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Sunday, November 2, 2008

RESPECTING UK IMMIGRATION LAWS

The UK Government is currently reviewing its visa regime on eleven (11) countries including MALAYSIA under the UK Visa Waiver Test. Countries were identified based on the risk posed by its nationals in the UK including those WORKING IN THE UK ILLEGALLY AND OTHER IMMIGRATION ABUSE. The UK Government has given these countries six (6) months to reduce the risk they pose. Unless the risk is reduced significantly, the UK Government will impose visa requirements on nationals of these countries including Malaysia.

Malaysians who would like to work and stay in the UK are advised to apply through the proper channel or contact the British High Commission in Kuala Lumpur for further details (http://ukinmalaysia.fco.gov.uk)

The British government has appointed the International Organisation for Migration to handle the publicity campaign and encourage voluntary return. Information on voluntary return can be found on IOM's website at http://www.iomlondon.org or telephone 020 7233 0001.

MALAYSIAN EMBASSY URGES ALL MALAYSIANS IN THE UK TO RESPECT, OBSERVE
AND
NOT TO VIOLATE UK IMMIGRATION LAWS

Razak Baginda saved by his affidavit

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 2 - The acquittal of political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda in the high-profile murder case of his former Mongolian lover made big headlines in Malaysian newspapers yesterday, with many zooming in on how his affidavit had saved him.

The sleazy and sensational affair, and Abdul Razak's close ties to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak, had kept the case in the public eye as the trial ran for two years.

His almost-forgotten affidavit filed two years ago was the highlight as it was pivotal to the High Court judge's decision to acquit him of abetting the murder.

The document was filed in court in an attempt by Abdul Razak, 48, to obtain bail before the trial started. He failed to get bail and there was criticism then by legal experts who considered it a wrong move to disclose
his case so early in the trial.

But it turned out to be an astute move. High Court judge Mohamed Zaki Mohamed Yasin on Friday ruled that the tell-all affidavit had helped clear him of the charge of asking two policemen to kill Altantuya
Shaariibuu.

"In the absence of the rebuttal evidence against them (statements in the affidavit), coupled with the fact that there is no legal onus for him to rebut any statutory presumption, there is clearly no reason for the
statements to be ignored and rejected," the judge said.

The lengthy document detailed how Abdul Razak met Altantuya in 2004, and had an affair with her that lasted until 2005.

After they broke up, he alleged that the 28-year-old interpreter harassed him, and that he had sought the help of the police. But he denied telling them to kill her.

According to court evidence, Altantuya's remains were found in a jungle outside Kuala Lumpur, blown up with explosives after she was shot dead.

The judge found that 13 statements in the affidavit were not rebutted by evidence put forward by prosecutors. In a nutshell, they recounted how Abdul Razak had asked Musa Safri, a security aide of the deputy premier, for help because of Altantuya's harassment.

Musa reportedly said he would introduce him to a police officer. The co-accused Azilah Hadri, an officer from an elite unit that guards VVIPs, called Abdul Razak the next day.

Abdul Razak said he called Azilah on Oct 19, 2006, when Altantuya turned up at his house.

Altantuya was taken away by three police officers. Abdul Razak said he subsequently asked Musa what had happened to Altantuya but the aide said Azilah did not tell him.

The judge on Friday found these statements were corroborated by witnesses at the trial, and "clearly negated and nullified the act of abetment as alleged".

This detailed legal explanation was, however, described by veteran opposition politician Lim Kit Siang as a technical one, as he demanded further investigation.

The immediate public reaction on the Internet was, as expected, similar. Abdul Razak's close ties to DPM Najib were hauled out to hint at favoured treatment although there was no evidence of this.

Lim wrote in his blog that it was imperative for Najib to face an independent government inquiry on the allegations.

So far, Abdul Razak has not given his side of the story. After his acquittal, he went back to his house in upmarket Damansara Heights before going to the mosque for Friday prayers.

He wore broad smiles each time he came out of the house, but declined to speak to reporters. He also said he had been fasting for the 22 months since he was arrested.

