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Friday, September 26, 2014

The way forward for the PM

NAJIB
By SSK

The defeat of PAS in the Pengkalan Kubor by-election yesterday shows that PAS cannot go solo and without PKR and DAP it would not be able to become a political force in Malaysia.

And the same goes for PKR and DAP as well. On their own they would become insignificant other than merely playing the role of the opposition in parliament and all the state assemblies.

However, that is, unfortunately, also the case with Barisan Nasional.

Umno, on its own, will not be able to hold on to power. It needs its other partners in Barisan Nasional, especially those from Sabah and Sarawak considering that MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP are more or less spent forces, at least for now.

This puts to rest the fallacy that since 2008 Malaysia has finally seen the emergence of a two-party system. Malaysia does not have a two-party system. What it has is a two-coalition system.

But coalitions are messy and are no guarantee to lasting power. This is because a coalition is made up of many parties with differing ideologies, doctrines, aspirations and cultures.

Hence the different parties within that coalition could actually be working against one another. And this is very visible of late in the case of the Selangor MB crisis.

Pakatan Rakyat will need to focus on repairing its marriage over the next three years before the general election expected around 2018 or so. And so will Barisan Nasional if it does not want to see itself ousted from power.

The Prime Minister can no longer adopt an arms-length manner of running the country. He will have to identify around 165 parliament seats that Barisan Nasional has a good chance of winning and micro-manage these seats over these next three years.

Barisan Nasional should not waste its resources on those seats that will go to the opposition whatever you may do. Focus on just those 165 seats that Barisan Nasional can win and which will keep the ruling coalition in power.

Pakatan Rakyat’s problems are far from over even if it has resolved the Selangor MB crisis. In fact, its problems have just begun. So Barisan Nasional should take advantage of this by strengthening its public image, which is taking a beating due to attacks by Umno dissidents led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

You cannot please everyone. For sure you cannot please the opposition supporters or those dissidents in Umno. Hence you have to please those who can help you stay in power.

At the moment, until MCA, MIC, Gerakan and PPP recover their lost fortunes, it looks like Barisan Nasional will have to depend on Sabah and Sarawak to stay in power. Hence the Prime Minister needs to ensure that the voters in Sabah and Sarawak are happy.

There are some issues that the citizens of Sabah and Sarawak are unhappy about. These need to be addressed and are not really that difficult to address. All it needs is political will and micro-managing the expectations of Sabahans and Sarawakians.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

SALLEH TURUT BANTU CALON BN DI PENGKALAN KUBOR

SALLEH KETIKA BERUCAP
TUMPAT: Timbalan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Tun Said turut membantu kempen Barisan Nasional (BN) dalam Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK) Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Pengkalan Kubor.

Pada Sabtu, beliau yang juga Speaker DUN Sabah bersama-sama pimpinan Umno Sabah membantu kempen di daerah mengundi Jering.

Dalam PRK ini, calon BN  Ustaz Mat Razi Mat Ail ditentang calon Pas, Wan Rosdi Wan Ibrahim dan seorang calon Bebas, Izat Bukhari Ismail Bukhari.

Sementara itu, penampilan calon Barisan Nasional (BN), Mat Razi Mat Ail berjubah dan berserban bukan dibuat-buat, malah ia adalah pakaian yang sering digunakannya sejak zaman kanak-kanak lagi.
Perkara tersebut didedahkan oleh ibunya, Habsah Ismail, 65, ketika ditemui oleh pemberita di rumahnya di Kampungan Simpangan di sini hari ini.
DAERAH MENGUNDI JERING

Malah Habsah menegaskan, anak sulungnya itu tidak pernah lekang daripada membaca al-Quran sejak usia muda lagi dan beliau tidak pernah berubah terus kekal dengan keperibadiannya itu sehingga kini.

"Mat Razi seorang anak yang baik dan taat, selain mempunyai pegangan agama yang cukup kuat.
"Sejak kecil dia (Mat Razi) banyak menghabiskan masa membaca al-Quran selain menjadi tonggak keluarga dengan sentiasa membantu adik-adik yang lain," kata Habsah lagi.

