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Thursday, April 9, 2009

Read about the tortures of Mahathir . do we want a return of this monster?

Filed under: ARTICLE 08/04/2009, conspiracy, crime and corruption — sjsandteam @ 13:10

As a student I knew of the horrors of the Holocaust and other human tragedies, but merely as a distant thunder: The violation of human rights and crimes against humanity were only an abstract notion.

That was all fated to change with my arrest under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) of Malaysia, which allows for indefinite detention without trial. My crime? I had known Anwar Ibrahim, the deputy prime minister and finance minister of Malaysia, as a close personal friend for many years. We shared and strove for a vision of life firmly rooted in human dignity. We struggled for building an intellectual and political milieu for free expression. Together, we subscribed to the idea of economic prosperity, gender and racial equality and a civil society.

Alas, the Malaysian dictator, Mahathir, under the growing burden of corruption and cronyism, conspired to halt the march of freedom. In order to build his fraudulent case against Anwar, Mahathir himself ordered my arrest.

My kidnapping and detention by the infamous Malaysian Special Branch taught me how it feels to be forcibly separated from one’s wife and children. How it feels to be searched and seized, disallowed to make phone calls, handcuffed, blindfolded, stripped naked, driven in an animal cage, shaven bald, endlessly interrogated, humiliated, drugged, deprived of sleep, physically abused. What it’s like to be threatened, blackmailed, tormented by police lawyers, brutalized to make a totally false confession, hospitalized for a consequent heart ailment, and treated as a psychiatric patient with symptoms of Stockholm syndrome.

Barely surviving on a meager diet of rancid rice and chicken along with 12 medicines a day, I spent nearly four months handcuffed around the clock to my hospital bed, under the watchful eyes of the prison guards.

Thereafter, my ability to speak, read and write took a considerable time to show signs of recovery. Short-term memory lapses were frequent. I existed in a fluid state in which suicidal tendencies, depression and despair were punctuated by fits of rage and indignation.

Weekly visits of less than an hour by my wife, Nadia, with our young children — Aisha and Omran — were my only contact with the outside world and the only inspiration to live on.

In collusion with the lawyer appointed on my behalf by the police, the Malaysian authorities refused the legal assistance of my choice, coercing me not to mount an appeal against the court verdict and threatening me with greater punishment under new charges if I didn’t co-operate.

Simultaneously, Nadia constantly endured police harassment, wiretapping and disruption of our e-mail and bank accounts. Some of our friends were met with the same fate and were compelled to abandon us when we needed them most.

But, in attempting to scare off and alienate my friends, how terribly mistaken were Malaysian autocrats in aping gross Gestapo tactics. How they underestimated the temper of freedom in so many places around the world, above all among friends in the West.

Floodgates of human compassion were opened when the futurist author Alvin Toffler, who Mahathir asked to advise him on a pet high-technology project, sent a message of protest to the Malaysian leader within 72 hours of my capture. In a major interview with the Western press, Mahathir even felt it necessary to make assurances — unfulfilled, of course — about my well being.

With every passing day, the rising tide of concern for my plight seemed to personify the words of Elie Wiesel: “Take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor. Never the victim. Never the tormented.”

Friends and strangers alike took a stand and support began to mushroom everywhere. Nadia related to me in the hospital how Amnesty International had declared me a “prisoner of conscience,” and how Pen International adopted me as a “writer in prison.” Against all odds, two prominent Malaysian lawyers, Manjeet Singh Dhillon and Balwant Singh Siddhu, offered their services unconditionally. To top it all, an international coalition — Friends of Dr. Anees — came into existence in defence of my rights. The core group of Naseer Ahmad, Baseer Hai, Safir Rammah, Jamal Mubarak, Anees Ahmad and Naeem Siddiqui mounted a media campaign with phenomenal success.

What touched my heart was that the person, Kamal Mubarak, who set up the Web site had never met me in person. From the depths of my confinement, I could see the magic of human compassion had begun to defeat oppression.

The pinnacle was reached after my release in the warm hug laced with watery eyes of an Amnesty friend in Toronto, Margaret John, who witnessed a pledge of solidarity between me and Devan Nair, the former president of Singapore, for we had come to share a similar fate.

My victimization at the hands of Mahathir’s “Asian values” has transformed me in another way. All my adult life, like so many in the Muslim world, I have suspected under every nook and cranny some conspiracy by the West to keep us down. Yet, in this seminal experience of my life, my friends in the West succeeded in saving me, while Mahathir, a Muslim, did everything to destroy me. And he is trying to do the same to Anwar again through his obliging courts on totally fabricated charges.

Mahathir has demonstrated that, though a proclaimed Muslim, his heart is blind to compassion. Tyranny is the hallmark of his bankrupt concept of “Asian values.”

My tragedy, and that of my friend Anwar, ought to make our fellow Muslims think very hard when they ponder the West and its role in the world. As we set out to shape our collective destiny in the 21st century, will the values of Mahathir or Jefferson serve us best? Mahathir himself made that choice for me. Sic semper tyrannis.

These are words of Dr. Munawar A. Anees

Death for Azilah/Sirul - intensify demand for RCI into allegations of Najib’s involvement in Altantuya C4 murder case

The end of the murder trial of the century in the Shah Alam High Court this morning, with policemen Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar found guilty and sentenced to death for murdering Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu, and then blowing up her body in a jungle clearing on Oct 19, 2006, is not going to end public fixation with any Altantuya-Najib nexus in national and international circles.

The question that is inevitably asked is who could be behind the two Bukit Aman Special Action Squad (UTK) cops’ C4 murder of Altantuya.

Those who had thought that the end of the Altantuya murder trial, with the conviction and death sentence pronounced on Azila and Sirul, would end national and international fixation with any connection of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak with the Altantuya murder case cannot be more wrong.

While Azilah and Sirul would appeal against the mandatory death sentence upon conviction under Section 149 of the Penal Code, their conviction and death sentence have not lessened but intensified public demands and necessity for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into swirling allegations of Najib’s involvement in the Altantuya’s C4 murder case.

At 3 pm today, Najib is announcing his new Cabinet – but this important event in his six-day premiership, which is already marred by the two Umno/Barisan Nasional defeats in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections, is totally overshadowed by the Altantuya murder case conviction and death sentences.

As Najib has repeatedly declared his innocence of any involvement in the Altantuya C4 murder case, he must act decisively to set up a Royal Commission of Inquiry to lay all the swirling allegations about his involvement in the murder case which are haunting and hounding him, his administration and the nation’s good name, to rest once and for all – whether about the accessibility of C4 explosives, the disappearance of Altantuya immigration records, the exchange of SMS messages or the disappearance of private investigator Bala Subramaniam after making public a very damaging statutory declaration about Najib.

Former Exco V.Arumugam Returns, Explains Disappearance

ALOR SETAR, April 8 (Bernama) -- Former Kedah Executive Council member V. Arumugam, who returned from India today, said he had left the country because of the threat on his life and that of his family as well as the pressure on him to leave the party.

"I fled to Mumbai alone to seek peace of mind and only returned after the conclusion of the by-election for the Bukit Selambau state seat as I feel the situation would have cooled down and it would be safe," he said.

However, he declined to reveal who had pressured him to defect but said that only by leaving the country could he escape from being a victim of circumstances.

