Wednesday, June 10, 2009
HINDRAF voices the stalemate state of the downtrodden grassroot Malaysian Indian. They are the voice for the voiceless whereas the misdirected & lost fence-sitters still hope and harp for change to happen without any real effort to either comprehend the Indian dilemma or stretch themselves beyond their own horizon.
By R.Shan (Human Being)
This, is my fellow Malaysians is the truth whether you like it or not.
Let’s look at race diversity. The BN-led government has 14 coalition partners while PR has three coalition partners. What is this other than about race being represented by their own segment of people in Malaysia?
Lately, a bunch of Indian parties mushroomed ie MINDRAF and MMSP. If we take a good look at them, it still all boils down to race.
The political reality in Malaysia is that the nation is not prepared to drop race-based politics though sadly many may not agree with this view especially those still living in self denial.
Well, if the opposition is really one united party, then have they really moved into that direction? PAS should then drop its Islamic state agenda and see all citizens as Malaysians and open up its party to all races. And if DAP is purportedly a multi-national party similar to Keadilan, then why don’t they both merge as one and form a strong political opposition with PAS to seek a Malaysian agenda?
Are they in unity in the opposition ready to embrace and accept that that they could amend the Federal Constitution to scrap Article 153 which provides special privileges for the Malays and commit to the principles of equality among citizens as stated in Article 8?
Not a chance. The end justifies the means when political survival is at stake. Though the idea of Malaysians moving away from race-based politics have been much debated by all segments, we are still crawling at a snail’s pace in the process.
I ask myself why do Pakatan supporters who moot the idea of moving away from race-based politics still criticize and condemn the slightest suggestion of formation of any other race-based political party when they themselves have failed to urge their own leaders to discard the race-based set-up and merge and amalgamate into ONE MALAYSIAN RACE party.
I really wonder if it is possible for LKS, DSAI and Nik Aziz to all sit and preside in that one common noble party? Can you imagine at their annual party AGM, LKS offers to stand as President and his candidacy is backed by Nik Aziz who is willing to make LKS his boss? The ugly truth is, they can’t. And we shouldn’t be fooling ourselves in hope that this is possible in Malaysia - at least at this juncture.
Now, let’s talk about the Indians pre- and post-HINDRAF. Pre-HINDRAF, the Indians were the unsung heroes of BN as 80% would loyally vote for the ruling government no matter how badly they were treated.
Post-Hindraf, the Indians woke up from a 52-year slumber and became aware of the regression and repression of this segment of the society due to the discriminative nature of the government and their mandors.
HINDRAF stood tall against all odds challenging the government again and again on their repressive methods and threw their support to the PAKATAN alliance. The spirit and vigor shown by the HINDRAF supporters for PAKATAN was without fear or favor and largely united to seek a change for better governance.
Never in the history of Malaysian elections did the opposition get such volumes of voluntary canvassers to campaign on their behalf. PAS leaders were impressed by how the HINDRAF Indian supporters, who had always looked at them with suspicion, embraced PAS and went out in their green PAS T-shirts and flags campaigning. A blind vote was given to Pakatan leaders just to teach UMNO a lesson on what minority votes (who were always vilified for their insignificance) meant. For once the Indians voted in BULK, under the guidance of HINDRAF, and created the great impact on March 8, 2008.
Having seen the power of the BULK VOTE, there are some ambitious “Indian leaders” who took advantage of the situation by appearing to champion the cause of Hindraf and Indians. The reality is that these parties would die a natural death as they don’t command the confidence of the Indian voters.
When I say Bulk vote, I mean the downtrodden, lower income group who form the bulk of the Indian voters.
In the current scenario, do the Indian leaders in PAKATAN command the confidence of these Indian voters? Put all the Indian MPs together and ask them to hold a meeting for the future of Indians in the country and hardly 10 would turn up. The Indians know they are not adequately represented within Pakatan. They are also uncomfortable with leaders within Pakatan because these leaders do not correctly understand their problems let alone resolve them. These voters need change; not moral and political sermons.
There is no point attacking the Indians of being racist and not seeing the larger national agenda of change when leaders within Pakatan themselves know pretty well that their setup is definitely still race-based.
If the Pakatan leaders continuously deny this reality, they are facing a great danger of losing the Indian support. UMNO is already working hard, cracking their heads on how to win over these BULK VOTES. So what has PAKATAN been doing to keep them or is it in the illusion that they will automatically vote for them in the next election?
After almost 1½ years after the GE, the Indians are speaking up against the four (4) Pakatan states for not doing enough for the Indian community. When they speak out, they get a barrage of criticisms from commenters who accuse the Indians of being impatient and racist.
What is surprising is that despite the onslaught by UMNO, MCA and Gerakan on Pakatan not doing enough for the Malays and Chinese in these states, the Chinese and Malays in these states do not complain. Why? The answer is simple - the Pakatan leaders make sure these races are taken care of.
It would appear that Pakatan is actually committing similar mistakes of BN – neglecting the Indians. If and when one or two bold Keadilan leaders raise concerns, they are accused of being racist and ungrateful - and that they could not have won without the Malay and Chinese support. Well, back to square one. It’s the attitude problem of Keadilan leaders which is gravely unhealthy – living in self denial.
I too, like many Malaysians, wish to see Pakatan take over the helm of the country in the 13th GE. But they can’t achieve that goal without the assistance and cooperation of the BULK Indian voters. I urge Pakatan leaders not to live in self-denial and to acknowledge their shortcomings. Do not commit the same mistake that UMNO did. The Indians do not expect much; just give them a fair and just deal in small businesses, state scholarships, licences, acquire school land sitting on private owners and convert it into a fully-aided school. Be transparent in what you do for the community and stop behaving like another UMNO.
Indian problems are not Indian problems per se but it’s a national problem. Stop the UMNO attitude of pushing Indian matters to Indian representatives. Most Indian representatives within Keadilan are unable to come down to the ground to understand the Bulk Voters problem and therefore are unable to command their votes.
HINDRAF leadership has to make a firm and committed stand on whether they want their supporters to drift back to BN out of no choice or they wish to hold on to their voters.
The current reality is, the bulk of Indian voters will only rally behind one of the Hindraf 5 leaders. This leader, having shown his relentless attitude towards his captors and his commitment to remain behind bars for the sake of justice for his minority community is undeniable. Hindraf’s exiled leader has repeatedly said he would not convert the organisation into a political party. Hindraf furthermore, is a banned movement. What other choice does HINDRAF has to ensure their supporters' interests are taken care of?
Pakatan Leaders seem reluctant to openly invite them into their fold for reasons only they understand.
For once, the bulk of Indians are united and consolidated under HINDRAF’s umbrella as they truly feel their leaders will champion their cause without all the melodrama of the other parties. It would be a strategy of resurgence. These voters need to be ushered into a setup where they are comfortable with an altruistic leader.
It would be in the best interests of the Malaysian Indians if the most recognized face of Hindraf forms a political party to consolidate all Indian voters and join the Pakatan coalition as a brother-at-arms and work in a concerted effort to get rid of BN in the 13th GE.
