Thursday, April 18, 2019

DAP in government sings BN-Gerakan's song, but with worse results

From FMT:

No to Kidex but yes to PIL 1? Let’s refresh DAP leaders’ memory 

by Lim Mah Hui

On June 9, 2014, Yeo Bee Yin, then a state assemblyman in Selangor, wrote in DAP’s The Rocket that if the Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) were to be built, it would cost RM2.4 billion or RM161 million per km, making it by far the most expensive highway in Malaysia.

According to the data provided, the most expensive highway then was the RM751 million Ampang-KL Elevated Highway at RM95 million per km.

DAP and Yeo were dead against Kidex because “it cuts across mature township incurring the highest construction cost per km”. They said that “it warrants close scrutiny and greater transparency and must show to the people that the benefits of Kidex outweigh the cost with no better option (such as public transport) before making the final decisions…”

These are all laudatory words and it was indeed the people’s objections and power that stopped the Kidex project and saved Petaling Jaya from being disfigured.

If DAP contributed anything to this people’s victory, then kudos to them.

Fast forward to 2018. On Sept 20, 2018, Yeo, now the minister in charge of environment, was present at a town hall meeting in Penang attended by 800 people.

She was attending a presentation by the consultants on the Detailed Environmental Impact Assessment (DEIA) report of the Pan Island Link 1 (PIL 1). She was also there to listen to public feedback on the DEIA report.

At the event, Penang Forum submitted a detailed feedback regarding their concerns about PIL 1 and also over 2,000 individual letters on the DEIA to Yeo.

Before she left, Yeo said we must balance development with environment, and a hard decision has to be made. Instead of reassuring the crowd that decisions will be made on the basis of facts and evidence, i.e. evidence-based policy, she referred to Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s advice that the best decision is one that pleases no one.

She also assured the crowd that she believed no one on the stage was on the take.

Penang Forum did not receive any feedback from the Department of Environment for six months. It received a brief note on March 22, 2019 saying that the project was under review.

Three weeks later, on April 14, it was announced that the PIL 1 project had received approval with 56 conditions attached. There was simply no public engagement in this process.

Now the public is in the dark about what those 56 conditions are.

In 2014, DAP and Yeo asked for transparency. Now that they are in a position of power to make and implement those decisions, they must practise what they preached. At the very least, the 56 conditions must be made public.

What do other DAP power brokers have to say about PIL 1? Today they sing praises about the need for PIL 1.

Politicians have a short memory, some deliberately. Let us refresh their memory.

On May 29, 2002, Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, who was then an opposition MP, said, “If the findings of the Halcrow Report are true, Dr Koh (Tsu Koon) would be irresponsible in pushing the PORR through as this will not be a long-term solution to the traffic congestion on the island.”

didn't Lim Kit Siang use to sing above songs? 

This was underscored by Lim Kit Siang on May 28, 2002. He said, “The nightmare of the Penang traffic congestion is likely to be back to square one, not in eight years but probably less than five years, after the completion of PORR… What Penang needs is an efficient public transport system based on sustainable transport policy, as PORR is not a medium-term let alone long-term solution to the traffic congestion nightmare on the island.”

PORR, the Penang Outer Ring Road, is the precursor of PIL 1. It shares almost the same alignment except that PIL 1 is longer than PORR.

Just as the Halcrow consultants warned that PORR will not solve traffic congestion after five to eight years, the consultants for PIL 1 DEIA report gave the same warning. They said there will be congestion seven years after completion of PIL 1.

So why are these politicians who are now in positions of power reneging on their earlier positions?

Why are they not walking the talk? Why are they not making decisions based on evidence and sound advice?

This is supposed to be a new government, one that heralds hope. We need to hold them accountable.

Dr Lim Mah Hui is a former councillor of the Penang Island City Council.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Indians no better off under Pakatan

YOURSAY | 'The community has become disillusioned with the gov't for continuously sidelining them.'

