayak party.