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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

'Death of democracy' protesters off the hook

Twelve demonstrators, including a member of Parliament and state assembly representative, were let off the hook by the police today after being arrested on May 19 for taking part in a candlelight vigil.
MCPX

dap supporter report to brickfields station candlelight vigil 020609 sign inSerdang MP Teo Nie Ching and Teratai state assemblyperson Jenice Lee, two DAP female politicians, were arrested along with seven party workers at the candlelight vigil which was held outside DAP MP Teresa Kok's office in Seputeh.

The vigil was organised to mark the 'death of democracy' in Perak and all those who were present wore black.

dap supporter report to brickfields station candlelight vigil 020609 defiantThe protesters, who were released on a police bail after being detained for seven hours, were told to report back to the Brickfileds police headquarters today.

When they went there at about 10am, the police told them that they would not be charged.

"The police decided to clear all charges against us, and there is no need for us to be on bail or come back to report in future," Teo told reporters later.

UN can investigate Sri Lanka’s actions - war crimes judge

The United Nations is able to investigate the war crimes which occurred recently in Sri Lanka, British human rights lawyer and international war crimes judge, Geoffrey Robertson QC said Sunday. The avenues for the UN include the UN Human Rights Committee, which can investigate individuals’ complaints against states under the International Convention on Human Rights, to which Sri Lanka is a signatory. The UN Human Rights Council, by contrast, is a “highly politicized” body staffed by diplomats of various countries, including those abusing human rights, rather than human rights experts, he said.

PDF IconBBC: Sri lanka will face UN inquiry
Mr. Robertson has served as an appeal judge at the UN’s Special Court for Sierra Leone from 2002-2007 and is presently on the UN’s Internal Justice Council.

Having been counsel in many landmark cases in constitutional, criminal and media law in the courts of Britain and the Commonwealth, Mr. Robertson makes frequent appearances in the Privy Council and the European Court of Human Rights.

Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC
Human rights lawyer Geoffrey Robertson QC
Asked on BBC radio about the UN Human Rights Council’s acceptance last week, by majority vote, of a self-congratulatory resolution tabled by Sri Lanka, Mr. Robertson said he wasn’t surprised.

“Well, the Human Rights Council is a highly politicised body. It is made up not of experts on human rights, but of paltering diplomats. Europe only has seven seats … We have countries like Russia and China obviously concerned to keep their own internal problems down and away from international oversight. So the decision [on Sri Lanka] is not really surprising.”

“[However] that’s not the end of the story because UN officials can [still] look into it,” he said.

“[ ] Sir John Holmes is concerned. [ ] Judge Navi Pillay wants to conduct an investigation.”

“More importantly, there is the UN Human Rights Committee which sits in Geneva. It is a kind of court and individuals can complain [to it]. Unusually, Sri Lanka has actually signed up to the International Convention on Human Rights which has this is the body that investigates complaints. So any individual can complain against Sri Lanka.”

“So there is certainly going to be an inquiry, I would have thought, by Human Rights Committee.”

“And there are other possibilities - the convention on Torture, the convention on Rights of the Child, even the Genocide convention, could all be applied in due course,” Mr. Robertson said,

“So there are ways and means of finding out – fact-finding in effect - as to whether there have been breaches of the Geneva Convention, the targeting of civilians, the bombing of hospitals, and so forth as has been alleged.”

Mr. Robertson was asked about Sri Lanka’s continued denial of access to the war-ravaged north where 20,000 Tamil civilians were massacred by Colombo’s military in recent months.

“The Sri Lankan government kept out the international media so that there would be no immediate eyewitnesses.”

“They allowed the Red Cross in, but … [it is] prevented from giving testimony in international courts. … That is the quid-pro-quo: they can be in on wars but are not allowed to testify if they see war crimes.”

“[Moreover] other humanitarian bodies were kept out and are being kept out.”

However, Sri Lanka’s actions will in any case eventually come out, Mr. Robertson said.

"In the fullness of time, of course, you do have witnesses, you do have thousands of people who were on that dreadful strip of beach," he said, in reference to the ‘no-fire zone’ in Mullaitivu where concentrated civilians were pounded by Sri Lankan artillery and planes.

Meanwhile, there were mass graves that would be excavated he said.

"This is the way, unfortunately, war crimes are now dealt with, through forensic investigators finding out the story by investigating mass graves.”

“And there do seem, from aerial photographs, to be some [that can be investigated there]."

Mr Robertson is the author of ‘Crimes against Humanity – The Struggle for Global Justice’, published by Penguin and the New Press (USA), now in its third edition and published in six foreign language editions.

Polis Tempelak Manikavasagam

polis-tempelak-manikavasagam

Komen YB Kapar:

1) Mendiang S Tilak berada dibawah pengawasan Polis hampir selama 3 Jam dan Tangannya di Gari. Bukankan itu bermaksud beliau di TAHAN.

2) Apa yang berlaku dalam tempuh masa beliau berada di Balai Polis?

3) Kenapa Polis bertindak lambat memanggil Ambulance atau meminta bantuan perubatan ? Sekiranya beliau diberi rawatan awal, kemungkinan Tilak masih hidup Punca utama kematian Tilak kerana kecuaian serta kelekaan pihak polis yang tidak menghormati hak asasi manusia.

Dari Malaysiakini :

Thilak not involved’

The family also claimed that Thilak was not involved in any criminal activities.

His brother Arasu said the deceased was not the one who allegedly robbed the house.

According to him, their estranged nephew who was just released from prison after serving a three-year jail sentence was the culprit.

“One of Thilak’s friends (who was allegedly involved in the crime) had asked the nephew to call him (Thilak) to fetch them from the house.

“But Thilak said that he was at work and couldn’t go over to fetch them,” he told Malaysiakini.

He also claimed that the persons who allegedly attacked Thilak then traced the phone call to Thilak and got him entangled in the case.

“They took my brother Rajen as ‘hostage’ and made him contact Thilak.

“When Thilak finally went to see them, Rajen was released and they (took Thilak in the car and) sped away with him,” he said, adding that they only saw Thilak at the police station after that.

The nephew’s whereabouts are unknown, he added.”

Siap Benar ? Polis atau Keluarga.

thilak-maraneh-arikkai-thavaranathu

thilak-maraneh-arikkai-thavaranathu2

4) Ahli politik terpaksa campur tangan kerana kezaliman dan sikap talam dua muka semakin berleluas dalam sistem pentadbiran kini. Pihak Keluarga terpaksa meminta bantuan kerana hilang kepercayaan terdapat sistem yang sedia ada.

5) Apabila Keluarga meminta penjelasan kenapa polis menakutkan mereka?

6) Bedah Siasat pertama Mati Akibat Serangan Sakit Jantung , manakala bedah siasat kedua temui kesan-kesan luka akibat di pukul. Bedah siasat bebas di curigai, tapi hasil siasatan mereka harus kita terima. Mana adil?

