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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Independent probe into two autopsy reports on Kugan

Two days back I wrote an article that the ruling party and police going to turn Kugan’s case upside dpwn. UMNO and police can do everything they want even they can bribe the judges and AG. The people of Malaysia are watching to their fun. It is not anymore fun for Malaysians. UMNO and BN going to be collapse in the next election. Poeple are being fed up with their dealing. If they don’t change now, Next election will be the answer. Here is the link for it:- http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/03/kugans-post-mortem.html

The Health Ministry will launch an independent probe into the two autopsy reports relating to the controversial death of 22-year-old suspected car thief, A Kugan, who died while in the custody of the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya on Jan 20.


a kugan detention death funeral ummc to puchong 280109Bernama reported that Health Ministery director-general Mohd Ismail Merican said the step was being taken to ensure impartiality following various allegations directed at the ministry over the matter.

He stressed that the Health Ministry did not hide the facts and findings of the post-mortem conducted by the Serdang Hospital as had been reported by certain parties.

“The forensic pathologist from Serdang Hospital, who has over 20 years experience, had performed his duty ethically and professionally while conducting the post-mortem examination.

“Nevertheless, the ministry will be conducting a formal independent inquiry on both post-mortem reports in the interest of justice and fairplay and will inform the public of the outcome of the investigation," he said in a statement.

A controversy arose on the Serdang Hospital post-mortem after a second autopsy done at the request of the deceased's family at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) indicated Kugan's death was due to multi organ failure because of severe beating.

Need to refer to independent experts

Meanwhile, the Serdang Hospital report had stated that death was due to fluid accumulation in his lungs.

Mohd Ismail said forensic pathologists conducting post-mortem examinations may have differences in opinions as to the actual cause of death but what was important was that the findings during the examination should be almost similar as evidenced in this case, which for the lungs was pulmonary haemorrhage, edema and congestion.

On the difference in the cause of death, he said it needed to be referred to independent forensic experts, based on the findings of the two pathologists doing the post-mortems.

He also dismissed claims by Kugan's family, that the Serdang Hospital pathologist had listed 22 injuries on the body compared to the 40 additional injuries, burn marks and scratches indicated in the second report.

a kugan detention death funeral ummc to puchong 280109“The Serdang Hospital report showed 83 wounds and injuries. The description of each is more detailed in the Serdang Hospital report," he said, adding that the UMMC report was also not accurate as some of the wounds reported were caused by cutting during the first post-mortem examination.

He said the Serdang Hospital report made available to Kugan's family and published on the website was a comprehensive report while the record of the detailed findings and pictures taken during the first post-mortem were kept at the Serdang Hospital for court reference.

“It is not fair for anyone to make baseless allegations in this case as the Serdang Hospital pathologist had carried out his duties ethically and professionally," he said.

Mohd Ismail added that the ministry did not want discuss the cause of Kugan's death in the open and urged the public not to make any more baseless allegations until the responsible parties completed their investigations, including the ministry itself.

He further assured that the case would be given serious attention, but at the same time, he said the ministry hoped the public would be patient until the independent panel completed its job.

20090307 PPSMI protest

Nathaniel Tan: Viable political alternatives possible in Malaysia

Under the tree: Democracy or mockery?

PM wants quick decision on use of English in maths and science

PETALING JAYA, March 7 — Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi wants an immediate decision to be made on the use of English in the teaching and learning of mathematics and science to prevent a bigger issue from cropping up.

The Prime Minister said the government acknowledged that there was strong pressure from the people, especially the Malays, who were giving much attention to the matter.

"I hope the decision will be made immediately. Otherwise non-governmental organisations will continue to put pressure and create a bigger issue," he told reporters after launching the novel "Dragon Fire Hammer" today.

Abdullah said the Education Ministry had held several meetings with the NGOs to discuss the matter.

However, the Education Ministry was not prepared to announce the nature of the decision taken for the time being. — Bernama

RIOT POLICE FIRE TEAR GAS INTO LANGUAGE MARCH PROTESTERS TO ISTANA NEGARA




Riot police used tear gas to disperse thousands of of peaceful people marching to Istana Negara in protest of the use of English in the teaching of Mathematics and Science at 2.40pm today. This march was organised by GMP, known in its Malay name as Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI, is a coalition of 14 NGOs. and some of its pro-tem committee members include opposition politicians.

The crowd that commenced their march from Masjid Negara and when their approached Tun Sambanthan building the riot police began shooting tear gas at them. Many in the crowd ran away as the scene filled with smoke. It was revealed that the Federal Reserve unit trucks were initially stuck in traffic but caught up with the crowd and also started firing tear gas at this peaceful crowd.

The crowd are expected to regroup and return with their intention to submit a memorandum to the Yang DiPertuan Agong, that appeals for the return of the use of Bahasa Malaysia in the teaching of the two subjects be seriously considered.

At the meanwhile, police and FRU have thrown a safety perimeter at the Istana Negara to restraint any such submission of memorandum by the rakyat.

It is reported that many people including Opposition Members of Parliament have be laced with chemical water to prevent them from submitting or taking part in this peaceful march.

news n pictures courtesy of The Might of the Pen n Malaysiakini
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anti ppsmi rally 070209 tear gas



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Health Ministry to hold probe into Kugan autopsies

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The Health Ministry will launch an independent probe into the two autopsy reports relating to the death of A. Kugan, 22, the suspected car thief who died while in police custody on Jan 20.

Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said this was to ensure impartiality following various allegations directed at the ministry over the matter.

He stressed that the ministry did not hide the facts and findings of the post-mortem conducted by the Serdang Hospital as had been reported by certain parties.

"The forensic pathologist from Serdang Hospital, who has over 20 years’ experience, had performed his duty ethically and professionally while conducting the post-mortem examination.

"Nevertheless, the Ministry of Health will be conducting a formal independent inquiry on both post-mortem reports in the interest of justice and fair play and will inform the public the outcome of the investigation," he said in a statement today.

A controversy arose over the Serdang Hospital post-mortem after a second autopsy done on the request of the deceased's family at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre indicated Kugan's death was due to multiorgan failure because of severe beating. The Serdang Hospital report had stated that death was due to fluid accumulation in his lungs.

Dr Mohd Ismail said forensic pathologists conducting post-mortem examinations may have differences in opinion as to the actual cause of death but what was important was that the findings should be almost similar as was in this case, which for the lungs was pulmonary haemorrhage, edema and congestion.

On the difference in the cause of death, he said it needed to be referred to independent forensic experts based on the findings of the two pathologists doing the post-mortems.

He dismissed claims by Kugan's family, which were reported by the Malaysiakini website, that the Serdang Hospital pathologist had listed 22 injuries on the body compared to the 40 additional injuries, burn marks and scratches indicated in the second report.