Friday, September 19, 2014

FAHAMI KONSEP `AGREE TO DISAGREE'

Oleh SSK

1. PERBEZAAN pandangan dan perselisihan pendapat adalah perkara lumrah. Ia biasa berlaku dalam mana-mana organisasi, kelompok mahupun antara individu. Kerana tidak semua dilahirkan dengan tahap pemikiran yang sama. 

2. Manusia bukan seperti kereta yang dibina di satu kilang yang mesti mengikut spesifikasi ditentukan. Sebab itu, fizikal manusia tidak akan sama antara satu sama lain. Ada tinggi rendah, kecil besar. Demikian juga dalam pemikiran, ada tinggi rendah akhlaknya dan kecil besar otaknya.

3. Inilah rumusan saya terhadap polemik yang dicetuskan oleh Datuk James Ligunjang berkaitan isu tahun kemerdekaan.

4. Jika pun Datuk James Ligunjang tidak setuju dengan pandangan mana-mana pihak, terhadap apa isu sekalipun, dia sepatutnya tidak menggunakan bahasa sedemikian. Penggunaan bahasa dan perkataan-perkataan itu menggambarkan keperibadian seseorang. Dan dalam hal ini, apabila seseorang menggunakan perkataan yang tidak sepatutnya diungkapkan oleh siapapun, apatah lagi seorang bergelar Datuk, maka itu mencerminkan kecelaruan fikirannya dan emosi yang tidak terkawal.

5. Datuk James Ligunjang sepatutnya kena terima hakikat bahawa perbezaan pendapat dalam mana-mana isu adalah perkara biasa. Kita jangan emosi, sebaliknya kita kena kawal diri.

6. Kita boleh berbahas berdasarkan fakta masing-masing, bukan dengan kata nista. Dan akhirnya biar khalayak yang buat penilaian. Kita tidak boleh paksa orang lain terima pandangan kita bulat-bulat. Kita kena memahami konsep `agree to disagree'.

7. Sebenarnya, pandangan saya itu (berhubung tahun kemerdekaan) adalah reaksi kepada soalan pemberita dalam satu majlis baru-baru ini, sebagai response kepada kenyataan Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek sebelum itu yang menyatakan bahawa mulai tahun depan tidak perlu disebut tahun ke berapa kemerdekaan negara bagi mengelak kekeliruan fakta.

8. Malahan, YAB Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, telah pun mengumumkan perkara ini pada sambutan Hari Malaysia di Miri, Sarawak pada 16 September lepas. 

9. Secara peribadi, dan sebagai seorang sarjana politik, saya mendukung konsep `agree to disagree' kerana di gelanggang politik, perbezaan pendapat tidak boleh dielakkan. Ia lumrah dalam setiap pertubuhan politik. Lebih ramai ahlinya, maka lebih banyak pandangan dan pendapat.

10. Bekas Perdana Menteri Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad juga pernah tidak menyetujui pendapat saya berkaitan isu 1MDB. Beliau (Dr Mahathir) melihat dari perspektif hutang dan saya melihat dari sudut CSR. Jelas ada perbezaan pendapat. Masing-masing menghormati pendapat masing--masing, tanpa hilang rasa penghormatan. Tanpa menggunakan bahasa emosi.

11. Satu lagi contoh perbezaan pendapat ialah berkaitan isu tanah di Tenom yang dibangkitkan oleh Naib Presiden Umno, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. Pendapatnya disanggah banyak pihak dan saya turut mengulas, akhirnya mencetuskan polemik. 

12. Perdebatan berdasar fakta masing-masing dan dari sudut berlainan tanpa menggunakan bahasa yang tidak sepatutnya.

13. Yang penting, kita jangan jadikan perbezaan untuk berbalah secara peribadi. Perbezaan sebenarnya sesuatu yang menarik kerana akhirnya akan membawa kita bersatu atas kebenaran. Natijahnya, raikan perbezaan pendapat.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