"I don't regret giving up the two posts (State Assemblyman and Executive Councillor) on Feb 8," he told reporters when met on arrival at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport, here at about 3 pm.

Reporters and photographers, who got wind of Arumugam's return, had waited for him at the airport since 1.45 pm.

His wife M. Mariyaee, 36, and youngest child, Selvanthiran, 7, were waiting for him, accompanied by a lawyer, Murshidah Mustafa.

Kedah State Assembly Speaker Datuk Mohd Isa Ismail, Political Secretary to the Kedah Menteri Besar, Md Sanusi Md Nor, and Parti KeAdilan Rakyat (PKR) candidate who won the Bukit Selambau by-election yesterday, S. Manikumar, were also at the airport to greet him.

Arumugam had won the Bukit Selambau state seat as an Independent candidate in the general election on March 8, last year before joining the PKR.

He claimed that he had on numerous occasions made police reports on the threat and the vandalism on his car.

"How long do I have to wait...the police will only act when I'm killed whereas people want to kidnap me, and an identification parade had been made. Don't tell me there are no suspects yet," he said.

Arumugam said he left it to the top party leadership to determine his position in the PKR, but at the same time, he said he planned to look for a job.

"I'm still a PKR member and deputy chairman of the state liaison body as well as vice-head of the Merbok PKR division.

Zaid Ibrahim speaks on by-elections, Najib and Mahathir

Altantuya murder: It's death for Azilah and Sirul

The Star

ImageSHAH ALAM: Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri,32, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 36, were found guilty and sentenced to death for the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu three years ago.

Judge Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin said that the two had failed to cast any doubt on the prosecution's case and that they only blamed each other.

He said that he had analysed and tested all submissions by all the parties.

Azilah, 33, is represented by two counsels, Datuk Hazman Ahmad and J. Kuldeep Kumar while Sirul Azhar, 37, who is represented by Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Hasnal Redzua Marican and Ahmad Zaidi Zainal.
In the high profile trial that hogged the local and international media, the duo were charged with murdering Altantuya, who was 28 then, between Lot 12843 and Lot 16735 Mukim Bukit Raja near here, between 10 pm, Oct 19 and 1 am, Oct 20, 2006.

Initially they were tried together with the Executive Director of Malaysian Strategic Research Centre (MSRC), Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, who was charged with conspiring in the murder of Altantuya.

However on Oct 31, 2008, the political analyst walked out a free man after the court found that the prosecution had failed to furnish proof on an important element on the conspiracy charge.

Abdul Razak since has left to United Kingdom and is said to be taking up PhD at Oxford University.

While Azilah and Sirul Azhar who pleaded not guilty are hoping to be released, the prosecution is going all out to prove they are the ones behind Altantuya's murder and the disposal of her remains using explosives.

The prosecution team consisting of Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Noorin Badaruddin, Manoj Kurup and Hanim Rashid stressed in their submissions that Azilah and Sirul Azhar are the people behind Altantuya's murder.

Based on the evidence gathered from prosecution witnesses, the explosive used to blow up Altantuya's body was probably placed in her mouth.

Manoj noted at the end of the prosecution's case that both accused had the motive to kill and it was a preplanned crime.

Manoj noted that several circumstantial evidence that the prosecution tried to prove were never denied, explained or answered by both defendants.

"Several of the strong evidence deduced from the testimonies when spun together will make two ropes that are strong enough to hang each one of them.

"The prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt on the actions of the duo calls for their conviction on the murder carried out with the common intention," he had said.

Azilah who started his testimony on Jan 15 stated that he had no motive to kill or destroy the woman and instead he only met Altantuya to advise her politely not to harass Abdul Razak or create a ruckus outside the latter's home.

Azilah also told the court that he was ordered by a superior, DSP Musa Safri to help Abdul Razak and thus he would not have done something stupid like killing and what more when he was a policeman.

While defending himself Sirul Azhar broke down a few times and related to the court that he has been made the 'sacrificial lamb' in the murder.

The case has set many records including being the most number of days for hearing (159 days) and 84 witnesses at the prosecution stage and two at the defence stage, and it remained the high profile case for almost two years before Abdul Razak was released.

According to records, Azilah has been incarcerated at the Sungai Buloh Prison for 891 days while Sirul Azhar 895 days.

While there are many conspiracy theories still going around, the verdict on Sirul Azhar and Azilah may put to an end many of these theories.

Death sentence: Time for Sirul and Azilah to tell the truth? / Kugan still faces injustice!!

I agree with the majority who still raise the two most burning questions:

1. What was their motive?
2. Could they possibly have acted without instructions?

That two relatively low ranking policemen could decide not only to murder but to blow up a woman of their own accord, with absolutely nothing to gain (no money, no vengeance, no nothing; isn’t establishing a motive vital to proving a murder?), still remains beyond the realm of belief to me.

The highly suspicious circumstances surrounding the process of this trial continue to stick out like a sore thumb. Having never seen their faces, and not knowing how the appeal process will go, we will also cannot know for sure if these two men will actually hang.

If they are going to, it really would be a good time for them to sing - to tell the truth in some hope of finding ablution before the real judgment day, and let the world know what really happened that night.

In all honesty, I’m not sure what kind of penalty befits these two men, who in all likelihood pulled the trigger (and administered that hard-to-procure C4). But I do feel that somebody, somewhere, is escaping unpunished.

Sadly, I do believe that without evidence, we cannot prosecute whoever these people may be. But God help whoever might be hiding or withholding any such evidence, should it exist.

A few decent things have happened in the first week of Najib’s premiership. This is not one of them.

Justice did not prevail today. Let us never cease to pursue it.

Altantuya and family - we’re sorry Malaysia has failed you thus far :(


We also seem to be failing Kugan. While we were again distracted by the by-elections, some ridiculous findings by the Ministry of Health were made, and the police have raided the office of the doctor who did the second post-mortem.

The Empire strikes back.

More on this to come soon, I hope.

Najib Submits New Cabinet List To Agong

KUALA LUMPUR, April 9 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had an audience with Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin at Istana Terengganu here today to obtain the king's consent for his new cabinet.

Najib arrived at the palace in a cream Proton Perdana car at 10.57am to submit the list to Tuanku Mizan and left about 30 minutes later without stopping to speak to the media representatives waiting outside the gate.

He is scheduled to announce the new cabinet line-up in Putrajaya at 3pm.

The new ministers and deputy ministers will take their oath of office at Istana Negara at 9.30am tomorrow.

The formation of the new cabinet followed Najib's appointment as prime minister last Friday.

Kugan case: Police seize forensics samples

The parents of dead police detainee A Kugan want the immediate return of forensics specimens and other items seized by the police from the office of pathologist Dr Prashant N Sambekar.


kugan samples raided by police 080409 03Human rights lawyer N Surendran, said today that the specimens, photographs, documents and other materials relating to the post-mortem done by Prashant were seized by police, who came with a search warrant.

The items were taken from Prashant's office at the Universiti Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) on Monday morning.

The confiscation of the items means that Prashant will be unable to conduct his toxicology test on the level of drugs and toxins in Kugan’s body and complete the post-mortem report.

Surendran said he had received a letter from UMMC legal officer Nadzleen Othman informing him of the raid the same morning, but that no reason was cited.

kugan samples raided by police 080409 02At a press conference held at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre at the Jalan Duta court complex this afternoon, Kugan’s visibly emotional father G Ananthan (right) pleaded for the return of the samples.