"The Serdang Hospital report showed 83 wounds and injuries. The description of each is more detailed in the Serdang Hospital report," he said, adding that the UMMC report was also not accurate as some of the wounds reported were caused by cutting during the first post-mortem examination.

He said the Serdang Hospital report made available to Kugan's family and published on the website was a comprehensive report while the record of the detailed findings and pictures taken during the first post-mortem were kept at the Serdang Hospital for court reference.

"It is not fair for anyone to make baseless allegations in this case as the Serdang Hospital pathologist had carried out his duties ethically and professionally," he said.

Dr Mohd Ismail added that the ministry did not want discuss the cause of Kugan's death in the open and urged the public not to make any more baseless allegations until the responsible parties completed their investigations, including the ministry itself.

He gave an assurance that the case would be given serious attention, but hoped the public would be patient until the independent panel completed its job. — Bernama

For Anwar, complacency is now the enemy

By Adib Zalkapli- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — When PKR surprisingly won the highest number of seats among the opposition parties, it was evident that the party would face problems managing its success as party leaders scrambled for positions and rewards.

Even before the formation of the PKR-led Selangor state government last year, party leaders and activists made a beeline to meet de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to lobby for senatorships, government contracts and even city councillor posts.

Some even openly demanded more opportunities and greater roles in Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states.

At the PKR Youth congress late last year, the topic of government rewards and contracts dominated the policy speech and the debate.

But on the eve of the first anniversary of March 8, the Opposition Leader issued a stern warning to leaders who asked to be rewarded after the party’s impressive performance.

“I had a special session with party stalwarts last weekend and we acknowledge there is a danger of complacency and lethargy creeping in and there is a need to rejuvenate and probably without dubious elements like those who consider Pakatan Rakyat governments as the means for them to reap benefits.

"So we made it categorically clear we cannot condone such excesses. We were given a mandate to serve with a clear agenda, we cannot depart from that,” said Anwar when met at Parliament last week.

He even challenged members who threatened to quit the party if their demands are not fulfilled to leave.

“There is a danger of complacency and people trying to resort to ultimatums or demands which I consider unreasonable.

"They probably have forgotten, some of them at least, the ideals of the party and their party agenda. So I think that was a timely reminder. You wish to support the agenda you remain, you wish to enrich yourself you join Umno,” said Anwar when asked on the motivation behind his harsh speech.

But overall he was satisfied with the progress made by PR states especially in terms of service and efficiency in governance and their success in becoming more inclusive.

“At the same time you find a semblance of greater confidence and willingness to embrace the Chinese and Indians as a team and this is generally well regarded by many,” said Anwar.

But the immediate challenge faced by Anwar and his coalition is what he claimed to be the continuous attempts made by Barisan Nasional leaders to topple PR governments by resorting to “kidnappings and threats”, which resulted in the collapsed of the Perak government.

“In Perak, they managed to kidnap two and threatened them and you can see there is a stalemate. We want to go back to the people for a fresh mandate but they refused.

"We want to convene a special assembly and they have also rejected, so it is very odd for this country not to agree to have a fresh mandate from the people or to disallow us from having a proper sitting of the assembly,” said Anwar.

He did not rule out speculation that Kedah and Selangor have become BN’s targets after former Bukit Selambau representative V. Arumugam was forced to resign and the swift action by the newly-formed Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in investigating Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim over the purchase of cattle and maintenance of his personal car.

“This means they have not given up on draconian methods to seize power,” said Anwar.

Police fire tear gas at crowd marching to Istana Negara

Riot police fire tear gas to break up the protest march against the use of English to teach maths and science in Kuala Lumpur today. — AP pic

UPDATED

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Riot police fired tear gas to disperse more than 2,000 people who tried to march to the Istana Negara today to protest the use of English to teach maths and science.

The demonstrators sought to submit a petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong to demand that Bahasa Malaysia be reinstated in schools for the two subjects.

Many Malay teachers and linguists complain that a six-year-old policy of using English has hurt efforts to modernise their mother tongue and to develop a scientific lexicon in Malay.

The protesters marched through busy traffic, chanting "Long live the Malay language!" for about half an hour after gathering at Kuala Lumpur's main mosque. Police then fired several rounds of tear gas, causing them to disperse.

Authorities warned people earlier this week not to attend the demonstration, saying organisers had not obtained a necessary police permit to hold a public rally.

The Star newspaper reported on its website that police detained 124 protesters.

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan told The Star that authorities "had no choice but to use tear gas to disperse the crowd who refused to listen to police warnings."

English was once the medium of instruction in most schools in Malaysia, a former British colony. Nationalist leaders reversed the policy and made Malay the main medium of instruction less than two decades after independence in 1957.

In 2003, believing that poor English-language skills were undermining students, authorities started a programme to resume teaching maths and science in English. Other subjects continued to be taught in Malay.

The government began a review to gauge the policy's success last year. But protracted discussions with teachers, parents and political activists have so far achieved no clear solution.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said yesterday that mastering foreign languages is a beneficial skill that should not be misconstrued "as negating the importance of the Malay language itself."

Bernama quoted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today as saying he hopes that a decision on the review is made immediately to prevent it from becoming a bigger issue. — Agencies

Polis tembak gas kepada penentang PPSMI - Malaysiakini

kemaskini 3.48pm Perhimpunan membantah pelaksanaan dasar Pengajaran dan Pembelajaran Sains dan Matematik dalam Bahasa Inggeris (PPSMI) bermula di Masjid Negara dengan kawalan ketat polis.

Perhimpunan yang dibenarkan oleh pihak berwajib itu berarak ke Istana Negara bagi membawa memorandum kepada Yang di-Pertuan Agong bagi memohon campur tangan baginda dalam pemansuhan dasar kontroversi itu.

Polis bagaimanapun melarang sebarang perarakan ke istana dan juga perhimpunan di dua lokasi lagi seperi dirancang, Pasar Seni dan kompleks membeli-belah Sogo.

Polis kelihatan berkawal dekat mahkamah syariah Wilayah Persekutuan, beberapa ratus meter dari Masjid Negara, jalan menuju istana.

Untuk memintas sekatan polis di situ, kumpulan lebih 2,000 penentang dasar tersebut di kalangan aktivis bahasa dan penyokong pembangkang bergerak melalui jejantas depan masjid menuju Kampung Attap, dekat istana.

Polis melepaskan gas pemedih mata kepada penentang dasar PPSMI di situ sehingga memecahkan kumpulan tersebut kepada dua kelompok kecil.

Tembakan gas pemedih mata juga kelihatan di lebuh raya tersebut, dekat jejantas di atas Jalan Syed Putra.

Suasana kelam-kabut, orang ramai berpakaian putih - sebagai lambang membantah PPSMI - bertempiaran lari. Belum ada laporan tangkapan diterima, setakat ini.

