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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sinhala "lebensraum" in progress in Vanni, warns Prof.Boyle

"The Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL) is continuing to inflict Nazi-type crimes and atrocities against the Tamils even after their alleged excuse of fighting a "war against terrorism" has been exposed as a bogus pretext to annihilate the Tamils and to steal their lands and natural resources. This is what Hitler and the Nazis called "lebensraum"--"living space" for the Sinhala at the expense of the Tamils. The GOSL's "ethnic cleansing" of the Tamil Homeland for the benefit of the Sinhala is now underway," warns Francis Boyle, professor of International Law at the University of Illinois College of Law.

"With the UN already under fire for withholding and downplaying the number of civilian casualties in Sri Lanka, another ongoing controversy has opened up concerning the number of internally displaced persons detained in the IDP camps in northern Sri Lanka. Between the May 27 and May 30 reports of the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, over 13,000 IDPs simply disappeared from the camps," reported Inner City Press which is covering the affairs at the United Nations in New York.

Prof Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
Prof Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law
"Concerning these missing 13,130+ genocide-survivors from the Safety Zone, Article 7(1)(i) of the Rome Statute for the International Criminal Court provides that the "enforced disappearance of persons" is a Crime Against Humanity "when committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population, with knowledge of the attack," Boyle said.

Clearly the GOSL's enforced disappearances of these Tamils and other Tamils in the past has been both "widespread" and "systematic" as documented over the years by numerous human rights NGOs. The GOSL's widespread and systematic enforced disappearances of Tamils over the years constitutes a Crime Against Humanity, Boyle added.

"According to the Nuremberg Charter (1945), the Nuremberg Judgment (1946) and the Nuremberg Principles (1950), the paradigmatic example of a Crime Against Humanity is what Hitler and the Nazis did to the Jews.

"Historically, this Nuremberg Crime Against Humanity was the legal precursor to the International Crime of Genocide as defined by the 1948 Genocide Convention," Boyle said.

Lebensraum served as a major motivation for Nazi Germany's territorial aggression. Adolf Hitler believed that the German people needed Lebensraum – for a Großdeutschland, land, and raw materials – and that it should be taken in the East. It was the stated policy of the Nazis to kill, deport, Germanize or enslave the Polish, and later also Russian and other Slavic populations, and to repopulate the land with reinrassig (racially pure) Germanic peoples.

Sri Lanka Government' Nazi-type crimes in the Vanni appear motivated by the doctrine of lebenstraum, and the future survival of Tamil culture in Sri Lanka is in peril, says Prof. Boyle.

The Manohara escape and unsung heroes

SINGAPORE, June 3 — We don't have their names but we do have a name for them — unknown heroes.

Three strangers, including a Singapore cabby, played crucial roles in helping teen model Manohara Odelia Pinot flee from her husband, Kelantan prince Tengku Temenggong Muhammad Fakhry on Saturday.

Pinot's sister, Dewi Sari Asih, 20, told The New Paper that the escape would not have been possible if not for the help they received from these strangers.

The first was an informant from within the Kelantan palace. This unnamed person tipped off Pinot's family in Indonesia last Wednesday.

The informant told them that Pinot would be in Singapore that week.

On Saturday, the same caller called again and told them to “better come quick now” as Pinot would be leaving Singapore that night.

Pinot's mother, Daisy Fajarina, and Asih subsequently took the first flight they could get from Jakarta to Singapore that afternoon.

Arriving in Changi Airport at about 8pm, they hailed a cab and made a beeline for Royal Plaza on Scotts.

Their cabby is unknown hero No. 2.

On the way to the hotel, the mother and daughter started discussing about Pinot's plight.

The taxi driver overheard their strange conversation.

Said Asih: “The taxi driver said he wasn't trying to listen to our conversation but from what he had heard, he advised us to call the police.”

She and her mother were initially hesitant about getting the police involved.

“We were worried that the police might not help us. So we asked the taxi driver how the police here worked,” said Asih.

“He told us that the police would definitely protect us regardless of who we were, whether we were foreigners or locals, whether we were rich orpoor.”

The taxi driver's conviction in the police moved them.

When they called the police, there was finally a glimmer of hope that they would get to see Pinot after allegedly being denied contact with her for close to three months.

Having last seen Pinot on March 9 before she was whisked away on a private jet in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, her mother and sister were excited by the prospect of seeing her again.

But they were unprepared for the drama that was to unfold.

Arriving at the hotel at around 8.30pm, they entered the hotel lobby to find four to five of the prince's bodyguards there.

Asih told The New Paper over the phone from Jakarta: “The bodyguards' faces changed when they saw us. They looked scared and shocked and started speaking into their handphones.

“We waited in the area around the elevator, hoping to see Manohara as that was where she would come out from. We could not go up as we did not have a pass key (to operate the lift).”

The police arrived less than 10 minutes after they arrived.

Then, unknown hero No. 3 lent a helping hand.

Said Asih: “A lady, who turned out to be an Indonesian guest staying at the hotel, came up to us while we were waiting near the elevator.

“She asked my mum if she was Manohara's mum. My mum said yes, and she told us that she saw Manohara on the third floor, but the people upstairs were not letting her come down.

“Then I heard the emergency alarm from the elevator. A woman and a man then came running from the lobby area towards the elevator carrying what looked like a doctor's bag. They (the security guards) told them to go to the third floor.

“We tried to follow them up, but they stopped us.”

Soon after, her mum and the police also went up to the third floor while Asih stayed behind in the lobby.

Said Fajarina: “When I got up to the third floor, I saw Manohara inside the lift, sitting on the floor crying, pressing the alarm button. She refused to get out.

“When she saw me, she started screaming for me and said, 'Mother, never let me go again'.”

Asih said that she later met her sister and her mother in a hotel room on the third floor belonging to the Indonesian lady who had earlier tipped them off about seeing Pinot on that floor. She had allowed them to use her room.

Asih said that Pinot later contacted American embassy officials who turned up with officials from the Indonesian embassy.

Fajarina said that they stayed in the room from 9pm to 4am and negotiated with the prince, who did not want to let her daughter go.

She added that the prince relented only after his lawyer advised him that he could be in trouble with the law if he refused.

The family then made their way back to Jakarta on an early morning flight on Sunday.

Recounting her experiences that night, Asih said: “I feel relieved to see her in person, but it was bittersweet. I was so happy to see her, but also sad that she had to go through all those painful things. I wished she didn't have to go through that.

“It was very emotional, we wouldn't let go of each other.”

When contacted, Patrick Fiat, general manager of Royal Plaza on Scotts said: “The matter is a private affair and Royal Plaza on Scotts is committed to honouring our guests' confidentiality hence we are not at liberty to comment.”

When asked what actions the hotel takes when the emergency bell in the elevator goes off, he declined to comment, citing confidentiality for all security measures.

At a press conference in Jakarta after she arrived, Pinot said: “I am still traumatised by all that happened and it has left an impact on me.”

Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman Teuku Faizasyah said Singapore police had 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 12am to 4am on Sunday so she could go back to Indonesia immediately,” the spokesman said.

Pinot said told the press conference that she wanted a divorce and would file a police report against her estranged husband. — The New Paper

The house that Samy built

A family pic, prominently placed in the family home. - Picture by Choo Choy May

By Baradan Kuppusamy- The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — S Vell Paari may be 47 and married with a daughter but he still prefers to live with his famous father the MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu in the family house in Jalan Ipoh surrounded by the memories of his childhood.

“I have an office in the house,” Vell Paari said as he showed off the famous house to The Malaysian Insider team recently.

It is the same house where in the heydays Samy Vellu held grand birthday parties and scores of loyalists lined up to garland him and offer presents that ranged from pens and cakes to huge paintings of their leader.

In was reported at one such birthday party Samy Vellu famously said that guests had eaten everything and that there was nothing left for his dogs.

An outside view of the Samy home. - Picture by Choo Choy May

At another he was furious to find chicken bones in the swimming pool.

A 20-year-old golden arowana has pride of place in the opulent sitting room with its many ornate decorations.

Along the side of the large oval shaped room are numerous figures of Lord Ganesa. “Lord Ganesa is a favourite gift among Hindu VIPs,” said Paari explaining why Ganesa is everywhere.

Outside, the waters in a large swimming pool shimmers under the hot afternoon sun. The garden is packed with trees including a few rambutan and durian trees with pet jungle fowls running around.

