Thursday, March 27, 2008

Khir praises me?

The former Menteri Besar and possible new Opposition Leader in the Selangor State Assembly, Dato Seri Dr Mohd Khir bin Toyo, praises me, inter alia, for having been an "effective opposition leader with lots of experience" in the Malaysiakini interview today.
Obviously, he has an axe to grind. He would not have had allowed me to be suspended for 30 months and the allowances be stripped off for 18 months if he had truly appreciated my role and my experience in the assembly.
Doesn't he forget that my symbolic act of protest of putting the Standing Order into the waste paper bin was done merely to protest the abuse of power by the then Speaker, Tan Sri Onn Ismail, for not allowing me to table my no confidence motion again Khir although I had duly notified the Speaker in accordance with the provisions of the Standing Order?

The report by the Malaysiakini is as follows:-

"Khir's challenge: Declare assets
Andrew Ong Mar 27, 08 3:05pm

Former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo has challenged his successor Khalid Ibrahim and his state executive councillors to declare their assets.

Mohd Khir was responding to Khalid’s recent revelation that there were reservations by some exco members on the matter.

"Before the elections, they (opposition parties) promised that they would declare their assets. I want them to declare now... if they cannot, that would be very unfortunate for the people of Selangor," said Mohd Khir during a phone interview today.

In an interview carried by Malaysiakini yesterday, Khalid said that he would "most likely" compel his exco members to declare their assets publicly.

However, he added that there were reservations by some exco members who do not want their shareholding information to be made public due to "family reasons".

Mohd Khir said that up until now, neither one of the new state governments had compelled their public office bearers to declare their assets, contrary to pledges made prior to the elections.

"All these opposition leaders should declare their assets and their debts. If they have settled their debts, tell us where the money came from," he said.

Two figures which Mohd Khir paid particular interest to, in regards to debts, was Khalid and newly appointed exco member Dr Hassan Ali.

Mohd Khir said previously, he and his exco members had to declare their assets to the Chief Secretary to the Government once every two years.

‘Inexperienced’ MB

On Khalid’s proposal to implement a RM9 monthly levy for each foreign worker in Selangor, Mohd Khir said such a scheme would come under the purview of the federal government and not the state government.

"The first thing he needs to understand is the different powers of the federal and state governments. He should also thoroughly learn the state constitution and laws.

"He has shown signs of an inexperienced menteri besar who did not investigate matters thoroughly," said the former two-term Selangor chief executive.

Khalid, who has come under fire from various groups over the proposal, had said that the RM9 levy was for the purpose of weaning employers from foreign workers.

He also proposed that the collected levy, which is estimated to reach RM150 million annually, would be used for skills training programmes for youths as a means of tackling unemployment.

On Khalid’s announcement that the new state government would pursue its predecessors ‘zero-squatters’ policy, Mohd Khir said that it was due recognition of the previous government’s policy.

"Our zero squatters policy was the best in the world. Many foreign governments had sought my help in order to emulate a similar system in their respective countries.

"PKR on the hand were playing politics. It was only after they were in power they realised what we were doing in the past," he stressed.

‘Teng sidelined’

In the case of Kampung Berembang, Khir said the state government had provided options for squatters to buy affordable and proper housing.

"Last time they were against the policy. Wan Azizah (PKR president) stayed there and gave tents to encourage the people to go against us. But now they seem to be emulating our policy," he added.

Asked about the Kampung Berembang issue, Khalid said the state government would "revisit" the issue, adding that he would try to accommodate both the wishes of the squatters as well as the developer.

Developers Perspektif Masa Sdn Bhd, in collaboration with state-owned Permodalan Nasional Selangor Bhd (PNSB), had sought to forcibly remove Kampung Berembang residents to make way for development projects last year.

Residents however are asserting claim to compensation as they have lived on the land since 1960s with consent from the Selangor government as evident in provision of electricity, water and other amenities by the authorities.

On veteran DAP opposition leader and Sungai Pinang assemblyperson Teng Chang Khim, Mohd Khir agreed that he had been sidelined in the appointment of exco positions.

