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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Deadline looms for Sri Lanka's rebels

(CNN) -- Tamil rebels in northern Sri Lanka faced a mid-day deadline to surrender or come under another onslaught from government forces.

A relative of a deceased serviceman wipes away tears Monday at ceremonies at a Colombo suburb.

A relative of a deceased serviceman wipes away tears Monday at ceremonies at a Colombo suburb.

The Sri Lankan army launched an operation against the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Elam in the country's north on Monday, with military claiming to have rescued 35,000 civilians trapped in a government safe zone.

Rebel Web site Tamilnet.com reported heavy shelling, rocket fire and gunfire. The rebels reported casualty totals exceeding 1,000.

"Hundreds of dead bodies and wounded civilians were still lying in Maaththa'lan and Pokka'nai," a Tamil correspondent reported.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban ki-Moon said Monday that he remained deeply concerned about the potential for large-scale casualties despite reports that thousands of civilians in Sri Lanka had been freed after being caught in an area between government forces and rebel fighters.

Sri Lanka's government has been battling the Tamil Tiger rebels in a civil conflict that has lasted nearly 25 years. The Tigers have been declared a terrorist organization by 32 countries, including the United States and the European Union. As many as 70,000 people have been killed since the conflict officially began in 1983.

There are an estimated 100,000 to 150,000 people trapped by the conflict in a 5-square-mile patch of land -- a government safe zone -- in the northeast of the country.

The Sri Lanka military announced Sunday that it had "punctured" the no-fire zone to free civilians trapped by nearby fighting, and warned Tamil Tiger rebels that more troop assaults would follow.

A video attributed to the military and played on Sri Lankan state television recently showed dozens of civilians wading across a lagoon in an attempt to flee the war zone. Some of the refugees were wounded and bleeding, while others were shown carrying children or injured relatives on their shoulders.

"In the light of the latest outflow of displaced persons, the U.N. is increasing its efforts to provide the required humanitarian assistance, and will continue to do all it can to ensure conditions fully reflect international standards," Ban said.

Ban condemned the continued use of heavy weapons near civilians and stressed the "imperative for U.N. staff to be allowed into the conflict zone to facilitate relief operations and the evacuation of civilians. It is also important to ensure the sustainable resettlement of these internally displaced persons as soon as possible."

On Friday, a pro-Tamil demonstration outside U.N. headquarters in New York attracted dozens of vocal supporters of the rebels. On Monday, French news reports said that 210 pro-Tamil protesters were arrested in central Paris.

A two-day pause in hostilities on April 12 allowed the United Nations and its partners to bring in aid and humanitarian supplies, but top U.N. officials called the brief cessation "inadequate."

Sri Lanka's U.N. ambassador, H.M.G.S. Palihakkara, told CNN on Monday that his "government is deeply concerned about the plight of these civilians." The government intended to send more food and medical supplies to the conflict areas, according to the ambassador.

Mukhriz: Fine MPs or assemblymen who resign without valid reason

KOTA BARU, April 21 – The Election Commission (EC) should fine state assemblymen or Member of Parliament (MP) who resign without just cause or a valid reason.

Jerun MP Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir said resignation of assemblymen and MPs had become a trend among the opposition, apparently to continuously hog the limelight.

Such action however, is a loss to the people and community, results in a waste of money as by-elections should be held while raising the animosity among the parties and people, due to such by-elections, he said.

“The Permatang Pauh episode is one good example whereby a by-election was called merely because former Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail decided to give up the post to her husband Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“What the fine should be will depend on the EC. We cannot see a valid reason that can be accepted for such action, including what has happened in the Penanti state assembly seat,” he said.

Mukhriz who is also Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Deputy Minister also welcomed his father, former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s suggestion that Barisan Nasional (BN) should contest the Penanti seat.

The Penanti seat fell vacant following the decision by former Penang deputy chief minister Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin who won the seat under PKR, decided to resign, following allegations of corrupt charges brought up against him.

“Although there isn’t a clear indicator as to whether BN can win or not, may be we should contest after all, because we still have supporters in Penanti,” he said.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had earlier said that BN might not contest the by-election for the Penanti State seat as it must first consider whether it would benefit the people or otherwise. – Bernama

DAP won’t stand for Zahrain standing in Penanti

By Lee Wei Lian

PETALING JAYA, April 21 – The DAP has ruled out Penang PKR chief Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim as a likely candidate for Penanti, saying he was “behaving like a little Umno leader” in criticising Lim Guan Eng.

The war of words between both Pakatan Rakyat allies is escalating despite discussions yesterday between the Penang chief minister and PKR de facto chief Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

“Such irresponsible comments by him would rule him out as the possible PKR and Pakatan Rakyat candidate for the Penanti by-election,” DAP publicity chief Tony Pua said in a media statement today.

PKR has said it will choose the Penanti candidate who if wins, will also be named as Penang deputy chief minister I.

Zahrain yesterday slammed the DAP secretary-general for being piqued over not being told of Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin’s resignation from the Penanti seat on April 16 although the letter was dated March 19.

“Datuk Zahrain’s baseless attacks against Lim are ill advised, irresponsible and politically motivated to help hide weaknesses in his leadership that caused so many problems in Penang PKR,” Pua added.

“It must also be emphasised that Guan Eng and the DAP has shown a genuine spirit of camaraderie and co-operation in the entire episode since Mohammad Fairus first resigned as the Deputy Chief Minister 1, despite having to withstand strong criticisms for the several postponements by Datuk Seri Anwar with regards to the naming of a replacement Deputy Chief Minister.”

Pua also disclosed that Anwar had not asked Lim to keep mum over the issue as advised by PKR deputy president Dr Syed Husin Ali yesterday.

“At no time did Datuk Seri Anwar say that Lim had no right to express his concerns when asked by the press. It would have been wiser and more rational for Dr Syed and Datuk Zahrain to check with Datuk Seri Anwar to understand what else more Datuk Seri Anwar had expressed to Lim,” he said.

Pua said Lim will not pursue the issue through the media but has the right to express disagreement with the national PKR leadership’s failure to inform Fairus’s resignation.

Open Letter to Dato Daljit Singh Dhalliwal

By Proud Sikh

Dear Dato, the reason I am writing this email is because I was pissed when I saw a congratulation message to the new PM which you had taken out.

Why I am pissed you ask? Firstly what you do using your own name is your problem and I really couldn’t care less. However, what pissed me off was the sentence which you added “WE THE SIKH COMMUNITY ARE PROUD OF YOU”.

I would like to ask you, who authorized you to represent the Sikhs. I am a Sikh and I don’t recall authorizing you to represent me. Are you aware that you can be sued for false representation?

If you feel the need to suck up to Najib for your own personal gain, do it using your own name and do not insult the Sikhs who are people with pride and integrity. True Sikhs do not bow down to anyone and will not stoop as low as you have. You are a disgrace to the Sikh community. Obviously, your reason for taking out the full page message was to suck up to Najib hoping you will gain something out of it.

I would also like to ask you how many Sikh members do you have in the Malaysian Punjabi Chambers of Commerce and Industries. The only members you have are all self serving members who are only concerned with their own personal gain and do not give a damm about the Sikh community. So what right have you got to use the good name of the Sikhs to do your dirty bidding ie, sucking up to the PM.

Maybe you could tell us, todate, what benefits have the Sikhs got from the government. As far as I know, the Sikhs have been taking care of themselves. Politicians do not even bother to visit the Sikhs accept for election time, the good for nothing Samy Vellu would pay his visit to gurdwaras just to ask for support and donation. After that, the Sikhs are forgotten until the next election. As Sikhs and Malaysians who have contributed our share to the country, what have we got in return. Would you care to share. Maybe you know something I don’t.

