Among Pat Lah's proposals in his Budget speech themed "A Caring Government" were:
INCOME tax breaks
Highest marginal tax rate for individuals will be reduced from 28% to 27%, effective the year of assessment 2009. Marginal tax rate of 13% will also be reduced to 12%, which will benefit the middle income group.
Excise duty specific on cigarettes will be increased by three sen from 15 sen per stick to 18 sen per stick. With this, the duty for a 20-stick pack of cigarettes is now increased by 60 sen.
FOR the lower middle-income, and middle-income groups
Current tax rebate of RM350 per person will be increased to RM400 for those with taxable income of RM35,000 and below. Some 100,000 tax payers will thus be out of the tax net.
All interest income for individuals be tax exempt.
Reduce import duties on various consumer durables from between 10% and 60% to between 5% and 30%. These include blender, rice cooker, microwave oven and electric kettle. Also full import duty exemption on several food items, which now attract import duties of between 2% and 20%. These include vermicelli, biscuits, fruit juices and canned sweet corn.
Road tax on private passenger vehicles with diesel engines to be the same as those with petrol engines, effective Sept 1 2008.
Travel allowance for commuting to work provided by employers given full tax deduction, while employees receiving such an allowance be given tax exemption of up to RM2,400 per year.
Tax exemption to employees on the following staff benefits:
-- Interest subsidies on housing, motor vehicles and education loans. The tax exemption will be limited to total loans up to RM300,000; -- Mobile phones, as well as telephone and internet bills paid by the employer; -- Staff discounts of up to RM1,000 a year on company traded goods; -- Staff discounts on services rendered by the company, such as private schools providing free education to children of their employees; and -- Childcare allowance of up to RM2,400 per year.
Tax exemption to include expenses on maternity.
Tax exemption on acupuncture and ayurvedic treatment
For the purchase of medium cost houses of up to RM250,000, a 50% stamp duty exemption is given only on the instrument of transfer. To further reduce the cost of buying medium cost houses, the Government proposes the 50% stamp duty exemption be extended to loan agreements.
Government proposes the exemption of: -- Import duty and sales tax on solar photovoltaic system equipment; -- Import duty and sales tax on intermediate goods such as High Efficiency Motors and insulation materials; -- Sales tax on locally manufactured solar heating system equipment; -- Sales tax on locally manufactured energy efficient consumers goods such as refrigerators, air-conditioners, lightings, fans and televisions; and -- 100% import duty and 50% excise duty on new hybrid CBU cars, with engine capacity below 2,000 cc, be given to franchise importers. This exemption is given for a period of two years to prepare for the local assembly of such cars.
HELPING hand for the poor:
Households which incur monthly electricity bills of RM20 or less will not have to pay for electricity, for the period from Oct 1 2008 to end of 2009. The Government will bear the cost of such bills, amounting to RM170 million for the period, benefitting 1.1 million households.
Government pensioners who had served at least 25 years upon retirement will receive a pension of not less than RM720 per month, effective Jan 1 2009. This increase benefit 75,000 retirees, including those receiving derivative pensions.
Eligibility criteria for welfare assistance will be raised -- from a monthly household income of RM400 to RM720 for Peninsular Malaysia, RM830 for Sarawak and RM960 for Sabah. This will double the number of eligible recipients from 54,000 households to 110,000.This includes an increase in the number of eligible senior citizens from 14,000 to 40,000. Allocation: an additional RM500 million
Government to set up a special fund of RM25 million to channel financial assistance to families deprived of their sources of income, particularly arising from accidents to breadwinners.
For caregivers in Rumah Tunas Harapan, the Government will increase their allowance from RM600 to RM1,000 per month, effective Sept 1 2008.
A monthly allowance of RM150 to be given to the disabled who cannot work. In addition, the monthly allowance for disabled students in special education schools, will also be increased from RM50 to RM150, while teaching assistants in these schools will be provided incentive payments of RM200 per month.
FOR civil servants
A bonus of one-month salary, subject to a minimum of RM1,000 for 2008. The bonus will be paid in two instalments, namely in September and December 2008.
The Government now provides a subsidy of RM180 per month towards TASKA fees for those with monthly household income of RM2,000. Effective Jan 1 2009, the eligibility criteria will be increased to RM3,000.
Civil servants are given free return airfares to their home states, between Peninsular Malaysia, and Sabah and Sarawak, once every two years. This facility will be provided every year, effective Jan 1 2009.
Government will improve the terms for staff housing loans, as follows: -- Extend the tenure of new housing loans from 25 years to 30 years; -- Provide housing loan facility for renovation works on houses not purchased through Government housing loan; and -- Extend the housing loan insurance panel to all eligible insurance companies. At present, the panel is limited to five insurance companies.
Special incentive allowance for police personnel will be increased from RM100 to RM200 monthly, effective Jan 1 2009.
IMPROVING public transport
RapidPenang to get 200 more buses.Currently, it provides bus services on 33 routes in 106 housing areas with ridership of 46,000 passengers daily, constituting 60% of total bus services in Pulau Pinang. The new buses will bring the total to 350. Services will be extended to cover 14 new routes and ridership is estimated to increase to 120,000 passengers daily by end of 2009.
RM35 billion will be expended on public transportation from 2009 to 2014. This includes projects to enhance the capacity of existing rail services, build new rail tracks, increase the number of buses, and to provide better infrastructure facilities.
LRT system in Klang Valley will be extended by 30 km, that is 15 km respectively, for Kelana Jaya and Ampang lines. Upon completion in 2011, the extensions will benefit 2.6 million residents in Subang Jaya-USJ and Kinrara-Puchong areas, compared with 1.9 million currently. 35 train carriages for the Kelana Jaya Line have been procured costing RM1.3 billion and these trains will be fully operational by early 2010.
New LRT line will be built along a 42-km route from Kota Damansara to Cheras. This new line, with a capacity exceeding 300,000 passengers daily, will, upon completion in 2014, provide rail services to more than one million residents in the housing, industrial and financial areas in the vicinity.
Commuter rail services of Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) will be upgraded. A 7.5 km Sentul-Batu Caves line is under construction and is expected to be completed by 2010.
An integrated transport terminal is being built in Bandar Tasik Selatan. This can accommodate more than 130 taxis and 100 buses, complete with parking facilities and commercial lots, and will provide connectivity to the Ampang Line, ERL and KTM Commuter as well as urban taxis and buses in the Klang Valley. This terminal is expected to be operational in 2011.
To reduce public transport operators' operating costs, the Government will undertake the following measures:
-- provide a soft loan facility of RM3 billion under the Public Transportation Fund, administered by Bank Pembangunan Malaysia Berhad (BPMB), to finance the acquisition of buses and rail assets; and
-- reduce toll charges by 50% for all buses, except at border entry points, namely Johor Causeway, Second Link and Bukit Kayu Hitam, for a period of two years, effective Sept 15 2008. The Government will provide compensation to toll operators for their loss of revenue, estimated at RM45 million per year.
> Bus operators to get sales tax exemption on the purchase of locally assembled new buses and Accelerated Capital Allowance on the expenditure incurred.
> Road tax will be reduced to RM20 a year for all bus and taxi operators, including rent-a-car and limousine operators.
SUPPORTING Heritage sites
In July 2008, UNESCO listed Melaka and Georgetown as World Heritage Sites for the living culture, history, architecture and diversified culture. This reflects a global recognition of our rich and diversified cultural heritage. To support preservation initiatives, the Government will provide an allocation of RM50 million for conservation works of heritage sites in Melaka and Pulau Pinang, to support activities undertaken by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private sector.
