Monday, September 27, 2010

Team Rakyat cries foul

Disgruntled members from the PKR Bayan Baru division are crying foul over the election results which revealed a resounding victory and a clear mandate for Sim Tze Tzin, the current state assemblyman for Pantai Jerejak. Sim garnered 499 votes and a landslide majority of 234 votes.

M.Ngnana Sagaran who lost to Sim was clearly disappointed by the results but nevertheless exhibited good sportsmanship in the spirit of healthy competition and as a PKR team member. Both posed for pictures for the press after the announcement of the results last Saturday.

However, less than 24 hours after the election and citing bias within the Election Committee, Operations Manager for Team Rakyat, Anuar Ismail announced that their team does not accept the results and the whole election process. He felt that the election process had been compromised.

“We do not accept the results and the whole process; and will lodge a police report over this”, Anuar conveyed, stressing his dissatisfaction over the results. “We also intend to collect a vote of no confidence against Sim”, he said, indicating a total of between one to two thousand signatures.

The Bayan Baru division has a total of 5495 members. According to statistics, 52% are Indian, 23% Chinese and 15% Malays. M.Ngnana Sagaran had brought in about 3500 members.

An observer who was present at the election, insisted that the majority of the voters who turned up were Indians; and that it had seemed strange that M.Ngnana Sagaran only secured 265 votes. He added that although many voters turned up, the total voter’s count was only 785. There were 21 spoilt votes.

Further allegations were made regarding the 30 minutes break time before the counting of votes. It is also alleged that pro-Sim election workers were involved in the distribution of ballot forms; handling the collection of payment from members; and also guiding the voters to wrongly vote for Sim.

Ex-division deputy chairman, Tan Seng Keat attributed the accusations as being `portrayals of a sore loser’.

“Sim won the contest fairly. Both Sim and M.Ngnana Segaran were in the hall when the Election Committee locked up the hall to rest”, Tan exclaimed, putting at least speculations to rest.

Bukit Gelugor: Lawyer vs lawyer

The might of one lawyer pitting against another lawyer might seem gargantuan to the public; although it is but child’s play to both Lim Boo Chang and Raveentharan, both PKR nominees for the head of division in the Bukit Gelugor constituency.

To date, Lim has sent Raveentharan four different notices claiming defamation in retaliation to police reports made with regards to an incident which occurred early Saturday morning, on the 2nd day of Raya at Sungai Dua, Penang. Guang Ming, a Chinese daily is also recipient to a notice of demand for allegedly publishing defamatory statements about Lim.

While Lim resorted to legal means, Raveetharan sought police intervention.

2nd day of Raya

Escalating tension and provocation by some Malay youths led to a gang fight which resulted in bodily injuries, four burnt motorcycles and the destruction of a recently erected hut that cost about 14K.

According to Mahindren A/L Muniandy, the Raya open house was organized by some Indian Muslim youths at the JKKK hall in Hamna. Lim and his wife attended the function together but left at around 9.30pm.

“The Malay youths threw taunts at us. However, I was not around to break the fight as I was already in police custody”, Mahindren lamented; while the big fight broke out at around 1am. Mahindren is a prospective candidate contesting to be a committee member in the division.

On the other hand, Raveentharan lodged a police report based on how he was being informed of the incident. Although privileged and confidential, Lim managed to lay hands on the police report and in turn filed a notice of defamation against Raveentharan.

“He had accused me of being drunk, and claimed that when the police arrived, alcoholic drinks and gambling apparatuses were found in the premises. I had left earlier and do not know anything about it”, emphasized Lim.

Although Raveentharan has instructed his lawyers to reply to Lim’s notices, he retorted that he was not affected in any way.

“These notices are going to end up in the rubbish bin”, he said nonchalantly.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Undercurrent in PKR Bayan Baru

Zahrain Mohd. Hashim may have quit Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) but his influence still runs deep and wide within the party. As an Independent Member of Parliament for Bayan Baru, he allegedly has a vested interest in the ongoing PKR party elections especially in the Bayan Baru and Bukit Gelugor divisions.

Jurinah bt. Hassan, a contestant from Bukit Gelugor was allegedly asked to withdraw from contesting in the PKR election, and subsequently to resign from PKR altogether. She was branded as a traitor to Zahrain by Ismail Ali, personal assistant of Zahrain.

