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Monday, May 11, 2009

Raja Nazrin Shah can decide on dissolution

By Jacqueline Ann Surin
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 11 May 2009: The Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah, is empowered by the Perak constitution to decide on a request by the menteri besar to dissolve the state assembly.


Tommy Thomas
Constitutional lawyer Tommy Thomas said that Article 15 under Part II of the state constitution stipulated that the regent could be the acting sovereign in the event that the sultan was away for more than 30 days.

"We can safely assume that Sultan Azlan Shah is away, and that Raja Nazrin Shah is acting sovereign when he (Raja Nazrin) opened the state assembly last Thursday (7 May)," Thomas said in a phone interview today.

Thomas served as legal counsel for embattled Speaker V Sivakumar in the suit brought against him by assemblypersons Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Capt (R) Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang).

Thomas added that under Article 17 of the constitution, the regent, when acting as the sovereign, is empowered to exercise all the prerogatives and perform all the duties of the sovereign.

"This means that Raja Nazrin Shah can make the decision about dissolving the state assembly as provided under Article 36(2) of the Perak state constitution," he said.

Earlier today, the High Court ruled that Pakatan Rakyat's Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin was the rightful menteri besar of Perak, providing some relief to more than three months of uncertainty as to who should head the state government.

A jubilant Nizar, who was in court today, told reporters he would immediately return to Ipoh to seek an audience with Perak Ruler Sultan Azlan Shah for a dissolution of the state assembly.

However, it is believed that the sultan is currently overseas, and Nizar will probably seek an audience with the Raja Nazrin Shah tomorrow morning in Kuala Kangsar.


Raja Nazrin Shah
Nizar was ousted after the Barisan Nasional (BN)'s Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was sworn in as Perak menteri besar on 6 Feb following the BN takeover of the state government. The takeover was precipitated by the defection of three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblypersons who opted to become BN-friendly independents, leading to the PR losing its majority in the state assembly.

Nizar had sought an audience with the sultan of Perak on 5 May to request the dissolution of the state assembly but was turned down and instead ordered to step down as MB.

On 13 Feb, Nizar, 52, filed an application to the court for a declaration that he was at all material times the menteri besar of Perak. He also sought a declaration that Zambry had no right to hold the office of menteri besar.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that the BN will appeal against the High Court's decision.

M Manoharan: I will never join MIC

'They threw me out of Kamunting'

High court declares Nizar rightful MB


(Nizar pic courtesy of theSun)

By Deborah Loh and Shanon Shah
thenutgraph.com



Nizar hugs his wife Datin Seri Fatimah Taat after the court decision today

KUALA LUMPUR, 11 May 2009: The Kuala Lumpur High Court today ruled that Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful menteri besar of Perak, providing some relief to more than three months of uncertainty as to who should head the state government.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers Division) judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim, said the menteri besar can only be dismissed by a no-confidence motion in the state legislative assembly.

"The stark fact is, there never was any vote of no-confidence taken in the legislative assembly.

"So how could one say that the applicant (Nizar) had ceased to command the majority confidence? Evidence as to the loss of confidence was taken from various sources and not a vote in the assembly," said Abdul Aziz.

Abdul Aziz, in his decision on the judicial review application filed by Nizar, also ruled that there was no vacancy in the menteri besar post.

"I am of the view that the office of the menteri besar of Perak has never become vacant or been vacated.

"Only in this manner (a vote of no-confidence) can the menteri besar be forced to resign."

Nizar was ousted after Barisan Nasional (BN)'s Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir was sworn in as Perak menteri besar on 6 Feb following the BN takeover of the state government. The takeover was percipitated by the defection of three Pakatan Rakyat (PR) assemblypersons who opted to become BN-friendly independents, leading to PR losing its majority in the state assembly.

Nizar, who had sought an audience with the sultan of Perak on 5 May to request the dissolution of the state assembly but was turned down and instead ordered to step down as MB, filed suit against Zambry.

On 13 Feb, Nizar, 52, filed an application to the court for a declaration that he is at all material times the menteri besar of Perak. He also sought a declaration that Zambry has no right to hold the office of menteri besar.

MB "cannot be dismissed by sultan"

In his judgment, Abdul Aziz said the democratic thing for BN to have done after it secured the majority in the state assembly was to have requested the Perak Ruler to summon a special sitting for the assembly to pass a no-confidence vote on Nizar.

"Why didn't the BN [do this]? This would have been in accordance with the democratic process," Abdul Aziz said.

The judge said Article 16(7) of the state constitution state that the menteri besar did not hold office at the pleasure of the sultan, and only executive councillors did. As such, the MB could not be dismissed from office by the sultan.

He said the court was not disputing the sultan's prerogative to appoint an MB and to withhold consent to a dissolution request.

However, Abdul Aziz said once the MB was appointed, he was answerable to the legislative assembly "and no one else".

He said that Article 16(6) "was plain and clear" that it did not provide for the dismissal of the MB. This provision had been used by Zambry's counsel to argue that Nizar had lost the majority confidence when he sought the sultan's consent for dissolution.

Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution states that: "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."


Abdul Gani Patail
(Source: agc.gov.my)
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, who was an intervener in the case for Zambry, had argued during the hearing that Nizar should have automatically resigned after the sultan had personally met the three independents to ascertain that BN had the majority numbers in the House.

Abdul Aziz said he agreed with Nizar's contention that he sought dissolution based on Article 36(2) of the state constitution, and not because he lost the majority confidence. Article 36(2) gives the sultan the power to summon the assembly, dissolve or prorogue it.

The judge also disagreed with Abdul Gani that the sultan was limited to dissolving the assembly under two circumstances — when the House reaches the end of its five-year term, and when the menteri besar loses the majority confidence.

"It is up to the menteri besar to choose his time to make the request (for dissolution). Once the request is made, it is up to His Royal Highness," Abdul Aziz said.

The judge also questioned the impartiality of state legal adviser Ahmad Kamal, who had submitted an affidavit to back Zambry's application.

Under cross-examination, Ahmad Kamal has said he was "instructed" by Zambry's counsel to submit the affidavit, which Abdul Aziz took as a sign that the state legal adviser was not completely neutral.

Abdul Aziz said a precedent had already been set by the Sarawak High Court in 1966 in Stephen Kalong Ningkan vs Tun Abang Haji Openg and Tawi Sli, whereby the Governor could not dismiss the chief minister and could not appoint a second CM while there was still one in office. The court had ruled that the only way for a CM to be dismissed was by way of a vote in the Council Negri.


Sulaiman Abdullah
After the decision was announced, Zambry's lead counsel Datuk Cecil Abraham immediately applied for a stay of execution of the High Court's decision in order to file an appeal. However, Abdul Aziz rejected the verbal application for a stay, and asked Cecil to file a formal application. Zambry himself was not present in court today.

Zambry's lawyers want a stay to the court's declaration today in order to file for an appeal of the High Court decision.

Nizar's lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah said the stay should not be granted as the Perak constitutional crisis needed to be resolved urgently. "Allowing a stay would only let it fester."

Meanwhile in PUTRAJAYA, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the BN will appeal against the Kuala Lumpur High Court's decision, probably by tomorrow.

"We feel we have a strong case," he told Bernama after meeting Pemudah, the Special Task Force to Facilitate Business, at his office, here.

Asked what happens in Perak between now and pending the appeal, Najib said: "We must have a date [to appeal], probably tomorrow."

He called on the people in that state to remain calm and not get too excited with the latest development.

"Victory for the people"

As Abdul Aziz left the courtroom, a jubilant Nizar told reporters that he would immediately return to Ipoh to seek an audience with Perak Ruler Sultan Azlan Shah for a dissolution of the state assembly. However, it is believed that Sultan Azlan Shah is currently overseas, and that Nizar will probably seek an audience with the Regent Raja Nazrin Shah tomorrow morning in Kuala Kangsar.

"This is consonant with justice. This is the rule of law. It's a victory for the people of Malaysia who love democracy."

Nizar described Abdul Aziz as "a brave and courageous judge".

He also released a prepared press statement asking Zambry and the six executive councillors to vacate their posts with immediate effect in compliance with the court order.

Nizar also said that state legal adviser, Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, is suspended with immediate effect. He also plans to call an exco meeting as soon as possible.

Additionally, Nizar's statement also said that all previous decisions made by Zambry and his exco were now subject to review (by the Pakatan Rakyat state government), although not to be invalidated until further notice.

However, the 7 May sitting in which the BN assemblypersons and independents had voted out speaker V Sivakumar and installed Datuk R Ganesan as new speaker, is not subject to review as it is considered illegal, Nizar said.

Decision hailed by PR

Numerous political party leaders also voiced their support for the High Court's decision.

In a media statement, Opposition Leader and PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim hailed the decision, saying it is "a victory for the rakyat and also the country's democratic system."

He said the decision "proved that the Federal Constitution is the highest law in the country," and that it is important for all government institutions to respect this.

"This includes the doctrine of separation of powers which clearly separates executive, judiciary and legislative powers," he said.

Anwar further said, "In line with this, it is important to recognise the 3 March 2009 assembly sitting under the tree and all resolutions passed on that day."

Anwar also called for fresh elections in Perak.


Lim (Pic by Roman888)
In PENANG, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the decision as "momentous" and "a victory for the people of Perak, democracy and justice".

