Opposition coalition (update 23): Pahang Mufti criticised for 'explosive' remarks, silence in high politics worrying to readers

27 June 2016: Pahang Mufti criticised for 'explosive' remarks, silence in high politics worrying to readers

Editor's note: Obviously much the talk in KL circles and questions on sedition and inciting hatred. The recent by-elections stats point to opposition losing seats in the next GE as PAS votes have gone. Much speculation on a snap GE, as BN is riding strong on electoral results - As high politics disappoints them, will voters just fail to show up and even just hunker down to rice bowl / business issues at the next GE? 

Pahang Mufti criticised for 'explosive' remarks -  Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman says the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party is "kafir harbi", or non-Muslims who have waged war against Islam and for whom the death penalty is justified. Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman says the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party is "kafir harbi", or non-Muslims who have waged war against Islam and for whom the death penalty is justified.PHOTO: YOUTUBE/ASTRO AWANI NEWS JUN 26, 2016 His claim that those who oppose hudud can be killed is condemned by Muslims, non-Muslims PETALING JAYA • A Malaysian state mufti has said that parties like the Democratic Action Party (DAP) are "kafir harbi" - non-believers who can be slain - as they are against Islamic laws. The remarks by Pahang Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman have raised temperatures in Malaysia's tense political landscape. Mufti Abdul Rahman Osman told the Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia daily on Friday that the Chinese-based DAP belonged to that particular group of non-believers as it "clearly opposes hudud and the Bill on the Syariah Court on punishments"....

For 'kafir harbi', silence on both sides of fence disheartening  Yoursay     Published Today 8:54 am YOURSAY | 'The real culprits are the Malays in Pakatan Harapan, who sit and do nothing. 'No minister will speak out against Pahang mufti, muses Kit Siang

For Tunku Aziz, Chinese have no right to win elections Yoursay     Published Today 7:24 am

18 October 2015: UMNO luminaries joining PKR, PAS-Perkasa cooperation, Pakatan Harapan torn with a PKR faction ties with PAS


UMNO luminaries joining PKR - Saifuddin Abdullah, Mat Taib, Kamaruddin Jaafar

Saifuddin Abdullah just opposition’s flavour of the month, analysts say By Mayuri Mei Lin Sunday October 18, 2015 - See more at:
Mat Taib, Kamaruddin Jaafar join PKR by Mariah Ahmad, Astro Awani | Translated by: Suganthi Suparmaniam  Published on September 11, 2015 12:08 MYT

Saifuddin Abdullah joins PKR by Hilal Azmi, Astro Awani | Translated by: Suganthi Suparmaniam  Published on October 15, 2015 14:06 MYT

No Johor UMNO leader expected to join PKR - Khaled Nordin Bernama | Published on October 17, 2015 18:37 MYT
'I'm disappointed Saifuddin did not join DAP' - Lokman Astro Awani | Translated by: Suganthi Suparmaniam Published on October 15, 2015 17:55 MYT 

PAS-Perkasa cooperation and PKR faction close to PAS

PAS-Perkasa cooperation on issues nothing strange, says youth wing Published: 17 October 2015 10:43 AM - See more at:
No loss for us, state Perkasa says after Selangor PAS snub Friday October 16, 2015 - See more at:
PAS and Perkasa find common cause Updated: Tuesday October 13, 2015 MYT 8:36:00 PM  by t. avineshwaran
No formal cooperation with Perkasa, PAS clarifies Tuesday October 13, 2015 -

See more at:

PKR Azmin continually in headlines on PAS

29 September 2015: New coalition "Pakatan Harapan," PAS splinter Amanah splits families, PKR torn by inclusion of PAS (actually not interested)?

Editor's note: Lot of machinations and shifts.

Hadi, PAS leaders’ families split over Amanah BY MOHD FARHAN DARWIS Published: 29 September 2015 7:00 AM - See more at:

Opposition parties form ‘Pakatan Harapan’, opens door to PAS By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal Tuesday September 22, 2015 - See more at:
PAS repeats stand it will not cooperate with DAP, Amanah Monday September 21, 2015 - See more at:
Let PAS join new Pakatan, Azmin says Monday September 7, 2015 - See more at:

23 June 2015: What next for Malaysia opposition - DAP expansion, Nazir's NGO, PasMa? What about the rural vote?

DAP declared Pakatan Rakyat coalition under a changed PAS that has the two at logger heads. At a time when UMNO-BN is wracked by dissension over money deals (1MDB, Tabung Haji, FGV, MARA) and Prime Minister Najib faces daily jibes by former strong man Prime Minister Mahathir, the opposition coalition was in disintegration. Probably a lot of causal links there. Going forward there needs to be focus on Malay rural vote as the urban vote swung decisively against UMNO-BN in GE13. Large Chinese party political urban domination may be problematic - the GE13 Malay vote push back was obvious. How will the new political entities behave? Look at what they do, rather than what they say. If they behave in a way that is set to divide the urban vote, their motivations should be questioned as any bickering over urban seats, would be a boon to UMNO-BN come GE14. A renewed opposition coalition might present candidates to suit the plural urban electorate (while avoiding an anachronistic Chinese political ambition), avoid multi-cornered fights and instead look at a concerted push for rural vote getting.

PasMa will join G18 in setting up new party, says president BY ZULKIFLI SULONG Published: 23 June 2015 3:44 PM PasMa will work together with PAS's G18 group and other Muslim non-governmental organisations in forming a new party to replace PAS in Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Its president, Datuk Phahrolrazi Zawawi, said that only one party would be set up to form a new alliance after PAS severed ties with DAP at its recent muktamar. "We will join the G18 and other Islamic NGOs to form a new party to replace PAS and to form a new alliance," Phahrolrazi told The Malaysian Insider. G18 refers to the 18 PAS leaders, dubbed the progressives, who were ousted in the party elections recently. Phahrolrazi explained that the new party would not only be working with DAP, as reported by the media, but also with PKR. "We have had several meetings with G18 to discuss the matter. God willing, we will make an announcement after Hari Raya," he added. The G18 has formed an action committee to develop a new platform based on political Islam that was truly inclusive and engaging following the failure of PAS to do so. The group is discussing its options with many NGOs and individual leaders to join them in their struggle for a more inclusive movement for Malaysians.

Nazir Razak's NGO idea brewing for more than a year by Shannon Teoh, Monday, Jun 22, 2015 News that prominent banker Nazir Razak was setting up a non-governmental organisation (NGO) set Malaysia abuzz about his political intentions last week, but it was not a bolt from the blue. The Sunday Times has learnt that Datuk Seri Nazir and "like-minded friends" have been meeting for more than a year now on ways to change the direction the country is headed.For Mr Nazir, who has spoken out increasingly about growing racial and religious intolerance and the mismanagement of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), this merely represents a shift in gears and is in part driven by a desire to preserve his father's legacy. - See more at:

Pakatan is over, says DAP Published: 16 June 2015 12:44 PM DAP's top leadership has moved ahead to declare that Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has ceased to exist, and said it would only work with PKR and "other forces" to end Barisan Nasional's hold on federal power. Its secretary-general, Lim Guan Eng, said the party's central executive committee, its highest decision-making body, last night resolved at a meeting to accept the motion by PAS at its muktamar or annual congress recently to sever ties with DAP. "Effectively… Pakatan Rakyat ceases to exist," Lim said in a statement today. DAP's decision comes as PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also opposition leader, is still holding out hope that the crumbling pact can be revived. Yesterday, she said there was an urgent need to review the working relationship between PAS, DAP and PKR to save PR from its demise. She called for continuous discussions and solidarity in political cooperation.  But Lim today said that since PR was founded based on consensus among the three parties, and was bound by the common policy framework, the PAS's muktamar motion had effectively killed off the pact. "The DAP will work with PKR and all other forces who aspire to see the end of Umno-Barisan Nasional’s one-party rule to reshape and realign Malaysian politics with the aim of winning Putrajaya for the people," he said.

7 June 2015: PAS shifts with landslide win for ulamaa / conservatives in internal polls; "Other Malays can fill PAS posts in Penang" - Guan Eng

Last Rites for Malaysia Opposition Bloc as God Trumps Politics  by Shamim Adamand Niluksi Koswanage June 7, 2015 — 5:00 PM BST Malaysia’s opposition alliance is at risk of collapse as one leader predicts “funeral rites” for the bloc after months of bickering between two of its three members. Disunity within the seven-year-old Pakatan Rakyat alliance could benefit Prime Minister Najib Razak as he fends off calls to resign from former premier Mahathir Mohamad over his handling of a troubled state-run investment fund. Pakatan Rakyat has already been tested in the past year over disagreements on governance in opposition-held Selangor state, and by the jailing of former leader Anwar Ibrahim for sodomy. The disparate alliance is largely held together by the goal of unseating a party that’s been in power since independence in 1957. Parti Islam se-Malaysia, whose conservative faction defeated moderates in party polls this month, is pushing to cut ties with the mostly ethnic-Chinese Democratic Action Party, even as it plans to stay in Pakatan Rakyat. PAS’ efforts to implement Islamic criminal law in opposition-run Kelantan state led the DAP to call it unconstitutional in secular Malaysia. “Najib has his own set of problems within UMNO and they are very serious ones,” said Ibrahim Suffian, an analyst at the Merdeka Center for Opinion Research in Kuala Lumpur, referring to the ruling United Malays National Organisation. “The PAS election results are a welcome respite for him. The fact that the opposition will not be able to function as effectively puts him at a stronger position.”

Other Malays can fill PAS posts in Penang, says Guan Eng BY LOOI SUE-CHERN Published: 7 June 2015 1:30 PM - See more at:

29 May 2015: Umno manipulating PAS over hudud, says Ahmad Awang  - Malaysian Insider

Umno manipulating PAS over hudud, says Ahmad Awang BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR Published: 29 May 2015 9:00 AM Ahmad Awang, the PAS presidential challenger to Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, says if Umno is sincere in its support for hudud, one of its parliamentarians should propose the matter in the Dewan Rakyat. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, May 29, 2015.PAS presidential candidate Ahmad Awang has questioned Umno’s sincerity in supporting Kelantan's plan to implement hudud, saying it now appears to be part of the Malay ruling party's political game. The veteran politician believes the absence of the private member’s bill from the parliamentary order paper over the past week proves that Umno has been playing with the Islamist party over the issue. "At the last parliamentary sitting, they said the proposal will be discussed at the current sitting, but until now, nothing. I am sure, Umno has successfully manipulated us," Ahmad told The Malaysian Insider. googletag.cmd.push(function; Previously, he said, the reason given was that there were too many bills that needed to be debated and that the private member's bill on hudud, submitted by party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, had to be set aside for the time being. "This time, the excuse is the presentation of the 11th Malaysia Plan. As of today, it is not even in the order paper. "There is also talk that the prime minister has issued a directive not to discuss the private member's bill just yet." This, he added, could be related to leaders in Sabah and Sarawak who were unhappy with Kelantan's move and who came out strongly against the implementation of hudud. - See more at:

16 May 2015: Malaysiakini - Mat Sabu on the ulama faction in PAS

Mat Sabu on the ulama faction in PAS By Alyaa Azhar 9:48AM May 16, 2015; INTERVIEW In comparing PAS ulama from several decades ago to the ones today, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu says the ulama from olden days were respected for their character instead of educational background. “Why was the late (PAS spiritual leader) Nik Abdul Aziz (Nik Mat) respected? It was because of his character. "When he was Kelantan menteri besar, he lived modestly and declined the privileges given to him," said Mohamad in an interview with Malaysiakini earlier this week.  "He walks the talk, that’s why people respected him even the non-Muslims."  Mohamad - better known as Mat Sabu - added the same could be said for the late (former PAS president) Fadzil Noor, who till his death, fought to uphold the truth and human rights.  "This is the kind of people we want. Whoever wants to be an ulama must have such a character.  "Just because one studied religion, must he or she be automatically regarded as an ulama?" he asked.  He went on to elaborate that he had cited as examples those who have passed away be use some ulama in PAS who had initially fought against Umno in the end embraced their bitter rivals and turned against their own party.  Mat Sabu's remark is seen as a subtle jibe against supporters of the ulama faction in PAS who are seen to be amicable with Umno...

7 May 2015: PKR retains Permatang Pauh, majority c. 8,800, maintaining 57% vote share, some Malay swing to PKR and some Chinese swing to BN?; a view on hudud and a pro-ulama hudud scuffle in a kampong

Looks like anti-GST anti-BN swing happening in Permatang Pauh, as it did yesterday at Rompin? Unofficial 10,000+ majority turns on official result of about 8.800.

Wan Azizah wins Permatang Pauh BY LOOI SUE-CHERN AND ISTA KYRA SHARMUGAM Published: 7 May 2015 7:15 PM PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail wins Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat after incumbent Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was disqualified due to his sodomy conviction. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Hasnoor Hussain, May 7, 2015.PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail was announced winner of the Permatang Pauh by-election at 10.20pm tonight, sealing her return to the parliamentary seat for the fourth time. She garnered 30,316 votes, a majority of 8,841 ballots ahead of Barisan Nasional newcomer Suhaimi Sabudin, who got 21,475 votes. Independent candidate Salleh Ishak won 367 votes and Parti Rakyat Malaysia candidate Azman Shah 101 votes. There were 843 spoilt votes. .... A total of 71,890 people are eligible to vote in the parliamentary seat, but voter turnout was 53,198 or 74%, according to the Election Commission (EC). In the 13th general election two years ago, voter turnout for this seat was 88.3%. PKR is ahead in all three state seats in the parliamentary constituency, including PAS stronghold Permatang Pasir. The other two state seats are Seberang Jaya and Penanti. In the 2013 general election, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim retained the seat with 37,090 or 58.56% of the total 63,332 votes cast, by 11,721 votes.....Dr Wan Azizah was always the heavyweight in the campaign to retain the seat. This time, Pakatan Rakyat wins with a lower majority due to a lower voter turnout of 74%, compared to the turnout of 88.3% in the 2013 national polls. With a lower turnout, PKR essentially maintains its vote share, at about 57% of all votes cast this time. The opposition pact had been hoping for a bigger majority in this by-election to send a message to Putrajaya that people are rejecting the goods and services tax. – May 7, 2015. - See more at:

Slight increase in Malay support for PKR in Permatang Pauh, says Wan Azizah BY LOOI SUE-CHERN and ISTA KYRA SHARMUGAM Published: 7 May 2015 11:19 PM Permatang Pauh MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says there is an increase of Malay youth voters in this by-election. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, May 7, 2015.PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said tonight that the results of the Permatang Pauh by-election showed an increase of between 4% and 5% of Malay votes, especially the youths. She also attributed the turnout, 73.71%, to the fact that there was no element of sabotage from PAS election machinery and that voters wanted a stronger Pakatan Rakyat leadership. "This is not just a win for PKR but also the people who oppose Barisan Nasional's treatment towards Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim....It is clear the politically-motivated jailing of Anwar by BN has attracted much sympathy and proof that he is till relevant to the people "The results of this by-election also shows that people are disappointed with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak for his lavish lifestyle and scandals; especially 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) and the latest use of funds from Tabung Haji," she said after the announcement of her victory in Permatang Pauh. She said the mainstream media had also failed in their attempt to slander her, Anwar and the opposition coalition leaders. "They tried their best to paint my performance in Kajang in a bad light and break up the unity in PR, but it didn't work.” - See more at:

Official: PKR retains Pmtg Pauh, smaller majority, Malaysiakini 7:11PM May 7, 2015
 PKR - 30,316 (57.1 percent of the popular vote)
 BN - 21,475 (40.44 percent of the popular vote, up by 0.38 percent)
 Ind - 367
 PRM - 101
 Majoriti: 8,841
 Spoilt vote: 843

9.31pm: Latest unofficial results with more or less all votes counted.
 PKR - 30,504
 BN - 20,586
 Ind - 359
 PRM - 98
 Majority - 9,918
.....8.15pm: Quick analysis: Although BN made marginal gains of between one to three percent in several polling districts where PKR won, it lost Kampung Belah Dua to PKR this time round.
BN won 51.6 percent of votes in Kampung Belah Dua in the general election last year, but only managed to garner 49.3 percent of the votes this time. It was one of only six polling districts it won in Permatang Pauh in 2013. There are a total of 28 polling districts in the parliamentary constituency**.
......7.50pm: Quick analysis: swing to BN or PKR is between 0.1% and 3% at various district polling centres. Though BN may have a slight edge. It appears that the main factor affecting the final majority will be the turnout as the swings are marginal.
......7.35pm: Quick analysis of four voting districts:
 - Mengkuang (91.8% Malay) = +0.1% swing to PKR
 - Sungai Semambu (71% Malay, 21% Chinese) = +0.04% swing to PKR
 - Sungai Lembu (98.7% Chinese) = +13.8% swing to BN
 - Telok Wang (58.1% Malay, 26.7% Chinese) = +3.3% swing to BN
 Note: BN only won 16 percent of the votes in Sungai Lembu in 2013. However, BN won 30.4 percent this time round and this is cause for MCA and Gerakan to celebrate.

