BERSIH has captured vote-buying on video and received complaints ranging from improper electoral rolls to government abuse of state-run media, according to co-chairwoman Ambiga Sreenevasan. This confirms what I heard last night from a man who told me an empty ballot paper is worth RM2,000 in Penang. They are cheating and getting away with it. We must not let them. Together we stand for justice, fairness and do what is right.
If you can’t access Malaysiakini, this might be the reason. Also, please refer to their alternative URLs to get election news tomorrow as their main site might be down due to heavy traffic.
As a member of civil society, I am tired of the constant news about political violence in my country, not to mention the stories about foreigners being flown in to vote for Barisan Nasional (click on this article to read more: http://www.sarawakreport.org/2013/05/down-at-the-airport/). I am ready to do something about it and thanks to the fact that I work in an awesome NGO like AWAM, I can!
Join me and my colleagues and friends as we do the walk-about around Petaling Jaya tomorrow to spread the yellow wave with ribbons and BERSIH bookmarks! I want to send a clear message to the government that I and other Malaysians oppose all forms of political violence and we support the call for free and fair elections. I also want to see my neighbourhood covered in yellow by nightfall. This is because I sincerely believe in the power of positive collective action. Authoritarian regimes worse than ours have been toppled thanks to the power and actions of the people. I think underestimating ourselves is our biggest downfall and it simply won’t do to carry on in this manner, especially at such a pivotal time for our country.
Change will never come easy and it is something we have to work towards. This government is not going to leave easily and I want to do everything in my power to make sure that they go because I will not let my country be ruled any longer by Barisan Nasional. I am finished with Najib Razak and his leadership which I believe has let the country down and a big part of it has to do with the mismanagement of our finances. For someone who doesn’t really care about money, this is saying a lot. I am a witness to Pakatan Rakyat‘s prudence in financial affairs and I support them for this reason, amongst many others. Under Pakatan Rakyat’s leadership, the Selangor state managed to save RM 16 million whereby previously their accounts were in deficit. This is indeed a truly magnificent accomplishment.
I have much more to say about the Opposition as well as our current caretaker government but I digress from my purpose. This is really a call to all Malaysians to forget the politicking, mud-slinging and violence. Let’s join hands and paint our respective neighbourhoods yellow to send a clear message to, not just the government, but to everyone watching that we stand behind the ideals of a true democracy which naturally starts with free and fair elections. I also want to do this because I want to remind my fellow Malaysians that we are a peace-loving people. Being disrespectful, racist and intolerant is not congruent with our values and we need to remember that during these important times.
Come joins us tomorrow (Saturday, 4th May) at 10 AM at the following venue:
AWAM centre @ No. 85, Jalan 21/1, Seapark, 46300 Petaling Jaya
We will conduct a short briefing for everyone and then split into groups. We will aim to start walking-about by 10.30 AM. The idea is to spread the yellow wave, spread the word, get others to do so and also do voter education. We have 4,000 Chinese and Bahasa flyers on ‘How To Vote’ which we can distribute along with yellow ribbons and bookmarks.
There is an events page on Facebook, feel free to share this as well: https://www.facebook.com/events/373239606129194/
Please help me spread this news around and bring your friends. It’s going to be a super fun and YELLOW day. See you there people!!
Dismal performance for women in parliament, Nurul is top woman. Go Izzah!
By Priscilla Prasena
But a survey finds that the press pays much more attention to male personalities in articles on the general election.
PETALING JAYA: Nurul Izzah Anwar is the most frequently mentioned woman in media articles on the run-up to the May 5 general election, according to a survey conducted by the Centre of Independent Journalism and the Malaysian branch of Nottingham University.
The survey, part of a media monitoring project called Watching the Watchdog, found that Nurul scored 0.66% in “value of coverage”, a figure that the surveyors said was way below the average score of male personalities.
The survey analysts found that the value of coverage of the average male political figure was nine times higher than that of the average female.
The 13-day survey covered 29 publications and identified 18,821 articles in Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil.
Among women, caretaker tourism minister Ng Yen Yen, scoring…
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“Tonight I don’t see Malays, Chinese and Indians. Tonight I can only see Malaysians.”
INI KALI LAH!
The desperate political violence in our country at the moment…read here.
Watch the passionate Lembah Pantai MP talk about why she decided to contest for the seat and the injustice wrought upon her father that has remain unresolved until today. May justice prevail for all those who sacrificed for our country. INI KALI LAH!!!