He said in a statement that DAP reiterated its call for "an immediate dissolution of the Perak state assembly" and "fresh elections to allow the rakyat the right to choose their own government".

DAP Socialist Youth national chairperson and MP for Rasah, Loke Siew Fook, said in a statement, "This judgment proves that Pakatan Rakyat's efforts to uphold the rule of law and the democratic institution in this crisis have been vindicated."

He too added that a dissolution of the assembly and fresh elections were the "best way out of this crisis".

Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Member of Parliament for Kulim-Bandar Baru Zulkifli Noordin said in his statement, "I hope this time the sultan will respect the provisions and spirit of the laws and accept this advice by calling for an immediate dissolution of the Perak state assembly."

Meanwhile, Gerakan national youth deputy chairperson Oh Tong Keong urged Perak BN to respect the court's decision.

"The best course of action is for Nizar and Zambry to advise the Sultan of Perak to dissolve the state assembly and pave the way for new elections so the people of Perak have the final say on who should lead them," Oh said.

Oh also said that Perak BN should not call for a stay of execution as it would "create the impression that the BN is hungry for power".

In another statement, however, Malaysian Bar Council chairperson Ragunath Kesavan said in response to the High Court's decision: "The answer ultimately does not lie in the courts."

"No doubt Zambry will now appeal this decision to the Court of Appeal, and further legal arguments will be advanced," he said.

"Whichever side loses at the Court of Appeal will then appeal to the Federal Court — the issue will go on and on," he continued.

To avoid such legal wrangling, Ragunath said, "Both sides of the political divide must now realise that power has to be returned to where it rightly belongs — in the hands of the people, the electorate of the state of Perak."

See also: Raja Nazrin Shah can decide on dissolution


Court cases related to the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis

Plaintiff vs
defendant

Matter Status / Court / Decision Ruled in PR's favour
1
Nizar vs Zambry To determine rightful Perak MB.

High Court decision on 11 May 2009: Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin is the rightful menteri besar of Perak.

2
Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Mohd Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong (3 Aduns) vs Speaker V Sivakumar A declaration that the plaintiffs have not resigned as elected representatives.

Federal Court decision on 10 April 2009: Plaintiffs have not resigned, remain as Aduns.


3 Zambry and 6 Others (excos) vs Sivakumar and state assembly

Among others, a declaration that the speaker's suspension of MB Zambry and six exco are invalid.

Injunction to prevent speaker from holding unlawful meetings.

Federal Court decision on 16 April: Speaker's decision to suspend Zambry and six others was null and void. No ruling on other applications.

Ipoh High Court decision on 3 March: Injunction granted in the afternoon preventing speaker from holding unlawful meetings. Injunction was not retrospective and did not cover the 3 March sitting under the tree in the morning.

4 Sivakumar vs state legal adviser
An order that the state legal adviser had no instructions to represent the speaker.

Court of Appeal decision on 13 March 2009: Speaker is allowed to choose and appoint his own lawyers.

5 Sivakumar vs Election Commission, Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi, Mohd Osman Jailu and Hee Yit Foong To rule whether the EC has the right to declare vacancy status of state seats.

Federal Court decision on 9 April 2009: Yes, EC has the right to determine if a state seat is vacant, not the speaker.


6
Chen Fook Chye, Tai Sing Ng and Sivanesan (excos), and Ahmad Sabry, Abdul Latif and Foo Hon Wai (voters) vs EC and three independent Aduns Judicial review of EC’s decision not to hold fresh elections for three vacant seats.
Kuala Lumpur High Court hearing on 28 May

Nizar is MB

By Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Pakatan Rakyat’s Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin is the real mentri besar of Perak , the Kuala Lumpur High Court decided today.

Judge Datuk Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim said in his ruling: “The only way to force the MB to resign is through a vote of no confidence that must be taken in the state legislative assembly.”

The High Court also rejected an appeal from Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir for a stay of the declaration.

Nizar is now on the way to Ipoh to seek an audience with the Perak Sultan to ask for consent to dissolve the state assembly.

Manoharan’s in the House... at last

Manoharan with Speaker Teng Chang Khim earlier today after Teng welcomed the Kota Alam Shah assemblyman to the Selangor Legislative Assembly. — Picture by Choo Choy May

By Neville Spykerman- The Malaysian Insider

SHAH ALAM, May 11 — After a 14-month long wait, M. Manoharan finally set foot inside the Selangor Legislative Assembly.

Manoharan, who was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for 514 days in Kamunting, was shown to his seat by Speaker Teng Chang Khim this morning.

However, the Kota Alam Shah assemblyman who was elected while under detention, will have to wait for the next sitting of the house in July to take part in debates.

“I’ve only dreamed of this moment and now I am here.” said the first-term state lawmaker.

Manoharan said the government had disrespected the 12,699 voters who voted for him by not releasing him earlier and lashed out at authorities who labelled him a terrorist to justify his prolonged detention.

Man of the moment... M.Manoharan speaks while being looked on by those attending his visit to the state assembly. - Picture by Choo Choy May

He said the tipping point which finally forced the government to release him was his threat to resign his state seat.

“I believe any BN candidate who stood for the by-election would have made history by losing their deposit.”

He added that he would not comply with the restriction of his movements as imposed by police.

He said it was unconstitutional for him to have to inform the police he was leaving Klang just to come to Shah Alam. “I was never a treat to national security to begin with so there is no reason for the police to restrict my movements.”

Teng added that Manoharan was only fulfilling his duties as an assemblyman.

He said a restriction order needed to be obtained from the courts. “Manoharan is an elected representative and not a criminal. If he is a criminal, the police should obtain a restriction order.”

Teng added that Manoharan was one of four Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers in the House who are former ISA detainees. The others are Teresa Kok (Kinrara), Dr Mohd Nasir Hashim (Kota Damansara) and Saari Sungib (Hulu Klang).

“This is not a record of distinction because it’s proof the country is haunted by cruel laws.”

Teng said he was relieved that Manoharan had finally been released because he is the most senior lawyer in the legislature.

“He is even more senior (in legal practice) than me and he can contribute much to the House.”

Refugees flee Sri Lanka "safe zone" - 06 May 09

HINDRAF PRESS STATEMENT 11.05.2009

Waytha Moorthy to return to Malaysia with or without any Government assurance or condition

I have decided to return to Malaysia now since the HINDRAF lawyers have been released.

When the tsunami of November 25, 2007 took place, HINDRAF was still in its infancy in addressing the plight of the Malaysian Indians. The arrest of the HINDRAF leaders was meant to curtail its legitimate concerns for the Malaysian Indians and allow it to be a lost cause for them.

As the chairman of HINDRAF, at that juncture, I decided that somehow, HINDRAF concerns needs to be brought in light in the international arena since the local government had used oppression towards the public and the operation of the ISA to stifle and vilify the voice of HINDRAF.

As such I had left to UK to continue its struggle and keep the movement alive and bearing the international support that HINDRAF was getting from various international bodies and governments, the Malaysian government subsequently revoked my passport and forced me to seek asylum which the British government granted bearing the fear of persecution faced by me from the authorities in Malaysia for upholding truth and just cause for the Malaysian Indians.

Now that my comrades have been released, I have decided that I shall return to Malaysia to continue and forge ahead with the objectives and goals of HINDRAF in seeking what it had originally set out to even at the risk of me being arrested under ISA or any other repressive Laws.

I shall return knowing the risks involved, as I honestly believe that HINDRAF cause was just and fair. I had sought the advise of many grass root supporters and they are in the opinion that I should not return as I would be arrested and incarcerated.

This does not fear me anymore as the objective to obtain the release of the HINDRAF lawyers had been achieved and now it is the time to press forward with the objectives for the community that has been systematically discriminated, marginalized and sidelined for 52 years.

HINDRAF is now a strong mass movement and can never be suppressed any further. If the government arrests me or detains me, there will be many others within the community with conscience who will spearhead the struggle for the betterment of the society and the nation. The spirit of HINDRAF invoked within the Malaysian community is inerasable, and I can only hope for the betterment of the nation and a fast evolving universe in its struggle for equality, fairness and justice will prevail over selfishness and ignorance.

I rest my faith in DESTINY and its people, as HINDRAF is an organization that dared to be different, dared to go right to the core problem to tackle the issues rather than appeasing institutions for piecemeal offers for the betterment of the nation.

P.WAYTHA MOORTHY

CHAIRMAN

HINDRAF

Thanendran fearful that Uthaya would not leave KDC

Transformasi Umno jangan sampai hapuskan keistimewaan Bumiputera — Jamhariah Jaafar

MAY 11 — Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu atau Pekembar atau hari ini dikenali sebagai Umno, lahir pada 11 Mei, 1946, susulan daripada gerakan penjajahan Inggeris ketika itu yang berhasrat untuk memperkenalkan Malayan Union, yang akan menghapuskan hak keistimewaan bangsa Melayu, sebagai bangsa peribumi Tanah Melayu.

Nama pemimpin Melayu agung seperti Datuk Onn Jaafar, Datuk Panglima Bukit Gantang, Abdul Wahab Abdul Aziz, Datuk Nik Ahmad Kamil, Datuk Hamzah Abdullah dan Pendeta Zainal Abidin Ahmad (Zaaba), adalah orang kuat dipilih untuk menyediakan draf Piagam atau Perlembagaan Umno.

