Thursday, March 06, 2008

Dr Azmi Sharom: Who Shall I Vote

From Malaysia Today

Who to vote for then? Well for one thing, it won’t be for the politician who promises to clean up the drains of Petaling Jaya. That’s not what my MP or my State Exco Member is supposed to do. That is the job of the Local Authorities.

Dr Azmi Sharom

My eight year old boy and his nine year old cousin were in deep conversation last weekend. Very serious stuff because they chased me out of the room and demanded privacy. It turns out that they wanted to establish a political party and they were writing their manifesto. After a bit of poking around, I found out that the manifesto is pretty much limited to one point: my nephew wants to be Prime Minister. My son on the other hand does not seem to have any idea what is going on.

Normally, this would be the time when I make a, oh so witty, comparison between the 12th Malaysian General Elections and the exploits of two primary school boys. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything and I just put this little anecdote in because, well, I think it’s cute and funny and I know the rest of this article won’t be.

So, elections are here again and on Saturday, I shall be going to the polling station with that merry tune running in my head. You know the one; mari lah mari, pergi mengundi, jangan lupa kewajipan, pada negara.

Who to vote for then? Well for one thing, it won’t be for the politician who promises to clean up the drains of Petaling Jaya. That’s not what my MP or my State Exco Member is supposed to do. That is the job of the Local Authorities, in my case the Petaling Jaya City Council and I have nothing to do with those guys. I should of course. I should have the right to vote for the men and women who deal with such important matters like my huge contributions to the MBPJ football team via all those parking fines I’ve paid. But I don’t.

Now the candidate who promises me that he will try to reintroduce Local Authority elections, he will have my attention. But really, wild dogs roaming the streets and poor street lighting should not be what an MP is primarily concerned about. They are elected so that they can be part of the law-making machine we know as Parliament and they have bigger issues to fry, like corruption, the state of the judiciary, governance, racist supremacy ideology, fundamental freedoms, etc.

Ideally, I would look at the individual candidates and try to figure out where he stands. But this is not very practicable because these candidates are not really individuals; they are the human faces of their political parties. So, what about the parties then? Perhaps I can find one that matches how I think. Frankly, I don’t think there are any that truly reflect my values and aspirations.

Besides, aren’t the constituencies arranged in such a way that one party is more likely to win anyway? When one looks at the way our electoral system is managed, when you can win almost forty percent of the votes and yet only get ten percent of the seats, it is easy to get cynical. Does this mean that voting is a waste of my time? Indeed not.

Elections are a cog in the machinery that is democracy. They are an important cog, but just a cog nonetheless. Of course it is nice if the candidate you choose wins, but even if he or she does not, there is still reason to vote. Because Malaysia uses the first past the post system and because each constituency is not equal (some constituencies are tiny and so each vote counts more), there is a tendency to view everything in terms of seats won.

Of course this is important, because a party without a two-thirds majority has much less freedom to do what it wants to. A major factor here is the ability to change the constitution. Without a two thirds majority a ruling party does not have the freedom to change our main source of citizens’ protection according to their whims. Of course the number of seats won is important.

However, personally I think the percentage of votes is the true indicator of what the people think and want and it is just as important as the number of seats won. This is because the battle for democracy does not happen only once every four or five years. It takes place every single day. And knowing that a large group of the population feel that issues like good governance, honesty, integrity equality and civil liberties are important gives momentum and strength to that day to day battle.

It is with that thought in mind that I will go humming and skipping to the polls, come Saturday. And no matter what the results are on Sunday, I know one thing for sure, if democracy and human rights are important to me, then the quest to ensure my country respects both will continue on Monday, as it will for as long as I draw breath. The only thing that elections determine is who makes up government. Whether we are free or not, is up to us the people to fight for. Always.


Anonymous said...






董教总求见阿都拉求了两年余,仍未得首相拨冗召见;抗议路口遭路墩封堵的蕉赖皇冠镇(Cheras Mahkota)居民发出14次怒吼,路墩依旧没有移走,以致居民每日须绕道近七公里上下班。




在一则自白式广告中,一名马来男子说,政府在各地加装了闭路电视,也设立了许多新的警察局,为人民提供了安全的环境,让他可以毫无惧意地走在街上。事实是否如他所说呢?独立民调中心(Merdeka Centre)的一项民调显示,罪案和公共安全是人民最关注的第三大问题;当民主行动党百乐镇(Damansara Utama)州议席候选人谢永贤前天在Damansara Jaya举办的群众大会上问台下观众,谁曾被攫夺钱包时,台下竟有超过半数人举手。





Andrew Loh said...

whom* to vote for. :)

cakap mesti bikin siap siap said...


