Posts tagged ‘election’

June 19, 2013

No Contest in Umno Election Contest


It is certainly interesting to watch the public calls for no contest to Umno’s top two posts – President and Deputy President. Tun Mahathir made the most bewildering comment where he supported no contest for these two posts. But it was his reasoning that was bewildering.

“Going by the democratic practice, we should have contests but Malaysians do not really understand the practice. If they lose, they will quit the party and set up another, causing the Malays and Umno to split further.

“In this connection, I support contests, but not for the two top posts of president and deputy president.” (read here).

When Tun M referred to “Malaysians do not really understand the practice”, he really meant the Umno Malays since the context of his comments was on Umno election, not on the Malaysia General Election. His description of the following statement about quitting the party is probably the allusion to Tengku Razaleigh during the 1987 Umno election but it is not accurate as he did not quit the party because of losing. It was Umno which was deregistered and subsequently to that, Tun M registered Umno Baru and removed all of Razaleigh’s supports from the Cabinet, thus forcing him to form Semangat 46 in 1988 after an earlier rejection of the name Umno 46. It was Tun M’s vindictive actions to penalize Razaleigh and his supporters that caused the split. The then Umno President took immediate actions to prevent a repeat of a close contest to his top post.

This is probably a case of selective memory to build a supporting reason for Tun M’s comments to support a no contest for the top two Umno posts. Quite typical of Tun M’s style for speaking off the cuff and justifying what he says based on his own version of events.

PM Najib touted that Malaysia had the “best democracy” in the world. That is really a joke looking at now with the mooting of no contest for his Umno post. How is it that Malaysians can accept democracy in the country but Umno as a party cannot? Why is it that Najib can seek a mandate with Malaysians but cannot do the same within his own party?

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October 2, 2012

Malaysian Assessment: A Budget 2013 Critique


PM Najib presented his 2013 Budget last Friday. As widely expected, it was a so-called people centric budget filled with one-off handouts to practically all voter groups in anticipation of an imminent General Election. Najib is still waiting for what many people say is a pivotal electoral feel good spirit to spur his election fortunes and this budget is his last shot to attain this feel.

Also as expected, BN leadership comments will show unequivocal support and the opposition Pakatan Rakyat will be on the other end of the spectrum. Certainly, there are the independent commentators who try to steer the middle ground.

Let us put forth our views from a totally fresh viewpoint and you can weigh them out for yourselves.

1. Everybody Gets Some Money

Yes, everybody gets some.

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April 26, 2012

Make a date, Malaysia – It’s 428


It is 2 days before 428 (April 28). Saturday is the date for Bersih 3.0 themed “Duduk Bantah” at Dataran Merdeka at 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

The Home Minister Hishamuddin has underscored that they have learnt not to repeat the past reactions towards Bersih and that Bersih 3.0 is of no threat to the country. In fact, he proudly declared that it will have no traction with the people. A high court judge has asked of Hishamuddin regarding his change of stance towards Bersih that he “banned” Bersih 2.0 but “permitted” Bersih 3.0. He might just witness a milestone event beyond his imagination totally contrary to his wish.

Strangely, the Police has rejected the application by Bersih 3.0 to hold the rally and KL Mayor Ahmad Fuad Ismail has had a confrontation with the organizers of Bersih in a meeting recently. He held a press conference and positioned himself as the saint that if any chaos happen, it will be blamed on Bersih. What a nerve he has to forget that he is a civil servant and that means a servant of the people who pays his salary. It is very sad that Malaysian leaders have long forgotten the service to the people and have fallen in line with service to the political party. Dataran Merdeka belongs to the people. What would Tunku Abdul Rahman say in back in 1957 if we had a KL Mayor like Ahmad Fuad.

To date, besides Kuala Lumpur, there are 71 other sites around Malaysia and around the world that will hold Bersih 3.0 rallies. Well, 72 if you count Mount Everest as a location (in Nepal) (read here). This will break new ground of global Bersih coverage by Malaysians around the world and judging by what happened in Bersih 2.0, we will find friends of Malaysians joining in as well to stand with all of us in solidarity.

Why is this happening?

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July 26, 2011

Biometric Verification for Voters: The Reality


The biometric system that the Election Commission proposes to use in the next general election is foolproof, said the National Registration Department.

