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Chew Mei Fun, which planet are you on?
Published:  Mar 4, 2008 1:43 AM
Updated: 11:38 AM

vox populi big thumbnail ‘Her answers really makes ones really wonder if she actually has a stand at all . "I thought the NEP had already ended," she says. What?

On Question time: PJU's Chew vs Pua

KevinP: Firstly Chew Mei Fun, you failed to grasp the idea that to answer the questions in the positive means you will have to uphold your stand in Parliament. Or were you answering it to appease the people?

Answers like ‘Yes, I think so’ makes me really wonder if you actually have a stand at all. Yes, you may think so.Does the government think so? Or you think so because you are not sure?

Secondly, has Pak Lah actually said we are not an Islamic state? Have you been misinformed by your superiors? Thirdly, you think that the ACA will need to work fairly and transparently. Do you think for a moment that it will so as long as it is under the purview of the PM's office?

Fourthly, to the question of fixed wage for workers. Have you asked your bosses ‘Why not?’ I am sure if you had stuck to asking ‘Why not’, you wouldn’t be the incumbent today. Lastly, I really wonder which planet you are on with your answer ‘I thought the NEP had already ended’. What? Need I say more? I am flabbergasted.

Ignatius Anantha: The only sad point in BN camp is that BN does not have any professionals. Even if they have, the professionals and elected MPs can't break rank with the BN. That means they are puppets rather than the rakyat ’s representatives. So, Chew Mei Fun can say things from her personal viewpoint but however she can't fight in parliament at all.

If she fights and opposes BN, she will get suspended. We need more educated, smart and caring people like Tony Pua representing the rakyat in the parliament. Sadly, Khairy acts differently though both are from Oxford.

CH Ong: ‘I thought the NEP has already ended.' It appears that Mei Fun's recent accident has caused her brain to be damaged. She should have retired from active politics, at least temporarily, so that she can recover from her brain damage instead of trying to defend her PJ Utara parliamentary seat. Such reckless action may make her brain damage permanent.

Rational Citizen: The statement by CH Ong that Mei Fun's recent accident has caused her brain to be damaged and urging her to retire from politics to recover is a rude and irresponsible remark. I would like to ask Ong where was he when Chew's accident took place? Was he sleeping at home, watching TV or criticising all that was wrong with the country?

I have some respect for Chew because she was involved in the accident while rushing to help flood victims in Pahang. She has served her constituency well. What about you, Ong? What have you done for your country besides criticising? Ask yourself in your heart.

Malaysia is a democratic country where all citizens are allowed to contest in the elections as provided for by the Constitution. No one can deny anyone the right to contest in the election.

Chloe Ting: Herewith, I wish to ask: Were these complete replies from Chew Mei Fun? There appears to be selective editing on the part of Malaysiakini . Malaysiakini has neglected the insurmountable contributions and efforts of Chew Mei Fun from the national level to the local level. How many women are able to lead a voluntary team in dispatching immediate disaster relief and medical aid during the floods that hit the southern states and east coast states of Malaysia last year?

It is regrettable that the derogatory insults put forward by CH Ong reveals the author’s failure to recall that the unfortunate accident which befell Chew Mei Fun occurred whilst she herself was rushing down to deliver aid and help evacuate victims upon the onset of the floods. Where was Tony Pua during the floods? Did he in anyway contribute to the flood relief effort?

To Chew Mei Fun I say, ‘Keep up the good work!’

Still Seeking: Mei Fun is another example of talented and potential good leaders losing their guts to fight for the real path of justice and freedom after being absorbed into Umno’s sphere of hegemony. If we want freedom and justice to prevail, we already know who to vote for.

KevinP: Chloe Ting, I will agree with you on CH Ong's uncalled for remarks. But to question if those are Chew Mei Fun's complete replies, you will have to ask her. But for me, I think it is. It’s the same with Kepong BN's rep replies. Unconvincing and inconclusive. Moreover, I am sure, BN candidates will be foaming at the mouth by now if their replies has been taken out of context or had been ‘selectively edited’. Twenty four hours have passed, neither BN Kepong nor Ms. Chew has complained. I take that as her reply.

