January 28, 2009
Today, Kugan was honorably buried at the Hindu Cemetary at Kg Baru Batu 14, Puchong. The public statements by those present were clearly made against alleged police brutality.
The opposition obviously were present but interestingly the MIC were inconspicuously missing or annonymously present. Either way, the MIC will be between the rock and the deep blue sea. If they were present, they can be construed as acting against the BN Government standing with the Opposition parties. If they were not present, they will be construed as not a power concerned for the Indian community.
The Muslim NGO, Pewaris, appealed to MIC President to urge the Indian community not to get involved in any protest demonstrations during the funeral of Kugan. Two deputy ministers were chided by Syed Hamid Albar. Samy Vellu reiterated support to these deputy ministers for legal defense if needed.
Kugan was arrested on Jan 15 in suspicion for luxury car theft. He died on Jan 20 while in custody at the Taipan Police Station (read here).
With all these as background, did we suddenly become ignorant of the real issues?
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January 19, 2009
Gerakan’s Koh Tsu Koon (KTK) finally broke his silence in the media when he commented this:
“We must focus on re-building unity among the races, reducing the people’s economic burden and re-assuring them of our deep commitment to ensuring fairness and justice for all.” (read here).
Is there disunity among the races? Who has been sowing discord amongst the races? Why even distinguish by races?
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January 18, 2009
As the dust settles, there’s a lot of soul searching and possibly blaming that is going on amongst the BN and Umno leadership. At the same time, PAS and other Pakatan Rakyat parties are on a celebratory mood going into a summit. Not forgetting the bloggers and other non-political personalities.
We shall be reading a lot of commentaries from various political analysts both at home and abroad and we can be sure they are all in general consensus of why this has happened.
It doesn’t take an expert to tell what really happened. The signal was clear from last year’s General Election as well as the Pematang Pauh by-election. But what did the ruling front do about this? Blame Pak Lah and force him out of office. Now with this loss, who else is to be blamed. Tun M still insists the blame to be on Pak Lah.
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January 17, 2009
Today is KT voting day and many have come out to vote since 8:00 am. By mid-day today, it was reported that 42% has already voted and the EC expects a very high turnout for this affair. After 12 days of campaigning, the voters decide at the ballot boxes. Let’s see what happens through this day with regular updates.
1:19 pm – Report that 42% already casted their votes (read here)
5:46 pm – Seems total voter turnout may not exceed 80% and less than last March
9:30 pm – Results announced – PAS wins!
Najib is probably looking at a definite win here to demonstrate the acceptance of his abilities to be the next Umno President and eventually the PM. The Umno and BN machinery worked overtime and pulling out all stops to ensure a clear win. Pak Lah pushed the campaign for what may possibly be his last as PM.
The opposition has put up a tremendous campaign which pales against the might of Umno and BN but the effectiveness and acceptance by the various communities along the way have been very positive. PAS, PKR and DAP moved all their might here as in Pematang Pauh with the online bloggers support and a surprising supporter in Zaid. They are pushing for a definite win to show that the people’s desire for a change is continuing even in KT.
Now, the day of reckoning arrives and the effects of KT will soon be known and felt across the country.
Now the results…
More on how it turned out.
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January 16, 2009
We have been talking about how bad the economic situation is turning out till this has become stale. We all know it and feel it but the BN Government is adamant that we will be riding this out and we are OK.
Citicorp was the first to predict Malaysia’s GDP in 2009 will be 0.5% with a possibility of going into a technical recession even in this quarter (read here).
MIER predicts Malaysia’s GDP in 2009 to be either 3.5% or down to 1.3% with a possibility of going into a technical recession in the first half of 2009 (read here).
The Economist Intelligence Unit Country Report puts Malaysia’s 2009 GDP at 1.5% behind Indonesia, Vietnam and Thailand (read here).
However, the EPU, Nor Mohamed Yakcop and Muhyiddin boldly defend the Government and believe we can defy the odds. They believe with the initial economic stimulus of RM7B followed by another future RM7B the country can prop up the 2009 GDP to the 3.5% level.