**Wong Chen: Victory for Kak Wan! Majority now has crossed 9,000 and heading up!
My office team was stationed at Kampung Belah Dua for the elections, an outpost of BN. BN took 54% in 2013, we overturned it with a 5% swing to take 51% of Kampung Belah Dua.
We worked with Yahya Shari and the Kuala Langat gang. Congrats to all my crew and associates. We brought powerpoint presentations to the kampung. This is a sweet victory for all who worked the door to door and ceramah kelompoks.

Festive mood at packed Pakatan finale ceramah By Susan Loone & Alyaa Azhar  10:33PM May 6, 2015; PMTG PAUH Permatang Pauh is in a celebratory mood as several ceramah venues in the Pakatan Rakyat camp is crowded with supporters. At the Tapak Ekspo in Seberang Jaya - where ceramahs are frequently held - hundreds turn up to hear Pakatan leaders speak in a grand finale ceramah. A night market sets up as the crowd sit on the floor listening attentively to the speeches.
Cars triple park on the roadside as the crowd swells to an unexpected size, given the dismal turnout on prior days. The total turnout at Pakatan ceramah at Kubang Semang, Bukit Mertajam and Kubang Semang was around 10,000 people. Cars are bumper to bumper on the road leading to the ceramah spot. A convoy of motorbikes carrying PKR's flags adds to the festive mood..... In Taman Ciku, Bukit Mertajam, about 1,000 turned up near DAP's service centre..... In Seberang Jaya, PAS deputy chief Mohamed Sabu predicts a 16,000 majority for Wan Azizah, saying the number should be more than BN's majority in Rompin, Pahang.  "If the majority is lesser than BN in Rompin, I would be ashamed of you, Permatang Pauh voters!" he said. "Because you are a more develop constituency compared to Rompin. You have wi-fi, you can read the silly remarks made by the BN ministers," he added.
"So if you still let BN, I will be so ashamed!" he said to loud laughter... On her part, Wan Azizah urged voters to remember why her husband and incumbent Permatang Pauh MP Anwar Ibrahim was convicted of sodomy and is now serving a five-year jail sentence. "I committed no offence by being a grandmother. So please vote this grandmother tomorrow," she said. "For the rakyat!".... Wan Azizah faces Umno's Suhaimi Sabudin, PRM's Azman Shah Othman and Salleh Isahak, the independent candidate.

Hudud, a cause for hubris and hypocrisy COMMENTARY BY JAHABAR SADIQ, EDITOR Published: 23 March 2015 12:25 PM PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang says it is the party’s democratic right to table a private members’ bill to enable the implementation of hudud in Kelantan. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, March 23, 2015.Justice or hubris, democracy or hypocrisy, these are the questions cropping up as hudud laws make their regular appearance in the Malaysian political and legal landscape. If you read or listen to PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, and even self-confessed PAS progressives such as Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, you get the impression that hudud has a place in Malaysian society. Fact is, even Umno politicians, with the exception of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, will find it hard to disagree with their political opponents in PAS..... And Muslims themselves have to confront the fact that the Quran does speak of such criminal laws and punishments. Hadi told Malay daily Berita Harian that it was PAS's democratic right to push through such laws and a private members' bill to enable it. Meanwhile, in his column in The Malaysian Insider today, Dzulkefly wrote, “To answer specifically on our position on hudud, I once again say, without fear or favour, that hudud has its own unique place in the larger corpus of Islamic legal prescription or jurisprudence, ie. in Islamic law. “We nonetheless do not think that it is the most important imperative of the shariah, given the many other competing priorities. Never should a Muslim be accused, however, of rejecting shariah if he/she believes in its transcendental (revealed) origin, but prioritises other more important shariah imperatives as taking precedent over its penal code.” To be fair, almost everyone – and this includes politicians in parties other than PAS, PKR or Umno – believes that hudud is eventually possible in Malaysia. The answer, though, is no.....

Villagers drive out PAS demonstrators By Zulaikha Zulkifli 10:23PM May 6, 2015; A scuffle marked the last day of Permatang Pauh by-election campaign when a group claiming to be 'pro-ulama' PAS members squared off with residents of Kampung Kubang Semang in the Penang parliamentary constituency. The group of 10 led by Bagan PAS information chief Azmi Jaafar gathered at a junction near the Kampung Kubang Semang petrol station at about 5 pm today. They held up placards which read "Hudud hukum Allah" (Hudud is Allah's law) and "Pemuda bersama kepimpinan ulama" (Youths support ulama leadership). But within a minute of their arrival, two men sitting at a food stall across the street approached them and told them to leave. One of the men yelled: "Don't create a scene at our village. You are not even voters here." This was followed by shoving between them when the man tried to snatch the group's placards. The situation became more tense when a group of villagers who were at the food stall stated surrounding the pro-ulama group to chase them out. One of them grabbed a loud hailer from Azmi and smashed it on the road, prompting Azmi to instruct his group to go elsewhere. They left 10 minutes after that. Former Permatang Pauh PAS secretary Abdul Razak Abdullah, who was also at the scene, told reporters that they drove the "pro-Ulama" group away to avoid an incident. .........The same group had gathered in front of Majid Batu, Kampung Pertama to urge PKR to apologise over its statement regarding the hudud. PKR said it will not support PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang's Private Member's Bill to amend the Syariah Courts Act, so that the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 (Amendment 2015) which includes hudud can be implemented....

PAS and PKR men in brawl over hudud outside mosque Updated: Thursday May 7, 2015 MYT 8:00:58 AM; BUKIT MERTAJAM: Groups of PAS members and PKR supporters brawled outside a mosque near here after a heated argument over hudud. Bagan PAS youth chief Azmi Jaafar and his group were holding a demonstration outside the mosque in Kubang Semang here when they were interrupted by PKR supporters. Members from both groups started to push and hurl insults at each other before a police team broke up the fight. Some of those involved were armed with iron rods but no one was injured in the fracas. Azmi said the demonstration was held to tell voters in Permatang Pauh not to vote for those who are against hudud....

19 March 2015: Opposition coalition splits on unanimous Kelantan hudud vote

DAP youth to cease cooperation with PAS counterpart  by tan yi liang Updated: Thursday March 19, 2015 MYT 10:46:40 PM; PETALING JAYA: DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) will no longer be working with Pas Youth, said its chief Teo Kok Seong. “Today, the Dapsy executive council has decided by consensus to stop all forms of cooperation with PAS Youth at the state level throughout Malaysia and at the central level,” said the Rasah MP in a statement on Thursday. Teo added that the decision was made following the passing of amendments to the Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 at the the Kelantan state assembly on Thursday. “This has set aside the joint agreement of Pakatan Rakyat,” he said. Teo’s statement follows on the heels of other voices of opposition within Pakatan Rakyat.
The amendments to Kelantan’s Syariah Criminal Code 1993 were passed by the state legislative assembly on Thursday. The vote was passed unanimously by 44 assemblymen comprising 31 from PAS, 12 from Umno and one from PKR.......
15 March 2015: Survey finds more opinions for Anwar and other veteran opposition leaders to step down; The Star (BN-MCA linked newspaper) publishes a tough opinion piece on the PKR Anwar family leadership

Malaysians want veteran politicians to step down, survey shows BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 12 March 2015 9:00 AM

The Star (a BN-MCA linked newspaper) publishes a tough opinion piece on the PKR Anwar family leadership:

Political vacuum at the top  by joceline tan  Updated: Sunday March 15, 2015 MYT 7:45:15 AM
IT was supposed to be Nurul Izzah Anwar’s big moment in Parliament. She was Pakatan Rakyat’s choice to speak on behalf of her Opposition leader father. There had been all that political hype over Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim in the run-up to the Parliament sitting and the Pakatan Rakyat side thought this would be the golden opportunity for her to win hearts and minds as well as showcase what she is about.....  The Lembah Pantai MP has a strong yet feminine voice and MPs and the media had been expecting something extraordinary. But the speech, somehow, did not quite measure up to expectations. It was rather underwhelming and largely a repetition of the things that PKR leaders had been saying since the guilty verdict..... Although her mother, Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is the party president, she is seen as the one taking charge of a number of political events. She has been on the streets addressing the young group protesting Anwar’s verdict, making the ceramah rounds and calling up people for help and support.....  She has made no bones about the fact that she sees herself as the torch-bearer of her father’s legacy..... The Rafizi factor... Some think the Anwar family is being used by secretary-general Rafizi Ramli to strengthen his standing in PKR.....  Nurul Izzah has also claimed a leading role in the coming Permatang Pauh by-election. She and former secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution are co-chairmen for the party’s election committee. Party insiders said Saifuddin expressed interest in taking charge of the by-election. But Nurul Izzah wanted it and she got it..... The buzz over her sister Nurul Nuha has fizzled.There was a great deal of excitement when the family pushed Nurul Nuha centrestage. People were curious for a glimpse of her and to hear her speak..... Nurul Izzah is the only natural politician among her siblings and even she is seen as still having a long way to go. She has the charisma but still lacks depth and breadth when it comes to issues..... In fact, Pengerang MP Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said almost stole the thunder from Nurul Izzah’s “Opposition leader speech” one day later. Azalina was at her most aggressive but her fierce, calculated and off-the-cuff response showed the younger woman what experience, a background in law and the ability to think on one’s feet added up to.... The political mood this time around has been a stark contrast to Anwar’s first imprisonment – no white hot anger or emotional eruption. The #KitaLawan rally last weekend drew a respectable crowd but it was nowhere close to the spontaneous tide of people pouring out into the streets in 1998. That is what happens when the PAS crowd stays at home.... To quote Zaid, who has become the “unconventional statesman” of Malaysia, it is time they show there is more to their struggle than Anwar Ibrahim.... •The views expressed are entirely the writer's own

12 March 2015: Hadi Awang set for party president showdown with "Hawaii Five-O" gang while Haron becomes PAS spiritual leader for the next five years

Haron is new PAS spiritual adviser by sira habibu  Updated: Thursday March 12, 2015 MYT 7:13:36 AM; PETALING JAYA: The appointment of Datuk Dr Haron Din as the new Mursyidul Am has apparently foiled the so-called “Hawaii Five-O” gang’s plan to convince the grassroots to “elevate” Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to spiritual leader. The Hawaii Five-O gang would have preferred Hadi to “move on” to head the Syura Council and leave the party president’s post for others to contest. Hawaii Five-O is the name given to a WhatsApp chat group involved in an alleged attempt to topple Hadi. Pro-ulama netizens welcomed the Syura Council’s decision to appoint Dr Haron while signalling to the ground that Hadi would defend his presidency in the upcoming party elections.
PAS assistant secretary-general Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said the Syura Council met on March 8 and unanimously decided to appoint Dr Haron who had served as the deputy. “Dr Haron is the new Mursyidul Am and Kelantan Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yacob is the deputy,” said Takiyuddin. According to the PAS constitution, the Mursyidul Am appointment is made every five years....

9 March 2015: PR opposition splits on Sarawak as DAP claims 30 seats - takes a dig at PKR and others who have not done their groundwork

Sarawak Pakatan tested further as DAP eyes 30 seats BY DESMOND DAVIDSON Published: 9 March 2015 6:37 PM DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen says the party is justified in its declaration to contest 30 seats in the upcoming state election without consulting PKR or PAS. – The Malaysian Insider pic, March 9, 2015.Sarawak DAP pushed the uneasy opposition alliance in the state over the edge yesterday with a declaration to contest 30 seats in the upcoming state election without consulting its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners – PKR and PAS. The number of seats suggested doubled the ones DAP had contested in the 2011 state polls. Its state DAP chairman Chong Chieng Jen said, after the party's state committee meeting in Kuching, that the numbers were justified because the party had done its constituency work in areas it intended to contest..... “For the moment, we will concentrate on the groundwork in 30 areas that we have identified. “For DAP, it has always been a policy that we will contest in areas that we have worked on to lay our foundation and (which) we are confident of delivering,” Chong said. Brushing aside seat allocation negotiation, Chong said there is no point saying “I want to contest in this area, I want to contest in that area” without doing the groundwork, a subtle reference to PKR getting a lion share of seats but was whipped in both state and parliamentary elections. - See more at:

9 March 2015: Attacks against PAS senior members Dr Dzul and Dr Hatta and continued leadership silence on violent incidents amid PAS internal strife; PKR's KitaLawan rally gets surprise 10,000 turnout; attendees note limited support from PAS at rally (its red brigade not present) and key DAP Penang leaders could not attend PKR rally as they had to stay back to work / hand out RM100 to the elderly (Lim Guan Eng denies telling them to stay away from rally, and says some did travel to and fro..)

PAS leader questions silence of leaders after violent attacks against members BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, Analysis and Features Editor Published: 7 March 2015 4:36 PM ...Two days after PAS research director Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad was assaulted by unknown assailants outside his home in Shah Alam, the party’s elections director, who was also a victim of a violent crime, urged the party's leadership not to remain silent and allow such acts to perpetuate. Dr Mohd Hatta Ramli, whose car was torched last month, said he was concerned that when there was silence over the matter, the culprits would get the impression that their acts were condoned. "If there is continued silence, they will climb on our heads, especially when there is no signal from the top leadership.... "Silence means, please continue, so leaders need to be firm," said Dr Hatta, who is believed to be directing his comments to the leadership, especially president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who has yet to comment on the incidents happening within the party....

Despite political fatigue, #KitaLawan’s 10k turnout commendable, say analysts BY EILEEN NG Published: 7 March 2015 8:06 PM; Pakatan Rakyat's ability to pull in a 10,000 crowd to its #KitaLawan rally today is commendable, say analysts, despite the opposition pact’s dented image due to incessant spats among its allies, lack of endorsement from the PAS leadership, and with Malaysians weary of politics and preoccupied with the rising cost of living. Although this number is far from the hundreds of thousands who took to the streets during the 1998 Reformasi demonstrations to protest against Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sacking from the federal government and in Bersih’s 2012 rally calling for free and fair elections, observers said today's turnout was telling as it managed to attract younger Malaysians to take part. The youth form an important voting bloc, especially since about 450,000 Malaysians turn 21 each year and some 70% of the estimated 4.2 unregistered voters are between the ages of 21 and 40. ... y's protest was in support of the jailed Opposition leader and to call for resignation of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak....

#KitaLawan protest attracts the angry, the creative and the nonchalant BY ANISAH SHUKRY Published: 7 March 2015 8:51 PM; Amid the chants of 'Reformasi' and 'Undur Najib'‎ at today's #KitaLawan rally outside Sogo in Kuala Lumpur, one tiny, elderly woman could be seen shuffling among the crowd, angrily smacking the banners held up within her reach. "Stop it!" she cried in Malay, her dark, wrinkled face pulled into a scowl, as she tried to grab a nearby protester. "You're being a menace!"....With the exception of the woman, the mood among the thousands who turned up today was largely festive, and their spirits remained unperturbed even as the evening wore on and it began raining intermittently. The creativity of Malaysians was on full display today as an effigy of Najib could be spotted among the crowd, as well as large cardboard puppets depicting a variety of animals....

Guan Eng denies telling Penang Pakatan reps to stay away from #KitaLawan rally By Opalyn Mok Published: March 7, 2015 02:11 PM...GEORGE TOWN, March 7 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng has denied warning Pakatan Rakyat (PR) elected representatives against taking part in the Kita Lawan rally today. He explained that some of the PR assemblyman, including himself, could not attend the rally in Kuala Lumpur today because they had to be in Penang for a state-organised senior citizens’ appreciation programme. “Yesterday, I did say some of them would be travelling to and fro like Deputy Chief Minister I Datuk Mohd Rashid Hasnon, but this was not reported,” he claimed, and blamed media controlled by the Barisan Nasional coalition for allegedly “twisting” his words...

24 Feb 2015: PAS Sec-Gen says Wan Azizah has chance to be opposition leader, PAS conservatives vs progressives tussle

Wan Azizah has chance to be opposition leader, says PAS BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR Published: 24 February 2015 6:59 AM;  Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will have to contest the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in Penang which fell vacant when her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was convicted of sodomy if she is to be appointed opposition leader. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 24, 2015.Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail will have to contest the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat in Penang which fell vacant when her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was convicted of sodomy if she is to be appointed opposition leader. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 24, 2015.PAS's rejection of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail as Selangor menteri besar is not going to affect her chances of being picked as the new parliamentary opposition leader, said PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali.

