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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Eurocopter Deal: No More Cover-Up, Badawi

The investigation into the RM2.3 billion Eurocopter deal must go on even if the controversial deal is called off, opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said.


His call came in the wake of a news report over the weekend, quoting sources as saying that the deal to purchase 12 Cougar EC725 helicopters from a European firm has been called off due to the current economic situation.

The public accounts committee (PAC), a powerful parliamentary committee tasked to ensure that public funds are well spent, is scheduled to hold a two-day inquiry from tomorrow to look into the matter.

lim kit siang parliament pc 201008 02“Even if the helicopter deal is cancelled, PAC is duty-bound to investigate the highly dubious and controversial procurement process, as this runs counter to all principles of accountability, transparency, integrity and good governance,” Lim said in a statement today.

The opposition stalwart, who is also DAP’s Ipoh Timor MP, said the PAC should identify whether any irregularity or oversight exists in the deal, and to ensure that the integrity of the Defence Ministry and the Royal Malaysian Air Force is intact.

“Parliament and the nation are entitled to a searching and no-holds-barred PAC inquiry to produce a report to be tabled by the end of next month which can answer many controversial questions,” Lim noted.

This includes why the price offered by Eurocopter has ballooned from its RM1.1 billion bid price to RM2.3 billion, as well as why is the government paying over twice the price for the aircraft
compared to aircraft from other countries.

The Eurocopter controversy was first highlighted in a letter dated Oct 7 addressed to Najib Abdul Razak, who is deputy prime minister and finance minister.

In the five-page letter, Mentari Services Sdn Bhd chairperson Kapt (rtd) Zahar Hashim suggested that the tender process, initiated during Najib’s tenure as defence minister, could have been a “gimmick” since the ministry appeared to favour one company.

najib and military helicopter purchase kazan and cougarZahar also accused Najib (left) of providing Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who took over the defence portfolio on Sept 17, with an “inaccurate” report pertaining to the contract.

The government had decided to purchase the new aircraft to replace the ageing Nuri aircraft following a series of crashes in recent years.

The opposition has lodged a complaint with the Anti-Corruption Agency calling for a probe on Najib’s alleged involvement in the deal.

Letter of Award not issued

On Sunday, Internet news portal Malaysian Insider quoted sources as saying that the deal will be called off after the government reviewed its expenditure “in light of failing revenues from crude oil and palm oil and slowing economic growth for the next few years”.

According to the report, Eurocopter won the deal as it also proposed to invest RM250 million to upgrade Malaysia’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) capacity in its Subang facility as part of its tender.

Eurocopter has already invested about RM45 million in Malaysia and had plans to spend another RM20 million this year to expand its Subang facility as well as MRO facilities in Kuching and Kota Kinabalu, the report added.

National news agency Bernama later reported that the government has yet to discuss the Eurocopter deal, but will do so to determine whether or not to go ahead, given the global economic crisis.

Bernama also quoted government sources as saying that the procurement of the new helicopters was only at the Letter of Intent stage and that no Letter of Award had been made to any party.

The United Malays National Organisation is said to be suffering from senility

ImageFormer Malaysia Deputy Prime Minister Musa Hitam shrewdly diagnosed the multiple diseases afflicting the ailing United Malays National Organisation, the country’s biggest political party and the leader of the ruling national coalition, when he talked to the press after launching a forum on Oct 22.

Musa said the party is "too introverted", its leaders preoccupied with self-interest and oblivious to the interests of the masses, and incapable of rectifying fundamental flaws such as corruption, poor accountability and abuse of power. As a result, the party has lost popular support.

Musa politely described this phenomenon as penyakit tua (old age sickness), but I think it will be more appropriate to call it Alzheimer's disease, as the state of corruption of the party has already reached a stage of no return.