HUMAN capital development
Proposal to extend the double deduction to employers for sponsoring their employees to pursue postgraduate studies in areas, such as in ICT, electronics and life sciences.
In addition, withholding tax exemption will be given to non-resident experts providing technical training services in these areas.
Double deduction to employers for sponsoring employees to pursue post-grad studies in areas like ICT, electronics, life sciences
Pat Lah's parting shot......
Pat Lah said the BN Government will continue to manage the economy responsibly.
"The Opposition, on the other hand, continues to make populist claims, which, if implemented, would undermine the Government’s financial position and bequeath a bankrupt nation to the next generation."
“I will not allow disturbances to continue. I will not permit the mandate given by the people to be seized” from the ruling party, he said. This, of course, got the opposition ranks in the Dewan Rakyat heckling him.
Meanwhile, Anwar commented that Pat Lah looked nervous when delivering the speech, saying that it was probably "because of the unrest in the people." Anwar, however, shot back at Abdullah's accusation of "opportunistic threats of seizing the people's mandate through undemocratic means".
"He still has the audacity to preach about democracy. Look at his media policy, corruption, judiciary. A no-confidence vote is a normal process and is the decision of the MPs," Anwar said.
The newly appointed opposition leader said when Abdullah talked of "mandates, he sounded like a dictator. What snatching? It is the will of the people and their representatives. He himself wanted to snatch Permatang Pauh."
But why not listen to what other people have to say?
UMNO publicity chief Mohd Taib: "Of course he won. Permatang Pauh is his place, and the seat was vacated by his wife. We were the underdogs, and it's inevitable that we lost."
(What a publicity chief. Even such an excuse could have come out from his mouth.)
Pro-UMNO website Agenda Daily: "Anwar is not that great, only that luck was not on Arif's side. If the 447 spoilt votes, plus Hanafi's 92, all went to BN, plus 857 more voters casting their votes in favour of BN, then Anwar's majority would not have been 15,617, perhaps less than Wan Azizah's. Then, he could not claim that he has won."
(Another spectacular reason has been offered.)
Mahathir (this one is really interesting): "Permatang Pauh voters did not intend to vote for Anwar, but were worried that if they voted for Arif Shah, then BN would claim the victory, and Abdullah would say voting for BN was a vote of confidence for him, and that would be his personal triumph."
"So the voters went for Anwar, because they wanted Pak Lah to realise that he was no longer popular."
(Now then I know how Permatang Pauh voters have been thinking.)
After the defeat, all kinds of excuses and accusations have surfaced.
UMNO leaders don't seem to have woken up from their sleep. They thought it was just a nightmare, and everything would be alright upon waking up.
So, they have forgotten all their experiences in Permatang Pauh over the past ten days. Well, defeat is normal, and should rightfully be so.
Or perhaps, defeat is not because of our fault, or going further, we have never been defeated at all.
To get the "big brother" to bow down and accept its defeat, is pretty difficult. To get it to admit its mistakes, is next to impossible.
Because of such a mentality, UMNO has made no progress after the March general elections, instead, it has resorted to more aggressive tricks, thinking that by doing so it will not have done anything wrong, or has never been defeated at all.
The voters don't seem to accept that logic. They have the right to make their own decisions.
If BN leaders remain in their current hypnotic state, mobilise all their resources to bring down Anwar, or blow up racial issues, ignoring their obligations towards the people and nation, then more drastic disasters will be on the way.
Meanwhile, Pak Lah's major opponent outside the system--the Mahathir faction, is also trying to exploit BN's defeat in Permatang Pauh to shift the people's attention, pushing all the responsibilities to Pak Lah and his son-in-law, demanding that the PM resign ahead of his own timetable.
Of course, Abdullah has a responsibility, a major one indeed, but BN and UMNO's problems will not be totally resolved with the bowing out of Abdullah.
BN and UMNO's problems are the lack of a positive and healthy philosophy in running the country, its failure to establish a corruption-free political culture, and inability to meet the needs and demands of the society.
Their problems and weaknesses could only be addressed if they have learned to admit and accept their defeat, identify workable solutions, and implement the necessary reforms.
This is the best education Permatang Pauh has offered. (By Tay Tian Yan/Translated by Dominic Loh/Sin Chew Daily)
source : MySinchew
Permatang Pauh represented a failure of parties like the MCA and MIC to convince non-Malays of any reason to support BN. But crucially, the Malays there also rejected Umno's more pro-Malay stance, seemingly in favour of Anwar's multi-racial politics.
As Umno licks its wounds and reviews the situation, it is imperative that MCA take the opportunity to attempt to convince Umno that it has to really reform and the BN has to take on a substantially more multi-racial face to have any chance of winning back voter support. Read here and here.
Aljazeera's 101 East. - A special feature on Anwar's return to Parliament after 10 years will be aired on Aljazeera at 8.30pm tonight(28/8). If you miss tonight's, tune in on............... Friday(29/8) at 3.30 am, 11 am, 2.30 pm; Saturday(30/8) at 10 pm; Sunday(31/8) at 1.30 pm; Monday(1/9) at 9.30 am; Tuesday(2/9) at 6.30 pm; Wednesday3/9) at 3.30 pm, 10 pm; and Thursday(4/9) at 2 pm.
It features comments by KJ, the guy who wanted Anwar buried in Permatang Pauh, among others.
Anwar Ibrahim has already being listed in the Website of the Malaysian Parliament here. Surely they acted fast. All the best to you YB Anwar Ibrahim.
Another interesting analysis of Anwar's victory from the Malaysian Insider.........
Anwar's in, Pak Lah's out
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's stunning win at the Permatang Pauh by-election not only cemented his position as the undisputed leader of the opposition in Malaysia, it prompted senior Umno politicians to begin the countdown to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's last day in office.
The majority view is that he has to go by the end of the year if Umno and BN are to stand any chance of checking the advance of Pakatan Rakyat and holding onto to power at the next general elections.
Tuesday night was a repeat of March 8 with Pakatan Rakyat giddy with an electoral success and BN politicians dizzy with another rejection by the public.
But the joy was sweeter for the opposition because their icon not only won but did so in style, trouncing BN's Arif Shah by a 15,671 majority, 2,000 more votes than what his wife obtained five months ago.
The pain was more severe for BN because unlike March 8, they were not caught blind-sided. They poured in millions of ringgit into the campaign, brought their heavy hitters, threw every conceivable missile at Anwar but still ended up losing badly.
The consequences of the Permatang Pauh by-election could be far-reaching, with even Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's neatly-packaged two-year transition of power under threat from increasingly disillusioned party members and leaders of coalition partners.
On Tuesday, only two hours after the last box of votes had been counted, senior Umno politicians were in deep discussion over the need for Abdullah to step down, believing that he had lost the ability to check a resurgent opposition.
A check of the voting pattern at 25 polling stations showed that Anwar snared a handy portion of Malays votes and the bulk of non-Malay votes.
source : malaysian insider
Arif Shah(BN) secured 15,524 votes out of 47528 votes cast or 81% turnout. Assuming these 15,524 votes are from BN diehard members,how many came from UMNO members? Maybe many UMNO members did not vote, because they are tired of with UMNO,Pat Lah and Najib. UMNO says they have about 20,000 registered members in Permatang Pauh and they(UMNO members) had voted Anwar Ibrahim instead..............
Malaysia’s opposition leader, Anwar Ibrahim, is set to be sworn in as a member of parliament two days after a landslide by-election win marked his return to mainstream politics. Anwar, a member of the Keadilan (Justice) party, won a decisive victory on Tuesday in a contest for Permatang Pauh, a constituency in his northern home state of Penang.
