Divide, divide and divide some more

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It is clear that the current ruling BN government of this country will do anything to stay in power. Their noble causes of entering Malaysian politics were all but destroyed decades ago, replaced by a desire for luxurious lifestyles all funded by public money. Nothing is now below the belt for them in their quest to retain power. So no matter what they say, their so called “transformation” is another sweet word meant to entice voters to maintaining the status quo. And despite what they tell you, that status quo is not the welfare and betterment of the people, but rather their access to almost limitless wealth.

The most toxic among the political movements of the ruling regime was something they inherited from the British colonial days which is the politics of ‘divide and rule’.  You see, they know the corruption that exists within their ranks as well as the increasing disappearances of money.  So, to hide all their misgivings, the BN will resort to dividing Malaysians as much as possible in order to stay in power. They know that should Malaysians stand together as a united force, their days in power would be numbered. Therein comes the age old game of scaring people about “those other guys” that may be different from them.

The BN has played this game to perfection. What started as a power sharing formula between parties that were supposed to ensure that each community is fairly represented in government had turned into vehicles for opportunistic politicians to create a climate of fear of between the communities in this country. It is quite simply, a blatant move to exploit differences between communities given that populace is diverse culturally and religiously each with their own norms and taboos.

Instead of promoting the beauty of unity in diversity, they decided that it is better to exploit people’s natural insecurities about the same diversity to ensure that the electorate can never work together. Add in gerrymandering and voila, you have a sure fire way of retaining power no matter how much you screw the country up. Sad isn’t it?

Rest assured, these types of politics are not just practised in Malaysia but all over the world. Fear is the easiest way of winning and retaining power. Fear of “those other guys”, happens everywhere from the Americas to Europe, Africa and Asia, as long as the population is diverse, there is the possibility of exploiting those differences for staying in power. All someone has to say is “vote for me so I can protect you from ‘those other guys’!”

Division of the people aside, those in power will then proceed to divide their political rivals through their game of “bait and switch” of promises and rewards. Their objectives are of course to ensure the devoid of a united force in opposing them order to further split their threats and keep themselves in power. Suddenly, there are parties, individuals and organisations popping out saying that only they truly represent the voices of the people and asking for votes in the upcoming general elections.

The only thing that they will achieve is to ensure that the BN stays in power on the federal level and capture back the States that they had lost. Confused voters who are opposed to the BN will be forced to choose between opposing parties which will result in the splitting of the opposition votes and allowing the BN to win the majority. After all, we practise the “first past the post” system and the BN will do whatever it takes to exploit it to their advantage.

People of Malaysia, our differences are being exploited to maintain the luxuries of those who currently walk the halls of Putrajaya. The 14th General Election is coming soon and you can bet if we do not stay focused on battle between Pakatan Harapan and the BN, then the BN will further drive this country to the ground for their own personal wealth.

This election must be between the Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional. Some may say they are the “third force”, well let me ask you what good is a third force when a two party system has not even been achieved yet? What good is a third force when the ruling BN will use all aspects of governmental power to their advantage during the campaign and the actual polls? That third force is only going to result in a one force system which is a return of the Barisan Nasional to near absolute power with a two third super majority in Parliament to amend the Federal Constitution and further consolidate power to the Prime Minister.

As the nation heats up towards the 14th General Election, let us be focused on ensuring that Pakatan Harapan gets the votes in this electoral battle for the future of Malaysia. All other parties and individuals within that contest will only seek to divide the votes and ensure a BN victory. Focus on the establishment of a two party system so that we can finally end the dominant party system that has made the BN what it is today. Only with proper political competition, can the people truly be winners. We are all Malaysians; let us do this as a team for Malaysia.

Do it for Malaysia…..

Chris Lee Chun Kit is a City Coucillor in the City Council of Penang Island (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang) representing the DAP. #ilovepenang

Does BN even know what a job is? by Chris Lee Chun Kit

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Does BN even know what a job is?

I remembered once driving along the North-South Highway and seeing a huge banner of the Menteri Besar of a particular BN-ruled state welcoming the diaspora population back home for the festivals. On first glance I thought “well, he is trying hard to increase his public profile” then I realised,

“wait a minute, instead of welcoming the diaspora back for the holidays like it is a norm, shouldn’t he be doing something to stop or even to reverse it?”

Yes , basically that particular BN MB seemed to be happy to portray that his state had contributed a lot of home grown talents to Penang, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur as well as overseas. He was proud that other states and countries could benefit from the best brains his state could offer.

Basically, he was indirectly implying that he was proud in failing to provide jobs and retain his talents. If that is the case then as an elected government, he has failed his people. But I know, some would argue that people are allowed to seek employment elsewhere like in the cities around the world but if that is the case then what is the role of the elected government then?