His two co-accused, Azilah and Sirul Azhar Umar, who allegedly killed Altantuya, have been ordered to present their defence. The hearing will begin on Nov 10.

Here are excerpts of the affidavit filed by Abdul Razak Baginda:

EVEN though I had appointed (private eye) P. Balasubramaniam, the harassment by Altantuya against my family and me did not stop. Hence, I asked Deputy Superintendent Musa Safri (a security aide to Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak) for help.

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 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, I was at home and there was a commotion outside the house.

I called Balasubramaniam and Dhiren Norendra (a lawyer) to help me. A police patrol car arrived to settle the matter.

DSP Musa later called me and said a police officer would call me to help me sort out my problem with the deceased.

On the morning of Oct 18, 2006, Azilah Hadri (one of the co-accused) called me and introduced himself as the police officer who was referred by DSP Musa to help me.

I subsequently met with Azilah. I told him that the deceased had caused a commotion at my house, and asked him to conduct patrols around my house.

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

Balasubramaniam told me that three plainclothes police officers came to my house... to take the deceased away.

On Oct 20, I bumped into DSP Musa. I asked him what happened the night before and DSP Musa told me Azilah did not tell him anything. - - The Straits Times

Two down, one to go, Zaid

…The Ketuanan Melayu model has failed… The founders envisaged a government for all Malaysians… The creation of Bangsa Malaysia is the challenge of establishing a united Malaysian nation with a sense of a common and shared destiny. This must be a nation at peace with itself, territorially and ethnically integrated, living in harmony and full and fair partnership, made up of one Bangsa Malaysia with political loyalty to the nation…How do we bring unity to the people if we are not prepared to respect their dignity? …The obsession with the Ketuanan Melayu dotrine has in fact destroyed something precious in us. It makes us lose our sense of balance and fairness…my parting message is this: The people of goodwill must continue to strive to bring about change, so that we can rebuild the trust of all Malaysians. From that trust, we can rebuild the country where we do not live in fear, but in freedom; that the rights of all Malaysians are acknowledged, respected and protected by the system of law that is just and fair. There is no quest more honourable and a struggle more worthy of sacrifice’ - excerpts from Zaid Ibrahim’s speech at the LawAsia 2008 conference yesterday.

These excerpts do not do justice to his speech, which deserves full reading. The full text, in pdf, is linked below.

zaid-speech

On 26th April, last year, I said this of Zaid Ibrahim in a post entitled ‘Zaid vs Nazri - The debate and my thoughts’ :

‘I think you have tried to bring about change in UMNO and BN so that it might begin to dismantle its race-based politics. I think you have tried to restore some semblance of constitutional order to this country. You have failed, not for want of trying, but because the politics of patronage so entrenched in BN cannot be broken simply because of the vested interests of its leadership…if you stood in my constituency in the next election as an independent candidate, you would get my vote. I think you have done enough to rightfully be addressed ‘Yang Berkhidmat” ‘.

Six months later, in another post entitled ‘YB Zaid, you don’t belong in UMNO’, I urged Zaid to :

‘…get out of UMNO, stand as an independent candidate in any constituency in the Klang valley of your choosing in the forthcoming general elections, and this blog will throw its support behind you’

Zaid did not contest in the 12th General Elections. He was dropped from UMNO’s list of candidates.

In April, this year, Pak Lah appointed Zaid senator as well as minister to lead in reforms to, amongst others, the judiciary.

I thought Zaid tried his best, but ran into a huge obstacle.

UMNO.

In September, Zaid resigned from his ministerial position, in protest of the government’s use of the ISA.

Yesterday, during the LawAsia conference, he also clarified that he had resigned his senator’s position.

I just sent the following sms to Zaid :

‘2 down, 1 to go. U quit as minister & senator. Now dump UMNO and lead anak Bangsa Malaysia’
(Harris Ibrahim)

Mahfuz persoal keputusan mahkamah yang selari dengan SMS Najib

Keputusan mahkamah yang dilihat memenuhi urutan peristiwa sebelum itu, terutama kandungan SMS Timbalan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak, tidak membantu memulihkan kepercayaan rakyat kepada institusi kehakiman.