Pandikar Amin Mulia, the speaker of Malaysia’s lower house of parliament, said Anwar will be formally sworn in as legislator on Thursday. This will allow Anwar, a former deputy prime minister and finance minister, to attend the tabling of the annual budget in parliament on Friday by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Malaysia’s prime minister. His return to mainstream politics after a decade is expected to boost the opposition voice in parliament led by a loose coalition known as Pakatan Rakyat, or People’s Alliance.
“We will all be there to welcome Anwar as the leader of the opposition and the parliament will be very different with his voice,” Tian Chua, Keadilan’s information chief, told AFP on Wednesday.
“It is a real morale boost for the Pakatan Rakyat in parliament.”
Anwar’s landslide victory on Tuesday will not tip the balance of national power but he has vowed to topple the government and become the next prime minister with a promise for change. He claims there are enough MPs from the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition who are wiling to join him to form a new government by mid-September. He needs the support of 30 defectors to make this happen.
Last month Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, who is also Keadilan president, resigned from the Permatang Pauh seat to make way for him to contest.
Anwar’s convincing win comes despite a new charge of sexual misconduct for allegedly sodomising a male aide early this year. He says the charges are part of a politically-motivated smear campaign by the government. Under Malaysian law, sodomy is illegal even if consensual, and a conviction could see Anwar jailed for up to 20 years. Anwar is scheduled to appear in court on September 10 to deny charges of sexual misconduct, which he says is a government conspiracy similar to that mounted against him 10 years ago.
In 1998 Anwar was charged with sodomy and corruption which led to his sacking from government and political office. He was later convicted on both charges and served six years in jail before the sodomy conviction was overturned in 2004. The conviction for corruption remains. Anwar has maintained that Mahathir Mohamad, the former Malaysian prime minister who was his long-time mentor, had framed him in 1998 to prevent a power struggle.
source : al-jazeera
Meanwhile Dr.Mahathir said “The Permatang Pauh by-election results is a clear message for Barisan Nasional, Umno and its leaders. Within five months after the March 8 polls, Barisan lost the seat again, with a bigger majority than the last time.
“This is not only because the by-election was held in Permatang Pauh and one of the candidates was Anwar Ibrahim. I believe this will be the trend at other places as well and those who came out to vote on Tuesday had voted for the Opposition,” he said when met at his office on Wednesday.
Dr Mahathir predicted that with Anwar back in Parliament, he would be making “life very difficult” for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“I don’t think Abdullah is a match for Anwar. This man (Anwar) can convince even the devil to follow him. He is going to raise all kinds of issues and questions and will demand and pressure the Prime Minister for answers. It is going to be a tough time for Barisan,” he said.
Dr Mahathir said Abdullah, his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and other leaders should not close their “ears and eyes” to the people’s message and neither should they blame the Permatang Pauh defeat on sabotage or other elements.
“The people sent a message at the March 8 polls and again in the Permatang Pauh by-election. Leaders should sit up and take stock of this. They want changes and they want it quick. Not in June 2010.
“If changes are made two years from now, then Umno will face an uphill task to gain strength and the people’s confidence. If they fail to do so, then Barisan can expect defeat in the 13th general election,” he said, adding he was willing to come back to the party’s fold and work towards reviving it if Abdullah step down before the 2010 deadline.
He said Umno should be concerned that it was losing in popularity and appeal, claiming that even DAP had become more appealing to Malays, referring to former Transparency International Malaysia chairman Tunku Aziz Tunku Ibrahim becoming the DAP’s latest recruit.
However Dr.Mahathir is skeptical that Anwar would not be able to get 30 MPs to switch to the Opposition to form the government.
Guys, do you all think that UMNO should reinvent itself or be left to die a slow death.................
Anwar Ibrahim (PKR) has won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a 15,671 vote majority. Anwar polled 31,195 votes to Datuk Arif Shah (BN)'s 15,524 votes, while the third candidate Hanafi Mamat (Akim) polled only 92 votes and lost his deposit. Wan Azizah had won the seat by 13,398 votes in the last general elections on March 8.
Anwar said he had outgunned the government despite a "sickening" campaign that focused on new sodomy allegations against him, and was marred by allegations of vote-buying and electoral fraud.
The opposition has also accused the coalition of attempting to undermine Anwar by stoking tensions between Muslim Malays who dominate the population, and minority ethnic Chinese and Indian citizens.
"This is a clear indication that people of all races have rejected the communal politics of Barisan Nasional. It is a clear endorsement of our reform agenda. We are on track to take over the government," Anwar told AFP. Evidently UMNO's call to safeguard “the future of the Malay race” and "ketuanan Melayu” had irked the Malays.
In his victory speech Anwar said,“The people of Permatang Pauh have spoken not only for themselves, but on behalf of all Malaysians that they want change,” he said.
“Now we can work towards building a free press, an independent judiciary, an economy that benefits the vast majority and not a few sons and sons-in-laws.” He also promised to fight towards an administration that would benefit all races.
UMNO/BN is very much upset with the result,though, they knew that they will lose but not with a bigger majority. UMNO/BN isnt taking this defeat with ease. Rumors have it that the gomen is preparing another showdown with Anwar soon on some trump up charges. How true the rumour is, no one really knows but please take it seriously.This allegation here probably be their second move besides the sodomy case.
Muhammad Muhammad Taib, UMNO's Information chief said, "Yes of course we have lost... we were the underdogs going into this race." He added,"He is the winner here because this is his hometown and the timing of the elections is to his advantage because Umno's party polls will be held in a month."
Najib on the other hand said Anwar's win in the Permatang Pauh by-election showed democracy 'was still alive' in the country and was not being manipulated as claimed by certain quarters.
Meanwhile streamyx at DNS level has reportedly block Raja Petra’s alternative news portal Malaysia Today.has been reportedly blocked by Streamyx at DNS level,to access the website,try this link. Malaysian Insider also reports that the government’s next task is to crack down on bloggers.
To Anwar Ibrahim I extend my heartfelt congrats,we had done our part. Now its up to you to prove that the rakyat of Permatang Pauh made the right choice................
I crossed the Penang bridge at 8.30 pm with a couple of friends and as we approached the mainland, traffic was already moving slowly. We made our way to the ceramah area, after parking our vehicle about a kilometer away and walked. Jalan Baru was jammed with cars and motobikes,many double parked and that caused massive traffic jams for vehicles heading towards Bukit Mertajam.
It was drizzling and the crowds were swelling. Couldnt enter the ceramah area as it was congested. At the podium was Gobalakrishnan giving his fiery speech. We stood under a PKR tent crowded with people and there I met bloggers Zorro,Raja Petra,Rocky Bru and others. Later on met with Anwar's brother Idrus Ibrahim and chat over a cup of teh tarik and bihun soup.
People of all races - Malays, Chinese, Indians either standing or sitting on the ground to hear speaker after speaker taking their pot shot at BN and the gomen. Leaders from PAS and DAP were around too. An estimate number of between 40,000 - 60,000 converged here to listen Anwar's last call.
As it was getting late; raining quite heavily; the place was too crowded with people, and my legs were aching I decided to leave for home.We missed Anwar's final speech but I am sure he will repeat whatever he said before.
On the way home we spoke about how BN adopted various strategies to stop Anwar from entering parliament.BN dissolved Parliament and conducted the 12th GE on March 8, a month short for Anwar's eligibility to contest in public election.
Charged Anwar for alleged sodomy on Saiful Bukhari Azlan a day after the EC has announced the by-election date. They scheduled polling day on Tuesday, a working day. Mohd Saiful'swearing on Quran allegation sexual assault a day before nomination day.
The non-stop screening of the swearing ceremony; the startling revelation by ex-PKR leaders; and the distribution of unanimous printed materials and, putting up banners and posters with racist scoffs on Pakatan Rakyat leaders.
