Saturday, September 20, 2008



Friday, September 19, 2008

Roll over and play dead, Hamid Albar!

Good boy, good boy! No more chasing kids on bicycles and ripping the postman's trousers. Tomorrow you're getting neutered. Say goodbye to your balls!

Here's the late great George Carlin with a classic routine called "Dog Incident" - specially dedicated to Malaysia's funniest and wackiest home minister, Syed Hamid Albar.

Teresa Kok was taken away on Friday [12/9/08]. Two self-proclaimed Muslim Groups were at the Sentul Police Station making report against Teresa on Sunday morning [14/9/08] around 11am.

At the scene, by the road side, some gangster-looking youngsters with yellow head-bands were holding some banners accusing Teresa of ”menghina Islam.”

I stopped my car and asked one of them what was it all about.

Me: Dik, apa dah jadi?
He: Ada orang menghina Islam.
Me: Siapa?
He: Tak tahu! (The banner he was holding read: "Teresa Kok Menghina Islam")
Me: Lalu you marah siapa?
He: Tak marah siapa, cari makan saja!
Me: Tapi Teresa Kok sudah ditangkap ISA.
He: Siapa Teresa Kok?
Me: ………

The Anwar Interview with VOX POPULI

After his release from prison in 2004, Anwar Ibrahim served as a faculty member at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and was offered a tenure as visiting professor in the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University, Washington, D.C. The following article is an introduction to an excellent interview conducted by Eric Pilch for Vox Populi, staff blog of Georgetown University's newsmagazine, the Georgetown Voice.

Prof attempts Malaysian takeover
by Eric Pilch

Malaysia has entered a period of political turmoil and transformation as Anwar Ibrahim, a former Georgetown professor, seeks to take control of the government. Ibrahim, who served as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister of Malaysia in the 1990s, announced that he has secured the support of enough members of Parliament to remove the ruling National Coalition from power. If this transfer of support comes to fruition, Ibrahim will become the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

“We must reestablish the integrity of our judiciary and take an uncompromising stand against corruption and cronyism,” Ibrahim wrote in an email.

While at Georgetown, Ibrahim served as a visiting professor in the School of Foreign Service and as a faculty member at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding. He also taught a class called “Contemporary Islam in Southeast Asia.”

Georgetown professor Max Gross assisted Ibrahim while he was teaching at Georgetown and described him as “kindly,” “very learned,” and a “pious Muslim.”

“During the month of Ramadan, I came into the office with a cup of coffee and Ibrahim asked me ‘Aren’t you fasting?’” Gross said. “And it was a very nice way of saying, ‘Please don’t drink coffee in front of me’ without having to say it that way.“

According to John Esposito, Director of the Alwaleed Center and a friend of Ibrahim’s for 20 years, Ibrahim was once one of the most promising young politicians in Malaysia, but his career was disrupted after he was convicted of corruption and sodomy. Amnesty International said the charges brought against him were a pretext to discredit him and remove him from public life.

“No one believes those charges save the ones whose political longevity is dependent on my being clapped in the slammer,” Ibrahim wrote.

Current Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi has rejected Ibrahim’s advances on the government and told the BBC on Tuesday, “The government is strong and here to stay.” However, Malaysia’s Justice Minister resigned last week to protest the detention of an anti-government journalist and blogger.

Badawi has repeatedly declined to meet with Anwar Ibrahim, despite frequent public requests. Ibrahim, in turn, has refused to release the names of his supporters until such a meeting is arranged, claiming his new legislative supporters would be detained or harassed if he publicly released their identities.

Ibrahim originally set Tuesday, September 16 as the date that he would come to power, but his plans were derailed when the government announced that 50 members of Parliament would be visiting Taiwan for a week. Ibrahim called this a transparent design to thwart his plans.

Anwar Ibrahim addresses a 20,000-strong crowd at the Freedom Rally, 14 April 2008, which marked his formal re-entry into politics.

“It has led the public to think that the government is a troupe of court jesters,” Ibrahim wrote.

On Tuesday, Ibrahim announced that he would give Prime Minister Badawi a week or two to resign and accept defeat.

“He thinks it will spell the death knell of his premiership. I’m trying to convince him that it’s more about national salvation than about the longevity or the lack of individual political careers.”

If Anwar Ibrahim is successful in his bid to become Prime Minister, it will be an historic transition of power, according to Georgetown Professor Pamela Sodhy, an expert on Southeast Asian politics.

However, both Esposito and Sodhy expressed doubt that. Ibrahim would be successful. Esposito cited the tumultuous political climate and excessive powers vested in the government through the Internal Security Act.