Kita perlu mengimbau sejarah penubuhan Umno yang lahir atas kesedaran dan kehendak perwakilan yang menghadiri Kongres Melayu SeTanah Melayu pertama pada 14 Mac, 1946.

Setahun sebelum itu, iaitu selepas tentera Jepun menyerah kalah pada 14 Ogos 1945, Kerajaan Britain menghantar tenteranya untuk menguasai semula Semenanjung Tanah Melayu dan serentak itu membawa perubahan radikal terhadap pemerintahan negeri-negeri Melayu.

Menerusi tipu helah Britain, Raja-Raja Melayu dipengaruhi supaya menandatangani perjanjian dengan Sir Harold MacMichael bagi menyerahkan kuasa pemerintahan serta kedaulatan kepada Kerajaan Britain.

Rancangan Malayan Union cadangan Britain itu hanya membabitkan Negeri-Negeri Selat, tidak termasuk Singapura akan mewujudkan Majlis Perundangan dan Majlis Mesyuarat Kerajaan yang diketuai seorang Gabenor Inggeris.

Sultan-Sultan Melayu masih mengekalkan kedudukan masing-masing, tetapi dalam bidang kuasa yang terhad kepada agama Islam dan adat istiadat orang Melayu. Sebaliknya, Britain akan terus memerintah melalui sebuah majlis penasihat yang diluluskan seorang Gabenor Malayan Union.

Perkara paling menaik kemarahan Melayu ialah cadangan undang-undang baru yang memberikan kewarganegaraan kepada semua orang yang dilahirkan di Tanah Melayu dan Singapura, serta pendatang yang sudah menetap sekurang-kurangnya 10 tahun daripada 15 tahun, sebelum 15 Februari 1942.

Semua warga negara Malayan Union yang baru itu akan mempunyai hak yang sama, termasuk penerimaan masuk untuk perkhidmatan awam. Akhir sekali, kewarganegaran Tanah Melayu diberikan kepada semua tanpa diskriminasi kaum. Hak ini dikenali sebagai ‘jus soli’.

Justeru, apabila cadangan Malayan Union diumumkan di Parlimen British pada 10 Oktober 1945, bangsa Melayu dari Perlis hingga ke Singapura, bersatu dan membantah dengan lantang cadangan penjajah ini.

Satu perhimpunan besar-besaran yang pertama diadakan di Kelab Sultan Sulaiman, Kuala Lumpur pada 1 hingga 4 Mac 1946. Ketetapan dipersetujui di kongres itu ialah menubuhkan Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu atau Umno; membantah penubuhan Malayan Union dan mengadakan derma pelajaran kebangsaan Melayu.

Suatu Jawatankuasa ditubuhkan untuk menyediakan Piagam atau Perlembagaan Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Melayu Bersatu (Pekembar) atau Umno dan perlembagaan itu diterima oleh perhimpunan yang bersidang di Johor Bahru pada 11 Mei 1946.

Tarikh itu perlu diingati seluruh bangsa Melayu kerana ia adalah tarikh yang mana Umno dilahirkan dengan rasminya dan menjadi parti politik pertama membangkang penubuhan Malayan Union.

Pemimpin Umno berjaya menasihatkan Sultan-Sultan Melayu supaya tidak menghadiri upacara pelantikan Gabenor Malayan Union yang pertama, Sir Edward Gent dan secara simbolik memanifestasikan kemarahan dan bangkangan orang Melayu terhadap Malayan Union.

Dua bulan selepas wujudnya Malayan Union, Kerajaan Britain mengubah pendirian dan bersedia mengadakan perbincangan dengan wakil Umno dan Sultan bagi mewujudkan satu Kerajaan Persekutuan baru.

Rundingan ini berlangsung hingga 21 Januari 1948 apabila Perjanjian Persekutuan Tanah Melayu ditandatangani Raja-Raja Melayu dengan wakil Kerajaan Britain yang mengembalikan semula kuasa dan kedaulatan Sultan.

Secara rasmi Persekutuan Tanah Melayu dilahirkan pada 1 Februari 1948.

Enam puluh tiga tahun sudah berlalu, pemimpin Umno datang dan pergi silih berganti. Kepemimpinan tertinggi bermula daripada Datuk Onn Jaafar, Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Allahyarham Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, Allahyarham Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dan terkini, Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Peredaran zaman terasa begitu pantas; generasi kepemimpinan Umno sudah berubah. Umno juga sudah mengadakan perubahan mengenai peredaran masa. Bagaimanapun, perjuangan untuk memartabatkan bangsa Melayu dan memastikan bangsa peribumi ini dapat berdiri sama tinggi dan duduk sama rendah dengan bangsa lain, terus menjadi tonggak perjuangan parti.

Selepas lahir kerana kemelut Malayan Union yang mencemarkan kedaulatan Sultan-Sultan Melayu dan menghapuskan hak keistimewaan bangsa Melayu, Umno meneruskan perjuangan Melayu dengan pengenalan Dasar Ekonomi Baru (DEB) selepas tragedi rusuhan kaum terburuk pada 13 Mei, 1969.

Dasar ini digantikan dengan Dasar Pembangunan Nasional (DPN) pada 1991. Janji kerajaan yang diterajui Umno, walaupun keistimewaan untuk Bumiputera masih wujud, namun ia akan diganti secara beransur-ansur apabila kita sudah mempunyai keyakinan diri.

Tidak pernah dalam sebarang dasar yang digaris Umno, sebagai tonggak kepada kepemimpinan Barisan Nasional (BN) yang turut dianggotai komponen parti pelbagai kaum, membelakangkan kepentingan bangsa lain.

Cuma satu pinta parti ini ialah jangan dipertikai keistimewaan yang memang menjadi hak Melayu yang sudah termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan Negara kerana ialah adalah hak peribumi yang akan dipertahan sampai bila-bila.

Bagaimanapun, perkembangan menarik berlaku dalam kepemimpinan terbaru Umno hari ini.

Presiden Umno ketujuh dan Perdana Menteri Keenam, Najib menyediakan perancangan yang bakal mengubah struktur pemerintahan dan organisasi Umno yang bakal membuka pintu seluas-luasnya kepada proses demokrasi yang menjadi pegangan generasi baru hari ini.

Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-12 memberi tamparan hebat kepada Umno dan BN. Barisan kepemimpinan baru Najib mengakui kelemahan diri; sama ada bagi pihak Umno mahupun BN.

Perkara pertama yang dilakukan Presiden Umno yang baru memerintah selama 40 hari ini ialah menyatukan semua puak dalaman, sama ada kawan mahupun lawan politiknya serta mendesak barisan kepemimpinannya mengkaji kelemahan yang ada.

Arahan pertama Najib ialah mengkaji perubahan sistem pemilihan dalaman parti dan memastikan ia dibuka sehingga ke akar umbi. Justeru, tidak ada tarikh lebih sesuai untuk seluruh ahli Umno untuk melakukan muhasabah diri, selain daripada 11 Mei, tarikh lahirnya parti keramat untuk seluruh bangsa Melayu.

“Jika kita tidak berubah, kita akan rebah.” Amaran Najib kepada seluruh barisan kepemimpinan baru Umno pada mesyuarat majlis tertinggi pertamanya, baru-baru ini. Ia sekali gus adalah amaran kepada seluruh bangsa Melayu, untuk survival masa depan. — Berita Harian

The lesson from Perak — M. Bakri Musa

MAY 11 — The current political paralysis in Perak reflects the major failures of our key institutions. It is a total breakdown at the palace, the legislature, and the permanent establishment.

It also exposes the glaring inadequacies of the judicial system which has yet to adjudicate this critical and urgent matter of state.

It is not however, the failure of the people, as some pundits have implied by quoting the old adage that we deserve the government we get.

It is the voters’ prerogative whether to grant the incumbent party a stunning victory, humble it with an unstable slim majority, or even throw it into the ranks of the opposition. Canada and Italy have a long history of minority governments, and they have managed well.

A mark of a mature democracy, or any system for that matter, is the transfer of power from one entity to another smoothly and predictably. Perak is a spectacular failure; it is also a preview for Malaysia.

Perak is one of three state governments that changed hands as a consequence of the 2008 general elections. In the other two, Kedah and Penang, the transition went much smoother. There were hiccups of course, like the destruction of state documents and the dissolution of legislators’ wives’ club in Selangor, for example.

That reflected more infantile behaviours than institutional failure. Why Perak should be the exception merits careful consideration.

We used to assume that if only we could get qualified and experienced people, then no matter how battered or inadequate our institutions, those people would rise up to the challenge.

In Perak, we have a sultan who by any measure is the most qualified and experienced, having served as the nation’s top judge for many years. Yet his decision in this critical matter, which demanded the most judicious of judgment, proved to be unwise and precipitous. And that is putting it mildly.

This is not hindsight. Even at the time when he made that pivotal decision (which was the singular event that triggered developments which culminated in the spectacle of May 7), the voice of the people was loud and clear.

Only that the sultan refused to hear or chose to ignore it. No amount of subsequent royal pontifications will ever rectify or justify this error. Only a reversal of that earlier erroneous decision would.

It was too bad that Sultan Azlan Shah deputised his Raja Muda to the May 7th opening of the legislature.