I just had to re-blog this Open Letter to the Barisan Nasional – please read and have a good laugh!
Dear Barisan Nasional,
How have you been? Looks like you’ve got this whole election business in the bag! Everyday I open the newspaper and there is nothing but praise for BN! Turn on the TV and it is the same thing. You never let me down. Not like those opposition jokers who are always fighting among themselves.
I hope it’s not too pre-mature, but CONGRATULATIONS on bagging the coming elections! That is how much I believe in you. Just look at all the election flags and buntings! Driving around town, all I can see is the white ‘dacing’ boldly standing out against a sharp blue background. Beautiful. It’s like Mardi Gras, if the Mardi Gras was only blue and white. Even in Selangor where I live, your colours are everywhere. Way to show them who’s boss.
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I just got back from an intense and enlightening evening of Malaysian politics with two beloved friends. I imagine that similar conversations are taking place all over Malaysia as the elections loom near. I feel the winds of change in the air, but I feel a lot of scepticism and fear too. Fear of the unknown? Or fear of change?
We imagined, just for a moment what it would be like if the Opposition won – would there be certain people behind bars? Wouldn’t it mean also stripping them of their power, which my friend imagined would be like stripping them naked, which they probably want to hold on to? Are they going to give their power up? Why would they?
I have to admit here, it was hard to imagine any other party winning. It has hard to imagine that after all these years, there might finally be justice for all the wrongdoing wrought by a careless government?
Hard, but not impossible.
Just imagine people…what if?
Because actually, the power is in our hands. Let’s keep talking and arguing and doing and hoping and praying. This is how Malaysia will grow its political scene. This is how we can be on the road to free and fair elections. This is how we can make a change together.
I found hope in this book called ‘Small Acts of Resistance’ by Steve Crawshaw & John Jackson. I read about ordinary acts by ordinary people that managed, over time, to topple the most brutal of governments. To them, it was a simple matter of expressing their desire to live in dignity and freedom. These courageous individuals sent a clear message of dissent to the government of the day with their actions.
“A person with inner freedom, memory, and fear is that reed, that twig that changes the direction of a rushing river.” – Nadezhda Mandelstam
Here is the preface, written by Vaclav Havel, first president of the Czech Republic and all-round playwright, poet, dissident and essayist.
In 1978, I wrote an essay that explored the untapped “power of the powerless.” I described the incalculable benefits that might follow, even in the context of a highly repressive government, if each one of us decided to confront the lies surrounding us, and made a personal decision to live in truth.
Many argued that those ideas were the work of a deluded Czech Don Quixote, tilting at unassailable windmills.
In many ways, that scepticism seemed justified. Leonid Brezhnev, the Soviet Leader who just ten years earlier had sent tanks into Czechoslovakia to end political reform, was still in power in the Kremlin. The Solidarity movement – whose remarkable victories in neighbouring Poland against unwanted rulers would give comfort to other eastern Europeans and millions of others seeking to live in truth in the years to come – did not yet exist. I myself, like many of my friends, had spent time in jail and would do so again in the years to come.
And yet, just eleven years after I wrote what ordinary people can achieve by living in truth, I saw and lived through a series of extraordinary victories all across the region, including in my own country. In what came to be known as the velvet revolution, Czech and Slovaks defied official violence to ensure the speedy collapse of the seemingly impregnable bastion of lies in November 1989. It was all over in barely a week. After the revolution, I was privileged to become the president of my country as it moved into a democratic era.
Today, millions around the world live in circumstances where it might seem that nothing will ever change. But they must remember that the rebellions that took place all across eastern Europe in 1989 were the result of a series of individual actions by ordinary people which together made change inevitable. Small Acts of Resistance pays tribute to those who have sought to live in truth, and the impact that can have.
In my lifetime, I have repeatedly seen that small acts of resistance have had incomparably greater impact than anybody could have predicted at the time. Small acts of resistance are not just about the present and the past. I believe they are about the future too.
Prague (March 2010)
This preface was taken from: Small Acts of Resistance: How Courage, Tenacity, and Ingenuity Can Change the World. Crawshaw, S., Jackson J. 2010. New York: Sterling.
This is the video that finally got me off my ass to say enough is enough, I am not going to let my country be run by a pack of these jokers. I am not going to sit by and watch the opportunity for change slip by and fly out of our hands. I’ve been posting things on Facebook but have been sort of censoring myself but here I don’t have to do that! Come 5th May, Malaysia is going to make history. I’m going to be a part of it. Now please watch the video and watch this space for more.