Joseph Tawie EXCLUSIVE by FMT
Surprise PKR vice-president appointee John Tenewi Nuek is convinced that political reform is vital to combat BNs corrupt ways.
I think corruption is beyond redemption, he told FMT, adding that as such, it was in the best interest of all Malaysians to have an alternative voice.
Thats why I think it is in the best interest of all of us as Malaysians to have an alternative voice that can provide an alternative government.
This alternative voice can also provide checks and balances, he said.
Nuek, 65, retired in 2004 as a career diplomat after serving the Foreign Ministry for 33 years. His last post was as the Malaysian ambassador to Myanmar.
But I have observed that the BN government has deteriorated.
There is too much corruption, far too much cronyism in Malaysia. In my view, the corruption, cronyism and nepotism in the BN government have now gone from bad to worse, he said.
He added that during his days as a diplomat, it was one of the principal roles of Malaysian diplomats to proje! ct the g ood image of the country.
For example, you must defend government policies, especially on ISA, explain to other diplomats Anwar Ibrahims black eyes, Mahathir Mohamads remarks on shoot on sight rather than the word shoo against the Vietnamese refugees, Bruno Mansurs presence in Malaysia and on environment and so on.
But I will tell the truth: there is too much corruption and nepotism in the country. It is a question of how deep, he said, adding that there are leaders in BN who also admitted that there are corruption and nepotism in the government.
Need for political reform
On his appointment as PKR vice-president, Nuek regarded it as an honour.
I am entering politics because I feel that we need to have a reform in our political system.
I have been an ambassador and a career diplomat for 33 years serving in eight countries. My job was as a political and economic analyst.
When people ask me about the most significant factor that will determine whether the country will progress or regress, my answer is and I would like to say in one word politics. If your politics is bad, your country will decline.
Look at the Philippines in the 1950s and 1960s, it was very much ahead of us. Myanmar was not doing too badly.
In Africa, we see that Ghana and Nigeria which obtained their independence at almost the same time as Malaysia, were doing very well. But because their politics was bad, these countries have declined, said the New Zealand political science graduate.
I observe the trend in our political system here and that is why I started to enter politics so that I may do my little bit, Nuek added.
He said that he chose PKR and Pakatan Rakyat because he hoped it would one day form the alternative government.
Politics is about ideas
Nuek said that Malaysians must look at politics in the broad sense in that the people must not be narrow in their thinking, because in a country like Malaysia, which is multi-rac! ial , mu lti-cultural and multi-religious, the people have to co-exist as equal partners.
There should not be a group which wants to dominate others. We fought against colonialism which was a form of domination. And are we going from external to domestic colonialism?
That is why there must be inclusiveness always in our approach, because there is room for everybody in Malaysia.
I think if we work together, we will be able to turn Malaysia into a dynamic country in all aspects, he said.
On the question of Bidayuhs disunity, Nuek said: I think one of the reasons the Bidayuhs are in this political situation now is their lack of knowledge of politics. Its just like the Ibans.
I think we need to deepen our knowledge of politics.
Politics to me basically is a question of ideas. I am not going to politics because I do not like so and so; I think that my idea is the better idea.
But I think that most of us unfortunately go to politics for a narrow vision, sometimes for personal reasons, he said.
Nuek was the first Sarawakian to be appointed an ambassador.
Two others who had been appointed High Commissioners to New Zealand were Dunstan Endawie and Daniel Tajem. Both of them were political appointees.
Filed under: corruption, Human rights, Politics Tagged: Anak Sarawak Bangsa Malaysia, Pakatan Rakyat, Sarawak, Save Sarawak
Sebabnya adalah isu "perjumpaan dalam gelap 2" ini TIADA KENA MENGENA dengan Cikgu Pa.Hakikatnya, Cikgu Pa tidak tau pun perjumpaan ini telah berlaku. CIkgu Pa tidak sedar Presiden telah terbang pulang dari Syria semata-mata mahu menghadziri perjumpaan ini.
Namun, apabila isu ini mula menjadi panas, Cikgu Pa adalah antara orang yang teruk "kena maki" sedangkan beliau tiada kena mengena langsung dengan perjumpaan ini.
