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Saturday, November 1, 2008

Even more imperative Najib submit himself to RCI to clear him of all allegations from murder to corruption

Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin yesterday acquitted political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda of the charge of abetment in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu on October 19, 2006 on the ground that no evidence was adduced by the prosecution to contradict or challenge the exculpatory parts of Razak’s affidavit in his earlier unsuccessful bail application.

The judge said: “In the absence of the rebuttal evidence against the statements, coupled with the fact that there is no legal onus for Razak to rebut any statutory presumptions, there is clearly no reason for the statements to be ignored and rejected”.

Most Malaysians are baffled by the very technical reason for the acquittal.

While it would not be right for anyone to prejudge the guilt or innocence of any person in the murder of Altantuya, the fact of the abominable and heinous murder of the Mongolian translator, shot twice in the head in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam and blown up with C4 explosives available only to the military, setting off political, diplomatic and international reverberations that have not subsided , is a fact that cannot be extinguished.

With the acquittal of Razak Baginda in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, it is even more imperative that the Prime Minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak should submit himself to a Royal Commission of Inquiry on all the allegations ranging from murder to corruption dogging and haunting him and Malaysia.

I reiterate my call during the debate on the 2009 Budget in Parliament for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to investigate and clear Najib of all the allegations made against him so that he could take over as the sixth Prime Minster of Malaysia next March unencumbered by the weight of grave and serious allegations against him – whether locally or internationally.

Najib had all along pleaded innocence to all the allegations. He should all the more support the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry which can more credibly and authoritatively vindicate his innocence.

If Najib is still unprepared to agree to the establishment of a full-fledged Royal Commission of Inquiry to clear him of all the allegations ranging from murder to corruption haunting and hounding him, I would expect him to make a fulsome statement in Parliament on all these allegations when he speaks in the Dewan Rakyat for the first time as Finance Minister and Prime Minister-in-waiting on Tuesday (November 4) during the government reply on the 2009 Budget debate, when he is to announce the government strategy for the country for the global financial meltdown and the world’s worst economic crisis in 80 years.

Razak Baginda’s “exculpatory statements” -

- Even though I had appointed P. Balasubramaniam, the harassment by Altantuya against my family and I did not stop. Hence, I asked DSP Musa Safri for help. I know Musa from my business dealings at the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre, a non-profit organisation.

- I asked DSP Musa for help to install a police beat box at my house and increase patrols in the area. I also sought help to be introduced to a police officer from the Brickfields police station as my house was under their jurisdiction.

- DSP Musa told me that he would introduce me to an officer who would help me.

- On Oct 26, 2006, in a meeting with Balasubramaniam and Dhiren Norendra (a lawyer), Balasubramaniam advised me to lodge a report to deport the deceased (Altantuya) from Malaysia. Dhiren and I refused.

- On Oct 17, 2006, the deceased came to my house and wanted to meet me. I was not at home at that time, and my wife learnt of her visit.

- On the night of Oct 17, 2006, I was at home with my family and there was a commotion outside the house.

- I called DSP Musa’s handphone but I could not get through. So I called Balasubramaniam and Dhiren to help me. As a result, a police patrol car arrived to settle the matter. I did not lodge a police report and Dhiren never advised me to do so.

- DSP Musa later called me and said that a police officer would call me to help me sort out my problem with the deceased. According to DSP Musa, the officer who would be calling me was the Brickfields district Criminal Investigation Department chief.

- On the morning of Oct 18, 2006, Azilah Hadri called me and introduced himself as the police officer who was referred by DSP Musa to help me with the harassment by the deceased.

- I subsequently met with Azilah at my office. I told him that the deceased had caused a commotion at my house, and asked him to conduct patrols around my house. I gave him my house address, my father’s name, the deceased’s name, “Hotel Malaya”, and where she stayed, based on the information given to me by Balasubramaniam. I also told Azilah that I had engaged Balasubramaniam and gave him his name and number. Before he left my office, Azilah asked me to contact him if she harassed my family and me again.

- On Oct 19, 2006, Balasubramaniam called me and told me that there was a commotion outside my house. I was out with my family at that time to break fast. So I called Azilah for help.

- Balasubramaniam told me that three plainclothes police officers came to my house in an unmarked car to take the deceased away. I believed they had taken her to the police station for interrogation.

- On Oct 20, 2006, I went to the deputy prime minister’s office for official duties and bumped into DSP Musa. I asked him what happened the night before and DSP Musa told me Azilah did not tell him anything. Several days later, I asked DSP Musa about the deceased, but his answer remained the same.

Free to tell all, Razak?

Razak with his wife outside the court soon after he was acquitted yesterday.

COMMENTARY

NOV 1(themalaysianinsider) — Abdul Razak Baginda is a free man. But he and his close friend Datuk Seri Najib Razak and family are still not free from the allegations and suspicions that swirl around the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Since his arrest two years ago, allegations have cropped up particularly in the blogosphere about him, Najib, defence deals and Altantuya complete with lurid details, conjecture and photo-shopped photographs.

His statutory declaration revealed some details of an affair with Altantuya while his private investigator P. Balasubramiam's two sworn statements contradict each other but have put more pressure on Najib. A string of text messages said to be between Najib and Razak's first lawyer Datuk Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has also implied political intervention.

Najib has denied all the allegations but has not sued anyone. Malaysia Today news portal editor Raja Petra Kamarudin is being held under the Internal Security Act while facing criminal charges of defamation and sedition tied to Altantuya's murder as most of the allegations surfaced on his website.

The key to the entire imbroglio is Razak.

But the 48-year-old political analyst has been tight lipped since Shah Alam High Court judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Yasin concluded that the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case of abetment against him.

"Alhamdulillah. I am fasting today to express my gratitude," Razak told reporters when met outside his house in the leafy Bukit Damansara suburb of Kuala Lumpur.

