Share |

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hindraf picks opposition MPs as advisors

Two opposition parliamentarians have been appointed by Hindraf chairperson P Waythamoorthy to act as advisors for the movement.

The duo - M Manogaran (DAP-Teluk Intan) and S Manikavasagam (PKR-Kapar) - have been informed of their appointments and have accepted their new role for the Hindu rights movement.

man-tortured-at-brickfields-police-station-311208-s-manikavasagamThe two politicians were among the 10 coordinators dropped by Waythamoorthy last week as part of a revamp in the movement's leadership structure.

However his decision to suspend the coordinators was met with protest among the movement's grassroots supporters, including the supporters of these two members of parliament.

Waythamoorthy's decision to absorb Manogaran and Manikavasagam (left) now is seen as an attempt by him to pacify the angry supporters and to ensure the movement is not handicapped by a lack of leadership.

Waythamoorthy is heading the movement, banned by the government last October, form London since November 2007. He was assisted by a team of local coordinators.

However he dropped them all on April 17 and replaced them with a three-man interim committee.

Among those dropped from the line-up included the movement's top coordinator RS Thanenthiran who had been helming the group locally in Waythamoorthy's absence.

It is not certain if Thanenthiran would be absorbed back into the newly established Hindraf leadership.

Hindraf not forming political party

Waythamoorthy today told Malaysiakini that the new team of leadership would be made up of new faces.

He also said that these local leaders will no longer be referred as coordinators.

"The new restructured team would consist of advisors and directors for various fields," he said.

Among the new positions to be filled by the new appointees would be the human rights director, economic, social and political rights director, public relations director, and finance director.

p waythamoorthyWaythamoorthy would remain the movement's chairperson.

He also said that any former coordinators and other Hindraf leaders who were interested in forming a political party would be advised to temporarily detach themselves from Hindraf.

"This is to protect Hindraf from allegations that it is converting into a political party.

"However we will accept them as ‘political friends' within Hindraf just like how we have accepted Manogaran and Manikavasagam," he said.

Thanenthiran is learnt to be harbouring hopes to form and lead a political party under the Hindraf aegis.

Waythamoorthy warns Pakatan

By Baradan Kuppusamy

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 – Hindraf is in a state of flux after rising dramatically to national prominence with the November 2007 protest that sparked a politically awakening among Malaysian Indians.

For the first time in five decades, a majority of Indians voted against the Barisan Nasional (BN) in the March 8, 2008 general election, helping to change the country’s political landscape.

But since then the movement has splintered.

While one faction wants to convert Hindraf into a full-fledged political party, others want to keep it as a purely religious organisation fighting to promote Hinduism and defend the temples.

A third faction wants to keep Hindraf as an apolitical – but allied with the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) – socio-political pressure group raising issues pertinent to the Indian community.

Finally, a fourth faction believes Hindraf should be an apolitical pressure group, allied with no one, out to get the best for the community from either PR or BN.

In a telephone interview from London, lawyer and Hindraf chairman Waythamoorthy Ponnusamy gives answers to where the movement stands on some of these issues and what is in store for the future.

To some of the questions, Waythamoorthy has the “for the moment” caveat indicating that he and his brother Uthayakumar, who is in ISA detention, are keeping their options open on all fronts.


Q: Will Hindraf be turned into a political party?

A: No…not for the moment. We are apolitical. I don’t have any political ambitions but we have many political friends who speak up for our agenda. Hindraf has political friends everywhere but Hindraf itself is apolitical.


Q: So what are you really?

A: We are a pressure group with many political friends. We support our political friends when they need our support. And they should support our agenda.


Q: What is your agenda?

A: Our agenda is to improve the lot of the poorer Indians in the Indian community and to defend temples and the Hindu religion and to promote and defend Tamil schools. To get as much allocation from public funds to these areas to resolve problems that have remained unresolved since independence.


Q: The new government headed by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has allocated some RM80 million for Tamil schools and has in general promised more for the Indian community. Are you satisfied? Do you see this as positive start?

A: No. The allocation is peanuts compared to the seriousness of the situation faced by Tamil schools, and their neglect. If shared equally, each school probably would get enough to just build a canteen.

The government must come up with a comprehensive, long term programme to alleviate the plight – lack of funds, untrained teachers, and poor facilities, ownership of land, titles and recognition of vernacular education as integral to the education system of the country. We are citizens and we have a right to the public resources.


Q: Is it not a positive start?

A: Yes but the amount is small and, besides, the allocations are channelled through the MIC which is a political party that has been rejected by the Indian community. As long as the government deals through the MIC, we are unhappy and will not accept or co-operate. The government has to deal with us.


Q: Are you prepared to negotiate with the government?

A: We are prepared to negotiate with anyone for the betterment of the Indian community.


Q: Some Hindraf founder members are adamant in wanting to form a political party. What is your response?

A: I can’t hold them back. Thanenthiran (Hindraf national coordinator) is one of them. He thinks we need a political platform to better serve the Indian community.

My stand is that we must, for the moment, remain apolitical. But if anyone wants to form a political party, it is their business. I can’t hold them back, I can’t tell them “don’t do it”. But for now Hindraf is apolitical.


Q: What is the real impact of the Nov 25 protest?

A: The real impact is the sea change it brought in the mindset of the Indians. Overnight, the protest awakened the Indians. Nearly 70% of Indians havee had their mindset changed and they bravely voted opposition, which they hope would change their lives.


Q: Are you satisfied with the performance of the Pakatan Rakyat in alleviating the community’s woes?

A: No, we are not satisfied. They have done little. We are disappointed that they are not treating Indian woes seriously. They have not given priority to our plight. Many of the Pakatan leaders don't have the faintest idea what are our problems and how to tackle them. They control four state governments and they can resolve the important land issues facing temples and Tamil schools. They must get serious on it.


Q: What are you doing about the alleged “lack of seriousness” by the Pakatan leaders?

A: We are constantly raising the issues with them. Having meetings abroad with them and we are going to tell them soon that they had better get cracking or face the wrath of the Indian poor in the next general election.

Najib not dancing to Dr M’s tune … yet

tmi-n.jpgKUALA LUMPUR, April 22 – Despite pressure from some powerful voices in Umno, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak still believes that the Barisan Nasional (BN) should not field a candidate in the Penanti by-election.

This decision is likely to displease Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and some other party officials but the Prime Minister has told Umno officials that it is time the ruling coalition stops becoming a player in the political pantomime crafted and staged by the Opposition.

During a closed-door briefing with Johor Umno on Sunday, Najib said he believes that Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) strategy is to hold by-elections at regular intervals, thereby keeping the political temperature in the country bubbling and distracting the BN federal government from the important job of resuscitating the economy.

A senior Johor Umno official told The Malaysian Insider: “PM made the point that we just cannot go along and be a party to this Opposition strategy of having by-elections. We have to make a stand and say that we are not interested in these games.

“Of course if the by-election is caused by the death of the incumbent, that is a different issue. But if it caused by the resignation of Opposition lawmakers then BN’s position should be to give the by-election a miss.”

Many senior Johor Umno officials are backing Najib’s position on giving Penanti a miss and the party president is likely to make a similar pitch at the supreme council meeting this week.

He has said that he will be guided by the views of the BN component parties. The sentiment among BN officials is that Penanti will be difficult to snare from Pakatan Rakyat, given the fact that this state seat is in the Permatang Pauh constituency, Anwar Ibrahim’s stronghold.

In addition, it is an open secret that Umno in Permatang Pauh is split into three factions, creating doubts in the ruling party’s ability to muster an effective challenge on the ground.

BN officials know that a defeat in Penanti will give Pakatan Rakyat bragging rights as well as cement the view that the voter sentiment in West Malaysia is firmly with the Opposition.

Pakatan Rakyat has won all four by-elections held in peninsular Malaysia since the general elections in March last year- and all with increased majorities.

Still, the Mahathir camp believes that victory in Penanti is achievable. They have compiled a ground report which shows that the seat can be snared from the Opposition.

The former prime minister’s supporters have been using this report to persuade Umno officials that it would be a grave mistake to concede the seat without a fight.

On March 8 2008, Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s Fairus Khairuddin defeated BN’s Abdul Jalil Abdul Majid by 2,219 votes. Four years earlier, Abdul Jalil won the seat by 667 votes.

Fairus who has been tagged with allegations of corruption, resigned as the state assemblyman recently.

Dr Mahathir and his supporters argue that it would be demoralising for party workers if Umno/BN gives a walkover to PKR.

