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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Happy Tamizh New Year. ( இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்)

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Zambry vs Speaker: Federal Court to hear case

The Federal Court this morning ruled that BN's Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir and his six exco members had used the right procedure in court to challenge their suspension from the state assembly.

Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Md Sheriff, who is heading a five-member panel, said that it could hear the matter by way of application and not through a judicial review.

bukit gantang by election zambry abdul kadir ceramah 010409 06Zambry and the six exco members are seeing the Federal Court to overturn the suspension meted upon them by Perak speaker V Sivakumar after Barisan Nasional had formed the state government in February without the assembly being dissolved.

The new MB was slapped with an 18-month suspension while his cabinet members have been suspended for one year.

The court's unanimous ruling this morning was to reject an application by Sivakumar's lawyer Sulaiman Abdullah yesterday against the applicants' "backdoor" application to the court to lift the suspension.

Sulaiman had submitted yesterday that Zambry and the six applicants should have made their application by way of a judicial review in this matter and not via an originating summons to seek several declarations.

"The applicants should have made their application by judicial review under Rule 53 of the Rules of High Court 1980, to seek a certiorari (a writ to show or prove) or mandamus (preventing public authority).

"The filing of the originating summons ‘short circuits' the necessity for leave in judicial review proceedings. The originating summons being the premise of the application before this court is an abuse of the court process," he had said.

"The application before this court is therefore, likewise tainted and must stand dismissed," he said.

The senior lawyer had said that this was the wrong procedure being brought by the applicants as the law safeguards the speaker from any action.

No question of judicial review

However, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin who appeared for the applicants submitted that the Federal Court could hear the matter as they were seeking the declarations under the Specific Relief Act.

"We recognise the doctrine of separation of powers, between the court and Parliament. However, this is not connected as we are seeking declarations to lift the suspension of the applicants," he said.

perak state govt crisis 030309 firoz hussienFiroz (photo) submitted that the application via certiorari was not applicable and not available and hence, they were seeking to overturn the speaker's decision by seeking a declaration.

He had said the speaker was not a public authority as defined under Article 160 of the Federal Constitution and hence, an action like this could be brought.

Firoz added Order 53 of the Rules of High Court was not applicable because there was no review of any decision involved.

"There is no question of judicial review whatsoever. The declaration being sought here is that the decision of the speaker to suspend the applicants is unconstitutional and ultra vires," he submitted yesterday.

He also submitted that the declarations sought here concerned personal rights of the applicants as the aggrieved parties.

The other judges in the sitting are Chief Judge of Malaya Ariffin Zakaria and Federal Court judges Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman, S Augustine Paul and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin.

The court has now moved on to hear submissions on the merits of the case.

Sulaiman is expected to make submissions on the issue of non-justiciability, i.e. the action by the speaker cannot be taken to court.

Divided over Najib’s call to unity

(The Straits Times) KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 – Prime Minister Najib Razak’s One Malaysia slogan is rapidly becoming yet another controversy to divide Malaysians, veering away from its intention as a call to unity.

One Malaysia is the name of Datuk Seri Najib’s blog as well as the theme of several of his speeches since he became prime minister 10 days ago.

But in recent days, a heated debate has sprung up after two Democratic Action Party (DAP) MPs compared it to Malaysian Malaysia – the slogan of the Chinese-based opposition party.

This caused a fluster as DAP’s slogan is seen as promoting equality regardless of race.

The Utusan Malaysia newspaper yesterday published warnings from Umno politicians and Malay non-governmental organisations to the DAP to avoid mixing up the two concepts to confuse Malaysians.

“This is not Singapore. It is Malaysia where its people have pledged loyalty to king and country. We have the rule of law, don’t try to be treasonous,” independent MP Ibrahim Ali, who also heads various Malay non-governmental organisations, was quoted as saying by Utusan.

The Malaysian Constitution provides for the special position of the Malays, the Malay language and Islam.

The heated debate was inevitable as racial issues have become increasingly divisive over the years. Unlike in the past, calls to unity now stir up demands to resolve prickly issues rather than to sweep them under the carpet.

DAP MP from Penang Jeff Ooi wrote in his blog that people on the street will take One Malaysia to mean the termination of pro-Malay economic policies. He said they will also expect it to mean treating all post-Merdeka Malaysian-born as equals.

Najib has not expounded on the concept, nor spelt out his position on the affirmative action policies.

If he does not do so soon, One Malaysia is in danger of going the way of Islam Hadhari, the brand of progressive Islam promoted by former premier Abdullah Badawi.

Islam Hadhari quickly became different things to different people, and pleased none. It was taken by some groups as a licence to introduce conservative Islamic practices, and used by others to push the boundaries of conversions out of Islam.

Eventually, it failed to heal rifts.

Former newspaper editor A. Kadir Jasin said he believed One Malaysia was intended to lower the racial temperature, but it was an extreme reaction to suggest that it is a copy of Malaysian Malaysia.

“I don’t think it deviates from the Constitution. The Malay special rights are enshrined in the Constitution,” he told The Straits Times.

Kadir said that in line with Najib’s pledge for an open government, the Premier should now listen to Malaysians and consult them on the concept.

But do not expect a smooth debate. This fluster over a simple slogan shows the deep rifts that divide Malaysians.

Zambry vs Sivakumar: Federal Court says it has the authority

(The Star) PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has ruled that Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and all six state executive council members used the right procedure in challenging State Assembly Speaker V. Sivakumar’s suspension order against them, and that it has the authority to hear their application seeking to lift the suspension.

Sivakumar, who headed the Committee of Special Privileges, had on Feb 18 suspended the seven and barred them from attending state assembly sittings for allegedly showing contempt for the House.

Dr Zambry was suspended for 18 months while his six exco members were suspended for 12 months each.

Dr Zambry and the six then filed an originating summons at the Ipoh High Court on March 2 seeking a declaration that the suspension order was illegal.

The seven sought a declaration that they were entitled to attend and take part in all assembly sittings and to carry out their duties.

They posed questions of law to the apex court in relation to the interpretation of the Perak State Constitution read together with Standing Orders of the Perak legislature and the Privileges Enactment. They wanted to court to determine if the Speaker had the power to suspend them.

On Monday, the apex court heard submissions by Sivakumar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah, Attorney-General’s Chambers representative Senior Federal Counsel Azizah Nawawi and the seven’s lead counsel Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin.

The ruling on Tuesday morning was made by a five-man panel chaired by Court of Appeal president Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and included Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Arifin Zakaria, Federal Court Justices Nik Hashim Nik Ab. Rahman, S. Augustine Paul and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin.

Masanya Bagi Nik Aziz Melangkah Ke Hadapan Untuk Rakyat Malaysia

By Sheih Kickdefella

Muktamar PAS yang akan datang adalah muktamar yang akan menentukan barisan saf PAS bagi PRU13 dan berkemungkinan besar, jika saf itu betul pilihannya, ia akan menjadi pemilihan terakhir sebelum PAS bersama PAKATAN menubuhkan kerajaan di peringkat pusat.

PAS akan berhadapan dengan pemilihan jawatan-jawatan tertinggi partinya menjelang Jun 2009 kelak. Memandangkan isu Muqabalah dan isu Kerajaan Campuran sudah mula lesu, tibalah masanya PAS menyusun semula saf kepimpinannya sesuai dengan kemelut dan peluang yang bakal dihadapinya di dalam Pilihanraya Umum ke 13 yang akan menjelang dalam tempoh 12 ke 24 bulan akan datang.

Jaguh setiakawan PAS-UMNO, Ustaz Nasharuddin Mat Isa dilaporkan memberitahu orang kanan media bahawa era penyatuan antara PAS-UMNO sudah lesu kerana ianya dahulu perpanjikan keikhlasan Pak Lah selaku pemimpin negara dan teraju UMNO. Bagaimanapun, menurut Ustaz Nasha, dia tidak nampak keikhlasan yang sama pada Najib Razak.

Walaupun masih ada mencurigai kegagalan Ustaz Nasha melihat keikhlasan Najib, ramai tidak mencurigai bahawa masa hadapan PAS bukan bersama Si Luncai yang akan terjun dengan Labunya.

