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The promise of political violence

THE Barisan Nasional (BN) ruling coalition led by Datuk Seri Najib Razak has been making all kinds of election promises. From more funding for Chinese vernacular schools to more Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia handouts and the assurance of economic stability, Najib and his administration have gone into overdrive to influence Malaysian voters.

As if these carrots were not good enough, the BN, especially the Umno leadership, is also promising a stick to influence voters. What is this stick? It’s the promise of political violence. And while this promise has not been as overt as the cash handouts and other goodies, the threat of electoral violence grows more apparent by the day.

How can we tell that political violence is on BN’s election menu? And what needs to happen for Malaysians to be free of such threats?

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Attack and assault

Over the past three months since the start of 2013, there have been repeated incidents of violence at political events. Bersih 2.0 has described these incidents as “an unprecedented escalation in political violence”, indicating that “violence is increasingly becoming a weapon of first resort”.

Throughout the months of February and March, opposition politicians including Datuk Seri Anwar IbrahimNurul Izzah AnwarTian Chua and M Manogaran have all been assaulted. Other groups critical of the BN, such as the Felda Settlers’ Children Association and Gerakan Mahasiswa PRU13, have also been targeted and attacked. The groups that have used assault to silence and scare those with different political views have hurled rocks, bricks, wood, firecrackers, water bottles, a helmet and eggs to cause harm. They have damaged property and caused injury with near impunity, it would seem.

Two of the reported incidents of political violence have actually been targeted at the BN. However, most of the reported violence has been targeted at Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians or opposition-type events. In many of these incidents, those who attack and assault have been fingered as being somehow associated with the BN.

What’s disturbing about these events is not that there is political violence. After all, in any society, there are bound to be troublemakers who will resort to violence to assert their will, rather than respect the spirit of democracy. What’s troubling has been the BN leaders’ deafening silence. The most lame of these leaders must surely be Prime Minister Najib, who has remained absolutely mum about the increasing political violence against his fellow Members of Parliament (MPs). He has also not publicly admonished other perpetrators of the politics of intimidation such as Perkasa’s Datuk Ibrahim Ali, who called for Malay-language Bibles using “Allah” to be burned.

Umno and its president obviously cannot be oblivious to the political violence. The party leadership’s silence has prompted at least one Umno supreme council member, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, to be critical of his party. In an interview with KiniTV on 26 March 2013, Saifuddin declared the party should be more vocal in condemning political violence.

Why is this silence troubling? There is an oft-quoted saying about how evil happens: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men [and women] do nothing.” That’s right. Evil doesn’t just happen because there are troublemakers out there. Evil happens just as much because those in positions of power and authority don’t speak up against it.

Of course, if one wanted to be entirely cynical about it all, one could say that it isn’t surprising that the Umno leadership in particular, and the BN in general, has remained silent. After all, doesn’t the BN first need to have good people as leaders before one can expect someone from the ruling coalition to speak up against evil acts of violence?

Eliminate thy enemies

What we have seen happening instead is Umno’s very own Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, who is home minister, recently and openly inviting more violence to occur. On 24 March, Hishammuddin tried to lay the blame on increasing political violence on the opposition. How the opposition would benefit from “creating anger” or “provoking a reaction” against themselves is anyone’s guess.

Hishammuddin’s leap and ungraceful fall from logic aside, we should pay close attention to what else he said. To the 1,000 youths he was addressing in Gombak, he stressed the need to “eliminate traitors” and “fight … these enemies”. To this, the crowd, made up of party youth supporters, shouted, “Kill Tian Chua!”

There must have been ample opportunity for Hishammuddin to decry such violent and criminal exhortation. He was, after all, at the podium. And yet, there is nothing in the media reports that suggests that the senior minister did any such thing, either at the event or after, to dissuade the crowd from threatening to murder a PKR politician and MP.

What’s more, the home minister, who is tasked with ensuring internal security, even invited more political violence to occur during the general election. How did he do that? He openly declared that the police force may not be able to stop more occurrences of violence in the lead-up to the 13th general election.

Now, why would a home minister announce that the police force was handicapped, especially when there is already an increase in political violence in the country? Shouldn’t Hishammuddin have instead said that the authorities would spare no resources in apprehending those responsible for violence? That the police would track down and arrest all troublemakers? That no violence would be tolerated?

By affirming that perpetrators of violence are likely going to get away with it, Hishammuddin is, in fact, inviting more political violence to occur. In fact, Hishammuddin seems only able to galvanise the full force of the police when it is the opposition that is deemed to be the source of political violence, whether or not there is any verifiable truth to that allegation. When actors linked to the BN are linked to political violence, he is unable to guarantee public safety. This suggests that the home minister is willing to turn a blind eye to violence perpetrated by Umno-linked actors and even invite it. But he will suddenly have the means to crack down on any whiff of violence from Opposition-linked agents.

In some ways, we shouldn’t be too surprised. It was Hishammuddin who openly defended the protesters who stomped on a cow’s head and threatened bloodshed to protest the relocation of a Hindu temple in their Shah Alam neighbourhood. That aside, my question is: Is this the kind of government we want, where the home minister demonstrates not just how ineffectual he is in preventing violence, but in fact encourages violence to happen? The Nut Graph


Jacqueline Ann Surin is fairly certain that part of the RM36.1 million the Prime Minister’s Office spent on advertisements in February was for the ad in which Najib tries to impress voters that he and his son can speak Mandarin. She would be far more impressed with a premier who speaks up against violence than one who speaks Mandarin as a Chinese New Year gimmick.

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60 Responses to “The promise of political violence”

  1. neptunian says:

    We, the citizens of Malaysia have better get used to the application of violence by the BN Govt. The BN Govt is not “silent” on the violence perpetrated by its supporters, it is encouraging it. It is gangsterism, not politics.

  2. ellese says:

    A pot calling a kettle black. I really don’t understand why our journalists including the news media which I cannot mention here cannot adopt US SPJ’s ethical standard.

    The issue on point is valid. We must eschew violence. But now both parties are reported or spinning that the other side commits violence and keeps mum over their supporters’ violence. For instance it was reported a pro bn blogger was being injured for his exposé but PR leaders did not even condemn the act of violence. This is worrying. In the minds of both bn and pr, their opponents have resorted to violence and leaders took [a] tidak apa attitude of their supporters.

    But [the] typical partisan mindset of Jacqueline is always churning a spin and not balance. Look at this piece. She condemns Hisham but didn’t mention anything about the number one leader Anwar [allegedly] initiating the attack on the police in the bersih rally and how pr leaders kept mum and gave plenty of excuses on the whole incident.

