New beginnings | Selangor Times
Thursday
14·12·2017
Issue 118

 

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New beginnings
Writer: Fahmi Fadzil
Published: Fri, 11 Jan 2013

AND so we’ve zoomed swiftly into 2013. In the blink of an eye, two weeks of January have passed us by. 

And these two weeks have not been without its fair share of excitement.

First, of course, is the issue of water in the Klang Valley, and how the rakyat is told that some areas will be experiencing water shortages until Chinese New Year in the second week of February. 

For many right-thinking Malaysians, surely this is a baffling scenario: how could we be deprived of water, a basic utility and necessity, for so long a period? 

Hence many are saying that “dark and invisible hands” could be behind this latest twist in the story of water in Selangor.

As we all recall, one such turn in the water tale was that the Barisan Nasional administration had never done an audit to get a full picture of its water assets, and insisted that there was not enough water; hence it needed to have the Langat 2 water processing plant project. 

On the first matter, it took a change in government in 2008, with members possessing an entirely new approach towards governance, to conduct such an exercise; the Pakatan Rakyat administration with Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim at the helm finally discovered that Selangor’s water assets were worth something to the tune of RM12 billion.

And for the second, the PR administration has shown time and again that water levels in Selangor are sufficient, and that the Langat 2 project was far too expensive; a more economical solution in membrane filtering technology was already available and could be implemented without severely denting public coffers.

Unfortunately, BN is adamant and unwilling to hear these salient PR rebuttals. Perhaps only the rakyat of Selangor can decide, via the upcoming 13th General Election, assuming that fight will be free and fair.

Which brings me to my next point: electoral reforms. 

It’s a new year, yet it’s the tired, old arguments being upheld to not implement the eight reforms demanded by Bersih 2.0. 

Even the issue of overseas voting is mired in confusion, (purposeful?) lack of coordination, and poor communication. 

With an estimated one million Malaysians currently living and working abroad, one would imagine that this is a significant constituency that should not have its rights as citizens denied! 

Yet the feet-dragging, the “ummms” and “errrs” have caused quite a stir - to the point that Malaysians overseas - particularly in Singapore, where most of the overseas Malaysians are based - are coordinating themselves to return home to cast their ballots.

Another aspect of electoral reform - or lack thereof - which many are still griping about is the electoral roll itself. 

As someone working for the MP for Lembah Pantai, I have had to conduct Get-Out-The-Vote exercises where we’ve tried to touch base and connect with individual voters. 

In doing these exercises, the Lembah Pantai team has found quite a number of irregularities, including but not limited to houses with families who’ve lived there for an entire generation finding out a stranger (or three) is voting there;
public housing units, some no larger than 650sqf, having 7-8 voters; voters “living” in commercial complexes; voters who’ve applied to move into Lembah Pantai seven years ago, yet to this date they haven’t been moved; sudden massive increase of 15x in total number of police voters in four years; and much more.

We can only guess why there is feet-dragging in looking into these irregularities.

Hence, I can say with some surety that even though it’s a new year, we’re still fighting on the same old issues. 

But here’s to new beginnings in the fight to resolve them, and to seeing the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel.

 

 Selangor Times

 

 

Also by Fahmi Fadzil:

Awaiting local, federal elections

THE Malaysian political scene feels like it fits right in with the work of absurdist playwright Beckett’s play entitled ‘Waiting for Godot’, where two characters – Vladimir and Estragon – wait patiently for the arrival of Godot, who never arrives.

Farewell 2012, Hello 13GE

WHAT a year it has been! Who would’ve thought that much of these past 11 months would have sped by with such ferocity?

Reconsidering elected representatives

What is the role of a member of Parliament? A state assemblyperson (ADUN)? A local councillor? 

The day after...

In my last article, I wrote about the need to imagine the hours, days, weeks, and months following the 13th General Election (a most enigmatic event, whose precise date is and will forever be a mystery... until it is called!). 

Change must come but not with violence

A few days ago, I read an article by Liew Chin Tong, the MP for Bukit Bendera, entitled “The Last Mile” (The Rocket, July 2, 2012).

Let’s keep thuggery out

I have been working for Nurul Izzah and Parti Keadilan Rakyat since October 2010.

Cleaner, freer, fairer, better

It’s been a good nine months since the epic Bersih 2.0 rally of July 2011. I still remember the days that came before that mammoth gathering - the tension, the stress, the uncertainties, and most of all: the unyielding desire of the rakyat for free and fair elections - and realize that, given the special circumstance that we are in today what with polls being weeks or months away, those thunderous days may not be repeated verbatim.

Tale of two gatherings

This past week saw several different yet, from my point of view, important gatherings of people standing up for what they believe in. I want to write a little bit about two gatherings in particular, and highlight what we may (hopefully) learn from each.

Of sacred cows and secret condos

It’s been a while since my last article appeared in Selangor Times - things have been moving a tad bit faster than usual; even now I’m writing in between completing other tasks, but no matter.

What a year!

“Buka tutup buka tutup mata, dah habis satu tahun.”
 

TTDI residents ready for futsal 'match'

A few Fridays ago, I received an email from my neighbourhood security-watch committee about a new project that had suddenly mushroomed in our little corner of Taman Tun Dr Ismail: a futsal court.

Neighbourhoods under siege

OF late I’ve been thinking a lot about neighbourhoods – all these places where we grew up, started our own families, and basically watched the nation go by.

Cleaner, fairer, better?

PRACTICALLY everyone who is reading this already knows about the July 9 rally organised by the Bersih 2.0 coalition. I believe that many of us were there on the streets on that historic day.

Maafkan kami

I’m not sure if you’ve been following the news, but earlier in June I was kind of in the news as I had to apologise for some things that I had tweeted in January.

Times of change

Of late, we’ve been inundated with talk about withdrawal of subsidies and subsequently the change in the price of sugar, RON95, gas, electricity, etc – some of which has happened, and some of which (for whatever economic or political reason) has not.

Sarawak, show us the way

The recent Sarawak state elections were such a learning experience for many Malaysians. Irrespective of whether we were active participants in the political battles on the ground, or just curious observers reading the news on Twitter, it is clear that Sarawak – and the rest of the country – can never be the same again.

The Malaysian resistance

These are “artistic impressions” of thoughts circumambulating the increasingly controversial Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
project. I chose to say “increasingly controversial” because we all know we need this infrastructure and thus any opposition to it appears to reject a very public need.

 

 

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