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Friday, February 27, 2009

Ngeh Speaker has authority in Dewan

Kugan’s Post Mortem Report Release

Title: Kugan’s Post Mortem Report Release
Location: Kuala Lumpur
Description: Second Port Mortem of A Kugan whom was brutally murdered while under Police Custody expected to be released by YB Manikavasagam and his lawyers on Tuesday 3/3/2009.
Details of Press Conference will be announced soon.
Start Time: 11:00
Date: 2009-03-03
End Time: 17:00

For he’s a jolly good fellow

Image

If a half dozen Pakatan Rakyat State Assemblypersons from Selangor cross over to Barisan Nasional, and what happened to Perak also happens to Selangor, would he still be a jolly good fellow?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

This is the full statement by His Highness the Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, over the controversy involving Bukit Lanjan State Assemblywoman, YB Elizabeth Wong.

I am pleased to inform that Yang Amat Berhormat Tan Sri Dato’ Abdul Khalid Bin Ibrahim, the Dato’ Menteri Besar Selangor has sought an audience with His Royal Highness, The Sultan of Selangor, on Wednesday, 25th February 2009 and duly informed His Royal Highness on the political development and the issue which involved Yang Berhormat Elizabeth Wong Keat Ping, the Selangor State Assemblyman for Bukit Lanjan who is also the State Selangor Exco Member.

His Royal Highness, The Sultan of Selangor, has commanded me to inform that His Royal Highness could not offer any guidance or advice to the Yang Berhormat Dato’ Menteri Besar of Selangor in the matter related to the issue of Yang Berhormat Elizabeth Wong Keat Ping as it was still under police investigation and it involved her political position. It is His Royal Highness’ stance as the Sultan of Selangor to be above politics.

His Royal Highness believes that whatever decision that is going to be made by the Yang Amat Berhormat Dato’ Menteri Besar of Selangor will made with accurateness, fair and with wisdom by taking into consideration the interest of the Rakyat in particular and the State of Selangor generally. His Royal Highness is upset and worried as of late the intrusion of someone’s privacy and private rights was being used to destroy one’s dignity and reputation. It is a sad thing as one’s life and private rights were being made public and subject to public scrutiny by publicising in the mass media.

To Yang Berhormat Elizabeth Wong, His Royal Highness felt sad and sympathised with her as to the unfortunate event she had suffered and hoped that Yang Berhormat Elizabeth Wong will remain calm and be patient in continuing with her life henceforth.

Dato’ Haji Mohamad Munir bin Bani
Dato’ Lela Bakti Private Secretary to His Royal Highness

****************************************

For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good fellow
Which nobody can deny

And so say all of us
And so say all of us

For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good fellow
For he’s a jolly good felloooooow
And so say all of us

Yes, that is probably what many, if not all of you, will be singing today. And you will be singing that because His Highness made what you perceive to be a ‘fair’ and ‘balanced’ decision. But you only perceive it to be fair and balanced because it favours the opposition. If His Highness had ruled that Eli is an immoral person, not fit to remain as a Selangor Wakil Rakyat, and that she should resign, then you would whack the Sultan of Selangor, as you did the Sultan of Perak when he ‘took Umno’s side’ and ruled against the opposition.

Is this what Malaysia Today is all about? Is it about being pro-opposition and being anti-establishment for the sake of being so? Even when the government does good things it is still wrong while the fart of the opposition leaders smell sweet just because we support the opposition.

No, this is not what Malaysia Today is all about. It is about supporting right when it is right and opposing wrong when it is wrong, never mind who the personalities may be. We do not overlook wrong and oppose right because of the person involved. If you still don’t get this then the more than four years of trying to ‘educate’ you through Malaysia Today has totally gone to waste.

I do not believe that Eli should resign. And I will not think so even if she happens to be a MCA or Gerakan Wakil Rakyat. It has nothing to do with the fact that she is from PKR or Pakatan Rakyat. This must be the spirit of how we perceive things. Eli’s fart still smells foul as anyone’s fart would smell. This can never change although she is an opposition Wakil Rakyat.

Malaysia Today’s readers appear to be very biased indeed. You oppose people because of their political affiliations, not because of their ideals. And if their ideals are opposed to yours you will oppose them as well, never mind if they share your political affiliations. You will only support people who share your sentiments.

PAS is ‘bad’ because of their ideals. They aspire for an Islamic State and since some of you do not agree with this you feel that Pakatan Rakyat is better off without PAS. Many also do not support HINDRAF because they fight on a Hindu platform. Even Indians of Muslim or Christian persuasions do not have nice things to say about HINDRAF.

