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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Kedah MIC Deputy Chairman Is BN State Candidate

SUNGAI PETANI, Mar 14 (Bernama) -- Kedah MIC deputy chairman Datuk S.Ganesan has been named the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bukit Selambau state by-election, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced in Sungai Petani today.

The Story Of Perak Democracy Tree | 霹雳州 “民主之树” 的故事

By Gomalaysian blogspot.



IPOH: The raintree, under which history was created on Tuesday when an “emergency sitting” of the State Assembly was held, has been adopted by Pakatan Rakyat as a symbol of democracy.

Perak Pakatan leaders will name it “Tree of Democracy” in conjunction with the coalition’s one-year anniversary tomorrow.

They plan to plant five other such trees, naming them Transparency, Justice, Integrity, Trustworthiness and Welfare.



10 - 12 March 2009





Perakians and tourists visiting the histoical democracy tree.

IPOH: The state government has criticised the naming of a raintree as the Tree of Democracy after an emergency “sitting” of the state assembly was held under it.

Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the tree might be “a tree of democracy” for Pakatan Rakyat, but he considered it a symbol of treason and contempt for royalty.

“They know that what they did was without royal consent, and even the court has decided on the position.

“Their actions clearly show their contempt for the Sultan and the royal institution,” he told reporters after the state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration at the State Secretariat building here yesterday.

Dr Zambry was commenting on Perak Pakatan naming the raintree and the planting of five trees to commemorate the emergency “sitting” and the first anniversary of Pakatan’s rule in the state.



13 March 2009






IPOH: Vandals have broken the edges and damaged the plaque marking the “Democracy Tree” under which a historic Perak assembly was held on March 3.

Pakatan Rakyat leaders including former Perak Mentri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin and former state executive council member Nga Kor Ming took an oath beneath the tree.


14 March 2009




Vandals hit the plaque under Perak’s Democracy Tree for the second time early Saturday morning by splashing a black liquid over the broken black marble slab that marked the historic State Assembly sitting under its boughs on Mar 3.

Former executive councillor Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Pantai Remis) said it had yet to be determined if it was black paint or a corrosive liquid.



Perak People Want To Say...

Perak Speaker’s case: Declare a mistrial

It was another day of absurdity in the annals of the judiciary when Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim, incomprehensibly ruled on 11 March 2009 to deny the Speaker of the Perak State Assembly his right of defence. His ridiculous decision has given the judiciary a bad name tarnishing its reputation and ruining its image.

On two previous occasions, on 3 and 5 March he had ruled that the Speaker could not have lawyers of his choice to represent him in the suit brought against him. And on 11 March, he ruled that the Speaker could not even act for himself.

His bewildering decisions have shocked and stunned the legal fraternity and the man in the street. These decisions went against the grain of natural justice. They were neither supported by legal precedents nor justified by logical reasoning.

Even the lay man is allowed to represent himself. No court has denied him this right to defend himself. Why then this exception in the case of the Speaker?

Justice has not been served by the following decisions of the judicial commissioner which are startling, confusing and baffling:

  • He has refused legal representation of the Speaker’s choice thus going against natural justice;
  • He has refused the Speaker the right to represent himself denying him his inalienable human right;
  • He has refused to allow the Speaker’s leading lawyer to hold a watching brief with speaking rights, thus refusing to hear the Speaker’s side of the case;
  • He has ruled that the Speaker is a public officer when the law does not support his contention;
  • He has issued an indefinite restraining order when he does not have the authority to do so;
  • He has decided to hear the case against the Speaker when the law does not allow him to do so under the Federal Constitution.
The many grave and glaring errors of the judicial commissioner have been very well argued by the former Court of Appeal judge, N H Chan, in his article ‘How to judge the judge’.

In view of the many discrepancies, Aliran urges the Chief Justice to declare a mistrial and dismiss the case in the interest of justice.

Alternatively, there must be a fresh trial presided by a senior judge who is well versed with the law and who understands the principles of justice.


P Ramakrishnan
President

Dr M says Perak grab unlawful

Dr Mahathir shows a keris he received as a souvenir at the event. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — More than a month after Barisan Nasional ousted Pakatan Rakyat from Perak, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today said the takeover was not done according to the law.

He said mistakes, bad strategy and carelessness in the Feb 5 power grab, orchestrated by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, had led to the current crisis in the state.

"You cannot topple a menteri besar or a prime minister without a no-confidence vote in the assembly. There is no other provision," he said at a function organised by Mubarak, the association for former elected representatives.

"Umno-BN was too careless and did not wait for an assembly but instead asked the Ruler to sack the menteri besar," he said, referring to Sultan Azlan Shah's decision to ask Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin to resign.

"As far as I know, there is no such provision in the Perak or Federal Constitution," he said.

Dr Mahathir said that BN should have done it properly and not "be in conflict with the law" as the courts may now rule that the Sultan has no right to sack a menteri besar.

He added that a Sultan could only reject a candidate for one of his choice after an election but even this candidate could be defeated in the assembly by a vote.

The veteran politician said BN should have "followed the laws of the country, especially the constitution."

"Because this may be in conflict with the law, we find that people will not comply. Because we started on the wrong foot, people are now against us," said Dr Mahathir, who quit Umno last year in a long-running feud with his successor Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

The Perak power grab is now mired in a series of lawsuits, with both sides claiming to be the legitimate government.

Six people have also been charged with insulting the Perak Ruler after he backed BN to govern the state. One has pleaded guilty and was fined RM10,000 yesterday while five others claimed trial.

Umno has said those who opposed the Sultan's decision are committing treason.

Corrupt Cabinet will be Najib’s and BN’s ‘death warrant’, says Dr M

By Shannon Teoh- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has warned prime minister-elect Datuk Seri Najib Razak to select his Cabinet well, saying corrupt leaders will effectively see the end of Barisan Nasional's uninterrupted five-decade rule of Malaysia.

"People are watching and we know who is corrupt. If Najib as prime minister chooses them, it will be signing his own death warrant and he will lose the 13th general election," Malaysia's longest-serving premier told reporters today.

He pointed out it was up to Umno members and the people to check the party's candidates and prevent the corrupt from winning.

"There is a lot of money politics and if corrupt leaders win, then Umno will not regain support," Dr Mahathir said bluntly.

He added graft had turned off most people, even BN members, from supporting the coalition in the last elections.

He hoped the Umno disciplinary board and the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission would act seriously and take real action against money politics.

The MACC yesterday charged Umno supreme council member Datuk Norza Zakaria on two counts of bribery in the run-up to the party polls at the end of this month.

Dr Mahathir also rubbished Pas president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang's suggestion for a unity government.

"We tried this before in 1970 when Pas joined BN. But they acted only in their own interests.

"They prioritise political gains and betray Malays to get non-Malay support," Dr Mahathir claimed.

He cited, for example, Pas spiritual leader Datuk Niz Aziz Nik Mat's claim that there was nothing wrong with rearing pigs in a Malay area so long as they do not eat it.

He said that while it is true that Islam does not forbid it, such an act is contrary to Malay culture.

Hindraf resolution report

Batang Ai a test of Anwar’s acceptance in Sarawak

By Baradan Kuppusamy- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 14 — The April 7 by-election in Batang Ai, Sarawak, is set to be a watershed event in the politics of the state.

One reason is that for the first time Sarawakians, especially the majority Dayak communities who are fractured politically, are all excited about a peninsular-based coalition like the Pakatan Rakyat fighting in their heartland and offering them equal membership in the Malaysian family that they had not known before.

The PKR, unlike the DAP whch is confined to the urban centres and among the Chinese community, is advancing into the Dayak heartland bringing its message of change.

The excitement on the ground is very real and not just going by the huge crowds that de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is drawing on his regular visits to Sarawak.

Anwar has also promised a bigger oil royalty and to rewrite the rules of the political game in Sarawak where the minority Melanaus are in control, if PR wins the state elections due by 2011.