DAP lawmaker tells Harapan to address decline in Indian support

Anonymous 2405191458063842: DAP deputy secretary-general V Sivakumar says that some Indian Malaysians are turning away from Pakatan Harapan, after overwhelmingly backing the coalition in last year's general election.

But what use are Indian and Chinese voters to Harapan now? Its leaders are chasing after those whose support it did not get in GE14.

So they will bend over backwards to get those votes, and pretend to be deaf when their faithful Chinese and Indian voter bases complain about the hard times they are facing and the broken promises.

The Harapan thinking seems to be that there are still four more years to go, so no need to entertain grouses from these bases.

Only at the end of the fifth year, when the 15th general election is due, then they will pay full attention, throw in some goodies, and make a lot of promises to buy their votes again. All politicians in this country are the same.

at new bakery 'The Capati' 

Lodestar: Indians were marginalised under BN rule, but after nearly a year under Harapan rule, they are no better off in terms of jobs, poverty alleviation and university places.

Harapan is taking their votes for granted in the belief that they won't go back to BN. But if there is a choice of the old BN or a new ultra-racist, Talibanese Umno-PAS government, many non-Malays may prefer the devil they knew.

Indians may drift back to empower the MIC, so as to prevent the emergence of this horrendous Umno-PAS government.

Anakraja: This is a good wake-up call for Harapan. The coalition promised a lot of things, but nothing has materialised. The low-income earners are still suffering due to the hike in prices of daily goods. Graduates are still jobless. 

And what is Harapan doing about it? It must be colourblind when offering jobs. Take the cream of the graduates and pay them well. Do not talk of bumiputera only, which is an old story. What about the Orang Asli? They were never given a chance to progress. 

Some 45 years ago, no one talked about race. With the education system we have in place today, all kinds of negative words are being said.

no one talked about race until he took over 

Ace: The Harapan government must think out of the box, especially the Finance Ministry. With the lacklustre economy and the high cost of living, why is the government just pushing to tax the same groups of law-abiding, tax-paying citizens again and again?

It is these same people who are bearing the burden, while many others do not even pay taxes at all. This is one big factor making Indians and Chinese reevaluate their support for Harapan.

Malaysian Citizen: Kudos to the Indians who did not support Harapan! The Indians have become disillusioned with the ruling coalition for continuously sidelining them.

Nothing concrete has come out of the Harapan mill after almost one year. The only things we've seen thus far are the Bumiputra Economic Vision and Malay rights.

Harapan is heading towards creating history as a one-term government.

The Way It Was: Harapan can't win every by-election, but the fact is that it is in power, not those thieves from Umno-BN who have plundered the country.

Harapan has 40 months more to govern, and it has to do a better job of communicating with the people on its plans to improve their lives through education, healthcare, housing, transportation and jobs.

The next general election won't be Harapan's to lose - if it does deliver.

Kamikasi: The stupidity of Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran to play racial politics in Rantau needs to be carefully scrutinised by all Harapan politicians.

Kulasegaran still plays the old tune. Harapan must realise that its performance is unsatisfactory due to poor communication.

Gone are the service centres to help communities. Most are incompetent, and after 11 months, there is hardly any report to track the performance of the ministries.

grants for Indians abused by Indian NGOs

Harapan is obsessed with the SRC International and 1MDB, but the people couldn't care less about the robbery.

The Analyser: Come on, politicians. Open your eyes and face reality: the loss in Rantau had nothing to do with race.

As long as you pretend that race is a factor, the longer will it take you to realise that you are the problem.

Two-thirds of the voters of Rantau know what the problem is. How come it’s taking you leaders so long to wake up?
RR: I see politics in the country has become a personality issue, rather than of welfare and future of the country.

Instead of taking the country out of the rot and resolving the vast problems faced by the people, especially those in the bottom 40 percent (B40) income group, politicians are concerned with their own positions.