“It’s a difficult situation and a potentially dangerous one,” Esposito said.

If Ibrahim does become Prime Minister, he has expressed a commitment to economic reform and the removal of affirmative action policies for ethnic Malays. Either way, he wrote, his future would include Georgetown University.

“I’m certain to come back, but in what capacity I can’t say,” Ibrahim wrote. “Georgetown will long remain in my memory as an idyllic place that gave me a renewal at a point in my life when it was most needed.”

For a full transcript of The Voice’s interview with Anwar Ibrahim, go to

Thursday, September 18, 2008

BEE-ENDGAME: Laugh Till You Fart!

(From Kavilan's YouTube Channel, posted 16 September 2008)

Who is this ingenious N. Kavilan fler who "did a 'bad' thing and made a parody of Bodohwi"? Kavi spent a few hours doing the subtitles for this video and then uploaded it to Youtube. It parodies Hitler’s downfall in the movie Der Untergang.

Kavi, you've got to be the Makkal Sakthi version of Namewee! Heartiest congratulations on a brilliant piece of video art - loved it!!! :-)



The poor deluded incumbent PM and his pink-lipped deputy just don't get it, do they? We the people cannot take much more of their political hogwash. Their audacious rapacity and their capacity to lie and cheat and steal defy our modest proletarian imaginations.

Umno died in February 1988. The party was pronounced dead (or, at least, illegal) by Justice Harun Hashim after Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah challenged Mahathir Mohamad for the president's post and lost by 43 votes. Razaleigh's camp petitioned for a recount and it was discovered that Umno had broken the law by failing to register dozens of party branches. Twenty years on, the Ketuanan Melayu carcass rotting on our living room floor can no longer be denied nor can it be swept under the rug. Indeed, no rug is big enough to hide it, or thick enough to camouflage the stygian stench of putrefaction.

Their approach to governance is long past its shelf life; their time-serving bureaucratic system is a legacy of 19th century British colonialism which no longer works in the Digital Age where events are measured in nanoseconds; their parochial worldviews are beyond old hat.

You cannot treat the rakyat like delinquent children. We pay your fucking salaries, never forget that!

But these clowns have been cloistered for years in their own little velvet-lined earthly paradise where the Umnoputera elite live and work and plot against one another. So well insulated are they from the realities on the ground that for Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to take a 30-minute ride on the commuter train makes front-page news. How low can anyone go in a futile attempt at damage control, hoping to convince the public that the Umno/BN regime really does care! Prrrrrrrp! Oops, escuse moi (pardon my French).

My dear Badawi & Najib, let me give you the bad news straight (it's kinder this way): the reek of unmitigated evil that permeates the moral fabric of the nation is emanating from you - yes, YOU! That's right. Your style of misgovernance is pure garbage and must be taken out... NOT in a month's time ("after Ramadhan when Parliament reconvenes"), NOT next year (when the global economy goes into a spectacular tailspin), NOT next election (when every honest citizen who dares to speak his or her mind will either have migrated, or will be languishing in an 8 X 8 cell like RPK and all the other heroes detained at the home minister's pleasure in Kamunting)... BUT NEXT WEEK AT THE LATEST!

Malaysiakini (18.09.08): Deputy police chief Ismail Omar today issued a stern warning against those speculating and spreading rumours of a government takeover. He said that these speculations were causing instability in the country, which has been abuzz with talks of a change in government.

Hello, Deputy Chief Ismail! Excuse me, do you have a brain or are you just one of Umno's myriad ventriloquist's dummies in uniform? What's your monthly take-home pay? What??? Is it worth losing your dignity, your integrity, your professional credibility, and your personal reputation for 30 pieces of silver? Come on, brother! Let me spell it out for you in plain language.

The Polis Di Raja Malaysia was inaugurated to serve the rakyat and protect the peace. A change of government is a normal part of the democratic process - otherwise why hold elections every few years? I understand this is the first time we have experienced a radical change of government in Malaysia. That's why we're all so excited, joyful, optimistic, relieved. Regime change is like losing your virginity. It's much easier and not so painful the next time around. So, all you sore losers in Umno/BN have several years to "rebrand" yourself (truth is, you'll have to do a lot more than hire a better PR agency, but this is not the time or place for me to offer you free advice). You can attempt a comeback in GE13 - after Pakatan Rakyat has cleaned up the electoral rolls and refurbished the EC! ;-)

Your job, Ismail, is to arrest those who flout the Malaysian Constitution by refusing to leave office after losing an election, or when they no longer command even a simple majority in Parliament. Anwar has offered them a week or two's grace to pack up and go. So please hold your horses. If they're still hogging their seats by 2 October 2008, then you can tell your boys in blue to politely show these Umno diehards the door. If they refuse to leave (pun wholly intended)... arrest them! But please, no handcuffs, too sordid!

