Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The Election Commission is playing God

We have heard the same trite comments before: “We’re clean. We’re not guilty. It wasn’t us.”
Umno Baru’s most sanctimonious hypocrite, Election Commission (EC) chairperson Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, has denied claims of cheating.
Abdul Aziz expressed sadness that the indelible ink used in GE13 could easily be washed off and in an interview with the Malay daily Sinar Harian said, “If people ask me now, what is the saddest thing in my life, I would answer: ‘Indelible ink’.”
The indelible ink had been tested before use and he said, “On the much-awaited day, the power of Allah is greater when the ink could disappear after being washed several times. Where is the mistake?”
He ignored allegations of gerrymandering, the use of money and citizenship as inducements given to illegal immigrants to vote for BN, the violent attacks on Pakatan workers, the extra ballot boxes, the spoilt votes, the blackouts, as well as the plane and busloads of foreigners transported to the peninsula to vote for BN. In other words, the EC conspired with BN to cheat in GE13.
Abdul Aziz said that the ink had been tested, but then blamed the failure of the ink on “the power of Allah”.
He had sanctioned the use of doctored ink, and by saying Allah was responsible – when it was him who authorised its use – it means that he is playing God. By Abdul Aziz’s will, there was massive cheating in the election process, which allowed Umno Baru to “win the election”. By claiming that it was “the power of Allah” that allowed Umno Baru to win the election, Abdul Aziz is effectively saying that he is Allah.
This blasphemy will not endear him to the rural Malays and may mean that he will have to be sacrificed, to save the party.
Indelible ink and the EC are not compatible. Three general elections ago, in 2004, the National Fatwa Council decided that the ink would prevent Muslims from performing their prayers. In GE12 (2008), the EC said that there were national security issues and claims of sabotage. In 2013, the lies ranged from EC workers feebly shaking the bottles to a full-blown health scare.
Familiar Umno Baru excuses
These excuses are a familiar Umno Baru dodge. Recently, the organisers of the ‘Black 505’ rally were given the runaround, when trying to find a suitable venue for their rally. The Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and the police could not even coordinate their lies. One said there was a wedding, whilst the other claimed there was a charity run. The police also made the outrageous claim that they would be provoked.
If you must lie, do so convincingly and with a concerted effort.
If Abdul Aziz said the ink was tested prior to its use, which laboratory tested it? Was there an independent laboratory analysis? Did their results match? What was the test used?
Goldenchurn butter and Tabasco sauce went through a similar drama when their products were said to contain pork DNA by the Malaysian Islamic authorities. Butter is made from cow’s milk. Tabasco contains only vinegar and chillies. In which part of the manufacturing process would porcine DNA be introduced?
The Chemistry Department refused to share their test results with the manufacturers, did not want to reveal their methods and did not wish the butter to be sent for independent chemical analyses.
The fiasco with the indelible ink in GE13, has similar echoes of subterfuge and chicanery.
Who is the manufacturer of this ink? Have they sold us defective ink? Should we demand a refund? Why is the manufacturer not defending his product? Does he not want a repeat sale? Hasn’t his reputation been irreparably tarnished? To what standard was this ink tested?
Abdul Aziz said that a task force would investigate the ink’s recipe, the way it was used, its transportation and whether the hot air in the lock-up where the ink was stored, had caused a degradation of the ink.
The only ‘hot air’ comes from the EC chairperson, who should not waste any more of the taxpayers’ money. The only thing left is for the senior management of the EC to resign en-masse, to restore the credibility of the EC before GE14. They have severely dented the confidence of the rakyat in Malaysian democracy. If they will not go willingly, they must be sacked.
Obviously, there are three types of Umno Baru politicians and supporters – the ones who keep an undignified silence about important issues, the false prophets and those who play God.
Recently, Urban Wellbeing, Housing and Local Government Minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan wrote in Utusan Malaysia’s weekend newspaper that BN was ‘fated’ to win GE13, because God had willed it. He said, “In short, fate and God’s will determines everything.”
Who gave this false prophet, Abdul Rahman, the divine right to make prophecies? True prophets serve God and their flock, but Umno Baru politicians are self-serving men (and women) who are full of exaggerated self-importance. Is Abdul Rahman aware that Muhammad was the last prophet? Despite his blasphemous remarks, Abdul Rahman is not being investigated for sedition.
‘Cowards as leaders’
Leaders who refuse to comment on important issues when the news break, but wade-in days or weeks later, are simply playing safe. These cowards do not want to be proven wrong, or to be seen to be wrong. They need to protect their own positions. It is not just the Pakatan coalition or the rakyat whom they fear, others within their party are looking for reasons to topple them as well.
Thus, so-called leaders like BN chief Najib Abdul Razak will keep quiet about ‘mat rempit’ mobs attacking ceramah, the brutal deaths in police custody, corruption and child conversion.
The rakyat is at the mercy of Umno Baru, but it is also at the mercy of the environment. Reports from Jakarta allege that the companies which contribute to the haze affecting parts of South-East Asia, are linked to the illegitimate BN government. Najib has good reason to keep quiet.
Perhaps, the men who keep silent on important issues live in the feverish hope that these problems will fade away.
Before I graduated in Environmental Pollution Control, I applied to the Department of Environment (DOE). The DOE replied that Malaysia does not suffer from pollution. I subsequently worked for an American company and never looked back.
In Perak, the oil-palm industry – which is responsible for the haze originating from Sumatra – has production facilities and processes which are polluting the waterways of Perak. The livelihood of the villagers is affected. Fish and crustacea like udang galah die. The income from tourism is at risk. The Perak government closes one eye and panders to the industry, as rural voters are only useful to BN in the weeks before an election.
What goes around comes around. Umno Baru likes to invoke God. So, is the current pollution crisis a divine intervention? Or is it caused by Umno Baru’s policies and failure to enforce strict environmental pollution controls?
MARIAM MOKHTAR is a non-conformist traditionalist from Perak, a bucket chemist and an armchair eco-warrior. In ‘real-speak’, this translates into that she comes from Ipoh, values change but respects culture, is a petroleum chemist and also an environmental pollution-control scientist.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