While her past heroics may put her in good stead, today, the needs of a Parliamentarian are to voice the people's concerns in Parliament. The question here that seriously begs an answer is, ‘Can she be the conscience and voice of her people?’

For me, I do not wish my Parliamentarian to run helter-skelter to help an old lady to cross the road or to jump into the river to save someone. While this is noble and should be applauded, it is not his or her duty to do so. His or her duty is to coordinate assistance. And also, not to be a rubber stamp in parliament.

Hon Chee Yoong: I just wondering why there are still people who do not understand the actual role for a member of Parliament. I know Chew is taking good care of the community by looking after the infrastructure in PJ area and also rushing to help the flood victim. Unfortunately, I would say it would be more suitable for her to join the Red Crescent, St John’s Ambulance or community welfare organisation - not a political party and especially not to become an MP.

We need MPs to speak on the behalf of the rakyat and to fight against any unfair policy. Have she done this? She doesn’t even dare to speak up in Parliament when her BN colleague said ‘tiap-tiap bulan bocor’ to an opposition lady leader. To all Chew’s supporters, be mature and for the sake of our next generation, please do not support blindly and ignore the bigger issues.

CH Ong: Some readers are not happy with my comments on Chew Mei Fun. To me, the circumstances leading to her accident is not relevant to my comments, however rude or insensitive my comments may appear. The fact that Chew Mei Fun made the statement '‘I thought the NEP has already ended.' clearly shows that she has brain damage. Even the Umno people do not claim that the NEP has ended.

Rational Citizen wrote:- ‘She has served her constituency well’. Rational citizen may be a very polite person but unfortunately he/she like many Malaysians certainly does not understand the real duties of a member of Parliament, which certainly does not include looking after drains which fall under the jurisdiction of local government authorities. If our MPs really carry out their duties in legislation and major policy matters, then all out local government authorities would have carried out their duties of local government properly and it would not have been necessary for the BN MPs to get involved in such activities.

In other words the BN MPs, by being negligent, are merely trying to solve problems which they themselves had created in the first place. When Rational Citizen asked 'What about you, Ong? What have you done for your country besides criticising?, he/she is being irrational. I am not an MP, so how can any person compare my performance with that of an MP?

Chloe Ting asked 'Where was Tony Pua during the floods? Did he in anyway contribute to the flood relief effort? Why not go one step further and ask where were was our prime minister and all the other MPs during the flood? Better still, ask where were the rest of the more than 20 million Malaysian during the floods.

Jason Lai Kuan Han: After reading all the comments left by readers, it is already evident that there is a clear split in opinions about Chew and Pua. But I must say CH Ong should not have mentioned Chew’s accident which gave me an impression to humiliate her. If he was purely referring to her statement regarding the NEP, please go straight to the point. To bring the accident into picture, is just similar to the other MP who said bulan-bulan pun bocor or ‘tunnel’.

I believe Chew has done an awesome job in her constituency in alerting and requesting the local council to bring infrastructural development to her constituency for which I am deeply grateful for. However, she has omitted to voice out on issues in the parliament which has eroded the rights of her people in her constituency. That is her duty. What is infrastructural development when our rights are being eroded gradually?

I believe some readers are swayed by Lim Kit Siang’s ceramah in SS2 when he clearly slammed Chew for only taking care of ‘ longkang and potholes’. I believe that as an MP, she must both take care of both the infrastructural needs of the people while at the same time maintaining a steadfast stand in Parliament against injustices. She must maintain this stand even if it is against the flow.

A True Malaysian: I agree with Jason Lai Kuan Han that Chew Mei Fun did a good job for Petaling Jaya Utara. At the same time, by 'in alerting and requesting the local council to bring infrastructural development to her constituency' also reflects the weaknesses in local council which by right, should be the duty and responsibility of the local council, and not by an MP.

This type of so-called jaga longkang MP' was made famous by Lee Lam Thye when he was MP for KL Bandar. Lee Lam Thye set the trend here and many MPs from BN and oppositions followed suit. As a result, a lot of MPs forgot their actual role of debating issues of importance at the macro-level of our country, which certainly are more crucial than a micro issue like jaga longkang .

So, based on this and the quality of answers given by both Tony Pua and Chew Mei Fun, Tony Pua is definitely my choice to be the next MP of PJ Utara. But, I am not a voter there. It is up to PJ Utara voters to decide whether they want Tony or Mei Fun.

