Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 10 Dec 2018

Since their victory at the last elections, PH has been feeding us an endless stream of distractions while not providing us an alternative political economic and socio-cultural plan that is different from BN’s. First, they put forward the mythical 1 trillion debt mountain that was used as an excuse to cut public expenditure. Well, Moody’s 2018 figures for Malaysia’s debt put it at 50.8% of our GDP and not the 85% claimed by the government. Then they continue to bash the last Prime Minister even though the big kleptocrat is already in the hands of the AG Chambers and the courts. And with the MCA reduced to just one MP in Parliament, why are they being treated as if they pose such a threat to PH?



Speech by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser at the launch of SUARAM’s Human Rights Overview Report 2018

On this Human Rights Day 2018, SUARAM asks: When will the time ever be ripe for human rights to be realised in Malaysia? Here, we pose six specific human rights questions to the new PH government which since coming to power on May 9th is developing a reputation for flip flopping over basic human rights issues. Such issues include failure to: ratify ICERD; bring back elected local government; redistribute wealth; regulate developers; commit to sustainable development and to have an accountable and effective police force. SUARAM’s Human Rights Report Overview for 2018 further calls for the abolition of detention-without-trial laws, the death penalty, the Sedition Act and the UUCA and other human rights violations that the PH government has found too convenient to use like their BN predecessors. The time never seems to be ripe for realising human rights in Malaysia…



Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 24 Jan 2018

The release of the ‘Manifesto of the 99%’ by the Left Coalition provides a stark reminder to the nation of the range of reforms that matter most for a truly just and sustainable future – not whether BN or PH wins the next election. Despite the sanctimonious reproaches by some against #Undi Rosak, PH leaders have consistently failed to tell the nation what reforms they propose that are so different from those of the BN. Let us look at how both coalitions stack up in relation to the big issues facing the nation:

  1. An end to Racism & Racial Discrimination in Malaysia:

Since Independence, the ruling coalition has unabashedly used race-based political parties – UMNO, MCA, MIC – to gain votes and popularity. Initially, PH could argue that they were above this primordial predilection, being made up of multi-ethnic parties. Now they can’t. Their new leader is from the race-pure “Parti Pribumi” party. We presume Parti Pribumi considers itself the “real” champion of the Bumiputeras in contrast to UMNO. Thus, by opportunistically embracing a supposed Malay vote catcher, PH have lost their reformist credibility or, as someone has put it recently, they have sold their soul to the devil.

As a result of this pragmatic arrangement, none of the political parties in either of the two coalitions have paid any attention to the elephant in the room, namely, the racially discriminatory New Economic Policy that was scheduled to end in 1990. Race-based policies have become the norm in this country even though they are the biggest impediment to national unity. So, BN and PH must tell us whether our “1Malaysia” will still be run on racial preference and discrimination after GE14. If not, when will such racial policies end?

The ‘Manifesto of the 99%’ calls for needs-based and not race-based policies. An Equality Act will make racially discriminatory policies a thing of the past and equality will become an intrinsic part of the Human Rights Commission. Are BN and PH committed to such a long-overdue reform?

It is time, BN and PH take human rights seriously and respect all Malaysian citizens irrespective of ethnicity, religious beliefs, gender or sexuality and we can march forward as a nation.

  1. Wealth redistribution to the 99%:

Both BN & PH are competing to see which coalition can outdo the other in neo-liberal policies that offer investors attractive opportunities that they can’t refuse. The big corporations and developers must be laughing all the way to the bank for they seem to have both coalitions in their pockets. The new leader of PH is of course none other than the Father of Neo-Liberalism himself – if that is any claim to fame – for he was the one who sold off our national assets to his crony capitalists from 1981 onwards. The leader of the Opposition called it “piratisation”.

Consequently, in the states under both BN and PH, deforestation by developers goes on uninhibited, highways, tunnels and land reclamation continue unabated without concern for the public commons and the marginalised people living there.

And while we see BN or PH shed crocodile tears over the rise in the cost of living, do we see these coalitions putting forward sound policies to redistribute wealth in this country? Do they propose progressive fiscal policies to tax the top 1% who own more wealth than the bottom 40% in our country? The wealth of the richest 50 Malaysians (top 0.00017%) amounts to nearly RM300 billion when the total government revenue is only RM180 billion! Do BN and PH put forward proposals to regulate financial transactions and to put an end to tax evasion?

  1. A just, democratic and progressive alternative

Do BN and PH promise real democracy instead of these pious commitments to periodic general elections which do not change our lives substantively? When are we going to see term limits placed on office bearers and elected representatives? There are some representatives who have been in Parliament since Independence and still try to claim indispensability. Apparently, there are not enough capable young, women or leaders from marginalised communities in this country who can replace these dinosaurs in Parliament. So what is there in this electoral circus to attract the involvement of young Malaysians?

