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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Sedition trial: Arrest warrant for RPK - Malaysiakini

The Petaling Jaya Sessions Court has this morning issued an arrest warrant for Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamarudin for failing to appear for his sedition trial.
MCPX

Raja Petra, 59, is facing trial for the alleged seditious article entitled 'Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell' which was posted on the Malaysia Today website.

raja petra court cases defamation sedition 230409The charge under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years' jail or both upon conviction.

Before the trial was adjourned in February, defence lawyer Gobind Singh Deo has raised the issue of an apparent photograph of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak seated at the table with murdered Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu during her birthday party in the Mandarin Hotel in Singapore.

Raja Petra is facing another charge for criminal defamation in Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court for allegingly implicating Najib's wife, Rosmah Mansor, and two army officers in the murder of Mongolian national Altantuya Shaariibuu.

The popular blogger's problem does not end there.

Last year, the Alor Star High Court has ordered him and editors of an opposition newspaper to pay damages over libel claims by a university head.

University Utara Malaysia and its vice-chancellor Nordin Kardi filed a lawsuit against Raja Petra over an item that alleged Nordin had plagiarised an article.

The High Court made the decision after Raja Petra and the opposition party PKR's newspaper, which also published the story, failed to file a defence.

It ordered Raja Petra to pay RM4 million to Nordin and the university, while two editors of Suara Keadilan had to pay RM3 million.

Raja Petra said the offending item was merely a letter written to him by a former student representative and that he would not pay the compensation.

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Why I was not in court today

After two rounds of detention under the Internal Security Act, controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin said he does not wish for a third.

MCPX

raja petra kamaruddin sentul police station 181108 06In a posting on his Malaysia Today website, the popular 59-year-old cigar-smoking writer of aristocratic lineage explains why he skipped today's sedition trial hearing.

"After two ISA detentions, I do not plan to allow them to get me so easily the third time around.

"I also refuse to face treason charges that will result in me being sent to the gallows. I love my life and wish to remain alive a few years longer if possible," he said.

Raja Petra is facing trial for the alleged seditious article entitled 'Let's send the Altantuya murderers to hell' which was posted on the Malaysia Today website.

There are also rumours that the blogger, who has been one of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak's staunchest critics, might have left the country with his wife. However, this could not be confirmed.

Over the years, Raja Petra's 'no holds barred' style of writing has earned him both admiration and condemnation.

Royal conflict

At the same time, the blogger said that his absence from court was also related to his recent dispute with the Selangor palace.

"This dispute was due to my open letter to the (ousted) Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, which I wrote on March 2 in response to the ongoing Perak constitutional crisis.

"My family (his royal cousins) said I had acted in a treasonous manner and they wanted me to issue a public apology to the Sultan of Perak," he added.

However, Raja Petra refused to do so.

"The Sultan of Selangor was very angry and that triggered a conflict between our two families. My family told me I had brought shame to the family name and they demanded that I attend a family meeting to discuss the matter. However, I did not attend and this aggravated the situation.

"My family then gave me an ultimatum. I was to either make that public apology or else my family would insert an advertisement in the mainstream newspapers practically distancing itself from me, which could be interpreted as disowning me," he penned.

According to Raja Petra, he has opted to go into a self-imposed exiled outside the state of Selangor - a "
punishment befitting a member of the Selangor royal family who has courted the displeasure of the palace".

He said his grandfather Sultan Musa had suffered the same fate, and that was why the controversial blogger could not be in Petaling Jaya court today.

Below is the full text of his blog posting


I wish to explain why I am not present in court today. Firstly, it involves my recent dispute with the Selangor palace. This dispute was due to my open letter to the Perak Menteri Besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin, which I wrote on March 2 in response to the ongoing Perak constitutional crisis. My family said I had acted in a treasonous manner and they wanted me to issue a public apology to the Sultan of Perak.

I refused to comply with my family’s demand and instead wrote two articles condemning the Perak palace for violating the federal constitution and for ignoring the wishes of the rakyat. My opinion is no different from that of NH Chan, the former Court of Appeal judge.

raja petra court cases defamation sedition 230409The Sultan of Selangor was very angry and that triggered a conflict between our two families. My family told me I had brought shame to the family name and they demanded that I attend a family meeting to discuss the matter. However, I did not attend that family meeting and this aggravated the situation.

My family then gave me an ultimatum. I was to either make that public apology or else my family would insert an advertisement in the mainstream newspapers practically distancing itself from me, which could be interpreted as disowning me.

My response to that was, and in accordance with the normal action to be taken against a member of the ‘kerabat’ (royalty) who has ‘derhaka’ (committed treason), I went into exile outside Selangor. As a matter of fact, I even missed two recent family funerals as I could not, and would not, step foot in Selangor ever again.

It has to be noted that this has always been the punishment for any member of the Selangor royal family who is considered derhaka since the beginning of the Selangor sultanate more than 250 years ago. My grandfather, Sultan Musa, was in fact subjected to that same punishment and it is the only punishment befitting a member of the Selangor royal family who has courted the displeasure of the palace.

This means, in short, I can no longer attend the court hearing as this is heard in Petaling Jaya, which is invariably within the state of Selangor.

Punished twice for the same crime

The second reason is as follows:

In September 2008, I was detained under the Internal Security Act for what I was alleged to have written regarding the Altantuya murder and the alleged links to those who walk in the corridors of power. However, I am already facing trial on sedition and criminal defamation charges in this court as well as in the Kuala Lumpur court.

Now, my ISA detention in September 2008 was for the same crime as what I have been charged in this court (sedition) and in the Kuala Lumpur court (criminal defamation). This means I am being punished twice for the same crime, and the law does not provide for one to be punished twice for the same crime.

No doubt, in November 2008, the Shah Alam court ruled my detention illegal and subsequently ordered my release. Nevertheless, the government is appealing this decision, giving a clear indication that it wants me back in Kamunting whereby I will face punishment without trial on top of the two trials I am being made to face - which, as I said, are for those same crimes.

The events of late do not give me any confidence that I will get a fair trial. Even if the Petaling Jaya court acquits me, they can still appeal the decision of the court like what they are doing with the Shah Alam court’s decision to free me from ISA detention. And the manner the Federal Court conducted itself during the recent ISA appeal hearing is very troubling indeed and borders on unprofessional conduct.

Finally, my open letter to Nizar has been classified as treason and the government wants to charge me for that. The fact that no such law exists will not stop them as they can use the ‘waging war against the King’ law that they used against some of the Al Maunah members, which resulted in them being hanged in Sungai Buloh prison in October 2006.

Many of my friends have spotted police vehicles parked outside their house. Others have noticed police officers loitering in front of their residence while some have been summoned to Bukit Aman for interrogation. The police want them to reveal where I am currently residing.

Why are the police looking for me? Two months ago, the Federal Court was in a hurry to hear the appeal against my release from ISA detention. After impatiently rejecting all our applications and refusing to allow us time to file the necessary papers, the court suddenly went cold and nothing was heard from it since.

This got me very suspicious. I did some checking and have reason to believe that a new detention order has been issued and that is why the police are looking for me. If I were to turn up in court today I would never be allowed to leave. The police would immediately detain me and send me to Kamunting and this time I shall not be so fortunate as to see freedom in two months like in the last two occasions.

After two ISA detentions, I do not plan to allow them to get me so easily the third time around. I also refuse to face treason charges that will result in me being sent to the gallows. I love my life and wish to remain alive a few years longer if possible.

Those are the reasons I am not in court today. I shall, however, attend the court hearing when the situation permits, i.e, I am no longer to be charged for treason and I get an assurance from the powers-that-be that the government’s appeal against my ISA release is withdrawn forthwith and that no new detention order has been issued.

After all, if the Abdul Razak Baginda acquittal was not appealed upon, why am I being treated differently?

