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Saturday, March 28, 2009

7.4.09 - Balik Mengundi!

Dr M to rejoin Umno?

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, flanked by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, raise hands at the end of the Umno General Assembly today. — Reuters

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Dr Hasmah Mohd Ali wave to delegates when they arrived about 12.30pm for the final session of the Umno General Assembly today. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad showed up at his successor's swansong today, fuelling speculation he will rejoin Umno.

New Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin announced the former president's presence to loud applause.

"Tun Dr Mahathir's presence is his recognition of the current leadership," said Muhyiddin, now widely seen as his supporter.

"Today is a historic day because Tun will become an Umno member," he added.

Dr Mahathir, who failed to turn up at the assembly opening, nodded and smiled at the announcement.

He had earlier attacked Umno Youth as a corrupt organisation for electing Khairy Jamaluddin as its chief over his son Datuk Mukhriz.

He has long accused Khairy and his father-in-law Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for undoing his legacy.

Dr Mahathir quit Umno last May in an attempt to unseat Abdullah who succeeded him as party president and prime minister.

Is Hindraf Overreaching Itself?

By Naragan N

There has been some suggestions that Hindraf has been overreaching itself. Hindraf is an outlawed organization. Its leaders are detained or are out of the country. Their mouths have been gagged, their hands are tied. And they are overreaching?

Hindraf, though they get their support from the Indians, has not only served the Indian cause but has been instrumental in raising many issues of national significance. Issue which had been festering and been in the making for a long time, only to be precipitated by Hindraf. Will anyone deny that?

The most significant of the issues raised is the issue of the continuing violations of the Malaysian Federal Constitution by the UMNO led government for the last fifty some years. This certainly is an issue of total significance to the people of this country regardless of race, religion or colour. Hindraf continues to be instrumental in raising fundamental issues significant to all of our nation. Yes, they get there by asking the hard questions. These questions are framed in the context of the Indian problem.

Problems and issues in our society will always show themselves up in specifics. But the causes are most often not specific to particular issues, they very often are general to a host of other issues. So, when Hindraf picks up an issue that affects the Indians in the country and raises them, they are also raising issues which are truly national in essence because the causes of these problems are general to a host of problems faced by the other races as well.

Take the case of the Bukit Selambau by elections. As someone said, even if the candidate were a cow, they would vote for it. Be that as it may. The issue being raised is not the cow that was chosen, but HOW that cow was chosen. When the decision-making process within PKR is not democratic and the voice of the people are ignored because of some powerful individual within the party, we can see cronyism creeping back. Now, we believe that is an issue of National Significance. Is cronyism in a party that is at the leading edge a parochial issue or is it an issue of National significance. This issue of cronyism is coming up in a seat to be contested by an Indian candidate there. So, it takes on an Indian form. Very easy to pass off as the same old nonsense whenever it comes to these ungrateful Indians. Think again. Cronyism is what got the country in the mess in the first place. So, now because it is happening in the PKR, we have to accept it? It is spilling out because you cannot keep things closed in a multi-ethnic party environment.

We are all putting our eggs in the Pakatan basket. They tell us no more of the nonsense of the past 50 years. Will it get us all, what we are seeking? This is the fundamental issue being raised here. Yes, we are told, give it to the wisdom of the supreme leader, Anwar; he knows what is best.

OK, but will we get what we seek.

Take another example. Again set in the context of the Indian problem.

74 percent of the Indians (1,295,775 out of a total population of all races of 23135685 – year 2000 census) live in the 5 states and the Federal Territory of KL. The 5 states are controlled by the Pakatan Government. There are critical problems faced by a large section of the Indian community as everyone acknowledges – problems largely relating to marginalization and deprivation – problems of crime, unemployment, faltering education system, high suicide rates, inadequate urban housing, increasing incidence of single mothers and threatened places of worship to name a few critical ones.

Let me ask a few questions pertaining to these issues:

1. Do the State governments not have any jurisdiction at all over these issues
2. What is the policy position of the Pakatan State Governements to the Indian marginalization problem after one year in power.

The moment I lay these questions out in the Indian context there will be many who will be quick to point out that there are poor among all the other races in the country.They also face similar problems. Undeniably so. In effect therefore, raising the issues of poverty and marginalization in its Indian form also touches on the issues of poverty and marginalization among all the other races in the country .This is my earlier point that the issues raised by Hindraf though Indian in form really relates to all other races as well and therefore is national in essence.

Another objection that will be raised will be that the State Governments do not have much authority to address these issues. I disagree strongly on this matter. The State Governments do have, within their limited resources, many avenues to address these problems. That is if these issues are considered important enough for them. If there is a political will there are many things that can be done. If the party in power is truly there to promote the interests of all those that they purport to represent, they will be able to find the resources needed to address the issues. This is the substance of political will.

Let me suggest a few things they can do even with the limited resources that they possess:

1. Knowing that primary education is Primary, the State Governments in all these states can draw up a comprehensive plan of allocating land to all the Primary schools in the state that are not on their own land or are in very confined spaces. This is well within the authority of the Pakatan Governments. They can prepare the way for a revamp of the Primary School system for the marginalized Indians.
2. They can begin setting up appropriate Citizens groups (NGOs) to begin understanding the many social issues that invariably exist within marginalized groups to determine what needs to be done and then to draw up plans to address them. They can fund and resource these groups with this expressed purpose.
3. There are significant issues of citizenship documentation within large numbers of this marginalized groups. Resources can be applied to locate and to resolve the problems. The marginalized people are simply overwhelmed but the insensitive bureaucracy and their mindless procedures.
4. Attempts can be made to improve urban housing for those in dire need of assistance. The NGOs can be assigned to identify and work with the respective Government Administrative units to appropriately allocate to those in true need.
5. Small business help can be provided to create employment opportunities for the poor and marginalized. These could include training programs in the conduct of business. Again NGO assistance can be used.
6. Training programs to develop employable skills can be initiated for the 18 – 25 group as special programs for the groups at risk.

If the State governments are not pursuing these as part of a clear agenda in substance, then we have to conclude that there is no political will to promote the interests of the people. They are only interested in winning the next election/s. Then how do we understand "the wisdom of the supreme leader, Anwar; he knows what is best." Is all of what is promised then mere illusions and it is back to Cronyism Part 2? Where is the delivery?

