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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tsu Koon: We Don't Mean To Interfere

KUALA LUMPUR: Gerakan Rakyat acting president Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon emphasised that his proposal for UMNO to brief the BN Supreme Council on its choice of party president, had been done purely out of concern for the country, and had absolutely no intention of interfering into UMNO's internal affairs.

He pointed out that within the BN framework, UMNO's president will automatically be BN's president and the country's prime minister. Moreover, UMNO currently occupies more than half of all BN's seats in the Parliament, and is therefore a very powerful political force which warrants the attention and concern of all Malaysians.

"This has been a reasonable request, not a form of intervention, as it has something to do with the nation's future. We must therefore be concerned about this matter. If UMNO has come up with a solution during the process of its internal adjustments, it should brief other BN component parties so that we could be kept abreast of the latest developments."

During an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily, Koh admitted that BN component parties, including Gerakan Rakyat, seldom openly voiced their opinions in the past; but things have changed now, and the party does not want to give people an impression that it is a "party without its own ideas."

"Although we did not openly voice our opinions, we were actually very concerned about UMNO's elections, and have kept in touch with them on a regular basis. However, we now feel that if we don't openly express our views, we will be seen as being indifferent or submissive."

He said, the party has not really openly expressed its views on UMNO's party elections. It has only made a reasonable request with the hope that communication could be established between UMNO and the rest.

On the issue of UMNO's party elections, Koh said Gerakan leaders have obtained information or indirectly expressed the party's views, through their friends within UMNO without openly expressing their views to the public. In a similar manner, Gerakan Rakyat also does not wish to see leaders from UMNO or any other BN component party openly expressing their views on Gerakan's elections.

"We abstained from open discussions in the past because we did not want people to think we were interfering into other people's business." (By SUN LISHAN/Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily)

Zaid calls for repeal of ISA in open letter to PM

KUALA LUMPUR, SEPT 30 - Datuk Seri Zaid Ibrahim, who quit as de facto Law Minister because he wasn't getting any support for his proposed reforms, has written an open letter to the Prime Minister calling for the abolition of the ISA.

Zaid says in the letter that the government has failed the people in repeatedly reneging on Tunku Abdul Rahman's promise that "the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent".

Here is his letter in full:

IN our proclamation of independence, our first prime minister gave voice to the lofty aspirations and dreams of the people of Malaya: that Malaya was founded on the principles of liberty and justice, and the promise that collectively we would always strive to improve the welfare and happiness of its people.

Many years have passed since that momentous occasion and those aspirations and dreams remain true and are as relevant to us today as they were then. This was made possible by a strong grasp of fundamentals in the early period of this nation.

The federal constitution and the laws made pursuant to it were well founded; they embodied the key elements of a democracy built on the rule of law. The Malaysian judiciary once commanded great respect from Malaysians and was hailed as a beacon for other nations.

Our earlier prime ministers, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Razak and Tun Hussein Onn were truly leaders of integrity, patriots in their own right and most importantly, men of humility. They believed in and built this nation on the principles and values enunciated in our constitution.

Even when they had to enact the Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960, they were very cautious and apologetic about it. Tunku stated clearly that the Act was passed to deal with the communist threat.

"My cabinet colleagues and I gave a solemn promise to Parliament and the nation that the immense powers given to the government under the ISA would never be used to stifle legitimate opposition and silence lawful dissent," was what the Tunku said.

Our third prime minister, Tun Hussein Onn, reinforced this position by saying that the ISA was not intended to repress lawful political opposition and democratic activity on the part of the citizenry.

The events of the last three weeks have compelled me to review the way in which the ISA has been used. This exercise has sadly led me to the conclusion that the government has time and time again failed the people of this country in repeatedly reneging on that solemn promise made by Tunku Abdul Rahman.

This has been made possible because the government and the law have mistakenly allowed the minister of home affairs to detain anyone for whatever reason he thinks fit. This subjective discretion has been abused to further certain political interests.

History is the great teacher and speaks volumes in this regard. Even a cursory examination of the manner in which the ISA has been used almost from its inception would reveal the extent to which its intended purpose has been subjugated to the politics of the day.

Regrettably, Tunku Abdul Rahman himself reneged on his promise. In 1965, his administration detained Burhanuddin Helmi, the truly towering Malay intellectual, a nationalist who happened to be a PAS leader. He was kept in detention until his death in 1969. Helmi was a political opponent and could by no stretch of the imagination be considered to have been involved in the armed rebellion or communism that the ISA was designed to deal with.

This detention was an aberration, a regrettable moment where politics had been permitted to trump the rule of law. It unfortunately appears to have set a precedent and many detentions of persons viewed as having been threatening to the incumbent administration followed through the years.

Even our literary giant, ‘sasterawan negara’ the late Tan Sri A Samad Ismail was subjected to the ISA in 1976. How could he have been a threat to national security?

I need not remind you of the terrible impact of the 1987 Operasi Lalang. Its spectre haunts the government as much as it does the peace-loving people of this nation, casting a gloom over all of us. There were and still are many unanswered questions about those dark hours when more than a hundred persons were detained for purportedly being threats to national security. Why they were detained has never been made clear to Malaysians.

Similarly, no explanation has been forthcoming as to why they were never charged in court. Those detainees included amongst their numbers senior opposition members of parliament who are still active in Parliament today.

The only thing that is certain about that period was that Umno was facing a leadership crisis. Isn’t it coincidental that the recent spate of ISA arrests has occurred when Umno is again having a leadership crisis?

In 2001, Keadilan ‘reformasi’ activists were detained in an exercise that the Federal Court declared was in bad faith and unlawful. The continued detention of those that were not released earlier in the Kamunting detention facility was made possible only by the fact that the ISA had been questionably amended in 1988 to preclude judicial review of the minister’s order to detain.

Malaysians were told that these detainees had been attempting to overthrow the government via militant means and violent demonstrations. Seven years have gone and yet no evidence in support of this assertion has been presented. Compounding the confusion even further, one of these so-called militants, Ezam Mohamad Noor, recently rejoined Umno to great fanfare, as a prized catch it would seem.

At around the same time, members of PAS were also detained for purportedly being militant and allegedly having links to international terrorist networks. Those detained included Nik Adli, the son of Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, the menteri besar of Kelantan. Malaysians were made a promise by the government that evidence of the alleged terrorist activities and links of these detainees would be disclosed. To date no such evidence has been produced.

The same formula was used in late 2007 when the Hindraf 5 were detained. Malaysians were told once again that these individuals were involved in efforts to overthrow the government and had links with the militant Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam of Sri Lanka. To date no concrete evidence have been presented to support this assertion.

It would seem therefore that the five were detained for their involvement in efforts that led to a mobilisation of Indian Malaysians to express, through peaceful means; their frustration against the way in which their community had been allowed to be marginalised. This cause has since been recognised as a legitimate one. The Hindraf demonstration is nothing extraordinary as such assemblies are universally recognised as being a legitimate means of expression.

In the same vein, the grounds advanced in support of the most recent detentions of Tan Hoon Cheng, Teresa Kok and Raja Petra Kamarudin leave much to be desired. The explanation that Tan Hoon Cheng was detained for her own safety was farcical. The suggestion that Teresa Kok had been inciting religious sentiments was unfounded as was evinced by her subsequent release.

As for Raja Petra Kamarudin, the prominent critic of the government, a perusal of his writings would show that he might have been insulting of the government and certain individuals within it.

However, being critical and insulting could not in any way amount to a threat to national security. If his writings are viewed as being insulting of Islam, Muslims or the Holy Prophet, he should instead be charged under the Penal Code and not under the ISA.

In any event, he had already been charged for sedition and criminal defamation in respect of some of his statements. He had claimed trial, indicating as such his readiness and ability to defend himself. Justice would best be served by allowing him his day in court more so where, in the minds of the public, the government is in a position of conflict for having been the target of his strident criticism.

The instances cited above strongly suggest that the government is undemocratic. It is this perspective that has over the last 25 plus years led to the government seemingly arbitrarily detaining political opponents, civil society and consumer advocates, writers, businessmen, students, journalists whose crime, if it could be called that, was to have been critical of the government.

How it is these individuals can be perceived as being threats to national security is beyond my comprehension. The self-evident reality is that legitimate dissent was and is quashed through the heavy-handed use of the ISA.

There are those who support and advocate this carte-blanche reading of the ISA. They will seek to persuade you that the interests of the country demand that such power be retained, that Malaysians owe their peace and stability to laws such as the ISA. This overlooks the simple truth that Malaysians of all races cherish peace. We lived together harmoniously for the last 400 years, not because of these laws but in spite of them.

I believe the people of this country are mature and intelligent enough to distinguish actions that constitute a ‘real’ threat to the country from those that threaten political interests. Malaysians have come know that the ISA is used against political opponents and, it would seem, when the leadership is under challenge either from within the ruling party or from external elements.

Malaysians today want to see a government that is committed to the court process to determine guilt or innocence even for alleged acts of incitement of racial or religious sentiment. They are less willing to believe, as they once did, that a single individual, namely the minister of home affairs; knows best about matters of national security.

They value freedom and the protection of civil liberties and this is true of people of other nations too.

Mr Prime Minister, the results of the last general election are clear indication that the people of Malaysia are demanding a reinstatement of the rule of law. I was appointed as your, albeit short-lived, minister in charge of legal affairs and judicial reform.

In that capacity, I came to understand more keenly how many of us want reform, not for the sake of it, but for the extent to which our institutions have been undermined by events and the impact this has had on society.

With your blessing, I attempted to push for reform. High on my list of priorities was a reinstatement of the inherent right of judicial review that could be enabled through a reversion of the key constitutional provision to its form prior to the controversial amendment in 1988.

I need not remind you that that constitutional amendment was prompted by the same series of events that led not only to Operasi Lalang but the sacking of the then Lord President and two supreme court justices.

Chief amongst my concerns was the way in which the jurisdiction and the power of the courts to grant remedy against unconstitutional and arbitrary action of the executive had been removed by Parliament and the extent to which this had permitted an erosion of the civil liberties of Malaysians.

It was this constitutional amendment that paved the way for the ouster provision in the ISA that virtually immunises the minister from judicial review, a provision which exemplifies the injustice the constitutional amendment of 1988 has lent itself.

I also sought to introduce means by which steps could be taken to assist the judiciary to regain the reputation for independence and competence it once had. Unfortunately, this was viewed as undesirable by some since an independent judiciary would mean that the executive would be less ‘influential’.

I attempted to do these things and more because of the realisation that Malaysia’s democratic traditions and the rule of law are under siege. Anyway, there is nothing wrong with giving everyone an independent judiciary and the opportunity to a fair trial.

This is consistent with the universal norms of human rights as it is with the tenets of Islam, the religion of the federation. Unchecked power to detain at the whim of one man is oppressiveness at its highest. Even in Israel, a nation that is perpetually at war the power to detain is not vested in one man and detention orders require endorsement from a judge.

If there are national security considerations, then these can be approached without jettisoning the safeguards intended to protect individual citizens from being penalised wrongfully. In other jurisdictions involved in armed conflicts, trials are held in camera to allow for judicial scrutiny of evidence considered too sensitive for public disclosure so as to satisfy the ends of justice.

If this can be done in these jurisdictions, why not here where the last armed struggle we saw, the very one that precipitated the need for the ISA, came to an end in the 1980s?

Any doubts as to the continued relevance of the ISA in its present form should have been put to rest by the recommendation by the Human Rights Commission (Suhakam) that the ISA be repealed and an anti-terror legislation suited to the times enacted in its place. Containing as it did a sunset clause in its original times, the ISA was never intended to be a permanent feature on the Malaysian legal landscape.

Through its continued use in the manner described above and in the face of public sentiment, it is only natural that the ISA has become in the mind of the people an instrument of oppression and the government is one that lends itself to oppressiveness.

Its continued use does not bode well for a society that is struggling to find its place in the global arena. It does not bode well for the democracy that is so vital for us to develop sustainably.

Mr Prime Minister, I remember very clearly what you once said; that if one has the opportunity to do what is good and right for the country, then he must take on the task. I respect you deeply for that and if I were confident that I would have been able to do some good for Malaysia, I would have remained on your team.

Sir, you are still the prime minister and you still have the opportunity to leave your footprint in Malaysian history. I urge you to do so by repealing the ISA once and for all.

Let us attempt to fulfil that solemn promise made by our beloved first prime minister to the people of this country.

Yours sincerely,

Zaid Ibrahim

Manikavasagam to keep PKR post

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 - MP for Kapar S. Manikavasagam will not relinquish his post as Selangor PKR liaison deputy chief after all, his political secretary M. Shanmugam said today.

Manikavasagam had, yesterday, threatened to quit if no action was taken against those responsible for the demolition of a Hindu temple in Ampang.

Yesterday, the state government suspended Ampang Jaya Municipal Council (MPAJ) deputy president Hamid Hussain for a week over the issue.

"Manikavasagam will retain his post as PKR deputy liaison chief for Selangor following the suspension of the person behind the demolition," Shanmugam said yesterday.

State local government, research and study committee chairperson Ronnie Liu said yesterday that Hamid would be suspended pending investigations into the demolition.

He said the state government viewed the demolition of places of worship very seriously and would get to the bottom of the matter soon.

Hamid is alleged to have instructed the demolition of the 19-year-old temple near Kampung Tasek Tambahan two weeks ago.

The three-member committee on non-Muslim religious affairs, comprising Teresa Kok, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and Liu, has begun its investigations.

Shanmugam said Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, political secretary to the Selangor MB, had promised stern action against those responsible for the demolition.

- The Malaysian Insider

PM's open house at PWTC

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and members of his cabinet will hold Aidilfitri open house on the first day of Hari Raya at the Putra World Trade Centre.

The Prime Minister’s Office, in a statement issued today, states that the open house would be from 12.30pm to 4.30pm.

The public are also invited to the prime minister’s open house in Kepala Batas, which will be on Saturday from 11am to 5pm at the Millennium Hall.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah, will host Aidilfitri open house on Oct 5 at their residence at 58, Jalan Kuda Emas, The Mines Resort City, Seri Kembangan from 10am to 1pm and from 2.30pm to 5pm.

Meanwhile, Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s open house is on Oct 12 at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kampung Baru here. It is from 2pm to 5pm.

In Sabah, Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal will host his open house on Oct 3 at his residence in Semporna.

- Bernama

Racial Quotas In Malaysia: Grim Warning For America

By Jared Taylor

Over the course of several trips to the South East Asian country of Malaysia I have been struck by how similar Malaysia’s race relations are to America’s—despite the obvious enormous differences. The official Malaysian policy of dispensing privileges by race may even be a warning of what the future may hold if our current policies and demographic trends continue.

Malaysia is about 60 percent Malay, 25 percent Chinese, and 8 percent Indian.

In the 19th century, the British colonial government found that the native Malays did not want to work in tin mines or on rubber plantations, so they imported people who did: Tamils from India. The British also worried that smart Chinese immigrants would dominate the country. They therefore deliberately steered business to Malays and recruited them for government jobs. They feared—rightly as it turned out—that Malays would turn ugly if they thought Chinese were getting too far ahead. The British wanted Malays to keep getting a leg up even after independence in 1957, so when they drafted a constitution for the new country, they included Article 153 specifically to "safeguard the special position of the Malays and natives" through relatively mild preferences in education, the civil service and business licenses.

The races rubbed along without too much friction until 1969. That year, Chinese political parties nearly upset the ruling Malay coalition and held a victory parade through Malay neighborhoods in the capital city, Kuala Lumpur. The Malays didn’t like Chinese flaunting their power, and rioted, killing hundreds of Chinese. [Race War In Malaysia, Time Magazine, May. 23, 1969]

Violence works. The government responded with a new, stronger pro-Malay preferences program called the New Economic Policy (NEP), designed to increase the Malay share of national wealth. It is also known as the Bumiputra Program, from a Malay word that means "son of the soil" or "native."

All Malaysians are officially divided into bumiputras, who get preferences, and non-bumiputras, who don’t. "Bumis" must be Muslim Malay stock, though they need not be from Malaysia. This means an immigrant from Indonesia gets preferences over Indians or Chinese who have been in Malaysia for generations. Some of the specifics of the NEP are that Malays get a 60 percent quota at universities, discounts on real estate, and a guaranteed 30 percent of all new issues on the Malaysian stock market. The civil service became a bumi reserve, companies owned by non-bumis were barred from government contracts, and it became even harder for Indians and Chinese to get business licenses. The NEP set aside millions of dollars to pay for overseas training for Malay students and executives.

The Bumiputra Program does not take class into consideration, so the children of Malay millionaires get the inside track on boardroom posts, overseas scholarships, business licenses and plum government jobs. Minorities don’t like the system, but there is little they can do in a country that is majority Malay.

The general sense among some Malays is that this is their country and this is the way they will run it; Indians and Chinese are lucky just to be citizens. As the governing Malay party’s Youth Information Chief, Azimi Daim, famously pointed out in 2003:

"In Malaysia, everybody knows that Malays are the masters of this land. We rule this country as provided for in the federal constitution. Anyone who touches upon Malay affairs or criticizes Malays is [offending] our sensitivities." [Abdullah stirs a hornets' nest, By Ioannis Gatsiounis, Asia Times, October 2, 2004]]

Most of the time, Indians and Chinese don’t make a fuss. But all whom I spoke to privately said the system was unfair. Beneath the surface, the country is divided by race, and this makes the Chinese and Indians to not feel emotionally Malaysian.

What does this suggest about the future of the United States? Most Americans can hardly imagine preferences for the majority and—if they even think about it—assume that racial preferences will fade away as the U.S. becomes more diverse and they become a minority.

They shouldn’t count on it. As Malaysia proves, groups don’t have to be minorities to develop a taste for preferences.

Preferences for bumis were supposed to be temporary—just as in the United States—to give them just enough of a boost so they could compete with the Chinese.

In America, blacks and Hispanics will not lose interest in preferences just because they become the majority. Racial preferences may seem to be on the wane now, but when the balance of power shifts they will be back.

Jared Taylor (email him) is the editor of American Renaissance.
Comments (14)Add Comment
...
written by ahmadneil, September 30, 2008 16:19:52
We the malayu baru don't nee this NEP now.NEP was created only for those VVIP's children and relatives.It was never meant to benefit we the ordinary malays.We have been falsely mislead that NEP are design to help us financially inorder to gain advantage over the chinese but it didnt work.Now melayu baru can stand up and be counted among other races base on meritocracy.To hell with NEP.
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written by Limang, September 30, 2008 16:25:52
You, Americans, have a lot to learn from us Malays.

We Malays are truly a supreme race - we now have the best doctor in the world (Mahathir), richer than your richest (Daim), top terrorist (Nordin Top), best car (Proton), highest building (Petronas Twin Tower), biggest and richest company (Petronas), most rulers (11 sultans), etc. - you name it and we got it.

But we are not stopping here - we are going nuclear soon. We have so much money that we don't have to build it - WE JUST BUY IT, LIKE WE HAVE BEEN DOING ALL THESE YEARS. Can you American do this? Our wealth is like a bottomless pit. Wealth is power, don't you agree? We have so much money that we even sent a space tourist into space - we can actually send thousands more as long as they are Muslim! In fact, we are the first Muslim country to do so! We even ahve a book to teach the world's Muslims how to pray in space!

Your US will always lose to us because in our Constituion, we Malays are automatically Muslims, and the supreme ruler of Malaysia. We are now sowing our seeds in all the countries, as we Malay Muslims can have many foreign wives and soon, we will have Ketuan Melayu in the world. Such is our dream, and our Allah is behind us, so says the Qur'an that He will make the permanent believers like us "victoriuous over the unbelievers." Do you know Fiji has even adopted our Constitution? Soon even your America will follow suit. If not, when we Malays in America become majority, we will change your constitution, and you will see the first Malay President of USA permanently! Obama is part of our plan, he has some Malay blood in him, i.e. Indonesian Malay.

We are also the best rulers. Do you know that for 51 years, we rule Malaysia(meaning ruling over other races) and there has been no trouble at all, just peace and prosperity? If any stupid Chinese or Indian dares to be a trouble-maker, no problem, we ISA-ed the bugger, like we did to two stupid Chinese girls and 5 Indian leaders. We don't take kindly to anyone who question our immense power and religion! Let this be a warning to you too. Don't mess with us or else . . . . .

I think I'll stop here now - as you will not like it if I brag some more. If you will contact me at fullofshit.com, Ill be glad to fill you in and maybe, you may decide to become the first Mat Salleh Malay Muslim.

Thnx for your write up. Ketuanan Melayu!!!

‘Umno should talk to us before deciding’

By Lester Kong

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno should listen to the views of other Barisan Nasional component parties before deciding on issues that affect the entire nation, said national Gerakan Youth chief candidate Tan Keng Liang.

He said the change of the Prime Minister’s transition plan from June 2010 to 2009 should have been discussed in the Barisan supreme council meeting first.

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi now says he will hand over the reins to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak next March.

“The appointment and change of the PM and DPM are not an Umno-only matter. The PM is the leader of all Malaysians and the chairman of Barisan,” Tan told reporters on Tuesday.

He said while Umno had played a strong leadership role in the coalition for many years, it was clear since the March 8 general election that many Barisan members are doubtful of the party’s commitment to equal relationships in the coalition.

He said if he became national Gerakan Youth chief, he would visit every state to speak on this issue and gain the views of the individual state Youth committees.

“In a year, we would call for a referendum to decide on the transition plan and whether Gerakan should remain in Barisan Nasional,” he said.

- The Star

Six months pregnant Malaysian born Rajeswary (22) “detained without trial” and delivered her baby at Lenggang detain centre and to be deported to Sri


Y.A.B. DATO’ SERI ABDULLAH AHMAD BADAWI

Prime Minister of Malaysia
Block Utama,
Bangunan Perdana Putra,                                             Email: reduceredtape@pmo.gov.my
Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan,                            Email: abdullah@kdn.gov.my

62502 Putrajaya Tel: 03 8888 8000

Fax: 03 8888 3444

30/09/2008

Y.A.B,

Re: Six months pregnant Malaysian born Rajeswary (22) “detained without trial” and delivered her baby at Lenggang detain centre and to be deported to Sri Lanka.

We refer to the above matter which was reported in the New Straits Time on 19/09/08 at page 3 and the front page of the Tamil Nesan dated 08/09/08 and to the very serious race and religious extremist policies and the implementation thereof in the UMNO controlled administration of the various government machinery concerning Rajeswary but which is the tip of iceberg with regards to the pain and sufferings of the Indians in Malaysia on a day to day basis as follows:

1) Police Force.

Six months pregnant Rajeswary was arrested on suspicious being a Sri Lankan in Brickfields for having lost her identity card and not being able to remember her identity card number and her less than satisfactory command of the Malay language. Had the arresting police personal asked her the relevant questions about her whereabouts, where she studied and at least two references that could vouch for her, there would have been no necessity to arrest her. But things have come to a stage in Malaysia generally that when the police see an Indian they see a suspect worthy of being harassed or detained without proper investigation or evidence. An immediate finger point check would have revealed that Rajeswary was Malaysian born.

2) Junior Magistrates dispensing Justice.

Rajeswary was given a trial by a “qualified and independent” Magistrate to two months jail, we presume under Malaysia’s “Summary Justice” lasting a few minutes. This learned Magistrate did not bother sending Rajeswary for finger print test or asking the police to verify her references before sentencing her to two months imprisonment. Sending someone to jail has not been done with extreme caution. Magistrates are also known to be “friendly” with the police. Magistrates must have at least seven year standing before being allowed to dispense justice especially sending people to jail.

3) No State funded legal aid.

Assuming there was fully state funded effective legal aid for all criminal cases to be fair as one single individual has to face the weight and might of the whole state machinery, this and hundreds of similar or worse injustices would not be happening to especially the Indians. The RM 207.93 Billion budget made zero provisions for the provision of legal aid. Even in Thailand the legal aid lawyer is given a room within the police station itself to see to the administration of justice being meted out fairly.

4) No qualified Public Prosecutor

Even after 51 years of independence, legally qualified junior Police Officers still conduct criminal prosecutions at Magistrates Courts. A legally qualified Public Prosecutor would have made the difference by at least having a thumb print check and a check of her family’s permanent address. Yet again there had been zero allocation for legally qualified Public Prosecutors at all levels of the Malaysian Judiciary including the Magistrates Courts. The Police end up being the arresting officer, investigating officer, the prosecuting officer and the jailor all in one without proper check and balance.

5) Prison and Welfare Authorities.

Had the prison welfare officers taken even the basic and minimum standards of care and basic humanitarian concern, Rajeswary would not have served her two months sentence and a further nine months detention at the Lenggang Detention Centre. Rajeswary was lucky not to have been “successfully” deported to Sri Lanka. The Prison and Welfare Officers failed justice.

6) Indian NGO

Rajeswary was lucky to have bumped into an Indian NGO member by chance when taken to a clinic to treat her daughter. The Malaysian Indian Youth Council had succeeded in tracing her birth certificate from her Tamil school, procured a confirmation letter from the National Registration Department in Putrajaya and eventually secured her release together with her now eight month old baby who probably has not been issued with a certificate only for her to be arrested and imprisoned like her mother in twenty years time. And the cycle goes on especially for the Indian community.

7) Multi Racial Civil Society

Had Rajeswary been at least a foreigner some NGOs’ would have reached her like the Nepali Bahadur case some two years ago. So much for multi racialism by the opposition parties, NGOs, civil society and print and electronic media and mainstream media except NST in this case.

8) No mercy for 8 months pregnant lady.

The Malaysian authorities obviously had no mercy for even this eight months pregnant Indian lady. What more the rest of the Indian community.

9) Failure of Education System.

Rajeswary has obviously not been given the basic education to even to be able to properly converse in Malay. What more to excel like the Malay Muslims.

10) Conclusion

This case is not an isolated. Every hundreds of especially the most vulnerable Indians suffer in almost all other aspects of day to day life at the hands of the Malaysian Authorities under UMNO’s racist and religious extremist regime’s policies and the implementation thereto. Suhakam Commissioner Datuk Khalid Ibrahim is in Inquiries confirm that there are many more children between the age 12 to 17 in detention camps. We dread thinking of the 40,000 Indian children in the State of Selangor alone without birth certificates. Why does this happen only to the Indians? It doesn’t happen to the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli, Kadazan and Iban. Why? Because only the Indians are excluded from the Mainstream development in Malaysia. In Rajeswary’s case an apology and a RM 500,000.00 compensation is in order.

Thank you,

Yours faithfully,

………………………

P. Waytha Moorthy

[Chairman- Currently in London]

Selangor govt suspends Hamid

By Christina Tan & Christina Low, The Star

SHAH ALAM: Ampang Jaya Muni­cipal Council (MPAJ) deputy president Hamid Hussain, who allegedly ordered that the Sri Maha­kaliaman temple be demolished, has been suspended for a week effective today.

State Local Government, Research and Study committee chairman Ronnie Liu said Hamid was being suspended pending investigations.

The decision to suspend him was made yesterday.

He said the state three-man committee on non-Muslim religious affairs comprising Teresa Kok, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and himself has begun their investigations into the temple demolition.

“We are expecting the investigation results by Monday and we will look into the next course of action after that,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The 19-year-old temple near Kampung Tasek Tambahan, which was built on forest reserve land, was ordered to be destroyed by the MPAJ about two weeks ago.

Liu said the council president was on leave when the temple was demolished and Hamid, as the deputy, had reportedly decided on the matter.

He said the state government was dealing with the demolition of places of worship very seriously and would find a solution to the problem of the Sri Mahakaliaman temple soon.

Liu said so far 27 permits for places of worship, including churches, Hindu temples and Chinese temples on government land, had been given since the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state government.

This showed that the state government was very concerned and sensitive to religious matters, he said.

However, Liu said, the state government hoped not to see any new places of worship coming up on land designated as forest and river reserves.

He said the people should understand that these reserves should not be occupied for other than the intended use.

When contacted, Hamid, who is on leave in Langkawi, said he did not know anything about the council’s decision to suspend him.

“I’m on Hari Raya leave now and I don’t know what is going on,” he said, adding that he had not received any notice from the state government or council.

When contacted, MPAJ president Datuk Mohammad Yacob said that he had been informed of Hamid’s suspension. “The suspension is the state exco’s decision,” he said.

“We will follow whatever decision the state exco makes as we are all here to serve the public.”

Mohammad declined further comment but said that he would wait for an interim report on the issue next week.

MIC Youth protest over Ampang temple demolition


Tuesday, 30 September 2008

MIC Youth protest over Ampang temple demolition Selangor govt suspends Hamid
Kapar MP to quit PKR if no action is taken
MIC protests against demolition

©New Straits Times
by V. Shankar Ganesh

SHAH ALAM: State executive councillor Dr Xavier Jayakumar came under fire from the MIC for describing the temple demolition in Ampang as a small issue and that the municipal council was right in demolishing it.

MIC Youth chief T. Mohan lambasted him, saying he should address the issue at hand and not trivialise it as it touched the sensitivities of Indians.

"He should investigate who ordered the demolition as the state did not issue any such order. However, the responsibility still lies in the hands of the state as the municipal council reports to the state."

He said Jayakumar's comments were an insult to the Indian community, in also referring to the the place of worship as being only a shrine.

"Even if it is a shrine, is it all right to demolish it? All this talk goes against what was said before the general election when they promised not to demolish any place of worship."

The Sri Mahakaliamman temple was demolished by officers from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council on Sept 9.

Mohan lead a protest by about 100 people outside the state secretariat building here yesterday.

He said the state government should answer the questions being raised.

Under the watchful eyes of a handful of policemen, the protesters carried banners and posters criticising the Pakatan Rakyat government and demanding that Jayakumar quit.

Mohan handed over a memorandum addressed to Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim, which was received by Khalid's political secretary, Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad.

Mohan asked why MPAJ did not inform the state government of the demolition. He also wanted to know what the state was doing to settle this problem and also whether the state could give its assurance that no more temples would be demolished.

Mohan said the only solution now was for the state government to allow the temple to be rebuilt and the land it was on given for this purpose.

Earlier, Jayakumar had questioned why the MIC was protesting against the temple demolition only now, when the previous Barisan Nasional government had demolished it three times, only to have it rebuilt each time.

"They did not protest then. Why now?" he asked.

To this, Mohan replied that the MIC had always been against any temple demolition in the country and had always engaged the government in talks to resolve the problem.

(However, despite such talks, a temple in Padang Jawa here was demolished last November, just days before Deepavali, causing a huge uproar in the Indian community eventually leading to the erosion of Indian support for the BN.)

Asked whether any of the Ampang temple committee members were present at the protest, Mohan said no one was there as the temple management were Pakatan Rakyat supporters.

Asked why, then, was the MIC making a ruckus about the issue, he said a temple was a public place of worship for all Hindus and they had the right to protect it.

Federal Territory People's Progressive Party chief A. Chandrakumanan said Jayakumar was practising a double-standard in handling this matter.

"This is especially so as he has the cheek to say it's a small matter. Today, when he is part of the government, he is trying to protect and justify their mistake by saying that it was only a shrine built on forest reserve land."

Poll: More than half of all Malays found Ahmad Ismail's comments inappropriate By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 30 – More than 50 per cent of Malay voters polled recently felt Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail's controversial remarks about the Chinese community were inappropriate, according to a recent survey by the independent Merdeka Centre.

As expected, a total of 90 per cent Chinese voters and 97 per cent of Indian voters found his "immigrant" remarks inappropriate.

Overall, 68.3 per cent of all Malaysian voters surveyed thought the statement inappropriate.

The findings appear to suggest that a majority of Malaysians would have supported tougher action against Ahmad.

The high percentage of Malays who felt the statement inappropriate also appears to suggest that Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi would not have lost significant support among the Malay grassroots if he had taken stern action against Ahmad.

Ahmad was slapped with a three-year suspension from holding official party posts, in what has been considered a rap on the knuckle, especially since Seputed MP Teresa Kok, blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin and journalist Tan Hoon Cheng were subsequently arrested under the Internal Security Act for alleged involvement in racially sensitive issues.

"It's a foregone conclusion," Pas research head and MP Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad replied when asked if Umno preisdent Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi should have meted out stiffer punishment.

With a 60-40 divide, he said that a firm stance by the prime minister would have been supported by the Malays.

Respondents were asked in the survey how appropriate was Ahmad's statement in the recent Permatang Pauh by-election that the Chinese were "immigrants" and did not deserve equal treatment in this country.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng said it showed how out of touch Umno had become.

"The PM must get support from all races. They are caught in their own time-warp from 20-30 years ago," he commented, adding that Abdullah's handling of the matter was a contributing factor to the impending end of his premiership.

Dzulkifli echoed this sentiment, stating that Barisan Nasional parties were continuing to relapse into their "default mode" of playing to their hardcore supporters.

"But you can't play this expedient politics of double-speak any longer. You will be left as a dinosaur trying to disentangle yourself from a contradiction."

However, Federal Territory Umno Youth chief and Datuk Norza Zakaria insisted that the time factor was why BN could not gel overnight with the pressure from people's expectations.

"We've always had extreme views across the coalition. How come for 50 years these things could be absorbed? What never used to weaken the party is now hyped up," he said, adding that such cases were a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" situation for Abdullah due to intra-Umno politics.

The supreme council member said that these were only isolated incidents.

"No top leader, no supreme council member will ever say such a thing," he said of Ahmad's statement.

Malaysia 2008 - “Nero fiddled while Rome burned”

by Dr. Chen Man Hin

“NERO FIDDLED WHILE ROME BURNED” BEST DESCRIBES THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC SCENARIO IN MALAYSIA.

Some political analysts were saying that pressure within the UMNO Supreme Council for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down would make him a lame duck prime minister as his reign would wane as his power wanes.

As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister showed signs of being a lame duck as early as during the second half of his previous term as prime minister

The signs of indecision and vacillation were already visible.

Promises of reforms to deal with corruption, increase of crime and judicial violations were easily forthcoming from the lips of the Prime Minister, but as easily forgotten and not implemented.

A clear example was the reaction to the advice of the independent commission on police mismanagement and conduct, which after much deliberation recommended the establishment of a special commission to supervise the police force. The cabinet pondered over the recommendation and as quickly shelved it.

The March 8th general election returned Barisan Nasional to power but with a reduced majority and loss of its two-third parliamentary majority, but it sent a clear signal to Abdullah that the people want a new order. The people wanted democracy, justice transparency and freedom of religion and they also sent a clear message to Abdullah of cross ethnic voting - where Malays voted for non-Malay candidates and non-Malay voters voted for Malay candidates.

Abdullah responded and promised reforms would be launched in accordance with the wishes of the people. Up till today the promises were again as empty as before.

UMNO and the Prime Minister have suffered a severe psychological hammering from which they have not recovered.

UMNO top leadership are in disarray and are not able to plan a new direction for the party. Unable to present a new policy and strategy for the party, the leaders went back to the old ways.

The Anti Corruption Act was ostensilby changed but the final authority of ACA remained in PM’s hands.

Instead of adopting a multiracial policy, it reverted back to its Malay agenda and its ‘ketuanan Melayu’ or Malay supremacy objective.

Instead of being more democratic, Abdullah has used the ISA against a law-abiding Member of Parliament, a blogger and a news reporter. Ahmad Ismail, the man who uttered seditious words was not detained, but the reporter who disseminated his words was. This is topsy-turvy justice.!

Crime is on the increase and the crimes are more brutal than in the past. No one is exempt, not even those who legislate laws like the wives of two ex-Penang state assemblymen and top police officers. The criminals have become more contemptuous of the police .

The blame for all this must rest on the shoulders of the Prime Minister and his cabinet for not implementing the recommendations of the royal police commission to prevent crime.

Unfortunately the uncontrolled exacerbation of crime has infected even those who are supposed to uphold the law.

The Sodomy 2 charge against Anwar Ibrahim is a case in point. Because Anwar dared to ‘change government’ with the aim of building a better Malaysia, Sodomy 2 was implemented with the blessing of the cabinet. other institutions like the courts and police are implicated in the grand conspiracy to destroy Anwar and his aim to take over the government through crossovers of Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament. The conspiracy is an open secret. The whole world is aware of this subjecting Malaysia as the laughing stock all over the world.

The economy is in the doldrums. The huge spending of the 9th Malaysia Plan and the 2009 budget did not move the economy forward. The unpopular high increase of pump oil prices was a big factor for slowing the economy and causing financial distress to the man in the street.

The political, economic and social well being. is at its lowest.

The blame sits squarely on a shocked and demoralised Barisan Nasional leadership

The remedy is to have a ‘government change’ as proposed by Pakatan Rakyat.

Hadhari, human rights, hypocrisy

by Azly Rahman

The General Assembly proclaims this Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive by teaching and education to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and by progressive measures, national and international, to secure their universal and effective recognition and observance, both among the peoples of Member-States themselves and among the peoples of territories under their jurisdiction.- Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948
Free Raja Petra Kamarudin and all the ISA detainees. Abolish the ISA. This is my appeal to the current regime.

How do we continue to live with the contradiction of being a ratifier of the UDHR and still hold on to the Internal Security Act (ISA) as an instrument of oppression? At home, how must we live with this hypocrisy of jailing without trial our noble citizens such as Raja Petra Kamaruddin and yet abroad speak out against Guantanamo Bay in the platform of world affairs?

When Malaysian leaders go abroad and give speeches at the United Nations or the Malaysian embassies for example, they often argue that Malaysians have their own way of dealing with human rights issues.

They say that culturally Malaysians are different than, say the American or the Britons. Human rights is a subjective issue that needs subjective interpretation, as the argument goes.

The way the government deals with freedom of speech for example includes the stubborn political will to keep the ISA intact as an instrument of the country’s ‘right’ to maintain peace and security.

When Malaysian leaders are abroad and speak to Malaysians at dinner gatherings, for example, they often argue that other countries do not have the right to meddle into the affairs of another nation.
The US therefore is warned not to comment on Malaysian politics. Al Gore and Condoleezza Rice are to be scorned for making statements about the reformasi demonstrations on Malaysian streets and on the trial of Anwar Ibrahim, respectively.

At home, however, Malaysian leaders ironically love to rally for the cause of others - from the abolition of apartheid in South Africa or for the plight of the Palestinians. Well and good. These are universal issues of human rights of which we ought to be aware.

We speak up for the rights of the Bosnians, the Chechens, the Palestinians, and Pattani Malays. I do not know whether the former Yugoslavs, the Russians, the Israelis, and the Thais have warned Malaysians not to meddle into the politics of the respective countries.

Isn’t upholding and protecting of human rights the job of all citizens of the world? Did we not speak out against Guantanamo Bay, as millions of Americans have been doing; Americans who themselves are fed up with the war-mongering Bush-Cheney regime?

Refusal to understand

Herein lies our hypocrisy within the context of our proclaimed ideology of Islam Hadhari and the right to talk about human rights. We are living with an outdated version of the Mahathir-Lee Kuan Yew interpretation of human rights vis-a-vis political and economic stability.

The ISA is used on citizens these days as part of a way to ensure that power, ideology, and hegemony is maintained for the rights of the few and to sustain the right to dehumanise others.

The question for educators like me is: how will the continuing existence of the British colonial legacy of the ISA create a progressive, liberal, intelligent, wise, and just Malaysia? How do we mediate the false dichotomy between the ‘Eastern’ and ‘Western’ interpretations of human rights?

Malaysia is a signatory to the UDHR including:

- Article 9: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

- Article 10: Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.

I believe the much trumpeted brand of Islam the current regime is promoting, Islam Hadhari, is anti-civilisation in the way human right is vis-a-vis the ISA detentions.
It is anti-Islam when those who are detained are fighting for social, economic justice and as Islam requires, to speak truth to power in combating corruption.

To jail those who expose wrongdoings bring Islam Hadhari back to the age of pre-Islamic Jahiliyyah (Age of Ignorance). Indeed, we are being hypocrites when we continue to keep and use the instrument of oppression left behind by the oppressors. We continue to let the current regime refine the instrument.

Setting aside the truncated mindset of the Malaysian leaders, the people must recognise the critical importance of the awareness and maintenance of human rights throughout the world.

We must believe that the definition, creation, and dissemination of human rights norms can bridge the gaps between countries, ensure that individual’s human rights are respected, and pave the way for a more peaceful world.
And, as the countries of our world become increasingly more interconnected, the call for universal human rights standards could not be more important.

We are hypocrites living in an ideology of Hadhari. We seem to refuse to understand what the idea of the universality of human rights means. We cannot progress in this area unless we live by such principles of human rights - the one that we too ratified.


I APPEAL TO THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT TO RELEASE RAJA PETRA KAMARUDIN IMMEDIATELY AND UNCONDITIONALLY AND RELEASE ALL THE ISA DETAINEES AS WELL AND CONSEQUENTLY REPEAL THE ISA AND ALL OTHER INTOLERABLE ACTS

REPLACE THE ISA with the INTELLECTUAL SUSTAINABILITY ACT INSTEAD.

______________________________________________

PLEASE SIGN THIS PETITION:

http://www.petitiononline.com/isa1234/petition.html

J B Jeyaretnam 1926-2008: Death of a legend

The legendary Singapore opposition icon, Joshua Benjamin Jeyaretnam, better known as JBJ (photo credit: Wikipedia), passed away early this morning of a heart failure.

After having left the Workers Party, he had just formed the Reform Party to mount a new challenge to PAP dominance. He was the interim secretary general of the party.

He was Singapore’s Mr Opposition, having broken the PAP’s 15-year monopoly in Parliament in the Anson by-election in 1981, winning 52 per cent of the votes to become Singapore’s first opposition MP.

He suffered much personal hardship after being at the losing end of a string of defamation and libel law suits and was forced to pay substantial damages, which eventually left him bankrupt for a number of years

Kerajaan PR mesti contohi ketegasan kerajaan Perak

Abdul Aziz Mustafa, Harakah

Ketua Penerangan PAS, Haji Mahfuz Omar berharap kerajaan-kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat (PR) mencontohi kerajaan negeri Perak dan mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap mana-mana pegawainya yang melakukan kesalahan.

"Kerajaan-kerajaan PR bukan sahaja mesti mementingkan kredibiliti para pemimpinnya malah ia juga mesti meliputi para pegawainya," tegas Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena itu.

Kerajaan negeri Perak Ahad lalu memecat serta merta Ahli Majlis Daerah Perak Tengah, Zul Hassan yang mengaku menerima habuan seks wanita warga China berhubung apa yang dinyatakan oleh Badan Pencegah Rasuah (BPR) sebagai skandal rasuah membabitkan projek membangunkan tanah seluas 36 hektar bernilai RM180 juta di Seri Iskandar.

Rabu lalu, 24 Ogos lalu, Zul didakwa menerima rasuah berbentuk habuan seks setelah mengadakan pertemuan dengan pegawai Jabatan Agama Islam Perak (JAIP) di Ipoh.

Ditanya sama ada dia turut melakukan hubungan seks, Zul berkata: Tidak mengaku tidak boleh, dia (BPR) ada gambar.

Bagaimanapun, katanya, dakwaan BPR bahawa dia dan rakannya meminta perempuan China daripada Mohamad Imran adalah tidak benar.

Kita tak minta, tak cari, Mohamad Imran yang hantar. Serupa juga kalau orang bagi sedekah, awak tak terima ke sedekah itu? ujar Zul.

Kepada Mahfuz, apa yang berlaku kepada Zul itu bukan semata-mata tuduhan atau mempunyai unsur konpirasi.

"Sebaliknya, orang itu sendiri dengan jelas mengakui beliau mengakui perbuatan terkutuk dan jijik itu," katanya.

Tidak kira sama ada perbuatan itu berunsur rasuah atau tidak, kata Mahfuz, apa yang diakui dilakukan oleh Ahli Majlis Daerah Perak Tengah yang dipecat itu adalah satu kesalahan.

"Seseorang pegawai awam bukan sahaja tidak boleh memberikan kenyataan yang tidak menunjukkan rasa bersalah setelah melakukan kesalahan dan perbuatan tidak berakhlak seperti itu malah kalau disembunyikan sekalipun ia tetap salah dan mesti diambil tindakan tegas dan keras," katanya.

Mahfuz mengucapkan tahniah kepada Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Ir. Mohammad Nizar dan kepimpinan negeri Perak yang berani bertindak tegas dalam isu tersebut.

"Keputusan dan tindakan itu mesti didokong oleh semua pihak," katanya.

Mahfuz juga meminta rakyat bersuara tegas untuk mendesak para pemimpin yang ternyata melakukan kesalahan, tidak kira kesalahan jenayah atau moral, supaya berundur segera.

"Kita tidak mahu melihat ada pelbagai pengakuan bersumpah yang mengaitkan seseorang pemimpin dengan kesalahan, sama ada kesalahan jenayah, moral apa lagi kesalahan dari segi agama terus berdalih-dalih dengan hujah yang rapuh atau lebih buruk lagi terus berdiam diri seolah-olah tidak melakukan apa-apa kesalahan.

"Rakyat mesti bertindak dengan tersusun dan tegas untuk menuntut mereka berundur," kata Mahfuz.

Karpal: Use election to form government

(NST) GEORGE TOWN: Another DAP bigwig has warned that Pakatan Rakyat runs the risk of losing the support of the people in the next general election if it forms the federal government with crossovers. DAP national chairman Karpal Singh said the opposition coalition should seek the people's vote to form the government instead of relying on traitors and turncoats.

"PR should not depend on disloyal members of parliament.

"The people will not accept such betrayal," he said in a statement yesterday.

Last week, DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim said that it was unethical to don the mantle of government other than through the ballot box.

In disagreeing with the idea of forming a government by asking politicians to switch sides, he was quoted as saying:

"This is really a matter not so much of politics but really to do more with ethics in politics."

Tunku Aziz also warned that when one put ethics on the back burner instead of in the driver's seat, problems would happen.

Karpal said DAP's stand on crossovers had been consistent.

"Such acts (crossovers) are deplorable and unethical, and won't have the stamp of approval of all right thinking people."

He said that after the March 8 elections, he had even suggested that the DAP support the Barisan Nasional to amend the Federal Constitution to outlaw party hopping.

Karpal said it must be clearly understood that the DAP is against crossovers for any reason.

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim had claimed on numerous occasions that he has a list of more than 30 MPs crossing over to PR.

PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail said recently that more and more MPs had shown their willingness to cross over to the opposition coalition.

Abdullah's silence raises loud speculations

THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

He is not going to defend his party president’s position but Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s silence on the matter is spawning several theories and prompting some division chiefs to nudge him along by openly declaring support for Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak even before the divisional meetings.

At the emergency supreme council meeting last Friday, the Prime Minister announced that the party elections would be postponed from December to March and that he would state before Oct 9 whether he would accept nominations for the top position.

His decision to keep his options open has set off speculation that he is still harbouring a desire to contest the party polls, a move which will see him face off with Najib.

Senior party officials and his supporters have met Abdullah since Friday and the indication they get is that he is not interested in defending his position, though he believes that the “groundswell’’ of anti-Abdullah sentiment among divisions was manufactured by his political enemies and several highly-placed individuals in the party whom he trusted.

A senior party official told the Malaysian Insider: “Pak Lah is very calm about the situation. He knows that he has been stitched up but he is not going to fling mud or contest the polls knowing that it will lead to a split and weakened Umno.’’

Abdullah has been under pressure to step down since March 8, when the Barisan Nasional lost its two-thirds majority in Parliament and control of Selangor, Perak, Kedah and Penang to Pakatan Rakyat, an alliance of PKR-DAP-PAS. He managed to head off the critics with the support of Najib, and cobbled together a transition plan in July where he would hand over power to the DPM in 2010.

But this plan came unstuck after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s resounding victory in Permatang Pauh on Aug 26. Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, a persistent critic of Abdullah, urged him to truncate his transition plan. This led to other calls for a speedier handover of power to Najib, culminating in a supreme council meeting where Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Shafie Apdal and Muhyiddin urged Abdullah to consider the ground sentiment and step down soon.

After consulting his supporters and party officials, including Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Abdullah decided that he was going to defend his party presidency, confident that he would easily obtain the 58 nominations needed to contest the party polls.

This position changed after a series of meetings last week with Najib. It is unclear what transpired, but Abdullah’s camp was stunned that he accepted the March transition plan on Friday.

Since then, there has been roiling speculation over his political future. Datuk Ruhanie Ahmad, posting on his blog yesterday, said he had received information that there was a move to push back the divisional meetings from October/November to February next year.

He also said that there was a plan by Abdullah to ask the supreme council to convene a special assembly to remove the quota system. Under the system, candidates who offer themselves for senior positions in the party must obtain a minimum number of nominations from the divisions.

Ruhanie said the move to postpone divisional meetings and remove the quota system was an indication that Abdullah was prepared to defend his position as party president.

Checks by the Malaysian Insider with several supreme council members show that no such moves for postponing divisional meetings or removing the quota were in motion. Abdullah’s camp also scoffed at this posting, saying that it was based on a false assumption – that the PM was interested in contesting the party elections.

Still, the theories will sprout like mushrooms after rain until Abdullah makes clear his position. Till then, supporters of Najib and Muhyiddin in the party will attempt to apply pressure on him to announce that he is not contesting the party elections.

The decision by Cheras and Titiwangsa divisions to declare publicly that they would nominate Najib and Muhyiddin as number one and number two at their divisional elections should be seen from this perspective.

Illicit sex councillor quits

By Hah Foong Lian, The Star

IPOH: Perak Tengah councillor Zul Hassan, who admitted to having illicit sex with a Chinese national, has vacated his post.

State Education, Local Government, Housing and Public Transport Committee chairman Nga Kor Ming said the move in asking Zul to resign was to defend the integrity of the state government and to protect the interests of the people.

“We have found him to be unsuitable to hold the post of a councillor,” Nga told reporters here yesterday.

Nga pointed out that under the Local Government Act, the appointment and dismissal of a councillor was the state government’s prerogative.

“If we ask him to resign, the message is very clear,” he said, adding: “He will be replaced once we have identified a suitable candidate.”

Zul, who had been charged with corruption, had lodged a complaint with the state Religious Department and had admitted to having illicit sex with a woman.

Zul had also accused Mohamad Imran of being the person responsible in organising and promoting the sinful act by providing the woman to him and two others at the Kuala Kangsar rest area on Aug 14.

Mohamad Imran is the complainant in the corruption case which Zul and four other accused had claimed trial to.

As for the two state executive councillors who were also charged with corruption, Nga said: “As far as they are concerned, they are innocent and they have reasons to believe they have been framed.”

“If they were framed, then there is no reason for us to punish the innocent,” Nga added.

He also urged the rest of the 338 councillors in Perak to protect their good name, and that of their family and the state government.

Declaring that he had full confidence in them as they were selected through a transparent and democratic process, Nga said the interests of the people should be their commitment.

Meanwhile, PKR president Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail welcomed and fully supported the state’s decision to sack Zul.

She said Zul would also be hauled up by PKR’s disciplinary committee and asked to explain the remark, when he made a comparison of his inability to resist temptation to someone who is being offered sedekah (charity).

Selangor govt suspends Hamid

By Christina Tan & Christina Low, The Star

SHAH ALAM: Ampang Jaya Muni­cipal Council (MPAJ) deputy president Hamid Hussain, who allegedly ordered that the Sri Maha­kaliaman temple be demolished, has been suspended for a week effective today.

State Local Government, Research and Study committee chairman Ronnie Liu said Hamid was being suspended pending investigations.

The decision to suspend him was made yesterday.

He said the state three-man committee on non-Muslim religious affairs comprising Teresa Kok, Dr Xavier Jayakumar and himself has begun their investigations into the temple demolition.

“We are expecting the investigation results by Monday and we will look into the next course of action after that,” he said when contacted yesterday.

The 19-year-old temple near Kampung Tasek Tambahan, which was built on forest reserve land, was ordered to be destroyed by the MPAJ about two weeks ago.

Liu said the council president was on leave when the temple was demolished and Hamid, as the deputy, had reportedly decided on the matter.

He said the state government was dealing with the demolition of places of worship very seriously and would find a solution to the problem of the Sri Mahakaliaman temple soon.

Liu said so far 27 permits for places of worship, including churches, Hindu temples and Chinese temples on government land, had been given since the Pakatan Rakyat took over the state government.

This showed that the state government was very concerned and sensitive to religious matters, he said.

However, Liu said, the state government hoped not to see any new places of worship coming up on land designated as forest and river reserves.

He said the people should understand that these reserves should not be occupied for other than the intended use.

When contacted, Hamid, who is on leave in Langkawi, said he did not know anything about the council’s decision to suspend him.

“I’m on Hari Raya leave now and I don’t know what is going on,” he said, adding that he had not received any notice from the state government or council.

When contacted, MPAJ president Datuk Mohammad Yacob said that he had been informed of Hamid’s suspension. “The suspension is the state exco’s decision,” he said.

“We will follow whatever decision the state exco makes as we are all here to serve the public.”

Mohammad declined further comment but said that he would wait for an interim report on the issue next week.

DEMOLITION OF SRI MAHA KALIAMMAN TEMPLE AMPANG. HINDRAF HAS LOST THE PLOT!

Something very sinister is happening with Hindraf. It appears from the Google search below that Hindraf Chairman P. Waytha Moorthy had responded to MIC Blogger Punithan Shan's lies and false statements. However, the link provided has also drawn blanks. This Scribe has also found out as claimed by srihero1 that all comments against the vermin Punithan Shan in the www.hindraf.org blog does not get published. Instead, Punithan Shan's lies and false statements gets full coverage in www.hindraf.org. A check with www.hindraf.org shows that the Article has been taken out.

This Scribe has long held the believe that HINDRAF has been infiltrated by Special Branch Operatives and/or MIC moles. It appears here that HINDRAF is playing into the hands of Umno and MIC orchestrated by none other than Khir Toyo (top left) and Samy Vellu (top right) to split the ethnic Indian support for Pakatan Rakyat.

The stained hands of the Special Branch can be seen where recent statements made by Dr M Kalaivani and B Buvaneswary, the wives of K Kenghadharan and V Ganabatirau, which appeared in Malaysiakini on 26/09/08 and front paged on Tamil Nesan and Makkal Osai on 27/09/08, who said the struggle of the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) is different now compared to when it started under the leadership of the five who are currently under ISA detention, and that they were not comfortable with the direction in which the movement has taken. It appears here the Special Branch has something to do with such statements coming out from the wives of the HINDRAF ISA Detainee's. Punithan Shan by himself is a nobody, however he seems to execute his deceptions with the guidance and support of powerful forces linked to UMNO and MIC.