Lee CB: We sympathise with Chew Mei Fun on her accident but we cannot vote with emotions for that is to vote for sympathy. We need to vote with a sound and responsible mind. PJ is a developed place already. The duty of the MP is to speak on behalf of the rakyat on policy-making issues and not do the work of state assemblymen/women.

I agree with CH Ong that she should join the Red Crescent or an NGO if she is not doing her job as MP. And please do not use the name of charity to win votes or increase political mileage. What a shame.

On Election debates: Just do it!

Teo Chuen Tick: BN will not do it because they will not have the benefit of throwing half-truths as facts. All their newspaper advertisements claims so far can be torn into shreds in a debate. Also I doubt they have confidence in the oratory skills of the PM.

On Kok raps rival over 'sexist' posters

Alina Rastam: These billboards are back again are a total disgrace.Basic courtesy and decency dictates that one should try to win votes by focusing on one’s own strengths and abilities rather than by engaging in scurrilous personal attacks and mudslinging against one’s opponent. By launching these billboards, Chew has shown that basic decency appears to be a foreign concept to her.

And the rank sexism of the images on the billboard, which insinuate that Kok is a ‘loose’ woman and present her as a sex object rather than focusing on her work as an MP, shows that despite Wanita MCA’s claims that it upholds women’s rights and dignity, sexism and contempt for women are alive and kicking within the party and its members.

There are so many pressing issues facing Malaysians today – violence against women, rising crime rates, escalating costs of living etc. Is this how Wanita MCA proposes to address these issues – by resorting to gender discrimination and sending out messages which have nothing at all to do with the real issues at hand?

Soo Mei Lin: Carol Chew should be ashamed of herself for allowing such ads to be put up. Go jump. She is a disgrace to the fairer sex to resort to such low-down ads.

Media Guru: However, China Press yesterday quoted the BN politician as saying that the posters were not sexist and were only meant to illustrate the point that a candidate contesting for two seats would not be able to serve the people well.

So, Carol Chew is questioning the Boss Abdullah Ahmad’s Badawi's decision on Dr Awang Adek Hussin who is contesting a parliament seat as well as a state seat in Kelantan (with an eye to be menteri besar? ) So Boss Abdullah should not be PM? As well as Finance Minister? As well as Home Affairs Minister? No wonder he cannot serve the country well.

On Desperate MIC turns to ailing Pandithan

Barathi Tamil: Samy is shaken! He is starting to avoid NGO people, Indian crowds and he even doesn’t visit many of the MIC candidates. Most Indians in Sg Siput don’t prefer Samy as his name is already busuk. ‘Why should I choose a MP who’s name is already busuk .? We want clean and famous MP for our area.’ This s is what my Chinese friend from Sg.Siput told me.

PKR’s candidate Manikavasagam for Kapar is the favourite. Incumbent Komala’s ceramah draws only a few people while PKR’s draws thousands. We Indians prefer a change.

On Selangor vs Singapore?

Entities M: I read with humour this letter on Selangor MB Mohd Khir Toyo's assertion that Selangor could catch up with Singapore. It is quite obvious Khir Toyo has never heard of sovereign wealth funds. These are, to put it as simply as possible, money left in government coffers after expenditure. Singapore has about US$ 400 billion in sovereign wealth funds managed under Temasek Holdings and the Government of Singapore Corporation.

Don't believe me? Just go down to a Standard Chartered Bank in Selangor, get a copy of their accounts and you will find Singapore owns 18% of this bank. Outside Selangor, Singapore owns 2.1% of Barclays Bank and has just invested US$9.31 billion in UBS, US$6.88 billion in Citigroup and US$5.0 billion in Merrill Lynch. Shall I go on?

Pray tell me YB Khir Toyo, what have Selangor- government linked corporations owned by way of comparison in or outside of Selangor? At the relative rate of progress of these two entities, it will be quite apparent that Selangor will never be able to catch up with Singapore. I should know, I have lived in both places.

On No announcement on Penang CM for now

Nora : To me, I think it is a pretty shrewd move by Koh to name three potential successors. The respective constituencies will then try to put in their own candidates hoping that theirs will be the chief minister. Could this be it? Or will it backfire on Gerakan and BN as a whole?