It is this again that is being raised, that promises made are not being fulfilled. Now, is this an Indian question or is this a National question? Be patient; look at the big picture, time and again the people are told. All of this crap should be cut out and action should be initiated to walk the talk. The skepticism will take care of itself automatically. Then we can trust the wisdom of the supreme leader.

In raising all this, and in this manner is Hindraf overreaching? Is it parochial and insensitive to the needs of any our brothers and sisters of other races in the country? Hindraf serves the whole of the nation with the ability to ask hard questions, no matter which side and to be a check and balance to the processes of governance in our country.

So, is Hindraf overreaching?

New “MAHATHIR” prophecy on the next line of Malaysian Prime Ministers?

By Lim Kit Siang

Making the rounds of the grapevine of Umno delegates and observers at the current Umno General Assembly is talk of a new political prophecy to replace the “RAHMAN” political prophecy on the first six Prime Ministers of the country – the “MAHATHIR” prophecy on the next line of Malaysian Prime Ministers.

Umno delegates and observers expect the RAHMAN prophecy to be fulfilled completely when Abdullah Ahmad Badawi relinquishes the premiership and Najib Razak is sworn in as the new Prime Minister.

But for the first time in Malaysian history, the popularity of the incoming Prime Minister is so dismal that even those who had earlier demanded the early departure of Abdullah from Putrajaya because of his failure to deliver on his host of reform pledges will find it a relief if Abdullah remains to block Najib’s ascension.

I do not see this scenario being played out but it is a most significant political phenomenon that many Malaysians, transcending the political divide, are wondering whether there is any way to stop Najib from becoming Prime Minister until he comes clean on the many serious swirling allegations haunting and hounding him affecting his suitability, integrity and legitimacy as Prime Minister and the honour of the highest political office in the land and that of the nation.

Those succumbing to the new MAHATHIR prophecy have no doubt that the RAHMAN prophecy will be vindicated with Najib as the sixth Prime Minister, after Tunku Abdul Rahman, Abdul Razak, Hussein Onn, Mahathir Mohamad and Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

According to the MAHATHIR prophecy, the new line of Prime Ministers after Najib will be led off by the newly elected Umno Deputy President Muhyiddin Yassin (M), followed by the two Vice Presidents with the highest votes, Ahmad Zahid (A) and Hishammuddin Hussein (H).

A second’s thought will show that the new-fangled MAHATHIR prophecy is just bunkum.

Many expect the RAHMAN prophecy to signify the end of the line of Umno Prime Ministers marking the end of Umno hegemony and government – with Najib as the last and even shortest-serving Umno Prime Minister.

Even if Najib can prove this wrong, age will rule out the possibility that Muhyiddin or even Ahmad Zahid succeeding Najib as Prime Minister.

Tunku Abdul Rahman deserves a prophecy in his name – but not Mahathir!

No rest for Najib and his men (Anil Netto)

With Najib and his men basking in the glow of victory, the real test for them begins now as they confront the challenges that lie ahead.

When you think of it, he has been getting plenty of free advice from a host of personalities associated or previously associated with Umno: Abdullah, Mahathir, Razaleigh, Zaid…

He has the power, but there is one thing even Power will find hard to manage and that is public perception.

Here’s something I wrote for Asia Times after the Umno elections:

Challenges mount for Malaysia’s Najib
By Anil Netto

PENANG - Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak took a big step towards taking over the premiership when he was returned unopposed this week as president of the United Malays National Organization (UMNO), the dominant party in Malaysia’s ruling coalition. His men also bagged most of the leadership posts in the recently concluded party elections. As head of the UMNO, Najib automatically becomes premier, although a formal handover date has yet to be announced.

Najib has been hammering home a message of change and reform, but many Malaysians wonder what his vision might entail.

There is little doubt that UMNO needs to reform after the ruling coalition suffered a severe setback in last March’s general election. The long dominant party lost its coveted two-thirds parliamentary majority at those polls, while five of the federation’s 13 states fell to the opposition. It represented the party’s worst setback since independence from Britain in 1957.

Many Malaysians, especially those exposed to independent online media and critical blogs, have grown tired of accounts of corruption, abuse of power, rent-seeking and the perpetual undermining of government institutions by UMNO-led governments. Meanwhile, minorities and disadvantaged groups have started to more strongly assert their rights.

Najib is taking over power at a challenging time for the country, both politically and economically. Malaysia’s trade-oriented economy is on the brink of recession, with exports and manufacturing both slumping badly. Within his party, there’s a sense of siege as a resurgent opposition alliance, led by Anwar Ibrahim, continues to challenge the ruling coalition’s eroded dominance. Full article here

Tug-of-war in Umno

The Nut Graph
by Zedeck Siew

IF the Umno general assembly debates of the past two days are any indication, there is a grave disconnect between what the party leadership is publicly indicating change to be, and what the party grassroots themselves feel.

Talking to the press this afternoon, newly-minted Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin continued the talk of reform he espoused before party polls.

"We want to address all the pertinent issues post-2008 general elections to meet the demands of a multiracial society," Muhyiddin said. And, since Muhyiddin will also be deputy prime minister, his talk about Umno's need to reclaim "political and psychological ground" may be extended to encompass the entire Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. Since the 12th general election, the BN's stranglehold on Malaysian politics has waned considerably.

Implicit in this admission of renewal is an acknowledgement of the party's need to shift towards a more centrist position in the Malaysian discourse, and ability to practice a more inclusive brand of politics. This would mean a consolidation of the BN coalition, which party leaders such as Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin now admit is in shambles.

The new Umno leadership seems to support concrete internal reform, such as the suggestion in new president Datuk Seri Najib Razak's opening address that the Umno constitution be reviewed with regards to the quota system. The suggestion was to ensure the selection of Umno leaders will be more inclusive.

By giving votes to more Umno members, the party polls' reliance on delegates will decline. This would be a strong step to reducing the incidence of "intense lobbying", — an euphemism for money politics, as observed by the likes of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.

Citing developments such as Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal's election as vice-president, Muhyiddin styled Umno delegates as being mature. "This is a strong representation and reflects that our delegates are adopting a Malaysian outlook instead of confining to their respective regions," he said.