Walaupun kelihatan asap gas pemedih mata berkepul-kepul di udara, barisan peserta perhimpunan menentang PPSMI terus bergerak ke depan, dengan harapan dapat menuju Istana Negara.

Walaupun mereka bersurai seketika cuba mengelak asap gas pemedih mata, sebahagian terus berdegil cuba berarak ke istana.

Manakala polis antirusuhan pula memancutkan air kepada orang ramai di jalan menuju mahkamah syariah dari arah Jalan Syed Putra.

Sebahagian peserta demonstrasi telah kembali ke Masjid Negara selepas jam 3 petang tadi.

Ratusan orang ramai yang berkumpul di perkarangan dan di dalam masjid kemudian ditembak dengan gas pemedih mata.

Sekurang-kurangnya tiga gas kelihatan dilepaskan.

Sementara di Istana Negara, kawalan lebih 150 anggota polis dan unit pencegah rusuhan FRU, termasuk kenderaan pemancut air.

Polis menutup Lebuhraya Mahameru - dari arah Sungai Besi - bagi menghadapi sebarang kemungkinan kehadiran peserta perhimpunan tersebut.

Difahamkan seorang lelaki ditahan polis depan istana. Butiran lanjut belum diperolehi.

Penasihat Gabungan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP), yang menganjurkan perhimpunan itu, Sasterawan Negara Datuk A Samad Said dan pengerusinya Datuk Dr Hassan Ahmad menyerahkan memorandum anti-PPSMI kepada penolong Datuk Paduka Maharajalela, Azuan Effendy Zairakithnaini di pintu masuk utama Istana Negara kira-kira jam 2.50 petang.

Lima lagi pemimpin GMP yang dijadual menyerahkan memorandum tersebut tidak kelihatan, dipercayai tersekat dalam kumpulan penyokong gerakan itu.

Kawasan tersebut, yang dijadikan daya tarikan pelancong, kini dikawal ketat oleh polis.

Laporan awal:

Sebelum mereka berarak kira-kira jam 2.10 petang tadi, kelihatan ketua Persatuan Penulis Nasional (Pena) Datuk Baha Zain dan naib presiden PAS Mohamad Sabu di Masjid sejak sebelum solat zohor, kira-kira jam 1.15 petang tadi.

Demonstrasi anjuran Gabungan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP) itu turut disertai Sasterawan Negara terkenal Datuk A Samad Said dan Presiden PAS Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang.

Assault on Legislature, Constitution dead

The savagery of what has happened in Perak and the utter disregard of consequence on the part of those orchestrating the campaign go far to show how foolish I was to have believed that all of us, without exception, recognise that some costs are too great and for that, even blind ambition has its limits.

By Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, The Malaysian Insider

Discussing the Perak situation with specificity is, by this stage, a difficult thing to do. So much has happened so quickly. Nuanced actions and counter-actions, some of them in uncertain legal terrain, and relatively scarce details have made it precarious to consider certain key events — the legal action against the Speaker and its incidents, for instance — with the depth that only certainty would allow for.

Having said that, whatever the specifics may be and whoever may be right as to the validity or legality of certain aspects of the unfolding saga, when considered from a broader perspective and with reference to the fundamentals of democracy, I do not think that the
situation in Perak is very complicated at all. As Tengku Razaleigh recently observed, a chain-reaction of illegality has left Perak possibly without a legitimate government and the Constitution a dead piece of paper.

I was too young to fully appreciate the terrible impact on democracy that the events of 1987 and 1988 had. Understanding came later, as I learnt to see what needed to be seen: the supremacy of the Constitution, the separation of powers and the check and balance it is aimed at, the independence of the judiciary and, correspondingly, the legislature. But even as my awareness of what had happened and how it had happened increased, I rather naively found myself thinking that it was unlikely that we would ever see anything of the likes again. Those events had simply been too heinous and the injuries inflicted on this nation too serious to ignore, even by those who had been responsible and those who would possibly follow in their footsteps.

Or so I thought.

The savagery of what has happened in Perak and the utter disregard of consequence on the part of those orchestrating the campaign go far to show how foolish I was to have believed that all of us, without exception, recognise that some costs are too great and for that, even blind ambition has its limits. It is clear now that this is not necessarily the case; for some, even the nation itself is expendable.

In saying savagery, I recognise that there has been neither bloodshed nor preventive detentions, though it is still too early to say for sure that things will stay that way. The incitement carries on, and mobs are being driven to frenzy to the throb of the war drums. Amidst the calls for blood, bullets have been sent, a disabled parliamentarian assaulted and some of his colleagues battered. The police have apparently too much on their hands to move with the speed that they are capable of and, as such, as things stand serve no useful role as the deterrent that the situation sorely requires.

Violence has however been done; to the federal and state constitutions, to the Rule of Law and to all that these fundamentals represent. War has been waged on democracy itself.

I can think of no other way to characterise events.

As thing stands, the Speaker is still the Speaker. He has been at all times vested with the full powers of his office and the discretion to exercise those powers. He may have committed mistakes in arriving at certain decisions, but those are matters for the Legislative Assembly itself or, where legal limits have been transgressed, for the courts whose powers in this regard are limited by reason of the separation of powers. Until corrected, the Speaker’s decisions stand, be they the acceptance of the resignation of the three members who crossed the floor, the issuing of the show-cause notices to the alleged usurpers of power and the effecting of their suspension, or the calling of the emergency sessions of the assembly.

And yet under the hand of the Executive, in a manner reminiscent of the locking up of the Supreme Court in 1988 the Legislative Assembly itself was put out of bounds to members of the assembly, This was done at the instigation of the State Secretary, an officer of the executive and as such its representative, with the assistance of a police force duty bound to protect the system of governance and associated freedoms put in place by the constitutions of this nation.

In doing so, the Executive laid siege on the Legislature. The sight of the Federal Reserve Unit barring the way into the Legislative Assembly, fangs bared and water cannon poised, was as close a physical depiction of democracy being taken hostage as we will ever see. The underlying intention of the exercise brings this further into relief. It was apparent that the assembly had to be prevented from meeting for as long as it took for the lawyers to do what they could in court. Injunctions against the Speaker had been applied for. Once these were granted, the process that the Speaker had started would be brought to a halt.

The fact that the injunctions had been applied for shows clearly how far democracy was subverted. The making of the applications underscores awareness on the part of those orchestrating the campaign that self-help was not permissible. The validity of the Speaker’s actions had to be tested before a court of law. If they were not needed, the injunctions would not have been sought.

Despite this appreciation of the obvious, the might of the state was brought to bear. A federal agency was brought in and tasked to do what it was not mandated by law to do: keep the assembly at bay to protect the interest of a coalition of political parties.

