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Monday, February 16, 2009

Police identify man responsible for Exco’s nude pix

PETALING JAYA, Feb 16 — Police have identified the person behind the circulation of nude photographs of Selangor executive councillor (Exco), Elizabeth Wong.

Petaling Jaya OCPD, ACP Arjunaidi Mohamed said police would record statements from the man soon and initial investigations revealed that the suspect had several nude photographs of the 37-year-old politician in his possesion.

“We will be also calling a journalist, who informed the Bukit Lanjan assemblyman about her nude photographs yesterday. So I hope everyone will be patient until we complete our investigations,” he told a press conference here today.

Arjunaidi said the police have yet to receive the nude pictures and that it was to early to determine whose image actually appeared in the photographs.

He confirmed Wong had lodged a police report at the Damansara police station in Petaling Jaya at about 11.05 pm yesterday after a journalist informed her about the circulation of the photographs.

“However, the report was not complete as she was only informed by a third person (journalist) on the circulation of nude photographs. She (Wong) told the police the photographs were taken when she was sleeping.

“I would like to advise those having the nude photographs to surrender them to the police and assist us in our investigations,” he said, adding that police were investigating the case under Section 292 of the Penal Code for possessing pornographic materials.

Meanwhile, Wong has described the circulation of the pictures as a malicious attack on her.

She said in a statement today that the circulation of the photographs constituted a gross outrage on her modesty and invasion of privacy.

“It is being done by unscrupuluous persons to embrass and discredit me. It’s like invasion of sanctity of my personal life.

“I’m the victim in this incident and yesterday I had lodged a police report over this matter and will give my fullest cooperation to the police in their probe,” she said, adding that she would not speculate publicly about the person or persons responsible.

Wong, who is also the tourism, consumer affairs and environment Exco in Selangor, said her family members, supporters, friends and members of her constituency were behind her and continue to give her their full support.

“I would like to appeal to the media to please give me and my family some space to breathe. So that I can weather this huge challenge.

“However I will continue with my service in serving the people of Selangor faithfully,” she added.

-The Malaysian Insider

“Bye”-election for S Samy Vellu

MIC president S Samy Vellu, who is touted to make a comeback in Bukit Selambau with his candidate, was quoted by sources as saying that MIC Kedah chief V Saravanan as the best person with the best chance to wreck the seat back from PKR.

If it’s true that Saravanan is the man, we all hope that Samy is going to endorse the candidate openly during the nomination day, as to show the world that he is the man behind the candidate.

If it’s true, then the news itself is already a victory for the PKR.

If it’s true, basically any candidate from PKR is good enough to defeat Saravanan. Not that I mean to say Saravanan is not good, but too bad he hangs out with the wrong dude.

If it’s true, then Bukit Selambau is going to be the retirement stage for the most shameless politician in Malaysia. I mean, his comrades like Tun Mahathir, Ling Liong Sik, Lim Keng Yaik and even Ong Ka Ting stepped down for quite some times, but this shameless old man continues to become the biggest baggage for his party, and the nation too.

If it’s true, it’s good news for MIC members to finally have a golden opportunity to demand him to step down or even topple him from the post.

Nonetheless, April 7 is the "bye-election" day when you and my dreams come true.

-/www.skthew.com

SELANGOR STATE EXCO ELIZABETH WONG'S NUDE PHOTOS MADE PUBLIC

Selangor Executive Councillor Elizabeth Wong, whose nude photographs are being circulated in public, has made a report urging the Police to investigate the matter.

According to the Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman, she lodged the report at the Damansara Police Station in Petaling Jaya at about 11pm last night and believes that the nude photographs were taken using a camera phone without her consent most likely by her former boyfriend while she was asleep.

Wong, 37, who is unmarried, is expected to issue a public statement on the matter today.

It was reveal that copies of the nude photographs were sent to a number of newspapers last week, in what appears to be an orchestrated attempt to smear her image.

The circulation of the photographs comes as the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) alliance is coming under intense pressure from the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. After a 'successful' bid in toppling the PR Perak State government recently, the Selangor State government is also said to be under the threat of defections.

news n pictures courtesy of Malaysiakini n Might of the Pen

Khir Toyo Desak Elizabeth Wong Letak Jawatan

Malaysiakini | 16 Februari 2009

Bekas Menteri Besar Selangor Dr Mohd Khir Toyo mendesak ahli exco kerajaan negeri Selangor, Elizabeth Wong supaya meletak jawatan exco dan Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) Bukit Lanjan, ekoran penyebaran foto-foto bogelnya kepada umum.

“Ini adalah masalah moral. Dulu Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek pun letak jawatan,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Katanya, apabila perkara yang sama berlaku kepada Dr Chua, pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat mendesaknya supaya meletak jawatan.

“Sekarang mengapa tidak (Elizabeth letak jawatan). Jangan dwi-standard. (Bila) berlaku pada orang tak boleh… (tapi) pada kita tak apa,” katanya lagi.

Elizabeth membuat aduan polis tengah malam tadi berhubung penyebaran foto-foto bogelnya kepada umum.

Beliau membuat laporan di balai polis Damansara, Petaling Jaya kira-kira jam 11 malam.

Difahamkan foto-foto yang dirakam tanpa kebenarannya itu - kemungkinan oleh seorang bekas teman lelakinya - sewaktu beliau sedang tidur.

‘Secepat mungkin’

Dr Mohd Khir mendesak supaya Elizabeth meletak jawatan “secepat yang boleh”.

Dengan berbuat demikian, katanya, ia akan dapat membersihkan nama PKR.

“Jika tidak, ia adalah parti yang tak ada moral,” katanya.

Dr Mohd Khir juga berkata, ada kemungkinan pihak PKR tidak membuat saringan peribadi setiap calonnya yang bertanding dalam pilihanraya umum lalu.

Katanya, ini mungkin kerana mereka tidak menyangka akan menang dan menubuhkan kerajaan di Selangor.

Elizabeth menjadi sasaran kedua berkaitan dakwaan seks selepas serangan terhadap seorang wakil rakyat PAS, yang juga exco kerajaan negeri, Dr Halimah Ali yang didakwa ditangkap basah di sebuah hotel sekitar Pelabuhan Klang.

Dr Halimah menafikannya, beliau membuat aduan polis hujung bulan lepas terhadap sebuah laman web pro-Umno berhubung penyiaran tuduhan tersebut.

Kenyataan Media YB Elizabeth Wong

—KENYATAAN MEDIA UNTUK EDARAN SEGERA—
16 Februari 2009

Saya telah dimaklumkan pada hari Jumaat, 13 Februari 2009 oleh wartawan-wartawan Malay Mail bahawa mereka memiliki foto-foto intim saya dan akhbar tersebut ingin menyiarkan berita mengenai foto-foto tersebut.

Saya dimaklumkan bahawa beberapa orang cuba menyebarkan foto/video yang menunjukkan saya tidur dalam keadaan separuh bogel dan juga dalam posisi intim.

Penyebaran dan penerbitan foto/video tersebut satu serangan berniat jahat terhadap keperibadian saya. Ia merupakan pencabulan maruah saya, satu pelanggaran ruang peribadi saya dan terutamanya, kekudusan kehidupan peribadi saya. Ia juga perbuatan mereka yang tidak berakhlak untuk memalukan saya dan mencemar nama baik saya.