Needless to say, I am sure Pakatan leaders would be more comfortable with this form of arrangement to hold on to the Indian bulk voters. Even UMNO realized this fact and made a pact with MMSP. But too late did they realise they recruited the wrong guys.
To all Pakatan leaders out there, if you are really eager to govern in the next term, I urge you to immediately put to plan to work with the inevitable emergence of a HINDRAF as a prospective political figure.
In 2007, six (6) police officers and two (2) underworld figures signed Statutory Declarations alleging that senior police officers right up to the IGP have links with the Chinese drugs, prostitution, illegal gambling and loan-shark syndicate based in Johor and which was expanding its operation throughout Malaysia. Another police officer made a police report alleging that his family was kidnapped by the ACA to force him to change his statement while the head of the CCD and his lawyer were arrested and charged for alleged criminal offenses for detaining underworld bosses under the Emergency Ordinance.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Saya, Md. Yusof Bin Ahmad (K/P Polis No: G/10608) yang beralamat di Ibu Pejabat Daerah (IPD) Polis, Kluang, Johor dengan ini sesungguhnya dan seikhlasnya berikrar dan menyatakan seperti berikut:-
1. Saya bekerja sebagai seorang pegawai polis berpangkat Assisten Superintenden Polis (ASP) di Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah, IPD Kluang, Johor (JSJ). Sebagai pegawai JSJ, saya menerima arahan dari pegawai atasan di JSJ. Saya membuat Akuan ini demi menjaga keselamatan peribadi dan integriti saya sebagai seorang pegawai polis berhubung tugasan dan siasatan yang saya lakukan dan arahan yang saya terima.
2. Diantara Ogos dan September 2004, saya terima arahan dari KPP D7, Bukit Aman melalui semboyan mengarahkan supaya kes fail AKT terhadap salah seorang penganjur judi ekor haram di Kluang bernama Chai Ngew atau nama panggilan Ah Chai. Saya arahkan D/Sjn Yassin untuk membawa kes fail tersebut ke D7, Bukit Aman untuk tatapan YDH KPP D7, Bukit Aman. YDH KPP D7 mengarahkan supaya kes fail tersebut dikemaskini dengan segera.
3. Pada Mac 2005, Waran Tangkap dan Tahanan (WTT) terhadap Ah Chai dikeluarkan oleh KKDN. WTT telah disempurnakan oleh PPKG Kluang, C/Insp. Mohd. Shah Bin Kamaluddin dan Ah Chai kemudian dikenakan tindakan buang daerah selama satu tahun setengah di bandaran Nilai, Negeri Sembilan. Selepas 6 bulan dalam buangan, Ah Chai kemudian telah dibebaskan setelah memenangi kes habeas corpus.
4. Pada September 2005, setelah dibebaskan Ah Chai dapati masih meneruskan aktivitinya sebagai penganjur perjudian ekor haram di kawasan Kluang. Pada 08/03/2006, hasil maklumat yang diberikan oleh YDH Timbalan Ketua Polis Negara pada masa itu Dato’ Musa bin Hassan, saya bersama sepasukan anggota D7, IPD Kluang telah menyerbu sebuah ‘Counting Center’ kepunyaan Ah Chai dan berjaya menangkap 4 orang termasuk isteri kepada Ah Chai serta merampas peralatan penganjuran judi ekor haram. Kemudian pada 18/03/2006, satu serbuan lagi telah dibuat oleh D7, IPK Johor terhadap sebuah lagi ‘Counting Center’ juga kepunyaan Ah Chai dan berjaya menangkap 5 orang pekerja dan merampas peralatan judi ekor haram. Intelligent statement 9 tangkapan tersebut telah diambil oleh PPKG dan anggota D7 saya dan kesemuanya menjurus kepada aktiviti yang dijalankan oleh Ah Chai.
5. Pada 30/03/2007 jam 0100, Ah Chai bersama isteri keduanya serta PR nama Ah Chin telah ditangkap dibawah Sek 3(1) Ordinan Darurat oleh pegawai D7 IPK Johor, ASP Mior Fahim Bin Ahmad dan dibawa balik ke IPK Johor untuk ditahan di sana selama 60 hari bagi meneruskan siasatan (soal siasat). Saya berasa hairan kerana pihak JSJ, IPD Kluang belum membuka kes fail yang baru terhadap sabjek yang ditangkap dan percakapan risikan yang ada hanya berdasarkan 2 serbuan terhadap counting center. Pihak D7, IPK Johor juga ada meminta kersemua percakapan risikan sabjek yang dirakam oleh IPD Kluang supaya dihantar ke D7, IPK Johor pada bulan Feb 2007. Saya juga berasa hairan kenapa masih ada lagi tindakan terhadap Ah Chai sedangkan dia baru saja dibebaskan dari sekatan di bawah AKT.
6. Pada 07/04/2007, saya terima panggilan telefon dari D7 Johor, DSP Ng Fook Long bertanyakan kepada saya adakah Ah Chai, isterinya dan Ah Chin dari group MIMI (salah satu penganjur judi ekor haram di kawasan Kluang). Saya beritahu kepada DSP Ng, mereka bukan dari group MIMI tetapi group Ah Chai sendiri.
7. Pada 08/04/2007, sehari selepas mereka dibebaskan saya telah berjumpa Ah Chai di bandar Kluang dan telah berbual berkaitan pembebasannya. Ah Chai berkata kepada saya yang dia tidak berpuas hati terhadap saya kerana telah menganiayakannya. Saya bertanya kepadanya bagaimana dia boleh bebas. Ah Chai beritahu ada seorang kawannya (nama tidak diberitahu) baik dengan IGP sekarang. Saya bertanya lagi kepada Ah Chai, adakah orang itu bernama Tengku, Ah Chai hanya tersenyum sahaja. Sejak dari itu, saya merasakan bahawa group Ah Chai mungkin bernaung dibawah group Tengku.
8. Pada Mei 2006, saya dipanggil oleh Supt. Navamany untuk berjumpa beliau dan membawa 2 Kertas Siasatan berkaitan serbuan tersebut, statistik serbuan dan kes fail. Dalam temuduga, soalan yang diajukan kepada saya menjurus kepada percakapan risikan keatas sabjek-sabjek yang ditangkap keatas 2 serbuan tersebut serta 3 kes fail terhadap Ah Chai, isterinya dah Ah Chin. Saya merasakan persoalan yang diajukan kepada saya mempertikaikan kesahihan percakapan risikan yang telah diambil. Semasa itu, saya telah diarahkan bertukar ke IPD Kajang, Selangor Sebagai KBLD. Pertukaran ini adalah merupakan sesuatu yang tidak adil bagi saya kerana saya tidak pernah melakukan kesalahan tatatertib mahupun prestasi tugas berdasarkan kejayaan-kejayaan yang telah saya capai sepanjang tempoh saya bertugas sebagai KBSJD Kluang dan saya rasa saya masih lagi berupaya dan mampu menyumbangkan tenaga saya dalam JSJ. Dengan pertukaran saya ke bahagian Logistik saya tidak dapat memberi kesinambungan dalam tugas saya untuk memerangi jenayah.
