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Sunday, October 12, 2008

UMNO -STOP THE BULLYING

Sat, 11/10/2008 -
Naragan

Some people learn from their own mistakes. Some from others mistakes. Some never learn at all. UMNO seems to fall into this last category.

The arrogance shown in the UMNO general assembly of 2005, the brandishment of the keris and the summary dismissal of the ASLI study statistics on Bumiputra equity ownership, subsequent harassment of the Indian community and other religious groups over their basic Human Rights and many other similar events in the last 4 years has resulted in a near collapse of the once unassailable hold on power that UMNO used to exercise. Is this not signal enough.
That ceratinly does not look like it. The latest in this series of continuing arrogant missteps is the harassment , bashing and bullying of Hindraf over the PWTC Raya open house function. UMNO calls for an open house, then they hound some who show up ( maybe with grievances) with trespassing and with illegal assembly. Does that make any sense at all? But yet that is exactly what UMNO has done.

What UMNO totally fails to realize is that their days of exercising raw muscle power over minority communities must stop, if they harbour any dreams of continuing to rule in Malaysia.. They have to understand that issues such as this cannot be made out into religious or racial issues wily-nily, just so that they can continue to have a reason to exist.
This cannot be the driving policy of the leading political party in the country.
Yet UMNO goes on, numb to all sensitivities and feelings of the minorities and to the common man as if all this is just a temporary aberration, and a change in leadership within UMNO will bring back the glory of the pre-Pak Lah days. Events in the future will show how wrong all this is if UMNO persists.

Much historical change has occurred in these last few years within Malaysia and ignoring all of this will only mean a postponement of the inevitable and finally when the inevitable does occur, it will be accompanied with a lot more pain. Malaysian society as a whole loses. Everyone of us will lose.

1) The world is more transparent now, you cannot hide as easily now as before – modes of communication have totally changed, there is a greater awareness of the issues and rights among the common people . This continues to increase by the day. This a sea change from the pre 2005 days. To think that you can do something and get away with it, is na├»ve and anachronistic.

2) The UMNOputras own a large chunk of the economy today. They cannot afford to act rashly as their purses will be badly hit by any ensuing instability. What has been achieved in the last 50 years by the UMNOPutras is all at stake. If they suffer the economy will suffer ,everyone suffers.

3) The Unipolar world is slowly shifting to a multipolar world. Centers of gravity are shifting, even as I write this piece. The new power equations arising in the world have significant economic and political implications to Malaysia. Can Malaysia ignore this. Any misstep in treatment of minorities in the country will easily blow up in the face of the Government in the International arena. Say what you will, but look at the show of support from the International community, that the various opposition forces are able to bring about , on the political situation in the country.

4) There is a significant realignment of the polity within the country – there is less of monolithic racial political groupings – even as UMNO tries very hard to achieve just that. The alignment seems to run now, more along class lines than it has ever in the past, even though it is getting there along ethnic groupings. Look at who the UMNO, MCA and MIC represent and who the PKR, PAS, DAP and Hindraf really represent.

5) Malaysian policy needs to be driven by patriotic considerations, not by narrow and selfish considerations of political survival of individual or groups or by the contention over who controls the resources of the country.

UMNOPutras must realize that what is happening is historic and not just a passing phenomenon. The problems cannot be treated at the level of the symptom – weak UMNO leadership, but should be treated at the level of the causes – the problems within our society , our economy and our governance.

To get the ball rolling in the direction of national interest UMNO must stop its bullying of minorities or others who feel deprived to start with - with its long arm of the Police, Secret Police, ISA, the Sedition Act, the Courts and the media and all the other instruments of power.
They should now immediately cease all the Hindraf bashing. Please realize the implications are beyond Hindraf. Everyone is looking on. Just look at all the people who either overtly or quietly feel that what Hindraf did was well within acceptable norms. The only ones taking exception are the UMNOPutras and their cronies and their media organs. If this bashing does not cease, then the inevitable conclusion that one must come to is that UMNO is certainly detrimental to Malaysia - they want to continue to bully the minority communities in the country.
United we stand
United we act.

Anwar Ibrahim's take-over

Comments from Reader
My view about Anwar Ibrahim's take-over.
I would suggest to Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim to be more serious about this issue. When I was in overseas in September, 2008, I thought that this take-over was imminent but it did not happened.
Very disappointing. Now the whole is world facing an economic meltdown. Many companies in overseas are going burst. I suggest that Anwar to focus with the Malaysian economic now and bring more foreign investors to Malaysia. I am sure he can call up some buddies in the United States and in the Middle East to bring in some foreign investors to invest in Malaysia. What Malaysia need is more professional people to administer this country and we need quality investors and quality workers.
K.A. Ramu
Pro-Tem Committee member of Global Action Against Human Exploitataion [GAAHE]

Hindraf demonised: Polishing the devil’s horns

By Helen Ang

An alert should go out to embassies in Kuala Lumpur cautioning foreign nationals. The updated travel advisory:

(1) Open houses in Malaysia are possibly illegal,
(2) If a tourist should saunter into the premises, he may be guilty of trespassing,
(3) A tour group could be banned by Malaysian authorities for unbecoming behaviour, such as all its members wearing uniform attire,
(4) Cops on duty at open houses will confiscate a greeting card and such other contraband, as well as
(5) Summon to police headquarters for questioning if someone attended open house but rejected refreshments, did not shake hands with the VIP host and failed to extend festive wishes.

Meanwhile, locals are expected to behave in exchange for free lunch at the Putra World Trade Centre. The Star reported Tourism Minister Azalina Othman warning that some Malaysians at open houses give a poor reflection of the country’s image to tourists. “If you are here as a guest, then behave as one. Parliament will convene on Oct 13. They can do so (submit their memorandum) then,” she said.

Azalina was referring to Hindraf supporters but Hindraf legal advisor N. Surendran has countered there was no memorandum delivered. Memo or no, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, his deputy Najib Razak and Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar still complained the Indians were ‘kurang ajar’ (untutored), ‘biadab’ (unmannered) and ‘tak beradab’ (uncivilised).

The badmouthing is a clear example of one group, Umnoputeras, demonising another group of fellow citizens. Visitors should also be aware that they cannot believe all they read in Tourism Malaysia brochures about the country’s ‘racial harmony’, and in the mainstream media (MSM) about BN’s successful formula of ‘national unity’.

Yes sir, Umno sir

Deputy Home Minister Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh has intimated that there are many options on action against Hindraf for causing – I’m borrowing the following description from the Star’s headline – a ‘commotion at the government’s Raya open house’, and otherwise being ‘aggressive’, ‘unruly’, ‘provocative’ etc, etc, as alleged by some Malay associations. Home Ministry secretary-general Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof is looking into banning Hindraf. Information Minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek called on all political parties to condemn the incident.

What did Hindraf do that was so bad to make Umno big shots so angry?

A six-year-old girl wished to give the PM a teddy bear and Raya card. She is the daughter of Hindraf chairman P. Waythamoorthy and brought the bear in a basket along with some flowers. She had wanted to give roses too last year to Abdullah, who refused to receive her on Valentine’s Day.

This is a little girl who has been separated from daddy for almost one year now as Moorthy is likely to be ISA-ed if he ventures to step foot on Malaysian soil. This is the small child who must be wondering whatever her Uncle Kumar did wrong that caused the authorities to lock him up, under ISA.

And this is the gist of Abdullah’s complaint: “The rest (of their words), which I heard very clearly, was, ‘Abolish the ISA! Free the Hindraf! Abolish the ISA! Free the Hindraf!’ That’s all they wanted to tell me. This is not the spirit of Hari Raya, where you wish (Selamat) Hari Raya, are happy and have fun and socialise.”

How does an unwelcome guest answer when quizzed by police on why he fails to socialise and display the requisite joyfulness at the PM’s party? Lawyer Haris Ibrahim who blogs ‘The People’s Parliament’ wrote that he and his Hartal ISA group (wearing solidarity-with-RPK T-shirts) were ushered by police to a holding room and segregated.

People’s Parliament last November launched a ‘Hartal MSM’ campaign in the wake of newspapers disinforming on Bersih and demonising Hindraf. MSM has not changed its slant against the Indians. The Star article on the alleged commotion during Raya carried the byline of four reporters. If a whole quartet covered the story, surely one of them could have obtained Hindraf’s clarification that the movement did not present any memo. But no.

