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Sunday, February 15, 2009

Mari Derhaka - Let Us Learn From UMNO

“Maka titah Sri Tri Buana, “Hendaklah pada akhir zaman kelak anak cucu bapak jangan derhaka pada anak cucu hamba. Jikalau ia zalim dan jahat pekertinya sekalipun.”

Maka sembah Demang Lebar Daun, “Baiklah tuanku. Tetapi jikalau anak cucu tuanku dahulu mengubahkan dia, (Maka) anak cucu hamba pun mengubahkan dia.” Maka titah Sri Tri Buana, “Baiklah, kabullah hamba akan wadad itu.

“Maka keduanya bersumpah-sumpahlah, barang siapa mengubahkan perjanjiannya itu di balik Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala bumbungan rumahnya kebawah. Kaki tiangnya ke atas. Itulah sebabnya maka dianugerahkan Allah Subhanahu Wa Taala kepada segala raja-raja Melayu, tiada pernah memberi aib pada segala hamba Melayu; jikalau sebagaimana sekalipun besar dosanya, tiada diikatnya dan digantungnya dan difadihatkannya dengan kata jahat.”

Sejarah Melayu

Demang Lebar Daun promised that “the descendants of your humble servants shall be the subjects of your majesty’s throne, but they must be well-treated by your descendants. If they offend, they shall not, however grave their offence, be disgraced or reviled with evil words: if their offence is grave, let them be out to death, if that is in accordance with Muslim law”. To which Sang Utama replied ” I agree to give the undertaking for which you ask, but I in turn require an undertaking from you … that your descendants shall never for the rest of time be disloyal to my descendants, oppress them and behave in an evil way to them.” To which Demang Lebar Daun agreed “… but if your descendants depart from the terms of the pact, then so will mine… subjects shall never be disloyal or treacherous to their rulers, even if their rulers behave cruelly and immorally … and if any ruler puts a single one of his subjects to shame, that shall be a sign that his kingdom shall be destroyed by Almighty God.”

Let us begin our today’s lesson on Derhaka by listing 10 most Derhaka incident in Modern History of Malaysia. I shall start by the most horrible Derhaka of all which is conducted by UMNO current Information Chief, a senator and a minister by the name of Muhammad Muhammad Taib. He deceived than lie to the Al Marhum Tuanku about his marriage with Tuanku’s princess. He took the princess to Thailand and secretly took their vow there.

Then came double act by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the Prime Minister and President of UMNO last March.

Where is UMNO during this time? Are they behind their leader and tumpang menderhaka sekaki or defending the Palace?

Dear my beloved reader, I shall place the honour to list another 7 incident of Derhaka if you can recall. I bet by end of this day, we will have at least ten incident and all involve UMNO.

Salam Derhaka buat UMNO Derhaka!

No MB vs MB showdown in Bukit Gantang

By Lee Wei Lian and Shannon Teoh-The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 15 – Barisan Nasional’s move to put a local to contest the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat has put paid to Pakatan Rakyat’s choice of ousted Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin as candidate for a sensational showdown on April 7.

Deputy prime minister and Perak BN chief Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said today its candidate will be a local, disqualifying its Menteri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir who represents the Pangkor state seat.

Najib also said that the BN candidate must be someone acceptable to the voters of Bukit Gantang and will be from Umno. He added that name will be announced later.

Earlier, Pakatan Rakyat said it will “automatically” put ousted Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin in Bukit Gantang if Umno also chooses his replacement Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir for the seat, in their bid to position the April 7 parliamentary by-election as a referendum.

“We are not challenging him, but we want to suggest that Zambry contest in Bukit Gantang. If he does so, then automatically, Nizar will be our candidate,” Pas vice-president Datuk Husam Musa said here today.

Perak DAP have been trumpetting Nizar as the “perfect candidate” to contest the by-election after Pas MP Roslan Shaharum died on Feb 1 and have long dared the Barisan Nasional Menteri Besar to stand there as a referendum for the power grab that changed the Perak government.

Only Pas spiritual leader and Kelantan Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat has gone against the idea, saying Nizar should concentrate on getting back his government.

At a press conference today, Husam together with PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali and DAP vice-chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim however said, in principle, both the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-election would be contested by the same parties that won them in Election 2008.

The Bukit Selambau state seat was vacated by PKR’s Kedah exco member V. Arumugam amid talk of marital problems and pressure from Barisan Nasional to defect. He won as an independent and joined PKR after being guaranteed a state executive council post.

Husam also said that with Umno party polls taking place on March 28, the March 29 nomination date set for the simultaneous by-elections showed that the Election Commission had taken Umno’s interest into consideration.

However, he said that this played into Pakatan Rakyat’s hands as there would be infighting directly after the party polls.