In one corner is an aviary with peacocks including two rare white coloured that were gifts. Some of the peacocks were born in the aviary, says Paari.

In another corner is another air-condition outhouse for two dogs — a giant sized German Shepard called Watts and an unnamed Pug.

“They all have been with us for a long time,” says Paari adding, they were part of the family.

On the ground floor is Samy Vellu’s study lined with more statues of Ganesa, walls covered with photographs of family and friends and shelves full of books (both English and Tamil) and a large working table.

On the second floor is the prayer room, living quarters and more books which we gave a skip during the tour.

Samy Vellu’s wife Datin Sri Indrani Samy Vellu lives in a condominium in the city, Paari says and visits often.

At the time of the interview Samy Vellu was in Singapore checking up on his eyes.

Enter the son as Samy Vellu gets ready to depart

Paari plans to contest a MIC vice-president’s post in the party’s September elections. — Pictures by Jack Ooi

By Baradan Kuppusamy The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 — S. Vell Paari is something of an enigma having been in the shadows of his powerful and domineering father – Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu — all these years.

But things are beginning to change for Paari, 47, a burly married man weighing over 115kg with a nine-year-old daughter Bhavya Vel studying at the elite Alice Smith International School.

Paari, the CEO of the controversy-hit Maika Holdings, plans to launch his political career by running for a vice-president’s post in the MIC elections in September.

He had long wanted to enter politics formally but his father had always opposed it.

But after the March 8 general election disaster Samy Vellu announced he would not stop Paari from contesting.

His defeat in Sungei Siput had brought him closer to Paari, his only son, after others close to him deserted him in the aftermath of his defeat, MIC insiders said.

“Paari was one of the few who stood by his father and Samy Vellu appreciates it,” said a MIC insider.

Paari, who holds a diploma in architecture, hopes to win but does not want a post in the government.

“We need someone from outside to boldly criticise the government,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

He has been getting prominent coverage in recent months in the family-owned Tamil Nesan daily, commenting on national and international issues, including the urgent need to protect and promote the welfare of Tamils here and abroad.

But some of his father’s scandals and his own have stymied his standing, earned him ridicule in the Indian community and is set to hinder his ambitions to be a political leader like his father.

His links to the death of his secretary Sujatha Krishnan, a former actress, had also damaged his standing in the community.

He denies having a hand in her death or having an affair with her and maintains she died after consuming paraquat.

“The ongoing inquest will clear me of any wrongdoing,” he said in the interview in which he also describes how his father took his defeat in Sungei Siput, the future of Maika Holdings, his take on the Nov 25 Hindraf protest and when his father would finally call it a day.

Below are excerpts of the interview:

Q: You are currently caught in a controversy over the death of actress Sujatha Krishnan who was your secretary. Did you have an affair with her?

A: No sir, I did not. I also had no hand in her death as alleged by opposition MP Manikavasagam (PKR Kapar).

Q: What really is the situation?

A: She took paraquat and I really don’t know why. But the inquest will clear my name. I don’t want to go into details as the inquest is ongoing and we might commit subjudice. All I can say is that I have done nothing wrong.

Q: Are you running for MIC vice-president?

A: I have not made a final decision but I will be a hypocrite if I say I am not keen. I am very interested to contest but will make a final decision next month. I have a few issues to clear and one is to find a “final solution” to Maika Holdings. My father has also said he will not oppose if I contest. I want to start my own political career and contesting means launching such a career. I want to contribute to the Indian community and to do that one needs a political platform.

Q: Are you up to it?

A: I have a lot of experience. I have handled political matters for my father and party members and leaders know me. I know them all. My father has no objection so I feel right time to come out now.

Q: Why vice-president?

A: I need a senior position to start off. Party members are pushing me to go for vice-president. I also feel a need a senior position to enhance my standing.

Q: How did you become CEO of Maika Holdings? Do you have any corporate experience?

A: I was already involved with Maika Holdings helping directors with several issues when they suggested I become CEO. I am not a greenhorn. I have experience in business. I had my own company, Oka Motor, in Australia which was taken over by a reverse takeover. I am not all dumb as some people would make it out.

Q: When did you become CEO and what had you hoped to achieve?

A: I was made CEO in 1999. My friends warned me not to take the job, saying it would ruin my life but I felt I could turn it over. When I took over the share was worth 28 sen but now it is about RM1.

Q: Where does Maika Holdings stand now? Is it viable? Is there new business coming in?

A: It is viable but political opponents have destroyed it. There are no new business except for the insurance holdings (Maika’s share in UOA) and two pieces of land. No other business.

Q: Are you paid as CEO?

A: I started as CEO without payment. Then they paid me RM15,000 a month. Lately (for about a year now) I am not being paid as we are cutting costs.

Q: There is so much anger and passion about Maika Holdings. What is the final plan for Maika?

A: We have cleared most of the debts. If we sell Maika the shareholders can get RM1 per share inclusive of bonus shares. There was a RM1.75 offer per Maika share by a listed company but Nesa Co-operative (linked with former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam) took an injunction to stop the sale. There was a delay in lifting the injunction, the economic conditions changed and the buyer moved on.

Q: What’s the final plan?

A: The final plan is to sell, pay back the shareholders and wind up the company.

Q: But I understand some shareholders want to revive Maika?

A: Yes, some shareholders want to move assets to a new company under a new name and all over again under a new and capable leadership. We have many corporate talents out there we can hire.

Q: Are there new offers to buy out Maika Holdings?

A: Yes, two parties are interested and the offer is better than the first offer. The parties are writing to Bank Negara for permission to negotiate. If it comes through we can pay all shareholders and wind up Maika in about a year. But an AGM will have to be called and approval sought on this.

Q: That’s it?

A: Yes, sell everything, pay off shareholders and wind up the company. It still can be saved but the community is divided, there is no unity. They make political statements, bashed up Maika. If this can end we can have a powerful Maika.

Q: Any one person to be blamed for the failure?

A: No… I don’t want to blame any individual. All I can say is when I took over it was worth 28 sen and now it is worth over RM1.

Q: What went wrong then?

A: The business decision (to invest in soft drinks, glove-making, etc) was not right. We competed against giants and lost. We made one business decision but two years down the line the business environment had changed.

Q: But isn’t that the same for everyone… I mean the risk?

A: We were hit once too often and political enemies are always attacking us. Who would want to do business with Maika which was constantly under attack?

Q: How do you rationalise the severe criticism the MIC gets?

A: Well we don’t have the political muscle of Umno or the economic muscle of the MCA so we get bashed up. As a party we rely on what we get from government. We make do with what we get.

Q: Why didn't the MIC push for more?

A: You see we were under this myth that if you pushed you would be penalised and that MIC rivals like PPP would be favoured. It was classic divide and rule and we did not push fearing we lose what little we have. We are all under this myth — that you can push the government only so much, beyond that… no.

Q: Maybe you did not want to push being part of the Umno set up?

A: We had the community to answer to on one side and at the same time we were part of the government. We were in a Catch-22 position. If you push too much you would be sidelined. The Sothinathan issue is an example. It is always like you push, I will undermine.

(MIC vice-president Datuk S. Sothinathan was suspended from Parliament for three months for breaking government ranks over the qualification of medical students in Ukraine.)

Q: How about the Nov 25 rally?

A: I called them myth busters, they broke the myth that you cannot push, that the government is invincible. The political tsunami happened and everybody… Malays, Chinese and Indians voted opposition. Suddenly we have guts to talk now. We are voicing out for the Indian community. Speaking up and we are not worried anymore.

Q: The community punished MIC on March 8?

A: No I would say the community punished the government not the MIC because over a period frustration has been building up. We went out trying to save the government’s respect and we ended up losing our respect!

Q: What is the situation now a year later?

A: The MIC remains vibrant and the government especially under Datuk Seri Najib is very sensitive and responsive. The bureaucracy is still slow to respond.

Q: How did your father take the Sungei Siput defeat?

A: He told me a day earlier that it was a tough battle and to get prepared mentally for a defeat. He was ready for defeat. He accepted the verdict. We kept most of the Indian votes but Malay and Chinese voters were lost leading to defeat.

Q: When is your father planning to hand over?

A: He does not want to remain forever. He knows he has to hand over. In fact last August he told us he wants to take leave and asked Palani (deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel) to take over as acting president. He (Samy Vellu) told us that when he returns from leave he would formalise the arrangement. But party leaders were not ready for it… they want him to stay for a while. In December he said the same thing and they objected again.

