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Friday, April 24, 2009

PKR Youth members, Hindraf supporters defect to MIC

More than 50 disgruntled PKR Youth members and Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) supporters defected to MIC yesterday evening.
MCPX

hindraf pkr member defects to mic 23042009 05Among them was J Kumaresan, who claimed to be the personal aide to Kapar MP S Manikavasagam.

Kumaresan (photo: right), who was also the PKR Kepong Youth chief, submitted his application form to MIC Youth wing coordinator T Mohan at the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Speaking to reporters later, Kumaresan said he felt frustrated because he could not do anything for the Indian community when in PKR.

"I couldn't achieve anything for the community. That is why I have decided to join MIC," he said, adding that there are no allocations from the party or the Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Selangor state government to uplift the Indians.

"I have been with YB Manikavasagam even before he became a member of Parliament. I know what he has done for the community. I am aware how hard it is to help the community without funds," he added.

Kumaresan is confident that the situation would be different with MIC. "I want to make use of this situation to find ways for me to be useful for the community," he said.

Kapar MP to file police report

hindraf pkr member defects to mic 23042009 06In welcoming the new members, Mohan said the party is willing to accept anyone who is willing to work for the betterment of the community.

He announced that the recruitment exercise is part of the 'Jom Masuk MIC' campaign to bring in youths into the party.

"There are 30,000 youths ready to join us. We are in the midst of finalising the issue with the ROS (Registrar of Societies). The campaign would cater for the needs of the youth via various activities such as sports," he said.

Meanwhile, an activist from the Sikh community Jaspal Singh also submitted his application to join MIC yesterday.

francis udayappan submit memo 150405 manikasavagamSaying that "PKR provides a dream, and MIC paves the path", the former Pakatan supporter added that he plans to use the internet to lure more youths to join the party.

Contacted today, Manikavasagam (right) denied that Kumaresan was his aide. "I challenge him to prove this. I will lodge a police report on this."

"He was only with me for a week to help out in the election campaign," he added.

The MP also denied the allegation that PKR and the Selangor state government were not helping the Indian community, stating that allocations have been given to Tamil schools and temples.

Can one convert a child to Islam — Mohamad Hafiz Hassan

APRIL 24 — It beats me how non-Muslim children, some of whom are only infants, can be converted to Islam by their parent or parents.

Let me explain the statutory law on conversion to Islam in Malaysia. I’ll be brief. The law is dealt with under provisions of the various states’ Administration of Islamic Law enactments.

The law was simple to begin with. The earliest enactments merely provided that the state religious councils were each to keep a register of converts, that no person should be converted otherwise than in accordance with the provisions of the enactments or any rules made thereunder, that no person who had not attained the age of puberty should be converted, and that all conversions should be registered by the Majlis (see, for example, Selangor’s Administration of Muslim Law Enactment 1952).

The current law is more elaborate, contained in 10-11 sections depending on which state enactment one is looking at. The provisions contained in most of these enactments relate to (1) requirements for conversion, (2) moment of conversion, (3) duties and obligations of a convert, (4) Registrar and Register of Converts, (5) registration of converts, (6) certificate of conversion, (7) recognition of a convert as a Muslim, (8) determination of religious status of an unregistered convert, (9) offence for false information, (10) power to make rules, (11) capacity to convert (see, for example, Federal Territory’s Administration of Islamic Law Act 1993).

Clearly the current law retains and elaborates the statutory regime for registration of converts. Let’s look at Perak’s Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2004.

The provisions relating to requirements for conversion to Islam are found in section 96 of the enactment. It states, among others, that for a valid conversion of a person to Islam, the person (a) must utter in reasonably intelligible Arabic the two clauses of affirmation of faith; (2) must be aware that the two clauses mean “I bear witness that there is no god but Allah and I bear witness that the Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. is the Messenger of Allah”; and (3) must utter the two clauses on his or her own free will.

As soon the person finished uttering the two clauses, he or she becomes a Muslim and shall be referred to as a muallaf (s 97). A muallaf is defined as a person who has just converted to Islam (s 2).

The muallaf may then apply to the Registrar of Muallaf for registration as a muallaf. If the registrar is satisfied that the requirements of s 96 have been fulfilled, he may register the muallaf’s name and other particulars in the Register of Muallafs.

In so doing, the registrar has a duty to determine the date of conversion to Islam and enter the date in the register (s 100).

There is another provision which is of particular importance. It is section 101 which provides that the registrar shall issue a certificate of conversion to every person whose conversion has been registered. It also provides that the certificate of conversion shall be conclusive proof of the facts stated therein.

There is also section 106 which provides that a person may convert to Islam only if he or she is of sound mind and has attained the age of 18 years. If below that age, he or she must have the consent of the parent or guardian.

From the above provisions, conversion to Islam is clearly a personal act of the person wishing to convert by his or her utterance of the two clauses of the affirmation of faith.

Above all, he or she must utter the two clauses on his or her own free will!

So, how could a child be converted to Islam by the parent? The parent can only consent to the child’s conversion. The child’s conversion to Islam, in any case, is not valid if the child has not uttered the affirmation of faith on his or her own free will.

A certificate of conversion, if ever issued, will not remedy the non-compliance with requirements of a valid conversion to Islam.

Does the conversion to Islam by a parent make his or her children Muslims? The answer lies in section 2 which defines “Muslim” as … (b) a person either or both of whose parents were at the time of the person’s birth, a Muslim; (e) a person who has converted to Islam in accordance with section 96.

I do not have to repeat what is contained in section 96 of the State of Perak Administration of the Religion of Islam Enactment 2004. Similar provisions are found in the enactments of other states.

Mohamad Hafiz Hassan is legally trained and currently a researcher at IAIS Malaysia. The views expressed here are entirely his own.

(Malaysian Insider)

Lugar Report on complicity of Malaysian officials in human trafficking of Burmese refugees for prostitution/forced labour - Najib must act now

By Lim Kit Siang

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should respond with instant government action in keeping with his “Performance Now” motto on the Lugar Report which accused Malaysian officials of complicity in the human trafficking of Burmese refugees who have been sold into prostitution and other kinds of forced labour in recent years.

It has been reported in the international press, including the Financial Times and IPS, that Richard Lugar, the top Republican on the United States Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has handed to the Malaysian government a report “Trafficking and Extortion of Burmese Migrants in Malaysia and Southern Thailand”.

The report is based on first person accounts of extortion and trafficking in Malaysia and along the Malaysia-Thailand border. Committee information comes from experiences of Burmese refugees resettled in the United States and other countries.

The report highlights the plight of Burmese migrants who crossed Thailand into Malaysia in the hope of registering with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and then being resettled in a third country.

According to the investigation, Malaysian officials have transported migrants – including some who had registered with UNHCR – from detention centres to the Thai border for deportation. At the border, however, migrants are handed to traffickers unless they can pay a ransom.

“Migrants state that those unable to pay are turned over to human peddlers in Thailand, representing a variety of business interests ranging from fishing boats to brothels,” said the report.

The Senate investigators also received multiple reports of Burmese women being sexually abused by traffickers, including some in front of their husbands because, as one NGO employee cited in the report put it, “no one dares to intervene as they would be shot or stabbed to death in the jungle’’.

“[Burmese women] are sold at a brothel if they look good,” recounted one refugee. “If they are not beautiful, they [the traffickers] might sell them at a restaurant or house-keeping job.”

The committee launched the investigation in 2007 after hearing allegations about the trafficking of Burmese migrants “with the knowledge, if not participation” of Malaysian officials.

“The prospect that Burmese migrants, having fled the heavy hand of the Burmese junta, only to find themselves in harms’ way in Malaysia seemed beyond belief,” said the report.

While raising concerns about the role of “government officials” – which the report defines as immigration and police officials, and the semi-official People’s Volunteer Corps [Rela] - Lugar welcomed the Malaysian police’s recent decision to investigate the allegations.

The report estimated that a few thousand Burmese have been brought to the border with Thailand in recent years, and in particular to the Sungai Golok in Thailand and Padang Besar in Malaysia.

It said Burmese refugees now residing in the US had provided names and bank account details for people involved in the trafficking, which have now been forwarded to Malaysian law enforcement officials.