There is no law that allows police officers to deny members of a legislative chamber access to that chamber for the business of Legislature. It is not for any police officer to unilaterally determine that the business being conducted is not within the ambit of the legislature, no matter who might say it is. What the police force did was not justified in law. No crime had been committed. Though the gathering masses was reason enough for a police presence, breaches of the peace did not occur nor were orders to disperse issued, unsurprising given that the focal point was the denial of access to the Legislative Assembly.

It is glaringly obvious that confronted with a scenario that left it vulnerable to a tactical manoeuvring of legislative procedure, and an inability to resolve the imbroglio to advantage, the Barisan Nasional at the state and federal level collectively took the law into its own hands. The plan to capture Perak had run into a brick wall and rather than go around it, they decided to blow it up and everything else with it.

The situation is comparable to a hypothetical scenario in which Pakatan Rakyat Members of Parliament barricaded Parliament House to deny Barisan Nasional Members and the Speaker access so as to prevent them from legitimately making a law that they would otherwise have. The only difference is if that had occurred, the Barisan Nasional would have denounced the exercise as an attempted coup d’etat and punished those involved to the full extent of the law at its disposal.

It does not make any difference that the Barisan Nasional forms the federal government of the day and is in a position to direct the police force; like all other institutions, these institutions are bound to act constitutionally and in accordance with the law. Malaysia is still a democracy predicated on constitutional supremacy. The expectation that all affairs will be conducted to the exclusive convenience and the advantage of the Barisan Nasional and its leaders is more suited to a dictatorship in which the Rule of Law means nothing.

Through the last week Malaysians have borne witness to a shameless display of belligerence and arrogance. We have heard a senior minister describe the emergency session, held by necessity under that now immortalised raintree, as “uncivilised”. Another senior minister described the Speaker as a “boy”. Though in line with the other ridiculous observations from ambitious Umno leaders Malaysians have had to endure since the beginning of the Perak affair, they do little to mask the obvious; that the Barisan Nasional appears to see no limits to what it is permitted to do to achieve its objectives.

And if it could do this in one state, what is to stop it from acting in the same way in other states or at the federal level. Judging by the way in which it has responded to criticism over its actions these past few weeks, it would seem nothing much. It is manifest that the Barisan Nasional considers itself a law unto itself.

That is the painful truth that lies at the heart of Tengku Razaleigh’s declaration that the Constitution is dead.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar is the current president of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) and a lawyer. He has been at the forefront of efforts aimed at promoting constitutionalism and the Rule of Law, particularly in the face of worrying trends of Islamisation and race politics in government and wider society. His blog “Disquiet”, and weekly column of the same name with the Malay Mail, is widely read.

Police fire tear gas at crowd marching to Istana Negara

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — Riot police have fired tear gas at hundreds of people who tried to march to Istana Negara to protest the use of English to teach maths and science.

The demonstrators wanted to submit a petition to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong today to demand that Bahasa Malaysia be reinstated in schools for the two subjects.

Some school teachers and linguists from the ethnic Malay majority have complained that a six-year-old policy of using English undermines efforts to modernise their mother tongue and to develop a scientific lexicon in Malay.

The government began a review to evaluate the success of the policy last year. — AP

New ethnic fears

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The elections had raised hopes for a post-racial Malaysia, but if anything, the changes appear to have deepened the fault lines.

THE CHINESE: FRUSTRATION

The last place Jonathan Chew expected to find himself was on the political front line of a general election.

The 29-year-old copywriter had steered clear of politics for most of his life, but the mood of change that gripped Malaysia last year swept him up as well. And not just as a passive voter, but as a boots-on-the-ground volunteer for the opposition.

Chew signed up as a counting agent for Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate R. Sivarasa, now an MP in Selangor, and convinced friends to join him.

“I was not interested in politics before, but the frustration of the last four years was enough to wake me up,” he said.

That frustration was the four-year administration of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, which began with high expectations of reform but ended in shattered hopes.

The opposition was swamped with volunteers, a large number of whom were Chinese.

Opposition DAP MP Tony Pua had considerably more than the 500 volunteers he needed as polling and counting agents. There were so many that a lot of them were not assigned jobs. “They were scolding my staff because they were not allotted anything,” he recalled.

It was a remarkable change for the community. Malaysia's Chinese, particularly middle-class urbanites, have generally been reticent about their political views. They have not earned the reputation for being inscrutable without good reason — or, as Pua put it, “scared of everything”.

One year after the landmark elections, the Chinese have become even more comfortable in their new political skin. He has found that Chinese businessmen, whose greatest fear was being photographed with the opposition, now clamour for invitations to its events.

This is grim news for the Barisan Nasional, in particular the MCA and Gerakan, the ruling coalition's Chinese component parties. Last March, Chinese support for the BN fell to 30 per cent from over 50 per cent in the 2004 election.

A year later, indications are that support remains low. The independent Merdeka polling centre's surveys consistently show poor sentiment among the Chinese towards the BN government.

Although the Chinese are a minority — forming 23 per cent of Malaysia's 27 million people — their vote can be decisive if the Malays are split.

Of course, there has not been a wholesale swing to the opposition. The Kuala Terengganu by-election in January, in fact, saw the Chinese vote increasing slightly for the BN, possibly in reaction to the conservative Pas, which dominates the state.

But large Chinese crowds have also been turning out at opposition rallies and donating substantial sums of money. What has made the middle-class Chinese less reticent, speculated Pua, is possibly “safety in numbers”.

Political analyst Khoo Kay Peng thinks that the Chinese now have a greater sense of security in being vocal and open partly because there is now a strong opposition that appeals to minorities.

One year later, the Chinese sentiment towards BN is no better than it was before March 8; in fact, it is possibly worse. — Straits Times

Who was Altantuya Shaariibuu? Another flashback - M2Day .org

Image

A murdered woman fades into a caricature as the trial of her accused killers in Malaysia drags on into obscurity

“They say Malaysia is different from Mongolia and said they know
people in police so can easy put me to jail. If in Malaysia law goes like that I can’t complain. But true is I did nothing to him. I’m just normal girl trying to meet my lover who lied to me and promised many things but now wants to put me in jail or kill.”

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

John Berthelsen, The Asia Sentinel, 5 December 2007

On October 18, 2006, a pretty young Mongolian translator named Altantuya Shaariibuu was brutally murdered at the age of 28. Her mutilated body was found in a jungle clearing near the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Sha Alam. Her reputation has been brutalized as well. The pictures printed here may give some of her back to the world.

After her remains were found about a month after the murder, Altantuya’s accused killers, Abdul Razak Baginda, her former lover and the head of a politically well-connected think tank, and two bodyguards for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, were arrested almost immediately in a blaze of newspaper headlines that all but convicted them.

She had also worked as Abdul Razak’s translator on a shady deal he was brokering for the Malaysian government to buy submarines from France. The pair seem to have travelled to Paris together. A letter found after she was killed appeared to be a demand for money from him for the care of her child, which he may have fathered. She was last seen by eyewitnesses getting into a car outside Abdul Razak’s house with the two elite bodyguards. Abdul Razak had requested help in dealing with her vocal demands for money and presence at the house.

