Nine Sarawak PKR division chiefs back Nurul’s leadership

KUCHING Nurul Izzah Anwar’s decision to resign from all posts in the PKR and government yesterday has also triggered shock waves among her supporters in Sarawak.

And they wanted her to retract her resignation and continue as the party’s vice-president, declaring their support for her leadership.

So far, nine PKR divisions and their leaders in Sarawak have stepped out openly to voice their concerns over Nurul’s resignation, as well as their support for her.

The nine division chiefs are Dr Michael Teo (Miri), Sng Chee Eng (Kapit), Cyrill Langgin (Serian), Ahmad Najib Johari (Santubong), Sng Chee Hua (Sarikei), Abun Sui (Ulu Rajang), Dr Lau Liak Koi (Limbang), Jugah Muyah (Lubok Antu) and Roland Enggan (Baram).

In a statement today, they advised Nurul to re-consider her decision as she was badly needed in the party, especially so now that PKR has a very important role in the new Pakatan Harapan (PH) government.

“We ask her to retract her resignation as we fully support her leadership as the vice-president of the party. She is a vital cog in the party and government as PH now moves forward in serving the interests of all Malaysians.

“A lot of work lies ahead and Nurul is an asset which PKR cannot afford to lose. In a way, she is indispensable at this point in the party’s and nation’s history. We salute her as a reformist and a fighter.

“Nurul has been an inspiration to the youth right from the Reformasi era 20 years ago. She now has the experience and stature as a political leader after having been a Member of Parliament for three terms. She should stay on as a top PKR leader,” they said. Continue reading

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No legal action against The Guardian over forced labour report – Top Glove

Top Glove Corporation Bhd will not take any legal action against UK-based newspaper The Guardian, which alleged the glove maker had used forced labour.

Executive chairperson Lim Wee Chai said: “We are not in the business of suing people. At the moment, we are not taking (legal) action because we don’t want to spend unnecessary resources, time and energy on an unproductive event.

“We are looking forward to doing more business rather than fighting with people (The Guardian).”

He was speaking to reporters during a conference call in Kuala Lumpur today.

The Guardian had alleged that Top Glove oppressed thousands of workers, including forcing them to exceed the maximum overtime limit of 104 hours as stipulated in the Employment Act 1955, as well as debt bondage and the confiscation of the workers’ passports. Continue reading

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MoCS on why Maszlee is unfit to be education minister

PRESS STATEMENT Movement for Change, Sarawak (MoCS) 17 December, 2018

MoCS on why Maszlee is unfit to be education minister

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We refer to the recent parliamentary reply by Education Minister Maszlee Malik who appealed and encouraged the ustaz and ustazah from Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah who are teaching in Sabah and Sarawak to remain in the Borneo states.

He is effectively telling the ustaz and ustazah to make Sabah and Sarawak their medan dakwah (battleground) for Islamisation!

Under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), both Sabah and Sarawak have full autonomy over religion and education.

Sabah and Sarawak have freedom of religion with no one religion being the “main” religion. In fact, Christians are the majority in Sarawak.

As for education, Sarawak has full autonomy to use English as the medium of instruction/teaching in schools together with other native languages. This provision in MA63 is much unlike the directive from the Ministry of Education where schools are forced to use Malay as the only medium of instruction/teaching.

The education minister will do well to remember that he is not only representing one race and one religion above all else. He is an elected representative of the people who are made up of a diverse group of races, religions, sexual preferences, social backgrounds etc.

The education minister will also do well to remember that the colours of shoes and socks will not enhance our children’s future nor do preferential religious ideologies or racial inequality or any other injustices that have been carelessly thrown out to us from time to time.

We, Sarawakians, want our education minister to be knowledgeable and respectful of our cultures and beliefs and not seek to impose his beliefs and fancies on us.

By doing so, he is outrightly and disrespectfully telling us that our unique Sarawak culture is of no importance but that the “Malayanisation” of Borneo is high on the agenda of the government.

This is directly in breach of MA63 and the now redundant Pakatan Harapan manifesto to allow the Borneonisation of our government and public sectors including schools and health services. Continue reading

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Maszlee, perhaps it’s time to take a hike

Image result for maszlee malik latest news

Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT Like many of you, I have been keeping watch over our politicians, the newly elected lawmakers in particular.

And of course, like many of you too, the performances of our new cabinet members is also on my radar. Ministers are in the top echelon of a government and their decisions count. One wrong move on their part could spell disaster for a large segment of the citizenry.

I’m not sure whether all the ministers, especially the newbies, are aware of how important their job is or of the weight and seriousness of what they say.

I like to think that most of us who are concerned with what’s going on have generally been quite fair in our views, including our criticisms, on our ministers. Admittedly, some went overboard in their critiques at times.

“Even angels erred”, as Dr Mahathir Mohamad said. Yes, we give our new ministers chances to make amends for their mistakes. While most of us have been very tolerant, there will come a time when we have to put our foot down and tell them that “Enough is enough”.

Education Minister Maszlee Malik is one cabinet member who has come under flak since his appointment. And I have always sympathised with him.

Poor Maszlee! He has been receiving backlash over his many policy pronouncements, particularly over mandatory black school shoes and socks and the use of hotel pools for swimming lessons.

