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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fairus finally quits as Penang Deputy CM

PENANG, March 21 — Fairus Khairuddin, the Penang deputy chief minister, has quit, confirming swirling speculation about his position amid a cloud of suspicion over his conduct.

The PKR man submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng of the DAP, and it has been accepted.

Lim made the announcement at a press conference in Penang today.

However, the CM declined to disclose the reasons for Fairus’s resignation.

But it is understood that the resignation was made on the instructions of Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who is keen to contain any damage Fairus’s conduct would have on the Pakatan Rakyat alliance.

Fairus’s position as deputy chief minister had become untenable because he faces a mountain of allegations over suspected abuse of power.

Speculation about Fairus’s resignation had surfaced this week after an anonymous text message was circulated saying that he was instructed to quit by Anwar over allegations of abuse of power.

Fairus’s appointment as deputy chief minister has been a source of controversy and he has been told off by Anwar for not even visiting his constituency. He was also forced to quit as Penang Football Association president due to his lack of enthusiasm.

Speculation is also rife that he is one of two PKR leaders in Penang accused of corrupt dealings involving a quarry.

Lim said today Fairus’s effective resignation date will be April 8. The DCM will be on leave until then.

Fairus will continue as Penanti assemblyman.

Anwar in Bukit Gantang

Erti Pemilihan Manikumar Calon Bkt Selambau

Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat semalam mengumumkan Sdr Manikumar Subramaniam sebagai calon Pakatan Rakyat untuk pilihanraya kecil Bukit Selambau.

Walaupun , sebelum pilihanraya ke 12 8 Mar 08 ADUN Bkt Selambau di peruntukkan untuk Calon Melayu PKR semalam mengumumkan calon India dalam usaha membantu masyarakat India diwakili ke Dewan Undangan Negeri serta calon Exco Kerajaan Negeri Kedah.

Pucuk pimpinan PKR selepas mendapat nasihat serta restu daripada PAS dan DAP memilih S Manikumar seorang ahli biasa daripada senarai 15 orang calon yang disenarai pendenk oleh jawatankuasa pemilihan. Pakatan Rakyat yang kini menerima tentangan hebat daripada Barisan Nasional memerlukan seorang calon yang benar-benar berkaliber serta berusaha dengan sedaya upaya membantu menyelesaikan masyarakat setempat.

Saya sendiri di terjunkan ke Parlimen Kapar semasa pilihanraya umum yang lepas tiga hari sebelum penamaan calon. Menerima tawaran serta cabaran saya mendapati pengundi Parlimen Kapar dengan gentar yang akhiri menerima saya. Kini dengan restu Tuhan serta bantuan masyarakat berbilang kaum saya dapat menjalankan tugasan sebaik mungkin.

Sebegitu juga Sdr Manikumar yang kurang pengalaman politik tetapi mempunyai kelebihan berkomunikasi serta penilaian masyarakat sedunia. Selain kita tidak memberi peluang, maka susah untuk kita menilai kebolehan mereka. Saya difahamkan calon-calon lain juga sama hebat tetapi mereka sudah di beri peluang , atau kini menjawat jawatan lain yang boleh digunakan untuk berkhidmat kepada masyarakat.

Pemilihan Manikumar juga isyarat bahawan Parti tidak akan menunduk kepada gertakan serta tuntutan segelintir kumpulan tetapi yang amat penting ialah khidmat kepada masyarakat.

Ketua Umum Parti ,Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim telah meminta saya membantu Sdr Manikumar memenangi pilihanraya Kecil ini yang akan berdepan dengan calon MIC yang berpengalaman menjadi ADUN tetapi ditolak oleh masyarakat.

Kehadiran Presiden MIC Samyvelu ke Bukit Selambau sendiri akan melemahkan Barisan Nasional. Segala salah laku Barisan Nasional serta MIC akan di bongkarkan oleh saya bersama penyokong sewaktu Kempen Pilihanraya ini. Antara yang paling hangat ialah Wang dari Darah dan Peluh masyarakat di gunakan untuk menbiayai “perempuan simpanan” , wang derma Tsunami di salah gunakan dan pelbagai lagi.

Saya memohon agar masyarakat India di Bukit Selambau jangan terperdaya dengan kata -kata Indah Barisan Nasional yang cuba pecahan kita sendiri. Sama -sama kita berusaha menjayakan Manikumar yang diberi kepercayaan oleh pucuk pimpinan parti serta Menteri Besar Kedah .

The dark horse vs Najib’s chosen man

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Just one day before Umno deputy presidential candidate Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam was officially barred this week from contesting next week’s party polls, the anger and frustration among his supporters had become palpable.

Some of his strongest backers wanted Mohd Ali, the 59-year-old Malacca Chief Minister, to consider resigning from the party if he was barred. They even wanted him to consider ruling Malacca as an independent, by asking Umno legislators in the state to also resign en bloc in protest.

But the career Umno man, who started life as a clerk in the National Electricity Board in the 1970s, would have nothing to do with such a move.

Still, the fallout from the decision of the Umno disciplinary board to bar Mohd Ali for vote-buying has shaken up a party which could do without any further schism. It is being read by many as a clear move by in-coming party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak to ensure his chosen man — Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin — becomes the No. 2 man in the Umno.

Muhyiddin, the International Trade and Industry Minister and a former menteri besar of Johor, was thought to be a shoo-in for the deputy presidency.

If all had gone according to plan, Muhyiddin, 62, would sweep aside his rivals Mohd Ali and former Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib.

Muhyiddin would then be confirmed as the new Deputy Prime Minister when Najib takes power as the country’s sixth premier after next week’s Umno elections.

“This was suppose to be Najib’s dream team, and together with Muhyiddin, they would build up a strong Umno and ensure a strong government to face off the challenge from the Pakatan Rakyat,” a senior Umno leader told Weekend Xtra.

But Mohd Ali had other ideas, and so did Umno delegates.

In the last few weeks, it had become quite clear to observers and Najib’s team that Muhyiddin was headed for defeat. Mohd Ali had emerged as a clear favourite.

Najib’s team began to act.

A number of Umno ministers were given assignments to talk up Muhyiddin’s prospects in a number of newspaper interviews. They also pointed out why Mohd Ali and also Muhammad were not suitable for the job of party No. 2 and DPM.

Both Mohd Ali and Muhammad could hardly speak English, they said. It was also noted that both were not federal legislators and as such would need to be appointed Senator just to be appointed into the Cabinet.

But despite their best efforts, Mohd Ali still looked strong.

This week, though, the axe fell on him.

The party’s disciplinary panel as well as Najib himself have been forced to come out to dispel the disquiet which has grown into loud rumblings of discontent among the grassroots.

“What is the difference between what Mohd Ali was found guilty of and what all the other candidates are doing?” said one Umno delegate at a recent meet-the-candidates session. “They should all be found guilty of money politics.”

At one recent meet-the-candidates session in Ipoh last week, Datuk Norza Zakaria, an Umno supreme council delegate, got the loudest applause despite having been charged in court a week earlier for vote-buying. And in Seremban on Thursday night, it was Muhammad who received the loudest applause.

The reason for this: Delegates who were backing Mohd Ali previously are now throwing their weight behind Muhammad.

As such, Muhammad, 63, is emerging as a dark horse and some observers now even say he is leading the race.

The emergence of Muhammad, a man who was once caught by Australian Customs officers with a suitcase full of millions of dollars in cash while he was still menteri besar of Selangor, has caused serious concerns in the Najib camp.

Earlier this week, 20 top party leaders were given assignments by Najib to campaign for Muhyiddin. They were told to do whatever it takes to bring in the votes.

“The situation is not good for Muhyiddin,” one of the party warlords given the assignment told Weekend Xtra. “In Johor, Muhyiddin is only leading 60-40 by our estimate, and that is his home state, so we need to do much more.”

The argument for Muhyiddin is simple. He is a very experienced politician, having served as Johor Menteri Besar, and is still a federal minister. His reputation is also untainted, compared with Mohd Ali and Muhammad.

But Muhyiddin’s aloofness has been the greatest setback.

Mohd Ali and Muhammad remain very popular with the Umno rank and file, because, some would suggest, the two men have used dubious means to garner that support.

Even former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad had been forced to jump into the fray this week to suggest that candidates such as Muhammad were not suitable.

One of the main reasons why Najib’s camp want Muhyiddin as the party No. 2 is probably because a recent survey by the independent Merdeka Centre showed the public preferred Muhyiddin as the party’s deputy president and DPM.

If Muhammad is elected instead, there is a great fear among Najib’s camp that his new administration would be hamstrung in any possible effort to reform the party and the government. — TODAY (Singapore)

Politicians court trouble

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — From the Perak takeover to the Umno party polls and three simultaneous by-elections, 2009 has been a breathless year for politics so far. Get ready for more — this time in the courts.

The courts have found themselves increasingly dragged into the political arena in the bitter fight between the ruling coalition and opposition alliance.

The sheer volume of ongoing political court cases is unusual and it is hurting its people, political observers noted.

Take Perak. After three Pakatan Rakyat assemblymen quit the opposition coalition, allowing the ruling Barisan Nasional to take over the state, there have been a plethora of suits from both sides, challenging the legitimacy of the other's government.

