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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Rakyat tidak restu kerajaan BN Perak, PM baru Najib

(Harakah) Slogan kempen Umno 'Mohon Restu Rakyat' boleh membawa tiga maksud iaitu pertama memohon restu rakyat selepas merampas kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat di Perak, kedua peralihan kuasa kepimpinan tertinggi Umno kepada Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak dan ketiga teori Mahathir dengan Jerlunnya.

Umno percaya teori pertukaran kepimpinan boleh mengambalikan sokongan rakyat kepada Umno sebagaimana pernah berlaku dalam pilihan raya umum 2004, di mana Barisan Nasional (BN) memperolehi kemenangan besar sebaik sahaja bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mengambil alih kuasa daripada Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Pada pilihan raya umum 2008, BN menerima kekalahan teruk sehingga gagal mendapat dua pertiga majoriti di Parlimen serta lima negeri dikuasai Pakatan Rakyat.

Mahathir mengambil kesempatan daripada kekalahan teruk itu dengan menyerang dan menyalahkan Abdullah. Desakan begitu kuat sehingga Abdullah terpaksa berundur dan memberi laluan kepada Timbalannya, Najib.

Mahathir percaya bahawa orang Umno lari mengundi Pakatan Rakyat kerana kelemahan Abdullah. Beliau juga percaya orang Umno masih menyokong beliau berdasarkan kemenangan anaknya, Mukhriz di Parlimen Jerlun di mana beliau turun membantu berkempen.

Daripada kepercayaan ini, Mahathir merasa amat yakin tentang dirinya sehingga sanggup turun berkempen bagi calon Umno pada 6 April lalu, di Jalan Simpang, Taiping. Dalam perhimpunan tersebut, beliau menyeru kepada ahli dan penyokong Umno yang telah meninggalkan parti agar kembali bersama parti itu.

Akhirnya teori beliau bersama Jerlun tidak mendapat restu rakyat. Mungkin pada masa ini Abdullah tersenyum puas kerana keputusan pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau menjawab tuduhan Mahathir dan penyokongnya selama ini tanpa perlu beliau bercakap banyak dengan Mahathir.

Kemenangan hatrick Pakatan Rakyat juga menjawab bahawa teori pertukaran pemimpin Umno daripada Abdullah kepada Najib bermakna berlakunya perubahan dan ia akan mengambalikan kepercayaan ahli serta penyokongnya kepada Umno juga tidak menjadi kenyataan kali ini.

Namun amat malang bagi Najib. Sebagaimana Mahathir teruja dengan ucapan Najib, katanya: "Satu ayat Najib semasa sampaikan ucapan penutupan Perhimpunan Agung Umno yang menarik perhatian saya ialah walaupun ada desakan supaya parti menguasai kerajaan tetapi Najib menambah bahawa selain parti, rakyat juga mesti bersama dengan kerajaan."

Sebaliknya perubahan yang cuba dibawa Najib gagal mendapat restu rakyat. Apakah Mahathir akan mendesak Najib berundur bagi memulihkan Umno? Mungkin sekali tidak kerana Perdana Menteri inilah yang disukai beliau untuk meneruskan agendanya.

Kalau Abdullah sempat mendapat gelaran 'Mr Clean' selepas pilihan raya 2004 iaitu mengembalikan kepercayaan rakyat kepada Umno daripada keburukan yang ditinggalkan Mahathir. Abdullah berjaya merampas kembali Terengganu yang dimenangi PAS pada pilihan raya umum 1999 semasa pemerintahan Mahathir, sebaliknya rekod Najib bermula dengan buruk dan jawapan yang diberi oleh rakyat: "Tiada restu bagimu Najib."

Tiada restu bagi Najib juga terpalit dengan tindakan beliau merampas kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat. Jawapan jelas daripada rakyat hasil daripada kempen Umno mohon restu rakyat sebaliknya rejim yang dikatakan haram di bawah Menteri Besarnya, Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir diberi jawapan bahawa: "Tiada restu bagimu Zambry."

Kerajaan BN Perak dan Sultan patut menerima keputusan pilihan raya kecil ini kerana rakyat memberi isyarat jelas bahawa mereka mahukan pembubaran Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) Perak supaya pemerintahan Perak ditentukan oleh rakyat.

Tomohan media cetak dan elektronik bahawa Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin penderhaka sukar diterima rakyat kerana isu yang lebih besar di sebalik itu ialah keganasan BN merampas kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat yang telah ditentukan rakyat pada pilihan raya umum

BN must win next by-election, says Ku Li

By Shannon Teoh- The malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah today warned that Barisan Nasional faces the prospect of losing the federal government if it is defeated in another by-election, calling for further reforms to meet people's expectations.

The Gua Musang MP said it was disgraceful for BN to lose all four by-elections in Peninsular Malaysia since the watershed general election last year.

"Not just a disgrace, but malu-lah (shameful)," Tengku Razaleigh told reporters at his house today.

The Kelantan prince might soon see if BN has recovered from its string of losses as speculation is rife that scandalised PKR Penanti and Bukit Lanjan assemblymen Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin and Elizabeth Wong will resign their seats.

"It makes me sad as an Umno chap that Umno has not won a single by-election so far.

"Before this, we place a candidate and sure as daylight we would win. Now we have to pray, work and throw money but we still did not win," he lamented.

He felt that the losses in the April 7 Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang polls were not necessarily a vote of no faith in newly-appointed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak but a future loss would reflect badly on his new administration.

"I do not think we can afford to lose anymore support. We have lost so much already," he added, referring to BN losing its two-thirds majority in Parliament and four more states in Election 2008.

Tengku Razaleigh said BN must marshal all its resources to get the support of the people in the next polls or "in three or four years, they will all be kicked out of office."

When asked if the increased majority for the opposition in the two Bukit by-elections showed that former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was ineffective in returning support to BN, he replied: "I think you have answered the question."

He pointed out that Najib's administration must be genuine in its efforts to reform as it cannot implement what it has in store for Malaysians without the backing of the people.