He has also promised to put a Dayak as chief minister, realising a long cherished Dayak dream.

In just a short time Anwar has become a unifying symbol and a rallying point for Dayaks, something they have not had since the days of Datuk Stephen Kalong Ningkan, an Iban of mixed Iban-Chinese parentage.

Ningkan rode on a wave of Dayak nationalism to become Sarawak’s first chief minister (1963 – 66) but was later deposed by Kuala Lumpur which preferred someone more amenable like Penghulu Tawi Sli who was chief minister from 1966 to 1970.

The overthrow of Ningkan started the twin domination of Sarawak politics — by Kuala Lumpur and by Melanaus — that is still deeply resented by other Sarawakians, especially Dayaks.

It is this longstanding twin domination that Anwar has promised to defeat and put in place a fair and equal relationship that has got the Dayaks excited.

Ningkan, who was president of SNAP (Sarawak National Party), faded from the scene after he was deposed.

Subsequently the mantle of Dayak nationalism and leadership moved to a SNAP splinter, the Parti Bangsa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), which had mixed results under its president Tan Sri Leo Moggie.

Moggie's appointment as a senior federal minister between 1976 and 2004 took the sting out of PBDS claims to represent Dayak nationalism and their independence from Kuala Lumpur.

For a while his successor Datuk Daniel Tajem sought to play the Ningkan role but PBDS subsequently splintered further.

He left the political arena to become ambassador to New Zealand in 2000 and was thereafter politically sidelined.

A plethora of Dayak leaders in the political parties in Sarawak BN are trying to fill the political vacuum.

They claim to speak for the Dayaks but their standing is severely eroded because of their near total subservience to Sarawak Chief Minister Tan Sri Taib Mahmud.

It is in this context of long-standing Dayak grievances of poverty, socio-economic and political marginalisation and loss of their land and traditional culture that Anwar enters the stage.

He is offering them equality, a promising future and a central political role befitting their status as a majority community, one that they had long dreamt but never achieved.

This is why Dayaks are willng to accept Anwar as their own in the same way they had taken to Ningkang and are rallying to his banner in huge, unprecedented numbers.

The Batang Ai by-election is where that Dayak acceptance or rejection of Anwar will be tested and that is why this by-election is unique and a watershed event in Sarawak politics.

Dayaks, long fractured and used to switching loyalties, have found a new leader to rally around.

Reacting to this phenomenon, Sarawak BN leaders are already attacking Anwar as a “Orang Malaya” who should not be allowed to gain a foothold in Sarawak.

They say Anwar is to be blamed for the “political chaos” in Peninsular Malaysia today and should be rejected by Batang Ai voters because if he is accepted Sarawak would end up in similar chaos.

The 8,000-strong constituency located four hours by road from Kuching, near the Kalimantan border, is 95 per cent Iban, giving this indigenous community a unique chance to herald a new political construct not available to Sarawakians before — equal partnership in the Malaysian family.

A defeat for BN, notwithstanding its advantages of incumbency, unassailable machinery and a deep war chest, would give notice that a March 8-type tsunami is gathering momentum ahead of state elections.

If PR wins then the alliance can claim a foothold in East Malaysia.

But nevertheless PR faces an acid test — the constituency is remote and people live at great distances from each other in longhouses and communication is poor.

The PKR’s Internet-savvy campaign methods have little relevance in such a remote and sparsely populated region.

The State BN, which can command any number of boats, helicopters and 4-wheel-drive vehicles, has the advantage.

Nevertheless past election results in Batang Ai show that despite the advantage the BN has won by unconvincing majorities, indicating that no matter what the State BN says and what resources it fields, there is a strong band of hardcore opposition supporters in the constituency.

While Pakatan faces an acid test, it is not a walk in the park for the BN either.

What our Founding Fathers wanted for this country

Image

Let us once more salute the memory of Tunku Abdul Rahman Al Haj, Bapak Malaysia, the national leader who proved beyond a peradventure that a Nation divided against itself can never prosper and that all Malaysians must love each other regardless of race, colour or creed, if we are ever to achieve greatness as a Nation.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Next year I shall be 60 -- assuming, of course, I am still around. To some, that would be considered bad -- in the sense that 60 would mean I am closer to my grave than those who are, say, 30. But my Tok Guru always told me that good and bad always come together. There is no such thing as absolute good or absolute bad. Good and bad come in pairs. So, being 60 is not all bad. There is some good in being a ‘matured’ man (the politically correct way of saying ‘old’).

Take the bad of Umno, for example. Because of its ultra-racist stance, it has brought Malaysians together, which culminated in the 8 March 2008 political ‘Tsunami’. Without Umno, we would not have united on 8 March 2008 to do what we did. But then, I suppose, without Umno we would not have been divided in the first place and, therefore, would not have needed to ‘come together’ on 8 March 2008, as we would have been united anyway.

The Founding Fathers of Umno, such as Onn Jaafar, plus the Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman, never intended for Malaysians to be divided. Sure, there were things such as the so-called Social Contract, which is being blamed as that which divides us. But the Social Contract was not a policy conjured to divide Malaysians. It was a policy that was carefully created after much thought to enable non-Malayans to gain citizenship without displacing those who are already citizens.

For all intents and purposes, the Social Contract was aimed at enabling Malayans to live together in peace and harmony. The example of what happened in India, which resulted in the partition of that country into India-Pakistan and the one million deaths that necessitated this Partition, meant much thought needed to be put into what an independent Malaya should look like. And India was a country of one race, mind you, though of many religions. What more for a country like Malaya, which had many races?

If Malaya had been given independence without a ‘Contract’ in place, what would follow Merdeka would be something we would not even want to imagine.

Merdeka, however, was five generations ago. That was during the time of my grandfather. (Today, I am a grandfather myself, so that makes it five generations).

Just for the record, my grandfather was one of those who negotiated with the Malay Rulers to get them to reject the Malayan Union in favour of the Federation of Malaya. I, therefore, have more ‘authority’ to speak on this subject than many Umno people whose grandfathers or great-grandfathers were just ‘spectators’ during the 1940s and 1950s. After all, my grandfather was one of those who persuaded the Malay Rulers to defy the British and demand that the Malayan Union be replaced with the Federation of Malaya.

Yesterday, I wrote about the Federation Agreement of 1948, which eventually transformed into the Federal Constitution of Malaya, and then later into the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. Many who speak know nothing about the history and background of the Malayan Union of 1946, the Federation Agreement of 1948, or the Social Contract of 1957. Yet they comment with rhetoric and emotions not knowing what the issue is but speak as if they do.

And herein lies the problem.

Sure, these were agreements made by our forefathers five generations ago. Sure, how can what was agreed five generations ago be binding to those today who were never part of that agreement and never consented to it? Sure, no agreement is carved in stone and agreements can always be amended or rescinded. Sure, times change, situations change, and therefore agreements too should change in keeping with the times and changing situations.

But there is one thing we must never forget. Agreements are always bilateral. It takes two, or more, parties to enter into an agreement. Therefore, any change or amendments to that agreement must also be bilateral. You can’t unilaterally change or amend an agreement. This means, basically, that all parties to that agreement have to sit down and negotiate the amendments and come to a consensus on what these amendments should be. A unilateral amendment to any agreement is just not valid.

Okay, with that backdrop, read the following two pieces so that, when you start talking about ‘change’, you will at least understand the background to the current situation and will, therefore, be able to argue your case with substance.

Oh, and what, you may ask, was that part about me being almost 60 got to do with this piece? Well, being almost 60 means I have lived through Merdeka and, therefore, understand and appreciate the issue better. Many post-Merdeka (and even post-May 13) Malaysians talk without the benefit of living through that time and, worst or all, without even first researching what happened in the 1940s and 1950s.

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




PROCLAMATION OF INDEPENDENCE

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Universe and may the blessings and peace of God be upon His Messengers.