It has been hard to keep up, with new lawsuits — often offshoots of earlier ones — mushrooming every other day.

As politicians get caught up in the booming number of court cases, it seems natural to wonder if they have time to fulfil their own duties.

Beyond that, the government has been accused of using the courts more and more to quell dissent on the Perak issue.

Eight people, for instance, were charged in court this past week for allegedly posting comments online that insulted the Perak Ruler. Sultan Azlan Shah had come under fire in cyberspace for recognising the BN government in Perak.

This was the first time that the authorities had invoked this cyber law, triggering alarm bells among netizens in Malaysia's politically active blogosphere.

The reason for politicians to take the fight to the courts, presumably, is to refer the issue to a neutral party. Courts are supposed to arbitrate objectively, dealing with disputes based on the law.

But when politics is mixed with the law, the resulting brew can be murky. The public perception is that the courts will be pressured to rule in favour of the authorities, lawyers tell The Straits Times.

The more the courts find themselves in the political spotlight, the greater the danger that the judiciary could be tainted by association.

“The courts will be scrutinised. If there is the slightest hint that they are making decisions based on political pressure, they will be criticised,” said Universiti Malaya law lecturer Azmi Sharom.

“It will get harder and harder for them to regain their credibility.”

Going to the courts may also not provide quick closure. Suits may drag on for a while. Even if one judge rules a certain way, a countersuit can be filed — which is happening in the Perak cases.

This is not a long-term solution, certainly not when you have a political deadlock, said Bar Council president Ragunath Kesavan.

“Whatever the court decides, it does not reflect the feeling on the ground,” he told The Straits Times. “In the case of Perak, for instance, the best way is to go back to the people to get a mandate.”

But at this point, the opposition does not have much choice. Faced with the current impasse, going to the courts appears to be the only way to continue the fight.

Former Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, who turned 52 on Tuesday, told reporters on his birthday that he will battle on for years if necessary.

At the very least, this will keep the Perak issue in the public's consciousness. — Straits Times

Dr Mahathir invited to attend Umno assembly as observer

(NST) Former Umno president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday said he had received an invitation to attend the Umno general assembly next week as an observer but has yet to make up his mind.

"Yes, I was invited to the assembly, not as a member but as an observer. But I have not made up my mind whether to attend or not," he told reporters. He quit Umno on May 19 last year, citing lack of confidence in the current Umno leadership.

He also said that the Pribumi Perkasa Malaysia gathering scheduled to be held tomorrow was because the Malays were worried about their future.

Umno: Who will be pulling the strings?

The fight for two of the posts will be the most watched. One is for the deputy president (who will be prime minister designate Datuk Seri Najib Razak's No. 2) and the other is for Umno Youth chief (which has former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's son competing against PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law). We ask analysts to rate their chances.

The New Paper

The most powerful party in Malaysia, Umno, is having its internal elections to select office bearers from Tuesday. Racked by corruption charges, infighting and a falling voter base, it is looking to renew itself in the week-long general assembly.

The fight for two of the posts will be the most watched. One is for the deputy president (who will be prime minister designate Datuk Seri Najib Razak's No. 2) and the other is for Umno Youth chief (which has former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's son competing against PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law). We ask analysts to rate their chances.

UMNO DEPUTY PRESIDENT

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, 62

The International Trade and Industry Minister is seen as favourite of incoming PM Najib.

He is currently one of the two Umno vice-presidents, the other being Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam. Mohd Ali is barred from contesting by the party's disciplinary board.

In a survey conducted last month by the independent Merdeka Centre, Muhyiddin was the choice for 52 per cent of the 1,031 respondents. His challenger got 7 per cent.

Prof Joseph Liow's rating: 8/10

He is a competent administrator, articulate, and has an international profile. He has also been vocal about reforms that Umno will need to seriously consider in order to win back lost ground.

Prof James Chin's rating: 9/10

He stands a very strong chance now that Ali Rustam has fallen out of the race. He also has the covert support of Najib Razak.

Dr Ahmad Nidzammudin Sulaiman's rating: 8/10

He is the main contender at the moment. He has been vice-president for a decade and has kept a good record. He has good relations with Najib too.

Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib, 63

Muhammad was appointed the Rural and Regional Development Minister by Abdullah even though he did not contest in the general election last year.

He was appointed senator in 2006 which allowed him to be made a minister.

Fondly known as Mat Taib, Muhammad is also the Umno information chief.

He was forced to resign as Selangor menteri besar in April 1997 after he was charged in Australia over currency irregularities.

He was later found not guilty.

Prof Liow's rating: 6/10

Probably the dark horse when Ali Rustam was still running. Has experience in Umno machinery. May benefit from Ali Rustam's absence as supporters may shift their votes to Mat Taib.

Prof Chin's rating: 3/10

He represents the older type of Umno membership, and will appeal to the anti-Najib block. He will try to get Ali Rustam's supporters to vote for him, but his chances of winning are low.

Dr Ahmad's rating: 2/10

He is not a member of Parliament, and his only chance is if Ali Rustam's followers transfer their votes to him.

UMNO YOUTH CHIEF

Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir, 44

Mukhriz is the son of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The Umno Youth exco member was elected the Member of Parliament for Jerlun in Kedah in the general election last year.

He emerged the favourite after bagging 52 per cent of the votes in a poll of 1,031 Malaysians conducted last month by the Merdeka Centre. His rivals each garnered 11 per cent of the votes.

Prof Liow's rating: 7/10

He was at the forefront of the move to push Pak Lah out, and has recently been saying all the right things. Being the son of Dr Mahathir could work both for and against him though.

Prof Chin's rating: 8/10

He is riding on his father's name. Some feel he is a clone of his father who represents a period when Umno was very strong.

Dr Ahmad’s rating: 6/10

He has been keeping a good record. Khairy was said to have a better rating prior to the disciplinary board action this week. With Khairy being warned, Muhriz' chances are better.

Khairy Jamaluddin, 33

The Umno youth deputy chief is also the son-in-law of PM Abdullah.

In 2008, Khairy was elected the Member of Parliament for Rembau in Negri Sembilan.

The son of a diplomat, Khairy's fast five-year climb up the political ladder has also come with the perception that he is arrogant and had a helping hand from PM Abdullah.

Earlier this week, the party disciplinary board found him guilty of being involved in money politics but let him off with a warning.

Prof Liow's rating: 6/10

Very intelligent and bright, but has not been able to demonstrate rapport with the ground. His links with Pak Lah could weigh him down.

Prof Chin's rating: 6/10

He appeals to younger reformers and urban Malays who feel that Umno cannot be insular anymore.

Dr Ahmad's rating: 3/10

He appears to have nothing to deliver except having his father-in-law's name.

Datuk Dr Mohd Khir Toyo, 43

Dr Khir was the former menteri besar of Selangor. He won the Sungai Panjang state seat in 2008 but lost his menteri besar’s post after Barisan Nasional failed to obtain the majority in the Selangor state assembly.

He was investigated by the Umno disciplinary board for money politics but was cleared of any wrongdoing earlier this week.

Dr Khir, a dentist, does not have a famous family name to ride on.

Prof Liow's rating: 4/10

Outside chance. Has yet to demonstrate the charisma that Umno Youth heads have been known to have.

Prof Chin's rating: 7/10

His chances went up after he was cleared of wrongdoing... he has had a longer history in Umno Youth leadership. He has also built up a patronage network, and has strong grassroots support in Selangor and a few other states.

Dr Ahmad's rating: 1/10

The ex-Selangor menteri besar had many corruption allegations against him. His chances are minimal and he shouldn't have stood in the first place.

EXPERT OPINION

1. Assoc Prof Joseph Liow, associate dean at S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies

2. Prof James Chin, political science professor at Monash University in Malaysia

3. Dr Ahmad Nidzammudin Sulaiman, University Kebangsaan Malaysia's political science head.

GERAK Submits Documents To MACC On Ex-Minister's Alleged Graft

(Bernama) -- Gerakan Rakyat Anti-Korupsi (GERAK), a non-governmental organisation crusading against corruption, today submitted various documents alleging corruption on the part of an ex-minister to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency's Selangor headquarters here.

Its secretary Siti Faridah Abdul Samad told reporters present that the case involved the issuing of 1.5 million shares for Bumiputeras in 1993.

She claimed that instead of the shares being issued to deserving bumiputeras, they were allocated to family members of the minister.

She said the documents were posted to Gerak by an anonymous person last week.

Ali Rustam just don’t get it – he should seek enlightenment from Mahathir

Disqualified UMNO Deputy President candidate, Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam just don’t get it when he declared there was no reason for him to step down as Malacca Chief Minister after be was barred from contesting in Umno party elections for money politics.

He even came up with the riposte that “If that is the case, then they should also ask Lim Guan Eng and Anwar Ibrahim to step down as they had been convicted and imprisoned before”.

Ali has made himself into a laughing stock by exhibiting his shocking ignorance of the law, ethics, politics and the great difference between him and the cases of Guan Eng and Anwar.

Both Guan Eng and Anwar were victims of an oppressive and vindictive political apparatus which used the system of justice to do its dirty work through malicious and selective prosecution, jailing and disenfranchising them from elective office for five years.

Is Ali seriously suggesting that he is in the same shoes as Guan Eng and Anwar – a victim of a pernicious and vindictive political system as represented by Umno?

