Friday, April 24, 2009

Negeri Sembilan DUN sitting

The Negeri Sembilan State Legislative Assembly sitting for 2009 was officially opened by the new State Ruler Tuanku Muhriz this morning. Today's sitting was just for the opening ceremony and there was no Q&A session nor debates. Actual sitting will take place on Monday and Tuesday next week, 27-28 April.

If there are any issues that you want us to raise up in the DUN, please give your comment here or alternatively, you can email me at . Specific issues are most welcomed.

thank you Read more!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Point of View: National Service

I was invited by NTV7 to appear on the programme "Point of View" hosted by Florence Looi. The recording was done about 3 weeks ago and the show went on air last Sunday. The topic was about National Service Training programme and whether it shoud be scrapped. I have always taken a middle position on this matter that it should be reviewed throughly whether it is worthwhile to spend RM600 million a year on the programme. Is it the only way to achieve national unity? Is there no more problem of racial polarization among our youth after 5 years the programme was implemented? Well, catch my point of view on this subject by clicking here:

source: Read more!

Friday, April 17, 2009

DAP NS Public Consultation and Dialogue

In line with our aims to promote a more participatory democracy, DAP Negeri Sembilan is organizing the 2nd Public Consultation and Dialogue with the people of Seremban since last year's general election. This is an avenue for us to update the public regarding the various important issues facing the country today especially the scenario under Najib's administration and the "One Malaysia" agenda. It's also a forum for the public to give us feedback or criticism to the performance of our elected representatives. DAP Parliamentary Leader Sdr Lim Kit Siang will be the keynote speaker. Admission is free and open to the public. Details as below:

Date: 21st April 2009 (coming Tuesday)
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Venue: Neighbour Grace Assembly hall, Jalan Temiang, Seremban
(opposite former Odeon cinema)

For enquiries, pls contact 06-7634525. Read more!

My ceramah speech in Bukit Gantang (2)

Part 1

Part 2

Read more!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

DAP's social democracy at work!

Would like to share with you this interesting article in The Sun. I thought it was well written and someone who understood the DAP's history and its ideological roots. It's precisely what we as social democrats can offer to the Malaysian people. Not many, our own leaders and members included, can claim to understand the essence and values of the social democracy ideology. I think this article articulate it in a very practical way. A lot of people misunderstood the word "socialism". Many thought it is a "dirty word", outdated and linked it to communism. Being in the Left does not mean we have to kill off all private enterprises nor we have to be seen as the No 1 enemy of the capitalists. We only strive for a more just and fair society and reduce the gap between the rich and the poor! Happy reading!

The DAP’s socialist streak

WHEN the Penang government announced late last month that it had eradicated hardcore poverty within its borders, the news raised quite a few eyebrows. It seemed an incredible, if not impossible, task to achieve. On hindsight, however, when one looks at what the Pakatan Rakyat government executed, the solution seems common-sense.

But though it may appear simple, the move was instituted with such impudence and guts it could only come from a political element that is part of the origins and makeup of the DAP – its democratic socialism.

What the state did was to directly uplift every one of the 726 households registered with the welfare department as being in the hardcore poor category by giving them the money. Affected families were literally funded to ensure their incomes are topped up so that they get at least RM500 every month.

These poor souls whose lives, and statistics, seemingly changed overnight must owe their new fortunes to a political decision made way back in 1966. It was then that the DAP was first registered, following the Setapak Declaration, as an offshoot of the Singapore-based People’s Action Party (PAP). What marks the event as significant today is not just its history, but the fact that the party was registered as a democratic socialist entity.

Penang’s success in eradicating hardcore poverty is a fruition of a progressive post-modern socialist ideology. In fact, much of the state’s economic and social policies today can be attributed to a highly-evolved socialist streak in the DAP.

By socialism we do not necessarily mean the radical, anti-capitalist school that emerged in the early 20th century, influenced by the works of Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx. Democratic socialism surfaced as a splinter movement that envisioned the attainment of socialism not through a revolutionary process, but through an embracing, evolutionary one. It embraced civil liberties, free elections, parliamentary democracy and transparency in governance.