Tengku Razaleigh said that reforms were necessary as people were not happy.

"If not they will support you. If people are still blind or in denial, then they should hang up their political hats.”

Tengku Razeleigh added that as an Umno member, he was "desperate" but still "hopeful" despite the party appearing to be a "sinking ship."

As such, he denied that he had plans to join PKR as has been rumoured.

"I do not think that I am going to leave Umno for now. But one can never tell about the future," he said.

Tengku Razaleigh had called the press conference to deny that he had called the new Cabinet line-up "neat" as reported by state news agency Bernama.

Daim to make comeback?

KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — One of the most powerful figures of the Mahathir era could re-emerge as an economic advisor to the government.

Tun Daim Zainuddin, respected for his decisiveness and deal-making skills and reviled by critics of the Mahathir regime, is being touted to the Najib administration as a man with the perfect combination of experience and skill sets for the Council of Economic Advisors.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that supporters of former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad have been lobbying for the former finance minister’s inclusion into the council.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak this week announced the setting up of a council of economic advisors. Members of the council will enjoy ministerial powers.

He has not identified council members but it is widely expected that the former head of the Hong Kong Stock Exchange, Datuk Andrew Sheng, and corporate figures Datuk Md Noor Yusof and Datuk Azman Yahya will figure in the shortlist of candidates.

Besides drawing up strategies to cushion the impact of the global economic slowdown on Malaysia, the council is also expected to come up with a plan to transform an economy which has become sluggish and too dependent on low-cost foreign labour.

Government economists have all but buried the idea of Malaysia achieving developed nation status by 2020, arguing that structural deficiencies in the economy will limit growth to around 5.5 per cent even when the world recovers from the global meltdown.

Daim played a pivotal role in steering the country out of the recession in the late 1980s and the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998. He resigned from the Mahathir administration in 2002 after apparently falling out with the former PM over policy differences.

Since then, he retreated to the corporate world, running his business empire with interests in Eastern Europe and Africa.

Media shy when he was in government he has been willing to grant interviews recently, warning the government that the economic slowdown will cause severe dislocation here.

Najib will have to weigh carefully the benefits of having Daim back on the main stage.

The owner of a sharp mind and strong work ethic, he brings with him the baggage of being the architect of the now discredited policy of nurturing a class of Malay corporate captains on government largesse.

Individuals such as Tan Sri Tajudin Ramli, Halim Saad and others flew high in the 1990s but their true mettle was tested during the Asian Financial Crisis.

Nearly all of them fared poorly.

And though Daim presided over the explosive growth of the Malaysian economy, critics say that the country’s love affair with mega projects, cheap foreign labour and opaque business practices had its genesis during the Mahathir era.

Also, his return could lend credence to talk of the growing influence of Dr Mahathir in the Najib administration.

Still, government officials believe that members of the economic council will only be selected if they are credible individuals and with workable ideas to reshape the Malaysian economy.

The council is likely to work closely with the Finance Minister, Economic Planning Minister and the Minister of International Trade and Industry.

Sheng was a member of the Abdullah administration’s Economic Council and is said to have impressed Najib with his analysis on what ails the economy, his knowledge of the global slowdown and impact on Malaysia and possible new growth strategies for the country.

The PM has also tapped the authors of the Blue Ocean strategy for advice. It is uncertain whether they will be appointed to the council.

Wow factors of Najib Cabinet? Backdoor Cabinet, Parti Belakang

Wow factors of Najib Cabinet - most number of “backdoor” Senators with Parti Gerakan becoming “Parti Belakang” under Tsu Koon

By Lim Kit Siang

What is the Wow factor in the Najib Cabinet?

None on the positive side.

If any, there are the negatives, viz:

· Najib’s “backdoor” Cabinet - the first Cabinet in the nation’s 52-year history with the most number of “backdoor” Senators, 11 in all and comprising mostly of candidates rejected by the voters in the political tsunami of last year’s general elections.

· Replacement of one set of “old faces” like Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar and Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said but who have entered Parliamen by the front-door by a set of equally “old faces” like Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun and Datuk Dr. Awang Adek Hussin who have to get into Parliament by the backdoor of the Senate as they had been rejected by the voters in last year’s general elections.

· Parti Gerakan becoming “Parti Belakang” with its president having to sneak into Parliament from the backdoor.

It is laughable to see a senior Cabinet Minister yesterday desperately trying to justify and convince the media that the Najib Cabinet is a “lean” one, claiming that there had been a reduction from 32 Ministers to 28, when in fact it was from 31 to 29, as Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had a 31-strong Cabinet when he submitted his resignation to the Yang di Pertuan Agong on 3rd April while Najib is now heading a 29-strong Cabinet!

Najib said that “The era where the government knows best is over” and that “We can only achieve our ambition for Malaysia if the government and people, in a united effort, work together for success and progress”.

Yet the first thing Najib did as Prime Minister was to violate this important principle that “the era where the government knows best is over” by appointing the most number of rejected politicians in last year’s general election into his Cabinet through the backdoor of Parliament, a fundamental defect which cannot be cured by Najib’s claiming that he has formed a People’s Cabinet!

Tsu Koon has denied that he is a “back door minister” – given prominence by Star today, with the headline “’I’m no back door minister’ – Gerakan’s Koh defends appointment”.

My blog has received email of a media report in May last year with the headline, Exclusive Interview With The Gerakan Acting President: No Back Door Approach, quoting Tsu Koon as giving two reasons for rejecting any offer of Senator and Minister.

Tsu Koon quoted MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu that it was “going through the back door” if he accepted the offer as a Senator after being defeated in the general elections and that it would be “contrary to the true meaning of democratic elections” to become a Minister through a Senate appointment.

As for his ministerial portfolio of “Unity and Performance Management”, can Tsu Koon, who had been a Penang Chief Minister without power for 18 years and who had to buckle down to the demands and pressures from lowly Umno divisional and branch leaders, have the power to monitor the ministerial performance of UMNO warlords in the Najib Cabinet like Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein?