But he can also express his gratitude by revealing details that were not covered in his statutory declaration and possibly clear the air and his friend Najib from the stench of suspicion.

And Razak can also rebut the contents in private investigator Bala's first statutory declaration that opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim first revealed last July 3 and which Bala recanted a day later.

Bala and his family have now disappeared from view, leaving behind a bigger mystery than his two sworn statements.

Now the only one remaining who can clear the mystery is Razak, the affable, suave political confidante of Najib. The Kings College graduate in War Studies should also shed light about his involvement in the Scorpene submarine deal that the opposition claims is a crony deal and related to Altantuya's murder.

He might be facing a civil suit for the death of Altantuya but that should not stop him from doing justice for his friends.

Now that he is free, he must tell all. That is only fair.

DAP wants Najib to answer on Eurocopter deal

Lim says the PAC should summon the DPM to appear.

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Despite the billion-ringgit Eurocopter deal being called off last week, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today demanded that the Public Accounts Committee summon Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to explain the controversial purchase.

The PAC met for two days this past week over the RM1.607 billion contract for 12 Eurocopter EC725 Cougar military helicopters, calling several senior officials from the Defence and Finance ministries to provide answers. The inquiry continues next week and will question Finance Ministry secretary-general Tan Sri Wan Abdul Aziz Wan Abdullah who failed to turn up on Thursday.

"The Public Accounts Committee should summon Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to its Eurocopter hearing and not just call up civil servants as he was the Defence Minister at the time of the critical decision-making before the ministerial swap with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sept 17," Lim said in a press statement today.

He questioned the decision not to call Najib, saying that the former Defence Minister would have been asked to appear if the PAC was headed by an opposition member. The current PAC chairman is Datuk Azmi Khalid, who used to be a minister.

"The PAC chairman Datuk Azmi Khalid should not be browbeaten or influenced by both the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister who had clearly hinted that the PAC should not create waves in its inquiry, as Abdullah has dismissed the three sets of different pricing for the Eurocopter deal given by the government as ‘academic’ while Najib has sought to ridicule the opposition for ‘making a meal’ of the Eurocopter procurement," Lim said.

He said the inquiry was not academic as it raised "very grave issues about propriety, accountability and professionalism in the decision-making process, whether at the technical, offset or price stages, especially when it is now established that the government had not conducted physical and specification inspections of the three shortlisted aircraft — the Cougar EC725, Sikorsky S92 and AgustaWestlands AW101."

"Najib should appear before the PAC fully armed to justify the procurement of the Eurocopters without any physical evaluation and test flights, citing previous instances in the Defence Ministry of such exemptions or even cases of other governments buying billion-ringgit aircraft without any test flight.

"Otherwise, how is Najib to rebut serious charges that the Defence Ministry had acted in a most irresponsible manner in the procurement process in trifling with the lives and safety of RMAF personnel who would have to use the new helicopters?" Lim asked.

He also slammed Abdullah for saying the price would be renegotiated again when the government finally buys the military helicopters, which are slated to replace the RMAF’s 28 ageing Nuri Sikorsky S-61A transport helicopters.

"The implication is very clear: the choice is still the Eurocopters! This makes all the preceding transactions in the helicopter tender, in particular on technical, offset and price, all very relevant, as well as warranting a full explanation from Najib as to why the government is ‘locked in’ to the Eurocopter offer in future instead of calling a completely new international tender open to all interested aircraft manufacturers," he said

RPK, PI Bala among key witnesses for Altantuya trial

KUALA LUMPUR,(themalaysianinsider) Nov 1 — Two members of an elite police unit charged with the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu will enter their defence when the trial reconvenes Nov 10 — and they plan to summon a prominent blogger, a private investigator and an aide to Datuk Seri Najib Razak as witnesses.

If the court allows Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azhar Umar to call these witnesses, it could certainly lead to more explosive trial, and answer some of the nagging questions about the murder of the Mongolian model.

Azilah ,32, and Sirul, 37, stand accused of killing Altantuya in 2006 in a jungle in Shah Alam, outside Kuala Lumpur. Both have chosen to testify under oath in making their defence.

Judge Mohd Zaki Md Yasin yesterday also dismissed applications to leave out confessions by both men.

The prosecution says Azilah had led police to the scene where Altantuya was shot and her body blown up, while her jewellery was found in Sirul's apartment.

The Straits Times reported that the two looked calm and composed in court yesterday, but their family members cried following the court's decision.

A teary-eyed Azila Baharuddin, who is Azilah's fiancee, told The Straits Times: “What can we do? We will have to face it. He is not guilty, so we will fight it. We still have a chance.”

Sirul's counsel Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they plan to call two witnesses — private investigator P. Balasubramaniam and prominent blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who is currently being held under the Internal Security Act.

Raja Petra is also currently being tried for alleged sedition over an article posted on his website alleging that Najib and his wife were involved in the murder.

Azilah's lawyer Hazman Ahmad was quoted as saying by The Sun daily that they plan to call four witnesses, including Najib's aide-de-camp Musa Safri.

According to an affidavit filed by Abdul Razak Baginda, Musa introduced him to Azilah. If found guilty, both men face the death penalty.

PEGUAM BELA CADANG RAJA PETRA DAN BALA JADI SAKSI - malayau

SHAH ALAM 31 Okt. - Peguam Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin yang mewakili Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar memaklumkan kepada Mahkamah Tinggi di sini bahawa pihaknya bercadang memanggil pengendali laman blog Malaysia Today, Raja Petra Kamarudin yang kini ditahan di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) sebagai saksi.

Beliau memaklumkan perkara tersebut ketika Hakim Datuk Mohd. Zaki Md. Yasin bertanya siapakah saksi-saksi yang akan dipanggil oleh pembelaan.