622 黑色大集会:安华:若大选公平,民联已胜

  • 安华强调,在过去的大选中出现的诸多舞弊,选委会明显失职,应总辞以示负责。(图:星洲日报)
(吉隆坡22日讯)公正党顾问拿督斯里安华指出,如果第十三届大选在公平公正的情况下进行,民联可以取得约60%的总得票(popular vote)。

622 黑色大集会:3诉求要求总辞,民联续向选委会施压

  • 林吉祥到场时,向支持者挥手致意,受到集会者的欢呼和鼓掌欢迎。(图:星洲日报)
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622 黑色大集会:6 集合点匯成洪流,黑潮淹默布草场

  • 警方巡逻车监视从班底路步行前往十五碑的群眾。(图:星洲日报)
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Friday, June 21, 2013

BN has no more talents, they recycled people-rejected leaders

Former ministers do not fade away — they get appointed to plum positions — The Malaysian Insider
JUNE 20, 2013
Former tourism minister Ng Yen Yen is expected to take up her position as the chairman of the Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board (MTPB) despite her party, the Malaysian Chinese Association's (MCA) avowed stand not to take government posts due to their poor election results.
The Sun Daily reported today that the MCA politician appointed herself to the position just after the dissolution of Parliament and while she was still the tourism minister.
Her appointment is likely to become a bone of contention and the source of ridicule. Already, opposition politicians have been actively tweeting about Ng's new position.
Ng did not defend her seat in Raub which as expected, fell to the DAP. Her tenure as the tourism minister was pockmarked with controversies over payment of RM1.6 million to set up a few Facebook pages.
Also enjoying a new lease of life after the elections is Datuk Jamaluddin Jarjis, much criticised head of Barisan Nasional war room.
He and members of his strategy team have been blamed for Datuk Seri Najib Razak's unsuccessful attempt to regain two-thirds control of Parliament, with critics saying their predictions had little connection to the pulse of the voters.
Jamaluddin is now a special advisor to the PM with ministerial status. He is also the chairman of PR1MA, the company set up to build affordable houses for those in the middle-income category.
Former Minister of Economic Planning Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop is now the deputy chairman of Khazanah Nasional while former Information Minister Rais Yatim is in the running for a top overseas posting.
Several other former Barisan leaders are also expected to take up positions in various government agencies, in what is seen as a reward for their contribution to Malaysia.
These leaders never fade away, but continue to be part of the public sector with heftier pay checks and not much of the responsibilities of their former posts.
Politics pays, for a long while. - The Malaysian Insider,June 20, 2013.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Don't force GST on the people to fund your Maharaja lifestyle - Anwar warns Najib

Wednesday, 19 June 2013 11:39

Written by  Malaysia Chronicle

Don't force GST on the people to fund your Maharaja lifestyle - Anwar warns Najib
UPDATED VIDEO INSERTED Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim warned Prime Minister Najib Razak not to introduce a new Goods and Service Tax (GST) to reduce the budgetary deficit after the latter announced the formation of a special committee to look into ways to reduce the shortfall - at a record high - to 3% bt 2015.
"Unfortunately, Dato Seri Najib continues to govern behind a veil of secrecy," Anwar told a press conference on Wednesday.
"The BN government must not drag the public to cover for its economic incompetence and policy shortfalls. Any attempts to introduce a new GST albeit in stages to reduce the deficit will be resisted in the same force that the people had resisted electoral fraud."