Saya menjadi mangsa perbuatan tersebut.

Saya telah membuat laporan polis semalam berhubung perkara itu dan saya akan bekerjasama sepenuhnya dengan polis dalam menjalankan siasatan mereka. Oleh itu, saya tidak akan membuat sebarang spekulasi secara terbuka tentang siapakah mereka yang bertanggungjawab menceroboh ruang peribadi saya.

Saya telah menerima banyak sokongan daripada penyokong saya, rakan dan penduduk di kawasan pilihanraya saya. Saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih atas keprihatinan, sokongan dan galakan mereka.

Anggota keluarga saya juga berdiri teguh di belakang saya. Saya ingin merayu kepada pihak media supaya memberi saya dan anggota keluarga saya ruang keselesaan dalam menghadapi keadaan mencabar ini supaya saya boleh memikul cabaran berat ini.

Buat masa ini, saya akan menjalankan tugas seperti biasa, terus berkhidmat dengan jujur kepada rakyat Selangor.

ELIZABETH WONG KEAT PING
Adun Bukit Lanjan
Exco Pelancongan, Alam Sekitar dan Hal Ehwal Pengguna
Kerajan Negeri Selangor

Continue reading ‘Kenyataan Media YB Elizabeth Wong’

Raja Petra vows to die in silence if re-arrested

Adnkronos | Feb 16, 2009

Kuala Lumpur, 16 Feb. (AKI) - Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin has vowed to die in silence as a sign of protest if he is re-arrested on what many believe are politically motivated grounds. His pledge came as a court was due to rule whether he is to return to prison under Malaysia’s Internal Security Act (ISA).

Raja Petra, who has risen to prominence as a pro-opposition blogger, was arrested on 12 September after accusations lodged by several religious groups who claim that he offended Islam in an article published on 8 August.

He was released on 7 November last year but the government has appealed the court decision and a verdict is expected on Tuesday.

“I shall no longer open my mouth or utter one word during my detention. I shall maintain the silence of a mute person. I shall not sign any documents of the so many documents that they make you sign when under detention,” he said.

“My signature is not going to be placed on a single shred of paper,” he wrote in his blog, ‘Malaysia Today’ acknowledging that the move could have dire consequences.

”I shall refuse all medical treatment and visits to the hospital. I shall refuse to accept any food and water supplied by the authorities.

“I shall refuse to leave my cell or to meet any of the prison authorities. In short, I shall shut myself out from the world and keep to my own world of my eight feet square cell.

“This action will mean I shall survive at the most seven to eight days,” he added.

Raja Petra blamed deputy prime minister Najib Razak (picture above) for his arrest and for what he calls his political persecution.

Najib has been among Raja Petra’s main targets in his blog.

In his most controversial article “Let’s Send Altantuya’s Murderers to Hell”, published on 25 April, Raja Petra said that Najib and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, were involved in the killing of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Translator and former model, the Mongolia-born Shaariibuu, 28, was shot twice in the head, and her body was blown up with explosives, in a jungle outside Kuala Lumpur in October, 2006.

“I am totally sure that Najib (Razak) is involved. And at the very least, he should be investigated,” Raja Petra told Adnkronos International (AKI).”

“I am aware that I have raised the stakes with this article and I am prepared to go all the way,” he added.

Najib has denied any involvement in the case and has sworn at a mosque that he never met Shaariibuu. He has also denied any involvement in the arrest of Raja Petra.

The ISA was inherited by Malaysia after it gained independence from Britain in 1957. In essence, it allows for the arrest of any person without the need for trial in certain circumstances.

Probably my last message to Malaysians

Image

This country needs major political, economic and social reforms. The next two years are going to be most trying years indeed. And expect a snap general election within 18 months of Najib taking over if he does take over on 1 April 2009.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Tomorrow, I will probably be detained under the Internal Security Act. Anyhow, before we talk about that, let me start by giving you my prediction for the two by-elections scheduled for early April.

In 2004, BN won the Bukit Selambau state seat with a majority of 7,695 votes and in 2008 they lost it with a majority of 2,362 votes. (See the chart below). In the coming by-election, I forecast a voter turnout of around 26,000 and a majority of 3,500-4,500 for the opposition.

For the Bukit Gantang parliament seat, in 2004 Barisan Nasional won with a majority of 8,888 and in 2008 it lost with a majority of 1,566. (See chart below). This time around, the voter turnout will be roughly 42,000 and the opposition will win that seat with a majority of 5,000-8,000 votes.

Okay, I am forecasting this even before I know who the candidates are. Well, I have no choice. On Tuesday, 17 February 2009, the Federal Court is due to hear the appeal against my release from Internal Security Act detention and I really do not know what the outcome is going to be. Chances are, I have but 24 hours left as a free man and if I do not write this article today I never will.

On 7 November 2008, the Shah Alam High Court ordered my release from detention. The government has appealed this decision although it did not see the need to appeal the decision of the Shah Alam High Court acquitting Abdul Razak Baginda of the charge of murder without his defence being called.

I was in court last week to witness the performance of the three judges and what I saw did not give me much confidence. First of all, we asked for a quorum of seven judges, or at least five. But the court turned us down and fixed a quorum of only three judges. And two of the three judges appear to be hostile towards us from the word ‘go’. It looks like my fate has been sealed even before the case goes to court.

Anyway, I know for a fact that it was not Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who ordered my detention. He was not even aware I had been detained. The order came from Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and since I am bent on making sure he never becomes Prime Minister on 1 April 2009 I really do not blame him for wanting to get me out of the way.

My friends and family want me to leave the country and to seek political asylum in another country. They feel I can still continue with the struggle in a foreign land. But I am against that as much as my wife pleads that I consider this. I am no quitter and I do not run. I shall stay and fight till the very end even if that is the last thing I do.

If I have to lose my freedom so be it. That is the price we pay for opposing the powers-that-be. But I shall not go quietly or make any deals to secure my release with those who walk in the corridors of power.

I was given an option. Take the money and become rich or go to jail. I refused the money and instead chose jail. This is my choice and no one can convince me to do otherwise. No doubt I will have to pay for this and it will be a heavy price that I shall have to pay. But this is the price of the struggle and the price does not come cheap.

I shall not submit. I shall resist till the end. I stand on right and I oppose what is wrong. Amar makruf, nahi munkar, as Islam would say. We must uphold right and oppose wrong. That is not only the Islamic way but also the way of all religions. And even atheists believe in this, so you need not believe in God to subscribe to the concept of amar makruf, nahi munkar.

Over thousands of years countless people have met their deaths just because they stood on the side of right. What I have chosen to do has been done by so many who are now nameless and faceless. So it is nothing so special that I do which has not been done before.

My resistance will continue. But I will have to continue my resistance behind the barbwire fences of the Kamunting Detention Centre. It will now be up to you, those who are free, to continue where I left off.

My resistance, however, will have to take on a new form. I will no longer be able to write or speak at ceramahs. My voice has now been silenced. But I can still speak the words of silence, which will be my new form of resistance.

I shall no longer open my mouth or utter one word during my detention. I shall maintain the silence of a mute person. I shall not sign any documents of the so many documents that they make you sign when under detention. My signature is not going to be placed on a single shred of paper.