Instead, the popular rag – which incongruously dubs itself ‘the People’s Paper – preferred to give airing to VIPs as per its usual practice of cue journalism. The Star report had quoted Azalina and also Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal admonishing, “Hindraf members should have known their limits and not turn up at an open house ‘like this’.”

Star’s article had Shafie going: “There are platforms for you to make your submission. This is not the proper way of doing things. I mean, it’s a Raya do. Today is Hari Raya, it’s got nothing to do with memorandums.”

The spirit of Raya

The Star, a publication under the control of MCA, is big on ‘the proper way of doing things’. It has been full of how the Chinese communal party always used ‘proper channels’ and engaged in ‘internal discussions’ with BN (though not quite admitting that the outcome of any discussion is MCA invariably kowtowing to Umno).

But not only did that particular Star article omit Hindraf’s clarification that there was no memo, it also failed to mention that Indians throughout the past year had made many attempts to convey the community’s grievances to the powers-that-be and were ignored. So the ‘the proper way of doing things’ gets nothing done.

The paper similarly neglected to publish that unlike MCA Cabinet ministers who engage in closed door sessions where they ultimately accede to ‘the BN consensus’ (read, again kowtowing to Umno) Hindraf pleaded they had no other opportunities to approach the PM except at the open house.

BN’s idea of propriety and legality is ‘do as I say, not do as I do’. Abdullah, who often preaches Hadhari, sermonised on religious tolerance around Merdeka last year when at the same time, Hindu temples were tumbling down around him. His big ears did not hear government bulldozers destroying the houses of worship.

To the PM, the spirit of Raya is that everyone must be happy, have fun and socialise, unlike the Hindraf crowd creating “a lot of unhappiness to a lot of people who were around” at his PWTC, possibly illegal, gathering.

Since I’m not Muslim, it’s hardly in my place to contradict the Grand Imam of Hadhari. I’ll just note that when I balik kampung to Penang, I saw many billboards put up by the Pakatan state government bearing its Ramadan message of ‘Amar makruf, nahi mungkar’ (Do good, abhor evil and sin).

Does amar makruf not accommodate compassion for a discriminated community, and courtesy to women and children who were in the Hindraf delegation?

Umno and its collaborators instigating Malays to view Hindraf as bogeyman threatening Malay rights is amar makruf? Malaysiakini reported Surendran as saying Hindraf has become the victim of a harsh campaign to incite hatred against the movement and Indians.

Moorthy and many others in Hindraf agree, and have filed police reports but may have to wait for investigations to be completed first on insulting (Case 1) egg and (Case 2) PWTC food which the bloggers and Hindraf refused to touch.

We’ve often lamented ‘between the devil and the deep blue sea’ to signify BN, the devil we know, and the uncharted waters of the Opposition. A few months ago, Justice Ian Chin described Dr Mahathir Mohamed as “a devil incarnate” and Dr M hitting back at the judge, gestured with his hands at a pair on imaginary horns on his head.

Although the Malay word ‘ampu bodek’ has infinitely more oomph, the English translation ‘polishing apples’ largely characterises MSM coverage of domestic politics and BN politicians, First Families and their in-laws. But a metaphor of polishing the devil’s horns is a more apt on the nature of our mass media’s collusion with the establishment in demonising Hindraf.

- Centre for Policy Initiatives

"The ISA [and other sins of the current Federal Government], will go.

- Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, on what PAS will do if/when Pakatan Rakyat takes over.

OUR appointment with Nik Aziz, the Menteri Besar of Kelantan and the Islamic Party's Spiritual Leader, was set at 9 this morning at the Rumah Sri Kelantan on Jalan Stonor, KL.

Sheih Kickdefella knows I'm not a morning person but it's not easy to get Tok Guru. We focused on PAS' 18-year administration of Kelantan. No Opposition party in Malaysia can boast of such a track record.

He speaks of how the Federal government has denied the Kelantan people of the development and the projects they deserve as Malaysians. "It's one of the sins of the Federal Government," he says. When PAS (or Pakatan Rakyat) takes of the Federal Government, "that sin" will cease to be committed, along with t"he other dosa-dosa" like the ISA, he assures.

Our conversation, inevitably, strays to politics. Fortunately, the Tok Guru doesn't mind. In fact, politics and the economy, he says, are intertwined: one can't do without the other.

So, I asked him about Anwar Ibrahim's December deadline to take over the Government from the BN. The deadline, Nik Aziz told me, isn't important. What's imperative is that the takover must happen. "Mesti," he reiterates.

"How can we continue to sail on a ship whose captain is at odds with others? We must take over that ship."

Nuraina A. Samad of Jalan Sudin, who is also group editor of TELL magazine, was at the interview. We are planning a piece for the next issue of Tell. Nik Aziz, she says, is the "conscience of Kelantan". That sounds like a good heading ...
-rocky's bru

Dr M: Najib must keep cronies and family at bay

MELBOURNE, Oct 12 — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak should not be surrounded by cronies and family members when he is prime minister, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said here today.

"There are several former members of parliament and experts whose advice he should seek to run the country," the former prime minister told Bernama after addressing a Malaysian youth seminar at the University of Melbourne.

"There is a lot of work to be done to restore the confidence of the people in the government," Dr Mahathir said.

"But Najib must not try to do everything himself. He must get proper advice from the right people.

"He should not be surrounded by cronies and family members as this will not be good for the country." Dr Mahathir, however, did not identify them.

He said Najib, his deputy, Umno and its partner component parties must work hard as a team to win public support for the government which suffered a setback at the last elections.

"The votes we lost were protest votes. Malaysians were not happy and this was reflected at the ballot box," he said.

Dr Mahathir said sections of the public felt that the government had become arrogant and out of touch with their needs.

"Some MPs felt, that once elected and given a ministerial position, there was no need for them to go back to their electorate to talk to the people, to discuss issues and find out what needed to be done and to explain government policies," he said.

Dr Mahathir said he hoped that this would change under the leadership of Najib. — Bernama

Datuk Shah Rukh Khan outrages Msians

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct - Melaka state has defended its decision to give an honorary title to an Indian movie star.

Shah Rukh Khan was awarded the title of "Datuk", the equivalent of a knighthood in Britain by the state in recognition of his promotion of the southern state through his films.

Malacca Chief Minister Mohamad Ali Rustam said Khan had helped the state's tourism because six of his movies involved locations in Malacca, the New Sunday Times quoted him as saying.

This included the hit "One 2 Ka 4," which was shot at a resort in Malacca in 2001.

But the move has stirred controversy. The Sunday Star newspaper said many Malaysians were astounded by the award.

Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang, in a statement, said priority should be given to local artists.

If Shah Rukh Khan deserves the award, then other foreign stars including Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones who shot the Hollywood movie "Entrapment" in Kuala Lumpur in 1999 should also be given similar recognition, he said.

"I thought the award is given to those who have contributed toward Malacca's development. I wonder whether Shah Rukh Khan even knows where Malacca is," businesswoman Fatimah Tahir told the newspaper.

But Ali said, "It would have cost millions to promote Malacca through advertisements, but instead Shah Rukh has brought Malacca to the attention of the world through his movies," the Star reported.

Ali and other Malacca officials could not be reached Sunday for further comment.

The 42-year-old Bollywood star was among more than 750 people given awards to mark the 70th birthday of Malacca's nominal head of state, Mohamad Khalil Yaakob. - AP

Anwar says to form government at suitable time

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 - Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim refused to rule out the possibility of a no-confidence vote against the government in Parliament when it reconvenes tomorrow.

"Well, wait for tomorrow," the Opposition Leader said when asked if he had planned any surprises for tomorrow.

The opposition had attempted to table such a motion in July but it was denied by the Speaker.

Speaking at his open house at the Sultan Sulaiman Club in Kg Baru today, he also clarified that he has not given any new specific date for the takeover of federal government.

"I did not give a date for takeover. I said I will continue to take necessary steps. At a suitable time, we will witness the change," he said when quizzed about reports that he had set Dec 8, Hari Raya Haji, as a new deadline in a speech in Kelantan.

In the immediate aftermath of the March 8 general elections, the former deputy prime minister had insisted that the takeover would happen by Malaysia Day on Sept 16.

He has since continued to claim that Pakatan Rakyat has the support of enough Barisan National MPs who will join its 81 MPs to gain majority control of Parliament.

After the Sabah Progressive Party pulled out of Barisan Nasional, the governing coalition lost two MPs and PR now needs to add 29 of Barisan Nasional's 138 MPs to topple the government.