"Teng is very senior and I respect him because he was a very effective opposition leader with lots of experience. In contrast, Ean Yong (Hian Wah) is only 29 years old. Why was he (Teng) sidelined?" asked Mohd Khir."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Interesting article in the Star

There is an interesting article on Selangor Menteri Besar for our pleasure of reading, in the Star today.

Monday, March 24, 2008

New era for Selangor

After 50 years of independence and 50 years under the government of Barisan Nasional, the people of Selangor will march into a new era. The new government will swear in today.
The State Executive Council consists of 10 members led by the Menteri Besar, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, will swear in before HRH Sultan of Selangor at Balairung Seri, Alam Sham Palace.
The people of Selangor has entrusted the new coalition government to run the richest state in Malaysia for the next 5 years, unless the State Assembly is dissolved earlier. It is imperative for the new government to ensure that the state is properly managed and not to repeat at any degree all the mistakes committed by the previous government.
Meanwhile, the people should also be patient to allowed changes to be made in stages. One should not expect to see results overnight as much damages had been done to the State by the previous BN government for the past 50 years. Give the new government time to bring about the changes. Be sensible and reasonable.

Friday, March 21, 2008

We will wear Songkok

It may or may not be a controversial issue but the Selangor DAP leaders, who will swear in as exco members before HRH Sultan on Monday, will wear Songkok in compliance with the palace dress code.
When the DAP was in the opposition, we had the option not to attend any official function which requires Songkok as part of the dress code. We had exercised that option. That had been the party policy for years.
However, now that the DAP is a partner of the coalition government, the DAP will have no other option but to adhere to the dress code. Otherwise, the coalition government can never be formed.
We have the mandate from the people to form a new government to bring about change to the nation. That is a historical mission given by the Malaysians to the DAP first time after 50 years of independence. That is our priority now.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't simply blame

Someone blamed me for not taking the initiative to advise our Selangor State Assemblyperson on the dress code when seeking audience with HRH Sultan.
Well, I must say again that we must get the facts right before making any conclusion.
Like Raja Petra, I knew about the said assemblyperson wearing pants from the photograph published in the media. That was after the event. I did not see her before she went to the palace. How could I advise her? How could I reasonably presume that she, being the third-term Member of Parliament, did not know the protocol?

Clarification on songkok

I do not intend to discuss the issue of songkok at this juncture but I need to clarify a question raised here.
It is not a requirement to wear songkok in the Chamber of the State Assembly for swearing-in ceremony, annual openning ceremony or meeting. It is only a requirement in the palace when seeking audience or attending function, except the state dinner or black tie dinner. This requirement has been made compulsory by HRH Sultan sometime in 2002.
I wish to emphasize again that this issue has not been an issue with the delay, if any, of the formation of the new coalition government now. Everything is in the progress.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Beware of the BN controlled media

Yes, I forgot to remind Raja Petra and his readers. Please beware of the BN-controlled media for digging up and pittiing the old issues, including the Songkok issue, against us. Seek clarification among us, since we are in the same boat, before putting anything into writing. That will help to reduce unnecessary controversy.

Raja Petra must learn how to get facts right

Raja Petra made scathing remarks on me in Malaysia-Today.
Although I am in the rush to go to Penang now, I have to respond immediately.
Firstly, I did not organize any demonstration to pressurize the DAP into making me the Deputy Menteri Besar of Selangor. I do not know how did Raja Petra gather the information that I had done that. If he likes rumours and then to rumour, then that is what he is worth.
There were some gatherings organized by voters and local leaders in Klang to express their views and support for me. They have their democratic right to do so but I have nothing to do with those activities.
Of course, someone will say, "surely you must be the mastermind". Well, can someone teach me how to prove that I have nothing to do with those activities? I really do not know how.
Secondly, I did not boycott it when HRH Sultan granted audience to the DAP respresentatives recently. I was not directed by the party to seek audience with the Sultan. How could I boycott when I was even not directed to be present?
I was also not invited to attend the swearing in of the new Menteri Besar recently. There was nothing I could boycott when I was not even invited. Doesn't Raja Petra know the basic palace protocol that one will not attend any function in palace if not invited.?
Anyway, I agree, and perhaps I am the only one in the DAP who noticed that the DAP state assemblywoman was not in compliance with the palace protocol by wearing pants in seeking audience. If she had cunsulted me beforehand, I would have had advised her accordingly.
Thirdly, the issue of non Malays wearing songkok is a separate issue that has nothing to do in the present forming of the new government. The delay, if any, in forming the new Selangor state government has nothing to do at all with the issue of Songkok. It has been a party policy and needs to be deliberated in view of the new development. In any event, it will not be an issue that deters the swearing in of the new line-up. I will further discuss the issue when I come back from Penang on Monday. We, in the DAP, know the larger picture that emerges.
Meanwhile, Raja Petra and the readers of Malaysia-today should also learn to be patient to find out the truth before jumping up and down on rumuors. Yes, they also have to learn before teaching others.

Friday, March 14, 2008

I am not in the fight

I have been keeping a low profile in the past few days in the midst of various speculations.
My fellow Malaysian, Wan, whom I do not know personally, emailed me and said he needed to hear my side of story. I agree with him that I should say something to clear the air.
It has been reported in the local media that Ronnie Liu (Selangor DAP State Assemblyman for Pandamaran), Teresa Kok (Selangor DAP State Assemblyperson for Kinrara) and I have been fighting for the position of Deputy Chief Minister (Timbalan Menteri Besar) in the new Selangor state government.
I just want to state categorically that, as far as I am concerned, I am not in the fight, if there is one. I did not make even a call to the party leadership to lobby or to offer myself for the position. I leave it entirely to the wisdom of the party leadership.
Some comrades in the party feel that I am qualified for the job. They are entitled to have their own opinions. Some local leaders have expressed support for me to hold the post. They are also entitled to their opinions. Some opinion makers opined that I am eligible for the job. They are also equally entitled to hold that opinion. Nevertheless, that does not necessary mean that I am involved in the fight for the post.
I have made myself clear to the public that I uphold the Confucian teaching, "不患无位,患所以立“, that literally means "do not worry about having no position, do worry about having no capability". If I am offered, I will take up the job. If I am not offered, so be it. Nothing more and nothing less.
I did not intend to join the DAP for an official appointment 18 years ago. Otherwise, I would not have had joined the DAP.
However, I must also express my gratitute to all friends, known and unknown, for their good words and support for me.
I will do my best for whatever entrusted unto me. I am not invloved in any fight for the post.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Fresh from Sungai Pinang: I won by 7,164 votes

From the result reported to my operation centre, I have won Sungai Pinang state seat by a majority of 7,164 votes, subject to official announcement.
In 2004, I won by a majority of 3,613 votes.
Mission accomplished!

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 13: Polling over, counting on

Unlike the last general election where there was an extension of 2 hours after poll closed at 5.00 pm in all the Selangor polling centres, the polling centres closed at 5 pm sharp today.
No serious incident occured in Selangor today. Polling centres in Sungai Pinang were also calm except that there was a complaint in Sekolah Kebangsaan Rantau Panjang where in one of the streams, the SPR officers asked all the counting agents to stay outside as they wanted to go for prayer. After the counting agents left the classroom, 2 of the officers went inside to switch off the light.
Well, there is no provision in the election rule to allow the SPR officer to close the classroom for prayer. We will reserve our right to lodge an officel complaint.

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 12: Things go smooth in the morning

All things seem to be smooth this morning when the voters went to their respective polling stations this morning to decide the fate of the country for the next 50 years, in north Klang where the Sungai Pinang state constituency is.
However, I was quite disgusted with what my opponent and his agents had done. They had put up banners at all the polling stations attacking my character.
When confronted this morning at the Klang High School, his agent, Tan Yoke Soon, denied having done that. However, when the SPR officer ordered that the banner without any party's symbol be taken down, he had pushed me to prevent me from removing the banner.
A few Chinese press photographers at the scene had captured the moment when he physically prevented me from taking down the banner.
My campaign volunteers had in the past 13 days pulled down about 20 such bannners which were put up in Klang down. Last night, a group of gangster had put up those banners at the polling stations and guarded them until this morning. When my campaign volunteers attempted to remove the banners, they were warned that they would be bashed if they did so.
When I visited the polling station at the Pin Hwa School, I observed that a few groups of my opponent's campaginers were thuggish when canvassing for votes outside the polling station. We had decided not to canvass outside our own booth to avoid untoward incident.
This is my first experiece dealing with thugs in all my four attempts in the general election.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 11: 5 ceramah a night

