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Sakmongkol ak 47

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The King's Speech and Mob Judgment

A non-issue has become a contentious point by some BN MPs. Debates and opposing views on the King’s Speech are to be treated and judged the same as the slurs made against the King outside parliament- as rebellion against the King.
What is happening here? The standards of mob or crowd judgement –hysterical, unreasonable and clueless are being adopted by mob leaders inside parliament. The leaders are easily identified- they shout the loudest in parliament and appoint themselves as leaders and spokesmen for the mob outside.
Since Independence, Royal Addresses have always been followed up by adversarial debates. That has been the practice of parliamentary democracy. We come to the House to debate on issues- the agenda for ensuing debates being set down by the Royal Addresses. Since independence the Royal addresses were prepared by advisors to the Constitutional King. In modern times, the speech is prepared by the government in power. It is safe to assume, the King’s Gracious Speech is prepared by the PM’s office.
The Monarchy was recently attacked by individuals. Disparaging remarks were made against the King. The image of the King has been sullied. The UMNO owned Press played it up stirring up emotions and anger. This has given an excuse to UMNO front guards to treat actions by these individuals as representing a more sinister assault against the monarchy.  The 'war' against the Malay Monarchy was brought into parliament. There were attempts to link the actions by individuals outside parliament to people within the House. When Anwar Ibrahim stated that the King’s Speech wasn’t an order or an absolute edict, his statement was quickly construed as similarly mutinous.
And therefore you see the mob instincts brought into the House. They are brought into the House by UMNO. The nature of a mob is that it is an irrational, often violent organism that derives its energy from the group. It’s at once irrational and devoid of logic. Mob judgment is intoxicated by messianic goals such as declaring anyone who questions the King’s Speech as mutinous. It feeds off and on adrenalin-pumping exhortations. And we know, as is often the case, when a crowd goes wild, there are always some who shout louder and therefore appoint themselves as leaders. We of course know them by another name- UMNO storm trooper.
They use more insidious methods. They twist the truths, stir up passions, demonize opponents, and rely on propaganda. Why do these elected UMNO reps shout louder than the others? Because, their standard operating procedure is to appeal to the least informed and the weakest minded of the public. Their support base consists of housewives, actresses and actors, artists, felons, Utusan Malaysia readers, welfare recipients, heads-up-their-asses billionaires and heads of GLCs with humongous salaries.


Tuesday, 25 June 2013

First Day in Parliament

I am seated next to Dr Jeyakumar of Sungai Siput. He sits on my right. On my left is the MP for Penampang, Darrel Leiking. I am in good company. Dr Jeyakumar is a medical specialist who has but given up on medicine. Instead he spends more time as the MP for Sungai Siput. In the recent elections he defeated MIC’s Devamany.
Darrel Leiking is a successful lawyer practising in Kota Kinabalu. He has recently come onto the radar screen strongly protesting against the unjust refusal to grant entry for MP Nurulizzah Anwar into Sabah.
The first day started off badly for the BN lawmakers. The first order of business was the election of the Speaker. PM Najib proposed Pandikar Amin Mulia, the incumbent speaker. Pakatan on their part proposed the name of a former high court judge, Abdul Kadir Sulaiman. The proposals were put to the ballot.
A point of order was raised by Pakatan lawmakers questioning the necessity of signing AND putting up the name of the signatory. Standing order #4(4) states that the member needs only to sign the ballot. The name of the member is not required. Once the ballot is signed AND the name of the member is stated, the vote is no more confidential.
This is of course a trivial matter. But parliamentary business is not to be trivialised.  If the standing orders provide so, then it must be followed to the letter. Failure to stick to the letter, suggests that a sloppy mind is at work. Otherwise, what’s the point of having that particular standing order?
Having to clearly state down your name suggests that even in the trivial business of electing a speaker, the leader of the BN government wants to ensure 100% compliance. He has no confidence in the conduct of his party men perhaps mindful of the rumours circulating around, that BN MPs are abandoning him.
Later, the speaker was perhaps playing one-upmanship when he stated that actually the elected MPs cannot raise points of order because they have not taken oath as MP. They are merely present at the invitation of the speaker of parliament to witness the formal declaration of him as speaker.
The Standing Order reads: On the first day of the meeting of the House after a general election, members having assembled at the time and place duly appointed and being seated in accordance with the provisions of Standing Order 2, the Setiausaha shall read the Proclamation of the Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong by which the meeting was summoned, and thereafter the Order of Business on such day shall include—
Which to me means, when the Setiausaha duly and dutifully made such declaration, the business of the House starts and elected members are therefore able to deliberate on such matters related to the Order of Business even before the Speaker is formally declared. Otherwise, how could we affirm his formal declaration?
If these verbal skirmishes are an indicator for the coming days, this 13th parliament will be a lively session.