Secondly, I would like to ask you, when you placed that sentence of Sikhs being proud of him, do you even know what being proud means. What is there for Sikhs to be proud of Najib. Is he your son or your son in law, that you feel proud he has become the PM, he is not even a fellow Sikh that it's something for Sikhs to be proud. One would only feel proud of someone’s achievement if you have a personal relationship with that person or know the person very well and close to that person. I do not see any of the above instances that apply for Sikhs to be proud of Najib who became the PM by default., it wasn’t even an election that got him the post. So why should Sikhs be proud of him.

A simple congratulatory message would have been sufficient, you did not have to go overboard to suck up to him.

Again I remind you, please refrain from claiming to represent the Sikhs as we have not authorized you to do so. We are proud of our heritage and we don’t need a fake Sikh like you to speak on our behalf. You obviously do not have the true pride and integrity that a Sikh possesses. We are perfectly capable of speaking and representing ourselves. Unless you have got a written authorization from all the Sikhs in the country to represent them, do not ever use the phrase ‘WE THE SIKHS’ for any of your suck up messages, as this amounts to misrepresentation.

What can be expected in Penanti

Image

It appears like there is going to be a by-election in Penanti after all. The Penanti state seat comes under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. And the Member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh is Anwar Ibrahim. Tun Dr Mahathir has said he will lead the charge in Penanti. Expect this to be a ‘proxy war’ between Dr Mahathir and Anwar Ibrahim.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

First, the results of the last three general elections:

1999

Total Voters: 14,112
Total Votes cast: 10,827
Abdul Rahman bin Abdul Kadir (PKR): 6,405
Zulkefly bin Bakar (BN-UMNO): 4,422
Majority Votes: 1,983

2004

Total Voters: 14,808
Total Votes cast: 11,915
Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid (BN-UMNO): 6,195
Anuar Shaari (PKR): 5,528
Majority Votes: 667

2008

Total Voters: 15,421
Total Votes cast: 12,667
Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin (PKR): 7,346
Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid (BN-UMNO): 5,127
Majority Votes: 2,219

And for 2009?

So, what will we see in Penanti this by-election? What about a win for Pakatan Rakyat (PKR) with a majority of not less than 2,500 votes? Would this be possible?

The Barisan Rakyat Bloggers will certainly go down to the ground and work very hard to meet this aspiration. Menang, kalah, tak kisah. Janji kerja kuat dan cuba habis-habis.

Malaysian elections are heavily rigged in favour of the ruling party. Let me count the ways.

There is the gerrymandering of the electoral boundaries. Those seats which are strong opposition seats have as much as 120,000 voters while those seats that Barisan Nasional can win with both eyes closed and two hands tied behind their backs have as low as 5,000 voters.

What does this mean? This means even if the opposition garners 100,000 votes it will still be just one seat while Barisan Nasional can win four or five seats with that same number of votes. This is why, in the last general election, Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional won almost 50:50 of the popular votes but Pakatan Rakyat won only 82 seats against Barisan Nasional’s 140.

Then there are the 500,000 or so postal votes which will be increased to more than one million soon when the army volunteer reserve camps are created all over the country and in every parliamentary constituency. This gives Barisan Nasional a handicap advantage even before Nomination Day. Therefore, Pakatan Rakyat needs to garner one million votes just to come back to zero.

Then there are the unknown number of phantom voters -- where it is not uncommon to find 100 voters registered in one house that has only two or three residents. These are foreign workers issued with Malaysian identity cards or Umno people issued with more than one identity card so that they can vote half a dozen times at different polling stations throughout Polling Day.

Yes, the opposition must garner one million voters just to break even. And soon it would need two million votes to break even.

Last year, Anwar won the Permatang Pauh by-election with a majority of around 15,000 instead of 20,000 because of this. The same went for Nizar in the recent Bukit Gantang by-election where he could have won with a majority of 5,000-6,000 instead of half that if not for the cheating. Kuala Terengganu was the same. Wahid could have won with a majority of 6,000-8,000 if not because the police had closed all the roads two hours before polling ended and many voters could not reach the polling stations in time to vote. The police also did the same in Bukit Gantang.

I therefore do not expect a majority of more than 2,500 in Penanti. On a level playing field I would even dare put my money on a majority of 5,000.

That is all I want to say in this posting. Short and to the point! Let’s give Pakatan Rakyat a win with a majority of 2,500 votes.

See you all in Penanti on Nomination Day after we see you on 7 May 2009 in Ipoh where we shall storm the Bastille.

NTV7: 80% Told Tun Dr. Mahathir Not To Lead The Penanti By-Election Machinery

Rais Yatim – be Minister for Broadband instead of Minister for Propaganda and Blogs

Datuk Seri Dr. Rais Yatim was named Minister for Information, Communications, Arts and Culture in the Cabinet of Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak 12 days ago.

Since then, “Arts” have been dropped from the longish name of his Ministry although the portfolio remains with him.

However, his pronouncements since becoming Minister for Information, Communications and Culture have raised eyebrows and questions whether he is turning back the clock of the information age, as illustrated by the following headlines of one newspaper in the past few days: “Rais warns of legal action against errant private groups and bloggers” (15 April 2009), “Govt wants to ensure Internet not abused” (16 April 2009), “Rais: Do not abuse the Internet” (17 April 2009).

Rais has been in the Cabinet of five Prime Ministers, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein, Tun Mahathir, Tun Abdullah and now Najib.
He will end his Cabinet career in less than glorious terms if he regards his present stint as a Minister for Propaganda and Blogs instead of being a Minister for Broadband.

At yesterday’s launch of Pikom’s (Malaysian IT Industry Association) National ICT Month, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, Datuk Dr. Maximus Ongkili said Malaysia is lagging in its efforts to achieve a 50% broadband penetration by the end of 2010.

He said:

“Things are rather slow. The concern of the broadband industry is that we need to move at a faster rate. The target is to achieve a 50% broadband penetration by next year.

“Currently, we are still at 22%, 26% at the most. It is outside my portfolio. I am looking into the strategy, policy and content but not the infrastructure for the industry.”

Whose baby is it? Of course, Rais who is now the Minister for Communications!

This concern should be expressed by Rais. Unfortunately, he seems to be totally unconcerned and indifferent about the abysmal rollout of broadband and only interested in the rollback of information control like in the years of Mahathir premiership!

Rais must be reminded that we are now in the internet age and he should not try to resurrect the old media controls, which will be completely at cross purpose with the “vibrant, free and informed media” which Najib had committed his administration to as the “new way forward” three days after the latter was sworn in as Prime Minister.

It is most shocking that in his 12 days as Communications Minister, Rais has not a single word for “broadband” which should be his most important and challenging portfolio, especially at a time when there is so much broadband development internationally.

Earlier this month, the Australian government announced a A$43 billion new national broadband plan to provide broadband speeds of 100 Mbps to about 90 per cent of Australian homes, schools, and businesses by 2018. The other 10 per cent will get broadband access via wireless technology.

In the United States, President Barack Obama has provided a US$7.2 billion “broadband” stimulus and begun the process of developing a holistic plan for improving broadband access nationwide.

In the United Kingdom, the government is committed to a Universal Service Obligation to provide broadband to every household with a minimum speed of 2Mbps, although one recent opinion survey revealed that 55% of the population believe 2Mbps will be too slow for a national minimum broadband speed.

What is Malaysia’s national average broadband speed? Nobody is talking about 2Mbps – lucky if 512 or 256kbps without disruptions!

We just cannot compare with the national minimum or average broadband speeds of broadband power houses. Japan and South Korea, for instance, have download speeds of 63Mbps and 49Mbps respectively.