Menurutnya, beliau mencadangkan Raja Petra sebagai saksi berikutan dia pernah membuat akuan bersumpah membabitkan kes bunuh wanita Mongolia, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Selain Raja Petra, peguam tersebut berkata, pihaknya turut bercadang memanggil semula penyiasat persendirian, P. Balasubramaniam sebagai saksi tetapi tidak pasti sama ada boleh berbuat demikian kerana beliau tidak tahu di mana lelaki itu kini berada.

Balasubramaniam menghilangkan diri selepas menarik balik akuan bersumpah yang diikrarkannya berhubung kes bunuh Altantuya.

kah kah kah…. raja petra?…. kah kah kah…. balasubramaniam?..... kah kah kah….

ini teater…. ini sandiwara… kah kah kah tujuan untuk nak sedap hati rakyat kah kah kah...

jangan orang ramai marah pada mat mongol kerana razak bebas…. kah kah kah….

kenapa sekarang baru nak bawa?.... kah kah kah…. bila lanun besar dah lepas?….kah kah kah…

napa tak panggil bala jadi saksi dulu lagi... kah kah kah… kan bala kata najib entot entot altantuya… kah kah kah…. kan bala kata razak dapat entot entot lepas najib…. kah kah kah…

pdrm nak minta interpol tolong cari bala… apa cerita? …. kah kah kah… sampai kiamat tak jumpa…. kah kah kah…tanya bik mama mana bala…. kah kah kah

raja petra pun TIDAK akan di panggil…. PERCAYALAH ….. ini sandiwara….mesti hakim kata tak jumpa raja petra.... tak tahu mana rumah raja petra....kah kah kah

bala?.... kah kah kah.... lagi tak tahu.... kah kah kah

Zaid Ibrahim resigns as senator

By Elizabeth Looi
elizabethlooi@thenutgraph.com

KUALA LUMPUR, 31 Oct 2008: Former de facto law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim has resigned his position as senator.

Zaid, in announcing this at the start of his speech today at the Lawasia 2008 Conference here, said he had been asked to resign by the government.

"I was asked to resign as senator after I stepped down as minister. So I thought it was only appropriate for me to quit as senator as well," he said.

When contacted later, Zaid, a lawyer by training, said he submitted his letter of resignation two weeks ago.

He had previously stated his intention to continue as a senator and keep pushing for law reforms. In a Bernama report on 17 Sept, Zaid said he would apply the necessary expertise and experience he had gained in the legal arena to carry out changes to the country's judiciary.

Zaid, a former member of parliament (MP) for Kota Baru, did not contest in the 8 March 2008 general election.

But he was appointed a senator by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on 18 March and made minister in the prime minister's department, in charge of legal affairs and the judiciary.

During his tenure, he tried to spearhead judicial reform, but found little support among his colleagues in the cabinet.

He resigned as minister on 15 Sept over the use of the Internal Security Act (ISA) to detain blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, Seputeh MP Teresa Kok and Sin Chew Daily reporter Tan Hoon Cheng on 12 Sept.

Kok and Tan were later released

Pesanan Hishamuddin Rais kepada Che Det dan UMNO

STATISTIK EKUITI DAN BUMIPUTERA TIADA MAKNA

Tian Chua MP dan Hishamuddin Rais
http://www.amnesty.at/urgentaction/images/erfolg/erfolg_malaysia.jpg

Pembohongan ada pelbagai bentuk. Ada orang yang membuat janji tetapi tidak ditunaikan. Ada parti politik yang membuat manifesto pilihanraya tetapi sesudah menang dan berkuasa manifesto ini dilupakan. Ada menteri yang berjanji akan telus tetapi apabila berkuasa menjadi kukubesi. Ada menteri yang berjanji menentang nepotisma tetapi apabila berkuasa yang diutamakan ialah kaum keluarga. Semua ini pembohongan yang kita semua tahu, sedar dan faham.

Ada lagi satu pembohongan yang namanya – Statistik. Malah statistik adalah pembohong yang paling tersusun lagi licik lengok jalannya. Saya tidak pernah percaya kepada statistik. Saya menolak statistik sebagai patukan untuk dijadikan rujukan. Ini kerana selama ini saya melihat bahawa statistik ini boleh dimanipulasi dan ditunggang terbalikan. Statistik juga dijadikan senjata untuk mengolah pandangan orang ramai.

Mari kita lihat kes statistik tentang pencapaian ekonomi Bumiputera yang terus dihebohkan. Kes statistik ini menjadi heboh dan sengaja diheboh-hebohkan untuk tujuan mendapat sokongan politik. Mula-mula keluar satu angka statistik mengatakan bahawa Dasar Ekonomi Baru telah berjaya mencapai matlamat. Bumiputera sudah memiliki 45% ekuiti ekonomi negara ini.

Kemudian, satu lagi statistik yang mengatakan Dasar Ekonomi Baru belum berjaya. Bumiputera hanya memiliki hampir 19% sahaja. Kemudian satu lagi angka statistik keluar – bukan yang ini dan bukan yang itu – tetapi dipaparkan satu angka baru. Tiga angka statistik dimunculkan kepada umum. Membingongkan ? Tidak. Lupakan sahaja kerana ketiga-tiga angka ini tidak memiliki apa-apa untuk kita semua.

Saya tidak peduli sama ada Bumiputera memiliki 50%, 60% atau 100% ekuiti ekonomi negara ini. Angka-angka ini tidak memberi apa-apa makna kepada saya. Hujah saya menolak angka statistik ini cukup senang. Statistik ini hanyalah satu ‘omong kosong’. Statistik adalah angka-angka yang dikumpul tetapi dalam kehidupan harian kita ianya tidak bermakna.

