Saturday, 16 February 2013

Najib-led BN heading for GE13 political disaster

Najib-led BN heading for GE13 political disaster
By Chua Jui Meng 
GOING into the March 2008 12th General Election with a 71% approval rating, then premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was expected to win comfortably for a second term in office.
After all, he had led Barisan Nasional (BN) to its biggest ever electoral victory in history in the 2004 General Election – winning 91% of the 222-seat Parliament.
The political tsunami surprised every Malaysian – it was to be BN’s worst ever electoral performance, losing its traditional two-thirds majority and five state governments.
Today, Umno president and prime minister Najib Abdul Razak’s approval rating is 63%, according to a Merdeka Centre poll last December.
Can one really conclude with any accuracy the outcome of the coming 13th General Election? Parliament is headed for automatic dissolution on April 28 and the first state assembly set for automatic dissolution is Negri Sembilan on March 23.
Former premier Mahathir Mohamad blames Abdullah for BN-Umno’s current weak political standing. But Mahathir failed to acknowledge that it was he who contributed immensely to Abdullah’s downfall with his harsh criticisms of Abdullah’s administration.
However, Abdullah and his son-in-law Khairy Jamaluddin have to also take a lion’s share of the blame for BN-Umno’s predicament.
It was Abdullah and Khairy’s Putrajaya Fourth Floor Boys who dug their own political graves by swallowing the government’s gravy train.

Abdullah and Khairy are also responsible for not only extending the New Economic Policy (NEP) for another 15 years (1995-2020), they also formulated a damning new Wealth Ownership policy via the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP).
This was carried out with the approval of the then MCA big four – Ong Ka Ting, Chan Kong Choy, Fong Chan Onn and Chua Soi Lek – and others in the cabinet.
The Wealth Ownership policy has far reaching consequences on non-Malays which the Umno-led BN had yet to implement openly. However, certain policies had been implemented discreetly.
The Wealth Ownership policy means:
Ø The NEP has become a never ending policy as it states that it is to be extended to 2020, not end in 2020;
Ø If you discover or invent anything that comes under intellectual property rights, you have to surrender 30% share to Bumiputra; and
Ø All SMEs, like your successful retail franchises, have to surrender 30% equity to Bumiputra, thus extending the original NEP’s equity distribution beyond the corporate sector.
Malaysians have BN and MCA to thank for selling out Malaysians, particularly the Chinese, big time for Umno’s self-serving wealth grab agenda.
The Wealth Ownership policy will certainly benefit Umno leaders, their families and cronies, just like how the NEP has enriched Umnoputras, not the majority Malays.
Abdullah had confided in me the national coffer was empty when he succeeded Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister in November 2003.
That is why the BN government had to borrow to keep the country’s administration afloat and this wanton reliance on borrowings was extended by current Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.
That explains why Malaysians and Malaysia are saddled with a federal debt of more than RM620 billion or 74% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), breaching the legislated federal debt ceiling of 55% of GDP.
When Abdullah took over from Mahathir, the federal debt was only RM250 billion.
With Najib’s popular rating falling by the day and lower than Abdullah when he called for the 12th General Election in March 2008, the only outcome for BN-Umno in GE13 is nothing short of political disaster.
Here more for your reading reference:

Barisan Nasional still weak because of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
June 2, 2012 