But party officials also know that Dr Mahathir may have a personal stake in this by-election. He despises Anwar and will hate to give him a free victory in his backyard.

Also, the former PM invited ridicule following BN’s defeats in Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau, with critics saying that he was a non-factor for voters despite campaigning in both constituencies.

But Najib’s supporters point out that while he is willing to listen to views from the former PM, the PM’s decision on Penanti will be based on feedback from a wider spectrum.

Malaysians have been watching the Najib administration closely, wondering whether Dr Mahathir will have a strong influence on decision-making and policies.

The jury is still out whether there is a return of Mahathirism but, at least on Iskandar Malaysia, Najib appears ready to distance himself from Dr Mahathir.

The former PM has objected strongly to the plan to develop south Johor into a global metropolis and has slammed the government for canvassing Singapore support for the project.

But over the weekend, Najib made clear that his administration is committed to making Iskandar a success and was not keen to engage in rhetoric. He also welcomed the involvement of foreign investors.

If he sticks to the decision not to field a candidate in Penanti, it could also be a signal to the rest of Malaysia that he may respect the former prime minister’s experience and views but will not be dancing to the veteran’s tune all the time.

Tainted Cabinet - no Minister who dare to raise RCI in Cabinet for Najib to “clear” his name?

In his blog yesterday, former premier Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad alleged a campaign by the Western Press on the demonization of the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Mahathir wrote:

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.

In typical Mahathirish selectivism, like his notorious case of selective amnesia when he appeared before the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Lingam videotapes scandal in January 2008, the former premier deliberately excluded mention that the spate of articles critical of Najib, before and after he became Prime Minister, with regard to the swirling allegations haunting and hounding Najib, whether on corruption or his involvement in the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu C4 murder case, appeared not only in the Western Press but also in the Asian, Asean and even African press, including India, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, South Africa.

Of course, mention of these articles critical of Najib in the Asian, Asean and African press would spoil Mahathir’s case of a campaign of “demonization” against Najib by the Western Press, as he would have to amend and expand the allegation to accuse the International Press, including Asian, Asean and African press, of being part of this international campaign of “demonization” against Najib.

Does Mahathir want a full list of the spate of articles critical of Najib which have appeared in the non-Western press in Asia, Asean and Africa?

Be that as it may, Mahathir was very artful in making a public defence of his 22 years of premiership, when he said he would leave to Malaysians to judge whether they agreed that “Mahathirism” implied “that the fourth PM was a dictator who detained for no reason, manipulated the judiciary, controlled the Press etc etc”.

Malaysians do not need the Western press to define “Mahathirism” as there can be no doubt that it really meant “that the fourth PM was a dictator who detained for no reason, manipulated the judiciary, controlled the Press etc etc”.

How could Mahathir deny the undeniable and defend the indefensible about “Mahathirism”, which is trying to make a come-back in the Najib premiership?

What is most pertinent in Mahathir’s blog, however, is his advice to Najib, viz: that it is what Malaysians think that counts, and “It is with them that Najib has to clear his name”.

Up to now, Najib has not “cleared” his name with Malaysians with regard to the swirling allegations about his credibility, integrity and legitimacy to be Prime Minister in particular with regard to corruption and the Altantuya C4 murder case.

Mahathir had dismissed the former Abdullah Cabinet as a “half-past six Cabinet”. He has yet to dismiss the Najib Cabinet in similar terms although he had expressed his disappointment that it included several “unsavoury characters who had been accused of being corrupt in the previous government”.

With the Najib Cabinet tainted by “several unsavoury characters”, is there not a single one of the 28 Ministers who dare to raise in Cabinet the need for a Royal Commission of Inquiry to clear Najib’s name with regard to swirling allegations worldwide about corruption and the Altantuya C4 murder case?

Bk. Tinggi Murder: Woman denies abetting in hubby's murder

NST, April 22 2009

 R. Kavitha being led into the   courtroom yesterday.  She had claimed that she was held hostage in her house while her husband was being murdered.
R. Kavitha being led into the courtroom yesterday. She had claimed that she was held hostage in her house while her husband was being murdered.

SHAH ALAM: The widow of murdered contractor S. Sivanathan, who was slashed while asleep in his home in February, claimed trial at the High Court yesterday to abetting in his murder.

R. Kavitha, 31, a housewife and part-time insurance agent, was said to have abetted by helping television cable installer L. Vasanthakumar, 22, and labourer R. Rathakrishnan, 20, enter her home and ordering them to kill her husband.


The alleged offence occurred in Kavitha's home at 22, Lorong Batu Nilam 17E, Bandar Bukit Tinggi 2 here at 9am on Feb 22.

Vasanthakumar and Ratha-krishnan also claimed trial in the same court to murdering Sivanthan, 31 at the same time and place.

Judicial commissioner Datuk Mohd Yazid Mustafa fixed May 28 for mention.
Kavitha, Vasanthakumar and Rathakrishnan were first charged at the Klang magistrate's court on March 16. Their cases were then transferred to the High Court here.

According media to reports, Kavitha had claimed she was held hostage in a room in her house with their 3-year-old daughter during the incident.

Deputy public prosecutor Hidayatul Syuhada Shamsudin prosecuted while Kavitha was represented by T. Vijayandran. V. Rajehgopal and V. Ayasamy represented Vasanthakmuar and Rathakrishnan, respectively.

Perak, the opportunity in crisis

For all the dust it has stirred, the Perak political deadlock has presented a soul-searching opportunity for Malaysians to consider the type of government and constitutional monarchy it wants.

At the dawn of the Perak crisis, many looked with great hope towards Sultan Azlan Shah, a former chief justice and one of the most revered monarchs in the country, for a resolution.

The leaders of Pakatan Rakyat and Barisan Nasional sought separate audiences with sultan to stake their claim to the Perak state government.

In the end, the sultan favoured the BN and swore in Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir as menteri besar.

That marked the beginning of an ongoing, protracted legal battle and public debate in constitutional interpretations – at the federal and state level – as well as greater public interest in the powers and functions of the state legislative assembly, the judiciary, the government and indeed the royalty.

It wasn’t the first instance of royal intervention though. Shortly after the March 8 general election, the royalty asserted itself in no fewer than four states.

In Perak the palace chose a menteri besar from PAS, much to the concern of DAP which initially preferred a PKR candidate.

King Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin, who is also theTerengganu ruler, rejected former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s candidate Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh for MB, although Idris had the support of the majority of the BN assemblymen.

And there was some issues regarding the choice of MB in Perlis as well as the make-up of the exco in Selangor due to royal intervention.

In two of these cases, the royalty’s preferences clashed with the interests of the BN and in the other two it clashed with those of PR. As such, it was hard for either BN or PR supporters to say with consistency and with conviction that royal intervention is always a desirable thing.

Few people other than Raja Petra Kamarudin would consistently support royal intervention. For most people, whether you support royal intervention or not all depends on whose ox is being gored

PR supporters who cheered royal intervention in Terengganu are now upset with the royal decision in Perak. And BN supporters who jeered the royal decision in Terengganu are now accusing PR supporters in Perak of derhaka.

Sultan Azlan Shah, the man at the heart of the current Perak imbroglio, last Sunday, on the occasion of his 81st birthday, made what many thought was a highly ironic statement: That the rulers are “above politics”.

He said that it was because of that that rulers cannot participate in open debate to answer any allegations hurled against them by political groups.

It should be mentioned that rulers aren’t elected and don’t hold press conferences to explain their decisions. In other words, they are for all intents and purposes not accountable to the electorate. Yet they do make decisions that have deep political consequences.

At least seven people nationwide have been hauled up to face charges for insulting the sultan on the Internet and DAP Chairman Karpal Singh is facing a sedition charge after saying that the sultan can be sued in his personal capacity for his role in the Perak crisis.

Such developments would surely make people have second thoughts about venting their anger at royal intervention. It might even have the effect of stifling civil discussion about the role of the monarchy.

But given the winds of change and expectations of reforms sweeping the nation it’s doubtful that Malaysian will not speak in hushed tones about what kind of constitutional monarchy they want.

Amidst the dizzying range of opinions held about royal intervention, the Perak political crisis presents the perfect opportunity for the nation to reflect on the ideals of democracy, of realpolitik and of the difference between observing the spirit of the law and the letter of the law.

Ahmad Accepts Whatever Decision Made By PM

SETIU, April 21 (Bernama)-- Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said will accept whatever decision is made by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak on his position as chairman of the State Umno Liaison Committee.