In 1996, when Malaysia announced the Multimedia Super Corridor concept, we were at par with other countries in broadband penetration. Now Malaysia has been left far behind by broadband powerhouses with household broadband penetration, like South Korea (93%), Hong Kong (83.8%), Taiwan (76.8%) and Singapore (100%). Malaysia has only 21%.

These are issues Rais should give top priority, to turn Malaysia into a broadband power, both in broadband penetration rate as well as in broadband speed, if Malaysia is to enhance its competitiveness to take its rightful place in the global arena.

Malaysia will be crippled if we do not have a real Minister for Broadband.

Bersatu pertahan raja Melayu

Utusan Malaysia
Oleh Herman Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR 20 April - Beberapa pemimpin UMNO hari ini menekankan sudah tiba masanya seluruh orang Melayu kembali bersatu mempertahankan institusi raja-raja yang menjadi payung naungan rakyat sepanjang zaman daripada dicemari pihak tidak bertanggungjawab.

Sehubungan itu, mereka meminta semua lapisan rakyat tanpa mengira fahaman politik supaya menghayati dengan sedalam-dalamnya titah ucapan Sultan Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah.
Kata mereka, ia penting untuk mengelak berulangnya sebarang tindak tanduk yang boleh menyemai rasa benci yang diumpamakan oleh baginda sebagai perbuatan 'menyalakan api dalam sekam' yang mengancam kerukunan rakyat dan negara.

Naib Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi berkata, titah Sultan Perak itu adalah merupakan satu amaran keras yang seharusnya dihormati semua pihak.

Justeru, katanya, institusi raja yang telah wujud sejak 600 tahun lalu di Perak tentunya menjadi institusi yang perlu terus dipertahankan oleh semua orang Melayu khususnya kerana ia naungan kepada rakyat bagi sepanjang zaman.

''Sultan Perak amat arif dengan perundangan. Kemurkaan baginda mempunyai asas. Melibatkan sultan dalam kemelut politik merendahkan baginda dalam institusi politik rakyat dan tidak dalam institusi raja.

''Institusi raja harus dihormati semua pihak. Ahli politik hanya merupakan penterjemah kuasa rakyat. Institusi raja harus berada di atas institusi sosial di Malaysia khususnya di Perak,'' katanya kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.

Beliau mengulas titah ucapan Sultan Azlan Shah pada majlis istiadat menghadap sembah taat setia dan penganugerahan darjah kebesaran negeri Perak sempena ulang tahun keputeraan baginda yang ke-81 semalam.

Sultan Azlan Shah turut bertitah seseorang raja sebenarnya berada di atas politik dan tidak boleh turun berdebat secara terbuka dalam memberi jawapan dan penerangan untuk menangkis tohmahan serta fitnah yang dilemparkan oleh kumpulan politik terbabit.

Sementara itu, seorang lagi Naib Presiden UMNO, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein mengingatkan semua pihak supaya tidak sesekali mengheret institusi raja ke kancah politik seperti mana yang dititahkan oleh Sultan Perak.

Menurut beliau, sebaliknya setiap rakyat tanpa mengira kedudukan dan darjat, warna kulit serta agama mahu pun fahaman politik perlu sedar bahawa raja-raja adalah payung yang melindungi setiap warga di negara ini.

''Pihak-pihak tertentu perlu jaga kedudukan raja-raja Melayu dan apa jua tindakan yang mencemar institusi raja-raja Melayu juga adalah salah daripada segi undang-undang.

''Malah, tindakan sedemikian pastinya juga sama sekali bertentangan dengan budaya warisan bangsa kita,'' tegasnya.

Sementara itu, Ketua Puteri UMNO, Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin berkata, mana-mana pihak yang mempersoal atau mempermain- mainkan fungsi institusi raja perlu segera dikenakan tindakan.

Katanya, raja-raja Melayu bukan orang politik, jauh sekali mahu menggugat kestabilan negara dengan mengeluarkan kenyataan demi kenyataan semata-mata untuk membela institusi yang amat jelas bebas daripada pengaruh mana-mana parti politik.

''Justeru, tohmahan pihak tertentu terutama pakatan pembangkang yang berleluasa kononnya raja-raja Melayu takut untuk berhadapan dengan mereka adalah amat keterlaluan.

''Ia juga satu fitnah yang besar dan berniat jahat untuk menghilangkan kepercayaan rakyat terhadap raja-raja yang bukan sahaja menaungi orang Melayu malah seluruh rakyat negara ini,'' katanya.

Ahli Majlis Tertinggi (MT), Datuk Noh Omar berkata, titah ucapan Sultan Perak itu amat tepat pada masanya ketika mana telah ada sebahagian kumpulan yang sudah mula lupa batasan tertentu dalam mencapai matlamat politik.

Justeru, katanya, orang Melayu perlu memahami sepenuhnya titah ucapan baginda agar mesej yang diberi dapat dihayati dan seterusnya mengelakkan sama sekali perbuatan yang tergolong sebagai 'menyalakan api dalam sekam'.

''Saya percaya rakyat Malaysia yang lain juga harus sama menghayati titah ucapan tersebut kerana apa yang disentuh oleh Sultan Azlan Shah itu berdasarkan kedudukan baginda sebagai raja berperlembagaan,'' ujarnya.

Dalam pada itu, Ketua UMNO Bahagian Pasir Gudang, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin berkata, institusi raja merupakan lambang kedudukan tertinggi kaum Melayu dan agama Islam di negara ini.

Katanya, kedua-dua elemen inilah yang mencermin dan membezakan negara ini dengan negara bangsa lain.

''Kedudukan ini perlu dipelihara dalam masyarakat majmuk walaupun ada tuntutan populis iaitu tuntutan kesaksamaan yang cuba diperjuangkan pihak tertentu.

''Soalnya, jika raja tiada, adakah kita mampu mempertahankan keistimewaan Melayu dan Islam atau mungkin ia turut hilang dengan institusi raja.

''Oleh itu, derhaka pada raja secara langsung adalah derhaka terhadap Melayu dan Islam," katanya.

Menurut Khaled, jika institusi raja yang juga simbol keistimewaan masyarakat Melayu dan Islam ini wujud, ia mampu untuk menolak tuntutan tersebut tanpa sebarang alasan.

Sebaliknya, katanya, jika kesaksamaan yang menjadi asas negara, ia sukar untuk melindungi kaum Melayu dan Islam.

''Contohnya, pembiayaan sekolah mubaligh dan kewujudan sekolah itu pula akan bersaing dengan Islam dan menjejas penganut Islam.

''Di mana Melayu dan Pas pada ketika ini untuk melindungi kaum Melayu dan Islam,'' katanya.

A New Dimension of Constitutional Monarchy

From Malaysiakini

By Param Cumaraswamy

Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah has expressed his displeasure in no uncertain terms over comments and criticisms expressed by various quarters on the actions he took on Feb 5 over the removal of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the Perak Menteri Besar and the appointment of Zambry Abd Kadir in his place.

While Sultan Azlan Shah’s remarks are understandable, there is however one matter which is of concern.

That being his exposition, as reported in the media, that “the role of the constitutional monarchy goes beyond what is stipulated in the constitution”.

And also (of the sultan saying) “that rulers have a far wider responsibility ensuring that the spirit of the constitution, the philosophy behind the written law and the interests of the country and the people are safeguarded at all times”.

With respect, this new dimension of constitutional monarchy maybe seen as far reaching.

We have in this country nine sultans under nine separate state constitutions and one king under the federal constitution.

Again with respect, if these heads of states begin to interpret their powers, rights, discretions and privileges under their respective constitutions in accordance with the ‘spirit of’ and ‘philosophy’ behind the constitutional provisions and framework, what becomes of any certainty in the constitutions?

