BORNEO TODAY INDEX

Sunday, March 9, 2008

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-MUSA LEADS STATE BN TO REPEAT LANDSLIDE VICTORY

MUSA LEADS STATE BN TO REPEAT LANDSLIDE VICTORY

KOTA KINABALU:
Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman and State Umno chief Datuk Seri Musa Aman led the State Barisan Nasional to a repeat of a virtual clean sweep of all the parliamentary and state seats in the 12th General Election yesterday. Sabah BN took 24 of the 25 parliamentary seats, losing only Kota Kmabalu to the DAP. For the 60 state seats, the State BN only lost Sri Tanjung to DAP. Musa who retained the Sungai Sibuga state seat with an increased majority, hoped the lost seats would be well taken care of by the winners. “I hope they will be a responsible opposition,” he said after announcing the State coalition’s two-thirds majority win yesterday. DAP candidate Dr Hiew King Cheu won the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat after 15 years of struggle with 9,464 votes, beating BN candidate Chin Teck Ming who collected 8,420 votes. The BN candidate for Sri Tanjong, Samson Chin, also lost the seat to DAP’s Jimmy Wong. “Our victory shows that the people of Sabah are confident with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s leadership and believe that only BN can bring continuous development to the nation,” he said at his official residence in Sri Gaya. Musa said he was satisfied with the State BN’s performance, attributing it to the hard work of all the supporters and the efficiency of their election machinery. On the victory of BN in Kuala Penyu, Musa replied: “We believe that the people in the constituency have realised that only the ruling coalition can offer them continuous development. Our victory in Kuala Penyu will not only benefit the district but also the State.”

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-HISTORIC MILESTONE FOR UPKO AS PARTY SWEEPS ALL 10 SEATS

HISTORIC MILESTONE FOR UPKO AS PARTY SWEEPS ALL 10 SEATS

PENAMPANG:
Barisan Nasional (BN) made a clean sweep of all three seats under the Penampang parliamentary constituency. Making a victorious comeback after serving two terms as Ranau member of parliament, Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok led the charge winning the Penampang parliamentary seat by a 3,063-vote majority. The former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department earned a. total of 13,400 votes to beat Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate Dr Edwin Bosie who finished a close second with 10,337 votes, and two other candidates. The other candidates, Dr Anthony Tibok and Willybroad Missih received 696 and 404 votes respectively. The Kepayan state seat meanwhile was retained by BN-MCA incumbent Datuk Edward Khoo, who received 6,162 votes to win by a 2,062-vote majority over DAP’s Stephen Jimbangan who garnered 4,100 votes and Datuk Chau Chin Tang of Keadilan who received 3,658 votes. Outgoing Penampang par1iamentary incumbent Donald Mojuntin on the other hand saw success in Moyog, winning with a 2,685-vote majority. He garnered 6,782 votes in the state constituency, while Keadilan’s Moris Miji received 4,097 votes and Willybroad received 166 votes. Upko also achieved a historical milestone yesterday, as all 10 of its candidates contesting four parliamentary and six state seats emerged victorious in their respective constituencies. Joining Dompok and Donald in the victory march were parliamentary candidates Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing(Tuaran), Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (Putatan) and Datuk Siringan Gubat (Ranau) and state candidates Masiung Banah (Kuamut), John Teo (Kuala Penyu), Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin (Paginatan), Justin Guka (Bingkor) and Datuk Bobbey Suan (Nabawan). Dompok, when met at his residence in Nampasan, said he was happy to be back in Penampang, and he pledged to pick up from where he left off in developing the district and its people. “I want to continue some of the outstanding development projects, all the construction and above all I think there is a need to focus on certain things like human resource development,” he said. “I hope to sit down with the people here in order to sort out what is the best way to achieve the best for this constituency,” he said. On the clean sweep by Upko candidates, Dompok said it is important for all the winners to work hard to ensure they can deliver on the promises made to their respective constituents. “The pledges by the BN have to be carried out and we are here to ensure that what has been pledged by the BN will be carried out by the Government. “Everyone will have to work hard with their heart and mind in order that their constituencies will prosper under the BN Government, and I think the people ask for nothing less than that,” he said. When asked to comment on the fall of veteran BN leaders such as Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, Dompok said it may require a review on how the coalition implements its policies. “This emphasises that the non- Malay population in this country has something to say to the Government. It is very loud and clear and I think we must play our part, seeing as the PM (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) said that everyone will have a place under the Malaysian sun,” he said.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-YEE SURVIVES SCARE; LIEW ACCEPTS DEFEAT

