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Thursday, March 26, 2009

20090325 SKHARAKAH suhakam

Fairus detained by MACC in Johor

Fairus has quit as Penang’s deputy chief minister. His resignation is effective on April 8. — Bernama pic

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

JOHOR BARU, March 26 — PKR’s Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, who has been embroiled in graft allegations in Penang, has been detained by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission for questioning.

The Penang Deputy Chief Minister I was stopped by Immigration officers at the Customs, Immigration and Quarantine (CIQ) complex at about 11 last night.

He was subsequently handed over to Johor MACC officers.

Johor DAP deputy chief Norman Fernandez, a lawyer, was among Pakatan Rakyat leaders who rushed to the CIQ last night on hearing the news but was unable to speak to Fairus.

Fernandez said Fairus was taken to the Johor MACC headquarters in Air Molex at about 2.45am.

MACC investigating director Datuk Syukri Abdul told The Malaysian Insider that Fairus was detained only to facilitate investigations into allegations of illegal activities with quarry operators in Penang.

“He has not been arrested.”

He said MACC had been investigating Fairus since Tuesday and had alerted Immigration and the police to be on the look-out for him.

“Immigration officers alerted us when he arrived at the CIQ last night.”

Syukri added that MACC officers are currently recording a statement from Fairus in Johor.

Last Saturday, Fairus tendered his resignation as Penang’s deputy chief minister and state executive councillor for Entrepreneurial and Co-operative Development, and Information and Community Relations.

His resignation is effective on April 8.

For the last four months, the 33-year-old Penanti assemblyman has been at the centre of controversy and more recently embroiled in allegations that he was one of two PKR leaders involved in illegal activities with quarry operators.

Najib Razak and the Ghost of Altantuya

By Korea Times,



The 142 MPs tagged and what you can do to try and thwart a monster’s ambitions

By Haris Ibrahim

Did I say yesterday that 141 MPs were tagged?

Mistake.

142 MPs.

Yesterday, 142 MPs were notified that a number of their constituents had directed them to inform the Agong that they had no confidence in Najib being PM, if and when Najib should seek the royal approval to his assuming that office. If you haven’t a clue about what I’m talking about, just hop over to my last post HERE.

Here’s the list of MPs tagged that I promised.

(1) Ampang (2) Alor Gajah (3) Alor Setar (4) Bukit Mertajam (5) Batu Pahat (6) Bukit Bendera (7) Bukit Katil (8) Bukit Gelugor (9) Bukit Bintang (10) Bandar Tun Razak (11) Beaufort (12) Bayan Baru (13) Batu Kawan (14) Bagan (15) Bandar Baru Kulim (16) Bandar Kuching (17) Batu (18) Bagan Datoh (19) Beruas (20) Balik Pulau (21) Baling (22) Bera (23) Bentong (24) Cheras (25) Cameron Highlands (26) Dungun (27) Gombak (28) Gelang Patah (29) Gopeng (30) Gua Musang (31) Gerik (32) Hulu Selangor (33) Ipoh Timur (34) Indera Mahkota (35) Jelutong (36) Jempol (37) Jerantut (38) Jeli (39) Jerlun (40) Jelebu (41) Kepala Batas (42) Kuala Kangsar (43) Kelana Jaya (44) Klang (45) Kepong (46) Kota Bharu (47) Kapar (48) Kota Melaka (49) Kota Raja (50) Kuantan (51) Kemaman (52) Kota Samarahan (53) Kota Belud (54) Ketereh (55) Kota Kinabalu (56) Kuala Langat (57) Kota Marudu (58) Kanowit (59) Kuala Krai (60) Kuala Nerus (61) Kinabatangan (62) Kota Tinggi (63) Kubang Pasu (64) Kubang Kerian (65) Kuala Selangor (66) Kalabakan (67) Kuala Krau (68) Kulai (69) Lembah Pantai (70) Ledang (71) Lawas (72) Lumut (73) Langkawi (74) Labis (75) Lanang (76) Merbok (77) Machang (78) Miri (79) Mukah (80) Mersing (81) Masjid Tanah (82) Nibong Tebal (83) PJ Selatan (84) Puchong (85) PJ Utara (86) Pagoh (87) Pulai (88) Pasir Gudang (89) Penampang (90) Pontian (91) Pengkalan Chepa (92) Pokok Sena (93) Papar (94) Pasir Mas (95) Paya Besar (96) Pandan (97) Parit Buntar (98) Pasir Salak (99) Putatan (100) Rasah (101) Ranau (102) Rembau (103) Rompin (104) Raub (105) Sabak Bernam (106) Subang (107) Seputeh (108) Segambut (109) Shah Alam (110) Sarikei (111) Selayang (112) Stampin (113) Seremban (114) Setiawangsa (115) Sungai Siput (116) Serdang (117) Sekijang (118) Sibu (119) Sepang (120) Simpang Renggam (121) Semporna (122) Sandakan (123) Sipitang (124) Segamat (125) Sri Gading (126) Tawau (127) Taiping (128) Tapah (129) Tanjung (130) Tanah Merah (131) Teluk Intan (132) Titiwangsa (133) Teluk Kemang (134) Tebrau (135) Temerloh (136) Tambun (137) Tangga Batu (138) Tuaran (139) Tanjong Karang (140) Tanjong Malim (141) Ulu Langat (142) Wangsa Maju

Of these, 24 were notified by letter and the rest by e-mail.

My staff and I sourced their postal and / or e-mail addresses from HERE. You, too, could look up your MP’s contact particulars by going directly HERE.

Here’s what you could do.

Get your MP’s phone and fax number and e-mail address and inundate him/her with calls / messages to drive home one very important point.

WE DON’T WANT NAJIB AS PM!

Abdullah’s warning against return of Mahathirism – Will Najib scotch talk of imminent ISA arrest of Anwar?

In his farewell Umno Presidential speech today, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi confirms his image as a basically decent and humble person who unfortunately could not translate his good instincts into government policy, measures and actions resulting in his being prematurely and ignominiously forced out by his own party and becoming the shortest-serving Prime Minister of the country.

Why is this so?

The fault cannot be borne by Abdullah alone, but must be on the shoulders of the rest of Umno and Barisan Nasional leaderships, for failing to give Abdullah the necessary support, and in many cases, for actively sabotaging him in the past five years to frustrate Abdullah from walking the talk of long overdue national reforms.

As a result, Abdullah could not even salvage and accomplish the minimalist legacy of reform he had hoped to leave behind before stepping down as Prime Minister – when the last of the trio of his final reform legislative programme, the Enforcement Agency Integrity Commission (EAIC) Bill, had to be again deferred although it was meant to be the “crown jewel” of Abdullah’s last parliamentary meeting lasting 22 days from Feb. 16 which ended yesterday.

Even the first two of the trio of his minimalist reform legislation – the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC) Act and the Judicial Appointments Commission (JAC) Act – have proved to be great disappointments and letdowns, but Abdullah seemed to have abandoned whatever is left of his reformist zeal in his last three months in office.

There is no more eloquent testimony that Abdullah has given up the ghost in the fight to introduce reforms when he was not prepared to put his foot down to salvage the last of his trio of reform legislative programme, especially when it is meant to honour one of his earlier and most important pledges to implement the Royal Police Commission’s key recommendation to establish the Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC) so that Malaysia has a world-class police service to keep crime low, eradicate corruption and protect/promote human rights.