Audio proof of Mat Sabu plotting to unseat Hadi being circulated BY ZULKIFLI SULONG, FEATURES AND ANALYSIS EDITOR Published: 23 February 2015 4:00 PM The simmering war between PAS conservatives and progressives went up a notch today with the circulation of an audio clip purportedly of PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu planning to unseat party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang. The revelation comes after another expose of party election strategist Hatta Ramli also allegedly planning the same through the WhatsApp chat app. The recording was uploaded onto the Facebook page of Tuc Tok Usin Ceroi, who attacked Mohamad for being a "traitor". Tuc Tok Usin Ceroi is an account popular among the pro-Ulama group in PAS. - See more at:

22 February 2015: Nurul Nuha Anwar seeking justice for her father

Nurul Nuha Anwar committed to free father, driven by injustice against him BY ELIZABETH ZACHARIAH Published: 22 February 2015 7:00 AM Slightly more than 16 years ago, when her famous father was first incarcerated, Nurul Nuha Anwar, then only 15, was confused and heartbroken. Fast-forward to 2015, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is bundled off to jail again, but this time Nuha the adult is seething with rage as she seeks justice for him. In an interview with The Malaysian Insider recently, the 31-year-old mother of two cut a spirited figure, in contrast to the grief-stricken person she was on February 10 when the Federal Court decided to uphold her father's conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomy. "Back in 1999, I was only 15 and very confused, wondering why this was happening to my family. My sisters were really young at that time," she said, referring to when Anwar was convicted for corruption, following his sacking from his position as deputy prime minister the previous year....

16 February 2015: Tussle for PR opposition leader post to come? Utusan complains that "Anwar not only has a sexual criminal offence but also inviting the meddling of foreign powers, an offence which is far bigger..."

PKR wants to hold on to post by wani muthiah  Updated: Monday February 16, 2015 MYT 7:52:44 AM, KLANG: While some in the DAP want the party to take over the Opposition Leader’s post, PKR leaders are not that happy to let go of it.... PKR vice-president Fuziah Salleh said the party had a special role to play in Pakatan Rakyat and deserved to keep the job. “We play a unifying role in Pakatan,” said Fuziah, who is the Kuantan MP. She said PKR deputy president Azmin Ali, being the party’s most senior leader in Parliament, should assume the post.... Azmin said the need to appoint a new Opposition Leader had not arisen yet, as jailed PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was still holding the post..... Anwar’s Permatang Pauh seat will be declared vacant by the Election Commission soon, as the Federal Court rejected his appeal against his sodomy conviction..... Meanwhile, there is speculation that the DAP is also gunning for the post. According to sources, although the party’s veteran MPs are not adamant over the post going to the DAP, some of its younger elected representatives feel otherwise.  They feel that since the DAP holds the most number of seats among Pakatan in Parliament, the post should go to it. The DAP holds 37 seats in Parliament compared to PKR’s 28 and PAS’ 21......

Utusan likens US criticism of Anwar case to sodomy - Several countries, including the US, Australia and Canada, have expressed concern and disappointment over Anwar’s trial; KUALA LUMPUR — The United States is continuing to meddle in Malaysia’s domestic politics with its views on opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the Utusan Malaysia said in an editorial piece yesterday, which compared America’s action to “sodomising” the country’s legal and judiciary systems.
In a Sunday column by its editors, the Malay-language newspaper owned by the ruling United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) party also tore into Anwar, pronouncing him guilty not only of sodomy but also of inviting the interference of foreign powers..... “Big powers such as the US wants to now ‘sodomise’ our legal and judiciary systems although the majority of Malaysians agreed with the court’s decision,” said Awang Selamat, the pseudonym used by Utusan editors.... “For Awang, Anwar not only has a sexual criminal offence but also inviting the meddling of foreign powers, an offence which is far bigger. Our sovereignty cannot be substituted.”....

14 February 2015: PAS leader's car torched amidst accusations of factions conspiring to topple party president Hadi Awang and ulama leadership?

Senior PAS leader’s 4WD torched Updated: Saturday February 14, 2015 MYT 4:19:10 PM
PETALING JAYA: A senior PAS leader recently accused of conspiring against the party president found his four-wheel drive vehicle in flames outside his residence in Hulu Klang on Saturday morning.... Hatta, who is also a PAS central committee member, has been at the centre of controversy after being accused by certain quarters in the party of conspiring to topple party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.... Last Sunday, a group of Hadi’s supporters protested outside the PAS headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut calling ahead of the central working committee meeting.... They submitted a memorandum calling for Hatta’s resignation, and naming several other PAS leaders said to be in cahoots to topple the president and the ulama leadership....

Ibrahim Ali incurs netizens' wrath over remarks on Nik Aziz by akil yunus AND victoria brown Updated: Friday February 13, 2015 MYT 9:14:17 PM; PETALING JAYA: Perkasa president Datuk Ibrahim Ali (pic) angered netizens on Friday after he appeared to criticise late PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.... In a statement on Friday offering his condolences to Nik Aziz’s family, Ibrahim accused the former Kelantan Mentri Besar of failing to develop the state and falling short in his bid to implement hudud in the state... The original posting has since been removed, but not before social media users tore into Ibrahim for being insensitive....

13 February 2015: Niz Aziz - “He passed away on Thursday night. Hope Allah will bless his soul
and he will be among the pious in Heaven ” PAS said. Malaysia opposition loses Nik Aziz, a strong advocate of an opposition alliance who said he would "spit in the face" of any PAS leader forming an alliance with UMNO

Death of Nik Aziz deals fresh blow to Malaysian opposition - Effect on opposition uncertain with one less figure to hold PAS, PR together, says analyst Published: 4:13 AM, February 13, 2015; KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysia’s political opposition, already suffering from the jailing of leader Anwar Ibrahim, received another blow when veteran party spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat died yesterday. He was 84.... Mr Nik Aziz, who led the Islamist opposition Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) and was former Kelantan chief minister, died at his home in Pulau Melaka, Kota Baru last night, PAS officials said.... “He passed away on Thursday night. Hope Allah will bless his soul and he will be among the pious in Heaven,” the party said in a statement on its Facebook page.... While it is too early to tell what its effect will be on the political alliance, analysts previously said there would be an impact on both PAS and PR.... “His distrust of UMNO (United Malays National Organisation) decided the course of Malaysian politics to a very large extent, along with his reputation for being a clean-living, humble and principled person,” Dr Ooi Kee Beng, deputy director of Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, said in an earlier interview. UMNO is the largest party in Malaysia’s Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition.... Mr Nik Aziz had been the strongest advocate of the PR alliance since its formation in 2008, and also rejected all possibility of PAS cooperating with UMNO.... He had once warned he would spit in the face of any PAS leader who wished to form an alliance with the ruling Malay party, having personally experienced the bitterness of leading PAS after UMNO ejected it from the ruling BN coalition....

Analysts have been and continue to watch for signs of policy and opinion trend lines between PAS and UMNO, especially since the Selangor Menteri Besar tussle. One of the key things to look out for is the redelienation exercise. BN/UMNO is strong in the semi-urban and rural sector, able to secure a good majority despite losing the popular vote to the opposition coalition (and lost most of its seats in the urban sector). Despite this success in the May 2013 General Election, the Pakatan Rakyat / opposition coalition has ben rendered asunder (inter party and intra-party) since with no leaders meeting in over six months, until the eve of Anwar Ibrahim's 5 year jail sentence for sodomy.

No objection from Sarawak PAS as deadline on redelineation passes BY DESMOND DAVIDSON Published: 4 February 2015 6:25 PM; Sarawak PAS is the only opposition party to have missed the deadline to file any objection against the Election Commission's proposed redelineation of the state's electoral map.... The party met last Saturday, a mere five days to the 4.30pm deadline of submission today, to scrutinise the EC's proposal and piece together their objections. PAS state commissioner Adam Ahid, when contacted today, said that they had planned to file an objection on how the electoral boundary to the Sadong Jaya state seat was drawn but could not find the 100 voters needed to validify the objection. ...  The support of 100 voters in the constituency is a mandatory requirement....

A legal specialist contact (from outside Malaysia) said much the same to me the other night - that the legal . He felt the legal points were made and the key issue is in the evidence from the police..... that the hands (of the 5 judges) were tied, and it was the facts not the law that did Anwar in, but some lawyers point out the judges ignored key evidence and credibility issues.

Shafee throws down the gauntlet to Anwar’s supporters  By Farrah Naz Karim and Hidir Reduan - 13 February 2015 @ 1:00 PM; KUALA LUMPUR: THE man who on Tuesday secured Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s conviction for sodomising his former aide, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, threw down the gauntlet to those questioning the merits of the win, and to argue their case with him, purely on facts.... Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, the lead prosecutor in the sodomy case, singled out several parties he said had taken been taking potshots from the periphery of the case to cast aspersions over the Federal Court’s decision to uphold the Court of Appeal’s decision to sentence conviction Anwar to of and the five years’ jail term for Anwar....

 Senior Aussie lawyer says judges in Anwar trial ignored evidence Published: 14 February 2015 3:43 PM; A senior Australian advocate who attended the recent Federal Court proceeding of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy appeal has criticised the guilty verdict, saying the judges ignored key evidence and credibility issues surrounding the complainant. "In reaching these conclusions the court rejected or ignored the evidence that raised serious doubts about the reliability of so-called independence evidence and the credibility of the complainant," said Queen's Council, Mark Trowell. Trowell, who wrote a book on the case, observed the trial on behalf of Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union, LAWASIA and the Law Council of Australia.....

11 February 2015: Losing Anwar a blow, but can opposition reorient around principles instead of personalities and tame Islamic extremists? Bloomberg editorial.

Conclusion and suggestion: Losing the charismatic Anwar will be at least a temporary blow to his fractious coalition. But if party leaders can reorient themselves around principles instead of personalities -- and tame the Islamic extremists in their own camp -- they will greatly strengthen their appeal as a viable alternative to the ruling coalition. Whatever their politics, Malaysians would benefit from a genuine contest of ideas....

Malaysia's Politics of Intolerance By  The Editors  Feb 10, 2015 6:45 PM EST; The five-year jail sentence imposed today on Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim effectively ends his political career. The greater loss, however, will be to Malaysia's politics and economy if Prime Minister Najib Razak's intolerance continues.... Najib's government has greatly increased its use of the Malaysian courts for essentially political ends; according to Amnesty International, since 2013 at least 44 people have been investigated, charged or convicted under the colonial-era Sedition Act, which Najib once promised to repeal. (Anwar's conviction was for sodomy, though the case was highly politicized.) The prime minister has given Malaysians all too much reason to doubt the credibility of their judiciary.... Najib's broader efforts to shore up his political position are dragging the country backward. Buffeted by criticism from former Prime Minister Mahathir Bin Mohamad for his stewardship of 1MDB -- a government investment fund with murky finances -- he has sought to placate hard-liners within the ruling party with retrograde policies. He's redoubled support for racial preferences for Malay citizens and businesses and urged government-linked companies to give more contracts to ethnic Malays "on merit." He hasn't decisively confronted a rising tide of Islamism, nor rebuked one of his ministers who called for a boycott of Chinese-owned businesses.... As commodity prices plunge around the world, the country desperately needs to move further into downstream production in everything from energy to palm oil. It needs to spur entrepreneurship to invigorate its services sector..... Now, with Anwar deposed and new elections not due until 2018, Najib may feel he has more to fear from his own hard-liners than from the opposition.... Losing the charismatic Anwar will be at least a temporary blow to his fractious coalition. But if party leaders can reorient themselves around principles instead of personalities -- and tame the Islamic extremists in their own camp -- they will greatly strengthen their appeal as a viable alternative to the ruling coalition. Whatever their politics, Malaysians would benefit from a genuine contest of ideas....

Penang Umno: We’re ready for Permatang Pauh by-election Published: February 10, 2015 08:45 PM :

10 February 2015: Anwar convicted for 5 years in "sodomy II" after losing final appeal, who will be new Pakatan Rakyat / opposition coalition leader?

Sodomy II: Pakatan Rakyat to meet tonight; Updated: Tuesday February 10, 2015 MYT 3:40:00 PM
PETALING JAYA: Pakatan Rakyat leaders are expected to deliberate the future of the alliance following Federal Court's conviction to sentence Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim five years behind bars for sodomy.... DAP national organising secretary Anthony Loke said the emergency meeting would be held after a fundraising dinner for flood victims organised by PAS at MBPJ Civic Centre tonight.
"However, the question on who is taking over (the opposition leader position) can only be decided at a Pakatan leadership council meeting," said the Seremban MP when contacted....

8 February 2015: Anwar's last PR Leadership Council (first in about 6 months); facing sodomy final appeal ruling on 10 Feb

Will this be Anwar's last PR Leadership Council meeting? by Astro Awani | Updated: February 08, 2015;  Mustafa when met by reporters, said the meeting is expected to discuss various issues including hudud implementation in Kelantan and local council elections in Penang. KUALA LUMPUR: The Pakatan Rakyat Leadership Council today began with all top leaders of the pact attending the much awaited meeting. The meeting was among others, attended by DAP leaders Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng, Gobind Singh Deo and PAS leaders Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and Datuk Mustafa Ali.... Mustafa when met by reporters, said the meeting is expected to discuss various issues including hudud implementation in Kelantan and local council elections in Penang. Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who arrived at 1.57pm at the PAS headquarters for the meeting, will know his fate on his sodomy case on Tuesday. The Federal Court will announce the much-awaited verdict on Anwar's final appeal against his conviction and five-year jail sentence for sodomising his former aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, seven years ago....

6 February 2015: DAP continues to push for local council polls suspended 50 years ago, expects majority of local councilors would be Malay - DAP eyes 10% of local councils (based on its analysis of majority non-Malay units)?

Political parties with big war chests and political ground troops would also be better able to contest. This would help push the ante on political parties gathering more funds - which is widely perceived to be linked to land development projects, whether for property, agro-forestry etc. The question of political party funding is therefore quite linked to the idea of having more elections that will surely cost more.

Impossible for Malays to lose political power in local council polls, forum told BY SHERIDAN MAHAVERA Published: 6 February 2015 8:55 AM; It would be impossible for Malays to lose political power if elections for local authorities were to be reinstated as they form the majority in 90% of all city, municipal and district councils in the country, DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang told a forum in Kuala Lumpur last night. He said if local government elections were brought back after being suspended 50 years ago, it is estimated that an overwhelming majority of local councillors would be Malay. This feature of the country’s demographics, which was revealed at the forum titled, “Will local government elections erode Malay rights”, negates the argument put forth by Umno, Malay supremacists and some PAS leaders that local government elections would worsen ethnic divisions..... Lim said that of the 150 local governments in the country, only three or 2% had Chinese-majority populations. "About 13 local authorities had plural populations where no race formed a clear majority," said Lim, who is also Gelang Patah MP......

5 February 2015: Dr Mahathir fears annual flooding unless deforestation is halted, says Malaysia needs reduce illegal felling and also reduce legal logging - a Kelantan flood disaster critique

Note: The recent flood may be one of the large impacts of the policy for small-scale logging / agro-forestry projects. Specialists note that the small sizes mean that EIA / environmental impact analysis is not required.

Dr Mahathir: Malaysia can do without logging by neville spykerman  Updated: Thursday February 5, 2015 MYT 7:58:18 AM; KEPONG: Authorities should not only look to reducing the illegal felling of trees but logging in general if they want to avoid devastating floods, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.... He feared the floods would be an annual occurrence if nothing was done to stop deforestation.... “We have many sources of wealth in the country which do not cause environmental degradation and if we reduce even legal logging we will stand to benefit more,” he said when unveiling the National Heritage plaque at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM).... Dr Mahathir said that deforestation was a main cause of the devastating east coast floods recently. “Of course there are other factors (that cause the floods) but this is one of them,” he said.....

1 February 2015: Selangor controversial Kidex project not in MBPJ council plan (but obviously must have been supported by key politicians??); Anwar appeals for Pakatan Rakyat unity (council has not met in over 6 months).