Can’t we agree to disagree? If Khairy Jamaluddin fights for freedom of the press, an end to the persecution of Bloggers, the abolishment of the Internal Security Act, Police Act, Sedition Act, Printing Press and Publication Act, Official Secrets Act, University and University Colleges Act, Official Secrets Act, and whatnot, would you support Khairy, notwithstanding the fact he may be the Umno Youth Leader?

Of course you would not! Khairy is Umno and he must be opposed because he is Umno, never mind what he stands for. And you will support Anwar Ibrahim, warts and all, because he is PKR and Pakatan Rakyat. This is what Malaysia Today is all about, at least to most of you.

But this should not be how it is. We must be more matured in our thinking. We must know how to separate the wheat from the chaff. This means we take what is good and reject what is bad. And it must never be about the personalities.

I always use the analogy of the half glass of water. Most of you perceive the half glass of water as half empty. But a half glass of water is also half full. Half full is positive. Half empty is negative. And since most of you have negative thoughts you see things as half empty rather than half full.

PAS may not be a full glass of water. But it is certainly more than half full and far from half empty. Why can’t we see PAS for the many good things that it is instead of the few bad things that you don’t like? I wrote about this in my article awhile back about the one bad brick amongst the 99 good bricks, if some of you can remember.

So, the Sultan of Selangor has said something we like. So, he is a jolly good fellow. Tomorrow, he may say something we don’t like. He then becomes a bad fellow. And the same goes as far as the Sultan of Perak is concerned. When he swore in the Pakatan Rakyat state government soon after the 8 March 2008 general election, he was a great guy. Now he is a bad guy and should be dethroned. This is how we think.

Sultans are human beings just like you and me. They too have opinions and feelings. Sometimes their opinions do not matter as they are bound by both the Federal and State Constitutions to perform certain duties. So, what they believe is not as crucial as what they are bound, by law, to do. That is the price they pay as Monarchs. If they do what they like and not what the Constitution says they must do, then they will become Absolute Monarchs instead of Constitutional Monarchs. Then we will not need elections or Parliament. The Sultans can instead run this country like how it used to be in the days before Merdeka.

We need less emotional and more clarity of thinking. Okay, I am one mother of an emotional person. That is my weak point, undeniably. But I need to be emotional about what I do. I call it passion, though, not emotion. And my wife can testify to how passionate I can be. That is why she does not want me back in Kamunting. She said she would miss my passion, which she finds in no other man -- at least this is what she tells me. Whether it is just to ambil hati, I don’t know.

So, allow me to be the passionate one here. The rest of you need to put the brakes on the whole thing by being more clear in thought. Look at things from all perspectives and not only from your own perspective. Things do not always work out the way we would like it to. Sometimes things work against us and we just have to accept it. And never shoot the messenger just because you don’t like the message. The messenger can’t be faulted for the message, just like you don’t give the postman a French kiss whenever he delivers a cheque in the mail. He is just the postman.

Okay, the Sultan of Selangor is now a jolly good fellow. If a half dozen Pakatan Rakyat State Assemblypersons from Selangor cross over to Barisan Nasional, and what happened to Perak also happens to Selangor, would he still be a jolly good fellow? Knowing you guys and gals you will smear my cousin to kingdom come. And you will not blame Pakatan Rakyat, PKR, PAS, DAP or Anwar Ibrahim for losing Selangor. You will blame His Highness the Sultan.

I never blame the fox for eating the chickens. God made foxes with the natural instinct to eat chickens. I will blame the chicken owner for allowing his chickens to get eaten by the fox. Foxes can’t help themselves. They eat chickens. This is what they do. Or would you like to instead blame God for making foxes? Yes, that’s an idea. Let’s blame God while we sing: for he’s a jolly good fellow.

Pas calls for a unity government

Hadi feels the Barisan Nasional can’t on its own bring the country out of the economic crisis. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Adib Zalkapli- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — In another sign that Pas has yet to abandon the idea of forging a closer relationship with Umno, the Islamist party's president Datuk Seri Hadi Awang has called for the formation of a national unity government in view of the current political turmoil.

In an interview with The Malaysian Insider, the Marang MP said Barisan Nasional could not on its own bring the country out of the economic crisis.

Hadi was also certain that the party would not suffer the same fate as in 1970s when it was expelled from BN and lost its control over Kelantan.

