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Wednesday, October 8, 2008


1. I was told members of the Cabinet were very upset when Zaid Ibrahim was appointed as Minister. It was known to everyone that Zaid helped PAS to defeat the BN candidate for Kota Baru. He was sore because he did not succeed to become division head of Kota Baru and he was not chosen as BN candidate for that constituency despite being the head of a legal firm of a hundred lawyers and being also well-heeled. During the elections he was in Perth, Australia.

2. The startled party and party officials suddenly found Zaid appointed as Minister in the Prime Minister's Department responsible for law. They were puzzled by Abdullah's choice. But then it is not so unexpected after all because he appointed another campaigner for PAS as Deputy Minister, and a man with dubious past as Senator and Minister.

3. The moment Zaid was appointed he went to town. Apparently without bothering to consult the Cabinet or the Prime Minister he publicly proposed so-called legal and judicial reforms. He proposed that judges should be appointed by a panel on which sit several members of the Bar Council. He did not think it odd that members of the bar would in the course of their work be facing the judges they appointed. I suppose he thinks that it will be alright because gratefulness is not a Malaysian value.

4. It would seem that his Cabinet colleagues were not happy with his proposal as well as his failure to inform the Cabinet about this major change. Since it is the Agong who will appoint the judges his idea might not be welcome by the Agong or the Rulers' Council.

5. In the past if the candidate was rejected by the Agong only the Prime Minister would know about it. But with Zaid's proposal rejection by the Agong can result in a public scandal.

6. The Bar Council would want to know why. If the explanation is not forthcoming then the Bar will organise a forum to debate whether their candidate can be rejected by whomever. The findings of such a debate would show that no one, absolutely no one can reject the Bar with impunity.

7. Zaid also resurrected the case of Tun Salleh Abbas. The Government then decided to award ex-gratia payments to the "unfortunate" judges although all the judges were being paid two pensions and one at least was being paid three pensions. They were obviously not starving.

8. True to the Government record of being open and transparent the amount paid is not revealed. I wonder whether the money came from Zaid's pocket or from the taxes paid by the rakyat.

9. Now of course Zaid has resigned and is aligned with the opposition over the detention under the ISA of Teresa Kok.

10. People accuse me of making wrong choices but in the case of Zaid it looks like the current PM has inherited my weakness.

11. One can afford to have principles when one is rich and does not have to depend on the small allowance of a Minister.

12. My deep respect for this one Minister who seem unconcerned about his allowances.

13. Incidentally former Minister, Tan Sri Kadir Sheikh Fadzir also resigned but he did not have a very big and profitable law practice.


Laporan Sinar Harian Amat Dikesali

Sinar Harian telah secara salah melaporkan kenyataan saya yang dibuat pada 7hb Oktober di perkarangan Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta. Laporan Sinar Harian tersebut menyatakan bahawa saya percaya Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak mampu mendapat sokongan yang lebih dalam menguruskan ekonomi dan membersihkan negara ini daripada amalan rasuah.

Ini adalah tidak benar. Laporan tersebut jelas memutar belitkan kenyataan saya yang dibuat pada 7hb Oktober berkenaan proses peralihan kuasa dalam Umno.

Sebaliknya saya yakin sekiranya Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak menjadi Perdana Menteri, negara ini akan terjerumus ke dalam bencana yang besar.

Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak secara jelas menyatakan beliau sebagai Menteri Kewangan akan meneruskan agenda ekonomi pentadbiran Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Kenyataan beliau bahawa Malaysia tidak akan terkesan dengan perkembangan krisis ekonomi dunia sangat membimbangkan dan mempamerkan kegagalan beliau untuk menangani cabaran yang akan dihadapi oleh negara kita pada masa hadapan.

Beliau juga tidak menunjukkan komitmen untuk memastikan Agenda Perubahan berlaku demi memulihkan keyakinan rakyat terhadap Badan Kehakiman dan bertindak memerangi rasuah. Sedangkan pada Pilihanraya Umum 8 Mac 2008 dan Pilihanraya Kecil Permatang Pauh tempoh hari, rakyat menyuarakan hasrat mereka agar Agenda Perubahan menjadi keutamaan dan direalisasikan dengan segera.

Rakyat Malaysia bimbang di bawah kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, undang-undang kuku besi seperti penggunaan ISA akan diteruskan dan sendi-sendi demokratik akan dilumpuhkan.

Selain itu beberapa persoalan yang belum terjawab seperti tuduhan penglibatan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak di dalam komisen yang diperolehi hasil pembelian peralatan tentera dari Perancis dan Russia serta pembunuhan wanita Mongolia; Altantuya Shaariibuu, menggugat serta melemahkan kedudukannya di dalam kerajaan.

Pemimpin sebegini akan mencemarkan reputasi Malaysia di kacamata masyarakat antarabangsa dan sekaligus akan memberikan kesan negatif dalam membentuk tanggapan pelabur-pelabur asing terhadap Malaysia.

Saya mohon agar Sinar Harian segera menyiarkan pembetulan dan lebih bertanggungjawab untuk melaporkan sebarang berita dengan benar dan tepat pada masa hadapan.

Ketua Pembangkang
Ketua Umum KeADILan

Dokumen Berkaitan Kes DSAI terdahulu

Sila klik di pautan yang tersedia untuk membaca penghakiman Mahkamah Persekutuan Kes Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim v. Pendakwaraya: Click here for PDF and and here.

Sila klik di pautan yang tersedia untuk meneliti afidavit Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim terhadap Abdul Gani Patail. Afidavit ini juga memuatkan petikan penting akuan bersumpah Manjeet Singh Dhillon berhubung penglibatan Gani Patail di dalam mengugut dan mereka bukti di dalam kes Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang terdahulu: Click here for PDF

Pejabat Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim

VIDEO:Anwar Ibrahim di Mahkamah

Free RPK: 2nd Habeas (Update)

The second habeas corpus application is scheduled to be heard at 9.00 am on 22nd October 2008 at the Shah Alam High Court before Justice Syed Ahmad Helmy bin Syed Ahmad.

Press Release: Will HINDRAF be banned?

Makkal Osai - 08/10/08

Malaysia Nanban - 08/10/08

The Law Maker “Dato Rajoo”- Press Release

Tamil Nesan - 08/10/08

Will HINDRAF be banned?

We condemn and deplore the campaign by certain BN newspapers and BN leaders to target Hindraf and possibly ban it as a illegal movement like the Al Arqam movement.

Such a campaign is completely uncalled for.

The government should not tolerate such a campaign and should take stern action against any organisation or individuals urging a ban of the Hindraf movement on the ground s that it is a racists movement aqnd would cause racial disturbances.

The country is populated by racial political parties and racial political organisation but these are not being fingered for action. Why then is the focus on Hindraf.

Hindraf is a legitimate movement representing the voice of the poor Indians and should be respected and accepted as such.

It should not be condemned nor banned as such an action would deprive the Indian community of a legitimate voice of dissent.

The Hindraf supporters who attended the Hari Raya rally did not thteaten anybody. They were peace loving and followed all the established rules and law.

