Wednesday, March 27, 2013

F1 Grand Prix Malaysia, 2013

'Separate Polls Unlikely, say Pundits', Free Malaysia Today, 27 March 2013


PETALING JAYA: Political analysts have scoffed at the idea of holding state elections and the parliamentary election on different dates, saying it would be costly and impractical.
Three analysts told FMT today that the Election Commission (EC) was likely to use its authority to prevent separate elections, proposed yesterday to Pakatan Rakyat state governments by Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.
“The EC has already made a statement saying that elections will be held simultaneously; so I don’t see the possibility of having separate state and parliamentary elections,” said Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia.
“Even if the Pakatan states decide to dissolve their assemblies, the EC has full authority to decide when elections will be held.
“State governments cannot hold their own elections. They can only advice the state rulers when to dissolve state assemblies.”
Yesterday, in a bid to pressure Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to call for the dissolution of Parliament, Khalid announced that Selangor would wait for its legislative assembly to dissolve automatically on April 22, and try to persuade the governments of Kedah, Kelantan and Penang to dissolve their respective legislative assemblies on the same date.
Law professor Shad Saleem Faruqi of UiTM and Merdeka Centre chief Ibrahim Suffian agreed with Pandian that the EC would probably object to the proposal and scuttle the idea.
Even in the unlikely event of EC supporting the proposal, Faruqi said, the financial cost of holding separate elections would make it unwise.
Furthermore, he added, it would cause inconvenience to voters residing away from their voting districts, making it likely that they would not turn up for the election held on the later date.
“If someone had to go back to his or her hometown again and again, it would be inconvenient; so voter turnout for the second election would be lower,” he said.
Merdeka Centre’s Ibrahim said separating the state and parliamentary elections would benefit neither Barisan Nasional nor Pakatan Rakyat.
EC announced last week that it had decided on simultaneous elections.
“The EC will hold state and parliamentary elections simultaneously since holding separate elections will involve a huge amount of money and a waste of the people’s time,” the commission’s deputy chairman, Wan Ahmad Wan Omar, told reporters in Pekan.

'Najib Is A Leader Who Walks The Talk', New Straits Times, 24 March 2013

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

'Another salvo at Pakatan manifesto', Free Malaysia Today, 14 March 2013

Another salvo at Pakatan manifesto |
An associate professor of Universiti Sains Malaysia says that Pakatan Rakyat is treating Indians as second-class citizens.

GEORGE TOWN: A university don has joined the chorus belittling the Pakatan Rakyat manifesto for not taking on Indian issues.
Associate Professor Sivamurugan Pandian of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) said he was convinced that Pakatan was treating the community as a stepchild when its original manifesto only featured issues of other communities, but not those of Indians.
Only after much criticism did the Pakatan de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim backtracked to give lip service that Pakatan would absorb some Indian issues in a “revised second manifesto”.
He, however, asked why Pakatan failed to address Indian issues in its first manifesto, which featured issues pertaining to Malays, Chinese, Orang Asal and natives of Sabah and Sarawak.
“Pakatan neglected and ignored Indians because the so-called government-in-waiting saw Indians as second-class citizens and stepchildren, and not significant in vote leverage.
“Anwar reluctantly gave lip service to include second-class Indians in a second manifesto, not the first one, due to community pressure,” Sivamurugan told FMT here today.
He said another reason for Pakatan to marginalise the community could be that its leaders were confident that majority Indians would blindly vote for the coalition, like they did in 2008.
“This could be right in urban areas due to prevailing anti-establishment mood among Indian voters.
“But not in rural areas where Indians would weigh all the pros and cons before casting their votes,” he said.
He recalled that the opposition block capitalised on and hugely benefited from an Indian political uprising inspired by Hindraf in 2008 general election.
Five-year blueprint
During the election and thereafter, he said Indian issues have featured dominantly in the nation’s political scene, reminding the opposition leaders that their “Makkal Sakti” battle cry in 2008 was still ringing in the ears of many Indians.
Moreover, he said Anwar undoubtedly should have known first-hand about Indian problems given his Umno and governmental experience for nearly two decades.
He noted that Hindraf had also tabled its five-year blueprint for ethnic Indians in various recent meetings with Pakatan.
“How come Anwar and company did not know anything about Indians issues until today?
“But, if it is true that only now they are getting to know about the issues, it clearly shows that Pakatan leaders, including its Indian represensatives, never bothered about Indians all these while,” said Sivamurugan.
Compared with Pakatan, Sivamurugan said Barisan Nasional under Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak seemed to have learnt its lessons on Indians.
Since the last election, he said Najib’s administration had spent millions for various development programmes for Indians, including for Tamil education and Hindu religious growth.
He pointed out that some RM500 million had been spent to carry out infrastructure development programme for 250 Tamil schools across the country.

Friday, March 08, 2013

Bernama, 7 Mac 2013

Bernama, 7 March 2013

Tamil Nesan, 25 Februari 2013

'LAHAD DATU: Intrusion to create instability - political analysts' - New Straits Times, Bernama; 7 March 2013

LAHAD DATU: Intrusion to create instability - political analysts

Associate Prof Dr Sivamurugan Pandian from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) noting that certain quarters were using the Sulu sultanate's claim on Sabah in their attempt (to intrude into Sabah), despite it being considered redundant, believed the incident could influence the voting pattern of the people.
"The Malaysian people can make their own evaluation by looking at how the government is effectively tackling the issue," he said when contacted by Bernama.
On claims that the government had acted too slowly in addressing the incident, Sivamurugan believed it was because the government had to consider several aspects before acting.
"The security forces were definitely ready to strike, but the initial approach was to avoid bloodshed," he said.
Associate Prof Datuk Zainal Abidin Borhan viewed the intrusion as a bid by certain quarters to create a confrontation between Malaysia and the Philippines by reverting to the Sabah claim by self-proclaimed Sulu sultan Jamalul Kiram III.
"They want to create an unstable situation in the Sulu sea. I don't know whether it would delay the general election. And if the election is delayed, who would gain, we are not sure.
"But it has allowed the people of Sabah to see that the government is doing its utmost to protect them," he said.
He said the government's decision to initiate negotiations before resorting to an offensive was appropriate and not a weakness.
Zainal Abidin concurred with Sivamurugan that the intrusion was also staged to test Najib's credibility in handling the situation.
"Since his first major involvement in politics, first as Pahang Menteri Besar in 1982, the prime minister has never been tested within or outside Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN).
"But he has shown such commitment in transforming the country economically, even going to the ground. We must also note that he has also served as defence minister and therefore has a keen understanding of the issues," he said.
Meanwhile, Malaysian historian, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Dr Khoo Kay Kim believed that the so-called Sulu sultan was re-staking his claim on Sabah because the latter was a progressive and prosperous state.
"The Sulu sultanate has long wanted to set up a break-away government, and had fought with Spain, the United States and the Philippine government in its bid.
"If they can get Sabah with all its progress and prosperity, Sulu can merge as a successful nation, that's their real intention," he said.
The intrusion on Feb 12 has claimed the lives of eight policemen. - BERNAMA

Read more: LAHAD DATU: Intrusion to create instability - political analysts - Latest - New Straits Times

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