2018 was historic – PH voted in as the government of the day and the Malaysians were one step closer to the realisation of new clean, dynamic and an united Malaysia. Image: NST.
Read 2018 GE related posts:-
- Lunatic Acts Before the General Elections – Part 1
- GE14 2018: The Day Frustrated Malaysians Made History – Part 1
- GE14 2018: The Day Frustrated Malaysians Made History – Part 2
Tanjung Piai By-election Results
Since the 2018 general election, there have been 9 by-elections of which PH had won 5 of the by-elections and BN won the remaining 4 – a clear indication that the popularity of PH is going down. And in the recent by-elections at Tanjung Piai, it was expected that BN will win this by-election long before the actual voting started.
Personally I too had a strong feeling that PH will lose by a huge landslide and that is what exactly happened:-
Barisan Nasional has reclaimed the Tanjung Piai parliamentary seat from Pakatan Harapan with a thumping majority. Barisan’s Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng won with a 15,086-vote majority.
Jeck Seng obtained 25,466 votes while Pakatan Harapan’s Karmaine Sardini came out in second place with 10,380 votes.
For those BN supporters, I won’t celebrate too early either – the PH’s lost is not due to people support is back to Najib & BN. It is also wrong to say that the Chinese support is back to MCA. In fact we are waiting for the trials to be concluded and big name BN politicians to be sent to the prison for a long, long time.
We can certainly expect that PH to lose future elections if they continue to administer the country in the same manner of how they are doing now.
Between BN-PAS alliance and PH, PH is still a viable option when it comes to the best candidate to run the country. This is because BN-PAS alliance is still held by politicians who are facing criminal charges or well known as corrupt or extreme.
But who knows what will happen in the next 3 years – it is possible that all these corrupt, religious lust politicians may be forced to resign, dead or locked up leaving a dedicated & visionary BN politicians who can easily trump the current list of PH politicians.
It is clear that PH have shot themselves in the leg far too often:-
PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said Barisan’s overwhelming majority came as a shock.
“The majority obtained by the Opposition is a shock and also a message to the entire Pakatan leadership. We must learn from the by-election results.
“We need to work to instil confidence in the people towards Pakatan’s policies by fulfilling our promises,” he said in a statement.
Untested to Worse
In the first year, most Malaysians were more forgiving when first time, inexperienced, untested PH politicians screwed up on their job. We understood that everything is new for them and they need time to learn governing the country.
It is apparent that PH themselves did not expect for PH to win the elections (many PH politicians were shocked that they even won), most of the opposition politicians not ready to take up the role of governing the nation (too many of them were inexperienced to be Minister) and when faced with issues, they were still thinking and acting like an opposition.
Further the mess left by Barisan Nasional politicians & corrupt civil servants was too much and it was draining time & resources to clean up (it will take years to undo 61 years of BN rule & culture). There were a lot of criminal cases to be built up and court proceedings to be done to ensure all those committed corruption and betrayal of trust are hauled and made paid their dues. The good people at MACC, AG Office and PDRM will be working overtime.
But coming to the second year, the honeymoon season is over and there is no more leeway for these PH politicians to make mistakes and everything they do and say now comes under a microscopic review by the people. And frankly speaking PH have been screwing things up one after another – saying one thing but doing another and flip flops on decisions have been too many in recent times.
If PH is serious in winning the next general elections, serious in changing the country into the New Malaysia that next generation will be proud of, then they need wake up and smell the reality of the things. They need to focus their attention to meet the expectation of the voters who voted them into power in 2018.
They need to clean up and make right things that were done wrong since they came into power and they need to start with these measures immediately.
Immediate Deportation of the Indian Fugitive
Seriously why we are spending so much time, money and effort to protect a criminal fugitive from the authorities from his own country? Image Source: Times Now
We sure make a lot of noise and feel frustrated when other countries fail to deport Malaysian fugitive named Jho Low. So why we should practice double standards and keep an Indian fugitive who is facing similar charges in his country?