It is no coincidence then that the DAP is a long-time member of the Socialist International, whose origins can be traced to early international labour movements.

Now, some 43 years after the DAP was founded, Penang has to some extent become a test-bed of sorts for a modern socialist experiment in Malaysia. Hints of this new wind, blowing along a distinctly proletarian agenda, was already felt on the first day that the DAP took helm of the state by assuming the chief minister’s post, with Lim Guan Eng ordering all summonses for hawkers and parking be waived.

Lim had later even proposed to the federal government an “economic stimulus” plan worth RM48 billion that he said would have a “tidal effect” in directly benefiting 27 million Malaysians during the financial crisis. The plan included giving a RM6,000 annual “oil bonus” to all families earning less than RM6,000 a month, or a RM3,000 annual bonus to bachelors earning less than RM3,000 a month. The amount, Lim said, would cost RM35 billion or one third of Petronas’s 2007 gross profits of RM107 billion.

The idea to use national coffers in a massive way to alleviate the people’s burden is perhaps something that could only have come out with such brazen confidence from the DAP, due to the socialist element in its set-up.

For democratic socialism seeks to improve the rights and standards of the majority by directly increasing the powers of workers and consumers. It does place social welfare as a prime component in the governance of a society.

Any aid or subsidy, however, is not meant to be dished out as dole benefits to passive citizens without resourcefulness or personal enterprise; the aid is deemed necessary to empower people, by giving them impetus to be active participants in the greater economic community.

In one of the Penang government’s boldest moves, for example, all residential landed properties on state land were made freehold, and all industrial and commercial property owners had their leaseholds converted to the maximum 99 years. “We want to give ownership of land back to the people,” Lim had said.

Of course, in practice, the DAP’s style of administration is not so purely egalitarian; but its socialist roots do hold significant sway in how the administration has caught people by surprise, by making sweeping changes with unassuming audacity.

It remains to be seen then how many more surprises the DAP-led government will dish out, and exactly how well its socialist inclinations will work for the state over the remaining duration of its term in power.

Himanshu is theSun’s Penang bureau chief. Comments:
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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It's UMNO who are ungrateful to Malaysian Chinese

Media Statement by DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) National Chairman and MP for Rasah Loke Siew Fook on Tuesday, 14th April 2009 in Petaling Jaya.

UMNO should instead be grateful to the Chinese community for prolonging their political survival in the 1999 general election.

DAPSY expresses the uttermost outrage over the most distasteful and divisive statement made by the Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin that the Chinese voters were not grateful to the Barisan Nasional and wanted to be kingmakers in Malaysian politics.

Such an insensitive statement, coming from the No 2 leader in the country just barely a week after he took office, showed how out of touch the BN leadership were with the constituents on the ground and their failure to understand the sentiments and aspirations of the Malaysian electorate.

Muhyiddin thought that the Malaysian Chinese voters still subscribed to the old way of “beggar politics” where they would give their votes to the BN in exchange for tokens of allocations to Chinese schools and temples during election season. Let us tell Muhyiddin that their old trick no longer works. The people aspire for a fair and just government where their needs and basic rights to education and development are look into on a sustainable and structural basis, not tokenism.

Muhyiddin’s statement also exemplifies the feudalistic mentality of UMNO leaders who think that they are forever the political masters in the country and the people including the Chinese community are duty-bound to elect them into power. This is also an outdated idea and the people must teach the UMNO leaders that the rights and mandate to govern must be earned and won through good governance, fair policies and clean leadership. The people are the real masters and they have every right to determine who should be the government of the day.

Instead of calling the Chinese community as being ungrateful to the BN government, I would say that it is UMNO who are ungrateful to the Chinese community. It is a known fact that it was the Chinese voters who saved and prolonged UMNO’s political survival in the 1999 general elections where majority of the Malay electorate deserted UMNO during the height of the “Reformasi” movement. In fact, Muhyiddin’s boss, Prime Minister Najib escaped a humiliating defeat by a mere 241-vote majority in his Pekan constituency thanks to the Chinese votes.