You see a while back, Deputy Health Minister and former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr. Hilmi Yahaya had claimed that the Penang State Government had failed the people of Penang when he said that around 6000 people had lost their jobs when their factories closed. Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng then responded by saying that based on statistics from the Malaysian Investment Development Authority (Mida), 24,000 job opportunities had been created in the state in 2016 under his administration and then urged the Deputy Minister to respond to whether he thinks Penang had benefitted from the job creation. Dr. Hilmi has since been silent.

Dr. Hilmi was obviously trying to spin facts to work in his favour and thus create a perception that the Pakatan Harapan coalition government was incapable of governing. This form of attempt to destroy confidence is nothing new as the BN often claims that they are the only coalition worthy and smart enough to govern. What Dr. Hilmi had conveniently forgotten was that many states which are directly governed by BN has been severely lacking in jobs and has resulted in a brain drain of the talented youths to the cities or other countries.

You see, many BN leaders are so comfortable with their stable high salaries in their offices of power that they do not seem to realise nor understand the needs of their electorate anymore. Let us just skip the technical terms and get straight to the point, people need jobs because jobs equals spending and spending generates an economy. Without a job, the populace will be unable to earn a living and be forced to move elsewhere. So if they are unable to look for a job in their home state, then did their governments do enough to ensure that investors bring jobs to their respective states?

Not every Malaysian has the financial nor academic ability to leave their homes and seek jobs elsewhere. Family and financial commitments are among many causes that may lead to a decision to stay home. However, the option to stay home and find work seems to be increasingly difficult in many BN states due to the inabilities of their leaders to find ways to improve the economy. As a result, the people have to suffer while the BN mismanages the economy of both the state and the country. The depreciation of the Malaysian Ringgit coupled with BN crony monopolies of local industries has resulted in rising living costs while salaries remain stagnant and low, lower in the states that the BN governs, due to lack of economic competitiveness.

One would think that after comparing their failing economies to the well managed ones of Pakatan Harapan states like Penang and Selangor, they would learn. But what do these BN leaders know? They have high salaries as government officials both in the state and federal levels. They can afford to send their children to international schools and overseas. As far as they are concerned, their priorities are power and retaining power. Your welfare does not cross their minds at all.

They do not seem to understand nor even care to understand.

Chris Lee Chun Kit is a City Coucillor of Penang Island (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang) representing the DAP. #ilovepenang

What is the BN up to? by Chris Lee Chun Kit

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Since the political tsunami of 2008, UMNO has been in a dilemma. On one hand, they want to continue their business as usual, on the other; they know that in the age of the internet, it is becoming increasingly difficult due to increased scrutiny on even the tiniest detail of their business affairs. You see, UMNO and the rest of the BN are addicted. And no, it is not drugs that they are addicted to but rather their politics of cronyism and patronage. 60 years of uninterrupted rule by the BN had corrupted and warped their internal democracy and it is now evident that anyone who seeks to rise to the top of the BN parties need to find ways to keep their delegates or “downlines” happy which is usually through monetary means.

With their inability to rehabilitate their internal structures combined with increasing public pressure for a clean government, they have decided to turn their attention to breaking apart opposition parties instead. With huge financial resources at their disposal (it’s a wonder how they obtain those resources cleanly, seeing that they never have to hold a fund-raising campaign), their focus is to discredit and malign opposition parties through internal and external attacks. Suddenly “disgruntled” party members would attack their leaders in the press and the formation of many so-called “check and balance” NGOs seem to appear overnight.

Of course, no political party is free from public scrutiny, but some of the criticisms sound so atrocious sometimes that it could only be assumed that they were made to misdirect the public from the facts. Lately, many of the mainstream media outlets have gone on an opposition bashing overdrive while claiming to be politically impartial. Common sense tells you that no news outlet can be impartial when they are directly or indirectly owned and funded by certain political parties. It can now be safely assumed that the General Election is around the corner. Why do I say that? Because it is so predictable now, it is almost like a Standard Operating Procedure or SOP.

With Malaysia being so centralised already, I can tell you that they are not stopping anytime soon. If they have their way, they would continue centralising more and more power so that the top leaders can get more revenue to feed their delegates. This will ensure their political survival in the rotting BN power structure. The same democracy that was put in place to ensure that leadership commands the confidence of the majority is now corrupted beyond recognition thanks to leaders who refuse to step down. The perks of power are too addictive for any of them to willingly let go of power.

