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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dr M - from London with spite

On Saturday in Kuala Lumpur. J

MCPX
ust before the curtain fell on the 59th Umno general assembly, the party's 83-year-old former president made a grand entrance with his wife in tow.

Looking debonair in a neatly-pressed deep purple stripped shirt and black slacks, Dr Mahathir Mohamad was given a rapturous welcome by the Umno leaders and delegates alike.

After all, Mahathir and his wife Dr Siti Hasmah Ali are the two pioneer party members bearing the respective membership numbers '000001' and '000002' of Umno Baru - the party born out of the 1987 crisis which saw the original Umno being declared illegal.

najib mahathir pak lah umno 2009 agm final day 280309 10It was a night of love, apparently masterminded by newly-minted Umno president Najib Abdul Razak to bring his mentor and outgoing premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi together.

Mahathir, who looked the sharpest of the lot on stage, awkwardly embraced Abdullah whom he had been attacking incessantly since a year after he had handpicked him as his successor in 2003.

mahathir pak lah reunion at umno agm 2009 280309It was a scene that surely deserved an Oscar nomination and one that made headlines the next day. The hatchet had purportedly been buried.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Najib said he hoped Mahathir and Abdullah would together guide him through his tenure at the helm and offer him ideas for his unenviable task of rebuilding the party.

Mahathir who quit Umno last May in protest of Abdullah's leadership also vowed to return to the fold soon.

Unfortunately, the dream was short-lived.

From London with spite

Fast forward to Monday in London. The former premier again let loose his stinging criticisms of his successor-turned-nemesis Abdullah.

In an interview with BBC, he shreds, rips and slams his successor for sullying his legacy.

"Everything went rotten" after Abdullah became prime minister, lamented Mahathir who refused to acknowledge any shortcomings on his part for the problems in Umno despite being asked several times.

Moving on to another one of his favourite targets, Mahathir fired several rounds at Abdullah's son-in-law and newly-elected Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin.

He said both father-in-law and son-in-law had worked together to hatch a new set of policies and "everything went wrong when Abdullah took over..."

Mahathir's vexation towards Khairy escalated last week when the latter defeated his son, Mukhriz, in the covetted Umno Youth chief contest.

khairy jamaluddin umno youth chief 250309In a hard-hitting blog posting later, Mahathir - who during his 22-year tenure was accused of everything in the dictionary related to corruption - slammed the Umno Youth movement for bringing shame on the party by endorsing a 'corrupt' leader.

However, Mahathir was magnanimous enough to concede in the BBC interview to having committed one mistake - picking Abdullah as his successor.

He said that in 22 years in office, Barisan Nasional always won two-thirds control in Parliament but the last polls saw the ruling coalition suffering its worst ever setback, by not only losing its two-third majority but also several states.

It is this which increased the pressure on the premier to relinquish the reins although his term does not end until 2013.

Ironically four years earlier, Abdullah secured the biggest ever mandate for BN, seizing control of 90 percent of the parliamentary seats.

Mahathir appeared to claim some credit for the historic mandate in 2004, noting that the general elections had come just after he stepped down as prime minister.

But observers had pointed out then that it was precisely Mahathir's exit coupled with his successor's reform pledges had led to the boost in support.

Earth Hour KL 2009 @ CapSquare

Bukit Selambau Indian votes may shift, but not by enough

By Shannon Teoh- The Malaysian Insider

SUNGAI PETANI, March 31 – Amid escalating worries over Indian voters in Bukit Selambau, de facto PKR leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is making it his first stop in the ongoing triple by-elections campaign.

He is also due to meet the local election team late tonight to address the level of unrest on the ground.

Indian splinters within PKR Kedah look set to cost it a number of votes for the Bukit Selambau by-election.

To listen to the talk out there, it would appear that PKR Kedah is crumbling in the midst of the Bukit Selambau by-election.

Three former PKR members are contesting the seat, an entire division has left the party, and sources say seven others are contemplating a similar move.

Even Hindraf, instrumental in denying BN 80 per cent of the Indian votes here in last March’s general election, have been reluctant to back the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) campaign.

But prevailing over this is a persistent perception that Barisan Nasional (BN) has oppressed Indians who are being told that S. Manikumar will be able to address their woes directly as he will be made a state executive councillor should he triumph on April 7.

The cause of dissension, agreed on by both party leaders and those outside, is unhappiness at the choice of Manikumar as PKR’s candidate.

But where opinions differ, is what sort of effect it will have on over 11,000 Indian voters here, who are seen as crucial given the belief that the Malay vote is split between Umno and Pas in the state seat with 35,140 voters.

B. Kalaivanar’s move to pull his 357-strong Jerai division out may have been the most stunning piece of news coming out of Bukit Selambau in the 48 hours since nominations.

Kalaivanar and a few aspiring candidates had been rejected after a selection process by PKR that finally picked the political novice from a list of 21 candidates.

They say the interview process was a sham and that Manikumar was earmarked the moment V. Arumugam had vacated the seat on Feb 8 and cite this as the latest in PKR Kedah’s political power play.

“He definitely cannot do anything for the Indians here and is just a donkey for Pas,” said Kalaivanar, echoing independent candidate and former Pokok Sena chief S. Jayagopal, who had accused PKR Kedah of choosing a puppet candidate.

MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu also alluded to this as he expressed his belief that Indian votes were swinging back towards even parity.

“The Pas government has given the seat to PKR, not to an Indian, and PKR does not understand the feeling of Indians,” he said.

He also noted that PKR needed the Pas machinery to win the seat and would cede to its demands.

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, PKR strategist Saifuddin Nasution claims that these disgruntled voices were surfacing simply due to their desire to be candidates and did not reflect a deeper problem in the party’s state leadership.

The Machang MP said that after all, Jerai and Pokok Sena were not within Bukit Selambau, so the net effect was minimal.

“If you take all the reports of members leaving over the past few years seriously, then there would be no members left in the party,” he quipped.

The Pakatan Rakyat (PR) election strategist in charge of Bukit Selambau claimed that he was still being asked to provide speakers for an average of 47 ceramahs per night in Bukit Selambau, mostly from rural Indian areas.

“There is a continued willingness by our grassroots machinery to work, so there is no question of division within the ranks,” he said.

Analysts also believe that the independent candidates may be able to pool about 500 votes between them but bringing Indian voters back to BN is a different proposition altogether.

Samy Vellu still leading MIC has, in fact, sent the message that BN has not changed and the carrot of an exco place overrides the question of internal squabbling.

So what if the interview process was a front? So what if PKR Kedah’s leadership have been manipulative?

In the final analysis, Manikumar is still a PKR candidate who will toe the party line of racial equity.

Requesting foreign interference on Malaysian Indians genocide issue before rice becomes porridge.

Saravanan Pitchan
2018 Antwerpen .
Belgium 30th March, 2009

President of USA
Mr. Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Mr .Gordon Brown
10 Downing Street,
London,SW1A 2AA
England

Ref: Requesting foreign interference on Malaysian Indians genocide issue before rice becomes porridge.

Dear Sir,

Please accept my best wishes and greetings.

Hope this letter meets you in a good health and pleasant day.

Hereby I'm humbly requesting the USA, Great Britain and the rest of the world to review the systematic Malaysian Indian genocide in Malaysia.

There are uncountable issues which I can address in this official letter but to make it short and clear, I would like to refer to the latest issues which made

Malaysian Indians uproaring.

a) On Jan 15th 2009 Kugan Ananthan aged 22 was detained.

Crime : suspected involvement in an international car theft syndicate.

On Jan 20th 2009 The young man was killed under police custody.

11 Police officers where involved in that killing. Even the attorney general of police classified it as a murder. All those police officers who were involved in the murder are transferred to a better position in Police HQ in Kuala Lumpur. Until today the police didn’t prove his crime. The state Selangor police chief said "During interrogation, the man asked for a glass of water and upon drinking the water, he collapsed and lost consciousness. To reveal the truth of this incident, I would like to refer to some facts which were saved in following websites:

-(http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/01/man-dies-during-po...)

_(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5wG5pCqncII&eurl=http://malaysiaindianabu...)

b) On Feb 19th 2009 , 6 suspected as armed robbers were shot dead by police, none of the persons that were shot survived to be arrested and charged. "When the policemen barged into the house and introduced themselves, six men between the age of 20 and 50, fired several shots at them, and in defence, the police fired back and the shots hit the six suspects," .

After doing an investigation by local politicians and human rights lawyers, none of them were criminal. Till today no evidence were tabled. The police shot them to protect themselves from the suspects.

