|Written by Our Correspondent|
|Friday, 28 May 2010|
| Defections, disorganization dog Malaysia's opposition party|
Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, under the stress of a long-running trial accusing him of sexual perversion, is under increasing strain as the point man for his Parti Keadilan Rakyat, or People's Justice Party as he continues to be harried politically as well.
"Some analysts would point out that Anwar has to get PKR's house in order," a think-tank analyst in Kuala Lumpur told Asia Sentinel. "There is growing frustration within Anwar's coalition and his own party." In particular, PKR has lost five members of parliament and five statehouse members to defections in the two years since the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition stunned the Barisan Nasional, or ruling national coalition by breaking its two-thirds hold on parliament. By contrast, Parti Islam se-Malaysia and the Democratic Action Party have only lost one each.
With a number of PKR state assemblymen now wavering and clearly considering defecting, it is possible that the opposition coalition could lose the states of Selangor and Kedah, which they won in the 2008 election. The state of Perak has already been reclaimed by the Barisan although critics say it was through skullduggery rather than legitimate political action.
"Because it is Anwar's party, Keadilan was supposed to be the anchor, but it has been weak from the very start," said a source in Kuala Lumpur. Parti Keadilan is largely made up of young, urban professional ethnic Malays.
"The problem is that Keadilan, like Anwar himself, are mostly ex-members of (the United Malays National Organization) and a lot of them are in there for a quick buck – like Umno itself, I guess. Anwar is bogged down with his legal sodomy case-but more importantly, there is a loss of confidence in his leadership."
What should have given a wakeup call to both Anwar and his colleagues in the opposition Democratic Action Party, which is largely ethnic Chinese, was an announcement earlier this week that Parti Islam se-Malaysia the fundamentalist Islamic party with its roots in the rural northeast, will take in non-Muslim members and even allow them to stand as PAS electoral candidates.
As Asia Sentinel first reported last November, it is PAS that is capitalizing on the situation, rather than the Barisan Nasional, or ruling national coalition. Despite defections, the opposition coalition has won eight of 11 by-elections since the March 2008 general election. The latest was in Sarawak on May 16 when, despite three visits by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and a cornucopia of educational goodies, voters again turned away from the Barisan, an indication that the Barisan and particularly UMNO continues to suffer from perceptions of corruption and political favoritism to cronies.
PAS's latest move, announced last week, was to allow members of its Supporters Club to become full members of the Islamic party, with the right to attend annual meetings as delegates. The Supporters Club has some 20,000 members, almost all of them Chinese, who have turned away from the Barisan Nasional. According to the think tank source in Kuala Lumpur, PAS may have more Chinese voters than the DAP
The Chinese, says the source, -- an ethnic Chinese as well -- are comfortable with PAS despite the Islamic party's emphasis on fundamentalist Islam because, unlike the Barisan and particularly UMNO, PAS has no designs on the Chinese business community's ownership of the economic sinews of the country. The country's New Economic Policy, in place for four decades, has been designed to transfer as much as 30 percent of the economic activity of the country to ethnic Malays.
"The proof is that we recognize supporters as our official party wing," PAS leader Abdul Hadi Awang told his party's newspaper Harakah Daily. The Islamic party has already placed a non-Muslim in a Terengganu constituency to contest as a PAS candidate.
"Whether this is for real or a political gambit, it is hard to say," the analyst said. "But it does suggest PAS is going after the Chinese vote."
That isn't to say there won't be tension. There are plenty of Islamic firebrands in PAS who detest Chinese dietary freedom – to eat pork and drink beer, for instance -- and lack of discretion in dress for women. There have been attempts by PAS to limit beer sales in some communities. Nonetheless, the source said, PAS may have even wider resonance among voters than the Chinese-oriented Democratic Action Party, another leg of the opposition coalition.
In the meantime, Anwar and Parti Keadilan have come under constant criticism for the quality of the candidates they have fielded and for disorganization and political infighting in the party itself. Abdul Hadi Awang and DAP national chairman Karpal Singh, among others, have urged Anwar to look into the weaknesses in his party that have caused the defections. Anwar has repeatedly spoken of the need to find better candidates.
Anwar has been under a cloud since June of 2008, when a then-24-year-old former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, filed charges accusing the 62-year-old opposition leader of forcible sodomy. Sodomy in Malaysia is punishable by caning and up to 20 years in prison. The charges have since been reduced from forcible rape to consensual sex, which is still illegal under Malaysian law. The trial has droned on in a Kuala Lumpur courtroom for months, with Anwar's lawyers seeking delay after delay that has frustrated his followers, a growing number of whom say the trial so far appears to have been conducted on its merits rather than the previous sodomy charges brought against him in 1998 that put him behind bars for six years. Reproduced from Asia Sentinel read more here.
Monday, May 31, 2010
Thursday, May 27, 2010
B'nai B'rith International is a national and global leader in the fight against anti-Semitism and anti-Israel bias; provides senior housing and advocacy on issues of vital concern to seniors and their families; helps communities in crisis; and promotes Jewish identity through cultural activities.