Yee survives scare; Liew accepts defeat

KOTA KINABALU:
BN-PBS incumbent Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai survived a scare in the Api-Api state constituency, winning by a slim 174-vote majority. Returning Officer Alijus Sipil announced close to midnight that Yee polled 3,419 votes to edge Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s (PKR) Christina Liew who garnered 3,245 votes. Yee’s majority this time is a far cry from his 2,933-vote majority in the 2004 general election. Liew admitted that she was unlucky not to receive many from the postal votes. “I have nine and Yee has 400.. .around that number,” she said as she accepted the defeat with an open heart. Liew had asked for a re-count prior to the announcement of the result but withdrew it at the last minute. “I was told that I was leading in the State seat and even Parliamentary seat and that is why I’m here (Maksak Hall),” she said. “But, at the end of the day, I did not. If you look at it, I’m well under the four percent and by right I can ask for a recount and I did. “However, after consulting my constitutional lawyer, I did not pursue. I accept the defeat and I think the people have chosen BN to lead them for another five years.. .I respect the decision and the privilege should go to Yee,” Liew said. Liew went on to say that Yee should be given time to get on with his task and let the people judge him. Nevertheless, Liew lamented that the failure to reach an agreement with other opposition parties on seat allocations had cost them dear in the 12th General Election. “We just missed a golden opportunity,” she added, while congratulating DAP candidate Hiew King Chew for winning the Kota Kinabalu Parliamentary seat.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008- BN LEADS WITH 51 SEATS IN JOHOR

BN leads with 51 seats in Johor

JOHOR BARU:
The Barisan Nasional was leading in 51 of the 56 state seats in Johor at press time. It was trailing only in two parliamentary and five state seats. There are 26 parliamentary seats and 56 state seats. The opposition is leading in the parliamentary seats of Kluang and Bakri and the state seats of Skudai, Bentayan, Mengkibol, Senai and Sungai Abong. In its best showing in the state, the DAP looks set to capture four state seats while Pas, which had been humiliated in other parts of Johor in the past, is leading in Sungai Abong. In the Skudai state constituency, state DAP chairman Dr Boo Cheng Hau is leading against Johor Gerakan chairman Datuk Teo Kok Chee by nearly 5,000 votes.
Except in 2004 when Pas won a seat by default, the BN has made a clean sweep since 1990. Unofficial results in the Bentayan, Senai and Mengkibol state seats show DAP leading by slim margins. Two opposition candidates lost their deposits in Tanjong Surat and Penawar. PKR’s Razak Isa lost his deposit when he only polled 1,279 votes to BN’s Datuk Harun Abdullah, who received 10,487 votes, in Tan- Jung Surat. In Penawar, BN’s Hamimah Mansor defeated Pas’ Md Pai- mon Jasimin. Hamimah polled 11,466 votes to Paimon’s 1,364 votes. MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting beat DAP’s Ng Pak Siong by 11,744 votes. Ong garnered 32,017 votes to Ng’s 20,273.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008- NEGRI MCA LOSES FIVE SEATS

