Posts Tagged 'Pensiangan Blog'

The scourge of money politics?

Folks, please don’t get me wrong. I am not here to worship the virtues of money politics but rather to bring this much ostracised subject on the table for further deliberation as to its importance or otherwise in a political organisation and whether or not it is time that Parliament should legislate to partly legitimise to a certain extent the use of political funds as per practiced in America.

As of now, it is an offence for any election candidate be it in a political party election, a by-election or for that matter the general election as the case may be to use money to canvass for political support. In a party election, it is regulated by the Disciplinary Committee purportedly empowered under its constitution whilst in either a by-election or a general election, it is regulated by the Election Laws specifically under  section 10 (Bribery) and sections 19 (maximum expenditure) and 20 ( certain expenditure to illegal practice) of Election Offences Act, 1954.

In a party election,  a very glaring example of the might of the Disciplinary Committee is the three year suspension of a former vice-president of UMNO, YB Tan Sri Isa Samad of Negri Sembilan who was found guilty of indulging in money politics and the prohibition of an UMNO Vice-President and current Malacca Chief Minister, YB Datuk Seri Mohd. Ali Rustam from contesting the UMNO Deputy President post in the last party election. 

However, in both cases, there was no follow-up action taken by the MACC to further investigate and bring these very prominent UMNO politicans to book as it is now said that a political offence i.e  indulging in money politics is merely a technicallity. However, a technical offence or not, the victim of such an offence would be forever traumatised and very often than not, becomes a political liability to his political organisation unless of course, if he is Tan Sri Isa Samad. 

It is of course incumbent upon UMNO to show the good example to its fellow component parties in Barisan Nasional.   And its component members, whether big or small, prominent or negligible, one has to emulate the big brother in so far as taking action against indulgers of money politics in its respective organisation.

However, the perennial question is to what extent the maxim of procedural fairness in bringing the alleged politician to book before the Disciplinary Committee has been adequately complied with?  and whether or not certain aspect of the definition of fair campaigning and the expenditures involved have been adequately addressed by the Committee before a decision is handed down or meted out to the alleged politician? 

In a small component political party in Barisan Nasional for example, the maxim of procedural fairness has to be strictly adhered to especially so when the said party is trying its level best to portray its image as being multi-racial and all.  When I say to adequately adhere the practice of procedural fairness, it means the party has to follow an established practice that is indeed being widely accepted as fair by political parties in the United Kingdom for the greater good of the party concerned.

What is an established practice is not subjective but rather very objective and specific that should be followed barring any political complication on the face of the party concerned. For example, if a party member has lodged a complaint against an aspirant for a political post in a party election to the Disciplinary Committee, it must first take cognisance of the following factors:-

(1)  the time when the complaint is lodged. Is it inordinate?  Meaning has it been lodged after the time provided for lodgment of complaint and therefore, time-barred?;

(2) if the complaint lodged is within the time frame allowed aforesaid, How soon can the Disciplinary Committee convene to deliberate on the complaint  for the purpose of appointment of  its officers to do preliminary investigation;

(3) after preliminary investigation wherein the complainant and relevant witnesses are called to give their statments, the member being complained against must be informed and required to appear before the said Committee to enable it to hear his or her part of the story;

(4) when both parties have been given the opportunity to give statments, the said Committee will have to deliberate the evidences presented before them and if they feel that there is a case for the said member to answer, only then would they have to call him or her to answer the charges; and

(5) In the event that the said member failed to present himself or failed to rebut the charges preferred against him or her by the said Committee, then the proper penalty shall be meted out  after his or her mitigation (if any) has been adequately considered.

All the above must be strictly adhered to lest we will be perceived as being merely witch hunting or arbitrarily taking the law into our own hands.

Cheers!

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Is it a fair deal for PBRS?

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (courtesy of the NSTP)

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (courtesy of the NSTP)

Folks, I am going to say it point blank. The new Malaysian Cabinet does not reflect very nicely on PBRS. Why is it so?

