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Lim urged Pakatan Rakyat parties to regain the confidence, hope and trust of voters who chose them in the last general elections, warning that there might be no future for the coalition if they fail to do so. — Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 8 — DAP Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang openly threw his support for PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail to be the next Opposition Leader today, after the latter won the Permatang Pauh by-election yesterday.

Lim also urged Pakatan Rakyat (PR) parties to regain the confidence, hope and trust of voters who chose them in the last general elections, warning that there might be no future for the coalition if they fail to do so.

“Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail’s solid and impressive win in the Permatang Pauh by-election paves the way for her to be re-elected as Parliamentary Opposition Leader,” Lim said in a statement.

The Gelang Patah MP also said that Dr Wan Azizah’s victory signals that the future lies with inclusive politics, and not a sectarian one which is bound to any single race or religion.

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Permatang Pauh MP Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail says there is an increase of Malay youth voters in this by-election. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Afif Abd Halim, May 7, 2015.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said tonight that the results of the Permatang Pauh by-election showed an increase of between 4% and 5% of Malay votes, especially the youths.

She also attributed the turnout, 73.71%, to the fact that there was no element of sabotage from PAS election machinery and that voters wanted a stronger Pakatan Rakyat leadership.

“This is not just a win for PKR but also the people who oppose Barisan Nasional’s treatment towards Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“It is clear the politically-motivated jailing of Anwar by BN has attracted much sympathy and proof that he is still relevant to the people

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Yesterday, MCA wanita chief Heng Seai Kie lodged a report with the Election Commission and the police against PKR for adding a racial twist to her remarks on goods and services tax .

She alleged that a bill board put up in Pematang Pauh quoting her as saying that Malay pay more GST was an act of racialisng her comments on GST.

She also said that since Chinapress has already explained, clarified and apologized for misquoting her interview, it was absolutely unbecoming of the Opposition to twist and add salt and pepper to her comments.

However, unless Heng can satisfactorily explain two questions, she is guilty of “thief shouting thief “when she alleged that the opposition was racialising her comments.

Firstly, Chinapress has on April 30 published her interview titled “Heng Seai Kie: High income, fewer children, Chinese should not oppose GST (王赛芝: 收入高孩子少, 华裔最不該反对 GST).

Then on May 1, Chinapress apologised to her for misinterpreting her statements and carried a correction report titled “Heng Seai Kie: Everyone pays, GST is beneficial to Chinese community (王赛芝: 要全民買單, 消费税对华社有利)

In the correction report 1, it contained her following comments:-

1. GST is absolutely good for the Chinese community because it is a tax system where everyone pays. In the previous tax system, 90 % of the tax payers are Chinese, but GST is a policy where everyone pays and the government no longer places the taxpaying responsibility on the Chinese community only.

2. Chinese should not oppose GST because Chinese have the highest income in the nation, so previously, 90% of the nation’s tax revenue came from Chinese, now it is ‘a net for all”, so long one spends, one has to pay for goods consumed.

3. Chinese families have fewer children, compared to Malays, there will be less spending, naturally Chinese will pay less GST ( the term used here is友族which is clear reference to Malays .In her recorded interview, she has said Malays )

4. In Malaysia, anyone can oppose GST, but the Chinese have no reason whatsoever to oppose it because Chinese have fewer children, and when one spends less, one pays less GST.

So why till today Heng has not objected to this corrected report? Why has she been saying that Chinapress has clarified the wrong report when she knows the fact is Chinapress only apologoised for the April 30 report? The question of apology over the May 1 report does not arise. In fact, the May 1 report was a corrected report.

The first question is: can Heng therefore deny that she did not racialise GST is sue as reported in May 1 Chinapress report?

Secondly, a Malaysiakini report dated May 2 has reported that Heng has told Chinese in the country not to oppose the Goods and Services Tax (GST) as the system will see the Malays paying more.

The Malaysiakini report was based on a recording of her interview which emerged in Facebook after she has alleged that Chinapress has misquoted her.

When contacted by Malaysiakini on May 2, Heng said her comments were taken out of context and that Chinapress has retracted its report.