Last year, the party was split between the conservative faction which favours cooperation with Umno through what it calls muzakarah (dialogue) and another which prefers to strengthen the then newly formed alliance Pakatan Rakyat.

“We need to look common ground in uniting political parties in carrying out responsibilities, it’s not that we cannot disagree, but we want this common ground to be given priority, before we spend our time on issues that we disagree on,” said Hadi.

He added that he was inspired by the efforts taken by former Indonesian president BJ Habibie who united and reformed the country after the end of Suharto’s era.

“Most importantly, the people must be united. It has to take precedence over party interest. Let us sacrifice some of our rights sincerely for the sake of saving our country,” said Hadi.

“I wish to suggest to the outgoing Prime Minister to make some changes, to at least complete his agenda in reforming the judiciary, eradicating corruption and I believe Barisan Nasional cannot do it alone.

"To do it fairly it must involve all parties, in times of crisis it is important for all of to carry out our duties collectively,” said Hadi.

He confirmed that while the matter has been discussed internally it has yet to be brought to the Pakatan Rakyat leadership council of which Hadi is a member.

“This is a very big thing. Even at party level, we have yet to discuss in detail but I could see that many agreed with me in principle, but the execution will not be easy.

"It takes time, the right attitude, and openness from all parties and a sense of responsibility,” said Hadi.

“We have discussed many options in restoring the nation’s political stability. Pas is very experienced. We have joined a coalition government and Pas was also part of Barisan Nasional and we have to enrich our experience, by taking the responsibility of solving our country’s problems,” he added.

He also said that the party has yet to contact any BN leader on his idea.

Hadi added that the idea of forging political cooperation must be seen in a wider context.

“In handling national issues, we are allowed to tahaluf (forming alliance) with any party. Tahaluf not only in the context of opposition parties but in the context of governing the nation, and without us joining BN or BN joining us,” he said.

“I have floated this idea in Selangor at a victory celebration after the general election at Melawati Stadium, but at the time BN wanted to defend their position and Pakatan Rakyat wanted to bring about change its own way,” he added.

Hadi said that with the current economic crisis and political turmoil the time is right for a unity government.

MCA at the crossroads after 60 years

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 — "The Chinese are up and standing!"

That was the famous remark of renowned statesman Mao Tse Tung after declaring the formation of the world's most populated nation — the People’s Republic of China — at Tianamen square in Beijing on Oct 1, 1949.

Now, some nearly 60 years later, including 30 years of embracing an open-door policy, China has finally arrived at the international scene, controlling about 30 per cent of the world economy.

While China as a nation has charted its course successfully, the Malaysian Chinese Association, better known as MCA, is still at crossroads looking for the elusive edge that would ensure that it stays in the hearts and minds of the Chinese community in the years to come.

This largest Chinese-based political party in the country was founded in the same year as the formation of mighty China, only a few months earlier. The party was formed on Feb 27, 1949 and today is its 60th birthday.

While plans are under way for a birthday bash this Sunday at the party headquarters, a pertinent question that lingers on the minds of the people and party members is whether the MCA has served its purpose of being the political vehicle for the Chinese populace in Malaysia.

If the answer is in the affirmative, then the next question that pops up is — where is this party with more than a million members heading after 60 years?

This is what the party's top echelon intends to answer on Sunday. The 2,500 grassroots leaders gathered at Dewan San Choon at the MCA headquarters will be presented with details on the party's future direction.

With the theme, "60 Years of Building Dreams, A Lifelong Commitment to Service", the party has already set out its agenda to transform itself to be a party of the people's choice, especially after suffering its worst electoral defeat since the nation's independence in the March 8, 2008 general election.

It was with this reform agenda that Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat won the presidency at the party polls last October.

"The biggest challenge now is how to restore the confidence of the Chinese community towards the MCA. After last year's general election, the Chinese are still generally unhappy with the Barisan Nasional government. This is the most challenging thing," former MCA secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Ting Chew Peh told Bernama.

He said the MCA must offer "something more concrete" and not spend too much time on petty or personal issues in charting its next political direction.

"They have been talking about change, but nothing much has changed. The people have yet to see anything concrete. It is high time that the current leadership showed a clear direction for MCA members.

"What is important is action, not rhetoric. Generally, people want to see change. That is obvious," said Dr Ting.

The head of the party's Elders Council, Datuk Yap Pian Hon, feels that the MCA should explore the option of adopting the ideology that it is for all Malaysians regardless of race or religion.