Raja Petra Raja Kamarudin

RPK absconds

UPDATED

By Asrul Hadi Abdullah Sani

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — Controversial blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin appears to have gone on the lam after he failed to turn up in court for his sedition trial this morning because of what he says on his blog is a "self-imposed exile" from Selangor.

A warrant of arrest has been issued for the blogger-turn-fugitive and his wife who is his bailor.

In a posting on his blog this morning RPK, as he is better known, claimed that he had decided to become a fugitive to avoid being detained and because of a family feud with the Sultan of Selangor over his views on the Perak constitutional crisis.

It is not clear if RPK and his wife are still in the country. Neither have been answering the telephone in the past few days.

If RPK is overseas, he could become a thorn in the side of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s administration.

He has used his blog to make unrelenting attacks against Najib and his wife, accusing them of involvement in the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu, the Mongolian lover of the PM’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda.

RPK was supposed to go on trial today as he has been charged under section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948 which carries a maximum fine of RM5,000 or three years' jail or both upon conviction.

He is accused of publishing the article “Let’s send the Altantuya murderers to hell” on his Malaysia Today website.

This morning his lawyer J. Chandra informed Sessions Court judge Rozina Ayob that his client was on a self-imposed exile from the state for “reasons that are well known”.

“You know these ‘well known reasons,’ so please highlight them to the court,” Rozina told him.

“The accused is posting his reasons on his website this morning,” said Chandra.

“You expect the court to go through that, is it?” the judge replied.

Chandra proceeded to tell the court that RPK, who is a minor Selangor royal, had had a falling out with his family over his comments about palace involvement in the Perak constitutional crisis.

In his blog post, RPK also claimed that he was expecting to be detained again very soon by the authorities because he and his associates were being trailed by police.

He also wrote of his fear that if he was detained again he would not obtain freedom so easily.

RPK was detained under the Internal Security Act last year but a court subsequently freed him.

The influential blogger also claimed he would not get a fair trial.

Najib yet to display reform credentials

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — When the new prime minister took office this month, he freed two political detainees and signalled a willingness to accept wider media freedoms. Since then, however, critics say it has been business as usual. The courts are hearing three separate sedition trials this week and next, and early promises to review legislation that allows imprisonment without trial appear to have evaporated.

The cases involve a leading opposition MP, a prominent blogger and an activist who led street protests by the country's ethnic Indians in 2007.

For the media, especially the vibrant political blogs in this country of 27 million people, the emphasis is on what the government calls ''responsible'' reporting, a message some say amounts to a call for self-censorship or face prosecution.

This stands in sharp contrast to neighbouring Indonesia, which has a vibrant democracy and a free press after decades of autocratic rule, and Thailand, scene of violent protests this month, where the mainstream press is largely unfettered.

''You are in Burma here, but with a more sophisticated economy,'' said Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, a former minister who quit government last year in protest at the lack of legal reform, likening Malaysia to one of Asia's most repressive regimes.

Malaysia has been ruled by the same coalition for the past 51 years and change this month at the top of Umno, the dominant party in the Barisan Nasional, propelled 55-year-old, British-educated Datuk Seri Najib Razak to the premiership.

While Najib has sketched out policies to liberalise the economy, which is facing its worst recession since the Asian financial crisis of a decade ago, many social issues remain firmly off-limits for the media.

Opposition MP Karpal Singh was charged with sedition for threatening to sue one of the sultans, while blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, himself a minor royal, is in court for linking Najib to the gory death of a Mongolian model.

Najib has denied involvement and called the reports ''malicious lies'' spread by the opposition. No evidence has been produced linking him to the killing.

Two policemen on his security detail were recently sentenced to hang for the murder and a close aide of Najib was acquitted in the same trial.

The issue of race in a country, where there are substantial ethnic Chinese and Indian populations living alongside the majority Malays, is also off-limits for discussion as the government says it could trigger unrest.

Malaysia's political, social and economic system is built along racial lines. Voter dissatisfaction with the system saw the ruling BN coalition fall to its worst results in national and state elections last year. Umno then forced Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi out of office and brought in Najib in the hope of rebuilding, although a third successive parliamentary by-election loss this month has wiped any early gloss off his administration.

That has raised questions as to whether Najib will enact the economic reforms to win back foreign investment that has increasingly gone to Malaysia's neighbours.

''The government will not act like a single integrated unit unless Najib acts the strongman, not against society, but against the system that he is the leader of,'' said Ooi Kee Beng, a fellow at Singapore's Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. ''That is what a reformist does. He cleans house.''

Zaid, the former minister in charge of legal reform, is not convinced Najib has what it takes to reform the system.

The mainstream Malaysian media, he argues, is as much a part of the system of ethnically-based patronage as the rest of the economy and Najib cannot afford to open that up. The New Straits Times, the main English-language daily that supports the government, is owned by Media Prima, a company with links to Umno, as is TV3, the biggest private television station. The MCA, Umno's partner in the ruling coalition, directly owns the Star newspaper, the biggest circulation daily, through Star Publications.

''So long as this government is in power, they are not going to get a free press. There would be competition between Umno and MCA papers... This is big business, they do not want competition in the name of freedom,'' Zaid said. — Reuters

Poser on sultan's power

(NST) PUTRAJAYA: The two-month old Perak constitutional crisis could be over sooner than expected.

Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir has filed an application in the Federal Court for an interpretation of the sultan's prerogative under the Perak Constitution to appoint a menteri besar.

The Federal Court has fixed the matter for hearing on Tuesday.

Zambry's application, made under Article 63 of the State Constitution, was filed by his solicitors Zul Rafique and Partners at the Federal Court registry on Monday.

This express route is taken following the apex court's landmark ruling on April 8 that it can decide the status of three independent assemblymen who are friendly to the Barisan Nasional.

Article 63 states that a party to a proceeding in a High Court can go direct to the Federal Court if there was a serious question of law to be determined.

(On April 9, a five-man bench unanimously declared that the three independents were still assemblymen and the Election Commission was the rightful entity to establish a casual vacancy and not the state legislative assembly speaker.)

In his application, Zambry wants the Federal Court to clarify the position of Article 16 (2) and Article 16 (6) of the Perak Constitution.

He posed three questions:

- whether the ruler had the right to refuse consent to the dissolution of the assembly by menteri besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin when he had lost the confidence of the majority assemblymen;

- whether upon refusal by the ruler to dissolve the assembly, should Nizar and his executive councillors tender their resignations; and

- whether the ruler can appoint Zambry as menteri besar after due inquiry that Nizar had lost the confidence of the majority assemblymen although a vote of no confidence was not taken in the assembly.

If the above questions are in the affirmative, Zambry wants the court to declare that his appointment as menteri besar on Feb 6 was in accordance with Article 16 (2) of the Perak Constitution.

Zambry said his grounds for the application was premised on the basis that the apex court could now decide on the appointment and removal of menteri besar as it was allowed under the Perak Constitution.

He said the questions of general principles posed would be decided for the first time, and it was of public importance as it involved the major concerns of the people of Perak.

Nizar claimed that he was still the legitimate menteri besar on grounds that there was no dissolution of the state legislative assembly, no confidence motion was taken in the house against him and he did not resign.

He also issued a write of quo warranto asking Zambry to show cause by what authority he was occupying the post.

Why I am absent in court today

Image

After two ISA detentions, I do not plan to allow them to get me so easily the third time around. I also refuse to face treason charges that will result in me being sent to the gallows. I love my life and wish to remain alive a few years longer if possible.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

I wish to explain why I am not going to be present in court today, 23rd April 2009. Firstly, it involves my recent dispute with the Selangor Palace. This dispute was due to my open letter to the Perak Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, which I wrote on 2nd March 2009 in response to the ongoing Perak Constitutional Crisis. My family said I had acted in a treasonous manner and they wanted me to issue a public apology to the Sultan of Perak.

I refused to comply with my family’s demand and instead wrote two articles condemning the Perak Palace for violating the Federal Constitution of Malaysia and for ignoring the wishes of the rakyat. My opinion is no different from that of NH Chan, the former Court of Appeal judge, which you can read in the addendum below.