However unfairly and unjustifiably, both Guan Eng and Anwar had paid their price, not only serving their undeserved jail sentences but also the five-year disenfranchisement from standing for elective office from the date of their release from jail.

Is Ali in the same shoes as Guan Eng and Anwar in having served a jail sentence and been barred from holding elective office for five years thereafter?

If Guan Eng and Anwar are convicted and imprisoned when they are Penang Chief Minister and Parliamentary Opposition Leader respectively, there can be no doubt that they will have to step down from their respective positions. Why is Ali claiming an exception?

For someone who could emerge as a “hot-favourite” for election as Umno Deputy President next week if he had not been barred because of involvement in money politics (euphemism for corruption), it is unthinkable that Ali does not know that his attempt to use the cases of Guan Eng and Anwar to hang on as Malacca Chief Minister is completely misguided, frivolous and baseless.

Should Ali step down as Malacca Chief Minister after being barred from standing for UMNO Deputy President although he is the “hot favourite” because of involvement in money politics and corruption?

He should seek enlightenment from his old master, former Prime Minister Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who had described it most aptly, as reported by the Malaysian Insider, as follows:


He (Mahathir) said that Mohd Ali should be treated the same way former Umno vice-president Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Abdul Samad was treated in 2005.

”Isa was thrown out because he was involved in money politics but he also lost his position as a minister. But here we have a very strange decision.

“He was found to be corrupt but he can remain as the Chief Minister (of Melaka).Now we have a person who is confirmed corrupt but the party accepted him as the chief minister.

“If you pass judgment, you must be consistent. It must apply to everybody in the same way and in the same amount.

“You cannot say, well, he killed that person so he should be hanged. And then he killed another person but this other person is not important, so let him go,” he said.

What say you, Ali Rustam?

Update Mahathir: Umno must reform or lose

KELANA JAYA: Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad today issued a stern warning that Umno would lose the next general election if it fails to reform and that he had no confidence in most of Umno leaders to lead the country.

Mahathir said Umno leaders missed the opportunity to reform the party in the latest turn of events ahead of the Umno general assembly next week.

"It could have cleaned Umno and shown the public that Umno is serious about getting rid of corruption but unfortunately they botched the opportunity.

"If they (Umno leaders) show seriousness in wanting to clean up, there is a future for Umno. If not they are going to lose the next (general) election," Mahathir said, adding it was "likely" to happen.

The Umno-led Barisan Nasional coalition took a major thrashing during the 12th general election in March last year, after it lost control of five states and its two-thirds parliamentary majority.
Mahathir arrives for an event at his alma mater. Photo by Chua Sue-Ann

Mahathir arrives for an event at his alma mater. Photo by Chua Sue-Ann


This week, the keenly-watched Umno party elections took an unexpected turn when the party’s disciplinary board on Tuesday barred Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting the deputy presidency after three of his aides were found guilty of money politics.

Mohd Ali’s disqualification was the most severe action meted out to the 15 candidates found guilty of money politics, resulting in intense speculations of political conspiracies and increased infighting among factions within Umno.

Mahathir added that if the party’s supreme council accepted Mohd Ali’s appeal of the disciplinary board’s decision, the public would lose confidence in both Umno and its disciplinary board.

Speaking after the opening of his alma mater Sultan Abdul Hamid Omar College Association's building here, Mahathir said the developments in Umno were significant as it came during an urgent time for the Malay community.

"(The Malays) are in very critical state and they are worried about the future and this general assembly is to remind the Malays about their position and the need to get rid of practices that could destroy the Malays," Mahathir said.

On whether Malays were united, Mahathir said despite them not being united for the past 51 years, there had been no problems governing the country.

The former prime minister of 22 years also criticised Pas President Datuk Seri Hadi Awang’s suggestion that a Pas-BN national unity government be formed.

"I don’t see Umno and Pas working together to bring about something that benefits the country," he said.

Mahathir, who quit Umno in 2008, said he would consider re-joining the party on the condition that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi step down from office.

Since Mahathir vacated the premiership in 2004, he had been a fierce critic of his hand-picked successor Abdullah and has since threatened to oust incoming prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak if corrupt leaders were appointed to the new administration.

Mahathir said he had been invited to the Umno general assembly as an observer, since he had quit the party, but had yet to decide if he would attend.

Malaysia is roiled by a crisis of democracy

From International Herald Tribune

By Thomas Fuller

Thursday, March 19, 2009

KUALA LUMPUR: A slew of political scandals gripping Malaysia and a transfer of power fraught with uncertainty have embroiled the elite here with exquisitely poor timing.As a major trading nation, Malaysia is being slammed by the global downturn, its exports collapsing by nearly one-third and current projections showing that its economy will shrink by as much as 5 percent this year.Yet the main preoccupation of the government and opposition parties appears to be what analysts are describing as an increasingly dysfunctional political system: The man who is in line to become prime minister is linked to the murder of a Mongolian woman whose body was obliterated with military-grade explosives. The opposition leader awaits trial on sodomy charges in a highly politicized case. The government is using draconian laws, including those against sedition, to prosecute opposition figures, and this week it banned a member of Parliament for one year after he called the prime-minister-in-waiting a murderer.Meanwhile, the Legislature of one of the largest states in the federation has been paralyzed for six weeks over a dispute over who should govern.

“At the rate things are going, we’re going to be a failed state within a decade,” said Salehuddin Hashim, secretary general of the People’s Justice Party, the largest opposition party. “I’m at a very low point in what I expect for my children.”For an oil-rich country with a gleaming, cosmopolitan capital and a large, well-educated middle class, the pessimism may seem hyperbolic. But analysts say the current political woes strike at the heart of the functioning of government, damaging core institutions like the royalty, the judiciary, the police and the news media.”I see a rough ride ahead for the country,” said Zaid Ibrahim, the founder of Malaysia’s largest law firm, who resigned as law minister in September over the government’s practice of detaining its critics without trial. “The institutions of government have become so one-sided it will take years to restore professionalism and integrity.

“Much of the anxiety in Malaysia is focused on the rise of Najib Razak, a veteran politician in line to become prime minister sometime after the governing party’s annual general assembly next week.

No date has been set, and some Malaysians speculate that the current prime minister, Abdullah Badawi, will hold onto power, although he has said repeatedly that he would step down.

Mr. Najib’s supporters say he will reverse the sagging fortunes of the governing party, the United Malays National Organization, and offer decisive leadership, a contrast to the languid style of Mr. Abdullah, who is from the same party.

But Mr. Najib lacks popular support, and many expect further crackdowns on his opponents if he becomes prime minister.

Both Mr. Najib and his spokesman, Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, declined to comment for this article.In a speech on Wednesday, Mr. Zaid, the former law minister, called on Malaysia’s king to reject Mr. Najib if the party puts him forward as prime minister and to appoint someone who would “bring us back from the brink.”

The most high-profile scandal to tarnish Mr. Najib’s reputation is the murder of the Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, the mistress of Mr. Najib’s foreign policy adviser. Her life and death, a mix of soap opera and horror movie, have captivated and shocked the public.Prosecutors say Ms. Shaariibuu was killed in October 2006 by government commandos who also serve as bodyguards to the country’s top leaders.Mr. Najib has not been charged with any crime, but lawyers say the handling of the case has been irregular and criticize the prosecution for failing to call Mr. Najib to testify.When she was murdered, Ms. Shaariibuu was reportedly seeking her share of a commission — the opposition calls it a bribe — worth €115 million, or $155 million, paid by a French company as part of the government’s deal to buy submarines. Mr. Najib, who is defense minister as well as deputy prime minister, handled the submarine purchase.The huge size of the commission — about 10 percent of the total cost of the submarines — is not being investigated despite an official acknowledgement by the Malaysian government that it was made to a company linked to Mr. Najib’s aide, who was acquitted in connection with Ms. Shaariibuu’s murder.Perhaps more worrying for the country is the standoff in Perak, a state where since early February the police have barred lawmakers who oppose the governing party from entering government buildings.Mr. Najib spearheaded an effort to install a new chief minister in Perak by claiming that he had enough defectors from the opposition coalition, the Pakatan Rakyat, which last year took control of the State Assembly for the first time since independence from Britain in 1957.Both sides remain at an impasse, and the sultan of Perak has rejected a plea by the speaker of the Assembly for a new election, which polls indicate would probably restore the opposition coalition to power.Ibrahim Suffian, director of the Merdeka Center, an independent polling agency, said that as the governing party’s popularity wanes, Malaysia is failing a key test of any democracy: the peaceful transfer of power.