I told my friends that this by-election is not about Anwar Ibrahim winning,but its rather the magnitude of his victory. If Wan Azizah could retain the seat by a 13,000 majority,I think he should do it better. But that was during a general election,while this is a by-election.
In a by-election BN always will be on the advantage. BN could mobilise all its resources and firepower to bury their opponent. Just see how much they promised,pumped and throw money around. On an even ground Anwar can easily trash his opponent but in a by-election like this, just like Ijok,many strange things can happen - the tainted electoral rolls,undi hantu, doubtful postal voters, missing names etc,etc.
As the clock ticks away in Permatang Pauh to end the intense campaign, my bet is still on Anwar Ibrahim winning this by-election. It doesnt matter by what margin the majority he gets. To me the fact remains that even if Anwar wins with one vote, it's still a victory.
My friends agree that no matter what the outcome of the by-election polling result at Permatang Pauh, BN will lose.
Reached home at 1.30 am.
To those elegible Permatang Pauh voters do come out in force and make sure you send Anwar Ibrahim to Parliament................
“Bandar Tun Razak ke Kulim tidaklah jauh Kuala Kangsar Bandar Diraja 26 Ogos di Permatang Pauh Pastikan Anwar Ibrahim berjaya”
Ketika 15 orang pemimpin PKR mengistiharkan keluar parti di hadapan Ezam Md.Noor di Sungai Petani semata-mata kerana Anwar enggan bersumpah berkaitan dengan kes liwatnya, imam yang menyaksikan acara bersumpah laknat Saiful di Mesjid Wilayah Persekutuan hari ini mencipta kegemparan apabila berucap di atas pentas PKR dalam pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh.
Ramlang Porigi menjelaskan beliau telah diarahkan hadir di majlis sumpah Saiful pada 15 Ogos lalu, yang mendakwa diliwat oleh Anwar Ibrahim, calon PKR di kawasan parlimen itu.
Imam itu juga meminta beliau tidak dikaitkan dengan majlis sumpah Mohd Saiful kerana hadir tanpa perancangan awal dan hanya kebetulan berada di masjid untuk urusan pernikahan. Ramlang muncul lebih kurang 10 minit di satu ceramah besar anjuran PKR di Padang Ibu di Penanti menjelang jam 11.30 malam ini.
Beliau tiba di majlis kempen pembangkang itu ketika pesuruhjaya PAS Pahang, Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man sedang menyampaikan ceramahnya. Tuan Ibrahim, bekas wakil rakyat Jengka, memberikan laluan kepada Ramlang sebelum menyambung semula ceramahnya.
"Beliau telah mengakui bahawa cara bersumpah itu tidak betul dan dia telah terpaksa untuk menerima dan berada di dalam majlis sumpah tersebut. Menurutnya sumpah mubahalah itu tidak sah kerana ia tidak dihadiri oleh pihak satu lagi. Menurutnya mubahalah seharusnya dihadiri kedua belah pihak."
Ribuan penyokong pembangkang dan pengundi Permatang Pauh hadir ketika itu.
Meanwhile,the state government has declared a public holiday on Tuesday “to ensure a full turnout of voters for the critical Permatang Pauh by-election”, CM Lim Guan Eng said.
He said in a statement that Penang had been mulling over the matter since the Elections Commission fixed the day, a working day, as the polling day “in defiance of public opinion that the move will reduce voter turnout.”
“Clearly reducing the voter turnout will affect the election results as it may be seen as favouring one party over the other,” he said.
Joceline Tan, the Star columnist,in her analysis on the Permatang Pauh by-election "A fight to win over Malay fence-sitters" wrote,
The PKR side insists that Malay voters tak makan or have not swallowed the implications of Saiful’s testimony. But PAS central committee member Dr Mujahid Yusof said: “We’re still not sure of the impact. Morality is a serious thing to the Malays and Saiful did swear on the Quran and he did it in a mosque.”
PAS is planning to capture the fence-sitters this weekend by bringing in its three ulama superstars, party president Hj. Abdul Hadi Awang, Mursyidul Am Nik Aziz Nik Mat and famous spiritual healer Dr Haron Din.They are depending on their ulama leaders to provide the Islamic arguments to this thorny issue.
So the ulamaks,Hadi Awang,Dr.Haron Din and other ulamak leaders were in Permatang Pauh last night. Today,PAS spiritual leader Tok Guru Nik Aziz will around to provide a lending hand to Anwar.
Last night they were in Guar Perahu,where between 10,000 - 15,000 people attended their ceramah. To-night, Tuan Guru Nik Aziz,Hj.Hadi Dr.Haron Din and PAS dignitaries,including Anwar will at Mesjid Bandar Perda for solat hajat prayers and ceramah.
Last night,I happened to follow a group of PAS house to house campaigners,some from Penang and others were from Terengganu making home calls in the Kampung Sama Gagah area. We covered quite a large area,from the kampung extending into the old town of Permatang Pauh.
We were distributing fliers from door to door and it so happened we came across a group of Chinese residents in that area. One fine lady,looked and smile at us and this was what she said,"Aiya....lu olang jangan takut,kita olang mesti kasi itu Anwat naik. Dulu pun kita ada kasi sama lia ma!"
Then, another elderly Chinese man standing by,said, "kita olang cina mesti kasi ini Anwat punya,tapi lu olang patut pigi itu Melayu punya lumah kasi depa sokong sama Anwat." "Itu bulak sudah bikin kasi Anwat busuk ma....dan ini olang Melayu pun ada susah mau percaya atau tidak.
Another lady joined in and said,"Eh,kawan kita olang tatak percaya sama itu budak. Lu tengok itu budak manyak besaq lagi muda,lu ingat itu Anwat boloh kah mau bikin itu keleja?,ini semua tatak masuk akai punya, ini semua keleja olang jahat mau kasi Anwat jatoh"
Then we came across a group of Indian youngsters on their motorbike,who saw us and came to ask for some fliers while chanting "makkal sakti". One of them even ask for the PAS cap worn by one of the PAS campaigner in our group. After giving the cap to him,he said in fluent Malay, "Terima kasih,jangan takut brader Permatang Pauh kita punya dan Anwar boleh menang besar"
I wanted to follow them further but my knees and feet were hurting badly and decided to rest at the PAS pondok nearby. In case you all forget the Penang gomen has declared August 26 2008 a public holiday, If you are a voter don’t forget to cast your vote for Anwar. If you are not, just enjoy your holiday............
Campaign hots up, Anwar still favoured - Adib Zalkapli
With only three days before the Permatang Pauh by-election polling day, Anwar Ibrahim is still leading in his attempt to return to Parliament. Unofficial figures from political campaigners and observers put Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Anwar's majority votes at around 10,000, slightly lower that that obtained by his wife former MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail who won the seat with a 13,000-plus margin. Both PKR and Barisan Nasional are now intensifying their campaign to scramble for votes in the next 48 hours before the campaign period ends.
PKR national strategy director Saifuddin Nasution believes that retaining the majority of March 8 general election is within reach. Although he declines exact estimation, his party campaigners are enthusiastic about surpassing Wan Azizah's majority, with some of them claiming that achieving a 20,000-vote majority is not impossible.
They, however, realise that Anwar is facing a lot of problems, from the swearing on the Quran by the former deputy prime minister's male aide Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan, who accused the politician of sodomising him, to the fuel price reduction announcement by the government.
BN chief campaigner Najib Razak has also pulled a surprise last night when he want to a mosque here to swear that had never met murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaaribuu. The deputy prime minister has been linked to the case by his detractors, despite repeated denials. PKR youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin said his campaigners had been working hard to convince voters that the lowering of fuel prices was due to Anwar's pressure on the government.