ANWAR'S PC AT 2PM TODAY (18.09.08)
(Found this video at Mindful Mariner)

If only BN ministers would dance in their underpants instead...

Last week an Australian minister was forced to resign because he drank one beer too many and had a wee bit too much fun at a staff party.

Accused of flirting with a female colleague and "dancing in his underpants to techno music on a green couch," New South Wales state minister Matt Brown lost his job only three days after he had been sworn in as the new minister for the police. At the time of the incident Brown was the state housing minister.

Now, this is probably one of the reasons why so many Malaysians are still thinking about migrating Down Under.

If a minister in Australia can be fired for something as harmless and trivial as indecorous public behavior, what more if he had been caught pocketing hundreds of millions in commissions and kickbacks? Or wasting public funds on useless and unnecessary megaprojects?

How about offering turnkey naval contracts worth nearly 25 billion ringgit to cronies who fail to deliver, and then flee the country, leaving their kid brothers to run as parliamentary candidates?

Or laundering ill-gotten gains in foreign countries and getting caught with suitcases stuffed full of cash?

What sort of penalty would an Australian minister face for raping and impregnating schoolgirls? Or for passing racial slurs, destroying places of worship, and causing deep resentment amongst minority groups? How about snuffing troublesome mistresses?

If Matt Brown had deliberately stoked racial tensions with malicious intent to precipitate street violence and sabotage a rival political party - would he have been locked away for 15 years... or offered a cushy diplomatic posting?

Can someone in BN enlighten me?

THE NIGHT A NEW MALAYSIA WAS BORN (Letter to Malaysiakini)

(courtesy of TV Smith)

I was extremely touched by this eyewitness report from a young Malaysian who attended Pakatan Rakyat's Malaysia Day Rally at Kelana Jaya Stadium on 15 September 2008. Judging by the video footage and photos uploaded on various blogs, one can only conclude with joy and optimism that the SOUL OF MALAYSIA has finally awakened!

The night a new Malaysia was born
Yee | Sep 17, 08 8:12pm

There was something very different at Monday night’s celebration of Malaysia Day [held at] Kelana Jaya Stadium. It was much more than a political rally.

Something very significant was hatching. It was thick in the air. It was magical. It was infectious. I wish everybody was there to share those magical moments with me.

I arrived at Kelana Jaya Stadium seething with anger over the totally unreasonable detention of our fearless hero RPK and respected MP Teresa Kok under the draconian Internal Security Act. The first sight that greeted me the moment I entered the stadium was hundreds of people in prayer.

The serene voice of the imam transported me to a calmer place almost immediately. I followed in the prayer although I did not understand the language. I silently prayed for Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Teresa. I also prayed for peace and unity in our beloved homeland.

I would like to offer my highest praise to the imam who conducted the prayers. I really appreciate his devotion to God and his peaceful voice permeated the whole stadium with serenity. I was really grateful to be reminded of my connection to the divine, which set the tone for the rest of the night.

Religion has always been a big part of my life. It was never in doubt that our moral strength lies in our adherence to the divine. My true wish is that one day we will look beyond the superficial differences in how we relate to God and come together as one nation.

I have been to a few rallies by Pakatan Rakyat. But this one was different, very different. What made it different was the lack of negative emotions. This time we didn’t feel hatred for the Barisan Nasional government. We didn’t even feel that it was a tremendous struggle to topple a big bad evil empire.

There was hardly any smearing of the Barisan Nasional government. It was as if everybody already knew that the toppling of the present government was inevitable. The rally was about the celebration of unity and a better future for all. The amount of light and happiness in the atmosphere was truly infectious and uplifting.

As I said earlier, I walked into the stadium with seething anger, but halfway through the prayer, I was already seeing things in a different light. I began to realise that the behaviour of the BN government was so unbelievably ridiculous that it was almost comical.

Despite the anguish of the ISA detentions and the thinly veiled threat of May 13 repeating, something very significant happened to our collective psyche on Monday night.

The message delivered by our leaders was clear – unity must be upheld at all cost and justice and the rule of law must be restored. Pakatan leaders also emphasised the need for equal opportunities for all, regardless of race and religion.