9. Adalah saya mengatakan bahawa sebagai seorang pegawai polis, saya merasa amat tertekan bahawa tindakan saya mematuhi arahan pegawai atasan saya dalam menjalankan risikan terhadap kegiatan jenayah dan membuat rakaman risikan ke atas Ah Chai yang membabitkan nama Tengku boleh menyebabkan saya dikenakan siasatan oleh Bahagian Tatatertib dan dipindahkan tugas ke Bahagian Logistik. Saya menganggap ini satu penganiayaan terhadap diri, kerjaya, keluarga dan nama baik saya.
Dan saya membuat pengakuan ini dengan sesungguhnya mempercayai bahawa yang sama adalah benar dan mengikut peruntukan Akta Akuan Berkanun, 1960.
DITANDATANGANI DAN DIIKRAR )
SESUNGGUHNYA oleh Md. Yusof Bin Ahmad )
(K/P Polis No: G/10990) tersebut di atas di Kuala Lumpur )
pada haribulan 2007 )
Di hadapan saya,
(The original copy of the above was signed and personally delivered to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad by Raja Petra Bin Raja Kamarudin).
KUALA LUMPUR, June 10 — Dressed in black, the colour of protest, 200 activists sat at cafe tables quietly drinking coffee — black, of course. Bewildered, police stood outside and watched the coffee drinkers without interfering.
The protest at three cafes in Kuala Lumpur was their way around a ban on unauthorised protests. It was the latest twist in a row over the governing Barisan Nasional coalition’s seizure of power in Perak.
“Police were coming down hard on us and so we used this unique way to protest and tell people to demand an election in Perak,” said Wong Chin Huat, a protest leader and academic at the city’s Monash University campus. “We managed to send the message across.”
However, Sunday’s protest — which the academic called a “mild form” of civil disobedience — did not last long. Within half an hour, the managers of the cafes — outlets of the popular Old Town White Coffee chain — had ushered the protesters and other customers out the door. A spokeswoman said the three were shutting temporarily for “regular maintenance and renovations”.
She said it was unfair of protesters to use the chain’s outlets for the protest. “We have loyal patrons who are unhappy with so many people suddenly appearing all wearing black, which we associate with death. This is very bad for business.”
Undeterred, pro-opposition NGOs yesterday announced they would repeat the protest tomorrow — at seven Old Town outlets in the capital and Penang. The protesters, who announced the location of the protests via the social networking website Facebook, urged the coffee company not to close the outlets.
“We are only drinking coffee and paying for it,” one protest leader said. “They make money, we get our message across.”
This time, police will be waiting for them. “We are monitoring the targeted outlets and if necessary will arrest any person wearing black as they approach the outlets,” a police spokesman said. — South China Morning Post
By Farish A. Noor
How soon we forget. Malaysian politics is characterized by a curious form of ahistoricity and a willful neglect of history in general. The contribution of the diverse communities of Malaysia to the country’s nation-building process is often forgotten in the official narratives of the country, the role of women in our national history is seldom even mentioned.
Malaysian politicians and political parties are likewise blind to history, and even recent history at that. Which has prompted many of my students to ask me the same question: “How come people don’t seem to remember anything in this country, and how come alliances can be made one day and broken the day after?” Well that, dear students, is precisely what Malaysian politics is made up of: Pragmatism that is grounded on political ambitions rather than the empowerment and education of the people. Politics here seems to be more directed towards the acquisition of political power for politicians than the political empowerment of the public; for the latter means having to educate the public, and to remind them of their history as well.
Now that all of Malaysia is abuzz with talk about the impending collapse of the Pakatan Rakyat and the moves to bring the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party PAS closer to UMNO, let us revisit the history of these two parties for a while…
PAS, it should be remembered, began as a splinter party of UMNO when the Dewan Ulama of UMNO left the party in the wake of the Nadrah/Mariah Hertog debacle in the early 1950s. PAS’s founder-leaders, who included men like Dr Abbas Elias accused UMNO of not doing enough to defend the status of Islamic law and Muslim converts against the whims of the British colonial authorities then. From 1951 to 1969 PAS was led by men like Dr Burhanuddin al-Helmy and Dr Zulkiflee Muhammad who took the party down the path of anti-colonialism and anti-imperialism; supported numerous workers movements and liberation movements across the Third World and aligned themselves with progressive Islamist forces in Indonesia and further abroad.
UMNO in turn dubbed PAS a left-leaning Islamist party, and even referred to it as the ‘Red-Green menace’ that was in cohorts with the banned Malayan Communist Party MCP.
The war of words between UMNO and PAS continued up to the 1980s, with both sides accusing each other of being un-Islamic and even anti-Islamic at times. In the mid-1980s PAS leader Hadi Awang issued the famous ‘declaration of Hadi Awang’ that accused UMNO of being a kafir party led by impostors and hypocrites. UMNO in turn branded PAS a party of religious extremists, militants and fanatics, and this battle of words culminated in the killings that took place in the village of Memali in 1985. Since then scores of PAS leaders have been detained under the ISA and numerous security operations such as Operasi Kenari were used to arrest and detain members and leaders of the party.
Up to the 1990s PAS did not relent in its attacks on UMNO, labeling them a westernized, liberal, Eurocentric party that was serving the interests of the West and even the Zionist lobby. UMNO leaders have likewise continued to repeat the same stereotypical allegations against PAS, labeling them extremists and militants.
With such a nasty past behind them, why are some members of both parties indulging in this public display of apparent goodwill and talking about engagement and co-operation? Talk of such co-operation beggars belief, considering the fact that both sides have been bitterly opposed to each other before. Furthermore, if PAS and UMNO wish to work together now, does this mean that they have to revise their earlier estimations of each other?
Is UMNO now prepared to work with the very same party that it once denounced as being a party of extremist fanatics? And is PAS now prepared to work with the same party it once denounced as being a party of secular liberal Godless and Westernised materialists? Or are we – the Malaysian public – meant to believe that all that bile and venom was just shadow-play, some elaborate wayang kulit that was for our sordid entertainment that was in the end just a waste of time?
Whatever the outcome of the current round of PAS-UMNO talks, all this proves that Malaysians don’t know much of their own history and that our politicians are the most ahistorical of the lot. For the sake of short-term political gains, some of our politicians seem to think that the politics of pragmatic compromise and sell-out is the best way to secure a seat in Parliament, or better still a cabinet posting.
All in all, it only confirms the view that ours is a nation without a historical map and compass, and that we have been constantly played with and toyed with by those who claim to represent us. Forget the political education and empowerment of the Malaysian public; our national political culture today seems to be more one of backroom deals, hop-overs and cross-overs, pragmatism for short-term sweeteners and frills. And we, the Malaysian public, are all the poorer as a result.
By Deborah Loh
PETALING JAYA, 9 June 2009: The National Human Rights Society (Hakam) has launched a petition urging PAS to retract its call for action against Sisters in Islam.
Hakam president Malik Imtiaz Ghulam Sarwar described as "disturbing" and "anti-democratic" the resolution adopted at PAS's 55th muktamar on 7 June for SIS to be investigated and banned, and its members rehabilitated, if it was found to be anti-Islam.
"Though members of PAS are entitled to their views, the call for the banning of SIS is wholly unacceptable.
