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Thursday, April 2, 2009

DNA Identification Bill Public Forum

Part 1


Part 2


Part 3

A temple is in limbo

Kohilan: Victory is ours!

2nd Selangor Beri Sumbangan Kepada Keluarga A Kugan

Kerajaan Negeri Selangor akan menyerahkan cek sumbangan sebanyak RM10,000 kepada keluarga mendiang A. Kugan (yang di bunuh dalam tahanan Polis) . Masa dan Tempat :

Tarikh : Khamis 02 April 2009
Waktu : 12.30 Tengahari
Tempat : Rumah Keluarga Mendiang
104, Rumah PKNS, Batu 15, Jalan Semenyih,
43000 KAJANG.

Keperihatian Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat amat di hargai.

Pak Lah submits resignation to King

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi met the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin for nearly an hour this morning to discuss the power transition.

Abdullah submitted his letter of resignation as prime minister to the King during the meeting at Istana Negara.

“It is up to the King whether he accepts my resignation,” Pak Lah told reporters gathered outside the palace gates after his audience with the King.

It is understood that the King has now asked for a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Najib is expected to be sworn in tomorrow at 10am as Malaysia’s sixth prime minister.

Everybody knows her name

Like moths to fire, Sungai Petani folk came to the Pas camp where Lim's speech was projected above the crowd. – Pictures by Shannon Teoh

By Shannon Teoh- The Malaysian Insider

SUNGAI PETANI, April 2 — Opposition speakers continue to creatively work around the Home Ministry ban on mentioning Altantuya Shaariibuu at their election ceramahs with Lim Kit Siang last night proving that most people were aware of the Mongolian beauty.

The DAP stalwart questioned the suitability of Datuk Seri Najib Razak as prime minister merely by asking the Bukit Selambau crowd "Who? From where?" when bringing up the Umno president's alleged links to her murder.

The crowd got their answers right on both counts.

Two nights ago when opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim began his triple by-elections campaign here, he showed the breadth of topics he could address in attacking Barisan Nasional by bringing up a different deceased — that of suspected car thief A. Kugan in police custody.

Lim last night highlighted the sheer ludicrity of banning the mention of a name and "that of a non-citizen," calling it undemocratic.

He said the Altantuya murder, without mentioning her name, coupled with allegations of abuse of power including an RM500 million commission in the government purchase of submarines, raised doubts over Najib's impending premiership in "35 hours".

"There are question marks over his suitability, integrity, credibility and legitimacy. Never has there been such doubts over a prime minister," he said.

"Everybody knows about this," he said, using his query to the crowd as evidence of how wide the speculation had spread.

Lim drew a mostly Chinese crowd of 1,000 to the ceramah in Sungai Petani.

The Ipoh Timur MP admitted that he was disappointed that outgoing prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was stepping down as he had promised and failed to deliver extensive democratic reforms before stepping down.

He said that it was imperative for voters in Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai to send a message to Najib to make him prove his innocence in these scandals and his credibility in carrying out the reforms demanded by the people.

The Home Ministry issued tough guidelines to parties contesting the by-elections to refrain from talking about Altantuya, the Perak Sultan's decisions in switching state government, race and religious issues in ceramahs.

The opposition has called the ban unfair and undemocratic, vowing to defy it in its campaigns.

On the eve of 3rd April

Image

On the eve of 3rd April 2009, let us take a trip down memory lane and recap what Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal said on 1st July 2008. I spent six hours with him the day he signed his Statutory Declaration and I can confirm he did not sign it under duress. In fact, he was quite disappointed that my SD had come out a couple of weeks earlier, so that made his SD the second instead of the first. He said he would have liked his to be the first.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

STATUTORY DECLARATION

I, Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal a Malaysian Citizen of full age and residing at [deleted] do solemly and sincerely declare as follows :-

1. I have been a police officer with the Royal Malaysian Police Force having jointed as a constable in 1981 attached to the Police Field Force. I was then promoted to the rank of lance Corporal and finally resigned from the Police Force in 1998 when I was with the Special Branch.

2. I have been working as a free lance Private Investigator since I left the Police Force.

3. Sometime in June or July 2006, I was employed by Abdul Razak Baginda for a period of 10 days to look after him at his office at the Bangunan Getah Asli, Jalan Ampang between the hours of 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m each working day as apparently he was experiencing disturbances from a third party.

4. I resigned from this job after 2 ½ days as I was not receiving any proper instructions.

5. I was however re-employed by Abdul Razak Baginda on the 05-10-2006 as he had apparently received a harassing phone call from a Chinese man calling himself ASP Tan who had threatened him to pay his debts. I later found out this gentleman was in fact a private investigator called Ang who was employed by a Mongolian woman called Altantuya Shaaribuu.

6. Abdul Razak Baginda was concerned that a person by the name of Altantuya Shaaribuu, a Mongolian woman, was behind this threat and that she would be arriving in Malaysia very soon to try and contact him.

7. Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that he was concerned by this as he had been advised that Altantuya Shaaribuu had been given some powers by a Mongolian ‘bomoh’ and that he could never look her in the face because of this.

8. When I enquired as to who this Mongolian woman was, Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that she was a friend of his who had been introduced to him by a VIP and who asked him to look after her financially.

9. I advised him to lodge a police report concerning the threatening phone call he had received from the Chinese man known as ASP Tan but he refused to do so as he informed me there were some high profile people involved.

10. Abdul Razak Baginda further told me that Altantuya Shaaribuu was a great liar and good in convincing people. She was supposed to have been very demanding financially and that he had even financed a property for her in Mongolia.

11. Abdul Razak Baginda then let me listen to some voice messages on his handphone asking him to pay what was due otherwise he would be harmed and his daughter harassed.

12. I was therefore supposed to protect his daughter Rowena as well.

13. On the 09.10.2006 I received a phone call from Abdul Razak Baginda at about 9.30 a.m. informing me that Altantuya was in his office and he wanted me there immediately. As I was in the midst of a surveillance, I sent my assistant Suras to Abdul Razak Baginda’s office and I followed a little later. Suras managed to control the situation and had persuaded Altantuya and her two friends to leave the premises. However Altantuya left a note written on some Hotel Malaya note paper, in English, asking Abdul Razak Baginda to call her on her handphone (number given) and wrote down her room number as well.

14. Altantuya had introduced herself to Suras as ‘Aminah’ and had informed Suras she was there to see her boyfriend Abdul Razak Baginda.

15. These 3 Mongolian girls however returned to Abdul Razak Baginda’s office at the Bangunan Getah Asli, Jalan Ampang again, the next day at about 12.00 noon. They did not enter the building but again informed Suras that they wanted to meet Aminah’s boyfriend, Abdul Razak Baginda.

16. On the 11.10.2006, Aminah returned to Abdul Razak Baginda’s office on her own and gave me a note to pass to him, which I did. Abdul Razak Baginda showed me the note which basically asked him to call her urgently.

17. I suggested to Abdul Razak Baginda that perhaps it may be wise to arrange for Aminah to be arrested if she harassed him further, but he declined as he felt she would have to return to Mongolia as soon as her cash ran out.

18. In the meantime I had arranged for Suras to perform surveillance on Hotel Malaya to monitor the movements of these 3 Mongolian girls, but they recognized him. Apparently they become friends with Suras after that and he ended up spending a few nights in their hotel room.

