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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unless defined, One Malaysia could lead to many

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — Malaysia’s One Malaysia concept could end up worsening the country’s fractured race relations unless Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak moves quickly to define what he means by it.

Not only have different interpretations sprouted up like mushrooms after rain but the concept seems to have brought to the surface Umno concerns over the real motives of non-Malays, even those belonging to the Barisan Nasional coalition.

Najib chairs his first Cabinet meeting as prime minister today and is expected to tell his ministers to be inclusive in their actions and words.

This caution comes three days after his deputy, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, was quoted as saying that by supporting the Opposition in the recent by-election in Perak and Kedah, Chinese appeared unappreciative of the efforts of the government to bring development and fund Chinese schools. He also said the recent trend in voting suggested that Chinese wanted to play the role of kingmakers in Malaysian politics.

Muhyiddin’s comments invited a torrent of criticisms from non-Malays and from Umno’s partners in the MCA and Gerakan. The critics not only assailed the DPM but also aimed some of the invective at the One Malaysia concept, noting that Malay politicians and the media were already pitching narrow markers around it.

Malay groups say that the concept will not alter the affirmative action programme and is only meant to bring up the level of economic development of under privileged groups, regardless of race.

The Opposition and non-Malays believe that it is not possible to speak about One Malaysia if Chinese, Indians and Ibans continue to be accorded second class status here.

The backlash from the non-Malays as well as unhappiness by the Malaysian Indian Congress over their representation in Cabinet has stirred anger in Umno circles.

Today, Utusan Malaysia, the Umno-owned daily had a front-paged reported titled: “Arise Malays’’. The report called on the Malays to unite and fend off what appeared to be unreasonable demands by other races.

Pasir Mas MP Datuk Ibrahim Ali warned non-Malay leaders that the government could ignore all their demands because Malays held sufficient seats in Parliament to set up a government of only Malay lawmakers.

‘‘The Malay party will be strong when the interests of Malays are looked after. So Umno should focus on Malays. So Umno does not have to feel any fear because I believe that when Umno is strong, the non-Malays will automatically support BN, ‘’ he said.

Ironically whenever Umno feels threatened, ruling party politicians dredge up the idea of Umno and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas) coming together.

Backbencher Datuk Mohamad Aziz said that Umno and Pas should sit down and resolve their differences and work to defend the rights of the Malays.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that Najib has not fleshed out the One Malaysia concept yet. But events and rhetoric since he took over as PM should be a clear indication that it will take more than a few nice sounding words or gestures to bring down the mercury in Malaysia.

There is deep suspicion among the races and this will not be resolved by proclaiming to be the PM of all Malaysians and tossing a few chapatis.

Malays, Chinese, Indians and others have high expectations of anyone who says he is the leader of all Malaysians. Just ask Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Terengganu assembly boycott ends but crisis far from over

KUALA LUMPUR, April 15 — The 10 Barisan Nasional (BN) rebel assemblymen who boycotted yesterday’s Terengganu state assembly sitting turned up this morning after being ordered to do so by Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

But it is understood the “revolt” against Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said is far from over.

Ahmad’s position as mentri besar still appears untenable as he has lost the support of more than just the backing of the 10 BN men.

The Malaysian Insider understands that Putrajaya as well as the Terengganu palace are still in favour of his removal as MB.

Steps are being made to convince Ahmad to hand over power in a smooth transition.

In recent days, the state was roiled by rumours that BN assemblymen planned to table a no-confidence vote against Ahmad.

But yesterday, 10 assemblymen instead skipped the legislative sitting, citing death threats they allegedly received through text messages from aides of Ahmad.

Najib said yesterday there was no truth to the allegations.

The seeds of this revolt were planted when Ahmad was put in place as BN’s mentri besar soon after last year’s general elections in place of the incumbent Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Idris was not reappointed due to friction with the Terengganu palace.

However, The Malaysian Insider understands that the palace will have no objections to Ahmad’s removal as MB if he is unable to hold the government together.

RM 45,786 wang rakyat diguna untuk 'puji' Rosmah?

(Hrkh) - Demi memuji dan 'memuja' isteri Perdana Menteri, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan didakwa membelanja sejumlah RM45786.00 membeli iklan di sebuah akhbar arus perdana.

Iklan satu muka itu telah dibeli oleh Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan untuk 'memuja' Rosmah yang sudi melawat daerah Rembau.

Ketika ramai pihak sedang memberikan tumpuan ke Bukit Selambau, Batang Ai dan Bukit Gantang pada 7 April lalu, Rsomah telah melawat Pusat Anak Permata Negara di Chembong, Rembau.

Menurut sumber akhbar itu harga iklan untuk memuja Rosmah itu sahaja sudah berharga RM 45786.00

Demikian didedahkan Ahli Majlis Tertinggi KeADILan Badrul Hisham dalam blognya yang mengecam Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan kerana membazirkan sebegitu besar jumlah wang rakyat hanya untuk memuja dan mengambil hati isteri seorang Perdana Menteri .

"....bagaimana dengan iklan di akhbar lain ?

"Itu tidak termasuk berapa perbelanjaan banner sambutan, bendera (termasuk kos pemasangan) dan lain persiapan yang dibazirkan," katanya yang juga dikenali sebagai 'Chegubard'.

Sementara itu beliau juga turut menyatakan bahawa Kerajaan Negeri Sembilan di bawah menteri besar yang sama pernah dilaporkan dalam laporan audit negara bahawa pernah melakukan penyelewengan dengan menggunakan wang untuk rakyat miskin dan peruntukan lain untuk mengubah suai dapur rumahnya dan membuat banner ucapan dan sambutan.

Jangan putar belit kenyataan saya - Muhyiddin

(Bernama) - Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin meminta media tidak memutarbelitkan kenyataannya mengenai kemerosotan sokongan masyarakat Cina kepada Barisan Nasional dalam pilihan raya kecil bagi kerusi Parlimen Bukit Gantang di Perak baru-baru ini.

"Janganlah sengaja nak membangkitkan isu untuk orang marah saya, (kononnya) sebagai TPM, (saya) tidak menghargai sumbangan masyarakat Cina. Pernah ke kita kata begitu?" katanya kepada pemberita selepas mendengar taklimat daripada pegawaipegawai kanan Kementerian Pelajaran di sini semalam.

Beliau sebelum itu menerima nota serah tugas sebagai Menteri Pelajaran daripada Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein yang kini Menteri Dalam Negeri.

MCA dan Gerakan dilaporkan melahirkan rasa tidak senang dengan kenyataan beliau bahawa kemerosotan sokongan masyarakat Cina seolaholah menunjukkan bahawa masyarakat Cina tidak menghargai apa yang BN telah lakukan untuk mereka.

Muhyiddin berkata beliau telah bercakap dengan Presiden MCA Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat yang menyatakan bahawa tidak ada apaapa yang salah dengan kenyataannya itu.

"Saya rasa akhbar bahasa Cina tersalah lapor, sehingga saya dipandang serong oleh masyarakat Cina. Itu adalah sesuatu yang serius," katanya.

Muhyiddin berkata beliau menganalisis kedudukan di Bukit Gantang selepas turun berkempen serta membantu dan menjelaskan banyak perkara tetapi apabila dilihat kepada keputusannya, sokongan kaum Cina kepada BN di situ merosot dari tahun 2008.

"Bagi saya itu adalah serius walaupun kita cuba menyelesaikan masalah (kaum Cina) dan sebagainya, seolaholah apa yang kita cuba selesaikan tidak dihargai...dalam konteks itu," katanya.

Muhyiddin berkata postmortem bagi setiap pilihan raya kecil yang diadakan perlu dibuat dan dianalisis dengan berterus-terang.

"Kita tidak mahu sembunyikan apaapa. Jika kaum Cina nampaknya tidak menyokong, tentulah ada sebabnya," katanya.

Muhyiddin berkata beliau mahu memahami pemikiran orang Cina di Bukit Gantang bahawa sebarang bentuk bantuan tidak boleh mempengaruhi keputusan mereka atau mungkin terdapat isu yang lebih besar.

"Itu saya cakap dari segi konteks nak menjelaskan apa yang berlaku di Bukit Gantang. Sama ada itu membayangkan sikap di peringkat nasional atau tidak, saya tak ada fakta untuk menunjukkan begitu. Mungkin di tempat lain, lain (pemikirannya).

"Saya kata di Bukit Gantang, jadi, kena faham dalam konteks Bukit Gantang," katanya.

How many Ministers like Muhyiddin and Tee Keat who cannot pass UPSR as they do not know the meaning of “membalas budi”?

By Lim Kit Siang

What Malaysians want to know is how many Ministers in the 29-strong Najib Cabinet are like Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Transport Minister Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat who cannot pass UPSR (Ujian Penilian Sekolah Rendah) as they do not know the meaning of “membalas budi”.

Any ordinary Std. 3 or 4 primary school student would know the meaning of “membalas budi” or “mengenang budi” which would have been discussed in their moral education classes and it is inconceivable that a primary school student could pass the UPSR if he or she does not understand the meaning of this term.

It is most shocking therefore that the new Deputy Prime Minister who is also the new Education Minister is so “challenged” as to be unable to properly understand the meaning of this term. Even more shocking, the MCA President who is wont to flaunt his literary skills, also finds it difficult to fully understand this term and its implications which any primary student should know.

To avoid being accused of distorting what he said or taking his words out of context, let me reproduce the New Straits Times report of what Muhyiddin said yesterday:

2009/04/15
DPM: It is not what I said
By : Hamidah Atan

PUTRAJAYA: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin took several Chinese newspapers to task for allegedly misquoting him as having said in a recent interview that the Chinese were ungrateful.

“I have spoken to Tee Keat and he said there was nothing wrong with my statement,” Muhyiddin said, referring to MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat.

“It was twisted by the Chinese dailies. My Bahasa Melayu is straight and clear. I was just making an assessment of Bukit Gantang. There is nothing to be concerned about, but when you twist the whole thing and put me in bad light among the Chinese community, that is serious.

“You have to read the whole context, do not pick up like that. I think I am good in my Bahasa but some people did not understand my language. Do not distort my statement to make the people angry as if I do not appreciate the Chinese community.”

Muhyiddin was speaking to reporters after taking over the Education Ministry portfolio yesterday.

The Umno deputy president said he mentioned in the interview that the Bukit Gantang by-election results seemed to show that “what we have done to overcome issues was not appreciated”.

“It was in that context and it did not apply to all. We conducted a post-mortem of all by-elections and we analysed. Sometimes, we are frank as we do not want to hide things.”

“I said in the interview that we must understand why this (lack of non-Malay support) happened, why the Chinese are like that, why the Malays are like that, but not saying the Chinese are good or bad.

“I was talking about the issues in Bukit Gantang. In other places, the context may be different.”

Muhyiddin said the BN had yet to establish whether the lack of non-Malay support in Bukit Gantang reflected overall sentiment in the country.

“This has yet to be seen as we have not made any assessment of the overall situation.”

Muhyiddin is defending the indefensible as anyone who reads his Mingguan Malaysia interview can only draw one conclusion, that the Chinese press had given a fair and accurate translation of what Muhyiddin actually said, and that Muhyiddin’s denial that he had not described the Chinese as “ungrateful” cannot be supported by any independent or fair-minded person.

This is why I find the endorsement given by the MCA President stating that “there is nothing wrong” with Muhyiddin’s Mingguan Malaysia interview most unbelievable.