Sebab itulah muka beliau tidak berapa ceria dalam sidang akhbar itu. Sudahlah kena marah, masa pula terpaksa dihabiskan untuk menyelesaikan isu ini.
ps Tulang Besi pun dapat konfirmasi Ustaz Nasa pun tidak tahu pasal perjumpaan ini juga.
The government has announced that the cyberlaws would soon make its way into the Malaysian lives which undoubtedly is already soaked with so many restrictive laws.
Malaysians and their neighbours wonder why all the haste to bring the cyberlaws on, fast track. One would have expected 'Chastity Laws' given the many sex scandals, both true and alleged, that have been flying around for some time.
The minister's explanation makes it seem that the Malaysian citizens are just a whole bunch of hopeless people who need laws to be kept on a tight rein. Without the laws we may become amok and run like headless chicken causing havoc all over the country.
When almost every other developing nation is taking great strides to showcase their citizenry as forward looking , peace loving and enjoying civil liberties, we are back tracking into showing the world just the opposite.
The proposed (rather imminent) cyberlaws will make the nation a laughing stock of the developed world. Even in the region, we will be looked upon with apprehension.
Are Malaysians really that dangerous and evil? Why have so many oppressive laws like ISA, OSA, Printing and Publishing Act, etc then? Are we having bloody wars and coups in the country? Are Malaysians really prone to be terrorism-minded? Are ordinary Malaysians that vulnerable that they need to "be protect(ed)" as what the minister claimed?
For a tiny nation of only 27 million, it is so very strange that a professing democracy can have so many oppressive laws.
And only the other day one other leader blurted out that our students are prone to be recriuited by 'Islamic' terrorists, Tamil Tigers and militant Sikhs. What, are Malaysians also on sale now?
Pray our ministers realise that a nation like Malaysia that has seen development and progress in the past is not going to swallow bait, hook and line. So please minister(s) stop making us Malaysians look like dummy fools or bloody bandits.
If you have to police, please go pol! ice the crooks. The gambling dens; the drug traffickers; prostitutes - Lorong Hj Taib is still there operating in broad daylight; rapists; snatch thieves; burglers and many more are roaming and striking like loose missiles. And if you could just do that, you would certainly have protected the citizens from harm's way.Not cyberlaws!
Do not attempt to curtail the development and growth of true democracy when the world is racing at top notch speed to up their rankings on civil liberties. You will only earn the wrath of the civilized world. Surely you do understand Obama's speech in the wake of the Arizona tragedy ( of what he said with reference to the little girl who died in the bloody shooting)?
Also learn fast from nations that are well ahead into IT. They only place a premium in educating their cyber consumers - not policing them.
Unless of course we want to join the ranks of regimes whose currency is supression of the masses to in order to hold on to power and control at all cost.
The beautician had lodged a police report against the prominent politician on Dec 31 last year, claiming that he had groped her breast at a club in Ipoh.
According to Chinese vernacular newspaper reports, Perak police chief Mohd Shukri Dahlan confirmed the matter but declined to elaborate.
Party insiders told FMT that the politician, who is holding a “high position” in the division had denied the allegation, but claimed that he was drunk at the time of the incident.
“He told us that he did not molest the women but nobody knows what exactly happened as he said he was drunk at that time,” said a leader from Perak, known to be a close associate of the accused.
Several MCA leaders contacted by FMT refrained from commenting on the issue, with some even claiming that they had no knowledge of the incident despite it being widely reported by the Chinese newspapers.
The beautician, it is also learnt, had since lodged a second police report and engaged a prominent lawyer in Ipoh after receiving some lewd SMSes and allegations that “she was out to make some money” from the accused politician.
This is the latest sex-related case involving a politician from MCA in the last three years or so. In 2007, the then MCA vice-president Dr Chua Soi Lek was forced to resign as health minister after admitting that he was the person in a widely circulated sex-DVD.
Chua, however, managed a dramatic political comeback in 2008 winning the party deputy presidency. Last year, he won the MCA top post at the party polls.
Coincidentally, Chua is also the current MCA Perak chairman.
All eyes will be on MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and son, Chua Tee Yong, who is Labis MP, on one side, and former MCA vice-president Chua Jui Meng on the opposite side.
The MCA has been under tremendous pressure to deliver the Chinese votes to the Barisan Nasional (BN) following the party’s poor performance in the 2008 general election and to prove it can win back enough support for the ruling coalition in the next general election.