“It will be a setback as out there will be three deputy presidential candidates and eight for the three vice-presidencies. The losing group will be very disappointed,” he said.

Husam also said the uncertainty over whether Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi would step down after the polls would also affect Barisan Nasional’s campaign, claiming that a schedule for Abdullah to continue as Prime Minister up to August had been tabled before the Cabinet and the situation would be similar to that of last month’s Kuala Terengganu by-election, which Pas won comfortably.

“Who will be the captain? The candidate then was selected by Abdullah but Najib had to be the general,” he said.

On when the electoral pact would name its candidates for the two seats, he said it would depend on its strategy, pointing out that in Kuala Terengganu, Umno had named its candidate too early and Datuk Wan Farid Wan Salleh was “shot dead” even before nomination day.

Syed Husin added that there were still very long lists of names for the two seats and that these would be shortlisted and announced at the right time.

Royalists, Umno bay for blood

By Leslie Lau
Consultant Editor-The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 – Royalists and pro-Umno groups have stepped up their rhetoric against Pakatan Rakyat (PR), in an attempt to whip up backing from the Malay masses for the Malay rulers and Barisan Nasional (BN) against so-called “traitors.”

The mass-selling Umno-owned Utusan Malaysia and also Berita Harian, the two major Malay-language newspapers in the country, gave almost blanket coverage to a host of views backing the royalty against the perceived threats from PR leaders.

Utusan, it an editorial, asked if it was really so difficult to strip someone of their citizenship, in a commentary about the calls from various pro-Umno groups who want the authorities to either strip DAP chairman Karpal Singh of his citizenship, or even to banish PR leaders like Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.

According to Awang Selamat, the pseudonym used by senior editors in Utusan, their crime is to challenge the decision of Sultan Azlan Shah to appoint a BN government in Perak.

Awang Selamat accused Nizar of being a traitor for refusing to resign as mentri besar. Anwar is also accused of treachery for backing Nizar while for Karpal it was because he had threatened to sue the Sultan.

Awang Selamat also asserted that as a country with a constitutional monarchy, no one is allowed to insult or ridicule the rulers. The writer did not, however, cite any constitutional provision.

Both Utusan and Berita Harian, in their Sunday editions Mingguan Malaysia and Berita Minggu carried scathing attacks from various Umno leaders against the “treacherous behaviour” of challenging the Malay rulers.

The vitriolic remarks come following the Sultan of Selangor's remarks on Friday, in backing Sultan Azlan Shah of Perak's role in his state's political crisis.

Sultan Azlan Shah has now sworn-in a new BN government in Perak, eventhough Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin maintains his PR government has not resigned and is therefore still legitimate.

Nizar's action in taking Zambry to court to have the BN government declared illegal is now being protrayed by Umno as an act of treason as it challenges the Sultan's wishes.

Sultan Azlan Shah has come under criticism over his decision to apparently dismiss Nizar, which is something PR contends he has no power to do.

Husam: Umno Youth are the ones embarrassing royals

By Shannon Teoh-The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 15 - Pakatan Rakyat today continued its attempts to reverse the perception of “derhaka” with Pas vice president Datuk Husam Musa labelling Umno Youth’s pro-monarchy demonstrations as “embarrassing” to the royalty.

“They have been embarrassing the royalty by giving Malay boys RM50 and a t-shirt to gather but only end up with 1,000 to 1,500 people,” he told reporters before a PR coalition-building workshop today.

Umno Youth has been organising rallies to defend Malay rulers while labelling PR as anti-monarchy and has accused it of “derhaka” or treason, over its refusal to accept the Perak Sultan’s move to appoint a Barisan Nasional (BN) government.

But PR leaders at the workshop today sought to counter this claim by belittling Umno’s efforts and bringing up past examples of Umno’s tussles with the royalty.

“If we were actually challenging the sovereignty of the monarchy, why are there less than 2,000 people at the gatherings?

“Umno should stop as this is shameful. And how come it is only Umno Youth? Where is the rest of BN?” Husam added.

“If the rulers were really being challenged, even I would join the protest,” he quipped.

He stated that the fact of the matter was that PR was not challenging the position or sovereignty of the monarchy but the actions of Sultan Azlan Shah in the context of the constitution.

In his opening speech, DAP vice chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz Ibrahim also condemned the protests by Umno Youth against DAP chairman Karpal Singh’s statement that the Perak ruler can be sued over his actions which he deemed were unconstitutional.

He labelled the behaviour of Umno Youth supporters as similar to “Hitler Youth,” the Nazi extremist paramilitary group that supported Adolf Hitler’s Aryan supremacist doctrine.

“If anyone should be tried for treason, it should be Mahathir,” he said, referring to former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s role in initiating constitutional amendments which removed immunities for the royals in 1993.

PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali had also slammed Umno as being the ones who were traitors

He said that when there was an impasse over who should be mentri besar in Terengganu, Umno supporters had held up banners insulting its Sultan as “Raja Binatang (Animal King).”

Pakatan parties ‘make nice’ after Sultan’s criticism

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 15 – Malaysia’s opposition coalition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) took steps to mend fences with the country’s royalty yesterday, one day following criticisms by a monarch.

On Friday evening, Selangor Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah appeared to hit out at the opposition, issuing a statement condemning the “rudeness” shown to Perak’s Sultan Azlan Shah over the state’s recent change of government.

It was the first reaction from a Malay ruler to the criticism Sultan Azlan had faced after he allowed Barisan Nasional (BN) to form Perak’s new government.

The strongly worded statement prompted politicians from the opposition coalition – Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas) – to make nice.

“The Sultan has given a clear message to the people on acceptable ways and decorum in communicating and interacting with the rulers or palace,” said Selangor Menteri Besar and PKR member Khalid Ibrahim, who added that he agreed with the Selangor Sultan’s views.

PKR information chief Tian Chua also agreed.

“They have a right to speak up on this if they’re unhappy,” he told The Sunday Times, but added: “But on our part, it was never our intention to be antagonistic.”

DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said at a press conference: “As far as DAP is concerned, and I believe also for Pakatan, we’re not fighting the royalty.”

The conciliatory statements reflect a move by the PR to avoid angering the royalty, whom Malaysians – especially Malays – hold in high regard. Doing so could lose it much-needed support as it prepares to face off the BN in two coming by-elections.

“It’s dangerous to go there,” an opposition political aide told The Sunday Times.

Already, PR has backed down from open confrontation in recent days.

When opposition supporters protested outside Sultan Azlan’s palace earlier and DAP chief Karpal Singh threatened to sue the Sultan, BN was quick to seize on the opportunity to score political points, condemning the actions and rallying support for the monarchy.

PR, noted director of independent pollster Merdeka Centre Ibrahim Suffian, has to tread carefully as the palace asserts itself increasingly.

“It’s a political minefield and now they will have to play to many sides, not just the public,” he said. – Straits Times

Nik Aziz: Karpal’s statement his personal opinion

KOTA BARU, Feb 15 – DAP chairman Karpal Singh is alone in his bid to file a suit against the Sultan of Perak in as far as PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat is concerned.

The Kelantan menteri besar said Karpal’s remarks on the issue were his personal opinion and not reflective of Pakatan’s stand or action.

“We cannot take his statement into consideration. He is an old man; in fact, many among the young in the DAP are no longer taking him seriously,” he told Bernama when met at his residence in Pulau Melaka last night.

Nik Aziz said the statement by Karpal, however, would not affect relations among Pakatan parties. – Bernama

RULERS MUST HEEL TO THE WISHES OF THEIR SUBJECTS

The Sultan of Selangor express displeasure


The Sultan of Perak whose image has been tarnish due to unwise decision

Look at UMNO propaganda

It is commendated that Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj, the Sultan of Selangor had expressed his displeasure at the way the rakyat have been treating his uncle, Sultan Azlan Shah, the Sultan of Perak over the current political turmoil faced in Perak. Its very true that as being a family member, we do not like to see someone close been ridiculed. But the fact remains that when UMNO does any of these bad incidence, non of the Rulers had expressed displeasure or when in support that UMNO should be banished or punished for their actions.

The recent Perak turmoil surrounds around the unfair appointments of 'bogus' officials when the best alternative and what the Perakians wanted was a fresh State elections to elect new officials who can represent them and those who command the majority could form the new State government.

Trying to use wise and acceptable methods by relying on 'independent frogs who support' should never have been a measure that must have been done when these same officials had previously given their firm undertaking which now has failed due to personal monetary gains received from the unscrupulous UMNO-led Barisan Nasional government whose main intention is just to show their supremacy using public funds which is at their disposal.

Due respect need to be given to the Sultan of Perak due to reports of mud slinging against his family but the fact remains that these are true facts that would certainly surface if they are secured without properly upholding procedures as underlined by the trust given by the rakyat to the federal or State governments to follow and adhere to.

Since damage has already been done and can't be undone, but to regain the full trust and admiration, the Sultan of Perak could always revert his decision and CALL FOR A FRESH STATE ELECTIONS as demanded and expected by his subject.

The bottom line would be always follow what the subjects want rather than what the powerful institutions want to achieve their 'dubious' means.