Again with respect, how could rationality, reasonableness and consistency of the decisions on interpretations be secured?

In that event the independent judicial review of such decisions will be inevitable.

The institution of the monarchy may fall under the purview of the courts.

In this regard Sultan Azlan Shah’s own words in the judgment of the Federal Court in 1979 when he was acting Chief Justice (Malaya) re: Sri Lempah is noteworthy.

He said, inter alia:

“Every legal power must have legal limits otherwise there is dictatorship. In particular it is a stringent requirement that a discretion should be exercised for a proper purpose, and that it should not be exercised unreasonably.

“In other words, every discretion cannot be free from legal restraint; where it is wrongly exercised, it becomes the duty of the courts to intervene.”

PARAM CUMARASWAMY is a former Malaysian Bar president (1986 - 1988). He also served as the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers by the UN Commission on Human Rights from 1994 to 2003.

DEMONISATION


1. The Western Press launched a concerted effort to demonise the new Prime Minister. From France to Britain to Australia, the articles are identical and carried the same message. The in-coming PM is said to be corrupt and involved in a murder case. The Australian writer says Malaysia is a "pariah" nation. I cannot believe that this demonisation by so many at the same time is a coincidence.

2. Included in the condemnation of the new PM is the allegation that he would bring back "Mahathirism". By this the Western press seem to imply that the fourth PM was a dictator who detained for no reason, manipulated the judiciary, controlled the Press etc etc.

3. As the person concerned I will leave it to Malaysians to judge and to define "Mahathirism". They are the constituents which Najib should care about. The foreign press has an agenda of their own. And their friends in Malaysia are feeding them with the anti-Najib stories as they fear Najib would put a stop to their control of the media.

4. Najib can expect to hear more of this kind of demonisation from the foreign press but it is what Malaysians think that counts. It is with them that Najib has to clear his name.

Raja Nazrin Worried On Local Writers Trend

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 (Bernama) -- The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, today expressed concern over the trend whereby authors in the country are more interested in writing political books that run down certain individuals.

He said this popular trend of producing destructive political books for short-term political and commercial objective chose themes that denigrated certain individuals, occurred on a seasonal basis and was closely linked to the timing of certain political organisations' activities.

"If this trend continues to grow, I fear that it will create an unhealthy writing culture, a writing culture which nurtures lies, a writing culture which is unethical and ready to ignore fact and one that will have a negative influence on the development of the people's minds," he said.

He was speaking when launching the book, "Keberanian Menggapai Harapan", a translation of the book, "Audacity of Hope", by US President Barack Hussein Obama. The translation was done by the National Institute of Translation.

He said such writing culture would surely cause a loss to the race in the long run compared with whatever short-term profit motivated by the narrow objectives of certain groups or individuals.

Police 'pressure' ISA detainee's family - Malaysiakini

The family of Agus Salim - who has been arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) - has claimed that federal police subjected them to intimidation at Bukit Aman, Kuala Lumpur, this morning.
MCPX

isa internal security act vigil 050108An Indonesian national from Medan, Agus has been held under the tough security law for the past two months, according to the Abolish ISA Movement (GMI by its Malay acronym).

Agus, 30, worked as a cook in a restaurant in Larkin, Johor. He was said to have been picked up on March 5 by a team from Bukit Aman police headquarters, for alleged involvement in a bank robbery in Indonesia and having links with Islamic militant group Jemaah Islamiah.

Today, his mother, Kartam, and younger brother Junaidi went to the federal police headquarters where Agus is being held for questioning. They attempted to seek his release, but were allegedly subjected to police pressure.

Speaking to Malaysiakini, Junaidi said the police had “offered” to escort the duo to their Malaysian home in Johor today.

“I told them there was no need and that I would go back by myself...but they (the police) wouldn’t listen. They insisted that I pack my bag and leave with them,” said the mechanic, 27.

He claimed that the police confiscated his mobile phone and passport, and separated him from his mother while he met with his brother for 40 minutes.

Junaidi claimed that Kartam, 56, was held inside the building for almost four hours, and that she too was pressured to return to Johor under police escort

‘Keep quiet’ instruction

GMI secretary E Nalini said Kartam was only released at 2.40pm and the police had told her not to make any statements to the press, if she wanted to see her elder son released within a week.

gmi indonesian embassy memo isa detainees 180108 e nalini“She told us that the police kept her for hours because they wanted to pressure her to go back to Johor with her other son today,” said Nalini (right) when contacted.

Nalini claimed that Kartam was advised “not to mingle with GMI people” as it would only aggravate the situation.

“But we do not know whether this (news of the release) is true or not. At the moment, we are trying to calm Kartam down. She is very upset and has been crying a lot. All she is asking for is the release of the son,” said Nalini.

She further said GMI will assist the family in seeking the help of the Indonesian mission in Kuala Lumpur to obtain Agus’ release immediately.

“We are going to Indonesian High Commission tomorrow morning to report this,” added Nalini.

Restriction on Religions by Humans

By Arvindraj

The growth of a religion believed to be a promise between GOD PROPHETS and HUMANS, any religion on this earth is believed from God, and yet we are restricting the growth of it by imposing our own restrictions, rules, law and way of life.


Love for a religion and its prophets can be attained by studying analyzing and getting closer to its followers and teachings.

Human are sometimes acting on behalf or even smarter than God by setting their own ground and fences. Which a non-believer will never come closer to or take an effort to get to know on what’s the core of its teachings.

The Believers on the other hand will feel constraint and will feel a discomfort in the restriction and even to share the teaching of the religion to his friends and even strangers.

Humans are the person that set all the restrictions and failing the plan of the Prophets to spread the Nobel teachings and believes of any religion.

Here, I think it is a Sin of any Individual, Group, Government and Establishment that acts in the name of Religion and creates fear through their act and restrict the spread of the religion and the name of the prophet. I as an Individual and as a person who wants to know about all the religions in the world fear and lost interest in one or two religion that’s practiced in Malaysia in a way that practices too much of restriction and favoritism and injustice to the other religions and individual.

All the religion on earth started with one person.. The prophet itself which has spread to millions.. No religion on earth has ever asked the followers to choose people to spread its teachings. All humans has the right to study and follow the religion of any prophets and Humans has NO rights to stop or to execute or restrict anyone on their interest and love for any religion on earth! In the eye of God all Humans are the same, God do not choose you by your color or your religion, or your Race and Status.

The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights defines religious conversion as a human right: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief...." (Article 18). Though this is controversial because some groups either forbid or restrict religious conversion.

Those who forbid or restrict the religious conversion is a sinner! Religion came from God and through a prophet,, who are Humans to restrict them?

Greater than God? Greater than the Prophets? Human that loves a prophet and has the trust in the teachings and believes that this is the true religion from God is free to convert and not for the love of his wife or husband which believes in their own religion.. If you choose a religion that is followed by your spouses, then you are cheating that RELIGION and you are cheating yourself and the believers of that religion! No religion on earth has to be followed for none other reasons than the Love and Believe on its principles, Prophets and God! Conversion on any other reasons than this is FAKE! And not welcomed even by the prophets.

What’s the use on being a follower of the religion when you don’t know the prophet and do not love him? You are just travelling in a train without knowing your destination!

Summary: Any religion that creates fear and tries to restrict the believers and the non believers will not grow and loved! This restriction is against the principles of any prophets that wants his religion to be spread and followed by the world!

So it is a Sin if you are the cause of the fear! Which we are having now! No matter what religion you are following, it’s not your religion! It is the religion of the prophets and we as humans have all the rights to go in and study it.

Turn and look around you, look at your followers! Are all of them following what you call as law of the religion? No they are not... Religion is not a jail; it is a way, a teaching, a faith and a peaceful playground which doesn’t harm others.. Don’t try to draw a barrier! Don’t try to be a policeman or a military police there.. It will only make others hate your religion! Clean your own house before calling others to clean their drains!

