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50 people took part in an illegal rally! March 18, 2008

Posted by Tim in GE12, Malaysia, News.
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I was going to go on a tirade about how a jellyfish has more backbone than all our papers put together, but I’m tired so this will have to do :/.

From NST:

IPOH: Some 50 people took part in an illegal rally at the Ipoh Padang here to show their support for the Sultan of Perak.

They also urged DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang to make an open apology to the Regent, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, instead of merely via a statement on his blog.

OMG 50 people protested! Let’s snap pics of this watershed event!

Of course when thousands gather for Hindraf or tens of thousands for the Han Chiang rally, the whole area is enveloped by a stealth field :/.

On a related note, going to NST’s front page brings me to an ad redirect – one of the first signs of an empty piggy bank.

Doesn’t take a genius to guess why.


UMNO recommends stopping Penang projects March 13, 2008

Posted by Tim in GE12, Malaysia, News.

From NST:

Penang Umno will recommend to the Federal Government to stop all proposed mega projects in the state, include those planned under the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), the second Penang Bridge, the light monorail transit system, the Penang Outer Ring Road, the Penang Sentral and the RapidPenang bus service.
State Umno secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said the previous Gerakan-led state government had worked together with the federal government to bring all sorts of development to Penang.

“Since the people have clearly rejected development and made their choice for a change, we will recommend to the federal government to cancel all such projects. Don’t blame us for this,” he said after a state liaison committee meeting here today. In March 8 polls, Umno only won two parliamentary seats and 12 state seats.

I wonder why Penang UMNO is making so much noise when they weren’t even ruling Penang. Even Koh Tsu Koon was gracious enough to attend Lim’s swearing-in ceremony, which UMNO boycotted. But somehow I don’t think Abdullah would really smite his home state.

51% – and press freedom? March 9, 2008

Posted by Tim in GE12, Malaysia, News.

The Sun has the figures I’ve been hunting for.
Popular Vote Breakdown - 51% BN
Yes, BN won 137 parliament seats to the Opposition’s 82 due to gerrymandering, especially in Sabah and Sarawak (To put it into perspective, you can fit 6 Putrajayas into Teresa Kok’s whopping 36,000 majority in Seputeh). But they only got 51% of the popular vote.

Summary rejection, in other words.

Polytikus also has some extremely good news:

The mainstream press coverage was extremely poor. Defending its political masters to the end but there is no worry. I was told by Chin Huat that Malaysiakini can circumvent the Printing Presses and Publications Act of 1984 and go to print because a state can grant publishing permits. I think we have five states willing to lend us a hand :)

Everyone knows that bloggers and online news sites, especially Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today played a HUGE role in these elections – a reverberating cry throughout the world of how the Internet can overcome a shackled media. MSM (yes you Joceline Tan!), take note – you need to change too, or your days are numbered.

We did it. March 9, 2008

Posted by Tim in GE12, Malaysia, News.
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This is the first time in a long, long while that I have been truly proud of Malaysia.

We showed the mainstream media that we don’t care for propaganda.
We showed MIC, MCA, and Gerakan that we don’t believe in racism.
We showed what we thought of the “threats” of cutting off development – what is BN going to do now, ignore Penang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan and Selangor and focus on Sabah and Sarawak? :).
We showed the government that you cannot write off our protests as “illegal”, our concerns as “emotional”.
We showed the corrupt that we will no longer tolerate their actions.
We showed that different parties can come together and rally support based on ISSUES, not on racism; without abusing government machinery or spending the people’s money or taking full page ads in the paper.

I think Pak Lah, the EC, and the IGP do deserve some credit though. For being (relatively) gracious in defeat instead finding an excuse to declare martial law.

Kudos to Malaysiakini as well for getting the news out blindingly fast, while TV, radio, and MSM websites were busying wondering “How the fuck do we spin this???”

Thanks goes out to Samy Velu too! Couldn’t have done it without you dude.

