How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Where there's a will, there's a way...

but where there's no will, there's Distribution Act, 1958 (as amended in 1997).

The first used to ​mean that 'if you are ​determined enough, you can ​find a way to ​achieve what you ​want, ​even if it is very ​difficult.'

But the second used a play on the word 'will' which refers to 'a legal declaration by which a person, the testator, names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his or her property at death'.

I am fascinated by wills, or their absence (intestacy - where a person died without leaving a valid will), because of the many interesting but often heart-breaking instances in real life as well as in fiction, caused by wills or because of intestacy.

In Malaysia, where non-Muslims are concerned, in cases of intestacy, the Distribution Act, 1958, as amended in 1997, applies. The following is a summary supplied by Rockwills:

When a person pass away without a Will, after all the debts are paid the administrator must distribute the remainder of his estate according to the section 6 of the Distribution Act 1958 (As amended in 1997) to lawful beneficiaries.

Section 6 of the Distribution Act 1958 (As amended in 1997) provides the following:
1. Spouse only alive (without parents or issue) – whole estate to surviving spouse
2. Issue only alive (without spouse or parents) – whole estate to issue equally
3. Parents only alive (without spouse or issue) – whole estate to parents
4. Spouse and issue alive (without parents) – spouse – 1/3 & issue – 2/3
5. Spouse, issue and parents alive – spouse – 1/4, issue – 1/2 & parents – 1/4
6. Spouse and parents alive (without issue) – spouse – 1/2 & parents – 1/2
7. Issue and parents alive (without spouse) – issue – 2/3 & parents – 1/3

The following person(s) are entitled in accordance to priority when an intestate dies without leaving a surviving spouse, child or parent:

 brothers & sisters
 uncles & aunts
 great grandparents
 great uncles & aunts

Issue: includes children and descendants of children.
Parent: Natural mother or farther of a child or the lawful mother and father of a child under the Adoption Act 1952.

It is amazing how the subject of distribution could be the cause of a wide variety of family quarrels, some of which ended up in the courts for judgment. Like written agreements, there is no perfect will. Someone somehow will feel aggrieved by its provisions.

For example, the will could treat all children as equal in distribution. Yet a normally favoured child might feel he should be entitled to more. Some Chinese families discriminate between sons and daughters: eg. daughters get lifetime gifts while only the sons share everything left upon death of testator. Some compromise by giving sons each a full share while daughters get half share. When a father did that and mother decided on equal share in her estate, one of the sons actually complained.

There is an actual case which has yet to be resolved. Years ago, maternal grandfather died intestate, leaving behind his widow and 3 children (2 sons and 1 daughter). According to the law, the widow got 1/3, while the remaining 2/3 was shared equally among the 3, each getting 2/9 of the estate.
The relationship between in-laws were not amicable for various reasons. Out of anger, one day the son-in-law told his wife that she should give up her share in her father's estate. One of her nephews jumped on that decision and to make it legal, actually took her to a lawyer's office to sign a will which in effect, bequeath her share to be distributed equally between her two brothers, directly naming their children as beneficiaries.

That will was prepared in 1975. Though with the knowledge of her children, it was anybody's guess how she actually felt. The children could sense her anger each time the matter was mentioned, and it could be due to the undue pressure from her nephew or that she had to listen to her husband against her own wish.

Years later, she asked one of her sons to prepare for her a simple will which was properly done. There was no mention of her earlier will. After her death in 1993, a Grant of Probate was granted by the High Court and her estate (excluding her share in her father's estate) was duly distributed equally among her children.

According to my basic knowledge in wills, a new will supersedes any earlier will. This means her will in 1975 had been invalidated by the later will. The main item in her father's estate is a piece of land in KL which has till today, remains unsold. There was no effort in carrying out her earlier will, by legal process, to actually transfer her share to the named beneficiaries. In other words, if that will had been invalidated by the later will, her share in her father's estate remains intact and can be considered part of her estate which can be distributed according to her new will, to her children. It could be considered as an item missing when application was made for a Grant of Probate.