Politicians competing for the prime minister's post must make sacrifices. If they are not capable of administering this plural society and taking care of the welfare of all, they should step down to give way to those who can.

There is only one post for the prime minister, and only someone who is capable and has the support and love of the people should assume it. All cronies with an axe to grind should shut up and stop undermining the harmony in the nation.

Fairview: It is very strange that we pay so much attention to our political analysts, especially those who hardly go to the ground.

You can actually get a better perspective of what the Malaysian political situation is all about by sitting in a local coffee shop.

Most of the time these analysts reinforce one another’s personal views based on their own inclination towards a political party or towards certain personalities.

Anon 2000: The Indians and Chinese still don't trust de facto Harapan leader Anwar Ibrahim. In the past, he was seen as pro-Islam. Now, he is very happily mingling with the corrupt, racist Umno leaders and bowing down to royalty. He is unpredictable.

7 UMNO defectors accepted into Malaysia PM Mahathir's Pribumi party

Mahathir brushed aside concerns of the 'Umno culture' creeping into the ruling party

it's not Anwar but Mahathir who is

'mingling with the corrupt, racist Umno leaders'

The Analyser: Why is Malaysian politics so bogged down with irrelevant details? Why do race, religion and personalities feature so frequently? Why do pundits so readily blame someone else for their failings?

Are you all so insecure that you need to find someone else to blame for everything? Are you all so ignorant that you ignore current developments and try to explain everything in terms of outdated and largely incorrect reasoning?

Anwar and Harapan candidate for Rantau Dr S Streram had no specific role in Harapan’s loss. They are just a part of a team of losers.

Get it into your head that there were no racial or religious trends to be identified, and if you want to pursue those avenues, all you are doing is fooling yourself.

Umno-PAS similarly had little role to play in your loss. They were simply seen as a receptacle for voters' disillusionment.

The undeniable fact is that the Malaysian people are totally cheesed off with everything that Harapan is doing.

Salvage Malaysia: The people are very angry at the Harapan government and the stupid policies implemented.

For the first time – from small traders, mamak stalls and right up to big businesses – everyone is suffering and may close shop.

Anwar is not in government, and he has tried his level best to do damage control, but the anger of the people is getting stronger.

The Finance Ministry only knows how to boast about penny-pinching, but has absolutely no idea how to grow the economic pie. It keeps coming out with badly timed policies that, while well-intentioned, are killing everyone's businesses when the economy is already in the dumps.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

PH lied in the manifesto

The Malaysian Insight - Who is happiest at opposition's by-election hat-trick? by Ravinder Singh

Who is happiest, PAS, Umno or Barisan Nasional, at the opposition’s three by-election victories in a row?

Er ... Tun ..

Not bloody now
... people are looking

Now, what was it you wanted? 

None of them. The happiest party is that fugitive from India who has been given permanent resident status by Malaysia; who got red-carpet treatment and hugs from Mujahid Yusof Rawa, and who is free to go about preaching his brand of Islam and creating disunity in multi-racial Malaysia.

Why? The answer is obvious for all to see. His brand of Islam is gaining strength. His brand of Islam, that Muslims must vote for Muslims even if the Muslim candidate is corrupt to the core, because he has “iman” since he goes to the mosque, and never for a non-Muslim candidate who even though he he may be the cleanest, he does not have “iman” because he does not go to the mosque.

Race and religion were freely used in these by-elections, with PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang preaching that Muslims must vote for Muslims, just like Zakir Naik. So Zakir must be the most elated person now, as his brand of Islam has been accepted and is being practised by Malaysian Muslims.

Race and religion have been used by politicians since the labelling of one group of Malaysians as “pendatang”. Following this, Biro Tata Negara (BTN) was set up with the specific purpose of indoctrination about “ketuanan” (superiority) of one race and religion over all the others.

BTN was/is my babe 

National schools took on the character of religious schools and children were subjected to discrimination based on race and religion.