In defending his position, Tee Keat said that to “uphold the spirit of democracy, we should respect differing views, even if we cannot concur with.”

He said: “The Deputy Prime Minister can voice his views on the results of the Bukit Gantang by-election, and so can I.

“I see nothing wrong for him to express his observations and views.”

Tee Keat is deliberately avoiding the real issue – which is not about Muhyiddin’s views, however perverse and retrogressive about the results of the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections, but Muhyiddin’s statement “I have spoken to Tee Keat and he said there was nothing wrong with my statement”.

As Tee Keat did not deny that he had made such a statement as claimed by Muhyiddin, we can take it that Muhyiddin was telling the truth.

Can Tee Keat explain why as MCA President, he had told Muhyiddin that “there was nothing wrong” with the Deputy Prime Minister’s Mingguan Malaysia interview criticising the Chinese for being “ungrateful” and “unappreciative” in the Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau by-elections?

If there is total silence on this issue after the first Najib Cabinet meeting, then Malaysians are entitled to wonder whether they have a Cabinet of 29 Ministers who have problems like Muhyiddin and Tee Keat in passing the UPSR!

When justice is not administered according to law

by N.H.Chan

The story unfolds with the application of three turncoat members of the Perak legislative assembly for a declaration that Speaker Sivakumar’s order, which was made in the legislative assembly, that their seats in the assembly have become vacant because they have resigned was illegal. Here is the report from the Sun newspaper, Thursday April 2 2009:

IPOH: The High Court yesterday dismissed the application by Perak State Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar to strike out an original summons brought by the three independent assemblymen, seeking a declaration that Sivakumar’s order to declare their assembly seats vacant was illegal.
Justice Datuk Balia Yusuf Wahi set April 8 to hear the suit by the assemblymen Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering), Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) against the speaker.
He also dismissed an application by three former Pakatan Rakyat state executive Councillors . . . and three registered voters to intervene in the case, ruling that they are not interested parties as claimed.
Sivakumar had declared the three state seats vacant based on their pre-dated resignation letters as the three assemblymen were formerly from the ruling coalition. Their resignation from their parties caused the balance of power to shift to Barisan Nasional.
Sivakumar had informed the Election Commission (EC) to call for fresh elections for these three seats but the EC declined and said the seats were not vacant. The three assemblymen then referred their suit to the High Court here for a ruling that they had not vacated their seats as declared by Sivakumar.

I don’t have to tell you how to judge the judge. You must know by now how to do it if you have read my articles in the internet. You will know he is a bad judge if he behaves unfairly to one side as against the other. It is your perception as a member of the public that matters and not what the judge thinks of himself. A judge who does not appear to be fair is useless to the judicial process. As such he is a bad judge and is therefore unfit to sit on the bench. The other essential qualification of a judge is to administer justice according to law. That said, we can now judge this judge.

Article 72, Clause (1) ofthe Federal Constitution clearly states:

72. (1) The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court.

Yet Mr Justice Balia Yusuf Wahi, who knew that the Speaker’s order which was made in the legislative assembly was a proceeding in the Legislative Assembly, dismissed the Speaker’s application to strike out the summons of the three turncoat assemblymen who were asking the court to question the validity of what the Speaker had done in the assembly. As you know what the Speaker did in the assembly, rightly or wrongly, is not to be questioned in any court. Isn’t what the judge had done by dismissing the Speaker’s application to strike out the turncoats’ summons, not administering justice according to law? The judge had gone against the Constitution of Malaysia which is the supreme law of the land. What do you call a judge who has defied the law of the land? A renegade judge?

There is another thing. Why did the judge dismiss the application of the three voters from the Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang constituencies, who claimed that their rights were affected because they had voted for the DAP and PKR? They were not allowed to intervene because they were not interested parties ruled the judge. Why are they not interested parties? The voters have voted for them as their representatives in the legislative assembly because they were DAP and PKR candidates. Now the turncoats have reneged on the arrangement on which they have stood for election on a DAP or PKR ticket. Such an arrangement has formed the basis of an underlying assumption on which they have conducted the dealings between them. Therfore,they would not be allowed to go back on that assumption when it would be unfair or unjust to allow them to do so. In other words, it would be unfair or unjust to allow them to say that they are no longer DAP or PKR members but are independent members of the assembly. The authority for what I have just said is so well known that I am surprised the judge had chosen to ignore it. The ease is Boustead Trading (1985) Sdn Bhd v. Arab- Malaysian Merchant Bank Bhd [1995] 3 M.L.J. 331, F.C., where Gopal Sri Ram JCA sitting in the Federal Court gave the judgment of the Court. He said, p. 344:

The time has come for this court to recognize that the doctrine of estoppel is a flexible principle by which justice is done according to the circumstances of the case. It is a doctrine of wide utility and has been resorted to in varying fact patterns to achieve justice. Indeed, the circumstances in which the doctrine may operate are endless.

And at p. 345, he went on to say:

The width of the doctrine has been summed up by Lord Denning in the Amalgamated Investment case ([1982] 1 Q.B. 84 at p. 122; [1981] 3 All E.R. 577 at p. 584; [1981] 3 W.L.R. 565 at p. 575) as follows:

“The doctrine of estoppel is one of the most flexible and useful in the armoury of the law. But it has become overloaded with cases. That is why I have not gone through them all in this judgment. It has evolved during the last 150 years in a sequence of separate developments: proprietary estoppel, estoppel by representation of fact, estoppel by acquiescence, and promissory estoppel. At the same time it has been sought to be limited by a series of maxims: estoppel is only a rule of evidence, estoppel cannot give rise to a cause of action, estoppel cannot do away with the need for consideration, and so forth. All these can now be seen to merge into one general principle shorn of limitations. When the parties to a transaction proceed on the basis of an underlying assumption - either of fact or of law - whether due to misrepresentation or mistake makes no difference - on which they have conducted the dealings between them - neither of them will be allowed to go back on that assumption when it would be unfair or unjust to allow him to do so. If one of them does seek to go back on it, the courts will give the other such remedy as the equity of the case demands.” (Emphasis added)

So the judge Balia Yusuf Wahi had wrongly ruled that the three voters were not interested parties. The voters’ interest in the matter is that they have a right to insist on the persons whom they have voted to be their elected DAP or PKR representatives not to change sides by switching to the other political coalition Barisan Nasional. “When the parties to a transaction proceed on the basis of an underlying assumption on which they have conducted the dealings between them neither of them will be allowed to go back on that assumption when it would be unfair or unjust to allow him to do so. If one of them does seek to go back on it, the courts will give the other such remedy as the equity of the case demands”

We know that the judge had adjourned the hearing of the suit by the turncoat assemblymen to April 8. But to our amazement we were told by the newspaper that the turncoats have also made two applications to the Federal Court on Friday, that was Friday April 3, for two declarations, viz:

Whether, on a true interpretation of article 36(5) of the Laws of Perak Darul Ridzuan (Perak Constitution) read together with section 12(3) ofthe Election Act 1958, the Election Commission is the rightful entity which establishes if there is a casual vacancy of the state legislative assembly seat.

When a resignation of a member of the Perak state legislative assembly is disputed, is such resignation within the meaning as ascribed under article 35 of the Perak Constitution.

If they have applied to the Federal Court for a determination, then it is only proper to inform the High Court and the other side about it. So that what is pending in the High Court could be adjourned until the Federal Court has decided on the questions that have been referred to it.

Then on Friday, April 10, 2009 the New Straits Times carries this report:

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has declared that three assemblymen who quit their parties are still members of the Perak state legislature.
This follows an unanimous ruling by a five-men bench yesterday which ruled that the Election Commission had the authority to declare a seat vacant.
“The Election Commission is the rightful entity to establish if there was a casual vacancy in the Perak state legislature,” said Federal Court judge Tan Sri Alauddlin Mohd Sheriff.
Sitting with him were Datuk Arifin Zakaria, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman, Datuk Seri S Augustine Paul and Datuk James Foong.
Last month, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), together with DAP’s Hee Ylt Foong (Jelapang), filed an urgent application for the Federal Court to decide their matter.
The three wanted a declaration whether it was the Election Commission or the Perak Speaker (V Sivakumar) had the final say in determining a vacancy.
In February, Sivakumar, using resignation letters signed by the three, had declared the seats vacant.
He informed the Election Commission, but the commission refused to hold by-elections on the ground that there was ambiguity over whether the assemblymen had resigned voluntarily.

Was the Federal Court right? Before you can judge the judges of the highest court in the country, it is necessary for me to apprise you of the law applicable which is found in the Constitution of Perak. Thus:

The heading of Article XXXI of the Perak constitution reads:

Disqualification for membership of Legislative Assembly

XXXI. (1) Subject to the provisions of this Article, a person is disqualified for being a member of the Legislative Assembly if -
(a) [he is of unsound mind]; (I have summarised the paragraph)
(b) he is an undischarged bankrupt;
(c) he holds office of profit;
(d) [he has failed to lodge any return of eleetion expenses within time] (I
have summarised the paragraph
)
(e) [he has been convicted of an offence and sentenced to imprisonment of not less than one year or to a fine of not less than RM2,000] (I have summarised the paragraph)
(f) [disqualification involving election offences] (I have summarised the paragraph)
(g) [he has acquired the citizenship of another country] (I have summarised the paragraph)

(2) [The disqualification ofa person under paragraphs (d) or (e) above may be removed by the Sultan or ceased at the end of five years] (This is a summary)
(3) . . .
(4) . . .
(5) A person who resigns his membership of the Legislative Assembly of this State or any other State shall, for a period of five years beginning with the date on which his resignation takes effect be disqualified from being a member of the Legislative Assembly of this State.

So that it is clear to all of us that Article XXXI, Clause (5) says that an assemblyman who resigns is disqualified from being a member of the Assembly for a period of five years from the date of his resignation.

And Article XXXIII, Clause (1) says:

XXXIII.(1) If any question arises whether a member of the Legislative Assembly has become disqualified for membership, the decision of the Assembly shall be taken and shall be final.

This means that whether a person is disqualified for membership of the Assembly is the decision of the Assembly. So that when a person has resigned he is disqualified from being a member of the assembly for five years from the date his resignation takes effect.

You may want to know how an assemblyman can resign. Article XXXV states:

XXXV. A member of the Legislative Assembly may resign his membership by writing under his hand addressed to the Speaker.

So that a member can resign simply by writing to the Speaker. But whether the letter itself amounts to a resignation, as a resignation would disqualify him for membership of the assembly, is for the Assembly to decide. Article XXXIII, clause (1) says that the decision of the Assembly shall be taken on the disqualification if any question arises on it, which in the present context is the effectiveness of the letter of resignation. And the decision of the Assembly is to be final.

The above is simple enough for all of us to understand. But then, all of us are wondering how on earth the Federal Court could have decided that “The Election Commission is the rightful entity to establish if there was a casual vacancy in the Perak state legislature”? Don’t you all feel superior to the judges of the Federal Court because you know the correct answer whilst the highest court gave a wrong decision. So you see, when you know how to judge the judges you would be able to separate the wheat from the chaff from among our judges. The chaff, you will discover, may not be up to your expectations.

What really happened was that with their myopic reading of the Perak constitution they pick on Clause (5) of Article XXXVI and say that is the correct answer. This is what Article XXXVI, Clause (5) says - the article starts with the heading:

Summoning, prorogation and dissolution of Legislative Assembly
XXXVI. (5) A casual vacancy shall be filled within sixty days from the date on which it is established by the Election Commission that there is a vacancy.