“If a further post-mortem needs to be conducted, I will personally dig up my son’s corpse. I will lift up my son’s corpse,” he said.

“His killers are still running free. There is no need to find his killers. They are all in the police station. There is enough evidence, all we want now is justice.”

Kugan’s mother N Indra, was seen wiping away her tears every now and then throughout the press conference.

DAP’s Puchong parliamentarian Gobind Singh Deo, who is in the team of lawyers representing the family, said a letter has been sent to the Criminal Investigation Department to demand the immediate return of the seized items.

“If they fail to do so, we will take them to court. The items were taken away without Kugan’s parents’ consent. This is highly unethical. Is the attorney-general prepared to take responsibility if the police are found to have tampered with the samples?

“The parents have paid thousands of ringgit for his second port-mortem, and they are still running around, lodging reports everywhere. When is this going to end?”

Seizure prevents toxicology test

Kugan died on Jan 20 at the USJ Taipan police station, where he had been detained to assist in a car-theft case.

Relatives identifying his body at the Serdang Hospital mortuary claimed they found several bruises and lesions on his torso and legs.

The police requested a post-mortem, conducted by Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin of Serdang Hospital and which concluded that Kugan died from fluid accumulation in his lungs.

Dissatisfied with the results, Kugan’s family sent his body for a private post-mortem at UMMC, where Prashant concluded that the cause of death was acute renal failure from rhabdomyolysis.

After much public outcry of what was perceived to be an extreme incident of police torture, attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail classified the case as murder.

a kugan murdered assaulted indian youthHealth Ministry director-general Dr Ismail Merican, commented on Monday that the injuries sustained by Kugan (left) were insufficient to cause his death, whether individually or collectively, and alleged that there were discrepancies in Prashant’s autopsy report.

He also claimed that second autopsy was incomplete because Prashant has failed to do a toxicology report, but Surendran refuted this.

“Dr Prashant had made arrangements for the samples for the toxicology test to be examined by experts from an Australian institution,” said the lawyer.

“But the test was delayed because of bushfires (in Victoria). The logistics problems were settled by March 31, and Dr Prashant was ready to dispatch the samples within (the next) few days.

“Then came the police raid on April 6. How can Dr Ismail claim that Dr Prashant was being uncooperative when his chance to conduct the test was taken away?”

Cover-up alleged

An independent committee set up by the ministry, comprising nine local and foreign doctors, has since concluded that Kugan died of acute pulmonary oedema cue to acute myocarditis, compounded by blunt force trauma.

Describing the committee’s conclusions as “sickening whitewash”, Surendran said: “They have never seen Kugan’s body, and none of us (lawyers) were invited to participate in the inquiry.

“They picked out their conclusions based on Dr Prashant’s findings. It seems as if they are deliberately reinterpreting (his report) to achieve a certain result.”

kugan samples raided by police 080409 01He refuted the committee’s conclusion that there was no evidence of injury to the internal organs, showing photos of the relevant injuries based on the second post-mortem.

Ismail had further said the first autopsy showed only 22 external injuries, while the second showed 45 - of these, six were incision wounds made by Karim.

Although both pathologists had documented the same injuries, the size of each as reported by Prashant was larger due to hypostasis changes after the first autopsy, Ismail added.

However, Surendran challenged this: “Dr Prashant has done a very extensive report ... he has isolated the changes to the body since the first post-mortem.”

Given the situation, he added, the lawyers have no choice but to conclude that there is an attempt by the police and ministry to cover up the cause of death.

MIC Youth to seek foreign help

Meanwhile, MIC Youth wing advisor S Vell Paari said he wanted to enlist the help of an Australian expert to determine the real cause of Kugan's death.

vell paari vellpaariHe said that the conflicting findings of the two post-mortem reports as well as the new claims made by the independent committee set up by the Health Ministry had only confused the matter further.

"We want to know how he died. Was he beaten to death or did he suffer from some ailment?" he asked today.

He said the MIC Youth will be working with an Australian expert to sort out the confusion.

"I have identified the expert and I have spoken to him. He has agreed to help. I have also spoken to a well-known lawyer in Kuala Lumpur who has agreed to help us in this matter," he told Malaysiakini.

What he needs now is to have copies of the two post-mortems done on Kugan.

He said that MIC Youth's newly-formed committee to look into custodial deaths would be trying to get the post-mortem reports from Kugan's family.

"The committee is meeting this Sunday and we have asked Kugan's family to attend the meeting so that we can tell them what we can do for them," said Vell Paari.

He said that the committee and the Kuala Lumpur-based lawyer will be making recommendations to the MIC Youth on what actions can be taken by the family after an opinion is given by the Australian expert.

He also did not rule out taking private legal action against the police force.

"We want to bring an end to this Kugan chapter. We don't want his family to suffer further. They should have their peace of mind," he said.

He also said that the ministry's committee had given a new cause of death which was not mentioned in both the post-mortem reports.

"So how did Kugan die? That is what we want to know. We hope our own consultant can help us answer this," he added.


Nizar: Win sends a strong signal

V Arumugam returns from India - Malaysiakini

Former Kedah state executive council member V Arumugam, who returned from India today, said he had left because there were threats on his life and that of his family.


Other than that he said there were pressure on him to leave the PKR party.

former bukit selambau v arumugam return from india 080409 09"I fled to Mumbai alone to seek peace of mind and only returned after the conclusion of the by-election for the Bukit Selambau state seat as I feel the situation would have cooled down and it would be safe," he told Bernama upon his arrival at about 3pm.

But Arumugam refused to reveal who had pressured him to defect. He said that only by leaving the country could he escape from being a victim of circumstances.

former bukit selambau v arumugam return from india 080409 08"I don't regret giving up the two posts (state assemblyman and executive councillor) on Feb 8," he told Bernama at the Sultan Abdul Halim Airport, in Alor Setar.

His family were waiting for him at the airport, while S Manikumar, the PKR candidate who won the Bukit Selambau by-election yesterday was also there to greet him.

Arumugam won the Bukit Selambau state seat as an independent candidate in the March 8 general election last year before joining PKR.

As he is still a PKR member, he said it is up to the party leadership to decide on his position in PKR.

JUDGMENT DAY has arrived - Malaysiakini

No other case in Malaysian history has stirred so much of interest. Speculations and conspiracy theories raged from coffee shops to swanky offices. It has become the biggest thorn in the flesh of the new premier and the most potent weapon in the opposition's arsenal.

Altantunya Shaarriibuu, the Mongoalian national who was brutally murdered in a jungle clearing in Shah Alam in December 2007, has become a household name in this country.

Her spectre was also raised in the campaign to yesterday's Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections, which even saw a group of opposition leaders conducting a prayer ritual for her.

Since the case came to light, Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak has been forced to repeatedly deny having any links with the matter, which found its way to the pages of newspapers around the globe.

abdul razak baginda pc 201108 04The case received overwhelming attention when a close aide of Najib, political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda was charged with abetting the murder.

However, he was later acquitted, and this sparked off a fresh round of speculations that the powers-that-be had a hand in it.

On Oct 31, 2008, the political analyst walked out a free man after the court found that the prosecution had failed to furnish proof on an important element on the conspiracy charge.