"As a matter of principle, the question of banning any organisation purely for their views should not arise at all. Differences of views must be respected and, if at all, be resolved through constructive engagement," a statement released by Hakam said today.
It also noted that PAS's demand against SIS did not match the party's public rhetoric that called for more democracy and inclusiveness.
The statement is being circulated for people to endorse.
It said that SIS or any other organisation had the same freedom to express their views as PAS.
"No one person or organisation has a monopoly over the right to express views on matters of public importance.
"The call to silence SIS and send its members for rehabilitation is an act of violence against those freedoms and their constitutional underpinnings. It also lends itself to further closure of the already narrow space of public discourse and debate that a slew of anti-expression laws have allowed Malaysians," the statement read.
It noted that respect for diversity, including different views, should be protected if Malaysia wanted to become a mature democracy.The PAS resolution against SIS has been condemned by the party's Pakatan Rakyat partners, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and the DAP, the Barisan Nasional's Gerakan and Umno's Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, as well as the Bar Council.
BY LISA GOH
Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum ruled that there had been a “quorum failure” when a panel of only two Federal Court judges - Justices Nik Hashim Nik Ab Rahman and Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin - dismissed Raja Petra’s application to recuse Justice Paul on Feb 17.
“When the two-member panel proceeded to hear the recusal application, Section 74(1) of the Court of Judicature Act (CJA) was offended,” he said in his written judgement read out by Federal Court deputy registrar Surita Budin Tuesday.
Justice Malanjum added that all other decisions and orders subsequent to the impugned decision and order by the same panel was thereby set aside as well.
On Nov 7, last year, the Shah Alam High Court granted Raja Petra’s habeas corpus application to be released from detention under the Internal Security Act.
The Home Minister, the sole respondent in the case, appealed against the decision, and it was heard before Justices Nik Hashim, Paul and Zulkefli on Feb 11.
Counsel for Raja Petra, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, then applied to recuse Justice Augustine on grounds that “there might be a real danger of bias on the part of the learned judge since Raja Petra was critical of him in his website in 2001”.
On Feb 17, when Raja Petra’a recusal application came up for hearing, Justice Paul voluntarily requested to be excused from hearing it, and left the bench.
The remaining judges proceeded to hear the application despite the objection by Malik Imtiaz that it was unconstitutional for the panel to do so.
The application was summarily dismissed, as the bench held the view that the basis of the recusal application was “far-fetched and ludicrous”.
It also held that the proceeding had already commenced on Feb 11, in which Justice Paul had participated in allowing the application for adjournment by Raja Petra to enable him to file the formal recusal application.
The court, upon dismissing the recusal application, then invited back Justice Paul to the bench, and it later dismissed Raja Petra’s applications to have a quorum of five or seven judges to hear the appeal and two applications to adduce further evidence in the case.
On Feb 20, Raja Petra filed an application under Rule 137 of the CJA to review the Federal Court’s decision in dismissing his application to recuse Justice Paul.
In his judgement, Justice Malanjum added that ordinarily, the sitting of a two-member panel was contrary to Section 74(1) of the CJA which stipulated that “every proceeding in the Federal Court shall be heard and disposed of by three Judges or such greater uneven number of Judges”.
“However, the reasons given in their judgment as indicated above the two-member panel ruled that they could continue with the hearing.
“With respect, we do not think it is tenable to say that the hearing had commenced just because an application for adjournment was made and allowed,” he said.
The Federal Court registry will fix a new date to hear the applications afresh.
1. Why is it that when I defend UMNO or the Malays I am labelled a racist but not when others speak up for Chin Peng?
2. If speaking up for the Malays is considered racist then are the Malays to be denied their right to speak for themselves?
3. Liberalism is fine but it should not benefit only certain people and not others. By definition not benefiting certain people contradicts the very concept of liberalism.
SISTERS IN ISLAM
1. I am saddened that PAS should suggest banning Sisters in Islam.
2. I don't always agree with the views of the SIS. But they have not negated Islam. In most instances they cite verses of the Quran and Hadith to support their views. If we don't agree then give the reasons why we don't agree. But to resort to banning is draconian.
3. We can imagine what a PAS Government for Malaysia would be like.
Saying that he was saddened by the call, the 84-year-old statesman also shuddered at the thought of PAS forming the federal government.
"I don't always agree with the views of SIS. But they have not negated Islam. In most instances they cite verses of the Quran and Hadith to support their views," he said in a blog posting.
"If we don't agree then give the reasons why we don't agree. But to resort to banning is draconian. We can imagine what a PAS government for Malaysia would be like," he added.
During the recent PAS Mukatamar (assembly), a resolution was passed to call on the National Fatwa Council to ban SIS.
It also called for the Council to conduct a study over SIS' approach in its work to protect the rights of Muslim women, which PAS claimed is confusing to Muslims.
SIS, who has since described the call as retrogressive and undemocratic, was also accused of infiltrating the minds of Muslims with its "liberal thinking."
'Drop the word Islam'
Meanwhile, former Selangor menteri besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo said SIS should change its name by dropping the word 'Islam'.
This would ensure that the organisation's comments or views would not raise concern among the Muslim community, he added.
Conceding that there is some degree of rationality behind PAS' anger, Khir however said SIS' contributions to society cannot be denied.
"But sometimes SIS acts beyond dogma and the viewpoints of the majority of Muslims and scholars.
"I feel that Muslims in this country, including PAS, are not anti religious debates and discussions," he said.
"But these discussions should be centred on enhancing knowledge, not to seek controversy and popularity,” he added.
By dropping the word 'Islam' from its name, Khir said SIS would no longer come under scrutiny or be judged whenever it issues a controversial statement.
Why am I called a racist?
In another development, Mahathir wondered aloud why he was being labelled a racist when he defended Umno or the Malays, but not those who speak up for ex-communist leader Chin Peng.
"If speaking up for the Malays is considered racist then are the Malays to be denied their right to speak for themselves?" he asked.
According to Mahathir, liberalism is fine but it should not benefit only certain people.
"By definition not benefitting certain people contradicts the very concept of liberalism," he said.
"I really don't think openly slugging it out on racial issues in Malaysia is healthy. But if that is what Malaysians want then they should be prepared to slug and be slugged," he added.
Recently there have been calls for the government to allow Chin Peng, 84, to return to Malaysia. He is currently in exile in Thailand.
However, the government has ruled this out and the suggestion drew flak from various quarters who view the former communist leader as a terrorist.
(The Straits Times) - JAKARTA - A MEDICAL examination of a teenage US-Indonesian model who claimed she was raped and tortured by her Malaysian prince husband confirmed that she had been physically abused, a forensic expert said on Tuesday.
Ms Manohara Odelia Pinot, 17, last week told reporters she was treated like a sex slave after her marriage last year to Tengku Temenggong Mohammad Fakhry, the prince of Malaysia's Kelantan state.
She escaped the prince's guards at a Singapore hotel and returned to her family in Indonesia with tales of abuse, rape and torture at the hands of the 31-year-old prince.
'There are slash wounds on many parts of her body, especially on her chest. Some are still fresh,' forensic doctor Mun'im Idries told AFP. 'We are still examining her blood and urine samples because she said she had been given jabs,' he said adding that he also found an injection mark on her back.