One of the most important parts of Abdullah’s farewell speech is his views about Umno “at the crossroads”, saying:


“ The path that we choose will determine whether we continue to remain relevant or whether we are reduced to a forgotten footnote in the pages of history.

“Sadly, there are still those who feel that we do not need to pursue reforms. They believe that Umno will regain its glory if we revert to the old ways — the old order, by restricting the freedom of our citizens and by silencing their criticism.

“They are of the view that Umno can continue to be in power if they safeguard the interests of certain individuals and give in to the demands of certain groups. There are those among us who gain comfort from these thoughts and are still lulled into a false sense of security.

“If we revert to the old path I believe we are choosing the wrong path; one that will take us to regression and decay. It is a path that I fear will hasten our demise. If we do not take courageous steps to reform in the face of this dynamic transformation of society and the radical global changes taking place, then we shall live to witness the end of our beloved Umno.”

This is a very subtle but unmistakable warning by Abdullah against the return of Mahathirism when Datuk Seri Najib Razak takes over as the sixth Prime Minister – although Najib has begun to talk the language of reform.

In Najib’s pre-100 days as Prime Minister, the country is already seeing increasing signs of the powers-that-be reverting to the “old ways” of restricting freedom and silencing criticism as illustrated by the sedition charge against DAP National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor, Karpal Singh; police sedition investigation against Johore State Assembly Opposition Leader and Johore DAP Chairman, Dr. Boo Cheng Hau; one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo without parliamentary pay and privileges; three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan; prosecution of bloggers; indiscriminate and high-handed police action against Pakatan Rakyat gatherings and ceramahs; etc.

Najib should take a clear-cut stand in his acceptance speech as the new Umno president on Saturday, to set his face clearly and strongly against any return of Mahathirism in his premiership.

I will go even further and ask Najib to scotch growing talk of the imminent arrest of Parliamentary Opposition Leader and Parti Keadilan Rakyat leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim under the Internal Security Act as well as the possibility of another Operation Lalang mass arrests.

Will Najib become PM now?

By now, many are thinking - and worried that - it’s a foregone conclusion that Najib will become the next PM.

But Tengku Razaleigh reminds us the Agong and Parliament have a crucial constitutional role to play:

Let us understand very clearly the transitional situation we are in.

1. The incumbent Prime Minister is about to resign as he has solemnly promised to by the end of this month.

2. On the appointed day (which like so many things in this administration remains a mystery) the Prime Minister will tender his resignation and that of his cabinet to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. With this the government of the day comes to an end.

3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will appoint the next Prime Minister at his sole discretion from among the members of the elected lower house of Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat. His Majesty’s choice is guided by his own judgment of who among the members “commands the confidence” of a majority the members of parliament.

4. The new Prime Minister will name his cabinet and form the next government.

5. The Agong’s choice may at any time be tested by a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat. If the Prime Minister is rejected by the Dewan, the King will have to re-appoint another person.

Razaleigh goes on the discuss the implications:

1. Whatever undertakings the present prime minister has made with his deputy or with his party about his successor are external to the constitutional process. To think otherwise is to imagine that the prime ministership is a private property to be passed on from one potentate to another at whim. The behaviour of some leaders might have conveyed this unfortunate impression, and caused the public to find the party arrogant and out of touch.

2. The fact that the President of UMNO has also been appointed as Prime Minister is only a convention, as Tun Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz have asserted recently. This convention was based on the assumption of Umno’s absolute dominance of Parliament. That condition no longer holds.

3. Statements in the media that it is the right of Umno and BN to dictate to the Yang Dipertuan Agong who should be Prime Minister deny the constitutional right of the Yang Dipertuan Agong, and deprive him of perhaps the most important of his few discretionary powers. Such statements turn the Agong’s role into a rubber stamp for the decisions of a political party. I am waiting for Umno to strongly denounce such statements, especially as we have recently rediscovered our concern for the rights of the Rulers.

So it’s not over till it’s over…

Umno's unholy trinity

The Nut Graph
by Wong Chin Huat

MANY Umno leaders and analysts are talking about corruption in the party as if that is its biggest problem.

After all, it was the justification used in barring party vice-president Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam from contesting for the party's No. 2 post. And as Ali's supporters have persuasively argued, Ali did not do much worse than others in Umno who also engage in vote-buying.

Corruption, or more accurately, patronage is undoubtedly a problem with Umno. But the real problem for the party is that it is trapped in uncompetitiveness — a consequence of subscribing to the unholy trinity of authoritarianism, ultra-nationalism and patronage.

Authoritarianism

For the past 53 years, since Umno squarely defeated Datuk Onn Jaafar's Parti Negara and PAS in the 1955 home rule elections, Umno members have viewed themselves as the "natural" party in government.

So long as Malaysians accept that Malaysia needs a Malay-led multiethnic government, and Malay Malaysians accept Umno as its champion, Umno has to be the irreplaceable element in any viable government. In Malaysia's political equation, Umno is the given.

But how does Umno maintain this position of being the irreplaceable "given", notwithstanding all of its contributions in developing this country?

Umno's dominance is not a result of the numerical strength of the Malay-Muslims. Rather, it is a result of the threat of ethnic violence. The threat of ethnic violence makes authoritarianism the lesser evil, thus allowing Umno to perpetuate its dominance through authoritarian means.

And very often, that threat is coated in positive language; for example, when politicians talk about the need to preserve interethnic harmony, and by extension, political stability and economic development.

Ultra-nationalism

If authoritarianism is the lesser of two evils compared to the threat of ethnic violence, what is it that makes the threat of ethnic violence loom large in our consciousness? It is the sustaining of ethnic distrust and hostility.

If ethnic violence remains an attractive strategy for one side and a credible danger for the other side, Umno can sustain its privileged position of being the given. After all, the clearer and more present the threat of ethnic violence is, the more valuable a strong and authoritarian government will be — hence the observation that Umno is becoming more rightist.

Indeed, there are enough examples of a more right-wing Umno among upcoming leaders. Consider Hishamuddin Hussein's keris-waving to Khairy Jamaluddin's attack on embattled Perak Menteri Besar Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as "penderhaka", as well as Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir's call to close down Chinese- and Tamil-language schools.

Is it any wonder that incidents such as the ban on yoga and on the use of "Allah", and pro-Internal Security Act (ISA) demonstrations have also been on the rise? No doubt, ultra-nationalism will also rear its ugly head during the ongoing Umno general assembly.

In a nutshell, being the "given" requires no democratic competitiveness. This explains Umno's addiction to ultra-nationalism and the discourses of ethnic threat and survival. And it is these addictions — not the mass migration of the "pendatang" or the existence of a multistream education system — that perpetuate ethnic tension in Malaysia.

Hence, unless Umno gives up authoritarianism, it cannot totally give up ultra-nationalism. Whether or not the keris — itself a covert symbol of ethnic violence — is raised at the Umno general assembly this time around will merely be a barometer of arrogance and insecurity. But if it doesn't get raised, that can hardly be a real indicator of an ideological shift. Any shift, if it is to happen, can only occur after the assembly when leaders have secured their positions.

Patronage

Authoritarianism breeds in Umno not only an addiction to ultra-nationalism, but also an addiction to the veneration of loyalty over meritocracy. (This is starkly different from Singaporean authoritarianism, which places competence at the heart of loyalty.)