Abdul Razak has since left to United Kingdom and is said to be taking up PhD at Oxford University.

Tomorrow, the Shah Alam High Court would decide on the fate of the two police special action force personnel - Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar - who were charged with murdering Altantunya.

Amid speculations that the duo had been made scapegoats to protect certain luminaries, the odds are that they would be sentenced to death.

'I want to be freed'

"If asked, I certainly want to be freed from this charge,"Azilah had told Bernama on the last day of his defence trial in February.

These words, according to the national news agency, made his fiancée Nur Azila Baharuddin smile. She has always been at his side throughout the trial to provide support. And according
to her, if Azilah's hope turns true, they will set their wedding at the nearest date.

Meanwhile, Sirul Azhar, the second defendant in the case, and the quieter of the two, had expressed the same feelings when asked the same question. "God willing there is some hope."

Both accused completed their own defence without any witness.

Azilah, 33, who is represented by two counsels, Hazman Ahmad and J Kuldeep Kumar presented his verbal testimony from the dock while Sirul Azhar, 37, who is represented by Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, Hasnal Redzua Marican and Ahmad Zaidi Zainal chose to read out the written testimony from the dock.

altantuya razak baginda murder 110707 sirul escortedThe duo were charged with murdering Altantuya, who was 28 then, between Lot 12843 and Lot 16735 Mukim Bukit Raja near here, between 10 pm, Oct 19 and 1 am, Oct 20, 2006.

When Abdul Razak was no longer in the picture, the case lost its appeal and those who initially followed it with a religious fervour were no longer keen.

Media enthusiasm on the trial has also waned with the number of media members covering the trial drastically reduced unlike previously where police had to control their numbers in the courtroom.

While Azilah and Sirul Azhar who pleaded not guilty are hoping to be released, the prosecution is going all out to prove they are the ones behind Altantuya's murder and the disposal of her remains using explosives.

The prosecution team consisting of Deputy Public Prosecutor Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, Noorin Badaruddin, Manoj Kurup and Hanim Rashid stressed in their submissions that Azilah and Sirul Azhar are the people behind Altantuya's murder.

Based on the evidence gathered from prosecution witnesses, the explosive used to blow up Altantuya's body was probably placed in her mouth.

'They had the motive'

Manoj noted at the end of the prosecution's case that both accused had the motive to kill and it was a pre-planned crime.

He also noted that several circumstantial evidence that the prosecution tried to prove were never denied, explained or answered by both defendants.

mongolian woman bombed altantuya 081106"Several of the strong evidence deduced from the testimonies when spun together will make two ropes that are strong enough to hang each one of them...

"The prosecution has proven beyond reasonable doubt on the actions of the duo calls for their conviction on the murder carried out with the common intention," he said.

Azilah who started his testimony on Jan 15 stated that he had no motive to kill or destroy the woman and instead he only met Altantuya to advise her politely not to harass Abdul Razak or create a ruckus outside the latter's home.

He also told the court that he was ordered by a superior, DSP Musa Safri to help Abdul Razak and thus he would not have done something stupid like killing and what more when he is a policeman.

While defending himself Sirul Azhar broke down a few times and related to the court that he has been made the ‘sacrificial lamb’ in the murder.

"I have no reason to hurt anyone, what more killing someone brutally. I appeal to the court that has the standing and powers to decide on my fate, not to punish me because by doing so it only completes the game play of those against me," he said reading out his written testimony on Feb 4.

The case as set many record including being the most number of days for hearing (159 days) and 84 witnesses at the prosecution stage and two at the defence stage.

According to records, Azilah has been incarcerated at the Sungai Buloh prison for 891 days while Sirul Azhar 895 days.

Police Harrassment against Manikavasagam


News by Malaysian Nanban (Tamil) on Police harrasment against S Manikavasagam, Kapar MP. Battalion of Federal Reserve Unit and police personnel headed by Kuala Muda Police Chief . Without any prior warning they arrested 4 supporters .

If Police feel that my presence of having a cup of coffee with Pakatan Supporters a major threat to Nations Security why don’t one of them approach and inform that me to leave the place add Manikavasagam

They cann’t even chase away a bunch of MIC Youth Leaders provoking thousand of Pakatan Rakyat supporter but trying their best to show authority against myself.

Anyway, I wish Police a big thank you for their Harassment , which lead us to win bigger Majority in Taman Ria Jaya.

Kugan’s father offers to exhume his body

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 - The father of the late A.Kugan, who died while under police custody, today offered to exhume his body if that’s what it takes to get justice for him.

“I can dig him up if they want,” said G. Ananthan a during press conference at the Bar Council Legal Aid Bureau at the Jalan Duta Court Complex.

The 44-year-old labourer said he could not understand what else authorities needed to charge those responsible for killing him.

“Why are those who did this still free, what more do they (authorities) want?” he asked.

Despite speaking softly, Ananthan’s words stunned all present and showed just how frustrated he was.

Meanwhile, lawyers acting for the family have sent a letter demanding the return of documents, pictures and samples related to a second post- mortem on Kugan which were seized by police from the University Malaya Medical Centre on Monday.

Lawyer N. Surendren said the second post-mortem was privately initiated by the family and it was unethical for the police to seize the items.

He said toxicology samples which were due to be sent to Australia for analysis were also seized.

Surendren said they will go to court to challenge the seizure if police failed to return the items.

Kugan, a 22-year-old suspected car thief, was arrested on Jan 20 but died five days later in a police lock-up.

Two separate post-mortems have indicated difference causes of death.

The first by a doctor at the Serdang Hospital, on Jan 21, indicated that Kugan died due to fluid in the lungs.

The second, initiated by the family who suspected he was tortured while being interrogated, found that Kugan had died from a condition known as rhabdomyolysis, a rapid break-down of skeletal muscle tissue, due to blunt force trauma which led to kidney failure.

To muddy the water further, an independent committee set up by the Ministry of Health to investigate wide ranging discrepancies indicated a third cause of death which is inflammation of the heart.

The independent committee has been labelled a whitewash by the family’s lawyers.

Surendren said the panel made conclusions without the benefit of a post-mortem.

Teluk Intan MP M. Manoharan also pointed out that the Kugan family resisted cremating his body because of fears that the matter would not be resolved.

He said the findings of the independent committee prove that their fears were not unfounded.

Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo said the Attorney-General should charge the culprits for murder without further delay and leave it to the court to determine which post-mortem report is accurate.

He said the court would be the best place for evidence provided by both pathologists and members of the independent committee to be tested.

“I call on the AG to understand the plight of Kugan’s family who are the real victims and allow them to have their day in court.”


Satu Malaysia: Mendahulukan rakyat negeri Perak

Kini keadaan semakin buntu dengan kes demi kes dibawakan ke mahkamah sedangkan suara majoriti rakyat Perak yang didengar di mana-mana mendesak mahukan penyelesaian yang muktamad.

Wan Hamidi, The Malaysian Insider

Memang ada benarnya kata-kata Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein bahawa kekalahan Barisan Nasional dalam pilihan raya kecil Parlimen Bukit Gantang dan Dewan Undangan Negeri Bukit Selambau tidak boleh dianggap sebagai tanda rakyat menolak kepimpinan Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

Menurut Naib Presiden Umno itu, Najib sebagai perdana menteri tidak boleh dipersalahkan kerana beliau baru sahaja memegang tampuk pemerintahan negara.