The Malaysian Parliamentary Caucus on Myanmar will convene a meeting on the Lugar Report and will seek a meeting with the Prime Minister and the new Foreign Minister, Datuk Anifah Aman as the Lugar Report is not only most damaging to Malaysia’s international image but raises grave questions about Malaysia’s human rights commitment in ASEAN.

Najib should answer – Is RPK to be detained under new ISA order and to be charged for treason?

BY Lim Kit Siang

The new Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak should answer two questions – has a new Internal Security Act (ISA) detention order been issued against blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin and whether a decision had been taken to charge him for treason or equally serious capital offence?

If not, is Najib prepared to make two public commitments that under his premiership, Raja Petra will not be victimized and will not be detained under a fresh ISA detention order and will not be charged for treason or equally serious capital offence for what he had done so far?

Furthermore, is Najib prepared to make the further commitment for the withdrawal of the government’s appeal to the Federal Court against Raja Petra’s release under the ISA in November when the Shah Alam High Court ruled that his ISA detention was illegal.

Raja Petra’s absence from his sedition trial, the issue of a warrant of arrest against him and Raja Petra’s explanation in his news portal, Malaysia Today, of the reasons for his action yesterday have focused national and international spotlight not only on RPK but also on the new Prime Minister and his administration.

Although epithets like “coward” and “yellow” have been hurled at him, these are from a tiny minority as Raja Petra strikes a great resonance from a great number of Malaysians when he said that he has no confidence that he could get a fair trial and justice from the Malaysian courts.

It is a mark of the inability of Najib as the new Prime Minister to command public confidence that more and more Malaysians share Raja Petra’s grave doubts about the independence, impartiality and integrity of the judiciary as the promises of judicial reforms in the past five years have failed to bear fruit.

Funding democracy, the BN way

By Jacqueline Ann Surin
thenutgraph.com


(Permatang Pauh by-election pic by Danny Lim)

SINCE the historic March 2008 general election, it has become clearer to Malaysians that democracy is messy and expensive. Indeed, any politician who tries to convince the rakyat that democracy is an easy and frugal affair is guilty of trying to fool the masses.

But what have we been hearing about the unusual spate of elections the country has been having since March 2008, especially after it became apparent that Malaysia would be in for its sixth by-election in Penanti, Penang? Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders, most notably the prime minister himself, are calling these elections a drain on resources, a waste of public funds, and even a "publicity stunt" by Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

Could taxpayers' money be better spent in other ways? And should Malaysians demand that our politicians and political parties get down to running the country instead of engaging in excessive "politicking"?

It adds up

There is no denying that the five by-elections we've had since March 2008 — Permatang Pauh, Kuala Terengganu, Bukit Selambau, Bukit Gantang and Batang Ai — have cost us money.

According to The Star, these by-elections have cost a total of RM33.4 million — no small amount.

Constituency

Date of by-election

EC's expenses (RM)

Police's expenses (RM)

Permatang Pauh

26 Aug 2008

409,000

2.5mil

Kuala Terengganu

24 Jan 2009

580,000

11.5mil

Bukit Selambau

7 April 2009

400,000

5.0mil

Bukit Gantang

7 April 2009

600,000

7.0mil

Batang Ai

7 April 2009

400,000

5.0mil

These figures should indeed be made public. But when the figures are publicised and they go hand-in-hand with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak declaring that by-elections caused by resignations are a "sheer waste of public funds", some questions need to be asked.

Firstly, how else does the BN leadership envision a democracy should be run? If a seat is vacated, what other means does Malaysia, which the government says is a democracy, have to ensure that the people are represented according to the majority's wishes?


Mohd Fairus (Source: mfairus.blogspot.
com)
Of course, the underbelly of Najib and other BN leaders' statements about the resignation of PKR's Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin as both Penang deputy chief minister and Penanti assemblyperson is that his reasons for resigning are frivolous. Nothing more than a "political ploy", to quote Najib himself, because apparently Fairus didn't quit for the "legitimate" reasons of being sick, bankrupt or convicted of a crime.

The same views have been echoed by no less than the Election Commission (EC). Plus, the EC has openly supported proposals by some BN leaders such as Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir and Tan Keng Liang to prevent "unnecessary" elections. These include suggestions for stricter laws, and penalties for elected reps or their parties should an elected representative resign for reasons other than what's stated in Article 48(1) of the Federal Constitution.

This, the argument goes, would suggest that Fairus, or other elected representatives like him such as former Bukit Selambau assemblyperson V Arumugam, who also resigned, are doing their electorate a disservice.

And that disservice is being reflected in the amount of money that has so far been spent on the five by-elections we've had since March 2008.

Why so expensive?

But if protecting taxpayers' money is really the intention of the barrage of criticisms against PKR, why isn't the BN asking this question instead: Just why is it so expensive for the EC and especially the police to manage a by-election?

I, for one, would like a thorough breakdown of how every ringgit was spent by the EC and the police. In fact, it looks really incredible that the police should be spending millions. In fact, the police spend much, much more than the EC.

And since Bukit Selambau is way more accessible than Batang Ai, why did the police still spend the same amount of money in both by-elections? And in the case of Kuala Terengganu, the police spent RM6 million just on canopy rental alone, as was revealed by Deputy Home Minister Datuk Chor Chee Heung in the Dewan Rakyat.

Najib has already intimated that the BN may not contest in the Penanti polls apparently because it is mindful of the people's interests. This will apparently save taypayers' money from somehow being squandered because of a publicity-hungry PKR.

If that were the case, why then is the BN not asking the question of both the EC and the police about why their expenditure is so high?


At the nomination centre in Kuala Terengganu. Good heavens, how much did all this cost??
(Pic by Danny Lim)

What is really wasteful

If we were to extend the BN's logic further, Malaysians should also conclude that any other candidate who contests against the PKR candidate in Penanti is being irresponsible about how public funds are spent.

Already, former Penang Wanita PKR chief Aminah Abdullah has said she will contest as an independent candidate. Surely she deserves to be vilified, too, for creating a situation where public resources would be unnecessarily drained again.

What really is a waste of public funds isn't the necessary process of an election in a democracy. What really is, is when so much is spent by state agencies with little accounting for how the money was spent.

And as someone who files my taxes in full and on time, what irks me is not the messiness and costliness of the democratic process. What outrages me is when public funds are used to stifle democracy.

For example, when FRU and police are sent to disperse peaceful candlelit vigils, sometimes violently. Or when more than 100 tear gas canisters are lobbed into a crowd of peaceful Malaysians protesting because of a legitimate concern (I wonder how much each canister costs?). Or when state funds are used to maintain the Kamunting Detention Centre which continues to incarcerate people, without trial, under the Internal Security Act.


Tear gas going off during a protest on 7 March

That the BN is instead focused on demonising a legitimate democratic process because they don't see the value in it is revealing. That they refuse to acknowledge public funds are really being wasted to undermine our democracy in concrete ways is even more significant.

Need Malaysians wonder anymore what the BN stands for?

Press Release: Stand-alone foreign law firms not the best solution

ImageThe Malaysian Bar welcomes the Government’s commitment to freer trade through the process of liberalisation of the services sector announced by the Prime Minister yesterday. But the Prime Minister is also correct to be concerned that such a liberalisation of the services sector should not adversely affect the domestic services industry. We are therefore concerned that “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”, as he reportedly stated.

Since September 2006 the Bar Council has had several meetings with Bank Negara Malaysia (BNM) with respect to the latter’s desire to have foreign law firms established in Malaysia to practise in the area of Islamic Finance on what is referred to as a “stand-alone” basis, i.e. without the need for such a foreign law firm to enter into any joint venture with a Malaysian law firm. From the very beginning BNM’s desire to bring in five foreign law firms (mainly London-based) was linked to the Malaysian International Islamic Finance Centre (or MIFC) initiative, for which BNM is the driver. The idea is to make Malaysia the premier Islamic Finance hub in Asia. BNM is also hopeful that these five foreign law firms, once established here, will bring their foreign clients and their Islamic Finance business to Malaysia. Although the Malaysian Bar is supportive of the MIFC initiative overall, we are not convinced that this will be the case.