Q: But he has a departure plan?

A: He is ready. He has said he will hand over once the deputy his elected. I would say about a year after the deputy is elected.

Uthaya, a true hero of the people

Malaysian Heart | Jun 2, 09 5:28pm
I refer to the Malaysiakini report 'They threw me out of Kamunting'.

In human history, there have been many times when people facing injustice and oppression have used non-violent resistance to achieve social and political change.

Because of the highest moral standards needed to achieve true change, the leaders of these movements have had to shoulder an enormous responsibility.

Whilst all the time keeping a clear eye on their goal and inspiring and motivating people, they need to ensure that their movement never deviated from the principles of their struggle.

If they sacrifice their principles and accepted that the ends justifies the means, their movements' moral standing would have been lost and would soon disintegrate.

In shouldering these responsibilities, time and time again these leaders have had to make great personal sacrifices. Let's look at three notable examples.

1. Mahatma Gandhi was imprisoned in 1908 by the racist government in South Africa for resisting the unjust Asiatic Act law.

In the words of Nelson Mandela, ‘Gandhi's most painful experience must have been when he was told that his wife, Kasturbai, was critically ill. He was given the option to pay his fine and rush to her bedside. His commitment to satyagraha would not allow him to do so.'

2. Martin Luther King, Jr took part in protests against segregation in the town of Albany, Georgia in 1961, and was sentenced to imprisonment. The authorities offered to release him (and his colleague) if they paid a fine of US$178.

Sticking to principle, they refused. Finally the police chief himself paid their fine and released them to avoid embarrassment.

3. Nelson Mandela was undergoing life imprisonment at Robben Island, a maximum security prison, when the apartheid government offered to release him in exchange for accepting the ‘bantustan' policy by recognising the independence of the Transkei and agreeing to settle there.

He chose to never compromise his principles. He remained in prison until he was released unconditionally on Feb 11, 1990 after being imprisoned for a total of 27 years.

To this fellowship (which includes many others, some of whom we may not know about), we can now add a Malaysian, P Uthayakumar, who refused to accept any conditions for his release from
detention under the ISA.

In his own words, ‘If they force me (to sign the conditional release papers, which among other things would have barred him from speaking at public functions), I will not do it as I prefer going back to Kamunting prison,' (the words in brackets being mine).

Leaders like them inspire us. They and their loved ones have suffered pain, physical and emotional, for us.

Let us stand, not behind them but shoulder to shoulder with them, and work together for justice for all Malaysians. Let us never forget what these brave people have shown, that truth and justice will always triumph over lies and oppression.

Let us not forget either, that all that is needed for the triumph of evil is that good people do nothing. Finally, let us never forget these words of Uthayakumar: ‘Never give in to them.'

May all victims of the ISA get the justice that they deserve.

Has Malaysia lost the battle to become a developed nation and entered the cycle to become a failed state?

By Lim Kit Siang,

The collapse of the roof of the RM300 million 50,000-capacity Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak within a year of completion provoked disbelief, shock and outrage with a whole spectrum of unflattering comments and reactions.

One reaction is that the shocking collapse of the RM300 million stadium within a year of completion is a disaster waiting to happen. An engineer, A. Mohamed who often jogged in the area, has told the media that he had noticed that the space frame which held the roof was getting bent out of shape but his efforts to warn government agencies and the media of the stadium defects were ignored.

Another is that the collapse is the inevitable consequence of a system which gives premium to “know who” than “know how”, the curse of Umno cronyism hiding under the guise of New Economic Policy. Will the Umno cronies responsible for the infamous collapse of the RM300 million stadium roof within a year of completion be exposed and fully penalized?

I was told this morning that the collapse of the Gong Badak Stadium symbolizes the collapse of the “1Malaysia” slogan of Datuk Seri Najib Razak marking his second month as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Another opined that it marked the fulfilment of the most famous Malaysian political prophecy, RAHMAN, with Najib as the last Umno Prime Minister.

From the larger national macro perspective, the collapse of the roof of the RM300 million stadium within a year of its completion is the latest warning of the serious and quite terminal breakdown of standards and benchmarks of excellence with the consequence that far from realizing Vision 2020 and becoming a developed nation, Malaysia risks entering the cycle of being a failed state.

There is no shortage of such shocking examples in recent months, viz:

  • The collapse of the five-storey portion of the Jaya supermarket in Petaling Jaya during demolition work, killing seven, when in developed countries the implosion of skyscrapers without mishap has become a routine.
  • The Universiti Sains Malaysia Apex University fiasco where 4,574 university students suffered emotional havoc when they were told that they had been mistakenly informed that they had been successful in their applications for admission;
  • Universal broadband complaints, such as the complaint in Penang since last evening of sheer inability to access Internet even when trebly insured, having Streamyx, Maxis 3G and Celcom 3G.
  • Ah Longs having parallel system of underground IGP, CPOs, OCPDs and prisons, with endemic crime and police inability to ensure that Malaysians, tourists and investors are safe in the streets, public places and the privacy of their homes.

The list can go on. As if these signs are not bad enough, Kuala Lumpur has been named No. 4 as the riskiest locations in the world for outsourcing by the “Black Book of Outsourcing”, in a survey of 50 international locations. Singapore tops the list of the world’s safest location in the world for outsourcing.

On “Personal Crime Rate & Police-to-citizen ratio”, Kuala Lumpur is ranked the fourth worst of 50 locations while Singapore is ranked the top best!

Cabinet and Parliament must focus on the issue whether Malaysia has lost the battle to become a developed nation and has entered the cycle to become a failed state under Najib as Prime Minister.

Short-sighted politics

Abstract image of a winding road with two stop signs, each superimposed with Najib's face and Anwar's face respectively
The road ahead is long and winding – but who will lead the way? (Background image by Monica
Arellano-Ongpin @ Flickr; stop sign images by Mateusz Stachowski /sxc.hu; Najib image
public domain, source: Wikimedia commons)

SO another by-election is over — the sixth since 2008.

Garnering 85% of the total votes cast, Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s Dr Mansor Othman won the Penanti state seat with perhaps the highest ever majority lead in history over his closest rival who only gained 7% of the votes cast.

And he did it in an election with only a 46% voter turnout — one of the lowest in Malaysian history.

At the same time, another Merdeka Centre opinion poll is out. Two months after stepping into his new job, prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is enjoying a meagre approval rating of 45% from peninsular Malaysians. Still, considering the political chaos in Perak, this is an increase, though slight, from the 44% approval rating he could only muster a week before his appointment on 3 April 2009 as Malaysia's sixth premier.

So, what next? I don't know about you, but I am tired, even though I am trained in political science and my professional life is rightly about politics.

I am tired because as we fix our eyes on these battles, we seem to lose sight of the bigger question: where is this country heading to?

Make no mistake. I am not suggesting that Malaysians should forget about politics and concentrate on the economy. One has to be super naïve to expect economic recovery during political chaos.

My contention is this: do the Barisan Nasional (BN) and the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) have a clear plan for long-term political development in Malaysia?


Harold Wilson (Public domain)
Granted, British economist John Maynard Keynes had this famous line: "In the long run, we are all dead." And his fellow compatriot Prime Minister Harold Wilson said years later: "A week is a long time in politics."

How long is long-term? Long enough for party alternation to be possible.

So, the long-term question before the BN and PR is simple: can they swap roles and play them well?

Can the BN survive as opposition?

Najib has made clear to his party that he only has 18 to 24 months to turn the tide in the BN/Umno's favour. That means he is prepared to face the music by October 2010 or April 2011.

A sober reading of the cruel reality before the BN is commendable.

But Najib would be doing Umno and the BN an injustice if he is not preparing for his party and the ruling coalition to survive as the opposition.

If Malaysia is a democracy, the day will come sooner or later when Umno and the BN will be voted out in an election.

Umno can choose to believe in the fantasy that it will rule forever, but to be a responsible political party, it must honestly confront this possible scenario. And in doing so, ask itself the following, behind closed doors if not in public:

Should Umno gracefully bow out and serve as the monarch's loyal opposition once it is voted out? If not, what unconstitutional means can they resort to to cling on to power? What are the chances that they would succeed, and for how long? Should they fail, what would be the price they and the rest of us pay?