“Saya percaya berikan masa kepada kami, kita dapat buktikan bahawa politik BN bukan politik sementara, bukan politik sensasi dan bukan politik berkisar kepada isu-isu tertentu saja tetapi suatu perjuangan yang konsisten dan mengambil kira cita rasa dan kehendak orang ramai, masa, tempat dan zaman,” katanya.

Begitu juga pandangan Timbalan Presiden Umno Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin yang menyatakan bahawa keputusan pilihan raya kecil itu bukan sebagai referendum terhadap kepimpinan negara.

Selaras dengan hujah Hishammuddin dan Muhyiddin, memang patut Najib diberi masa dan peluang untuk membuktikan keikhlasan beliau menerajui negara atas slogannya Satu Malaysia.

Indah sekali bunyi slogan “Satu Malaysia; Rakyat Didahulukan; Pencapaian Diutamakan” di mana Najib berjanji untuk mengutamakan rakyat dari seluruh lapisan masyarakat dan kumpulan etnik tanpa sesiapa merasakan tercicir atau terpinggir.

Dalam ucapan penerimaan jawatan Perdana Menteri pada 3 April lalu, Najib dengan tegas menyatakan: “Kita akan rapatkan hubungan rakyat dan kerajaan dari dikelirukan dan diperdaya oleh permainan muslihat politik”.

Sebagai memenuhi janji dan harapannya sendiri, Najib boleh membuktikan keikhlasannya terhadap rakyat dengan mengesyorkan pembubaran Dewan Undangan Negeri Perak untuk mengakhiri kebuntuan krisis politik negeri itu.

Seperti mana yang diketahui umum, kebekuan politik Perak berpunca dari “rampasan kuasa” oleh Umno setelah tiga Adun Pakatan Rakyat melompat meninggalkan parti asal mereka. Mentri Besar Pakatan Rakyat Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin telah pun memohon pembubaran DUN tetapi ditolak oleh Sultan Perak.

Kini keadaan semakin buntu dengan kes demi kes dibawakan ke mahkamah sedangkan suara majoriti rakyat Perak yang didengar di mana-mana mendesak mahukan penyelesaian yang muktamad.

Sebagaimana yang dikatakan oleh Hishammuddin, “perjuangan BN adalah konsisten dan mengambil kira aspirasi rakyat,” tentutunya tidak mustahil untuk Najib mengembalikan keyakinan rakyat kepada BN dengan membolehkan adanya pilihan raya negeri di Perak.

Oleh kerana kepimpinan Umno dan BN amat yakin bahawa keputusan di Bukit Gantang — yang dimenangi oleh Mohd Nizar dengan majoriti yang lebih tinggi dari keputusan pilihan raya umum 2008 — bukan sebagai referendum terhadap Najib, tidak ada sebab mengapa pilihan raya negeri tidak boleh diadakan untuk mencairkan kebekuan politik di Perak.

Umno dan BN yang bermati-matian berkempen di Bukit Gantang sepanjang lebih seminggu yang lalu dengan bantuan dari agensi-agensi kerajaan sudah pasti mempunyai laluan mudah untuk memenangi hati rakyat Malaysia di Perak.

Tentunya tidak sukar untuk Umno dan BN memujuk rakyat dalam pilihan raya negeri dengan bantuan semua media arus perdana yang secara terang dan jelas berkempen untuk gabungan parti pemerintah pusat.

Malah seruan Satu Malaysia dapat dijadikan asas kempen BN untuk menjinakkan hati rakyat yang selama ini marah dengan keangkuhan dan ketidakpedulian pimpinan Umno yang semakin jauh jurangnya dengan rakyat yang ingin mereka sumbangkan bakti.

Jika tidak, status kerajaan negeri yang dirampas itu akan menjadi duri dalam daging untuk Umno dan BN dalam pilihan raya umum akan datang.

Malah jika undang-undang dan aparatus negara dipergunakan untuk menampung keputusan yang zalim dan rapuh, ia akan ranap juga satu hari nanti.

Seruan untuk mendahulukan rakyat memang patut disokong kerana ia adalah gambaran niat yang ikhlas. Namun niat sahaja tidak akan ke mana; rakyat telah perit melalui era sepanjang lima tahun lalu di mana janji demi janji ditaburkan. Malah dua dekad sebelum itu pun penuh dengan pelbagai juadah janji.

Buktikan sokongan melalui pilihan raya negeri Perak; kecualilah kalau Umno dan BN merasakan mereka akan ditolak oleh rakyat.

Tetapi itu mungkin mustahil kerana semua pemimpin Umno dan BN yakin rakyat masih tetap bersama mereka. Jadi tidak perlu tunggu lama lagi; biarkan rakyat — yang dijanjikan untuk didahulukan — membuat keputusan.

Umno dan BN tidak perlu merasa takut dengan Pakatan Rakyat kerana BN sudah pun terkenal dengan perjuangan “membela rakyat” yang pasti akan diberi pertimbangan wajar oleh rakyat di Perak.

Lagi pun di mata para pemimpin Umno, siapa dan apalah sangat Pakatan Rakyat? Di Perak sahaja, dua tiga kerat exco negeri pun boleh “dibeli” begitu sahaja.

Cumanya Umno dan BN terpaksa lebih berhati-hati sekarang kerana rakyat jelata semakin prihatin dengan soal-soal ekonomi, hak, keadilan dan demokrasi - bukan sahaja di Perak, malah di seluruh negara. Kini semakin susah untuk mana-mana pemimpin politik membohongi rakyat.

Wan Hamidi is a veteran journalist who has a penchant for rock music.

The thorny issue of the Caliph


This version of history will be argued and debated until the end of time. And whether this was what happened is anyone’s guess. Millions will swear it did happen. Millions more will swear it did not.


Raja Petra Kamarudin

To understand Islamic history, in particular the serious chasm between the various sects, one has to go back to the last days of the life of Prophet Muhammad here on earth.

Of course, history is always written by the victor, never by the vanquished. So, again, it would all depend on whose version of history you are referring to. The Indian Mutiny would be the British version of history. And, since Malaysians read history books written by British historians, it would always remain The Indian Mutiny. Had the Indians written the history books, it would probably be referred to as The Indian War of Independence. And The Black Hole of Calcutta would probably be renamed The White Hole, the small dungeon in Fort William, India, where 123 white British soldiers were supposed to have lost their lives.

Again, did the Black Hole incident really happen? The British historians say it did. And 123 of the 146 whites imprisoned there were supposed to have suffocated to death in that dungeon. But then, many say this was mere spin doctoring on the part of Holwell, aimed at tarnishing the name of the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj ud-Daulah, and that there was no such thing as The Black Hole of Calcutta.

So, what is the truth? Who knows? The truth died with everyone who has long since died more than 300 years ago. No one from 20 June 1756 remains alive today. They are all long dead and buried. So the truth is also long dead and buried along with those who know what really happened.

We are told the last days of the Prophet were spent at his favourite wife Aishah’s house. In the last moments of his life on earth, the Prophet summoned Ali to be by his side. As he lay on Aishah’s lap, and before he breathed his last breath, the Prophet was said to have whispered into Ali’s ear. And what the Prophet whispered into Ali’s ear is that after he has died he wants Ali to take over as the successor -- Caliph, if in the Arabic language.

