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Money wasted on unnecessary by-elections (Updated)

Updated 4:40pm, 17 April 2009

KLANG, 17 April 2009: Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today too much time, energy and money have been spent on by-elections that need not be held.  

The prime minister said that a by-election should only be held when the elected representative died.

He said this when asked to comment on the resignation of Mohamad Fairus Khairuddin of Parti Keadilan Rakyat as Penanti state assemblyperson in Penang yesterday, which would likely see another by-election being held.

“This resignation is a political decision and can been described as a political game for certain purposes. So the people in general don’t like by-elections that are deliberately forced to be held,” he told a news conference after opening the 63rd annual general meeting of the Association Chinese Chamber of Commerce Malaysia (ACCIM) here.

Asked whether Fairus’ action was a betrayal of the voters’ trust, he said it was up to the people to judge.

“There are many views now that we are over-politicking at a time when we should be focusing on restoring the country’s economy and fighting for the interests and wellbeing of the people to look forward to our future and take the nation to greater heights of success,” he said. Mohammad Fairus in announcing his resignation, effective yesterday said he wanted to pursue his studies asnd spend more time with his family and to clear his name of the allegations hurled against him.

Mohammad Fairus, 32, is under investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over allegations of corruption involving quarry operations.

Najib also said that under the Federal Constituion besides the death of an incumbent, the other reasons for holding by-elections were if the assemblyperson or member of parliament was declared a bankrupt or incapable of discharging his duties and responsibilities due to certain factors.

“Resigning actually runs counter to the concept of parliamentary democracy because once you offer yourself, you should be committed to working for the duration of the parliemantary or state term to serve the people,” he said.

On the likelihood of demonstrations like those in Thailand occurring in Malaysia, he said: “I don’t see it…because we are a nation and society that uphold the constitution and the law, so the rule of law is the principle and pillar that we respect.”

Najib said: “we should not respect the court’s decision only when it favours and do all sorts of things when it does not.

PAS secretary-general Kamaruddin Jaafar had said in the party’s organ, Harakah, that it was not impossible that the people of Perak would resort to demonstrations like those in Pattaya, Thailand, if the Perak state assembly was not dissolved and fresh elections called.

Asked to comment on an article in a Malay language newspaper which called on the Malay Malaysians to rise and protect their rights, Najib said: “We must be moderate. Islam is a religion that preaches moderate thinking and action. We cannot act along racial lines; we cannot go overboard in our thinking.”

After opening the AGM, Najib presented an award to outstanding student Siti Norsyamiera Samsudin of Sekolah Menengah Tanjung Sepat who obtained 9As, including in Mandarin, in last year’s Penilaian Menengah Rendah examination.

Her father, Samsudin Hashim, has served at the ACCIM secretariat for 23 years.

Najib said the award reflected the “spirit of unity that still binds us”.— Bernama

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11 Responses to “Money wasted on unnecessary by-elections (Updated)”

  1. Nicholas.C says:

    This statement is a clear example of why Najib is unfit to lead a democracy. Elections and referendums are foundations of any democracy, it is the very source of the governments power.

    I for one would rather see my tax money “wasted” on by elections than “invested” in rombongan-sambil-belajars to Disneyland and lopsided public works contracts.

  2. beeyong says:

    “So the people in general don’t like by-elections that are deliberately forced to be held,”
    Do you think so? I don’t think so. Rakyats love by-elections; money from heaven, more business transactions, live drama.

    PR also loves by-elections. They will have to keep the pressure on BN, who are so very very sacred of another loss. PR, keep on the momentum, keep on the ‘feel good’ feeling of the rakyat; they enjoy the good feeling when BN lose again. PR, don’t let them recover from the losing trend, don’t give them time to recoup/regroup their internal conflicts, keep them losing confidence and making mistakes.
    The battle is Penanti but the war is GE13. Keep on the pressure.

  3. Arion Yeow says:

    I believe the public does not share Najib’s opinion. I believe most are still waiting for their MP/state assemblyperson to die/quit/fall sick/go missing/get arrested so BN will pour money into their constituency.

  4. chrisyong says:

    I love elections! It is during the two weeks of ceramah that I get to know BN better! Well, BN should stop money politics, stop giving maggie mee etc, then less money will be spent. The Treasury should have a budget for these kind of events, after all it is our tax money. I remember reading that BN spent millions of RM just for setting up TENTS for ceramahs. Well, those suppliers made lots of money right, wonder who were those contractors? We shall have a budget by-election then!

  5. Eric says:

    The main source of politicking and waste is Najib himself!

    This is just too much. This PM, without even a popular mandate, already bailed out a non-transparent and technically-bankrupt fund (Valuecap) with Malaysians’ retirement money to the tune of RM5 billion. His 60 billion second stimulus package is little more than more of the same white-elephant infrastructure building and guaranteeing crony companies’ debts.

    He also single-handedly brought up the Perak constitutional fiasco which is yet to be successfully and legally solved. He spent tens (more likely hundreds) of millions on the KT by-election and now, on the verge of another defeat, a Penanti by-election is “politicking by certain parties”. That’s just too convenient.

    Go and see Mafrel’s recommendations for a democratic yet untiring by-election:

  6. Suresh says:

    PKR should be penalised and not allowed to contest at Penanti. Pakatan Rakyat should allow DAP or PAS to contest.

  7. Eric says:

    I think Nicholas C is right, Najib is unfit to rule this country. I am feeling more and more like Bakri Musa, Najib will be the last UMNO PM and Malaysia’ shortest-staying PM.

  8. siew eng says:

    Does anyone know why Bernama can say “Harakah” but leaves us guessing as to which is the “Malay-language newspaper”?

  9. Malaysian says:

    I think this is just an excuse as BN has lost in most of the by-elections. Actually, BN is scared of by-elections. They are scared of being rejected again.

    Actually, by-elections would benefit the locals as the BN government would pour in money develop their areas. Many instant noddle projects also. This would in a way, stimulate the economy and also benefit the rakyat, not their cronies.

  10. Andrew I says:

    Oh dear, does that mean no instant noodles for Penanti? They were sooooo looking forward to a meal and a good show after, I’m sure.

  11. faith04 says:

    I am from KL, and pray that Setiawangsa will have a by-election soon since Zulhasnan is no more minister. By having a by-election, lots of money will come to my area and drama to watch. You know, nowadays business is slow and life is hard. Love all the ceramahs with Umno corruption, Mongolian Atantuya, arrogant “1st lady” and C4 and what not.

    By-election is good and money well spent on rakyat considered not wasted.

    Let the rakyat take on UMNO bullies and vote them out.

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