The Sultan of Selangor was very angry and that triggered a conflict between our two families. My family told me I had brought shame to the family name and they demanded that I attend a family meeting to discuss the matter. However, I did not attend that family meeting and this aggravated the situation.

My family then gave me an ultimatum. I was to either make that public apology or else my family would insert an advertisement in the mainstream newspapers practically distancing itself from me, which could be interpreted as disowning me. My response to that was, and in accordance with the normal action to be taken against a member of the kerabat who durhaka, I went into exile outside Selangor. As a matter of fact, I even missed two recent family funerals, as I could not and would not step foot in Selangor ever again.

It has to be noted that this has always been the punishment for any member of the Selangor Royal Family who is considered durhaka since the beginning of the Selangor Sultanate more than 250 years ago. My grandfather, Sultan Musa, was in fact subjected to that same punishment and it is the only punishment befitting a member of the Selangor Royal Family who has courted the displeasure of the Palace.

This means, in short, I can no longer attend the court hearing as the same is heard in Petaling Jaya, which is invariably within the state of Selangor.

The second reason is as follows:

In September 2008, I was detained under the Internal Security Act for what I was alleged to have written regarding the Altantuya murder and the alleged links to those who walk in the corridors of power. However, I am already facing trial on sedition and criminal defamation charges in this court as well as in the Kuala Lumpur court.

Now, my ISA detention in September 2008 was for the same crime as what I have been charged in this court (sedition) and in the Kuala Lumpur court (criminal defamation). This means I am being punished twice for the same crime and the law does not provide for one to be punished twice for the same crime.

No doubt, in November 2008, the Shah Alam court ruled my detention illegal and subsequently ordered my release. Nevertheless, the government is appealing this decision, giving a clear indication that it wants me back in Kamunting whereby I will face punishment without trial on top of the two trials I am being made to face -- which, as I said, are for those same crimes.

The events of late do not give me any confidence that I will get a fair trial. Even if the Petaling Jaya court acquits me, they can still appeal the decision of the court like what they are doing with the Shah Alam court’s decision to free me from ISA detention. And the manner the Federal Court conducted itself during the recent ISA appeal hearing is very troubling indeed and borders on unprofessional conduct.

Finally, my open letter to Nizar Jamaluddin has been classified as treason and the government wants to charge me for treason. The fact that no such law exists will not stop them as they can use the ‘waging war against the King’ law that they used against some of the Al Maunah members, which resulted in them being hanged in the Sungai Buloh Prison in October 2006.

Many of my friends have spotted police vehicles parked outside their house. Others have noticed police officers loitering in front of their residence while some have been summoned to Bukit Aman for interrogation. The police want them to reveal where I am currently residing.

Why are the police looking for me? Two months ago, the Federal Court was in a hurry to hear the appeal against my release from ISA detention. After impatiently rejecting all our applications and refusing to allow us time to file the necessary papers, the court suddenly went cold and nothing was heard from it since.

This got me very suspicious. I did some checking and have reason to believe that a new detention order has been issued and that is why the police are looking for me. If I were to turn up in court today I would never be allowed to leave. The police would immediately detain me and send me to Kamunting and this time I shall not be so fortunate as to see freedom in two months like in the last two occasions.

After two ISA detentions, I do not plan to allow them to get me so easily the third time around. I also refuse to face treason charges that will result in me being sent to the gallows. I love my life and wish to remain alive a few years longer if possible.

Those are the reasons I am not in court today. I shall, however, attend the court hearing when the situation permits, i.e., I am no longer to be charged for treason and I get an assurance from the powers-that-be that the Government’s appeal against my ISA release is withdrawn forthwith and that no new detention order has been issued. After all, if the Razak Baginda acquittal was not appealed upon, why am I being treated differently?

Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin
23rd April 2003

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

ADDENDUM: Opinion of NH CHAN is former Court of Appeal judge
Malaysiakini, 20th February 2009

Now we know why the people of Perak and elsewhere in Malaysia, are making harsh statements about the sultan. A quick search on the Internet will prove this.

It is the perception of the people that matters; and the confidence of the people is destroyed when they go away thinking that he was biased - that he had been influenced by Najib.

It is very sad that Sultan Azlan Shah, who had been held in high esteem internationally and by the populace, has, in a careless moment, lost all that.

His reputation for fairness and justice has been shattered when they go away thinking that he had been influenced by Najib or that he has favoured BN. It does not matter whether he did, in fact, favour one side unfairly.

Suffice it that reasonable people might think that he did. The die is cast and we cannot put the clock back. Hereafter, there may be many who will no longer believe in his speeches on good governance and the integrity of the judiciary.

The impression is that he does not practise what he preaches.

When the menteri besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the legislative assembly, he has two choices.

First, he may request the ruler to dissolve the assembly for the purpose of a state election. Second, if his request is turned down by the ruler, "he shall tender the resignation of the executive council”.

This is provided in Article XVI, Clause (6) which reads: "(6) if the Menteri Besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly, then unless at his request His Royal Highness dissolves the Legislative Assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the Executive Council."

What Article XVI, Clause (6) says is this: If the menteri besar ceases to command the confidence of the majority of the legislative assembly, he shall tender the resignation of the executive council, unless the ruler has, at the request of the menteri besar, dissolved the legislative assembly.

However, in the present case, Mohd Nizar on Feb 4, had requested the ruler to dissolve the legislative assembly, and the ruler informed him on Feb 5 that he acted in his discretion to withhold his consent for the dissolution of the assembly.

That being the case, the menteri besar has no other choice but to tender the resignation of the executive council.

Under Article XWI, Clause (2), paragraph (b), the ruler has a personal discretion to withhold his consent to the menteri besar's request for the dissolution of the legislative assembly.

Unfortunately, the ruler, in the present case, has acted unconstitutionally when he side stepped the constitutional provisions of Article XVI, Clause (6) of the laws of the Perak constitution.

This was what he did.

The Sultan of Perak’s media statement said: “Mohd Nizar was summoned to an audience with the sultan to be informed of the ruler’s decision not to dissolve the State Assembly, and in accordance with the provisions of Article XVI (6) of the Perak Darul Ridzuan State Constitution, the Sultan of Perak ordered Mohd Nizar to resign from his post as Perak menteri besar together with the members of the state executive council with immediate effect.

“If Mohd Nizar does not resign from his post as Perak menteri besar together with the state executive council members, then the posts of menteri besar and state executive councillors are regarded as vacant.”

As we know the sultan is a constitutional monarch who has no power to rule except a couple of discretionary powers mentioned in Article XVIII, Clause (2).

So, apart from the couple of matters mentioned in Article XVIII, Clause (2), the Sultan of Perak has no power to order Mohd Nizar to resign from his post as Perak menteri besar together with the members of the state executive council with immediate effect.

Nor has he the power to declare that the posts of menteri besar and state executive councillors are regarded as vacant.

In the present case, the menteri besar had acted under Article XVI, Clause (6) which permitted him to request the ruler to dissolve the legislative assembly if he ceased to command the confidence of the majority of the members of the legislative assembly.

In this case, the ruler turned down his request. Then the menteri besar has no choice but "to tender the resignation of the executive council".

So, why did the ruler, in the present case, depart from the provisions of Article XVI, Clause (6)?

Under the provisions of Clause (6), the sultan knew that the ball was in the menteri besar's court and it was to be the menteri besar who "should tender the resignation of the executive council".

Yet he chose to ignore these provisions of the Perak constitution.

Public Forum: Can Najib Deliver His Reform Promises?

Date: 23 April 2009 (Thursday)
Time: 8pm

Venue: Level 1, KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur.

