Sunday, January 04, 2009

Kuala Trengganu - important for PR and UMNO-led BN (also Najib...)

Kuala Trengganu by-elections is important for both the UMNO-led-BN and also the Pakatan Rakyat...

It was an UMNO seat - won by a small majority.

Since the General Elections in March 2007 - when Pakatan Rakyat broke the BN two-third majority in Parliament, and became government in 5 States, the people have had the opportunity to see the Pakatan Rakyat in action when in the driving seat. Has Pakatan Rakyat performed as was expected in governing the 5 States? Are they different from the BN - or is it just a case of new persons in the leadership roles of government.

Has the Barisan Nasional that did badly in the General Elections reform itself in accordance to what Malaysians wanted? Or is it just the same 'un-reformed' BN - the only change maybe is that there will be a new PM after March 2009. Has there been improvement in the relationship with the other component parties in BN? Oh, is it still UMNO say jump....everyone else is expected to jump. The continued detention of HINDRAF 5 despite calls for their release coming from some of the BN leaders in other than UMNO component parties shows that nothing much has changed. The non-renewal of the Catholic Church's permit to print in Bahasa Malaysia is also an indication of 'religious persecution' or a curtailment of religious freedom amongst minority religious groups, and it is interesting that the same person who appeared so 'mean' may be BN's candidate...
Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, in an interview with Reuters yesterday, said the government was "still reviewing" The Herald's licence and was following "due process".

"Until Dec 31, we are not going to announce anything. There is plenty of time. Let them wait." - New Straits Times, 18/12/2008 - Catholic weekly made to wait for renewal permit
I wonder whether it was all planned so that fight for votes will be showing who is more Muslim - UMNO (BN) or PAS (Pakatan Rakyat).

Malaysian voters are more mature now .... and with so many avenues of information available, there is no more the need for a campaign based on who is more Islam than who?

The issues now is Healthcare for all - free and affordable. (The concern for this issue is growing especially amongst the middle-aged and the elderly - who do know that their EPF will not be able to pay for the ever-rising cost of healthcare...)

The issue now is an end of Corruption - especially at the highest levels...

The issue now is Transparency and Openess - no more hiding...let it all be out in the open.

The issue now is about an independent Judiciary - this maybe, is something we have to think about after that former UMNO man, Zaki Azmi resigns or ends his term as the head of the Judiciary.

It is to chose merely a Member of Parliament - when the State of Trenganu is already being governed by the BN. Thus, voters may not be so presured by the consideration that development will be denied if the vote for the opposition.

Hence, the outcome would be an important indicator...of where the peoples' support lies. A loss for BN would be very bad for Mohd Najib Razak as well - an indication, that the reform needed in UMNO/BN is not merely a change of the head but other things as well. Remember Najib has indicated that he will preserve the current quota system in UMNO - and many will take it as a clear indication is that we cannot look forward to any reforms as and if Najib becomes PM - maybe even greater suppression of freedom/s.

If Pakatan Rakyat wins - then we will know that the people still wants change - a change in government - and maybe we will have a new Prime Minister when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resigns...

Remember Abdullah Ahmad Badawi cannot just pass the baton of premiership to Najib.

When he resigns, "...the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri (Prime Minister) to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House..." (Art 43 (2[a]) Federal Constitution)

Thus, someone else may be chosen and appointed PM when our current PM resigns....

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