Further they had written a letter to the PM that they are coming.

They gave a present to the PM. If they were dressed in orange, what’s wrong with that.

There were others who were also dressed in various uniforms. There were bloggers and others. Why just pick on Hindraf.

Hindraf and its supporters are really striving for inclusiveness, acceptance and recognition by the authorities as bona fide members of the diverse Malaysian family.

But unfortunately before and after Nov 25 what they have got thus far is exclusion, neglect and inequitable treatment by the government and the other classes.

Now they are being demonised as uncultured, disrespectful and even anti-Islam for trying to visit Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and give him a Hari Raya present — a teddy bear and a greeting card — and urge him to release the five Hindraf leaders in ISA detention since December 2007.

This trend is unhealthy and nothing could be far from the truth. There is an urgent need for understanding, compassion and acceptance by the authorities of Hindraf, its members and the deep-seated grievances that propel the movement.

The banning of HINDRAF was written in Utusan Malaysia the mouth piece of UMNO. I suspect tomorrows cabinet meeting would deliberate on this issue. And ha what would MIC and MCA say on the issue?.

Anwar's sodomy trial: Court imposes gag order on media

Wednesday, 08 October 2008

Anwar's sodomy trial: Court imposes gag order on media©Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 8, 2008) : The media was today issued a gag order by the sessions court hearing Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy case, preventing them from reporting the contents of exhibits in connection with the 1998 "black-eye" incident.

Judge S.M. Komathy Suppiah issued the order following the prosecution's application. The exhibits in question comprised newspaper reports, a police report and a statement of claim relating to the incident.

Head of the prosecution unit in the Attorney-General (A-G)'s Chambers Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden told the court the publication of the exhibits by the media would further damage the reputation of A-G Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

The contents of the exhibits were hearsay and if the court allowed the media to report them, the public would make their own perception or assumption rather than get to know the truth of the story, he said.

Meanwhile, lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah said the court should not stop the media from reporting the contents of exhibits which were read out in open court which included Anwar's affidavit in support of his application against the transfer of the case to the High Court.

Parliamentary Opposition Leader Anwar, 60, who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat adviser and Permatang Pauh MP, is on trial for voluntarily committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature with his 23-year-old former aide, Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26.

If convicted, he will face imprisonment of up to 20 years under Section 377B of the Penal Code. Presently, he is on bail on a personal bond of RM20,000.

Today's proceedings dwelled mainly on the validity of the certificate tendered by the prosecution to transfer the case to the High Court which was sigend by Gani.

The defence argued that the certificate was invalid because Gani was not supposed to be involved in the case since he was under investigatation by the Anti-Corruption Agency following a report lodged against him by Anwar for allegedly fabricating evidence in the black-eye incident.

At the start of the proceedings, Yusof said the prosecution did not have Gani's affidavit on why he had signed the transfer certificate.

"If I do not get the A-G's affidavit, I will only submit on point of law," he said.

He said that in his possession presently was the affidavit sworn by Solicitor-General Datuk Idrus Harun.

At this juncture, Sulaiman interjected saying that on Wednesday Yusof had been adamant to file Gani and Idrus's affidavits.

"After the court granted his application to file the affidavits, now he is saying that he could also submit without the affidavits," he said. -- Bernama

NGOs launch joint petition against ISA

Wednesday, 08 October 2008 07:35pm
NGOs launch joint petition against ISA
from L-R : UCSCAM Representative, Chow Siew Hon, KLSCAH Representative, Tan Chin Chee, Ser Choon Ing (Coordinator), GMI Representative, Syed Ibrahim and Bar Council Representative, Edmund Bon during press conference on "Kempen Mansuhkan ISA" at Chinese Assembly Hall, KL.

©The Sun
by Giam Say Khoon

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 7, 2008) : Five major non-governmental organisations (NGOs) jointly launched a petition campaign today to urge the government to repeal the Internal Security Act (ISA) and release all detainees.

The five are the the Bar Council, the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall (KLSCAH), Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI), Dong Jiao Zong (United Chinese School Committee's Association of Malaysia and United School Teachers' Association of Malaysia).

KLSCAH secretary-general Tan Chin Chee said the ISA has been crippling the fundamental freedoms and rights of Malaysians for the past 48 years and more than 10,000 citizens have been deprived of their liberty under the law.

"No democratic country can function properly in an environment where preventive detention laws such as the ISA are in place," he told a press conference together with representatives of the other four organisations.

The five have drafted a memorandum for presentation to the Prime Minister and Home Minister.

Tan said a mass endorsement ceremony will be held from 9.30am to 1pm on Oct 19 at the KLSCAH. So far, they have received endorsement from 30 organisations.

GMI chairman Syed Ibrahim Noh said: "For such demand to come from such a big group, the government must now take serious consideration (on whether the law should be abolished). We will give full support to the campaign and hope all NGOs can also come forward to show their support."

Bar Council's human rights committee chairman Edmund Bon said the council's stand has always been clear that it wanted the law to be abolished.

"We want to let the detainees know that they are not alone in this fight and we want to keep their spirit up by giving our support," he said, adding that he hoped the Malaysia's Human Rights Commission will also support the campaign.

On the visit by Hindraf supporters to the prime minister's Hari Raya open house, Syed Ibrahim said the feeling of the supporters could be understood as they had no choice but to hand over their memorandum to the prime minister at the open house.

"GMI itself has requested an appointment with the prime minister more than 20 times and with the Home Minister more than 30 times, but our requests were never considered."

On Monday, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had expressed his disappointment with the conduct of the Hindraf supporters who visited him at his open house on the first Hari Raya last week. -- theSu

Pak Lah unites Umno – against him


OCT 8 - For once, there was no flip, there was no flop. No flap even as Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today stuck to his widely-expected decision to not defend his Umno presidency and step down as Prime Minister next March.

There was some speculation that he might chance it and go for broke to carry out his earlier transition plan until June 2010.

That plan had been torn to pieces by the Umno Supreme council two weeks ago but the 68-year-old premier had already been a dead man walking from exactly seven months ago when the Barisan Nasional lost five states and its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority to a resurgent opposition under Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

The loss exacerbated a sharpening of knives against the politician known as the "Mr Nice Guy" of Malaysian politics, led by his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and followed by Umno politicians hungry for power and position.

"I know I've not been doing well, it's time for someone else to take over," Abdullah said, bringing down the curtain on a career spanning 45 years in public service, first as a civil servant, then as a politician and ultimately as prime minister.

Widely criticised by all quarters for a laundry list of reasons - internally by Umno politicians against reforms in governance and externally for not fulfilling such promises - Abdullah has seen his approval rating zig zag between the high 70s and the low 40s, epitomising his lack-lustre leadership that earned him the sobriquet "Flip Flop".

His indecisiveness had always been based on a need for consensus, unity and harmony that was borne from helping to administer the country after the May 13 riots. "I never want to see that again," Abdullah told reporters several years ago.

He followed the same theme today, saying "I have always been guided by my conscience. I do not want a divided party and governing coalition but one that is united. This is not the time for infighting."

