The Malaysian United Indigenous Party (“PPBM“), under the leadership of Tan Sri Muhyiddin bin Haji Muhammad Yassin, has agreed to be a part of the Muafakat Nasional (“MN“) coalition.
Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the Secretary General of the Barisan Nasional (“BN“) coalition and the Minister of Federal Territories, has stated that MN has agreed in principle regarding PPBM’s wish to join the coalition.
At its inception, MN only consisted of the United Malays National Organisation (“UMNO“) and the Malaysian Islamic Party (“PAS“).
A necessary formality?
PPBM’s joining of MN appears to be mere formality as PPBM, UMNO, PAS, and a host of parties from Sabah and Sarawak informally formed the Perikatan Nasional (“PN”) federal government.
The PN federal government, however, even with the inclusion of UMNO and PAS, only have a precarious 2-3 seats majority in the House of Representatives.
When UMNO announced that it would not become part of PN should the informal coalition be registered, it then became necessary for PPBM to formally align itself with UMNO and PAS in order to remain a part of the federal government .
PPBM is the weakest of the three.
It cannot be disputed that PAS & UMNO have strong grassroots support. The same, however, cannot be said about PPBM.
PPBM, being a relatively new national party, experienced exponential growth in its first few years largely due to Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad (“Tun M”).
Tun M, a seasoned politician and a former Prime Minister, commands great respect and support amongst the masses.
When Tun M left PPBM, an exodus soon ensued. Since his departure from PPBM, Tun M has announced the setting up of the Party of Homeland’s Fighters (“PEJUANG“).
Various PPBM branches have since been dissolved due to lack of members.
Perkasa seems to be getting more and more dissatisfied with UMNO’s performance in defending malay rights. A coalition of Malay rights groups (including Perkasa) plans to submit a memorandum to the Government, touching on issues like the abolition of vernacular schools and the limitation of PTPTN loan exemptions to only bumiputeras
As of 2013, Perkasa claims to have a membership of around 500,000 (an impressive feat considering it has only been around since 2008). If the numbers prove to be true, perhaps instead of supplementing UMNO, Perkasa should become a political party and give UMNO a run for their money
I know many of us would balk at the idea of seeing a Perkasa candidate on our ballot paper. However, a hallmark of a democratic society is the presence of competitive and unique political parties (ethnic supremacist groups included)
Case in point, the United Kingdom. The UK has the British National Party (BNP), which is their very own version of Perkasa. The reason I liken BNP to Perkasa is because amongst other things, the former advocates white nasionalism
In regards to legal immigrants settled in UK, the BNP “recognises the right of legally settled and law-abiding minorities to remain in the UK and enjoy the full protection of the law, on the understanding that the indigenous population of Britain has the right to remain the majority population of our nation”.
It offers however voluntary repatriation where “generous grants to those of foreign descent resident here who wish to leave permanently”
It is important to note that BNP has no representative in the House of Commons or the European Parliament. This could possibly mean that the people of UK generally do not subscribe to BNP’s principles
Only by running for elections will Perkasa know if the people truly supports its ideologies. Perhaps Perkasa could outdo UMNO as its far-right stance may appeal to certain segments of society more than UMNO’s new centrist direction under the command of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak
It wouldn’t be fair to gauge Perkasa’s wealth of potential just by looking at its president’s failure to recapture Pasir Mas in the 13th General Election.
After all, just because Ibrahim Ali lost his beloved parliamentary seat (which he has been contesting in without fail since 1986) to a political novice doesn’t mean the people dont want him right?
Futhermore, considering Perkasa supposedly has 500,000 members, it shouldn’t be too difficult to field a candidate for every parliamentary seat up for grabs in the next general election
Even IF 60% of Perkasa members happen to also be UMNO members, in the event of a mass exodus to UMNO, Perkasa would still have 200,000 members give or take a few
In the hypothetical situation whereby Perkasa fields 222 candidates for election to be members of Parliament, the malay supremacist group would still have plenty of manpower to go around campaigning and garnering for support. Talk about strength in numbers!
Instead of complaining and whining that UMNO does a dreadful job in upholding the Bumiputera agenda, Perkasa should play a more active role in the 14th general election and not shy away from the challenge. I’d honestly love to see the reception of the rakyat (people) towards Perkasa.
*Check it out also at The Malaysian Insider , Free Malaysia Today, Malaysia Today, and Malaysia Chronicle
Two years ago, our beloved Prime Minister vowed that he will repeal the Sedition Act 1948 and replace it with a National Harmony Act. Fast forward two years and we’re still clinging on to a promise (or a re-promise if you will) although there have been positive signs that the National Harmony Bill is slowly but surely getting ready for tabling
However, it was reported yesterday that most UMNO grassroots leaders are for the Sedition Act. Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, claimed 161 out of a total 191 divisions nationwide had voiced a desire to keep the pre-independence law in a recent survey undertaken by central Umno.
