Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Biden will not supply Ukraine with long-range rockets that can hit Russia


Biden will not supply Ukraine with long-range rockets that can hit Russia

Moscow has threatened retaliation if missiles are used against its territory but US plans to ship shorter range systems

US Multiple Launch Rocket System (MLRS) launches a rocket into the air during a live fire training exercise. Photograph: Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty Images

Joe Biden has said the US will not supply Ukraine with rockets that can reach into Russia, in an attempt to ease tensions with Moscow over the potential deployment of long-range missiles with a range of about 185 miles.

The White House has been weighing up pleas from Ukraine – which is losing ground in the battle for Donbas – for multiple-launch rocket systems (MLRS) to offset Moscow’s increasingly effective use of long-range artillery, amid Russian warnings that doing so would cross a red line.

“We are not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that can strike into Russia,” Biden told reporters on Monday after arriving back at the White House after a weekend in Delaware.

The US-made MLRS comes in many different variants, which in turn use a variety of munitions. The longest range can fire missiles up to 185 miles away, but others use rockets with shorter ranges of 20 to 40 miles.

The precise meaning of Biden’s remark on Monday was unclear, but it was consistent with other briefings from the weekend that the White House was willing to provide MLRS as long as it withheld the longest-range missiles.

That was repeated on Monday. One senior US official said: “MLRS is under consideration, but nothing is on the table with long-range strike capabilities.”

The former Russian president Dmitry Medvedev described Biden’s remarks as “reasonable” and warned that if his country’s cities had been struck, then Russian forces would “have struck at the centres of these criminal decisions”.

Ukraine appears close to losing the city of Sievierodonetsk, the easternmost city it had held in the Donbas region, amid a relentless Russian artillery barrage that has destroyed large parts of a city that had a prewar population of 100,000.

Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, acknowledged late on Sunday that “the entire critical infrastructure” and “more than two-thirds of the city’s housing stock” had been “completely destroyed”, as he asked for “more modern weapons to defend our land, to defend our people”.

Nick Reynolds, a land warfare specialist with the Rusi thinktank, said: “The disparity in artillery capability is a major factor allowing the Russian ground forces to continue pushing forwards.”

Russian firepower was preventing Ukraine’s forces from massing for counterattacks, the analyst said, adding that MLRS could help Kyiv by “disrupting all kinds of activity in enemy rear areas”.

Last week, Ukraine’s ministry of defence released a video of what it said was the shelling of its positions by Russian TOS-1A flamethrower rockets in the Donetsk area. “Ukraine is ready to strike back. To do this, we need Nato-style MLRS. Immediately,” the ministry’s Twitter feed said.

The M270 tracked MLRS, and its wheeled equivalent, the M142 high mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS), have a far greater range than anything Ukraine can deploy at the moment. Using them could allow Kyiv to hit at Russian targets from further back, although it could expose more of its hinterland to retaliation.

Ukraine began the war with artillery such as Soviet-standard howitzers with a range of about 10 miles, before the US agreed to send 90 M777 Nato-standard artillery pieces to Ukraine. Depending on the shells used, M777s can have a range of up to 25 miles.

A US army M777 howitzer during exercises in north-eastern Poland last November. Photograph: Tomasz Waszczuk/EPA

Other Nato members may follow the US lead. Ukraine has also been pressing the UK to supply some of its own M270s, with some sources complaining that Britain has been dragging its feet. The British M270 has a range of 52 miles, although 44 of the army’s stock are being upgraded to 93 miles.

Last Friday Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, said MLRS would enable the Ukrainians “to defend themselves against this very brutal Russian artillery, and that’s where the world needs to go”. His remarks, a public acknowledgment of Ukraine’s request, fuelling expectations an announcement could come within days.

Briefings from the US have suggested an announcement could come later this week, after Monday’s Memorial Day holiday.

As Malaysia export ban looms, Singaporeans list chicken rice as ‘rare’ items on Carousell

The Star:

As Malaysia export ban looms, Singaporeans list chicken rice as ‘rare’ items on Carousell

As Malaysia halts chicken export, a plate of chicken rice has been listed as a ‘rare’ item for sale by users on an ecommerce site. — AFP

A number of Singaporeans have responded to the upcoming Malaysian chicken export ban by listing chicken products as highly-priced “rare” or “limited edition” items on an ecommerce platform.

However the listings appear to be tongue-in-cheek attempts at trolling or finding humour from the upcoming export ban, which is set to begin on June 1.

tok-kok onlee

A check on Carousell Singapore showed a listing for a takeaway box of Hainanese roasted chicken rice from a hawker centre going for S$2,000 (RM6,390). The seller said “get this before chicken rice becomes history”.

The Straits Times had earlier reported that the famous Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice outlet in the city-state may stop selling chicken dishes if it can no longer get supplies of fresh chicken.

Another seller listed a “rare limited chicken cutlet” for S$3,000 (RM9,586), claiming that it was priced as such due to rising demand and low supply.

The seller added: “Last chance to taste chicken before it becomes extinct for generations to come.”

A ‘rare’ chicken burger from McDonalds has also been listed by a seller claiming that it is one of the few McChickens “left in Singapore that are actually made from chicken”, and who urged people to “get it for S$1,000 (RM3,195)”.

There is also a seller who has listed an item called “last chicken rice in Singapore” for a relatively modest price of S$40 (RM127).

Uncooked chicken has also been listed on the site by a seller offering chicken breast for S$90 (RM287) with the description “I have about 1.2kg left” and a promise to deliver.

On May 23, the Malaysian government announced that it would halt the export of 3.6 million chickens per month from June 1, as a measure to address domestic supply shortage issues.

The Singapore Food Agency said it will minimise the impact of the export ban by increasing imports of chilled chicken from alternative sources as well as increasing imports of frozen chicken from other existing suppliers.

It also advised consumers to consider switching to other sources of meat products.

Why send local talents to Japan when M’sia having labour shortage, group asks Gov’t

Why send local talents to Japan when M’sia having labour shortage, group asks Gov’t

THE Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) decried the Government’s decision to send skilled Malaysian workers to work in Japan, under a memorandum of collaboration (MoC) signed between both Governments.

“Malaysia is currently facing an acute shortage of manpower, especially skilled workers, which is hampering our national economic recovery.

“The labour shortage has caused work stoppages and under-production across the industry. Output has been affected, resulting in the failure to meet existing orders and accepting new ones.