Anwar was referring to the Black 505 rallies, a people's movement spearheaded by the Pakatan Rakyat to protest vote rigging and fraud in the May 5 general election. The hugely successful rallies have drawn more than half a million Malaysians to assemble to demand the resignation of the Election Commission leadership.
Just PM's Office alone - RM4 BILLION a year?
The 64-year-old Anwar also chided Najib for his 'free-spending' ways, challenging the latter, who is also the Finance Minister, to refute the Opposition's estimate that just the prime minister's office alone spent at least RM4 billion a year on "huge entourages and thousands of personnel".
"The minister concerned has alluded to the fact that they need RM27 billion in extra revenue or the deficit problem will remain. Our position differs completely with the BN's. Our position is consistent in that you must start with transparent policies, which means you save billions, stop excessive spending, reduce the exorbitant excessive expenditure of the Prime Minister's Office, the huge entourage, thousands of personnel and that would already be in the billions," said Anwar.
"In fact, our initial estimate is that at least RM4bil alone (in budget allocation) is for the Prime Minister's Maharaja-type of expenditure. And I would challenge him to refute this, which is unprecedented throughout all my experience as Finance Minister and the history of this country."
PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution was also present at the press conference.
Hardship to the people as wage growth has been weak
According to Anwar, GST could only be introduced if the average level of income of "common Malaysians" have risen significantly over a period of 5 years, otherwise it would bring hardship to the working classes. He pointed to the fact that the current wage reality in Malaysia was that only a "low 2.6% average wage growth" had been achieved between 2000 and 2010.
"In 10 years, the wage increase was only 2.6%. Given that scenario, it is unacceptable to imagine the government would introduce additional taxes, GST for example. So what we are saying is stop the wastage first. We are talking about RM20 to 30 billion of commissions and bribery, extraneous spending. Look at the Auditor-General's report, this must be addressed first.
"Dato Seri Najib does not have the full legitimacy in terms of popular votes, and he has not been able to deliver the most basic of his economic promises since being sworn in recently. That fact that his administration struggles to reduce car prices as promised in his manifesto exemplified he incompetence and hopelessness of his administration."
Anwar also took Najib to task for failing to keep pre-election promises of cheaper cars and affordable homes. He warned that the Pakatan Rakyat would be monitoring runaway property prices closely and would expect to see prices come down by at least 10%.
"We shall track the BN government's performance on public housing closely and will consider it a failure if he cannot bring down the average prices of mid-range housing by at least 10% in the next one year," said Anwar.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

EC has admitted wrongdoing so Aziz should go — Bersih chief

JUNE 18, 2013
The Election Commission (EC) chairman's regret over the failure of indelible ink used in Election 2013 shows they are guilty of wrongdoing and should resign, Bersih co-chair Datuk A. Samad Said said today.