The electoral debacle and threats by Anwar to topple BN and capture Putrajaya took its toll on Abdullah and his ruling coalition with the tiny Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) openly saying it had no confidence in Abdullah's leadership and walked out of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition last month.

A few other parties gave notice of dissatisfaction not so much with him but with other Umno leaders for racist rants but stopped short of leaving. Abdullah feebly chastised his party which further split the party.

With that in mind and taking the blame and being blamed for the humiliating loss, Abdullah decided to quit to give both the party and coalition a fighting chance for the next polls and to prevent a split and infighting for the leadership.

What was left unsaid was that a majority of Umno supreme council members were united in getting him to go but only split about a succession plan among themselves. They had engineered meetings to convince Pak Lah he was wildly unpopular for not keeping his promises.

But the perception on the ground pointed to the party losing support even among its core Malay constituencies, apart from the Chinese and Indians, for a raft of other reasons, particularly to do with price hikes in food and fuel.

For the next six months, Abdullah will not have to worry about such perceptions. Starting today, without flip-flopping about his decision to retire from active politics, he can forge ahead to carry out the reforms without thinking of the political cost within the party.

And even if that fails because of a lack of support from within Umno, he would at least leave behind a party united - against his efforts.


Guan Eng: Pak Lah forced to retire against his will

PENANG, Oct 8 — Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to retire against his will at a time not of his choosing.

He said the abrupt and undignified nature of Abdullah's departure was a sad reflection of his weakened political position that lost him the respect of his party.

“Unlike his predecessor Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Abdullah was forced to retire against his will at a time not of his choosing,” he said in his statement released here by his office.

Ironically, he said, the public respected Abdullah more than his party, Umno, because he was seen as a “well-intentioned man who is probably one of the few clean leaders left in Umno”.

“Abdullah should leave a legacy of fighting corruption by having open tender and taking action against the leaders in Barisan Nasional and Umno who abuse the power,” he added.

Lim was commenting on the Prime Minister's decision not to defend his Umno presidency in the coming party election.

After chairing the BN supreme council today, Abdullah announced that he would not defend his post as Umno president and would step down as prime minister in March next year. – Bernama

Dr M happy for Umno

PUTRAJAYA, Oct 8 - Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is glad to admit he was wrong because he had thought that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi would not step down as Umno president and prime minister.

"I am happy for Umno as the party can be rebuilt," he said when reporters met him at the Perdana Leadership Foundation, here.

Asked what he thought Abdullah should do between now and March next year, Dr Mahathir said: "Shut up."

The former prime minister said he was surprised with Abdullah's announcement today that the latter would not defend his Umno presidency and would hand over the country's leadership.

Dr Mahathir who has been vocal in asking Abdullah to step down since the March 8 general election, hoped Abdullah would not put any restriction and obstruction during the transition period.

On whether he would rejoin Umno after March next year, Dr Mahathir said he would do so provided those who left the party together with him were also readmitted.

Asked to comment on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as the possible prime minister, Dr Mahathir said he was not impressed with Najib's performance as deputy prime minister now.

Dr Mahathir described Najib as an incompetent deputy prime minister because the latter did not have his own stand and was always following Abdullah's advice, hence Najib needed to change when taking over the helm later.

On the possible candidate for Najib's deputy, Dr Mahathir said it should be Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, adding that the other current contenders for the post of Umno deputy president were only "jokers". - Bernama

Abdullah - Flip-flops to the very end

Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi flip-flops to the very end!

This morning, the grapevine was abuzz with his latest flip-flop that he has decided to defend his positions as Umno President and Prime Minister after a three-hour meeting with some 200 of his supporters at his Putrajaya official residence which started at about 11 pm last night and dragged into the wee hours of the morning.

This was blogged by three-term Umno MP for Parit Sulong and former Backbenchers Club, Ruhanie Ahmad at 3.32 am.

If so, that was the penultimate flip before the ultimate flop, which Star editor-in-chief Wong Chun Wai blogged at 3.53 pm that SMS flying out from the ongoing Barisan Nasional Supreme Council meeting at PWTC was that Abdullah had thrown in the towel and succumbed to the Umno Supreme Council pressures for an early exit in March next year.

There was a pathetic last stand by a handful of Abdullah’s supporters at Putrajaya this morning and PWTC this evening, urging him to remain steadfast to the mid-2010 power transition plan instead of being forced out 15 months earlier in March next year.

The die is cast. This die was actually cast seven months ago in the March 8 political tsunami.

Abdullah has told the BN Supreme Council what almost everyone had expected, that he would not defend his Umno president’s post and will quit in March next year, to set another dubious record as the country’s most short-lived Prime Minister.

The political landscape has not materially changed with Abdullah’s enforced exit but new configurations will surface with the rise of a new curtain, with new characters taking the centre stage.

Malaysia is in for “interesting” times.

RM3 billion of your EPF money in Bakun Dam

RM3 billion of your EPF money has been lent for the Bakun Dam project (Photo credit: Raymond Abin/IPS)

One of the interesting things that I discovered when I was doing some research into the Bakun and Murum Dams was that as at December 2007, a total of RM3 billion of EPF money had been lent to the Bakun Dam developer. (The loan is guaranteed by the Federal Government.) The other startling fact is that there are still some affected residents of Bakun who have not yet received compensation after 10 years.

One of the firms likely to benefit from the abundant electricity from the Bakun/Murum Dams is CMS. Now CMS, one of the big corporate players in Sarawak, basically belongs to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s family: its main shareholders are the chief minister’s daughters Jamilah Hamidah and Hanifah Hajar, son-in-law Syed Ahmad Alwee Alsree, and family concern Majaharta Sdn Bhd, each with a 14 per cent stake. Taib’s wife Lejla has an 11 per cent stake while sons Sulaiman Abdul Rahman and Mahmud Abu Bekir own 9 per cent each.

CMS is in a joint venture with Rio Tinto to build an aluminium smelter, which requires lots of electricity.

The managing directory of Sarawak Energy Bhd (SEB), which is selling the power from these dams, is Taib’s brother-in-law, Aziz Husain.


Anwar drops by at the RPK trial (updated)

kkitsam was in court this morning on Day Three of the RPK trial and sends us this report:

I was there this morning. First time to court. Arrived there very early at 7.45am, wearing the uniform “I am with RPK”. The crowd grew bigger by the minute. From my chat with Marina, she said the cards sent to RPK on which were written “No to ISA” would not be passed to him. So from now on, I’m going to avoid that.

Our hero RPK arrived at around 8.30am. The crowd was happy to see him; some even said it’s better for him to be in court rather than in the Kamunting cell. I got to squeeze into the court room, and by 8.40am, the room was full, with many others standing at the back.

The trial started a bit late, at around 9.15am. In between, many people wished RPK, and Marina got to hold him as well. Of all the journalists there, only one reporter interviewed RPK (the only one foreign reporter) while the rest of them just sat there waiting for the trial to start. A few MPs came today - Ronnie Liu, followed by Lau Weng San - and surprisingly at 10.10am, Anwar and Azizah came in as well, much to the delight of RPK.

