Category Archives: 916M Open Letters

916M: Rashid A: An Open Letter to Kapar MP


We cannot agree with you more.

Indeed, it is time for our MPs to represent all Malaysians to pursue a Malaysia Baru.

As we have noted, the Kapar MP should have fought for discrimination and marginalisation of all Malaysians, not just Indians.

We hope the Kapar MP will wake up quickly and get back to work.

Whilst this may have been disrupting, we see this as an opportunity to fine-tune Pakatan before they assume government, with the bad MPs booted out, and goods ones discovered.

We must move forward.

916 Movement

An Open Letter to Kapar MP

Friday, 02 January 2009 14:07

My dear Kapar MP,

I’m a voter in a Kapar although I live and work in Kedah, but during the March 08 elections, I drove all the way from Alor Star and not only voted for you but convinced many doubting Thomases to vote for you. We spent our own resources to spread your message and the PR platform. You weren’t known to us even if you were a Reformasi stalwart and you didn’t contest Kapar before.

Despite you being a parachute candidate in a Malay majority seat, you won a thumping victory and obtained a staggering 48, 196 votes beating your opponent, MIC Wanita Chief and Parliamentary Sec. Datin Paduka P Komala Devi by a whopping 12, 297 votes. In 2004, she beat the PKR candidate Ang Hiok Gai by 14, 558 votes. To overcome that huge majority and defeat her wasn’t easy but you did. However, for me, it seems you don’t understand how you won and what made you win.

Recently you have been the in the news over your “quit threat” to your party listing a litany of complaints and throwing tantrums giving MCA leaflet The Star an ample opportunity to run down your party, the leadership of your party, PAS Selangor leadership and some Selangor DAP leaders as well. Of course, Malaysia Castrated Association (MCA) is grappling with a leadership crisis where the new elected leader and Transport Minister (Dictator) Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat is fighting his Deputy Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek. The party is also facing an extinction having lost its allure and its rallying call of “Chinese representation” is no longer viable. PAS (let alone DAP) is offering the Chinese much more than a Chinese party like MCA is even ready to give to the Chinese. Therefore, any opportunity that will deflect attention from the party and (its violent husband) UMNO will be ‘highly appreciated’. But now that your discourse has taken tribal/racist line of Indian this, Indian that, I need to tell you few things as a Malay voter and anyway, Kapar is a Malay majority seat.

During your press conference, you alleged that PKR remains Malay-centric and campaigned for the Malay agenda, pointing out that Indians had not been offered positions in GLCs, state agencies and senior positions in local councils. (That’s what Baradan Kuppusamy wrote-though I always ignore what he writes and I’m sure majority of the people do): “Even in Kampung Sentosa where 95 per cent of residents are Indians, Khalid appointed a Malay as the ketua kampung,” you said. While you blame Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim for appointing a Malay village headman in a village populated by Indians calling it “marginalization”, one wonders what would it be you being an MP for Kapar which has 88% non-Indian voters? Khalid and Azmin Ali are responsible for you being fielded there. Can we (the Malays of Kapar) blame them also for “marginalizing us”? Kapar has 50% Malay voters, 37% Chinese voters and 12% Indian voters. Yes, Indians only form 12% of Kapar voters but you got close to 50,000 votes to represent it while Indian votes is only 14,000, whom should we blame for that “marginalization”? I’m sorry to say this but this is what you are saying!

Malaysiakini journalist K Kabilan quoted you in his article: “Moves underway to oust Samy Vellu” as saying: “On Dec 31, I will give up my party posts. After that, I will be heading to India. There I will meet Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy and seek his advice on what I should do. Once I am back, I will reveal my decision whether to remain in the party.” Then you expressed your “bitter disappointment with PKR for failing to keep the party’s pledges to uplift the Indian community.” Kabilan wrote that you were in discussions with Hindraf leaders, including Waythamoorthy, as they are “the real community leaders”.

So you want to go to India, meet Hindraf leaders on “your future” since they “represent the Indian community”? Fine! But what about the Malay and Chinese people? We gave you a future by voting for you, we supported you, we campaigned for you, we convinced our old people, parents and Umnotitis suffering people to ditch the party and MIC (a branch of UMNO-MCA and MIC are basically tentacles of UMNO and not Malaysian parties), we explained Hindraf to our people, we countered UMNO’s dirty propaganda against Hindraf and explained it to our rural people. We spent our own resources to rally our people to vote for you and many other PR candidates. I remember you requesting 50% of Kapar Malay voters to “beat Komala.” We gave it to you. Indians have 14,000 voters in Kapar while Malays have over 55,000 voters and you were given a whopping 48,000 plus voters. So when will you meet us to talk about your future? Or since we are not Indians, you don’t care about us?