KUALA LUMPUR, (June, 2)  — The Barisan Nasional (BN) government is still weak because of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s tenure as prime minister, his predecessor and vocal critic Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad told several Johor Umno division chiefs two days ago.
Dr Mahathir met Johor civil servants and Johor Umno division chiefs where he was briefed about the state’s political situation and BN’s preparedness for the next general elections. Johor is the birthplace of the original Umno which was declared illegal in 1988 when Dr Mahathir was president, and remains its strongest political fortress until today.
“Dr Mahathir told the Umno chiefs they have to work very hard because the government is still weak due to Pak Lah’s time as PM,” a source told, referring to Abdullah’s moniker.
“He still believes Abdullah is the cause of BN’s weaknesses,” the source stressed.
This is Dr Mahathir’s second meeting with Umno divisional leaders in as many weeks, with the first being a briefing with Kedah Umno on May 20. There, he called for party unity ahead of the coming polls in the PAS-ruled state.
Abdullah became the shortest-serving prime minister after BN lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority and four states in Election 2008. He stepped down in April 2009 in favour of Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Dr Mahathir, the country’s longest-serving prime minister, quit Umno in May 2008 to protest Abdullah’s leadership and failure in March 2008 general election. Pak Lah succeeded Dr Mahathir in 2003 and won 91 per cent of the parliament’s elected house, Dewan Rakyat, in the 2004 polls.
It is learnt that Abdullah is due to release his memoirs soon where he has written about the tiff with Dr Mahathir that led to his downfall despite enjoying a 71 per cent approval rating before Election 2008. Many have blamed the results to poor intelligence and public anger stirred by the Hindraf and Bersih rallies in November 2007.
Pak Lah’s successor, Najib, has been working hard to regain support for BN since April 2009 by launching a slew of economic, administrative and political reforms. He has also initiated programmes to help poor households tide with rising cost of living by giving RM500 each to 5.3 million households early this year.
But Najib’s popularity has slipped in recent months, an opinion poll showed yesterday, as he lost support among Chinese and middle-class voters ahead of a general election that he could call within months.
Support for Najib slid to 65 per cent in the May poll from 69 per cent in March, according to pollster Merdeka Centre.
The 58-year-old leader has enjoyed high personal approval ratings, but analysts say it is unclear whether that will translate into increased support for his less popular
Umno party and its allies. The dip may add to speculation that Najib may choose to delay elections until after presenting the budget on September 28.
“The small gain in Malay voter satisfaction towards the PM appears to have been outweighed by the large negative swing among Chinese voters,” Merdeka Center said in a statement.
The poll found that approval for Najib was weakest among the Chinese, tumbling 19 percentage points to 37 per cent. Among those in the middle income bracket, this fell 18 percentage points to 50 per cent. His popularity among Malays, who form the majority of Malaysia’s population, rose 5 percentage points to 79 per cent.
Voters’ views on the government remained lukewarm, with approval staying unchanged at 48 per cent. The survey was carried out between May 10 and May 18 among 1,019 registered voters to gauge sentiment after an anti-government protest in April. – TMI

Wednesday, 30 January 2013 04:20 
Latest intelligence PR to win 124 seats, BN 98: RM5 MILLION "going-rate" to lure PR contestants
Written by  Maria Begum, Malaysia Chronicle