Council did not scrap Kidex, state has final say, says PJ councillor BY MELATI A. JALIL Published: 1 February 2015 4:09 PM The greenlight for the Kidex Highway lies with the Selangor state government despite facing strong opposition from residents in the affected areas. – The Malaysian Insider pic, February 1, 2015.The final decision on the controversial Kinrara-Damansara Expressway (Kidex) lies with the Selangor state government, said Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) councillor Lee Suet Sen, as the deadline approaches for the highway developer to meet the three conditions set by the state. Lee said MBPJ only decided not to include the project in the draft plan for the city, following an analysis by an independent consultant on the matter. “The decision of the full council meeting in February last year stays... MBPJ has rejected Kidex to be included in the local plan then,” he said, adding that there is no indication to insert the project into the draft plan. - See more at:

Anwar appeals for Pakatan unity ahead of sodomy verdict on February 10 BY JAMILAH KAMARUDIN Published: 1 February 2015 11:33 AM PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim says all Pakatan Rakyat parties must come together for a discussion before February 10, when the Federal Court is due to deliver its verdict on his sodomy appeal. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Seth Akmal, February 1, 2015.With uncertainty over the Federal Court's verdict on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's second sodomy case, the opposition leader today appealed to DAP and PAS to stop their public bickering over issues and find solutions. The PKR de facto leader said all Pakatan Rakyat parties must come together for a discussion before February 10, when the apex court is due to deliver its verdict on his sodomy appeal. "I appeal to them, be patient and bring all disputes to the discussion table. We ought to meet before February 10.... "Unfortunately, we still don't have an agreement on the date," he said after speaking at an international youth conference in Kuala Lumpur today. Allies DAP and PAS have been in a media war over first, implementation of hudud or Islamic penal code, and lately, over restoring local council elections. The PR leadership council also has not met in more than six months. - See more at:

19 January 2015: Malaysia flood 2014 - deforestation question examined

 On the front page of The Sun today (image of Gua Musang area, Kelantan):

Youtube on deforestation seen in Google Maps for Kelantan:; Published on Dec 29, 2014... Kemusnahan hutan di Kelantan untuk tujuan Pembalakan atau Pertanian adalah dalam skala yang begitu dahsyat sekali. Kemusnahan kawasan tadahan semulajadi ini tidak dapat kita nafikan merupakan salah satu punca kepada banjir. Video ini saya rakam dari google earth menyusuri dari sungai kelantan di kota bharu naik ke hulu sehingga ke Lojing bersempadan dengan Perak.

12 January 2015: PAS reminds DAP it needs Malay and rural vote for wider electoral success

DAP will not succeed without us, says PAS  by Malaysiakini  12:17PM Jan 12, 2015
As an emboldened DAP appears ready to burn bridges with PAS over various disagreements including hudud, the Islamic party today reminded DAP that it cannot win the federal government alone.....

5 January 2015: Kuala Krai badly hit, volunteer points to lack of central crisis coordination

In KL, we heard from a friend whose company's business had to shut about 10 branchhes during the floods - Gua Musang and Kuala Krai were worse, with the Kuala Krai branch flooded to the ceiling (look at the flood water line in the picture in the Malaysian Insider piece below). Also, a relative with business near Gua Musang received on-the-ground reports of flood waters rising 3 feet per hour at one stage.

Not just another monsoon: where is the leadership? BY JULES ONG, SPECIAL TO THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER Published: 5 January 2015........On the stretch from Gua Musang to Kuala Krai, the disaster got increasingly worse from Manek Urai onwards. About 30km into Kuala Krai town, the extent of the damaged revealed itself in greater severity on either side of the road. Houses swept away with only foundations and their cement stairs left. Further down, mounds of debris of what used to be homes. Trees uprooted, palm oil plantations destroyed. River banks that was inundated left dead and decaying trees all covered in silt. Everything was the yellow ocher colour of silt... She said in Kuala Krai, the current was so strong, their boats to bring aid in had capsized. That corresponded with what we saw after the water subsided – the extent of the damage caused by forceful moving mass of water. If it had come from the sea, it would have been called a tsunami. What I saw with my own eyes reminded me of post-tsunami in Aceh.... Kuala Krai town looked bombed out. It was covered in silt, and stank in some stretches. No water, no electricity. Shops were damaged, goods destroyed by water and silt. Mounts of debris and discarded items piled on the roadside. People were not sure whether to clean up or to wait for the next wave of floods. Again, there was no information of what to expect and how to respond. Elected representatives appeared to be more interested in showing themselves holding babies, delivering sacks of rice with their faces on them, rather than providing much-needed central coordination and useful information. In such a situation, a normal, functioning government would create a central crisis coordination centre that would provide (or attempt to provide as best it can)...

4 January 2015: Flood disaster aid distribution questions. Land deals impacts for Geography 101 analysis of the flood? Hudud angst roils opposition with an open war of words.

The flood has been tragic and exacted a great toll on key parts of the east coast states of the Peninsula. It is possible that studies of land deals (and the key land brokers), satellite imagery of land conversion impacts, infrastructure (including drainage systems and siltation thereof) will emerge over time - studies of the human contribution to the flood severity. It is a fact that Malaysian state revenues are quite dependent on land deals / development projects. Land matters are entirely in the hands of state authorities.

As in many human disaster situations, the war of words starts early on. This has the added twists of racial-religious politics. A PAS leader has said the flooding tragedy in his state is a message from above to push for hudud (strict penalties in an Islamic criminal justice system). This was supposed to go to a special state legislature vote on 29 December 2014 - but it was prevented by the flood situation. (Some say this may also be considered a message from above NOT to proceed with the hudud vote...; "PAS's Pakatan Rakyat ally DAP has warned that ties with the Islamist party will further deteriorate if it was adamant about convening the state assembly sitting, with veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang saying he did not see any reason to attend future meetings of the coalition. PKR, on the other hand, said it had yet to decide whether to support the amendment, and preferred to first see the draft...." - refer to newslink below). Others question stewardship and governing ability in the flood disaster.

Donation info:

We also added some essential items donated at our local shopping mall collection for flood victim relief help.

Here's some more info from news website....

Malaysians respond to flood relief call Updated: Sunday December 28, 2014 MYT 7:32:46 AM;
The collection is from 9.30am to 5.30pm daily at Menara Star at Phileo Damansara 2, Jalan 16/11 here.... Other collection centres are at the Firefly Biz Lounge in Skypark Subang Terminal and Firefly airport ticketing centres at the Sultan Ismail Petra Airport in Kota Baru and the Penang International Airport.... The victims urgently need mats, blankets, towels, diapers, sanitary pads, cooking oil, bottled water, milk powder, sugar, rice and canned food. Donors are advised to label the boxes or bags of the items in the boxes that they drop off at the collection centres.... Cheques and bank drafts should be addressed to “Malaysian Red Crescent Society” and marked “The Star-MRCS-Firefly Relief Fund” on the back or bank transfers to Malaysian Red Crescent Society Maybank account 5144-2210-7228.... For updates on The Star’s collection centre and the relief fund, log on to;

News links:

In Temerloh, villagers ‘not on the list’ appeal to NGOs for supplies as village chiefs cherry pick recipients BY MELISSA CHI  Published: January 3, 2015 04:02 PM; While authorities handling the rescue and aid distribution operations in Temerloh said they have enough resources to send supplies to evacuees as well as those trapped in their houses, hiccups at the village level are preventing some families from receiving them.... Housewife Hashimah Abdul Halim from Kampung Lubuk Kawah said ample supplies had been given to the village chief to be distributed but her family as well as many others did not receive any as their names were “not on the list”. “Thank god we have enough supplies as aid was sent in about three times since the flooding began. “But most of the time they were from NGOs. The government only sent once and they only gave us one kilo of rice,” she told Malay Mail Online outside her home yesterday.... Abdul Razak Hassan from Kampung Baru Bintang said yesterday was the second day of cleaning the house and his four children, including a 14-month-old baby, wife and mother who is in her 70s will finally get to sleep there after being away for six days. The 39-year-old said his family had barely enough to eat on the first day at the evacuation centre but supplies began to flow steadily after that. He even got some supplies to take home with him when he left yesterday. He noted though that the clean-up process would be challenging as all the ATM machines in Temerloh are still underwater and the nearest petrol station had run out of gas. “I have to get a ride to Jengka or Kuantan to get supplies,” he said....

Kelantan postpones hudud sitting as floods worsen Published: 27 December 2014 Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob says a new date for the special sitting will be announced later. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, December 27, 2014.Worsening floods have prompted the Kelantan government to postpone the state legislative assembly's special sitting on Monday to pave the way for the enforcement of hudud in the state, The Star reported. Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob made the announcement today, and said all assemblymen were busy assisting their constituents affected by the floods in their respective areas, the daily reported. He said a new date for the sitting would be announced later.... Monday's sitting was planned to amend Kelantan's Shariah Criminal Code Enactment II, part of a move to pave the way for a private member's bill in Parliament in order to enforce the Islamic penal code in the east coast state.....PAS's Pakatan Rakyat ally DAP has warned that ties with the Islamist party will further deteriorate if it was adamant about convening the state assembly sitting, with veteran opposition leader Lim Kit Siang saying he did not see any reason to attend future meetings of the coalition. PKR, on the other hand, said it had yet to decide whether to support the amendment, and preferred to first see the draft....

A note to self-righteous politicians – Hannah Yeoh; Published: 2 January 2015;... Recently, when an MP claimed that the east coast floods were intended to remind the people about the necessity to impose hudud, my heart cannot be more stirred. No eye has seen, no ear has heard and no human mind has conceived the plans of God for Malaysia.... How can anyone say with absolute certainty that disasters (whether man-made or otherwise) are God’s wrath to punish mankind? What if it is just a case of bad stewardship? As though it is not enough when leaders use racial politics to conceal corruption, it is more appalling when God is used as an excuse to justify leaders’ inability to govern.....

MetMalaysia: Monsoon surge to hit Malaysia next week Published: January 3, 2015 08:47 PM
This aerial view shows houses and plantations submerged in floodwaters in Pengkalan Chepa, near Kota Baru, Kelantan, on December 28, 2014..... KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — The Malaysian Meteorological Department (MetMalaysia) anticipates monsoon surge to begin on January 7 or 8, with possible continuous heavy rainfall up to three days over certain states, especially Johor, Sabah and Sarawak....

3 January 2015: In aftermath of floods some urge PAS-UMNO unity

Curb ethnic Chinese power with PAS-Umno unity government in Kelantan, says ex-CJ Published: January 3, 2015 11:52 AM; KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 3 — The heavy floods in Kelantan should spur the state government, led by PAS to unite with its Malay brethren in Umno to curb the alleged rise of Chinese political power, according to former Chief Justice Tun Abdul Hamid Mohamad. In a letter penned to Utusan Malaysia, Abdul Hamid said PAS should emulate Acheh’s move to co-operate with Jakarta after the northern Sumatran province — which was fighting for an independent Islamic state — was hit by a tsunami in 2006, resulting in the death of close to one million people...... Abdul Hamid said the PAS-Umno rivalry split the Malays and gave minorities, especially the Chinese, the chance to exploit the situation. “In essence, because of Malay division, the non-Malays, especially the Chinese, are consolidating their political power”. - See more at:

Ku Li, enough of talk, be part of the solution Malaysiakini (subscription)  - ‎4 hours ago‎ 
YOURSAY ‘Make 2015 an exemplary year of at least one good BN leader.’ Telestai!: Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah (Ku Li) is one of the very few Umno politicians willing to face the truth. The country is indeed going backwards because Umno is desperately clinging on to power by resorting to the 3R politics (race, religion and royalty).....

3 January 2015: Malay Unity and the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition problem - 2015 outlook

Since 2008, DAP has seen successful expansionism and electoral gains. In contrast, political analysts widely report that there is a ground feeling within PAS of dissatisfaction: it has not gained enough while being part of the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition coalition. Some feel it has subjugated its Islamic principles and policies for a lacklustre national electoral performance. PAS won 23 parliamentary seats in 2008 and in 2013 they had 21; DAP had 28 seats in 2008 and it moved aggressively up to get 38 seats in the 2013 national polls. PKR had 31 in 2008 and dipped to 30 in 2013. The success of DAP has significantly outpaced that of its partners. This has indirectly raised concerns. Such numbers matter. This has allowed PAS hard-liners to argue a return to more Islamic thinking. However, if this happens, there is concern that they could end up with its pre-2008 national political outcomes. Could it return itself to a purely single northern state party? PAS had 8 parliamentary seats in 2004. The challenge for PR is how PKR and PAS can gain seats. In the touchy multi-ethnic plural society of Malaysia, having a more equal balance of power within the PR opposition matters a lot.

Malay Unity talk is out there. Analysts also reckon there is a risk that the electoral boundary redelineation may attract individual parties to try to expand their seat numbers via this method. One of the anticipated risky moves mooted is PAS seeking more rural seats in a deal by voting in Parliament with Barisan Nasional (BN)/UMNO to increase total Parliamentary seats. Currently BN can count on 134 seats but needs 147 seats (the minimum required 2/3rd majority in a 222 Parliament) to amend the Federal Constitution to increase Parliamentary seats. However, analyst thinking is that this move may earn PAS a token handful of new rural seats, but PAS would then be at risk to the loss of its urban seats from urban voters backlash (i.e. a net loss). Bottom-line: the cost-benefit of any opposition party, especially PAS, making such a move may be negative for itself in particular, and the PR opposition coalition in general.

Furthermore, once BN / UMNO has gained what it needs out of the redelineation, it is likely to recalculate its partnerships. Key question: can BN component parties accept PAS as a formal/informal partner? Would Malay Unity (UMNO + PAS) over the upcoming redelineation be just an ephemeral convenience (for gain of BN/UMNO)? The feelings of the Sabah and Sarawak BN component parties (MCA regarded as irrelevant) will be of concern in this form of Malay Unity.

2015 will likely be a challenging year for the PR opposition coalition, already reeling from the Selangor Menteri Besar episode in late 2014 (read about it here: /khoryuleng/2014/07/malaysia-opposition-in-crisis.html). The irony of all this, is that a tough looking economic outlook for Malaysia in 2015: a) GST from April and lower bank credit growth (in 5-10% range from 15-20% in recent years; on a high level of household debt) is expected to challenge consumers and  b) lower commodity prices impacts. All PR needs to do in 2015 is to run their states well / better and sit passively together to gain from potential economic headwinds and apparent Najib political woes within UMNO (in a "race, religion, royalty" mode?). However, politicians don't often make decisions that analysts expect. Let's see!

Interview (3/3): Wong Chen on anti-terrorism, sedition, bloc voting, missing MPs and more (Part 3 of 3)

Q&A with Wong Chen, Parti Keadilan Rakyat Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya, 11 April 2015. On Malaysian Parliament, 9 March – 9 April 2015 session - anti-terrorism, sedition, bloc voting, missing MPs and more (Part 3).

Q. People are angry with opposition MPs who did not turn up for the vote. What is your opinion on this?

Every MP is responsible for his/her own action, or in this case absence. They should face their constituents on this matter - their constituents have a right to question them and to know the truth. I got a lot of calls from reporters asking me to state who were absent. I got many postings on Facebook asking me to reveal the absentees. I also got hammered for no reason too.

I did not keep a list but I know for certain about the presence or absence of those seated near me. Some of the lists being circulated on the internet are clearly wrong. Raja Bahrin of Kuala Trengganu was definitely there for the vote and throughout was instrumental in the POTA fight.

Some lists reflect who were there for the day but in fact were missing for the actual vote. Only Parliament records can confirm the vote list. I wouldn’t venture to make a list from my memory but I will vouch for those seated near me.   

Q. Were they properly alerted to these crucial matters (POTA and Sedition Act amendment), so they could come back to vote?

Yes, we have a dedicated WhatsApp group for Pakatan Rakyat MPs. So, they would have received notices. The Chief Whips would have also SMS-ed them. For those overseas or outside KL, they probably could not come back in time to vote.

Q. But why not rush back? Why even be outstation or overseas in the first place? The POTA bill were on your desks a week beforehand. Don’t all MPs plan to be at all the Parliamentary sittings? How many days do you have each year for this?

Look, I cannot speak on behalf of those absent. Whatever reasons they have for being outstation or overseas they need to answer to their own constituents. We are in Parliament for roughly 80 to 90 working days a year, divided into three sessions.

Q. Your observation – what are typical reasons for being missing from their seat in Parliament (other than being sick)?

They may have important “official engagements”, who knows? That’s the most overused excuse. It’s a bit like “melawat sambil belajar” (a study trip). But I don’t believe anyone had official engagements at 2.30 am. I believe Parliament must be a priority, especially so when debating legislations. During question time and less significant policy level debates, you can arguably take some time off. These events are when ministers answer your questions. In most cases, the ministers actually try very hard not to answer your questions.

However, you should never ever be absent when legislations are tabled, especially so involving crucial legislations such as POTA and the Sedition Act. My own practice is to decline any invitations when Parliament sits. I enjoy my Parliamentary work with fellow MPs and at this time, I am quite happy to leave my staff, who are very competent in helping with all the sundry complaints of potholes and clogged drains.