I want to remind you that you weren’t elected by Indians but primarily by Malays followed by the Chinese of Kapar, and I want to make it clear to you that aren’t an MP because of Hindraf or Indians but because of Malay and Chinese votes. Even if Hindraf was so popular, Indians form 12% of Kapar voters, what about the remaining 88% non-Indian voters? Moreover, do you know that for Hindraf itself to become popular and acceptable, it needed Malay support? From the famed Raja Petra to Haris Ibrahim and Co. to PAS and PKR (Malays), Hindraf was ‘humanized’ to the Malay people by us. If we supported UMNO’s aggressive stand against Hindraf and digested its stinking propaganda against the NGO, things would have been different today (and that’s exactly what UMNO wanted).

It is well known that Hindraf was demonized by the UMNO media in the run up to the March 08 elections. Even UMNO prepared thousands of CDS for villagers accusing PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of being Hindraf sympathizer and financier. This was done to scare the Malays and sway them from voting for the Malay and Indian candidates on the PR platform. It was PAS and PKR Malays who countered this by ‘explaining’ Hindraf to the Malays.

UMNO told the Malays that Hindraf was a terrorist organization financed by foreigners and made up of hardcore Indian criminals to foment violence and challenge the Malay people. It was PAS and PKR Malays who have explained to the rural voters what Hindraf was. We explained that Hindraf was simply an Indian NGO to air the grievances of the Malaysian Indian Community and it wasn’t a sinister organization hell-bent on destroying the Malay people as UMNO was preaching. We convinced the old people that Hindraf was fighting to end poverty which was itself Islamic. When Hindraf protested against UMNO Ministers during the Hari Raya Open House and the police threatened them, PAS President Datuk Seri Ustaz Hadi Awang came to their rescue by saying Hindraf had every right to protest as even people protest in front of The White House. It is a stand like this that was ‘humanizing’ Hindraf and making it acceptable to the Malays.

We told our people that UMNO had neglected the Indians and non-Muslims in the country believe Islam is an unjust religion (which it is not) because of UMNO and therefore they should vote for the Malay and Indian PR candidates. Something was achieved and superb results obtained. You YB Manickavasagam (among others) is a result of that behind the scenes campaign and that’s why you got the Malay (and Chinese) vote in Kapar. Unfortunately, today you talk as if you don’t need us, as if we didn’t invest in you, as if we didn’t campaign for you, as if we didn’t support you, as if we didn’t vote for and as if we have no expectations from you.

Ironically you are behaving as if Indians alone elected you. You say you will go to India to consult Indian and Hindraf leaders. You forgot that you are an MP in a Malay majority seat, that you represent PKR which is a multiracial party, that you were fielded by Malay leaders in Kapar, that Malay leaders led by Anwar himself tirelessly campaigned for you, that we PAS and PKR Malays ‘sold’ you to our people, that we left our air-conditioned offices in far away places to drag our people to switch sides and stand by you in your hour of need, that we spent time and resources to sell PR contestants though most of them were parachute candidates, that we countered UMNO’s dirty propaganda against PR candidates and Hindraf.

Rather than recognizing those facts and building a better Kapar, a better Selangor and a better Malaysia, we see you throwing tantrums, running down party leaders in Malaysia Castrated Association (MCA) leaflets and UMNO media. We see you talking about Indian village headmen and not Malay poverty, Malay neglect, Malay congestion, Malay education standard, Chinese poverty, Chinese business, Chinese villages. Is this your reward to us? Do you need to accuse others of marginalizing Indians while you are ‘marginalizing’ us? Despite that, we are not throwing tantrums, issuing ultimatums and carrying placards. You remember PAS President saying all constituencies with Malay majority must be represented by Malays? Basically he was talking about something like this and his call may receive some support in the future.