Since the best avenue to state his intentions to call for a fresh State elections could be at the Sultan Azlan Shah's jubilee celebration to be held at the Iskandariah Palace in Kuala Kangsar tomorrow which if done, would be a joyous and happiest ocassion for the Perakians and their loved Ruler.
pictures courtesy of Agendadaily & minaq-jinggo

Perak speaker still in Pakatan hands

ImageThe Malaysian Insider

by Neville Spykerman

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 — Perak's constitution makes no provisions for the removal of its legislative assembly speaker and Barisan Nasional is stuck with DAP's V. Sivakumar.

In a statement released in Ipoh yesterday, Sivakumar confirmed he remained the speaker of the Perak state assembly.

According to Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim today, the Tronoh assemblyman cannot even be removed (as Perak speaker) by a vote of no confidence.

He said that both the federal and Selangor constitution provide that the speaker shall vacate his office — if the assembly at any time so resolves.

However there is no such provision in the Perak constitution.

The Sungai Pinang assemblyman, who is a lawyer, said Sivakumar can only vacate his office when he ceases to be a member of the Perak Legislative Assembly or if he is disqualified from holding other office, or resigns on his own accord.

Effectively the constitutional deadlock griping the silver state is set to continue.

Sivakumar can, if he chooses, bar former Pakatan Rakyat defectors, who have "resigned" from the assembly, which will effectively reduce BN's majority in the House.

The Perak speaker had previously declared that assemblymen Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong had vacated their seats after he received their resignation letters.

Teng said the trio may have to go to court to break the deadlock but even a ruling in their favour will not change the fact that Sivakumar will continue as speaker.

Excluding the trio, BN will have 28 members in the House to PR's 27, with Sivakumar as speaker.

Should Sivakumar vacate his office for any reason, the House will be considered a hung legislature because the Perak constitution provides the assembly shall transact no business while the office of speaker is vacant other than the election of a speaker.

With no clear majority, BN's Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir will have no choice but to seek the dissolution of the House and obtain consent from the Perak Ruler for fresh elections.

However the sentiment of the people is clearly against BN and it would want to avoid statewide elections at all cost.

"I believe they will opt to retain Sivakumar," said Teng.

However the Speaker has wide-ranging discretion in the assembly and Sivakumar has the potential to be a very painful thorn in the side of BN and Zambry.

"The speaker's decision on the Standing Orders cannot be challenged except by way of motion (a lengthy process which includes holding a debate in the House)."

Ironically few people know this better than Teng.

On April 25, 2005 , he was suspended from the Selangor Legislative Assembly following an argument with then Speaker Datuk Seri Onn Ismail.

In an act of defiance Teng threw a copy of the Standing Orders into a bin when Onn rejected his motion of no confidence against then Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo.

Teng was suspended with no pay for 30 months.

FITNAH


1. Someone drew my attention to an article in a business weekly pullout recently. It is about a book on his father, Tun Dr Ismail Abdul Rahman by the Tun's eldest son, Tawfik Ismail.

2. In the interview Tawfik took the opportunity to make out what a monster I was.

3. I quote below extracts of what he said happened when he was dropped as a Member of Parliament in 1990.

4. Tawfik explains; "Mahathir called me into his office before the election. I was with my journalist friends when he called, so they started joking that I was going to be a deputy minister. Sorry to disappoint them...I went to see Mahathir and the first thing he said was, "You know not every son can be like his father", Tawfik recalls, "I thought to myself, 'bloody insult'". Then he continued, "All of my backbenchers have to be people who stand up when I walk in, thump the table and say, Long Live Mahathir! And my Ministers are not supposed to think for themselves. I think and they do what I want them to do."

5. "I'm thinking this man does not have a high opinion of his Ministers. He actually says, I don't want intelligent, honest, hardworking people in politics. People like you should be in business."

6. I hope Tawfik had a clear conscience whe he said all these. I cannot imagine myself saying that "my backbenchers have to be people who stand up when I walk in, thump the table and say Long Live Mahathir!"

7. People did stand up when I walk in, but that is common politeness in Malaysia. I stood up when the Tunku or Tun Razak or Hussein Onn came into a room where I and others were. But when I was Prime Minister nobody ever thumped the table and say "Long Live Mahathir!"

8. As to saying to Tawfik, "my Ministers are not supposed to think for themselves. I think and they do what I want them to do."

9. This is sheer fabrication. No Prime Minister ever called in a candidate to tell him that he would be made a deputy minister or minister when he wins an election. I had never talked about reshuffling nor about the quality of the ministers to be appointed.

10. I think it would be difficult for people to remember Tawfik and what he stood for. His performance as an UMNO backbencher was not in any way remarkable. He was not even an ordinary member of UMNO's Supreme Council. Even at division level he did not shine.