A casual vacancy means an occasional vacancy which can be filled simply with a by-election. But the question whether the turncoat assemblyman have resigned or not will have to await the outcome of the decision of the Assembly which decision shall be final: see Article XXXIII, Clause (1). It is only upon receiving the decision of the Legislative Assembly will the Election Commission be able to establish that there is a vacancy. As it turns out the Federal Court have put the cart before the horse - in this case, just the cart without the horse - which is that the court has held that it is for the Commission to establish that there is a casual vacancy without waiting for the decision of the Assembly whether the three turncoat assemblymen have been disqualified for membership of the Assembly by resignation.

What media freedom, prime minister?

By Jacqueline Ann Surin
thenutgraph.com


(Laptop image by Winterling / Dreamstime)

ON 6 April 2009, three days after he was made prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak spoke about a new way forward in policy, politics and the media.

To many in the media, his rhetoric about a "vibrant, free and informed media" was welcome, especially in an environment where government control of the traditional media is established through legislation and ownership.

Truth is, however, seasoned media practitioners are sceptical that these words really mean anything beyond a public relations spin. Indeed, one doesn't even have to be all that experienced a journalist to be cynical.

Since assuming office on 3 April 2009, Najib's administration has shown that creating an environment for a media that "allows people to hold public officials accountable" and that is not fearful of doing so, is perhaps not topmost on his mind.

Barring Merdeka Review

On 9 April 2009, Chinese-language online news site Merdeka Review was barred from entering the prime minister's office in Putrajaya to cover the announcement of the new cabinet line-up.

No reasons were given. The officer who was responsible for relaying the instruction "from the prime minister's office" was himself clueless. He was just a "coolie", he said when The Nut Graph called him for an explanation.

When pressed for his full name and position in Najib's office, he ended the call abruptly. It sounded very much like he feared reprisals from speaking to the media about an instruction from higher-ups that he was merely carrying out.

What is interesting to note is that according to Merdeka Review's editor-in-chief, the online news site has never been prevented from covering a government event in Putrajaya before this.

And despite having written an open letter to the prime minister to seek an explanation, no response has been forthcoming as of 4.30pm on 14 April 2009.

No press conference

But Najib did one other thing on the day that he announced his cabinet line-up that leaves journalists wondering about his sincerity in wanting media that are "empowered". Apart from barring an online news site — the new media that Najib so glibly talked about embracing both at the Umno general assembly and in his 6 April speech — our sixth prime minister also pointedly did not hold a press conference after announcing his cabinet.


Najib delivering his speech at the Umno general assembly on 24 March

Instead, he held a special briefing/meeting with editors of selected media outfits. The new media were, of course, absent from this private session with the prime minister. Bernama — the state-owned wire service — was naturally among the invited, as were some other editors from the traditional media.

Why didn't Najib hold a press conference to field questions from the media after he announced his cabinet line-up? Wouldn't that have shown that he was willing to be held accountable for his decisions about the new cabinet? He did, after all, promise Malaysians this: "I will always stand up and be accountable for the decisions I make as your prime minister."

Did Najib choose not to hold a press conference when he announced his cabinet on 9 April because that was the same day that Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar were sentenced to death for murdering Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu?

Both former prime ministers Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi held press conferences after announcing their cabinet. They took questions from the media, and while their replies may not have been satisfactory, at least they demonstrated a willingness to be questioned. Or to use Najib's own words, to be held "accountable".

Worse, by only inviting selected media to a private meeting after his announcement, Najib is demonstrating that he is only willing to engage with friendly media.


Hishammuddin (Pic courtesy of theSun)
Bernama's report, for example, didn't ask any hard-hitting questions of our new prime minister. For example, why did he appoint his cousin, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein as home minister? Why wasn't Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin appointed? Why wasn't the number of women increased in accordance with Malaysia's international obligations under a United Nations treaty? How has the cabinet become leaner when there are more deputy ministers now than before?

But one shouldn't blame Bernama. It is, after all, a state agency that can hardly be expected to be independent and fearless in its reporting of government. And Najib, we can be sure, was well aware of that.

Not hopeful

Truth be told, seasoned journalists are not optimistic about Najib and how he will treat the media. To be fair, Najib should, of course, be judged by his actions as he himself has asked of the rakyat.

But it is precisely his actions that have led to a sense of disquiet among the media fraternity.

Even before 9 April when Najib's office barred Merdeka Review and then chose not to have a press conference about the cabinet line-up, he was already part of a decision to bar six online media from covering its 59th general assembly.

There are other anecdotes that reveal that Najib will not take dissent from the media in his stride.

One seasoned journalist says her newspaper has been told before to watch their journalists because they were perceived as pro-opposition. A radio station was also recently told to watch its steps.

My own memory of Najib's displeasure with the media dates back to 18 July 2007, the day after he announced that Malaysia had never been a secular state. theSun, where I was assistant news editor, ran reactions to his statement on the front page. For this the paper was warned because apparently Najib, who was then acting prime minister as Abdullah was away, had "hit the roof". The paper subsequently backed off from reporting or discussing Najib's statement in order to not lose its publishing permit.


The 18 July 2007 front page (Click on image to read column)

Granted, these are anecdotes. Nothing can be proven in such instances, especially not Najib's direct involvement in such directives to the media. After all, nearly all of these directives are not in black-and-white, as evidenced by the decision to bar Merdeka Review.

But even without these anecdotes, Najib's office has proven in the last few days that the prime minister may say one thing, but his actions may mean something else altogether.

Indeed, he should be judged by his actions. One can only hope that he will remember that as much as Malaysians will of their new prime minister.

Najib’s disappointing start

After appointing a lacklustre cabinet, Malaysia’s new prime minister refused to answer questions from the media.

By Bridget Welsh, The Guardian UK

Malaysia’s sixth prime minister, Najib Tun Abdul Razak took office earlier this month, replacing Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In Najib’s first week, he failed key tests that show he can be his own man. He lost important by-elections, failed to address persistent scandals and selected a cabinet of lacklustre appointees that has not evoked confidence. He ran away from the press, declining to address basic questions about his government.

This poor beginning raises serious questions about his leadership and calls into question his ability to deliver on the reforms that are critical for Malaysia’s future.

Before Najib took office he managed to win a strong mandate from within his own party’s polls last month, as loyalists in his cohort rose to party leadership positions. Najib represents a third generation of leaders from the UMNO party that governs Malaysia. The first generation assumed office in independence, the second after the racial riots of 1969.

Najib’s generation came into politics after 1969, and has matured under the shadow of Mahathir Mohamad, known for promoting economic progress while simultaneously closing political space and weakening political institutions. Najib’s strong party showing was expected to set the stage for the new premier to introduce reforms and step out of the shadow of his predecessors. Early signs were good, as Najib’s speeches highlighted reforms and the day after he took office he released 13 political prisoners held under the draconian Internal Security Act. Malaysians were pleasantly surprised with his first moves.

Skepticism reigned, however. After the five years of promise without delivery under Abdullah Badawi, Malaysians want results, not rhetoric. Many are not willing to give Najib the benefit the doubt. Part of this is his association with Abdullah’s government, as deputy prime minister.

Another reason has to do with the heavy baggage of scandal that cloud Najib’s leadership; his alleged connections with corruption in defence contract deals and links to a Mongolian model who was murdered by staff assigned to his security detail have damaged his reputation.

Last week, the two officers charged with blowing up the model were convicted. The government’s response has been to ban the use of the model’s name – Altantuya Shariibuu – further raising speculation about the crime and suspicions about Najib’s involvement. There is no evidence that Najib was involved in the murder, but the lack of credibility that Najib faces – which is only enhanced when he refuses to answer questions – has hurt him.

An even darker shadow is Mahathir Mohamad. The former prime minister who governed Malaysia for 22 years systematically undermined Abdullah while he was in office. He has played a major role in mentoring the new generation of leaders, including Najib himself, and his values that have promoted Malay rights over those of other communities, undermined political institutions, deepened corruption and created a climate of insecurity among the elite that runs deep.

Najib is seen to be under the thumb of Mahathir. While this gives the former premier too much credit, the reality is that Mahathirism remains a force that must be addressed and Mahathir himself remains a political player in his agenda setting role.

These factors played out in three recent by-elections when more than 100,000 voters went to the polls. Najib’s coalition lost two of the three contests. The contest it did win – Batang Ai in rural Sarawak – was the result of massive allocations of patronage (RM70 million in promises for 8,006 voters) and included allegations of ballot box tampering. Voters in West Malaysia in two traditionally strong seats for Najib’s government, gave the Pakatan opposition coalition led by Anwar Ibrahim larger majorities.

These results were the product of greater opposition cooperation and the inability of the governing coalition to reach across races. Non-Malays voted in large majorities for the opposition. They were joined by large numbers of Malays who rejected the use of Mahathir for Najib’s campaign and were tired of the endemic corruption in the system. Najib stayed away from the campaigns, showing that he is not ready to face the public directly. He received a sharp rebuke.

Najib had the opportunity to stem the tide of negative perceptions through his cabinet selections. Here too, he disappointed. The majority appointees are recycled old faces and Najib loyalists. While many of them are among the cleaner alternatives and his choices in finance and trade show promise, the inclusion of Mahathir’s son, and reliance on his close allies who are seen to not make the grade do not build confidence.

This cabinet follows in the Mahathir mould, one that appears to focus on the economy and exclude the need for political reform. It does not include individuals who appear willing to address the albatross on Malaysia’s economic competitiveness, the pro-Malay affirmative action policy, the New Economic Policy, that has become a vehicle for corruption. After announcing his list, Najib refused to answer questions.

Najib is running away from addressing the factors that will hamper his government. He lacks public support. He is trapped by the system he inherited, the shadows of Abdullah’s unmet reform promises and Mahathir’s hardline approach. He faces a stronger and more cohesive opposition. Najib’s style is more measured, but in these challenging times and in the light of his public credibility issues, the tepid responses have disappointed.

With each passing day that the new prime minister fails key tests, his tenure is shortened. Najib cannot continue to avoid the fact that his political survival is based on winning over the Malaysian public and bolder measures that deliver reform are essential.

THE GENERATION GAP


1. When in 1957 we became independent the population was only five million. Even after 1963 when Sabah and Sarawak joined the Peninsula to form Malaysia the population was only slightly more than six million.

2. Today Malaysia's population is 27 million. Obviously most Malaysians were born after 1957-1963. Meaning to say they had not known anything but being free, being independent, being ruled by their fellow countrymen.

3. History is not a compulsory subject in our schools. If at all history is taught it is sketchy, not really giving a clear picture of what it was like to be ruled by foreigners, by the British, the Japanese and in some cases the Thais.

4. I am not trying to say that those who lived under colonial rule are more appreciative of independence, although that is basically true. But what we should all be concerned with is that we appreciate our independence and our freedom more, whatever may be our political leanings.

5. Is it wrong for us to look back on the past? Some think it is irrelevant. That was before, this is now. Don't tell us all those stories about the struggles of people gone by. We have always been independent. All our life we have been independent.

6. But I think we should know where we came from. Otherwise we would not know which way we should go. We may think we are going forward when in fact we are going backward, back to where we started. We would not be making progress.

7. I am pleading for the teaching of history. George Santayana, an American philosopher once said; "Those who forget the lessons of history will be condemned to repeat their mistakes over and over again", or words to that effect.