The compatibility between ultra-nationalism and patronage is rather straightforward. If ethnic outsiders cannot be trusted no matter how competent they are, then similarly within the ethnic community, the party and faction faithful is privileged over the cynics and critics of ethnic solidarity. Hence, regardless of competence, it is the faithful who will hold positions of power and/or undertake projects.

This does not mean a competent politician cannot emerge from competition within Umno. Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tan Sri Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim are all cases in point, but it is unlikely that any competent politician can win just on merit. Since a large war chest is paramount, it pays to be aggressive in building a network and sourcing for patronage.

This then leads Umno and the nation to the current dilemma we face. How can one clean out corruption in the party elections when corruption in general elections is rampant? And how can one not alienate thinking voters in the general elections when candidates excel in vote-buying rather than policy debates in party elections?

Umno is therefore caught with a tough choice: abandon patronage and money politics in toto in order to reform, or forget about reforms completely.

But it would be difficult for Umno to abandon money politics because patronage serves two important functions.

First, it materially sustains ultra-nationalism by rewarding supporters and penalising opponents. If all Malay-Muslims were treated equally, what would make Umno more attractive compared with PAS and Parti Keadilan Rakyat as the political vehicle of Malay unity? If bumiputera and non-bumiputera are to be aided on a needs and merit basis, Malay Malaysians would not rally around Malay unity for fear of losing out.

Secondly, patronage indirectly justifies authoritarianism by delegitimising the opposition. By narrowing the government's function to redistribution of wealth, the opposition is made to look useless by default. Patronage therefore indirectly delegitimises both non-Malay parties (purportedly the threat to Malay Malaysians' well-being) and Malay-based opposition parties (seen as naturally the culprit of Malay disunity) in electoral competition.

Hence, eliminating patronage would threaten both authoritarianism and ultra-nationalism.

The real issue

The real issue for this Umno general assembly is not the change of leadership or corruption, but how the new leadership will deal with the archaic unholy trinity of authoritarianism, ultra-nationalism and patronage.

The trinity was effectively broken in the general election of 8 March 2008. Indian Malaysians refused to take Umno or its style of power sharing as the given. They voted in PAS politicians like Mohammad Nizar and Dr Siti Mariam Mahmud over the MIC's Indian Malaysian candidates. Because an ethnic riot did not occur post-8 March, the spectre of another 13 May has somewhat faded. Thus, Umno's own position as the natural given has also suffered a setback.

Umno now has two choices.

The first is to accept that the unholy trinity of authoritarianism, ultra-nationalism and patronage has been dismantled since March 2008. If it picks choice #1, Umno will then need to be cleaner, more inclusive, and most of all, more democratic. This is the reform most Malaysians outside of Umno would like to see happen.

The second choice would be to restore this unholy trinity. There is a limit to what patronage can do, especially during an economic recession. Since non-Malay Malaysians will no longer accept Umno as the given, ultra-nationalism and authoritarianism will be punished come the next general election.

The only way to counter this would be to let the threat of ethnic violence materialise, hoping Malaysians would take it lying down and re-accept authoritarianism as the lesser evil.

The first choice is tough for Umno for it would have to accept the possibility of losing in the elections despite reforms. But in a real democracy, that would happen sooner or later. Umno would need to find inclusive ideological positions and device a democratic modus operandi to retain power or to survive as the opposition.

The second choice is much easier by comparison for Umno. That choice even stands a good chance of effectively convincing some Malaysians that democracy is bad. But what a catastrophe it would be for Malaysia and the region. Just look at Perak, which now offers a good example of democratic ruin.

So the question confronting us today, as Umno gathers at a politically-significant assembly, is this: Will Malaysians stand up before the second option is taken up?

A political scientist by training and a journalism lecturer by trade, Wong Chin Huat is based in Monash University Sunway Campus. He agrees with Jose Rizal that "there are no tyrants when they are no slaves." He believes that ordinary citizens are more important in ensuring political order than they realise because by signaling their responses, they can force politicians to change their calculations.

Program Anwar Ibrahim di Bukit Selambau & Bukit Gantang

BUKIT SELAMBAU

Tarikh : 26/03/09
Tempat: Bukit Selambau, bertemu jentera pengundi di lokaliti Taman Bandar Baru
Masa : Jam 9 malam
Contact Person: Sdr Saiful Izham 012 2962642

Tarikh : 27/03/09
Tempat: Masjid Taman Ria (solat jumaat)
Masa: Waktu Zohor
Contact Person: Sdr Saiful Izham 012 2962642

Tarikh : 27/03/09
Tempat: Menziarahi mangsa keganasan FRU (Hospital Metro Sg Petani)
Masa: Jam 3 petang
Contact Person: Sdr Saiful Izham 012 2962642

————————————-

BUKIT GANTANG

Tarikh : 27/03/09
Tempat: Dewan Masyarakat Cina Kuala Sepetang.
Masa : Jam 6-7 petang
Contact Person: Hj Ismail(012 5080 344)

Tarikh : 27/03/09
Tempat: Masjid Kuala Terung
Masa : Waktu Maghrib/Isyak
Contact Person: Hj Ismail(012 5080 344)

PEJABAT DATUK SERI ANWAR IBRAHIM

Umno 'intoxicated' with success ( Malaysiakini)

In his final presidential address, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi acknowledged that Umno's glory has diminished and the party is now battling for survival.
MCPX

pak lah and najib raising the umno flag agm 2009 260309 01Addressing delegates attending Umno's 59th annual assembly in Kuala Lumpur, he said members must heed the alarm bells that have rung so loudly, prompting questions such as 'what went wrong?' and 'why and how did we go wrong?'

"My spontaneous response to that question is that we have failed to manage our own success. We were intoxicated by our achievements and we became complacent.

"We believed that we had become all powerful. We have put our own positions within the party first, instead of being concerned over Umno's positions in the eyes of our citizens and the nation," he said.

Abdullah said the current situation requires Umno to be introspective, revisit the basis of the party's struggle and examine the weaknesses and recent missteps.

The president stressed that internal conflicts and greed have also weakened the party, providing fodder to rivals in their efforts to tarnish Umno.

'Mahathirism' will not save Umno
Outgoing Umno president Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today expressed sadness that certain quarters in the party believe that reverting to the old order is the panacea to revive the ailing institution.
MCPX

macc official launch 240209 abdullah badawi"Sadly there are still those who feel that we do not need to pursue reforms," he said in his opening speech at the 59th Umno general assembly in Kuala Lumpur.

"They believe that Umno will regain its glory if we revert to the old ways - the old order, by restricting freedom of our citizens and by silencing their criticisms," he added.

Abdullah's remarks come amidst growing concerns that his successor Najib Abdul Razak would emulate the leadership traits of former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and come down hard on critics.

There is also widespread fear that the Internal Security Act (ISA) will be invoked to quash dissent.

Abdullah said these quarters are of the view that Umno can continue to be in power if they safeguard the interests of certain individuals and give in to the demands of certain groups.

"There are those among us who gain comfort from these thoughts and are still lulled into a false sense of security," he added.

According to Abdullah, the old path is the wrong path.

Najib Declared As The New Umno President

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak was declared as the new Umno president at the 2008 Umno General Assembly, at Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC), Kuala Lumpur, today.

It's KJ!