Muhyiddin owed all Malaysians a public apology.
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Saturday, April 11, 2009

DAPSY Orientation Camp 2009

DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) is having our orientation camp in Tiara Beach resort in Port Dickson from 10-12 April. More than 100 young DAPSY members from different states are here to attend this 2-days course. Different modules are being imparted to the members such as History and Introduction to the DAP, Party's ideology, DAP & Pakatan, DAP's organization and Introduction to Basic Political Science.

It's our hope that such political camp will strengthen the understanding of our political struggles among the members and in the process, build a better quality political movement. It's also important to impart good values and culture to the new members.

I'm glad that the camp is not only attended by our Chinese members but also a good number of our Malay and Indian comrades.

Opening speech by DAP Socialist Youth (DAPSY) National Chairman and MP for Rasah Loke Siew Fook at the 2009 DAPSY Orientation Camp on 11 April 2009 in Tiara 3 Ballroom, Tiara Beach Resort, Port Dickson:

I welcome you, my fellow comrades, to the 2009 DAPSY orientation and training camp which is held in Port Dickson, one of the best beach resorts in Malaysia, especially in the west coast of the Peninsula. I’m extending this welcome to all of you on behalf of my home state, Negeri Sembilan, which can potentially become a Pakatan Rakyat state in the near future.

I’m pleased to see that DAPSY divisions across the country have sent such a large delegation to attend this camp, because this is a very important training camp. The objective of this camp is to instill a sense of understanding among members on the party’s ideology and struggle. We have organized such camps in the past, but we’ve never had such enthusiastic support. More than a hundred participants are in this hall waiting eagerly to kick off this camp – this is a fantastic sign that will provide great encouragement to DAPSY to organize a much larger camp is the future.

One of the reasons for organizing this camp is that we have not stressed enough on our party ideology. Some comrades have not understood our ideology, direction, organization and culture. If you could remember, during our DAPSY Congress last December, many questions were raised on the direction of DAPSY, including the question of whether we are a left wing or a right wing movement.

Therefore, I hope that all of you will pay full attention throughout the few modules of the training, from party ideology to party organization. We need to know what we’re fighting for.

This camp would not have been made possible without the support of the DAPSY National Executive Council, divisions and members. For the first time ever, the party headquarters also allocated a sizable amount of subsidy for DAPSY to make this camp possible. Deputy Chairman, Saudari Jenice Lee has also contributed some funds for this event.

I would like to stress that DAP is not an ‘eat, drink and be merry’ party. DAP is a party with strong principles and beliefs, which is serious about its struggles for fairness, justice and democracy in Malaysia.

After attending this camp, I hope that all of you can become trainers yourselves in your particular branches and states. I hope that you can go home and train your fellow members, especially those who are new, so that when we participate in a debate, or when we write statements, we can reflect the party’s positions in various matters. Our ideology is our guiding principle, so we must truly understand it when we’re making statements on behalf of the party.

I’d like to thank the organizers, namely Saudara Ooi Leng Hang, the DAPSY Political Education Bureau director, and Saudara Chua Yew Choong, the Chairman of DAPSY Pandan division, for putting in a lot of time and effort for this camp.

I hope all of you will pay attention and also enjoy the modules at the same time. Have a fruitful and meaningful camp! Thank you
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Friday, April 10, 2009

RM45,786 to thank Rosmah!

I saw this advertisement in Utusan Malaysia when I was checking out from the hotel in Taiping the day after Nizar won the Bukit Gantang by-election. Curious about the cost of a full-page colour advertisement in Utusan national page, I asked my PA to call up Utusan’s office to get a quotation. Guess how much the ad costs?


Yes, the NS state government spent RM45,786 of taxpayers monies just to say “THANK YOU” to our First Lady, Dato’ Seri Rosmah Mansor for visiting Pusat Anak PERMATA Negara Chembong in Rembau, Negeri Sembilan on the 7th April 2009!