He said whatever decision announced by the party leadership on Friday would be accepted with an open mind because it was Najib's right as the Umno president.

"We leave it to him (the Prime Minister) because that is his right as the party president. We should accept whatever decision with an open mind...I have no problem with that," he said.

He said this to reporters when met after visiting victims of the storm that destroyed several houses in Kampung Penarik, near here, Tuesday.

Asked whether he was worried about the matter, Ahmad, who had held the post of State Umno Liaison head for exactly one year, said: "What is there to worry...It's not a problem for me."

However, he declined to comment on the outcome of his meeting with the Prime Minister recently. It was believed that the meeting was to discuss the political crisis brewing up among Barisan Nasional (BN) State Assemblymen in the state where a number of the Assemblymen did not turn up on the second day of the State Assembly sitting recently.

"No comment....Let the Prime Minister reply. I won't reply," he said.

Ahmad had a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on April 16 at the Bangunan Perdana Putra, Putrajaya to discuss the matter.

Former Terengganu menteri besar, Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh, was also seen entering the Prime Minister's Office on the same day in what was believed to be a move by Najib and Muhyiddin to resolve the dispute between Ahmad and the Terengganu BN Assemblymen.

Meanwhile, in the storm at about 3 pm on Sunday, 71 houses in Kampung Penarik had their roofs blown off.

Ahmad said the state government would provide aid to ease the burden of the affected residents as soon as possible.

Hindu Sangam unhappy over temple relocations

"I want follow my mother..."

Groups demand Sri Lanka ceasefire

Anti-war activists descend on Indian high comm

Some 500 anti-war activists gathered outside the Indian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur today to protest against the ongoing war in Sri Lanka where over 6,000 civilians have been killed since January.

Led by non-partisan Global Peace Initiative (GPI), the protesters submitted a memorandum to the high commission appealing that the Indian government stop its military assistance to the Sri Lankan army which is battling the separatist Liberation Tiger of Tamil Eelam (LTTE).

This is the second memorandum submitted to the high commission urging the Indian government to save the Tamil minority.

“Seventy-three days have gone by… there has not been any acknowledgment of it, let alone a reply,” stated the memorandum prepared by GPI coordinator S Pasupathi.

Various placards and posters that condemned the military actions were brandished by the protesters. Some also carried photos of LTTE commander-in-chief Vellupilai Prabakaran.

They also hung worn-out slippers and shoes on the placards with photos of president of the Indian National Congress Sonia Gandhi and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The memorandum was submitted to the high commission’s first secretary VKV Raman at around noon.

The bloodshed between the Sinhalese government and the LTTE began in 1983 when the Tamil rebels demanded for an independent state for the minority Tamils in the north and the east of the island.

Women and children being victimised

According to GPI, civilians, especially women and children, are also being victimised by the government’s soldiers.

The memorandum also quoted Foreign Minister of India Pranap Mukherjee as saying that India has a comprehensive relationship of ’strategic importance’ with Sri Lanka as Pakistan and China are attempting to gain foothold in the island.

India is perfectly aware that its weaponry, military personnel and intelligence services… which has made the fire power of Sri Lanka’s armed forces formidable not just for defeating the LTTE but also for achieving the ultimate objective of the Sinhalese regime (which is for) the annihilation of the Tamils in Sri Lanka,” read the memorandum.

“From the policy statement by the foreign minister… it is crystal clear that in the best of India, the Tamil civilians could be sacrificed and that India would supply armaments to Sri Lanka in order to forestall Pakistan and China becoming the suppliers

“At the same time, to placate the people of Tamil Nadu, the Indian government has been publicly calling for a cease-fire and political solution while everything needed for a successful military solution is being attended too,” it added.

According to the memorandum, the Indian government’s ‘generous’ military aid had resulted in the killing of over 250,000 in the bloody battle which has been going on for almost 20 years now.

M’sian gov’t must make a stand

Two months ago the government demarcated a Civilian Safety Zone in Mullaitivu, former stronghold of the LTTE, in which the army had promised not to infiltrate and to allow for humanitarian aid for some 100,000 trapped in the area.

malaysia sri lanka anti violence protest 210409 01However, all international organisations including the United Nations (UN) were evacuated from the north eastern part of Mullaitivu except for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and local aid organisations.

Opposition parliamentarians R Sivarasa (Subang-PKR), Charles Santiago (Klang-DAP), S Manikavasagam (Kapar-PKR) and M Manogaran (Teluk Intan-DAP) were also present.

Santiago told reporters that the Malaysian government has to take a stand against the war, as it did during the Israel-Palestine massacre.

“It is our moral responsibility to oppose their disregard for convention that speak against the massacre of civilians, let it be in Palestine, Kosovo or even Sri Lanka,” he stressed.

The parliamentarians are also expected to hold another protest next Friday at the Sri Lankan High Commission hoping to bring about a cease-fire in the country soon.

Malaysiakini

PM has to clear his name, says Dr M

Former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad said Najib Abdul Razak "has to clear his name" over the allegations of corruption and links with to the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder.

MCPX

He however accused the foreign media of "demonising" new prime minister by raising such allegations, which continue to circulate despite the lack of any evidence linking Najib with wrongdoing.

mahathir mohamad visits najib in putrajaya 03"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," said Mahathir in a blog posting.

Najib was sworn in earlier this month after his predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was forced to stand down, partly due to relentless criticism from Mahathir, who led the country for two decades until 2003.

Najib has hit out at accusations that he will be a hardline leader and has been forced to deny having an affair with 28-year-old Mongolian woman Altantuya, who was murdered in 2006.

altantuya murder case publish on french newspaper la liberation 050309"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," lamented Mahathir.

"The incoming 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."

The foreign press was a popular target with Mahathir when he was in power - an era of hardline rule, including the detention of political opponents, which some commentators say Najib will replicate.

Define 'Mahathirism'

The veteran leader complained that allegations of a return to "Mahathirism" implied he had been "a dictator who detained for no reason, manipulated the judiciary, controlled the press etc".

"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," he added.

The new premier served as Abdullah's deputy for six years before taking the helm, one year after disastrous general elections in which voters punished Abdullah for failing to implement promised reforms.

Najib has repeatedly denied any involvement in the death of Altantuya, the lover of his close aide Abdul Razak Baginda who was acquitted of abetting her murder.

Two police officers have been sentenced to hang for the grisly slaying of the young woman, whose remains were blown up with military-grade explosives in a jungle clearing.

Anwar has apologised, says Kit Siang, so let the matter rest

By Lee Wei Lian

PETALING JAYA, April 21 — DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today claimed Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim has apologised to Lim Guan Eng over his failure to inform the Penang chief minister of Fairus Khairuddin’s resignation as Penanti assemblyman.

He urged both DAP and PKR to “let the matter rest”.

Kit Siang said Guan Eng and him had spoken to Anwar yesterday and considers the matter resolved.

“Before he left for Saudi Arabia, Anwar told me that he spoke to Guan Eng and apologised over the matter so I think we should let the matter rest,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

Kit Siang declined, however, to comment on a statement issued by his party this morning which said it had “ruled out” Penang PKR chairman Datuk Zahrain Mohamed Hashim as a by-election candidate for Penanti, after the latter had lashed out at Guan Eng in the media yesterday.

“Let the matter rest,” he repeated.

Zahrain is considered one of the leading candidates to contest the seat.

It is still unclear how DAP’s statement today will affect his chances.

DAP and PKR have been involved in a public row due to differences over the replacement of the deputy chief minister 1, Muhammad Fairus Khairuddin.

The row surfaced when Guan Eng expressed his disappointment with PKR for not keeping him in the loop over Fairus’s resignation from his Penanti seat.

PKR leaders Dr Syed Husin and Zahrain then responded by criticising Guan Eng for airing his grouses to the media and for perceived interference in PKR’s internal affairs.

Nizar's pleadings with the Sultan

KUALA LUMPUR, April 21 - He pleaded, appealed and even cajoled Sultan Azlan Shah to dissolve the Perak state assembly, saying that with the resignation of the three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers there was deadlock in the House between the coalition he led and Barisan Nasional.

Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin said that at no time during his audience with the Sultan did he ask the monarch to dissolve the assembly and call for fresh elections because he had lost the confidence of the majority of the members of the state assembly.

