Malaysiakini

VoxPop: 'Let's not pay 2008 income tax'

vox populi big thumbnail'Can we, the helpless rakyat, organise something to tell our politicians that we are sick of their behaviour?'




On Are BN politicians going bonkers?

Teokeloomangoop: As a Malaysian tired of the events unfolding every day, can we, the helpless rakyat, organise something to tell our politicians that we are sick of their behaviour? How about we all refuse to pay the income tax in 2008?

Unhappy Malaysian: After what has happened to Anwar and reading about the other despicable happenings in the news in our country, I am worried and very unhappy.

I am an elderly man, and since I was young I was never interested in politics. I was aware that bad things were going on in the government, but it seems to have gone from bad to intolerable. I know the poor are suffering. What can be done?

The BN government and its component parties are now believed to be incapable of looking after the people and country. They appear irrelevant because they have lost the trust of the people. What is needed now is a change government, one that can really perform, the sooner the better.

If the current politicians in power cannot perform to meet the rakyat's expectations, why can they not be honest and just resign? Maybe they prefer to be voted out, and that is what the people can promise them in the next election.

Dr RN: Most country leaderships styles which followed Castro’s, Mugabe’s or even Mahathir’s philosophies to overstay in power are all slowly and clearly failing.

They are clueless as to what is going to happen and just want to hang on to power desperately or perish. They are being pushed to a corner which is getting hotter by the day and no one could be blamed for this, except themselves.

Foreign Investor In Malaysia: The atmosphere created by the ruling party in Malaysia, the police and the attorney-general is not bringing any good luck or new investments to the country. Now, investors have a choice, and they are acting as follows:

They began selling, since the March 8 elections, all the shares they owned in Malaysia. As a result, the stocks exchange and the ringgit suffer, and suffer badly.

Everyone knows that foreign investors are net sellers, not buyers, so the local investors are getting cold feet and following the trend set by foreign institutions. Malaysia is losing, and the people will suffer, not the Umnoputeras of this country.

New FDI - now that the bigger, more lucrative countries of India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia are opening up with bigger, better markets, Malaysia is becoming too politically unstable to invest in directly.

The government, with its police-state mentality like that of the Stalin era in the collapsed Soviet Union, is ruining the country just to protect Najib, Khairy, Abdullah and those related to these three.

Shame on this beautiful country called Malaysia. People will suffer, and Malaysia is now going the path of Mugabe in Zimbabwe. Again, foreigners are getting out or not coming. Who will suffer? The people of Malaysia.

As a foreign investor in this country for the past 30 years, I am now thinking of liquidating my assets and flying on a plane to Vietnam to look for investment opportunities in that country.

After that, I fly to Cambodia. With Malaysia surely out, Vietnam is surely better with Indonesia.

Koh: Our government is choosing the wrong priorities at this crucial point in time. This is the time we assess the neighboring countries’ situations and make strategic moves.

We’ve lost FDI to Thailand and Vietnam before, but now Vietnam is facing the problems of extreme high inflation and high interest rate, as is the Philippines. Thailand is facing internal political turmoil, along with border issues with Cambodia.

In this time, our elected government should use all of its machinery and resources to bring back the FDI in manufacturing that we lost to Thailand and Vietnam and in services that we lost to the Philippines.

We are an oil exporter, and with lower inflation and interest rates, competent human resources and good infrastructure, we should win back the investments and gain a stronger economic foothold in this opportune time.

If we did this, our economy would get better and people’s hardship could be reduced. Instead, the government wastes energy and resources to focus on internal political squabbles, neglecting the nation and the people.

An elected government is supposed to serve the people and lead the nation, not focus on who sodomised whom. There is a far more important national agenda! Even the police are tasked with protecting the citizens from crime. When the police focused resources on Anwar and Raja Petra, how many snatch thieves and car robbers got caught?

It will be a huge missed opportunity if our elected government chooses to inflict wounds on itself at this critical time

RM: Resulting from a Freudian slip he made, Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak was forced to admit that he had lied about his relationship with Saiful Bukhari, the man who is accusing Anwar Ibrahim of homosexual rape.

How then can we trust him about the other things he has said in public, for example about his relationship with Altantuya the Mongolian interpreter who was murdered in cold blood?

There are serious allegations about Najib having received huge kickbacks from the purchase of the Scorpene submarines from France and the Sukhoi jet fighters from Russia but the Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi is not responding to public demands for an independent commission to inquire into the allegations.

This Najib has the impertinence to tell us taxpayers that the police must treat Anwar Ibrahim with the degree of decorum and respect that he deserves.

Let me tell Najib this. When Anwar Ibrahim becomes the prime minister and we have a truly people-friendly police force, you can be sure that he will not have you and your wife Rosmah taken to a doctor to have your private parts probed.

The inspector-general of police, the attorney-general and the chairperson of the Election Commission appeared together on prime time TV just before the general elections and lied through their teeth about the use of the indelible ink to prevent voter fraud.