“The constraints on supply of goods to satisfy demand will add further inflationary pressures despite the recent interest rate hike by Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) to dampen inflation,” said its president Tan Sri Soh Thian Lai, in a statement.

Two days ago, Human Resources Minister Datuk Seri M Saravanan and Japanese Justice Minister Yoshihisa Furukawa inked a MoC to send skilled Malaysian workers to work in Japan.

The exchange of documents was witnessed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.

“The MoC will act as the best platform for eligible skilled Malaysian workers to work in the advanced technology-based ecosystem in Japan,” Bernama reported Saravanan as saying.

Touching on the matter, Soh said that Malaysia is already suffering from acute brain drain problem for years now, with many of them leaving to seek greener pastures elsewhere.

He added that the Government itself had embarked on various initiatives to bring back these talents and it should be continued to ensure local industries do not face a dearth of skilled workers.

“Besides, COVID-19 had accelerated industrial and technological transformation and we need skilled workforce to help us cope with the changes.

“Hence, the Government should seriously tackle our brain drain issues and think about repatriating earnings from overseas via exchange programmes,” Soh opined.

Consider apprenticeship programmes

He added that with the Government imposing the 80:20 ratio between local and foreign employees on industries, the MoC would further hamper their effort to get skilled manpower.

“It is because on one hand, the Government is sending our skilled workers overseas to work through such collaboration but at the same time, local industries are being imposing a limit on the number of migrant workers they can bring in.”

As for upskilling workforce, the industry leader said such opportunities in developed countries is something Malaysian employers could consider after or as part of the on-the-job training programme.

“What we should be looking is signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Malaysian companies for formal apprenticeship and upskilling programmes to be carried out by the global parent companies.

“This will help alleviate the skilled worker shortage faced by local industries.” Soh remarked. – May 31, 2022

Proposed migrant workers’ hostels a ‘time bomb’, says Amanah man

Proposed migrant workers’ hostels a ‘time bomb’, says Amanah man

Bayan Lepas assemblyman Azrul Mahathir Aziz expressed concern for the safety of his children and his constituents as the migrant workers would be allowed to ‘move around’ and not be confined to their hostels.

GEORGE TOWN: A Pakatan Harapan (PH) assemblyman reiterated his objection to the proposed construction of three hostel complexes for 44,000 migrant workers in Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Batu, describing the project as a “ticking time bomb” that would create a lot of problems for the local communities.

Azrul Mahathir Aziz (PH-Bayan Lepas), in his debate on the motion of thanks for the governor’s address, said the tens of thousands of migrant workers that would stay in these hostels would cause a “demographic change” in Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Batu.

This, he said, would cause a lot of problems for the local populace.

“The people (of Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Batu) are worried about the social problems that would ensue such as safety issues, economic problems, religious problems, and facility sharing,” he said in the state assembly today.

“The most worrying part is the locals would feel confined and would feel like minorities in the middle of a ‘Bandaraya Antarabangsa Teluk Kumbar’ (Teluk Kumbar International City).

“We do not want these foreigners to become part-time fishermen, open stalls in the pasar malam (night markets) and disrupt the livelihood of the locals.”

Azrul, who is an Amanah member, also expressed concern for the safety of his children and his constituents as the migrant workers would be allowed to “move around” and not be confined to their hostels, adding that there were a lot of schools around the proposed sites for the hostels.

He also raised the issue of low water pressure problems faced by Teluk Kumbar residents, questioning whether the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) was prepared to fulfil additional water supply demands coming from more than 40,000 migrant workers.

He questioned why the project had been proposed for Teluk Kumbar and Sungai Batu, saying these areas do not have churches for Christian migrant workers, and their mosques could not bear the increased number of congregants.

He added that while he does not oppose the construction of hostels for these workers who work in the Bayan Lepas Industrial Zone, he prefers that the project site be relocated to Bayan Lepas, especially on the land owned by Penang Development Corporation (PDC).

The proposed contribution of three hostel complexes – two in Teluk Kumbar and one in Sungai Batu – have drawn criticism from local communities, who had organised several peaceful demonstrations since last year.

Meanwhile, Penang housing and local government committee chairman Jagdeep Singh Deo said the construction of hostels for migrant workers in the state is a long-term solution to resolve the problem of migrant workers living in housing areas with the local residents.

In a written answer to Penang assemblyman Yusni Mat Piah, he said while the Workers’ Minimum Standards of Housing and Amenities Act 1990 allowed housing areas to be converted into hostels – as long as they fulfilled the technical conditions – the state government was against housing them in low-cost flats, low-cost neighbourhoods, and villages.

UK's Queen's Counsel seeks to represent Najib in final appeal against SRC conviction

UK's Queen's Counsel seeks to represent Najib in final appeal against SRC conviction, claims has 'special expertise' not available locally

A United Kingdom-based lawyer has filed to represent Datuk Seri Najib Razak (centre) in his final appeal against the SRC conviction. — Picture by Devan Manuel

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — United Kingdom-based lawyer Jonathan Laidlaw has applied to the High Court in Kuala Lumpur to be admitted as a lawyer in Malaysia, in order to be able to represent former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the latter’s final appeal at the Federal Court against his conviction, jail sentence and RM210 million fine in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.

When contacted, Najib’s lawyer Wan Aizuddin Wan Mohammed confirmed that the application to bring in the Queen’s Counsel (QC) from the UK was filed today in the courts, which was also the deadline to file it.

"Deadline is actually 31st May and yes we have filed it,” he confirmed to Malay Mail.

In the application filed by Laidlaw and sighted by Malay Mail, he sought to be admitted and enrolled to practise in the High Court in Malaya or Peninsular Malaysia to appear as Najib’s lead counsel in the SRC appeals at the Federal Court "and all other causes or matters related hereto”.

One of the reasons for Laidlaw’s application was stated as being that Najib’s SRC appeal at the Federal Court "will involve serious, complex and/or novel issues related to several branches of criminal and civil laws, practice and evidence, the constitutional rights of the appellant, the conduct of proceedings by the prosecution, the adjudication of criminal cases by a trial court and the administration of a Criminal Justice system”.

Another reason stated in Laidlaw’s application was that Najib wishes to engage his professional services to act as his lead counsel in the SRC appeal, and that the law firm and lawyer representing Najib ---- Messrs Shafee & Co and Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah ---- had given these instructions to Laidlaw.