Although I should be thankful for the reappointment of the PBRS President, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup as a Deputy Minister by the new PM, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, I remain quite disappointed though, when he was moved from the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development which is considered to be as one of the most important Ministry in the country to the lowly regarded Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. At least, that is what the majority of Malaysians perceived it to be. A low ranking Ministry in the Federal Cabinet.

As such, I can’t help but consider this move as a demotion for the PBRS President. Am I alone having this perception? I don’t think so based on the various conversations I have had with some very influential politicans, businessmen and people on the streets.

And therefore, I can only deduce that PBRS had NOT indeed received a fair deal despite its well documented history of being part of the “catalyst” that led to the formation of a BN government in Sabah in 1994.

What’s your take on this, Folks?

Cheers!

Kurup keeps MP seat on Firday the 13th.

A victorious Tan Sri Kurup with his supporters after his appeal was allowed by the Federal Court yesterday

A victorious Tan Sri Kurup with his supporters after his appeal was allowed by the Federal Court yesterday

For some supertitious people, Friday the 13th is about a day of bad luck. According to folklorists, the belief that Friday the 13th is a particularly unlucky day is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. But to PBRS President, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Friday the 13th seems to be a lucky and glorious day. This is so when the Federal Court ruled that he was in fact, duly elected as the Member of Parliament of Pensiangan on nomination day, February, the 24th, 2008.

In the absence of Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria, the Federal Court Judge, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman delivered a unanimous decision to declare Tan Sri Kurup as duly elected. Inter alia he said “There had not been any failure on the part of the returning officer to comply with the election laws. Accordingly, we unanimously allow the appeal with costs here and the court below,”

Nik Hashim further held that the requirement that the nomination papers must be delivered between 9am and 10am was mandatory and that the returning officer was justified in upholding the objection and rejecting Andipai’s nomination papers for non compliance with regulation 6(2)(b) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 which provides that the nomination papers in triplicate must be delivered to the returning officer between 9am and 10am on nomination day by the candidate and seconder or by any two or any one of them.

The Federal Court’s grounds of decision were further highlighted by the Daily Express in its 14th March 2009 publication as follows:-

Nik Hashim said that it was true, as the election judge decided, that the Election Commission had the power of control and supervision over the conduct of elections and that the returning officer was subjected to the direction of the Commission.

“Nevertheless, such power and direction must be exercised according to law,” he said. In this case, the commission’s deputy director’s directive to the returning officer to accept Andipai’s nomination papers outside the time frame was contrary to regulation 6(2)(b) of the Regulation.

“The Election Judge was erroneous when he held that the power of the Election Commission overrides the Regulations. Nothing in the law provides for such power,” he said.

Nik Hashim further said the court held that it was not within the purview of the Election Commission to effect any amendment to election regulation relating to the conduct of elections.

The court also held that while it was true there were 12 people who wanted to be candidates and only one counter opened at the nomination centre, nevertheless, the responsibility for submitting the nomination papers to the returning officer within the time fame lay with the candidates.

“No statutory duty is imposed on the returning officer to ensure that all nomination papers of all candidates present at the nomination centre must be accepted but only to ensure that no nomination papers are to be accepted during the time frame (9am-10am),” Nik Hashim held.

He said the court was also unanimous in holding that in this case the fault lay with Andipai for failing to deliver his nomination papers within the stipulated time to the returning officer.

The court also held that Andipai had pleaded the facts and grounds of his petition but without specifying which provision of written law relating to the conduct of election had not been complied with by the returning officer.

“This failure is fatal. Parties are bound by their pleadings. Since the mandatory requirements stipulated by section 32(b) of the Election Offences Act 1954 had not been met, the learned judge ought to have dismissed the respondent’s (Andipai) petition outright,” Nik Hashim said.

With this decision, Tan Sri Kurup who is also the Federal Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development said that the rule of law has prevailed and that he looked forward to concentrate on his work as the MP for Pensiangan and to help the people of Pensiangan out of their misery.