Human Rights : UMNO gila kuasa

Part 1


Part 2

MACC REPORT AGAINST VELLPAARI

Author: Office of Mp Kapar

Title: MACC REPORT AGAINST VELLPAARI
Location: MACC KL OFFICE
Description: MACC REPORT AGAINST VELLPARI FOR MISUSING MAIKA HOLDINGS FUND LAVISHLY
Start Time: 10:00
Date: 2009-03-26
End Time: 12:00

Penggantungan Harakah, tembakan pemedih mata dan pencalonan Nizar – Ahmad Lutfi Othman

MAC 25 – Isnin, Mac 23, hari bergelora. Meskipun tiada hujan, namun langit kelabu. Sejak Harakah dilancarkan 22 tahun lalu, tiada detik sukar seperti petang itu.

Tepat jam 4.55 petang, faks dari Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan, Kementerian Dalam Negeri, memancung keheningan pejabat. Saya agak keletihan, baru pulang dari Putrajaya. Fikrah Harakah edisi Isnin menunggu untuk diisi. Bahan belum mencukupi.

Sebaik keluar lif di tingkat dua, rakan wartawan Nyza Ayob menyapa: “Dah tengok surat KDN?’ Tanpa menjangka sesuatu yang buruk bakal berlaku, saya hanya menggeleng. Entah kenapa, tiba-tiba sahaja debar jantung berdegup kencang.

“Harakah kena gantung tiga bulan!” Maklum Nyza, masih tersenyum. Bagi saya, ia bagai petir menyambar. Surat ringkas dua perenggan hanya memaklumkan KDN menggantung permit lidah rasmi PAS yang kini sudah dianggap akhbar alternatif no. 1 itu, selama tiga bulan berkuatkuasa serta merta.

Terdetik di hati, “masakan secepat itu, bukankah baru kelmarin Pengarah Urusan, Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar menelefon pegawai KDN menjelaskan isu surat tunjuk sebab dari KDN?”

Segera saya memanggil pembantu, Atriza Umar, mencarikan surat bertarikh 26 Feb lalu, yang ditandatangani Che Din Yusoh. Saya mahu dapatkan nombor telefon bimbitnya – sambil menahan sabar – untuk mendapatkan penjelasan. Ya, mengapa KDN harus tergesa-gesa sekali? Dunia belum kiamat. Umno belum terlungkup.

Bukankah selama ini KDN banyak melakukan kesilapan dalam membuat keputusan, sehingga terpaksa menarik balik, atau dalam beberapa kes tahanan ISA, antaranya membabitkan seorang wartawan wanita sebuah akhbar Cina, harus membebaskan segera selepas memberikan alasan penahanan yang tidak masuk akal.

Memang KDN tidak belajar dari kesalahan walaupun menterinya bertukar, perdana menteri bergilir.

Perbualan saya dengan Che Din tidak wajar dirakamkan di sini. Nokhtah.

Saya mula berkhidmat di Harakah seawal seminggu sebelum Harakah sulung diterbitkan, April 1987. Walaupun keluar-masuk Harakah lima enam kali, rasa saya tidak pernah sekalipun Harakah gagal diterbitkan atas halangan KDN, waimma satu keluaran.

Apa yang tidak disebut tentang “kediktatoran” Dr Mahathir Mohamad semasa menjadi perdana menteri dan menteri dalam negeri? Namun beliau hanya mencantas kekerapan Harakah, daripada dua kali seminggu kepada dua kali sebulan.

Dalam era reformasi yang memuncak itu, ketika edaran Harakah meningkat daripada 60,000 naskhah sehingga mencecah 400,000 naskhah, dan Mahathir cemas menghadapi pilihan paling getir baginya, 1999, tetapi Harakah tidak pernah diganggu seteruk ini.

Memang jualannya dihadkan kepada ahli PAS di premis parti sahaja dan kandungannya ditekankan agar mematuhi skop dan konsep yang diluluskan, iaitu hanya memuatkan berita dan rencana yang berkaitan PAS sahaja, tetapi arahan gantung, apatah lagi selama 3 tahun – satu tempoh yang relatif panjang – tidak pernah dikuat-kuasakan.

Abdullah Ahmad Badawi pula, selepas kalah lebih teruk pada 8 Mac 2008, yakin lebih buruk berbanding prestasi Mahathir pada Nov 1999, namun beliau tetap menerima permohonan PAS untuk mengembalikan kekerapan Harakah kepada dua kali seminggu. Ada tanda jiwa besar di situ.

Lalu, bahana siapakah yang mencetuskan onar sedahsyat ini? Menterinya masih Syed Hamid Albar, Abdullah tetap PM, tapi siapakah yang mahu percaya dengan dakwaaan bahawa tindakan zalim ini bukan didorong oleh kepentingan politik yang cukup sarat? Zaman sudah berubah. Dunia semakin telus. Media baru membentuk realiti.

Tanpa perlu berpakat, semua mata tertumpu kepada Najib Razak. Tuduhan ditujukan kepadanya.

Beberapa hari lepas saya menelefon Zunar, ketua pengarang Suara Keadilan, memberitahu Harakah kena surat tunjuk sebab, atas alasan teknikal yang lazim digunakan.

Zunar menyanggah tanggapan bahawa Najib akan secepat itu “main kasar” dengan akhbar alternatif. Saya boleh bersetuju dengan Zunar. Kami langsung tidak terlintas Najib akan melakukan perbuatan sehodoh ini.

Malamnya, selepas makan di Restoran Haslam, saya mendapat SMS daripada Azizi Hj Abdullah: “Belum apa-apa gas dan water canon dah disembur di Padang Awam Cinta Sayang, Sungai Petani malam ini. Dajai. Habis cempera.”

Saya terus hubungi wartawan Kedah, Izwan Abdul Halim. Dari jauh, suara Izwan serak, macam menanggung pedih disembur gas pemedih. Segera saya putuskan talian. Darah menyirap lagi. Nampak jelas penggantungan Harakah, Suara Keadilan memang dirancang untuk menghadapi situasi sulit BN terutama pilihan raya kecil dan perhimpunan Umno yang penuh rasuah itu.

Mujur ada berita menyejukkan hati. Ir Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin dipilih calon PAS Bukit Gantang. Peluang Nizar terbuka, tapi tidak boleh diremehkan potensi menang BN. Ini pilihan raya paling kritikal buat Umno.

Banyak peluru yang disimpannya. Kekalahan di Permatang Pauh dan Kuala Terengganu bukan indikator segalanya cerah di sini.

Memang Nizar aset terbaik bagi menguji penerimaan rakyat Perak atas kemelut yang berkecamuk di negeri itu.

Sama-samalah kita bergelut dalam pesta demokrasi yang serba pincang ini, ya ... walaupun mungkin tanpa Harakah, berdepan tembakan gas pemedih mata, dan “kesamsengan” jentera BN di bawah pengarah barunya ini, sambil mengharapkan ada kewarasan bagi membetulkan keadaan. – Harakahdaily

No more comedy of errors, please!

Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim did the right thing in withdrawing himself from hearing the two cases against Perak Speaker V Sivakumar.

It is the only decent thing to do after the ridiculous decisions he had made in these cases which denied the Speaker the choice of lawyers and his own right to defend himself. His position has become untenable.

Ridwan has put the judiciary in a very poor light with his inexplicable judicial decisions that had dismayed and disappointed Malaysians who were looking forward to the return of the glory days of the judiciary.