By doing so would mean none of my family members or lawyers would have access to me. Yes, that is the price I shall pay for ‘not cooperating’. I know this and I am prepared for it.

I shall refuse all medical treatment and visits to the hospital. I shall refuse to accept any food and water supplied by the Kamunting authorities. I shall refuse to leave my cell or to meet any of the prison authorities. In short, I shall shut myself out from the world and keep to my own world of my eight feet square cell.

This action will mean I shall survive at the most seven to eight days. By the end of that period I shall be dead. I am prepared for that. They plan to imprison my body for the rest of my life. But I shall release my spirit from my body and will again be free. They can keep my body and they can do whatever they want with it. But they will never be able to keep my spirit. I shall separate my spirit from my body and deny them the pleasure of incarcerating me.

This is a decision I have taken and no one can make me change my mind. And this is probably the last article of mine that you shall read if they send me to Kamunting tomorrow. Keep the struggle going. I shall no longer be able to join you in that struggle. The work is far from finished. This country needs major political, economic and social reforms. The next two years are going to be most trying years indeed. And expect a snap general election within 18 months of Najib taking over if he does take over on 1 April 2009.

I lay down my life for this nation of ours called Malaysia. I will sacrifice myself for the sake of the struggle. There is very little left I can give at this point of time other than my life. For those who stood by me all these years, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I go with a heavy heart. But my heart is heavy only because I have but one life to give.

Death is not the end. Death is but the beginning. It is the beginning of a new journey that none of us can escape and will one day embark upon. It is not something to be sad about. It is something to rejoice.

Please continue your struggle to make Malaysia a better place for our future generation. This country belongs to them and it is for them that we struggle. For some of us, our time is already almost up. We do not have many years left. Many have gone before us. Many friends who started out with us in 1998 are no longer around. But they left this world in the hope that one day Malaysia will be the country that we dream it would be. And that, too, must be our dream.

I pray and hope that the Putrajaya Federal Court will uphold the decision of the Shah Alam High Court to free me from ISA detention. But if it reverses that decision then we must be prepared for that as well. And if the Federal Court does what I fear it will do, goodbye Malaysians, my comrade-in-arms. We shall meet again, one day, although not in this world but the next.

King laments preoccupation with race issues

He said that the rights of every Malaysian, which are enshrined in the Federal Constitution, will always be protected and respected, and called on the public to improve unity to stabilise the country.

by Shannon Teoh, The Malaysian Insider

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said today he was disappointed that race relations continued to be a significant problem for the country.

“Even though our country has been independent for 51 years, narrow racial issues are still brought up by certain parties and have been publicly debated,” he said in his royal address to parliament.

The debate over race has grown in recent years, expecially over issues such as Ketuanan Melayu, or the supremacy of the Malays, and also the treatment of minorities.

“I wish to stress that my government will not hesitate to take action against any party that tries to divide the people so as to ensure racial harmony and peace is protected,” he added.

He said that the rights of every Malaysian, which are enshrined in the Federal Constitution, will always be protected and respected, and called on the public to improve unity to stabilise the country.

“The racial and cultural diversity that we possess must be turned into one of our strengths,” he said.

The King also told the House that he took seriously the problem of falsehoods that have been spread and specifically named blogs as culprits.

“Lies and false news that have been spread by certain quarters including blog sites have caused confusion among the people,” he said.

“We should learn from history where the fall of empires and civilisations have been caused by lies, jealousy and division among the people,” he added, and called on citizens to be wise in evaluating news.

He also said that media practitioners including bloggers must be ethical and responsible and not abuse the freedom that they have been accorded.

The ruler also said that in light of the economic downturn, local entrepreneurs should now give priority to local workers instead of relying on foreign labour.

“At the same time, local workers should also not be too picky in choosing employment,” he said

King laments preoccupation with race issues

By Shannon Teoh-The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 – The Yang di-Pertuan Agong said today he was disappointed that race relations continued to be a significant problem for the country.

“Even though our country has been independent for 51 years, narrow racial issues are still brought up by certain parties and have been publicly debated,” he said in his royal address to parliament.

The debate over race has grown in recent years, expecially over issues such as Ketuanan Melayu, or the supremacy of the Malays, and also the treatment of minorities.

“I wish to stress that my government will not hesitate to take action against any party that tries to divide the people so as to ensure racial harmony and peace is protected,” he added.

He said that the rights of every Malaysian, which are enshrined in the Federal Constitution, will always be protected and respected, and called on the public to improve unity to stabilise the country.

“The racial and cultural diversity that we possess must be turned into one of our strengths,” he said.

The King also told the House that he took seriously the problem of falsehoods that have been spread and specifically named blogs as culprits.

“Lies and false news that have been spread by certain quarters including blog sites have caused confusion among the people,” he said.

“We should learn from history where the fall of empires and civilisations have been caused by lies, jealousy and division among the people,” he added, and called on citizens to be wise in evaluating news.

He also said that media practitioners including bloggers must be ethical and responsible and not abuse the freedom that they have been accorded.

The ruler also said that in light of the economic downturn, local entrepreneurs should now give priority to local workers instead of relying on foreign labour.

“At the same time, local workers should also not be too picky in choosing employment,” he said.

Nude pix of Exco take dirty fight to new depths

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 – The salacious side of Malaysian politics has once again been exposed after the circulation of nude pictures said to be that of Selangor state executive councillor and PKR politician Elizabeth Wong.

The photographs are believed to have been taken by a former boyfriend without her consent.

PKR and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) politicians are now scrambling to limit the damage which will be caused by the circulation of the photographs.

The unmarried Wong, 37, is expected to be issuing a public statement on the matter today. She is also understood to have lodged a police report.

Copies of them photographs were sent to a number of newspapers last week, in what appears to be an orchestrated attempt to smear her image.

The circulation of the photographs comes as the PR alliance is coming under more pressure from the Barisan Nasional (BN).

After the toppling of the PR Perak state government recently, the Selangor state government is also said to be under the threat of defections.

Former Sabah CM quits race for Umno Supreme Council

KOTA KINABALU, Feb 16 – Former Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak today announced that he was withdrawing from contesting for the post of Umno Supreme Council member during the party’s elections next month.

Salleh said he made the decision after considering the fact that many Sabah Umno candidates were eligible to contest for Supreme council member posts during the party’s General Assembly scheduled for March 24-28 after surpassing the eligibility quota.

“I have decided to withdraw to so that other contestants from in Sabah will have a better chance of winning seats. My main focus and task now is to concentrate on strengthening Umno and the Kota Belud division as well as play a prominent role as a member of the state Umno liaison committee,” he told Bernama here today.

Salleh, also President of the United Sabah Bajau Organisation, who was returned as chief of the Kota Belud division after winning the divisional election last year, said he had received notification letter and nomination form from the Umno headquarters recently.

He added that the dateline to submit the forms to the Umno headquarters was Feb 20 but although he would not be contesting, he thanked all branches that had nominated him.

Salleh also welcomed the state liaison committee’s decision to support whichever candidate was eligible to contest for a Supreme Council seat. – Bernama

It’s going to be a whole lot worse before it gets better

tmi-n.jpg

FEB 16 – One Cabinet minister calls it the inevitable march to a recession while another believes that the government will have little choice but to give cash handouts of up to RM1,000 to each retrenched Malaysian to survive the country’s worst economic crisis.