While that may have spared the sultan the spectacle and embarrassment of being physically entrapped by the bedlam, he missed a splendid opportunity to witness firsthand what his modern-day version of hulubalangs was up to!

Instead it was his Raja Muda who was left to cool his heels for a good six hours! Well, let us hope that at least it was an edifying experience for him.

It was nonetheless pathetic to see the Raja Muda reduced to pleading for respect for his speech! Few, not even the normally pliant mainstream media, bothered to carry his speech in full. So much for the respect that he desperately sought!

Amazingly in his speech, the Raja Muda did not deem it important or necessary to comment on the ugly spectacle he had just witnessed and been a part of. He remained aloof and strangely uncurious.

He must have been in temporary suspended animation, oblivious of his immediate surroundings, during his six-hour wait. He was from another planet, earlier programmed to deliver his royal speech and then leave! Nothing more; for that you would have to re-programme him again!

The principal political protagonists here were Barisan Nasional’s Datuk Seri Dr Zamry Kadir, a Temple University PhD, and Pakatan’s Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin, a professional engineer fluent in multiple languages.

Then there was the Speaker of the House, A. Sivakumar, a lawyer by profession. Their impressive diplomas and credentials meant nothing; they only looked impressive when framed and hanged on their office walls.

Instead of being the stabilising force and buffering factor, the permanent establishment, from the state secretary to the state legal advisor and the chief of police, was hopelessly ensnared in the mess through their highly partisan performances. They rapidly degenerated to being part of the problem (and a very significant one at that) instead of the solution.

As for the judiciary, it failed to appreciate the urgency and gravity of the crisis. Thus the case did not merit an expedited hearing and left to meander through the usual slow judicial pathway.

By contrast, the 2000 American elections that saw the Florida ballot counts being litigated, the case ended up at the Supreme Court for a definitive decision in a matter of days, not months.

Lessons Learned

Thanks to modern technology, those who were not there in Ipoh could still follow the unfolding events in real time, trumping the severe censorship machinery of the government. Not that it was ever effective, just like the rest of the government.

Unfortunately there is not much that we could learn from the sorry spectacle. Even to declare that it reflected the sorry state of our institutions would be inadequate. Besides, we already have too many affirmations of that sad reality.

The next reflex reaction would be to declare, “Everyone is to be blamed!” While that is an understandable response, it does not solve anything, for the corollary to that statement would be that no one is to be blamed. That would be a cop out; we are all not equally culpable.

Everyone in the chain of events could have stopped if not reversed the destructive sequence right up to the day before the infamous debacle at the legislature. Failing that, the buck must and should stop somewhere. In our system, the buck stops at the highest level, the palace.

Consider the chain of events again. First there were those renegade legislators switching party affiliations. No law against that; it was their choice. Perhaps that would galvanise the leaders of the party they had deserted to do a better job of screening and scrutinising their future candidates.

Maybe primary elections among party members (as in America) instead of a decision from headquarters would produce better and more reliable candidates. That certainly would be a useful lesson.

However, this being Malaysia, things get more interesting. It turned out that those turncoats were earlier being investigated for corruption. Miraculously after their switchover, the charges were not pursued! So far no journalist has any thought of following that lead.

Even if those characters were pure, their switching over should never have triggered such a mess. Surely they could wait till the next sitting of the legislature to introduce whatever vote of no confidence they may have in mind of the leadership, and thus bring down the sitting government in the traditional and only legitimate way.

Even if leaders of the Barisan coalition were to petition the sultan to dismiss the sitting Chief Minister (which they did), the sultan ought to first also hear out the incumbent before making a decision. Common sense dictates that.

One does not have to be a judge or have read the weighty tomes of legal luminaries to appreciate that elementary dictum. Hear both sides before rendering a decision! Even a new father knows that.

Sultan Azlan Shah cannot pretend to be able to read or predict the thinking of his legislators after only a few moments of “chat” under the most severe royal protocol at the palace. That would be the height of royal arrogance. In any other circumstance, decisions made under such surroundings could be considered as coerced.

Besides, it is their collective judgment expressed openly in a properly convened legislative forum that matters. Not only could you not predict individual behaviours, you could never foretell the group dynamics and the final collective decision.

If our political leaders make a mistake, they are held accountable. Just ask Abdullah Badawi. The buck with the present imbroglio stops at the palace, with Sultan Azlan Shah.

Unfortunately in our system at present, there is no effective system of checks and balances with respect to our monarchs, both at the state as well as federal levels. They are also immune to prosecution in the conduct of their official duties.

There is no mechanism to fire or censure them. The Special Tribunal is only for prosecuting their personal misconduct. Well, at least that is a beginning, a measure of some accountability.

Regardless whether we have an effective system of checks and balances with respect to the sultans, our society has irreversibly changed. The old feudal order is now gone, for good, and never to return. Get used to it! In today’s world, the people is sovereign. Just ask the descendents of the late Shah Pahlavi and King Farouk, or closer to home, the Sultan of Sulu.

I tried to convey this in my poem, Makna Merdeka 50 (Meaning of Merdeka 50), I wrote to commemorate our 50th year of independence. I quote a couple of stanzas:

Rakyat negri bukan nya kuli

Untok di kerah ka sana sini

Zaman purba tak akan kembali

Mungkin menteri di buang negri!

Renungkan nasib si Idi Amin

Yang Shah Pahlavi pun tak terjamin

Pemimpin negri mesti meninggati

Rakyat – bukan Raja – yang di daulati!

(Blessed with freedom and reason are God’s children/To lords and kings we are not beholden/The feudal order has long been toppled/Let’s be clear, the sovereign is the people!

Ponder the fate of one Idi Amin/That of Shah Pahlavi was equally grim!/Those realities our leaders must heed/“Power to the people!” is the new creed.)

That in essence is the pertinent lesson from Perak. — limkitsiangblog

BN moves to clear Perak mess

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Call it a softening of the Barisan Nasional position in Perak but Datuk Seri Najib Razak and other senior ruling coalition politicians appear to be coming around to an unmistakable conclusion: that the present situation in the state is untenable.

The prime minister knows that though Barisan Nasional is in control of the state legislative assembly, the fallout from the power grab could have a negative impact on beyond Perak, rocking even his 1Malaysia platform and puncturing his position that a leader of the country must rise above politics.

That is why Najib put forward the possibility of BN and Pakatan Rakyat working together to resolve the Perak question. He cannot be seen to be giving up the state.

So the PM will approach the Opposition and ask them to put forward their proposals on how to move forward in Perak. There will not be a coalition government but the BN may offer certain positions in the state to Opposition politicians.

If as expected Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin and his comrades in Pakatan Rakyat insist on the state assembly being dissolved and fresh elections called, expect the BN to walk away and turn the signpost to the royal town of Kuala Kangsar.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that senior BN officials are taking the approach that it is for Sultan Azlan Shah to decide if the state assembly should be dissolved, and fresh state elections called.

“The Sultan used his discretion in February to install BN as the government after accepting that we had the majority in the House. The BN did not force the Sultan to make that choice but yet BN and the PM have been blamed for the outcome.

“What the BN did was to approach and inform the Sultan that we had the majority in the House. Similarly having all the information before him and after studying the present circumstances, the Sultan can dissolve the House if he believes that it is in the best interest of the people of Perak. Our point is that it is not for Datuk Seri Najib or BN to talk about dissolving the assembly. This is solely up to the Sultan, ‘’ said a government official familiar with the thinking in the administration.

He noted that BN leaders resent talk that they masterminded a power grab, noting that all the ruling coalition did was encourage three Pakatan Rakyat lawmakers who wanted to cross over. Defections are not illegal, he pointed out.

Clearly, there has been a slight shift in BN approach since the fracas in the state assembly on May 7.

The ruling coalition wants to put some daylight between its decision to accept the defectors and the Sultan’s decision to refuse to dissolve the state assembly.

The overwhelming view in Umno/BN is that Datuk Zambry Abdul Kadir and BN should not budge one inch in Perak and that by the time general elections are held in three or four years, the anger among Perakians against BN would have dissipated.

Perhaps so but Najib and senior BN officials do not want to take a chance.

That is why the PM softened his position yesterday and offered an olive branch to Pakatan Rakyat. A day earlier he strenuously defended BN’s legitimacy in the state and the actions of BN lawmakers on May 7. He knows that a PM who says he represents all Malaysians cannot afford to ignore that thing called public opinion, regardless of what his party thinks.

This new approach also gives the Sultan of Perak a way out of an episode which has damaged the standing of his household in the eyes of many Malaysians.

Pakatan will consider Najib’s offer

By Lee Wei Lian - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, May 11 — Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will discuss the prime minister’s offer of cooperating with Barisan Nasional (BN) to resolve the political crisis in Perak and will try to contact him before Wednesday.

DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang said today that he will discuss with other PR leaders the offer made by Datuk Seri Najib Razak and will then contact the prime minister.

He also said that he should have something to announce on Wednesday evening at the public forum “May 13 to 1Malaysia — Future of Nation Building” to be held at the Petaling Jaya Civics Centre.

The prime minister had ruled out forming a coalition government in Perak to which Lim responded in a statement to the media that PR was not interested in such an arrangement either.

“Nobody is talking about the formation of a coalition government between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to resolve the three-month-long political and constitutional crisis... but a solution must be found, based on fully respecting the sovereign rights of the voters of Perak to elect the government of their choice — to end the haemorrhage of the credibility and confidence in governance in Perak and Malaysia.”

