Wednesday, August 24, 2016

'Will New Parties Find Their Niche In Local Political Landscape?', Bernama,18 August 2016

 

ST_20160810_XSEPARTY_2507957
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 18: Malaysia’s political sphere has become more crowded with the entry of Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) and the latest, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), not forgetting the new alliance between PAS and Parti Ikatan Bangsa Malaysia (Ikatan).
Will they be able to find their niche in the Malaysian political scene?
Bersatu, formed earlier this month, is spearheaded by former UMNO leaders while Amanah, formed in September last year, is a PAS splinter party led by its former leaders. Interestingly, Amanah has teamed up with the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to form Pakatan Harapan while PAS has formed a pact with Ikatan called Gagasan Sejahtera.
Can they, eventually, become a formidable force on the opposition front, which is currently fragmented? However, not many believe they have what it takes to become a political force to be reckoned with.
MCA Central Committee member Datuk Ti Lian Ker, on his part, described the new parties as “the same mould in a new glass”.
“They cannot be taken seriously. What I see is that these parties will only seek opportunities to further fragment voter support, but not along the lines of the so-called Third Force,” he said.
He said in order to become the “Third Force”, the new parties need to be as “moderate as possible” but, he observed, this was not at all the case as they were pushing their political objectives along the religious and racial lines.
“We thought Amanah could go beyond PAS supporters with their moderate stance. However, it turned out that Amanah’s pact with DAP and PKR has not succeeded in persuading DAP to take a more moderate stand. Instead, it (DAP) has become more extreme (now),” he said.
Describing the current political scenario as a “big market of confusion”, Ti said the new parties and alliances were being perceived as “mere puppets”, with PAS using Ikatan to lure voters; Pribumi targeting supporters of the UMNO splinter group; and Amanah setting its sights on gaining the support of PAS supporters.
He said Parti Pribumi and Amanah came about due to the knee-jerk reactions of some politicians who were disillusioned with their former parties.
“These parties are not about national aspirations. What is needed is a viable and solid front… so far, Pakatan (Harapan) and Gagasan (Sejahtera) have not been seen to be able to do that,” he added.
Some political observers, however, say that all is not lost if the new parties or alliances can build a common understanding among them.
Universiti Sains Malaysia lecturer Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said the new political groups could become a viable alternative if they offered something that the other parties like UMNO, DAP or PKR could not offer.
“If they have clear vision and the right acumen, they will appeal to the fence-sitters. But these parties must prove that they can remain united on the opposition front,” he added.
In a commentary published by Singapore’s The Straits Times on Monday, Dr Farish A. Noor, an associate professor at the Rajaratnam School of International Studies at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, observed that it would be relatively difficult for any new party to break new ground and capture new bases of support in Malaysia without poaching supporters of other parties.
“Malaysia’s political arena remains an attractive space for those who wish to engage in politics. But the splintering of parties and the emergence of new parties will also contribute to the splitting of votes at any coming elections, making it more difficult to predict the outcome of political contests at both the state and federal levels,” he said in his commentary.
— Bernama

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

'Sivamurugan Pandian, National Day 2016 Patriotism Icon', Bernama, 12 August 2016




Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian together with mom S.Selammah after being consented Setia Diraja Kedah medal at Istana Anak Bukit, Alor Setar last January
By Nur Syuhada Shamsudin

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 (Bernama) -- It had been the practice of housewife S.Selammah when came Maghrib time, she would order her children playing outside with their friends to come inside the family home, located in a Malay-majority housing area in Tanjung Malim, Perak.

"It was not just for me, as everyone would be asked to come home and told that it was Maghrib time.

"If it wasn't my mother doing so, the other non-Malay mothers were also sensitive to the Muslims' prayer time as a signal for us children to stop playing and come in as a sign of respect for our Muslim neighbours," recalled political analyst, Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian.....