    Look also at her remark casting aspersions on Br1m and Chinese school handouts by BN but didn’t mention [that] in [the] pr manifesto, pr also offered a similar Chinese school handout and more. In pr’s manifesto they had a lot of Lu “Tolong Gua Gua tolong Lu” vote buying exercise but did not mention it. For example pr promises allowance for students, oil royalty for states, commodity and military funds for direct handout to military and planters etc etc just to buy off their votes. Then don’t forget their past few budgets of direct handout of billion ringgit which even led them to incur a deficit budget. It’s the same with BN isn’t it. But Jacqueline only mentions BR1M for lower income.

    And the final salvo was her complaining [about] Najib using state funds to promote CNY ad. Man, this is most hypocritical. For [the] past few years, [the] Selangor government [has] used gargantuan expensive commersial bill boards all around selangor to promote only PR leaders. Whose money do you think they used? State isn’t it? It’s in the millions and millions probably hundreds coz they’ve been doing this (billboard and posters) for ages. But of course Jacqueline doesn’t see this. To her right or wrong depends on who she supports. If done by one she supports its right but same act done by whom she doesn’t like, it’s wrong.

    That’s the main problem of those who work at a news aggregator whom I cannot name here.

    • Wave33 says:

      Dear Ellese,

      Still doing personal attack as your usual trademark. [...]

      The main news aggressor is TV3, which comes out with statements like “Bersih itu Kotor”. [...]

      For a nation to fail it is when the “good” people do nothing about it.

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      Ellese, your rantings in the last three paragraphs are absolutely irrelevant as Jacqueline’s piece focuses on political violence perpetrated by the BN.

      The only points you raised in regard to what you refer to “a pot calling a kettle black” are the injuries suffered by one pro-BN blogger and [...] Anwar ALLEGEDLY initiating the attack on the police in the last Bersih rally. It was never proven whether Anwar’s hand gestures were meant as a signal to initiate violence. In comparison, Anwar’s black eye while he was under ISA detention is clear evidence of physical violence against him by a coercive instrument of the state – the police. Similarly, Hishammuddin’s waving of the keris to threaten violence against non-Malays during that infamous UMNO AGM in 2005 has close to 78,000 hits on Youtube. The remorse that he expressed after the keris-waving incident proved to be insincere as since then he has proudly defended protesters who stomped on a cow’s head in front of a Hindu temple and was silent when his supporters loudly called for Tian Chua to be killed.

    • JW Tan says:

      There’s nothing in this article that contravenes the code of journalistic practice you name. Balance is not required. Merely clear statement and understanding of an editorial line.

    • Better My says:

      Part 1/2
      ellese says: A pot calling a kettle black. For instance it was reported a pro bn blogger was being injured for his exposé but PR leaders did not even condemn the act of violence.
      // The perpertrators of violence have mostly, clearly and repeatedly come from bn side on the PR side. The umno mainstream media and the record unmandated pm kept their silence. This is crystal clear to most rakyat today. The pro change supporters absolutely condemn violence unconditionally of any kind on bn ceramahs by any PR extremists pre GE, like those currently inflicted on PR relentlessly, such as the rascals spraying paint on PR bus, rascal noise disruptions nearby PR ceramah, and will continue to do so post GE in the opened up mainstream media on any similar attacks by governing PR extremists on other parties post GE.//

      She condemns Hisham but didn’t mention anything about the number one leader Anwar [allegedly] initiating the attack on the police in the bersih rally and how Pr leaders kept mum and gave plenty of excuses on the whole incident.
      //Equating Anwar with Hisham on encouraging violence only serves to shoot down your argument on this and other subjects in your text above. It was very clear that Hisham supported violence while Anwar supported peace in the event. //

    • Better My says:

      Part 2/2
      Look also at her remark casting aspersions on Br1m and Chinese school handouts by BN but didn’t mention [that] in [the] pr manifesto, pr also offered a similar Chinese school handout and more. In pr’s manifesto they had a lot of Lu “Tolong Gua Gua tolong Lu” vote buying exercise but did not mention it. For example pr promises allowance for students, oil royalty for states, commodity and military funds for direct handout to military and planters etc etc just to buy off their votes. Then don’t forget their past few budgets of direct handout of billion ringgit which even led them to incur a deficit budget. It’s the same with BN isn’t it. But Jacqueline only mentions BR1M for lower income.
      //Bn bribes at election time is very wrong, especially in our publicly recorded deficit half a billion, likely heaps more when it is fully properly audited, with no end in sights for accounts revenue raisings under the backdrop of mega corruptions. PR aims to cut down on corruption – that leaves plenty of money for the rakyat, let alone the recovery the money from the corrupt. PR policies would support accounts revenue raisings with initiatives supported by more efficient industries who would participate in true nation building, supported by more rakyat, not operating under government sanctioned racketing that benefits the few cronies, and puts the greatest burden on rakyat and country. //

      And the final salvo was her complaining [about] Najib using state funds to promote CNY ad. Man, this is most hypocritical. For [the] past few years, [the] Selangor government [has] used gargantuan expensive commersial bill boards all around selangor to promote only PR leaders. Whose money do you think they used? State isn’t it? It’s in the millions and millions probably hundreds coz they’ve been doing this (billboard and posters) for ages. But of course Jacqueline doesn’t see this. To her right or wrong depends on who she supports. If done by one she supports its right but same act done by whom she doesn’t like, it’s wrong.
      // The amount of money used by Selangor government/ PR pale into comparisons to the amount spent by Najib/bn. One recent observation, as I passed through rural kampungs on days before the GE announcement, the bn flags outnumber PR flags along the main and side roads by a ratio of 50 plus to 1. Picking up on the 1 is wrong. Picking on the 50 plus is the right. . Doing the right thing by country is the right thing to do. Doing the many wrong things by the country is very wrong. It just shows there is no class and no pride to the umno malay who pretends it is all great. The Truly Malaysia jingle film clip heard and viewed on KLIA/LCCT airports and elsewhere on the Love Malaysia theme, etc is a pretty empty slogan when so many rakyat are marginalised, and they lack the energy and spirit to love Malaysia more. Truly Malaysia is best played after PR has governed Malaysia for some period of time, get the whole nation and rakyat energised in the truly united Malaysian fashion where every race plays a stronger role in nation building. //

  3. Wave33 says:

    Dear Ellese,

    Quote: In the minds of both bn and pr, their opponents have resorted to violence and leaders took [a] tidak apa attitude of their supporters.
    >> Yes, that is right. Ellese, you failed to read what the author wrote. PM and Home Minister did not condemn but encouraged more violence. They are leaders of this nation whom MUST set good examples. They the PRIME MINISTER and HOME MINISTER. Do you get it, Ellese? I repeat again PRIME MINISTER and HOME MINISTER

    But [...] Ellese is [...] churning a spin and not balance. Look at this piece. Ellese does not condemn Hisham but didn’t mention anything about the number one leader Najib about the violence created.