Challenging Umno's political will

With a line-up that is favourable to Najib, observers think that the new Umno will be able to make some good changes. This is, of course, provided that Umno actually has the political will to do so.

However, speeches made at the Umno general assembly today demonstrate that this may be unlikely.

Debates on the motion of thanks for the presidential policy speech, motion on economy, and the motion on education and religion have been the general assembly's main agenda from last night and throughout today, 27 March 2009, in the Merdeka Hall of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

The addresses, delivered by representatives from various states and the party wings, saw delegates urging the party for consolidation. Umno Puteri representative Mazlina Mohammad Lazim said that "If Umno doesn't help Umno itself, how can it help others?" Such a statement might appear to represent a call towards introspection.

But it was really a call for more free gifts. Mazlina said that the government must ensure Umno loyalists are given positions in government-linked companies (GLCs). The day before, Penang representative Musa Sheikh Fadzir echoed this, saying that Umno division chiefs should be appointed to GLCs.

Musa also called for the dissolution of Umno's disciplinary board, as the action taken against some leaders convicted of money politics had caused internal strife. Further, the board's investigations had brought bad press to the party. It was shameful, Musa believed, for the party to have been so shamed in public.

"We should deal with the question of money politics amongst ourselves," Musa told delegates. "No need to talk about it in the papers!"

Defending racial superiority

The speeches also resisted inclusiveness. Today, Selangor representative Datuk Ismail Tijo played up the need to defend the racial supremacy of Malay Malaysians, saying that some quarters were willing to "insult the Malays, as if we have no dignity".

"And then there is Anwar Ibrahim, [who] wants to put us on the same level as other races," Ismail said, taking a dig at opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and the Pakatan Rakyat (PR)'s overtly multi-cultural rhetoric. "If we are not careful, this country will be the next Palestine," Ismail asserted.

"We have to go to Selangor and take back Selangor!" Ismail added, alluding to the state, which is currently under PR rule.

Surely this would be a bad move for Umno, considering the public relations disaster its take-over of the state of Perak has since become?

The speeches showed that reform for Umno, to its delegates, meant that the party had to become even less transparent and practice more patronage.

In other words, the party appears to be far from cognisant of the reasons behind past failings. It appears unwilling to transform itself, despite what Umno's new leaders seem to want to believe.

Jelajah Bukit Gantang: Alahai, Dikepung Lagi!

Saya sempat bersama Menteri Besar Perak yang juga calon Pakatan Rakyat bagi Parlimen Bukit Gantang Dato’ Seri Nizar, Dr. Lee Boon Chye, Hj Ismail, Hj Osman dan lain-lain pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat Negeri Perak di Dewan Perhimpunan Cina Kuala Sapetang. Antara lain saya mengupas ketenatan ekonomi negara mutakhir ini. 60 billion melalui Pakej Ransangan Ekonomi Kedua nyata gagal merangsang pertumbuhan ekonomi mikro.

Saya tekankan peri penting pesanan Confucius mengenai konsep Ta Ren (great leaders) melalui gagasan karamah insaniah. Ini garapan yang perlu terhasil melalui kepimpinan negara yang harus peka pada masalah rakyat.

Pun begitu, masalah rakyat bukan wacana utama yang dikupas di Perhimpunan Agung Umno. Yang diwar-war adalah ketuanan Melayu, yang dimenungkan ialah lagak pimpinan Umno yang kaya raya bertempik soal Melayu. Yang dikisahkan serangan peribadi, membungkam rakyat dengan gegak gempita ‘Hidup Melayu’ yang tidak berkesudahan, walhasil majoriti Melayu termasuk di Bukit Gantang hidup merempat, rakyat seluruhnya kian meluat!

Namun buat rakyat, Melayu, Cina, India, Kadazan-Dusun, Dayak - boleh bedakan kekayaan melimpah pada sagelintir dengan kehidupan mereka sebagai peladang, nelayan dan pekerja.

Alahai, buat ketiga kalinya saya dilarang dengan kepungan polis dari menjejak ke tempat ceramah di Bukit Gantang. Maafkan saya. InshaAllah saya akan kembali satelah penamaan calon kelak.


PM to meet king on April 2

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will meet the King on April 2 to inform him of the transition plan that will see him hand over the country’s top post to his deputy Najib Abdul Razak.

Pak Lah made the announcement in his closing remarks in his last speech as Umno president to the party's general assembly this afternoon,

He hopes to get the date for the official hand over after his meeting with the king.

Dr Mahathir To Rejoin Umno

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) -- Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he will rejoin Umno at a date to be announced later. He told reporters after attending the final day of the 2008 Umno general assembly, at the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur here.

Dr Mahathir, Siti Hasmah Attend Umno General Assembly

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 (Bernama) -- Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali took Umno delegates by surprise today when they emerged at the Merdeka Hall, Putra World Trade Centre, where the final day of the Umno General Assembly was underway.

mahathir pc 260608 05The former Umno president arrived at about 12.30pm at a time when newly-elected Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was delivering his winding-up speech and was greeted with thunderous applause from the delegates.

Dr Mahathir then waved at the audience, acknowledging their greetings.

Dr Mahathir was also seen nodding when Muhyiddin expressed his hope that the former prime minister rejoin Umno officially.

Muhyiddin then said that Dr Mahathir's arrival was, in some ways, a form of recognition of Umno's new leadership, to another round of applause from the delegates.

Former Umno president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who were seated onstage, were seen clapping their hands in welcoming Dr Mahathir and wife.

Dr Mahathir and Dr Siti Hasmah then sat at the observers' gallery together with Najib's wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, to observe the general assembly.

Dr Mahathir has posted an entry in his blog that he did not attend the opening of the Umno General Assembly on Thursday because money politics has tarnished Umno's image.

Dr Mahathir quit the party on May 19 last year, saying that he had lost confidence in Umno.

Anwar: Don't vote for independent candidates

SUNGAI PETANI, 27 March 2009: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today advised voters in the Bukit Selambau state constituency not to vote for any independent candidate in the by-election on 7 April.

He said the anticipated large number of independent candidates, possibly up to 13 in all, could cause the voters to make a wrong choice.

