Archive for the ‘Anwar Ibrahim’ Category


PKR president Anwar Ibrahim our PM-in-waiting is coming to Sabah on the 17th of September 2019. I’m made to understand that on reaching Kota Kinabalu, Anwar is expected to go to Kota Belud immediately where thousands of USBO (United Sabah Bumis Organisation) members including Pandikar Amin Mulia, Salleh Said Keruak, Amir Kahar Tun Mustapha among others will be officially joining Anwar’s PKR.

It seems USBO wants to rev up Muslim support for Anwar in Sabah.

Interestingly, Shafie Apdal from day one has been trying to win over USBO into Warisan, but seems like he has failed.

USBO’s membership is made up of Bajau, Bajo, Badjau, Jama Mapun or Kagayan, Balangingi, Binadan, Kubang, Sama, Sama Delaut, Simunul, Sibutu, Sikubung, Yakan, Sibaud, Ubian, Suluk and Iranun individuals.

USBO was formerly known as Persatuan Sabah Bajau Bersatu (PSBB) formed on June 15, 1964 and changed its name to USBO on Aug 31, 2006.

Sabah politics is getting more and more interesting. With this USBO move, PKR will be even stronger than Dr Mahathir’s Bersatu, and would certainly take the wind out of Warisan’s sails. USBO for sure is going to create a stir among political circles in Sabah with this move.

Lets wait and see.

September 8th 2019, Anwar Confirms KB visit.

Read BERNAMA story from George Town….

Anwar’s KB visit on  invite of  Bajau  Community Published on: Sunday, September 08, 2019 By: Bernama

GEORGE TOWN: The visit by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to Kota Belud, Sabah, on September 17 is on the invitation of the Bajau community in the state, said PKR secretary-general Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail. He dismissed speculation that Anwar’s visit to Sabah with several of the party leaders was to recruit or receive new PKR members. “We were invited on September 17 to Kota Belud by the Bajau community. We know Sabah has so many different ethnic (groups). They invited Datuk Seri Anwar and the rest of the party leaders,” he said, adding that as party president, Anwar was often invited by people from all walks of life. “This time, he accepted the invitation by Sabah, it is not an event to receive (new) members,” he told reporters after launching a blood-donation and health programme in Pantai Jerejak..

A news portal reported speculations that former Cabinet Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak and former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia would be joining PKR. According to the report, United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) information chief Musli Oli was quoted as saying both were among several leaders of the Bajau community in Sabah who will be making the move. It is understood that Salleh and Pandikar Amin will be submitting their applications to join PKR after the Malaysia Day celebrations on September 16.

In December last year, Salleh and Pandikar Amin announced they were quitting Umno to become independent politicians. They are among nine Sabah Umno state assemblymen, four Members of Parliament, two senators and 21 division leaders who left the party.


In 2014, Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) had entered into an agreement to purchase two parcels of 6,000 acres of land in the Tongod district.

It was Risda’s MR155 million oil palm land purchase deal in Sabah.

Risda, under the Rural and Regional Development Ministry, had appointed a Sabah based legal firm to handle the purchase of land in Tongod.

Risda made a down payment of 10 per cent deposit amounting to RM15.5 million on signing the Sales and Purchase Agreement with the legal firm Micheal Ubu & Co.

The deal was eventually aborted as it involved Native Customary Land. The RM15.5 million or 10 per cent deposit held by the Sabah-based legal firm, acting as trustee, was not returned to Risda.

The lawyer involved, Michael Persius Ubu, has been sought by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and Bukit Aman Commercial Crimes Investigation Department (CCID) since. Ubu, 62, failed to show up at the MACC office despite being summoned along with Warisan vice-president Peter Anthony last year.

Ubu’s whereabouts are unknown but many believe Micheal Ubu is in Kalimantan.

Ubu has been struck of the Rolls and can no longer practice legally.

 

Micheal Ubu’s disappearance if anything is a big mystery.

Two possibilities might have taken place.

Either he went into hiding on his own accord for reasons known to him OR he was asked to go into hiding with assurances that he would never be prosecuted for his involvement in any wrong doing if any. I believe it must have been the latter that prompted his disappearance.

If there are wrong doings in that RISDA deal it must have been known to Ubu and Warisan president Shafie Apdal, who was the Minister of Rural and Regional Development that oversaw Risda at the time.

And if Shafie is aware, anything that comes out from the Ubu’s mouth will implicate Shafie, no?

Micheal Ubu probably holds the many secrets and answers to what really transpired. And probably Shafie’s life line in holding office as Chief Minister of Sabah?