The voices of the people were equally resounding and unequivocal. The spirit of unity was overwhelming. It was a remarkable demonstration of people power. The veil of darkness finally lifted. Malaysia has finally come of age.

When the national anthem was played, I was moved to tears. I understood for the first time the meaning of the lyrics. I felt for the first time a deep sense of purpose for this piece of land that we called home.

916 has already happened. The transformation has already happened in the collective consciousness of the people. The rest is only a matter of time. This is the birth of a new Malaysia. Of that I am certain.

"Reformasi" by Zulkifli Yusof (217cm x 307cm, oil on canvas, 1997)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


BADAWI & NAJIB have sandbagged themselves behind the BN brand name, simply because they happen to share the same initials. “Can’t you see?” - they seem to be saying - “BN belongs to both of us because I am B and my deputy is N!”

We are witnessing the final days of these old guard Umno warlords, dangerous and pathetic as they slide into incurable dementia, babbling denials all the way to oblivion. However, they will attempt a last, desperate act of après moi le déluge by threatening to use the ISA on Anwar - just to put fear into our hearts and get rid of a chronic pain in BN's backside.

This is undoubtedly the most serious political crisis ever in our nation’s entire history. It’s even worse than 1969, because in those days the vast majority of Malaysians were politically naive and grossly underinformed. Few of us could imagine the degree of evil, malice and ruthless abuse of power some politicians will resort to just to seize or retain power.

One day after 916 Badawi and Najib have traded portfolios: the incumbent PM has passed the money bags to his deputy, and taken over the defence ministry. He thinks the DPM's liver is too "lily" and his lips too pink to take firm command if martial law is declared. Najib has already squirreled away more than his fair share of the booty, a few more pudgy handfuls won't make much difference. You can be sure unimaginable amounts of cash are already being transferred to offshore accounts.

General Badawi will make his last stand at the head of the army if the rakyat revolt, and go down fighting like General Custer. But wait a minute... the Agong's approval is necessary to declare a state of emergency, right? Or has Mahathir already taken care of that sticky problem with his 1983 constitutional amendments?

People, do not weaken your resolve now. Rather, let us wholeheartedly focus on REGIME CHANGE NOW!

Not in 2012 or 2013….for that would spell doom for all truth-loving freedom-fighters in the land!

Badawi has maliciously spurned Anwar’s offer of a gentlemanly powwow to negotiate a peaceful transition. Instead, the Umno warlords are rushing for their ultimate weapons, the ISA and the racial tension card.

Mahathir's Gollum-like obsession with the Ring of Power will prompt him to strike while Badawi is under maximum duress. The Evil Mamak will seize this opportunity to insert his not-really-happening son Mukhriz into a position of power in the youth wing of the party, riding on Tengku Razaleigh's sunset dream of one last grab at the ring, and Muhyiddin Yassin's dark-horse political ambitions (shall we dub him the "Hyiddin Hand"?).

There will be total chaos in Umno, endangering the stability of the entire country. These Umnoputeras cannot imagine a future without them in the starring roles.

Surely, the Yang di Pertuan Agong and all the other monarchs are keenly aware of what’s going on. They must stop their pretence of neutrality, grit their royal teeth, declare Umno/BN no longer fit to rule - and dissolve the Badawi administration immediately. The secret police have two of the nation's most popular heroes in custody - and they appear to be toying with their psychological equilibrium. One of them happens to be the cousin of the Selangor Sultan and a childhood chum of the Agong.

If the Royals are too paralyzed to take a stand now, the way the Thai King occasionally intervenes in political affairs during a national crisis, then when the Bloody Battle at the end of Time is over and BN's gargantuan carcass lies rotting in the noonday heat, post-feudal Malaysians may be ready to gently retire the monarchs and declare this nation a republic.

I believe that by early next week Anwar may have as many as 44 defectors, more than enough to form a strong government. Unfortunately, several are literally being held captive in Macau, en route home from Taiwan - and a few others are terrified of the ISA if they show their hands prematurely.

The next few days will determine the fate of Malaysia.

Malaysia Day Rally: An MT Reader's Report

Protes Rally images courtesy of Pro Bono, taken 6 July 2008

Found this comment on Malaysia Today which deserves to be highlighted...

written by crazygweilo, September 17, 2008 00:26:58

Last night I went to Kelana Jaya stadium. It was a deeply moving experience. I have been repulsed at the use of outdated and repressive laws. The words of Lim Guan Eng, Lim Kit Siang and ultimately Anwar Ibrahim and the scores of Malaysians are a beacon of hope for the future. In the cells of Bukit Aman, of Kamunting, they can lock us up, they can take away our rights, but they can never take our minds, or our freedom.

