Posts Tagged 'Election'

P182 Pensiangan: On the record

The bare facts and figures of previous parlimentary elections in P182 Pensiangan

The bare facts and figures of previous parliamentary elections in P182 Pensiangan

Folks!, It is said that a picture tells a thousand words. So, just in case, any of you are interested to know about its recent elections history, I have taken the liberty to post a copy of the above for the whole world to see and analyse the bare facts and figures of previous parliamentary elections held in P182 Pensiangan, Sabah, Malaysia. (courtesy of Azlan Zamhari/Malaysiakini)



War of words on Pensiangan (Take 2)

There it was again. On the frontpage of the Daily Express today, Tan Sri Kurup challenged Datuk Pairin to a one to one debate over what had transpired between the two parties lately.

This was what he said “I would like to meet face-to-face with Pairin to debate on what he said and what I said on his statement on the candidacy in Pensiangan and implication of that statement, the meaning of ‘colourful and well documented history’ and Pairin’s performance as a two-term Pensiangan Member of Parliament,”
but refused to debate further over the matter in the media with Datuk Radin as to him, the latter was merely sheltering his President who hid behind his back over the issue he himself raised in the first place.

Folks! would you be able to imagine a picture of two overgrown bulls fighting head on in defence of their own niches.

a bullfight to claim territorial supremacy To me, if the fight persists, BN will have to bear the political consequences of having to face the Pensiangan by-election in turmoil. I believe no political party in such a condition will survive the scourge of a very tough election, if, as predicted by many, would come true in Pensiangan.

I thought it would have been wiser if the top BN leadership kept a tighter rein on component members from making untoward comments against each other especially during these crucial times of uncertainty. However, on the other hand, as commented by several prominent members of the public, it was indeed prudent for Tan Sri Kurup to act the way he did, as to have kept his peace a minute longer would have been seen by PBRS members as a surrender to other bigger BN component parties. This I think would be disastrous to its image.

Folks! I leave it to your wisdom to decide.


Influence of PAS’ win in KT over Pensiangan

With the opposition PAS’ commendable win in the Kuala Terengganu by-election, Pensiangan becomes the next focus of political attention by Malaysians who care about the intriguing political development taking place in the country since the last 12th March 2008 general election.

Indeed, if there were a need for a by-election in Pensiangan, by convention, it should be the President of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Tan Joseph Kurup who would be most likely to be nominated as the BN candidate to stand against the opposition parties. I am saying parties in the plural because apart from PKR, other opposition parties like the SAPP and independents could be joining the fray too.

As it is now, Danny Andipai is the only identified candidate to stand for PKR since Dr. Jeffrey had earlier removed his name from the list of potential PKR candidates. However, rumour has it that his foot soldiers are still pushing all out for their boss to reconsider as they believe the prospect of winning is very good to the extent of saying that the inexperienced Andipai might not stand a chance against the onslaught of BN oil-laced election machinery. What more when Andipai has got a very shallow pocket to face the by-election as the chances of getting sufficient election fund from Central PKR are basically in doubt. I may be wrong here as PKR vis a vis Pakatan Rakyat has formed 5 state governments in Peninsular Malaysia.

On the other hand, the former MP of Pensiangan, Datuk Bernard J Maraat is also rumoured to be very keen to contest as an Independent, although, at this point in time, he is still a PBS member eventhough his Liawan PBS Division had been indefinitely suspended by the party. Rumour has it that he has already instructed his foot soldiers to do the groundwork in preparation for the by-election. It was, I think purposely leaked from among his inner circle of trusted lieutenants to test the water that his candidacy would be a definite YES if and only if Tan Sri Kurup should be the BN candidate in the by-election. However, rumour has it also that he would not go forward but would instead pull all his weight to support BN if a certain personality who happened to be his previous election rival were to be chosen as the BN candidate.

Be as it may, I truly believe the opposition’s win in Kuala Terengganu would generate greater influence on the Pensiangan voters in choosing their next MP. Pakatan Rakyat would have to play the mind game with the people here as, in terms of providing instant development, they are incapable of doing it there and then as they are neither the state government nor the ruling party in Putrajaya.

But mind game is a very effective tool nowadays. PKR would be trumpeting for the Pensiangan people to emulate the voters’ wisdom in Kuala Terengganu that despite BN’s promises of more development, big increases in federal funding as compared to other states and its good choice of a very capable candidate, the voters of KT still voted for the opposition with even a bigger majority.

