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Anwar Ibrahim

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Anwar Ibrahim


[PRESS STATEMENT] Pakatan Rakyat Will Remain Committed To Fostering Peace And Fighting Racism

Posted: 12 May 2013 07:29 AM PDT

Former appeal court judge Datuk Mohd Noor Abdullah's racist speech puts the Klu Klux Klan to shame and makes Hitler proud.

How long more are we to tolerate such hate mongering and race baiting from the illegitimate Najib government?

While UMNO sows the seeds of hatred and discord, we in Pakatan Rakyat will shower this nation with goodwill and mutual respect, and in doing so foster peace and understanding in our society.

Let's all stand shoulder to shoulder and remain united. To Malaysians – thank you for coming out tonight in Ipoh and showing these zealots what being Anak Malaysia means.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Utusan Malaysia is Now Utusan ‘Karut’

Posted: 12 May 2013 04:00 AM PDT

Malaysia-Chronicle

Utusan Malaysia has done it again. Their justification of BN's terrible performance was racial and totally divisive which does not help the nation building process at all after GE13. By singling out a race of people who decided to choose Pakatan Rakyat(PR) instead of the incumbent UMNO/BN government they have portrayed the Chinese Malaysians as ungrateful and should be dealt with in the near future.

Why the sudden interest in Chinese only? Was it because they voted overwhelmingly for PR as though none of the other races did especially in the urban areas? Or is it because the BN caretaker government spent millions on them than the other races and hoping that the Chinese would reciprocate on polling day? Either way, it is NOT right for Utusan Malaysia or Najib to single out a particular group of Malaysians for his own failure. Yes, I say it again it is Najib’s own failure!

Popular vote won  by PR

So, what does Utusan Malaysia wants to do now? Are they planning and scheming something sinister in this country of ours? Yes Utusan, it's either you are with us or against us. You have forgotten that it was the overwhelming Malaysians that voted for PR hence PR popular votes was much higher than BN for the first time in Malaysian history.

And you Utusan can't seem to take it, right? After all UMNO is your political master for the last 50 plus years and YOU have been a political tool for them as well! Utusan, you have fail to grasped what Malaysian DEMANDS are! Here are a few list to start with:-

> We want a government that looks into the interest of Malaysians and not those of the Banglas, Indons, Myanmarese, Filipinos only. One day we might have a Benggali news papers in this country and you Utusan could be out of job. Yes, I hope you will face your demise as the mainstream paper of this country soon as you have not been able to bear good fruits but instead rotten ones only! That goes to the other MSM's as well who have been spewing lies after lies to please your masters so that you and your board of directors could pamper yourself and be fed well like the cows of Bashan!

> We also want a government that is truly free from the scourge of corruption and incompetence which hinders our country from reaching our highest potential. Is it too much to ask? If yes, then go and tell your political masters they are not fit for the top job of this country in the first place.

>  We want a government that truly represent ALL Malaysians irrespective of their race, religion and lifestyle orientation. Again, is it too much to ask from a ruling government for this after 56 years in power? If yes, then I believe you have overstayed your welcome in this country. Somehow I can't help but to feel that the government we are having now do not represent any of us except their cronies and a certain wife. Yup, reminds me of the many corrupt regimes of the 20th and the 21st century in Asia and AFrica that must be kicked out.

>  We also want a government that prides itself in promoting transparency. I'm sure Utusan has not heard of this word or pretends not to. If no, please look up in the dictionary yourself. In short we want a government that upholds free and fair election as a norm in this country instead of us struggling and fighting for it thru the streets. This is a basic need in any democracy. We also need the rule of law to be applied at every level of the government administration be it the Police, civil service and not forgetting the Election Commission (EC) as well. As of today the EC has lost all credibility of what is left of them thanks to Dr. Mahathir who started his IC Project by giving IC's illegally to foreigners in Malaysia since 1980's.