6) Polis tidak dapat mengurangkan jenayah serta membiarkan pembunuh berkeliaran tetapi orang yang membela nasib rakyat di takut-takutkan. Kenapa nak geretak orang awam jika pihak sendiri tidak bersalah? Cari pembunuh atau pesalah bukan cari jalan nak putar belitkan isu agar orang awam keliru.

7) Sepatutnya pihak akhbar Kuncu-Kuncu MIC (muka depan Tamil Nesan, suka sangat kat saya) serta UMNO (Berita Harian) memaparkan hasil yang positif daripada tindakan saya itu and bukannya membuat rumusan negatif.

Saya Tetap dengan pendirian saya dan tidak akan berganjak daripada apa yang saya perjuangkan demi membela nasib mangsa.

Yang Zalim akan tetap di adili.

In his father’s footsteps, but minus the impact

JUNE 2 – Officials and the media are giving great significance to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak’s four-day official visit to China from today, comparing it to his father’s trip in 1974.

Abdul Razak was the first non-aligned Asian leader to embrace Mao Zedong . He was given a hero’s welcome at home, even by local Chinese who were angry with him after Malay soldiers killed Chinese civilians during race riots in 1969.

Similarly, Najib, who became prime minister on April 3, is banking on his visit, made on the 35th anniversary of his father’s trip, to win back local Chinese who have deserted his National Front coalition for the alliance led by rival Anwar Ibrahim.

Even Chinese embassy officials emphasised the significance of the son following the father, something they say enhances trade and economic ties and helps local Chinese progress.

The government has also trooped out diplomats, academics, professionals and business and community leaders to emphasise the significance of Najib’s visit and praise Malaysia’s closeness to China.

The New Straits Times has given extensive coverage to Abdul’s 1974 visit and reminded the public the son is following in the father’s footsteps. National television is constantly showing images of Razak shaking hands with Mao.

The highlight of Najib’s visit is his meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao tomorrow.

Malaysian-Chinese support for the government has plummeted to 35 per cent from a high of 70 per cent in 2004. Perceived official arrogance towards minorities and anti-Chinese remarks by Malay leaders are blamed for the fall, along with failure to abolish pro-Malay economic policies.

To atone, Najib is wooing Chinese, promising them equality and justice under his “1Malaysia concept” and has even shown willingness to dismantle pro-Malay policies.

His trip is a major opportunity for him to reassure local Chinese that he is “accepted and endorsed” by Beijing, burnishing an image battered by numerous controversies.

“He hopes to win acceptance by playing the China card with local Chinese,” said political analyst Khoo Kay Peng. “It worked for Razak but will not for Najib.” Khoo said, pointing out that China is no longer such a mystery.

“Malaysians know China well. They travel to China often. Chinese visit Malaysia often. The old magic is just not there any more.”

Veteran opposition lawmaker Lim Kit Siang agreed, saying Najib would do better by dismantling pro-Malay policies, and promoting human rights.

“Not just Chinese but all Malaysian races desire reform and change,” Lim said. “As Malaysians, we Chinese don’t hold China in great awe any more.” – South China Morning Post

As PPP spat continues, Najib may be forced to choose

By Baradan Kuppusamy - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — With two presidents, two sets of supreme council members and possibly two upcoming AGMs in the PPP, Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak is caught in a dilemma.

Should he attend the PPP Team A congress held under longtime president Datuk M. Kayveas on Sunday June 7 or a similar function being planned by upstart president Datuk T. Murugiah who is heading the Team B in the party?

Another alternative, PPP insiders said, is for Najib to steer clear of both factions in the hope that they resolve their dispute over time.

Najib, who is making an all important official visit to China and will be back in time for the PPP congress, is very keen on the “hands off” strategy.

He has asked his deputy Tan Sri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to talk and negotiate with both factions to find a solution before Sunday (five days time).

“The worry is that by attending and officiating on Sunday Najib would be virtually endorsing the faction led by Kayveas,” said a PPP leader in the Team B faction.

“We don’t want this to happen because Kayveas is unfit, both legally and morally, to lead the PPP when he was not properly elected,” the leader said, adding that the Murugiah faction had met Muhyiddin to explain that endorsing Kayveas would spark a grassroots rebellion in the PPP against the BN.

“We told Muhyiddin that while some PPP leaders were behind Kayveas the bulk of the grassroots have fled to Murugiah,” he said adding that the Kayveas faction is like a “head without a body.”

“The body has fled to Murugiah,” he said adding Umno and other BN leaders are aware of the situation. “The issue can only be resolved if Kayveas steps aside gracefully and let the more popular Murugiah lead the party.”

“After all Kayveas has been heading the party for 15 years,” the leader said, drawing parallels with the MIC which is led by the ageing Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu who has been president since 1979.

That’s exactly what top BN leaders hope for — a smooth leadership transition in PPP (as well as in MIC) that would see Kayveas, who has been president since 1993 and was re-elected last week to the post for another five-year term, stepping aside for Murugiah.

The problem is that the law is in the way because Murugiah’s EGM and election as president is considered invalid by lawyers involved in the issue as well as the Registrar of Societies.

“No proper notices were given, no nominations were held nor a proper election held,” said a lawyer allied with Kayveas. “The registrar (Registrar of Societies) has already informed us that Kayveas remains the legal president of the party.”

“The law is solid and backs Kayveas as the true president,” the lawyer said adding that if the law is followed the Registrar has no choice but to hold all the moves and “decisions” by Team B as illegal and invalid.

Najib has asked Muhyiddin to find a solution acceptable to all factions so that he can participate in Sunday’s congress without rancour from any side.

Muhyiddin has said a decision (on which faction for the BN to stand by) would be made after consulting the Registrar and how he rules on the validity of Murugiah’s EGM and his claim to be “rightful” president of the PPP.

“If the Registrar follows the book Kayveas remains the president and Murugiah stands expelled,” the lawyer said while urging all factions to close ranks and find a political solution.

“Only a political solution is viable under the circumstances,” the lawyer said adding that Kayveas is willing to consider a political solution.

Kayveas, his supporters said, is willing to rescind the expulsion of Murugiah and six others and allow them to return to PPP but on condition they recognise Kayveas as the valid president.

But the Murugiah faction, sources said, will only agree if Kayveas agrees to hand over the party mid-way into his new five-year term as president.

PPP sources said Kayveas has point blank refused to even consider such a possibility.

“Why should he...he was just re-elected legally for another five year term...why should he handover to a upstart nobody,’ said a Kayveas supporter.

All this gives Najib a giant headache — to attend or avoid Sunday’s congress.

One solution would be for Najib to send Muhyiddin, to placate both factions temporarily but that would not end the feud.

Permohonan Maaf YB Nozula, Kisahnya

Sheih Kickdefella

notis perintah page 3 of 3 003

Akhirnya terungkai juga satu episod setelah hampir dua tahun. Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri Kelantan BN – Paloh hari ini memohon maaf secara terbuka kepada Haji Husam Musa.