11. He was picked to be a candidate two times. His name was proposed by Johor UMNO, I think. I had no problems approving his candidature. As the son of a much respected UMNO Leader, he was naturally regarded as qualified. But he did not distinguish himself in any other way. I don't know whether he was a youth leader or not. Certainly he performed no exploits in the youth or in the UMNO hierarchy.

12. On the basis of his lacklustre performance I did not consider him to be good material to lead UMNO.

13. I don't know whether anyone has noticed that I frequently reappointed for the Cabinet people who had openly tried to bring me down. Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Syed Hamid Albar, Rais Yatim, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi were all supporters of Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah in the contest for President of UMNO. Yet they were all reappointed as Ministers. I don't remember whether they stood up and shouted "Long Live Mahathir!" or not but I think they did stand up together with others when I came into the room where they were. One even became my anointed successor to the Presidency of the party and Prime Minister.

14. When something does not happen, people would not even notice it. Yet far from asking people to shout "Long Live Mahathir!", the first thing I did when I became Minister of Education was to tell my staff that the practice of giving the Minister's name to schools is to be stopped forthwith. There should also be no pictures of the Minister displayed prominently in the schools and offices. Today there is nothing named after me except an orchid flower. I had rejected all requests for naming anything after me. I never liked personality cults.

15. Some UMNO members who attended the Annual General Assembly might remember my asking them not to praise me. Muslims must know that all praise be to Allah. But they still called me "the beloved one" etc. But people now know how many of my former ministers bad mouthed me after I stepped down.

16. Tawfik says that, "I don't want intelligent, honest, hardworking people in politics. People like you (i.e. being intelligent, honest and hardworking) should be in business."

17. He calls this a backhanded compliment. In effect he was complimenting himself by repeating this. I don't think I ever said this about him. Politicians and businessmen can all have the same qualifications.

18. The plea that he had no capital to go into business does not jive with his bitterness over what he alleged I said. Was he really thinking that I would give him the capital?

19. Tawfik said he felt I had not given him time to mull over what I said and he thought, "What could I say to him that would buy him time to mull over it".

20. He ended up asking about Datuk Shahrir Samad and I spoke for 40-minutes. That's an unduly long time for me to speak about anyone to him. Apparently he was not listening as he was taking notes! Of what?

21. His parting shot was meant to hurt my feelings. He said, "Datuk Seri, the best years of my life in politics were when I was fighting you". He then smiled and felt good doing it.

22. I was not aware that he was fighting me. Even if he was he should have noticed that I am not vengeful and was ready to accept those who fought against me as my ministers. In fact I named one of them as my successor.

23. He must have wanted to say all these things in public all this while. The interview on his biography of his father gave him that opportunity.

24. If people want to believe that I am the kind of person who gets a kick out of forcing people to respect me, they can believe it. Those who know me well would probably doubt the truth of what Tawfik said. I don't expect they would vouch for me. But that is alright. My conscience is clear.

Bukit Gantang: BN To Field A Local From Umno - Najib

IPOH, Feb 15 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the Barisan Nasional (BN) has decided that a local from Umno would be fielded as candidate for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary by-election.

The deputy prime minister said the candidate would be from among those who were actively involved at the divisional level and accepted by the people.

The decision should put a stop to any speculation that the BN would field an outsider, he said.

Najib, who is Umno deputy president, made the announcement after chairing a Perak BN closed-door meeting at the state Umno headquarters here to discuss the preparation for the by-election as well as the latest development in the newly-formed BN state government.

The by-election on April 7 is called following the death of incumbent member of parliament Roslan Shaharum, 50, of PAS on Feb 9 due to a heart attack. The nomination day is on March 29.

Replying to queries from reporters, Najib said the main criteria for the BN candidate was that the person must be a local and acceptable to all.

"We have a long list as well as a short list (of names). We will decide on the name later.

"We still have the time to make assessment as the by-election is still a long way to go. We will do the necessary preparation," he said.

The question whether the BN would field a local or an outsider has been a contentious issue following claims that BN's defeat in the area, traditionally a BN stronghold, in the 12th general election was due to the decision to field an outsider.

Former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Tajol Rosli Ghazali has also asked the BN "to learn from its mistake" and respect the wishes of the locals.

Besides Tajol Rosli, Bukit Gantang Umno division chief Datuk Rosli Husin had also had called on the party to field a local.

In the March 8 general election, BN fielded Umno treasurer Datuk Seri Azim Mohd Zabidi while Gerakan Wanita chief Datuk Tan Lian Hoe won the seat in the 2004 general election.

On the new BN state government, Najib said the priority now was to fulfil the people's needs and aspirations.

"The new government must care for the interest of all communities... this is a government for all and this is also the BN's policy," he said.

BN took over the state government and sworn in Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as the new Menteri Besar after the Pakatan state government lost its majority in the state legislative assembly when four of its assembly members quit their respective parties and supported the BN.

