The Power Of SMS

PR Has 2 Years, How Long Does BN Have?

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on August 14, 2009

Khoo Kay Peng

I read that Muhyiddin predicted PR may not last more than 2 years. Mahathir expected the PR to lose Selangor. A number of leaders from BN component parties are expecting the nascent coalition to crumble anytime soon. Leaders such as Khairy Jamaluddin are busy courting the Pan-Islamic Party (PAS) to join UMNO to unite the Malays.

What motivated their prediction? There were bickering in Kedah, Penang and Selangor. Over what? Pig’s abattoir, banning of beer in muslim majority areas, Kampung Buah Pala and other menial issues. Most of them opined that PAS and DAP cannot coexist due to their vast ideological difference.

For BN’s own survival, it is even more dangerous for the leaders NOT to acknowledge that their coalition faces even more daunting challenges e.g. lost of credibility, the death of Teoh Beng Hock in custody, racist media propaganda against non-Malays, Kampung Buah Pala, PKFZ, leadership crisis in almost all BN component parties, abuse of state machinery and public institutions, Perak power grab, corruption etc.

Many of these issues and controversies may not encourage the voters to support the BN coalition.

If the PR has two more years, how long does BN have?

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Transforming sorrow and anger into People’s Power

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 24, 2009


Flanked by Pakatan Rakyat leaders, Soh Cher Wei addresses the crowd. – Picture by Choo Choy May

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, July 24 – Teoh Beng Hock’s fiancee Soh Cher Wei, two months pregnant, stepped on the stage at the KL and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall last night, looking pale but bright eyed.

The crowd packed into the hall leapt to their feet and gave her a standing ovation.

Surrounded by Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders on both sides, the 28-year-old looked straight out at the crowd and spoke, in Mandarin, steadily and clearly: “I can do nothing more for Teoh Beng Hock but I’ll take care of his child. Thank you.”

Soh stepped off the stage, head held high, followed by the crowd’s thunderous applause in support of the steadfast school teacher.

By the stage, roses and chrysanthemums were beginning to droop in the heat. Their delicate petals – white and yellow – bruised easily, releasing a sweet, heavy, heady perfume that also smelled a little sickly with the thousands that thronged the hall here last night in memory of Teoh, the DAP political aide who was found dead last week outside the national anti-graft body’s office.

Many who came did not seem to know Teoh personally. When asked, they shook their heads, no.

Why did they come? They came to show they were angry, said those who wore something black – shirts, tee-shirts, blouses, pants, a headscarf.

Because they were sad, said those who dressed in other colours. They came because there were so many questions unanswered.

How could a 30-year-old man who was going to get married die suddenly? Why was he held for so many hours for questioning? Why is the “go’men” always doing this?

Before Teoh’s fiancee took the stage, the master of ceremonies also read out a personal letter she had first dedicated to her dead husband-to-be at his funeral, promising to marry him even if they were now living in separate worlds.

The crowd had earlier listened to the impassioned speeches of the politicians blaming the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

Many stood up and pumped their fists in agreement, especially when veteran politician Lim Kit Siang called on them to stand up and let the media photographers snap their pictures protesting the Cabinet’s move to hold separately investigations into Teoh’s death and into the way the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) interrogated him.

Lim had earlier mocked the Cabinet decision on Wednesday to let a magistrate’s court carry out an inquest instead of getting the royal commission of inquiry, which they had also agreed to set up soon, to handle everything, from Teoh’s death to possible procedural abuses by the MACC.

He noted that if the people had no confidence in high court judges and federal judges, what more magistrates under pressure from the BN government?

“They are asking for the moon!” he cried, referring to the Cabinet members.

“We must dare to be sad and dare to be angry,” the DAP parliamentary leader said.

“But we must translate our sorrow and anger into People’s Power,” he added.

“Then at the next elections, these people who refuse to listen to the voice of the people to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the death of Teoh Beng Hock will descend into the dustbin of history!” he concluded.

As one, the crowd roared their approval.

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Teoh Beng Hock- death occurred between 8.30 and 9.30am and most likely in the presence of MACC officials

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 21, 2009

“DAP aide who plunged to death last week did not jump but may have been ejected or pushed out.”