>  We Malaysians want Pakatan Rakyat as our federal government. Yes, UMNO/BN needs to be OUT for good. There is no shred of goodness that is left in them anymore. You are only fit to be trampled upon as UMNO/BN has lost all their usefulness! The rakyat can't wait for the next GE and hope and pray that your demise will come sooner than later. Count your days UMNO. After all, the rakyat has finish off your BN counterparts i.e. MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PPP etc. UMNO, now it's your turn and be rest assured that the rakyat will not missed you for a minute once you are kicked out of Putrajaya! It's just a matter of time.
Now, you have heard what we want as citizens of this country and the list above is by no means exhaustive. But I will stop here as you Utusan are too dense to understand the new way of being a Malaysian today. Yup, the list is longer than the above and I'm sure the readers will continue to share their thoughts on this matter.

What we don’t want

Utusan, you have heard of our needs and wants as Malaysians. Now, hear out what we DO NOT WANT as Malaysians today.

- We DO NOT WANT a government that is corrupt to its core who do not know how distinguish of what is right from wrong. UMNO/BN have lost their moral compass hence the result in this GE 13 proves as such. It has nothing to do with any particular race or genetics. It has got everything to do with UMNO and their corrupt activities. Period!

- We DO NOT WANT the EC to be headed by the present leadership now who is not just corrupt but dishonest and unfair to all Malaysians. The EC has lost it and we the rakyat knows just too well that this unfair election practices will be continued if not 'enhance' in a more spectacular way for every other by-elections or GE in the future as long as UMNO/BN is in power.

- We DO NOT WANT the likes of Ibrahim Ali, Zulkifli Noordin and their Perkasa cohorts to be scot free in this land of ours. They have never represented Malaysian, whether the old or new Malaysia. They are the barbarians waiting at the gates ready to trampled our country. They and their spiritual advisor Dr. Mahathir are willing to go to any length to destroy this country just so to that their interest are protected and passed only to their next generation. Yes, they are only interested on their interest only. And if Najib can't lift a finger to shut them off then Najib should join them as well when that day of reckoning comes. And Dr. Mahathir, I hope you are still around when we Malaysians crush and defeat you and your racist group whom I suspect are suffering from some sort of inferiority complex since your Malay Dilemma days.

- We also DO NOT WANT any MSM in this country to spew lies and continue to sow hatred among Malaysians. Please stop this immediately as we the rakyat are getting fed up with your cheap and unsubstantiated news to confuse all right thinking Malaysians. We also know that you are losing your market share hence affecting your bottom line the past few years. We will continue to boycott you and we hope that one day all the MSM will change for the better to hear the voice of real Malaysians instead of those Malaysians who walks in the corridors of power and are ever willingly to sell our country to the highest bidder.

- We also DO NOT WANT UMNO/BN to continue ruling our country in such a ridiculous way which would end up Malaysia as the laughing stock of the world. We will if we do not UBAH!

We are almost there, hang in there everyone!

Imagine this, historically our country has been known as Suvarnabhumi (Land of Gold) by the Indian conquerors. Even the Greeks has called this piece of land as the Golden Cherosenes and the Chinese in those days also called it as 'Kin-Lin' which means gold. This land is not merely a land of milk and honey but a land of GOLD! It is a land which would bring prosperity and wellness to all those who live here at whichever time period.

In fact, many past European colonizers were ready to go all out to fight tooth and nail to get a piece of this land which eventually enriched them and their country they came from. Today, those conquerors has been replaced by UMNO and their elites and cronies has started to amass the kind of wealth which most Malaysians could ever dream off.

In addition, we are being fed with crumbs from the powers that be! Yes, it is merely crumbs (sisa-sisa) and what is our rightful has been taken away and given to UMNO cronies. Instead of ‘gold’ UMNO is turning our country into a perpetual junkyard!

Because of this we too need to fight tooth and nail to ensure our country is return to us. We will never give up in this battle against the evil regime until it's brought down to its knees and the rakyat rules again.

No matter how long it takes we will get there. Yup, we are almost there and it's just a matter of time before Change happens. For that, we must Press On!