Najib said the BN should also give priority to unity and the spirit of consensus among the people.

He said the interest of individuals or component parties should be set aside to enable the new administration to face challenges.

Najib, who is Perak Umno liaison chief, later chaired the Perak Umno closed-door meeting.

ISA: 3 didakwa anggota JI dibebaskan

Kerajaan telah membebaskan tiga orang yang didakwa menjadi anggota Jemaah Islamiah (JI) selepas mereka ditahan selama lebih lima tahun tanpa bicara, demikian menurut Suaram.

"Kerajaan telah membebaskan mereka dari tahanan," kata penyelaras Suaram Nalini Elunalai.

Pegawai Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) tidak dapat dihubungi untuk mendapatkan ulasan mengenainya.

Nalini berkata, ahli perniagaan, Suhaimi Mokhtar dan Mohammad Khider - yang ditahan di bawah ISA, dibebaskan dari Kamunting pada hari Jumaat.

"Kami mahu kerajaan menjelaskan mengapa mereka ditahan lebih dari lima tahun dan mengemukakan apa juga bukti yang ada untuk menahan mereka tanpa bicara," katanya.

"Rakyat Malaysia juga mahu tahu mengapa ketiga-tiga mereka - jika dianggap merbahaya - dibebaskan sekarang dan mengapa mereka kini tidak lagi mengancam negara.

"Ikuti jejak Amerika, tutup Kamunting," katanya.

Nalini berkata, Suaram dan beberapa badan hak asasi manusia akan menganjurkan Mac ini satu kempen menentang ISA serta mendesak supaya Kem Tahanan Kamunting ditutup.

Rehabilitation road for Sri Lanka's child soldiers - Feb 14

Umno To Explain To People On Country's Political Situation

(Bernama) - Umno will continue to explain to the people on the country's political situation in the run-up to the by-elections for the Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat and the Bukit Selambau state seat on April 7.

"I think the people will not support a group which defy and betray a Ruler, and to ensure Barisan Nasional's win in both the by-elections, we will continue to explain to the people on the country's political development," he told reporters after launching a oil palm replanting programme here today.

He said the opposition leaders, besides insulting the royal institution, were also arrogant and were not devoted to administering Perak.

He also wanted action be taken against a blogger for insulting the royal institution by twisting the facts on the situation in Perak.

"We also want the Energy, Communications and Water Ministry to study a form of action that could be taken against the blogger and to submit the proposal to the authorities," he added.

In another development, Muhammad, who is also Rural and Regional Development Minister, said the ministry was allocated RM1 billion under the economic stimulus package, of which RM264 million was for building of 8,000 houses under the Housing Aid Programme by the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development Authority (Risda) and another RM40 million for infrastructure projects.

He said that the RM16.89 million was allocated by the government under the Ninth Malaysia Plan for smallholders to carry out the replanting of oil palm to oil palm programme, covering 9,000 hectares.

In a related development, Muhammad said his ministry was working with the Plantation Industries and Commodities Ministry to draft a paper to the Cabinet on ways to help smallholders, in the eventuality of a further drop in commodity prices.

The law courts decide, not the royal courts

"No one exercising his constitutional right of access to the courts should be branded as being disloyal to the Rulers or threatened with preventive detention under the ISA. Was it not the BN government that sought to justify the removal of the personal immunity of the Malay Rulers in 1993 on the grounds that no one was above the law? Leave it to the court to decide if the Pakatan Rakyat has a case or not.''

THE MALAYSIAN INSIDER

Standing up for family and friends caught in the eye of a storm is easier said than done. The first instinct is usually to take cover until the storm clouds disperse.

But playing it safe is not part of Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah's DNA. He left his comfort zone yesterday to defend the actions of the Sultan of Perak and take on those who challenged the validity of the latter's decision asking Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and the Pakatan Rakyat government to stand down. He was willing to stand up for his brethren, and chastise those who displayed rudeness to Sultan Azlan Shah.

Bravo. Really that was the only high point of his statement released to Bernama. With due respect, the rest of it may not add much clarity to the political crisis in Perak and its fallout.

The underlying principle in the statement appeared to be that the actions of the Sultan of Perak (and by extension of all the Rulers) were beyond reproach and the royal household was almost infallible.

But Malaysia is not an absolute monarchy but a constitutional monarchy. If it were an absolute monarchy, then Sultan Azlan Shah or any Malay Ruler would have complete power over all aspects of life in the state. In an absolute monarchy there is no constitution or legal restriction on the monarch's power.

But in a constitutional monarchy like Malaysia, the power of the Sultan is restrained by a parliament, by law, or by custom. In short, his decisions can be questioned and challenged. More so after 1993 when the constitution was amended by the Mahathir administration to remove the immunity Malay Rulers enjoyed from legal action.