Totally surprising was Razaleigh a.k.a. Kuli coming out with a sterling lunch lecture lambasting the state of economic affairs in Malaysia and that “we need a set of bold projects with an economic story behind it that will help Malaysia make the developmental leap we have been missing” (read here).
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January 15, 2009
To many people, the KT by-election may have little impact on the overall political scenario of Malaysia. After all, 1 more seat to Pakatan Rakyat will not topple the BN Government. And if BN wins this seat, it may not do much to prove that the so-called “Change” trend is stopping.
There are those that say that this is a proxy war between Najib and Anwar. As for Pak Lah, he’s supposedly leaving anyway and whatever he leaves behind will become Najib’s baby, for better or worse. This is at best the most impactful opinion.
But when you see the 8,000 strong police force in KT and first time in the history of any by-election and first time ever in KT, there must be something else brewing. It is very expensive to post such a large contingent of personnel to this quiet city and to monitor an event which the Election Commission proclaimed as the least problem too.
Why are there so many police personnel in KT to begin with?
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January 10, 2009
When this was reported in the media yesterday, can you imagine what the parents of schoolchildren will be thinking? Since when is the Minister of Education involved in mobilization for any protests, war or otherwise? Did the Ministry bothered to ask the parents who ultimately are responsible for these kids if this can be done?
First, read the article right here. Then our comments.
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January 7, 2009
January 5 was nomination day and we now have 3 candidates – Umno, PAS and Independent. What seems to be interesting is the way reporting was done to estimate the number of supporters from each camp.
The Star and even The Malaysian Insider quoted a police spokesperson who said that the police estimated about 30,000 BN supporters and 15,000 PAS supporters. Strangely, their reporters were there to cover the story and yet they never quoted their first hand coverage. Is there an intent to skew and mislead their readers on the facts of the matter?
Evidently, photos don’t lie, or do they? Certainly, although a picture paints a thousand words, it can be made to say anything you want. For now, we shall leave the judgment to you to conclude from the photos taken at KT during the nomination period courtesy of Haris Ibrahim and Bernard Khoo.
Pakatan Rakyat Supporters for PAS Candidate
Barisan Nasional's Supporters for Umno Candidate
P/S Do not be fooled for a even a minute that such photos say that PAS will win. This merely shows a formidable support for the Opposition very similar to the Pematang Pauh nomination day scenario. And that’s all to it! Campaigning has just begun.
January 6, 2009
Today, we read in The Malaysian Insider that the Pakatan Rakyat has called on Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to convene an emergency sitting of the Dewan Rakyat to discuss Israel’s unlawful invasion of Palestine (read here).
By looking at the very potent attacks of Israel, Palestinian officials have put casualty rates at 500+, so reports CNN tonight. Possibly inflated to obtain world sympathy, this is a very serious loss of life still.
An excellent article by Michael Lerner (read here) gives an insightful and balanced understanding and the rabbi expresses his sadness to the loss of life both sides of the divide.
Although we only see widespread rallies in condemnation against Israel’s bombing and now ground attack of the Gaza strip against Hamas, we have never seen any whimper of opposition when Hamas broke the ceasefire and launched rocket attacks at Israel’s populated areas in early December. Perhaps the world never knew that Hamas has been attacking Israel for many weeks prior to this.
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January 5, 2009
January 17 is the next important date for Malaysians. The Kuala Trengganu (KT) by-election has turned out to be another mother of by-elections so to speak. The Parliamentary seat is now up for grabs and PAS has Abdul Wahid Endut against Umno’s Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.
However, in light of the bigger picture, it is Pakatan Rakyat‘s advisor Anwar Ibrahim verses Barisan Nasional‘s Deputy President and Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. This is a classic clash of the giants and much is at stake. It is a Parliamentary seat as well as a moral victory for whichever party that wins it. It may herald a new watershed of events and become a growing force of disenchantment against the Government or it can become a major stumbling block to a vision of replacing the Government.
Either way, this by-election has all the makings of a historic event.
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