Kalaupun Bumiputera memiliki 70% atau 90% ekuiti ekonomi negara ini, untuk rakyat seperti kita, ianya tidak akan mendatangkan apa-apa perubahan yang hakiki. Kalau kita Bumiputera naik bas tambangnya sama dengan yang Bukan Bumiputera, beli sayur harganya sama, bil lektrik, bil air dan harga top-up pun sama. Setiap bulan sewa bilik harganya sama. Di hujung tahun kos kehidupan bertambah – Bumiputera atau Bukan Bumiputera. Pemilikan ekonomi Bumiputera ini tidak ada sangkut paut dengan kehidupan harian kita, walaupun kita Bumiputera.

Katakanlah Bumiputera dalam negara ini telah memiliki 50% dari jumlah ekuiti ekonomi negara. Saya cukup yakin 50% ekonomi ini tidak akan dimiliki oleh semua Bumiputera. Jumlah 50% ekonomi negara ini mungkin dimiliki oleh 10 orang, 20 orang, 200 atau 200,000 orang Bumiputera. Apa yang terjadi kepada 16 juta Bumiputera yang lain? Mereka juga Bumiputera dan apabila statistik ini dirangka kewujudaan mereka juga dihitung sama. Jelas disini statistik ini tidak memiliki apa-apa makna.

Dalam ekonomi kapitalis, setiap individu dan warga diberi kebebasan untuk memiliki sebanyak mana kekayaan. Dalam ekonomi kapitalis disediakan ruang dan galakan untuk warga mencari dan mengumpul kekayaan. Jika kita faham ini maka bermakna kita semua sebagai warga akan mendapat peluang yang sama. Salah. Kita TIDAK akan memiliki peluang yang sama dalam ekonomi kapitalis. Peluang ini tidak wujud untuk kita yang tidak memiliki modal. Hanya mereka yang memiliki modal sahaja yang akan dapat mempergunakan peluang itu.

Bagitu juga dalam hal Dasar Ekonomi Baru ini. DEB ini telah menobatkan bahawa setiap Bumiputera di Malaysia berhak untuk memiliki 30% ekuiti ekonomi negara. Ini dongeng. Ini juga statistik. Mak Jah dari Felda Taib Andak yang memohon untuk mendapat projek membuat Istana Negara yang berharga 400 juta ringgit itu tidak akan mendapat melawan Maya Maju Sdn.Bhd. Mak Jah dan syarikat Maya Maju ini sama , mereka berstatus Bumiputera. Tetapi hakikatnya adalah berlainan. Ada hukum-hukum dan syarat-syarat lain yang TIDAK bertulis. Bumiputera ini hanya satu dongeng sama seperti statistik. Ianya tidak memiliki apa-apa makna yang hakiki.

Heboh-heboh statistik baru-baru ini bertujuan untuk mengolah persetujuan rakyat terutama Bumiputera untuk terus menyokong DEB. Dan terus menyokong gerombolan United Malays National Organisation. Amat jelas dari heboh-heboh ini ada dua pembohongan. Bohong pertama statistik. Bohong kedua ialah Bumiputera. Dua pembohongan ikat berikat.

Saya sedar ramai yang terpengaruh dengan pembohongan ini. Di sini saya ingin menerangkan terutama yang menganggap diri mereka Bumiputera. Saya harap mereka sedar bahawa konsep Bumiputera itu tidak ada apa-apa makna. Konsep ini juga sama dengan peratus statistik pencapaian ekuiti ekonomi Bumiputera - kedua-dua hanyalah ‘dondang sayang’ yang kedengaran tetapi tidak dapat dimasukkan ke dalam saku.

Selama 30 tahun ini bunyi perkataan Bumiputera telah dijadikan kempen oleh gerombolan United Malays National Organisation untuk mengumpul sokongan terutama dari orang Melayu. Rasa saya, manusia Bumiputera ini telah lama berdongeng bukan kerana ganja tetapi kerana mendengar bunyi dan statistik Bumiputera. Masanya telah sampai untuk kita bangun dari terus berdongeng dan berkhayal. Sila lihat disekeliling dan perhatikan apa yang sedang berlaku.

Ini bukan labun atau kempen politik kosong agar saya mendapat menjadi YB. Kalau tidak percaya apa yang saya tulis ini, sila pergi lawat Kampung Chubadak dekat Sentul di mana tanah yang di teroka oleh Bumiputera berpuluh-puluh tahun dahulu akan dirampas oleh pemaju… opps saya tidak jelas pemaju jenis mana – mungkin Bumiputera atau mungkin dari Nigeria atau mungkin dari gerombolan United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) yang buat ‘joint venture’ dengan gerombolan Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA).

Atau sila pergi ke Kampung Berembang di belakang Jalan Ampang – tidak jauh dari KLCC opps…maaf kerana nama ini nama Mat Saleh. Lihat di mana rumah-rumah Bumiputera telah dibumikan. Atau ke Plentong di Johor Bahru. Lihat bumiputera anak beranak ini sedang tidur di atas bumi. Ini bukan statistik. Ini adalah manusia hidup yang boleh kita pegang dan lawan bercakap. Mereka inilah yang tidak termasuk dalam kajian dari pakar-pakar statistik yang asli mahupun dari pakar-pakar statistik ‘cap ayam’.(tt)—Hishamuddin Rais

'Black eye' probe completed, says ACA

The Anti-Corruption Agency, which has been tasked to probe the black-eye incident involving Anwar Ibrahim 10 years ago, has wrapped up the investigation.
MCPX

According to Bernama, ACA chief Ahmad Said Hamdan said the agency’s prosecution department is currently studying the investigation papers.

Ahmad Said added that it was up to the agency’s prosecution department to decide when the findings of the investigation can be made public.

anwar ibrahim 1998 arrest reforamsi days 010708 black eyeAnwar has accused attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail and police chief Musa Hassan of manipulating evidence in an investigation into an alleged beating he received while in police custody a decade ago.

