Saturday, March 8, 2008


OUT! I solemnly swear I have NEVER once voted for the arrogance, mediocrity and stupidity that BN represents. And I sincerely hope that every Malaysian who voted today shares my feelings and voted BR!

I voted for an end to a corrupt, inefficient, politically biased and kurang ajar police force.

I voted for an end to crooked judges, capitalist cronies, and sleazy lawyers.

I voted for an end to complacent, smug and useless Elections Commission chairmen like Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman whose every word and deed reveals him to be an Umno supporter.

I voted for an end to slimeball attorney-generals like Abdul Gani Patail and disreputable Inspectors-General of Police like Musa Hassan (both promoted for their respective roles in convicting and jailing Anwar Ibrahim on Dr M's instructions).

I voted for an end to high-level ministerial kickbacks and scandalous misbehavior that have tarnished the name of my country and brought shame upon us all.

I voted for an end to disgraceful hooliganism at Umno General Assemblies with stupid keris-waving displays by dangerous airheads like Hishamuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin. I voted Barisan Rakyat today because I love Malaysia too much to see it destroyed by a bunch of megalomanic, myopic, and moronic descendants of pirates.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

An open letter to ALL Malaysians…

... from former Bar Council president Yeo Yang Poh, on the eve of the General Election.

Dear Fellow Malaysians,

It is true that there are things that we Malaysians should be proud of, and be thankful for. It is equally true that many things are not well in our country. They have not been well for some time now. Matters of safety and security, price hikes, education, issues of equal opportunities and equal treatment, constriction of various forms of freedom, marginalization of several segments of society, the failing justice system, corruption in the public sector, the rising denial syndromes, the arrogance of wrongdoers nourished by their repeated ability to get off scot-free, and the numbness of the public reaction towards misdeeds and the lack of accountability, just to describe a few.

Many of the ills that we complain about in our society are the symptoms of the underlying causes. Some of the major root causes are: (a) epidemic corruption in a system that does little to prohibit or redress it, (b) lack of a system of transparency and accountability, (c) the suppression of various freedoms so as to turn a silent majority into a silenced majority, (d) a Government that is more interested in commanding than serving, (e) a Parliament whose overwhelming majority cares more about power-consolidation than nation-building, and (f) a weak "last bastion" in the form of a failing justice system.

Can things be allowed to go on this way? Can we afford to do so? Should our future generations suffer the consequences of our permissiveness? It is quite obvious that we need a better Government and a better Parliament. But that will not happen if we, the citizens of Malaysia, do little more than blaming the Government and criticizing our Members of Parliament. It is we who put our MPs in the Parliament. It is we who must take the ultimate responsibility. The buck stops at each and every one of us.

My earnest appeal to everyone is therefore as follows:

* discuss the need for a better Parliament and a better Government, with your family members, colleagues, friends and persons close to you;

* make it a point to go and vote in the next election, and to vote for change and for betterment;

* discard the notion or excuse that your single vote will not matter;

* discard the notion or excuse that politics is dirty and all politicians are the same, and therefore that there is no point in voting;

* influence and encourage as many of your family members, colleagues, friends and persons close to you as possible, to come out and vote for change and for betterment in the coming election.

It is meaningless for us to complain about our Parliamentarians and the Government, if we do not first discharge a simple but sacrosanct duty of choice.

Let us all take the time to look into the beautiful but expectant eyes of our children, and of the children of many others for whom we care. The future of our nation is meant for them. But millions of them cannot vote. They put their fate in our hands. They rely on us not just for their present living and support. They rely on us, too, to vote for a better future for them.

And after discharging our duty to vote, we must continue to be vigilant, and ensure that our elected representatives account for their actions, and make good their promises.

I humbly suggest to you that change and betterment are not empty dreams, if all of us play our respective parts. I invite you, and I urge you, to answer my appeal as set out above.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Yeo Yang Poh
Advocate & Solicitor,
& a concerned Malaysian

February 28, 2008

[Photo courtesy of Jeff Ooi/Screenshots]

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good on you, Malaysiakini!

Mar 4, 08 2:52pm

In view of the country's going to the polls on Saturday, Malaysiakini has decided to make its website free beginning today.

From 3pm today, readers will be able to access all Malaysiakini reports and articles without having to log in. The site will be locked again on March 10, two days after the general election.

As compensation to Malaysiakini’s existing subscribers, one additional week will be added to their subscription periods.

"We hope that voters will be able to access independent news so that they can make an informed decision on polling day," said Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran in announcing the decision.

Our Bahasa Malaysia section went free last week, and now with campaigning into its final lap, we’ve decided to make our articles in the English and Chinese language sections free as well."