Even during legislative work, of course, you cannot sit there in your chair every second of the sitting. It is common to sometimes take an hour or two off during a full day’s legislative sitting especially if you’re not scheduled for debate or not an expert on a particular subject. Most will hang out at the Parliamentarian’s lounge or head out for a meal as the food in Parliament can be quite awful. Importantly, we also have out of chamber things to do like discussions with others MPs, work with our researchers, drafting and so forth. But all these activities should be done in premises of Parliament.

For instance, when I debated on the Securities Commission Act amendment, a somewhat specialised matter, a lot of MPs took breaks and the hall was three-quarters empty. But MPs should always be nearby, to rush back to vote. It is practice for MPs who want to push the matter to a vote, to give other MPs at least one hour’s notice beforehand. When the vote comes, there is a two minutes warning by a bell to alert MPs back into the chamber.

Q. You clearly have no answer for your missing brethren. OK, so, how can the opposition ever defeat a contentious UMNO-BN bill?

That’s not quite fair. But I can understand people’s frustrations.

How can you defeat a legislation? You can never defeat the UMNO-BN administration in a straight vote as they have 60% of the seats in Parliament. They only need 51% to pass any legislation. They need 66% to amend the constitution, which is why they are stuck on the issue of electoral boundary redelineation.

There are basically three key ways to defeat a bill. One, is to win BN backbenchers over to go against the Najib administration. This very rare event happened last November last year, when the BN backbenchers asked the government to withdraw the bill on MPs pay. They regarded Najib’s proposed pay rise as insufficient, since it was lower than the pay of a state assemblyman. Many backbenchers were furious and as such Najib had to withdraw the bill.

Second, is to get external people to pressure the government. For instance, last year, in the investment panel issue, I provided information to the media, rating agencies, academics and the business community on Najib’s bill. They in turn pressured Najib to drop his plan for an investment panel within the income tax department. So we achieved a positive result. The contentious investment panel clause was removed. Many regarded it as an unusual and dubious thing. My office and I worked very hard on this issue.

Third, is to convince the Speaker that the Najib administration has failed to follow procedures of the Standing Order, hence the bill cannot procedurally, be tabled. We tried the third move on the Sedition Act amendments but the Speaker rejected Gobind’s sub judice argument and instead supported the Najib administration.

MPs standing to be counted on the Sedition Act amendments vote (Photo: Wong Chen)

Q. What other important bills were there in this sitting?

In addition to POTA and the Sedition Act amendments, there were two other significant bills presented to us during the sitting: the KWAP bill deals with the civil servants pension fund; and the bill on the creation of a Malaysian Aviation Commission.

These two bills saw the consolidation of the Prime Minister’s powers. He will have a lot influence over the decisions that these two bodies make. In the KWAP bill, the Bank Negara Malaysia (central bank) representative was removed from KWAP board for reasons unknown. The type of investments KWAP could make, were broadened to include derivatives and unlisted entities (these offer less transparency).

In the Aviation Commission bill, which decides on licensing for the operation of airlines, ground maintenance and aerodomes (in my estimation a RM 20 billion industry since Air Asia is valued at RM 6 billion and MAS at RM 4 billion). The commission allows for nine members on the board, with one appointed by the Ministry of Transport and the other eight appointed by the Prime Minister. Najib has powers to decide everything about the Board including selection of its members, their remuneration and their sacking.

Q. It’s been a long interview, any last words?

Many people feel a loss of hope as they see all the odd things happenings at the top. Some people grow used to these abuses by UMNO BN and now believe there is no other way. When several Pakatan MPs failed to do their job in Parliament, it compounds that sense of hopelessness. Many are already upset with the stagnant economy and the fall of the Ringgit. GST comes along. Then draconian laws passed in Parliament. It is all very sad and sickening. People keep asking how much lower we can go. People even stop me on the street to ask if they should leave Malaysia for good. I just shrug and then say we must stay and we must fight.

An exclusive interview with Wong Chen, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya, 11 April 2015.

This is Part 3 of 3.

Read Part 1 here, /khoryuleng/2015/04/interview-wong-chen-on-anti-terrorism.html.

Read Part 2 here, /khoryuleng/2015/04/interview-wong-chen-on-anti-terrorism_14.html

Interview (2/3): Wong Chen on anti-terrorism, sedition, bloc voting, missing MPs and more (Part 2 of 3)

Q&A with Wong Chen, Parti Keadilan Rakyat Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya, 11 April 2015. On Malaysian Parliament, 9 March – 9 April 2015 session - anti-terrorism, sedition, bloc voting, missing MPs and more (Part 2).

Q. Was the POTA legislation rushed? What's with the 12 hour debate into the wee hours?

POTA was not only rushed. It was bulldozed through. Apparently, Malaysia is about to be attacked by terrorists. That’s what the IGP said a week ago. Therefore, BN needs it, and they need it now. The bills was so needed that it had to be passed at 2.30 a.m.

The Malaysian Parliament isn’t anything like many others in the Commonwealth and legislatures elsewhere. There is little use of bi-partisan select and standing committees. There is almost no consultation with experts on draft bills. No public hearings. The bills pop up on our tables at Parliament just days before the debate.  At the so-called committee stage, there is in fact no committee; it is just another round of floor debates where questions and opinions are often greeted by more heckling.

For POTA, the Pakatan MPs were determined to record our objections to key problematic clauses of POTA in the Hansard. We mounted a strong challenge at the policy level and also at the committee stage debate. On my count, the debate went on for 12 hours.

What was also disappointing was the fact that even the two MPs of Gerakan (part of BN) voted for POTA. One of Gerakan’s main pillars was its stance against ISA. But their two MPs voted for it.

Q. Were any BN MPs concerned about the POTA provisions?

In my opinion, overall no. Not from the content of their speeches. The BN MPs argued a simple line: we need these extensive powers to fight terrorists. And then they promised not to abuse it.

People ask me, can you trust their promises? Najib’s administration has so far arrested 150 under the Sedition Act within the space of a year. Others point to other examples of empty promises - the ISA. The ISA was created by the British to fight communists and UMNO-BN kept it on and used it too. Out of the 10,000 odd people arrested under it, the majority of detainees were in fact non-communists but political opponents of the government.

As far as I’m concerned, the MPs from BN failed to demonstrate any deep understanding or real concerns about human rights. They probably voted out of blind loyalty, and they voted as a bloc. I suspect a good many who did not take part in the debate are unaware of the real substantive issues. I was particularly upset with the senior members of the backbenchers – all the BN Tan Sris and Dato Seris - for they should know better. They should be the seniors defending the constitution. You shouldn’t be an MP for three or more terms and pretend that legislations such as POTA and the Sedition Act are okay and acceptable.

During the debate, we also tried another strategy. By pointing out obvious flaws in the drafting. But these guys must have some sort of shame deficit, they rammed the legislation through anyway; warts, flaws and all included. From their actions, I’ll say that the BN MPs also couldn’t care if the world laughed at how bad the drafting was. 

Q. Do opposition MPs ever vote to support UMNO-BN legislation?

No, not that I can recall. In my two years as an MP, probably not even once. But we do not have a blind loyalty bloc vote policy, not in PKR and not as Pakatan Rakyat. We have room to agree to disagree. We are expected to think for ourselves, whilst bearing in mind our common policies and visions for Malaysia. These policies are set out in our Manifesto and also in our annual Alternative Budget.

For instance, 2 days ago, I debated on the matter of the Securities Commission bill. I praised the appointment of Ranjit Singh as Chairman. I saw this as an example of meritocracy. I said that the fact that the SC has financial independence is a big contributing factor to its success. I also said I had no problems with most of the proposed amendments. But, I asked for two changes. One to ensure that any external experts or advisors to an SC meeting shall first declare their interests and if they do have, then obviously they shouldn't act as an expert. The second change I wanted, was that after declaring an interest in a matter, a member of the SC must not be in the meeting and must not vote. Nothing political about my reasonable suggestions. But the UMNO-BN bloc voted against my suggestions. In turn, I could not support the legislation without my changes. As such, supporting or opposing a legislation it is not always a clear cut, black and white matter.

Q. So what about the Sedition Act - what are issues with this piece of legislation?

The amendments to the Sedition Act were put in at the very last minute and we were all caught by surprise. The bill was presented on our tables at 9am, two days before the debate. Two days! That’s an ambush. You can’t morally legislate such an important bill with two days notice.   

On the fateful day, I was first in Parliament at about 8.45 am. On my desk, staring back at me was the Sedition bill amendments. I took photos and WhatsApp the same to Pakatan MPs. There was a particularly nasty clause: the Najib administration wanted to disallow bail for anyone charged under this act. They sought to remove the discretion of judges in granting bail. They tried to transfer that discretionary power on bail to the attorney general. It was just so wrong on so many levels. YB Rafizi Ramli, who is facing 4 sedition investigations was mildly shock when I informed him of the clause.
This means that if you’re arrested by the police for sedition and if the attorney general is of the opinion that you are threat, you will be detained in police lock-up until the trial is over. Effectively, you could be in jail until trial completes in 2 to 4 years. UMNO-BN wanted to elevate the crime of sedition to a non-bailable offence. Do you know what crimes are not bailable? Kidnapping and murder. Come on, is criticising the government on the same league as murder? We immediately alerted the Bar Council, International Commission of Jurists and the United Nations on this issue.

My research officers and I then went into an emergency meeting with several MPs and started planning our next steps to try to stop the bill. YB Gobind Singh came up with a brilliant idea, arguing that the amendment to the Sedition Act is sub judice because the legality of the entire Sedition Act is currently under consideration of the Federal Court. To avoid sub judice, we asked UMNO-BN to at least defer the amendments until after a Federal Court makes a decision.

We then informed the three Chief Whips (PKR, DAP and PAS) of our plans and asked them to quickly contact the Speaker and the Minister to try to convince them to withdraw the amendment bill. In the meantime, we devised a strategy to buy more time for more bi-partisan discussions.

Several MPs approached the Sabah and Sarawak BN backbenchers. Apparently, we got support from some. To our surprise, Bung Mokhtar spoke against the bill. He is the wiliest of all BN backbencher. For instance, last week he was sympathetic of “Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia” (a Sabah and Sarawak secessionist group) and this week he called them “Orang Gila” (crazy people) and asked the police to arrest all of them. By nightfall, we heard that the Minister had agreed to withdraw the most onerous elements of the bill. To be safe, we nevertheless filed our own committee stage changes to the bill.

The next day, we were informed that the Najib administration had indeed removed the clause on “no bail” but they retained many more terms which are clearly abhorrent. I was particularly upset about their refusal to remove the clause on youthful and first time offenders. The Najib administration pushed through a clause that says youthful offenders (aged 18-21 years) and first time offenders cannot be shown any leniency by the courts. Therefore, they must serve a minimal jail term of 3 years up to 20 years for sedition, if found guilty.

 Debate notes on the clause on youthful and first time offenders (Photo: Wong Chen)

Whereas POTA has been packaged as a bill against terrorists, the Sedition Act has no such pretense, it is clearly aimed against citizens who want the right to exercise reasonable free speech and or carry out peaceful rallies.

This amendment bill was pushed through at 2.30 am after some 12 hours of debate. I lost my temper with several UMNO leaders and berated them over declaring war on Malaysian youths. I reminded them that we were all 18 years old at one time, and we’ve all been rebellious over something. As such, youths should be given special dispensation and not face the full weight of the law. I asked them if they knew what they had just voted for, to which I got blank faces. I asked them if they had children or grandchildren and to think of them.

Q. Some people ask if this the end of democracy in Malaysia (such as it is)? What do you say?

In my honest opinion, I’ll say it’s moving towards the end. We don’t have a free mass media other than the internet. But we are used to living with that. However, when they pass draconian laws, I’ll say that we are 70% to the end. Thank God we still have some good judges and some professional policemen.

There is a joke going around in the halls of Parliament that PM Najib has finally fulfilled his “1 Malaysia” dream. SOSMA was introduced after the Lahad Datu incident – sending a strong message to the people of Sabah and Sarawak. Then, he introduced PCA or the Prevention of Crime Act – targeted at so-called triads, essentially sending a strong message to the Chinese community. With POTA, he sends another strong message to the Malays and the Indians. It is Najib’s “1 Malaysia” dream fulfilled, Malay, Chinese, Indian, Iban and Kadazan all living in fear: semua sama-sama akan kena.

An exclusive interview with Wong Chen, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, Member of Parliament for Kelana Jaya, 11 April 2015.

This is Part 2 of 3.

Read Part 1 here, /khoryuleng/2015/04/interview-wong-chen-on-anti-terrorism.html.

Read Part 3 here, /khoryuleng/2015/04/interview-33-wong-chen-on-anti.html:
•People are angry with opposition MPs who did not turn up for the vote. What is your opinion on this?
•Were they properly alerted to these crucial matters (POTA and Sedition Act amendment), so they could come back to vote?
•But why not rush back? Why even be outstation or overseas in the first place? The POTA bill were on your desks a week beforehand. Don’t all MPs plan to be at all the Parliamentary sittings? How many days do you have each year for this?
•Your observation – what are typical reasons for being missing from their seat in Parliament (other than being sick)?
•You clearly have no answer for your missing brethren. OK, so, how can the opposition ever defeat a contentious UMNO-BN bill?
•What other important bills were there in this sitting?
•It’s been a long interview, any last words?

Malaysia opposition in crisis (update 16): What is the status of the PR opposition coalition?

As Malaysia moved into its Hari Raya Aidilfitri 2014 celebrations a major political crisis erupted in the opposition coalition. Toward mid-August, the situation escalated with Khalid's membership of PKR taken away on 9 August. On 17 August, the PAS consensus view is talked of as strongly in support of Wan Azizah to be the new Selangor Menteri Besar / Chief Minister. You would have thought this would end the crisis, but a couple of key individuals seem to be causing a gridlock. In the meantime, Malaysia's Merdeka (Independence day) celebrations are marred by a "sedition dragnet" that is catching quite a few opposition politicians and even a senior academic. What gives? This chapter closes with PKR accepting the Sultan of Selangor's selection of Azmin Ali, the party's vice president. This snuffs out what was previously a vehement stance for Wan Azizah. Installation of the new Selangor Menteri Besar was on 23 September 2014. Almost two months on after the Selangor linked Pakatan Rakyat debacle, Hadi Awang of PAS is till not attending at PR council meetings. So, what is the status of the PR opposition coalition?

17 November 2014: PAS Hadi Awang not attending at PR council

DAP raps Abdul Hadi again over absence from Pakatan meetings Updated: Monday November 17, 2014 MYT 7:12:28 AM; PETALING JAYA: DAP secretary-ge­neral Lim Guan Eng has fired ano­ther salvo at PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang for the latter’s continuous absence from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leadership council meetings. Lim said since DAP publicly urged Abdul Hadi to be present at the meetings, PAS leaders had respon­ded negatively. “Clearly, PAS misses the simple truth that the DAP central executive committee’s (CEC) unanimous resolution for the PAS president to attend the PR leadership council meetings is to restore public trust and confidence in PR. “This is a reasonable request as Abdul Hadi is the only person in PAS with the sole authority to make decisions. This makes Abdul Hadi’s presence in the meetings necessa­rily compulsory if PR is to function in concert as a coalition as well as to ensure policy coherence and cohesion,” Lim said in a statement yesterday. He said PR could not function properly and it would cause PKR and DAP having to play a guessing game on which decisions would be vetoed by Abdul Hadi if he did not attend the meetings.

24 September 2014. On "political frogs" and sedition

‘Political frog’ not defamatory term, Posted on 24 September 2014 - 12:07am Last updated on 24 September 2014 - 03:10am  by Edmund Lee; "GEORGE TOWN: The High Court today ruled the terms "political frog" or "frog" were not defamatory but merely labels to describe a politician who hops from one party to another. In striking out a defamation suit by veteran politician Lim Boo Chang against former DAP assemblyman Ng Wei Aik, Judicial Commissioner S. Nantha Balan held Lim had failed to prove that the words had a defamatory meaning, as it was clear Ng did not label him as an animal with no human characteristics, as alleged. In dismissing the claim, Nantha Balan ordered Lim, who is former Datuk Keramat assemblyman, to pay RM30,000 in costs to Ng, who is former Komtar assemblyman.... Lim had sued Ng over an article in a Chinese daily on Dec 18, 2011, claiming the latter had referred to him as a person without human character and likened him to a frog.
Lim joined Gerakan in 1984 before jumping to MCA in 1999, from where he crossed over to PKR in 2008, before quitting three years later....."