The trial took a break for 15mins at 10.25am, and I called it a day, went to work! Forgot to mention, during the trial, people were going out and others were coming in, non-stop. I guess there must have been around a hundred people, with 50 squeezed in the small room and others waiting outside for their turn to support RPK. A good show of support from all. Thank you everyone, a great day.

During the break, blogger Surind got a chance to meet RPK up close:

Meeting him today… for the first time after he had been ISAed… was enough to make tears come to my eyes and for me to drop my guard… for a while.

I had to step to the side after hugging him and looking him in the eye because I did not want him to see me emotional and to see my teary eyes and weakened facial expression. I could not speak for a while because I knew my voice would give away what was going on inside me.

Rakyat@Work takes up the story after the break:

Arrived at 10.30am. A crowd surged out of the court, cameras clickling away and I saw a journalist trip over. Something’s happening!

My word, the man himself - it was Anwar! He was rushing. A thought flashed through my mind: he’s supposed to be at Duta, right? I say, that’s why he’s rushing off.

It sure was a morale boster. I hope Anwar’s presence satisfies some queries about his support for RPK. Despite Anwar’s own tight schedule and a court case at Duta, he still made it a point to visit RPK; what more can one ask of him? Have faith, people. Be patient, and more importantly, don’t let anyone shake your commitment.

While the hearing is on, due to the packed court room, some other supporters were sitting out on benches in the compound. From a distance, it looked as if a group of people was waiting for some kind of cruise ship. I called it a “Cruise to A New Nation”. Shared that thought with two other ladies, and we jokingly agreed - just like searching for new freedom in a new nation.

“POWER! People’s Power!” said Marina, as she emerged from the court house at about 12.15pm today. She spoke with conviction and no doubt, she meant it. She is more determined than ever to secure not only the freedom of RPK but she knows in her heart, it also means freedom for the rakyat (that’s my own personal impression).

More energy and vibes could be felt around the compound today. Marina’s family and close friends ended the day with an interview carried out by a foreign media station.

Surind rounds off the day:

After the proceedings were over for the day, we said our goodbyes… and as the police were taking Raja Petra back in the van, RPK’s supporters and I stood by the gate with our two large banners, shouting “Free Raja Petra!” and words of encouragement and support. We could not see inside the van because of the tinted windows, but I knew he would have been smiling and waving to us :)


Abdullah, the biggest casualty of the ‘tsunami’

It’s People Power.

Exactly seven months after the 8 March political tsunami swept the land, Abdullah has announced that he will not be defending his Umno presidency. Consider it a delayed reaction to the stunning setback suffered by the Umno-led ruling coalition in the general election and the further erosion in support evident in the 26 August Permatang Pauh by-election.

Abdullah is the biggest casualty of the ‘tsunami’.

“It’s very disappointing,” said a Penang-based activist. “He was pushed out and he went away like a mouse.”

But before anyone celebrates, mull over this: it leaves the door open for Najib to take over, though he first has to navigate past Razaleigh in the party elections before Abdullah will hand over power. If he does, are we in for another round of repressive rule ala Mahathir?

Many Malaysians will be disappointed that Abdullah, who promised so much when he won the 2004 general election with a big bang, is going out with a squeak.

With nothing to lose now, Abdullah plans to push through some of his reforms - making the judiciary and the ACA more independent and reforming the police (what about abolishing the ISA?) - and shore up a little of his legacy. But if he couldn’t do it at the height of his popularity, how will he do it now as a lame-duck premier - without Zaid Ibrahim - and with Najib breathing down his neck?

Reforms that could have be carried out in the last five years now to be carried out in five months (until March)? Unlikely.

Several questions now arise:

  • How will Razaleigh fare against Najib?
  • Will the BN component parties suffer a further erosion of support if Najib takes over?
  • Will Mahathir and company be back? (Oh no! God help us…)
  • How will Khairy fare against Mukhriz?
  • What will be the fate of Muhyiddin? Will Abdullah still want him in his cabinet?
  • Does any of this really matter - will Pakatan succeed in its motion of no-confidence? (Next show begins on 13 October!)

But Abdullah could have the last laugh. He can now just sit back and watch the fun as Najib tries to manage the Malaysian economy at a time when global markets are tumbling all over.

PM not contesting, to quit in March


Press statement by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to announce his decision to step down next March 2009.

I have been in public service for over 45 years. I have served this country as a civil servant, and as an elected representative of the people. I have served as a member of government and feel blessed to serve in the highest office in the land.

I have seen this country grow from a small, poor nation into the modern, prosperous Malaysia that we live in today.

Despite our successful track record, for the past few years I have firmly believed that our nation is standing at an historic crossroads. We must reform some elements of our nation, we must evolve and mature, or we risk losing all that we have gained in over 50 years.

Throughout this time of reform and transformation, we Malaysians need to be united now more than ever before.
In all my years of service, I have always been guided by my conscience. I have always placed the interests of the nation above all else. It is with this in mind that I announce I will not stand for the presidency of Umno.

I do not want a divided party and governing coalition, but one that is united and harmonious. A united Barisan Nasional is vital in order for the country to face the global challenges ahead and for Malaysia to become a fully developed nation, with prosperity and fairness for all.

My current term as president of Umno ends in March next year. There are several initiatives I intend to see through before I leave office. These initiatives are important because they are necessary to move our country forward.

These initiatives are needed to regain our country's competitiveness. They are necessary to enable our nation and our society to face the challenges that the world has in store for us.

I ask all Malaysians to unite and join me in working towards making Malaysia a better place.

Reforming the judiciary, police force

First, our institutions need to be reformed and strengthened.

The judiciary needs to enhance its stature and credibility in the eyes of the public. Before I end my term, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish a Judicial Appointments Commission.

Such a commission will propose judicial appointments in a transparent and merit-based manner.

We also need a strong and effective anti-corruption body that can combat the cancer of corruption without fear or favour. Before the end of the year, I will table a Parliamentary Bill to establish the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, with greater powers of investigation and enforcement.

The commission's oversight structure has been modelled after the successful ICAC in Hong Kong.

I also intend to complete the establishment of a Special Complaints Commission to enhance the integrity and effectiveness of enforcement agencies.

Second, I have long spoken about the need to ensure that the fruits of growth are more equitably distributed.In the recent budget, I explained the government's commitment to strengthening and enlarging the social safety net. We will speed up work on this front to help poor and disadvantaged Malaysians, regardless of background, race or religion.

I will also work to ensure that tangible results can begin to be enjoyed in Iskandar, as well as the development corridor initiatives around the country.

Third, I would like to see the government and BN renew their commitment towards building a united and harmonious nation. Society has seen an alarming decline in inter-racial and inter-religious relations.

BN convention

Various issues have cropped up which threaten to tear the very fabric of Malaysian life.

We need to tackle these issues head-on, through dialogue; deal with the issues constructively and even-handedly; ensure greater clarity and certainty for the people; and focus on the points that unite us, rather than the points that divide us.

For this reason, I will convene a BN convention early next year. This is a long-term effort that I hope to kick-start and continue to contribute towards.