With all the groundwork prepared, in comes Zakir, a self-proclaimed authority on Islam to preach his brand of Islam that contrasts with the teaching of the Prophet. The Prophet said “to you yours, and to me mine”, but Zakir Naik disagrees with this. Zakir says the whole world should be Muslim as all other faiths are fake. He teaches that a corrupt Muslim is a better leader in a multi-racial country than the cleanest non-Muslim.

On another score, there are calls for PH to reflect seriously on the reasons the voters seem to be abandoning it so soon after having given it overwhelming support in GE 14.

PH started off well, making appointments to some critical jobs and standing firm despite a hue and cry from some quarters.

The people then asked when the promises in the manifesto would be implemented. The “lawak-lawak” (jokingly given) reply that the promises in the manifesto were made not expecting to win the election was disastrous to the credibility of PH. It amounted to saying that the PH had lied in the manifesto and this brought PH’s moral standing down drastically in the eyes of the voters who had voted PH on the strength of those promises.

Then there was the case of Ronald Kiandee, chairman of the PAC, who jumped the fence and who the PM insisted could hold on to the post because he was in the opposition when he was appointed. What sort of logic was this? It amounted to arrogance and disregard for PH’s own rule that the PAC Chair must be from the opposition.

When the issue of Ministers with fake degrees came up, again it was brushed aside showing that PH had no moral courage to do the right thing. This bending backwards to brush aside matters like this smack of arrogance.

So the attitude that “I will not bow to public pressure” must change. It did in the case of the PAC after Nurul’s resignation and possible resignations by the rest. But why had such action to be taken to show disgust before doing the right thing?

The same way PH had promised to stop racism and improve race relations. But no action was taken against the “samseng” (gangsters) in Manjoi who trespassed into a convenience store and threatened to break the beer bottles if they were not removed. And the MB of NS had the temerity to ban the sale of beer in a golf club.

PH must seriously start implementing the promises it had made. If there is genuine constraint in implementing something, then don’t make “lawak-lawak” excuses but talk straight and explain in a gentlemanly manner.

And of course, money matters mean a lot to the lower income groups. Promises were made to help them. They should be fulfilled.

Pakatan aping BN

From Malaysiakini:

Harapan will lose next GE if it takes its base for granted

by Commander (rtd) S Thayaparan

Why are non-Malay voters becoming disillusioned with Harapan? Is it because their daily lives have not improved under the new government? Or is it because Harapan has not delivered what was promised?

– P Ramasamy

I wonder what P Ramasamy means when he says that “painful and unpopular decisions” have to be made to get the support of the rakyat. The problem with Harapan is that they are a pack of lily-livered politicians who care more about winning over the Umno/PAS crowd than taking care of their mostly non-Malay base.

The non-Malay politicians who claimed to have cajones of steel before assuming federal power, now appear to be fatigued and deflated. They spend their time simpering around Malay powerbrokers and whacking the non-Malay components of BN, and doing everything in their power not to spook the Malays.

It is kind of funny. The stereotype of the Umno voter is a “dedak” eater who votes in kleptocratic politicians for the “tongkat”. Well, in these last three by-elections, the Malays who voted for opposition politicians, did not give a damn about the enticements thrown their way by Pakatan Harapan, but instead voted opposition.

This would mean they did not care if the opposition could not do anything for them. This also means you either have to be really pissed off with the federal government, or you do not care if voting for the opposition disenfranchises you in some way. This was the narrative Harapan was pushing when they were the opposition, right?

If you are Malay, you can be sure the Harapan government isn’t going to marginalise you, even if you do not vote for them.

I know some people in this by-election who voted for the opposition just to troll Harapan. Could this be some sort of bellwether when it comes to the non-Malay vote? Is KJ right when he says Umno could survive in mixed race constituencies? Who knows?

PM-designate Anwar Ibrahim (above, on right, standing) says the Rantau defeat is a reminder to focus on the people’s plight. This is typically what politicians say when they lose an election. What does this mean anyway? Was Harapan not focusing on the people’s plight, which is why the voters in Ranatu rejected the federal government? What a silly excuse to make in the defeat.