The case will now be heard before Justice Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim. We are very confident that in this instance it won’t be another comedy of errors!

The Perak cases involve substantive issues of law and principles of justice. They involve our parliamentary system of governance and the court decisions will have a great impact on our notion of justice and fair play.

This is why it is so imperative that these cases should be heard before a very senior judge who has a fair understanding of basic issues of right and wrong.

In view of what transpired under Ridwan, it would be useful to recall the wise words of Jean de La Bruyere: “The duty of judges is to render justice; their profession is to discern it. There are some who know their duty and who practise their profession.”

P Ramakrishnan
President, Aliran

Najib’s powerful speech eradicates corruption in UMNO

Image

Someone e-mailed me this item, which came out today in http://nose4news.wordpress.com/. I thought it was funny enough for me to share it with you. The trouble is: many Malaysians do not have a sense of humour and good sarcasm is wasted on Malaysians. Anyway, here goes.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin



If there was one thing all observers could agree on about Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s opening speech at the UMNO General Assembly for its Youth, Wanita and Puteri wings last night, it was how incredibly moving it was. So powerful was Najib’s oratory delivery that corruption — referred to as ‘money politics’ in UMNO circles — was effectively neutralised and eradicated from the organisation.

“I actually saw corruption dissipate from the hall, it was unbelievable,” said Roziman Musa, a delegate from Perak at the main PWTC assembly hall. “Before Datuk Seri Najib’s speech, money politics and vote-buying were evident in the faces of many of my fellow delegates. But as the DPM began his verbal assault on the corruption within UMNO, everyone was cleansed. Detoxified!”

A casual walk amongst the delegates revealed a cleaner, purer sense of being and an overall spirit of absolute harmony.



“I’m a man reborn,” said Jaafar Hussin, a delegate and senior UMNO member from Pahang. “I, like many of my friends, didn’t think twice about accepting money or contracts in exchange for votes before, but now I am free. I feel the wonderful void which all the corrupt thoughts have left behind. I am at peace with the universe."

“Thank you for the rousing speech, Datuk Seri!” he said, before running barefooted around the hall, throwing flower petals onto the appreciative crowd.

The sense of well-being was shared by every UMNO member nationwide, from top leaders to young members.

“We’re returning all our ill-gotten wealth to the community,” said Datuk Seman Azizuddin, a Terengganu branch chief and businessman when met at a hotel nearby. “My friends and I, who had amassed hundreds of millions of ringgit from our close ties to the administration, will now denounce our corrupt ways and live the life of clean, honest people, thanks to last night’s speech. What Datuk Seri Najib said resonated with the child within our souls, and released us from the clutches of our greed for money and power. We shall now embrace purity, selflessness and spirituality."



“Our crony days are over. Thank God!”

Puteri UMNO member from Lembah Keramat, Nina Badariah Ahmad, said that she now was more inspired to put her life into the party.

“Before this, I didn’t quite know why I joined, maybe because I subscribed to some of the ideals of the party, but mainly because I was intrigued by the power and potential wealth I could get my hands on,” said Nina. “But Datuk Seri Najib’s fiery speech has sifted all the impure and immoral reasons from the pure. He has killed all that is bad in the party. I am now in UMNO only for the good of the rakyat. Go UMNO!”

Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, responding to this latest news, indicated that Najib’s speech ‘had rendered the purpose of the Pakatan Rakyat null and void’.



“Oh dear. I guess this is the end of PR,” he said over the phone solemnly. “We went out to the people on the promise of transparency, equality and justice, but now that UMNO is living all those qualities, with absolutely zero corruption, we’re pretty much dead in the water.”

“I mean, I guess you can’t win ‘em all. Even I was inspired by his speech; it brought tears to my eyes,” said Anwar, hinting that he’ll be calling for the dissolution of all opposition parties and a mass entry into UMNO, as soon as he can.

In addition to talking about choosing ‘clean and able leaders’ to take the organisation out of its current doldrums, Najib also spoke of UMNO being more IT-friendly and giving more attention to new media. Early reports have indicated that all mainstream printed media would abandon paper and offer their services online and for mobile exclusively, in effect saving trees and making the world a far, far better place for all our children.

Graphics Courtesy Stephff

Congrats UMNO Youth!

By Sheih Kickdefella

UMNO youth has spoken, they wanted no changes, they find nothing wrong with them and they give Malaysia, Khairy Jamaluddin!

Bravo!

Notice of the ‘no confidence in Najib’ petition sent out to 141 MPs

By Haris Ibrahim

Remember the petition that was launched on 4th January, 2009?

No?

You can read it HERE.

As at this morning, 3,946 had signed, directing 141 MPs to do the right thing if and when Najib should run to the palace to get his PMship sealed.

Those MPS were given notice this morning. I reduce the same below.

Next post, I will list the MPs notified and suggest what you can still do to try and stop the worst nightmare happening in this country.

______________________________________

Dear Yang Berkhidmat,

My name is Haris Ibrahim and I moderate a blog known as “The People’s Parliament”. You may access the same at http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com.

On 4th January, 2009, I initiated an online petition entitled “Kami tidak berkeyakinan terhadap Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abd Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia”.
You can access the petition online at .http://www.petitiononline.com/pmbersih/petition.html

The petition was open to all Malaysian citizens and was aimed at creating an avenue by which citizens who are concerned by the possibility of Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Abd Razak becoming Prime Minister might communicate those concerns to you, their elected representative, in Parliament.

Points 10 to 17 in the body of the petition detail the matters by reason wherefore many do not have any confidence in Dato Seri Najib to lead our country as Prime Minister.

As at 8.45 am this morning, 25th March, 2009, 3946 individuals have signed in support of the petition, some of whom are members of your constituency.

For your convenience, I now reproduce hereinbelow the last three paragraphs of the petition, which is a directive from your constituents to you.

“Wherefore, we, the undersigned, now direct you, Honourable Members of Parliament, as our duly elected representatives :-

a) to demand that the Executive forthwith establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry to fully investigate upon the matters hereinstated and and the serious questions arising therefrom and to make public the findings and recommendations, if any, of such a Commission; and

b) should the Executive fail to establish a Commission as aforementioned or any other credible investigative body to look into and make public its report on its findings and recommendations, if any, on the matters hereinstated, with the consequence that the same remain uninvestigated and the serious questions arising therefrom remain unanswered if and when Dato Seri Najib should seek an audience with His Majesty with a view to securing his appointment as Prime Minister, you take all necessary steps to make known to His Majesty that, as our elected representatives, you do not have confidence in Dato Seri Najib to lead our country as Prime Minister.

Please treat this e-mail as notice to you of this directive from your constituents.

I also include here a link to an article written by one of your fellow members which you may find instructive in the matter of the appointment of the Prime Minister. The same may be accessed at http://razaleigh.com/2009/03/23/how-a-new-government-is-formed.

I am also obliged to inform you that I shall be endeavouring to despatch a copy of the petition, a full list of the signatories thereto and a list of Members of Parliament who have been given this notice, to His Majesty the Yang DiPertuan Agong.

Please also be informed that this notice to you will be reproduced in my blog, together with a list of all Members of Parliament who have received the same.

I would be most grateful if you would acknowledge receipt hereof by return mail confirming the same.

Thank you.