It was my first time to attend such a gathering, and I felt obliged to do so, considering the sacrifices being made by Raja Petra and Teresa Kok on the behalf of Malaysians.

What need is there for a professional police officer or prison officer to engage in such barbaric behaviour? I feel enraged and angered at what is happening. It is causing needless suffering.

Wawasan 2020. What kind of vision is this for a developed nation. First class infrastructure, third world mentality.

I saw many children there, and young people. There are going to be 800,000 new voters by the next general election. They too will realise that there is an alternative to Barisan National, which incidentally translates as "National Front" in English.

What is the National Front in England? Its a fascist right wing organisation. It is thoroughly repulsive to the core. I think we see certain parallels here in Malaysia.

We wait in hope for the end of a wicked and corrupt regime.

We wait in hope for Anwar Ibrahim to become the next Prime Minister, and for him to become both our Bapa Democrasi, and Bapa Reformasi.

We wait in hope for the release of all political prisoners in Malaysia.

(photo by TV Smith)

Soon... when we mention the ISA, this will be what we're referring to!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Kelana Jaya Stadium, 15 September 2008: The Phoenix of Ketuanan Rakyat Rises!

The Night Before Malaysia Day, the night Malaysia came of age. Malaysians from all walks of life, of different races and creeds, gathered in unity for a common cause: 
justice and freedom from tyranny! (TV Smith)

Shoulder to shoulder, they sang the National Anthem and cheered themselves wildly (TV Smith)

The beginning of the end of divide-and-rule! (TV Smith)

Lim Kit Siang calls for the release of Raja Petra and all ISA detainees (TV Smith)

Anwar Ibrahim: "We have the numbers and we seek a peaceful transition." (TV Smith)


Part One

Part Two


We Are Ready!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Being Nice 2 Barisan Nipu...

Poster designed by Anna Quay. Feel free to add this image to your blog. A high resolution version (1.8MB) is available if you would like to print out as a 21X30cm wall poster for your home or office. Just email me your request!

Do these confiscated PCs belong to RPK?

(Recent pic of Balai Polis Brickfields sent in by an anonymous contributor)

Or were they accumulated from the numerous raids police have made over the years on Malaysiakini, our first and foremost independent news portal?

A friend spotted this incredible stack of computers at the Brickfields Police Station recently and sent me the photo.

Poor RPK! First they took away all his computers... and now they've taken him away under the most evil piece of legislation imaginable, Malaysia's despicable Infernal Security Act (ISA).

Where is our national hero? Nobody knows. How is the man holding up? The whole country is praying for his safety and health. Everybody is concerned that RPK may decide to go on a hunger strike - and that the police will let him starve, because he made them look so bad in some of his blogposts - especially the ones revealing the intimate links between certain factions of the police force and the criminal underworld.

Home minister Syed Hamid Albar (a poor imitation of Jabba the Hut) has denied issuing orders for the ISA arrests of Raja Petra Kamarudin, popular DAP MP Teresa Kok, and a Sin Chew Daily reporter named Tan Hoon Cheng on 12 September 2008.

Under pressure from influential business partners of Umno/BN, the feisty reporter was released after 18 hours in police custody. But the huge question remains: if the home minister did not order the police terror tactics, the responsibility must fall squarely on Malaysia's notorious Cawangan Istimewa (Special Branch) - the Stasi-like police undercover and psy-war unit established during the Emergency (1948-1989), essentially to combat the communist insurgency at the end of World War Two.

Are we looking at a police black op calculated to inject fear into a populace made uneasy by the political uncertainties arising from Umno/BN's massive electoral losses since 8 March 2008?

The Fear Factor, after all, is how Mahathir ruled the country for 22 long years - building an elaborate façade of modernity and progress at the expense of civil liberties and basic decency - in the process deliberately undermining the credibility and integrity of Malaysia's judiciary and law enforcement agencies.

However, rather than inspire fear, the police have brought upon themselves nothing but condemnation and loathing - and a million-fold increase in popular support for Anwar Ibrahim's campaign to wrest control of the federal government through massive political defections on or soon after 16 September 2008.

We wish to acknowledge the great contribution of the Cawangan Istimewa (affectionately known as the SB) in helping to make the dream of a New Dawn for Malaysia come true - more or less on schedule. This is because the only way we can get RPK out of the SB's clutches - pronto! - is to remove Umno/BN from power and allow Pakatan Rakyat to take over the helm of the realm.