19. When Abdul Razak Baginda discovered Suras was becoming close to Aminah he asked me to pull him out from Hotel Malaya.

20. On the 14.10.2006, Aminah turned up at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house in Damansara Heights when I was not there. Abdul Razak Baginda called me on my handphone to inform me of this so I rushed back to his house. As I arrived, I noticed Aminah outside the front gates shouting “Razak, bastard, come out from the house”. I tried to calm her down but couldn’t so I called the police who arrived in 2 patrol cars. I explained the situation to the police, who took her away to the Brickfields police station.

21. I followed the patrol cars to Brickfields police station in a taxi. I called Abdul Razak Baginda and his lawyer Dirren to lodge a police report but they refused.

22. When I was at the Brickfields police station, Aminah’s own Private Investigator, one Mr. Ang arrived and we had a discussion. I was told to deliver a demand to Abdul Razak Baginda for USD$500,000.00 and 3 tickets to Mongolia, apparently as commission owed to Aminah from a deal in Paris.

23. As Aminah had calmed down at this stage, a policewoman at the Brickfields police station advised me to leave and settle the matter amicably.

24. I duly informed Abdul Razak Baginda of the demands Aminah had made and told him I was disappointed that no one wanted to back me up in lodging a police report. We had a long discussion about the situation when I expressed a desire to pull out of this assignment.

25. During this discussion and in an attempt to persuade me to continue my employment with him, Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that :-

25.1 He had been introduced to Aminah by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a diamond exhibition in Singapore.

25.2 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak informed Abdul Razak Baginda that he had a sexual relationship with Aminah and that [deleted by nat out of respect to the family of the deceased].

25.3 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wanted Abdul Razak Baginda to look after Aminah as he did not want her to harass him since he was now the Deputy Prime Minister.

25.4 Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had all been together at a dinner in Paris.

25.5 Aminah wanted money from him as she felt she was entitled to a USD$500,000.00 commission on a submarine deal she assisted with in Paris.

26. On the 19.10.2006, I arrived at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house in Damansara Heights to begin my night duty. I had parked my car outside as usual. I saw a yellow proton perdana taxi pass by with 3 ladies inside, one of whom was Aminah. The taxi did a U-turn and stopped in front of the house where these ladies rolled down the window and wished me ‘Happy Deepavali’. The taxi then left.

27. About 20 minutes later the taxi returned with only Aminah in it. She got out of the taxi and walked towards me and started talking to me. I sent an SMS to Abdul Razak Baginda informing him “Aminah was here”. I received an SMS from Razak instructing me “To delay her until my man comes”.

28. Whist I was talking to Aminah, she informed me of the following :-

28.1 That she met Abdul Razak Baginda in Singapore with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

28.2 That she had also met Abdul Razak Baginda and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at a dinner in Paris.

28.3 That she was promised a sum of USD$500,000.00 as commission for assisting in a Submarine deal in Paris.

28.4 That Abdul Razak Baginda had bought her a house in Mongolia but her brother had refinanced it and she needed money to redeem it.

28.5 That her mother was ill and she needed money to pay for her treatment.

6. That Abdul Razak Baginda had married her in Korea as her mother is Korean whilst her father was a Mongolian/Chinese mix.

28.7 That if I wouldn’t allow her to see Abdul Razak Baginda, would I be able to arrange for her to see Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

29. After talking to Aminah for about 15 minutes, a red proton aeroback arrived with a woman and two men. I now know the woman to be Lance Corporal Rohaniza and the men, Azilah Hadri and Sirul Azahar. They were all in plain clothes. Azilah walked towards me while the other two stayed in the car.

30. Azilah asked me whether the woman was Aminah and I said ‘Yes’. He then walked off and made a few calls on his handphone. After 10 minutes another vehicle, a blue proton saga, driven by a Malay man, passed by slowly. The drivers window had been wound down and the driver was looking at us.

31. Azilah then informed me they would be taking Aminah away. I informed Aminah they were arresting her. The other two persons then got out of the red proton and exchanged seats so that Lance Corporal Rohaniza and Aminah were in the back while the two men were in the front. They drove off and that is the last I ever saw of Aminah.

32. Abdul Razak Baginda was not at home when all this occurred.

33. After the 19.10.2006, I continued to work for Abdul Razak Baginda at his house in Damansara Heights from 7.00 p.m. to 8.00 a.m. the next morning, as he had been receiving threatening text messages from a woman called ‘Amy’ who was apparently ‘Aminah’s’ cousin in Mongolia.

34. On the night of the 20.10.2006, both of Aminah’s girl friends turned up at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house enquiring where Aminah was. I informed them she had been arrested the night before.

35. A couple of nights later, these two Mongolian girls, Mr. Ang and another Mongolian girl called ‘Amy’ turned up at Abdul Razak Baginda’s house looking for Aminah as they appeared to be convinced she was being held in the house.

36. A commotion began so I called the police who arrived shortly thereafter in a patrol car. Another patrol car arrived a short while later in which was the investigating officer from the Dang Wangi Police Station who was in charge of the missing persons report lodged by one of the Mongolians girls, I believe was Amy.

37. I called Abdul Razak Baginda who was at home to inform him of the events taking place at his front gate. He then called DSP Musa Safri and called me back informing me that Musa Safri would be calling handphone and I was to pass the phone to the Inspector from Dang Wangi Police Station.

38. I then received a call on my handphone from Musa Safri and duly handed the phone to the Dang Wangi Inspector. The conversation lasted 3 – 4 minutes after which he told the girls to disperse and to go to see him the next day.

39. On or about the 24.10.2006, Abdul Razak Baginda instructed me to accompany him to the Brickfields police station as he had been advised to lodge a police report about the harassment he was receiving from these Mongolian girls.

40. Before this, Amy had sent me an SMS informing me she was going to Thailand to lodge a report with the Mongolian consulate there regarding Aminah’s disappearance. Apparently she had sent the same SMS to Abdul Razak Baginda. This is why he told me he had been advised to lodge a police report.

41. Abdul Razak Baginda informed me that DPS Musa Safri had introduced him to one DSP Idris, the head of the Criminal division, Brickfields police station, and that Idris had referred him to ASP Tonny.

42. When Abdul Razak Baginda had lodged his police report at Brickfields police station, in front of ASP Tonny, he was asked to make a statement but he refused as he said he was leaving for overseas. He did however promise to prepare a statement and hand ASP Tonny a thumb drive. I know that this was not done as ASP Tonny told me.

43. However ASP Tonny asked me the next day to provide my statement instead and so I did.

44. I stopped working for Abdul Razak Baginda on the 26.10.2006 as this was the day he left for Hong Kong on his own.

45. In mid November 2006, I received a phone call from ASP Tonny from the IPK Jalan Hang Tuah asking me to see him regarding Aminah’s case. When I arrived there I was immediately arrested under S.506 of the Penal Code for Criminal intimidation.

46. I was then placed in the lock up and remanded for 5 days. On the third day I was released on police bail.

47. At the end of November 2006, the D9 department of the IPK sent a detective to my house to escort me to the IPK Jalan Hang Tuah. When I arrived, I was told I was being arrested under S.302 of the Penal Code for murder. I was put in the lock up and remanded for 7 days.