When she was alive, there was a compulsory acquisition of a part of the land by the government because of road expansion. The Administrator of the Estate actually prepared a cheque for her, being her share of the compensation. She said, 'Told you I don't want any share of it, please take it back and share accordingly.' Why she said that could be due to one of a number of reasons. Being illiterate, she could be ignorant of her right as to whether she could change her mind since she made the will many years ago. As usual, her tone was one of anger each time the matter was referred to. It was simply based on a so-called 'gentleman's agreement' which was actually her husband's decision, not hers. To go back on such a promise would not seem nice. Words by some of her nephews or nieces to that effect actually troubled her. But while on the subject of honour, many questioned why the Administrator actually got the whole of his grandmother's 1/3 share of the original estate! Was there fraud or undue influence involved in the direct transfer of her share?

It should be noted that the issue of a cheque by the Estate Administrator for her share in the government compensation for compulsory acquisition, was proof or acknowledgement that her share remains intact. Unless there was any dishonest attempt at changing that fact without the knowledge of her children, the Administrator has to acknowledge the rights of her beneficiaries according to her valid will. Until the subject land is up for sale, the matter remains a mystery and a subject of discussion among would be beneficiaries. This could be a subject of future litigation.

I am also prompted to write on wills by the current serial on 8TV, TVB's Will Power, which is being aired (7.00 to 8.00 pm) from Monday to Friday.

The first episode really caught my attention because of the unusual terms in a will. A very rich man died, leaving behind his widow and two sons, as well as a secret mistress and her son (remains a secret until later).

The first part of the will provides for HK$300,000 monthly allowance each to his widow and their two sons. The second part provides for release of sufficient sums for any business venture proposed by the sons, subject to approval of a Committee of Trustees. The third and final part shall only be revealed 3 years after his death.

The initial reaction from the elder son was one of shock and disbelief, that the main part of his father's wealth has to be controlled by a group of outsiders for at least 3 years, and that he could not possibly live on HK$300,000 a month!

Anyway, the script (with more revelations of different cases in the process) is interesting enough for me to look forward to watching each episode.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Take it from an Indian, on why the Chinese succeed in life

Ramesh Rajaratnam : Why do Chinese succeed in life?

Since the Chinese in Malaysia have no testicles to decisively reprimand a certain minister for his racist rants, let me, an Indian Malaysian, remind them what being a Chinese is about.
At the outset, I got help for this article from one originally written by Dr Chan Lui Lee of Melbourne so 90 percent of the wisdom is his but 100 percent of the sarcasm is mine.

This is also meant to be a wake-up call for those who threaten everyone else (by using state machinery) and think that the country owes them a living and everyone else is a threat.

Chinese people don't go about bombing, terrorising others and creating religious hatred. They don't enter into a country on the pretext of humanitarian reasons and then, try to take over the country by applying warped ideologies.

They don't impose "no go zones" for their hosts and don't demand separate laws for themselves. They don't hatch plots to kill non-believers nor do they harbour or finance such attempts.

They live peacefully with everyone on Earth and if you sent them to Mars, they will make it very liveable too. Take along the Indians too, then it would be a thriving technology-spurred economy.

Why do Chinese succeed in life?

Here is why the Chinese are welcomed almost anywhere:

1. There are over 1.4 billion Chinese on this earth. They are like (after all, all look the same) carbon copies of each other. You get rid of one, five magically appears (like ballot boxes in some countries).
They acknowledge that they are replaceable, they are not particularly 'special'. If you think they are smart, there are a few thousand more people smarter than them. If you think they are strong, there are a few thousand people stronger than them.

2. They have been crawling all over this earth for far more centuries that most (except for the other hardy people, the Indians) civilisations. Their DNA is designed for survival. They are like cockroaches. Put them anywhere on earth and they will make a colony and thrive.
They survive on anything around and make the best of it. In Klang, they threw pig parts into a broth to feed their coolie lot a 100 years ago and today it's a delicacy. Some keep migrating but others will stay and multiply. 

3. Nobody cares if they succeed as individuals or not. But their families take pride in knowing they have succeeded. Yes, some will fail. They take nothing for granted. They don't expect privileges to fall on their laps. No one owes them anything.

4. They know they have nothing to lose if they try to succeed. They have no fear in trying. That is why Chinese are attracted to gambling. They thrive on taking risks. Winner takes all.

5. From young they are taught to count every cent. What they take for granted like money management, is not something other cultures practice at home with their children. (It didn't surprise me as I was like them too - some say I'm more Chinese than most Chinese).
But the truth is not all societies or cultures teach their young this set of survival skills because it is considered rude.
Yes, most of them can count wonderfully because they are forced to and the logic of money is pounded into them from the beginning of time (when mama tells them how much she has spent on milk and diapers). Nobody lowers the benchmark to allow them to "pass" Mathematics.