The Permatang Pauh MP also brushed away the insistence by leaders of the dominant Umno that his claims were merely attempts to destabilise the governing coalition.

"I don't care about the accusations and claims of Umno leaders. It has happened many times.

"They said March 8 was impossible, to increase the majority in Permatang Pauh was also impossible.

"So we have proved that the people want change. If MPs and the people want change, no power can stop this," he declared.

He elaborated that takeover plans would "respect the constitution and the legal and parliamentary process."

"We have to accept the possibility of a change by a vote of no-confidence or MPs refusing to support the government," he said, giving the example of Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who recently resigned as de facto Law Minister.

"He resigned as a matter of principle against the use of the Internal Security Act. What if he decides to join PR? Is that unlawful? Is that unconstitutional? Is that unethical?"

Anwar added that he believes more MPs will "realise that political stability is paramount and cannot be handled by Umno... ethnic relations have worsened and we need to change... not through arrogance of power and racist remarks.

"We have to deal with the economy. It has been mismanaged and they are in a state of denial and refuse to accept the economy is shattered," he claimed and stated that these were adequate reasons and rationale for PR to garner more support.-malaysianinsider

Opposition targets Najib in Parliament

atuk Seri AnwarI brahim flanked by Penang chief minister Lim Guan Eng,DAP stawart Lim Kit Siang and businessman Tan Sri Lee Kim Yew at the PKR Raya do - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 12 - The Opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will now turn their attention towards Datuk Seri Najib Razak by insisting on a review of the 2009 Budget in Parliament tomorrow.

Since taking over as Finance Minister from outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi, Najib is now facing the prospect of guiding the Malaysian economy in the middle of a global financial storm.

"One of the first things would be a review of the budget proposal and its figures. We need to do that as an urgent matter unfortunately this does not seem to be the direction and policy of the current government and finance minister," Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said of his plans for tomorrow.

"We cannot work on obsolete figures that are not realistic and does not reflect on economic fundamentals," he continued.

Speaking at his Hari Raya open house at Sultan Sulaiman Club, Kg Baru today, he said that most other countries have already reviewed their budgets, including Singapore, which recently went into recession.

"The finance minister continues to deny the existence of an economic crisis here. If the leadership is not sensitive, it will be the beginnings of a disaster," he insisted.

Lim Kit Siang, DAP Parliamentary leader, was also present and echoed Anwar's sentiment, saying that a revision of the budget would be "Najib's first test as finance minister."

"What is the strategy to ensure Malaysia is protected? He must come up with a revised budget tomorrow. If he doesn't then he would have failed his first test as finance minister in Parliament," he declared.

"So many things have changed since the budget was presented on Oct 29, even the minister has changed. These three weeks he has not said anything to inspire confidence to overcome the looming economic crisis," he said of Najib's tenure so far.

On Friday, DAP publicity chief Tony Pua had released a statement that the government would fail to meet its budget deficit target of 3.6% due to the global financial meltdown and the drop in the price of oil.

The proposed budget based 46.4% of the government's total revenue on the assumption that Malaysia's Tapis crude oil blend will average US$125 per barrel for 2009 but prices has since fallen with the local blend now below US$100.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim also added that Najib had to give a "convincing explanation" if he did not want to revise the budget.

"He must make sure that spending is reduced and lavishness is done away with," said the chief of the PKR-led state government.

Wake up - we are all Malaysians!

[The following piece was emailed to me. I do not know who is the writer. But it should be a wake-up call indeed for all Malaysians if Malaysia is to stand up and stop being overtaken and left behind by one nation after another. Kit]

This is our wake up call!!!

Indonesia is one of the world’s richest countries in terms of natural resources. God has blessed Indonesia with gold, uranium, copper, oil, timber, beaches, seas and other wealth. The land is fertile with abundant rain. Stick a twig into the ground and it grows into a tree. Yet Indonesians sleep in the streets. Food is expensive. The average Indonesian eats some rice, tempe,tauhu and may be some vegetables for breakfast, lunch and dinner everyday. An average Nasi Padang meal for four persons in a single star Indonesian restaurant can cost RM60.00 (160,000 Rupiah). This is way beyond the income of the average Joko or Ketut in Indonesia.

Why is this so? The answer is because the ruling elites in Indonesia do not care about the people. They have pillaged the country. They craft policies that only serve to keep the elites in power and the wealthly. The same thing is happening in Malaysia. There are also millions of Indonesians who go to school and university but do not learn skills that can help them survive in the real world. They are very poor in European languages like English or Dutch. All their education is in Indonesian. So they cannot keep up with the latest developments and technologies. They cannot compete. They remain poor.

The children of the elite are sent overseas for their education. An average Indonesian university graduate cannot bring world class skills to his employers. He or she therefore earns a pittance. This is happening in Malaysia. Bumiputra university graduates only strike it rich if they get Government jobs where they do not do much work but earn a good salary with a pension. In the private sector they may not get a job or earn only a pittance. That is why 100,000 graduates remain unemployed in Malaysia.

Bumiputra university graduates are turning up for interviews as taxi drivers and shop assistants. What about those who flunk out after SPM? They become Mat Rempits (Motorcycle Racers ). Last Saturday I saw another Mat Rempit get killed at the road races in Shah Alam (near Section 7).

In Malaysia, just like in Indonesia, food is getting very expensive. But the wages and salaries of the people, especially the Malays, is not keeping up with the increase in prices. Instead of developing the competitive ability of the people,the Government has been using the failed NEP to provide subsidies and dish out money on a plate. Everything is subsidised, even cooking oil, flour, rice, sugar, fuel, etc. The Government has been providing these subsidies so that the people will keep voting for the ruling party. So it has never been to the Government’s advantage to make the Malays independent. A Malay who is independent of the Government may not vote for the BN. It is therefore better to keep feeding with subsidies.. So, for the past 50 years, everything has been subsidised.

But now with 27million people in the country of which more than half are Malays, subsidies are getting more expensive. There is also much much more thievery and wastage by the elites in Malaysia. But there is no bottomless well full of money. Everything has its limits. The money will soon run out. Without the subsidies for cooking oil, sugar, flour and petrol, how are the people, especially the Malays, going to survive? Already university graduates cannot find jobs or compete in the private sector. What happens when the oil money runs out? What happens when (not if, but when) the Government cannot simply spend billions of oil money to sustain its voting base any longer? That is when we may see people sleeping in the streets, just like in Indonesia. If that happens this country will go up in flames. We will all be consumed.

In Indonesia, the Government has not mobilised its hundreds of millions of people (over 250 million Indonesians) with the competitive skills to grow enough food for themselves. Hence food is expensive. They do not even have simple survival skills like coming to work on time, organising themselves to do simple tasks, maintaining good hygiene and cleanliness and so on. They are poorly read and not informed about many things that are going on around the world. Their Government has failed in all these aspects. Hence the average Indonesian remains poor.

The same thing has happened in Malaysia. Our young people, especially the Malays, do not possess basic survival skills. We are not talking about competitive skills but just basic survival skills. The Government is not serious about giving them useful competitive skills either. The Mat Rempits are being glorified by the politicians as saviours of the nation (Mat Cemerlang). Correction. they are drug users, gang rapists, snatch thieves and street fighters.

When an efficient Policewoman called Nooriyah Anvar was appointed Chief of Traffic Police she went after the Mat Rempits with a vengeance. Does anyone remember her? She confiscated their bikes on the spot. But soon the Mat Rempits called their political muscle and Nooriyah Anvar was kicked out. To date she holds the record of being the shortest serving Traffic Police Chief in Malaysia. She has been replaced by Senior Asst Comm (II) Datuk Hamza Taib.

So the Government is not serious about improving the position of the Malays. It serves the Barisan Nasional Government to keep the Malays down and out. Then the Malays can go to the Government for crumbs. This way the ruling elites get to keep the whole loaf to themselves. Go and visit Indonesia. This is what is happening over there. It is happening over here too.

Does Malaysia have a problem? yes the Malays are not happy, the Chinese are not happy and the Indians are not happy. They spoke out at the March 2008 polls and hope things will change for the better, now they have some oppositions who promised change. The Malays are being duped by their corrupted leaders by using the religion, the Chinese and Indians are being marginalised by the ruling elites. Let us all Malaysians wake up and fight the corrupt system for the benefit of everyone. Let us all unite and stand together and change the system for once and for all.

We are not Malays, Chinese or Indians, we are Malaysians. Malaysians May End Up Sleeping in the Street like its neighbours.