Whether he will get a fair trial or whether the charges against him are real or not, it is NONE of our business. He is not our citizen at the end of day. He does not act in the best interest of Malaysia and the people. He needs to trust on his own country’s justice system and mind you, India is not a 3rd world failed state – it is one of the biggest democracies in the world and their courts are very independent from the executive branch of the government.
And if PH is bent on protecting Zakir because he is an “Islamic preacher” and thus to pacify the Muslims in the country, then think again – is he really a good preacher?
His preaching is currently banned in India, Bangladesh, Canada, the United Kingdom and Malaysia, under anti-terrorism or anti-hate laws. His TV channel Peace TV is banned in India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and is pending a ban by Ofcom in the United Kingdom.
And here another that needs a good reading – “10 Times ‘Islamic Preacher’ Zakir Naik Proved That He Promoted Anything But Peace”
Revamping Under Performing Ministers
It is high time for the Prime Minister to do another shake down of the Cabinet – some are not fit to do their job in the current ministries and perhaps need to swap ministries. Some need to withdraw to some mountain ashram and take a long look at their priorities and focus. The PM can start with these three that stands out very prominently
1. Dr. Maszlee bin Malik – Education Minister
Before being elected, he taught at the International Islamic University Malaysia and studied Islam and the Middle East.
So it was not a big surprise that he hardly focussed on the core issues relating to education and more interested in trivial matters like the colour of the shoe, introduction of khat (this did not go well with many non Muslims – my contention is on this is priority), linking the matriculation quota system with the unequal job opportunities for bumiputras in the private sector and nothing was done on teaching science and maths in English (Sarawak taking the lead on this one when the Minister in charge is sleeping on the job).
Even it is very much noted in Singapore:-
Malaysia’s unpopular Education Minister Maszlee Malik has stumbled into another controversy, even as two new petitions at change.org called on the government to remove him.
In the latest controversy, Mr Maszlee has been slammed for saying the government would consider removing a pre-university quota system for Malays if the private sector employs more Malays, but which critics say are two distinctly separate issues.
The 44-year-old former academic has attracted the most number of controversies since becoming minister, and based on media reports, is by far the most unpopular Cabinet minister of the year-old government.
2. Waytha Moorthy Ponnusamy – Minister of National Unity and Social Wellbeing
As everyone knows, Waytha made his mark in Hindraf – running away to United Kingdom when his brother was arrested under ISA. Then he returned and joined BN to implement the so-called blueprint for the Indians – a matter that was confusing as BN already had a component party to represent the Indians. Image source: NST.
He is a back door Minister as he did not stand in the general elections but rather came in as a Senator.
His major screw ups started with the riot in Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where before the police could have investigated on the root of the fight, he blamed the police for the slow actions. Instead of calming the devotees and the supporters to let the authorities to investigate, he did nothing – to a point an innocent fire fighter died. He only showed up after all things calmed down on it’s own but you can clearly see the people around him seemed to be pissed off with him.
And before that, he raised the provisions of ICERD to be approved by Parliament – poor explanation and execution in the end back fired and a huge anti ICERD protest followed. The Government had to drop the idea of ratifying ICERD.
Now he goes and forms another race based political party called Malaysian Advancement Party which is limited to only Indians. Why we need a version of MIC in PH when we already have Indian ministers & assemblymen in both Federal & State level?
And how this reflects back to him the title Unity Minister and his effort to united all races in Malaysia? If truly Dr M wants to keep him around, then he probably be made as a Minister for the Indian & Orang Asli Affairs which he seems to excel from Day 1.
3. Datuk Seri Mohd Redzuan Md Yusof – Entrepreneur Development Minister
He choked us one fine morning when he said Malaysia is developing the 3rd national car but this time it will be flying instead of being driven on the road. Interestingly the latest news leaking on this 3rd national car may just be a Chinese made drone and the big test flight that was so heavily promoted by this Minister got cancelled as CAAM did not approve the test flight.
Other than this, what else he has done on the area of developing entrepreneurs who are competitive in the global marketplace? I don’t know. When the issue with Foodpanda payment structure for riders raised, the Minister that was making a lot of noise, seeing the company management and the riders was surprisingly the Sports Minister.
