Tuesday, December 2, 2008
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The Sultan of Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah says he is disappointed with the manner in which some politicians exploit racial issues for their own agenda.
Speaking to The Star newspaper in an interview published today, the Sultan's remarks comes amid a heated debate sparked by a raft of recent public comments about race relations and the concept of Malay Supremacy.
His comments are also the latest sign of a more vocal royalty which appears to be filling the vacuum left by a lack of political leadership.
The Sultan said he was disturbed by how some politicians preferred to dwell on what he called trivial issues instead of focusing on dealing with the economy.
"Malaysia belongs to all races, not just the Malays. The country is what it is today because of the contributions of all races and that is something we must acknowledge," he said.
He also acknowledged, however, that it was his initiative to have the recent Conference of Rulers issue a statement defending the social contract, which has also been the subject of roiling debate recently.
"People need to understand that the social contract is the primary basis for the formation of Malaysia. Let's not debate it because it is better for the rakyat to understand the history behind the social contract," he said.
He said the rights of the Malays were well protected and could not be taken away without the consent of the Rulers.
But he said the Rulers also felt that non-Malays should not feel apprehensive over their rights as these rights are also guaranteed.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The Umno supreme council meeting tonight is expected to discuss several matters including the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election and action on former minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib said the meeting, to be chaired by Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, would likely discuss preparations for the by-election for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat although the Election Commission has yet to fix a date for the by-election.
The seat fell vacant following the death of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail, 59, while playing badminton in Genting Highlands last Friday.
Muhammad said the meeting was also expected to discuss action to be taken on Zaid for attending the recent Parti Keadilan Rakyat Congress. — Bernama
Dr Chua says he accepts the leadership of Malay leaders. — Picture by Choo Choy May
By Shannon Teoh
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek today clarified that he is not challenging the position of the Malay Rulers, Bumiputera rights or Bahasa Malaysia but questioned the use of the phrase “Ketuanan Melayu”, or Malay Supremacy.
"We must change the power-sharing concept in the Barisan Nasional as the term ‘Ketuanan Melayu’ gives the impression that other parties in the BN are slaves," he said, referring to Umno's dominance in the governing coalition.
"We accept the leadership of Malay leaders. But it cannot be denied that certain parties exploit the term," Dr Chua said.
Yesterday the Young Malay Graduates Movement (GGMM), a Malay rights group, demanded Dr Chua pay RM2 million in compensation for allegedly questioning the special position of the Malays.
Dr Chua said in his speech, at a recent advertising awards night, that by extending this phrase to all aspects of Malay rights within the power-sharing concept of the BN, it gave the impression that other parties in the BN were slaves to Umno.
The position of the Bumiputeras and Bahasa Malaysia, however, was not to be questioned as it is enshrined in the federal constitution.
"I used the term in the context of power-sharing in the BN, which has been exploited by certain quarters to gain support from the people.
"It has no connection whatsoever to challenging the Malay Rulers and the special rights of Bumiputeras and Bahasa Malaysia as the national language," he stated.
He gave examples of the exploitation of the term “Ketuanan Melayu”.
"During general elections, the opposition tells non-Malays ‘supporting BN is supporting Ketuanan Melayu’. So how do we explain to them in the short campaign period?"
On the other hand, he said there were also some NGOs and Umno politicians who are now accusing him of challenging the special position of the Malays for their own purposes.
Yesterday, Umno Youth chief hopeful Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir accused Dr Chua of trying to be a "hero" by challenging Malay rights.
Dr Chua shot back today, saying that there is no reason for him to be a hero as his party's polls were already done while "they are the ones facing a party election”.
"Whoever says I am being a hero should look in the mirror," he said.
He also touched on Mukhriz's call for the abolition of vernacular schools, saying that it has been an issue that has been debated since he joined politics in the ‘80s.
"It is very clear that there are constitutional guarantees of freedom of choice in education and freedom to pursue mother tongue education.
"I am sure MCA will object if the dual system is being replaced. We respect the constitution and it is provided for by the constitution," he added.
He hoped all parties would accept his clarification and read his speech in full.
"But they have the right to do something and I have the right to defend what I believe is true. They have the right to speak out, I cannot obstruct that," he said referring to GGMM as well as Malay-language newspapers such as Utusan Malaysia.
"Utusan, as usual as a BM paper, it brings up issues which are important to the Malays, and Chinese papers do the same and give publicity to issues that are important to the Chinese," he added.
Dr Chua was pressed also on whether he had the backing of his party in his stand as it had been reported in Utusan that party president Datuk Ong Tee Keat said that it was not the stand of the party.
"You have to read the Chinese papers. In Utusan he said that my views are personal. But in the Chinese press, he said he was satisfied and proud that my views were in line with his. So I leave it to the readers to decide which one reflects the stand of my president," he said.
If I had had the time, I would have written on what I think and how I feel about the Pakatan Rakyat, more particularly PKR, offering a Deputy Chief Minister’s position to Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah (if reports are true).
I do not think this is the kind of example that the Pakatan wants to set and I am wondering how it is that those who lead the coalition could have even thought of making such an offer (if true). There has already been intense debate about whether cross-overs should be accepted as a point of principle, with the DAP having been very clear about its disagreement. Accepting a cross-over and offering him a plum position in the administration is something that far more extreme.