Negri MCA loses five state seats

SEREMBAN:
The state MCA received a major setback when it lost five state seats to the DAP while Umno lost three state seats to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Pas. In Rembau, Unmo youth deputy chief, Khairy Jamaluddin won the parliamentary seat of Rembau, polling 26,525 votes against Badrul Hisham Shaharin of Parti Keadilan Rakyat who received 20,779 votes. Khairy won by a 5,746 majority. State Barisan Nasional chairman and Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan also successfully defended his Rantau state seat by a 3,788 majority when he polled 7,739 votes against PKRs Aishah Lamsah’s 3,956. In Tampin, Deputy Energy, Water and Communications Minister, Datuk Shahziman Abu Mansor retained his parliamentary seat by polling 24,022 votes against Pas’ Abdul Razakek Abdul Rahim who managed 10,943 votes. In the Jelebu parliamentary constituency, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister, Datuk Dr Rais Yatim won with a 11,610 majority. He garnered 19,737 votes against Norman Ipin of Pas who got 8,127 votes. The Nilai state seat which was held by state executive councillor, Datuk Peter Lai Yit Fee of the MCA fell to the DAP’s Yap Yew Meng who polled 6,755 votes against Lai’s 4,861, while Temiang went to Ng Chin Tsai (DAP) who polled 4,290 against Jason Lee Kee Chong’s 2,952.
In Repah, the MCA suffered a shock defeat when lawyer, S. Veerapan of the DAP defeated Yap Seong Fook by a 553 majority, while state DAP chairman Anthony Loke Siew Fook retained Lobak with a strong 6,928 majority over Siow Koi Voon (MCA). The party also lost the Bahau state seat to the DAP Unmo lost its traditional Sikamat and Ampangan state seats by slim majority with Datuk Mohd Yusof Harmain Shah (Umno) polling 5,537 against PKR’s Aminuddin Harun’s 6,036 for the Sikamat seat and Mohd Nor Awang (Umno) polling 5,514 against Rashid Latiff (PKR) who secured 5,679 votes. Paroi, which is a state seat created after the redelineation in 2004, was won by state Pas youth chief, Mohd Taufek And Ghani who polled 9,473 votes against Umno’s Datuk Zaharudin Mohd Shariff who managed to get 8,316 votes. Mohd Taufek won with a 1,107 majority. Elsewhere, Umno’s sole woman candidate, Zainab Nasir beat Pas’ Mohd Ali Maarof by a 7,965 majority. She polled 10,811 against Mohd Ali’s 2,846 votes for the Gemas state seat. In Juasseh, Mohd Razi Khali (Umno) defeated Ghazali Othman (PKR) by a 2,068 majority, while in Chembong, Zaifulbahri Idris (Umno) clinched a 4,073 majority over Pas’ Zakaria Dahlan. Umno’s Datuk Mohd Kamil Abdul Aziz defeated Zakaria Khalim from Pas for the Gemenceh state seat by polling 6,600 votes against Zakaria’s 33,95. Umno also won all state seats under the Jelebu and Kuala Pilah parliamentary constituencies.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008- DAP WINS BANDAR KUCHING

DAP wins Bandar Kuching
KUCHING:
The DAP retained its Bandar Kuching seat with a larger majority this time round. Its state secretary, Chong Chien Jen, trounced his Barisan Nasional opponent Alan Sim Yaw Yen by 9,952 votes. The winner polled 22,901 votes to Sim’s 12,949 votes. The voter turnout was 35,850, or 68.13 per cent, in the Chinese-majority urban seat of 53,216 voters. As an unknown in the 2004 election, Chong had won by only 2,041 votes when he defeated Wee Kok Tiong to wrest the seat back from the BN. Chong’s win yesterday was also a record of sorts as it was the largest margin of victory secured in the constituency. “I didn’t expect such a big victory. Chong said as he made his way to the tallying centre at the Dewan Masyarakat in Padungan here to hear the official declaration of results. Sim, who was shocked by the margin of defeat, said it came as a surprise even though he had gone into the race as the underdog. His mood was in contrast to that in the morning while visiting the polling centre. When asked- about his chances of winning then, he had said: 1 have a good feeling about this and I hope my feeling is correct. Sarawak United People’s Party central working committee member. Lily Yong, said the people had sent a “strong message to the government with the defeat.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008- CHINESE VENT THEIR FRUSTRATION