Now the question rises: were they really armed? Why police officers were not hurt? Among these six men, one was an handicapped boy and according to one of the parents, another one was just back from pilgrimage in India. If the police really wants to prove that they are robbers, why didn’t the police officers try to arrest them or try to shoot them in their hand or leg?

As a prove of this incident I would like to give a link which was published in a blog:

-(http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/02/six-shot-dead-in-k...)

-(http://national-express-malaysia.blogspot.com/2009/02/kulim-shootout-ful...)

Our Indians in Malaysia have been again and again systematically killed by the police in Malaysia. We, as an ordinary citizen and marginalized community of Malaysia, are simply begging to foreign countries to uphold human rights in Malaysia.

This is not the first incident, but some of the reports were saved in:

http://malaysiaindianabused.blogspot.com/

I have no words to mention about our problems. Most of the Indians in Malaysia are considering all those issues as Malaysian Indian genocide. Where can we go?

What can we do with the systematic police terrorizing us, lead by the UMNO government ?

In many countries, UN and American coalition, are sending troops when the country is in real problem and when there is chaos. Why don’t the UN or other powerful countries in the world help the needy before the rice becomes porridge?

UN human rights council, America Human rights council, EU parliament Human rights council, Amnesty and so on is watching Malaysia closely, but most of the time all these organizations are writing letters and trying to help in a common way but it isn’t really an effective one for a country like Malaysia. My only hope is that all foreign countries take initiative to correct their egos and let us live happily in our birth place.

Yours Faithfully,

Saravanan Pitchan

Cc: Amnesty International

1 Easton Street
London
WC1X 0DW, UK

Cc: Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Palais Wilson
52 rue des Pâquis
CH-1201 Geneva, Switzerland

Cc: EU Human Rights Council

Hans-Gert Pöttering
President of the European Parliament

Brussels, Belgium

Anwar Expects Further Crackdowns Under New Malaysian Leader

By James Hookway (The Wall Street Journal)

BANGKOK – Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim on Monday again warned that the imminent rise to power of rival Deputy Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak will likely provoke a further crackdown on popular dissent in the economically struggling Southeast Asian nation.

Speaking in an interview with The Wall Street Journal in Bangkok, Mr. Anwar said: "I think we can clearly see a trend developing. Already we can see what Mr. Najib's rule will be like."

In the past week, Malaysian authorities have shut down two opposition-run newspapers, effectively preventing them from reporting on the run-up to three by-elections on April 7, which will provide a partial test of Mr. Najib's national support. On Monday, policed seized DVDs the opposition was using as part of its election campaign, and last week riot police used teargas and water cannons to prevent Mr. Anwar from addressing his supporters.

Mr. Najib will likely become premier in the next few days after current Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi hands in his resignation to Malaysia's king on April 2. Already a war of words is emerging with Mr. Anwar, arguably Mr. Najib's most potent foe after the opposition alliance broke the ruling National Front's customary two-thirds majority in elections last year.

Their deepening struggle threatens to overshadow the Malaysian government's efforts to offset its steepest recession since the Asian financial crisis of the 1990s. Some economists predict the economy could contract by as much as 4% this year.

The government this month unveiled a $16.7 billion stimulus package to be spent over the next two years.

In addition to the newspaper closures -- which will be in effect for three months, according to the Malaysian government -- several senior members of the ruling National Front coalition have also accused Mr. Anwar of betraying his race for supporting the scrapping of Malaysia's decades-old affirmative action policies which were introduced to ensure economic and political power for Malaysia's majority Muslim ethnic Malay population.

Mr. Anwar is a Malay, but argues that the New Economic Policy, as the affirmative action program is known, has rendered Malaysia's economy uncompetitive and will likely limit the country's recovery from the global slump.

"What I argue is that we should help all the races equally so we can take favoritism out of the equation," Mr. Anwar said. "I think we're going to hear more about racial issues if the economic situation continues."

In addition, Malaysian riot police have forcibly broken up two opposition rallies in the past several days, raising concerns among political analysts that Mr. Najib intends to steer Malaysia back to the authoritarian ways espoused by its former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who ruled Malaysia for 22 years before stepping down in 2003.

Mr. Anwar has been distracted by legal issues after a former aide accused him of sodomy, which is a crime in Malaysia. Mr. Anwar, who was convicted and then acquitted of the same crime after challenging the government in 1998, says he is innocent and his being framed by Mr. Najib's operatives.

Mr. Najib has repeatedly said he has nothing to do with Mr. Anwar's legal troubles. On Saturday he denied that he was stamping out opposition dissent.

Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang & Bukit Selambau by-elections : Barisan Rakyat sms campaign

by Haris Ibrahim

Don’t imagine even for one moment that SPR’s decision to fix all three by-elections simultaneously was an independent decision, without any consideration of the best interests of their political masters.

It’s to stretch the resources of the Pakatan Rakyat to breaking point.

But there’s one resource that Pakatan has that BN cannot break.

You and I.

We are beyond the reach of BN.

And Pakatan need us now, more than ever.

I’ll be in Bukit Gantang / Bukit Selambau for the better part of the campaign period as well as on polling day.

You can help, too, from wherever you are.

We start our Barisan Rakyat sms campaign today.

First we want to alert the people of Batang Ai, Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau that we, the rakyat have rejected the race-based politics of BN. We want them to know that we, a nation of a single people, anak Bangsa Malaysia, have rejected BN and its race-based divide and rule politics and have embraced the ‘ketuanan rakyat’ slogan of Pakatan Rakyat.

Here is the first sms.

Rakyat menolak politik kaum UMNO / BN. Politik kaum UMNO / BN hancurkan perpaduan rakyat. Jangan diperdayakan dengan politik kaum UMNO / BN. Politik Pakatan Rakyat menyatukan rakyat. Rakyat sehati sejiwa menyelamatkan negara yang dicintai. Undilah PAS / PKR pada 7/4/2009. Hidup rakyat. Sebar kpd kwn2 di Btg Ai / Bkt Gantang / Bkt Selambau

Next, we are going to wage war with the lying mainstream media who will be telling all sorts of lies in the next week. Whilst those of us who will be out on the campaign trail will try to do what we can to neutralise this spin-doctoring by the MSM, again our outreach will not be able to match a full-blown sms campaign to alert the people to the lies that will be spread through the MSM.

Here is the ‘boycott the MSM’ sms.

Media massa arus p’dana akan m’perdayakan rkyt & m’cari helah utk gagalkan PAS di Bkt Gantang dan PKR di Btg Ai / Bkt Selambau dgn berita palsu - utk menanam rasa syak wasangka terhadap PAS & PKR. Jom boikot! Jgn beli s/kabar. Jgn p’caya berita radio/TV. Sebarkan kpd kwn2 di Bkt Gantang / Btg Ai / Bkt Selambau .

Could anyone please translate these 2 sms’s into Chinese / Tamil and send it in to me as a comment so that I can then put it up here, please?

Send these sms’s out to everyone you know in Sarawak / Perak / Kedah. Even if you do not know anyone in these three states or the constituencies in question, send them out to those whom you know with a request that they forward it to those whom they know. That way, there’s every likelihood that it will ultimately get to the good folk of in these three constituencies in due course. And keep sending the sms’s out again and again in the run-up to polling day on 7th April.

NAJIB TO BE SWORN IN AS PRIME MINISTER ON 3 APRIL 2009

Outgoing Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi revealed during a press conference at the close of the UMNO General Assembly that he will have an audience with the Yang DiPertuan Agong on 2 April 2009 to express his desire to step down as Malaysia's 5th Prime Minister, making way for Deputy Prime Minister and new UMNO President Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak to succeed him.

The Opposition and certain groups have been reporting that Datuk Seri Najib is involved in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu which of late have been widely reported overseas after a report from a French daily, which clearly undermines his reputation and credibility while the Opposition is proposing that a Royal Commission of Inquiry should be established to make a finding whether Datuk Seri Najib is involved or not although repeatedly Datuk Seri Najib had indicated that he does not know her.

There are reports that the Istana Negara has plans to have the inaugural ceremony of appointing a new prime minister on 3 April 2009.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah who was pressured to reveal the date of transition by reporters were only offered a reply that it would happen "in due course".

news n picture courtesy of Agendadaily

I am no stumbling block in Bukit Selambau

By : Suganthi Supramaniam
NST, March 30 2009
SUNGAI PETANI, Mon:

MIC chief Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu is here in Sungai Petani and supervising the campaign for his party man, Datuk V. Ganesan. For the last 20 days he has parked himself here to ensure the BN and Ganesan emerged victorious on April 7. Suganthi Supramaniam spoke exclusively to the MIC supremo who shattered a claim here that Samy Vellu is not welcomed by local BN leaders.