“Malaysian democracy hasn’t fully matured in the sense that those who lost the elections are unwilling to accept the results,” Suffian said. “There’s still some lack of acceptance of how democracy works.”The United Malays National Organization has governed Malaysia since independence but came close to losing power in elections last March, a watershed that put into question the country’s ethnic-based party system.Mr. Zaid, the former law minister, traces the roots of Malaysia’s current troubles to the privileges given to the country’s dominant ethnic group, the Malays. Governments led by the United Malays National Organization have provided contracts, discounts and special quotas to Malays through a far-reaching affirmative action program.”We have sacrificed democracy for the supremacy of one race,” said Mr. Zaid, who himself is Malay. “It’s a political hegemony.”The other two major ethnic groups in the country, Chinese and Indian, have increasingly withdrawn their support for the governing party in recent years and now largely back the opposition. Only 18 percent of Chinese voters and 28 percent of Indian voters polled by the Merdeka Center in December and January said they thought Mr. Najib would make a good prime minister. Mr. Najib had the support of 57 percent of Malays in the poll.Declining support for the governing party has heightened the personal rivalry between Mr. Najib and Anwar Ibrahim, the opposition leader facing sodomy charges. In a measure of the political nature of the case, Mr. Anwar’s accuser met with Mr. Najib before going to the police.”Our position vis-à-vis Najib is clear,” Mr. Anwar said in an interview. “He has become so repressive and crude in his methods.”"There’s no way we will have any dealing or respect for him,” he added

Hishammuddin Dismisses Perception Umno Has Factions

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein today dismissed a so-called perception that Umno was divided and had factions supporting certain leaders.

"Umno is not divided," he said, adding that there were no factions supporting Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Umno deputy president and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Hishammuddin, who is Education Minister, was asked to comment on a so-called perception that there was a conspiracy to topple Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam who was seen as a supporter of Abdullah.

On Tuesday, the Umno Disciplinary Board prohibited Mohd Ali, who is Melaka chief minister, from contesting the post of Umno deputy president at the party elections next week after finding him guilty of money politics.

The so-called perception was merely a rumour generated by self-serving individuals who did not want Umno to regain strength, he told reporters after chairing an Umno Youth executive council meeting, here.

Hishammuddin also described as irrational the statement by former Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Zaid Ibrahim asking the Yang di-Pertuan Agong not to appoint Najib as the prime minister, and said it was an attempt to undermine the leadership transition process.

"We will prove at the end of March, after the Umno elections, that Umno knows how to elect its leaders. We will not entertain unfounded rumours because Umno Youth bases its struggle and stand on facts and a strong foundation," he said.

Hishammuddin said Umno Youth would defend the transition process and show respect and appreciation for the leadership of the party president and give undivided support to the leadership of Najib as the new leader of the party and government.

Meanwhile, Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir, who is contesting the post of Umno Youth chief, dismissed the allegation by Zaid that Najib's leadership would cause disunity in Umno.

Umno Must Change Or Lose Power - Muhyiddin

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 (Bernama) -- International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, a candidate for the post of Umno deputy president at the party elections on March 26, was interviewed by Bernama here recently to garner his views on various matters related to Umno politics and the country.

Following is the transcript of Muhyiddin's interview with Deputy Editor-in-Chief Zulkefli Salleh, Assistant Editor Ahmad Fuad Yahya and senior reporter Noor Hayati Muda:

QUESTION: Tan Sri, you had said you were not an ambitious person but now you are contesting the post of Umno deputy president. What are the factors which drove you to contest the post?

ANSWER: Yes, I am not ambitious in many matters. It had not been an ambition of mine to hold senior posts in the party or government. My records are indicative of this over the last 38 years I have served the party and government -- standing up, toddling and then running.

However, in the present context, I decided to contest the post of deputy president because, if we were to follow the chronology of events following the last general election whereby I gave my views through the media and in interviews, of the fear that unless we bring about a drastic change in the immediate future, we may face a major problem in the next general election.

What I am giving importance to is the question of the survival of Umno and the Malays in the country.

As such, I gave my views on the transition of power and now, praise be to God, a compromise has been achieved. In the process of engagement on the party leadership, including Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, it had been said there would be a transition and there would be a vacancy for the post of president and Datuk Seri Najib offered himself for the post and a vacancy arose for the post of deputy president.

Earlier, I did not expect a vacancy because under the initial transition of power the president would have defended his position.

In the new scenario, I thought it would not be wrong to offer myself because it would not be a question of challenging anyone for the seat or position but to offer my services at a time when the political situation was grave. The situation Umno was in had never occurred in its years of history.

It was critical and required us to have fresh boldness and wisdom to resolve the problems, including the question of leadership and others. This was my opinion based on my experience, both in the party and the government since the time of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

I thought the time had come for me to offer myself. I did so on the premise of using the wisdom of my experience to offer assistance.

QUESTION: You have always talked of change and "wow power" which Umno now needs. Can you explain?

ANSWER: Firstly, we have to analyse the position of Umno. In the bigger context is the position of the Barisan Nasional (BN) which has been given the mandate and power for more than 52 years since independence.

In the last general election, I found that there had been a change in the political landscape of our country. We are familiar with the previous results but the last results showed that the Malaysian people, the young, were no longer thinking as in the past.

What we had agreed upon in the past may have been easily acceptable but today it was being questioned. Does this show that the Umno we have known is no longer acceptable to the Malays and the people as the principal partner of the BN? What caused this?

Was there a weakness in our leadership? Was the political pattern and culture we practised out of sync with current developments? We were seen as being aloof in terms of the interests of the people and the Malays. We were seen as proud, arrogant.

We were labelled as corrupt. Negative images and perceptions cropped up. I found that all these together did not portray something good. A party which had championed the struggle since its formation to fight for and gain independence was being questioned.

Secondly, in the bigger context is the BN. We found the non-Malays rejecting the component parties. The Chinese had changed. The Indians were no longer like before. These showed a political situation unlike in the past.

Upon analysis, we found that people have begun to question what we had agreed upon in the past, in terms of the social contract, what had been enshrined in the constitution, and our good policies.

As such, I said that if we want to regain the confidence and support of the people, would it not be appropriate for us to look at the position of our party and its weaknesses? How do we correct them? What should we do?

Not the question of leadership but the question of style and approach which were alright in the past but which were being questioned now.

More so, there is a cohort group of young people, comprising a large portion of the electorate, which is not obliged to the agreements by past leaders. This group represents 50 to 60 per cent of the electorate.

Umno has to relook the question of leadership and policy not only in terms of the packaging but also content, i.e. issues such as the New Economic Policy, distribution of the national economic cake, language and education, religion and religious freedom and social justice, which the people were bringing up now.

We may have to re-establish a fresh understanding. If Umno really wants to survive and the BN wants to continue to be accepted, we must sit down and discuss because there are voices of discord contrary to the BN policies of the past.

I asked why raise these? They should be a part of us. It is unnecessary to raise these. These were raised again because of the need to maintain the support of the Chinese for their party, the Indians for their party and the Malays for Umno. I find that these matters should not be questioned.

They have been enshrined and had been accepted. Now, they have become issues again. As such, perhaps the Umno format has to be studied again, including the question of structure, organisation, work culture, people-friendliness and people-centric programmes.

The BN should be easily accepted because the basis of our struggle is fairness for all communities in the country, the Malays, Chinese and Indians. Seen in terms of unity of the people, that is what we see as the best.

But today, this is beginning to disengage. Can we then sit down again to discuss and achieve a fresh understanding on the principles which we had agreed upon before?

Perhaps to do that, should the give-and-take policy of the late Tunku Abdul Rahman be used in the new scenario or should there be sacrifices on the part of the parties representing the various communities, to converge at a point so that it is not seen as sacrificing the principles of the Malays, with Umno giving up the struggle for the Malays, the MCA not championing the Chinese and the MIC not fighting for the Indians.

As such, I proposed a new BN format. This is part of the wow factor, a draw which was easily discernible previously but no longer attractive now. No longer attractive as before because the mindset of the new generation is no more drawn to the old way of thinking.

They have new expectations. If we have to remain relevant, we have to adjust. That is why there has to be sacrifices. This is a fundamental matter which needs discussion.

That's why I said that the faster we discuss it the better. So far, one year has gone by. But we are not seen to have changed. We are engrossed in our politics, on resolving the question of leadership, transition of power, elections. It doesn't matter, we can resolve these. After this, we have to act fast.

QUESTION: You mean there is a need for firmer leadership and matters already agreed like the social contract, there is no need for a compromise between component parties?

ANSWER: Umno leadership must have a new confidence, a new trust and it should take the party to a position where the people regain confidence in it.

I feel that today we have yet to reach that level. People have yet to regain confidence in us. When we do something, the people dispute it, not to mention the problems caused by the opposition making up various stories. There are still rain clouds in the sky. We have to find ways to get the sunlight through again.

As such, it is not a question of leadership alone but also a new understanding. Maybe new leadership because the younger generation do not have much awareness about the agreements made by the founding fathers and tend to reject us. So what do we do? Follow the old style and get rejected or change so that they accept us.

If we do not change, if we continue to want to defend the old principles of the original Umno without even a little give and take, people might find it unacceptable.

Like what Datuk Seri Najib (Tun Razak) said, we still uphold the New Economic Policy (NEP), but in his last statement, he said we want to ensure it is a good policy, but people had doubts thinking it only favoured some and so he (Najib) reiterated that under the policy all races would benefit from it.

It is a good policy but might have had some implementation drawbacks which we want to correct so that the Chinese in MCA and Gerakan and the Indians in the MIC say "Good Policy DEB".

However, new approaches must be taken. Not that we want to sacrifice anything, but adopt a new approach with renewed commitment so that they say the BN is serious about correcting the old weaknesses.

Like the power sharing concept and consensus building in the BN, if we followed the old ways, there were no problems. But I do not know because of our own weaknesses or a change in the mindset of the younger generation, it's not seen as something attractive anymore.