I held a press conference this morning and openly whacked the state government and the Menteri Besar for wasting taxpayers’ monies on such an unnecessary, unproductive and totally wasteful expenditure! What benefits the rakyat of Negeri Sembilan will get from such an advertisement? Wasn’t the state government talking about cost-cutting and tightening the belt during the current economic crisis? They asked the rakyat to understand the pain and cruise through this storm together?

Well, it is understood that the position of certain leaders in the state are very shaky and uncertain. Perhaps, they need to strengthen the “cable” with the PM through the throne behind.

Folks, now you decide whether you want to continue to let these people manage your tax monies…
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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Same old faces in Cabinet!

There's not much excitement in the new Cabinet line-up. Most of the Ministers are still the same old faces. Just a swap of ministries among them. And a few of them went in through "backdoor" as they were rejected by the people in the last general election such as Koh Tsu Koon, Sharizat, Chew Mei Fun, etc.. Perhaps the boldest move by Najib was to exclude Khairy from the Cabinet even though he is the UMNO Youth Chief (you know who is behind it la)...and to add salt to his injury, his defeated opponent, Mukhriz Mahathir was rewarded a Deputy Minister of MITI! Even Khairy's deputy got a deputy ministership. It seems that the "most powerful" young man is no more powerful.

Anyway, as an MP, I welcome the dropping of the most unwelcomed minister in Parliament - Azalina Othman! And she can say goodbye to her political career.

The so-called "leaner, meaner and slimmer" Cabinet did not really materialize. It just shows that Najib do not have the political will to use the "axe" and succumbed to political lobbying and jockeying. Mahathirism has returned and the beginning of the demise of Barisan Nasional. Read more!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Confirmed: 2-1

Pakatan again thrashed Bn 2-1. We won in 2 bukit by convincing majority but lost in batang ai. referendum result... A big NO to najib as pm..And the voters in bukit gantang made it loud and clear, they want the state assembly to be dissolved and oppose the illegal bn goverment! So the score of the last 5 by elections stood at 4 to 1 in pakatan favour. Read more!

Bukit Gantang live: Pakatan winning

At the current rate, pakatan should not face any problem to defend bukit gantang. nizar is just steps away from parliament. As of now, pas 17427 while bn 15001. Majority 2426. Another 25 streams to go.. Is safe bet to predict a win for pakatan at around 2000 to 2500 majority! Read more!

Bukit Gantang live: pakatan lead widen

Latest result as of 7.15 pm. pas 10361 votes, bn 8117. Majority 2244. More to come Read more!

Bukit Gantang live: pakatan won big in chinese area

the results just came in from kuala sepetang. Majority chinese area.. We won more than 1000 votes majority in that area alone. We are leading by 1693 votes now. Live from pas main operation center. Read more!

Bukit Gantang live: Pakatan leading

Pakatan leading by 222 votes after 5 streams! Read more!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chinese villagers campaigning hard for PAS!

I'm in kuala sepetang now, a chinese fishing village within the bukit gantang constituency. The political temperature is rising rapidly here, just 12 hours before polling starts. Hundreds of PAS campaigners are making their rounds and they were warmly welcomed by the locals. Some interesting development here is the fact that the local villagers are openly campaigning for PAS. As you can see in the picture above, they are waving the green flag with high spirits. Nobody pay them to do it but it is a clear expression of support to pakatan. This is something that will shake Umno to the core. Pakatan spirit is in full display on the ground, at least in kuala sepetang! Read more!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

DAP dinner in Bukit Gantang full house

I just arrived in Taiping and currently attending the thousand people dinner organised by DAP near Simpang, a town located within Bukit Gantang constituency. I was told that the dinner sold 220 tables at RM380 a table and tables at the front sold at RM1000 per table. Yes, all tables are sold, not free dinner. And there are only speeches by pakatan top leaders, definitely no 'sexy dance' in between. Yet, the crowd are very supportive. That's the difference between pakatan and bn... Way to go! Read more!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

One true?

Our 6th Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has come out with another catchy slogan...One Malaysia. He is trying to convince Malaysians that he will be an inclusive leader for all. Well, he has yet to spell out exactly what is it all about. But let us give him some parameters if he is serious about inclusiveness!