But then again it depends very much on how Dr Mahathir wants to deal with Shafie.

Besides that, as it is, rubber smallholders are suffering because of poor yield and they are grappling with a gamut of perennial issues, and here we have a RM155 million land deal meant for the development of rubber smallholders is being swindled.

Hopefully our newly minted Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) chief commissioner Latheefa Koya would make the effort to track down Micheal Ubu and make that a top priority.

And then, the Court of Appeal is also slated to hear pretty soon Musa Aman’s appeal against the High Court’s decision to reject his bid to declare him as the rightful Sabah chief minister. The dates not fixed yet for the hearing but court officials say it could be early November this year. 15 months has passed after May 9th GE14, but, still uncertainty remains over the issue of who the rightful Sabah chief minister is despite High Court ruling in favour of Shafie Apdal last November 2018.

Musa a fine man was sworn in on May 10 after claiming a simple majority of 31 seats in the 60-member assembly, lost his majority a day later and Shafie took the oath of office on May 12.

The appointment of two chief ministers in the space of 36 hours has seen varied legal opinions expressed about Sabah’s constitutional provisions for the Head of State to remove a chief minister who had lost his majority. This has to be settled by the courts once and for all, and Im very certain Musa Aman will take it to the highest court The Federal Court for a decision.

Dr Mahathir does not like uncertainty.

Dr Mahathir’s grand design is known less to people around him but base on the information that I gather it is very likely that Anwar Ibrahim would become Prime Minister taking over from Dr Mahathir. Dr Mahathir knows very well after him only Anwar can hold the Malays together and Anwar has the mass support.

UMNO would be sacrificed, Najib, Zahid and Ku Nan would eventually have their political career ended in Sungai Buloh.

Azmin Ali, Mukriz Mahathir, Khairy Jamaluddin, Nurul Izah and Syed Saddiq would be groomed as Malay leaders. Azmin Ali is tainted now because of the gay sex video, so one down.

Dr Mahathir’s PPBM would be the next biggest and most influential party for the Malays.

I also hear Dr Mahathir had instructed Wathya Moorthy to leave Hindraf and form NAP ( National Action Party ) to house the Indian voters and to represent the Indian community. In 67 Parliament seats in Malaya, Indians decide.

DAP is the most stable and progressive party in the Pakatan Harapan. Lim Kit Siang was wise not to put his face on the front line after the PH’s GE14 victory. Kit Siang knows that the only thing that stands between the DAP and the Malay fury is Anwar Ibrahim.

Now coming back to Sabah, guess to whom the abandoned Star City Mall in Kota Kinabalu goes to? It goes to a RM2 Sdn Bhd controlled by Datuk Seri Tiong, the MP for Bintulu. Tiong’s company Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd milked Port Klang Free trade Zone in billions. Tiong is Shafie’s best buddy from yesteryear’s.

Then we have Micheal Chin who used to operate massage parlours in nightspots in Labuan. A whooping RM165 million water distribution contract had been given to him. I hope its not true, but If this is true, how can the Warisan State Government give a water distribution contract worth hundreds of million to someone who is in the recreation business? Is it because Micheal Chin and Peter Anthony where in the nightspot business before?

Strange things happening in Kota Kinabalu, even a Penang Chinaman who came looking for a job in Sabah 20 years ago was nominated as a Nominated State Assemblyman in the Sabah State Assembly. Another loss for Sabahans because the 6 nominated seats was only meant for minorities in Sabah, not someone from outside. See below..

Judging from all these there is a strong likelihood that Dr Mahathir wants Sabah Bersatu Chief Mohd Hajiji Noor to replace Shafie Apdal as Chief Minister of Sabah. It is looking like that. Shafie would be brought back to the Federal probably taking over from Azmin Ali as Federal Minister. I believe this is in the pipeline. Azmin Ali would be asked to go on leave soon.

Lets see what happens after Hari Raya Haji 2019 Aidiladha!


Someone very close to our Anwar Ibrahim told me recently that when Wan Azizah met Shafie Apdal at the CM’s Office for the first time after Party Warisan took charge, Shafie it seems told Wan Azizah that if she becomes the PM he will be very happy.

Of course, Wan Azizah told her husband what was spoken. It seems Anwar was annoyed. So annoyed was Anwar with Shafie that even now he speaks about this openly. So i hear.