After hoping for the best and believing that the Malaysian economy will have a soft landing of about 3.5 per cent growth this year, ministers and senior government officials are now singing a different refrain in private.

They believe that there is a good chance that Malaysia could be in recession this year and concede that even if the administration unveils and implements a mini-budget soon, growth will still be between 0.3 per cent and 0.5 per cent.

This bleak economic picture will complicate the already difficult task the Barisan Nasional government faces in shoring up its support at the political front, and could have a significant impact on the public perception towards Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak when he takes over the premiership in March.

Since unveiling the RM7 billion stimulus package in November, the administration has been upbeat about the ability of the Malaysian economy to deal with the global crisis, given the strength of the financial system here, liquidity in the markets and reasonable commodity prices.

Government planners predicted that the RM7 billion package if implemented by the first quarter would add 1 per cent to the GDP growth for 2009. But some of the assumptions have been thrown out of whack. Malaysia’s exports have plunged more sharply than anticipated – the result of the country’s main trading partners performing much worse than expected.

December’s figures showed that exports contracted by nearly 15 per cent. Compounding this increasingly dire situation is the great Malaysian malaise – the inability to execute policies quickly.

The Malaysian Insider understands that some RM5 billion of the RM7 billion stimulus package was disbursed by the Finance Ministry to individual ministries in January but much of it has been trapped by officialdom and suffocating red tape.

As a result very few pump priming projects identified under the stimulus package have taken off. In short, the multiplier effect which the government was predicting from the RM7 billion package will not be felt soon.

Najib has announced that the administration will announce a mini-budget in Parliament on March 10. He is likely to present a grimmer picture of the Malaysian economy than the one he sketched on Nov 4.

Official figures show that as many as 40,000 Malaysians could lose their jobs this year but those figures are misleading because they do not capture the employment status of contract workers.

The Malaysian Employers Federation believes that as many as 200,000 workers could be jobless in 2009 – the result of manufacturing plants shutting down operations or reducing their workforce in the face of limp demand.

The state likely to be hit badly will be Penang. Manufacturing makes up 43 per cent of its economy. The Malaysian Insider understands that the mini-budget could include a suspension of the service tax; a cut in the employers’ contribution to the EPF and Human Resource Development Fund.

There will also be a slew of pump-priming projects including the lengthening of the Malacca Airport.

Also being considered seriously are cash payments to retrenched Malaysians. The quantum could be between RM700 and RM1,000 per worker and the time frame could be for a period of six months. Not wanting to create the impression that this is a dole scheme, the government is likely to tie any cash payment to re-training.

A senior government official told The Malaysian Insider: “The unemployment situation is going to get bad for the next 12 months and we must be able to put some money in the hands of those who have been retrenched.”

The budget deficit is expected to grow from 4.8 per cent of the GDP to beyond 6 per cent with the additional spending under the mini-budget.

But the government is less worried about stretching the budget deficit at this point.

The priority is to ensure that despair does not set in. Signs are already there that pain of the global crisis has hit home. A focus group study by pollster Merdeka Centre showed that the working class had anecdotes to share about the loss of overtime, shorter working hours and retrenchments.

The news could get much worse.

Gutter journalism

Today’s front page of the Malay Mail is a regrettable example of gutter journalism. It features a headline story about nude photos of a Selangor female politician circulating in the public domain.

The photos were believed to be taken using a camera phone without her consent by a former boyfriend while she was sleeping.

Not only is the story tantamount to an invasion of privacy, “the Malay Mail played dirty by putting a picture of a bare-backed woman next to the story,” said one political analyst, who described it as “gutter politics”.

On the front cover, an unrelated photo of a back-backed female Formula One driver on the right is staring towards the left at the bold headline of the Selangor nude photos story, “Fury over bedroom invasion”.

We are being struck by probably the greatest global economic downturn since the Great Depression - and some are predicting that it could be worse than that. Manufacturing and exports are nose-diving, workers are being laid off, others are struggling to cope with the high cost of living. Many ordinary people are suffering.

That’s not all. The Selangor state government is in the midst of crucial negotiations to take over water assets from private concessionaires who are eyeing a tariff hike. Perak is experiencing a major constitutional crisis.

None of this merits front page coverage in the Malay Mail, which instead has other priorities in its bid to sell more newspapers.

Disclosure: I contributed a few stories to the Malay Mail during last August’s Permatang Pauh by-election upon their request.

Risking the nation for an Umno post

ImageThe Malaysian Insider

FEB 15 – The Perak imbroglio has thrown up many issues and many players on national stage from royalty to politicians, some hungry for their 15 seconds of fame and eyeing a bigger role in the future.

Consider the following.

Datuk Seri Khir Toyo (who tried to march to Karpal Singh’s house), Khairy Jamaluddin (who called for banishment), Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (who has been calling for action against treason) and Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (who has been calling for action against bloggers who have commented on the Perak sultan).

Of the four, Khir and Khairy are running for the Umno Youth chief post, Hishammuddin is eyeing a vice-presidential slot and Muhammad is hoping to win as deputy president.

But they all seem to be oblivious to one fact: they are not only auditioning for support in Umno polls but, by virtue of being leaders in Umno, they are also Malaysian leaders.

Therefore, their constituents are also those outside the party, not just the Umno delegates who will likely vote them in for higher positions with the Malay nationalist party that been dominant in Malaysian politics since before Merdeka.

However, the sabre-rattling and political posturing may fly in Umno but not with those outside the party.

Does the country need such emotional, reactionary and irrational leaders as such, who fly at a moment’s anger or upset with political rivals to consider a march, a banishment, rallies and harsh action against those who differ with them in philosophy and opinion?

Does the country need leaders willing to risk public safety and order to prove a point and score points for their party politics?

These are leaders who must rise above party politics and lead the country towards enlightenment and progress, not the dark ages of marches and torches and threats of harm to mind, spirit and body.

In the campaign for Umno votes, and the heaven-sent opportunity of Perak providing a national stage, these leaders must consider that their every word and move is also being considered and evaluated by the public at large.

There is no use of being the king in a small pond but nothing in the big lake that is Malaysia.

These are the days for the wisdom of statesmen not the wild rhetoric of demagogues. These are the days for calm and not chaos. These are the days when you wished these Umno leaders will rise above petty party politics and play a leadership role in the country, just like the ones before them who led the way to Merdeka and, later, Malaysia.

Fortunately, we have options now even if Umno doesn’t realise it yet.

Tok Guru on Karpal

"An Old Man". I hope the Bernama reporter who interviewed Nik Aziz, the PAS spiritual leader, has a tape recorder (or whatever it is they used these days for recording) just in case someone wans proof that the Tok Guru did indeed say what he purportedly said when asked about Karpal Singh's behavior towards Sultan Perak.

Because for the Tok Guru to say Karpal Singh is "an old man" whom "many among the young in the DAP are no longer taking seriously" is, quite simply, damaging.

Read the full story here.


Rally for Sultan. By the way, look who's hitting the streets these days. Khir Toyo, fresh from a rally in Penang to protest Karpal Singh's behavior towards Sultan Perak, led another one in Shah Alam yesterday in support of Sultan Selangor.

