AG should resign or be replaced for selective persecution of PR leaders

29 August, 2014
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By Lim Kit Siang, MP for Gelang Patah Although the Attorney-General Gani Patail is vested with the  sole discretion under Article 145 of the Malaysian Constitution “to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence” , he owes the Malaysian ... Full Article →




Public university’s medical intake facts still cloudy

28 August, 2014
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The repeated denial of claims made by Deputy Education Minister P. Kamalanathan of a requested reduction of medical students intake into public universities have raised serious questions pertaining misleading facts about entry into local varsities for medicine. It was reported ... Full Article →




Why does Sabah still face never-ending blackout problems?

29 August, 2014
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After 51 years of Independence after the formation of Malaysia, Sabah still receives second-rate treatment compared to Peninsular Malaysia in terms of electricity supply. Sabah DAP Vice Chairman Chan Foong Hin yesterday questioned why Sabahans needed to suffer interruptions in power supply compared to Sabah’s ‘partner’ Semenanjung Malaysia who do ... Full Article →



The advent of Najib’s New Despotism

28 August, 2014
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By Lim Kit Siang, MP for Gelang Patah The flurry of arbitrary arrests and selective prosecution of Pakatan Rakyat leaders, including Members of Parliament and State Assemblymen, in the run-up to the 57th Merdeka celebrations on August 31, mark the advent of a new despotism in the Malaysian political landscape. ... Full Article →



Why not reduce medical students intake in private universities?

28 August, 2014
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By Teo Nie Ching, Kulai MP On Aug 19, New Straits Times reported that Deputy Education Minister Kamlanathan said that 418 places were available for a medical degree in public varsities this year, compared with 699 places last year, to prevent the oversupply of doctors as there were housemen in ... Full Article →



PAS in its chrysalis stage

19 August, 2014
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by Howard Lee “The third stage of a Monarch butterfly’s lifecycle is the chrysalis, or pupa, stage. The chrysalis stage lasts from the time the caterpillar spins its cocoon until the time the full grown butterfly emerges. An observer can even determine how long the chrysalis stage has progressed simply ... Full Article →



Hasnul and Saari, courageous heroes of Pakatan Rakyat

17 August, 2014
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By Yeo Bee Yin, State Assemblywoman for Damansara Utama Today is a fateful day for Pakatan Rakyat when PAS Central Committee finally meet to decide on the Selangor MB. But before that, I would like to honour these two brave Pakatan Rakyat colleagues for their decisions to come to the ... Full Article →



PAS risks implosion because of Khalid Ibrahim

5 August, 2014
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By Mohd Ariff Sabri, Raub MP Seems to me, Anwar Ibrahim has his hands full with Khalid Ibrahim’s obstinacy. Khalid has shown defiance to PKR. Thus far PKR has been treating him with political circumspect and more or less respectfully in view of his stature as MB. It is Khalid’s ... Full Article →



Remembering Wong Ho Leng

6 August, 2014
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On 21 June 2014, DAP lost a towering figure and its major catalyst in Sarawak. Wong Ho Leng who had joined the party in 1986, was instrumental in helping DAP set a firm foundation in Sarawak. As a loyal party worker, he worked tirelessly in the hard ground of Sarawak ... Full Article →



What’s wrong with the Terengganu crisis?