Silver linings in a GE13 without gold

Posted: 12 May 2013 03:55 AM PDT

Malaysiakini

The dust is beginning to settle one week after the dirtiest election in the country’s history. Some of the dirt will stick, while others will hopefully wash away as the memory of the election fades.

My earlier pieces have focussed on the questions about the electoral process and impact of an Umno 'victory’. Here I turn to the effects of the election on the expansion of democracy in Malaysia.

The message is one of strength, not weakness, or hope, rather than despair.

A strengthened opposition

As the results came in on polling day, despite the irregularities, a new political landscape has been created. Foremost, is that Pakatan is a viable electoral entity. Unlike in 2008 or even in Sarawak 2011, this campaign was a Pakatan opposition campaign. The opposition went into the polls together, rather than meeting for the first time after the results or at the seat negotiation table.

penang black rally post-ge13 record crowd 7On the ground and in the ceramah there was more open cooperation among the three parties. While much more can be done to forge stronger relationships and while ideological differences persist, the common bonds were stronger as Malaysia was given the option to choose a viable national alternative.

The two-coalition option has changed the landscape politically, assuring that alternative views will play a role in setting agendas, shaping policies and representing perspectives in governance ahead.

This opposition is now national in scope – it has a foothold in every state and, importantly, more than one party in Pakatan has representation in every state. This national footprint is unprecedented as Pakatan now has a base to build on.

The majority of seats are at the state level, where the opposition has won 229 seats (95 for DAP, 85 for PAS and 49 for PKR) or 45% of the entire state seats up for grabs. The opposition may only hold on to three state governments – Penang, Kelantan and Selangor, but it has powerful minorities in Terengganu, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Kedah and has sizeable minorities in every state.

The state assembly is an excellent arena to develop experience, groom talent and connect with people. The opposition simultaneously holds on to 40% of the seats in parliament, with many experienced MPs.

Diversity Pakatan's strength

This opposition is more multiethnic and representative, as Pakatan has taken over the inclusiveness banner from the BN. There are more non-Malays represented in Pakatan than the BN, while the majority of representatives in the opposition are Malay, representing the majority population.

NONEUnlike the BN, many of the members in Pakatan are not from the political elite, as they come from more diverse backgrounds while at the same time have stronger professional training than in earlier years. More attention has been spent on selecting better calibre leaders.

The opposition coalition has already apparently been tested, as offers were made at both national and state levels to defect. From calls to the DAP to PAS, and individual offers of funds and positions of power to reps to move across, the immediate impact has been one of Pakatan resilience.

While some of the responses by disgruntled factions such as those in Selangor were unstatesmanlike and not in keeping with what is expected of national leaders, the immediate dynamic has been one of stronger ties. The shadow and shared pain caused by electoral irregularities over the polls, which has affected all the parties, has reinforced these bonds.

In the months ahead, as the opposition parties also head to internal polls this year, strain will inevitably be placed on the opposition coalition with the reality of defections always being present. Time will tell who is really loyal to reform and who are those who are more vested personally in the trappings of power. Strain will come in the form of different ideas and priorities, but time will also tell whether five years of dialogue will overpower the points of dissent.

Learning lessons

The tests for the opposition will be fierce in the months ahead. Most of these will be internally generated. As with Umno’s polls, all the opposition parties face significant challenges internally, accommodating the new representatives, addressing regeneration and resolving factionalism and ideological differences within parties.

NONEThey have to deal with the fact that unlike in 2008 the opposition is not an equal partnership in terms of results. The DAP won the lion’s share of the seats, with PAS suffering the most losses. All three parties gained in popular vote, however, despite the unevenness of the results, and their representation has broadened nationally across parties.

It is no longer fully correct to speak about the parties as representing only one community, as all fielded Malaysians across ethnicities, although the roots of the party identities are still strong and can feed into the differences among and within parties.

Beyond dealing with unevenness of the results the parties also have to address the reality that in some fundamental ways their electoral strategies did not work. The results cannot be completely blamed on the irregularities. The outreach to the Malay lower classes and East Malaysia were not effective, clearly.