48. I was transported to Bukit Aman where I was interrogated and questioned about an SMS I had received from Abdul Razak Baginda on the 19.10.2006 which read “delay her until my man arrives”. They had apparently retrieved this message from Abdul Razak Baginda’s handphone.

49. They then proceeded to record my statement from 8.30 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. everyday for 7 consecutive days. I told them all I knew including everything Abdul Razak Baginda and Aminah had told me about their relationships with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak but when I came to sign my statement, these details had been left out.

50. I have given evidence in the trial of Azilah, Sirul and Abdul Razak Baginda at the Shah Alam High Court. The prosecutor did not ask me any questions in respect of Aminah’s relationship with Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak or of the phone call I received from DSP Musa Safri, whom I believe was the ADC for Datuk Seri Najib Razak and/or his wife.

51. On the day Abdul Razak Baginda was arrested, I was with him at his lawyers office at 6.30 a.m. Abdul Razak Baginda informed us that he had sent Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak an SMS the evening before as he refused to believe he was to be arrested, but had not received a response.

52. Shortly thereafter, at about 7.30 a.m., Abdul Razak Baginda received an SMS from Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and showed, this message to both myself and his lawyer. This message read as follows :- “ I am seeing IGP at 11.00 a.m. today …… matter will be solved … be cool”.

53. I have been made to understand that Abdul Razak Baginda was arrested the same morning at his office in the Bangunan Getah Asli, Jalan Ampang.

54. The purpose of this Statutory declaration is to :-

54.1 State my disappointment at the standard of investigations conducted by the authorities into the circumstances surrounding the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu.

54.2 Bring to the notice of the relevant authorities the strong possibility that there are individuals other than the 3 accused who must have played a role in the murder of Altantuya Shaaribuu.

54.3 Persuade the relevant authorities to reopen their investigations into this case immediately so that any fresh evidence may be presented to the Court prior to submissions at the end of the prosecutions case.

54.4 Emphasize the fact that having been a member of the Royal Malaysian Police Force for 17 years I am absolutely certain no police officer would shoot someone in the head and blow up their body without receiving specific instructions from their superiors first.

54.5. Express my concern that should the defence not be called in the said murder trial, the accused, Azilah and Sirul will not have to swear on oath and testify as to the instructions they received and from whom they were given.

55. And I make this solemn declaration conscientiously believing the same be true and by virtue of the provisions of the Statutory Declaration Act 1960.

SUBCRIBED and solemnly )

declared by the abovenamed )

Balasubramaniam a/l Perumal ]

this 1st day of July 2008 )

Before me,

………………………………….

Commissioner for Oath

Kuala Lumpur

Bukankah UMNO yang menggalakkan penderhakaan terhadap Raja-Raja?

By Haris Ibrahim

Pak Lah’s “kick at the pack of snapping hyenas around him”

Politics enters turbulent waters as prime minister retires
By Jonathan Manthorpe
Vancouver Sun
March 30, 2009

Malaysia’s Prime Minister Abdullah Badawi is known as a courteous gentleman, ill-fitted for the brutal and violent world of his country’s politics.

But even the tolerant and spiritual Abdullah could not resist a kick at the pack of snapping hyenas around him when he retired last week after nearly six years as everyone’s fall guy.

Unless, he warned, the United Malays National organization (UMNO), the party that has dominated government since independence from Britain in 1957, stops silencing its critics, jailing its opponents and discriminating against minorities, it is on the fast track to political oblivion.

It was a harsh judgement, but a just and alarming one for a country which until recently has been seen as one of the great economic and political success stories of Southeast Asia.

Despite its oil wealth and highly educated middle class, Malaysia has been hit harder than many by the global recession. Exports are down by one third and the economy is expected to shrink by at least five per cent this year.

But the more troubling aspect long-term, that Abdullah pointed to in his farewell speech, is the apparent crumbling of the political culture.

Abdullah took over the leadership of UMNO and became prime minister of the Barisan Nasional governing coalition in 2003 at a time when the country appeared ready for some political calm after a couple of decades under the intemperate and stern discipline of Mahathir Mohammed.

But it swiftly became apparent that it took a man of Mahathir’s authoritarian instincts to control the feral beasts that inhabit the Malaysian political jungle.

Abdullah was just too nice for the job. Last year the voters gave the UMNO-led coalition its worst election results in over half a century, and Abdullah’s departure was only a matter of time.

He has been replaced as UMNO leader by his deputy Najib Razak, who will formerly take over as prime minister this week.

Najib comes to power laden with a mess of political baggage that illustrates Abdullah’s warning about UMNO being out of touch with the voters.

Najib has been accused of corruption, especially allegations around a deal to buy French submarines when he was defence minister.

He denies those charges, but they won’t go away, in large part because of the current trial over the murder of a Mongolian former Parisian model, Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Shaariibuu was the mistress of Najib’s main policy adviser Abdul Razak Baginda and she appears to have acted as a translator during negotiations over the submarine deal.

Shaariibuu was killed in October 2006 and her body destroyed by military explosives. Prosecutors allege she was killed by two of the bodyguards of Najib’s wife, and, to the incredulity of opposition politicians, Baginda has already been found not guilty of involvement in the murder.

Independent media in Malaysia allege Shaariibuu was killed because she demanded a share of the $155 million US “commission” paid to a company linked to her paramour, Baginda, by the French.

The court is due to deliver its verdict on the two bodyguards next week.

Batang Ai: Salcra plantations yield low dividend ( ANil Netto)

btg-ai-pkr-banner-on-river1

Making sure the message gets across in Batang Ai - Photos by a Sarawakian

lubok-antu

Scene from Lubok Antu

In Batang Ai and Lubok Antu, oil palm plantations are mainly under Salcra (which is Sarawak’s equivalent to Felcra, except that its record is poorer).

For an analysis of the low dividends paid to the participants of Salcra’s oil palm land development schemes, go here.

Image The Star
by Wong Chun Wai

Away from the pomp and pageantry, Abdullah looks set to quietly tend to his orchard in a kampung outside Petaling Jaya.

DATUK Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi quietly began putting little touches to his two-bedroom kampung house in Sungai Penchala a year back.

It will be his home when he vacates Seri Perdana, the official residence of the Prime Minister at Putrajaya, when he steps down. It is said that extensions are being made to the home now.
Some of the plants in the orchard have started to bear fruit including rock melons, which he has been experimenting with.

He had originally wanted a perigi (well) outside his home but changed his mind when told that it would be unsafe for his visiting grandchildren.

“Remember to visit me when you people are free,” he told editors at a lunch hosted by him on Tuesday.

He has a house in Putrajaya, which he bought but this would handed to his daughter, Nori, while a colonial-style home at Jalan Bellamy, behind Istana Negara, will be returned to the Government.

“Life is about changing roles. I don’t think I am going to be affected in anyway. The pomp and all that. Pomp and pageantry don’t matter,” he said. For the time being, he has no plans.

An editor had asked whether he was prepared for life as an ordinary Member of Parliament without all the attention.

Pak Lah reminded his audience that he has had his share of ups and downs in politics, pointing out that he lost his Umno vice-presidency in 1993.

The editors, some of whom were then reporters who had covered the Umno general assembly, reminded him there had been a blackout at his Jalan Bellamy home that night and the garden was flooded.

“One cannot hold to any position forever. That is something we must remember,” he said.