Bertempat di lobby ADUN di Dewan Negeri Kelantan pada November 22, 2007, YB Nozula Mat Diah telah memanggil satu sidang media dan membacakan tuduhan-tuduhan rasuah terhadap Haji Husam sambil menunjuk beberapa bungkusan bahan bukti yang kebanyakkannya adalah print-out daripada blog Mohd Sayuti Omar.

Setelah sidang media tersebut, YB Nozula dan lebih sedozen ADUN BN Kelantan telah berarak bersama kontijen media ke Pejabat Badan Pencegah Rasuah (sekarang SPRM) Kelantan lalu membuat satu laporan rasuah ke atas Haji Husam dan Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan.

image6

BPR Di Persila 24 Jam Sehari

Haji Husam mendiamkan diri. Tuan Guru Nik Aziz pula memberi arahan supaya semua akses kepada dokumen Kerajaan Negeri di beri 24 jam sehari kepada BPR. Ahli-ahli politik dan pemimpin PAS semuanya bersetuju memberi kerjasama penuh. Syarikat-syarikat yang mendapat tender, kontrak dan permit balak juga diharapkan dapat berbuat perkara yang sama.

Pejabat mereka yang baik dan rapat dengan Haji Husam diselongkar. Dokumen-dokumen berkaitan dengan Haji Husam dalam apa bentuk sekalipun diimbas dengan amat berhati-hati. Pejabat Perbadanan Menteri Besar Kelantan dan Air Kelantan juga tidak terkecuali.

Akhirnya, BPR menemui dari rekod Air Kelantan bahawa Haji Husam telah didapati belum melunaskan tunggakan bil air sejumlah lebih kurang RM200.00. Kakitangan terbabit ditekan dan disoal siasat bagi mewujudkan kes salah guna kuasa terhadap Haji Husam. Setelah tuduhan yang besar-besar didapati fitnah semata-mata, maka usaha diambil untuk mendakwa Haji Husam kerana terlewat melunaskan tunggakan bil air sebanyak lebih kurang RM200.00.

Husam dalam satu temubual media, menceritakan bagaimana dia menitiskan airmata bila melihat keadaan rumahnya dengan dokumen-dokumennya berselerak diselongkar semata-mata kerana terlewat membayar tunggakan bil air.

Akhirnya, BPR menutup kes setelah mendapati tiada satupun pertuduhan tersebut berasas. Husam menjelaskan tunggakan bil air tersebut dan para sahabat yakin, beliau kini insaf dan bertaubat untuk tidak melupakan tanggungjawabnya membayar bil utiliti.

Namun kegagalan BPR untuk menemui sebarang bukti yang setidak-tidaknya dapat memulakan pertuduhan ke atas Husam tidak meredakan keadaan. Bahkan media-massa langsung tidak mahu membantu menghebahkan secara adil bahawa Husam telah dibersihkan oleh BPR. Maka dengan itu, Husam memulakan tindakan menyaman YB Nozula Mat Diah dan beberapa akhbar.

Nozula Mangsa Blogger

Semalam, pihak YB Nozula telah tiada upaya melainkan membuat permohonan maaf seperti yang dituntut oleh peguam yang mewakili Haji Husam bagi mengelakkan kes itu dibicarakan. Mengelakkan kes itu dibicarakan tentu sekali melegakan banyak pihak terutama blogger yang segala tulisannya menjadi punca Nozula terperangkap.

DUN0033Kelantan

Namun begitu, difahamkan Nozula juga adalah mangsa. Nozula ditekan oleh Annuar Musa yang ketika itu Ketua Pembangkang untuk menjadi hero setelah Nozula digantung dari menyertai Persidangan Dewan Negeri sehari sebelum itu kerana menendang ADUN PAS. Annuar Musa pula telah bertemu dengan seorang blogger sehari dua sebelum itu untuk mendapatkan pertuduhan-pertuduhan terhadap Husam.

Setidak-tidaknya, itulah yang dimaklumkan kepada pihak Haji Husam.

DUN0036Kelantan

Jawapan Kedua Sayuti Kepada Kickdefella

Sementara itu, Hari ini Blogger Mohd Sayuti Omar telah respons terhadap jolokan pendedahan smsnya kepada Husam dengan mendedahkan beberapa sms Husam terhadapnya.

Sms-sms Husam kepada Sayuti itu adalah seperti berikut,

  • Penulis bisa kadang kala ingat tuhan tidak ada. Boleh tulis ikut sedap. Kerana dunia sanggup godam duit rakyat. Insyallah mana yang mahal dan rugikan rakyat kita tolak w pun tak disenangi. Nilai perjuangan bukan boleh dibeli dengan ugutan. Ya Allah bantulah hamba Mu mengatasi orang yang zalim walau siapa dia.”
  • Bismilah. Insyallah ambo takkan tunduk pada perasugut demo nak komisyen dgn cara hina. Ambo hanya mampu berdoa atas segala aniaya demo. Allah tetap akan penuhi janji bila tiba masanya.”
  • “Teruskan kemuliaan demo. Tuhan tak dok saja.”
  • “Demo kutip cari makanlah dgn perasugut tu, manusia tak tahu. Demo mulia. Ambo tak tahu hal demo. Ada menteri mana demo boleh peraugut, buatlah. Tuhan beri tangan boleh tulis lagi, loh la,”

Jelas kepada para pembaca kini, menerusi sms Husam yang didedahkan oleh Sayuti bahawa Husam menghantar sms itu kerana Husam telah diugut oleh Sayuti, lihat keratan sms Husam,

  • Nilai perjuangan bukan boleh dibeli dengan ugutan.
  • ambo takkan tunduk pada perasugut demo nak komisyen dgn cara hina.
  • Demo kutip cari makanlah dgn perasugut tu,

Kepada pembaca budiman saya bertanya, mengapa hendak Husam menghantar sms sedemikian jika dia tidak diugut?

Cabinet assurance needed - all 4,574 student-victims of USM foul-up will be given places in other public universities

By Lim Kit Siang,

From the statement of the Higher Education Minister, Datuk Seri Mohamad Khaled from Yemen and my discussion with the Higher Education Department director-general Datuk Prof Radin Umar Radin Sohadi, no concrete assurance is forthcoming that the 4,574 student-victims of USM Apex University student intake fiasco will definitely be given places in other public universities.

Although Khaled described the foul-up by the country’s only apex university as serious and directed that an independent committee be set up to investigate the matter, he has no assurances for the 4,574 student victims.

All Khaled said was that students who were rejected by USM will get another bite of the cherry, as they will be considered for placements in other public universities by the University Admissions Unit (UPU).
This is scarce consolation for the 4,575 students who went through emotional havoc over the USM foul-up.

Over 22,000 students applied for places in USM, which was conducting its own intake of undergraduates for the first time, in line with its status as an apex university. Out of this number, 8,173 were pre-qualified but only 3,599 were offered places.

The problem arose when all the 8,173 pre-qualified students were mistakenly uploaded on the USM website as being successful in their applications, creating emotional shockwaves for 4,575 students and their parents when their joy of being accepted by USM were immediately dashed by the USM bungle.