For three days the companions of the Prophet argued and debated. The Prophet has died. Who shall succeed him and hold the title of successor or Caliph? The successor must undertake the task of burying the Prophet. So, unless they resolve the thorny issue of the successor, the Prophet can’t be buried. And it is already three days since the Prophet died.

Ali informed the companions that the Prophet had personally whispered into his ear that he should be that successor. But Aishah, the only other person who would have witnessed this exchange, could not confirm that this was so. Some say she could not have heard it since it was whispered into Ali’s ear. Others say Aishah purposely withheld what she clearly knew because of personal differences with Ali.

The truth has since died with all those who had lived and died more than 1,400 years ago. But what can’t be disputed is that Ali never became that successor after the Prophet died. Abu Bakar did, followed by Omar and Osman. Ali did not get his turn until the three companions before him had left this world.

This version of history will be argued and debated until the end of time. And whether this was what happened is anyone’s guess. Millions will swear it did happen. Millions more will swear it did not. And, in the meantime, millions will die in Muslim versus Muslim conflicts because there are two interpretations of history.

And, they say, history always repeats itself. Closer to home we have the Malaysian version on the Sunni-Shiah disagreement with regards to the right interpretation of history. And this Malaysian version of the thorny succession issue started when Tun Abdul Razak lay on his deathbed in a Harley Street clinic in London in January 1976.

Tun Razak knew he was dying. But only a handful of people also knew this. Malaysians-at-large were totally ignorant of the fact that the Second Prime Minister of Malaysia would soon be leaving them. And, just like in the last days of the Prophet 1,400 years before that, Tun Razak summoned his ‘companions’ and told them that he wanted Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah to succeed him as Prime Minister.

But Tengku Razaleigh was young and had unfinished business. Tun Razak had launched the New Economic Policy just five years before that. Much needs to be done to ensure that the aspirations of the New Economic Policy are met. Tengku Razaleigh felt it would be better he focused on ensuring that the New Economic Policy succeeds. Furthermore, he was still quite young so it was too early for him to take over as Prime Minister.

It was agreed that Tun Hussein Onn would instead take over. And Hussein Onn would choose one of the three Umno Vice Presidents as his Deputy. And these three were Tengku Razaleigh, Ghafar Baba and Dr Mahathir Mohamad, in that order of priority. At first, Hussein Onn wanted to bypass all three. He preferred Ghazali Shafie. But Ghazali Shafie was not one of the three Umno Vice Presidents so the three would not allow that to happen. Hussein Onn’s hands were tied. He had no choice but to choose from amongst one of the three.

Tengku Razaleigh was the Vice President with the highest number of votes. So he should be it. But Tengku Razaleigh had unfinished business and he did not want to become the Deputy Prime Minister just yet. He suggested that Dr Mahathir should instead be Hussein Onn’s number two. He can wait. He will become the number two when Dr Mahathir takes over the job of Prime Minister.

Five years later, Dr Mahathir did become Prime Minister when Hussein Onn stepped aside in 1981. But he would not appoint Tengku Razaleigh as his Deputy as had been agreed earlier. He said he would rather leave that post vacant and allow the Umno members to decide whom they want as their number two.

This was a great departure from tradition. Before this the number one always appointed his number two. But Dr Mahathir is one who is not afraid of breaking away from tradition. He proved that a couple of years later when he declared war on the Rulers, something Malays have never done (unless they want to lose their life) for hundreds of years.

Dr Mahathir ruled as number one. But he refused to appoint a number two. Let Umno decide, he declared. And he left it to the Umno General Assembly to decide who should be his Deputy, and, in that same context, the Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia.

By now many of you will be at the edge of your seats, wondering what happened thereafter. Well, enough said for today. Let us continue tomorrow the story of how Umno went through the same chasm that Islam went through 1,400 years before that, which, until today, has triggered serious and bloody conflicts for those who preach Islam as the religion of peace.

Reform, or face extinction

By Haris Ibrahim

That is the only conclusion UMNO and BN can honestly take from the just concluded Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.

And that people power has found a firm footing, has rooted well, and will not be easily blown away.

Read it any other way and UMNO and BN will pay dearly at the next GE, the Sarawak state elections and every other by-election that comes our way.

And by reform, I do not mean of the cosmetic kind.

Like giving us the MACC or the JAC!

Or freeing 13 ISA detainees just before polling day!

That’s an insult to the intelligence and common sense of the average Malaysian which, as may surprise many in UMNO and BN, ought not to be underestimated.

Can BN reform?

Yes, but not under its present leadership.

Najib and the current crop of UMNO leaders are too integral to the very problem that plagues BN.

As are the top leaders of all the component parties.

Samy, Tsu Khoon, the Ongs, Taib Mahmud.

They’re all the same.

Self-serving politicians, interested in holding on to power only to serve their own ends.

If ever BN had the interest of the people as their first and only port of call, that ceased a long time ago after Dr M took the helm.

The rot set in swiftly thereafter.

Dr M’s close brush with defeat in the 1986 UMNO elections brought out the worst in him, and it was that side of him that stayed with us for the rest of his tenure.

His ‘retain power at all costs’ philosophy cost us dearly.

Henceforth, to avoid another challenge to his authority, he promoted to high office those who were seen to be subservient and docile.

And more often than not, incompetent.

His own belated admission about his mistake in appointing Pak Lah as his successor bears testimony to this.

He crippled the judiciary, then appointed to high judicial office men and women who were pliant.

And in his time, he encouraged a culture that would create a pool of super-rich Malays, whose wealth was not generated from honest, hard work, but by the shuffling of papers and paper transactions.

The ‘get-rich-quick Malay’, the ‘I want money for nothing’ generation of Malays owes its birth and growth to Dr M.

Dr M allowed corruption to flourish.

Both in UMNO and the government.

This was his most powerful control tool.

This is Mahathirism.

And the current crop of UMNO and BN leaders have had Mahathirism for too long flowing through their veins to begin any process of internal reform necessary to render BN relevant to the needs and aspirations of the people.

Can BN reform?

Yes, but only if UMNO first reforms.

Can UMNO reform?

If UMNO and BN are to reform, the Najibs, the Samys, the Ongs and the Ksu Khoons must be driven from the seat of party power.

That reform can only happen if, from the rank and file of these parties emerge a new generation, untainted by the corruption of the echelon and mid-level leadership and who are in politics not to serve their own ends but the best interest of the rakyat, and have the gumption to challenge the status quo.

Sadly, there does not appear to be such quality within the rank and file of UMN

Second political tsunami – double ‘no confidence’ vote on Najib and Zambry

By Lim Kit Siang

The impressive victories by Pakatan Rakyat candidates in Bukit Gantang parliamentary and Bukit Selambau state assembly (Kedah) by-elections yesterday is a second political tsunami in Malaysian electoral politics in 13 months.

They are a double “no confidence” vote on Datuk Seri Najib Razak four days after being the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia as well as on Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir as the illegitimate and usurper Perak Mentri Besar following the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak two months ago.

The Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-election results, with increased majorities for the Pakatan Rakyat candidates as compared to last year, are a clear and unmistakable endorsement of the March 8, 2008 political tsunami telling the nation and the world that what happened in the 12th general elections in March last year was neither accidental nor a fluke, to disappear like fireworks in the skies, but a major political paradigm shift representing the deep-seated and widely-held aspirations of Malaysians regardless of race or religion for democratic change.

Furthermore, that such fundamental political change is here to stay!

Although UMNO and Barisan Nasional leaders had claimed after the March 8 political tsunami, which toppled Barisan Nasional governments in five states and ended its unbroken two-thirds parliamentary majority, that they had heard and learnt the message of the voters, the verdicts in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections are loud and clear – that UMNO and Barisan Nasional had failed in the past 13 months to heed the message of the 12th general election results.

This is why the by-elections yesterday have become a multiple referendum, viz:

  1. Firstly, a resounding rejection of the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak personally orchestrated by Najib in February, two months before he became the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia, creating a protracted political stalemate and constitutional crisis with two Mentris Besar – the legitimate and popularly-recognised Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin and the “usurper” and popularly-rejected Zambry.

    If Umno and Barisan Nasional had heard the message of the Malaysian voters for democratic change in the March 8, 2008 political tsunami, the unethical, undemocratic, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak would not have taken place.

    The two-month political stalemate and constitutional crisis in Perak should be ended in the most democratic manner by returning the mandate to Perakians with the dissolution of the Perak State Assembly for a new state government to be elected by the people.

    Zambry should respect the political will of the people and be honest and humble enough to acknowledge that with the unmistakable result of the Bukit Gantang by-election, the question of his legitimacy as Perak Mentri Besar cannot be avoided or ignored, and come forward to publicly agree to the only honourable political solution available – dissolution of the Perak State Assembly and holding of Perak state general elections.

  2. Secondly, the deepening of the national and international crisis of credibility, integrity and legitimacy faced by Najib since becoming the sixth Prime Minister four days ago, largely because of his refusal to confront and come clean on the host of serious allegations haunting and hounding him, whether over the C4 murder case of Mongolian Altantuya Shariibuu or defence deal mega-commissions, as through the establishment of a Royal Commission of Inquiry; and most recently, over his democratic credentials and commitment in having personally orchestrated the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak.

    In his four days as the new Prime Minister, Najib had suffered two major setbacks:

    1. The failure of his maiden speech introducing his three thematic slogans of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” to “catch fire” and inspire Malaysians, because of the wide gulf between words and deeds – as illustrated by the outrageous 46-hour release of the two Hindraf leaders, V. Ganabatirau and R. Kengadharan despite Najib’s announcement of “immediate release” and the host of undemocratic and draconian restrictions placed on the two as conditions for their ISA release from Kamunting Detention Centre.

    2. Rejection by the voters in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections doubly manifested not only by the Pakatan Rakyat victories but also in the increased majorities for the Pakatan Rakyat candidates.

      A third failure in Najib’s first week as Prime Minister awaits him, as nobody believes that he would be able to announce a new Cabinet which is not only clean and incorruptible, but fulfils his slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”.

    3. In view of the deepening of the national and international crisis over his credibility, integrity and legitimacy as Prime Minister with every passing day, Najib should convene an emergency meeting of Parliament to secure a motion of confidence from the majority of Members of Parliament.

      This was what Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi did when he became the fifth Prime Minister in 2003, with Parliament passing a motion of confidence in him in his first week in office. This was also what Datuk Hussein Onn did when he took over as Prime Minister in 1976 when Tun Razak died of leukaemia in London, convening an emergency meeting of Parliament to secure a motion of confidence in him in his first fortnight in office.

  3. Thirdly, rejection of the return of both Mahathirism and Tun Mahathir himself. Within two days of the accession of Najib premiership, the former premier Abdullah had been sidelined while his predecessor Tun Mahathir was given a high-profile welcome-back like the return of the prodigal son, giving Prime Ministerial treatment when his appearance at the Bukit Gantang by-election campaign on Monday was telecast live on TV1 for 90 minutes!

  4. Fourthly, endorsement of Pakatan Rakyat as the movement for the future and the relegation of Barisan Nasional as the coalition of the past. In the by-elections, it is Pakatan Rakyat which manifested the spirit of “1Malaysia” with DAP, PAS and PKR working as one team regardless of race or religion while Umno and Barisan Nasional exploited the outmoded politics of the 3Rs – race, religion and royalty.

Uthayakumar's RM100 Million Suit Against Govt To Proceed

KUALA LUMPUR, April 8 (Bernama) -- The Inspector-General of Police, Attorney-General and the government today failed in their bid to strike out the RM100 million defamation suit brought against them by Hindraf legal advisor P.Uthayakumar.

Judicial Commissionder Datin Zabariah Mohd Yusof dismissed their application with costs in chambers after hearing submissions from both sides and ordered that the hearing be held as soon as possible.

Uthayakumar was represented by counsel M.Manogaran while senior federal counsel Rozi binti Bainon represented the three defendants.

Manogaran, when asked for the grounds for the court's rejection of the application, said the judge had to hear the evidence of witnesses on the relevant issues by way of a trial.

IGP Tan Sri Musa Hasan, AG Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail and the Malaysian government had applied to strike out the suit on the grounds that the statement which Uthayakumar claimed defamed him, was made to prevent feelings of hatred towards the government and avoid racial conflict.

Uthayakumar, who was arrested on Dec 13 last year and detained with four others under the Internal Security ASct for suspected involvement in organising a hindraf rally, is suing the three defendants for defamation for linking him with Sri Lankan terrorist groups.

Umno’s power grab propels Nizar to national stage

Nizar and Perak Speaker Sivakumar anxiously await the results last night

What an incredible last few days it has been. And thank you to all the “citizen journalists”, political activists and even mainstream media folks who fed me information, including complete strangers such as the young man who passed me the video he took of the teargas incident in Air Kuning. Thanks for all your kind words and encouragement, which kept me motivated.

I left Perak this afternoon after lunch at a kopitiam restaurant in Taiping with much to think about (and I don’t mean just the cendol).

Bukit Gantang ushers in a new phase in Malaysian politics. Ethnic and religious barriers were broken here as the Chinese and others voted in droves for Pas. Much of it was due to the more moderate face of Pas projected by its popular candidate, Nizar, and the party’s makeover “Pas for all”. The close cooperation among Pakatan parties, and more importantly, the interaction of ordinary people on the ground also contributed to the breakthrough.

In staging its power grab in Perak, Umno may have committed its biggest blunder. By ousting Nizar, it allowed him to be chosen as a candidate for a parliamentary seat, thus propelling him to a bigger stage - Parliament, where he will now be a regular face in front of a national audience.

His overwhelming acceptance among minority groups is something that Umno leaders cannot match - unless they dump their divisive brand of racial politics.

Here’s an article I wrote in Perak this morning for Asia Times, just before returning to Penang:

Malaysia’s Najib fails his first test

By Anil Netto

BUKIT GANTANG, Perak - Malaysia’s ruling coalition lost two of three by-elections held on Tuesday, in a result that shows that the change in prime minister from Abdullah Badawi to Najib Razak only four days prior has done little to stem the erosion in popular support for government led by the United Malays National Organization (UMNO).