But he admitted that “the PM’s role was very exciting and I enjoyed it” although he was happy in all the ministries he had worked in.

He has not given any thought to writing a book and dismissed a suggestion that he should have a role in the Perdana Leadership Foundation, which is headed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“There is no need to lament a fact, as you progress and you know at every stage there is something you can do, you still lead a useful life. You can still contribute. The question is, what do you do with yourself?”

It has not been easy for Pak Lah as the country’s fifth Prime Minister, when he went from hero to zero.

He readily admits that his greatest achievement was the massive Barisan Nasional victory in the 2004 general election and that his lowest point was the 2008 polls, when Barisan lost its two-thirds majority.

He was asked by a journalist why he did not exploit the mandate of 2004 to the fullest as his administration was eventually marked with missed opportunities.

“Yes, missed opportunities in the sense that I could not do many things I wanted to do. My election manifesto was actually a plan for the second half of Vision 2020. I never had any ambition to be there to declare that Malaysia is a developed country. I expect continuity.”

On Tuesday, his aides distributed a 74-page compilation of achievements under his tenure as PM.

“You don’t have to publish it if you don’t want to but I hope you will be accurate in your reporting. You can use this as a reference,” he said.

Abdullah said he was advised a few times that big projects, such as the Twin Towers or KLIA, were politically beneficial but the Prime Minister said he had to remind himself of the costs involved and the impact to the country’s budget.

Yesterday, Pak Lah chaired his final Cabinet meeting and had a group photograph taken with all his ministers.

The leadership transition has begun. Today, a new chapter in Malaysian history begins when Pak Lah and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak meet the King.

Acara Kempen di Rumah Panjang Nanga Kesit

Pagi tadi sekitar jam 8.45, saya hadhir di sidang akhbar di Pasar Lubok Antu. Dalam menjawab soalan para wartawan, saya tegaskan bahawa perubahan mesti dilakukan demi rakyat Sarawak.

Seharusnya kita terkesan dengan keluhan tuai Rumah Panjang Nanga Kesit betapa mereka, meski pun menyokong kerajaan dipinggirkan sepanjang pemerintahan BN selama berpuluh tahun. Jelas, wujud ketempangan dari sudut dasar pentadbiran kerajaan negeri sedia ada.

Semalam, salepas berjemaah Maghrib di Masjid Kampung Melayu, Lubok Antu, saya dijamu dengan hidangan istimewa talapia Iban di Bedok Cafe.

Sebelum itu, kami berkunjung ka Rumah Panjang Nanga Kesit dan disambut olih Tuai Rumah Jampang. Acara dimeriahkan dengan persembahan tarian pahlawan Iban.

Turut serta bersama saya ialah pimpinan Pakatan Rakyat negeri Sarawak antaranya YB Gabriel Adit, YB Dominique Ng, YB Chiu Chee Seng dan juga calun kerusi Dun Batang Ai, saudara Jawah Gerang.

Saya menerangkan perihal tanah adat dan hasil bumi Sarawak yang dimanipulasi oleh BN sehingga mengenepikan hak rakyat dan membandingkan pencapaian ekonomi negeri Selangor yang kini diterajui oleh Pakatan Rakyat.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Malaysia’s future hangs in the balance; Nation looks to DYMM Agong over the next two days

Malaysiakini:

Chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan said that the king has consented to the swearing-in of Najib, which will be held in Istana Negara at 10am.

:(

But wait! Rocky:

Then, a few minutes ago, the national news agency sent this bulletin to all its subscribers:

[NEWS] NOTE TO EDITORS: APRIL 1
Please ignore item slugged “Agong-Najib” as the office of the Chief Secretary of the Government has said that it had issued the statement prematurely.– BERNAMA

A ray of hope shines through the skies!

Could it be that Najib and his unholy gang have been trying to pre-empt the DYMM Agong, and make arrangements presumptively in an attempt to corner the Agong?

As I was driving home tonight, thinking about the bleakness that lies ahead - the misfortune dawn might bring.. I started to wonder whether I could have done more to try and keep it from happening.

It’s quite an effective strategy on BN’s part to try and engineer this transition while many of us are so focused on the by-elections.

In truth, what happens over the next two days is of supreme importance. Almost everything hangs in the balance.

The angle I felt that maybe we should have played up more is the wave of repressions that might follow Najib’s ascension.

Already his police are firing tear gas and water cannons at us; already they are trying to control what we can and can’t say; already Najib has usurped democracy; already the integrity of the judiciary is reaching new lows; already they have clamped down on press freedom.

Waiting for what’s next is like waiting for the executioner’s axe to fall.

If there is any sign at all tomorrow, any glimmer of hope, I will try to write something longer. It is long overdue, and my fault for not really understanding the gravity before, forgive me.

May tomorrow bring better tidings; whatever comes, I hope we’ll all be ready to do our part.

Abdullah and Najib leave palace quietly, Bernama information & Chief Secretary still suspect (updated 12.30pm)

Update: So Najib also came and went, and?….. “smiled and waved to reporters.” Also, “It’s a matter for Tuanku,” Bernama reported Abdullah as saying. Vague, vague, vague… Aaargh!

Aaargh! The suspense!

Abdullah left the palace this morning without speaking to the press.

What does that mean??

No idea.

The mainstream press, on the other hand, still seems to be working overtime in insisting that Najib will be sworn in tomorrow.

We remain hopeful that DYMM YDP Agong remains above such manipulations and upholds the finest traditions of a compassionate and learned monarch.

Hopefully, we will be saved from rule by repression.

Meanwhile, this strange controversy surrounding the Chief Secretary remains. Observe this (now un-retracted?) piece in Bernama:

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin has given his consent for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be sworn in as prime minister at 10am on Friday, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said.

In a statement issued here Wednesday night, he said Tuanku Mizan had also consented to grant an audience to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib at 10am tomorrow for Abdullah to relinquish the post and seek consent to appoint Najib as the new prime minister.

Tuanku Mizan gave his consent at an audience with Abdullah before the cabinet meeting this morning.

The King had given his consent for Najib to be presented his letter of appointment as prime minister and to take his oath of office, loyalty and confidentiality at Istana Negara at 10am on Friday, the statement said.

?! Did Abdullah really have an audience with Tuanku before the Cabinet meeting yesterday?

If this turns out in any way to be a fabrication, that should be the end of Sidek Hassan’s career.

Abdullah Has Audience With Agong To Relinquish Post

KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 (Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at Istana Negara today to hand over the letter relinquishing the post of prime minister and to seek consent to appoint Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as his successor.

"It's a matter for Tuanku," he told reporters after the meeting which lasted about an hour.

Abdullah arrived at Istana Negara in his official car, a Proton Perdana bearing the number WCH 13, at 10am and left at 11am, waving to the tourists present and the 70-odd foreign and local journalists who had gathered at the palace gate as early as 7.30am.

Bukit Gantang By-Election : Mohd Nizar 29/03/2009

Mani Join Mani in Bukit Selambau

S. Manikavasagam, MP Kapar joined with S .Manikumar today ar Bukit Selambau. Immediately upon arrival at Sg Lalang around 6 pm we stopped at Taman Desa Aman where flight of PKR Members joined with me visiting house to house.

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Later at Taman Desa Aman Operation room, Manikavasagam met PKR Bukit Selambau by Election Candidate S Manikumar whom eagerly awaiting his arrival to boost up the campaign.