When contacted by The Malaysian Insider, Lim said that he will be trying to make contact with Najib “hopefully before Wednesay.”

Perak DAP chief, Ngeh Koo Ham said that dissolving the state assembly is the most effective way to end the political crisis in the embattled state but that he is “open to any suggestion that is better.”

He says there has been no contact from BN since Najib made his offer yesterday.

The Perak political scene has been plagued with uncertainty and drama ever since BN engineered a takeover of the state in early February.

The political coup however, was not watertight and left many questioning the legitimacy of its government.

The crisis, now in its fourth month, hit a new low in a public spectacle last Thursday when scuffles broke out inside the state assembly hall and former speaker V. Sivakumar was forcibly dragged from the hall after being ousted by BN.

Mano: I’m not linked to LTTE

(The Star) - Hindraf’s legal adviser M. Manoharan denied that he is linked to the Tamil Tigers.

“Ours is a people’s struggle, we are not terrorists and neither are the movement’s main members P. Uthayakumar, P. Waythamoorthy, S. Ganabathi Rao and K. Vasathakumar,” he said.

Manoharan added that his detention over allegations that he was linked to the Liberation of Tamil Tigers of Eelam (LTTE) was absurd.

“Never have I visited Sri Lanka and our movement has no links with the LTTE. It is a figment of the government’s imagination,” he said.

“Accusations like this only fuel our inner strength to fight on to gain freedom for the people,” he said.

Manoharan said he would continue his struggle for a better Malaysia, even if it leads to another arrest under the Internal Security Act that he wants abolished.

From next week, Manoharan would visit his constituents from house to house to thank them for their support and to take care of their problems.

“Being on a conditional release, I have to be within the Klang district and to attend the State Assembly, I will have to inform the state police and go to the district police headquarters on a weekly basis,” he said.

Manoharan said he would be looking for a house in Klang to rent as he currently lives in Puchong.

He said he also needs to catch up with his children, 12-year-old twins Shivaranjini and Hariharan and Ganendra, 10.

Manoharan added that he would have to rebuild his legal career as clients had been referred to others.

As he addressed the people under a tent off Persiaraan Raja Muda Musa here yesterday, three men tried to garland him but he refused. He told the crowd that he refused the gesture as it was a culture of MIC leaders.

After his speech, Manoharan picked up the garland, a move done to not offend the trio, and placed it around his wife S. Pushpaneela’s neck.

Meanwhile, Vasanthakumar, who was also released from ISA detention, said he was resting at home, recuperating from a knee injury.

“I want to spend time with my family first,” he said at his home in Taman Cheras Prima, Kuala Lumpur.

Vasanthakumar said his mother described his release as her best Mother’s Day gift. “I’m glad everything is going on well now.

Mano: I am going to sue

(The Star) - Kota Alam Shah assemblyman M. Manoharan said he would be filing an RM100mil suit against the Federal Government, the Home Minister and others over his 17-month detention under the Internal Security Act.

The suit will also name the commander of the Kamunting detention centre, the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney-General, he said outside the Selangor State Assembly Monday.

Manoharan, who was freed over the weekend, said the detention was unlawful and had the deprived Kota Alam Sham constituents of their elected representative.

The legal adviser to the now outlawed Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) movement was detained with other Hindraf leaders in November, 2007. He ran for the state seat in the 12th general election in March last year while in detention.

Manoharan said that he would not be complying with most of the conditions imposed upon him upon his release from the ISA.

Selangor Speaker Teng Chang Khim, who was with him at the press conference at the state secretariat building here Monday, said that the conditions imposed upon Manoharan were not legally binding.

He added that was no restriction order against the assemblyman either.

“Don’t play with us, we know the law,” said Teng.

Now MIC woos Hindraf leaders

(Bernama) KUALA LUMPUR: The MIC has invited Hindraf leaders for possible talks and partnership for the sake of the Indian community.

MIC secretary-general Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam said the party was also willing to consider views and suggestions by the movement on ways to alleviate the plight of the community.

He said the MIC was ready to hear suggestions from Hindraf leaders on how they could work together for the benefit of the Indians.

Dr Subramaniam was speaking after officiating at the National Temple Conference here yesterday.

He was commenting on Hindraf founder P. Uthayakumar, who upon his release from detention under the Internal Security Act, said that he would continue to fight for the Indian community, which he alleged was marginalised.

Dr Subramaniam also invited Hindraf leaders to join the party, saying that since both of them shared a common goal of elevating the living standard of the community, they would be able to achieve the objective better if they worked as one.

"I am for a united Indian community, as we can see all the splintering in the group does not help."

On Saturday, Uthayakumar and two other Hindraf leaders, M. Manoharan and K. Vasanthakumar, who were held at the Kamunting detention camp since last year, were freed, along with 10 others detainees.

Asked whether Hindraf leaders might form a political party to serve its cause, as the opposition parties which it was currently allied to had failed them, Dr Subramaniam said: "Now, they are an illegal movement. But nobody can stop them if they want to form a political party, as long as they follow the proper process. The decision is up to the Home Ministry."

Najib’s “open mind” to resolve Perak constitutional/political crisis with PR leaders “refreshing”

By Lim Kit Siang,

At a media conference in Alor Setar on Saturday, I said that the time had come for the Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to meet with Pakatan Rakyat leaders to resolve the three-month-long Perak constitutional and political impasse so that Malaysians in Perak and the country can focus single-mindedly on tiding the nation through the world’s worst economic crisis in a century.

This had become imperative after the May 7 Day of Infamy which brought unprecedented international shame to Malaysia as a modern and developed country not only by the trampling of human rights and the rule of law in the gross abuse of police powers in the completely unjustifiable lock-down of Ipoh but also in the flagrant violation of the doctrine of separation of powers highlighted by the photographs and video clips flashed around the world of the Perak Speaker, V. Sivakumar in Speaker robes and in Speaker Chair being bodily dragged out of the Legislative Assembly.

The image that the May 7 Day of Infamy projected to the world is that Perak and Malaysia are degenerating into failed states like Zimbabwe, Somalia and Congo in Africa rather than a nation aspiring to first-world developed-nation status.

This was why my first reaction to the scandalous spectacle not only of two Mentris Besar but also two Speakers and two Assemblies in Perak, and the physical removal of the Speaker – the most shameful episode in the history of parliamentary democracy, not only in Perak, Malaysia but also the world - was to point out that the biggest casualty of all was Najib’s “1Malaysia” slogan, which had been “shredded into smithereens” by the May 7 Day of Infamy.

Is it any wonder that Najib’s 1Malaysia could not produce resonance or inspire meaning among Malaysians, as all the people see is 1Divided Malaysia, even 1Black Malaysia. How can there be 1Malaysia when he had played the most critical role in ensuring that there is no 1Perak?

The maltreatment of the Perak Speaker is all the more unacceptable as it happened at a time when Malaysia is Chairman of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association – with Malaysia reduced to a laughing-stock in world parliaments when we should be at the acme of international parliamentary reputation.

I do not know whether Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal is going to resign in shame as Chairman of the worldwide Commonwealth Parliamentary Association but Perakians and Malaysians have to hold their heads in shame at the May 7 Day of Infamy.

I have been receiving a lot of mail from Malaysians outraged that Malaysia is becoming a failed state, with ordinary Malaysians suffering from endemic crime, pregnant women being killed by snatch theft killers, young girls raped in daylight when taking taxies, while massive police are deployed not to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors but the political security of Barisan Nasional politicians.

This letter from Azmin Ahmad Hasmat Ali is one such letter:

Dear YB Lim,

It’s time we as Malaysian, stop politicking at pool our strength and address the things that matters.

I read with great sadness and dismay the report below on NST online. While the politicians are busy fighting each other on petty one-upmanship, a poor your girl’s life has been ruined….permanently.

(This is the case of a 17-year-old girl in Subang Jaya who wanted to go from SS14 to SS15 to meet a friend, but the short trip turned into a nightmare when she was assaulted and raped by a taxi driver.)

Why can’t the leaders who the rakyat elected, get on with their job?

Is it too hard to expect that our citizens are fundamentally safe?

How many more cases of rape, snatch theft, crime must we read before any action is taken.

Let’s rise above stupidity of who said what, and who is more religious than the other.

Spare a thought for the young girl below.

I am sad to be a Malaysian. No…I am utterly ashamed to be a Malaysian because we have failed to protect our citizens. We have failed and we need leadership….decisive leadership to move us out of this darkness of hate, crime and jealousy.

Are there any good leaders out there? Will someone step up??

It is indeed time that all leaders, whether Barisan Nasional or Pakatan Rakyat, listen and respond to these cries and outrages from the people.

I find Najib’s open mind to resolve Perak crisis with Pakatan Rakyat leaders “refreshing” coming from a person who had tied the knot and who have to untie it or may even to cut the Gordian knot to end the debilitating political and constitutional crisis in Perak which has become a national and even international problem for Malaysia.

Nobody is talking about the formation of a coalition government between Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat to resolve the three-month-long political and constitutional crisis, which had also undermined the credibility and public confidence of important national institutions like the Police, the Election Commission, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency, the Judiciary and the Monarchy.