"The people are happy with the lower price but the people also knew that we have promised to reduce it to RM2 if we come to power. Lowering it to RM2.55 (from RM2.70) will not change the voters' sentiment," he said.
As for Najib's swearing on his innocence in a mosque, Shamsul Iskandar said the Umno deputy president would use religion for political ends.
"If Saiful's oath on the Quran is not accepted by the Islamic religious scholars and voters in the constituency, why would it work this time?" he added.
PKR deputy election director Fuziah Salleh is more concerned with ensuring all voters would go out to vote, as she is confident that voters who chose Wan Azizah in the last general election would not switch to BN.
Even with the odds still against him, BN candidate Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah is confident of winning. He has said it before - on nomination day BN's chances of winning was 60:40, a couple days later it was 55:45 and went down to 59:41 a few days ago and now is on the way up again.By polling day, it should exceed 50 per cent and BN will win the by-election – that's what Arif Shah wants to believe.
He also believes the reduction of fuel price will swing the votes. For him, the daring move by Najib to swear in a mosque last night will also give a boost to his campaign. "I can see that Najib was sincere when he took the oath yesterday," he said. Permatang Pauh Umno division secretary Ahmad Shahar Shuib is also confident that BN would win, saying that the party election machinery had been fully activated.
Situation in the constituency is reportedly calm but according to PKR campaigners, the number of police personnel has doubled since nomination day to 6,000, a ratio of one policeman for every 10 voters.
source: Malaysian Insider
Pat Lah decided to take the commuter for a trial ride, and how he found about the service of commuter has been mentioned. Pat Lah was utterly disappointed and angry with the services provided. Why did Pak Lah chosen now to check on these services now?
Obviously there people who's conducting all these surveys and feedback to him on regular basis, probably they were not doing their work? The only thing that strikes my mind is that Pat Lah's "keperihatinan" all because it is related to the Permatang Pauh's by-election. Pak Lah is trying to proof to Permatang Pauh voters and the nation that he's doing his job,after sleeping for over 6 years.
Now comes Najib,emulating Saiful took an oath in a mosque in Guar Perahu,Permatang Pauh swearing, "Dengan nama Allah, Wallahi, Wabillahi, Watallahi, saya tidak kenal dan tidak ada kaitan dengan perempuan Mongolia," - that he doesnt know or have anything to do with the Mongolian lady, Altantuya Shaariibu.
And worst still when Najib brought along the Mongolian Consul who gave a fiery speech at one of UMNO's ceramah,as shown on TV3, to give an impression that Najib is clean and innocent.
Btw. on whose instruction did the Immigration records of Altantuya entering Malaysia were erased and why everyone are keeping silent about this. Maybe Najib and the Mongolian Consul can provide some clues and answers..................
Local Chinese: We’ll give Anwar his chance - Debra Chang
The tent set up at the open air carpark next to the Ku Cheng Tse temple here last night was packed to overflowing with the local Chinese community eager to see and hear Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Underneath the marquee, the tables were abuzz with talk of the federal government’s latest announcement of a reduction of petrol prices at the pumps by 15 sen per litre, effective today. Closer to the back of the tent, a group of older gentlemen were discussing the issue with great fervour. Having just finished the lotus leaf fried rice course, they were very willing to share their opinions on the matter.
Did the Barisan Nasional government think they were naive not to suspect that the announcement had something to do with the upcoming Permatang Pauh by-election next week, they asked. The question was rhetorical, as they each had already formed their own opinion. Anwar was contesting, and the federal government was scared. They feared that he would win and would become the next prime minister, just as he promised he would do. And judging from the many nods round the dinner table, it was also what they all wanted.
“Everyone says An Hwa will win. No doubt about it,” said one of the gents in Hokkkien, a 52-year-old businessman who wished to be known only as Ah Lim. He added that the dinner was his second time attending an Anwar ceramah. Ah Keat was not happy with the 15-sen drop in the petrol price. He’d first heard the opposition icon speak at the Ruby coffeeshop, which seems to be a popular jawing joint among the local Chinese, last week. And he firmly believes that Anwar will be a good leader and will be able to effect change for the betterment of the rakyat when he re-enters Parliament.
Ah Lim further said that Anwar’s wife was a good MP; that’s how she was able to stay the Permatang Pauh MP for three terms before vacating the seat last month to make way for her husband, whom he believed would make an even better MP. He’s got the DAP and Pas to fight for one common goal with him, Lim said, noting that it was not an easy thing.
“He will be sure to take care of the interests of the Chinese, because he will want to keep the support of his allies,” Lim added.
A younger man two seats away jumped into the conversation. He appeared more enthusiastic about Anwar’s chances in the by-election.
“Anwar will win but with a bigger majority than Azizah,” he said most emphatically. As a voter, he was going to do his best to make sure of that.
“We want the BN to forfeit their deposit. Why? Because we want to shame the government. It’s a useless government,” he criticised harshly. He got rather carried away and said that “Pak Lah and Najib can go to hell! You can quote me on that,” he said. However, he would only give his name as Ooi from Kuala Lumpur but originally from Seberang Jaya.
A woman applauds a remark made by one speaker at the dinner. His table-mate, 64-year-old Wong Ah Foo, who has worked 40 years in the construction line held a more moderate stance.
“BN okaylah. The wakil rakyat got jaga our people,” he said, referring to the BN-Umno state assemblyman who is also a candidate in the by-election, Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah, who is fondly known to the local Chinese as “Pek-moh” or “White hair”.
“Pek-moh is a good man. If we need anything, got no money, we can always go to him and he will help us. That’s why he cannot go to Parliament. He has to stay here and take care of local matters,” Wong elaborated, stressing that Arif Shah was more concerned for the Chinese’s welfare than the so-called Chinese political parties, MCA or Gerakan, who are supposed to represent their community.
Wong’s son, Jin Aan, 41, who sat across the table from him, continued his father’s point, saying that even though their local assemblyman was a “good guy”, it was time to bring about a change in government. Wong Jin Aan says it is time to bring about a change in government.
“BN got too much corruption. They spend so much money but got nothing to show for it. Anwar has got the right spirit to bring about change,” said Jin Aan.
A round-faced 52-year-old who only wanted to be referred to as Ah Keat started the volley going when he criticised the 15-sen drop in petrol price.The schoolbus driver said: “As the saying goes: ‘It takes a crook to catch a crook’.” The whole table burst into uproarious laughter. Whether Anwar was innocent of the sodomy allegations or the corruption charges, for which he was imprisoned six years for despite continuously denying them, did not seem important to this group. As Jin Aan concluded: “This year’s March 8 elections proved something. That the people do have power. It’s given us all the confidence that we can effect change.
“The BN has been in power for 50 years. That’s enough. So we’ll give Anwar his chance. If Anwar doesn’t perform, well, we’ll kick him out at the general elections in five years’ time.”
source: malaysian insider
Meanwhile leaflets of those premature Government line-up from Pakatan Rakyat really irks me. I don't believe that these leaflets were given out by Pakatan Rakyat. It's just a scam of BN trying to unsettle non-Malays' votes. BN is trying it best stop non-Malays to cast their votes away from PKR and BN will anything they can think off in order to tarnish their opponent.
The famous SIL, Khairy wants Anwar buried. I just simply cannot tolerate this Rembau kid who shout and brags as if he knows everything. He only knows to bark but never provide any solution to whatever problems he elicits.
I think its time for us Malaysian to give Anwar our full support and shooooo this SIL brag out from Permatang Pauh. Read here and here.
