Category Archives : Politics


[Politics] Eternal Vigilance

“The price of freedom is eternal vigilance” – John Philpot Curran.

There are many good posts and updates on Facebook about yesterday’s results. I will not repeat them here. However, I think everyone should think long and hard about this:

The next five years, my fellow Malaysians, will be the dirtiest we have seen. It will be the ugliest. UMNO, and by extension, Barisan Nasional, will depend on the “us vs them” rhetoric to shore up their support in the rural areas. In fact, Najib, the leader of UMNO, has already fired the first salvo yesterday by claiming it was a “Chinese Tsunami” that threatened its dominance and reduced its majority in Parliament further.

They will attempt to create an emotional response and use that to blind and break us every time we question, resist, or protest their schemes, ideas and projects. Sometimes they will use it even to hide their own shortcomings. It will be one of those “storm in a teacup” moments, where everyone will forget all about the main issue and focus on only that one small thing (anyone remember that “leaking” remark made by Bung Mokhtar which lead to a massive outcry? Yes? Do you remember what prompted it, without referring to Google? No?* I thought so).

Democracy is not just the event of throwing our votes every 5 years. It is a journey of nation-building. It is hard, ongoing, and consistent work. If we want to build a better Malaysia, then we must be prepared to work for it.

Question. Listen. Understand. Agree to disagree.

That is what democracy is.

* If you DO remember what the issue is, I salute you!


Lahad Datu Conjectures

ALL THIS ARE MY OWN OPINIONS AND THOUGHTS. THEY ARE NOT FACTS. PLEASE UNDERSTAND BEFORE YOU RUN OFF YOUR ROCKER.

So sometime in February, armed invaders landed in Sabah and attempted to claim east Sabah as their own. They called themselves the “Royal Security Forces of the Sultanate of Sulu and North Borneo” and said that east Sabah belonged to them. The Malaysian BN Government surrounded Kampung Tanduo (or Tanduo Village in English) and gave them two weeks to leave the country, but did not specify what would happen if they chose not to.

The invaders chose to stay put.

According to some local sources, on the 17th day of their “stay” in Sabah (aka March 1, 2013), a small group of their fighters attempted to leave the cordoned area. They fired at the security forces around that area, killing 2 policemen with mortar fire and injuring another two more. There was a short gun battle that apparently ended with 10 dead on the Sulu side, and 2 on Malaysia’s.

That was what happened on Friday. Bear in mind, this is what we have been told so far. There is apparently a gag order on the media about this. Wiki does have a pretty good link to the story.

After that happened, these thoughts ran through my head:

  1. There are a lot of illegal immigrants in Sabah. Nothing has been done about them over the years despite the pleas of Sabah.
  2. A large number of them are Tausangs, who are apparently Sulu people. Some say about 8,500 of them
  3. It would be completely realistic to expect the Tausangs to “rise up” in retaliation for their comrades being killed.


Yesterday, March 2, 2013, there was a gun fight in Semporna, about 150km from Lahad Datu. Some sites claim that the people who fired on the policemen were actually on their way to attack the Lahad Datu police station. However, the official news report says that the gun fight was unrelated to what is happening in Lahad Datu, because our boys in blue were carrying out an operation to find and confiscate illegal firearms.

OPINION AND IDLE SPECULATION BEGINS HERE

Anyone who’s read political thrillers and the like can take a conjecture as to what is happening next. The chances of there being a full out invasion in Sabah is very high, aided by “sleeper” agents who have entered Sabah over the years. Considering that both the Philippines and Malaysia have elections scheduled for this year, there is speculation that this incident was also orchestrated to embarrass certain parties.

From a reddit thread I read yesterday, there is speculation that this was orchestrated by an opposition component (Philippines is scheduled to have elections in May). In Malaysia, there is wide speculation that it was orchestrated by the BN government to delay General Elections, which must be called in the next few months, barring an Emergency.

So what do I think may happen?

The invaders may rise and overwhelm the Sabah population. War is declared. Elections are delayed for Malaysia, continue as scheduled for Philippines. The war may spread to Sarawak. Indonesia may take the opportunity to reclaim Sarawak.* Borneo Brunei (thanks for spotting this, N4vin!) decides that West Sabah belongs to them and stakes a claim.

Basically, widespread chaos.

But hey, what do I know, right? I’m just a keyboard warrior.

Who is utterly pissed and feeling frustrated at what is happening in Sabah. I have friends there, damnit!

Additional points:
Badí‘ Yee Tzyypirng aka ‏@badiyee on Twitter points out that there is a 5 Defense Pact for Sarawak. Should Indonesia attempt to annex Sarawak, they will be smacked.


Leadup to Bersih 3.0

Bersih 3.0 is a rally calling for clean and fair elections in Malaysia. So far they have had 3 rallies. The second one was last year, and it presented 8 demands to the government:

  • Clean the electoral roll
  • Reform postal voting
  • Use of indelible ink
  • A minimum campaign period of 21 days
  • Free and fair access to mainstream media
  • Strengthen public institutions
  • Stop corruption
  • Stop dirty politics

What followed after last year’s massive rally was a Parliamentary Select Committee that was supposed to address the concerns Bersih had made. The report made it to Parliament, where they refused to allow a dissenting minority report to be entered, along with the main report. There was also no time frame stipulated to implement the recommendations.