WHEREAS the time has now arrived when the people of the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu will assume the status of a free independent and sovereign nation among nations of the World

AND WHEREAS by an agreement styled the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957, between Her Majesty the Queen and Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Malay States it was agreed that the Malay States of Johore, Pahang, Negri Sembilan, Selangor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Trengganu and Perak and the former Settlements of Malacca and Penang should as from the 31st. day of August, 1957, be formed into a new Federation of States by the name of Persekutuan Tanah Melayu

AND WHEREAS it was further agreed between the parties to the said agreement that the Settlements of Malacca and Penang aforesaid should as from the said date cease to form part of Her Majesty's dominions and that Her Majesty should cease to exercise any sovereignty over them

AND WHEREAS it was further agreed by the parties aforesaid that the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1948, and all other agreements subsisting between Her Majesty the Queen and Their Highnesses the Rulers or any one of them immediately before the said date should be revoked as from the date and that all powers and jurisdiction of Her Majesty or of the Parliament of the United Kingdom in or in respect of the Settlements aforesaid or the Malay States or the Federation as a whole should come to an end

AND WHEREAS effect has been given to the Federation of Malaya Agreement, 1957, by Her Majesty the Queen, Their Highnesses the Rulers, the Parliament of the United Kingdom and the Legislatures of the Federation and of the Malay States

AND WHEREAS a constitution for the Government of the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu has been established as the supreme law thereof

AND WHEREAS by the Federal Constitution aforesaid provision is made to safeguard the rights and prerogatives of Their Highnesses the Rulers and the fundamental rights and liberties of the people and to provide for the peaceful and orderly advancement of the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu as a constitutional monarchy based on Parliamentary democracy

AND WHEREAS the Federal Constitution aforesaid having been approved by an Ordinance of the Federal Legislatures, by the Enactments of the Malay States and by resolutions of the Legislatures of Malacca and Penang has come into force on the 31st. day of August 1957, aforesaid

NOW, in the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful, I TUNKU ABDUL RAHMAN PUTRA ibni AL-MARHUM SULTAN ABDUL HAMID HALIMSHAH, PRIME MINISTER OF THE PERSEKUTUAN TANAH MELAYU, with the concurrence and approval of Their Highnesses the Rulers of the Malay States do hereby proclaim and declare on behalf of the people of the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu that as from the thirty first day of August, nineteen hundred and fifty seven, the Persekutuan Tanah Melayu comprising the States of Johore, Pahang, Negri Semblian, Selangor, Kedah, Perlis, Kelantan, Trengganu, Perak, Malacca and Penang is and with God's blessing shall be for ever a sovereign democratic and independent State founded upon the principles of liberty and justice and ever seeking the welfare and happiness of its people and the maintenance of a just peace among all nations.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra ibni Al-marhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halimshah
Prime Minister

Kuala Lumpur, 31st Day of August 1957

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

Tunku Abdul Rahman Al Haj on the 48th Anniversary of Merdeka
By Dato’ Mahadev Shankar

The value of tradition lies not only in its own sake but also for the glue it provides in consolidating our integrity, both as individuals and as a nation. We can clearly see where we should be going only if we have a clear understanding of where we came from.

Our forty-eighth Merdeka anniversary is barely a month away and as good a starting point in this inquiry is to focus on the man who was the architect of our independence, our first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Al Haj.

Much has already been written about all aspects of his political development. So this little vignette will focus on some incidents where our paths crossed from 1956 when I returned from England a young barrister of the Inner Temple eager to make his way in this world.

I first came face to face with the Tunku in the Banquet Room of the Lake Club in November of that year. Sir Charles Matthew, the Chief Justice, had given up his post to go on transfer in the Colonial Legal Service to head the Judiciary at Addis Ababa in Ethiopia. Tunku had arranged a personal farewell party for him. My father was then Sir Charles’ private secretary and had secured an invitation for me.

When the Tunku walked in, the imprimatur he impressed on all of us was that Malayans were no longer a subject nation but stood on an equal level with our erstwhile British Protectors. Merdeka - even though another nine months away - was already an inevitable reality.

Thus did all of us in the Hall also stand tall as we exchanged courtesies with all the other officers from the Residency, no longer racial superiors but equal partners in our national development.

After Sir Charles said his piece, Tunku’s riposte was short and sweet, "Let's drink a toast to Sir Charles - May he be happy wherever he goes.” And that was that.

Dataran Merdeka, as it is now known, was the focus of national and international attention on 31st August 1957, but by then the Tunku had already won the heart of every Malayan by his winning attributes. Tunku had the supreme ability to get the best out of every one not ever by instilling fear but by spontaneously inspiring love for him both personally and as the personification of the Nation. Tunku’s other endearing attributes were his love of sport, his impish sense of humour, his loyalty to his friends, and his genius in getting ordinary men and women involved in the act of nation building.

What form the National Flag should take and what tune and words should go to make up the National Anthem were both the subjects of a national competition. Well do I remember Mrs Kathleen Foenander making various efforts to make Terang Bulan more upbeat, and my father spent many long hours comparing the flags of other nations, which appeared on the inner cover of Pears Encyclopaedia before submitting a design of his own. Almost equalling the unifying force of the Merdeka celebrations on the Padang were the Asian Football Championships held at the Merdeka Stadium.

When Ghani, Dutton, and two others carried our national flag in triumph around the stadium the roar of 80,000 people around the Stadium was a resounding declaration to the world that Malaya had arrived to take her place alongside all other independent countries as a sovereign member of the United Nations.

An Old Victorian, the late M. N. Cumarasami, one of the Tunku’s confidantes, told me that Tunku would like me to join the Foreign Service, but I replied that I wanted to practice law a for a few years first. I was told by M. N. that the loss of seniority would not make the postponement a viable proposition. Old Victorian Dr. Lakmir Singh Sodhy was the other one who conveyed Tunku’s desire that all first generation Malayans of Indian origin should mark the occasion by perpetuating all their children with the same surname instead of calling themselves A.B. a/l (or a/p as the case may be) C.D. This I readily acceded to and Shankar has been the family surname ever since.

The years from 1957 to 1969 were happy ones indeed for the Nation and its peoples. Indeed, Tunku boldly told a BBC commentator that he was the world’s happiest Prime Minister. We were entertained with a regular stream of anecdotes by those close to him. Some of the more humorous ones came from Tan Sri Taib Andak, Tan Sri Ghazalie Shafie and Mr Ferguson. Even those who had met Tunku casually on the streets or in the shops had only kind words to say about him - as, for example, the man on the Muar Bridge who was there first and was not allowed by the Tunku to reverse in order to allow the Tunku to pass first. His compassion for the weaker members of the community came out best when Old Victorian Tan Sri Tan Chee Khoon demanded in Parliament that our then High Commissioner in Australia be stripped of his title and his post for going missing for two weeks in the bosom of some sultry Australian siren.

The Tunku challenged -“Let any one amongst us who is without sin, stand up and cast the first stone.” Tan Chee Khoon was the only one who stood and remained standing while looking Tunku straight between the eyes. After a pregnant silence Tunku who at first seemed at a loss for words said, “David Tan Chee Khoon - I really pity you.”

In the uproarious laughter, which followed an embarrassing situation, was averted.

Even the flamboyant Sukarno in the talks to defuse Confrontation was deflated by Tunku with just the smell of cheese!

But the storm clouds were gathering and there were those who thought that the Tunku had distanced himself too far from the interests espoused by the Ultras. Nor was he helped in this by the extremism amongst the other communities. May 1969 was a dreadful time for us. In his speech to the nation which came on TV on the night of the 13th, after calling for help from volunteers to stem the tide of lawlessness which had befallen the nation well do I still remember his last words, “Marilah kita hidup atau mati sekarang!”

