Archive for July, 2011

Anwar Ibrahim labeled ‘Indonesia’s stooge’ for talking about migrant workers

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 07/30/2011 3:08 PM

Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim said that he is frequently labeled as Indonesia’s stooge for criticizing his government’s policy on Indonesian migrant workers.

According to Anwar, the labeling has emerged as he repeatedly urges the Malaysian government to treat all migrant workers, whether from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Burma or anywhere else, with respect.

“It is important that they are left unharmed. If they do something wrong, send them home in a proper fashion. Do not send them home as if they were animals,” he said, on the sidelines of a discussion at the Jentera School of Law in Jakarta, on Saturday.

However, the labeling, and other allegations against him, have surfaced due to the control that the Malaysian government exerts over mass media in the country, Anwar said as reported by

Many Indonesians work in the informal sector in Malaysia. Several cases of violence and abuse to Indonesian migrant workers have led to a rift between the two countries. In May, however, Indonesia and Malaysia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to enhance the protection of migrant workers.


In the season of scams when political reputations are at their lowest ebb, Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman stands out as a remarkable exception. His emergence as a front-runner in a field crowded with seemingly redoubtable figures like Shafie Apdal, Rahim Ismail, Yong Teck Lee, V K Liew, Chong Kah Kiat, et al, is all the more noteworthy because of his quiet, unassuming persona.

Yet, by winning a resounding electoral mandate in 2008, he has been unequivocally hailed by vox populi as their choice as the best chief minister of Sabah since 1963.

The extraordinariness of Musa Aman’s feat is demonstrated by the unbelievable turnaround that he has brought about in Sabah’s social and economic scene. Needless to say, his political success is based on this transformation.

The result is that he has proved beyond all doubt that if a politician uses the official and political power in his hands for the betterment of ordinary people’s lives, he becomes virtually unbeatable.

Malaysia will be a much improved country if this simple lesson provided by Musa Aman is widely emulated. And at no time is there a greater need for such emphasis on the fundamental requirements of the people than in the present murky atmosphere when, as Lim Kit Siang has said, the country’s ‘moral universe’ has shrunk.

Except, perhaps, in Sabah where the incarceration of thousands of illegals and criminals, and the fall in the number of abductions to nearly zero in the east-coast of Sabah, and the continuous deportation of illegals back to Philippines and Indonesia, have largely restored the common man’s faith in the administration’s clout and goodwill. In a state where the parties are not averse to get illegals as voters or illegals as cadres, since the days of the Late Tun Mustapha, the chief minister has shown that he means business. Besides, as the Sabah State Security Chief, he does not use the police to harass the opposition and he upholds civil liberties.

As a result, there has been a huge surge in tourist coming to Sabah because people are no longer afraid to visit Sabah with women and children. Besides, they can afford to remain out after nightfall unlike in the past when the town and roads became deserted and the haunts of criminals.

But it isn’t the improved law and order situation alone which has encouraged greater outdoor excursions to the beautiful islands in the east-coast of Sabah. There has also been a vast improvement in the condition of roads with the restoration and construction of nearly hundreds of kilometers of highways and bridges, including elevated hanging bridges.

Much of this work was done by public sector undertaking and also private sector undertaking, which was able to overcome its earlier deficit to contribute for relief even to the flood victims the last time. But no less noteworthy than its good work was the subsequent appointment of capable executives, which underlined the chief minister’s ability to spot and reward talented bureaucrats.

At the same time, he has been ruthless in the matter of initiating action against officials found guilty of corrupt practices. Many have been sacked.

Since these measures have improved the investment climate, it is not surprising that Sabah’s current growth rate of 8 percent has become comparable to Penang and Selangor’s. For the present, however, this upward trend can be ascribed to the fact that shops and commercial establishments are mushrooming all over Sabah and they can remain open till late at night, which was not possible during the days of PBS and Pairin Kitingan when even the streets had no lights.

The phrase was earlier derided as political hyperbole, but not after the return of normalcy in daily life.