Do you realize that this is a historial moment? This day will forever be etched in the annals of Malaysia. We are NO MORE under the spectre of May 13, 1969. We have held a (fairly) clean elections and returned a strong opposition without bloodshed. From today, the government can NO LONGER rape the constitution or slice and dice the constituencies as they please. The government WILL have to rethink its arrogant policies – without Sarawak and Sabah, they would be barely holding on to even a simple majority!

I will be so glad to tell my children that I was here when it happened.

I volunteered at Padang Tembak school where the polling for DUN Kebun Bunga ( Jason Ong PKR ) and Parliament Bukit Bendera ( Liew Chin Tong DAP ) was being held. I was supposed to both come in the morning and back in the afternoon for the counting but there was a miscommunication and there wasn’t a slot for me to help count :(. We were able to look at the counting process on the ground floor where they held polling for the elderly though – most of them were 70-80 years old. For that station, DAP creamed BN 126-66; PKR had a 101-83 advantage. We looked at each other and thought aloud “If even the elderly can vote for DAP and PKR, what more the younger people!” And true enough as the results started trickling in, it was good news – DAP in particular was thrashing BN 3xx-1xx in most streams! Word started to spread about the performance in other stations and constituencies as well: “Karpal WON!”… “OH MY GOD Koh Tsu Koon LOST!!”…”Teng Kock Nan lost, no need to worry about the next CM any more!”… and finally “Penang has fallen to the Opposition”.

Celebrations were relatively muted though. Clapping mostly. (Soon to be YB ) Jason Ong looked dead serious – a little shocked even – as he told us not to celebrate. “Don’t go beyond clapping. Don’t give them an excuse to declare martial law”.

Crazy thing was when I finally got back home Internet was down :(. TV was updating soo slowly and Quaintly was teling me how Malaysiakini was breaking the news as only they know how. So it was off to Starbucks for me :). Came back at 1am and yay Internet was back up, so watched TV while surfing for updates (i.e. rabidly refreshing Malaysiakini). Found out that my uncle Michael Teo who was standing in Sibutu lost though. He said he’d being expecting it anyway and just in it “to fight the fight”. We’re proud of him anyway :).

At 3+ a.m. the news finally arrived. We did it. We denied Barisan two-thirds, after decades of lies, corruption, and division. We showed them. We showed the world. We showed ourselves what “people power” means.

This is probably the most memorable day of my life. PKR got it right when they chose their slogan:

It’s a new Dawn for Malaysia.

The EC is rubbish. March 4, 2008

Posted by Tim in GE12, Malaysia, News.

Solid proof now that the EC plays to UMNO’s tune.

He said provisions to the law needed if the ink was to be used still could not affect the constitutional right of a voter to cast his vote, even a person whose fingernail had been marked with indelible ink or one who refuses to have his or her fingernail marked this way.

“From a practical point of view, the issuance of a ballot paper to such a voter would render the EC’s proposal meaningless and will not bring about a positive result, whilst having the potential to create misunderstanding as well as altercations and arguments at polling stations,” he said.

And why the f^&$ didn’t you think of amending the constitution when you before you bought the ink? When we can make frivolous amendments to extend the EC chairman’s tenure by 1 year?

Abdul Rashid said there were also reports made to the police confirming that certain irresponsible quarters had purchased indelible ink from abroad with the intention of creating confusion and suspicion as to the status of voters.

Right, we’ll see mobs of people in front of polling stations waiting to grab you and mark your finger with ink!

The “newpapers” tomorrow will treat this as a non-event when they were praising the virtues of indelible ink before. If I recall, the Star recently had a feature outlining how to apply the ink on a person without a forefinger or without any fingers at all, and NST had an editorial mocking the opposition they would now have no way to call the elections unfair.

The tiny silver lining in all this though is that BN has probably given up all hope of attracting the votes of the urban and educated people. It’s the UMNOputras, racists, clueless – and phantom voters – that they will be going for now. Sadly though, this is enough for them to win.