The news is not at all surprising as in recent times, UMNO leaders haven’t been charged with sedition despite making arguably seditious statements. We have Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s statement about a repeat of the May 13 racial riots, as well as Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi’s recent “non-malays are getting arrogant” rant
A joint statement made by a coalition of Malaysian NGOs in protest of the Sedition Act listed down those who have been charged under the draconian and archaic piece of legislation. They are:
1. David Orok – Member, Sabah Reform Party
2. Azmi Sharom – Law professor, University of Malaya
3. N. Surendran – Lawyer, Padang Serai MP
4. Khalid Samad – Shah Alam MP
5. R.S.N. Rayer – Lawyer, Seri Delima assemblyman
6. Abdullah Zaik Abdul Rahman – President, Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia
7. Teresa Kok – Seputeh MP
8. Chua Tian Chang – Batu MP
9. Hishamuddin Rais – Social activist
10. Adam Adli – Student activist
11. Safwan Anang – Student activist
12. Haris Ibrahim – Lawyer/ Social activist
13. Tamrin Tun Abdul Ghafar – Political activist
14. Md Shuhaimi Shafie – Sri Muda assemblyman
Numerous others are being investigated, including:
1. Viktor Wong – Activist, Parti Rakyat Malaysia
2. Susan Loone – Journalist, Malaysiakini
3. Hassan Karim – Lawyer/ PKR Johor vice chairman
4. Rafizi Ramli – Pandan MP
5. Ali bin Jalil – Member of public
6. 17-year-old schoolboy (unnamed)
7. Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin – Changkat Jering assemblyman
It is undeniable that some of the aforementioned things said/done are controversial. But do we need the Sedition Act when we have the Penal Code (s.298, 298A, s.500) and the Defamation Act 1957 to deal with such sensitive matters?
To get a better view of whether to repeal/maintain the Sedition Act, it is necessary to do a nationwide referendum. A survey of the UMNO division heads nationwide would be insufficient to safely conclude that Malaysians want the Sedition Act to stay
A referendum is the most effective way to obtain public opinion as evidenced in Scotland, whereby on the 18th of September this year, Scottish citizens will be asked whether they want Scotland to go independent, thus leaving the United Kingdom. It is only logical that the rakyat are consulted about such a momentous thing
Similarly in our country, we should have a referendum about the future of the Sedition Act. The wishes of the majority should then be respected and acted upon. On my part, I am Joshua Wu Kai-Ming and I demand the abolition of the Sedition Act #MansuhAktaHasutan #AbolishSeditionAct
*This article also appeared at The Malaysian Insider, The Malay Mail Online, and Malaysiakini
(i) Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has made an about turn regarding his past pledges to abolish the Sedition Act 1948. Instead, he intends to strengthen it (27th November 2014)
Out of the blue, Sungai Air Tawar assemblyman Kamarol Zaki Abdul Malik decided to table a motion to discuss hudud and its possible implementation in Selangor
What was more shocking was that Selangor Speaker, Hannah Yeoh decided to allow for the motion to be debated in the state legislative assembly
The Selangor Speaker set a good example by allowing hudud to be debated. After all, it is an issue which has been plaguing Malaysians.
Selangorians would definitely want to hear both sides of the political divide arguing their case
Many felt that the motion was to trap Pakatan Rakyat. If Hannah Yeoh were to disapprove of the motion, she would be labelled as anti-Islam, and afraid to deal with the sensitive issue
Despite being criticised for her decision to allow the motion to be debated, Hannah Yeoh stood firm on her principle of being a neutral and fair Speaker to all parties, and maintained her decision
When a motion was tabled to debate about hudud in Terengganu, the Speaker decided to not allow the matter to come to pass. Barisan Nasional is capable of pushing for hudud in Terengganu as they form the state government by virtue of having the most seats in the state assembly
Isnt it ironic that UMNO decided to talk about hudud in Selangor when they discarded the very same issue in Terengganu?
Unfortunately, Kamarol Zaki Abdul Malik decided to withdraw the motion in Selangor. This lead to the rakyat questioning the sincerity of UMNO regarding the issue
As Muslims believe hudud to be God’s law, it should not be manipulated for political gains. Such revolting acts only reflect poorly on spirituality of the perpetrator(s)
As if that wasnt enough, Selangor BN put the onus on PAS to push for hudud in Selangor. Talk about looking at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye but not paying attention to the plank in your eyes!
Moving on, it was reported today that 10 written questions submitted by Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (ADUN for Kajang) was rejected by the Selangor state legislative assembly by virtue of exceeding the 40 word limit imposed on each question
Guess who was behind such a bold decision? If you guessed Hannah Yeoh, you are right!
Hannah Yeoh is doing a superb job as a Speaker and is setting a very good precedent for others in a similar position of authority. Her impartiality and strict obedience of the rules is nothing short of praiseworthy!
Ladies and gentlemen, in Hannah Yeoh we have a good example!
*Read it also at The Malaysian Insider and The Malay Mail Online
I could not agree more with Member of Parliament (MP) for Teluk Intan, Mah Siew Keong when he said that the future of Malaysian politics is in multi-racial parties instead of single race entities
However, he seems to be preaching to the choir. What he should be doing, is addressing this to his partners in Barisan Nasional (BN). After all, UMNO, MCA and MIC are race based political parties
After 56 years (approaching 57 years of independence), one has to wonder if race based political parties propels the country forward or contributes to the significant division between the many races in Malaysia
Political parties like DAP, PKR, and Gerakan are multi-racial parties which best represent the new generation of Malaysians who see themselves as Malaysians before as Malays, Chinese, Indians, or others.
In the past, Dato Seri Onn bin Ja’afar called for UMNO party membership to be opened to non-malays and for the party to be renamed the United Malayans National Organisation.
However, the idea was shot down by many. He then left UMNO to form the Independence of Malaya Party, and subsequently, Parti Negara
Unfortunately both parties failed to meet it’s potential due to the lack of support by the Malaysians then. But all that happened about 50 years ago! Shouldn’t things have changed for the better?
Aren’t Malaysians generally mature enough to accept the fact that we are all in this together? Regardless of how some of our ancestors came to Malaya, we’re all Malaysians now
We all contribute to the economic well-being of the country by way of spending, investing, paying tax, etc. The time is right to rid ourselves of race-based political parties
Mah needs to have a serious chat with his political buddies in his capacity as president of Gerakan. After all, everyone knows the correct answer to the problem. Being willing to do the right thing and potentially suffering for it is a different story
Multi-racial parties are truly the way forward!
*Also read it at The Malaysian Insider, The Malay Mail Online, and The Malaysian Times