Apart from law and order, Musa Aman has focused on the education sector which is under the Federal Government, he has been continuously pressuring the Federal Government, to get more teachers at the primary and secondary levels to reduce the teacher-student ratio from the present dismal 1:50. The provision of uniforms and school shoes and free milk for kids attending school has also been an attractive feature of his policies.

The chief minister has now turned his attention to higher education with his proposal to the Federal Government to set up more colleges and technical institutions. For this purpose, he has selected some good academicians to advice the state government.

Health had been a neglected factor in Sabah. Hospitals were in a bad way and most primary health centers were non-functional in the interior of Sabah. Musa is now working at upgrading health facilities. He is inviting private partnership to achieve this and already millions and millions have been spent in construction and upgradation. Federal Government who is responsible for health in Sabah has been constantly told to pay more attention to Sabah. Immunization, the key to control disease is being aggressively promoted.

The power situation was pathetic. With the exception of Kota Kinabalu, almost all the districts have severe power cuts and even now have power for only a couple of hours sometimes everyday.

Musa understands that power will bring in industry. A new Power Policy is being prepared that will woo private investment in generation and distribution. For a start, there are proposals for new power projects that could generate 300 megawatts. Geothermal power plant and gas fired power plant are also being considered without adversely damaging the environment. Private players are being roped in and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) has been constantly told to improve their performance. He has even warned Tenaga Nasional Bhd (TNB) and Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd (SESB) to justify the recent increase in the power tariffs and not burden Sabahans with the increase.

Then there is the issue of children from Chinese-native parents in Sabah where the National Registration Department (NRD) is unwilling to specify their mixed ethnicity in their MyKad applications. The NRD required Sino-Kadazans or Sino-Dusuns to choose between Chinese, Kadazan, Dusun or Murut ethnicity for their MyKads. The NRD is insisting that the community use the generic term “Sino-Native” in the documentation. So silly for the NRD to do this. This policy has angered the mixed Chinese-native community in the state and they have refused to subscribe to the NRD ruling and are demanding that their particular native groupings be recognised. As a Sabahan, Musa Aman understands their feeling. Musa Aman has even told the NRD repeatedly that in Sabah by virtue of its traditions, customs and beliefs everyone recognises the existence of Sino Kadazan, Sino Dusun and others because inter-marriages in Sabah are norm, just like in my own case where my wife is Chinese-Native. After all, as far as Sabah is concerned there are many things that were being done in Sabah that was not done in other parts of Malaysia. KL must recognise and learn from Sabah in terms of harmony and living together. Musa even said that blanket policies could no longer apply for Sabah and that the federal government must take into account local situations and accord the ‘right treatment’ in policies to be implemented in the state.

Then we have the Christians in Sabah and Musa’s success in winning the support of the Christians despite having the Party Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and UPKO and even PBRS as a partners is based on a no-nonsense approach to communal relations. In this respect, Musa Aman has shown how stern he is compared to Taib Mahmud of Sarawak, who looked on helplessly when the Alkitab and Allah issue was played up by fanatics within UMNO.

In contrast, Musa Aman showed the firm, uncompromising side of his character when he refused to let extremist break the racial harmony in Sabah which has been around for hundreds of years and a trademark of Sabah, and the West Malaysians will never understand this.

Musa Aman’s success via these steps in weaning sizeable sections of the Christians undoubtedly contributed to his electoral triumph in 2008 and even the recent Batu Sapi Parliamentary by-elections.

His focus on the natives also helped him by widening the distance between them and the others, who constitute the Sabah’s vote bank.

Musa Aman knows that he now has to start delivering and there is great expectations by Sabahans. He has got everyone thinking and interested in Sabah, but that is not enough. Change has now to be felt and experienced. The masses are eager and impatient. No one knows it more than Musa Aman does. Elections are only months away. Time flies.

After 19 days Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor finally denies she purchased the 24 million diamond ring. Perhaps she should also explain why her name appeared in the Custom Declaration Form! Perhaps she should also explain why she should examine the ring if she had no intention to buy. Anyway, it is not easy to access the Customs computer and fabricate the custom documents just to smear her name. Wonder who paid RM 242670.00 shipping cost and insurance  for the diamond ring to be sent all the way from New York to Kuala Lumpur by courier on a CIF basis.