The same application also stated that another reason as being that Laidlaw "possess special qualifications, experience and expertise which is not available” among lawyers in Malaysia, for the purposes of Najib’s SRC appeal at the Federal Court.

The Federal Court had on April 29 notified both Najib’s lawyers and the prosecution that it will be hearing his SRC appeal over 10 days from August 15 to August 19, and from August 22 to August 26.

Penang threatens action against Kedah’s Sg Muda TAPS project


Penang threatens action against Kedah’s Sg Muda TAPS project

Possible moves include submitting and debating formal objection in Parliament, filing suit, says state exco

State exco for Infrastructure and Transport Zairil Khir Johari says if the water supply from Sg Muda is disrupted, the water supply for the 1.78 million residents of Penang were also expected to be affected. – Bernama pic, May 31, 2022

GEORGE TOWN – The state government will not hesitate to take action against Kedah if the Takungan Air Pinggiran Sungai (TAPS) project in Sg Muda leads to a water crisis in Penang.

State exco for Infrastructure and Transport Zairil Khir Johari said currently the Penang Water Supply Corporation (PBAPP) extracts more than 80% of its raw water every day from Sg Muda to produce treated water.

“The impact of the implementation of the TAPS project in Sg Muda is still unknown.

“If the project has a negative impact on Penang, then the state government will act immediately to stop it immediately,” he said at the Penang assembly sitting today during Question Time.

Opposition leader Datuk Muhamad Yusoff Mohd Noor (Sg Dua-Umno) had asked about the impact to the state if Kedah continued with the water reservoir project in Sg Muda.

Zairil (Tg Bungah-DAP) said in principle, Kedah cannot carry out projects involving Ulu Muda, which have not been agreed to by the federal government.

He said among the options to stop the implementation of this costly project was to submit a formal objection to the federal government and propose the objection to be debated in Parliament.

“Besides that, we can also take legal action to get an injunction in court.

“PBAPP will strive to implement more strategic projects under the Penang Water Supply Initiative 2050 to reduce the risk of possible disasters in Sg Muda that could affect water supply services in Penang in the future.”

Zairil explained that if the water supply from Sg Muda is disrupted, the water supply for the 1.78 million residents of Penang were also expected to be affected.

In fact, he said, the water supply crisis in Penang will also cause huge losses to all businesses which now contribute RM94.7 billion to the country’s gross domestic product in 2019.

Last year, Kedah announced that it would implement the TAPS project to retain excess water in Sg Muda.

The project, which received an allocation from the Environment and Water Ministry, aims to increase water supply in Kedah and stabilise the water level in the river during the dry season.

Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Muhamad Sanusi Md Nor was reported to have said that through the project, Penang may have to use sludge water if it refuses to pay raw water charges.

Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in his response, said Penang would not make any payments to Kedah, and would not hesitate to take legal action to obtain a court injunction to stop the project. – The Vibes, May 31, 2022

Like rats abandoning sinking ship, more MPs set to flee Bersatu


Like rats abandoning sinking ship, more MPs set to flee Bersatu

Zuraida’s departure only the first, more former Umno lawmakers likely to jump ship, suggest analysts

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid says Datuk Seri Zuraida Kamaruddin’s (left) exit reflects the reality that Bersatu has always been used by ex-leaders of established political parties, chiefly Umno and PKR, as a vehicle to secure a place in the corridors of power. – Bernama pic, May 30, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – Ampang MP Datuk Seri Zuraida Kamaruddin’s exit from Bersatu is merely the tip of the iceberg, which will see more MPs defecting or seeking greener pastures elsewhere, observed political analysts.

Universiti Sains Malaysia’s political scientist Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid told The Vibes that the beginning of the end for Bersatu started when its president, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was ousted as the prime minister in August of last year.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if more Bersatu members leave as we inch nearer to GE15 (the 15th general election). Most of them, while still carrying the Umno DNA, opportunistically jumped on the anti-Umno bandwagon in the pre-GE14 and immediate post-GE14 era.

“Up till today, even after having produced two prime ministers, Bersatu still lacks a clear long-term vision and is still struggling to find ground among grassroots voters.

“Zuraida’s exit reflects the reality that is hard for Bersatu supporters to swallow: that their party has always been used by ex-leaders of established political parties, chiefly Umno and PKR, as a vehicle to secure a place in the corridors of power.

“Once Bersatu’s hold on the premiership is cut off, that usefulness of Bersatu evaporates into thin air,” explained Fauzi.

The very young Malay-based party had come into power under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) banner in the previous general election and had two prime ministers under its belt since.

The first was Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad before he was replaced during the treacherous Sheraton Move, by which the then newly formed Perikatan Nasional-Barisan Nasional coalition usurped Putrajaya from a fracturing PH.

Fauzi added that Bersatu had survived thus far due to its influence in forming governments, but has failed to impress ordinary Malaysians over its administration of the country under both PH and PN.

“Bersatu-led PN governed the country in difficult economic times and flouted democratic norms in more ways than one. Whether through its own fault or not, Bersatu carries the stigma of a failed government,” he said.

Ahmad Fauzi Abdul Hamid says Bersatu has survived thus far due to its influence in forming governments, but has failed to impress ordinary Malaysians over its administration of the country under both Pakatan Harapan and Perikatan Nasional. – The Vibes file pic, May 30, 2022

Zuraida’s departure a sign of Bersatu’s internal strife, ex-Umno MPs look to head home

On May 26, Zuraida announced that she was leaving Bersatu and would join Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM).

She also stated that she is resigning as plantation industries and commodities minister but left the matter entirely to the prerogative of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

Prior to her exit, rumours were rife for months that Zuraida had fallen out of favour with the party's top leadership.

Azmi Hassan, a senior fellow at the Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research, said Zuraida's departure also highlights Bersatu’s internal problem as they failed to accept her as a member.

This is despite the Ampang MP along with her former PKR allies bringing in much-needed support to Bersatu post-Sheraton move back in 2020.

“If they cannot accept her out of sincerity, then Bersatu has some major internal problem because it was she and her team, including Azmin, that brought value to Bersatu. In this case, this demonstrates that Bersatu has lost its attraction and ability to replace Umno,” he said.