He said the party could use its 60 years' experience of political struggle in adopting this approach.

"In the coming years, it is crucial for our party members to understand that there will be a two-party system in the country. Whether it happens or not, we have to face it.

"Therefore, we are really at the crossroads now. You change or be changed, that's about it," he said, adding that the party must also have the determination to change.

Former MCA deputy president Tan Sri Lim Ah Lek argued that the party needed to undertake drastic and bold reforms, not only on the political front but also on the conduct and behaviour of its members.

He said MCA politicians should be perceived as clean, not only from corruption and any other wrongdoings, but also on matters relating to morality.

"We need to take action. We cannot sweep things under the carpet anymore. We need to show members, especially the grassroots, that nobody is above the law.

"We need to change, go for reform and be bold about it. We need to deliver, no two ways about it," said the former human resources minister.

Ong, in his manifesto at the party polls last year, stressed the need for the party to undergo a rebranding and reinvention exercise, starting with reforms based on the people's aspiration.

This included direct election of the MCA president, election of the state liaison committee, the system of selection of office bearers, widening the MCA community network through inter-ethnic interaction.

Now, Ong is expected to use the 60th anniversary bash to provide details of these reforms.

Ong, in an interview published in the MCA online website, said that reforms would be based on the wish list provided by the people and party members.

"We have to identify any impending issues or problems affecting the Chinese community now and look seriously into how to resolve them. If we fail to resolve the issues now, we cannot move ahead in fighting for the interests of the people," he was quoted as saying.

However, this is easier said than done. In reality, it would not be that easy to initiate changes which could make a real impact on the masses.

And to make a real impact on Chinese Malaysians, the MCA needs to speak with one voice, move in one direction and, more importantly, have the interests of the community at heart at all times. — Bernama

I'll Ask Cabinet To Reconsider Toll Hikes - Abdullah

By D. Arul Rajoo

PATTAYA, Feb 26 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he will ask the Cabinet to reconsider the toll increase along five expressways between 0.68 sen and 50 sen effective March 1 because it was presently inappropriate.

He said the review would be discussed at the Cabinet weekly meeting tomorrow chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"Review is the best thing to do. After that we will make a just decision," he told Malaysian journalists covering the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting here Thursday.

The prime minister said although the increase was in accordance with the terms of the concession agreements signed between the government and the highway concessionaires, the decision given by the Cabinet several weeks ago might not be appropriate with the current situation.

A new approach would be sought to deal with the issue including allocations under the second stimulus package that would be tabled in Parliament next month, he said.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed announced today the toll increase would involve the North-South Expressway, Western Kuala Lumpur Traffic Dispersal System Expressway, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway, Sungai Besi Highway and New Pantai Expressway.

Abdullah said since the Cabinet discussed and decided on the toll rates, the situation had not improved and this prompted the government to disburse aid allocations in the form of the second stimulus package which would be tabled as a mini budget.

"If the government itself has taken this approach in view of the difficulties faced by the people and besides that the economy can be stimulated, I think this thing can be discussed again in the Cabinet taking into account the present situation," he said.

He refused to say whether the toll increase would be deferred but he did say that based on reports he had received, the people obviously could not accept the hike.

Any decisions had to take into consideration the present situation, he said.

Report at Brickfields on 28.2.09

Electronic Flyer 1.jpg

MALAYSIA: LINCENCE TO KILL AND DOUBLE STANDARDS IN LAW ENFORCEMENT

In the past 20 years or so almost of all the citizens shot dead by the mono ethnic Police Force were ethnic Tamils. And in every case the Police have maintained that they either fired in self defence or that the victims refused to surrender and therefore had to be killed. Human rights lawyers however think that all these were carefully planned extra judicial killings.

In one case a 19 yr old unarmed ethnic Tamil college student was brought down by the Police in a hail of bullets in Seremban, a town in the state of Negri Sembilan. The incident which took place about four years ago was reported in the Govt controlled media as a case where the courageous police fired in self defence but lawyer Uthayakumar who is now wrongfully in detention under the obnoxious ISA laws was able to show reporters the bloodied T shirt the boy was wearing at the time of his murder. All the bullet marks were on the back of the shirt, which means the lad was running from the police not attacking them.

You must not be surprised that the Police continually kick the Law on its rear end. The present Inspector General of Police Musa Hassan admitted under cross examination by the defence in the infamous Anwar Ibrahim trial a few years ago that he would do what is illegal if ordered by his boss. And Raja Petra the fearless blogger who is contesting the Home Minister's order requiring his detention under the ISA has made allegations in his blog that Musa Hassan had symbiotic links with leaders of the underworld.