Nizar cleared this important point in an affidavit which was filed in the High Court yesterday as part of the judicial review application challenging Datuk Seri Zambry Kadir appointment as the Mentri Besar of Perak.

The Perak state legal advisor in his affidavit said that when Nizar appeared before the Sultan on February 4, he asked the Malay Ruler to dissolve the house because he had lost the confidence of the House.

This point is important because it gives some legitimacy to the Sultan's actions in asking Nizar to quit as the Mentri Besar, an act which paved the way for Zambry to be made the chief executive of the state.

But Nizar in his affidavit noted that the state legal advisor was an interested party in the case, having represented and taken instructions from Zambry.

His description of the events on Feb 4 were wrong, said Nizar. Nizar recalled that on Feb 4 he informed the Sultan that three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers had resigned.

They could not be contacted and seemed to have gone missing.

He then asked the Sultan to dissolve the assembly because it was appropriate to have fresh elections given the deadlock situation in the House with Pakatan Rakyat and BN having equal number of seats.

The Sultan said he would study the matter further and told Nizar that Allah is with those who are patient.

At no point during the audience, did the issue of Nizar losing the confidence of majority of the assembly crop up.

On Feb 5, the Sultan informed Nizar that he was rejecting the request to dissolve the assembly.

Hearing this, Nizar interjected and spoke for 15 minutes, urging the Ruler to allow the people of Perak to exercise their rights and elect their own government.

"When the assembly is dissolved, the rakyat will view the Sultan as someone who is fair and not partisan. They will in turn respect the institution for returning to them their rights to elect the government.
This is also consistent with the constitutional monarchy system and democratic principle here…

"In contrast, if the people were denied their rights, the people may lose respect for the institution and the Sultan…I pointed out that history showed that in countries such as Egypt and Iran the institution of the monarchy was diminished or completely wiped out when decisions not in the interest of people were made.''

To support his case, Nizar also read out a passage from the book "Constitutional Monrachy: Rule of Law and Good Governance .

It said: "Under normal circumstances, it is taken for granted that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong would not withhold his consent to a request for dissolution of Parliament. His role is purely formal.

The book was given to Nizar by Sultan Azlan Shah when he was installed as the MB last year.

As soon as Nizar finished his 15 minute plea, the Sultan looked up at him and declared that he would not dissolve the assembly and urged Nizar to resign.

Meanwhile, in a supporting affidavit, Perak Speaker V Sivakumar said that on Feb 6, he wrote to the Sultan to convene a state assembly sitting so that a vote of confidence could be held.

Till today, he has not received a reply from the palace, forcing him to take steps to protect the name and integrity of the assembly.

Perak to auction Pakatan's Camrys

IPOH, April 21 - Moving swiftly to erase any vestiges of Pakatan Rakyat rule in Perak, the Barisan Nasional government plans to auction 15 Toyota Camry 2.4 cars used by the previous administration.

The reserve price for the cars, which were registered on Jan 9, is RM148,000.

Only the car with the plates AGS 10, used by ousted mentri besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, will not go under the hammer as the PAS lawmaker has already booked it.

Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir's administration had earlier ended the service of 81 village chiefs and have called for an assembly sitting on May 7, to confirm him and unseat current speaker V. Sivakumar from Pakatan Rakyat.

Zambry is also being sued over his position by Nizar, who just won the Bukit Gantang parliament seat.

The Nizar administration ordered the Toyota Camry as official cars after it won the state in Election 2008, citing pricey maintenance for the ageing Proton Perdana limousines.

Bernama reported today that Perak will hold the auction between May 4 and 18, citing the tender note sent to the advertising divisionof a Malay daily.

The tender statement issued by the Perak State Secretariat said the auction would be carried out at the car park of the Bangunan Perak Darul Ridzuan here, from 9.30am until 4pm.

The cars are with the registration numbers AFD11, AFD22, AFD33, AFD55,AFD66, AFD77, AFD88, AFD99, AFD333, AFD999, AFF33, AFF88, AFF99, AGS828 and AEU606.

The statement also said that all the cars were bought new and used between one and two months with low mileage and under three-year warranty by the manufacturer.

Anyone intending to purchase the cars must submit their offer before noon on May 18.

“INDIAN ISSUES SHY” MPs OR ADUNS NOT REQUIRED - HINDRAF

Manikumar like almost all MPs and ADUNS talk about Bangsa Malaysia and will not talk about the critical problems the Indians face, which clearly the Malays, Chinese, Orang Asli and the other natives do not face. The reason is that they have to play to the majoritarian political gallery, which means abandoning all references to the critical Indian problems. On a similar note DSAI and Lim Kit Siang will almost always only choose a “multi racial” candidate like Manikumar. Look at the PR Indian representatives in Parliament and in the State Legislatures. They are not taking up the problems, their Bangsa Malaysia brothers are not taking up the problems, then who is taking up the critical Indian problems or is it just that there is no such thing as an Indian problem.?

“ Multiracial parties” like the DAP and PKR will ignore candidates like lawyer N.Surendran who have the courage to take up Indian issues that carry no political mileage or that do not appeal to the majoritarian gallery. Take the latest case of Kugan who was brutally beaten to death in police custody. This kind of tragedy does not happen to a Chinese, Malay or Orang Asli. Why is it that no Bangsa Malaysian really stood up for this. It takes Surendran to do this. Where is the Bangsa Malaysia spirit among our Bangsa Malaysia brothers in cases like this? So, who is going to speak up for this kind of uniquely Indian problems? When someone does take up such issues he is considered too parochial, too racial, not good for the politics of the day, tsk,tsk,tsk…

“Multiracial” and “Bangsa Malaysia” candidates meaning people championing the Malay, Chinese and Orang Asli cause but not the Indian cause are the preferred candidates by PKR and DAP. This is a political reality which has to be addressed. This has been happening for 52 years under the BN, and now under the guise of the Bangsa Malaysia concept is probably going to happen for another 52 years. That is if this tide is not stemmed now. We are not against Bangsa Malaysia. What we are against is the cloak that this will become, to mask the critical and unique problems afflicting a large section of the Indian community, which requires immediate and significant state intervention.

My assertion about PKR and DAP is further supported by a conversation between one KF Tang who asked a very specific question to Manikumar “ What Are the main problems ailing the Indian community in Bukit Selambau? How do you intend to tackle their grouses and problems if you will be appointed as a State Exco. ”

Manikumar answered “ I am not a leader for one race but for all races.”

To me Manikumar does not want to know about the problems of the Indians (because the problems may be too critical) and he does not care. His interest obviously is only in the votes.

I don’t mean to be rude but almost all Pakatan Rakyat elected reps are in this hypocritical state. I will be hated for this but I have to speak the truth. It is again becoming clear that PKR, DAP and PAS are only interested in the Indian votes and not in the critical Indians problems. Is there a difference between BN and PR on this matter?

Remember, remember, the twelfth of September

The Permatang Pauh Declaration was Anwar’s declaration to the rakyat of Malaysia. The People’s Declaration was a declaration by the civil society movements, which was endorsed and adopted by seven political parties, Pakatan Rakyat included.

THE CORRIDORS OF POWER

Raja Petra Kamarudin

The Penanti by-election will soon be upon us. This is going to be the sixth by-election since the last general election of 8 March 2008. We have seen battles of the giants in Permatang Pauh last year and Kuala Terengganu and Bukit Gantang this year. In a way, these were proxy wars between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. Penanti, however, is going to be the mother of all battles. Penanti is going to be a proxy war between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

This is going to be a take-no-prisoners battle. This is going to be a winner-takes-all battle. Whether Anwar is going to continue to be seen as the opposition leader and whether Dr Mahathir is going to continue to be seen as the Grand Old Man of Malaysian politics will be decided on the battlefield of Penanti.

In a way, Penanti will be the Waterloo for both Dr Mahathir and Anwar. But only one is going to be the Duke of Wellington of Malaysia. The other will be relegated to the role of the Napoleon Bonaparte of Malaysia. Who is going to be ‘Wellington’ and who will be ‘Napoleon’ will be decided on the battlefield of Penanti. And it is going to be a battle not to be missed.

Some say Pakatan Rakyat is going to win hands down. Don’t be too sure of that. Complacency and overconfidence is going to be the death of Pakatan Rakyat if it is lulled into believing it cannot but win in Penanti. Was that not the arrogance of Goliath just moments before he was felled by a mere stone from David’s slingshot?

