12 April 2019

Rantau redemption...

In the seventh post GE-14 by-election, the now bustling town of Rantau is capturing national attention. Flags, cars and traffic have turned this sleepy town into a national political barometer.

This contest, involving 20,926 voters, will be yet another assessment of Pakatan Harapan’s performance in an important swing state. Negeri Sembilan was an integral part of the coalition’s national victory and one of the states it managed to capture from Umno. As such, the result will speak of its ability to hold onto the base it secured almost a year ago.

The contest is also a gauge of Malaysia’s future national leadership. There are two additional tests on the line – the leadership of Umno – and, to a lesser extent, the ability of Anwar Ibrahim (now based in neighboring Port Dickson) and his party PKR to deliver the votes for the governing coalition.

Both Umno and Pakatan, Mohamad Hasan and Anwar, are seeking redemption in Rantau. The most meaningful impact of Rantau, however, will be whether voters reject the divisive racialized politics post-GE14 narrative in favour of more inclusive governance and return the country toward a path of greater multi-ethnic harmony.

Umno leadership

Earlier results of GE14 and GE13 (analyzed at the polling station levels) offer important insights into the contest. The first factor that stands out is the pull of Mohamad Hasan. While he is now under fire for his alleged multi-million ringgit mansion, he has been a popular figure in Rantau, seen as affable and accessible, with political clout as a local warlord and former Chief Minister for three terms.

We see, for example, a pattern of split voting in Rantau in GE13, in which Mohamad, contesting for the state seat, captured a larger share of the vote than Umno did for parliament, 64.7 percent versus 58.7 percent respectively (or an advantage of 6 percent).

The fact that Mohamad is now acting president of Umno assures that this contest is about his leadership of the party.

Mohamad was part of the faction in the party that somewhat distanced itself from Najib Tun Razak in last year’s June party election. Mohamad (along with close ally and fellow Negri Sembilan MP Khairy Jamaluddin) are seen to want to move the party out of Najib’s 1MDB shadow, and to return the party towards a more multi-racial middle ground.

This is hard to do given that Mohamad (and Khairy) governed during the Najib era and the intensification of a racialized ‘survivalist’ agenda adopted by the party as a whole since GE14. 

It is being further complicated as Najib (above) is continuing to inject himself into post GE-14 Umno campaigns, overshadowing Mohamad in his own campaign.

Mohamad’s candidacy, however, will shape whether the party continues to have leaders that are comparably more racially moderate and capable administrators.

Decisive power of youth vote

Ultimately it will be the young people who will decide the Rantau outcome. Voters under 40 make up 41.3 percent of the electorate, with 17.7 percent of those under 30. I have argued elsewhere that young voters were a crucial determinant in GE14.

This was the case in Negri Sembilan as well. While Rantau was uncontested in 2018, the results from the parliamentary contest show that the BN lost the majority of younger voters. The steepest erosion was among voters under 30, an estimated drop of 18.4 percent.

This group will be decisive in the outcome, as Rantau is a highly competitive contest in which either side can win. The pull of young leaders, notably Khairy Jamaluddin, in this area will be important, as will whether Pakatan Harapan can convince younger voters to stay with them.

Personal leadership and party appeals

Rantau’s pattern of generation voting shows another important national trend. Umno lost support among its ‘older’ base as well, an estimated loss of 11 percent. Voters above 60 left the Umno fold, following Mahathir. The Tun M factor was particularly important in what I have called the Umno Belt – Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Pahang.

This speaks to the challenge Anwar Ibrahim (below) faces in maintaining the Pakatan Harapan base electorally. Now based in Negri Sembilan in Port Dickson, PKR’s leader has campaigned hard in Rantau, appreciating that the seat is in part about his ability and that of this party to win votes. 

A difficult challenge Pakatan Harapan faces is resisting making this contest about individuals, and working together for the coalition as a whole. Rantau will showcase the coalition’s ability to work together, especially the cooperation of Pakatan’s leaders Mahathir and Anwar.

The fact, however, is that this is a PKR contest. PKR’s appeal nationally is being tested. Ironically, as the narrative of this contest has been focused on national issues, little attention has centred on the state level.

This is especially ironic given that Rantau is a state contest, in a state led by PKR. While it has been less than a year, the Negri Sembilan state government led by chief minister Aminuddin Harun has been largely seen to have governed well, with comparatively strong economic performance and increased investment to the state.