The PM lied in public about the date of the elections. And the Cabinet reneged on its promise not to increase the price of petrol. The police have yet to account for the more than100 deaths of ordinary citizens while in police custody in recent months.

Arbibi Ashoy: I was shocked by the latest trumped up sodomy charges against Anwar. In fact, it makes a mockery of the seriousness of ‘sexual tresspassing’. Being violated sexually is a traumatic experience and this charade that the government is putting on for Malaysians is demeaning to rape victims and makes light of the horrors of sexual abuse.

Why is the government doing this? Obviously, the idea is to make it look as if there is a culture of fitnah (slandering) in Malaysia. As one person whom I overheard say - ‘I don't really know what to believe anymore’.

Actually, knowing what to believe or not is not difficult really. One only needs to look at what is known as the ‘media factor’. The Malaysian media is run by editors who are servants of the political masters.

Thus when the media takes an unusual interest in something, there definitely are political interests involved especially of those at the top of the pyramid.

Take for example the murder case of Altantuya Shaariibuu. The Malaysian media portrayed her as a loose woman and blackmailer. Why? Is Abdul Razak Baginda such an important person that the media would go all out to smear and discredit the murder victim?

In fact, this is one fact which I found puzzling - why was the Malaysian media so harsh towards the murder victim and so intent on ruining her reputation? Clearly there is more than meets the eye.

Newspaper editors in Malaysia know who their masters are and will go all out to defend them. Was the Malaysian media defending Abdul Razak Baginda when they called Altantuya Shaariibu bad names? Or someone else? Think about that.

Maugham: There are very strong indications that BN politicians are acting in desperation to keep a hold on power when they can no longer do so. In the previous decades, the continuance of power was due to lack of alternatives.

However, as we build confidence in alternatives the degree of desperation in BN likewise increases.

The misuse of powers, the lust for keeping them as long as possible come whatever may, the frightening and ghostly stories publicised to ensure public becomes fearful of alternatives, the racial, religious and socio-economic issues emerging at this point in time and the repeat of historical events are all indications measuring the desperate moments of the need for prolonged powers.

Interestingly, it can only happen in a country where maturity of education in rather low, where the democracy is interpreted with limitations, where information sharing is closed rather than open and power is only meant for one party claiming capability to rule.

Look around the world, one can get a list of developing countries with such characteristics.

Eric KJ Lim: I have every reason to believe BN is desperate and is very afraid of Anwar. What about Thursday's Klang Valley jam? Why don’t the police explain?

Being late twice in a week is enough reason to give warning letters or maybe even to get fired. Will the government compensate fired workers? I think BN should. Luckily, many companies realised the desperate actions BN made on Monday and Thursday.

If a student does not turn up for his exams, he is considered to have failed it. Is BN going to explain that? I completely doubt it, because BN couldn’t care less.

I am ashamed to be a Malaysian. Going overseas, people usually ask, ‘Where are you from?’ Then you answer, ‘Malaysia’. They say, ’Oh, Malaysia! I know that one. The political unrest - I cancelled my trip. They say it's not safe to go there.’

What do you want me to say? Say yes, because it's true? Or say no, and I would telling a big lie? At times, I choose to just answer ‘Singapore’, because I can pass off as a Singaporean, having spent a couple years there. People do look up to Singapore but look down at Malaysia - that's the truth.

I chose not to vote in GE12 because I was not on either side. When the next election comes, whether its by election or GE, I know who I want to vote for now. Let's not just make it a tsunami, let's make it sink forever.

Remember the morning of March 9? The eeuphoric feeling, did it feel good? I know I felt good.


On Raja Petra arrested, charged in court

Peter Ooi: I have been spending half a day pondering the reason for charging Raja Petra for defaming Rosmah by the police and not the one being defamed, Rosmah herself.

I am sure Rosmah, being a deputy prime minister's wife, would have sufficient means to sue Raja Petra upside down.

Now as it is, public funds are involved and lots of man hours are to be spent in prosecuting RPK. The prosecutors are already finding hard to prosecute so many cases so why burden them with a case that appears to me civil in nature.

The police, too, have many unsolved crimes to keep them busy. With this extra work load, it definitely would not help.

Yih Feng Low: I fail to understand the concept of criminal defamation with which RPK is being charged with. It has always been my understanding that defamation, be it slander or libel, is a civil case and if Najib is concerned about his reputation, he should summon his own lawyers to fight his own fight rather than involving the police and state-paid prosecutors.

Also, I fail to understand why no investigation was carried out on RPK's allegations/declarations. Shouldn't Najib at least show up at a police station to give his statements?

What makes it even more baffling is that when Anwar is accused of sodomy, the same privilege isn't accorded to him, even though he is just as much of a citizen as Najib is and should be accorded the exact same rights/treatments.

At the end of the day, RPK accuses someone of involvement in murder and ends up being charged in criminal court for what is effectively a civil case and Najib gets away scot-free, without being quizzed by police nor having to spend a single sen for lawyers and court fees.

Saiful accuses someone of sodomy and he gained immediate police protection and Anwar was accosted by police and thoroughly investigated plus having to get his own lawyers to defend him.