There are several ways this can be looked at. What does Arif Shah offer that so many of those who have struggled for so long in the pursuit of change-for-the-better cannot? His UMNO credentials? His network of UMNO supporters? The insult his defection would amount to?
Even if the defection of UMNO were to be the result of his defection, and I do not necessarily think that would be the case, is that worth the message it sends out about the Pakatan: that the Pakatan is a coalition that is prepared to pay whatever it takes to get where it wants to. Because if a deal has in fact been struck with Arif Shah, that is what the Pakatan is doing.
And it would seem that that is what the Pakatan has become.
What happened to the adherence to principle that underlay the Pakatan’s election campaign? Has the value of principle lessened since? Have we forgotten the kind of campaign that Arif Shah was associated with in Permatang Pauh, the obscenities, the racial slurs and incitement, the entire circus? Are we overlooking the fact that Arif Shah wants to leave UMNO for the way his has been treated (according to media reports) rather than for his rejection of UMNO’s ideology?
And above all, has Anwar Ibrahim forgotten what it is that motivated the rakyat on March 8th? It was not blind ambition, it was the pursuit of a better Malaysia.
How Arif Shah becoming a Deputy Chief Minister of Penang takes us closer to that objective is something beyond my comprehension. Even if it leads to the taking of Federal Government, I am certain that must have something to do with the offer, I question whether a Federal Government achieved on the back of personal interests is a government I want.
Malik Imtiaz Sarwar
2. Kepercayaan bahawa ini akan berlaku diasaskan kepada pengumuman oleh Dato' Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi yang dia akan serah jawatannya kepada Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak pada tarikh tersebut. Abdullah juga menyatakan yang dia tidak akan bertanding jawatan Presiden Umno dalam pemilihan ahli Majlis Tertinggi Umno pada Mac 2009. Justeru tidak ada bahagian yang mencalonkan Abdullah sebagai Presiden.
3. Biasanya sesiapa yang menjadi Presiden Umno akan menjadi Perdana Menteri jika Barisan Nasional menang dan menjadi parti yang terbesar dalam Parlimen. Tetapi ini tradisi sahaja. Jika diberi kepercayaan oleh majoriti ahli Dewan Rakyat, yang bukan Presiden Umno dan Pengerusi BN juga boleh jadi Perdana Menteri.
5. Dalam DAP sementara pemimpin besarnya ialah Lim Kit Siang tetapi dia tidak jadi Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang. Keadaan yang sama terdapat dalam parti Keadilan di Selangor. Bahkan jika ketua Pakatan ialah Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim, dia tidak mengetuai mana-mana Kerajaan yang dikuasai oleh Pakatan.
6. Berita angin sudah berkembang bahawa walaupun Najib akan jadi Presiden Umno, tidak semestinya dia akan jadi Perdana Menteri. Berita yang didengar ialah Abdullah masih berminat meneruskan jawatan Perdana Menteri.
7. Jika diambil kira sikap pemimpin dan ramai ahli Umno, kemungkinan ini berlaku tidak mustahil. Mereka tidak akan menentang Abdullah kerana mereka amat selesa dengan kepimpinan beliau dan nikmat tertentu yang mereka dapati darinya.
8. Tetapi pengekalan Abdullah sebagai PM tetap akan menyemarakkan kebencian rakyat kepada Umno dan BN. Politik akan bergolak sepanjang masa sehingga pilihanraya. Dan apabila datang pilihanraya percayalah majoriti rakyat akan tolak Umno dan BN.
9. Rakyat tidak berminat dengan parti-parti lawan tetapi mereka tidak ada pilihan. Umno sudah jadi parti pimpinan ramai perasuah dan jika Umno menang bersama BN, maka yang akan memerintah Malaysia ialah orang yang menjadi Perdana Menteri dan Menteri melalui rasuah dan mereka ini tetap akan amalkan rasuah dalam Kerajaan untuk dapat balik "pelaburan" mereka dan lebih daripada itu.
10. Jika rakyat Malaysia ingin elak daripada nasib buruk ini menimpa negara, rakyat perlu beritahu UMNO dan kepimpinannya awal-awal lagi iaitu rakyat akan tolak UMNO jika orang yang diketahui umum terlibat dengan rasuah dipilih sebagai pemimpin UMNO pada pemilihan Majlis Tertinggi Mac 2009.
11. Demikian juga jika Abdullah cuba terus menjadi Perdana Menteri selepas Mac 2009, rakyat harus beri mesej yang jelas yang UMNO serta BN akan dikalahkan.
12. UMNO pimpinan perasuah dan perosak tidak harus diberi kuasa memimpin negara yang tercinta ini.
13. Kerosakan yang telah dilakukan selama lima tahun Abdullah menerajui Kerajaan Malaysia sudah cukup buruk. Fikirkanlah akan keburukan yang akan dilakukan kepada UMNO dan negara apabila seluruh kepimpinan Kerajaan terdiri daripada perasuah.
14. Dalam UMNO sekarang sudah ada orang yang berpendapat kalau ini adalah kali terakhir mereka akan dapat sogokan, lebih baiklah mereka menerima. Sekurang-kurang mereka akan kecapi "nikmat" sekali. Mungkin tidak akan ada peluang lagi. Apa jadi kepada UMNO, bangsa dan negara adalah masalah lain, bukan masalah mereka. Bagi mereka "nikmat" tidak boleh ditolak, walaupun hanya RM100.
