Thursday, March 27, 2008

UMNO's Route To Political Oblivion.

Why do Umno and the rest of the Barisan National component parties need to 'engage an independent body to conduct a post-mortem on their performance in the recent general election'? Were they so removed from the rakyat that they were not aware of the swelling discontentment that was swirling amongst the ordinary folk?
No wonder the political tsunami that swept across the nation with five states going to the opposition was a complete unexpected shock to Umno and the BN parties. You don’t need an expert in political science to tell you what actually caused the failure of the Barisan Nasional parties.
The principal cause of the BN failure can be attributed to the leaders in Umno. They were under the delusion that they had the majority support of the Malay populace. To a certain extent this was true before the advent of PAS and now PKR.
However failure to realise that the political landscape had changed led Umno leaders to formulate policies that antagonised the non-Malays. The non-Malays were maginalised in practically every aspect of the Umno-dominated government policies.
This marginalisation led to the loss of support for other race-based BN parties like MCA, MIC and Gerakan. In addition, the BN component parties were cowed to such an extent that religious and educational issues affecting the community did not find a voice and they were unable to articulate their grievances.
Umno’s mistake was its failure to grasp the current political reality. Umno today cannot claim to be a legitimate representative of all the Malays. With the birth of PAS and now PKR, Umno at best can claim to have the support of only 30% of the Malay community.
In fact, it was reported in the main stream media that Umno's Malay support in the recent election amounted to only 29.6%. The reality of today’s political landscape clearly demonstrates that for any of the three parties - Umno, PAS and PKR - to succeed, it is vital for them to obtain the support of the non-Malays.
They were, in fact, the king-makers of the last election. As long as Malay support is divided amongst the three parties namely Umno, PAS and PKR, the fate of each of them will continue to remain in the hands of the non-Malays.
Therefore if Umno continues to plod along with its old racist and pro-Umnoputra NEP policies thinking that it will garner Malay support but in fact eroding its non-Malay support, it will most likely end up as a political dinosaur in the next general election

Monday, March 24, 2008

Annuar Ibrahim will be the next P.M

Come rain, shine or thunderstorm, the writing is on the wall.Barring a great collapse of the Barisan Rakyat coalition of PAS.PKR and DAP the next Prime Minister will be Annuar Ibrahim.Events in the past week in Penang, Perak and Selangor have confirmed what most voters have already known when they went to vote on the 8th of March.After 50 years of entrenched habits it is unlikely UMNO and their Barisan Component Parties will ever change.
.P.M without hesitation rebuke new Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng for wanting to do away with the abused NEP policy of helping the elite UMNOPUTRAs.
P.M does not even know that NEP in its present form was not even supported by the malays and that was hammered home by Annuar in many of his ceramahs.So if P.M cannot even convince the malays the need for the NEP then what are the chances for UMNO and B.N to win back the lost votes in the 8th march election?
If P.M thinks that by putting old wine in new bottles he will be able to win back the voters who deserted the B.N in droves, then he will be sadly dsiappointed.The old strategy of yesteryear by relying on the racial card to gain the support of the malays no longer works.The old proverb that you can fool some people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time has come back to haunt UMNO and their component parties.
In the three states of Penang, Perak and Selangor we witnessed UMNO sore losers gathering at an illegal assembly to protest over the abused NEP policy which had benefitted the UMNO cronies.But in all the three states we saw only UMNO leaders demonstrating for the continuation of a policy that had benefitted them.We didnt see any PAS or PKR malays protesting the rebranding of the NEP?WHY? Because for the simple reason that NEP did not reach them.More so because they were not even UMNO members.
Why cant P.M even see the futility of an NEP policy that benefitted only the rich of one race to a more acceptable NEP policy of benefitting all the poor irrespective of race?Is not he a P.M of all Malaysians or is he just a P.M of one race?
After 50 years of independence, the people are tired of the divisive policies of the B.N and their component parties.The people have spoken through the ballot box that they want a united Malaysian community where every race have an equal stake under the Malaysian sun.The 12th General Election have shown that they are prepared to vote across racial barriers to achieve this.
If P.M and UMNO's reinvention is to continue churning out the same old policies and barking the same old racial tune,then we can safely hail the new chief, Annuar Ibrahim, as the next Prime minister of Malaysia.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Annuar should contest by-election and become M.B for Selangor.