The cat is out of the bag. Despite vows of being able to retain the federal government with two-thirds of the seats in Parliament, Prime Minister Najib Razak is staring at stark defeat.
According to political sources, a survey conducted by a special government intelligence unit showed Najib's Umno-Barisan Nasional coalition trailing far behind the Pakatan Rakyat led by Anwar Ibrahim with only 98 seats to the Opposition's 124.
Anwar and PR are expected to win 10 seats in the Federal Territories, 10 in Johor, 11 in Kedah, 12 in Kelantan, 18 in Perak, 17 in Selangor, 1 in Terengganu, 1 in Malacca, 3 in Negeri Sembilan, 5 in Pahang, 0 in Perlis and a total of 25 in Sabah and Sarawak.
"This is a real eye-opener for the big-wigs in Umno. It is no wonder Najib and Mahathir are now so panicky in their response to issues that crop up. They cannot afford to make any mistake at this stage," Zulkefly Othman, secretary of the security council in Anwar's PKR party, told Malaysia Chronicle.
RM5mil going rate to "buy over" a PR candidate
 Zulkefly, who is also the head of strategy for the PKR Malacca division, expects the going to get "really rough and dirty" in the weeks ahead, with vote-rigging, Opposition-bashing and an avalanche of "election goodies" to deluge the nation as the Umno-BN struggled to retain its 55-year stranglehold on power.
He warns that BN has intensified its lures to Opposition candidates to defect, a threat that he said the PR leadership must beware of and put at the top of its list of electoral risks.
"The going rate is now RM5 mil for a PR candidate and going closer to the GE, we can expect this number to increase. The BN will surely play very dirty and the PR leadership must find ways to counter this," said Zulkefly.
"To me, this is even more dangerous than the vote-rigging and padding of the electoral rolls. So in choosing their contestants, the top PR leaders must be wise. They must have a plan to prevent this sort of unethical defection and the best way is to recruit only those who are truly sincere and have iron-cast principles. Those who are thick-skinned and not 'malu' (shy) to jump ship should not be considered," Zulkefly said.
Nervous Najib might again delay GE13
 Indeed, the nervousness displayed by Umno-BN leaders is visible. Former premier Mahathir Mohamad has been making a return to the limelight in a bid to rally support from the key Malay electorate and even Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has promised the BN may make permanent a cash aid scheme it recently announced so as to get the people to retain the political status quo.
“We don't want to see such aid be a one-off payment. It should be disbursed on a long-term basis. I believe the Prime Minister will look into BR1M (1Malaysia People's Aid) as a programme that should be continued. I am sure that it will be continued on a long-term basis when the rakyat (people) retains Barisan as the Federal Government,” theStar newspaper reported Muhyiddin as saying after distributing RM100 cash vouchers to students of five schools last week.
However, it may be too late for the BN. No matter what late-hour strategy Najib pulls, many political observers and pundits are of the view that the people will plumb for change, disgusted and fed-up with the rampant and endemic corruption in the BN government.
According to Zulkefly, Najib might use the latest survey to once again delay the GE13. The latest hint coming from those in the PM's camp are that he will dissolve Parliament on Feb 22, post nominations on Mar 16, with balloting on Mar 30.
"We won't be surprised. Najib may wait for Parliament to automatically dissolve on April 28 to buy himself and the BN more time. But there is no guarantee they can win back the people. I would say Malaysians are already very annoyed by the delay so far. They have made up their minds and want to vote. If Najib continues to dilly-dally, it will only irritate them more," said Zulkefly.
Market sell-off, investors wearied by prolonged uncertainty
 Even investors are betting on a regime change and recently sold off in anticipation that hardliners in Najib's party might create unrest if they lost. The benchmark stock market index FBM KLCI suffered its steepest one-day fall in 8 months last week, plunging 40.81 points and losing RM35billion in market capitalization amid speculation Najib would dissolve Parliament on February 22.
"Why must the entire nation- yes all of us - from corporate sector making investment decision to citizens wanting to plan weddings or umrah trip, be subjected to this vagaries of an election date?" asked Dzulkefly Ahmad, the MP for Kuala Selangor who also heads the PAS Research Centre.

In the country's coming 13th general election, 222 seats in the federal Parliament and 505 state assembly seats in 12 states (excluding Sarawak which held its state assembly election in 2011) will be contested.
In the 2008 election, PR had won 82 seats vs BN's 140, denying for the first time the Umno-BN government its long-held two-thirds control of Parliament, which allows it to hammer through key changes to the Federal Constitution, the country's highest law.
In the 2004 election, PR had only managed to win 21 vs BN's 198. At that time, there were only 219 parliamentary seats were up for contest. Three new seats were created only in the 2008 election - Igan, Sibuti and Limbang in Sarawak.
Malaysia Chronicle

Saturday, 26 January 2013 00:00
DEATH KNELL FOR BN: EU willing to recognize Anwar, PR as the NEW GOVT if they win GE13 Featured
Written by  Wong Choon Mei, Malaysia Chronicle