There are many other PH politicians who are below average at Federal and State levels which needs to be replaced with better, dynamic candidates.
Of course, there are also hard working ones like Anthony Loke (the Transport Minister), Yeo Bee Yin (Minister of Energy, Technology, Science, Climate Change and Environment) and Gobind Singh Deo (Minister of Communications and Multimedia)
Finalise the Handover to Anwar
Mind you Dr M will be 95 years old by July 2020 – even back in 2018 when he became the PM, he was already the oldest head of state.
By the next general elections in 2023, he will be 98 years old, way too old to keep the Government in place.
This is why there is a succession plan to hand over to Anwar Ibrahim in 3 years time (or is it 2 years time?). And now, even this deadline is becoming more uncertain – so it is not confirm that Anwar may be able to take the lead as PM by year 2023.
In 2018, 2 years handover was mentioned:-
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad reiterated that he will keep his promise to eventually relinquish the prime minister role in two years.
“I’m holding firm to my promise; I will hand over this role (of prime minister). That is my promise,” he told reporters after chairing the Pakatan Harapan presidential council meeting here today.
In 2019, the 2 years now had extended to 3 years:-
Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he expects to remain as Malaysia’s leader for some three years, just a week after MP Anwar Ibrahim indicated the premier would step down after roughly two years.
This kind of uncertainties is not good for the stability and the agreed power handover – it makes business and the citizen in general to lose confidence in Pakatan Harapan.
Having a PM who is the oldest PM in the world is not a joke.
More Self Control & Knowing Limits
Perhaps because he had won the Asian level debate and he is one of the youngest Ministers around, Syed Saddiq has been very vocal in matters that do not concern him directly. Personally he has been doing a good job as a Sports Minister but he tends to open his mouth unnecessarily. It is obvious he is trying too hard to please his mentor, his idol, Dr M.
But he needs to know his limits and what he needs to do and when.
1. Dinner with Zakir Naik
The obvious one when he invited the Indian fugitive for dinner to his house for a chat & then ask Malaysians to forgive the criminal. This was AFTER Saddiq had agreed with other Ministers that Zakir Naik needs to be deported. It certainly caught many off guard:-
Human rights activist Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan has chided Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for hosting televangelist Dr Zakir Naik, merely days after asking for his deportation.
The prominent lawyer also called the first-term minister’s statement for Malaysians to “move on” after Dr Zakir’s so-called apology as a mere capitulation.
“This does not heal! Your first instincts were right. This is a capitulation by you so we don’t need the drivel about apologies et cetera.
What kind of example he is setting to the youth? That is OK to keep a criminal fugitive in the country and can easily be forgiven? Why would anyone want to forgive a criminal on the run?
2. The argument with Ronnie Liu
Back in October, Sungai Pelek assemblyman Ronnie Liu who is also DAP central executive committee member had criticised Dr M for failing to fulfil the 2018 General Election manifesto but also that the premier had “irked the government of a number of countries”.
“We cannot allow Pakatan Harapan, not even the Prime Minister, to drag us on the same path taken by the former regime, Barisan Nasional.
At this point, the public is unhappy with Dr Mahathir when a list of promises was not fulfilled – Lynas, Unified Examination Certificate (UEC), abolition of tolls, PTPTN loan, oil royalty for Sabah and Sarawak, and the Indian equation in new Malaysia, just to name a few.
If you analysed what Ronnie had said, there is NOTHING wrong with his criticism (which was accepted by DAP Disciplinary Committee in the end) and a fact that shown in favour of the recent by-election results. It is true that many was not happy with Dr M & Pakatan Harapan for failing to their words in the manifesto and also who had pissed off a number of countries.
Whilst this should be taken positively as something to be done to improve and gain voters confidence on Pakatan Harapan, Saddiq went on a war path with Ronnie:-
Bersatu Youth chief Syed Saddiq Abdul Rahman openly threatened ally DAP today, saying his wing will go after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) partner unless it disciplines a member over an opinion piece. It is a fact that it is an opinion, so this kind of threat has to be made in public?
Who is Saddiq to do war with DAP? Ronnie is only echoing the same sentiments in the ground. Is he being childish and failing to see the merits & opportunities from such criticism?