Image result for maszlee malik latest news

While I do not totally agree with the minister’s policies on such matters, I still find them tolerable.

“Why? Black socks, black shoes. Small matter, no big deal. Even if Maszlee issues a directive that inner garments for students must also be black, I would still find that tolerable.

Oh, Maszlee’s favourite colour must be black. He must be a great fan of the Black Panthers sepak takraw team, obviously not a Red Devils fan. Let him enjoy and have his one fancy as a minister. That’s okay lah! Continue reading

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Will Baru Bian be ousted as Sarawak PKR chief?

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Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | It seems that since Works Minister Baru Bian’s snubbing of the recent national PKR congress, his political star has started to dim. Things have not been as smooth for him as he would wish them to be.

Call him a victim of the bruising party elections if you wish, but it was his decision to take sides in the Mohamed Azmin Ali-Rafizi Ramli tussle for the party’s deputy presidency. It was his decision and his alone; no one forced his hand.

Baru and his supporters in Sarawak PKR decided to join the Azmin camp. And they were successful in a way – Azmin won by a small margin in Sarawak.

However, the aftermath of the national PKR elections could turn out differently for Baru, the current Sarawak PKR chief.

Come Friday Dec 14, will Baru be ousted as the Sarawak PKR chairperson? That’s an interesting question which many are asking.

And the answer, to borrow a popular saying, is: “In politics, everything is possible and nothing is impossible”.

Other challengers?

PKR president Anwar Ibrahim (photo) will be in Kuching to officiate the Sarawak PKR meeting on Friday. And strangely enough, Baru informed his supporters via WhatsApp a few days ago that he would not be present at the meeting.

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(Apparently, Baru did not learn his lesson after being ticked off by Anwar for his conspicuous absence at the national congress. You snub Anwar once, he will say, “You are forgiven, let’s move on”. You snub your party president a second time, you must either be the greatest of heroes or you are a bloody fool, digging your political grave.)

According to a supporter who received Baru’s message, the incumbent state chief said that since Anwar has informed him that there will be no challenge for the Sarawak PKR chairperson’s post, he would not be attending Friday’s meeting.

This is probably true. Anwar could have told Baru that he did not hear of any challenge for the top post. But there is nothing to stop other PKR members in Sarawak from putting up a candidate to challenge Baru.

Even as the party president, Anwar has no power to stop anyone from challenging Baru. Sarawak PKR has been given autonomy to decide on such matters. The party president is allowed to appoint state party chairmen in the peninsular states but not in Sarawak and Sabah.

So, will Baru be challenged for the Sarawak PKR chairperson’s post?

No one would be surprised if there is a challenger. This is politics after all. There are two known camps in Sarawak PKR, and Baru is not expected to be given a free ride.

Image result for dr michael teo

However, it has been reliably learnt that Baru’s opponents in Sarawak will be fielding a surprise challenger. Miri MP Dr Michael Teo (photo) is expected to take on Baru.

Continue reading

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Negative voices from Sarawak on Bersatu’s entry

Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | It has been more than a week since Bersatu was launched in Sarawak.

I had waited for some time to obtain feedback and reactions from Sarawakians before penning this article. And sadly for Bersatu, it’s not good news.

Voices from Sarawakians to the party’s foray into the hornbill state have largely been negative.

One key factor – Bersatu is Umno to them and Sarawakians have absolutely no love for Umno. Period.

No, I was not in Bintulu for the Bersatu’s launch on Dec 1 but I heard there was a good crowd.

Well, its chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the star of the event, and everyone in Bintulu would want to see the grand old man; though not necessarily to hear what he has to say.

A Chinese friend in this cowboy town told me he turned up at the Bintulu Civic Centre that evening with two of his Malay buddies.

“We just came to catch a glimpse of the prime minister. Mahathir has not been to Bintulu for quite some time,” he said.

Asked whether his two Malay buddies had signed up with Bersatu, he replied, “No, they are long-time PBB members and they are the die-hards of their party”.

The new Sarawak Bersatu chapter claimed to have recruited 30,000 members. If that is factually correct, it’s not a bad start.

Then again, a party’s membership base, like age, is just a number. Party loyalty is something else. Continue reading

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Local elections: Bersih deems PM’s concerns ‘speculative, without basis’

Bersih chairperson Thomas Fann has called out Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s rejection of local council elections, dismissing his concerns as “speculative and without basis.”

Putrajaya should have encouraged discourse on the topic and explored electoral systems to “accommodate the unique concerns of different communities” before making its announcement, he said.

“Local council elections are the right of every ratepayer to have a say in who and how their local councils are managed.

“The current manner in which local councillors are appointed by ruling political parties is unacceptable, as many are unqualified and are not accountable to the community they are supposed to serve.

“Furthermore, such political appointments reinforce and perpetuate a culture of patronage that breeds corruption and abuses of power throughout the country,” he added.

Fann pointed out that despite not being explicitly stated in Pakatan Harapan’s election manifesto, the reinstatement of local council elections was listed in its predecessor Pakatan Rakyat’s manifestos for the 2013 and 2008 elections.

“As such, it should be given due consideration and not brushed aside in a speech,” he said.

This morning, however, Mahathir announced – while officiating the Empowering Local Councils Convention – that Putrajaya will not consider reinstating local council elections. Continue reading

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