Anwar and Shafie were never close even during early Umno days in Sabah in the 90s, the friction goes a long way. In 2011 there was a sex video commissioned by the ruling elite to kill off Anwar Ibrahim’s political career. The video purportedly shows a man who resembles Anwar frolicking with a prostitute in a hotel room. The three men who confessed to discovering and publicly screening the tape were former Malacca chief minister Rahim Tamby Chik, businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah and Perkasa treasurer Shuaib Lazim.

Shuaib Lazim is the father-in-law of Shafie Apdal.

In the meantime, Labuan born billionaire, Tan Sri Ibrahim bin Menudin, the Chairman of Suria Capital Holdings Berhad, a close confidant of Anwar Ibrahim, is the go-between-man. Ibrahim is also Economic Advisor for Sabah Government.

Anyway besides that, today, a series of short homosexual sex videos lasting roughly 1.34-minutes have been making the rounds on social media. The clips show two men, one who resembles senior minister in the current administration, getting intimate with a 27 year old lawyer from Sarawak. At least three clips show what looks like a scene from a room in Hotel Four Points in Sandakan, accompanied by the sound of a foreign news bulletin. People are saying looks like Azmin Ali, but i dont know.


This picture of Najib Tun Razak & wife visiting Anwar Ibrahim in the hospital has quickly spread on social media, shortly after the publication on Twitter. This is the picture which shows the suffering of Anwar Ibrahim, and has shocked and sadden even hardened observers.

Shared widely on social media today.

Anyway, I dont know why people think Najib Tun Razak’s visiting of Anwar Ibrahim in the hospital is such a big deal. First they torture him, then they visit him when he is suffering. Najib should do the right thing – Free Anwar, then we all can say Najib is ikhlas, Najib is magnanimous!

Time to free Anwar Ibrahim the Prisoner of Conscience!


If you have read my articles more than once, you would know that I detest demagogues. Not for personal or aesthetic reasons, but because in the twenty five years that I have covered Sabah politics, I have observed that the political culture demagoguery breeds is to blame for most of our economic and political problems. It has been my humble observation that whenever Sabah was ruled by a supposedly charismatic leader, skilled in the arts of demagoguery, Sabah suffered while the leader continued to look good. This is because demagogues rarely bother to deliver on their grandiose promises to remove poverty and bring development since they are confident that their ‘charisma’ is what brings in the votes and not their work. It is sadly true that they have far too often been proved right by voters.

So, when I saw demagoguery resoundingly trashed in the recent GE13 in Sabah, it lit a small flicker of hope in my cynical old heart. In Sabah, voters had a choice between an array of demagogues and a quiet, little man who allowed the work he had done in the past ten years to speak for him. Well done Sabah for voting for Musa Aman instead of the demagogues and poseurs who came to defeat him with their charisma and their party tricks.

Musa Aman’s main rival was a very skilled demagogue called Lajim Ukin. So skilled that he has shown himself to be undefeatable despite allegations that he made millions from lopsided agreements that the Sabah Local Government had signed away to his cronies when he was Minister of Local Government and Housing, and while he was busy with his slot machines. The local government he was heading went to pieces but Lajim thrived. After moving to a parliamentary seat, he came to Putajaya to become a celebrated federal deputy cabinet minister despite doing as little for the housing as he did for Sabah. He got away with his lack of administrative abilities by being such a brilliant demagogue. His demagoguery even served to conceal the utter lack of any sort of ability that he showed as minister.

The voters of Sabah did well by making sure he failed to defend his incumbency in his Beaufort Parlimentary seat, and in his state seat of Klias Lajim won by a slim majority of 342 votes after obtaining a total of 6,324 votes. They did even better to reject the advances of a another demagogue Anwar Ibrahim. He warned Sabahan voters that they would be making a big mistake if they voted for Musa Aman because he was a chief minister who had squandered the state and allowed centralisation of power.

Musa Aman chose not to respond to the charges flung at him and instead talked of how Sabah had improved in the past ten years and brought more development to Sabah and fought for more de-centralisation and delegation of power back to the state government. At an annual economic growth of 8 per cent in the past five years (compared to 2.5 per cent before), there are visible differences in Sabah that were excellently reported by the Daily Express newspaper’s editor in two articles last month.

From our weakness for demagogues have come the political dynasties that now control most political parties in Malaysia. Whenever this happens, a political party stops being a political party and becomes a family firm whose main purpose is to serve the interests of the family who controls it. Remember Shahrizat’s “lembu” episode? Yes, from this comes the tendency to see politics as business and then inevitably we have one or other member of the family who is projected as a commercial genius who mysteriously makes a lot of money very quickly while his wife or brother or sister goes into politics.