UPDATE2 The European Union Ambassador to Malaysia Luc Vandebon said the EU would have no porblems working with Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim and his Pakatan Rakyat coalition should they wrest the federal government in the coming general election.
"Absolutely, we want to work with Malaysia. We are ready to work with Datuk Seri Anwar and any other democratically-elected government," Vandebon told a press conference on Friday.
Very significant statement from a world power
The statement is a tremendous morale booster for the 64-year-old Anwar and PR as they move into the last lap of what is expected to be a very dirty ballot.
Prime Minister Najib Razak, who has vowed to defend his Umno-BN government's 55-year hold on power "at all costs", is likely to dissolve Parliament and call for the country's 13th general elections in the next few weeks..
"It is a very positive sign as far as PKR and PR are conscerned. The Ambassador said categorically they are prepared to work with any democratically-elected government and this is a very significant statement coming at this time," Anwar later told reporters when asked for his response to the EU's statement.
"Their presentation today to PR leaders and Members of Parliament was informative. They raised various economic issues that are of importance to the EU and we will take these views and positions into consideration."

Umno-BN risks becoming a pariah to the global community
 PKR leaders cheered the news, pointing out that EU's emphasis on co-operation with "democratically-elected" government should be noted by Najib and his Umno-BN coalition.
"EU is one of the world's most powerful economies and trading blocs. The fact that they came to the PKR headquarters tells its own story. This is a very important statement and should serve as a warning to Najib and Umno-BN," PKR senior leader Tan Kee Kwong told Malaysia Chronicle on the sidelines of the conference.
"If they try to hang onto power by unjust and unfair means, the EU may not want to play ball with them. Umno-BN will become a pariah as far as the global community is concerned, they should watch it."
Kee Kwong's remark comes as the Umno-BN struggles to shake itself free from allegations of vote-rigging and even offering citizenship to illegal immigrants in exchange for their votes.
The concerns of the Malaysian people that there will be widespread electoral cheating are serious and widespread, and reflected in the phenomenal support for free and fair polls movement Bersih, which managed to carry out 3 successful public rallies despite being banned and prosecuted by the Najib administration.
Negotiations to resume after GE13
Vandebon had on Friday morning led a team to the PKR headquarters to discuss the ongoing EU-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement (FTA). Since 2010, the EU has had seven rounds of negotiations with the Malaysian government, but nothing concrete has been finalized. T
The EU team has been told that negotiations will resume after the general election.
"I am not sure we can say there has been any delay ... given that these are extremely complex agreements. But we are ready to resume negotiations after the elections with any democratically-elected government," Vandebon reiterated.
The EU is an economic and political union of 27 member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU operates through a system of supranational independent institutions and intergovernmental negotiated decisions by the member states.
It has a combined population of over 500 million or 7.3% of the world population, generating the largest nominal world gross domestic product (GDP) of 17.6 trillion US dollars in 2011, representing approximately 20% of the global GDP when measured in terms of purchasing power parity.
Level playing field
 Anwar was quick to affirm his coalition's willingness to work the EU but stressed the need for a "level playing field".
"Malaysia is a trading nation and effective measures need to be adopted to enhance trade and investment. We will direct the Pakatan Rakyat Economic Secretariat to urgently look into the matter. We will engage with our industry sectors for their feedback. Our general principle is to adopt the principle of free trade with fairness and a level playing field," said Anwar, a deputy prime minister and finance minister.
In 2011, Malaysia was the EU's 23rd largest trading partner in goods. Bilateral trade between the EU and Malaysia is dominated by industrial products. The EU mainly imports machinery and appliances and mainly exports electrical equipment and machinery (both ways industrial products account for more than 90% of trade). Other sectors of relevance in terms of EU imports from Malaysia are plastics and rubber and animal and vegetable fats and oils and in terms of exports, mechanical products.
EU imports from Malaysia have gradually increased since 2003, experiencing a significant decrease in 2008-2009 (16% fall). With the exception of fisheries, EU exports have also seen a growing trend since 2000, with an 18% decrease in 2008-2009 due to the economic downturn. Although Malaysia has not been a major trading partner in services so far, opportunities are increasing due to pressure to liberalise key sectors.
In September 2010 the EU Member States approved the launch of negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia.  Malaysia is a member of ASEAN and a WTO member.
Malaysia Chronicle
February 1st 2013 | Published in The Rocket