"Atas kesedaran ini, jauh dari dasar hati biarpun terlantar di katil hospital, izinkan saya menggagahkan diri, merayu seluruh rakyat Malaysia tanpa mengira agama, bangsa dan fahaman politik menentang keras budaya fitnah dan konspirasi yang menjelekkan seumpama ini.Sikap protes ini harus lantang dan konsisten hingga sampai ke peti undi pada 26 Ogos 2008."
("Even though I am far away and lying on a hospital bed, I am steeling myself to appeal to all Malaysians irrespective of race, religion or political creed to reject the culture of lies and conspiracy that is before us." "Show your protest loudly and clearly all the way to the ballot box on Tuesday") Wassalam.
DATO’ HAJI NIK ABDUL AZIZ BIN NIK MAT Mursyidul Am PAS
Didoakan agar Tuan Guru cepat semboh dan berada dalam keadaan sihat-sihat selalu.
Tuan Guru Nik Aziz, who was admitted to the Perdana Specialist Hospital in Kota Baru on Tuesday, also accused the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition of resorting to personal attacks in campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election. Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat who will lead a solat hajat (prayer of need) for Anwar this Sunday, has made a plea to the voters to support Anwar.
Tuan Guru Nik Aziz's deputy Dr Haron Din will also join the campaign this Saturday while Pas president Abdul Hadi Awang will be with Tuan Guru Nik Aziz on Sunday. Pas deputy election director Dr Mariah Mahmud said Tuan Guru Nik Aziz's plea to voters was a clear commitment from Pas for Pakatan Rakyat.
Sementara itu satu Forum Perdana yang telah dirancang oleh JPM, Jakim dan Yadim yang diadakan pada Khamis lalu di Sekolah Menengah Penanti Permatang Pauh mendapat sambutan dingin(lihat gambar di atas).
Majlis yang jangka dihadiri oleh 2000 orang hanya mendapat sambutan tak sampai 200 orang yang mai tunjuk muka.Itu pun mungkin juak-juak UMNO. Baca di sini.
Berita telah mula muncul tentang perselisihan antara 'klik dan camp' dalam United Malays National Organisation di Permatang Pauh.
Calon BN Ariff Shah Omar yang dikatakan fasih berbahasa Cina itu tidak mendapat sokongan penuh daripada para gedebe Permatang Pauh.
Hasil 'gaduh' ini dapat dilihat jelas hinggakan poster, kain rentang dan Bilik Gerakan Barisan Nasional menjadi malap.
Bekas ketua bahagian Permatang Pauh, Mat Saat telah menjual sebahagian daripada harta tanahnya untuk dijadikan berjuta-juta ringgit modal. Mat Saat bercita-cita untuk kembali berkuasa di Permatang Pauh.
Dalam masa yang sama gerombolan yang pro Dato Jalil tidak mengerakkan tenaga mereka.
Ezam Mat Nor yang juga ingin bertanding untuk melawan 'boss lamanya' terbukti sebagai pemain politik kecilan sahaja di Permatang Pauh, malah tidak pun termasuk dalam team 'reserve'.
PEMANTAU TIMBUL BANTAHAN
Sebuah badan pemantau National Institute for Electoral Integrity -NIEI - yang memiliki jaringan antarabangsa telah memberikan pandangan awal terhadap beberapa perkara yang dianggap tidak seharusnya berlaku di pilihanraya kecil Permatang Pauh.
1 - Kehadiran helikopter PDRM dalam setiap ceramah Anwar Ibrahim.
2 - Penyalahgunaan 'outriders' untuk membawa Perdana Menteri dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri untuk berkempen.
3 - Kehadiran FRU dan anggota polis yang yang ramai sebagai satu ancaman.
NIEI telah mendatangkan 16 pemantau ke Permatang Pauh. Dua belas orang dari Malaysia, 4 wakil dari Taiwan, Thailand, Indonesia dan Amerika Syarikat.
Ketika ini NIEI masih lagi menjalankan pemantauan.
Pagi ini saya lakukan satu perkara yang amat susah untuk dilakukan - saya bangun pagi
Hasilnya, ketika minum pagi saya ternampak pemain bulu tangkis Malaysia yang baru pulang dari Beijing minum di tempat yang sama. Dia diiringi oleh Menteri Belia & Sukan.
Pemain ini telah didatangkan ke Permatang Pauh atas anjuran Kementerian Belia dan Sukan. Malam kelmarin pemain bulu tangkis yang gagal untuk mendapat pingat emas ini telah diberi jamuan makan malam di Seberang Jaya.
Jika ini sebahagian dari kempen Barisan Nasional maka warga Permatang Pauh wajib bertanya di Parlimen - bajet membawa pemain bulu tangkis ini dari mana datangnya? Kalau berkempen bajet wajib datang dari parti politik.
...and this one too........
KJ, now we know what you did last summer as college ‘pondan’?
Khairy Jamaluddin, Rembau Member of Parliament but widely known as SIL (son-in-law) in the blogoshpere is slowly being stripped at Permatang Pauh. Someone apparently managed to get hold of his rather funny, girly (depend on how you look at it) - photos taken not so long ago in college and share them here and here. At first glance you won’t recognize the face in the photo. KJ was rather dark then. See the photos here.
These photos are are making their around in Permatang Pauh election where KJ is campaigning with Pemuda Umno for the Umno candidate Arif Shah. I tend to agree with Rockybru that there aren’t too many issues to fire up the campaigning at Permatang Pauh.
In their desperation to safe the fast sinking ship, BN leaders have no qualm resorted to use dirty tactic such offering scrap metal collector’s license and use taxpayers hard earned monies in exchange for a vote. Somebody from Penang should urged Koh to stop working as one of BN (rather Umno) coolies and abandon the ship altogether. The soonest possible to avoid Gerakan being drowned. Thanks Rockybru.
QUESTIONS put forward to both Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim
1. What is the significance of this by-election to you?
It is to enable me to represent the rakyat in Permatang Pauh with a clear agenda. The agenda is for change in the country and that is why we touch on the price hike issue, on national unity, economic programmes and advancement in good governance.
2. Some say this by-election is really a contest between you and Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be the next prime minister.
This is Pakatan (Rakyat) versus BN. What is critical is the agenda, not the personalities. It's what we stand for. Pakatan policy is obvious and I have mentioned it before. And what Umno stands for is known to the rakyat. They have condoned corruption and enriched a few in the name of the New Economic Policy (NEP).
3. What do you think of Arif? He has served the Seberang Jaya (state seat) constituents, but he represents Umno. Umno condones racial politics, corruption and has mismanaged the economy.
4. Observers say you have the upper hand. The majority Azizah (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail) obtained in March was massive . But you know the whole cabinet is here, the entire federal government resources are here. And of course the mainstream media attack me. We have to work very hard.
5. Chinese votes are very significant in this by-election. Are you confident you can get most of their votes? I am encouraged by the level of support. But we are working hard in the Chinese areas. I am sure the Chinese will choose a party that will represent all races.
6. (Former Parti Keadilan Youth chief) Ezam Mohd Noor is campaigning against you. Is he a problem to you?
He is a non-issue. He has to impress his master.
7. You have been criticised by Umno for your stand on the NEP.
The problem with the Umno-controlled media is that they are so biased that they do not report our views. I would suggest you read our Malaysia Economic Agenda. I stand by what I have said there. Our policy is to raise our competitiveness and to help the rakyat, the majority of whom are Malays. I oppose a policy which is enriching Umno leaders and their representatives.
Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah
1. What is the meaning of this by-election for you?
It's a blessing for the cleansing of the curse on Permatang Pauh. In the past 10 years, Permatang Pauh has been represented by the opposition. Federal assistance has been denied to the people here because it's an opposition area. It's because the opposition MP did not have good accessibility and relationship with the federal (government). With this contest, the people of Permatang Pauh have been given an opportunity to choose between gambling their future for the next five years and voting for Barisan Nasional so that they can enjoy the benefits.
2. People say this is really an election between Anwar and Najib.
People can say what they like. To us and the people in Permatang Pauh, this is an opportunity for them to have someone who can provide service to them. It's not a fight between Anwar and Najib; it's a fight for the people to take back the seat from the opposition.
3. What do you think of Anwar?
He has some strength being a popular figure globally and in the state. But my strength is that the people now want change. I am an opposition member in the state. Even though I am the state assemblyman, I have no access to a lot of funding from the state government. Therefore, it is vital for them to give me the opportunity to be an MP. Coupled with my good relationship with the prime minister, deputy prime minister and the federal government, I would be able to have access to federal funding.
4. Anwar says Umno is playing the racial card.
I am a person who subscribes to a multiracial (agenda), sharing of wealth and opportunities. But certain privileges that are for the Malays, no one, including myself, can touch on them. What we want is to enlarge the cake so that the non-Malays would not feel that they have been neglected. You can see the changes in the federal government now; they have relaxed scholarship quota and assisted Chinese and Tamil schools. In the state assembly, I have fought for the Chinese to have a funeral parlour in Seberang Jaya. I have also asked the current state government to give RM1,000 every year to each "po tou" (hungry ghost festival). I don't have to speak for them, but I speak.
5. Anwar said you are a good guy but you subscribe to a racist Umno.
If I subscribe to racism, I won't send my children to Chinese schools. Anwar and other opposition members are purposely creating the impression that Umno is a racist party. No, if Umno is a racist party, it would not subscribe to have BN and share power with other component parties. 6. Umno leaders have criticised Anwar's views on the NEP. What sort of economic policy do you advocate? The NEP has been made out to be a racist policy that promotes cronyism. The problem here is not the NEP. The NEP has also benefited other races. For example, if a construction (project) is awarded to a Malay company, 60% of its hardware supply has to come from the Chinese because there are no Malays in the hardware supply business. So if it's RM100 million, RM60 million goes to the Chinese. Anwar is portraying the wrong situation. The truth will prevail one day.
Pat Lah announces that price of RON97 petrol will go down by 15 sen from RM2.70 to RM2.55 per litre at the pumps beginning midnight, a reduction of 5.6 percent. Meanwhile, the lower grade RON92 petrol will be slashed by 22 sen from RM2.62 to RM2.40 a litre.
While the new diesel price is RM2.50 from RM2.58,down by 8 cents.It is believed that the annoucement was made ahead the crucial by-election in Permatang Pauh to be held next Tuesday.
Pat Lah added,"It is the government’s hope that the reduction in petrol and diesel prices will help alleviate the burden of consumers and reduce the pressure of inflation, especially for the lower and middle income groups.
This is nothing more than a desperate move by UMNO/BN to garner support for its candidate in the Permatang Pauh by-election. How this move can really translate into votes is left to be seen.
Btw. will the price of goods,food and transport will be lowered too? Bet you this will never happen. Once prices are up it will never come down.
Pat Lah should thanks Anwar for lowering fuel price, but,Pat Lah,you only slash price by 15 cents,while Anwar promise 50 cents reduction.........
In a recent commentary,web portal Malaysian Insider focus on Arif Shah Omar Shah’s pull with the local population, and stay miles away from the sodomy charge against Anwar Ibrahim. This was the plan drawn up by Barisan Nasional and government strategists for the Permatang Pauh by-election.
So when BN Youth had a briefing in the operations centre on the eve of nomination day, Youth wing members were told explicitly not to touch the topic in house-to-house visits or in stump speeches. They were given basic information to counter the allegation that Anwar was stripped naked while in police custody and made to sleep on a cement floor.
But those morsels of information were only to be used in response to questions from the ground. The rationale was clear: surveys commissioned by the government showed that six out of 10 Malaysians had reservations about the sodomy charge levelled against Anwar by his former aide Saiful Bukhari Azlan.
Also, intelligence reports suggested that the largely conservative Malay community was uncomfortable with detailed discussions about the sexual activities of one of its favourite sons. And with Malays forming nearly 70 per cent of Permatang Pauh’s electorate, it seemed a prudent move to focus on the strength of BN’s candidate rather than the divisive sodomy allegation.
That plan was tossed out just after Saiful swore on the Quran at the Federal Territory mosque on Aug 15 that he had been sodomised by Anwar. Almost overnight, screens showing the 23-year-old taking the oath sprung up around the constituency, like mushrooms after a downpour.
Almost overnight, the focus of the campaign switched to Saiful and his allegation against Anwar. Like much of BN’s planning and strategy since March 8, there is an element of the right hand not knowing what the left hand is doing. Umno officials are still uncertain who ordered the screens to be put up. They are also wondering who decided to change the focus of the by-election campaign.
A government official told The Malaysian Insider: “Some party officials think that Saiful’s oath could have a bearing on how some older Malays vote. So the focus is now a bit more on Saiful.”
Khairy Jamaluddin, the deputy Umno Youth chief, zoomed in on Saiful in a speech on Wednesday night. He noted that Saiful had been described as a coffee boy and a volunteer by PKR politicians. He was curious why Anwar would take a coffee boy on a trip overseas. Khairy also said that Saiful had put himself and his family in harm’s way by swearing on the Quran.
“The burden from Saiful’s oath will not only be carried by him but also by his entire generation,” he added.
Other BN politicians have also been making the sodomy charge the focus of their speeches. But privately, they concede that this strategy is doing little damage to Anwar.
The latest ground reports show that he is far ahead of Arif Shah and will win the Permatang Pauh constituency handsomely,possibly by more than 15,000 votes.
source : Malaysian Insider
On Hanafi Ramli's chances for an upset victory,this is what he got to say, “So far, I think we have managed to attract 35 per cent of the BN voters and 35 per cent from the PKRside,” “I am here to promote national unity. PKR and BN cannot solve the problems. Only Akim can work towards solving the problems as we are not divisive,” he said. Read here.
On another note, not satisfied with the detention of a couple of PKR supporters who were said to be involved in a mishap with newsmen during the Permatang Pauh nomination day on 16 August 2008 and the detention of 2 PKR's Perak State exco said to be involved in corruption recently, now they are sending the police to raid Raja Petra's house looking for documents and any evidence related to the Statutory Declaration signed by the Burmese doctor from Pusrawi and probably other evidences related to RPK's SD on the Altantuya murder case. Read here and here.
Do you think by doing these stupid things will change the Permatang Pauh voters perception on Anwar...................
There are only two things Malaysians are concerned about this month: Olympics and the Permatang Pauh by-election.
These two events are never related to each other, except the timing.
Last Sunday was the golden weekend for the election campaign, with Anwar and Arif Shah seen busily running around in Permatang Pauh to woo the voters. That evening, Lee Chong Wei met China's Lin Dan in badminton final.
The election had to take a back seat, as voters locked themselves at home watching the final. The two candidates were well aware of the situation, so Arif squeezed himself in front of the TV set in the dining hall, cheering with everyone else for Chong Wei. Anwar, meanwhile, made a refreshment stop at a local coffee shop to cheer for the national badminton hero.
That was perhaps the only common thing both candidates were doing at the same time, a common goal that was accepted by both. Chong Wei eventually failed to bring back the gold medal, but his popularity was least affected, especially in Permatang Pauh. Both BN and Pakatan Rakyat have wanted to bring the silver-painted baby to their camps.