I fully intend to see through my mission, and I am sure that my successor will carry on this agenda. I want to hand over to my successor a Malaysia that is capable of weathering the challenges of a dangerous global economy, a Malaysia not of rich and poor, of young and old or of the city or the kampong, not of south and north, and not of one religion or another but of unity and harmony.

This is not the time for infighting and narrow politics but for greatness, unity and cooperation.

article courtesy of Malaysiakini
Hope PM Datuk Seri Abdullah will see that every one of his ambitions above are fullfilled latest by March 2009 and it is also hope that he set the platform for a UNITED MALAYSIA - no longer Malay, Chinese, Indian, Kadazans, Ibans and others - where we will be able to live in peace and harmony forever.

PWTC Raya Open House - Actual Story in Pics

UMNO’s cowardly media campaign against HINDRAF.
So visiting the PM on a Hari Raya (Eid) is a grave sin committed by HINDRAF. An act of betrayal and insult to the Islamic religion – the masterminds should be arrested under the ISA or prosecuted under the existing Laws - so say the Malay extremist and fundamentalists organisations. Cabinet Ministers claim HINDRAF was extreme in barging into the PM’s open house and presenting a memorandum. Their seditious criticisms’ were carried out by the none other than the UMNO controlled daily Utusan and TV3.

So it was a grave sin. I challenge these fools to obtain evidence from over 30 odd TV crews and pressmen (both local and International media) and the numerous Police Special Branch units who covered , recorded and filmed the entire episode to make public their recordings so that the whole world could see the foolishness and low mentality of Malaysian politicians and their UMNO coolies who stir up racial sentiments for their own political survival.

There is no doubt that whenever there are serious problems within UMNO, the best solution (idiotic though) is to stir racial tension among races. UMNO creates problems and misleads the public with the strength and might of their media.

Let us see the pictures below which our supporters recorded.

It is for you to judge whether HINDRAF presence at PM’S OPEN HOUSE IS as an INSULT TO ISLAM ?

This card is interpreted by the Cabinet Ministers as memorandum. I wonder if they know what they are talking about. The simplest greeting card prepared by a 6 year old with the help of adult to express the feeling of HINDRAF supporters to the PM-And this is interpreted as an insult to the Islamic faith???

Salam Aidilfitri,
Semoga di hari mulia ini YAB akan diberkati rahmat Tuhan dan membebaskan semua tahanan ISA dan mendengar rintihan masyarakat India di bumi tercinta Malaysia.

Maaf Zahir batin”

The above wordings meant as follows,

“Happy Eid,
May in this auspicious day the Almighty bless you Mr PM and may you release all ISA detainees and hear the tears of the Indian community in this beloved Malaysia.
Seek Forgive and Forget"

So the above were interpreted as extreme by UMNO Ministers and their coolie NGO’s ??

Hey look onto the eyes of these kids. Don’t you see excitement and hope in their eyes. Excitement and hope that they are part of the change that are about to happen in the history of Malaysia. Look at this on the
above kid. Isn’t this “look Of hopes”??

Hey you came with hope too. You look so excited!! To see the PM eh!!!
You sure the UMNO Ministers have the intelligence to understand this ?? careful you might be termed extremist!!!.

The excitement of signing the card for PM!!!

The future generation taking part in today’ s campaign.

They came in hope but then came the naughty uncles to snatch the Raya (Eid) cards away. Apparently it contained “seditious materials” and its contents were a Threat to National Security!!!!!!!!!!

Poor Hindraf parent tried their best to rescue the creative greeting card made by the children.

The end product of the card and the disappointed fathers- children in tears and sadness.

How do we explain to them??????

HINDRAF well wishers queued accordingly contrary to what UMNO claims Under watchful eyes of police.

Contrary to media report HINDRAF supporters never went 4 the food but queued orderly to greet the PM

Now let us see how the Police are comfortable with HINDRAF

Hey everyone look comfortable.

Well looks like HISHAMUDIN & MRS never had problems with HINDRAF wishes. All in Good Aidilfitri spirits.

Pak Lah & Najib never had any problems RPK supporters wishing them. No insult to Islam!!!!!!!

MRS HINDRAF and Vwaishnawi wishes the PM and Najib looks on with all smiles. Sorry folks photo not clear.
Pak Lah accepted the wishes with smile and open heart. Najib is surely delighted!!!!!
Now now!!
You see the Naughty uncle is not happy with the appeal to PM and is pulling away MRS H .

In the meantime HINDRAF BABIES are awaiting their turn behind patiently. They look serious as they know they have an important task of delivering a clear message for their uncles to be released.
sorry folks! That’s the best we could get of the kiddies on camera with the PM. There were lots of pushing by the naughty uncles which prevented us from getting more photo shots.

Mission accomplished. Message and wishes
Delivered to PM Personally.

HINDRAF’s sincere wishes to PM is manipulated as using kids for political purpose and insulting Islam by NGO’s linked to UMNO.

The third force in Malaysian politics

By Wong Chin Huat, The Nut Graph

THE "third force" seems to be a phrase that is capturing the imagination of political parties and civil society.

Instead of joining the Barisan Nasional (BN) or the Pakatan Rakyat, why can't a party find its own niche and survive? Why can't it struggle independently and choose to cooperate with the two larger players on its own terms?

In other words, why not become a king-maker and make the best of it?

Take a look at the offers made to East Malaysian politicians (still paltry, but nevertheless the most generous since 1963), and it is easy to understand how good it is to be a king-maker if you cannot, or do not, want to be king.

National two-partyism

In Germany, the Free Democratic Party (FDP) was the indispensible junior partner in the coalition government during the greater part of the 1960s until 1982. While the larger Christian Democratic Union-Christian Socialist Union and Social Democratic Party fought to take the lead, they couldn't do it without the FDP's support.

In Britain, the centrist Liberal Democratic Party (Lib Dem) is always the beneficiary when voters get disillusioned with both the Conservatives on the right and Labour on the left. While the Lib Dems have never surpassed the Big Two in terms of votes, they have grown substantially at the local level.

Has there ever been a success story of a third force in Peninsula Malaysia? The answer is no. Technically, you must have a second force before you can have a third. We have had only brief periods of national two-partyism — around 1990, 1999, and now in 2008.

Tan Chee Khoon founded Pekemas after he got
disillusioned with Gerakan, which he also co-
founded (Source: Academy of Medicine of

Before 1990, DAP and PAS were very much the second force in their respective strongholds: the urban seats for the former, and the Malay heartland for the latter. The third force — whether it was the late Tan Sri Tan Chee Khoon's Parti Keadilan Masyarakat Malaysia (Pekemas), or Datuk Mohamad Nasir's Barisan Jama'ah Islamiah Se Malaysia (Berjasa) — never won in more than one election. Others, like the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Parti Hizbul Muslimin Malaysia (Hamim), and even the respectable Parti Rakyat Malaysia (PRM) fared even worse.

