Cheating or not, there is always ‘Plan B’ for BN

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT I So Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has rebutted allegations that BN would cheat in the 14th general election (GE14).

The prime minister told a youth gathering in Sungai Pelek, Selangor on Sunday that “we don’t cheat, we form the government based on the people’s votes”.

I’m not so sure I want to believe the prime minister. And I doubt it’s only me who is a non-believer.

Many BN legislators, past or present, who were elected via allegedly dubious means would also agree with me. That is, if they have any conscience left in them.

I also believe that those in Pakatan Harapan today who were previously on the BN side would also know that Najib is lying.

They are probably aware that they had benefitted in some ways in the elections in years gone by because of certain “advantages” being on the BN ticket.

At times, I wonder why former prime minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad or former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim had never ever denied any electoral cheating by BN when they were in power.

I would like to think that they were just being honest because they were aware that certain discrepancies, with or without their knowledge, actually existed during elections.

image: https://i.malaysiakini.com/395/57f7acd59f7705209c210900f4facc69.jpg

 

This could be the reason why Mahathir and Anwar during their time as PM and DPM did not, for once, deny any cheating by BN despite similar accusations by the Opposition.

But strangely, Najib did.

I call it strange because if there is no cheating at all, why the need to deny anything?

In politics, a hundred and one accusations and allegations are being hurled publicly on a daily basis. No politician should waste his or her time responding to each and every allegation.

Najib cannot blame those who described him as a serial liar. Continue reading

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Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Four years on, still nothing concrete from Najib about MA63

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | There are many reasons why Sarawakians miss the late Adenan Satem.

One of them is that the former chief minister was the first Sarawakian leader who told Putrajaya in no uncertain terms that the eroded rights of Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) must be reinstated.

This was in 2014, soon after Adenan became Sarawak’s fifth chief minister, succeeding Abdul Taib Mahmud.

It was the loudest and clearest statement ever from a Sarawak leader on MA63. No other BN leader before Adenan has ever broached the subject.

image: https://i.malaysiakini.com/1020/419e58e7f5d80efca626296abb2420ce.jpg

Many can recall Adenan (right in photo) happily saying then that Prime Minister Najib Razak had also agreed to start negotiations with Sarawak on MA63.

It has been four long years. And what do we see today? Nothing.

Isn’t four years a long time? Isn’t four years enough to produce some tangible results? Is Putrajaya serious about MA63 at all?

These are pertinent questions from many Sarawakians, which Putrajaya must answer or explain. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Malaysia on fire, no time to wait for perfect solutions

By Hannah Yeoh

ADUN SPEAKS | True story. My daughter came home from school looking so tanned. I asked if she had played under the sun. She told me the fire alarm went off – supposedly a fire drill – and they had to gather in the school field under the hot sun. I asked “Why didn’t you use the sunscreen lotion I bought for you inside your school bag?”

My daughter, clearly frustrated with my logic, exclaimed “It’s a fire mommy! How can I find time to put my lotion?”

I couldn’t get her sentence out of my mind. It sounded like that from some Malaysians express their disgust at the “far from perfect” opposition coalition’s choice or strategy to win the coming elections.

“How can you propose a 93-year-old man to be Prime Minister again? Don’t you have anyone apart from Lim Kit Siang leading the DAP? Rafizi Ramli shouldn’t say this, Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail shouldn’t say that. How different is Bersatu? Amanah should not demand for so many seats,” and the list goes on and on. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak) | Leave a comment

Sarawak must clarify ‘Melanau’ status of Taib’s wife

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | I realise that I have been bragging about the good things and positive vibes of my homeland, Sarawak, in my articles in Malaysiakini and other publications.

However, when something is not right in Sarawak, it is also my duty to also highlight the negative.

I have actually waited a week or so since this issue first surfaced, hoping for the Sarawak state government to offer an explanation. But none was forthcoming. And like many Sarawakians, I am deeply disappointed.

What is this issue? Sarawak Governor Abdul Taib Mahmud’s Syrian-born wife, Ragad Waleed Alkurdi, along with her two children from a previous relationship, have been accorded native bumiputera status in the state.