15. Bagi mereka ini generasi akan datang akan kutuk mereka apabila orang Melayu di Malaysia sudah jadi seperti orang Melayu di Singapura di mana mereka menjadi "hamba" kepada kaum-kaum lain. Inilah nasib yang menunggu orang Melayu kerana lebih sedia disogok daripada mempertahan dan memelihara kuasa bangsa.
Suspect named as Azam Amir Qasab
21 years old, fluent English speaker
Told police he is from Faridkot village, in Pakistan's Punjab province said the attackers took orders from handlers in Pakistan
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) _ Muslims from the Middle East to Britain and Austria condemned Sunday the Mumbai shooting rampage by suspected Islamic militants as senseless terrorism, but also found themselves on the defensive once again about bloodshed linked to their religion.
Intellectuals and community leaders called for greater efforts to combat religious fanaticism.
Indian police said Sunday that the only surviving gunman told them he belongs to the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba. The group is seen as a creation of Pakistani intelligence to help fight India in the disputed Kashmir region. Another group, Jaish-e-Mohammed, has also operated in Kashmir. Both are reported to be linked to al-Qaida.
Ten gunmen attacked 10 targets in the three-day assault including a Jewish community center and luxury hotels in India's commercial hub. More than 170 people were killed.
"The occupation of the synagogue and killing people in hotels tarnishes the Muslim faith," said Kazim al-Muqdadi, a political science lecturer at Baghdad University. "Anyone who slaughters people and screams 'Allahu Akbar' (God is Great) is sick and ignorant."
In Britain, home to nearly two million Muslims, a spokesman for the Muslim Council of Britain, Inayat Bunglawala, said that "a handful of terrorists like this bring the entire faith into disrepute."
A previously unknown Muslim group, Deccan Mujahideen, claimed responsibility for the attacks. The name suggests origins in India.
Pakistan has denied involvement and demanding that India provide proof. In Pakistan, Jamaat-ud Dawa, an Islamist group believed to have ties to Lashkar-e-Taiba, denounced the killing of civilians.
In Islamic extremist Web forums, some praised the Mumbai attacks, including the targeting of Jews.
A man identified as Sheik Youssef al-Ayeri said the killings are in line with Islam.
"It's all right for Muslims to set the infidels' castles on fire, drown them with water .... and take some of them as prisoners, whether young or old, women or men, because it is one of many ways to beat them," he wrote in the al-Fallujah forum.
In the Gaza Strip, the territory's Islamic militant Hamas rulers declined comment. Hamas has carried out scores of suicide attacks in Israel, killing hundreds of civilians in recent years. However, Hamas has said it does not want to get involved in conflicts elsewhere.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad referred to the attacks as terrorism, but added that the violence is rooted in "unjust policies" aimed at destabilizing the region. He did not elaborate.
India is seen by many in the Arab and Muslim world as a Western ally. For example, Israel has become an important arms supplier to India, angering Muslim Pakistan.
Saudi Arabia said in a statement carried earlier this week by the Saudi Press Agency that it "strongly condemns and denounces this criminal act." An editorial Friday in Saudi's English-language Arab News said that "no civilized person ... can be anything but revolted and sickened by the terrorist attacks in Mumbai."
However, Jonathan Fighel, an Israeli counterterrorism expert, said Saudi organizations have been funneling money to Muslim militants in Kashmir.
"This demonstrates exactly the double game and, I would say, the hypocrisy of the Saudi regime," said Fighel of the Israel-based International Institute for Counter-Terrorism.
Throughout the Muslim world, the attacks set off soul-searching.
"I think that Muslims should raise their voice against such actions. They should forge a coalition to fight such phenomena, because it harms them and damages their image," said Ali Abdel Muhsen, 22, a Muslim engineering student in the West Bank city of Nablus.
Muslims and Arabs must confront the violence "that is taking place in our name and in the name of our (Islamic) tenets," wrote Khaled al-Jenfawi, a columnist for Kuwait's Al-Seyassah daily.
"Unfortunately, we have yet to see a distinguished popular condemnation in the traditional Arab or Muslim communities that strongly rejects what is happening in the name of Islam or Arab nationalism," wrote al-Jenfawi.
Reporters across the Middle East and Europe contributed to this report.
On behalf of friends of Minority Communities in Malaysia I would like to invite you to a briefing at the House of Lords, Room G.
We will be addressed by Mr. Waytha Moorthy, a Human Rights Advocate from Malaysia and four representatives from a number of independent bodies from Malaysia and the United States of America. They will discuss the grave difficulties and threats facing Minority Communities in Malaysia, in particular the largest Minority Community, the Hindu/Sikh Community.
It is crucial the alleged persecution of Minorities be high-lighted to the Democratic World.
The event will take place on 8th December 2008 in Room G at the House of Lords. It will start at 11.00 a.m. and conclude at 1.00 p.m. Light refreshments will be served.
With kind regards.
Baroness Verma, FRSA
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Religious superstition and persecution never ceases to amaze me. Take the case of Aisha Ibrahim Duhulow of Mogadishu , Somalia . On 27th October 2008, 13-year old Aisha was killed. She was killed when 1,000 people stoned her to death. And she was stoned to death because three men had raped her. She was raped, so they accused of adultery.
Imagine a 13-year old girl killed in a most brutal manner because she was raped by three men. Should it not be the three men who should have instead been stoned to death? And do you not wonder why Islam suffers from a serious image problem? Muslims should take stock of what they are doing and understand the disservice they are doing to Islam.