Moreover, he hails from Bukit Mertajam, which is close to Permatang Pauh, like KL to PJ. The distance between the two towns is so short that even locals could get confused where they actually are. Even though that is just a silver medal, it is nevertheless a national honour, and the pride of his hometown. Politicians are highly sensitive people; they wouldn't have given this opportunity a miss!
Chong Wei is a professional sportsman, and we have never heard of him getting enthusiastically involved in politics, or being familiar with politics. But then, politics go after him, and there is no way he can escape.
BN wants him. So does PKR. He couldn't have possibly pleased both camps. This is perhaps another bewilderment he has to go through after his defeat to Lin Dan.
The government instantly disburses the RM300,000 reward to him, plus monthly allowances of RM3,000 for his entire lifetime. Well, Chong Wei indeed deserves his reward, but without he realising it, he has also become a consumer item in the election campaign. To consume Lee Chong Wei, is to garner some goodwill and recognition, even to trade for some gratitude.
The speculative tactics in politics, to some extent, reflect the emptiness in the country's sports. That silver medal looks like the only gain Malaysia could harvest in Beijing. Malaysia can only count on its badminton games, especially Lee Chong Wei. Not unlike all the hopes and expectations of China being staked on Liu Xiang.
Chong Wei is a talented player that is hard to come by. It is not easy for him to get even a silver medal. He will get old, and his skills may go downhill one day. 26 years old today, will Chong Wei still have what it takes to win a gold medal in London four years down the road? Very, very difficult. Will we have another Lee Chong Wei, or Lin Dan? Not too optimistic either. To be frank, Lee Chong Wei did quite badly during the final, but then his achievement may not be repeated.
Our politicians have staked their hopes on sports to bring us national pride, as well as political gains. Having said that, the politicising of sports is what makes sports wither in Malaysia. We have a dedicated sports minister, and every sports association comes under the control of some political figures. Besides, we have even conceived the idea of setting up a training centre in UK, and employed foreigners to perk up our sports standards.
Politics has a hand in sports, and sports is made to serve politics. In the end, we have the unprofessional leading the professional. (By TAY TIAN YAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)
source: sin chew daily
As the Permatang Pauh by-election hots up UMNO/BN will do anything within their means to spice up their chances of victory in this by-election. And bringing Lee Chong Wei to Permatang Pauh is nothing more a political gimmick on their part. They tried every tactics in the book to run down Anwar but ground reports indicate that the more they demonised the more support he gets.
Lee Chong Wei deserves the datukship for his scarifice to the nation. But what would you say if Saiful too gets a datukship in a distance future for the service he rendered to UMNO/BN?
Bookies are hot on trail and their bet is not when Saiful gets his datukship but on the margin of victory in the Permatang Pauh by-election. Bookers current take is 16,000 votes, i.e Anwar will win by a margin of 16,000 votes. A lesser majority means a moral victory for UMNO but anything more than 13,500 votes majority will be a hard blow to UMNO and the gomen. It will indirectly suggests that the voters view on the accusations against Anwar are deplorable and undoubtedly will "tie up" the gomen's hands.
Btw. with polling day falling on Tuesday, a working day, did the EC assisted BN to reduce Anwar's majority........your guess is good as mine.............
Anwar fever keeps villagers awake - by Regina William
At a function at Taman Permatang Janggus here which was to be launched by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, a TV journalist heaved a sigh of relief when her latest assignment was a wrap. After a whole day of searching and numerous failed efforts, she managed to get the interviews she had been asked to carry out by her producer.
Though there were hardly 50 Barisan Nasional (BN) supporters, most of them womenfolk of the village who had gathered to witness the launching of the BN Permatang Pasir election machinery by Najib, she managed to find a few men and women willing to say a few words for the camera.
The journalist had gone to several villages in Permatang Pauh, but could not get anyone willing to go on record to express support for the BN, nor its candidate in the Aug 26 by-election, which will see Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim making his bid to re-enter parliament after a 10-year hiatus.
Challenging him for the seat, which fell vacant when PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail resigned as Member of Parliament on July 31, are his protege Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah and political minnow Hanafi Hamat, president of Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim), a splinter group of PAS. If the TV journalist’s predicament is anything to go by, the BN clearly faces an uphill battle to wrest the seat which has been held by Anwar and Wan Azizah over the past 26 years. Anwar won the seat for the BN with thumping majorities in 1982, 1986, 1990 and 1995 while wife Wan Azizah won under a PKR ticket in 1999, 2004 and in the March 8 general election.
During his numerous ceramah attended by mammoth crowds since July 31 and despite the fact that the speeches have hardly differed, Anwar has always succeeded in holding his audience captive, right until the closing words, always when it is close to midnight. His speeches, which tug at the heartstrings of his constituents, are always well received, with thunderous applause.
"It is the voters of Permatang Pauh who have stood by my family and me during my good times and my bad," Anwar tells the crowd. "When I was at the height of my career as a minister and deputy prime minister you gave me support."
"Even when I was down and out in prison, you still stood by me and Wan Azizah during the three general elections that she contested on my behalf," he says.
"It is with this confidence that I am coming before you all again, to judge and appraise if I am worthy of your trust again despite all the allegations which have been levelled against me," says Anwar.
"All of you carry with you a heavy burden as you are holding the future of this country in your hands come Aug 26, and you all know deep down in your hearts that I will not let all of you down."
So runs his oft-repeated message to those who trudged to the remotest parts of the constituency to listen to him speak. At each rally or ceramah held by the BN and PKR, there was one name which kept cropping up without fail - Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan. Only two people keep bringing up his name and the sodomy case - Najib and Anwar, both of whom are aiming for the prime minister’s seat. Despite the fact that Najib, when launching the BN election machinery last Wednesday, said he would not touch on the case as it was a personal matter between Anwar and Saiful, he has strayed back to the subject without fail each time. Najib told the 2,000-odd BN supporters that he would not talk about the sodomy allegation as it was not the BN which lodged the report against Anwar but his own personal assistant whom Anwar had personally hired.
"Since we respect him as a leader, we should not pre-judge Anwar to say he is guilty, but we will be fair and just to him and won’t resort to anything unethical," said Najib.
However, last Friday, Saiful swore on the Quran that he was sodomised by Anwar, on the eve of nomination for the by-election. With accusations going around that Najib had orchestrated the Saiful episode, Najib keeps reiterating that the sodomy case has nothing to do with him or BN, without fail at every function. He even praised Saiful for his willingness to swear on the Quran.
Meanwhile, Anwar keeps saying the charges are politically motivated and has refused to emulate Saiful by swearing on the Quran. Oddly, the BN candidate Arif is only mentioned in passing or not at all during these speeches by both Najib and Anwar, who seem more inclined to speak about the sodomy charges or Saiful.
Whether Saiful’s swearing on the Quran on the sodomy charges would have a bearing on the outcome of the by-election, is left to be seen. However, going by the sentiments of the voters, who have been said to be emotionally loyal to Anwar, these accusations and charges are considered unfounded.
Unless some other "stronger" evidence can be pinned on Anwar in the next few days, Anwar seems to be assured of his seat as the Opposition Leader in Parliament, and as he has repeatedly told his supporters, he will be there in his rightful place on Aug 29, sitting right in front of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi while he presents Budget 2009.
Btw. the third candidate in the 3 cornered fight for Permatang Pauh, Hanafi Mamat, is still not around. Rumours has it that this Hanafi guy was sponsored by disgrunted UMNO members in Permatang Pauh. It seems that both of his supporters during the nomination day were from UMNO. One theory says that Hanafi's role was to split the Malay votes. But, since Hanafi is seldom seen campaigning, I wonder whether he can even retain his deposit.
As for now lets send Anwar to parliament..........