We Fear of you and your religion because of the Human designed Law in the name of the Prophet! You are restricting us from getting to know the prophet and to love him! SIN IS ALL YOURS!!! YOU ARE THE ENEMY OF YOUR OWN RELIGION!!!!

Conscious and Unconscious …

Rwindraj

No hurry for 'crooked bridge'

JOHOR BARU, April 20 - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today told Johor Umno that the government is in no hurry to revive the 'crooked bridge' to replace its half of the Causeway, adding any review will depend on discussions with Singapore.

Johor Umno Youth and several local business groups said last week they supported a review of the project first proposed by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad but later scrapped by his successor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Dr Mahathir sarcastically asked today if Malaysia was independent if it needed permission for the project.

"Najib said there is no decision on the crooked bridge as there is no hurry for it," a Johor Umno warlord told The Malaysian Insider after the party president met his colleagues here.

"He also said that he will discuss with Singapore about the project," the Umno man added.

The prime minister is on a day-long visit to Johor, his first tour after succeeding Abdullah for the country's top job. Najib had earlier committed to developing the Iskandar Malaysia corridor that Abdullah had launched in 2006.

Johor MP Datuk Seri Shahrir Samad yesterday opposed any revival of the project, saying the funds could be used elsewhere in the current softening economy.

In a post at his popular www.chedet.cc weblog, Dr Mahathir had noted that more people were supporting the project now.

"Does the Government need to ask Singapore for permission to build the now desirable crooked bridge?" wrote the former prime minister, who had proposed replacing the near century-old Causeway as it kept the Johor Strait waters stagnant.

Malaysian mainstream media have reported over the last week that businessmen and some political leaders now support the crooked bridge to replace the Causeway, one of two road links to Singapore.

The island republic was in favour of the bridge if Malaysia committed to opening its airspace for military flights and would sell sand for the country's expansion.

Deputy prime minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is seen as close to Dr Mahathir, has said there are no proposals to revive the crooked bridge project.

But its learnt that some companies are preparing to restart the project if it is approved.

The Najib administration is now focusing on boosting the economy in the current financial storm and believes funds could be used elsewhere rather than expanding land links to Singapore.

However, government sources say it is amenable to the project if Singapore is agreeable, hence Dr Mahathir's question about the country's independence to decide projects in its territory.

In the last recession caused by the Asian Financial Crisis of 97/98, the Mahathir administration spent its way out by pushing mega projects such as Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, KLIA, ports and transport links.

Fight over kids' conversion

A HINDU woman is challenging her husband's conversion of the couple's three young children to Islam, the woman's lawyer said on Monday - the latest interfaith dispute over minors in Muslim-majority Malaysia.

The conversion of children has been the subject of growing legal challenges by non-Muslims who say they face discrimination by Muslims who comprise nearly two-thirds of Malaysia's population and dominate the government.

M. Indira Gandhi, a 34-year-old ethnic Indian kindergarten teacher, plans to file a civil suit to contest her estranged husband's conversion of their children to Islam earlier this month without her consent, said her lawyer A. Sivanesan.

She will also seek custody of the children, aged between 1 and 12, after the Islamic Shariah court in northern Perak state awarded custody to her husband, K. Patmanathan, following his conversion to Islam in March, the lawyer said.

Malaysia has a two-tier court system for family matters - secular courts for non-Muslims, Shariah courts for Muslims. Minority Hindu, Christian, and Buddhist followers often complain that in disputes involving Muslims, the Shariah courts get jurisdiction and often rule against them.

Perak Islamic authorities could not immediately be reached for comment on Ms Gandhi's case.

A. Vaithilingam, president of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam group, called for an immediate halt to conversions of minors under 18 without the consent of both parents.

'The Shariah court is supposed to be a court of justice but within a few minutes they decided the three children are all Muslims,' Mr Vaithilingam said. He said the civil court should have the final say since Ms Gandhi was married under civil law.

The government has repeatedly pledged to resolve legal uncertainties over interfaith spats, but no clear solution has been achieved despite a growing number of cases in recent years.

Several government ministers, including Muslims and non-Muslims, have set up a panel to look into Ms Gandhi's case. In the most high-profile case in 2007, a Hindu woman failed to persuade the civil court to bar her husband, who had embraced Islam, from converting their sons. -- AP

The lies that Blogs spin

Image

Blogs are basically thoughts and opinions of those who own the Blogs. Opinions may not necessarily be the truth or facts. After all, opinions are...well...opinions. To get to the truth, meaning facts, one has to also read the mainstream media, like Utusan Malaysia, which is owned by the ruling party, and compare its information with what Blogs write. Then you will know the truth because the mainstream media is undeniably the propagator of the truth.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Rais: Do not abuse the Internet

(The Star, 17 April 2009) - The government is not out to find fault with bloggers and Internet users but rather wants them to adhere to the guidelines and laws and to ensure the Internet, which acts as an alternative media, is not misused or exploited.

Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the ministry played an important role in establishing that only the “right kind of information” reached the masses.

“It is not that we are looking for fault all the time. But we would like the right of the people to be guarded by the relevant authorities and the law. Our aim is to see the 1Malaysia concept succeed. However, in order to succeed, the facts must not be twisted or misinterpreted by some until it raises racial sentiments.

“If the right information does not reach the people, how can there be success? So, I want everyone to understand and respect the law,” he said after the ministry’s monthly gathering at the Sultan Abdul Samad building here yesterday.

He added that anybody who violated the law had to answer for his or her action. “There are various laws that govern the rights of people to communicate, especially through the Internet. The ministry, however, would not be taking hasty action against critics as long as they did not flout the Communications and Multimedia Act,” he said.

He added that officers and agencies under the ministry were capable of carrying out their duties and enforcing the Communications and Multimedia Act, and the role of the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.

On another matter he said RTM had full control over the selection of reports for its news segments. He said the media, be it government or private-owned, had the right to choose the news reports they wanted, as long as they were not prejudiced. He said the ministry would only “interfere” when reports are not balanced.

“RTM will remain neutral,’’ said Dr Rais, who was replying to an online news report, which claimed that TV1 was given verbal instructions not to report the boycott incident at the Terengganu state assembly sitting on Tuesday.

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Jambatan bengkok wajar dibina – Shahrir

(Utusan Malaysia, 19 April 2009) - Ahli Parlimen Johor Bahru, Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad berkata, jambatan bengkok menghubungkan Malaysia-Singapura wajar diteruskan.

Kata beliau, jambatan yang menghubungkan Tanjung Puteri di Johor dan Woodlands di Singapura itu boleh dilaksanakan dengan semangat setia kawan antara kedua-dua negara.

“Sebagaimana kita maklum kedua-dua Perdana Menteri telah mengadakan pertemuan empat mata di Pattaya, Thailand baru-baru ini dan isu perbincangan berkisar projek ikon ini dan saya yakin ia dibincangkan secara serius.

“Saya menaruh keyakinan Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak dan Lee Hsien Loong telah memperhalusi dan memikirkan secara terperinci berhubung projek ini demi kebaikan bersama,” katanya di sini hari ini.

Mengenai isu jambatan itu yang dibatalkan oleh bekas Perdana Menteri, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, beliau menjelaskan: “Jika diamati kenyataan Perdana Menteri Singapura sebelum ini ada menyuarakan komitmennya berhubung projek yang dicetuskan oleh Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad dengan menyatakan kerajaan republik itu hanya bersedia turut sama terlibat dengan pembinaan jambatan itu selepas 2007.”