The department, the custodian of the data of about 27 million people, including 12million registered voters, also said it had other details of every Malaysian, including their family trees and thumbprints, in its database.

“This cannot be altered,” department director-general Datin Jariah Mohd Said told the New Straits Times last week.

She refuted allegations that the department would be used to tamper with the data of Malaysians to give the ruling party an edge during the polls.

The department stores and updates the profiles of citizens from the time of their birth, that is, when birth certificates are issued.

It updates the data when citizens apply for identity cards at the age of 12.

These forensic evidence, documents and history could not be forged, she said.

(Read here)

It does sound quite convincing that biometric verification can be used in the next election.

But the truth is at best partial. The EC voter verification system is NOT foolproof unless it is properly planned, designed and audited to have the response time and security required.

Here are some serious flaws in using biometric technology for elections in Malaysia.

1. Database is Accurate
It is as accurate as the audit done on the entire capture to archive process. Is there both an internal and external audit done? We may never know. We just have to assume that it is done right and publicly declared by recognised auditors.

2. Not Designed for Huge Amount of Access at the Same Time
The NRD system was designed solely for NRD internal use. The network, security and database will not be able to cope with the load to verify electoral voters. If you had recently gone to get a new IC, you will instantly be able to tell that the internal use is already giving slow response times. What more when the queries come from all over the country at the same time every second continuously. There are 12 million voters in 2008 with an expected increase for the next GE. Traffic is dependent on voter turnout and all expectations will see a high percentage, if not higher than GE12 in 2008.

3. Malaysia is a Developing Country with a large part Under Developed
We only look at major cities like Kuala Lumpur whenever we think of Malaysia. But there are many locations where voting centers are found have poor mobile network coverage especially GPRS/EDGE which such biometric verification requires. Any infrastructure which is on a best effort basis cannot be relied to give voter confidence. What happens when the network is down? What happens when there is power failure and device can’t be charged? What happens when the chip reader is faulty and doesn’t work? What happens when the buttons don’t work? What happens if … there are many instances when high tech devices won’t work as they are not properly taken care of.

4. Hand Held Reader Microcode Can Be Customised
There will be a need for a large order for hand held scanners. In the 2008 General Election, there were a total of 7,950 voting centers with 21,822 voting stations nationwide. There is a need for EC/NRD (needs to be sorted out for security reasons) to custom order at least 21,822 units for primary use and 16,000 units for emergency use.

Who will audit these units that it works properly and not programmed for additional vote rigging purpose? This is one major area of fraud exposure. It is not in the NRD audit control. Who then shall provide a reasonable level of trust for these devices?

An example is that if details on a MyKad is different from the NRD database, the device can still return an appearance of a match.

Another challenge is a malfunction of the device. A manual backup system is needed and clear policies as which system will be the authoritative one. The EC must think and work this out very soon and not just make rhetorics about biometric systems.

5. Malaysia is not yet ready for Biometric for Voter Verification
We have yet to see a Government system working properly, fast and reliable for usage that is unplanned and not designed for. Even in standard use they are not designed for heavy loads. What more with so little time to plan and test for such an important event that needs infrastructure and security fully tested and audited? IT projects of such importance must be procured and implemented with proper design and planning. Not a rush job.

For now, there will be a general lack of confidence all round on EC’s proposed use of biometric verification. Not until biometric technology has affected many more areas of Malaysian life to be well tested and trusted.

That’s why Bersih’s demand for use of indellible ink is more practical and failsafe. No worries for technology failure.

May 12, 2011

Another Soi Lek Rant


MCA President Chua Soi Lek has a knack to say the darnest thing. Today, it was reported that he accused the DAP of fostering a 2-race political system instead of a 2-party political system.

Read the report here.

His trend of thought appears totally skewed and off tangent. Nobody saw that coming and is totally illogical.

Why is it that he must see things from a race viewpoint? He seems to feel that as an extrapolation of the recent Sarawak election results that the Chinese community is voting DAP and abandoned MCA but strangely MCA never stood for election at that time. How can this conclusion be made?

Why does he make such sweeping statements that ignore all non-Chinese voters who voted DAP and Pakatan Rakyat for that matter?

Did he not realise that Chinese also voted BN too or now that they are considered non-Chinese all of a sudden?