6. They acknowledge life cycles. They accept that wealth in a family stays for three generations. That, every fourth generation will have to work from scratch. That is, the first generation earns the money from scratch, second generation spends the money on education, third generation gets spoiled and wastes all the inheritance. Then they are back to square one.
Some families hang on to their wealth a little longer than most. I'm not sure where Yap Ah Loy's wealth is now but I sure hope his descendants are benefitting from it.

7. It is their culture to pressure the next generation to do better than the last. Be smarter. Be stronger. Be faster. Be more righteous. Be more pious. Be more innovative. Be more creative. Be richer. Be everything that you can be in this lifetime. And if you have some money, take it to the next life when you go.

8. Their society judges them by their achievements... and they have no choice but to do something worthwhile because Chinese New Year comes around every year and Chinese relatives have no qualms about asking them straight in their face - how much are you making? When was your last promotion? How big is your office? What car do you drive? Where do you stay?
You have boyfriend? You have girlfriend? When are you getting married? When are you having children? When is the next child? When you getting a boy? Got maid yet? Does your company send you overseas?
It never ends... so, they can't stop chasing the illusive train - they are damned to a materialistic society. If you are not Chinese, consider yourself unlucky.

9. They have been taught from young that if you have two hands, two feet, two eyes, and a mouth, what are you really doing with them? "People with no hands can do better than you!"
Chinese people never beg, they earn their living. They don't expect government contracts, they get it... well, with their hard-earned money. They sometimes buy it but that's economics.

10. Ironically, the Chinese also believe in giving back to save their rather materialistic souls. Balance is needed. The more their children succeed in life, the more their parents will give back to society as gratitude for the good fortune bestowed on their children.
Yes, that is true. See the Vincent Tans in Malaysia. And that is why Chinese society progresses in all environments.

Nobody pities them and they accept that. No one owes them anything and they know that. There are too many of them for charity to reach all of them and they acknowledge that. But that does not stop them from making a better life. Opportunity is as we make of it.

So, pardon them if they feel obliged to make a better place for themselves in this country we call home. They are not ‘puak pendatang’ and it is the same home as you and me. It is in their DNA to seek a more comfortable life. In whichever country they reside in.

But if history were to be our teacher, look around this globe. Almost every country has a Chinatown but how many government/countries are 'taken' over by the Chinese people.

Don't be afraid of them overwhelming your majority, they are not looking to conquer. China is probably the only major power (besides India) that didn't go on a crusade to further its boundaries and religion.

I think their real religion is money and there's no harm in that. The more money they make, the more to go around. Win-win for all.

If they have moved away from China and Chinese-governed countries, they are not looking for another country to administer. They are more interested in making money than to run a country, seriously.

Their representatives are only there to look after their collective welfare. I don't think a Chinese wants to be prime minister in Malaysia. He'll be better off being a business tycoon for sure.

They prefer to blend in and enjoy the fruits of their labour. They enjoy the company of like-minded people of all races. After all, just like you and me, they are only passing through a small period in the history of time... so, use their skills and we can all progress forward together.

Calling for a boycott of Chinese-owned business is not only foolish but in the end, self-destructive.'

I think this is the article by Dr Chan-Lui Lee mentioned above: Proud to be born a Chinese

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Wikipedia Bans Hundreds Of Editors For Secretly Promoting Brands

'Wikipedia has banned a massive 381 editors after finding that these accounts were created to promote brands in return for being paid by companies.

A blog post by Wikipedia details the fact that it has been investigating for months in an attempt to find and delete the accounts created to create bogus articles to get cash.

The accounts, called "sock puppet" accounts, that were banned by Wikipedia's "CheckUser" team had been active between the months of April and August. However, the nature of the edits that were made suggests that the scam had been continuing for a long time, according to the post.

"During the course of this investigation, evidence has been identified that this group is editing for profit (i.e., that they are paid editors). Only a few of the accounts have made any disclosure related to paid editing, and those which did failed to make complete disclosures," says the post by Wikipedia. "The investigation began in early July. Many functionaries have participated in the investigation and identification of accounts, as well as the review of articles created by the accounts."

The way that it worked is that the accounts would create a draft of an article, populating it with promotional material. They would then contact their victims, the subjects of the article, and ask for a fee in order to publish the article, often posing as established Wikipedia editors. To keep the article from being edited or taken down, the scammers would often request monthly fees of around $30.