See below her denial….

Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has denied she had purchased a diamond ring worth over RM24 million, three weeks after the allegations surfaced in cyberspace.

The wife of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak dismissed the allegation that was raised by a blogger, calling it yet another lie to slander her.

Rosmah said she had ‘no time to address the allegation’. — File pic
“There is nothing I want to say because I have no time to address such things. Let (the blogger) say what he wants.

“This is slander but what have I not experienced? I have experienced it all. So, rather than address this, it is better I pay attention to public issues as these are more important,” she was quoted as saying by Berita Harian when accompanying her husband on his working trip to Kedah yesterday.

Screenshots of a Customs computer screen showed the ring, from New York celebrity jeweller Jacob and Co, was brought in under her name.

Rosmah has faced continuous allegations of a lavish lifestyle ever since it became apparent that Najib would succeed Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as prime minister.

Attempts primarily by the opposition to embarrass the prime minister by attacking his wife have included ridiculing Rosmah’s videos that have appeared on her website and claims that the Prime Minister’s Office has a budget to run a first lady’s department.

A pro-Pakatan Rakyat (PR) blog called “Milo Suam” had claimed that the ring was sent to Rosmah in April.

The Customs screenshot also revealed that the ring did not have import duties imposed on it.

The allegation has since been spread online by Malaysians especially on pro-opposition blogs.

Pro-government bloggers have denied the allegations earlier, saying the diamond ring was in Malaysia for a private exhibition and was returned to the jeweller after four days.

Ahli parlimen Sungai Siput, Dr Micheal Devaraj Jeyakumar yang ditahan di bawah Ordinan Darurat (EO), hari ini melancarkan mogok lapar ketika dalam tahanan.

Perkara itu dimaklumkan oleh isteri beliau, Mohanarani Rasiah ketika menemui suaminya itu kira-kira jam 11 pagi, semalam.

Menurut Moharani, suaminya itu sangat hampa dan kecewa dengan pendirian polis dan kerajaan terhadap enam aktivis Parti Sosialis Malaysia yang ditahan di bawah EO sejak 2 Julai lalu.

“Beliau akan teruskan mogok lapar sehingga kesemua PSM 6 dibebaskan atau dituduh di mahkamah.

“Saya cuba menasihatkan beliau untuk tidak berbuat demikian kerana risau akan kesihatan beliau tetapi beliau bertekad mahu meneruskan mogok lapar,” kata Mohanarani dalam satu kenyataan hari ini


Julai 2011

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj melancarkan Mogok Lapar dalam tahanan

Apabila saya jumpa suami saya Dr
Jeyakumar pada 11 pagi semalam, 27hb. Julai 2011, beliau suarakan perasaannya
yang sangat hampa dan kecewa dengan pendirian polis dan kerajaan terhadap enam
aktivis PSM yang ditahan di bawah EO sejak 2 Julai 2011.

Menurutnya, polis enggan berganjak
dari posisi asal mereka walaupun PSM 6 telah bekerjasama penuh dan menjawab
kesemua soalan yang ditanya semasa soalsiasat dijalankan. Walaupun polis tidak
dapat sebarang bukti untuk menjustifikasikan pertahanan lanjutan, namun beliau
pasti tempoh tahanan mereka akan dilanjutkan sebab polis dan kerajaan ada
agenda sendiri dan mempunyai tujuan untuk memangsakan PSM6 .