I simply can't see how that is fair treatment.


On Another shouting match over racism in the House

Muhammad Ahnaf: Has either Tajuddin or Ibrahim Ali actually seen the constitution?

Did they not read, in Article 153 (2), that ‘the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall [...] ensure the reservation for Malays and natives of any of the States of Sabah and Sarawak of such proportion as he may deem reasonable[...] of scholarships’?

Perhaps they did read that part, but aren't able to understand how it shows that the bumi and non-bumi scholarship quotas are changeable. Poor dears, perhaps we need to set aside scholarships for them too, so they can learn not to stretch their mouths larger than their feet.

DelCapo: The racial remarks, arrogance and bullying rants from ministers are in really bad form. Is it really spelled out in the constitution that scholarships are only for Malays?

‘Tajuddin: You shut up! You shut up! I have children studying in England, Ireland and Australia and they have no scholarships.’

May I ask the minister, did you come from a well-off family? If you did it purely on a minister's salary scale, I am very impressed.

Malaysian: I was one of many who watched this issue yesterday. As when the rakyat are trying to believe and implement the meaning of Bangsa Malaysia, and as we hear more often in parliament, ‘we are colour blind,’ said many times by the government, the big issue over providing a basic, fundamental need for the future of the rakyat - higher education loan/ scholarship - has turned ugly.

Fine, we agree with 55/45 ratio. What we disagree is the way some of the BN Mps are too heavy-hearted to even talk openly about giving scholarship to non-bumis. Don't they look at non-bumis as Malaysians too?

All Malaysians are Malaysians, and we love this country. We (non-bumis) don't say that we love this country 55% lesser than the bumis. We are also not given any special discount when we pay taxes too, right?

Why do we have to beg for something that belongs to all? We do not want your pithiness, we want you to do your job.

Kenny Gan: Given the very racist content of the altercation over scholarships started by an Umno politician, why were MCA and MIC MPs keeping quiet? Do they represent the communities that were being slighted and denied fair treatment?

Is it only the responsibility of Pakatan Rakyar MPs to speak up for non-Malays? I would like to request MCA and MIC to seriously look at the roles they play in national politics, instead of wasting time and energy re-branding their parties.

If they continue to be satisfied with a subservient role in BN, they should remove the words ‘Malaysian Chinese’ and ‘Malaysian Indian’ from their party names in order not to misrepresent themselves to the respective minority communities.


On 'Frustrated' MCA leader quits

Mooshie Mooshie: It must have exceeded her boiling point for a known, hard-core MCA senior party whip to disclose the way she feels about the party.

I saw a close friend and ex-party-whip (also not seeking re-election into the upper echelons this term) recently at a mall.

‘MCA,’ he said with a tone of voice that sounded somewhat sad and disappointed, ‘has lost its direction and is now trying to come out of the wilderness. It is too deeply entrenched in the backseat, led by Umno for last fifty years. It’s a little too late now, MCA has become irrelevant to the Chinese, including myself,’ he said.

Tan Yee Kiew's move is not totally surprising. We believe that this is the start of the domino effect that will gloss the belief that MCA is irrelevant. Only time will tell.


On 'Opposition did plan demo today'

LBL: Why does minister Syed Hamid insist that he knows PR is organising a demonstration at the parliament house? Is there another mole in the midst of PR?

Another Saiful? It looks like he received another piece of misinformation. Expose the person - avoid another sodomy charge.


On The truth shall set M'sia free

Boon: I do agree with most non-Muslim Malaysians that we do have a valid fear that PAS would like to turn Malaysia into a more Islamic state.

However, I feel that non-Muslims, especially the Christians (or Catholics, or whatever denominations they would like to call themselves) are not really promoting a sense of religious tolerance.

If you read the above article, you feel like you're sitting in on a Sunday sermon. His arguments about logic and perception and how the Catholic Church recanted when Galileo empirically proved that the Sun was the centre of the universe, not the Earth.

He failed to mention that this ‘recantation’ was not done until this century, and that Galileo was under house-arrest until his death.

And what about truth being verifiable? The statement that ‘God exists’ is still a perception to this day. Has anyone proven beyond doubt that God exists? It is till now only a perception, reinforced by faith.

The example of the four boys being late does not mean anything, it only states that the four of them did not collaborate on their lie. And even if the tyre did puncture, what if the four of them were seeing it from a different point of view?

And in the conclusion and advice, I didn't know that our prime minister was actually elected by God. I thought he was selected by Dr Mahathir.

Furthermore, what did he mean by ‘My advice to Pak Lah: just do what God has called you to do, and He might honour your desire to hand over the leadership of Umno to your deputy’? Is Abdullah now suddenly the hand-of-god on earth, and his mandate was given from the Almighty?

Why can't we simply ask the man to do what is good, right and humble, and let his action win the hearts of the people?

My conclusion and wish is to see that, no matter what religious background our leader is, he should steer our country towards development and kindness to all. After all, religious beliefs are personal, and should not be national.