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The Battle at Hulu Selangor

April 17, 2010

Zaid: I can win over Hulu S’gor Malays

Aidila Razak
Apr 16, 10
Despite indications that his ‘liberal’ image is hard for the rural Malay voters in the constituency to swallow, PKR Hulu Selangor by-election candidate Zaid Ibrahim is confident he will have no problems attracting Malay votes.

“I won in Kota Bharu where there were more than 80 percent Malay voters. In Hulu Selangor, it is 56 percent,” he told Malaysiakini in an interview held at his home yesterday.

NONEZaid (right) also refuted claims that he is a Malay ‘traitor’, saying that it is all part of Umno propaganda.

“What does ‘liberal’ mean? I am ‘liberal’ in the sense that I do not accept the concept of Ketuanan Melayu (Malay supremacy). I say that we are all citizens and we are the same.

“No one is going to pawn away what rightfully belongs to the Malay, but I am against Malays… who rob their own kind while at the same time yelling out Ketuanan Melayu,” he said.

He added that those who consider this a bad thing are people who are used to power being held by only a handful of people.

Social justice and human rights are universal values which are not matters that only urban dwellers understand, he said.

NONE“Do you think that kampung people don’t get upset when their children are detained without explanation?” asked Zaid, who confessed that as a party newbie, his candidacy came as a surprise.

Still, a recent Merdeka Centre poll estimated that two-thirds of Malays support the views of hardline Malay rights’ champions Perkasa.

“I am not seeking popularity over principles. If I am unpopular for something that is true, then I accept the rakyat’s decision. I will not sway from my fundamental struggle,” he said.

Income disparity

Included in the list of PKR campaign issues are also bread-and-butter matters like the low income of Hulu Selangor residents, an issue Zaid said he is familiar with when he was MP in Kota Bharu.

“We are a rich country but this is not enjoyed by estate workers, farmers, Felda settlers and factory workers.

NONE“Why should we invest thousands of millions of ringgit in submarines when our people working in the plantations only earn RM700 a month?” he asked.

Land is also an important issue in Hulu Selangor, he added, and he is able to solve this problem as he has a good relationship with Selangor MB Khalid Ibrahim.

PKR will campaign on the issue of abandoned residential projects, like the Bukit Botak project which has been hogging headlines throughout Pakatan’s rule in Selangor.

“The previous BN Selangor government left many abandoned residential and shop-lot projects.

“I will push, request, plead and beg the Selangor government to increase their investments in Hulu Selangor and solve these issues,” he said.


Zaid Ibrahim will win but by how much?

Friday, 16 April 2010 Super Admin

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Did it matter to the Malays in Kampong Raja Uda that Charles Santiago is Indian? Should it matter to the Indians of Hulu Selangor that Zaid is Malay? Or are the Malays more matured than the Indians?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

My comrade-in-exile, private investigator P. Balasubramaniam, has bet that Datuk Zaid Ibrahim will win the Hulu Selangor by-election with a majority of 5,000 to 6,000 votes. I, in turn, have bet that Zaid’s majority will be between 3,000 to 5,000 votes. I will not reveal what the bet is but it looks like we both agree that Zaid’s majority will be around 5,000 votes, plus-minus.

Looking at the smear campaign that Barisan Nasional is embarking upon it appears that they have really nothing much to throw at Zaid. He has deep pockets. He has baggage. He is an outsider and a ‘parachute’ candidate. Why a Malay and not an Indian candidate? And all such trivia and petty issues.

So what if Zaid has deep pockets? Does this not prove that he is a self-made man? How many road or construction projects did the government give him? How many APs or permits did he get? How much sand or timber concessions was Zaid awarded?

Zaid used to head the largest law firm in Malaysia. So that made him rich. Is that not good? Should Perkasa and Umno not sing his praises and stand tall and be proud that there are at least some Malays who can make it on the ‘open market’?

So it looks like not all Malays need crutches if you go by Zaid’s success and track record. Does not Umno want more Malays like these, Malays who can succeed even when faced with stiff competition?