The Bar Council’s position is that a managed system of liberalisation, in which foreign law firms are required to enter into joint ventures with Malaysian law firms, represents the best of both worlds as the Malaysian Bar has, amongst its members, sufficient practitioners with expertise in the area of Islamic Finance at an international level. Foreign law firms are able to tap into the Malaysian law firm’s knowledge of domestic laws, regulations and business environment, while Malaysian law firms are able to access knowledge of new legal/financial products. This reflects a “win-win” situation that would augur well for an orderly liberalisation of the domestic legal services market. The Bar Council has made known to the Government its preference for this method of liberalisation since November 2004, and has even prepared the relevant amendments and rules and regulations, and is therefore extremely disappointed that the views of BNM have prevailed.

A “jump-start” approach as advocated by BNM is counter-productive to the Malaysian legal services market in the long run. By permitting foreign law firms to set up on a “stand-alone” basis, there is no necessity for such foreign law firms to share or transfer any technology or knowledge to Malaysian practitioners.

The decision to allow these five foreign law firms to set up in Malaysia to practise in the area of Islamic Finance on a “stand-alone” basis would also run counter to the commitment Malaysia has given at the World Trade Organisation, and to various bilateral free trade agreement negotiations currently underway. Free trade requires a level playing field. Free trade cannot be said to exist in Malaysia if Malaysian practitioners are still required by the banking industry and government-linked companies to comply with Bumiputra equity and staff quotas. The Government must address domestic market issues and ensure that such policies are also abolished if there is to be true liberalisation of the legal services market in Malaysia. There is no point making Malaysia welcoming to foreigners if we have not yet put our own house in order.


Ragunath Kesavan
President
Malaysian Bar

Soon, a Hindraf political party

Dear All,

The move should be viewed in light of nation building.

The call for Indians upliftment was important and urgent at the start of HINDRAF in general.

NOV 25 saw the immense power hidden among the Indians all the most, unexpected of by the Intelligence and the Govt. of Malaysia.

There is a steady mellow down over the period, on the part of the authorities to look into the legitimate needs of the HINDRAF call.
Sad may it be for HINDRAF to be outlawed.
But HINDUS remain HINDUS. And HINDUS are for all SOULS not only INDIANS

That vibration of NOV 25 must be recapped and capitalised to nation building.

And nation building is not by always asking from others. But seeking a flatform to contribute collectively.

Despite the call by Indians interm of vote casting predicting its importance ,did not reflect in the recent Indians representation in the cabinet. It was not so even after the last GE.

The PM was right in his stateement that lesser reps didnot disqualify any party from its benefit. Then why UMNO quota was well ensured without hurting any quarter. Senators were appointed for reasons only known to politians.

Indans must take it upon themselves to participate in the mainstream of nation building. And NGOs are, but a supportive role inbetween the Govt and the needy Rakyat.

And if an NGO is unhappy with authorities due to inefficiency , it should call upon the authorities for a review of the policy to meet the Rakyats expectation.

And the many Indian based NGOs are extremly good in delivering the welfare service with vey little input from the govt.

Its the NGOs who are the right people who truely deliver for the needy ones in the ground level.

With turn of the event of late, in making the govt more responsible, all NGOs who supported the call for the release of ISA detainees and the repeal of many a policy of the govt should play a vital role to ensure a govt that hears to the call of Rakyat.

The NGO must remain and NGO. But the repo must be good with the authorities for nation building.

But the NGO should ensure a govt that both effective and transparent at all time.

The recent byelection noted some HINDRAF coodinators aspiring for a political representation. We cannot have a pie and eat at the same time.

The aspiration and develoment of certain quarter should not be interpreted to side tracking the fundamental formation of the HINDRAF movement.

This is a call of the time that all should take it upon themselves to fall under distinguished flatform to make the next bench mark in this life time.

We must be proud and brave ourselves in not to be guilty in making our choise.

Not every one can be a politicians or can others be better in Makal Sevai "NGO"

The moment is right for many to propel along to the next stage of nation building.

"ONE MALAYSIA" the choise is in your hand.

CHANGES ARE ONGOING AND THOSE NOT ALIGN SHALL REMAIN SIDELINED FOR CHANGES SHALL CONTINUE WITHOUT THEM.

Asogan
MTBB

Warrant of arrest for RPK

Nizar: Perak truly Malaysia

End ‘Body-Snatching’ and ‘Death in Custody’ Too

By MPKapar,

Today, ruling Cabinet Ministers seen to made a drastic policy of banning forced conversion of minor children. But, there isn’t any unusual changes on its policy. Based on my understanding, one can only be converted upon reach of age (puberty). I wonder how Islamic authorities convenience and allow underage children conversion. Further, the act too against humanity of depriving child’s mother care and love.

As the minister says “We have to resolve this once and for all. I don’t think we should be deciding on a piecemeal basis every time a conversion issue crops up,” I hope they could also look into other pressing issues such as :

a) Continue Body Snatching by Islamic authority despite family members’ objections and some even reported to be senile or paralysed at time of conversion. It’s time for the government to look into conversion laws thoroughly by getting concern of immediate family members prior conversion or presence of inter faith religious leaders witnessing the conversion. Let the law be fair for all.

b) Not very mother like Indira Gandhi, Sara Lily mother of late Francis Udayapan and N Indra mother of late A Kugan whom was killed while under custody has the courage of bringing up similar issues to uplift justice in this country. Do we need to wait for hundreds of similar mothers and parents tears , angers and curse before the government would act against inhumane police personnel’s.

It’s time for them to punish those culprits that missued the law and those trying to protect such act. Let’s resolve this issues immediately Once and for all.

Kit Siang slams EC for Penanti delay

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang today criticised the Election Commission (EC) for postponing the Penanti by-election announcement, asking if its pandering to the ruling federal coalition.

The EC delayed its announcement to next Monday from tomorrow although it had met yesterday.

The Ipoh Timur MP asked if the EC was waiting to see the Barisan Nasional’s decision to contest any possible by-election in Penanti as the coalition supreme council meets tomorrow.

“It is a creature dependent on the BN government’s directives. This has never happened before. They had a meeting and have already stated that they would announce their decision tomorrow but now there is a deferment," Kit Siang said in a statement.

“They are apparently waiting for the signal from BN. This is shameful. EC should not act as the appendage of the ruling coalition,” he said bluntly.

He added the new EC chairman, Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, has stooped lower than his predecessor who Kit Siang said was at least more ‘subtle’ in displaying his ‘allegiance’ to the ruling coalition.

The veteran opposition leader said the postponement was a clear indicator that the EC was not an independent and professional body.

Government rules out children's conversions

KUALA LUMPUR, April 23 — The government moved today to soothe uneasiness over Islamic conversion of minors when it decided that children should be raised in the faith of their parents while they were married even if one spouse becomes a Muslim.

The Cabinet decided this yesterday amid simmering tension over a case of three Indian children converted to Islam by their father without the mother’s consent.

Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohd Nazri Aziz said Muslim converts still had to meet their marriage commitments in raising their children in their common religion at the time of their marriage.

“Religion should not be used as a tool to escape marital responsibilities. Conversion is not a ground for automatic dissolution of a marriage either,” he added.

K. Patmanathan, 40, now known as Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, had converted to Islam without the knowledge of his wife, Indira Ghandi, who claimed her husband also converted their children — aged one, 11 and 12 years — without her consent.

Indira said she was now living in fear of losing her children as her husband was seeking custody through the Syariah Court.

There has been an increase in the number of cases in which Islamic conversions have been used as a tool to gain custody of children in divorces among non-Muslims couples.

The Cabinet decided yesterday that the Attorney-General will have to look at which laws need to be amended in line with the decision to stop conversions of minors without the consent of both parents.

Nazri said that Islamic enactments may also need amendments and the matter will be discussed with state Rulers.

“Civil marriages have to be resolved according to civil laws. The conversion takes effect on the day of conversion and is not retrospective.

“The convert would have to fulfil his or her marriage responsibilities according to civil laws prior to the conversion,” he said.

Hindu Sangam president A. Vaithilingam described the decision as "an excellent one" and believes this could be a new beginning for Muslim and non-Muslim relations.

"But of course the government must also look into a long-term solution to this matter but I believe this decision can make the much needed dialogue on the matter an amicable one," he told The Malaysian Insider.

Girl: I was a sex slave to dad and brother

PENANG, April 23 — A school dropout has accused her father and brother of using her as a sex slave over a four-year period.

