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Archive for July, 2012

There is a village which still cling onto their NCR land when Bakun dam was impounded-they built flaoting houses on top of their NCR footprint! Even though they are now locating land to relocate they find their folks who are resettled in Sg Asap-the government resettlement area, are flowing back to their NCR `land’! The resistance to Bakun’s impoundment continue, lest the public may forget:

Uma Jawe residents ready to swap ‘jelatongs’ for longhouse

Posted on July 30, 2012, Monday

FLOATING CHURCH: The floating SIB church at Uma Jawe in a dilapidated state.

BAKUN: The 30 odd families of Uma Jawe, who are currently living in jelatongs (floating houses), have identified a site to build a new longhouse, revealed its village chief Janting Ibau.

He claimed they had obtained permission from the relevant authorities to do so.

“We would like to settle down for good as jelatongs are a temporary measure after our longhouses were submerged when the Bakun hydroelectric power (HEP) dam was impounded on October 13, 2010,” Janting told The Borneo Post at Uma Jawe, about four hours’ boat ride from here, on Friday.

He revealed that although most of the people from his village were relocated to Sg Asap Resettlement Scheme, some villagers preferred to stay behind.

“As they cannot be forced to leave their ancestral homes, they instead built jelatongs and stayed put.”

However, he said after almost two years of staying afloat, they wanted to have permanent houses so that they don’t have to constantly spend time and money to repair their jelatongs.

“Now many people from Sg Asap want to come back as this land is recognised as our NCR land.”

Janting also revealed that living on jelatongs was not something they were proud of as there were a lot of issues tied to it, such as sanitation, school, healthcare and pollution to the environment.

“I must admit that living in a jelatong is not a healthy lifestyle. But what can we do? We now hope that the relevant authorities will assist us in rebuilding our longhouse so that we can settle here permanently.”

Janting revealed that another key reason for his people to come back and to rebuild their longhouses was because of culture shock at Sg Asap.

“Living in Sg Asap is very expensive because we have to buy almost everything. Over here, we can fish and hunt and gather jungle produce easily. Life is definitely cheaper here compared to at Sg Asap, except that it’s too far away from amenities such as school and clinic.”

Janting disclosed that while his two sons were staying in his longhouse in Sg Asap, he and his wife were tilling the land behind their jelatong.

“We will plant paddy this year and we will open up more land to plant fruit trees and rubber trees as well. In the long run, we would be better off again.”

Meanwhile, Wilson Ugak promised the people there that their church, which was floated with oil drums and floating trees after the impoundment of the dam, would be rebuild.

Most of the people of Uma Jawe are Christians of the Borneo Evangelical Church (SIB) denomination.

Read more: http://www.theborneopost.com/2012/07/30/uma-jawe-residents-ready-to-swap-jelatongs-for-longhouse/#ixzz228uNHZOK

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While there are many questions on how the Election Commission of Malaysia will spend the unprecedented and world record RM700mil budget for the 13th General Election these are the possibilities based on spending trends of the EC. Have a look:

1. International and appointed election observers-this general election will make history for EC’s introduction of international observers and appointed local observers after years of adamant refusal. Much money will be used to take good care of the international guests-who are handpicked from select `friendly’ countries -may be Burma, Zimbabwe, Kazakhstan and the like, to sweeten these international `examiners’ of the Malaysian election administration. Then they had also appointed select local groups to be the local observers who are not told that they will be restricted by 20 conditions that had been introduced to the few election observers in the country. Loads of 5-star hotel `briefings’ and expensive cuisine will  perhaps help to wash down these harsh conditions onto these new observers; 10 local observers will be appointed per parliament constituencies-thus there will be 222X10 =2220 local observers; More EC staff will be needed to   handle this hordes of appointed observers, not to mention that the existing un-appointed observers will actually the ones putting more pressures on the EC!

2. Then there are a flurry of effort to `correct’ the constituencies boundaries, given that the EC can’t redraw the constituencies boundary due to BN’s lack of 2/3 majority in the Parliament and state assemblies. Switching the voters have the same effect as switching the boundaries-both help to manipulate the constituencies in favour of certain parties. More personnel is needed to do this in time for 13th GE;

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The PM was reported to ask Selangor voters to vote a government that can solve the Selangor water dispute ie a BN friendly government. Now the possibility of water rationing voiced by Syabas, the water utility company, that has happened has not been proven to be caused by a real water shortage-but could be politically motivated to pressure the Selangor state government. The PM’s statement then sounds like a political blackmail! This is illegitimate since the water utility was not given a mandate to hold to ransom the state government and through it the people who voted the state government in. A legitimate campaign is one where the challenging party offer something better-not by abusing the power entrusted by the public to inconvenience the public, and even use it to press for another party to be voted in! The Pm did not show that his party can solve the water problem-it is blatantly flaunting its willingness to abuse government power to engage in illegitimate politicking! If this precedent is accepted the country will be in for more politically motivated false crisis if the governments go for tit-for-tat’s! If the EC is professional it will definitely not endorse or condone such illegitimate politicking! It takes such occasion to expose where the EC stands and if it has any professionalism at all!