In their quest for votes, PKR would be making allegation that after 51 years of being the government, the BN leadership especially UMNO have grown aloof, elitists and quite detached from the ordinary people on the ground. They would also be saying that BN leaders should earn the peoples’ respect and be grateful to the people instead of the other way round.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders like Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang, Lim Guan Eng and of course, SAPP president, Datuk Yong Teck Lee are veteran politicians who are very well versed with playing the mind game to psychologically influence the voters. I would not be surprised if populist issues like land acquisition by big private companies and the burning of native huts in forest reserve lands are to be inflamed like wild fires to show the state government’s inhuman treatment of the natives as compared to illegal immigrants from Pulau Gaya and other places in Kota Kinabalu who were being well-treated and given decent houses to live in by the state government.

But to many, as in Kuala Terengganu, it finally boiled down to the personality of the respective candidates. Who they can trust? who they can get along with? who they can bear with? whose presence they can tolerate? whose words of comfort and promises they can believe? who they can easily meet and discuss with? whether he is all ears when they are talking to him of their problems? whether he has the same background as them to enable him to intergrate with their life styles and finally whether he would have the same wavelength as them and be able to speak aloud their inner thoughts of cry for help from the clutches of poverty.

I believe these are the fundamental qualities which the voters are looking for in the respective candidates. And I further believe that for BN to counter the mind game that would be perpetrated by the opposition parties in the by-election, it has to give ample airtime to them so that they can in turn tell the voters what sort of development they have done so far to the people since the last general election, which I believe is very negligble, and in so doing, BN would have the opportunity to counter attack the opposition rhetorics by making comparasion of who has the greatest ability and promises fulfilled in the very short time since the last general election. Only by doing this, BN would be able to decamouflage the real meaning of opposition politics to the people of Pensiangan.


PAS won big in Kuala Terengganu By-Election

The winning PAS candidate

The winning PAS candidate in green Batik

PAS candidate Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut won big in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat by-election. He polled 32,883 votes to Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh’s 30,252 votes for a majority 2,631 win. While the Independent candidate Azharuddin Mamat obtained only 193 votes. There were 665 spoilt votes.

With this latest victory, the Opposition is now one seat nearer to its previous attempt of trying to oust and form the next federal government. They are presently controlling 82 seats plus 2 opposition leaning seats from SAPP in Parliament while BN has 137 seats. ( I consider Ibrahim Ali’s independence as suspect as he could be on either side of the divide going by his previous record of speeches in Parliament) However, realistically speaking, it is my personal opinion that it would not materialise for the rest of the remaining lives of the present Parliament especially so, when we are going to witness the changing of the guard at Putrajaya in March. I believe with YAB Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak at the helm, the present BN MPs should be rock solid in their belief the new leadership would be able to introduce new measures namely,

(1) to check the decline of BN support among the Malaysian voters;
(2) to attract those who had “temporarily” shifted their support to the opposition in the last general election;
(3) to attract the younger generation of voters who might have been, by accident or by their own free will, attracted to the opposition; and
(4) to cure open wounds inflicted against fellow BN components parties by certain overlord in BN.

But, what went wrong for BN? This seems to be the most popular question asked by many political analysis including me. They were saying that in the KT campaign, BN had among others:-

(1) projected its very good track record of developing the state of Terengganu since it was captured from the opposition in the 2004 general election;
(2) promised to increase more federal funding than other states in West Malaysia since it is an oil producing state; and
(3) its BN candidate who is an UMNO division head would be reappointed to his old job as a Deputy Minister if he were to win the by-election.

Despite all the above, BN not only failed to retain KT but lost by a bigger margin. But to me, all is not lost. To lose a by-election is quite normal and prevalent in a free democracy. Likewise, it is also normal for the voters to return the seat to the other party comes the next general election. Afterall, after licking its wound, I am confident that BN will once again rise to the occassion provided always, the new leadership is prepared to introduce and implement new measures as I have suggested aforesaid.

Before ending this post, I would just like to highlight that as the parties’ candidates were cruising on their final laps to the finish line. Rumour has it that it was more of a personality clash of the candidates than anything else. Folks, I let you be the Judge and Jury.

Be as it may, the next important question is, to what degree of influence, PAS’ win in Kuala Terengganu, has on the Pensiangan voters, in the event of a by-election should Tan Sri Kurup failed in his appeal at the Federal Court?? Now that Pas had won big today, I stand to be corrected in my perception posted here on the 7th January 2009.


Tan Sri Kurup’s appeal postponed yet again..