Panellists: Ooi Kee Beng, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, Tunku Abdul Aziz

Enquiry: Faisal Mustaffa 03-79806571 / faisal@refsa.org

(The forum is organised in conjunction with the launch of Research for Social Advancement (REFSA) [an independent non-profit organisation aimed at encouraging open discussion and input into public policy issues] latest publication, Arrested Reform: The Undoing of Abdullah Badawi by Ooi Kee Beng.)

More needs to be liberalised, say parties (Updated 12.40pm)

Updated 12.40pm on 23 April 2009

PETALING JAYA, 23 April 2009: The DAP has described the prime minister's liberalisation of 27 services sub-sectors as a "baby step forward" in the right direction but said much more needed to be done.

DAP national publicity secretary Tony Pua said the move demonstrated Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's commitment towards unwinding the policies and regulations imposed and expanded under the pretext of the New Economic Policy (NEP).

Among others, Pua, who is the Member of Parliament for Petaling Jaya Utara, said the measures announced only covered "very selected" sectors that had conditions attached.

"There are hundreds of sub-service sectors classified," he said in a statement today.

Pua was responding to an announcement by Najib, who is also finance minister, that the 30% bumiputera equity requirement imposed on health and social services, tourism, transport, business, computer and related services, and sporting and other recreational services, and rental or leasing services was removed as of yesterday.

Pua also questioned if companies would be exempted from Bursa Malaysia's bumiputera equity requirement before they could be listed on the local stock exchange.

"By liberalising ownership but not their ability to raise funds locally will only serve as a handicap for these companies," he noted.

He added that the liberalisation of bumiputera ownership conditions on the local stock exchange would help revive the financial services sector to make the Malaysian market relevant in the region again.

More importantly Pua said, the liberalisation of 27 sub-sectors did not address the demand aspect of the industry "which are still very protected".

"Government agencies and government-linked companies (GLCs) are severely constrained by finance ministry guidelines on procurement.

"[These agencies] are only allowed to procure goods and services from companies which are registered with and possess approved classifications from the finance ministry based on strict bumiputera ownership controls," he said.

Pua cited the banking sector where there was a rule that legal firms engaged by banks must have at least 50% bumiputera partnership regardless of the professional nature of the services provided.

"These persisting barriers to entry will continue to discourage investments in these sectors. Why would investors consider setting up operations when they have no opportunity to offer the services to the government and the GLCs, which combined, is the single largest consumer of services in Malaysia?"

Pua argued that the liberalisation of supply-side constraints without the corresponding reforms on the demand-side was akin to "clapping with a single hand".

He said the DAP looked forward to other measures by the government to ensure the success of its liberalisation exercise.

Review NEP

MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said the liberalisation of the services sector was a move in the right direction and "long overdue".

Chua also called for a "total review" of the NEP.

"Najib with his wealth of experience should be able to take the lead. Affirmative action should be based on needs.

"The bumiputra special rights are entrenched in the constitution. Nobody can take that away. So, a review of the NEP should not be construed by some bumiputra as a challenge to their special rights as this is enshrined in the constitution," he said in his blog today.

Gerakan vice-president Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who is also the party's central economic bureau chief, urged further liberalisation measures on other sectors to make Malaysia a more viable country to invest in and trade with.

"While strengthening our economy, we also want Malaysia to be more competitive at the international level," Mah said in a statement today.

He added that the move was a "bold revamp" and in line with Najib's promise of 1Malaysia which was underpinned by power-sharing and equitable wealth distribution.

BY-ELECTION


1. I went to Bukit Gantang and Bukit Selambau to campaign for Barisan Nasional. We lost in both places; lost with bigger margins.

2. The papers reported that an independent post mortem will be conducted. I hope the people doing this will question me also.

3. In case they won't, can I give my opinion via this blog. There were lots of banners and posters in Bukit Gantang. A lot of them showed the portraits of the candidate. But quite a lot showed the picture of the Menteri Besar.

4. There is a belief in some UMNO quarters that if pictures of the politicians are displayed everywhere, people are going to like and support them. So, huge billboards have been put up with huge portraits of the Ministers and Menteri Besar/Chief Minister. To show that the Ministers are close to the Prime Minister, the portraits of the PM are shown close to the Minister concerned. In particular the (then) Tourism Minister together with the Prime Minister are seen everywhere. Maybe this is a tourist attraction.

5. Along Jalan Syed Putra there is a huge portrait of the 5th Prime Minister.

6. People are going to say that it was the same when I was PM. If you care to check you will find that only the Menteri Besar had these billboards with their portraits and mine. Ministers did not in those days. Certainly there were no big portraits of me. In fact the first thing I did when appointed PM was to forbid pictures of me to be displayed even in offices. But they nevertheless put up my pictures.

7. I really don't think having huge portraits of politicians will make them popular. In fact it is likely to make them very unpopular.

8. Another practice which should be looked at is that of Barisan Nasional State Governments, Government parties as well as Ministers like taking full page advertisements in the papers to congratulate the Prime Minister on his appointment and on other occassions.

9. I can understand the private sector doing this but Ministers and Ministries should not be wasting public money doing this especially before the Cabinet is named.

10. I have lots of observations on the conduct of the two by-elections. But I will reserve them for the future.

Gobind to challenge suspension in court

Suspended Puchong member of parliament Gobind Singh will be filing a suit tomorrow against Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia over his 12-month suspension.

karpal singh and family at court for sedition case 220409The suit will be filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, said Gobind's father Karpal Singh.

The legal action follows a decision last week by the Federal Court in allowing a challenge by BN's Perak Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir and his exco members against their suspension from the Perak assembly by assembly speaker.

"The Perak case has opened up a precedent for the matter (suspension) to be taken to the Federal Court," said Karpal, also the Bukit Gelugor member of parliament.

Gobind's action, when filed tomorrow, will be the first of its kind taken against a decision made by a Dewan Rakyat speaker.

Last month, Gobind was suspended without any allowances and benefits following his outburst in the House against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak.

The debutant parliamentarian had allegedly linked Najib with the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu, and called him a "murderer" in the process.

The decision by the Federal Court last week was unprecedented as it allowed the judiciary to get involved in a decision-making process of the legislature.

Perak speaker V Sivakumar had suspended Zambry for 18 months and his six exco members for 12 months for causing contempt to the House by assuming the post of menteri besar and exco members.

Will the court rule the same?

In backing Gobind's move to file the judicial review, DAP leader Lim Kit Siang said the one-year suspension was a "blatant case of abuse" of Barisan Nasional majority in Parliament.

lim kit siang on conversion case 210409 03He added that Gobind was subjected to double jeopardy with a very harsh second punishment although he had earlier been punished by the deputy speaker Ronald Kiandee with a one-day suspension.

He also said that DAP had originally not planned to subject Pandikar's decision to a court review as "we hold to the doctrine of separation of powers among the executive, legislature and judiciary".

He said the party believed in upholding the federal constitution which clearly stated that the validity of any proceedings in Parliament or any committee shall not be questioned in any court.

However he said all that changed with the Federal Court decision last week on the Perak matter.

"The Federal Court has created a precedent which would justify the legal challenge of the unjust and oppressive one-year suspension of Gobind as MP without parliamentary pay and privileges.

"Or is the Federal Court going to be guilty of selective and discriminatory justice?" he asked in a statement.

Dr M: Nazri was nasty to me, so of course, I don't like him.

Displacement: The woes never end

MCCBCHST Seeks Royal Intervention

Trouble brewing withing Hindraf




REMEMBER THIS TRAITORS RAGU AND RAMAJI ARE THE ONES WHO MADE SURE HINDRAF SUPPORTERS WENT BEHIND BARS FOR 5 DAYS IN PENANG.
 
HAVE YOU GUYS EVER HEARD OF THESE CLOWNS SERVING THEINDIAN COMMUNITY. NOW THEY CLAIM KREDIT AT OTHER PEOPLE'S EXPENCE.
 
HAVE THEY CRITIZED GOVERNMENT FOR ATROCITIES AGAINST INDIANS?
 