They want reforms. What reforms, so we need to get feedback from the new generation, what do you expect from BN? When we know, we change, make the reforms and get back to them and ask is this what you want?

The answer should be "Wow this is the one" and be seen that we can change, otherwise they will think we are only making superficial changes.

Sorry it's a bit long, but I don't speak in short cuts. I'm a very serious thinker. To do this Umno needs to sit down first. What are the things where we are ready to give and take. If we follow the old thinking, no, no, you have to be fighting this, this one you have to accept it.

If you say that's the one, you are not willing to compromise, the Chinese would say Umno is not willing to give way, then when the election comes, people do not support us and we lose.

QUESTION: The non-Malays hope the new leadership will compromise on several issues like the implementation of the NEP while the Malays are wondering if it will "over compromise", so how can a balance be reached?

ANSWER: That is what I meant. There are two groups, Malays and non-Malays. Umno is seen as the champion for the Malays. In this we are guided by what is contained in the Constitution, but also the interest of all races in the country which does not seem to be highlighted.

We are only seen as championing the Malays, but being the backbone of the government, we have to do a balancing act whereby everyone's interest is protected.

This has also been addressed in the social contract, and the question that arises now is whether we should still continue to uphold it.

If you ask the Umno leadership now, it is yes, but there needs to be a new understanding as to why the policy should be defended, why it is the basis of the struggle.

But in the process, definitely there will be consultation, not imposition.

At some point there must be sacrifices on both sides. When you say how to balance, that we have to sit down and discuss, not easy, we also cannot be seen as neglecting the interests of the Malays.

Some in Umno are saying we are no longer championing the Malay cause, Umno is neglecting Bahasa Malaysia, Umno is not paying importance to the economy of the Malays.

Meaning we have sold out. On the other hand non-Malays are saying Umno, government policies do not favour them, they are being marginalised. We have to seriously look into this.

QUESTION: Do you think race-based parties will continue to get support with the new trend now?

ANSWER : That is a big challenge for Umno and the BN. I say this because other parties like the PKR are claiming they are the true champions of Malaysians irrespective of race or religion. They claim they are more fair, this is what they are selling and we see the younger generation seem to buy their pitch and favour such parties when it comes to voting.

But actually they have no idea what the opposition alliance stands for, the parties in it do not have a common idealogy or even a symbol to show they are a united force. But the younger generation might not want to think hard and long and look more from the idealogical standpoint, and feel that what the opposition are selling is in tune with their ideas.

So it might seem we have lost our value, what we used to say is good before, now is seen as behind time and therefore this question comes up. For me, a new thinking has not arrived for us to dissolve Umno, MCA to form a new party as suggested by some leaders in the BN itself.

To me, there is still the need (for race-based parties) but we need to show a new understanding. Umno does fight for the Malays but all this while, Umno has also compromised by sharing power with the non-Malays. So if that is the case, what new format must we take? There are some who are demanding that the BN becomes a single party representing all the races, we have not reached that stage yet.

The ingredients are there but not as a single political entity. The opposition is also an alliance of parties but we are definitely better than them. It's only the presentation that we need to make adjustments, taking into consideration the things mentioned earlier.

Parliament should reject Najib

MARCH 20 — Former Law Minister Datuk Seri Zaid Ibrahim thinks the King should reject Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak as our next Prime Minister, and appoint another Member of Parliament from Umno to succeed Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

I agree with Zaid that Najib should not be the next Prime Minister, but I strongly reject the idea that this decision is one that the King should make.

The King’s constitutional obligation is to appoint a Prime Minister who will command the confidence of Parliament, and if he appoints anybody other than Najib to the PM’s post, all we will have is another Perak constitutional crisis writ large. The true decision ought to rest with Members of Parliament—MPs must unite to reject Najib as our next Prime Minister, and endorse an alternative candidate, such as Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah.

Why did the Perak crisis arise in the first place?

It arose because the ruler refused to put the question of who is the rightful menteri besar to either the democratically-elected state assembly or the people of Perak themselves a year ago; instead, he chose to personally intervene and appoint a person of his own choice to the position of menteri besar.

It is not all that different from a similar crisis which arose in Terengganu at the same time; the ruler appointed a state assemblyman who was not the choice of Umno to lead the government.

In both cases, there was an uproar because the ruler overrode the wishes of the people and arguably overstepped his constitutional bounds.

Now, there is a case to be made that Najib does not deserve to be PM, and I agree with it. His approval ratings are abysmal by the standards of Malaysian politics, and he is mired in scandal and controversy.

In almost any other parliamentary democracy, it is unimaginable that Najib would still be Deputy PM, let alone on the verge of becoming the most powerful man in the country.

Zaid has laid out a powerful case for rejecting Najib as our PM, and I agree completely with it.

But that does not mean the King has the right to reject Najib. For one, the King would be on shaky constitutional ground here. Even assuming it would be legal to reject the clearly expressed wishes of the party in power — a virtually unprecedented move in parliamentary democracies — Parliament would in all likelihood pass a vote of no-confidence against whoever the King appoints.

The King appoints the PM, but Parliament always has the power to throw the appointed PM out.

The question that then arises is whether Parliament actually would reject the King’s choice. If there’s one thing we’ve learnt in the last year, it is that Malaysian politics is increasingly unpredictable, but I strongly suspect that Parliament would do so.

The King is not a supreme monarch, accountable to nobody. He is supposed to act in accordance with the Constitution, and to serve his subjects as best as he can in line with the responsibilities the Constitution grants him; to reject the wishes of the Malaysian people, who undeniably returned BN to power in the last general election, is to abandon these duties.

Parliament is supposed to represent the people of Malaysia, and so it is to Parliament that we must turn. We must convince our MPs that Najib is not the best choice amongst the men and women of Umno to lead Malaysia, and that another person such as Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah is best-placed to govern.

It is the King’s responsibility to appoint a Prime Minister who commands the confidence of Parliament—the confidence of the people.

At the moment, Najib does not hold the confidence of Malaysians, and rightly so—but the problem is that he clearly holds the confidence of a majority of MPs. And unless those MPs hear from their constituents, they will continue to assume that Najib really has the confidence of the Malaysian public.

The responsibility does not rest with the King to reject Parliament’s judgement of its own leaders; the responsibility rests with us to tell Parliament that we deserve better than Najib Tun Razak.

Malaysians love to complain to our representatives about all sorts of things, especially petty things like drains and potholes, but when it comes to important questions, like who should be our Prime Minister, we remain curiously silent outside the mamaks and kopitiams.

We need to show our MPs that we do not want Najib as our PM, that we want better from our government. We need to show our MPs that if they do not give Najib the boot, they will face a harsh and resounding verdict from their voters come the next election.

In a parliamentary democracy, the King does not call the shots — it is the voters who do. Our civic responsibility does not stop at the ballot box — it is a responsibility we must uphold, day in and day out, as Malaysians who care about the future of our country and our families.

For the sake of us all, please tell your MP to reject Najib Tun Razak as the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Kit Siang says Najib will not enjoy honeymoon period

By Adib Zalkapli - The Malaysia Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 — DAP parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang said today the prime minister-in-waiting Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not enjoy a honeymoon period of his first 100-days in power due to the significantly negative reception towards the idea of his administration.

“His Machiavellian machinations in his pre-100 days, like the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak, the selective and malicious prosecution of DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh for sedition and the arbitrary and high-handed one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Deo Singh without pay and parliamentary privileges, have created widespread concern whether Najib’s ascension as the sixth Prime Minister marks the start of a national nightmare,” said Lim said in a speech delivered last night.

He added that such a growing opposition against a prime minister-in-waiting had never before happened in the country’s history.

“The latest to join this chorus is the former law minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, who called on the Yang di Pertuan Agong to reject Najib if Umno puts him forward as Prime Minister to replace Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and to appoint someone who would “bring us back from the brink,” said the Ipoh Timor MP.

Lim also cited various polls which show Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi as still being more popular than Najib.

“I do not think anyone will dispute that if an opinion poll is now conducted, Najib’s popularity would have fallen further even below the lowest point of 34 per cent recorded in July last year, while Abdullah would have improved in his popularity rating,” said Lim while pointing out that asking Abdullah to remain as PM is not the real option.

Najib is scheduled to officially take over as Umno president next week and by tradition will be appointed prime minister.

Nik Aziz reminds Hadi he is captain of the ship

KOTA BARU, March 20 — Pas spiritual advisor Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat today said he was the captain of the ship (Pas) and reminded its president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to first consult him before making any decision on forming a unity government with the Barisan Nasional.

The Kelantan Menteri Besar said he did not want "too many captains in one ship" and conflicting statements to be made as this could cause confusion among Pas members and affect the party's credibility.

Nik Aziz also reiterated his stand that he was against the idea (unity government) which received the endorsement of the top Pas leadership at its muktamar (general assembly) in Ipoh last year, but was open to discussion with Hadi on the matter.

“I as the Mursyidul Am (spiritual advisor) am like the captain, if the anchor man wants to see me for something I cannot refuse... if the oarsman wants to see me I must also entertain him. If Hadi wants to see me about it, I would be more than willing to meet him," he told reporters after opening the Kelantan-level Mapex exhibition.