Just flip the daily papers, and one reads stories of money politics in the run up to the party election galore. One senior UMNO minister was so exasperated by this rampant practice that he sarcastically suggested that party might as well auction its leadership positions by tenders. And the chairman of the party’s disciplinary committee Tengku Ahmad Rithaudeen, who often admonishes party leaders against money politics, recently expressed shame over the hopeless state of corruption in party elections, as even informers on such corruption could reap bumper rewards from the corruptors, thus depriving the committee’s access to incriminating evidence.

In fact, election corruption in UMNO has been so ingrained – it has been practiced for more than two decades according to Rithaudeen – that a search in Google would show that “money politics” has become synonymous with UMNO.

When money and politics become so negatively intertwined, party leadership inevitably falls into the clutches of wealth-seekers and wealth-dispensers. This explains why UMNO lacks political idealism, and its leaders mired in mediocrity.

Abhorrent as such money politics may appear, it is however only the tip of the iceberg and symptomatic of a larger scourge that is destined to put UMNO to eventual oblivion.

Started as a nationalist party in the 1940s to unite Malays in their political struggles for independence, UMNO has seen prouder days as true nationalists when it worked shoulder to shoulder with other race-based parties to build the young nation. However, the watershed event of the May 13 racial riot in 1969 changed the course of history. Thenceforth, UMNO assumed absolute political dominance. As the famous saying goes "absolute power corrupts absolutely," corruption began to spread rapidly in the UMNO-dominated government in the 1970s. However, it was during Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad's two-decade rule that the art of corruption was perfected and institutionalized and lifted to the high level that we are all familiar with today.

Mahathir was able to do all this, unscathed by law, because he had amassed vast dictatorial powers through numerous amendments to the Constitution and legislation of repressive laws. With such power, and with electoral victory guaranteed by playing racial politics, he subdued political dissent and subjugated institutions of state to serve party and personal interests.

Through sweeping privatization of state assets and through a policy of public procurement by private negotiation, party leaders and cronies were enriched beyond their dreams through political favoritism under the all-embracing fa├žade of the affirmative New Economic Policy, giving rise to overnight millionaires and even billionaires in the process, aggravating income disparity within Malay society.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the entire hierarchy of UMNO was financially sustained through this largesse system. Remove the system, UMNO would have crumbled overnight. In short, Mahathir’s iron grip and race-backed rule was sustained through repression and corruption.

Then what about Abdullah Badawi's reign? He won an unprecedented electoral victory by promising to undo the evils of the Mahathir era, but he also suffered the greatest electoral set back four years later for failing to fulfill any of that promise. Now he is on the verge of handing over power to his deputy Najib Tun Razak, while promising to carry out a few reforms before he leaves the scene as his legacy to the nation. These reforms are aimed at improving the independence of the judiciary and the effectiveness of the anti-corruption and other law enforcing bodies.

But will UMNO allow him to do that? Highly unlikely. Pak Lah, as Badawi is called, himself knew as much, as revealed in his uncharacteristic outburst against clamours for him to make another shift forward of his retirement date, this time from March 2009 to December this year (the earlier shifts were from June 2010 to June 2009, and again from June to March 2000). Speaking to reporters in Kota Kinabalu on Oct 19, he angrily rebuked Minister of International Trade and Industry Muhyiddin Yassin, who had been at the forefront agitating for Badawi’s premature retirement and had just suggested the party poll be brought forward from Mar 2009 to December 2008, and asked:

"Is he (Muhyiddin) afraid of reforms? He doesn’t want to see reforms? Why must he frustrate reforms which have been yearned for by the people? The people have been angry with me for not honouring my reform pledges in 2004 when they gave me strong electoral support. ...Why must he make the suggestion now (to shift the party poll forward)? This means my reform efforts will be thwarted. But I will not step down until the reforms are carried out."

It looks like Pak Lah is fighting a lonely battle, as there is no political will among UMNO leaders to change the status quo.

