Apparently, DAP has apparently reached a consensus to quit the government should the Unified Examination Certificate issue is not resolved to their liking. And in PKR, meanwhile, supporters of Zuraida Kamaruddin claim thousands of grassroots members will quit should the party veep be sacked. Things like these make us want to quit the country! Meanwhile, it seems the only thing not quitting is the novel coronavirus, despite progress being made in the search for a vaccine/cure.

Quit playing games

We'll quit...

DAP secretary-general Nga Kor Ming has gotten himself into a spot of trouble for making what can be called to be a silly statement, to put it mildly. What’s more, his reaction to the news article which came out is even worse.

Nga, the Deputy Speaker of the Dewan Rakyat, said DAP leaders had reached a consensus to go as far as to pull out of government if the Unified Examination Certificate isn’t recognised by the gomen. He said DAP would voice its opinions in Cabinet meetings but would stick by its principles, adding that it would continue to do so even if it meant having to quit.

(NOTE: The UEC is a standardised test administered by the Malaysian Independent Chinese Secondary Schools Working Committee since 1975. It has been a contentious issue for decades now. Among its champions is the DAP.)

Now, Nga said this in an interview with Chinese paper Oriental Daily, but that particular part of the article was picked up by Malaysiakini. And, Nga took exception to it.

As with many other politicians, the DAP man said the matter was taken out of context. The interview, he said, was about parliamentary reforms. He even had a twitter tantrum about it.

But he didn’t deny saying it.

Come on, YB. You said it. You haven’t denied it. The interview may have been about parliamentary reform, but the fact still remains that you have basically issued a threat to the rest of Pakatan that your party will quit government (and, we assume, the coalition) should you not get your way.

This is the problem when politicians think they can get away with sending one type of message – usually a parochial, communal one – to vernacular media, and a different one to national media. Do they really think these things won’t get picked up?

Your most revered leader Lim Kit Siang has reminded Pakatan that there is a long road ahead before it can restore public trust in the gomen. Is this how you plan on doing it then, YB? By quitting the government and betraying your voters’ mandate?

And, why exactly all this nonsense merely over the UEC? What about other issues that Pakatan championed in the coalition’s election manifesto. Surely there are more pressing issues. Issues like the continued use of what you guys called oppressive and suppressive laws such as the Sedition Act and the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act, or Sosma.

Why not threaten to quit over the continued detention of 12 people for alleged links to the defunct Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE)? And these include DAP assemblymen! On the same day that Malaysiakini published that article you found so abhorrent, one of those assemblymen, Gadek’s G. Saminathan, was denied bail. Why not threaten to quit over that? 

Or is DAP less a party for a Malaysian Malaysia and more just MCA 2.0?

We'll quit, too

In this week’s Drama Minggu Ini, we present to you: PKR, starring Anwar Ibrahim, Azmin Ali, Zuraida Kamaruddin and a cast of 10,000 extras.

Some 150 PKR members allegedly representing 13 parliamentary constituencies and 15 NGOs staged a peaceful protest in Penang to support Zuraida, who is facing disciplinary action for a speech delivered at a dinner last year.

The protestors are claiming party grassroots members won’t hesitate to follow Zuraida if she’s sacked from PKR. How many? Well, the number being thrown around is 10,000. As in 10,000 members would leave the party with Zee.

Zuraida was issued a show-cause letter by PKR’s disciplinary board earlier this month over remarks in a speech made at a hotel dinner in December, in which she claimed Anwar tried to convince her a sex video allegedly featuring Azmin in a sexual tryst with another man was genuine.

PKR has been split into two factions – one led by El Presidente Anwar and the other by his erstwhile deputy, Azmin – and Zuraida is Azmin’s greatest supporter.

Zuraida, a party veep, was given 14 days to reply to the show-cause letter, and yesterday, her political secretary Noor Hizwan Ahmad turned up at party headquarters to deliver her reply as the Housing and Local Government Minister was attending a Cabinet meeting. Noor Hizwan told reporters Zuraida would “keep calm” and continue her duties while waiting for the decision of the disciplinary board.

Noor Hizwan was confronted by a group of party members who were calling for Zuraida to be sacked, but had been accompanied by 100 Zuraida supporters. Police were on hand to keep the two rival groups separated, but they created such a ruckus that Anwar had to step in to tell them to disperse or face disciplinary action themselves.

So much drama! And this from the Pakatan party with the most seats in Parliament! Just how are they to run our beloved country?

No quitting just yet

So, there’s some good news and bad news as far as a vaccine for the novel coronavirus (nCoV) is concerned.

