Reformati? ‘SteadyAku47’ Hussein Hamid’s last words should stir us to action

Days after the Pardons Board decision on Najib was announced, a neighbour sent me a message that reeked of frustration:

“Top Members of Suaram, Bersih, LFL, Aliran etc, should form a 3rd Force party for next GE. Still have 4 years & there must be at least 200+ genuinely good people in the country.”

Najib’s sentence cut: Social media, messaging app reactions reflect widespread concern

The news about the reduction in Najib Razak’s sentence has ingnited reactions in social media and messaging apps. Aliran released the following statement this morning:

Aliran is appalled and deeply disappointed by the Pardon’s Board’s decision to recommend a halving of corruption convict Najib Razak’s prison term from 12 years to six years and a reduction of his fine from RM210m to RM50m.

Memories of dear friends – Br Anthony Rogers

Sharing with you a reflection by Br Anthony Rogers:

I have recently been facing moments of mixed emotions to see many of my very, very dear friends “go away,” but they have all strangely come closer to me.

How are you coping with the Penang water disruption?

Is this water disruption in Penang (for up to four days from 10 January) for justified? Check out this article by Chuah Chong Lai in Aliran: Why cut water for up to four days in Penang?

Don’t allow democracy to be hijacked: The challenge before us

The outcome of the 2022 general election held the promise of a new era for Malaysia.

A quarter of a century of Reformasi struggle culminated in the Anwar Ibrahim-led Pakatan Harapan winning power in alliance with, surprise, surprise, the Umno-led Barisan Nasional and coalitions in Sarawak and Sabah.

Bethlehem pastor criticises hypocrisy and complicity in Gaza crisis

It is hard to celebrate Christmas with the usual festive cheer this year when this is happening. Has the universal church done enough to call out the genocide that is taking place in Gaza? End the genocide in Gaza!

Two heart-rending movies to watch

A stirring movie can be a powerful instrument to raise awareness of social issues that we are not usually attuned to. Here are two commendable Malaysian efforts – Abang Adik, a low-budget film focusing on the plight of the stateless, and Pendatang, a crowdfunded film touching on ethnic relations. Try and watch both if you can over Christmas and the New Year.

Aliran annual meeting calls for immediate ceasefire in Gaza and end to use of ‘pendatang’ label

Members attending Aliran’s 47th hybrid annual general meeting [on 25 November] unanimously passed a resolution urging for an immediate and lasting ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank to allow humanitarian aid to enter.

They also called for the release of all hostages and prisoners illegally or unjustly held captive on both sides and for the immediate withdrawal of Israel from the occupied territories of the West Bank and Jerusalem.

One year of PM Anwar – Unrealistic expectations or underperformance?

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My take on Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s first year in office. What do you think of his performance over the last year?

Anwar’s first anniversary as PM: Fix the economy and hasten reforms

One year after Anwar Ibrahim took over as Prime Minister, expectations have fallen.

Perhaps we have to be thankful his “unity government” has not collapsed to send the country into political turmoil again.

Hybrid talk: Participatory democracy and citizen empowerment

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Speakers:

  • Mary Magdaline Pereira, assistant honorary secretary, Aliran
  • Dr Evelyn Khor, member, Aliran; Taman Tun Dr Ismail community garden

Moderator: K Haridas, executive committee member, Aliran

Time: 11am, Saturday, 28 October

Poor public transport connectivity between Butterworth and George Town

In this video, YouTube user Poon points to the poor state of public transport connectivity between Butterworth and George Town. This is so true. (Thanks to the heads-up from blog reader Luca.)

60 years of Malaysia! What is your dream for the nation?

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Today, we celebrate the diamond jubilee of the formation of Malaysia.

Former ambassador M Santhananaban tells us in an article on the Aliran website that we have much to learn from Sarawak and Sabah. Putrajaya must strengthen its bond of solidarity with these two territories, especially the lives of marginalised or vulnerable communities.