Khir Toyo (Pic by johnleemk; source:
Wikimedia commons)
Should Umno choose to concede defeat, can their elites survive investigation and prosecution for past wrongdoings? What happened to former Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo must already be plaguing many others with nightmares. How can the BN/Umno appeal to public goodwill so that a new government, comprising the BN's political opponents, is pressured to offer some amnesty to past wrongdoers? How would they prevent the new government (the PR) from using existing draconian laws against the new opposition (the BN)?

Should the BN/Umno be spared political annihilation, can they find their raison de'tre in the new political landscape? Will they plan to survive as an ultra-Malay opposition party when the non-Malay Malaysian parties would likely all be wiped out, not least because of the Perak chaos?

In Eastern Europe, many reformed ex-communist parties returned to power after one or two elections. In Taiwan, the grand old party, Kuomintang, is again in power after being in opposition for eight years.

Such revival is possible because these parties successfully transformed themselves as competitive democratic forces. And while they were in power, they also dismantled the authoritarian structures in place to prevent themselves from victimisation once they fell out of power.

Is Najib doing all these? Is he willing to let go of Perak? Is he willing to dismantle the Internal Security Act and the Sedition Act? Is he willing to liberate the media? Is he willing to introduce local elections?

If he is not, all his efforts to revive the BN/Umno are but a great gamble that the authoritarian regime he now leads can still be relevant in the years to come.

Detrimental to the nation, an ill-prepared loser may be a desperado.

Can the PR survive as government?

If the BN is not ready for a long-term transformation, neither is the PR.

What responsible opposition would talk about taking over the government but fail to even present a shadow cabinet line-up?

Like in a battlefield, a good general must know how to win both war and peace.


Where's your shadow cabinet, Anwar?
It has now been nine months since Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim became the parliamentary Opposition Leader. He commands an army of 82 parliamentarians, yet he still cannot find the right people to form a cabinet to rival Najib's.

The standard excuse given by PR partisans is this will create in-fighting between and within parties. The standard rebuttal can easily be: Has the absence of a shadow cabinet stopped in-fighting in the PR so far?

The real explanation for Anwar's failure to form his shadow cabinet is that he wants to postpone the difficult decisions. Granted, allocating ministerial portfolios, beginning with the deputy prime minister — even a shadow one — would not be an easy task.

But if you intend to rule, you need to do it anyway. So, why not sooner rather than later?

Some have warned that the PR may lose the state governments they are in control of now if they fail to rule. I am more pessimistic: we may not have a choice but to choose the PR if the BN continues with its blunders and fiascos.

But what is the price we pay when the new ruling parties are not ready? Do we need to look further than Penanti for the answer? The controversy surrounding the resignation of PKR's Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin, the former Penanti assemblyperson who is also former Penang Deputy Chief Minister 1, is a classic case of PKR's "conquer first, govern later" mentality.

Both the BN and PKR, which leads the opposition PR right now, have so far been disappointing in their game plan for our long-term future. Perhaps we should look to this week's PAS muktamar to see if the opposition Islamist party, which has 38 years of ruling experience at state level, can offer any ideas and actions for long-term, sustainable democracy in Malaysia.

Jejak Razak Yang Tidak Terpenuhi

From South China Morning Post

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

NIOSH Seeks Inquiry Over Stadium Roof Collapse

KUALA LUMPUR, June 3 (Bernama) -- The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) today urged the government to set up a commission of inquiry to probe the collapse of a section of the roof of the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Gong Badak, Terengganu.

Its chairman, Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, said the incident was far too serious to be given a normal investigation and added that it had also affected public confidence in the construction industry.

"It warrants a full-scale, thorough and independent investigation. Therefore, a commission under the Commission of Inquiry Act is needed to get to the bottom of the cause of the tragic and scandalous event," he told Bernama when contacted.

Lee said the commission could determine who were liable for prosecution.

"The matter must be seriously addressed by the relevant authorities," he said, adding that it was fortunate that nobody was injured in the incident.

A section of the roof of the RM300-million stadium collapsed yesterday. The stadium is part of the modern Gong Badak sports complex.

DPM ticks off Utusan over racial slant

Manohara: I was treated like an animal

Search Upload * Upload Video File * Record from Webcam 'Death of democracy' protesters off the hook

DPM ticks off Utusan over racial slant - Malaysiakini

Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin today expressed disappointment with Umno-owned Malay daily
MCPX
Utusan Malaysia
for publishing articles with a racial slant.

muhyiddin yassin universiti malaya 020609He was asked to comment on the reservations aired over an article which was published on Sunday titled 'Melayu dikhianati?' (Malays betrayed?).

Among others, the article penned by Awang Selamat said that non-Malays were going overboard with their demands.

Although Muhyiddin was 'not aware' of the article, he however said Utusan must respect the position of every race in the country.

"Those accorded with proper citizenship are Malaysians irrespective of whether they are Malays, Indians or Chinese," he told a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.

On the same note, Muhyiddin stressed that he was not taking sides, and added that Utusan "has done a great job" in informing the public for many decades.

He, however, hoped that the Malay daily, and all other newspapers, will have a “better understanding” when it comes to racial issues in the future.

Muhyiddin, who is also Umno deputy president, stressed that his advice was in line with Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s concept of 1Malaysia that emphasises unity among all races.

“That (the concept) is very important because we don’t want to create any unnecessary problems among ourselves.

“We have been in this (peaceful) state for the last 52 years and we have treasured good relations that we have developed among the races, and we have to continue and respect this,” he added.

Yesterday, former Umno minister Zaid Ibrahim lambasted the Malay daily for stoking racial sentiments.

Muhyiddin backs veteran soldiers

In another matter, Muhyiddin backed Veteran Soldiers of Malaysia Association who yesterday made a strong call to not allow ex-communist leader Chin Peng from returning home and those who call for his return and support communism "should be shot dead"
.

“That shows how angry and upset they are. Malaysians have to understand how cruel communists were as they had caused many families to lose their family members while armed forces personnel lost their limbs because of it.

“This is the evidence of cruelty that communists had created. If your family were involved, would you not feel the same way like they do?” said Muhyiddin.

“If he is allowed to return home based on humanity, would we (justify) his killing (then)? Killing people is not humane. This will just make the people even angrier,” he said.

chin peng and communist malayaHe also added that so long as the government was sticking to its decision to not allow Chin Peng to return home, “all debate and argument about it should be stopped”.

“They have to respect the government’s decision ... for those who want to appeal, we will not entertain them at all,” Muhyiddin said.

Chin Peng, 85, whose real name is Ong Boon Hua, has been living in exile in Bangkok and had sought permission from the government to be allowed to return home.

He was the chief of the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) from 1948 to 1989 and gained prominence during the guerilla war against the Japanese in Malaya.

Many historians say about 2,000 colonial troops and Malaysian forces perished, along with up to 7,000 communist fighters.

Certain quarters have argued that Chin Peng is a war hero who helped the nation in its struggle for independence.

Family of deceased to lodge report against police

The family of 27-year-old deceased Thilak Chellapan will lodge a police report against the Port Dickson police station for negligence in the next two days.
MCPX

A plan to sue the police is also on the cards, which will be decided after the release of medical findings in the final post-mortem report in two weeks.

The family’s lawyer, Jason Tan, told Malaysiakini that the family will consider suing the police for negligence.

"If we find they (the medical findings) are liable then we will sue but we will wait for the details of the post mortem report first," he said.

Application to attain a copy of the second post-mortem has been made today and will be attained in around two weeks.

thilakThilak, badly wounded from a fight arising from an alleged robbery attempt, was brought to the PD police station on Saturday at around 7:30am by his alleged assailants.

He was later escorted by police officers to Hospital Port Dickson in Bandar Sungala at 8:30am to seek medical attention to his wounds.

The hospital pronounced him dead at 11:20am.

Thilak was cremated at Jalan Tun Dr Ismail, Seremban today.

Exact cause of death unknown

The deceased's family claimed that Thilak was wrongly accused and beaten up by a group of men.

The family added that a quick police response could have saved Thilak's life.

The first post-mortem concluded that Thilak died of hypertension heart decease. Unsatisfied with this, the family sought for a second post-mortem from the same hospital which admitted that there were bruises all over his body, caused by a blunt object.

But the exact cause of death has yet to be determined.

Thilak's family came to know of his plight after receiving a message, asking them to pick him up at the PD police station.

Relating Thilak's condition to Malaysiakini, his sister-in-law Carolyn Harol Haden said he could barely stand on his own and even collapsed outside the toilet.