What has each got to offer the Malaysian voters, in particular those from Penanti? Currently, nothing new! It is going to be the same old shit except on different days, that’s all. Politicians talk, as the Malays would say, with manis mulut. Translated literally this means ‘sweet mouth’. But is it not the characteristic of politicians to play to the gallery? Some even run with the hares and hunt with the hounds when it suits them. Malays call this main kayu tiga, or play with three sticks, whatever that is supposed to mean.

The greatest mistake any politician of this era can make is to take the voters for granted. This would be a cardinal and most unforgivable sin and punishable by humiliation at the ballot box. And once punished it will take many elections before one is forgiven again.

Penanti is a good battlefield. Penanti is within the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency. And slightly over ten years ago, on 12 September 1998, Anwar delivered his most famous Permatang Pauh Declaration.

What is the Permatang Pauh Declaration? What was it all about? Many Malaysians were not politically awoken on 12 September 1998 and probably never heard of the Permatang Pauh Declaration.

Slightly over one year ago another declaration was launched. This is called the People’s Declaration. Probably more people have heard to this declaration although there would still be many who are totally ignorant of what the People’s Declaration is all about.

The Permatang Pauh Declaration was Anwar’s declaration to the rakyat of Malaysia. The People’s Declaration was a declaration by the civil society movements, which was endorsed and adopted by seven political parties, Pakatan Rakyat included.

Today, I want Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat to renew their vows. Let the Permatang Pauh Declaration and the People’s Declaration become the foundation of the Penanti by-election. While the People’s Declaration was born in the Blog House in Kuala Lumpur, the Permatang Pauh Declaration was born where the Penanti by-election is going to be held.

Read the Permatang Pauh Declaration below. And read the People’s Declaration here (http://harismibrahim.wordpress.com/the-peoples-voice-the-peoples-declaration/). During the Penanti by-election campaign we want to hear these two Declarations chanted over and over again or else be prepared to face the wrath of the voters.

Anwar Ibrahim and Dr Mansor Othman, the people have spoken. Do not take us for granted. So many times in the past we have heard manis mulut talk whenever you needed our votes. Our votes do not come cheap. Our votes come with a price. Are you prepared to pay that price? Let us hear it in Penanti.

*************************************************



Anwar Ibrahim launching the Permatang Pauh Declaration on 12 September 1998

THE PERMATANG PAUH DECLARATION

Being conscious of the Quranic injunction, which urges striving towards betterment;

And inspired by the Asian traditions, which all encourage renewal for the individual and for society;

And acknowledging that Malaysia is in the grip of a terrible crisis and requires recourse to its inner strengths in order to rise again,

We, the citizens of Malaysia of all cultural and religious backgrounds, are determined to launch a movement for comprehensive reform:

A reform movement shining with a light radiating from aspiring and pure hearts; from the awareness that man is truly noble and free, with rights and responsibilities, that it is a sacrilege to abuse and denigrate any man or woman, to bind and restrict any man or woman without following the due process of just laws;

A reform movement to establish justice for all, the weak and strong, the rich and poor, to preserve the institutions and processes of law from the defilement of graft and abuse of power;

A reform movement to sanctify the power of the people through democratic means, for democracy is an imperative: man's instinct for justice makes democracy a possibility, but the existence of tendencies to oppress makes it a necessity;

A reform movement that champions economic justice, one that advocates fairness in economic growth and distribution so that the rich do not get richer at the expense of the poor, for the world has enough for everyone, but too little to satisfy everyone's greed;

A reform movement to eradicate graft and abuse of power, to strip the opulent and greedy clique of their power to manipulate the market;

A reform movement to reinforce a dynamic cultural identity, where faith in our noble cultural traditions is intact, but there is openness to all that is good in all traditions;

A reform movement to launch the Malaysian nation into the information age and the borderless world, encouraging wisdom, self-assurance and openness towards a global friendship based on the principles of truth and justice.

We launch this reform movement as a peaceful movement, in accordance with the spirit of the Constitution and in observance of the principles of the rule of law.

The hour has come. Unite for Reformasi.

ANWAR IBRAHIM
Permatang Pauh
12 September 1998

*************************************************


Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail launching ADIL, the forerunner to Parti Keadilan Nasional, which was launched on 4 April 1999

Bahasa Malaysia Translation: Deklarasi Permatang Pauh

Menyedari gesaan al-Quran yang bermaksud “tidaklah kami mahu melainkan untuk melakukan islah sekuat daya kami”;

Dan berilhamkan tradisi budaya-budaya Asia yang keseluruhannya menganjurkan pembaharuan diri dan masyarakat;

Dan menginsafi bahawa Malaysia kini dicengkam kemelut yang dahsyat dan memerlukan kekuatan dalaman untuk bangun semula;

Maka kami rakyat Malaysia yang berbilang bangsa dan agama bertekat untuk melancarkan gerakan reformasi yang menyeluruh:

* Gerakan reformasi yang terpancar perjuangan hati nurani, dari kesedaran bahawa sesungguhnya diri manusia itu mulia dan merdeka, mempunyai hak dan tanggungjawab, diri manusia haram dizalimi dan diaibkan, haram di belenggu dan disekat tanpa mengikut proses dan undang-undang yang adil;

* Gerakan reformasi untuk menegakkan keadilan untuk semua, yang kuat dan yang lemah, yang kaya dan yang miskin; membersihkan institusi dan proses undang-undang dari dicemari oleh penyalahgunaan kuasa dan rasuah;

* Gerakan reformasi untuk mendaulatkan kuasa rakyat melalui proses demokrasi. Democrasi itu satu kemestian, kerana semangat keadilan yang ada dalam diri manusia membolehkan demokrasi dilaksana, tetapi kecenderungan manusia untuk berlaku zalim menjadikan demokrasi satu kewajipan;

* Gerakan reformasi untuk memperjuangkan keadilan ekonomi, menjana pertumbuhan dan pengagihan yang saksama, jangan yang kaya bertambah kaya yang miskin papa kedana. Dunia ini mencukupi untuk keperluan semua, tetapi tidak mencukupi untuk memenuhi kerakusan individu;

* Gerakan reformasi untuk membanteras rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa, mengikis manipulasi pasaran oleh segelintir golongan rakus dan mahakaya;

* Gerakan reformasi untuk memperkukuhkan jayadiri budaya yang dinamis, setia kepada warisan bangsa yang murni dan terbuka kepada segala yang baik dari semua budaya;

* Gerakan reformasi untuk membawa bangsa Malaysia ke zaman maklumat dan dunia tanpa sempadan, menjana kebijaksanaan, keyakinan dan keterbukaan untuk menjalin persahabatan sejagat berdasarkan prinsip kebenaran dan keadilan.

Kami akan menggerakkan reformasi ini dengan aman, mengikut semangat perlembagaan dan bernafaskan prinsip pemerintahan undang-undang.

Masanya telah tiba. Bersatulah untuk reformasi.

PRK DUN Penanti : Anwar Ibrahim dan 2M.

Dan ia pasti bukan batu nesan Altantuya Shaariibu. Bukan juga batu nesan Azilah atau Sirul. Ia adalah batu nesan Najib sendiri ehsan pakatan 2M Muhyiddin-Mahathir

Penanti dan penantiannya bermula dengan bosan sehinggalah munculnya Tun Dr. Mahahtir Mohamed.

Kesediaan Tun Dr. Mahathir untuk mengetuai jentera Barisan Nasional dalam menghadapi pilihanraya kecil Penanti jika ia diadakan merupakan satu harapan baru kepada Malaysia di dalam menghadapi arus perubahan yang baru.

Barisan Nasional seharusnya bertindak cepat dengan memberi endorsement kepada Tun Dr. Mahathir untuk diberi kuasa sebagai penasihat kepada Pengarah Jentera Pilihanraya BN yang besar kemungkinan akan terus diketuai oleh Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. Ataupun, Muhyiddin yang banyak berjasa dalam mengembalikan Mahathir kepada UMNO berundur selangkah dan memberi laluan kepada negarawan itu untuk menjadi Pengarah Jentera Pilihanraya BN bagi Pilihanraya Kecil DUN Penanti.

Tawaran yang dibuat oleh Tun terjadi memberi harapan baru kepada sebahagian rakyat Malaysia yang sudah merasa jemu dan bosan dengan sikap Anwar Ibrahim yang secara terang-terangan belum berhenti menyalahguna platfom pilihanraya untuk kepentingan peribadi.