He said the admission by Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusuf confirmed the May 5 general election did not proceed in a clean and fair way.

“Respectfully, once he knew that there was a mistake, it was only appropriate that he resign,”  Samad told The Malaysian Insider today.

“That’s why he should do it. To me, his admission is an acceptance that what happened was his fault,” said the national laureate popularly known as Pak Samad.

Opposition parties and civil society groups have asked Abdul Aziz to step down after the fiasco over the ink, which many voters managed to wash off despite claims it would remain for at least five days.

The EC chairman expressed his disappointment that it failed to work in an interview with a Malay daily.

“If people were to ask me now, what’s the saddest thing in my life, I’d answer ‘indelible ink’,” he responded in the paper, Sinar Harian

Pak Samad questioned why the EC didn’t first test the effectiveness of the indelible ink before allowing it to be used during the recent elections. “Didn’t the EC first test it out? He (Abdul Aziz) just went on to believe in the ink’s usability. An election is to elect a governing party and give them power. 

“I hope he’s honest, because this is his admission that the election wasn’t done fairly,” Said said. 

The co-chair for Bersih 2.0 also urged the coalition’s supporters that they should attend en masse the Black505 rally that’s organised by Pakatan Rakyat at Padang Merbok this Saturday. 

“We urged, or plead that our members come together to join this rally.

“Ambiga herself has called for us to participate in the rally, so let’s do so,” said Said in reference to another co-chair for Bersih 2.0, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan. 

However, Abdul Aziz said yesterday that the failure of the indelible ink to function effectively cannot be used as an excuse to accuse the EC for allowing voters to cast more than one ballot or to commit electoral fraud during the elections. 

Abdul Aziz mentioned that the indelible ink, a recommended tool by the parliamentary select committee (PSC) on electoral reform, was tested several times before it was implemented on May 5.

“However on that day, the power of Allah is greater when the ink disappeared after several washes, so where was the mistake?

 “It’s unfortunate but we didn’t sit still. We established a special committee that is chaired by Datuk Christopher Wan Soo Kee, assisted by two other panelists - Datuk Md Yusop Mansor and Abdul Aziz Khalidin,” he added. 

Pakatan Rakyat has held massive Black505 rallies nationwide since the May 8 to protest the alleged electoral fraud during the 2013 General Election that saw the Barisan Nasional maintain its power despite losing the popular vote. – June 18, 2013.

Source: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/ecs-admission-proof-of-wrongdoing-aziz-should-quit-says-bersih-chief/

Friday, June 14, 2013

Najib likely to face leadership challenge

One month after GE13, attention has turned to the Umno election. Rumours are already circulating about possible challengers to the ruling party's No 1 post. While the Black 505 rallies continue to mobilise protest against the May 5 general election that many recognise as seriously flawed, the dominant political party is myopically focused on its party polls and who will lead the party after October.

The flurry of activity in recent weeks - from the call to make Umno more inclusive ethnically to the pleas for the return of the 2,000 delegates as electors (rather than 46,500 members) are all part of the now intensifying internal Umno political jockeying.

NONEAll eyes are on the contest for the top leadership position, especially given that Prime Minister Najib Razak performed poorer electorally compared to his predecessor and did not fully deliver on his promise of winning back Selangor and a two-thirds majority in Parliament.

More and more calls are being made to keep the two top positions uncontested. In Umno, however, the real politics is happening behind the scenes. The grassroots are mobilising for the first stage of the party electoral process - the divisional polls.