One must realize that from UMNO's perspective, it is perfect logic for the leaders to resist any reform that would make the judiciary more independent and law enforcement bodies more effective. For who would protect the corrupt and the abuser of authorities, when judges and policemen become no-nonsense enforcers of the Constitution and the law? And without the complicity of these institutions, how could UMNO maintain its repressive and corrupt rule? The plain truth is that UMNO cannot possibly survive politically on a level playing field against its opponent in a democratic environment where rule of law is upheld.

Musa Hitam is of course right when he said that UMNO is trapped in the mindset of 20 or 40 years ago, when religious and racial issues reigned supreme in an UMNO politician's agenda. But time has changed, so have the people, including the Malays who had been the bedrock of UMNO's electoral support. The younger generation of Malays does not view UMNO with the same perspective as their parents. UMNO must prove it is capable of leading the country decidedly forward in this global environment before they would give their electoral support.

Exploitation of racial and religious issues is no longer a safe political trump card. With this trump card in question, and with no capacity to reform and evolve with the march of time, where can UMNO head to except political oblivion?

At this time of global financial meltdown not seen since the Great Depression of 1929, the nation is of course anxious how Malaysia can get through this storm without getting too badly battered. Is our political leadership up to the task of leading the nation safely through this rough sea? Are our institutions sufficiently competent to meet the anticipated challenge? Do our people have the skills and resilience to rise to the occasion?

Looking at how the Barisan Nasional coalition has been completely embroiled in intra-party and inter-party struggles for power and political survival of its own with scant attention to the external world, and its reluctance to cast off the race-inspired protectionism which is the main impediment to economic re-invigoration, the prospect ahead is bleak.

Munawar Appeals

Dr Munawar Anees, who is appealing his conviction for sodomy in 1998, at the Federal Court in Putrajaya this morning. Munawar was one of Datuk Anwar Ibrahim’s friends when the opposition leader was also charged in court in 1998 for various offences

No Umno/MCA/Gerakan/MIC MP to emulate Billy Abit Joo?

Is there not a single Umno, MCA, Gerakan or MIC MP (including Minister/Deputy Minister) in Peninsular Malaysia who dare to emulate Sarawak BN MP, Billy Abit Joo (Parti Rakyat Sarawak) to support a parliamentary debate on the review of the Internal Security Act (ISA) – and if so, why do they want to get elected into Parliament?

Barisan Nasional MPs from whichever component party cannot remain blind, deaf and dumb to the increasingly widespread and popular demand from all sectors of Malaysian society for review and repeal of the draconian Internal Security Act, which stands as a symbol of the lack of democracy and rule of law in the country.

Yesterday, October 27, was the 21st anniversary of the Operation Lalang mass ISA arrests in 1987, with 13 MPs among 106 persons arrested under the infamous detention-without-trial law.

If the BN MPs suffer from amnesia of history of what happened two decades ago, they cannot be unaware of the blatant and scandalous abuse of the ISA only last month when the ISA was used against the latest trio of ISA victims – Sin Chew senior reporter Tan Hoon Ching, DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin on completely baseless grounds.

In recent weeks, MCA and Gerakan leaders have been making headlines with their demands for the review and repeal of ISA – but all these noises are made just for “syiok sendiri” and out of the hearing or presence of top Umno leaders.

Both MCA and Gerakan annual conferences this month passed resolutions on the review of the ISA but this is only for party and public relations consumption but never meant to be pursued seriously in Parliament or Cabinet.

This is why there is not a single MCA or Gerakan MP (including Minister/deputy Minister) who can emulate Billy Abit Joo to put his signature to support the requisition for a priority debate in Parliament on the review and repeal of ISA.

The requisition, which has the support of 85 MPs (81 Pakatan Rakyat, three Independent and one Barisan Nasional) is not committing any MP to a stand to repeal the ISA but only to support priority debate in Parliament on whether the ISA should be reviewed and repealed.

Even MPs who want to retain the ISA can support the requisition for a priority parliamentary debate on the ISA as it is very clear that there has been radical deviation from the original purpose and character of the ISA when it was enacted by Parliament in 1960 – what more, in the case of MPs in MCA and Gerakan who have just been entrusted by their national delegates with the specific mandate to demand the review and even repeal of ISA?