Nik Aziz had been asked if he was willing to meet party leaders who are for the unity government to discuss the issue.

In PASIR MAS, its MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali said he backed Hadi's call for a unity government, saying it was needed as the Malays had become increasingly disunited.

"I see Hadi also gives a lot of attention to Muslim unity ... it (unity government) is in the interest of race, religion and country," he told reporters.

He added that Pas leaders should convince Nik Aziz that the unity government was the best option for the Malays in the present circumstances.

On another matter, he said the Bar Council had ulterior motives in calling for the abolishment of the Sedition Act.

"Laws are made by Parliament and it is not for the Bar Council to question their legality," he said. — Bernama

Elizabeth Wong’s status to be known on Wednesday

SHAH ALAM, March 20 — Selangor Menteri Besar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim said today he would make an announcement on the status of state executive councillor and Bukit Lanjan assemblywoman Elizabeth Wong on Wednesday.

He told this to reporters after chairing the weekly state executive council meeting today.

Wong had offered to quit as assemblywoman and exco following semi-nude pictures of her surfacing on the Internet last month but was asked to go on leave instead until the Selangor government made a decision as to her political future.

On the restructuring of the water industry in Selangor, Abdul Khalid said the state government was still negotiating the matter with the federal government and was confident any differences between the two parties could be resolved amicably. — Bernama

Enjoying Sarawak hospitality

Zorro, Del and I were feted to dinner by our Sarawakian brothers and one sister last night.

Broken Shield, Dayak Nation and Teropong Dunia were there, along with a few other bloggers and friends.

The food was excellent.

The company warm, honest and forthright.

What came out very strongly from this first fellowship was a clear sense that the anak-anak Bangsa Malaysia of Sarawak, like so many in Semenanjung, want change.

They, too, want honest governance of the people, by the people and for the people.

They want justice and equality.

They too, like so many of us, want the UMNO-led BN out.

We brainstormed through dinner.

Zorro, Del and I have some idea of what we might be able to do to lend support to our blogging brothers in Sarawak in their effort to take Batang Ai from BN.

In a few hours, we will head out to Batang Ai.

The game plan should start to get clearer.

I left the dinner table very clear about one thing : the anak Bangsa Malaysia ‘One People, One Nation’ aspiration is very, very achievable.

First, though, we’ll have to take our nation back from racist politicians.

Excitement over Gobind, Karpal and Ali

by Zainon Ahmad

GOBIND Singh Deo (DAP-Puchong) was suspended on Monday by the Dewan Rakyat for a year for calling Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak a murderer but reference to the decision punctuated much of the debates throughout the week.

Discussion on that and on two events outside the House – the sedition charges brought against his father, Karpal Singh (DAP-Bukit Gelugor), and the travails of Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Ali Rustam – raised the temperature of the House as members abused their counterparts across the floor.

They generated a lot of excitement and this caused the Dewan Rakyat, its lobby and Members Lounge included, to become such a happening place that it attracted more visitors to the national legislature than previously. Finding a parking spot in the morning was like winning a lottery.

Sitting in the public gallery, the visitors would not take long to notice that there are more shouters than debaters. Of course there are those like Datuk Dr James Dawos Mamit (BN-Mambong) and Dr Dzulkifli Ahmad (PAS-Kuala Selangor) who come prepared with notes like veteran Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timur) who is never without his notes, newspaper cuttings and even reference books whenever it is his turn to speak.

But except for the numbers, little has changed. Of course, where the BN side could shout down any attempt by the other side to raise their voices before March 8, 2008, the roar that comes from the opposition pews now is equally powerful, if not more so. This was the case during the debate on the motion to ban Gobind from the House for a year without allowances and benefits for his unparliamentary behaviour last Thursday which included shouting “you should be ashamed of yourself” to deputy speaker Datuk Ronald Kiandee when ordered to leave the House.

There were lots of shouting especially when Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz was rounding up the debate on the motion. All the opposition members stood up and shouted, and for a few minutes drowned out Nazri before they walked out.

Kit Siang, who appeared rather subdued since the meeting began in February, was his ebullient self again during the debate on the economic stimulus package presented by Najib, who is also finance minister.

But the package was more an excuse as he had other bones to pick with the government. For instance, on Tuesday, he told the House that the charges brought against Karpal, his party chairman, was “a politically motivated persecution”, a victim of “the addictive politics” that the ruling BN is involved in.

And old campaigner, he pegged his railings against the government, BN and Umno to their failure – due to too much politicking – to rally the people to unite to face the economic turmoil that the country is facing.

Still, when he brought up the subject of money politics in Umno, a number of BN MPs stood up to question the relevance of what he was saying to the stimulus package. He easily side-stepped them and went on to say that money politics in Umno was the worst this year.

When he brought up the subject of Malacca Chief Minister Ali, several BN members tried to prevent him from continuing by asking for its relevance to the stimulus package.

When he asked whether a man who has been found guilty of money politics and barred by the party to contest in the party election could continue to be chief minister, those behind him in a thunderous roar said “tak boleh.” He was unstoppable. Mohd Nor Othman (BN-Hulu Terengganu) tried. Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) also tried when he stood up to protest Kit Siang’s reference to Ali saying that the chief minister was not involved in corruption but had merely violated some ethics of Umno.

The DAP strongman even went into details of how money is solicited and offered, saying the whole process of money politics in Umno had produced its own nomenclature.

For instance he said when someone asked whether it was sekolah kebangsaan and sekolah Inggeris, he actually meant SK or SI which are abbreviations for salam kosong or salam isi which mean “empty handshake” or “handshake with something inside”. The whole house reverberated with laughter especially when he said satu tiang, or one pillar means, a hundred ringgit and dua tiang means two hundred ringgit. Tiang sri, or main pillar, means a thousand ringgit.

Outside the House the excitement was palpable as press conferences are held to clarify what has been insufficiently explained about a topic or a stand or to counter earlier statements to the press. Again Gobind, Karpal and Ali were the subjects with Ali being the hottest. He was neck and neck with International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in the race to be deputy Umno president, with Rural and Regional Development Minister Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib a distant third.

A backlash against the decision to bar Ali is forecasted by the wags in the Members Lounge and when they saw the senator in the lobby on Wednesday they nudged each other and whispered: “Behold, our next deputy prime minister.”

Press Release: How do we judge Judges?

ImageThe Bar Council is heartened that the Government has introduced in Parliament a Bill to establish a Judges’ Ethics Committee. The Committee will be tasked with dealing with any judge who breaches any provision of the Judges’ Code of Ethics 2008. However, it is disquieting that the Judges’ Ethics Committee Bill 2008, which is intended to establish the Committee, is scheduled for a second reading in Parliament even though the Code itself has yet to be released.

It is imperative that the Code be tabled for consideration alongside the Bill in order to comprehend proposed revisions to the earlier Judges’ Code of Ethics 1994. It will also allow for a full and informed debate.

The Bill will enable the Committee to enforce the Code. However it is disadvantaged by some key shortcomings.

Firstly, no express procedure for lodging a complaint against a judge has been stipulated, save that the Chief Justice shall make referrals to the Committee for enquiry. It can only be inferred that grievances must therefore be conveyed to the nation’s top member of the judiciary. This may serve to deter potential complainants. It also unnecessarily concentrates the decision whether or not to charge a judge for breach of the Code in the hands of one person. There is no requirement that the Chief Justice be transparent and accountable in the exercise of this discretion.

Secondly, the Bill is silent on the Committee’s roles and functions, and the manner in which the Committee will conduct its proceedings. Guidelines on these, particularly details on the applicable procedural law during the fact-finding and enquiry stages, are essential to ensure clarity and consistency, and, above all, fairness and justice. No provisions have been made to establish sub-committees to oversee the phases relating to preliminary investigations, fact-finding and further findings of evidence. Provisions on who would make representations in the judicial misconduct enquiry are also lacking. Further, unlike the applicable UK regulation and Australian guidelines, the Bill does not provide for the Ethics Committee to inform the complainant of the progress and eventual outcome of the enquiry.

The Bill fails to specify a time limit within which a complaint must be lodged in order to be given consideration. In the UK, for example, the period for lodging a complaint lapses 12 months after the event or matter complained of. There are also no provisions as to the time frame to complete investigations and the hearing of the complaint. Judges against whom complaints have been lodged are also entitled to a quick resolution.

Finally, the Bill should oblige the Committee to produce an annual report that is submitted to Parliament and made available to the public. The report should include, inter alia, statistics and information regarding complaints reviewed during the year. The extent of information disclosed about the disciplinary proceedings or the taking of disciplinary action depends on the need to maintain public confidence in the judiciary, balanced against the protection of innocent judges.

The Code itself should provide a holistic and comprehensive definition of ethical conduct as well as judicial impropriety that, taking a page from the newly-revised Code of Conduct for United States Judges, should not be limited merely to judges’ adjudicative responsibilities. For example, the Commentary to the US Code specifies that a judge “should avoid lending the prestige of judicial office to advance the private interests of the judge or others”. It also stipulates that a judge should retain control over the advertising in connection with the publication of the judge’s writings, to “avoid exploitation of the judge’s office”.