Would his writ even extend to the MCA Ministers?

Tell it to the marines!

If Najib is serious about using the key performance indicators (KPI) to “stress impact and not input, results and not output, and value for money” to monitor the performance of Ministers, this portfolio should be the direct responsibility of the Prime Minister or Deputy Prime Minister and not be entrusted to a fly-weight Senator Minister.

In the first place, is Tsu Koon able to work out and publicise a KPI framework to monitor the success of his other ministerial responsibility, to promote national unity, so that Malaysians can see the three Najib slogans of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now” translated into policies, actions and results, particularly in reining in the extremist and irresponsible racialist and religious by Umno leaders most recently manifested in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections.

Lim Kit Siang

Detainee’s mum wants son’s release, independent probe

(The Star) - The mother of a drug suspect, who drank thinner while in police custody, wants her son to be released immediately and an independent body to probe the incident.

Housewife Jiknah Harun said she wanted her son to be freed or given police bail for “the sake of his safety”.

“I want an investigation on who did this to my son and how he drank the thinner and I’m asking an independent body to be set up and investigate the case.

“I want justice for my son and stringent actions on those police officers who are responsible,” she said after lodging a police report over the incident at the Klang police headquarters Saturday.

She was accompanied by her family members, lawyer N. Surendran and some 30 PKR, Pas and Makkal Sakthi members and supports, who also staged a protest outside the police station.

Jiknah also claimed that police had used rubber hose to beat up her son and had kicked him in his back.

Anwar Mansor, 23, who was arrested for allegedly possession of marijuana, was admitted to the intensive care unit of the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital after he was said to have drank thinner at the district police headquarters on Wednesday.

It is believed that he was squatting by a table, where a police officer was preparing a report on his arrest at 2.30am, when he grabbed the bottle and drank the fluid.

Anwar was arrested by police in a raid in Jalan Kebun at 11.30pm on Tuesday and later tested positive for drugs. He was in stable condition and being treated at the normal ward.

State PKR youth chief Khairul Anwar Ahmad Zainuddin called for the suspension of the police officers involved and for the new Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein to look into the matter.

MIC mulls pulling out of new cabinet - Malaysiakini

MIC is considering pulling out its ministers from the new cabinet over a number of unresolved issues, chief among them is the "treatment accorded by the new administration to the Indian community", said a party insider today.
MCPX

najib announce new cabinet lineup 090409 05Although this might appear to be an unlikely scenario, he said MIC was willing to become a standalone party within Barisan Nasional and concentrate its effort to unite the Indian community.

"The decision is expected to be made soon, perhaps at the next MIC central working committee meeting later this month," he said.

The party will nevertheless continue to remain in the ruling BN coalition.

According to the party insider who is close to the MIC leadership, topping the list of grouses is that the Indians were still being 'treated as second or even third-class' citizens in the country.

Secondly, and perhaps the main reason for the pull-out threat, is because the new cabinet line-up saw the absence of a senior ministerial portfolio for MIC despite the party's repeated appeal to former premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and current Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak to return the Works Ministry to MIC.

dr s subramaniam interview 210308 05MIC was traditionally allocated the Works Ministry portfolio but this changed after the March 8 general election last year which saw party president and the incumbent minister S Samy Vellu defeated in his Sungai Siput constituency.

The party's sole representative in the new cabinet is secretary-general Dr S Subramaniam (left) who was reappointed as human resources minister.

The party also has two deputy ministers namely M Saravanan (Federal Territories Ministry) and SK Devamany (Prime Minister's Department).

'We have been brushed aside'


The Human Resources Ministry, said the party insider, is considered a junior post in the cabinet and MIC felt that it does not reflect the party's status as the third largest component party in BN.

"Despite many Indian voters returning to the BN fold in the recent Bukit Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-elections due to the hard work of MIC, the party was treated unfairly.

indian crowd malaysia 291107"We have been brushed aside in the new line-up and this has further eroded the support of the Indian community to the BN government," he said.

The party insider said Najib did not take notice of the return of the Indian voters to BN in the two by-elections although the ruling coalition lost in the two constituencies.

"Many Indians and MIC had expected the party to be allocated a senior ministerial position in the new cabinet but their expectations are lost.

"The Indian community also noticed that more concentration was given to communities which did not at all vote for BN for a long time," he added, referring to MCA which had its four cabinet representatives maintained in senior posts while an additional deputy minister's post was also given.

samy vellu pc 120308 agitatedThe party insider claimed that there is a lot of distress among the Indian community currently as they felt that their representative was sitting in a junior ministerial post while the two deputy minister's posts allocated to the party did not have the muscle to contribute to the community.

"By pulling out of the cabinet, we can decide which directions to take independently," he said.

When contacted, Samy Vellu declined to comment on the matter but those close to the veteran politician conceded that he was very unhappy with the current situation.

Najib had revealed his new cabinet line-up on Thursday after holding a series of meetings with BN leaders, including the MIC president.

Press conference

By Razaleigh Hamzah

Is the new government in such desperate need of endorsement that Bernama has to manufacture it ?

Bernama quoted me today as hailing the new cabinet and saying it “could solve the country’s economic problems.” This is a laughable misrepresentation of what I said, and a poor indication of the more open and truthful information order we are told we can look forward to.
I am calling a press conference at my office at 31 Jln Langgak Golf today, Saturday 11 April, at 3.15pm to discuss my actual view of the cabinet, the economy, and what the recent by-elections tell us

BAD Telekom service in LAHAD DATU, SABAH

Letters

(Barisan Nasional Sabah leaders are the biggest winners in the Najib Cabinet. But the people of Sabah do not share in this largesse, as seen by the following letter from Lahad Datu. Where is the Najib slogan of “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”?