The postmortems that will be done will be essential in setting the course for the future, but also affect opposition cooperation. These debates are likely to be played out during party elections. One important dimension will be how much blame will centre on one another.

In this regard there are two important points to share. First, governance issues played a major role in the results. In both Penang and Selangor these state governments gained at the polls, reflecting confidence in performance. The comparatively poorer performance of PAS governed states, especially in Kedah, contributed to the loss of seats.

Kelantan faces the struggle of regeneration and new ideas, and Kedah’s PAS leadership did not inspire confidence, especially among the young in Kedah. It is not a coincidence that PAS lost this government, as it was clearly in the cards well before the results were announced. This is a real challenge for Pakatan ahead, the need to put qualified professionals in leadership positions to govern.

NONEThe challenge is especially pressing for PAS. The time for ustaz-dominant state administrative leadership has passed, and this dynamic is difficult for the old guard in PAS to accept, and this refusal at acceptance lost public support. PAS has to come to terms with the situation that if it wants to govern nationally, it has to field national leaders that are seen as qualified capable national leaders.

The second lesson was one of infighting within the opposition. Factionalism has now become common in all the parties, and this contributed to losses for Pakatan – in Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu and Perak notably.

Umno comparatively was not as affected by division as Pakatan in the final results, perhaps with Selangor the exception. With political expansion comes the challenge of party management, minimisation of rogue factions/inflated egos and improving communications.

Greater reflection on the results, the campaign performance, the manifestos and messaging are part and parcel of any postmortem on an election, but what needs to be appreciated is that lessons have to come from all sides, including the actions of the opposition itself. This is an inherent part of expanding democratic governance.

People’s power

Ultimately, this election was one shaped by the people. Ordinary Malaysians came out in record numbers, guarded the barricades against electoral fraud, watched and reported on the process and stood up to be counted. Their participation was truly extraordinary.

Most voted for change, but many voted for the status quo. In all assessments of the polls, the voices of dissent cannot be dismissed and ignored. They are part of the mosaic that makes up Malaysia, the neighbours, colleagues and friends who are part of the community.

penang black rally post-ge13 record crowd 4Empowerment and activism were centre-stage in this election. The intensity of emotions and scope of involvement was unprecedented, across the political divide. Rather than work through parties and elites, people decided on their own what to do and just did it. Malaysians embraced their roles as citizens this election, voting and participating like never before across the globe.

As such, larger geographic sections of Malaysia have become more politically awakened compared to the past. A new 505 political cohort has been shaped. This election saw a southern awakening, as Johoreans joined political events in unprecedented numbers, including Malays, and it saw an increased awareness of the young in politics.

The gains at the polls for the opposition would not have been possible without multiethnic and youth support. The awakenings have happened in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Penang in 2008, and in the urban areas of Sarawak in 2011. They have happened in the universities and on Facebook.

The gains translated into more seats and popular votes for the opposition and have now done so on repeated occasions, as voters once aware became more committed politically. Political awakenings in Malaysia have been resilient to date. Key will be whether this trend continues, as voters recognise their power as agents of change to affect the outcome at the polls and shape the political discourse.

This was also combined with an increased sense of national identity. Malaysians put Malaysia first in record numbers, and openly condemned racism, intolerance and unfairness. In the wake of the elections, the extraordinary character of Malaysians came through, not just in the messaging, but the acceptance of others and the views of others, even at the height of disappointment.

The black 505 rallies were celebrations of community, not dates for division. While anger persists among many, with many gutted by how the election was conducted, increasingly the focus of the anger is constructively aimed on reform rather than on blaming fellow Malaysians.

This constructiveness was even echoed by some Umno members (although only a handful), despite the vitriol spewed by the mainstream media outlets and by the race blame game of some leaders, and this speaks to the maturity and national character of the majority. The days of racial suspicion are on the decline, as the post-GE13 bonds of the Malaysians family are being forged and strengthened. This is a mark of a new Malaysia on the eve of May 13th.