She said he was complaining of extreme pain and difficulty in breathing.

The police had brushed aside the family’s complaints, saying that Thilak was pretending while they were recording statements from two individuals who brought Thilak in.

Two individuals have been detained for questioning.

Chariot and Temple House Burnt to Ground

Kit Siang dares Najib to ask for confidence vote

By Shannon Teoh

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s dismissal of Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) recent win in Penanti has riled the DAP.

The party’s parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang challenged Najib to prove that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) skipping of the Penanti polls was not an act of cowardice. A recent poll of 1,067 registered voters in Malaysia showed that the prime minister only has a 45per cent approval rating just two months into his administration.

“The latest opinion poll shows he is the most unpopular prime minister in the first two months of office in the nation’s history of six prime ministers. It is Najib who should feel the heat that his record is nothing to be proud of.

“Najib should seek a vote of confidence as the first item of business when Parliament reconvenes on June 15, or is he afraid that he would not get 100 per cent support from BN MPs?” the Ipoh Timur MP said.

He was referring to Najib’s comments that Dr. Mansor Othman’s 5,558-vote majority was “not exciting” nor can “a win against independent candidates be something one can be proud of”.

Lim claimed that this win was achieved despite Umno and Gerakan each sponsoring a candidate who both lost their deposits after garnering less than the required one-eighth of votes cast.

“This is really sour grapes by Najib, who should be ashamed that the Umno and BN he leads dare not contest in Penanti, for fear that it would be his third consecutive defeat in the peninsula since becoming prime minister and BN’s fifth consecutive defeat here since the March 8 political tsunami in last year’s general election,” he said.

Lim asserted that the Penanti win was achieved despite many PR supporters not turning up to vote due to the sure-win scenario but that if BN had contested, the Umno candidate “would have gotten a thrashing even worse than in last year’s general election.”

He also cited the Merdeka Center poll that found only 45 per cent of respondents were satisfied with Najib’s premiership.

As such, he called on Najib to follow in the footsteps of Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Abdullah Badawi who sought votes of confidence in their first months in office.

Kit Siang dares Najib to ask for confidence vote

By Shannon Teoh - The Malaysian Insider

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s dismissal of Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) recent win in Penanti has riled the DAP.

The party’s parliamentary leader Lim Kit Siang challenged Najib to prove that Barisan Nasional’s (BN) skipping of the Penanti polls was not an act of cowardice. A recent poll of 1,067 registered voters in Malaysia showed that the prime minister only has a 45per cent approval rating just two months into his administration.

“The latest opinion poll shows he is the most unpopular prime minister in the first two months of office in the nation’s history of six prime ministers. It is Najib who should feel the heat that his record is nothing to be proud of.

“Najib should seek a vote of confidence as the first item of business when Parliament reconvenes on June 15, or is he afraid that he would not get 100 per cent support from BN MPs?” the Ipoh Timur MP said.

He was referring to Najib’s comments that Dr. Mansor Othman’s 5,558-vote majority was “not exciting” nor can “a win against independent candidates be something one can be proud of”.

Lim claimed that this win was achieved despite Umno and Gerakan each sponsoring a candidate who both lost their deposits after garnering less than the required one-eighth of votes cast.

“This is really sour grapes by Najib, who should be ashamed that the Umno and BN he leads dare not contest in Penanti, for fear that it would be his third consecutive defeat in the peninsula since becoming prime minister and BN’s fifth consecutive defeat here since the March 8 political tsunami in last year’s general election,” he said.

Lim asserted that the Penanti win was achieved despite many PR supporters not turning up to vote due to the sure-win scenario but that if BN had contested, the Umno candidate “would have gotten a thrashing even worse than in last year’s general election.”

He also cited the Merdeka Center poll that found only 45 per cent of respondents were satisfied with Najib’s premiership.

As such, he called on Najib to follow in the footsteps of Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Abdullah Badawi who sought votes of confidence in their first months in office.

PAS commits to a free market

KUALA LUMPUR, June 2 — PAS vice-president Datuk Husam Musa has “guaranteed” a commitment to a free market economy and protecting the rights of the country’s multi-racial communities.

Husam Musa is vying to be PAS deputy-president at its five-day annual conference which starts tomorrow. The party has the second largest membership in the country.

The three-way contest for the PAS deputy presidency has been billed as a clash between conservatives and reformists in a party long demonised as hardline Islamist.

PAS, part of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s three-member Pakatan Rakyat, is the only party apart from the ruling Umno able to anchor itself on the Malay Muslims who represent 55 per cent of the electorate in this Southeast Asian country of 27 million people.

“We won’t change the system but how it is implemented. PAS cannot rule Malaysia alone because we need help from our non-Malay friends, so this is our guarantee,” Husam told Reuters in an interview.

“We will not make drastic changes or change in a manner that can be regarded as rough or unacceptable (to non-Muslims),” he added. Malaysia has significant minorities of ethnic Chinese and Indians who are generally not Muslims.

HOW PAS GOT ITS GROOVE BACK

PAS holds 24 of 222 seats in Malaysia’s parliament and controls two of 13 states in the country.

For decades it insisted on establishment of a strict theocratric state, its appeal never extending beyond rural Malay enclaves.

In 2005 Husam, a 49 year-old economist, led a reform team to victory in party polls, promising to moderate the party, and he has been tipped by some as a future party leader.

Observers have watched for clear signs of social and economic policies the party will push in the event of an opposition win in the next polls.

Husam said the priority would be to cut the cost of doing business in the country by stemming corruption and patronage and dismantling a decades-long policy of affirmative action.

The policy that favours the majority Malays in economic and social opportunities has been abused by the government and bred corruption, said Husam.

“Help should be given without consideration of any factor, even race, just need. Get rid of this and all the economic potential of this country can be fully unlocked,” said Husam.

TROJAN HORSE?

Despite shows of unity, PAS’s relations with its other Pakatan Rakyat partners, especially the stridently secular, ethnic DAP, have been marked by occasional public spats.

The biggest unknown about PAS remains whether it is really willing to allow its goal of a theocratic state to lie in perpetual dormancy.

The party enacted strict Islamic criminal laws in the states of Kelantan and Terengganu both of which it at one point held.

The laws would ultimately have included amputation as punishment for theft and has not been enforced. A legal challenge over the laws’ validity is still pending in court.

Husam said PAS would opt for a very gradual approach aimed at winning public acceptance in Malaysia’s multi-racial society.

“Islamic governance covers a wide spectrum encompassing many issues that have to be addressed first such as rule of law, social and economic justice.”

“If you move in the political arena without this wisdom, you will do damage to the cause itself,” he added. — Reuters

Is the poor performance of the NRD another aspect of the ineptness of the Government Administration or is it just UMNO policy

Birth certs: NRD should not play God
Tanak Wagu | Jun 1, 09 6:38pm
I refer to the letter Disappointed by National Registration Dept.

In her letter, the writer said that the NRD had queried her about her marriage. I have come across many articles in newspapers, websites and blogs about the hassle created by the NRD in producing birth certificates.

I do not understand why is it that Malaysians have to go through such a hassle to obtain the simplest and most basic document like the birth certificate.

After 46 years (or 52 in Peninsular Malaysia) of independence we would expect to go through less hassle in getting our birth certificates.

In the past, all one had to do to obtain a birth certificate for his or her baby was to just produce a document from the hospital or a letter from the village chief. Now, it seems that a marriage certificate is a requirement.

Where does it say in our birth registration laws that a marriage has to be valid for a birth certificate to be produced? What right does the NRD have to deny birth certificates to children who are born in this country to Malaysian parents?

And even more cruel is when they do produce the birth certificates but in the column for the father's name they leave it blank, rendering the child a bastard.

And in some cases, they even make the poor mothers who are in confinement to go to the NRD!

There was a case where a mother who had just given birth three days earlier was asked to go to the NRD office in Penampang late last year.

Issues involving the NRD affect the ordinary people. This is because the NRD produces the most basic document to help us enrol in schools, open bank accounts, getting loans, getting treatment
at hospitals and most importantly, proving our citizenship.

I do hope the new administration under Najib Abdul Razak and his home minister Hishamuddin Hussein Onn will address this problem.

Birth certificates should be processed as long as there is a letter from the hospital or any other licensed maternity centres.

Or in other cases as long as there is a verification from the village chief or the natives court. The NRD must never deny a birth certificate on the basis that a marriage certificate is not recognised. Please do not play God.