Soi Lek’s Strawman
Soi Lek loves to create the impression he is tackling a major issue where it is totally non-existent. It exists only in his skewed mind.

General sweeping statements are intended to cause friction and does not help in nation building.

If he thinks stirring this angle helps Malaysians vote MCA, then he must have his head in the sand. Look at all the Malaysians of all ethnic communities who voted MCA and BN. Why must it be Chinese vs Malay? This is very mischievious indeed.

His strawman that he is beating serves no benefit to the country and talking out loud of a myth doesn’t make it true.

His statements in this case belittles all Malaysian voters. There are no constituencies with only Chinese voters voting DAP. It just simply doesn’t exist but perhaps it can create a sensational topic for this MCA President.

Focus on Country Building Ideas to Swing Votes
Instead, Soi Lek should put his thinking cap on to tell Malaysians why they should vote MCA and BN.

It should be for the reasons they are more superior in ideas and execution to bring about dramatic growth and prosper all Malaysians.

It should be for the reasons that uphold justice and eradicate poverty and corruption.

Unfortunately, MCA has fallen prey to staging strawman arguments that drives voters away instead.

Bankrupt of Ideas?
MCA had lots of brilliant people or was that in the past such that they resort to racial slants?

Soi Lek should get himself a bunch of economic advisors who can prop him up as a country growth champion instead of saying such wild rantings and ravings.

MCA should look at how to help all Malaysians prosper instead of blaming one section of Malaysians for their failings.

He is much ado about nothing really!

April 18, 2011

Sarawak Election – Who Really Won and Lost?


The Sarawak Election is over and the people has spoken. They brought BN and Taib back to power.

Obviously, BN won with 55 seats but lost 8% of the popular votes at 55.24% (unofficially).

Taib, PBB

Then it is also obvious that Taib won and he was promptly sworn in as the CM. He was slated to win anyways because PBB won all 35 seats, one short of a simple majority. Taib is not CM for 30 years by fluke. He also won his right to dictate to BM and specifically Umno of his power endorsed and over Najib’s intrusion during the end of the campaign.

There was never a moment that Taib would have lost except for wild speculations and Najib’s paranoia for not understanding Sarawak. Najib’s advisors should all be sacked for underestimating the old fox and usurping his power but Taib won hands down.

DAP

It is a resounding acceptance by the Sarawakians, not just the Chinese but Dayak and Iban communities that came thronging in support and gave it overwhelmingly. Winning 12 out of 15 seats contested is excellent and PKR, PAS, SUPP, and SNAP must learn from DAP and PBB.

Go for what you seriously can win. Not for wishful thinking like SNAP and PKR. Even PAS knew they didn’t stand a chance but going for 5 seats shows they were testing the water still. But PKR going for 49 seats and ended up losing 46 (regardless of reasons which might be true). PKR had no clue going into the Sarawak Election and the results showed.

DAP was preparing for close to a year. PKR was still bickering over seats with SNAP. And there’s nothing more needed to be said about SNAP now with such dismal results losing all 26 seats contested, including the one they won in 2006.

Najib

Although Najib and the rest of the Ministers would like to claim glory for the BN win, it will be too short sighted for them not to realize that their contribution almost helped the opposition win. The Taib factor was the platform for the opposition but was also the reason BN still won in all the heartlands of rural Sarawak. Taib knows best. That’s why he’s been CM for so long and with this results, no one can deny Taib, not even Najib.

But Najib did win for trying hard. And he did so at his own peril of upsetting Taib. Now, Najib will try to force Taib to step down and Taib’s message will be bugger off!

PKR

Not enough can be said but they don’t seem to learn. No proper preparation ahead of time, going into battle without strategy but piggyback on DAP. Going for way too many seats without having the right resources.

They underestimated the logistics and terrain of the constituencies they contested. There was no cohesive ground strategy except to push with ceramahs. Rural folks in the heartland needs handouts, not words, as they are already in hardship. Not able to communicate to them how PKR can change that if they voted PKR has been the biggest challenge.

PBB is there for way longer and knows the culture and terrain very well. What made PKR think by popping in during election that the people’s minds can be swayed? As we can now see, PBB won all their seats.