The 13-year-old girl from Seberang Prai lodged a police report alleging her 42-year-old father raped her, while her brother, aged 15, molested her, since she was nine. Her father is alleged to have raped her at home and in a forest near their home.

Police have arrested the man but have not yet been able to arrest his son. State CID chief Senior Asst Comm II Wan Abdullah Tuanku Said confirmed today that the police have obtained a one-week remand order for the girl’s father pending investigations.

STATEMENT IN MAKKAL OSAI TODAY NOT TRUE

I refer to a press statement in makkal osai today quoting me as saying that HINDRAF National Coordinator should leave the movement if he wants to form a political party. The above statement is not true and is definitely misleading.

I have always maintained that HINDRAF is apolitical but we have “Political Friends” who continuously support and are with our struggle.

I enclose below the statement I issued yesterday.

P.Waytha Moorthy
23.04.09

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

PRESS STATEMENT 22.04.09

I have been asked to comment on the recent announcement by HINDRAF National Coordinator RS Tanendran on his intentions to form a political party and the stand of HINDRAF.

Tanendran is free to exercise his constitutional right to form a political party. His decision must have been based on grassroots sentiments. There should be no criticisms for his actions. He is a good grass root leader who has strong public backing and is capable and has every potential to lead a new party. He must have thought about the idea very carefully before making a decision. I would be meeting him in India within the next 2 weeks.

From its inception and throughout the roadshows between September – November 2007- prior to the November 2007 Rally I have in every speeches that I delivered stressed that I do not have any political ambitions nor would I convert HINDRAF into a political party. Having said that I also acknowledged in all my speeches that however HINDRAF have “Political Friends” and cited M.Manoharan (ISA detainee), Manickavasagam, Manohar, Jayathas and many other active political party members who were supporters of the cause of HINDRAF.

I once again reiterate and stress that I would not be forming any political party nor would I convert HINDRAF into a political party. However hindraf supporters are free to form, join or support any political party they choose.

P. Waytha Moorthy.
CHAIRMAN
HINDRAF

Who is Manohara Odelia Pinot, Indonesian Model

By http://wfol.tv

Image

In 2008, the young Manohara Pinot, mix Indonesian and French, adopted two children - one with special needs - to be taken care of at her house. She calls Cannes her home and Jakarta her ‘new’ home but ended up in Kelantan as the wife of a prince who is said to be keeping her locked in the palace.

Prime Minister Najib Razak was spared the embarassement of answering to the questions of the eager and angry Indonesian press at a press conference at Jakarta during his brief visit to Indonesia. Reports from Indonesia indicates that the high profile model's case - which is one between a young husband and a too young wife - is a 'national' affair and can disrupt the good relationship between Indonesia and Malaysia.

Who is the beautiful model Manohara Pinot and what really happened to her?

Indonesian websites and socialite blogs are today buzzing with the big question: What really happened to Manohara, the darling of all Indonesia!

In some case, stories of how she is being mistreated at the Kelantan Palace by her husband is reported with crude details and a website even suggested that Manohara was not treated like a wife but like an object. "She was even made to have sex while in menstruation, which is unacceptable and a horrible thing to do," said the webmaster.

Reporters covering the press conference with Najib in Jakarta, after the leaders met at the presidential palace, were refused permission to ask about the case of 17-year-old Indonesian-American model Manohara Odelia Pinot.

A startling allegation recently surfaced in an Indonesian newspaper about a member of the Kelantan royal household, who is said to have 'abducted and abused' his 17-year-old Indonesian model wife (Manohara). According to the Surya newspaper, the family of Manohara Odelia Pinot are now in the dark as to her whereabouts and fear for her safety.They also claimed that the model, who was named as one of the country's top models by an international magazine, was cut with a razor blade by her husband.Her mother Daisy Fajarina said the royalty had forcefully taken her daughter away in a private jet from Saudi Arabia, where the family had gone to perform the umrah last month.

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Manohara started her love for fashion at an early age. She loves Roberto Cavalli dresses, Christian Louboutin shoes, Birkin bags, Audemars Piguet and Roger Dubuis watches just to name a few. A close source said that Manohara is exteremely down-to-earth, unlike any other women you see toting Birkins on Louboutin heels, “She is beautiful, outside and inside,” added our source.

Besides preparing to enroll in public relations major at a university in Jakarta, this soft-spoken young lady enjoys painting and writing in her free time. With beauty and grace that resemble Marella Agnelli, combined with such an impeccable manner, Manohara always looks effortlessly elegant and stunning.

She was a rising star and was really loved by the Indonesian people for her generosity and her image. Richly clad and in the company of rich personalities, she was once the girl friend of the son of one of the members of the rich and powerful Bakri family in Indonesia.

One story goes that she was involved with the Kelantan Prince at the age of 15 and was promised to be married to the prince who kept his promise last year when Manohara reached the age of 16.5.

It is also said that she wanted to be involved with the son of the Bakri family but had found out that the boy in question was involved with an Indonesian actress. This made her return to Kelantan where she got married and is said to have been living a sad life.

It is also said that she was introduced to the prince during a party where Najib Tun Razak was present.

Between construction and destruction

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This is Anwar’s failure. He thinks he is a good leader because he can run the party all by himself. But this is not the mark of a good leader. A good leader is not one who can run the party all by himself. A good leader is one who can manage the people in the party.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Malaysia Today is supposed to be a no holds barred forum. This is where you can post your views and opinions without any censorship. I do try to maintain that. But there are times when I have to breach my own ‘code of ethics’, if I may be permitted to call it that for want of a better phrase, for the sake of the greater good.

This appears to be something many do not comprehend. How can you guarantee freedom of expression and yet at the same time block or delete postings and ban those who post whatever offends you? No, it is not what offends me that matter but what offends the majority. After all, is it not so that in a democracy the majority rules?

However, this is not to be confused with Barisan Nasional’s interpretation of ‘the majority rules’. According to Barisan Nasional, they won the most number of seats in the general election, so the majority of Malaysians support them. The minority who did not vote for them do not matter; only the majority matter.

That is not called democracy. That is called arrogance. First of all, every Malaysian is a taxpayer. Therefore, every Malaysian has rights; never mind who they support or may have voted for. There is nothing you touch that does not attract tax in some form or another. Even if you are not in the personal income tax bracket you still pay tax on all services and goods that you pay for.

A taxpayer, therefore, has rights, and his or her rights come with the tax that he or she pays and not according to the party that he or she voted for. Furthermore, Barisan Nasional may have won more than half (but less than two-thirds) of the seats in parliament. Nevertheless, it did so on only about half the popular votes. This means half the voters voted for the opposition.

In the 2008 general election, Barisan Nasional won 140 parliament seats and 307 state seats. Pakatan Rakyat won 82 parliament seats and 196 state seats. This was about 40% of the seats, across-the-board, for both parliament and state that Pakatan Rakyat won. Yet, Pakatan Rakyat garnered almost half the votes.

And we must not forget that only 7,944,274 votes were cast, which comes to only 29% or so of the Malaysian population. And Barisan Nasional won only 14.8% or 4,082,411 of the votes. How can Barisan Nasional argue that the majority of Malaysians voted for it when only 14.8% did so? This means 85.2% of Malaysians DID NOT vote for Barisan Nasional.

This is where the Barisan Nasional boast is full of flaws. And to say that since they won the majority number of seats this means the majority of Malaysians support the ruling party, so they can then do what they like, is total crap.

Anyway, back to the issue of freedom of expression in Malaysia Today. I too am not saying that the majority counts while the minority is not important. Those who comment are of course maybe 1% of those who read Malaysia Today. So they are certainly the minority. There are many more who read without commenting. Some actually read the comments and enjoy doing so. Some could not be bothered with the comments and only read the news or articles as they regard the comments as takde standard and a total waste of time.

I can always argue that if you don’t like the comments then don’t read them. Why read the comments and then get upset because you don’t like what you read? While readers are free to post comments, other readers are also free to not read them.

Tapi tak boleh. Gatal! You know the comments are ‘melampau’ or ‘unfair’ and you know that you are going to get upset if you read them. Yet you still read them -- and then get upset with what you read. Have you not heard of freedom of choice? You are free to not read the comments as much as those posting the comments are free to post what they want.