Malaysia has suffered enough from demagogues and dynasties. What we need are many, many more chief ministers like Musa Aman who show that they can win elections by working hard for the people who vote them to power. The voters of Sabah can truly be proud of the results they gave us on May 5th 2013. If this can happen in Sabah, then there really is hope of Malaysia becoming a fully developed country in 2020. But, voters must continue to tell the difference between demagogues and real leaders.


By Niluksi Koswanage

KUALA LUMPUR | Sun May 26, 2013 3:09am BST

(Reuters) – Malaysia’s divisive election has left a bitter taste for millions of people that risks creating a long-term problem of legitimacy for Prime Minister Najib Razak’s long-ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.

The outrage was clear at a busy intersection across from one of Kuala Lumpur’s fanciest shopping malls, where a huge poster of Najib and his deputy had been defaced — a rare display of public disrespect in the Southeast Asian nation.

One of the scrawled comments poked fun at the unconvincing share of the votes won by Najib’s ruling coalition in its May 5 election victory: “47 percent PM,” it said.

“If you don’t like it, you can leave,” mocked another, alluding to a comment by Najib’s new Home Minister that those unhappy with the result — and the electoral system that produced it — should pack up and emigrate.

The tense political atmosphere threatens to prolong policy uncertainty that investors hoped the polls would put to rest, as Najib braces for a possible leadership challenge and the Opposition mounts a noisy campaign to contest the result.

By securing 60 percent of parliamentary seats with less than 50 percent of the popular vote, the BN’s victory has served to expose starkly the unfairness of a gerrymandered electoral system that is also prone to cheating and bias.

That has galvanised the Opposition, led by former Deputy Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, into holding a series of big rallies as it refuses to accept the result and prepares legal action to challenge the outcome in nearly 30 close-run seats.

Disgruntled Malaysians have submitted over 220,000 signatures to the White House online petition page, exceeding the number required for a response from President Barack Obama.

In response, divisions have appeared in the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the main party in the ruling coalition — in power since independence from Britain in 1957.

Hardliners have urged a crackdown on dissent and blamed minority ethnic Chinese voters for deserting the ruling coalition. That has raised racial tensions in a country whose ethnic Malay majority dominates politics and enjoys special privileges to offset what its leaders see as its disadvantaged position compared to relatively wealthy ethnic Chinese.

Reformers have urged Najib to press ahead with social and economic reforms to blunt the opposition’s appeal and address the concerns of discontented young and urban voters. That includes many ethnic Malays who voted for the opposition.

“Every day Najib sees angry Malaysians on the Internet. It is not an easy thing to swallow,” said a senior government official who declined to be identified. “There are people in his cabinet asking for a crackdown and there are others asking for him to brandish his reformist side.”

The hard liners appeared to gain ground last week when police used the colonial-era Sedition Act to detain three opposition politicians and activists and charged a student with inciting unrest.

The three arrested were later released after a court rejected the Police remand order, but could still face charges.

Najib is under pressure from UMNO conservatives such as Mahathir Mohamad, who served as Prime Minister for 22 years, to show a tougher side ahead of a leadership election that could be held as early as August. At least until then, planned reforms such as steps to widen Malaysia’s tax base and reduce heavy food and fuel subsidies are likely to stay on hold.

“Najib is not in a very strong position,” Mahathir told reporters in Tokyo on Saturday, saying there was a risk that his majority could be weakened further if some ruling coalition politician defected to the opposition.

“When you are concerned about that, the focus on development, economy and all that will be affected. That is Najib’s problem.”

Fraud Claims

The Opposition has yet to present clear evidence of widespread fraud, but Reuters interviews with 15 polling agents give an indication of why many Malaysians have lost faith in an electoral system that clearly favours the governing coalition.

A majority said that officials of the Election Commission (EC), which is part of the Prime Minister’s Department, did not follow procedures or were ill-equipped to oversee the polls.

“Some, not all, officials were not trained enough or did not have the experience to determine what was a spoiled vote,” said a counting agent in the Segamat parliamentary seat in southern Johor state, where the BN candidate won by a slim 1,200 majority with 950 votes deemed as spoiled.

“I cannot speculate on whether it was deliberate but there was quite a bit of incompetence,” said the agent, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the issue.

Anwar’s three-party alliance says it has evidence that BN officials bought votes with cash and transported immigrants granted citizenship on shaky grounds to vote in areas with close races.