Recently a Malay woman working in a pub made a Police Report against Jamaluddin Jarjis a UMNO politician alleging that he had groped her at her place of work. Initial reports emerging about the incident said that he was 'tipsy' at that time. Now, commonsense and a sound system of Laws would require that Jamaluddin be be hauled to the Police station and his statement recorded prior to him being investigated for the offence but here in Malaysia a special mollycoddling law applies to UMNO politicians...... The poor woman after having made the Police Report had second thoughts: she took out a Statutory Declaration contra ing the report. Never in legal history has this kind of thing happened.

Mr Karpal Singh and other legal experts have said that there is no provision in the Law whereby a police report may be expunged by a SD. One cannot withdraw a police and if her report were false and malicious then she ought to charged in court but our Police and Public Prosecutors have not proceeded against Jamaluddin Jarjis or the unfortunate woman.

Some months ago Mr Karpal Singh made a police report against Zaki Azmi the Chief Justice wherein he accused Zaki of corruption but to date no statemebt was recorded from him and Zaki has not been investigated. But quicker than a flash of lightning the police have acted upon two reports made against him by UMNO in that he had committed treason against the Sultan of Perak. The venerable wheel chair bound Mr Karpal was asked to go to the Police Hqrs to sit through a 3 hr long interrogation. Naturally Mr Karpal is annoyed at the double standards,

Investors and tourists must understand that 2 kinds of Law operate in Malaysia. A harsh unbending system against the common citizen and a mollycoddling one which applies to UMNO leaders and their cronies.

Decent taxpaying citizens will become so frustrated with these double standards that eventually they may take the law into their own hands.

Sivakumar: It's harrassment

'Singh is King' mobbed, MP claims assault - Malaysiakini

A day after proclaiming that 'Singh is King', DAP veteran Karpal Singh finds himself mobbed by a group of angry Umno Youth members at the Parliament lobby.

MCPX

violent attack towards dap karpal singh and lim lip eng at parliament 260209 sequenceThis followed Karpal's accusation yesterday that the 'celaka' (damn) Umno Youth was responsible for the death threat and two bullets he had received via mail last week.

Karpal, 69, had also warned Umno Youth not to play games with him and likened himself to the recent Bollywood blockbuster 'Singh is Kinng'.

At about 2.30pm, the wheelchair-bound politician was surrounded by about 30 Umno Youth members, who prevented him from entering the Dewan Rakyat and demanded he apologise.

Karpal telephoned fellow DAP MP Fong Po Kuan, who arrived with a 'rescue team' comprising DAP MPs to save their chairperson.

During the ensuing drama, DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng claimed that he was assaulted as he tried to help Karpal escape the pushing and shoving which broke out at one of the entrances to Parliament.

According to Lim, he was hit a number of times on the face and his body.

Among the mob leaders were Serdang Umno Youth chief Ungku Salleh Ungku Jamal, Gombak Youth chief Megat Zulkarnain Omar Din and Petaling Jaya Utara Youth chief Lat Sharizan Abdullah.

The opposition parliamentarians also complained that security personnel did not intervene until they made noise.

In an immediate reaction, House speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia expressed regret over the incident, which he said was a first in Parliament.

The speaker added that he would ask the Home Ministry to investigate the matter and vowed that such incidents would not recur.

violent attack towards dap karpal singh and lim lip eng at parliament 260209 03Meanwhile, a defiant Karpal later declared: "I might be in a wheelchair but I will not be cowed or intimidated by anyone."

BN Backbenchers Club chairperson Tiong King Sing later told reporters that all 22 members of the unruly crowd have been arrested by the police from Bukit Aman.

The three Umno Youth leaders who led the mob later gave statements to the police.

The BBC chief also apologised to Karpal over the incident and said that he would urge the speaker to limit the entry of political party supporters into the House.

Khairy lambasts Karpal

Earlier in the morning, Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin in an unrelated press conference challenged Karpal, whom he described as an "arrogant MP who thinks he knows everything", to repeat his accusation outside of the Parliament building.

khairy jamaluddin interview 230209 15"It is a wild and insane allegation... Karpal should not hide behind his parliament immunity and face us outside," he told reporters at the Parliament lobby.

Karpal had levelled the accusation when debating on the motion of thanks on the royal address in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.