The Rantau campaign shows how little attention is being placed on policies and performance at the local level. Instead attention has been focused on race and inclusion.

PKR’s traditional strength has been its multi-ethnic appeal. Rantau with its mixed ethnic configuration (comprised of 54 percent Malays, 19 percent Chinese, 26 percent Indians and 1 percent others) will showcase its performance to reach across communities.

Indian GE 14 swing

Along ethnic lines, all the communities will matter given the competitiveness of the contest. Previous voting trends, however, show that in Rantau a swing in voting among the Indian community proved decisive in the GE14 parliamentary contest. 2018 witnessed a 23 percent swing among Indians in support in favour of PKR.

The decision to field Indian candidate Dr. Streram recognizes this dimension, but it rests on the assumption that Indians will vote for him and, more importantly, voters will cross ethnic lines.

Rantau speaks to the difficulty both PKR and Pakatan Harapan as a whole have faced in assuring that non-Malays are represented in the current government, while at the same time assuring Malays that they are an integral part of the government.

The focus of Pakatan Harapan has been on trying to address its Malay deficit in support, as opposed to its core non-Malay base, and there has yet to be a broad multi-ethnic inclusive policy agenda.

Rantau showcases the need to make sure all Malaysians, irrespective of race, are being represented, and the deep-seated challenges of moving politics away from the deeply-rooted ethnicized lenses and practices.

The recent racialized turn of the campaign in provocative posters shows that parties, especially the BN, rely on this form of campaigning. Rantau voters have an opportunity to reject this mode of campaigning.
Minor PAS factor

Finally, Rantau as a contest is different from the past two elections in that on the surface PAS is not as important a factor in shaping the outcome. PAS managed to only win an estimated 4.6 percent of the 2018 parliament vote in Rantau, and only 8.1 percent of the Malay vote. PAS captured 15.9 percent of the Malay vote on average in Negri Sembilan as a whole, and in Rantau it was less than average.

The Umno-PAS alliance is not as centre stage in Rantau as it has been in the last two by-elections, as this is largely an election about Umno and PKR. This said, the closeness of the race can be influenced by PAS supporters.

This means that in many ways Rantau is an important indicator of future trends for Malaysia. It will show whether Umno can redeem itself (at least electorally), whether Anwar and PKR have emerged as the strongest multi-ethnic alternative and ultimately, whether unity rather than division, moderation over polarization will be the path ahead. - Bridget Welsh

Peneroka Felda sila telefon sahabat, ahli keluarga, saudara mara yg adalah Pengundi di Rantau. Beritahu mrk jangan undi UMNO BN yg jahanamkan Felda. PH telah jalankan tugas baik memastikan semua scandal dlm Kerajaan & Agensi Kerajaan dibongkar supaya Rakyat tahu apa jadi. Undi PH - Jess

Mesej Untuk Pengundi-Pengundi Rantau...

Image result for najib dan felda
FELDA - Najib cuba kelirukan rakyat...

Sempena pembentangan kertas putih mengenai FELDA oleh kerajaan, saya ingin membuat sedikit ulasan mengenai isu FELDA.

Di bawah pentadbiran kerajaan Barisan Nasional pimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Razak, banyak projek mewah dan kontrak melambung (lavish projects and exaggerated contracts) telah dimeterai oleh FELDA.

Felda beli  ladang EGH dari Cina Indon bernama
 Peter Sondakh at 2.25 billion. Harga semasa kini 500 juta saja.

Kebanyakan kontrak ini adalah punca masalah kewangan FELDA hari ini sehinggakan FELDA terpaksa mendapatkan bantuan kerajaan untuk memastikan ia boleh terus beroperasi dan tidak karam. Kerajaan sedang menimbang permohonan FELDA untuk mendapatkan suntikan dana berjumlah RM6 bilion demi membela nasib lebih 120,000 peneroka FELDA.

Untuk memahami masalah FELDA, kerajaan Pakatan Harapan telah mendapatkan khidmat firma akauntan Ernst and Young untuk melaksanakan audit forensik. FELDA juga telah mendapatkan khidmat firma guaman Lee Hishamuddin Allen and Gledhill. Penemuan oleh kedua-dua firma ini mengesahkan bahawa FELDA telah menjadi mangsa penipuan dan pelanggaran korporat.