The trial has now been underway for six months while prosecutors wade through a tangle of jurisdictional disputes and take testimony from a tedious list of tangential witnesses. Both prosecution and defense seem intent on keeping the obvious political ramifications of the trial out of the courtroom. It almost seems as if the trial is being delayed just to lessen the impact of a mistrial or even the acquittal of the politically prominent defendants.

In the meantime, Altantuya’s name has been dragged through the mud for so long that she almost has ceased to exist as a person. After being identified by local newspapers following the murder, she was first characterized as a part-time model (code language for a high-priced call girl). She also has been reviled for being an unwed mother, and for jet-setting to Europe with Abdul Razak. She has been described as a bitter, spurned lover demanding money from her rich boyfriend. Her family, meanwhile, has said she worked hard and was just trying to find her way in life.

In a letter found after her death (spelling corrected), she sounds like any jilted young woman: “To see your lover is nothing criminal right? Yes (I) was in shock. I wrote some stupid letters to him where I said I kill myself I want help. Yes I try to blackmail him. Maybe it’s my fault but no I really understand he doesn’t love me anymore and I need to stop that I asked money from him to go back how he promised to me. He lied to me to help and ruin my life. I came to KL to see him to face to face and ask why acting like that. Maybe rich person and he got family doing this. But when I come I did some thing stupid I write letter where I said I will kill myself and thing like that.”


And, she adds: “They say Malaysia is different from Mongolia and said they know people in police so can easy put me to jail. If in Malaysia law goes like that I can’t complain. But true is I did nothing to him. I’m just normal girl trying to meet my lover who lied to me and promised many things but now wants to put me in jail or kill.”

From a series of pictures made available to Asia Sentinel by Syed Abdul Rahman AlHabshi, the honorary Mongolian Consul General in Malaysia, Altantuya looks like nothing more than an attractive young woman off on the trip of her life to Europe. AlHabshi declined a request to say where the pictures came from but they are believed to have been found among her possessions after she was killed. She looks happy. Perhaps she was with her lover when these were taken. Her family has declined to elaborate on the circumstances of the pictures.

According to trial testimony by Burmaa Oyunchimeg, Altantuya’s cousin, who accompanied the victim to Kuala Lumpur to attempt to get Abdul Razak to give her money, there was one more picture. It depicted Altantuya having dinner with Abdul Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Najib. The picture was not in her possession when her decomposed body was found last October. The court has made no attempt to find the picture and Najib has not been called as a witness by either side.

GO HERE TO SEE THE PICTURES

The final picture here is perhaps the most disheartening. It is the three urns in which her bones sit while the trial drones on.

History is always written by the victor, never by the vanquished

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Soon, they will be organising a National Malay Congress to discuss Malaysia’s very confusing Social Contract. Do any of us understand what the Social Contract is? Today, we are reproducing two articles -- which have differing views on the matter. One is by Mavis Puthucheary and the other by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad. Malaysia Today offers space for conflicting views and debates as long as it is done in a civil and matured manner. Happy debating people -- but try not to be too abrasive and emotional. Stick to historical facts and not unsupported assumptions.
NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Congress on social contract

A National Malay Congress will be held to re-educate the public on historical issues like the social contract and the Malay rulers' role in society. The three-day meeting, on the theme Di Mana Bumi Dipijak, will be held from March 15 at Wisma Sejarah in Jalan Tun Razak.

It is jointly organised by the Federation of National Writers Associations of Malaysia (Gapena) and the Malaysian History Association. Gapena media and communications bureau head Borhan Md Zain said the last such congress, organised by non-governmental organisations, was in 1957.

Gapena has decided to once again hold such a congress as there was a need to re-educate the public on the cultural and academic aspects of Malay society, Borhan said, adding that the congress would help to dispel all the misconceptions that other races have had on the Malay culture.

One of the speakers will be Professor Datuk Dr Zainal Kling, from Universiti Pendidikan Sultan Idris, who will talk on multi-culturalism. The congress is open to the public and admission is free. For more information call 03-21442412. (The New Straits Times, 7 March 2009)

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Malaysia’s Social Contract: Exposing the myth behind the slogan: by Mavis Puthucheary

Since the 1980s the term “social contract” has come to supersede the term “inter-ethnic bargain” that was previously used by historians to describe the agreement between the leaders of the founding parties in the Alliance. This original bargain was not spelled out in any clear and precise way so it is not clear what the contract actually entailed. All we have is the Constitution which itself is ambiguous and has been amended nurmerous times. The emergence of the term “social contract” in the public discourse has given rise to a renewal of the debate on what was actually agreed upon at the time of Independence. As we cannot determine in any fixed way what was the content of the original bargain, we are better off trying to understand the debate surrounding the re-formulation of the bargain in terms of a “social contract”.

Central to the narrative of the inter-ethnic bargain is the power-sharing arrangement in which the leaders of the political parties of the Alliance government set out the rules for the sharing of the nation. Nation-building was based on the theme of the making and sharing of nation among its multi-ethnic citizens within a framework which entails the maintenance of the special position of the Malays. It was clear that at the heart of the debate was the issue of power-sharing between the two main ethnic groups, Malays and non-Malays, within a democratic framework. As the Alliance coalition, and later its successor, the Barisan Nasional coalition, won all the national elections, the question of how power was to be shared devolved around the balance of power between the parties in the ruling coalition.

In the first ten years after Independence, the balance of power between the two main parties, UMNO and the MCA, was more or less equal. After 1969, however the balance of power within the ruling coalition shifted significantly in favour of UMNO and the political system itself became less democratic. Although both parties fared badly in the 1969 elections, UMNO leaders who had secured control of the government, concentrated their efforts on regaining Malay support while still maintaining the power-sharing structure. With the introduction of the New Economic Policy and the extension of Malay privileges especially in the fields of education and employment, UMNO regained its popularity among the Malays and consequently assumed a dominant position in the ruling coalition.

However, over the years, new problems arose. First, as the resources of the state expanded, opportunities to become rich through access to these resources resulted in greater competition for positions in all parties in the BN, especially UMNO. Faced with severe challenges from within the party, the top UMNO leadership sought to unify the party under its leadership by the notion of a social contract in which Malay dominance was enshrined. It is significant that whenever the notion of social contract is brought up in the context of Malay dominance, its timing coincides with the eve of the UMNO general assembly elections. One may be tempted to speculate the UMNO leadership may even have introduced the notion of “Ketuanan Melayu” with the intention of incurring the expected hue and cry from the non-Malays so that it can then rally the Malays around their leadership!