Harapan has been doing everything in its power to alienate their non-Malay base and screw over the progressive Malay element in Harapan. Non-Malay operatives have been bending over backwards attempting to project a benign face of Chinese influence in Harapan.

A lot of this has to do with the Bangsa Malaysia, now New Malaysia, nonsense that is seriously impeding Harapan when it comes to engaging with various communities, and instead attempting, in rhetoric at least, a one size fits all approach.

M Kulasegaran (photo) must be embarrassed that there was an Indian swing to Umno. Does this tell us something about the Indians in Rantau, or does this tell us something about the way the Harapan elite deals with the Indian community?

The urban/rural divide is Harapan’s safety net. By safety net I mean enclaves where economics and culture are not beholden to the vagaries of religious, cultural and social diktats of the religious component in Malay power structures. It was like this when Umno/BN ruled supreme, but was supplanted by the various incarnations of what would become Pakatan Harapan led by Anwar Ibrahim.

While all politics is local, what the federal government should be doing is ensuring the Harapan base that voted for them (even when they were losing, but managed to break Umno's two-thirds majority in one of their defeats) is satisfied with their performance.

Instead, what the federal government is doing is attempting to replicate BN-style politics for a base which has no use for it. A base which believed that the reign of Harapan would move them away from the race-based and religion-influenced politics of Umno/BN.

Non-Malay politicians tell me they have to walk on eggshells when it comes to certain issues. They tell me the demonisation of the DAP seems to be working. Well, here’s the thing: if people are going to hate the DAP, they are going to do it regardless of whether the Umno/PAS coalition is in power or not. The narrative that the majority of Malays hate the DAP has always been around, but the DAP has survived, and even thrived. So do not use this excuse when it comes losing out to Umno/PAS.

You know what Harapan should be doing? They should be endorsing those so-called liberal Malays, because there is very little difference between the centre-right and far right when it comes to mainstream Malay politics.

Instead, what the Harapan government does is bend over backwards attacking the very demographic which could change the narrative and encourage a new paradigm of mainstream Malay politics.

A Harapan politician called me after the Rantau defeat and complained that the Harapan government needed more time. This is a red herring.

As I said in a piece warning that Harapan turning into BN was not the problem: “There is this dumb argument floating around that we should give Harapan more time since BN had six decades (or thereabouts) to “destroy” this country. This argument is not only ignorant, but it is also ahistorical. BN had functional policies at various times (just ask the current prime minister) and the opposition had a decade (or thereabouts) in control of certain states to differentiate itself from the federal government.”

It must be embarrassing to lose a by-election when Harapan campaigned “BN style”. It is as if the people rejected the politics Harapan claims it wants to do away with. Which is worse? Losing an election because you tried to ape Umno/BN, or losing an election because the voters rejected your progressive, egalitarian politics that could save Malaysia?

I know which is worse.

Harapan has to decide which is worse.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Rantau - PH lost 13 out of 14 polling stations?

Remember Jeff Ooi of Screenshot, once the most well-known blogger in Malaysia? He even had his own column in Malaysiakini.

He was formerly pro-Gerakan (rumoured to be a sort of 'k'ai-chai' to the late Lim Keng Yaik) but it seemed he saw the light, wakakaka, and to my then-delight joined DAP in time for the 2008 GE.

He won in Jelutong to become a MP in the footsteps of the original Tiger of Jelutong.

He served Jelutong for two terms and became famous for two things:

(1) He was in post-2008 GE the administratively-most-qualified Penang DAP person, holding a Masters (MBA???). Though he was a federal MP, he assisted a then governing DAP greenhorn named Lim Guan Eng to govern Penang as the first DAP Chief Minister, and

today, no longer the old humble Guan Eng 

(2) He was in 2013 wakakaka the man who labelled a Penang Municipal Council staff as 'kucing kurap' (People of no significance). The new Tiger of Jelutong was advised by the original Tiger, the late Karpal Singh to apologise, for labelling a state government staff as a kuching kurap, which to his credit he did.