Chinese vent their frustration

A GROUNDSWELL of discontent among Chinese voters sent MCA and Gerakan packing in many seats in this election. Political analysts estimated the swing to be significant, by about 20 per cent, leading to the fall of the Gerakan-led Penang government. The two members of the Barisai Nasional lost their seats mainly to the DAP, which registered one of its most impressive performances in the history of the country’s elections. Among the big name casualties from Gerakan were its acting president, Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, who lost in Batu Kawan, and Datuk Seri Chia Kwang Chye, who lost Bukit Bendera to DAP’s Liew Chin Tong. MCA’s Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Petaling Jaya Utara incumbent was unseated by DAP’s Tony Pua and Kota Melaka incumbent Wong Nai Chee by DAP’s Sim Tong Him. The swing was evident, going by the massive majorities garnered by DAP candidates. Seputeh incumbent Teresa Kok swept to victory with an unprecedented 36,564 majority compared with 12,895 in 2004. In Cheras, incumbent Tan Kok Wai won with a 28,300 majority compared with 11,861 in the last election. As predicted by surveys and, political commentaries in the days preceding the polls, unhappiness among Chinese voters translated into protest votes against the ruling coalition. The seats where the Chinese formed the majority all went to DAP, except for a handful like Kulai and Kampar.
The second-largest community in the country was unhappy over several issues, notably the crime rate, hike in the price of goods, and what they perceived as the government’s undelivered promises in efforts to combat corruption. There was also uneasiness among the Chinese over several racial-religious issues that cropped up over the past year. Usually inscrutable, Chinese voters this time around were not bashful about revealing which party they intended to “cross” on their ballot papers. They had also been vocal at opposition ceramah, turning up in thousands to cheer on the speakers. “This was quite a departure as opposition ceramah in urban Chinese-majority areas usually do not attract such crowds,” a political observer noted. Last month, a poll by opinion research firm Merdeka Center revealed that only 30 per cent of Chinese were satisfied with the way the government was managing the economy, compared with Malays at 70 per cent and Indians, 35 per cent. The Chinese felt the most important problem in the country was the price hike and rising cost of living, followed by crime and public safety, ethnic and racial inequality, and other economic problems. But even then, MCA and Gerakan’s huge losses were unexpected. Observers attributed this to the “silent majority”. Political analyst Ong Kian Ming opined that Chinese support tended to swing the most in Chinese majority seats because this was where they had a “security blanket” mentality, in that they did not feel that they needed to be protected from the Malays, unlike in more mixed constituencies. He noted that it was also in these constituencies that the strongest DAP candidates were fielded and the Chinese minority sentiment played up. What’s the next step for the MCA and Gerakan? Ong said they would need to listen more to the people, go to the ground and pay heed to what their constituents have to say. “I don’t think there is any way for them to find a positive spin to the outcome of the election.” The other challenge for the non-Malay component parties is to find a balance between dealing with sensitive issues and remaining credible at the same lime. By tradition, MCA, for instance, prefers to shun the limelight when resolving sensitive subjects. ranging from Chinese schools to the award of government contracts to cultural flashpoints. But this buttoned up image which even its “Working quietly, and effectively, for results” campaign advertisements acknowledged — resulted in it being viewed as not doing anything to address issues affecting the Chinese community. Something the opposition exploited to the fullest during campaigning. Being perceived as not doing anything can be fatal, since much of politics relies on perception. The pressure will now be felt for the party to be seen to be more vocal. Unless the MCA is perceived to be more responsive to the community’s sentiments, it risks alienating the Chinese even further.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008- BARISAN NASIONAL TAKES PERLIS EASILY

Barisan Nasional takes Perlis easily
KANGAR:
Perlis Barisan Nasional easily retained its hold on power in the state by winning 13 of the 15 state seats. It also won all of the three parliamentary seats. However, at press time, the Election Commission, had only released the results for the Tambun Tulang state seat which was won by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim. Unofficial results showed that two cabinet ministers from the state — Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad and Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid — had won in the Kangar and Padang Besar parliament seats respectively. BN Arau parliamentary candidate Datuk Ismail Kassim beat Pas deputy spiritual leader Datuk Dr Haron Din by 744 votes. The only blow to the state BN was Pas’ recapture of the Sanglang state seat. Unofficial results showed that Pas’ Hashim Jasin won the seat with a 50-vote majority over BN’s Abdullah Hassan. The other state seat that went to the opposition was Simpang Empat which Pas’ Rus’sele Eizan won with a 81- vote majority over the BN’s Zahari Bakar. Shahidan said he was happy with the win, promising to deliver on promises he had made to the people. Datuk Seri Syed Radzlan Syed Putra Jamalullail, the younger brother of the Raja of Perlis won the Pauh state seat with a 2,425 vote majority over Pas’ Abu Bakar Ali. The results proved that Shahidan’s efforts to close ranks within the state Umno had been successful. This was despite the infighting between Shahidan and Radzi and Azmi. Home Affairs minister and Kangar MP Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad was re-elected with a 22,821 majority. The Umno secretary-general was victorious over PKR newcomer Tunku Abdul Rahman Tunku Ismail. Radzi celebrated his win in Kuala Lumpur with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Putra World Trade Centre. The five BN candidates in state constituencies in his parliamentary constituency also proved successful. They are Datuk Dr Md Isa Sabu (Bintong), Abdul Jamil Saad (Sena), Dr Por Choo Chor (Indera Kayangan), Ahmad Bakri Mi (Kayang) and Mat Hassan (Kuala Perlis).
In the Padang Besar parliament seat, Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid was re-elected with a 5,348 majority over Pas candidate Zolkharnain Abidin.
The BN won all live state seats in Padang Besar: Chuping (Mansor Jusoh), Mata Ayer (Khairi Hassan), Santan (Sabri Ahmad), Titi Tinggi (Yip Sun Onn), Beseri (Mat Rawi Kassim).