1) Education - The government should allocate equal resources to all types of schools in the country. All schools should be fully government-funded. It means that students studying in Chinese and Tamil primary schools and those in missionary schools no longer need to bring back donation cards to raise funds to build a new hall, canteen or computer lab.

2) Higher education - No more different system for post-SPM students who want to pursue a place in public universities. The end for both STPM and matriculation and replace it with a common examination system for all Malaysian students who want to study in public universities. Entry to public universities purely based on meritocracy with an exceptional small percentage reserved for marginalized groups such an indegeneous group in Sabah and Sarawak.

3) Government scholarships - Granting of scholarships purely based on merit and socio-economic background, no racial quota. High fliers from lower-income families should be given top priority, irrespective of race.

4) Pakatan Rakyat state government - fully respect the concept of federalism. Equal treatment to all PR states just like any other state government under BN. Development funds for those states should be channelled directly to state government. Immediate closure of all Federal Development Agency in all PR states.

5) Constituency development fund - All MPs, both BN and Pakatan have equal access to Parliamentary constituency development fund. MPs irrespective of party background are given the rights to determine how the annual funds are being allocated to their constituents.

6) Local government - Return the democratic rights to elect local government to the people. A commitment by Najib that come next General Election, all Malaysians will have 3 ballots in their hand - one to elect their MP, second to elect their state assemblyman and third to elect their local councillor.

7) Housing discount - All Malaysians who earned a household income of less than RM3,000 a month, irrespective of race are entitled to a 5% discount when they purchase their first house. Dismantle the system of giving discount based on race.

8) Government assistance - All government grants, loans or incentive are open for application to all Malaysians. Eligibility is determined by needs and not race. Lower-income groups are given priority.

9) Special economic policy - To draw up a new special economic policy to uplift the standard of living of the poor, both in rural and urban areas irrespective whether they are Malay, Indian, Chinese, Iban, Kadazan...

10) Government forms - To BAN the column of "bangsa" and "agama" in all government forms. All Malaysians are equal citizens.

The above list is not in anyway comprehensive but if Najib can achieve 80% of those issues, I consider him the greatest reformer in the Malaysian history.

Well, let's hear your wishes now...
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Friday, April 3, 2009

Sexy dance is "Chinese culture"?

I grown up in quite a traditional Chinese family. When i was kid, my parents took me to watch Chinese Kwangtung opera show because they are big fans of it. I did not understand what they sing but I know that it was part of our cultural identity and I appreciate that! During Chinese New Year, I enjoy watching lion dance performance, having reunion dinner, tossing "yee sang" and receiving ang pows. And come Cheng Beng (which is tomorrow), I will accompany my parents to clean up my grandparent's graveyard and offer prayers. These traditions are proudly our Chinese culture.

But never in my life that i was told "Sexy dance" (dance performance in sexy attire) is part of "Chinese culture"! Any of you out there heard that before?

Well, this is the understanding of "Chinese culture" of the newly elected most senior UMNO Vice President and Minister in the PM's Department in charge of Islamic affairs Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi! Maybe this is something he heard from the MCA and Gerakan leaders.

This cheap gimmick used by MCA in a political function to attract crowd is a big insult to the Chinese community, both men and women. The MCA thought that these Chinese dancers who clad in sexy outfit can be used as "political tools" to attract voters. And they also thought that the Chinese Ah Pek in all Chinese new villages can be won over by just "washing their eyes" with some sexy dance.

By using "sexy dance" to pull the crowd, isn't this show that MCA and Gerakan have no confidence whatsoever in their leaders' ability to convince the voters by their speeches?

Shame on you...MCA and Gerakan!
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Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Kempen Balik Kampung Mengundi!

Video iklan ini merupakan sumbangan daripada DAP untuk membantu kempen Pilihanraya Kecil serentak 7 April 2009. Kami menyeru semua pengundi yang berasal dari Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau dan Batang Ai untuk pulang mengundi pada 7 April nanti. Setiap undi adalah penting dan jangan lepaskan hak demokrasi anda untuk membawa perubahan!

Hai rakan-rakan muda, Jom balik undi! Read more!