"We have to take into account the agenda of the candidate, his/her party, the sponsor, etc. We have to know all these, and not blindly support any candidate," he said when approached after a meeting with voters at the Yayasan Aman, here.

Anwar said a large number of independent candidates would not dampen the spirit of the PKR which, he added, viewed the competition in a positive light.

The by-election is being held following the resignation of PKR state assemblyperson V Arumugam last month.

PKR is to field new face S Manikumar as its candidate. The Barisan Nasional (BN) has announced Datuk S Ganesan, the Kedah MIC deputy chairperson, as its candidate. Nomination is on 29 March. — Bernama

Breaking News : Police Brutality Continues

Breaking News: Malaysia Police Brutality against Suspect ,especially of those Indian origin continues. Lastest in Chemor , Perak where 2 friends was detained and severely beaten.

Check out intial photos received via email. Mp Kapar expected to meet family members on Saturday morning.

Viewer discretion Advised






Khairy pleads for acceptance

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 – Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin has pleaded for acceptance from his critics, pointing out that he has been elected democratically to the post.

The Rembau MP’s victory over his two rivals has been a source of controversy, with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad accusing him of money politics to secure the win.

The former party president’s son Datuk Mukhriz came out last in the race.

“This is the model of democracy that we have in Umno for this period, and that is election through delegates,” Khairy told reporters in response to the criticism.

“Unless there is a amendment in the party’s constitution to allow one vote for one member, then this is the way and this was the decision and we all accept the decision. We all plead and ask all members of Umno Youth to accept this decision,” said the son-in-law of just-retired party president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Mahathir has been at odds with his successor and Khairy after he retired in 2003, accusing them of undermining his legacy.

Khairy’s strong win over Mukhriz prompted Dr Mahathir to boycott the Umno general assembly this year, saying he would not want to be with “a corrupt organisation”.

Unfazed by the strong criticism in Dr Mahathir’s blog and Mukhriz’s supporters, Khairy said members of the executive council have agreed that they must remain united and are ready to put away their differences.

“All exco members have guaranteed that they will help me as the head of Umno Youth. Therefore, I respect the opinion of other parties, especially by our former party president, but the excos are ready to look forward,” he explained.

He gave assurance that there was no split among the executive committee and that he had the support of all members especially his deputy, Datuk Razali Ibrahim.

“My first priority is to ensure that among the elected members of the executive committee of Umno Youth, there is commonality of purpose, solidarity, and a team spirit that we can commit ourselves to today,” he said, adding Razali will also lead the movement’s election machinery for the Bukit Selembau and Bukit Gantang by-elections.

“We have assigned the excos, who will be in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selembau full time. We have also decided that we will focus on the young voters in by-elections.”

He also emphasised that he would be asking for advice from both losing rivals, Datuk Seri Khir Toyo and Mukhriz.

Dr M calls Umno Youth corrupt for electing Khairy

(The Malaysian Insider) - The expected backlash from Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has arrived. And the venom was aimed directly at Khairy Jamaluddin, the politician who defeated Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir on the way to becoming the Umno Youth chief.

Some of the vitriol was also sprayed on the youth wing and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, both whom he accused of turning a blind eye to corruption in Umno.

Dr Mahathir's tirade is likely to widen the rift in Umno Youth following Khairy's victory on Wednesday and appeared designed to put pressure on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to exclude Abdullah's son-in-law from the Cabinet.

If allowed to fester, this bad blood could have an impact on the three by-elections as well as force a confrontation between some Umno leaders and Dr Mahathir.

In a post on his blog, he said that he did not attend the opening of the Umno general assembly yesterday because Umno Youth openly sanctioned money politics by electing Khairy.

"They picked as their leader someone who was found guilty of using money and other inducements in his effort to get elected as the head of Umno Youth…Never before has a person who has been acknowledged as corrupt by the party disciplinary board, by the party and the public being elected and hailed as the leader.

"Pemuda has sullied the image of the party and the Malays. It appears that money is more important than one's race and country, '' said the former party president, who wondered whether the rest of Malaysia would accept a leader like Khairy.

Dr Mahathir also added an element of conspiracy into the youth elections, questioning why it took six hours to count 790 votes.

"Didn't they know how to count? Or was there an attempt to ensure victory for the son-in-law of the Prime Minister?

"The PM should not talk about rejecting corrupt leaders because his son-in-law who is corrupt has been given special treatment, '' said the former prime minister, who was unhappy that Khairy was let off with a warning by the disciplinary board while Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Ali Rustam was barred from contesting the deputy president's position for breaching party ethics.

Some of Dr Mahathir's comments are probably borne out of frustration of being unable to convince party delegates to end Khairy's political career in Umno.

In the run-up to the party elections, he attacked Khairy repeatedly and cautioned the 790 Umno Youth delegates against voting for him, labeling him as corrupt.

His campaign did not bear dividends and his son polled 230 votes to finish third behind Khairy and former Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Khir Toyo.

This blog posting by Dr Mahathir is not likely to be the last word on this subject.

Hounding Abdullah and Khairy has become a preoccupation for the former prime minister; who has identified the both of them as the villains who undermined his legacy.

My name is RPK, I am Malaysian, and I am no prostitute


Yes, I am no prostitute. And all those Malays who justify joining Umno for business reasons, and those Chinese and Indians who say they support Barisan Nasional to cari makan, are worse than prostitutes.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

I remember something my late mother once told me back in 1960 or thereabouts: a house is not a home. A home is a house, but a house is not a home.

I was only ten years old then so it took me many years to grasp the wisdom of her words. Today, 48 years on, I now understand what she meant. I have a house. But that house is not my home. And that is because I no longer live in that house since it is in Selangor and I no longer live in Selangor. I am now forced to tumpang in somebody else’s house outside Selangor. But that is not my home. It is someone else’s home. I am just a penumpang, sort of like a pendatang.

I also no longer own a car. I have to take public transport to move around. So I don’t move around anymore since public transport is a hassle, especially in Malaysia that has a primitive public transport system.

Many of my friends tell me they joined Umno for business reasons. My one-time neighbour, a young Malay lawyer, confessed he joined Umno so that he can be assured of getting government contracts. He is a lawyer in Zul Rafique and Co. and an Umno Bukit Bintang youth leader. His purpose for joining Umno is purely economic reasons.