Setelah berhadapan dan menang cemerlang dalam 3 pilihanraya kecil Parlimen dan 1 pilihanraya kecil DUN, ternyata gandingan kerjasama PAS-DAP sudah melepasi detik-detik percubaan yang getir. Setelah satu tahun berhadapan dengan tekanan dakyah media pro kerajaan pusat, gandingan PAS-DAP dalam bentuk kerjasama di peringkat negeri-negeri dan gandingan DAP-PAS diperingkat pusat dalam bentuk kesatuan isu dan perjuangan telah berjaya menampakkan kesan positif.

Walaupun di dalam 4 pilihanraya kecil itu tidak melibatkan sebarang pertandingan dari calon DAP, tetapi ia membuktikan bahawa, hubungan itu tidak menamatkan sokongan setia pengundi PAS kepada PAS dan masyarakat Cina yang kini menerima DAP sebagai parti arus perdana mereka juga tidak langsung gentar memberi undi mereka kepada PAS.

Pilihanraya kecil Bukit Gantang adalah satu ujian paling getir. PAS walaupun kehilangan sehingga hampir 5% undi Melayu tetapi kalau kita kaji keputusan pilihanraya 2004, PAS masih mengekalkan dan mendapat peningkatan undi padu penyokongnya. Dalam pilihanraya 2004, PAS mencabar calon BN-Gerakan di Bukit Gantang. PAS memperolehi lebih 10,000 undi iaitu undi padu Melayu. Undi tersebut termasuklah undi protes Melayu dan ahli UMNO yang marah kerana kerusi tradisi UMNO itu diberi kepada Gerakan.

Kita tolak ketepi fenomena luarbiasa PRU 13 tetapi kita lihat keputusan 7 April 2009 dan kita akan dapati, walaupun terdapat pengundi Melayu yang terbabit dengan fenomena luarbiasa PRU 13 sudah kembali kepada UMNO, tetapi PAS masih mengekalkan undi-undi padu Melayu pada kadar yang sama dengan biasa diterimanya seperti PRU 2004.

Kesimpulan daripada 7 April 2009, pengundi Melayu yang setia menyokong PAS tidak lari dari terus menyokong PAS walaupun UMNO mendakyahkan segala bentuk kedurjanaan kepada PAS. Lebih baik lagi pengundi dari saluran muda semakin terus cekal memberi undi kepada PAS. Dan dalam apa yang dianggap sebagai undian di luar aturan tabii, masyarakat Cina pula kini semakin padu mengundi PAS.

Selepas persempadanan semula Pasca PRU 1999 yang banyak berjasa kepada UMNO, kini persempadanan semula itu yang meletakkan orang-orang bukan Melayu sebagai ‘king maker’ ternyata hampir melenyapkan MCA, MIC dan Gerakan dan melumpuhkan UMNO.

Oleh yang demikian, PRU 13 tenyata memberi peluang cerah kepada PAS untuk meraih kemenangan lebih besar dan seterusnya bersama rakan mereka PKR dan DAP akan mungkin memikul tanggungjawab sebagai pentadbir di peringkat pusat.

Perubahan teraju di dalam UMNO dan MCA ternyata tidak membuahkan sebarang hasil sehingga kini. Sebaliknya, kedua-duanya dilihat telah mula berhadapan dengan polemik baru hasil dari perubahan teraju itu.

Keasyikan rakyat terhadap aura kepimpinan Najib juga tidak berlaku seperti diharapkan. Walau pada mulanya, rakyat hampir teruja tetapi setelah Tun Dr. Mahathir dilihat memainkan peranan agresif dalam kepimpinan Najib, rakyat yang bukan penyokong setia TDM terus meminggirkan Najib sebagai boneka. TDM adalah negarawan ulung dan beliau punyai eranya. Tetapi eranya sudah berlalu dan kebanyakan rakyat mahukan era baru dan keluar dari kepompongnya.

Bukan kacang lupakan kulit, tapi kacang-kacang pun mahu juga kulit yang baru sesuai dengan era perubahan global. Rakyat Amerika cintakan Kennedy, tapi kalau JFK masih hidup sekarang, cinta mereka pada JFK pasti pudar dan mereka tentu sekali mahukan era Obama tanpa campurtangan JFK.

Persoalannya sekarang, haruskah PAS ketinggalan keretapi yang sekian lama dikejarnya?

Tetapi, jika PAS mahu merasai nikmat menaiki keretapi itu, PAS harus menyediakan dirinya untuk tidak lain tetapi satu, iaitu naik keretapi itu!

PAS boleh cemerlang dalam PRU akan datang jika mereka dapat terus mengekalkan keyakinan masyarakat bukan Melayu kepada mereka. Untuk itu, PAS harus terus setia dengan identiti perjuangan Islamnya dan terus tolak perjuangan assabiyah atau nasionalistik.

Namun dalam mengekalkan identiti perjuangan Islam itu, ia perlu ditonggak dengan pemimpin yang dilihat fundamentalis tetapi bukan ekstremis. Ia juga harus diterajui oleh saf pimpinan yang bukan sahaja berilmu tetapi berakal.

Di dalam erti kata lain, PAS harus lekangkan diri mereka dari imej kampung tetapi tidak boleh menyarung imej elitis. PAS kini perlu beralih dari parti pondok kepada parti rumah pangsapuri dan jangan jadi parti rumah banglow.

Kemenangan-kemenangan bermakna PAS dalam PRU12 lalu ialah disekitar kawasan sub bandar dan urban tetapi yang memberi sokongan padu kepada PAS baru-baru ini ialah golongan pekerja atau proletar bukan golongan bangsawan.

Tiada tokoh lain yang lebih sesuai untuk meneruskan agenda PAS ke pusat selain daripada Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

Untuk tujuan itu, sudah tiba masanya Tuan Guru meninggalkan tahta empuknya di Kelantan dan berkampung di pusat. Tuan Guru perlu meletakkan jawatannya sebagai Menteri Besar Kelantan dan menjamin satu peralihan kuasa yang sempurna supaya penggantinya mempunyai masa yang cukup untuk memperkemaskan diri berhadapan dengan jentera baru UMNO di Kelantan yang sudah pasti akan diambil alih oleh Mustapha Mohamed.

Dan dalam PRU ke 13 kelak, Tuan Guru perlu bertanding kerusi Parlimen begitu juga teraju-teraju PAS lainnya termasuk Husam Musa, Ir. Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin dan Mohamad Sabu yang jelas berpengaruh luas dikalangan bukan Melayu.

Jika PAS benar-benar serius dan mahu rakyat mengetahui ketegasannya bersama Pakatan Rakyat ke pusat, PAS perlu pertaruhkan segala kekuatannya di Pusat.

Tidak ada lebih baik, di dalam pilihanraya umum akan datang selain PAS mampu meletakkan poster Nik Aziz bersama Poster Anwar Ibrahim dan Lim Kit Siang selaku pemimpin parti-parti politik Pakatan.

Muktamar PAS yang akan datang adalah muktamar yang akan menentukan barisan saf PAS bagi PRU13 dan berkemungkinan besar, jika saf itu betul pilihannya, ia akan menjadi pemilihan terakhir sebelum PAS bersama PAKATAN menubuhkan kerajaan di peringkat pusat.

Perak power grab - PR setback in Federal Court

Newsflash

The Federal Court has just dismissed the preliminary objection and ruled that it has the authority to hear an application seeking to lift the suspension of usurper Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir and his exco members from the state assembly.

The suspension was made by Perak State Assembly Committee of Privileges and announced by Perak Speaker V Sivakumar after Barisan Nasional had formed the state government in February without the assembly being dissolved.

The usurper MB was suspended for 18 months and his usurper Exco members suspended for one year.

The Federal Court will now decide on the merits of the application by Zambry and his Exco.

PKR’s moment of truth

By Wong Chin Huat
Thenutgraph

PARTI Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will face its moment of truth tomorrow, 15 April 2009. The party will decide whether it will accept Selangor executive councillor (exco) Elizabeth Wong's offer of resignation following the distribution of intimate photos of her.

Wong has done the honourable thing by offering her party a choice about whether to retain her services or not. PKR's choice would not only signal its electoral strategy; more importantly, it would indicate the party's political belief on two important questions.


Wong announcing her resignation at a press conference on 17 Feb

Big Brother watches

The first question is whether PKR respects that there should be a line between the public and the private sphere.