Meanwhile, Khairy said Umno Youth cannot take any legal action against Karpal because the accusation was made in Parliament.

"DAP always talks of a world class parliament but their chairman behaves in a very uncivilised and rude manner," added the Rembau MP.

Khairy also challenged the veteran lawyer to provide proof of his allegation within 24 hours.

"If he doesn't show us the proof, then the people should consider Karpal a liar and that he has no credibility," he said during his 30-minute press conference.

karpal singh live 9mm bullets warning letter on sultan and malay rights 200209 06Asked if an apology would be sufficient, the Umno Youth leader replied: "There is no use in asking him for an apology because he is an arrogant MP and he thinks he knows everything."

Furthermore, Khairy said more than a hundred police reports were filed against Karpal when he threatened to sue Perak ruler, Sultan Azlan Shah, over the political turmoil in the state.

The Umno Youth leader urged the Attorney-General's Chambers to look into the reports and take action.

"We want to remind him that Umno Youth is not playing games and Karpal is the one who is playing with the sentiments of the rakyat, he is playing with fire.

"If he does not repent, then it would only serve to aggravate our anger and the anger of the people," he warned.

'Singh is King'

Karpal had in Parliament yesterday accused his political opponents for sending two bullets in the mail.

"Where did the damn Umno Youth fellows get the bullets?" Karpal asked. "Singh is King. I am not afraid. They made 100 police reports, sent me two bullets and demonstrated."

Umno Youth member Mukhriz Mahathir said Karpal should be charged with sedition for the bullets comment, and that he should show more respect to the constitutional monarchy.

"I would also like to remind Karpal not to be too arrogant to the extent of not respecting our Malay rulers," he said in a statement.

Umno Youth secretary Abdul Rahman Dahlan confirmed members of the influential party wing were involved in the scuffle.

"It's a very serious accusation by Karpal as an experienced MP. We have 700,000 members and we might not be able to control all of them," he told AFP.

Rakaman Ucapan Menjunjung Kasih Titah DYMM SPB Yang Dipertuan Agong


Rakaman Ucapan Menjunjung Kasih Titah DYMM SPB Yang Dipertuan Agong oleh Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim di Parlimen Malaysia pada 19 Febuari 2009

PEJABAT DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

Christians can use Allah in print, but they cannot say it

By Debra Chong- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — The controversial ban on the word “Allah” to mean God for non-Muslims is still in place, said a Malaysian Catholic priest involved in a court dispute over its use.

The Associated Press had reported earlier today that the ban had been lifted with conditions.

“The ban has not been lifted,” Reverend Father Lawrence Andrew, editor of The Herald, a Catholic weekly newspaper, told The Malaysian Insider this afternoon.

He said he had recently received a letter from the Home Ministry reinforcing the rule forbidding the word “Allah” in a non-Muslim context.

He explained the ban made exceptions for Christians to use the word “Allah” only in print and under stringent conditions.

“The printing, publishing, sale, issue, circulation and possession of any document and publication relating to Christianity containing the words ‘Allah’, ‘Kaabah’, ‘Baitullah’ and ‘Solat’ are prohibited unless on the front cover of the document and publication are written with the words ‘FOR CHRISTIANITY’,” Fr Lawrence said, quoting from the letter dated Feb 16, 2009.

“The words ‘FOR CHRISTIANITY’ referred to in subparagraph (1) shall be written clearly in font type Arial of size 16 in bold,” he added.

The notification, which falls under the Internal Security Act, was gazetted on Feb 16 this year.

“We feel good we can use ‘Allah’ again,” Fr Lawrence said, adding that the March 1 issue of The Herald will bear the required warning on its front page.

But he is wary of celebrating too soon, noting that the order does not allow Christians to use it orally, whether celebrating Mass or other forms of prayer and worship.

“If I had a Malay Bible, but if ‘FOR CHRISTIANITY’ were not printed on its front cover, ahhh, trouble,” the priest said.

Fr Lawrence noted that with the case still going on, the government’s latest move could be seen as acting in contempt of court.

Tomorrow, the High Court here will resume hearing the judicial review filed last year by the Catholic Church against the government over the “Allah” ban.

UMNO YOUTH 'ATTACK' ON MP KARPAL SINGH AT PARLIAMENT HOUSE DISGRACEFUL

The action done by UMNO Youth members at the lobby of Parliament House today at MP Karpal Singh is really disgraceful and having no respect for the law.