Their race is now “Melanau,” as stated in their new Malaysian identity cards, which were issued last November.

Something is not right here. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak), The Taib family

A word of advice for rebel DAP rep Teh

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | At the outset, let me say that I do not know DAP’s Tanjung Bungah assemblyperson Teh Yee Cheu (above) personally and neither have I met him.

I do think Teh is an interesting character, though. Whether he is a rebel with or without a cause, I don’t know, but he does seem like wandered off the set of a Jackie Chan movie!

But in all seriousness, I believe Teh is his own man. There is that rebellious streak in him. Whether that is good or bad – in his case – is not for me to judge.

If he thinks he is right, he is even prepared to take on his big boss and face dire consequences. And this is what happened to him.

Last October, Teh had announced that he would leave his party at the end of the current term due to his differences with the DAP-led Penang government.

The state government subsequently stripped him of his constituency allocations, amounting to nearly RM200,000 as well as other powers accorded to state reps such as the authority to sign off documents related to aid payments for constituents.

And yesterday, it was reported that DAP opened a new service centre in Tanjung Bungah in an apparent move to bypass Teh.

So what is Teh’s beef with his boss, Lim Guan Eng (photo)? This is only my guess and it would be unfair of me to pass judgement on Teh or the Penang DAP leadership based on a guessing game.

Teh must have committed grievous sins against his party that warranted the leadership to cut him off completely. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

Mukhriz, next time say you are from Sarawak

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | Poor Mukhriz Mahathir. He has been whacked left, right and centre for the “ashamed of calling himself a Malaysian” gaffe.

But most of us understood him and what he truly meant when he made those remarks. Only his political adversaries, those in Umno in particular, have reasons to find fault with him.

You see, the subject of patriotism and loyalty to the country is a very sensitive one. A tiny misquote on the subject and you will be slammed from all corners.

This is what happened in Mukhriz’s case.

Several Umno leaders had criticised Mukhriz for his supposed remarks, with Umno supreme council member Shahidan Kassim suggesting that Mukhriz migrate overseas instead of damaging the country further.

Youth and Sports Minister Khairy Jamaluddin called Mukhriz “embarrassing” and said he should be more ashamed for making the remark in the first place.

The latest salvo came from an angry Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak (photo) who retorted that those who are ashamed to be Malaysians should leave the country, slamming those who are not proud of their identity as being unpatriotic.

This came despite Mukhriz having clarified that he is not ashamed of calling himself Malaysian but he is angry about the issues plaguing the country at present.

“I am proud to be a Malaysian, but I am ashamed that we have a prime minister who is stealing the rakyat’s money,” he had explained.

This is probably what infuriated Najib. Understandably, he should be. You call me a thief, I would be very angry too, rightly or wrongly. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)

A lesson for Ummah chief from my history teacher

By Francis Paul Siah

COMMENT | I was very glad to read the letter in a newspaper written by my former secondary school teacher, Elizabeth Moggie.

Moggie taught me in St Joseph’s in Kuching some 45 years ago. She was an excellent, well-read teacher, and her history class was something I looked forward to as a student.

History and geography were my second most favourite subjects after English. Mrs Moggie, as we fondly called her then, was a dedicated teacher who would make sure we remembered names and dates of important historical events correctly.

Her husband, Leo Moggie, is a well-known Iban politician from Kanowit, Sarawak. He served in the federal cabinet for almost three decades. He is now chairperson of Tenaga Nasional Berhad.

Let me make it clear that Elizabeth Moggie wrote the letter not in response to Gerakan Pembela Ummah (Ummah) chairperson Ismail Mina Ahmad’s (photo) recent outlandish outburst, but merely to set the record straight on the historical facts of the subject, which I believe she would know best as a historian.

A New Zealander, she stayed away from the limelight when her husband was a busy, high-profile politician and minister. Wisely, she was aware of her role as the foreign wife of a prominent Malaysian minister. Continue reading

Posted in MoCS (Sarawak)