I reject the explanation by the new MCA Youth chief and Deputy Education Minister, Datuk Dr. Wee Ka Siong why MCA MPs cannot join 85 MPs (including Billy Abit Joo) to requisition the holding of a parliamentary debate on the review of the ISA.

He claimed that the MCA have “our own way of resolving matters”, that “the right forum is the Cabinet”, even claiming authority for this approach by declaring that Malaysia is following the Westminster model of parliamentary democracy.

Everybody knows that the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had publicly slapped down the call for review of the ISA when he spoke at the opening of the 55th MCA General Assembly ten days ago.

Which of the four MCA Ministers is going to raise the MCA General Assembly resolution for a review of the ISA in the Cabinet? I am sure none, especially as one MCA Minister is not very sure about his Cabinet tenure after losing out in the MCA Deputy President election while the new MCA President, Datuk Seri Ong Tee Kiat would be more preoccupied about ensuring “smooth sailing” for his recommendations to the Prime Minister for MCA appointments in government.

If MCA Ministers dare not raise the ISA review in Cabinet and MCA Deputy Ministers and MPs dare not even support a requisition for priority parliamentary debate on a ISA review, what is the use of having MCA represented in Parliament?

As for Malaysia practising Westminster model of parliamentary democracy, let me remind not just MCA but all BN Ministers, Deputy Ministers and MPs that this had not prevented some 140 Labour Party MPs from voting against the British government’s motion on Iraq War in March 2003 on a matter of conscience and public policy.

Nobody is asking any MCA or BN MP to go against the Barisan Nasional government but to support a requisition to the Prime Minister that there should be priority parliamentary debate on the question of a review of the ISA.

Let Presidents of UMNO, MCA, Gerakan, MIC and the Sabah and Sarawak BN component parties declare whether they have prohibited their MPs from supporting the requisition by 85 MPs for an urgent debate on the ISA review?

If this is an impossible mission to them, then there should be an immediate stop to all the chest-thumping claims by UMNO, MCA, Gerakan and MIC leaders that they have learnt the lessons of the March 8 “political tsunami” and that they are going to be articulate and outspoken as they are nothing but just hogwash!

Abdullah’s Resignation: Pakatan’s Ploy for Power?

Although it is a little dated, I think John made a few observations which will be worth thinking about. Forming a new government is not an easy undertaking. It requires painstaking work full of inherent risks since the other side (UMNO-BN) is not to go down without a fight. Anwar Ibrahim told us that he has the numbers to form the government. There is no reason for me to doubt the PKR leader. Even Nik Aziz, the Menteri Besar and PAS’s spiritual leader, did not harbour any doubt.Technically, we could have formed the government on September 16, 2008. So as far as I am concerned, Anwar kept his promise to deliver the numbers, which he did.

The reality of forming the government is something else. We have to do it in an orderly and constitutional way. The Prime Minister refused to meet Pakatan leaders while the Speaker, Dewan Rakyat ruled against any attempts to debate the issue. In the meantime, our country is facing a possible recession, given the financial and liquidity crisis in the United States which has spread to Europe and parts of Asia. PR has decided that the move for a change of government must take a back seat since our economy is entering a difficult phase with a recession looming in 2009. Let us read what John thinks about the subject of the change of government.—Din Merican

by JohnLeemk@Dartmouth

(dated September 18, 2008)

September 16 has come and gone, with no change in government. While I will leave an analysis of the implications of this for another time, the mechanism by which Pakatan Rakyat would take power is worth examining. After all, September 16 falls smack in the middle of Parliament’s recess, which will last for about two weeks more; how can the government fall when Parliament cannot meet to pass a vote of no-confidence? Most speculation here suggests that Pakatan leaders would meet with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong submitting the names of MPs supporting the new government. But I think a very plausible, if not likely scenario is the Prime Minister simply tendering his resignation.