Is it true that UMNO Kedah is not happy with you being here?

No. They are happy. Kedah UMNO are very pleasant people. They have called me, invited me for tea and also asked me to speak. If they are unhappy with me, we will lose the by-election.

Do you see yourself as a stumbling block to BN and MIC?

No. If I had not come here, the environment would be different. The people will still be anti-BN. The people here love to see us again and again.
Why Ganesan?

He is young, well known and experienced. He was also the former Lunas state assemblyman. He was not fielded in the last general election because at that time a lot of other youngsters had wanted to contest

There is talk that Ganesan is not well liked here by the Kedah MIC. Your comment.

Whenever you put a candidate, you will not get 100 per cent acceptance. It is like a arranged marriage, at first you don't like the bride chosen by the father, but slowly you will and will even have four or five children. Ganesan is new and has a pleasant face. Face is the mirror of the heart.

Are you aware that Pakatan Rakyat is trying to dig up dirt on Ganesan?

Let them. We can also dig up Anwar’s (Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) past. If Ganesan does not have good record, then neither has Anwar. It takes a thief to call another a thief.

Earlier you were talking about fielding Datuk V. Saravanan. What happened?

Even though I was talking about Saravanan and he can also speak the local dialect, I had Ganesan in mind. But the age of the other candidate came into consideration and that’s why we choose Ganesan.

Is it true that there is a lack of talent in Kedah MIC?

No. We have people likes S. Krishnan (former candidate), we have graduates with masters and doctors. By-elections are more difficult and challenging than general elections and we needed someone with the quality, talent and experience of working with the people.

What will happen if MIC loses this time?

I don’t want to talk about losing, only wining and winning. I am a winner, even from those days when I was a cook, telephone operator or office boy. (He was in good mood yesterday morning. His car number 1818 came out in Toto. Starter. He said he did not buy)

What is your reading on Bukit Selambau?

BN can be confident that the votes are returning. Minds are changing. They know where their future lies, whom they can rely upon, that they need a steady government and that steady government is the BN. Astrologically, 2008 was a bad year for Indians where a lot of political calamity took place. But, 2009 will be a good year for them with BN having a deeper look and doing the necessary for them.

What are the issues here?

We have welfare issues and the Social Security Organisation (Socso) is among the biggest problems here. We also have people with medical problems, and people with low income and unable to take care of their families.

The Cost Of Politics

The UMNO Assembly has come and gone and, as has been the case for at least the last three assemblies, in its wake many of us have been left uneasy and in a state of disquiet. Seeing the inner workings of the Leviathan’s mind is never an easy thing, even at the best of times. And these really are the worst of times.

Power-lust has put a debilitating strain on our national institutions; they are in the mind of the public nothing more than lifeless marionettes in a caricature of democracy. The accumulation of money and influence has for some time now been the greater social good in the minds of many of those who claim the right to lead us. Governance has been wholly enslaved to the perverse politics required to feed this monstrous craving.

One does not have to go to great lengths anymore to demonstrate these conclusions. After this last assembly, it is a matter of public record. Reading the speeches made, I was struck by how for many of those who attended the assembly there is no other way other than the UMNO way that they are familiar with: exclusive privilege through patronage.

While it could be said that these are matters concerning the internal workings of UMNO and as such really none of my business, this cannot be the case when UMNO stakes a claim on the premiership of this nation as it does. The Federal Constitution does not provide that the President of UMNO must be the Prime Minister. That is however the understanding within the Barisan whose component parties are compelled to leave the choice of that individual to UMNO’s admittedly skewed method of electing its President.

This state of affairs is made more complex by the expectation on the part of UMNO that it is entitled to govern this nation, a viewpoint it gives life to through its control over the wider system of governance. The experience of the rakyat with matters of state has been a disappointing one and the general belief is that all constitutional bodies and agencies of the state will act to further the interests of UMNO and, where interests overlap, the Barisan.

Seen in this light, the internal workings of UMNO are a matter of national concern; the national interest underscoring the appointment of a Prime Minister is ultimately left vulnerable to those who are able to successfully wield influence at the UMNO Assembly.

As I have written elsewhere, this is not the scheme envisaged by the founders of the Federal Constitution, which instead puts in place an appointment process grounded on His Majesty the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s judgment as to who it is that commands the confidence of the majority of members of the Dewan Rakyat.

For many in UMNO and the Barisan however, political convention must trump constitutionalism. Both the party and the coalition have made this clear in the way in which concerns over the appropriateness of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as Prime Minister are being avoided.

This cannot be right, the unease that the failure to take appropriate steps to clear the air has given rise to is no small matter. It pertains directly to public confidence in the due administration of this nation. If the positions were reversed, the same rationale would apply: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim would not be an appropriate candidate until the accusation of sodomy by Saiful Bukhari was dealt with.

Public confidence is crucial to our survival. We are a nation in crisis facing external challenges of great magnitude. Part of the reason for this is the sustained maladministration that we have had to endure over a prolonged period of time. Put bluntly, the nation is not firing on all pistons and we are not nearly as prepared or resourced to deal with what we will have to be when the full significance of world events hits us.

The choice of Prime Minister at this point is a crucial one. In addition to addressing Malaysia’s response to the global economic crisis and its impact on the rakyat, the next administration must address two objectives that are vital to our continued survival. The first of these is the serious deficiencies in our current process of general and state elections. These go deeper than the issue of perceived Election Commission and Police bias to the more fundamental question of whether democratic purpose is being achieved through a first-past-the-post system and the “weighted” delineation of constituencies. Electoral ethics must also be made a priority with scrutiny of the continued value of racial ideologies that serve no purpose than to divide us. True democratic process is the only way in which this nation can ensure that it remains competitive.

Secondly, the foundations of governance must be shored up. The doctrine of separation of powers must be re-entrenched to ensure the due application of checks and balances. For this, reforms must be carried out at more than a superficial level. For this to occur, constitutionalism must be breathed into the organs and agencies of state once more. The Judiciary must be liberated from any and all political influence and be made as capable as it once was, with public confidence in the institution. The legislatures of the nation must be allowed to return to previous glory when debates were permitted without fear or favour and the legislative chamber served a purpose higher than rubber-stamping the dictates of majoritarianism.

Above all, the Executive must be made accountable once again.

This is what we need if we do not want to see this nation failing. Momentum however threatens to propel us forward in that direction. The brakes need to be applied and our direction changed, impelled forward by the will of the rakyat with the Federal Constitution serving as our roadmap.

The question we must confront is who it is that will be able to lead us in doing that.

If I wonder whether Datuk Seri Najib considers himself capable of doing this, it is because he has said precious little to suggest that he has considered the precarious situation we are in. I am also wary of the political forces that paved his way to the top that will impede him much in the same way as they did the out-going Prime Minister. There is also the matter of public sentiment concerning various matters that he either has been, or is seen to have been, involved in.

Ironically, the one person in UMNO who holds to a need for serious reform at all levels, Tengku Razaleigh, received only one nomination and could not contest the presidency. This was an error on the part of UMNO in my view.

My fear is that the nation will have to pay the price.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar is the current President of the National Human Rights Society (HAKAM) and a lawyer. He has been at the forefront of efforts aimed at promoting constitutionalism and the Rule of Law. His blog ‘Disquiet’, and weekly column of the same name with the Malay Mail, are widely read

(Malaysian Insider 31st March 2009)

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

By-elections not a referendum on Najib's leadership: Muhyiddin

ImageThe Sun

SUNGAI PETANI (March 30, 2009) : Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has urged the people not to make the three by-elections on April 7 a referendum on the new Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership of Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

He said the by-elections at Bukit Gantang in Perak, Bukit Selambau in Kedah and Batang Ai in Sarawak are significant as coincidentally, they will be held soon after the transition of power.

"I like to remind voters that they are by-elections, not a referendum on Datuk Seri Najib's leadership," he told reporters after a briefing on the BN election machinery at Merbok near here today.

Muhyiddin said voters should consider the future and efforts being taken to improve policies aimed at developing the country without neglecting any race.

"We want to implement more effective social programmes fast. We begin by having a new leadership," Bernama reported him as saying.

Muhyiddin also called on the voters of Bukit Selambau to vote for BN-MIC candidate Datuk S. Ganesan if they are not satisfied with the former Pakatan Rakyat state government here.

"The voters should take heed of what has happened within the PR state government here and it is time to show displeasure over what has happened by voting for the BN," he said.

He added that Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) has no clear ideology, and if its candidate S. Manikumar were to be voted as the state assemblyman, he might quit and run away from his responsiblity, like what the former assemblyman V. Arumugam did.

"Ganesan has the credentials, unlike PKR who has no commitment," he said.