BEWARE OF THESE TRAITORS.  

Article picked from Malaysian Tamil daily (Nanban) today 21/04/2009.

Hindraf Chaiman P Waythamoorthy has neither rights to suspend nor taking ownership of  

Hindraf as its founder was V Ragunathan (photo) and Ramachandran Meyappan(Ramaji-Hindhu Sevai Sanggam) said V.K Ragu in his press statement today in Tamil daily(malaysia nanban).  

So,Who are Mr Uthaya and Mr Waytha and other H4?

If yes, Mr Ramachandran Meyappan(Ramji) and Ragu was the founder of hindraf, then why the government was not neither detains them under ISA.



Najib drops Bumiputera quota for services sector

By Adib Zalkapli- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 - Datuk Seri Najib Razak today freed the country's services sector by ending the 30 per cent Bumiputera equity rule in an attempt to improve Malaysia's competitiveness in the
softening global economy.

The Prime Minister, who is also the finance minister, promised further liberalisation, saying that he would announce details of the liberalisation of the financial sector next week.

Reading from a prepared statement the Prime Minister said he expected a greater flow of foreign investments in the services sector which currently forms 11 per cent of total investment.

"Recognising the growth potential in the services sector, the government has decided to immediately liberalise 27 services sub-sectors, with no equity condition imposed. These sub-sectors are in the areas of health and social services, tourism services, transport services, business services and computer and related services," said Najib.

The government, he added, would also allow foreign legal firms to practice in the country but to only offer services in Islamic finance.

"As part of the measures to develop Malaysia as an international Islamic financial hub, the legal profession will be liberalised to allow up to five top international law firms with expertise in international Islamic finance to practice in Malaysia," said Najib.

Other services liberalised are in the areas of health and social services, tourism services, transport services, business services and computer and related services.

Najib also announced an allocation of RM100 million to be managed by the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA) to strengthen the local services industry in facing the liberalisation.

"The liberalisation initiatives will not adversely affect the domestic services industry. The government will continue to support the industry in capacity building and in the opening up of export markets," said Najib.

When asked on the sub-sectors selected to be liberalised, Najib said it was part of Malaysia's commitment to Asean on liberalisation.

"It's in line with what Asean countries are doing. Some (of our measures) are better," he told reporters.

Najib however refused to give out details on the liberalisation of the financial sector.

"I want it to be full of surprises," he said.

Fairuz claims MACC probe has cleared him

PENANG, April 22 — Former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I, Mohamad Fairuz Khairuddin today claimed that his name has been cleared by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after he was alleged to have been involved in a corruption case pertaining to a quarry recently.

He claimed that he was informed of the clearance by an official from the MACC this afternoon.

“I was informed that my name has been cleared and that the case has been resolved. I am glad that I have eventually been cleared,” he said when contacted by Bernama tonight.

However, MACC officials could not be contacted for confirmation.

On March 21, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that Mohamad Fairuz had resigned as Deputy Chief Minister I and Executive Councillor effective April 8.

On April 16, Mohamad Fairuz, 33, resigned as the State Assemblyman for Penanti, saying that he wanted to pursue post-graduate studies. – Bernama

The truth about Malaysia

The efforts of civil society and alternative media have strived to show Malaysia in its true, anti-democratic light

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, winner of the Index on Censorship law and campaigning award, explains the effects of Malaysia's anti-democratic laws

Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, Guardian UK

Architects of autocracies would benefit tremendously from studying the Malaysian model. It stands as a shining example of how, given the right combination of greed, ambition, maladministration and contempt for the rule of law, any democracy can be recast into an autocracy while preserving the veneer of democratic process.

At the time of its independence in 1957, Malaysia's written constitution embedded the separation of powers and the freedoms so crucial to its checks and balances. But the vested interests of a hegemonic political elite has, over time, caused the system to mutate into one of rule by law that threatens the continued sustainability of the nation.

This is easy enough for anyone to see. The statute books contain a plethora of anti-democratic laws that are designed for, and applied to, one end: the regulation of information and opinion. This has allowed the suborning of a voter base much weakened by a divisive system of race politics; voters already made to feel that they should be voting one way rather than the other are not given the means to make an informed choice. This has allowed a semblance of democracy, even though the democratic process has been subverted.

There is no other way of explaining the continued existence of laws that vest power in the government to detain without trial for extended periods of time, or to subjectively regulate the print media or to brings charges for sedition and criminal defamation. These laws not only impede free access to vital information, they allow the suppression of legitimate dissent, a process aided by a seeming willingness on the part of key institutions of the state, such as the judiciary and the police force, to serve the interests of the government in such ways as they can. The police routinely clamp down on opposition rallies and NGO demonstrations while the judiciary cannot be relied upon to defend civil liberties.

When confronted about any of this, the government points to the electoral process and its consistent return to power. It sidesteps the extent to which it attempts to keep the voter ignorant or scared. It meets complaints about the system with defensiveness, even hostility, due to its inability to meaningfully justify its position and its unwillingness to respond to popular sentiment.

Fighting back has centred on efforts to increase access to information.

In the general election of March 2008, the incumbent political coalition took a beating. It lost its two-thirds majority in parliament and lost control over four of the 13 states in which it had previously formed government. This was largely due to the unflagging and courageous efforts of civil society and the alternative media. A ragtag group of activists, bloggers and independent news sites strived to offer a different and more truthful view of Malaysia, while making Malaysians aware it was time for them to take ownership of the issues at hand.

Many of those involved were people I had come to know over the last decade or so in my work as an activist as well as a public interest lawyer. Of these, Raja Petra Kamarudin, a new media exponent of almost iconic status, was among the most influential. Unflinching and unrelenting, he galvanised reactions on a scale that many were unprepared for. He helped shape history last March.

That may be why he was charged for sedition and criminal defamation as well as detained was detained under the Internal Security Act soon after.

Amid concerns that a wider crackdown was underway and that I might also be on the detention list, I was instructed to seek an order of habeas corpus. Painfully aware of how exposed I was to executive scrutiny, I assembled a team of lawyers and made the applications. We were not hopeful, there had not been a successful challenge on merits since 1998 when the law had been amended to preclude judicial review. The high court however thought there were merits and ordered his release. He had been detained for some 55 days by then.

The situation is precarious. Malaysians want change and the elites that form the government are in no position to deliver it. Continued suppression and repression is the only way in which power can be preserved. That does not bode well for the nation.

Reform Promises?

By Haris Ibrahim

REFSA, an independent non-profit organisation aimed at encouraging open discussion and input into public policy issues, is organising a forum entitled “Can Najib Deliver His Reform Promises?”

The detail of the programme is as follows:

Date: 23 April 2009 (Thursday)

Time: 7.45 – 10.15 pm

Venue: Level 1, KL-Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall, Jalan Maharajalela, Kuala Lumpur.

The forum is organized in conjunction with the publication of “Arrested Reform: The Undoing of Abdullah Badawi” by Ooi Kee Beng. The book will be launched at about 8.15pm before the forum begins.

The panellists are the author Mr Ooi Kee Beng, former de facto Law Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and REFSA chairman Tunku Abdul Aziz.

If you need more information, please contact Faisal Mustaffa at 03-79806571 or email to faisal@refsa.org .

When a judge is plainly wrong

When a judge is plainly wrong, especially when he claims to interpret the obvious, it is not wrong for any right thinking member of the public to cricitize him.

by N H Chan

In the New Sunday Times of April 19, 2009 there appears this astonishing remark (because it is erroneous in law) which was attributed to a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department:

KUALA KANGSAR: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Sen Mohammed Nazri Abdul Aziz has hit out at Perak DAP chairman Datuk Ngeh Koo Ham for questioning a Federal Court ruling pertaining to Perak.
He said Ngeh should not question the court’s decision that Perak state assembly Speaker V Sivakumar did not have the power to suspend Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir and six Barisan Nasional (BN) state executive council members from attending the state assembly sittings. They were suspended for unprofessional conduct early this month.
There was no question of the judiciary interfering in the legislature as claimed by Ngeh as the courts were the best place to seek interpretation of the Constitution or law, he told reporters.
Nazri said the law did not intend to equip a speaker of a legislative assembly with unrestricted authority.
(the emphasis is supplied by me).