Second, as Malay society becomes more complex, largely as a consequence of the successes of the NEP, the race-based politics of the BN structure is becoming less tenable. As Malays have become more socially divided (along issues of class, Islamic ideology, region, etc) UMNO finds itself having to compete with other political parties for the support of the Malay electorate. By promoting the idea of a social contract while foreclosing any open discussion which would clarify precisely what this contract entails, UMNO leaders hope to get the best of both worlds - they can shift their stand between the constitutional “social contract” and the Ketuanan Melayu “social contract” depending on the circumstances. The ambiguity of the notion of the social contract is therefore productive for UMNO. It is easy to gain non-Malay support for a social contract that is couched in the language of the inter-ethnic bargain.

In addition to the crucial distinction between the constitutional “social contract” and the Ketuanan Melayu “social contract” is the distinction between the generally received idea of the social contract as enunciated by the western philosophers and Abdullah Ahmad’s peculiar Malaysian appropriation of the term. By appropriating what was a philosophical notion of the individual giving up some of his “natural” rights to the state, it was hoped to transform what was in effect nothing more than a partisan agreement to the level of a “national consensus” that is binding for all time. Most of all once this idea is accepted, the UMNO-dominated political system would be in a position to decide the substance of this social contract. If this is UMNO’s position, then it is clear that the “social contract” is nothing more than part of UMNO’s strategy to demonstrate its claim to being the sole champion on Malay interests.

Such a system has adverse consequences for the democratization process. We should not feel bound to deal supposedly made in the past and which we have no knowledge of its contents. Ironically, the social contract was developed in the west by liberal-minded thinkers to challenge the authoritarian rule of absolute monarchs. Those who promote the idea of a social contract in Malaysia, however, want to see a political system in which secret deals are struck by the ruling elite in an environment where the scope and level of political participation is severely limited.

In such a situation it is unwise to recognise the legitimacy of the social contract as it is applied in the Malaysian context. In the Philippines, it has been found that the domination of the ruling elite is secured by its ability to effectively use the very principle and ideals of the dominated and then interpret these principles in its own interest. Allusions of the past which have been generally accepted as the single unifying force that contributed to the building of the nation function to disseminate signs that can be apprehended in different ways. In the same way, by using the idiom of the inter-ethnic bargain, which was in effect a partisan agreement, and giving it the status of a national consensus, UMNO’s agenda of Malay dominance is secured within the formal structure of multiracialism.

The UMNO version of the social contract would allow for Malay interests as defined by UMNO (”Ketuanan Melayu”) to be given greater emphasis. For this reason the consensus that is required is limited to the idea without allowing any open discussion. Any call for debate on its contents is viewed as a challenge to the existing political system.

In the search for solutions to dismantling the “social contract” we should be concerned about the impact it is likely to have on race relations in Malaysia. In the current political scenario there are three political parties that claim to protect and advance Malay/Muslim interests - UMNO, PAS and PKR.

Although not mutually exclusive, these parties adopt three different positions. UMNO’s stand is that Malay interests (as defined in terms of Malay dominance) are best safeguarded in a multi-ethnic coalition where UMNO is the sole representative of the Malay community. PAS attempts to unite the Malays through their religion, claiming that in an Islamic-based political system of universal values of social justice and fairness would be automatically delivered. In contrast the PKR takes a non-racial approach to politics claiming that Malay interests would be advanced only through policies and programmes specifically targeted at assisting the poorest sections of the society while at the same time making sure that they have the capabilities to compete with the other races on equal terms. The challenge facing the PKR leadership is how to develop broad principles of social justice, equal citizenship rights and a system of rewarding people based on meritocracy while at the same time having to deal with criticisms of selling out Malay rights.

If the Malay version of the social contract gains wider acceptance among the Malays, PKR may be under considerable pressure to abandon its more inclusive approach to politics and pander exclusively to Malay chauvinism and that would mean the end of PKR’s claim to multiracialism. Therefore it is important for the PKR to strike a balance between the non-compromising “Malaysian Malaysia” position of the DAP on the one hand, and the extreme positions of “Ketuanan Melayu” as enunciated in UMNO’s re-formulation of the social contract or the “Islamic State” of PAS on the other. (September 2008)

Mavis Puthucheary was formerly associate professor in the Faculty of Economics and Administration, University of Malaya. Since retiring, she has continued to research and write about politics in Malaysia, particularly on the issue of the ’social contract’. In 2005, she edited a book with Norani Othman on Elections and Politics in Malaysia.

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The Malaysian Social Contract: by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad

1. Before there was Malaya and Malaysia the peninsular was known as Tanah Melayu, or Malay Land.

2. Saying this alone would result in accusations of being racist.

3. But I need to go back in history if I am going to be able to explain about Malaysia's social contract.

4. Through treaties signed by the Rulers of the Malay States of the Peninsular the British acquired the right to rule the Malay States. These treaties obviously recognised and legitimised the States as Malay States. No one disputed this. Even the aborigines accepted this as shown by their submission to the rule of the Malay Sultans.

5. Initially the peoples living in the States were divided into indigenous Malays and aborigines who were subjects of the Malay rulers and foreign guests who were not subjects of the rulers. There were no citizenship or documents about citizenship status as in most countries.

6. The foreign guests prospered in the British ruled Malay States and in the British colonies of Penang, Malacca and Singapore. The Malay subjects of the Rulers and the Rulers themselves did not feel threatened by the numbers of these non-Malays and the disparities between the general wealth and progress of the foreign guests and the subjects of the Rulers. They did not think that the foreigners who had settled in the country would ever demand citizenship rights.

7. When Japan conquered the Malay States and the colonies of the Straits Settlements, the Chinese felt insecure as the Japanese were their historical enemies.

8. Many Chinese formed and joined guerilla forces and disappeared into the jungle. When Japan surrendered the Chinese guerillas came out and seized many police stations in the interior and declared that they were the rulers of the country. They seized many people, Chinese and Malays and executed a number of them.

9. Malay villagers retaliated by killing the Chinese in the rural areas. Tension rose and a Sino-Malay war was only averted because of the arrival of British forces. But the ill feeling and animosity between the two races remained high.

10. It was in this tensed situation that the British proposed the Malayan Union which would give the "guests" the right of citizenship as indistinguishable from that of the Malays.

11. The Malays rejected the Malayan Union and its citizenship proposal. They forced the British to return to the status quo ante in a new Federation of Malaya.

12. Only Chinese who were British subjects in the colonies of the Straits Settlements were eligible to become citizens in this new Federation. Naturally the Malay citizens far outnumbered the Chinese Malayan citizens.

13. Chinese leaders appealed to the British, who then persuaded the UMNO President, Dato Onn Jaafar to propose to open UMNO to all races. This proposal was rejected by the other UMNO leaders and Dato Onn had to resign.