    Ellese, what you said can be used back on you. It certainly saves me a lot of typing to do. [...]

  4. ellese says:

    Dear Sunna,

    There you go again doing a double standard. It’s incontrovertible that had there been no gesture by Anwar the attack on the police would not have happened. Either he intended it or recklessly negligently signaled the start of it in which event he is culpable. The cause and effect is clear.

    There was ensued violence against the law but you see how many of these PR leaders justify the violence. The attackers were not condemned by PR and in fact defended. It’s wrong. The buck should have stopped there but the violence was justified. It’s wrong as much as in the case where the police were using excessive force or the former IGP hitting Anwar. But on the Hishamuddin incident, I don’t recall [any] explicit threat of violence and no violence ensued. If so, its also wrong. Please provide further details on your Hishamuddin allegation.

    You see Sunna. You have not read the ethical standard of reporting adopted worldwide in [the] western media. Go google US SPJ. We must report the truth objectively with balance. We should not distort news headers, pictures and shape facts by mixing with opinions. This is what I remember those [in] Bersih called for.

    What I have problem [with] is almost all adopt a hypocritical stand on this issue. Call for [a] free and balanced media and condemn MSM especially Utusan but adopt and condone the same standard. This is true in particular [with] the media I cannot mention here [...]. I see time and time again the double standard and highlighted this. My problem is that many people are not able to discern from facts and perceptions.

    Similarly here. You must read both pro bn and pro pr media to get some semblance of truth. I quoted one clear incidence but there’s more and already admitted by Jacqueline. The point is any amount of violence cannot be condoned. (And you somehow justified that violence on a bn blogger?).

    Jacqueline knows this and typically slants the article to make it selective. It’s not balance (just like other issues like Allah issue).I quoted other instances in the article to show again her biasness in writing the article.

    I admit that this is an opinion piece that she can slant any other way. That’s nut graph’s right. But I have the right to explain the slant and ask to be more balanced as well.

    So try to be consistent. Right or wrong cannot depend on who does it. A similar action must have the same action regardless its your foe or friend.. This is where many got it wrong and it deeply saddens me how hate politics is destroying our nation.

    Ps: please be informed the word “allege” was inserted by nutgraph and not me. I’m clear as to what transpired during bersih. We should condemn all sorts of violence during bersih but you see both justifying it. Please note under the law worldwide police is entiltled to use force but it cannot be excessive.

    Pr. Wave, you cannot complain of personal attack when you do pure personal attack many times before. I will justify my stand and as usual please rebut rather than making a double standard allegation. We’ve met too many times before but at nutgraph can we be more rational. At nutgraph even in this article you can criticize a person (like hishamuddin) but she put down her rationale and justification. Its not a pure personal attack. I have done likewise albeit on the editor itself. They to their credit unlike almost all blogs I cannot mention here, are open to fair justified criticism.

    • JW Tan says:

      You don’t have to have balance in an editorial. That’s why it’s an editorial. I suggest you take your own advice and read the SPJ code of ethics here (http://www.spj.org/ethicscode.asp). It’s quite clear.

      In many ways, your quest for ‘balance’ is futile. The vast majority of media is biased because they are either for-profit organisations or funded by donors with an agenda. There’s only media bias that fits your own bias, or media bias that doesn’t.

      I note that the most ‘fair’ (at least on the political spectrum) of the US television channels (CNN) is widely reviled by both left and right and not very profitable.

    • Wave33 says:

      Dear Ellese,

      As home minister, we attack him in his capacity as a home minister. We did not attack him for beer drinking or grabbing women’s buttocks, for example. Neither did we accuse him of sodomising his spouse every other night. These are all personal matters.

      The home minister is accountable and responsible for the security of this nation. The police force and the armed forces are just obeying his orders.

      I am not holding any minister’s post. So, why attack me, a normal citizen? That is your trademark, Ellese. You just cannot handle the issue and [instead resort to] personal attacks. I repeatedly told Ellese to focus on the issue, not the person who made the comment.

      Ellese, if we really want to focus on your personality, I surely think, you are not qualified to comment. But as I say, I am fair person [...]. We allow you to comment peacefully as long as it is on the issue.

    • neptunian says:

      A home minister who waved a keris and promised to bathe in blood of ….

      A home minister who promised more violence at a political rally …

      A home minister who cannot differentiate between terrorists and “Muslim brothers” …

      Do I need to say more?

  5. Kong Kek Kuat says:

    [...]

    The time for arguing and debating is over. Now´s the time to hunker down, prepare, and when the time comes, put a vote to your decision. Tak payah cakap banyak lagi dah. No amount of opinions and articles at this point in time will change the perception of the BN or PR. I think except for the fence-sitters, most voters have already made up their minds. And I think, as the days go by until before voting day, the fence-sitters will cross over to the PR side due to the foolish tactics employed by UMNO. [...]

    Did you guys get the latest “I don´t want to call it a manifesto; I want to call it a pledge.”? That´s all you have, ah? These bigots, racists and chauvinists just can’t help themselves. Lucky for me, business suddenly picked up (which is ironical with all the gloomy predictions from so-called “experts” in GLCs) and have been keeping me occupied lately. If not, sure die from the stress of anticipation (of voting day).

    Undilah apa-apa parti saja, asalkan bukan UMNO.

    Salam.

  6. mmc says:

    How nice: Ibrahim Ali says he will drop bombshells on Pakatan Rakyat’s leaders and shock the nation. And what is he waiting for: the go-ahead from none other than Prime Minister Najib Razak?

    So now the Umno gang can drop all the wayang and confirm what the rest of Malaysia have known all along: that Ibrahim Ali and Perkasa are just an extension of Umno, a nauseating and disgusting extension of a politics which has outsourced its dirty work.

    But then again, nothing should shock us anymore.

    This is a political party and NGO nexus which has brought us political violence on a scale never before seen in Malaysia; a partnership that has promoted racism and chauvinism like never before and political strategies rooted in bowel thinking.

    Ibrahim Ali and Zulkifli Noordin are cut from the same cloth, both pretending to not be linked to Umno but really part of the underbelly of this once political institution. They do the dirty work that Umno leaders are unwilling to do themselves.

    And when you look at Ibrahim and Zulkifli, you look at Umno. Both they and their political masters have no credibility, not one iota.

    What does it say of our leaders who depend on men like these?

  7. mmc says:

    The comments above are copied verbatim from Ali Kadir. My apologies Kadir for not seeking your consent.

    The article is meant for Ellesse.

    By the way, it’s the same Ibrahim that threatens to burn the Bible. And the great AG says, no sin coz nothing has been done yet.

    [...]