But a solution must be found, based on fully respecting the sovereign rights of the voters of Perak to elect the government of their choice – to end the haemorrhage of the credibility and confidence in governance in Perak and Malaysia.

I will discuss with Pakatan Rakyat leaders on Najib’s preparedness to have an open mind on the matter and will then contact the Prime Minister.

I should have something to announce when I attend the public forum “May 13 to 1Malaysia – Future of Nation Building” at the Petaling Jaya Civics Centre on Wednesday night (May 13) in conjunction with the “May 13” 40th anniversary.

Waytha Moorthy: I shall return

By Deborah Loh
thenutgraph.com

PETALING JAYA, 11 May 2009: Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) chairperson P Waytha Moorthy will brave the possibility of arrest and return to Malaysia immediately following the release of all five Hindraf lawyers from detention without trial.

In a press statement today, Waytha Moorthy, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the UK, said he decided to return with or without any government assurance or conditions.

"I shall return knowing the risks involved as I honestly believe that the Hindraf cause was just and fair," he said, adding that the organisation's supporters had before this warned him of arrest and incarceration.

"This does not [scare] me anymore as the objective to obtain the release of the Hindraf lawyers has been achieved. Now it is time to press forward with the objectives of the community that has been systematically discriminated, marginalised and sidelined for 52 years," he said.

"If the government arrests me or detains me, there will be many others within the community with conscience who will spearhead the struggle," Waytha Moorthy added.

Waytha Moorthy left Malaysia for the UK after the government cracked down on the 25 Nov 2007 mass Hindraf demonstration in Kuala Lumpur. In December 2007, Waytha Moorthy's brother P Uthayakumar and four other Hindraf leaders were arrested under the Internal Security Act (ISA) for their involvement in the movement.

The other four were Kota Alam Shah assemblyperson M Manoharan, K Vasantha Kumar, V Ganabatirau and R Kengadharan.

They were released in two batches, the first involving Ganabatirau and Kengadharan in April in one of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's first acts upon becoming premier.

The release of Manoharan, Vasantha Kumar and Uthayakumar was announced by Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein on 8 May.

Waytha Moorthy said the arrest of the Hindraf five under the ISA in 2007 was meant to curtail the movement's "legitimate concern for Indian Malaysians and allow it to be a lost cause for them".

He said he decided at the time that Hindraf's agenda had to be highlighted in the international arena and thus left for the UK to "keep the movement alive".

He said the Malaysian government revoked his passport and he was granted asylum by the British government after garnering international support for Hindraf.

"Hindraf is now a strong mass movement and can never be suppressed further. The spirit Hindraf invoked with the Malaysian community is inerasable," Waytha Moorthy said.

Unite to defend our calling as lawyers

ImageDear Members of the Bar and Pupils in Chambers,

I thank those of you who attended the solidarity gathering at the Jalan Duta Court Complex, at very short notice, last Friday morning. This was an important, meaningful and well-appreciated gesture to show our support to the five Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre lawyers who were arrested last Thursday.

I now call on every one of us to unite and attend this Friday’s EGM in full force. The aims of the EGM are two-fold. Firstly, to demonstrate unequivocally that the Malaysian Bar condemns, in the strongest terms possible, the arrest of the lawyers. Secondly, to enhance support within the Bar, and create awareness and garner public support, for the right of access to legal representation and the freedom of lawyers to perform their duties without harassment or intimidation.

Let us, with one voice, express our shock and disgust at this utter disrespect for the criminal justice system, this absolute mockery of the constitutional right to legal representation, this blatant transgression of the rule of law, this travesty of justice.

It is imperative to show our strength in numbers. The impact of having 2,000 lawyers at our Walk for Justice in September 2007 was far from insignificant. It was a tremendous milestone for the Malaysian Bar and sent a strong message to the government that lawyers will battle for the integrity of the Judiciary.

Let us come together once again, this time to defend our calling and our right to carry out our professional obligations without harassment. It is said that lawyers serve as the final bulwark against injustice and oppression, and so we must fight to preserve the unconditional right to provide legal representation to those in need. We must not sit idly by while our fellow members’ ability to act in their professional capacity is so harshly curtailed.

Let us also unite to acknowledge all our colleagues who have, time and again, and without regard for their own safety and well-being, come to the aid and defence of those arrested for exercising their fundamental rights to assemble peaceably and to freedom of expression. Let us salute our five colleagues from the Kuala Lumpur Legal Aid Centre – Fadiah Nadwa Binti Fikri, Murnie Hidayah Binti Anuar, Puspawati Binti Rosman, Ravinder Singh Dhalliwal and Syuhaini Binti Safwan – who exhibited great courage and demonstrated the highest standards of the Malaysian Bar last Thursday. Their exemplary sense of duty and professionalism are an inspiration to us all.

I fervently hope to see you at the EGM this Friday.

Ragunath Kesavan
President
Malaysian Bar
11 May 2009

To see first-hand the despicable conduct of the police in arresting our colleagues and the abuse of police power, watch this video:

http://www.malaysiakini.tv/video/17034

Sekadar Hulur Ranting Zaitun!

Bahang kemelut di Perak semakin membara hangatnya sehingga membuatkan Perdana Menteri bersedia bekerjasama dengan Pakatan Rakyat bagi menyelesaikan krisis perlembagaan tersebut.

Manakala sebagaimana yang sering saya ulangi, ranting zaitun yang dihulurkan demi kesejahteraan rakyat jelata pasti disambut dengan hati terbuka oleh Pakatan Rakyat. Namun, janganlah pula kesediaan ini dikhianati, di saat ranting zaitun dihulurkan, pisau belati tajam sudah siap menikam! Jikalau begitu sandiwara yang direncana, layak sahaja buah durian dibaling ke muka mereka yang menghulurkannya.

Krisis yang berlaku ini sememangnya menjadi pengajaran kepada mereka yang membelakangkan Perlembagaan dan kedaulatan undang-undang demi kepentingan politik. Sudah pasti saya bersetuju dengan anjuran agar kita kembali merujuk undang-undang dan keluhuran Semangat Keperlembagaan bagi menyelesaikan kemelut di Perak.

Perlu diberi perhatian bila sahaja saranan kembali kepada Kedaulatan Undang-Undang dikemukakan, sudah tentu rakyat mahu diyakinkan bahawa sistem kehakiman bebas dari sebarang kongkongan politik penguasa, undang-undang kuku besi dimansuhkan dan tiada lagi sebarang gangguan terhadap mereka yang berbeda pendapat. Jika ini tidak dipenuhi kerjasama yang ditawarkan umpama mencurah air di daun keladi.

ANWAR IBRAHIM

Cops gatecrash DAP dinner

Jayathas: No let up on 18-point demands

Surendran: The government has learnt nothing

Uthayakumar: Political party a possibility

13 is sacred number for Manoharan

PKR's Badrul Hisham Shaharin represents PKR

The struggle shall continue says Uthayakumar

UNITY WILL MAKE THEM BOW DOWN

Johor Bahru Makkal Sakthi organised an event called ” Indian Unity Forum” at Pu Sze Chinese School hall, Skudai. I was made to understand that some unscrupulous individual trying to ignite authorities by claiming the forum meant to disturb peace and order. I don’t understand the need for police personnel enter and threat speakers for an event held conducted in door. Anyway, organisers had shown them that Makkal Sakthi supporters are well mannered.

p5090011

I’m glad Makkal Sakthi able to assist the community not only by being a pressure group demanding changes in ruling government mindset. The Johor Bahru Makkal Sakthi movement had made they presence felt by poor’s and helpless in surrounding area. It’s shows how Blind and Dump those persons sitting top there trusting paper reports to claim Hindraf as an illegal organisation.

I would like to take this opportunity in wishing Happy Mother’s Day especially to mothers of all ISA Detainees that was released today. Only mothers’ understand the pain of missing their child and I hope those remaining ISA detainees will be released soon. We Makkal Sakthi will continue to pressure Government in seeking release remaining ISA detainees despite our leaders set free today. The government understand very well wave of political changes happening in Malaysia, if they don’t close Kamunting Camp soon THEY WILL END UP THERE in it near future.

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Recent announcement by Hindraf Chairman P Waythamoorthy on suspension of all Hindraf Coordinator received a lot of negative impact. We should understand that the move is to make Indians remain united under Makkal Sakthi banner as one pressure group for the community. We can be member of any political party , but to get them work Makkal Sakthi must remain apolitical and strong pressure group. Makkal Sakthi is the Inner feeling of each and every Malaysian for the need of having true , uncorrupted and sincere government that will preserve each of our rights.

Let us remain unity under Makkal Sakthi, as the new appointed advisors proposing to appoint coordinators based on portfolios such as Tamil School, Temple, Conversion issues and much more. Then we are able to mobilise our strong network of supporter to effectively serve needs of Indians and Malaysians. We able to tackle problem of temples being run by 2 or 3 groups, overcome gangsterims , reduce crime among our youngsters and many more issues that was propagate by barisan nasional last 52 years.

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Today, In my constituency I’m trying best to solves issues that was left unattended by MIC for last 5 decades. Almost entire my salary and allowance as an MP was used up to take care their welfare but then Barisan Nasional MP’s having 2 million funds and projects on top of their remuneration unable to spend time attending constituent problems. After being a Member of Parliament for about 15 months only, I’m dare to Challenge MIC President to stand against myself in Kapar Parliamentary forget about Sg Siput as I’m confident voters in Kapar understand the true meaning of ” wakil rakyat”.