Great, I know you do listen and most importantly to act as well

Basic ingredient of true MP

Anonymous said...

Kawan-kawan, have you met anyone who is voting BN?

By Little Bird

Kawan-kawan, have you met anyone who is voting for the BN? I have not. And I meet a lot of people.

The PM, Mawi and Shahrizat got booed by hundreds of people in Pantai Dalam a couple of days ago. It was quite embarrassing (for them lah). Last night, YB Tan Chai Ho could hardly gather 20 people for his ceramah in Cheras. This is 1st hand news from a policeman friend of mine who was there. Tan Chai Ho is (err was) a very popular and 'power' YB. Well maybe not anymore.

The support for the BN has gone kaput.

Yesterday, I had lunch with a senior police officer (an OCPD) . He said, 'Kali ni polis pun tak sokong Kerajaan'. This morning I had breakfast with a source (an ex-Civil Servant) who lives in a famous residential area populated almost exclusively by retired Malay Civil Servants. He said that when they meet at the surau for prayers and when they meet while jogging and walking in the morning, the coded message is 'Bulan takpa, Roket takpa, Mata pun takpa, tapi dacing tak boleh'. (PAS is ok, DAP is ok, Keadilan is ok but BN is not ok).

Then this bumiputra korporat banker friend keeps calling me and giving me all sorts of inside information, some of which you are seeing here. These were all hardcore, die-hard BN voters at one time.

Granted that all these people I meet are in KL and they are all unhappy with the Gomen. And I am talking about my old UMNO colleagues and Gomen servants too. Then we were discussing among ourselves 'Yeah we can all vote Opposition now but still in the kampongs and the States the BN will sweep up the seats. They will still get 2/3".

I thought so too until I spoke to friends in Sabah and got feedback from places like Parit Buntar in Perak. In Parit Buntar, the staff in the Jabatan Kesihatan, Jabatan Pendidikan, Jabatan Agama, Bomba, Pejabat Pos, Pejabat Daerah, and just about every branch of Gomen, is anti-BN. The kampong people are also saying '50 tahun dah cukup lah'.

In Sabah, the Malays and everyone else there are saying the same thing. You would have thought that the S-I-L is a Semenanjung issue but even the Sabahans don't like him. So they say the mood this time is anti-Gomen. The church is doing a wonderful job in Sabah guiding the congregation in the right direction.

So let me ask you again, have you met anyone who is voting BN? I just asked this to a businessman friend and he said 'No'.

I really am quite positive that we are going to kick the BN right in the backside this time around. Lets all do it together.

But lets keep an eye out. First they cancelled the ink thingy. They will cheat at the polls. Today, the IGP has said the polling boxes will be taken to the police stations. What is the guarantee that they will not switch the boxes when they are in the police station?

If they lose the 2/3 or more they can always 'create incidents', declare emergency and shut the place down. Let us pray to God to protect us against such devils. They can cancel the elections (illegally) but it looks like its too late for that.

Lets all keep on our toes over the next 48 hours and vote wisely. Its time to take the BN down.

Anonymous said...

This Azmi Sharom is great. He is indeed a 'True Malaysian' that every Malaysian should emulate. Race-base politics is not for us.

Tony, please upload Azmi Sharom interview. The link is here

Anonymous said...

Rakyat will find vaccine for BN viruses

The attack launched by BN’s Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Najib Razak and Ong ka Ting on the opposition really saddens me. The BN has ruled Malaysia for 50 years and they have not learned the true spirit of democracy which is ‘of the people, by the people for the people’.

We are the rakyat and we will decide on the government we want. We can change the government every five years and it is not up to the BN leaders to decide who we must vote for. The BN leaders have stayed in the BN laboratory for a long time (imagine 50 years).

They have isolated themselves from the globalised and civilised world and their incompetence and arrogance have caused all kinds of viruses to be released by their irresponsible ‘scientists’.

These worms have caused calamities to the once great country of Malaysia and her people. Let me name the ill-effects of these viruses. The first deadly virus, the crime rate rocketing. The second deadly virus, the prices of essential goods shooting up. The third deadly virus, rampant corruption. The fourth deadly virus, human rights deprived. The fifth virus, the judiciary destroyed.

The BN top guns couldn't fulfill their promises (to implement the IPCMC, better public transport, no price hikes, fight corruption etc), and now they control all the TV and media, showering the rakyat with all their promises (laden with all kinds of deadly viruses) and think that the rakyat will listen to their sweet words. We, the rakyat will find our way to look for a vaccine (the opposition leaders) and to punish those who release these deadly viruses.