'Mum Built Patriotism In Me, Says Icon Sivamurugan', Malay Mail, 16 August 2016


'Sivamurugan Pandian Ikon Patriotik Hari Kebangsaan 2016', Bernama, 12 Ogos 2016

| Nur Syuhada Samsudin
Sivamurugan PandianSivamurugan PandianRutin seorang ibu  S Selammah setiap kali menjelang waktu Maghrib, akan mengarahkan anaknya, Sivamurugan Pandian yang leka bermain bersama rakan-rakan supaya masuk ke rumah, ketika menetap di kawasan perumahan di Tanjung Malim, Perak yang dihuni majoritinya kaum Melayu.
"Bukan sahaja saya, semuanya akan disuruh balik dan diberitahu sudah masuk waktu maghrib. Kalau bukan ibu saya, ibu-ibu bukan berbangsa Melayu lain pun peka dengan waktu itu sebagai isyarat untuk kami berhenti bermain sebagai menghormati jiran-jiran beragama Islam," cerita  Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian kepada Bernama.
Beliau yang dilantik sebagai Ikon Patriotik negara sempena sambutan Bulan Kebangsaan 2016 oleh Jabatan Penerangan, Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia, mengimbas kembali betapa akrabnya para penduduk di kawasan itu yang turut dihuni beberapa keluarga India.
"Kami menganggap semuanya sebagai satu keluarga besar. Boleh berkunjung dan bertukar-tukar juadah, boleh masak dodol bersama-sama semasa Hari Raya. Nilai hormat-menghormati antara satu sama lain juga amat kuat," kata pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan, Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) itu.
Dibesarkan dalam suasana harmoni seumpama itu dan didikan keluarga yang sentiasa menerapkan nilai-nilai kenegaraan telah mempengaruhi beliau untuk mempunyai semangat patriotisme yang tinggi sejak kanak-kanak.
Mengulas pelantikannya sebagai Ikon Patriotik, Sivamurugan menganggap ia sebagai pengiktirafan besar untuk dirinya yang tidak pernah jemu berjuang untuk negara dengan cara tersendiri, khususnya menerusi buku-buku dan pelbagai artikel mengenai patriotisme dan kenegaraan yang dihasilkan.
Beliau berkata, pemilihannya itu akan menyuntik semangat dan memberi motivasi kepadanya untuk mempertahankan hubungan antara kaum dan etnik di negara ini.
"Saya berharap agar setiap individu dalam mana-mana kelompok masyarakat tidak mengira tua dan muda agar dapat menyemai nilai patrotisme ini supaya ia menunjukkan kita tahu inilah yang akan mempertahankan hak kita sebagai warga Malaysia," katanya.
Beliau akan terlibat dalam pelbagai program yang dirancang oleh Jabatan Penerangan sepanjang bulan kebangsaan selain menjadi jurucakap.
Dalam pada itu, Sivamurugan yang juga seorang daripada penerima tokoh kemerdekaan sempena sambutan Hari Malaysia pada 2009 berkata, semangat nasionalisme harus dipupuk sejak kecil supaya rakyat dapat memastikan nilai kenegaraan itu tidak dikompromi dalam sebarang keadaan sekalipun.
Beliau berpendapat, keluarga merupakan asas penting kepada pembentukan nilai patriotisme, katanya sambil memberitahu mendiang bapanya V. Pandian memasang bendera Malaysia di rumah dan sentiasa menekankan betapa berharganya erti sebuah kemerdekaan.
Beliau berkata, guru-guru juga harus memainkan peranan penting dalam memupuk rasa cinta kepada negara menerusi pelbagai program berkaitan kenegaraan di sekolah-sekolah.
"Bagi menyemarakkan perasaan patriotisme generasi muda, mereka harus digarap dengan nilai penceritaan sejarah negara dan memastikan mereka memahami sepenuhnya Perlembagaan dan Rukun Negara yang menjadi kitab asas negara," katanya.
Sivamurugan berkata generasi muda juga perlu memperhalusi pengisian kemerdekaan itu sendiri supaya mereka memahami kebebasan yang dikecapi hari ini tidak datang dengan mudah.
Beliau turut mengajak seluruh rakyat Malaysia supaya menjunjung ketinggian Perlembagaan yang menjadi asas kepada generasi merdeka atau pasca merdeka.
"Inilah yang harus menjadi tonggak kekuatan kita kalau kita hendak menamakan diri kita sebagai warga Malaysia yang setia kepada negara," katanya.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