These readers are actually bringing it upon themselves. They know that Malaysia Today’s readers post melampau comments and yet they go and read those comments. They should just skip or boycott the comments and accept the fact that the comments are melampau and they will get upset if they read them. Then no need to go into all these problems.

Anyway, I think those who post melampau comments should step back awhile and look at the bigger picture. What are we trying to achieve here? We are trying to educate Malaysians about what is really happening in our country with the hope that they will join us to do something about it. We need change but we can’t initiate change all by ourselves. We need critical mass before we will be able to see change. And critical mass will only be achieved when all Malaysians stand united and speak as one voice.

We do not want Melayu bangkit a la Umno or Utusan Malaysia. We also do not want Indian Hindus bangkit a la HINDRAF. Umno and Hindraf are just both sides of the same coin. What about the Indian Muslims and the Indian Christians? They are not with HINDRAF. In fact, many Indian Muslims are with Umno. Those in KIMMA (Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress) want the word Mamak to be banned and for the Indian Muslims to be classified as Malays. They are certainly not with the opposition (they campaign for Barisan Nasional during the elections) and they are far from HINDRAF supporters.

So we need Malaysians to think and do things as Malaysians and not become compartmentalised -- not only into race, but broken down further into religion like Indian Hindus, Indian Muslims, Indian Christians, Chinese Christians, Chinese Muslims, Chinese Buddhists, and whatnot. How will we achieve Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak’s One-Malaysia this way?

And this brings us back to those who comment in Malaysia Today. When you indiscriminately whack Royalty or Sultans, you turn away many from the Royal Family who are pro-opposition and who share our aspirations to see Malaysia turned into a truly democratic society. Maybe you are angry with one Sultan or one particular Palace. But by whacking all Royalty, across-the-board, you antagonise the majority of those from the Royal Family who agree that this country has to change.

Marah nyamok, bakar kelambu, as the Malays would say. Or, cutting off the nose to spite the face, as the English ‘translation’ would go. You do more damage than good by blasting all and sundry for the actions of a very few. The issue is: are we seeking construction or destruction? We can’t construct by destructing. It just does not happen that way.

So, before you comment, think first. And think again and again. Then comment. We need everyone with us. But the manner in which some of you comment, you are driving people away. People who used to be with us are now against us. They see Malaysia Today as an anti-Islam, anti-Malay, anti-Monarchy, etc., site. Is this what we are trying to achieve? We are just anti-injustice, anti-persecution, anti-selective prosecution, anti-abuse of power, anti-corruption, anti-police brutality, anti-election rigging, anti-racial discrimination, and whatnot. We are not anti-Islam, anti-Malay or anti-Monarchy. But some of your postings give the impression otherwise.

Therefore, sometimes, our moderators have no choice but to delete postings, and in severe cases ban readers from commenting, when the comments bring more harm than good to the cause. Our cause is to unite decent Malaysians who wish to see positive changes in this country. But if, instead, the postings bring destruction to the cause, then the freedom of expression of the individual needs to be sacrificed for the greater good of the majority who wish to sincerely fight for positive change.

And, no, Malaysia Today is not pro-opposition and anti-government per se. After all, not all states are under Barisan Nasional. Some are under Pakatan Rakyat. So Pakatan Rakyat is also the government. And we do criticise state governments as well, meaning Pakatan Rakyat. The only thing is, Barisan Nasional has been in power for 52 years while Pakatan Rakyat, with the exception of Kelantan, has been in power for just over a year. So there is more to criticise Barisan Nasional then there is to criticise Pakatan Rakyat. But even with just one year as the state governments there are already enough to criticise Pakatan Rakyat.

For example, Anwar Ibrahim is running Parti Keadilan Rakyat like it is his personal fiefdom. Maybe ten years ago, back in 1999, this would have been possible. Then, Parti Keadilan was like a sundry shop. So you can run it like a sundry shop.

However, since the last ten years, Parti Keadilan has grown from a sundry shop into a hypermarket. But Anwar is still running the party like it is a sundry shop, not like the hypermarket that it has grown to become.

This is Anwar’s failure. He thinks he is a good leader because he can run the party all by himself. But this is not the mark of a good leader. A good leader is not one who can run the party all by himself. A good leader is one who can manage the people in the party.

Anwar must learn about people management. He must learn how to manage people and allow these people to run the party. There are many talents in the party. Delegate to these talents and let them run the party using their good judgement and wise discretion. That is the mark of a good leader.

Of course, we cannot allow them a free rein or else we shall create what ex-Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi called Little Napoleons. Everyone must be given a term of reference, limit of authority and area of responsibility. And these people must work within these references, limits and boundaries or else be taken to task for exceeding their authority.

Now, is it not better that I criticise Anwar in that manner rather than whack him by calling him a stupid Mamak and all that? We want Anwar to listen and to act on what we say. We don’t want our statements to antagonise the Indian Muslims and drive them into the arms if KIMMA, and therefore into the arms of Barisan Nasional.

Okay, and with that, happy commenting. But please think before you comment. Comment to construct, not to destruct, or else I will kick your ass real hard and proper.

Datukship For Hilmi! - Sheih Kickdefella

"I didn’t know about the said article. I was informed by my staff and I lodged a report,” he said.

A movement calling itself Gagasan Melayu Perak (GMP) has lodged a police report against Malaysiakini over a news report which the website had not published.

In the police report, GMP president Mohd Hilmi Ismail claimed that Malaysiakini had published an article insulting the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, and Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah.

The said article, headlined ‘Raja Nazrin defends monarchy against ridicule’, was allegedly published by Malaysiakini on Tuesday.

But a check revealed that no such report was published by the online news daily.

Its Bahasa Malaysia section had however uploaded a Malay version of the story based on a Bernama report but this was published on April 19.

Mohd Hilmi (right) and his group lodged the report at the Sungai Senam police station near Ipoh at 5pm yesterday.

According to Bernama, Mohd Hilmi had told reporters that the police report was lodged because GMP considered the news carried by the website as rude and discourteous to the monarchy in the state.

He also said GMP hoped that the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture would take action against the website for abusing information technology without considering the implication on national security.

‘I was informed by my staff’

Malaysiakini contacted GMP this morning to seek clarification over the police report and was told by Mohd Hilmi that he was not aware if Malaysiakini had carried such a report before going to the police.

“I didn’t know about the said article. I was informed by my staff and I lodged a report,” he said.

When asked if he realised that he could have tarnished Malaysiakini reputation with his police report, Mohd Hilmi asked: “Isn’t Malaysiakini the same as Malaysian Today or some other blogs?”

Malaysiakini has asked Mohd Hilmi to publicly apologise for making the false report.

The website is also mulling possible action against Mohd Hilmi and GMP. (Check Malaysiakini for full news)

Hello brother Hilmi, kalau kemaruk nak pertahankan Istana, this is what you should do…

“Hilmi to files a police reports against ex Indonesion model’s mum for trying to tarnish the image of Malaysian Monarch from the state of Kelantan. Hilmi confirmed that he had saw the photographs dated 31 March 2009 in Kickdefella that shows the ex model, now known as Cik Puan Temenggong of Kelantan looks visibly happy performing her new role.”

Ada faham Hilmi!

Perak Crisis : Constitutional, Legal or Political?

By Haris Ibrahim,

bar-flyer


Parliamentary Roundtable on Indira Ghandi and forced conversion of her 3 children - if Tsu Koon cannot deliver “Performance Now”

By Lim Kit Siang,

The exasperation of the President of the Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism, Datuk A. Vaithilingam at the lack of action of the “Perrformance Now” Cabinet, and in particular the KPI Monitor Minister In the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Dr. Koh Tsu Koon over the injustices in the latest case of controversial and oppressive conversion is understandable.

As Vaithilingam lamented: :”Everyone is very sympathetic. There is no use being sympathetic if it is mere sympathy without action.”

We are giving Tsu Koon another week to deliver the “Performance Now” motto of the Najib government to end the injustices suffered by kindergarten teacher from Ipoh, M. Indira Ghandi, 35, and her three children, Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish 11 and year-old baby Prasana Diksa or a Parliamentary Roundtable will be convened to demand justice for such victims of controversial and oppressive conversions.