More shocking news to be revealed as investigation continues on the sudden and shocking death of DAP aide, Teoh Beng Hock.


By Wong Choon Mei

Selangor police chief Khalid Abu Bakar has confirmed that they have siezed Teoh Beng Hock’s mobile phone from an MACC investigating officer, supporting ongoing speculation that the DAP aide who plunged to death last week did not jump but may have been ejected or pushed out.

Khalid also said the recently completed post-mortem showed Teoh died between four and five hours before his body was found at 1.30pm last Thursday.

“If we follow the initial report of the doctor, about four to five hours before the body was found,” he told reporters on Monday.

This means death occurred between 8.30 and 9.30am and most likely in the presence of MACC officials.

There have been news reports suggesting that Beng Hock’s interrogation was due to have resumed at 8am Thursday.

Beng Hock, who came to the MACC Shah Alam office at 5pm on Wednesday, underwent a marathon questioning session. The graft-buster said he was released at 3.45am Thursday.

Amid pressure, details emerge. But will the truth be allowed to surface.

According to MACC investigations division director Shukri Abdull, Beng Hock was free to go home but he chose to stay and catch a nap on a settee in the office.

Said Shukri: “The man was asked to come to Selangor MACC last night at 5pm for his statement to be recorded and this procedure was completed at 3.45am.

“At 3.45am, he was allowed to leave, he promised to come today to bring some documents to assist in the investigations. At 6am, he was still seen to be sleeping at the couch but we didn’t see him until 1.30pm today when the body was found.”

Asked Lim Guan Eng, DAP secretary general: “The MACC office is not a six-star hotel, if you are allowed to go home, you would go home. There is no spa, no sauna. Why would you want to stay there?”

The discovery of Beng Hock’s handphone, which no one had owned up to holding last week, supports Guan Eng’s doubts.

Close-circuit TV also showed Beng Hock entering the building but not leaving. Amid pressure from Beng Hock’s family and Pakatan Rakyat leaders, more ‘acceptable’ details are now being revealed.

The police had initially said there were no signs of foul play and there were also suggestions that he had jumped from the un-occupied 9th floor of the building – implying that his death had nothing to do with the MACC office.

In fact, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nazri Aziz actually said it was not the graft-buster’s fault that Beng Hock had jumped.

Fall was from 14th floor

Latest checks have debunked many of the earlier postulations. Khalid has admitted it was now “highly possible” that Beng Hock fell from the 14th floor.

“We were checking the 14th floor window because we found components of a window on the 5th floor (where Beng Hock’s body was discovered). We will take a closer look at the window. We suspect it is the window handle,” Khalid said.

He declined to give further details but said so far, 33 statements, including from 22 MACC officers, Beng Hock’s boss Ean Yong and lawyer M Manoharan have been taken.

He also said the police were now going through the call records in Beng Hock’s mobile phone.

Inspector-General of Police Musa Hassan has said about 60 percent of investigations have been completed.

Meanwhile, Khalid attacked Kajang municipal councillor Tan Boon Wah for refusing to give the police his statement, saying that he risked facing charges for lodging a false report if he did not co-operate.

Tan – who also underwent interrogation around the same time as Beng Hock – had told a press conference on Friday that the MACC tortured him in a bid to force false confessions against Seri Kembangan assemblyman Ean Yong.

Ean is Beng Hock’s boss. Tan also complained that MACC officers threw racial slurs at him.

“I advise him to present himself to the police station to give a statement on the report he made. If not, we will have to issue a notice under Section 11 of the Penal Code to order him to give a statement at the station,” said Khalid.



Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 17, 2009


JULY 17 — Each year this blog nominates a few individuals to be crowned the Joker of the Year. It is a bit unique this year. This is only the month of July and nomination is already closed and a winner declared.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz is the grand winner of 2009. He cautioned against pointing the finger at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) for Teoh Beng Hock’s death.

I would like to inform Nazri of what I think of the MACC in this incident. The commission is wrong for abusing its investigation and interrogation procedure. Was Teoh a criminal? Would he abscond?

Why must the commission conduct its interrogation after office hours until wee hours in the morning? Why can’t officers of the commission conduct the session during office hours the next day?