Again, she did not clarify that Chinapress only retracted the April 30 report.

The second question for Heng is: how her comments were taken out of context?

If Heng insists that she is not guilty of racialising GST issue, I challenge her to call a press conference and distribute the full transcript of her recorded interview in Bahasa Malaysia, English and Tamil. Let the media judge if she has been misquoted or that her words have been taken out of context.

Teresa Kok

It was reported in today’s Chinese media that the Melaka state government has banned the sale of liquor in Malay areas in Melaka.

Malacca Housing, Local Government and Environment Exco Datuk Ismail Othman when contacted by the media has confirmed the ban and said that the convenience stores, minimarkets, sundry shops and other retailers with license to sell liquor will be notified of the ban.

The justification given by Ismail is that on one night, he saw that Malay youths could easily buy liquor.

Such justification is shallow and unacceptable as what has happened requires stricter control, regulation and enforcement, certainly not a total ban.

The total ban does not only cause inconvenience to non Muslims, it may and can also lead to the introduction of more extreme policies.

What constitutes a Malay area to the Melaka government? More than 50 % Malay residents?

In many supermarkets in the Malaysian towns, Malays form sizable number of the regular customers. They have no problem with non halal products including beer and hard liquor being sold in a special non halal section.

If Melaka state government is allowed to impose such a liquor sale ban in Malay areas due to its own failure to enforce the rules and on the excuse that Malays can buy liquor easily, will it not one day extend such ban to supermarkets where sizable number of Malays frequent with the same excuse?

The Melaka government policy is therefore setting a dangerous precedent and must be strongly opposed. It is also a sign of growing political extremism in our multiracial country.

MCA President Dato Seri Liow Tiong Lai must explain why the two Melaka MCA Excos have supported the unacceptable policy.

And if the Excos ‘ excuse is that they did oppose but were out voted, then Liow must be prepared to direct that they immediately resign their Exco positions to express their clear and strong objection to the policy.

Teresa Kok

KUALA LUMPUR, May 6 — The likely return of a Malaysian convicted for child porn in the UK back into society here has prompted a DAP MP to press for a sex offenders registry to allay concerns of parents whose children may be studying with the man.

Pointing to the extremity of Nur Fitri Azmeer Nordin’s collection of child porn — over 30,000 photographs and videos of minors in various sexual activities — Zairil Khir Johari said such a measure would allay the concern of Malaysians whose sons and daughters would be in close proximity with such a person.

“While I am not against efforts towards rehabilitation of an offender, I wonder whether any parent would be comfortable knowing that their children would be studying alongside someone convicted of such an extreme case of sexual offence.

“I agree that people should be given second chances in life, but there should also be a mechanism to ensure that such offenders are kept track of and prevented from any opportunities to commit such crimes again,” he said in a statement.

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Ops Hitam 505

I don’t really like black colour, but today I have worn black for the whole day to express my support for the “Ops Hitam 505″ campaign initiated by Bersih.

Time flies, today is the second anniversary of 505, the polling date of GE13.

I remember on 5th May 2013, my election campaign team and I waited for the election results announcement till 12 midnight. We only switched off the television when Najib, Muhyiddin and BN leaders had a press conference and announced victory of BN at 12 midnight.

I had retained Seputeh constituency with a majority of 51,552. It was the highest majority in the country but I had very little joy because Pakatan Rakyat had failed to capture Putrajaya despite having obtained more than 52% of popular votes. Like many Pakatan supporters, I was down and sad for a week.

After the official announcement of GE13 result was made, my election campaign manager Ng Chai Heng shook his head and said, “Many people will suffer after this….”

What he said has been proven true. Over the last two years, the nation has seen escalation of racial and religious tension, implementation of more draconian laws, selective use of sedition act, continued abuse of power by the government leaders and certain enforcement agencies, implementation of GST which has burdened the rakyat and a weakened ringgit……

If you did not or forgot to wear black on 5th May, today, you can do it in the next two days.

The proposal that individuals wanting to become elected representatives be required to have at least a credit in Bahasa Malaysia in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination is impractical, unnecessary and unacceptable.