Muhyiddin added that BN has prepared its machinery to campaign for Ganesan in this by-election. "This will not be easy to win, but we have certain strategies to win."

He said the machinery will focus on getting to know all voters in Bukit Selambau.

Muhyiddin said based on a field survey, 50% of the voters here want change. "This is a good sign. Now, we just need one percent to win!"

Asked to comment on the number of candidates contesting in this by-election, Muyhiddin said the number of candidates was extraordinary.

"But this will not really affect the chances for BN ," he said, adding that the independents are self-centered and do not have a clear struggle. "None of them are expected to win, it is a waste of their time."

Muhyiddin added if any of the independents are BN candidates, they would automatically have their membership terminated.

Najib It Is

Malaysia's leading ethnic party names a scandal-ridden party hack as its head and the country's leader
Image

On Friday, Malaysia is scheduled to end months of waiting to announce its new prime minister, Najib Tun Razak, after the United Malays National Organisation, the country's biggest ethnic party named him their leader during their annual convention.

Najib told the UMNO parley, held in Kuala Lumpur last week, that it is crucial that his party reform itself or it will lose its hold on the electorate. But Najib's history, and that of the party itself, portends instead a return to the politics and practices that got the national ruling coalition into trouble in the first place, losing its historic two-thirds majority in the national parliament in national elections last year. Najib's ascent to power more likely represents a clear preference by UMNO stalwarts to return to cronyism, money politics and corruption after an eight-year interregnum from the authoritarian reign of Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad.

The new prime minister's history may make it problematical whether the leaders of major countries are going to want to be seen with him. Concerns include hundreds of millions of dollars in questionable contracts steered to UMNO cronies and friends, not to mention continuing allegations of his involvement in the murder of the Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu following the controversial purchase of French submarines and, more recently, his role in sabotaging the opposition in the state of Perak and his shuttering newspapers and thwarting opposition candidates during his own party's elections last week.

The convention itself was a good example. Opponents of the Najib team were denied places on the ballot by a panel supposedly charged with cleaning up money politics, although they let Najib's allies slide by after having committed the same offenses. The result was that the deputy president, Muhyiddin Yassin, and all three vice presidents are from the Najib faction although the Najib forces were unable to prevent Khairy Jamaluddin, the son-in-law of ousted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmand Badawi, from becoming head of the important UMNO Youth wing. They also were unable to stop Shahrizat Abdul Jalil from defeating longtime party hack Rafidah Aziz to take over the Wanita, the women's wing of the party, also a Badawi ally.

The final election night erupted into name-calling, with allies of Mukhriz Mahathir, the son of the former prime minister, charging that Khairy had bought the votes to make him head of UMNO Youth. Mahathir Mohamad himself railed against the two candidates against his son, calling them corrupt. Rais Yatim, the foreign minister, who lost out in one of the vice president races, demanded that UMNO's disciplinary board investigate the entire new supreme council over allegations that they had delivered gifts and money to delegates in the effort to win their seats. Mahathir Mohamad has repeatedly launched furious attacks on UMNO leaders, calling them corrupt although he showed up at the last night of the convention to be seen with Najib and others.

The UMNO-owned New Straits Times described the top party positions as having "given much-needed breathing space to Najib as he sets out to unite UMNO and push the party to undertake the reforms he has promised. He will have less of a task to deal with the factionalism that so often arises after a bitterly fought contest in the party." But in fact, UMNO appears to be as much riven by factional politics as it was going into the convention.

As early as April 8, the party faces the first of three important by-elections – one for a seat in the Dewan Rakyat, or national assembly, and two more for state legislative seats. The first test is for a Perak seat in which support for the Barisan appears to be waning.

"The problem is not the opposition, but within our own ranks," a local leader told the Kuala Lumpur-based website Malaysia Insider, referring to the perennial problem of factionalism within Umno.

Najib has sought to nullify the opposition with force. Last Monday, a rally led by Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim was broken up by police who fired tear gas at the audience. Other rallies have been cancelled as well. Two opposition newspapers were cancelled until after April 8, the date of the Perak national by-election, presumably because the two papers have hammered away at allegations of Najib's connections with the two men on trial for killing Altantuya in October of 2006 and her role in the €1 billion purchase of French submarines that netted one of his closest friends €114 million in "commissions."

To say Najib brings considerable baggage with him is an understatement. While attention has focused on allegations of corruption in the submarine purchases, the fact is that as defense minister from 1999 to 2008, Najib presided over a cornucopia of defense deals that poured a river of money into the coffers of his close friends and UMNO cronies. A September 24, 2007 story in Asia Sentinel quoted Foreign Policy in Focus, a think tank supported by the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, as saying that "many foreign arms manufacturers generally used well-connected Malaysians as their lobbyists for contracts."

Three contracts approved under Najib have been widely cited by the opposition and fit well into Foreign in Policy in Focus's patronage scale. They have been forced back into public attention by his ascension to the premiership and by the exoneration under questionable circumstances of Abdul Razak Baginda, one of his closest friends, for Altantuya's murder.

Spending for defense accelerated across the board after Najib, called "the driving force" behind Malaysia's military modernization program by Foreign Policy in Focus. The shopping list, the think tank reported, "includes battle tanks from Poland, Russian and British surface-to-air missiles and mobile military bridges, Austrian Steyr assault rifles and Pakistani anti-tank missiles. Kuala Lumpur was also negotiating to buy several F/A 18s, the three French submarines and Russian Suhkoi Su-30 fighter aircraft.


It was the Sukhois that, after the French submarines, became the second controversial purchase brokered by Najib. The deal, worth US$900 million (RM3.2 billion), was through a Russian state company, Federal State Unitary Enterprise 'Rosoboronexport' on May 19, 2003. A company called IMT Defence Sdn. Bhd. was appointed the local agent for the Russian company and received 12 percent of the purchase price, US$108 million (RM380 million). The principal figure and chairman of IMT Defence is Mohamad Adib Adam, the former chief minister of Malacca, the previous Land and Development Minister and a longtime UMNO stalwart.

The involvement of IMT Defence only became known because in March 2005, a former director of IMT, Mohamad Zainuri Mohamad Idrus, filed suit against several Adib-related companies, alleging that Adib and his sister, Askiah Adam, "wanted to prevent him from exposing the reality of the Sukhoi deal." In 2006, Mohamad Zainuri lodged a police report alleging that Adib had stolen the US$108 million (RM 380 million) commission that was supposed to be channeled to the company.

According to Mohamad Zainuri's report, Adib had secretly registered a new company in the federal island of Labuan, Malaysia's offshore banking center, bearing a name similar to IMT Defence Sdn Bhd, allegedly in order to channel the commission illegally to the new company. The report was then sent to the Commercial Crime Investigations Department Headquarters. No report, however, has ever been released to the public.

Then, in late 2007, a third military scandal surfaced. Malaysia's Auditor General, in a report tabled in Parliament on September 7, alleged that a contract to build naval vessels given to PSC-Naval Dockyard, a subsidiary of Penang Shipbuilding & Construction Sdn Bhd, which is owned by another UMNO crony, Amin Shah Omar Shah, was near failure.

PSC-Naval Dockyard was contracted to deliver six patrol boats for the Malaysian Navy in 2004 and complete the delivery by last April. Those were supposed to be the first of 27 offshore vessels ultimately to cost RM24 billion plus the right to maintain and repair all of the country's naval craft. But only two of the barely operational patrol boats had been delivered by mid 2006. There were 298 recorded complaints about the two boats, which were also found to have 100 and 383 uncompleted items aboard them respectively.

The original RM5.35 billion contract ballooned to RM6.75 billion by January 2007. The auditor also reported that the ministry had paid out Rm4.26 billion to PSC up to December 2006 although only Rm2.87 billion of work had been done, an overpayment of Rm1.39 billion, or 48 percent. In addition, Malaysia's cabinet waived late penalties of Rm214 million. Between December 1999, according to the Auditor General, 14 "progress payments" amounting to Rm943 million despite the fact that the auditor general could find no payment vouchers or relevant documents dealing with the payments.

The auditor general attributed the failure to serious financial mismanagement and technical incompetence stemming from the fact that PSC had never built anything but trawlers or police boats before being given the contract. Once called "Malaysia's Onassis" by former finance minister Daim Zainuddin, Amin Shah was in trouble almost from the start, according to a report in Singapore's Business Times in 2005. The financial crisis of 1997-1998 meant he was desperate to find funds to shore up ancillary businesses, Business times reported.

After a flock of lawsuits, the government ultimately cut off funding in 2004 amid losses and a net liabilities position. Boustead Holdings effectively took control from Amin Shah, reducing him to non-executive chairman.