The Sultan of Perak stirred the pot last week when he refused to call fresh polls after three defectors left the Pakatan Rakyat government. He instead installed a new Barisan Nasional government that claimed to have a new majority in the state assembly.

This led to a show of anger. Thousands protested outside his palace in Kuala Kangsar to stop the swearing in of the BN menteri besar while Pakatan Rakyat mulled the possibility of taking the Sultan to court.

Police reports were lodged against veteran politician Karpal Singh and opposition leaders deemed to have insulted the monarchy.

In his statement yesterday, the Sultan of Selangor pointed out that Sultan Azlan Shah was a man with vast experience in the legal sphere and judiciary, and was the former Lord President. He also noted that the royal family had superb educational credentials and were always sensitive to the needs of the people.

But the royals are human and prone to mistakes, and errors of judgment just like everybody else. Constitutional experts are still debating whether the Sultan of Perak acted correctly in refusing a request from Nizar to dissolve the state assembly or whether it was well within his rights to direct Nizar to step down as MB.

Raja Aziz Addruse, a respected lawyer, weighed into the debate a few days ago, noting that whether the Sultan had acted correctly or incorrectly is for the court to decide. It was also for the court to decide if the Sultan's actions can be challenged.

"No one exercising his constitutional right of access to the courts should be branded as being disloyal to the Rulers or threatened with preventive detention under the ISA. Was it not the BN government that sought to justify the removal of the personal immunity of the Malay Rulers in 1993 on the grounds that no one was above the law? Leave it to the court to decide if the Pakatan Rakyat has a case or not.''

He is spot on. No one is above the law. The Prime Minister can be challenged and sued. Religious leaders can be challenged and sued. Even Sultans can be challenged and sued.

So the proper thing for both sides — supporters of the palace and the disgruntled Opposition — to do is put the matter before the courts and wait for the matter to be resolved.

What Malaysia does not need are demonstrations, attempts to turn a constitutional issue into a racial conflict and fighting talk by opportunistic politicians.

What Malaysia certainly can do without is Nizar and other Pakatan Rakyat politicians going on a nationwide road show to ratchet up support for their cause.

What Malaysia needs now is a show of neutrality and a steadying influence from its important institutions — the judiciary, the police and the monarchy.

What Malaysia needs are honest brokers, those willing and able to bring down the mercury through actions and words that are just and impartial.

The Sultan of Selangor did right by standing by his blood but his statement offers no navigational tools out from this constitutional crisis. The impasse in Perak can only be settled in court.

Guan Eng says BN, not Pakatan, which is fighting with Rulers

By Shannon Teoh-The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, Feb 14 — DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng tried today to shift the blame for any anti-monarchy sentiments over to Barisan Nasional instead as Pakatan Rakyat parties try to avoid a head-on clash with the Malay Rulers.

"In 1993 when the status of Rulers was brought down, which party initiated the constitutional amendments?

"After March 8, who demonstrated against the Raja of Perlis and the Sultan of Terengganu?" were his questions which he then answered himself. "Umno."

His remarks prior to a briefing for Selangor DAP representatives on the current political climate today came less than 24 hours after Selangor's Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah made a public statement backing Perak's Sultan Azlan Shah over the political crisis there.

The Perak Ruler had appointed Umno's Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar after BN's Feb 5 power grab. It is now a matter before the courts as to whether Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin of Pas has been legally dismissed or he is actually the legitimate MB.

Lim, the Penang chief minister, refused to tread into the minefield of questions over whether both Rulers had acted neutrally and would not acknowledge that the Selangor monarch's address was a call to respect and accept the decisions of the Malay Rulers.

"It is up to your interpretation. If I give you my interpretation, we will not have enough time as I have a meeting," he said.

He explained however that DAP's stand was based on the premise that the people should be the ones who decide who would becomes government.

"It is the people who elect the government and the Rulers give form to the decision of the people. The decision is embodied in the person of the Ruler under the constitution for it to take effect," he said.

Lim stressed that "the Ruler and the people are one," and that the mandate to govern should be given to whoever commands the majority support.

"Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin sued Zambry not the Sultan because it is Zambry who robbed the people of Perak," the Bagan MP said of Nizar's suit filed yesterday, adding that Zambry and BN had made a mockery of democracy by manipulating the process of democracy.

"When 54 per cent voted PR, how can BN, with only 46 per cent of votes, rule Perak? BN leaders should go back to school and learn how to count," he added.

Guess who came to dinner tonight?

KUALA KANGSAR, Feb 14 — Seating arrangements were thrown off kilter at the Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar tonight when Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin turned up for Sultan Azlan Shah's silver jubilee celebrations.