“Ini membawa maksud ketika itu, Singapura telah siap bina Pusat Kastam, Imigresen dan Kuarantin (CIQ) baru yang menjadi pelengkap kepada jambatan baru bagi menggantikan Tambak Johor yang dibina pada 1924 itu,” jelasnya.

Shahrir berkata, pembinaan projek ikon itu juga boleh dijadikan asas kepada lambang penyertaan Singapura dalam pembangunan di Iskandar Malaysia.

Sementara itu di Raub, Dr. Mahathir ketika mengulas gesaan UMNO Johor Bahru berkata, kerajaan sepatutnya tidak menghentikan langsung pembinaan jambatan itu.

“Bohong, kalau kata rakyat Johor tidak mahu jambatan ini dibina,” katanya.

*************************************************
Shahrir against crooked bridge, prefers better ties

(The Star, 20 April 2009) - Johor Baru MP Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad is against the revival of the crooked bridge project and has instead proposed that both countries work together to build a straight one.

He said a straight bridge would be good for building better bilateral ties between both governments. The Singapore Government has agreed on the development of iconic projects in Iskandar Malaysia. “Why not build a straight bridge as one of the iconic projects?” he asked.

Shahrir added that a new straight bridge across the causeway would show renewed bond and would benefit both countries.

“It has come to my attention that many Johoreans are hopeful that our new prime minister and Cabinet will revive the crooked bridge project. The public must understand that bilateral ties between both countries will suffer if the project is revived,” he said, adding that the Malaysian Government should consider all implications when reviewing the project.

The Star had reported recently that many businesses have been suffering since the opening of the new CIQ complex last year and they were counting on the crooked bridge project to be revived to boost business in the city.

Shahrir was speaking to reporters at the launch of an anti-drug community service centre for residents of Taman Sri Stulang yesterday.

On the decision to open the old CIQ complex to pedestrians, Shahrir commended the Government and hoped that it would be implemented soon.

TERENGGANU MENTRI BESAR 'UNWANTED'

A 'takeover crisis' is brewing in Terengganu with plans to 'oust' current Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said, who has the blessing of the Sultan of Terengganu and current Yang DiPertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, by a group presumably led by former MB, Datuk Idris Jusuh.

The Barisan Nasional has 24 out of 32 Assemblymen with the remaining control by PAS.

Recently there was talk that a vote of no confidence would have been tabled but this was held back with assurance from Prime Minister and BN Chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak giving Datuk Ahmad Said a grace of a month to resolve this internal crisis or face a boot.

It is predicted that there will be a CHANGE in a month or so since the opposing group are united and will force the current MB to step down.
picture courtesy of Malaysiakini

EC - prove it is not mouthpiece/tool of BN

The time has come for the Election Commission to demonstrate that it is not the mouthpiece or tool of the Barisan Nasional government but an independent, impartial and professional Election Commission as intended by the Constitution.

Election Commission deputy chairman Datuk Wan Ahmad Wan Omar was quoted in the Star today as saying that the time has come to amend existing laws to prevent abuse by political parties that force elected representatives to quit their parliamentary or state seats.

He said the move by a wakil rakyat to vacate a seat to fulfil a party’s agenda should be discouraged as the cost of holding by-elections had become a burden to the country. (Star)

It is most disappointing that since the appointment of Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Yusuf as the new Chairman for the Election Commission at the beginning of the year, the Election Commission has made decisions and taken actions which have further undermined public confidence in its independence, impartiality and professionalism – which is quite an “achievement” considering the canyon the Election Commission had plunged into in terms of public confidence under the former Chairman.

The recent refrain by the Election Commission Chairman and Deputy Chairman, echoing the Prime Minister and the Barisan Nasional leaders, that the cost of by-elections had become a burden to the country must be challenged.

In the past few days, the mainstream media have reported that the five by-elections held since the March 8 general elections had cost Malaysian taxpayers RM33.4 million, comprising:


Election Commission Police
Permatang Pauh RM409,000 RM 2.5 million
Kuala Terengganu RM580,000 RM11.5 million
Bukit Gantang RM600,000 RM 7 million
Bukit Selambau RM400,000 RM 5 million
Batang Ai RM400,000 RM 5 million
Total RM2.4 million RM31 million = RM33.4 million

Actually, the total expenses incurred in the five by-elections are many times the total of RM33.1 million- easily by six or seven-fold - if the election expenditures of the competing political parties are taken into consideration.

The expenses incurred by the Pakatan Rakyat in the five by-elections would be negligible when compared to the total of RM33.4 million incurred together by the Election Commission and the Police.

Pakatan Rakyat candidates do not exceed the maximum expenditures permitted candidates under election laws – which is RM200,000 for a parliamentary candidate and RM100,000 for a state assembly candidate. This would mean a ceiling of RM800,000 for three parliamentary and two state assembly by-elections held since the general election last year.

How much did Barisan Nasional spend for the five by-elections, using not only party funds but also public funds, resources and machinery?

It has been estimated that the Barisan Nasional spent RM70 million in Batang Ai by-election alone. I will not be surprised if an independent and professional audit comes to a total figure of Barisan Nasional expenditures for the five by-elections in the region of some RM200 million, i.e. six or seven-fold of the RM33.4 million incurred jointly by the Election Commission and Police.

The problem is not the holding of by-elections but the corruption of the entire electoral process where elections and by-elections have become obscenely expensive. For Barisan Nasional, a by-election is a just splurge of money, not just in millions of ringgit but tens of millions of ringgit, often with the misuse and abuse of public funds!

If the election law is strictly enforced, with each candidate limited to RM200,000 for Parliament and RM100,000 for state assembly contest, and political parties banned from incurring any expenditures, and the expenditures for the Election Commission and the Police as incurred in the five by-elections slashed by 50% and 80% respectively, the question of by-elections being “a waste of time, energy and money” would not arise.

The ballooning of election expenditures to prohibitive levels for Barisan Nasional candidates is one indicator of how corruption in Malaysia has completely got out of hand in the past decade!

It is open secret that the four recent by-elections held this year under the new Election Commission Chairman were no different from previous elections and by-elections, that the election law limiting expenditures to RM200,000 per parliamentary and RM100,000 per state assembly seats were flouted by Barisan Nasional candidates, to the extent that actual Barisan Nasional expenditures run into tens of millions of ringgit each.

Had the Election Commission ever prosecuted and disqualified any Barisan Nasional candidate, whether for parliamentary and state assembly elections, for election offences for violating the election law limiting expenditures by 10, 50 or even 100 times since the new law was passed five years ago?

The cost of by-elections would not have become so burdensome if the Election Commission and Police are thrifty and economical in their expenditures.

Why was the Police spending RM11.5 million in the Kuala Terengganu by-election? In fact, Parliament was told on Feb. 18 that the police had spent RM4 million more, i.e. RM15.53 million, in the Kuala Terenggtanu by-election.

The Star of Feb. 19, 2009, under the headline “RM15 million for safe polls” reported:

POLICE operations for the Kuala Terengganu by-election on Jan 17 cost the Government some RM15.53mil, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung said.

Chor told Amran Ab Ghani (PKR - Tanah Merah) that among others, the expenditure covered costs for transport, communications and utilities, rental of canopies, supply of food and drinks, accommodation and living allowances.

“For the Kuala Terengganu by-election, the police mobilised 3,376 personnel from all divisions, including the Special Branch, Narcotics and the Criminal Investigation Department.

“Because of the extra security measures maintained by the police at the time, no untoward incident was reported,” he said.

The police also mobilised two helicopters, three armoured personnel carriers, 68 patrol cars, 296 motorcycles and 3,376 side arm rifles for the by-election.

This is not the only case of under-reporting of police expenditures in by-elections. The mainstream media in the past few days reported that police expenditures in the Permatang Puah by-election were RM2.5 million.