Johor is the last bastion of Barisan Nasional but the coming general election may prove that the fortress may turn out to be merely a sand castle. If Pakatan Rakyat gets the support of 35 percent Malay, 80 percent Chinese and 50 percent Indian voters in Johor, 20 parliamentary seats will fall like dominoes. Hence, Pakatan may gain the much-needed 112-seat threshold to form the next federal government with just seats from Peninsula Malaysia.
In the two rounds of seat re-delineation exercises in 1994 and 2003, many multiethnic mixed seats were created for Barisan Nasional to maximise its multiethnic appeal and to make the most out of the opposition’s inability to win across ethnic boundaries.
PAS was made to be seen by the Barisan-controlled media to non-Malays as an anathema to their interests while DAP as a threat to the Malays. Before 2008, PAS supporters rarely vote for DAP and vice versa.
The 2008 general election saw PAS benefiting from outpouring Chinese and Indian support for the “anything but UMNO” call while some urban Malays voted for DAP for the first time in their lives. Many multiethnic seats in the states north of Negeri Sembilan on the west coast of the Peninsula fell to the opposition.
How Pakatan can actually win Johor
Sabah and Johor are the two most crucial battlefields in the 2013 election. While Sabah attracts substantial attention, it could be hampered by seat negotiation and cooperation among various opposition groups. Johor is where Barisan Nasional may fall like dominoes.
Of Johor’s 26 parliamentary seats, only 8 have more than 60 percent Malay votes which are harder to win with the current level of support for Pakatan Rakyat. No seat in Johor has more than 60 percent Chinese voters.
On the one hand, without 25 percent Malay support, even if non-Malay swing to Pakatan Rakyat is huge, the entire momentum may just fizzle out with a very few seats gained. Pakatan Rakyat received only about 20 percent Malay support in Johor during the 2008 general election.
On the other hand, if 35 percent Malay voters support Pakatan in this election, anything could happen. While it is tough to get 35 percent Malay support, it is never impossible.
I was informed that a recent opinion poll shows that Malay support for Pakatan in Johor has exceeded 30 percent though the support varies among parties – PAS’ support is much higher than average while DAP’s Malay support is lower than average.
The poll also shows that support from the Chinese for Pakatan is around 70 percent though varies among parties with DAP exceeding the average while PAS lower than average. The poll shows the support from among Indians is at about 50 percent.
Working together is key to victory
As the election approaches, I believe the gaps will narrow if PAS and DAP, with the help of PKR, manage to convince supporters to vote for each other in the context of coalition.
From purely mathematic simulations, here are the possible scenarios in Johor (assuming Indian support for Pakatan is constant):~
  • Malay support at 25%, Chinese support at 65%, Pakatan will win just 1 parliamentary seat in Johor;
  • Malay support at 30%, Chinese support at 70%, Pakatan will win 6 seats;
  • Malay support at 30%, Chinese support at 75%, Pakatan will win 12 seats;
  • Malay support at 35%, Chinese support at 75%, Pakatan will win 16 seats;
  • Malay support at 35%, Chinese support at 80%, Pakatan will win 20 seats.
Of course these are just simulations on paper. But it shows that Barisan Nasional’s castle may crumble if a perfect storm comes into shape. It is also a fresh tsunami alert from the people of Johor to the government who refuses to reform.

