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Negara Kita Tanggungjawab Kita – From Conviction to Action

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Written by pahlawanvolunteers

April 12, 2011 at 11:45 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

BERSIH 2.0 Launched

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“If no one listens to us, we know where to go and make noise!” Ambiga Sreenevasan

To mark the third anniversary of a mega rally demanding electoral reforms, the Coalition for Free and Fair Elections has reincarnated itself as “Bersih 2.0″.

Bersih (or ‘clean’ in English) was responsible for organising a rally on Nov 10, 2007 which saw tens of thousands yellow-clad protestors flooding Kuala Lumpur to accompany the movement’s leaders in submitting a petition for electoral reforms to the King.

This time round, Bersih 2.0 will headed entirely by civil society instead of politicians, but similarly warns that street protests are on the cards if diplomacy with the Election Commission collapses.

“We believe in dialogue but if diplomacy fails to bring reasonable change and no one is listening, I can assure you, we know what to do.

“We know where to go and make noise. We know how to do it loudly,” warned former Bar Council president Ambiga Sreenevasan who now helms Bersih 2.0, during the its launch last night.

11 Demands Listed

During her speech, Ambiga listed down Bersih 2.0′s 11 demands for electoral reforms, two of which are new:

1. Complete revision of the electoral roll.
2. Use of indelible ink in elections.
3. Reform of postal voting.
4. Free and fair media access for all contesting parties.
5. Minimum campaign period of 21 days.
6. Fair and professional constituency redelineation.
7. Automatic registration of all eligible voters.
8. Reduction of the voting age from 21 to 18 years old.
9. Reform in electoral financing rules to ensure transparency.
10. Administrative neutrality of all levels of governments.
11. Affirming the political right of all students of 18 years and above.

This is the first time that the movement is demanding better scrutiny of elections financing and a reduction in the voting age.

Ambiga pointed out that Malaysia is behind other countries such as Bangladesh, Cambodia, Pakistan, Hong Kong and Timor Leste where the voting age is 18 and Indonesia has gone as low as 17.

Read more here.

WATCH VIDEOS: Launch of Bersih 2.0 Unite and Advance Electoral Reform held on 10 Nov 2010 at MBPJ Civic Centre, PJ, Malaysia.

Part 1: Welcome by Emcee Fahmi Fadzil and Bah Tony introduces the Jahai community from Grik, Perak who performed a community dance performance of celebration.

Part 2: Stand Up Comedy by Hisham Rais (aka Tukar Tiub)

Part 3: Speeches by Malaysians on their hopes and aspirations for electoral reform:
i. Dato’ Dr Ronald McCoy – Past President of the Malaysian Medical Association
ii. Mr Lim Chee Wee – Vice President of the Malaysian Bar
iii. Sdr Hilman Idham – UKM student who was arrested for allegedly campaigning during the Hulu Selangor by-election in 2010
iv. Aziman b Mohd Yunus – 18-year-old student

Part 4: Continuation: Speeches by Malaysians on their hopes and aspirations for electoral reform:
v. Datuk Rasammah Bhupalan – Past President of the National Council of Women’s Organisations (NCWO)

Part 5: Speech by Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, MP for Kuala Selangor and representative of Bersih steering committee

Part 6: Continuation: Speech by Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad, MP for Kuala Selangor and representative of Bersih steering committee, gives a speech.

Part 7: Speech by Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, chairperson of Bersih 2.0 and former Bar Council president

Part 8: Continuation: Speech by Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan, Chairperson of Bersih 2.0 and Former Bar Council President

Part 9: Performance by Tugu Drum Circle, led by Paul Lau

Part 10: Continuation: Performance by Tugu Drum Circle and friends of Bersih 2.0

(Sorry, last bit missing, ran out of memory card!)

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With love from Pahlawan Volunteers
“Negara Kita, Tanggungjawab Kita
- from conviction to action.
JOIN http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=33559455073

Written by pahlawanvolunteers

November 13, 2010 at 9:29 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Every Wednesday, No Mega Tower Day

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For 24 hours every Wednesday till the next General Election, change your Facebook profile picture to one of the placards hosted at the Mega Demonstration Placards photo album.

By Pat Lu, Co-founder, Pahlawan Volunteers

The writing is on the wall. Tomorrow's outcome is determined by today's actions. Can you bear to watch your children suffer (nephews, nieces, godchildren included) because you didn't do something about it today? JOIN ME at http://on.fb.me/dd8HP4 - Post this message at your FB wall.