3. Dictating Foodpanda Business Decision
Since Saddiq had dinner with Indian wanted criminal and had a change of mind, it is his choice to have dinner with Foodpanda riders and the Foodpanda management to find a middle ground to resolve the matter. Image source: NST
Yes, he can facilitate the talk and be the neutral ground between the management and staff. That is a good thing.
But then Saddiq went beyond his scope of work by tweeting consumers should take down arrogant corporations just as they can vote out elected representatives.
Who is he to tell a business entity on what they can do and not with their money? And if the workers felt that the company have been unfair, they can always bring the matter to the courts.
People have voiced their dissatisfaction with Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman for his recent comment on Foodpanda. Shahlan Bin Sabari (@BinSabari) noted that the government should not be involved in a company’s business.
“They (companies) have their own strategies and are free to decide their business direction. “Any coercion against companies will affect the ease of doing business in Malaysia… it is not good for the economy,” he tweeted.
Cybersandhu (@napoleontheONE) pointed out that “sudden tantrums are worthless.” “Know your limits and proceed with the consultation process,” he tweeted.
Revisit the “impractical” Election Manifesto
For every election, the voters are bombarded with various promises, encoded in something called the manifesto.
Back in GE 2018, it is clear that most voters voted for PH not because of their manifesto but then again, as months passes by and reality sets in, people especially the new opposition politicians now started to look at the election manifesto.
The prime minister also defended the move to appoint Ariff to the post, despite Pakatan Harapan’s promise in its election manifesto to appoint a speaker from among the elected MPs.
“Please remember that the manifesto is not a bible. It’s a guide. Sometimes we can do things, sometimes we find that we cannot. So we need to be practical,” he told reporters at Parliament today, adding that the public would like someone who was non-partisan to chair Dewan Rakyat sessions.
And yet, it does not mean that PH cannot continue to put in effect actions to fulfil the election manifesto later. In total there are 60 promises, 10 of which PH promised to fulfil within 100 days of PH ruling and the remaining ones within 5 years before the next general elections.
To be frank, PH’s manifesto is a very good manifesto – good enough to be the bedrock of the New Malaysia that everyone wishing for. And one have to admit & understand that some of the promises is not an easy tasks to achieve and it will take time.
In general I am looking at these promises that PH Government needs to revisit immediately are these:-
- Promise 6: Abolish Tolls (Still a pain in the neck for most of us in Klang Valley)
- Promise 27: Abolish oppressive laws (the point is if there is evidence to arrest, then those who been arrested need to be charged in courts immediately)
- Promise 36: Implementing EPF scheme for housewives (my wife was excited on this but I think my monthly transfer to her account is more than expected EPF contribution, ha ha)
- Promise 44: Improving the quality of education (appointing a new Education Minister would be very helpful here) and healthcare services
- Promise 49: Making government schools the best choice for its people (take out religion out of the schools, promote science and maths in English and seriously look into one school system)
Time to Reflect
It is good that PH is going back to the drawing board and re-evaluate on what went wrong in the recent by-election where BN won by a whopping 15,000 votes majority. There is still 3 more years before the next General Election and good for PH, the BN political parties have yet to re-organise themselves to be an effective opposition.
They are still clueless as they were when they were in the Government before 2018. But never underestimate the voters – they have proved that they can go beyond the dirty politics, race and religion constraints and will definitely punish any politicians who don’t work to the best interest of the people and the nation.
It is wrong to say PH government is not doing anything after 2018 – to be frank they have achieved a lot in the last 1.5 years especially with bringing in the “big fishes” to face the books.
There have been some major shake down in the relevant enforcement agencies in battling crime and corruption but the effect will take time as well. From the election manifesto point of view, they have achieved most of the promises that they set to achieve in the first 100 days.
But the way of doing things like it is done now should change – we need more focus on the economy, education and enforcement rule of law.
We need a bigger push from the Ministers, we need more focus at tasks at hand and we need to eliminate any issues that is related to race & religion from dragging us down from achieving what all we want at end of the day – a progressive, modern and developed Malaysia.