Archive for April, 2013

There are a total of 358 candidates representing the Barisan National the Pakatan Rakyat, Sabah Star, SAPP and Independents going for 60 State and the 25 Parliamentary seats, all up for grabs in Sabah for the 13th GE on May 5. The interest and the buzz that Sabah elicits when it goes to polls – both from the common people and the media – is obviously unprecedented.

While a state like Sarawak which went to the polls in 2011 attracts attention for its sheer size and the fact that it is politically volatile, Sabah on the other hand has captured the imagination of the people for a decade now due to one very shining personality – Musa Aman. The hype that has been generated as far as the May 5th 13th general elections are concerned has become manifold because these polls are virtually being seen as a referendum for Musa to continue as chief minister.

So the question being asked now is not whether Musa will win or not and hold CM-ship for a record third time in a row, but how big a margin of victory would it be for Musa. The central leadership has to seriously work on the development plank so that Sabah regains its past glory of being the richest state in Malaysia including settling once and for all the “Mother of All Problems” – the influx of millions of illegals and they gaining Malaysian identity.

Yes, for Musa, these Assembly elections are not just about winning a third straight term (though Musa becoming CM for fourth time seems just as inevitable). For the Sungai Sibuga seat where Musa the incumbent is contesting, its a five-corned fight as he faces PKR, SAPP, Star Sabah and an Independent candidate. Upon careful analysis of his speeches and poll campaign, it is evident that he left no stones unturned to stake his claim to be chief minister again and winning the Sungai Sibuga state seat is a foregone conclusion.

While on the one hand he has been unresponsive as far as accusations of the state opposition leadership are concerned on the issues of development, illegals, drop in palm oil prices and so on, he has been relentlessly working hard with Najib Tun Razak at the Centre – be it the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on  Illegals, security, poverty reduction, price rise or inflation. The message that he obviously wants to send to Sabahans is apparent – he is the right man to lead Sabah.

People who have followed the incumbent Chief Minister of Sabah for years can vouch for the major personality change he has undergone  – Musa has gone from being a politician to a BRAND. From his well deliberated speeches to his carefully tailored suit and to his social media savviness (Facebook, Twitter or the blogosphere), Musa and his managers have managed to carve a larger-than-life image of him. So much so that when one thinks of Sabah the first thing that comes to mind is Musa Aman. Think about it – a decade back when one talked of Sabah, the first thing that would come to mind was the Sipadan Island kidnappings by the Abu Sayyaf .

With an apparent lack of emotive issues in the present edition of the polls, Musa has made a bid to woo the so called “neo-middle class”, promising  security and peace and houses and made them central to his game plan. He also promised urban housing for low income groups and jobs for youths with an eye on the 30 percent population which lives in urban Sabah. This was also aimed at neutralizing similar proposals made by the Pakatan Rakyat Sabah and local opposition parties. Clearly Musa is out for the kill in the run-up to the most keenly watched elections in recent times and what was being described as his toughest electoral battle till now.

The reduction of poverty rate from 19.7 per cent in 2009 to 8.1 per cent in 2012 which is the biggest reduction in Malaysia is one of the biggest achievement of Musa. We need to acknowledge this.

The man’s personal integrity is said to be above board, having said to have no tolerance for corruption, be a workaholic and made development and progress his mantra throughout his governance. His subordinates have also claimed he is not arrogant and not dictatorial and one who can accept dissent and disagreement in his scheme of things. Musa has been infallible from the start and had an air of self-confidence around him, there were no setbacks in the run-up to the polls. The man may leave many exasperated at times, be it members of his own party or the fragmented opposition in Sabah but his demeanor remains unflinchingly calm.

Post Script: Musa Aman may project himself as an administrator par excellence with sharp political skills who appears to be a superman. But at the end of it all he is also a human being with his own worries and fears though he may not show it. The foremost apprehension that must be on his mind is whether he can retain two-thirds of the assembly seats successfully and fulfill his next ambition.