The NEP: one of the roots of corruption

Image

No, we don’t need more anti-corruption laws. We need an end to licences and permits. And abolishing the NEP would also help to a certain extent. Then we need to execute corrupted Malaysians like what they do in China.

NO HOLDS BARRED

Raja Petra Kamarudin

Penang offers RM10,000 reward for info on corruption

Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said on June 2 the state government is offering civil servants RM10,000 for providing information on colleagues who commit corrupt practices.

Lim said on the plan take effect immediately.

He said the plan was part of the state government's competency, accountability and transparent philosophy, as it seeks to improve delivery system.

He added that one staff member was the first recipient for exposing such wrongdoing. He added this would also act as a preventive measure. – THE EDGE

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

THE ANTI-CORRUPTION LAW
By Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

1. We need a law against corruption just as we need laws against all crimes. But sometimes the laws are so framed that they promote crime rather than prevent them. Such a law is the Malaysian law on corruption.

2. It seems logical and right that those who receive illegal gratification should be considered guilty of breaking the law and should therefore be punished. But when we talk of corruption we think of those endowed with power abusing their power in order to gain personal benefit. We think that those who offer gratification as being the victim and should be given some consideration.

3. But the law says that those who pay for the service they receive should also be considered as guilty and should be equally deserving of punishment.

4. Since both the giver and the recipient may be charged with corruption, both would be unwilling to report the incident. This of course makes corruption difficult if not impossible to be brought to a court of law and tried successfully.

5. Besides the process of law would be much prolonged, as each would seek lawyers to argue on his behalf. Not only will the trial take ages but the result can be quite unpredictable.

6. But there is another factor. The person reporting would be marked by those sympathetic to the other party so that it would affect his dealings with them as well. If they are Government servants whose approval would be needed, the approvals may not be forthcoming at all later, even if other officers are involved.

7. Because of the ineffectiveness of the laws corrupt people often get away with their corrupt practices.

8. Yet corruption is such a bane on society that it must be stopped somehow. If the law is ineffective then it must be made to be effective. One of the ways is to give immunity to the aggrieved party reporting the case, provided that the evidence was substantial and not perjury.

9. In the case of political corruption both parties may be willing participants. The bribe is given by a candidate to a willing recipient to gain support for himself. Both are therefore unlikely to complain and reveal the act.

10. The recipients on the other hand would be glad to receive the bribe, unless he is a person of high principal unwilling to betray the cause his party was fighting for.

11. In political corruption it would be extremely difficult to get evidence of the bribe being given or received. Electronics now play a role to hide the act. The money is deposited into the account of the person (voter) concerned via the ATM machines. The recipient would be called via phone to ask whether the money had been received, giving the name of the candidate.

12. Despite the difficulties for detection, a Government that is truly determined to prevent corruption can find ways of detecting corruption. But if the Government itself is corrupt then corruption cannot be stopped. In fact corruption would spread in every direction and would become a way of life. At this stage nothing can really be done.

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

There you have it. One is a statement by the Chief Minister of one of the most economically progressive states in Malaysia and the other is a statement by he who ruled Malaysia for 22 years and dragged us screaming and kicking into the modern world. Nevertheless, they have both missed the mark by a mile. The problem is not that we need more laws or a reward system for stool pigeons. The problem is that we are an overregulated country. And excess regulations breed corruption in a society that froths and foams at the mouth screaming about religion but is steeped in vile.

It never ceases to amaze me when Malays rant and rave like cows suffering from Mad Cow Disease after Friday prayers in demonstrating their support for Islam, and in condemning those they perceive as having insulted Islam, when these are the same people who are corrupted like hell. Give me an atheist who upholds decent values and clean living anytime. I trust these people more that the corrupted religionists. Corrupted religionists are extremely dangerous and the millions of people murdered over thousands of years by religionists hiding behind the name of God is testimony of how dangerous they can be. I sometimes wonder whether religion is really the cause of all our problems and whether mankind is better off without it.

Malaysia needs to deregulate. Malaysians, in particular those Malays who are in government and those who walk in the corridors of power, are just too corrupted and hypocritical to be entrusted with the job of regulating things. Now don’t get me wrong. Chinese and Indians too are extremely corrupt. Just looks at the Port Klang Free Trade Zone fiasco and Samy Vellu as examples. These are totally ‘non-Bumi’ corrupt acts. The only ‘good’ thing is these MCA and MIC slime-balls and scumbags do not go around shouting that the Kafirs are going to hell like the Malays do.

Do you know that 70% of the slot machines (one-arm bandits) are owned by one Chinaman who is a crony of anyone who becomes Prime Minister since the time of Tun Dr Mahathir? Yes, and this man paid Hee RM25 million to bring down the Pakatan Rakyat Perak government.

And do you know how much he pays to operate these slot machines? And we are talking about tens of thousands of slot machines here. First he has to pay the Umno politicians a hefty sum for the licence. Then he has to pay a monthly ‘commission’ to ensure that the licences are not cancelled. Then he has to pay the police a monthly ‘protection fee’ to ensure that the premises where the slot machines are located are not raided and the machines confiscated for ‘breaching the terms and conditions of the licence’.

If you want a gun licence that too can be arranged. All it takes is the right fee to the state Chief Police Officer. The less eligible you are the higher the fees to get the gun licence. If you are an underworld boss then the price can go as high as RM250,000.

If you get arrested then no problem, even for crimes that attract the death penalty. If you are a ‘common’ drug pusher then the fee to escape the death penalty is RM250,000 while if you are a rich tycoon Datuk then it can go as high as RM10 million or more depending on how strong the evidence against you is and whether they also need to make this evidence ‘disappear’.

A Datukship, especially of you are a Chinese underworld boss who needs some ‘respectability’ to your name, starts from RM250,000. Tan Sri is even more expensive while the ‘lesser’ JPs can go for RM50,000 to RM100,000. (I remember a Malay Tan Sri who missed his flight because the Germans paged for a Mr Tan and he did not know they were calling him).

You need licences and permits to do anything in Malaysia. And that is why Malaysia is so corrupted. Eliminate all these licences and permits and corruption would be reduced drastically. Those who make the most money through corrupt means are those who approve these licences and permits and those who are the beneficiaries of these licences and permits. No permit, no corruption. No licence, no corruption.

Of course, in many instances, these licences and permits are imposed to ensure that the aspirations of the New Economic Policy (NEP) are met. You need to be a Bumiputera or meet the conditions of the NEP to qualify for the licence or permit. Most times the Chinaman would just need to go into an Ali Baba arrangement with a corrupted Malay, while another corrupted Malay would approve the licence or permit for an under-the-table fee. Then they all go to the mosque to pray and scream that they will go to heaven while the Kafir are going to hell.

Give me just a day as Prime Minister and I will cut down corruption by at least half. I will just abolish all licence and permit requirements. You want to do business, just set up your stall. You want to open a gambling den, carry on, buy all the slot machines you require, no need licence. Just pay the local council tax and licence fee and you can do whatever you want.

Take the Ah Long problem as another example. Back in the 1970s we in the Malay Chambers of Commerce already told the government about this problem. But the Ah Longs are in partnership with the police so nothing was done about the problem. That’s right, you think the Ah Longs can operate if not for the fact they pay the police protection money?

Now, 30 years later, everyone is screaming. Hey, we screamed 30 years ago. Why only now you scream?

We did a study in a small fishing town called Dungun in Terengganu (YB Rosli Pop, over to you, you know about this). Invariably, this is a Malay town. We found out that almost every Malay petty-trader borrows money from Ah Longs at the sepuluh-empat rate. This means they pay 4% interest a day.

They borrow RM1,000 but will receive only part of that money. The interest is deducted in advance. Yet they are considered having borrowed RM1,000. Then, every day, they have to pay RM40 interest. Every day! The RM1,000 principal, however, remains the same. That never gets reduced. So they pay RM40 a day for the rest of their life while they owe RM1,000 also for the rest of their life.

Why does this happen? Well, these Malay petty-traders can’t get loans from proper banks. Banks need collateral, guarantors, working papers, cash flows, feasibility studies, etc., before they give you a loan. In other words, you need to be rich to borrow money from a bank. Poor people just can’t borrow money. So they go to Ah Longs to borrow money at RM40 interest a day on every RM1,000 they borrow. They don’t need working papers, cash flows and feasibility studies to borrow from Ah Longs and the collateral is their life and that of their family. And the police will help act as debt collectors if you don’t pay your RM40 a day for every RM1,000 borrowed.