The declining majority of the BN’s candidate in the area in the last election has also made the effort tougher as non-Malay voters, particularly the Chinese, seem to be leaning towards the opposition, with the BN winning mostly due to the solid Malay support.
Political analysts believe the two Chuas will play a key role in securing the non-Malay votes to their respective parties to the extent that some describe the by-election on Jan 30 as “the battle of two Chuas”.
While the Malay votes are considered already in the BN’s bag, analysts said both sides need to reach out to, and gauge the support of the non-Malays who form 52% of the 14,592 electorate.
It could provide an indication of how the Chinese and Indians will vote in the next general election. The Chinese voters make up 39% of the Tenang electorate while Indians make up 12%t. The Malay voters make up the rest.
Tenang is one of two state seats under the Labis parliamentary constituency, previously held by Chua, before being contested by his son, Tee Yong, in the last general election.
Before Chua, the seat was held by former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik.
Chua has been working hard to revitalise the MCA since taking over the party’s reins in March last year.
To some extent, Chua has managed to bring stability to the MCA after more than a year of internal bickering. However, political analysts believe the biggest test for Chua will be in this by-election, held in his own stronghold.
The first by-election test for Chua after being elected party president was in Hulu Selangor, which showed the Chinese support for BN dipping to a new low.
Things seemed to have improved in the Galas and Batu Sapi by-elections. In Galas, most of the polling stations in Chinese areas showed a major shift of the Chinese support to the BN.
In Tenang this time around, the PKR-DAP-PAS opposition pact is likely to bank on Jui Meng, the former health minister and former MCA vice-president, to pull in the non-Malay votes, with PAS concentrating on Felda and other Malay majority areas.
Political analysts believe that Jui Meng, who was recently re-appointed PKR vice-president, would want to go all out to prove his mettle in his home state.
He is still commands some support and is capable of throwing a spanner into BN’s strategy.
“Everyone knows it’s difficult to capture Tenang from the BN but what the opposition pact wants is to reduce the BN’s majority to claim a moral victory. This will be good enough for us,” said a PKR insider.
MCA looking to repeat Galas feat
The battle of the two Chuas has been shaping up in Tenang the past weeks, with the opposition organising ceramahs featuring Jui Meng.
Not to be outdone, the MCA mobilised its machinery and organised many programmes, involving Soi Lek.
Their focus is the Chinese majority areas such as Bandar Labis Timor, Bandar Labis Tengah and Labis where in the last general election, PAS candidates obtained between 50% and 67% of the votes.
For instance, in Bandar Labis Tengah where 96% of the voters were Chinese, PAS, which contested the Tenang seat, obtained 66.8%.
Johor DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau said the opposition pact’s greatest hurdle would be in convincing the Chinese about PAS’ Islamic state ambition.
He said detailed analysis showed that in the 2008, Chinese voters backed DAP in the overall Labis parliamentary seat but shied away from PAS in the Tenang state seat.
“At the parliamentary level, about 70% of Tenang constituents voted for the DAP instead of BN’s MCA.
“But at the state level, only 58% of them voted for PAS. The trend is similar among Indians voters,” he said.
He believed that the by-election would be another test for the opposition as MCA was likely to use the Islamic state issue to spook the non-Malay electorate.
Umno has a large vote bank from the over 3,800 voters in three Felda settlements – Felda Cempelak, Felda Cempelak Barat and Felda Tenang.
“In the last election, we managed to garner only 17%, 18% and 19% of votes in the three Felda areas respectively,” he said.
Analysts believe the MCA would be working in repeating the Galas feat which saw a major shift of Chinese votes towards the BN.
The Tenang seat fell vacant following the death of its state assemblyman Sulaiman Taha last Dec 17. The nomination is on Jan 22 while polling is on Jan 30.
KUALA LUMPUR: In a sudden switch of tone, Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim pleaded to Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to hold an open “discussion” on the economy.
The PKR de facto leader also dismissed the challenge by Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin to debate on the same subject despite the latter’s constant pressure.
From a confrontational tone, Anwar made an about-turn and took a more diplomatic approach amid the heated debate fray, saying an open discussion on the subject would be healthy.
“We should discuss ideas openly and let the voters evaluate the economic policies propounded by the prime minister and Pakatan Rakyat with its alternative.