On Koh fails to stop - just looks and goes

A Former Penangite: When Dr Koh Tsu Koon joined Gerakan with another two friends (forgotten their names), Koh promised to change Barisan National from within. This resulted in overwhelming support for him from Penangites then. But then, see what has happened to his promise. Barisan National has gone from bad to worse. So, with all these empty promises and other flaws, I just can't understand why Penangites still want a CM from Gerakan or let BN form the state government. A mistake being a mistake, I hope Penangites will give a mandate to the opposition this Saturday to form the next state government. Give Barisan Rakyat a chance to prove themselves, please.

I feel it is funny why Gerakan is talking about who from the party will be the next chief minister. Are you so confident you can form the next state government?

The Silent Saint : It is with utter disgust I read the above report. How long will it take a responsible leader to stop and console his voters? Though he may not be able to address the issue immediately, he could at least promise them he would look into the matter after the elections or bring it to the attention of the relevant authorities. May be he is so confident of winning; the 200 votes may not matter to him. What arrogance and overconfidence.

As it is, the Indian community is extremely disappointed with Gerakan for not fielding a single Indian candidate and now the almighty president of Gerakkan is rubbing salt into the wound. There is a wide spread doubt among the Indians that all the promises made by the PM, DPM and the great Dato Samy Vellu are all nothing but election gimmicks and empty promises which will be ignored after the elections. Please do not forget, God is always with the poor and the downtrodden. BN and its component parties will have to pay a heavy price for their arrogance and corruption.

Penang Voters: Dr Koh Su Koon or the Gerakan party have no respect for the voters. Before the voters go the polling stations, Koh and Gerakan have already claimed to be winners have decided on the future chief minister of Penang. Are they so sure?

On First-time voters, beware

Steven Gopal: I'm Malaysian living in the Philippines. I would like to share my first experience in voting and living outside of Malaysia. For the last general election in 2004, the Malaysian Embassy called me to check my name and voting district. When I asked the person what time I should turn up at the embassy premises in Manila, he replied to come at 10am on the Saturday before polling day.

I called again to double-check and was told the same thing. However, when I turned on that Saturday at 10am sharp, they told me that voting for eleigible Malaysians had been done on Friday and the ballots had already been sent to Kuala Lumpur. How then could I cast my vote?

Concerned Non-Economist: I am surprised that the Election Commission has sprung this new method of counting ballot papers at the polling stations instead of the old and trusted method of counting at a central location for each constituency. None of the opposition parties have voiced their views or have they too accepted this new method where the polling stations will transmit the ballot count to the main center for the final results.

Recounts will only be allowed at the polling stations and in the event there is a winner by even one vote there will be no recount. This system of counting has been employed in many Third World countries and widespread abuse has been documented. It also opens the counting process to be abused in favour of one party or the other.

I see no problems with the old system. If there is need for a recount so be it. Even three recounts will not be as painful as accusations that the process has been rigged. It is still not too late and I hope that the EC will reverse its decision.

On Letter: Penang 'bribed' Motorola to stay

Treeman1957: Let's hope that the US Justice Department wastes no time in investigating this kick-back scam of sorts.

On Women activists manhandled by MIC workers

Nithiyaavaani : I have never seen hooligans like the MIC. They don't even know how to respect women. They want to show their male power to women. I warn you, my dear MIC friends. Don't think women are powerless or stupid. They are more intelligent than you and also, they are well- mannered. They are not hooligans like you.

Don’t you have shame crushing the placards and also trying to touch them? Who are you to touch these activists? Who gave you the authority to do this? Your dear Samy Vellu is it? This is how you give respect to women?

Gender issues is an area that everyone should give attention to. It has its own agenda to voice out for women's issues in Malaysia. If an MP like Samy Vellu can't even understand this, why should people vote for him? Samy has trained all of his MIC men to be arrogant like him. No wonder they don't respect women.

On If you don't vote MIC, 'prepare to pay price'

M Mahendran: I read with interest the full-blown advertisement in the major newspapers which states MIC achievements and what it has been doing for the community under the heading ‘MIC Cares - The Power of the Truth’.