Our religious rehabilitation by the Kamunting detention camp started on the Tuesday after Deepavali. The highlight of the sessions was the "nasi tomato" and the chicken wing in a plastic bag that they served for lunch, courtesy of JAKIM but paid for by the Malaysian taxpayers, 90% who are Chinese.
The JAKIM ustaz told us that Islam is the true religion and that all other religions are false. We were reminded not to believe in or follow other religions, which are not accepted and recognized by God. Only the Koran is the true Holy Book and was sent to us by God through the Prophet Muhammad. All other books are false and were created by man and did not come from God.
We must also not copy or ape the non-Muslims as that will lead us astray and we will become an apostate if we act like the kafir. He did not, however, give any examples on what would be considered acting like a kafir.
In the meantime, in another incident that happened outside the Kamunting detention camp, an UKM lecturer explained that Muslims should not do yoga or meditate, as the origin of this is Hinduism. Muslims who do yoga or meditate would be led astray, argued the wise man from UKM. He then asked the religious scholars to come out with a fatwa or decree banning Muslims from doing yoga or meditating.
It is ironical that the JAKIM ustaz who visited Kamunting chose that subject matter to kick off our religious rehabilitation program. The article that got me into trouble with the government and which resulted in my detention under the Internal Security Act said exactly the same thing. I pointed out that the Friday prayer sermons run down the other religions. I also argued that we are told not to ape the non-Muslims or take them as our friends as the non-Muslims are sworn enemies of Islam and can never be our friends. For that I was detained under the Internal Security Act and my first lecture happened to be the very thing I said and which got me detained.
There are in fact many things which Malays do and which originated from Hinduism. Take the stringing up of coloured lights as one example. Seven days before Hari Raya Malays would string up coloured lights around their home, sometimes even on trees like they do during Christmas. This is a throwback of the old days when they used to use kerosene or oil lamps. And this was a custom borrowed from Deepavali because the Arabs do not do this.
So, the next time you pass by a Malay house during Hari Raya and you see all those coloured lights you can smile, knowing that the occupant of that house is borrowing a Hindu ritual -- only that he or she does not know it.
If we really want to go into the long list of Hindu customs and rituals that the Malays have borrowed the list would be endless. We should not ape the kafir, the religious scholars tell us. If not we would become a kafir. Well, what about wearing a tie, coat and pants? Is this not a kafir attire?
How many Malays go about wearing a robe and turban? Even that UKM lecturer who wants a fatwa issued banning Malays from doing yoga or meditation wears kafir clothes. Look at all the Malay government officers. They all wear kafir clothes and sometimes a tie as well. The security forces all wear kafir uniforms with a kafir hat on their heads.
We count our days using a Christian calendar. I am facing various charges for crimes I committed on certain days of the Christian calendar. What was the day of the Islamic calendar, the Hijrah calendar, that I committed my crimes? The charge sheet does not say.
I am facing various charges in a kafir court. The charges I am facing are crimes according to kafir laws. I was also under detention without trial according to a kafir law. In fact, according to Islam, I have not committed any crime. And Islam does not allow for detention without trial.
For that matter not only have I not committed a crime, according to Islam, but what I have done is what Islam has actually made mandatory. Islam makes it mandatory for all Muslims to perform "Amar Makruf, Nahi Munkar". This means to uphold good and oppose evil. All Muslims must do this without exception. Not doing it, according to Islam, makes you an extremely weak Muslim.
I, however, am now facing trial and was under detention without trial for performing my Islamic duty. And kafir laws, not Islamic laws, are being used against me. Kafir laws are being used against Muslims for doing what Islam has made mandatory.
And what is the reaction of Muslims to all this? What is the UKM lecturer doing about it? Is he up in arms about the kafir system being implemented against Islam? Is the Member of Parliament for Kulim demonstrating on the streets and screaming, "I am a Muslim first I don't care about other people's opinions"?
Okay, the UKM lecturer wants yoga and meditation banned and the Kulim MP wants to shut the mouths of anyone who wants to talk about Islam. But that is about it. It never goes beyond that,
Sometimes the Malays can be amazing. Okay, not sometimes, most times. Now UMNO wants Zaid Ibrahim sacked as a Malay. Can any Malay actually be sacked as a Malay? I wonder, but UMNO thinks it can be done. UMNO says that Zaid would be nobody -- he would not be a lawyer of the biggest law firm in Malaysia -- if he was not a Malay and the country did not have Ketuanan Melayu and the New Economic Policy.
Zaid thinks that that is an insult. He would like to believe he is what he is because he is Zaid and because he is smart. If he would instead be a simple fisherman in Tumpat, Kelantan, without the benefit of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP, then this means Zaid is actually quite stupid.
I share Zaid's view. I also would like to believe that I am "somebody" and "special" because I am Raja Petra. If it is because of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP, and if not because of that I would be washing cars in Bangsar, then this would certainly make me very unhappy.
Yes, Zaid and people like him do not need crutches. Only losers need crutches. And that is why UMNO wants these crutches to remain, because they are all a bunch of losers. I would like to believe that I am what I am because of who I am and not because of Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP. I take pride in that. I would hate people saying, "of course Raja Petra is successful. He is a Malay and Malays have Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP to help them. Malays need crutches to get ahead."
