the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Politics and dirty politics marred what should have been a clean decision based on the best interests of the citizens of the country. Instead the race was on to find someone who’d work in the best interests of particular political parties. Citizens be damned. I am not saying the choices are wrong in any way. I am saying that how the situation became a murky game of dirty politics was terrible. It became a question of egos rather than a question of who would best serve the country. This took precedence over the eventual announcement and that took the shine away from a post that should be respected and revered.
And the week ended with the Olympics and the AITA announcement on who would represent India in the Olympics, a competition to showcase the level of sporting talent in the country, a competition that shows the world that we are not just a land of thinkers and technical geniuses; that we also have some incredible and passionate sports people. Truth be told, we have never fared very well in the Olympics, but representing your country on such a grand International scale with billions of people in support is an achievement very few can boast of. Once again, it was politics at the helm and newspapers and news channels had a field day taking opinions and siding with the players or the AITA. In everyone’s quest to get a few moments of fame, with big money and bigger egos at play- the sparring still continues. What’s left to see is at the end of it all does the nation win or suffer?
Unfortunately though, years of experience tell us – politics always trumps the nation and though one party ‘wins’ – we all lose!
Opinion polls before an election have always been a political thermometer in democratic countries. Polls can be conducted by political parties, media, universities or non-political organisations. However, the accuracy and credibility of the polls depend on the background of the poll organiser, the scope and the object of the study, as well as the fairness of the method used.
To put it simple, polls involve objectivity and fairness. If it is strongly affected by a political party or the purpose of manipulating politics is prioritised, its accuracy and credibility will then be greatly reduced.
In Malaysia, polls have not even been popularised yet, let alone to be called mature. It is also why, every time when a so-called poll result was released, members of the general public were quite indifferent, or even suspicious. The result of a recent poll on Pakatan Rakyat’s states conducted by three scholars has also been inevitably questioned.
It was reported that the scholars each conducted their own studies but their conclusions were the same, namely the BN would win the next general election and stay in power.


by Mariam Mokhtar@
The solution is simple: If Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak wants to create his own political tsunami, reverse the trend set by the Federal Opposition coalition, and earn the respect of the rakyat, he knows what he must do: arrest former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad for alleged crimes against the Malaysian nation and for abuse of power.
An approaching tsunami may be preceded by a drastic drop in water levels. Many people died in the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004 when they went to the beach to see the seabed which had been exposed by the retreating ocean. Experts claim that a receding sea would have given five minutes’ warning for people to get to safety.
Najib faces a discontented public and disarray in UMNO, with divided loyalties and duplicity at the highest levels. Pakatan Rakyat and various NGOs have exposed alleged corruption involving many millions upon millions of ringgit, cases of injustice and the children of VVIPs and ministers receiving unfair business advantages. The exposed seabed before the arrival of the tsunami is a metaphor for all these problems.
Najib will have read the Merdeka Centre survey and seen that his approval rating had decreased, albeit by a miniscule amount, to 64 percent last month, but the decline in approval of his party is more worrying.
He would have recalled that in the 2008 general election, then Premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had an approval rating of 72 percent, but at the time, BN enjoyed a stronger position than it currently does.
Najib has observed the increasing disregard of the rakyat for his administration and with the drop in popularity of his own party, he has effectively been given his ‘warning’ before the tsunami strikes.
To rescue his own party and redeem respect, Najib has to be courageous. By detaining Mahathir, he would achieve many things people thought him incapable of.
First, with the arrest, Najib would steal the thunder from the Opposition and be able to claim the glory of bringing a much despised man to justice. People are tired of the farcical Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), which catches the small fry rather than the big fish. Countries like Iceland, Ukraine, South Korea and Israel have tried former  Presidents and Prime Ministers.
Second, and perhaps this is for Najib’s own benefit, he would show the public and especially his detractors in UMNO, that he is no shrinking violet.
It is an established fact that Najib hates controversies. When asked awkward questions during a press conference (PC) – he simply walks away; but governing is not just about PCs. Mahathir keeps his hands clean but with Umno losing ground, Mahathir’s undermining of Najib has escalated, because the Mahathir political dynasty must continue.
Most former Presidents and Prime Ministers stay out of the limelight and are content to do charitable works or earn big bucks on the international lecture circuit. What does that say about our two surviving former PMs? One does not need the money, whilst the other has little to contribute.
Arresting Mahathir would be in the public interest and Najib should take this risk.