And this goes for many other Malays as well, some of my relatives included. My relatives resent me opposing the government because they are worried that Umno may punish the family for what I am doing. They depend on the government for their livelihood so they do not want me to jeopardise their periuk nasi (rice bowl).

Chinese, too, tell me the same thing. Cari maka mah! They support Barisan Nasional because they need to survive. It’s all about the money. If we oppose the government then we may suffer, economically, they tell me.

Yes, it’s all about the money. Of course, they try to justify their actions by saying they have no choice. They don’t want to support Barisan Nasional. They don’t like supporting Barisan Nasional. But they have no choice but to support Barisan Nasional for the sake of their rice bowl.

To these people they have done no wrong. Okay, it may be immoral for them to support a party they do not believe in. It may be immoral for them to support a party that they actually hate. But they are supporting this party not out of choice. They have no choice in the matter. They are doing it to protect their livelihood.

Prostitutes say the same thing. They open their legs and do blowjobs on their clients not because they are sex-starved or actually enjoy what they are doing. In fact, most prostitutes hate life as a prostitute and hate themselves for doing what they do. But they have no choice. It is not about the pleasure of sex. It is about the necessity of money.

Prostitutes would willingly choose another profession if one was available to them. But they can’t get an honest job for whatever reason, mostly because they lack the education, qualification and skills. So the only option available to them is life as a prostitute.

A house is not a home. That was the title of a movie back in 1960. And the movie was about life as a prostitute. I too live in a house. But that house is not a home. It is someone else’s home. I am just a penumpang. But I am not a prostitute. And it is because I am NOT a prostitute that I now live in a house that is not a home.

But I was offered the opportunity to prostitute myself. One day, some time back, a person by the name of Rusdi Mustaffa who works for Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak, called me and said he wanted to meet me. I was then at the Havana Club in the Concord Hotel in Kuala Lumpur enjoying cigars with my friends.

Rusdi arrived way past midnight and we talked. He wanted to know how much I wanted. I did not understand what he meant and told him so. He repeated the question and asked me how much I wanted to stop writing about Najib and Altantuya. Name my price.

The conversation went on for about half an hour, and to cut a long story short, I turned down the offer. The following morning I phoned a certain Chinese Datuk and requested him to make an appointment with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

At 3.00pm, the Chinese Datuk and me, together with my wife, went to Tun Dr Mahathir’s office in Petronas at the Twin Towers where I related what happened the night before. Tun Dr Mahathir joked that I should have asked for RM20 million. “Then you can give me half.”

I never knew Tun Dr Mahathir as being a joker. I told Tun Dr Mahathir I have never received any money either to write or not write an article or expose in Malaysia Today, “Not even from you,” I added as I pointed to the Tun. He just smiled. I wanted the point to be driven home that I am not a prostitute. I think from that day the Tun and I strengthened our respect for each other. I then kissed Tun’s hand and left his office.

Tun Dr Mahathir phoned Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor and asked him to go and see Najib. Najib was then in Pekan so Tengku Adnan had to fly to Kuantan and drive down to Pekan. The message from Tun was short and sharp. “Don’t try to buy my boy. I know you tried to buy off Raja Petra.”

Within minutes I received a call from Rusdi. He was angry as hell. “I thought I could trust you. Why did you tell Tun about our meeting last night?” I told him that I told Tun so that Najib can be sent the message that I am not for sale, not for any amount of money. And I wanted no less than Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to deliver this message to Najib, his ‘boy’, which he did through Tengku Adnan.

Yes, I am no prostitute. And all those Malays who justify joining Umno for business reasons, and those Chinese and Indians who say they support Barisan Nasional to cari makan, are worse than prostitutes. I despise them. They are shit. And I have no mercy for these people. They are scum of the earth.

Nothing and I mean nothing can justify you prostituting yourself.

Bodoh punya India dan Melayu!


Some Chinese feel I have unfairly whacked the Chinese in my article Bodoh punya Cina! Okay, I may be a racist, but I am an equal opportunity racist. I whack all races without exception. I suppose that still makes me a racist but a fair racist at that. To balance off, why not I now whack the Indians and Malays as well? Later, I will get to the ‘lain-lain’.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Okay, first the Malays.

They are saying that Najib Tun Razak is sure to become the next Prime Minister, Malaysia’s sixth, because of the RAHMAN Theory. Aiyah! Why so bodoh one? The First Prime Minister was Tunku Abdul Rahman. Should he not have been ‘A’? Why take his second name, Rahman, which is ‘R’?

Okay, let’s say we take Tunku Abdul Rahman as ‘R’ instead of ‘A’. The second Prime Minister was Tun Abdul Razak. So that too should be ‘R’. Instead, we take his first name, Abdul, which is ‘A’.

Can you see how we twist things around just to satisfy the theory? For the First Prime Minister we take his second name while for the Second Prime Minister we take his first name. So we get R.A. instead of A.A. or R.R.

We must be consistent. If Abdul Rahman is Rahman, and therefore ‘R’, then Abdul Razak should also be Razak, which is, again, ‘R’.

That kills off the so-called RAHMAN Theory. Bodoh punya Melayu!

Anyway, it is not known yet whether Najib can take over as Prime Minister on April Fool Day, or a day or two after that. Over the last two weeks or so, the international media has been featuring the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and Najib’s name has popped up all over the place.

Liberation, The New York Times, International Herald Tribune, Times Online, The Times of India, The Australian, Kompas, The Nation, NineMSN, etc., have all featured the issue. The Altantuya murder and the possible link to Najib, or at least to his office or someone in his office, has been analysed at length. No longer can the Prime Minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, ignore the issue.

Abdullah Badawi has been advised to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry so that Najib’s name can be cleared. Now hold on a minute! Set up a Royal Commission to clear Najib? In the Lingam tape issue, they set up the Commission to investigate whether any crime has been committed. Of course, the Commission eventually ruled that none had been committed and it cleared Lingam of any wrongdoing. But at least the intention of setting up the Commission was to investigate whether a crime had been committed and not to clear Lingam, although that is what eventually happened in the end, sort of.