The Palace of Justice at Putrajaya where the Federal Court sits

The Palace of Justice at Putrajaya where the Federal Court sits

At about 1414hours this afternoon, I received sms from a lawyer friend of mine who attended the appeal hearing at the Palace of Justice, Putrajaya that Tan Sri Kurup’s appeal was postponed yet again for the second time to the 12th and 13th of February 2009. This time around the said appeal would be heard in Kota Kinabalu.

Having read the SMS, I texted him back to ask what was the reason given (if any) for the postponement. The reply I got was that “Sabahan lawyers who have not been called to the Malayan Bar have no right of appearance in West Malaysia. To do so will mean the said lawyers will be committing a criminal offence” For a moment, I was baffled!. It never occured to me that Sabahan lawyers who lack the authority to practice in West Malaysia would be barred to appear before the Superior Courts in Putrajaya on the ground that previously, we were allowed to do so. (For your information, the Superior Courts in Malaysia are comprised of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and the Special Court).

I am of course, speaking based on my personal experience of having appeared before a three judge Court of Appeal hearing in 2001 at the old Sultan Abdul Samad courts building. It was an appeal case originating from the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak at Kota Kinabalu. There was no question of me being barred from appearing before one of the Superior Courts in West Malaysia then although, I was not called to the High Court of Malaya Bar. Why now? I would have no qualm about not being allowed to appear in the High Courts in Malaya as under Articel 121(1) of the Federal Constitution, there are two High Courts in Malaysia i.e the High Courts of Malaya and the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak with coordinate jurisdiction and status while under Article 121(1B), a Court of Appeal and Article 121(2), the Federal Court, the apex court of Malaysia.

There were of course, lots of arguments lately about the above subjects but to me the simple logic is for example, if one is called to the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak at Kota Kinabalu, he or she should only be allowed to practice law within the coordinate jurisdication of the said High Court BUT in the case of the Superior Courts, there is only one Court of Appeal and one Federal Court in the country so basically therefore, irrespective of where any one of these superior courts sits in the country as may be determined by the Chief Justice of the Malaysian Judiciary, any legally qualified lawyer in Sabah should be able to appear before this Court without any legal impediment so long as the case he or she is appealing originated from the High Court in Sabah and Sarawak at Kota Kinabalu and provided always the adversarial parties thereto would not mind having to suffer great inconveniences.

Likewise, there should not be any legal impediment for any West Malaysian lawyers practising in West Malaysia to appear before this Court sitting for the time being in either Sabah or Sarawak as may be determined by the said Chief Justice as long as the case appealed of originated from the High Court in Malaya and provided always such practice, would not cause any untoward inconveniences to the adversarial parties thereto. Folks! Don’t you think it sounds logical and practical ?

Now, I am inclined to propose that a three-pronged question is very much in order:

Firstly, if there was already such previous decision not to allow Sabahan lawyers to appear before the superior courts in Putrajaya like what happened this morning, why would the Federal Court Registrar fixed the hearing of Tan Sri Kurup’s appeal be held at Putrajaya in the first place? Baffling? Yes?

secondly, what should happen to decision made on previous cases where there were similar appearances made by Sabahan lawyers at the Sultan Abdul Samad Court buildings in KL and at the Court of Justice in Putrajaya respectively?

and thirdly, all these lawyers could have, as a consequence, committed a criminal offence in the performance of their duties before the Superior Courts then if that was indeed observed this morning.

Whatever it is, be my guest folks! BUT on hind sight, I thought, on another ground, analysing it from a political perspective, the postponement would somehow rather provide a breathing space for BN considering their concentration of political energy in Kuala Terengganu right now.


Collateral Impact of KT By-Election?

YAB Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak

YAB Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak

Is this a rumour being bandied about by both BN and Pakatan Rakyat? Well, folks! I am not pulling anybody’s leg but I did hear a few people talking about it discreetly at one of the coffeshops in downtown KK. Even my fellow professional friends, the lawyers, engineers and doctors are not to be outdone. They seemed to be at ease talking about what would be the collateral impact of the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election have on the voters in Pensiangan in the event of a by-election and would there be a gigantic mobilisation of BN election machinery concentrating into the normally serene parliamentary constituency of Pensiangan if and only if BN were to lose Kuala Terengganu?

I am of course, writing this post with a hypothetical view of what would follow in the event of either BN winning KT or losing it to the opposition PAS. It has to be highlighted though that YAB Dato’ Najib Tun Razak, the DPM was seen to be very cautious of being over-confident of winning KT.

This is what he told reporters after the nomination of candidates for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat by-election at the State Stadium, here, today “Possibly in this by-election, the focus will be on local issues. But if they raise national issues, BN is prepared to answer them” and further added “However, we don’t want to be too confident as we don’t have a crystal ball. But we believe that we will win well. That is our target and we will do our best to achieve it,”

Now, folks. if BN were to win KT, all signs would point to a highly confident BN descending onto Pensiangan bringing with them the so-called “people friendly BN” strategy but, if I may add, they could be just a little bit shy of reaching into their deep pocket as compared to what they would have done in KT. This, I believe is a fact. But, it would be a lot of difference if BN were to lose KT because every which way, the BN would have no other alternative but to avoid a consecutive defeat in a back to back by-elections. BN could not afford to sit on their laurels but to fight tooth and nail to ensure victory in Pensiangan and to achieve that elusive victory, they must spend lots and lots of money where transportation, shelter, food and drink charges alone would cost million of ringgits in the course of a two week campaign.

I am pretty sure, as by convention, in any general election or a by-election for that matter, the government of the day had to fulfill all its previous promises of developments to the people. So, this time around, if indeed, there would be one, Pensiangan would definitely witness an immediate transformation of its long suffering bad roads, several rundown rural government clinics, primary schools, balairaya and cultural houses, the building of new bridges, jetties, long delayed gravity feed water supplies, IPPs in Pagalungan sub-district and might even include the approval of a construction of one or two brand new TV Receiver Antenna Towers in the very rural part of Pensiangan.

So, folks! I believe, this would seem to be the collateral impact of the impending Kuala Terengganu by-election, but come what may, the Pensiangan people would indeed be the lucky beneficiaries.


The show must go on….

Tan Sri Kurup is seen singing the party's anthem at the 13th PBRS Delegates Conference at Perkasa Hotel, Keningau, Sabah.

Tan Sri Kurup is seen singing the party's anthem at the 13th PBRS Delegates Conference at Perkasa Hotel, Keningau, Sabah.

another section of PBRS delegates

another section of PBRS delegates

A larger section of PBRS delegates

A larger section of PBRS delegates

As the saying goes, “the show must go on until the fat lady sings”. This is, I presume, Tan Sri Kurup’s current motto as despite having to encounter the possibility of facing a by-election in Pensiangan shortly after the 15th January 2009, he has made it his mission to ensure that promises of infrastructural developments made much earlier had to be delivered to the people of Pensiangan. He had, basically, insisted that whatever happened between the date of announcement of his no contest victory to nomination day of a possible By-Election, the delivery system of the above promises must be, at all cost, not interrupted.

This is, as I would like to think aloud, a man of deep conviction of his total commitment to help the people of Pensiangan aptly in pursuant with PBRS motto of “BERJUANG UNTUK KECEMERLANGAN RAKYAT”

In fact, despite the looming Federal Court’s decision that may or otherwise affect his political future, he had vigorously, among others, in the recently concluded 13th PBRS Congress on the 30th December 2008, laid down several measures to to rebrand the party so that it would be more attractive to the Youths of today who would be leaders of tomorrow, be more vocal to highlight local and national issues of importance, local party leaders to be more accountable and attentive of the grassroots’ needs inclusive of amending the Party’s constitution to strenghten the political relationship between the party’s leadership and the grassroots.

To me, in order for all the above to be successful, PBRS needs to undergo a total restructuring of the party itself, the so-called rebranding of its image and political leadership, a process of renewal of its original objectives with amenable modifications, not only to its constitution but to how the party should be smartly administered at HQ to divisional levels, to how the party should react promptly in a positive way to issues, populist or otherwise, being brought to light by any parties and to how socio-economic and political informations, BN policies and its successes should be addressed and channelled promptly to suit the prevailing socio-economic and political aspirations of the people of Sabah. I truly believe, if these measures were to be implemented without delay, the party could be seen as a viable alternative to PBS or UPKO in BN.

But, as in any other political parties in the world, human nature plays a very important role in the success of any political organisations. It is human nature for any politicans, be they in any levels of party hierarchy, to desire reward in kind as a consideration of their undivided support. So, the moral of the story is that if PBRS were to remain relevant and at the same time, be attractive to all demographic levels of the people in Sabah, it must be seriously generous in its policy of recommending political recognition for party members’ services and sacrifices to receive state awards irrespective of whether they are old or new members provided always that their previous services to the party and Government must have had a big impact on the success or victory of the party or the BN government of the day. A political party could not and should not, for whatever reasons, be rigid in dealing with this matter. It is, afterall, human nature.

So, dear folks, I dread to even contemplate hearing the fat lady sings.


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