Of course, it's important to mention that paid editing is nothing new for Wikipedia. Wikimedia, the owner of Wikipedia, has been trying to stamp it out of practice for years, although in some cases it has tried to work with PR agencies. A number of PR agencies have even signed an agreement to abide by Wikipedia's practices. The real issue for Wikipedia is when the editing is being done in secret.

Wikipedia is currently encouraging users to review and fix articles created by scammers, with the hope that these articles will be fixed in as short an amount of time as possible. Wikipedia also encouraged editors to "be kind to subjects" of the articles, as they, too, were victims of the scam.'


Jeremy Kirk: Your brand new phone could still have malware

New phones are being tampered with before they hit the market.

'A new phone is supposed to be a clean slate. But alarmingly, that's not always the case.

Security company G Data has identified more than 20 mobile phones that have malware installed despite being marketed as new, according to a research report. And it doesn't appear the infection is occurring during manufacturing.

"Somebody is unlocking the phone and putting the malware on there and relocking the phone," said Andy Hayter, security evangelist for G Data.

Many of the suspect phones are sold in Asia and Europe through third parties or middleman and aren't coming directly from the manufacturers, Hayter said.

Brands of affected phones include Xiaomi, Huawei, Lenovo, Alps, ConCorde, DJC, Sesonn and Xido.

G Data has contacted some manufacturers, including Lenovo, whose S860 Android smartphone in one instance was found to have the malware.

Ray Gorman, Lenovo's executive director of external communications, wrote in an email that the device G Data analyzed came from a third-party marketplace. The malware was installed by middlemen, he wrote.

"This is the only such occurrence we have been made aware of," Gorman wrote. "We always recommend customers transact with authorized distribution channels and only accept merchandise that comes in an official box with original factory seals."

The malware is embedded in a legitimate app, such as Facebook, which is sometimes preinstalled on phones, Hayter said. It can read and send text messages, install other apps, collect and change call data, grab location information, record phone calls or send premium SMSes, according to G Data's report.

It's impossible for consumers to remove since it resides inside the phone's firmware.

"You can't take it off there unless you unlock the phone," Hayter said.

G Data was alerted to the problem after receiving support calls from users who said a file had been quarantined but that it couldn't be removed.

The problem has been around for a while. In June 2014, G Data said it found malware in the firmware of a relatively inexpensive Android device made by the Chinese manufacturer Star.

The company's analysts bought Star's N9500 and found malware that purported to be an app for Google's Play Store. The malware, they found, could not be deleted.

In early 2014, Marble Security found malware embedded within Netflix's app that had been preinstalled on six mobile devices made by Samsung Electronics.

That malware grabbed credit card information and passwords and sent it to a server in Russia.'


My personal experience with my Huawei: Not sure at which point it got infected, especially with the many unsolicited calls, emails and enforced clicks while using the internet. Anyway, the effect was very slow response because I refused those frequent invitations to download anti-virus software to clean up. Each time, I was asked to upgrade WeChat or WhatsApp, I would be informed that there was insufficient memory. This was despite having deleted all videos in my phone! I believe those anti-virus software providers are likely to be the ones who did it, so that they can increase their business. Reminds me of security service providers who tried to scare homeowners to engage their services.

Monday, September 14, 2015


I first got to know this Chinese character ('Yean' in Cantonese), many years ago, when nurse Mary, in an old folks' home, explained how the knife points to the heart.

'Yean' in Cantonese can be found in many situations and relationships (between friends, siblings, parents-children, and so on). My little knowledge would explain it to mean tolerance with patience.

In an extreme situation, this also reminds me of what my late mother used to lament (in Hokien): 'Ki si giam bo siong' which means literally being killed emotionally and even postmortem will not be able to find the cause of death. Emotional abuse can cause depression and possibly death.

These days, we sure need a lot of tolerance. Police tolerated remarkably well during the massive Bersih 4 rally, only to be spoiled by Home Minister's threat to take action against the organizers.

In retaliation, we are going to have the racial Red Shirts Rally come Malaysia Day on September 16.
The authorities could not be more biased towards the RSR, having finally given police approval. It was sort of expected, what with the DPM's and PM's tacit approvals.

Just imagine the privileges given to the RSR: no need to fear police arrest; free T-shirt, transport, plus allowance. But judging from the initial statement by an organizer and subsequent Mat Rempits' rehearsal, they appear threatening to road users and the public, unlike the peaceful Bersih rally.