PKR's SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST PAS

By SSK

Today, PAS President Abdul Hadi Awang was forced to deny that PAS was talking to Umno to form a unity government. He was also forced to reiterate that PAS would stay with Pakatan Rakyat and not go to bed with Umno.
This rumour was started by PKR to coincide with the PAS assembly this week, which saw a lot on internal squabbling between the ulama’ group and the so-called professionals a.k.a. the Anwarists. The rumour was clearly meant to undermine the ulama’ faction that is said to be talking to Umno.
Malaysians have very short memories because it was as recent as December last year that PKR Secretary-General, Saifuddin Nasution, met Umno Vice President, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in London to discuss a unity government between Umno, PKR and PAS.
PAS leaders Abdul Hadi, Mustafa Ali and Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man were also in London at that time and Saifuddin invited them to join the talks with Ahmad Zahid.
Abdul Hadi, however, declined the invitation and only Mustafa and Tuan Ibrahim went. Abdul Hadi did not want to endorse the meeting and his decline of the invitation was the message he was sending to Saifuddin and Ahmad Zahid that he is not in favour of such a unity government.
Today, this whole thing has been twisted to say that Abdul Hadi is the one who wants to make a deal with Umno when he intentionally absented himself from the meeting for the very reason he does not want to make a deal.
Anyway, that matter is now going to be overshadowed by new developments.
On Tuesday, 23rd September 2014, the new Selangor Menteri Besar is going to be sworn in. So far no names have been mentioned but reports say that whoever it may be it is not going to be Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
So, at the moment, it is still merely speculation with some saying it is going to be Iskandar Abdul Samad from PAS while others are saying it is going to be either Azmin Ali or Dr Idris Ahmad from PKR.
What can be confirmed, though, is that Khalid Ibrahim’s last day as Selangor MB is 23rd September 2014. And, depending on who the candidate for new MB is, expect another round of internal bickering between PAS and DAP/PKR.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

DAP the winner in the Selangor MB Crisis

By SSK

While Malaysians remain focused on the Selangor Menteri Besar Crisis, what many may have not noticed is that DAP is facing an internal crisis of its own. And this crisis is regarding its 2012 party election and the 2013 re-election that the Registrar of Societies (RoS) has classified as unconstitutional.

DAP is challenging the RoS in court so in the meantime nothing is going to happen. However, if the court rules that the RoS is correct and that DAP did, in fact, violate its own party constitution, the party may be facing deregistration like what happened to Umno some years back.
LIM KIT SIANG

The Selangor MB Crisis is basically between PAS and PKR. DAP appears to be quite silent about this matter and for good reason. DAP is hoping that if this crisis is not resolved then the Selangor State Assembly may be dissolved to make way for new state elections.

Umno is not too keen on new state elections and neither is PKR and PAS. In 2008, Umno won 18 seats and MCA two, giving Barisan Nasional 20 seats in the 56-seat State Assembly. In 2013, Umno dropped to 12 with zero for MCA.

Hence if new state elections are held Umno can only win between 12-18 seats, most likely 15 at best. So it is of no benefit to Umno to participate in a state election it is never going to win anyway.

Pakatan Rakyat will contest all 56 seats and most likely win 40-41. The question here would be how would PKR, DAP and PAS divide the seats?

Out of the 56 seats, about half are Chinese-majority seats and the other half-Malay majority. Hence DAP has the potential to win about 28 seats.

DAP is preparing to contest 20 seat with 18 each for PKR and PAS. While DAP is able to win all the 20 seats it will contest (like what happened in Penang where DAP won all the sates it contested), PKR and PAS will have to ‘share’ their seats with Umno.

Hence PKR and PAS can win only about 20-21 seats combined with PAS getting lesser seats than PKR. And this would make DAP the largest party in the Selangor State Assembly.
LIM GUAN ENG

This time around DAP will field about three to five Malay candidates. And this would mean DAP can claim the post of Selangor Menteri Besar, something they could not do in 2008 and 2013.