I’m Pang, currently running my own business. my phone number is 089-883033, register under publix pharmacy. My phone line has been dead for the past one week and no action has been taken.

when i go telekom and complain to the manager, SAHABUDIN, he told me to call 100 to complain, my phone no tone how to dial up? He ask me to go telekom and call 100. Come on, we are doing business, every second count, my fax all cannot go out, my customer can’t even reach me. When i call this number, is normal, just that no tone from this side, phone no ring at all.

When i tell this SAHABUDIN, no tone cannot call all the problems. He just told me, ‘I tak tau’, as a manager how can you tell me ‘ I tak tau’, you as a manager must solve the problems. Every month i did pay my bill, my biz need the phone. I’m wonder what telekom is doing, the only landline provider also can do such lousy job.

Second, my housing area, TAMAN HAPP HENG. 2 years ago i apply streamyx, telekom told me no port, but still process my application and keep on billing me until i call up KL telekom only they terminate the line without charging me. Until now, i ask SAHABUDIN is TAMAN HAPP HENG got port for me to apply stremyx? He told me still don’t have, ask him when will have new port? Same answer from him ‘ I tak tau’, now is 2009 how sarcastic is it a place no streamyx.

I feel very disappointed with this TELCO provider, i believe is the worst in the world.


Regards,
Pang Wee Siang (Pharmacist cum Manager)
Publix Pharmacy
MDLD 4643, Kedai Taman Tabanac,
Jalan Segama, 91100 Lahad Datu,
Sabah.
Tel/Fax : +60-89-883033

Finishing Point

The Internal Security Act has no place in the modern society that Malaysia is. It was designed for a very different time and purpose. As Tun Abdul Razak emphasized in Parliament in 1960 when questioned by a very concerned Opposition as to the purpose of the then pending bill, it was intended only to address the threat to democracy that the Communist insurgency was.

As Malaysians learnt the hard way, it was used for more than that. It became the weapon of choice of politicians who were not averse to prioritizing their personal interests over those of the nation.

The populist gesture of releasing detainees by newly minted Prime Ministers underscores this point. Prime Ministers not having the prerogatives of Kings, there is no basis for benevolent munificence on their part. They are, like the rest of us, expected to act according to the law. The release of detainees is as such intended to reflect a departure from the policy positions of the previous administration and in this, the ISA invoked as a symbol of wrong to showcase a willingness to embrace what is right. The gesture as such proves the injustice that the ISA is.

In fairness, the gesture this time has come with a twist, the promise of a review. Though it is not clear what this means or even that it will occur, the Prime Minister must be given the benefit of the doubt. His concession has vindicated the movement against the continued existence and use of the statute. It also presents a useful opportunity to consider what it is that must be done and why it should be.

There have been numerous objective and careful studies conducted on the ISA by various interested parties. All of these have pointed to a need to review the law, some even going so far as to suggest a repeal of the statute. The essential point made is that the ISA is not consistent with guarantees of civil liberties under Malaysian and international law. The Government has consistently disregarded these suggestions and in justifying itself has pointed to the courts having validated the ISA and actions taken under it, and the need for anti-terror legislation.

Judicial decisions of the apex court have however been formulaic and shaped by an uninspiring view of liberty, more so since 1989 when judicial review was precluded by way of an amendment to the ISA. The quality of some of these decisions is also suspect, the conclusions drawn questionable.

For a successful review, a new approach must as such be adopted. This must be grounded on an acceptance of the immutable truth that our civil liberties are guaranteed in the widest sense and that government must be in accordance wit the Rule of Law.

The power to enact laws that impinge on these liberties can only be used sparingly and in a very narrow compass. Actions taken under these laws must be subjected to strict judicial scrutiny. Terrorism can be dealt with effectively without undue compromise of freedoms; societies across the world are doing just that using appropriately crafted anti-terror laws.

There is no point to a review if the Government wishes to preserve an unfettered power to detain at will. This must be the starting point of any discussion on the subject. If accepted, it will also be the finishing point: the ISA must be repealed.

(Malay Mail; 10th April 2009)

MIS

Alarm over police raid on UMMC

Malay Mail
By Frankie D'Cruz

DOCTORS are alarmed over the recent police seizure of material records and tissue samples of A. Kugan from the University Malaya Medical Centre pathologist’s office.

Malaysian Medical Association (MMA) president-elect Dr David K.L. Quek, speaking to Malay Mail in his personal capacity, summed up the views of many in the medical fraternity.

“This arbitrary seizure is reprehensible, unprecedented and breaches normal procedures of medico-legal discovery.
“Usually, detailed reports are obtained only from court-approved injunctions and demands.”

Other doctors were also aghast that the police had intercepted and seized the tissue samples for toxicology tests by an independent laboratory in Australia.

Said Dr Quek: “Toxicological studies should always be allowed to enable proper and independent discovery of the truth.

“Denial of such a legitimate avenue for forensic finding would prejudice the police.

“Further, it would make their action that much more difficult to accept or to tolerate.”

Dr Quek noted that medical records and details were nominally the property of the physician in charge or the facility where he practises. These, he added, should only be made available under a court order.

“They are usually never confiscated or seized by any enforcement authority.”

He said there were clear procedures to be followed, and were well articulated in handbooks for the police
and enforcement authorities, clearly established by the UN Centre for Human Rights.

“Such extrajudicial actions should never be made in a climate of intimidating circumstances just because
these events may mar the good name and professionalism of the police force,” he added.

Kugan, an insurance claims executive, was arrested on Jan 15 on suspicion of stealing luxury cars.

He died five days later at the USJ Taipan police station in Subang Jaya.

Initially, police said there was “no foul play” but following public outcry, the Attorney-General reclassified
the case as murder.

Two separate post-mortems were done on Kugan, each giving a different cause of death.

An independent committee that studied the two post-mortem reports found that the injuries on Kugan were not sufficient to cause his death.

Dr Quek said: “This inquiry added to the confusion of being a third interpretation into Kugan’s death and did not refute the probability of torture.”