The opposition capture of the Selangor State is an important milestone for an alternative govt to replace the 50 years of administration of the Barisan National Party.
Many, including the opposition did not expect such a prize windfall.DAP alone could not have accomplished the feat and neither could PAS and PKR achieved such success if not for the fact that there was complete trust and cooperation among the three parties.
Despite the absence of a pact between DAP and PAS there was obvious mutual benefit in the voting pattern.The chinese on this occassion had no qualms voting for PAS and vice versa there were malay votes cast for DAP in their respective areas contested.This indirectly translated in malay votes for DAP and chinese votes for PAS.That perhaps explain the good results for both parties in mixed areas where chinese and malay voters were contesting with B.N candidates.
Similarly in areas where the chinese and malays were miniorities their votes cast for DAP and PAS respectively made the difference. Having accomplished the task of taking the Selangor State it is of vital importance that a new transparent way of administering the govt should be prioritised.In this regard the best person to initiate such a task would be DSAI.
His years spent in many of the portfolios as a minister would put him in goodstead to introduce reforms that would be a departure from the previous administration.
For a start he has advised the incoming state assemblymen not to indulge in wasteful expenditure for renovations and the purchase of new cars for wakil rakyat use.This is a refreshing start and if other similar measures can be introduced the rakyat can immediately see some tangible change.
For DSAI to be an M.B there needs to be a bye-election and one of the DUN has to make way for him.It will be a sacrifice for the person concerned but it will be a worthwhile sacrifice when we consider that the success or failure of Selangor under the opposition will determine the future survival of the three opposition parties.For the moment they have achieved an important milestone in capturing the five states but whether their success can be perpetuated in the next election will depends on the success or failure in the governance of the five states.

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Opposition state Govts has to do a good Job.

For the opposition parties of DAP, PAS, and PKR winning the 12th General election was the easy part.Now the hard part is to be able to foster a united group of politicians to govern the newly captured states of Penang, kedah, Perak and Selangor.
Governing Penang would posed no problem for the newly elected DAP members.It happened to Gerakan when they took over the govt in 1969.So it will be a smooth transition except it will have to govern as an opposition as opposed to Gerakan when it later became part of the Barisan National.
However this will not be the case for Kedah,Perak and Selangor.These three states will for the first time in their history come under a new administration.The early test will come in their consensus to select their respective Menteri besar.
Kedah present no problem because of PAS comfortable majority.Selangor should also posed no problem by virtue of PKR's slim majority.But in Perak it does have some hiccups.DAP with eleven state seats has the major number of seats while PKR has seven and PAS has six.But Perak's state constitution only provides for a muslim Menteri Besar unless the Sultan decides to waive the requirement as allowed in the constitution.This option is unlikely to be exercised in view of the political landscape of the state.
Any attempt to push for a chinese Menteri Besar would be foolish and invite a political backlash from the 28 Barisan national mainly malay representative.
A happy and acceptable compromise would be to appoint a malay candidate as the Menteri Besar from either PKR or PAS and for DAP to have a Deputy Menteri Besar.In addition to this DAP can be compensated by having more exco representative than PKR and PAS
Forging a coalition among the three almost divergent political parties would be a formidable task but the difficult part would be to translate their respective ideas into a viable entity.For this only time can tell and they will have to prove their mettle within five years or face a quick exit.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Penangites Must vote opposition to Deny 2/3 majority

Penang voters must discard their emotionalbaggage when they vote on 8th March.Emotional tieswith illustrous candidates like Koh Tsu Koon,Teng HockNan, and Chia kwang Chye must be totally discarded.If at all, Penang voters should not give any votes to these three Gerakan members.To show their dissatisfaction we should even let them lose their deposit.
Penang voters must by now be aware that any vote for Gerakan or MCA is a vote for UMNO and a vote forUMNO is to invite a continuity of the scandals of corruption that has plagued our nation.
Penang voters must discard the mentality that we need Gerakan and MCA wakil rakyats to represent our chinese interest in state legislature and Parliament.For the umpteenth years that Gerakan andMCA have represented us have they articulated our rights and grievances?The answer is an emphatic 'No'.
We dont need wakil rakyats to look after our drains and roads anymore. What we are more concern is the erosion of our rights under the constitution.The right to vernacular education and the right to build more of such schools if the need arises.The right to freedom of religion and worship and to ensure that we are not force to seek justice in a Syariah courts when as non-muslims our recourse is to the civil courts.
We hold dear these sacred fundamental rights as guaranteed under the constitution and we want our elected representatives to articulate and protect these rights.We no longer feel confident that Gerakan and MCA can perform that role as long as they are in the B.N.
Therefore Penangites should no longer have any reservations about voting in opposition to protect our rights.We have given Gerakan and MCA many years and many terms in Penang and they have been a dismal failure.If they had done their duty faithfully, we would not have faced this unprecedented erosion of ourrights.
On 8th march,Penangites should forget their past ties with Gerakan and MCA.I think it was an MCA President that says when a fish is rotten we have to cut off the head first.On election day voters should ensure that we vote out, Koh Tsu Koon, Teng Hock Nan and Chia Kwang Chye.Dont let your emotional ties cloud your judgement.No battles was ever won without any sacrifice and now is the time we have to plead withPenangites to make that supreme sacrifice.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Ballot Box the way to break Nepotism.