And I'd venture that more than 99% of Malaysians who voted in 2008 INSIST that Raja Petra be released promptly, unconditionally - AND IN PERFECT CONDITION - by his rogue police abductors.

We have urgent plans to appoint RPK as the new IGP!

Every decent Malaysian also DEMANDS that Teresa Kok be released swiftly and unconditionally. The Sassy MP has a very popular blog to maintain.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

Here Comes The Typhoon From Taiwan!!!

NEWSFLASH! Fuziah Salleh, Director of the National Election Bureau of KeADILan, blogging from Taoyuan, Taiwan, at 9pm on 13 Sept, where her flight home has been delayed by a raging typhoon called "Sinlaku"...

Saya juga menegaskan seterusnya bahawa rancangan 16 Sept is RIGHT ON TRACK.

If not literally on the actual date, 16+1 Sept or 16+2 Sept, or even 16+3 Sept.

Nantikan bersama demi masa depan baru untuk seluruh rakyat Malaysia.

Kita telah menunggu 50 tahun. tidak lama lagi penantian ini akan berakhir.

Found the 'Seven Secrets of Success' on Fuziah's blog:

5 PKR members flew to Taiwan on Friday (12 Sept) to meet Barisan Nasional counterparts. They are Tian Chua, Saifuddin Nasution, Fuziah Salleh, Elizabeth Wong and Loh Chee Cheong. Tian spoke at KLIA Airport before boarding for Taiwan...

(Courtesy of Media Rakyat)

Press Statement
13 September 2008

The Morality of Members of Parliament Crossing the Floor

Response to Bar Council and Others

The Bar Council, Haris Ibrahim and Sean Ang are reported in the New Straits Times on September 10, 2008 to have said that Members of Parliament crossing the floor to join another party is legal but immoral. It is therefore necessary to draw the attention of the public to several fundamental principles with regard to the issue on the morality of MPs crossing the floor. Crossing the floor to sit as a member of parliament in another political party is nothing new in parliamentary democracies. It has been described as the height of treachery. It has also been praised as the stuff which parliamentarian heroes are made of. The great Sir Winston Churchill is perhaps the most famous parliamentarian to cross the floor and switch allegiance on more than one occasion. There is no dispute that crossing the floor for money or personal gain is both immoral and a betrayal of the voters’ trust. However, when the MP crosses not for personal gain but in the interest and welfare of his constituents then he should be commended.

The Arguments for Immorality

The argument that crossing is immoral is that the MP was elected on his erstwhile political party’s ticket and that is amounts to a fraud on his voters. This argument is founded on two assumptions. The first is that the MP’s seat belongs to the political party. The second is that the MP was voted in based on his party’s platform and policies. The assumptions are wrong and the argument has failed to take into consideration several objectives and purposes of certain fundamental principles of a parliamentary constitutional system. Upon a proper understanding of these fundamental principles it will be seen that far from being immoral, the ability for MPs to cross the floor is not only moral but part of the democratic process.

The Electoral System and the Power of the 222

The argument that the voters have elected the MP on the party’s ticket and that the seat belongs to the party and not the MP arises from a confusion over the nature of the electoral systems in use. There are two major electoral systems in the world’s democracies:

• The first is the constituency-based electoral system. By this system, voters in each local area or constituency elect an individual candidate. The person who wins the majority of votes in each constituency becomes a member of parliament. The party with the majority of MPs forms the government. In this system, the individual MP and not the party holds the seat. This means the MP can cross the floor and still keep his seat

• The second is the proportional representation system. By this system, the electorate in a large area, for example, a province or a country votes for political parties. The political party chooses the people who will become MPs. Each party is allocated a number of seats proportional to the number of votes it receives in the election. In this system, the seat belongs to the party and the MP who crosses the floor cannot keep his seat.

The electoral system used in Malaysia is the constituency-based system. Therefore the argument that the MP has stolen his party’s seat when he crosses the floor is not supported upon a proper understanding of the constituency based electoral system. The constituency based system provides for individuals and not political parties to be the candidates for elction to the Dewan Rakyat. This is shown by independents, persons who do not belong to any political party, to contest. The candidate is elected not only on the policies and political ideology but also his personal character and capability. The policies and manifesto of the individual candidate will substantially be similar with the policies of other candidates from his party but there will also be differences according to the specific needs of the constituency and the candidate’s own capabilities. The party ticket is therefore a grouping of individual candidates professing to hold similar policies and ideology. However, the constituents are voting for the individual candidate based on his policies, his personal capabilities and personal commitment.