  8. Sunna Sutta says:

    Ellese, heaven have mercy on us if you are ever appointed a judge in the highest court of the country, or for that matter, even as a Sessions Court judge. Like in the Spanish Inquisition, Malaysians would be condemned to death on the flimsiest of allegations.

    Were you there when Anwar made his hand gesture? Did you hear him utter any orders to his supporters to attack the police as he gestured? If he did so, it would be undeniable evidence as unlike digital video evidence that can be altered using Photoshop, a voice pattern is unique to the individual and is as good as fingerprint or DNA evidence. His hand gestures could be as innocent as signalling consent to one of his supporters to go to the toilet. This is just an example, so please don’t get carried away snapping at me. Unless he had used sign language for the mute, then you can say that the evidence is irrefutable.

    If there had been sufficient evidence against Anwar with regard to his hand gestures, the AG would not have hesitated at all to bring charges against him. An allegation remains an allegation without any proof.

    On the other hand, investigations into Anwar’s black eye were finally closed when Abdul Rahim Noor, the ex-IGP, admitted that Anwar’s black eye was caused by him, not self-inflicted as first claimed. As for Hishammuddin, his keris-waving act as the symbol of Malay supremacy was witnessed before thousands of people in PWTC including non-Malay observers. One of his supporters even loudly shouted to him that he should not just utter mere symbolic words but also actually USE the keris. This suggests violence against non-Malays. Like in the ‘Kill Tian Chua’ incident, he was silent. Silence suggests consent. Hishammuddin was forced to recant and declare that he would never repeat his keris-waving antics again only after several prominent non-Malays expressed their horror but clearly his remorse was not genuine as proven with regard to Tian Chua.

  9. Aero says:

    Political violence? Now there’s a new terminology I’d write down in my diary. Best said, in my opinion, that this terminology can only serve as a description of counterattacks of implicit political aggression by opposition parties (there you go, political aggression. There’s another terminology I have coined from this comment). Spreading lies and hatred across the country just to overthrow an already responsible government is itself second nature to the opposition. Digging for ministries’ secrets that aren’t political in nature and turning them into something sickeningly political is also a skill only possessed by these same people. Their supporters who have this sort of “fear” of the government have only themselves to ask: Ain’t politics a dirty game?

  10. Flag Of Truth says:

    I have become so sick of all these political issues. But allow me to give an explanation as to why Hishammuddin ‘openly declared’ that the police force would not be able to stop any violence in the coming GE. The author of this article must understand that the violence caused by certain parties/individuals/groups in the coming GE is different in terms of scale compared to the BERSIH rallies. It will be on a huge scale (I pray that this will not happen) and it will get ugly. Using 13th May as an example, the police have no capability to contain this kind of violence. The armed forces will be asked to interfere and martial law will be declared. We might be under military rule for some time until the next democratic government comes to power.

    Let us ask ourselves…to what extent do we want this thing to happen? We are responsible for our actions.

    • JW Tan says:

      Or, more likely, Hishamuddin is scaremongering. Opposition supporters are not really violent. They just want a change of government. Violence happens (I am not condoning it!) if they perceive fraud or unfair election practices.

      The best way the Barisan government can act to contain any potential violence (not that they actually wish to do so, it plays into their hands), is to ensure a free and fair election. That means a fully independent Election Commission, with efforts to clean up voter rolls and ensure ballot box stuffing does not take place. It doesn’t matter if these measures are not strictly necessary. They serve to build confidence and reputation.

  11. ellese says:

    Dear Wave, [...] Please read. I condemn violence. I have a problem with people being selective and unfair. You cannot understand this as right or wrong for you depends on the person and not the action. If you like him he’s right but if you don’t, he’s wrong even though it’s the sane thing. So again PM tak condemn, salah; Ketua Opposition tak condemn, betul. Please be principled.

    Dear better my,

    You seem to be like wave. Please be consistent and principled. If you disagree with violence, you must condemn all and make the leaders accountable [...]. Your support for Anwar’s incontrovertible proof of signaling the attack and then subsequent denial and protection of his supporters speaks volumes of a double standard. Your justification of Selangor’s abuse of money and corrupt practices also speaks volumes of your wrong values. Please get out of partisanship.

    JW,

    Among the critics, you’re most sensible. However, I’ve highlighted this SPJ many times before to show how to evaluate fairness and balance. Many don’t even know how these media people, day in and day out, distort news and facts in particular from news agencies that I cannot name here. When I see it’s not fair, balance and skewered, it is highly reasonable to condemn such writing as being unfair and unbalanced. I gave examples of unfairness and skewered views to justify my position. The Nut Graph’s skewered views are just like opinions from Utusan. But you guys condemn the Utusan editorial as unfair lah, bias lah, racist lah, not telling the truth lah, etc etc. None of you say the Utusan editorial is right in being biased. All of you condemn to the hilt Utusan and MSM editorials as being biased. My criticisms of this biased writing is on par with all of your condemnations save that many of you [use] expletives.

    • JW Tan says:

      Ellese, there’s nothing wrong with an Utusan editorial being biased in itself. But Utusan is not like The Nut Graph. Utusan purports to report news. In contrast The Nut Graph is almost all editorials these days.

      In addition, while there’s nothing wrong with a news editorial being biased, in many cases the bias is simply wrong, from whatever standpoint one prefers to use. I find Utusan editorials racist and ethically misguided. I don’t think they are defensible from any standpoint you care to name.

  12. ellese says:

    Kkk,

    You’re probably right that many have chosen. I also think many are also turned off with the bigoted, chauvinistic and hypocritical attitude of DAP. Maybe the fence sitters will not vote for DAP.

    Sunna,

    On Anwar, if he hadn’t signaled, those transgressors would not have attacked. Those who attacked were wrong and violent. They must be condemned but Anwar, Ambiga and PR defended the indefensible. (If I recall correctly, The Nut Graph, too). Just be principled, will you? Don’t be selective. If I were a judge, I would not decide right or wrong based on whether you are either for PR or BN. That’s gross injustice. Somehow this sense of basic justice is missing from most partisan supporters.

    Mmc

    Long time no see assuming you’re the same Mac I’ve met before. On Ibrahim Ali calling for the burning of the Bible, I condemn it. It’s violence. But I also condemn the threatened violence of Haris Ibrahim’s ABU threatening people not to vote. [...] We cannot take laws into our own hands, right?

    Wave, as usual [...] you condemn everybody including an unknown alleged Umno supporter. Not just those with position. [...] Go to Rocky Bru. See how DAP PR supporters hentam Rocky the writer without semblance of reasoning. Ni tak pa pula. You don’t take moral high ground with me wave coz you don’t have any in the first place.