In the past week, the three-man “Performance Now” Cabinet Committee, headed by Koh, to resolve the Indira Ghandi issue, has expanded to five Ministers – with the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department for Law and Parliament, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and the Minister for Women, Family and Community Development, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil joining the original three Ministers – Koh, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department on Islamic Affairs, Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom and the Human Resources Minister, Datuk Dr. S. Subramaniam.

However, there are no signs that the expansion of the three-man “Performance Now” Cabinet committee can contribute to any faster performance!

The immediate solution sought for the illegal and oppressive conversion of Indira Ghandi’s three children by her estranged husband K. Pathmanathan who had converted to Islam to become Ridzuan Abdullah are:

• Immediate return of baby Prasana Diksa to Indira;

• Iron-clad guarantees that her two children, Tevi Darsiny and Karan Dinesh can continue schooling without any interference with their religious rights from any quarter – very urgent as Tevi is preparing for her UPSR; and

• Cabinet stand that there should be no forcible and oppressive conversion of children below 18 to another religion unless both parents agree; and that no single parent from a civil marriage has the right to convert the children to another religion until the civil court decides on divorce, custody and alimony.

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.
A Parliamentary Roundtable will be the occasion to revisit the host of these unresolved cases.

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?

This is now an acid test for the five-member Najib Cabinet committee whether “Performance Now” motto is an empty and meaningless slogan, which should be replaced with “No Performance Now”.

Children of divorced parents to stay with original religion

By : V. Vasudevan
NST April 23 2009

The Cabinet has decided that if a spouse were to convert to Islam, the children will follow the faith that the parents had agreed on at the time of marriage. The Cabinet also decided that the civil courts are the right place to dissolve a marriage in the event of a spouse converting to Islam.

The Cabinet also directed the Attorney-General to review and propose changes to the law to prevent any future complications to the family unit that may arise when a spouse convert to Islam.
 indra


Minister in the Prime Minister’s department, Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz said the Cabinet made the decision at its meeting yesterday , following the controversy in Perak when K. Pathmanathan, 40 converted to Islam and changed his name to Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah. He also converted their their children without informing her. He used the children’s birth certificate to get them converted on April 2.

Since then, Muhammad Ridzuan has been trying to take custody of two of the children - Karan Dinish, 11 and Tevi Darsiny, 12 - from their mother. He already has custody of a third child, baby, Prasana Diksa. His wife, M. Indira Ghandi has since then been seeking a solution to the problem.

“The Cabinet feels there is an implied and constructive contract between husband and wife that their children should be brought up in accordance to the common religion at the time of marriage or whatever religion they had agreed their offspring should practice,” he said.
Nazri said in the case of Indira Ghandhi, both she and her husband were Hindus at time of marriage, so it was implied that their children be brought up as Hindus.

Nazri said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Maj-Gen (R) Datuk Jamil Khir Baharom, who is in charge of Islamic affairs, has been instructed to meet with Muhammd Ridzuan to settle the case amicably.

“He will also meet with the relevant authorities (like the Perak Islamic Affairs Department) to settle this in accordance with the cabinet decision.”

Nazri said the Cabinet was of the view that conversion came with responsibility and cited two reasons - the first is to protect the innocent party from being treated unfairly and victimised and the second is to protect the new religion of the person who converted to the new faith or in this case, Islam.

Religion should not be used as a tool to allow a party to a marriage to run away from his or her responsibility as husband or wife, he said.

“I do not think any religion would want it to be used as a convenient tool to run away from responsibility," he said.

Nazri said the question of the children’s custody in Indira Ghandi’s case does not arise at this juncture as the marriage has yet to be dissolved.

“The marriage followed civil laws and the Cabinet stand by the principle that a civil marriage should be dissolved in a manner provided for by civil courts.

“Conversion to another religion is not a ground for automatic dissolution of a civil marriage.”

Nazri noted that the couple were separated at the point when Pahtmanathan converted to Islam.

“The Cabinet has agreed that the relevant date for application of Islamic laws should be on the date of conversion and it is not retrospective.

“Past acts should be resolved under the relevant civil laws. Islamic laws apply on the day of his conversion. He must resolve all his problems first and he should come clean as to his responsibilities before he converts to any other religions.

Nazri said to give effect to its decision, the Cabinet has instructed the Attorney General to look at the relevant laws which need to be amended.

“Civil marriage laws or any other laws to be amended. If it affect Islamic enactment it will be brought to the Sultan’s attention.” he said.

IGP clarifies reports in Malaysiakini

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 April 2009: Allegations posted by Malaysiakini in its website that family members of Internal Security Act (ISA) detainee Agus Salim were being pressured by the police are false, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said.

Referring to two reports, entitled "Innocent Until Proven Guilty" and "Police Pressure ISA Detainee's Family" which appeared in the Malaysiakini website on 21 April, he said the allegations were intentionally concocted by the Movement for the Abolition of ISA (GMI).

Musa said Agus' employer was informed about the detention on 1 March, but that family visit for Agus could not be arranged earlier following a request by his sister, Watini Saputri, as she wanted to wait for her mother, Kartem, and brother, Junaidi Bahari, to arrive from Medan, Indonesia.

He said when Kartem arrived, she was allowed to see her son without any pressure and threat.

"In fact, police also used their discretion and extended Kartem's visit to four hours," he added.

He denied an allegation that Kartem's handphone and passport were seized, adding that the items were taken for safe keeping temporarily when Kartem visited Agus, which was a procedure, and that they were returned to her after the visit.

Musa said police were informed that a few GMI activists had detained Junaidi for about three hours in a car when he returned to a house provided by the GMI to get his suitcase.

He said the action by the GMI had prompted Kartem and Junaidi to leave the house provided by GMI and went to Johor Baru on 21 April.

"Junaidi himself has denied the allegations by GMI in a statement which was published by Utusan Malaysia yesterday," he added. — Bernama

Sivakumar expected to be replaced as Speaker on May 7

ImageThe Sun

by Kong See Hoh

IPOH (April 22, 2009) : The Perak State Assembly is expected to replace its speaker, V. Sivakumar of Pakatan Rakyat (PR), when it sits again on May 7, Nanyang Siang Pau reported today.

The report, quoting sources, said the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, has been invited to address the assembly when it meets for the first time under Barisan Nasional after the February power grab.

It is learnt that the Barisan Nasional assemblymen will table a vote of no-confidence against Sivakumar on the first sitting.

On resumption of the meeting the following day, the assembly will elect a new Speaker to end the two-month-long constitutional crisis in the state.

Sivakumar has been regarded by the BN as the central figure in the crisis and is the only PR representative left in the state government after the power transition.

He has not only recognised the PR Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the rightful Mentri Besar but also banned Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and his six exco members from the state assembly.

However, the Federal Court has ruled that Sivakumar did not have the power to suspend Zambry and the six BN exco members from attending the State Assembly.

The report said one likely candidate for the the Speaker's post is Kubu Gajah assemblyman Datuk Seri Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Omar.

Umno sources said the post was earlier offered to former Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Tajol Rosli Ghazali but he declined.

Sources also said Jelapang assemblyman Hee Yit Foong, who is now an independent after quitting DAP, and two other assemblymen, Jamaluddin Mat Radzi (Behrang) and Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), the PKR men who have defected to Umno, will likely be appointed exco members in the BN state government once things settle down.

Hee was the former deputy speaker whereas Jamaluddin and Osman were exco men under PR.

Black money

As the global financial downturn continues and pressure for profits increases on corporations across the world, a small group of lawyers in the U.S. Justice Department is pursuing an aggressive crackdown against an international business tactic — bribery — which the World Bank says amounts to as much as a trillion dollars a year in payments.

Frontline, the well respected documentary program recently aired an excellent episode on the massive military weapons procurement scandal involving British Aerospace Engineering, the British government and Saudi Arabia. I had written about this unsavoury affair in 2006 when former Prime Minister Tony Blair undermined an investigation into alleged misconduct being carried out by the Serious Fraud Office. I said that the actions of the British government did a great disservice to people around the world fighting for good governance and accountability.

While there is yet any clear resolution of the matter I believe two elements were critical in exposing the excesses and abuses of power. A free media and the strength of civil society institutions, particularly the OECD which, given the error in judgment made by the British Government to suspend the inquiry, took it upon itself to further the investigation.