Reprimand Najib, Bersih tells EC

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Now and then the EC/SPR come out to defend itself-but quietly. So there is a report of such a defense  that the EC issued and reported by CJ Malaysiakini below. From the report the EC try to refute some `lies’ -but: who made such alleged lies? There is no one quoted as the source of the alleged lies. The  it is funny that the alleged lies seems to have obvious flaws that it is unlikely that anyone could have done it eg 1 allegation is regarding the redelineation of the electoral boundaries for 13th GE-well everyone knows that the EC is not doing it for reasons best known to itself-then how could anyone make allegation about it? More funny-EC offer its `refutation’ to a non-existent `lie’ -smart? Then the real thing come behind: the EC simply `make correction’ to the constituencies with the effect of changing some voters from their original constituency which the EC said was `wrong’! See the connection-where the EC can’t change boundaries officially-may be due to lack of majorities in the legislatures by BN-but it is doing this in effect by switching voters around in way that work the same way as changing constituencies! If there was a mistake before-why didn’t the EC announce it and give some idea of the extent and source of the `mistake’ that suppose to happen `all over the country’! Is there a scandal that the media and NGOs missed all this time when the EC made such extensive `mistakes’ that there are unknown no of voters who need to switch constituencies? The last one about cleaning the electoral rolls-with the usual excuse to absorb the EC from having to clean them up ie the EC has `no power’. However the EC does have power to register hundreds of thousands of illegals as voters as claimed by a few authors in Sabah!  It seems that the alleged lies compiled by the EC are not entirely untruthful-just require more reference and different perspectives!

Election Commission out with The Truth

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The misery of the upper Bengoh folks who face flooding by the Bengoh dam has not gone unheeded: a civil society group LightupBorneo -with the help and donations from West Malaysians, managed to help the folks there to install 2 mini hydros for their new village at Kg Nyegol, above the dam water, but still within their ancestral lands. Enjoy the short video documentation(13min). Camera: Joachim Leong, Samel Wong.

Original Bidayuh music recorded on the spot. See video here.

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Proham declines EC’s invite to observe polls
9:45PM Jul 19, 2012 | 3
international observers 180712Human rights group Proham delivers another slap in the face of EC – it says it is unable to do grassroots monitoring.

Some of the 20 conditions imposed on accredited election observers by the EC/SPR are:

1. can’t take picture of frauds without permission by KTM/presiding officer;

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It has happened before-yet it is blatantly done again: BN politicians are ordering the government staff who are supposed to have sworn to neutrality by the General Orders, to defend the ruling party! Kemas officers are named as the political operatives to fight the political battle for BN. Have they been paid to do this? The worst consequence of this politicisation is: now do the government then promote the civil servants on their performance in their job-or in campaigning against the Opposition? This is a fundamental weakness of the civil service where the performance will be undermined by politicking demand from the political boss!

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There will be some significant changes to the polling rules for coming 13th GE: eg disabled persons can now be assisted by any `trusted friends’ in casting their ballots -a departure from previous arrangement where only close relatives are allowed. This change means that party officials can get into the polling booth to legally `assist’ the disabled voter. Why? Is this an improvement or an arrangement to open the door for political interference into the polling process? More problems may be found when the full range of `changes’ are disclosed! The EC has certainly try to `change’ -but the changes they bring in may not be the change that the people expect!

Slight changes to voting process for next general election

Posted on July 12, 2012, Thursday

THIS IS THE WAY: Abdul Aziz shows how the new system works during a press conference at his office in Putrajaya. — Bernama photo

PUTRAJAYA: There will be slight changes to the voting process for the next general election to ensure more transparent polls based on recommendations made by the Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) on Electoral Reform.

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It was not long ago that the EC chief claimed that he was convinced that the BN chief cum PM was legally well briefed to promise Rm5mil to Sibu voters if they voted BN candidate from SUPP. Will the same EC chief agree that such blatant vote buying prohibited anywhere else in the world’s democracies will be stopped by the code of ethics for the caretaker government? In addition there has been mountainous amount of abuse of government resources for BN’s campaigns-will EC’s code of ethics stop all these robberies that helped BN’s victories? Don’t wait to find out what these codes of ethics will come to. If the EC cannot enforce its existing codes of ethics for election thus far -which also stipulate that incumbent party cannot abuse govt facilities during campaign, what hope is there that another code of ethics will be enforceable?

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Why would EC be given such a budget hike when its performance has been much criticised? In looking at the excuse to hike EC’s budget Rm360mil is for `operation’ -without any explanation of what they mean. Would they spend more on voter registration-which is very poor in many interior areas of East Malaysia? Would they spend more on voter education-where vote buying is rampant? Would they create new investigation arm to look into corruption and abuse of public resources which the MACC had publicly refused to handle? If these are not the areas to improve the EC operation then the public would be sceptical and cynical enough to think that the huge budget hike would go towards some unspeakable electoral manipulations! It is time for the EC to come clean on its new budget!

 

Uproar over RM700mil for polls expenses
Syed Jaymal Zahiid
| July 11, 2012

Pakatan Rakyat demands to know why it takes that much to run the 13th national elections.

KUALA LUMPUR: Pakatan Rakyat leaders today raised alarms over the Election Commission’s RM700 million budget to run the looming 13th general polls which is a drastic increase from its initial RM40 million allocation.

PKR senator Syed Husin Ali, speaking to reporters here, revealed Putrajaya’s request for an additional RM360 million for the EC’s operational expenses, and RM300 million for “security expenses” amid an ongoing national dispute over the credibility of the country’s elections system.

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