    JW, can I ask you whether you agree with Bersih’s call for free, fair and balanced media? Do you call for MSM media to be fair only or you call for all media including pro-PR media which I cannot name here to be free, fair and balanced? Have you read the SPJ? Do you agree with it? I find that your stand is not consistent.

    Also your stand on racism. We need to be consistent. DAP’s stand on vernacular schools is clearly racist, hypocritical and indefensible. It’s also in the PR manifesto. It’s also in the BN manifesto. (PAS is the most stupid here coz the PR manifesto defends all schools including missionary schools but makes no mention of PAS-supported agama schools). We now agree that the one-school system is the way forward. Can you condemn both PR and BN as being racist now?

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      Ellese, you said “if he hadn’t signaled, those transgressors would not have attacked. Those who attacked were wrong and violent.”

      You still don’t get the point, do you? Where is your evidence that Anwar’s hand gestures constituted a signal to attack? If you do not have the evidence, just be gracious enough to admit that you are wrong. As I said earlier, if the AG has any evidence to support such an interpretation, he would not hesitate at all to charge Anwar in court. So who on earth are you to act as judge, jury and executor? You persist in interpreting the incident to see what you WANT to see.

    • JW Tan says:

      I agree with Bersih’s call for free, fair and balanced media, because I think what they really mean is media free from political interference. That’s what the term ‘free press’ means. There’s no such thing as 100% ‘balance’ in news media, and indeed, the more ‘balanced’ media are very boring to read.

      I’ve read the SPJ code of ethics. It doesn’t say what you think it says, hence my repeated suggestions that you read it yourself.

      As I’ve repeatedly said, the solution to the existence of vernacular schools, MARA colleges and sekolah agama is not the one-school system. It’s a completely revamped education system that meets the parental requirements that resulted in the formation of the parallel school systems in the first place.

  13. ellese says:

    Sunna,

    Either you’re selective [...]. I’ve watched the videos from a few angles. It’s crystal clear that the signal caused the melee. Then knowing that, he left but never condemned the ensued violence. Why are you defending violence? He was right there smack at the melee. He either intended it or recklessly and negligently gave the instruction after giving a hate speech.

    Please don’t use the argument that since the AG didn’t take action, it means he didn’t commit it. It’s a cheap argument. If that is the case, then none of our politicians are wrong since the AG didn’t pursue it. It applies to both. Look at the Selangor government’s abuse of money for huge billboards for PR reps only. So, since the AG didn’t take action, that means there’s no case against BN and PR?

    Anyway, check your selective memory. He was charged on May 22, 2012. Remember he gave a disgusting lie that his signal was to ask Azmin to negotiate with the police. My foot lah nak negotiate.

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      Ellese, stop bringing in side issues about the Selangor government putting up billboards for PR reps only. By the time of the elections, PMO would have illegally spent at least RM250 million of taxpayers’ money on advertisements for BN reps. Anyway this is not the issue under contention. Focus on whether certain political leaders have stirred their supporters towards violence against their opponents. So far you have nothing to say to defend BN leaders like Hishammuddin, nor BN proxies like Ibrahim Ali, and therefore I can safely assume that you fully agree that they are guilty. Now, let us turn to Anwar Ibrahim.

      I, too watched the video several times but unlike you I do not see any hard evidence that his hand gestures were meant as a signal to attack the police. It remains an unsubstantiated allegation and it is clear that you only see what you want to see. You are the one who wishes to spread lies. Stop hiding behind your own cheap arguments that have absolutely no substance. Make a stand by making a statutory declaration or filing an affidavit that Anwar clearly signaled his supporters to attack the police so that the AG may bring charges against him. I would love to see you have your day in court and then be taken to the cleaners after you lose the subsequent suit for defamation.

  14. ellese says:

    JW

    Free press means free from political interference? Is it only from Umno interference? What about Ambiga’s word “fair”? And you got this from SPJ? Ridiculous argument. [...]

    Please be consistent. Are you still supporting the racist education policy of segregating our young by race? And then you expect them to be Malaysian first?

    • JW Tan says:

      The term ‘free press’ means free from political interference. It doesn’t preclude the publication of editorials or opinion pieces in support of one side or the other. In Malaysia’s case, the abolition of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 would be a start.

      My point on the SPJ code of ethics that you repeatedly reference is that it makes a clear distinction between the reportage of news and the reportage of opinion. News should be factual and fact-checked. Opinion does not need to be. The SPJ sets out that countervailing opinion should not be stifled (but doesn’t need equal time necessarily). Please read it.

      With regards to the question of vernacular schools, sekolah agama and MARA colleges, I have been wholly consistent in calling for their replacement with something better. I fail to see how that is racist. In fact, you previously agreed with me on this point. Additionally I do not release today’s children and adults from their obligation to act like decent Malaysians and decent human beings simply because their schooling was deficient. We are all responsible for our own choices and the consequences thereof, whatever our backgrounds. No abrogation allowed.

  15. ellese says:

    Sunna,

    [...] All your arguments fall coz the AG did take action on May 22, 2012. I’m not going to recompense for your selective reading. You argue if its true, why didn’t the AG take action. I replied that the AG did. Case closed.

    Don’t change your goalposts. The evidence is incontrovertible. Only blind partisan supporters can’t see the connection and the subsequent defence of the violent act. [...] You want to hentam Hisham, go ahead. I didn’t defend him. But I’m telling you off for your dubious hypocritical value.

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      Ellese, it is not about my selective reading; it is 100% about your selective sense of sight which can be best described as delusional.

      In my last three replies, I had asked you to provide irrefutable evidence but each time you ranted on about what you personally INTERPRETED from your own biased point of view, or more precisely, what you choose or want to see. Not a single shred of evidence!

      Strike three! You are out! Case closed!

  16. TNG says:

    For Pakatan to have Wong Tack as one of their official candidates in this general election greatly demolished her moral stool to talk about this issue. After all, wasn’t he the one who openly talked about burning a factory down?

    • Sunna Sutta says:

      FYI, Wong Tack has officially stated that he is standing as an independent green (Himpunan Hijau) candidate and that the decision of Pakatan to endorse him as a DAP candidate was not his decision.
      (http://www.malaysia-chronicle.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=item&id=72431:good-for-you-i-will-stand-as-independent-wong-tack&Itemid=2)

      What that means is that Pakatan is not fielding its own official candidate to stand in Wong Tack’s way in order not to split the votes, and thus increase the chances of defeating the BN candidate.

      Some Greenies have a tendency to make violent statements or even take violent action. Although he has already apologised for his reckless statement about burning down the Lynas plant, the police have already started their investigations. If it should be found that he actually meant what he said, then I fully agree that he should be barred from contesting the Bentong seat. However, if the converse is true, Wong Tack’s words are tame compared to the keris-wielding act and accompanying words of Hishammuddin in his horrifying symbolic gesture of violence against those (understood as non-Malays) who threaten the racial supremacist doctrine of Ketuanan Melayu.