A just, democratic and progressive alternative calls for a living wage and rights for all workers; a reasonable pension at retirement; affordable and liveable housing; free tertiary education (means tested for the well-off); formal or informal elected local government; commitment to international human rights practices and covenants.

Do we hear a call for the leaders of either coalition to debate these big issues? It is time they did!

It’s high time BN and PH tell us what we are voting for! It’s time they tell us if they subscribe to our ‘Manifesto of the 99%”. If they do not, what are we voting for in GE14?

  1. PH has destroyed the Opposition Coalition

Apart from the similarity in basic policies of BN and PH, many Malaysians who had hoped for and helped to build the Opposition coalition since the Eighties are disgusted at the way the Opposition Coalition has been callously destroyed since the so-called “Kajang Move”.  As a result, there is no one-to-one choice in the vote anymore but three-cornered and even multi-cornered fights in GE14. The name calling and general kurang ajar attitude by PH leaders against other Opposition leaders are unwarranted and serves only to disappoint former Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

Thus, besides telling us what your reformist policies are, explain to us how you have allowed this disastrous situation for the Opposition to arise in which our votes will be rendered effete in a 3-cornered or multi-cornered fight. PH should not try to blame it all on PAS because they had already made clear their intentions in constituencies such as Sg Siput and Hulu Langat where PAS is not in the picture.

So how can you blame the disaffected voters for wanting to spoil their votes? Instead of chastising these disenchanted Malaysians as if they have not thought this through, why not debate these big issues in public? With the release of this ‘Manifesto of the 99%’, we call on voters to challenge the candidates to gauge their stand on these big issues so that we know which candidate to support in any constituency. Malaysians who want real change can then vote for candidates who endorse this manifesto. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!


Press statement by Kua Kia Soong, SUARAM Adviser 9 Jan 2018

What a breath of fresh air to read Sangeet Karpal’s statement on Pakatan Harapan’s endorsement of BN 2.0 with Malaysia’s infamous autocrat as their “interim Prime Minister”:

“The fact that the opposition had no one else to choose to be prime minister showed the coalition’s lack of long-term strategy… Mahathir will be PM all over again, introducing the rebirth of Mahathirism. The focus should always be on policies and principles (not personalities) and leaders must be groomed to ensure continuity. Will we be open to working with Najib one day, should desperate circumstances demand?” she asked in a statement.

Sangeet also said that Mahathir’s apology over the Internal Security Act (ISA) and other wrongdoings during his tenure as PM was done half-heartedly:

“This is not about forgiveness. This is about accountability. Persons in positions of power should be held accountable for their actions…Equally, he should be investigated too, especially since the opposition has vowed to revamp the Attorney-General’s Chambers once in power, there should be no double standards about who should be investigated.”

She pointed out that the leaders in the opposition had remained silent in the face of Mahathir’s recent hollow “apology”. Sangeet added that DAP had always been the voice against abuse of power, freedom of the press, independence of the judiciary, sanctity of our institutions and other issues, ending her statement with:

“DAP, I can’t hear you…”

Now, how spot on is that? Does Sangeet’s statement not represent the quintessential Karpalian spirit and give us hope in human dignity? Why has the challenge to speak truth to power and to uphold the family’s dignity been taken up by some daughters and not others?

Another dignified daughter, Nurul Nuha

On 14 September 2016, the second daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, Nurul Nuha Anwar did precisely that – she felt she had to uphold her family’s dignity by demanding that former PM, Dr Mahathir apologise for ‘trumped up’ charges against her father. Nurul Nuha, 32, said that Mahathir should own up for his accusations and other actions that led to her father’s arrest and conviction for sodomy and corruption in 1998:

“As a daughter who has witnessed the countless torments my father went through the past 18 years, my personal wish would be for Dr M to publicly apologise and admit the trumped up charges.”

She suggested that an apology from Mahathir for his past transgressions against his former deputy was a prerequisite before any alliance is formed between Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) and PKR.

Can you blame her for her outburst after seeing the man who had publicly called her father a sodomiser and womaniser and morally unfit to be a leader (and Mahathir’s press conference is still there in Youtube for posterity!) become the new leader of Pakatan Harapan?

The other unspoken question for Mahathir is whether he is prepared to hand over the speculative Prime Ministership to Anwar after the latter’s release since he had previously and publicly stated that Anwar is morally unfit to be the Prime Minister? Is Mahathir now saying that Anwar is morally fit to be PM or is he saying he was wrong when he said that Anwar was unfit to be PM?

Thank goodness for daughters

After witnessing these interventions by Sangeet Karpal and Nurul Nuha Anwar at the critical junctures, I say: Thank goodness for daughters. They have proven that they still have marbles. The men seem to have lost their balls…

I have been told that since her statement, Sangeet has received brickbats from the moronic cyberpoopers who I believe, have been paid to poop all over social media for their political masters. Just ignore them Sangeet like I do. These so-called cyberpoopers are shameless cowards who can’t really read or write. They do not even dare to use their real names when they poop. For sure they will be despatched to the sewage heap of history.