I am not suggesting a murder here but clearly the commission has a lot to explain for neglecting the safety of a person under their custody. Worse, this person was not even a suspect.

The commission should be sued for negligence.

Nazri’s insensitivity should be severely criticised. For once I agree with Mahathir that this man is not fit to be in the current cabinet. Recently, he verbally attacked several commissioners of Suhakam who called for a new state election in Perak and called them “crooks”.

It takes one to know one.

Nazri should make real his threats. He is welcome to come after this blogger. I am going to repeat it again; yes, the MACC was responsible for the death of Teoh Beng Hock. It could also be a breach of the commission’s ethics and procedure. —

Saifuddin: Najib spent 100 days copying our ideas

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 11, 2009


By Lee Wei Lian

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 – PKR leader Saifuddin Nasution has criticised the prime minister’s key policy achievements in his first hundred days in office as lacking in originality and a copy of Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) ideas.

Since taking office on April, Datuk Seri Najib Razak has spoken frequently about his 1 Malaysia philosophy which is aimed at fostering national unity among the different ethnic groups in Malaysia.

He has also risked the wrath of his pro-Malay party and made several key policy decisions widely perceived as an attempt to win back lost non-Malay support to the Barisan Nasional (BN).

These include announcing a new category of merit-based scholarships and a recent declaration that ethnic-based quotas are outdated policies that hamper the nation’s competitiveness, which appear to be similar to PR’s official stand made before the general election last year that there should be no racial discrimination.

“Najib has successfully hijacked the ideas of Pakatan to win back the support of the non-Malays,” the PKR election director and Machang member of parliament told The Malaysian Insider.

“The liberalisation of the 27 sub-sectors of the services industry, the national scholarships based on merit and the lifting of the 30 per cent Bumiputera quotas (for companies going for listing), I see it as Najib ripping off the ideas originally from Pakatan. But he cannot go on copying our original ideas.”

He complained of the irony in the way the mainstream media had treated Najib’s policy announcements.

“If it had been from us, the BN-controlled media would have said we are betraying the Malays. But when it is from Najib, he is hailed as a great leader.”

He added, however, that if the policies are for the public good, he has no objections to them.

Najib’s approval ratings have surged since he took office according to independent pollster the Merdeka Centre, jumping by nearly 20 points from 46 per cent in May to 65 per cent by the end of June.

The rise was most dramatic amongst the Chinese. The percentage of Chinese who approve of Najib doubled from 24 per cent in May to 48 per cent in June.

His support amongst both the Indians and Malays was 74 per cent, up from 64 and 53 per cent respectively.

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Koh Tsu Koon, BN punca isu Kampung Buah Pala

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 10, 2009


PULAU PINANG, 9 Julai (Hrkh) – Barisan Nasional (BN) dan bekas Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon merupakan punca sebenar konflik yang berlaku di Kampung Buah Pala, Gelugor ketika ini dan bukannya Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat sepertimana yang gambarkan oleh media.

Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang, Lim Guan Eng dalam sidang medianya tengahari semalam menyifatkan, kenyataan Koh Tsu Koon yang menyalahkan Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat kerana tidak memperdulikan keresahan penduduk di kampung terbabit adalah taktik terbaru bagi menutup kesilapannya menjual tanah tersebut pada sebuah syarikat swasta setelah hak milik tanah ditukar kepada Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan sepenuhnya apabila baki premium dibayar pada 27 Mac 2008.

Jelas beliau lagi, sepatutnya Koh yang juga Ahli Parlimen dari negeri ini tambahan lagi pernah menjadi Ketua Menteri harus masuk campur dengan membawa usul ini ke kabinet agar penyelesaian dapat diatasi.

“BN, Koh Tsu Koon dan barisan exconya kena dipersalahkan dalam hal ini kerana tindakan mereka menyebabkan penduduk Kampung Buah Pala dalam dilema. Padahal peristiwa melaksanakan projek besar tidak timbul sekiranya kerajaan BN waktu itu bersikap mesra dan tidak menipu, ” ujarnya.