Read more about the case here

ANWAR IBRAHIM

ECONOMIC INDICES AND THE WEALTH OF NATIONS


(This is the first instalment in a series on the trends that led to the present financial crisis)

1. We all believe that the great economically developed countries achieved prosperity through their genius in economic management and their skills in business. They are also seen to be able to govern their countries well.

2. They had developed various indices to indicate the level of prosperity they had achieved. And gleefully they compared these indices, especially per capita incomes and Gross Domestic Product, with those of the poor countries, to show how competent they were in the management of their economies. The poor are poor because they did not learn how to manage their countries. They should be regarded as failed states.

3. The claim by the rich that they were good in management and governance is only partly true. They did produce goods, provide services and they traded domestically and internationally. But their wealth from these activities is not as big as they made out to be. If the per capita and GDP are based only on these real businesses they would not be as rich as they claim to be. Certainly the United States and Britain would actually be nearly bankrupt.

4. What has sustained their high indices is their genius at gambling and manipulating money. It is this which had earned them huge profits and enabled their people to enjoy a very high level of prosperity.

5. Take the stock market for example. The money made in playing the stock market has nothing to do with real business. Usually the dividends paid out are very small, being based on the original share value. Thus if the shares were initially valued at one dollar, a five percent dividend would be only five cents.

6. But if the demand for the shares is great the one dollar share may be valued at very many times the initial share price. If the "market price" of the share is five dollars, a five per cent dividend would give the shareholder only 0.5% or half-cent dividend for each share bought at five dollars. That is not likely to make the shareholders rich.

7. It would be better to put the money in fix deposit and get a four per cent interest i.e. on five dollars one would get 20 cents in interest.

8. However, if the value of the shares appreciates say from five dollars to six dollars the return on the five dollar investment would be one dollar or 20 per cent. But the real worth of the business in assets term will not be as reflected in the market value or capital.

9. If the business fails then it would fetch only a fraction of the market price should it be liquidated.

10. On the other hand the assets may be worth far more than the depreciated market price. By then the investors in the shares at market price would have lost much of the money invested.

11. If a buyer buys up all the depreciated shares, he would make a good profit selling off the assets and liquidating the business. This is not really business, though some do buy to do asset stripping. After that there would be no more business to contribute to the GDP.

12. What is clear here is that the share prices have nothing to do with the business being done. Even when the business is profitable the very high share prices do not really reflect the market value or profitability of the business. The share prices are really artificial. The shares, basically the pieces of paper have become commodities on their own.

13. Yet investors can become very rich buying and selling the shares. Of course they can also lose all their invested money.

14. The share prices are also subject to manipulation. Through short selling the prices can be pushed up or down. Again the movements of the share prices have nothing to do with the real business being done.

15. The stock market has degenerated into a casino where bets are made which may have nothing at all to do with the businesses. This gambling in the rich countries can be far bigger than the worth of the companies listed in the stock market. Yet this wealth from non-business will get into the calculation of the per capita income and GDP.

16. But this is not the only non-real wealth which pushes up the per capita and the GDP of the rich countries.

17. I will follow this up with other wealth which are the result of shuffling papers.

The persistence of rumour: Manohara, Perak Royalty, Najib/Altantuya

The thing about rumours, for better of worse, is that unless they are addressed convincingly, they tend to persist.

For example, I think there will continue to be a lot of talk about Manohara until she herself comes out and states her case in her own words.

When Raja Nazrin, formerly the darling of so many people, starts talking about ‘political books with destructive themes,’ I think a good majority of people will now simply make cynical comments that he is merely taking a pro-BN line and tone (his words really ring some unpleasant bells), similar perhaps to comments that might be made concerning his father.

We should all always be reminded that respect must be earned, and cannot be effectively demanded. Such respect may be hard to come by after the perception that the rakyat was denied the very essence of democracy, added to the abounding rumours and conspiracy theories.

By the way, if you haven’t read Pratamad’s quote on some background regarding the Perak monarchy, it’s interesting, and mirrors some things I had heard discussed verbally.

Being a bit of a blur case, I wasn’t really aware that there’s more than one purported photograph of Najib and Altantuya speculated to exist - one in Paris, and one in Singapore.

Just putzing around, I came across this transcript from a long time ago detailing Gobind’s questioning of Insp. Gan during the RPK’s sedition trial (reproduced below), which still is compelling reading, and once again demonstrates that you can put at least some parts of a rumour to rest just by asking the appropriate people the simplest of questions.

The reluctance of Insp. Gan to ask Najib even such very basic and simple things cannot help but reinforce the notion that in Malaysia, some people are above the law.

Under such circumstances, with so many unanswered questions, I think we can expect rumours to persist and persist.
[Read more →]

Benarkan Mohamad Hassan akan ditukar ?

By Chegu Bard,

Sudah kedengaran agak lama desas - desus mengenai kedudukan Mohamad Hassan (MB Negeri Sembilan) yang tak berapa nak selamat. Ini kerana kononya dia adalah bekas orang Pak Lah dan dinaikkan oleh Khairy. Ini menurut sumber Justify Fullorang - orang Umno lah.

Namun beberapa hari lalu ada dipelawa sembang - sembang sambil dibelanja makan oleh seorang pemimpin Umno di Negeri Sembilan telah mengesahkan kemungkinan ini bakal berlaku wujud.

Mohammad Hassan bukanlah kuat dalam Umno Negeri Sembilan sebelum jadi MB dia tokoh korporat (menurut satu versi cerita lagi dia kawan baik dengan YB Azmin Ali). Dia naik konon atas lobi Khairy Jamaluddin. Setelah naik secara mengejut di Negeri Sembilan dia agak panik kerana tak tahu nak percaya siapa kerana pengaruh Isa Samad cukup kuat lagi. Maka dia telah mengambil abangnya Azman Hassan untuk menjadi Setiausaha Umno Negeri, Setiausaha Umno Rembau dan seterusnya penasihat dan tempat rujukanya. Abangnya yang jauh lebih berpengalaman dalam politik telah mengaturkan perbagai perkara untuknya. Malangnya kegahirahan Azman mengaturkan sehingga mencampuri beberapa urusan kerajaan mengundang rasa kurang senang orang - orang lama di Negeri Sembilan. Begitu juga keghairahan keluarga dan kerabat Hassan dan orang Rantau dalam meraih peluang dengan kerajaan negeri telah menjadikan label di pusat kerajaan anak beranak dan di Negeri Sembilan wujud kerajaan adik beradik.

Namun politik sentiasa bergerak dan berubah. Ada timbul beberapa ura - ura yang agak jelas kebelakangan ini bagaimana Mohamad dan juak - juaknya mula melahirkan rasa kurang senang dengan Khairy. Namun tidak secara terang, kerana itu Khairy masih dibiarkan menang pencalonan Pemuda Umno Rembau. Khairy tidak duduk diam tahu keadaan tidak selesa dia yang mampu menang dalam pemuda Umno langsung tidak menghulurkan tangan kepada Mohamad yang terkapai - kapai tidak cukup undi untuk calon MKT Umno.

cheGuBard ingatkan pertembungan senyap Khairy dan Mohamad akan menjamin tempat Mohamad selaku MB selamat kerana membuktikan kepada Najib dia bukan orang Abdullah.

Nampaknya tidak dari apa yang diterangkan oleh 'pemimpin Umno Negeri Sembilan' dalam pertemuan santai dan makan - makan beberapa hari lalu memang sesuatu sedang hendak berlaku.

Pada 16 April 2009, Azman Hassan (abang MB) telah meletakkan jawatan sebagai setiausaha Umno Negeri Sembilan. Namun mengekalkan jawatan selaku Setiausaha Umno Rembau. Perletakan jawatan ini bagi mengurangkan tekanan kepada kerajaan adik beradik di Negeri ini.

YB Cikgu Hashim Rusdi, exco Kerajaan Negeri merangkap ADUN Labu dijangka akan mengisi kekosongan Setiausaha Perhubungan Negeri Sembilan.

Pengekalan Rais Yatim sebagai MB juga memeningkan lagi kepada Mohamad Hassan. Walaupun Isa Samad kalah dalam perebutan Naib, ia tidak melegakan Mohamad kerana Isa Samad cukup dikenali sebagai politikus yang licik dan berpengalaman.