5 June, 2014
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by Political Studies for Change (KPRU) Election fever has become a phenomenon in this equatorial country ever since the March 8 political tsunami, which has changed the political landscape, though the political transformation has not completed yet. To a certain extent, each legislature at federal and state level has put a different complexion on politics. The recent Terengganu political crisis and the storming of the Penang state assembly by UMNO members have to do with legislative politics. Legislative politics is different from election politics. From the parliament to legislature assembly in each state, the most frequent question that has been asked by people is about the attendance of members of elected representative, and as for some other incidents that have happened in legislature they have merely formed a part of their memory as people might find them obscure. Obscurity has become a byword for these pieces of memory due to the fact that people might not have the foggiest about these floating debris of memory. The most unforgettable legislative incident to the people goes to the seizure of power in the Perak state, and despite that, people did not necessarily follow on all the details and issues arising from the incident of seizing power in Perak state. This time - the Terengganu crisis is not only a political crisis, but also a ‘legislative crisis’. The lack of pressure from people in Terengganu lies in the insufficient knowledge about legislative which has saved Najib Razak’s shaky hold on power, as well as the dying Terengganu political and legislative crises from the jaws of death. The incident got serious. Media started to report extensively and non-UMNO members in BN also thought that it was a red flag. However, from the Prime Minister Najib’s statement announcing that the Sultan of Terengganu, Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin had consented to the resignation of Ahmad Said as well as the appointment of Ahmad Razif Abd Rahman as the new Terengganu Menteri Besar; to the dramatic twist of events where Ahmad Said and and two other UMNO state assemblymen quited the party and then later returned to the party, there appeared an unification in media reporting of the incident from the preparedness to deal with the incidents from different angles. As stability wins over anything else, water leaves behind no trails in its path. From Najib’s statement on 12th May 2014 to the new Menteri Besar Ahman Razif’s taking of oath of office before Sultan Mizan; and to the former Menteri Besar Ahmad Said’s announcement made at his official residence in Kemaman as to his decision to withdraw his resignation from UMNO, the whole process took shorter than two days. Nonetheless, all of the incidents that have occurred in the midst of the Terengganu crisis must not be dismissed out of hand, particularly when comes to the interpretation of matters involving legislative, which calls for some clarification and so that when similar event takes place in future, people in the particular state would no longer stay static in the face of the crisis. This Terengganu crisis, after Ahmad Said and two other UMNO state assemblymen quited the party, left Barisan Nasional with 14 state seats, against Pakatan Rakyat’s 15 in the assembly, giving an equation of 15:14:3, with 3 being the “independent reps”. On the same day, that is, 13th May, the Terengganu state legal advisor Datuk Azhar Abdul Hamid, when contacted by Bernama, has claimed that despite the fact that the number of BN assemblymen had dropped from 17 to 14, the state assembly Speaker was counted as a representative of the ruling state government, thereby giving an equation of 15:15:3. It was Wesak day, which is also a public holiday. After founding director of think tank Political Studies for Change (KPRU), Ooi Heng and his family offered prayers in a Buddhist temple and after he came across Azhar’s misleading statement, Ooi Heng shared his personal view on Facebook, taking the view that the Speaker shall have the casting vote only when the voting comes down to a tie. After talking to a journalist, Ooi Heng is even convinced that the real reason behind Terengganu state legal advisor making misleading statement was to buy some time for UMNO’s political power, so as to resolve the political and legislative crisis. The Federal Constitution has given exposition on legislative power, which includes both parliament and state assembly, and under which the Speaker’s voting right is also covered. The Federal Constitution is basically modeled on the Westminster parliamentary system. Schedule 8, Paragraph 10 (1B) of the Federal Constitution makes it clear that the Speaker of legislative assembly who is not an elected representative has no voting power. Whereas according to the Article 27 (1B) of the Constitution of Terengganu, non-member of the Assembly elected as Speaker has no voting right. Terengganu assembly speaker, Mohd Zubir Embong, is not an elected representative, as he was appointed as assembly speaker on 16th June 2013 after being defeated in the election for Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat. Hence, the controversy over the question of whether the speaker’s vote can be counted shall not even arise. In fact, not only does the state assembly follow the Westminster legislative custom, but the parliament of Malaysia is also following the system. The Article 57 (1A) of the Federal Constitution clearly provides that any person elected as Speaker of the House of Representatives who is not a member of the House of Representatives has no voting right. Furthermore, according to the Standing Order 45(1), the speaker shall be entitled to give his deciding ballot only when the voting comes down to a tie where ayes are equal to noes. This deciding ballot can be known as the casting vote, or ‘undi pemutus’ in Malay. The aim of this article is to clear doubts on this legislative incident, and as far as the Speaker’s voting right is concerned, no critical comment is intended to be directed at the roles that both government and the opposition have played in this political power crisis. However, I am of the opinion that despite the misleading statement by the state legal advisor, government and opposition elites should still be held responsible politically for this legislative incident. It is indeed bizarre that both government and opposition have no idea about the legislative procedures in the Terengganu state assembly when most of the assembly members are from UMNO and PAS. In the two days within which the 3 UMNO state assemblymen became ‘independent reps’ (Less than 48 hours), Terengganu state assembly has actually been beset with crisis. While there was likely UMNO fall down in Terengganu, UMNO has nonetheless got themselves some time to stabilise their shaky hold on power. Apart from UMNO taking the lead in this incident, the fact that PAS was being indifferent to the misleading statement will go down in the history of legislative politics. History is bound to repeat when political elite’s political action has not been properly examined. -The Rocket * The views expressed in this article are the personal opinion of the columnist ... Full Article →



Celebrating Papa: citizen of conscience, patriot with a passion

4 June, 2014
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By Lilianne and Pauline Fan On 12 May this year, our late father, Fan Yew Teng, would have celebrated his 72nd birthday. As we remembered Papa and celebrated his life, we were also deeply moved to witness the ways in which Papa continues to be honoured, both in Malaysia and ... Full Article →