8. How do we know we are not repeating our mistakes now if we do not know of our mistakes in the past. We need to know.

9. We need to know how we came to be colonized. We need to know how we barely managed to escape from being a Communist state.

10. We need to know how our Rulers were forced to surrender their states to the British. We need to know how the British were forced to rescind the MacMichael treaties. And so on, and so forth.

11. Somewhere along we would recognize the mistakes we had made. And knowing them we would be better able to avoid making them again. Our country would continue to grow and prosper.

12. The independent generations have enjoyed the independent country they inherited.

13. Surely they would want their children and grandchildren to inherit the same.

14. And this they can ensure by knowing the history of this beloved country and the mistakes of the past.

NGO Focus with AWAM

Hisham signals ISA, media laws review

Media Alert ! Samy Demand Apology

Event: Media Alert ! Samy Demand Apology

Location: Office of MP Kapar, Jalan Besar , Kapar Selangor
Description: YB S. Manikavasagam to hold Press Conference on Letter of Demand from MIC President Dato Seri S Samy Velu seeking Apology from him.
Start Time: 14:00
Date: 2009-04-15
End Time: 16:00

All media / reporters welcomed.

For Details contact Office of Mp Kapar at 03-32503013

Kit Siang ups ante with DPM, MCA chief

By Lee Wei Lian- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 - DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang has disputed the deputy prime minister's denial that he called the Chinese voters in Bukit Gantang "ungrateful" and told him to apologise to the Chinese media for accusing them of twisting his words.

Lim also raised a new issue over the interview, saying that Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin should apologise for stating that part of the non-Malay community saw the toppling of the Pakatan Rakyat state government in Perak in racial terms as a Chinese government being toppled by a Malay government.

Muhyiddin had responded to the barrage of criticisms by blaming the Chinese media for twisting his remarks in an interview with the Malay newspaper Mingguan Malaysia, saying that he used the words "didn't appreciate" to describe the Chinese community's attitude to the Barisan Nasional and not "ungrateful."

Lim opined out that blaming the media is a "contemptible ploy of unprincipled politicians" and that the translation used in the Chinese media is accurate.

"Muhyiddin said both, "unappreciative" ("tidak ada penghargaan terhadap apa yang kita lakukan") and "ungrateful" ("sepatutnya mereka membalas budi")," said Lim in a statement to the media.

"Who should now be sent back to school, Muhyiddin himself or the Chinese media reporters and editors?"

The veteran lawmaker added that he was "outraged and shocked" over Muhyiddin's claims that there were "racists" among the Chinese in Bukit Gantang who viewed the power grab by the Barisan Nasional (BN) in Perak as a toppling of a Chinese government by a Malay government and called on the deputy prime minister to substantiate his claims, failing which, the latter should apologise.

Muyhiddin said in his interview that "part of the community viewed it (the ouster of the Perak state government) from a racist angle, that a Chinese government has been toppled by a Malay government even though that perception is not true" ("Sesetengah masyarakat di sana, melihat ia dari sudut yang rasis, kerajaan orang Cina ditumbangkan oleh kerajaan orang Melayu walaupun tanggapan itu tidak betul".)

"I am most outraged and shocked by such downright racism," said Lim. "I have never come across anyone discussing or perceiving the undemocratic, unethical, illegal and unconstitutional power grab in Perak in these racist terms and I challenge Muhyiddin to substantiate his canard that there is the racist perception of "a Chinese government being toppled by a Malay government".

"The Perak Pakatan Rakyat state government led by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is a fully Malaysian government comprising leaders from DAP, PAS and PKR, and is no Chinese, Malay or Indian Government."

He reiterated his call for Muhyiddin to withdraw and apologise for his statement that the Chinese and Indian community want to be "kingmakers" at the expense of the Malays.

Lim also called for MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat to confirm or deny news reports that he told the deputy prime minister that he found nothing wrong with Muhyiddin's statements in the interview.

"If it is true that Tee Keat had told Muhyiddin that the former had found "nothing wrong with his statement in Mingguan Malaysia", then the MCA President owes the public a fulsome apology for failing in his pledge to stand up and speak the truth!"

MCA had yesterday through its spokesperson Lee Wei Kiat, issued a statement disagreeing with Muyhiddin's remarks that Chinese voters were unappreciative.

Muhyiddin's interview and the subsequent fallout has come at a difficult time for prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak who has said that the thrust of his new government is One Malaysia - a concept that stresses unity, mutual respect and trust among the different ethnic communities.

Lim has described the deputy prime minister's comments as "divisive" and having given a "bad name" to One Malaysia and that his interpretation of the loss of support was "a blow to the credibility, integrity and legitimacy of the Najib premiership".

The Ipoh Timur MP also called on Najib to clearly define the meaning of One Malaysia at his first cabinet meeting tomorrow, to give a common interpretation to all parties.

Apart from Lim, leaders and officials from Gerakan and MCA have also spoken out against Muyhiddin's comments, saying that the cause of the loss of Chinese and Indian votes lay within the BN itself.

Ong responded in his blog saying that all views should be respected in a democracy even if if "we cannot concur with".

"The Deputy Prime Minister can voice his views on the results of the Bukit Gantang by-election, and so can I. I see nothing wrong for him to express his observations and views," he wrote in his blog.

"Nonetheless, I insist that the fund allocations pledged or disbursed to the people during campaigning should be viewed as the Government's obligation to taxpayers. The issue of gratefulness does not arise at all. This was clearly stated by me when I publicly made my comments on the issue."

"Only the politically bankrupt would exploit such a scenario involving differing views to demand an apology from me for others' utterances. To individuals like Lim Kit Siang, anything he couldn't concur with should never be given any room at all," the Transport Minister said.

Najib orders end to Terengganu revolt

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

APRIL 14 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak has ordered all Barisan Nasional (BN) assemblymen in Terengganu to attend tomorrow’s state legislative sitting, in a move to quell a reported move to oust the mentri besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said.

He also denied that death threats sent via text messages to a number of BN lawmakers came from the mentri besar.

“They received SMSes but they did not come from the mentri besar’s office. There is no truth to it. I want them to attend the assembly,” Najib told reporters today.

Earlier today, the end appeared near for Ahmad after ten BN state lawmakers boycotted the state assembly today in a bid to force his resignation.

But The Malaysian Insider understands Ahmad’s position as BN’s mentri besar still appears untenable amid talk that his own party men were planning to table a no-confidence vote against him.

The seeds of this revolt were planted when Ahmad was put in place as BN’s mentri besar soon after last year’s general elections in place of the incumbent Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

Idris was not reappointed due to friction with the Terengganu palace.

However, The Malaysian Insider understands that the palace will have no objections to Ahmad’s removal as MB if he is unable to hold the government together.

Deputy Umno president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today he would meet the state assemblymen as well as Ahmad in an attempt to bring an end to the political crisis.

In Kuala Terengganu, state backbenchers club chairman Datuk Rosol Wahid told reporters the ten lawmakers did not attend the assembly because they were afraid following the death threat text messages.

“This is not a boycott but we are very afraid. If the authorities can give us an assurance on our safety and provide us with security, we will return to the assembly immediately,” he said.

The assemblymen claimed the text messages were sent by a senior government official associated with Ahmad.

Kalah dalam PRK, Najib kini terdesak

(Hrkh) - Perdana Menteri, Dato' Seri Najib Tun Razak berada dalam keadaan terdesak untuk mendapatkan sokongan semua kaum apabila mengeluarkan kenyataan bahawa beliau adalah Perdana Menteri untuk semua komuniti tanpa mengira agama dan bangsa.

Ketua Angkatan Muda KeADILan (AMK), Shamsul Iskandar Mat Akin mendakwa sikap terdesak Najib itu timbul apabila kedua-dua pilihan raya kecil Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau yang mana sokongan daripada masyarakat Cina dan India dilihat tidak berpihak kepada BN.

Shamsul juga berpandangan, sewaktu pilihan raya tersebut juga dapat dilihat sokongan Melayu juga berkurangan. Justeru kenyataan Najib yang akan menyatupadukan rakyat berasaskan konsep Satu Malaysia juga banyak menimbulkan kecelaruan.

Jelas Shamsul konsep 'Satu Malaysia' yang diketengahkan Najib bukan satu konsep yang baru yang menimbul pertikaian konsep tersebut menyamai konsep 'Malaysian Malaysia' yang dibawa DAP.

"Persoalan yang timbul juga apa asas kepada konsep 'Satu Malaysia. Pakatan Rakyat meletakkan keadilan untuk rakyat itu sebagai asas. Bermakna jika sesuatu kaum itu miskin, kita bantu. Dan jika sesuatu kaum itu kaya, kita menghulurkan bantuan untuk sesuatu kaum yang lain. Itu merupakan asas kepada konsep Pakatan Rakyat dalam mengurus tadbir negara.

"Dan ini yang saya lihat kekurangan daripada gagasan Najib. Dan jika Islam Hadhari yang diungkapkan Abdullah itu gagal, slogan yang diungkap Najib juga tidak ada penjelasan dan asasnya. Seterusnya ia akan menjadi slogan politik semata-mata. Ia tidak akan menyelesaikan masalah,"katanya sewaktu dihubungi Harakahdaily.

Dalam pada itu, Shamsul juga berpandangan perubahan yang ingin dilakukan Najib seharusnya bukan sekadar kosmetik sebaliknya mesti melibatkan soal dasar, prinsip dan perubahan kepada struktur.

Individu rasuah dikekalkan

Sementara itu mengulas mengenai 'amaran' Timbalan Perdana Menteri, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin agar semua parti komponen BN tidak membuat kenyataan terbuka berhubung isu pelantikan wakil masing-masing dalam barisan Kabinet baru, Shamsul mempersoalkan asas pelantikan dalam kabinet yang dilihat masih mengekalkan individu yang dilihat tidak 'bersih'.

"Najib mengumumkan senarai kabinet adalah muka-muka baru tetapi pada masa yang sama masih mengekalkan individu yang terpalit dengan rasuah. Harus ada kejujuran politik dalam pemilihan kabinet ini. Najib dan Muhyidin harus menjelaskan rasional perlantikan mereka dalam kabinet,"katanya.

Dalam perkembangan berkaitan, Setiausaha Agung MIC yang juga Menteri Sumber Manusia, Dato' Dr S Subramaniam mengakui parti itu kecewa kerana tidak diberi sebarang tambahan jawatan dalam Kabinet, sedangkan Gerakan mendapat tambahan satu menteri, manakala MCA satu timbalan menteri.

"Jadi, MIC berhak menyatakan pandangan apa rasional presiden Gerakan dan MCA dilantik, sebaliknya Presiden MIC tidak dilantik. Ini masalah yang dihadapi jika masih berpegang pada konsep politik perkauman.

" Apabila adanya politik perkauman, mereka akan anggap mereka adalah juara kaum India. Maka mereka akan jadi menteri. Dengan menjadi menteri, mereka beranggapan mereka boleh membantu kaum India. Tetapi menteri kabinet di Malaysia bukan khusus untuk membantu sesuatu kaum. Perkara ini gagal difahami oleh pemimpin-pemimpin BN, justeru timbul isu seperti ini,"tegasnya.

It’s payback time

Image

Yes, it is payback time -- big time payback time. But it all depends on how far Tun Dr Mahathir wants to take these issues. The knife is in his hands. It is just whether he wants to use that knife to slit Tun Abdullah’s throat.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

There are 32 state assembly seats in Terengganu. 24 are under Barisan Nasional and the balance eight under Pakatan Rakyat. Yesterday was the second day of the three-day state assembly sitting but ten of the Barisan Nasional State Assemblypersons have refused to attend the session.