14. The British kept up the pressure for the Malays to be more liberal with citizenship for non-Malays.

15. Tunku Abdul Rahman, the President of UMNO decided on a coalition with MCA (Malaysian Chinese Association) and the MIC (Malaysian Indian Congress). In the 1955 elections to the Federal Legislative Assembly, since there were very few constituencies with Chinese or Indian majorities, the MCA and MIC partners had to put up candidates in Malay majority constituencies after UMNO undertook not to contest in these constituencies but to support MCA Chinese and MIC Indian candidates instead.

16. Such was the support of the Malays for the MCA and MIC alliance candidates that they won even against Malay candidates from PAS. The MCA and MIC candidates all won. Only UMNO lost one constituency against PAS.

17. The Tunku as Chief Minister of a self-governing Federation of Malaya then decided to go for independence. The British continued to inisist on citizenship rights for the Chinese and Indians as a condition for giving independence.

18. To overcome British resistance to independence and to gain the support of the Chinese and Indians, the Tunku decided to give one million citizenship to the two communities based purely on residence. One notable new citizen was (Tun) Leong Yew Koh, a former general in the Chinese National Army who was later appointed Governor of Malacca.

19. It was at this stage that the leaders of the three communal parties who had formed the Government of self-governing British Federation of Malaya, discussed and reached agreement on the relationship between the three communities in an independent Federation of Malaya.

20. It was to be a quid pro quo arrangement. In exchange for the one million citizenships the non-Malays must recognise the special position of the Malays as the indigenous people. Certain laws such as the pre-eminence of Islam as the state religion, the preservation of Malay reserve land, the position of the Malay Rulers and Malay customs and the distribution of Government jobs were included in the understanding.

21. On the question of national language it was agreed that Malay would be the national language. English should be the second language. The Chinese and Indians could continue to use their own languages but not in official communication.

22. Chinese and Tamil primary schools can use their languages as teaching media. They can also be used in secondary schools but these have to be private schools.

23. For their part the Chinese and Indian leaders representing their parties and communities demanded that their citizenship should be a right which could not be annulled, that they should retain their language, religion and culture, that as citizens they should have political rights as accorded to all citizens.

24. Much of these agreements and understandings are reflected in the Federal Constitution of Independent Malaya. For everything that is accorded the Malays, there is always a provision for non-Malays. Few ever mention this fact. The only thing that attracts everyone's attention and made a subject of dispute is what is accorded the Malays and other indigenous people.

25. Thus although Malay is to be the National Language, Chinese and Tamil can be used freely and in the Chinese and Tamil schools. In no other country has there been a similar provision. Even the most liberal countries do not have this constitutional guarantee.

26. The national language is to be learnt by everyone so that Malayan citizens can communicate with each other everywhere.

27. It was understood also that the Chinese language referred in the understanding were the Chinese dialects spoken in Malaysia, not the national language of China. Similarly for Malayan Indians the language was Tamil, not Hindi or Urdu or whatever became the national language of India. However, the Chinese educationists later insisted that the Chinese language must be the national language of China i.e. Mandarin.

28. The official religion is Islam but other religions may be practised by their adherents without any restriction. As the official religion, Islam would receive Government support. Nothing was said about support for the other religions. The non-Malays did not press this point and the Federal Constitution does not mention Government support for the other religions. Nevertheless such support have been given.

29. A quota was fixed for the Malayan Civil Service wherein the Malays would get four posts for every one given to Chinese or Indians. However it was recognised that the professional post would be open to all races as it was never thought possible there would be enough Malays to take up these posts.

30. The result was that in the early years of independence there were more non-Malays in Division 1 than Malays.

31. The Agong or the Rulers of the States should determine quotas of scholarships and licences for Malays. But no one should be deprived of whatever permits or licences in order to give to Bumiputras.

32. The position of the Malay Rulers was entrenched and could not be challenged. There would be a Paramount Ruler chosen from among the nine Rulers who would serve for five years.

33. The rulers were to be constitutional rulers. Executive power was to be exercised by elected Menteris Besar, Ketua Menteri (Chief Minister) and Prime Minister, assisted by members of councils and cabinets. The British practice was to be the model.

34. The most important understanding was the adoption of Parliamentary Democracy with a Constitutional Monarch, again after the United Kingdom model. It should be remembered that the British imposed an authoritarian colonial Government on the Malay State, the power resting with the Colonial Office in London.

35. Before these the Malay States were feudal with the Malay Rulers enjoying near absolute power. Only the elites played a role in State politics. The Malay subjects had no political rights at all. Certainly the guests had no say in politics. Even the Chinese and Indian British citizens had no say though they may be appointed as Municipal or Legislative Councillors.

36. The decision to adopt a democratic system of Government was a radical step in the governance of the Federation of Malaya and of the Malay States. This was agreed to by the leaders of the three major communities as represented by their political parties i.e. UMNO, MCA and MIC. There can be no doubt that these parties represented the vast majority of the three communities in Malaya. The Communists and the other leftists did not signify their agreement to the understanding.

37. The Reid Commission was briefed on all these agreements and understanding so that they will be reflected in the Constitution to be drawn up. All the three parties approved this Constitution after several amendments were made. In effect the Constitution became a contract binding on all the three communities in the Federation of Malaya upon attaining independence in 1957.

38. When Sabah and Sarawak joined the Peninsular States to form Malaysia the social contract was extended to the two Borneo States. The natives of Sabah and Sarawak were given the same status as the Malays. At this time the word Bumiputra was introduced to distinguish the indigenous Malays and Sabah, Sarawak natives from those descendants of foreign immigrants. Because Malay was widely used in the Borneo States there was no difficulty in the acceptance of Malay as the national language. The fact that the natives of the two states are not all Muslims necessitated no change in the Constitution once the word Bumiputra was accepted. But the official definition of a Malay remained.

39. The embodiment of the social contract is therefore the Constitution of first, the Federation of Malaya and then Malaysia.

40. To say it does not exist is to deny the contents of the Constitution which was based upon the acceptance by the leaders of the three communities of the original social contract.

41. All subsequent actions by the Government were the results of this social contract. The fact that the initiators of this social contract and their successors were endorsed by the people in every election reflects the undertaking of the people to honour this social contract.

42. Saying that the social contract does not exist is like saying that Malaysia exists in a vacuum, without a Constitution and laws based on this Constitution.

43. Implementing the social contract requires understanding of its spirit as much as the letter. The social contract is aimed at creating a multi-racial nation that is stable and harmonious. Any factor which would cause instability and result in confrontation between the races must be regarded as incompatible with the spirit of the social contract.

44. For 50 years no one seriously questioned the social contract. Even today the majority of Chinese and Indians and the indigenous Malays and natives of Sabah and Sarawak accept the social contract. But because Dato Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi basically lost the 2008 election and now heads a weak Government the extremists and erstwhile detractors have questioned the social contract. The Bar Council has now become a political party believing that its expertise in law will exempt it from being questioned as to its credentials and its political objectives.

