Apr 202012
 

The government is getting “smarter”. Having completely failed to suppress Bersih 2.0 by force, they are now trying to make Bersih 3.0 go away by ignoring it.

Indeed, a dependence on stealth and public apathy seems to becoming an increasingly standard modus operandi.

Last night, Parliament sat until some ungodly hour to rush through bills that the government didn’t one anyone to know about.

WTF kinda democracy is this??

Luckily, some people were paying attention. A good activist I know put together a list of alarming facts about amendments to the Election Offences Bill.

In summary, instead of moving towards Electoral Reform, the government has in fact enacted laws MAKING IT EASIER FOR THEM TO CHEAT!

People sometimes ask if we still need to rally for Electoral Reform. Well, I say to all Malaysians of conscience – read this, and see you at Dataran on the 28th.

*

The full impact of today’s amendment to the Election Offences Act:

1. Anyone can now put up anonymous posters without identifying person or printer. Poison posters will now become standard fare. This is exactly the opposite of the demand to end dirty politics.

2. A candidate can only use a party office for the purpose of holding meetings, discussions, ceramahs etc. Candidates are not allowed to use homes, hire halls or set up temporary structures. Nothing is said about ministers and other privileged persons using public facilities.

3. The time when an Agent of a candidate is allowed into the Polling Station is no longer fixed and is now left to the discretion of the EC to decide when a Polling or Counting Agent will be allowed to enter. They are free to chase Agents out of the Polling Station while the results are being fixed.

4. The 50m exclusion zone outside the Polling Centre is now extended to 100m or more, depending on the EC to decide. This makes it impossible for election monitors such as Mafrel to see anything illegal going on. If some major irregularity is being planned, the EC can even set a limit of 2 Km or more.

5. There will be no more Barung Observers who were previously the only non-EC people able to look at the IC of the voter and catch discrepancies. This is a major blow to the plans to weed out phantom voters. They can now walk in freely and the Polling Agent (if he is even allowed into the Polling Station) will have no opportunity to look at the IC of the voter.

These amendments, that were introduced late and shafted through Parliament without any meaningful vote, make a mockery of our electoral process. To work with this kind of flawed process makes idiots out of all of us. A solution must be found.

Jun 092010
 

Isn’t it such a travesty? And one so revealing of our country’s current ‘leadership’.

Everything to Najib seems to be about money – even (especially?) democracy.

Completely unable to grasp the honourable fundamentals of what parliament should represent, all Najib’s $$ eyes can think about is how to throw money towards making it ‘look’ better.

When will these BN politicians understand that democracy is more than fancy buildings? That justice is more than a state of the art Istana Keadilan?

As some have written, while Malaysians starve and the government wants to increase our economic burdens by removing subsidies, now we talk of RM 800 million for a mere building?

I’ve been to our parliament – it’s not the Ritz, but it was actually a lot more fancy and comfortable than I expected.

Malaysians don’t want white elephants that only benefit cronies – especially not for the august house that is meant to be the bastion of our democracy.

What we really want is for our democratic rights to be respected, our vote to count, our voice heard in the halls of parliament, and justice to guide our lawmakers.

Jun 022010
 

I won’t pretend to have original comments, but in case any were missed, I felt a bit like compiling them.

It’s been noted that the PKFZ anti-corruption crusader, Ong Tee Keat has been dropped, while someone who was actually part of the PKFZ scandal, Chor Chee Heung, has been made a full minister.

High hopes for reform under Najib anyone?

Palanivel: not good enough for Hulu Selangor, apparently good enough for cabinet.

People first?

So many senatorships? I understand it’s for appointing professionals with some serious experience and expertise in their intended ministry – not career politicians with no actual skills, and no rakyat who wants them.

Performance now?

My fave might be the meteoric rise of Chua Tee Yong – not only does he already control billions, he is now a deputy minister.

Is it just me, or are we going back to the days of high-rolling, utterly brazen faced, daylight corruption?

May 262010
 

TMI:

MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today confirmed the party had appointed his son, Chua Tee Yong and former vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn to assist in managing the party’s assets, estimated to be worth over RM2 billion.

Dr Chua said the decision had been endorsed by the party’s central committee after holding a five-hour meeting at Wisma MCA here.

“The CC today decided that the asset management of MCA should be administered in a more professional manner.

“That is why we believe that the party’s assets should be managed by a professional group separate from the MCA so there is separation of power.”

O.O

You’ve *got* to be kidding me.

Only BN could possibly say “I’ve nominated my son to take care of 2 billion dollars” and “separation of power” in the same sentence.

RM 2 billion of ill gotten gains – and to take care of it all, he nominates… his son.

Nope. Nothing nepotistic there at all. Definitely very professional. Certainly wouldn’t raise any eyebrows in any other country or anything.

Maybe Ong Tee Keat wasn’t the greatest leader in the world, but at least he spent his time trying to expose corruption and fix what’s really wrong with this country.

Soi Lek? Busy making sure his finger is in every pot (heh), and making a big show of begging Umno for money.

Integrity seems to follow dignity out the window :P

Jan 202010
 

ps- quick point to Gunasegaran inquest, lest we forget.

It’s crazy just how stark the discrepancy is sometimes. Let’s see what is happening in Shah Alam these days.