It is time the crutches are removed and the Malays learned how to walk with their heads held up high. Malays have to be made to believe that the Ketuanan Melayu and the NEP is an insult and that it suggests Malays are weak creatures. Malays must be proud of their achievements and not credit their achievements to the protection and special privileges they enjoy because they are Malay. The Malays used to be a proud race. Now they are no longer proud. They accept that they are weak. So they demand protection to compensate for this weakness.
I suppose there must be a good reason why the government would rather keep Malaysians stupid and lock me up so that I can’t continue in my attempts to wake Malaysians up and educate them. Could it be because stupid Malaysians can be easily manipulated while smart Malaysians would vote opposition?
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) was created persuant to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission Act (1998) as a new regulator for the communications and multimedia industry in Malaysia. At the same time, the Communications and Multimedia Act (1998) was passed, to fulfil the need to regulate an increasingly convergent communications and multimedia industry.
The Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 is based on the basic principles of transparency and clarity; more competition and less regulation; flexibility; bias towards generic rules; regulatory forbearance; emphasis on process rather than content; administrative and sector transparency; and industry self-regulation.
The Act seeks to provide a generic set of regulatory provisions based on generic definitions of market and service activities and services. The jurisdiction of this Act is restricted to networked services and activities only.
The MCMC took over regulation of the Postal Services on 1 November 2002. On the same day it also was appointed the Certifying Agency under the Digital Signature Act (1997).
The above is what they say on the MCMC website. In the section called WHAT WE DO (http://www.skmm.gov.my/what_we_do/licensing/licensing.asp ), the MCMC website says: The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission issues licences under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998, the Postal Services Act 1991 and the Digital Signature Act 1997.
In the section titled ENFORCEMENT (http://www.skmm.gov.my/what_we_do/Enforcement/enforcement.asp ), this is what the MCMC website says:
The primary function of enforcement is to conduct investigation upon receiving reports relating to the commission of offences under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 (CMA), the Postal Services Act 1991 (PSA), the Digital Signatures Act 1997 (DSA) and the relevant subsidiary legislations.
The objective of the investigation is to ascertain whether or not the offender has committed the offence and also to gather sufficient evidence on the offender. After the investigation is completed, the investigation paper will be submitted to the Deputy Public Prosecutor for his decision on the appropriate action to be taken on the case investigated by MCMC.
Effective enforcement carried out by MCMC is to ensure the rights of the licensees, investors, consumers and the public are always protected and the confidence in communications, multimedia and postal services are maintained at all times.
Okay, now read the above again and note the following sentences or clauses:
1) The jurisdiction of this Act is restricted to networked services and activities only.
2) …….emphasis on process rather than content……
3) ……. more competition and less regulation…….
4) Effective enforcement carried out by MCMC is to ensure the rights of the licensees, investors, consumers and the public are always protected…….
At 6.00pm on 26 August 2008, Malaysia Today suddenly ‘disappeared’. We thought it was a technical glitch and called the hosting company. The hosting company, who was located overseas, said that the site is working fine and that they have no problems accessing it. We insisted we can’t access it from Malaysia and on further investigation they confirmed what we said and told us that Malaysia Today can’t be accessed only in Malaysia but there are no problems if accessing the site from other countries outside Malaysia.
It was soon established that Malaysia Today could not be accessed because the MCMC had written to the 20 or so Malaysian ISPs (Internet Service Providers; such as Jaring, TMNet, Maxis, Celcom, etc.) and ordered them to block malaysia-today.net. They did not unblock malaysia-today.net until barely a few hours before the police detained me under the Internal Security Act around noon of 12 September 2008.
The reason given to the ISPs was that Malaysia Today had broken the law. Which law was never specified but then Malaysian companies that need the goodwill of the Malaysian government to renew their licences or to ensure that their licences do not get withdrawn do not ask for clarification. They just do what they are told.
Before the MCMC acted on 26 August, they had been summoned for a few meetings to be told that the Cabinet was not happy with the countless revelations and exposes that Malaysia Today had dragged up the last four years since 2004. The MCMC was told the Cabinet is of the view that they (MCMC) are not doing their job and the Cabinet wants them to act against Malaysia Today.
The fact that the MCMC, as charted in its website above, does not have that power (read items 1, 2, 3 and 4 above) to block Malaysia Today appears lost to the powers-that-be. The Cabinet is not concerned about what the law says. They just want Malaysia Today closed down and it is the MCMC’s job to do that. The MCMC replied that it would be difficult to block malaysia-today.net on political grounds as this would look too obvious. It would be better that they use ‘insulting Islam’ and ‘insulting Prophet Muhammad’ as that reason. This would look more ‘legitimate’.
So, on 26 August 2008, the MCMC ordered all the Malaysia ISPs to block malaysia-today.net, which they did. But they still needed a reason to block malaysia-today.net and they found this reason in a comment posted by anti-jihadist. The problem is anti-jihadist posted that comment on 28 August 2008, two days after malaysia-today.net was put out of action. Is the MCMC clairvoyant and could see into the future? Did it have a crystal ball and knew, two days in advance, that anti-jihadist was going to post a ‘damaging’ comment? It is mind-boggling that the MCMC was able to block malaysia-today.net two days before the comment that caused it to be blocked was posted.
Soon after malaysia-today.net went out of action, overseas friends of Malaysia Today floated a new website and tried to restore as much of the old data as possible. Some were saved but much was lost when the servers that hosted malaysia-today.net were closed down and sold off.