Despite the public rhetoric, current conditions point to a competitive contest, in which if conditions do not radically change, Najib will likely face a credible and substantive challenge to his position.

Five factors
There are five underlying factors that point to a challenge:

First, the modus operandi in Umno is money politics. This was a legacy of the Mahathir years and has become deeply entrenched, feeding into the concerns over corruption and governance. For many of the delegates, they join the party for the perks and invest in positions for potential financial gains.

Elections are an integral part of the financial rewards in the system as they involve the distribution of incentives. The logic is simple - the more the competition within the party, the more the incentives. Given the modus operandi in Umno, there are vested interests in fueling contests.

NONEThe higher the level of competition, the greater the promise of rewards. This election involves more people, so competition is costly, involving mass outlays of funds to more people than ever before. Part of the call for the return to the old 2,000-delegate system is driven by this economic ‘money politics' reality.

There is a tension here between those who would like to minimise costs, with those who would like to receive dividends. The numbers are on the receiving ends, thus the systemic pressure for greater competition.

Second, Umno as a party is deeply factionalised. This is not unique. In fact for dominant one-party system this is the norm, as seen in Taiwan, Japan and Mexico. All political parties have some degree of internal divisions. These divisions, however, feed into competition as the leadership has to accommodate the various warlords.

In some cases, such as recently in Negeri Sembilan, the leadership has had to take sides on who to elevate to positions in the state government. Warlordism fuels competition by bringing national politics to the state level and vice-versa. Currently, the intensity of conflict at the state level and underlying resentment against Umno's current leadership for perceived favouritism contributes to pressure for more leadership competition.

Malay chauvinism under challenged

Third, Umno as a party is being pressured to reform its identity after GE13. To be more precise, its Malay chauvinism is being challenged. The challenge is taking the form of calls to move the party into a more multi-ethnic entity, and be more inclusive of non-Malays. This is in response to the effective death of the BN as a multi-ethnic power-sharing coalition in GE13.

This measure initially mooted by Najib has yielded a strong reaction from the rank and file, who have come out of a polls where ethnic Malay chauvinism was stoked and ignited to bring the party faithful together against the opposition. The disconnect between the multi-ethnic initiative promoted by a national leader seeking national representation and the party grassroots embedded in their ethnic nationalist framework is real, and has caused disgruntlement among some and anger among others.

NONEThe push to maintain the openness in the party electoral system taps into this, as more numbers can openly display their rejection of transforming the party outside of Dr Mahathir Mohamad's Malay chauvinist mode.

Fourth, there is the reality of generational pressures within the party. Najib was not successful in having many of ‘his men' elected in GE13, as he hoped to garner a new cadre of leaders to support his push to consolidate his position within the party. After all, he has yet to be elected to the presidency.

The push for younger, new faces remains, but the bottleneck in the leadership is substantive. The impact is that younger leaders will by nature ally with different actors with the hope of moving up the ranks in a system that has been slow to engage in generational transformation.

Finally, amidst the structural concerns is the long-standing push for statesmanship. Many in Umno hark back to the good old days when Umno leaders were respected across the Malaysian society, and seen as national leaders to be proud of. There is division within Umno, and nationally, regarding Najib's leadership as well as his statesmanship.

He has not taken a prominent role post-GE13, and this raises questions. Najib, like his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, faces the difficulty of meeting conflicting demands and higher expectations. This push for ‘statesmanship' leadership will be a driver for some of the potential contenders for power.

Najib seeks new allies

These party dynamics - money politics, warlord factionalism, party identity, generational pressures and statesmanship - all contribute to increased possibilities of a leadership challenge and greater party contention. At issue will be the new electoral system, the timing of the polls (with early polls apparently favoured by Najib) and the composition of the challenge itself.

The question being asked is whether Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who is 66 last month, will feel this is his last chance to take a shot at the top spot or someone else steps up to the challenge. Also openly being discussed is Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, 76, who has shown a willingness to contest for Umno president in the past. It is unlikely, given the systemic issues at play, that no one will step forward.