Earlier today, in a keynote speech to commemorate the 44th anniversary of Mara, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the Malays must not be proud of always getting aid from the government. “Aid is like a crutch… to be given when we are weak. It is better if we can stand firmly on our own feet. Do not be proud with such aid. In truth, we are not masters because of aid,” said Dr Mahathir as he lamented the attitude of the Malay community who always looked for the easiest way of getting rich.

Even Dr Mahathir, the man who supports Perkasa, said that the Malays should not be proud of their crutches. This can be rephrased to mean we should be ashamed. Should this not also mean we should be proud of Malays who can make it without crutches? And in that case, going by this argument, should we not be proud of Zaid who made it without crutches?

So why are they whacking Zaid for having deep pockets? Why are they not singing his praises instead? Zaid did not rob the rakyat? Zaid did not pilfer the government’s coffers. Zaid did not steal the taxpayers’ money. Zaid worked hard to put bread on the table. And that is a crime?

Hundreds of other Malays have also become successful lawyers. I can name dozens whom I personally know and who are now very rich. I know many more Chinese and Indians who are now rich because of their successful law practice. And this is supposed to be a bad thing?

When Malays get rich the wrong way we lament and sigh. But when they get rich the right way we whack them. So what is it that we want? Ini pun salah. Itu pun salah. Tak pahamlah minda Melayu.

Actually, Malays are like crabs. They can’t walk straight and they are trying to teach others how to walk straight. Then, when you place crabs in a basket, they will bring down those who try to climb out. So, in the end, not one crab gets to climb out of the basket because they would pull each other down every time someone tries to climb out. I suppose this is why most Malays are basket cases.

And this is the real issue here. Malays just can’t bear to see other Malays become successful. PHD: perangai hasat dengki.

So Zaid is Kelantanese. So what? Why can’t a Kelantanese stand for elections in Selangor? Terengganu once had a Kelantanese as the Menteri Besar. When it comes to Malays we worry about which state or which town they come from. Were Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang, Karpal Singh, Gobind Singh, and whatnot all born in the town they contested in?

Mat Sabu of PAS has contested in Kedah, Penang, Kelantan, Terengganu and all over the place and won most times. No one asked him where he was born or accused him of being a parachute candidate. If I wanted to contest the general election then where would I contest? I was born in Surrey, England. Does this mean there is no seat for me anywhere in Malaysia?

Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was not born in Permatang Pauh. Yet she not only won that seat but became the Opposition Leader in Parliament as well.

We need to break away from this old pre-Merdeka culture where you must be born in that town to be able to contest a seat in that town.

In the old days it took five days and four nights to travel from the tip of the East Coast to Kuala Lumpur. Today, it takes only an hour. In the old days it look a week for a letter to arrive. Today, we can communicate in real time.

Times have changed. We now live in a global village and a borderless world. You can be born in the UK, like me, and still contest in Hulu Selangor, Ulu Kelantan, Ulu Terengganu, Kuala Kedah, or wherever. It does not matter. What matters is that you can serve your constituents.

And I believe Zaid Ibrahim can.

Zaid is not concerned about race. He is concerned about human rights and justice. He worries about the underdog.

In short, Zaid is colour-blind. And that is what matters. That is what we want the New Malaysia to be about.

For more than half a century since Merdeka the Malays in Kampong Raja Uda in Kelang, Selangor, voted ruling party. They never once voted opposition. For the first time in history, on 8 March 2008, the Malays of Kampong Raja Uda voted for Charles Santiago as their Member of Parliament.

Today, Charles Santiago is a Member of Parliament.

Did it matter to the Malays in Kampong Raja Uda that Charles Santiago is Indian? Should it matter to the Indians of Hulu Selangor that Zaid is Malay? Or are the Malays more matured than the Indians?

Yes, Zaid will help the Indians. But he will help deserving Indians and not Ananda Krishnan. Yes, Zaid will help the Chinese. But he will help deserving Chinese and not Francis Yeoh. And Zaid will also help the Malays in the Felda settlements and the Orang Asli in their reservations.