“This can widen the space and opportunity to explain the economic ideas of both sides,” Anwar told a press conference at PAS headquarters here after chairing the bloc’s central leadership meeting.
He added that the proposed open discussion with his rival has received the endorsement of Pakatan’s top leadership.
“The Pakatan leadership council should go ahead with the open discussion with Najib and we are willing to meet some of the conditions set by him (if there are any)”.
The former deputy prime minister just two days ago had issued a strong challenge to Najib who criticised Pakatan’s 100-day reform programme as being “populist”, flawed and would bankrupt the nation.
Najib dismissed the challenge as pointless, saying that there would be no positive outcome to the debate. He said that it was ultimately up to the voters to decide which economic policies are the better bet.
The ongoing debate row between the two triggered a slew of challenges from all sides.
Anwar shuns Khairy
Khairy was the first to counter Anwar’s dare. First issuing his challenge to the opposition leader on his micro-blogging Twitter account, he later piled the pressure by submitting a formal invitation to Anwar this morning.
Anwar, who was also the former finance minister, said the challenge to a debate was for Najib and not Khairy.
“He (Khairy) is trying to save the prime minister. The prime minister made the allegations and condemnation and so we would like to have a direct response from Najib.
“This is the decision of the Pakatan leadership council,” said Anwar who is the Permatang Pauh MP.
“This is an important issue. It is about finance, the economy so it is only apt that we get a direct response from Najib who is also the finance minister,” he added.
The row has now extended to all leadership levels from both sides. Both the Youth chiefs of PKR and PAS have also issued their own challenges to Khairy in response to his challenge against Anwar.
The latest to enter the arena is PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution who insisted that Khairy debate him, given that both of them are “second-line leaders”, according to the online new portal The Malaysian Insider this evening.
The 19-22 age group had voted against Nurul Izzah in Election 2008.“We are concerned about the age groups that have not yet entered universities or who have just entered public universities... by the time they graduate we can even [point] out the ones who support BN and PR, it’s just this 19-22 age group which is a real challenge to us,” said Rafizi. According to the PKR leader, PR needed to revive its ties with student leaders and activists in order to counter BN’s popularity with young students. “The latest trend is quite positive as there is a revival of student activism. BN will cut these youths off, which is why we have to engage with these groups. “Due to constraints in place by the mainstream media and UUCA, the only way to reach out to university students is through student representatives, where we have to step up discussions with these groups,” said Rafizi. He, however, lamented that there was a noticeable “distance” between PR youth wings and student leaders, blaming it on BN’s marginalisation of the opposition’s presence within public universities.
Johor PAS commissioner Datuk Dr Mahfodz Mohamed cannot decide for the party on the setting up of an Islamic state, said PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali.
He said if it was true that Mahfodz had said that PAS would push for the Islamic state once the party and its allies took over the Federal Government, the issue should not have been raised.
"Only the PAS leadership council can decide on the matter," he told a press conference after the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council meeting at the PAS headquarters yesterday.
Present were Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang attended the meeting, but was not present at the press conference.
Mustafa was commenting on the article in the New Straits Times on Wednesday which said the setting up of an Islamic state and implementation of Islamic laws were the main selling points at a PAS function in Labis on Monday night.
Mahfodz was quoted as saying that PAS would also insist on the implementation of Islamic laws once in power and this included limb amputation for convicted thieves and stoning to death for adulterers.
Hadi had attended the event, which attracted about 200 people.
Mustafa said the party was aware of the NST report and was checking whether Mahfodz indeed made the statement.
Lim said the issue was also discussed with Hadi at yesterday's meeting and they agreed to stick to their common policy to work together.
On the Tenang by-election candidate, who will be announced on Jan 16, Anwar said Pakatan Rakyat had accepted Pas' candidate and was confident that the person would be able to carry forward their agenda.
The by-election will be held on Jan 30 following the death of assemblyman Datuk Sulaiman Taha.
PAS has assured its Pakatan Rakyat allies that it has no plans to cooperate with UMNO.
The issue arose following a dinner hosted by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong that was attended by PAS spiritual leader Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Christmas Eve,
PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the Pakatan leadership was satisfied with the explanation given by PAS president Datuk Seri Hadi Abdul Awang about the meeting during Pakatan’s leadership council monthly meeting at PAS headquarters here yesterday.