The Bar Council urges the authorities to strengthen the Bill and to use this timely initiative as a step forward in restoring public confidence in the integrity and independence of the Judiciary. We stand ready to assist in this process, and would welcome the opportunity to provide our input into the Bill and the Code.


Lim Chee Wee
Vice-President
Malaysian Bar

20 March 2009

Please click here to download a copy of the Judges’ Ethics Committee Bill 2008.

More Perak assemblymen to be questioned by MACC

by Roslina Mohamad - The Star

KUANTAN: Several more Perak assemblymen will be called in to give their statements to the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) over the state assembly’s Rights and Privileges Committee decision on Feb 18 to bar its Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and his six exco members from the assembly.

However, the number of those involved is not immediately known.

According to MACC chief commissioner Datuk Seri Ahmad Said Hamdan, statements by the state assemblymen were expected to provide a more complete account of the issue.

“They will include those from Barisan Nasional if they attended the proceeding”, he told reporters after attending a get-together session between MACC and Tengku Mahkota of Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah here on Friday.

Ahmad Said was asked to comment on the development of the matter where seven people were already questioned by MACC.

Four committee members, DAP’s Ong Boon Piow (Tebing Tinggi), Loke Chee Yan (Kepayang) and Sum Cheok Leng (Bercham) and PKR’s Chan Ming Kai (Simpang Pulai), showed up at the Perak MACC headquarters on Thursday.

Canning assemblyman Wong Kah Woh who accompanied them was also questioned as he was the complainant whose report led to Dr Zambry and the exco members being barred from the assembly.

Another member, Husin Din (Selinsing) of PAS, had his statement recorded with the MACC several days ago while Speaker V. Sivakumar, provided the details at the Mentri Besar official residence on Feb 26.

To a question, Ahmad Said replied it was part of the investigation process as there were elements for abuse of power.

“As far as we are concerned, there are elements (for abuse of power).

“When I talk about this, people will get angry, but for us, there are such factors. So, MACC conducts a probe,” he added.

On calls by the opposition for the commission to investigate Umno vice president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam who was barred to contest in the coming party polls, Ahmad Said said MACC would not be involved as the offence was infringement of party ethics.

He, however, added that anyone was welcomed to lodge a report but one must know that violations of party ethics and disciplinary problems were not criminal in nature.

“As such, we do not probe into the case but we will move in if it involves corruption,” he said.

Meanwhile, state director Datuk Shukri Abdullah said he had yet to get reports pertaining to several Umno members in Pahang who were among those penalised by the party’s disciplinary board recently.

He reminded anyone who wished to make a report to do so by giving the right facts and solid evidence and not merely based on ‘empty talks’ or rumours because it would not help in getting a conclusive investigation.

PENGAJARAN DAN PEMBELAJARAN SAINS DAN MATEMATIK DALAM BAHASA INGGERIS 2


1. Saya ingin jelaskan sekali lagi kenapa Sains dan Matematik perlu diajar dalam bahasa Inggeris.

2. Tidak seperti matapelajaran lain, sains dan matematik adalah ilmu yang berkembang dan bertambah sepanjang masa.

3. Tiap hari berpuluh kertas melapurkan hasil kaji selidik yang dibuat di seluruh dunia. Hampir semua kertas ini disediakan dalam bahasa Inggeris.

4. Kita boleh terjemah sains rendah kedalam bahasa kebangsaan. Tetapi ini tidak akan menolong kita memahami teori dan aplikasi advanced science dalam ciptaan dan pembuatan barangan yang canggih seperti alat telefon, senjata moden, roket dan stesyen satelit angkasa, pesawat terbang perang dan penumpang, kapal selam, laser, microcip dan ratusan lagi barangan kegunaan tertentu dan harian.

5. Untuk semua ini kita perlu sains yang canggih dan terkini hasil kajiselidik pakar ilmu sains seperti Albert Einstein dengan teori relativitinya, Enrico Fermi, Oppenheimer, Edward Teller, Werner Heisenberg dan lain-lain.

6. Saya boleh senarai seribu nama lagi dan berpuluh ribu hasil penerokaan, pengkajian mereka yang tidak terdapat dalam bahasa Melayu namun ilmu ini peting untuk kemajuan kita.

7. Untuk memahami tulisan mereka dalam bahasa Inggeris kita memerlu kelulusan Phd dalam bahasa Inggeris dalam bidang-bidang khusus. Tidak ramai saintis yang belajar dalam bahasa Melayu yang boleh mengguna bahasa Melayu untuk tujuan ini. Setahu saya tidak ada banyak buku berkenaan tajuk-tajuk ini dalam bahasa Melayu.

8. Pengajaran sains perubatan menggunakan buku Inggeris walaupun syarahan dibuat dalam bahasa Melayu. Untuk post-graduate studies dalam pelbagai kepakaran perubatan bahasa Inggeris digunakan. Kalau ada pensyarah yang boleh bersyarah dalam bahasa Melayu dalam bidang-bidang pakar ini, mereka akan terdiri daripada yang belajar kepakaran ini dalam bahasa Inggeris.

9. Mungkin ada yang belajar sains di peringkat rendah dalam bahasa Melayu dan mampu mengikuti syarahan dalam bahasa Inggeris diperingkat ijazah pertama. Tetapi untuk kelulusan yang lebih tinggi penguasaan bahasa Inggeris di perlukan.

10. Sudah tentu untuk ambil bahagian dalam seminar dan konferens antarabangsa, untuk berhujah, bahasa Inggeris di perlukan.

11. I was not ignorant for 20 years. Even after I realised the usefulness of English I had to wait until people also realised it. Otherwise they will fight tooth and nail to prevent the change from taking place. Even now they are fighting.

12. Singapore has progressed like a rocket because they have no opposition parties. Without criticisms by the opposition they will not know if they were doing something right or wrong.

13. Now Singapore is in deep recession because of having made investments in America. So they may use English for their education but they can still go wrong. But we want to use English only for science and mathematics and these two subjects are based on truths and logic - not on how clever you are in making decisions or explaining things.

14. I think in English when I want to speak or write in English. I think in Malay when I want to talk, write or discuss in Malay.

15. I am a Malay not because of the language I use when thinking or dreaming. I am Malay because ethnically, lingually, culturally and religiously I am a Malay and I regard Malaysia as my homeland.

16. Saya tidak ingin bangsa saya ketinggalan hanya kerana nasionalisme kita terhad kepada kefasihan bercakap dalam bahasa sendiri. Nasionalisme saya meliputi kejayaan bangsa saya yang setaraf dengan bangsa-bangsa lain di dunia. Jika untuk ini kita terpaksa menguasai bahasa Inggeris dan belajar sains dan matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris, sepertimana orang Arab belajar bahasa Greek untuk mendapat ilmu orang Greek, sepertimana orang Eropah terpaksa belajar bahasa Arab untuk mempelajari ilmu orang Arab pada kurun ke-15 Masihi, saya rela berbuat demikian.

17. Bagi saya mempelajari Sains dan Matematik dalam bahasa Inggeris tidak berbeza daripada menghantar penuntut kita ke Eropah atau negara-negara Arab untuk menuntut ilmu tertentu dalam bahasa-bahasa mereka. Mereka pergi sebagai orang Melayu dan mereka kembali dengan ilmu yang diperolehi juga sebagai orang Melayu. Mereka tidak menjejaskan ke-Melayuan bangsa. Sebaliknya mereka mempertinggikan maruah dan martabat bangsa.

Water Scandal: Summarising BN’s massive conjob (or: how you are making the super rich Rozali Ismail *even* richer)

Here’s how I would distill the decidedly murky waters surrounding the Selangor water scandal.

If I were the Selangor government, I would hammer these points and these points alone (or maybe even whittle it down even more). The facts are gleamed from a (slightly over wordy) brochure produced by the Selangor State Government.

To recap, the Selangor government is seeking to reacquire previously privatised water concessionaire companies. The Federal Government is offering to do the same, but at a much, much higher price, and under a different set of circumstances.

The long and short of it, if you believe us, is that BN is looking to spend hundreds of millions more of our money in a plan that will only further enrich cronies at the expense of the rakyat. Here’s how:

1 . Under the federal plan:

- there will be a 31% INCREASE in water tariffs, as opposed to a 25% decrease in tariffs under the Selangor plan.

- the Federal Government (ie, us) will take on RM 6.4 billion of debt, currently owed by the water concessionaires.

- there will no longer be 20 cubic meters of free water every month.

2. Here’s what privatised water concessionaire companies like Syabas have been up to:

- Syabas CEO Rozali Ismail’s salary is a whooping RM 5.1 million a year (RM 425,000 a month).

- Pipe purchases worth RM 600 million were made from an Indonesian company, also owned by Rozali Ismail.

- No open tenders for RM 600 million worth of contracts (over 72% of the total awarded).

- RM 51.2 million spent on renovations of the Syabas head office (JKAS, the water regulatory body for Selangor approved expenditures of only RM 23.2 million)

- Between 2005 - 2007, Syabas exceeded its contract value limit by RM 200 million.

The brochure contains much, much more information and numbers, but I think the above says enough.

Clearly, some enormously fat cat cronies are getting paid off like there was no tomorrow - all this at the expense of a rakyat that is suffering and having their backs broken by an economic crisis of epic proportions.