Jeff Ooi has a sharp tongue (and pen) and had during his blogging years gotten himself into trouble with his acerbic wit and remarks, wakakaka.

I wonder whether that ill-advised insult of 'kucing kurap' in 2013 costed him his seat, because YB RSN Rayer (also notorious for his 'celaka' remark against UMNO) replaced him in Jelutong.

actually the word 'celaka' (doggone, damn) was also favoured by the late Karpal Singh 

I wonder WTF Jeff is doing nowadays but do read his facebook comment on the very recent Pakatan loss in Rantau (as follows):

Aftermath of a hat-trick

Why till now aren’t journalists and political scientists able to produce any good analysis on the PH debacle in Rantau... even with PM-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim parking himself there throughout the by-election as if he was the candidate?

Rafizi Ramli 

Do note that Rafizi Ramli emerged in the final 72 hours to fire late salvos, even with PH rehoisting the decade-old RM10m transfer to London, had tanked* the campaign.

* tanked = failed

And how about the contribution to PH’s total failure by Rafizi’s sidekick, that holier-than-thou beer-hater Aminuddin? How is PH in NS going to carry on?

Amiruddin Harun, MB Negeri Sembilan

deemed by Jeff as a holier-than-thou beer-hater

Why did PH have to lose in 13 out of 14 polling stations, which comprised voters of all ethnic groups? That’s very humiliating!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Rantau - watershed for Pakatan

Ethnic breakdown of Rantau's electorate for the recent by-election was:

Malay 54%
Chinese 19%
Indian 28%

(above stats rounded up)

To simplify the stats:

There were 47% non-Malay voters.
To win, the candidate needed 51%.

Thus it had been boasted that Pakatan enjoyed virtually 100% non votes, only 4% Malay voters was needed by Dr Streram to win.

The stats looked good for him. 

In less simplified stats, the turnout might not have been 100%. EC stats showed a 79.31% or almost 80% turnout which was very encouraging in a by-election. Assuming everything being equal, Pakatan still required 4% Malay votes.

Instead, Mohd Hasan of BN secured 63.22% while Streram of PH won 35.8%.

Prior to the by-election I thought Streram had a very good chance of winning Rantau as its ethnic composition, as favoured by Mahathir during his 1981-2003 reign, also favoured him, given the virtually "guaranteed" votes from the nons for Pakatan.

Thus, Mohd Hasan achieved a remarkable victory in the face of anti-BN nons. Some of them voted for him to an extent he achieved 63.22% of the total votes in Rantau.

I think Mahathir doesn't give a shit (He didn't even turn up there). But the new stats is troubling for Pakatan and especially for PM-to-be Anwar Ibrahim.

Malay Mail Online attributed 3 reasons for the Pakatan defeat in Rantau, namely:

(a) Dr Streram was a relatively poor performing candidate in the sense he couldn't 'connect' with the populace (as well as tok-kok on some issues), whilst Mohd Hasan had no problem in doing so,

(b) over-dependence on Anwar's charisma, and 

(c) Pakatan failed to address bread-and-butter issues, scarcity of jobs, its various capatis including its failure to abolish the National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN), and failure to counter the UMNO-PAS narrative on (i) Defence of the faith, (ii) Malay rights, (iii) Sovereignty of the monarchs.

While Pakatan's failure to win chunks of Malay votes is understandable, it is worrying that its faithful nons seemed to have lose confidence in it, perhaps due to its frequent capati-sations and Mahathir-isation.

Some have already lamented there's no difference between BN of the past and Pakatan of today. My answer to that, wakakaka, is they (BN of Past, Pakatan of today) have the same boss, Mahathir of Ops Lalang, Car No 3 and GLCs, wakakaka.