Maybe it is good that PKR finally fields a candidate with deep pockets. Then Umno can’t pay him RM2 million to cross over. Maybe that should be the criteria in future. Make sure that the candidate is not bangsat and therefore can be easily bought.

Zaid should be the new benchmark that the opposition uses in what the candidates should look like. That would ensure we will not see ‘cheap sales’ every month of the year.


Friday, April 16, 2010

There is no fair election in Malaysia

Taken from Dayak Baru Blog.
Written by: Dr. John Brian Anthony
The real root cause of corruption is in the monetisation of politics – simply put “money politics”. It does not stop with giving a $50.00 to a voter to put a cross against the party symbol but worst still it means promising contracts, licenses and projects to the financiers of the election. Then the development of the country will be compromised and we have elected representatives who will team with businessmen to make money for themselves. The people will remain as there are while the wealth lies in the hand of the few.
Election Fund
A senior lawyer was talking to us in a coffee shop telling us that the Opposition in Sarawak will find it difficult to deny the Government a TWO THIRD majority because the Opposition cannot match the election fund available for the government. Money allows for better election machinery supported by many paid campaigners and also money to buy votes. Money is also available to bring people to a centralize place where food, drinks, dance and song will make the voters forget their problems and give their vote to the government again. In the coming election, this will happen again.
It would be difficult to put right what the government has done wrong through election even though we are a country that practice democracy but our election is not democratic enough.
We hear people who disagree with the government and work hard to correct the government but got little result as the system favor the government of the day. In Malaysia there is no fair election, and this is very true in Sarawak.
Source of Election Funds
In Sarawak, it is very common for businessmen who are vying for big business to donate big some of money to the government. Even at constituency level you have the businessmen providing election fund to government candidates and in return the businessmen expected to be given business opportunity. This will result in abuse of power to give government lucrative business away as you can commonly see practice by the government of Sarawak. The government and the elected representative (YB) will be giving back favors owed to the businessmen.
Mother of all corruption
Money politics is the root cause of Government contracts given to their cronies through negotiated approach – not open tender. Money politics allow for a vicious cycle of dependency that bring donors and elected official into conflict of interest relationships.
The YBs through their indebtedness to the donors may distort public administration to ensure that their financial backers benefit from investing in their political future. This resulted in a lot of development being wasted on misdirected projects.
But this is only the tip of the ice-berg.
Care Taker Government
He added that the “Care Taker” government is also very important because it allows the government to give “mee segera – MRP” which is very effective in the rural areas. You can hear thunderous claps when MRP is announce but state and national issues do not seem to get much of their attention. Actually our constitution is silent on who should be appointed as the care taker government. We should move forward to improve this process as the current practice will not be able to deliver transparency and accountability.
Election Commission
The Election commission in Malaysia is not independent enough and it has not enough power to check money politics or the ability and capacity to control election expenses of the political parties. The party with more money to spend will definitely have the advantage. In addition to the above “gerrymandering” practice is common in Malaysia to favor the government.
The election commission now cannot take action those people who are found to buy votes even at the polling centre. The power of the election commission is not adequate to regulate a fair election.
Going Forward
We cannot just stand by and watch our country go down the drain because a lot of our politics now is under the control of those businessmen who funds the government election. We have to undertake deep reforms of the political system, covering all aspect of national affairs that are relevant to political financing.
Approval of the formation of political parties should not be put the Registrar of Societies. It should fall under the election commission as practiced in many countries around the world.
The financing of politics has to be fully disclosed publicly and subject to effective governmental and social oversight mechanism.
We must go on serious reform to increase public trust in democracy and political parties by promoting transparency and accountability in political financing. Otherwise 1 Malaysia is an empty promise by Najib.
Key areas that need reforms are:
  • Election Commission
  • Legislative Changes
  • Media reform.
Change WE Must.
Posted by Ngau Saloi
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