MCA supported Umno to sell out the Chinese
By Chua Jui Meng
The 1,200-people Klang PKR early Chinese New Year Dinner cum ceramah at Restaurant Taman Rahsna on Jan 10, 2013.
PKR vice-president Chua Jui Meng sharing a light moment with Nurul Izzah and Tan Yee Kew at the VVIP table before the start of the dinner cum ceramah.

THE MCA sold out the Chinese and other non-Bumiputra communities by supporting the 9th Malaysia (9MP) which contained damning wealth ownership controls.
Then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had not only extended the New Economic Policy (NEP) till 2020, the MCA supported 9MP’s Wealth Ownership clause which which require non-Bumiputra Small-Medium Industries (SMIs) and Small-Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs) to surrender at least 30% share equity to Bumiputras.
The MCA Chinese traitors and their racist Umno masters must be given the boot before they inflict further and irreparable damage to the country’s socio-economic growth.
The MCA big four who sold out the Chinese were Ong Ka Ting, Chan Kong Choy, Fong Chan Onn and Chua Soi Lek, and other Cabinet members.
Chua … MCA supported Umno to sell out Chinese and others.

The 9MP was formulated in 2005 and until today, none of the Chinese vernacular newspapers dare to report what I have been raising and saying about the 9MP.
It was also because of my strong objection to the extension of the NEP that Umno had interfered and influenced MCA central leaders to clip my wings and eventually forcing me to find another political platform to serve Malaysians and Malaysia.
That platform is PKR (Parti Keadilan Rakyat) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
I had made it clear that I objected to the extension of the NEP because, after more than two decades, it had only benefited Umno chieftains and their cronies.
The majority of the rural and urban Malays remain poor, in the low and middle income groups.
The NEP had also achieved 45% corporate equity for the Malays, nore than the 30% target. Unfortunately, the bulk of the wealth had been hijacked by Umnoputras and their cronies.
After failing my second bid for the MCA presidency, I was offered and I could have taken up a cushy high paying, high flying corporate appointment but I decided to fight for justice and discrimination.
The future of our children, grand children and generations to come is more important than the corporate money and perks.
Nurul Izzah … 55 years of a looting BN-Umno government is enough. Today, there is no law and justice for the rakyat. We have a shameless prime minister in Najib Abdul Razak who does not know anything about integrity and accountability.

Only this evening the police have announced the revocation of the permit for the Himpunan Rakyat Kuala Lumpur to assemble in Merdeka Stadium on Saturday (Jan 12, 2013).
Again, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) has displayed its dirty tactics in trying to frustrate PR and the rakyat with the use of the police.
We will storm Stadium Merdeka for Change!
The March 2008 political tsunami was not strong enough to bury BN.
PR only managed to win a parliamentary seat each in Sabah, Sarawak and Johor – all considered BN strongholds or fixed deposit states.
This time around or the coming 13th General Election, it is crucial for Malaysians who wish to see justice, democracy and good governance to give their mandate to PR to rule.
Malaysians in these three states who decide on a total of 82 parliamentary seats hold the key to our future.
Tan Yee Kew … if BN is allowed to continue to rule after GE13, Malaysia will surely be bankrupted because billions of corrupt ringgit is being smuggled out of the country every year. We want change not only because we want Anwar Ibrahim to be prime minister, or Chua Jui Meng to be a Cabinet minister, but more so for a trustworthy and just government that respects the rule of law and democracy.

We need a clean, honest and sincere government to forward Malaysia and the only choice for Malaysians today is PR.
After 55 years of looting the country’s wealth and coffer, dividing a multi-racial multi-religious society to extend their misrule and abuses of power are more than enough reasons for the rakyat to replace the BN government.
I wish all Chinese a very happy and prosperous Chinese New Year. Also a very joyous and prosperous change in GE13.
Tian Chua …Malaysians have no other choice but to support DAP, PAS and PKR for the future of our generations. We need a government that can bring about higher and higher socio-economic progress every year. Capital flight, now totalling RM641 billion and still counting, is no future.