Anwar, then deputy prime minister, was arrested in 1998 and later jailed for sodomy and corruption. The sex conviction was later overturned.

In June this year, Anwar revived the black-eye controversy by filing a police report against Abdul Gani and Musa, alleging the two men of fabricating evidence over the beating.

The government subsequently ordered a probe.

Last month, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang told Parliament that the findings of the black-eye probe by solicitor-general Idrus Harun had "implicated" Abdul Gani.

"I have come to know that the solicitor-general found the AG guilty of abusing his power to fabricate evidence against Permatang Pauh (Anwar) and Gani should resign now," he said.

Probe done by ACA, not AG’s Chambers

However, Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Mohamed Nazri Aziz denied that the investigation had been completed.

He said the probe was being handled by the ACA and not by the solicitor-general - the No 2 man in the Attorney-General’s Chambers. It would be improper for the Idrus to be investigating his boss, said Nazri.

Musa has since filed a defamation suit against Anwar over the allegations.

Former police chief Abdul Rahim Nor had in 2005 publicly apologised to Anwar for assaulting him in 1998 while in police custody.

His apology was part of an out-of-court settlement whereby Anwar agreed to withdraw the suit in return for an open apology and an unspecified sum in compensation.

ghani gani patail and anwar black eye sodomy trialMeanwhile, a retired senior police officer who probed the infamous ‘black eye’ incident has recently made startling claims that Abdul Gani (far left in photo) had tampered with evidence in the case.

Mat Zain Ibrahim, who had led the investigation team, made his revelations in a 18-page statement of claim in a RM30 million defamation suit that he filed against Anwar.

Altantuya murder trial: Defence to call Bala and RPK

(The Sun) SHAH ALAM: It looks like the Altantuya murder trial may well generate more heat on Nov 10.

Cpl Sirul Azhar Umar's lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin said they plan to summon two witnesses -- Abdul Razak Baginda's private investigator P. Balasubramaniam (who had gone missing) and blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin, who is currently under Internal Security Act detention.

Kamarul said he will write to the Home Minister to allow Raja Petra to be called up as a witness. As for the P.I., he did not say how he would reach him.

“I will be looking into the two statutory declarations made by Balasubramaniam and one by Raja Petra and check on their authenticity,” he added.

The first declaration by the P.I. had made sensational accusations, including that deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had a relationship with the late Altantuya Shaariibuu. This was revealed at a press conference with Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

However, just as sensationally, he made another declaration to retract that particular accusation. After that, he and his family disappeared from their Rawang home, and have not been seen since.

Azilah’s lawyer Datuk Hazman Ahmad said they plan to call four witnesses to take the stand, including DSP Musa Safri, Azilah’s fiancée Norazila
Baharuddin, one Sjn Idris, one Sjn Shamlin and Sub Inspector Megat.

He said his client was disappointed with the decision but rated Azilah’s chances as 50/50. Azilah’s fiancée Norazila Baharuddin was teary eyed and sombre.

She declined to take questions from reporters. Also present was Azilah’s girlfriend Rohaniza Roslan who was also a witness in the trial and other family members.

Abdul Razak’s lawyer Wong Kian Keong applied to hold watching brief during the defence hearing.

After the decision was delivered, Abdul Razak was flanked by daughter Rowena, wife Mazlinda Makhzan and his brother who shielded him from aggressive press photographers who trailed the family all the way to their car waiting at the entrance of the court.

Altantuya’s father Shaariibuu Setev said while he respected the court’s decision, he was not convinced of Abdul Razak’s innocence.

Translating for Shaariibuu, Mongolian Consulate in Malaysia Datuk Syed Abdul Rahman Al-Habshi said: “As far as he is concerned, his daughter knows only one man in Malaysia and that is Razak Baginda. However, he has been set free while the two policemen whom she does not know have to put in their defence.”

Shaariibuu said he would consult the Mongolian Justice Department before deciding on his next course of action.

Anwar's sodomy case: Nov 7 decision on validity of certificate of transfer

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 31 - The Sessions Court here will decide on Nov 7 the validity of the certificate to transfer to the High Court the sodomy case involving Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Sessions Court Judge S.M Komathy set the date after hearing submissions from both the prosecution and defence.

The decision on the validity of the certificate is crucial as it will determine whether the case can be transferred to the High Court for trial.

Anwar had opposed the prosecution's bid to transfer the case to the High Court by questioning the validity of the transfer certificate signed by Attorney General (AG) Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail.

Gani is still under probe by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) following a police report lodged against him by Anwar over fabrication of evidence in the investigation of the "black-eye" incident when Anwar was arrested in 1998.

Anwar, 61, is facing trial for voluntarily committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature with a former aide, 23-year-old Mohamad Saiful Bukhari Azlan, at Unit 11-5-1, Desa Damansara Condominium, Jalan Setiakasih, Bukit Damansara between 3.01pm and 4.30pm on June 26.

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

In today's proceedings, Senior Deputy Public Prosecutor Datuk Mohamed Yusof Zainal Abiden said that Gani had the power to sign the certificate as he was performing an administrative function and exercising his discretionary power conferred upon him personally by law under Section 418A of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

"Hence, notwithstanding any imputation of bias and in order not to stultify the efficacy of the law, the statutory provisions would have abrogated the allegation and exclude bias," he said.

Yusof contended that there was no suggestion by the counsel representing Anwar that the AG had offended against the principles governing exercise of discretionary power as there was no imputation cast upon him that he had done anything forbidden by the law in the issuance of the said certificate.