This is under-reported by four or five-fold if Chor had not misled Parliament, as evident from the same Star report on his same answer to Parliament on Feb. 18:

To a question from Dr Puad Zarkashi (BN - Batu Pahat), Chor said although the sum spent in Kuala Terengganu was slightly higher than for the by-election in Permatang Pauh, it was worth it because there was no tension felt at all during the campaigning period.

Can the new Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein explain the two great discrepancies in police expenditures in the two by-elections – RM4 million in Kuala Terengganu by-election and some RM10 million in Permatang Pauh by-election?

The time has come for the Election Commission to stop being a mouthpiece or tool of Barisan Nasional.

The Election Commission must demonstrate its independence, impartiality and professionalism and convene an all-party roundtable conference to introduce far-reaching reforms to election laws and the electoral system so that Malaysians can be proud of a free, fair and clean election system and to stop playing to the tune of the Barisan Nasional government to unilaterally and arbitrarily amend laws at its whim and fancy.

Klang Toilet Tussle

Monday, April 20, 2009

The location of the public toilet being built in front of Klang Mariamman Temple is still a subject of dispute.

A group led by Thilaiyambalam, public relations secretary to Selangor EXCO Xavier Jeyakumar, demonstrated in support of the construction, last Saturday at 2:00 PM, Makkal Osai daily reported.

Apparently, Xavier is adamant in continuing the construction at the present location.

 toilet


“Little India is going to be part of Malaysian tourist locations. Thus, the Tourism ministry is spending millions for a decent toilet in this area. This place will not progress if we obstruct the construction”, Xavier said.

However, businessman and Shahbandaraya chairman K P Samy is not buying this argument.

“Earlier, the Klang council planned to build the toilet near the church but when the church authorities protested, the council moved the location to the present place near the Hindu Temple”

“Why are they not considering Hindu temple management protest?”

“Hindu devotees have to pass through this place for prayers in the temple and the Indian community will not accept this”,K P Samy said.

Samy’s contention was disputed by Justice Party (PKR) regional leader, “Inside the temple itself there is a toilet, no devotees seem to be bothered about it”.

One could assume that there must be a toilet inside the church too. If that’s the case, why did the church authorities protested the original location?

Whatever it is, the whole matter really stinks.

 toilet

 toilet

Dayaks “lack element of smartness”?

What does James Masing mean when he condescendingly says the Dayaks “lack the element of smartness” and are thus easily politically manipulated?

Does he mean that the rural Ibans who voted for the BN are lacking the element of smartness? Or were the Dayaks in Batang Ai who voted for the BN lacking the element of smartness?

Who are these leaders who are manipulating the rural Dayaks with projects and promises of development especially during an election campaign? Who are these individuals who have promised the Dayaks fantastic returns under the Salcra plantation development scheme.

I suppose the Dayak leaders from the BN like Masing consider themselves smart and clever. But the question is smart in what?

Dayaks lack element of smartness: Masing

20 April 2009

SRI AMAN: Dayaks are easily politically manipulated because they lack the element of smartness, said Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Dato Sri Dr James Masing.


Speaking at an Easter dinner organised by PRS Bukit Begunan division here on Friday, Masing said this lack of smartness was particularly clearly evident among rural Dayaks whose political stand was seldom firm.

“Politics within the community (Dayak), particularly in rural areas, is fluid until now because there is lack of the smart factor. And because of that they will listen to instigation and get manipulated by certain individuals,” Masing pointed out on Friday night.

Masing, who is Land Development Minister, urged educated and intellectual Dayaks to help educate the members of the community to imbibe them with that element of ‘smartness’.

He added that it was pity that some Dayak intellectuals were going to longhouses to incite the people to hate and reject government policies.

“It is sad to see that many educated and intellectuals from the community (Dayak) are inciting the people and this has caused the Dayak to be further fragmented in politics,” he said.

Such action by the irresponsible people would result in the community lagging behind other races, he stressed.

He called upon the Dayaks in the state to struggle and unite with a common political direction to enable the community to benefit from development process like the other races.

Among those present at the function were Bukit Begunan assemblyman Mong Dagang, Batang Ai assemblyman Malcom Mussen Lamoh and SAO Bujang Ladi and organising chairman Jiram Gendang.

Article from The Borneo Post Online: http://www.theborneopost.com

URL to article: http://www.theborneopost.com/?p=50562

Hindraf leader fails in bid to quash sedition trial

The Star
By LISA GOH

KUALA LUMPUR: Hindraf leader P. Uthayakumar will face his sedition charge after he failed to challenge it in the High Court.

Judicial Commissioner Azman Abdullah dismissed Uthayakumar’s appeal after hearing submissions from both parties, and decided that the case could proceed.

Uthayakumar is charged with publishing a letter with seditious content on the Police Watch Malaysia website at Menara Mutiara Bangsar, Bangsar between Nov 15 and Dec 8, 2007.
The letter dated Nov 15, 2007 was from Hindraf and addressed to British Prime Minister Gordon Brown at No 10 Downing Street, London.

The charge under the Sedition Act carries a maximum RM5,000 or three years jail, or both, on conviction, with five years jail for a subsequent offence.

On the point that the allegedly seditious letter did not carry Uthayakumar’s signature, Azman said:

“There have been recent cases in the High Court whereby the author of a seditious article can be identified, even without signature, by having a court order instructing the website owner to reveal the identity of the said author.”

He also said the points raised by Uthayakumar’s lawyer, N. Surendran, in his preliminary objection that the words used in the allegedly seditious letter were in fact not seditious, would be more appropriate if they were raised in the trial proper.

Surendran, however, filed a preliminary objection to the charge saying it was “groundless” and “defective” as there was no signature on the said letter to prove that it was indeed his client who had published it.

On Dec 11, 2007, the Sessions Court dismissed the preliminary objection. An appeal was then filed with the High Court.

Uthayakumar’s sedition trial continues in the Sessions Court on April 30.

MB Pahang diarah bayar RM63 juta

Dari Malaysiakini

Mahkamah Tinggi Kuantan hari ini mengarahkan Menteri Besar Pahang, Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, melunaskan bayaran penghakiman berjumlah RM63 juta kepada sebuah syarikat kerana melanggar perjanjian pemberian konsesi pembalakan di Mukim Bebar, Pekan, dekat Kuantan.

Hakim Datuk Abd Halim Aman memutuskan pihak responden (menteri besar) perlu melunaskan bayaran berkenaan dalam tempoh 14 hari bermula hari ini.

bukit komon gold mine 020306 adnan pcKetika membenarkan permohonan perintah ‘mandamus’ (untuk memaksa) syarikat Seruan Gemilang Makmur Sdn Bhd., Abd Halim berkata, tindakan itu dibenarkan selepas segala saluran perundangan untuk menuntut bayaran itu telah selesai.

Syarikat berkenaan memperoleh perintah bayaran penghakiman dari Mahkamah Tinggi Kuantan pada 25 Mei 2007 dan kerajaan negeri gagal membuat bayaran tersebut, lapor Bernama.

“Pendirian sebegini mencerminkan keengganan kerajaan negeri mematuhi kehendak statutori dan secara tidak munasabah membebankan rakyat (pembayar cukai) kerana ia akan membebankan kerajaan negeri dari segi faedah harian,” katanya.

Abd Halim berkata permohonan responden untuk mengenepikan tindakan ‘mandamus’ itu dengan hujah bertulis bahawa syarikat terbabit salah menamakan menteri besar sebagai responden adalah tidak tepat.

“Menteri besar adalah orang yang tepat serta berkelayakan untuk dinamakan sebagai responden kerana di Pahang dan mana-mana negeri sekalipun kecuali Sabah dan Sarawak, tiada wujud jawatan menteri kewangan negeri,” katanya.