With facts showing that opposition parties are able to govern better like in Penang and Selangor, steps are then taken to spin malicious lies about the opposition. Former ally PAS has gone to town trying to justify to their members and electorate on their now open cooperation with their former rival UMNO by saying that the DAP was a ‘dropping’ left behind by the Singaporean People’s Action  Party or PAP. It does not take an expert to figure out that the PAP and DAP are two very distinct and different parties and have no party to party relations whatsoever.

You can say that UMNO has stronger ties with the PAP on a ruling party to ruling party basis. In fact, foreign powers would do their best to keep UMNO in power, after all, it is easier to take advantage of a corrupt and incompetent government than a clean one.  I guess PAS has conveniently forgotten that they were a splinter of UMNO. Whatever it takes I guess, to smokescreen their intentions of wanting to work with UMNO.

So to cut the long story short, what is the BN up to? Simple, use as many dirty tactics to win back the states. Whether it is through gerrymandering or even telling outright lies to steer perception, to the BN, power must be obtained by hook or by crook. After securing power, moves will then be made to pressure State Governments under their rule to surrender more power to Putrajaya. Local Government Elections had been abolished since the 1970s and if there is a chance to further limit the ability of citizens to choose their governments, they would do it in an instant.

After all, elections are an inconvenience to the BN. All that money they would have to spend on campaigning can instead be used to feed their delegates and themselves. You see, governance has never been the focus of the BN, it has always been what the country can do for them and not what they can do for the country.

As the elections draw nearer, their paws are getting itchier. They are getting ready to pounce. Imagine all the millions and billions they will get to take if they win. They are salivating at the very thought of it. They do not care if Malaysians lose hope and suffer; their children are all overseas with full bank accounts. They are rich but still want to be richer. Hence, they want to make more money.

They don’t care about you, your wife, your children, that average income job you have and the countless loans that you are trying so hard to pay off every month. Your problems don’t even cross their minds when they sit in their private jets or relax on their private swimming pools.

Think about it…

Chris Lee Chun Kit is a City Coucillor of Penang Island (Majlis Bandaraya Pulau Pinang) representing the DAP. #ilovepenang

Chris Lee’s Article – 2/4/17

 

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BN’ spirit of consensus? Yeah right!

I so often find it amusing how the component parties of the BN are trying to show that they are not subservient to UMNO and their spirit of “consensus” is alive and well. Those parties would always try to say that the BN is a coalition that is based on consensus so that they do not look like lackeys with their big brother UMNO deciding everything. Even when UMNO decides something without them, they would still go to town demanding that UMNO still respects their presence within the coalition.

So I decided to do a little research on how much UMNO actually “cares” for their coalition partners. One easy way is to observe whether UMNO respects their coalition partners enough in government or rather the non-UMNO BN component parties would be contented with any minister-ship thrown at them.

In 1957, at the time of the independence of the Federation of Malaya, the first cabinet of the new country led by the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj saw the MCA being a member of the then Alliance Party (precursor to the BN) holding the important portfolio of the Ministry of Finance through Tun H.S. Lee. Fast forward to just a few elections ago, then MIC President Dato’ Seri S. Samy Vellu held the position of the Minister of Works. Today those ministries are held by UMNO and am I the only one to feel that whatever UMNO has gained, UMNO will never give back?

Take Sabah, which was one of the component members that came together to form the Federation of Malaysia in 1963 as another example, the Chief Ministership of Sabah was to be rotated in 1994 in a so-called system to ensure a fair representation of the different communities of Sabah. Then in 2004, the rotation system was quietly dropped and UMNO became the sole permanent recipient of the Chief Minister’s position in Sabah.

In each of those examples I just highlighted above on UMNO’s lack of respect for the spirit of consensus of the BN, those same non-UMNO BN component parties have remained loyal to their big brother UMNO. It is safe to say that in times of bullying by big brother, there is no spirit of consensus but only the spirit of subservience.

So when Minister of the Federal Territories Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor said of his dreams of Penang and some other locations around the country becoming Federal Territories, I would like to urge Malaysians and especially Penangites to not think that supporting non-UMNO BN component parties will stop it from happening. For as you have seen from the examples given above, if UMNO wants it to happen, it will happen no matter what their “consensus” is and the non-UMNO component parties will just sit by and watch.

It is safe to say that since a move like that will require the support of the State that the Federal Government would like to acquire; therefore the BN parties are now required to “acquire” the State for UMNO in the next elections. They can then hand Penang over to the Federal Government on a silver platter to be rewarded with Ministerships without portfolios, as long as they have the perks. Penang on the other hand, will then be forever deprived of a chance to elect their own State Government. With the electoral voices of the opinionated Penangites subdued, UMNO will then be able to rule unchecked and ensure that their cronies are forever well fed as remember, whatever UMNO has gained, UMNO will never give back.

#ilovepenang