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There after , when and visited an operation room at Kongsi Enam , Bukit Lembu inside palm oil plantation. Guided them to organise Group Talk while we will assist to provide with DVD of BN’s Marginalisation of Malaysian Indian last 50 over years and other materials to support.

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Basically, the voters receiving well our explanations. Well it’s about 2.20am in morning , if time permits I will write tomorrow some of my points why BN or it’s Crony shouldn’t win Bukit Selambau.

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Najib wants 'One Malaysia'

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

PUTRAJAYA , April 1 - In his final public address before his expected swearing in as prime minister on Friday, Datuk Seri Najib Razak gave a hopeful glimpse into his administration today when he said that the new thrust of his government will be One Malaysia, or 1Malaysia as it is also known.

1Malaysia, which Najib has mentioned several times the past few days, emphasises national unity and in his speech at the ceremony to disburse funds to Tamil schools today, Najib sounded remarkably like a reformer for race relations as well as a reconciliator.

He said that two things were key in the 1Malaysia concept - mutual respect and trust among the different races in Malaysia.

"Mutual respect is not just tolerance," he said.

"That is just the bare minimum. Mutual respect means you have embraced unity in diversity. And secondly, we must trust one another. But trust is not something gained overnight. But if done conciously over time, it will eventually happen.

"Once trust is developed, Malaysia will be the sum total of all races. We will not be moving as separate communities but as one Malaysia and we will be stronger. It will be a new Malaysia because we'll change our mindset because we trust and respect each other. I hope all will join me to bring Malaysia to greater heights."

The words will be warmly received by those advocating a united and less racially divided Malaysia but at the same time will be regarded among sceptics as mere hype similar to what they heard five years before.

Then, freshly installed prime minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had promised to be the leader for all Malaysians, igniting hopes that a new era in race relations was at hand.

In the years following that promise, non-Malays became severely disappointed with Abdullah's ineffectiveness in reigning in the more right-wing voices within his party and decided to withdraw their support in the general elections last year.

And judging by the strident delegate speeches that characterised the recently concluded Umno party general assembly, Najib, which a Merdeka Centre survey says is coming into office with low public expectations, especially among the non-Malays, will face similar challenges in achieving his vision of 1Malaysia and winning back non-Malay support.

The son of the nation's second prime minister, however, says he is aware that the some parties expect him to act in an authoritarian manner and protested against being pre-judged before coming into office.

"Give me a chance. I will reform and I will make changes," he had told reporters in a press conference at the close of the Umno general assembly.

"I am aware that the people expect me to do certain things. Please judge me by my actions. My actions will come in due course."

He has made a few encouraging overtures following the Umno assembly.

He paid a visit to the nation's largest Chinese newspaper Sin Chew Daily and reached out to the Indian community by disbursing RM80 million in stimulus packages and other government funds for Tamil schools today and at the same time announced the approval of RM20 million in training funds for Indian youths.

Najib has denied that the disbursement of funds were timed to coincide with the by-elections.

"This is the actual giving out, but the announcement (of the allocations) was made much earlier even before we knew about the by-elections," said Najib.

Najib has also declined to disclose specifics about the implementation of 1Malaysia, asking the media to wait for Friday when he promises to reveal how it will be translated into programmes and policies as well as his vision for the economy, politics and the direction of the government.

No holds barred in Bukit Gantang

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph

THE Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat can be considered a mini-Malaysia as its racial population breakdown reflects the country's ethnic composition. With 63.5% Malay Malaysian and 35% non-Malay Malaysians voters in the constituency, what happens here could well reflect the national sentiment.

Expect a bitter fight between the Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) for the Malay Malaysian votes, especially with emotive issues in the wake of the BN's power grab of the state government. With the ongoing Perak constitutional crisis, Malay Malaysian voters will be tested on the things they hold dear: royalty and race.

The 35% non-Malay Malaysian voters are widely expected to remain with the opposition, but given the current economic gloom, they may also be tempted into voting for the stability and experience of the BN federal government.

As such, the by-election to be held on 7 April can be seen as a referendum on the state of the nation and the issues that have dominated national thinking in the past year since the PR's rise to power.

Constitutional crisis

Perak's constitutional crisis is unprecedented and will definitely colour the by-election campaign. Reason could likely give way to emotion, especially when the facts and legal arguments are not easily understood.


Ibrahim Suffian
Merdeka Centre for Opinion Research director Ibrahim Suffian says the lack of clear explanations on the constitution to the grassroots and the many suits filed on the matter may not help voters make an informed choice.

He also feels voters are split on the BN's takeover. Some feel no wrong was done since party-hopping is legal. Others have lingering doubts as to whether the deserting and defecting assemblypersons from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and the DAP did so freely or under inducement.

"The average voter may not fully understand the constitutional and legal arguments of the crisis, but people still have a sense of fairness. It will depend on how the rival political parties articulate the matter, and whether their justifications are acceptable to voters," Ibrahim said in a phone interview with The Nut Graph.

PAS expects its embattled Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin to be painted as guilty of treason against the Perak Sultan. Nizar, who is also Pasir Panjang assemblyperson, has been chosen as the PR's candidate to go against the BN's Ismail Safian.

Expect Umno Youth under its newly elected chief Khairy Jamaluddin to launch a repeat of its protests against PAS, such as during the Ipoh rally in February where Khairy called for Nizar to be banished from the state.

Nizar's political secretary, Misbahul Munir Masduki, says the party will explain that no treason was committed, given that Nizar had acted constitutionally as MB in seeking the Sultan's consent to dissolve the state assembly.

The other controversial matter is Nizar's refusal to step down as MB at the sultan's request, but Misbahul notes that there is no provision in the state constitution for the ruler to sack the MB.

A recent police ruling barring all campaigners from questioning the decision of the Perak Sultan, among other things, as a condition for issuing permits for ceramah appears geared to pre-empt PR attempts to explain their stand on the constitutional crisis.


Police monitoring PAS and PKR supporters on nomination day on 29 March (Pic by Raj Kumar, courtesy of theSun)

Conflating royalty with race

An unfortunate dimension in the defence of royalty is to depict Malay welfare as being under threat if the sultan can be questioned.

Tagged to this line of thinking is that Perak under the PR had been DAP-dominated, since the Chinese-based party holds the most seats in the state assembly.

"People are angry. People don't believe PAS as their PR government has not done much for Malay [Malaysians] in the last 12 months since they came to power," says Trong assemblyperson Datuk Rosli Hussin, who is also the Bukit Gantang Umno division chief.

Trong was the only BN state seat in the Bukit Gantang parliamentary constituency. The other two, Kuala Sepetang and Changkat Jering, were both won by PKR until Changkat Jering assemblyperson Mohd Osman Jailu declared himself an independent in February and gave his support to the BN.

Rosli feels that Malay Malaysian sentiment for BN in the coming by-election will be stronger, especially so in Trong, where Malay Malaysians who are largely farmers and fisherfolk have long depended on federal government subsidies for diesel and fertiliser.


PAS's Nizar on his campaign trail in the fishing village of Kuala Sepetang (Pic by Raj Kumar, courtesy of theSun)

Ibrahim observes the tendency of rural Malay Malaysians to distrust the DAP, and expects Umno to harp on the PR state government's failure to put Malay Malaysian interests ahead of other communities.