Ms Manohara - a well-known socialite in Jakarta - claimed to have been cut with a razor and injected with drugs which made her vomit blood while being held under guard in her bedroom at the palace.
She said after the examination on Tuesday that the prince would have sexual intercourse after injecting her with an unidentified substance.
With the help of Singapore police, the former model escaped home to Jakarta while visiting her father-in-law, Sultan Ismail Petra Shah II who was being treated at a Singapore hospital.
'The medical examination has been completed and the result confirmed that there is physical abuse all over her body. Her story has proven to be true,' one of her lawyers Farhat Abbas told AFP.
He said his client on Tuesday formally lodged a written report on the alleged abuse with the Indonesian police. Besides the prince, she had named six other people including the sultan and his wife as accomplices.'We have received the report today,' national police spokesman Abubakar Nataprawira told AFP. 'Indonesian police is not able to investigate the case as the alleged abuse took place in Malaysia which is out of our jurisdiction. But we will assist in reporting the case to Malaysian police,' he added.
Last night, I sent an SMS to Datuk Mokhtar and vented my frustration at the dismal investigation into my father's murder case.
By Raj Kumar Krishnasamy
I send him an sms once in a while, because there is no response from them regarding the case. Johor police will send a letter when we call them. In the letter they will state that the case is pending and has not been closed. However, there is currently no progress. For more than a year, this is what I got from the police. Sometimes, the frustration builds up that I send him an sms or I write it in a letter and send it to as many people as possible.
Day after day since January11, 2008, I have been hoping to see some justice. I used to have a lot of respect and trust in the police. But day after day, the trust and respect towards the police force eroded as the suspects start to go home. I have asked for only one thing from the police; that is justice for my father. Till this very day, none has prevailed.
The police are in fact useless and toothless to fight against the criminals that the crooks are now so bold. What happened to the criminals who did that to my father? NOTHING. They are still free and living happily.
What happened to the evidence that the police got from the murder site? What happened to all the suspects? How come there is no outcome from the investigations? Why did the murder suspect who happens to be a "big shot's son" was released from EO in the middle of the night?
Who sent the security guard away before my father went into the lift? Why? Where was he sent? Why did the police change the investigation officers so many times? More than a year has passed, what did the police do to solve the case?
The police under Datuk Mokhtar has failed, Datuk Mokhtar has failed. The police must not think that by pretending to be quiet, the case will be forgotten and Malaysia will be safe from criminals. The police cannot go around beating and threatening the public while they can't even solve crimes and keep Malaysia safe. Just look at the state of the police now. They are hopeless in keeping the public safe. They have no idea how to get rid of the Mat Rempit menace. They are going after candle vigils and black shirts when they should be elsewhere solving crimes. How do the police even expect the public to respect them?
Rosmah Mansor’s family talks about the real 'First Lady', something which is still unknown to most Malaysians-at-large. See what they have to say in this YouTube video recording EXCLUSIVE to Malaysia Today. Rosmah's disgusted brother has now left the country to join me in self-imposed exile.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Leave Umno aside. Forget about Mahathir. We must now declare war on Pakatan Rakyat. In just one year Pakatan Rakyat has become what took Barisan Nasional 50 years to transform into. If Khalid can’t manage Selangor then he has to go, and go now.
NO HOLDS BARRED
Raja Petra Kamarudin
The Selangor State Government must promote competitive and transparent tenders for public services, and condemn political patronage in the award of such contracts
The DAP views the expose by MBPJ councillor, A Thiruvenggadam, alleging that the state divides Alam Flora's waste management contracts to political parties - 40 percent to PKR, 30 percent to PAS and 30 percent to DAP, as reported in Malaysiakini yesterday, with grave and serious concern.
The Selangor State Executive Council must immediately investigate the veracity of these claims, which poses serious credibility threats to the Pakatan Rakyat state government. We would like to call upon the executive councillor for infrastructure and public amenities, Datuk Dr Hassan Mohd Ali, who is in-charge of Alam Flora waste management services to confirm or deny the allegations.
The allegations, if true, will put us on a slippery slope to become a Government which condones patronage and cronyism, no different from Barisan Nasional. If the allegations are, however, found to be false or misguided, then Thiruvenggadam must apologise for his allegations.
The DAP strongly condemns any move which condones political patronage where politicians get to decide the contractors who get the jobs for public services contracts. We are firm in our belief that these contracts must be tendered to all qualified parties in an open, transparent and competitive manner. Only then will the rakyat receive the best quality services at the lowest possible prices.
The DAP-led Pakatan Rakyat Government in Penang has taken great pains to ensure that politicians are not put in a position to indulge in political patronage, which promotes corruption and nepotism. Even in the face of strong political opposition within the Pakatan Rakyat component parties to reserve plum positions such as MPSP or MPPP president's post, the Penang government has stuck to its guns to promote worthy civil servants instead. This serves to ensure that our policy of competency, accountability and transparency (CAT) is not only preached but practised.
Hence, regardless of the allegations, the Selangor Government must dismiss any lingering suspicions over the manner in which sub-contracts by Alam Flora are “allocated” by announcing implementation of a competitive tender, even if it's limited to Class F contractors, to ensure that corruption and cronyism will not take root under Pakatan's administration, and the rakyat receives the best deal.
Pakatan Rakyat facing first crisis of confidence since its formation after the March 8 political tsunami last year
Pakatan Rakyat is facing its first crisis of confidence among members, supporters and well-wishers since its formation after the March 8 political tsunami last year.
I had made a short comment to reporters on the theme of the speech of the PAS President, Datuk Seri Hadi Awang after the opening ceremony of the 55th PAS Muktamar in Stadium Melawati, Shah Alam on Friday.
I said that the theme Hadi had chosen for his opening speech, “Islam Memimpin Perubahan”, would be a great challenge for PAS to become a national party capable of representing the rights and interests of all citizens in plural Malaysia at a historic moment in the nation’s history undergoing unprecedented political change.
Some of the speeches of PAS leaders and resolutions at the 55th PAS Muktamar like the focus on Umno-PAS “unity talks” and the call for the ban of Sisters-in-Islam have however an opposite effect, creating a crisis of confidence in the Pakatan Rakyat among members, supporters and well-wishers.
UMNO Youth leader, Khairy Jamaluddin and other UMNO leaders are trying to press home the advantage of using the Umno-PAS “unity talks” to split Pakatan Rakyat and undermine public confidence in Pakatan Rakyat.
This is a test of the wisdom and capability of DAP, PKR and PAS leaders to measure up to the expectations of the people as expressed in the March general election last year to advance the cause of Pakatan Rakyat.
Lim Kit Siang
I do not rear fresh water fish but I was told that if your fish are wiped out by disease then you can’t just go buy new fish fry and put them back into the pond. You have to abandon the pond because the pond would be contaminated and the disease would spread to the new fish fry as well. In other words, it is not just the fish that are diseased but the environment as well. So you need a new environment for the new fish fry.
As I said, I do not rear fish, so I really don’t know if this is so, but this is what I was told by those who are in the business of fish rearing.