Malah, keputusan itu juga akan menyebabkan integriti Najib semakin dipersoal dan dipertikaikan.

Ketua Penerangan PAS Haji Mahfuz Omar membangkitkan perkara itu mengulas keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam semalam yang membebaskan penganalisis politik, Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda dari tuduhan bersubahat membunuh ahli perniagaan Mongolia, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

"Keputusan mahkamah itu tidak membantu memulihkan kepercayaan kepada institusi kehakiman. Terlalu jelas keputusan itu memenuhi urutan peristiwa sebelum itu.

"Mengapa keputusan itu selari dengan kandungan SMS Najib kepada Shafie yang menyatakan "all is not lost" di awal penangkapan Abdul Razak dahulu?" tanya Mahfuz.

Dalam SMSnya kepada peguam Abdul Razak ketika itu Datuk Shafie Abdullah, Najib memberitahu "Pls do not say anything to the press today. i will explain later. RB will have to face a tentative charge but all is not lost".

Maksudnya, "Harap tidak beri apa-apa kenyataan kepada akhbar hari ini. Saya akan terangkan kemudian. RB (Razak Baginda) terpaksa menghadapi pendakwaan tentatif tetapi tidak semuanya hilang".

Najib tidak menafikan SMS tersebut adalah antara beliau dan Shafie.

"Mempertikaikan keputusan mahkamah tidak diizinkan undang-undang negara ini. Tetapi, rakyat tidak boleh disalahkan jika mereka enggan mempercayainya," kata Mahfuz.

Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena itu juga tidak menolak kemungkinan keputusan membebaskan Abdul Razak itu akan menyebabkan integriti Timbalan Perdana Menteri semakin dipersoal dan dipertikaikan.

"Najib tentu tidak akan menolak peluang untuk menggantikan Abdullah sebagai Perdana Menteri.

"Tetapi, pernahkah Najib mengambilkira perasaan rakyat Malaysia apabila Perdana Menteri mereka dikait-kaitkan dengan pembunuhan Altantuya dan keputusan mahkamah yang dilihat selaras dengan kandungan SMS beliau kepada peguam yang sebelum ini terlibat dengan kes itu? Itu belum lagi diambilkira kes Sukhoi, Scorpene dan Eurocopter.

"Adakah Najib fikir mereka bangga dan gembira mempunyai Perdana Menteri seperti itu?" Mahfuz mempersoalkan.

Mengulas lanjut mengenai integriti kehakiman, beliau juga melihat kenyataan Ketua Hakim Negara baru yang dipertikaikan perlantikannya sebagai kenyataan tidak bermakna.

"Hanya cakap sahaja yang boleh didengar tetapi tidak ada perlaksanaan untuk dilihat," kata beliau.

New politics of “Beyond NEP”

(Limkitsiang)I am still recovering from my shock in Parliament on Thursday night when the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Datuk Amirsham Aziz former CEO of Maybank, pleaded ignorance when I asked him whether he agreed that the New Economic Policy (NEP) cannot be equated with Article 153 of the Constitution. Amirsham claimed that he was no expert on constitutional law!

It is outrageous that after more than half-a-century of nationhood, Barisan Nasional (BN) Ministers and leaders cannot or dare not answer a simple question – whether they agree that the NEP cannot be equated with Article 153 on special provision for Malays and the bumiputeras in Sabah and Sarawak.

As I argued in Parliament when I posed the question to Amirsham, if NEP is equated with Article 153, then Deputy Prime Minister-cum-Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak would be guilty of challenging Article 153 and Malay special rights when he told Bloomberg recently that “all the elements of NEP” would be phased out in stages, adding “If we do not change, the people will change us”.

The NEP had been a divisive instrument in nation-building, even more so today, as it is being used to benefit rich and privileged Umnoputras rather than the poor bumiputras.