This posed another problem. I am facing a charge under the Sedition Act and the Attorney-General did not attach an original copy of the article ‘Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell’ with the charge. Instead, they manually typed out the article -- so, for all intents and purposes, the ‘evidence’ of my ‘crime’ had been fabricated. They are now trying to amend the charge but the court has rejected the motion to amend the charge. (The Attorney-General has now appealed this decision in the High Court so we are yet to know if they will be allowed to amend the charge).
Nevertheless, because malaysia-today.net no longer exists, they are not able to adduce the evidence to support the charge and even the amended charge is based on the manually typed copy of the article -- meaning the evidence is still ‘fabricated’. It would be interesting to see how the prosecution now pursues its case against me in the absence of the original article from malaysia-today.net.
Anyway, on 3 December 2008, the prosecution will be embarking on a ‘fishing expedition’ to see if they can find the original copy of that article in my two computers which they have confiscated. They hope, since they can no longer obtain the original copy of the article from malaysia-today.net, that they can instead find it in one of the computers. They are really desperate to find the evidence with which they can use to nail my balls to the wall.
The MCMC realised that they could not justify blocking malaysia-today.net based on a comment by anti-jihadist that was posted two days AFTER the site was blocked. So they decided to unblock malaysia-today.net and instead detain me under Section 73 of the Internal Security Act, barely a few hours later, on vague grounds that I posted articles that incite Malaysians to hate its leaders plus insult Islam and the Prophet.
My wife then filed a writ of habeas corpus and it appeared like the court might agree with my wife’s contention that my detention was vague and mala fide. The court was due to hear our petition on 23 September 2008. On 22 September 2008, they quickly re-detained me under Section 8 of the Internal security Act and on the morning of 23 September they sent me packing off to Kamunting. This torpedoed the habeas corpus hearing due to be held that same day and my wife had to start all over again and file a new habeas corpus action.
A day or two after the MCMC blocked malaysia-today.net, I received a phone call from that big chap who runs the Chawan restaurant in Bangsar, across the road from The Outback in Bangsar Village, who said he wants to discus how malaysia-today-net can be unblocked. My wife and I went to meet him and he told us that the MCMC wants to explore how to unblock malaysia-today.net but this must be based on certain terms and conditions. He told me that he is an emissary from Mohamed Shahril Tarmizi, the senior manager of the MCMC, the man who ordered Malaysia Today closed down.
The problem, they told me, was not my articles, but the comments. Currently, the comments in Malaysia Today are not moderated. Would I be prepared to moderate them? I asked them how to do that when we receive thousands of comments and they are posted 24-7. I would have to employ at least ten staff and that would cost me maybe RM15,000-RM20,000 per month. I do not have the money to do that. I then asked them what solutions they could recommend.
They admitted that they have been pondering over this problem for some time and also do not have any solutions to suggest. Okay, I replied, I am prepared to hand over the job of moderating the comments in Malaysia Today to the government. The government can take over and moderate the comments in Malaysia Today. Would they be prepared to do that?
They admitted that the government would not be able to do that, as it would require a massive operation to do so. Never mind, they told me, they will unblock malaysia-today.net and give us six months to come out with a solution. On 10 September 2008, I received a phone call telling me that the MCMC has decided to unblock malaysia-today.net and that they will give us six months to come out with a plan on how to moderate the comments in Malaysia Today. On 11 September 2008, malaysia-today.net was unblocked. On 12 September 2008, they detained me under the Internal Security Act.
Can any of you figure out what is going on here? I, for one, can’t imagine what game they are playing.
While under ISA detention, I related this whole episode to SAC1 Dato’ Zamri, the man in-charge of the six-member team of interrogators assigned to me. I am not sure of his ‘surname’ but he is probably the best-looking Special Branch officer in Bukit Aman and most likely will be the head of the Special Branch in time to come.
He was very accommodating (even bought me a packet of cigarettes; which is not allowed when you are in jail) but what concerned me was his insistence that my articles could mislead the readers because the majority of Malaysians have a much lower intellectual level and may not understand what I write. It is not that I have committed a crime as such. It is just that the way I write may confuse Malaysians. In short, my crime is for having a higher intellectual level than the average Malaysian and they might misunderstand what I write. This is why the government regards me as a threat to society.
I do not regard myself as an intellectual or even as being smarter than most Malaysians. But this was the argument THEY were using to justify my detention and this bothered me. Based on what they were tying to tell me, I have to be sent to Kamunting because I am smart and most Malaysians are stupid. So Malaysians need to be protected from me.
I asked Dato’ Zamri: would it not be better that I be allowed to go free and continue to educate Malaysians through Malaysia Today so that, in time, they too can be ‘smart like me’ (tongue-in-cheek of course because I did not buy the “Raja Petra is too smart and Malaysians too stupid” argument)? No, they did not think so. They felt that the best solution would be to lock me up so that the ‘stupid’ Malaysians can be ‘protected’.
I suppose there must be a good reason why the government would rather keep Malaysians stupid and why they lock me up so that I can’t continue my attempts to wake Malaysians up and educate them. Could it be because stupid Malaysians can be easily manipulated while smart Malaysians would vote opposition? Maybe Dato’ Zamri can help reply to this question.