Khaled’s assurance that the 4,574 will be considered for placements in other universities is totally unsatisfactory, as this means that they are placed in the same category as the over 14,000 students who applied for admission to USM but were not pre-qualified. How can this be fair?

My discussion with Radin Umar is also not successful in getting any assurance that the 4,574 students would all be offered places in the other public universities.

He said that there are 40,366 places for public universities available for the 2009/2010 academic session while the UPU has received 61,027 applications. The UPU results would be announced on June 19.

When I asked that the 4,574 students should be given special attention as they are pre-qualified by USM, Radin Umar said that all the 61,027 applicants received by UPU are also “pre-qualified”. He said meritocracy has to be the yardstick unless the meritocracy selection system is not followed.

I do not know what this “meritocracy” Radin Umar is talking about, but I agree that the 4,574 students should be given places in the other public universities without jeopardizing or denying the chances of other eligible students.

This can be done by a two-step process.

Firstly, in the selection of the placement of 40,366 places for the public universities from the 61,027 applications, the UPU uses its meritocracy selection system.

Secondly, those from the 4,574 student-victims of the USM Apex University fiasco who failed to get UPU offers for the 40,366 university places should all be given places in the public universities, which would mean an expansion of public universities places from 40,366 to include this group.

As the 4,574 students were “pre-qualified” by USM from over 22,000 students, I will be surprised if there is even five per cent or less than 250 students from this group who are not offered places by UPU.

I do not believe that it is beyond the capability of the Malaysian public university system to increase university intake by one per cent of its target intake of 40,366 students for the new academic year when such a tiny increase in university places will see that justice is done and that not a single one of the 4,574 students nurse a life-long grievance against an unfair university selection system.

This is a decision which cannot be taken at the bureaucratic level of the UPU but only at the policy level of the Cabinet.

For this reason, I call on the Cabinet tomorrow to give categorical assurance that the 4,574 student-victims of USM Apex University student intake foul-up will be given places in other public universities without jeopardizing or denying chances to other eligible applicants.

Human trafficking rampant off Pengerang

JOHOR BARU, 2 June 2009: Stricter surveillance must be conducted off Pengerang on Johor's east coast as its proximity to a group of Indonesian islands makes it a favourite haunt for human trafficking syndicates, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency said.

Its southern region chief, Admiral Che Hassan Jusoh, said the recent drowning of foreigners recently showed the challenges his officers faced.

On 28 April 2009, six Pakistanis were drowned off Pengerang after a boat capsized during a storm.

Che Hassan told Bernama that although the Pakistani embassy in Kuala Lumpur claimed that they were tourists, there was talk that they were in fact going to Batam en route to Australia to seek political asylum.

On 12 May, eight Indonesian illegal immigrants drowned after their boat which was heading for Batam, also capsized off Pengerang.

Most of the boats leaving Pengerang head for Batam, Karimun or Bintan.

Che Hassan said there were many other similar cases involving Indonesian illegal immigrants, making the case for stricter surveillance off the coastal areas all the more important.

"This is because human trafficking syndicates conduct their business on land. There are 15 secret routes used by syndicates to smuggle illegal immigrants along the Pengerang coast," he added.

The Malaysian Armed Forces, assisted by the General Operation Force, has also posted officers to guard the Pengerang coast to check the entry of illegal immigrants.

Other than human trafficking, Pengerang is also used as a base to transfer fuel illegally, to smuggle cigarettes, for unlicensed cleaning of tankers and other illegal activities.

LATEST ON MISSING AIR FRANCE PLANE:Special aircraft to locate marks in sea

New Straits Times

BRASILIA, TUES: Brazil’s air force late Monday deployed aircraft with radar and infrared technology to maintain the search overnight for an Air France plane carrying 228 people that went missing over the Atlantic, an official said.

A daytime search using eight air force aircraft doing visual sweeps did not turn up anything in the area being searched: a zone 1,100 kilometers (680 miles) off the coast of northeast Brazil.

The area is beyond the reach of fixed land radar and near where the Airbus emitted its final communication, an automatic data message signaling multiple failures of its electric and pressurization systems.

The missing plane, Air France flight AF 447, disappeared early Monday, four hours into its 11-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris. More than half the 216 passengers on board were either Brazilian or French.

An air force spokesman, Colonel Jorge Amaral, told reporters that the search would continue overnight with a Hercules C130 plane fitted with equipment to try to detect the Air France plane’s emergency beacon.

Another aircraft being used, an Embraer R-99, had onboard radar and, “if weather conditions permit,” infrared gear that could detect bodies in the water, he said.

The spokesman said two French aircraft that had been searching from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean would have to suspend operations for the night.

Amaral said an anomaly reported by the pilot of a TAM Airlines plane flying in the area around the time the Air France plane emitted its final signal was being weighed.

The TAM pilot, who was flying towards Brazil, said he spotted what appeared to be orange marks in the ocean, in an area under the responsibility of Senegalese air traffic control.

The pilot was unable to make out whether the marks were buoys or flames.

Two post-mortems later, family still in the dark

Tarani Palani (Malaysiakini) | Jun 1, 09 4:55pm
On Saturday morning, Thilak Chellapan, 27, was severely beaten by a group of men after he was allegedly caught red-handed trying to rob a house in Port Dickson.
MCPX

thilakSeveral hours later, Thilak (left) was pronounced dead at Hospital Port Dickson in Bandar Sungala.

The family was told that the post-mortem revealed he had succumbed to heart complications.

Barely 48 hours later, the hospital could not be certain of the cause of death following a second post-mortem and this has caused anguish for the deceased's family.

The family has yet to receive a copy of the first post-mortem report. They had only been informed verbally by a doctor regarding the cause of death.

Dissatisfied with the findings, the family had requested for the second post-mortem to be carried out.

According to the family's lawyer Jason Tan, he was later informed by a doctor that the cause of death has yet to be ascertained.

"They acknowledged that there were bruises all over his body which were caused by a blunt object but they do not know if this caused the death," he added.

According to Tan, there was swelling of the brain and also the heart but a histology test has to be carried out to determine the exact cause of death.

"The deceased also suffered shock and extreme pain," he added.

When contacted, a hospital spokesperson said post-mortems are carried out for the purpose of police cases.

"As to answer questions pertaining to the details and discrepancies (of the post-mortem), we leave it to the pathologist," he said.

Thilak, a former tow-truck operator, is the youngest of 12 children.

'Thilak not involved'

The family also claimed that Thilak was not involved in any criminal activities.

His brother Arasu said the deceased was not the one who allegedly robbed the house.

According to him, their estranged nephew who was just released from prison after serving a three-year jail sentence was the culprit.

"One of Thilak's friends (who was allegedly involved in the crime) had asked the nephew to call him (Thilak) to fetch them from the house.

"But Thilak said that he was at work and couldn't go over to fetch them," he told Malaysiakini.

He also claimed that the persons who allegedly attacked Thilak then traced the phone call to Thilak and got him entangled in the case.