The ten Barisan Nasional State Assemblypersons, led by the previous Menteri Besar Idris Jusoh, said they are not boycotting the state assembly sitting as such. They just refuse to attend the state assembly until the police can guarantee their safety. It seems three of them have received death threats and they allege the death threats, which were sent via SMS, have been traced back to someone in the state government.

The Menteri Besar, however, says that the ten are boycotting the state assembly sitting and that he will not attempt to persuade them to end their boycott. In short, what the Menteri Besar is saying, the ten can go to hell. The Deputy Prime Minister has responded by telling the ten to not jeopardise the state government while the Prime Minister has ordered them to attend the last day of the session today.

PAS said if there is a vote of no confidence against the Menteri Besar they will support it. If that happens, then it will be eight opposition State Assemblypersons, plus ten from Barisan Nasional, to total 18 versus 14. That means Ahmad Said would be ousted from office through a vote of no confidence -- like what should have happened in Perak but did not because of the interference of the Perak Palace.

The ten, however, claim that there was never any intention to table a vote of no confidence against Ahmad Said in the Terengganu State Assembly. The reason they are not attending the assembly -- not to be interpreted as boycotting -- is because of the death threats they received from someone in the state government. The death threats, in turn, are because of the rumours that the ten intend to table a vote of no confidence against the Menteri Besar in the state assembly.

Very confusing isn’t it? Anyway, the long and the short of it is there is a crisis in the Terengganu State Assembly with ten on one side, 14 on another, and eight waiting to vote with the ten in the event there is going to be a vote of no confidence against the Menteri Besar.

Okay, forget about all that for the meantime. The issue that must not be forgotten is that Ahmad Said, head of the gang of 14, was personally appointed by the Sultan, in this case who is also the Agong. Idris Jusoh, on the other hand, head of the gang of ten, was rejected by His Majesty the Agong. Does this mean Umno is going to defy the Agong and oust Ahmad Said in favour of Idris Jusoh and risk triggering a Constitutional Crisis in Terengganu like what happened in Perak?

In the Perak Constitutional Crisis, Nizar Jamaluddin was accused of being a treasonous person (penderhaka) for opposing the wishes of the Sultan of Perak with regards to His Highness’ choice of Menteri Besar. What would we call Idris Jusoh and his band of merry men who also oppose the wishes of the Sultan of Terengganu with regards to His Majesty’s choice of Menteri Besar? Will, again, Umno carry placards labelling the Agong as ‘natang’ if His Majesty refuses to replace Ahmad Said with Idris Jusoh?

Yes, it’s payback time. But the question would be is it payback time for the Sultan of Terengganu or payback time for Umno or payback time for the Sultan of Perak who has just been shown that they don’t really need to agree to the Sultan’s choice of Menteri Besar after all -- like what they are doing in Terengganu?

And why does the Sultan not want Idris Jusoh as the Menteri Besar? The issue is quite simple really. From 2000 to 2008, Idris misused RM7 billion to RM8 billion of Terengganu’s oil revenue. The money did not go to the state. It went to Umno and Idris was the head of Umno Terengganu during that time. The Terengganu Monsoon Cup alone swallowed RM300 million a year over a period of three years. If you include the houses they built and so on, the total cost comes to RM1 billion.

Then there is the RM3 billion that is going to soon pour into the state, which the government promised the state during the recent Kuala Terengganu by-election. Whomsoever is the Menteri Besar can get his hands on that RM3 billion. Can you now understand why there is currently a big fight in Umno Terengganu? It’s all about the money. Repeat, loudly, after me: SHOW ME THE MONEYYYYYYYYYYY!

And talking about payback time, it is also payback time for Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. In 2006, Malaysia Today wrote about all those issues that Tun Dr Mahathir is not happy about. Bullshit! That was the response of many readers. They thought I was merely speculating or spinning a whole bunch of lies, or whatever.

As I always like to say: I just love it when I have the last word (or the last laugh) and can tell everyone, “I told you so!” -- even if it has to be three years later.

Top of the list of Tun Dr Mahathir’s pet hates is the cancelling of his Crooked Bridge. Rest assured the Crooked Bridge is going to be back on track and no one will be able to block it this time around -- unless the Tun keels over and dies from a heart attack or something like that. As long as he is still alive and kicking he will kick anyone who dares block his Crooked Bridge.

The next item on Tun Dr Mahathir’s agenda is the setting up of the Presidential Council -- with him as the head and Tun Daim and many others from his previous regime as Council Members. Way back in 2006 or 2007 I said this was on the cards. The Tun, however, personally denied this. In fact, not long after the 8 March 2008 general election, in his speech at the Singgahsana Hotel in Petaling Jaya, Tun Dr Mahathir announced the plan to set up the Presidential Council.

Almost as close to the cancellation of the Crooked Bridge, Tun Dr Mahathir’s next pet hate is the selling off of MV Agusta for Euro 1 or RM4.80. This was a write-off of Euro 70 million or more than RM300 million. Tun Dr Mahathir was furious as hell. He had plans for that company and Tun Abdullah’s decision to sell off the company was a slap in the face and a sort of vote of no confidence against Tun Dr Mahathir.

The reason given for selling off MV Agusta is that if they don’t sell it then the government would have to pump in another RM300 million to keep it afloat, on top of the RM300 million they already paid to buy the company. This is like saying whoever made that decision to buy the company, meaning Tun Dr Mahathir, was stupid and did not know what he was doing.

Now do you know why Tun Dr Mahathir took it very personal? He knew what he was doing and he knew that after paying RM300 million to buy the company they would need to pump in another RM300 million to keep it afloat. That was part of the plan and was no mistake. But RM600 million is considered still cheap and a good buy for what they were getting -- a motorcycle company that makes good motorcycles and has the technology to make small motorcars.

In a way Tun Dr Mahathir had a point. It all depends on how you want to look at it. The Germans spent more than RM1 billion on R&D back in the early 1980s to develop the 190E. R&D is not cheap. It cost billions. So paying RM600 million to own a company that has the ability to do R&D can be considered a good deal if R&D is what you are looking for and if you happen to have RM600 million sitting around doing nothing.

Whoever made that decision to sell the company was, however, looking at it from another angle. Why send good money after bad? You already wasted RM300 million. Why waste another RM300 million? You might as well cut your losses and save the RM300 million that is still in your pocket. And that was why they decided to sell off the company.

To Tun Dr Mahathir, however, the real issue is; who was it sold to? And at that price of Euro 1 or RM4.80 on top of it. And how much money did they make on the deal? This is what Tun Dr Mahathir wants to know and which has never been answered even how many times he posed that question. And this is what irks Tun Dr Mahathir the most. He feels someone did a scam and made big bucks by selling MV Agusta for a mere Euro 1 or RM4.80. And he wants to know who it is so that he can nail this person’s balls to the wall. And he suspects that that person is Khairy Jamaluddin. And he wants to nail Khairy’s balls to the wall plus the balls of all those others who were involved in the scam.

Yes, it is payback time. And it is going to be payback time in a big way. Those who ignored and sidelined Tun Dr Mahathir are going to feel the full weight of his wrath. And this includes Najib.

For a brief moment, Najib distanced himself from Tun Dr Mahathir and pledged undying loyalty to Tun Abdullah. This not only upset Tun Dr Mahathir but hurt him as well. It was not Tun Abdullah but Tun Dr Mahathir who gave Najib his job. If left to Tun Abdullah, Muhyiddin would be the number two instead of Najib. But now Najib regards Tun Abdullah rather than Tun Dr Mahathir as his boss.

That was when Tun Dr Mahathir decided that Najib needed to be taught a lesson and Malaysia Today was more than happy to help teach him that lesson. When Najib realised that his future lay in Tun Dr Mahathir’s hands and not in Tun Abdullah’s, he quickly did a U-turn and managed to save his ass in the nick of time. In fact, Tun Dr Mahathir had already written Najib off and was talking to Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the possible successor to Tun Abdullah. Najib was that close to losing the job of Prime Minister.

Watch what is going to happen to Islam Hadhari as well. The government is reviewing Islam Hadhari and will probably abolish it in due course. Tun Dr Mahathir revealed his contempt for Islam Hadhari when he remarked that he does not know what Islam Hadhari means and that he knows only one Islam, the one that Prophet Muhammad taught.

And, last but not least, let’s see if Tun Dr Mahathir launches an investigation into the Oil-for-Food scandal. This is another thing that Tun Dr Mahathir feels is an issue that should not be allowed to be swept under the carpet. The Oil-for-Food scandal has already been reported by the UN Committee and US Congress and the report has been published so you really do not need any fresh investigation. The name of ‘Abdullah Badawi’ is mentioned in those two reports as the beneficiary of the Iraq oil quota and there is even bribery involved.

Yes, it is payback time -- big time payback time. But it all depends on how far Tun Dr Mahathir wants to take these issues. The knife is in his hands. It is just whether he wants to use that knife to slit Tun Abdullah’s throat.

But what I find most interesting about all this is that I can recap what I wrote in 2006 and 2007 and shout, at the top of my voice, with glee: Didn’t I tell you so?

Muhyiddin, You Are One Stupid Bugger!

Sheih Kickdefella

“It is their right to attend or not to attend (the state assembly sitting), but not to the extent of jeopardising Barisan’s position in the assembly, for we are the government in Terengganu”, - Muhyiddin Yassin.

What the ….! Ayo Muhyiddin, why you fast becoming an idiot lately. It is so ungrateful of you towards the voters to claim that BN assemblyperson has the right not to attend state assembly sitting at their own pleasure.

Hello brother, state assembly sitting is less than 10 days out of 365 days in a year.

This is another UMNOPUTRAS corrupted mind at work.

I say, no elected representatives of the people has the liberty to decide themselves whether they want to do the work that they pleaded from us. When we voted them, they must perform no matter how hard the situation is and attending state assembly is part of the work.

Muhyiddin, you just proved that UMNO has never change. It is nothing but sheer arrogance!

Stupid bugger!

PM NAJIB 'INSULTS' TAMILS AND MALAYALEES ON THEIR NEW YEAR

Today (13 or 14 April 2009) is the New Year of the Indians and various aupicious occassions are made to greet this day.

As usual, leaders would greet those concern. Since the Indian communities are diversified which comprise of Tamil, Telegus, Malayalees, Sikhs and other Indians races and each of these races have their own way of describing this day.

To the surprise of Malaysian Indians, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak had only congratulated the Sikh community on their 'Vaisakhi day' today as reported by Bernama.

The other Indians, Tamils - 'Puthandu Valthukkal' and Malayalees - 'Vishu' are celebrations of these communities but had not gained any recognition and it denotes an 'insult' to our multi-cultural and diverse Malaysian culture.

Although it may be a mistake on the part of the Prime Minister but as a leader Datuk Seri Najib need to respect every race and give them due recognition.

Muhyiddin’s remarks shows BN still does not get it

By Dr Toh Kin Woon
In MalaysianInsider

APRIL 14 – In a recent interview with the Malay language Mingguan Malaysia, our country’s newly minted Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, claimed that he was at a loss as to why the Chinese voters failed to support the Barisan Nasional in the recent by-elections for both the parliamentary seat of Bukit Gantang and the state constituency of Bukit Selambau, despite the BN pouring millions to the Chinese schools.