"May 25, 2010
The Honorable John F. Kerry, Chairman
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar, Ranking Member
Committee on Foreign Relations
United States Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Kerry and Senator Lugar:
On behalf of B’nai B’rith International’s more than 200,000 members and supporters, we write to express our deep concern about the flagrantly anti-Semitic pronouncements of Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim.
Ibrahim, who spent several years living in Washington, D.C. cultivating a pro-Western image, has nonetheless used his position in the Malaysian parliament as a platform for spreading anti-Semitic propaganda. His frequent criticisms of the government of Prime Minister Najib Razak are infused with anti-Jewish and anti-Israel slanders, such as his April 30 assertion that Israeli spies are “directly involved in the running of the government.” On another occasion he alleged the presence of “Israeli intelligence personnel in the Police IT unit.”
Ibrahim also has said in parliament that the “Jewish-controlled” public relations firm hired by the Prime Minister was attempting to manipulate Malaysia to support U.S. policies. In the run-up to Malaysia’s 2008 elections, he said in an interview with IslamOnline, “I have evidence proving that the government is backing the Jewish lobby in the U.S. and some parties inside Israel.”
In light of the role that Ibrahim has played in the resurgence of anti-Semitic polemics in Malaysian politics, we ask that U.S. officials suspend their ties with Anwar Ibrahim. A purveyor of anti-Jewish hatred such as Ibrahim should not enjoy the measure of legitimacy that a positive relationship with the United States would confer upon him.
Thank you for your attention and cooperation. We look forward to remaining in communication with you about this matter in the near future. ....read more here if you wish!
|Dennis W. Glick ||Daniel S. Mariaschin |
|President||Executive Vice President |
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Is Tan Sri Robert Phang being disloyal for not defending the integrity of MACC when attacked by the DAP?
The DAP organized a dinner to commemorate its 44th anniversary last Friday, 21st May, 2010. It was reported at least 1000 people attended. Among the guests was Tan Sri Robert Phang, corruption consultative and advisory panel member of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC)
I was alerted by a blogger that Tan Sri Robert also donated RM50,000 towards the DAP dinner. That was not all, apparently the DAP was condemning MACC in front of him and I was told Tan Sri Robert did not even say anything to defend the organisation in which he is still a panel member.
It was reported by a blog site Unspinners that two DAP members of parliament condemned MACC for being pro Barisan Nasional (BN) in front of Tan Sri Robert and yet he did not make an attempt to rebut the condemnation.
My question is: Why did he attended the dinner and why was he appointed as member of the MACC's panel? Can somebody please enlighten me! Read more here...!
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Winning over the Washington policy establishment is an art mastered by certain clever foreigners over the years. It requires basic charm and wit, a convincing narrative, understanding the Beltway worldview, mastering its lingo and skills to communicate it effectively.
After fulfilling their agenda in the U.S. capital, these masters often move on and evolve according to political convenience, even turning on their friends in Washington if required. An outstanding example is Ahmed Chalabi, whose influence was critical to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
He also raised millions of dollars from American taxpayers for his Iraqi National Congress. Now back in his native-Iraq, this Macchiavellian political survivor has re-invented himself as a staunch Shiite advocate and close ally of Iran.
A sense of betrayal overwhelms many of his original supporters in Washington. Another recent convert to the chameleon cause is Anwar Ibrahim. From 1993-98, Mr. Anwar served as Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.
After losing a power struggle with Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamad, Anwar was removed from power and imprisoned. During his years of incarceration, Anwar became a cause célèbre for human rights advocates.
After his release in 2004, Anwar hit the international circuit, which included stints at the World Bank and lecturing positions at Oxford University, Johns Hopkins and Georgetown. His official bio on one website described him as “one of the forefathers of the Asian Renaissance”, “a leading proponent of greater cooperation among civilizations” and “an authoritative voice in bridging the gap between East and West.
Anwar has returned to Malaysian politics and serves in the opposition. While the foreign policy of Malaysia’s current government is fairly in tune with U.S. and western policy, Anwar has decided that pro-Western sentiment does not serve his current political interests.
He has begun preaching a conspiratorial rhetoric of anti-American and anti-Semitic nature. Particularly since the Malaysian government hired an American communications firm, Anwar has suggested that Israeli spies are directly involved in the running of the Malaysian government
He claims that the recent meeting between President Obama and Prime Minister Najib Razak of Malaysia was arranged by the influential “Jewish-linked” company which has resulted in Malaysia subservience to the U.S. These statements will obviously shock Mr. Anwar’s supporters in the West, which include former Vice President Al Gore.
They will provoke questions: have Anwar’s words been taken out of context? Perhaps they can be subject to interpretation? Is one failing to read between the lines? Anwar’s statements are blatantly clear and direct. His rhetoric represents an unmistakable case of raw political opportunism and much more. Although opportunism is an inevitable fact of politics, it also has its limits.
Particularly when degenerating into unacceptable demagoguery with obvious racist overtones. How did Anwar’s transformation from reformer to rabble-rouse occur? The reality is that he probably always held these views. Over the years, he just simply tailored his message to different audiences according to necessity.