There are now 220,000 supporters at this historical FIRST Online Mega Demonstration on Facebook page 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower. Lets make the ONE MILLION supporters goal a reality.

The next General Election is hinted to be round the corner and since the government of the day Barisan Nasional (BN) is known to give out “goodies” during election campaigns; lets do them a favour…

No need for BN to spend money to secure votes. Listen to the people. Don’t build the 100-storey mega tower yet. Be it PNB’s or our tax payers money, we’d like to see the money put to better use for now. Read When to Build a Mega Tower?

To ensure BN gets the message loud and clear, lets make every Wednesday No Mega Tower Day till GE-13. BN either calls off the building of Warisan Merdeka or voters will demonstrate Who is the Boss at the polls.

Here’s what you do:

  1. JOIN the 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower Page at Facebook.
  2. For 24 hours every Wednesday till the next General Election, ADOPT any of the placards as your profile picture at Mega Demonstration Placards photo album.
    1. Download and upload as your profile picture.
    2. Add this caption to your placard: JOIN ME! Be a part of this historical FIRST Mega Demonstration Online! – 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower @ http://www.facebook.com/NoMegaTower
    3. Then TAG your friends to your placard.
    4. As you can only tag 50 friends to a photo, simply download and upload other placards to your wall and tag more friends.
    5. Encourage and remind others to do the same at http://www.facebook.com/NoMegaTower

More details on how to drive this campaign, view the Notes tab at the FB page:

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Written by pahlawanvolunteers

November 2, 2010 at 8:21 am

Now Everyone Can…

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“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.” – V for Vendetta the Movie

Now Everyone Can Say NO to Mega Tower…

Latest count, click image to 1M Malaysians Reject 100-storey Mega Tower @ Facebook

It is amazing to observe how this page brings out the creativity in people…

Now Everyone Can make cyber placards and join cyber demonstrations from home…

Click image to view the collection of placards made by members

Now Everyone Can make and host videos to get any message across…

Hilarious videos, in Bollywood style too…


More videos here.

In addition to that, Now Everyone Can discuss any issue together 24/7 or have a cyber townhall meeting online and in realtime.

“People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
V for Vendetta the Movie
.

PEOPLE ARE THE BOSS... get it?

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Written by pahlawanvolunteers

October 30, 2010 at 11:36 pm

HELLO! Look What’s Happening Today

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By Pat Lu, co-founder, Pahlawan Volunteers

History is repeating itself. Be it BN or PR, the internal fighting and politicking within each party and within each coalition will be the death of the nation.

This cartoon sums all that is needed to say of the state of our country. One 'wrong' formula, one lousy driver = recipe for disaster. "A politician is a person who can make waves and then make you think he's the only one who can save the ship." — Ivern Ball

Will they ever get their act together? Will they ever get their priorities right? Look at each party and their leaders within. Ego-driven. Power crazy. Cannons to the left, cannons to the right… You name it. Here are a couple of examples, just within this week:


HELLO! LOOK WHAT’S HAPPENING TODAY
First published on 16 March 2001 (and still relevant today)

UMNO fight, MCA fight, MIC fight
Gerakan also fight fight fight
DAP, PKR and PAS also fight fight fight
Politicians turn to heaven cry for help
Angels (NGOs) sent in disguise, bashed and labeled
Extremist, opportunist, racist, communist instead

Oh dear, God frowns and shakes his head
The call to humility, the call to glory rejected
Politicians offended, defensive and dejected
Pot calling the kettle black, stalemate instead

Ahhh, perhaps they will listen to their children
The same values adults impose with a stick
Let their children tell them what to do
Let their children set them right instead

Daddy and Mummy, you used to say…

Stop fighting! Love each other! We are family!
Why so stupid? Think! Use your commonsense!
Put your ego on the shelf, no man does it by himself!
Don’t hold grudges! Say sorry! Forgive! No hate!

Don’t be rude! Listen carefully when spoken to!
Don’t be selfish! Learn to share! Learn to care!
Don’t be lazy, do your homework before you play!
Don’t tell lies! God is watching, no place to hide!

Stop being unhappy, happiness found within
No need to feel down, pick yourself off the ground
Do whatever you can, do your bit for your land
It all depends on you, make your dreams come true.