READ MORE HERE: http://margeemar.blogspot.com/

Tempers rage over Hindu temples issue

Comment by Baradan Kuppusamy

THE Opposition won and formed the government in Selangor, Penang and Perak some seven months ago but the highly emotional issue of temples and Tamil schools remains unresolved.

Indians in the three states had overwhelmingly backed the opposition Pakatan Rakyat and the key issue that rallied them against the Barisan Nasional government was the demolition of a 100-year-old temple in Shah Alam on the eve of Deepavali last year.

Both the MIC and the Barisan government suffered massively in the subsequent backlash from angry Indians.

But increasingly, the community is also getting disenchanted with the new state governments over their handling of the two issues the Indians hold sacred €“ temples and the future of Tamil schools.

The threat by Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam, a vocal defender of Indian rights, to resign as the deputy liaison chairman of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in Selangor is a case of deep-seated frustration breaking out into the open.

Manikavasagam, or Mike as he is popularly called, has announced that he wants an apology from the Ampang Jaya Municipal Council for the demolition last week of the Sri Maha Kaliamman temple there.

It is a small temple by size but its demolition is having a major emotional impact in the Indian community, with even Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy issuing a stinging e-mail from self-imposed exile in London, lashing out at the Pakatan governments.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu is also milking the community anger, lashing out at the Opposition-ruled state governments for failing to keep to their promise not to demolish Hindu temples.

All three Tamil dailies had headline stories yesterday that Manikavasagam had resigned as Selangor PKR deputy chief.

They said he wanted an apology from the council €“ a move that puts the state government in a spot.

A posting on Manikavasagam’s website had a breaking news item (www.mpkapar.com/manikavasagam/posts/breaking-news-manikavasagam-resigning) confirming that he had resigned in protest and wanted an apology.

He is unhappy that the state government was unable to enforce a ban on temple destruction, despite promising Indians it would safeguard their heritage.

Manikavasagam’s relationship with Selangor exco member Dr Xavier Jeyakumar has also become rocky after the temple demolition and other issues.

He accused Dr Xavier of failure to “defend the temples.”

Dr Xavier had said last week the temple that was demolished was unregistered, but stopped short of saying this was the reason it was demolished.

He also blamed the council for not getting the permission of the state government to pull down the temple and has asked for a report.

He also reportedly said the episode was a “small issue” and urged Indians to look at the larger picture of what the Pakatan government was doing for the community.

There’s a problem with that because for Hindus, temples are no small issue and there is no picture larger than the pillars of Tamil society €“ temples, Tamil language and Tamil schools.

It was Indian anger over the perceived failure by the Barisan government on these cardinal matters that sparked the Hindraf tsunami, which the Opposition political parties rode to victory.

There are rumblings in the Pakatan-ruled states over the failure to solve key issues like saving the so-called “illegal” temples from demolition, land for more temples and Tamil schools, and the right to build new Tamil schools.

Up to now, no new Tamil school has been built, and land for temples and schools are scarce although Pakatan leaders have made promises to look into the matter.

The bulk of the resentment in the Indian community over these “failures” comes from the Tamil working class that usually frequents the smaller temples, mostly sitting “illegally” on state land.

It is their temples that are constantly under threat and up to now, neither the Barisan or Pakatan governments have offered a lasting and comprehensive solution.

The many larger temples that dot every major town in the country are owned and managed by upper-class Indians and except for a few instances, are generally avoided by the ordinary people.

The reasons the poor avoid the bigger temples range from natural suspicion of the rich to issues of caste and class differences.

Besides this, for Hindus, there is no such thing as “enough temples” in a area because a person who builds temples is deemed especially close to and favoured by the gods.

Therefore, there exists a strong urge to build and keep building more temples €“ from roadside shrines to large temples €“ wherever Hindus live.

There is therefore an urgent need for the Pakatan governments to understand the complete socio-economic and cultural background to the temple issue.

It is therefore more than a purely legal issue of who owns the land. That’s how the Barisan government handled the issue and got into a lot of problems.

The Pakatan governments can do better by authorising a complete study and survey of the temples in the states they rule, and offer a comprehensive and lasting solution acceptable to the Tamil working class.

It has to be a solution that satisfies not only the religious but also cultural, emotional and psychological needs of the poorest among the Indians.

- The Star

HINDRAF – VISIT TO PM OPEN HOUSE

HINDRAF
135-3-A Jalan Toman 7
Kemayan Square 70200
Seremban.

PRESS STATEMENT – HINDRAF – VISIT TO PM OPEN HOUSE

HINDRAF would like to inform the public that the Prime Minister’s department had acknowledged receipt of our request to lead a delegation of 10,000 HINDRAF supporters and that the Prime Minister had been advised accordingly.

HINDRAF call upon all HINDRAF supporters and all Malaysians to visit the Prime Minister on the 1st day open house at PWTC to make it a memorable day whereby each one of us as a citizen of this democratic Malaysia can actually see him eye to eye and wish him a Selamat Hari Raya and demand that the ISA to be abolished and release our leaders along with the others in the spirit of humanity and mankind.

This is an occasion on an auspicious day for all HINDRAF supporters and all Malaysians to come forward and voice your feeling without any red tape bureaucracy directly to the premier so that the moral and spiritual truth in each one of us as a rakyat can be heard by him directly in the spirit that is coherent with the creation of the original constitution by our forefathers.

HINDRAF urges all its supporters to come it their orange t-shirts and assembly at the main entrance of PWTC on the 1st day of Hari Raya at 11.00am.

Your presence will show that HINDRAF is about everyone for the goodness of Malaysia to live a fair, equal and just life in this multicultural society.

P.Waytha Moorthy


HINDRAF – Chairman

A humble note on the successful 27th Sept.2008 peaceful candle vigil.

Vanakam My dear brothers and sisters.

We have made our point !

We have made it very loud and clear !!!

Abolish ISA , Release Hindraf heroes , RPK and the rest immediately !!!

We came with candles in our hands and love in our hearts . We kept to our words that this will be a Ahimsa vigil and it was indeed.

Malay, Indian, Chinese and our brothers from east Malaysia all stood along together and sent a clear message that Hindraf is not a terrorist organization as claimed by UMNO led Barisan Nasional government but rather was a representation of the citizens of Malaysia who ‘Believe In God’ and practicing ‘Loyalty To The King And Country’, who always believed in ‘Upholding The Constitution’ and respect the ‘Rule Of Law’ which eventually results in ‘Good Behaviour and Morality’.

Dear Prime Minister sir, there is no truth in your government’s claim that Mr.P.Uthayakumar has led a movement that links with any terrorist group. There is no base in your accusation that Hindraf chairman Mr.P.Waythamoorthy and the rest were threat to our beloved motherland Malaysia . Please drop all those accusations and free the Hindraf heroes from what you have once said , “draconian and barbaric” ISA detention Immediately.

Until and unless the Hindraf lawyers are freed , we have no any other choice but will be pushed to carry out various unique protests . The choice is actually yours Mr .Prime Minister sir.

It will not be appropriate if I never thank the police brothers for once allowing us to exercise article 10 of the federal constitution .Thank you for being very understanding despite not allowing us to hold our vigil at Dataran Merdeka.

Last but not least , Hindraf is proud and thankful to the 5000 over supporters of all walks of life and all races who gathered and supported this peaceful candle vigil.

YBs , NGO members ,bloggers and Press friends , your presence was very meaningful to us. We seek your continuous support in the event, the struggle to Abolish ISA and free the ISA Detainees need to be carried on.

Vaazhge Hindraf , Abolish ISA !!

Sambulingam Wisvalingam

National Hindraf Coordination Team.

28th Sept. 2008