"They took my brother Rajen as 'hostage' and made him contact Thilak.

"When Thilak finally went to see them, Rajen was released and they (took Thilak in the car and) sped away with him," he said, adding that they only saw Thilak at the police station after that.

The nephew's whereabouts are unknown, he added.

'Cops could have done more'

Arasu's wife Carolyn Harol Haden told Malaysiakini that one of Thilak's brothers received a text message around 6am, stating that the deceased would be sent to the Port Dickson police station and then to the hospital.

The message also read, "We have smashed your brother's head."

Following this, Carolyn said she and several other family members rushed to the police station around 7am and found that Thilak could barely stand due to his injuries.

"He wanted to use the toilet, so two of my brothers-in-law helped him but he just collapsed outside the toilet," she added.

Carolyn also expressed disappointment with the police, saying they could have done more to assist Thilak.

She said the family had pleaded with the police to allow them to personally take him to the hospital but was barred from doing so.

The policemen said they had to wait for a police van to transport Thilak to the hospital, she added.

"He was complaining to the police that he was in extreme pain and had difficulty in breathing. But the policemen accused him of pretending," she claimed.

Dismissing his plea for help, Carolyn said the policemen continued to record statements from the two individuals who brought Thilak to the police station.

Two men have been detained

Negeri Sembilan police chief Osman Salleh told Malaysiakini that policemen escorted Thilak to the hospital around 8.30am and stayed with him at the hospital.

He added that two men, in their early 30s, were detained on the same day to facilitate investigations.

Carolyn said she and the others did not follow Thilak to the hospital because she was pregnant and had to return home.

The family later received a call around 11am informing them of Thilak's death.

"We are not saying that the police caused this but they could have been much more helpful," said Carolyn.

Vell Paari: Was the police negligent?

In a related development, MIC Youth advisor Vell Paari called for a thorough investigation to determine if the police had been negligent with regards to ensuring Thilak received prompt medical attention.

vell paari vellpaari"We know this is not a case of police abuse. But was the police negligent by not taking him to the hospital immediately?" he asked.

"Who knows, he could have been saved if medical attention was given earlier," he told Malaysiakini.

Furthermore, Vell Paari said the family had pleaded with the police to take him but this went unheeded.

In view of this, the MIC Youth advisor said a probe must be launched in relation to the police's standard operating procedure in such cases and to check if there was any element of negligence on their part.

Penanti: Pakatan Rakyat perlu terus hati-hati terhadap angkara Umno-BN

Dari Harakah Daily

Oleh Mohd Sabri Said

Ketua Umum Parti Keadilan Rakyat (KeADILan), Dato’ Seri Anwar Ibrahim mengingatkan Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat supaya lebih berhati-hati dengan Umno dan Barisan Nasional (BN) kerana kemenangan Pakatan Rakyat di Dewan Undangan Negeri (Dun) N12 Penanti menjadikan Umno lebih agresif merancang berbagai usaha buruk untuk memenuhi dendam mereka.

Ujarnya, penolakan BN oleh rakyat sejak kebelakangan ini membuatkan kepimpinan parti itu semakin lantang mencerca dan mencipta berbagai usaha memburuk-burukan usaha kerajaan walaupun Kerajaan Pakatan Rakyat melaksanakan program kebajikan terhadap rakyat.

“Awasi usaha Umno akan datang kerana mereka akan lakukan apa saja untuk meruntuhkan Pakatan Rakyat termasuk melaga-lagakan kepimpinan gabungan ketiga-tiga parti,” jelasnya ketika memberikan amanat selepas menang di Yayasan Aman, Penanti semalam.

Beliau menambah, pihak Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya Malaysia (SPR) juga memainkan peranan dengan arahan BN supaya rakyat yang cenderong kepada Pakatan Rakyat tidak boleh mengundi walhal dalam pilihan raya umum lepas nama mereka tertera dalam buku daftar pemilih.

Tidak mustahil Pilihan raya Kecil Manik Urai, Kelantan nanti sambung Anwar, BN cuba melakukan berbagai helah untuk membersihkan nama mereka di Penanti.

Menyentuh isu kemenangan di Penanti beliau yang juga Ketua Pembangkang di Parlimen mengucapkan terima kasih pada pengundi kerana memberi ruang untuk Dr Mansor berkhidmat di Penanti walaupun beliau bukan anak tempatan Penanti.

“Berilah beliau peluang membina harapan baru yang lebih sengit di Dun Penanti. Marilah bersamanya melebarkan semangat serta tingkatkan pembaharuan yang dikehendaki oleh Kerajaan Negeri pimpinan Lim Guan Eng,” katanya.

Pt 2 | One-on-one with Farish Noor

Bkt Koman residents fail to stop goldmine

DAP slams Mingguan Malaysia for calling non-Malays ‘Kaum Pendatang’

By Neville Spykerman - The Malaysian Insider

PETALING JAYA, June 1 — The DAP today slammed the Umno-owned Mingguan Malaysia for fueling racial discord by referring to non-Malays as ‘Kaum Pendatang’ or immigrants.

Petaling Jaya MP Tony Pua said the last time the issue was raised, a Chinese press reporter was detained under the Internal Security Act (ISA), although she was just reporting what was said by an Umno leader.

He was referring to Sin Chew journalist Tan Hoon Cheng was detained for over 24-hours last September after quoting Bukit Bendara Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail, who made the remark during the Permatang Pauh by-election.

“Is there going to be equal treatment for Mingguan Malaysia?” he asked.

Pua said he is against the use of the ISA but wonders if authorities would take any action against the Sunday edition of Utusan Malaysia.

The column yesterday by Awang Selamat also asked if the sacrifice of Malays has been betrayed by non-Malays.

The article made reference to rights of citizenship given to non-Malays before independence, comparing Malaysia to other countries which according to the weekly had rejected their immigrant communities.

The article also quoted former MIC president Tun V.T Sambanthan who compared Malaysia to Burma where the Indian community had been forced out.

“Is this the 1 Malaysia which (Datuk Seri) Najib (Razak) is taking about,” he asked adding that it was more like a strategy of divide and rule.

Utusan Malaysia's editorial explaining Najib's 1Malaysia - by Tony Pua

"Kaum Pendatang" Again...

What "1Malaysia"?

UMNO mouthpiece Utusan Malaysia's weekend edition, Mingguan Malaysia just carried another editorial which was entitled "Melayu Dikhianati" or "Malays Betrayed".

Persoalannya, kini apakah pengorbanan Melayu dikhianati oleh kaum lain?
Who betrayed them? Apparently it's the "kaum pendatang" (again) who are ungrateful towards all the "kemurahan hati orang Melayu".

They even took an alleged quote from Tun Sambanthan from 1965 (source unknown):

Di manakah anda boleh mendapat layanan politik yang baik untuk kaum pendatang? Di manakah dalam sejarah dunia? Saya bertanya kepada anda. Ini adalah fakta. Siapakah anda untuk menjaga keselamatan kami? ... Persoalannya, kini apakah pengorbanan Melayu dikhianati oleh kaum lain?