SUNDAY-9TH DAY OF MARCH 2008-BN RETAINS MALACCA

Barisan Nasional retains Malacca
MALACCA:
The state Barisan Nasional were returned to power with a two-thirds majority in the 12th General Election. As at press time, the BN won 20 of the 28 state seals. BN won in Kuala Linggi, Tanjung Bidara, Ayer Limau, Lendu, Tahoh Naning. Rembia, Gadek, Machap, Durian Tunggal, Asahan, Bukit Baru, Ayer Molek, Duyiong, Telok Mas, Bemban, Rim, Serkam, Merlimau, Sungai Udang and Sungai Rambai. The state MCA suffered its worst defeat in recent history when it lost in four of the nine seats contested, including one parliamentary seat. The MCA lost Kota Melaka parliamentary constituency, and the Ayer Keroh, Kesidang, Banda Hlilir and Kota Laksamana state seats. The only seats retained by MCA were Machap, Bemban and Duyong. Kota Melaka MCA candidate Wong Nai Chee was defeated by former state DAP chairman Sim Tong Him by a whopping 11,390 vote majority. Wong had, in 2004, wrested the Kota Melaka seat from former DAP secretary-general Kerk Kim Hock with a 219- vote majority. The other MCA candidates who lost were Koh Nai Kwong (Kesidang) who lost to state DAP chairman Goh Leong San by a 1,399-vote majority, Chock Choon Sin (Banda Hilir) was ousted by DAP’s Tey Kok Kew with a 4,912-vote majority, Lee Kiat Lee (Kota Laksamana) was beaten by the state DAP “Iron Lady” Betty Chew by a 7,242- vote majority. The sole MCA woman candidate, Chiew Hong Lan fell to DAP’s Khoo Poey Tiong by a 3,205-vote majority. Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, in his immediate comment, said he accepted the decision but was disappointed with the voters in Kota Melaka. “We are lucky in Malacca as we still managed to form the government with a two-thirds majority. “Voters in Malacca, especially in Kota Melaka should have been reasonable.., they should have used their common sense when voting. “Wong had fought hard for the people in Kota Melaka but the people did not appreciate that,” he said. Meanwhile, Wong when met after the results were announced, said that he would continue serving the party but would have nothing to do with Kota Melaka constituency and its voters. “I will now concentrate on my legal practice and spend more time with my family.” — Jason Gerald John

SUNDAY-9TH DAY OF MARCH-DAP-PKR TO FORM NEW GOVT

DAP-PKR to form new govt
GEORGE TOWN:
DAP will form the new government in Penang with Parti Keadilan Rakyat. The party’s secretary-general Lim Guan Eng was set to be the new chief minister, his political secretary Ng Wei Aik told the New Straits Times. “DAP will form the new state government after winning all 19 seats it contested.” As of 11.3Opm, unofficial results in Penang are that Parti Keadilan Rakyat won Pantai Jerejak (Sim Tze Tzm), Kebun Bunga (Ong Khan Lee), Bukit Tengah (Ong Chin Wen ), Bukit Tambun (Law Choo Kiang). Batu Uban (V.S. Raveenthran) and Pulau Betong (Mansor Othman).
Pas incumbent Mohd Hamdan Abdul Rahman retained the Permatang Pasi seat.
Transition of power will be smooth, says Gerakan
GEORGE TOWN:
Gerakan has assured the Democratic Action Party that the transition of power will be a smooth one. The DAP won a majority of the seats in the state assembly. Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon called Penang DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow to concede defeat, the New Straits Times was told. “Koh has assured Chow that the transition of power to the DAP will be a smooth one,” DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng’s political secretary Ng Wei Aik said.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008- BN LOSS IN PENANG NOT UNEXPECTED