After all, most analyses assume a hostile takeover. But the last thing Pakatan wants is instability and resistance from the politicised institutions of our country. To form a new government, Pakatan would want more than just the support of a slim majority of MPs; it would require some sort of acquiescence from at least a few of the elite in the current government. If the present government does not acquiesce, if it fights tooth and nail to hold on to power, it will jail MPs indiscriminately, do anything it can to prevent a vote of no-confidence in Parliament; it will commence a scorched-earth campaign to ensure Pakatan can get nothing of value when it takes power, while salting away its own ill-gotten gains in offshore bank accounts.

So ultimately at the very least we must have a Prime Minister willing to let go of power, and willing to step down. And if we are willing to accept that Abdullah Badawi will let himself be voted out of power, why not go one step further? I think there are grounds to believe that he may simply resign before things get to that stage.

If Anwar Ibrahim, the Leader of the Opposition, can broker a deal with Abdullah to ensure a smooth and orderly transition of power, both men will benefit immensely. Thus far it seems clear that history will not judge Abdullah very well; at best, his attempts to reform the government were stillborn and half-hearted. But if Abdullah becomes the first Prime Minister to make way for a real change in government, if he places institutions above politics and personal gain, his reputation will be significantly rehabilitated.

You may say that this is not much, but look at it another way: he is definitely going out as Prime Minister, with no concrete accomplishments to his name. It is unlikely that he will last until 2010, with so many within his own party baying for blood. Whoever succeeds him as Prime Minister is unlikely to lavish him with praise or mark his administration with pride; Abdullah’s term as premier will at best be seen as a benchwarmer for his successor, and at worst, be seen as setting Malaysia down a dangerous and poorly-planned path. Considering the relative vehemence of calls for him to step down, it is probable that his leadership would be vilified by the government-authored history books; Abdullah would be lucky if his term was just ignored and forgotten.

On the other hand, if Anwar takes power, Anwar does not have much to gain from going after Abdullah. He will be too busy fixing broken institutions and dealing with the day-to-day problems of governance to make Abdullah-hating a priority; it would be especially unseemly for him to denounce the man who so generously made way for him to accede to the premiership. Accusations of corruption and impropriety on Abdullah’s part aside, the fact is, Abdullah is hardly criminally responsible for our nation’s problems today; even if the new Pakatan government tried to hunt him down, it would not solve any fundamental problem. If anything, Pakatan will probably see to it that Abdullah goes down in the history books as a visionary Prime Minister who presided over the rebirth of democracy in Malaysia, and whose attempts to reform our institutions were blocked by shortsighted bigots in his own political party.

You may think this kind of historical rewriting is unlikely or unseemly, but it has already happened: the case of Dato Onn Ja’afar comes to mind. Dato Onn today is seen by everyone — including the government historians — as a man ahead of his time in trying to found a multiracial party. What we don’t remember is his bitter return to racism after his own party failed; some historians actually blame his rhetoric for spurring UMNO to outdo him in fighting for ketuanan Melayu.

The raw material for Abdullah’s reimaging as a visionary ahead of his time, blocked by dunderheads in his own party, is already there: his attempts to reform our institutions, his redefinition of ketuanan Melayu into a positive ideology empowering the Malays to stand on their own two feet as equal partners with other Malaysians. Abdullah can easily go down in history as one of our best Prime Ministers, given the right spin. The only thing is, he has zero chance of this happening if an UMNO man succeeds him, while it is very likely he will eventually be hailed as a great patriot if he makes way for a Pakatan leader.

For Anwar, Abdullah stepping down solves a lot of key headaches. For one, there is no need to go through the vote of no-confidence; the Agong has complete discretion in appointing the Prime Minister if the post falls vacant (one of the very few real discretionary powers the Agong has). Anwar can meet with the Agong and submit a list of MPs who have agreed to support him, and once the Agong actually appoints him as PM, it is very unlikely that MPs would be falling over themselves to pass a vote of no-confidence against the Pakatan government.