Despite the questions around GE13 and the continued concerns with electoral irregularities, Umno feels victorious and is being portrayed as the ‘winner,' contributing to more risk-taking and competition.

umno special briefing abdullah ahmad badawi announce resignation date 100708 04We have seen after the May 5 general election, new alliances are being forged - at least temporarily - ahead of the Umno polls. Najib has brought many of the Abdullah allies into the cabinet and he has reached out to Sabah.

He has not significantly rocked the warlord interests in most of the states as he sought more allies. His biggest ‘new' ally appears to be Mahathir who said there was 'no alternative' to Najib in a speech in Japan. But history has shown that Mahathir's fidelity as an ally is uncertain at best.

Najib has simultaneously thrown down the gauntlet by not giving Muhyiddin a senior cabinet position and holding his people at bay by not including them in the cabinet. The contest effectively began when the GE13 results came in, continued with the cabinet selection and is ongoing. The strategy of the marginalisation of Muhyiddin has begun.

In the weeks ahead, the backroom politics will only intensify. It is much too early to write off a challenge. In fact, current conditions suggest the opposite - a growing competition within Umno.

Najib will rely on the incumbency advantage, something which he had used effectively in GE13. But despite the power of incumbency,Najib's position should not yet be seen as secure, as he has to pass the test of his party in what may very well be the fiercest contests for the party leadership yet.

DR BRIDGET WELSH is associate professor of political science at Singapore Management University. Bridget can be reached atbwelsh@smu.edu.sg

Street protests may be only way to push for polls reform, says Ambiga

JUNE 14, 2013
Ambiga says the EC no longer enjoys public confidence.KUALA LUMPUR, June 14 — Polls reform group Bersih 2.0 has conceded that taking to the streets could be the only way left to fight for polls reform should its campaign to clean up the election system through legal channels fail.
Co-chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan said the group, however, will first use its “People’s Tribunal” as the chief platform to “scrutinise” the allegations of fraud committed in Election 2013 where its findings will be the basis for its advocacy work for polls reform.
“We will go with the tribunal first. Depending on the findings we will push for relevant reform. If that fails then a protest may be the only option,” she told The Malaysian Insider.
Ambiga had previously said that the “people’s tribunal” will serve as a “moral force” to investigate and publicly expose alleged fraud in the May 5 general election.
The tribunal and its findings will also underpin its fight for the resignation of all the present Election Commission (EC) line-up following accusations of bias. Bersih and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have also made this a key condition to bilateral talks on polls reform.
But the Najib administration’s insistence on the EC’s independence means it is unlikely to agree to the condition. The EC chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusof, has also said that the commission will not bow down to pressure.
The impasse could well force Bersih and the opposition to resort to street protests as a last recourse.
“Our fight for electoral reform will continue. Our People’s Tribunal will proceed,” Ambiga said.
Bersih has held three massive street protests in the past. The violent clampdown on the demonstrations, especially the third rally, drew widespread domestic and international condemnation on the Najib administration which later forced it to set up a parliamentary panel to oversee polls reform.
Although the move initially gave hope for constructive dialogue on electoral reform, Putrajaya’s failure to implement most of the recommendations made by the panel prompted Bersih and the opposition to revive the fight to clean up the election system.
The campaign intensified after the EC was accused of rigging the May 5 ballot to give the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition a win.
Ambiga noted that the EC have failed to defend itself and explain the massive irregularities uncovered during the intensely fought Election 2013 including its failure to administer the indelible ink system to prevent double voting and inaction on the tainted integrity of the electoral roll.
“As far as I am concerned the EC does not enjoy public confidence. They have failed to act independently and they have failed in executing the indelible ink process effectively.
“The importance of that process cannot be underestimated. It was a recommendation of the PSC (parliamentary select committee) and it was introduced to avoid double voting,” she said.
The opposition has filed more than 30 election petitions to challenge some of the election results. It has also filed several civil suits in a bid to impeach the EC line-up and prevent them from conducting the constituency redelineation exercise by year-end.
Unbalanced constituencies and lopsided redrawing are seen as key factors to BN’s dominance while the ruling coalition is seen benefiting every time a redelineation exercise is held, academics have noted.
“This EC should not be allowed to carry out the redelineation exercise.
“They propose to do it on the present electoral roll which requires serious cleaning up. They have this far shown no inclination to do that,” Ambiga said.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Could Tengku Razaleigh be the 7th PM of Malaysia?