Standing up against bigotry

6 August, 2014
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For years the public have been despairing at the authorities’ and politicians inability or unwillingness to rein in the religious and racial extremists. But all is not lost. A lawyer and a recently turned social activist, Siti Kasim was in the news limelight for handing out flowers to Muslim right ... Full Article →



Artist Zunar, relentless fighter against tyranny (Part 2)

23 July, 2014
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(…continuation from part 1) Since 2009, we still haven’t seen other cartoonists who shine other than yourself. Why is that so? Ok. With regard to this, I can only provide the space and guidance for cartoonists, I wont be able to turn them into successful cartoonists. That is for themselves ... Full Article →



Artist Zunar, relentless fighter against tyranny (Part 1)

22 July, 2014
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Malaysian political satire, while existing in the media, has been branded as being insolent to the ruling government with the existence of laws that have freedom of speech under its clutches, threatening to poison the very essence of our nation’s democracy. The few who do create art that pokes fun ... Full Article →



‘Malaysian seats’ are the future of DAP and Pakatan

4 June, 2014
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By Lam Choong Wah Senior Fellow, REFSA In the 13th general election (GE13), DAP achieved its best ever electoral results by winning 38 parliamentary seats and 95 state assembly seats out of the 51 parliamentary and 103 state seats contested, becoming the second biggest party after Umno in terms of seats ... Full Article →



#REMEMBERTELUKINTAN

3 June, 2014
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by Chris Lee Chun Kit Disappointed, upset, frustrated…… so many words but yet when the election results came out on the 31 st of May, we knew that we had lost the parliamentary seat of Teluk Intan to the Barisan Nasional. The verdict was out and we had to swallow ... Full Article →



What has gone wrong with our Parliament?

30 May, 2014
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By Lee Chee Leong As one of the participants for Penang Institute’s seminar on Malaysia’s bicameralism and parliamentary culture, I was amazed by the wide interest shown among the audience towards the workings within our supreme legislative arm. If previously, such an issue was conveniently brushed aside as a topic of ... Full Article →



“Mengenal DAP” session in Kuching, Sarawak

7 August, 2014
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A “Mengenal DAP” workshop (“Getting to know DAP”)  will be held this Saturday, August 9 2014, at the Pusat Khidmat DAP Tupong, Sarawak. The activity intends to share the history of the party and its struggle with respect to its ideology. The program, held in collaboration with DAP Sarawak and the DAP ... Full Article →



Thank you, veterans! Because of you, DAP prevails

2 April, 2014
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On 2 March, Penang Chief Minister and DAP MP for Bagan Lim Guan Eng hosted a private dinner in honor of the Penang state DAP veterans. There are over 120 veterans in the state who have been party members for over 30 years. Of the number, about 70 turned up ... Full Article →



Culturally in love

10 January, 2014
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(This is the part two of the muhibbah story we featured in “Marriage in Malaysia”. To read the  article, please go to  http://www.therocket.com.my/en/marriage-made-in-malaysia/) He loves to take pictures. His specialty is in the cultural spots and artifacts. Every shot, every frame – a portrait of a living story. Language and ... Full Article →



Other News

PAS in its chrysalis stage

19 August, 2014 0 Comments

by Howard Lee “The third stage of a Monarch butterfly’s lifecycle is the chrysalis, or pupa, stage. The chrysalis stage lasts from the time the caterpillar spins its cocoon until the time the full grown butterfly emerges. An observer can even determine how long the chrysalis stage has progressed simply ... Full Article →

Standing up against bigotry

6 August, 2014 0 Comments

For years the public have been despairing at the authorities’ and politicians inability or unwillingness to rein in the religious and racial extremists. But all is not lost. A lawyer and a recently turned social activist, Siti Kasim was in the news limelight for handing out flowers to Muslim right ... Full Article →

“Mengenal DAP” session in Kuching, Sarawak

7 August, 2014 0 Comments

A “Mengenal DAP” workshop (“Getting to know DAP”)  will be held this Saturday, August 9 2014, at the Pusat Khidmat DAP Tupong, Sarawak. The activity intends to share the history of the party and its struggle with respect to its ideology. The program, held in collaboration with DAP Sarawak and the DAP ... Full Article →

Remembering Wong Ho Leng

6 August, 2014 0 Comments

On 21 June 2014, DAP lost a towering figure and its major catalyst in Sarawak. Wong Ho Leng who had joined the party in 1986, was instrumental in helping DAP set a firm foundation in Sarawak. As a loyal party worker, he worked tirelessly in the hard ground of Sarawak ... Full Article →