First, the good news. Researchers in Hong Kong have already developed a vaccine. But don’t get too excited just yet. The bad news is that it will still take months for it to be ready for animal testing (that’s not gonna get animal rights activists too excited, either) and maybe up to a year before human tests are conducted.

So yeah, looks like nCoV is gonna be around for a while yet. But at least this is some good news, right?

170 people have died in China so far, while the number of people infected was 7,779 at last count. If you’re keeping track, the death toll was 131 and the number of people infected about 5,496 this time yesterday. That’s how fast this thing is growing. 

Meanwhile, the World Health Organization will meet today to re-look at whether to declare the outbreak a global health emergency.

At home, police working with the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission, have arrested five people for spreading fake news about nCoV. They were arrested and are being investigated “for the sake of preserving public peace and order”.

Wait. Didn’t we repeal the Anti-Fake News Act? Yeah, we did, but there are other laws that can be used, especially by the MCMC, to tackle fake news. In this case, the five are being investigated under the all-encompassing Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for “improper use of network facilities or network service”. Which begs the question of why we needed the Anti-Fake News Act in the first place. I think we all know the answer to that. 😉

Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, meanwhile, has said there are no moves to extend Visa-on-Arrival facilities of Chinese tourists already in the country. Those in hospital for suspected nCoV infection could leave after they regained their health, while those who are healthy would not have their 15-day VOAs extended.

She also said there were no plans to cancel conferences and other gatherings, including Thaipusam, in light of the appearance of nCoV cases here. Phew!

Meanwhile, Malaysian Ambassador to China Raja Nushirwan Zainal Abidin says all 82 Malaysians in Wuhan have been given clean bills of health but currently on lockdown in their homes. The gomen is in talks with China to airlift our trapped countrymen home. Also in isolation and under observation in China are 16 Malaysians aboard a flight from Sabah to Tianjin after two passengers, both from Wuhan, were found to have been infected.

Odds and ends

Here are a few other things which came out yesterday that we thought should be included, at least in brief:
 

  • PM Mahathir Mohamad says Malaysia’s rise 10 rungs in Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index to 51st place shows that corruption was no longer a serious problem in the country. We don’t know whether to laugh or cry
    .
  • The government has agreed to introduce harsher penalties for reckless driving and driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Good!
     
  • The Federal government may not have intervened in the Kelantan government’s decision not to raise the legal age for marriage for girls to 18, but Deputy Minister in the PM’s Department Fuziah Salleh says the state will still have to abide by the law, including that high court judges will be the decision-makers in any marriage licence. Come on… just make it a law for the legal age of marriage to be 18!
     
  • The Election Commission will display the latest electoral roll (Q4 2019) at more than 900 locations nationwide from today until Feb 12. For enquiries, the public can call 03-88927018, visit the commission’s website at www.spr.gov.my or check the MySPR Semak mobile app.
     
  • So let’s see if we get this right. Jibby Razak plunders billions from the country (yeah, yeah… allegedly, allegedly), but is allowed to post bail and continue making mischief even while he flounces in and out of court. DAP’s Gadek assemblyman G. Saminathan, on the other hand, was denied bail yesterday over charges of supporting the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE). And all of this happened after the court decided to deny his bail just days after another court said it was unconstitutional to deny him bail under the law (Sosma) in which he was charged. Sounds confusing? Yeah, we know. Read the full piece here. Klang MP Charles Santiago had the scrotal gumption to speak out against it. Too bad YB Nga didn’t.

“Losers quit when they fail. Winners fail until they succeed.”

- Robert T. Kiyosaki -

IN INTERNATIONAL NEWS

  • The United Kingdom will officially leave the European Union after the European Parliament approved the former’s Brexit deal. Parliament members even sang Auld Land Syne to send the Brits on their way! Anyway, this is happening folks – set your clocks to 23:00 GMT tomorrow. The countdown has begun.
     
  • As US President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial enters the question stage, the White House has issued a formal threat to former National Security Advisor John Bolton to stop him publishing his memoirs as it contains a significant amount of classified information. The book includes details of Trump’s dealings with Ukraine, the issue at the heart of the impeachment.
     
  • Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is set to speak to the UN Security Council in a bid to drum up support for a draft resolution against the Trump Peace Plan for the Mid-East, seen as being too favourable to Israel.
     
  • Teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg is seeking to trademark her name and that of a group she founded in order to take action against anyone misusing either name.
     
  • The world’s longest and largest twin-engine commercial aircraft, the Boeing 777-9X, has finally completed its maiden flight.

ABOUT THIS NEWSLETTER

This weekday newsletter is brought to you by Trident Media, a group of Malaysian journalists with 60 years of combined media experience in four countries across TV, print and digital media.

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Trident Media · Seksyen 35 · Shah Alam, Selangor 40470 · Malaysia

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