Sunday, March 31, 2024

The East Wind as Game changer in GE16

Murray Hunter

The East Wind as Game changer in GE16

From Petra Jaya to Putra Jaya

MAR 31, 2024

Lim Teck Ghee, Murray Hunter and Carolyn Khor

For years there has been talk of a ‘third force’ to radically change the nature of politics and government in Malaysia. The noble objectives included unity, opportunity and socio - economic growth, while avoiding race, religious, and geographical divisions. Although these principles have some general support, attempts of launching new parties have come and gone, leaving the race-based Semenanjung dominant party status quo intact and unchallenged.

Malaysia is losing its competitive position in the region. The economy is not evolving in a way to structurally prepare for the future, and the wellbeing of the Rakyat is deteriorating. These are undeniable truths which the great majority of Malaysians from all races and sides of the political divide are in agreement.

The government needs to be run by people, with a clear intent of being for the people, and driven by a vision of a Malaysia that can evolve and cement an inclusive and cohesive nationhood that all citizens will be proud of.

This emergence can come from the political leadership of East Malaysia, who have repeatedly shown they are capable of transcending the race and religion divide. East Malaysian leadership can lead the change towards a new generation of younger leaders, with new ideas for policy development, with implementation by people who care about what happens.

The political leaders of Sabah and Sarawak have long governed with philosophies very different from what Malaysians have experienced in Semenanjung. Adenan Satem stands out as the role model for a new united Malaysia but unfortunately he was not able to complete his mission with his early demise.

The East Malaysian people have a sense of nationalism that others in Semenanjung have lost to other narratives. These narratives are perpetually causing division and regression, at the cost of cohesion and advancement.

Many in Sabah and Sarawak also have a sense of patriotism which has withstood the test of MA63, the unequal relationship of the three component states of the federation, their status as stepchildren in budget and development allocations, and the numerous other ways in which they have been discriminated against by Semenanjung dominant coalition governments.

Frankly, it’s time to look east to Sabah and Sarawak and for the Semananjung dominant political pundits to stop ignoring what is happening in the other half of Malaysia. It is time to take their principles, culture and lessons and incorporate them into an administration and government that governs for all Malaysians.

The East Malaysian political leadership can unite and nurture Malaysia towards maturity and new hope. This is not to underestimate the challenge as society, economics, and politics of Sabah and Sarawak are also diverse, and there has never been a strong and resilient Borneo perspective. However, both territories have enough in common to provide a fresh look at where Malaysia should go. And this can begin with GE16.

There are two basic strategies for this possibility to be rolled out and achieved.

Create a movement in Semenanjung and Sabah and Sarawak with local citizens, activists, and politicians.

Work with a bloc of existing parties in a coalition (a reverse takeover of the unity government). This would mean East Malaysia parties with Semenanjung partners becoming the largest bloc in parliament after the next election and leading a new government.

It is indeed very possible for East Malaysia as a blocc to be the largest grouping in the next sitting parliament after the GE. The East Malaysian bloc will not just be the kingmaker in the next election, it can take the leadership.

Besides being established partners of past BN governments and the present Unity Government, coalitions such as GPS and GRS would fare even better if they continue to engage and form alliances with one another to present themselves as a united East Malaysian front in preparation for the next election.

This is so that, in the event, talks between PH and UMNO break down in the future, the East Malaysian bloc may continue to push for inclusive policies, including MA63 and other policies, and in doing so, become the stabilising and positive factor in the fractured political landscape that is likely to emerge after GE16.

With 56 seats up for grabs in the next election, and perhaps more seats after the delineation exercise, GPS and GRS may safely hold at least 30 seats and may even be in a position to add more to their new partnership. Should the delineation exercise result in expanding East Malaysia’s parliamentary representation to at least 1/3 of the total parliament seats, this will greatly increase East Malaysia’s weight and participation in the country’s na

It is evident that East Malaysian MPs have more gumption when it comes to matters related to racial and religious issues. In contrast, Semenanjung parties are either too emotionally and financially invested to think straight or are just trying to score political points by fanning matters and issues to the extreme. The issue of using English for communication with government departments was promptly shot down by Sarawak Premier Abang Jo. Similarly, the UEC has been accepted by the Sarawak government since 2014, whereas this remains a contentious matter on the peninsula. Other than that, Tiong King Sing regularly stands his ground when he broaches issues that no other non-Muslim MPs dare to talk about.

Looking at the political situation today, Semenanjung parties are all established and have little room left for improvement. This is especially the case, ever since reforms have taken a backseat to compromises and power-brokering, and procuring a larger slice of the political cake.

That being the case, smaller parties on the Peninsula should also form alliances with Borneo parties such as Warisan. Although Warisan’s attempt to enter the peninsula fizzled out during the last election, it would be beneficial if there is communication between Warisan and all the smaller parties of the peninsula, such as PSM, PRM, Muda, Gerak Independent and the Green Party as soon as possible. This can be the foundation for strategically engaging other coalitions further down the road.