In totalitarian societies like China during the Cultural Revolution, there was no such thing as privacy. Every aspect of everyone's life was everyone else's business.

There was also no such thing as private relationships. And so spouses would report to the party and the masses what was said by partners in intimacy. So would parents and children and siblings.

George Orwell painted us such a picture of totalitarian life in his masterpiece 1984, from which we learnt the phrase "Big Brother".

Most of us would denounce living in such societies or the reality show Big Brother, where there is always a camera hovering over you. We would feel betrayed and angry if someone we love revealed intimate details of our private life to society. We would feel even more betrayed and angry if society rewards such acts by buying our unauthorised memoirs or simply spreading gossip about us.

To accept Wong's offer to resign would be doing that exactly. If PKR accepted Wong's resignation, it would be sending the message, loud and clear, that while ordinary citizens are entitled to privacy, public figures, especially public office bearers, are not. They are condemned to live with Big Brother or in Truman's world if they cannot avoid the camera or afford the protection of police and intelligence services.


Big Brother's face looms on giant screens in the 1984 movie adaptation of Orwell's 1984

No, this is not about being congruent or imposing a higher standard on politicians. Wong is not comparable to the likes of former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohd Fairus Khairuddin, the Behrang and Changkat Jering state assemblypersons, or the possible high-profile witnesses to a high-profile murder who were spared from a court appearance. Wong's candidacy in the March 2008 elections is not a testimony to a dearth of high quality and capable young leaders in PKR or the Pakatan Rakyat.

Wong has proven her worthiness not only to Bukit Lanjan as its state assemblyperson, but also to many more bukits within Selangor as the exco in charge of environment. She is not a mediocre politician.

Neither has she been implicated in any corruption cases. Instead, she might have frustrated many who hoped that corruption would help in the approval process for some hillside projects. And of course, she does not have an aide or bodyguard implicated in a murder case or for stealing C4 explosives.

The insistence on comparing Wong with other politicians who are charged with or implicated in corruption and power abuse is akin to comparing rape survivors with criminals.


(Pic by c-louise / sxc.hu)
Unfortunately, in some societies, being raped is a crime. In these societies, many would find it perfectly reasonable to point fingers at the rape survivor and ask, "Why, of all women, are you targeted?" In these societies, whipping or stoning the "bad woman" is even acceptable.

If PKR accepts Wong's resignation, what PKR will be saying is this. Firstly, while the party does not believe in moral policing, this does not apply to public office bearers. Hence, if you run under the PKR ticket, your privacy is at your own risk.

Even a PAS Member of Parliament can appreciate that being a model of morality is not part of the job description of an elected representative. So, does PKR plan on becoming the new guardian of public morality?

Secondly, if PKR accepts Wong's resignation in a bid to showcase its moral purity, the party is in fact welcoming attempts by just about anyone to expose their representatives' private lives.

The last time I counted, PKR has 71 elected representatives — 31 in parliament and 40 in the state assemblies. If PKR "rewards" what was done to Wong by accepting her resignation, the party is effectively inviting detractors to target all 71 PKR representatives whose private lives will be up for grabs. Can the party be certain that none of its representatives will be the next "weak link"?

Ketuanan rakyat or parti?

The other political belief PKR would be displaying over its decision on Wong's resignation is an old one in political theory on democracy. Who do elected representatives owe their primary loyalty to? Their own conscience, their party, or the electorate (the people)?

Wong has made clear that she has not done wrong. Indeed, it is not a crime for a consenting adult to be sexually involved with another, especially since Wong is a single woman who is also not bound by syariah laws in this country. She, however, offered her resignation to protect the party as there were concerns that her exposed private life would hurt PKR, especially in the 7 April 2009 triple by-elections.

True enough, the issue was played up for political gains in the by-elections, but the party that resorted to this tactic was heavily punished by voters.


Wong's supporters at her service centre in Bandar Utama on 12 April, part of the Walk with Eli 2 campaign.
A lion dance troupe and the release of birds were part of the festivities. However, Wong wasn't able
to make an appearance (Pic by Wong Chin Huat)

Wong's constituents in Bukit Lanjan have made clear that they want her service. Mind you, they are of different ages, gender, and economic and sociocultural backgrounds. So far, we have not heard anyone calling for her to quit.

And so, the people have spoken, if you like.

Now that Wong has put her party before her own conscience, will her party put the people before itself, or more precisely, before the vested interests of certain quarters in the party?

Malaysians have no doubt that PKR believes in Ketuanan Rakyat over Ketuanan Melayu.

It will be a real test now whether Ketuanan Rakyat will also prevail over Ketuanan Parti.

Into The Depths

Moments in history leave their imprints on destiny. Actions translate into consequences.

I have often wondered what it is that was running through the minds of those who triggered Operasi Lalang on that fateful 27th of October 1987. They were about to trigger a chain of events that would put this nation on a collision course with its very foundations. They were about to cast the perspectives and attitudes of a generation of Malaysians who would in turn shape those of another.

Racialism, fear and loathing, supremacist beliefs; a belief in the right of might.

On October 27th, 1987, 106 persons were detained. They were mainly politicians and political activists. Their absence left a gash in our democracy through which ideals and principles were sucked out into nothingness.

In the General Election of 1986, the Opposition held 28 seats. Of these, the DAP held twenty-four seats. PAS held one.

Five DAP Members of Parliament, amongst them the then Leader of the Opposition, Mr Lim Kit Siang, the then Deputy Chairman of the party, Mr Karpal Singh, Mr Lim Guan Eng and the indomitable V David. Four DAP assemblymen were also detained and a host of civil society activists.

The opposition was emasculated.

On 28th October 2007, Lee Lam Thye attempted to move an urgent motion to debate the detentions. The speaker rejected his request, basing his decision on the Prime Minister having given notice that he was presenting a statement on the subject. This excerpt from the Hansard report of the proceedings of that day captures the essence of the Prime Ministe’s address.

Tuan Yang di-Pertua, kita semua masih ingat peristiwa 13 Mei, 1969. Tentulah tidak ada di antara kita yang suka mencetuskan rusuhan berdarah seperti itu sekali lagi. Oleh itu, sikap tidak bertanggungjawab dan kegiatan menjolok isu-isu yang sensitif sepatutnya tidak berlaku.


Walau bagaimanapun, pihak Polis yang sepanjang masa memerhati dan meneliti perkembangan politik dan lain-lain gerak-geri rakyat, mendapati bahawa ada pihak-pihak tertentu yang tidak menghargai sikap Kerajaan. Mereka sebaliknya menggunakan peluang daripada pendirian Kerajaan ini untuk memperalatkan isu-isu sensitif untuk kepentingan mereka dan dalang-dalang mereka. Mereka tidak mempedulikan kesan buruk akibat daripada sikap tidak bertanggung- jawab ini.


Tuan Yang di-Pertua, pihak Polis mendapati bahawa beberapa tokoh pemimpin parti Pembangkang dan kumpulan-kumpulan yang sebulu dengan mereka telah dengan sengaja membesar-besarkan isu yang ada kaitan dengan kaum. Pihak DAP khususnya, terlalu memainkan isu-isu perkauman Cina dan lndia secara terbuka. Mereka memberi gambaran hahawa Kerajaan menindas kaum-kaum ini. Mereka mengadakan rapat-rapat umum, mesyuarat awam, rally, demonstrasi dan lain-lain kegiatan untuk membakar hati orang-orang Cina dan lndia terhadap Kerajaan dan terhadap orang-orang Melayu.


Tuan Yang di-Pertua. pihak Polis mendapati bahawa pemimpin-pemimpin parti DAP amat gemar menggunakan isu-isu yang berbau pcrkauman untuk mendapat sokongan bagi parti mereka. Mereka bukan sahaja herlagak sebagai juara kaum Cina dan India, tetapi juga sengaja mencabar parti-parti kaum Cina dan lndia dalam Kerajaan kerana kononnya tidak memperjuangkan kepentingan kaum-kaum mereka. Dengan ini maka parti kaum Cina dan lndia dalam Kerajaan pun melenting dan cuba pula untuk melebihi parti DAP dalam ketebalan perkauman mereka.