Maka Dr
Jeyakumar telah memberitahu saya bahawa beliau akan mulakan mogok lapar pada 28/7/11 untuk
mendapatkan keadilan. Beliau akan teruskan mogok lapar sehingga kesemua PSM6
dibebaskan atau dituduh dimahkamah. Saya cuba menasihatkan beliau untuk tidak
berbuat demikian kerana risau akan kesihatan beliau tetapi beliau bertekad mahu
meneruskan mogok lapar kerana berpendapat

1. Walaupun tuduhan keatas mereka
adalah hanya pengerak BERSIH dan ini dinafikan oleh 6 orang tetapi polis
sengaja mahu kaitkan mereka dengan tuduhan ini
2. Walaupun sudah berkali-kali
dikatakan PSM tidak ada kaitan dengan PKM dan PSM tiada niat untuk kembangkan
fahaman komunis dan selama ini semua aktiviti PSM adalah terbuka dan
transparen, tetapi polis cuba memaksa, mereka (frame up) tuduhan-tuduhan palsu
keatas PSM 6
3. Tuduhan menghidupkan komunisme ini
hanya berdasarkan beberapa t-shirt dan kebelakangan ini polis sedang bergiat “frame-up”
tuduhan baru dan menurutnya ini berdasarkan lawatan-lawatan pemimpim PSM ke
luar negara atas jemputan parti sosialis lain di dunia dan cuba bertokoh tambah
bahawa PSM ada hubungan rahsia dengan PKM di Thailand.
Dr. Jeyakumar
menafikan semua tuduhan palsu ini, semua soalan polis menjurus untuk
mengeluarkan satu cerita karut untuk melanjutkan tempoh tahanan

Dr Jeyakumar memberitahu polis dan
kerajaan supaya bersikap jujur dan review kerja-kerja dan aktiviti PSM dalam 13
tahun sejak ia ditubuhkan. Di mana semua aktiviti PSM adalah terbuka dan dan
jika PSM mengkritik kerajaan BN, itu adalah hak demokratiknya.

Menurut Dr Jeyakumar, beliau telah
memberi kerjasama penuh sejak direman di mana beliau telah menandatangani 3
laporan termasuk laporan 45 muka surat di Pulau Pinang. Sekarang SB telah
sediakan report dengan 80 mukasurat tetapi Dr Jeyakumar buat keputusan beliau
tidak akan tandatanganinya kerana beliau melihat kesemua siasatan sebagai
sia-sia sahaja. Polis masih ‘menembak secara liar’ (shooting wildly).

Oleh itu, Dr Jeyakumar telah hilang
kepercayaan kepada polis untuk melaksanakan isu ini secara adil. Beliau
menuntut supaya Menteri Dalam Negeri mainkan peranan untuk membebaskan atau
hadap mereka ke mahkamah. Sehingga hari itu beliau akan buat mogok lapar.

When I wrote in June that according to the state’s economic survey published earlier this year, that Sabah had averaged 8% growth in the last five years, many people asked “Do you really believe this?”

My conclusion: Sabah’s economic boom is indeed real. But it is fragile and dependent on Chief Minister Musa Aman getting appointed again as chief minister and getting re-elected in the coming state assembly elections again. If instead opposition wins, or Shafie Apdal the blue-eyed boy of Najib is appointed as chief minister all bets on Sabah are off.

Can we really believe Sabah’s data? The Malaysia’s Department of Statistics guides the states collecting and processing data, but does not check whether the job is done correctly. Cynics think Sabah’s notoriously manipulative politicians must have fudged the data for false publicity.

The data show enormous swings in agriculture from year to year. Because of this, Sabah’s growth averaged 8% over the last five years, but only 6.3% over the last six years. Still, we can say that it has been growing at 6-8%, and that is miracle growth.

Second, politicians are uninterested in fudging the state domestic product. No politician can win an election by claiming that economic growth is 8% rather than 6%: such statistics go over the head of voters, for whom personal experience is what matters. Sabah’s politicians did not fudge the data and then hold a press conference to announce record growth. Rather, I dug out the 8% story from the Department of Statistic’s data bank, and many were manifestly surprised to hear about it.

Third, if you add up the state data on gross domestic product, the sum is well below national GDP. So, any errors by the states seem to be on the low side rather than the high side.

Fourth, most states, not just Sabah, showed strident growth in the last five years. This fits well with the boom in national GDP in 2004-10, so the state data look plausible.

Fifth, state governments usually want to claim that they are in dire straits and so merit additional funds from Kuala Lumpur. Back in the early 2000, I found that Selangor was for some time the fastest growing state in Malaysia, and I asked what accounted for fast growth. To my surprise, state officials and politicians were dismayed at my questions. They were used to moaning and groaning about their poverty and the need for more central hand-outs, so they looked on me almost as an enemy.