I broke my own record of attending 5 ceramah a night, last night, when I successfully went to 2 places in Kajang, Kampung Baru Subang, SS2 Petaling Jaya and Kompleks Sukan Pandamaran Klang to deliver my speech.
The first in Kajang is in support of the PKR state candidate for Kajang, Lee Kin Sin, my old friend. I then went to another constituency within Kajang town to speak for the DAP Parliamentary candidate for Serdang, Teo Nie Ching. The response was very good.
From Kajang, I went to Kampung Baru Subang to support the PSM state candidate, Dr Nasir Hashim, who is contesting under the ticket of the PKR. I have been working with Dr Nasir and his comrades in the PSM for many years to defend the right of the squatters. I hope he will make it this time.
I had to leave for SS2 PJ after 20 minutes as I was running out of time. Upon arriving SS2, near the famous Chow Yang restaurant, I had to speak to about 3,000 people. The crowd were fantastic. I believe the DAP will win with flying colours this time in PJ Utara.
I was supposed to attend a ceramah at Batu 2, Jalan Kapar, within my constituency. However, I received a call informing me that the event had ended just as I arrived in Klang. I then diverted to Kompleks Sukan Pandamaran to speak for our Klang candidates.
I arrived at about 11.30 pm and there were still 2,000 people waiting for me. I spoke for an hour and ended at 12.30 am. Believe it or not, this is the second time in a week that I spoke until 12.30 am.
The crowd was simply amazing. They were so patient to listen to our speeches. Although the MCA and Gerakan are very strong here, I still believe that we can make a breakthrough here.
In any event, I had. I attended 5 ceramah in a night!
Today, I will be at Kuchai Lama, Seputeh, Sunway, Klang and Old Klang road in Lembah Pantai.

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 10: I attended 4 ceramah

On 5.3.2008, I attended the 4 ceramah in Pandan Indah to support the DAP state candidate, Lee Ying Ha, and PKR Parliamentary candidate, Syed Shahrir. For the first time I saw the people in Pandan were so excited to listen to all the speakers. I think Ying Ha had a good chance while Syed will have to work very hard as he is facing the strong figure from the MCA, Ong Tee Kiat.
I then rushed to Petaling Utama to suppport PKR Parliamentary candidate for PJ Selatan.
After a short speech of about 15 minutes, I sped to Rantau Panjang which is a Malay kampung within my constitutency to address the people.
Thereafter, I went to Hin Hwa School in Klang where the DAP Parliamentary and state candidates held their ceramah with Lim Kit Siang as the main speaker. I did not speak there as the time had passed 12.00 am when Kit Siang finished his speech. There were about 12,000 people attending the ceramah.

Fresh from Sungai Piang 9: Penang breaks the record

The DAP Penang ceramah broke the DAP Klang ceramah record in collecting fund. The new record is RM123,000.00. This will be a very difficult figure to break in this election campaign by any other ceramah.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 8: New record, Klang collected RM63,000

Yes! Klang people want to lead.

Our ceramah last night at the Klang Hokkien Association Hall collected from the floor a total of RM63,000.00 for our election fund. This is a new record for the DAP collection from a single ceramah function.
The crowd patiently listen to 10 speakers, namely, S. Manikavasagam (PKR Parliamentary candidate for Kapar), Ng Suee Lim (DAP state candidate for Sekinchan), Goh Leong San (DAP state candidate in Melaka), Lew Ah Kim (DAP former MP for Seputeh), Azmin Ali (PKR Parliamentary candidate for Gombak), Charles Santiago (DAP Parliamantary candidate for Klang), Lau Dak Kee (DAP former MP for Ipoh), Lee Su Chin (committee member of Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall), Goh Kian Seng (Principal of Confusian Chinese Independant Secondary School, Kuala Lumpur) and I from 8.00 pm to 12.30 am. The police did not interrupt.
More than 6 thousand peope packed the hall and another 1,500 followed the event by watching the screen outside the hall.
For tonight, I will be at Pandan Indah, Petaling Utama, Rantau Panjang and Hin Hua School Klang.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 7: 4 ceramah a night in Johor