I am, as always, anak Bangsa Malaysia,

Haris Ibrahim

We should all come clean

By Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah

Yesterday I gave an interview to Sarah Stewart, the Bureau Chief of AFP in Malaysia. Among the questions she asked me was the unavoidable question about the international scandal linking Dato’ Seri Najib Razak with the murder of Altantuya Sharibuu and with the purchase of the Scorpene submarines.

I told Sarah that in my long experience as a politician the only way to clear one’s name when a scandal has broken out around oneself is to meet it head on in the court of law. The BMF scandal of the 1980’s also had its share of lurid detail. There too a large sum of money and a murder was involved. An unseen hand had woven the threads of the story around me to destroy me politically. But when international newspapers alleged that I was involved in any wrongdoing, I took action against each and every one of them in their home jurisdictions.

I sued The Telegraph and The Sunday Times of the UK, and The South China Morning Post of Hong Kong. I won all three cases, the newspapers published unreserved apologies and printed retractions covering half a broadsheet page each, and I came away with a tidy sum of money for my trouble.

It is safe to say that in the international media, the incoming Umno President and the presumptive Prime Minister is being evaluated through the Altantuya scandal. The UK’s Sunday Times, the International Herald Tribune, the French daily, LibĂ©ration, The Australian Financial Review, the Far Eastern Economic Review and the New York Times have all published stories raising questions about the link between the murdered young woman, Dato’ Seri Najib, and the gigantic commission paid out by the French company Armaris to a Malaysian company for the purchase of submarines. This is now an international story.

And this story will not go away. With its dramatic details and the alleged involvement of elite Malaysian government operatives, it captures the journalistic imagination. But the story is now connected with an ongoing investigation into the dealings of a major French company. The story is also going to stick around because it is a handy looking-glass into Malaysia’s “increasingly dysfunctional political system.” It implicates our entire system of government, our judiciary, and our press, and it casts a shadow on our ability as a nation to face and tell the truth. Against this backdrop promises of reform ring hollow. The storyline of the New York Times article, for example, is that scandal-clouded succession reveals a once confident young country shaken to its foundations by institutional rot. I cannot say this is inaccurate.

The scandal is bringing shame to the nation and damaging our international credibility. For the honour of the nation, for the honour of the office of prime minister, for the honour of the sovereign institutions expected to endorse, confirm and lend authority to him should he become prime minister according to Umno’s plans, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak should finally face these suspicions and implied charges, submit himself to legal scrutiny, and come clean on them.

Swearing on the Al-Quran is not the way out. Scoundrels have been known to do that. The truth, established through the rigorous and public scrutiny of the law, is the only remedy if an untrue story has gained currency not just internationally but at home among a large section of the people.

Najib should voluntarily offer to testify at the trial of the two officers charged with killing Altantuya Sharibuu. He could also write to these newspapers and if necessary he should take legal action against them to clear his name and that of our country.

Is UMNO power crazy?

By Lim Kit Siang

For saying that I was suspended in Parliament today.

But Hishammuddin Hussein the out-going Umno Youth Leader called Anwar Ibrahim power crazy. And he became a hero.

——

Kit Siang ejected for calling Umno ‘power-crazy’

Malaysiakini | S Pathmawathy | Mar 25, 09 11:13am

DAP Ipoh Timor parliamentarian Lim Kit Siang was suspended from Parliament proceedings this morning up to 1pm for saying that Umno is “power-crazy”.

Deputy Speaker Ronald Kiandee issued the suspension order after Lim (left) questioned the hasty manner in which the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Amendment) 2009 Bill was being debated.

“We were not given proper notice and there was no consultation. We should have been given a day’s notice to review the amendments… this is totally against the Standing Orders of the House,” Lim had said.

Kiandee pointed out that Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz had made an announcement yesterday after the first reading, that the Bill would be tabled for the second and third reading today.

“The government has the power to prioritise which Bills are to be brought forward. Sufficient time was given to members of parliament to be prepared for the debate,” said Kiandee.

Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Batu Gajah) then interjected to ask: “Does the Executive control Parliament? The amendments were only given to us yesterday. We can’t just amend the Bill at short notice.”

Mohd Nazri said the second reading had been brought forward to give the MPs the opportunity to debate the Bill at this session, which ends today.

However, as he was reading the Bill, opposition MPs began raising objections under the Standing Orders. He ignore the interjections.

When the debate was opened to the floor, Lim once more said that parliamentarians should have been given more time to study the Bill.

“I know that all Umno members of parliament are crazy about the general assembly and elections,” he said, following it up with the remark that “Umno is power-crazy”.

Reason for amendments

This ignited a war of words between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat parliamentarians.

BN lawmakers told Lim to withdraw his remark. Refusing to do so, he said that he was just stating the obvious and that there was no offence in his words.

BN MPs called Lim “a dog” and “bastard”. One not just shouted “Anjing!” but even went “Woof! Woof!”

Mohamad Aziz (BN-Sri Gading) warned Lim to not insult Umno, saying: “You are trying our patience… take back what you said.”

Lim shouted back: “I will not take back what I said, Umno is power-crazy.”

Kiandee repeatedly told Lim to sit, but he refused to heed the order. This led to his suspension until the lunch break.

After Lim left the House, the deputy speaker ordered Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan, right) to retracted his remark that the DAP parliamentarian was “biadap” (insolent).

Amendments to the Human Rights Commission Act have been necessitated by requirements set by the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights (ICC).

The ICC has given the government up to tomorrow to incorporate changes on the appointment of commissioners, failing which the commission’s ranking will be lowered.

The current session of the Dewan Rakyat was extended up to today from March 19.

——

‘Beware of that power-crazy traitor’
Malaysiakini | Mar 25, 09 11:01am

Outgoing Umno Youth chief Hishammuddin Hussein today warned party members to be wary of the ONE who is “using all means to topple the Barisan Nasional government.”

umno youth 2009 agm 250309 hishammuddinAlthough the education minister did not mention names, there is no doubt that his remarks were targetted at opposition leader and former Umno deputy president Anwar Ibrahim.

According to Hishammuddin, this “traitor is power-crazy and would stop at nothing (to achieve his goals).”

Turning the clock back to Sept 16 last year, he said the ‘traitor’ had vowed that a change of government would happen on this date and planted the seeds of doubt amongst the people.

“But God decided that the reverse happens, with a transition of power taking place in Perak,” he said, adding that it was God’s response to the claims made by those who were arrogant.

“This traitor would sow the seeds of hatred, would work with the enemy, would turn against his own race and insult his own country in various international arenas.

“The traitor would also ridicule the institution of the royalty and anyone else for the sake of his unbridled lust.

“But whatever he does, he would be judged by history as a man who wears a mask, practises the culture of hypocrisy and false pretences, (and) as someone who manipulated others - he says one thing in front and does another at the back.”

‘Trap does not forget the mousedeer’

Hishammuddin also quoted a Malay proverb to illustrate his point, which hinted that a ‘trap’ could be in place for the opposition leader.

“Wahai Petualang bangsa, pelanduk mungkin lupakan jerat, tetapi jerat janganlah sama sekali melupakan pelanduk.” (To the one who has betrayed his race, the mousedeer might forget the trap, but the trap would never forget the mousedeer).

The Umno Youth wing, he pledged, would fight the “traitor’s dirty and revolting politics till the very end”.

“The country is now struck by the uncivilised practice of street politics. Of late, we have seen premeditated efforts by the opposition to demolish the foundations of the nation.