Malaysia's Anwar Ibrahim targeted in sedition crackdown Updated 24 Sep 2014, 9:02amWed 24 Sep 2014, 9:02am ; "Malaysian authorities have opened an investigation into allegedly seditious comments made in 2011 by opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, the latest and most high-profile of more than a dozen people charged or under investigation for the crime. In a statement, Mr Anwar's People's Justice Party said he is to be questioned by authorities on Friday.... Mr Anwar's attorney, Latheefa Koya, said the sedition blitz, which has rapidly accelerated in recent weeks, is an attack on free speech that has sparked fears for civil liberties and the rule of law.... In the past two weeks, courts have convicted and sentenced two student activists to prison terms of 10 months and one year...."

23 September 2014. A failed test of mettle?

Some worries from BERSIH about the can of worms that the Selangor move has created (see link below). For this, I'll point to a historian friend who raised this very concern many weeks ago; but his questioning of the political wisdom of the opposition's strategy was unheeded. BERSIH, concludes on the painful Selangor crisis: "As the Rakyat is increasingly losing faith in the electoral process and feeling alienated that their will does not matter in governance, the Pakatan Rakyat must undertake bold steps to restore their faith in elections, democracy and open government."

What bold steps might be in order from Pakatan Rakyat? Today, a rather disappointed Malaysia observer based in Singapore said: "Salmond resigned* when the Scottish referendum failed (did not get a majority acceptance). Did he do anything wrong? Is anyone going to resign over Selangor?"  That sounds very alienated from an opposition supporter. Not sure who might feel obliged to do so though. Indeed, where are Malaysia's men of mettle? I'm not sure BERSIH envisages this sort of action though.
*What Salmond said in his resignation statement: "The last seven years as first minister of Scotland has been the privilege of my life but I think that's a reasonable spell of service, and I think that we have to understand and recognise when it is time to give someone else a chance to move that forward" (quoted here:

Below, some insights, and a nice endorsement of the principles, professionalism and more of new Selangor MB Azmin Ali... by his wife.

News links:

Affirming parliamentary democracy in Selangor — BERSIH 2.0 steering committee
September 23, 2014; SEPTEMBER 23 — While we understand the regrettable difficulties experienced by all parties in dealing with the Selangor crisis, BERSIH 2.0 reiterates our principled stand on the appointment of the Selangor Mentri Besar, that the head of government must be nominated by and accountable to the majority party/coalition support as per Westminster constitutional norms that underline our Constitution.... We maintain that the sanctity of Westminister parliamentary democracy, the very basis of constitutional monarchy, must be upheld at all times. The authority of the ruling party/coalition over the government must be firmly established to ensure responsible governments.... As the Rakyat is increasingly losing faith in the electoral process and feeling alienated that their will does not matter in governance, the Pakatan Rakyat must undertake bold steps to restore their faith in elections, democracy and open government. Selangor after the painful crisis should emerge stronger to lead the nation forward..."

Azmin a principled man, says wife Shamshida; Updated: Tuesday September 23, 2014 MYT 4:08:14 PM; "AMPANG: Principled, professional, patient, passionate and guided by prayers – that’s how Shamshida Taharin described her husband Azmin Ali, the next Selangor Mentri Besar.
Shamshida, 49, who has been married to Azmin for 26 years, said: “He is very passionate and concerned about the party’s outlook and the rakyat. Party comes first for him and he wants to work for the rakyat.” In an interview at their home yesterday, Shamshida said her husband was very meticulous, organised and wanted things to be done in a certain order. She jokingly attributed this to his training – Azmin has a Masters of Education in Mathematics...."

 23 September 2014. Selangor matters

Something for the new Selangor MB to work on - see article immediately below. Although MBPJ is run by a BN-appointed administration, presumably the MB has a lot of say and influence? Will MB Azmin offer a high level of accountability, transparency and participation? Selangorians will hope that the murky origins of this MB-ship does not reflect on how the new administration will be conducted. Concerns from some quarters about "no principle, no change and no hope" need to be smartly laid to rest by a dedicated hard working and clean administration. This should help build back perceptions about and reputations in the opposition damaged by the failed Selangor gambit.

‘Stop pinching pennies’ by sheila sri priya  Updated: Tuesday September 23, 2014 MYT 6:51:43 AM; "ABOUT 11 community leaders and non-governmental organisations are unimpressed by the Petaling Jaya City Council’s (MBPJ) budget spending trend. They have called for more transparency and better public participation in the budget expenditure process. They also urged the council to set up a budget monitoring committee that included residents to have greater oversight on how the money was spent. Friends of Kota Damansara chairman Jeffrey Phang said the allocation for city development was too little compared to the total budget each year.... “It was reported in StarMetro last October that the council only spent 35% of the RM47.8mil allocated for development in infrastructure and other public amenities. We want a bigger allocation for city development in Budget 2015,” he said. In 2012, he said MBPJ had allocated more than RM50mil for waste collection services but ended up spending over RM417mil..... In October 2013, StarMetro reported mayor Datin Paduka Alinah Ahmad saying that she took full responsibility for the poor spending of the allocation for the year. In the report, she expressed her optimism that the allocation for the 2014 budget would be fully utilised in line with the theme “Sustainable Petaling Jaya”. She was quoted as saying, “I take full responsibility... but next year (2014) is the year of action. We are not going to plan any more because we are over that stage. “We are going to tender for projects in January next year,............. Deputy Petaling Jaya mayor Puasa Md Taib said the council always welcomed public feedback.
“We plan our budget based on public participation. Even today, we will have residents share their ideas on areas of their interest for the 2015 budget proposal. “We have categories such as greenery where residents can tell us specially what they want in which park. I would say our budget is a participatory budget between residents and the council,” he said. Puasa also reassured residents that they would give an explanation of how the council allocated its budget and officers would attend to their queries at today’s MBPJ Budget Planning meeting with residents. Registered owners of properties in Petaling Jaya can also attend the meeting...."

22 September 2014. Political exigency rules

The Selangor MB tussle has been a prolonged political shadow play (wayang kulit), with opposition politicians in a tussle over who would get the plum post. Cross party talks were said to be rife. In this messy fracas, three candidates were sought by the Sultan. PKR and DAP who stuck with just naming Wan Azizah. But as the Palace's discomfort with her candidature (how many saw her as a proxy for Anwar?) progressed in recent days, DAP relaxed its stance to say it would be open to a switcheroo if PKR agreed. Recall that the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition, appeared to lack the confidence to go for a no-confidence vote against Selangor MB Khalid. Instead of formal procedure, it sought to push the power of the Sultan for an informal switch - akin to the Perak move which Barisan Nasional innovated - but to their ready benefit.  Skillful political strategy and tactics ("the Oscar goes to....?") coupled by inter and intra party instabilities flummoxed PKR and PR (excluding Hadi and PAS who formally did not agree) in its quest to install their choice as the new Selangor MB. Instead, Azmin Azli was selected by the Sultan. Will there be repercussions from PKR's failed scheme and political exigency? It's notable that historians and businessmen fully expected a PKR leadership "cave in"/acceptance as in keeping with character. Many analysts are disappointed at this entire episode. What will voters think and do, now they've seen the warts and all? But some politicians seem sanguine that Selangor voters have no choice but stick with them. The optimists say that all the bad news is now out, so things should surely get better for the opposition. In Malaysia's opposition politics, there has been a major shift in the political ground. Tests of mettle have been found rather wanting. Will the winners and losers just "kiss and make up"? What happens next? For one thing, Selangor residents will look forward to what their new Menteri Besar Azmin Ali will bring to the state.

In the news:

Selangor palace sends out letter appointing Azmin Ali as state chief minister,
Published on Sep 22, 2014 6:59 PM;; "... Mr Azmin of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) was among three candidates "interviewed" by Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah last week to assess their suitability for the top post... The other candidates were Islamic Parti Islam SeMalaysia's Sijangkang assemblyman Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi and Chempaka assemblyman Iskandar Abdul Samad.... The letter puts to rest opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's quest to elevate his wife Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to the position of Selangor chief minister, as well as on the eight-month old crisis in Malaysia's richest state.... Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah had repeatedly rebuffed the choice of Wan Azizah, Datuk Seri Anwar's wife and PKR president, to replace PKR leader Mr Khalid Ibrahim... Early this month, the Sultan rebuked PKR and ally Democratic Action Party (DAP) - which had both named Datuk Seri Wan Azizah as their sole choice for the post - for defying his decree that more than two names be proposed to replace the outgoing Tan Sri Khalid, who was sacked by PKR for being uncooperative and abusing his power to clear a RM70 million (S$27.4 million) debt, charges which he denies.... Meanwhile, Mr Azmin Ali said his party has unanimously endorsed him. His comments came after the party's political bureau held an emergency meeting late Monday following the king's letter...."

PKR disappointed by palace’s treatment of Wan Azizah BY ANISAH SHUKRY; Published: 22 September 2014' "PKR has expressed extreme regret over the Selangor palace's treatment of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's nomination as Selangor menteri besar. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, September 22, 2014.PKR today said it felt "extreme regret" over the Selangor palace's treatment of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's nomination as Selangor menteri besar (MB). It said the palace's ‎appointment of the new Selangor MB, Mohamed Azmin Ali, had tainted the constitutional monarch system and was not in line with the state constitution and the principle of parliamentary democracy. "The PKR central leadership council (MPP) expresses extreme regret over the treatment given by the palace to the nomination of Datuk Seri Wan Azizah, which had fulfilled the requirements of the Selangor state laws with the support of the 30 assemblymen.... "MPP also disagrees with the way the palace handled the nomination process ‎of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who was not summoned for an audience despite having clear majority support," it said in a statement. MPP said that it had accepted Azmin's appointment because it wished to respect Dr Wan Azizah's decision not to prolong the MB saga....."

PKR endorses Azmin Ali as Selangor MB BY MD IZWAN Published: 22 September 2014 - See more at:

After MB impasse, snap polls could be death for Pakatan, say analysts BY EILEEN NG Published: 22 September 2014 - See more at:

8 September 2014. Treason in Selangor?
At every juncture, it seems that the opposition coalition's move to replace the incumbent Selangor Menteri Besar is hitting the "worst case" outcome. From Perak 2008 to Selangor 2014, it appears that the power of the head of state has strengthened immeasurably versus political parties in choosing who will be heading the state government. Lawyers and political experts are examining this turn of events.

Selangor Sultan to look beyond Pakatan nominees for next MB, September 8, 2014;; "The Sultan of Selangor said today he will also consider those not nominated by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for the mentri besar’s post, in the search for a successor for the outgoing Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim His Royal Highness Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah said he will weigh the names put forward by the three PR parties, but will not limit possible candidates to those proposed by the coalition... “At the same time considering the power to appoint the Selangor mentri besar is to the Sultan of Selangor’s discretion, His Royal Highness will also look at other state assemblymen from Pakatan Rakyat who are qualified and to the Sultan of Selangor’s understanding hold majority support among the state assemblymen,” read a statement issued by his private secretary, Datuk Mohamad Munir Bani. The Sultan said he was disappointed with PKR and DAP for insisting on submitting only one name for consideration as the next mentri besar despite his having requested late last month that they submit more than two names. His statement stressed that the request for more than two candidates to be submitted was by convention, to give the Sultan the option to choose a mentri besar based not only on majority support in the state legislative assembly but also by the candidate’s skills, experience, integrity and capabilities... “The action of DAP and Keadilan is an insult to the Royal Institution and constitutes an act of treason against the Sultan of Selangor’s decree,” the statement said..."

In the news:

Najib chides PKR over MB crisis, cites Dyana Sofya; 8:25PM Sep 7, 2014; Malaysiakini;; "Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has launched a broadside on PKR, saying the party failed to understand the Selangor state constitution when it disputed the power of the sultan over the appointment of the menteri besar...."

Whose power to decide on Selangor MB? By Kim Quek  1:00PM Sep 8, 2014;; "...PAS deputy president Mat Sabu and secretary general Mustafa Ali gave conflicting answers to the question of what PAS would do if the Sultan of Selangor decides to appoint a PAS assemblyperson (instead of a PKR representative as agreed by Pakatan Rakyat) as the next menteri besar of Selangor....  Mat Sabu said the party would reject the appointment, while Mustafa said it would leave the decision to the sultan, implying that the party would accept the ruler's choice...."
Here's some musings on the Selangor Crisis.. Changing old guard won’t solve Pakatan’s problem
8:54AM Sep 8, 2014 By Yoursay;

5 September 2014,evening. PAS factionalism.

Under fire, PAS deputy says clueless about (Hadi's) last-minute MB nominees, September 5, 2014;; "...The PAS deputy president also said he was clueless about the reports stating that the party had not submitted Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Azmin Ali’s name as its MB candidates after all. “I want to state that what was mentioned by PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali last night as reported by many media, that Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah and Azmin Ali’s name is not on the PAS candidate list...I have no knowledge of this,” he said in a statement today. Other news reports, Mohamad said, quoted Mustafa as confirming that a PAS state executive councillor had been nominated as an MB candidate. Mohamad did not refute the validity of the two reports, but said that this latest information was not conveyed to the PAS central working committee. “We, the PAS central working committee, do not know of this new name because it was not decided in the PAS working committee meeting which handles the daily affairs and strategies of the party,” the PAS leader added...."

Khalid Samad warns of PAS faction out to end ties with Pakatan, 5 September 2014, PAS moderate Khalid Samad (pic) has warned of a faction in the Islamist party which is out to break its alliance with Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in order to create a more "exclusive" and "chauvinistic" brand of Islam;

5 September 2014. KL political gossip. A social evening out in KL last night. For those who still cared to talk Malaysia politics (most are just plain weary of this), it was all about which politicians had how many meetings with top UMNO leaders, and the key brokers of these meetings. And which names did PAS / Hadi put into the hat for new Selangor MB? Answer: not the expected names i.e. not Wan Azizah (not an unexpected exclusion?) nor Azmin Ali (so much for that big gambit?); see news link below. Some reckon the Selangor impasse could even drag through to November!

There has been for a long time, open talk of a large cohort of highly paid (including many international) political consultants in Malaysia working very hard on lots and lots of strategies, tactics, speeches etc. Those into the numbers reckon that the goal should be for there to be suitable reason(s) to "force" PAS from the opposition coalition, to become an independent party. This should create the most problems for the Malaysian opposition in terms of splitting the vote. But of course, there are differences in opinion on the level of PAS and PKR's appeal among Malay voters under such a scenario. Lots of consensus on Anwar Ibrahim's inevitable incarceration too, but the reasoning other than the psychological factor seems elusive and unsatisfactory. Given such opposition disarray, BN/UMNO should be riding high; so why the internal BN/UMNO mutterings against PM Najib? I asked a senior international professor, who basically said that it's probably "sour grapes."

Apparent instability in Malaysia's high politics (opposition and now East Malaysia?) and its shadowy moves are the order of the day. Is it wishful thinking that if one team (more likely, the opposition?) started to operate differently, things might start to change? So long as top politicians in the entire spectrum favour shadow big deals* (and some also focus so hard on the numbers), it's no surprise the Malaysian voters are getting more confused, and more apathetic if not jaded and shutting them out. It seems that politicians are simply not engaging voters opinions.

*In conversion with said international professor, I was also reminded of the long history of key personalities in the opposition for such tendencies. Hard to expect them to change?

Recent news links - sedition, Selangor MB nominees, secession talk

3 September 2014, afternoon. What's next, Selangor? The Sultan of Selangor has requested the Pakatan Rakyat coalition to submit names for the new Menteri Besar by today. Each party is submitting separately. Yesterday, DAP and PKR submitted individually, both backing Wan Azizah. Today, PAS is due to submit, possibly with two names. The date for the Sultan's formal announcement of the new MB is not known. Presumably, it may be more protracted, depending on how PAS and its second PKR candidate gambit plays out.

What policy focus might Selangor residents expect under a new MB? It was pointed out to me that it was Azmin (surprisingly, not Wan Azizah) who announced some policy ideas; news source: Pakatan to focus on housing, water and transport despite Selangor MB impasse, 25 August 2014;;  "...PKR deputy president Azmin Ali revealed the plans (for Selangor) to The Malaysian Insider as the party prepares to possibly take back the helm of the country’s richest state..."

Pas vs Pas news:

3 September 2014, morning. Gridlock and sedition. The tedious Selangor political crisis still drags on and a slew of sedition charges add an ominous turn to Malaysian politics just at the time that the country celebrates Merdeka or its Independence Day.