Zuraida was one of the 11 MPs led by Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali to quit PKR during the infamous Sheraton Move in February 2020, which led to the collapse of the PH government.

The lawmakers officially became members of Bersatu in August of the same year, with the party also announcing its decision to set up an associate wing to accommodate the non-Malay PKR defectors.

However, what is more obvious is that more Bersatu MPs, especially those formerly from Umno, will look for ways to return to their former party, said Azmi.

“For these elected representatives, there is nowhere left to go but back to Umno, or maybe to PBM. It is good for Umno to accept them back in. If they can pull at least 40 to 50% back to Umno, then it will be the end of Bersatu,” he said.

Azmi Hassan says more Bersatu MPs, especially those formerly from Umno, will look for ways to return to their former party. – The Vibes file pic, May 30, 2022

Bersatu only received backing because of PM post

Another political pundit, Oh Ei Sun, said Bersatu's weak position has already been proven twice in the Melaka and Johor elections.

“The Melaka and Johor elections’ results showed that Bersatu in conjunction with PAS still retained about 20% of voters’ support.

“However, Bersatu’s inability to convert that sizable electoral support into actual seats has brought about a sense of futility among its supporters, who may now be tempted to switch their support to Umno which won overwhelming numbers of seats.

“The idea of backing the winners and not the losers are prevalent among many Umno and Bersatu supporters,” the senior fellow at the Singapore Institute of International Affairs said.

Oh also concurred with Fauzi in attributing Muhyiddin’s ouster from office as the cause of the party’s erosion of support and overall appeal.

The academic pointed out that Muhyiddin’s “Abah” image, which has been synonymised with the party, has not become a liability where it is difficult to separate the two.

However, his “Abah” appeal was only based on his position as prime minister where he held the power to distribute political favours and other resources.

“Now that he is no longer PM, his appeal would undoubtedly decrease,” he said. – The Vibes, May 30, 2022

Pejuang to focus on GE15, not involved in attempt to topple govt - Mukhriz

Pejuang to focus on GE15, not involved in attempt to topple govt - Mukhriz

Pejuang president Mukhriz Mahathir today said that the party will only focus on ensuring victory for its candidates in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15) and will not get involved in any attempt to topple the ruling government.

He also stressed that the party had nothing to do with the latest allegation that Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin had already secured the support of 119 MPs to be reappointed as prime minister.

Mukhriz said if the allegation were true, there should be solid evidence to it.

“We are not involved in this political move to topple the ruling government or change the prime minister. There are only four of us, so we will just focus on our preparation for GE15.

“I think the people too, are sick and tired of such an attempt,” he told a press conference after attending the Kelantan Pejuang Retreat Programme, which was also attended by the party’s deputy president Marzuki Yahya in Kota Bharu, Kelantan today.

Mukhriz, who is also Jerlun MP, said this in response to the allegation made by Warisan president Mohd Shafie Apdal that Muhyiddin had contacted him (Shafie) for support as he had already secured the support of 119 MPs to be reappointed as prime minister.

Will Anwar listen to vox populi of PKR?

S Thayaparan

“Governments have always tried to crush reform movements, to destroy ideas, to kill the thing that cannot die. Without regard to history, which shows that no government has ever succeeded in doing this, they go on trying in the old, senseless way.”

- Emmeline Pankhurst

COMMENT | Setiawangsa MP Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad made a bold statement when he said: “They (PKR members) want us to reject political interests by shortcuts, reject cooperation with powers that have repeatedly rejected reform, social justice, as well as multiracial spirit, and betrayed the mandate of the people”.

As the anchor of Pakatan Harapan, PKR has also demonstrated that it is the weakest link. It is pointless relitigating the failures of Anwar Ibrahim and PKR.

What is of vital importance now is, can PKR coalesce around an electoral narrative that resonates but more importantly ditches the schisms and personality politics that are the foundational politics of Umno?

Rafizi Ramli’s convincing win of the deputy president post presents a challenge for not only Rafizi but also the movement within PKR that views coupling with the Malay uber alles political establishment as the only route to federal power.

Rafizi has made many bold statements as to how PKR should reform and how winning federal power should take a back seat, to PKR establishing itself as a genuine alternative to the Umno/BN formula.

It remains to be seen if his commitment to his rhetoric translates to action that would shake the foundations of PKR.

The reality is that there is a strong whiff of personality politics when it comes to Rafizi.

This would not be such a bad thing if the majority polity considered him such but like most Malay political personalities embraced by the non-Malay polity, Rafizi has to balance the expectations of the Malay polity with that of the non-Malay voting base.

Not only has Rafizi had to be a supportive lieutenant to Anwar, but the PKR president also has to concede that the elevation of Rafizi as his deputy is a repudiation of his failed stratagems and those of his supporters.

Rafizi Ramli, unofficial winner of the PKR deputy president post

If Anwar and Rafizi are to lead the charge for Harapan in the upcoming general election, they would both need to articulate a people-centric political narrative that eschews the Harapan talking points of Najib Abdul Razak and “corruption” but instead relies on genuine utilitarian reforms.

This would mean not engaging in a culture war that Umno/BN/PN wants but which unfortunately gains traction because the non-Malays in Harapan are always targeted to expose the supposed lack of racial and religious bona fides of PKR.

Keep in mind that the Malay uber alles political establishment wants to alienate PKR.

It wants a multi-racial political organisation to fail because this would confirm that the only avenue for federal political power in this country is through race-based political parties.

Rally around Anwar and Rafizi

Harapan needs to take a hard look at itself and admit to mistakes and propaganda that did nothing to reform the system.

In fact, it caused more problems.

With this win, does PKR have a younger leadership that does not buy into this bangsa kool-aid nonsense but understands that racial and religious politics should be dealt with realistically and strategically, instead of attempting to gaslight Harapan supporters?

These young leaders should not be proxies for the old guard.

And these young leaders need to have an agenda that the leadership in Harapan subscribes to.

So right now, everyone in PKR is talking about reaching out and working together, which sounds nice but is pointless.

What everyone in PKR should be doing is rallying around Anwar and Rafizi and pushing both to come up with a political narrative that is not only different from Umno/BN but also demonstrates that Anwar, as the leader of Harapan, is open to reform.

And this is the key. Is Anwar open to reforms?

Obviously, PKR members understand that something is rotten in the state of Denmark when it comes to the party.

They understand that playing the same game as Umno/BN is not going to get them anywhere.