Usaha menjadi jaguh ini meningkat apabila DAP dapat mengalahkan beberapa calon dari parti Cina dalam Barisan Nasional dalam Pilihanraya 1986. DAP sengaja mengejek parti Cina dalam Barisan Nasional sebagai "running dogs" parti UMNO. Dengan ini maka semakin bertambahlah usaha parti Cina dan India dalam Barisan Nasional untuk membuktikan bahawa mereka juga kuat dari segi perkauman bahkan lebih kuat lagi daripada DAP dan pemimpin-pemimpinnya. Berbagai isu dijadikan asas ujian tentang siapa lebih kuat perkaumannya. Beberapa daripada isu-isu ini amat sensitif termasuk soal tarian singa, soal koperasi, soal papan tanda dan iklan, soal bahasa Cina, soal Bukit Cina, soal pakaian, soal ikrar murid di sekolah, soal matapelajaran elektif di Universiti Malaya, KBSR, soal pribumi Bumiputera dan akhir- ahkir ini soal guru sekolah Cina. Satu perbuatan yang amat bahaya ialah penggunaan kuil untuk mesyuarat perkauman.

Dalam usaha-usaha yang dibuat sewaktu membincangkan isu-isu ini, banyak kata-kata kesat yang boleh ditakrif sebagai hasutan; disuarakan dengan lantang. Reaksi daripada orang Melayu juga meningkat kerana sebab-sebab yang tersebut sehingga ke peringkat yang melampaui batas. Semua ini dilaporkan oleh akhbar- akhbar dan majalah-majalah dan media massa ini juga semakin berani…

The Prime Minister’s address received approval from all the Barisan Nasional Members of Parliament present. Not one of those MP’s expressed concern.

The stage having been set for greater executive control, and taking advantage of a weakened opposition and a media lock down, laws were enacted to stifle expression. Amongst them was the constitutional amendment to Article 121(1) of the Federal Constitution that suborned the Judiciary to Parliament, the jurisdiction of the former being a matter that from that point on became a matter of federal law. On the heels of that amendment, came the amendments to the ISA that precluded judicial review. The Printing Presses and Publications Act was amended to vest a subjective discretion in the Minister to suspend or shut down publications. The Police Act was amended to enhance the power of the police to regulate public assemblies.

The Judiciary was assaulted, a new brand of justice given life to. Democracy was taken hostage.

All of this while the leadership of the Opposition was in Kemunting for conduct that was said to be wholly destabilizing of the nation. None of those detained were ever charged for any crime. Some of them are still in Parliament or serving the nation in other capacities.

The message that the Mahathir Administration sent in 1987 has been the single biggest obstacle to developing a sustainable and inclusive foundation for this nation. We still suffer its familiar strains. We still struggle against fear.

Intimidation can never be a tool for nation building; it carries the imprimatur of autocracies. Unity can never be decreed, it is a heartfelt condition.

Malaysia can only be one when this government recognizes that the chain of consequences that emanated from that day in October, 1987 have us all in a stranglehold; its weight threatens to pull us down into the depths of oblivion.

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

BN rebels move to oust Terengganu MB

More than half of Barisan Nasional backbenchers today did not turn up at Terengganu state assembly sitting today in a move related to their bid to oust Menteri Besar Ahmad Said.

Ten of the 14 BN backbenchers in the state assembly are said to have "boycotted" the second day of the sitting as plans are being made to force Ahmad to step down.

It is believed that the failure of the state representatives to be present at the assembly is linked to ‘death threats’ which some of them had received yesterday.

Late last night, three assemblypersons have lodged a police report saying that they received an SMS warning them against moving a motion of no-confidence against the MB.

Paka assemblyperson Zakaria Abdullah, Abdul Halim Jusoh (Permaisuri) and Rosol Wahid (Ajil) lodged their police reports shortly after midnight following the SMS ‘death threats’.

According to Bernama, Abdul Halim said they received the SMS at about 11.20 last night from an individual believed to be a government official.

They were warned not to proceed with their plan to oust the MB.

"As a senior state government official, he should not threaten anyone, what more a state assemblyman like me. You cannot make threats on people's lives... I don't know why I was targeted," he said.

Of the 32 seats in the state assembly, BN controls 24 while opposition has eight seats.

Umno divided

Ahmad had on Saturday warned those who attempt to table a motion of no-confidence against him would face disciplinary action, including expulsion from the party.

Ruling party Umno is deeply split on the issue of who should be the state menteri besar.

Former MB Idris Jusoh was the then prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s choice but this was opposed by Terengganu palace headed by King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

The Terengganu sultan has backed Ahmad to helm the state and after a brief stand-off, Abdullah relented.

Indians need at least 3 ministers and 5 deputies

Federal Court to decide tomorrow

Dialogue with Bukit Rajah Estate Resident

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Manikavasagam together with YB Sivarasa (Subang M) as Advocate , YB Xavier's PA Mr Bakianathan listening to Grievance highligheted residents representative Mathialagan

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Also present representative from Klang Consumer Association

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Manikavasagam explain to affected resident location of relocation suggested by developer

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Part of Residents Participate during the dialogue Session

Gerakan, MCA rebuke DPM over ‘ungrateful Chinese voters’

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 — Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin continues to draw criticism over his recent comments that Chinese voters were ungrateful for not voting for BN even though the government had assisted the community, with the latest rebukes coming from Umno’s partners in the Barisan Nasional (BN) .

Of the two component parties in the ruling coalition that issued a response to Muyhiddin’s comments however, it was Gerakan that saw its senior leadership speaking out while the task of doing so at MCA was left to the party’s information and communication bureau.

MCA’s response however, was remarkable in that it hit out hard against Umno’s perceived arrogance and listed down an exhaustive list of grievances harboured by the Chinese and even other non-Malay communities.

Gerakan Deputy President Datuk Chang Ko Youn said he disagreed with Muhyiddin and that BN’s conventional practice of doling out allocations during elections no longer works as voters want problems to be attended to continuously.

“The more substantive issues of corruption, abuse of power and equity in national leadership and government delivery system must be dealt with first, only then will the voters who deserted the BN be ready to return,” Chang said.

Muyhiddin had said in an interview published in Mingguan Malaysia yesterday that the BN felt deceived by Chinese voters in the recent by-election in Bukit Gantang and that the voters should have been grateful for help given to Chinese schools and that the non-Malays see themselves as kingmakers in the current scenario where the Malay vote is split between three Malay based political parties — Umno, PAS and PKR.

In a separate interview in Utusan Malaysia published on April 10, the deputy prime minister said that the drop in support from the Chinese community was as if they did not appreciate what the BN has done for them.

The BN strategy of having separate campaigns for different ethnic communities was also criticised by Chang who urged the ruling Umno-led coalition to move away from ethno-centric campaigning and instead adopt cohesive, universal messages that appeal to all Malaysians.

He added that emphasis must be given to the prime minister’s slogan of One Malaysia, which emphasises mutual trust and respect among the different ethnic communities.

“The focus of uniting Malaysia under the One Malaysia ‘People First, Performance Now’ agenda is a winner because it promotes fairness and equity, and gives real meaning to the Barisan Nasional struggle,” he said.

Lee Wei Kiat, the head of the MCA information and communication bureau said that MCA “takes exception” to the deputy prime minister’s remarks and laid out a laundry list of issues that he believes have caused Chinese voters to turn away from the BN.

Issues such as abuse of the New Economic Policy (NEP), a largely mono-ethnic civil service, religious conversion issues, misuse of the ISA and “mob rule” tactics that disrupted civilised dialogue and forums were among the frustrations faced by the Chinese community, said Lee.

Touching on Umno’s arrogance, Lee said that acts such as waving the keris amid fiery speeches during the 2006 Umno party assembly and recent statements that Umno was the sole political party responsible for the nation’s independence, both committed by now defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, was still a sore point with the non-Malays.

“The image of the brandishing of the keris amidst talks of ‘bathing in blood’ which alluded to a civil war against a conjured enemy of another community still remains unforgivable,” said Lee.

“Moreover, convenient amnesia at the recently concluded Umno general assembly where an Umno supreme council leader obliterated the contributions of non-Malays towards independence asserting that Merdeka was forged by Umno and the Malay Rulers and nobody else, also fuelled dissatisfaction among the non-Malay communities.”

Hishammuddin has publicly denied that he had excluded the involvement of the MCA and the MIC in the process of attaining Malaysia’s independence. He has also said that the use of the Keris during the assembly will be discontinued.