It was his darkest hour. It was left to Tun Dr. Ismail to come to the fore that night with a stirring call for unity and courage to overcome the odds. A few days later he came with Tan Sri Manickavasagam to the hospital bedside of the little Indian girl from Sentul. She had both her arms chopped off at the elbows by someone who had got caught up with the madness that had swept the city. What can we do for this poor girl, Manicka asked Tunku. By then the reigns of power had passed on and Tunku replied, “All we can do now is to cry,” he said his heart breaking with sadness. And the Tunku shed his tears, as did Manicka and all of us who witnessed this sorry spectacle.

We had rallied to his call in the service of the nation. I was assigned to Tan Sri Khir Johari, and the late Tan Sri Manickavasagam and, after the initial spurt to find food and shelter for the huge numbers of people who had been driven from their homes, setting up the National Relief Fund under the Chairmanship of the late Tan Sri Justice H.T. Ong, the National Goodwill Council was also set up under the Chairmanship of Tunku. But it all seemed in vain. We were unable to lift his spirits and he seemed to dwell in the depths of the darkest despair. He kept saying, “Laugh and the world laughs with you; Cry and you cry alone.”

But bounce back Tunku eventually did. His column in The Star - Sudut Pandangan: Points of View - did much to voice the concerns of a silent majority. The Tunku chided and cajoled when the occasion required and always was there to prick the consciences of all concerned to hasten the process of a return to full democracy.

Alas, after Operation Lalang and the restoration of its Printing Licence to The Star, the Tunku’s voice was no longer to be heard there as well.

My last sight of him was at the Istana for the Agong’s birthday celebrations. He had to be wheeled in to the front row in a wheel chair - his head unbowed. After the ceremonial addresses had been read and the Royal Birthday honours had been bestowed, the proceedings were adjourned for us to mingle with each other and take refreshment on the lawns. I was there informed that someone went up to the Tunku and asked him what was the secret of his longevity. He replied he had two good doctors who gave him a reason to live - one was his personal physician, and the other was Doctor Mahathir.

I did not see the Tunku again. When I got news of his demise I made haste to the Royal Mausoleum to pay my last respects to Bapak Malaysia. But by the time I got there I was told his body had been taken to Kedah for burial with full honours.

Did the Tunku make a difference to Malaysia? After all, that is the test of the value of a life.

Mr. Robert MacNamara, then President of the World Bank, said in his opening address at the first Tun Abdul Razak Memorial lecture that he was envious of the Malaysians in the audience who had walked with the Founding Fathers of this nation, whereas he had to get to know them though the history books.

The memory of Bapak Malaysia doubly sanctifies us because we have a living memory of this great man - great not only in his hour of triumph when he thrice roared out that Malaya was a free nation at midnight on the 31st August 1957 but also great in his hours of darkness when he took his sorrows in his stride and came back to do what little he could to keep the humanity and the sanity of the nation intact.

One final luxury we may permit ourselves at the midnight hour on the 31st August 2005 is to ponder what Malaysia might have been if he had been with us today at the full height of his powers. With his implacable hatred of racialism in any guise, his healthy disrespect of academic experts with their esoteric theories about how we should re-structure our society mindless of the harm it would cause to people least equipped to resist such condign measures (and, in retrospect, little to boast about except the creation of a money-driven group of people who have grown rich beyond the dreams of avarice), his fundamental love of humanity and his common sense, it is very arguable that ours would have been a better world. And how would he have achieved this. Simply by searching for consensus, playing with all his cards on the table instead of feats of legerdemain dependent on lies, damned lies and statistics, and always keeping in the forefront of his mind the big picture, when putting sectional distortions right.

The Tunku was not corrupted by politics and he died a comparatively poor man. We shall remember him as the man who kept the faith, and who fought the good fight until the very last. We shall remember him as the leader who gave us hope even after he was forced out into the political wilderness, as the humanitarian who was boundless in his charity even for those who did not agree with his views. We shall remember him also for the love he inspired in us for each other regardless of racial origins, community or creed, for his sportsmanship in taking wins and losses equally in his stride. But most of all we shall remember him as the leader who brought us Independence from our Colonial Masters not by the force of arms but the power of persuasion that only from the unity of our communities comes the strength that ensures our survival as a Nation.

So as this Merdeka Day approaches and especially at midnight on the 31st of August 2005, let us once more salute the memory of Tunku Abdul Rahman Al Haj, Bapak Malaysia, the national leader who proved beyond a peradventure that a Nation divided against itself can never prosper and that all Malaysians must love each other regardless of race, colour or creed, if we are ever to achieve greatness as a Nation. Nor should we forget that once when we disregarded his example the nation descended into an abyss of internecine conflicts. We cannot afford to make that mistake a second time.

August 2005

Dato’ Mahadev Shankar is a barrister of the Inner Temple London and was enrolled as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court Malaya in 1956. Thereafter he practised law in Shearn Delamore and Company, Kuala Lumpur, till 1983 when he was appointed Judge of the High Court of West Malaysia. He served in Johor, the Federal Capital, and in Selangor till 1994 when he was elevated to the Court of Appeal.

Chitrakala: MIED: No Monkey Business

The Traveler, Friday, March 13, 2009

The Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer affairs have rejected the appointment of Sothinathan and Veerasingam to the MIED board of directors, according to Makkal Osai Tamil daily. Their appointment by Samy Vellu on January 2nd. 2009 without the consent of MIED members is deemed to be illegal. This may be a temporary setback for Samy Vellu. But, no big deal, he can appoint anytime any monkey to the board with the consent of members.

Take a look at the list below. All of them are Samy’s long time cronies who will dance to his tune except Chitrakala and Vikneswaran. The two have fallen out of favor for now. Otherwise Samy Vellu is in full control of MIED from the inception.

chitrakala
MIED CEO Chitrakala


In recent weeks, Samy Vellu and MIED CEO Chitrakala who is under suspension for hijacking RM 5.26 million were having a spat in the media accusing each other of misusing public funds. Sothinathan made polices reports over the missing funds and the missing files against Chitrakala and she in turn countered by exposing Samy Vellu’s misdeeds, courting opposition MP’s and wanted to meet Najib as well.

chitrakala
T Mohan, MIC youth leader

If a monkey like saiful, Anwar sodomy accuser, could meet Najib in his house why not Chitrakala, a Chartered Accountant and director of 13 companies?

Yes, 13 companies. Interestingly, she accused Samy Vellu of trying to bring his son Vellpaari to head MIED. And that very person Vellpari and Indrani Samy Vellu are her business partners in a company, Indrani Holdings. Great! Chitrakala is like a daughter to Samy Vellu, all are in a family. May be, it’s family business.

3.5 million out of 5.26 million money Chitrakala hijacked is said to have been transferred to T Mohan, MIC national youth leader. Actually, Chitrakala, T Mohan and Vasu (Chitrakala’s husband) are partners in Surya Setia Capital Berhad. The company has recently acquired 50 acres of land in Sunkai, Perak for 3.5 million. Another Chitrakala’s company, Sillverline Sdn. Bhd has secured 9. 3 million loan from Affin Bank. Now you know where the money has gone.

It seems, MIED statement of accounts for 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007 were NOT submitted to the registrar of companies. Chartered Accountant Chitrakala is doing no monkey business. She must have valid reasons for non compliance of the companies act.

MIED Chairman

Samy Vellu

Board Members:

G Palanivel, M Mahalingam, K S Nijar, K Kumaran, T Marimuthu and K Ambikaipagan.

Members:

S Veerasingam, S Sothinathan, S A Vikneswaran , S Subramaniam, S. Ganesan, Komala Krishnamoorthi, Kamala Ganapathi, K S Balakrishnan, V Saravanan, L Krishnan, G Raju, M Ratnam, K R A Naidu, M Saravanan, N S Krishnan, M Ramachandran, Chitrakala Vasu, R Ragavan, M Devendran, T Rajagopalu.

Two dead members:

K Sivalingam, S Krishnamoorthy

Go Ahead, Sue Me, Says Syed Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Bernama) -- Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said he was not scared of being sued by Member of Parliament for Seputeh Teresa Kok Suh Sim.