Besides injecting particularly awkward moments into the occasion Nizar's appearance was an obviously tactical move in his claim to be still the legitimate Perak menteri besar.

"We came to celebrate the silver jubilee together because we planned it many months ago. I was the head of the planning committee," Nizar told reporters just before he entered the palace.

Palace officials trying to avoid creating any embarrassing scenes did not turn Nizar away but he was not ushered to any of the main tables where Barisan Nasional dignitaries like Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Razak were seated.

He was also not ushered to keep Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir, the man whom the Sultan swore in to replace him as MB and who he is suing for the job, company.

Instead, he was seated with two federal deputy ministers — Husni Hanadzlah and Kong Cho Ha, who are from Perak.

Also at the dinner were the other Malay Rulers and representatives.

Nizar continues to maintain he is menteri besar and has refused to resign even though he was directed to do so by the Sultan.

As a result he is now embroiled in a constitutional dispute with the state Ruler as he contends that the Sultan did not have powers to dismiss him as MB.

After Perak letdown, DAP goes on the stump

Teng addressing the crowd at the gathering in Malacca last night.

By Baradan Kuppusamy

MALACCA, Feb 14 — Within days of losing Perak to Barisan Nasional, the DAP has dusted off its old playbook, and has begun a series of dinners and rallies to whip up support from the party faithful as it comes under attack from its political rivals.

Party leaders are using these rallies to explain the DAP's and Pakatan Rakyat's position and stand, as well as to explain what happened in Perak.

The party faithful and curious members of the public have been packing these gatherings wall to wall.

In Malacca last night, nearly 1,000 people packed a DAP rally to hear former Perak exco A. Sivanesan explain how Pakatan Rakyat leaders were hounded and pressured with offers of up to RM10 million to defect.

DAP leader and Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim spoke about how the Perak speaker had vacated the three seats of defecting assemblymen but the Election Commission had exceeded its powers to refuse to hold by-elections.

He spoke in simple terms, explaining the law as it exists in Perak now, the powers of officials and how the public mandate has been hijacked by the BN through subterfuge.

He however scrupulously avoided dragging in the Perak palace except to to say that the decision of Sultan Azlan Shah to dismiss the PR government and swear in a BN government without a confidence vote in the legislative assembly or call fresh elections was unfair and unacceptable coming from a man of learning and experience.

"We question his actions but we don't question the institution of the monarchy," he said to loud applause from the majority working-class Chinese crowd.

It was left to Malacca Pas deputy commissioner Adly Zahari to raise the thorny issue of derhaka and whether Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin had indeed committed treason by refusing to resign as menteri besar.

Adly explained that Nizar had humbly "begged to disagree" with the Sultan by saying saya mohon derhaka but the mainstream media is portraying the words as an insult to the Sultan.

"Derhaka is begging to disagree, not insulting by brushing him off or refusing to resign," Adly explained. "It is a humble way to disagree."

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak was presented as a Machiavellian wheeler-dealer — the man who engineered the defection and the ouster of the PR government.

There was grudging admission that the PR was now faced with a formidable enemy in Najib, unlike the retiring Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, who is seen as easy going and unwilling to roll up his sleeves for a fight.

Teng told The Malaysian Insider that the road shows were vital for the DAP and PR to reconnect with their support base after almost a year in office as the government in five states.

"It is almost like a general election… I feel energised to reconnect, to explain what we have done and the new challenges we face in the form of defections, collapse of the Pakatan government and how far things would go," he said.

"There is anxiety and anguish among our grassroots and it is important we all reach out and reassure our supporters," he said.

While all the speakers slammed the defectors — Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong — as "frogs" who from now on must be ostracised and condemned, they were careful to make a difference with PR supremo Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's campaign to persuade BN representatives to defect.

Teng and Adly said unlike BN, PR was not buying defectors or promising posts to win over BN MPs.

"Besides, Anwar has promised that within one year of seizing power through defections Pakatan would hold fresh elections to seek a new mandate," said Teng.

8,000 turn up in Shah Alam for PR ceramah on Perak

A huge crowd has turned up for a PR ceramah at Section 19 in Shah Alam tonight, despite the last minute info. The ceramah is being held to explain the situation in Perak.

An eye-witness at the scene decribes the turnout at the ceramah, which is still in progress (as at 11.30pm) at the Dewan Bola Tampar MBSA, as “fantastic”. Some 3,000 people are packed indoors while another 5,000 are outside in the car-park and spilling over into the tennis court.

One of the Pas speakers has speculated that Abdullah Badawi’s departure could be further delayed.

Close to RM10,0o0 in donations was collected to help in the by-elections in Kedah and Perak.-Anilnetto