Okay, let’s say this is true and that they will set up a Royal Commission with the intention to clear Najib so that he can take over the job of Prime Minister with a clean bill of health. This would mean Najib would not able to become Prime Minister on or around April Fool Day. The Commission would need at least until the end of the year to finish its business and come out with its report. That means Abdullah Badawi would have to stay on awhile longer until the Commission clears Najib, whereby he can then take over without the issue hanging around his neck like an albatross.

It would be good, if the Royal Commission is really going to be set up, that someone like an ex-judge or one of the ex-Bar Council Presidents heads it. And the man or woman chosen must be a ‘tough nut’ who takes no shit from anyone. I can think of a few names that would fit that bill.

Okay, let’s say the Commission rushes through the whole thing and within a few months comes out with its report. But what will happen if the Commission’s report says that there is no evidence that Najib or his office or someone in his office is involved in the murder, however, the Commission has also not found enough evidence to confirm that Najib or his office or someone in his office is NOT involved in the murder? In short, the Commission comes out with an open verdict. There is just not enough evidence either way to say whether Najib is clean or not.

If that happens would Abdullah Badawi still be able to hand over the job of Prime Minister to Najib? Yes, a most interesting question would you not agree?

Okay, now over to the Indians. There are three by-elections coming soon -- one each in Perak, Kedah and Sarawak.

While there appears to be no problems thus far in Perak and Sarawak, it looks like Kedah is going to face problems even before Nomination Day. And the problem is as follows. The Indians are not happy with Pakatan Rakyat’s choice of candidate and they will probably boycott or sabotage the by-election if they don’t get their way.

Okay, I have no problems with that. After all, most of the Indians, the majority of them, are all ex-MIC supporters anyway. This means they have kepala otak MIC. They think like MIC and throw tantrums like MIC and demand this and that like MIC. That is to be expected.

But what is unsettling is the way the Indians constantly talk about Indian this and Indian that. Every time these ex-MIC Indians open their mouths it must be about Indian rights, Indian interests, hak India, kepentingan India, and whatnot. These Indians are just like the Umno chaps, minus the little rusted curved knives. These ex-MIC Indians and the Umno chaps are like pinang dibelah dua, or, as the English would say, like two peas in a pod.

I know that people from Italy are called Italians, people from Germany are called Germans, people from Russia are called Russians, people from China are called Chinese, people from India are called Indians, and so on and so forth. Therefore, it goes without saying that people from Malaysia are called Malaysians. But those Malaysians whose forefathers came to Malaysia from India in the 1850s to around 1920 or so still want to be known as Indians even though they and their parents were all born in Malaysia.

Read my lips, very slowly. Those born in Malaysia are Malaysians while those born in India are Indians. You can’t be born in Malaysia and yet still be Indians. Get it? Or must I repeat that?

Enough of all this Indian this and Indian that! Who the shit cares about Indian rights and Indian interests? We are fighting for Malaysian rights and Malaysian interests. It is Ketuanan Rakyat. Not Ketuanan India just like Ketuanan Melayu a la Umno.

I once had an argument with a Hindraf supporter and he tried to impress upon me that the Indians need to be represented and they need an Indian to represent them. I asked this chap whether he is Indian and he replied that he is. Then go back to India, I told him. Indians live in India. Malaysians live in Malaysia. He then corrected himself and said that he is a Malaysian.

In that case, I replied, why do you want an Indian to represent you? Can’t I, a Malay, be your representative? Why must it be an Indian? I too can represent the Indians and serve the Indians.

This Hindraf chap then asked me how I would feel if an Indian represented me. Considering I am Malay, can I accept an Indian Prime Minister? Of course I can, I replied. In fact, I accepted an Indian Prime Minister for 22 years. The only thing is I never saw him as an Indian or even addressed him as an Indian. I just addressed him as Datuk Seri (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

I am not the problem, I told this chap. You are. You look at things from an Indian perspective. I look at it from a Malaysian perspective. Anwar Ibrahim is half-Indian. Wan Azizah, according to Umno, is half-Chinese. I am half-Malay. Many of my very close friends and relatives are half this or half that. But we never, I repeat never, address each other or look at each other through coloured lenses. We are absolutely and thoroughly colour-blind.

I would like to pack all those who shout and scream that they are Indians into a tongkang and send them back to India where they belong. Bodoh punya India!

Who’s the fool this April? Najib, UMNO or the rakyat?

By Haris Ibrahim

Najib’s so cocksure that in about a week, notwithstanding a strong wave of disapproval from the rakyat, he will become PM.


Because he and UMNO think that only what they want matters and what the rakyat want counts for jack****.

Doesn’t matter that rumour abounds that the man who must decide who commands the confidence of the majority in Parliament before appointing the PM is himself displeased with the power transition plan.

So come 1st April, are we to be the fools, having to put up with a man we don’t trust and have lttle regard for, as our PM?

Do we, in years to come, tell our children that we were so fearful of UMNO and Najib that we did nothing to try and stop this unholy ascension to high office?

I said ‘try’, for that is all we can do.


Do not fear UMNO and do not fear Najib.

If you feel fear, overcome that fear.

Know that there are enough of us who love our country and our people enough to want to try and do something to stop this madness that will soon descend upon us unless we stop it.

Are we to be the fools this April, or can we turn the tables on Najib and UMNO?

Word now is that Najib is to be sworn in as PM on 3rd April.

And as I said earlier, it seems that the one who must accede to Najib’s appointment isn’t too happy about Najib becoming PM.

There’s also talk of a unity government being formed, helmed by one who was cheated of the UMNO presidency in 1986-1987.

Ku Li.

And you’ll agree with me, I’m sure, that anyone is better than Najib.

So here’s what we can do.

Does your MP have a service centre?

If he / she does not, call your MP now and give the person 48 hours to have one put in place.

Come the eve of April Fool’s Day ( 1st April for the unfamiliar ), from 8pm on, get friends to converge at your MP’s service centre by prior appointment ( that means someone calls / many of you call the centre and informs the centre that many of you want to see your MP on an urgent basis ) and tell your MP that you want him / her to deliver a message to the Agong.




Take photos whilst you’re there and send them to me at

On 1st April, I will post those photos here from all the service centres as further evidence of the extent by which Najib has been rejected by the people.


Thant’s all we can do.