"The scandal [over Altantuya's murder] is bringing shame to the nation and damaging our international credibility," said former finance minister and longtime politician Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah. "For the honor of the nation, for the honor of the office of prime minister, for the honor 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," Razaleigh continued. "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 Shaariibuu. 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."
The case has troubling aspects that have increasingly been noted in British and French newspapers after Asia Sentinel raised them in 2007. They bear repeating.

According to testimony in the trial of the two men accused of killing her, Altantuya accompanied her then-lover Abdul Razak Baginda to Paris at a time when Malaysia's defense ministry was negotiating through a Kuala Lumpur-based company, Perimekar Sdn Bhd, to buy two Scorpene submarines and a used Agosta submarine produced by the French government under a French-Spanish joint venture, Armaris, which in turn was bought by DCNS, a French contractor, in 2007. Perimekar at the time was owned by a company called Ombak Laut, which was wholly owned by Abdul Razak.

The contract was not competitive. The Malaysian ministry of defense paid €1 billion (RM 4.5 billion) to Amaris for the three submarines, for which Perimekar received a commission of €114 million (RM510 million). Deputy Defense Minister Zainal Abdidin Zin told the Dewan Rakyat, Malaysia's parliament, that the money was paid for "coordination and support services" although the fee amounted to a whopping 11 percent of the sales price for the submarines. Altantuya, by her own admission in the last letter she wrote before her murder, said she had been blackmailing Abdul Razak Baginda, pressuring him for US$500,000. She did not say how she was blackmailing him, leaving open lots of questions.

The French government has never shown any enthusiasm for investigating French companies alleged to be involved in corruption in gaining contracts overseas. It appears likely that it will in this case.

After Altantuya was murdered, one of her accused assassins, Sirul Umar, in a written confession, said he and his boss had been offered RM50,000 to RM100,000 to kill her. In the 22 months since the trial began, nobody in court has thought to ask who was going to pay the money. Abdul Razak Baginda was exonerated by the court and has left the country to study at Oxford.

Nizar: This is no mere by-election



Kes Penganiyaan Tahanan Akan Berterusan…

Author: Office of Mp Kapar

Berikut adalan soalan dan Jawapan yang diberikan oleh Menteri Dalam Negeri berkenaan penyeksaan oleh segelintir Polis terhadap tahanan dalam lokap. Ini baru lokap polis, bagaimana di Penjara-penjara seluruh negara.

Selagi, Menteri serta Peguam Negara cuba melindungi kesalahanan-kesalahan Pihak Polis selagi itu penganiyaan Tahanan akan berterusan. Terbaru di Chemor Perak, ahli keluarga juga di lanyak habis-habisan .

Bukankah ini suatu Penderhakaan oleh yang Berkuasa Kepada Raja dan Negara?

10 Mac 2009

Soalan Lisan YB Kapar dijawap melalui Tulisan

Tuan Manikavasagam a/l Sundaram meminta Menteri Dalam Negeri menyatakan apakah langkah-langkah yang telah dan akan diambil untuk memastikan pegawai polis tidak menyeksa tahanan melampuai batasan dan apakah kementerian bercadang untuk menubuhkan sebuah jawatankuasa bebas.

Jawapan YB Menteri :

Tuan Yang Di Pertua,

Saya mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Ahli Yang Berhormat Kapar yang mengemukakan pertanyaan.

Untuk makluman Ahli-Ahli Yang Berhormat dan Dewan Yang Mulia ini, sebagai sebuah agensi penguatkuasaan Undang-Undang , PDRM sentisa mengutamakan kepentingan menghormati undang-undang. Oleh yang demikian, setiap pengambilan bagi jawatan anggota dan pegawai sama ada Konstabel, Inspektor percubaan atau Kadet ASP akan menjalani latihan asa selama 6 bulan di pusat latihan polis. Di antara penekanan yang diberikan dalam modul latihan tersebut ialah memahami , menghayati dan menghormati undang-undang negara. Kesimpulannya, secara asasnya, semua pegawai polis telah dilatih untuk memiliki kefahaman untuk menghormati hak-hak asasi manusia termasuk kepada orang tahanan.

Tuan Yang Di Pertua,

Pihak Kementerian yakin dan percaya , melalui pematuhan kepada undang-undang sepertio Seksyen 15 Kanun Tatacara Jenayah berhubung cara-cara penangkapan dan larangan penggunaan kekerasan yang berlebihan akan dapat mencegah daripada belakuanya kes-kes orang tahan diseksa atau didera. Seksyen 20 Kanun Tatacara Jenayah juga memperuntukkan peraturan atau cara-cara memeriksa orang yang ditangkap dan Seksyen 20A akta yang sama turut memperuntukkan prosedur mengenai pemeriksaan orang yang hendak dimasukkan kedalam lokap.

Tuan Yang DiPertua,

Ketua Polis Negara juga telah mengeluarkan arahan supaya lawatan rutin oleh Ketua Polis Balai ke atas lokap hendaklah di adakan pada setiap hari. Di samping itu, pegawai-pagawai kanan polis di daerah-daerah juga diberikan tanggungjawab untuk melawat lokap-lokap di kawasan masing-masing mengikut giliran. Arahan juga telah dikeluarkan supaya salam setiap sesi soal siasat, seorang pegawai kanan dimestikan hadir sebagai penyelia. Sebagai usaha penambahbaikan pada masa akan datang, semua sesi soal siasat yang dijalankan oleh pihak polis akan dirakamkan dan disimpan sebagai rekod.

Tuan Yang Dipertua,

Kementerian yakin melalui pelaksanaan langkah-langkah tersebut, kes-kes orang tahanan yang diseksa oleh polis akan dapat ditangani dan dicegah . Sehubungan dengan itu, Kementerian tidak Bercadang untuk mewujudkan sebuah jawatankuasa bebas bagi menyiasat kes-kes polis menyeksa orang tahanan kerana dalam dua kejadian yang melibatkan Prabakar a/l Bala Krishnan yang telah disiram dengan air panas, 6 orang anggota polis yang terlibat telah di tuduh ,sementara bagi Kes A Kugan pula, siasatan masih lagi belum dapat dilengkapkan sehinggalah semua laporan pakar diperolehi.

Dr M still slams Pak Lah

KUALA LUMPUR, March 30 - The so-called rapprochement between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi could be stillborn after the former prime minister continued biting criticism against his successor.

This time, Dr Mahathir took his criticism to an international audience, using the platform of the BBC to say that "everthing went rotten" after Abdullah became prime minister.

He also lashed out at Khairy Jamaluddin and Kamal Abdullah, the son of the PM saying that both men decided on policies during the Abdullah era.

"Everything went wrong when Abdullah took over...", he said.

Despite being asked several times, if some of the problems in Umno and Malaysia was the result of mistakes which he made during 22 years as the PM, Dr Mahathir refused to acknowledged any shortcomings.

Finally, he relented, saying that his mistake was picking Abdullah as his successor.

He said that in 22 years in office, Barisan Nasional always won two-thirds control in Parliament.

Amazingly, Dr Mahathir also appeared to take some credit for BN's historic mandate in 2004, noting that the general elections had come just after he stepped down as prime minister.

This claim in in direct contrast to several surveys and observations by BN leaders and political pundits which showed that the Abdullah factor and excitement over his reform agenda gave the ruling coalition 90 per cent control of Parliament.

Disappointment over his failure to keep his election promises and excesses by Umno led to BN's dismal performance in 2008 and to Abdullah early retirement.

Dr Mahathir has been attacking Abdullah since 2005, upset that his legacy was being undermined by Abdullah and peeved that his counsel was not sought by his successor.

On Saturday, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak pulled off a coup of sorts by getting Dr Mahathir to share the same stage as Abdullah at the close of the party assembly.

He said he hoped that both men would sit down with him and offer ideas of how to rebuild Umno and Malaysia.

But it looks like Dr Mahathir is not ready to bury the hatchet.

PKR Indians switch to BN in Bkt Selambau

By Shannon Teoh- The Malaysian Insider

Kalaivanar, (second from right) leading his PKR dissenters into the press conference. - Pictures by Shannon Teoh

SUNGAI PETANI, March 30 – Nearly 400 Indian PKR members have switched support to Barisan Nasional in protest over the choice of the party's candidate to retain the Bukit Selambau state seat.

A record 15 candidates, including PKR's S. Manikumar, are in the race on April 7 which also carries a state exco post for the winner unless he is from the opposition Barisan Nasional.

Jerai PKR chief B. Kalaivanar said today he dissolved the division, adding he and 356 other members "will not support the PKR candidate or any of the Independents."