I refer to the Malaysiakini report The rising sons, daughter and son-in-law.
When an elected representative who no longer commands the respect of the electorate insists on staying on, the only recourse is to show him the way out is through the ballot box. Many of our current politicians view their elected position as a sure ticket to make easy money.
They lack the passion and idealism of serving the country and its people. Instead they are guided by the greed and power their elected positions will bring to them and their families. Many of them unashamedly go to the extent of even promoting their children or close relatives to take over their place as if it is their birthright to occupy that position forever.
This is especially true in the BN component parties of Umno MCA and Gerakan. In Umno we have examples of Najib Razak, taking over his father's place and now the prime minister’s son-in-law Khairy Jamalludin is waiting in the wings of Umno Youth. Don’t forget Hishammuddin Hussein Onn.
In MCA, we have Ling Liong Sik's son who incidently became a millionaire by the age of 27. Then there is the current MCA president Ong Ka Ting whose brother Ka Chuan is waiting to contest again despite losing twice in the previous elections. In Gerakan we have the son of the party advisor Lim Keng Yaik who will be contesting in the coming election.
It would seem perfectly alright if the children and relatives of these politicians are capable and secure their position based on merit even though in most cases it would be a leg-up for them if their father was or is in a position of power and influence.
However if their position is merely through the auspices of their father's influence, perhaps then, voters will have to exercise their discretion to vote them out.
In the same vein, even a prime minister who has lost a lot of his influence may not want to retire voluntary. Sadly, the truth is that ordinary human beings, when suddenly given extraordinary powers, are the last person on earth who will willingly relinquish their positions on their own accord.
Since it will be an exercise in futility to persuade such people to retire gracefully, the only recourse is to vote them out in the coming election. Once we strip the aura of glamour and power which we ordained upon them, they once again become become mere mortals like every one of us.
And like the proverbial cowboy it will be an opportune moment for them to ride into the sunset of their fading careers.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Hisham's failure:vernacular School enrolment Proof.

I refer to the letters Hisham a failure as education minister and National schools turning into Islamic schools.
The first letter is a statement of fact. Not only was he a poor exemplary role model as the head of the Education Ministry but he was also an abject failure in his position as a minister. Brandishing the keris to politicise his cause in full view of his audience cannot be construed as a refined leader with exemplary qualities. At best he can be labelled as a rebel with a dubious political agenda.
Statistics don’t usually tell a lie. Some 95% of Chinese and Indian students are enrolled in vernacular schools. The stark reality is that a miniscule 5% of the non-Malays are in the government’s sekolah kebangsaan. Of course, this trend did not happen overnight. But when Hisham took over the Education Ministry, the trend was already patently evident.
Yet during his term, what did he do to address this lop-sided enrolment of non-Malays in vernacular schools? The Education Minister should be aware of the repercussions of having a racially polarised education system which in the long term, would have serious ramifications for nation-building.
In the 1960s, when I attended a national school, it was the school of choice for Chinese, Malays and Indians. Vernacular schools had such poor enrolment that many of them had to close on their own volition.
But then the national school I attended then was different from the ones today. In every national schools then there was a good mixture of Chinese, Indian and Malay teachers. Besides the few Mat Salleh headmasters, there was also a good spread of Chinese, Indian and Malay headmasters too.
There was a total absence of religious rituals. No such thing as doa selamat or whatever prayers during school hours. We left religion at home.
The sad part is that Hisham does not know the reason for the decline in the enrolment of non- Malays in the national schools today. Instead, he tried to introduce mother-tongue language in the national schools thinking this was what the non-Malays wanted.
However, that is not addressing the real problem. Yes, the real problem refers to the second letter’s topic, ‘National schools turning into Islamic schools’.If the Education Minister had kept his eyes opened wide, he would have read numerous complaints of parents expressing their concern and anger at the slow Islamisation creeping within the corridors of the national schools.
Somehow, national schools have been infiltrated by religious zealots out to preach Islam and many do not hesitate to impose their religious rituals on non-Malays. Some schools even go overboard in prescribing the mode of school uniforms to be worn including the tudung.
All the above, probably escapes the attention of the minister or alternatively he may have condoned
the various religious impositions. The proof is already there for him to see. Vernacular schools are full to the brim and what is perhaps even astonishing is that there are about 60,000 Malay students scrambling for places in the Chinese vernacular schools.
That in itself is an indictment of his abject failure as an Education Minister.