I can understand why PM and DPM support RSR - simply because it is one way of showing that they still have massive support from the people. But while Bersih's was voluntary and peaceful, with many even contributed to the cause (a total of Rm2.4 million was reportedly collected), RSR will be directly or indirectly sponsored by Umno or government. The amount even caused envy and the Deputy Minister of Local Government decided to bill Bersih Rm65,000 for rubbish collection!

Not only that, even the PM complained that Bersih had been hypocritcal in wanting his disclosure of the Rm2.6 billion when they did not disclose theirs! Where is his sense of balance? Just the amounts show a difference of 1000 times, let alone the fact that secretly having Rm2.6 billion in his personal account while serving as PM is certainly more serious than Rm2.4 million which was public knowledge and will be accounted for in due course.

RSR has the added advantage of not having to be billed any garbage collection charges by DBKL, because it falls on Malaysia Day. I am still wondering why PM wants to know who contributed to Bersih 4 rally, when the people had been shouting coarse, asking about his donor(s) without getting a satisfactory explanation. In the case of Bersih, many contributed via online transfers which was convenient, and to some, probably costing a meal at the restaurant. Was there a malicious intent in trying to find out who were the donors so that action could be taken against them?

We will need a lot of tolerance and patience this Malaysia Day or is it going to be a Malaysja Day? Based on feedback, almost all non-Malay shops and offices will be closed, not because it is a national holiday, but as a precaution. Many will be staying in, not because they are not patriotic. Having seen videos of the rampage of the Mat Rempits, who would want to take risk? Invitations by the organizers and FT Minister to other races to take part came too late. We shall see their antics and how well the police will control any possible misdemeanour or even criminal act, behind closed doors.

To Ku Nan: 'Thanks, but no thanks', for the open invitation to take part in the Malaysia Day celebration.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sept 16: Malaysia Day or Malaysja Day?

Past few days' run up to Malaysia Day seem to suggest a totally different scenario come September 16: Malays will be having a Red Shirts Rally in response to the hugely successful yellow coloured Bersih 4 rally just before Merdeka Day.

The Malay organizers of the RSR started off the proposal in a threatening manner. Based on feedback, non-Malays are advised to stay indoors. I can imagine almost all such shops will be closed, not because it is a national holiday but as a precaution. It is so sad that after 52 years, Malaysia Day is going to be a day of worrying.

I am reminded of this joke: 'Cheer up! Things could have been worse. We cheered up, and things got worse.'

When Dr Mahathir was PM, many of us complained about his dictatorial rule. It is still a wonder why he gave up after 22 years (1981 - 2003), when he could have hang on... probably till today and make it 34 years!

Pak Lah (2003 - 2009), in comparison seemed like an angel, if not for his son-in-law's antics and his son's low profile opportunities in business. Many credited Pak Lah for providing much space for public expression of opinions.

Najib (since 2009), as we all know, refuses to resign under much pressure from many quarters with a litany of complaints. This is the first time, we are faced with a PM who refused to listen, even to his mentor and other former colleagues.

On the proposed Red Shirt Rally which is racial and directly anti-Bersih (multi-racial), Rafidah Aziz asked, 'What's the point? What are you trying to prove?'

Despite police declaration that it is illegal, first the DPM cum Home Minister (senior Vice President of Umno), followed by the PM cum Finance Minister (President of Umno), had given tacit approval for Umno members to participate. It is only natural that Youth and Sports Minister (Umno Youth chief) agreed:

'Khairy: Umno Youth members free to join red-shirt rally
Party youth chief says comments made by Najib yesterday represent position of the party.'

Yas Zy : Melayu Tipu Melayu

'Former minister Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz today hit out at leaders who "play the race card" in order to avoid addressing issues raised by concerned Malaysians. In her latest Facebook post today, Rafidah said the the "mess" facing Malaysia had nothing to do with race, but governance, transparency, and integrity. "These are truly uneasy times. Some people seem to avoid the REAL issues and prefer to choose the easiest way out... Play the racial card... Point fingers and play the blame game... Play the numbers game to give the impression of 'strength' of support.'

Her opinion is much more sensible than those from the current crop of sycophantic ministers, who made fools of themselves in trying to outdo each other in defending Najib.

The power is in Malay hands and there is no doubt about it, now or in future, even if Umno-led BN fell to the opposition.