Amirsham was unable to give any satisfactory response to my contention that the methodology used by the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) to compute bumiputera equity figures was obsolete and unreliable, as Amirsham admitted that the EPU methodology used the par value of the shares some 40 years ago in 1970 and the calculations excluded equity data from GLCs.

Independent professional studies have shown that the target of 30% bumiputra equity ownership had been fulfilled, for instance:

· the Asian Strategy and Leadership Institute (Asli) report by Prof. Dr. Lim Teck Ghee putting bumiputera equity ownership at about 45 per cent; and

· the University of Malaya research study entitled “Bumiputeras in the Corporate Sector – Three decades of performance 1970-2000”, by Dr. M. Fazilah Abdul Samad that the 30 percent bumiputera equity ownership as targeted under the government’s New Economic Policy had already been achieved about a decade ago when it hit 33.7 percent in 1997.

The NEP has become not only a source of national discord and disunity but an important factor causing inefficiency, waste and corruption as well as inhibiting Malaysia’s economic growth and development.

After the March 8 “political tsunami”, Malaysia must move into the new politics of “Beyond NEP” to create an united, just, competitive, progressive and prosperous Malaysia.

I fully agree with the article in the Star yesterday entitled “Remove equity target”, by P. Gunasegaram, giving three reasons why the BN Government should do away with the equity target for bumiputra ownership of companies under the NEP, viz:

1. The measurement itself is fatally flawed.

2. As it is structured now, it involves too low a proportion of bumiputra population and leads to the well-known Ali Baba syndrome where the bumiputra participation is in name only while non-bumiputras run virtually the whole show.

3. It puts far too much emphasis on an ephemeral, badly measured target at the expense of other, far more encompassing and important aims of the noble NEP, which include the eradication of poverty irrespective of race and the restructuring of society to eliminate the identification of race with economic function.

The message from the March 8 political tsunami is clear – the time has come for all Malaysians to rise above their differences to make a success of a Malaysian-centric nation-building programme and national economic policy which goes “Beyond NEP” to create a Bangsa Malaysia out of the diverses races and religions in the country.

(Speech 2 at the opening of the 2008 DAP Federal Territory State Convention at the Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur on Sunday, 2nd November 2008)

Misbehaving of UMNO Puteri

In Bukit Tinggi near Telok Gadong Umno puteri meeting at 11pm.
End up in fighting with 2 petrol cars. They fight among each other, 2 petrol cars came and stop. They were fighting in a restraunt and created chaotic situation. The road was congested for about an hour. It was at its peak at midnight. Some of the supporters was shouting and yelling.
The supporters of Khairy and Mukhriz got angry and argued and street fight begun outside and inside a restraunt.Chairs and tables scattered all around. Yet the news is unclear for further details.




From Jan to Sept, police chastised in 20 per cent of public complaints

About 1,200 complaints received by the Public Complaints Bureau (PCA) in the first nine months of the year, chastised the police.

The rebuke on the force was for general inaction when responding to public complaints.

The complaints made up about 20 per cent of the total 6,079 complaints lodged with the bureau between January and September, this year, said PCA deputy director-general (complaints division) Md Zin Musa today.

He said the complaints, among others, alleged that the police did not give appropriate responses to public complaints.

According to some of the complaints, the police even failed to perform enforcement duties, added Md Zin.

He noted that the public’s high expectation of the force was normal as some even expected the police to retrieve their stolen cars within a day.

“However, the public should understand that each police investigation takes time and the police could be facing staff shortage,” said Md Zin.

Speaking to reporters after the launch of the public complaints mobile counter here today, Md Zin said 42 per cent of the complaints involved late responses from 724 government agencies and local authorities.

Nevertheless, the deputy director-general viewed the complaints as ’favouring’ his bureau.

He said the increased number of complaints this year as compared with 5,000 complaints received for the same period last year, indicated the public believed the bureau could solve their problems.

“About 79 per cent of the complaints have been resolved so far, and we are optimistic in beating last year’s success rate of 89 per cent by the end of the year,” added Md Zin.

