Category Archives: Democracy

Selangor report on Local Government Elections

Both the Selangor and Penang PR state governments have commissioned studies on the revival of local governments, resulting in very different reports.

The Penang report holds that the power is in the hand of the federal government and the state can do nothing.

The Selangor report, commissioned to the Coalition of Good Governance (CGG) and submitted in July, listed three solutions to reintroduce local elections, two of which do not require federal consent.

While the report has been made public soon after its submission to the state government, it was widely reported in the media and few have read it. Feel free to share this pdf copy with your friend. LCE paper_final_23Dec2009


Wear BLACK This Merdeka

Should you celebrate this Merdeka

After Perak?

After Teoh Beng Hock?

After 589 arrests in a single day on August 1?

After the great lie of 1Malaysia?

Are we truly Merdeka?

Please post this video as a sticky post on your blog if you too want a truly independent Malaysia!

I proposed that Najib did these four things for Beng Hock on his “seventh day”:

“First and foremost, a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCT), now a national and cross-party consensus, must be set up and function effectively. Two conditions must be met. Firstly, to ensure no whitewash, the Commissioners must be appointed upon cross-party consensus after consultation with Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Alternatively, the chair and half of other Commissioners must be nominated by PR. Secondly, the RCI’s terms of reference must cover not only the tragic incident and the identification of individuals responsible for his death, but more importantly to identify if the command and power structure of MACC contributed to the torturing of suspects and witnesses including that of Halimi Kamaruzzaman and Tan Boon Hwa.

The second decision is the suspension of all MACC officers involved in the investigation of the Selangor cases right from Ahmad Said — if none has the decency to offer his resignation — until the investigation by RCI is completed. Malaysians will not believe the RCI has a free hand if top officials like Ahmad Said who categorically deny any responsibility remain in control of MACC.

The third decision is the ratification of the United Nations Convention Against Torture to be followed by necessary legal reforms.

The fourth decision, and perhaps the most important one for the families of Teoh and other victims of state torture, is to set up an independent Foundation Against Torture named after Teoh.

This foundation should have an initial endowment and annual grant adequate to carry out three tasks: policy research, education, and reconciliation. This foundation should be tasked with policy research on human rights in law enforcement, to monitor trends and propose necessary changes in laws, policies and regulations to eliminate torture.

It should also carry out human rights education for all employees of law enforcement agencies and the general public. Third, it should right historical injustices by facilitating fact finding, reconciliation and even compensation to the families of past victims of state torture.

In other words, it should work much like a Truth and Reconciliation Commission except that it shall operate as a public charity rather than a state institution.”

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Did MACC know they were torturing a Bridegroom-to-be and father-to-be?

I believe the most heartbreaking fact of Beng Hock’s death is that it happened just on the eve of his marriage registration and he was going to be a father in seven months’ time.

What crueler thing can be done to his fiancee and his unborn baby?

Are those snatched away their future husband and father not the cruelest snatch theives in the world?

One question remains: did these life-snacthers know that they were torturing a bridegroom-to-be and a father-to-be and yet went on without any mercy?

Torturing anyone – confirmed: interrogating for 11 hours; possible: threat of violence – to the extent that would end the person’s life is unforgiveable. 

But doing so knowing that a wife would be deprived of husband and an unborn baby deprived of father is simply evil.

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Perak Crisis – the ball’s in the royal court!

The Kuala Lumpur High Court Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim’s ruling that affirms the legitimacy of Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar as the Menteri Besar of Perak is the first ray of light that spells the end of the 1BLACKMalaysia.

The political crisis however would not be over until fresh elections are called. I would continue wearing black until the Assembly is dissolved.

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The unsung heroes in Bukit Gantang

How did Nizar win Bukit Gantang when UMNO was expected to win a slight majority of the Malay votes and the polling day on Tuesday prevented many Chinese who had returned for graveyard visit (Qing Ming) from staying on?

This was perhaps the answer. Most Malaysians who do not read Chinese may not have seen this advertisement which appeared on the local section of the major Chinese newspapers on April 4 (Qing Ming Day, Saturday).