While its legal action, due to be filed with courts around the end of May, is unlikely to succeed, it will keep the electoral fraud issue in the spotlight for months ahead.

In Selangor state near Kuala Lumpur, a Reuters examination found at least 2,000 voters had identity cards deemed “dubious” by a commission of inquiry in Malaysia’s Borneo island state of Sabah. That commission is investigating longstanding allegations that the ruling coalition handed out citizenship for votes to immigrants.

The government denies the fraud claims, accusing the opposition of being sore losers and of trying to stir up an Arab Spring style revolt. The EC says it took a tough approach in eradicating possible fraud in the electoral rolls.

“The Opposition did not lose because of election rigging, it lost because they did not get the vote,” EC Chairman Abdul Aziz (below) told Reuters.

Deep concerns over the integrity of Malaysia’s elections are nothing new. The government has been shaken by huge street rallies in recent years organised by the influential BERSIH (clean) movement that has called for sweeping reforms, including a clean-up of the electoral roll and equal access to media.

After a violent police response to a 2011 rally, Najib burnished his reform credentials by rolling back some draconian security laws and introducing limited electoral reforms.

Reform Dilemma

BERSIH says those reforms did not go far enough, and is refusing to recognise the election results until it has verified hundreds of allegations of fraud in a “people’s tribunal”. It has previously highlighted instances of voters over 120 years of age and hundreds of voters living at a single address.

Likely far more influential than fraud are electoral boundaries that have been manipulated over the years to favour the BN. Pro-opposition constituencies in urban areas have up to nine times the number of voters than pro-government seats.

The opposition won just 89 seats in the 222-seat parliament, despite winning more than 51 percent of the vote.

“Najib won on malapportionment rather than his policies to eradicate corruption and reform the economy as voters felt he wasn’t sincere,” said Ooi Kee Beng, Singapore-based Deputy Director of the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Najib, the 59-year-old son of a former Prime Minister, is unlikely to countenance deeper electoral reforms, a move that could be political suicide for the BN.

Reformists within UMNO are urging him, however, to ignore calls for a security crackdown and push ahead with steps to tackle corruption and make the ruling coalition more appealing to urban and ethnic Chinese voters who have deserted it.

“Of course the debate on whether we are truly a majority government will go on. But we can gain respect from the people,” said Saifuddin Abdullah, a prominent reformist who is a member UMNO’s Supreme Council.

(Additional reporting by Stuart Grudgings, Siva Sithraputhran and Al-Zaquan Amer Hamzah in Kuala Lumpur, and Yoko Kubota in Tokyo.; editing by Stuart Grudgings and Ron Popeski)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/2013/05/26/uk-malaysia-politics-idUKBRE94P01620130526

PICKED THIS UP FROM REUTERS


In February, Musa Aman seemed a trifle embattled. The Lahad Datu standoff the intrusion of almost 200 armed Filipinos in Lahad Datu, 10 of our Security Forces were killed – for the first time in his decade-long rule in Sabah, the Chief Minister was feeling the pressure.

But come April, as he announced his election manifesto, neatly appropriating the legacy of the state leader, Musa Aman had put behind him all disadvantages of the month before. He then set off to the length and breadth of the state showcasing his “Vibrant Sabah” policy. The message was lost on none – Musa Aman was still a crowd puller.

After eleven days of campaigning, as the Sabah Chief Minister reaches the fag end of his final round of campaigning, the biggest question being asked is – will that charisma continue to translate into votes for the Barisan National? Surveys and analysts predict yet another victory for man who has adroitly changed his image to development role model. At stake are bigger ambitions – Musa Aman reckons another impressive victory could propel him to be the longest serving chief minister of Sabah, breaking the 9 yrs jinx. But is this road a smooth one?

All I can say is- The situation in 2004 and 2008 is very different from that of 2013.

The ending of the rotation of chief minister every 2 years in 2004 saw Musa winning hands down. By 2008 Musa had begun constructing his new avatar, that of able administrator. But 2013 is without any emotive issue except for the Lahad Datu standoff. The fragmented opposition has managed to keep the election battle low profile, avoiding another bad showing like 2008. That has forced Musa Aman to keep his campaign confined to development as the key agenda.

But does that suit Musa Aman? “Not at all,” says a political commentator, who later add that, “His political existence and shrill rhetoric is what makes him an unstoppable leader. But this time there seems to be no emotive issue. The developmental plank can’t excite voters to a decisive point.”