BN loss in Penang not unexpected

GEORGE TOWN:
The political tsunami which swept Penang ending Gerakan’s almost four decade rule of the island was not unexpected. The writing had been on the wall, especially in the wake of several national and local issues which had enraged most Penangites. Topping the list of concerns was the perceived erosion of non-Malay rights under Barisan Nasional. The opposition exploited the dissatisfaction of voters and this could be seen in the huge crowds which turned up at its ceramah here. The issues ranged from alleged Urnno dominance in the state administration and Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon’s seeming inability to counter it.DAP top guns such as Karpal Singh, Lim Guan Eng and blogger Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun coupled with Parti Keadilan Rakyat de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim criticised Koh and the BN government. However, the BN campaign here was also derailed by the focus on the chief ministerial succession issue. Instead of focusing on the battle at hand, Koh and Gerakan leaders were preoccupied with this issue. The decline of Koh’s political fortune mirrors what happened to his predecessor Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu, who also suffered a wave of dissatisfaction which led to his defeat. In the run-up to the 1990 general election, the opposition had capitalised on voter discontent which was then centred on the development of Bukit Bendera. The proposed re-development of Penang Hill (as Bukit Bendera is called) in the run-up to the 1990 general election had cost BN dearly, and forced the resignation of Dr Lim. The opposition in the run-up to the just-concluded polls had capitalised on the proposed redevelopment of the Penang Turf Club in Batu Gantung. In 1969, Gerakan won 16 out of 24 state seats. Dr Lim, the party’s founder, became the second chief minister. Following the May 13, 1969, riots after the general election, parliamentary rule was suspended and the government was taken over by the National Operations Council. It was only in April 1971 that the democratic government was restored. Gerakan joined the ruling coalition on Feb 13, 1972 and continued to govern Penang till now.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-LIM GUAN ENG -PENANG CHIEF MINISTER

Lim Guan Eng - Penang new Chief Minister

PENANG:
Opposition leader Lim Guan Eng who was jailed in 1999 for sedition has been nominated as the new Chief Minister of the industrial state of Penang after a stunning election win, a party official said on Sunday. The Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP), led by Lim, took control of Penang and added parliamentary seats across the country as the opposition handed the ruling coalition its biggest upset ever. “It is already understood that the Chief Minister will be Lim Guan Eng,” said the party official.The official said the DAP would form a coalition government in the state, a major hub for US technology firms, with de facto opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s Parti Keadilan Rakyat. The 47-year-old Lim, an accountant by training, is the eldest son of veteran Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang. In 1999, Guan Eng was jailed for a year for sedition after be organised mass rallies calling for the resignation of then Malacca chief minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik. He was barred for standing for elected office for five years following the conviction. “This is the biggest defeat ever since our (party’s) founding 4O years ago,” Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said. “I feel sad and surprised. I urge all BN members to stay calm and not to take any action that could jeopardise peace and security in the State.” The shock defeat in Penang stirred memories of the last time the ruling coalition failed to win a two-thirds majority, in 1969. — Reuter.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-PM ACCEPTS STATE DEFEATS

