By SHAHANAAZ HABIB, IZATUN SHARI and ROYCE CHEAH
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi stood firm, saying he would decide when to hand over power to his deputy, but a number of supreme council members said the understanding was for the transition to be sooner than later.
The Umno president said he was aware of the sentiments of the grassroots and was keeping his ears close to the ground.
“I am paying heed to what is happening and the current situation. And whatever decision I make, I will discuss it with Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak) and then bring it up to the Umno supreme council,” he said Thursday at a press conference after chairing a council meeting.
Abdullah reiterated that he would contest for the Umno presidency in the December party elections.
He stressed that he had already made that clear at a press conference the previous day, noting that Umno divisions have not started their meetings yet and as the (country’s) leader he would continue to implement what was needed. [more]
SINGAPORE: Some Barisan Nasional component party leaders’ comments about the possibility of their parties leaving Barisan has Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin concerned.
“The is a new trend we have not seen in the past and this time around it is being done openly. I am concerned about that,” Muhyiddin told reporters, referring to remarks made by MCA and Gerakan leaders recently.
“Are these remarks brought up because of sheer disappointment? They have to explain,” he said, adding that any random survey would show that there was a mindset shift among the rakyat and not merely in Permatang Pauh.
Muhyiddin said Barisan should not underestimate the changes that are taking place.
“We can have a dialogue with the component parties but what else can we do? That is what we should be asking ourselves. [more]
Ten years after being forced from power by charges of sexual misconduct, Anwar Ibrahim was sworn in as the leader of the Malaysian opposition today and repeated his promise to drive out the government of the prime minister, Abdullah Badawi.
“I am glad to be back after a decade. I really feel vindicated. I feel great,” Mr Anwar said after being sworn in as a member of parliament and immediately elected as leader by the three party opposition coalition. “Clearly the prime minister has lost the mandate of the country and the nation.”
Mr Anwar won a convincing victory in a by-election on Tuesday in the state of Penang, just four months after the expiry of a ban on standing for public office. It was in 1998 that he was precipitated from the job of deputy prime minister after being accused of corruption and sodomy with his male driver, a grave crime in Malaysia.
He always insisted that the charge had been trumped up by the ruling United Malay National Organisation (Umno), because of the challenge which Mr Anwar, the deputy prime minister, was planning against his boss, the then prime minister, Mahathir Mohamad
By Jalil Hamid
PERMATANG PAUH, Malaysia (Reuters) – Malaysia’s opposition alliance, which backs Anwar Ibrahim in his bid to return to parliament, said on Monday that some of its supporters had been removed from voter lists ahead of a crucial by-election.
As tensions mounted in the usually sleepy northern Malaysian enclave of Permatang Pauh, police sent in reinforcements to prevent clashes between rival groups and there were reports of a scuffle between Anwar supporters and government backers.
The vote pits Anwar, an ex-deputy prime minister who is now the de facto opposition leader, against the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), the dominant party in the coalition that has ruled Malaysia since independence in 1957.
Tensions have mounted with the nightly airing on television of testimony sworn on the Koran by a 23-year-old former male aide who says he was sodomised by Anwar. Anwar has been formally charged with the offence and will appear in court on September 10.
“Clearly this election can only be fair and free when the media is free and when the Election Commission is credible and respected as an independent commission. We don’t have that on both accounts,” Anwar told a press conference on Monday.
Earlier, the Anwar camp said that Malaysia’s Election Commission had removed 949 names from the voter list that was used in the March 8 general elections. [http://uk.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUKKLR18099320080825]
Tarikh 31 Ogos merupakan satu tarikh keramat bagi seluruh rakyat Malaysia. Ia menandakan kita merdeka dari penjajahan yang sudah sekian lama menzalimi serta menindas. Beberapa hari lagi maka genap 51 tahun kita merdeka, 51 tahun sudah negara tercinta ini bebas dari penjajahan yang menindas. Namun kita melihat selepas 51 tahun keadaan menjadi lebih buruk. Pengangguran bertambah berkali-kali ganda, inflasi berada di paras tertinggi dalam sejarah yang mengakibatkan kenaikan harga barang secara mendadak, manakala kerajaan tidak mampu untuk menurunkan harga minyak ke paras yang munasabah bagi mengurangkan beban rakyat.
Kerajaan Barisan Nasional yang diketuai UMNO sudah tempang dan gagal memenuhi hasrat rakyat yang inginkan perubahan demi kehidupan yang lebih baik, makmur, harmoni dan adil. Akan tetapi kita kesal demi menggelincirkan proses perubahan, Barisan Nasional sanggup untuk menggunakan politik fitnah dan adu domba.
Saya menyeru penduduk Permatang Pauh agar bersama-sama menolak segala penipuan dan kezaliman yang dilakukan oleh Umno dan Barisan Nasional. Mari kita kuatkan iltizam serta perkukuh tekad perjuangan di dalam kita melawan fitnah serta perancangan jahat Barisan Nasional yang diketuai UMNO.