Gerakan has not risen above its infantile subservience to Umno

The first post-March 8 Gerakan national delegates conference is supposed to send out one message - that Gerakan has finally come of age as a political party as it has heard loud and clear the message of the political tsunami in the March general election seven months ago.

I had looked forward to such a Gerakan “coming of age” as a healthy development of Malaysian politics in the post-tsunami era.

But it is not to be and I am disappointed. It was very clear from yesterday’s opening session of the Gerakan conference that it has not risen above its infantile political subservience to Umno despite all the Gerakan posturing, “thunder and lightning” in the past seven month.

When Gerakan President Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon could call Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the “Father of Democracy”, it was a most adverse reflection on the former Penang Chief Minister than on the Prime Minister.

How could Koh call Abdullah the “Father of Democracy” when:

(1) the draconian and most undemocratic law, the Internal Security Act (ISA), was arbitrarily and unjustly wielded only last month against DAP MP for Seputeh and Selangor senior exco, Teresa Kok, Sin Chew Daily senior reporter Tan Hoon Cheng and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin;

(2) three newspapers, Sin Chew Daily, the Sun and Suara Keadilan asked to show cause under another most undemocratic law, the Printing Presses and Publications Act, why action should not be taken against them;

(3) the Hindraf Five continue to be detained in Kamunting Detention Centre under the ISA with the first anniversary of their incarceration fast approaching and the latest abuses of power in the orchestrated campaign of intimidation and demonisation of Hindraf with the police harassment of Hindu members and supporters over their plea for the release of the Hindraf Five at the Prime Minister-cum-Cabinet’s Hari Raya Open House at Putrajaya; and

(4) the undemocratic action and abuse of power in prosecuting RPK under sedition and criminal defamation, when the proper course is for those aggrieved by RPK’s blogs to institute civil defamation proceedings to seek justice.

Koh would have received unanimous approbation if he had said that Abdullah deserve the title of “Father of Democracy” if in his remaining five months as Prime Minister, he could initiate democratization reforms which he had failed to do in the past five years, and in particular:

• Release the Hindraf Five from ISA detention in Kamunting before Deepavali on 27th October, RPK as well as all ISA detainees; and

• Repeal the detention-without-trial ISA law and other undemocratic and draconian laws like the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Sedition Act, the Official Secrets Act and the Police Act.

I wonder what would be the result if Koh’s proposal to name Abdullah “Father of Democracy” is put to a vote by the Gerakan delegates at the conference – whether he could secure even majority support if it is by secret ballot, without any redeeming democratic reforms in the next five months.

Yesterday, Koh declared that Gerakan will remain in Barisan Nasional to help reform the coalition.

This is of course for Gerakan to decide. But what has happened to his earlier revelation that up to 60 percent of party grassroots wanted Gerakan to pull out of BN following the March 8 general election and the subsequent support by 80 per cent of the delegates at the August Perak Gerakan delegates conference for a pull-out of BN?

Were these just “hot air”?

Koh told the press yesterday that discontent peaked among the party grassroots over the “penumpang” controversy of Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Ahmad Ismail and when one of Ahmad’s supporters tore Koh’s picture in front of journalists.

Has Ahmad Ismail apologised for his offensive, insensitive and racist reference of the Chinese in Malaysia as “penumpang” and has there been any public expression of remorse for the public tearing of Koh’s picture?

One can only imagine what would have been the consequences if a Gerakan official had publicly torn the picture of the Umno President and had remained defiant and unrepentant!

IT WAS ALL RAJA PETRA’S FAULT

It was Raja Petra (not Ahmad Ismail) who said the Chinese communities are “squatters”!

It was Raja Petra ( not Najib Razak) who said the kris will be soaked in Chinese blood!

It was Raja Petra ( not Aziz Sheikh Fadzir) who threatened to bring down the Chinese Assembly Hall!

It was Raja Petra ( not Hishamuddin) who raised the kris during the UMNO youth assembly!

It was Raja Petra ( not Rosmah Mansor) who was present at the scene of Altantuya’s murder!

It was Raja Petra ( not Najib Razak) who was linked to Altantuya’s murder!

It was Raja Petra ( not Mahathir Mohammad) who frequently chant the slogan “Malay Supremacy”

YES! YES! YES! YES! YES!

It was all Raja Petra’s ( not the BN leadership) fault for championing racism!

The only truth here is:

It was Raja Petra (not the BN leadership) who is detained for all the crimes!

Let us warn all the “true angels” in parenthesis: Your days are numbered! You will forever remain inside the shut doors, this time not of Putrajaya, but the cells designed by the will of the people, the cells of justice for the traitors of this nation!

This will be the nation’s perfect gift for you!

These are words from Raja Petra Kamarudin, the king of all hearts!

“And I would not hesitate to deny my body food and water as an act of defiance just to prove to my jailors that they may incarcerate my body but they can never own my mind or break my spirit.”

“I am not a Muslim by way of mere rituals but a Muslim at heart. It is from God we came and to God we shall return. And everything that happens in-between is part of God’s grand plan.”

“Till we meet again, if we do meet again, take care and keep the flame burning.”

Malaysia - A failed nation

Malaysia 2020?

Those who started work around 1973
a 1.3 Litre Japaness car was RM7,000
Today the equivalent let's say it is RM60,000 ... 8.5 times or 850%

In 1973 a double storey house was about RM 45,000 ... or less
Today it is about RM300,000 ... 6.6 times or 660%

In 1973 an Engineer's pay was RM1,000
Today it is about RM2,000+/- ... 2 times or 200%

From 1973 to 2008 ... 35 years ... what is the Trend?
Bearish !!!!

In a stock market when the trend is bearish, what do we do? ... Exit!!!

When a country's trend is bearish what do we do?
This Bearish trend is more difficult to turn around as compared to the stock market.

I have used these 3 items House, Car & Salary as a measurement of the country's
performance for the past 35 years ....

There is a book I saw in MPH bookshop entitled :
Malaysia : The Failed Nation
some of you may be interested to read up.

I agreed with the writer ....

This morning I was having Coffee at McDonald's (now the coffee ... 100% Arabica beans ... is quite good @ RM2.90 ... free refill!! I asked how much per hour is their pay?
RM3.00! x 8 hours = RM24 per day ... x 25 days = RM600 per month
My daughter works part-time during her University days ... she worked at Gloria Jeans Coffee
... the pay Australian $14.00 (@ 3.15 = RM44 per hour ... x 8 = RM352 per day!!! x 25 days = RM8800

13.3 times more!!! ....

Price of houses in Perth is about the same in KL
Price of cars are about 23 % cheaper ... in Perth (Australia).

I think more and more people are becoming aware of this Bearish trend.
Developed country by 2020? ... means High income country
Let's look at some as of year 2005 (Financial Times)
USA GNP per capita US$35,400
UK GNP per capita US$25,510
Australia GNP per capita US$19,530
Singapore GNP per capita US$20,690
These are developed countries by income measurement

Malaysia GNP per capita US$3,540
Year 2020 ... developed country?

Really ... a sad story.

Worrying Trends, isn't it??

Ringgit sliding further and further under BN

Recently, I interviewed some fresh graduates applying for jobs with my engineering company. I accepted two applicants on a starting salary of RM1600. It struck me as odd that 15 years ago, I myself started work as a fresh graduate engineer for the same pay.

Indeed, if you compare the salaries of graduates now and 15 or even 20 years ago, you'll find little difference but that their purchasing power is vastly different. It's the same story when you compare salaries of shop assistants, office staff, factory workers and others.

To compound the effect of inflation, the ringgit has depreciated greatly against all major currencies. The real income of most Malaysians has moved backwards.

This is why many Malaysians suffer under the petrol hike. The root of the problem is that our real incomes have shrunk in the face of inflation and depreciated currency.. Malaysians have not been spoiled by subsidy but are unable to move out of the time lock of stagnated
and depreciated incomes.

If you compare the per capita incomes of Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan and South Korea, they are a few multiples of ours although at independence all these countries were the on the same economic level as Malaysia .

What has gone wrong? We were the rising star of East Asia, a country rich in natural resources with the most promising potential.

The reason is massive corruption, plundering of resources, wastage of funds for huge non- economic projects, anti-public interest deals with politically-linked companies and passing of the buck to the man in the street.

Four decades of NEP where education, economic and employment policies are defined by race ensured that meritocracy took a back seat.

Our university standard has declined and the today best and brightest of our youth emigrate to escape the racial inequality only to contribute to the economies of foreign lands.