Malaysiakini is now available without a subscription until March 10th btw.

God, DAP, DONT SCREW THIS UP February 18, 2008

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News.

Fong Po Kuan of DAP [Batu Gajah], the youngest MP, announced her resignation due to internal party issues.

Dammit DAP, get your act together! Now is not the time for drama and internal squabbles.

Elections are here! February 14, 2008

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News, Thoughts.
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Have been planning to blog for some time but things keep popping up. Been telling myself “I’ll go home on time from work today!” for the past 2 weeks but wind up going back late anyway.

I blame this on Edison Chen and his horniness – damn network traffic spikes. Pratically half of all keywords searches going through Nuffnang blogs now seem to be some variant of “edison chen s*x sc*ndal”.

But the just-announced dissolution of Parliament warrants an entry.

– I wonder how long the campaign period will be this time. IIRC, the last elections saw a record-short time of 7 days.

– AB was splashed all over the papers today claiming that he wouldn’t be dissolving Parliament, yet here we are. If he doesn’t take the elections seriously I wonder what he thinks about other things.

– Asia Times has an excellent take on the image campaign that AB has been on (is anyone sick of the newspaper articles blaring “so and so: Up to the PM”?)

Brilliant quote:

And so the excessive use of his portrait would seem almost counterintuitive, even in the runup to general elections, which are expected to be held in March. “For those who feel deprived it would seem to have the opposite of the desired effect: ‘He deprived me and now he’s smiling at me’,” said the president of Transparency International Malaysia, Ramon Navaratnam.

After all, when Dr. M was president did you see posters of him everywhere? Dr. M was a slimeball too, but at least he didn’t need an image campaign, his achievements were clear. AB hasn’t DONE anything, so an image campaign is all he can do.

– The sudden “fund allocations” that go around during election time are really, really insulting to the rakyat. And I don’t mean because they are little more than bribes. You can’t even call them bribes, because this is taxpayer money. OUR own money. Why are you throwing our own money at us? We should be even more pissed off! You insult our intelligence.

It’s even more demeaning when they expect the Chinese to vote for them just because they build Chinese schools. But then again, they’ve been thinking along racial lines for so long. The Deputy Education Minister, an MCA vet who is stepping down, even boasted that his achievement was building more Chinese schools. And we wonder why Malaysia isn’t racially integrated?

– Today’s paper had AB giving HIMSELF a favourable report on his performance since the last GE. No kidding.

– A bit old, but I really had a laugh last week over how the MSM was trying so hard to spin for AB. One day they were saying how much the PM has improved our economy, quoting the Second Finance Minister saying that our GDP increased by 55% (yes, 55%. Don’t waste time trying to find this story in an international paper though):

“If we compare in terms of US dollar, the per capita income has risen by 55% due to the depreciation of the dollar against the ringgit.

“The Barisan Nasional Government is confident that we will get the people’s mandate again based on the improved economic resilience.

Two days later, they ran an article trying to spin how Malaysians only care about the economy, not about govt leadership:

“People are concerned over the rising prices of basic necessities and the high cost of living, especially with the looming global oil prices.

Comedy gold. ( I must take this opportunity to state that I don’t actually buy The Star, I get it from my mom’s office ).

Misc Stuff:

– If you haven’t heard yet, the Sun is being bought out. An obvious ploy to snuff out the only paper where the journalists haven’t prostituted themselves to the govt. If you haven’t taken out a Malaysiakini sub yet, you’re an idiot. Freedom of speech under Pak Lah my ass.

– Almost all my old schoolmates aren’t registered voters. Good at complaining though.

– A little bird told me that the PFS Board of Governors is suing the current HM of PFS.

2.30 am already! This is why I don’t blog as often, Malaysia is just full of so much crap. Ta.

Deathtraps on the Road January 28, 2008

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News.

Sickening, really.