The article even went to the extent of comparing ourselves with Burma, on the fact that Indians were chased out of the country!

“Di Burma, seperti yang kita semua sedia maklum, kaum India telah diusir keluar, di Ceylon mereka tidak diberikan taraf warganegara seperti juga di Burma. Saya tahu dan anda juga tahu. Apa yang sedang berlaku di Malaya?

So, Najib, this is your 1Malaysia you have been preaching about? That all minority races are still "kaum pendatang" that should be treated with continued discrimination and disdain but remain eternally grateful to UMNO for all it has done?

Tan Hoon Cheng, a reporter was detained under ISA for merely reporting the "kaum pendatang" comments by a racist UMNO leader in Penang. Now, the editors of Utusan Malaysia are openly preaching "kaum pendatang", will we see equal treatment here?

Najib, you preach your "1Malaysia" concept to the minorities in this country very hard to win back their hearts and sympathies. But behind our backs, via UMNO's very own Utusan Malaysia, you continue to preach hatred, division and discrimination. Your vision and implementation of "1Malaysia" is absolutely disgraceful!

NST Editorial: Feast of lies

Image

"We are owned by a political party. We are not a foreign newspaper," said a reporter for one of Malaysia's English-language dailies. "Do you want us to get into trouble with the party? Do you want us to get into trouble with the palace?"

NO HOLDS BARRED


Raja Petra Kamarudin

Feast of lies

APOLOGIES -- at the very least -- are called for. Having suffered several days of distressing but perhaps predictable reports in the Indonesian and Singaporean press and on the international wire services, it was the height of grace for Tengku Temenggong Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra and his wife Cik Puan Temenggong Manohara, the former Odelia Pinot, to issue not a word in response or protest but simply to appear together at the wedding of a family friend. Reports of her torture and torment, as graphically recounted in the regional media, clearly seem greatly exaggerated. While we would dwell no further on the Kelantan royal couple's personal life, beyond hoping their continued happiness together will in time settle whatever unhappiness resides in others close to them, we cannot be so sanguine or hopeful over the erosion of reason apparently afflicting even the professional media these days.

When an aggrieved party's scandalous allegations are leapt on and gnawed to the bone without even a perfunctory attempt at verification, the damning lapse lies in the notion that a lie is news and ought to be reported as such. For the yellow press to make a meal of this is predictable, and their readership would have it no other way. For respected wire services and leading newspapers to pick up the "story", however, running it under headlines such as "Najib dodges queries on model" in reference to the Malaysian prime minister's refusal to take questions on the subject during his official visit to Jakarta last week, suggests that the much-touted need for the "old" media to learn from the "new" is barking up the wrong tree. When sentiment matters more than fact; when any accusation, no matter how outrageous, is deemed to need response or be held as true, some old-fashioned professionalism in reporting would seem a brave rearguard action in defence of the increasingly quaint notion of getting the story right.

As information and communications technology rolls ever onward, enabling ever more virulent text-message scams, invasions of privacy and scandalous rumour-mongering, along with all the benefits of reach, ubiquity and coolness now so piously upheld by those recognising the ascent of ICT over all previous media, it's appropriate once again to haul out the famous observation of 1970s media guru Marshall McLuhan: "The medium is the massage." What really matters is the message, not the medium of its "massage". And we could all be doing a lot better in getting our messages straight.

NST Editorial, 27 April 2009

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

Indonesian Teen Model Escapes From Malaysian Prince

Lurid tales of sexual abuse, torture, kidnapping
Asia Sentinel, 1 June 2009

After a dramatic escape from her Malaysian prince husband over the weekend, 17-year-old Indonesian-American model Manohara Odelia Pinot said she had been abused, tortured and subjected to sexual abuse in the prince's Kelantan redoubt, and that neither the Malaysian or Indonesian authorities bothered to help her.

Accompanied by her mother, Manohara told a packed press conference that she had escaped from the Royal Plaza Hotel in Singapore after she and her 31-year-old husband, Tengku Muhammad Fakhry had accompanied Fakhry's father, Sultan Ismail Petra Shah II, to Singapore after the latter had a heart attack.

Her escape to Indonesia, she said, was through the assistance of the United States and Indonesian Embassies in Singapore as well as the Singapore police.

"Their guards tried to catch me but they were afraid of having their action recorded by the escalator's camera that would leave their tracks, so they let me go," she said when asked how she could escape from the supervision of the Kelantan Sultan's guards.

After her arrival in Jakarta, Manohara and her mother, Daisy Fajarina, took to Indonesian television to tell a horrific tale of intimidation and torture including having her breasts sliced with a razor, forced drug injections and other abuse. The local media had a field day, running the press conference continually throughout Sunday. The media circus, however, didn't make it to Malaysia, where the story was studiously ignored by the mainstream press, which is controlled by the major political parties of the national coalition. The independent website Malaysiakini ran the story, carefully noting claims that Fajarina had attempted to extort RM600,000 from the prince.

"We are owned by a political party. We are not a foreign newspaper," said a reporter for one of Malaysia's English-language dailies. "Do you want us to get into trouble with the party? Do you want us to get into trouble with the palace?"

The jet-setting teen model, named one of Indonesia's "most precious people" by a fashion magazine, met her husband when she was only 16 at a gala dinner thrown by then-deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. Her story was a dramatic counterpoint to the prince's claims in Malaysia earlier this month she was happily married and that her mother was demanding money from him.

A spokesman denied the story of Manohara's escape, saying Prince Fakhry had decided to divorce her. For her part, Manohara on Monday threatened to sue the prince.

"I am still traumatized by all that happened and it has left an impact on me," she told the press conference, accompanied by her mother, her sister Dewi Sri Asih and a staff member of the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore.

The plight of Manohara and her wrecked fairy-tale marriage raises grim questions for the Malaysian government, which refused to grant Fajarina and her second daughter a visa to visit the country to attempt to rescue Manohara. The mother claimed Manohara had been kidnapped in Saudi Arabia after a February visit to the Muslim holy land to and hustled back to Malaysia aboard a private jet, leaving the mother standing on the tarmac.

The refusal of the Malaysian immigration department to allow the two into the country again raises questions of the disappearance of the immigration records of Mongolian translator Altantuya Shaariibuu and her two companions after she was murdered in 2006 by two of Najib's bodyguards.

It is also the latest blow to the credibility of Malaysia's sultans, who have been the subject of years of reports of abuse of the public purse and refusal to accept accountability. Many have been repeatedly accused of demanding that the states they rule pay huge gambling debts run up in casinos in London.