Johor by-election results: The implications

So the voter turnouts in the Pulai parliamentary by-election and the Simpang Jeram state seats have been poor: about half the voters in Pulai turned up compared to 70% in the last general election. The turnout at Simpang Jeram of 56% at 4pm was only slightly better.

Fear not the ‘green wave’: Build a nation where everyone has a place

Many voters in urban and semi-urban areas are worried about Perikatan Nasional’s inroads in the recent elections in six states.

PN’s rhetoric about the “three Rs” – race, religion and royalty – did not help.

Why bulldoze mega-reclamation in Penang?

The Penang state government today announced it is pushing ahead with damaging plans to dump tons of rocks and sand into fish-breeding waters to create a “Silicon Island”. Civil society groups like CAP, Sahabat Alam Malaysia and Aliran have responded. This is Aliran’s media statement:

Aliran is alarmed that the Penang state government is bulldozing through its mega-reclamation plan to create a so-called “Silicon Island” off the southern coast of Penang Island.

Penang exco line-up: What should be their priorities?

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The Penang exco line-up has been unveiled.

PKR’s Batu Maung assembly member Mohamad Abdul Hamid, is deputy chief minister I. Jagdeep Singh of DAP is the new Penang deputy chief minister II.

Let’s just say that the Penang public and civil society will be watching their every move very carefully, especially in housing, sustainable mobility and the environment.

Quickly come up with a sustainable local plan. We have waited far too long for that one.

Scrap the ecologically damaging reclamation south of Penang Island.

Don’t succumb to corporate capture and developers’ greed. Build more genuinely affordable housing, ie not more than three times the annual disposal income of the bottom 40% and the middle class. Examine why there is a glut especially in higher end housing.

Now that elections are over, focus on an inclusive People’s Agenda!

13 Aug 2023

Post-election statement from Aliran:

It’s time to acknowledge that the mainstream economic model has left many youths from low-income households feeling anxious, insecure and marginalised.

Why did PN’s vote share rise?

This Malaysiakini graphic above speaks for itself.

Popular vote:

Penang

2018 – PH 67.2%

2022 – PH 60.0%

2023 – PH+BN 66.6%

Selangor

2018 – PH 63.4%

2022 – PH 52.8%

2023 – PH+BN 60.6%

Negeri Sembilan

2018 – PH 53.9%

2022 – PH 44.8%

2023 – PH+BN 60.8%

Kedah

2018 – PH 36.5%

2022 – PH 23.3%

2023 – PH+BN 30.1%

Terengganu

2018 – PH 7.3%

2022 – PH 5.5%

2023 – PH+BN 32.0%

Kelantan

2018 – PH 10.0%

2022 – PH 8.8%

2023 – PH+BN 30.5%

What are the reasons for this? Is there an economic angle to it – economic insecurity and alienation arising from our development model and the urban-rural disparities?

What can Anwar Ibrahim’s Madani government do about this?

State polls: Crucial figures to watch out for

Check out the BFM live coverage of results here

LIVE – Results for DAP candidates

LIVE – Malaysiakini score board

LIVE – Astro Awani results

Turnout

  • Penang – 80.2% (2018); 72.7%
  • Selangor – 85.2% (2018); 72.0%
  • Negeri Sembilan – 81.7% (2018); 67.4% “
  • Kedah – 82.0% (2018); 73.4% “
  • Terengganu – 84.2% (2018); 74.8% “
  • Kelantan – 78.2% (2018); 60.1% “
  • General election – 74.0% (2022 nationwide, with automatic voter registration)

Bear in mind that the 2018 figures were before Undi18 and automatic voter registration in 2022. Many older voters who had not bothered to register as voters earlier were included in the 2022 rolls: many of them were unlikely to vote and this drove down the turnout figures for the 2022 general election. I expect the turnout this time to fall just short or close to the 2022 general election figure of 74%