I would like to highlight here , that I was invited by former Prime Minister prior his resignation to discuss on some pertinent issues of Indians in Malaysia. During the meeting, he says “YB Kerajaan memang bagi tapi President MIC ambil, sekarang kita mahu YB tolong ” . This is very much clear when Government allocated almost 500million Amanah Saham Wawasan 2020 shares for Indians . What happen to it , how it can be sold of even before it open to public remain very much suspicious. Who stole it? Why Government keep numb about it? This is what been happening for last 52 years?

During the same meeting , I put forward my request to release all 5 Hindraf leaders and request Waythamoorthy be allowed to return Malaysia. At that point of time, then Prime Minister agreed to release at least 3 of them first.

Finally, Makkal Sakthi had won by having set their leaders free. It’s shows how important we remain Unite. Beside ruling government , the opposition Pakatan Rakyat coalition also afraid of Makkal Sakthi’s spirit at it’s not only Indian but also somewhere managed to touch most of Malaysia heart as well.

It’s worrying to see Police especially practicing Double Standard of Law. One Law for Barisan Nasional members and another law for Pakatan members. They don’t even dare to touch a UMNO member but conveniently enter Perak State Assembly Hall and throw away legitimate speaker from his chamber. So, we can understand what could be the verdict of on going Sujatha’s Inquest and Why Kugan’s murderers still mingling among us. Very simple POLICE Is RAJA in MALAYSIA. I hope with return of Uthaya and YB Mano , together with YB Gobind and Surendran we would pursue to seek justice on Kugan’s death and almost 80 other deaths in prison previously.

It’s time for Makkal sakthi to assist our youngsters to free themselves from gangsterism and avoid consuming health damaging liquors and tobaccos. Such behaviours also lead to families being abandon while children unable to pursue their educations.

Once again remain united as what we shown during November 25, 2007, even if the police fired chemical water and tear gas one of our children offered FRU a bottle of Mineral Water when he suffered. Unity among Inter race and Intra race is very Important to keep Malaysia move further and let join Pakatan Rakyat in condemning the act of Sri Lankan Government killing thousands of Tamils and also Malaysian Government for practicing double standard against humanity.

Thank you for Inviting me and I hope more and more such events will be organised by Makkal Sakthi to keep us united.

Valga Makkal Sakthi.

Anwar: Pakatan open to talks about about Perak solution

BUTTERWORTH, May 10 - The opposition pact is prepared to hold discussions with any party, including Umno and Barisan Nasional, to find ways to resolve the Perak political crisis, Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said.

The Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) advisor said there was no reason for Pakatan to reject good intentions on the part of any party to resolve the matter.

"There is no reason to refuse good intentions, including from Umno and BN, provided that the discussion will be followed up by actions that are in accordance with the law," he told reporters after meeting the Permatang Pauh Village Security and Development Committee chairmen here today.

He was asked to comment on a statement by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak today that the BN was prepared to cooperate with the opposition parties to resolve the Perak political crisis.

Najib had made it clear, however, that the BN would not agree to a coalition government. - Bernama

Anwar needles Putrajaya to apologise to Hindraf leaders

tmi-n.jpgKUALA LUMPUR, May 10 - Opposition icon Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim today ramped up pressure on the Malaysian government, saying that it should apologise to P Uthayakumar and other Hindraf leaders for detaining them under the Internal Security Act.

He also challenged the authorities to substantiate reasons why the men who helmed Hindraf were detained in Kamunting, noting that the police had linked them to terrorism just after their detention in December 2007.

“During their detention, the government frequently spun stories that they were involved in terrorism but none of them were ever brought before the courts.

“Now they have been released without any explanation. It is clear that whatever the explanation and whatever the justification, the ISA has to be abolished and all the detainees released. These archaic laws have not more place if we really want true changes, ‘’ he said in a posting on his blog, adding that the release of the 13 ISA detainees yesterday was an attempt by the Barisan Nasional government to change the news cycle after the fiasco in Perak.

Uthayakumar, M Manoharan and Vasanthakumar were among several Hindraf leaders who were picked by the police in December after they organised mass gatherings and demonstrations across the country to protest the

marginalization of Indians in Malaysia.

The government justified their actions by declaring Hindraf an illegal organisation and painting its leaders as threats to national security.

Few bought the official line and the Najib administration knew that it would not be possible to reconcile with the community - traditional strong supporters of the BN – with Hindraf leaders still behind bars.

Still some in Umno appear grudging that Uthayakumar and gang – whom they blame for the Indian vote swing towards the Opposition – are enjoying freedom.

They are even more troubled than he and his comrades do not appear broken or cowed by their experience in Kamunting.

Anwar’s demand for the government to apologise to the Hindraf leaders will touch a raw nerve among Umno members, many of whom believe that the likes of Uthayakumar must be grateful to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for releasing them from detention.

The Umno-owned Mingguan Malaysia reported with a tinge of incredulity that Uthayakumar did not think it was necessary for him to thank the government for his release.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein also appeared to stoke the fire when he said today: “We did not expect him to thank the government. He is stubborn, tore his shirt before his release and also spread all sorts of lies.

“I’d like to remind him that as a normal person free from the ISA, he is not immune from other laws.’’

Still settling into his new job as the Home Minister, Hishammuddin needs to show that he has the steely spine to helm this important ministry.

It was this same pressure that prompted his predecessor to use the ISA against a journalist and a popular Opposition politician, a move which not only made him one of the most unpopular ministers in the Abdullah administration but also probably persuaded Najib to leave out of the Cabinet.

Manoharan: Pakatan helped all they could

By Melissa Loovi - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, 10 May - Despite leader P. Waythamoorthy and his brother P. Uthayakumar's apparent frustrations with Pakatan Rakyat for not doing more to speed up the Hindraf trio's release, fellow founder of the Indian rights group, M. Manoharan, firmly disagrees.

"People like Karpal Singh and even Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim did all they could to help get me and the others released," said the newly-released 48-year old lawyer at a Mother's Day celebration organised at his Kota Alam Shah service centre today.

"They, and other Pakatan representatives, appealed to the courts repeatedly and Tan Sri Khalid even approached the Sultan (of Selangor) on my behalf but the Sultan said the matter could only be dealt with by the Agong."

Manoharan's words come after Uthayakumar yesterday voiced his dissatisfaction with the lack of help given by the opposition coalition in getting the Hindraf detainees released.

Waythamoorthy, who is in self-imposed exile in London, has has also been increasingly critical of PR.

In a statement issued from London last week, he labelled the Hindraf trio's release as a “blatantly obvious move to divert the attention of the public” from the Perak fiasco. He added that there was nothing Hindraf should be thankful for.

“We are not thankful for the release of our lawyers under the ISA unless the government fulfills the 18 point demands that were submitted to the government in 2007.”

He also wants the government to acknowledge the alleged poor treatment received by the Indian community in this country and release not just the Hindraf trio, but all ISA detainees and abolish the law.

His brother, P. Uthayakumar, who was released yesterday along with T. Vasanthakumar and Manoharan told The Malaysian Insider he was "not happy with the two parties (PKR and DAP) and what they have done for the Indian community.

“They did not do enough in the critical areas that really matter," said the outspoken leader, adding that if PR had done more with the states under their governance, especially regarding land issues, it would solve 70 per cent of the Indian community's problems.

However, Manoharan, who won his state seat from within the walls of Kamunting under the DAP banner, is clearly taking a different stance.

He says he will speak to Waythamoorty to explain to him that PR had indeed done all they could.

In particular, he noted the help and support of DAP National Chairman Karpal Singh, Secretary General Lim Guan Eng and Parliamentary Leader Lim Kit Siang.

A lot of growing up to do

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We carry no grudge against those Bloggers who were enticed by money and ‘sold out to the other side’. In that same spirit they should not grudge those of us who refuse to accept the money and chose, instead, to remain anti-establishment. That is no reason to declare war on us and to suggest that our life should be ended with a bullet in the head.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Uthayakumar and YB BABI! Cancerous cells that will destroy the country!
Barking Magpie

I cannot help noticing the similar arrogant and defiant pose of Uthayakumar made to the public upon his release from detention, which is quite similar to that of YB BABI's!

Like two cancerous cells that will destroy this once sanctified body called Malaysia, the only way for the country to prevent it from being totally terminally ill is to destroy such cancerous cells from the beginning. It appears as though the government is weak and giving in to an act of terrorism!

May be we should follow the way of Sri Lanka in waging war against groups and individuals who are bent on trying to destroy the natural order of this country.

To quote Chris Hedges in his book who said that "war sometimes is a force that gives us meaning". Yes, that meaning means peace from blackmail, threat and a disrespect to all things that made up this country to what it is today.

May be we need that war in Malaysia just to show us again what is the true meaning of a peaceful co-existence. War to prevent anyone from trying to manipulate the people into doing something horrid such as disrespect to the existing institutions, may be we all need to be taught a lesson on the true meaning of the word peace! It appears in Malaysia that we need war to obtain it! When all else failed!

What say you Brother Uthaya and YB BABI! Are you ready, really ready for it?