“The people are sown with hatred for the security forces, with the police being targeted. The good name of the police force is tarnished and their sacrifices no longer appreciated,” he said.

“Certain quarters have become arrogant and high-headed to the point of questioning the social contract and status of the Malays and bumiputera. The social contract is deliberately misinterpreted to fan racial sentiments,” he added.

The Umno Youth chief also expressed concern that some have become emboldened enough to insult the royal institution and the status of Islam.

“Irrespective of the circumstances, without caring for the consequences, they hurl baseless allegations and ridicule all those who do not share their views,” he said.

In an obvious reference to DAP supremo Karpal Singh (right) and his son Gobind, Hishammuddin said these irresponsible people must not hide behind parliamentary immunity to showcase their courage and shoot off their mouths.

No unsheathing of the keris

This was Hishammuddin’s last speech as Umno Youth chief as he is contesting a vice-president’s post in this party polls.

He continued with the controversial Umno Youth tradition of arriving at the meeting hall with a keris.

But in what appeared to be a concession to past criticism, Hishammuddin pointedly avoided raising the keris and stopped at just kissing the traditional Malay weapon.

He then raised his right hand and shouted the customary clarion call of ‘Hidup Melayu’ (Long Live the Malays) three times.

In the past, Hishamuddin’s act of raising the keris had drawn much flak from various quarters who viewed it as a threat to other races.

Today’s change in protocol seems to indicate that Hishammuddin was avoiding causing discontent among non-Malays, particulary in light of the three impending by-elections on April 7.

However, this decision could have a bearing on his bid for vice-presidency, as many hardcore Umno members could see Hishammuddin as being weak.

Shadow over Umno

By Zedeck Siew (The Nut Graph)

Khairy Jamaluddin celebrates his victory (All pics courtesy of theSun)

AFTER more than two hours and three recounts, Umno Youth's new chief was finally confirmed at 11.30pm on 25 March, 2009. Khairy Jamaluddin, with 304 votes, beat rivals Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir (232 votes) and Datuk Seri Mohd Khir Toyo (254 votes) in a closely-fought contest at the wing's general assembly today.

The long wait saw observers at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC)'s main floor getting restless. Rumours had placed Khairy, who was deputy to outgoing chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, and Mukhriz running head to head.

Rival camps, trying to occupy the time, tried to drown each other out with rowdy chanting. One impatient supporter, fed up, shouted "Let Khairy win already!"

The situation after the Umno Youth results were announced was very tense. Rival supporters outside Dewan Tun Hussein Onn were chanting "KJ rasuah, KJ penipu!"

Police were called in to calm the crowd, and they formed a human chain to separate supporters and prevent any violence.

The scuffle is indicative of a problem that shadows Khairy's win. On 17 March, the Umno disciplinary committee found him guilty of breaching the party's code of ethics, due to alleged money politics. Although they then let him off with a warning, it is an allegation that casts doubt on his commitment to the party's official crusade against internal corruption.

Khairy's victory may also be read as a willingness for the party's Youth wing to return to Malay ultra-nationalism.

During the day's debate session, Umno Youth information chief Azimi Daim began measuredly, saying that it was necessary for the wing to assist the party in regaining grassroots appeal. "We must become the voice that is seen as representing the cause of the people, and not that of sycophants," Azimi said.

Vitriol seemed directed at the opposition. Outgoing chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had earlier styled opposition leader (and former Umno member) Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as a Malay (Malaysian) traitor. He kissed the keris, but lust for Chinese Malaysian blood was not discussed. Umno's enemy was opposition politicians, not other races.

However, with Permatang Pauh delegate Mohd Zaidi Mohd Said, the rhetoric turned overtly racial. Asking "If Umno cannot defend Ketuanan Melayu, then who will?", Mohd Zaidi urged the party to lift its suspension of former Bukit Bendera division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail.

Women vote for change


Shahrizat (left) and Rafidah

Results for the Umno Wanita polls were announced much earlier, around 9.15pm. Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil won a landslide victory, ousting Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, who had previously led the movement for 22 years.

This outcome may be read as a sea-change for Wanita, signalling a shift from Rafidah's paternalistic reign to the softer touch of Shahrizat, who is widely perceived to be more willing to lead by consensus.

And, by electing the former Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, Wanita may be signalling its displeasure at Rafidah's earlier call to stick to politics.

"We musn't be occupied with women issues and neglect politics. Don't forget that we have already lost in five states," Rafidah had said in her keynote address this morning at the Wanita Umno general assembly.

However, in debating the Rafidah speech, Bagan Serai Wanita chief Asmah Ramli proposed that 30% of ministerial and deputy ministerial posts be allocated to women. She also complained that there were too few women in government, despite the fact that the women's wing was Umno's largest.

Pak Lah's candidates


Najib (left) seated next to Pak Lah

However, some see Shahrizat's win as a potential stumbling block for Umno. She has been perceived as a favourite of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Now, with Khairy's victory, there is an apparent resurgence of Abdullah-aligned individuals within Umno's new leadership. Khairy is the son-in-law of the outgoing prime minister.

The past year has seen Umno trying to distance itself from Abdullah, who had been blamed for Barisan Nasional's setbacks during the 12th general election of March 2008. Now, the effectiveness of Datuk Seri Najib Razak's incoming administration in instituting rejuvenation, and breaking with the weaknesses of the past, is called into question.

With money politics casting a pall over the Umno Youth election results, and the party wing's preference for vehement racial rhetoric, hope of renewal for one of Umno's important components seems crushed.

And, while Wanita delegates seem willing to risk a new direction for their wing, Shahrizat's win may further impede Umno's ability as a whole to gather itself for overall fortification. The fate of Umno is still very much an open question.

Will Najib become PM now? - Anil Netto

By now, many are thinking - and worried that - it’s a foregone conclusion that Najib will become the next PM.

But Tengku Razaleigh reminds us the Agong and Parliament have a crucial constitutional role to play:

Let us understand very clearly the transitional situation we are in.

1. The incumbent Prime Minister is about to resign as he has solemnly promised to by the end of this month.

2. On the appointed day (which like so many things in this administration remains a mystery) the Prime Minister will tender his resignation and that of his cabinet to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. With this the government of the day comes to an end.

3. The Yang di-Pertuan Agong will appoint the next Prime Minister at his sole discretion from among the members of the elected lower house of Parliament, the Dewan Rakyat. His Majesty’s choice is guided by his own judgment of who among the members “commands the confidence” of a majority the members of parliament.

4. The new Prime Minister will name his cabinet and form the next government.

5. The Agong’s choice may at any time be tested by a vote of confidence in the Dewan Rakyat. If the Prime Minister is rejected by the Dewan, the King will have to re-appoint another person.

Razaleigh goes on the discuss the implications:

1. Whatever undertakings the present prime minister has made with his deputy or with his party about his successor are external to the constitutional process. To think otherwise is to imagine that the prime ministership is a private property to be passed on from one potentate to another at whim. The behaviour of some leaders might have conveyed this unfortunate impression, and caused the public to find the party arrogant and out of touch.

2. The fact that the President of UMNO has also been appointed as Prime Minister is only a convention, as Tun Dr Mahathir, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz have asserted recently. This convention was based on the assumption of Umno’s absolute dominance of Parliament. That condition no longer holds.