For these reasons, I believe that the economic boom in Sabah is real, not a statistical fudge. A visit to Sabah provides plenty of anecdotal proof. In Pairin’s time, anybody building a house or booking a new car promptly got the tax boys or even the famous Anti Corruption Agency (ACA) chaps or even burglars visiting them. Today home construction and car sales are booming. Traffic jams have replaced deserted streets.

In Pairin’s time, swaggering goons mainly illegals and some Sarawakians showed off their “parangs” and some even their guns in public. Today no gunman is visible. The Musa Aman administration has convicted hundreds of people, including dozens of businessman and politicians, some from the ruling party itself — for violating the Arms Act.

The old cloud of fear has been replaced by peace and confidence. Safety has allowed small businesses to burst into activity. Women say they are no longer afraid to walk the streets. Digi and Maxis and even Celcom says Sabah has the fastest growth of talk-time in any state.

The economic miracle has been led by construction, which has averaged a colossal growth rate of 37% per year for the last five years. Government development spending has zoomed from RM 1.5 Billion to RM 3.3 Billion per year. Most impressive has been the rise in road construction about thousands of kilometers has been built. Security plus road and telecom expansion have incubated a boom in small business and domestic construction.

However, large-scale industry remains on the sidelines. Organized sector output actually fell at constant prices, and has stagnated under Musa. Many large industries have proposed big investments, but these will be pursued only if Musa Aman is re-elected and reappointed as chief minister.

Musa Aman swept the polls in the 2008 elections, with opposition DAP getting only 1 seat out of the 60 seats seats. Optimists theorise that if Oppossition SAPP/Pakatan Rakyat under Yong Teck Lee returns, Yong Teck Lee will come back a changed man, full of the efficient technocracy he displayed as Chief Minister in 1996-98. But most people fear that Yong Teck Lee will bring back his businessmen friends like Joseph Ambrose Lee, and than the raping of the state coffers will return. Hence the future of Sabah’s economic miracle remains in doubt.

I have been telling all along, Najib’s blue-eyed boy, Datuk Shafie Apdal the Minister of Rural and Regional Development, also one of the three Vice-President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and the Member of Parliament for Semporna, Sabah since 1995, is a failure because his own Semporna has been neglected badly up till now.

Shafie spents a lot of his time in KL with his actress mistress and rumour says that he has secretly married Miss Zahida Rafik in London, of course he is denying all these and when asked in Semporna recently if there was any truth in the rumours, there was a categorical denial by Shafie. Lets wait and see how this story takes shape.

When Shafie was elected as MP for Semporna in 1995, East-Coast Sabah dreamily believed that the numerous maladies in the community would cease to exist. They believed that his election was indicative of a vigorous wind of political and social change that was blowing across Tawau, Lahad Datu and Semporna. Shafie himself vowed that his election would demarcate the conclusion of grisly “politics as usual” from the commencement of political and democratic freshness. However, as Shafie continues on, it is abundantly clear that Shafie has not only failed to deliver in a general sense, but he has also completely betrayed his most loyal constituency — Semporna.

The unemployment rate continued to rise. Crime rate is not getting any lower. There is no major development projects in Semporna. Drug related crimes are on the rise. Illegals rule the town as though Semporna is part of Mindanao.

It is fact that Shafie has been completely disconnected with the Semporna community. He has failed to articulate any policy that would deal with the crisis that is evident in Semporna. Rather, Shafie is much more focused on articulating and enacting policies about issues that are close to his heart, such as becoming the next Chief Minister of Sabah, as well as becoming a potent mouthpiece to annihilate Musa Aman’s vision to bring development and create economic prosperity to Sabah.

Any intellectually honest person in Sabah must look at Shafie’s demonstrable disregard for Sabah issues and come to the unavoidable conclusion that Sabah is the very least of Shafie’s concerns. So obvious is this fact that even some of Shafie’s most ardent supporters in Semporna have begun voicing strident denunciations of their MP. The latest assault on Shafie from his UMNO Sabah compatriots is evidence of this phenomenon.