Persoalannya cheGuBard cuba lontar kepada teman pimpinan Umno itu ialah siapa nak ganti Mohamad? Dia kata ada banyak tokoh antaranya ialah yang rapat dengan Najib kini ialah Hassan Malek.

Ditanya bukankah Hassan Malek bukan ADUN tetapi ahli Parlimen Kuala Pilah. Mereka kata mungkin akan berlaku pilihanraya kecil nanti. Sekarang mungkin tidak ada sebab sokongan terhadap Bn sedikit terganggu tetapi bila sokongan terhadap Bn di Negeri Sembilan diyakini kuat maka saat itulah Mohammad akan digantikan dengan Hassan Malek. Dengan kerusi Parlimen Kuala Pilah dikosongkan dan bertukar dengan ADUN dalam Kuala Pilah.

Cuma che'GuBard senyum, bukan apa takut sampai 3 pilihanraya nak jadikan Hassan Malek, Menteri Besar tak menang sebaliknya memang NS dapat MB baru tapi dari Pakatan Rakyat sebab dapat rampas 3 kerusi Bn.

Yang kedua dikalangan ADUN juga ada yang mula membina jambatan dengan Najib tak kurang yang mengintai ruang dengan Rosmah. YB Cikgu Hashim Rusdi juga dah mula cium tangan Najib dan Rosmah. Kata teman pimpinan Umno yang makan sama itu ialah Mohamad ni bukan cerdik sangat silap gaya dia ambil Cikgu Hashim ...akhirnya YB cikgu Hashim yang juga Ketua Umno Bahagian Rasah ini juga yang akan dipilih Najib menggantikanya.

Benarkan Mohamad Hassan akan ditukar ?

By Chegu Bard,

Sudah kedengaran agak lama desas - desus mengenai kedudukan Mohamad Hassan (MB Negeri Sembilan) yang tak berapa nak selamat. Ini kerana kononya dia adalah bekas orang Pak Lah dan dinaikkan oleh Khairy. Ini menurut sumber Justify Fullorang - orang Umno lah.

Namun beberapa hari lalu ada dipelawa sembang - sembang sambil dibelanja makan oleh seorang pemimpin Umno di Negeri Sembilan telah mengesahkan kemungkinan ini bakal berlaku wujud.

Mohammad Hassan bukanlah kuat dalam Umno Negeri Sembilan sebelum jadi MB dia tokoh korporat (menurut satu versi cerita lagi dia kawan baik dengan YB Azmin Ali). Dia naik konon atas lobi Khairy Jamaluddin. Setelah naik secara mengejut di Negeri Sembilan dia agak panik kerana tak tahu nak percaya siapa kerana pengaruh Isa Samad cukup kuat lagi. Maka dia telah mengambil abangnya Azman Hassan untuk menjadi Setiausaha Umno Negeri, Setiausaha Umno Rembau dan seterusnya penasihat dan tempat rujukanya. Abangnya yang jauh lebih berpengalaman dalam politik telah mengaturkan perbagai perkara untuknya. Malangnya kegahirahan Azman mengaturkan sehingga mencampuri beberapa urusan kerajaan mengundang rasa kurang senang orang - orang lama di Negeri Sembilan. Begitu juga keghairahan keluarga dan kerabat Hassan dan orang Rantau dalam meraih peluang dengan kerajaan negeri telah menjadikan label di pusat kerajaan anak beranak dan di Negeri Sembilan wujud kerajaan adik beradik.

Namun politik sentiasa bergerak dan berubah. Ada timbul beberapa ura - ura yang agak jelas kebelakangan ini bagaimana Mohamad dan juak - juaknya mula melahirkan rasa kurang senang dengan Khairy. Namun tidak secara terang, kerana itu Khairy masih dibiarkan menang pencalonan Pemuda Umno Rembau. Khairy tidak duduk diam tahu keadaan tidak selesa dia yang mampu menang dalam pemuda Umno langsung tidak menghulurkan tangan kepada Mohamad yang terkapai - kapai tidak cukup undi untuk calon MKT Umno.

cheGuBard ingatkan pertembungan senyap Khairy dan Mohamad akan menjamin tempat Mohamad selaku MB selamat kerana membuktikan kepada Najib dia bukan orang Abdullah.

Nampaknya tidak dari apa yang diterangkan oleh 'pemimpin Umno Negeri Sembilan' dalam pertemuan santai dan makan - makan beberapa hari lalu memang sesuatu sedang hendak berlaku.

Pada 16 April 2009, Azman Hassan (abang MB) telah meletakkan jawatan sebagai setiausaha Umno Negeri Sembilan. Namun mengekalkan jawatan selaku Setiausaha Umno Rembau. Perletakan jawatan ini bagi mengurangkan tekanan kepada kerajaan adik beradik di Negeri ini.

YB Cikgu Hashim Rusdi, exco Kerajaan Negeri merangkap ADUN Labu dijangka akan mengisi kekosongan Setiausaha Perhubungan Negeri Sembilan.

Pengekalan Rais Yatim sebagai MB juga memeningkan lagi kepada Mohamad Hassan. Walaupun Isa Samad kalah dalam perebutan Naib, ia tidak melegakan Mohamad kerana Isa Samad cukup dikenali sebagai politikus yang licik dan berpengalaman.

Persoalannya cheGuBard cuba lontar kepada teman pimpinan Umno itu ialah siapa nak ganti Mohamad? Dia kata ada banyak tokoh antaranya ialah yang rapat dengan Najib kini ialah Hassan Malek.

Ditanya bukankah Hassan Malek bukan ADUN tetapi ahli Parlimen Kuala Pilah. Mereka kata mungkin akan berlaku pilihanraya kecil nanti. Sekarang mungkin tidak ada sebab sokongan terhadap Bn sedikit terganggu tetapi bila sokongan terhadap Bn di Negeri Sembilan diyakini kuat maka saat itulah Mohammad akan digantikan dengan Hassan Malek. Dengan kerusi Parlimen Kuala Pilah dikosongkan dan bertukar dengan ADUN dalam Kuala Pilah.

Cuma che'GuBard senyum, bukan apa takut sampai 3 pilihanraya nak jadikan Hassan Malek, Menteri Besar tak menang sebaliknya memang NS dapat MB baru tapi dari Pakatan Rakyat sebab dapat rampas 3 kerusi Bn.

Yang kedua dikalangan ADUN juga ada yang mula membina jambatan dengan Najib tak kurang yang mengintai ruang dengan Rosmah. YB Cikgu Hashim Rusdi juga dah mula cium tangan Najib dan Rosmah. Kata teman pimpinan Umno yang makan sama itu ialah Mohamad ni bukan cerdik sangat silap gaya dia ambil Cikgu Hashim ...akhirnya YB cikgu Hashim yang juga Ketua Umno Bahagian Rasah ini juga yang akan dipilih Najib menggantikanya.

Menanti... the Penanti penalty

What if the Election Commission (EC) had decided there's not going to be a by-election in Penanti?

I received an SMS from a regular Little Bird on Monday. It contained three predictions.

One: That the EC would meet on Wednesday, yesterday, to deliberate on the vacancy for Penanti, but would delay the announcement of the decision to next Monday, and not tomorrow, Friday.

True. Thing has come to pass.

Two: That MACC will not charge Ahmad Fairus Khairuddin. Announcement on Thursday, today, it said.

True, again. Thing has come to pass.

Now, I am very nervously waiting for the third prediction to unfold.

Besides, there are some more tips for Pakatan Rakyat which the Little Bird and I are worried about, but clueless.

Friday... Monday...

Meanwhile, Umno supreme council is to meet tomorrow night, Friday, to decide if it is to contest in Penanti, et al.

This afternoon, we asked EC chairman at a dialogue in Putrajaya this afternoon if tomorrow's Friday is of any significance to him.

Wait till Monday, he said.

Public Toilet Infront Maha Mariamman Temple, Klang.




23/4/09 Today had a meeting with Exco YB.Ronnie Liu at SUK Selangor, regarding Public Toilet being built infront of Maha Mariamman Temple, Klang. YB.Ronnie Liu spoke to YDP of MPK and gave assurance that no Public Toilet will be built infront of temple.
Valga Makkal SAKTHI
 

S.JAYATHAS