The reputation of our judiciary which was held in high esteem worldwide has sunk so low that foreign investors now insist on arbitration in Singapore in case of any dispute.

We also have a slew of oppressive laws such as the ISA, OSA, Uuca and PPPA which stifle free speech and are designed to keep the ruling parties in power.

We have become less attractive to foreign investors and now lag behind our neighbours in Asean for foreign direct investment. Even some corporations who have established themselves here are moving out.

All the economic and social malaise cannot help but affect the value of our currency. The strength of a country's currency is after all, a reflection of its fundamentals.

Furthermore, Bank Negara has a policy of weak ringgit to help exporters, never mind the burden on the common folk. The government is pro-corporation, not pro-rakyat.

While the poor and middle-class are squeezed, an elite group gets breathtakingly rich. We have the distinction of having the worse income disparity in Asean. A re-distribution of wealth is under way from the poor and middle-class to a select group of politically-connected elite.

The end result of this re-distribution will be a small group of super-rich while the majority are pushed into poverty and the middle-class shrinks. This is what happens when the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer.

There is much that is wrong with Malaysia. The responsibility for pulling the country backwards can be laid squarely at the door of the ruling regime. It is BN's mis-governance, racial politics and culture of patronage which has seen the country regress economically and
socially.

We seem to be sliding down a slippery slope, further down with each passing year of BN's rule. Another five years of BN rule and we'll be at Indonesia 's standard under Suharto. Another 10 years and we'll be touching the African standard. What a way to greet 2020.

Is there any hope for Malaysia ?

Faced with the reality that BN will never change, many Malaysians desperate for change turn their lonely eyes to Anwar Ibrahim.

Pakatan Raykat has promised to treat all races fairly, to plug wastage, fight corruption, reform the judiciary and make Malaysia more competitive.

But some have questioned whether we can trust Anwar and his loose coalition of disparate parties.

The question is not whether we can trust Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat but whether we can afford not to.

Can we afford another ten years of BN's misrule?

- Unknown Author

Umno needs to change mindset, says Muhyiddin

By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH, The Star

MUAR: Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin wants party members to have a mindset change towards making the party’s struggles accepted by other races.

He said it would be futile for Umno to have strong leaders who received strong support from all members, but are rejected by the community during the general election.

The party must now give priority to having leaders who are not only accepted by members, but respected and accepted by those from outside Umno as well.

“The 12th general election showed us that although we have had a very long track record in building the nation, we lost many seats in the election,” he told reporters Saturday after opening the Pagoh Umno Youth, Wanita and Putri general assemblies.

Muhyiddin, who is also the division’s chief, said it would be useless for leaders to win posts, including at the supreme council level, if they are not accepted by the people in the general election.

He said party deputy president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had recently warned that they either changed their mindset or the people would change the Barisan Nasional government.

He said the people, especially those born after independence and aged between 30 and 40 years old, had their own ideas, aspirations and had access to greater global information.

“We are now in the process of electing party leaders and we should give thought to choosing leaders accepted by all, not only among Umno members,” he said.

On Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s suggestion to allow Malaysians to become Barisan members without joining any component party, Muhyiddin said it was a good suggestion.

“The suggestion can strengthen the alliance and we hope it will be given deep consideration by all parties before it is accepted,” he added.

No reforms as long as Dr M is around, says Zaid

By SHAILA KOSHY, The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will not be able to institute any crucial reform as Prime Minister as long as Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is around, claimed former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.

"The 2004 election manifesto is history,” said Zaid who had been appointed minister specifically to work on Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s promise to reform in stitutions of government, improve accountability and transparency, and strengthen the Rule of Law and independence of the Judiciary.

“Najib is smart and articulate but to change the course of Umno, he has to be brave and why would he take such a risk.

“Second, even if he wanted to, he would not be able to do it with Dr Mahathir around,” he said.

Asked whether that was because he thought Dr Mahathir was powerful or had a strong influence on Najib, Zaid - who resigned from the Cabinet recently after journalist Tan Hoon Cheng, Member of Parliament Teresa Kok and news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin were arrested under the Internal Security Act - said:

“He (Dr Mahathir) has a large group of friends, otherwise the Prime Minister (Abdullah) would not have been ‘thrown out’ just like he wanted.”

“Mahathirism was all control, control, control. He has a strong influence on the top Umno leaders who had to choose between doing his bidding or facing his wrath.

“So many in Umno are bound to the old, making it difficult to abandon old values and principles.

“Especially when if you allow for more democracy, you lose some control.

“I don’t see it (major reforms) happening but I hope that Najib will prove me wrong, for himself and for the country’s sake.”

On his recent comment that Najib has never talked of reforms, when asked why a deputy prime minister would need to do so when the agenda is set by the Prime Minister, he replied: “Yes, but after the Prime Minister talks, shouldn’t the deputy strengthen it with his own comments?”

Samy Vellu: ‘Why is this idiot doing all this?’

I told you, didn’t I? I told you as much that Samy Vellu’s supposed attempts to ‘rebrand’ and rejuvenate the MIC was merely window dressing; actually, I said it was more like putting lipstick on a pig.

So it’s been three months now since Samy launched his infamous drive to rebrand his MIC. Well, during this time, we’ve seen the departure of some relatively high profile figures from MIC. To be more precise, we’ve seen various individuals ‘shown the exit door,’ so to speak, and one has to wonder at the amazing ‘reform’ and ‘rebranding’ underway in the MIC. As you might imagine, I bring this up only to further put in perspective the recent report that 5000 MIC members appear set to join Parti Keadilan Rakyat. Apparently, ‘Former Bayan Baru MIC division chairperson M Nganasegaran, who was sacked from the party yesterday, is expected to lead the exodus and officially handover their membership forms to PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim at the Bayan Baru PKR service centre.’ This report further notes that: ‘Besides MIC Bayan Baru, members from the nearby Bukit Bendera, Jelutong, Bukit Gelugor and Balik Pulau divisions are also expected to close down their branches and join forces with Nganasegaran.

And what was the apparent cause for the sacking of Nganasegaran? It seems Samy had ‘taken offense’ that the Bayan Baru MIC division had endorsed the Pakatan Rakyat’s joint anti-Internal Security Act conference on September 14 in Penang. I guess this is Samy’s way of showing how much regard he has for respecting the range and diversity of views within MIC.

You might recall that shortly after the drubbing that MIC took during the March 8 general elections, Samy remained adamant that he was best suited for rebuilding the party. Some of us (yours truly included) not only had our doubts, but it was also obvious how utterly self-serving, predictable, and bizarre it was – to say the least - that Samy refused and was unwilling to lick his wounds and move on by passing on the party leadership to others who may be more capable. Here was a man supposedly intent on ‘rebuilding’ the party.

If you paid any attention, you would’ve seem that the MIC was headed in one direction – and one direction only; and it was not hard to see as the evidence was all over. We saw how the launch of Samy’s ‘rebranding’ initiative turned out. In case you missed that bit of news, Samy had to literally canvas the hallways of the Dewan Tun Razak Hall at the Putra World Trade Centre in order to prevent guests at his MIC gathering from leaving.

And we especially saw how his self-proclaimed successful Permatang Pauh campaign to win back Indian voters also unfolded. Mind you, it was his Barisan Nasional coalition (through Najib) that proposed scrap metal collectors licenses for Indians if they helped BN win in Permatang Pauh.

Perhaps this is a sign. Might we be so fortunate that Samy continues to stay on this path and we continue to see more defections from the MIC? This recent news represents a ‘high profile’ incident and so it has received some attention in the media. While many of us continue to celebrate every time there is news of such defections, surely Samy and his cabal must know that there have been thousands of voters who have silently ‘crossed over’ from the MIC and, for all practical purposes, severed their support for the MIC. If this trend holds in Penang, then we can safely assume that not only the MIC but surely Barisan Nasional can expect to remain an opposition coalition in Penang for quite some time. There is also strong indication that Indians – both professionals and otherwise – especially in urban areas have become extremely disillusioned with Samy’s MIC. This, by implication, means Indian support for MIC in Selangor and Wilayah Persekutuan in recent months (not unlike the trend in Penang) has been severely undermined. However, I’ll save my thoughts about the impact of this trend for Barisan’s future for another time. But I think you get my drift.

Suffice it to note that at this rate, Samy will end up doing us all a huge favour by not just making the MIC irrelevant, he might even do enough that the preponderant of Malaysian Indians never again put their faith in the MIC. To quote Samy himself [from the MIC rebranding festivities at Putra World Trade Centre referred to above when – speaking about himself – he openly asked MIC members]: ‘You must be wondering why is this idiot doing all this?’

