Do not be too quick to dismiss UMNO. With about 30 percent following in Permatang Pauh, the party has not been exactly ‘buried’.

In PAS strongholds like Guar Perahu and Kuala Mengkuang, the fight between PKR candidate Anwar Ibrahim and BN’s Arif Shah in some polling centres were ‘close’.

But I learned a few lessons about the Malaysian mind after following the campaign trail for almost 9 days in Permatang Pauh. I can tell you why UMNO failed (next post).

Indeed, there is a flicker of chance for a multi-racial Malaysia with better economic policies and bigger breathing spaces for civil society and the press, but whether a new government, touted by Anwar Ibrahim come September 16, will implement all its promises is yet to be seen.

It’s not that I think Anwar is going to deliver all of it on his own if the road from Permatang Pauh leads to Putrajaya.

He’s only going to be the driver, the rest – DAP and PAS – if the coalition still stands until then -I hope will be well-informed navigators.

How far is Anwar from the administrative capital Putrajaya?



History teaches us that rebels who assume power often become worse than the dictators they overthrow.

Then I hope the voices of civil society continue to speak loud, and ensure, that power do not get concentrated in the hands of a few.

The people, who has tasted power by lowering the influence of BN/UMNO in March 8, must be aware that they have the power to decide who is their leader, as the Permatang Pauh voters had done on August 26.

The voices of the people of Permatang Pauh, who gave Anwar a bigger majority of 15,671 may not represent the entire country but there is a rising spirit among Malaysians wanting to take a calculated risk and place their trust in Anwar, after 50 years of BN rule.

Not many are asking about Anwar’s past these days, or whether he can be trusted, as he was formerly a part of UMNO, the very party he now detests.

People are now saying that they have given UMNO’s “racist and corrupt” policies 50 years, can they do worse?

I believe the DAP and PAS leaders are not going to sit on their laurels if Anwar or PKR goes astray, in which case there might be massive conflicts between the three parties.

In any case the trio still need to iron out fundamental differences between themselves, like PAS’ Islamic state insistence, and DAP’s secular rule.



Hopefully, an amicable balance can be struck quickly and conveniently.

PAS must understand that no one refutes the fact that Islam is the official religion of this country. But people of other faiths want to ensure their freedom of religion and beliefs remain intact.

Can we be assured that there will not be anymore burning down of temples in the name of God? That Catholics can use the word ‘Allah’ in their magazine HERALD, that various laws affecting families in the name of religion can be discussed openly with patience and understanding?

This is the real test of a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-racial society.

As for unity between the three parties, who call themselves the People’s Alliance (PAKATAN RAKYAT), the unifying factor may be Anwar and PKR’s populist policies.

This formula seem to work well in Permatang Pauh, as we see DAP and PAS leaders coming from far and wide to throw their support behind Anwar in this by-election.

After a couple of elections, it may also have dawned on DAP and PAS, that it is not possible to survive at two distant poles, separately.

Both need Anwar, the whipper of sentiments and captor of imaginations, to draw a whole range of support, from rural Malays, Chinese and Indians, to their urban counterparts.

Would Anwar risk the chance of losing it all by gong back on his election promises after fighting so hard to install himself as leader of the Opposition pack, with a view to the PM’s seat?

Yes, he faces great challenges with regards to SODOMY II allegations (court case on September 10) and impending corruption allegations by his enemies, formerly good friends.

Although, after listening to Anwar’s arch enemies, Ezam Mohd Nor and S Nallakurapan in campaign speeches,  ‘threatening’ to expose the former’s ‘dark secrets’, it is still uncertain if his foes would actually make good their promises to reveal truths about Anwar’s corrupt practices when he was formerly deputy prime minister and finance minister.

These road blocks on the journey to the country’s administrative capital may send Anwar packing out of Parliament into jail (a sodomy conviction carries a 20 year jail term), sealing his political ambitions forever.

But Anwar may have a way of ‘wriggling’ out of his calamities, though he spend 6 years in jail for the first sodomy charge in 1998.