Granted, you have some problems, granted, you are facing some difficulties, granted, you have few funds to sustain you programmes, but to accuse PKR of neglecting Indians (as if has rewarded Malays and Chinese at the expense of Indians) and blaming Khalid for the sole reason that he had accidentally appointed a Malay to head an ‘Indian village’ and say that you only need Hindraf and Indian consultation is not only unacceptable but utter humiliation. We feel offended by that and feel betrayed by you. What’s more? You say if you were to quit PKR, you will stay as an independent MP. Sir, like YB Karpal Singh told you few days ago, you are an MP simply because of PKR. If you don’t want the party, quit the seat. And I as a voter who led a spirited behind the scenes fight for you and all the PR DUN candidates in Kapar is telling you this in bold letters: You will have to quit the seat and not PKR. Enough with your humiliation and betrayal! It is the likes of you who give the Indian community a bad image (ironically in the name for fighting for it).

Few days ago I met a prominent Umnoputra, a son of a former Minister in Mahathir’s regime. He is my distant cousin and we love each other but politically we are ‘enemies’. I will never accept UMNO just like he won’t accept PAS and PKR (because he is benefiting from Umno’s largesse meant of his ilk while I sweat to feed my children). As we chatted, he said: “You see, when we tell you Indians are snakes and snakes can be controlled either by hitting their heads or forcing them to retreat to their holes, you [PR Malays] complain”. I was offended by that and answered that it was immoral and no one likes sweeping condemnation of an entire society. He laughed deliriously and said that I was naive. Basically he was referring to the childish tantrums of YB Manickavasagam who says he will only seek Indian consultation and something of the sort. While in my anger, I wanted to agree with him, I felt it was immoral to lampoon an entire society because of the nefarious ways of few people. Though I hate the Umnoputras for destroying Islam’s image, using Malay name to rob the Malay people and pit Malaysians against one another, I must say for once, I agreed with him. No wonder there is the saying: ‘A mad man may say the truth once’ (An Umnoputra may say the truth once).

You were quoted as saying that there is “discrimination” against Indians in PR led states. Please share with us the information. There is a better representation for Indians in PR states. Their status is higher than it was under Umno/MIC. Indian activist and NGO head, lawyer K. Arumugam has revealed that they (Indians) have met Selangor MB 17 times since March 08 while they were denied a single meeting by Khir Toyo in the past. Ironically Khir Toyo runs down Khalid in BerUMNO…oops, Bernama over Indians. How painful and ironic it is! “Before we tried and never met the former Mentri Besar but since the Pakatan came to power we have met the new Mentri Besar 17 times since March 8. They even asked for our input during pre-Budget discussions and later we saw our views were incorporated into the Budget and funds were allocated,” he was quoted saying that in The Star. Is that discrimination?

And anyway, you represent Malays, Chinese and Indians, so why not raise their issues simultaneously? When will you be quoted fighting for Malay fishermen? When will you be quoted fighting for ‘our rights’ since you are an MP because of our votes? Tan Sri Khalid has for the 1st time allocated funds running into millions to Chinese and Tamil schools, has paid the price of the pig farming, has called for Chinese and Indian intake into UITM universities and bore the brunt of that call, has appointed a Chinese to head PKNS and we know what happened, has increased non-Malay representation in local councils and we know what happened, has constituted a non-Muslim Exco Committee to solve pertinent issues related to non-Muslims and has done a tremendous work. In all that, UMNO was hitting hard at him, undermining him by constituting different village headmen and spreading lies about him saying he was betraying Malays.

Rather than you being a helping hand (despite some glaring mistakes), we see you going round with some unknown elements and badmouthing PKR and PR leaders. We see you threatening people and saying you will seek Indian consultation as if Indians elected you, as if your party is an Indian party, we see you blaming YB Sivarasa Rasiah and other PKR Indian leaders. Sivarasa is a Malaysian leader and not an Indian leader. And since you have no feelings for us Malay voters in Kapar, we won’t allow you to be our MP. Quit the seat if you want to quit the party. Both PAS and DAP presidents told you that! Indian marginalization was a 50 year project by UMNO and its Indian branch, MIC, so how do you expect Indian issues to be solved in 8 months when even PR doesn’t control the Federal Govt and can’t rescind some policies? Why do you want to alienate the Indian community? I hope you follow the following advises:

1. Stop talking about Indian this, Indian that because you are an MP due to the non-Indians in Kapar who form 88% of your voters. Yes, Indians too contributed but don’t get carried away in the hope of you becoming an Indian hero. Neither you nor the Indians will benefit from antagonizing others. Be truthful to your party multiculturalism and fight injustice on all fronts.