In the meantime, the government has appealed the court’s decision to release me from ISA detention on 7 November 2008. They want me back in Kamunting where they feel I belong and which they feel would be safer for Malaysians. Let’s see what the court has to say about this. Will the court agree that Malaysians should be ‘protected’ and that I should not be allowed to awaken and educate them, or will the court feel that it is time Malaysians received the right information and not the crap that the school history textbooks and mainstream media spews forth?
SHAH ALAM (Nov 30, 2008): Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today dismissed talks by cynics that his talk of taking over the government was just rhetoric, saying: "Insyallah, not long, we will be in Putrajaya."
Speaking of the exploitation of the indigenous people of Sabah and Sarawak, especially the ancestral land exploitation issues, he said: "We are giving their leader the option - are they going to continue supporting a system that insults the intelligence of their own people?"
"In the name of God, I trust the wisdom of my people, all Malaysians."
He said all this will be achieved by the power of prayers. "Don’t underestimate the power of prayers because we can plan, we can work but the power of the prayers of people of all faiths should not be underestimated."
"We all believe in what is right and we leave it to God, and in a short time, hopefully, we will achieved what we want," Anwar said.
Anwar had told a public rally on Saturday that Sarawak will be their next battleground before the Pakatan Rakyat takes over the federal government
He asked the party's leaders to make weekly trips to Sarawak to meet its aim to unseat the Barisan Nasional (BN) government in the state.
He stated this when explaining to those present why the PR could not meet its deadline of Sept 16 to unseat the federal government.
He further said it (taking over of federal government) did not materialise because a letter to negotiate the matter sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was not entertained by him. Another reason, he said, was that BN MPs wanting to defect had laid a condition that their names not be revealed until they were ready to do so.
His call to take Sarawak however has got his cynics pooh-poohing his claims, Bernama reported.
In Kuching, Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib questioned Anwar's credibility, especially when his Sept 16 deadline to form a new overnment did not materialise.
"I don't want to comment on people like that. Well, his (Anwar's) credibilty is not that high when he said Sept 16 is his target date which he promised to be the date to form a new government," Taib, who is also state BN chairman.
In Kota Kinabalu, Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek regarded PKR's aim to capture Sarawak next year as yet another delution of Mat Jenin, a dreamer in a popular Malay fable. He said after PKR failed to form the federal government on Sept 16 as promised, many people had lost their faith in the party.
"I find the stories of the 'delutions of Mat Jenin' to be interesting human dramas. I see the 'Mat Jenins' from the peninsula who failed to realise their big dream of forming the government on Sept 16, now trying again to win over the people.
"What is clear after Sept 16 is that, whatever new promises they make would only be laughed at," he told reporters when met at the home of Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Sapawi Ahmad in Kampung Ketiau, near here, today.
"He can leave if he wants to but don't put the blame on us," he said when commenting a statement by Arif Shah that he had been sidelined by the division, despite being the only Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate to win in Permatang Pauh during the March general election.
Jalil who recently defeated Arif Shah in the contest for the Permatang Pauh chief post said he had no quarrels with Arif Shah.
He said the new committee was taking steps to strengthen the party by weeding out members who supported the opposition during the general election and the Permatang Pauh by-election in Aug.
"There is no problem. The division is working as a team for the future of the party and Permatang Pauh. We are one happy family," said Jalil.
Permatang Pauh Umno information chief Ahmad Sahar Shuib said Arif Shah should respect the delegates decision to retain Jalil as division chief.
"We did not sideline him. He has to fit in with the new line-up," he said. - Bernama
Now, when the crime rate appears to be high, they are telling us to “change our perception” of crime…
… and all will be well.
Najib was saying that our perception of worrying crime rates should be viewed in perspective: apparently Malaysia has lower crime rates than Japan and Hong Kong.
Maybe it was just my perception that my apartment was broken into last year and my personal belongings stolen.
MUMBAI, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- It was a painful death for Malaysian Hema Kassipillai, whose decomposed body was found on the sixth floor of the 565-room Taj Mahal Palace Hotel -- a gracious landmark of the city built in 1903.
The sixth floor bore the brunt of the violent terrorist attacks that burned down the entire floor in the 60-hour horrendous ordeal that started on Wednesday in India's financial capital.
Like all other rooms, Hema's room, number 637, was completely charred during the ensuing battle between unknown number of terrorists holed-up inside the hotel and dozens of Indian security forces.
Terrorists, allegedly arrived via sea route with their armaments, made two of the hotel's sixth floor rooms, facing the Colaba seafront, as their headquarters and later terrorised the occupants until Saturday morning.
The Times of India gave a descriptive write-up of the ill-fated hotel build by the industrialised Jamsetji N. Tata.
The occupants on the sixth floor also include the paper's Consulting Editor Sabina Sehgal Saikial, who was also killed in the attacks.
The hotel's general manager Karambir Kang's wife and his two sons also perished in the fire that gutted the sixth floor.
Another luckless guest on the sixth floor was Greek tycoon Andreas Liveras, who was slain by terrorist bullets.
But former Indian city model Gurpreet Gill, who currently lives in Singapore, escaped and was reported to have stumbled upon two suspected terrorists, whose room was next to hers.
The terrorists, equipped with blackberrys to monitor news and satellite phones, destroyed all the rooms facing the Arabian sea, including the presidential rooms, valuable paintings, furniture and hand-oven silk carpets, said the paper.