"She can say anything she wants. To me the police took actions against her according to the laws.

"Why should we be frightened or worried. We will face her in court. I had faced suits before. As long as I am doing my job for the country, I am not worried," he told reporters after attending a meeting between Umno Supreme Council candidates with Federal Territories' delegates here tonight.

Teresa Kok today filed a suit against Syed Hamid and three others claiming that she was wrongfully arrested and detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last year.

At the meeting, 40 of 51 Supreme Council candidates were present.

All three deputy president candidates - Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib and Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam -- were present.

Seven of eight vice-president hopefuls present were Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim, Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Najib Announces Bukit Gantang Candidate

TAIPING, Mar 14 (Bernama) -- Former Bukit Gantang Umno information chief Ismail Safian has been named as Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for Bukit Gantang parlimentary by-election, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced in Taiping, today.

A non-Malay Prime Minister, did you say?

by Rocky's Bru
Mukhriz on why it can happen, but won't (just yet). The Nut Graph interview with Mukhriz Mahathir, who is hoping to be elected as Umno Youth leader later this month, contains some hidden gems, such as this one:

"But how is that going to happen when we have problems with different school systems going their own separate ways, in different languages, different cultures, and then expect them to integrate when they get into university? By then it's far too late already.

"You can't expect people to unite once they've passed their impressionable years in primary and secondary schools, and then complain about, "Oh, when is the time when non-Malays can become the prime minister?" I think that's too much to ask if you still want to defend the vernacular schools."

Go read the entire interview Malay Dominance and Rights here. It's the second of a 3-parter. Compare Mukhriz's take with what Lee Hsien Loong said in Singapura belum bersedia .. here.

'It's my destiny to be First Lady'

by Jeff Ooi

Rosmah Mansor says it is her husband’s destiny to lead the country, despite Opposition attempts to link him to corruption and murder.

It's as good as saying it's her destiny to be the First Lady not such post), taking over from Endon Mahmood and Jeanne Abdullah.

BY THE WAY... AKJ The Scribe says corruption should be christened pig to ensure Islam Malaysia is cleansed of it.

Meanwhile, news broke that a motion will be tabled against MP Gobind Singh Deo (DAP – Puchong), to have him suspended from Parliament for a year -- payless and perkless -- for alleging that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak was involved in a murder case and for contempt against the Speaker.

Kugan's family continues quest for answers - Malaysiakini

The family of dead police detainee A Kugan today lodged a complaint with the Malaysian Medical Council (MMC) against Serdang Hospital and pathologist Dr Abdul Karim Tajudin for possible misconduct.

MCPX

kugan parents mmc 130309 kugan parentsKugan's mother, M Indra submitted the report to the MMC earlier today, calling for an independent investigation to take place immediately to uncover the reasons behind the significant differences in the two post-mortems which were conducted on her son.

According to family lawyer N Surendran, the 22 year-old deceased's family wants the MMC to investigate if the Serdang Hospital was trying to conceal the truth and cover up Kugan's death.

Abdul Karim of Serdang Hospital who performed the first post-mortem, attributed Kugan's death to water in the lungs. However, Kugan's family sought an independent post mortem after they suspected something amiss.

The second report conducted by Dr Prashant N Samberkar of Universiti Malaya Medical Centre revealed that Kugan died of kidney failure due to a severe beating.

Indra's complaint was accepted by MMC legal adviser C Perumal. He, however, refused to comment on the issue.

Surendran also today questioned the rationale behind the health ministry's setting up of a six-member independent ‘secret committee' to probe the circumstances surrounding the two autopsy reports.

"How is the public going to have confidence in the health minister when the identities of members of the committee are kept secret? Is this another attempt by the ministry to repair the damage?" he asked.

Surendran also questioned the professionalism of Health Ministry director-general Mohd Ismail Merican who had claimed that the first post-mortem was conducted professionally.

Health DG taken to task

"We are shocked and disappointed to see the director-general come out and say that the first post-mortem was done properly and that there are inaccuracies in the second post-mortem. Does the DG know what he is talking about?

kugan parents mmc 130309 mother surendran"After the director-general came out and made such a statement before an investigation was even carried out, we don't see how we can be confident with any probe by the health ministry," he added.

Surendran also expressed his disappointment with the lackadaisical attitude of the police and the Attorney General's Chambers in handling the case.

"Why are the eleven people involved not charged two months after Kugan's death? How long is this going to drag on?" he asked.

Also present at the MMC today were Kugan's grandmother and several family members, Kapar Member of Parliament S Manickavasagam, and Police Watch director S Jayathas.

Kugan had died on Jan 20 at the Taipan police station in Subang Jaya, five days after he was arrested in connection with the theft of luxury cars.

Kugan's case: Report lodged to MMC

Teresa Kok sues Hamid Albar, IGP

Pakatan slams BN’s efforts to subvert Selangor administration

By Neville Spykerman and Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

SHAH ALAM, March 13 — Selangor Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen today questioned the independence of the Election Commission (EC) and the credibility of the National Security Council (NSC), claiming the institutions were being used by the Barisan Nasional to subvert the state government.

The federal bodies came under fire in the State Assembly during a emergency motion on efforts by the Selangor State Development Office, an agency under the Prime Minister's Department, which had purportedly set up a task force to undermine the credibility of Menteri Besar Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s administration.

Kampung Tunku assemblyman Lau Weng San, who tabled the emergency motion, claimed the EC and NSC were among federal bodies and agencies in a task force which met on Feb 26 to implement a programme to bring down the state government.

“The implementation of the people-centric programme, with the objective of bringing down the Selangor Government is clearly an abuse of power and contrary to the spirit of democracy,” Lau said when tabling the motion.

During the debate, Lau said the move was against federalism, where a state is allowed to govern itself without the interference of the national Government.

Hulu Kelang Assemblyman Saari Sungib also described the move as a breach of the Federal Constitution. “Pakatan Rakyat has been given a clear mandate by the people and the move is clearly mala fide or in bad faith.”

Saari also pointed out that public funds were being used by the Federal Government to carry out the subversive programmes.

Bukit Antarabangsa Assemblyman Mohamad Azmin Ali said using government machinery to improve the image of Barisan Nasional while undermining the credibility of the state government is an indication of how far public support for the ruling party had deteriorated.

“Please don’t make fools of the people who have made their choice,” said the PKR vice-president.

Umno assemblyman Datuk Subahan Kamal responded by saying the state government had nothing to fear and questioned why the matter was even being debated.

“I am puzzled as to why we are wasting time debating this issue” said the Kampung Tengku assemblyman, adding the “people-centric programme” was just political manoeuvring.

“We are all politicians here and this is a way for Barisan Nasional to regain the state. That’s politics,” he said, adding he was unaware and was not invited for the meeting.

MCA assemblyman Yap Ee Wah said as far as he knows the Selangor State Development Office only conduct community programmes.

“There is nothing wrong with the EC setting up booths to register new voters during these programmes.”

During a press conference later, Khalid said he would be seeking an explanation from the Chief Secretary of the Government as to why government servants are allowed to conspire with Barisan Nasional.

“This had undermined the dignity of the government servants themselves,” he added, saying the revelation has raised questions about the independence of government servants, which seem to favour the BN, when they should in fact be neutral.

At a press conference outside the assembly, Lau showed journalists documents which he had obtained of the Feb 26 meeting and said the state development office was meant to be a liaison between the federal and state government.

“The National Security Agency includes the police and army, and it’s shocking they are being used with other government agencies for this effort,” said Lau, who did not discount the possibility that similar programmes are held in other Pakatan Rakyat-ruled states or if the programme was used to bring down the previous Perak government.

Rosmah says Najib's destiny to lead

(AP) PUTRAJAYA, March 13 - Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wife of Malaysia's next prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, said today it is his destiny to lead the country, despite opposition attempts to link him to corruption and murder.