Well, folks, I said so in my previous post that the Federal Court would definitely allow his appeal. It has done just that. Now to all those who had dreamt of becoming the new MP for Pensiangan, barring any unforeseen circumstances, they may have to wait for another 4 years. Well, could it be earlier than that? No body has the crystal ball right now. I can only say that it is politics after all. In the meantime, let us allow Tan Sri Kurup to perform his duties peacefully and diligently as the duly elected MP in the interest of the people of Pensiangan.

Cheers!

When sense and sensibility no longer apply

"Emergency Meeting" under the raintree in PerakIt is rather unfortunate to witness the political impasse in Perak not showing any sign of concession from either party of the political divide. To some, the open-air so-called emergency assembly sitting under the raintree in Perak was so surreal that one couldn’t believe that it would ever happen in their lifetime. But that was what actually happened yesterday when the Perak Assembly Speaker, V Sivakumar called it to be held just about 100 meters from the locked Perak Darul Ridzuan building.

The Pakatan Rakyat “MB”, Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin referred to it as under the “doctrine of necessity” that the Perak state assembly should hold an “emergency session” under such circumstances and therefore, believed it to be valid.

On the other hand, while they were at it, the High Court in Perak was inundated by legal arguments from the counsels of Perak MB, Datuk Dr. Zambry Kadir for the Court to agree to issue out a restraining order against the Speaker from convening any legislative assembly meeting inclusive of the one held yesterday without the DYMM Sultan of Perak’s consent. Well, they got it indefinitely to the effect of deeming illegal the said meeting and any other future meetings called by the Speaker without the Sultan’s consent prompting BN lead counsel, Datuk Hafarizam Harun to suggest that ” a meeting under the tree will remain under the tree “.

Folks, whatever it is, to me, it is quite natural for any supporters of the parties involved to suggest that whatever measures taken by their leaders to resolve the constitutional crisis are valid and within the law and that the other parties’ action are seemingly not valid and unconstitutional. They seem to suggest that the law is on their side. Well folks, just hang in there for a moment. Since both parties have resorted to the Courts for a decision and further relief, it is apt that all parties especially the Opposition to restrain themselves from doing anything illegal which would contribute to further political instability and chaos in the country.

Then again, it just occured to me that had Anwar Ibrahim’s attempt to lure the 30 odd BN Members of Parliament to jump ship to the opposition last year been successful, would the opposition be so kind and generous now to say that what they did then was constitutionally and morally valid. I don’t think I can reconcile with their attitudes today. Surprise! surprise! surprise!

So, the question is why is it considered by the PR and their sympathisers as immoral and unconstitutional when the BN was able to get the 3 Perak PR assemblymen to cross over to them? Double standard on the part of PR? I would like to think so.

If the argument is that it becomes immoral and unconstitutional when either money or position is involved. Let me just say this, Please show hard evidence and hard evidence only to MACC. Merely a bare allegation is as good as no evidence at all. Hence, pending the High Court’s decision, sense and sensibility must prevail.

Cheers!

All ears on March 13th.

Whether the people of Pensiangan will have to go to the poll in a by-election will finally be known on the 13th of March 2009. Folks, in case you missed the newspapers this morning, it has been confirmed by George Aluda, one of Tan Sri Kurup’s counsels that the Federal Court would be sitting in Kota Kinabalu on the 13th March 2009 to deliver their judgment. A final judgment and non-appealable for that matter.

If the appeal were allowed, it would be time for Tan Sri Kurup to really concentrate on his job as the Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development and hopely, with God’s blessing, a much needed infrastructure development could be efficiently implemented in Pensiangan.

Otherwise, any other decision would definitely cause unusual hardship to the people of Pensiangan but then again, I guess they are ready for any eventuality come rain or shine.

Cheers!

Rizalman Abdullah.. Is it a joke?

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in 2003

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in 2003

A blast from the past. I am of course referring to Datuk Rizalman Abdullah’s comical attempt to bulldoze a come back to Pensiangan after failing to retain his hold as Tenom UMNO chief recently. There is no doubt in my mind that he comes from Kg. Sinulihan Baru, Sook but lest we forget, it was he who abandoned Pensiangan about 18 years ago when he chose to helm the Tenom UMNO division and thereafter, became a one-term Member of Parliament for Tenom in the 1999 General Election.