He has many supporters in government, in UMNO and the other coalition parties – who may all have a stake in Anwar’s ambitions and political future.

So, while one sector may want to nail the coffin on Anwar, another might want to ‘use’ him for their own political gains.



The road to Putrajaya, you can say, is full of good intentions. We can only hope these good intentions do not lead us to hell.

In any case, it is interesting to see how events unfold following the sweetest victory for the PKR yesterday, followed by another euphoria of seeing Anwar actually seated right infront of Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in the August house.

DAP and PAS have already installed Anwar as the Opposition leader, and he will take his oath as MP of Permatang Pauh today (Thursday).

“I will sit right infront of him (Abdullah) and stare straight into his eyes, to make sure he does not fall asleep,” quipped Anwar at one ceramah, sending the crowd into fits of laughter. Abdullah has often been accused of ‘dozing off’ during meetings.

Other Opposition leaders are already seeing the potential of turning Parliament into their ‘playground’.

“When Anwar speaks, we will ask him for ‘laluan’ (chance to speak), I am sure he will allow us. Sometimes,it would be me, then Lim Kit Siang, later Mahfuz Omar…and the list goes on,” said PKR’s political strategist Saifuddin Nasution Ismail, at a ceramah.

MPs usually have to compete to speak in the dewan due to lack of time and the quantity of questions waiting to be traded on the floor.


With two feet in Parliament, it is now time to see if Anwar’s clarion call to form the government on Malaysia Day, becomes a reality.

The debate about morality of jumping frogs, however, is still on-going, with some sector asking if the voters who voted for these MPs actually approve of the change of parties representing the particular constituency.

PKR denies it uses money as a bait to lure these MPs. Are there other motivations?

However, others remark that it is more immoral to perpetuate a “racist and corrupt” government like BN than to become a mere jumping frog.

They argue following the March 8 Tsunami, the grassroots have already shifted. So, what is the MP waiting for?

Some MPs may even be pressured by grassroots leaders to consider the option of joining PKR, because, the grass is always greener on the other side, and no one wants to drown with a ‘sinking ship’.

So far Anwar says he has the numbers. “With even one to spare,” he joked.

But the question of morals is still not of the biggest problems.

The question  now is: will the Yang Di Petuan Agong actually accept Anwar as PM? That decision is in his majesty’s hands.

Next: Things I’ve learnt from the Permatang Pauh by-elections.

42 responses »

  1. doggone says:

    Ok Susan, I like the ‘Slow People Crossing.’

    Now where is the one that says ‘Sleep People Walking?’

    Anyway, has anyone seen ‘Bury Hairy’ of late? I could just visualize him in his room, knee deep in crushed and discarded letterheads, buried under his armpit in humiliation, trying his level best to pen a letter. Nahhh.. not his resignation but a letter of apology to Anwar for saying something about ‘laying to rest’ his opponent’s political career. It start off something like ..” YAB Datuk Seri yang di-sayangi…”

  2. ikan bilis says:

    Wow! My dear looney, thanks for the fantasitc article.

    DSAI is no panacea to the problems of Bolehland.

    All politicians are the same, whether BN or PR. They are all blood suckers.

    Tell me, looney, which cat of yours doesn’t eat fish?

    Bolehland has no future with these bunch of politicks, whether BN or PR, period.

  3. kai says:

    “The question now is: will the Yang Di Petuan Agong actually accept Anwar as PM? That decision is in his majesty’s hands.”

    Mostly likely will be a snap election. This is also a good time to root out those PR’s loud mouth MPs too. Pick your new candidates wisely, PR!! Snap election is not going to be easy either for PR.

  4. ikan bilis says:

    Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.

    Therefore to the rakyat, whether it’s BN or PR, there is no different but to continue playing vigilance on whoever is the government of the day…..

    “If men were angels, no government would be necessary. If angels were to govern men, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary.” — James Madison, Federalist no. 51.

  5. rozlan says:

    Susan quote;

    “PAS must understand that no one refutes the fact that Islam is the official religion of this country. But people of other faiths want to ensure their freedom of religion and beliefs remain intact”

    Susan,what make you think that if PAS implemented Islamic state .others are not freedom to choose their own way of life? Why dont you read the Islamic history especially the Khulafa Al Rashidin period and then explained back what you understand from it

  6. Thurai says:

    Lots of love, Susan!