Kugan’s family has rubbished the committee’s findings, questioning how it could have come up with a cause of death despite not having the benefit of doing another post-mortem.

Najib Is Safe Despite Attempts By Protesters To Storm Hotel

PATTAYA, April 11 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is here to attend the 14th Asean Summit and related summits, is safe despite attempts by anti-government protesters to storm the Royal Cliff Grand Hotel & Spa where he is staying.

Protesters gathered and created a commotion at the hotel's entrance at about 1pm local time but left about 30 minutes later after being persuaded by security authorities.

The tense situation forced Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to declare a state of emergency in Pattaya and Chonburi.

The hotel, located opposite the summit's venue at the Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall (Peach), also housed other Asean leaders including Abhisit.

Helicopters were seen hovering over the summit's venue and the hotel.

Earlier, hundreds of protesters stormed into the meeting venue, forcing the cancellation of the 14th Asean Summit.

Among the programmes today were the Asean leaders' summit with six dialogue partners, starting with the Asean - China Summit.

It had to be postponed, however, after anti-government protesters blocked all roads to the meeting's venue and clashed with pro-government supporters.

It is learnt that members of the Chinese delegation, who were staying at the Dusit Thani Hotel several kilometres away, were reluctant to travel to the meeting venue despite appeals by Thai government officials, including Pattaya Mayor Ittipol Kumpleum, who had offered to take them by helicopters or by boat to the seaside resort.

The postponement of the Asean-China Summit also meant that the demonstrators had scuttled the signing of the Asean-China Free Trade Agreement.

Besides the Asean - China Summit, the 10-member Asean grouping was also scheduled to have summits with South Korea, Japan and India today while the 4th East Asia Summit, which includes Australia and New Zealand, is scheduled for tomorrow.

Thinner-drinking detainee: Family seeks answers - Malaysiakini

The family of Adi Anwar Mansor, 23, wants the police to explain how he had allegedly drank paint thinner and sustained injuries while he was held under police custody.

According to the family's lawyer, N Surendan, there were doubts over the police's account of the incident as there were injuries on Adi Anwar's body.

adi anwar mansor thinner police 100409"The story that he consumed thinner is pretty thin. The police have to explain where the injuries came from," said Surendran, adding that a letter has been submitted to Klang district police chief Mohamad Mat Yusop to seek clarification.

The letter also urged the police to immediately suspend any police officers suspected of hurting Adi Anwar pending investigations by an independent body.

Adi Anwar is currently semi-conscious and is under observation at the intensive care unit of the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang.

Mohamad was quoted in the media today as saying that Adi Anwar was arrested for alleged drug possession at about 11.30pm on Tuesday in Jalan Kebun.

The police chief had said that Anwar was near a table at the police station and reached for a bottle containing the poisonous liquid and consumed it before police officers could stop him.

On the injuries sustained by Adi Anwar, Mohamad was reported to have said it could have occurred during the scuffle when he was apprehended.

Don't cuff unconscious man

Mohamad stated that the man was being probed under Section 39(A) of the Dangerous Drugs Act for possession of 44 grams of cannabis.

The report also quoted Adi Anwar's sister Noraila, 21, who claimed that her brother sustained lacerations and bruises to his head.

Meanwhile, Surendran said that he would be meeting the Klang police tomorrow to secure the release of Adi Anwar from police custody in order for the family to seek treatment.

hindraf to palace 250408 n surendranSurendran also criticised the police for handcuffing the detainee to the bed despite him being semi-conscious.

"There is no need to handcuff him. He is not going anywhere in that condition," he said.

PKR Youth vice-chief Khairul Annuar Zainudin who visited the family yesterday told Malaysiakini the incident was regrettable, particularly after the public outcry over the death of police detainee A Kugan.

"Just a few days ago, they released the findings of the Kugan case and again this has happened in Selangor. It is regrettable. Didn't the police learn anything from that episode?" said Khairul, who distributed pictures of Adi Anwar in the ICU ward to the media yesterday.

Khairul also urged the new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, who promised reforms, to look into the matter as well as police lock-up procedures.

Hindraf offers Najib 100-day ceasefire

Banned movement Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) will refrain from organising protests or submitting memorandums for 100 days to give new Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak a chance to reform.

And in that 100 days, Hindraf chief P Waythamoorthy said he hoped Najib would release the three leaders of the movement who had been detained under the Internal Security Act since Dec 13, 2007.

Najib, as his first measure after coming into power, released 16 ISA detainees, including two Hindraf legal advisors V Ganabatirau and R Kenghadharan.

uthayakumar hindraf taiping hospital 170209 02Three other Hindraf leaders are still being held. They are Waythamoorthy's elder brother and the public face of Hindraf Uthayakumar (photo), Kota Alam Shah state representative M Manoharan and T Vasathakumar.

"The previous administration had acted unilaterally, with arrogance in a form of fascism against Hindraf although our cause was a genuine grievance that is faced by the Malaysian Indians," said Waythamoorthy in a statement from his current base in London.

He left Malaysia in November 2007 to gain international support for the movement. The Home Ministry had banned Hindraf last October for advocating extremism.

hindraf london demo 060208 waythamoorthyWaythamoorthy (photo) said that Hindraf hoped that Najib's administration will move away from the methods of the old government and will reach out and engage.

"We hope Najib and his ministers will engage with us to address and solve the perpetual systematic marginalization and discrimination of the Malaysian Indians in the Malaysian society.

"As a gesture of goodwill and in anticipation of positive and actual reformation in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians, Hindraf shall for the first 100 days of the current administration restrain from activities such as street protests, or memorandums," he said.

Be a government for all

He also wished that the new administration will govern every segment of its people fairly and justly for a better Malaysia.

brickfields uthayakumar hindraf 280209 water cannonHindraf gained international prominence in 2007 for organising a series of protests against the government over the plight of the Indian community.

In November that year, the movement organised a mass 30,000 rally in the heart of the capital to highlight its issues.

The government then arrested five of its leaders under the ISA in December 2007.