Beliau berkata, mengikut Artikel 41 (1) Undang-Undang Tubuh Kerajaan Pahang turut menyatakan menteri besar mempunyai kuasa serta berkompeten untuk menyempurnakan jumlah bayaran dari Tabung Kumpulan Wang Yang Disatukan Negeri.

Fail semakan kehakiman

Seruan Gemilang diwakili peguam Rajoo D Moothy dan Richard Bong Chong Fook manakala Adnan diwakili oleh Datuk Shafie Abdullah.

Pada 15 Oktober 2008, syarikat pembalakan berkenaan memfailkan permohonan ‘mandamus’ setelah gagal menerima sebarang pembayaran walaupun telah menuntut pembayaran jumlah penghakiman dan faedah pada 7 April 2008 dan 27 Ogos 2008.

Pada 9 Disember 2002, syarikat itu memfailkan saman terhadap kerajaan negeri Pahang Pahang dan Pengarah Perhutanan Negeri kerana didakwa melanggar perjanjian

kontrak konsesi pembalakan berhubung pengeluaran kayu balak di atas tanah seluas 4,000 hektar di Mukim Bebar.

Pada 17 September tahun lalu, kerajaan Pahang diperintah membayar sejumlah RM60 juta kepada syarikat tersebut selepas ia gagal dalam usaha terakhirnya di Mahkamah Persekutuan untuk mendapat kebenaran merayu.

Mahkamah Persekutuan dengan itu mengekalkan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi Kuantan pada 25 Mei 2007 yang memerintahkan kerajaan Pahang membayar RM37,127,471.60 beserta faedah lapan peratus setahun mulai 31 Disember 2000.

Sementara itu, Penasihat Undang-Undang Kerajaan Negeri, Datuk Mat Zara’Ai Alias berkata pihaknya akan memfailkan permohonan menangguhkan keputusan esok.

Malah beliau berkata, pihaknya sebelum ini juga telah memfailkan semakan kehakiman terhadap keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan pada 17 September tahun lalu.

Majoriti ADUN BN Terengganu mahu MB letak jawatan

Malaysiakini | 20 April 2009

Sejumlah 18 daripada 24 ADUN Barisan Nasional (BN) Terengganu kini dipercayai menyokong kumpulan yang mendesak Menteri Besar, Datuk Ahmad Said supaya meletakkan jawatan.

Setiausaha Kelab Penyokong BN Terengganu, Alias Abdullah mendakwa, sehingga hari ini jumlah ADUN yang menolak Ahmad meningkat daripada 10 kepada 18 orang.

Menurutnya, ADUN terbaru menyertai kumpulan mereka termasuklah beberapa exco kerajaan negeri.

“Bagaimanapun, saya tidak dapat mendedahkan nama-nama exco terbabit untuk menjaga kedudukan mereka sekarang,” katanya kepada Malaysiakini.

Berikutan tambahan sokongan tersebut, Alias yang juga ADUN Alor Limbat berkata, majoriti ADUN BN Terengganu mahu Ahmad meletak jawatan.

Ditanya apakah tindakan selanjut mereka selepas mendapat sokongan majoriti tersebut, Alias berkata:

“Kita menyerahkan kepada pucuk pimpinan tertinggi parti terlebih dahulu untuk menyelesaikan kemelut politik di Terengganu.”

Sehubungan ini, Alias menegaskan, pihaknya percaya pucuk pimpinan tertinggi parti akan membuat keputusan yang terbaik untuk kepentingan rakyat dan negeri Terengganu.

Tidak berganjak

Sementara itu, Pengerusi Kelab Penyokong BN Terengganu, Datuk Rosol Wahid berkata, pihaknya tidak berganjak daripada tuntutan supaya Ahmad perlu meletakkan jawatan sebagai menteri besar.

“Tiada kompromi dalam hal ini. Kita berjuang untuk kepentingan rakyat Terengganu kerana kepimpinannya menyebabkan ketidakstabilan kepada parti dan pentadbiran kerajaan negeri.

“Pentadbiran Ahmad telah menjadi percakapan bukan sahaja di kalangan orang Umno tetapi juga rakyat secara keseluruhan sejak beliau menjadi menteri besar setahun lalu,” katanya.

Seorang exco kerajaan negeri Terengganu yang dihubungi hari ini menjelaskan beliau tidak tahu ada exco yang tidak menyokong Ahmad.

Exco berkenaan, Yahaya Khatib Mohamad berkata, tugas exco ialah menyokong menteri besar melaksanakan tugas mereka.

“Kalau tidak sokong, tentu mereka tidak hadir sidang DUN,” katanya.

Kemelut terbaru itu tercetus apabila 10 ADUN BN tidak menghadiri sidang DUN minggu lalu setelah tiga daripada mereka menerima SMS berupa ugutan.

Bagaimanapun, mereka menyertai semula pada hari terakhir Rabu lalu atas arahan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Najib Committed To Iskandar Malaysia's Continued Development

JOHOR BAHARU, April 20 (Bernama) -- The federal government is committed to the continued development of Iskandar Malaysia to turn the special economic corridor in southern Malaysia into a new growth centre in the country.

In giving the assurance, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said his administration's development policy on Iskandar Malaysia was a continuity from the administration of his predecessor Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

"The time has come for the creation of a new growth centre in the southern region of Peninsular Malaysia as the situation in the Klang Valley is congested with the presence of foreigners from other countries, particularly from the east coast.

"Hence, when there is a new growth area developing, with capital injection from in and outside the country, the people will have a choice to migrate to places like Iskandar Malaysia," he said when speaking at a meet-the-civil servants gathering here Monday.

Launched on Nov 4, 2006 and spanning across 2,217 sq km, Iskandar Malaysia, three times the size of neighbouring Singapore, covers Johor Baharu, Senai, Kulai, Gelang Patah, Pontian, Pasir Gudang and Tanjung Langsat.

Iskandar Malaysia has nearly met its US$13 billion overall foreign direct investment target for the phase ending in 2010.

Iskandar Investment Bhd, the catalytic of Iskandar Malaysia, said today more than US$11 billion or 92 per cent has been invested by players in Iskandar Malaysia.

Present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, state executive councillors and senior state government officials.

The prime minister said the federal government in planning the development of Iskandar Malaysia would seek the views of the Johor state government to ensure success of the country's biggest corridor development.

He assured Johoreans that they would not be sidelined from the corridor development and that they would reap various benefits from it.

"This is not the time for us to try to politicise the Iskandar Malaysia issue. I believe we should not turn this mammoth project into a political polemic but to view it in a positive light.

"With the injection of foreign investments and hi-tech investment, eco-tourism development, medical and international tertiary education, surely we will be proud to see Iskandar Malaysia placing Johor on the world map," he said.

Najib also said his administration's "One Malaysia. People Come First and Achievements Top Priority" concept was not merely a sentiment but based on fairness and equality as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

He said his concept complements that of Abdullah's themed "Excellence, Glory and Distinction and "Vision 2020" by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Najib said his administration would emphasise on people-friendly approach and not give importance to grand welcoming celebrations when he goes down to the ground to meet the people including according him a red carpet welcome.

"I hope this will be the way when government leaders come to meet the people. There is no need to roll out the red carpet," he said.

Najib also said the open tender concept was the principle of his administration to wipe out corruption in the civil service and to restore public confidence in the government.

He advised elected representatives, government officers and staff to listen to the people's problems and be humble when discharging their duties.

"As elected representatives it is important to hear out the people's grouses and be down to earth. Don't be self-elated (syok sendiri)," he added.

Kehebatan Polis Diraja Malaysia