      • neptunian says:

        Though I totally disagree with Wong Tack’s tactless outburst and his candidacy under DAP, I must say the following:

        (In the words of the DG and/or police): “Wong Tack has not actually burnt down Lynas plant yet, so no issue.”

        I wonder why the police should be investigating at all. Oh! I forgot…different laws for different people.

    • JW Tan says:

      To be fair, he did apologise (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/221004), stating that his remarks were ill-advised. That’s more than Hishammuddin/Muhyiddin/Najib has ever done.

      We could do with a green movement in politics. It’s not so appropriate for him to contest under the DAP banner though. Maybe Himpunan Hijau should just join PR.

      • TNG says:

        BN can talk nonsense. Pakatan can also talk nonsense. They are both idiots.

        I am all for a green movement but will not stand lies. Note the difference. On Lynas, BN’s reasoning relies more on science and I trust the International Atomic Energy Agency. Pakatan relies more on outlandish claims like “Lynas is as bad as nuclear reactor” and few hard scientific data. Anyone with a good Form 5 science background will know the “nuclear reactor” claim is absolute nonsense.

        So both are idiots but at least one relies more on proper science.

  17. ellese says:

    You asked for evidence and said if there’s evidence, surely the AG has brought it to court. You wrote:

    “As I said earlier, if the AG has any evidence to support such an interpretation, he would not hesitate at all to charge Anwar in court.”

    I said the AG already did that [...]. I said: “He was charged on May 22, 2012.”

    So case close. Only the blind can’t differentiate between truth and false. Please don’t support corruption.

  18. truemuslim says:

    I, too saw the video where Anwar did his hand gestures at the Bersih rally. To me, it is immaterial. What is more important are the events after the incident. Why can’t the leaders like Anwar, Azmin and Ambiga try to stop the rally from turning into a riot? They can muster thousands of people to protest on the streets, but yet can claim they are powerless when it comes to the conduct of the crowd. I am sad that Malaysian politics are where they are now. Maybe I should just sit on the fence and have it brick walled to be more sturdy.

    • neptunian says:

      Hello, seems like the police turned it into a riot. Kind of hard for Ambiga or Anwar to stop them!

  19. Sunna Sutta says:

    According to the charge sheet, Anwar and Azmin had breached a court order barring the public from assembling at Dataran Merdeka on the day of the April 2012 Bersih rally, “and therefore [had] committed an offence under section 4(2)(c) of the Peaceful Assembly Act.” In other words, Anwar and Azmin were merely charged with breaching a court order barring the public from assembling at Dataran Merdeka. Nothing was mentioned in the AG’s charge sheet about Anwar making hand gestures to his supporters that were in any way linked to the breach of the police barricade! It was the press who added in additional details about Anwar’s hand gestures.

    Apart from having delusional vision, you are now trying to fool yourself and others by reading too much into the AG’s legitimate action with regard to the ban on public assembly at Dataran Merdeka. Breaching a court order on where not to gather for a peaceful assembly does not amount to political violence!

    In effect, you are now fabricating false charges with regard to a political leader supposedly inciting political violence. Also, what does all this have to do with corruption? [...]

  20. ellese says:

    JW, why are you selective with Bersih’s call. They want free and fair media for all parties to have proper access to make informed decision. Why do you narrowly define it as free from political interference? Why not demand the same standard from pro-PR media?

    On school, how can you not see the DAP’s call for vernacular schools as racist? It separates children based on race. Denied my children of non-Malay friends. Why isn’t this apartheid? The Chinese think they have superior rights and culture ke? Can you imagine all the groups becoming more racists and ethnic, we will then have more than 30 mother tongue schools and be more divided by race and ethnicity? It’s racist. Pure and simple. (Please use DAP definition of calling other people racist for consistency.)

    • Wave33 says:

      Sudahlah Ellese…

      I am waiting for you to post the topic of vernacular schools in your blog. Cepatlah…

      I am also waiting for you to post the topic on free media.

      Apa lagi tunggu?

      Don’t be like Nong Chik and Najib who failed to show up to debate, after being invited numerous times. [...]

    • JW Tan says:

      Bersih’s call is for media free from political interference – whether from opposition or the government. That’s what it means. Free from political interference means free to publish anything in support of one side or the other. It doesn’t mean free from political bias.

      I don’t see the existence of a vernacular school system as being a racist idea in itself (or an indication that the mother culture is superior – does the existence of sekolah agama mean that Islam is superior? Think carefully before you answer). Its implementation creates apartheid-like outcomes which I don’t like. Of course, it doesn’t necessarily separate children by race. Send yours to a vernacular school if you like. With enough effort you’ll find one that lets them in. What’s wrong from my perspective is that you have to expend the effort to find one, whereas they should be open to all.

      Obviously, the best solution would be to rip up the school system and revamp it so that it meets parental requirements. That way we can have a one-school system that educates our young people properly.

    • JW Tan says:

      Ellese, you and I have gone back and forth on both these points, and I think I’ve made my position clear. I’m repeating myself and I find that rather boring. Therefore can I just leave you with these thoughts:

      Within Pakatan Rakyat, its component parties are trying to appeal across racial lines in order to broaden their share of the electorate. They genuinely believe that their messages are appropriate for all creeds and ethnicities and are not afraid to put their words into action. I even include PAS in this – it is brave of them to field non-Muslim candidates under the PAS banner. The reason why they do this is because, while they believe that Malaysia should be an Islamic country, non-Muslim Malaysians still have an important place in it. While I cannot agree with them I admire their willingness to spread their message to all Malaysians, not just the Muslim ones, and to compete with their PR allies on ideology that can be shared with all Malaysians, not just the ones of a certain creed or colour.

      Barisan Nasional, in contrast, wishes to keep Malaysians in their racial categories. They encourage us to believe that we do not share interests, challenges, opportunities, successes or failures with each other, only with our co-ethnics. That is wrong. This is what creates apartheid outcomes. As Malaysians, we should recognise that we share far more than our government wishes us to believe.

      This is why I cannot support a BN government. I want to be Malaysian, without the racial baggage and apartheid living. A PR government would be a first baby step in that direction.

      • Aero says:

        I really have to compliment your thoughts there sir. I can’t tell whether it’s innocence that being portrayed there, or the absolute denial of the harsh reality of politics.

        As with all other component parties in politics, this selection of candidates of other races is simply a way to win the crowd with the singular objective of fighting a cause for the party. When you look at it in a wider perspective, it’s nothing but a victory sought so badly by these parties that they are willing to change tactics every now and then. Thus, this does not change the fact that the parties’ grassroots or ideologies has never changed.