On the contention by Anwar that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in his statement which reported by the media, had guaranteed that Gani would not be involved in this case, Yusof said the authority or discretion to institute a prosecution and all other powers incidental to it, is vested with the AG by virtue of Articles 145(3) and 145(3A) of the Federal Constitution.

He said any promise with regard to the prosecution or anything incidental to it can only be made by the AG and not the prime minister.

"Surely, the prime minister could not be seen to be making promise on behalf of a competent authority which is given the exclusive discretion under the Federal Constitution with regard to prosecution or any matter incidental thereto," he said.

On the other hand, Anwar's lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah argued that there was no reason to suggest that the Sessions Court was less competent or could not or lack jurisdiction to hear a public interest case.

Sulaiman said the contention that the reasons why this case should be heard in the High Court, among others that it was of public interest and it involved complicated laws of DNA evidence, were spurious and should not be entertained.

"It is an affront to our justice system and would offend any right minded thinking person...Are the prosecution implying that the Sessions Court, which has heard over thousands of sexual assault cases throughout the country over the years, is suddenly by reason of the personality of the accused inept and incompetent?" he contended.

- Bernama

Zaid: Ketuanan Melayu has failed

The 'Ketuanan Melayu' model has failed, declared former de facto law minister Zaid Ibrahim in an incisive speech at the LawAsia 2008 conference in Kuala Lumpur this morning.

MCPX

"It has resulted in waste of crucial resources, energy and time and has distracted from the real issues confronting the country," said Zaid, who criticised the race-based policy despite being a member of the ruling Umno party which was set up to safeguard Malay interests.

zaid ibrahim resignation from ministerial post 160908 01Zaid also noted that 'deputy premier in waiting' Muhyiddin Yassin had suggested the need for a closed-door forum for leaders of the Barisan Nasional (BN) to develop a common stand, a renewed national consensus grounded on the social contract.

"This is positive step but it should include all political leaders and be premised on the
social contract that was the foundation of independence," said the lawyer by training who was made senator and subsequently minister entrusted with the task of reforming the judiciary by Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi following the March 8 general election.

He quit last month in protest against the arrest of three individuals under the Internal Security Act (ISA) which provides for detention without trial.

Zaid said March 8 was a clear indicator that the ruling BN coalition no longer exclusively speaks for the people.

He also underscored the importance of promoting discourse and dialogue so that Malaysians learn to talk and to listen to one another again.

"Communication and trust amongst the people must be re-established," he said.

The former minister called on the BN government to abandon its 'reworked' concept of the social contract and embrace a fresh perspective borne out of discussions and agreements made in good faith with all the communities.

"It is time for us all to practise a more transparent and egalitarian form of democracy and to recognise and respect the rights and dignity of all the citizens of this country."

Mukhriz singled out for criticism

Singling out Mukhriz Mahathir for criticism, Zaid said the Umno Youth chief aspirant typifies what is perceived as the kind of Umno leader who appeals to the right-wing of Malay polity.

mahathir perdana global peace pc 080107 mukhrizZaid also referred to the recent remarks made by the son of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad that there was no need for law and judicial reforms as it would not benefit the Malays,

"That he may be right is sad as it leads to the ossification of values that will only work against the interests of the party and the nation," Zaid lamented in his 16-page speech.

"This type of thinking may pave the way to a suggestion in the future that we may as well do away with general elections altogether as they may not be good for the Malays for, if the justice that a revitalised rule of law would allow for is not to the benefit of the Malays, what is? More inefficiency, more corruption and a more authoritarian style of government perhaps.

"We are a deeply divided nation, adrift for our having abandoned democratic traditions and the rule of law in favour of a political ideology that serves no one save those who rule."

According to Zaid, the obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu doctrine has destroyed something precious in Malaysians.

"It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness. When a certain Chinese lady was appointed head of a state development corporation, having served in that corporation for 33 years, there were protests from Malay groups because she is Chinese," he said referring to the controversy involving the appointment of Low Siew Moi as acting head of the Selangor Development Cooperation (PKNS).

"A new economic vision is necessary, one that is more forward looking in outlook and guided by positive values that would serve to enhance cooperation amongst the races. This will encourage change for the better, to develop new forms of behaviour and shifts of attitudes, to believe that only economic growth will serve social equity, to aspire to a higher standard of living for all regardless of race.

"We need to meaningfully acknowledge that wealth is based on insight, sophisticated human capital and attitude change. A new dynamics focused on cooperation and competition will spur innovation and creativity.

"Some might say that this is a fantasy. I disagree. How do we go about transforming the culture and values of the bumiputeras so that their ability to create new economic wealth can be sustained?

"By changing our political and legal landscapes with freedom and democracy."

malaysians 050905On that note, Zaid said Mahathir was right to have asked the Malays to embrace modernity but the 82-year-old statesman fell short by only focusing on the physical aspects of modernity.

"He was mistaken to think all that was needed to change the Malay mindset was science and technology. He should have also promoted the values of freedom, human rights and the respect of the law.

"If affirmative action is truly benchmarked on the equitable sharing of wealth that is sustainable, then we must confront the truth and change our political paradigm, 40 years of discrimination and subsidy have not brought us closer. There is a huge economic dimension to the rule of law and democracy that this government must learn to appreciate."

Conflicts of jurisdiction require resolution

Zaid conceded that relationship between Islam, the state, law and politics in Malaysia is complex.

"How do we manage legal pluralism in Malaysia? Can a cohesive united Bangsa Malaysia be built on a bifurcated foundation of Syariah and secular principles? Will non-Muslims have a say on the operation of Islamic law when it affects the general character and experience of the nation? This is a difficult challenge and the solution has to be found."