Rafizi resonates with them because he is articulating a strategic decision but so far has not articulated an ideological one.

How is Rafizi, especially in a position of influence, going to counter the religiosity and racism of the Malay establishment under the guise of Malay rights?

How would he balance needed reforms and the corruption of entitlement programmes while adhering to an egalitarian framework?

This is important because if he destabilises PKR, it would just further erode the political party as a viable option for the Malay polity.

Two big questions. Is Anwar open to reforms that his party wants and what are those reforms that Rafizi thinks will save this country?

The answers would tell us if Harapan has a chance in the upcoming general election.

S THAYAPARAN is Commander (Rtd) of the Royal Malaysian Navy. Fīat jūstitia ruat cælum - “Let justice be done though the heavens fall.”

PKR Youth looks back on party polls, need for 'drastic internal changes'

PKR Youth looks back on party polls, need for 'drastic internal changes'

Following PKR’s central election committee’s announcement of the unofficial results of the party polls last night, Malaysiakini spoke to several PKR Youth leaders on the outcome of the polls.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Negeri Sembilan PKR Women’s youth chief Wan Zulaika Abdul Kahar felt that former Pandan MP Rafizi Ramli winning the party’s deputy president post signalled a shift in PKR’s political landscape.

“The wave of reforms brought by Rafizi to some extent influenced the votes in PKR's election. Thus, three out of four vice-presidents brought in by Rafizi won in this election,” she said, noting that the winning candidates all possessed a good reputation.

“PKR's image looks weak after the Sheraton Move and no proactive efforts have been taken to restore the people's support to the party.

“A fresher voice is needed to bring the spirit of struggle to face the 15th general election which is expected to be held this year,” she added.

Saifuddin Nasution Ismail (left) and Rafizi Ramli faced off for the deputy president post in the recently concluded PKR election

On a separate note, she also said that the “big tent” strategy pushed by incumbent secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail was not receptive to certain groups including youth members.

Triumph at general election

She argued that this was because many in the party feel that PKR can triumph in future general elections and that the movement to do so should start immediately.

While Rafizi’s party election rival Saifuddin Nasution’s main campaign message had been “diplomacy”, Rafizi has disagreed with calls by some Harapan leaders who are in favour of a “big tent” strategy.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Shah Alam deputy division chief Mohd Najwan Halimi congratulated those elected yesterday.

“The decision made by PKR members clearly shows that the majority of members want change as well reforms, particularly related to the party’s preparations leading up to the 15th general election.

“The election of Rafizi as deputy president; Amirudin Shari, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad and Chang Lih Kang as vice-presidents (all of whom are in their 40s) shows that the majority of PKR members have thrown their trust and hope behind a generation of young leaders in PKR in helping Anwar Ibrahim lead the party.

“This also proves that PKR - since its inception - has never been scarce of leaders and always provided space for young people who believed in reforms to chart the direction of the party,” he said.

Najwan called for all levels of the party leadership to unite, set aside any tribalism within the party, and concentrate their efforts on serving the party as the 15th general election draws nearer.

Showdown between student activists

The party’s Young Professionals Bureau chairperson Jhen Pei Seah observed the similarities between both PKR Youth chief candidates in the recent election - which include their student activism backgrounds.

“Even though Adam Adli Abdul Halim is still relatively new to the party, his great works have spoken for him.

“Hence, most of the youth members have chosen him as the PKR Youth chief, even though the race was quite close between Adam and Fahmi Zainol,” she said.

Wan Zulaikha said that among the two candidates, Adam appeared to be the more convincing choice to youth members.

“Adam and Fahmi were seen to have a 50-50 chance at the start of the election, but as the results came out yesterday with a majority of 2,000+, it showed Adam was much more liked and his leadership had tackled voters.

“Nevertheless, both figures have played key roles and carried responsibilities in the party in the right way,” said Wan Zulaikha.

Adam Adli Abdul Halim

It is understood that Adam has won the race to be PKR Youth chief by a lead of 1,762 votes, in an unofficial election tally sighted by Malaysiakini.

Adam was sighted as having 13,650 votes, while rival Fahmi had garnered 11,888 votes in the party polls.

Bring in the new

Yesterday’s election results saw many notable figures within the party ousted from their previous posts as division chiefs.

This included PKR veteran Tian Chua and Hang Tuah Jaya MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin.

Shamsul Iskandar was defeated by Md Rafee Ibrahim in the battle for the Hang Tuah Jaya division chief in Malacca, while Chua was unseated as the division chief in Batu, Kuala Lumpur by former protege-turned-rival P Prabakaran.

P Prabakaran unseated Tian Chua

Commenting on the trend, former student activist Fahmi Zainol told Malaysiakini that many in the party wanted to see new faces.

“Many seats, especially the results in Batu, have shown that the leadership, or members, want to see ‘new faces’ - not that they do not like ‘old faces’ (party veterans), old faces needed by the party have to be individuals who are loyal and devoted to the party,” he said.

He observed that this was the case for party veterans who are mired in controversy, naming Chua when he previously contested in Batu and was defeated by young leaders - who were more firm and offered a fresh vision.

“That’s the voice of the grassroots. I think this is necessary, to give opportunities to new people in the party,” said Fahmi.

In the 2018 general election, Chua backed Prabakaran after the latter was disqualified from contesting the Batu parliamentary seat.

However, the gulf between them grew after the Sheraton Move political coup, which saw the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan federal government due to defections.

Chua was sidelined due to his association with former PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, who defected to Bersatu.

Notably, Chua was harassed and assaulted by angry party members after the Sheraton Move in 2020.

Following this, Chua announced the setting up of an NGO called Daya, which critics claimed was linked to Azmin, a claim Chua denied.

Ultimately, Chua remained with PKR and continued to back PKR president Anwar's leadership.

Rodziah wins women’s chief

The party’s women’s wing also saw wins for Rafizi’s camp as Batu Tiga assemblyperson Rodziah Ismail took the women’s chief post.

Rodziah Ismail

According to unofficial results, Rodziah had beaten Senator Fadhlina Sidek in a narrow contest for the wing’s top post.

PKR’s Student wing chairperson Syamil Luthfi told Malaysiakini that based on previous experiences of working with the Batu Tiga assemblyperson through the student wing, Rodziah was deserving of her victory yesterday.

