Iron Lady stumps for Wan Saiful in GE14

Iron Lady stumps for Wan Saiful in GE14

ALOR SETAR: “Call me Kak Dah,” says Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz as she descended on Pendang to campaign for Wan Saiful Wan Jan in GE14.

The former Wanita Umno chief still packs a punch at age 75 as she stole the show at the Pakatan Harapan ceramah on Monday afternoon.

Speaking for more than an hour, she outshone Wan Saiful who is contesting the Pendang parliamentary seat and the two state candidates Firdaus Jaafar (Tokai) and Razak Khamis (Sungai Tiang).

Without going into specifics and speaking in colloquial Malay, Rafidah asked the crowd to “sign a new contract” and change the national-level manager and management.

Also known as the “Iron Lady” and “AP Queen”, she said her confidence in Pakatan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was not based on personality but on his track record and capability.

However, she deftly side-stepped the fact that Dr Mahathir is 92-years-old and of delicate health.

As she spoke, a convoy of cars and motorcyclists bearing PAS flags drove past several time, blaring their horns.

Pendang used to be a PAS stronghold until Umno won the seat in 2013. The Tokai state seat remains a PAS stranglehold while Sungai Tiang is held by Umno.

The flag war has been fiercest in Pendang area which will see three-cornered fights in the parliamentary and state seats.

On Saturday (May 5), Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor confirmed that the party had expelled Tun Daim Zainuddin and Rafidah for “colluding” with the Opposition.

Rais, who has allegedly been critical of the Government, will also be facing disciplinary action.

First published for The Star ,  7 May 2018

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Daim drops by Pendang to support Wan Saiful

Daim drops by Pendang to support Wan Saiful

Pendang parliamentary seat hopeful Wan Saiful Wan Jan shared on his Facebook a photo taken with Daim Zainuddin who dropped by the PPBM parliamentary operations centre today to express his support.

The former finance minister was said to have met with locals and members of the media in a visit which lasted about 30 minutes. He then headed back to the airport in Alor Setar, about 30 minutes away, to catch the next flight home to Kuala Lumpur.

Daim was said to have told the locals that they needed to vote for Pakatan Harapan to “save the country”, reminding them of how Dr Mahathir Mohamad had led the nation over his 22 years as prime minister.

“Come May 9, vote in PH. Our hope is in these three here,” he said, referring to Wan Saiful, Sungai Tiang state seat candidate Abdul Razak Khamis and Tokai state seat candidate Mohd Firdaus Jaafar.

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia (SPR)  menyalahgunakan kuasa, SUHAKAM harus dibenarkan untuk menjadi pemantau pilihan raya

Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia (SPR) menyalahgunakan kuasa, SUHAKAM harus dibenarkan untuk menjadi pemantau pilihan raya

Keputusan Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya (SPR) untuk melarang Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (SUHAKAM) untuk menjadi pemantau pilihan raya adalah tidak adil.

Menurut Wan Saiful Wan Jan, Timbalan Pengerusi Biro Dasar  dan Strategi PPBM Nasional, “SPR telah menzalimi rakyat Malaysia. Saya memberi sokongan penuh kepada Pengerusi Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia (SUHAKAM) iaitu Razali Ismail kerana beliau berani mengambil keputusan untuk terus berkhidmat sebagai pemantau bebas. Inilah teladan yang semua rakyat harus ikuti”.

“SUHAKAM adalah badan bebas yang diwujudkan melalui Akta Suruhanjaya Hak Asasi Manusia 1999. Perbuatan EC untuk melarang SUHAKAM daripada menjalankan tugasnya, tanpa sebab munasabah lagi, menunjukkan bahawa EC tidak akan berkecuali  dalam pilihan raya ini.”

“Keputusan ini lagilah tidak masuk akal sedangkan SUHAKAM telahpun menjadi pemantau bebas pada pilihan raya yang lepas. Adakah mereka tidak mahu badan bebas seperta SUHAKAM memantau kerusi panas pada pilihan raya ini?”

“SPR sudah lama kala memilih kasih dengan Barisan Nasional. Bermula dengan penyusunan semula kerusi Parliamen berikut dengan pembatalan pendaftaran PPBM daripada bertanding pilihan raya. Malah pula, mereka menggunakan taktik kotor seperti melarang kami daripada menggunakan gambar Tun dalam bahan kempen. Jelas Barisan Nasional takut akan kalah kepada Pakatan Harapan”, kata Wan Saiful.

“Bagi saya, yang paling teruk sekali adalah larangan ke atas SUHAKAM. Jangan lupa, apabila terdapat isu dengan dakwat kekal dan isu nama-nama yang hilang dari semakan daftar pemilih pada pilihan raya lepas, rakyat terus melaporkan aduan kepada SUHAKAM. Ini menunjukkan kepercayaan yang mereka ada kepada kesaksamaan SUHAKAM sebagai badan bebas,” kata Wan Saiful.

“Pengerusi SPR Tan Sri Mohd Hashim sepatutnya malu kepada rakyat. Walaupun beliau melapor diri kepada Pejabat Perdana Menteri janganlah sampai menjadi jadi tali barut. Ingatlah yang tugas SPR adalah berkhidmat untuk rakyat bukanlah Perdana Menteri. Apatalah, sebagai seorang Islam, kita wajib jalankan tugas dengan amanah,” kata Wan Saiful.


Kedah Pakatan Harapan GE14 Manifesto Outlines 10 Thrusts

Kedah Pakatan Harapan GE14 Manifesto Outlines 10 Thrusts

PENDANG — Kedah Pakatan  Harapan (PH) Manifesto for the 14th General Election (GE14) launched in Bukit Jenun near here tonight outlines 10 main thrusts containing 10 pledges within 100 days if the pact leads the country.

The essence of the manifesto themed ‘Our Dreams to Prosper Kedah Together’ was read by the chairman of the manifesto committee Datuk Johari Abdul.

Also present at the launch was state PH chairman and PPBM deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Mahathir.

The ten thrusts comprised providing basic amenities and public housing, prioritising the people’s welfare and health, strengthening religious values, boosting the quality of education and human capital as well as empowering women.

Empowering youth, sports and non governmental organisations, intensifying agricultural and fisheries development, spearheading economic growth, reforming the state’s management and governance, and preserving the environment.

Meanwhile the 10 pledges that the pact promised to fulfill in Kedah within 10 days if it wins the general election are to overcome the problem of water disruption; provide funeral donation for all races and religions within 24 hours; evaluate the involvement of politicians in the Kedah Football Association (KFA).

In addition, establishing a chronic diseases fund and dialysis centre; setting up a special women’s fund; drafting one family, one home; opening a Youth Town; promoting domestic agriculture; introducing a mobile syariah court and establishing a task force to resolve land issues.

Earlier before the launch, a ceramah was delivered by state DAP chairman Tan Kok Yew, Pakatan candidate for Pendang parliamentary seat Wan Saiful Wan Jan and candidate for Sungai Tiang state seat Abd Razak Khamis, among others.



First published for Malaysian Digest , 21 April 2018

Click here for original source



It’s balik kampung for PH’s Pendang candidate

It’s balik kampung for PH’s Pendang candidate

LANGKAWI: It was with mixed feelings of shock, nervousness and gratitude that PPBM rookie Wan Saiful Wan Jan received news he would be contesting in the Pendang parliamentary constituency.

“When they first told me I would be contesting in Pendang, I was caught off guard,” he told FMT.

“But I did tell them right at the beginning that if I were to contest, it would be better if I was given the chance to go back to Kedah, my birthplace, and repay the kindnesses the people there have shown me.”

Wan Saiful, who is PPBM’s deputy chief strategist, was born and bred in Alor Star, just 30 minutes away from Pendang. His candidacy for the seat was confirmed last Sunday, when the list of PPBM candidates for Kedah was unveiled in Langkawi.

He claimed that Pakatan Harapan’s campaign machines were strong in Tokai and Sungai Tiang, the two state constituencies inside Pendang, and said this fact had eased much of his anxiety and nervousness about going to the ground.

Pendang is largely rural and many of its people are padi farmers and rubber tappers.

Wan Saiful is a political scientist and the founder of the Institute for Democracy and Economic Affairs, which he served as CEO before joining PPBM. So there’s the question of whether someone who is used to addressing urban audiences would be comfortable before rural crowds.

He shrugged off the concern, saying he had always mixed with people from a wide spectrum of society.
He added that he had never liked to hear people implying that rural folk were less sophisticated than urbanites.

He also said he would not have a problem adjusting to the rural setting of Pendang. “I am not a Bangsarian, nor am I from Damansara Heights. I was born in Alor Star. I have relatives in Alor Star, Langkawi and Perlis. Balik kampung is something normal to me.”

He said the concerns of rural and urban folk were not too different.

“In both Tokai and Sungai Tiang, I can say that the general concern among the people is the rising cost of living.

“In Tokai, the challenge is how to ensure the price of padi matches the efforts put in by padi farmers. As for Sungai Tiang, which is home to many rubber tappers, the low price of rubber is something they worry about daily.

“These are issues the central government can help address if there are policies specifically to help those in agriculture.”

He noted that the Pakatan manifesto promises to pursue such policies.

“My task is to meet the voters and convince them that the PH manifesto is good for them. I hope that the voters, especially those who support PAS, will realise that any vote that is not for PH is a vote to help Najib Razak and Umno remain in power.”

He claimed that he would have the advantage if he had to face both Umno and PAS candidates because the votes of those not supportive of Pakatan would be split between his two rivals.

He is also banking on the popularity of Pakatan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his son Mukhriz because they belong to his party.

“Mahathir’s presence will help our campaign in Pendang,” he said. “And we also have the influence of Mukhriz. Many voters feel that he was treated unfairly when he was forced to step down as Kedah MB. He was one of the few Umno leaders then who made it clear that the GST places a burden on the people.”

Wan Saiful described himself as “merely an instrument” in Pakatan’s hopeful march to victory in the coming polls.

“I hope voters can help ensure that Mahathir become prime minister again,” he said. “It would be great if, in the two years before we achieve Vision 2020, that vision is achieved by none other than the man who initiated it.”

Pendang was where the late Fadzil Noor, the PAS president until his death in 2002, broke Barisan Nasional’s winning streak in 1999.

In the last election, Umno’s Othman Abdul defeated Mohamad Sabu, who contested as a PAS candidate, by 2,638 votes in a straight fight.

First published for Free Malaysian Today , 18 April 2018

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Key Malaysian opposition party suspended ahead of election

Key Malaysian opposition party suspended ahead of election

Malaysian authorities ordered former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s political party to temporarily disband on Thursday in a blow to the opposition ahead of expected general elections.

The Registrar of Societies said the Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia failed to submit adequate documentation related to its registration and asked it to do so within a month or be permanently deregistered.

Elections are due by August but Prime Minister Najib Razak is widely expected to dissolve Parliament on Friday to pave the way for a vote next month. Support for Najib’s ruling coalition has dwindled in the last two elections and in 2013 it lost the popular vote for the first time.

Pribumi party official Wan Saiful Wan Jan called Thursday’s order “an abuse of power by a regime that is desperate to stay in office.”

“We will continue to fight this abusive regime,” he said. “This action provides even stronger evidence that they must be removed if we want bring back integrity into our institutions.”

Mr. Najib has been engulfed in an international financial scandal involving the 1MBD state fund that he set up in 2009 and that went on to accumulate billions of dollars in debt. The U.S. and several other countries are investigating allegations of cross border embezzlement and money laundering at the fund.

The U.S. Justice Department says at least $4.5 billion was stolen from 1MDB by associates of Mr. Najib and it is working to seize $1.7 billion taken from the fund to buy assets in the U.S.

Mr. Najib, who denies any wrongdoing, has fired critics within the government and muzzled the media since the scandal erupted three years ago.

Analysts expect Mr. Najib to win a third term due to infighting in the opposition, unfavorable electoral boundary changes and strong support for the government from rural ethnic Malays.

First published for The Hindu , 5 April 2018
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“Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has forgotten his own constituency?”

“Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has forgotten his own constituency?”


*Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani has forgotten his own constituency?*

Kuala Lumpur, 3 April 2018: The UMNO-led Barisan Nasional government has failed to manage the country’s coffers to the point that the health of Malaysians are at risk, especially low-income families in Kuala Lumpur. I sighted a copy of a letter sent by Jabatan Kesihatan Wilayah Persekutuan to District Health Officers inTitiwangsa, Kepong, Cheras, Putrajaya dan Lembah Pantai. This letter stated that UMNO’s budget cut meant that patients with diabetes in these areas can undergo only one HbA1c test this year. The gold standard is four per year.

According to the latest National Health and Morbidity Survey, almost one in five Malaysian adults has diabetes. This is worrying and makes regular monitoring all the more imperative. HbA1c is a test to determine if their diabetes is under control. It should be done every 3 months, or four times a year. If regular monitoring is not undertaken, patients face increased risks of kidney failure, heart attack, stroke and blindness.

We have a two-in-one Minister of Finance, namely Prime Minister Datuk Sri Najib Razak and Titiwangsa MP Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani. But under them our national debt has skyrocketed, so much so that the welfare of common people are now at risk. This includes the people in Titiwangsa itself, in addition to Kepong, Cheras, Putrajaya and Lembah Pantai. Have they been so busy colluding with each other in the cover up of various national scandals that they have been unable to manage our country’s finances properly? I urge them to reveal fully all the services have they reduced or cancelled as a result of their failure in financial management.

For more statements from Wan Saiful, please see


Voters, politicians can end race politics, forum told

Voters, politicians can end race politics, forum told

POLITICIANS from Malay parties Umno and the opposition Bersatu, as well as the largely Chinese DAP, came to the conclusion at a forum last night that ending race politics would take time and it had to be the effort of both voters and political parties.

Bersatu’s Wan Saiful Wan Jan, who left think-tank Ideas and recently joined the party, said the change should start with political parties, and in a Malaysian context, had to start from a Malay party as the ethnic group formed the majority of the country’s population.

National political discourse has also long been shaped around the position of the Malays.
“(The agenda must come) from a Malay party. It is the same with Chinese and Hindu nationalists. The change must come from themselves.

“So if you really want to see the end of race politics, or a change in direction where we can actually debate policy (instead of race politics), it is really crucial for people like Shahril Hamdan and many others in Umno Youth now to quickly rise up the ranks.

“That’s the only way we can have healthier politics in Malaysia, but that would take time,” said the Bersatu strategy and policy bureau deputy chairman at a forum with about 200 urban young adults in Kampung Attap, Kuala Lumpur, last night.

Umno is Malaysia’s ruling Malay party and linchpin of the Barisan Nasional coalition, which has ruled the country since independence. Bersatu, in the opposition pact Pakatan Harapan, is also a Malay party.

Umno’s Shahril, the party’s Youth wing exco member, was also a panelist, along with DAP Socialist Youth vice-chairman Lim Yi Wei.

Wan Saiful hailed Shahril as an emerging leader in Umno, noting that the older generation in the party would find it hard to do away with race politics.

Shahril pointed out that voters themselves had to understand the Malaysian landscape and not form opinions based on what they were familiar with.

“The problem with us and and those of our background is that we socialise or work with the Bangsar, Hartamas types. That’s really not representative of the rest of the country,” he said, referring to affluent suburbs in Kuala Lumpur.

“Yes, there is some hope that more and more people in the future will vote past racial lines. But in particular states, there is still a clear trend (of voting along) Bumiputera and non-Bumi lines.

“Passionate debate (on policies) is not happening yet. People still vote based on sensationalism and favouritism,” Shahril said, adding that ending racial politics was a “two-way street” that involved voters “incentivising” politicians.

DAP’s Lim, meanwhile, said race politics could only end if everyone stepped out from their “bubbles”.

The two-hour forum, organised by public affairs and political risk consultancy KRA Group, saw active participation from the young adult crowd.

Shahril, being the only pro-government representative against two opposition representatives on the panel, ended up being evaluated by forum participants.

Daniel Teoh, 27, from Petaling Jaya, who works as a translator, said while the discussion was good, he felt like Shahril was guarded and could have been more frank.

“There are things they can’t say and I think that it is okay because it is part of their party discipline, particularly Shahril (from Umno).

“I think he tried his best to sell a really bad product and he was doing his best,” said Teoh.

Engineer Shazmin Ghazali, 36, who lives in Pantai Dalam, said Shahril from Umno was impressive as a thinker and speaker, but this did not change his view about the ruling party.

“My view on Umno has not really changed. I still believe that reform can only happen if BN becomes the opposition,” said Shazmin.

Strategy executive, Alia Astaman, 25, from Bangsar, said Shahril did his best to relate to the urban crowd, but his affiliation with Umno also made it difficult for him.

“I think he is capable of becoming a leader in Umno if he can find enough people who think like him and who are progressive like him. Then he can go somewhere. Otherwise – we’ve seen this happen before – young, bright politicians just end up toeing the line when they go up the ranks.

“(Shahril himself) said you have to toe the party line. As soon as you say that, you are admitting that your integrity is compromised. You have already accepted that these are the rules of the game and you have to play the game to win the game. So, I think it was a bit disappointing,” Alia said.

Like Shazmin, Alia also said a change in federal government was due.

“As Wan Saiful said, until we can (change) government at least once, democracy is not complete because we are always afraid of first-time change,” she said. – March 27, 2018.

First published for The Malaysian Insight , 27 March 2018

Click here for original source


RUN-UP TO GE14: What does the Cambridge Analytica exposé mean for GE14?

RUN-UP TO GE14: What does the Cambridge Analytica exposé mean for GE14?

THE big question being asked in the US and globally today is whether Facebook should be blamed for a data breach that allowed Cambridge Analytica (CA) to harvest 50 million user profiles to help the Trump campaign.

With the UK data analytics firm confessing in an exposé by Britain’s Channel 4 News that it has also done work elsewhere in the world, including Malaysia, the big question here should be how are big data analytics being used in our upcoming general election?

But first, what did or did not happen in the last general election in May 2013?

Following the expose last Tuesday, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) deputy chairman of strategy and policy Wan Saiful Wan Jan pounced on the issue, calling on the prime minister to “come clean” on whether Barisan Nasional (BN) had used the data firm’s services in the 13th general election (GE13).

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) has denied any involvement with CA, turning the tables on PPBM instead, saying it was the party’s deputy president who had engaged with the firm in GE13 when he was in Umno.

The PPBM deputy president is Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir. He was much credited for BN regaining control of Kedah from PAS in 2013 and was made menteri besar — a post he held until 2016 when he resigned following a “mutiny” by Kedah Umno leaders against him.

The PMO is not alone in making denials.

Mukhriz has denied that he had used CA and called the PMO’s statement “misleading” and an “attempt to divert attention from the possible use of illegal campaign tactics as admitted by CA for BN”.

The PMO, however, claimed that a representative of SCL Group — the parent company of CA — “confirmed to the government that the CA’s advice on GE13 was provided personally to Mukhriz” and that the representative “reported directly to Mukhriz”.

The PMO did not name the representative.

The SCL Group Southeast Asia head is Azrin Zizal, who is known to be an Umno member. It cannot be ascertained if he is still a member.

Azrin has been keeping a low profile since the CA operations were exposed by Britain’s Channel 4. Until a few days ago that is.

Azrin has now decided to come out in the open and accused Mukhriz of “lying”.

He issued a statement: “Mukhriz said CA worked for BN this again is not true”. The 2013 election advice for Kedah “was provided to Mukhriz personally”. He added that “at no time has CA or its parent SCL Group ever worked for or been paid by BN or any part of the government of Malaysia.”

Azrin’s statement is in tune with that of the PMO.

Mukhriz is sticking to his earlier statement and has accused Azrin of “clearly lying” and “his claims that BN’s win in Kedah and my subsequent appointment as MB was all his doing is absolutely delusional”. He, however, admitted that he knew Azrin who had served with him when he was deputy international trade and industry minister.

Mukhriz was also quoted by Malaysiakini as saying that Azrin “should be reminded that it was CA themselves who claimed in their website that they helped Kedah BN. I never admitted to knowing anything about it.”

For the record, PPBM president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was deputy prime minister and deputy Umno president at the time of GE13, has also denied that BN had anything to do with CA.

“I was the BN election director then, and we never heard anything about it,” he said in an interview with The Edge last week.

Adding to the list of denials, Petronas has come out to deny a claim that it paid over US$2 million (RM7.82 million) to CA on behalf of the federal government to influence voters in swing constituencies in Sarawak and Sabah.

The national oil company issued the denial last Wednesday in response to an article on the Sarawak Report news portal on March 20, which claimed that Petronas was used as a front to channel the money to SCL Group in 2014.

Apart from the SCL Group representative who “opened up” to the PMO, CA itself had also trumpeted its “expertise” for Kedah BN via its website.

But there are a number of doubters who wonder whether CA had actually done work in Kedah.

Among them is Mohd Azizuddin Mohd Sani of Universiti Utara Malaysia, who told The Malaysian Insight he believed the CA’s methods of using data and profiles of social media users to craft election messages would not be relevant in a state like Kedah, which is mostly rural.

He was quoted as saying CA’s methods would have had more impact on urban voters, and pointed out that the more urban seats in Kedah, such as Alor Setar and Sungai Petani, were won by the opposition. Hence, “I doubt CA was really involved in the election in Kedah”.

So, was CA merely boasting?

One thing is for sure: CA has the capability to access personal data and work “wonders” with it.

Like targeted marketing, for example, involving a bombardment of specially crafted messages for different groups of people. For political purposes, this can be used for moulding voters to vote for a particular candidate or party (read: its paymaster).

The firm can send targeted ads based on survey behaviour and online profiles. This includes content which might be fake.

That was how The Straits Times of Singapore described it in reporting on the recent public hearings by the parliamentary Select Committee for Deliberate Online Falsehoods.

Dr Shashi Jayakumar of the Rajaratnam School of International Studies, speaking before the committee, labelled CA as a “hired gun” that now “has a presence in polls-bound Malaysia where it is thought to be hired by people involved in the coming elections”.

Putting GE13 aside and whether CA was involved in Kedah or anywhere else in Malaysia, analysts do not see the controversy having a big impact on political parties in GE14, save for providing opportunities for leaders on both sides of the political divide to hit out at each other to gain some political mileage.

So it is GE14 we should be worried about. Will CA or anybody else with its kind of abilities be employed by political parties to sway voters’ decisions in their favour?

Who will monitor the situation and ensure that does not take place?

Already, our elections have been accused of not being “fair and clean”, what with the disputed voters’ roll and redelineation exercise, among other things.

This election will be most closely scrutinised. That’s a given.

Is the Election Commission up to dealing with a massive problem created by sophisticated technology in the frightening event that it really comes into play? — The Edge Malaysia

First published for The Edge Malaysia , 26 March 2018

Click here for original source

Wan Saiful: Najib must explain if he manipulated GE13 and assure Malaysians he will not use manipulative tactics in GE14

Wan Saiful: Najib must explain if he manipulated GE13 and assure Malaysians he will not use manipulative tactics in GE14


20 March 2018

*Najib must explain if he manipulated GE13 and assure Malaysians he will not use manipulative tactics in GE14*

Prime Minister Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak must explain if he used Cambridge Analytica to manipulate voters in GE13 and whether he is using unethical manipulation techniques in the upcoming GE14.

Cambridge Analytica claims on their website that they helped Najib win GE13. The website of CA Political, a company related to Cambridge Analytica, says they “supported Barisan Nasional (BN) in Kedah State with a targeted messaging campaign highlighting their school improvements since 2008. Barisan Nasional won Kedah back from Pakatan Rakyat in the 13th General Election and walked away from a successful campaign. With wins in 21 out of 36 state seats and 10 out of the 15 parliamentary seats in the state, BN enjoyed a landslide victory.”

Cambridge Analytica is a company mired in scandal for alleged unethical manipulation of personal data for electoral gains. They have been accused of extracting the personal data of up to 50 million Facebook users without consent, for use in the American presidential campaign to help Donald Trump by targeting adverts to specific users in a manipulative way, exploiting their “inner demons”.

Cambridge Analytica’s investor include Robert Mercer, a billionaire known for his financial contribution to Donald Trump’s right-wing campaign and other American right-wing organisations. Steve Bannon, a former key adviser to Trump and a person notorious for his right-wing views, was on the Board of the company.

I was shocked to learn about the relationship between Najib’s campaign with Cambridge Analytica. This raises a question in me, on whether Najib and UMNO used tactics similar to the American notorious right-wing movements and people like Steve Bannon. Electoral manipulation is grossly unethical and detrimental to our parliamentary democracy. I hope that Najib did not intentionally bring Cambridge Analytica into Malaysia to exploit racial sentiments and create racial divide here, for his short term political benefits.

As head of the GE13 election observation team that was appointed and accredited by the Election Commission of Malaysia, I witnessed how the environment was set up to favour UMNO and Barisan Nasional. Following inputs from the 300 observers I had on the ground, I concluded that GE13 was only partially free and not fair because of how the environment was conditioned way before polling day itself. Now, this revelation about Najib and UMNO’s involvement with Cambridge Analytica makes a most worrying read.

Najib should immediately explain how much was paid to Cambridge Analytica in GE13 and what was the exact nature of their work for UMNO. More importantly, no matter how desperate Najib is to stay in power, he must not resort to divisive and unethical tactics of manipulating right-wing and ethnoreligious sentiments in Malaysia. Do not let your desperation to stay in power destroy the future of this country and our parliamentary democracy.

For more statements from Wan Saiful, please see