More pictures here at Jinggo, pictures and story by Husin Lempoyang.

Read also Aziz Hassan's Karpal's Delay Making It Worse

Shamsul Yunus posted Nik Aziz's statement earlier here but is skeptical. "...Opposition leaders are all the same, they shoot off their mouth without thinking about the consequences but yet they want us to put them in charge of the country... If they want to move forward they will have to get rid of Karpal, Kit Siang, Hadi and Anwar Ibrahim."

Respect The Federal Constitution, Says Tuanku Mizan

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 16 (Bernama) -- Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin today reminded the people to respect the federal constitution and expressed the hope that there will be no attempts to create laws that contravene it.

He said the history of the country's independence and the federal constitution must be explained to the young so that they would have a better understanding of the basis for the formation of the country.

"The young generation is the country's back-up and hope for the future. The principles of the Rukun Negara must be understood and appreciated by all strata of the society," he said when opening the Dewan Rakyat sitting here.

Tuanku Mizan expressed regret that despite the country having gained independence for 51 years, certain parties were still raising narrow racial issues for public debate.

"I want to stress that my government will not hesitate to take action against anyone who tries to disunite the people, to ensure that racial harmony and peace in the country are maintained," he said to applause from the members of Parliament.

BRIGHTHER FUTURE ONLY THROUGH UNITY, KNOWLEDGE AND ECONOMICAL STRENGTH

(MPKAPAR) Historically, people of Indian origin have been in and out of Malaya for generations. This includes the founding of Malacca by an Indian Prince. Unfortunately however, currently Malaysians are generally only aware that Indians was brought into the country to develop the rubber plantations and to build road and railway by the British. The situation is similar to the Malaysian Government during the premiership of Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, which chose to allow Indonesian and Bangladeshi into the country as foreign labourers.

Our leaders during Independence agreed to fulfill certain conditions imposed by British including granting Citizenship for non-Malays, freedom to worship and harmonious living among the races. The cry to ensure that the Malays outshine the other communities in Malaysia started to emerge as the country progressed, recording impressive economic growth rates from the 1980s. The victim of the overall National Development policy was largely the Indian community mainly concentrated in the plantations. Over 300,000 Indian poor have been displaced after the plantations were acquired for property and township development. When evicted from the plantations, these people not only lost their jobs, but more importantly, housing, crèches, basic amenities and socio-cultural facilities.

While, the ruling government policy remains to enrich and entrench Bumiputras in all sectors, our counterparts the Chinese community, with their strong business acumen, already surpass others in Malaysia. Few brilliant Indians survived the tough estate living conditions to become professional such as doctors and lawyers, in their own right, and at times outshining other races in Malaysia due to their parents and siblings sacrifices. However, the Barisan Nasional Government especially then Prime Minister Dr. Mahathir Mohamed (tough he himself was half Indian) with their hatred towards Indians, saw the increasing professionals among Indians as very alarming signal. His invisible policies of hatred towards Indians worked very well with support of mandore Samy Vellu.

Imagine the level Indians could have achieved should the ruling Government had sincerely looked at its entire citizens equally without any partiality.

Barisan Nasional manipulated the definition of “National” by setting up Perbadanan Nasional Berhad as an investment arm aimed at uplifting the economy status of the Bumiputras, Perbadanan Usahawan Nasional Berhad as Bumiputra entrepreneur development center and many more. The bodies which aimed to assist the entire Malaysian population ended up functioning only assisting a portion of them. When we demanded for such facilities, they claim it already existed by using the word” National”.

This is what the Indian’s got for their loyalty toward Barisan Nasional. Remember for the ruling government National means Bumiputra.

UNITY

Unity among Malaysians, either inter or intra races, is very important in order for Indians to continue to exist here Malaysia. The diverse cultures, traditions and religions prevent real amalgamation from taking place. While preserving the good practices, we Malaysians need to throw some bad apples away.

We must stop bullying and fighting among ourselves. I remember an incident sometime back when a police man, who was talking to a retail shop owner on his complain that it was the third time he been robbed. “Itu India dengan India punya pasal, kalau berani suruh itu pencuri sentuh kedai Melayu.“ Is that probably how they have been trained? However, this doesn’t mean that Indians should do the same with the others.

We had shown our unity before Independence, remained loyal towards Barisan Nasional for 50 over years. The Indians showed their unity during the unprecedented and historical rally on the 25th November 2007

It is time for the Temple Management Committees and the Tamil School Boards all over the country to set aside their differences for the betterment of our community.

KNOWLEDGE

Historically, the majority of Indians have been dependent on employment in the rubber plantations and in government and quasigovernment agencies. In 1966, out of the 202,250 Indians employed, 137,150 of them or 67.8 per cent worked in the plantations and 48,850 or 24.2 per cent in the lower rung of the civil service, mainly as menial workers in the railways, Public Works Department and the local councils. As a community, the Indians were low wage earners and a majority of them have always been poor.

Educational knowledge is the only capital we can plough for long term achievement. However, we shouldn’t pawn the knowledge gained with unscrupulous leaders who takes advantage of our poverty to ensure they remain in power.

The cooperation between Schools, Parent Teacher Association (PIBG) and Non Governmental Organization should continue as they have shown tremendous progress at the UPSR Exam level. The good work of mentoring should continue at all levels of education.

We shouldn’t limit knowledge acquisition to just within a few selected professional sectors. There are many new sectors which require the arithmetic skills naturally possessed by us. There isn’t any limitation in acquiring knowledge.

ECONOMIC STRENGTH

We should blame ourselves too for relying too much on the government especially our Cabinet Members, who we have hoped would not leave us empty handed. Whatever benefits that should be coming to the community have already taken siphoned off through the back door by those we depended on.

We need to create a very strong economic foundation in order to remain visible in Malaysia. We had lost almost Trillion ringgit worth of opportunities by investing RM110 million with Maika Holdings. And recently we heard that further RM250million have disappeared from MIED under the same able leader. The Thieves still living among us.

The BN Government will not undertake any move to uplift Indians economically as they will feel threaten. This can be clearly noted when Dr. Mahathir promise to uplift Indian Economy participation to 3 % by 2010 but the Abdullah Administration revised it to 2020. They are not ready to sacrifice even 1.5% for us economically.

We have among us Economic geniuses, Business Magnates, Management Gurus yet we are unable to uplift our own economic situation.

I propose to setup a community development special vehicle to be professionally managed without any political interference. The vehicle should make economic achievement as their main priority by involving themselves in business not only in Malaysia but where ever there are opportunities. Why should we let someone else take our quota of Infrastructure Building from India for an example?

The vehicle should also play a vital role as a mentor by developing mother child business relationship systems.

I believe with the support of the Pakatan Rakyat state Governments and possible upcoming Pakatan Federal Government we will be able to flourish further.

**speech at Forum Perdana , Shah Alam

Pas cooperates with PKR in choosing candidate

(NST) - Kedah Pas will cooperate with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in selecting the candidate to contest the by-election for the Bukit Selambau state constituency in April.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azizan Abdul Razak, who is also Kedah Pas commissioner, said the party would not interfere in the selection of the PKR candidate.

However, Pas would make suggestions and give its views if the candidate selected was not suitable so that the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) would achieve victory,” he said after presenting certificates and instruments of appointment to village and community heads, here today.