God's plan is unfathomable!


Ku Li resurfacing to lead ‘third force’?

Calvin Kabaron
 | June 12, 2013
Insiders claim that some of BN's Sabah and Sarawak MPs who are in Kuala Lumpur wanted to explore "possibilities" of a positive change for both East and West Malaysia's politrical landscape.

KOTA KINABALU: The alleged recent meeting between several MPs from East Malaysia and Umno veteran leader Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has rekindled rumours of uncertainity  within Umno in Peninsular Malaysia is still fluid.
Old speculations about Ku Li and a ‘third force’ have resurfaced.
The thinking here is that  if at least 25 MPs from Barisan Nasional in Sabah and Sarawak leave the ruling party and teamed up with say 10 disgruntled BN MPs from Peninsular, they would be able to change the political equation.
The grapevine in Kota Kinabalu and Kuching are tossing up probabilities that “change” could happen in the next few days.
Political blogs and news portals have picked up on these rumours and riding on the alleged meeting between Ku Li and the MPs from Sabah and Sarawak, are spewing fresh scenarios.
Insiders claiming to be in the know said that some Sabah and Sarawak BN MPs who are already in Kuala Lumpur wanted to explore “possibilities” of an alternative plan that would have a positive change for both East and West Malaysia’s landscape.
“They are mulling the idea of getting Ku Li as Prime Minister for at least two years and see if he could unite the nation, minus Umno, but without succumbing to Anwarism .
“They are talking about a more sober  personality to lead the country out of a stagnated democracy,” said one local leader in Kota Kinabalu who described those in the group as politically adventurous but not ‘big’ risk-taker.
According to the rumours going round here, the “hands engineering the change” want Ku Li to get at least 10 MPs from Peninsular out of BN.
These MPs will then team-up with about 25 or 28 MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to ensure BN loses its majority.
BN currently controls 133 of the 222-seats in Parliament while opposition Pakatan Rakyat holds the remaining 89 seats. BN controls 47 of the 57 MP seats in East Malaysia, including one in Labuan.
Their calculation is that if 35 MPs opt out of BN and throw their support behind Pakatan then BN’s 133 seats would be reduced to only 98 and Pakatan which has 89 seats will gain from the shift in allegiance and now have 124. This would be enough for Pakatan to “form” a new federal government.
Risky road
That Malaysia does not have anti-hop law has made it more conducive and much easier for such switching of allegiance, as it had happened in Sabah before.
They said even if only 25 BN MPs switched allegiance, that would be enough to send Najib Abdul Razak scurrying for cover.
One of the ways to stem such an incident from happening is to call for a snap general election, just like what Sabah’s then embattled Parti Bersatu Sabah state government did in 1985. Eventually PBS emerged stronger.
But, observers, opined that should that happen, there is no guarantee that Umno-led BN would be returned to power by the Malaysians who are  already reeling from accusations of massive fraud against the country’s  Election Commission.
Political pundits perceived such possible moves could have emanated from real fear that the ruling party would carry-out gerry-meandearing of election boundaries in favour of Umno-held constituencies, ahead of the next general election which is not due until 2018.
They said there are already  plans to carve out at least two parliamentary seats in BN constituency like Pekan (which Najib holds) and in rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak.
This however seemed to be not an easy task to carry out as opposition MPs would definitely reject such controversial redelineation exercise.