Rosmah says Najib’s destiny to lead — Bernama pic

In an interview with The Associated Press, Rosmah said the attacks on her husband have made the couple more mature and stronger.

Najib is scheduled to take over from current prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi early next month.

"Let's not do anything unethical to stop it. It is his turn," Rosmah said in her first interview with an international news agency.

If "God says it is his turn, it is his turn," Rosmah added. "That is the thing we all have to accept, because when (Abdullah became leader) ... we believed that it was his time, his destiny and we went on with our lives."

Opposition leaders have tried to link Najib and Rosmah to the killing of a Mongolian woman and accused him of corruption in government deals to buy French submarines and Russian jets. Najib has rejected the accusations.

Asked about the allegations linking them to the killing, Rosmah said she ignores such "mischievous statements from mischievous people."

The opposition contends that Najib was involved in the slaying of Altantuya Shaariibuu, a 28-year-old Mongolian translator who was having an affair with a close friend of Najib.

Government lawyers say Shaariibuu was shot in October 2006. Her body was then blown up in a forest outside Kuala Lumpur, and only fragments were found.

Prosecutors alleged that Abdul Razak Baginda, Najib's friend, ordered Shaariibuu killed after she started pestering him for money. Abdul Razak was acquitted last October of abetting the slaying.

A court is scheduled to decide next month whether to convict two police officers charged with carrying out the killing.

Rosmah said her tribulations last year, when public suspicions of Najib gained strength because of blogs that carried allegations against him, have made the couple "more mature ... more strong."

"If we had not gone through this, we would not have known what resilience is all about," Rosmah said.

She stressed that her conscience was clear, saying that her own test of character is "whether you wake up in the morning and look in the mirror, whether you like yourself or not, whether you have told the truth or not." - AP

Dr M on Umno and the power transition

Maria J.Dass, The Sun

Former Umno supremo and premier Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad(pic) said today it did not necessarily follow that the president of Umno should become the prime minister of the country, as this is not provided in the Federal Constitution.

"It has merely been a practice for us in Umno," he said, in answer to a question from the press on whether it was possible that the planned power transition from Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to his deputy Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak may not take place.

He said this at a press conference at the Al-Bukhary Foundation on the Sultan Abdul Hamid Old Collegians' Association new building launch next week. He fielded questions from reporters after talking about the launch and about his alma mater.

"So if he (Abdullah) wants to remain as prime minister and Datuk Seri Najib as president…It was the same situation during my time when I became Umno president. Tun Hussein Onn did not relinquish his prime minister’s post for about two weeks," he said.

"In this case, I don’t know, we should wait and see, but it does not matter if it is two weeks or ten weeks, the rakyat is watching and when it is time for elections, they will express their opinion. Like in 2008 they will speak through the ballot boxes to show that this is our feeling…you can control Umno and all the members in the party, but you cannot control the people," Mahathir added.

Umno's general assembly will be held from March 24-28 and will feature elections for party positions. Najib is the sole nominee for the presidency while the other tops posts are being hotly contested. The date for the power transition has yet to be fixed, although it was earlier reported to be in April.

Mahathir said the future of Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) rests on the delegates to the Umno AGM and it would be a "disaster" for this country and "certainly disaster for Umno and the Barisan Nasional (BN) if the representatives were to elect people who everybody knows use money (to buy votes)".

He said: "You can bribe Umno by giving posts, places, money, contracts…you can bribe Umno but the Rakyat has one vote and they will know what to do with it."

Asked when he planned to return to Umno, he said: "My condition to return to the party was that I will do so when Pak Lah (Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) steps down as president."

"He has done things damaging to the country," was Mahathir’s response when asked what his main grouse with Abdullah was. "Alternatively you can also ask ‘what has he done in six years?’ What has he done? You have think very hard, there are corridors, we will have verandahs after that."

On the Perak crisis, Mahathir said both parties fighting over rights to administer the state are guilty of not adhering to the law.

"There is too much emotion involved; when all they need to do is study the law to see what to do and what not to do," he said.

On the economic stimulus package Mahathir said RM60 billion was the right amount of allocation for Malaysia to weather the global economic downturn.

However, there is a need to ensure the money is used to produce the best results, he said. "There are times money needs to be used to help businesses and there are times you have to help individuals."

On the protest over the teaching of Maths and Science in English, Mahathir said many of the protestors themselves had studied in English medium schools. "Now they don’t want others to get what they have and this is not good."

"Despite studying totally in English from primary school until I graduated from University, I am still able to speak Malay and consider myself a Malay nationalist, I did not become an English nationalist because I could speak English."

My Friday sermon: The Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948

Image

“With the removal of this barrier, it was possible to admit approximately one million new citizens within 12 months of Merdeka and, of this number, roughly 800,000 were Chinese,” said Tun Tan Siew Sin.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Many Malaysians comment (verbally or in Blog postings) based purely on their personal opinions but totally devoid of facts. Now, I am not saying that you are not entitled to your opinions. After all, opinions are like assholes -- everybody has one. But if you have to express an opinion just please make sure it is based on historical background. Therefore, research first before you open your gap.

Let us look at just one issue (there are of course many issues that are bones of contention to Malays as well as non-Malays alike) that has split this country into racial compartments and has been a constant stumbling block in our effort to propagate the ideals of a one race, one country. And that one needling issue is about Malay Rights and Special Privileges.

I am, according to the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, Malay. That is also what Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said in his Aljazeera interview recently when asked whether he considers himself Malay. But this does not mean I support any and all policies that favour Malays above others. Hell, even Islam is opposed to racial discrimination -- according to Prophet Muhammad in his last Friday sermon in Arafah. So, being Muslim, should I not also put Islam above race, in keeping with the tenets of Islam?

Malays consider me a traitor to my race. I have been called many worst things before so that is the least of my worries. The problem is, I really don’t know what race I am although, according to the Malaysian Constitution, I am considered Malay. Can I be not Malay? Can’t I just be a plain and simple Malaysian? What is so wrong if I refuse to be Malay and instead be just a Malaysian?

Anyway, this article is not about me. It is about Malaysians, in particular those who are not Malay, commenting about issues that irk them but their comments do not take into consideration the background of the entire scenario. Now, before you go for my jugular, please don’t misinterpret this as me supporting the pro-Malay policy. I do not. What I am saying is: first understand the issue before commenting on it.

Of course you can disagree with certain policies and situations. After all, we did not create them but merely inherited them. No one is saying you must accept the situation without protest. You are also at liberty to fight and struggle against what you disagree with in your effort to bring about changes. In fact, that is our duty, especially for Muslims -- because Islam makes it mandatory to oppose persecution, discrimination, injustice and whatnot. But how do you fight for change when you first of all do not even understand why the situation is what it is?

We have such a thing called the Federal Constitution of Malaysia. How, in the first place, did we get to own a written Constitution? The Constitution was the result of the 1948 Federation of Malaya Agreement. Now, remember, in 1948, Malaya was still under the British Colonial Government. Malaya was not granted Merdeka until 1957. So, this whole thing is a British doing, in spite of the fact that Britain itself does not have a written Constitution. And the Federation of Malaya Agreement of 1948 was not only the basis of our Constitution but also the terms of Merdeka.

Okay, against that backdrop, read the following pieces below and then, and only then, let us debate the issue of Malay Rights and Special Privileges in a matured and intelligent manner, minus the outbursts, name-calling, insults and emotions devoid of substance.

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

When negotiating the terms of independence before that date, the MCA had asked that every Chinese who could legitimately claim to be regarded as a citizen should be allowed to become a citizen with the achievement of independence. It is a tribute to the farsighted statesmanship of UMNO and its leaders that they reacted sympathetically to this request. To give effect to this sympathy, a provision was inserted in the constitution itself to the effect that “good character” meant any person who had not been in jail during the period of three years preceding his application for citizenship.