2. Be a national leader who represents a national constituency and start fighting for all races. Remember, you are the Kapar MP while PAS and DAP represent two of its DUNs. That’s the PR spirit and mutuality and also Malaysia’s multiculturalism.

3. Stop saying you will consult Indian/Hindraf leaders when you consulted us Kapar voters and we gave you a future: being the PKR MP for Kapar for the next 5 years and we invested in you. If you don’t want that trust, please quit the seat immediately. Quitting the party is of no value to us: it is the seat because we elected because of your party. You were unknown to us and to Kapar-ians.

4. Give some respect to Malay PR leaders because you undermining them will put them in a difficult position vis-a-vis the fight against Umno. I hope you understand what I’m talking about. I don’t need to explain too much on this particular issue. Furthermore, it is they who campaigned for you in a Malay majority seat and not Hindraf.

5. Stop airing your views in MCA and UMNO media because they have no mercy for you and your community. All they want is to humiliate your leaders, divide PR parties and cause chaos in PR. They aren’t interested in your welfare or the Indian community. If they did, your people won’t be suffering after 50 years of BN (mis)rule.

6. Stop going around with jobless elements who have no dignity and societal standing but who pressurize you into throwing tantrums, issuing ultimatums and alienating the Indian community in the process. For God’s sake, you are the MP for Kapar with 112,000 voters, A Supreme Council Member of your party and a (Former) Deputy Liason.

7. Stop blaming the Indian PR and PKR leaders because by “becoming Indian” and retreating into tribal/race cocoons, even we the Malays of PR will feel offended and that won’t help the community as it needs understanding and empathy so that the community’s problems are solved without raising eyebrows and antagonizing others. We don’t want a PR MP or DUN trying to become a hero by appealing to the dregs of his/her community. We want you to build a new Malaysia and your party is the one that initiated Ketuanan Rakyat (and not Ketuanan Looters {KL} ala Umno). Stay truthful to that rallying call.

8. When you want to issue a press statement or talk to a BN media outlet, know what you want to say and be on guard. Remember, they will twist what you say and drive a wedge between you and PR leaders and supporters. If you fear being misquoted or fabrication (as has happened), simply issue an statement and don’t talk or take interview from a BN media outlet. They are dirty spin masers and hatchet men/women who have no sense of dignity at all. They are paid to spin, so what do you expect from them? Honesty? My foot!

9. Be patient and be informed that we Kapar voters know your handicaps and will give you support as you work for us. We know the limits of your input and funds and we will explain to the old folk so that they too understand your predicament. Once elections are called, we will return you to Parliament so that you continue working for Kapar and Malaysia.

10. Avoid hero talk and fist raising because that is the start of anyone’s decline particularly in the Malaysia of today. Don’t get entangled in race/tribal talk and euphoria. Represent all people, talk about all people and know it has taken 50 years for the Indians and others to be where they are today. It needs at least 10 years to help the community and constitute national policies that help all the disadvantaged Malaysians and for that, PR needs to capture the Federal govt and we hope by next elections, PR will sweep the board and it is bound to happen. Before that, don’t put the Indian community in a difficult position and don’t give Indians a bad image.

Thank you and Happy New Year

Rashid A.

Alor Star. (A Kapar voter)


916M: RPK: An Open Letter to Pak Lah

Dear Pete

Really “super-duper cheong-hei” la you, but we really like this piece. Indeed, we need Pak Lah more because we do not have much confidence in Najib.

Yes, if Pak Lah wants to step down now, then Najib should call for GE13 so that he can get a fresh mandate (fat hopes). If not, Pak Lah should just stay on, so that it will be easier for Pakatan to wipe out Barisan at GE13.

Yes too, the Barisan Government comprises expired politicians, who should be replaced with new politicians who are more attuned with current developments.

916 Movement

An open letter to Pak Lah PDF Print E-mail
Posted by admin
Tuesday, 30 December 2008 16:05


Pak Lah, how would you like to be remembered? As the man who abandoned the nation in its hour of need or as the man who stayed and fought and who completed the job?