He also pointed out that Umno was not able to convince the Malays to vote in sufficient numbers in order to ensure a BN victory in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections even though these two constituencies are Malay majority polling districts.

Lee also noted the astonishing change of sentiment in the Chinese community toward the Islamist party PAS, which is now part of the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition, within the space of two general elections.

“In 2004, the Chinese overwhelmingly rejected PAS’s Islamist agenda of a theocratic state based on hudud and qisas which wreaked of amputating limbs, public lashing and requiring four men of good conduct to witness a rape before an alleged rapist was found guilty and gave the mandate to BN,” said Lee.

“In 2008, corruption, cronyism, perceived judicial bias, racial and religious discrimination and intolerance led the multiracial rakyat particularly those on the peninsular to favour the opposition.”

He said that if BN wanted to win back support, it would have to overhaul government policies so that every Malaysian citizen is accorded equality, which according to Lee, is guaranteed under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.

“Malaysian citizens have the right to a decent life, free of bigotry, with the adoption of meritocracy and access to equal development where aid is delivered on the basis of need and not racial hegemony,” he said.

Lee’s comments are unlikely to be looked on favourably by his partners in Umno however.

The dominant party in the BN coalition feels that it has sacrificed a lot for its coalition partners which nevertheless, have failed to deliver the votes from their respective ethnic communities.

Many in Umno feel that MCA should not make demands until it delivers the votes.

Foreign Minister and senior Umno member, Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim was reported to have remarked that MCA should not request for a second deputy prime minister post when the party is weak and unable to attract the majority of Chinese voters.

He said this in reference to MCA deputy secretary-general Datuk Loke Yuen Yow’s proposal for the creation of the posts of Chinese deputy prime minister and Chinese Barisan Naional (BN) deputy chairman.

A long battle for a legal temple.

A TALE OF AN OLD ESTATE TEMPLE
Indrani Kopal

In the early hours of June 14, 2003, a group of thugs torched the Sri Kalikambal Kamadeswarar temple at the Ebor Estate in Batu Tiga, Shah Alam.

These thugs were allegedly aided by a few men in police uniforms who intimidated and threatened the Hindu devotees in the temple with arrest when they tried to prevent the arson attack.

The devotees suspected that a property developer was behind the attempt to destroy their temple which they claim was built in 1886 when their ancestors began to settle on the plantation.

The arson attack drew national attention to the once relatively-unknown Sri Kalikambal Kamadeswarar Kovil, with senior politicians and police officers visiting the site to calm rising tempers.

The estate community’s problems started in 1990 when the plantation was sold off for property development.

Originally, there were two temples in Ebor Estate. The bigger Sri Maha Mariamman Kovil was bulldozed flat by a property developer on July, 14 1998 and this, too. without the community’s knowledge.

Caught by surprise, the devotees were forced to shift the demolished temple's deities to the nearby Sri Kalikambal Kamadeswarar Kovil.

After the arson attack on June 14, former Ebor Estate residents decided to organise themselves to wage a sustained campaign to save their remaining temple.

Since then, they have lodged numerous police reports, sent memorandums to federal and state government leaders and made several attempts to negotiate with the property developer and the land owner.

The case of Ebor Estate's Sri Kalikambal Kamadeswarar Kovil is perhaps typical of the dire threats facing estate temples throughout the country. Especially so for those near urban areas where rapid property development has displaced plantation communities.

This temple is just one of the thousands of unregistered temples dotting the country. As of 2003, there were 17,000 such temples.

These temples were built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by migrant Tamil workers when they settled in new land clearings and laid the foundations for the nation's modern plantations which support the economy today.

Over the years, these temples have become repositories for their history, culture and identity, all embodying the sacred ethos of these local communities.

The Sri Kalikambal Kamadeswarar Kovil story is very much the history of many temples in the country. As urban centres grew, plantations made way for housing estates, golf courses and other modern amenities. Apparently, there is no place for temples in this new scheme of things.

Four years after the torching incident, Malaysiakini visited the temple, or what is left of it. Property development activities are rapidly progressing around the temple.

S Suthantiran, a former Ebor Estate worker and resident who heads the temple committee, says it had been a long arduous struggle to save their temple. The committee, he said, was persistent and refused to budge until a piece of land was allocated for the temple.

After numerous meetings over several years, the developer for the housing project agreed in 2007 to give an alternative piece of land for the temple and bear its relocation cost. But the documentation and legal procedures were to take some more time.

Malaysiakini has been following up with the progress and on March 8, 2009, the temple was officially relocated to a temporary site after a simple religious ceremony attended by members of parliament, assembly persons and the developer’s representatives.

Construction of a permanent structure at the same site will begin once the committee raises sufficient funds.

Video by Indrani Kopal
Narration by Nick Josh karean

SAMY VELLU SHOULD MEET PM NAJIB AND NOT USE MEDIA TO VOICE HIS GRIEVANCE

Newly appointed Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin was reported as saying that veteran politician and MIC President Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu should have a meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak to discuss the dissatisfaction raised by the MIC on the appointment of Cabinet members. MIC's grouses are that they are given non-prominent roles while their request for addition appointments were totally not considered.

The recent appointment although its the prerogative of the Prime Minister, witness many 'losers' in the general elections been appointed Senators and made ministers. MIC had not be accorded the same privilege although its the third largest component of the ruling BN government.

Knowing Datuk Seri Samy Vellu, his recent outburst must have been warranted since every avenue to seek fairness must have failed and since his credibility is already tarnished with the continued marginalising of the Malaysian Indian community in Malaysia, just giving-in to the pressures of UMNO would be detrimental to MIC and to him personally since the Indian community would just consider him another 'pariah' although after holding such a prominent position for the last 26 years or so.

What has been done can't be undone and with the trimming of the Cabinet, the Prime Minister would also not be able to accommodate his demands.

Maybe if the prime minister were to reclassify the Malaysian Indians in the category of 'bumiputras' since they form a minority group of about 8% and release all outlawed HINDRAF ISA detainees, MIC would be able to win over the Indian votes and fulfill its aim as the 'champions of the Indian community'.

But will this dream of MIC ever happen?

Chitrakala: Desperate MIC youth chief

The Traveler, Monday, April 13, 2009

Intimidation and disruption of opposition candidate’s rallies at Bukit Selambau by MIC youths headed by Mohan Thangarasu failed to help MIC to win back the seat. Infect the Justice party (PKR) Manimaran won handsomely with an increased majority.

When the Tamil daily Makkal Osai highlighted the squabbles initiated by MIC youths and published pictures of the confrontation, an upset Mohan Thangarasu attacked the daily of being the voice of opposition.

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Anyhow, full credit must be given to Mohan Thangarasu for giving Bukit Selambau residents an opportunity to see live, the actions of Malaysian Federal Reserve (FRU) unit firing tear gas and shooting water cannon for the first time in their life.

A victory for MIC would have given a boost for Mohan Thangarasu to retain the MIC youth chief position in the coming party election in September when the post is likely to be contested.

However, there is more bad news for Mohan Thangarasu.

At Selangor MIC Youth council meeting, yesterday, some of the council members erupted like volcanoes criticizing the ineffective leadership of Mohan Thangarasu, according to Makkal Osai report today.

Apparently, Selangor MIC youth chief Yogeswaren was having fun listening to the criticism but that invoked the ire of G Kumar, a supporter of Mohan Thangarasu, who was asked to leave the meeting for his impolite behavior.

So, its crystal clear now that Selangor MIC Youth will not support Mohan Thangarasu in his bid to be elected for MIC national youth chief in September, a big blow to him considering the large number delegates from this state.

Compounding to these, the council has invited Edmund Santhara, Masterskill College of Nursing and Health CEO and ex-youth chief P Subramaniam.

Sometime ago Mohan Thangarasu lamented, “a businessman who has a political ambition has been undertaking a campaign to tarnish my name”. Now, our source confirmed that Mohan Thangarasu was referring to Santhara.

Santhara has exceeded the age limit to contest the national youth chief and as such he is strongly believed to put a proxy candidate against Mohan Thangarasu. Santhara is financially strong. UMNO members sold their votes for RM 200 dumping Mahathir. What can we say about MIC members?

By-election loss, negative press coverage, Selangor MIC youths abandoning and Masterskill Santhara are all driving Mohan Thangarasu nuts.

Desperate times require desperate measures and Traveler has a brilliant idea to turn the table.

Statistics say 100,000 to 200,000 Indians are involved in gangsterism.

“It is saddening to see reports of Indians being involved in gangsterism and violent crimes in the newspapers of late. We believe these youths had not been given any religious education,” said Mohan Thangarasu (thestar,24/03/09).

Why not you Mohan Thangarasu take up the challenge to provide the right education to the misguided youths?

Merely saying, “We are undertaking some research and will submit a memorandum to the ministry within four months,” is not going to bring any votes. People are tired hearing of this for 52 years.

People want to see action. For that, you have an ideal place, the Sungkai National Service Camp you Mohan Thangarasu and your business partner Chitrakala together started is operational now.

You have utilized well the RM 3.2 million hijacked from MIED fund. The camp is really awesome. Why not optimize the place by having special programs for the Indian youths.

In addition to providing religious education, Mohan Thangarasu can enlighten the youths on how to hijack government licenses, how to secure millions of bank loans like how he obtained 9.2 million from CIMB bank. Many youths are ignorant of the procedures.

Former CEO Chitrakala Vasu could be a guest speaker for the youth program who could share her experience in 13 companies, from auto industry to National Service camp, while being a supermom for four kids.

If desperate man Mohan Thangarasu could take up this challenge, his image will sky rocket.

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Indian groups want more cabinet posts for MIC - Malaysiakini

An Indian umbrella group today said that the government should increase the allocation for MIC representatives in the cabinet from the present one minister and two deputies.

The Federation of Malaysian Indian Organisation - or known as Prima in Malay - said that the present allocation for the party was dismal, echoing similar calls made by several party leaders and other community movements.

The organisation's president A Rajaretinam said that Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak should have included at least three ministers and five deputy ministers from MIC.

dr s subramaniam interview 210308 05Najib's cabinet which was announced on Thursday only had places for MIC secretary-general S Subramaniam (human resource minister) (photo), information chief M Saravanan (deputy federal territory minister) and party supreme council member SK Devamany (deputy minister in the Prime Minister's Department).

These are also the only three candidates from the party who had won in the last general election.

"In the 1970s MIC used to preside over two full ministerial positions," said Rajaretinam in a statement today. He is known for his close links to the party.

He added that extra allocation for MIC in the cabinet would allow the party to work in achieving more for the community and regain their support for Barisan Nasional.

Prima's call for extra slots in the cabinet resonated the thinking of some leaders in the party who feel that the community could be better served by increasing the quota in the cabinet.

MIC itself is about to discuss the matter at its central working committee meeting this Thursday.

The party is said to be upset that it has not been given additional slots in the new cabinet whereas both MCA and Gerakan were given additional posts.

It must also be noted that apart from the three MIC leaders in the government, there are two other Indian deputy ministers - senator T Murugiah (from PPP in the Prime Minister's Department) and A Kohilan Pillay (from Gerakan and in the Foreign Ministry).

New realistic formula needed

Apart from the dissatisfaction over the cabinet quota, Prima also urged the government to set up a non-Muslim affairs unit under the Prime Minister's Department to deal with sensitive matters involving other religions in a professional and effective manner.

The organisation also appealed for inclusion of more non-bumiputeras in the civil service.

"The participation of non-bumiputeras in the civil service should be increased to at least 30 percent by 2015," said Rajaretinam.

bukit jalil estate tamil school protest 231107 childrenHe said that the organisation also sought for all partially-aided Tamil vernacular primary schools to be upgraded to fully-aided status.

And on education, the organisation also objected the teaching of science and mathematics in English.

Prima said that the use of English - and not mother-tongue language - to teach these two subjects has deteriorated the progress of children who live in rural areas.

These matters were passed by Prima on Saturday following a special dialogue with 38 of its supreme council members.

The meeting had also resolved that although Prima gave their full support to Najib, the government must work out a new realistic formula to ensure that all races are equally bestowed with socio-economic advancement without sidelining any members of minority groups.

Rajaretinam said that Prima was officially recognised in 2007 as a platform to champion issues affecting the minority communities.

It comprised of some 200 non-governmental movements focusing on the welfare of the local Indian community.

Gejala sosial? Tengoklah jurang kaya-miskin...

If you are more comfortable reading articles and blog posts in Malay, the Centre for Policy Initiatives (CPI) has begun translating selected bloggers’ articles into Malay.

You can find its latest selection of translated piece

Gerakan Bantah Kenyataan TPM Muhyiddin


Press Statement by Dato’ Chang Ko Youn
Gerakan Deputy President
Chang: I do not agree with Muhyiddin’s assessment of Chinese voters

13/4/2009

Gerakan Deputy President, Dato’ Chang Ko Youn today criticised the remarks made by Deputy Prime Minister, Y.A.B. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Chinese voters in an interview with Mingguan Malaysia over the weekend.

“I have to respectfully disagree with the remarks made by Tan Sri Muhyiddin on Chinese voters. While it is true that many voted for the Pakatan Rakyat in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau By-Elections; we must investigate why they did so,” said Chang.

Dato’ Chang added that based on his interaction with Chinese voters in Bukit Gantang, many of them find it hard to associate with the Barisan Nasional because they believe that the Barisan Nasional no longer upholds the very best of Malaysia.

“The conventional wisdom of dolling out allocations no longer works because many see it as a disingenuous attempt to gain votes. Their problems must be handled continuously and dishing out allocations before any by-election is not effective and convincing anymore. The more substantive issues of corruption, abuse of power and equity in national leadership and government delivery system must be dealt with first; only then the voters who deserted the BN in 308 will be ready to return,” commented Chang.

Dato’ Chang also felt that greater emphasis must be placed on Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s One Malaysia concept because the focus of uniting Malaysia under the One Malaysia “People First, Performance Now” agenda is a winner because it promotes fairness and equity, and gives real meaning to the Barisan Nasional struggle.

“Many were taken with the mantra of fairness and justice of the Pakatan Rakyat. We do not need a wizard to tell us what we need to do to remain as the Government. We cannot have separate campaigns for separate communities. Our focus should be on what unites Malaysians and not what divides us. I am certain if we move away from ethnocentric campaigning and strategies, and adopt a cohesive and universal messages the voters would trust us more. We do not want to start a blame game in examining reasons for the defeat. We must look for the revival plan collectively.” said Chang.

Zahid plans massive postal vote con via Wataniah? / Latest on Adi Anwar

Latest on Adi Anwar:

The police today questioned the mother and sister of Adi Anwar Mansor for lodging a report last Saturday for claiming that the detainee was abused while under police custody.

?? And were any policemen questioned?

Kugan killed, ‘morgue mob’ questioned; Ahmad Said racist, reporter arrested; and now, this.

Hisham, Hisham, Hisham - why so quiet!? We want answers and action!!!

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Muslimeen United, Bernama, via Black:

Menteri Pertahanan yang baru, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi mengumumkan baru-baru ini bahawasanya tentera Wataniah akan ditempatkan di kesemua kawasan parlimen di Malaysia.

Hujah bodoh darinya ialah Tentera Wataniah ini akan membantu anggota tentera untuk menjaga keamanan negara. Hujah bodoh ini hanya boleh diterima pakai oleh orang-orang yang bodoh. Persoalannya semenjak bila pula kawasan-kawasan parlimen diseluruh negara sedang berada dalam keadaan perang sehinggakan tentera wataniah dan anggota tentera diperlukan?

Jawapannya mudah. Penempatan tentera-tentera Wataniah disemua kawasan parlimen akan menambahkan lagi jumlah undi pos. Apabila jumlah undi pos bertambah, kemungkinan BN untuk merampas semula kerusi-kerusi parlimen yang telah jatuh ketangan Pakatan Rakyat akan menjadi lebih mudah.

Summary: Zahid Hamidi wants to set up new new Army Reserve bases in every parliamentary constituency in Malaysia. 300 per base, 600,000 nationwide.

If you’re going O_o ?!?, you’re not the only one.

So, suddenly we’re short of defence personnel…….. and the best way to combat this ’shortage’ is……. to recruit more soldiers on the basis of…… parliamentary constituency……………………

O_O

So this the dude charged with defending Malaysia in case of attack? I hope Singapore is not paying attention.