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Brian Yap: Change at grasstroot level needed

Brian Yap wrote a wonderful piece reminding us that elections should begin at the grassroot level.

“APRIL 23 — There’s little doubt that Malaysians are far more politically conscious today. We regularly discuss political developments, we’re up to date on the latest scandals, and we’ve all sent or received text messages or e-mails that touch on Malaysian politics, solicited or otherwise. Plus, it seems as if a new blogger is coming on board every single day, from teenagers to retired old uncles, writing about the many issues that affect the nation.

These are all good things. They offer a glimmer of hope for the nation, and reflect the patriotism of Malaysians better than a million mini-flags on cars ever could.

Yet, at the same time there’s also a sense that for all our heightened political awareness, our everyday lives have remained largely the same. We read about the changes taking place more than we actually feel or see them….. more

It’s important that we feel changes are taking place in our daily life.

Being empowered must be felt, not just understood or believed.

I see what happened at Bukit Lanjan as a fantastic sign, but more are needed.  We need new political culture of participatory democracy, rule of law, accountability, transparency, citizen initiatives, civil disobeidence ……

Democratization needs bridging social capital, and cannot depend on a few political elites. I feel uncomfortable recently listening to a popular opposition politician telling people what they should do but keeping his own cards close to his chest.

Why Elections?

War-making and state-making [are] organized crimes. – Charles Tilly.

We have been told once and again, elections are disruptive and wasteful, and now, bad for economy!

Why are elections a must?

Why must we have elections to decide our governments?

Why can’t we opt for horse-trading amongst lawmakers, palace coup, the rule of judges, military coup, police mutiny, bureaucracy mutiny or mob rule ala Thailand’s People’s Alliance for Democracy (PAD) as alternatives to topple and install governments?

Provided the people do not protest, these methods may well be much more smooth, efficient, peaceful and attractive to certain types of investors.

So, why must you guys, the so-called liberal democrats and constitutional monarchists, protest?

The answer, in a nut shell, is elections distinguish a government from a mafia or triad.

For my full argument, read

On Valentine’s Day – For the Love of the Sultan

What has Valentine’s Day got to do with politics?

In the Westminster design, the Monarch is the “dignified” part of the political system, while the executive is the “efficient’ part. in non-technical language, the Monarch’s main function is to be loved by all, to be the everyone’s Valientine, if you like.

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My views on the Perak Coup

These are my views on the Perak coup and the related issues:

1. Elected representative has every right to change his/her affiliation, but no right to bring the voters’ mandate with him. Political parties should make commitment to repeal Article 48A (6) – and similar clauses in state constitutions – which bars an elected representative to re-contest  in election for five years after resignation. Instead, a clause can be inserted to Article 51 “Resignation of Members” to the effect that a parliamentarian will be deemed as resigning if s/he changes his/her party affliation without the consent of the party on whose ticket s/he had won the seat.

2. A motion of no-confidence must be passed in the legislative assembly to topple a government. If a major government bill is defeated, which implies an effective no-confidence vote, the incumbent government must be allowed to seek a motion of confidence if it so wishes and is considered to have been ousted after losing such vote.  (This is to prevent the defection/partisan act of the speaker who may deny the incumbent government its last chance to prove its viability.)

3. When a motion of no-confidence is passed, the royal consent should not be withheld on the request by the PM/MB/CM to dissolve the Parliament/Assembly. Any exception must be of extraordinary circumstances and well justified. This is to ensure the check-and-balance mechanisms between the Executive and Legislative branches in a parliamentary system – vote of no-confidence and dissolution of the legislature – must not be subverted. An artibrary withholding of the royal consent on this issue effectively renders the Executive powerless before the Legislature.

On Perak, specifically,

1. the swearing-in of the new MB is a coup.

2. the only legitimate government is that headed by Mohd Nizar and supported by others.

3. the best way to solve this crisis is to dissolve assembly dissolution and let the voters decide whom to punish.

My related articles on

Feb 2 – BN will not win from Perak defections

Feb  5 – Snap poll best bet

Feb  6 – Perak must not fail