It would be a potent formula if Umno can make Malay Malaysians feel that their welfare is under threat, and that their protector the sultan is also under threat, Misbahul notes.

Non-Malay Malaysian voters

The question facing non-Malay Malaysian voters will be whether a BN state government can be fair to minority groups, given that the MCA has only one seat and the MIC none.

The vote is a parliamentary one, and the issue of "treason against the sultan" will not carry weight with Chinese Malaysian voters, who comprise 27.1%, says former Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Tan Lian Hoe from (corrected) Gerakan.


Tan Lian Hoe
"We'll highlight other grouses, such as the lack of development in Bukit Gantang, and show that only a BN MP can deliver. The Chinese villages there did not get any land titles," said Tan, who is now the MP for Grik.

However, Taiping MP Nga Kor Ming, who is the PR state exco, says land titles were in the process of being approved when the BN takeover happened.

Nga said the BN should clearly state whether it intends to continue issuing freehold titles to new villages and not suppress the issue during the by-election campaign.

Test of new national leaders

Following its recent polls, Umno will have to manage any discontent spilling over from losers in order to conduct a united campaign.

PAS's Misbahul is hopeful that the infighting Umno is infamous for will be the BN's undoing in Bukit Gantang.

But the PR would do well to prepare for an all-out battle by the BN under a new national leadership elected at the Umno elections. New party president Datuk Seri Najib Razak will not want a blot on his rise to the highest office with a failed by-election after defeats in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu in the past year.

New Umno leaders will also want to prove their mettle to party members and the rest of Malaysia.

As for the PR, having been unable to force a state-wide election to resolve Perak's constitutional crisis, winning Bukit Gantang would be a moral victory.

Given the high stakes on both sides, and despite two other concurrent by-elections in Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai, the battle for Bukit Gantang will be a no-holds barred contest.

Made in Malaysia

Image

What do foreign investors face when they come to Malaysia? How do they overcome the government bureaucracy and the many rules imposed on foreign investors? Imagine this typical scene in a government department when a movie producer tries to get approval to shoot a documentary in Malaysia.

NO HOLDS BARRED


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Excuse me, but I’m wondering if you could help me.

Tengok itu. (The officer points to a sign on the wall that says: GUNAKAN BAHASA MALAYSIA).

I’m sorry. I don’t understand.

Mesti guna Bahasa Malaysia.

I’m sorry, but I’m an American. I don’t understand the local language.

Must use Bahasa Malaysia. Not American language. I cannot speak American.

But we don’t have an American language. We speak English.

Oh. Why don’t you get your Bumiputera partner to come if you cannot speak Bahasa Malaysia?

I don’t have a Bumiputera partner.

How can? All foreign companies that do business in Malaysia must have Bumiputera partner.

But we are not doing business in Malaysia. We do business in America. I am here to find out how to get a permit to shoot a documentary in Malaysia. We are a movie company.

Oh. You want to make a movie in Malaysia. Very good. Malaysia has plenty of history and culture. Good place to make a movie. You must show the Twin Towers and the Penang Bridge and the Iskandar Development Region in your movie.

No, it is not that kind of documentary. We are making a documentary about the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Aiyah! Cannot mention that name. That name banned.

Banned?

Yes. Government ban anyone mentioning the name Altantuya.

Oh. Then how do we address that?

I don’t know her address. Maybe you ask the Mongolian Embassy.

No, I don’t mean her address. How do we solve the problem of her name?

Altantuya Shaariibuu can’t be used. But you can use Aminah Abdullah. That name not banned by government.

Okay then. I want to make a documentary about the brutal murder of Aminah Abdullah.

That one okay. Government can approve. But you must also show the Twin Towers and the Penang Bridge and the Iskandar Development Region in your movie.

But those have nothing to do with the documentary. The documentary is about the murder of Altan…..

Ah, ah, ah….

Sorry, I mean Aminah Abdullah.

Why you can’t also show the Twin Towers and the Penang Bridge and the Iskandar Development Region in your movie?

Okay, maybe I can show some clips of the Twin Towers and the Penang Bridge and the Iskandar Development Region in the documentary.

Good. But must show the Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur okay? Cannot show in Melaka like that Sean Connery movie, Entrapment. Our PM was very angry. He said the foreigners distort the truth.

Okay. The Twin Towers will be shown in KL.

And also the Penang Bridge and the Iskandar Development Region.

Okay, I will also show the Penang Bridge and the Iskandar Development Region in KL.

No, the Penang Bridge is in Penang and the Iskandar Development Region is in Johor.

Okay, I will take note of that.

And what about the songs?

Songs?

Yes, must show some local songs.

But this is a documentary about the murder of Al…….

Ah, ah, ah.

……Aminah Abdullah.

But can still show some local songs even if the story is about a murder. You must show Siti Nurhaliza singing. At least two songs.

Okay, we shall show City what’s her name….

Siti Nurhaliza.

……City Nurlaziha singing……

Nurhaliza.

Nurhaliza singing two songs.

Good, good. And what about Umno history?

Umno history?

Yes, must show Umno history and how Umno fought for Merdeka from the British.

But what’s that got to do with the murder?

You must show Umno history and how Umno fought for Merdeka. If not government can’t approve.

Okay, I shall show the Umno history and how Umno fought for….fought for….

Merdeka.

….Merdeka from the British.

Good. And don’t forget to also include the new PM’s speech.

New PM’s speech?

Yes, Najib Tun Razak.

What has his speech got to do with the movie?

Must show. Must show new PM declare he never met that Mongolian woman.

You mean Aminah Abdullah?

No, PM just said he never met that Mongolian woman. He never mention any name. Must show that speech in the movie.

Okay, we will show that as well. Do I take it if I agree to all those terms I can get permission from the Malaysian government to shoot the documentary in Malaysia?

You got Bumiputera partner?

No.

Must have Bumiputera partner. See list here. You must choose one Bumiputera partner from this list.

Okay, I will choose a Bumiputera partner from this list.

And must give 70% contract to local Bumiputera companies.

I don’t understand. What contracts?

70% of your work must be done by Bumiputera companies.

But we don’t need local participation. We shall be bringing our entire crew from the States.

But make sure not from Pakatan states. That one government can’t approve.

Pakatan states?

Yes. Penang, Selangor, Kedah and Kelantan.

No, I mean our entire crew will be brought in from the United States of America.

Cannot. Must have 70% local. Only 30% from America.

Okay, I will try to squeeze that requirement in.

And which state you want Datuk?

Excuse me. I don’t get that.

You make movie about Malaysia you can get Datuk. Which state you want? Can choose.

Oh, I don’t think I’m interested in Datuk, whatever that is.

Aiyah, people pay RM250,000 for Datuk. Why you don’t want? You make movie on Malaysia can get Datuk free. No need pay RM250,000.

Okay, throw in the Datuk for free then.

Okay, we will arrange Melaka Datuk for you. Where you shoot the movie?

In Selangor.

Aiyah, Selangor cannot. That is Pakatan state. Choose another state.

But the murder happened in Selangor so we need to shoot the documentary where the murder happened.

Selangor cannot. If Pakatan state, government cannot approve. You shoot in Melaka. Melaka very historical.

Okay, okay, we’ll go along with what you want. Is there anything else I need to know?