Describing Rodziah’s efforts in assisting the PKR Student wing over the years, he suggested this showed the strength of her character.

“Even though she is not a senior politician in our party, her experience, her knowledge, her wisdom is very much needed to bring this party forward,” he said.

Rodziah won 21,962 votes against Fadhlina’s 21,502. Rodziah is allied to Rafizi.

You think DAP will support Muhyiddin? - Loke

You think DAP will support Muhyiddin? - Loke

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook has denied a claim that he and other MPs from the party are throwing their support behind Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin to become prime minister again.

This comes after Warisan president Shafie Apdal revealed the contents of a conversation he had with Muhyiddin (above, left), which he claimed to have happened two months ago, where the Pagoh MP allegedly said he has secured the support of 119 MPs after negotiating with Loke and Pakatan Harapan chairperson Anwar Ibrahim.

In a sarcastic response, Loke (above, right) told Malaysiakini today that Muhyiddin would indeed become a prime minister again if such claims were true.

"If that is the case, he would have been sworn in as PM right?

"That is, of course, not true... Do you think that DAP will give our support to Muhyiddin?" he said in a text message.

Yesterday, several media outlets quoted Shafie saying that Muhyiddin called him two months ago seeking his support in a bid to retake Putrajaya.

"He called me two months ago. He said brother, I already have 119, I have negotiated with brother Anwar, with Anthony Loke.

Screen capture from a video where Shafie made the allegation

"This was what he told me... Even without Warisan, I already have 119.

"So I told him, Tan Sri, if you already have enough, then you proceed, I will not follow you," Shafie said in his speech to a crowd at a Warisan event in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Najib hits backs at criticism of false claims on income inequality

Najib hits backs at criticism of false claims on income inequality

‘I don’t do false claims or fake news’, says Najib Razak on Facebook.

PETALING JAYA: Former prime minister Najib Razak has hit back at criticisms over his statement that income inequality had widened under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) administration.

Najib, who raised the issue during his recent debate with opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, cited data from the statistics department to show the increase in the Gini coefficient during PH’s time in government.

“I don’t do false claims or fake news,” he said on Facebook.

Najib was responding to allegations that he made false claims on the matter as World Bank statistics only provided data up until 2015.

He, however, said the statistics department provided data up until 2019.

“As you can see, Malaysia’s Gini coefficient experienced its sharpest drop in history during my time as prime minister, dropping from 44.1 to 39.9,” he said.

He said that during his administration, B40 and M40 household income experienced higher yearly growth compared to T20 due to the policies introduced at the time and the expansion of various programmes for jobs and small businesses.

The introduction of the goods and services tax (GST), Najib said, further contributed to the positive growth of B40 and M40 household income as wealthier people faced increased taxes the more they spent on non-exempted items.

“Income equality improved at its fastest pace during this time, lifting millions of Malaysians out of hardcore poverty,” he said.

“But it went up again in 2019 when many of these policies were reversed by the PH government.”

Report: Man found dead in McLaren supercar outside KL nightclub

Report: Man found dead in McLaren supercar outside KL nightclub

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Noor Dellhan Yahaya reportedly said the man had no visible signs of injury and the case has been classed as sudden death. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — A man was found dead in a McLaren supercar parked outside a nightclub here yesterday.

According to The Star, KL Fire and Rescue Department operations commander Najilan Che Pa said 11 personnel and a fire engine were sent to the location along Jalan Gelang Off Jalan Sg Besi at 6pm, following public reports.

"Medics confirmed that the man had died at the scene and handed over duties to the police for further action," he was quoted as saying.

Specialised tools had to be used to open the door of supercar and reach the man, he said.

Dang Wangi OCPD Asst Comm Noor Dellhan Yahaya reportedly said the man had no visible signs of injury and the case has been classed as sudden death.

The body was identified as that of a 28-year-old man from Klang.

Initial investigations also showed that the vehicle was rented.

"The body has been sent to the Hospital Kuala Lumpur for post mortem," Noor Dellhan was quoted as saying.

He also said that the police had received reports from members of the public who saw what they thought was an unconscious man in the car.

Noor Dellhan also asked those with relevant information to contact the city police hotline at 03-2115 9999 or visit their nearest police station.

Sellers blame wholesalers as vegetable prices spike across Malaysia

Sellers blame wholesalers as vegetable prices spike across Malaysia

Prices of some vegetables in states such as Kedah and Kelantan were now over three times what they were previously. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, May 31 — Wholesalers have raised prices due to the shortage of some vegetables, retailers in several states said to explain the sharp increases that have upset consumers.

According to Berita Harian, prices of some vegetables in states such as Kedah and Kelantan were now over three times what they were previously.

"We have no choice (but to increase our prices) because wholesalers are starting to raise prices between RM2 and RM3 for every type of vegetable,” Mawardi Taha, a vegetable seller at the Alor Setar Central Market, was quoted as saying.

"There are buyers who get angry, but we ourselves do not make much profit in this situation. Only the prices of vegetables such as okra and mustard have not changed much.”

Identifying vegetables that were now more expensive, Mawardi said long beans were now RM10/kg compared to RM7/kg last month while chilies were RM13/kg versus RM10 before this.

According to the report, the most affected crop was the long eggplant that was now RM12/kg, up from RM10.50/kg last month. However, is was just RM7/kg earlier this year.

In Terengganu, the report said salad leaves have shot up to RM18/kg from RM5/kg previously. Okra, eggplant, mustard, red chili, cauliflower, and green beans have all seen a RM3 increase to their previous prices.

However, the price of long beans has gone down from RM22 to RM15/kg.

Vegetable seller Siti Farhana Hassan said the price of vegetables would typically fluctuate according to supply.

"The price is uncertain, there are times when it goes up and there are times when the supply changes. The price is different every day with the increase said to be due to a lack of supply.

"For example, salad prices have been quite high lately when they increased from RM15 to RM18 per kg compared to only RM5 per kg," she said.

Some vegetable sellers said the price increases have forced them into shrinkflation, or the practice of reducing packet sizes to present the appearance of not increasing prices.

Roslina Ismail, who has been selling at the Siti Khadijah Market in Kota Baru for the past seven years, said she now put fewer vegetables in each pre-packed bag.

"There is a significant increase in the price of vegetables. For example, I used to buy long beans at RM5 to RM6 for a large bunch from wholesalers but now it can go up to RM10.

