Random Links 247 ("After May 13" Edition)

The domino effect – Sabah crossovers

The domino effect – how it could all play out

The hottest topic right now.

if crossovers are to occur, they would likely start in Sabah rather than in Sarawak. The loyalty of Umno leaders in Sabah is not as unshakeable as those in Peninsular Malaysia. Umno Sabah was formed after PBS left BN just prior to the 1990 general election. Indeed, Anwar was instrumental in setting up Umno Sabah and he still has some influence over there.

It’s worth noting that Anifah Aman (Umno – Kimanis), who rejected the position of deputy transport minister, has made thinly-veiled remarks on changing sides. Abdul Ghapur Salleh (Umno – Kalabakan), has also expressed dissatisfaction about the lack of cabinet allocations for Sabah as well as the relative unimportance of the posts given. Mohd Shafie Apdal (Umno – Semporna), who was once domestic trade and consumer affairs minister, has been put in charge of the less important national unity, culture, arts and heritage ministry.

There is also widespread discontent in Sabah over the steady influx of illegal immigrants from the Philippines and Indonesia who have somehow managed to obtain identity cards as well as voting rights. By promising Sabah MPs and parties more cabinet positions as well as more prominent positions, by offering a larger share of the oil royalty and by clamping down on illegal immigrants, one could envision Anwar could entice perhaps 15 to 20 Sabah MPs to cross over, if not more.

* * *

What about the ISA? Couldn’t the government arrest Pakatan leaders on the basis that they are threatening national stability? It probably could but trying to do an Ops Lalang II would be a big mistake. It’s one thing to round up opposition leaders when they constituted less than one-third of parliament. It’s quite another when the opposition controls five states and have 82 MPs.

Use of the ISA on an Ops Lalang-scale would not only lead to massive street demonstrations, it would trigger international rebuke and possibly even economic sanctions, which would ruin a country like Malaysia which is so dependent on foreign investment and trade. This is not 1969. This is not even 1987. It’s a highly globalise world we live in.

If repressive action is used to thwart a Pakatan takeover, it would eventually result in BN being overthrown eventually, and worse still, it would cast BN into the doldrums for several decades as the Internet-enabled public will not ‘mudah lupa’ (easily forget). Blogs, YouTube and the likes of Malaysiakini will make sure of that.

Rela raids: futile exercises of power

2 years ago I didn’t even know what RELA is …

Don’t forget Burmese refugees here too, PM told

It’s often easier to show the world how we care for those "out there" then those who are already "in here".

“Why are we arresting them and selling them as slaves or threatening them with deportation to Burma when we know that their lives will be at great risk, even of death? Is this not brutally inhuman?

“Knowing very well the deep political crisis in Burma and now, with the catastrophe (caused by) Cyclone Nargis …We should start our humanitarian response to the refugees here by stopping arrests of all refugees and going further to recognise them as refugees.”

Tenaganita also urged Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar to investigate the continued abuse and alleged trafficking of refugees, as well as complaints of corruption and other reports against Rela and immigration officials.
“It is only in recognising the truth and acting to redress the intense human rights violations perpetrated against the refugee community that we can regain our humanity as a nation,” she added.

The night one candle proved to be one too many for the men in blue!

Better late than never … Haris, I salute you!

About Sivin Kit

man of one wife, father of four kids
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