Beliau juga mengesahkan Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat tidak mampu menyelamatkan kedudukan kampung terbabit kerana ketandusan kewangan melainkan berharap Kerajaan Pusat menebus kembali dengan membayar pampasan kepada syarikat Nusmetro Venturues (P) Sdn Bhd kerana didakwa mengalami kerugian tidak menjalankan projek yang dirancang ekoran penduduk menghalang dengan membawa ke mahkamah.

Namun, pada awal Jun lalu setelah syarikat berkenaan berjaya mengemukakan penghujahan di Mahkamah penduduk masih tidak mahu keluar dari kawasan seluas 6.5 ekar berikutan hak mereka dinafikan menerusi jalan penipuan sedangkan mereka tinggal di situ melebihi 100 tahun.

“Sebagai kerajaan baru yang memerintah, kita tidak boleh buat apa-apa kerana Pejabat Tanah dan Galian Negeri telah memberikan hak milik tanah kerajaan kepada Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan bertarikh 9 Januari menerusi rujukan mereka PTG/PMP/DTL/274 yang ditandatangani oleh Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Pulau Pinang, Haji Arifin Awang, ” terangnya.

Lim dalam kenyataan juga menyebut Kerajaan Negeri akan menggunakan Akta Kanun Tanah Seksyen 116 di mana sekyen 116 (1) (D) menyebut mana-mana tanah yang menjadi milik kerajaan apabila hendak dibangunkan mesti mendapat kebenaran secara bertulis sebelum pembangunan dibuat.

Beliau juga menafikan Kerajaan Negeri cuba lari daripada tanggungjawab sebaliknya Kerajaan Negeri sedaya upaya mencari jalan bagaimana untuk menyelamatkan kedudukan kampung itu daripada terus ditipu oleh BN.

Kerajaan Negeri juga berpendapat sekiranya mana-mana keluarga mahukan pampasan mereka harus bersabar kerana kerajaan sedang berusaha mendesak pemaju membayar pampasan sebanyak RM200 ribu kepada setiap keluarga.

Perkara itu sedang dibincangkan dengan semua pihak termasuk pemaju sehingga tarikh 2 Ogos akan datang dan selepas itu kerajaan akan mengkaji pampasan yang akan diberikan.

Menyentuh mengenai tuduhan seorang penduduk yang mengatakan jangan persalahkan Najib dalam hal ini sebaliknya menunding jari pada Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat kononnya menandatangani perjanjian dengan pemaju pada 27 Mac 2008 iaitu selepas peralihan kuasa beliau berkata, Kerajaan Negeri tiada sebarang urusan dengan pemaju melainkan Kerajaan BN terdahulu bersama Koperasi Pegawai Kerajaan.

Ini bermakna Exco Kerajaan BN telah meluluskan dua kali tanah tersebut pada Koperasi iaitu pada 2004 dan 2006.

“Kerajaan Negeri Pulau Pinang sekarang tidak pernah merestui peristiwa yang berlaku di Kampung Buah Pala tetapi apa boleh buat nasi sudah jadi bubur. Kerajaan BN patut bertanggungjawab dalam kes ini, ” katanya penuh harap.

Turut hadir dalam kenyataan akhbar itu ialah Timbalan Ketua Menteri, Dr Mansor Othman dan Profesor Ramasamy serta Ahli Parlimen Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh. – mks. _


Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on July 7, 2009


SHAH ALAM: Former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is again embroiled in controversy, this time over his sprawling bungalow in Section 7 near here.

The still empty bungalow which was estimated to cost RM24mil, was said to have been built on two bungalow lots.

It was claimed that Dr Mohd Khir had bought the lots for RM2.9mil and RM900,000 respectively before building his bungalow.

He was also alleged to have spent about RM20mil on fixtures as well as furniture imported from Bali.

The issue on Dr Mohd Khir’s bungalow first surfaced in a blog during the run-up to the Umno election early this year.

The blog also carried aerial photographs of the bungalow.

Yesterday, Sekinchan assemblyman Ng Suee Lim accompanied members of the media to view the bungalow from up close.

He also raised questions on how Dr Mohd Khir had financed its construction.

From a small hill behind the bungalow, several other smaller buildings could be seen around the bungalow which was surrounded by a beautifully manicured lawn.

The whole area is protected by a very high wall, part of which seems to made of broken marble.