The party ticket argument also fails to give effect to the provisions of Article 43(1) and 43(4) of the Federal Constitution. Article 43(1) provides that the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong is to appoint the Prime Minister who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat. Article 43(4) provides that the Prime Minister is to tender the resignation of his cabinet if he ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Dewan Rakyat. The effect of our electoral system and the operation of these two articles is that the constituents have given the power to the majority of the 222 members of parliament to decide who, from amongst them, is to be the Prime Minister. The tenure of the 222 and their power is fixed. It continues until the next general election. The tenure of the Prime Minister, however, is not fixed and not immutable. It is subject to the Prime Minister continuing to enjoy the confidence of the majority of the 222 throughout the term of the Parliament. By its very nature the confidence enjoyed by the Prime Minister is capable of being lost and changed. This can be due to many factors including where the Prime Minister is unwilling or unable or inept in performing his duties or has failed to properly implement policies or no longer enjoys the confidence of the people or if there is a shift of public opinion as to the desirability of keeping him in office. The power to remove the Prime Minister in practice includes and requires the members of parliament crossing the floor. It is this ability to cross the floor that ensures that only a capable Prime Minister can hope to see the end of the Parliamentary term. The failure for the MP to act is that he will be unlikely to be re-elected by his constituents at the next General Election. It is thus the MP’s moral duty to cross the floor if necessary to ensure that an inept Prime Minister do not remain in office.

The MPs Duty and Good Conscience

The argument that the MP betrays his voters by joining another party glosses over basic principles governing an MP’s duties and his need to exercise independent judgement. The word “democracy” comes from the Greek word “demokratia” which means “government by the people”. The MP is elected to be the voice of his constituents and not to be the voice and handmaid of his political bosses. The MP and his constituents are the conscience of the Executive. The Honourable K. Rozzoli, Speaker of the NSW Legislative Assembly has described this as follows:

“A democratically elected Parliament is the only true voice of the people and accountability to the people it serves is the basic plank of a democratic system, however, no matter what forms of statutory accountability we bring to bear, true accountability lies in the conscience of both the people and their representatives.”

The Honourable Speaker also explained that an MP’s duties owed to his constituents prevail over that to his political party:

“The primary duty of a member is to his constituents who live within the electorate…The second duty is to help people outside the electorate… The third duty is to the Parliament, both to the institution itself and to the general dignity and process of the Parliament… The duty which exists to one’s political party is, I believe, not a duty. It is something we assume as an extra curricular activity.”

The paramount duty of the MP is therefore to act in the interest and welfare of his constituents and the next in the order of priority is to the Parliament. The Parliament, is the second pillar of government. It is one of the three institutions in the concept of the separation of powers of the government. It is to act as a check and balance to executive power. The Parliament is the avenue, through the principle of parliamentary privilege, by which the people may explore alternatives to the Executive’s proposals, to expose a wrong or an injustice. The people vote their parliamentarians to guard their liberties and to query the activities of the Executive and its servants. It is in the ability of the Parliament to challenge the Executive that provides the real restrain to an overzealous or unwise use of authority. The Parliament is therefore not created to be “a rubber stamp” of the Executive. The parliamentarians have a duty to be independent minded and are not put there by the people to be “yes men” for their party bosses. The British had more than a hundred years ago derided members of parliament who followed party orders without questions. William Schwenk Gilbert in “Iolanthe” lamented:

“When in that House MP’s divide
If they ‘ve a brain and cerebellum too
They ‘ve got to leave their brains outside
And vote just as their leaders tell ‘em to”

In more mature democracies, it is not unusual for members of the House of Commons to cross the floor or those members who generally support the Government to speak and vote against the Government. It is not unusual for members of the US House of Representatives or Senate to sit on either side of the House in a division. It is because of this that a democrat like Joe Liberman can follow his conscience to endorse a Republican John McCain as presidential candidate. It is because of this that a President Nixon can be impeached for Watergate. The problem in Malaysia is that no BN MP has in 51 years crossed the floor of our Dewan Rakyat. The Government controlled media had ensured that any vote against the ruling party or even a dissenting voice is labeled as an act of treachery. The idea of BN MPs crossing has therefore been quickly castigated as immoral without examining whether good conscience demands that the MP cross the floor resolutely according to the needs of his constituents’ interest or to remain in sterile stupor according to the dictates of his party bosses. The Watergates of Malaysia shall until then be destined to remain unearthed, unheard and unseen unless and until those elected to be the voice of their constituents find the courage to act according to their conscience. For so long as members of parliament from the ruling party conduct themselves as the proverbial three monkeys of “hearing no evil, seeing no evil and speaking no evil” about their party bosses, then the independence of Parliament does not exist. There is no check and balance by the Parliament of the Executive and only a “rubber stamp”. The political tsunami that swept away the shackles to an independent judiciary must now also free the legislature from its bondage.