He quoted leading Muslim legal scholar Abdullah Ahmad an-Na'im who believed that a distinction should be made between state and politics.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, he noted, believes that Islam can be the mediating instrument between state and politics through the principles and institutions of constitutionalism and the protection of equal human rights of all citizens.

islam and judiciary judgement"Whatever the formula, we can only devise a system that rejects absolutism and tyranny and allows for freedom and plurality if we are able to first agree that discourse and dialogue is vital. Democracy and respect for the rights and dignity of all Malaysians is the prerequisite to this approach."

Zaid stressed that the conflicts of jurisdiction in Malaysia require resolution.

The civil courts, he said, are "denuded of jurisdiction" to deal with matters that fall within the jurisdiction of the Syariah court.

"No court has been given the jurisdiction and power to resolve issues that may arise in both the Syariah courts and the civil courts. The present separation of jurisdictions presupposes that
matters will fall nicely into one jurisdiction or the other.

However, human affairs are never that neat. What happens to the children of a marriage where one party converts to Islam and the other party seeks recourse in the civil court? Or when the Syariah Court pronounces that a deceased person was a Muslim despite his family contesting the conversion?

"Or where the receiver of a company is restrained from dealing with a property by a Syariah Court order arising out of a family dispute?

Where do the aggrieved parties go? I had suggested the establishment of the constitutional court, but that plea has fallen on deaf ears."

Malays not under seige

The former minister had also touched on the use of draconian measures, which according to him have seen a marked increase in dealing with political and social tensions.

"Some people say that groups such as Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Force) advocate violence and therefore this justifies the use of such measures. They may have overlooked the fact that
violence begets violence.

hindraf british petition rally 251107 malaysian flags"Was not the detention of Hindraf leaders under the ISA itself an act of aggression, especially to people who consider themselves marginalised and without recourse?

"It is time that the people running this country realise that we will not be able to resolve conflicts and differences peacefully if we ourselves do not value peaceful means in dealing with problems."

Zaid argued that the situation had been aggravated by the absence of an even-handed approach in dealing with organisations such as Hindraf.

"While I applaud the prime minister for calling upon the Indian community to reject extremism, should not a similar call be made on the Malay community and (Malay daily) Utusan Malaysia?

I call on the prime minister, both the outgoing and the incoming, to deal with such issues fairly. Start by releasing the Hindraf leaders detained under the ISA. The release would create a window for constructive dialogue on underlying causes of resentment.

raja petra and isa internal security act 230908"I also appeal for the release of (Malaysia Today editor) Raja Petra (Kamarudin) from ISA detention. He is a champion of free speech. His writings, no matter how offensive they may be to some, cannot by any stretch of the imagination be seen as a threat to the national security of this country."

The Malays, Zaid said, are now a clear majority in numbers and the fear of their being outnumbered is baseless.

"They are not under seige. The institutions of government are such that the Malays are effectively represented, and there is no way the interest of the Malays can be taken away other than through their own weakness and folly."

Theology Versus Secularism

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

It appears like the Turkish Prime Minister is in trouble with Turkey’s court. They have accused him of being anti-secular, which is a crime in Turkey. They say the Prime Minister want to abolish or remove the anti-tudung law, which means Turkey’s citizens will no longer be forced NOT to wear the tudung. If you remember, recently, a Turkish lady Member of Parliament was evicted from parliament for insisting that she wear her tudung in the building. University student too must remove their tudung before they enter the university gate.

Turkey is on the other extreme of Afghanistan where the “religious police” would throw acid on faces of women who do not wear the tudung.

Malaysia of 2008 is a far cry from Malaysia of 1958, the first Anniversary of Merdeka. Then, skirts and bare-backs were the order of the day and the tudung was a rare thing at best, the more “decent” Malay women would wear a selendang wit the front hair revealed. Today, women who wear bare-back clothes are arrested.

What happened over those 50 years? Have Malays become more religious and more conscious of their Islamic duties? Over the last month, three women have been charged for corruption and fraud. All are pretty senior Malay government officers. And all wear the tudung. So, the wearing of the tudung can’t be equated with being more religious or being a better Muslim. If not, they would not accept bribes or cheat. Wearing the tudung is merely a symbol. It is a symbol that you are very Islamic. But this does not mean you really are.

Malays, today, talk about restoring the Caliphate and implementing Islamic laws. In short, rejecting a Secular State in favour of a Theology State – meaning an Islamic State of course. But do these some people know what an Islamic State is? And do these people also know how the many experiments of Islamic States have gone horribly wrong and the new “Islamic” government was worse than the old government it replaced?

In a nutshell a Secular State or Theology State is just a name. Names are not crucial. What is would be the function rather than form. Form must follow functions, and not the other way round.

Let us examine some of the failed experiments. Some predominantly Muslim countries have flirted with the idea of changing their government and have discovered that the newly installed Muslim leaders were no better, or worse, that the “kafir” leaders. Millions have died because of this, Muslims killed at the hand of Muslims.

Kurdistan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Morocco, Sudan, Pakistan, Serbia, Gratis, Syria, Bosnia – just think of any country where either Muslims, Christians or Jews make up the majority population and I will show you a tragedy. No, theology is not the answer. We can’t solve problems by replacing a Secular State with a Theology State. History has shown us that, in fact, more damage is caused. The system is not the solution. It is those behind the system that matter.

A year after the end of the Second World War the Algerians wanted the French Colonialists out of their country. The eight-year war led to the loss of more than a million lives. Both sides wee equally guilty of the barbaric killings where old folks, babies and women were not spared. Finally, in 1962, the French decided to go home. But until today the killings continue; except now it is not Muslims killing Christians but Islamists killing Secularists – and vice versa.

The Turks too wanted the kafir out, so millions of Armenians were massacred. The Kurds were the willing servants to rape and murder the Armenians. This was ethic cleansing of the kind perpetuated by the Germans during World War 2; though maybe only a quarter in number died compared to the Jews.