Now that he had lost the Tenom UMNO Divisional chief post to YB Datuk Rubin Balang, in his final dash for a political survival, he suddenly remembers the 8000+ UMNO members in Pensiangan whom he had long abandoned. I don’t think any sane UMNO members would appreciate such act of treachery.

Folks, if one were to read and digest his press statement today as published in the New Sabah Times, he seems to forget that he is not making any political sense at all. While he is seen to be proposing the names of Datuk Ghani Yassin, the current Pensiangan UMNO chief and/or his deputy, Ahuar Rasam as being the most suitable UMNO candidate to stand as a BN candidate in Pensiangan, he, on the other hand, in the same breath, was also offering himself to stand in Pensiangan on behalf of any BN component party being nominated to stand or otherwise, in a veiled threat, he would stand as an Independent. So which is which? I thought he was being self-contradictory and making a joke of himself. Folks! you be the judge.

I sincerely think this particular politican has gone bonkers! Honestly speaking, he may have several pockets of grassroot support in Sook but definitely, not in Nabawan. Further, I was made to understand by a very prominent local politican in Keningau that when a large section of Sook was once part of the Tenom Parliamentary constituency, he made a lot of unfulfilled political promises in 1999 including the donation of a cow for every villages. When asked for after the election, he merely shrugged off his shoulder and uttered the words “itu politik bah” . Hence, in brief, I don’t think he is the so-called “saviour” for BN nor could he be a successful Independent. He is a politican past his prime. In his quest for a candidacy, he has, along the way, stepped on the feet of Datuk Ghani Yassin, Ahuar Rasam and several other UMNO leaders in Pensiangan. No doubt, he may have also hurt the feeling of fellow BN component parties by his action and tirade as published in the media for the past two days.

I honestly believe the Federal and State BN leadership would not even think or attempt to temper with the present quota that has stood the test of time. Any attempt to temper with the present arrangment would seriously jeopardise the existing harmony prevailing in BN. The dacing will otherwise, be seen as tilting towards destruction. Folks! Believe me.

But then again, all this diatribe will remain as one and one only, a diatribe, if and when the Federal Court ruled to set aside the Election Court’s decision in favour of the PBRS president, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. Period.

Cheers!

The long wait continues….

A confident Tan Sri Kurup with his lead counsel, Firoz Hussien and PBRS supporters yesterday

A confident Tan Sri Kurup with his lead counsel, Firoz Hussien and PBRS supporters yesterday

To many, yesterday was just another day but to all PBRS members and political analysts alike, it was supposed to be the “Judgment Day” in the political life of one of Sabah’s much celeberated local politicans, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the PBRS president, current MP for Pensiangan and the Federal Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

It never happened. Instead, the Federal Court comprising of the Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff sitting with the Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judge Datuk Nik Hashim Abd Rahman said from the bench after hearing submissions from Tan Sri Kurup’s senior counsel, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, SFC Azizah Nawawi acting as an intevenor for the Attorney General and the Respondent’s counsel, Haji Ansari Abdullah that their decision was reserved until the next date to be fixed.

However, the reserved decision didnot dampen the joyful spirit of many PBRS members who attended the appeal hearing before the Federal Court in Kota Kinabalu. They emerged out together with Tan Sri Kurup from the Court, smiling and waving to the public to show that everything was fine in the Appeal and that they expected the decision would be in Tan Sri Kurup’s favour.

I am not going to talk about what had transpired following the submissions made by Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, SFC Azizah Nawawi and the Respondent’s counsel, Haji Ansari Abdullah as to discuss it in detail would be tantamount to subjudice but suffice to say that it is more probable than not that Tan Sri Kurup will succeed in his appeal to reverse the Election Court decision that declared his election unopposed for the Pensiangan seat as null and void on the 8th September 2008.

In fact, a local lawyer, Justinus Baharum, confidently put the ratio of Tan Sri Kurup’s winning his appeal at 70-30. For others, the prediction was as high as between 90% to 95%. Yes. It was a very good day indeed for Tan Sri Kurup.

Cheers!


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