As Black and others speculate, this may have something to do with increasing the postal votes per constituency - one of BN’s most reliable methods of cheating.

I’ll give the benefit of the doubt though, as I’m not personally 100% sure exactly how establishing reserve bases increases postal votes for a constituency.

Can anyone enlighten us on how this might work in terms of the detailed, step by step mechanics?

PM Extends New Year Greetings To Tamils, Malayalees And Sikhs

KUALA LUMPUR, April 13 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak on Monday extended greetings to Tamils, Malayalees and Sikhs who celebrate their respective new year tomorrow.

"I would like to wish you a wonderful and prosperous New Year and hope that the well-being of Malaysia and its people are in your prayers," he said in his 1Malaysia website.

Najib said the celebrations reminded him of the tremendous value of the country's diversity.

"I would be remiss not to acknowledge the various forms of this harvest and new year celebration observed by diverse ethnic groups within the Indian community.

"As I understand, this auspicious time of year is feted by different names, but the goal remains the same: to pray for a bountiful year and continued prosperity. At the same time, spiritual practices must be coupled with concerted efforts and actions to ensure valuable returns.

"Therefore, whether you observe it as Vaisakhi, Vishu, Puthandu or Varusha Pirappu, Rongali Bihu, or Naba Barsha, I wish everyone a wonderful celebration and a rewarding year ahead. Have a joyous festival!" he added.

Tomorrow, the Tamils celebrate "Varusha Pirappu", the Malayalees "Vishu" and the Sikhs "Vaisakhi".

My message to Royalty: ubah atau rebah

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When I die I want to be cremated and for my ashes to be scattered into the sea. There will be no sign that I ever existed or a ‘monument’ that I had lived. I shall revert to dust from where I had come. This is my last will and testament.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

No, I did not create that heading, ubah atau rebah. I ‘stole’ it. Many of you who followed the new Prime Minister’s ‘maiden’ speech will probably know I stole it from there. I may not agree with the new Prime Minister on many things. But I will certainly agree that Umno needs to ubah (change) or else rebah (fall). And that is the same message I want to send to the many Royal Families, in particular the nine Palaces or Royal Households of Malaysia.

But this message is not new. This message was already delivered to the Royal Households more than 20 years ago at the height of the Constitutional Crisis. Although the informal meeting was not a full quorum but merely those from Kedah, Perlis, Perak, Terengganu and Selangor, nevertheless, the five out of nine Royal Households agreed that the Monarchy was under threat and that Malaysia was in danger of being turned into a Republic if nothing were done to arrest the situation.

Another thing the five Royal Households agreed was that the predicament the Monarchy was facing at that time was the Rulers’ own doing. The Rulers are the Monarchy’s worst enemies. Only the Monarchy can save itself. It can’t expect the rakyat to come to its defence. The rakyat, in fact, was anti-Monarchy, the result of a very successful and intensive mainstream media campaign engineered by Umno to turn the rakyat against the Monarchy.

I was tasked with the job of preparing the ‘working paper’ to present to the five Royal Households. And since it was my paper, I was told I should present it, which I did. At the end of the presentation, not a single of the five expressed any disagreement with what I had presented. They fully agreed and were of one mind that the Monarchy’s days may in fact be numbered.

I was told to take back all the working papers and destroy them. No one outside that room was to know that we held our informal ‘Rulers’ Conference’ and about what was discussed and agreed. We all went home with only one thing in mind. The Rulers and all the members of the many Royal Families must, from that day on, behave itself. That would be the only way to save the Monarchy and prevent the formation of the Republic of Malaysia.

That was more than 20 years ago. And for more than 20 years I have remained silent and never revealed how the Monarchy panicked when it saw its future very dim indeed. I never revealed the story of how we met at a secret location more than 20 years ago to explore how we could save the Monarchy; until now, that is.

But the story has to now be told. And it has to be told because the Rulers are beginning to forget the ‘agreement’ we made more than 20 years ago when it came under attack from Umno and when the Monarchy faced the danger of being abolished.

There are some within the Selangor and Perak Royal Families who feel I do not have that right or authority to tegur or reprimand the Rulers or the members of the Royal Family. I would beg to differ (patek mohon durhaka). I certainly have that right. In fact, I have earned that right. When we met more than 20 years ago it is because we love the Monarchy. We wanted to save the Monarchy -- but more to save it from itself rather than from Umno, which was ruthlessly attacking the Rulers.

Would we have bothered, more than 20 years ago, to rally to the Monarchy’s side if we did not love the Monarchy? After all, the predicament it was facing was the result of its own actions. Sure, Umno was attacking the Rulers. But it was able to attack the Rulers only because they had opened themselves to attack. If the Rulers had behaved, there would have been nothing Umno could have used against them.

This was the message to the five Royal Households and it was a message that was clearly understood and readily accepted. And they agreed that we must watch the Rulers closely. And if any Ruler was to step out of line, then we are to tegur that Ruler so that he returns to the straight and narrow and ceases putting the entire Monarchy in the line of fire.

In short, if one buffalo is muddy, then the entire herd becomes muddy as well, as the Malay proverb goes. One Ruler’s transgression puts the entire Monarchy at risk. So that one Ruler needs to be taken to task for the sake of all the Rulers.

I do not really bother about the misdemeanours of the Rulers or members of the Royal Families. I am not bothered about their gambling, drinking, frolicking with loose women, and whatever other transgressions. That is their business, not mine. Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone. But when it involves the wishes of the rakyat, then I have to step in. Matters that involve the rakyat become my business. And this is because the fate and future of the Monarchy, and whether Malaysia becomes a Republic or not, lies in the hands of the rakyat.

Okay, I did not say I am a noble person. I am not doing this for the sake of the rakyat. I do not have the interest of the rakyat at heart. I am only doing this to guarantee the continuation of the Monarchy and to ensure that no one starts harbouring thoughts of turning Malaysia into a Republic. For that I am not sincere in my actions and, in a sense, I have a hidden agenda or, as the Malays would say, udang sebalik batu.

Nevertheless, whatever I do, I do in the service of the Crown. But, now, I am being branded a treasonous person, a traitor (penderhaka), for speaking out against the Sultan of Perak. And the party branding me a treasonous person is none other than the Selangor Royal Family to which I belong.

I am loyal to the Monarchy. I am not the treasonous person or traitor that my family considers me to be. But I also have my pride and dignity. I will never apologise, relent, or go down on my knees to beg for forgiveness. I did no wrong. What I did was for the good of the Monarchy. Yes, I took the side of the rakyat against the Perak Palace in the Nizar versus Zambry matter. But I believed that the rakyat was right while the palace was wrong. Under those circumstances how could I have done otherwise?

My family expects me to take the side of the Palace in the Perak Constitutional Crisis. I am a member of the Selangor Royal Family so I must think and act like a Royalist. I must not bring shame to the family. A Royalist stands behind the Rulers even if the Rulers may be wrong. And since I refuse to do that then I am to be classified an outcast.

I accept the judgement that I am treasonous. I will not dispute this or appeal against it. And they need not even punish me for my ‘crime’. As a loyal subject of the Rulers I will accept, without a whimper, my punishment for displeasing the Palace. And the punishment will be banishment from the State of Selangor and persona non grata from the State of Perak until the day I die. This has been the traditional punishment for all those members of the Royal Family before me who have displeased the Palace.

In case many of you are not aware, my grandfather, Sultan Musa Ghiatuddin Riayat Shah ibni al-Marhum Sultan Ala'eddin Suleiman Shah, was also banished from the State of Selangor back in 1945 for being ‘too independent’. The British exiled him to the Cocos Islands, a territory of Australia in the Indian Ocean, and appointed his younger brother, Tengku Hisamuddin Alam Shah, the son of Sultan Ala'eddin Suleiman Shah’s second wife, as the Sultan of Selangor.

Sultan Musa actually had another brother, Tengku Badar, from the same mother, who was the Tengku Ampuan Selangor. But he too was by-passed in favour of Tengku Alam Shah, his half-brother, whose mother was not the Tengku Ampuan Selangor but Cik Hasnah binti Pelong, a ‘commoner’. Musa was allowed back into Selangor in 1955 just a few months before he died.