"Similarly, eggplants can no longer be sold at RM5 per kg, but RM8 to RM10 instead because we buy at high prices from middlemen or wholesalers.

"It's true that a lot of complaints have been received, but we can't do anything because the prices from wholesalers are already expensive," Roslina said.

Like many countries worldwide, Malaysia has been hit by sharp food inflation stemming from supply disruptions since the Covid-19 pandemic, which have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

This has forced the government into measures such as eliminating approved permits (APs) for most food imports and banning the export of chickens from next month to stabilise local supply and prices.

The Department of Statistics previously reported that food inflation was officially 4.1 per cent in April but consumers have reported double- or triple-digit inflation for many food items including some staple foods.

Many reasons why people visit Gunung Jerai well, says MB

Many reasons why people visit Gunung Jerai well, says MB

A still from a video clip on social media which has sparked complaints of alleged “superstitious practices” at Gunung Jerai. (Facebook pic)

SIK: The Kedah state government will not make an immediate ruling on complaints of “superstitious practices” at a well on Gunung Jerai but will hand the matter to the state religious affairs department, menteri besar Sanusi Md Nor said today.

He said the department would investigate whether there were superstitious practices taking place at the mountain, a popular spot for visitors and hikers, Bernama reported.

A one-minute video has been widely shared on social media which shows visitors bathing and performing ablution at Telaga Tok Syeikh before going up the mountain to perform the next ritual.

However, Sanusi said activities that were against Islamic law did not take place only atop Gunung Jerai. There were more “evils” that took place “below”.

He said the state government did not want to arbitrarily make a ruling that the practice of bathing at Telaga Tok Syeikh was a superstitious practice.

He said it would depend on one’s intentions in doing so, the Bernama report said.

“Some people go up to (the well) to meditate, some people for recreation, some people think that the water from this well can make medicine…so I leave it to the authorities to investigate things like this,” he told reporters after attending an Aidilfitri event here today.

Repairs on pipeline postponed

He said repair work on a leaking subsea water pipeline to Langkawi had been postponed until an audit of the pipeline’s integrity was completed.

“If we do not conduct an integrity audit on the pipeline, there is a risk that strong water pressure will cause new leaks on the pipeline,” he said.

“Otherwise we will be wasting RM50 million to repair the 23 existing holes along the pipeline,” he said.

Big Tent snub helped Rafizi secure deputy presidency: PKR lawmaker


Big Tent snub helped Rafizi secure deputy presidency: PKR lawmaker

Selayang MP William Leong says choice about ‘party going back to its roots’

According to Selayang MP William Leong, Rafizi Ramli’s (pic) entry into PKR’s top leadership will help the party re-establish its distinct identity, which he said has been lost throughout the years after it began working with Bersatu and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad prior to the last general election. – The Vibes file pic, May 30, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – Rafizi Ramli’s principles to not cooperate with other parties under a “big tent” approach in facing the general election may have been the deciding factor as he secured a somewhat surprising victory for the PKR deputy presidency, said a party lawmaker.

Selayang MP William Leong said the win against Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail – seen by many as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s preferred choice for the number two post – showed party members were convinced by the ideas carried by Rafizi.

“If we look at what Rafizi has been talking about during campaigning, he wanted the party to return to its original objectives and ideology, and he was against the big tent. This was one of the defining issues in the election race,” he told The Vibes today.

I think what happened was party members have spoken and shown preference for the direction taken by Rafizi. It is really about the party going back to its roots.”

Throughout the campaign period, Rafizi had on several occasions said he was against the idea of working with other parties outside Pakatan Harapan (PH), and that the key to ensuring victory was to strengthen the party internally in a bid to regain public support.

Saifuddin, on the other hand, appears more open to cooperating with other political outfits, saying such an approach will increase the coalition’s chances of returning to Putrajaya.

According to Leong, Rafizi’s entry into PKR’s top leadership will help the party re-establish its distinct identity, which he said has been lost throughout the years after it began working with Bersatu and Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad prior to the last general election.

This, he said, is due to Bersatu’s race-based nature being the opposite of PKR’s ideal of multiracialism.

Selayang MP William Leong (pic) says the win against Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail – seen by many as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s preferred choice for the number two post – showed party members were convinced by the ideas carried by Rafizi Ramli. – Bernama pic, May 30, 2022

“I think it’s important for us to go back to that identity, that we are a multiracial party with Malay-majority leaders and grassroots that will ensure the Malays won’t lose out, but similarly champion the non-Malays.

“Since 2018, I think this is where we have not been able to prove the narrative that multiracialism is the only way to go in this country.”

New party leadership line-up ‘very encouraging’

Rafizi cemented his return to active politics after a two-and-a-half-year hiatus by defeating PKR stalwart Saifuddin with a staggering majority of more than 19,000 votes, according to unofficial results released yesterday.

His faction members also secured three of the four vice-president posts in the recently concluded PKR polls.

For Leong, the make-up of the new party leadership is very encouraging, as it sees a blend of younger leaders with fresher ideas and old guards with experience.

He also commended all candidates for ensuring a rather peaceful election process that lacked the tensions and infighting of 2018, which saw the eventual defections of a number of top leaders, including former deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

We saw how Saifuddin conceded defeat and offered an olive branch to his opponent. This is a very good sign and exactly what we need in the party.”

Wangsa Maju PKR chief Andre Lai said Rafizi’s victory is an indication that grassroots members longed for a change in the party’s leadership.

“Rafizi has been travelling nationwide to provide an explanation of his plans for PKR. His Ayuh Malaysia campaign (to persuade Malaysians to come out to vote in the general election) is seen to be more realistic and people-friendly.

“(His election) shows grassroots want change. We must present a fresher line up of leadership with new ideas,” he said in a statement yesterday. – The Vibes, May 30, 2022

Monday, May 30, 2022

EU countries struggle to agree Russian oil ban


EU countries struggle to agree Russian oil ban

'We are not there yet' on oil ban - EU chief

EPACopyright: EPA

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen says the EU is "not there yet" with regards to an agreement on a sixth package of sanctions, including a potential ban on Russian oil imports.

"It's never been easy. It's the same now with the sixth package," she told reporters as she arrived ahead of a summit of the 27 EU leaders.

"It is very important to have fairness for all, we haven't found a solution for that yet.