In fact, it should not have been given even any serious thought at all for two basic reasons; firstly, there is no such similar academic requirement in the world’s vibrant democracies and secondly, as pointed out by Sarawak PKR vice chairman See Chee How, nine members of the Sarawak state cabinet sat for the Malay-language paper in their Senior Cambridge Examination (SCE) and the Higher School Certificate (HSC), which are equivalent to the SPM Form Five and STPM Form Six public examinations respectively.

If there was such a SPM Bahasa Malaysia credit requirement in the previous Sarawak state election, many Sarawak politicians including the present Sarawak Chief Minister would have been ineligible to contest in the election.

If such a proposal is adopted, many more potential east and West Malaysian candidates who have the passion and ability to serve the nation and the people will be disqualified from contesting in future elections as there will be many who either do not have credit in SPM Bahasa Malayisa or did not sit for SPM.

I want to ask Abdul Aziz how often has he witnessed parliamentary or state assembly proceedings? Is Bahasa Malaysia proficiency a problem?

Even though there are a few elected representatives who are not very fluent in Bahasa Malaysia and may not once in a while pronounce some words correctly, there has been no problem as far as delivery of their message goes.

Election Commission should not waste its time on such an unnecessary and unacceptable suggestion and should instead leave it to the voters to decide who they want to choose as their representatives and respect their criteria in choosing their representatives.

Other than the DAP which has made various proposals for electoral reforms in the past, Bersih 2.0 has also made proposals which were widely supported. And the report by Parliamentary Select Committee on electoral reforms which contained 2 recommendations was also passed by Parliament in 2012.

Although the nation has seen thirteen general elections, so many long standing electoral flaws and defects have not been addressed. Abdul Aziz should therefore focus on the much needed reforms and make Malaysian elections free, fair and clean.

Teresa Kok

Ag04riculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s threat that applications for agricultural funds and projects in Permatang Pauh will not be approved if Pakatan Rakyat wins the by-election again has further proven that he is most unfit to be a Cabinet Minister.

A democratic election must be free, fair and clean. Any political threat is totally unacceptable and cannot be condoned.

It is time that the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib should exercise leadership quality and expel him from the Cabinet.

Early this year, Ismail Sabri had made the racist and insensitive remarks which angered Malaysians when he called on Malays to boycott Chinese businesses to lower prices.

His remarks was a clear challenge to Najib’s 1 Malaysia concept, yet it was puzzling that the Prime Minister could be so tolerant of Ismail as not only did he not reprimand Ismail, a statement from the Prime Minister’s Department had defended Ismail and said that his remarks were not targeting a specific race but meant to rebuke traders who refused to lower the price of goods.

After making the “ no fund approval if Wan Azizah wins” warning to Permatang Pauh voters three days ago, Ismail subsequently tried to explain that the warning was made as it was easier for voters to get help from a Barisan Nasional minister than from a Pakatan Rakyat representative.

Given the excuses and explanations Ismail had made after his racist call on Malays to boycott Chinese businesses, it should not come as a surprise that he has now tried to offer excuses for his warning to Permatang Pauh voters.

If any Minister in the United Kingdom, Australia, Korea or Japan has made the racist “boycott Chinese traders” call that Ismail had made, there is no doubt that he/she will have to resign from the Cabinet or face expulsion from the Prime Minister.

And if a Minister in those countries has made a remark that he will not approve applications for agricultural funds from an opposition representative, he/she too will be forced to resign or be expelled from the Cabinet.

Never before the nation had a Minister who had made such irresponsible and hurtful racist remarks, yet Ismail has been allowed to remain in office. It looks like he will again remain in office after threatening the Parmatang Pauh voters.

In February this year, the Prime Minister had defended Ismail with the excuse that Ismail was not targeting a specific race when it was so clear to all that Ismail had targeted the Chinese traders.

With his latest irresponsible threat that he will not approve any agricultural funds if Wan Azizah wins, Malaysians want to know what will be the Prime Minister’s excuse for not expelling Ismail from his office?

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