Just 5 months ago 20 people died in a bus crash at Bukit Gantang. The driver (who at least died in the accident) was later found to have had 13 outstanding traffic summons. There was talk about demerit points and discussion over how it happened. There were also a series of other accidents; in one of them the bus involved was found to have 94 summonses since 1999.

On Friday history repeats itself – you have probably read about the poor young people who died, and the bastard who was behind the wheel also had 13 outstanding summons. According to survivor accounts compiled by Jolene he was speeding and sms-ing behind the wheel, at night time, and under heavy rain to boot! Too bad he only got off with a broken leg.

It also hits much closer to home this time (I only touched on it lightly in August) since my cousin was seriously injured in the accident. She was travelling to KL with her father. Thank goodness she’s out of danger.

Some people are getting together to petition for action – real action, not just election talk or passing the buck – to be taken. I’ve travelled enough by bus to know that it’s not just this company or that company at fault; it is nearly the entire coach network in Malaysia.

Please post this on your blog now to help: Chung Lern and Nian Ning’s families would like all families and friends of the victims, dead or alive, in the Slim River Bus Crash to come forward and join them in taking action against the bus company. Stand up to seek justice for these three innocent individuals, who were all so young and full of life.If you have a blog, please call out to ANYONE who knows someone who survived or did not survive the crash to come forward to join the Lee family.
Make a huge difference, make a huge fuss.The next time, it could be you or me.

Indians = barbers, says Radzi January 18, 2008

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News.
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Yesterday’s Star had a gem in page 3 that I haven’t seen anyone in the blogosphere mention.

Titled “New insurance for maids“, it goes on with this tidbit:

[Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad] said the groundwork on the terms and conditions of the insurance scheme was ready and that all questions would be answered during the launch of the scheme.

The ministry will also propose to the Cabinet the segregation of foreign workers according to nationality and sector, as a way of reducing the number of foreign workers in the country, said Radzi.

He said certain sectors would also be reserved for Malaysians, adding that the proposal would be submitted in two weeks’ time.

For example, if we stipulate that barbers should be from India only, then other nationalities will not be permitted to work as barbers,” he said, adding that the Cabinet would make the final decision.

Foreign workers in Malaysia, numbering nearly two million, come from 12 countries, he said.

More ingenuity from our ministers! All Indians must be barbers, all Bangladeshis must be construction workers, all Chinese must be nightclub “entertainers”.

Doesn’t it sound awfully familiar with the “Indians=rubber tappers, Chinese=businessmen, Malays=officials” segregation by the British? It’s sad to see that racism and prejudice is so ingrained in the minds of our ministers.

Let’s hope that other countries don’t follow their brilliant approach to managing foreigners; at this point I really don’t want to know what Malaysians would be labelled as.

OMG SECKS January 3, 2008

Posted by Tim in Malaysia, News, Thoughts.

What I realize from the Chua Soi Lek scandal is how immature Malaysians are when it comes to sex. He hit the nail on the head when he commented that Malaysians “have a holier-than-thou attitude“; the same attitude that sells those Malay tabloids you see on newsstands which are filled with nothing more than sex scandals and celebrity gossip.

At the end of the day we elect ministers to do their jobs and to serve the rakyat. I’m not exactly the most ardent MCA supporter, but from most accounts he has done his job and done it well. His extra-marital activities don’t affect any of us; only his family, who have accepted his apology. Judging from an accompanying insert in the Star, our so-called “Asian values” don’t include forgiveness.

Ironic, isn’t it? Within days of it being highlighted in the papers, he steps up to clearly admit and take all responsibility, and resigns. 20+ years of public service down the drain. He even states that there is unimportant who took the video clip (but come on lah, this is Malaysia). Meanwhile, issues like the judiciary scandal, the AP scandal, Hindraf, and the myriad cases of public fund mismanagement – all of which affect the rakyat in major ways see people falling over themselves to blame someone else and no one getting the boot.

On a lighter note, four cameras? You have to admit that his enemies are thorough. And isn’t the Star’s front page today misleading?