PM accepts state defeats; urges people to stay calm

KUALA LUMPUR:
Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who pollsters said was being punished in this general election over high inflation, rising crime ates and ethnic tensions in the multicultural nation, reportedly accepted he defeat in several areas of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled Malaysia for half a century. “He said that this is how democracy works, and urged people to remain calm and not to celebrate in the streets,” The Star newspaper reported him as saying on its website. The coalition’s performance looked to be the worst since 1969, when it last lost its two-thirds majority in parliament in a result that triggered serious racial clashes. Opposition figurehead Anwar Ibrahim, the former deputy premier who was sacked and jailed in 1998. said Barisan Nasional would once again lose the two-thirds majority that allows it to amend the constitution at will. “We have crossed the one-third majority. This is based on information from the candidates from the initial counting,” he told AFP. “This is a major victory.., and we are moving up very fast towards 40 percent.” The opposition held just 20 seats in the outgoing 219-seat parliament. In the island state of Penang, the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) said it had ousted the coalition in a stunning upset and would form a government with Anwar’s Keadilan.DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said voters had “created history by allowing opposition parties to form the Penang state government.” In the northern state of Kedah, the Islamic hardliners PAS claimed a completely unanticipated victory, and indicated it would also rule in an opposition coalition in central Selangor state. In the major battleground of Kelantan, the only state the coalition does not hold and which it had hoped to snatch from PAS which has ruled there for 18 years, the Islamic party said it would extend its majority. Pollsters also said that northwestern Perak state was leaning towards the opposition. “There is a massive swing against the Barisan Nasional among the ethnic Indian and Chinese electorates,” said Merdeka Centre research firm pollster Ibrahim Suffian. “And also a significant swing of about 15 percent, I estimate, from among the Malay electorate as compared to the 2004 elections,” he told AFP. “Judging by the extent to which the unofficial reports are coming through, there is a slim chance that the BN’s two-thirds majority might be breached.” Anwar is barred from holding office until April, but had criss-crossed the country campaigning for the general elections, rallying Keadilan as well as DAP and PAS which have formed a loose alliance. Seven hours after voting closed, the Election Commission had announced results for nearly half the seats, with 77 going to the coalition, six to PAS, seven to Keadilan and seven to DAP. The Merdeka Centre’s pollster Ibrahim said the results put Abdullah’s future in jeopardy as the head of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which leads the coalition. “I think he will have a tough time ahead as he goes into UMNO party elections which are in the middle of the year. There will be some tough questions asked there,” he said.

SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-NURUL SILENT ON VACATING SEAT FOR ANWAR

Nurul silent on vacating seat for Anwar

KUALA LUMPUR:
Nurul Izzah Anwar, who won the Lembah Pantai parliamentary seat, has side-stepped questions as to whether she will vacate her seat to make way for her father and PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, to take over the seat. “This result is my win and I think you should allow me to celebrate this win and plan for the future with my supporters,” she told reporters after the official announcement of her victory at 2.20 am at the Bangsar Sports Complex here. Her mother, Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, had said that she would make way for her husband if she won. Nurul Izzah, 27, beat Women and Family Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Jalil, the incumbent for three terms, polling 21,728 votes against the latter’s 18,833 for a majority of 2,895 votes. A third candidate, N. Periasamy, an independent, polled 49 votes. Some 7,000 supporters had converegd at the complex since 7.30 pm on Saturday for the counting of the votes. Shahrizat, gracious in defeat, congratulated Nurul Izzah, saying she hoped the latter would continue to look after the people of Lembah Pantai. - Benama




SUNDAY-9TH MARCH 2008-NEWLY ELECTED KK MP-DAP DR HIEW KING CHEU

NEWLY ELECTED KK MP – DAP DR HIEW KING CHEU

KOTA KINABALU:
“Please don’t call me YB.” That was the first message from newly elected Kota Kinabalu Member of Parliament Dr Hiew King Cheu. The DAP stalwart garnered 9,464 votes to edge Christina Liew of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) with a tiny majority of 106 votes as the latter received 9,358 votes. There was no first-time lucky for Chin Teck Ming (BN-PBS) who polled 8,420 votes while Independent candidate Kong Yu Kiong lost his deposit after managing to collect only 341 votes. The Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat was previously held by Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, who gave way to Chin in yesterday’s polls. “We in DAP do not need the title ‘Yang Berhormat’ (YB),” Hiew told reporters when met after the announcement of result was made by Returning Officer Alijus Sipil at Maksak Hall near here. “In fact, this victory is not mine. It is the people’s voice; the people won the seat, not me.. .it belongs to the people. “This is very important because I will have a job to do that is to bring the people’s voices and grouses of the people of Sabah to the Parliament level,” he said. While thanking his family members, supporters as well as the press for their strong support, Hiew predicted that the next five years will be a strong struggle for him in his capacity as the new MP for Kota Kinabalu. “There are many problems to be brought up at the Parliamentary level and among them is the illegal immigrants issue.., all this needs to be tackled,” he said. “In this round I won the MP seat, neaning we will have a voice in the Parliament...I promise you all that it will a loud voice,” said Hiew. The victory for Hiew yesterday was his first in four tries after losing in 1990, 2003 by-election and 2004 general election. When asked to comment on the performance of fellow DAP members Joan Goh Penn Nee and Fung Kong Wing who contested in Likas and Luyang respectively, Hiew said he was impressed. Joan narrowly lost to incumbent Liew Teck Chan (BN-SAPP) in Likas state seat by 862 votes. Liew garnered 4,097 votes and Joan polled 3,235 while PKR’s Yap Siew Kiong polled 1,888 and Independent Kong Yu Kiong lost his deposit with only 182 votes. Fung, meanwhile, polled 3,571 against incumbent Melanie Chia (BN-SAPP) who collected 5,073 while PKR’s Alexander Wong secured 2,794. Independent candidate Bernard Chin lost his deposit with only 92 votes. The strong campaign by the two DAP candidates won them votes, which contributed to the party’s victory in the Kota Kinabalu. “In Likas and Luyang, there is a change in the pattern of voting where the voters leaned towards the opposition,” Hiew said. “Fung and Joan have done a very good job. Joan in particular surprised me where as a first-timer, she exceeded my expectation. “She (Joan) will be a future star of DAP in Sabah and I’m sure she can make it in the next election... she has the talents performing as an opposition member,” said Hiew. Joan said: “Although I did not win, I’m happy to reduce the majority of BN in Likas.. .not too bad for new kid on the block.” Meanwhile, Hiew also hailed a breakthrough victory for DAP in Sri Tanjung where Jimmy Wong became the first candidate from the party to win a state seat. “My colleague and I will work as a team to ensure that the problems in Sabah will be addressed in Parliament and State for Jimmy Wong,” he said.