"We have lost faith in PKR especially in Anwar," he told reporters this morning, referring to de facto PKR leader, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Flanked by some 30 members, he claimed that PKR had deceived the Indian community by making false promises.

In an immediate response, PKR information chif Tian Chua said that he was not disappointed by Kalaivanar's move.

"PKR fights for multiracial reforms. If Kalaivanar is not willing to continue this struggle, then he is acting in his own self-interest and we are not disappointed by his leaving."

Kalaivanar also claimed there had been abuses of power by the Pakatan Rakyat state government as well as PKR Kedah, who have not held state-level elections since he joined in 2004.

No more true blue, for this trooper. A Jerai division leader takes off his PKR uniform to register his protest with the party. A slew of leaders and supporters have shown open dissent to the party's candidate for the Bukit Selambau by-election, S. Manikumar

"We have fought to the end behind him but now he has no respect for us. They manipulate the Indians to give them votes but then they do not do the work," the local Indian community strongman said.

"I hate this talk," he said of Anwar's use of the term "Makkal Sakthi", Tamil for "People's Power", during his ceramahs and said that he would continue a campaign via two NGOs that he leads and not join any party.

"We will campaign for true and transparent democracy," he said of his plans for the next seven days in Bukit Selambau.

He also accused PKR of playing up racial sentiments by saying one thing to Indians, another to the Chinese and yet another to the Malays, simply to gain support.

Overall, he said, it showed that the party had no right to criticise BN as it behaved in the same way.

While he admitted that he would like to be an elected representative for PKR, he claimed that the move had nothing to do with Manikumar's candidacy as he does "not really know him."

He said that he had already sent letters yesterday to the registrar of societies and PKR president and secretary-general, informing them of the decision to disband the Jerai division and Kedah PKR's Indian Community Development Committee, which he chairs.

He also claimed that other divisions will follow but refused to name them.

Uthaya got a beef with his chicken sambal (Malaysiakini)

Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leader P Uthayakumar has lodged a police report against Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar for ignoring Hindu sensitivities after allegedly being served beef at the Kamunting Detention Camp where he is being held.


syed hamid albarsyed hamid albarIn the report made last Wednesday, he accused Syed Hamid (left) of lying in saying that Hindraf leaders, being Hindus, are not served dishes containing beef in deference to their religion.

The minister had made the statement to rubbish previous claims by Uthayakumar that the camp authorities had insulted Hindus by allegedly serving dishes with beef.


p uthayakumar sedition trial 030209 01Uthayakumar alleged that, despite the minister’s statement, he had found “pieces of beef” in the chicken sambal served for lunch on March 22.

p uthayakumar sedition trial 030209 01“I was served chicken sambal with rice. I (saw) what looked like beef pieces in the chicken sambal,” he said in the report, a copy of which was made available to Malaysiakini.

“When I checked with detainees working in the kitchen, they confirmed that the beef sambal and chicken sambal were cooked in the same pot. (The chicken was) dished out and put on separate tray and served to me,” he said in the report.

He also claimed that the authorities has yet to serve him meals appropriate for a diabetic, despite knowing about his health condition.

Uthayakumar said he will now eat only bread and will not touch any food cooked in the camp kitchen, in protest of the “violation of my religious rights” as a Hindu and of his constitutional rights.

‘No medical reports yet’

Uthayakumar further claimed he has yet to receive his medical reports after undergoing a check-up at the Taiping Hospital for a fractured toe.
uthayakumar_toe_06022009
“The home minister has refused to send me to a private hospital because he knows that he and the police special branch will find it more difficult to cover up and manipulate (my health condition).

“I demand my medical reports within 48 hours (of the date of his police report). I want to be sent to the Gleneagles Hospital (in Kuala Lumpur for treatment).”

Uthayakumar’s fiance, S Indradevi, told Malaysiakini that the medical reports have not been made available to either of them to date.

“The fracture is still bad despite the treatment and he is in pain. I’m very worried,” she said.

Uthayakumar is one of five Hindraf leaders who have been detained under the Internal Security Act since late December 2007.

And you said you fear PAS

Image

You might not agree with Islam or PAS’ policies on Islam. But at least with PAS you know what’s coming and you can voice out if you don’t like it. With Umno, you are not allowed such luxuries.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

First read this:

News Item 1: Jerai PKR division dissolved

A PKR division chief has pulled out from PKR, taking over 400 party members with him. Jerai PKR division chief B. Kalaivanar said his decision to leave PKR was due to his disappointment and frustration, as well as many other members’, with the party’s leadership that has ignored the voices of those who had struggled for the party. (You can read the rest of the news item below).

Now read this:

News item 2: PKR man faces cheating rap

Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate for the Gurun state seat in the last general election B. Kalaivanar was charged at the magistrate’s court yesterday with two counts of cheating involving RM3,600. Kalaivanar, who is also Jerai PKR division chairman, claimed trial to inducing R. Patchama, 59, to hand over RM2,000 in April 2004 as payment to process an application for aid with the Social Security Organisation (Sosco). (You can read the rest of the news item below).

Do I need to explain what is going on in Kedah or are you intelligent enough to grasp the situation? It is quite simple really. Contest the by-election and then win. And after you win you negotiate a deal to cross over to Barisan Nasional -- such as a cash payment of RM5 million plus for the court case to be dropped.

Sounds reasonable? Okay, enough about Kedah. Now read the following news item:

News Item 3: Delegates want Islamic law to be ennobled

The Islamic legal and economic systems must be ennobled immediately to ensure that the ummah remained strong and supreme in future, a Puteri Umno delegate, Seriwani Sabtu said today. The Setiawangsa Puteri Umno head said that the role and power of the syariah courts should be widened to enable them to hear various cases pertaining to Islam instead of confining to marriage and divorce cases only. (You can read the rest of the news item below).

What is that I hear? PAS is dangerous because it is propagating the setting up of an Islamic State based on Syariah laws? For those who speak without understanding what Islamic laws are all about, Syariah laws comprise of many laws. The Hudud law, which is a bone of contention to many, is just one of these Syariah laws. Hudud, however, deals with seven specific crimes. But there are other Islamic laws that deal with inheritance, marriage, and so on.

At least PAS openly propagates Islamic laws. In that same breath, however, PAS says it shall not unilaterally implement Islamic laws if it ever comes to power in the federal government. And that, of course, is another issue to argue. How can PAS implement Islamic laws if it comes to power in the federal government when it will need a two-thirds majority in Parliament to do so but it contests only one-third of the 222 seats and wins less than half that?

Nevertheless, PAS has agreed that any policy matter requires unanimous agreement by all the partners in Pakatan Rakyat (and the implementation of Islamic laws is a policy matter). A simple majority is not enough. So, if PAS wants Islamic laws, and even if PKR agrees to this (which it will not of, course), as long as DAP opposes the idea then it just can’t be done. Simple! So the issue is a non-issue from the word go.

But what should not be ignored here is Umno’s plan for Islamic laws. Forget about PAS. They can’t do it. First, they do not control two-thirds of the seats in Parliament. Second, DAP will not support Islamic laws so it can’t be done since it will not be unanimous. But Umno can do things unilaterally. Umno does not need to ask the other 13 members of Barisan Nasional permission to do anything. Umno does what it wants to do. Umno is Barisan Nasional and Barisan Nasional is Umno.

Furthermore, PAS announces what it wants to do. It makes no secret of its plan to eventually see Islamic laws implemented in Malaysia. But it can also accept the fact that it may never see that happening. And PAS is quite prepared to leave well enough alone.

Umno, however, Islamises Malaysia in secret. They don’t make any noise about it, like PAS, which talks but never really gets to do it. With Umno, you wake up one morning and suddenly find out that this or that is a new ruling.

Take the ‘Allah’ ban for Bibles as one example. Take the arresting of non-Muslims who hold hands in public places. Take the ban on the building of Buddhist temples. Take the demolition of Hindu temples. Take the body snatching cases. All these, and more, are either federal government policies or events that happened in Umno run states.

In PAS run states, the Hindus, Buddhists and Christians face no problems. In Kelantan, the Hindus were offered permission to build a temple even though they had not asked for permission. The biggest Thai temple in Malaysia is in Kelantan. While Umno says that non-Muslims can’t use the word ‘Allah’, Nik Aziz says they can. During the Umno days, the Chinese could not slaughter pigs in Kelantan. Now, they can.

Do I really need to run through the entire list, which I have already talked about so many times in the past?

With PAS, you know what you are getting. They will announce what they want to do and you are free to oppose it if you disagree. With Umno, they just go ahead and do it without telling you first. And if you oppose it because you disagree, they will accuse you of insulting Islam and take action against you.