Remember when Shafie was Director of Yayasan Sabah during the time when his uncle was Chief Minister for 9 months, Yayasan Sabah nearly went bankrupt, I have plenty of stories regarding this dark times Yayasan Sabah was going through, will keep it for another time, but for now watch this video below:

This is our Rosmah Mansor’s RM24.4 million DIAMOND RING! Don’t ask me where she got the RM24,400,000 to pay for the Diamond ring? Got to ask Jibby that! Malaysia Serba Boleh!


Note : ROSMAH MANSOR’s Diamond Ring is actually US$24.4 MILLION and not Ringgit Malaysia. The Custom Declaration does say the exchange rate is US$1 to MR3.0573, and therefore, the actual value of the DIAMOND RING in Ringgit Malaysia is RM74,776,663.26. Yes RM74.8 MILLION. Sorry for the error.

Mathias Chang the former political secretary to Tun Dr Mahathir is a “one of a kind” maveric and is one of the sharpest commentators on Malaysian affairs. His analysis is always meticulously well researched and well written, and I’ve enjoyed reading him for years. See here his piece on yesterdays, July 9 Bersih rally in Kuala Lumpur. Now, I know for sure Home Minister Hishamudin Hussein Onn has his head-in-the-toilet-bowl.

By Matthias Chang

Barisan Nasional’s War of Intimidation has backfired. Malaysians no longer fear the sight of armed security forces, the threat of racial riots and or the Communist bogey. Pictures of the peaceful determination and resolve of the Bersih demonstrators say it all. Objective Malaysians (the silent majority) cannot but be impressed with the maturity and faith of those who were willing to face arrest and police intimidation to uphold their principles.

Yes, Malaysia is not Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen etc. but there is a common thread – the people’s frustrations (real or otherwise) and the need for expressing their discontent cannot be suppressed. The arrogance of power is no match for grass-root activism.

It is indeed ironic that the “1Malaysia” slogan of the Prime Minister (a united multi- racial Malaysia) was reflected more in the ranks of the Bersih 2.0 campaign on 9th July 2011 than in the ranks of political opportunist and upstart Khairy Jamaluddin’s miniscule band of “Red Shirts” provocateurs. Perkasa as predicted had no mass following and was totally absent in spite of its provocative bravado.

I have been informed that some of the Prime Minister’s close advisers on strategy are so-called experts on “Blue Ocean Strategy”, the essence of which is to “make the competition irrelevant and creating uncontested market place”.

After the fiasco on 9th July 2011, may I suggest to the Prime Minister and theentire Barisan Nasional leadership that their first priority is to dump these political wannabes who are totally devoid of any knowledge and experience of the political realities on the ground.

The “political competition” of the Opposition has become more relevant than ever and has captured and occupied more effectively – physically and mentally both the uncontested and contested “political market place”. The BN government has spent RM billions, but has yet to show concrete results “on the ground, at the grass-roots level”. If these assholes cannot even handle a simple issue of a public demonstration, and the Prime Minister and the entire BN leadership still insist on relying on this bunch of immature political wannabes, then there is but one conclusion – Barisan Nasional will suffer a major setback in the coming General Election.

And if the election is held this year, I am willing to put my reputation on the line as a former political secretary to the fourth Prime Minister, that Barisan Nasional will never be able to reclaim the 2/3rd majority in Parliament as well as the four state governments controlled by the Opposition coalition.
The Prime Minister will be ousted within six months from date of the election.

All these so-called advisers and political pundits can do a better service to the nation if they just spend 24/7 for an entire month, watching the Chinese historical epic “The Three Kingdoms” on sale in any DVD shop in Malaysia. They may just be able to learn some basic lessons on Political Strategy 101.

My second advice to the Prime Minister is to send his cousin, the Home Minister to be psycho-analysed for “Enlarged Ego Syndrome” (EES) and to revamp the entire senior management of the national security apparatus of the Polis Diraja Malaysia (the Royal Malaysian Police Force).