He further suggested that perhaps Malaysian Chinese wanted to play the role of kingmakers in elections.

I find these statements by the DPM distasteful and an insult, not just to the Malaysian Chinese community, but to all Malaysians.

This latest outburst also manifests either a total lack of understanding of the demands of the electorate of all ethnic groups on the part of Umno, or an inability on its part to respond with progressive measures, or both.

So much for their oft-repeated claim that it has understood the message of the larger Malaysian polity as expressed through the polls on March the 8th last year.

To begin with, the DPM’s statement further confirms that the BN continues to engage in the practice of utilising public funds to buy electoral support; a practice that has long been condemned and eschewed by the public.

Malaysians welcome the development of education at all levels by the government, but at no time will they condone public funds being given to schools in a constituency during the campaign period in return for their support for the BN.

For the information of the new DPM, one of the key factors that has led the public to continue to reject the BN is that their status as the political masters of the nation has not been given due respect.

This was clearly shown in the BN’s recent unconstitutional grabbing of political power in Perak. The people in Perak, and for that matter the whole nation, were angry that they were totally sidelined in the crisis engineered by the BN’s stubborn refusal to go back to the people for a new people’s mandate, when the Pakatan Rakyat government called for a dissolution of the state legislative assembly upon the defection of three of its representatives to the opposition bench.

They were also miffed by the total disregard of the BN for the constitution in dislodging the Menteri Besar, who is now the newly elected Member of Parliament for Bukit Gantang.

If only Umno and the BN had agreed to hold the polls that will enable the people to choose a new state government, their electoral downslide might have been mitigated.

In the event, their greed for power, come what may, and their arrogance that led them to ignore the people, had the better of them.

Another factor is Umno’s hypocrisy in relation to the subject of the monarchy. To get at the opposition, it resorted to launching unfair attacks of les majeste against the PAS candidate in Bukit Gantang, when in fact there are records to prove that Umno, more than any other party, is even more guilty of this “crime”.

Umno and the BN will also do well to note that the uneven development that has taken place over the years has brought along with it wider social cleavages.

The antagonism of the poor and marginalized towards the ruling elites is bound to grow stronger.

To the deprived of all ethnic groups, it has not escaped their attention that the hegemony of political power by the Umno and BN elites has led to abuses, corruption and cronyism as manifested in the dishing out of patronage resources to the few of all ethnic groups.

And they are bent on breaking this hegemony of both economic and political power by the BN oligarchs through supporting a system that will allow of more competitive politics based on ideological contests and an alternation of coalitions in power. This is what will lead them to continue to support the Pakatan Rakyat.

*Dr. Toh Kin Woon is currently a Research Fellow under the Asian Public Intellectuals’ Fellowship of the Nippon Foundation at the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Kyoto, Japan. He was formerly a State Assemblyman and State Executive Councillor in Penang.

Public Toilet in front of Temple

Klang, Tuesday, April 14, 2009 – Protest is mounting against the construction of a public toilet at the car park right in front of Klang Sri Maha Mariamman temple, popularly known as Chettiyar temple.

Businessman K P Samy is spearheading the protest group submitting a memorandum to Klang Town Council.

A press conference will be held tomorrow 12:30 PM at KPS Travels, Klang, pertaining to this.

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Changing voting trends among M’sians

KUALA LUMPUR, 14 April 2009: The recently concluded three by-elections have shown a noticeable change in the voting trends of the Malay Malaysians and non-Malay Malaysians towards Barisan Nasional (BN) and the opposition.

Although BN managed to retain the Batang Ai state seat and the opposition parties, PKR and PAS, the Bukit Selambau state seat and Bukit Gantang parliamentary seat respectively, the marked change in the voting trends is something new compared to the 8 March general election last year.

An analysis of the results shows some interesting facts, one of which is that non-Malay Malaysian support towards BN in the two "Bukits" has decreased dramatically with the opposition gaining their votes.

BN managed to have increased support from Malay Malaysian voters in Bukit Gantang, but the increase could not make up for the non-Malay Malaysian votes for PAS.

According to a political analyst, BN managed to increase its support among Malay Malaysian voters in Bukit Gantang by five per cent, from 53% in 2008 to 58% in the recent by-election.

But at the same time, BN suffered a sharp drop of about 13% of non-Malay Malaysian votes, from 35% in 2008 to 22%, Ong Kian Ming was reported as saying in Malaysiakini online news.

This development is worrying some of the BN component party leaders at various levels, sparking debate on why this is happening.

"The by-election results in the two 'Bukits' have shown that even the older voters among the non-Malay [Malaysians] who traditionally voted for BN, have turned their back against BN," said a BN political operative.

This is alarming as the results of the 2008 general election showed that the older non-Malay Malaysian voters had voted for BN despite the so-called "political tsunami" that swept Peninsular Malaysia.

"What is more worrying to us is that, the Chinese [Malaysian] rural voters also seem to have followed their counterparts in the urban seats, by voting against BN. This is something very unusual as we thought all this while the voting patterns between urban and rural were always different," he said.

No more 'scapegoat'

According to political analyst James Wong, the changing patterns indicated that the Chinese Malaysian voters were in the "defensive position" now as they did not like to be used as the "scapegoat".

"The non-Malay [Malaysians] have been quite tolerant for many years, but it has come to the point where they couldn't take it anymore. They have no choice but to strike back (by bucking the trend and supporting the opposition)," said Wong, who is a former politician.

The other factor was what he termed as a "transformation of PAS" because the opposition party had managed to project itself as more moderate and tolerant in matters related to culture and religion.

"The Chinese and Indian [Malaysians] seem to be more comfortable with PAS now," he said, adding that such voting pattern was likely to remain unless the non-Malay Malaysian voters were beginning to see a huge drastic change in Umno and BN.

"It won't go away, unless they see that Umno and BN have changed," he said.

Another political analyst, James Chin, said this voting pattern could be traced back from 1999 after Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was sacked from Umno, resulting in younger voters supporting the opposition, while despite the serious setback in the 2008 general election, BN had not changed.

"The non-Malay [Malaysian] voters are disappointed. Despite sending a strong signal in the general election last year, BN and Umno still did not change. This explains why there is a change in voting patterns among the elder non-Malay [Malaysian] voters and rural voters," he said.

However, Chin pointed out that this pattern might not be permanent if Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak could deliver and reform BN.

"Traditionally, there are 30 to 35% of non-Malay [Malaysians] who support BN and 40 to 45% who are hardcore supporters of the opposition. The rest are floating voters.

"This is why I believe they may come back to BN if Najib can deliver," he added.

This, according to Chin, would also depend on how fast the economy could recover and how Umno could reform itself. — Bernama

ISA review: National interests, people's rights key

PUTRAJAYA, 14 April 2009: The Home Ministry will ensure that both national interests and people's rights are taken into consideration in the review of any laws, including the Internal Security Act (ISA).

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said he would ensure that a balance is struck between the rights of an individual and the rights of the majority, or national interests in any changes to laws under it, including the ISA.

Hishammuddin, who switched from the education to the home ministry, said both these factors should be given due consideration.

"People always talk about the right of the individual only but in any change, the right of the majority is just as important. It's a principle that I will uphold without fear or favour," he told reporters after attending a briefing on the ministry here.

Hishammuddin also said he would study not only the ISA but also the other 40 laws under the ministry, to ensure there was no overlapping, and pledged that whatever changes would not put national interests at risk.

On another development, he urged the leaders of PAS and other political parties not to make seditious and provocative statements which could undermine the country's economic development and peace and tarnish its image.

"It's a mistake to suggest that there will be riots and demonstrations similar to what is happening in Thailand because the people will reject such culture," he said.

Hishammuddin was asked to comment on a Harakah Daily report on 12 April which said that it was not impossible that the people of Perak would resort to protests and demonstrations like what was happening in Thailand if the Perak state assembly was not dissolved to pave the way for fresh elections. — Bernama

Terengganu rumblings: Battle over gravy train?

By Anil Netto,

How to try and understand what’s going on in Terengganu now?

Follow the money trail, auditors and journalists are often told.

So let’s try that here. What is Terengganu’s main asset? Black Gold. Off shore oil.

And the state’s main revenue source is the oil royalty from Petronas, which the Federal Government used to hand over to the BN state government to spend as it so desired.

That is, until the Sultan of Terengganu, our present Agong, reportedly wanted a Terengganu Investment Authority (TIA) to manage the funds.

This was the same Sultan/Agong that backed the present MB, Ahmad Said, over Abdullah Badawi’s choice of Idris Jusoh. Ahmad Said, however, was not supported by most of Umno Terengganu, who then proceeded to protest at his appointment in what appeared to be a most “derhaka” manner.

The TIA would have the MB on its board, but the fund itself was to be managed by professionals. The Sultan himself would be chairman of the board of advisers, reported The Star.

The performance of this fund would be closely monitored to ensure that the oil revenue is invested properly to ensure returns for future generations long after the oil dries up.

If the TIA goes ahead as planned, it could potentially become the new gravy train. No more projects with poor returns or wasteful projects that do not benefit the people - at least that’s the plan. (Despite receiving over RM1 billion in royalties annually, the state has one of the highest poverty rates in the country.)

The new TIA fund was supposed to seek RM10 billion from local and foreign capital markets, on the strength of the oil royalties that Terengganu receives. The federal government would provide a guarantee of RM5 billion.

In December, it was reported that the fund would be given a boost with the handing over of RM400 million in oil royalties to the state government. This was supposed to be the first part of RM3 billion in oil royalties promised by the federal government to the state government.

It was reported that the the TIA and the sovereign wealth fund, announced in December 2008, would be launched in the middle of this year.

Perhaps we should consider this backdrop - control of the the new gravy train - when looking at the latest rumblings in Terengganu.

Tepatkah tuduhan Muhyiddin bahawa kita seharusnya dipersekolahkan lagi?

Saya agak kecil hati membaca kenyataan terkini Muhyiddin:

He also denied saying the Chinese were ungrateful in the interview.

“No, no (I didn’t say ungrateful). Did you read my Bahasa (Malaysia)? Even (deputy education minister) Wee Ka Siong knows Bahasa.

“In Bahasa, I said ’seolah-olah tak menghargai’ (‘They seemed to be unappreciative’). You have to read the whole context. Don’t pick up just like that,” he said.

He also appeared to be annoyed with reporters who continued to pester him on the issue.

“If you don’t understand Bahasa, I can send you to school to understand it.”

Benarkah tuduhan beliau kemantapan Bahasa Malaysia kita kurang memuaskan?

Cuba kita telitikan hujah-hujah beliau yang telah menjadi bahan perbincangan hangat:

In the interview, Muhyiddin had said: “Ini yang mungkin menyebabkan sukar BN mendapat sokongan walaupun kita fikir bila mereka hendak sekolah Cina dibantu, kita bantu, sepatutnya mereka membalas budi.

“Pada waktu itu, kita pun tidak berharap sokongan kaum Cina akan meningkat 40 peratus dan sebagainya cuma kita berharap ada peningkatan sedikit tetapi apa yang berlaku ia mencatatkan penurunan, macam tidak ada penghargaan terhadap apa yang kita lakukan.”

Jadi begitu, apakah sebenarnya yang dimaksudkan Muhyiddin kalau bukan bahawa orang Cina adalah “ungrateful?”