Bedtime stories you used to tell
If we don’t behave, God will send us to hell
Daddy and Mummy, stop the fight
Please do what you say!

“A politician thinks of the next election – a statesman of the next generation”. — James Clarke

Written by pahlawanvolunteers

October 29, 2010 at 7:21 am

Posted in Accountability

When to Build a Mega Tower?

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Another Mega Tower for KL is not an issue of whether it is a good idea but about the Malaysian government prioritizing the citizens’ needs.  After 13 years of prolonged budget deficit and the government running into huge domestic debts coupled with no new economic driver in sight; Malaysians would like the government to focus on urgent priorities that can add income growth for the Rakyat.

By Foong Wai Fong and Pat Lu, co-founders of Pahlawan Volunteers

Emperor Qin Shi Huang started building his mausoleum at the age of 18, that project continued for several decades. While some observer labeled that as one of the mega-ego project of all times, we tend to think that this could have started as an “economic stimulus” project.  The Qin Mausoleum eventually turned out to be perhaps the most mega project of all times — it covered an area of 50 km, it is an underground city complete with the emperors’ terracotta army and all the services and trappings of the royal household.

At that time, building the mausoleum seems like the most unproductive investment of resources. We suspect that there must be many silenced opposition as no one dared to defy the all mighty first emperor of China.  Today, 2500 years forth, Emperor Qin’s legacy had become one of the largest world heritage sites of all times. The city of Xian is benefiting from this heritage as a source of present day wealth creation. Xian and the Shanxi Province has the second highest tourists arrival in China; reaching some 50-60 million every year.

Nearer to our times, The Bilbao’s Guggenheim Museum in Spain, The Xintindi Restoration Project in Shanghai, the Restoration of the Hangang River in Seoul, Taipei 101 Tower or Dubai Burj Khalifa Tower are all testimonies of how an Avant-garde building structure could inspire and rejuvenate a city; generating pride and hope for the local citizenry and put that particular location or city on the world map.

Many of these wonderful buildings or urban renewal/renaissance projects have all proven their worth in stimulating confidence through a city’s make over; and many of them have become symbols of a particular historical era for a particular cultural group.

There are of course many less successful projects which the promoters did not find a sustainable business model to make good the investment, and the structures fail  to generate the “Bilbao Effect” of generating high GDP multiples for the city; resulting in good returns to the overall economy.

Menara Warisan

Building an ethnic style contemporary structure to symbolize the modernity of Malaysia or its people is a fantastic idea. If we can put our mind and creativity to create a ground-breaking, awe-inspiring structure; plus good functional design and integration of the content in terms of the artifacts would certainly add another dimension to the ethnicity of Malaysia. It will add diversity to the Western or Chinese dominated feature of many of present-day city-scapes.

In fact, we would argue that this is symbolic enough to become a source of ethnic pride and identity for Malaysia, and such project should be encouraged and supported. The success of the structure should be one which has the blessings and support of its citizenry; and not be labeled as an icon of swollen ego of the promoters — even if it is built with private fund.

Another Mega Tower for KL at this point in time is not an issue of whether it is a good idea but about the Malaysian government prioritizing the citizens’ needs.  After 13 years of prolonged budget deficit and the government running into huge domestic debts coupled with no new economic driver in sight; Malaysians would like the government to focus on urgent priorities that can add income growth for the Rakyat. The central issue facing businesses and the Rakyat is income growth or the prospect of income growth.

Hardship on the Ground

The figures on our economy have sounded alarm for a long time. Actual sentiments on the ground are getting near panic. The common man on the street is under tremendous financial stress. The average wage earner is finding it very difficult to make ends meet; business at the coffee shops have become unusually quiet; the SMI factories order book has not turned a new page for months; one mechanic contractor who supplies machinery and provide maintenance to the SMI sector has not seen a major contract in the last two years; he is selling off his assets in order to keep the operation going and to feed his family! The picture is rather grim and serious.

For the average Malaysian, the cost of living has risen and many people feared that it will continue to rise; the prospect of relief from income increases is dim. The quality and cost of everything; from education to road transport to health care to food need urgent redress. At a time of climate change; many are concerned with Malaysia’s rising food bill as this country has no food security of its own.