To that question, I say: Samy, I’m not wondering… I’m just delighted you are!

G. Krishnan

Dosa-dosa Najib Semasa Menjadi Menteri Besar Pahang

Dikatakan semasa jadi Menteri Besar Pahang beliau bersahabat baik dengan seorang ahli perniagaan muda dari Pekan sehingga boleh duduk sekereta resmi dan selalu berulang alik ke Singapura memburu perempuan. Ahli perniagaan ini sentiasa mendapat kawasan balak dan sentiasa mendapat maklumat di atas segala keputusan EXCO bersabit dengan perkara-perkara untuk mencari rezeki dari Kerajaan Negeri. Sekarang ini beliau telah kaya raya.

Apa betulkah atau hanya satu fitnah?

Dalam tahun-tahun 84-85 Datuk Najib juga dikatakan pernah dijumpai di Singapura di tempat-tempat yang sulit bersama-sama seorang Datuk (bekas orang kuat Promet) dengan artis-artis perempuan. Katanya membincangkan hal-hal pembangunan Wilayah Janda Baik, Bentong. Dari laporan yang dipercayai satu raket korupsi di belakang pembangunan Wilayah Janda Baik, Bentong telah berlaku. Cuba siasat siapakah orang-orang yang banyak memiliki tanah-tanah di Janda Baik.

Kononnya beliau juga dikatakan dalam tahun-tahun 84-85 telah mengadakan banyak perhubungan sulit (seks) dengan seorang kerabat di-Raja salah sebuah negeri di Semenanjung. Datuk Najib dikatakan pernah pergi ke rumah Tengku itu pada waktu malam di hantar oleh salah seorang bekas Setiausaha Sulit-nya yang di bawa dari Kuala Lumpur. Perkara ini bukan rahsia lagi bagi penduduk Kuantan, tidak dihebohkan kerana melibatkan keluarga di-Raja. Kononnya cerita ini diceritakan sendiri oleh orang istana yang paling hampir dengan Tengku itu. Jika ini betul ia tidak patut berlaku atau dilakukan oleh seorang pemimpin yang menjadi ketua pemerintah negeri dan melibatkan pula kerabat di-Raja. Inilah dikatakan orang "harapkan pagar, pagar makan padi". Apa dihairankan, kebuasan nafsu Najib memang amat diketahui sejak belum menjadi Menteri Besar lagi. Hubungan sulit dengan perempuan-perempuan dari segala bangsa dan artis-artis tempatan adalah cakapan harian orang di Kuala Lumpur.

Dikatakan orang juga, amalan rasuah sangat hebat berlaku semasa Encik Hamid menjadi P.A. Datuk Najib. Semasa Encik Hamid berhenti, satu sijil fixed deposit sebanyak $500,000.00 telah dijumpai oleh isteri Encik Hamid (yang sekarang sudah di cerai). Fixed deposit itu dijumpai dalam beg James-Bond kepunyaan Encik Hamid. Ini kalau kita fikir adakah wang Encik Hamid atau wang Datuk Najib. Encik Hamid pernah berkata, Datuk Najib tak pernah menukar ceknya untuk berbelanja di rumah atau lain-lainnya, kerana cash (wang tunai) banyak terlonggok di rumahnya.

Encik Hamid pernah berkata yang hal dan rahsia Datuk Najib semua dalam poketnya. Ini mungkin fitnah orang yang iri hati pada Encik Hamid kerana dia sangat dipercayai oleh Najib. Sabarlah…

Datuk Najib sentiasa menggunakan ketua-ketua pejabat dan agensi-agensi Kerajaan (berkanun) untuk mendapatkan wang. Alasan kononnya untuk political fund, seperti LKNP, LKPP, ASPA dan Syarikat Permodalan Pahang. Kegiatan-kegiatan agensi tersebut perlu di siasat, terutama LKPP atas hal jual-beli ladang dan kilang-kilang. Bekas Pengurus Besar Syarikat Permodalan Pahang, yang sebelum itu hanya seorang guru biasa lulusan maktab, rumahnya macam istana, selalu berulang-alik ke Jakarta dan luar negeri bersama seorang pembantu wanitanya, kononnya isteri orang. Hubungan mereka berdua dikatakan sangat rapat. Kerja-kerja beliau dikatakan sentiasa mendapat restu dari Datuk Najib. Maklumlah mereka berdua ni dalam perahu yang sama. Apa sudah jadi dengan syarikat itu sekarang? Beratus juta duit rakyat Pahang lesap. Syarikat terpaksa di tutup kerana bengkrap. Bossnya senang lenang. Najib patut bertanggungjawab.

Kononnya di Kuala Lumpur sentiasa mengadakan parti-parti sulit, mabuk dengan artis-artis perempuan yang selalu ada bersama bos Promet itu dan yang ada hubungan perniagaan rapat dengan seorang peniaga Cina bersama Andrew Leong dari Syarikat Johan Holding.

Datuk Najib juga dikatakan kononnya telah bersekedudukan dengan seorang yang berasal dari Kementerian Kewangan yang mana ada hubungan dengan kontrak pembelian komputer yang berharga di antara RM3-4 juta semasa beliau berkhidmat di Kementerian Kewangan sebagai Timbalan Menteri.

Encik Hamid bekas P.A.nya itu adalah salah seorang orang suruhan Datuk Najib untuk mengutip wang-wang korupsi di sana sini, maka itulah Datuk Najib membawa Hamid dari Kementerian Kewangan yang berasal dari seorang kerani sahaja ke Kuantan. Encik Hamid dikatakan banyak menyimpan rahsia Datuk Najib dan tahu banyak tentang projek-projek yang Najib ada berkepentingan.

Anwar sets another takeover date

KOTA BARU: Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has set yet another deadline for Pakatan Rakyat to wrest control of the Federal government.

Now, he says it will happen before the end of the year.

“It is not like something I will allow to linger for one or two years. The momentum will continue when the Parliament goes into session on Monday,” he told a large crowd during a rally at Padang Perdana here on Thursday night.

He repeated his assertion that he had the numbers to form the new government.

Anwar said the “takeover” approach would be peaceful because Malaysia could not afford the Thai or Filipino mob style.

Although his speech fired the crowd into wanting more, Anwar stopped short of detailing his “takeover” modus operandi, saying it would remain a secret until the time was right.

Anwar said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s decision to step down by March and hand over to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak would not halt the takeover plan.

Speaking in English for a foreign media in attendance, Anwar said he was addressing the crowd at a critical time in the country’s history with the global economic crisis happening and Najib’s ascension as prime minister.

Anwar also predicted that the global economic crises would be worse than the Asian financial crises of 1998/1999, saying economists believe it would be similar to the Great Depression of the 1930s.

PKR strategic planning director Saifuddin Nasution Ismail later said Anwar had mailed to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong a copy of the letter sent to Abdullah on Sept 16.

- The Star

Guan Eng attacks Maybank deal

GEORGETOWN, Oct 11 — The DAP has criticised the acquisition of PT Bank Internasional Indonesia (BII) by Maybank, stating that the money could have been given as cheap loans to the public instead.

"Maybank could have given out cheap loans of RM8.25 billion to the public to face the global financial crisis rather than waste it on acquiring BII and suffering almost immediate losses of RM 4 billion," DAP scretary-general Lim Guan Eng said.

"We are facing a global financial crisis that will have an impact on the livelihood of ordinary Malaysians. Why not help tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of ordinary Malaysians instead of buying one bank?"

In a media statement, the Penang chief minister pointed out that Temasek Holdings Pte Ltd and South Korea's Kookmin Bank were so desperate to sell their 56 per cent stake in BII that they were willing to give a further 15 per cent discount of RM758.9 million despite the deal having already been closed.

"No wonder as Maybank bought at a price that is more than 65 per cent higher than the prevailing market price or 4.3 times BII's book value compared to the current market valuation of Indonesian banks at a maximum of 2.7 times.

"Why not cut losses, lose face by admitting its mistake and forfeit its RM483 million deposit? Instead Maybank decided to proceed with spending RM8.25 billion to acquire a bank that nobody wanted," he explained.

The deal had come under fire from various quarters even though Finance Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said the deal was a positive one.

The first day of trading after the deal saw Maybank's shares close 30 sen lower at RM6.60, a five-year low.

The statement also said that DAP regretted that no leader from the Barisan Nasional government highlighted this controversy.