Some independent observers are forecasting that there will most likely be a hung parliament after the next GE, similarly to GE14. Should this happen, there is opportunity for existing blocs to realign with a East Malaysian grouping leading to potentially more than a new coalition government. This bloc, led by East Malaysia parties and including parties based in the Semenanjung, can reignite reformasi and lead to a new type of politics.

Malaysians from all communities are sick and tired of the same-old, same-old polemics of the past, and GE16 is the time to get it right. If the existing Unity Government needs a push in the right direction, it can only be achievable if the East Malaysian bloc unites and 'serbu' (charges into) West Malaysia to keep the old guard on their toes.

We are confident that many voters will agree with the above premise. We recognise that some will see it as improbable or will scoff at the idea of an East Malaysian party bloc leading a future coalition. The pundits may dismiss or disregard the above proposition, but can they present a better alternative?

There is an urgent need for a new unity in the country. This can be shaped by the outcome of GE16. The east wind can be the transformative catalyst.

First of three parts

Lim Teck Ghee is a former senior official with the United Nations and World Bank. Murray Hunter is an independent researcher and former professor with the Prince of Songkla University and Universiti Perlis. Carolyn Khor is a former ministerial press secretary, a former United Nations Volunteer and an independent researcher/writer.

Ramasamy: Saifuddin would have been forced to resign in other countries for failing to foil racial, religious tensions

Ramasamy: Saifuddin would have been forced to resign in other countries for failing to foil racial, religious tensions

By Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

IT IS well and good for Home Minister Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution Ismail to remark that those who called for the boycott of KK Super Mart over the sock-gate controversy should take responsibility of the petrol bomb incidents.

Thus far, two outlets gf the 24-hour convenience store chain – one in Bidor, Perak and the other in Kuantan, Pahang – had been fire-bombed within a matter of week.

It might be the logical consequence of police investigation to have charged the owner and socks supplier of KK Super Mart.

But how come there is no diplomatic protest against the manufacturer in China? The fact that the socks were manufactured in China was of no consequence to UMNO Youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh.

When challenged, he refused to take on China or at least organise a protest in front of the Chinese Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.

The label “bully” might be appropriate to Akmal for taking on law-abiding commercial establishments in the country but not the manufacturer in China.

Although the police swung into action to charge, prosecute and convict the two individuals who made mocking comments about the socks issue in their Facebook, the vigilantes who took the law into their own hands to mete out mob justice are still on the loose.

Saifuddin, PMX are big let-down

One wonders whether the police will go after them and those responsible for the fire-bombing incidents.

Perhaps, it might have made sense to charge the business owners, suppliers and the keyboard warriors to ensure normalcy in the country.

However, it is hoped that the policy will be extended to cover the vigilantes and those responsible for the fire bombings.

Highly surprisingly, Akmal who was responsible for the heightened racial and religious tensions seems untouchable. Calling for the boycott might be legal, but the manner in which it was called was unacceptable.

Surely, the police knowing the sensitivity of racial and religion did not have the luxury of time to have procrastinated on the matter.

What if the incessant calls for boycott that gave rise to racial and religious tensions had ignited violence?

Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy

The police are not naive on the matter of taking appropriate actions before the tensions would pave way to violence in the country.

But Saifuddin as the Home Minister is a big disappointment over the Allah inscription on socks incident. He and his boss who is none other than the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was silent on the socks issue for a while.

Other than calling for the parties to cool down the racial temperature. Anwar did nothing to take control of the situation.

What is the point of Saifuddin now saying that Akmal has to take the responsibility when the situation is more or less dissipating.

Why as the minister in-charge of police, he retreated in the background to allow UMNO Youth to dictate terms in the country? If this situation had happened in some other country, he would have been forced to resign.

Saifuddin as a minister has revealed his incompetency in terms of managing the socks incident from getting out of hand.

Anwar for all his grand talk of bringing foreign investments in the country failed to restore law and order. What is the use of bringing in billions of ringgit when he failed to nip the racial and religious tensions in the bud.

This will eventually undo all his efforts as lack of political stability may lead to an exodus of foreign investors from the Malaysian shores.

I suppose the slogan of the Madani government has no relevance in ensuring law and order in the country. – March 31, 2024

Former DAP stalwart and Penang chief minister II Prof Ramasamy Palanisamy is chairman of the Urimai (United Rights of Malaysian Party) Interim Council.

How would Dr Akmal feel if his own clinic is suddenly a boycott target or worst, Molotov cocktail target?

How would Dr Akmal feel if his own clinic is suddenly a boycott target or worst, Molotov cocktail target?

WHILE the dust is settling down on the socks episode, Russian-trained medical practitioner Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh may now find himself on the receiving end of a backlash, this time involving duit raya given to cops in Jasin, Melaka. Is this karma or retribution?