The front gate is massive, and of ornately carved steel while the side entrance of the gate is a carved wooden door.

Ng claimed the bungalow has a swimming pool and a playground, although they could not be seen from the hill.

Ng questioned how Dr Mohd Khir could afford to build such a huge bungalow on his Mentri Besar’s salary.

Urging the Malaysian Anti-Corrup-tion Commission to investigate the matter, Ng also questioned how Dr Mohd Khir could have purchased the second bungalow plot for only RM900,000 when its market price was much higher.

“He was only a dentist and had even lived in a rented house in Sekinchan before becoming an assemblyman. How could he have amassed so much money to buy this property?” he asked.

Ng also passed to reporters copies of land search documentation, which he claimed confirmed that Dr Mohd Khir and his wife Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik were the owners of the land where the bungalow was built.

This is the latest controversy that Dr Mohd Khir had to contend with since the last general election when Barisan Nasional lost Selangor to Pakatan Rakyat.

In March he was summoned before the Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) regarding the disbursement of state agency funds to Balkis – the Wives of Selangor Assemblymen and MPs Welfare and Charity Organisation – when he was the Mentri Besar.

In May, he was suspended for a year from the state assembly without privileges for his refusal to appear before the committee. – (THE STAR)

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Malaysians are the real agents of change — The Malaysian Insider

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 29, 2009


Too much support too quickly leads to arrogance, inertia and apathy.

KUALA LUMPUR, June 29 — Malaysians should take a bow. If the administration of Datuk Seri Najib Razak is making some reform noises — merit-based national scholarships, talk of finally abandoning quotas — it is because of the political changes effected on March 8, 2008.

Do not for a minute think that the prime minister would even bother to tweak the system if the status quo had remained.

The likes of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein and Khairy Jamaluddin are not agents of change and never will be. It is Malaysians who are the agents of change.

And the message is that Umno and Barisan Nasional only becomes less arrogant when their political survival is being questioned.

Malaysians should not be so ready to throw their support behind BN yet. Remember the lessons gleaned from being under the administration of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Too much support too quickly leads to arrogance, inertia and apathy.

If any political party becomes too dominant anywhere in the world, chances are corruption, abuse of power and the tendency to take for granted the needs of the voters will set in.

Najib is expected to make some announcements this week on more liberalisations of the economy. And while these are probably steps in the right direction if Malaysia is to become more competitive, it is also coming about because the country has no choice.

Whether it is too little too late, remains to be seen. But really, Malaysia has little choice but to open up the economy, in the face of competition from around the region and pressure from trading partners.

The bloody nose inflicted on BN last year also left the ruling coalition with little choice but to respond to an unhappy electorate. That it took more than a year and a change of leadership to finally see some reform noises being made speaks volumes of the inertia that BN suffers from.

So far the signals also appear to be mixed.

The Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia continues to stoke racial sentiments. Umno’s own leaders continue to speak of what can only be described as outdated ideas about racial identity.

Instead of being progressive, Umno leaders continue to talk about the need for “protection.”

To his credit, Najib has refrained from making racially-sensitive remarks. He has been playing the statesman role, keeping himself above it all. But the prime minister will need to get his hands dirty, roll up his sleeves and make the change in his own party before he can talk about a 1 Malaysia.

And ordinary Malaysians should now also realise how effective the power of the vote is in their hands.

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Royalti Minyak: Umno-BN tipu rakyat Kelantan!

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 28, 2009


KUALA LUMPUR, 28 Jun (Hrkh) – Pemimpin Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN) terus berbohong dalam kempen pilihan raya kecil DUN Manek Urai dengan mengatakan tidak wujud minyak dan gas serta industrinya di negeri Kelantan.

Presiden PAS, Dato’ Seri Tuan Guru Abdul Hadi Awang mendedahkan beliau sendiri telah pergi ke pelantar cari gali minyak dan gas di perairan Kelantan sebaik sahaja mendapat berita tentang wujudnya ’emas hitam’ itu di negeri tersebut, sedikit masa dahulu.

“Kebetulan saya duduk tepi pantai, bersama orang ke laut (nelayan) (saya telah pergi) melawat pelantar minyak, tengok pelantar minyak (dan) pelantar gas di situ.