The Bukit Selambau seat fell vacant following the resignation of incumbent assemblyman V.Arumugam on Feb 9.

The Election Commission (EC) has fixed March 29 for nomination day and April 7 for polling in the event of a contest.

Azizan said the PKR top leadership would choose the candidate after discussing with all the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) component parties.

“Bukit Selambau has been allocated to the PKR. So I don’t interfere, but Pas will make suggestions if the candidate selected has a bad record,” he said.

He also said that Pas would have no objection if the PKR were to pick a non-resident of Bikut Selambau as long as the candidate was from Kedah.

On the EC decision to hold the by-election after the Umno general assembly next month, he said this would give Umno time to hold the assembly before the by-election.

“So we will have a longer time for campaigning...the longer, the better,” he said.

At the function, Azizan handed over instruments of appointment for 2,026 village and community heads to 12 District Officers.

Two by-elections and the economy

FEB 15 – The Chinese New Year of 2009 marking the beginning of the Ox year is filled with both economic and political challenges.

The possible recession in Malaysia and the slowdown in the global economy has dampened the festive mood.

Looking at the political situation, it did not augur well for the rakyat in Perak where they had a sudden change of government.

There has been much news, comments, write-up, analysis and debate about the change in state government in Perak. Some condemn BN, some say PR deserve to get a taste of their own medicine.

Nevertheless, what is clear is that after 308, the public had high expectations of PR and the emergence of a two-party system in Malaysia was much hyped, celebrated and welcome by a lot of Malaysians.

As a result, the all-powerful BN is now portrayed as the underdog bruised after sustaining more injuries due to its defeat in the by-election in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu.

Nevertheless, the change in government through wakil rakyat hopping to and from whichever side is not something we ought to be proud of because when the rakyat votes, it is because of the candidate as well as the party they represent.

Hence, the frustration by the rakyat is clearly understood as they voted for PR to be the ruling party of the Perak state, but due to several of their representatives morphing into independent assemblymen, the PR government fell and the BN coalition took charge.

In the short term, it would seem BN have won but in the long run it may yet backfire.

What puzzled me, though, was why did the Umno assemblymen jumped to PR and then back? Was it a scheme to confirm PR is acceptable to the idea of party-hopping so that if any of PR members were to crossover to BN, PR can't argue that is it unconstitutional or unethical?

When the Umno assemblyman jumped, he was welcome with open arms followed by a press conference to trumpet that more BN wakil rakyat will hop over.

But, as we all know now, that did not happen. But the reverse did.

It is true that Anwar mooted and publicise party hopping and he was a strong advocate of gaining control through party hopping but never in his wildest dream would he have expected that when you play with fire and if the wind direction changes you will also burn your hands.

What should have been done is to convene an emergency sitting and to pass a vote of no-confidence against the PR government.

By establishing a new government through the support of independent wakil rakyat, it would make BN vulnerable to attacks and threats. The ability for BN to hold Perak depends on three independent assemblymen similar to an egg balancing on the buffalo horns. They can defect just as easily defect backwards.

PR can also go to town on the issue that the two PKR wakil rakyat who are on trial for corruption have defected to avoid being prosecuted and sentenced. Thus, it looks plausible that these two were set up in order to force them to defect.

If they are later acquitted, it would undermine public confidence in the courts and lead the public to believe that all this was a scheme hatched from the start by BN to undemocratically take back Perak and deny the voters their rights.

But if the two wakil rakyat are found guilty, by-elections would be held again to determine who would form the state government Perak.

Constant changing of government ultimately is detrimental to the rakyat as stability and consistency of policies are not attainable and cannot be established. This invariably leads to drop in both foreign and local investors due to uncertainty.

The blame cannot solely be shouldered by BN. They always say that when you have a common enemy you will be able to unite with unlikely partners and disregard the differences to ensure the enemy is defeated.

When PR became the ruling coalition in Perak state, the enemies were no longer in sight and hence infighting and dissatisfaction started to surface to the extent that it caused a split leading to the downfall of the Perak state government.

On the other hand, PR should evaluate its coalition and establish proper channels of communication to avoid further defection and wakil rakyat resigning.

An ultimatum to a wakil rakyat that he/she is regarded as having resigned from his/her seat if he/she cannot be contacted in 24 hours will not placate any dissatisfaction but fuel it further.

In fact, having undated pre-signed letters of resignation would indicate that the leadership harbours no trust and is doubtful of its member's loyalty and sincerity. What a way to start building a relationship of trust and loyalty, similar to having a pre-nuptial agreement.

I guess it is always easy to give opinion and criticise after the event has happened and to write comments from the comfort of our desk. I believe leadership is about taking charge and making the decision.

Like they always say, whether a decision made is good or bad it is still a decision. A decision is made based on the available information at that moment.

What is important now is how we move forward. As wakil rakyat, regardless of allegiance to PR or BN, our main important aim is to serve the people and to ensure development of the constituency and prosperity of the constituency.

A decision has been made and taken by both leadership on either side.

BN sought and obtained the Sultan's blessing and subsequently took control over Perak while PR decided to proceed with a lawsuit.

Coincidentally, due to unforeseen circumstances, two by-elections are scheduled to be held, in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau, on 7 April 2009.

The results will surely be widely interpreted and analysed.

The Bukit Gantang MP seat will be used a gauge to see if the rakyat is acceptable to what have transpired for past few weeks in Perak. If a defeat is dealt to BN it might signify that the rakyat is punishing BN for taking over the state government due to the defections of the PR state assemblymen or that the rakyat is more confident and pleased with the progress of PR government.

Meanwhile the Bukit Selambau by election would be useful as a benchmark on the rakyat sentiments and support after the 308 elections. The mixture of Malay (50 per cent), Indian (29 per cent) and Chinese (20 per cent) would provide an indication on whether the anti-BN sentiment has subsided.

With all the by-elections and the constant politicking between BN and PR, there is lack of focus by the political leaders in resolving the problems of languishing economy as seen by the drop in the industrial production index approx 16 per cent in December 2008, drop in exports by 18 per cent compared to last year and a drop in international reserves held by Bank Negara from US$125 billion to US$91.3 billion coupled with a drop in revenue from commodities and oil and gas.

Thus it is good that both by election nomination and polling day are done on a similar date.

Multiple surveys have indicated that the rakyat is mainly concerned with economic issues and political stability. A recent survey by the Merdeka survey confirms this with 43 per cent of the people based on their sample being worried about unfavourable economic condition, inflation and cost of living.

Hence I believe strongly that whether BN survives the onslaught by the opposition depends on how well the crisis – in terms of unemployment, slowdown in the economy and also inflation – is handled. It is bread-and-butter issues that concern the rakyat.

In Iceland, the government was overthrown due to their inability to handle the financial market meltdown while in Thailand no stimulus package can be carried out due to political instability marred by demonstration.

Of course transparency and the eradication of corruption are equally important to ensure resources are efficiently channelled towards activities that can contribute to the economy.

SULTAN AZLAN SHAH SILVER JUBILEE CELEBRATIONS

The Sultan Azlan Shah Silver Jubilee Celebration held at Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar this evening was attended by Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

The celebration were in conjunction with 25 years of being in the Perak throne by Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah on 3 February 2009 which was also attended by the Rulers of of all States except Johore, Perlis and Negeri Sembilan, but was attended by Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah and all the Yang Dipertua Negeri of the respective States.