PKR’s Azmin Ali doesn’t know a thing about running campaigns and if he does, it didn’t show. DAP’s Tony Pua although new had all the experiences he can drawn on and the urban/rural landscape is more familiar after being there for decades. So PKR can’t expect the same results as DAP.

Last remark about PKR. They were hoping that the GE12 sentiments against the establishment was present and hoped that the people will vote just anyone as long as it’s not related to Taib. They were so wrong. Poor reading of Taib’s mega influence just like Najib. Seems that West Malaysians don’t have much of a clue on how Sarawak works and thinks.

SUPP

George Chan lost. SUPP won a mere 6 seats. George is expected to step down soon and let the next set of leaders decide the fate of the party, unlike Gerakan and MCA who has been giving SUPP advice publicly that sounded more like flatulence instead.

SUPP knows best. George must be really tired fighting the election of his life that was nothing like what SUPP had faced before. DAP literally overwhelmed with personable messages rather than generic rhetorics.

Sarawakians

The people will win but if any community of people is sidelined or victimised, there will surely be a retaliation in the GE13 when that happens.

The results is the people’s choice. They are still Sarawakians even if they didn’t vote BN. What should be alarming is that almost half the voters supported the opposition.

So to win them back is to do more to show BN can seriously “transform” into what they personally feel is improvement before the supportive 50% start casting the votes the other way.

One thing for sure. The popular votes show more accurately the sentiments of the people and not the seats as they don’t represent the 1 person 1 vote construction.

The people has spoken. Take heed. This is possibly the last chance for BN to buck up before it’s too late.

April 8, 2009

What to think of the 3B results?


It is 8 April, the day after a historic 3 simultaneous by-elections in Malaysia – Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau.  This has never happened before but these by-elections were specially timed to be after the Umno Presidential Election that saw Najib take over the helm of Umno and shortly thereafter as the new PM of Malaysia.

At the end of yesterday, we saw the obvious happening again.  Pakatan Rakyat took the 2 Peninsular Malaysia by-election seats while Barisan Nasional retained their Sarawak seat.  This was expected given the growing sentiments in West Malaysia while Pakatan Rakyat was attempting to score a first beach head in Sarawak which they failed.

So what should we think about the results?

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October 26, 2008

Economic Problems Felt, Umno Politics Takes Front Seat


Today‘s NST front page:

KL Composite Index loses 3.6% to 859.11 … analysts say the markets haven’t seen the worst yet … the Malaysian market is not an exception.  The shares are oversold.  They no longer reflect their values.  We now have plenty of cheap, quality and undervalued stocks … but expect it to fall further next week,” a local dealer said.

This 32.2 points down is the KLCI lowest in 4 years.  We don’t want to be duped and lulled into a dream that Malaysia is not in a problem state.  At the same time, we should not be doomsday prophets either.  We just need to be honest and do something about the economy NOW!

But is the Government SEEN to be doing much?  We’ve been hearing a lot about not to worry but economics is not requiring counselling.  The Malaysian economy requires definite strategies and actions.  But is there any?

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August 26, 2008

Pematang Pauh Watershed of a New Malaysia?


LATEST

Anwar (PKR) – 31,195 (66%) – Majority: 15,671 (Wan Azizah polled 13,388 in March GE12)

Arif Shah (BN) – 15,524 (32.8%) (Lost in his Seberang Jaya sector by a large margin)

Hanafi Hamad (AKIN) – 92

Spoilt – 447

Total Electorate – 58,459

Turnout – 80.8% (47,259)

The results were just announce over TV and posted at Malaysia Today here and The Malaysian Insider here too.  So, we can see that the Election Commission earlier announced a “guestimate” instead of being precise about the voters turnout percentage.  Shouldn’t the EC be scientifically and mathematically correct in all their announcements? 

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August 25, 2008

Tomorrow D-Day Pematang Pauh


This by-election is perhaps the MOST hotly contested, dirtiest mud slinging contest the country has ever seen.

It is also perhaps the by-election with the HIGHEST stake, the possible return of Anwar to Parliament which supposedly starts another tsunami of sorts in the country.

No matter which side you are on, we can’t deny the grave ramifications of Anwar winning this by-election if he continues this path towards the Parliament.

For now, let’s hold our breath.  Tomorrow awaits Pematang Pauh and the entire nation.

Stay tuned!

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