You might not agree with Islam or PAS’ policies on Islam. But at least with PAS you know what’s coming and you can voice out if you don’t like it. With Umno, you are not allowed such luxuries.

If you think you are more protected from Islam by voting Barisan Nasional, think again. Let the track record speak for itself. I too don’t agree with some of the policies of PAS. But I will take PAS over Umno anytime. With PAS, WYSIWYG.

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

NEWS ITEM 1

Jerai PKR division dissolved

By LOOI SUE-CHERN, The Star, 30 March 2009

SUNGAI PETANI: A PKR division chief has pulled out from PKR, taking over 400 party members with him.

Jerai PKR division chief B. Kalaivanar said his decision to leave PKR was due to his disappointment and frustration, as well as many other members’, with the party’s leadership that has ignored the voices of those who had struggled for the party.

“I am dissolving the Jerai PKR division, which has about 100 members; and the Kedah Indian Community Development Committee, of which I am also chairman.

“The commitee has 357 members, who are also leaving the party,” he said during a press conference at the Cinta Sayang Golf and Country Resort here Monday.

Kalaivanar, who is a long-serving member since 1998 and had been detained by police 29 times for taking part in demonstrations, claimed the PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim did what he liked and ignored those who had long fought for him and PKR.

“I am fed up. I don’t want to waste my time anymore and deceive the people. PKR had been deceiving the Indian people just to get their support.

“They played with our sentiments when they went on stage, talked about the five detained Hindraf leaders and shouted ‘Makkal Sakti’ (people’s power).

“When I suggested all Opposition MPs stage a walk out of Parliament for the five leaders’ release (from the Internal Security Act), none of them listened,” he said.

Among those leaving PKR with Kalaivanar are his wife Sungai Petani municipal councillor K. Deivanai, who is also state PKR Wanita deputy chief and Jerai PKR Wanita division chief; and Yan District councillor S. Poobalan, who is also Kalaivanar’s deputy.

When asked if he would ask other PKR divisions to pull out as well, Kalaivanar said he could not speak for them.

On whether he was leaving the party because he was not selected as PKR’s candidate for the Bukit Selambau by-election, he said it was a secondary issue.

“It is alright with me if they do not want me as candidate. The issue is they should have discussed with all PKR members on the selection.

“It also does not matter to me if the PKR candidate (S. Manikumar) wins the by-election or not. I will still be the person the Indian community approaches to solve problems as always,” he said, adding that he would not comment on Manikumar as he did not know him well.

Kalaivanar also expressed his grouses that the state PKR’s top leadership had never seen the appointment of a non-Malay member even though the party claimed to be multiracial.

He also said he was disappointed that the Pakatan Rakyat government in Kedah had done nothing for the people after running the state for over a year.

“They have done nothing but criticise Barisan Nasional and Umno since they won the state.

Kalaivanar said he would campaign for democracy this by-election and hold ceramahs these seven days to reveal the ‘actors’ in Pakatan Rakyat and PKR so Bukit Selambau voters would not be misled.

“I will not join any party. I have not approached Barisan.

“I will campaign under my two non-governmental organisations (NGOs) – the Alternative Action Team (AAT) and the Malaysia Indian Efficiency Movement,” he said, but clarified that his campaign would also not be in support of any of the 13 independent candidates.

Kalaivanar later met Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin at the resort’s restaurant by coincidence and congratulated the latter on his recent win in the Umno general assembly.

Asked if he was now siding with Barisan, he maintained that he and the NGOs he led would back ‘those who can serve’ and act as pressure groups for the people.

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NEWS ITEM 2

PKR man faces cheating rap

KPMU.net, 11 June 2008

SUNGAI PETANI: Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate for the Gurun state seat in the last general election B. Kalaivanar was charged at the magistrate’s court yesterday with two counts of cheating involving RM3,600.

Kalaivanar, who is also Jerai PKR division chairman, claimed trial to inducing R. Patchama, 59, to hand over RM2,000 in April 2004 as payment to process an application for aid with the Social Security Organisation (Sosco).

Known as Kalai among PKR members, the 44-year-old also claimed trial to issuing a cheque for RM1,600 to Patchama on Sept 15, 2005, when he knew that there was no application for the amount with Socso. The cheque bounced.

The offences were allegedly committed at No 24, Kampung Sungai Ibur in Gurun, 20km from here.

Assistant public prosecutor Nuraswan Amuniddin proposed bail of RM4,000 in one surety for each charge.

Kalaivanar, a father of six, who was not represented, pleaded for a lower bail of between RM1,000 and RM1,500, saying that his wife was a housewife and that he worked as an activist with several non-governmental organisations.

Court Registrar V. Kanesan, sitting as magistrate, set bail at RM3,000 for each charge in one surety pending mention on July 6.

Kalaivanar posted bail, but was arrested again outside the bailiff’s office about 1pm.

It is learnt that he was detained in connection with investigations into his alleged involvement in another cheating case in Bahau, Negri Sembilan, several years ago.

Kuala Muda district police chief Assistant Commissioner Hashim Ali was not available for comment.

In the March 8 election, Kalaivanar lost to Dr Leong Yong Kong of Barisan Nasional in the Gurun state seat. He polled 7,035 votes against Dr Leong’s 8,589 votes, losing by 1,554 votes.

He also contested as a PKR candidate for the same state seat in the 2004 general election. He lost to the incumbent state MCA chairman Datuk Beh Heng Seong of BN.

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NEWS ITEM 3

Delegates want Islamic law to be ennobled

Bernama, 28 March 2009

The Islamic legal and economic systems must be ennobled immediately to ensure that the ummah remained strong and supreme in future, a Puteri Umno delegate, Seriwani Sabtu said today.

The Setiawangsa Puteri Umno head said that the role and power of the syariah courts should be widened to enable them to hear various cases pertaining to Islam instead of confining to marriage and divorce cases only.

"Those making statements that disputed the religion should also be heard by the syariah courts and upon conviction, stiff penalties should be imposed so that the religion will not be ridiculed easily," she said when debating the motion on the presidential policy speech, the motion on education and religion at the Umno general assembly, here today.

Seriwani also rejected the organising of any inter-faith discussions to avoid intervention by non-Muslims in Islamic affairs.

"If such discussions were allowed, it would enable certain groups to tarnish Islam. As such, measures to monitor and control such activities should be enhanced," she said.

Selangor Umno representative Datuk Zainal Abidin Sakom said Umno leaders lately appeared to be scared to enforce the existing political power to defend Islam.

Meanwhile, Johor Umno delegate Ayub Rahmat asked the supreme council to revoke the implementation of the teaching and learning of Mathematics and Science in the English language.

Since the policy was implemented in 2003, he said the numerous studies carried out by Umno itself had shown that it was detrimental to the Malay Malaysian students.

"Why is Umno reluctant to accept the outcome of the studies conducted by the party itself?" he asked.

He said studies carried out internationally also showed that out of 45 nations that used the English language as the medium of instruction, only five had emerged as a developed nation.

Have your nagging questions about Najib been laid to rest?

By Haris Ibrahim,

Did I hear someone ask, ‘What nagging questions?’.

How about these, for starters?

1. Who did Mongolian national, Burmaa Oyunchimeg, mean by ‘Najib Razak’ as the government official photographed with the murdered Altantuya and Razak Baginda? Did she mean Dato Seri Najib? And if she meant Dato Seri Najib, what are we to make of the latter’s denial to having ever known, been acquainted with or had any dealings whatsoever with the murdered Altantuya? Again, if she meant Dato Seri Najib, would this not corroborate the assertion by private investigator Balasubramaniam in his first statutory declaration that Dato Seri Najib was well-acquainted with Altantuya. Noting that to-date, Dato Seri Najib has never refuted this piece of evidence, it must be asked why this assertion by Burmaa Oyunchimeg has never been fully investigated?

2. Is there truth in the assertion by Mongolian national, Uuriintuya Gal-Orchir that local immigration records of her, Altantuya and their friend Namiraa Gerelmaa’s entry into Malaysia on 8th October, 2006 had disappeared? If true, who was responsible for this and why was this done? Was the responsible party acting on instructions and, if so, who and why? Why has this assertion by Uuriintuya Gal-Orchir never been fully investigated?

3. Have the police concluded their investigation, which commenced in early July this year, in the matter of private investigator Balasubramaniam’s two contradictory statutory declarations? If so, why has he not been charged for making a false statutory declaration? Which is the false statutory declaration? Was he forced to make the false declaration and if so, by who and how? Where is he and his family now? Are they safe?

