Thursday, August 21, 2008

Trawling the Malaysian Blogosphere: TWO MUST-READ ITEMS!

From The Malaysian Insider | 20 August 2008


By Wan Hamidi Hamidi
Political Editor, The Malaysian Insider

SEBERANG JAYA, Aug 20 — The political tsunami that swept Barisan Nasional out of Penang five months ago is still strongly felt in the state particularly in the mainland's Permatang Pauh by-election.

This means BN is about to lose 30 per cent of the votes – almost all of the Chinese and Indian votes – as the sentiment against the federal ruling coalition has yet to subside.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat insiders claim that some 17,000 non-Malay votes that were delivered to former MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail would also be given to her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

A PKR insider said the non-Malays in the state still perceive BN, particularly Umno, as neglecting their needs and pandering too much to the Malays.

They also think Gerakan, MCA and MIC had nothing much to offer after their electoral debacle on March 8.

"After five months, our assessment shows that the sentiment is still there. Not that we're over confident but that's the information we get on the ground," he said, adding that PKR continues to campaign among non-Malay voters with the help of its ally Chinese-majority DAP.

Even BN's Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah's good command of Mandarin and Hokkien does not help much as the Chinese voters have made up their mind, at least for the moment.

The five per cent Indian voters are also expected to vote for Anwar, and a number of Indian campaigners – from PKR and DAP as well as members of the Hindu Rights Action Force – have been concentrating in Indian-majority residential areas.

That leaves 70 per cent Malay votes up for grabs. With Anwar playing up the local boy's homecoming campaign, it's getting harder for BN to swing the 30,000-plus votes garnered by Wan Azizah recently.

It is understood that a lot of BN component party members voted against their own candidate in the general election.

BN chief campaigner Datuk Seri Najib Razak is adamant that his current candidate could regain the voters just by concentrating on the ruling coalition members' votes – 19,000 Umno members and 7,000 from other parties.

But is a tough call for BN. Its previous candidate Datuk Pirdaus Ismail only managed to poll 16,950 votes recently compared to 21,147 in 2004.

BN buttfuckers on Nomination Day in Permatang Pauh (photo courtesy of MAFREL)
Now BN is attempting to reduce Wan Azizah's recent majority of 13,388 votes as a victory of sorts. But Arif Shah is facing another problem which is not too peculiar for Umno.

For the past few days, he's been campaigning with his own election workers without much help from his Permatang Pauh Umno colleagues - who all lost in the general elections.

But Arif Shah was the only survivor and kept Seberang Jaya – one of the three state constituencies under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat.

The Umno division chief Datuk Jalil Abdul Majid lost to PKR's Mohd Fairuz Khairuddin who is now Penang deputy chief minister while division secretary Ahmad Sahar Shuib lost to Pas incumbent Hamdan Abdul Rahman.

Permatang Pauh Umno has been rudderless - and almost winless - since its former leader Anwar was sacked from the government and party a decade ago.

But that has not stopped local leaders from fighting each other to lead the division but the by-election has halted the fierce campaigning for the party polls.

Besides Jalil who wants to defend his post, Arif Shah and Pirdaus have offered to contest.

There has been serious jostling for power, and the BN candidate knows the stakes, he has made another offer – if he wins Permatang Pauh by-election he will back down from the division polls.

The signal is meant for others to help him in the campaign but some local leaders have been busy surrounding themselves around Umno deputy president Najib rather than following Arif Shah in canvassing votes.

"It seems that their mind is focused on the Permatang Pauh Umno division campaign. They are giving the impression that this by-election is a gone case and they would rather prepare for their own party polls," said a local observer who has been a Seberang Jaya resident for the past 20 years.

A Penang Umno insider confirmed the observation, claiming that the BN campaign seen on TV daily does not reflect the actual canvassing for votes and many who attended Umno ceramahs are actually party workers.

"I'm worried that if this trend continues, it will reflect badly again on Umno and BN. When I watch the TV news, our leaders are all out campaigning against Anwar but on the ground there's not much being done.

"If we lose badly again, people will get more fed up with us," he said.

PKR campaigners have also complained about the wide TV coverage for BN leaders, similar to that given to the ruling coalition during the general election, with no space provided for Anwar.

They are also upset with the timing of Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan's swearing on the Quran that Anwar had forcibly sodomised him.

Although Najib had denied the oath, made 24 four hours before the nomination day, was politically motivated, the deputy prime minister has been going on that issue since Saturday.

PKR campaigners are also upset with the Anti-Corruption Agency's action against two Pakatan Rakyat-led Perak state exco members today – not so much whether the graft allegation is true but rather the timing, again.