This is the time, we the rakyat will send our top-ranked scientists (the opposition reps) into the lab, in order to replace the mediocre and incompetent bogus personnel (the BN leaders) and to find the cures for all these viruses. If the BN continues to rule, more and more deadly viruses will be released, and what will happen after the election, March 8?

The scenario will be this. First of all, the foreign investors will be frightened away and then there will be an exodus of our own Malaysian investors to other countries. Then the majority of the young graduates will be jobless and most of the families will be struggling hard to survive due to high inflation. The crime rate will further skyrocket and the quality of life will deteriorate and the future generations will suffer the most.

Do we want this to happen to us and also to our future generations? Do you want to see the frustration in the eyes of the young graduates? Do you want to hear the groans of the future generations who will suffer in the coming years? If yes, then vote BN.


Anonymous said...

Now is the hour to make our feelings known

Whoever wins the elections, Malaysian politics will never be the same again. For whom the do the bells toll? It tolls for the government which has become its own worst enemy. You can't blame the people for getting upset and voting for the opposition because the government has failed the people horribly and lost many friends. It is like the sweet talker with bad breath. No matter how sweet the words people can't stand the foul odour and prefer to run away.

The unbecoming lies by the Prime Minister Abdullah Mohammed Badawi only demeans the high office he occupies and results in the undoing of his personal credibility. It betrays a leadership under siege from within and without and exposes a man whose words can't be trusted. Those who cry wolf deserve to be ignored.

It is not the political issues that dog the government but its own dishonesty in facing acts of corruption. The Lingam video scandal was an open and shut case. But it became a melodrama because of the government's mismanagement and concealment of the truth. Had it come out in the open - after all the one who fixed the judges is no longer in power - and done the decent thing by allowing the law to properly take its course it would have redeemed itself substantially. Now all is buried in the political sewers and the government's image is tainted once more.

Malaysians who still can't see the real enemy of the nation - those who abuse their powers for political and financial gain instead of honestly and decently serving the country - need to have their eyesight tested and their heads scanned, metaphorically.

It is no longer funny when a country can be abused to this extent and communities, children and women are under siege from robbers and rapists that there are people who still think all is well and sing the praises of the government.

Mahathir made the mistake of looking East to Japan. He should have led the nation to look South. To Singapore where administrative excellence is like a religion and to Australia where the government works for the people. Their democracies differ but the beneficiaries are still the people at large not the politicians who are corrupt. A government for the people is always a good government.

The EPF used to pay 8% returns but in recent times that rate has dropped. Many Malaysian baby boomers are retiring and many will live in poverty or need to depend on their children. In Australia and Japan they give every non-self funding retiree a pension. Does the government care?

Malaysia is a rich country and if the national wealth is used properly every Malaysian regardless of race would benefit. The Malays are duped into believing that the NEP is for their benefit when the truth is corruption siphons off much of the funds earmarked for them in dubious ways. Just read the Auditor-General's recent reports.

That is why many Malays are now upset because they have lost out not only in material benefits but in reputation. People wrongly think being a Malay ensures one gets the passport to riches which is untrue. I know needy Malays who can't get any form of financial aid but the rich and well connected have no such problem. This is what's wrong in the country. This political patronage thing and system of kickbacks will destroy the nation.

When Lim Guan Eng helped a young girl in distress he proved once and for all that a Chinese politician can work for the benefit of a non-Chinese. He went to jail for his hard work. Like his father Lim Kit Siang, they and others went to jail simply for trying to represent aggrieved Malaysians. But their government locked them up. Such men have proven their worth and mettle and can be trusted.

Anwar Ibrahim became another victim of the government. Many justice-loving Malaysians felt for him. Now he is out and about trying to get back into power. His whole family is involved and it can augur well for the nation when capable people get involved.

Not everyone in government is dishonest or a wrongdoer so they too must expose those who do wrong. Then they can face God and the people with a clear conscience. Expose all wrongs because they destroy the country and the people's future. It sounds cliche but the truth is the real issue in the country is between good and evil - the eternal struggle. What is needed for evil to prevail is for good to stay silent, if I may adapt from Edmund Burke's.

The country is going to the dogs and it is the people who will save it when those given the power and responsibility to manage the nation are asleep or are obviously incompetent. There are many capable Malaysians who can get the job done. Let the wrongdoers do their worst but now is the hour to make your feelings known. Power comes through the ballot box so please speak out loudly. Speak with your vote.