Saya tak berapa minat soal orang Cina hargai atau tak menghargai - ini polemik BN yang saya telah lama jelak.

Tetapi, seorang pemimpin yang telah mengeluarkan kenyataan yang jelasnya bodoh sepatutnya meminta maaf sahajalah. Tak usah menuduh orang memutar belit barangkali apa yang dilaporkan adalah tepat.

Mungkin lebih wajar Muhyiddin hantar dirinya ke sekolah Bahasa Inggeris ataupun sekolah politik supaya lebih memahami prinsip-prinsip kepimpinan yang utuh, serta kepekaan terhadap perasaan rakyat yang ingin dipimpinnya.

hari ini ulang tahun Black 14




antara Koleksi logo black 14
Pic semasa sambutan Black 14 2004, gambar besar DSAI itu cheGuBard yang buat dengan harga RM380, tetapi dirampas Polis dan tidak dikembalikan sehingga kini walau diminta dengan surat rasmi. Celaka betul depa ni..

Video dan imej diatas sudah tentu menginagtkan kita kembali ke zaman sakit disebat FRU, dan lapar ketika dilokap. Black 14, ialah gelaran kepada 14 April dimana seluruh aparat kerajaan telah diperkuda secukupnya demi memenuhi nafsu gila pemimpin. Maka tarikh 14 April setiap tahun dikenang sebagai hari kemuncak kezaliman.

Hari ini 14 April, pagi ini sampai ke pejabat kerja yang bertimbun di selang seli dengan carian mengenai Black 14. Terjumpa tulisan seorang aktivis anak muda Zainul Faqar mengenai Black 14. Mungkin sifatnya selaku anak muda 'terpelajar' maka tulisan beliau boleh dikatakan tulisan antara terlengkap (ringkas dan padat) mengenai Black 14. Maka saya perturunkan dulu tulisan ini sebelum menaip komen dihujung tulisan ini nanti.

Pre-instinct

BLACK 14 ada sejarahnya. Sejarahnya terlalu mahal dan cukup keramat terutamanya oleh mereka yang melihat, mengalami dan mengambil keputusan untuk terus meraikan hari penuh bermakna tersebut.

BLACK 14 ini bukanlah sebuah pertubuhan koliasi atau suatu forum rakyat bagi memperjuangkan satu-satu kepentingan. Tetapi, BLACK 14 ini adalah suatu perayaan rakyat yang kewujudannya secara semulajadi selari dengan fitrah naluri rakyat yang senantiasa berdoa dan berikhtirar agar tiada lagi kezaliman seumpama BLACK 14 ini wujud di maya pada ini.Sejarah B.L.A.C.K 14!

Tanggal 14 April 1999, Mahkamah telah memutuskan Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim (DSAI) dihukum penjara 6 tahun atas empat pertuduhan rasuah. Beliau telah dihalang secara berperundangan untuk terlibat dalam persada politik nasional.

Keputusan Mahkamah pada ketika itu cukup mengejutkan mahasiswa, pengamal undang-undang, aktivis politik, ahli akademik, hatta rakyat marhaen.

Rejim yang mebongsaikan demokrasi Malaysia!Mereka tidak boleh menerima keputusan tersebut. Bagi mereka, keputusan tersebut bukan lagi hanya melibatkan kepentingan hak asasi diri DSAI; tetapi keputusan tersebut adalah ‘tahap kemuncak’ kezaliman dan kebobrokan (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad dan rejim UMNO/BN ke atas sistem keadilan dan demokrasi negara Malaysia.

Sebelum itu, bukan tidak ada kezaliman dilakukan oleh rejim UMNO dan Barisan Nasional. Namun, kezaliman itu ketara dalam salah satu dari 3 Badan ‘kuasa’ sebagaimana dalam Doktrin Pengasingan Kuasa / Demokrasi di Malaysia – (1)Badan Pentadbiran / Eksekutif; (2)Badan Perundangan / Legislatif; dan (3)Badan Kehakiman / judiciary.

Berbeza dalam isu DSAI. Rakyat melihat isu kezaliman DSAI ini seolah-olah wujud suatu konspirasi peringkat tertinggi yang melibatkan ketiga-tiga badan ‘kuasa’ tersebut secara sepadu dan zalim.

Mahkamah telah pun hilang kredibiliti bebas dan adilnya. Sebagai contoh, jatuhan hukuman pada 14 April 1999 sebagaimana di atas.

Dalam isu DSAI juga, Badan Pentadbiran / Eksukutif tidak lagi berfungsi secara bebas dan demokratik.

Kementerian, badan berkanun kerajaan, Universiti, BPR, Polis, media massa (milik Kerajaan), SUHAKAM dan pelbagai badan berkanun / sektor kerajaan yang lain tidak mampu menjadi agen semak dan imbang (check and balance) kepada Rejim (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Muhammad serta rejim UMNO/BN kerana telahpun terjebak dengan budaya rasuah, kronisme dan nepotisme.

Jika ada individu atau pihak tertentu tampil menentang kezaliman (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad atau gejala rasuah-kronisme-nepotisme, maka mereka ini tentu akan mendapat nasib yang tidak jauh berbeza dengan diri DSAI.

Sebagai contoh, Universiti Malaya bersikap diam diri dan tidak mahu menyambung kontrak akademia Prof. Chandra Muzaffar (pada bulan Februari 1999) disebabkan ahli akademia tersebut secara terbuka menyokong agenda R.E.F.O.R.M.A.S.I.

Prof. Chandra Muzaffar diakui berkeupayaan dalam arena akademia dan kebolehannya telah mengangkat nama Malaysia di persada nasional/antarabangsa sebelum itu; khususnya dalam pengajian ASIA dan Asia Tengah.

Beliau akhirnya menjadi mangsa kezaliman Universiti/(Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad kerana menentang kezaliman ke atas DSAI sebenarnya pada waktu tersebut.

Contoh lain, adalah fitnah liwat DSAI dengan Shamsidar Taharin melalui pengakuan kontroversi dan surat terbuka Ummi Hafilda Ali kepada Diktator (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad melalui media arus perdana.

Semua media arus perdana yang (telah) dikuasai oleh Media Prima telah secara buas memanipulasi fitnah tersebut dan hilang kredibilitinya. Pendek kata, badan pentadbiran atau Legislatif telah pun dikuasai oleh kelompok zalim.

Dalam isu DSAI juga, Badan Perundangan atau Legistatif tidak mempunyai autonomi kuasa sebagaimana yang sepatutnya berlaku dalam negara-negara demokratik dan sivil.

Sebagai contoh, penahanan DSAI di bawah Akta Keselamatan Dalam Negeri (ISA) tidak mampu dihalang melalui perintah kuasa Parlimen Malaysia.

Kondisi ini berlaku kerana ISA dikendalikan secara mutlak oleh Kementerian Hal Ehwal Dalam Negeri dan realiti ini melambangkan penyalahgunaan supreme power telah wujud dalam dua (2) Badan secara imuniti dan sepadu – Legislatif dan Eksekutif.

Tuntasnya, kezaliman ke atas DSAI tersebut melibatkan ketiga-tiga badan ‘kuasa’ dan jatuhan hukuman oleh Mahkamah ke atas diri DSAI pada tanggal 14 April adalah ‘tahap kemuncak’ kezaliman di Malaysia.

Sejak hari malang tersebut, Rakyat mengambil keputusan menjadikan 14 April saban tahun sebagai perayaan rakyat. Tujuannya bukan sekadar mengingati peristiwa malang yang telah menimpai DSAI semata-mata.

Malah, perayaan rakyat tersebut dilaksanakan dengan penuh semangat dan berani demi menuntut keadilan hak dan sistem demokrasi kembali subur di bumi Malaysia sehingga hari ini. Perayaan tersebut disebut oleh mereka sebagai *B.L.A.C.K. 14*

Tragisnya Perayaan BLACK 14 Sebelum ini!

Saban tahun, aktivis-aktivis rakyat yang sedar, mengalami dan pernah meraikan BLACK 14 tersebut senantiasa cuba meraikan perayaan tersebut.

Mereka ini bukan meraikan hari tersebut dengan gelak ketawa atau dihamparkan permaidani merah oleh Sang Penguasa – (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, UMNO dan Barisan Nasional (BN).

Mereka ini diburu pada setiap inci perjalanan dan pergerakan mereka. Kediaman/premis peribadi mereka senantiasa diintai oleh Special Branch (SB).

Majikan mereka senantiasa diugut agar melucutkan jawatan aktivis-aktivis ini. Ibu bapa mereka lebih-lebih lagi lagi diuji dan terus diuji sejak menjelangnya perayaan BLACK 14 tahun 2000 di ibu negara.

Mahathir yang arahkan tangkap!Kezaliman yang didepani oleh para aktivis dalam meraikan BLACK 14 lebih ketara pada tahun 2001.

Beberapa hari sebelum perayaan BLACK 14 diraikan (bermula 9 April 2001 sekitar jam 5 petang), pihak Polis telah menangkap 10 orang aktivis REFORMASI dan maangsa-mangsa ini ditahan di bawah ISA , tahanan tanpa bicara.

Nama-nama aktivis tersebut adalah (1)Sdr. Tian Chua; (2)Sdr. Mohammad Ezam Mohd Nor; (3)Hj. Saari Sungib; (4)Sdr. N. Gobalakrishnan; (5)Sdr. Hishamuddin Rais; (6)Raja Petra Kamaruddin; (7)Sdr. Abdul Ghani Harun; (8)Dr. Badrul Amin Baharom; (9)Sdr. Lokman Adam; dan (10)Sdr. Badaruddin Ismail.

Mereka ini dituduh di bawah seksyen 71(3); kononnya sedang merancang untuk menggulingkan kerajaan secara kekerasan dan keganasan.

Sebenarnya tahanan tersebut demi menimbulkan culture of fear di kalangan masyarakat agar mendorong mereka tidak keluar dan berkumpul di hadapan bangunan SUHAKAM pada keraian Black 14 tahun 2001 tersebut.

Namun, BLACK 14 tetap diraikan dengan penuh berani dan aksi demi mengajak rakyat menentang kezaliman rejim (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammed dan UMNO/BN berlangsung; serta menuntut agar Malaysia kembali dalam lunas demokrasi dan keadilan hak.

Aktivis rakyat telah membuat kenyataan media. Dan ada beberapa aktivis tersebut telah ditangkap dan dikasari oleh pihak Polis disebabkan partisipasi mereka dalam BLACK 14 hari tersebut.

Tahun 2002 turut menyaksikan perayaan BLACK 14 pada hari tradisinya. Tema perayaan tahun tersebut adalah ‘BERSAMA MEMBEBASKAN 10 TAHANAN ISA’. Perayaan bersejarah tersebut telah dibuat di Taman Melewar (Gombak, Selangor).

Aksi perayaan tahun tersebut lebih berani dan agresif apabila terdapat belasan aktivis rakyat mengambil keputusan mogok lapar. Aksi tersebut telah mendapat liputan media dan badan-badan hak asasi di peringkat nasional dan antarabangsa.

Implikasinya, Diktator (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Muhammad teruk dicemuh oleh media, universiti, badan-badan hak asasi manusia dalam siri diplomatiknya di peringkat nasional/antarabangsa. Imej Malaysia merudum.

Akhirnya, beliau terpaksa membebaskan kesemua (10 orang) tahanan ISA tersebut.