The Selangor political crisis shows how a couple of key individuals in the political parties can apparently cause a gridlock in the entire Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition; the ruling coalition for the state of Selangor. Political analysts talk of PAS (now caught in internal dissension after its supreme council vote diverged from its President's view) seeking to nominate a second candidate from PKR. Some ask if this interesting and intrusive move to influence another party seeks to spread dissension there too? (News item: Selangor MB crisis: Azmin Ali 'pleasantly surprised' at being named as second candidate by PAS, Sunday August 17, 2014 MYT 4:15:10 PM;

But perhaps PKR has things in hand after all? It is spefically reported that Azmin still supports Wan Azizah to be the Selangor Menteri Besar / Chief Minister candidate (which was already stated on 17 August, and now is restated): "PKR is adamant that it will only nominate president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (pic) for the Selangor Menteri Besar post, in defiance of the state ruler's decree for all parties in the Pakatan Rakyat opposition pact to submit more than two names by today. Secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said the new central leadership council which met last night reaffirmed its July 21 decision to nominate only the Kajang assembly member. "Deputy president Azmin Ali also reiterated his support for Dr Wan Azizah to be the sole candidate from PKR for the MB post," he said in a statement today" (more here: PKR sticks to Wan Azizah for MB post, 3 September 2014,
At the same time, many sedition charges have been issued by the Najib Administration. Some are calling it a "sedition blitz" and coffee shop talk reminisces of an earlier famous clampdown of Malaysia opposition forces. News links include:
And in other sedition news: Could simply having an opinion be considered seditious?
By Ida Lim, August 16, 2014; "Following the police’s sedition probe against a Penang teenager for “liking” an “I love Israel” Facebook page, human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has questioned how just having an opinion could be seen as seditious... Maintaining that the teenager’s action does not amount to an offence under the Sedition Act 1948, she said the probe against him would only strike fear in the hearts of Malaysians and deter the country’s youth from voicing their views..."

18 August 2014. Azmin supports Wan Azizah. I missed this late last night! In the face of the now unassailable looking coalition ousting him, Khalid is rumoured to be off to Budapest to talk to the Selangor Sultan. Political insider talk is that he still hopes to extend his tenuous tenure. What is so important that he has to remain as Selangor MB? His overstaying his welcome now seems quite irrational. Businessmen are whispering about Khalid's possible reasons.

PAS leaders respect Azmin’s decision to support Wan Azizah for MB BY MUZLIZA MUSTAFA Published: 17 August 2014; "PAS leaders today said they respected PKR deputy president Azmin Ali’s decision to support his party’s choice of Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to replace Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim. "We had a discussion at a pre-presidential council meeting. It was done in a very harmonious manner. We respect his decision when he said he is going to support Dr Wan Azizah for the menteri besar post. “We have no problem about her becoming the next MB. In fact, she was our first choice as announced earlier after the PAS central committee meeting," said party vice-president Salahuddin Ayub (pic)...."

The Selangor MB impasse: winners and losers BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER Published: 18 August 2014; "So now that PAS has come around to accept that Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim needs to be removed as the Selangor menteri besar, it is safe to conclude that the long-drawn and painful Selangor crisis is nearly over. But the fallout from this saga will haunt the players for some time. The Malaysian Insider looks at who has emerged well or with its image soiled from the political stalemate in the country’s richest state...."

17 August 2014 night. Calling the big bluff?

Two substantive events seem to point to the informal end to the protracted "get rid of Khalid" move. Some have described the gambit as "messy and amateurish" on the part of the opposition. It culminated in a political crisis in the state of Selangor and it is crash testing the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. Businessmen and others were wont to say it is better to know who stands for what earlier rather than later and split if the political partners outlooks are too distant and irreconcilable.

The second event (today), is the PAS supreme council members vote that must have been strongly against Khalid (despite the strong support of its leader / President Hadi Awang for Khalid). Some PAS voices have also been widely reported in the media saying that a female is not suitable as Menteri Besar / Chief Minister. The majority in PAS seems to drown out these viewpoints. There is also uncertainty about whether the reported support of Nik Aziz for Khalid was misstated or worse.

The scuttle butt among political analysts is that the PAS vote (for the three names in the pot) garnered more than 60% support for PKR President Wan Azizah to be the next Selangor Menteri Besar. PKR's Azmin Ali (last year's rejected candidate) must have come in second since he was also named by PAS, and Khalid must have trailed in last place (he was not named alongside Wan Azizah).

Thus, it seems that the desperately clinging Khalid does not actually have PAS support, despite appearances in recent weeks. PAS has also seen a public fracture as two of its Selangor state assemblymen broke ranks with their party line to be among the 30 (a majority) of their brethren to swing against Khalid (the earlier, first key event on 14 August). If the talk about a high level of PAS support for Wan Azizah is true, the apparent key formality in the ousting of Khalid and his replacement with the PKR President is the approval of the Selangor Sultan when he returns on 27 August. The PKR "Kajang Move" is set to be fulfilled after side-stepping a glorious mess?

Some KL-ites I spoke to today were pleasantly surprised that PKR itself was tested in this situation and it held up i.e. no "jumpers" to give a majority to the emergent and apparent UMNO and PAS combination supporting Khalid[1]. Observers also wondered what is really driving Khalid's high-handed and clinging ways. Many wondered about his ego, his personality and some were surprised that a "corporate man" lacked the grace to resign when asked by his original sponsors. It also appears that he and others seem to have sorely misjudged the PAS consensus view[2]. Their bluff was called. Crisis over?

[1] The question of DAP jumpers seemed improbable given the key actors apparently driving the political crisis and the hard-line religious administration in Selangor and proposals for "hudud" that would worry DAP key supporters. Taken to the extreme, some observers worried that the Selangor political crisis would even culminate in a Malay versus non-Malay state voting stand off (if PAS went with UMNO to support Khalid). 
[2] While this points to an internal fracture, many will likely find the PAS consensus heartening that it remains in support of the opposition coalition, declines to wrestle the Selangor seat away from PKR (some speculated that Khalid would conveniently join PAS), and is not against having a female state leader.


PAS names Wan Azizah, Azmin for MB; Last updated on 17 August 2014 - 08:45pm  by Adrian Phung; KUALA LUMPUR: The PAS party leadership has unanimously nominated PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Azizah and newly elected PKR deputy president Azmin Ali as the possible candidates to replace Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim... In annnouncing this, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu said this was the decision taken by all its leaders who attended the special central working committee meeting which convened today at 10am to brainstorm on the situation brewing in Selangor, especially on the removal of Khalid as the MB...The meeting was chaired by PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang (pix)... Mohamad Sabu refused to answer reporters’ repeated question on why PAS nominated Azmin, but said that the party will not claim the Selangor MB post from PKR... He said PAS respected the prevailing spirit in Pakatan in nominating the candidates... Earlier, PAS supporters who arrived at the party headquarters in Jalan Raja Laut here as early as 8am, were seen holding cards that read “We are PAS member and we support our president”... The Selangor government leadership crisis started when Khalid refused to resign from his post to give way to Wan Azizah to become the MB as directed by his party. Following his refusal, Khalid was sacked by the party but he was retained as the MB after the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, granted him an audience... In an immediate reaction, Khalid said he accepted with an open heart the PAS central committee’s decision and would seek an audience with the Sultan to advise him on the next course of action to be taken... The Sultan is currently overseas and will only be back on Aug 27..."

Actions by two Selangor ADUNs unprecedented, says Pas sec-gen  By NST TEAM - 15 August 2014 @ 8:32 AM, "The decision by two Selangor assemblymen from Pas to break ranks with the party by supporting the ouster of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim is unprecedented.
Yesterday, PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail claimed that 30 Selangor assemblymen, including herself, had signed a statutory declaration to express their loss of confidence in Khalid’s leadership... Among them included two assemblymen from Pas, Shaari Sungib (Hulu Klang) and Hasnul Baharuddin (Morib)... “I would like to clarify that they (the two assemblymen) did not act upon the party’s instructions..."

Step down, I have got the majority, Wan Azizah tells Khalid Published: 14 August 2014; "PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail today urged Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to resign as Selangor menteri besar after announcing that she had the support of 30 assemblymen in the 56-seat state assembly. Apart from the backing of 15 DAP and 13 PKR assemblymen, Wan Azizah said that she also had the support of two PAS reps – Hasnul Baharuddin (Morib) and Saari Sungib (Hulu Kelang). Both PAS reps were present when Dr Wan Azizah made the announcement at a hotel in Subang Jaya this afternoon... The two joined the 28 other state lawmakers from PKR and DAP in declaring their loss of confidence in Khalid. This means the two-term MB has lost the majority support of the 56-seat assembly... Embattled Khalid currently has support from opposition Umno which has 12 representatives as well as himself. Khalid is now an Independent candidate after he was sacked from PKR last week for defying party orders to make way for Dr Wan Azizah. Islamist party PAS has 15 assemblymen in the state, of which 13 have yet to declare their stand..."

13 August 2014 - I haven't been posting much on this as it's been a litany of "he said - she saids" and no concrete action. That is until the 9 August 2014 expulsion of Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid from PKR (we hear this was triggered by an external event, else PKR non-action might have just continued on). Thus, Selangor has had in recent days a Chief Minister who's not apparently a member of any political party. As Khalid continues to dig in his heels, he has received explicit UMNO support and PAS implicitly supports him; with its Selangor members waiting on a PAS meeting (which has been delayed once already - for lack of urgency?) on the matter.

Khalid has in the meantime sacked the Selangor State Exco members belonging to PKR and DAP, but of course not the PAS or UMNO members. Read more: Sacked Selangor excos can turn to sultan for relief, say lawyers, 13 August 2014;
Many Malaysian urbanites (KL and Singapore) I talk to see this as a glorious fiasco of indecision and lack of planning on the part of a disintegrating opposition coalition, rent apart by the direct actions of Khalid and Hadi-PAS. Most people who are normally interested to chat about Malaysian politics are now quite disappointed and disinterested. They are losing hope as they face the confusing and inexplicable Selangor shenanigans.  In the midst of this, there's a write-up by PKR state assemblyman Nik Nazmi on his experience working with Khalid in the past and Khalid's problematic approach to dealing with the opposition coalition and his own party; Why Khalid must go, 12 August 2014,

Many are asking if the Sultan has rejected PKR's Wan Azizah as a candidate to replace Khalid. It is been reported as such in several newspaper reports but the details of an earlier article seems to imply that Anwar Ibrahim trying to talk to the Sultan with her was regarded as "not due procedure" as he does not have the formal standing to do so - see this: Sultan turns down Wan Azizah’s request to explain Selangor MB crisis, at: Also, Anwar's participation in this manner would perpetuate the view that it would be a "puppet" situation. PKR leadership's approach on this matter would likely need to change significantly if they are serious about Wan Azizah's candidature. Else, a new candidate is widely talked about in the news: Dr Idris would be a compromise, and Azmin Azli is mentioned too. However, the latter was last year rejected as MB candidate by DAP and PAS, resulting in Khalid being supported by the then opposition partners into a second term, against PKR's wish to change the Selangor Menteri Besar.

6 August 2014 - The agony continues for PKR. People start to feel that each side of PKR vs Khalid has long been playing by a different set of principles, with different coalition partners and with different level of political determination.

‘PKR should not be held to ransom by Khalid’ 8:51AM Aug 6, 2014;; "Fernz: The ‘show cause’ letter is the right move. However, the letter should have been on bringing the party into public disrepute and contempt. No need to get into all the nitty-gritty details. Can the party ask him to resign as the MB? Indeed, the state assemblymen can sign a petition to the sultan expressing ‘no confidence’ in Khalid and putting forward Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail's name as the new MB.  This happened to Sabah Chief Minister Joseph Pairin in 1994. Pairin had no choice but to resign after the governor reportedly did not agree to hold fresh elections....Senior: Yes, wrong move... The MB has to have the confidence of the majority of the assemblymen to remain in his post. What if he has PAS and Umno backing him?..."

PKR letter kills peace talks, Updated: Wednesday August 6, 2014 MYT 7:49:05 AM,; "Khalid’s political secretary Azman Abidin insisted that no decision was made during PKR’s political bureau meeting on Sunday to issue Khalid with a show-cause letter. He said he had advised Khalid to reply to the show-cause letter which was handed to him yesterday because, if he did not do so, the party may expel him. “However, even if this happens, Khalid will remain as MB as no one has the locus standi to remove him,” he said yesterday.
Azman claimed he was instructed to set up a meeting between Khalid and PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and it had been scheduled. “The meeting was supposed to be held on Monday night but it did not take place.” He said Khalid became angry after PKR secretary-general Datuk Saifuddin Nasution Ismail issued a statement earlier that day about a 40-page supposed exposé, including allegations over a multi-million loan from Bank Islam involving the Mentri Besar....."

5 August 2014 - PKR finally publicizes its reasons. Official reasons* were requested by Niz Aziz, but some analysts criticize this as "the wrong strategy."  PAS said to name an alternative candidate for Selangor MB and also to hold a special prayer for Khalid to stay.
*not detailed before??

Six reasons why Khalid must go, according to PKR August 5, 2014; "Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s performance as Selangor mentri besar may have been “good and satisfactory” during his first term but according to PKR, missteps taken by the leader as he entered his second term have cast doubts on his level of integrity and ability to work as a team player. From this, the party leadership has put together a comprehensive report listing down six key reasons why Khalid should no longer helm the country’s richest state The report, announced yesterday, was distributed to DAP and PAS today in PKR’s bid to convince its allies that Khalid should go before his term expires... It listed Khalid’s questionable out-of-court settlement with Bank Islam, Selangor’s water restructuring deal with Putrajaya, the Kidex highway project, as well as issues of garbage collection, potholes and the increase of business license fees in the state, as its reasons for wanting the mentri besar replaced.
In the report titled “The Decision to Replace the Selangor Mentri Besar” that was sighted by Malay Mail Online, the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) party cited Khalid’s out-of-court settlement with Bank Islam over his RM70 million debt to the bank as the first reason for his ouster, saying the circumstances surrounding the deal had placed his integrity under suspicion....PKR said the report was written to fulfil PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat’s request for the party to give official reasons for wanting to change the Selangor MB...."

Vote out Khalid, not hurl mud, say analysts, Published: 5 August 2014; "Analysts say instead of exposing Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's alleged wrongdoings, Pakatan Rakyat (PR) should hold a vote among its 44 assemblymen in the Selangor state assembly on whether to retain him.... Political scientist Dr Wong Chin Huat argued that PR could possibly lose Selangor if a vote of no-confidence is held now, or if a state election is called... The forum’s panelists criticised the PKR’s decision yesterday to reveal a 50-plus page report that supposedly detailed “integrity issues” with Khalid. Coming out with a dossier at this juncture was the wrong strategy, said Wan Saiful Wan Jan who heads the think tank Ideas..."

PAS to name Ijok rep as ‘compromise candidate’ in Selangor MB saga, says report Published: 5 August 2014 PAS;

Respect our right to choose Selangor MB, PKR tells PAS; 5 August 2014;

PAS ulama to hold special prayer to ensure Khalid stays as MB;

4 August 2014 PKR document on Selangor MB to be circulated
A 50-page document is being released to opposition coalition leaders tomorrow by PKR to detail the doubts surrounding Khalid. A tad surprising given that PKR's Tian Chua was recently strongly in support of Khalid retaining an important role (reported on Astro Awani, owned by BN-linked tycoon Ananda Krishnan). This prompted some to wonder if his statements were in preparation for a cave-in by the PKR leadership i.e. to retain Khalid. The upcoming dossier indicates otherwise and opposition sources reiterate that there was a unanimous vote by PKR to remove him; so Tian Chua could be stating his personal opinion? Also, Astro Awani wrote about a readership poll which showed support for the incumbent Selangor MB; but without indication of methodology and numbers. Undoubtedly, other polls will be done. For public reaction to be strongly negative on Khalid, it is likely that more information will have to finally percolate into the public sphere - which may come via PKR's upcoming "Khalid Dossier." Some political observers like to point out that the BN-linked media has been supportive of Khalid staying on as Selangor MB. Social media has also seen a rise in anti-Khalid commentary, many asking why he has refused to resign when his party has asked him to. Khalid's continued survival as Selangor MB is now apparently dependent (rather unthinkably) on the patronage of PAS and UMNO.