Musa Aman, the master strategist, realises this. And so, analysts say, he has attempted to add another element to his electioneering this time, projecting this to be not only a Sabah vs Pakatan Rakyat battle but also the personality battle between Musa Aman and Anwar Ibrahim. By taking the battle to a new level, he is sending a very subtle message to the electorate. He may not concede his national ambitions but when he talks about the Sabah vs Pakatan Rakyat battle, he is sending out a message; here is a Sabah leader who can stop Anwar Ibrahim from taking the throne in Putrajaya. If that’s the case, 2013 will, in a way, establish what connects Musa Aman to three million Sabahans. If he wins yet again it clearly establishes that even without a polarized vote, Musa Aman can win based on a campaign revolving around development.

But this road is not without potholes.

Though pre-poll survey and pundits say former Deputy Chief Ministers Lajim Ukim and Wilfred Bumburing are unlikely to do much damage to Musa Aman. The L & B factor, as it’s is called in these parts, could play spoiler at least in the politically critical Beaufort and Tuaran region. Lajim had won a huge majority in the Beaufort Parliamentary last time in 2008, but this time both Lajim and Wilfred could play a role in obtaining less than half a dozen seats. After all Lajim represents the all-powerful Bisaya community and Bumburing represents the Dusuns to an extend, which is a sizable chunk of the electorate. But the basic problem with L & B would be absence of an organizational structure since both are using unregistered NGOs PPPS (Pertubuhan Pakatan Perubahan Sabah)and APS ( Angkatan Perubahan Sabah) riding on Pakatan Rakyat, to topple Musa Aman as chief minister. Lajim is politicising the position of “Janang Gayuh”, causing disunity among the Bisaya, a Dusunic group, found only in the Beaufort region. Lajim ran away from UMNO because he knew he would not be fielded this time, the same with Bumburing and UPKO who didn’t want him to stand in Tuaran. To be honest, what has Lajim and Bumburing done the last 30 years? Zilch.

After eleven days of campaigning in this 13th General Elections, Musa Aman is looking to retain power again, thus enabling Sabah to live up to the tag of being “the fixed deposit” of the BN. Despite the opposition pact’s onslaught for the parliamentary battle, Sabah BN is likely to win most of the seats won in the 2008 general elections. However, BN can expect tough fights for Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan, Tawau, Beaufort, Tuaran, Penampang, Sepanggar, Pensiangan, Kota Belud and Kota Marudu parliamentary seats. In the 2008 general elections, Sabah BN won 59 of the 60 state seats and 24 of the 25 parliamentary seats, losing the Sri Tanjung state seat and the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat to the opposition DAP.

The determining factor for BN’s ability to continue ruling Sabah lies in the fact that the coalition is more united in facing the elections, while the oppositon is pitted not just against BN but also against each other. Despite pre-election calls for the opposition parties to reach an understanding so as to ensure straight fights with the BN, only the Tanjung Batu State seat and Sandakan parliamentary seat are seeing one-to- one contests.

The decision by Star Sabah (Sabah Reform Party), SAPP (Sabah Progressive Party) and PKR to field almost equal number of candidates for the state seats is clear example of serious faction among them. Given the bickering among them, its hard to imagine any one of them winning enough seats to become the leader of the pack. On top of that, PKR’s insincere gesture of offering SAPP a limited number of state seats has resulted in the latter completely abandoning the hope of wanting to work with the peninsula-based party. There are campaign whispers alleging that SAPP had received RM60 million from BN to split votes in favour of the ruling coalition. Worst still during a ceramah in Foh Sang Kota Kinabalu which I personally witnessed, SAPP was on a DAP bashing spree causing distrust among the voters.

Dr Jeffrey Kitingan’s STAR on the other hand, the youngest parties of the lot, is making unexpected inroads particularly among the mostly Christian Kadazandusun Murut community in the interiors, and the BN message is as such tailored to them. So, if Pakatan cannot turn things around, it can only likely bag the Chinese-majority seats of Sandakan, Tawau and Kota Kinabalu, while in Beaufort where incumbent Lajim Ukin, who is contesting on PKR’s ticket, is likely to pull through. Pensiangan could be taken by Dr Jeffrey’s Star Sabah. SAPP is most likely not able to get even one seat.

With the end of the race just days away it is evident that winning big is extremely important to Musa Aman and how Sabahans vote will decide the road map to power politics in Putrajaya.


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

and

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.


LETTER

by Joe Fernandez

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Indians should support neither BN nor BN come the GE.

The issue is simple.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

So, Indians should stop being confused.

Forget the Hindraf Blueprint.

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

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


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.”