UMNO leaders will have to take stern action against its UMNO Youth for organising this disgraceful attack and the best solution would be to ban the Youth Movement until such time that UMNO youths learn to respect and obey the laws of the country.

Will the UMNO leadership BAN UMNO Youth or just keep play the same tune: 'UMNOputras can do anything nothing happens'.

UMNO need to realise that their days are numbered and it will not be long that they will face a total demise due to their uncaring, selfish, corrupted and arrogant behaviour.

picture courtesy of Agendadaily

‘Cops, security did not help me’

by S Pathmawathy & Rahmah Ghazali
Malaysiakini Feb 26, 09

DAP chairperson Karpal Singh said police and security personnel did not come to his aid when he was mobbed by a group of angry Umno Youth supporters at the Parliament lobby this afternoon.

“Although I called for the police to come and help, no one came… and my driver Michael called (DAP MP Fong) Po Kuan, who then called (DAP MP) Lim (Lip Eng).

“Lim came with N Gobalakrishnan (Padang Serai-PKR), Fong Kui Lun (Bukit Bintang-DAP) and Chong Chieng Jen (Bandar Kuching-DAP),” he told reporters after the incident.

“I might be in a wheelchair but I will not be cowed or intimidated by anyone,” he added.

The DAP chairperson and Bukit Gelugor MP said the Umno Youth supporters were so brazen that some of them had given him their name cards.

“They were very unruly and refused to let me leave,” said the veteran politician, who called for urgent action to be taken against the mob.

“Something must be done on a very urgent basis… how were these people even allowed in the precincts of Parliament? Where is the security if we are going to be accosted on our way to the House?

“I want action to be taken by the speaker, a rhetoric statement in the House is not enough, we want action and the speaker could do the necessary afterwards,” he added.

‘Pinnacle of insolence’

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim condemned the incident, calling it the “pinnacle of insolence”.

“We are fed-up with promises that action will be taken and we don’t just want any investigations, we want an assurance from the speaker that the sanctity of this Parliament will not be destroyed,” he said.

Also seeing red over the incident was another DAP stalwart, Lim Kit Siang.

“This has never happened before… it is the most outrageous and shameful episode in the history of Parliament,” he said, adding that it was also a clear violation of the Houses of Parliament Privileges and Powers Act 1952.

“They should have been arrested on the spot for violating the act… something has become very ugly in Malaysian politics,” he said.

Lim also called upon Umno Youth leader Hishammuddin Hussein and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to apologise over the incident.

Murder victim shot in fight over gang loot

NST,

KUALA LUMPUR: Murder victim R. Gunaseelan and his killer were members of Gang Arikumar.

Kuala Lumpur CID deputy chief ACP Abdul Aziz Zakaria, said the gang, which was busted earlier, was involved in lorry hijacking, drugs, assault, extortion and murder.

Police are probing other cases believed to be linked to the gang in four states.


The gang has been active for several years and was high up on the wanted list by police in Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Pe-nang and Johor.

Aziz said members of the gang were formerly with Gang 08. He said Gunaseelan, 35, had once been banished under the Emergency Ordinance.
Gunaseelan, who was unemployed, was shot dead during an argument in an apartment at Cheras here in November.

Aziz said Gunaseelan was murdered because he was not satisfied with the distribution of the loot.

His body was found on Tuesday after police dug up a 50-year-old grave at the Taman P.D. Utama Chinese Cemetery in Port Dickson.

The man suspected of murdering him was arrested in Penang and led police to the grave on Monday.

Aziz said the suspect had also been banished earlier under the Emergency Ordinance and was expected to be charge with murdering Gunaseelan.

The gravedigger who had buried Gunaseelan's body for RM500 is helping police in the investigation.

"He has committed an offence by withholding information on the murder. We will take action against him."

Earlier, police arrested 16 of the gang members including their leaders. Police have charged them with possession of drugs, counterfeit money and wea-pons.

Aziz said several members were also banished under the Emergency Ordinance.

Five of them, including the murder suspect, were arrested in Penang more than three weeks ago. They had escaped to Penang after police arrested 11 gang members, aged bet-ween 16 and 32 and including two women, in two raids here on Jan 23.

The arrests led police to Kepong where they found 3kg of drugs in a Perodua Kembara on the same day.

Police seized two pistols from the 11 suspects.

Murder victim found in trader's 50-year-old grave

Disgraceful scenes in Parliament lobby

The ruckus in the Parliament lobby where a group of angry Umno Youth supporters confronted Karpal this afternoon was disgraceful.