Later the Kurds were themselves exterminated by the Iraqis and Turks. And the same went for the Afghans where they first killed each other to establish an Islamic State and then the Islamic State killed off as many as the previous “kafir” state did. In Iran, too, more died in the new Islamic State than in the Shah’s “kafir” state.

An Islamic State is no guarantee that you would get a good government. Neither would a Secular State. So it is best that the rhetoric and setting up an Islamic State be discarded and instead we focus on the issue of the setting up of a just state of whatever kind.

We have seen too many deaths over the last 60 years, people killed in the name of Islam. Tens of millions have been killed. Two million in Afghanistan. One million in Iran. One million in Iraq. One million in Turkey. More than one million in Algeria. Many more millions in other Muslim countries. The list goes on.

The Iranians say: those Iranians who died fighting Iraqis are going to heaven as the Iraqis are “kafir”. The Iraqis say: those Iraqis who died fighting Iranians are going to heaven as the Iranians are “kafir”. So, both Iranians and Iraqis are “kafir”. Or is it both Iranians and Iraqis who kill each other are going to heaven since both kill and die in the name of Islam?

With all this killing and the tens of millions of deaths over the last 60 years, all the so-called “Islamic States” are nothing short of failed states whereas “God-less” states like Sweden are heaven on earth.

Maybe you need to choose an Islamic State to go to heaven. But thus far all the Islamic States have proven to be hell. Maybe this is because they talk more about life after death rather than about life itself.

READ ALSO: Turkish court says PM involved in anti-secularism

Race And Islam

By Farish A. Noor

It is odd, to say the least, that after more than fourteen centuries there remain some people who claim to be Muslims but who still have not internalised the universal values of Islam. Odder still that there remain those who on the one hand can embrace Islam’s universal claim of brotherhood (and sisterhood), but still cannot get around to understanding the simple idea that Islam and racism do not mix.

Evidence of such discrepancies can be found pretty much everywhere these days: It has, sadly, become the normative cultural norm in so many Muslim societies today that those who are fair are better off and given the privileges that they feel is the natural right of all light-skinned people. It is also interesting to note that Muslims tend to rejoice whenever a white American or European converts to Islam, but seem less enthusiastic in their recognition of the fact that thousands of Africans and Asians are converting to Islam every year.

Furthermore when it comes to governance and politics, it remains painfully clear that some Muslims still place blood and race above competency and merit till today; and that despite their profession of faith they remain embedded in the stagnant mode of racialised thinking that operates on the basis that some races are better than others.

One such case has popped up recently in multi-culti Malaysia, where a row was sparked off by the nomination of a Chinese woman – Low Siew Moi – as the head of a state institution linked to the economic management and development of the state of Selangor, the PKNS. Despite the fact that Low Siew Moi was selected by the Chief Minister of the state, Tan Sri Khalid, on the basis of merit; some quarters chose to publicly disagree with her appointment on the grounds that the Malay-Muslims of the state would object to the appointment. But objection on what grounds? On the basis that she is a Chinese woman?

Here the already convoluted waters of Malaysia’s racialised politics turns a shade murkier; for among those who objected to the appointment of Low Siew Moi were some members of the Malaysian Islamic party PAS.

Malaysia’s politics has been defined by racial concerns and the communitarian demands of the various religious and ethnic groups of the country since its independence in 1957. Over the past three decades, however, the tone and tenor of the country’s conservative, right-wing ethno-nationalist politics was further coloured by the Islamisation race in the country with the Malaysian government attempting to further inculcate Islamic values into the norms of governance in Malaysia as well.

Ironically however, Malaysia’s Islamisation programme seems to be more concerned with book-banning, fatwas on social behaviour (including the recent revelation that there may be a fatwa on Yoga soon, wait for it), and moral policing instead. Where, the Islamic scholar may ask, were the universal values of Islam in the midst of all this social engineering? Did the leaders of Malaysia not realise, or forget, the simple idea that Islam is an egalitarian faith that is colour-blind; and that the concept of ‘race’ is an alien idea in Islam?

The dilemma that Malaysia is facing now is the same dilemma faced by many other Muslim societies where the defence and promotion of Islam often goes hand-in-hand with the defence and promotion of the communitarian interests of Muslims. In Malaysia’s case, where Muslims are overwhelmingly Malay, then this also translates as the defence of Malay interests – to the extent of propagating the ethno-nationalist idea of Malay cultural dominance as well. Now what on earth is Islamic about this?

Here is where orthodox Muslim scholarship has to come in and make its timely intervention: For it has to be remembered that the success of Islam and the success of Muslims are two entirely different things, that may also clash and negate each other at times. The victory of Islam, so to speak, has to be understood as the victory of universal values such as egalitarianism and equality before God. The victory of Muslims, on the other hand, may at times be understood as political victories that may or may not conform to the standards of Islamic ethics. The defeat of the Kuwaitis at the hands of Saddam Hussein, for instance, was a case of one Muslim state defeating another: but was this a victory for Islam? Likewise, when Muslims openly and abrasively demand special rights and privileges for themselves at the cost of equality and meritocracy, is this really a victory for Islam?

Those who have criticised and opposed the appointment of Low Siew Moi as the head of PKNS on the grounds that the job should have been given to a Malay-Muslim instead should therefore look closely at themselves and ask: What is it that you are fighting for? Malay-Muslim dominance or a better form of governance that is based on merit and equality? The Islamic scholar will remind you that the latter is Islamic, while the former is not.

In any case, for Muslims to even think in racialised communitarian terms is a misnomer of sorts as such modes of communitarian, sectarian thinking has no real place in Islamic orthodoxy and ethics. To quote Tuan Guru Nik Aziz Nik Mat, spiritual leader of the Malaysian Islamic Party PAS: ‘tell me, what race was Adam?’. ‘Nuff said I think.