Being an Indian, it really hurts to read it. How can the MIC have the boldness to advertise such a subjective report? There is no specific data as yardstick for improvement. At least they should have a clear strategic intent and goals with clear statistics. The achievements stated are all a wish list. I am just wondering if there are so many brilliant Indians in the MIC why can’t there be a more decent report?

Perhaps this is the ‘MIC culture’ where everything is in the hands of the deadwood leaders and ‘yes men’ who only want authority.

On Samy: Here's what we have done

Madhavan Raman Kutty: Dear Samy, don't ask what the opposition has done for us because the opposition doesn't control any of the government funds. But it's clear you have done great damage to our Indian community.

On Question time; Kepong’s Tan vs Lau

Voter: For the voters to really gauge their respective stands on hot button issues, replies like ‘Yes, that is my personal view’ and ‘Yes, from my point of view’ are not really meaningful enough. The candidates should state their irrevocable stand on voting on such issues in Parliament. Let them give an undertaking on each of the issues and not just a personal view.

On Shahrizat: Look at my track record

Ah Chong: Nurul Izzah’s track record may not be as long as Shahrizat’s but 12 years ago, neither was Shahrizat’s. What is Nurul Izzah Anwar’s experience? Nurul was the eldest daughter of the deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia. She was relatively shielded from all the limelight being young at that time and she went to school in an urban Catholic missionary school.

As a teenager, she went through six years of humiliation as her father was dragged in and out of court on ridiculous accusations. It was the shameless party which Shahrizat belonged to that hurled these accusations against him.

While it is true that Nurul may not have had the opportunity of serving the people of Lembah Pantai, this was because Nurul was going through the school of life. An experience like that would have made her strong, resilient, tenacious and most importantly, humble and honest. She has my vote.

On Don't worry if opposition candidate is a mermaid

Gurbinder: I read with disgust the report in the mainstream media that explicitly said that the Sikh community supports the BN. I, for one, and many of my friends and family do not only support the BN, we despise them for what they’ve done to this beautiful country over the last fifty years. Their systematic segmentation of the people via race and religion plus the pillaging of the nation’s wealth by the leaders knows no bounds.

To the learned Darshan, please support BN in your personal capacity but do not drag the community in with you. At least some of us are capable of choosing our own MPs and state assemblypersons.

Inginkan Kemajuan: I believe this country is the only country in the world where dynasties still exists. Just look at the ruling people up there. It was first their fathers, now their children and of late, in-laws have also been included. It is now a common culture among the major parties. Why are they doing this? Simply because I think it is a lucrative ‘business’ being up there.

Besides, whatever wrongs daddy may have done, the kids can ensure that nobody will ever know about them. If this vicious cycle does not stop now, it will snowball and we will get nowhere. If we sincerely want the country to progress, we have to find an alternative.

Unless we change, we will never know whether changes are good for us. Should that change does not bring about the desired result, we can change again the next time until the progress that we seek is found. It is a risk that all of us must take or be contented and continue having with whatever we have presently.

Concerned Non-Economist: I am tired of reading that our government is spending so much money on subsidies. Our economy is looking more and more like the economies of the Eastern European countries in the 1960s. Every economic activity is controlled by the government through a special department.

To my mind, all the subsidies by the government must go into wages. Let the people decide how they want to use the money because it is well known that governments are the most inefficient spenders of money. Our wages are stuck at the 1980s level and annually more than 30,000 pensioners are falling into the lowest class of our society as their monthly pensions are below RM900.

If the government’s claim that subsidies are the best economic policies, then today the Russian economy must be the strongest economy in the world.

Fooji: Obama and Clinton pay money to air their advertisements on US TV stations. What about Barisan Nasional? I really hope so. RTM1 and RTM2 are run on public funds. The rest of the other TV stations are owned by the giant Media Prima, which has close links to Umno-owned Khazanah Nasional. During this election season, it almost nauseous to watch, hear and read BN propaganda in the form of advertisements and documentaries. Even the daily news are just like BN party brochures.

I believe all voters would like to know is this - does Barisan Nasional pay for their advertisements? If they are, are they using public funds for their own party interests? I propose all political parties release their campaign accounts for public scrutiny so that we know how their funds were raised and how they were spent.