DAP MP for Segambut Lim Lip Eng alleged that he was assaulted and hit a number of times on the face and his body.

This incident reveals a breach of parliamentary security. Why did DAP MPs have to come to Karpal’s rescue? What happened to the security personnel on duty?

That’s strange. Last time we heard, security in Parliament was so overwhelming that a group of young Jerit cyclists had a herculean task just trying to reach the front gate.

I don’t mean that Parliament should be swarming with security personnel, but those who are stationed there should make sure that no one is intimidated. That means no roughing up and no body contact.

All this playing to the gallery has got to stop. We have enough drama as it is.

Press Release: Harassment must cease

ImageThere are countries around the world where the Rule of Law means little. In these countries, institutions that are meant to serve the interests of the public are instead tools of the Government. Those that have views opposing those in power are harassed and harangued in order to wear them out or silence them. The democratic systems in these countries are constantly under attack or subjected to manipulations by those in power. The governments in these nations betray their citizens who value democracy and the Rule of Law.

In Malaysia we have pledged to uphold the Constitution and to respect the Rule of Law. We must all abide by this.

When launching the MACC two days ago, the Prime Minister gave the sobering advice that the MACC must not end up with the same perceptions that afflicted the ACA - of not being independent, of being a toothless tiger, of practising selective enforcement and of not being professional in their investigations, all of which damaged the ACA's reputation and credibility.
Yet a few days before that, the MACC director, in an unusual move, had made a public statement about investigations against the Menteri Besar (MB) of Selangor in a way that raises serious questions about the impartiality of the Commission. Then, yesterday, the MACC reportedly interrogated the Speaker of the Perak Legislative Assembly for three hours. The day before that, the police had interrogated him for a few hours.

These events give rise to two concerns. One is of the harassment of the Speaker and an interference with his duties, and the other is that there is an unusual haste and publicity in relation to the MB's case when far more serious reports against others appear to have been put aside.

How then is the MACC seeking to remove the negative perceptions the Prime Minister spoke of? These events also cause to question what regard the authorities really have for the interests of the public and the public perception.

The public are ever watchful of what is unfolding before them. They know what is happening. They do not wish to see our institutions undermined. They want our institutions to be impartial, independent, courageous and respected. They know that the Rule of Law is vital and that democratic institutions must be strong. The public must never be underestimated in their appreciation of these issues.

Respected members of the Bar have been appointed to the MACC's Anti-Corruption Advisory Board, Operations Review Panel and Complaints Committee. We urge them, as members of the Bar, to immediately and urgently take steps to address the concerns that have been expressed in relation to the MACC's actions and to play their role in ensuring that the Rule of Law is upheld at all times.

We must ensure that we do not go down the path of becoming a nation that is looked upon as one which has little regard for the Rule of Law. For we all know that if that happens it will be very difficult to turn back.


Dato' Ambiga Sreenevasan
President
Malaysian Bar

26 February 2009

I'll Ask Cabinet To Reconsider Toll Hikes - Abdullah

By D. Arul Rajoo

PATTAYA, Feb 26 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he will ask the Cabinet to reconsider the toll increase along five expressways between 0.68 sen and 50 sen effective March 1 because it was presently inappropriate.

He said the review would be discussed at the Cabinet weekly meeting tomorrow chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

"Review is the best thing to do. After that we will make a just decision," he told Malaysian journalists covering the Asean Defence Ministers Meeting here Thursday.

The prime minister said although the increase was in accordance with the terms of the concession agreements signed between the government and the highway concessionaires, the decision given by the Cabinet several weeks ago might not be appropriate with the current situation.

A new approach would be sought to deal with the issue including allocations under the second stimulus package that would be tabled in Parliament next month, he said.

Works Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed announced today the toll increase would involve the North-South Expressway, Western Kuala Lumpur Traffic Dispersal System Expressway, Ampang-Kuala Lumpur Elevated Highway, Sungai Besi Highway and New Pantai Expressway.

Abdullah said since the Cabinet discussed and decided on the toll rates, the situation had not improved and this prompted the government to disburse aid allocations in the form of the second stimulus package which would be tabled as a mini budget.

"If the government itself has taken this approach in view of the difficulties faced by the people and besides that the economy can be stimulated, I think this thing can be discussed again in the Cabinet taking into account the present situation," he said.

He refused to say whether the toll increase would be deferred but he did say that based on reports he had received, the people obviously could not accept the hike.

Any decisions had to take into consideration the present situation, he said.