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister of Malaysia
Prime Minister’s Office
Main Block
Perdana Putra Building
Federal Government Administrative Centre
62502 Putrajaya

Dear Pak Lah,

First of all, allow me to address you as Pak Lah, as you prefer your friends to address you. I may not be your friend in the real sense of the word — seeing that I am bent on cutting Umno and Barisan Nasional down to size, plus your government has detained me under the Internal Security Act and is still trying to appeal the court’s decision to free me so that I can be sent back to Kamunting, not to mention the four criminal charges I still face which, if I am found guilty, can result in a total of more than ten years in jail if the sentences were to run consecutively.

Nevertheless, this open letter is not about me. It is about the future of this country. And my opposition to Umno and Barisan Nasional is exactly that, about the future of this country, nothing more and nothing less. My aspiration is to finally see the emergence of a two-party system where no one party has a hegemony that has been the political landscape of this country for half a century since Merdeka.

I regard you not as the Prime Minister of Umno, like how the Umno members seem to think, but my Prime Minister as well. Maybe the Umno members have forgotten that you are the Prime Minister of all 26 million Malaysians and not just of the 16 million Malays, or worse, the three million Umno members. This is why I take it upon myself to write you this open letter seeing that you are my Prime Minister as well.

I know this may sound puzzling. Why do I still write to you and regard you as my Prime Minister when I oppose you so violently? Well, I also opposed Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad when he was Prime Minister for 22 years, plus Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim when he was number two to Mahathir. This is no secret and is, in fact, well documented. Under Mahathir I was also detained under the Internal Security Act plus taken in by the police a couple of times. But ever since Mahathir retired I treat him as a friend and did not carry any grudges about our past animosity. I would go so far as to say that I treat Mahathir with the respect due to an elder statesman and one-time Prime Minister of this country — hand kissing included.

Political maturity means we must be able to set aside our personal differences for the greater good of the nation. And we must be able to agree to disagree in a respectful and civil manner. This is what education means and going to school does not mean you have received an education. It just means you went to school. Education is about what you become after you leave school. And I would like to believe that I did not just go to school but received an education as well.

Pak Lah, your paternal grandfather, Syeikh Abdullah Badawi Fahim, was one of the founding fathers of PAS. This means PAS exists today because of your family. And the fact that Syeikh Abdullah went on to become the first Mufti of Penang is no small achievement. This proves your grandfather was able to set aside his political differences and serve the government he opposed for the sake of Islam and the nation. Today, how many are able to do this?

By the way, your grandfather served under my grandfather, Raja Sir Tun Uda, the Governor then, and Puan Seri Endon Mahmood’s family was close to my family even before you married her. So, in that sense, we are ‘family friends’, although political adversaries, and maybe you should be my Abang Lah rather than Pak Lah.

Your maternal grandfather, Ha Su-chiang, was a Chinese Muslim from Hainan. Your late wife, Endon, is said to have Japanese blood while your current wife, Dato’ Seri Jeanne Danker a.k.a Jeanne Abdullah, is of Portuguese descent. Have we ever had such a multi-cultural Prime Minister before this (notwithstanding the four Prime Ministers before you were also not ‘pure’ Malays, if we really want to get technical)?

I feel your family background is unique and can serve as the best example of what a multi-cultural Malaysia should look like. If I had my own way I would ban same-race marriages. Malaysia should pass a law that you must marry outside your race and not marry someone from your own race. Anyway, that would certainly not be realistic and is just my wishful thinking.

If there is something Malaysia really needs is an end to racism. What is currently happening is alarming. What’s with these demonstrations by the ultra-Malays protesting the non-Malays questioning ‘Malay rights and privileges’? Are these Malays trying to push Malaysia to the brink of race riots like what we saw in May 1969? Have they forgotten the concept of freedom of opinion? Are they implying that only Malays have the right to speak and all others must shut up?

Pak Lah, you must no longer keep quiet. You must call for an end to all this racist rhetoric before the fire burns out of control. Have you forgotten that you too have Chinese blood and that the non-Malays are as Malaysian as you and me? Malaysians, Malays or otherwise, have equal rights and this means the right to speak their mind, without fear or favour.

Anyway, back to the purpose of this letter. I am of the opinion that you should not retire in March 2009 as you had planned to do so. When you made that decision to retire, Malaysia had yet to face a severe recession, which we can’t deny is going to hit our shores like a Tsunami and earthquake both rolled into one in the months to come. Since you made that announcement to retire, the situation has changed so drastically that it may be prudent for you to reconsider your earlier decision.