My third advice to the Prime Minister is to place in cold storage, the irrelevant UMNO Youth leader. If you do that, you would have – to a certain extent – applied the Blue Ocean Strategy. Your biggest problem and challenge is internal, within the ranks of your party – UMNO political warlords, not the Opposition parties.

These UMNO leaders are intellectually bankrupt and politically outdated.

What lessons can we draw from today’s event? To draw any conclusions and learn from the experience, we have to address the following questions:

Firstly, why did the so-called Blue Ocean Strategy experts fail to anticipate a repeat of Bersih 2007 and take pre-emptive measures?

Secondly, why did the national security apparatus fail to anticipate Bersih 2.0? When were the Prime Minister and the cabinet briefed on the Bersih 2.0 demonstration?

Thirdly, why did the Barisan Nasional government allow the Perkasa provocateurs to hijack the stage to mount their ill-conceived fascist-like reaction to Bersih, followed by the immature UMNO Youth’s belated bravado?

Fourthly, why did the Prime Minister, after agreeing to allow Bersih to congregate in a stadium, not follow through with that magnanimous decision by directing the police to grant the relevant permits, but flip-flopped and allowed the security apparatus to take complete charge?

Fifthly, what made the Barisan Nasional propaganda machinery think that by locking down the entire city since Friday evening, there will be a blowback – anger and opposition by the grass-roots – against the organisers of the Bersih 2.0 demonstration, and not against Barisan Nasional for their high-handed action?

Sixthly, was there any evaluation that by taking the sledge-hammer approach to Bersih 2.0 demonstration for “fair and clean elections”, the Barisan Nasional government will be able to retain its supporters and gain new adherents or on the contrary piss off its very own supporters and alienate further the 40% undecided voters?

Finally, what were the identified strategic objectives to be gained by adopting the sledge-hammer approach and how would they enhance the results in favour of the Barisan Nasional government in the coming General Election?

I am curious to know from the Blue Ocean Strategists, the Political Secretaries, the Special Officers and the highly paid consultants what Strategic Briefs/Memoranda that they have submitted to the Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional leadership.

The rakyat has the right to know as well. It is arrogance, height of irresponsibility and a dereliction of duty if no detail briefs were prepared and submitted for consideration.

It is my estimation that it will take a minimum of ten months at the minimum to repair the damage done to the image of the Barisan Nasional in general and the prime minister in particular, provided there is a coherent strategy to address and resolve the issues that are close to the hearts and minds of the grass-roots and the sophisticated urban middle-class voters (young and old). The administrative machinery is a giant bureaucracy – a super oil tanker. From top down, over 95 percent of the manpower is project-orientated, in plain BN language, money-orientated – “what’s in it for me” mentality. Everyone is eyeing the multi- billion dollar cake, the multi-billion dollar patronage gravy train.

But all that is required is going back to basics.

By Bersih 2.0

Malaysians from all walks of life have travelled a very long road to reach this defining point in our nation’s history. With less than 24 hours to our intended peaceful gathering, our resolve to walk the last, most difficult mile as one united people in pursuit of clean and fair elections and a better Malaysia for all is firmer than ever.

Our reason for gathering is pure and simple — to demand the electoral roll be cleaned, that the postal voting system be reformed, that indelible ink be used, a minimum 21 day campaign period be instated, free and fair access to media for all be provided, public institutions be strengthened, and for corruption as well as dirty politics to be stopped.

The authorities have put obstacle after obstacle where they only needed to provide sincere cooperation to win the trust and confidence of the people. Having faced half-hearted offers of stadiums, arrogance regarding meetings as well as denials of permits, arrests, detentions and so much more, we feel that we have done all that is humanly possible to demonstrate sincerity and good faith in dealing with the government — but we have only been met with reversed decisions and stone walls.

There are no walls however, that will arrest the advance of the cause of peace and justice. Come the 9th of July, we will uphold our constitutional right to converge peacefully on Stadium Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.

No government agency has any right whatsoever to prevent Malaysians from exercising their freedom of movement and access to our capital city. No threat or intimidation can overturn this fundamental truth.