Jika berlakunya pilihanraya kecil DUN Penanti, ini merupakan kali ke tiga rakyat terpaksa berhadapan dengan pilihanraya kecil akibat wakil rakyat dari PKR meletak jawatan diatas arahan Ketua Umum PKR itu.

Ternyata Anwar Ibrahim tidak mungkin dapat membuat Tun Dr. Mahathir percaya bahawa pilihanraya kecil ini berlaku diatas keputusan peribadi wakil rakyat tersebut secara seratus peratus. Sedangkan Elizabeth Wong yang mempunyai cukup alasan untuk kosongkan semua jawatannya yang memerlukan moral yang tinggi pun tidak berbuat demikian bila ditawarkan untuk kekal, apa lagi Wan Azizah, Arumugam dan Fairus.

Mahathir tentu yakin bahawa Fairus dipaksa untuk meletakkan jawatan sebagai ADUN Penanti kerana Anwar sudah hilang punca dengan kemelut PKR Pulau Pinang. Kegagalan Anwar memilih satu dari dua ADUNnya untuk mengantikan jawatan Fairus sebagai Timbalan Ketua Menteri 1 membuktikan segala-galanya.

Fairus ditekan supaya meletakkan jawatan ADUNnya agar Anwar dapat mengimport orang kepercayaannya ke dalam DUN Pulau Pinang dan seterusnya jika menang tentu sekali diangkat sebagai Timbalan Ketua Menteri 1 Pulau Pinang.

Ini jelas menunjukkan ketandusan pemimpin dalam PKR. Yang ada hanyalah penumpang tidur yang menunggang PKR hanya untuk melayan mimpi mereka.

Tentu sekali juga Mahathir mengharapkan Anwar menafikan semua ini. Tentu sekali Mahathir akan mendesak Anwar melantik Timbalan Ketua Menteri 1 Pulau Pinang segera jika Anwar menafikan dia sedang berusaha mengimport calon untuk jawatan itu.

Tentu sekali ini akan menjadikan pilihanraya DUN Penanti menarik. Tentu sekali ini juga bererti Najib Razak telah terjerat oleh pakatan Muhyiddin-Mahathir yang termeterai di bulan Ramadan 1429 Hijrah yang lalu.

Tentu sekali ini bukan kali pertama Najib Razak terjerat di dalam pakatan ini. Kali pertama Najib terjerat ialah apabila Muhyiddin mengumumkan akan bahawa Mahathir bersedia masuk semula UMNO dalam bulan Ramadan 1429 Hijrah dalam satu pukulan yang bukan sahaja menjerat Najib tetapi menamatkan peluang Tengku Razaleigh untuk kembali sebelum sempat apa-apa berlaku.

Sebagai seorang pemimpin yang berusaha membawa perubahan segera dalam sistem pemerintahan negara dan juga dalam cara rakyat memandang Parti pimpinannya, Najib telah membuat kenyataan mencadangkan BN tidak bertanding di dalam pilihanraya kecil DUN Penanti. Tindakan Najib senang difahami oleh majoriti senyap dan rakyat yang tidak menyebelahi mana-mana pihak yang bercanggah ideologi politik.

Tindakan Najib telah memulih kembali keyakinan golongan ini terhadap keikhlasan Najib setelah senarai kebinetnya gagal membawa perubahan kepada UMNO, BN dan pentadbiran negara. Tindakan Najib berkata sebegitu dianggap berani menentang arus. Ia adalah hembusan nafas segar.

Najib tentu tidak menyangka Tun akan menyanggahnya secara terbuka walaupun Najib tahu Tun memang berkemampuan berbuat begitu. Tapi Najib tentu terkejut bila dia mula menghidu suatu pakatan sulit Muhyiddin-Mahathir atau pakatan 2M. Siapa sekarang pilihan Tun sebenar-benarnya? Apakah benar Najib atau Muhyiddin menerusi Najib?

Mungkin sudah tiba masanya Najib berbicara dengan Ali Rustam dan berdua mereka melihat kembali kronologi yang telah memerangkap Ali sehingga terlucut haknya menentang Muhyiddin.

Tentu sekali DUN Penanti semakin menarik sekarang.

Dengan pendedahan ini, tentu ramai yang mahu melihat apa sebenarnya yang akan berlaku di dalam Pilihanraya Kecil DUN Penanti. Persoalannya sekarang, adakah Anwar Ibrahim mahukan Pilihanraya Kecil di DUN Penanti untuk mengimport Timbalan Ketua Menteri 1 untuk Pulau Pinang atau ada muslihat Nasional di sebaliknya. Muslihat yang bertujuan mendedahkan kepada Najib dan mengekploitasi situasi sebenar di sebalik liku-liku koridor kuasa di Putrajaya.

Dan jangan kita lupa, Penanti di dalam Negeri Pulau Pinang. Usah terlupa juga Ketua Perhubungan UMNO Pulau Pinang masih Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. Paling usah kita lupa ialah bukan Anwar yang menumbangkan Abdullah dari puncak UMNO tetapi Abdullah tumbang kerana pakatan 2M Muhyiddin-Mahathir pada Ramadan 1429 Hijrah.

Pengaruh Abdullah mungkin telah luput sama sekali tetapi Abdullah memiliki 2 kerusi di Parlimen. Manakala Menteri-menteri dan Timbalan-timbalan Menteri yang digugurkan memiliki satu kerusi Parlimen setiap seorang.

Apakah gajah sama gajah berperang, Najib akan mati ditengah-tengah, hanya dengan adanya Pilihanraya Kecil di DUN Penanti sahaja kita dapat mengetahuinya.

Apa yang pasti, ianya berlaku terlalu pantas buat Najib. Dalam minggu pertama sahaja kepimpinannya telah tewas di dalam 2 pilihanraya kecil. Apakah Penanti akan menjadi nesan ke tiga dalam tempoh 100 hari buat Najib.

Sewaktu BN berhadapan dengan tsunami dalam PRU 12 pada 8 Mac lalu, semua jari pemimpin dalam BN menunding ke arah Abdullah. Sewaktu BN tewas di Pilhanraya Kecil Permatang Pauh dan Kuala Terengganu, semua jari menunding juga kepada Abdullah.

Sekarang, pasca Abdullah, kepimpinan UMNO telah berubah, tetapi nasib UMNO dan BN di Semenanjung terus tidak berubah. Jika BN bertanding dan tewas di Penanti, tentu sekali tidak lama selepas itu Muhyiddin-Mahathir akan tiba-tiba terasa bahawa nasib malang BN bukan sangat kerana Abdullah tapi bila di lihat balik baru BN terngadah.

Nasib malang BN sebenarnya kerana Najib.

Untuk itu kita harus menyanjung Anwar Ibrahim. Setidak-tidaknya Anwar lebih bijak memahami masalah BN itu daripada Mahathir. Benarkah Anwar lebih bijak dari Mahathir?

Kerana itu, dalam pertembungan antara Anwar dengan Muhyiddin-Mahathir, hanya akan menyaksikan satu lagi batu nesan terpaksa digendung Najib.

Dan ia pasti bukan batu nesan Altantuya Shaariibu. Bukan juga batu nesan Azilah atau Sirul. Ia adalah batu nesan Najib sendiri ehsan pakatan 2M Muhyiddin-Mahathir.

UMNO SUPREME COUNCIL TO MEET ON 24 APRIL 2009

The newly elected UMNO leaders after their UMNO General Assembly on 24 March 2009 are scheduled to hold their first UMNO Supreme Council Meeting on Friday, 24 April 2009 at 3.15pm and it is reported that the Meeting will appoint the Secretary-General, Treasurer , Chief Information Officer and some appointed Members as per their Party Rules.

Tsu Koon/Subra – Have you heard of “Performance Now”?

Have all Cabinet Ministers assimilated, internalized and understood the new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s overarching philosophy encapsulated in the slogan “1Malaysia. People First. Performance Now”?

There are at least three Cabinet Ministers who clearly have not.

This is why there could be such a New Straits Times report (never mind the bad English) below:

‘Conversion case will take a while to solve’

KUALA LUMPUR: It will be quiet a while before a solution is found into the case of the three children who were converted to Islam by their father without their mother’s knowledge.

Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said yesterday that strategies had been identified to find a solution to the problem.

“We have identified the issues and discussed them but it will take a while before a solution can be found as it involves several agencies,” he said after a meeting with Ministers in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon (Unity) and Maj-Gen (R) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom (Islamic Affairs).

The trio are members of a committee tasked with finding a solution to the problem.