The matter is smoothed over even more if Abdullah states that he has made way for Anwar, and that Pakatan has enough MPs on its side to make things work. With that statement, the Agong appointing Anwar would be a simple enough formality. There’s not even a need for Parliament to meet, and if the handover occurs this month, the Parliamentary recess gives Anwar breathing room to form a Cabinet and start governing, building momentum on his side and further forestalling any Barisan move to topple him. It’s a huge logistical win for Anwar if he can accomplish it.

Moreover, Anwar and Abdullah will have ammunition at the ready to face down their opponents from UMNO. I quit because you wanted me to, Abdullah can say. It’s clear I didn’t have your confidence, as you can see from the defection of your colleagues and your own voracious calls for me to step down. And the King himself appointed me, Anwar will say. Do you really want to question the King’s decision? Spinning themselves out of this situation will be fairly straightforward, I believe, especially with public opinion on Pakatan’s side.

So is it any wonder that Pakatan’s agenda at the moment is to meet first with the Prime Minister, before seeking an audience with the Agong? I would not be surprised at all if a deal like this winds up being cut eventually. It benefits both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition; it benefits the country by bequeathing it some stability and smoothness in the transition; everyone comes out smelling like roses.

Ultimately it is not to Pakatan’s benefit to form a government speedily but haphazardly. A Pakatan legislator I met three weeks ago told me that they were then sorting out a smooth transition with institutions such as the Police and military. The excuse of stability they presently cite may seem weak but I believe it holds water.

History hinges on Abdullah’s decision: to quit or not to quit? His position is growing increasingly untenable. It’s a question of when, not if, he will step down as a lame-duck Prime Minister. But one successor offers the real potential of fixing the country and its government, and the temptation of going down in history as a great Prime Minister ahead of his time. The other successor offers more of the same under a different name, and the probable vilification of Abdullah’s name in the history books. I think Abdullah would be a fool not to make way for Anwar, if Anwar has any Barisan MPs at all on his side — and that I think he does.-Din merican

PAS lends support to 10 detainees


Andrew Ong | Oct 25, 08 3:06pm

PAS is sympathetic with the plight of 10 individuals who were arrested while attempting to deliver a letter to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Thursday, its vice-president Husam Musa said.

“I came from Kelantan today to express our sympathy to our fellow Malaysians who have been bullied by the Barisan Nasional government,” he said.

Husam said this when meeting family and friends of the 10 individuals who have been remanded until Sunday at the Putrajaya district police headquarters.

The 10 were arrested while accompanying six-year old W Vwashnnavi, the daughter of Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy, and her mother K Shanti to the Prime Minister’s Office in Putrajaya.

Vwashnnavi’s letter was an invitation for Abdullah to visit the family’s Deepavali open house which also called for the release of all Internal Security Act detainees.

Asked to elaborate on his “bully” remark, Husam said the government had used the authorities to suppress legitimate grievances by a marginalised community instead of understanding the issues raised.

“This will hurt the feelings of the Indian community,” he said.

Negative portrayal

Commenting on Hindraf’s objectives, Husam said there was a need for “social re-engineering”, without reviewing the social contract, to resolve the woes of the Indian community such as in areas of education, welfare and business.

Accompanying Husam was PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub who said that the government was wrongly portraying Hindraf and its supporters as anti-Malay and anti-Islam.

“The leaders in PAS, DAP and PKR will fight against this,” he said, to cheers from family members and supporters.

Hindraf came to prominence last year after the group had protested heavily against the demolition of Hindu temples, particularly in Selangor.

Following a mass demonstration of some 30,000 people on Nov 25 last year, five of the group’s top leaders were detained for two years under the ISA, while Waythamoorthy went into self-exile in London.

On Oct 15, the Home Ministry declared Hindraf illegal. The 10 who were arrested on Thursday are being investigated under Section 48 of the Societies Act for participating in an unlawful organisation.