  7. ella-mae says:

    because of all that has happened, i am beginning to regain some faith in the system. let’s hope for the best 🙂


    Khairy Jamaludin’s CV – Desperately Seeking New Employment


  8. Phua Kai Lit says:

    Dear All

    What do you think of this scenario?

    1. Crossovers lead to a fall of the BN’s FIL-SIL regime
    2. PR govt forms
    3. After a few months, PR govt calls for a snap GE
    4. PR wins snap GE by a landslide

  9. chris chong says:

    nice article and photos. 🙂
    have read some of the comments above which try to divert the attention and confuse the focus… BN’s best tactic.

  10. Chelvarzi says:

    Hello Susan,

    Since there are still people like you in Malaysia, Malaysia will one day become Truly Asia in all sense.

    Keep up your good work.

    Thank you so much.

  11. navinda says:

    Is it immoral to jump ship? Under the current circumstances, my answer would be an emphatic ‘NO’. I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about replacing a corrupt and arrogant government that has literally no consideration for the views and feelings of the majority of the people.

    The Pakatan Rakyat should go ahead and entice the would be hoppers to cross over at its earliest. Lets change government now.

  12. bamboo river says:

    If and when DSAI becomes the sixth Prime Minister, I suggest he brings back the Head Office of Malaysia back to Parliament / Kuala Lumpur.
    Putrajaya is bad vibes. Since the gomen shifted to Putrajaya, everything turns out badly.
    There was even talks of ‘intrusion’ of the sacred land when Putrajaya was being constructed. Maybe this is the penant that Malaysia is facing.

  13. Veryconcerncitizen says:

    I am in the opinion that it is not really an issue whether the defection will take place or not. Important here is the reform agenda for
    1. Independant of Judiciary system
    2. Independence of ACA
    3. Independance of police commission
    4. Freedom of press and speech (including syber space)

    The present of DSAI, if not able to obtain the crossover at least will pressurerize the BN to do the above reform. If BN fail to reform then there is no morality issue anymore or the cross over who wish to carry out the above reform on behalf of the people.

    For the sake for our better future and for our next generation, the above reform agenda is imperative to be realised soon.

  14. kittykat46 says:

    A very thoughtful and excellent post.
    I’ve printed it out, and going to mull over this for the rest of the day.

    The road to Putrajaya is full of landmines.

  15. idzan ismail says:

    Top of the morning

    Far, very far Susan. There will be many Road Works Ahead, Road Closed, Use another detour, Take a U-turn.
    All these are signs posted by the JKR along the road.
    Phew, too many road blocks.
    He can’t reach Putra Jaya on Sept 16.
    He can never reach Putra Jaya on 2010.
    Engineer Najib will take over, okay.
    Hadi will also want to be mandor, Guan Eng the site supervisor.
    So Anwar have to hitch a ride in Umno car to reach there.
    But the Umno car is full. No more passengers allowed.
    Susan the Anwar chauffeur, just tighten your seat belt.
    Dont drive your boss there. Lots of landmines.
    My son has sent an advanced CV to be Najib’s driver.
    But I advised him no, you’re such a reckless driver
    Take a more glamorous job like coffee boy.
    At least Aunty Rosmah, Mama’s long-time pal, can take you and me shopping at Bergdof Goodman New York.

  16. Can people continue to profess
    What they want to fully confess
    As their own solutions to progress
    Without having deemed to transgress

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 280808
    Thu. 28th Aug. 2008.

  17. If anything on earth deemed ‘sensitive’ is blocked
    Then all blockheads should be the first to be blocked
    Often when the door is wrongly closed
    There’ll be a window still left exposed

    (C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng – 280808
    Thu. 28th Aug. 2008.

  18. wandererAUS says:

    “Patience” is the name of the game…..slowly, slowly catch the monkeys.

    Let’s cross the bridge first, before, we build our beautiful dreams.
    Also, don’t be too pessimistic, when Singapore was kicked out of Malaysia, everyone
    thought Singapore faced an uncertain future…we were all wrong! The rest is history…

  19. oliverjuru says:

    As of 26th August 2008 @ 8.20PM, if you are having trouble accessing Malaysia-Today.net please use:-


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  20. Fortified City says:

    Change is the word.Change is growth.

    When you see a tree growing, you would see changes in it. If you don’t see changes,it has stop growing. Change is going to come because we have stopped growing as a nation. We have become unfruitful.

    Just like a farmer,he would’t want to see a tree in his garden that has stopped growing. He will call his workman and have it chopped down,reserving that place
    for a new fruitful tree. It’s going to cost him more to maintain that old,unfruitful tree in his garden.He rather start afresh with a new fruitful one.

    Another way to look at it, is two farms side by side, owned by one farmer a sign of growth or not? Extension might prove to be more fruitful for the owner of the farm. When one ground is affected with pest, he can concerntrate on the other.
    When the other ground is treated enough,without any pest, he can return and give the former ground a good rest after a profitable harvest.

    He can continue with this process as long as he lives and the land exists.
    Now who is the farmer and who is the owner? You make the guest..

  21. Fortified City says:

    I am sorry not guest but guess?

  22. dominic says:

    In response to “rozlan” comments – ‘…. if PAS implement an Islamic state, others are not free to choose their own way of life? You relate to a certain Islamic history …. but I refer to the present situation in Malaysia. PAS YOUTH LEADERS (future leaders??) still demonstrate against Avril Lavigne Concert in Malaysia. Where is ‘our freedom’ to see what we want to see … as a non-muslim? Why talk about the past when the present actions/mentality by PAS Youth leaders do not equate to that particular past mentioned by you.. come on!!! Be real.

  23. Kopi Anan says:

    Dear Ms Sloone,

    Indeed,you can drive him to PutraJaya. And this is how they should do it.

    1] When the House sits this Friday for the Budget, YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should get ALL the Pakatan Raayat MPs to attend without excuse.

    2] After the Prayers Recital, MPs sitting behind Ustadz Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should stand up and bow to the Speaker either individually or in unison.

    3] Walk down silently and gentlemanly using stairs in the direction of His Majesty’s Loyal Opposition Bench. ie. the Front Row of the Loyal Opposition.

    4] Make sure the MPs walk across the Divide of the House, as it is now and STAND in front of the FRONT ROW [lowest bench] of the Loyal Opposition without Blocking YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

    5] By doing this gesture and in the Great Traditions of the Westminster Palace as is also in most Parliaments, the MPs standing and sitting in the Divide of the House now proclaims its STAND.

    6] Whereupon, YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should stand up before Ustadz Pak Lah could utter any word, PROCLAIMING:

    YB Tuan Speaker,
    “saya Anawar Ibrahim Ketua Pembangkang di bawah Kerajaan ke Bawah Yang DiPertuan Agong dengan ini mensitiharkan bahawa saya telah mendapat Kepercayaan Majoriti Ahli2 Dewan Yang Mulia ini.

    dengan itu, YB Tuan Speaker, saya Anwar Ibrahim ingin mendapat “leave of this house” to inform His Majesty that I have now the Confidence of the Majority of the Members of the Dewan Raayat.

    Yb Tuan Speaker, saya memohon agar Ustadz Abdullah Ahamd Badawi tidak perlu membentang Belajawan tahun 2009.”

    6] The Speaker should then, proceed to count the Divide which upon exceeding the limit of 111, Ustadz Abdullah Ahmad Badawi must inform the Speaker or if he wishes take his last ride to Istan Negara and inform His Majesty the Agong.

    6] By the Traditions of the Palace of Westminster, the Leader of the Opposition can on its own , proceed to Istana Negara to inform the Agong the he, YB Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim now commands the “Confidence of the Majority of the Members of the Dewan Raayat.”.

    Lest, it is the Battle of the Bastile .. viva la Malaise!

    [ I could care less what car you care to use to drive Anwar Ibrahim, Harley Davidson also can , you Mama Hell’s Angel”]

  24. gregwar says:

    Thank you for a well thought out article. Your thoughts express the hopes and fears of so many Malaysians on whether DSAI hold together the fragile PR in spite of all that happend on March 8 and on August 26. It is long term effect that really counts. The road to Putrajaya is indeed covered with a lot of mine fields. Hopefully the hopes of all Malaysians will be fufilled when united PR (not Anwar) reaches there. Let us all pray for the blessings of the Almighty.

  25. veryupset says:

    Thks Susan for the article.

    I would love to drive Anwar to Putrajaya…!

    Now that Anwar can put himself in Parliment, pls right the wrong that has been done.

    I m sure they are going to Plan B to get rid of Anwar. Or maybe Plan C, D…??

    Hmmmm…………………. !

  26. Ismandy Hamza says:

    Afternoon Sloone and folks,

    Welcome back to the Club, DSAI!
    No better words to describe it. This is just great news to all Malaysians young and old. But certainly not to those sitting on the other side of the bench though.
    Now the establishment has every reason to be worried! Tip to toe. In and out.
    I am just flabbergasted.
    I wonder now, will the DNA Bill ever going to be discussed at all after the first two sittings on the matter were rejected outright.
    The ‘Si Fu’ is back after 10 long years of absence.
    God has shown us one man’s destiny and no one can take it away from him. Not even those in power.
    It was meant to be that of Anwar’s.
    May the Almighty God protects the innocents among us.
    Big thanks too to DAP and PAS for staying thru the thick and thin in the just concluded PP by-election.
    By the way, does anyone knows about PM Gopala’s fate and his two sons? Are they still being held?

  27. Ismandy Hamza says:

    Good Day Malaysians!

    I agree with you on what you wrote above.
    But I beg to defer on the para …. History teaches us that rebels who assume power….., (rebels) refering to Anwar, right?
    I think he was not the ‘rebel’ as you would think he is. To recap, Anwar was the former Deputy PM of Malaysia before he was thrown out like a Leper due to fallout with Mahathir on matters concerning the COUNTRY.
    Why is he in such a position that he is in right now? Your guess is as good as mine.
    So I think it is not proper for us to judge him in such a manner. Is it wrong for someone who ‘seeks justice for himself’ to be branded so?
    Is it a sin?

  28. LC Teh says:

    Thanks Susan for the caution statement and putting it in such a nice way. You have a more gentle approach than KTemoc who loves to quote from you regularly. He tends to ram it when fellows open their mouths to say something.

    We have no choice when we needed a leader and Anwar showed up out of the ashes of the fire with which they tried to burn him. We now hope his partners and the ‘hopefully soon-to-be opposition’ will keep him in check. We hope his ‘worshippers’ would keep their history lessons and also remember what they learn from our neighbors.

  29. road smoke says:

    Hey you Ikan Bilis, if all politicians are the same then why are there so many political parties. Learn to think, read more and open yours eyes around you.

  30. Eric says:

    It’s time for BN to change its ways and stop using Saiful’s backside to bring down Anwar. Have some respect. Otherwise it will only go against them. All their plans were backfired as the result of Permatang polls had shown.

  31. omo says:


    I do not think it is just between PAS and DAP over religion and secularism. It is just someone bring up religion and the other party reacts to it. To be fair to all, what is PKR’s stand- what is the middle ground? No say or what say to bring them together? But what bring them together is the social justice and a clean government. But out of the religion pop out. Politics is controversal but religion is even more. by introducing this element, life becomes even more stressful.

  32. kambing says:

    has anyone heard the malay phrase “musang berbulu ayam”?? I believe most (or in exact word – every) politician will act the same to entice people to trust them especially during election … they will go all out to sweep people off their feet so that they can win … (winning by whatever cost) …

    the very skilled politician of course will designate himself to be a very likeable (or loveable) so that people will believe and eventually ‘make out’ with him/her …

    so i think the question ‘is he/she for real?’ could be easily explained here …

  33. aiyoo tambi says:

    Satu hari cakap dan buat ini ,Lain hari cakap dan buat lain.

    Saya ada satu kawan. Kita punya lama-lama kawan catkap, saya punya lama kawan main beelakang.Itu olang kakang kasi free,saya kawan sudah tua,mana boleh???
    Nanti Kawanlama taruk kawan saya dalam lokap=Takada kasi bantal.
    Nanti cakap pakai buku tuhan dia salah punya orang…

    Nanti,saya kawan sudah menang hadiah besar.Naik pangkat.

    Sekarang, ini lama lama kawan cakap, dia democratic punya orang,boleh bawa kestabilan di dewan rakyat……

    Tengoklah,tengokla…..cakap pusing pusing saya pun runsing….
    macam mana ini macam punya orang tidur malam lah….

    Satu hari cakap mau kasi kubur satu hari mulut sudah jadi dubur,,,,,,,

    aiyoooo aiyooooooooo Tambi….Ini macam orang pun adalah .Kita sudah IT savy ini orang lagi duduk dinasaur punya gua laa…..AIYOOOOOOOOOOOO

  34. zam88 says:

    saya berdoa kepada ALLAH S.W.T. agar cita-cita anuar ibrahim untuk menjadi perdana menteri tidak kesampaian.orang seperti anuar ibrahim tidak layak menjadi perdana menteri atau pemimpin.beliau seorang yang penipu,pembohong,pendusta dan banyak berdalih.orang seperti dia hanya akan merosakkan agama,bangsa dan negara.hanya mereka yang bodoh,tidak matang dan jahil sahaja yang mahu anuar ibrahim jadi perdana menteri.saya juga berdoa agar ALLAH S.W.T. mengekalkan pemerintahan BARISAN NASIONAL buat selamanya demi kebaikan rakyat dan negara.mudah-mudahan BARISAN NASIONAL akan mendapat kembali kepercayaan rakyat.muda-mudahan juga pakatan rakyat dan anuar ibrahim akan hancur lebur dan terkubur selamanya demi kebaikan negara dan rakyat.jatuhkn anuar ibrahim dan pakatan rakyat demi masa depan rakyat dan negara.AMIN……

  35. CYBERBOY says:



  36. aiyoo tambi says:

    Aiyooo, Zam zam ala ka zam ,hllang lah kau dari posting ini,,,,,,Wosoooooooo

  37. saoandco says:

    Nothing new, all the same.

  38. Anonymous says:

    that various laws affecting families in the name of religion can be discussed openly with patience and understanding?

    This is the real test of a multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-racial society.

    The ability to sit down and discuss sensitive religious issues openly and with patience and understanding has nothing to do with religion or multi-culturalism. But it has everything to do with our basic respect and civility towards others. This can only come from emotional maturity where we could emphatise with another human being.

    Daniel Goleman in his work on emotional maturity listed sensitivity towards the feeling of others as one of its vital characteristics.

    Quite a number of studies in the west and japan found that the maturity level of these societies were that of a teenager. It speaks volume of the kind of education , both formal and informal, that society is getting. I am wondering what level malaysian society is ?

    Is it any wonder that we see the kind of zoo-like behaviour in our parliament ?

  39. […] yourselves against the Propagators of Racism (PR)! 2 09 2008 Susan Loone in her blog recently raised the same thought again and again; that the BN government is ’racist and corrupt’. […]

  40. zizi says:

    Dear Zam88,
    Saya setuju dengan anda 100%, mereka tak nampak DAI hanya gunakan mereka untuk kepentingan sendiri. Keadaan ekonomi US sekarang dengan jelas menunjukkan bahawa tindakan yang diambil of Dr. Mahathir pada 1997-1998 samada dari segi ekonomi atau sacking AI adalah untuk kebaikan Malaysia, sekarang. And they still think that DAI is the best person to lead the country. HANCUS !!!.

    These people actually full of hatred with BN until they don’t care the person they choose, as long as can topple the Government.

    Like what Mahathir mentioned before, out of 10 tenderers, 9 of them will dislike him. These people inclusive in the 9.

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