No, we don’t need more anti-corruption laws. We need an end to licences and permits. And abolishing the NEP would also help to a certain extent. Then we need to execute corrupted Malaysians like what they do in China. That will not eliminate corruption totally but it would certainly help reduce it drastically. And if Malays can become proper Muslims and not talk-only Muslims, then that may help bring corruption way down. Until then, cakaplah sampai berbueh mulut.

Oh, and Pakatan Rakyat states are not exempted from corruption either. Maybe YB Ronnie Liu can help explain what happened to the state wide WiFi project for Selangor. Selangor started first but it appears like Penang is making better progress. Is this because we have idiots running the Selangor State Government or is there corruption involved here?

And if you don’t reply, Ronnie, I am coming to Pandamaran to chop of your balls and will nail them to the wall.

Have MARA run out of funds leaving hundreds stranded without their bumiputera student loans – and how can such a financial scandal happen?

By Lim Kit Siang,

Has MARA run out of funds leaving hundreds stranded without their bumiputera student loans – and how can such a financial scandal happen?

I have received the following email from a Malay student in a private college:

“I am 21. My father left the family in 1995 and since then my mother has been taking care of the family by herself. I have two other elder sisters, all of whom are working now. My mother was a teacher but now she is retired. She is taking care of the family by herself with the pension she receives every month.

“I studied in … School and later at International Islamic College (IPTS), taking a diploma in computer science. I was a self-sponsored student in IIC.

“I was supported by my mother since she could afford it back then but I had to keep to a really tight budget. Although we were in a quite a difficult financial situation back then, I didn’t waste any time and studied hard.

“I was in the dean’s list every semester until I graduated, with an overall CGPA of 3.931. After graduating, I worked for one year as a technician to gain some experience before I furtherd my studies at …College, taking Bachelor in Computer Science.

“In December 2008, I went to … College to enquire about their courses and other details such as the fees. My enquiries was handled by Mr. … and he helped me a lot with my documentations. I asked him if there’s any financial aid for bumiputera students and he said that most bumiputera students in …are sponsored by MARA and he encouraged me to apply for the same MARA loan (discounts apply if my results are good).

“In early January 2009, I went to see … again to submit my application form, but I didn’t submit it together with the MARA form as the deadline for the MARA loan application is on the 14th of March 2009. I paid RM4750.00 as part of my first semester fees. I was told that the remainder will be settled by MARA when the MARA loan is approved.

“… I submitted my (MARA) form on the 14th of March 2009. I was made to understand that this is the deadline for both January (Foundation students) and February (degree students) intakes. The application forms for both the intakes will be compiled and sent to MARA HQ after the deadline.

“Recently, on the 28th of May 2009, I went to MARA marketing office in …to check my application status. When I arrived, I asked the same officer about my application and she said ‘Sorry but right now all loan applications are frozen because MARA doesn’t have the funds to support students’. She said that all other students nationwide are affected, not just students from …College.

“When I asked how long must we wait till MARA has the funds, she said ‘We don’t know. We keep calling MARA HQ and they keep asking us to check back one week after another, delaying. Maybe some politicians have their own agenda, even the students who applied in January also has had their loan application frozen’. I was shocked to hear this because when I asked her about the probability of a student like me getting the loan, she practically said it was virtually guaranteed as I had nothing to worry about if I got my application form in order.

“Worst of all, there is no black and white notification saying our applications are frozen and why it is frozen. We were not contacted at all! We weren’t even stopped from applying for the loan if indeed MARA had run out of funds. If I didn’t follow-up and check on my application, I don’t know when will they tell me the true status of my application, if they are planning to do so in the first place. MARA running out of funds seem a far-fetched reason to me. If it is true, perhaps MARA should come clean on its current situation instead of leaving all of us in the dark.

“I am not begging for the MARA loan but there were no notification given that our applications are frozen nor were we stopped from applying for it, giving us false hope. If MARA had told me earlier, I would have tried to find other alternatives to finance my studies. Now with the final exams three weeks away, I am left with this huge problem as I’ve only settled a part of the first semester fees. I can only hope that …College will allow me to sit for the exams while I try to sort out this problem.

“I find this MARA absurdity very funny. Where did the funds of this big organization which is under Kementerian Kemajuan Luar Bandar dan Wilayah go?”

I call on the Minister for Rural and Regional Development, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to personally look into this problem and explain to all stranded MARA students as well as their parents where have the millions of ringgit approved by Parliament for purposes loans to bumiputera students gone to.

Tigers: Missing Tiger spy chief spells trouble

Asia Times Online, June 02 2009
By Sudha Ramachandran

BANGALORE - A little over a week after the Sri Lankan government triumphantly announced the elimination of the entire top brass of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), there is some unease in Colombo over the fate of one of the most powerful Tigers, the LTTE's intelligence chief Shanmugalingam Sivashankar, better known as Pottu Amman.


The failure of the government to produce his body has triggered speculation that Pottu Amman might not be dead after all and could have escaped the final stages of the military offensive that left some of his comrades, including LTTE chief Velupillai Prabhakaran, dead.

Some reports claimed that Pottu Amman is alive but in army custody. But had that been true, said Indian intelligence officials, "He would have been paraded on state television."

After initially naming Pottu Amman among a list of LTTE leaders who were killed last week, the Sri Lankan army has gone silent on the issue of Pottu Amman's fate.

Hundreds of yet-to-be identified bodies of slain Tigers are said to be in army custody. It is possible that Pottu Amman's body is lying among them.

"If it is not and the Tiger intelligence chief is alive and out there, then the Sri Lankan security forces' troubles are far from over, as are those of India," an official of the Research and Analysis Wing, India's external agency, told Asia Times Online.

Pottu Amman is also the head of the Black Tigers, the LTTE's suicide squad unit. As the LTTE's intelligence chief, Pottu Amman was very powerful within the organization, in a position to make or mar the fate of senior Tigers by building "evidence" of their treachery to the LTTE and Prabhakaran. He is wanted in India for his role in the assassination of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi by an LTTE suicide bomber in May 1991.

A Sri Lankan Defense Ministry official who spoke to Asia Times Online on condition of anonymity insisted that it would have been impossible for Pottu Amman to escape the tight army cordon and the final military offensive. He admitted that if he is indeed alive, "Then there is reason for concern."

Among the bodies that have been identified so far is that of the LTTE chief. The LTTE's eastern commander, "Colonel Karuna", who broke away from the group in 2004, identified Prabhakaran's body last week. Last Thursday, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara announced that DNA tests on the body of the man they believed was Prabhakaran matched that of his slain son Charles Antony.

Controversy continues to cloud not only the circumstances in which the Tiger chief was killed but also whether he was in fact killed. Many LTTE supporters have refused to accept that Prabhakaran is indeed dead. It appears that Tigers are divided over the fate of Prabhakaran, or rather on the strategy to adopt following his death.

The LTTE's head of the international relations department, Selvarasa Pathmanathan, confirmed in a statement that the "incomparable leader, the supreme commander of the LTTE [Prabhakaran], attained martyrdom" while fighting the Sri Lankan forces and even declared a week of mourning. But its intelligence department claimed on the pro-LTTE website Tamilnet that the "LTTE leadership is safe and will re-emerge when the right time comes".

The contradictory statements are being interpreted by political analysts as signs of a rift among Tigers operating overseas on how to proceed. It is also being interpreted as a battle for succession.

Selvarasa Pathmanathan is widely believed to be Kumaran Pathmanathan, or KP, the man who built the LTTE's formidable international network. KP has been in charge of raising funds for the LTTE abroad and arms procurement. If Prabhakaran was the brain behind the LTTE's military strategy, it was KP who provided the Tigers with arms to implement that strategy.

If the LTTE's international relations chief is indeed KP and if, as claimed by the Sri Lankan government, Pottu Amman is dead, then Pathmanathan would be the most senior Tiger alive today and therefore the strongest contender for its leadership. If Pottu Amman is still alive, that claim would be under challenge.

Prabhakaran was the undisputed leader of the LTTE. Any Tiger who posed even the slightest of challenge to his authority or even popularity was swiftly deal with.

Analysts predicted that a battle for succession would break out among senior Tigers following the death of Prabhakaran.