45. Abdullah's UMNO is incapable of countering any attack on the social contract. If anything untoward happens Abdullah and UMNO must bear responsibility. (12 July 2008)

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was the Fourth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Pak Lah’s Legacy

By Tunku Aziz
Mysinchew.com

As the prime minister begins the process of winding down his stewardship of this country that he inherited from his now much despised predecessor, he would have been less than human if he did not reflect upon the highlights and the low points of his stewardship that in turn cheered and depressed him.

He must wonder why, after such a promising start, fate should have intervened to deal him such a cruel hand. The humiliation of being forced to get on the bicycle and ride off alone into the political sunset prematurely has been, he must admit, largely self-inflicted.

He must sometimes wonder why he was so incredibly naïve as to swallow the proverbial hook, line and sinker, the assurances and protestations of complete and undying loyalty so glibly and convincingly uttered by his closest associates.

I personally would not myself touch them with a long barge pole, but then I suppose I am of a suspicious nature.

When Abdullah Badawi took over the reigns of government, I was among those invited by the media to comment on what his legacy might be. We were swept and overwhelmed by the euphoria of the moment, the dawn of a blessed new era and the end of a morally degrading and debilitating regime.

Anyone after Mahathir Mohamad was a welcome change, and the country was happy to give him and the party he led the biggest ever electoral victory in the history of our country.

Abdullah responded by urging us, his countrymen and women to “work with me and not for me.”

This catchphrase symbolising inclusiveness went down well in the beginning, but when people began to see through this as another clever spin-doctoring exercise, it went down like a ton of bricks.

Abdullah was suave. He could at times be glibly persuasive especially when outlining his agenda against corruption.

As president of Transparency International Malaysia, I was literally “over the moon.” I was, like millions of other Malaysians, completely taken in by all this rhetoric and mock determination to slay the dragon.

Corruption, since his tenure of office, has continued to savage the integrity of this country and much else.

True, he has put in place all the visible symbolic institutions associated with fighting corruption, but sadly they remain nothing more than just weak, ineffectual structures constructed on shifting sand with sub-standard materials.

We do not have to look farther than the Malaysian Institute of Integrity and the recently morphed Anti-Corruption Agency to realise the futility of it all.

Brick and mortar alone cannot sustain our war against national corruption. Abdullah knew that but given the culture of political corruption in his United Malay National Organisation, what could the poor man have done?

My comment in 2003 to the media response on Abdullah was that he would leave an important legacy if he was satisfied with one term during which time he could bring about such changes as were clearly necessary to make a difference to Malaysia in social, economic and political terms.

All he had to do to come out smelling like a million roses was to do the opposite of what Mahathir did during his 22 years of ethically and morally very questionable governance.

As a one term prime minister, Abdullah would not have to be looking over his shoulder constantly. He did try in his usual perfunctory manner to do something, but as many of us have come to realise, it was a case of too little, too late.

I hope history will not be too harsh when evaluating his premiership because he did try after all. He will certainly be remembered as a decent human being which I suppose is more than can be said of many of us.

He will be leaving behind a bloated and lumbering civil service that has been seriously politicised, abandoning any pretence at “neutrality” in discharging its duties and responsibilities, and a police force that lurches from one crisis of confidence to another with regular monotony.

If press reports are to be believed, a major police brutality scandal has already surfaced, and this, in addition to other reported cases of death in custody must surely merit some serious thinking on the part of the authorities about policing in a democratic society.

The manner in which police detainee A. Kugan met his death while under the care and protection of the Royal Malaysia Police has shaken public confidence in our police as never before.

There are no bad policemen, only bad officers and the Inspector General of Police may wish to do the honourable thing; take responsibility and resign.

It is in situations such as this that those of us concerned with effective and ethical policing wonder why the most important of the 125 recommendations of the Royal Commission inquiring into the police service, namely an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission has yet to be set up four years on.

Has the government the political will to implement this vital recommendation immediately?

The police I know object to this, but it is the people, through their government, who should be wagging the tail, not the other way round.

The IPCMC is intended to protect the people against unethical policing as well as to protect the police against themselves.

Chitrakala: I'm not sabotaging Samy Vellu

—   P. Chitrakala Vasu, MIED Maju Institute of Educational Development CEO
— P. Chitrakala Vasu, MIED Maju Institute of Educational Development CEO

KUALA LUMPUR: Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) chief executive officer P. Chitrakala Vasu denied that she is "telling it all" now because she wants to sabotage MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu's presidential election this month.

"Politics was never my cup of tea. I just want to protect MIED for the community's sake," she said in an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times and an online news media yesterday.


"Politics was never my cup of tea. I just want to protect MIED for the community's sake," she said in an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times and an online news media yesterday.

She also denied that some people were cashing in on her predicament and using her to sabotage the party elections.

"They were only there to give me moral support. The sad thing was people from MIC and even its central working committee members, save for one or two, don't dare to call me. They are just too scared of Samy Vellu."

She also clarified that she did not issue an ultimatum to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak when she said she would give him reasonable time before seeing opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"I put in my request to see him to explain my situation since he is head of Barisan Nasional. Where else can I take my case if not to him?"

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam was also not spared Chitrakala's wrath. She claimed he had done nothing about her "wrongful dismissal".

"In MIC, judgment is passed without trial. But no one dares to question Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu."

The 38-year-old had few kind words to say about her employer who will be celebrating his 73rd birthday tomorrow.

"Thirty years of politics is enough. His birthday gift this year should be for him to go home and spend time with his grandchildren. Enough of his dictatorship."

Selangor MIC Youth leader M. Yogeswaran chided Chitrakala for taking her case to opposition members of parliament like N. Gobalakrishnan and R. Siva-rasa with whom she was seen at Parliament on Tuesday.

"As a responsible CEO, if there was any mismanagement or wrongdoing, she should have reported it at that time itself," he said, adding that Chitrakala was being instigated by some people to drag Samy Vellu down

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Varsity has no certificate of fitness

NST, March 07 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: The AIMST University, which began operations in Semeling, Kedah, two years ago, is still operating on a temporary certificate of fitness (CF).

This was revealed by MIED chief executive officer P. Chitrakala Vasu in an exclusive interview with the New Straits Times yesterday.

She said the reason it was given a temporary CF was because it had not followed its master plan of building a mosque and a temple.

A source confirmed this, adding that officials were in the midst of getting a CF.

Chitrakala's more frightening claim was that the CF had expired last week.
"If anything happens to the 3,000 students studying there, who would be responsible? If a fire or something happens, there is no insurance."

Another source, involved in the building of the university, confirmed that its CF expired on March 4.

AIMST chairman Tan Sri Dr K. Ampikaipakan, when contacted, said: "I don't want to get involved in all this".