“We are satisfied with the explanation by Datuk Seri Hadi. PAS remains committed to Pakatan,” Anwar said.
DAP adviser Lim Kit Siang said the matter should be put to rest.
Anwar denied claims the Selangor government was sidelining the Selangor Sultan by calling for a state assembly sitting to discuss proposed amendments to the state constitution without his consent.
“Whatever amendments will follow existing procedures. They will be presented to the Sultan,” he said.
PAS secretary-general Datuk Mustafa Ali said the state government respected the Sultan.
Yesterday’s meeting unanimously decided to challenge Najib to an open debate with Anwar on Pakatan’s 100-day reform proposal if Pakatan wins the general election.
Anwar said it was Najib who should take part in the debate rather than UMNO Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin because the Prime Minister was the one who criticised the proposal.
“We (Pakatan) would like a direct response from the Prime Minister. The criticisms and challenge are a financial issue.
“It is not an issue involving an MP who is retiring,” he added.
Ego sometimes persuades a pompous politician to flaunt a bogus ‘Dr’ on his nameplate. This is not a reward for academic brilliance but an upgrade to a peacock feather, the ‘honorary doctorate’, a worthless piece of paper handed out by an institution desperate for attention. However, this does not matter too much, since we do not expect a high level of honesty from our politicians. Only two letters separate use from abuse, so there will always be a quack preening himself in the garb of a doctor. But when a person held in high esteem dilutes the trust reposed in him, it affects the collective reputation of the brotherhood.
Justice M S Liberhan did not need 17 years and a thousand pages to tell us what has been public knowledge since December 6, 1992. The Babri mosque was not torn down in the dark of night. It was brought down slowly, stone by stone, in Sunday sunlight, before hundreds of journalists, to the cheers of countless thousands of kar sewaks in and around Ayodhya. The mosque was not dynamited in a minute; it was demolished by crowbar and shovel.
Of course, senior leaders of the BJP and RSS were present, for they were kar sewaks as well. Atal Bihari Vajpayee was not there, but he was in nearby Lucknow, albeit a reluctant guest, but unable to refuse the invitation to the party. Newspapers the next day, and magazines the next weekend, published their pictures, some of which became iconic. We did not need a wait of 17 years to learn that Vinay Katiyar was responsible: he has been claiming responsibility for over 6,000 days.
Sharad Pawar, then defence minister, showed a filmed record of December 6 to an invited group at the home of a party MP a few days later. The Liberhan Commission could have completed half its report by taking a look at that film. The media was equally comprehensive in its coverage of the brutal riots that followed: The Sri Krishna report has done far greater justice to the truth in its findings on the Maharashtra riots, so much so that there is all-party collusion on its non-implementation. There was only one question trapped in doubt: What was prime minister P V Narasimha Rao doing while Babri was destroyed on the longest day of the last two decades? Why was home minister S B Chavan, father of the present Maharashtra chief minister, immobile, inscrutable and stolid?
Shock raced through Delhi when word filtered through that an assault had begun in Ayodhya. Phone calls began to pour into the prime minister’s residence in the hope that he would use the authority of the state to uphold the rule of law and fulfil a political and moral obligation. There was a monstrous response from the prime minister’s personal secretary. The PM was either unavailable or, worse, asleep. It was a lie. Rao’s inaction and Chavan’s collaboration were deliberate.
Liberhan protects Rao with an equally conscious fudge, shuffling the blame on to unspecified intelligence agencies. Everyone knew what was going on, IB officers better than most. Rao called a Cabinet meeting only in the evening, when there was nothing left to be saved — not even reputation. By this time, fires of hatred were lighting up the dusk of Mumbai and dozens of cities across the nation. An elaborate programme of blame, reward and punishment was put into place. Those (including bureaucrats and journalists) who acquiesced in Rao’s charade were rewarded; Congress Muslims got a bonus for silence. Rao remained in power till 1996, but he neither ruled nor lived in peace.
The words of this column will make no difference. A government can reduce the past to rubble as easily as an Opposition party can erase a centuries-old mosque. My apologies for a rare detour into the personal, but this is a rare moment. I was a minor part of the Rao government and resigned on the night of December 6 since the stone wall constructed around the prime minister’s house had become impervious to anything except sycophancy. Words demand a different kind of loyalty, and one was relieved to return to the world of words.