Pak Lah, how would you like to be remembered? As the man who abandoned the nation in its hour of need or as the man who stayed and fought and who completed the job? A captain is never the first to abandon ship. He must be the one who leaves last and goes down with the ship if need be. That is the mark of a good captain and is what you should also strive to be.

The recession is not your fault. It is a global thing and Malaysia is merely a victim of circumstances. But it will be your fault if you do nothing to address the impending doom. There are times we can’t avoid crashing. But the captain should not keep the passengers in ignorance while he seeks the safety of retirement. You, Pak Lah, can afford to retire. You have the financial means to do so. But I can’t say the same for the rest of the 26 million Malaysians who are surviving from hand to mouth.

You have never been to jail, Pak Lah, not even to a police lockup. I have, more than once, and the reality of the suffering of this nation is very prominent behind the high walls of a prison. Do you know that prison warders and policemen earn less than RM1,000 a month? How do they survive? How will they survive in three months’ time when their Ringgit will be worth less than half the value today? And I am not yet even touching on the life of the most unfortunate prisoners who are in prison because they had to steal just to fill their bellies that had not seen food for days.

You will probably be jet-setting around the world by the time all hell breaks loose next year. The rest of us, however, will be forced to stay back in Malaysia, pondering on where our next meal will be coming from. And many will be forced by circumstances to resort to a life of crime just to stay alive. And Malaysians will remember and curse you, the Prime Minister who abandoned them and retired to an easy life while they tighten their belts to ward off hunger or go steal from their neighbours if they can’t stand the pangs of hunger.

It is time politics is set aside for the good of the nation. You need to bring in to your government people who know what to do in times like these. Your Finance Minister said that Malaysia is not facing a recession and never will. This is like a pilot telling his passengers that all is well while he slowly creeps to the back of the plane with a parachute strapped to his back. Come on, Pak Lah, the country is sliding down a slippery slope. Please tell the people this and ask them to brace for the crash. And, at the same time, get the government to do something about it and not keep announcing good news to lull everyone into complacency.

It is your patriotic duty to stay and fight the recession, not to abandon ship. But you can’t do it alone. And the nincompoops you have in government can’t do it either. If you are not prepared to ask the opposition for help by forming a ‘unity government’, at the very least bring in people from outside Umno to do the job like how Singapore normally does. Why do you think Singapore is much better run and its Dollar is stronger than the Ringgit? Singapore doesn’t care if you are a PAP member or not. They bring in the best brains for the job even if you are not a ruling party member.

The people you have in government are archaic and outdated. They are goods with an expired shelf life. And the only reason they are in government is because they are Umno warlords. This must end. We need to see some meritocracy. People must be given the job because they are capable and not because they are Umno gangsters who can rouse 10,000 people and get them to march on the streets. That would be the only way to save this country when the Tsunami cum earthquake hits our shores around the time you want to leave in March 2009.

Barisan Nasional won the election on 8 March 2008 because you are the Prime Minister. If you had announced, before 8 March 2008, that you would be retiring a year later and would be handing the country to your Deputy, then the results would have been very different. Barisan Nasional would have been kicked out and, today, Pakatan Rakyat would be running this country. You would be betraying the voters by leaving in March 2009 when they gave you the mandate to rule till midnight of 7 March 2013.

If you want to leave then dissolve Parliament in February 2009 and call for fresh elections in March 2009. Let the voters decide if they really want Najib Tun Razak as their Prime Minister. This is the right of all Malaysians. Who are you to choose the Prime Minister on our behalf?

Mahathir retired on 31 October 2003 and handed the country over to you on 1 November 2003 — just before the election, which should have been called by November 2004. He gave you one year to get a fresh mandate from the voters. And you held the elections five months later where you received your mandate, the best ever in the history of Malaysian elections. Then you obtained a fresh mandate in March 2008 and, one year into your second term, you leave without consulting the voters as to whether they agree to the change in Prime Minister.

If you want to leave, then either hold fresh elections first, or else wait one year before the next election, say sometime in 2012, and then call for elections a few months after that. This way the people can decide whom they want as Prime Minister. The way it is done now is like the people were tricked into voting for you as Prime Minister and suddenly they discover they are getting someone else they never chose. As I said, it is not up to you who becomes the Prime Minister. It is up to the voters. And the voters chose you, not Najib.