The others were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi; his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak; 'dubious' Perak Mentri Besar, Datuk Dr. Zambry Abdul Kadir and his group of 'bogus' Exco members, State Assemblypersons which included legitimate Mentri Besar, Datuk Seri Ir Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, who had filed a court action in Kuala Lumpur on Friday to obtain a declaration that the recently appointed Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry and his Exco line-up by the Palace are illegal and unconstitutional and State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar.
picture courtesy of Utusan Malaysia Online

A Betrayal of People’s Trust in Perak - Party Hopping in Perak

By Dr Toh Kin Woon
The Edge Business Weekly

At the time of writing this article, I learned from the electronic media that 3 State Assemblypersons from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) in the Perak State Legislative Assembly have resigned from their respective parties. 2 of them resigned from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) while the third left the Democratic Action Party (DAP). According to the Deputy Prime Minister, Dato Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, these 3 will be ‘Barisan Nasional (BN) friendly’ independents in the State Legislative Assembly. By this is meant that they will support the BN, even though they are ‘independents’. Their so-called independence is not so independent after all! Meanwhile, the State Assemblyperson from the constituency of Bota, who earlier announced his resignation from UMNO to join PKR, has now returned to UMNO. With these shifts, the number of seats held by the PR has now been reduced from 31, all popularly elected by the people in the last General Election, to 28. The BN still keeps its original 28, with the remaining 3 having declared themselves as so-called independents.

His Majesty the Sultan’s Decision

Confronted with this new balance of forces, the Menteri Besar (MB) from the PR has rightly called on His Majesty the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the Assembly so that fresh elections can be called to resolve the impasse.. But His Majesty rejected the MB’s call. Instead, he has consented to appoint a leader of the BN, which has all but one of its assemblypersons from UMNO, to be the new MB. In fact, the new MB has already been sworn in. This decision of His Majesty the Sultan is likely to cause widespread frustration and disappointment among his subjects in Perak and people in the rest of the country. If public opinion polls are anything to go by, an overwhelming majority of the people would like fresh elections to be called. They would like the power to decide who, from which political party, should represent them in the State Legislative Assembly, be returned to them. By not giving the royal assent to dissolve the Perak State Legislative Assembly, as requested by the Menteri Besar from the PR, His Royal Highness has denied the people their right to choose their representatives to the Assembly. Some legal experts have also argued that the MB from PR cannot be asked to step down until a motion of no-confidence has been passed in the State Legislative Assembly against him and his government. Many precedents have confirmed this legal view.

Why Such Misdemeanour among the Party Hoppers?

Hopping from one party to another, dubbed as turncoatism in the Philippines, has happened frequently in Malaysia. Often, those who jump from one party to another do not have the decency to resign to allow for by-elections to be called. Perhaps, they are discouraged from doing so as the law in Malaysia does not allow a sitting member of the legislature who resigns to contest an election until 5 years later. But by not resigning his or her legislative position after quitting the party under whose banner a state assemblyperson was elected, he or she has committed several major errors. One is to betray the trust of the people who elected him or her. The other is to deny the people’s right of evaluating the action of the legislator and the party that enticed him or her over, as well as who should represent them in the legislature. Often, some legislators forget that the legislature they sit in is called in some countries as the House of Representatives, that is, they are representatives of the people. But, why do some legislators hop from one party to another, one might ask? One is political opportunism. They jump because of pecuniary gains offered by the party, usually the ruling or would be the ruling party, should he or she cross over to it. The party that lures them to cross over might have promised them a high position in the government or even lots of cash. It could also be that their shift of allegiance is the result of a bargain not to pursue an action against the hopping legislator, who has been charged or is under investigation for a criminal offence. Some hop because of irreconcilable differences with some of their old party leaders. These differences could be personal, or due to the hoppers being by-passed for senior positions in the government. There are the odd cases, however, of people leaving because they could no longer agree with the political principles, positions and practices of their colleagues in the party from which they have resigned. These people leave their party over principles and not for opportunistic or personal reasons.

The Essence of Democracy

Among the reasons, it is the party hopping for personal monetary or political gains on the part of the hopper, and gaining state power on the part of the party that lures them over, that is most despicable. People generally despise such behaviour, both on the part of the party that lures the hoppers and the hoppers themselves. What has happened in Perak was a case of the BN luring a few PR State Assemblypersons to cross over to its fold in order to gain control of the state government. This is clearly a very undemocratic way to gain power, for democracy, in its classical meaning, is “rule by the people”. In an effort to explain how it is technically possible for the people to rule, Joseph Schumpeter came up with his pathbreaking empirical and procedural definition of democracy, or more precisely the democratic method, as “that institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide by means of a competitive struggle for the people’s vote.” So seeking the people’s votes or support to gain state power is the key essence of democracy, and not by way of luring elected representatives to jump ship.

How Can We Stop Unprincipled Party Hopping?

Luring is one thing. The legislators targeted must not be so easily lured. One way to achieve this is for political parties to strengthen their political programmes and ideology and take steps to ensure that their members, especially those who seek elected legislative office, not only subscribe but are committed to them. A good example of a party with a strong ideological base is PAS. We may not agree with its ideology, but it has to be acknowledged that all who have joined PAS are committed to fighting for the party’s cause. This explains why the PAS government managed to survive in Kelantan, despite having the slimmest of slim majority of only one during the latter part of its tenure from 2004 to 2008. I am sure attempts must have been made then to get a few of its state assemblypersons to leave, yet none of the PAS representatives took the bait. This was because they were all ideologically committed to the cause of PAS. To reduce crossovers, political parties must, therefore, have a strong ideology, which must then be inculcated in the party’s leaders and members. The socialist parties of yesteryears used to have a strong ideological base, too. Party members chosen to contest for elections must also have strong ethics and morals. If they have, they will know that betraying the party for opportunistic reasons is both immoral and unethical, even if it is not yet illegal. Another way is to have an anti-hopping law, which makes party hopping illegal. This is not likely as long as the BN is in control of the Federal Government. Still another way is for the people to send a strong message of disapproval to the party that has frustrated and denied them their choice of the party or coalition they have elected to govern. The BN has, in this instance, denied the people of Perak their choice of PR as the party to govern them. The BN must be told in no uncertain terms that this action is undemocratic, unethical and immoral. Those who have jumped and betrayed them for personal gains must also be rejected. I am sure and confident that this is what the people are going to do and will do in the next General Election.

(The author is currently a visiting research fellow under the Asian Public Intellectuals’ Senior Fellowship at the University of the Philippines in Diliman and the Ateneo de Manila University)

“Perak Coup D’etat: What Say You?”

Public Forum : “Perak Coup D’etat : What Say You?”
Date : 17th Feb 2009 (Tuesday)
Time : 8:00pm

Venue : Dewan Hamzah, Majlis Perbandaran Klang, Klang
Speakers : Ngeh Koo Ham
A. Sivanesan
Lim Kit Siang
Khalid Samad
Dr. Dzulkifli Ahmad
Haris Ibrahim
Charles Santiago
Organiser: Office of Klang Member of Parliament

Please contact Yap (016-2026300) / Sarah (016-6267797) for any enquiries.