According to Indian Home Ministry, a total of 183 people were killed, including 22 foreigners.
The hotel is an architecture marvel which combines Florentine, Moorish and Oriental designs, making it a magnificent landmark of Mumbai.
But now it stands with a badly-wounded image.
Hema's Remains To Arrive Monday
According to a spokesman at the Malaysian consulate in Mumbai, her remains will be flown back on a Malaysian Airlines cargo flight (MH095) that will depart Mumbai at 11.30pm (Indian time).
Hema who lived in Bangsar and worked for a Kuala Lumpur-based company, was staying at the hotel while on a business visit to India' commercial capital.
The landmark hotel came under siege by terrorists on Wednesday, a day after the unfortunate lady arrived in Mumbai.
She was scheduled to return to Malaysia on Dec 5.
Her charred remains were found by a medical team in her room on the sixth of the hotel and she is believed to have died of smoke inhalation.
MIC Says Hema's Death Tragic
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 (Bernama) -- MIC today condemned the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India, which killed nearly 200 people including a Malaysian woman, Hema Kassipillay.
Its president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who expressed shock and disbelief over Hema's death, extended his condolences to Hema's husband K. Sivakumaran and expressed the hope that the Malaysian government could assist Sivakumaran to bring her remains back to Malaysia.
"We feel sad and enraged over the death of Hema and almost 200 other people in this barbaric and unthinkable act of terror," he told Bernama here, Sunday.
Samy Vellu said the Malaysian High Commission in India should immediately seek the release of her body since it was reported that a post-mortem had already been conducted.
Hema, 51, who was reported missing since the terror attacks in Mumbai, the financial city of India last Wednesday, was found dead yesterday in her room at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel where she stayed.
Hema, from Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, was believed to have died of smoke inhalation.
A post mortem conducted at the Sir Jamshedji Jeejibhai Hospital found no gunshot injuries on the body.
Samy Vellu said he was confident that the Indian government would bring the perpetrators to justice.
Meanwhile MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam, who is Human Resources Minister, said, "Our prayers are with Hema and the others who died in the tragedy."
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 - MCA president Datuk Ong Tee Keat has wasted no time in condemning Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's suggestion to abolish vernacular schools.
"Mukhriz is just one of the many who are now repeating the same polemics that are a few decades old, simply because of the advent of their party's poll," the Transport Minister said.
"It is saddening because politicians cannot think out of the box," he wrote in a blog posting.
In a press conference in Parliament today, the candidate for Umno Youth chief in the March party elections said that all schools should teach subjects in Bahasa Malaysia except for language subjects.
He said the proposal to have one unified school system could help address the problem of non-Malays misunderstanding the concept of "Ketuanan Melayu," or Malay Supremacy, which has become a source of tension between Malays and non-Malays.
Mukhriz argued that such misunderstandings were a result of a lack of national unity, which he blamed on the existence of vernacular shools.
Also in Parliament, MCA vice president Datuk Liow Tiong Lai said there was no reason to change the education system as the current one was accepted by all.
"The present system is still the best to ensure unity and harmony in our multiracial country," the Health Minister said.
He added that it was an old fallacy that vernacular primary schools caused unity problems.
He reasoned that at secondary level, the students were still able to integrate.
"He might not understand that teaching in your mother tongue is more effective at the primary level," Liow added.
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said tonight there would be no return to Mahathirism under his administration when he takes the reins of power next March.
Speaking to Riz Khan on the Al Jazeera satellite news channel, Najib said he realised that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government had little choice but to respond to a new Malaysia which had emerged after the last general elections.
“I realise there is a new Malaysia which has changed and evolved. Malaysian society is now more mature and demands more openness,” he said.
Najib's remarks appeared to be an attempt to distance himself from the policies of former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, even as Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders accuse him of being an acolyte of Malaysia's former leader.
The DPM's critics have in recent weeks labelled his impending administration as one which would bring back Mahathirism, and result in a more oppressive environment with tighter controls and more corruption.
However, Najib said tonight that he was committed to the reform agenda of the current prime minister, especially in the judiciary and to fight graft.
“Of course I am committed to reforms. The prime minister wants to strengthen the judiciary and fight corruption. That will send a clear message to the elctorate that we are listening,” he said.
Najib said the BN government had to draw lessons from the last general elections, pointing out that the ruling coalition would have to reform “or the public will change us.”
The DPM was also asked to address a number of questions via telephone and email during the live 20 minute interview where he was asked about issues such as the ongoing debate over Ketuanan Melayu, or Malay Supremacy.
He said that Umno would have to cater to the needs of its base Malay support. However, he said BN and Umno must also address the needs and grievances of the non-Malay communities.
“I believe in the concept of multi-racial government and if there are genuine grievances we must cater to them,” he said.
Najib repeated his commitment towards the gradual liberalisation of the affirmative action programmes under the New Economic Policy (NEP), pointing out that it could only be done once the Bumiputera community was more confident and secure.
Addressing the issue of the Internal Security Act (ISA), he said the only reason there has been no serious act of terrorism in Malaysia was because of the existence of the law which provides for detention without trial.
He said the government realised recent concerns about how the ISA had been applied, and acknowledged the growing calls for its repeal or amendment.
Asked what he thought of the threat by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim's intention to topple the BN government, he said the ruling coalition took seriously the last general election results.
“If we do not change or reform then it is quite possible the electorate will decide to end BN rule,” he said.