If These Are Bad, Please Do Not Do These Again


With the UMNO Annual Assembly about to be over and with 'unexpected' election results, the losers would have to decide or the incoming UMNO President would decide to retain or terminate their ministerial position. Usually to avoid embarrassment, those who lost would gracefully quit. Just giving lame excuses that they are unable to perform since they had lost the confidence of the mere UMNOputras is just excuses to have delegates feel 'uneasy' for not electing them to office.

It was reported that Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad will tender his resignation at the weekly cabinet meeting next Wednesday, since he had lost to retain the UMNO Supreme Council post.

It is further speculated that there are a few others who had lost will also tender their resignation. Among them are Tourism Minister, Datuk Sri Azalina Othman Said who has also lost to retain her position while she is currently being investigated by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).

It seem certain that most of outgoing UMNO President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's men had lost their positions giving incoming UMNO President Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak a free hand in managing the party with much ease.

news n picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

Politics in an Age of Unreason

By Farish A. Noor

So now the bomohs (witch doctors) rule the roost it would seem. The news that a magic charm or spell was found hidden surreptitiously under the desk of none other than the Prime Minister of Malaysia does not bode well for the future of this country of ours. It may make the headlines under the ‘Strange but True’ column of foreign papers, but this historian has grown somewhat jaded by now by such ridiculousness dressed in the garment of wonderment and fantasy. No, this was no laughing matter (and if we did laugh, it was a pitiable laugh at best).

One recalls the blanket order issued by some political parties last year just before the general elections of March 2008, to the effect that politicians should refrain from calling upon the services of such practitioners of the ‘black arts’. That political parties have to issue such warnings in the first place speaks volumes about the state of Malaysian politics today, a primordial politics that is being enacted in an age of unreason.

As a scholar in Britain in the 1990s I remember reading a report about a Latin American country that had fallen into an economic tailspin of unprecedented proportions. As inflation rose to the level of more than a thousand percent, the hapless citizens of that unfortunate country wondered aloud about how their country’s economy could have fallen apart in so short a space of time.

It later transpired that the Cabinet Minister in charge of Economic Development and Finance had consulted a Latin American equivalent of a bomoh too. In the middle of the night he had snuck out of the capital in his air-conditioned luxury car to meet up with the half-naked savant in the steamy jungle. In the witch doctor’s primeval hut a chicken was readied for the task. The fowl’s belly was split open and the entrails were laid out for inspection. The witch doctor took a look at the shape and form of the animal’s liver, kidneys and intestines, and then gave his expert opinion as to how the country’s economy should be managed over the rest of the fiscal year. The Cabinet Minister dutifully took down notes and made the necessary changes to the budget. In a week’s time the economy had crashed and in this case at least we cannot blame the chicken for the economic collapse. The rest is history, and a sad one at that…

I shudder at the thought that Malaysia today may be heading in the same direction. We pride ourselves with the thought that we have the most beautiful international airport in the region; and that our capital boasts of having one of the tallest buildings in the world. But the word on the street is that one should not linger too long on the forty-first floor of the KLCC tower for fear that one may bump into the resident ghost who tarries along the corridor in the dead of night. And of course magic spells have the tendency to end up under your table if you happen to be the Prime Minister as well.

My despondent character is hardly improved by these revelations. Indeed it brings me closer to suicide every time I read of such nonsense that passes as politics in our benighted country.

Malaysian politics is in dire need of a heavy dose of reason and rationality. For too long we have become accustomed to a primordial politics based on sentiment and couched in narrow essentialisms of race, ethnicity, language and religious differences. Yet to build a modern nation-state and to engage in the effort of nation-building, it is our rational critical faculties that we need to draw upon. The abstract idea of a plural and democratic Malaysia is not the result of the bomoh’s arcane craft, but rather the result of careful planning and micro-management of a host of social and cultural variables.

Looking at where we are today, with a country that continues to be split along ethnic, racial, linguistic and religious lines, one is compelled to ask: Can Malaysia survive the next 50 years and will we remain on the map? The recent calls for the protection and promotion of exclusive racial interests that were uttered prior to the UMNO general assembly all point to the return of primordial politics with a vengeance. Worst of all, almost all of the politicians in this country have retained the ethnic-communitarian card till today.

This, my friends, is the real danger we face in Malaysia at the moment. Faced with an economic crisis of gargantuan proportions, we are a nation in denial and unable to address the realities of the world face-to-face. Running to the bomoh and hiding behind the rhetoric of racial exclusivism are the same thing: A pathetic attempt to escape from the real issues that may make or break this nation, while we perpetuate our collective conceit that we are a developing state-in-waiting. For our sake, and for the sake of the future generations of Malaysians, reason and rationality will have to make a comeback in no uncertain terms.

Wanita Umno proposes formula for Msian race

KUALA LUMPUR, 27 March 2009: Wanita Umno has proposed a formula to realise the formation of a Malaysian race as enshrined under Clause 3 of the Umno Constitution by outlining six thrusts.

Its vice-chief, Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim said the thrusts included defending the country's independence and sovereignty; and upholding and defending the Federal Constitution, the state constitutions and the constitutional monarchy.

Others thrusts include upholding, defending and spreading Islam, respecting the principle of religious freedom; upholding the sovereignty of the race and social justice by practicing parliamentary democracy and improving the economy of the Malay Malaysians and bumiputeras, and the people.

Kamilia said the government should also ensure that the national language remain as the sole official language and the Malay culture as the thrust of the national culture; and forge cooperation among races to produce a strong and united Malaysian race based on humanitarian rights, and protecting the Malay and Bumiputera special rights.

Kamilia proposed ways on how the thrusts could be carried out by Umno and the government.

Umno should appoint bloggers to counter slander and allegations on the internet and set up a strategic cyber research division, she said when debating the presidential policy speech at the Umno general assembly 2008, here today.

She said the federal and state constitutions should be made a compulsory subject in school and in training programmes in the civil service and the private sector while history should be a subject in Umno cadre training.

She said Wanita Umno also proposed the setting up of a secretariat on the rulers institution and to promulgate a law to protect the sovereignty of the institution.

On economy, she said the movement proposed the implementation of the Wanita Umno economic plan in the second economic stimulus to provide more opportunities to enable more women to go into business.