'IKON PATRIOTIK HARI KEBANGSAAN 2016 SERU GENERASI MUDA PERHALUSI ERTI SEBUAH KEMERDEKAAN - SIVAMURUGAN PANDIAN', USM, 14 Ogos 2016


siva
USM, PULAU PINANG, 14 Ogos 2016 - Pensyarah Pusat Pengajian Sains Kemasyarakatan Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Profesor Dr. Sivamurugan Pandian telah dilantik sebagai Ikon Patriotik sempena Hari Kebangsaan Malaysia kali ke-59 tahun 2016.
Pengiktirafan ini telah diberikan oleh Jabatan Penerangan, Kementerian Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia.
Mengulas berkaitan pelantikannya ini, Sivamurugan menganggapnya sebagai satu pengiktirafan yang besar bagi dirinya yang tak pernah mengeluh menggunakan caranya yang tersendiri dalam memperjuangkan karya-karya penulisan buku dan pelbagai artikelnya yang menjurus kepada patriotisme untuk negara Malaysia tercinta ini.
"Pelantikan ini sedikit sebanyak menyuntik semangat serta motivasi kepada saya untuk mempertahankan serta mengukuhkan hubungan kaum dan etnik di negara Malaysia ini," jelasnya.

Tambahnya, untuk menyemarakkan semangat patriotisme dalam kalangan generasi muda, mereka perlulah digarap dengan nilai-nilai penceritaan mengenai sejarah negara Malaysia serta memastikan pemahaman berkaitan Perlembagaan dan Rukun Negara menjadi asas kepada pegangan dalam diri mereka dalam aspek ini.
Pun begitu katanya, Sivamurugan juga berharap generasi muda kini perlulah memperhalusi erti dan pengisian tentang kemerdekaan itu sendiri supaya mereka memahami apakah itu kebebasan dan cara mengecapinya bukan datang dengan mudah.
Sivamurugan juga merupakan seorang penganalisis politik yang kadang kala memberi buah pemikiran dan pendapatnya mengenai keadaan politik di negara ini melalui rancangan dan juga berita arus perdana negara.
Anak bongsu daripada 6 beradik ini dibesarkan di Tanjong Malim Perak dalam suasana harmoni serta dididik oleh keluarganya mengenai nilai kenegaraan yang juga telah membuatkannya memiliki ciri dan semangat tinggi patriotisme sejak dari kecil lagi.
Sivamurugan juga akan terlibat dalam program-program yang direncanakan oleh Jabatan Penerangan Malaysia sepanjang bulan kemerdekaan ini selain menjadi jurucakap untuk program tertentu.
Teks: Hafiz Meah Ghouse Meah

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

'Several Countries Already Have A Female Premier, What Is The Likelihood Of Malaysia Having Its First?', Malaysian Digest, 10 August 2016

 

Written by Syareen Majelan
 
After David Cameron announced his resignation last June, Britain was set to have its second female Prime Minister, and it was down to two women candidates Theresa May or Andrea Leadsom− which saw the former emerging victorious as the nation’s successor.
While miles across the North Atlantic Ocean, Hillary Clinton recently won over the Democrat votes, making her the first woman in United States history to win the nomination of a major political party, and placing her in the running to become the country’s first female President.
Pic: APPic: AP
These milestones signal a real-breakthrough that women are capable of being leaders in their own right, despite being at the periphery of leadership compared to the men in the political sphere. And they are not the only ones, as contemporaries in countries such as Germany, South Korea and Taiwan, have been entrusted to pursue the country's top job.

Evidently, having women helming the administration of a state is not something foreign in this day and age. As more nations are being more open to having female top leaders, is there a chance that Malaysia would emulate and see a woman as our future Prime Minister?
In order to answer this question, Malaysian Digest reached out to people familiar with Malaysia’s political scene to hear their thoughts.
Female Politicians Need To Break From Their Mould To Progress
Young Syefura Othman, or more widely known as Rara, is one of the most recognisable female figures in the Malaysian political scene as a member of the Democratic Action Party (DAP).
In regards to women in Malaysia politics, the Assistant Secretary of DAP National Women believes that women are getting more recognition and are more visible in politics today compared to back then, as tallied based on the electoral numbers.
Young Syefura OthmanYoung Syefura Othman"Women make up a large portion of Malaysia’s electorate, comprising 49 per cent of Malaysia’s 13.3 million voters.
"Over the last five years, the number of women nominated as candidates for the Malaysia 13th General Election have increased from 120 to 168.
“Women’s nomination at parliamentary levels also went up from 37 in 2008 to 56 in 2013.
“In the same vein, the number of nominations also increased at the state assembly levels from 91 in 2008 to 112 in 2013," she told Malaysian Digest.

The motion to field more women candidates by political parties is also a direct response to the changing political demography and circumstances in order to capture the votes of women voters.
“With this kind of development, we can see more visibility and recognition for women politician in the partisan politics.
“But this is not only isolated to partisan politics as some of the nonpartisan political movements are also being led by women,” she relayed.
The increasing visibility of women in politics opens them up to criticism and public scrutiny, which is what the current crop of female politicians have to contend with compared to back then when women participation in politics was below par.
“Due to patriarchal attitude and mind set, women have a tougher time than men in politics.
“Women politicians are expected to conform to certain established 'sensibilities'. They are expected to speak, dress and act a certain way.
“Their public lives are also under greater scrutiny than their male counterparts,” Rara disclosed.
The struggle that women politicians face are real, and it also manifested in 2014, after Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah’s campaigned as a prospective candidate, to assume the position of Selangor’s Menteri Besar (MB).
Datin Seri Dr Wan AzizahDatin Seri Dr Wan AzizahThe constitutional monarch came to its decision not to endorse Dr Wan Azizah from holding the highest position in the state administration, despite Selangor’s constitution not having any clause that restrict women from becoming the MB.
"A woman MB has to perform Islamic religious obligations with, or on behalf of, the Malay ruler and this will be an obstacle when she is having her period.
“This is because should a woman menteri besar suffer from ‘uzur syarie’ (period), there will be many obstacles for her to accompany the Sultan at religious functions.
“Hence, the Article under the Selangor constitution for example may not hinder a woman from becoming a menteri besar, but by convention there could be problems due to the said circumstances.” Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, an UMNO lawyer, was quoted saying to a local newspaper.
Dr Wan Azizah's nomination was also rejected by some PAS leaders due to her gender, however, during the fiasco their disagreements were played down.
“To date, the PAS top leadership had yet to give clear reasons why they continue to make statements rejecting Dr Wan Azizah even though the PAS central committee has yet to convene,” PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution said.
Although the naysayers’ opinions were not the general consensus, it was proof that some Malaysians still have reservations to having women holding these high-ranking positions.
The expectation placed on women politicians to champion certain causes in politics that relate to women, children and family, is another challenge that women politicians have to face.
This specificity hinders women politicians from moving up the political hierarchy and to have meaningful roles in politics.
However, despite the challenges that women face in politics, Rara believes that it is possible for Malaysia to see its first woman Prime Minister.
“I believe it is possible, but not in the near future. For now, we are still stuck with increasing racial polarisation.
“Political space for women is limited by democratic boundaries and institutionalised patriarchal values in state machineries and political parties.
“However, there is major development in the nonpartisan political area with women leading critical movements like Bersih and I believe the waves are coming to partisan politics now,” she confided.
Nevertheless, the increasing participation and changing political circumstances is not enough to see Malaysia take the leap of electing its first women Prime Minister as Rara highlighted several things need to be done before this can be achieved.
“Women need to be more involved in every level in political parties to ensure that they can choose who among them would be their leader and to bring out the best in the person that they elected.
“With more involvement of women, they also can push to remove the patriarchal values in political parties,” she said.
She also added, the mentality that politics is dirty to women needs to change, and that female politicians have to insist on moving away from the roles that have been assigned and associated with them by being brave and vocal to champion national level causes.
“Female politicians have to change their mindsets from only representing women to representing the views of women and the public as a whole,” Rara firmly stated.

And when asked in the current line-up of women politicians, who she feels would be capable of rising to the top: “Hannah Yeoh, Nurul Izzah and Ambiga,” she concluded.
It Is Time For Women To Be Given Pertinent Positions
Political analyst Dr Sivamurugan Pandian also thinks that the odds of Malaysia having its first female Prime Minister are not too slim, but he mentioned that it all depends on the willingness of the political parties themselves.
Dr Sivamurugan PandianDr Sivamurugan Pandian“We are moving towards there gradually but it all depends on the extent the political parties are willing to offer important positions to women, for example the top five positions,” he said.
Apart from the willingness of parties to give way to female members to rise to the top, the political environment also plays a part in the direction that Malaysian politics is heading to.
“In UMNO, we only have Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said as the Division head from 191 divisions. How many women hold division or state chairs in PKR, DAP or BN parties? In fact, we are struggling to reach the 30 per cent quota for women representation in the corporate world.
“Therefore, we need to open up and allow more women to be given higher positions in the party rather than women utilised only at the grassroots level to move from house to house just to get support,” Siva said.
As the women have been playing the role for so long, Siva believes that it is time for women to be given pertinent position in the parties.
In a county where most of its people hold Islamic values close to their hearts, having a woman leader would not mesh well with them as it would seem contradictory with the teachings of Islam.
Siva however disagrees with this notion, citing other Muslim nations that have been helmed by a woman.
“Indonesia, with the biggest Muslim community, had a woman President – Megawati Sukarnoputri; Pakistan also had a woman Prime Minister – Benazir Bhutto,” he said.
This is also not a thing of the past as Bangladesh currently has a woman as its Prime Minister – Sheikh Hasina, who is actually the second woman appointed as the country’s Prime Minister.
A look in Islamic history also proved during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), women played an important role in leadership and power, and were allowed to take on powerful leadership positions.
Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. FilePic: Berita HarianDatuk Seri Azalina Othman Said. FilePic: Berita HarianHaving said this, Siva added that religion should not be used as an excuse to stop women from becoming a leader as they have a track record that shows that they are capable of holding the position.
“They have a track record if we refer to their performance in companies and also parties or organisations.
“With high enrolment of female to universities, women are already becoming an asset and we need to come out from conventional thoughts on women,” he said.
He ended by stating that it is timely for women to be given better positions, including the highest position in the government, as women emancipation has changed throughout the world.
Unfortunately, we were unable to get a response from Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said as she declined to comment on this issue when Malaysian Digest contacted her earlier.
Yet, despite the obstacles our female stronghold figures are faced with, they have proven to work hard, in fact twice as hard, to stand out and strive for the same goals as men, stepping into territories traditionally occupied by men, as well as having their voices heard in the political world full of barriers.
Hence, if we can all look beyond playing the gender card in Malaysia, perhaps one day we will start creating a more gender-balanced Parliament for our nation. Then optimistically, in future, we will be able to witness a moment of history unfolding right before our eyes.
-mD

'RoS Gets New Party's Application', New Straits Times, 10 August 2016


Saturday, July 23, 2016

'DAP Wrong To Exclude Amanah From Snap Polls Discussion', Free Malaysia Today, 23 July 2016


 | July 23, 2016
Political analysts say Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng owes an explanation as to why Amanah, an equal partner in Pakatan Harapan, was excluded from the discussion.
jeniri
PETALING JAYA: The DAP should not have omitted its Pakatan Harapan ally, Amanah, from discussions on the proposed snap polls in Penang, say political analysts.
Unimas political scientist Jeniri Amir told FMT that an important decision such as a snap poll must include all parties of any political coalition.
He was commenting on Penang Amanah chief Mujahid Yusof Rawa’s admission yesterday that Amanah had not been invited to discussions on snap polls in the state.
“It should not have happened, it makes it seem as if the DAP has something to hide from Amanah.”
Jeniri said Mujahid’s revelation would have an impact on Amanah’s grassroots members, who may feel sidelined.
He said any discontent among the grassroots was bad for the coalition, especially the DAP, which needed all the support it could get now, given that its secretary- general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng was facing corruption charges.
USM’s Sivamurugan Pandian also said Amanah should have been called to the discussion table and that DAP had no good reason not to include Amanah.
“Lim must now clarify why Amanah was not invited for discussions, before Amanah supporters start asking questions,” he said, adding the issue could affect Malay areas in which Amanah would want to contest.
He also said PKR, which knew about the discussions on the snap polls, should have informed Amanah about it.
Sivamurugan said Amanah should see this incident as a warning sign as to where it stood in the Pakatan Harapan coalition.
Yesterday, it was reported that Amanah had not been invited to discussions with Lim on the proposed snap polls in Penang. Mujahid had said that he only knew about the discussions through media reports.
Earlier this week, Lim held discussions with three PKR leaders, namely deputy president Azmin Ali, vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar and party elections director Saifuddin Nasution in Penang, where it was decided that there would be no snap polls for the time being.

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