Najib’s timidity

So we come the third point. Najib has always promoted the line of moderation but never, it appears, at home. Mahathir endorsed the extremist PERKASA, claimed that BERSIH would topple the government, suggested that BERSIH was a clash between Malays and non-Malays, and said that Chinese voters would be the deciding factor in GE13.

Najib should have publicly told Mahathir that his comments compromise national security, but he didn’t. Mahathir has gone from strength to strength, because Najib was too timid to confront him.
If Mahathir were arrested, it might silence all of Najib’s critics within UMNO or force them into the shadows. They are vocal because they have Mahathir’s backing.
Then comes the fourth point. Over the past three decades, our judiciary, police and civil service have been compromised. Billions of ringgit in illicit funds have allegedly been spirited overseas. In addition, families are divided by the brain drain from Malaysia. Members of Najib’s cabinet and party still follow Mahathir’s divisive policies. Arresting Mahathir will show the people who the real boss is.
There is one final twist, which is Najib’s own insecurity.  Najib entered politics at a tender age of 23 after less than two years at PETRONAS, following his graduation. He is a career politician. How can he empathise with the common man when he has not experienced life outside the corridors of Parliament and of power?
Despite saying that his administration does not practise populist policies, Najib has failed to see the negative public response to his various handouts such as the RM500 of Bantuan Rakyat 1 Malaysia or deals for petty traders and taxi-drivers.
He has tried unconventional methods to gain acceptance – inviting people home to watch football, he’s done the hip-hop thing, gone on Facebook and taken a bus ride in Ipoh, albeit on a luxury coach.
Mahathir is chillingly ruthless, Najib is not. Both are hungry for power but Mahathir is not ashamed to humiliate Najib by undermining his rule. Mahathir is adept at twisting the truth and is not afraid to take charge, to dominate and to control.
Najib is too lazy and would prefer others to do his thinking and controlling for him, as long as he can enjoy the spoils. He should dismiss all his advisers, especially those responsible for the latest humiliating debacle over the Merdeka Day slogan.