After all, Anwar served for five years as Deputy Prime Minister to Mahatir Mohamad, renowned for his anti-Western and anti-Semitic tirades. This alone should have immediately raised red flags and serious questions about his ideological allegiances. It is not uncommon for the Washington establishment to be ill-informed, naively overlook significant facts, or willingly brush them aside. In the international realm, the Beltway Bubble often prevails.
In future, greater caution and prudence is required when endorsing foreign champions, particularly those eagerly preaching a message favorable to Washington. Furthermore, the tendency to confer automatic sainthood and infallibility on the persecuted, or those claiming persecution, must be tempered. Pry more and do not give an easy ride. After all, Washington will inevitably see the likes of more Chalabis and Anwars.
Marco Vicenzino is director of the Global Strategy Project in Washington, D.C. He provides global political risk analysis for corporations and regular commentary on foreign affairs for publications/media outlets worldwide. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
By far the whole country knows he did it...with or without the consent of his male partner, and now he wants to tell the whole world, namely the United States, that he is being politically persecuted for his sexual preferences, in fact we have nothing against his sexual preference but we do have something to say about a hypocritical leader, who, for example, had sex with another man in his Mercedes Benz and then go to a mosque after that for a sermon!
He is nothing like Mandela or Aung Sang Syu Kyi, or Solzhenitsyn, or any other famous leader or any other persecuted famous people and politicians, but we Malaysians have had enough with charlatan like this man.
He is so bitter that he has no compunction in telling the whole world that Malaysian government is bad and that it has nothing better to do but to destroy a man's life for the fun of it??!
But as they say truth is even stranger than fiction and when push comes to shove, for example, he will condemn the Jews to suit his evil maneuvering to become a prime minister?! In the beginning all of his "powerful friends" were Jews! But now, today, he admits to being anti-Jew and now accused the Malaysian government of being pro-Jewish!
It is just that I wish, apart from being consistent in his lies, he should really stop being the other way around...inconsistent!
But like what they say when you are desperate you will do any lie to stay afloat, and personally I believe he will be found guilty and jailed, and when that happens our hearts will and cannot cry for this one man who has, for his own warped sense of truth, will do anything to destroy this country!
'Tis strange,-but true; for truth is always strange;
Stranger than fiction: if it could be told,
How much would novels gain by the exchange!
How differently the world would men behold!
In 1858 Josiah Henson (1789-1883), a Maryland-born slave, wrote an autobiography titled Truth Stranger than Fiction. Henson was supposedly the real-life Uncle Tom in Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Thursday, May 06, 2010
It was reported in a Malay tabloid quoting Zaid Ibrahim saying a call by the Sultan of Selangor not to use mosques as places for politicking was not a royal decree but a personal view of a ruler of the state.
The front page of the paper gave a big headline in Malay that says "Bukan Zaman Feudal", or loosely translated "we are not living in dark ages anymore", and to me he is saying feudalism and rulers are passe and that the rulers have to channel their "decree" through a state highest religious body.
He may be right or he may be wrong but the tone of this recently defeated opposition candidate for Hulu Selangor smacks disrespect for any Malay ruler. As a Malay I am all for the system of the institutional monarchy and when I am in front of my ruler I will always put both of my hands on my forehead, a sign of respect! (Mind you I have been around the world, and have seen many rulers dethroned, but our government of a constitutional monarchy is unique, I don't want it any other way!)
It appears as though the members of the opposition, Zaid included, are set to belittle or ridicule the monarchy system of the country. We do remember when a former mentri besar of Perak who said "saya rela menderhaka terhadap sultan", or loosely translated "I am ever willing to betray the king".
And I do remember a certain leader of the opposition, who is on trial now, who refused to bow in shows of respect to the Sultan of Perak.
Ah! Well! We do know that these few disgruntled nouveau riche, new money people like Zaid Ibrahim and his esteemed leader, BABI, who will forever be trapped in the age-old adage that says: "Money alone cannot guarantee you join the club" my friend! You need good breeding to be in one (a club that is).
So Zaid you go ahead wishing and hoping this country will one day be a republic and then you will wake up one day to find you are being ruled by the chauvinist Chinese-based DAP, and like Penang and Singapore once in power the Malays, and their leaders, were slowly marginalised and shoved aside!
Think about it!
Monday, May 03, 2010
RealClearWorld, an influential Forbes Media-owned web portal now carries story on Anwar Ibrahim's anti-semiticism!
An American web publications, The New Ledger, published a story on Anwar Ibrahim's anti-Semiticism stance and that story was carried by another influential web portal, RealClearWorld, owned by Forbes Media...read here! The story is listed under Real Clear World Saturday.
The fact that a powerful US media company find it fit to re-publish The New Ledger's story read here again ....shows Anwar Ibrahin can only fool some Jews at the time but not all the Jews at all the time (pun intended).
Al Gore you moron you better re-think your so "liberal support" for Anwar unless you want to incur the wrath of the powerful Jewish groups for supporting an anti-Semite idiot of a politician from Malaysia!
Of course Anwar's supporters can say these news portals were paid to write the story but the fact of the matter is and in a true spirit of the freedom of press and expression in America, good journalist writes because he or she sees the lies and hypocrisy expressed by politician like Anwar Ibrahim.