When you launch movie the First Lady must be invited.

The Queen?

No, not Queen. Rosmah Mansor.

Will she come to the premier?

Of course. If Shahrukh Khan go, she will go.

But Shahrukh Khan is not in the documentary.

Why not? He is very popular in Malaysia and First Lady like him. He also got Melaka Datuk like you. Must show him in movie.

Look, can I come back to you on that? We shall have to decide whether we still want to shoot this documentary in Malaysia.

No problem. When you already decide you come again to see me. We welcome all movie companies to Malaysia and will extend our cooperation and help you. Foreigners always welcome in Malaysia.

Siapa derhaka terhadap Tuanku Agong?

By Haris Ibrahim

Article 43 (2) (a) of the Federal Constitution provides that “the Yang di-Pertuan Agong shall first appoint as Perdana Menteri to preside over the Cabinet a member of the House of Representatives who in his judgment is likely to command the confidence of the majority of the members of that House”.

Two observations on this provision.

First, the power in the appointment of the Prime Minister is the exclusive purview of the Agong and turns on His Majesty having ascertained to his satisfaction that the one to be appointed commands the confidence of the majority of the Dewan Rakyat.

Second, the exercie of this power presupposes that there is then no sitting Prime Minister.

The day before yesterday, Malaysiakini reported that ‘Ministers and their deputies have today received invitations to attend the swearing-in ceremony of the new prime minister in Istana Negara on Friday’.

Malaysiakini reproduced the following sms that was making its rounds yesterday and reportedly received by a deputy minister.

Istiadat pengurniaan surat cara perlantikan dan istiadat mengangkat sumpah jawatan dan setia serta sumpah simpan rahsia oleh YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib sebagai PM

Yesterday, a Bernama report, carried by most of the MSM and by the Malaysianinsider, had it that the Chief Secretary to the Government, Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan, announced today that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong had given his consent for Najib to be sworn in as prime minister at 10am o this coming Friday.

This announcement, in effect, meant that His Majesty had consented to exercise his powers under Article 43(2)(a) this Feiday and appoint Najib PM.

It also meant that His Majesty had duly satisfied himself that Najib was likely to command the confidence of the majority.

It would, in my view, also suggest that Pak Lah had duly informed His Majesty of his intention to resign from the office of PM.

Yet, at 5.43pm yesterday, Malaysikini reported that Pak Lah will only be tendering his resignation to His Majesty later today and then quoted Najib, who is scheduled to accompany Pak Lah to that meeting, as saying that “the PM will invite me to accompany him to have an audience with the king and subject to the king’s consent, then Friday will be the (swearing-in) ceremony”.

In other words, the Agong has n0t as yet been given a letter of resignation by Pak Lah nor has His Majesty consented to Najib’s appointment.

This, now, is confirmed by Tan Sri Mohd Sidek, who has clarified that hi s statement was issued prematurely. Read about this at Rocky’s.

What does prematurely mean?

Agong had consented but I was not authorised to announce?

Or Agong had not as yet consented?

And if the Agong had not as yet consented, who gave the instructions to send out the invitations for the swearing-in ceremony?

And why?

Hidden hands try to force a royal one, fearing that which they wish to see may not come to pass?

Is that not derhaka?

Confirmed - no Najib 100-day honeymoon as new PM after “Altantuya ban”

Confirmed – there is going to be no 100-day political honeymoon for Datuk Seri Najib Razak when he takes over as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

The outrageous, arbitrary, high-handed and indefensible ban on mention of the C4 murder victim, Mongolian woman Altantuya Shariibuu in the three by-elections of Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai has shattered whatever political honeymoon Najib might have enjoyed as the new Prime Minister – however shortened and truncated from the conventional first 100 days normally extended to all new office holders.

Even before his ascension as the next Prime Minister, Najib is already blamed for quickly transforming the political atmosphere in the country – from a sunny one five years five months ago when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi took over the premiership, promising an era of openness, greater democracy, accountability and integrity (unfortunately remaining unfulfilled) to an increasingly gloomy and darkening political landscape day-by-day with the impending Najib takeover, coupled with grave concerns about his suitability, integrity and legitimacy as Prime Minister.

At the media conference at the end of the Umno General Assembly where he was elected Umno President uncontested, in response to a press question about concerns that he would crack down on media and civil liberties, Najib said:

“Why did you form such a judgment about me? This is not fair. You are pre-judging me even before I take office. Please judge me by my actions. Give me the chance to take office.”

Although Najib has not officially taken over as the new Prime Minister, he had effectively exercised the powers of the Prime Minister in the past two months, with Abdullah increasingly a PM only in name but not in fact.

This was why it was Najib and not Abdullah who was blamed for the spate of repression in the past two months, whether the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak orchestrated by Najib; the DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh charged in court with sedition; the one-year suspension of DAP MP for Puchong, Gobind Singh Deo without parliamentary pay and privileges; the three-month suspension of Harakah and Suara Keadilan; Police and MACC harassing the Perak State Assembly Speaker and Perak State Assembly members; the arrest of DAP Perak State Assemblyman for Tebing Tinggi Ong Boon Piaw for producing the “Democracy Tree” DVD; and now the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Hamid Albar’s ban on bringing up the Altantuya case and Perak Sultan decision on the Perak constitutional crisis in the three by-elections.

However, Najib and Hamid could not have made a bigger mistake – for by banning the mention of “Altantuya Shariibuu” in the three by-elections, they have created a hurricane of outrage which is giving the serious allegations hounding and haunting Najib about his role in the murder case of the Mongolian woman even greater publicity, currency and potency.

If the enemies of Najib want to find a way to further electrify the issue by securing an even higher national and international profile to the serious allegations about Najib’s role in the Altantuya Sharriibuu C4 murder case, it will be difficult to think of another more successful gambit as to impose a police ban to prohibit and outlaw any mention of “Altantuya Shariibuu” – as public outrage at the ban will guarantee that it become a really incandescent issue!

MIED refute ex-MIC man's claims that it cannot give study loans

By : B. Suresh Ram
NST, April 01 2009

KUALA LUMPUR, Wed:

The Maju Institute of Educational Development today refuted claims by former MIC Youth chief S. A. Vigneswaran that it can only provide scholarship and not study loans.

The MIC's educational wing's board member Datuk S. Veerasingam said that Vigneswaran was aware that the MIED’s webpage states that it has assisted needy students by providing study loans for their courses.


It further states that today it is the leading provider of study loans to members of the Malaysian Indian community seeking assistance for further education.

"This financial assistance by way of loans, is in line with the aims of MIED, which among others is to receive and administer funds for education," said Veerasingam, who is also a MIC vice-president.

He said the confusion between scholarships and study loans was caused by Vignesneswaran misreading the relevant clause which states that MIED could foster, develop and improve education of all kinds and in such manner as may be decided by it including scholarships.

Ceramah at Bukit Selambau, 1 April 2009


2330: Greetings from Bukit Selambau! Reached here at 9.45pm via the Sungai Petani North exit of the North-South Highway. For the second night running, a police check-point had been set up immediately after the toll booth.

Arrived at a nasi kandar restaurant, only to see some activity outside, where a small crowd of curious onlookers had gathered. Turns out it was the former Jerai PKR chief, B Kalaivanar, giving a speech in the open-air just outside the restaurant.