“Dalam kawasan (perairan) Kelantan, bukan dalam perairan Siam dan perairan antarabangsa,”jelasnya ketika berucap dalam majlis perisytiharan calon pilihan raya kecil DUN Manek Urai, di Kampung manek Urai Lama,kelmarin yang dipetik Buletin Online.

Sehubungan itu, beliau berkata, Petronas wajib membayar royalti minyak sebanyak 5% kepada negeri Kelantan sebagaimana perjanjian di antara syarikat minyak itu dengan kerajaan-kerajaan negeri pada tahun 1975.

Sebelum itu, Pengarah Pilihan raya KeADILan, Saifudin Nasution berkata pengundi Manek Urai mesti menolak Umno-BN sekiranya mereka bertanding dalam pilihan raya kecil DUN tersebut.

Beliau berkata demikian, kerana kerajaan BN bukan sahaja tidak membayar royalty minyak, malah telah berbohong dan menipu rakyat Kelantan dalam Parlimen mengenai kewujudan minyak di Kelantan.

“Kita kemudian mendapati, bahawa kerajaan Barisan Nasional tidak bercakap benar, dalam bahasa kasar, mereka telah memberikan jawapan bohong dalam Parlimen.

“Hasil kajian kita mendapati dalam buku Jabatan Perangkaan Kerajaan Malaysia yang dikeluarkan pada 2007 mukasurat 187, jadual 5.3 menyebutkan dengan jelas negeri-negri pengeluar minyak di Malaysia,”tegas Saifudin yang juga ahli Parlimen Machang.

Katanya Umno-BN hanya menipu rakyat Manek Urai dengan memasang papan tanda ‘Rakyat di Dahulukan, Manek Urai Di utamakan’, sedangkan mereka tidak membayar royalti minyak yang telah berjumlah RM 1bilion sejak tahun 2002.

Oleh itu katanya rakyat mesti menolak calon Umno-BN pada pilihan raya kecil Manek Urai pada 14 Julai depan.

“Rakyat didahulukan, Manek Urai diutamakan? Dia boleh pasang papan tanda banyak-banyak (dalam kempen pilihan raya),tetapi bukti ini (telah) menunjukkan bahawa kita (Kelantan) ada minyak, Umno tak bayar royalti minyak.

“Sebab itu kita mesti tolak calon mereka (Umno-BN) pada pilihan raya kecil Manek Urai pada 14 hari bulan nanti,”katanya. – mks._

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Najib’s crooning our tune now, crows Anwar

Posted in Uncategorized by malaysiasms on June 28, 2009


PETALING JAYA, June 28 – Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today questioned the sincerity of the prime minister in announcing a new merit-based scholarship programme obviously aimed at winning back Chinese voter support from Pakatan Rakyat (PR).

“Last time, when I said it, I was called a Chinese agent. Now that Najib has said it what are you going to call him? Is he now a Chinese agent and traitor to the Malays?” said Anwar sarcastically when asked today about the new scholarships to be based purely on merit.

The Opposition Leader has been frequently labelled a “traitor” and “Chinese agent” by Umno leaders since he launched PR’s reform agenda.

Anwar’s PR has successfully used its Ketuanan Rakyat, or supremacy of the people, slogan to differentiate itself from Umno’s Ketuanan Melayu, or supremacy of the Malays, rallying cry which has caused concern even among non-Malay Barisan Nasional (BN) parties.

But Najib, in a speech to Chinese political and community leaders last night, pledged to set up a new “National Scholarship” based entirely on merit, and also indicated his administration’s willingness to eventually drop the racial quotas in more sectors of the economy.

The prime minister’s remarks suggest a concerted effort is finally being made to hijack PR’s more multi-racial platform.

Najib’s pledges on reform seem to also suggest that he believes he can control the potential backlash from Malays while wanting to convince the non-Malays that, even if they have misgivings about Umno and BN, they should have faith in him.

Anwar appeared to acknowledge the threat from Najib today, and claimed the prime minister had only partially adopted the opposition’s agenda but failed to emphasise on protection for the poor.

“When we proposed something, it has to help people regardless of race but at the same time we will protect the poor, that is our approach,” he added.

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