I have said this before, many times in the past: PAS, PKR, DAP, and what have you, are political parties. Each of these political parties may have different ideologies but their agendas are all the same. Politics is about the pursuit of power. This is what political parties do -- they seek power. And they will attain power the best way they can.
Do you know why rivers meander and never flow in a straight line? This is because water always finds the path of the least resistance. Water will never flow upstream or up a gradient. It will meander around the gradients and flow downstream. This is the path of the least resistance and this is how water flows and this is why rivers meander and never flow in a straight line.
In politics it is the same. Politicians and political parties too look for the path of the least resistance. Why try to flow upstream and up a hill when you can meander (what the Malays would call putar belit) and look for the easy route? All you want to do is to arrive at your destination. And you will look for the easiest route to that destination. And the destination of politicians and political parties is to get into power. And you do this the easiest way you can, which may not quite be the best or honest way.
A few days after the 8 March 2008 general election I wrote about the Unity Government. I was whacked by the readers good and proper. Many even accused me of being a traitor and said I was selling out. Some even pointed to my association with the pro-Mahathir Umno group, in particular the Blogging community, and offered that as proof that I had switched camps and was now working with the other side.
The debate was of course confined within Malaysia Today. This was not discussed outside the comments section of Malaysia Today. But it was clear I had courted the displeasure of the readers and they made this displeasure very prominent in the manner they attacked me for my suggestion that the future of Malaysian politics would be to eventually see the emergence of some form of Unity Government running this country.
Some leaders in PAS and Umno were actually already talking about this barely hours after the 8 March 2008 general election. The voters may not have known about it as the secret talks were going on behind the scenes and were never made public. Malaysia Today even mentioned the names of some of those involved in the talks.
As usual, however, the readers interpreted this as an effort by Malaysia Today to sabotage the opposition and smear the reputation of certain opposition leaders. They would not accept the fact that maybe there are some opposition leaders who are not committed to the cause but are in politics merely for purposes of attaining power.
But PAS is a political party just like any other political party, opposition or ruling coalition. What PAS wants is what a normal political party wants, political power. So why should PAS not also make secret deals if that is the best route to attaining power?
Malaysia Today revealed that Umno had offered PAS the post of Menteri Besar of Perak. Umno also put icing on the cake by agreeing that Islamic laws be implemented in Perak if PAS agrees to form a new Perak state government with Umno. PAS would be a minority in a Pakatan Rakyat state government. PAS would still be a minority if it formed that government with Umno. But Pakatan Rakyat would not agree to the implementation of Islamic laws in Perak while Umno would. That is the extra PAS would get if it teamed up with Umno instead of DAP and PKR to form the new Perak state government.
Nizar, however, declined the offer. His loyalty is with DAP and PKR even if they can’t implement Islamic laws in Perak. Nizar will not sell out his partners just to gain Islamic laws.
Now, all this is not new information. Malaysia Today has written about it more than once before this. But the comprehension of the readers was so poor and the quality of the debates so low that most, if not all, missed the wood for the trees, as usual.
It has come to a stage that even I no longer read the comments in Malaysia Today. Except for one or two, most of the comments not only miss the point and are out of context but are also emotional raving and ranting that do not add value to the news report or articles.
What many Umno Bloggers and anti-opposition people say about those who comment in Malaysia Today is actually quite true. The comments are not worth reading and are mostly hentam Umno or Barisan Nasional out of hatred and nothing more. There are hardly any constructive suggestions as to how the opposition can improve itself and in that same process improve the situation in this country.
When the issue of the Unity Government first surfaced more than a year ago we should have maturely and rationally debated the matter and tell the political leaders what we thought of the idea. Calling those we dislike names is not quite proposing how this country should move forward. But that is all we do. Until today most comments are name calling like calling Mahathir Mamak and pointing out the 22 years damage he did to this country. But how do we move forward? What are the formulae needed? No one says because no one cares and no one knows and all they want to do is to let off steam by whacking Mahathir and calling him Mamak.
Even if I agree that Mahathir is bad, is he bad because he is bad or because he is Mamak? What has the fact that he is Mamak got to do with it? We used to think that Pak Lah is bad and now we think that Najib is bad. But they are both not Mamak. So does the fact that Mahathir is Mamak have anything to do with the issue? However, reading the comments in Malaysia Today would give anyone the impression that the problem with this country is we had a Mamak as a prime minister and that and only that was the problem. Does this mean if Mahathir had not been Mamak then Malaysia would have faced no problems?
PAS has forgotten the Umno and Barisan Nasional campaign in the run-up to the 8 March 2008 general election. Then, it was not to form the Unity Government with PAS. Then, it was to ensure Pembangkang Sifar (Zero Opposition). The ruling coalition plan was to deny the opposition even a single seat in Parliament and all the State Assemblies.
Malaysia Today predicted otherwise. Malaysia Today said that Barisan Nasional would lose five states and its two-thirds majority in Parliament. In fact, this was the gist of the ceramah I gave at various places during the election campaign. But Umno and Barisan Nasional were confident they would achieve Pembangkang Sifar. They never once said they are thinking of forming Unity Governments with PAS either at Parliament level or in any of the states. They wanted to totally wipe out the opposition and deny it even one seat. But within hours of the results of the 8 March 2008 general election they quickly started talking to PAS to propose the Unity Government idea.
Umno and Barisan Nasional were not thinking of the nation’s interest. They wanted to see how to get back control of the five states, or at least some of the five states, as well as get back its two-thirds majority in Parliament. Barisan Nasional was short of a few seats and if the 23 Members of Parliament from PAS and some of the 31 Members of Parliament from PKR joined the Unity Government then Barisan Nasional gets back it two-thirds majority in Parliament plus probably Kedah, Perak and Selangor and maybe even Kelantan. Then only Penang would remain an opposition state. But Penang too could eventually fall since it was a ‘Chinese’ state government and Malay sentiments could be played up to bring the Penang government down.
PAS has not forgotten its earlier marriage to Barisan Nasional almost 40 years ago. But there are some in PAS who are more concerned about their own positions rather than what will happen to their party if they go to bed with Umno. Sure, the party will suffer. But they will benefit, personally. And that is what matters to some of these PAS leaders. They are, after all, politicians, and politics is about attaining power any way you can, foul means or fair.
Malaysia Today said that Perak is just the first of the five Pakatan Rakyat states that will fall back into the hands of Barisan Nasional. In fact, Malaysia Today appealed for the Perak State Assembly to be dissolved two weeks before the state fell. Kedah and Selangor are next on the list. And Penang and Kelantan are not safe either.
Kelantan will see a serious internal conflict within PAS. The groundwork for that was laid in the recent PAS general assembly. So it will be PAS versus PAS is Kelantan, which will eventually see the state fall. And Penang is headed for a serious DAP versus PKR-PAS ‘racial’ crisis.
Selangor is facing another kind of problem. Selangor’s problem is an incompetent state government and an even more incompetent Menteri Besar. The question that many ask is whether Tan Sri Khalid is just downright incompetent or whether he is a Trojan Horse aimed at bringing down the Pakatan Rakyat state government.