The three-member committee was set up following a mother’s report that her children, aged 1 to 12, were converted to Islam without her knowledge by their father.

The mother, M. Indira Ghandi, 35, had turned to the Hindu Sangam branch in Ipoh after her husband, K. Patmanathan, 40, now Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah, converted the children without their presence and without informing her.

He allegedly used the children’s birth certificates to get them converted. The children are said to be in the custody of their father.

Dr Subramaniam said the committee was doing its best to find a quick solution.

There are at least three Cabinet Ministers who clearly have not.

Tsu Koon, Subramaniam, Jamil – have you heard of “Performance Now”?

This is not the first time such heart-wrenching cases occurred where irresponsible people used religion to evade their family responsibilities and commitments.

There had been a long list of unresolved controversies since 2005, from Moorthy to Subashini, Rayappan and now Indira Ghandi.

The rights and wrongs are very simple and straightforward. Why is the Barisan Nasional government taking five long years and still unable to resolve the injustices caused by irresponsible conversion of non-Muslims who are married through civil laws to evade obligations contracted in civil law marriages?

Clearly, the three Ministers of the new Najib Cabinet (including Super-Minister responsible for KPIs for Ministers) do not understand “Performance Now”.

But do the rest of the 29-strong Cabinet and Najib himself understand the meaning of “Performance Now”?

The Cabinet meeting tomorrow will be the test whether it is not just Tsu Koon, Subramaniam and Jamil who do not understand “Performance Now”. The rest of the Cabinet including the Prime Minister will be all in the same boat – if the Cabinet is incapable of resolving the Indira Ghandi issue, returning the year-old baby daughter Prasana Diksa to the mother and restoring peace of mind to Indira and her two other children, Tevi Darsiny 12 and Karan Dinesh 11.

As DAP Perak State Assemblyman A. Sivanesan, Indira’s lawyer, said at our media conference with Indira and the children in Petaling Jaya earlier today, the host of heart-breaking cases can be simply resolved by making it mandatory requirement for all those attempting to convert to produce evidence that the person has fulfilled his civil marriage commitments when registering with the Islamic Department.

Over to you tomorrow, Najib Cabinet. Performance Now!

Amend law to stop unilateral conversion of children

By Deborah Loh
deborahloh@thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 21 April 2009: The DAP wants the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 amended to provide for a civil marriage to be dissolved first upon conversion of one spouse to Islam.

This is the only solution against unilateral conversions by one spouse of his or her children to Islam, said DAP Sungkai assemblyperson A Sivanesan.

Sivanesan, a lawyer, proposed the amendment today in the light of another case of conversion of children to Islam, without one parent's consent, in a marriage where one spouse had embraced Islam.


Sivanesan
Sivanesan was speaking about the recent case of kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi, 34, whose three children have been converted by her 40-year-old husband, known by his Muslim convert name of Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah.

The children, Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish, 11, and Prasana Diksa, 1, were converted by their father who used their birth certificates, without the children themselves even being present.

Sivanesan said it was too complex to touch on Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution which prohibits the civil courts from having any jurisdiction over matters that fall under syariah law.

"We don't want to intrude into Article 121(1A). But at least there should be some amendment to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act to say that before one party converts, and before the religious authorities accept the conversion, they should ensure that the marriage is dissolved under civil law.

"The couple was married under civil law. It should be dissolved accordingly before the religious authorities can accept the application to convert the children.

"If one parent objects to the conversion (of the children), then the child should not convert but wait until the age of 18, the age of consent," Sivanesan said at a press conference at the DAP headquarters today.

Present with him were Indira Gandhi and her daughter Tevy Darsiny and son Karan Dinish. The one-year-old baby was taken away from Indira Gandhi by her husband. DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang was also at the press conference.

Sivanesan said spouses who used syariah law after becoming Muslim to unilaterally convert their children were "taking the easy way out. They feel that, since I am Muslim, I do not need to bother with civil law. So there is no remedy for the non-Muslim spouse."

Proposal won't work

In an immediate reaction to Sivanesan's proposal, family law practitioner Honey Tan said amending the Law Reform Act was insufficient as it would not protect against unilateral conversions by one parent.

Worse, it could prolong the tussle especially if the courts decide to give joint custody of the children to the divorced parents.

Tan, who is also with the non-governmental organisation Pusat Kesedaran Komuniti Selangor (Empower), said the problem lay in the court's interpretation of Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution, which states that "the religion of a person under the age of 18 shall be decided by his parent or guardian".

However, referring to the Federal Court's 2007 decision on the R Subashini v. T Saravanan case, Tan said the judges took the word "parent" to mean "single parent". This granted the right to Subashini's husband, who had become a Muslim, to decide their children's religion according to syariah law.

Subashini appealed but failed to restrain her husband from converting their two children, then aged four and two, to Islam.


Honey Tan
This was despite there being provisions under Schedule Eleven Section 2(95) on how the constitution can be interpreted. The provisions state that "words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular".

"The court took a narrow view versus what really was the social justice issue. The solution to unilateral conversions is either to overrule the decision in the Subashini case, or to amend the constitution," Tan said.

Her proposed amendment would be to Article 12(4) so that the words "parent" and "guardian" are read in the plural form.

"Since the judges refuse to look at the interpretation clause, the next best solution would be to put the plural meaning back in Article 12(4)," she said to The Nut Graph.

The consequence of Subashini's case, as seen in the present problems of similar cases, is that the converted spouse can seek remedies through the syariah court. But these have no jurisdiction over the non-Muslim spouse, leaving little room for recourse if the courts opt not to defer the matter to the civil courts.

See also:
State policy on unilateral conversions

State policy on unilateral conversions

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 21 April 2009: The DAP wants the cabinet to discuss the issue of unilateral conversion of children to Islam by one parent, and for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to issue a policy statement about it.

DAP national adviser Lim Kit Siang said the issue was an old one, and the failure to act immediately to resolve such cases contradicted Najib's promise of "One Malaysia, People First, Performance Now".

Lim was speaking at a press conference today about the recent case of kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi, 34, whose three children have been converted to Islam by her 40-year-old husband, whose Muslim name is Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah.

The children, Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish, 11, and Prasana Diksa, one, were converted by their father who used their birth certificates, without the children themselves even being present.

"These are old issues and it has not been the only case," Lim said at the DAP headquarters.

DAP Sungkai assemblyperson A Sivanesan, who was also at the press conference with Indira Gandhi and her two older children, said over the last three weeks, the Perak DAP office had received reports of two cases of unilateral conversions of underage children to Islam.

Apart from Indira Gandhi's case, the other involved another Hindu couple, where the mother converted the children aged eight and seven without the father's consent.


Lim and Sivanesan at the press conference with Indira Gandhi and her two eldest children

Sivanesan noted that in recent years, there have been several other similar cases, as well as "body-snatching" incidents where the body of a deceased person is withheld by the Islamic authorities even though his or her conversion to Islam is disputed by family members.

Lim today also criticised Human Resources Minister Datuk Dr S Subramaniam from the MIC for saying that it would "take a while" before Indira Gandhi's case could be resolved.

Subramaniam said in a news report that time was needed because several agencies were involved.

"If one parent objects to the conversion (of the children), then the child should not convert but wait until the age of 18, the age of consent," Sivanesan said.

Sivanesan said spouses who used syariah law after becoming Muslims to unilaterally convert their children were "taking the easy way out", leaving the non-Muslim spouse with no remedy.

He also noted that the previous Barisan Nasional administration under Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had recognised this problem but failed to do anything about it.

"I've got no hope, frankly, [that anything will be done at all]," said Sivanesan, who first highlighted the case and is the DAP's legal adviser on it.

The case

Indira Gandhi said her husband stole the children's birth certificates from her and converted all three children on 2 April. On 3 April, he obtained a syariah court order that the children were now Muslims and that he had rightful custody of them.

However, Indira Gandhi said she only knew of the two older children's conversions on 10 April, when her children's school told her of the syariah court order and asked her to surrender her children.

"The syariah court order was served on the school principal and now the school is telling her to give up her kids. She does not dare to send the children to school," Sivanesan said.


Indira with her daughter Tevi Darsiny and son Karan Dinish

The daughter, Tevny Darsiny, is preparing for her Ujian Penilaian Sekolah Rendah (UPSR) examination this year, and has not gone to school for the last two weeks, Sivanesan added.