SUNDAY-9TH DAY OF MARCH 2008-BN WINS SIMPLE MAJORITY OF 134 SEATS TO RETURN TO POWER

BN WINS SIMPLE MAJORITY OF 134 SEATS TO RETURN TO POWER
KUALA LUMPUR:
The Barisan Nasional has returned to power with a simple majority but the coalition suffered severe losses and upsets in the 12th general election, losing Penang and Kedah to the Opposition comprising a loose coalition of DAP, Keadilan and PAS.
The BN also failed to wrest Kelantan from PAS and unofficial results indicated that the coalition might have also lost Selangor and Perak to the Opposition, according to Bernama News Agency, making the election outcome the worst ever for the 14-party coalition since the 1969 general elections. BN also saw many of its top guns defeated at the hands of the Opposition candidates. They were Gerakan Action President and incumbent Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon, MIC President and incumbent Works Minister Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu, People’s Progressive Party President Datuk M Kayveas, Minister of Rural Development, Datuk Seri Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin, Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Sharizat Abdul Jalil, Information Minister Datuk Zainuddin Maidin and Deputy Home Minister Datuk Fu Ah Kiow who were voted out in shock defeats.
As of Press time, the BN has bagged a simple parliamentary majority of 134 seats, while DAP 23, PAS 20, and Keadilan 21.
The Chinese-backed Democratic Action Party (DAP) won Penang, a manufacturing hub that is home to many multinational firms. The opposition Islamist party PAS claimed shock victories in the northern heartland states of Kedah and Perak and crushed the ruling coalition in PAS’ stronghold in northeastern Kelantan state. The opposition also won Selangor state surrounding Kuala Lumpur.
The shock defeat in Penang stirred memories of the last time the ruling coalition failed to win a two-thirds majority, in 1969.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah said he accepted defeat “in some areas” and urged people to remain calm.
Police officials vowed to use tough internal security laws against anyone spreading rumours and banned victory processions after the results, one of which had triggered the 1969 violence.
“This looks like a revolution,” said Husam Musa, vice president of a hardline Islamist opposition party. “The people have risen and are united. The message to the Government is, ‘Enough is enough”, he told reporters. The poll, called before it was due in May 2009, was widely seen as a referendum on BN, and Malaysians took the opportunity to administer a stinging rebuke over price rises, religious disputes and concerns over corruption. Samy Vellu, chief of the Malaysian Indian Congress, one of the parties in the ruling BN, lost the Sungai Siput seat he had held for nearly 30 years, because many Indians thought he was out of touch with their concerns. Detained ethnic Indian activist and lawyer M Manoharan won the Kota Alam Shah seat despite being held under internal-security laws for organising a major anti-government protest last year.
About 70 percent of Malaysia’s 10.9 million eligible voters had cast ballots, the country’s top poll official said.
Keadilan leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the outcome clearly showed Malaysians want an alternative. “Going forward Malays, Indians and Chinese all have to work together and make a formidable pact,” he said. Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi retained his Kepala Batas parliamentary seat while his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak won with a huge margin in P├ękan.