Selaras dengan penemuan audit forensik, pada 8 April 2019, Ketua Pengarah FELDA, Datuk Dr. Othman Omar telah membuat dua laporan polis berkenaan Eagle High Plantation Investment (EHP) dan KL Vertical City Project (KLVC) yang menunjukkan berlakunya salah laku jenayah sehingga menyebabkan FELDA menanggung kerugian berbilion ringgit.

Image may contain: 1 person, standing
Felda beli hotel kat London at 331 juta. 
Harga semasa kini 128 juta saja

Sebagai Menteri Dalam Negeri saya telah mengarahkan pihak polis supaya menyiasat kes ini secara profesional tanpa rasa takut atau pilih kasih.

Najib telah mengeluarkan kenyataan dengan tujuan untuk mengelirukan orang awam terutamanya orang Melayu dan peneroka FELDA. Beliau mengatakan EHP adalah pelaburan strategik yang baik untuk FELDA dan negara.

Hakikatnya, adalah amat tidak strategik untuk membeli EHP pada harga 300% melebihi harga sebenar. Adalah amat tidak logik dan tidak masuk akal untuk mengatakan sedemikian. Apa yang dibeli oleh FELDA pada harga RM2.5 bilion dahulu hanya bernilai RM500 juta sekarang. FELDA kerugian RM2 bilion.

Felda beli ladang kat Sarawak at 146 juta. 
Harga semasa kini 2 juta saja.

Najib juga mengatakan FELDA boleh menarik diri daripada pelaburan dalam EHP pada bila-bila masa dan membuat 6% keuntungan dengan adanya “Put Option”. FELDA telah cuba untuk melaksanakan “Put Option”yang dinyatakan oleh Najib tetapi telah dihalang daripada berbuat demikian.

Rajawali telah memulakan prosiding timbang tara terhadap FELDA di Singapura. Hakikatnya, FELDA tidak boleh melaksanakan “Put Option” dengan mudah seperti yang disebut oleh Najib. Ini fakta yang cuba diputarbelitkan oleh Najib.

Kita semua mengetahui bahawa dalam penipuan korporat, penyangak akan menyembunyikan tangan-tangan mereka dan memperlihatkan ia seperti satu transaksi komersil yang tulen. Kerajaan Pakatan Harapan komited untuk mendedahkan para penyangak yang telah menyebabkan FELDA menanggung kerugian dan membawa mereka ke muka pengadilan. Semua pihak yang terlibat mesti dipertanggungjawabkan di atas perbuatan salah laku mereka. – Roketkini.com

Related image
Mungkin golongan raja perlu 
sebuah parti politik...

Ada dua pilihan sahaja kalau golongan raja yang masih menganggap mereka berkuasa ke atas Tanah Melayu ini, pertama mereka melancarkan perang kepada sistem demokrasi yang ada sekarang ini untuk digantikan dengan sistem monarki.

Dan sekiranya kekuatan itu tidak ada kerana sistem monarki sudah dianggap kolot, maka sukar untuk kesembilan raja-raja Melayu yang ada bersatu untuk mengembalikan sistem monarki itu. Lagipun di kalangan raja-raja yang ada sudah berbeza pendapat dan ada yang menghormati sistem demokrasi yang diamalkan sejak tahun 1955. Bahkan mereka akur dan menerima dengan baik.

Bagaimana pun raja-raja yang ingin mengembalikan kekuasaan mereka berdasarkan kepada keturunan, salsilih dan sebagainya boleh menyertai pilihan raya sebagai alternatif dan ikhitar. Mereka boleh memilih dikalangan mereka bergerak aktif dalam politik dan calon dalam pilihan raya. Atau untuk lebih menampakkan keseriusan, para kerabat di raja boleh mendafarkan sebuah parti politik sah untuk sama-sama bersaing dengan parti politik yang ada.

Bila parlimen dibubarkan atau bila ada mana-mana pilihan raya kecil mereka boleh menyertainya. Dengan cara itu sahaja mereka yang bernostalgia dengan sistem feudal itu dan mereka merasakan berhak ke atas tanah air ini, boleh dikembalikan semula. - MSO

Scientists just released the first-ever image of a black hole.It lives about 53 million light years 
from Earth in a galaxy called M87. Nothing can escape its gravitational pull, not even light...

Image may contain: 1 person, text


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