Inisiatif tersebut bukan atas prikemanusiaan dan peduli sensitiviti rakyat, tetapi lebih pada melindungi kepentingan peribadi (kezaliman) semata-mata.

chegubard.blogspot.com

Tahun 2003, berlaku konflik berpandangan di kalangan aktivis-aktivis BLACK 14. Kelompok pertama masih mahu pada perayaan secara tradisi – anti-establishment, pilihan jalanraya, lantang menentang rejim UMNO dan BN dan sebagainya. Aksi BLACK 14 tersebut telah dipimpin sendiri oleh Sdr. CheguBard

Memang mereka tetap melancarkan perayaan tersebut di Pasaraya Sogo, Kuala Lumpur. Dalam aksi BLACK 14 tahun tersebut juga, mereka tetap berdepan dengan kegilaan Polis dan Special Branch (SB) sebagaimana yang didepani mereka sebelum ini.

Gerakan ini dalam waktu BLACK 14 2003Kelompok kedua, mahu perayaan tahun tersebut lebih toleransi dan sederhana. Mereka hanya menjalankan perayaan BLACK 14 secara dalaman (internal) dan mengambil sikap tidak lantang menentang rejim UMNO/BN pada ketika itu.

Pertimbangan kelompok kedua pada ketika itu, dengan pendekatan toleransi-sederhana tersebut, mungkin boleh memujuk hati rejim UMNO/BN untuk membebaskan DSAI dari ISA dalam masa terdekat.

Tahun 2004, BLACK 14 dilancarkan pada hari tradisinya selepas Malaysia menyaksikan Pilihanraya Umum Malaysia Ke-11 (PRU11) yang paling kotor dalam sejarah demokrasi Malaysia.

Berbekalkan tema ‘DEMOKRASI YANG TELAH MATI’, komuniti aktivis BLACK 14 telah menggebling kesedaran rakyat. Aksi aktivis pada waktu tersebut turut menyaksikan kekasaran dan tangkapan oleh pihak Polis.

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Lokasi perayaan BLACK 14 tahun tersebut di depan SUHAKAM. Namun, 2 tokoh politik nasional iaitu Sdr. Mustapha Ali (MT PAS) dan Rahman Othman (Timb. Presiden PKR pada ketika itu) telah membuat kenyataan media membatalkan perayaan tradisi tersebut.

Pertimbangan kedua-dua tokoh tersebut adalah mood dan emosi rakyat seharusnya lebih digembling ke arah isu kepincangan sistem demokrasi Malaysia pasca PRU11 lanjutan konspirasi UMNO/BN-SPR-JPN.

Komuniti anak muda dan mahasiswa rata-rata tidak bersetuju dengan keputusan eksklusif kedua-dua tokoh tersebut kerana BLACK 14 ada sejarah keraiannya dan patut diraikan secara tradisi. Akhirnya, mereka tetap meraikan BLACK 14 tersebut di ibu negara.

DSAI masih tidak dibebaskan pada tahun 2005. Fenomena kegelitaan demokrasi Malaysia tersebut menyebabkan kesedaran untuk meraikan BLACK 14 tersebut semakin pudar. Tahun tersebut, bukan tidak ada keraian, namun keraian tersebut secara kecil-kecilan dan bukan lagi perayaan nasional sebagaimana tahun-tahun sebelumnya.

Kondisi perasaan dan kesedaran rakyat berhubung BLACK 14 ini semakin pudar dan pudar; berlanjutan sehingga tahun 2006 dan 2007. Cukup memilukan!

MENGAPA BLACK 14 2008 kembali diraikan?

Tahun 2008 menyaksikan transisi semula emosi rakyat marhaen terhadap perayaan keramat BLACK 14 ini.

DSAI telah pun dibebaskan secara berperundangan dari terlibat dalam politik kepartian dan sebagainya. Malah tanggal 14 April 2008 tersebut adalah tarikh akhir pembebasan DSAI dari hukuman Mahkamah – dihalang berpartisipasi dalam politik nasional.

Selepas 14 April 2008, DSAI sudah boleh bertanding di mana-mana kerusi Parlimen atau DUN. DSAI juga boleh memegang jawatan Presiden PKR atau Pengerusi Pakatan Rakyat secara konvensional selepas tarikh tersebut.

Persoalannya, mengapa BLACK 14 2008 masih diraikan? Masih relevankah keraian tersebut?

Menurut komuniti aktivis BLACK 14, perayaan kali ini dalam wajah yang cukup unik dan berbeza dengan tradisi sebelum ini.

Pertimbangan melancarkan perayaan ini, selain untuk countdown pembebasan politik DSAI; sebenarnya demi meraikan perjuangan, perubahan dan kemenangan rakyat pasca 8 Mac tahun ini.

Sebab itu, tema kali ini cukup progresif – ‘Menghitung Masa Dari BLACK 14 Ke Arah Kemenangan Rakyat!’.

Cita-cita aktivis BLACK 14 hanya satu, perayaan ini diharap dapat menyemarakkan dominasi Pakatan Rakyat yang sebelum ini telah hampir-hampir menafikan 2/3 Parlimen dan menguasai 5 negeri agar membuat satu lagi memonten sebelum masuk ke Pejabat Perdana Menteri di Putrajaya kelak.

Untuk melonjak momentom ini, Kampung Baru (di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman) telah dipilih. Kampung Baru dilih sebagai tempat perhimpunan raksasa ini kerana latar belakang sejarahnya yang tidak pernah sunyi dengan sejarah perjuangan anak bangsa Malaysia sebelum ini.

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Kampung Baru pernah menyaksikan pra penubuhan PEKEMBAR (kini UMNO) demi menentang Malayan Union yang digagaskan oleh kolonial British.

Kampung Baru juga telah menyaksikan Tragedi Berdarah 13 Mei hasil konspirasi/propaganda kapitalis-kapitalis UMNO/BN pada tahun 1969.

Ketika DSAI dipecat oleh Diktator (Tun) Dr. Mahathir Mohammad, DSAI telah meniupkan gelombang F.E.F.O.R.M.A.S.I dan Kampung Baru adalah antara lokasi bersejarah yang telah menyaksikan peristiwa keramat tersebut.

Dan yang lebih penting, Kampung Baru juga adalah salah satu simbol himpitan kehidupan rakyat di tengah-tengah bangunan-bangunan mencakar langit milik kapitalis UMNO/BN dan sekutu-sekutunya.

BLACK 14 yang dilancarkan tidak lama lagi, bukanlah yang terakhir; tetapi penyuburan semula BLACK 14 sehingga Malaysia kembali demokratik dan rejim zalim terus ditumbangkan di Malaysia ini.

Jangan lupa tarikh keramat 14 April 2008 jam 8.45 malam. Kita bertemu dan beraksi di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman secara penuh sedar dan berani sebagaimana yang dijamin dalam Perlembagaan Persekutuan dan semangat demokrasi negara

Tulisan Zainul ini sebagai 'drumming up' menjelang Himpunan Black 14 2008 di Kampung Baru yang meraikan pembebasan penuh Anwar Ibrahim. Ternyata Anwar tidak tunggu lama dari tarikh itu setahun beliau sudah kembali ke Parlimen sebagai Ketua Pembangkang. Susuk beliau telah berjaya membawa PAKATAN menumbangkan Bn di beberapa siri Pilihanraya Kecil.

Susuk inilah yang kini dibenci dan ditakuti Bn (baca ; pemimpin kianat dan korup). Kini kemudi negara di tangan Najib sebagai antagonis utama dengan menampilkan semula antoagonis lama, Mahathir sebagai penasihat. Kali ini pasti lebih hebat kerana wujud antagonis pembantu yang cukup tamak dan rakus, Rosmah.

Seperti biasa saat mula antagonis baru muncul pasti wajah baik ditunjukkan. Ini untuk melemahkan semangat melawan rakyat agar akur menurut. Sementara menurut pasti protagonis akan diselesaikan sebelum wajah antagonis sebenar dimunculkan.

Jangkaan cheGuBard zaman 'manja' Najib pasti tidak lama sebab ia pemimpin lemah dan naiknya penuh skandal terbeban.

Sasaran Najib sudah tentu memecahkan perpaduan PAKATAN, ketahuilah agen - agen berbayar beliau sudahpun berada dikalangan kita. Kedua selesaikan Anwar secepat mungkin. Menurut sumber dalaman Anwar akan diselesaikan dengan mempercepatkan kes mahkamah dengan semuanya yang pasti mengikut skrip, kehadiran Mahathir amat diperlukan kerana dia penulis skrip dan pengarah Mahakamh terbaik rantau ini. Selepas itu pasti aparat 'keselamatan' negara akan digunakan sepenuhnya untuk melumpuhkan saki baki perlawanan. Maka beraturlah 'kita' menuju negeri yang baru dirampas kuasa itu.

Tika ini ikatan kita makin pecah ada yang mahu terus melawan terang - terangan ada yang akan kata nanti dahulu ambil tempoh tenang tunggu pilihanraya ke 13 sahaja. Selepas dari mula dilakukan kekerasan maka akan pasti pasukan yang menaja 'dealing' ke depan sebab pasukan 'tadah dada' sudah ke dalam. Maka perlawanan dikendurkan, kemudian sedikit demi sedikit akan ramai yang berundur sama ada terbeli atau letih berlawan. Maka itu lah tamatnya skrip episod akhir mengikut tulisan mereka.

Kali ini anak muda perlu berikrar skripnya perlu dirobah. Tempoh selesa antagonis baru jangan diberi lama, dia bukan antagonis lama yang naiknya ditatang dengan harapan cuma dihujung eranya. Antagonis baru naiknya terpalit penuh skandal dan tanda tanya....

Akan ada satu babak dalam episod ini dimana antagonis lama akan sendiri berkrisis dengan pembantu antagonis kerana dua - dua keras kepala dengan mengatakan antagonis baru harus mengikut kehendak mereka.

Ini perlukan peranan pemain - pemain muda yang 'anergetic' dan 'kreatif' sifatnya. Umno kini hanya punya pemain politik tua yang ketinggalan sifatnya, yang muda biologinya tua pemikiranya. Contohnya kenapa juak - juak Umno gila - gila mahukan Najib ambil alih Pm sebelum Pilihanraya kecil baru baru ini... Ini kerana mereka sendiri termakan psywar mereka bahawa Umno lemah hanya kerana Pak Lah dan selepas Pak Lah diganti Umno akan kuat. Sebenarnya tidak tidak Umno memang sudah tua dan melemah bagi anak muda Pak Lah atau Najib tetap sama akan di depani... yang benci dan tak suka Pak Lah ialah orang Umno dan jika Pak Lah ditukar kepada Najib ia hanya beri kesan sedikit kepada Umno bukan rakyat.

Krisis dalaman parti mereka juga makin meruncing, guling mengguling, ADUN mereka tuduh menteri besar mereka mahu bunuh mereka... Ketua Pemuda terasing ke sudut dinding membina parti kononya... antara parti gabungan juga makin terasa...

Semua ini akan menjadi punca antagonis baru akan cepat menunjukkan wajah sebenar. Rakyat seharusnya jangan tunggu lama, perlu terus menyerang sebelum tersangkut tali gantung ke leher masa itu tidak berguna.

cheGuBard pasti ketika 14 April tahun hadapan tidak akan lagi duduk di sini merapu mengetuk komputer riba yang dibeli dengan hutang bulanan ini.

Tahun ini 14 April akan sambut dengan keluarga sahaja...tapi pasti tahun depan ia berbeza....