Top 10 Things To Come Up About Malaysian Politics (At The VI Dinner) Tonight

Hussein Onn at the VI. Not an old boy.

Heading out to my alumni dinner in a few hours.

The Victoria Institution has never been the vanguard of the left but rather a beacon of moderation and progenitor of the doomed Barisan Nasional. It would be interesting to note what gets talked about at dinner.

I’ll walk the aisles like I did the corridors at school decades ago.

I’m guessing these will crop up, about the country.

10. Port Dickson, was Anwar happy to see Saiful?

OK, let’s put the biases out there. Of course VI boys always speak about the Malay College boys being a bit backward and putting from the rough not only at the inter-alumni games. That their brotherhood is always a bit spicier despite the lack of Indian restaurants in Kuala Kangsar.

So yes, it’ll go on, the banter. Yes, I’ll feel guilty, but maybe not tonight. After all, I’m not part of the group giving out contracts and political positions because they wear the same ties on Wednesdays. Continue reading “Top 10 Things To Come Up About Malaysian Politics (At The VI Dinner) Tonight”

Soap Opera At A Coastal Town, Or Port Dickson By-Election

Calm before the sun.

It is cheating really, for those writing about politics in Malaysia.

Because on days like these on Port Dickson beachside, the news writes itself.

Anwar Ibrahim has company for the by-election. Familiar company.

For weeks since the PD Move went public, the public has been going through the motions, from fatigue, mild interest, despair to actual horror.

If there was a maximum on turns a by-election could take only up to nomination day, this one has gone the extra mile. In PD the wrong mile, gets you with the wrong set of friends.

It may be poetic that after decades of Anwar intimating about the trouble Najib Razak once had, of the nefarious kind, in the coastal town, he’s getting a dose of his own vitriol. Continue reading “Soap Opera At A Coastal Town, Or Port Dickson By-Election”

PKR Elections: Train-wreck Alert!

Watch out, chairs falling from above.

PKR’s first round of state by state elections has been a colossal FUBAR.

To state simply, if this is the last of three party elections (2010 which have had allegations of fraud, undue influence, delayed results and faulty polling structures, to appear surprised now with last weekend’s debacle is an act of cowardice.

Yet PKR’s Secretary-General Saifuddin Nasution says it is everyone’s fault since the process was presented at leadership meetings.

“JPP will give us a report tomorrow and only after that can we identify the real cause of the weaknesses in the system. Then, we will look at ways to improve the system so that the problems do not recur in future elections.”

They’ll get a report tomorrow, and discuss it in the evening. I can’t explain my dismay at the indifferent attitude.

The election can split the members and the leaders. Only a fool would look at the matter lightly. Continue reading “PKR Elections: Train-wreck Alert!”

The Alcohol Tax Which Killed Some Dudes

An easy problem?

A bunch of guys died, and the health ministry and government struggles to respond.

Why?

Deadly alcohol poisoning from bootleg was always going to happen. Because it has got out of control for decades, and no one in power cares.

The nonchalant response from the health ministry is case in point.

This is a problem 35-years in making.

We have to go back to the 1980s. And even this is related to Anwar Ibrahim and Mahathir Mohamad.

In the wake of Anwar’s entry into the Umno government, to stave off PAS the Mahathir administration was keen to appear overtly Islamic.

An easy target was to punish alcohol consumers.

They literally get to have their cake and eat it too. Continue reading “The Alcohol Tax Which Killed Some Dudes”