Sunday, November 18, 2007

Kalimullah Digs on Anwar's, Kit's 'Sins of the Past' To Slam BERSIH Rally

What a long spin! Well, he had a whole week to do this. And that's practically what he's being paid for, anyway.

'Sins of Anwar'

In his policy address at the PBS annual congress on Sept 23, 1997, Pairin had this to say:

"Of course, our most bitter experience as well as that of the people of Sabah as a whole was being forced out of government after winning the 1994 state elections. The fourth-term PBS government lasted only about two weeks before the mandate given by the people was stolen through undemocratic manoeuvrings of the BN. The resignation of the government was caused by defections of a majority of PBS assemblymen to BN parties. Some of the former PBS assemblymen also formed their own political parties and later joined the BN.

"The manner in which the PBS government was forced out of power and made an opposition party is certainly unprecedented in our beloved country of Malaysia. As leaders and members of PBS, we must all rise and take up the challenge to reverse this dark spot in Sabah's history by ensuring that the party is returned as the rightful government of Sabah in the next election."

A year later, PBS deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, now a federal minister, said: "We should consider what happened in Sabah in 1994 as history that should not be repeated. The federal government must not allow its machinery to be abused by irresponsible groups intimidating the voters, using phantom voters, buying PBS assemblymen, and closing the door of the Istana as was done during the last election."

The PBS website still has this posting on the 1994 election where it states: "Having lost the majority in the state assembly, Datuk Seri Panglima Pairin resigned as Chief Minister on March 17, 1994 before a shocked Malaysian public. It was unbelievable that a case of a democratically elected government losing power within days after a general election due to party hopping by dishonourable assemblyman was happening for the first time on Malaysian soil."

And all these happened when Anwar led the campaign in Sabah.

In 1999, after Anwar was sacked from his post by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the new deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led the BN election campaign in Sabah.

The Hongkong-based weekly, Asiaweek, reported: "Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Ismail, (Parti Keadilan president and Anwar's wife) decries Barisan's alleged misuse of public facilities. Yet the irony is that when Dr Wan Azizah's husband, Anwar, was deputy PM, he reportedly used the same methods for his Sabah campaign."

In a subsequent issue, Asiaweek reported on the BN's overwhelming majority in the 1999 Sabah election: "Given the stakes involved, it is of little surprise that the BN pulled out all stops to win. For one thing, the polls were a test of Barisan's legitimacy in Sabah. In the previous state election, held in 1994, victory had gone to rival PBS. Barisan ended up in power only because 26 assemblymen bolted from PBS to either join Barisan or form their own parties.

"Everybody realised that the government in 1994 was formed because people jumped," says Karim Bujang, BN's secretary in Sabah.

"The coalition's mandate was therefore suspect; a victory this time around would establish beyond doubt that Barisan did indeed have the support of Sabahans."

It was not surprising to see Anwar in the forefront of last week's demonstrations by some non-governmental organisations and mainly opposition party supporters demanding electoral reform because if anything, Anwar is a politician through and through. And, as has been proven time and again, Malaysians have short memories.

But with historical perspective, it does seem strange that Anwar, who headed two of the most controversial election campaigns in Malaysian history in the last 15 years, would be the one asking for electoral reforms.

Umno members and many older Malaysians will also remember the 1993 Umno election where Anwar took on then party deputy president and deputy Prime Minister Tun Ghafar Baba, an election where money, the media and government machinery were blatantly abused to oust Ghafar and his team.

The problem was so severe that in three subsequent Umno general assemblies after that, then Umno president Dr Mahathir Mohamad decried the corruption within the ranks, and cried, asking Umno delegates to repent and reject those who used money to get votes.

"Boss, you want your name in my editorial? Name in editorial, you'll get!"

In 1999, after Anwar was sacked from his post by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the new deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi led the BN election campaign in Sabah.


It must be noted that the current Prime Minister, Abdullah, was on Ghafar's losing team in 1993, and was dubbed Mr Clean by the media for his refusal to thwart the electoral process by using money.

Abdullah displayed his seriousness when after the 2004 Umno election, where allegations of money being used were widespread, he initiated investigations which led to one of his own staunch supporters and friend, Tan Sri Isa Samad, a cabinet minister, who had won the vice-presidency, being implicated and suspended from the party for six years.

Kit's 'Sins of the Past'

Kit Siang has been at the helm of the DAP for more than 30 years until he passed the baton to Kerk Kim Hock, who subsequently left the party for health reasons although it was widely known he had major differences with Kit Siang's son, Guan Eng. Guan Eng is now secretary-general of the party.

The Aliran magazine, which was one of those which signed the memorandum for electoral reforms, reported: "Guan Eng too cannot erase the talk of nepotism by virtue of being DAP supremo Kit Siang's son. It didn't help of course that the PAP in Singapore handed its leadership to Lee Hsieng Loong, the son of its own supremo, Lee Kuan Yew, at the same time. Therefore the image of a DAP being a highly regimented party that purges anyone seen as threatening Kit Siang's hegemony has not been totally erased."

That seems to be the perception.

After all, in the past, many had been touted as potential successors to Kit Siang. They included people like architect Goh Hock Guan, activist Fan Yew Teng, social worker Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, lawyer Wee Choo Keong and Kerk. All eventually fell by the wayside and left the DAP. Maybe the DAP needs to reform its electoral process. But maybe Kit Siang believes it has been free and fair although others in his party don't think so. Again, you cannot make everyone happy, can you?

What happens when the DAP wins an election through the electoral process that it wants reformed?

After a crucial by-election in Tapah which the DAP won against the BN, Kit Siang, was quoted by Asiaweek, which said he was ecstatic.

"It is a political earthquake," Kit Siang said of the DAP's stunning upset win in the May 17 parliamentary by-election.

The death of the incumbent MP caused the by-election in the semi-rural Perak state constituency. The result meant an astonishing vote swing to 39-year-old lawyer M. Kulasegaran, who demolished a previous government majority of 14,000 to win by 3,000. The DAP last held the seat in 1969. And it won this time despite the campaign efforts of then Deputy PM Anwar Ibrahim and other senior officials.

Bravo rebuttal (as in spin), I would say.

But seriously, with all the lies the NaSTy have been spinning, and of course the crony Kerajaan Tiga Beranak or 3K + A link, wonder one would actually take this editorial seriously?

Even if you would to believe anything coming out from this paper, I suggest you read a more balance view from Tunku Abdul Aziz.

Oh, wonder if Brian Yap's column in NaSTy is still on. He was a participant of the BERSIH Rally, by the way.

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