The basic things Malaysia deserve from them are transparency, sincerity, honesty. Do not insult our intelligence and morals.

Fathima Salam: It should be made mandatory that all MPs elected after March 8 declare their assets by a statutory declaration to the Speaker of Parliament who will then table all the declarations in Parliament. This should be done every year.

A copy of this declaration should be sent to the Income Tax Department so that they keep an on so-called MPs who are not serving the people but are only there to become rich the easiest way.

Not Another Chicken: Whenever I face a difficult challenge, especially the kind that appears insurmountable, I would sometimes ask myself, ‘Can I afford to chicken out of this?’ Most of the time, the answer is, ‘I cannot and should not because it is worth it’. As we get closer to March 8, I urge voters to give some thought to this question, ‘Can I chicken out on this?’ Reason is that we have chickened out for far too long in terms of challenging and overcoming the real issues of our nation.

What real issue, you may ask? Just to name a few - needs-based versus race-based policies to build the nation, elimination of corruption and elimination of poverty at the ground level. We cannot continue to have a dominant team ruling the country and the rest behaving as if they were asking for scraps from the table. How low should a person stoop? We should be like brothers and sisters eating at the same table; sharing the food equally and even stopping occasionally to ask one another if they wanted more.

That is how I eat with my parents and my siblings at table; and that is how I think our nation should behave. Without the kind of behaviour now, we will never achieve excellence in our performance and real harmony among the people even if it took another 500 years. It is time now to ask, ‘Can I afford to chicken out on this?’ There is no better opportunity than now.

Meng: If we can deny this government a two-thirds majority or even be so blessed as to have a change in government; Anwar Ibrahim must be given the credit and be given a hero’s welcome. He has worked the country up and down left and right several times over and brought the opposition together.

If he has succeeded in this mammoth task, he must be charged with the grand task of returning this country to its former glory and to reinstate the judiciary, the parliament and the police force to their proper places in the nation. We must bring the rule of law back to the country. If there is any man who can do it, I believe Anwar can. He will be able to bring this country forward to meet the new challenge.

Malaysia2d: BN ads in TVs have clearly insulting Yang Di Pertuan Agong by saying a vote for BN is equal to vote for Malaysia. Malaysia is a nation owned by all the rakyat regardless of their political affiliation under the Agong. No political party in Malaysia can claim they are representing Malaysia under whatever circumstances except the Agong and the cabinet appointed by Agong.

BN is just a political party and they have no right to claim they are representing Malaysia. Malaysia is not a communist country like China with absolute power is given to the Communist Party to rule China.

A vote for a party like BN is not equal to a vote for Malaysia. BN is challenging and insulting the legal status of the Agong as the head of Malaysia.

Hopeful Malaysian: I am encouraged that with each passing day I read of more and more readers voicing out against this despicable government. It is high time for the government’s antics be exposed and they butted out of their cushy offices. I need not state what many others have said to remind ourselves of their misdeeds led by one of the most hypocritical PMs we have ever known.

I am thoroughly amused at the Gerakan's slogan ‘Keep re-inventing’. Yeah, right. Keep reinventing lies, figures that do not add up and hoodwink their electorate for yet another term. I even see some of their hopefuls pleading ‘Please let me serve .....’

Seeing Anwar and Guan Eng addressing the huge crowd braving even the torrential rain last Saturday kindles hope for a change - send them running for it is now or never.

Keenan Ong: There are large issues at stake in this election. Do we like the direction this country is heading? Increasing Islamisation and religious intolerance. Widespread corruption. Loss of competitiveness. Increasing inflation, dwindling purchasing power. A lying prime minister. All these issues require the voter to take a macro perspective when choosing whether or not to vote for the BN. The merits of the individual BN candidate is irrelevant.

There is no power sharing between the BN parties. A vote for BN means a vote for Umno. It is really that simple! Whatever the beliefs of the individual BN candidate, once he becomes an MP, he cannot vote according to his conscience. He has to comply with the BN party whip or he will be disciplined. And guess who controls the party whip? Umno.

So, please don't be hoodwinked by the ‘new blood’ candidates fielded by the BN. The ‘new blood’ will make no impact at all. The top leadership of Umno is in control. The real question is - do you really want to vote for them and endure another four years of their brand of government?