This was the main stumbling block to the acquisition of citizenship in colonial days. With the removal of this barrier, it was possible to admit approximately one million new citizens within 12 months of Merdeka and, of this number, roughly 800,000 were Chinese. If the Malays had been against giving a fair deal to the Chinese in the matter of citizenship, they would not have allowed such a situation to develop.

The next major issue was the one concerning the special position of the Malays. Not many people are aware that this provision was inserted in the 1948 Federation of Malaya Agreement as part of the special responsibilities of the High Commissioner in the following terms: The safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and of the legitimate interests of other communities.

It will be seen that this simple phrase could mean nothing. It could also mean everything. It was vague, it was also comprehensive, and it was comprehensive enough as to be capable of being interpreted in a way which could mean the virtual elimination of Chinese economic interests in important sectors of the economy. Here again, with independence, this omnibus provision was scaled down to a precise definition so that it will be clear to all what this provision means. You will find it in article 153 of the Constitution. I have no time in a speech of this nature to tell you exactly what it means or what it does not mean, but very briefly, the effect of this provision is that, firstly, all existing rights are preserved; secondly, no citizen can be prohibited from engaging in business activity or deprived of his right to engage in business activity merely because he is a non-Malay.

Tun Tan Siew Sin in his speech at the Delegates’ Conference of the Hokkien Association of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur on 22nd May 1965.

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

THE REID COMMISSION

Report of the Federation of Malaya Constitutional Commission 1957
(London: Her Majesty’s Stationary Office)
Colonial No. 330


THE SPECIAL POSITION OF THE MALAYS

163. Our terms of reference require that provision should be made in the Constitution for the “safeguarding of the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of other Communities”. In addition, we are asked to provide for a common nationality for the whole of the Federation and to ensure that the Constitution shall guarantee a democratic form of Government. In considering these requirements it seemed to us that a common nationality was the basis upon which a unified Malayan nation was to be created and that under a democratic form of Government it was inherent that all the citizens of Malaya, irrespective of race, creed or culture, should enjoy certain fundamental rights including equality before the law. We found it difficult, therefore, to reconcile the terms of reference if the protection of the special position of the Malays signified the granting of special privileges, permanently, to one community only and not to the others. The difficulty of giving one community a permanent advantage over the others was realized by the Alliance Party, representatives of which, led by the Chief Minister, submitted that – “in an independent Malaya all nationals should be accorded equal rights, privileges and opportunities and there must not be discrimination on grounds of race and creed…” The same view was expressed by their Highnesses in their memorandum, in which they said that they “look forward to a time not too remote when it will become possible to eliminate Communalism as a force in the political and economic life of the country”.

164. When we came to determine what is “the special position of the Malays” we found that as a result of the original treaties with the Malay States, reaffirmed from time to time, the special position of the Malays has always been recognized. This recognition was continued by the provisions of clause 19(1)(d) of the Federation Agreement, 1948, which made the High Commissioner responsible for safeguarding the special position of the Malays and the legitimate interests of other communities. We found that there are now four matters with regard to which the special position of the Malays is recognized and safeguarded.

(1) In most of the States there are extensive Malay reservations of land, and the system of reserving land for Malays has been in operation for many years. In every State the Ruler-in-Council has the power to permit a non-Malay to acquire a piece of land in a Malay reservation but the power is not used very freely. There have been some extensions of reservations in recent years but we do not know to what extent the proportion of reserved land has been increasing.

(2) There are now in operation quotas for admission to the public services. These quotas do not apply to all services, e.g., there is no quota for the police and, indeed, there is difficulty in getting a sufficient proportion of non-Malays to join the police. Until 1953 admission to the Malayan Civil Service was only open to British subjects of European descent and to Malays but since that date there has been provision for one-fifth of the entrants being selected from other communities. In other services in which a quota exists the rule generally is that not more than one-quarter of new entrants should be non-Malays.

(3) There are not also in operation quotas in respect of the issuing of permits or licenses for the operation of certain businesses. These are chiefly concerned with road haulage and passenger vehicles for hire. Some of these quotas are of recent introduction. The main reasons for them appear to be that in the past the Malays have lacked capital and have tended to remain on the land and not to take a large part in business, and that this is one method of encouraging the Malays to take a larger part in business enterprises.

(4) In many classes of scholarships, bursaries and other forms of aid for educational purposes preference is given to Malays. The reason for this appears to be that in the past higher education of the Malays has tended to fall behind that of the Chinese, partly because the Chinese have been better able to pay for it and partly because it is more difficult to arrange higher education for Malays in the country than for Chinese in the towns.

165. We found little opposition in any quarter to the continuance of the present system for a time, but there was great opposition in some quarters to any increase of the present preferences and to their being continued for any prolonged period. We are of opinion that in present circumstances it is necessary to continue these preferences. The Malays would be at a serious and unfair disadvantage compared with other communities if they were suddenly withdrawn. But, with the integration of the various communities into a common nationality which we trust will gradually come about, the need for these preferences will gradually disappear. Our recommendations are made on the footing that the Malays should be assured that the present position will continue for a substantial period, but that in due course the present preferences should be reduced and should ultimately cease so that there should then be no discrimination between races or communities.

166. With regard to land we recommend (Art. 82) that, subject to two qualifications, there should be no further Malay reservations, but that each State should be left to reduce Malay reservations in that State at an appropriate time. Land is a State subject and we do not recommend giving overriding powers to the Federation in this matter. We do not think that it is possible to lay down in advance any time when a change should be made because conditions vary greatly from State to State. The two qualifications to the rule that there should be no further reservations are: first, that if any land at present reserved ceases to be reserved, an equivalent area may be reserved provided that it is not already occupied by a non-Malay; and, secondly, that if any undeveloped land is opened up, part of it may be reserved provided that an equivalent area is made available to non-Malays.

167. The effect of our recommendations (Art. 157) is that with regard to other preferences to Malays no new quota or other preference could be created. These preferences can only be lawfully created or continued to the extent to which that is specifically authorized by the Constitution. With regard to the existing quotas which we have referred to above we recommend that the Malays ought to have a substantial period during which the continuance of the existing quota is made obligatory, but that, if in any year there are not enough Malay applicants qualified to fill their quota of vacancies, the number of appointments should not be reduced and other qualified applicants should be appointed in sufficient numbers to fill the vacancies. We recommend that after 15 years there should be a review of the whole matter and that the procedure should be that the appropriate Government should cause a report to be made and laid before the appropriate legislature; and that the legislature should then determine either to retain or to reduce any quota or to discontinue it entirely.

PERAK STATE SPEAKER V SIVAKUMAR CAN HAVE HIS OWN LAWYERS

The Court of Appeal today allowed Perak State Speaker V Sivakumar to be represented by his own counsels in two pending suits related to the Perak crisis.

The decision of the three-member bench led by Justice Md Raus Sharif was unanimous. The other two judges were Justice R Abdull Hamid Embong and Justice Ahmad Maarop.

Both suits are underway in the Ipoh High Court and presided by novice Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim.

The first matter involves three independent State Representatives (frogs) seeking to quash the Speaker's ruling that their seats were vacant;

while the second suit, was brought by Menteri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his six Exco members from the 'dubious' UMNO-led Barisan Nasional against the Speaker for barring them from the State Assembly.

The Court finds there is no provision requiring the Speaker to appoint the State Legal Advisor as his representative and have found that the Speaker is not considered a State Officer or a government officer (civil servant) under the Government Procedures Act 1956.

As such, the court sets aside the March 3 orders by the Ipoh High Court.

Following this decision today, Tommy Thomas and his team of seven lawyers including Chan Kok Keong, Philip Koh, Ben Chan, Yap Boon Kah, Leong Cheok Keng, Nga Hock Cheh and Colonel Yunus would appear for Perak State Speaker V Sivakumar.

However, the application to replace Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim from hearing these two suits following today's decision, the Court of Appeal held that it was better for Tommy Thomas to write a proper application for consideration.