- BERNAMA

Our 'Noble' Police Force

By: victorchew46

A police is a person authorised to ensure that law and order is maintained, therefore a police force is the organization that is entrusted to ensure that people keep to the law. This is done, usually by being present in full uniform for all potential law breakers to see, or in disguise to nap potential law breakers. This is seldom the case in Malaysia.

When do you see policemen in large numbers? On parade during Independence Day Ceremonies! When there are a few people protesting in our streets for some causes! They are around in large numbers in uniform and in plain clothes when VIPs are around. O yes, when it comes to catching traffic offenders they are always around! However, when it comes to being around a crime-prone area like Chow Kit, they make a hasty retreat to find better locations for their police post! In other words, when you want them, they are not to be found!

The FRU members spend a lot of time polishing their shoes, helmets, batons, shields, teargas guns, tear masks, water cannons and what have you, most of the time unless some ‘violent’ fellows choose to gather for a candle vigil or to hand over a letter to a VIP. Then they show up in large numbers to protect us from these ‘violent’ fellows! Bravo! These people, like in Hong Kong and elsewhere, should be sent in squads to patrol ‘dangerous’ areas where criminals congregate to do their nasty business like robbing poor women, operating illegal gambling and bookkeeping dens, vice dens, etc. Their training in ‘brutality’ fits them to teach these unlawful people a touch lesson! Yet they are not found in such areas? Why? Are they kept in reserve for impending riots all the time? Are riots so frequent that they cannot be taken off base and must be ever ready all the time?

Any MP out there, please ask this questions on the people’s behalf so that we can understand our Police Force:

1. How many crime investigating officers we have?

2. How many traffic police do we have?

3. How many policemen go on foot patrol and where?

4. How many patrol cars we have and how many officers are in them at one time?

5. How many ‘office staff police officers we have’?

6. How many officers are the in our FRU?

7. How many Special Branch officers we have? (If not classified!)

8. How many PVR (volunteer police personnel) do we have?

9. How many go on active Religious Affairs raids?

10. How many police personnel are used for protecting, escorting VIPs?

11. How many police officers have died or been wounded in the line of duty arresting criminals?

12. How many police personnel had been charged fro bribery in the last 5 years?

13. What is the optimal number of police personnel needed actually in Malaysia?

Ask the Home Minister these questions. It is always interesting to hear him speak for he makes the greatest laughable statements all the time!

When we have so many road accidents, we faithfully carry out OPS SIKAP (latest count 18). Then police officers gloat about the few deaths and the increase summonses issued! When we have snatch thefts cases, robberies, rapes, kidnaps, blowing up of ATM machines, housebreaking, car and motorcycle thefts, white crimes, blackmails, illegal factories, vice dens, illegal gambling dens, cybercaf├ęs disguised gambling dens, etc. what major regular operations do we have? What about an OPS RAGUT ranging from 1 to a million?

Our police force is very selective in doing its work. Please do something to restore our confidence in you! We have read of members of the public acting when a snatch theft occurred, seldom of a police officer on duty doing so. We have read of citizens dying in trying to apprehend snatch thieves but is there a case of a police officer dying to catch one such thief?

The press is trying to give you all good publicity. You display weapons captured, arranged so neatly for the press photographers. You show stacks of money and drugs confiscated (some go missing in your custody, right?). Why all these man? If only you show your faces around when we most need you to prevent us simple folks from being robbed in our streets, in our so-called safe homes and in our cars, we will be most thankful.

- Citizen's Blog at The Star

Comment from Malaysia today
...
written by cheekymate, November 01, 2008 17:17:11
Can I add one more question? How many police officer has NEVER taken a bribe?

Please arrest all Malaysian Indians except MIC members

Yes sure, we are against the just and fair laws that are in existence in Malaysia. We create kecoh, we are a nuisance and most importantly, we are a non-existent segment of the society.