Everything to lose
Najib assumed the reins of control at a time when people breathed a sigh of relief at Abdullah’s impotence. Mahathir does not have the self-control to manage his own personality and tends to force himself onto others.
How can Najib even carve out a political legacy for himself when he has promoted the discredited Isa Samad to head FELDA? Even Mahathir had called Isa corrupt! Perhaps, surrounding himself with the tainted might make him look less tarnished.
As we approach GE13, Najib has no one left to ingratiate himself with.  Najib has everything to lose, but Mahathir has not. Now is the time for Najib to turn the tables on his adversary and arrest Mahathir. He must prove his mettle by riding out the tempest of any blackmail attempts. Mahathir’s arrest could also start a domino effect and plug the black hole called PETRONAS.
If he wishes, Najib could also organise a cull of the known Mahathirists in the Judiciary, the Police and the Civil Service. The rakyat who are engrossed in the closing drama of the mighty Mahathir might even overlook some of Najib’s indiscretions.
They won’t of course, but it would at least buy Najib more time. Then, he might want to consider Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud in Sarawak.
BN will win – how accurate is that?
I do not doubt the possibility of that. However, I have questions about the method used and attitudes of the scholars in their “academic researches”.
Everyone may predict the general election result based on the principle of the freedom of speech. I also believe that despite the unprecedented challenges, the BN still has a higher change in winning the next general election, compared to the Pakatan Rakyat. Of course, it is only my personal prediction based on the current political situation, without involving an opinion poll. Therefore, it is very subjective. I might have guessed it right, and I might have guessed it wrong.
The three scholars represent the academia. The people have higher expectations on them because of their academic statuses and the university they represent. As university academics, they are expected to publish election analyses and study results based on authentic data and the study must be comprehensive and carefully conducted.
However, it is disappointing as the polling result this time showed only data of two states. One of the scholars explained that they could not analyse the other two states due to insufficient data. In other words, they drew a conclusion based only on the polling results of two states. Isn’t it not rigorous enough, and even a bit trifling?
Different polls always come out with different results. Polls conducted in different areas and respondents’ races also affect the results. A poll conducted in Penang might show a strong support for the Pakatan Rakyat, but the situation might be exactly the opposite in another state. Similarly, the tendencies of Malay and Chinese voters might also be totally different.
Therefore, are polls accurate? Are they politically manipulated or independent and objective? Sometimes, it is really a test for our wisdom!
Type in “Delete yourself from the Internet” on Google and a dozen sites pop up to give you a crash course on the many ways in which you can delete yourself permanently from the World Wide Web, along with the hundreds of embarrassing photos, offensive comments, and humiliating tirades posted during momentary lapses in judgment.
Yes, the same Internet that makes you divulge first, regret later, also offers you a chance at redemption — brought to you by none less than Google, that omniscient purveyor of all things digital, the very entity that caused that information to be so easily accessible in the first place.take a break from the news and the politics and even the decline of the rupee to focus on something much more personal. Today I take the time to talk about relationships. Today, is a world where you have over 1000 Facebook friends and even more Twitter followers / friends. But even in a world of so many thousands of ‘friendships’ we have almost no relationships.
In a world of instant noodles and where between 2-8 milliseconds might be too long for a web page to open, we wrongly assume the same of our relationships. We assume that they are right for us instantly, that it will be wonderful and that there will be no extra work required, and if not , well what’s the problem – let’s just un-friend them, or in a marriage head for a quickie divorce? This is not true. Friendships are hard and relationships even harder. Time must be spent on making them perfect – and remember nothing is perfect. It just must be perfect for you.
And why so much talk on relationships? Well, this weekend I celebrated one of the most important people in my life – my very handsome husband Aditya. Aditya and I have been best friends for sixteen years and married for almost seven. He is my strongest supporter and my kindest critic. He is caring, loving and generous. He is the perfect foil to my outspokenness, my cynicism and my mistrust. He is not perfect. But he is perfect for me.
There are many jokes made about us both being joined at the hip and never apart from each other. But what most don’t know is that we fight, we yell, we argue – but we work! We both are completely headstrong, stubborn individuals with completely different tastes and likes and it has taken time and effort to make it seem perfect. It didn’t just start off that way. We still have yelling matches. Our first bathroom lighting fixture took us 3 months to agree on and in our home we didn’t have a dining table for a year after we moved in cause we couldn’t agree…and that’s okay. Relationships are not about being with someone who agrees with everything you say. It’s about being with someone who challenges you, who makes you think, who makes you feel alive!
So cut out the ego boost and the 1000+ friends you’ve never met and the other hundreds who don’t really care for you and reach out to someone- the one person who make every day count. That’s a great friendship and wonderful relationship and the real reason to be alive!
The relative obscurity of webpages, the anonymity of online identities, and the innocuous nature of a computer screen combined together to prompt us to divulge more and more in the Internet age, even as privacy advocates and media scholars warned us about the unforgettable memory of the Web.
Emily Gould described the perils of oversharing on the Internet as well as anyone after her relatively private blog exploded from relative obscurity to an open journal for the world to see. “In real life, we wouldn’t invite any passing stranger into these situations, but the remove of the Internet makes it seem O.K.,” she wrote.
Now, with Facebook and Twitter and Google, there are ever more areas for oversharing, and with them, increasing avenues for finding and exploiting that information. Everything we ever do seems to be recorded on the Internet in such consistent fashion, that the two appear inextricably linked.
So far, users have been held liable for the irresponsibility of posting too much information about themselves–as they should be. But as companies use Internet content more and more for consumer data and advertising, employers monitor social-media updates by their employees, and schools track their students’ online escapades, there is more and more need to hold organizations accountable for their exploitation of such information.
Should there be some safeguards in place for users who get plagued by the persistence of their past actions (and in some cases, even non-actions) due to the indelible memory of the Internet?
In a world where visitors can be turned away from countries because of online records of their past research, fired from jobs owing to Facebook posts, and suspended from schoolbecause of their tweets, Netizens should certainly be entitled to some protections. With Google consolidating its privacy policy across services, tying users’ online searches to their Gmail conversations and videos watched on YouTube, more comprehensive and very unwitting online profiles are emerging. Short of “divorcing” Google, it’s hard to escape the terrifying watchfulness of what started as a search engine and now offers everything from e-mail to social networks.

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