At one point in the 1980s, the Sultan of Johor was accused of beating a golf caddy to death with a golf club. He was also not brought to justice for shooting a trespasser on his property. Then-Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad accused the sultans, among other things, of giving away parts of the country to the British, oppressing the people, breaking civil and criminal laws, misusing the money and property of the government and pressuring government officials. , asking in 1993 that the body strip them of their immunity before the law. Mahathir used the incident in a parliamentary move to limit the sultans' prerogatives

It also poses problems for the United Malays National Organisation, which over the last six months has tied itself closely to the sultans. In a squabble over the dissolution of the legislature on the state of Perak, UMNO has made criticism of the sultans a bone of contention with the opposition, accusing them in effect of insulting the ethnic Malays' birthright, with UMNO membhers filing more than 100 police complaints against an opposition lawyer who filed suit against the Sultan of Perak. The sordid revelations now attached to the Kelantan royal house make it difficult to justify the sultans' immunity from criticism.

Manohara, in her press conference, called attention to other 'Manoharas' who got 'locked up' in Malaysia, presumably by other royal families.

"Sexual abuse and sexual harassment were like a daily routine for me, and he did that every time I did not want to have sexual intercourse," she said. "I could never think a normal man could do such things."

After the story blew up in April, Manohara was photographed smiling and at ease at a ceremony in Malaysia. However, she said, she was constantly guarded and spent most of her time in her bedroom in the palace.

"Every time I went out for events, they forced me to smile and would torture me if I did not do what they said," she said. She said she had tried to escape, but was caught by royal family staff and injected with drugs that made her vomit blood. "I was injected twice," she said.

When confirming a reporter's question about whether her husband had cut her nipples, she was reluctant to give details. "Yes it is true. Some parts of my body were cut by a razor," Manohara said.

Manohara said she had secretly called the Singapore police on Saturday night requesting help. Police responded, she told the press conference, and confronted the royal family, telling them they couldn't prevent the girl from leaving, according to Teuku Faizasyah, spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Jakarta. He said police then called the US and Indonesian embassies for assistance.

"After Manohara was secured by the Singaporean police, our embassy staff in Singapore processed all her documents at the hotel within only four hours from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Sunday so she could go back to Indonesia immediately," Teuku said.

Manohara confirmed that the police had helped her escape. "The police told Fakhry that he would be held in jail if he did not let me go. No one could force me against my will in Singapore and I knew I had a chance to escape here," she said, adding that she wanted a divorce and would file a police report against her estranged husband.

Manohara also claimed that Indonesian Ambassador for Malaysia Da'i Bachtiar had previously lied about her condition. "They made it worse by telling lies, saying that I was fine while I was suffering in Kelantan," she said, adding that no media in Malaysia had reported on her plight.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs denied allegations that its embassy in Malaysia had lied.

LATEST 'SEDITIOUS WORDS'. BEWARE

The public have been warned that the following words could be construed to land them in a 'seditious' situation and could be arrested by the police if they were to utter them in public.

So the public need to be fore-WARNED. BEWARE

picture courtesy of DanielYKL

Police Chief Slams Opposition MP For Furore Over Suspect's Death

PORT DICKSON, June 1 (Bernama) -- Negeri Sembilan police chief Datuk Osman Salleh has criticised an Opposition member of parliament (MP) for blaming police for the death of a suspect on Saturday.

"This is what happen when politicians meddle without asking authorities for clarification," he told reporters here Monday.

Osman said suspect S. Tilak, 27, was handed over to police at 7am on Saturday for breaking into a house and stealing jewellery worth RM30,000.


He was also assaulted by several men.

"Police recorded a statement from the man who detained Tilak and then sent him to Port Dickson Hospital where he died at noon. We never detained him," he added.

The MP for Kapar S. Manikavasagam (PKR) claimed in his blog that Tilak was mistreated when detained by Port Dickson police.

Osman said after Tilak's death, police detained two Indian men who had detained him and applied to the court for a second autopsy on the body.

He was disappointed with the spread of SMS messages alleging that police had delayed sending Tilak to hospital.

"The people responsible for Tilak's death are not under pressure while police are being slandered for doing their job," he added.


-- BERNAMA
*******
The Star

Monday June 1, 2009

Citizen’s arrest leads to death

By LOURDES CHARLES and WANI MUTHIAH


SEREMBAN: A 27-year-old man, who was allegedly assaulted by members of the public during a citizen’s arrest on Saturday, died several hours later at a hospital here.

Two men who were among several people who allegedly made the citizen’s arrest have been detained for questioning.

State police chief Senior Asst Comm (I) Datuk Osman Salleh said the duo were being investigated under Section 364 of the Penal Code for kidnapping with the intent to murder.

“Initial investigations revealed that several men claimed they made the arrest after the man was accused of being involved in theft and robbery.

“The so-called arrest was made at about 3am in Rantau but the suspect was only brought to the Port Dickson police station at about 6.30am,” he said.

SAC Osman said police when recording the statement from the men noticed the suspect had cuts and bruises on him and immediately made arrangements to send him to hospital where, doctors upon examining him, said he was in stable condition.

However, about three hours later the suspect died at the hospital. An initial post-mortem report revealed he died of heart failure.

“Based on the bruises, we requested a court order for a second post-mortem to be conducted by a pathologist to ascertain the cause of death.

“We will not hide anything and those responsible will brought to book,” he added.

Meanwhile, PKR supreme council member and Kapar MP S. Manikavasagam said it was upsetting to note that someone could die in such a way while in police custody.

“The police station should be one of the safest places for anyone to be in. The family of the deceased wants to know how the serious head injuries were inflicted,” he said, adding that he would assist the family to find out the truth.

"Use ISA against Chin Peng's supporters"

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 June 2009: The Ex-Servicemen's Association has called on the government to use the Internal Security Act (ISA) against anyone, including politicians, who proposed or supported a move to allow former communist leader Chin Peng to return to Malaysia.


Chin Peng (Pic extracted from the cover of My Side
of History
, published by Media Masters Singapore,
2003)
Its president, Datuk Muhammad Abdul Ghani, also described such quarters as communists for attempting to bring in the communist ideology into the country.

He hoped the government would take stern action against any politician or those attemptiong to bring Chin Peng into the country.

"If possible, use the ISA. We do not want the communist ideology to grow in Malaysia," he told a press conference here today.

He said in a peace treaty and the dissolution of the Communist Party of Malaya in December 1989, the communist insurgents had agreed to stay in southern Thailand.

"If they want to return to this country, they will have to comply to the law and undergo a rehabilitation process.

"However, we, as ex-service[persons], will feel insulted if they were allowed to return as Malaysian nationals," said Abdul Ghani, who also urged the government to review the pension paid to retired soldiers who sustained permanent disability in the war against the communists.

Meanwhile, ex-serviceperson Corporal Muhammad Sham Harun, who lost his sight in an operation against the communist insurgents in Perak in 1975, does not harbour any love lost for the communists.

"If I ever see him (Chin Peng) again, I will dig his eyes out so he can feel what I feel.

"There must be something that makes him want to come back, or even spread the communist ideology. If he is allowed to return, then our sacrifices are futile," the 55-year-old told a press conference.

Sham retired from the army in 1994 and currently receives a RM429 monthly pension.

