3rd Vote Suspension In Malaysia Unlawful, Must End

In law, Article 8 in Malaysia, there can be no discrimination save as provided by law, but there must be sunset clause, not disingenuous Narrative on the 3rd Vote!

Commentary And Analysis . . .The Narrative on the 3rd vote must not be based solely on petty reasons like saving money that would otherwise be spent on election for local government, town council and village committee. It’s disingenuous Narrative.

If national and state election can be held, there’s no reason except disingenuous Narrative for permanently suspending the 3rd Vote.

The Federation concept, under Article 160(2) and related Articles, remains about power sharing at three levels viz. national, state and local. Malaysia, under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA’63), remains about Equal Partnership of Sabah (formerly British North Borneo), British Crown Colony Sarawak and the Federation of Malaya (with Singapore merged before 1965).

The reasons which prevent the 3rd Vote include denying the collection of taxes at the local level for development and contribution from the bottom up for the state and federal government. That’s self-serving Hidden Agenda and/or “secret plan” based on rotten form of politics. It prevents sharing the cake on income, revenue and resources. All development remains local unless it crosses the border.

All politics are about two aspects viz. restructuring the distribution of political power; and restructuring the distribution of income, revenue and resources.

The 3rd Vote, being permanently suspended, means there’s violation of human rights, the basis of international law. It’s about keeping the disempowered in permanent state of disenfranchisement i.e. virtually in slavery as subjects under the yoke of internal colonisation policies. That denies them control of destiny. Citizens are free people.

Colonialism, i.e. form of criminal enterprise based on accumulating capital, was outlawed by international law after World War II. Colonialism transfers wealth from those who have no power. Those who have power seize the wealth.

3rd Vote No Opposition

In public, no one in the right mind opposes the 3rd Vote. However, political support for the 3rd Vote remains subject to the BIG BUT i. e. invariably based on bundle of contradictions and disingenuous Narrative.

Umno, already in minority of one, may be further divided on the issue. Some party leaders have warned that they will oppose the 3rd Vote. Opinion isn’t law. Only the court can declare law.

The virulently anti-Sultan PAS party of Islamic fundamentalists, falling back on rhetoric and polemics based on the 3R (race, religion, royalty) driven xenophobia, prejudice and hate, cautions that the 3rd Vote would mean “greater local Chinese control of government”.

Of course, the 3rd Vote would see greater reflection of the demography of the nation at the grassroots level. There would be meaningful participation in election for bottoms up democracy.

It’s simplistic and disingenuous, certainly dangerous, if the 3rd Vote remains portrayed as “greater local Chinese control of government”.

At present, with no 3rd Vote, local government remains mostly under the absolute control of one small group of the same people. That’s blatant discrimination which goes against the Constitution.

In law, Article 8 in Malaysia, there can be no discrimination save as provided by law. In case of discrimination, i.e. provided by law, there must be sunset clause. In the case of the 3rd Vote, there’s no sunset clause.

Disingenuous Narrative

In digressing a little but not on the 3rd Vote per se, what’s the real issue for example in the Gaza Strip, West Bank and eastern Ukraine when it comes down to brass tacks? The anti-people friendly Narrative remains disingenuous.

Patently, when shove comes after push, it’s the 3rd Vote that counts. If there’s 3rd Vote, it really doesn’t matter who rules in Tel Aviv, Kyiv, or Moscow. These three capital cities would be dependent on local government for income, revenue and resources in the form of taxes.

The 3rd Vote at the grassroots level would force territorial election — i.e. the 3rd Vote at the local government level — and throw up partners for peace for the topdown control freaks in Tel Aviv, Kyiv and Moscow, among others.

3rd Vote No Discrimination

The Narrative on the 3rd Vote must be based solely on factors that matter viz. rule of law, international law being read by national law as compliant, no discrimination, empowerment of the disenfranchised while not denying the empowered, bottoms up movement for democracy, consent of the governed, legitimacy, sovereignty and collecting taxes at the local level for development.

Again, in the rule of law — the basis of the Constitution, there can be no discrimination. Article 8 in Malaysia refers.

In the rule of law, no one was above the law, all are equal before the law, and there can be no discrimination.

Disenfranchised People

There are many people in Malaysia who are among the most disenfranchised in the world.

These include communities who habitually speak Indian languages in the diaspora and those who inherit ancestral and historical properties under Adat, Article 13, Article 5 and Article 8.

Then, there are the smaller communities in Malaya, people from Malaya in Sabah and Sarawak, and people from Sabah in Sarawak and Sabahan and Sarawakian in Malaya. All these categories may be lost tribes.

There’s not even one “ethnic Indian majority” seat in Malaysia. It’s weakness that’s seen in the make-up of the government, Cabinet, and both houses of Parliament. It’s true that there’s no “race”, religion, and political parties in Parliament. There are only lawmakers, including from among the Indian diaspora, elected by all. They are pledged on Oath and serve all including those who didn’t vote for them.

Tamil speakers in Malaya, ironically, don’t accept those who speak other Indian languages as one of them. The clannishness, tribalism and feudalism among Tamil speakers remains deep-seated and thick. Tamil Nadu in the southeast is only one of the 28 states and 8 union territories in India. Then, there’s Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, among other Indian subcontinental states.

No Local ‘Indian’ Doctors

Still, the jury may no longer be out on whether the Indian diaspora in Malaysia risks losing its traditional dominance in the professions including in law, medicine and engineering, among others.