The talk of the town

badawibillboard

The billboard that has fuelled speculation about Badawi’s political future

The website mentioned on the billboard contains the following message:

Grab the opportunity for your voice to be heard

E-mail your feedback and views to the Prime Minister in the form of your statement of support, complaint, suggestion, wish and hope as regards the performance and pledges of the Prime Minister, the national and state government leaders. Let us work together to preserve security, peace and prosperity for the people of Malaysia and the Nation.

Your feedback is very much appreciated. Thank you.

Please provide valid e-mail address and phone number so as not to miss your opportunity to get response from PM.

shahalam

Nizar at a packed PR ceramah in Shah Alam on 14 Feb

During the ceramah, one of the speakers from Pas speculated that the leadership transition from Abdullah to Najib could be delayed.

Speaker's Summons Strange, Says Zambry

IPOH, Feb 15 (Bernama) -- Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has described as strange the summons by State Legislative Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar on him and six executive councillors to appear before the assembly's Rights and Privileges Committee on Wednesday.

Normally, the committee would only act on people's representatives who did something wrong during the assembly sitting, he said today.

Nevertheless, he said, he would seek legal advice whether he had to appear before the committee.

Yesterday, Sivakumar said seven Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblyman -- Zambry (Pangkor), Hamidah Osman (Sungai Rapat), Datuk Ramly Zahari (Manong), Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang), Datuk Saarani Mohamad (Kota Tampan), Mohd Zahir Abdul Khalid (Kamunting) and Zainol Fadzi Paharudin (Sungai Manik) -- would be referred to the committee for contempt of the assembly following a complaint by Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh.

Sivakumar declined to reveal the contents of Wong's complaint but it was believed that it had something to do with Zambry's appointment as Menteri Besar by Sultan Azlan Shah and the swearing-in of the six executive councillors following the recent collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat government.

Book Launch in Written by Mr. V. M. Arunjunan 0166029006

BookLaunch1.jpgBookLaunch2.jpg

Malaysia falls short in fulfilling its promises to the UN Human Rights Council

The Malaysian government should fully implement the recommendations issued by the UN's Universal Period Review (UPR) Working Group in Geneva today, Amnesty International said. The Working Group will adopt recommendations on Malaysia made during the country's review by the Human Rights Council on 11 February.

Some of the key recommendations included calls for repealing or amending the Internal Security Act (ISA) and guaranteeing freedom of expression, information and religion. Many countries also identified Malaysia's poor record in addressing human rights abuses against refugees and migrant workers.


Amnesty International welcomed Malaysia's engagement with the UPR process, but noted that Malaysia had fallen short of many of its commitments to the UN Human Rights Council when it applied to become a member in 2006.


In 2006, Malaysia pledged itself to "the promotion of a free media, including in cyberspace, as well as the encouragement of vibrant and active civil society".


"Malaysia has failed to uphold these pledges to respect human rights, including its commitment to promote a free media, particularly the Internet. Bloggers have been charged under the vaguely worded provisions of the Sedition Act," said Donna Guest, Amnesty International's Asia-Pacific deputy director.


At least 50 people are detained indefinitely without charge or trial under the Internal Security Act. These include five leaders of the Hindu Rights Action Force (HINDRAF) who as prisoners of conscience should be released immediately and unconditionally, Amnesty International said.


Amnesty International also said that the government should speed up police reform and oversight. On 20 January, 22-year-old Kugan Ananthan died in police custody. His family and others who had seen his corpse alleged that he had been tortured to death. In December 2008 27-year-old B Prabarka claimed that police beat him, splashed boiling water on his body, and threatened to hang him.


"For Malaysia the real test of the UPR process will be whether it implements changes that have a real impact on the protection of human rights in the country. As a member of the Human Rights Council, Malaysia should follow through on its promises and take the lead in respecting, protecting and promoting human rights in the Southeast Asian region," Guest said.

The Other Press

15/2/09 POLICE REPORT; HINDRAF P.UTHAYAKUMAR health worsening & Kemta refused to send.












15/2/09. 9.30am.

IPD Brickfeilds Police Station,
Kuala Lumpur.
 
HINDRAF P.UTHAYAKUMAR who is detained under the draconian law ISA (Detention without trial) since 13th December 2007, health worsen. Today P.Uthayakumar family together with Makkal Sakthi, S.JAYATHAS, SELVAM, N.SURENDRAN and YB.MANOGAR lodge second police report on the worsening P.Uthayakumar's injured left leg toe condition aggravated by diabetes. See attachment- Police Report.
 
We urge the PM, Home Minister and Kemta immediately send our Hero to Glennegles Hospital as requested. If in the event anything happen to our Hero, the Indian comunity & Makkal Sakthi will never forgive and UMNO lead goverment. The goverment have to bare the consiquenses.
 
 
VALGA UTHAYAKUMAR
 
VALGA MAKKAL SAKTHI
S.JAYATHAS
HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI

14/2/09 Remembering 1 year Rose Campaign to PM



Kotta Mallai Pillayar Temple, Pudu Raya, Kuala Lumpur.

 
It's been one year since, when HINDRAF wanted give roses to our PM to show our affection and also requesting that HINDRAF Lawyers released from ISA and Marganalized Minority Indian 18 point demand accepted. But Minority Indians was disappointed when PM never come but FRU came and charge the minority Indians with Watercanon, teargas, childrens fainted and 100 over people were arrested including me.
 
On that day Makkal SAKTHI went to Kotta Mallai Pillayar Temple and prayed to Lord Ganesha that since the PM does'nt want to hear our request and we decided to go down and campaign for PKR, DAP and PAS. Pakatan Rakyat won 5 state, thanks to all maighty.
 
Today we requesing to PM again, Please release our HINDRAF Lawyers and accept Minority Indian 18point demand immediately. If UMNO lead goverment do not release our HINDRAF Lawyers and accept HINDRAF 18 point demand, we will be campaigning Pakatan Rakyat candidate for Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-election.
 
We hope PM will listen to our request with LOVE since its VALENTINE.
 
Valga Makkal SAKTHI
 
JUSTICE FOR ALL MALAYSIANS
 
S.JAYATHAS

NATIONAL COORDINATER


HINDRAF MAKKAL SAKTHI

Kugan's Family & S.Jayathas was called by Sepang Police Station








IPD Sepang Police Station.

 
Kugan's family and S.Jayathas was called to give statement on barge in the mourtuary. We were accumpanied by YB.Gobind Sgh, YB.Manikavasagam, N.Surendren and 2 Bar Council Lawyer, Roger and Sara.
 
We were question under 201-Tempering with Evidence, 506 Intermidation & One more Section for Transpassing. This statement was unwanted harrasment since YB.Manikavasagam have given the video clip to the police, showing that we did not barge in. The police are trying to divert the issue. What they should do is charge those policemen who are involved in Kugan's death but what they did is give them desk job instead of arresting them and charging them for brutal murder of Kugan.
 
Kugan's family are angry and disappointed with those muderers not charge, when the AG classified it as Murder.
 
JUSTICE FOR KUGAN'S FAMILY
 
STOP POLICE BRUTALITY
 
S.JAYATHAS
POLICE WATCH MALAYSIA