Steve Oh

Anonymous said...



Tony Phua 跟我无亲无戚,没见过面。


女人要哭不如回家睡觉,不要无赖空讲.dotCom 空壳公司没有用。



巴生Y。B Teng 的 supporter.

Anonymous said...

Why isn't DAP recruiting this guy for to run under them?

Anonymous said...

We need more independant-minded, intellectually-driven individuals like Azmi.

And no, I do not know of anyone who intends to vote for BN. We are all standing by Tony. On Saturday, my family and friends and I will vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Every foreign, independent press has already declared Tony a winner.

Where is the celebration Tony? I don't think its prematured. Fact they better not cheat in PJU or someone will get seriously hurt.

Anonymous said...

Last night out of curiosity I went to a BN ceramah in Ampang.

Other than their own hardcore supporters wearing BN caps and jackets numbering about 30. There are less than 30 common folks attending, even after the 'calon' came with a loud kompang welcome.

Folks, the winds of change is here, do your part.

Anonymous said...

BN seperti katak di bawah tempurung!

Four years ago different, now different, babe. But they use the same old religious and race strategy to threatened voters.

When speaking to the malays, they use chinese to scare them so they don't vote DAP. When speaking to the chinese and indians, they use PAS Islam to scare them so they don't vote PAS. When referring to PKR, they discredit Anwar so the people will have doubts in PKR.

Time has changed, we are more informed, we are more civilised.

You know, when you have been suffering for 4 yours under BN, you will take risks to vote a better government... no matter what BN do, be it religious threats, race threats, may13 threats, millions and millions of ringgit of tv advertisements, radio advertisements, they even advertise in MSN! Can you believe that?

They thought the TV advertisements can make us vote for them, but they did not know we knew the money that pours into those expensive ads comes from the rakyat! That has made me reject BN even more!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous 5.07pm

Please do not be over confident. Do our best to call, talk to our family members, friends, colleague voting in PJU.

Many housewife or women line dancing or taichi group in PJ do not have the broad thinking to vote the proper candidate to Parliament, these voters are just satisfied with longkang and potholes only.

So in the next less than 24 hours, please our best to spread to these voters for the better future.

Anonymous said...

People, someone told me that on polling day BN will try some underhand tactics to win votes. They will "buy" some of our votes by giving you a marked ballot to put into the box and you will in turn give them the unmarked ballot paper. To sabotage this tactic accept the marked ballot paper BUT DO NOT PUT it into the box. Just put it into your pocket and carry on with your intended vote. When you are asked for your unmarked ballot paper, just ignore them and do not give them back ANY ballot paper, marked or unmarked. This will deny them the re-use of any ballot paper.

Anonymous said...

I was at the ceramah at "Chow Yang" pasar malam and was surprised to see BN having their own ceramah on the other end. What's surprising is that it was being staged on a truck! I thought the police have banned such mobile stages! Anyway, the people have spoken. No more than 30 were at BN's corner whereas there hundreds maybe even thousands at DAPs ceramah!

The winds of change is here! Make it happen PJU!! Enough is enough! Deny BN 2/3 and return Malaya to its glory days!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Tony,

Rumour says that there will be big bribery this time in PJU constituency in a desperate attempt to win back the voters. This is not outright bribery but rather "incentives" and "holidays" promised. These kinda stories make my blood boil. All the best and hope you win anyway.

Unknown said...

This is the year of jubilee.. the year that God prescribes in the bible where all captives are to be set free... Lets hope that come March 8, change will take place. Let all the Anak Malaysia be free to achieve their full potential, regardless of race, creed and color.
My colleague just told me, that her husband will be traveling back to Kelantan to vote. Sad to say though, his motivation was RM300. Kelantan is going to be tough, with vote rigging and all other scams that BN is putting up....
Another colleague of mine who profess to be a BN supporter, but this time she said, her family is voting for Keadilan.

Anonymous said...

My blood has been boiling since Mahathir's era. Become a politician of a certain party and you become rich overnight! Joining the particular party is like Aladdin having the magical lamp. Polish and polish the dacing and you become rich and powerful overnight and just like Ali Baba and the forty thieves, the associated cohorts too become filthy rich. The red rocket gang are made to look like thugs and rogues when they are the one who will save the nation. Let us give the red rocket gang a chance to prove and rule the nation. If they cannot deliver then we can revert polishing the dacing. But until then look not down upon them. Let Tony Pua et al fight for justice, support them......polish their red rocket for once and dump the useless dacing