Again, I really think Selangor and Pakatan should focus on this information, put it in a common package, and reiterate it again, again and again via every single medium (including say, billboards) at its disposal.

I’ve likened it before to a number of submarine commission scandals happening right under our noses, only this time, we still have the chance to stop it, if only we work hard enough.

Spread the word!!

Ali Rustam's Appeal Rejected

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- The Umno appeals panel has unanimously rejected the appeal by Umno vice-president Datuk Mohd Ali Rustam against the decision to bar him from contesting in party elections next week.

Its chairman Tan Sri Mohd Zuki Kamaluddin said the panel upheld the Umno Disciplinary Board's decision to bar Mohd Ali him from contesting in the elections in line with Article 29(C) of the Umno constitution.

"Mohd Ali is appealing against the punishment. However, after considering all factors, his appeal is rejected," he said in a five-paragraph statement distributed to the media at the Umno headquarters here.

On Tuesday, the Umno Disciplinary Board barred the Melaka chief minister from contesting in the elections after finding him guilty of money politics.

Mohd Ali had been one of three contenders for the post of Umno deputy president.

The others are International Trade and Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, and Rural and Regional Development Minister Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib.

Slumdog Millionaire 'cabar' bahasa Inggeris?

By Syuaib Zakaria (Harakahdaily)

Ada banyak sebab, kenapakah Slumdog Millionaire diangkat sebagai sebuah filem terbaik baru-baru ini.

Filem ini mengangkat kehidupan masyarakat miskin sebenar di India dan ia berbeza dengan filem-filem Hindi yang lain. Paling jelas, filem ini tidak diselangi tarian dan nyanyian, iaitu perencah dan ramuan biasa yang banyak menghidupkan kekuatan dalam filem Hindi sebelum ini.

Paling jelas, filem ini dianggap terbaik kerana kekuatan ceritanya. Ia mengisahkan perjalanan hidup seorang kanak-kanak lelaki India Muslim; Jamal Malik yang menjalani kehidupan bersama abangnya sejak kematian ibu yang diserang kumpulan penganut Hindu.

"You don't have to be a genius," kata Jamal kepada polis yang menahannya. Beliau disyaki menipu dalam program tv termasyhur di India itu. Memang benar kata Jamal.

Beliau sebenarnya bukannya pintar pun dan hal ini dibuktikan pada akhir cerita di mana beliau sendiri tidak tahu jawapan mengenai nama wira dalam The Three Musketeers, walaupun novel itu adalah antara yang dibacanya sejak zaman kanak-kanak.

Apa yang menyebabkan Jamal Malik mampu menjawab hampir keseluruhan soalan dalam kuiz Who Wants To Be A Millionaire itu?

Keperitan hidup
Sebenarnya, Jamal mengharungi segala keperitan hidup pada zaman kanak-kanaknya. Untungnya, pada setiap jalur kehidupan yang gelap itu, ternyata ada sahaja yang ada kaitan dengan pertanyaan hos rancangan tv tersebut.

"Di atas kertas wang Amerika $100, wajah siapakah yang tertera di atasnya?" tanya hos program itu.

Jamal termenung dan di ruang matanya, dia teringat zaman kecilnya ketika hidup menipu para pelancong di Taj Mahal. Bersama abangnya Salim, mereka mendapat upah yang banyak.

Di situlah Jamal mengenal mata wang Amerika. Dan, dia mengetahui wajah siapakah yang tertera di atas wang not $100 dollar Amerika itu ketika diberitahu rakannya yang telah dibutakan matanya oleh kumpulan penjahat.

"Benjamin Franklin," jawab Jamal tanpa ragu-ragu. Bukan itu sahaja. Ada banyak lagi kisah gelap dan cerita suram lagi kelam yang akhirnya gumpalan pengalaman itulah yang telah membantunya menjawab setiap pertanyaan yang sukar dalam kuiz tersebut.

Mungkin sudah terbiasa dengan penipuan dan hidup mengenal penipuan ini menyebabkan Jamal dapat mengelak daripada ditipu pengacara program itu yang cuba menjebaknya dalam tandas. Ketika rancangan itu berhenti seketika untuk memberikan laluan kepada iklan, sang pengacara memberi jawapan salah di cermin tandas.

Jamal dapat menghidu niat pengacara itu yang mahu beliau kalah dan mahu menggagalkan harapannya memenangi 20 juta rupee itu. Melalui talian hayat, dengan penuh bijak, akhirnya Jamal dapat membebaskan dirinya daripada perangkap pengacara yang memberi beliau jawapan yang salah ketika mereka sempat berbual di tandas sebelum itu.

Kejadian itulah yang menyebabkan pengacara menganggapnya telah menipu. Program itu ditunda pada keesokan hari kerana soalan-soalan belum dapat dijawab semuanya. Dalam perjalanan pulang itulah Jamal diperangkap pengacara dengan meminta polis menyiasatnya di balai polis.

Dalam proses siasatan, dan setelah diseksa dan dipukul dengan teruknya oleh pihak polis, Jamal akhirnya menceritakan satu persatu kisah bagaimana beliau pada akhirnya berjaya menjawab setiap persoalan tadi.

Pengalaman Jamal adalah kritik sosial ke atas masyarakatnya
Satu persatu riwayat hidupnya dikisahkan semula kepada pihak polis. Boleh dikatakan semua kisahnya telah menyebabkan pihak polis sendiri terpaksa akur dengan masalah negara mereka sendiri. Misalnya polis tidak dapat menyelesaikan masalah pergaduhan antara penganut Hindu dan Islam di India.

Jamal dan abangnya Salim setelah menjadi yatim piatu akhirnya diperalatkan sekumpulan lintah darat yang memperalatkan anak-anak yatim untuk dijadikan pelacur, hamba seks, peminta sedekah serta ahli kumpulan samseng yang baru direkrut.

Ketiadaan sokongan sesama masyarakat ke atas anak-anak yatim di India menyebabkan beberapa kumpulan yang tidak bertanggungjawab telah mengambil kesempatan menggunakan anak-anak yatim ini sebagai kumpulan jahat ketika mereka dewasa kelak. Inilah sebabnya kenapa ajaran agama menggalakkan pembelaan ke atas anak-anak yatim ini.

'Kritik halus' ke atas bahasa Inggeris
Slumdog Millionaire, selain itu telah mengangkat filem Hindi yang menggunakan bahasa Urdu ke peringkat dunia walaupun pemikiran rakyat India dan para pemimpinnya masih terbelenggu oleh penjajahan Barat.

Kejayaan filem ini yang 'gagal' dihidu pemimpin Malaysia ialah betapa filem Hindi akhirnya telah berjaya mencipta satu istilah baru dalam perbendaharaan Inggeris; iaitu Slumdog.

Hasil carian penulis ke atas slumdog di http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slumdog misalnya tidak membawa kepada apa-apa tafsiran ke atas slumdog.

"The word you've entered isn't in the dictionary. Click on a spelling suggestion below or try again using the search bar above," demikian petikan kamus maya Merian Webster daripada internet. Sebagai gantian, Merriam Webster menawarkan pengguna menyemak 14 istilah sebagai gantian ke atas istilah 'slumdog' yang tidak dijumpai itu.

1. slummage
2. sun dog
3. slumdom
4. slummock
5. slumgum
6. psalmody
7. smudge
8. semilog
9. smoodge
10. sandhog
11. slammock
12. psalmodic
13. semology
14. Sumgait

Rakyat India yang kuat asuhannya dalam pengajaran aliran Inggerisnya, telah berjaya 'memaksa' penjajah mereka, manusia Barat untuk akhirnya menerima satu ungkapan yang asalnya tiada dalam perbendaraan kata dan istilah mereka sebelum ini. Antara buktinya, Slumdog Millionaire mendapat pengiktirafan filem terbaik dalam Grammy Award!

Apakah Finas dan lain-lain lembaga perfileman kita mampu mencapai ke taraf itu? Kalaulah Menteri Pelajaran pun masih gagal mencari helah guna mengolah jawapan yang meyakinkan rakyat betapa PPSMI itu amat berguna maka jangan haraplah bahasa Melayu kita akan mampu berpencak di peringkat antarabangsa itu!

Lebih RM3 bilion untuk PPSMI!?
Perkembangan terbaru, sekitar RM3 bilion diperuntukkan oleh kerajaan bagi menjayakan PPSMI ini. Ini bermaksud, kalau para guru dan pelajar yang menderita akibat dasar PPSMI ini mahu kerajaan tidak kerugian agar PPSMI dapat dimansuhkan, mereka perlu memenangi sejumlah wang besar berkali-kali dalam rancangan Who Want's To Be A Millionaire untuk membayar semula kerugian kerajaan Malaysia itu.

Mungkin kita perlukan tukar sedikit istilah daripada Millionaire kepada Billionaire untuk segera menyelesaikan masalah ini. Ini kerana, Hishammuddin Hussein, Kementerian Pelajaran dan kerajaan takut kerugian wang dalam masalah pelajaran.

Dalam segi lain pula, sepupu Hishammuddin, Najib Razak selaku Menteri Kewangan tiada masalah pula menghanguskan wang RM1 juta untuk pembangunan Golf Remaja.

Hai.. Entahlah.. Apa nak jadi dengan kedua-dua adik-beradik sepupu sepapat ini?