        BN, in its early days, was made up of parties based on races verily for the purpose of protecting rights and causes for these races, while working together [...], so you may say. Now, as it transcends into the modern day, this ideology is still going strong yet with many plural causes extended beyond racial lines. I have to ask you then; what was DAP and PAS like in the olden days? Struggling for cooperation is something too obvious to mention while they are being selfish to their own kind; to extend partnership with one another was even something unthinkable. If you think they have now made amends on this, personally I have to say it is a big no.

        I would like to quote your points there :
        “Barisan Nasional, in contrast, wishes to keep Malaysians in their racial categories. They encourage us to believe that we do not share interests, challenges, opportunities, successes or failures with each other, only with our co-ethnics. That is wrong. This is what creates apartheid outcomes. As Malaysians, we should recognise that we share far more than our government wishes us to believe”
        -> Where is this coming from? Is it from a commoner’s point of view, or a hardcore politician’s stand? If you are talking as a naysayer to the already peaceful Malaysia, then I would understand. Truly.

        • JW Tan says:

          Aero, I live in 2013, not 1954. This is the era of the Arab Spring, where apartheid has been broken for 20 years, where few Americans care that their president is black (only that he is competent), where it is no longer acceptable in polite society to be even casually racist. I live in a time where people no longer associate themselves with ethnic labels, where their identity is tied up in what they do for a living, their political ideology, their families, their friends, where they live.

          Looking at the world today, I fail to see reasons why Malaysians are a special case. We are people, and we grapple with the same problems as those in other countries. We may come from different ethnic backgrounds, and have built one of the most racist societies on earth, but there is no reason why we cannot fix this. Malaysia in its present state is broken. It is no longer enough to aspire not to kill each other. That’s singularly unambitious.

          My country cannot survive if it does not change. PR recognises this (to a certain extent). BN does not. What you call tactical changes are symptomatic of a deeper shift in society. They may have started out as tactical changes, yet Pakatan Rakyat is about to fight its 4th general election in its 2nd incarnation. Its existence is no longer tactical.

          • Aero says:

            In the first place, JW Tan, your implication that apartheid outcome may have come out of these doings of the current government is certainly crude on every level. If only you had understood what apartheid really meant – the severity that it represents where it fluctuates between typical racism and outright segregation, the sheer and almost inhumane injustice done to a certain ethnicity group – then you would not have associated Malaysia with such label. In fact, you would have been ashamed to have mentioned it in the first place, for a country like ours with peaceful endeavors are nowhere near to such horrid phenomenon.

            When you are describing things at its worst, it is easy to see the extreme political point of view that you are aspiring. It is up to the point that to a commoner or simply, a rakyat, it can be something unfathomable, given the fact that your exaggerating points does not synchronize well with the longtime government’s stand to cultivate togetherness among Malaysians.

            Politics will always be about wrestling power from one party by another, but when it is executed with the least of concern over the fabrics that made us Malaysians, there will always be backlashes. Then again, PR can only be thankful that they managed to get people to be all hyped up over lame issues such as “taxpayers’ money” and sorts. Great way to pave way for a greater agenda, I would say.

          • JW Tan says:

            ‘Apartheid’, in Afrikaans, means ‘apartness’. It applies to Malaysia, because:

            * where our political representation is based on race (for ostensibly our interests are so tied to our ethnic identity that a political party cannot represent more than one race)

            * we assign different rights to different ethnic groups. What is Ketuanan Melayu but a derivative of the doctrine of white superiority?

            * we are intent on categorising our citizens by race, as if it is the be-all and end-all. For me, “Melayu, Cina, India dan Lain Lain” are uncomfortably close to “White, coloured, Asian and native”.

            * We assign political (and judicial, and military) power to members of a certain race. Why does the MB of Perak, Selangor and Johor need to be Malay? Where are the non-Malay general officers in the armed forces? [...]

            I agree apartheid has horrible connotations. It applies very much to Malaysia today. I am not ashamed to state this. Malaysia is neither free, fair, democratic, just or civilised. I will not settle for today’s status quo, and neither should you.

          • JW Tan says:

            Aero, you also seem keen to draw a distinction between a member of the rakyat (you use the word ‘commoner’) and the government, as if the government and certain elites were superior to the rakyat. This is false. The rakyat is superior to any elite or government.

            The government serves at the pleasure of the rakyat. We put the BN government in there in days gone by. We can take them out again and replace them with better. Will PR prove to be better? I don’t know, but it’s certainly not difficult to be better than BN. If they don’t work out, throw them out and replace them with another lot.

            Who funds the government? Why, you and I, via the taxes we pay. We should therefore monitor how it is spent. I would like my taxes to be spent on alleviation of poverty, [on] schools, electricity, etc [...] The issue of taxpayer’s money is certainly not lame, especially to those who pay taxes.

  21. Andrew Ng says:

    Dear Ellesse, [...] one thing you have clearly proven herein is the fact that you’re quite incompetent in visualizing the Big Picture and prefer to keep harping on irrelevant points that deflect the focus from the main issues at hand that leads me to wonder, what are you trying so hard to champion here – a lost cause?

    It is akin to picking (or finding) bones from an egg. And what you may always find depends largely or mainly on what you are looking for – biased pieces to support your own bias.[...]

    This is precisely one of the most wanted skills for an unethical lawyer defending a guilty client from his/her crimes, thinking all-along that you can fool the entire court. Sadly, this is the wrong place, Ellesse.

    [...]

    • Wave33 says:

      Well said Andrew!

      I have told Ellese many times in the past, as a matter of fact for years. He is one keras kepala guy. Everything Ellese says is right, whatever we say is wrong, rubbish, partisan, hypocrite and dishonest(new defaming word from Ellese). Ellese is intolerant to contrarian views.

      Thank you, Andrew.

  22. ellese says:

    JW,

    I still stand by my stand. Anyone who believes in depriving children befriending and growing up and learning with other races on the basis of one culture’s supremacy must be a racist. The vernacular schools have deprived my children of non Malay friends. It has deprived many other Malays even in town centres as well. Segregating our children by race cannot be our way forward. If we want Malaysian first, we must change this racial polarization education. It is unreasonable to expect our children to be less racial if we lead them to be with their own race.
    Anyone who supports this segregation must be racist. Anyone who supports this segregation and yet calls on others to think Malaysian first must necessarily be a hypocrite.

    • JW Tan says:

      Well, that chain of logic has many weaknesses, but you are entitled to your opinion. I hope you can acknowledge that the BN government is responsible for maintaining the vernacular school system, and therefore, on this basis, should not get your vote on 5 May.

    • Wave33 says:

      Haiya… sudah la… Bila nak buat posting kat lu punya blog.