Constitutional Convention and Expression of Public Morality

The ability for members of parliament to cross the floor is the expression of public morality and not of immorality. Article 43(4) of the Malaysian Federal Constitution provides that the Prime Minister is to resign his cabinet upon ceasing to command the confidence of the majority in the Dewan Rakyat. Our Constitution is modeled on the British Westminster Constitution. It is a collection of constitutional conventions and customs. It is the outcome of centuries of constitutional evolution. It has distilled and crystallized the essence of the expression of public values and public morality. The convention to provide members of parliament with the ability to cross the floor and thereby bring about the removal of a government is thus an expression of public morality.

The ability to allow MPs to cross the floor recognizes that there may be a significant shift in public opinion that does not require fresh elections but needs to be reflected in the Parliament. The ruling party may be unable or unwilling to implement policies promised to the electorate. This can then be given expression through the MPs crossing the floor. It is this ability that curtails the power of party bosses and makes for a more vibrant political atmosphere. It provides for greater democracy and greater sensitivity to public opinion during the Parliamentary term otherwise it inculcates the Executive to become an authoritarian regime relying in the knowledge that it does not have to account to the people for the next five years.

The improper use of the ISA, the Sedition Act, the requirement of police permit to prevent the people from exercising its right of free speech and freedom of assembly and the abuse of power to shut dissent must not have to wait for general elections every five years. It is the duty of the 222 to ensure that the Executive power remains in check. It has become even more imperative that the BN MPs be able to vote according to their conscience. Yesterday, 12th September 2008, Raja Petra Kamaruddin, Selangor State Exco member and Member of Parliament for Seputeh, Ms Theresa Kok and the reporter from Sin Chew Daily News, Ms Tan Hoon Cheng who published the Ahmad Ismail speech have been detained under the ISA. Now is the time to act, the nation cannot wait for five years.

The Tectonic Shift after 308

Since the March 8 General Elections, the Barisan Nasional leaders have shown they are unwilling, unable or indifferent in addressing the challenges facing the nation. Despite, the global shortage of food and the increasing price of essential food products, the Barisan National leadership has refused to dismantle the monopoly given to Bernas in the privatization of the distribution of imported rice. With the global economic slowdown and rising inflation and the US going into stagflation, the BN leadership increased petrol prices by a massive and unprecedented increase of 70 sen causing inflation to jump to 8% per annum. It then did a flip flop by reducing the petrol price to 15 sen but this is too little too late to stop the galloping inflation led loose by the irresponsible increase. The property sector and the construction industry have come to a standstill due to the substantial increase in the price of building and construction materials. The SMIs are crying for help as the sudden jump in operation costs in electricity, petrol and transport costs threaten to put them out of business. Violent crime continues unabated after the General Elections. Murders, rape and robberies haunt the people every day. This indifferent and inept performance has led to a shift in public opinion of tectonic proportions after the March 8 General Elections. The Barisan Nasional leadership has failed. They have shown to be unworthy of commanding confidence of the majority of the Members of Parliament. Good conscience demands the BN MPs who still wish to hold true to the duty to their constituents have an obligation to cross the floor. It will be immoral for them not to.


The ability of the Members of Parliament to cross the floor and by doing so bring about a change in the government is part and parcel of the democratic process. It is a form of check and balance. It ensures that the sitting government must continuously be sensitive to the needs and opinion of the people or risk being removed before expiry of its term. The famous words that a democracy is said to be a “government of the people by the people and for the people” must include the right of the people to remove the government when it no longer represents the people. When Members of Parliament cross the floor acting according to the dictates of the people and not the dictate of the party bosses, they are acting morally and not immorally.

William Leong Jee Keen
Member of Parliament for Selayang
Treasurer General
Parti Keadilan Rakyat

912 ISA Gambit on Malaysiakini.TV


Tunku Abdul Aziz (DAP Vice-President): "Government in complete moral decay..." (, uploaded 13 Sept 2008)

Dr Hatta Ramli of PAS: "No different from the previous administration..." (, uploaded 13 Sept 2008)

Lim Kit Siang (DAP Supremo): "Abdullah's 912 action an attempt to block 916 skychange..." (, uploaded 13 Sept 2008)