RM5000 donation

Husam hoped that the authorities would free the 10 detainees todayso as to enable them to celebrate Deepavali on Monday.

“I hope they are released immediately as a good gesture ... we should show respect (for religious customs),” he added.

Husam also attempted to visit the 10 detainees but was denied permission by the police, much to the disappointment and disapproval of those present.

Following this, Husam brought some festive cheers when he presented RM5,000 cash donation to the families of the 10 detainees for Deepavali.

He said that the money was contributed by Kelantan PAS.

Taliban plucked eyes

Sayed Ghulam, told the media how his both eyes plucked by armed attackers in southern Afghanistan.

Kandahar on October 26. - A farmer who is charged as government spy and the international soldiers have been plucked out eyes set by the men believed to be Taliban fighter.

Farmers from the area of the Helmand, Ghulam notify sayed, plucked eyes with a knife through Thursday and then in front of his family members.

He was however reluctant to tell who is responsible for the felonious act.

According to him, some men have been pull him out of the house while accuse him as traitor.

"After pull out approximately 20 meters from my home, they hold hands and continue to tear my eyes.

"I feel very sick world and then switch to a dark," said Sayed effect from the hospital where he was treated in the Kandahar .

According to him, his wife and children scream only able to see the event.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson Helmand region, David Ahmadi claimed the act was carried out by members of the Taliban movement is active in the area.

"They have killed many people who are innocent, such as farmers, children and women because they accuse involved in spying.

''But this time they acted unkind to a poor farmer who is not guilty, "said David.

This was before the Taliban decapitate the head and cut off the ears and nose of the population who are accused of a rope diaper government.

Malaysia Government Bans Minority Human Rights Organisation

Press Release
Malaysia Government Bans Minority Human Rights Organisation

The Hindu community has been suffering systemic persecution at the hand of the Muslim majority Malaysia. Laws have been passed to discriminate Hindus in jobs and other economic benefits which have been exclusively reserved for Muslims. Having silently suffered since independence for over 60 years, the community had decided to form a non political organisation in the name of Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) in order to raise a united minority voice.

Over 80 Hindu temples including one over 100 years old MAHA MARIAMAN TEMPLE at Padang Jawa have been demolished under fake reasons. No alternative facilities were given to the community for their religious rights. The Hindu priests were beaten up and the statutes of Hindu deities were dishonoured.

Malaysian Home Minister bans a Hindu Minority Organisation

In November 2007 the community had decided to hold a demonstration in front of the British high Commission to hand over a petition demanding intervention of the British government acknowledging that it was the British who brought them to Malaysia under indentured labour policy.

The Malaysian government had then banned the demonstration and had fired tear gas and water cannons at over 20 thousands demonstrators who had gathered there. They had arrested many of them but owing to the intervention of international media they had decided to let them go except, however, more than 100 were charged with fake criminal offences. They also arrested the five leaders of the Hindraf and charged them under draconian ISA law, which is detention without trial for anti-state activities.

The Malaysian Government has also cancelled the passport of the chairman of Hindraf Mr. P Waytha Moorty who had come to the UK in order to draw attention for the plight of his community and have thus made Mr. Moorthy a stateless person without any passport. The atrocities of the Malaysian government are still continuing. Two weeks ago after banning HINDRAF, last week they arrested on remand eleven persons including a woman who had gone to convey Dewali greetings to the Prime Minister and to request him to release the arrested Hindus before Dewali festival.

Hindu Council UK severely condemns the actions of the Malaysian government and requests:

  1. That the ban on Hindraf is lifted and the Hindu minority community should be accorded with legitimate human rights.
  2. That the criminal cases against leaders of Hindraf should be withdrawn and the HINDRAF leaders released unconditionally.
  3. That the UK government as head of the commonwealth should prevail upon the Malaysian government to adhere to the charter of universal human rights and safeguard the interests of the Hindu minority.

Suraj Sehgal
Director for Defence and Security
Hindu Council UK