There are some who feel that Khalid has a lot of hidden scandals from his Guthrie days. I too have heard the same thing but have not seen anything concrete thus far. Umno, however, is not dragging all this to the surface -- at least not just yet. Instead, they are said to be using this as a ‘threat’ to force Khalid to cooperate in the move to undermine the Selangor state government.
Is Khalid just plain stupid and not really selling out to Umno in the move to make Selangor the next state to fall back to Barisan Nasional? I would like to believe it is stupidity rather than something more sinister. But whatever it may be it still spells doom for Pakatan Rakyat. And with certain PAS Selangor leaders talking to Umno and harbouring thoughts of a new Selangor Unity Government with Umno -- with the promise that PAS would replace Khalid as the new Menteri Besar -- this means the Pakatan Rakyat state government is living on borrowed time.
The people are beginning to see that the one-year-old Pakatan Rakyat Selangor government is no different from the Barisan Nasional government before this. We are just seeing the same shit, only on different days. I suppose the pond is so contaminated that the new fish fry has been afflicted with the disease of the old and now dead fish. Changing the fish is not enough. The new fish need to be put in a new pond because the old pond is already a total write-off.
Forget about all this name-calling. It has nothing to do with the fact that Mahathir is Mamak. It is all about the Pakatan Rakyat leaders suffering from the Barisan Nasional disease. It is about politics. It is about attaining power the best way they can. And Selangor is rapidly becoming just another state run by people who serve their own interests and not that of the rakyat.
Leave Umno aside. Forget about Mahathir. We must now declare war on Pakatan Rakyat. In just one year Pakatan Rakyat has become what took Barisan Nasional 50 years to transform into. If Khalid can’t manage Selangor then he has to go, and go now. We need to force Pakatan Rakyat to appoint a new Menteri Besar for Selangor while we still have time. If we wait for Selangor to fall like what happened to Perak before acting then it would be too late.
And Penang, Kedah and Kelantan are equally dicey. These states are not out of the woods either. The inter-party and intra-party bickering may see the end of the Pakatan Rakyat government in these states as well.
I have lost patience with those who comment in Malaysia Today a long time ago. In fact, I am even considering closing down the comments section because they add no value to the issues being discussed. Everything about Barisan Nasional is bad. Everything about Pakatan Rakyat is good. Actually, Pakatan Rakyat is no better than Barisan Nasional. And we are finally beginning to see this. But is it too late? Is this already the beginning of the end for Pakatan Rakyat?
I hope not. But unless we grab the bull by the horns Pakatan Rakyat’s days are numbered and it will be only a matter of time before all the states fall back to Barisan Nasional just like what happened to Perak.
SHAH ALAM, June 9 – Former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the opposition was necessary as a reflection of the government.
“It’s not healthy to have a one-party state. We need to have the opposition. Otherwise, we won’t have a ‘mirror’ to see whether we look good or not,” he said at a news conference, here, today.
He was asked to comment on the proposal made by PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang at the party’s 55th general assembly last week on the setting up of a unity government between PAS and Umno.
Dr Mahathir said the unity government proposal was also not clear, whether it was to be between PAS and Umno or between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat.
“If unity is just among Malays, Chinese with Chinese, and Indians with Indians, we’ll be divided into three groups. I don’t know... but it’s not my problem, I’m already retired.
“In those days when we formed BN, we invited all parties to join, except DAP. PAS also joined BN but later split from the coalition as it used its power in government to strengthen the party and not BN,” he said.
Asked how a unity government could benefit the country, Dr Mahathir said it would only bring good if both sides were sincere about doing it in the interest of the nation.
“But it’s sometimes difficult for politicians to be sincere. I’m also a politician, you know,” he said, smiling. – Bernama
By Leslie Lau, Consultant Editor and Debra Chong - The Malaysian Insider
KUALA LUMPUR, June 9 — PKR will hold a special congress this weekend to approve widespread reforms, which will include direct elections and a term limit for the party presidency, in an apparent attempt to position itself as a more modern and democratic party than Umno and other Barisan Nasional (BN) parties.
The Malaysian Insider understands that among the amendments to the party constitution to be put to a vote include:
- direct elections from all members for the party presidency and the national leadership;
- a term limit for the party president of three terms or nine years;
- increasing the number of vice-presidents from five to seven;
- the appointment of state chairmen to require consultation with branches and divisions;
- allowing the appointment of not more than one-third of members of state leadership councils to ensure one race does not dominate;
- allowing federal and state lawmakers to attend all state leadership council meetings; and
- the affirmation of the official slogan for the party as “Justice For All”.
Currently, the party follows closely Umno’s style of electing its leaders, with only elected delegates allowed to vote for the party president and other national leaders.
“We do not want to be like Umno where only 2,500 delegates get to choose for someone who could be the prime minister,” Sim Tze Tsin, a PKR lawmaker in Penang told The Malaysian Insider.
“We want to transform ourselves into a modern, vibrant and democratic political party.”
At its recent general assembly, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak had also promised reforms including direct elections for the lynchpin of the Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition.
He had also promised a special Umno assembly at an unspecified time to push through the plan for a direct vote.
By introducing a direct vote and other reforms to PKR, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, the de facto PKR leader and the proponent of the changes, is inviting direct comparisons with Umno.
PKR also hopes to pile on the pressure on Umno, which will find it difficult to push through similar changes to its constitution as party warlords who have grown accustomed to the benefits of being a delegate will certainly try to block such a step.
A number of Umno leaders, including Najib, have said that a direct vote would be the best way to curb money politics, or vote-buying, which is associated with the BN party.
Through its own constitutional amendments, PKR is also trying to curb vote-buying, according to party leaders.
By introducing the widespread reforms, Anwar and his PKR is also hoping to regain the political initiative after a number of his allies in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partner PAS lost in the Islamist party’s polls last week.
by Malaysian student overseas
Regarding:Koh Chon Weng case recently.
I sincerely think that this should not even happen. I felt really shocked after finding out the news from malaysia-today.net . Not just me alone who felt this, but my other friends as well. Even friends from other countries. We are also shocked why they’re not much news covered on this topic by local media.
As a student studying abroad, we choose to leave the country for higher education because
1. The certification here is more recognized.
2. We can obtain a Permanent Residents here once we finish our study. WHY?? because we don’t believe that younger generation like us will be able to live in Malaysia in future. A country where we were born. This is somehow sad.
Kugan’s death was something that shocked us, but why after a short while this happens again?
We the nation is not looking for a party that can make us rich, study the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and understand it. What we want is a party that can provide us safety and future.
I know nothing is perfect and we don’t ask for it to be completely perfect. I also studied Yin n Yang and understand that “the evil cannot be fully vanquished, but it can be controlled.” Therefore, we are not hoping to close down the entire PDRM but at least make those who are responsible to face the law, make us ( Missing-home students overseas) believe that there’s no place like home and we will want to go back to serve our country once we graduate.
Look at places like Hongkong, why do cops in Hongkong have their respectfulness from the people, why don’t Hongkong citizens feel bad about joining the police force.
Their police force consist of Chinese only??? No, they have Indians, and white and some Portugese and some Malaysia born Chinese as well.