"The public is highly suspicious of such shady deals as they remember Proton Holdings Bhd selling MV Augusta for one euro when it had bought it for 70 million euros, resulting in total losses of RM500 million.

"It is such shady deals that have crippled Malaysia's anti-corruption efforts causing Malaysia to tumble in the rankings of the Transparency International's Corruption Perception Index of No. 37 in 2003 to No. 47 this year," the statement claimed.

Press Release: Bar Council Human Rights Debate - “UDHR @ 60 and still not all is right”

Contributed by Ambiga Sreenevasan
Saturday, 11 October 2008 05:31pm

Ambiga SreenevasanThis year, in conjunction with International Human Rights Day on the 10th of December 2008 and the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948, the Bar Council will host the inaugural and unique ‘Human Rights Debate’ tournament which seeks to attract participants from international and local universities and schools, as well as members of the public.

The theme of the Debate is “UDHR @ 60 and still not all is right”.

This Debate is probably the first in the world to be hosted by a statutory body of legal professionals.

The key objective of the tournament is to provide a platform for discussion of human rights norms, standards and issues as well as to promote human rights awareness in our country. The Bar Council hopes that the Debate will help bridge ethnic, linguistic and cultural gaps to foster respect and understanding on various rights-related issues.

More than 300 debaters around the world are expected to participate in the Debate.

The Debate will run based on the ‘British Parliamentary Debating Format’ where there would be four positions on the particular debate topic - the opening government, closing government, opening opposition and closing opposition. Each position will be represented by a team of two members. As such, there will be eight debaters for each debate topic.

Each speaker is allocated 7 minutes to present his/her arguments, and a ‘Point of Information’ is allowed to be given after the first and sixth minute of each speaker’s argument.

Participants may participate in this Debate either as debaters or adjudicators.

For those who do not wish to participate in the Debate, they may join the Public Speaking Competition to speak on any topic of their choice.

Attractive prizes await the winners.

We look forward to a lively and thought-provoking Debate that will challenge and deepen our understanding of human rights principles and issues.

Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan
President
Malaysian Bar


APPENDIX

The applicable fees in respect of the Debate Tournament and Public Speaking Competition are as follows:

I. Debate Tournament

For participants

RM250 per person (for debater)
RM250 per person (for adjudicator)
RM250 per person (for officer/ observer)

(Fee includes food and hotel accommodation)

Every team must have 2 debaters and 1 adjudicator. (For participating institutions, the maximum number of teams permitted is 5 per institution)

For ‘Stay At Home’ participants

RM180 per person (for debater)
RM180 per person (for adjudicator)
RM180 per person (for officer/observer)

(Fee includes food)

Every team must have 2 debaters and 1 adjudicator. (For participating institutions, the maximum number of teams permitted is 5 per institution)

II. Public Speaking Competition

RM50 per person

(Fee includes food)

Registration Process

Kindly send the requisite fee(s) to us via wire transfer by 10 November 2008, in accordance with the following details:

Bar Council
HSBC, No 2, Leboh Ampang, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Account No: 301-022166-001
SWIFT Code No: HBMBMYKL

(Please pay all bank charges so that the Bar Council receives the full amount of the fees.)

Alternatively, send your cheque(s) written in favour of the ‘Bar Council’ to us.

After transferring or sending your fee, email us at hrdebate08@malaysianbar.org.my, and tell us your name, institution, and the amount of money you transferred/sent. Attach a copy of the transfer slip/cheque and the registration form to the e-mail you sent. We will not cover transaction costs.

Contact us through e-mail at hrdebate08@malaysianbar.org.my or call Khaizan Sharizad (Sherrie) at 019-695 8939 or Chin Oy Sim at 03-2031 6367. Please fill in and return the respective registration forms by 10 November 2008.

Shabery: One-party BN is like dissolving Umno

KEMAMAN, Oct 11 - Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek today spoke against the proposal to turn the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition into a single multi-racial party, saying it was tantamount to dissolving Umno, which is the mainstay of the government.

As an Umno member, Shabery said, he regarded the proposal as a cruel blow to Umno, which made it seem that the party was no longer relevant in the context of the current political scenario.

"If any Umno leader were to talk of turning BN into a single multi-racial party, it will be akin to dissolving Umno ... and it is a humiliation for Umno. I am not prepared to accept this," he told reporters at his open house at the Dewan Sri Amar, here.

Umno was still strong and relevant in the context of national development, he said, adding that Malaysia was the best progress story among countries in the region, thanks to the BN government helmed by Umno.

Ahmad Shabery said the cooperation among the BN component parties was at its best for national development.

"Should there be weaknesses (in the BN), they should be rectified but there is no necessity for a structural change," he said.

He said the important thing was to strengthen the BN and find ways to regain the support of the people for the coalition.

"There are ups and downs in history. Today, we see a poor performance by the BN. But it does not mean that the BN has to undergo a total change. Every time there is an economic problem, political problems may ensue," he said.

"I believe that when the world economic situation improves, the people will come back (to the BN) because there is no government better than the BN in bringing about development and giving the people the best," he said.

On the latest statement by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Pakatan Rakyat might form a new government before Hari Raya Aidiladha on Dec 8, Ahmad Shabery said such statements should no longer be entertained. – Bernama

Najib under pressure, again

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 11 - Raja Petra Kamarudin is behind bars but his campaign to link Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak with the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shariibuu intensified today – with a startling allegation.

His website, Malaysia Today, carried a report detailing what it alleged was an exchange of text messages between Najib and Shafee Abdullah, the prominent lawyer who represented Abdul Razak Baginda before he was charged with abetting two police officers in the murder of the model.

These SMSes – if true – raise some questions over the handling of the case and suggest that Najib took a strong interest in the investigation from the beginning.

The SMS exchange, which went on from Nov 8 to Dec 2, 2006, is likely to become great fodder for the Opposition when Parliament sits again on Monday. More so now that Najib is a cusp away from becoming the president of Umno and the prime minister of Malaysia.

In one SMS, Najib allegedly tells the lawyer that Razak Baginda – his advisor – “will face a tentative charge but all is not lost.”'

Malaysia Today said that this message raises some questions about Najib's role in the case. “Why did he mention ‘tentative’ charge and that ‘all is not lost’ for RB (Razak Baginda)? How would Najib know this before Razak was charged? These are important questions which will have ramifications, not just on this case but far beyond,” a posting on the website said.

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and the Opposition have tried to link Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, with the murder since it happened in October 2006.

Najib has furiously denied any involvement with the case, and has even sworn in a mosque that he did not know the woman. His wife has also sought recourse in the courts to clear her name.

Their nemesis has been Raja Petra. He published many reports and commentaries alleging a cover-up in the investigation of the murder. He was detained under the Internal Security Act for allegedly publishing articles which were blasphemous.

Malaysia Returns to the Barisan Fold

Thursday, 09 October 2008
ImageThe ruling national coalition dodges an opposition bullet

With the announcement Wednesday that Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will step down next March for his battered deputy, Najib Tun Razak, to take power, it appears that the ruling national coalition will survive in power and continue to be led by the United Malays National Organisation.

Related story: Contradictions Plague Malaysia's Government


It is not without cost. In Najib, the country is getting a leader who was allegedly up to his eyeteeth as defense minister in a series of unsavory purchases of submarines, jet planes and other armaments on which individuals close to him and Umno earned vast "commissions."

There are also continued questions over the sordid October 2006 murder of a 28-year-old Mongolian translator, Altantuya Shaariibuu, who was shot in the head and blown up with explosives after being abducted in front of the home of Najib's best friend, the well-connected political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, who has been charged in the murder along with two of Najib's bodyguards. It beggars the imagination to believe that somehow Abdul Razak allegedly was able to involve the bodyguards without Najib's knowledge. In addition, according to a statutory declaration filed by a private detective hired by Razak Baginda, she was the lover of both men.

Abdul Razak and the two bodyguards have been standing trial for 17 months despite what looked to most legal observers like an open-and-shut case. While veering close to Najib's coattails numerous times, both the prosecution and the defence have hurriedly skated away from any mention of the deputy prime minister. The very length of the trial, the numerous delays and the striking out of evidence have raised suspicions that the proceedings are being drawn out to prepare for either acquittals or diminished sentences for the three, perhaps to keep them from pointing the finger at Najib.