The international climate is not helping. The world has not come out of the great financial restructuring. While Time Magazine reports that 1 out of 3 Americans are thinking of walking away from their mortgage; the employment situation in many other advanced countries have not shown significant improvement. The global economy is in the process of transformation; each and every economy is trying to find its feet in a time of great technological and structural change.

When to build?

The idea of building Menara Warisan can be kept alive – to inspire and to unify the community. Invitation from local and international architects to join in a contest to design the structure can be issued; the whole nation should be engaged on a project that can inspire all.  Like the proposed nuclear plant, there is no need to rush; Malaysia can give herself time to create a truly defining structure.

The actual construction of the structure should wait until the following urgent priorities have been addressed and the economy has turned the corner:

1.    A World Class Public Transportation System. Without doubt the productivity and efficiency of any city comes from its public transportation system. The cry from the citizen on these urgent priorities has not subsided.  The government must address this without delay — there is nothing more urgent than that. A good public transportation system has the effect of saving the consumer at least 1/5 of his monthly income; and this money can be released for personal improvement or for other more productive and valuable consumption. A good public transportation system cuts stress, improve quality of life and reduces the health bill of the country.

In addition to a good domestic public transportation web in the key cities; Malaysia must get serious to building a high speed rail link from North to South to prevent the economy from being sidelined by the action in the North ( China) and the activities of the emerging South ( Singapore and Indonesia). Connectivity with key growth centers lifts the domestic boat with the rising tide from offshore waters.

2.    Improving Quality of Education through Privatization. Yes, the foundation of the economy is the skill and knowledge competence of its citizenry. The Malaysian education system needs a radical rethink; the sooner the authorities decide to let the private sector have a stronger hand; the better would it be for the country. Our education system is guilty of being trapped in bureaucratic irrelevance; it is over-burdened in terms of cost.

The world today is changing; and changing rather speedily. Unless we give a free hand to allow the private sector to participate; it is hard to imagine how we can keep our citizenry’s knowledge and competence up to date. Human resources are the core factor underlying investor confidence in a particular location.

3.    Restoring Public Confidence. Not only FDI (foreign direct Investment) to Malaysia has dried up; DDI (domestic direct Investment) is also shrinking. Thousands of high end and upper middle apartments cannot be rented out because there are not many foreigners left in Malaysia. With the daily political theater, both locals and foreigners are not amused.

While most can accept the fact that the New Economic Policy can continue; room created by the New Economic Model policy must be piloted on the development zones to make the transition. Malaysia needs to inspire confidence that it cares about the success of its business people and foreign investors. The government must do all it can to restore confidence; piloting a one country-two system policy to accommodate local needs and meeting international expectations must be executed wisely.

The government of the day would do well to focus its resources to generating a virtuous cycle and change the current depressed mood. Let the people and the world see that the government really gets it. It is not about one mega tower. Once the economy is put on a sustainable upward path, businessmen make profit and the people’s income is growing; we can build one mega tower in each of the 13 state capitals when everyone is happy!

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Written by pahlawanvolunteers

October 27, 2010 at 4:34 am

On Kim Quek Being Questioned by Bukit Aman

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“Instead of going after the crooks, the police questions my brother, a political analyst,” said Sr.Theresa Yong, sister of Kim Quek author of banned book ‘The March to Putrajaya’.

Kim Quek was questioned by the police at Bukit Aman between 2.:50pm-3:50pm today, 18 October 2010. Hear what his sister Sr. Theresa Yong and political scientist Wong Chin Huat has to say…

About Kim Quek

Kim Quek is a Malaysian political commentator who has been keeping a very close watch on the fast moving political development in Malaysia. His frequent writings on the local scene appear regularly in many local websites including the popular Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today.

His articles are typically factual and analytical and no-holds-barred when it comes to commenting on the incessant scandals of corruption and abuse of power involving the high hierarchy of the ruling Barisan Nasional that have increasingly dominated Malaysian politics. As such, his writings are a useful counter-balance to the notoriously one-sided narration of the Malaysian mainstream media which are hopelessly manipulated by the incumbent federal power. He hopes to offer readers, through his writings, a view of the other side of the coin, so to speak.

In a sense, this book The March to Putrajaya – Malaysia’s New Era is at Hand is a sequel to Kim Quek’s previous best seller “Where to, Malaysia?” which recorded the disastrous Mahathirist rule and the early auto-pilot reign of Abdullah Badawi.

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Written by pahlawanvolunteers

October 18, 2010 at 9:04 pm

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