Even though RM20 may be small, a wrong is still a wrong even when it is done out in the open.

This writer believes that the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Razarudin Husain would not allow Akmal’s cheap publicity stunt to ruin the good reputation of the Royal Malaysian Police (PDRM).

The money may be collected and returned back respectfully to Dr Akmal as it unlikely that the top cop would allow his directive issued in February to be taken lightly.

If the UMNO Youth chief’s action is accepted, the dangerous precedence he sets would mean that anyone paying a bribe to an enforcement officer in the future can do so openly.

Afterall, the Merlimau state assemblyman has argued that there is “nothing wrong” with such a distribution because the money came from profits generated by his own clinic.

Boycott his clinic?

Going by his call to boycott and “bury” KK Super Mart’s business, one wonders if Akmal would someday wake up to the rude shock that his clinic in Bandar Baru Merlimau in Melaka becomes the target of an incessant boycott.

How would he feel if a smart Alec demanded his clinic be closed forever because “profits” generated from the clinic is clearly used to defy the IGP’s directive issued barely a month ago?

After all, what goes around comes around and the good doctor may be forced to taste his own medicine.

What he and other so-called vigilantes had done can be seen as a pattern where there are attempts to fan the 2R (race and religion) sentiments to pitch the Chinese and the Malay community against each other by touching on anything from bak kut teh to vernacular schools and a proposed UNESCO heritage status for Chinese New Villages.

Fortunately, most Chinese have been enlightened that May 13 was nothing but political clashes between political parties fuelled by a poison letter written by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir in his younger days. Most Malaysians in a display of unity are, in fact, looking out for each other.

Fast forward to 2024, Chinese politicians are now better advised by their Malay counterparts within the coalition. For that reason, they are playing cool by issuing public apology, if necessary.

With this, it is hoped that Dr Akmal realises that what he has done is damaging to the attempts by the Madani government to revive the country’s economy.

He is driving away foreign investors and causing many to lose their jobs – especially so among the Malay/Bumiputera community – once he is successful with his boycott of KK Super Mart. – March 31, 2024

Netizens disagree with customers destroying goods in KK Mart

Netizens disagree with customers destroying goods in KK Mart

THERE has been a sharp rise in attacks on KK Marts in Malaysia. Besides the petrol bomb attacks, a viral video recently showed a man destroying a significant amount of products on offer in the mart.

The person who posted the video on the X platform said it is an act of barbarism, adding that it is barbaric to crush and destroy merchandise and food products just like that, urging the authorities to act on that.

Now, we have unscrupulous individual(s) going into KK Mart to crush and destroy merchandise and food products just like that. This is not human being but act of a barbarian instigated by Umno Youth, may be..... So, whose fault ??! Any authority to act on it ??!

The dispute against the retail brand began over socks with Allah printed on them sold at KK Mart. This sparked calls for a boycott from the UMNO Youth Chief Dr Akmal Salleh.

The store’s founders and three vendors were charged, yet two stores were firebombed. Dr Akmal condemned the violence, urging a peaceful but persistent boycott approach.

In addition to this, X users who are pro-unity government are stating that the customer’s action of crushing chocolate bars and other products as a sign of boycott is not part of the teachings of Islam.

A prominent X user says that behaving in such a way can make others view Malaysian Muslims in a less favourable light.

Now, we have unscrupulous individual(s) going into KK Mart to crush and destroy merchandise and food products just like that. This is not human being but act of a barbarian instigated by Umno Youth, may be..... So, whose fault ??! Any authority to act on it ??!
Maaf kepada non muslim, kami malu ada orang ber perangai mcm ni. Akhlak islam bukan sebegini. Wahai org islam, Kena jaga maruah Islam, jangan sampai Islam dilihat dan dinilai sebagai agama yang ganas dan melahirkan ramai golongan Islamophobia. Ini penting di dalam dakwah Islam.

Some users are saying the owners of the particular mart should check their CCTV recordings to locate the culprit.

Now, we have unscrupulous individual(s) going into KK Mart to crush and destroy merchandise and food products just like that. This is not human being but act of a barbarian instigated by Umno Youth, may be..... So, whose fault ??! Any authority to act on it ??!
Cctv kan ada , check laa siapa, cctv kk mart power gila babi kot kau pergi counter dia da siap snap gmbar muka. Jumpa budak ni kau humban laa masuk jail.

Others claim that the person who destroyed these items simply did it for their own views. X users claim that with the internet, some people are willing to do strange things for content. This could also be one of these people. – March 31, 2024

Now, we have unscrupulous individual(s) going into KK Mart to crush and destroy merchandise and food products just like that. This is not human being but act of a barbarian instigated by Umno Youth, may be..... So, whose fault ??! Any authority to act on it ??!
ni semua lebih kepada nak dapatkan view konten je ni, susah kalau dah mindset nak view je