3. Statements in the media that it is the right of Umno and BN to dictate to the Yang Dipertuan Agong who should be Prime Minister deny the constitutional right of the Yang Dipertuan Agong, and deprive him of perhaps the most important of his few discretionary powers. Such statements turn the Agong’s role into a rubber stamp for the decisions of a political party. I am waiting for Umno to strongly denounce such statements, especially as we have recently rediscovered our concern for the rights of the Rulers.

So it’s not over till it’s over…

Petisyen Bantahan Terhadap Najib Razak Sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia

Anda dijemput menandatangani petisyen bantahan terhadap Najib Razak sebagai Perdana Menteri Malaysia di laman web http://www.petitiononline.com/pmbersih/petition.html

Najib is Set to Continue Mahathir’s Iron Fist Policy

By Tulang Besi

Najib was never a leader. He shuns competition and he always expects everything to be served to him on a silver platter. I mean, what can u expect from someone who has been raised with a silver spoon fed into his mouth.

At least, Dr. Mahathir was tested several times and won. But, Dr. Mahathir prefers the iron fist tactics to maintain his hegemony. Najib, on the other hand, needs to invoke and iron fist because without it, his reign will not last more than one term.

Which Segmet of the Society Will Support Najib Now?

His image is already tainted with corruption and abuse. That alone shuns the secular elements among the Malays and Non-Malays. His personal life is laced with images rejected by all Islamists in Malaysia. So, Najib can say goodbye to the Islamist section of the society. It is hard for any Islamists to justify their support for Najib.

Then, there is the Malay Nationalist, which is about the last bastion of Najib’s support. Other than them, there is hardly anyone who had the appetite to support Najib Tun Razak as the next Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Also, there are those among our society who calls themselves as businessmen. They are corrupted and they will give allegiance to anyone who will ensure them contracts and projects. This segment of the society Najib will try to woo as much as possible. That is the reason for his RM60bill stimulus package.

Back to our original topic, Najib now relies on iron fist policy of Dr. Mahathir to give a mirage of legitimacy on his rule. He knows, he is the least qualified for the position, but by applying iron fist tactics, he hopes to silence all credible opposition against his rule.

For instance, he is aware that the public despises his illegal and immoral act of toppling the Perak Pakatan government. So, his next move is to stop circulation of Harakah, Suara Keadilan etc for about 3 months with hope that the kampong people will not have access to information and thus kampung people will stop questioning Najib’s legitimacy.

Problem with Najib Applying this Particular Tactic

Dr. Mahathir was lucky. When he applied iron fist, he was on the back of an South East Asian economic resurgence. So, majority of the population does not mind their rights being trampled just as long as their pockets are full.

But Najib is taking the country’s helm at a point where the world’s economy is facing a gloom outlook on the back of the catastrophic financial meltdown. Even in the West, things are not as optimistic as it looks and it will take years before the Western economy recovers from the financial meltdown.

So, Malaysia will also suffer the same fate. We already know how Najib trying to introduce a stimulus package that sounded like a RM76 billion package, but turned out that the government only spends RM15 billion.

In other words, Malaysia is running short of cash to spend, while the country’s economy is not getting anywhere to being better. Jobs are lost everyday, factories are closing down every month and people who use to thrive on high commodity prices are now suffering as cost to operate their plantations are going up while their revenue are nose diving.

To tell u the truth, the high price of Oil Palm and Rubber was the saving grace for UMNO is states like Negeri Sembilan and Pahang. If rubber and palm oil prices are they are right now back in March 2008, Negeri Sembilan would have fallen to Pakatan Rakyat with relative ease.

In other words, the high price of rubber and palm oil saved Barisan Nasional in Negeri Sembilan.

So, all of Najib’s iron fist initiative requires a “popular push” which Najib doesn’t seem to have up his sleeve.

Plus, the inherent problem of corruption in the system will hamper any effort towards revitalizing the economy or at least prevents the good feeling effects among the electorates.

Corruption is something that Najib will never be able to curb because as of now Najib will require acts of corruption to maintain his base of support.

So, the mass will not get that good feeling effect required for his iron fist initiative to be effective

What Should Pakatan Do?

I think Pakatan should:

a. Get closer to the people, especially in states they control
b. Continue on their offensive stance. Never waiver even a little bit
c. Capitalize on the inner break between the UMNO ranks
d. Go ahead with the Sept 16 plans even though it’s been some time.
e. Clean all electoral rolls from unknown voters.
f. Create and pump-up existing alternative media

And many more. But the ones I listed above are the main ones that requires attention.

Umno Election Results After 10pm, Thursday

KUALA LUMPUR, March 20 (Bernama) -- The results of Umno elections will probably be known after 10pm on Thursday, said party secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor today.

He said that the voting process would be done manually because the candidates were uncomfortable with the proposed computerised voting and this could cause a delay in the results.

The Umno permanent chairman would announce the results on that night at Dewan Merdeka of the Putra World Trade Centre, he said at a press conference on the party's 59th general assembly from March 24 to 28.

The number of contestants according to posts are as follows:

Umno main -- permanent chairman (two), deputy president (two), vice president (eight), Supreme Council (50).

Wanita wing -- permanent chairman (four), movement head (two), Executive Council (49).

Youth wing -- permanent chairman (two), deputy permanent chairman (six), movement head (three), vice head (two), Executive Council (64).

Puteri wing -- permanent chairman (two), deputy permanent chairman (three), movement head (six), vice head (four) and Executive Council (53).

Tengku Adnan said three motions would be tabled, namely on the president's keynote address, economy and religion and education.

He said the general assembly was initially scheduled for 2008 but deferred to this year because of the leadership transition.

He also said that in view of the by-elections for the Bukit Selambau (Kedah) and Batang Ai (Sarawak) state seats and the Bukit Gantang (Perak) parliamentary seat, the assembly would adjourn on Saturday afternoon after the winding up by the Supreme Council members, deputy president and president.

About 45 parties from overseas have been invited to the assembly as observers and so far 48 people from 18 countries have confirmed their attendance. Sixty-three delegates from 70 Umno clubs abroad have also confirmed they are coming.

On the Umno delegates, Tengku Adnan said his office was verifying their eligibility with the Registrar of Societies and Amanah Raya Berhad.

"If they have been declared a bankrupt and have problems, they cannot serve as delegates. So far, the status of 24 people has yet to be determined," he said.

He said that the number of delegates to the general assembly already confirmed was 2,509, Wanita conference 796, Youth conference 791 and Puteri conference 789.

He also said that the debate on Friday would be extended until 11pm.

The Motion Committee would meet the Management Committee on Monday to decide how long a representative would be allowed to speak during the debate session.

Normally, the tabling of a motion would take 30 minutes while the debate 15 minutes for each representative but everything would depend on the chair, Tengku Adnan said.

He also said the ballot papers would have photographs of the candidates and the counting would be held in a room under tight security. "It will involve about 300 staff and no one else will be allowed to get in or out," he said.

He said that on the night of March 26, a "Jasamu DiKenang" dinner would be held in honour of party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi instead of a presidential dinner.

Party veterans and former members like Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad were also invited to the assembly but those who have become opposition leaders such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were not.

Khairy Is The New Umno Youth Chief

KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 (Bernama) -- Khairy Jamaluddin has been elected as the new Umno Youth chief after securing 304 votes, defeating two other candidates namely Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo and Datuk Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir.