As reported in the media, a number of UMNO figures, including Members of Parliament, have left or are allegedly planning to leave their party with the apparent view of joining Pakatan Harapan.
While their freedom of association must to be respected, including for legislators to change their alliegances, it is also important that the choice of the Malaysian voters during the last General Elections be protected.
Indiscriminately accepting defectors makes a mockery of the electoral process and will erode the credibility of our democracy.
Pakatan Harapan has the numbers to govern in Parliament. Any issue that requires a two-thirds majority only ought to be attempted via bipartisan efforts involving both the government and Opposition.
As such, I hope that no political figure from the opposition will be accepted into any Pakatan Harapan component party without the consensus and consent of its leadership, through the Presidential Council.
Also, any unjust marginalisation of opposition legislators and supporters must cease. Malaysians must be confident that we will not only be a new government, but also govern in a new manner. We need a strong Opposition to prevent past tragedies from repeating itself.
NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD KEADILAN CENTRAL LEADERSHIP COUNCIL MEMBER SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
At 36, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad is a relative veteran with a decade’s service as Seri Setia assemblyman under his belt. Now a newly-elected MP for Setiawangsa, he has not been able to resist turning briefly to an old love – that of writing. He has just published an account of the May 9 elections to go along with previous works.
PETALING JAYA (Dec 2): While institutional reform is needed in the country, the “basic bread and butter economic issues” must be prioritised to prevent backlash from the people, says Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.
“It’s about solving the basic needs of the people. You can talk about institutional reform, but if the bread and butter issues such as wages are not solved, then we will get backlash and we are already seeing signs of that,” the Member of Parliament (MP) for Setiawangsa said at the launch of his book entitled “9 May 2018: Notes from the Frontline” by PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today. The price of the book is at RM25.
Nik Nazmi said while the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition managed to secure the majority of parliamentary seats during the recent 14th general election (GE14), it did not, however, get support from certain quarters of the country and must therefore work harder to earn their trust.
“Even though we have won, we did not get a majority of support from the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, everyone knows that. We also did not get Malay support from Perlis, nor in most seats in Sabah and Sarawak. So these are the things that we need to realise and try to reach out to them,” he added.
For Nik Nazmi, GE14 was a personal milestone as he was contesting for the first time at federal level. He clinched the Parliamentary seat of Setiawangsa, the only seat in Kuala Lumpur that Barisan Nasional had never lost previously.
In his book, Nik Nazmi gave his behind-the-scenes take on the political developments in the opposition coalition from the disappointing loss of GE13 to the ecstacy win of GE14.
“I thought it was important that we document this experience and I wanted to contribute my account so that we can remind ourselves as we embark on a New Malaysia,” he said.
Recalling the fall of the Pakatan Rakyat coalition and the founding of Pakatan Harapan, he also gave his first-hand account of the back room politics, the party conferences, the development of the non-profit organisation INVOKE Malaysia, working with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as well as insight into the campaigns he worked on in Selangor and Setiawangsa, and in marginal seats from Perlis to Sabah.
Meawhile, Anwar conceded that a lot more has to be done to address the bread and butter issues, especially the poor and marginalised groups.
“Now that I am MP for Port Dickson, I see that poverty remains an issue till today. While I advocate for dismantling the New Economic Policy to create more progressive ones, many Malays in the rural areas remain suspicious of our efforts because we are not seen as creating tough measures to elevate poverty.
“But I am mindful that to succeed, we must be clear that we will work on getting rid of corruption and show more compassion towards the marginalised,” he said in his speech at the book launch.
Nik Nazmi previously served as private secretary to Anwar from 2006 to 2008. Nik Nazmi also held the position of the first Pakatan Harapan Youth Leader from 2017 to 2018 and PKR youth chief from 2014 to 2018. He was a two-term Selangor state assemblyman until 2018.
Later after the launch, Anwar urged Umno and PAS leaders not to proceed with the rally linked to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (ICERD) on Dec 8.
He said they should not deny that there was currently racial anxiety, in addition to Putrajaya having said that it had decided not to ratify the United Nations convention.
“I am asking for the wisdom of Umno and PAS leaders as we can’t deny there is racial anxiety now,” he added.
Anwar also called on leaders to show more courage to tackle racism in the country.
“The agenda of reform does not finish necessarily with a change in leadership. On May 9, Malaysians showed that they were willing to stand together to fight corruption, racism and bigotry.
“We may have won (GE14), but we must continue the fight especially with the rising racism in the West and other nations,” said Anwar.
“Yes, we have problems like with what happened (rioting) at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ25 recently. But I believe Malaysians can be better.
We should never be proud of these religious bigots, they are there waiting for the chance to screw up the nation. I believe if we remain steadfast in our conviction to our promise for reform, we can achieve justice for all,” he added.
It is well known that Muslims are required to consume halal food, meaning food and drinks which have been prepared under strict Muslim
Examples of food items which are haram include pork, lard and alcohol, as well as by-products of the subtstances like ham, bacon and liquor.
The Chinese authorities in Xinjiang have reportedly recently launched a campaign
against the “spread of halal”, claiming that the growing number of halal products is encouraging religious extremism in the heavily-controlled region.
The action of the authorities in Xinjiang is an unacceptable violation of the principle of freedom of religion. This is yet another discriminatory act that the Chinese government has visited on the Uighur Muslim peoples in Xinjiang.
We are deeply concerned by the growing level of violations against the Muslim minorities in China. States must never condone nor
advocate discrimination against any race or religion. China’s actions are a grave violation of human rights and its stated goal to be a responsible member of the international community.
The Malaysian government and international authorities must hold China to account and press it to end its reign of terror in Xinjiang.
NIK NAZMI NIK AHMAD PARTI KEADILAN RAKYAT YOUTH LEADER SETIAWANGSA MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT
KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 7 — It was a microcosm of the 14th general election come to life as PKR members in Setia Wangsa voted electronically for their next party leaders.
At the grounds of the Taman Air Panas Residents’ Association, the mood was festive as locals of all ages and from all walks of life rubbed shoulders, laughing and trading jokes.
Some wore the party blue, red and white, while others chose to come and vote in their everyday wear. Not even the threat of rain and dark clouds dampened their spirits.
A small queue could be seen in front of the association building’s porch, as party members patiently took their turn to cast their ballots on a tablet for their chosen candidates. By the day’s end, over 750 members had turned up to vote in Setia Wangsa, one of 13 divisions in the Federal Territory.
By 4.54pm, cheers erupted from some of the gathered voters as they excitedly counted down the minutes to 5pm when the polling stations closed, gleefully calling out, ‘Tutup, Tutup!’ (Close, Close!)
As the votes were being electronically tabulated, the voters then started helping with the clean-up work by sweeping the floor, stacking the chairs and clearing away tables.
Others took the opportunity to pose for group photos, and roared out enthusiastically as Setia Wangsa MP and division chief candidate Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad made an appearance.
At 6.17pm a momentary hush fell upon the crowd as the candidates were called to the front of the association building, and then they surged towards the ribboned barrier to wait expectantly for the results.
For 15 minutes the crowd waited, murmuring among themselves. By 6.32pm cheers and shouts could be heard as the winning candidates were called out.
Nik Nazmi won the Setia Wangsa division leader post with 427 votes, while Haslina Abdul Samad won the deputy division leader post with 363 votes, and Lim Yen Tiong won the vice-division leadership with 350 votes.