With Waythamoorthy operating from London, the movement continued to hold demonstrations and protests to highlight their grievances.

It is also well-known for submitting memorandums to various parties on numerous issues affecting the Indian community.

Poor and Marginalised Can Never Get Justice in Malaysia.

By MP Kapar

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Kugan’s case: Unsettling questions remain and Blunt force trauma did not cause Kugan’s death.

Health Ministry Director-General Dr Mohd Ismail Merican may have breached the very medical ethics he is entrusted to protect as president of the Malaysian Medical Council.

His press conference is clothed in medical terminology to confuse the layman as to the cause of A Kugan’s death and to try to shift the blame to somewhat natural causes. As a result, the perpetrators may escape the serious charge of murder.

Worse still he implies Dr Prashant S Ambekar relatively lack of experience had contributed to mistakes in his postmortem findings but this without calling Prashant to explain.

The anonymous armchair panel which he secretly constituted did not see the body or the wounds. They had only two postmortem reports to dwell on. Let me explain in simple language what it is all about.

Pulmonary edema (layman terms water in the lungs ) is the end result when the water collects in the lungs, literally clogging it and patient does not get enough oxygen to sustain his life and dies.
This will happen commonly in two situations.

1. The heart cannot pump the blood out of the lungs; or

2. Too much water is retained in the body when the kidney does not function and the heart is unable to cope with the extra load and it get fatigued. Doctors called it heart failure.

The first postmortem report by Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin which certified death due to pulmonary edema was correct and it was also the finding of Prashant. But Karim did not go further than that; he did not ascertain why the patient had pulmonary edema.

Prashant did a more comprehensive postmortem and reported that the kidney tubules were almost completely blocked with myoglobin (a protein from muscle). This normally happens when the muscle breaks down due to crush injuries or extensive blunt trauma to the body.

It’s not necessary to have organ damage or skeletal fractures. Moreover, Prahant did not find anything abnormal with the heart; neither did Kugan have a heart attack or an infection.

Merican agrees that nothing was abnormal with the heart but claimed Kugan may have had myocarditis.

Myocarditis is an infection of the heart caused mostly by viruses and in seventy percent of those who die of myocarditis, postmortem findings can be negative so it can be applied conveniently to Prashant’s findings.

Myocarditis is relatively rare in Malaysia and I have seen less than five cases in healthy adults for the last 25 years in practice.

Studies in the US have shown that only 1.3% of sudden death is attributable to myocarditis, while 38% die to breakdown of muscles (rhabdomyolysis) after blunt trauma.

This is a glaring example of how the poor and marginalised can never get justice in Malaysia.

The case of the virgin prostitute

Image

When you run naked on the street and have sexual intercourse on a park bench, can you fault the passer-by for thinking you may be not quite right in the brain?

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Syed Hamid: Review must focus on police’s power to detain

The review of the Internal Security Act (ISA) should include studies on the police’s power to detain suspects, and the creation of special officers to handle such cases, said Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar. Under the Act, police can detain a suspect for 60 days for investigation before the Home Minister, who has the power to extend the detention, issues an order to extend the period.

“To challenge this is difficult. Maybe this thing can be studied, or referred to court,” he said yesterday. He said it was also important to review the interpretation of national security and public order, two crucial elements that have always been the basis of the detention of individuals under the ISA.

He said that when the Government conducts a review on the ISA, it also needed to review two other preventive laws: the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act and the Emergency Ordinance.

On a suggestion that the name of the Act be changed, Syed Hamid said it would not end people’s anxiety over the Act. “If the body remains the same, it will not bring effects. Most importantly, what the people fear and are unhappy and concerned about are provisions that enable us to take action without being questioned in court,” he said.

Syed Hamid said what was most important was not the question of abolishing the ISA but of concerns over abuse by the police or minister. “We have to free these processes but it is not the intention and objective of the Government to abolish the ISA,” he said.

He added that Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s announcement to review the ISA in his maiden speech as Prime Minister gave the people an opportunity to discuss the issue openly to enable the Government to find the best way and approach, in line with the people’s aspirations.

Syed Hamid said the Government’s sincerity to review the controversial Act should not be disputed. “If it becomes an empty promise, we will be gravely penalised in the next election,” he said.

Syed Hamid said he also saw the Restricted Residence Act as obsolete and which needed to be repealed. On the Printing Presses and Publications Act, he said the Government also needed to determine if it was still relevant.

On another matter, he said the police must take into consideration all aspects before implementing any restructuring, including the creation of two more Deputy Inspectors-General of Police. During the 202nd Police Day celebration, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan had said the force would be restructured, including adding two more Deputy Inspectors-General and the formation of six new departments. – Bernama

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In the old days, if you failed your form three or LCE, you could become a police constable. A form five ‘dropout’ could become a trainee inspector and thereafter go on to become an inspector. Nowadays, the police are better educated than that. Many are university graduates and even have a law degree. But the policemen of the old days were respected, despite their lower education. Today, the police officers are despised, even how highly educated they may be. They no longer command the respect of the public.

What happened to change the public perception of the policeman? What transformed respect for the police officer into contempt? I can go into an extremely long cheong hei thesis to explain this and would probably qualify for a doctorate if I do. But much of what I would want to say has already been said before and I would merely be flogging a dead horse with my ‘thesis’. Should I waste everybody’s time by repeating what has already been argued at great length?

The long and the short of it is the public no longer trusts the police force. As what one ex-Deputy IGP told me, if they wanted to clean up the police force and rid it of corruption, 95% of the police force would have to be sacked. How do you sack 95% of the police force and still remain effective?

It delights as well as disgusts me to wake up in the morning and read the news that a certain police officer has just been arrested and charged for corruption. It delights me because this was the very same officer who raided my house, confiscated all my papers and computers, and accused me of breaking the law by writing an article that ‘smeared the name of our revered political leaders’. It disgusts me because the corrupt act of this police officer is the profile of 95% of our police force.