Marilah kita merdeka dari politik fitnah dan adu domba ini. Teladan yang ditunjukkan oleh Nabi Muhammad S.A.W dan anbiya lainnya seharusnya dijadikan iktibar. Saya menyeru kepada mereka yang terbabit supaya jangan menghina Syariah demi kepentingan politik. Kemukakan bukti dan saksi di Mahkamah Syariah bukannya bersumpah demi memenuhi nafsu politik semata!
26 Ogos 2008, undilah saya demi untuk keluar dari kesengsaraan hidup, rasuah dan kerencatan ekonomi. Bersempena bulan Merdeka ini marilah kita bersama-sama di Permatang Pauh ini mendakap semangat merdeka yang sebenarnya. Kita sampaikan kepada rakyat sudah tiba masanya untuk merdeka dari kesengsaraan hidup, merdeka dari rasuah dan merdeka dari keadaan ekonomi yang lembap. Marilah kita Memerdekakan Rakyat! Demi Memerdekakan Negara!
New Straits Times
BUTTERWORTH: Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin said the very first thing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would do if he was able to form the government on Sept 16 would be to finalise deals with his foreign financiers on what benefits they would enjoy.
He said Anwar would also immediately sign a Free Trade Agreement with the United States.
“He would also agree with US intentions to set up a naval base in Sabah. I obtained all this information from very reliable sources,” said Khairy at a ceramah at the Barisan Nasional Youth operation centre near here.
“We would like to know how Anwar is obtaining huge funds for his by-election campaign. Just look at the posters. I’m sure it would have cost him millions. We do not want him to sell off the country.
“If PKR is in power for the next five years, I’m sure they can sell the country. Anwar is a hypocrite of the highest order.” [more]
IPSnews, by Baradan Kuppusamy
PERMATANG PAUH, Penang, Aug 22 (IPS) – Sleaze and race are dominating the by-election for this constituency where opposition leader and self-proclaimed prime minister-in-waiting Anwar Ibrahim is fighting to return to parliament after a decade-long absence.
Anwar tells voters that if he elected he will be just one step away from toppling the government and replacing it with a new one that is free of racial discrimination and corruption. He proposes to do that by inducing defections from the ranks of the ruling Barisan Nasional (National Front coalition) or BN.
In response to Anwar’s challenge, the ruling coalition has unleashed money, patronage and the overwhelming control it has over mainstream media to convince the 58,000 voters in this constituency that Ibrahim is simply unfit to be anything, let alone the next prime minister.
Their main weapons in this campaign are sleaze and the manipulation of racial fears to influence the voters, 70 percent of whom are Muslim-Malays.
One matter persistently used in the campaign is the charge filed against Ibrahim on Jul. 26 that he sodomised a former aide, Saiful Bukhari Azlan. The trial starts on Sep. 13. [more]
Posted in Arrest, Barisan Nasional, Elections, Ethics, Politics, UMNO, vote rigging
Tagged Anwar Ibrahim, Barisan Nasional, Malays, Permatang Pauh, Race, Saiful Bukhari Azlan, Sleaze, UMNO
SEBERANG PERAI (Aug 21, 2008): Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has accused Umno of using a race to “fool” the Malays in the run-up to the Permatang Pauh parliamentary by-election.
Pointing to BN leaflets being circulated door-to-door that depicted him as being pro-Chinese, he said: “What is sad is that what I say about my concerns for Malays is being deleted.”
He noted, for example, that reports of his assertion that he was for “ketuanan rakyat” (people supremacy), that included Malays, Chinese and Indians, were manipulated such that his comments on the Malays went missing, leaving people to perceive he was favouring the non-Malays.
“They are using a racist agenda to fool the Malays. I am a Malay and I feel sad when my people are being fooled like this,” he told reporters after a campaign walkabout at the Penanti market. [more]
BUTTERWORTH: PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should explain why he took Mohd Saiful Bukhari Azlan on an overseas trip if he claims that the latter is only a “pantry boy.”
Deputy Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail initially said Mohd Saiful was an aide, but later PKR strategist Saifuddin Nasution Ismail claimed that he was a “boy who makes coffee”.
“They say Mohd Saiful was not paid a fixed salary, and was merely a volunteer. But later in an interview with Malaysiakini, Anwar admitted taking Mohd Saiful on a trip abroad.
“This is what that puzzles me most. Who would take a coffee-making volunteer on a trip?” he said during an Umno Youth ceramah at Jalan Tenggiri, Seberang Jaya, on Wednesday night.
Reports by LEE YUK PENG, ZULKIFLI ABD RAHMAN, SIM LEOI LEOI and ELIZABETH LOOI
FLYERS listing names of a “new” Cabinet complete with the “Jemaah Menteri Malaysia 2008” headline and emblem are mysteriously circulating in Parliament.
Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was named Prime Minister with Lim Kit Siang (DAP – Ipoh Timur) as Deputy Prime Minister/Internal Security Minister and R. Sivarasa (PKR – Subang) as Deputy Prime Minister in charge of law and judiciary.
Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee was also named Deputy Prime Minister from Sabah/Sarawak.
No one has claimed responsibility and MPs are pointing fingers at each other. Sivarasa said the list was a cheap Umno propaganda. [more]