Many viewed the three local polls as an early referendum on the new premier, who took over after the UMNO-led ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition suffered a setback at general elections held in March last year. The BN lost five states to the People’s Alliance opposition, made up of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic party (PAS), the Democratic Action Party (DAP), and the People’s Justice Party (PKR), led by Anwar Ibrahim.

Full article here.

Kenyataan Media Anwar Ibrahim Berhubung Keputusan Tiga Pilihanraya Kecil

Two questions on Najib in the day/s ahead / ps- thank you cyber-Sarawak!

I know constant delays are bad for my rep, but I think I’m gonna wait on Najib’s cabinet lineup :P

Sorry for yet another postponement of article, but also got some stuff to do today. So, for today, can I ask you two questions that appear to be of interest?

1. What kind of cabinet would you, esteemed reader, like to see announced?

2. Theory: if Najib wanted to stay in power longer and survive GE13, he should either dissolve the Perak State Assembly, or (more likely), somehow pave the way (via courts, etc) for Pakatan to retake the state gov’t (esp after the Bkt Gantang results). What do you think?


ps- If not too late, while we celebrate on the Peninsular, I wanted to register special thanks to brother/sister bloggers in Sarawak (incl. Lina Soo and team who worked so hard yesterday). Victory may have been denied us this round, but we’re in for the whole marathon, not just the sprint.

Najib Needs To Work Hard To Ensure BN Win 13th GE

PUTRAJAYA, April 8 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has to work very hard to ensure Barisan Nasional (BN) win the next general election.

Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who said this, opined that the mentality of many people today had been influenced by the flaws in the government leadership before this, invoking a sentiment which was difficult to change.

He said change would take a long process, hence Najib must be firm in restoring Umno and BN's image.

"It's very difficult to change people's thinking, that is why the government led by Najib has to be firm in its stand in rebuilding BN's image, particularly Umno's image," he told reporters following BN's loss in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections yesterday.

Earlier, Dr Mahathir had launched the book titled "Mencari Kebahagiaan" (Looking for Happiness) written by Datuk Hashim Abdul Wahab, at the Perdana Leadership Foundation building, here, today.

He said besides the lack of development, rampant corruption had only heightened people's dissatisfaction with the government.

"People are unhappy to see that after almost six years, there is not much development and we don't know who got the government contracts. Many of the small- and medium-scale industries cannot survive," he added.

On the claim that BN's loss in the two by-elections was due to non-Malay votes for the opposition, Dr Mahathir said this could not be the factor as Malays formed the majority of voters in both areas.

"If the Malays didn't vote for PKR in Bukit Selambau, PKR would not have won. The Indians are the minority there; they could not have won (without Malay votes). If you add the Indian votes to the Chinese votes, they (PKR) still could not win. The fact is many of the Malay voters gave their votes to PKR. It shows there are (many) Malays who are dissatisfied with the government," he said.

Dr Mahathir also refuted the claim that there was an agreement between him and Najib to include his son Datuk Mukhriz in the new cabinet line-up to be announced tomorrow.

He said this was mere speculation and baseless as he had never interfered in Mukhriz's political route.

"I have never lobbied for my son. I have never campaigned for him, and have never spoken for him. I leave him alone and when he lost (the Umno Youth elections), that's his business.

"If Najib wants to appoint him, that's Najib's business, not mine," he said.

Tamils protest outside UK parliament

LONDON, England (CNN) -- Several hundred Sri Lankan Tamil protesters shouted slogans at the British Parliament for a second day Tuesday, urging it to act to end the "genocide" against their people in Sri Lanka.

Police clash with Tamil protesters outside the Houses of Parliament.

Police clash with Tamil protesters outside the Houses of Parliament.

"Stop the genocide!" they shouted. "Stop the war!"

They waved the red flag of Tamil Eelam, the Tamils' traditional homeland in northern and eastern Sri Lanka. The flag is emblazoned with a yellow roaring tiger.

Most of the protesters slept overnight on the streets around Parliament Square after beginning their unauthorized protest Monday afternoon. At one point, the protesters blocked the street leading to Westminster Bridge over the River Thames, police said.

That led to road closures around Parliament.

By Tuesday morning, a solid ring of police had hemmed the protesters in Parliament Square across the street from the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben. Roads were open again, but the protest and police presence caused traffic congestion in the area.

Hariram Shan, 24, is a Sri Lankan Tamil who said he has lived in Britain for six years. He said the protesters hope the British government will intervene to stop Sri Lanka's crackdown on Tamil Tiger rebels, which he said harms civilians.

"They can force economic sanctions," Shan told CNN.

Dushyanthy Sukumar, 47, said the Sri Lankan government is retaliating against innocent civilians.

"The Sri Lankan government has now cornered the rebels, the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam), and what they are doing is killing the people," she said.

Sukumar, who said she has lived in Britain since leaving her homeland in 1987, said she is angry at the British government for supporting Sri Lanka.

"The Sri Lankan government is doing their dirty work through this government," she said.

The Sri Lankan military said Sunday that it had captured the last rebel stronghold and killed five rebel leaders after three days of gunbattles.

It said more rebels could still be hiding in a 20-square-kilometer "safety zone," but that it would not enter the area because it is home to some 50,000 people.

The Tamil Tigers have fought since 1983 for an independent homeland for the country's ethnic Tamil minority. The civil war has left more than 70,000 people dead.

The Cabinet

By Jeff Ooi

It's a false alarm. Those who think Najib Razak will name his new Cabinet today may be in for disappointment. D-Day is tomorrow, 3pm.

UPDATES: Incidentally tomorrow, the day Najib announces his new Cabinet, the verdict on the murder of Altantuya will be pronounced at the Shah Alam High Court.

The fate of the two police special action force personnel who were charged with murdering that Mongolian woman, namely Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar -- largely seen as the scapegoats to protect certain luminaries -- will be decided.

However, the mastermind who gave them the order to kill might never be made known.

As at late last night, Little Birds told Screenshots, Najib still couldn't make up his mind as yet. Horse trading is still on-going and he hesitated if political rejects -- those who failed to get electorally elected during GE2008 -- should be included as ministers.

More so, Najib has to decide if Emperor Dowager could dictate that perasuah (corrupts) like Khairy Jamaluddin -- the Son-in-Law tainted by alleged money politics in Umno -- must be hanged to dry outside the Cabinet.

In his blog, Che Det bluntly said:

Saya percaya dia tidak akan pilih perasuah yang terkenal dan diketahui umum seperti Khairy dan beberapa lagi sebagai Menteri atau anggota Kerajaan.

Meanwhile, contradictions of a zero-sum game within BN has surfaced in view of Najib's intention to reduce the size of the Cabinet. In particular, MCA is said to be worried that the Chinese-dominated Gerakan will be given a minister's post at its expense.

For context to the issue, please read my series on How many Tsu Koons does it take to make a Najib's cabinet? here.

'Status quo? Far from it!'

Does Najib have a mind of his own? It ain't status quo, warns Bridget Welsh of John Hopkins University-SAIS (Southeast Asian Studies), Washington DC. She was in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau to observe the by-elections.

Is Najib's "One Malaysia, Performance Now" a PR slogan much better sounding than Dr M's "Bersih, Cekap, Amanah" or Abdullah's "Work with Me, Not for Me"?

Watch this space as we chain Najib to his reform agenda. Let's start with eradicating corruption -- and the corrupt -- within Umno.