Everyone knows that Ngeh was talking about Article 72 (1) ofthe Federal Constitution which states:

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

But what the Minister was saying is that “the courts were the best place to seek interpretation of the Constitution”. Now I ask the readers, do you, as a member of the general public, need a judge to interpret Article 72, Clause (1) above? But when the judges were asked to apply Clause (1) of Article 72, as we have recently observed, they have blatantly refused to apply the constitutional provision as it stands. We know that the words mean what they say. According to the dictionary the word “interpret” means “explain the meaning of”. I don’t think we need the Federal Court or any court to explain the meaning of Article 72 to us - the meaning is plain enough for us ordinary Malaysians to understand. No one in his right senses would attempt to interpret the obvious meaning of the words in Article 72(1), unless he wants to say the words mean something else as Humpty Dumpty did in Lewis Carrol: Through the Looking Glass, 6 Humpty Dumpty:

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t - till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument,’ ” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master - that’s all.”
Alice was too much puzzled to say anything;

Then, like Humpty Dumpty, Nazri made this amazingly naive statement: “the law - [meaning Article 72(1)] - did not intend to equip a speaker of a legislative assembly with unrestricted authority”. But that was not the point of what Ngeh said. So what if the speaker was wrong on what he did or said or ordered in the legislative assembly? The supreme law of the land says that “The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court”. This could only mean that all differences which occurred in the legislative assembly could only be resolved by the assembly within the assembly itself. The validity of any proceedings in the Assembly is beyond the reach of the courts - so said the Constitution of Malaysia. The “law” does not mean, as the Minister wanted it to mean, that it “did not intend to equip a speaker of a legislative assembly with unrestricted authority”. Like Alice, the general public were too much puzzled by such a naive remark.

Anyway, why should a judge be afraid of criticism of his judgment if he has done nothing wrong and he is only doing his duty to administer justice according to law? Judges do not fear criticism, nor do they resent it: see R. v Metropolitan Police Commissioner, ex parte Blackburn (No. 2) [1968] 2 Q.B. 150, at p 155 where Lord Denning said: “We do not fear criticism, nor do we resent it”.

This is because “justice is not a cloistered virtue: she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful, even though outspoken, comments of ordinary men”. In the Privy Council case of Ambard v. Attorney-General for Trinidad and Tobago [1936] A.C. 322, this was what Lord Atkin said, at p. 335:

“. . . whether the authority and position of an individual judge, or the due administration of justice, is concerned, no wrong is committed by any member of the public who exercises the ordinary right of criticising, in good faith, in private or public, the public act done in the seat of justice. The path of criticism is a public way: the wrong-headed are permitted to err therein; provided that members of the public abstain from imputing improper motives to those taking part in the administration of justice, and are genuinely exercising a right of criticism, and not acting in malice or attempting to impair the administration of justice, they are immune. Justice is not a cloistered virtue: she must be allowed to suffer the scrutiny and respectful, even though outspoken, comments of ordinary men.”

MP Gobind’s one-year suspension without pay/privileges - will Federal Court be guilty of selective justice?

DAP MP for Puchong Gobind Singh Deo will initiate legal proceedings tomorrow morning to challenge his one-year suspension as Member of Parliament without parliamentary pay and privileges for his outburst against the then Deputy Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak over the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu C4 murder case.

The one-year suspension of Gobind Singh Deo on March 16, 2009 was a blatant case of abuse of Barisan Nasional majority in Parliament, subjecting Gobind to double jeopardy with a very harsh second punishment although he had earlier been punished by the Deputy Speaker, Datuk Ronald Kiandee with a one-day suspension.

The right and proper thing would have been to refer Gobind to the Committee of Privileges instead of using the UMNO/BN brute majority to summarily punish Gobind by suspending him as an MP without pay and privileges.

When Parliament should have invoked its powers to deal summarily with violations of parliamentary privileges like the obstruction and menacing by Selangor UMNO Youth goons of DAP MP for Bukit Gelugor Karpal Singh from carrying out his parliamentary duties in the parliamentary precincts on Feb. 26, 2009 when this is very clearly provided for under the Houses of Parliament (Privileges and Powers) Act 1952, the Barisan Nasional-majority Parliament failed to do so.

Up to now, these Selangor UMNO Youth goons have got away scot-free, as none of them has been penalized, although such an offence is punishable with a seven-year jail sentence under Section 124 of the Penal Code.

Although the suspension of Gobind for one year without pay and privileges was a black-lettered day for Parliament, DAP had not earlier considered challenging the gross injustice in court, as we hold to the doctrine of separation of powers among the Executive, Legislature and Judiciary, and in particular Article 63(1) of the Malaysian Constitution which stipulates: “The validity of any proceedings in either House of Parliament or any committee thereof shall not be questioned in any court.”

Imagine our shock and outrage, and those of thinking Malaysians, when the Federal Court last Thursday, 16th April 2009 overturned the doctrine of separation of powers and ruled that the Perak Assembly Speaker V Sivakumar does not have the power to suspend usurper Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Zambry Abd Kadir and six state executive council members from attending the assembly.

As former Court of Appeal judge, N.H.Chan had written, this was a “perverse judgment of the Federal Court” because it was made in blatant defiance of Article 72 (1) of the Federal Constitution which says,”The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court”.

If the Federal Court could disregard Article 72(1) on no court interference with State Assembly proceedings, how court Article 63(1) on no court interference with parliamentary proceedings stand?

The Federal Court has created a precedent which would justify the legal challenge of the unjust and oppressive one-year suspension of Gobind as MP without parliamentary pay and privileges.

Or is the Federal Court going to be guilty of selective and discriminatory justice?

Fairus claims MACC probe has cleared him

PENANG, 23 April 2009: Former Penang Deputy Chief Minister I, Mohamad Fairus Khairuddin claimed that his name has been cleared by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) after he was alleged to have been involved in a corruption case pertaining to a quarry recently.

He claimed that he was informed of the clearance by an official from the MACC yesterday afternoon.

"I was informed that my name has been cleared and that the case has been resolved. I am glad that I have eventually been cleared," he said when contacted by Bernama last night.

However, MACC officials could not be contacted for confirmation.

On 21 March, Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng announced that Mohamad Fairus had resigned as deputy chief minister i and executive councillor effective 8 April.

On 16 April, Mohamad Fairus, 33, resigned as the state assemblyperson for Penanti, saying that he wanted to pursue post-graduate studies. — Bernama

New RTM Tamil news time slot from 1 May

KUALA LUMPUR, 22 April 2009: Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) will change the time slot for Tamil news on Nasional@1 to 7.30pm from 8pm starting 1 May.

Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said RTM would also try to change the time slots for Mandarin and English news to be as close to prime time (8pm), for instance, at 8.30pm.

He hoped the change would satisfy the Indian and Chinese communities. "I have met with my colleagues from the MCA and MIC on the matter," said Rais after the official handing-over of duty to him by former Unity, Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, here, today.

On 17 April, RTM made changes to the news time slots on Nasional@1, including for Bahasa Malaysia news, back to 8pm since after it was moved to 9pm previously.

Mandarin news was moved to the 6.30pm-7pm slot, Tamil news to 6pm-6.30pm and English news to the 8pm-8.30pm slot over TV2.

Some quarters, including Barisan Nasional component parties, were however unhappy with the changes and urged RTM to review the rescheduling of the news segment as most Indian Malaysians are at still at work or on their way home during the Tamil news broadcast.

Rais said he would also meet with other groups on 24 April to hear their views on RTM's broadcast programmes.

"Our suggestion is for RTM's second channel (TV2) to be enjoyed and respected while TV1 will remain the national channel which gives priority to Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.