The Health Ministry, for example, allegedly no longer engages “local Indian doctors”. Soon, the community will be falling back on temple mediums, yogi, bomoh and Jesus who had the “healing touch”. There’s deep-seated institutionalised discrimination, including via redundant clauses, against the Indian diaspora in Malaya. It merits UN attention in taking the cue from South Africa under Apartheid, nazi Germany, facist Italy and the caste system from ancient India.

In adding insult after injury, 350K ex-British subjects among the Indian diaspora in Malaya, are allegedly stateless. They may be living in fear, of the authorities, in the twilight zone. There’s nothing to fear except fear itself. The Federal Constitution and Federal Court does not allow statelessness in Malaysia. It smacks of slave labour.

The Adat people are the Orang Asal (Original People) in the former British Borneo and the Orang Asli (Aboriginal People) in Malaya.

Seventy per cent of the people in Sarawak, for example, are Christian. The Orang Asal are the majority people.

Yet, political power in Sarawak has remained since 1966 in the hands of a very small group exercising absolute power allegedly in cahoots with Putrajaya.

Caste System In Place

If government, under international law, isn’t elected and/or can’t be changed through election, and there has been no change of government after two or three terms and no prospect of any, the people have lost sovereignty. The small group having hijacked sovereignty of the people, exercise absolute power, and maintains iron grip on political power and the control of income, revenue and resources. This is akin to the caste system being in place in prohibiting upward social mobility.

The government, having no consent of the governed, has no legitimacy.

It’s the duty of the international community, under international law, for acting on removing illegitimate government. This can be done, as in Iraq in 2003, by marshalling coalition of the willing based on binding Resolution of the UN Security Council (UNSC).

Illegitimate Government

The leaders of illegitimate government risk hanging under international law.

Saddam Hussein, for example, was hanged in 2006 long before the Iraq War ended in 2011. Of course, besides loss of sovereignty, there were many controversial reasons for the Iraq War which began in 2003. These include the bizarre American claim that Saddam Hussein had stockpiled weapons of mass destruction (WMD) including chemical and biological and that he had, among others, gassed 5K Kurds. Iraq was Republic of Fear. Let’s not go there, lest we digress too much from the 3rd Vote proper.

Projek IC Mahathir

In Sabah, the alleged padding of the electoral rolls with dubious documents issued under the infamous Projek IC Mahathir discovered by the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in 2012/2013, compromised the sovereignty of the people. The Orang Asal, in particular, lost control of the government in 1994.

Except for Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, briefly in 1998/1999, no Orang Asal has been Chief Minister of Sabah after the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), headed by Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, fell in 1994. Pairin won the snap state election in February 1994. Then, there were three defections allegedly engineered by then dictatorial Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mahathir Mohamad (now Tun) and his deputy, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Two moneybags in Sarawak and Labuan allegedly “bought” the three defectors. There are no secrets in Sabah.

The declared proof of dubious documents plaguing the Sabah electoral rolls comes from Home Minister Datuk Hamzah Zainudin in 2020 and last year for GE15. Hamzah publicly swore that “no PTI (pendatang tanpa izin or illegal immigrant) would vote as long as I am Home Minister”.

Hamzah placed NRD (National Registration Department) officers at polling stations for the snap Sabah election on 26 September 2020 and last year for GE15. That means NRD has two data banks. QThe pro-PTI Warisan government, which seized power through the backdoor two days after GE14 in 2018, was ousted in 2020. It failed in making any headway in GE15.

Ironically, under the now repealed Article 6(7) of the Sabah Constitution, Warisan President Datuk Shafie Apdal was the only eligible candidate for Chief Minister after GE14. However, he didn’t press the claim at the Istana or in court but seized power by the “backdoor” from Tan Sri Musa Aman who headed the BN (Barisan Nasional) coalition.

Purge Electoral Rolls

The return of the 3rd Vote in Sabah and Sarawak would not be complete without purging the electoral rolls in both territories. Ineligible names risk being removed, and the owners caned, fined, jailed, jailed further in default on the fine, blacklisted and deported. It’s an idea whose time has come.

In Sarawak, under international law with national law being read as compliant, the sovereignty of the people should be restored. The government in Sarawak has not changed since 1966 when Stephen Kalong Ningkan was ousted under Emergency declared by the Tunku Abdul Rahman Administration in Kuala Lumpur. Except for Penghulu Tawi Sli, briefly after Ningkan, no Orang Asal has been Chief Minister of Sarawak since 1966.

Singapore remains another case study on loss of sovereignty.

In Malaya, the 3rd Vote would mean that smaller communities like the Indian diaspora, Malacca Portuguese, Chitty, Baba Nonya, Siamese, Burmese, Dutch Burgher from Indonesia and Sri Lanka, Eurasian, and Anglo Indian would be empowered at the local government level. All these communities have been disenfranchised at the state and national levels.

It’s also no secret that the Governorship in the former British Borneo has been turned, by virtue of being lifelong, into sultanships. Also, no non-Muslim has been Governor of Sabah and Sarawak since Malaysia Day on 16 September 1963. In fact, the Agong remains spiritual head of Islam in the non-sultanates and the Federal Territories. — NMH

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Joe Fernandez
Longtime Borneo watcher Joe Fernandez has been writing for many years on both sides of the Southeast Asia Sea. He should not be mistaken for a namesake formerly with the Daily Express in Kota Kinabalu. JF keeps a Blog under FernzTheGreat on the nature of human relationships.

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