Kamilia said Wanita Umno also proposed a plan to enable the people to earn extra income to be launched while the social ills among the younger generation could be addressed by turning the social code into a law. — Bernama


1. Ramai kenalan saya yang fikir saya tidak hadir pembukaan mesyuarat Perhimpunan Agung UMNO kerana anak saya Mukhriz kalah pertandingan Ketua Pemuda.

2. Memanglah saya terasa sedih kerananya.

3. Tetapi sebab yang sebenar saya tidak hadir ialah oleh kerana Pemuda UMNO secara langsung dan terbuka merestui politik rasuah.

4. Mereka memilih sebagai ketua mereka seorang yang telah didapati bersalah menggunakan wang dan sogokan dalam usahanya untuk dipilih sebagai Ketua Pemuda. Samada dia dibenar bertanding atau tidak, tidak menidakkan dianya adalah perasuah.

5. Hukuman yang dijatuhkan kepada orang ini tidak setimpal dan adil kerana orang lain yang didapati bersalah sama sepertinya tidak dibenar bertanding.

6. Tidak pernah terjadi orang yang dikenali dan diakui umum sebagai perasuah oleh Lembaga Disiplin, oleh parti dan oleh orang ramai dipilih dan dijunjung tinggi sebagai ketua. Tetapi inilah yang dilakukan oleh Pemuda UMNO yang dahulu terkenal sebagai barisan hadapan dalam perjuangan UMNO.

7. Pemuda telah merosakkan imej UMNO dan imej orang Melayu sendiri. Rupa-rupanya duit lebih utama daripada bangsa dan negara. Apakah rakyat akan terima dipimpin oleh tokoh rasuah yang terkenal? Perbuatan merestui rasuah adalah satu pengkhianatan kepada bangsa Melayu dan negara Malaysia.

8. Juga saya hairan kenapa untuk mengira hanya 790 undi mengambil masa lebih dari enam jam?

9. Apakah pengira undi tidak tahu kira? Atau apakah sesuatu sudah diusahakan untuk menjayakan menantu Perdana Menteri. Ini menjadi soalan bukan daripada saya seorang tetapi oleh semua orang ramai. Tak usahlah Perdana Menteri bercakap berkenaan dengan menolak rasuah kerana menantu yang perasuah diberi keistimewaan luar biasa.

10. Ini juga menghakiskan lagi kepercayaan rakyat kepada UMNO.

11. Inilah sebab-sebabnya saya tidak hadir. Saya rasa diri saya akan tercemar jika saya berada dalam majlis yang disertai oleh orang yang mendukung amalan rasuah.

Najib, Muhyiddin Make A Good Combination, Says Abdullah

KUALA LUMPUR, March 27 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will make a good combination as Umno president and deputy president.

"The Najib and Muhyiddin combination is good...they can work together and are conflicting opinion," said the Prime Minister.

Najib, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, takes over the Umno presidency from Abdullah after winning the post uncontested while Muyhiddin, who is the International Trade and Industry Minister, was elected as the new deputy president in the Umno election yesterday.

Expressing his confidence on the newly elected Umno national leadership, the Prime Minister hoped that the leaders would be able to fulfill all the promises they had made so far to Umno delegates.

"I hope that they would be able to fulfil all the promises that had been made to ensure Umno remains relevant, to ensure that the rakyat have confidence in the party and to ensure that Umno becomes the party of first choice," he told reporters on the sidelines of the 2008 Umno general assembly, at the Putra World Trade Centre here.

The largest political party in the country picked a deputy president, three vice-presidents and 25 supreme council members yesterday.

Abdullah was also confident that efforts to bring about transformation in the party would be continued by the new leadership although he no longer led the party.

Admitting that he felt 'bad' because he could no longer join the party leadership in implementing the transformation, the Prime Minister said he was confident that there would be continuity in the efforts.

"I don't want to use the word regret...(but) when we cannot be together, certainly it would be sad," he said. Asked whether he wanted Najib to continue certain policies when the latter takes over the country's leadership from him, Abdullah replied that it was not necessary. "Not necessary, because Datuk Seri Najib was my deputy and whatever policies that had been implemented were policies that he had also supported and implemented.

"So, it's up to him whatever he wants to do or probably make adjustments...I don't see that there will be any move to abolish any policy (that had been introduced previously)," he said.

However, he did not rule out the possibility that there would be policies that would be adapted or improved.

Overall, Abdullah said the elected Umno supreme council members were well distributed from all the states.

"We have representation from almost all the states. We have someone from Perlis, Kedah, Penang, Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Melaka, Johor, Kelantan, Terengganu and Sabah," he said.

The Prime Minister also said that Sabah had done well in this poll with the election of a vice-president (Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal), three Supreme Council members (Datuk Seri Musa Aman, Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin and Datuk Bung Moktar Radin) and the Puteri chief (Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin), all hailing from the "Land Below The Wind".

Asked about the lack of Menteri Besar representatives in the Umno Supreme Council, he said: "They (Supreme Council members) are the choice of the delegates and that's the decision that we get".

Abdullah also said that he had actually hoped there would have been more than one women leaders elected into the Supreme Council.

Datuk Dr Norraesah Mohamad was the only woman leader elected into the Supreme Council yesterday.

However, the Prime Minister hoped that there would be solidarity and close cooperation between the leaders elected yesterday.

"If there is no cooperation or solidarity, if there is no support (for the president), that will be bad. What is good is to have close understanding, cooperation, solidarity and support for the party president," he said.

On the position of Umno now, Abdullah said during his leadership, Umno had held a two-day retreat to discuss various aspects pertaining to the position of the party.

"During the retreat, various aspects concerning the position of the party, why people did not like the party, what are its weaknesses, what are the weaknesses of the members' attitude, the public perception of Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders (had been discussed) and it was a positive effort at the initial stage," he added.

Police shoot dead three, capture three others

IPOH, March 27 – Police shot dead three suspected criminals and arrested three others in an operation close to Bukit Merah Lake Town Resort near Taiping, 100km north of here, today.

It is believed that a policeman was wounded after he was shot by one of the criminals in the incident which occurred at 2pm.

Perak Chief Police Officer Datuk Zulkefli Abdullah, when contacted, confirmed the incident but declined to comment.

He said details of the incident would be revealed at a news conference later. – Bernama