Berjasa is perhaps the best example of what can happen in third-party dynamics. The fallout between Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Mohd Nasir and party president Tan Sri Mohd Asri Muda in the late 1970s resulted in the former setting up Berjasa as a splinter party. It chose not to join the BN, but would cooperate with Umno in attacking PAS.

While the strategy caused great damage to PAS in the 1978 state election, Berjasa's success only lasted one election.

Spoiler alert

Why was Berjasa's success so short-lived? The simple answer is that at the local level, the third party acts as a spoiler, not a king-maker, under the First-Past-the-Post electoral system.

Since there is only one winner, every vote for the third or fourth candidate would be wasted. Rational voters therefore abandon third candidates, no matter how good they may be, preferring to support the lesser evil between the top two. Hence, you cannot be a king-maker at the national or state level unless you become the first or second force at the local level.

And the national or state scenario may in turn change the local scene. Even Berjasa, though strong at the local level, got winnowed in Kelantan. It seems there was room for only one Islamist party, and the religious voters chose PAS over Berjasa.

It makes sense for Yong Teck Lee's Sabah
Progressive Party to pull out of the BN but
not join the Pakatan Rakyat (Source:

So, pulling out of the BN but not joining the Pakatan Rakyat makes great sense for Yong Teck Lee's Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). If it contests the seats previously contested by its erstwhile non-Muslim BN partners, it stands a good chance to garner most of the anti-BN votes.

Even if the DAP and Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) join the fray, they will likely be seen as spoilers, since they have relatively weaker organisational capacities in East Malaysia.

Any East Malaysian party that leaves the BN can count on riding on the anti-BN wave. This is why crossovers or pullouts will eventually happen before the next elections as long as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim still wields influence.

The BN parties will all be tempted by the advantage of being the first to leave the BN — whether they end up joining the Pakatan Rakyat or not — and expanding their territories at the expense of other parties.

The same may not be said about Umno's partners in the peninsula, namely Gerakan and the MCA.

Let's say an independent Gerakan or the MCA appears as the third force between the Pakatan Rakyat (namely DAP or PKR) and the BN (whether represented by Umno or some non-Malay proxy). It is still quite unlikely that voters — especially non-Malays — will choose them over the Pakatan Rakyat.

It is clear that the next general election will be about whether to end the BN/Umno's rule. So why should you waste your vote on a party — even if it is successful — to make the outcome even more uncertain?

The way out

Gerakan and the MCA have only two viable choices — stay with the BN or join the Pakatan Rakyat. Unfortunately, neither option is currently attractive.

Since non-Malay voters will be set to throw Umno out, if these parties were to stay with Umno, they would get thrown out, too. However, if they joined the Pakatan Rakyat, they may not be given good seats. After all, would the DAP be so kind to return currently held seats in Penang, Perak and Selangor to Gerakan and the MCA?

Can Gerakan save Umno?

For Gerakan, there is one more option — join PKR en bloc and get seat allocations as a faction. For the MCA, this option is almost nonexistent as its leaders and members who are accustomed to monoethnic politics may feel very out of place in multiracial PKR.

So, what should Gerakan and MCA do? Reforming themselves is pointless unless they can also reform the BN. The next elections will effectively be a national referendum on the survival of the BN — and how many non-Malays would vote to keep Umno and the BN in power?

Therefore, these two parties have to forget about being the third force. Their best bet is to give Umno and the BN an ultimatum. If Umno is forced to oblige, they can claim credit and arrest the attrition of support. If Umno refuses or even runs amok, they will become martyrs and have better bargaining power when they join the Pakatan Rakyat.

For their own self-interest, their wish list should include local elections. Given the relatively mono-ethnic electorate in most municipal jurisdictions, non-Malay voters can then feel free to divest between the DAP/PKR and the MCA/Gerakan without worrying that it would result in an Umno-dominated council.

Umno also stands to gain by introducing local elections, since Malay voters in the Pakatan Rakyat-held states can feel secure in splitting their votes between Umno and PKR/PAS without worrying that Malay representation in government will be weakened.

But can Gerakan or the MCA make such a bold decision? Will they dare to save Umno and the BN with this extreme measure? Only time will tell.

A political scientist by training and a journalism lecturer by trade, Wong Chin Huat uses the Federal Constitution as his "bible" to fend off the increasingly intolerable evil called "state".

Pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat bertemu bincang opsyen baru bentuk kerajaan

Pemimpin-pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat mengadakan mesyuarat di ibu negara malam ini, dipercayai untuk membincangkan opsyen-opsyen baru bagi merealisasikan usaha membentuk kerajaan baru persekutuan.

Mesyuarat itu, yang diadakan kurang seminggu sebelum Dewan Rakyat bersidang, berlangsung di kediaman Ketua Umum Pakatan Rakyat, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Pertemuan itu dihadiri oleh Penasihat DAP, Lim Kit Siang dan Setiausaha Agung PAS, Kamaruddin Jaafar.

mStar Online dimaklumkan, Anwar telah mengadakan pertemuan dengan Presiden PAS, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang semalam, dipercayai mengenai isu yang sama.

Pakatan Rakyat yang terdiri daripada Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), DAP dan PAS telah meletakkan sasaran 16 September lalu untuk mengambil alih kerajaan pusat dengan membawa masuk ahli-ahli Parlimen Barisan Nasional (BN).

Sebelum ini Anwar mendakwa mempunyai bilangan wakil rakyat BN yang mencukupi untuk tujuan tersebut tetapi tidak membentuk kerajaan pada tarikh tersebut.

Pada 16 September lalu, Anwar berkata, pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat mahu menemui Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan membincangkan peralihan kerajaan secara aman dan lancar.

Permintaan itu telah ditolak. Malah permintaan Pakatan Rakyat supaya sidang khas Parlimen pada 23 September juga ditolak Abdullah.

Tengah hari tadi, Anwar ketika ditemui di Mahkamah Sesyen Kuala Lumpur berkata, beliau akan menemui pemimpin-pemimpin malam ini bagi membincangkan beberapa strategi baru termasuk membawa usul undi tidak percaya di Dewan Rakyat.

Pada Isnin ini Anwar selaku Ketua Pembangkang akan membahaskan Bajet 2009.

Dalam pada itu, Dewan Rakyat belum menerima sebarang usul undi tidak percaya, yang luas diperkatakan ketika sesi sidang Parlimen lalu.

mStar Online difahamkan, sehingga semalam Parlimen tidak menerima sebarang usul daripada mana-mana pihak termasuk pembangkang.

"Tak ada apa-apa usul yang cuba dibawa setakat sekarang. Saya fikir ada usul undi tak percaya terhadap Perdana Menteri, mungkin tak timbul lagi sekarang," kata sumber.

Bagaimanapun katanya jika pihak pembangkang ingin membawa usul undi tidak percaya seperti mana yang dihebohkan, mereka boleh berbuat demikian sehari sebelum Parlimen bersidang.

Perkembangan Di Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta, KL

Kemaskini Secara Langsung Perjalanan Sebutan Kes DSAI Daripada Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur

9.00 pagi: Penyokong Pakatan Rakyat kelihatan telah berada di Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta, KL. Dianggarkan ratusan penyokong dan wartawan daripada dalam & luar negara sedang menanti kehadiran Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. Turut kelihatan pimpinan KeADILan dan Pakatan Rakyat.