At last, justice had been served.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Gobind to be suspended as MP without pay for one year from Monday

The UMNO/Barisan Nasional government is moving against the DAP MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo and will abuse their parliamentary majority, against all parliamentary convention, tradition and practices, to summarily suspend Gobind as Member of Parliament without pay for one year with instant effect from Monday.

The following is the motion which has been placed on Monday’s Order Paper as the first item of business after question-time:

ATURAN URUSAN MESYUARAT DAN USUL-USUL

1. Menteri di Jabatan Perdana Menteri akan mencadangkan:

BAHAWA pada 12 Mac 2009, Yang Berhormat Tuan Gobind Singh Deo, Ahli Parlimen kawasan Puchong semasa perbahasan peringkat Jawatankuasa Rang Undang-undang Perbekalan Tambahan (2009) 2009 telah mengeluarkan kenyataan-kenyataan yang mendakwa YAB. Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Ahli Parlimen Kawasan Pekan terlibat dalam kes pembunuhan.

BAHAWA Yang Berhormat Ahli Parlimen Kawasan Puchong juga telah mengeluarkan kenyataan-kenyataan yang menghina Timbalan Yang di-Pertua Dewan Rakyat setelah diperintah keluar Dewan.

DAN BAHAWA kenyataan-kenyataan yang dibuat oleh Yang Berhormat Ahli Parlimen Kawasan Puchong adalah merupakan satu dakwaan yang sangat serius dan menyalahi hak dan keistimewaan sebagai Ahli Parlimen serta merupakan satu penghinaan kepada Dewan ini.

MAKA INILAH DIPERSETUJUI BAHAWA Yang Berhormat Ahli Parlimen Kawasan Puchong hendaklah digantung tugas dari jawatannya sebagai Ahli Parlimen selama dua belas (12) bulan dari tarikh keputusan usul ini diluluskan. Dalam masa penggantungan ini Yang Berhormat Ahli Parlimen Kawasan Puchong tidak akan dibayar kesemua bayaran elaun dan kemudahan sebagai seorang Ahli Parlimen.

The right and proper thing will be to refer Gobind to the Committee of Privileges instead of using the UMNO/BN brute majority to summarily punish Gobind by suspending him as an MP without pay and privileges.

DAP MP for Batu Gajah, Fong Po Kuan, was victim of such parliamentary injustice in December 2001 when she was summarily suspended as an MP for six months without pay for speaking up on the CLP exam scandal.

It is most shocking that Parliament refused to invoke its powers to deal summarily with violations of parliamentary privileges like the obstruction and menacing by UMNO Youth goons of DAP MP for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh from carrying out his parliamentary duties in the parliamentary precincts last month (Feb. 26), when this is very clearly provided for under the Act 347 - Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952, especially when such an offence is punishable with a seven-year jail sentence under Section 124 of the Penal Code.

However, in Gobind’s case, Parliament is being asked to invoke its summary powers of punishment when such a case occurring during the proceeding of Parliament should be referred first to the Committee of Privileges.

With parliamentary majority temporarily in the hands of UMNO/BN, the motion to suspend Gobind for one year without pay and privileges is likely to be passed – but it will enter into Malaysian parliamentary annals as another black-lettered day!

Chitrakala: Samy Vellu Gives Statement To Police

KUALA LUMPUR, March 13 (Bernama) -- MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu was at the federal police heaquarters here today to give a statement over allegations of financial mismanagement in the building and running of the Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technoloy (AIMST) University in Kedah.

Commercial Crime Investigation director at Bukit Aman, Datuk Koh Hong Sun, confirmed Samy Vellu's appearance at the department at 10.30am and that a statement was taken from him.


"I decline to comment further as the investigation is still going on," he said when contacted.

The investigation is being carried out on the Maju Institute of Educational Development, the MIC's educational arm, which establised and manages the university located in Semeling, Kedah.

It has been alleged that the construction cost had ballooned from an initial RM230 million to RM500 million by the time it was completed early last year.

The idea of setting up the university was mooted by the MIC president with the money to build it coming partly from public donations and contributions from all MIC branches in the country.


-- BERNAMA

*********

Friday March 13, 2009

Samy Vellu gives statement to police over MIED accounts

BY LOURDES CHARLES

The Star

KUALA LUMPUR: MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has given a statement in connection with the alleged discrepancies of over RM5mil in the Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) accounts.

It is learnt that the 73-year-old veteran politician went to the Commercial Crime Investigations Department (CCID) office in Bukit Perdana Friday afternoon and spent about two hours assisting police in their investigations.

CCID director Comm Datuk Koh Hong Sun confirmed that his officers recorded Samy Vellu’s statement but declined to elaborate as investigations were in progress. Police have so far traced and ordered a bank to freeze more than RM2.8mil from a top MIED executive’s account.

The Star had reported that two senior executives of MIED – the education arm of the MIC – were being investigated for alleged criminal breach of trust.

MIED chief executive officer P. Chitrakala Vasu has publicly denied any wrongdoing and accused several politicians of dipping their fingers in the MIED accounts.

She lodged two police reports, including one in Shah Alam in which she alleged that RM2mil in donations for Sri Lanka tsunami victims in 2004 was subsequently transferred to the account of the MIC’s social welfare arm, Yayasan Pemuli-han Sosial.

In her other report she claimed that scores of personal files kept in her office at the MIC headquarters had gone missing, and requested the police to help her get back the files, saying she had not been allowed into the premises.

She has since sought a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak over the matter.

Police started investigating the MIED following a report lodged by MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan that money and files pertaining to MIED had gone missing.

Friday the 13th vandalism at Democracy Tree site- Anil Netto

5-vandalised-plaque

Shattered plaque, broken democracy - Photos by Kinta Kid

4-sanizar-back-from-kota-kinabalu-with-the-familythis-is-not-good

Sanizar with his family: “Tak baik lah macam ini.”

7-pakatan-team-pledging-to-uphold-democracy

The Pakatan team pledging to uphold democracy

The plaque at the Democracy Tree has been vandalised.

Why are we not surprised? In fact, many of you had predicted that some form of vandalism would occur at this site. And so it came to pass…

In a way, the shattering of the three sides of the plaque is a sad metaphor for the state of our broken democracy.

Thank God that the tree itself is safe - for now.

Kinta Kid reports from Ipoh:

It was bound to happen.

And it had to happen on Friday the 13th… It probably happened around 1.00am as a resident living by the side of the tree heard dogs barking at that time.

Kula mentioned that “we expected this to happen but not this fast”.

The chronology so far

March 2009

3 - An historic under-the-tree assembly is held because the assembly members were “locked out” of the house.

8 - A plaque is erected to inaugurate the tree as “ Democracy Tree”

13 - The plaque is vandalised - within five days.

These are some of the immediate reactions from the regular stream of visitors who had come to take a photograph with the tree:

1-lup-from-kg-sayong-hulu-kkangsarreflects-poorly-on-societyPak Chik Lup (left), the Ketua Kampung of Kg Sayong Hulu in Kuala Kangsar, remarked, “Vandalising this monument reflects poorly on our society.”

Encik Mashar from Taman Chandan Putri, Bukit Chandan, Kuala Kangsar, whose car was in the workshop, had taken a taxi to come and see the tree. “Memang kesal lah (It is most regrettable),” he said.

An American couple from California, David and his wife, who are now residing in KL and happened to be in Ipoh for the food, said, “We heard about it so we came to look-see.”

Encik Sanizar had returned home from Kota Kinabalu and brought his family along to take a photograph: “Tak baik lah macam ni.

Another remark overhead: “Kerana demokrasi batu jadi mangsa.”

So what’s next? Nga stated that a new multi-lingual plaque would be erected as the tree is “a symbol of democracy”. They would solicit donations from the public.

2-masha-from-tmn-chandan-putri-bkt-chandan-kkangsarmost-regrettable

Masha from Bukit Chandan, who arrived in a taxi, gazes at the broken plaque