Kalaivanar said he did not belong to the PKR nor the BN, but was an “NGO”. I didn’t quite catch what he was saying as he was about to leave but from what I understand, he seemed in favour of the BN now. Moments after he left with his small entourage, a silver police CID car arrived. Too late.

Apparently, there is still some unhappiness among the Indian PKR party workers at the choice of political greenhorn S Manikumar being selected as the PKR candidate, but some of them appear to be putting it behind them and looking at the big picture.

While there may be unhappiness among party workers, the situation on the ground appears to be different. Speaking to citizen journalists who have been talking to folks here, I gathered that out of half a dozen people they randomly selected from the old Bukit Selambau town for interviews, all of them appeared to favour Pakatan. Another small sample conducted a couple of weeks ago revealed a similar result.

Kit Siang is in town tonight giving a ceramah in the old Bukit Selambau town to about 100 people. A journalist who was there told me the crowd appeared receptive. Samy Vellu is also still in the area and the reception he has been getting, I am told, is less positive.

“Coincidentally”, I am also told that the folks from the EPU are in town processing applications for Tekun loans - basically RM3,000 loans for small-scale businesses at 4% p.a. interest, with hardly any collateral. These have been opened to young Tamil entrepreneurs. These loans comes under the purview of the Ministry of Entrepreneurial and Cooperative Development. Meals were also being served to applicants.

Anwar in Bukit Selambau on 31 March 2009


Anwar addresses a crowd of about 5,000 last night, just before introducing the candidate, a somewhat shy S Manikumar, whose voice was already hoarse from campaigning.

At one point, Manikumar thanked Anwar for the “mandate” in selecting him, to which Anwar prompted him by saying that it should be the people from whom he should be seeking a mandate.

Anwar was at pains to point out that Manikumar would not just represent the Indian community but all the voters in Bukit Selambau.

Pak Lah gives full backing to Najib

ImageThe Malaysian Insider

By Neville Spykerman

PUTRAJAYA, April 1 - In his last Cabinet meeting today, Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi told his ministers to back Datuk Seri Najib Razak as the new prime minister.

He also requested the Cabinet and Najib to continue with the policies he had initiated in his five-and-a-half-years as prime minister.

But he promised the Cabinet not to interfere in the running of the next administration.

"Pak Lah told us he will be available to advise but does not intent to interfere," said Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.

The education minister, who was speaking to the press as he was leaving the Prime Minister's Department, said today's Cabinet meeting, which was Pak Lah's last, was cordial and civil.

Hishammuddin said Pak Lah had spoken of the things close to his heart, including unity, education and human development.

"He also encouraged each of us," he said.

He said the meeting was very civil and reflected Pah Lah's character.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said Malaysians could be proud that the transition was happening in a smooth manner rather than through a power grab with street demonstrations.

"It was a good meeting and Pak Lah was cheerful throughout.

"He asked us to continue supporting Datuk Seri Najib Razak and the new
cabinet line up."

‘State agency funded Khir’s Paris Disneyland tour’

Malaysiakini | April 1, 2009

Former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo and his entourage spent almost RM1 million on a one-week official trip to France and Morocco in 2004.

The expenditure list included a visit to the Paris Disneyland and a four-day transit stopover at Dubai.

This was revealed by an inquiry being conducted by the state’s Special Select Committee on Competence, Accountability and Transparency (Selcat) today.

Among the other revelations in the overseas trip which took place from Dec 17 to 24, 2004 were:

  • Joining the trip were Khir’s wife Zaharah Kechik, their three children and a maid.
  • The official delegation spent a total of RM416,000 for the trip.
  • A ‘reconnaissance team’ which went to make arrangements for the trip spent RM366,000.
  • The four-day stopover in Dubai cost the state an additional RM10,000.

All the expenses were covered by state investment arm Perbadanan Nasional Selangor Berhad (PNSB).

These details were revealed by PNSB chief executive officer Khairiyah Abu Hassan at the inquiry today.

Malaysia’s future hangs in the balance; Nation looks to DYMM Agong over the next two days

Malaysiakini:

Chief secretary to the government Mohd Sidek Hassan said that the king has consented to the swearing-in of Najib, which will be held in Istana Negara at 10am.

:(

But wait! Rocky:

Then, a few minutes ago, the national news agency sent this bulletin to all its subscribers:

[NEWS] NOTE TO EDITORS: APRIL 1
Please ignore item slugged “Agong-Najib” as the office of the Chief Secretary of the Government has said that it had issued the statement prematurely.– BERNAMA

A ray of hope shines through the skies!

Could it be that Najib and his unholy gang have been trying to pre-empt the DYMM Agong, and make arrangements presumptively in an attempt to corner the Agong?

As I was driving home tonight, thinking about the bleakness that lies ahead - the misfortune dawn might bring.. I started to wonder whether I could have done more to try and keep it from happening.

It’s quite an effective strategy on BN’s part to try and engineer this transition while many of us are so focused on the by-elections.

In truth, what happens over the next two days is of supreme importance. Almost everything hangs in the balance.

The angle I felt that maybe we should have played up more is the wave of repressions that might follow Najib’s ascension.

Already his police are firing tear gas and water cannons at us; already they are trying to control what we can and can’t say; already Najib has usurped democracy; already the integrity of the judiciary is reaching new lows; already they have clamped down on press freedom.

Waiting for what’s next is like waiting for the executioner’s axe to fall.

If there is any sign at all tomorrow, any glimmer of hope, I will try to write something longer. It is long overdue, and my fault for not really understanding the gravity before, forgive me.

May tomorrow bring better tidings; whatever comes, I hope we’ll all be ready to do our part.

Anwar Vows To Free Hindraf Detainees

SUNGAI PETANI, April 1 (Bernama) -- After promising to lower fuel prices if he could form the government after the last general election last year, Parti Keadilan Rakyat advisor Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has now vowed to free Hindraf detainees.

Speaking at a "ceramah" in Taman Kelisa Ria Tuesday night when campaigning for the opposition candidate in the Bukit Selambau by-election, Anwar said he did not treat the problems facing the Indian community as racial issues but rather on the basis of justice for all.

He said besides Hindraf leaders, many Islamic activists had also been detained under the Internal Security Act for alleged terrorist activities.

"This is not a racial issue but the law. If they are guilty, show the proof or jail them. Don't arrest at your whim and fancy.

"If they are not guilty, why arrest them? If we form the government today, we will release all Hindraf leaders tomorrow," he said before a crowd of about 1,000 people.

Indians account for 28 per cent of the 35,140 registered voters in the constituency while the Malays make up 50 per cent and Chinese, 20 per cent.

Najib To Be Sworn In Friday - Chief Secretary

PUTRAJAYA, April 1 (Bernama) -- The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin has given his consent for Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to be sworn in as prime minister at 10am on Friday, Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Mohd Sidek Hassan said.

In a statement issued here Wednesday night, he said Tuanku Mizan had also consented to grant an audience to Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Najib at 10am tomorrow for Abdullah to relinquish the post and seek consent to appoint Najib as the new prime minister.

Tuanku Mizan gave his consent at an audience with Abdullah before the cabinet meeting this morning.

The King had given his consent for Najib to be presented his letter of appointment as prime minister and to take his oath of office, loyalty and confidentiality at Istana Negara at 10am on Friday, the statement said.