Finally a Home Minister with Real Balls:
New Home Minister, First To Come Under Attack
By FARAH HARITH (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Friday, 17 May 2013 12:46
KUALA LUMPUR: Newly-appointed Home Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has come under fire for the remarks he made in his Opinion piece for Malay daily, Utusan Malaysia, titled 'Perhimpunan Haram Sebab Tak Terima Hakikat Gagal Kuasai Putrajaya' (Illegal Rallies Only Because Of Refusal To Accept Failure Of Conquering Putrajaya).
Several online newsportals, including The Edge Malaysia picked up on Zahid's comments, choosing to highlight what was deemed controversial thus spiralling his statement out of context.
His statement that has invoked the wrath of many, including several Pakatan Rakyat leaders, was when he urged Malaysians who wanted to practice the single transferable vote system to emigrate to republic countries practicing the system.
The Edge Malaysia, in reporting on Zahid's comments, titled their piece, "New Home Minister Tells Unhappy Malaysians To Emigrate."
While it is true that Zahid did ask those unhappy with the current system to emigrate, it is also necessary to read the original comment piece in its entirety to understand what the former Defence Minister was trying to say.
Zahid's introduction in the self-written article for Utusan Malaysia was a straightforward summation of the popular votes issue that has been misunderstood widely in this country.
"Hakikatnya, pakatan pembangkang amat kecewa kerana kegagalan mereka untuk menguasai Pusat Pentadbiran Putrajaya. Pembangkang hanya memperolehi 89 kerusi Dewan Rakyat, biarpun mereka mencanangkan di seluruh dunia seolah-olah Putrajaya telah menjadi milik mereka sejak 5 Mei yang lalu."
(Truth is, the Opposition coalition is disappointed that they were unable to conquer Putrajaya as they only managed to secure 89 parliamentary seats, instead they acted as though they had won Putrajaya on May 5.)
Zahid continued to point out that although PR had secured 51.78% of the popular votes as opposed to BN's 48.22%, Malaysia did not practice the list system or single transferable vote, instead Malaysia and many other Commonwealth countries practices the first past the post system, where political parties contesting in the election will only have one representative in each constituency with the principle of a simple majority of votes.
He then added that for those who wished to adopt the single transferable vote system, they should migrate to countries that practice their political beliefs.
Zahid did not ask unhappy Malaysians to move out of the country.
It should be noted that unhappy is a general adjective. Zahid did not say if a Malaysian is unhappy with alleged corruption, they should move instead of demand for a cleaner system.
His comment piece did not discount the fight for free and fair elections, or a corruption-free Malaysia.
The Home Minister was merely debunking the misunderstood notion of popular votes and how Malaysia does not practice it.
Infact the entire point of his article was merely that the Opposition coalition appears to not be able to accept defeat.
He also raised the point of why Pakatan Rakyat did not question the results for Penang, Selangor and Kelantan.
Online newsportal, Free Malaysia Today in their reaction piece towards Zahid's comments, quoted Petaling Jaya Utara MP, DAP's Tony Puas as saying that Zahid had missed the point, insisting that Malaysians are not disputing the nature of the country's political system, instead is upset with corruption that tipped the favor to BN winning the elections.
Pua reiterated his stand that the electoral boundaries have been excessively corrupted over the past decades.
While there has been an ongoing protest demanding free and fair elections in the country, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim also raised the point of popular votes, using that to reaffirm his claims that Pakatan Rakyat is the rightful winner of GE13 because a majority of those who went out to vote on May 5 voted for them.
As mentioned earlier, Zahid's piece in Utusan Malaysia was not a commentary on whether or not the Electoral Commission (EC) is free from corruption.
Instead it was a straightforward rebuttal of Anwar's misuse of the issue of popular votes.
To sum it up, Zahid's statement can be interpreted in this analogy: if a gay couple in Malaysia wishes to be married and have their union recognized in a court of law, it is best they move to a country that acknowledges gay unions because Malaysia does not.
What has happened however is that the statement was spun to say that all gays living in Malaysia should move to San Francisco.