4. Given the startling decision of the Attorney General’s Chambers not to appeal the acquittal of Razak Baginda, has there been an investigation into the exchange of sms’s between Dato Seri Najib and senior lawyer Muhd Shafee Abdullah to ascertain if there was any abuse of power or interference with due process howsoever by Dato Seri Najib?

5. Given Razak Baginda’s acquittal and exoneration for any wrongdoing in the matter of Altantuya’s murder, who then sought this premeditated murder?

Malaysianinsider reports that Najib has an appeal to all of you.

“Give me a chance. Judge me by my actions. Don’t judge me on rumours and baseless allegations. I will reform and I will make changes.

“I am aware that the people expect me to do certain things. Why do you form this judgment about me? This is a judgment that is not fair because you are pre-judging somebody before I even take office.

“You are not being fair if you pre-judge somebody. Please judge me by my actions. My actions will come in due course. I have not even taken office yet. I only ask that I be treated fairly by the press.”

Najib asks that he not be judged based on rumours.

What has he done to quell those rumours?

Has he proffered satisfactory explanations or rebuttals to those rumours?

Has he sued those ‘rumour mongers’ as most men would do to clear their name from scurrilous allegations?

View this video clip that has been around for some time now, observe his responses, and then ask youself how you can stand by and let this man become PM if those questions I have listed above, and the many, many more that abound, remain unanswered?


Does Najib want to turn Malaysia into a criminal state?

Umno/BN leaders in Perak are mortally afraid of the Democracy Tree under which the Perak State Assembly convened on March 3, 2008 although the Perak Speaker and the overwhelming majority of the Perak Assembly members were locked out of the Perak State Assembly in the State Secretariat building by an illegal and usurper Mentri Besar and State Executive Council.

Umno/BN leaders in Perak are mortally afraid of the Democracy Tree plaque commemorating the historic occasion where the spirit for democracy in Perak refuse to be quashed by arbitrary, high-handed and illegal exercise of “usurper” executive power.

Umno/BN leaders in Perak are now mortally afraid of information technology and the DVD on the Democracy Tree which recorded for posterity the events leading to the historic Perak State Assembly under the Ipoh Raintree!

This was why DAP Perak State Assemblyman for Tebing Tinggi Ong Boon Piow was arrested by the police for allegedly violating the Film Censorship Act 2002 in not getting approval and a B certificate from the Film Censorship Board before “manufacturing, circulating, distributing, displaying” the Democracy Tree DVD.

This is a draconian law which must be repealed. It provides for a mandatory minimum fine of RM5,000 and up to RM30,000, three years’ jail or both, for any conviction under the Act. In other words, an MP or State Assembly member found guilty under this charge would automatically be disqualified as an elected representative in view of the mandatory minimum fine of RM5,000 - as a fine of RM2,000 and above in a criminal charge is sufficient to cause such disqualification.

With such a law, Malaysia will not only become a police state but also a criminal state, as with the advances of information technology, IT-savvy Malaysians would all run foul of this draconian law for burning an extra copy of DVD without first getting approval and B certificate from the Film Censorship Board.

What message is Datuk Seri Najib Razak, on the threshold of becoming the sixth Prime Minister, sending out to the nation and the world?

That his ascension marks an enveloping darkness descending in all fronts of human rights, as hardly a day passes in the past fortnight without a new encroachment and erosion of the fundamental liberties whether freedom of speech, expression, assembly, association or the right to information.

Does Najib want to turn Malaysia into a criminal state, with law-abiding but IT-savvy Malaysians becoming instant criminals?

If not, repeal the draconian and anti-IT provision in the Film Censorship Act and stop harassing Boon Piaw over the “Democracy Tree” DVD.

Is MIED authorized to give out study loan or scholarship?

AGAIN, THE RM100 MILLION SURFACES!

This time, it might be in the benefit of the Indian community.

I am member of Maju Institute of Educational Development (MIED) which is a company limited by guarantee pursuant to Companies Act 1965. I received a copy of the Memorandum and Articles of Association of MIED on 27th March 2009 after I requested a copy from MIED’s Company Secretary through my solicitors on 5th March 2009.



The following statement is made after due consultation with my Accountant and Solicitor.

Any misuse of public funds, particularly when those monies that were given by government and public as government grants and donations intended to support a marginalized community, is unacceptable.

The objective of the establishment of MIED as per Article 3 of the Memorandum of Association states, “to receive and administer funds for education, scientific and charitable purposes, all for the public welfare and for no other purposes and to this end: (a) to foster, develop and improve education of all kinds and in such manner as may, from time to time, be decided upon by the Institute including but without prejudice to the generality of this provision, the founding and maintaining of scholarships, provided that it does not contravene the provision of the Education of Law of Malaysia; (g) to assist, aid and give relief to the poor and needy who by reason of age, ill-health, misfortune or infirmity are wholly or in part unable to maintain themselves and their dependents by their own exertions and in particular widows and orphans, victims of fire, floods, famine, war or calamity and those in need of moral or social rehabilitation or welfare” (emphasis added).

There are no other provisions as regards giving of any study loans. Any disbursements of money to the needy are ONLY by way of scholarship or grants.

The reality of disbursements in MIED

A total sum close to RM100million has been disbursed as study loans to almost 10,000 students with an accruing interest at the rate of 6% per annum. This interest is charged on an annual basis commencing from the 6th month after completion of the studies funded through MIED. From 2008, an additional interest of 2% per annum is charged from the time the loan is disbursed and the 6% upon completion of the course till the loan is settled.

1. MIED is not authorized to give any study loan but only scholarships under its own Memorandum of Association.

2. To give any loan, with interest, whether study loan or otherwise requires a money lending license without which it becomes illegal. Todate, MIED does not have any money lending license. Therefore, all monies collected with interest is illegal.

3. All monies collected with interests are taxable. Failing to pay tax is another breach of the law and failing to declare the interest as an income is evading tax and illegal.

4. In an Institution such as MIED, a Section 24 company under the Companies Act 1965 which has acquired a Tax Exemption status, it must disburse all funds received for its intended purposes (like donations and grants) within 18 months. Failing to do so, the income is deemed taxable and if the monies are placed in Fixed Deposits (like the millions collected as government grants and donations were and are kept) as in the case of MIED, becomes taxable. Failing to declare and pay tax on such accrued gains are again illegal.

5. MIED has and is violating its own Memorandum and the Malaysian Law.

Dato Seri S. Samy Vellu, MIED Board of Trustees, MIED’s Company Secretary and MIED’s Auditors should take responsibility for these unacceptable acts and omissions, where not a single members meeting was held except for signatures collected during the MIC’s Central Working Committee (CWC) Meetings since the inception of MIED in 1984. Prior to January 2009, MIED’s Board last met in 2003.


SA Vigneswaran

(019-3832281)

Bkt Selambau: MIC and PKR ops centres side-by-side

bukit-selambau-001

Rival neighbours: The MIC candidate’s ops centre (left) just two doors away from the PKR ops centre (right) - Photo by Anil Netto

An unusual situation in Bukit Selambau with the ops centre for the two parties in “close proximity” not far from the Sungai Petani town centre. And in front of both ops centres, a police canopy booth at a bus stop on a main road. Yes, the canopies are back with a heavy police presence in Sungai Petani and surrounding areas.

When I was there last night, a mini ceramah was in progress at the PKR ops centre. It was funny to hear a PKR speaker using a sound system to denounce the MIC and saying stuff like “Kita mesti menolak MIC” while a couple of doors away the MIC volunteers were nonchalantly carrying on business as usual, paying no attention. All in a day’s work.

But it’s going to be a big headache on polling day for some voters when they see 15 names on the ballot papers. The area had an unusually high 1,694 spoilt votes in the general election - and that was with just a couple of names on the ballot papers.

As things stand, the PKR candidate is likely to be No. 4 on the ballot paper while the BN candidate will be No. 8. For many voters, especially in rural areas, the BN ‘dacing’ symbol is likely to be the most recognisable. But with a few candidates expected to withdraw before polling day, the numbering on the ballot papers could change.

A Malay PKR supporter tried to use the race card on me, thinking I was a voter in the area, as he tried to convince me who to vote for. “If you vote for our candidate, you would get an Indian to represent you in the Kedah state exco for sure. How could you refuse that?”

Some things are hard to change.

The PKR and the Pakatan in general also have to seriously review the way they select their candidates to avoid the sort of local disgruntlement we have witnessed. Perhaps a party selection committee, using properly defined and transparent criteria, would be better placed to evaluate the suitability of candidates rather than leaving it all to party supremos.

The old Bukit Selambau town is actually about half an hour’s drive away from the ops centres: just a couple of rows of shophouses with the largest employer there being a plywood factory employing mostly foreign workers.- Anil Netto