9.50 pagi: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim kini dalam perjalanan ke Kompleks Mahkamah Jalan Duta daripada Mahkamah Sesyen Petaling Jaya untuk menemui Raja Petra Kamaruddin di sana.

10.50 pagi: Datuk Seri Anwr Ibrahim dan Datuk Seri Wan Azizah Wan Ismail tiba di perkarangan mahkamah, dikerumuni oleh wartawan dan juga para penyokong yang menanti dari pagi.

11.05 pagi: Perbicaraan kini dimulakan.

Will Abdullah do the right thing today?

The moment we've all been waiting for. In October 2003, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi reported for duty to Malaysians as their fifth PM. It started very well and then things started to fall apart quickly. For the nation, that is.
Today, after more than a year of pressure, Abdullah must decide whether to listen to the wishes of the masses or the insistence of his handful of advisers., If he listens to Umno grassroots and Malaysians in general, he will make an announcement later today that he does not intend to defend his Umno presidency and will allow a power transition to take effect.

If he listens to son, son-in-law, Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan and a few other usual suspects, this man will insist that he is still needed by this nation and will therefore defend his presidency at all cost and continue to be Prime Minister of Malaysia.

And there's nothing WE can do about it.

Read also RIP, Islam Hadhari by Farish Noor
Abdullah to defend post, hears A Voice
Sheih says he will make peace with Pak Lah and not kick de fella if (...) in I am no King, I am just the last pawn
rocky's bru

Rest in Peace, Islam Hadari

By Farish A. Noor

Observers of Malaysian politics both at home and abroad have already begun to write the political obituary of the country’s embattled Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. While the global economy goes into a tailspin and markets across Asia tumble on an hourly basis, Malaysians seem more engrossed in the country’s on-going political drama that has turned into a comical farce of near-epic proportions: The fate of Prime Minister Badawi hangs in the balance as rival contenders for the coveted post of leader of the UMNO party and Prime Minister of Malaysia come to the fore, ranging from his current deputy Najib Razak to even veterans like Tengku Razaleigh whom many had written off years ago.

To be sure, the immediate verdict on Badawi’s period of rule will not be a pleasant one. The picture that is being painted at the moment is that of a less-than-rosy canvas, and the list of Badawi’s failings is as long as it is impressive. The man who started with such promise, and who promised so much to the electorate, may well end up in the history books of Malaysia as the one who lost it all.

When he came to power in 2004 Badawi scored the highest mandate in the history of Malaysian politics. Not a single leader before him, not even the country’s founding father Tunku Abdul Rahman or Mahathir Mohamad, had ever managed to win such a huge share of the public’s votes. Yet following the elections of March 2008, he has earned himself yet another honour, this time being the leader who lost the most votes, seats and state assemblies in the history of Malaysia.

Badawi’s great promise (which turned into an even bigger disappointment) was his claim to be a reform-minded leader who seriously wanted to reform the institutions of power in the country. His attempts to deal with corruption, abuse of power by the police, lack of transparency in governance and the judiciary, all earned him the approval of the Malaysian public and managed – temporarily – to sap away support from the opposition parties too.

Yet by 2006 it became clear that Badawi had bitten off more than he could possibly chew and the signs of institutional inertia were plain to see: His reform gestures were not well met by the police in particular, whom for a long period were given a free hand to operate during the days of former PM Mahathir. Despite talk of anti-corruption, few cases of high-level corruption were brought to court (compared to neighbouring Indonesia where even high-ranking members of the Suharto family have been brought to book.)

But it is in the area of Islam, or rather normative Muslim religiosity, that Badawi failed the most. Badawi’s trademark project was the Islam Hadari programme that he hoped to launch in the country. ‘Islam Hadari’ was, from the outset, a state-sanctioned and state-sponsored exercise in social engineering, at a somewhat crude level. Its aims were simple: To open the way for a modern and relevant interpretation of Islamic laws and norms that would help galvanise society to think of religion in a dynamic and contemporary mode, in keeping with the modern age we live in. It promoted the notion of gender equality, and insisted that Islamic practice can and should be used as a vehicle for social advancement, capacity building and individual empowerment. The key ingredient in this formula was knowledge and exposure to new ideas.

Yet anyone with even the most shallow understanding of Malaysian society would realise by now that engineering a society and trying to make Muslims modern and progressive cannot ever be a top-down process, anymore than a slave master can teach his slaves how to be free. The prevailing values and norms of Islamic praxis in Malaysia, like in many Muslim countries today, remain conservative and even reactionary in many quarters.

Thus while Badawi the leader preached open-mindedness and called on his fellow Muslims to think and live in the modern age, he underestimated the extent to which his own efforts would be foiled by the very same conservative Muslims who manned the religious institutions of power in Malaysia’s vast Islamic bureaucracy. The irony of the situation was as pathetic as it was comical at times: Foreign scholars like Karen Armstrong were invited to conferences on Islam in Malaysia while her books were banned; and throughout the years of Badawi’s feeble leadership scores of other books on Islam and religion were banned as well. How, pray tell, does one open up the minds of Muslims when they are not allowed to read anything in the first place?

It has to be said however that Badawi was not entirely at fault here as he was attempting a reform of Islam while battling on several fronts. On the one hand he had to deal with an unco-operative Islamic bureaucracy that paid little attention to his own reform initiatives, some of which were indeed laudatory. On the other hand he also had to deal with opposition from the Malaysian Islamic party that took an even more conservative stand and whom simply dismissed Islam Hadari as a ‘deviant’ idea. Yet this is the same Islamic party that in 2001 valorised the Tabiban as ‘true Islam’ and their ‘brothers’. To make things worse Malaysia’s stifling race-based communitarian politics made it even more difficult for discussion on Islam to take place in the public domain without it bring racialised and used as a political toy by all the communitarian parties in the country.

Half a decade on, it would appear that Badawi’s days are drawing to an end, and with that Islam Hadari as well. In the years and decades to come, future historians may be kinder to Badawi who may be remembered as the man who tried to reform Malaysia but failed, and whose failure was due to the rot and inertia that had settled in the very same corridors of power that he walked. But perhaps the biggest loss for Malaysia in the long run will be the demise of Islam Hadari as a project that was never really understood, unfairly criticised, crassly instrumentalised and ultimately cast into the dustbin as just another item in the long train of baggage left behind in the wake of Badawi’s exit from power.

Malaysians believe BN's ethnic management key to stability

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 - Two-thirds of Malaysians polled in a recent survey agree that the Barisan Nasional (BN) method of managing ethnic diversity is a key factor in political stability.

A survey by the Merdeka Centre also revealed that 55 per cent of Malaysians it surveyed agreed that BN represents the voice of all ethnic communities and is the best platform for inter-ethnic cooperation and power-sharing.

The survey also suggested Malaysians polled were evenly split when it came to the question of whether BN should become a single multi-racial party.

A total of 51 per cent agreed that BN should become a single party while 42per cent disagreed.