GE13: Full List of Candidates for Sabah State Assembly

Those marked with * are the Incumbents

N1 – BANGGI (9,861)

Datu Mohd Arifin Bin Datu Abdul Salam (STAR)

Abd Mijul Unaini ((BN- UMNO) *

Jae-ly Medong (SAPP)

Datu Abdul Razak Bin Datu Abdul Salam (PKR)

Datu Ariffin Datu Salam (STAR)

(2008: ABD MIJUL UNAINI: BN: Maj: 2,024)

N02 – TANJONG KAPOR (22,476)

Zainal Bin Nasiruddin (BERSAMA)

Datuk Teo Chee Kang (BN) *

Tsen Heng Chong @ Peter Tsen (SAPP)

Alexandra @ Alexander Anthony (Bebas)

Chin Chong Kui @ William Chin (PKR)

Hendiri @ Hendry Bin Minar (STAR)

(2008: DATUK TEO CHEE KANG: BN: Maj: 3,619)

N03 – PITAS (14,912)

Johnes @ Onis Bin Piut (SAPP)

Awang Latip Bin Abdul Salam (KITA)

Maklin Bin Masiau (STAR)

Datuk Bolkiah Bin Ismail (BN) *

Dausieh Binti Queck @ Paraman (PAS)

(2008: DATUK BOLKIAH ISMAIL: BN: Maj: 3,848)

N04 – MATUNGGONG (19,977)

Sarapin Bin Magana (BN)

Richard Bin Jiun (SAPP)

Marunsai Bin Dawai (STAR)

Jelin Bin Dasanap @ Jelani Bin Hamdan (PKR)

Jolius Bin Majawai (Bebas)

(2008: SARAPIN BIN MAGANA: BN: Maj: 2,982)

N05 – TANDEK (22,220)

Lasiah Baranting @ Anita (BN) *

Andonny Pilit @ Anthony Biri Mandiau (PKR)

Jebon Janaun (STAR)

Yapolai Bin Kundapit @ Henry (SAPP)

(2008: LASIAH BARANTING @ ANITA: BN: Maj: 2,237)

N06 – TEMPASUK (16,866)

Abdul Malik Bin Mohed (SAPP)

Laiman Bin Ikin (PAS)

Suwah Bin Buleh @ Bulleh (STAR)

Datuk Musbah Bin Jambli (BN) *

(2008: DATUK MUSBAH BIN JAMBLI: BN: Maj: 2,432)

N07 – KADAMAIAN (15,903)

Ukoh @ Jeremy Bin Malajad @ Malazad (PKR)

Rubbin Bin Guribah (STAR)

Timbon @ Herbert Bin Langadan (BN) *

Peter Marajin @ Peter Marazing (SAPP)

(2008: TIMBON @ HERBERT LAGADAN: BN: Maj: 2,473)

N08 – USUKAN (18,698)

Datuk Md Salleh Md Said (BN)

Bakhruddin Bin Ismail (STAR)

Mustapha @ Mohd Yunus Bin Sakmud (PKR)

(2008: DATUK JAPLIN AKIM @ ABD HAMID: BN: Maj: 4,023)

N9 – TAMPARULI (17,265)

Datuk Jahid Jahim (BN-PBS) *

Stephan Gaimin (SAPP)

Datuk Mojilip Bin Bumburing @ Wilfred (PKR)

Linggu @ Edward Bukut (STAR)

James Ongkili Jr (BEBAS)

(2008: DATUK JAHID @ NOORDIN JAHIM: BN: Maj: 2,743)

N10 – SULAMAN (19,587)

Datuk Hajiji Bin Haji Noor (BN) *

David Bin Orok (STAR)

Ariffin Bin Harith (Bebas)

Gulabdin @ Ghulabdin Bin Enjih (PKR)

Ali Akbar Bin Kawi (Bebas)

(2008: DATUK HAJIJI BIN HAJI NOOR: BN: Maj: 5,456)

N11 – KIULU (11,424)

Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (BN-PBS)

Tindil Gonsobil (SAPP)

Rhodes Bin Panilau (PKR)

Terence Sinti (STAR)

(2008: LOVIS RAMPAS: BN: Maj: 1,266)

N12 – KARAMBUNAI (28,971)

Datuk Jainab Ahmad (BN-UMNO) *

Aziz Ibrahim (SAPP)

Muali Bin Aching (PKR)

(2008: DATUK JAINAB AHMAD: BN: Maj: 3,018)

N13 – INANAM: SABAH: 24,403

Roland Chia Ming Shen (PKR)

Enchin Bin Majimbun @ Eric (SAPP)

Joseph Bin Paulus Lantip (BN)


N14 – LIKAS (15,294)

Chin Su Yin (BN-LDP)

Wong Hong Jun (DAP)

Datuk Yong Teck Lee (SAPP)

Ho Cheong Tshun (STAR)

(2008: DATUK LIEW TECK CHAN: BN: Maj: 862)

N15 – API API (15,103)

Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (BN-PBS) *

Wong Yit Ming (SAPP)

Liew Chin Jin (PKR)

Jude Marcel Joseph (Ind)

Dr Felix Chong Kat Fah (STAR)

(2008: DATUK YEE MOH CHAI: BN: Maj: 174)

N16 – LUYANG (20,119)

Datuk Agnes Shim (BN-MCA)

Hiew King Cheu (DAP)

Melanie Chia (SAPP) *

Jafery Jomion (STAR)

(2008: CHIA CHUI KET: BN: Maj: 1,502)

N17 – TANJUNG ARU (21,973)

Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah (BN-PBS) *

Richard Yong We Kong (SAPP)

Mat Yunin @ Mohd Yunin Bin Atin (PKR)

Hamid Ismail (PAS)

Salleh Tiasi @ Tiaseh (STAR)

(2008: DATUK YONG OUI FAH: BN: Maj: 2,960)

N18 – PETAGAS (15,517)

Datuk Yahya Hussin (BN-UMNO) *

Mat Yunin @ Mohd Yunin Bin Atin (PKR)

Ahmad Awang Sah Sahari (STAR)


N19 – KAPAYAN (26,767)

Datuk Edward Khoo Keok Hai (BN) 8

Phillip Among @ Daniel Dell Fideus (STAR)

Dr Edwin @ Jack Bosi (DAP)

Chong Pit Fah (SAPP)

(2008: EDWARD KHOO KEOK HAI: BN: Maj: 2,062)

N20 – MOYOG (17,556)

Terrence Alon Siambun (PKR)

Bernard Lawrence Solibun (STAR)

Danim @ Aloysius Bin Siap (SAPP)

Datuk Philip Benedict Lasimbang (BN)

(2008: DONALD PETER MOJUNTIN: BN: Maj: 2,685)

N21 – KAWANG (19,901)

Datuk Gulamhaidar Khan Bahadar (BN-UMNO) *

Edward Dagul (SAPP)

Kefli @ Dzulkefli Bin Safar (PKR)

Akop Damsah @ Yakub (STAR)


N22 – PANTAI MANIS (18,870)

Datuk Abdul Rahim Ismail (BN) *

Noraizal Bin Mohd Noor (SAPP)

Fred Bin Gabriel (PKR)

Baharudin @ Baharuddin Bin Nayan (STAR)

(2008: DATUK ABDUL RAHIM ISMAIL: BN: Maj: 2,862)

N23 – BONGAWAN (14,851)

Mohammad Alamin (BN-UMNO)

Awang Talib Awang Bagul (SAPP)

Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin (PKR)

Assim @ Hassim Harun Matali (STAR)

(2008: DATUK KARIM BIN BUJANG: BN: Maj: 5,730)

N24 – MEMBAKUT (11,777)

Datuk Mohd Arifin Bin Mohd Arif (BN) *

Narawi @ Sinar Bin Ahmad (PKR)

Banjimin Ondoi (SAPP)

Jaapar Bin Ag Gador (STAR)


N25 – KLIAS (15,338)

Mohd Sanusi Bin Taripin (SAPP)

Aliapa Bin Osman (STAR)

Datuk Lajim Bin Ukin (PKR)

Isnin Bin Aliasnih @ Liasnih (BN)

(2008: DATUK AZIZAH MOHD DUN: BN: Maj: 2,413)

N26 – KUALA PENYU (14,759)

Limus Jury (BN-UPKO)

Datuk Johan @ Christopher Bin OT Ghani (PKR)

Alexander Sintin @ Ining Sinten (STAR)

Jusbian bin Kenneth (BEBAS)

Haji Md. Tajuddin bin Hj. Md. Walli (BEBAS)

(2008: TEO KWAN CHIN @ TEO MAU SING: BN: Maj: 257)

N27 – LUMADAN (13,777)

Kamarlin Ombi (BN-UMNO) *

Jamain Sarudin (SAPP)

Ustaz Abdul Rahman Yaakob (PKR)

Md Jaafar Ibrahim (STAR)

Rapahi bin Edris (BEBAS)

Saudi bin Suhaili (BEBAS)

(2008: DATUK KAMARLIN OMBI: BN: Maj: 3,297)

N28 – SINDUMIN (15,400)

Ahmad Bujang (BN-UMNO) *

Amde @ Hamdi Sidik (SAPP)

Harunsah Bin Ibrahim (PKR)

Semion @ Fred Semion Sakai (STAR)

(2008: AHMAD BUJANG: BN: Maj: 1,904)

N29 – KUNDASANG (13,322)

Jain Sauting (STAR)

Cleftus Stephen Spine (Bebas)

Satiol Bin Indong (PKR)

Joachim Gunsalam (BN) *

Japiril Bin Suhaimin (SAPP)

Sam Bin Hondou (Bebas)

(2008: JOACHIM GUNSALAM: BN: Maj: 1,806)

N30 – KARANAAN (12,456)

Datuk Masidi Bin Manjun @ Masdi (BN) *

Jalibin Bin Paidi (STAR)

Mat Jaili Bin Samat (Bebas)

Muhiddin @ Mohd Anas Bin Yusin (PKR)

(2008: DATUK MASIDI MANJUN @ MASDI: BN: Maj: 5,116)

N31 – PAGINATAN (13,275)

Yazid Bin Sahjinan (Bebas)

Datuk Siringan Bin Gubat @ Aliance (BN)

Amru Bin Abd Kadir (PKR)

Pedderin @ Feddrin Bin Tuliang @ Tuling (STAR)

(2008: DATUK EWON EBIN: BN: Maj: 3,457)

N32 – TAMBUNAN (13,757)

Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (BN-PBS) *

Wilfred Win Bin Ponil (PKR)

Nestor Joannes (STAR)

(2008: JOSEPH PAIRIN KITINGAN: BN: Maj: 2,781)

N33 – BINGKOR (15,878)

Kennedy Jie John @ Ken (BN-UPKO)

Dato Ahmad Shah Tambakau (PKR)

Datuk Dr Jeffrey G. Kitingan (STAR)

N34 – LIAWAN (14,056)

Datuk Sairin Karno (BN-UMNO) *

Paul Gitang (PKR)

Pauket Yadiloh @ Johari Tahir (SAPP)

Dr Nicholas J Guntobon (STAR)

Nusleh bin Madarak (BEBAS)

(2008: SAPIN @ SAIRIN KARANO @ KARNO: BN: Maj: 2,044)

N35 – MELALAP (12,074)

Datuk Radin Malleh (BN-PBS) *

Noorita binti Sual (DAP)

Roger Stimin (SAPP)

Kong Fui Seng (STAR)

(2008: DATUK RADIN MALLEH BN: Maj: 2,099)

N36 – KEMABONG (13,230)

Datuk Rubin Balang (BN-UMNO) *

William Ensor Tingkalor (SAPP)

Biou Suyan (PKR)

Tay Jin Kiong @ Alfred (STAR)

(2008: RUBIN BALANG: BN: Maj: 2,437)

N37 – SOOK (10,598)

Datuk Elron Angin (BN-PBRS) *

Datuk Frankie Chong Yu Chee (SAPP)

Liberty Lopog (PKR)

Drs Kustin Ladi (STAR)

(2008: RUBIN BALANG: BN: Maj: 2,437)

N38 – NABAWAN (9,840)

Datuk Bobbey Suan (BN-UPKO) *

Raymond Bin Ahuar (PKR)

George Iram (STAR)

(2008: BOBBEY AH FANG SUAN: BN: Maj: 2,087)

N39 – SUGUT (9,675)

Datuk James Ratib (BN-UMNO)

Petrus Zabang (PKR)

Masiawan Kunching (STAR)

(2008: DATUK SURADY KAYONG: BN: Maj: 2,535)

N40 – LABUK (15,013)

Datuk Michael Asang (BN-PBS) *

Datuk Tan Yong Gee (PKR)

Pinus Gondili (STAR)

(2008: DATUK METAH @ MICHEAL ASANG: BN: Maj: 5,455)

N41 – GUM GUM (11,734)

Hassan Hami @Hamid (STAR)

Ahmad Thamrin@Tamrin Mohd Jaini (PKR)

Datuk Zakaria Edris (BN) *

(2008: DATUK ZAKARIA MOHD. EDRIS: BN: won unopossed)

N42 – SUNGAI SIBUGA (28,038)

Datuk Seri Musa Aman (BN) *

Mohd Arshad Abdul (BEBAS)

A.M. Jafar @ Damaid Juana (SAPP)

Mohd Roslan Yussof (STAR)

Irwanshah Mustapha Ahmad (PKR)

(2008: DATUK SERI MUSA AMAN: BN: Maj: 7,657)

N43 – SEKONG (14,247)

Musah Bin Ghani (PKR)

Ahmad Bin Ibrahim (STAR)

Awang @ Abdul Nasip Bin Othman (SAPP)

Datuk Ilahan Datu Amilbangsa (Bebas)

Datuk Samsudin Bin Yahya (BN) *

(2008: DATUK SAMSUNDIN YAHYA: BN: Maj: 2,189)

N44 – KARAMUNTING (15,952)

Charles Pang (BN-LDP)

Chong Ket Kiun (DAP)

Yong Vui Min (SAPP)

(2008: DATUK PETER PANG EN YIN: BN: Maj: 3,362)

N45 – ELOPURA (22,317)

Liau Fook Kong (SAPP)

Au Kam Wah (BN) *

Hiew Vun Zin (DAP)

(2008: AU KAM WAH: BN: Maj: 5,409)

N46 – TANJONG PAPAT (14,741)

Frankie Poon (DAP)

Ken Yong Chie Man (SAPP)

Raymond Tan Shu Kiah (BN) *

(2008: RAYMOND TAN SHU KIAH: BN: Maj: 3,926)

N47 – KUAMUT (14,915)

Masiung Banah (BN) *

Edward Podok (STAR)

Mustapa Bin Datu Tambuyong (PKR)

(2008: MASIUNG BANAH: BN: Maj: 1,672)

N48 – SUKAU (9,833)

Datuk Saddi Abdi Rahman (BN-UMNO) *

Ahdah Sulaiman (PAS)

Juhori Paritai (STAR)


N49 – TUNGKU (14,626)

Datu Shuaib Bin Dato Mutalib (SAPP)

Datuk Mohd Suhaili Bin Said (BN) *

Tsen Yun Fah @ Mohd Azlan Tsen Abdullah (Bebas)

Johani Bin Abd Halim (PKR)

Johan Bin Nul (STAR)

(2008: DATUK MOHD SUHAILI SAID: BN: Maj: 2,382)

N50 – LAHAD DATU (25,232)

Aliandu Bin Enjil (SAPP)

Dato’ Mohammad Yusof Bin Apdal (BN)

Hamid Awong @ Abdul Hamid Awong (PKR)

Ariffin Bin Hamid @ Alfa Hamid (STAR)

(2008: DATU NASRUN DATU MANSUR: BN: Maj: 3,058)

N51 – KUNAK (11,804)

Datuk Nilwan Bin Kabang (BN) *

Kasman Bin Karate (PAS)

Hussein Bin Ibnu Hassan (Bebas)

Valentine @ Rengers Sebastian (STAR)

Abdul Sattal Bin Shafiee (Bebas)

Sharif Shamsuddin Bin Sharif Sagaf (Bebas)

(2008: DATUK NILWAN BIN KABANG: BN: Maj: 4,115)

N52 – SULABAYAN (12,642)

Datuk Jaujan Sambakong (BN)

Hermeny Murgal (PKR)

Julkalani Abd Rahman (Bebas)

Hussein Mumakil (Bebas)

Hasaman Sagaran (MUPP)

Mamat Barhana (Bebas)

Ghazalie PG. Hindi @ Abdul Ghani (Bebas)

(2008: HARMAN MOHAMAD: BN: Maj: 2,037)

N53 – SENALLANG (13,210)

Datuk Nasir Tun Sakaran (BN) *

Mohd Amin Abdul Mem (PKR)

Datu Badaruddin Tun Mustapha (Bebas)

Abdul Manang Hatib Lawari @ Osman (Bebas)

Abdul Karim Talip (Bebas)

(2008: DATUK NASIR TUN SAKARAN: BN: Maj: 5,432)

N54 – BUGAYA (15,697)

Datuk Ramlee Marahaban (BN) *

Hasai Tudai (PAS)

Abdul Hussin Kiamsin (Bebas)

Atal Muhammad KK Abd Menang (Bebas)

Alimin Budin (Bebas)

Abdullah Sani Abdul Salleh (Bebas)


N55 – BALUNG (13,526)

Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali (BN) *

Abdul Hamid Mohamad Noor (SAPP)

Frank Salazar @ Franco (PKR)

Abdillah Timbasal (Bebas)

(2008: DATUK SYED ABAS SYED ALI: BN: Maj: 3,737)

N56 – APAS (15,837)

Tahir Bin Dahu (SAPP)

Chok Yit Min (STAR)

Alizaman Bin Jijurahman (PKR)

Datuk Tawfiq Bin Abu Bakar Titingan (BN) *


N57 – SRI TANJUNG (22,175)

Fung Len Fui (BN-PBS)

Chan Foong Hin (DAP)

Yong Chong Kim (SAPP)

Olivia Chong Oi Yun (STAR)

(2008: WONG SZE PHIN @ JIMMY: DAP: Maj: 1,172)

N58 – MEROTAI (18,317)

Mohd Bin Manuke (BEBAS)

Rita Rudiansah Abu Bakar (BEBAS)

Ho Shau Vui (SAPP)

Datuk Chin Chee Syn (BEBAS)

Datuk Pang Yuk Ming (BN) *

Ahmad Dullah (PAS)

(2008: DATUK PANG YUK MING: BN: Maj: 242)

N59 – TANJONG BATU (18,386)

Fatmawaty Mohd Yusuf (PAS)

Datuk Hamisa Samat (BN) *

(2008: DATUK HAMISA SAMAT: BN: Maj: 4,422)

N60 – SEBATIK (10,090)

Mohd Yusup Lewah (BEBAS)

Daud Jalaluddin (PAS)

Abd Muis Picho (BN) *

Mohamad Jefrry Rosman (STAR)

(2008: ABD MUIS PICHO: BN: Maj: 3,831)

Even before the May polls campaign process has reached full momentum in the state of Sabah, three generalisations dominate the marketplace of political ideas about its consequences:

a) that a third-time victory for chief minister Musa Aman in Sabah is nearly certain;
b) since this victory is a foregone conclusion, the time is ripe for a bigger role for Musa Aman


c) this victory is likely to be a direct outcome of ‘good governance’, understood primarily as robust economic growth, delivered under Musa’s leadership.

I see this approach as problematic for two reasons: in terms of method, it seems that QED has been etched in even before one could see the proof of what one set out to examine. More importantly, however, there is a certain naivete in this formulation that leads us to a complacence in examining the very complicated and nuanced role of electoral competition currently being witnessed in this state. I engage myself with unravelling this second strand, as viewed in the terrain of practical politics, analysing the strategies and counter-strategies of the main contenders—the ruling BN/UMNO the Pakatan Rakyat the Star Sabah and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). I then examine the robustness of each of these three ‘generalisations’, and in conclusion argue that although it is an advantage to Musa Aman, there is political competition to be witnessed before one could declare the match won.

For one, the Pakatan Rakyat Sabah in the field does not have a sense of local issues, an understanding of pockets of disadvantage, and also a macro-strategy of where to deploy its energies spatially. In not associating themselves with Sabahan struggles against Malayan colonisation, the party has been aligning itself on the wrong side of popular grievances. Anwar Ibrahim’s campaigns will be of disadvantage, given his historical roots in the toppling of the duly elected PBS government in 1994 and his hands together with Dr Mahathir’s in the Project IC to dilute the native population in the state. Also Pakatan’s lineup, who is going to be chief minister if they win? Lajim as chief minister? Bumburing? Tamrin? Ansari? Who? They have no one of Musa Aman’s standing and Musa’s record of governance the last ten years can speak for itself.

For the SAPP the party’s grassroots base was not evident even in the Batu Sapi parliamentary by-elections held on 2010. Besides, the SAPP had a low vote-share of 10 per cent or less even in the March 2008 elections. This will not be translated evenly into enough seats for the party this coming GE 13th May 5. Also, the margins of losing are very low. The party’s President, Yong Teck Lee failure to win over Pakatan’s Ansari in the Batu Sapi parliamentary by elections means even the Chinese in Sandakan have rejected the SAPP. SAPP’s most impressive pre-poll offering has been its “Autonomi for Sabah” battle cry, promising new Sabah IC for Sabahans if it comes to power, is questionable because they have been in the BN government for 14 years and Yong Teck Lee had been chief minister of Sabah for 2 years yet did not do zilch.

Part of the Star Sabah strategy is to focus on the interiors of Sabah, Jeffrey Kitingan’s roost, where it is said that the natives are disgruntled. As a macro-strategy, the Star Sabah is concentrating on the interiors of Sabah, where natives who are farmers have been adversely hit by high prices of fertilizers and agrochemicals and cost of essentials rocketing sky high The region accounts for nearly a third of the total seats and is the stronghold of PBS supremo Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan the “Huguan Siou”or paramount chief of the Kadazandusun Murut community, the backbone of UMNO Sabah. There is a story about Pairin saying his bids this time is his last battle to retain both constituencies of Keningau and Tambunan for the Barisan Nasional in the interest of the people, meaning Jeffrey will have a tough time to win in Keningau. Besides, there is no tacit approval by Pairin to the natives that Jeffrey will takeover from Pairin, as claimed. As an unfolding of this macro-strategy, Jeffrey might launch the Star Sabah’s manifesto for the May polls’s in Keningau, in the heart of Indigenous Sabah.

Also, the Najib government’s decision to get The Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah is of recent vintage, and can win favours for the BN. Natives disgruntlement owing to disadvantages due to the presence of huge numbers of illegals becoming instant Malaysians and Bumiputras. Najib and the Federal Government seriously addressing it by having the RCI on illegals, along with the Lahad Datu drama, makes for a strong force. After all, the defeat of Haris Salleh in 1985‘ was scripted similarly, combining agricultural disgruntlement and fear of illegals reverse taking over of Sabah and sentiments of regional disadvantage.

To the advantage of the Barisan National is the fact that there is no state-wide anti-incumbency even after a decade-long rule by Musa Aman. Economic indicators are certainly robust, with state GDP growth rates averaging 6 to 7 per cent or more (between 2003-12). Interestingly, Musa Aman has raised it to a campaign pitch, telling everyone to “learn” from the Sabah growth story. The sectoral composition of this growth rate, particularly the advances in construction, agriculture and tourism, have received wide attention. Although there have been disputes whether the growth has been as high as Musa Aman claims, even modest estimates available accept agriculture grew at higher than national average at around ten per cent or more. Economists also note the significance of the consistently high growth rate in the agriculture, construction and the tourism sector, notwithstanding the constraints it faces.

But electoral competition, and even more electoral victories, are not simple outcomes of people calculating the benefits of policies and voting for political leaders who set the regional economy right. Were this hypothesis correct, why would Premier Najib Tun Razak have announced a series of cash incentives a year before the May poll dates set in? These include promises of farm loan and free internet usage, electricity bill waivers, enhanced allowances to security personals and civil servants, allowances for youth earning less than RM2000 and payment of arrears to teachers among others and the BR1M and many more goodies. Even the kampong headman has been promised a increase in allowances. The cash transfers build a new constituency of supporters, while countering some of the opposition from the lower bureaucracy and the poor. Advantage to Musa Aman again.

Of greater bearing for electoral fortunes is Musa Aman’s use of political vocabulary and tailoring the campaign language to hype his achievements and castigate the opposition. In state wide ceramahs, the opposition are his target, as if the party’s state unit led by Lajim Hj Okim, Wilfred Bumburing, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and Anwar Ibrahim has no bearing. To malign the image further, Musa Aman adds that the “Pakatan Rakyat and the local opposition is not united and cannot really be trusted.”

Coming back to the three generalisations I began with, it is the first of which the chances seem highly likely. But Musa Aman’s victory is unlikely to be attained without competition from the local unit of the opposition front. The opposition front has also made pro-poor election promises of housing and employment for the poor, reduction of petrol prices, abolition of PTPTN and Sabah rights. How well they are able to sustain these as campaign issues, and combine their attack along with the challenges from UMNO dissidents, may have very little implications for this election.

The second generalisation about “a bigger role for Musa Aman” for the moment seems to be a ploy to hype the leader into a “larger than real” stature, and is certainly a political statement intended for local Sabah consumption. Finally, robust growth notwithstanding, Musa is not relying on these laurels alone. So also the opposition, which has understood that growth pursued in a certain way produces grievances amongst the displaced and the rural poor, and these can be woven into a counter-campaign strategy. In conclusion, it is advantage Musa Aman, but the battle is yet to be fought.

Researchers have discovered a population of 200 of the world’s rarest orangutans hiding in the forests of Indonesia.

The previously unknown population was spotted by conservationists near the 140 square km Batang Park in the island of Borneo, according to the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).

The International Union for Conservation of Nature has enlisted all the subspecies of Bornean orangutans as endangered, LiveScience reported.

However, scientists have estimated that just 3,000 to 4,500 individuals are left in the subspecies known as Pongo pygmaeus pygmaeus, making them the most severely threatened.

Two thousand of those live in the Malaysian state of Sarawak in Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary, researchers say.

As conservations with WCS and other groups surveyed the region in February this year, they found a total of 995 orangutan nests, including fresh nests that indicated the rare population was recently using the area, the report said.

Researchers studying fresh nests left by wild orangutans in Indonesia have, previously, found they are incredibly complex.

They have found that orangutans bend and interweave living branches about 3-cm-wide to form the nest.

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.


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.

All through childhood my mother would tell me: “You have to work hard to get whatever is in your destiny. But, remember, you can never get more than you are destined to get and never before the time that you are destined to get it.’’

I am reminded of that again as I watch Najib Tun Razak fight against his destiny to continue as Prime Minister after GE13. Perhaps it is in his destiny, perhaps not. Perhaps it could even be RAHMAN’s prophecy signifying the end of the line of Umno. But he is, at least, putting up a great fight for it and it is good to see that the man who wanted us to believe that the UMNO was a party with a difference, is himself now at the head of those differences with so many others.

However, it is satisfying to know that what we have been saying all along about Barisan National – that it is actually doing much worse than the Pakatan Rakyat despite seeming so scatter-brained and incapable of holding their act together – is now being reiterated by the grand old man Dr Mahathir. And though it might be due to the threat of losing his power as Prime Minister that might have brought forth the realisation of impending doom, it could actually be time for others within the Barisan National coalition to heed Dr Mahathir’s warning.

The party is usually better at hiding its bickering than the Pakatan Rakyat is under similar circumstances. Dr Mahathir’s latest diatribe seemed to be aimed at Najib as usual, but it is not just Dr Mahathir who is attempting to bring him down a peg or two. Muhyiddin Yassin is also sending feelers that he wants to contest for the Number One position in UMNO after this coming polls.

Now Najib himself is unable to espy the mischief afoot against him in his home town by his own men — those who claim proximity to him have already begun to work the wires to ensure that he does not win in Pekan, in the 1999 general election, dominated by Anwar’s dismissal and marked by mass defections from UMNO, Najib’s 10,793 majority in Pekan fell to just 241 votes, thanks to the postal votes he won. And the Pakatan Rakyat has, of course, opened out its arms to such backstabbers and is wholeheartedly aiding their game plan. Whether, then, Najib overcomes the image of being a coward, as Anwar has suggested, due to a refusal of a debate, remains to be seen. This is exactly what I have been saying all along about Najib — and being called all sorts of names for that observation.

Clearly, Mahathir has more friends in the UMNO than Najib does and so the orchestration has begun in preparation for polling day GE13 2013 — though, I believe, the national party leaders were waiting with bated breath for the announcement of the dissolution of parliament on April 3rd 2013 before really outing themselves. There is a whole group of anti-Najib people who despair that he might win with a small majority but the opposite is felt over at UMNO, as loud whispers points to figures and statistics, proving that neither Malaysia nor its current PM are doing as well as they pretend.

The meeting of anti-Najib heavyweights earlier this week, which openly declared war against Najib, could not have happened without some covert support from Dr Mahathir . This is an indicator that the party has clear-cut division of camps, if not a split – those for and those against getting  Najib out of Putrajaya. Ironically, those who want to confine Najib to Pekan also wish to see Pahang fall to Pakatan Rakyat GE13 for that would truly clip his wings even if he might redouble his efforts in continuing on as UMNO President , seeking a national role for himself.

As I gather from some BN leaders I spoke to, it is clear that this is what they are waiting for — and not just because it would bring back control of the four Pakatan controlled states, including Selangor. UMNO fears handing over the party nationally to Najib, yet BN seems to be simply looking forward to that very prospect. For a while, Najib’s national ascension might have cut short the ambitions of Muhudeen Yassin’s dream of becoming PM in the event of a BN victory. However, UMNO is certain that that a BN victory will never happen with Najib at the helm as they would then be the automatic beneficiaries of the consolidation of votes against the BN.

Whichever way UMNO might resolve this very real headache growing in the party, my money is on Anwar, even though I am no fan of his. I had said multiple times in my past entries that Anwar was an old fox; he would never let go and could be expected to outfox all the foxes, old and new, in both UMNO and BN. Not for nothing did Anwar toil hard to bring the Pakatan Rakyat together and cemented both PAS and DAP which are so diverse in their ethos and pathos, but today, they are able to sit together in one table and talk. Anwar has done the impossible (politically at least) and we have to accept that. Pakatan Rakyat came from nothing and is now steadily working towards the formation of a government at the Centre.

Now, for once, will destiny be on Najib’s side in this battle against the Umno leaders, against Anwar and against Dr Mahathir? There could be many twists in the tale between now and May 2013. But with friends like these in their own party, no UMNO leader — Najib or Muhideen Yassin — need enemies?

Food for thought: It was Anwar Ibrahim who said upon his dismissal in 1998  “I have been betrayed not by others but by my own  people.”