      I am waiting eagerly to debate on it.

      Be quick la…
      This topic is very close to your heart.
      Don’t stress out your heart too much here.

      Peace.

  23. The idea of violence if the opposition do not realise their far fetched dream has been promoted in very unsubtle ways by the unlicensed or unlawful Bersih riots they called demonstrations.

    Anwar has on more than one occasion asked his followers “not to give in or accept defeat”. That itself is a call to confrontation that in such situations lead to violence.

    More recently of course the rhetoric has become more polarized and race oriented. Stamping of pictures of the PM and the flag by Chinese followers of the DAP in particular.

    What many do not see in the general mainstream Malaysian media is not necessarily non existent. The “Saya Mana Salah” by the so called auntie at the last Bersih rally was a provocation calling for a slap or the baton. There will be many more.

    The police and the armed forces have a job to do and Bersih and their allies have admitted to training workers of theirs to interfere with the polling process something they now say they stopped in October of 2013. Interestingly they have not denied the allegation.

    Violence comes in many forms. provocation is one of these and the opposition have geared themselves to fever pitch in an effort to disrupt the elections in order that they may then in their wildest of dreams call in foreign observers like the Americans (whose observation of foreign elections have often been to bolster their local puppets).

    Senator Bob Carr Australia’s foreign minister has already ruled out any Australian participation or interference in these elections saying they respected Malaysia’s sovereignty and did not think their processes were corrupted or flawed.

    • JW Tan says:

      That is laughable. In a civilised state, the government and the police are subject to the will of the people. One auntie saying something, no matter how rude or provocative, does not merit someone slapping her in the face with a baton. That is just state-sanctioned assault.

      A democratic country with free and fair elections should not care whether there are observers or not. If we have nothing to hide, let’s show the world. Of course, in Malaysia’s case, our own people have little confidence in our election procedures. Who cares about foreign observers? Sastify the rakyat first that it is fair.

      • The government and police are subject to the people? Which people do you refer to? The majority or a loud minority? You appear to use these terms like “will of the people” as if people can simply come forward and subject government and its apparatus to their will.

        It is precisely why in “civilized states” they do not allow the practice you and Bersih take for granted in its distorted and anarchic interpretation of what representative government is about. It does not tolerate provocation and incitement [...]

        This is the reason the DAP and PKR will fail. Their knowledge of government, representative constitutional government is not understood at the crudest and most basic level [...]

        We show the world who trade and have relations with us what we are and [what] we are capable of. No one is perfect. At least we are not Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Portugal and Cyprus. That’s Europe [...]

        Why should we invite them to monitor our elections? No one asked for a recount in the five states the opposition won in Malaysia. Why was it not considered “not free and fair” in these states? Don’t you see how incredulous your claims are?

        As for foreign observers Nelson Mandela had this to say:

        “If the United States of America or Britain is having elections, they don’t ask for observers from Africa or from Asia. But when we have elections, they want observers.” — Nelson Mandela [...]

        • JW Tan says:

          Too bad, the will of the people is not easy to discern at times, it’s true. But what it means is that the state is subservient to the wishes of all (jointly and singularly), subject to the laws of the day. The laws in Malaysia don’t allow a policeman to hit an older lady with a baton for saying something he finds rude.

          With regards to your comment on ‘civilised states’ – from personal experience I can say that protesting in such countries is very different from what happened in the Bersih rally. So contrary to your assertion, yes, so-called ‘civilised states’ do allow protest, and manage it much better than they do in Malaysia. It doesn’t matter what the cause is. What matters is that citizens are allowed to state their case in a safe and legal fashion, unmolested by the state apparatus.

          The rest of your comment is merely the bad Malaysian habit of hiding behind other people’s screwups, as if they mattered. By the way, every country you named is a true democracy, something we are struggling with in Malaysia. I’d prefer to be in their position, personally.

          In addition, I don’t care about foreign observers. I care about the EC not allowing enough local observers. If we can’t even satisfy the rakyat that our elections are fair, then they aren’t fair, no matter how above board the practices and processes may be.

          • [The Nut Graph]‘s editor has just recently written to me requesting I respond to your recent email to me on this topic in order that it may then be published on the Nutgraph subject to her editing my response. A very generous offer indeed.

            But how [am I] to sensibly publish a response to your email when it was sent to [my] private address, its contents having never been posted on this particular topic (above) in the Nutgraph?

            [Your] practice [of emailing me personally] follows a policy that Jacqueline Surin [...] has previously followed in recent times. She too has sent her expressions of hurt, frustration and defeat in private emails to [my] email address previously and when it suited her, then suggested we respond via the Nutgraph portal or website (whatever you would call it).

            Once more I invite you to publish your response as emailed to me on this subject here so as to enable me to then respond, then have it subjected to the knife of [The Nut Graph's] censors in their interpretation of my democratic rights to free expression as they have a habit of doing. Must be feeling the pressure now that 5 May 2013 is drawing close.

            Editor’s note: We do not have the capacity to be go-betweens for our readers via email and are unable to moderate or forward private email correspondence between our readers.

          • JW Tan says:

            I’m sorry, I didn’t email you. I enjoy commenting on these articles because it allows me to engage in interesting discussion that can be read by all. Private discussions are less interesting (and are far better conducted in person – over a beer or three).

  24. @Gopal Raj Kumar

    It is clear that:

    1. JW Tan’s comment was published on TNG for you to respond to him directly through our comments section. You’ll note that his comments appear before yours.

    2. The notice you received in your e-mail which contained his comments which were already published on TNG was auto-generated because you had most likely ticked the box “Notify me of followup comments via e-mail”.

    3. If JW Tan or anyone else had e-mailed you directly, please just reply to them directly. The fact that your reply came to [email protected] demonstrates that either JW Tan didn’t write to you directly or that you decided to forward your response to the editor anyway, hence bypassing the person who purportedly wrote directly to you.

    4. If you don’t want to receive e-mail notifications anymore, pls take charge of your own preferences and un-tick the box I have described above.

    Additionally, you complain so very much about TNG. If dealing with TNG makes you so unhappy, and we fall so short of your expectations and standards, you do have the option of staying away from us. We wouldn’t mind, not at all :)

    And one other thing, you claimed that I had written to your private e-mail address in recent times to express my “hurt, frustration and defeat”. Hahaha. I haven’t felt that way for a very, very long time. And secondly, if I did, it wouldn’t be you I would reach out to.

    So, either you’re making things up or in your mind, you actually believe what you write. I’m not sure which is more troubling :P

    And on that score, if I had actually written to you personally, you could either ignore my e-mail or reply to me directly. I must say though, all this public complaining, without any evidence for the basis of your allegations, is hardly surprising. It’s clear you’re back. Please don’t feel the need to stay ;)


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