For Rosli Adnan, who lost his legs during the war with the communists in Grik, Perak, in 1978, Chin Peng's return would cause misery to many ex-servicepersons and their families.

"It's better he stays out of the country. His return will hurt our feelings," said the 50-year-old, who receives a monthly pension of RM274. — Bernama

Internet useful for making truth known: Mahathir

KUALA LUMPUR, 1 June 2009: Although the internet, particularly blogs, could be used to frighten people and create panic, it is also useful for making the truth known, said former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the knowledge that can be accessed through the internet is limitless, but knowledge and its acquisition could be for good or evil.

"The blogs, for example, can be used to demonise people, scare them and create panic. The SMS (Short Message System) can be used for similar purposes.

"But we know how useful they can be for making the truth known and for individuals to air their views and feelings freely," he said in his speech at the inaugural launch of OSDC.my and Open Source Industry Global Linkage here today.

Mahathir revealed that during his premiership, he had been told that there was no secrecy on the internet, and since the government was using it a lot, he had suggested the country should develop its own operating system.

"I think a lot of computer-savvy government staff tried hard but got nowhere," Mahathir said. — Bernama

Widow facing eviction dies after deadline expires

manimathuWhen I first met her last week, she reminded me of my dear late grandmother. She did not say much but wore a worried frown on her face (see photo).

Tonight, I received news that she had passed away just after 8.00pm on the way to the hospital, after complaining of pain in her back and hand. She had not been feeling well for some time.

Widow Manimathu, 74, was among the tenant-villagers at the St Francis Xavier’s Church along Penang Road, who had been given a 31 May deadline to sign an agreement to vacate their homes. The Church, through its lawyers, wanted the villagers to accept RM10,000 in compensation and leave by 31 May 2010. If they failed to accept these terms, they had to leave by yesterday, Pentecost Sunday.

As the deadline to accept the terms approached, Manimathu grew anxious, according to one of the villagers. “What will happen to us after that?” she was heard telling several villagers. “Which house can I go to?”

In the midst of this controversy between the church and the villagers, it looks as if God has now intervened.

Manimathu was the wife of the late Mr Selva, a foreman at the now defunct Straits Echo. She had lived in the village since 1949.

Autism centre needs assistance badly

By Nathaniel Tan

Still on the road, so may not be writing much sorry, but wanted to offer quick congratulations to Dr. Mansor, Penang’s new DCM, and Pakatan’s entire election machinery.

Also, via Susan and others, I came across this appeal from a father of two autistic kids who’s looking to revive a small but vibrant autism centre that is in danger of closing.

As it happens, I was just having a conversation with two friends from uni last night about autism, one of whom spent two years working at a similar centre.

I was moved by how difficult and at times seemingly unrewarding the work can be, given the difficulty of creating emotional connections with individuals with autism.

In any case, the brave gentlemen in question runs a resource website to help people in similar situations, and here is part of his appeal (do check out the whole post) :

I am a father of 2 autistic boys age 7 and 9, they are Yong Wei Xiang and Yong Wei Jie. I am a small freelance in IT and software design, business was good before but last 2-3 years have been bad.

I send my sons to the center for last 3 months because it is free and the teacher is very experience in handling autism related issue. But that are closing down due to financial difficulties. I belief I will be able to turn it around but I need help for the first year. I am looking for angel who can donate to keep the center open for another year, thereafter I should be able to make it profitable.

I have 2 weeks to put thing together before they closed it down. 20 kids will be affected if the centre is closed down without giving them an alternative to go.

Gerakan To Issue Show Cause Letter To Huan

KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 (Bernama) -- Gerakan vice-president Huan Cheng Guan will have to explain his critical statement against the party leadership.

Gerakan secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow said the party's central working committee (CWC), which met last night, viewed the matter seriously and decided to issue a show-cause letter, three days after Huan expressed his dissatisfaction with the top leadership and intention to resign from the party.

"While respecting Huan's right to express his views, the CWC viewed his recent media statements, particularly those ridiculing the party in the vernacular press, as having gone overboard and had badly tarnished the party's image.

"His action had caused dissension and division in the party, which is unacceptable to the CWC," Teng said in a statement Monday.

Teng said that even though the party had not received any notification of resignation from Huan, he had already made known his intention through his statement in the media.

The party's constitution required a member who wished to resign to give 30 days' notice in writing to his branch secretary with a copy to the CWC through its secretary-general, he said.

"As such, the CWC has decided that disciplinary action be instituted against him in accordance with the provisions of the party's constitution," he said.

Huan, when contacted, said he had not received any show-cause letter as yet.

"Wait until I receive it. I have to see the contents first," he said.

1 Malaysia? 45% Najib. - Jeff Ooi

UPDATED VERSION. Voter concerns on political stability subside, but worries about the economy remain.

That's the latest findings by Merdeka Center for Opinion Research released today, June 1 (News Release here, Poll Report here).

The latest findings are part of an on-going poll conducted from the time Najib took office as PM, and closed by the time AH1N1 arrived, with the Perak Crisis smacked right in the middle.

Moving into the 100th day in office, which falls on June 2, Najib only has an approval rating of 45% from Malaysians in the peninsula.

His all-time best was 46% as at March 08, and the all-time worst had been 34%, both in July 2008 and the March 3-9 period in 2009, respectively (see Page 22 of 24 of the Poll Report).

About 16% remained hardcore dissatisfied with the leadership, and nearly 4 out of 10 refused to even answer the question.

In strange contrast to Abdullah Badawi, Najib is one Prime Minister who is denied a "honeymoon" probation.

Wake-up calls

However, there is a big caution for the Opposition in Peninsular Malaysia. Straighten up, Pakatan Rakyat, and take note of a loud wake-up call now ringing. Rest early on your laurels and you are a dead duck, the visuals of Putrajaya doomed.

The Merdeka Center findings indicate that people who think the country is moving towards the right direction has accentuated from 37% (April 3) to 41% (May 15), a steady climb within six weeks and still counting (see Page 13 of 24).

This means, despite forking-talking to the Malays and non-Malays in different tongues about NEP (see Page 17 of 24), Najib is gaining traction in image-rebuilding that he is pro-market equality, albeit slowly. (see Page 7 of 24 of the Poll Report).

Interesting too, the latest poll results also indicate that the minority Indian community have swung to warm up to Najib, giving him a 64% approval rating, outdoing even the Malays who gave him 53% of thumbs-up.

In contrast, only 24% of the Chinese population are satisfied with Najib (see Page 23 of 24).

On the economic front, optimism level about the economic prospects in the country has improved from 31% (March 2009) to 47% in May, a steep jump of 16% within two months which saw Abdullah make the final exit.

The deepest trough of people's confidence over economy was the record low of 20% during the July 1-14, 2008 period.

The poll has contemporary currency as it was conducted from May 6 to May 15, 2009. Sampling size: A total of 1,067 registered voters in Peninsular Malaysia, comprising 56% Malays, 34% Chinese and 10% Indians -- roughly the racial composition in Semenanjung.

Margin of error: Plus minus 3.01%.