Tuesday, November 25, 2008


*From a Disappointed Member (Malaysiakini) Nov 14, 2008 4:20pm

It is nice to know that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi thinks anyone can become PM in Malaysia. He must think we are stupid and blind to the realities of being ethnic minorities in Malaysia.If Barack Obama was unfortunate enough to have been born in Malaysia, he couldn't even become the general manager of PKNS, never mind, president of the US, the most powerful country in the world.If he became a born-again Christian in his teenage years, keeping in view his father was African Muslim, Jakim would have hauled him off to a religious rehabilitation detention centre in Malaysia, and his kids would have been taken away from him.Michelle Obama would then have been advised by our racist religious authorities to divorce him.

Just for not being Malay, Umno would have overlooked his obvious talents and intelligence, and they would have denied him permanent residence or a citizenship and he can forget about any potential scholarships, job promotions or a place in a public university.Like Vijay Singh, world champion golfer, he would have been forced to emigrate to live elsewhere.If Barack Obama had advocated equal opportunity and equal rights in Malaysia, he would have been demonised by* Utusan Malaysia* as being anti-Malay and anti-Islam and taken into custody under the ISA just like what happened to Teresa Kok, and he would have had Molotov cocktails chucked into his parent's house, and had curly daggers waved at him.

If he had advocated rule of law like Zaid Ibrahim, they would called him a traitor to the Malay race.If he advocated democracy like Anwar Ibrahim, then Umno, the world champions of fitnah would have fixed him for sodomy.If like the jailed Hindraf 5 leaders, Barack Obama tells us to 'hope for change' and have the 'audacity of hope' then it would have been ISA and water cannons for him and his supporters.For practicing freedom of religion and conscience, and following the religion of his choice, he would have been charged with apostasy, and don't forget, some of our Malaysian politicians have advocated death for apostasy, just to prove their religious standing in the eyes of theirethnic voters.

Abdullah Badawi's statement that anyone can be PM in Malaysia is a sick joke and a clear attempt to mislead the public, and to assuage the collective privileged guilt of Umno's wealthy and corrupt warlords who head a party dedicated to race supremacy, religious and racialapartheid, and the worst type of racial and religious politics.

I am so glad Barack Obama will be the next president of the US. It goes to show that ordinary voters in the most powerful country in the world are prepared to reject the evils of racism, and embrace solidarity with their fellow voters in the context of equal rights and equal citizenship.They have shown long-suffering ordinary Malaysians what real muhibbah looks like instead of the dagger-waving displays (Umno AGM), Umno Youth beating up women delegates at peace conferences (Apcet II, KL), and nameless criminals chucking Molotov cocktails into women MPs' houses - that is, what I would term the Biro Tata Negara brand of nation-building by Umno.

I doubt if Barack Obama can have any impact on Malaysia's racist politics but it is good to know that people in America can still make a common stand with their fellow voters across racial lines for the common good.I challenge Umno to invite Barack Obama to Malaysia to show him the political and judicial wonders of our Malaysian system.I challenge Umno's gutless politicians to tell Barack Obama, president-elect of the United States of America what opportunities he would have had if he were born in Malaysia

Anwar faces long trek

KUALA LUMPUR - AFTER a botched bid to oust the government in September, Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim will likely have to bide his time until elections in 2012-13 before making another bid for power.

From watershed elections in March to his triumphant return to parliament after a decade's absence, Anwar dominated the headlines. Even his arrest and trial on fresh sodomy charges failed to thwart his campaign to topple the government by his self-imposed deadline of Sept 16.
Victory seemed within his grasp when the government apparently felt compelled to ship 40 MPs to Taiwan on a 'study trip' in mid-September to prevent them from defecting to Anwar's camp and thus giving him a majority in parliament.

The deadline passed. Financial turmoil swept the globe, and with an economic slowdown looming, voters in this Asian country of 27 million people suddenly had more immediate worries than Malaysia's chronic political intrigue.
Now the 61-year-old Anwar, whose People's Justice Party holds its annual convention this weekend, has to explain why he is not addressing the meeting as the new prime minister of Malaysia.

'His (Anwar's) strategy of haste that he adopted after March 8 (elections) stopped working after Abdullah was forced to retire,' said Ooi Kee Beng, an analyst at Singapore's Institute of South-east Asian Studies.
'Now, he has to do it the patient way.' Lacklustre Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi essentially derailed Anwar's express train to power by deciding to hand power to his more assured deputy, Najib Razak, earlier than planned.

Affirmative selectionMr Abdullah's National Front coalition, which has ruled uninterrupted for 51 years, stopped being transfixed by Anwar and started making policies to deal with an economy that is expected to grow by only 1.5 per cent next year from 5.4 per cent this year.
Mr Najib, 55, will take office in March when he becomes president of the United Malays National Organisation, the dominant party in the 13-party National Front.
Mr Najib, who is deputy premier and finance minister, has taken the fight to Anwar by linking him to unpopular measures proposed by the International Monetary Fund when Anwar was finance minister during the 1997-98 Asian financial crisis, while projecting an aura of economic competence himself.

He has announced some measures to offset lower economic growth, but hasn't raided the treasury to do so, putting US$2 billion (S$3.02 billion) saved from petrol subsidies into pump-priming measures.
Mr Najib even stole some of Anwar's thunder by relaxing a requirement that ethnic Malays have to own 30 per cent of companies - one of the affirmative action programmes that aim to uplift Malays who constitute 60 per cent of the population.
Anwar's opposition coalition had campaigned for abolition of those programmes in the March elections.

Inflation is falling rapidly from a peak of 8.5 per cent in mid-year and the central bank on Monday unexpectedly cut interest rates for the first time in five years.
'There's a widespread acceptance that Anwar will no longer take over the country,' said an investment analyst at a foreign bank in Singapore. 'Being PM is out of the question right now.' 'Najib is reinforcing his power base. He's the new face of Malaysia,' he said.
Snap elections?The opposition and some pro-government newspapers have started to push the idea of snap elections soon after Mr Najib takes power in March, saying he would need to win a popular mandate.

But Umno's coalition allies are still in disarray after the electoral debacle eight months ago.
'The risk (for snap polls) is very great. It will be suicidal because of the hangover from the March political tsunami,' said political author Yahaya Ismail.
Other analysts said Mr Najib would likely wait for mandatory re-drawing of electoral boundaries in 2012 before calling for polls. The government's current five-year mandate ends in 2013.
One glimmer of hope for Anwar could be polls in the timber- and petroleum-rich state of Sarawak on Borneo island. Sarawak has been a Barisan stronghold since it joined Malaysia in 1963 and may hold state elections as early as next year.

Provided Anwar can fend off what he says are politically motivated sodomy charges that are a reprise of the court action that got him jailed in the 1990s, and can keep his fractious three-party coalition together, victory in Sarawak could be another lever to apply pressure to government legislators.

Key to that will be how well the opposition runs the five states it controls. There has already been a backlash in the pro-government media over issues ranging from race relations to dual language street signs.
'The next electoral showdown is the Sarawak election, so it is a given goal for (the opposition coalition) to make an impression there,' analyst Ooi Kee Beng said. 'It will try to open the floodgates so that the 'March 8 tsunami' will flow into east Malaysia as well. -- REUTERS