Monday, September 07, 2015

Independence: Election Commission vs Bersih

The EC is tasked with ensuring clean and fair elections, while Bersih is basically an election watchdog to ensure EC's role has been fair when carrying out its duties.

As a layman and voter,  I used to see the PM visiting EC office just before a general election, which is not surprising because EC is under the PM's Department. But it sure does not help in giving the right image of its independence to the voters.

Clean and fair election is paramount in any democracy because those elected will be in charge of a country's administration. It can only be expected that the burden of independence on EC is more onerous than that of Bersih. Whether Bersih is independent or not, it can only affect its watchdog role, and not the elections. Whether Bersih is independent would depend largely on its demands for clean and fair elections. Instead of meeting the reasonable demands of Bersih, EC seems more concerned about Bersih's independence. Surely, it is more important for EC to ensure its independence than to be concerned about others.

EC chief: Is Bersih non-partisan?

'PUTRAJAYA, Sept 4 ― The Election Commission (EC) said today it is willing with Bersih 2.0 only if the group proves that they were non-partisan in their reform demands.

“We don't know what is it that is dirty? There is nothing dirty, just a perception. Is Bersih themselves clean, are they independent?

“Can you say Bersih is independent, think for yourself. What they say and how they behave. See the statements they make,”  EC chairman Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof told reporters after launching EC's 58th anniversary celebrations.

Abdul Aziz maintained that the commission was interested in working together with the Bersih 2.0 in the upcoming Sarawak state elections if they group proved to be non-partisan.

“No problem as long as they follow the law. If they are clean and not picking any side, there is no problem,” he explained further.

Bersih 2.0 have been demanding free and clean elections since the group's first rally.'

- See more at:

The above statement goes to show that EC is too bias towards the ruling BN that it felt their demands were too pro-opposition!

According to Wikipedia:

'The Election Commission of Malaysia (Malay: Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia (SPR)) is a commission set up for the purpose of regulating and conducting elections in Malaysia. Its establishment is mandated by Article 114 of the Constitution of Malaysia. The Election Commission falls under the purview of the Prime Minister's Department.[1]'


While Bersih is...

'The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Malay: Gabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil) or Bersih (meaning clean in Malay) is a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which seeks to reform the current electoral system in Malaysia to ensure free, clean and fair elections. It was officially formed on 23 November 2006 as a joint communiqué that comprised leaders from political parties, civil society groups and NGOs.[1] Bersih accused the Election Commission under Prime Minister's Department [2] for manipulating the electoral process to give an unfair advantage to the ruling National Front coalition. Bersih claimed that the electoral roll was marred by irregularities such as gerrymandering, phantom voters, malapportionment and postal vote frauds.[citation needed] On 10 November 2007, Bersih organised the first rally with 10,000 to 40,000 turnout and held a public demonstration at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur. Supporters of Bersih were urged to wear yellow T-shirts as a symbol of protest. The rally was often credited for the shift in political landscape in 2008 general election, when the incumbent National Front coalition failed to obtain a two-thirds supermajority for the first time since 1969.

In April 2010, the coalition was relaunched as an entirely civil society movement ("Bersih 2.0") unaffiliated to any political party. On 19 June 2011, former president of the Bar Council, Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan became the chairperson of the coalition. In 2011 and 2012, two more rallies (Bersih 2.0 and Bersih 3.0) were organised seeing that the demands for the electoral reforms have not been met by the Electoral Commission.'



Thursday, September 03, 2015

Liew Chin Tong: At least 1% of the population attended BERSIH 4

The following is YB Liew's post in Facebook:

'The mainstream media is burdened with the discussion about the racial composition of BERSIH 4 to a nauseating level. I hope to provide some other perspectives.
I have attended most of the mass rallies in this country since 20th September 1998 -the day Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was arrested.
I recall that after every rally (except the 9th July 2011 BERSIH 2 and 28th April 2012 BERSIH 3 rallies, when ethnic Chinese participation was reasonably high) the question always asked was, “why so few Chinese?”
I headed the secretariat for the first BERSIH rally on 10th November 2007. Almost everyone I knew then complained to me about the lack of ethnic Chinese participation, as if the Secretariat had committed a great sin for organising a rally without notifying the ethnic Chinese to come.
And there will be countless intelligent and non-intelligent guesses to explain it away, such as “Chinese are culturally and inherently afraid of chaos”, “Chinese are selfish people not prepared to sacrifice for the larger good”, “Chinese fear the recurrence of the May 13 incident”, etc.
So it is amusing now, to read about the theories behind the lack of Malay participation and its grave consequence.
For those such as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is foolish enough to argue that non-participation at the rally means support for the Najib Government, they just have to look at the results of the 2008 general election.
Ethnic Chinese turnout at the rally in November 2007 was negligible, but the anger against the Barisan Nasional Government simmered quietly away until they were at the polling booth four months later.
In fact, the participation of every citizen is an invaluable contribution to the nation and should be celebrated.
During BERSIH 4, I entered the crowd thrice with Lim Kit Siang, early evening and 11.30pm on the first day, as well as in the evening of the second day.
In order to see for myself the faces of participations and to listen to their stories, I also walked on my own from Dataran Merdeka along Jalan Tun Perak to the junction at Jalan Tun HS Lee on three occasions during the two-day rally.
Others put a higher figure but I am quite sure that not many, apart from Najib and the Police, would dispute that at least 300,000 unique visitors attended the rally at some point during those two days.
In other words, even by the most conservative estimation of mine, 1% of Malaysians (out of a population of 30 million) attended the rally. It is definitely the largest ever rally in our nation’s history.
These brave Malaysians came out in defiance of the risks and threats of a crackdown and clampdown.
Of course there were “kaki demo” who might have participated in rallies since time immemorial. But the sheer size of the turnout also means that many first timers were in the crowd.
Even to “regular” rally goers, a 34-hour rally which involves sleeping in the street is something unprecedented and requires huge psychological commitment.
Friends joked that ethnic Chinese participants must have thrown their cultural taboos away to sleep on the streets in the 7th month of the Lunar calendar (known as the ghost month), something quite unthinkable for many.
For most participants, there must have been a struggle from within to decide whether or not to go. I knew of CEOs, academics, and community leaders who took pains to decide to be at Dataran because they wanted to “do something” for the nation.
For everyone who made it to the rally, there were many more who did not go either out of fear or due to work commitment or other reasons.
A few Buddhist monks and nuns told me they wished to be there but they didn’t like to be the subject of media attention. For those from outstation, cost of travelling alone is a significant concern to the lower to middle income groups.
Each and everyone come with some struggle inside, and with a story of his or her own. They threw caution to the wind for those few hours in the hope that their presence could change the course of the nation for the better.
Many have not sang Negaraku with such zeal and passion for a long time.
When this 1% of the population return home to their workplaces or schools, their stories are bound to have an impact on many more within their circle of influence.
One can expect that now, this 1% of the population are politically awakened and inspired.
After all, they went to the largest pilgrimage for democracy in our history.
They will now question the institutions, the media, the political parties and generally the status quo. They will not take things for granted any more.
There is another aspect of the rally that is yet to be discussed by others: the presence of the very young.
Many senior citizens turned up at the rally for the first time in their lives, including a 90 year-old former Prime Minister.
But the presence of what I called “the very young” was not obvious in the past BERSIH rallies was quite visible at BERSIH 4. I saw many faces whom I feel were probably around 15 years old to 18 years old, especially on the afternoon of Sunday, 30th August.
I was 21 in 1998. The rally on 20th September, 1998 prompted me to get actively involved in politics at a young age.
Last Sunday, those who were born around the year 2000 were there as active participants. Post BERSIH 4, every existing organisation, party and institution -DAP included- has to learn to listen and talk to the 15 year-olds and their generation.
Bear this in mind: if the general election is held in 2018, someone who was born when the last economic crisis hit in 1997 would be eligible to vote.'

I think his opinion is well balanced and objective, but of course, he cannot please everyone. I am surprised someone took offence to this:

'For those such as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is foolish enough to argue that non-participation at the rally means support for the Najib Government, they just have to look at the results of the 2008 general election.'

Michell Nguai: 'First thing first, you as a politician, should have used a better word rather than disrespectful "foolish" to describe what the PM had said...'

Basically, according to YB's estimate of 300,000 participants, it represented 1% of our present population of 30 million; or more than 2% of our voting population of about 14 million. To dismiss this with a much lower turnover, our PM is not only foolish, he can ignore it at his own peril. Many were proud to have participated, or at least to have someone who had participated. So it is safe to say that the turnout represents only the tip of the iceberg. Many participated despite the risks involved, since the rally was declared illegal. As to the comparatively lesser Malay participation, it could be due to the fact that many are civil servants, government pensioners, scholarship holders, students of higher institutions of learning and so on.