"I'm confident that the voters in Permatang Pauh are smart enough to differentiate between propaganda and the truth. We know that BN is desperate, not just about Anwar winning this by-election, but what will happen on Sept 16," said Johor PKR information chief Hasmi Hashim who is assisting the campaign in Permatang Pauh.

He was referring to Anwar's Sept 16 deadline for the crossover of BN MPs, paving the way for him to set up a new federal government.

"What BN is doing is to derail Anwar's plan although the March 8 results have indicated that the people wanted change," added Hasmi.



There are those who can’t imagine why Anwar Ibrahim ignores the call for him to swear on the Quran in a mosque that he is innocent of the allegation of sodomy and also why Raja Petra Kamarudin ignores Malaysian courts.

On the Anwar issue, first of all, there is no such thing as swearing on the Quran in Islam and many religious scholars and leaders have said so quite explicitly. Why these people still insist that Anwar do so is perplexing. Read our lips: THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SWEARING ON THE QURAN IN ISLAM. Let’s hope these sorry excuses for Muslims hear us loud and clear this time.

Secondly, Mohd Saiful Bukhari Bin Azlan, IC No: 850706-01-5687, of No. 29, Jalan BU 7/6, Selangor, swore on the Quran at 6.00pm on 15 August in the Federal Territory Mosque in front of Ramlang Bin Porigi, UMNO Member No. 03405853 of Cawangan Seri Macang, Bahagian Bukit Mertajam, Parlimen Permatang Pauh.

Ramlang Porigi (circled) the "instant imam" 
(photo courtesy of Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored)
Can you now see the comedy of the whole thing? Ramlang Porigi, the so-called ‘Imam’ who conducted Saiful’s swearing on the Quran, other than possessing a name that sounds like an illegal Indonesian immigrant who has just been given a ‘blue’ IC, is an UMNO member from Permatang Pauh. Any wonder why Anwar ‘tak layan’ this whole matter? It was all a circus show for the benefit of the Permatang Pauh voters.*

Ramlang Bin Porigi: Permatang Pauh Umno division member
Now, with regards to the Raja Petra issue, today’s story from Bloomberg says it all. Before that, however, let us reveal what happened to Raja Petra in April 2001 and why he no longer ‘layan’ Malaysian courts.

Raja Petra was detained under the Internal Security Act on 11 April 2001. The Special Branch then demanded that he hand over his international passport. But Raja Petra did not have his passport with him. It was lodged at the British High Commission and there was no way the Special Branch could get its hands on it.

The Special Branch demanded to know why his passport was not in his possession but was instead with the British High Commission. Raja Petra refused to reveal the reason. “Never mind,” the Special Branch told him. “We have other ways of blocking your passport.”

Three days later, on 14 April 2001, the day of Raja Petra’s wedding anniversary, a letter was dropped into the letterbox of his house giving him 14 days to contest a bankruptcy order. Since he was under 60 days ISA detention he certainly could not make an appearance in court within the stipulated 14 days to contest the bankruptcy order. Anyway, the bankruptcy order was not served on him but was dropped into the letterbox.

Raja Petra was released from ISA detention on 6 June 2001. A few weeks later, he went to meet Manjeet Singh of Sri Ram & Co. to try to get them to set aside the bankruptcy order. Sri Ram & Co. checked with the courts and discovered that the whole file had disappeared. There was no way they could contest the order, Manjeet told Raja Petra, since the file had disappeared. Anyway, Manjeet told him, once bankruptcy has been obtained you can’t apply to set it aside. You are supposed to contest the order within the 14 days given to you. The fact that one is under 60 days detention and there was no way one could appear in court to contest the order does not change the decision of the court.

Since then Raja Petra ‘tak layan’ Malaysian courts. Malaysian courts do not dispense justice. They serve their political masters.

* As of 20 August 2008, RAMLANG BIN PORIGI, the Umno member who witnessed as "imam masjid" at Saiful's swearing was promoted as IMAM, according to the Directory listing of the Federal Territory Mosque. He was one of eight others who suddenly were made into "Imams." Prior to August 20th, Ramlang Porigi was listed as Pembantu Hal Ehwal Islam (Assistant for Islamic Affairs). [Source: Malaysians Unplugged Uncensored]

Although most blogs and media report that he is from Sandakan, a friend of mine who knows him personally said that Ramlang Bin Porigi originates from Balikpapan, Indonesia, a small town neighbouring Tawau. It is believed that he is one of the products of Project IC Mahathir. From Balikpapan to Sandakan, and now part of Umno's "rescue operation" in Permatang Pauh! [Source]