"My expectations are low that it will be solved in the next 48 hours. But I'm confident that thereafter there will be a possibility," she said.

The EU requires the approval of all member states to introduce the sanctions, despite announcing them nearly a month ago.

As we've been reporting, Hungary, which relies heavily on Russian oil, is the main opponent of a ban in imports.

Posted at 23:12 30 May23:12 30 May

How reliant is the EU on Russian energy supplies?

As we've been reporting, EU leaders are due to meet later to discuss a ban on Russian oil imports. Ambassadors from EU countries have already been holding talks.

The proposed move would be part of the EU's sixth sanctions package imposed on Russia as a result of its invasion of Ukraine.

One issue, however, has been the bloc's existing reliance on Russian supplies.

Russia supplies 40% of the EU's natural gas and 27% of its oil imports, for which EU nations pay roughly €400bn (£341bn) a year.

Reliance on these imports varies from country to country, with some like Germany and the Netherlands particularly heavy consumers of Russian oil and gas.

Want to know more? Read our explainer here.

Posted at 22:49 30 May22:49 30 May

EU struggles to agree on Russia oil sanctions

Jessica Parker
Reporting from Brussels

The EU’s beleaguered oil sanctions ban wasn’t even officially up for discussion at this week’s summit of leaders. But, as the elephant in the room, it’s now marched its way onto the agenda.

A senior official said the European Council would now try to reach a “political agreement” on the issue.

The hope will be that such an agreement can hand ambassadors – who deal with the nitty, gritty detail – enough momentum to get over the remaining technical hurdles.

All eyes will now be on Hungary. Budapest has been vocally resisting the embargo for weeks and its Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, made it plain he doesn’t think the issue should be discussed at today’s summit.

This package, which does contain other measures, has been watered down. But officials are keen to point out that targeting seaborne supplies first (while leaving pipeline oil until later) still accounts for around two thirds of Russian oil imports.

Nevertheless, this last minute bid to get a political agreement from leaders may be seen as an attempt to save a summit that was being completely overshadowed by weeks of wrangling over the EU’s elusive sixth package of sanctions.

“PKR polls: Rafizi, Amirudin have neutralised Anwar’s influence”

“PKR polls: Rafizi, Amirudin have neutralised Anwar’s influence”

THE PKR party election is a revelation to many who disputed Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali’s influence, through his “cartel” in Selangor.

What is considered as one of the largest vote bank for the party, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari has delivered one of the biggest blow to party president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Everything happened under his nose and furthermore, his detachment from reality is laughable for a seasoned politician when he allowed the Selangor MB to use him to be part of the national line-up without a return in favour.

As for Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, he could not match or even come close to challenging the number of votes garnered by a resurgent Rafizi Ramli in Selangor.

Rafizi has now taken charge nationally while Amirudin has secured the crown jewel of PKR and knocked off Anwar’s men in the state. A graduate of back door politics, Amirudin is today Azmin’s proxy holding Selangor.

Observers of the party election raised concerns when there was a delay in results announcement that went more than a week for some divisions.

Re-elections in some divisions appeared dubious to many but it was the prerogative of the party election committee (JPP) after factoring the alleged discrepancy in the democratic process.

Although the JPP was not under the control of the president, nevertheless, Anwar must be held responsible for the apparent hypocrisy in democracy.

Azmin’s proxy triumphant

This is after a series of reports included vote buying, mismanagement on election day – and more importantly a delay in the results announcement after more than 24 hours – which would have not sit well if the perpetrator was the Election Commission (EC) during a general election.

It is no surprise that voters’ turnout was low, at 13.5%, because Anwar has truly lost the plot and control of his party.

The defeat suffered by his political secretary, Farhash Wafa Salvador Rizal Mubarak in Gombak to Amirudin crippled Anwar’s chances of mooting another “Kajang Move”.

Amirudin is a wolf in sheepskin and has no mercy for any of Anwar’s men who includes Saifuddin despite endorsing the Selangor MB publicly in a campaign video as the deserving division chief for Gombak.

In not so many words, “Cartel 3.0” is back with Amirudin securing his place as Azmin’s proxy in Selangor while maintaining a cordial relationship with Rafizi.

In effect, Anwar’s influence in the party has been neutralised, paving way for Rafizi’s return into national politics.

Only time will tell how the former deputy prime minister will respond to the events that have unfolded. – May 30, 2022

Ismail Hasnan is a party member and observer of democracy.

PKR polls: results don’t make sense, Sangetha Jayakumar alleges


PKR polls: results don’t make sense, Sangetha Jayakumar alleges

Kota Raja contender claims ballots counted fewer than members who voted

Sangetha Jayakumar – who was PKR Women’s vice-chief – was beaten by Sentosa assemblyman Gunarajah George in a straight fight, with a margin of more than 1,000 votes, according to the official results. – Sangetha Jayakumar Facebook pic, May 30, 2022

KUALA LUMPUR – Sangetha Jayakumar – daughter of former PKR vice-president Datuk Dr Xavier Jayakumar – who lost in the race for the Kota Raja division chief post has claimed the presence of irregularities in the party’s polls.

On Facebook, Sangetha said that in Kota Raja, the number of total votes counted – including “dubious” ballots – was less than the total of voters who took part in the polls.

“The tabulation of votes, based on members who are recorded as their supporters, are also far different from what was displayed in the unofficial tally issued by the JPP (election committee) today,” she said.

“The said disparity is so glaring and does not make sense.”

Sangetha – who was the Women’s vice-chief – was beaten by Sentosa assemblyman Gunarajah George in a straight fight, with a margin of more than 1,000 votes, according to the official results.

In the contest, Gunarajah – who secured a solid victory for the Sentosa seat in 2018 – had gained 2,709 votes against Sangetha’s 1,691.

Sangetha said the alleged irregularities have raised high doubts about the Adil application setup for the elections.

Even “more worrying”, she said, were concerns raised over whether the system has been manipulated by certain quarters.

Her concerns were compounded by “weird” and “inconsistent” procedures, such as announcing the winners of the polls at a much later date.

“I feel that this is a strong basis to urge the party to carry out an audit by an independent third party, without the involvement of any quarters with vested interests in the party election,” she said.

“This is to restore the confidence of party members and the community that the party was not compromised by misconduct and manipulation.” – The Vibes, May 30, 2022