While the contradictory statements could indicate a rift and a possible succession battle, the scenario today is not quite what analysts predicted. Few would have imagined even a year ago that it would be for the leadership of a militarily vanquished LTTE that the Tigers would fight.

Tamil expatriates say that the LTTE is militarily defeated but financially still in good health. LTTE fundraising among the Tamil diaspora and investment in various businesses abroad had made it a cash-rich organization. While Tigers abroad are likely to find it difficult to raise money from expatriates on the scale they did when Prabhakaran was alive, radicalization of the diaspora over the plight of the Tamils back home could allow the LTTE to continue to attract funds from them.

The rift could be over control of the LTTE's overseas funds as well. KP, who was a close confidante of Prabhakaran, controlled the funds for decades.

Divisions among overseas Tigers were visible even before Prabhakaran's death, over the mass protests in Western capitals. Pathmanathan apparently wanted the Tamil diaspora to focus on humanitarian issues, but a powerful section headed by the LTTE's overseas administration head "Castro" feared that the Tamil Eelam cause would slip out of the Tigers' control if Tamil expatriates were allowed to direct the protests. The latter was keen that LTTE flags be visible in the protests.

There is speculation that Pathmanathan is now seeking a new path for the LTTE. He told the BBC in a telephone interview that the LTTE had "given up violence" and would "enter the democratic process" to achieve self-determination for Tamils.

The Sri Lankan government is expected to hold local council elections in Vavuniya and Jaffna districts in the Northern Province within the next few months. Elections for the rest of the councils in the Northern Province, where most people are displaced, are expected to take place later. Is Pathmanathan eyeing the electoral path to power?

Indian intelligence officials say that Pathmanathan had the most to gain from Prabhakaran's death. They are not ruling out the possibility of him having struck a deal with the government in the final hours of the offensive under which he would deliver the Tiger chief into a trap in return for his own amnesty.

However, the government's initial response suggests that it is not in a mood to play ball with Pathmanathan. Defense Secretary Gotabhaya Rajapaksa dismissed his statement on the LTTE's intention to take up democratic politics. Daily Mirror, a Sri Lankan English-language newspaper, reported that the government had sought Interpol's assistance in arresting Pathmanathan. If Pathmanathan was hoping for a smooth landing in Sri Lankan politics, he has miscalculated. And it is not just the government that is likely to make things difficult for him.

There is the Pottu Amman factor to reckon with.

If Pottu Amman has survived he can be expected to revive the LTTE's violent strategy. While it would be near-impossible for him or any other Tiger to build the LTTE back to the formidable force it once was, the LTTE could be in a position to keep the army on its toes.

Pottu Amman's survival would spell bad news for Pathmanathan and others abroad who are positioning themselves to take over the leadership of the LTTE. They can expect their ambitions and plans to come under fierce fire from Tigers on the island.

Neither the Sri Lankan government nor aspirants for Prabhakaran's mantle can sleep easy until Pottu Amman's body is found and identified. The search for the body will be keenly watched and monitored in Sri Lanka and abroad.

Sudha Ramachandran is an independent journalist/researcher based in Bangalore.

Factory worker believed killed by loan sharks

NST,PORT KLANG: A factory worker was found dead with his neck almost severed in the shrubs near a railway track at Kampung Jalan Keretapi yesterday.
The body of S. Sundrajan, 39, was found lying face down by a passer-by who used the gravel road to go to his workplace at a nearby factory at 7.30am.


Klang Criminal Investigation Department chief Deputy Superintendent Ruslan Ibrahim said there were no signs of a struggle.

"We found a parang believed to be the murder weapon.

"He was believed to be on his way back home when he was attacked a kilometre away from his house."
He said the deceased was believed to have died a few hours before his body was found.

Sundrajan worked at a factory in Pandamaran, and had been on medical leave after he injured his right hand in a workplace accident three months ago.

He left behind wife, Teh Ling Choo, in her 30s, and three daughters aged between 1 and 14.

Teh said the family had been surviving on Socso allowance for the past three months after her husband went on an extended medical leave as she is a full time housewife.

She said she last saw her husband at 5pm when he left home on foot with RM10 in his pocket.

Neighbours who refused to be identified said Sundrajan's death may be linked to loan sharks.

*******
The Star

Tuesday June 2, 2009

Murdered six months after surviving brutal attack


PORT KLANG: Last December, S. Sundarajan, 39, lost the use of his left hand when he was slashed and robbed on his way to work with his father-in-law Teh Oh Kow.

Yesterday, he lost his life when he was attacked and slashed by unknown assailants.

His remains were found in some bushes near railway tracks in the vicinity of the now demolished Kampung Keretapi near here.

A petroleum company employee on his way to work made the gruesome discovery at 7.30am.

Klang CID chief DSP Ruslan Ibrahim said Sundarajan had deep slash wounds in the neck.

Meanwhile, Sundarajan’s wife Teh Ling Choo, 39, said her husband left home at about 5pm on Sunday with only RM10 in his wallet.

She added that her husband was on medical leave since the first attack and was on a Social Security Organisation allowance.

“He was supposed to have undergone surgery on his injured hand on the 15th of this month,” said the sobbing housewife.

The couple has three daughters aged 14, 10 and 18 months.

A family friend, who claimed to know Sundarajan’s family for almost 30 years, said the deceased had borrowed from a loan shark due to financial difficulties.

“That’s why they left their own home in Pandamar Indah to live in a friend’s flat here,” said P. Muthu at the scene of the crime.

Teh, however, said she was unaware

58,000 students may not study in comfort next year

KUALA KRAI, 2 June 2009: Some 58,000 students who will be placed in 58 secondary schools nationwide next year might not be able to study in comfort, Deputy Education Minister Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi said today.

He said this was because the appointed contractors had failed to complete the school buildings on time.

"From the 128 secondary school building projects nationwide, 58 will not be completed within the agreed timeframe," he told reporters after meeting 200 educationists here today.

Mohd Puad said the government had also identified nine primary school building projects that were behind schedule for various reasons, including financial problems.

He disclosed how a construction company that was given a contract to build 26 schools worth RM300 million failed to complete 22 of the projects within the given time.

Hence, he said, contracts given to companies which failed to complete the projects soon would be terminated.

"We will not compromise anymore. We have given them enough time. Why should we extend their contracts?

"We have enough evidence that the contractors, with unreasonable excuses, have failed to complete the school building projects within the given time," he said. — Bernama

THE MAIL SAYS: Cops shouldn't play doctor

Malay Mail

Custodial deaths are a major concern, with statistics revealed in Parliament last year showing that there were 1,535 custodial deaths in the country between 2003 and 2007, including deaths caused by diseases such as HIV/AIDS.

On May 1, a suspect in police custody was beaten up by angry members of the public in Klang.

Mohd Adzrul Ishak was handcuffed and left unattended while police went after others suspected to be involved in a mugging earlier.
He died at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital hours later. Now we have another family claiming that Port Dickson police were negligent in waiting for a long time before calling for an ambulance to send car repossessor S. Telak to hospital.

Telak was at the receiving end of vigilante justice and dumped at the Port Dickson police station. Despite pleas
from relatives that he be taken to hospital, the family claimed, police dismissed Telak's plea for medical attention as "play-acting".

Telak subsequently died in hospital, apparently from a heart attack. Port Dickson police chief Supt Mazlan
Othman now says that Telak was in the balai for barely an hour.

That was, of course, challenged by Telak's brother Arusu, who insisted it was almost two hours before police did anything to get medical care.The duration, really, isn't the issue. When someone is brought to the station bleeding profusely from open wounds, the natural course of action would have been to call for immediate
medical attention.

It should never have been the way Mazlan tried to justify it.He said: "After he was brought in by several people, we waited for the statement to be recorded and then we called for an ambulance to take him to hospital."

Is that normal police procedure?

Aren't the police trained to recognise critical situations and prioritise?

Shouldn't a bleeding man be the bigger concern than a statement?

There is a simple rule of thumb - a cop should not try to be a doctor as well.All the station had to do was assign a couple of policemen to accompany Telak to hospital, if their concern was that he might escape.

A life could have been saved. This could have been an innocent man, one who had to pay with his life for the
alleged sins of his nephew. Even if he was no angel, didn't he deserve medical attention?

It is a human anomaly - to pretend not to see or hear because we think that absolves us of guilt.

The police must find out if there is truth to the claim that there were those who didn't do the right thing and aided in the death of Telak.