Asked whether the live telecast of parliamentary sittings would continue with him heading the ministry, Rais said it would go on but the air time would be reviewed.

He said he would also be meeting with private radio and television station operators to explain the legal requirements under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998 and their role in promoting the 1Malaysia concept. — Bernama

Gobind to take speaker to court

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 22 April 2009: Inspired by the Federal Court's ruling last week against a decision by the Perak speaker, Puchong Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh intends to take the Dewan Rakyat speaker to court over his one-year suspension from the house.


Gobind
Gobind told The Nut Graph that he would file the suit against speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia at the Kuala Lumpur High Court at 11am tomorrow.

Gobind said his suit would touch on two points: that Pandikar did not give him the chance to defend himself against his suspension, and that the House had taken away his constitutional right as an MP to remuneration.

Gobind cited Article 64 of the Federal Constitution which states that "Parliament shall by law provide for the remuneration of members of each House."

"There is no other provision in the constitution nor in the Standing Orders that says an MP's constitutional right to remuneration can be taken away," Gobind said when contacted this evening.

The Puchong MP was suspended from the Dewan Rakyat for one year on 16 March, after the house debated and passed a motion to suspend him tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz.

The motion was moved against Gobind after he had accused then Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on 12 March of being involved in the murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu. At the time, the house was debating the mini-budget.

Nazri's motion had included the stripping of Gobind's salary and allowances as an MP during his suspension period.

"After the Barisan Nasional MPs spoke on the motion and made accusations against me, I rose to defend myself but the speaker did not allow me to do so. I was punished without being given the option of defending myself," Gobind said.

Gobind said he was "partly inspired" by the Federal Court's decision against Perak Speaker V Sivakumar's suspension of Perak Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and six executive councillors on 16 April.


Pandikar Amin (Courtesy of Merdeka Review)
While the Federal Court has gone against Article 72 of the Federal Constitution which protects the proceedings of any state legislative assembly from being challenged in court, Gobind said he wanted to test Article 63 of the constitution, which provided for the same in respect to parliamentary proceedings.

Perak a "bottomless pit"

Constitutional law expert Prof Dr Shad Saleem Faruqi, however, sees some differences between the Perak speaker's decision to suspend the menteri besar and excos with Gobind's suspension.

Shad Saleem notes that in Gobind's case, a minister in the Dewan Rakyat had moved a motion on the suspension which was debated and passed, according to correct procedure.

"The speaker has the right to suspend an MP for one day as a disciplinary measure, but beyond that period, a minister in the House must table a resolution. In the Perak state assembly, it should have been an executive councillor who should have tabled a similar resolution," said Shad Saleem.

Zambry and his six excos were suspended for between 12 and18 months by Sivakumar after a meeting of the assembly's Rights and Privileges Committee.

"Even if the decision to suspend was taken by the committee, the committee still has to bring its resolution to the assembly to be voted on," notes Shad Saleem.

Therefore, what is crucial to the validity of Zambry and his excos' suspensions is the legality of the 3 March "assembly under the tree".


Nizar
This emergency sitting had passed three motions: to express support for embattled Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin, to dissolve the state assembly to enable fresh elections, and to affirm Sivakumar's decision to suspend Zambry and the six excos.

But Shad Saleem notes that the Federal Court did not make any ruling on the 3 March sitting under the tree. Zambry and the six excos had, in challenging their suspensions, also asked the court to rule on whether the emergency assembly could be called without proclamation by the Sultan.

"The Federal Court evaded this issue and gave us a hanging judgement. It refused to validate the assembly under the tree which confirmed the suspensions of Zambry and the exco.

"The legality of this emergency assembly is, for me, a major issue, as it affects the other issues. Perak has become a bottomless pit of constitutional issues all tied up with one another," Shad Saleem said.

Shad Saleem also felt that the emergency sitting should have passed a vote of no-confidence against Zambry instead of only affirming confidence in Nizar as the menteri besar.

"They did things the other way round, what was the point of passing a vote of confidence in Nizar when he had already been dismissed by the sultan? They should have tried to vote Zambry out instead," he said.

Courtesy Call: Office Bearers Meet Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz


Image

On 16 April 2009, the President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Malaysian Bar paid a courtesy call on the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Mr. Ragunath Kesavan, Mr. Lim Chee Wee and Mr. Tony Woon congratulated the Minister on his appointment to the new Cabinet. During the hour-long meeting the Office Bearers and the Minister touched on a wide variety of issues including:

* Ancillary issues arising from the conversion of one spouse to Islam;
* The Minister’s support to ensure that the amendment to the Legal Profession Act is tabled in the June session of Parliament;
* The review and abolition of the ISA;
* The Bar Council proposal for the separation of the posts of Attorney General and Public Prosecutor;
* The Bar Council’s proposal on the setting up of a National Legal Aid Foundation;
* A request that the Biro Bantuan Guaman open an office in Temerloh;
* The Bar Council’s proposal to jointly promote Malaysia as a centre for international arbitration; and
* Government funding for the proposed Malaysian Law Conference in 2010.

Ragunath said that the Bar Council was prepared to work with the government to promote Malaysia as a centre for trade and commerce and concurrently also to promote Malaysia as a centre for Islamic Finance. Lim Chee Wee said that it would be good if we could package Malaysia as a venue for dispute resolution. He said that the ability and competence of members of the Malaysian legal profession is equivalent to if not better than their counterparts in neighboring countries. He added however that it is important that the necessary infrastructure exists in order to support the plan to promote Malaysia as a dispute resolution center in the region.

The Office Bearers emphasised to the Minister that Malaysia’s trade policy in promoting foreign investment did not sufficiently promote Malaysian lawyers. More should be done to point out that Malaysian lawyers were generally fluent in English and familiar with the common law, which is the basis of our law of contract and tort, which is widely used in international trade. There was general consensus that it would be good if more international arbitration work took place in Malaysia and that more efforts should be taken towards this end.

Image


KDN Masih Rampas Akhbar PKR, Ugut Pengedar.

Dari Malaysiakini

Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) didakwa masih merampas akhbar PKR Suara Keadilan dan mengugut pengedarnya walaupun perdana menteri telah menarik balik penggantungannya awal bulan ini.

Pagi ini, seorang pengedarnya mengadu penguatkuasa Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan dan Teks Al-Quran kementerian itu merampas edisi terbaru mingguan tersebut di beberapa premis di Selayang dan Gombak, Selangor

Sementara seorang lagi pengedar mendakwa menerima aduan daripada beberapa penjual bahawa KDN juga melakukan rampasan di Jalan Masjid India, Kuala Lumpur.

Menurut satu kenyataan Suara Keadilan hari ini, tindakan sama juga dilaporkan di beberapa tempat lain di seluruh negara.

“Dalam rampasan itu, KDN tidak menyatakan alasan secara khusus (alasan tindakannya) melainkan menyatakan bahawa penerbitan Suara Keadilan menyalahi Akta Penerbitan dan Mesin Cetak 1984 (pindaan 1987).

“Beberapa pembaca juga menghubungi pihak kami dan melaporkan para penjual akhbar di Rawang dan Taman Melawati (Ulu Kelang) kini terpaksa menjual Suara Keadilan secara sembunyi-sembunyi (di bawah meja) akibat ugutan daripada KDN,” kenyataan sidang pengarang akhbar pembangkang itu dipetik.

Tun Mahathir, Perosak Agama Dan Budaya Bangsa!

Oleh Kerajaan Rakyat

Mungkin ada kebenarannya apabila masyarakat Malaysia mengatakan bahawa Tun Mahathir Mohamad bekas presiden UMNO adalah berketurunan Mamak. Tidak salah dan tidak hina keturunannya. Mamak, telah diterima oleh rakyat Malaysia sebagai ‘saudara’. Di Malaysia ramai Mamak yang kaya, mungkin juga kerana mereka saudara rapat kepada Tun Mahathir.