News links:

Report me if you have proof, Selangor MB tells PKR colleague, AUGUST 4, 2014; "Linked to dubious business deals, Selangor Mentri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim challenged today PKR to report him to the authorities but told them they must be able to prove the allegations that have cast a shadow on his integrity. The PKR state lawmaker warned his party colleague that he may take legal action for the defamatory statements against him, saying the allegations have invited speculation that they were “politically motivated and in bad faith”.... The report which includes notes from party meeting minutes as well as court proceedings, will be delivered to the top PR leadership starting tomorrow. Despite the accusations, Saifuddin said the party has not lodge any report with the country’s anti-graft body or with the police.... PKR has attempted to remove Khalid since the “Kajang Move” in March to replace him with Anwar. A court decision days before the nomination day however, indirectly barred Anwar from contesting the state seat, which led Wan Azizah to contest for the Kajang seat vacated by the party’s own Lee Chin Cheh, and won.... Although DAP and PKR leaders are reportedly in agreement to remove Khalid, a faction in PAS, led by the Islamist party’s president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang and several other powerful leaders, has questioned the move and even showed strong backing for Khalid...."

Selangor MB crisis: Bring it on, Khalid tells PKR by rahmah ghazali; Updated: Monday August 4, 2014 MYT 4:51:16 PM; "..... the Selangor Mentri Besar said the party should immediately report him to the authorities if they believe the allegations to be true. “If Datuk Saifuddin believes them to be true, he and his associates should immediately lodge a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, the Royal Malaysian Police and Bank Negara, as well as immediately expose any all evidence to substantiate his claims. ... the document detailed court cases where Khalid was involved in an out of court settlement with Bank Islam over the RM66.67mil Kumpulan Guthrie Bhd shares when he was the group’s chief executive officer. The 40-page document also highlighted a land deal to a public-listed property corporation under the state government’s affordable housing programme below a market price.The copies of the document would be distributed to all Pakatan Rakyat leaders beginning Tuesday...."

Wan Azizah to become MB, Khalid will not be sidelined - Tian Chua; Astro Awani | Updated: August 03, 2014 “We are not getting rid of Abdul Khalid; each of them has a role to play. Even if Wan Azizah becomes MB, Abdul Khalid will still play a role in the Selangor’s administration,” he added. Tian Chua also voiced confidence that the transition will proceed smoothly...." Read more at: 

Poll: Majority wants Abdul Khalid to be retained as MB; Astro Awani | Updated: July 30, 2014
 (First published on: July 30, 2014 11:32 MYT); " The majority of Astro AWANI readers want to see Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim retained as the Selangor Menteri Besar following the present political dilemma in Pakatan Rakyat. According to a poll conducted by Astro AWANI on Monday, 62.42 per cent want Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to remain in his post. Trailing behind is PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail who garnered a total of 9.11 per cent. Selangor PAS commissioner Iskandar Abdul Samad received 4.64 per cent votes followed by PKR deputy president Azmin Ali received 4.34 per cent votes. A total of 19.49 per cent however voted that they do not want any of the four names suggested in the poll as the Selangor MB....A total of 50.04 per cent were of the opinion that Pakatan Rakyat is headed for 'splitsville' after the Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations, and 31.74 per cent agreed that the coalition party will remain intact...." Read more at:

3 August 2014.

Questions on style and policy?

Opposition leaders are reported to be talking (see article link below) but no answers yet about the crisis. No real developments. Some headlines in local news asking if PKR is going to take disciplinary against the Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim.

I met up with a political economist yesterday. Some analysts are wondering why Anwar could not persuade his partners to agree on the Selangor MB ouster a lot earlier if the reasons were compelling. Thus, some are not quite buying the reason that PKR lacked the numbers to push change as surely some issues are "beyond numbers"? Hard to think of the "what ifs" but what is true is that the big changes erupted to surprise the public because this was all done in traditional behind-the-scenes political maneuvering.

Questions arise about this chosen style and approach. Comparisons can be made to Indonesia's recent presidential election where the more open and inclusive politics of the Jokowi-JK campaign prevailed over the "cloak and dagger" traditional politics of an apparent strong business push for the Prabowo team. Might Malaysia politics learn to switch to a more open and consultative approach too?

The Jokowi-JK "visi misi" manifesto talks about breaking business-political linkages. Many agree that the entire political spectrum in Malaysia appears mired in this, including on property development and concession projects. There is a possible change in Indonesia with Jokowi putting forth three candidates for each ministerial position and inviting the public to provide their views. This might be an attempt to short-circuit the usually comfortable situation where business donors (or their nominee professionals) and important political agents are a shoo-in to ministerial positions - and this happens in many countries. Business-political links or the capture of the political process by business interests have been blamed for the disassociation of public policy with the advancement of the interest of the average voter the world over.

Malaysia politics (incumbent and opposition) is still dealt with mostly in the shadows with an apparent preference for "the big deal" - for example, to swing over support of states and parties (notably East Malaysia and also northern Peninsula) and also individuals or groups thereof to get the right numbers.

Some friends in KL recently told me in the wake of the opposition crisis that they might choose not to vote the next time (urban voters are largely opposition supporters). It would seem that some voters are thinking that they see insufficient difference between the two political camps in terms of principle, policy and style. Some analysts also tell me that they fear a rise in spoilt votes in the future. Hopefully, politicians start listening to voter opinions instead of themselves.

News link: Pakatan leaders vow to strengthen troubled pact, 4:58PM Aug 2, 2014; Top Pakatan Rakyat leaders today pledged the strengthen the opposition coalition amid strains within its component parties, which are at odds over whether to replace Selangor Menteri Besar Abdul Khalid Ibrahim.

30 July 2014 morning:

Selangor MB crisis: State polls breaking point for Pakatan By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, July 29, 2014; “The issue boils down to a choice between Pakatan or Tan Sri Khalid. If PAS still backs Khalid, PAS risks its relationship with PKR, DAP who want Khalid out,” (said Khalid Samad, a Selangor PAS federal lawmaker)....“You have to differentiate Hadi’s position and the position of other PAS leaders. Hadi supports Khalid, for reasons known to him, but other PAS leaders have agreed as part of a PR consensus that Khalid has to be removed,” one Selangor DAP leader said on condition of anonymity. Ibrahim Suffian, the director of pollsters Merdeka Center, said that calling for a state election would almost certainly result in a permanent rift between PAS and its PR allies, but added that Hadi’s open defiance is “not completely new”. Ibrahim pointed out that as an ally, PAS has not always been “completely loyal” to PR, and that under Hadi’s leadership, the Islamist party had repeatedly entertained unity talks with rivals Umno for the sake of “Malay unity.” “The question now is how far will PAS party leaders go along with Hadi’s stand? And if PAS wants to remain and preserve ties with Pakatan, should Hadi himself be given the mandate to continue to lead? Is he leading PAS in the right direction?” the political analyst told Malay Mail Online.

From a chat yesterday with a Malaysia political economist: "I think another key reason why PAS is opposed to Khalid's removal is because the conservatives there don't want a woman (Wan Azizah, wife of Anwar Ibrahim) as MB. The point that Anwar, not PAS i.e. Hadi Awang, dictates the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) agenda also merits more thought. While much of the focus is on PAS leaving PR, there should be more discussion about the split in PAS, between the so-called moderates and the conservatives."

Some wonder why Khalid Ibrahim was not ousted more decisively early on. Opposition-linked sources say that their coalition had to build consensus on it as PKR did not have the numbers in Selangor to push for rapid change. Khalid also had strong support from DAP and PAS until recently. A political analyst said to me yesterday: "(This crisis) is Murphy's law at work. (During the Anwar ousting) Mahathir had power over the state, even when "50 reasons" (a "surat layang" book to smirch Anwar's reputation) came out, it took 18 months before the ouster happened... I think the PAS internal fight is critical because PAS has longer term viability compared to PKR*... Seems like (PAS moderates will) stand up but I am sure something weird or unexpected will happen."
*Some worry about the national vote implications for PKR which lacks its own effective political machinery and has relied on PAS for much ground support for campaigning and more. Thus, any major change in the PAS position within the opposition coalition may also require significant changes within PKR.

I forgot to post earlier on this news which is since being contested on its legality:

 No Raya cash aid for settlers who sue Felda;; "Settlers who take legal action against the Federal Land Development Agency will not receive Hari Raya cash aid, the agency said.... They will also not receive dividends from Felda Global Ventures Holdings Bhd (FGV) for shares held..... A Felda spokesperson said this also applied to those who illegally sell their Felda-allocated land to third parties.The decision was to "safeguard the interests of other settlers who contributed to Felda’s development", the spokesperson said..... PAS journal Harakahdaily reported today that about 50 settlers from Felda Bera and Felda Rompin lodged police reports after they were denied FGV dividends and Hari Raya aid amounting to about RM1,000 each. The party organ said they are part of more than 1,000 settlers nationwide who were not given the Hari Raya aid or dividends.... Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak (left) earlier announced that 112,635 Felda settlers will receive FGV dividends of RM647.78 per person, amounting to RM72.9 million. Felda was also allocated RM30.5 million for Hari Raya aid of RM300 per settler family...."

Background information on Felda-settler lawsuits - excerpts from my paper with Kajian Malaysia: "Another opposition strategy regarding FELDA was stirring discontent between settlers and FELDA over alleged unfair (under)payments for their produce. A key figure in this was lawyer-cum-parliamentarian R. Sivarasa of PKR who served as lead counsel in some of the cases. Various settler lawsuits were filed against FELDA on its alleged cheating in grading their fruit, over a) a too-low oil extraction rate (OER) accorded the settlers and b) disqualified fruit bunches which were neither paid for nor returned to the settlers.  The most recent lawsuits claims of losses per settler amount to RM 30,912 (due to an overly low OER ) plus RM 1,344 (for disqualified bunches) = RM 32,256 in just one year. One of the settler lawsuits claim this for 17 years; thus coming to nearly RM 550,000 per settler....A full list of settler lawsuits against FELDA is not readily available. There have been at least 23 lawsuits filed. 18 cases against FELDA have been officially reported by the Prime Minister’s Department, and up to February 2011, they are as follows: 12 have been decided by the courts with the only loss for FELDA being the technical loss in the FELDA Kemahan 3 cases in Kelantan where FELDA’s counsel failed to show up; six cases were pending, with total claims of RM 90 million (MySinchew, 2011). Since early 2011, at least five big new cases have been filed, including several by Sivarasa of PKR. The claims in the following eight cases are in excess of RM 1.2 billion....."
My review of Felda political-economy in GE13 will be appearing in Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 32, Supp. 2, 2014, 111–144  and a shortened version in a book chapter in a forthcoming book by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

29 July 2014 evening:

DAP joins PKR in censuring PAS over controversial WhatsApp message, Published: 29 July 2014; DAP today said it was aggrieved over the controversial WhatsApp message which showed a PAS central committee member discussing the possibility of leaving Pakatan Rakyat, joining PKR in calling for the Islamist party to make a firm stand over the issue;

WhatsApp texts show PAS can’t be trusted, say social media users; 29 Jul — Social media users have once again responded to PAS over the leaked WhatsApp messages in which a central committee member had discussed the possibility of leaving Pakatan Rakyat, with many saying that this was proof that the Islamist party could not be trusted...

"The party's research centre operations director Dr Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki said, in a screenshot of the WhatsApp conversation that went viral, that it could still retain Selangor if it left PR by joining forces with Umno. The collaboration would create a simple majority and make it possible for Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim to remain as menteri besar. The second part of Zuhdi’s message, bearing a racist slant, said that should the DAP, the church and non-Muslims bring up issues concerning the usage of the word “Allah” and the seizure of the Bibles by the Selangor religious department, PAS-Umno would be able to frisk off their complaints....."

Immediately below is Dr Ramli Hatta, MP for Kuala Krai, and a highly respected intellectual in PAS known for his inclusive approach, saying: "Working together with UMNO? I'm out!"

This is all about Hadi v moderates in PAS COMMENTARY BY THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER; Published: 29 July 2014; "Thank you, Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki. Thank you, for your honesty and bringing into the open what many supporters of Pakatan Rakyat have suspected for a while now and which The Malaysian Insider has touched on in the last few days: that the removal of Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim as the Selangor menteri besar has become a sideshow.... The real issue is the percolating fight in PAS between those aligned to party president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who are more comfortable sharing power with Umno than with PKR and DAP.... It is a fight within PAS on whether the Islamist party should continue to preach the Pakatan Rakyat mantra of inclusiveness and justice for all Malaysians or return to its narrow path of Malay and Muslim supremacy.... This battle in PAS will reach a crescendo on August 10 when the party leaders meet. But in the meantime, both factions – the moderate, professional class and the hardliners – are engaged in a sizzling behind-the-scenes war of words....."

29 July 2014 noon:

Happy gatherings of friends I attended in KL-Selangor yesterday were abuzz with the apparent shift in opposition politics that points toward a possible break up. This was triggered by the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) move to oust its Selangor Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) Khalid Ibrahim. In business circles, eye brows have been raised over various Selangor MB major corporate deals; particularly on a sweetheart 20-year repayment term for a regular piece of land that a public-listed property developer buyer managed to flip a portion for a rapid hefty gain, not long after the apparently special purchase arrangement.

Surprisingly, Khalid Ibrahim is digging in his heels to stay on despite his party's unanimous vote to replace him and a Pakatan Rakyan opposition coalition agreement for the same.  However, PAS dissension, in support for Khalid Ibrahim started with PAS leader Hadi Awang. Crucially, Nik Aziz and others started to say "no" to his ousting. Thus, many in KL are asking if this is the collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat opposition coalition. Some business observers argue that this may be inevitable given the policy distance between the political parties - notably, the Christian supporters of DAP (in recent months upset over various issues) and the grand wish for a "hudud" policy especially by the PAS religious wing. A senior political analyst notes that this places the PAS moderate wing in a difficult position - should they sacrifice their position? An ex military intelligence source said that one cannot count on PAS to be "logical."

A problem that PKR and others in the opposition faced in seeking Khalid's ouster was the lack of knowledge among the general public on various alleged controversial deals. There has been no case presented in the public sphere to gain Selangor public support on this move. Indeed, a senior political science academic noted to me that the public has viewed Khalid positively and that some of the electoral wins have been attributed to his acceptable image. However, Malaysia netizens are starting to wonder why he's clinging on despite the aforementioned party and coalition votes.

Thus, this may come down to what parameters Malay voters use in their calculus of this political situation, that is pitting Malay opposition leaders against each other. Finally, if not resolved by someone "caving in" (Khalid and/or Hadi/PAS or Anwar?) it might even come down to heightened ethnic-biased choices of Selangor voters. Two political sources (one opposition-linked and another BN-linked) agree that a smaller opposition can likely still hold on to Selangor if it came to new state-wide elections (on current state legislator numbers, it's a stalemate). However, this situation does not bode well for the opposition's ability to bring a real two-party system to the Malaysian political scene anytime soon in the coming years. Indeed, it already looked rather difficult from reviews of the Malaysia rural voting situation*.

Note: 10 sources, 27-28 July 2014.

*which shows heavily biased rural malapportionment of electoral boundaries, strong UMNO/BN rural political machinery cum administration and weak PAS access to female rural voters and lack of real political presence of PKR and relative irrelevance of DAP in rural (mostly Malay) areas. Refer to: Malaysia: Political economy of FELDA and South Johor & GE-13 voting behaviour; /khoryuleng/2014/04/malaysia-political-economy-of-felda-and.html. My review of Felda political-economy in GE13 will be appearing in Kajian Malaysia, Vol. 32, Supp. 2, 2014, 111–144  and a shortened version in a book chapter in a forthcoming book by the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

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News headlines:

PAS man tells 'dictator' Anwar to retire; 10:25AM Jul 29, 2014; Just a day before his controversial messages in instant messaging application WhatsApp were leaked online, PAS' Research Centre operations director Mohd Zuhdi Marzuki had launched a tirade against Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on social media....;

Better for Islamists to join 'corrupt' Umno, 9:28AM Jul 29, 2014;  "YOURSAY ‘And let’s see if PAS can get its hudud law accepted by Umno.’ Ferdtan: What do the two PAS leaders mean when they say Selangor MB Abdul Khalid Ibrahim has not conducted any serious breach of trust for him to be replaced? How naïve can one get?..By not agreeing to step down as MB after the central committee, the highest body in a party, had made the decision is insubordination. Isn’t that not serious enough?

Remove Khalid move sputters on Nik Aziz's 'No'; 8:43AM Jul 28, 2014; "COMMENT Can we take it that because the word of the Mursyidul Am (spiritual leader) of PAS nearly enjoys the sanctity of holy writ, Nik Aziz Nik Mat's demurral over the PKR attempt to remove Selangor Menteri Besar Khalid Ibrahim means the move is dead in the water?  Without PAS's support the PKR attempt, though backed by its Pakatan Rakyat partner DAP, is hobbled and, if persisted in, risks the break-up of the six-year-old opposition coalition, as Lim Guan Eng has warned...."