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Out-manoeuvred and ill-prepared, Perak DAP and PKR resort to tyranny
A Voice

In a nutshell, the fiasco in Perak was mainly due to the ever defiant and ungentlemenly conduct of Nizar, his puppetmaster Nger, Perak DAP and PKR, and Pakatan Rakyat as a whole.

They defied all court orders, palace ruling and prerogative, and assembly conduct conventions. Worse still, they persistently lie and spin fact for their political expediency.

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Those are the comments from just two Umno Bloggers -- the first by Rusdi, Najib’s man, and the second by Salahuddin, Mukhriz Mahathir’s man.

Actually, I know both quite well. I have gone out with them and even paid for their food and drinks more than once. The same also goes for Zakir, ‘Rocky’, Aspan, Ron, and many others -- all Umno people. These people, as far as I am concerned, are my friends -- fellow Bloggers. Unfortunately, to these people, I am the enemy.

We became friends back in 2006 when Malaysia Today hosted the first dialogue with Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad at the Kelab Century Paradise. I invited many PAS, DAP and PKR leaders and supporters to this event and the hall overflowed with guests. There was standing room only and many could not even get into the hall and had to stand outside.

It was simply overwhelming and the turnout was far higher than expected. After the dialogue we had tea and cakes and the opposition leaders joined Mahathir in the VIP room. I had to stand outside to guard the door as so many were trying to push their way into the VIP room to shake hands with Mahathir. I was worried someone may try to harm him and it became a security nightmare for me.

Finally, I told the guards to just block everyone from coming in and if anyone wants to get in then ask me first. I then stood guard near Mahathir, ready to dive forward in the event someone makes a move on him or something like that. Sheesh, I thought to myself, you mean I got to go like this; taking a bullet or knife on behalf of Mahathir?

I suppose, since I had invited Mahathir, then it is my responsibility to guard his security. Unfortunately, I overlooked that point because I did not expect such a large crowd. I thought it was going to be a small and controlled affair. I did not expect so many people, in particular from the opposition -- and many leaders amongst them on top of that. And I did not expect that so many would try to push and shove their way into the VIP room to shake hands with Mahathir.

Anyway, everything went fine that day in mid-2006 and nothing untoward happened, thank God. If not I would have probably been arrested as the mastermind behind the plot to assassinate Mahathir.

After that first event I travelled to Kedah, Kelantan and Johor (twice) to attend functions where Mahathir was speaking. I even got sprayed with some chemical at the Kota Bharu airport the day that PPP Kelantan leader sprayed Mahathir. I also attended all the functions at the Perdana Leadership Foundation in Putrajaya, one at University Malaya, plus a few more in hotels all over Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. I must have attended more than a dozen Mahathir functions all over Malaysia and video-recorded the entire lot.

I also attended Mukhriz Mahathir’s and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah’s functions and video-recorded them as well. When Mukhriz launched a blood donation drive at the Kampong Baru mosque I contacted YB Ronnie Liu and asked him to arrange a group of DAP people to go there to donate blood. Although it was a last minute arrangement, and in spite of it being an Umno Youth and Mukhriz Mahathir event, Ronnie managed to mobilise a small group of DAP people (all Chinese of course) to go to the Kampong Baru mosque to donate blood.

This is the way we do things. While they call Anwar Ibrahim BABI, we do not call Mahathir, Pak Lah, Najib or Muhyiddin the same. I might disagree with Umno but I am civil enough and know how to maintain protocol. Even whenever I meet Mukhriz, who is younger than me, I walk over to him and give a small but courteous bow when I shake his hand. I do not allow him to walk over to greet me. He stays put. I make the move.

I have met Khairy Jamaluddin face-to-face only once. But when he walked in I stood up. He is younger than my daughter so I really need not have done that. But I stood up anyway when he walked in and offered him a chair. And I did not sit down until he sat down first.

I am talking about how I treat my ‘enemies’. Am I being stupid here? Why do I waste my money buying dinner and drinks for people I oppose and then follow people like Mahathir all over Malaysia when he is the cause of all my problems and he was the one who ordered my arrest and later detained me without trial?

When Rusdi phoned and said that Rosmah wants to meet me I agreed. My wife dropped Rusdi and me off in front of Najib’s house and came back two hours later to fetch us. But when Rusdi asked me to ‘name my price’ to stop writing about Najib and Altantuya, I went to meet Mahathir to complain about it and thereafter cut off all my links with Rusdi.

Later, I received a phone call from Sufi, Mahathir’s aide, who said that JJ contacted his office to ask for my phone number. Sufi wanted to know whether I have any objections for my phone number to be given to JJ. I asked Sufi why JJ wants to contact me but he did not know. Anyway, I agreed and now, of course, we know why JJ wanted to contact me.

I, again, complained to Mahathir through a certain Chinese Datuk. I asked the Datuk to inform Mahathir that JJ had offered to buy me off. He called back a few days later and told me to not have any more dealings with JJ. That, I was told, were my ‘instructions’.

We may disagree with the government. We may even be bitterly opposed to the government and work relentlessly to bring it down. But we are also civil about it and will never regard ‘the other side’ as lepers whom we should distance ourselves from. All they need to do is phone and we will agree to meet up anytime, any place. That has been proven time and time again.

But that is not how they treat us. Rusdi suggests, in his posting above, that we are cancerous cells. Cancerous cells need to be destroyed and that is basically what he means -- that we must be destroyed. There are other Umno Blogs and websites that suggest I should suffer a bullet in the head for what I wrote with regards to the 7 May 2009 skirmish in the Perak State Assembly. Others want my citizenship withdrawn and that I should be thrown out of the country. Yet others feel the court made a grievous mistake in freeing me from ISA detention in November last year and that I should be re-detained and locked away in Kamunting till the day I die.

They want to put a bullet in my head while I stand guard over Mahathir to ensure that no one puts a bullet in his head. The fact that I invited Mahathir to the function, so I am therefore responsible for his safety, is not an issue. I am not head of security in this country. But I took it upon myself to be responsible for my ‘guest’. Hey, I even asked my wife to allow the Special Branch officers into the hall when she tried to deny them access. Never mind, I told my wife, they have a job to do, let them come in. You should have seen my wife’s ‘long face’. She was pissed with me.

If I had written in Malaysia Today that a certain Umno leader or Blogger should be shot, within 24 hours there would be numerous police reports made against me. In fact, over the last two months, there have been about half a dozen new police reports made against me. The most recent was two days ago when I wrote about the Perak State Assembly fiasco.

More than two years ago, these Umno Bloggers called for a meeting at the National Press Club (NPC). The purpose of the meeting was to form a Bloggers union or association. Amongst those who attended this maiden or ad hoc committee meeting were pro-Mahathir Umno Bloggers, pro-Najib Umno Bloggers, pro-Tengku Razaleigh Umno Bloggers, pro-Pakatan Rakyat Bloggers, and Bloggers in the civil society movement or Reformist category. I would like to believe I am in that last category.

The idea was actually mooted by Dr Mahathir. He felt that Malaysian Bloggers should form an umbrella body so that the so many Bloggers from all sides of the political divide could unite under some sort of national organisation. That reminded me of how Umno was formed back in 1946 when the so many different Malay-based societies, associations, movements, and so on, formed a national body called the United Malays National Organisation.

Sufi was also present as a sort of ‘representative’ of Dr Mahathir. It was proposed that I head this new union or association but I declined and proposed that Rocky should instead head it. I was, however, prepared to back him up and help with whatever needed to be done. The Bloggers union went on to set up the Blog House at Bukit Damansara.

We were, of course, from different political leanings. But we thought that, as Bloggers, we could leave our political differences aside and come together under one umbrella in spite of our political differences. It puzzled most people how we, known opposition supporters or political activists, could play footsie with those hardcore Umno people.

I suppose we were either na├»ve in thinking that the Umno Bloggers would be able to set aside our political differences for the common good of the Blogging community or we were suckers in not seeing that this move was not so much to unite the Bloggers as much as it was to ‘rope in’ the Bloggers.

Anyway, we still maintained our ‘independence’. We never expected the Umno crowd to turn opposition. But they expected us to turn pro-government. Some, of course, who were initially anti-establishment, eventually turned pro-government. And, inevitably, the Bloggers union broke up with the pro-government crowd on one side and the anti-establishment Bloggers on the other. Then the pro-government Bloggers started attacking the anti-establishment Bloggers although we did not retaliate in kind.

Today, there is no longer any Bloggers union. And the target of attack of the pro-government Bloggers is the anti-establishment Bloggers. They whack us to kingdom come every opportunity they can find.

Rusdi wants to declare war on us. He wants the government to do to us what the Sri Lankan security forces are doing to the LTTE. But that is just it. We anti-establishment Bloggers are not like the LTTE. We do not bomb and shoot and burn. But they would like to bomb and shoot and burn us. And they would like to put a bullet in my head as suggested by one Umno Blog.

These people have a lot of growing up to do. Have they not heard of freedom of expression and association? That is not a crime that warrants the issuing of a death sentence fatwah. That, in case many do not realise, is what the Federal Constitution of Malaysia guarantees us.

We carry no grudge against those Bloggers who were enticed by money and ‘sold out to the other side’. In that same spirit they should not grudge those of us who refuse to accept the money and choose, instead, to remain anti-establishment. That is no reason to declare war on us and to suggest that our life should be ended with a bullet in the head.