Bicara saya bukan tentang keturunannya, tetapi perangai dan tabiatnya. Melayu, bangsa yang kaya dengan budi, mewah dengan bahasa. Melayu juga yang selalu kena ‘badi’ dan Melayu juga yang cepat layu pabila dipuji. Melayu akan bangkit pabila dikeji dan Melayu juga yang kerap tewas pabila diuji.

UMNO, sebuah parti siasah di mana berkumpulnya segala sejarah putih, hitam, biru dan kuning penderitaan, perjuangan dan pembangunan Melayu. Tetapi itu telah dibungkus rapi menjadi sejarah oleh pemimpin UMNO sendiri.

Hari ini UMNO menjadi parti Melayu yang mencatat diari padat dengan penipuan, pendustaan, penindasan, pengkhianatan dan kesombongan yang maha dahsyat. UMNO telah menyebabkan bukan hanya Melayu yang jatuh ke lembah kehinaan, malahan UMNO telah mencalar dan memusnahkan keagungan Agama Islam, ketuanan Bangsa dan Bahasa Melayu serta kedaulatan Negara.

UMNO cemar dan musnahkan segala impian murni rakyat Malaysia lantaran tindak-tanduk pemimpin mereka masakini yang rakus dan haloba.

Watak utama yang meragut keindahan budaya Melayu dan keharmonian bermasyarakat rakyat Malaysia, tidak lain adalah Mamak yang telah diangkat oleh UMNO menjadi Melayu - Mahathir Kutty bin Mohamed Iskandar Kutty, bekas presiden UMNO!

Rakyat Malaysia dan masyarakat dunia menyaksikan dengan rasa hampa, malu dan meluat segala tindak-tanduk Tun Mahathir yang telah dengan lantang dan biadap bukan hanya mengkritik malahan menghina dan menjatuhkan maruah serta nama baik Dato’ Seri (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi serta keluarganya.

Belum sampai setahun Dato’ Seri (Tun) Abdullah Ahmad Badawi mentadbir negara, Mahathir telah menelanjangkan segala kesilapan dan kealpaan Abdullah seolah-olah beliaulah yang maha benar dan maha betul. Tidak puas dengan hinaannya terhadap Abdullah Badawi yang ketika itu Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Mahathir turut dengan sombong dan egonya mengheret menantu Abdullah Badawi,
Khairy Jamaluddin dan ke dalam kitap hinaannya.

Beberapa tahun sebelum beliau ‘terpaksa’ melepaskan jawatan presiden UMNO dan Perdana Menteri Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad bersama ketua Polis Negara, Peguam Negara dan Setiausaha politiknya ketika itu telah dengan penuh kezaliman dan kesialan hati bukan hanya menfitnah, tetapi turut mengkhianati Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim serta keluarganya.

Perlakuan Tun Mahathir yang jelas menonjolkan kebiadapan dan terlalu bercanggah dengan budaya Melayu serta peradaban rakyat Malaysia ialah semasa perhimpunan agong UMNO Mac lalu.

Lantang dengan nada sombong dan bongkaknya Tun Mahathir menyatakan bahawa beliau tidak akan menghadiri perhimpunan tersebut. Apa yang berlaku beberapa jam setelah Dato’ Seri Najib Razak dipilih menjadi presiden UMNO menggantikan Dato’ Seri (Tun) Abdullah Badawi, Mahathir menyertai perhimpunan tersebut. Perlakuan ini jelas menunjukkan sikap sebenar Mahathir Mohamad.

Tun Mahathir dengan jelas telah melafazkan perasaan dendam, busuk hati dan kehinaan tingkah-lakunya melalui perlakuannya itu. Bukankah kehadirannya hanya untuk menunjukkan bahawa beliau ‘membenci’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Badawi? Wahai Tun Mahathir, apa yang Tun lakukan pada hari tersebut bukanlah budaya Melayu dan amat bertentangan dengan adab masyarakat Malaysia.

Dato’ Seri Abdullah Badawi sehingga hari terakhirnya sebagai Perdana Menteri telah berulang kali menyatakan permohonan maaf kiranya beliau bertindak sesuatu yang tidak sehaluan dengan Tun Mahathir. Apakah permohonan maaf Abdullah patut dibalas dengan penghinaan oleh Mahathir?

Wahai Tun Mahathir, kamulah insan berketurunan Mamak yang telah dinobatkan sebagai Melayu oleh UMNO dan kamu juga telah bertindak seperti peribahasa Melayu “Kacang yang lupakan kulit”. Kesombongan Tun telah mencapai tahap yang boleh merosakkan agama Islam, bangsa Melayu serta kesejahteraan rakyat Malaysia.

Mulai hari dan ketika ini, saya menyeru seluruh rakyat Malaysia agar mengenepikan secara total segala pandangan Tun Mahathir kerana ianya banyak yang bakal menjahanamkan agama, bangsa dan negara tercinta!

Mahathir Keanak-anakan Kata Nazri Aziz

From The Malaysian Insider
By Syed Jaymal Zahiid

KUALA LUMPUR, April 22 — Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz has called Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad “childish and lame” for saying he is among those whom the former prime minister thought was unfit to be a minister.

Speaking to The Malaysian Insider, Nazri, who is a minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said he was surprised that he had been singled out by Dr Mahathir.

“I am surprised by this because as far as I can remember, Mahathir appointed me as a minister back in 1999.

“But it doesn’t matter to me. He is not the prime minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak is and he appointed me and that says enough,” he said jovially.

Dr Mahathir had named Nazri earlier today as one of the ministers he felt should not have been made a Cabinet member. The former PM claimed Nazri had been nasty to him.

The former prime minister also named Datuk Johari Baharum as someone he thought should not have been made a deputy minister.

Dr Mahathir’s remarks today came after he expressed disappointment last week that Najib had appointed “unsavoury characters” into his Cabinet.

Nazri upon hearing this laughed and said that Dr Mahathir should have come up with a much more solid reason to describe him as unfit for a Cabinet post.

“If that is his reason, I would say he is lame and childish. I would expect to hear a more solid reason from him,” he said.

“You can write in your report that I think he is definitely childish and lame,” he added.

Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries minister Datuk Johari Baharum could not be contacted for comment.

Dr Mahathir had cited Johari’s corruption allegations case where the latter allegedly received money to free a detainee back in 2007 when he was the deputy internal security minister.

Johari was later cleared off the charges.

Yaari = evil conjob!!

pre-script: a bit busy these few days, so hard to blog seirously, apologies! hopefully back to normal in a day or two.

If you’ve been getting Yaari invites, IGNORE THEM ALL!

For the down low, just read this link.

See, it’s EVIL! Mildly ingenuous conjob, but evil!

So no matter which prominent personality ‘may think you aren’t his friend,’ IGNORE THEM ALL!

Wee to DAP: Don't try to dominate

I don't recall YB Wee Choo Keong ever using his blog to tell off any of his comrades from Pakatan Rakyat. DAP's YB Tony Pua (or is it YAB Lim Guan Eng?) must have really pissed him off this time.

I won't be reproducing Wee's press statement here. You will have to click here to read it. But I admit I'm curious as to who Wee meant by "certain personalities" on the Exco of Penang and Selangor who are "not fit for the job".

Anwar Apologises To Lim

PENANG, April 22 (Bernama) -- Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng considers the problem between him and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as having been resolved following the apology from the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor.

Lim today confirmed that Anwar had apologised to him for failing to inform him of the resignation of former Deputy Chief Minister I, Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, as the State Assemblyman for Penanti.

"I don't want the matter to prolong," he told reporters, here today.

Earlier, Lim, who is also DAP Secretary-General, had expressed unhappiness that Anwar had not informed him of Mohammad Fairus's resignation as a State Assemblyman.

Mohammad Fairus, who resigned as Deputy Chief Minister I effective April 8, later resigned as the Penanti State Assemblyman on April 16.