DAP will start 'Ubah Networks' , a programme to garner additional support from over 500,000 Malaysians eligible to vote overseas.
A scheme to "garner.... support" from "Malaysians eligible to vote overseas" has a long-term objective, looking towards GE 14.
As I see it there are three issues relating to this Ubah Network: the numbers game, the chosen ones and "the serial liars".
Let's look at three sources.
Firstly, according to myoverseasvote.org the Electoral Commission reported that only 6,298 Malaysians overseas registered to be postal voters. Of course it was all to be blamed on the EC for 'deliberately' limiting the numbers of postal voters. Read: myoverseasvote.org/page2/
According to this website Malaysians in Singapore, Brunei, Kalimantan and southern Thailand were prevented from registering. The biggest losers according to them were the "400,000 Malaysians living in Singapore, or 40 % of overseas Malaysians". Anyway what's to stop Malaysians from nipping across the Causeway in their tens of thousands like they do for Chinese New Year, Hari Raya and Deepavali?
Secondly, an article by Leong Sze Hian in Malaysiakini reports : See : leongszehian.com/?p=4438
The Singapore Census of Population 2010 Advance Census Release revealed some surprising statistics about Malaysians in Singapore.
It says about 1 in 4 ( 23 per cent) of the resident population - Singaporeans and permanent residents (PRs) - were not born in Singapore. Of that 23 per cent, about half (45 per cent) were from Malaysia.
Leong further added -
What the census does not say is how many of the 386,000 Malaysian-born residents are Singapore citizens and how many are PRs.
Thirdly, Philip Schellekens, a senior economist in the World Bank ( See: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/nep-brain-drain-holding-back-malaysia-says-world-bank ) stated that :
More than one million Malaysians live abroad.
He added :
Migration is very much an ethnic phenomenon in Malaysia, mostly Chinese but also Indian.
With regards to Singapore:
Singapore has absorbed 57 per cent of Malaysia's overseas citizens, with almost 90 per cent of those crossing the border ethnic Chinese.
All of the above figures can look very confusing. However, one can deduce that:
1. There are one million Malaysians abroad, mostly Chinese and some Indians. But of these 1 million, what percentage of them are eligible voters and not citizens of the country they are residing in? Malaysia, Singapore and several western countries like UK do not accept Dual Nationality.
2. The vast majority ( 90 percent ) of Malaysians working in Singapore are Chinese.
3. According to Leong the figure of 386,000 Malaysian born residents in Singapore does not clarify how many are Singapore citizens and thus not eligible to vote.
4. myoverseasvote.com claims that 400,000 of Malaysians living in Singapore or 40 percent of Malaysians overseas were prevented from voting. How many of them are still holding their Malaysian passports and Identity Cards?
With all these numbers swirling around, how did MI and DAP arrive at the figure of 500,000 Malaysians overseas "who are eligible to vote"?
THE CHOSEN ONES
According to the Ubah Network, set up to gain "support from over 500,000 of Malaysians eligible to vote overseas", the Network "seeks to channel concerns of Malaysians overseas especially in Singapore, Europe, the US, and Australia".
But why only "Malaysians overseas, especially in Singapore, Europe, US and Australia" ? What about Malaysians overseas in Egypt, Indonesia, India, Russia, China? Will they be courted and wooed assiduously by DAP's Ubah Network? Or are the latter 5 countries the wrong sort of "Malaysians overseas", like of the wrong hue, wrong language and lack financial clout?
If the above countries represent the core of DAP's clientele, what kind of 'Ubah' are they pursuing? Certainly the beneficiaries of this change will be well-heeled and well-serviced English-speaking ( albeit with an accent ) urbanites.
If, with the support of these western-based expatriate Malaysians overseas, the DAP/Pakatan succeed in wresting the reins of power from BN, will these professionals ( medical, and IT specialists and engineers etc) "jom, balik kampung" to contribute to the well-being and development of the Rakyat, including those living in the rural areas? Or will they prefer to remain ensconced in their comfort zones in the cool climes of US, Europe and Australia and pontificate about freedom, democracy and social justice in "my beloved country" from a distance? As for the Malaysians overseas in Singapore they will certainly stay put - at the current exchange rate, they would be fools to leave!
It's hard to predict how these "500,000 eligible voters" will respond because we don't really know why and how they chose to migrate to these comfortable watering holes. Is it for love or for money? The Malaysians overseas in Singapore are there because the exchange rate more than doubles the size of their earnings and the movement of Singaporeans into Malaysia to work is not such a rarity.
On the other hand, these "500,000 eligible voters" have the power of money to sustain and maintain the flight of the Rocket, or at the very least, provide very articulate and very loud moral support. This will not be dissimilar to those Friends of Israel residing outside of Israel.
As for this magic word 'Ubah" what is DAP's blueprint for change? Will it take the shape of what they idealise as their chosen society - that of Singapore? What if 'Ubah' means this, as in Singapore?
Extract from the Singapore Straits Times, 4 June 2013.
Earlier last week, the Media Development Authority (MDA) introduced a new licensing framework for news websites.
Under the new rules, sites which report an average of at least one article per week on Singapore news and current affairs over a period of two months, and reach at least 50,000 unique visitors from Singapore each month over a period of two months, must apply for an individual licence.
MDA has said that the rules ........ are designed to give parity to regulations concerning mainstream and online media
If this is applicable in Malaysia, the Malaysian Insider will be subject to the same regulations as Utusan Malaysia, Lim Kit Siang's bete noir .
But it all depends on the timing. If this happens under BN, there would be mayhem in the media and in the streets.
Lucky old Singapore can get away with it but Malaysia "Mana Boleh"?
THE SERIAL LIARS
The final paragraphs of this MI news reported :
Lim Kit Siang was reported on Wednesday accusing Utusan Malaysia of hiring a team of "serial liars"to help the newspaper in its alleged role as the mouthpiece for UMNO's "DDD Brigade", a campaign he claimed was masterminded by the ruling party to destroy the DAP.
The 4 categories of "serial liars"in Utusan Malaysia (UM) are (1) editorial ranks of the paper, (2) former DAP leaders, (3) a group of BN party hacks and (4) "guest serial liars" - LKS's term for Utusan's pro-UMNO guest columnists.
It looks like in LKS's Little Red Rocket Book, anyone who criticises DAP is a "serial liar". That must also include the ex-DAP leader and founder of the Malaysian chapter of Transparency International Tunku Abdul Aziz, who was reportedly offered a bribe of 50,000MYR to persuade him to stay. Only last week Tunku Aziz reported receiving a death threat by phone.
As for "serial liars" in Utusan coming from ex-DAP leaders, LKS cannot complain. DAP's/Pakatan's biggest catch is their own leader, ex-UMNO Dato Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim. Would they call him a "serial liar".
Remember what George Bush said about the 2003 Invasion of Iraq? "If you're not with us, you're against us". And so, according to LKS, any Malay who speaks up for his fellow Malays is pro-UMNO and hence anti-DAP - with an avowed wish to exterminate the DAP.
However DAP is not averse in citing The Economist ( which had once been successfully sued by Lee Kuan Yew for lying about his family). This paper's credentials should be taken with a large dollop of salt. After all, the accusations of cronyism and corruption that The Economist throws at Malaysia and UMNO are nothing compared to those circulating around the British establishment of which The Economist is such a hallowed part. See : www.counterpunch.org/2013/05/17/the-descent-of-britain/
Aaahhhh - the plot thickens ......
Utusan Malaysia, according to LKS is "the mouthpiece of UMNO".
LKS's rant on the relationship between UM and UMNO is old hat. That's nothing new. The British Conservative Party is supported by The Telegraph, the Mail and the Daily Express, while the Daily Mirror is a hardcore Labour Party supporter.
|Blue is Conservative, Red is the Labour Party and yellow is Lib-Dem|
In the US, the Washington Post is for the Democratic Party and the Washington Times is Republican. In China, Renmin Ribao (Peoples Daily) is the organ newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party. As for Singapore, self-censorship is an acquired skill and habit.
Utusan Malaysia has never deceived anyone about its beginnings, as a paper speaking for the Malays even before the DAP saw the light of day. There are also Chinese and Tamil language papers speaking for Chinese and Tamil rights.
Utusan Malaysia is no clone of any foreign political party and certainly no running dog of any external interests. Shall we instead query the pedigree of DAP and its audience - of how the lightning became the rocket - just a touch of political cosmetic surgery?
More relevant is this question. If the DAP is innocent of any connection with any mainstream paper in Malaysia, how did they manage to co-ordinate and organise massive Chinese support at home and abroad to gain their seats and keep Penang and Selangor under the Rocket?
For every "serial liar" in the form of party hacks and guest columnist in Utusan Malaysia, you can find the same DAP lackeys in the website papers, the same 'hacks' from the NGOs, from the yellow and black T-shirts Brigade, the neo-liberals and racist-extremists. But I would not describe them as "serial liars". They know what they are doing and how to get there!
No, they are far more slick and sophisticated in putting the knife in and blurring the line between fact and opinion.
JUST A BIT ON THE SIDE
An extract from Hui Mei Liew Kaiser (April 18, 2013). http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2013/04/18/why_i_m_flying_back_to_malaysia_to_vote
(The underlined parts are my own)
Amongst other stories of Malaysians overseas speeding home to vote, she mentioned that the local branch of Bersih in Shanghai has initiated a "Go back to vote campaign" that is offering 500 renminbi (about $82) for airfare to Malaysians in the city who might not be able to afford the trip home ....Bersih's Hong Kong chapter has launched a similar campaign, offering 500 Hong Kong dollars (about $60) towards a plane ticket".
Note : 500 renminbi = 256 MYR and 500 Hong Kong dollars = 202 MYR