The son, Karan Dinish, gave a short statement at the press conference after being urged to by Lim. "I don't want to follow my father. I only want to follow my mother because I want to be an Indian. I don't want to be a Malay. When I [was] born as a Hindu, I want to die as a Hindu. I don't want [to be] born as a Hindu and die as a Malay," the boy said.

Indira Gandhi said she was worried about her baby's well-being. "I want my child back as a Hindu," she said of her one-year-old who was taken away by her husband.

Not divorced yet

Indira Gandhi said she and her husband, who was a Hindu when they married, were not yet divorced but had been separated for more than a year.

She said her husband converted to Islam on 11 March this year, but she only learnt of it on the night of 31 March when she lodged a police report alleging that her husband had assaulted her earlier that day and taken the baby with him.

She added that her husband has since then been in contact to pressure her to convert as well, promising financial aid and scholarships for the children.

"He has been jobless for the past nine months, how do I know if he is even able to feed my baby?" said Indira Gandhi. Her husband is staying with his mother in Ipoh.

Indira Gandhi's case has so far been highlighted by the Tamil press and Malaysiakini

Why our education system is in trouble - Anilnetto

The raging debate surrounding our education system seems to be over the medium of instruction for maths and science.

Sadly, however, not enough attention is being paid to the content and approach we have adopted, which straitjackets and stifles young minds.

Let me relate an anecdote told to me by the parents of a 11-year-old boy, J:

J was asked by his school teacher to write a short karangan (composition) about a Malaysian hero he admires and to give reasons for his choice.

The boy promptly penned a few lines about Anwar and Nizar and to support his choice, he said they had korban (sacrificed) a lot for the country, etc.

When J handed in the assignment to his teacher, he was told that it would not be accepted as he would get kosong (zero) for it. The teacher then showed J a sample (contoh) karangan and told him to write another composition. This time, J was given examples of heroes he could write about - sports stars such as Nicol David, Shalin Zulkifli and Lee Chong Wei were acceptable heroes.

This was a young lad in Perak who was shaping his thoughts based on the conversations he had overhead from the adults around him and what he had seen around him. But he was told his karangan would be rejected because his choice of wira (hero) was not appropriate.

And then we wonder why our students cannot think and analyse for themselves and make sense of the world around them.

Pentas 152: Amanat Buat Pejuang Muda

pentas152

Pada 26 April 2009, Kelab Anwar Ibrahim (AIC) akan menganjurkan satu aktiviti bagi menghayati semangat Perjuangan Bahasa Melayu bertajuk “Pentas 152: Amanat Buat Pejuang Muda”.

Antara pengisian program tersebut ialah persembahan deklamasi puisi, sajak dan lagu khas dari tetamu jemputan seperti Amin Iskandar (Black) dan Rahmat Haron, wakil-wakil NGO serta wakil-wakil AIC. Berikut adalah butiran program:

Tarikh : 26 April 2009
Masa:8 malam
Tempat: Rumah Kelab AIC (Yayasan Aman PJ)
Laman Web Hebahan: http://www.anwaribrahimclub.com/pentas152/ || http://pentas152.blogspot.com/

Seterusnya acara kemuncak bagi Pentas 152 adalah merupakan amanat dari Datuk A. Samad Said, Sasterawan Negara yang merupakan Pejuang Bahasa buat sekian lamanya, termasuklah sama-sama memimpin Gerakan Mansuhkan PPSMI (GMP).

Semua dijemput hadir.

Semoga usaha kecil ini mampu memberikan impak yang besar di kalangan golongan muda yang sayangkan identiti bangsa!

Nizar dedah perbincangan dengan Sultan

Dari : Malaysiakini

Dalam perkembangan terbaru dalam kemelut politik Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah didakwa tidak menyebut sebarang peruntukan di bawah perlembagaan negeri itu sewaktu menitahkan Datuk Seri Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin meletakkan jawatan sebagai menteri besar.
Ianya terkandung dalam satu afidavit yang difailkan oleh menteri besar Pakatan itu di Mahkamah Tinggi Kuala Lumpur semalam.

Pemimpin Pakatan Rakyat itu memberi butir-butir terperinci mengenai apa yang berlaku ketika menghadap Sultan Perak pada 4 dan 5 Februari lalu.

Mohd Nizar juga menafikan dan mempertikaikan versi yang dinyatakan oleh penasihat undang-undang Perak, Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid dalam afidavitnya. Menurutnya, versi Ahmad Kamal tidak menggambarkan kebenaran sepenuhnya.

Dalam afidavitnya untuk menyokong menteri besar BN yang baru dilantik, Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir, Ahmad Kamal mengatakan Sultan menyebut tentang perlembagaan (negeri) apabila mengarahkan Mohd Nizar meletak jawatan.

Mohd Nizar juga mendedahkan bahawa sewaktu menghadap sultan selama 15 minit pada 5 Februari lalu, beliau telah memberitahu baginda mengenai akibat yang akan timbul sekiranya gagal membubarkan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).

Menurut afidavit tersebut, Mohd Nizar berkata ia bermula pada 4 Februari, ketika beliau menghadap baginda Sultan untuk memohon perkenan baginda untuk membubarkan DUN bagi menyelesaikan kemelut politik di Perak berikutan kehilangan tiga ADUN - Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) dan Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang) - yang telah “meletak jawatan”.

Bagaimanapun, baginda Sultan memberitahu Mohd Nizar bahawa baginda akan mengkaji permohonan itu dan menyebut ayat al-Quran “Innallaha maa Sobirin”(sesungguhnya Allah bersama orang-orang yang sabar).

Mohd Nizar berkata, beliau menghormati keputusan itu dan sewaktu pertemuan tersebut, beliau juga turut menyerahkan draf pembubaran DUN untuk mendapatkan perkenan baginda.

Bagaimanapun, Mohd Nizar menafikan bahawa semasa menghadap baginda Sultan, beliau pernah menyatakan kepada baginda bahawa terdapat kehilangan kepercayaan kepadanya sebagai menteri besar oleh majoriti anggota DUN, dan kerana itu, beliau mahu membubarkan

PPP To Discuss Party Election Date

SHAH ALAM, April 20 (Bernama) -- The PPP supreme council will meet this weekend to set the dates for the nomination and polling for party elections, expected to be held in June this year.

PPP president Datuk M. Kayveas said the party had to hold elections for the top posts this year following requests by state PPP leaders recently.

"Although the last party elections were held in 2005, the PPP constitution allows for the supreme council to defer the elections of top office-bearers for a period not more than 5 years.

"The current term already passed its fourth year after its last elections in 2005 and this year is an apt time for the poll," Kayveas told Bernama when contacted Monday.

In the elections, about 2,700 delegates will elect a president, a senior vice-president, three vice-presidents and 25 supreme council members.

The PPP president has the power to appoint the secretary-general, treasurer-general, information chief and 10 other supreme council members.

Kayveas, who took over the presidency in 1993 and retained the post for three consecutive terms, said he would defend his post in the elections.

Meanwhile, Kayveas who is former Taiping Member of Parliament, said the party would not make an individual stand on whether the Barisan Nasional (BN) should contest the Penanti state by-election in Penang.

"PPP will abide by the majority view taken by the BN's leadership in the true spirit of the coalition," he said, adding the party would also consider the call made by former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in asking the BN to contest the seat.

Kayveas also said that the BN Supreme Council need not hold meetings to decide whether to participate in the Penanti by-election.

"I don't see the need for a meeting as consensus can be attained through short messaging service and email, which is applicable worldwide," he said.

The seat fell vacant on Thursday following the resignation of former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin.

TV news: Ahmad Shabery & Rais playing dice?

How do you slot TV programming for news? Play dice.

When Ahmad Shabery Cheek was the RTM minister last year, he changed the Mandarin News from TV2 to TV1, and fixed it on the 8pm slot.

Viewership tanked.

When Rais Yatim took over RTM earlier this month, he reversed Shabery's decision and reverted Mandarin News from TV1 to TV2, but on the 6.30pm slot, beginning yesterday.

Uproar was the law of the day.

According to The Star, many viewers were unable to catch the news from 6.30pm to 7pm as they would either be travelling home from work, or busy preparing dinner for families.

That's a good way to alienate information from certain groups of people.

Adding to the chaos, MIC wanted RTM to maintain its Tamil news over TV1 at 7.30pm daily instead of rescheduling it to 6pm on TV2, which also began yesterday.

BY THE WAY... thanks to Shabery for killing What Say You by not killing it.

Do Shabery and Rais play dice? Ask Albert Einstein.