Chandran said the move is in line with Malaysiakini’s vision, which among others include the support for ‘the development of freedom of speech, social justice and democracy in Malaysia’.

"Democracy is about voters acquiring sufficient knowledge to make an informed choice. By making Malaysiakini available to all, we want to play our part in helping Malaysians exercise their democratic right," added editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

During this free period, Malaysiakini will allow its ‘news and views’ to be re-posted in blogs and other websites as well as to be printed and photocopied for distribution.

Read the rest here.

Now here are a selection of items from Malaysiakini that caught my eye...

Dean Johns | Mar 5, 08 1:55pm

Democrats of other races can kick, scream, demonstrate and vote all they like against the Barisan Nasional robber-barons and their minions, but let’s face it: Malaysia will never get rid of this indolent, incompetent and corrupt regime without the enlightened militancy of the Malay meritocracy and its increasingly numerous supporters.

I’m all too conscious that I’m venturing onto shaky ground here, aware as I am that BN jealously guards the topics of race and religion as its exclusive preserves, the more powerfully to manipulate sectarian passions and prejudices to its advantage. And also, as a total outsider, I’m woefully ignorant of many of the subtleties and nuances involved in these perennially sensitive subjects.

But still the point has to be made. Malaysia will never be rid of BN, or achieve true democracy, or reach its social and economic potential, without the opposition of the Malay majority.

Read the rest here.

Andrew Ong | Mar 5, 08 2:36pm

As campaigning entered the crucial final lap, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim blazed through Perak yesterday to rally voters.

At every stop, large crowds waited for hours to greet the former deputy premier, who started his tour in Tanjung Malim in the morning before making his way up north through Bota, Bidor, Tapah, Gopeng, Sungai Siput and finally Bagan Serai.

The crowds were wooed by his populist messages which included reducing fuel prices, providing free education and the release of the five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA).

By about 7pm, Anwar had arrived at Simpang Pulai, Gopeng, where he was greeted with a hero’s welcome and rapturous chants of reformasi from a racially mixed crowd of more than 2,000.

Despite spending the entire day on the road, Anwar showed no signs of fatigue and rallied Gopeng voters to back PKR candidates Lee Boon Chye (Gopeng), Chan Ming Kai (Simpang Pulai), Chang Lih Kang (Teja) and PAS candidate Radzi Zainon (Sungai Rapat).

He also launched a scathing attack on the Election Commission for aborting the use of indelible ink at the eleventh hour. He lamented that "phantoms" would now roam on polling day.

"Barisan Nasional (BN) is scared of losing. That’s why they aborted the use of indelible ink," said Anwar to loud cries of "betul (correct)!" from the crowd.

Read the rest here.

KJ John | Mar 4, 08 8:16pm

I have three politicians, I consider my heroes. The first is the late Tan Sri Dr Tan Chee Khoon (left), father of the now retiring MP for Segambut. The father, like the son, always spoke the truth, always spoke in love and always spoke with grace and hope. For the father’s long and unflinching service to the people, even the then government of Malaysia recognised his services and awarded him a PSM which carries the title of ‘Tan Sri’.

The second is the late Datuk Dr Syed Hussein Alatas (right), the former UM vice-chancellor who passed away recently. In a discussion before our 4th Integrity Congress, he advised me that the fight against corruption must be a peoples’ fight; it does not belong to the government. He explained how he was ‘removed’ as VC some years ago because he stood up for some perennial principles related to credibility and integrity.

The third person is a faithful but not-so-‘successful’ grass-roots politician - my father, a founder member of the Kedah MIC and community worker in Sungai Petani, our home town where he was popularly known as ‘Pak John’. He was a sincere politician but not a cunning enough one to make it big in politics; and therefore his advice to me was always to stay out of politics. I followed his advice for 27 years and then one day asked him at the age of 49, ‘Dad should I consider getting involved into politics?’

He looked towards my younger brother, and said, ‘I suppose now he can!’ But now that I have been involved in my own style of ‘non-partisan politics’ my father is still not sure, because I have started to speak and write against all those whom I believe lack integrity; the same principle I expect from of all my good friends who choose to criticise my views as well. I really believe that one’s credibility and integrity are a very good basis for all types of politics and an equal principle for integrity in our lives; for our every human action, and non-action.

Therefore, on July 6, 2000, I decided to opt out of public service. I wrote to the then chief secretary and the then public services head, and gave my many reasons for an optional retirement. One of the primary reasons, I argued, was that the Public Services Department was no longer interested in serving the public interest. It had lost its neutrality and had become blindly biased towards the Umno agenda...

Read the rest here.