What happened after that was far more sinister. A “stop the clock” motion was granted for the first time in years to allow Barisan Nasional, the ruling coalition with a slim majority, bulldoze 8 motions through Parliament. One of the 8 motions removes the safeguards to preventing electoral fraud and AIDS dirty politics. Here, have a read for yourself:

What this means is that the demand to clean the electoral roll wasn’t just ignored. It was brutally spat upon by the Elections Commissions. By the way, the heads of the Elections Commissions have admitted they are part of UMNO, the lead of Barisan Nasional.

And the response, as you can see in the report linked, is that “that’s not a big deal. They’re still doing their job without bias.”

Which is rather sickening when you consider that the gerrymandering and malapportionment is well and alive in Malaysia today.

Which was the reason why I marched yesterday.


Poverty and Baba Nyonya

As it happens while I am driving, this question popped into my head:

If poverty is an economic state, and if it afflicts* everyone regardless of race, how can Malaysia thus justify distributing aid and measures to help these people by race?

A poverty-stricken Malay is still a human being.

A poverty-stricken Chinese is still a human being.

A poverty-stricken Indian is still a human being.

A poverty-stricken Orang Asli is still a human being.

How can you thus justify distributing aid according to race?

I can understand distributing aid according to area. For example, creating specific and targeted programmes to help the poverty-stricken in Pekan, Pahang, or Miri, Sarawak**. If there are poverty-stricken Malaysians in those areas, aid should be distributed to all regardless of race. For instance, a family of 5, no matter the race, still needs to eat. It doesn’t make much sense to give rice only to the Malays in a single neighbourhood and then transport the leftover rice to be redistributed to the next neighbourhood when you can feed the Chinese, Indians, and everyone else in that neighbourhood.

I cannot understand this obsession with race. Especially not for something as straight forward like this.

And there’s something else that’s even weirder.

Historically, it is said that the Baba Nyonya group were here before the Eurasians (as far as I know, Eurasians, especially Portugese Eurasians like me said to descend from the Portugese invasion in the 1500s). In our history books, they are held up as a symbol of Malaysia being the melting pot that she is, in that they are Chinese people who have married the Malay culture with their own.

Yet Eurasians are considered bumiputra (aka we have special rights) while these Baba Nyonya don’t. And I have been told bumi status is awarded to those whose race has been around longer.

So how come Eurasians are bumis but Baba Nyonya are not?

* Afflicted may not be the best word. If you can suggest something else, please do.
** I do not intend to mean that these places are poverty-stricken, just that they are the first non-Klang Valley names that popped into my head.


[Politics] Uh… what? 2

When it comes to financial matters, unlike my mother, I’m rather clueless. I understand certain procedures and the like, but finance, on the whole, has bored me. That said, I am extremely protective of my monies. It comes from being told as a child that I cannot do what I like unless I have money, so when I place my monies in other people hands, I generally expect it to be returned to me.

When it comes to the EPF, I am of the opinion that as long as the money is there when the time comes for me to retire, I don’t really mind about the lack of interest. I come from a family where it is always prudent to invest in more than one scheme. That and a belief that savings is really, really important. I also admit that I am lucky that I still have money for savings.

That said, I am not very happy with what is happening with my EPF money. For those who do not know, the EPF is a mandatory contribution fund for Malaysian workers. The idea behind the EPF funds is that it forces workers to save money for their retirement, with the funds being released at the age of 55 to the worker. However, depending on the user’s needs, a certain amount may be removed from the EPF accounts for emergencies and betterment, such as purchasing a new computer under the IT guidelines, housing loans and/or in case of disabilities or death (please correct me in the last).

The Federal Territories Minister has come up with a “brilliant” plan to provide housing loans for some 20,000 renters who are, for various reasons, unable to get a commercial loan to buy houses. Some reasons include having retired and/or unable to guarantee a steady income. On the surface this may seem like a great idea, but I can’t help but be skeptical and very worried about the entire scheme for one reason, and one reason alone:

Why is the EPF lending directly to these borrowers instead of going through a third party like the Bank Rakyat and the Malaysian Building Society? The main comment and question being asked in all articles I’ve read so far is that if, as Federal Territories and Urban Well-being Minister Raja Datuk Nong Chik Raja Zainal Abidin insists, that this new housing loan scheme is so profitable, why aren’t the commercial banks snapping up the loans?

Why is it that my monies, entrusted to the government to ensure I have a safe retirement, is being used in such a manner?

Or is this, perhaps, the Federal Government’s way of saying “FUCK YOU” to the middle class, who it left out in the 2012 budget, for voting for Pakatan Rakyat instead of Barisan Nasional?

You know, I wasn’t sure what else BN could have done to lost votes and drive people to Pakatan Rakyat after Bersih and the EO6 saga, but I suppose they seem to be rather insistent on outdoing themselves every time.