Archive for June, 2011

June 5, 2011

Panic Attack on PAS


Quite unexpectedly, we are seeing the first reactions on the just ended PAS 57th General Assembly coming from Umno.

Perkasa, Utusan Malaysia and Umno have all come out to provide their negative commentaries on the party elections. This is most unbecoming of politicians and political tools and PAS meeting had nothing to do with them in the first place. Utusan interfered by spreading propaganda to promote the ulama against the professionals but the voice of PAS grass roots have spoken out clearly in the elections.

Perkasa’s Ibrahim Ali was first out of the block on a nonsensical charge that the elected leaders represents Anwar’s voice (read here). His standard wild claims that Hadi Awang and Nik Aziz will continue to support Anwar belittles these top PAS leaders who are mighty in their own right and that Ibrahim Ali rode on a PAS ticket to win the GE12 seat adds salt to the wounds. Ibrahim Ali shows total disrespect for PAS.

Then the Perkasa Secretary General Syed Hassan tries to belittle the newly elected Deputy PAS President Mat Sabu as not finishing his ITM studies and not having any Islamic qualifications. What the PAS grass roots voted is none of his business unless he too stood for elections. The criteria to be voted was to stand for election.

Perhaps it was in reaction to PAS Secretary General Mustafa Ali who led the snub on Perkasa (read here) and outright rejecting the organization’s “ketuanan Melayu” stance and Perkasa felt the PAS rejection very strongly.

Utusan Malaysia today said that Hadi Awang and Tok Guru Nik Aziz have stopped the rise of the ulamas and allowed the professionals to take lead (read here). It appeared that the PAS ulamas were open to unity talks with Umno and now the election results have shut the door on them, thus, placing the balme squarely on the PAS top leadership. What has PAS to do with Umno and Utusan Malaysia? Only their ulterior motives may have been realised by PAS it seems and so this unusual reaction. And the only reason for this is that the top leadership is against all that Umno stands for.

Next is Mukhriz who complained that PAS is giving up on the Islamic State idealism to a Welfare State pragmatism. Although modeled after Islamic thinking, this stance will allow PAS and DAP to further strengthen their cooperation and that Umno will not obviously approve. He contends ludicrously that PKR and DAP have somehow influenced the grass roots votes (read here). One thing for sure, there is no money politics in PAS and that statement Mukhriz made is a wild reaction having nothing better to say.

Then comes Muhyiddin. He claims that PAS has strayed from Islam because of politics (read here). So strange after Hadi Awang drove home so vividly his disenchantment of Umno in straying from Islam too. And Hadi Awang minced no word to attack the corruption, cronyism, and all kinds of claims that Umno has failed.

All in all, Umno and related political tools have attempted to smear the PAS results and newly elected leaders because they know this PAS leadership will no longer be open to Umno’s overtures any longer.

That means the political expedience of using PAS to gain all Malay votes no longer works. Umno has to go back to the drawing board and seek real strategies with meaningful impact on voters rather than a pure political ploy of convenience to garner votes.

As PAS continues to grow its influence on rural communities, they have opened up more maturely and progressively to address issues across all communities. This will definitely increase its appeal to all Malaysians.

PAS is now considering fielding non-Muslims in the coming GE13 (read here) and DAP will continue to field non-Chinese candidates. The success of these two parties will increase Pakatan Rakyat’s chances and diminish the reliance on wobbly PKR and Anwar Ibrahim in the event he is incarcerated yet again later this month.

The panic statements are reactions to a more mature, forward thinking, pan-Malaysian focus, professional outlook and Islamic based party – the “new” PAS, that Umno is frightful of now.

There is a very real alternative to Umno in today’s PAS.

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June 4, 2011

PAS New Dawn


A new dawn emerges in PAS. Hadi Awang remains as President. Tok Guru remains as the spiritual advisor.

The new changes appear in Mat Sabu as Deputy President and Husam Musa as the new Vice President of three such posts who are now all professionals but grown up with ulamas (the other VPs are Mahfuz and Salahuddin).

These changes now gives PAS a good professional balance to their brand of ulama politics that the Malaysians can more appreciate in PAS.

The messages that Hadi Awang clearly articulated to put Umno in their place that PAS will not turn their backs on the Pakatan alliance. He had said many things about Umno and what they did that PAS will not support and the answer for Malaysia is PAS in Pakatan. PAS is clearly rejecting the Umno overtures and considers them as detrimental to PAS.

    “UMNO as a Malay-bumiputera majority party was entrusted with leadership but the wealth of the nation has been turned into the private property of its leaders, while the ordinary people struggle to make ends meet,” Hadi told the assembly.

    “Umno has created a flock of Malays and Muslims who are blind and deaf to money politics, with entertainment and media used to turn Malays and Muslims stupid.” (Read here)

With the new professional blood in the top leadership in PAS, we shall see how they continue a progressive path for all Malaysians while applying their religious leanings.

Umno’s overtures to PAS is purely for political expedience and appears that the PAS wisdom won the day.

    Hadi also lambasted UMNO, the dominant BN partner, for “disgusting acts like corruption, money politics, slander, racism, lies and all manner of things which embarrass even our children who are watching us”. (Read here)

There is a difference of extremes in the PAS 57th Annual Assembly compared to Umno’s General Assembly. It clearly shows the maturity of the PAS candidates in the 21st century Malaysia for sure.

PAS is attempting to address the pan-Malaysian issues genuinely while Umno is staying on the racial politics to drum a possible dwindling support.