BN:

More than a month after allegations of irregularities surfaced over the Shah Alam Hospital project, the Public Works Department (PWD) has yet to respond to the questions raised.

Last month, Malaysiakini reported source-based claims that the contract was awarded under debatable circumstances and at an inflated price of about RM500 million to Sunshine Fleet Sdn Bhd, a company owned by a member of the Selangor royalty.

The company has allegedly been skimming off project funds for ‘advances’ and ‘expenses’, and also stands accused of harassing companies it had engaged as sub-contractors. It has refused comment, saying that queries should be directed to PWD which ‘owns’ the project.

Since then, PWD secretary-general Judin Abdul Karim – who signed the letter awarding the contract – has not been available for comment, despite repeated phone calls to his office.

Among the questions were whether the contract was awarded in an open tender or if it was directly negotiated and why the cost has escalated from the original allocation of RM300 million.

Prior to this, sources close to the PWD confirmed the existence of an internal report that was commissioned to address the issues, together with a list of answers to Malaysiakini’s questions.

However, the source implied that the matter is being held up pending approval by Works Minister Shaziman Abu Mansor.

Yesterday, Saipol said his department has yet to go through the response because the personnel “are busy with more routine matters.”

RM 200 million up in smoke, and the MACC is nowhere in sight (did you know they moved out of Plaza Masalam? Ghosts, I expect).

Plus, one can’t help but think about how well Gamuda has done (owned largely by Perak royalty), and what happened in the silver state last year.

Anyway. Pakatan:

The police today recorded the statement of Selangor exco Xavier Jayakumar at his office in Shah Alam with regards to a police report lodged against him.

The report, filed with the Klang district police headquarters, concerned the alleged ‘abuse’ of RM1.67 million in allocations for Tamil schools last year.

Following the allegation, Jayakumar has published on his blog a list of tables detailing how the state’s allocations were spent for Tamil schools last year.

I’m all for the immediate investigation of all charges of corruption, and welcome any into Pakatan politicians.

But surely there must be some consistency. The difference here is like the difference between RM1 and RM200 (or RM500, really). Where is the MACC in the hospital case?

Also compare the different responses. BN hides and schemes, refusing to answer questions. Dr. Xavier immediately put up a table of allocations (reproduced below), inviting people to do their own investigations.

I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of these BN thieves draining our country dry. Perhaps we’ll have a chance to work for change in Hulu Selangor soon enough, Insyallah (Nazri says it’s ok for me, FT resident, to say such things, apparently :P Something about not having a Sultan? My dad quipped: What about Melaka then?).

Jan 052010
 

So it seems no high ranking officers were involved in the RM 50 million jet engine theft.

The last thing I want to do is cast aspersions of our men in uniform, but I can’t help but feel that perhaps, the small fish are being sacrificed to protect the big fish.

It’s possible I suppose, albeit perhaps less than probable, that leakage and theft of such massive proportions were basically carried out by men who could not even make officer rank.

Were they the only ones who profiteered from this? Perhaps, but I keep thinking back to submarines and MiG jets. This is a land where arms trading is extremely lucrative – lucrative enough for people to end up blown to pieces.

I won’t pretend to know all the facts, or say that this is anything beyond speculation, but something tells me that this crime goes beyond a few enlisted men.

Dec 212009
 

I really wish I could find that clip on Youtube.

You ever watch the (eminently enjoyable) Hunt for Red October?

Remember one of the final scenes? Where the Secretary of Defense or something is settling matters with the Soviet ambassador?

Even though it doesn’t catch the fun acting, I’m eminently grateful to Drew, who transcribed:

Ambassador: There is another matter… one that I’m reluctant to…

Secretary: Please.

Ambassador: One of our submarines…an Alfa… was last reported in the area of the Grand Banks…. We have not heard from her for some time.

Secretary: Andrei. (look of disbelief) You’ve lost another submarine?

But of course, tragicomically, truth is stranger than fiction.

In beloved Malaysia, Porsches get stolen from police compounds, and fighter jet engines mysteriously disappear from RMAF bases.

Zahid:

“The investigations revealed RMAF’s logistics system was full-proof. However, the shady activity might have been carried out staff in the lower rungs in cahoots with outsiders,”

Aha!

First, credit to the Bernama reporter who wrote “full-proof,” and the editor that ‘caught’ it. (Perhaps the kind editors at MK should also go through the mistakes in that article again).

a) I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how Zahid would’ve spelt it, given the chance
b) It’s probably more accurate, in that the BN government is truly incapable of being “fully” there. Or perhaps, no matter how much corruption it eats, it is never “full.”

Also: it appears that some staff were carried out along with the engine during the operation? :|

But grammar Nazi-ism aside, you really have to love Zahid’s reasoning: “RMAF = foolproof, which must obviously be why, low ranking staff and ‘outsiders’ managed to break into it.”

Sigh. Usually foolproof means even a fool can understand and use something. In this case, it probably means even a fool could have walked in and stolen a RM 50 million engine.

RM 50 million of our money. Gone. Just like that.

Does he expect us to believe that the only people who got rich off this affair were a few corporals and ‘shady outsiders?’

I think that our mighty submarine, the KD Altantuya, clearly shows that no arms deal of that scale goes down in Malaysia without some fat honcho getting fatter over it.

Fullproof indeed :P