The Bayan Baru division election is touted to be the second most important division election after Permatang Pauh. During the 2008 General Elections, PKR Bayan Baru had won all three state seats and one parliamentary seat it contested.

Jurinah the traitor?

Jurinah, or Kak Inah, is also the chairperson of Single Mother’s Association of Daerah Timur Laut, Penang. According to her, she had bumped into Jamil Mohd. Nor and his wife Fauziah Mahadi at Rope Walk while having breakfast one morning. She said that Jamil had asked her to contact Zahrain if she needed financial assistance to aid the Single Mother’s Association.

“I spoke to Zahrain on the understanding that this contribution was for the Single Mother’s Association and has nothing to do with politics. We accepted the donation in the capacity of the association and had used the association’s letterhead for all communications”, claimed Jurinah.

Upon her announcement to rally behind Raveentharan, she received an sms from Ismail Ali accusing her as a traitor and threatening her to expose her pictures taken with Zahrain during the presentation of gifts to the single mothers.

She also claimed that Ismail asked her ‘kenapa nak sokong orang India itu?’ (translated as: why would you want to support that Indian?).

However, Jurinah reaffirms her loyalty to PKR and Raveentharan.

“They can publish the pictures if they want to. I will not back out and will not withdraw”, she said with conviction.

Bukit Gelugor division

Incumbent for head of Bukit Gelugor division is Raveentharan A/L V.Subramaniam. His lineup for the party election includes Johan Johari as deputy chairman; Cheah Peng Guan as vice chairman; Muhammed Annaruddin bin Akbar Ali as youth chief; and Jurinah binti Hassan as women’s chief.

Lim Boo Chang spearheads the other team with Roslan bin Ramansiah as deputy chairman; and Asokan A/L Kannan as vice chairman. Other names have not been announced.

“Birds of a feather flock together”, said Raveentharan. “However, we will not give up without a fight”, he continued.

To date, Raveentharan has received several notices of defamation from Lim. This is with regards to a police report which was made against Lim in reference to a Raya open house gang fight which broke out at Hamna, Sg. Dua. Police were there to ease the tension by firing a warning shot. It is claimed that playing cards and some beer bottles were found in the premises.

Bayan Baru division

Two opposing teams will be contesting to head the Bayan Baru division this Saturday at the Silver Jubilee hall in Sungai Dua. `Team Reformis’ is headed by Sim Tze Tzin; and `Team Rakyat’ by M.Ngnana Sagaran.

Sim Tze Tzin, has a clean record and is a tested candidate; and currently the state assemblyman for Pantai Jerejak. His line-up includes Hj Mohd Rashid Hasnon as his deputy chairman; Zainuddin Hanif as his vice chairman; Azriral Tahir as youth chief; and Kak Pah as women’s chief.

M.Ngnana Sagaran on the other hand was initially from MIC then hopped to Gerakan, and then hopped back to MIC. His last held position was as the division head of MIC Bayan Baru. After the 12th general election, he again hopped over, this time to PKR Bayan Baru division and was appointed by Zahrain to be the vice-chairman for the division and also the assistant state secretary. His line-up includes Sallehuddin bin PDK Abdullah for deputy chairman; Swee Tuck Wah for vice chairman ; Hazril bin Hassan as youth chief; and Safinas binti Salleh as women’s chief. Seven of his committee members are ex-MIC members.

Sources from the Bayan Baru division office reveal that M.Ngnana Sagaran, Anuar Ismail amd Jamil Mohd. Nor frequently meet up with Ismail Ali at the Bayan Baru Old Town CafĂ©. Ismail Ali is the special assistant to Zahrain. Anuar Ismail will be contesting as a committee member in M.Ngnana Sagaran’s camp; whereas Jamil, frequently known as JJ6 (Jamil Jari 6) mediates between parties.

In the run-up to the division election day which is just two days away, this heated contest is worrying to Sim as M.Ngnana Sagaran may have the upper hand considering that he has managed to register 3500 Indians as PKR Bayan Baru member since joining in 2008.

“We may lose by between 50-100 votes if party members do not fully come out to support us”, quipped Sim Tze Tzin.