You can retire as the Umno President. That is your prerogative and is an internal Umno matter. But you need not also retire as Prime Minister even if you are no longer the Umno President. The Federal Constitution of Malaysia does not stipulate that the Prime Minister must also be the Umno President.

Article 4 (1) of the Constitution says: This Constitution is the supreme law of the Federation and any law passed after Merdeka Day which is inconsistent with this Constitution shall, to the extent of the inconsistency, be void.

This means the Constitution takes priority and precedence over all other matters, such as what Umno desires. Umno does not appoint the Prime Minister. The Agong does. And the Agong appointed you and not someone else as Prime Minister. Who are you, therefore, to decide who becomes Prime Minister? Are you above the Agong? On this matter Article 40 of the Constitution says as follows:

2) The Yang di-Pertuan Agong may act in his discretion in the performance of the following functions, that is to say:

(a) The appointment of a Prime Minister;

(b) The withholding of consent to a request for the dissolution of Parliament;

This means it is not up to you whether to dissolve Parliament and whether to appoint a new Prime Minister. You can only request this but the matter is entirely up to the Agong. So you need to first consult the Agong and see whether His Majesty is okay with your idea or not. And if the Agong says, “Beta tak pekenan”, then you go back to your home in Putrajaya and continue running this country until, the latest, midnight of 7 March 2013.

Most people have had enough with Umno throwing its weight around to the point of even ignoring the powers of the Rulers. We need you to restore the independence of the four branches of government that we used to have up to 20 years ago — the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary and the Monarchy. That should be your first task and you should stay until you get that done.

Next, we need to reform both the general election system as well as the Umno party elections. The gerrymandering is ridiculous. How can an ‘Umno’ seat be just 5,000 voters while an ‘opposition’ seat is as high as 120,000 voters? If the gerrymandering is eliminated and the variation between seats is not more than 15%, like how the Reid Commission recommended, then the opposition would not need to garner 60% of the votes to form the federal government. Even back in May 1969, when the gerrymandering was not that bad yet, the opposition garnered 55% of the votes and was still not able to form the federal government.

The 58 nominations to qualify to contest the Umno Presidency and Deputy Presidency is another ridiculous ruling, which makes a mockery of democratic elections. And we are yet to touch on the corruption in Umno, which has erroneously been called ‘money politics’. Even the Umno Disciplinary Board is sighing and lamenting and is saying that Umno is in its death throes all because of corruption. Umno is on self-destruct mode and no one dare deny that.

You see, we from the civil society movements do not want to see Umno dead and buried, as what the opposition would like to see. What we want to see instead is an Umno minus its arrogance and high-handedness and a strong opposition in Parliament and the State Assemblies. Who that ruling party may be and who is the opposition is not of too much concern to most of us, as long as they are almost equally matched and both respect the wishes of the voters. Currently, the ruling party that you lead has no respect for the voters and treats the voters with contempt. You insult the intelligence of the voters and think that we are all fools. And we are worried that your anointed successor will be even worse.

Sure, you are not the best Prime Minister we ever had, that I do not deny. But you are also not the worst. And we believe it can get worse if you hand the reins over to Najib. Let’s not pretend that Najib does not have any baggage with the many allegations of corruption made against him and that huge question mark of the Altantuya murder hanging over his head, which has yet to be satisfactorily settled.

It is not that we want you so much. It is more that we don’t want Najib. And we resent the fact that you are deciding on our behalf that Najib is going to be our Prime Minister. Let the voters decide this in 2012 or 2013 during the next general election. If the voters still give Barisan Nasional the government, knowing that Najib will be taking over soon after that, then I rest my case. If that is the voters’ choice then I have no quarrel with that. But, as it stands now, the voters voted on 8 March 2008 on the basis that you, and not Najib, would be the Prime Minister.

I think I have already rambled on far too long and maybe I should stop here. Anyway, my friends don’t call me ‘cheong hei’ for nothing, so forgive my long-windedness. I hope you will seriously consider what I have said. This is not just my personal opinion. This is the feeling of most Malaysians.

I would like to end my open letter by wishing you a Happy New Year and hope that, next year, when I again write to you on New Year’s Eve, it will be still as Prime Minister and not as ex-Prime Minister.

Yours truly,

Raja Petra Al Haj Bin Raja Kamarudin
Bukit Rahman Putra
Sungai Buloh
30 December 2008