Malaysians have now seen for themselves the degree of paranoia and lack of principled leadership that seems to have gripped the government. It is thus all the more imperative that patriotic Malaysians rise now and take this stand together to save Malaysia from slipping further into this insane darkness.

Since the beginning of Bersih 2.0, we have witnessed nothing but the utmost bravery and commitment to peace and justice demonstrated by ordinary Malaysians from every walk of life. Inspired by this example, the Bersih 2.0 leadership reiterates our own unyielding commitment to our shared cause, and to being at Stadium Merdeka at 2pm tomorrow. We will meet at the car park, and trust that the doors will be opened for us.

This is Malaysia’s single most important defining moment in recent history, and we are fully confident that the rakyat will heed the call to safeguard the principles Malaysia was founded on and together ensure that we pass down to our children a nation that is just, democratic and united in love for one another.

* The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (BERSIH 2.0) steering committee comprises Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan (Chairperson), Andrew Khoo, Arul Prakkash, Arumugam K., Dr Farouk Musa, Haris Ibrahim, Liau Kok Fah, Maria Chin Abdullah, Richard Y W Yeoh, Dr Subramaniam Pillay, Dato’ Dr Toh Kin Woon, Dr Wong Chin Huat, Dato’ Yeo Yang Poh and Zaid Kamaruddin.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak,

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement (MCLM) was most disappointed to read that you have completely abrogated your responsibilities with regards to those who have been arrested or detained in connection with BERSIH 2.0, saying that you will leave it to the police to decide on their release. You also said that it was up to the police whether the arrests of people wearing BERSIH T-shirts or displaying BERSIH paraphernalia would continue.

In light of the intercession of DYMM Yang di Pertuan Agong and the subsequent concessions made by the BERSIH 2.0 steering committee, your non-committal position is weak, indecisive and most ungracious.

Over the last two weeks, we and all the Rakyat have witnessed our elected government, in particular the Ministry of Home Affairs, and Polis di Raja Malaysia, trample on our civil liberties in a bid to crush the BERSIH 2.0 spirit.

PDRM have arrested people on the most spurious charges, like wearing yellow clothing or having T-shirts bearing pictures of old CPM members. They have floated the idea that Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) is waging war against the Agong by plotting to revive communism. They have attempted to link BERSIH 2.0 movement to this allegation.

The Deputy Prime Minister accused “major powers” of supporting BERSIH 2.0. Disregarding the clearly worded demands of the movement’s planned “Walk for Democracy”, the Home Minister declared the movement illegal claiming that it was inciting people to create an atmosphere of unrest.

The upshot of the relentless spinning by your administration and PDRM is the arrest of more than 200 people, including opposition politicians and activists, in connection with the BERSIH 2.0 rally, and that number appears to be growing by the hour.

Of greatest concern is the detention of six members of PSM under the Emergency Ordinance (EO), including Sungai Siput MP Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, PSM deputy chairperson M Saraswathy, central committee members Choo Chon Kai and M Sukumaran, Sungai Siput branch secretary A Letchumanan, and PSM Youth leader Sarat Babu.

We were very disturbed to hear reports that the detainees, in particular, the PSM members, had been ill-treated while in custody and deprived of their right to legal representation.

Datuk Seri Najib, these actions by members of your Cabinet as well as the PDRM are completely unacceptable and have tarnished your administration not just in the eyes of the Rakyat but also the international community.

The Malaysian Civil Liberties Movement urges you to step up as the head of the elected government and do your part in restoring good sense and civility to your administration. Show the Rakyat that you, your cabinet and PDRM respect the Federal Constitution and the laws of the country which emanate from it. Release all the detainees unconditionally and drop all unfounded charges against them. Stop the harassment of BERSIH 2.0 and its supporters.

Understand that BERSIH 2.0 is a civil society initiative and that it has the support of the majority of Malaysians who desire nothing more than clean and fair elections. Opposing BERSIH 2.0 sends the message that you are against the most fundamental democratic principles that underpin the formation of our beloved nation.