The entertainment industry made a big success in projecting Hongkong police?? No, Malaysia has its own “Gerak Khas”( and i think that’s a good series) as well.
I strongly recommend that you read the Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and you will find that what we - the nation - is asking for.
Finally, I would like to wish you all the best in fighting for the nation and hope you are blessed with health and happiness.
By Deborah Loh
PETALING JAYA, 9 June 2009: Sweeping changes to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR)'s constitution, including direct elections for the top leadership and a nine-year limit on the presidency, will be voted on this Saturday, 13 June, at a special congress.
Another key amendment that will be put to a vote is a 30% quota for women leaders at the central, state and division levels, making it likely to be the first party from either the Pakatan Rakyat or the Barisan Nasional to attempt to do so.
There will also be a resolution to amend the party constitution to reduce the age limit for Angkatan Muda Keadilan (Youth wing) members from 40 to 35.
PKR communications director Jonson Chong said that having direct elections would be significant for the Malaysian political landscape.
Chong (Courtesy of Jonson Chong) The amendment, he noted, would see PKR break away from the norm, whereby party leaders are elected by a limited number of delegates.
"All party members will be given a chance to vote directly for their leaders at national and division level to make the process more democratic and also to discourage money politics," said Chong, who is also a supreme council member, in a phone interview with The Nut Graph.
The only leaders who will not be elected are state PKR leaders, but there are changes proposed to their appointment process.
Chong said state party chiefs were currently appointed by the party president after a "loose consultation" with a few division chiefs in that state.
The proposed amendment would require the president to hold a formal meeting to consult with all division chiefs in a state.
PKR's next internal elections are due in 2010. Chong said this gave the party a year to organise logistics for direct elections. A nationwide polling structure involving election officers at division, state and national levels is in the works.
Chong said the three-term or nine-year limit on the party presidency would not be retrospective.
Wan Azizah Hence, should current president Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail stand for re-election next year and win, she could hold the office for another nine years, Chong explained.
On the Youth wing age limit, he said that candidates can stand for office as long as they are 35 and below as of 31 Dec of that election year.
"If they turn 36 while they are in office, they will be allowed to finish their term but cannot stand for re-election," he said.
Dr Cecilia Ng said in a phone interview PKR is probably the first political party to legislate a quota for women in their party constitution.
"This is good. We have been pushing for this for a long time. Some other political parties have quotas as policy only but not in their constitutions," she said.
Ng is visiting professor at the Women's Development Research Centre at Universiti Sains Malaysia.
She added that even in the Ninth Malaysia Plan, government policy does not call for legislation, but merely encourages at least 30% women to be in decision-making positions in the public and private sectors.
One minor but interesting amendment to PKR's constitution would be the proposal that the Bahasa Malaysia terms for divisions and branches be changed to "cabang" instead of "bahagian", and "ranting" instead of "cawangan".
Chong said this was "to go back to the roots of Malay language" and noted that these terms were also used in political parties in Indonesia.
Sivarasa Chong said a press conference by party vice-president R Sivarasa, who also heads PKR's constitutional amendments committee, would be held tomorrow on the proposed changes and on Saturday's congress.
Umno is also planning to amend its constitution through an extraordinary general meeting in October, possibly to remove the quota system and allow direct elections of top party leaders.Umno president and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak has said that the draft amendments would be circulated among Umno branches for feedback.
Before heading for home, and before words on police brutality and the PAS muktamar, I wanted to highlight this real quick.
I nearly fell off my chair in disbelief when I read the following statement. I felt like tearing my hair out.
I’m sure many of us have seen these T-shirts in Central Market or previously in Bangsar Village. I have always thought them brilliantly hilarious (if they cost less, I would have bought dozens!). Many, I’m sure, remember the Mao Zedong spoofs (I think Mighty Maos was one of my faves).
To borrow some of (T-shirt creator/owner) Patrick’s words, it takes uncommon stupidity to think that these T-shirts glorify communism. In fact, it would basically take an inability to read.
On a day like today, I would not put illiterate government enforcement officers beyond the pale of possibility.
I also highlight Patrick’s observation that to do this while Najib pays homage to communist China…. well, is something that compels me to bang my head against the wall. In fact, Kerishamuddin’s Home Ministry might have had a more defensible (although essentially equally stupid) rationale to confiscate the t-shirts if they said they were *insulting* communism/China.
Well, Patrick’s statement in full, thanks to Uncle Kit:
On 2nd June 2009, the Publications & Quranic Texts Division of the Home Ministry raided my T-shirt stall in Central Market for the 3rd time and seized 83 shirts they claim are “obscene and contain Communist elements”. You can see the images they confiscated by following this link…
That the Ministry is clamping down on items they allege glorify (Chinese) Communism at the very moment our beloved leader is grinning for photocalls with the flatcaps in Beijing is flash-bulb irony so blinding it requires uncommon talent to miss it. The Ministry, of course, missed it by a mile.
Not many people know this but lightweight, low level officers of the Publications & Quranic Texts Division are entrusted with absolute power to make on-the-spot judgments about what is obscene, subversive, subliminally seditious, distasteful, inartistic, drug drenched, Communist, radical, Swedish. Er, ok, maybe not Swedish, but apart from that they can pass instant judgment on just about everything else under the sun. Worse, having judged, they are empowered to confiscate anything that offends their fragile sensibilities. They can say your cupboard is a badly disguised coffin, your toothbrush is a sex aid or that your plastic KL Tower statuette so thoughtfully bought for you by Aunt Mimi is plainly a male sexual organ. Having so proclaimed, they have the unchallengeable right to then cart everything away. In a blink of an eye one is judged, juried and executed by the same single entity. Issues of abuse of power loom large. You only have to click on the link above to realise that the Ministry tends towards irrational excitability in their interpretations, betraying the government’s impatience with the mildest satire and discomfort with the freedom of expression that is our guaranteed constitutional right.
What this means in practice is that the Ministry has a bunch of people running around seizing things under the flimsiest pretext. They took half my stock - 3 times - but they could just as easily have taken all. If you run a business selling things, they have an unquestionable right in law to do so and there is not much you can do about it. When a government deliberately denies a citizen his fundamental right to make a living, it had better have weighty, considered reasons for doing so. Here, we allow low level staffers to snatch away our rice bowls on a whim, without warning. Accountability, reason and judiciousness be damned.
By logical progression, since the images are now presumably “illegal”, are we to see enforcement squads jumping out from behind lampposts to rip T shirts bearing similar images off the backs of recalcitrant wearers? Will we have T shirt evaluators sitting alongside the H1N1 scanners at airports and entry points around the country? Will tourists be warned to leave their Viagra at home?
You may think that the images have no artistic or comedic merit. You may think them stupid and juvenile. But to say that they glorify Communism, are obscene and illegal, is really stretching it. And, surely, confiscation on those grounds is wholly unwarranted. Are we, as Malaysians, so sanguine that we accept the government has a right to intrude in such a way into our lives, compromise our professional integrity and devastate our businesses on nothing more than one person’s inadequate understanding of the word “obscene”??
You can read Malay Mail’s article about the raid here…
You can read the Malay Mail’s editorial about the issue here..
You can read the Star’s article about the raid here…