The majority of our police personnel are Malays. In Malaysia, Malays equates to Islam. And Islam is viewed as a very extreme religion, absolutely intolerant of sin and harsh in its punishment of those who commit sin. But the majority of these Malay-Muslim police officers are corrupt to the core. How does one reconcile the action of these police officers to the religion that they profess?

Can you now understand why Islam is viewed as a most hypocritical religion? Actually, it is not the religion but the people who profess the religion who are hypocrites. But the religion is invariably and most unfortunately judged on the basis of the actions of those who practice it. And the failure of those who profess and practice the religion called Islam is seen as the failure of the religion itself. That is the most unfortunate truth and something we can never escape from.

Adding two more Deputy Inspectors-General and forming six new departments, as what the IGP is planning to do, will not improve the image or performance of the police force. More posts and more departments just mean more wrongdoing. Quantity is not the issue and is not what is needed. What is lacking is the quality of the people who join the police force.

Islam appears to have failed. It has failed to cultivate good people. The country can pass hundreds of laws and amend the Federal Constitution every Parliament sitting making it a crime for Muslims to leave Islam to become followers of other religions. They can make it an un-amendable part of the Constitution that every Malaysian born Malay is automatically a Muslim and no court in the land can reverse this. But Malays can’t be forced by legislation to become good Muslims. This, the powers-that-be can’t seem to appreciate.

Malays, meaning Muslims, must first comprehend that there is no such thing as detention without trial. Islam just does not allow for this. And as long as they continue to argue that Malaysia still needs the Internal Security Act, then they have deviated from Islam and have violated Islamic teachings. You just can’t sing about Islam and in the same breath sing about things that violate Islam. It is like claiming you are a virgin prostitute. A virgin can’t possibly be a prostitute and a prostitute can’t be a virgin if she is a prostitute.

We do not need the Internal Security Act to be reformed. It is like saying we shall now slaughter pigs and sell the meat as halal pork. Pork can never be halal even if the pigs are slaughtered by Muslims wearing white skullcaps who utter bismillah as the knife touches the jugular vein. Pork is haram, full stop, in spite of reforming the way the pig is slaughtered. And so will the Internal Security Act be haram in the eyes of Islam in spite of amending the manner and circumstances in how a police officer can detain a Malaysian without trial.

As long as Muslims make a mockery of Islam and show no respect to the teachings of Islam, that will be how long non-Muslims will look down on Islam and consider the religion a total joke. And this is not the fault of the non-Muslims. This is the fault of the Muslims. When you run naked on the street and have sexual intercourse on a park bench, can you fault the passer-by for thinking you may be not quite right in the brain?

Najib’s first task is to get rid of the corrupt in his Cabinet whether Minister or Deputy Minister

The first task of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is to get rid of the corrupt in his new Cabinet team – whether Minister or Deputy Minister.

He should seek an appointment with former Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, who though praised the new cabinet as “more or less graft-free” nonetheless qualified his praise when he said that Najib “did very well by dropping most of the people who have been accused of corruption, although one or two slipped in”.

“One or two” corrupt Ministers or Deputy Ministers succeeded in slipping through the integrity scrutiny and firewall to get into Najib’s first Cabinet?

This is clearly unacceptable if Najib is to lead a clean and incorruptible administration with zero tolerance for corruption.

As Prime Minister for 22 years, Mahathir had shown great tolerance for corruption – as demonstrated by the fact that in the last seven years of his premiership, Malaysia’s ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index fell from No. 23 in 1995 to No. 37 to 2003 – which could only mean that more than “one or two” corrupt Ministers and Deputy Ministers had got onto his government without any protest or action by the longest-serving Prime Minister of the country!

If by Mahathir’s very lenient attitude towards corruption – after all, it was the new Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who a decade ago had stood up as Umno Youth Leader at the Umno Youth General Assembly in 1998 to denounce Mahathir as the “father” of Malaysian KKN, corruption, cronyism and nepotism – he could still talk about “one or two” corrupt members of the new cabinet, a more stringent integrity standard would have faulted many more members of the Najib Cabinet.

Be that as it may, Najib should identify the “one or two” corrupt Ministers or Deputy Ministers who slipped through to be on the Najib Cabinet so that they could be flushed out and removed.

Alternatively, this could be the first task of the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department responsible for Unity and Performance Management, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon, to locate and flush out the “one or two” corrupt Ministers or Deputy Ministers who could not even pass Mahathir’s very low integrity benchmark for the Najib Cabinet to be completely “graft-free”.

Mahathir said Najib had dropped most of the Cabinet members accused of corruption.

Who are they?

Those dropped from the Cabinet are from a very small circle, seven Ministers, viz:Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar (Home); Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Tourism), Senator Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (Rural and Regional Development), Senator Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz (Prime Minister’s Department), Datuk Ong Ka Chuan (Housing and Local Government), Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed (Works), Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique (Federal Territories) and two Deputy Ministers, Datuk Idris Haron (Higher Education) and Datuk Noraini Ahmad (Human Resources).

Everyone of them may want to clear their names and reputation from Mahathir’s public aspersions on their integrity.

Azilah appeals against Altantuya murder conviction

SHAH ALAM, 10 April 2009: Chief Insp Azilah Hadri, who was sentenced to death yesterday for the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, filed his appeal today.

The notice of appeal against conviction and sentence was filed by his counsel, J Kuldeep Kumar.

Azilah, 33, and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar, 37, were found guilty by the High Court of murdering Altantuya in Mukim Bukit Raja here between 10am on 19 Oct 2006 and 1am the following day.

Sirul Azhar's counsel, Ahmad Zaidi Zainal, told reporters that he would file his client's appeal on 13 April.

Azilah and Sirul Azhar were jointly tried with political analyst Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, who was charged with abetting them, but Abdul Razak was acquitted and discharged on 31 Oct 2008 without his defence being called. — Berna

Razaleigh: A neat cabinet

GUA MUSANG, 10 April 2009: Gua Musang Member of Parliament Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah has hailed the new cabinet, describing it as "neat" and capable of restoring the people's confidence in the Barisan Nasional (BN).