Please incarcerate us and educate us that the UMNO-led government is all fair and equal where the Malaysian Indians are just a bunch of trouble-makers and underclassed society that deserves its place in the dungeon.

Yes, the Malaysian Indians through its cause to highlight racial injustice is the cause for society illness in the eyes of the Malaysian government. Yes, we, the Malaysian Indians are classified as undignified and pariahs of Malaysia so we can be tossed around without a care for we are not part of the society that matter.

Yes, the Malaysian Indians are so run down and depleted that nobody cares that the policies and the system has monopolized the minds of those in the Malaysian government and its society to prostitute everyone on the grounds of race, religion, color, creed and thereby against humanity and fair play.

Yes, the Malaysian Indians are always being trampled by the UMNO-led government. Who cares? We can always do without a Malaysian Indian in Malaysia as they are disposable for their own good.

Yes, it matters not if the Malaysian Indians are made the scapegoats of all crimes, it does not matter what they have contributed in the past but how well it augurs the mindset of Malaysians and the propaganda orchestrated by the UMNO-led government.

The blaming game is never over for the purportedly level-headed Malaysian. Today, the blaming game is religion, color and creed. Following that, we have fear and intimidation. Such a sorrowful state we are in when humanity begs an answer.

Yes, the Malaysian Indians are such a disgraceful segment of the Malaysian society for the Almighty government and its kuncu-kuncu that it should not even warrant any comment, let alone a voice to address their grievances for humanity and fairness.

Sleep well my Dear Malaysians as this is the reality for your perception against truth and reality.

R. Shan (Human Being) - This is MY perception. What is yours?

Hindraf may re-emerge as a political force

The federal government ban on Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) may pave the way for disgruntled ethnic Indians into championing their cause through political platforms.
MCPX

The ban has resulted in Hindraf’s key leaders mulling how the movement and its 100,000 followers could play a role in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition.

It has been suggested that Hindraf followers can join either DAP, PAS or PKR en bloc or form a separate political entity and join Pakatan as equal partners.

These suggestions were made during a meeting last week of some 100 Hindraf coordinators from across the country to discuss the post-ban scenerio.

It was agreed in principle during the meeting that the movement now needed a stronger platform to continue their struggle and air their grievances.

Hindraf state coordinators are now gathering feedback from grassroots on the issue.

Although Hindraf followers are not completely satisfied with the performance of Pakatan elected representatives in handling problems faced by the Indian community, the coalition is still favoured against the Barisan Nasional.

“Pakatan is the lesser evil than BN,” one Hindraf leader told Malaysiakini.

Pakatan not perfect


Penang Hindraf deputy coordinator Sanjeeviramah Subramani noted that some Indian elected representatives in Pakatan-ruled states of Kedah, Penang, Perak and Selangor have failed to live up to expectations.

"Penang reps fared the worst compared with others and some have even backstabbed and badmouthed Hindraf after riding on the Makkal Sakti wave to success in the last general election.

"Nonetheless, Hindraf needs a platform to champion its cause and the current ideal solution is to join a vibrant political front like Pakatan," he said.

Should Hindraf supporters join forces with Pakatan, the movement would still be guided by its 18-point memorandum submitted to the government last year.

Hindraf, which was never a registered body, was banned by the Home Minister early last month after its activists paid a visit to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's Hari Raya open house.

The ban was seen by Hindraf supporters as a form of revenge by the BN after the movement was widely credited to have triggered a revolt against the coalition during the March 8 general election.

Watha: Ban futile

It is believed that the majority of Hindraf supporters would prefer to form a new political party and join Pakatan, but they fear that a registration process would be hampered by the Barisan government.

By joining en bloc in a single Pakatan coalition, Hindraf supporters are also hoping to break up Indian-based parties such as MIC, PPP and IPF by wooing their members.

p waythamoorthyIn his email to Malaysiakini, Hindraf London-based leader P Waythamoorthy said the organisation cannot be stifled with a mere ban.

He warned that Hindraf would follow the Hindu universal laws on darma, karma and reincarnation to re-emerge as a forceful movement for Indians and Malaysians in general.