So it is to the benefit of DAP that the Selangor State Assembly is dissolved and new state elections are held because there are enough young Malay professionals ready to contest the election, especially when that could mean they would be given the post of the new Menteri Besar of Selangor.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Salleh Keruak: Mahathirism no longer works


KOTA BELUD: Prime Minister Najib Razak should be given some space to implement his own style of governing instead of being shadowed by the era of Mahathirism, says Salleh Keruak in his recent blog post.
Salleh compared the reality of Malaysia in 1980s to today, saying that the advent of new media had made the people more informed.
“Furthermore, Malaysia’s population and number of voters have more than doubled since Mahathir took the office,” he said.
“To win the hearts and minds of the people, you need to introduce reforms and not get tougher with them.
“And this is what many of the Old Guard do not appear to understand.”
Salleh was refeering to those who “are aligned to or had at one time served under” ex-prime minister Mahathir Mohamad.
“If Umno and Barisan Nasional do fall,” Salleh said, “it will be because of internal bickering and sabotage.
“Umno warlords justify the attack on Najib by saying that it is to advise and not meant as a move to oust Najib.
“More vocal critics say it was a mistake for Dr Mahathir to appoint Najib, hence the ex-prime minister has to correct his mistake.”
Commenting on the recent crackdown on opposition politicians with sedition charges, he said: “The government will have to tread very carefully lest this move triggers negative repercussions. Umno-Barisan Nasional is not going to be a very popular government once the trials begins.”
“If the court kicks out these cases because the prosecution fails to prove intent, the government is going to be very embarrassed. And if instead these people are sent to jail, the government is going to face a lot of criticism.
“This is where, both ways, the government loses.” - Freemalaysiatoday

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Why Mahathirism no longer works

By SSK

There appears to be a concerted effort by some people within Umno to undermine Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Is it a coincidence that most of these people are aligned to or had at one time served under ex-Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad?

How would one view this? Would this be considered interference? Would this be called sabotage? Have we forgotten that when the same thing was done to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2006-2007 Umno and Barisan Nasional almost fell in the 2008 general election?

We have always said: If Umno and Barisan Nasional do fall it will be because of internal bickering and sabotage by its own members, machinery and leaders. And yet this is precisely what they are doing.

The Umno warlords justify this attack on Najib by saying that it is just advise to make the Prime Minister see the error of his ways and make him come back to the right path and is not really meant as a move to oust Najib.

The more vocal critics say it was a mistake for Dr Mahathir to appoint Najib the Prime Minister and hence the ex-Prime Minister has to correct his mistake.

How many ‘mistakes’ has Dr Mahathir made in appointing his successors? First it was Musa Hitam, and then Ghafar Baba, followed by Anwar Ibrahim, and finally Pak Lah. No one is ever good enough. And it is all because none have the Mahathir-touch and can match Mahathir in running the country.

But Malaysia of the 1980s and Malaysia of today, 30 years later, is a very different place. With the advent of the internet, blogs and social media, the people are more informed.

Furthermore, Malaysia’s population and number of voters have more than doubled since Mahathir took office. And the demographics, too, have changed. Because of urbanisation and urban migration, the voters in the cities and towns have surpassed those in the rural areas -- plus the age group of these voters has fallen sharply.

In short, to put in bluntly, Mahathirism, as some people call it, no longer works. And this is what many of the ‘Old Guard’ do not appear to understand.

Even the on-going use of the Sedition Act on some opposition leaders is being condemned. The government will have to tread very carefully lest this move triggers negative repercussions. Umno-Barisan Nasional is not going to be a very popular government once the trials begin.

The crime of sedition is not about what you say but about the intent behind what you say. Hence the government needs not prove what you say (which is on record anyway) but why you said it. And intent is not easy to prove because intent is not what you say but what is in your heart.

If the court kicks out these cases because the prosecution failed to prove intent, the government is going to be very embarrassed. And if instead these people are sent to jail, the government is going to face a lot of criticism. This is where, both ways, the government loses.

The Sarawak state election next year is going to be very crucial. This will more or less determine what is going to happen in the next GE around 2017-2018. And the next GE will decide whether Umno and Barisan Nasional will still be in power.

Hence the Najib critics had better back off and not pressure Najib to return to the era of Mahathirism because that would be a sure recipe for disaster -- for Umno and Barisan Nasional, that is. Najib must propagate reforms and be seen to be serious and sincere about it. If not, then Umno’s and Barisan Nasional’s days are numbered.

This is what the ‘Old Guard’ needs to understand. To win the hearts and minds of the people you need to introduce reforms and not get tougher with them.