He said that changes were inevitable if the BN was to win the people's hearts and minds.

"The previous cabinet is not that neat. We shall see how the new cabinet performs... I truly hope that the new leadership will be able to change things for the better," he said.

He was speaking at the opening of the Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Tengku Indera Petra 2 Parent-Teacher's Association annual general meeting today.

Tengku Razaleigh said the new cabinet would be able to strengthen the country's economy despite the current global economic downturn.

The new leadership should be given the opportunity to bring changes, said Tengku Razaleigh, who once offered to contest the Umno presidency but could only manage one nomination from the Gua Musang Umno division. — Bernama

Why all these social ills? Look at our income inequality

Pardon me for ignoring the Cabinet reshuffle. It’s just a few new ambitious faces replacing a few tired personalities. Some minor hoo-ha over Mukhriz edging past Khairy into the Cabinet. There’s even a Green Technology Minister - and perhaps with this ‘green’ theme in mind a discarded state chief minister has been recycled into a cabinet minister.

But in the larger scheme of things, the basic economic orientation of the country remains the same.

Over the last few years, we have seen a drastic rise in social ills - crime, drug addiction, depression…you name it.

What is behind all this? One possible reason is the alienation of the human being/workers as a result of the industrialisation process. Another possibility is the disillusionment and discontentment fuelled by relative poverty and marginalisation under the “trickle-down” economic approach.

Then comes a newbook, The Spirit Level, revealing that countries with greater income inequalities experience a lot more social sicknesses. This doesn’t only affect the poor in these unequal countries but also the more affluent, who suffer from stress and a fear of the poor. (Think of how more and more of the rich and wealthy are retreating behind gated communities or guarded condominium complexes or installing burglar alarms). The poor on the other hand suffer from uncertainty over how to make ends meet and a sense of anxiety over their low social status.

Download an audio lecture by the authors here (mp3 format).

Such inequalities did not happen by accident. They are the direct result of pro-rich economic policies. In the UK, for instance, much of this inequality arose as a result of neo-liberal policies (privatisation, cuts in social spending, policies that favour the rich) during the Thatcher years and which have continued under New Labour.

Now look where Malaysia, which has one of the most unequal societies in this region, stands. Mahathir copied some of these same privatisation policies while emphasising heavy industrialisation.

In 2004, our own top fifth to bottom two-fifths ratio stood at 7.6. (Rogayah bt Hj Mat Zin, Income Inequality in Malaysia, in Asian Economic Policy Review, 3, 2008).

From this, we can conclude that our top fifth to bottom fifth ratio is more like 10. Have a look at the chart here (pdf format) and see where we would stand.

‘Tidak ada sebab ambil nyawa mangsa dengan kejam’ - Cif Inspektor Azilah Hadri

Harakahdaily | 10 April 2009

“Saya tidak mempunyai sebarang sebab untuk mencederakan apatah lagi mengambil nyawa mangsa dengan begitu kejam. Saya merayu kepada mahkamah yang kini berada di dalam kedudukan dan mempunyai kuasa untuk menentukan hidup dan mati saya, agar tidak menghukum saya sekaligus menyempurnakan perencanaan mereka terhadap saya.”

Demikian kata Cif Inspektor Azilah Hadri pada 4 Feb lalu sambil membacakan nota bertulis. Beliau yang mula memberi keterangan pada 15 Jan lalu , berkata dia tidak mempunyai sebarang motif untuk membunuh dan melenyapkan wanita itu sebaliknya tujuan dia berjumpa dengannya (Altantuya) hanya untuk menasihati Altantuya secara lembut supaya tidak mengugut Abdul Razak dan tidak membuat kecoh di rumah penganalisis politik itu.

Azilah juga memberitahu mahkamah dia diarahkan oleh seorang anggota polis atasan, DSP Musa Safri untuk membantu Abdul Razak dan tidak mungkin melakukan perbuatan “bodoh” (membunuh) itu apatah lagi dia adalah anggota polis.

Pembelaan Sirul Azhar pula amat mengejutkan kerana dia bukan sahaja dilihat mengalirkan air mata, malah kenyataannya bahawa dia sekadar kambing hitam yang harus dikorbankan, amat menyentuh perasaan.

Kes ini bukan sahaja dilabelkan sebagai perbicaraan yang paling panjang (159 hari) dengan mengemukakan 84 orang saksi di peringkat pendakwaan dan dua saksi (tertuduh sahaja) ketika pembelaan, tetapi merupakan kes utama mahkamah selama dua tahun (sebelum Abdul Razak bebas).

Mengikut rekod, Azilah ditahan di penjara Sungai Buloh selama 891 hari manakala Sirul Azhar ditahan selama 895 hari.

Semalam Mahkamah Tinggi Shah Alam telah menjatuhkan hukuman gantung sampai mati ke atas Cif Inspektor Azilah Hadri dan Koperal Sirul Azhar Umar selepas mereka didapati bersalah terhadap tuduhan membunuh Altantuya Shaariibuu.

Kedua-dua anggota Unit Tindakan Khas (UTK) itu didapati bersalah membunuh wanita muda Mongolia itu, 28, di antara Lot 12843 dan Lot 16735 Mukim Bukit Raja dekat Shah Alam antara jam 10 malam 19 Oktober dan 1 pagi 20 Oktober 2006.

Sebelum ini, mereka dibicarakan bersama-sama pengarah eksekutif Pusat Penyelidikan Strategik Malaysia (MSRC), Abdul Razak Abdullah Baginda, 48, yang dituduh bersubahat membunuh Altantuya.

Bagaimanapun pada 31 Oktober lalu, penganalisis politik itu dilepaskan dan dibebaskan tanpa perlu membela diri setelah pihak pendakwaan gagal membuktikan elemen penting dalam pertuduhan bersubahat (sumber dipetik laporan agensi berita). - azm/mks. _