"It reflects that when BN was strong and united, we were politically stable. There was peace and we all made a good living and it helped grow the economy and kept everyone happy," Labis MP Chua Tee Yong said.

Across the board, Chinese and Indians were not as supportive of BN while Bumiputeras, including those from East Malaysia, were happier with BN.

"It shows that BN is not a total disaster. If the majority of one community says it is still a working solution, you can't totally chuck it out," political analyst Khoo Kay Peng offered.

"The problem is they've taken racial politics to an extreme where the other communities are consistently disagreeing.

"Since BN sells on racial consensus it is a big problem even though you are still workable now because it means the slide will continue and boil over resulting in the Chinese moving to other parties."

However, Pulai MP Datuk Nur Jazlan Mohamed said that this was only natural as Bumiputeras, being the majority community, must take the lead in any change.

"Bumis believe that the BN model is correct and any positive reform in ethnic relationships must start with them. And once these changes are in place, then the Chinese and Indians will return to the fold."-malaysiainsider

Despite surging support, Abdullah will not defend Umno presidency

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 8 - A frenzy of meetings in his office yesterday, a chain SMS and support from an unlikely source have convinced many people that Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will change his mind and signal his intention to defend his party president's position.

Such is the speculation that even Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's camp sent out feelers to find out if Abdullah had a change of heart about stepping down as party president and prime minister in March, as prescribed by a transition plan.

A few corporate captains, who have been moving closer to Najib since the transition plan was endorsed a fortnight ago, also sought to hedge their bets by touching base with those in Abdullah's circle.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that Abdullah is still going to announce that he will not defend his position after briefing the Cabinet and Barisan Nasional Supreme Council.

He feels that the support that he has received in the last few days and reports from the ground confirm what he has suspected - that the "groundswell'' against him was manufactured by senior party leaders.

But he has told aides and party officials that a battle for the top position will leave Umno badly scarred and in a weak position to fight off the Opposition challenge.

Yesterday, there was intense pressure on him to contest the top post in Umno.

An uninterrupted stream of visitors - including Umno division chiefs, party operatives and his staunch supporters - met him at his office in Putrajaya to persuade him to stay on, arguing that he would be able to get the 58 nominations to defend the president's position and have a good chance of defeating Najib or any other challenger.

Some of them were motivated by self-interest, fearing that his retirement would mean the loss of a benefactor and protector in the Umno election season. Others were troubled by the manner the transition plan was cobbled together by Najib and others on the supreme council and the willingness by some party officials to blame Abdullah for everything that has gone wrong with Umno and Barisan Nasional.

A text message has been going around urging his supporters to gather outside his official residence at 8am to provide him with moral support as he heads off for his weekly meeting with his ministers. It noted that Abdullah’s hesitance to commit to any decision despite being pressed by reporters on Monday and Tuesday was a sign that he was staying on.

Adding more fuel to speculation was a statement by the Kuala Kedah division Datuk Seri Syed Razak Syed Zain that his division intended to nominate Abdullah and Najib for the top two positions in the party.

He added that if Abdullah decided not to contest, he would leave it to the delegates to decide who to nominate. This was a factual and purely innocent statement which was interpreted by political pundits as an indication that Abdullah had informed divisions that he would accept nominations.

Sources told The Malaysian Insider that Abdullah made up his mind not to contest last Friday after seeking the counsel of his closest aides, friends and supporters. He did not give reasons why he accepted the March transition plan but seemed determined not to be remembered as the man who destroyed the party for his own interest.

That view is likely to hold sway over any other emotions and arguments today.

Government is crumbling, but the Opposition is stumbling

(malaysiainsider)OCT 8 - Delmonico's, near Wall Street, is a bit like 'The Restaurant at the End of the Universe' in Douglas Adams' book of the same name. Get a window seat there right now and you can watch the universe end while you await your steak. But if you fancy tamer fare then try a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur. Get a window seat there now and you'll be entertained by the end of the Malaysian Government.

The death throes of Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi's Government are fascinating. Like someone who cannot swim but who has just been thrown overboard, Abdullah is grabbing at anything to try to save himself. So far, he's gone for that developing-world tool of choice: jailing dissenters. That's a pity because these days Malaysians are more sophisticated than that.

In the past few weeks, an Opposition politician has been arrested under Malaysia's outdated Internal Security Act, which allows for detention without trial, legal counsel, the right to defend yourself in court, or the presumption of innocence until proven guilty.

The politician, who is ethnically Chinese, was detained for inciting religious and racial tension. Apparently she complained about excessive noise from a mosque in her constituency. That is not a race or a religious issue; it is a planning issue.

Similarly, a journalist was arrested under the ISA for accurately reporting the racist remarks of a member of the ruling party. Essentially, she was arrested for being a good journalist, something in short supply in Malaysia. The party official was not arrested, although he was suspended.

A blogger was arrested for apparently exhibiting the Malaysian flag on his website upside down. I kid you not.

But perhaps Abdullah's saddest misstep has been the arrest of Raja Petra Kamarudin, who runs the hugely popular Malaysia Today website, which exposes wrongdoers in public life and provides a forum for robust political debate otherwise denied to Malaysians.

On September 23, Syed Hamid Albar, the Home Affairs Minister, signed the order for Raja Petra's detention without trial for two years. The order can be renewed indefinitely. Ostensibly, Raja Petra, a Muslim, was arrested for posting blogs that belittled Islam. The reality of course is that Raja Petra had belittled the Government. No longer can he post blogs that challenge the Government and blow the whistle on corruption and other wrongdoings on the part of Government officials.

Raja Petra appeared in court on Monday on a separate sedition charge. He was handcuffed, which is apt: you can't write if you're handcuffed.

Raja Petra knew that he could well be arrested and yet he continued. This sort of selflessness is all too rare in Malaysia.

Even Mahathir Mohamed, Malaysia's previous prime minister - who incidentally will be speaking at a seminar at Melbourne University on Saturday - has criticised the recent ISA arrests as unnecessary and excessive.

Perhaps such arrests are warranted in a country dangerously on the edge of racial and religious meltdown. But Malaysia is not.

The truth is, the Malaysian Government is the biggest source of ethnic and religious tension in Malaysia. It has an interest in constantly harping on about race, using imagined communal tensions as an excuse for its use of the ISA, to control the media and, above all, to head off threats to its own power. The race issue is manipulated not to protect Malaysians from each other but to protect the Government from opposition.

But the cracks are showing. Malaysia has never had a government this unpopular. Abdullah has said that he will leave office early but he refuses to resign. Najib Tun Razak, his deputy, is congenial enough but he is no leader. And then there's Anwar Ibrahim.

Anwar is offering himself as head of an alternative government, but he is proving to be politically incompetent. He announced that the Government would fall on September 16, because by then he thought he'd have the numbers - enough MPs prepared to leave the Government and join the Opposition. The day came and nothing happened. The golden rule of politics? Don't telegraph your punches, just punch.

Anwar has a lot of baggage too, so, at a time when Malaysia needs clever leadership more than ever, the sad choice is between who stinks less. - The Age