    “We need to realise that a plural or majmuk society is part of Islam’s political message. It is compulsory for us to spread the message of no compulsion in religion, and that Islam is fair for all so that non-Muslims can see how Islam should be practiced, and Islam’s image which has been tainted by Umno’s antics can be redeemed,” said Hadi. (Read here)

PAS is definitely emerging as a more tolerant Islamic political party than Umno can ever be. PAS is honest about their aspirations to institute an Islamic State but also knows full well they can’t as long as they don’t command majority votes. Nevertheless, they are honest about it and nobody can say they have a hidden agenda.

Interestingly, Hadi Awang never once mentioned the Islamic State but gave allusions to an Islamic welfare state to take care of the poor and needy as opposed to corruption squandering the money.

So, all three major parties in Pakatan Rakyat may have some conflicting aspirations but they managed to set aside those differences without any single party overwhelming the others unlike BN where Umno’s agenda dominates. That’s the maturity of Pakatan Rakyat.

Certainly, no single political party is perfect. Not PAS, and certainly not Umno. In the public perception. PAS emerges as more tolerant, mature and most understanding of the plight of all Malaysians. They have moved on from a pure ulama culture to a more moderate and progressive front with the inclusion of professional minds.

Will this new dawn in PAS bring strength to Pakatan Rakyat to gain more support from Malaysian voters both urban and rural? We now have deep and renewed strength in PAS and DAP with a “growing up still” PKR who is the glue.

In the coming days, we may see the incarceration of Anwar Ibrahim in the Sodomy 2 trial. This is the way to break the Pakatan Rakyat teaming arrangement. The popular thinking is that without Anwar, there is no Pakatan Rakyat.

The possible way forward is for the new PAS to strengthen their ties with DAP. That will checkmate Umno and BN for the coming GE13 which may happen as soon as end-June or July this year.

Will the new dawn in PAS bring about a renewed strength of Pakatan Rakyat and new confidence by Malaysian voters in PAS?

June 3, 2011

Hard Times Now in Malaysia


No one can deny that hard times are upon us in Malaysia.

The uncertainty of a General Election has caused reluctance of FDI into the country.

The removal of subsidies of diesel for commercial vehicles and boats of fishermen and the price increase of sugar and electricity recently have started a chain of inflationary events.

    UPDATED June 6: Lorry operators will be increasing their rates by 20% to 30%. Fishermen will either increase significantly the price of their catch while they contemplate a stop fishing action protest. (Read here)

The Government wants us to believe the negligible impact they feel the economy will have. That’s plain baloney propaganda.

Consumer inflation has started to rise again. The actual impact is still not known as the costs increase are passed down to the end consumer.

Food and drinks and other consumer goods will go up further. Our disposable income has just been shrunk yet again.

Brace ourselves for a Ron 95 petrol and LPG price increase to happen very soon. That will trigger an unbelievable effect to diminish the Malaysian’s income to the maximum.

This will happen after the GE13 for sure as it is a certainty given the rise in global crude oil prices. The BN Government is playing for time but it is better sooner than later to recoup from subsidy cut.

Right after this will be GST that will haunt all Malaysians. This is aimed to increase tax revenue and collect it faster so that the Government has disposable income as opposed to the current stream of future collections.

While we don’t know of any other Government actions to curb excesses, leaks, corruption, etc and recover the unneeded IPP subsidies first, we the Rakyat will bear the biggest brunt of inflation running beyond our spending means.

This is a very sad picture painted. We urge for a change in Government spending, cut all possible excesses, recover all unfair subsidies and payments NOW!

It is not needed to turn Malaysia into a welfare state but a strong competitive and intelligent challenge on the global scene.

Use the people’s money wisely for once and help us earn more!

June 1, 2011

Electricity Rates Up, Inflation Up


Today, Malaysians will have to pay more for electricity but the Govenment says that 75% of households are not affected and inflation is negligible.

The truth of the matter is that inflation will NOT be negligible and the rates up will affect all Malaysians indirectly. Businesses will have to pay and the costs will be passed down to us!

This article in Malaysia Chronicle (read here) is very enlightening and everyone concerned about inflation and corruption should read.

The excerpt as follows:

Electricity has just gone up by an average of 7.1% for household consumers. For business it is an average 8.3% hike. However if you use less than 300 kilowatts which would work out to a RM77 monthly bill, you will not be affected.

Which means 75% of household users will not get a higher electricity bill. If you fall into that category, and think this is good news, you would be very wrong. When costs go up for businesses, the cost of their products go up. You will be paying for the business tariff hike. All your essential supplies, and all non-essentials are going to cost more. Nobody is spared.

And the reason you are paying more for electricity has nothing to do with any global event, as the BN would like you to believe. The reason you are going to have less money in your pocket is the incompetence, inefficiency and corruption of the Barisan Nasional government.

…..

TNB had a profit of RM4.1 billion on revenues of RM32 billion in 2010. This is not enough? They still need to raise the electricity tariffs? Why further burden a nation that is already reeling from rising prices. Che Khalib, their CEO, had a big smile on in today’s newspapers. He will get a bigger bonus this year. You will get a higher electricity bill and will pay more for everything else. You will suffer, Che Khalib and his bosses will celebrate. That’s life under the BN’s incompetent, corrupt thumb.

As what can only be considered a joke, TNB’s theme for their 2010 annual report was “Powering A Sustainable Future”! In it, they claim to be committed to ensuring transparency in all they do. In which case, they should immediately make public the IPP contracts. But they will not, because it is clearly a dirty secret. A secret so ugly perhaps, that it alone could cost BN the election. No transparency here, just false slogans. Peter Chin, under whose Ministry TNB is parked, claims that he cannot release the IPP contracts because it is between two private entities. But TNB is not a private entity, it is mostly government-owned. And the subsidies given to the IPPs are not private monies, they are public funds!

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