I set my record of attending 4 ceramah a night from north Johor to south Johor last night.
I arrived at the DAP-PKR joint operation center, probably first of its kind, at Tangkak at about 6.30 pm and spoke to about 200 people before the sunset. The crowd was responsive despite its small number.
I left immediately for Yong Peng and was greeted by about 300 enthusiastic crowd at about 8.00 pm. It was unusual for this small town of about 20 km away from my hometown, Batu Pahat.
The voters here had been voting for Barisan Nasional since independence. A traditional agricultural community, Yong Peng is relatively a conservative town and, thus, the turn out last night was encouraging.
I then rushed to Skudai and reached there at about 9.45 pm. Almost 2,ooo people were there at the open space sandwiched between 2 rows of flats. The crowd were extremely excited. Our candidate, Dr Boo Cheng Hau, is very likely to make it this time after the 2 previous defeats.
After Skudai, I went to Pekan Nenas to speak to about 200 people at about 11.15 pm. For a small town, the attendance was considered good especially at late night.
To night, I have a grand ceramah at the Klang Association Hall and look forward to breaking the record of collection from Klang people in a ceramah. Azmin Ali, PKR Vice President cum candidate for Gombak Parliamentary constituency, Goh Leong San, DAP candidate in Melaka, Lew Ah Kim, DAP ex-MP, Lau Dak Kee, DAP ex-MP, and all the DAP candidates in Klang will be the speakers.

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 6: Melaka set the new record

My comrade from Melaka, John Lim, called me last night to show off again. Their ceramah last night set a new record of collecting RM50,000 from the 10,000-people crowd at Pey Fong School.

Melaka is now leading.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 5: USJ people surprised me

I was surprised to see about 6,000 people turned up at the DAP ceramah at USJ 12 last night. This was so far the largest ceramah crowd I had seen in this election. The ceramah was held at the field of USJ 12.
DAP cadidate for Subang Jaya, Hannah Yeoh, also surprised me with her oratory skill. For a fresh candidate of her young age, she was simply impressive.
I am very opstimistic about the election in Subang Jaya for the DAP.
Before I left for USJ 12, I spoke to a small crowd of about 250 people at my operation centre for the local. Thereafter, I went to Tien Hock Temple at Port Klang within the Pandamaran state constituency where more than 2,000 exciting crowd were there repsonding to every sentence we spoke. As I had to rush to Subang Jaya, I spoke only for about 15 minutes.

The support in Klang had obviously increased.

I will go to the Melaka ceramah tonight. May be I would help them to increase the donation from the ceramah crowd.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Fresh from Sungai Pinang 4: Melaka ceramah collected RM24,000

I was about to take my bath at about 2.00 am this morning after attending the dinner in Sekinchan and after a brief meeting at the DAPKlang Utara branch when I received the call from Sdr John Lim, DAP candidate for a state seat in Melaka.
I thought he wanted to remind me of the Melaka ceramah to be held at Pey Fong School on 2.3.2008 which I had agreed to attend. In fact, he just wanted to show off that the Melaka DAP ceramah last night had collected more than RM24,000 from the floor, this breaking my record of RM19,000 collected at the Klang ceramah on 27.2.2008. They were so proud to 'defeat' me.
Well, anyway, congratulation to DAP Melaka!
The feed-back from the ground is that SimTong Him is on his way to win Kota Melaka.

Fresh from Sungai Pinang: 2000 attended Sekinchan dinner

The fund raising dinner organized by the DAP Sekinchan branch in support of Sdr Ng Suee Lim, DAP candidate for Sekinchan state seat, attracted more than 2,000 people. There were 1,600 who bought tickets to attend the dinner, a record for DAP Sekinchan, held in front of the DAP Sekinchan branch office while others were by-standers who attracted by the eloquent speakers, DAP Kota Melaka Parliamentary candidate, Sdr Sim Tong Him, DAP Kg Tunku state candidate, Lau Weng Sang, Sdr Ng and I.
The crowd also donated a sum of RM8,000 for the election campaign fund.

Looking at the response, Suee Lim should be able to retain the seat for the DAP.