Whether Najib can rule effectively is questionable. His selection in essence returns UMNO and the Barisan to the very people who generated electoral outrage by cronyism, nepotism and the creation of a class of what were called "Umnoputeras" basically getting rich off government largesse and running a series of government-linked companies into the ground. (Ethnic Malays are known as bumiputeras, or sons of the soil.)

There is not only the Altantuya case but a variety of other problems - the global economic crisis that is beginning to hit banking and exports, lukewarm support from a faction-ridden UMNO and barely concealed antipathy of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who has accused Najib of being weak, indecisive and beholden to Badawi. There is also the growing clout of the man expected to be his deputy, Muhyiddin Yassin, who is regarded as having engineered Badawi's departure.

In the meantime, the opposition may be fading. In the aftermath of March 8 elections that cost the Barisan four state governments and its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat or parliament, it first appeared that the opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim would be able to solidify its base and take over. However, Anwar made a daring public bet that he would have the forces in parliament to take over on September 16. When that didn't happen, Malaysians appear to be wearily returning to the Barisan fold, although some observers dispute that.

"After seeing how much instability there is and how unworkable the country is, even the Chinese will go back to the Malaysian Chinese Association," said a well-connected lawyer. "The economy must improve, everybody must do well financially. The general feeling is that the opposition has crested. The non-Malays and foreigners were supporting Badawi, thinking Badawi was going to do away with the Umno system. In the end, they think playing the game means no joy. Today, Anwar is mostly backed by non-Malays, the rest will all rally with Umno. The opposition wanted reform, they wanted change, but they didn't do it wisely. That just woke up the Malays."

The winner, or at least one of the winners, is Mahathir, who mounted a vitriolic campaign against the hapless Badawi almost immediately after the latter took over and began cancelling some of Mahathir's white elephant projects. Badawi initially instituted some badly needed reforms before pressure from within the party forced him to back away. He didn't help himself much by being largely ineffective. He also signalled to the judiciary that it was at least nominally independent, and the courts responded by freeing Mahathir's mortal enemy, Anwar, the former deputy prime minister, from six years in prison on sexual perversion charges that were largely viewed as trumped up.

Mahathir accused Badawi of cronyism and nepotism, ignoring the fact that cronyism and nepotism had reached unprecedented levels during his own 22-year reign. In particular, he went after Badawi's son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin, whom he accused of controlling the prime minister and of using Badawi's name to gain success in business.

Mahathir ostentatiously quit the party after it appeared he would be investigated for his role in a judicial scandal in which a lawyer was surreptitiously videotaped describing the fixing of judicial appointments. However, he continued to pummel Badawi from outside the party and through his blog, Chedet.com, and to work through the party faithful that he had installed and promoted during his time in office. With Badawi now headed out, Mahathir has turned his sights on Khairy, who is seeking to become UMNO Youth leader Mahithir's son, Mukhriz, is expected to campaign for the same position.

Another winner is Muhyiddin Yassin, 51, a Johor-based UMNO stalwart who is currently the minister of trade and industry. He has also served as an UMNO vice president and in a variety of other cabinet posts. He is widely regarded as an eventual candidate for prime minister if UMNO can keep itself together.

Najib does face some uncertainty besides the questions over corruption and the murder. He must first go through the party election process, which starts today with nominations, and the election next March. He is being challenged by the septuagenarian Kelantan prince, Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, but most observers believe Razaleigh, who repeatedly challenged Mahathir for primacy in the party, is a spent force.

He must also survive possible scrutiny over his role, if any, in the Altantuya murder. The courts and the legal system have deliberately overlooked allegations of Najib's complicity in the Mongolian woman's murder, and considerable related evidence of corruption on his part in the purchase of three French submarines for the Malaysian military ‑ a purchase that Altantuya may have participated in as a translator. This has been pushed under the carpet repeatedly, but if the opposition is in partial retreat, it seems unlikely that the compliant judiciary will move to take on a rising Najib.

Najib is also widely suspected to participating in the fabrication of new allegations against Anwar of consensual sodomy with a 23-year-old former aide. Anwar has denied the allegations, saying they were an attempt to drive him out of politics again. Although Anwar has been arrested and charged, it is unclear when or if the government will pull him into court. A bill has already been passed by the parliament to force him to give a DNA sample, something he has refused to do because, he claims, the sample could be misused and planted as evidence against him.-Asiasentinel

World crude oil below US$78 a barrel - Najib should “burn midnight oil” to present lowered pricing for petrol on Monday

For the past month, two questions have obsessed Malaysians.

The first has been answered, viz: whether Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will bow down to pressures from inside Umno for a quick exit as Prime Minister by announcing that he would not defend the post of Umno President in the forthcoming Umno General Assembly.

The second question, still awaiting answer, is whether the government could respond nimbly to the rapid fall in world crude prices to undo its unconscionable 41% hike in fuel prices in June which had kicked off a relentless inflationary spiral hitting a 27-year high.

When the price of petrol in Malaysia was hiked by 41% by 78 sen from RM1.92 to RM2.70 a litre, the price of world crude oil was around US$140 per barrel.

World oil prices have plummeted to a one-year low below US$78 a barrel, but the price of petrol is RM2.45 or reduced by a mere 25 sen in two reductions.

This is clearly unacceptable and the situation is not made any more palatable with the statement yesterday by the Minister for Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad of the possibility that the price of petrol reverting to the old price of RM1.92 a litre if world crude oil price continues to dip below US$72 per barrel.

What Malaysians want is immediate action.

Last night, at the DAP Rasah dinner, I had called on Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who has become the Finance Minister, to present a revised 2009 Budget when Parliament reconvenes on Monday, as the 2009 Budget presented by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on August 29 had been overtaken by economic events in the past six weeks – in particular the looming financial meltdown which has already precipitated a US$700 billion bailout , compared to the 1929 Great Depression and wiped out RM57 billion market capitalisation from the local bourse this week.

Najib should suspend all Umno commitments for the rest of the weekend and “burn midnight oil” to table a revised 2009 Budget in Parliament on Monday , with the centrepiece on the strategy to enable Malaysia to tide through the financial maelstrom but also incorporating new lowered pricing for petrol as world crude oil has plunged below US$78 per barrel.

This is Najib’s first challenge as Finance Minister – to demonstrate that he is on top of his new task as Finance Minister and not be accused of being a latter-day Nero “fiddling while Rome burns”.-Limkitsiang.com

20,000 throng Anwar’s open house

Anwar speaks about the political transition in Umno a couple of days ago

Some 20,000 people flocked to Anwar’s Raya open house in Cherok Tokun on mainland Penang this morning.

According to my contact at the scene, reporters pressed Anwar for a timeline for the parliamentary defections from the BN to take place.

“Soon,” he said. “Very soon.”

Later this afternoon, at the PKR Bayan Baru service centre on the island, a couple of hundred people turned up to witness Anwar accepting the membership forms of some 5,000 Indian Malaysians who had applied to join PKR, said my source at the scene. About 3,500 of these applicants are said to be ex-MIC members.

Yesterday evening, Anwar took a flight to Kota Bharu, where together with Nik Aziz he addressed a public rally. In an entry on his blog, he estimated the crowd to be 60,000.

He told the rally that a letter had already been sent to the Agong, reports Harakah Daily:

“Malah Pakatan Rakyat sudah menghantar surat kepada Yang di Pertuan Agong bagi memaklumkan perkembangan terkini dalam Pakatan Rakyat yang sudah ada simple majority bagi membentuk kerajaan,” katanya.

Pada ceramah itu sekali lagi beliau menegaskan Islam menjadi tunggak utama kerajaan baru sebagaimana yang termaktud dalam perlembagaan.

Katanya menjadi keutamaan Pakatan Rakyat untuk terus memartabatkan Islam dan PAS tetap menjadi penaju utama kepada kerajaan baru.

Menurutnya, setiap dasar kerajaan akan diputuskan bersama dengan parti-parti Pakatan Rakyat dan bukan menjadi dominan kepada pihak tertentu sahaja.

On Monday, when Parliament resumes after a recess, the spotlight will fall on the Opposition Leader, who is likely to focus on the Budget and the economic challenges ahead. Observers will be watching closely for any hint of defections.

Look who’s at the RPK trial

This was the scene outside the PJ Sessions Court this week. The woman in red holding the cane is RPK’s neighbour.

This is the van they use to transport RPK to court (Photos by Rakyat@Work)

Over in Bukit Mertajam, about 50 people turned up for an Abolish ISA vigil held tonight. Another vigil is expected to be held in PJ, tomorrow night.

The RPK trial resumes on Monday morning.-anilnetto.com