"Hindraf would soon emerge in a new body, a much energized and energetic human rights force which would lead us to greater democratic heights.

"The government can ban Hindraf, but not the Makkal Sakti fervour," said the Waytha Moorthy who is in self-imposed exile in London following a government crackdown on Hindraf in December last year.

Pas denies racism, sexism for opposing PKNS boss

SHAH ALAM, Nov 1 - Denying racism or sexism for opposing Low Siew Moi's appointment as PKNS general manager, Pas Selangor commissioner Datuk Hassan Ali said it preferred "new blood" to manage the state corporation.

"I am prepared to support the appointment of a new PKNS general manager even if the person is not a Malay or a man, as long as they are professional and can provide a better future for PKNS," Hassan told the Siasah Daily news portal yesteday.

Hassan said his opinion was based on allegations that attacked the character of Low, who was corporate and accounts deputy general manager, and just-retired PKNS general manager Datuk Harun Salim.

His deputy, Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad, concurred that PKNS needed new blood.

"If we say that the PKNS management is bad, then I assume Madam Low is also bad as she is one of the senior managers there and not because she is not Malay. Anyone can lead PKNS as long as they understand its policies and aims and follow directives from the board led by the Menteri Besar," Khalid said.

"We don't want to appoint a Malay only to see the person not performing and causing Pakatan Rakyat trouble," he added.

Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim who appointed Low, a 35-year-veteran in PKNS, had said her new post was just a temporary measure. The 57-year-old Low has a one year contract starting today.

Her appointment had not only upset Pas but also did not go down well with the corporation's staff. At the Selangor State Assembly early this week, their representatives, led by PKNS Senior Officers Association president Idris Ishak, submitted a memorandum of protest to Khalid during the recess.

Hassan, who disclosed that Khalid had agreed to consider other candidates, said he had asked Khalid why the two most senior officers — Deputy General Manager (Administration) Md Nasir Md Arshad and Deputy General Manager (Technical) Abdul Ghani Hassan — were not appointed to succeed Harun.

He said Khalid had told him that Low was appointed because of her professionalism and administrative ability but Pas was of the view that the two deputy general managers had their own strengths and should have been considered for promotion.

Hasan said Khalid wanted the new general manager to bring reforms to PKNS and dignify the rights of bumiputeras in trade, business and economy in urban areas, town outskirts and new development areas despite the fact that Low was not a bumiputera.

He said Pas would hold a meeting soon to look at the list of party members who could take PKNS to greater heights.

Mahfuz questions Razak Baginda's acquittal

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 - Abdul Razak Baginda's acquittal in the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder trial will not help people trust the judiciary as the decision mirrored the outcome in a string of text messages from Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Pas information chief Mahfuz Omar said today.

He said the court decision yesterday will lead people to further question and dispute Najib's integrity, referring to an exchange of text messages between Najib and lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah on Razak's fate.

Najib has said that the messages to Shafee, who was Razak's initial lawyer when he was arrested in November 2006, were private and did not constitute an abuse of power.

"The court decision will not help increase trust in the judiciary. It's obvious the decision has followed the text messages between Najib and Shafee that said 'all is not lost' at the start of the case," said the Pokok Sena MP.

One part of the text messages, first revealed by the Malaysia Today news portal last month, said "Pls do not say anything to the press today. I will explain later. RB will have to face a tentative charge but all is not lost."

"Questioning a court decision is not allowed by law but the people cannot be faulted if they don't believe it," Mahfuz said.

He added that while Najib will not refuse to succeed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi next year, he should consider the feelings of Malaysians in the matter.

"Has Najib ever taken into consideration the feelings of Malaysians if their Prime Minister is connected to Altantuya's murder and the court decision is in line with his SMS to the lawyer? We haven't even talked about the scandals over the Sukhois, Scorpenes and Eurocopter," he said, referring to defence contracts that the opposition say are crooked deals.

"Does Najib think Malaysians will be proud and happy to have such a Prime Minister?" Mahfuz asked.