Monday, 24 June 2013

The Case for Electoral Reforms

One of the most important objectives of the Black 505 Rally that took place on the 22 of June (622) was to ask for the resignation of the chiefs of SPR. It stands accused of impartiality, perpetuating and abetting electoral fraud, refusing to clean the electoral rolls and acting hapless when called upon to act on the massive discrepancies in electoral registers. The Chairman and the Deputy of the EC stood out as exemplars of Little Stalins impervious to demands for the EC to facilitate democracy not to hinder and suffocate it.
Never in the history of Malaysia, has the SPR been overtly political. The two people helming SPR are seen to be the most politically proactive. Their political adventures and frolics lead people to justifiably conclude that the SPR is but another satellite of the BN. it is a tool serving the interests of the BN government. It therefore stands of the side of the Oppressor.
Our SPR has complete lost its credibility and integrity as an independent commission answerable to The Agong. Does the Agong countenance fraud and partiality of the SPR? The SPR must not only actually behave with extreme impartiality, but it must also be seen to behave as such.
With the SPR unmoved and bull-headed, we are going to be far way yet from radical electoral reforms- that is, if we are thinking about asking the present government to adopt proportional representation or something like that. The SPR has positioned itself as an utterly unreasonable umpire; declining to direct itself to address the issues that are wholly under its responsibility. (1) Clean the electoral rolls (2) perform its duties honestly and with integrity (3) justify itself as an instrument facilitating democracy.
Let us begin by asking the EC to do the most basic things first. Tackle the issues of gerrymandering and mal-apportionment.  
Boundaries are drawn and redrawn by the incumbent so as to give them advantage. Hence, the average voter density for BN candidates as a whole is less than voter density in PR constituencies.
And yet this argument cannot be carried too far so as to invite unreasonable fears on the incumbent government. Only certain states show the problem is serious. Pahang for example has the curious anomaly that the number of eligible voters in Pekan is 80,000. It is bigger than the voting public in Kuantan. Maybe it’s time to split up the Pekan parliament into two. It’s strange to realise that a part which is physically in Kuantan is in the Pekan parliamentary area. The army camp at the 9th Mile Kuantan-KL road is a case in point. Najib can have his 50,000 voting public and allow EC to create an additional parliamentary area for Pekan.
The problem is most pronounced in Selangor. The 5 parliamentary seats won by BN have an average voter density of 54,000. The average density for the 17 seats won by Pakatan is 99,000. Every seat won by Pakatan is worth 2 BN seats. Clearly Selangor is the top candidate to address the issue of gerrymandering.
Voter density in BN seats-GE13
Eligible voters
(in 000)
Sabak bernam
Sg besar
Tg karang
Kuala selangor
Hulu selangor

If the average voter density desired is around 54,000 then, Selangor can create another 30 seats. The voter density for Pakatan ranges from 80,000 in PJ Selatan to 144,000 in Kapar. The median density for Pakatan is 112,000. You can see the glaring injustice in voter apportionment.

In Kelantan, Tumpat, Kota Bharu and Bachok are possible candidates for re-delineation as they have abnormal voter density for that state. In Kedah the places with high voter density are (1) Kuala Kedah (2) Pendang (3) Pokok Sena(4) Merbok (5) Sungai Petani and (6) Baling. In Terengganu, constituencies such as KT,Kemaman and Marang have higher voter density than the rest in Terengganu.
The spectre of unwanted revised delineation is not too scary for the BN government.
Was the average voter represented by the party of their choice? BN got 133 seats supported by 5.24 million voters. BN has 47% of the total votes but obtained 60% of the parliamentary votes. Surely this is a travesty of natural justice. PR won 50% of the popular votes but had to accept 40% of the parliamentary seats. You end up with the result that 50% of the voters felt they are not represented at all. That is because, we followed the winner takes all electoral system which we inherited from the British Raj.
UMNO and BN won the day only because they are saved by the ill effects of gerrymandering and mal-apportionment.
An Honest SPR/EC.
The good things we disinherit. When the first elections were held in 1955, we did not need polling and counting agents. Election officials did their work honestly. Contestants did what they must do at that time- contest against each other. The business of managing the electoral process was left with the elections officials at that time.
They took care of everything mindful of their impartiality and desire to present the true results. After voting closed, contestants could get back to their houses and allowed the elections people do the counting. Contestants could trust these officials not tempering with the counting, not allowing people to vote twice, not allowing non-citizens to vote. Contestants were called after the counting finished and assembled at the town or municipal hall to hear the declaration of the outcome.


Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Great eCONomic Transformation Program: Enrich Ourselves, Impoverish the Rest!

If Malays have had enough of Mahathir and his cabal, there is only one way to end it. Replace all the vassals subservient to Mahathir. Both the top two posts in UMNO must be replaced. Najib and Muhyidin must be replaced. The entire leadership obligated to Mahathir and his gang must also be replaced.
This is necessary to stop the rot the two and UMNO they lead is making. Najibs’s economic policies will be a continuation of Mahathir’s enrich- a- few-cronies policy. Pity the rural Malays for not knowing while they eat and excrete bricks, Najib has enriched people like the Tan Kay Hock of George Kent( Chinese) and the owner of the new digital cable TV, ABNexcess- K Eswaran( Indian). MMCC has just given a license to ABNxcess with more than 500 cable TV channels to operate. It has more to offer than T. Ananda Krishnan’s ASTRO and HyppTv owned by Telekom Malaysia Berhad (TM). Enter the dark prince (no pun intended)- Tan Sri Keneth Eswaran.
Maybe those business tentacles are allowed to grow in exchange for Najib’s impending nod for Syed Mokhtar to acquire PLUS. Such is the destiny of the Malays.
Mahathir’s only overriding objective is to ensure he and his cronies business of milking Malaysia continues. Positioning a weak leadership is instrumental in his game plan. He likes it when a leader of this country thinks like him.  Enrich themselves and impoverish the rest.
Once Mahathir’s stooges are removed, then maybe we will have an UMNO which can probably regain qualified trust and allegiance from Malays. I hope the UMNOnistas understand this argument. UMNO is relevant to Malays only in so far as they serve the latter’s purpose and that is, in so far as UMNO is able to champion the Malays’ justifiable interests. The simple rule that we must learn and re-learn if we must, is that our support for any political groupings is a qualified support. That is the way it must be.
Who appears to champion the Malays? Mahathir remains the central figure. Najib fails in that aspect. He became Malay only since 1976. To Malays, Najib is seen as weak. If Mahathir changes his mind and says that Najib should not be challenged as UMNO president that is because Mahathir actually wants a weak leader. Mahathir and his cronies will find it tougher if Malaysia is led by an assertive and independent minded leader.
A weak leader in the person of Najib is actually what Mahathir wants. That would serve Mahathir’s economic interests because such a leader is easily cowed and compromised. With Najib helming the country in the manner he is presently doing, Mahathir will still remain the overlord. That is why Mahathir changed his mind.
But I am sure, as soon as Najib left the Perdana Foudation Building from where Mahathir lords over the realm, his advisers and minders would have cautioned Najib not to trust Mahathir. But Najib being Najib, he will remain impervious to advice and caution. Why should he care? He just had a sex dream after meeting Dr Mahathir and it’s not up to his minions to stop the thrill.
So there is no mystery when it was reported that Najib was relieved after meeting with Dr Mahathir. Najib had to see Mahathir not because the latter stated that the top two posts in UMNO should not be contested. He had to meet the man who can walk on water to beg Mahathir for a reprieve. When in Germany, it was reported that Mahathir stated that Najib must resign. So Najib went to meet up the man who still runs Malaysia for a reprieve.
The Malay is deceived if he thinks Mahathir thinks of Malay interest first. He does not want the country to be in firm hands. If he has to scorch the Malaysian earth to remain in power, he will do so. Mahathir sees as mere strategic advantage in a game of thrones to make out the Chinese with a 24% support base, as the evil threat to Malay politics.
Mahathir ignores the fact that in the history of Malay politics, tumultuous events have always been caused by the clash of Malay political factions competing and going to war with each other to gain sovereignty over the ruled. The Chinese, with no desire to intrude into Malay politics and cultural setting, have always been used as pawns by the chess masters.
The real truth is that Mahathir has always been anti Malay in the sense that he despises all the Malays who don’t share his macabre methods.
He is now thinking more about whether Syed Mokhtar can get PLUS . Syed Mokhtar has already got the business to  construct the Kuala Kedah Jetty courtesy of the son of Mahathir. If Syed Mokhtar defaults over more than the RM34 billion debts his companies owe, the country will be in financial ruin. And we must NOT forget about the gargantuan debt owned by YTL. YTL has more debts than Syed Mokhtar but the Chinaman has managed to remain below the radar screen. YTL hides their debt by entertaining Mahathir with shows by Pavarotti or Andrea Bocelli.
Mahathir is more interested to vest control over oil and gas acreage with Ananda Krishnan. Mahathir is more interested to stop Anwar Ibrahim becoming PM at all costs.
Mahathir definitely isn’t interested to see whether the ordinary Malay can earn a decent living with a decent income, with a decent home and decent education.


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