GE13 a new beginning

Politics in democracies are not just about elections. The contestation over power and engagement over issues does not end at the ballot box. In fact, it just begins.

NONEOne of the most transformative changes nationally has been politics moving outside of the arena of formal politics. More and more Malaysians are involved in political activities outside of political parties, away from elite politics. This election is likely to only deepen this trend, to move people towards where they can see immediate results from engagement.

The impact will be a broadening of political contestation nationally, a strengthening of civil society and even more political empowerment in local communities. The doors of electoral power may appear closed for now, but there are other doors opening. Other electoral doors will open as well in the future.

These activities will only serve to bring more empowered and informed people to the polls in the next electoral contest and for the battles ahead over reform, especially electoral reform. This will only strengthen democratic governance in Malaysia, as more power will be embraced by the people, especially younger Malaysians.

GE13 offers real promise of change, despite the obstacles in the process itself and the reactionary responses. The steps ahead are outreach and understanding, community building and mutual appreciation. The burden rests on all of Malaysia’s leaders to act with statesmanship, to not forget that GE13 was a people’s election and the voice of all the people needs to be respected and engaged.

The election itself may have thwarted a democratic result, but the mobilisation around the polls and lessons in the aftermath show that the pressures and avenues for inclusive democratic governance remain robust.

In political rallies, a younger set reflects Malaysia’s divide

Posted: 12 May 2013 03:50 AM PDT

The Malaysian Insider

rallybatukawan

Dressed in black and her hair flecked with blonde dye, Geetha looked like she was likelier to enjoy her Saturday night at a club rather than a rally.

But she was one of thousands of youths who walked for miles to the Penang state stadium in mainland Batu Kawan last night for the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) rally to protest last weekend's general election results.

The crowd was mainly young and multiracial, some who wore hotpants and some in headscarves, but all were in black and carrying party flags to listen and cheer PR leaders explain their dispute with the results.

 For Geetha, the rally was a chance to return to her Penang home state and go for the rally as she missed the Kelana Jaya stadium rally that drew thousands on a wet Wednesday night.

"I didn't want to miss this, so I made sure I am here," she chatted while walking down the road narrowed by haphazardly parked motorcycles, cars and lorries to the stadium.

She and the thousands at the stadium are the first-time voters who most likely voted for PR rather than the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in the May 5 general elections.

Although BN took back Kedah and its lynchpin Umno gained nine more federal seats to 88 compared to Election 2008, the ruling coalition only took 133 parliamentary seats in Election 2013 against the 140 five years ago.

In elections for 12 state assemblies, BN only took a combined 275 seats in Election 2013, down fro 306 five years ago – reflecting PR's rising popularity especially among the youths, who form a major part of the electorate.

Some 13.3 million voters were eligible to cast their ballots in Election 2013, reflecting a jump of 3.4 million voters from the 2008 general elections. An estimated 40 per cent of the total electorate are below 40, says the Election Commission (EC).

The BN government had been targetting these youths in the run-up to the polls, allocating some RM100 million for its 1M4U campaign to attract youths. It had signed up beauty queens and pop singers as ambassadors and even set up a radio station for them.

Another initiatives included a rebate scheme for smartphones and RM250 cash handouts for those earning below RM3,000 apart from providing almost free motorcycle driving licences to them.

There were also social media campaigns through Facebook, YouTube and Twitter to get the youths to support BN apart from activities organised by component parties and news coverage in the mainstream media.

Most of the crowd at the stadiums in Kelana Jaya and Batu Kawan are within that target market for BN but from their buzzing vuvuzelas and cheers that rocked the stadiums, their hearts and minds lie with PR.

"We need change. It is pure and simple," said Sunny Lim, as he waved a giant PAS flag in the stadium in Batu Kawan.

"We are young, we are colour-blind and we want a good government," he added, joining his friends in a lap around the stadium to cheers from the stands.

He and the others there are BN's challenges in the next five years, to go beyond cosmetic changes and walk the talk in a society that is getting younger and willing to forgo a good night out for political rallies.

 

Watch the rally here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=sGchEx2TxYQ

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