Selangor history does not officially acknowledge the existence of Sultan Musa who was the Sultan of Selangor from 1942 to 1945 and was the Seventh Sultan. The present Sultan, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah, is listed as the Ninth Sultan when he is actually the Eleventh. That is because Sultan Alam Shah was both the Sixth and Eight Sultan with Sultan Musa sandwiched in between as the Seventh.

I suppose, if even Sultan Musa can be banished from Selangor and sent into exile in the Cocos Islands, who am I to expect less than that? I am not even in the Royal Council let alone close to the Throne.

I am a proud person, too proud to beg for clemency. Hidung tak mancung, pipi tersorong sorong, as the Malays would say. That is just not me. Those who know me will know that that is not me. I know when I am not wanted. If I am not wanted then I move on. And it does not concern me one bit to know I am not wanted. Let it be known that Raja Petra the son of Raja Kamarudin never begged and that he stubbornly held his head up high with pride and dignity.

I have always said I want to be buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Kelang when I die. This is where my father, uncles, aunties, grandfathers and grandmothers are also buried. I was told I would be denied permission to be buried there. I would instead have to be buried in Sungai Buloh, not far from where I live, and where the unidentified victims of ‘May 13’ are also buried.

I leave this as my last will and testament. Since I shall not be buried in the Royal Mausoleum in Kelang beside my family, then I refuse to be buried at all. When I die I want to be cremated and for my ashes to be scattered into the sea. There will be no sign that I ever existed or a ‘monument’ that I had lived. I shall revert to dust from where I had come. This is my last will and testament.

Placating Kugan's ghost

In Bukit Selambau, MIC fielded a Datuk who is party Kedah deputy chairperson and an old hand in politics. The PKR victor is a greenhorn almost 15 years younger than his rival. Yet voters placed more confidence in S Manikumar to do the job.
MCPX
mohd ismail merican 01 At a press conference on the Kugan autopsies, Dr Mohd Ismail Merican – a Tan Sri who is Health Ministry director-general – tilted to favour ‘years’. He pointed out that Serdang Hospital’s Dr Abdul Karim Tajuddin who conducted the first autopsy had 26 years of working experience as a pathologist.

He also revealed Dr Prashant N Samberkar, who carried out the second autopsy, had 11 years work experience mainly in India and Fiji before serving in Malaysia in 2008.

The Health DG did not allow that the younger doctor might possibly have done a more honest post-mortem. It was Monday that he briefed reporters about the inquiry panel finding on discrepancies between the autopsies.

On the same day, police seized forensic specimens, photographs, documents and other materials relating to Kugan Ananthan from Dr Prashant’s office at the University Malaya Medical Centre. Since Kugan had perished under police custody, it seems a conflict of interest for police to be raiding Dr Prashant.

a kugan police assaulted indian youth autopsy report 030309 The Health DG summarised, “All body injuries noted on the deceased were insufficient, either individually or collectively to cause death directly”.

Dr Ismail also added, “There was no evidence that the deceased had been`branded’ or been given repeated application of heat with an instrument or object”. The inquiry instead offered that injuries on Kugan’s back resulted from repeated trauma by a blunt but flexible object, like folded rubber hose.

The authorities fail to explain (in words I can understand) just how Kugan died. Bernama, our national news agency, is no better either with its report headlined ‘Kugan died of Acute Pulmonary Oedema: Inquiry’.

As a lay person, I can only surmise that for some unfathomable reason, the youth threw himself backwards against, perhaps, a coiled rubber hose. Wounds and bruises on the body hint that Kugan might have managed this feat remarkably with his limbs bound. He smashed his own back repeatedly over five days in lock-up until his 22-year-old heart gave way.

Friendly cops, and robbers

Kugan is not alive to defend his good name but the mainstream media keep calling him an “alleged car thief”. I prefer to think of him as my fellow Malaysian.

Malaysians of Kugan’s skin colour are more inclined to die young, usually after an encounter with police. Following Kugan’s case in January was 20-year-old R Dilip Kumar in February. Dilip was shot dead by police along with five other Indian men in Kulim.

According to N Naragan’s recce (who together with a human rights group visited the scene of the shootout), Dilip had seven siblings and the family live in a dilapidated little estate house. Two days before the incident, Dilip had asked one of his family members for RM20.

Describing Dilip’s injuries, Naragan wrote: “He had gunshot wounds on the forehead and it looked like the back of his head was all bloodied as if from an exiting bullet. He was dressed only in a towel at the time of his death. His parents even had difficulty putting together some money to buy him a shirt and a dhoty for his burial. Thirty six ringgit was all they had.”

Like Kugan, Dilip had no criminal record. Yet the media in their reports labelled the men ‘criminals’, ‘armed robbers’ and ‘thieves’ without any qualifiers.

We cannot know for sure that Dilip was an armed robber as he was never brought to court, not to mention the lad was likely too poor to afford or acquire a gun. It is really the relationship between poor people and police profiling that bears our scrutiny.

Surviving on RM720

Who is poor and what is considered poor? Jayanath Appudurai writing for the Centre for Policy Initiatives quoted government statistics that in 2007, Malaysia’s poverty rate was 3.6 percent – an admirably low figure.

indian crowd malaysia 291107 Jaya writes that this Poverty Line Income [PLI] is determined by the government itself. Malaysia’s PLI stipulates that a household – comprising 4.6 people – in the Peninsula earning more than RM720 a month is not deemed impoverished.

However if a PLI of RM1,000 were to be employed, then 8.6 percent of households would be poor instead of the 3.6 percent as claimed by the authorities. If a PLI of RM1,500 is used, then one-fifth of Malaysians are mired in poverty, or a total of 1.2 million households.

Is the government baseline of RM720 a realistic figure to sustain a family of four-and-a-half persons, Jaya questions?

(To sidetrack slightly, the roughly RM157 – as stated by Malaysia for each individual to minimally survive a month on – is not enough to pay for a Children one-day entry ticket to Paris Disneyland which costs RM182.)

State expenditure, for instance in Kugan’s home state of Selangor, on poverty eradication programmes might properly be asked of Disney-loving ex-Selangor menteri besar Dr Khir Toyo.

While police undoubtedly have an image problem, how Joe Public reacts to the polemics should be tempered as well, Jaya writes in his other article (this one on the Kugan case).

Popular depiction of the Indian community is pulled in two opposite directions. One is that of gangsters and criminals. The Hindraf movement started both because of the Indian community’s own concern over its social problem of gangsterism, and Police Watch’s alarm over custodial deaths.

But it doesn’t clarify matters when the authorities choose to ban the messenger Hindraf rather than address the root cause of their grievances, which is poverty begetting poverty and the lack of legitimate opportunities.

How now, sacred cow?


The other popular depiction pushed by official media like Utusan is that Indians have nothing to complain about because many are doctors and lawyers. But even before Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar screwed the statistics, Dr Mahathir Mohamad did.

bukit gantang by election mahathir ceramah and luncheon 060409 07 “It (the number of Indian doctors) never was 40 percent until I was PM. Why didn’t they say ‘thank you, thank you, thank you’? I get many people coming up to me to say thank you but very few Indians say thank you”, Dr M told an interviewer on the eve of the last general election.

Samy Vellu rebutted saying that Mahathir did very little for the Indian community when he was prime minister. “Despite the MIC appealing again and again for help, he refused to budge.”

The BM formula has been of ethnic champions appealing to the grace of one autocrat or to Umno ‘proper channels’. Using this method to solve national problems has not proven effective.

If, as Samy recently conceded, Indians were in dire need of assistance and not getting it, then it is the way the whole system operates that’s at fault. The NEP was intended to help every Malaysian who is poor. It obviously didn’t and doesn’t.

For those who feel they do not owe the Mahathir regime their gratitude, the way forward is to change the status quo. This is being slowly altered through electoral mandate.

However, the more insidious canker (because unlike loud politicians they’re less obvious) is bureaucratic functions. These range from Biro Tata Negara to the Little Napoleon in Ipoh city council who ordered the Democracy Tree plague to be removed by tractor, to top civil servants in ministries and state secretariats.

To further good governance, we clearly need a reform in the ruling parties; even our erstwhile premier finally admitted it in his final address as Umno president. But at the same time, do replace some rusty cogs in the wheels of government machinery too.